01/31/09 12:00 PM EST
Relive Phillies' wild triumph over Mets
MLB.com/Live to air Philadelphia's epic 13-inning affair from Aug. 26
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
For the Phillies in 2008, their Aug. 26 game against the Mets might have been one of them.
Philadelphia was being shut out, trailing by seven runs to future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. But the Phils came back to tie it and, after five hours and 17 minutes, won it on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th.
Going into that game, the Phillies had dropped nine of their previous 13 meetings to the division-rival Mets. But after Chris Coste singled past a drawn-in infield for a thrilling 8-7 win in front of 45,204 at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia was in sole possession of first place in the National League East for the first time since Aug. 12.
We all know what happened after that.
Every day from now to Spring Training, MLB.com/Live will air a classic game on Baseball's Best. The Phillies' wild 13-inning affair be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
"If we go on to win the division, this will be the game to look back on," Coste said afterward. "Whether we won this game or lost it, it wasn't going to make or break the year, but the way in which we won it reinforces the fact that the Phillies are never out of the game, regardless of the score."
That was a difficult thing to believe early on, when Jamie Moyer had a rare bad start, getting pounded for six runs in just three innings -- snapping a run of 14 outings allowing three runs or fewer.
But the Phillies got on the board with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth, then picked up four in the bottom of the fifth thanks to two-run homers by Jimmy Rollins -- who finished with five hits -- and Ryan Howard.
But that rally wouldn't have started if not for Clay Condrey -- yes, the reliever -- who hit a broken-bat double off Martinez.
"I don't think there's any question he kicked off the run-scoring barrage," said Coste, who entered the game in the eighth and had four hits. "That kind of kicked us in the butt. If the pitcher can double off Pedro Martinez, then why isn't anybody else getting hits? That jokingly is the way it felt."
The Phillies got another run off an RBI single by Rollins in the eight. Then, with two outs in the ninth, Eric Bruntlett came up big against Luis Ayala, lacing a double in the right-center-field gap to score Jayson Werth and tie the game at 7.
That led to the bottom of the 13th, when Shane Victorino led off with a triple, forcing Scott Schoeneweis -- the eighth Mets pitcher -- to load the bases with two intentional walks. Then, after he got pinch-hitter Brett Myers to strike out looking with a 3-2 fastball -- yes, manager Charlie Manuel had to pinch-hit one of his starters because he was all out of options -- Coste singled to center field for one of the biggest wins for the Phillies all year -- before October, that is.
"A good game, a great game," Manuel said afterward. "A lot of things happened."
Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.