Philly Sports Live

Howard’s Walk-Off Lifts Phillies Past D-Backs

The Philadelphia Phillies edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 in a thrilling walk-off fashion Sunday afternoon. After striking out three times in his first four at-bats, Ryan Howard came through in the clutch in the bottom of the ninth to win it for the Phils turning boo’s to cheers.

Pinch-hitter Juan Pierre opened the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle against reliever Josh Collmenter.  Pierre reached second base after Nate Schierholtz bunted him over. With Kevin Fransden  up next, manager Charlie Manuel still had the option to use Laynce Nix if he intended to, so he did. Entering the game Nix was 4-4 in his career against Collmenter including a homerun and two RBI’s.

Nix hit a blooper which dropped right in from of Justin Upton allowing Pierre to advance to third base. With Utley up who already hit a home run in the game, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson decided to give Utley the free pass juicing the bases for the big piece, Ryan Howard.

Ryan Howard struck out in 25 out of his last 52 plate appearances and also 33 in his last 83 plate appearances before adding three more Sunday. With Arizona playing Howard really deep he was just trying to find his pitch and lift it over the infield in which he did. Pierre scored the game winning run on Howard’s walkoff.

After the game Ryan Howard talked about his game winning hit:

“It feels good.  It has been a timing issue and it’s been in-between for me. I need to find my happy place. It definitely is a confidence builder.We just want to continue to have good character on the team and keep a good chemistry. I was just trying to see something and lift it. Either swing and miss, or swing and hit.”

Ryan Howard records 8th career walk-off hit; 1 each of last 3 seasons after none in 2008 or 2009.

Cliff Lee surrendered three home-runs allowing four runs in another eight inning no-decision. Jonathon Papelbon got the win and advances to 3-4 on the year.

Since the trade deadline the Phillies have won both series series. The Phillies are still sixteen games out of first place with a pivotal stretch of games coming up starting with Atlanta coming to town tomorrow night. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.