PHILADELPHIA -- They waited, as Carlos Gonzalez sprawled out on the left-field grass, for what John Mayberry Jr. said felt like "an eternity."
So when third-base umpire Rob Drake signaled that Gonzalez had failed to make what would have been a spectacular game-saving catch, and the Phillies earned their 11th walk-off win of the season, a 3-2 victory over the Rockies, the Phillies mobbed Mayberry at first base.
Now, with 23 games left and a sliver of hope remaining, things are going the Phillies' way. Sunday's win in the first of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday put them just three games under .500 for the first time since June 14 and six games back of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. It also set the stage for a sweep, with Sunday night's game starting at 6:35 p.m. ET.
"I don't think anyone in this clubhouse has ever written us off," Mayberry said. "So, we're going out there to win every game."
Mayberry's two-strike, two-out bloop single with the bases loaded made the difference on Sunday afternoon. Gonzalez, Colorado's All-Star left fielder, dove in and appeared to have caught the ball before it squirted out of his glove and onto the grass. The bases-loaded situation came about with the help of two of Wilin Rosario's four passed balls on the day and a pair of intentional walks.
But the Phillies (68-71) were in position to win in large part to another great performance from Cole Hamels, a model of consistency in a season full of anything but that.
Seemingly each time the talented left-hander takes the mound, he goes deep in the game and gives his team a chance to win. His seventh consecutive quality start, followed by scoreless appearances from Antonio Bastardo, Phillippe Aumont and Jonathan Papelbon, kept giving the offense chances to pull through.
Hamels got a no-decision, yet again denying him his 15th win, a career high he set in 2007. Hamels, who will likely get four more tries to at least tie that mark, gave up just two runs on five hits over seven innings. He's now lasted at least seven innings in two thirds of his starts this year.
His only shaky inning was the second, when the Rockies got on the board first with two runs. DJ LeMahieu, their eight-hole hitter, drove in Rosario with a single. Tyler Chatwood, the Rockies' starting pitcher, then notched his first Major League RBI with a single that scored Chris Nelson.
Ryan Howard helped the Phillies get those runs back in the third. Philadelphia's slugging first baseman hit a two-run double in which Chase Utley displayed great baserunning to score from first base.
The Phillies didn't get much going offensively again until the eighth, when they threatened to score. It wasn't until the ninth that they capitalized.
After a disappointing first half, Philadelphia is making things interesting as its season winds down. The Phils need to go 15-8 to finish with a winning record, but much better than that to claim the second Wild Card. The Dodgers, Pirates, Brewers and D-backs still remain in between them and the Cardinals, too.
"It kind of feels like we're trying to get into one," manager Charlie Manuel said when asked if it feels like his team is in a pennant race.
With all the expectations that go along with five consecutive division titles and the absence of two key players, Hamels said he thought the Phillies were putting too much pressure on themselves to win earlier in the season.
"I think we're just having a lot of fun," Hamels said. "I think, ultimately, we're coming out and we're playing to the very end. I think that's something that we weren't able to do earlier on ... It's fun to watch, and I think that's kind of what we need to really stick to is just going out there and enjoying what we can do and winning ballgames."
The Phillies only had to wait a couple of hours to try to keep it rolling.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.