It was an interesting baseball game, in that there were three key situations that may or may not have affected the outcome of the game.
***First, the Shane Victorino caught stealing in the ninth inning: It was Victorino's decision to go. The Phillies essentially give Rollins and Victorino a green light at all times. But a frustrated Charlie Manuel said afterward that the onus is on the runner to realize the situations when running is not prudent. With the tying run at the plate and no out in the ninth, that was the situation the Phillies were in. But Victorino ran on a 1-0 pitch to Matt Stairs and was gunned down.
“That was a mistake,” said Manuel, who pulled Victorino aside in the dugout after the play. “We talk about our running game and things like that, but also you’ve got to know when to run. I can stop him, but at the same time, our baserunning, with the way we set it up, we like to think you won’t make mistakes like that.”
Victorino addressed reporters shortly after the clubhouse was opened to the media and issued a mea culpa.
“I (messed) up,” Victorino said. “It was a stupid situation there, but hey, I made a mistake. I’m not going to second-guess myself right there. I’ll face the reality that I messed up.”
***Second, Wes Helms' three-run home run in the fourth: Jamie Moyer threw a 2-2 fastball that either caught the inside corner or landed just outside. Marvin Hudson ruled it was the latter.
Home plate umpire Marvin Hudson ruled it was the latter situation, and on the very next pitch Helms sent a 3-2 change-up sailing into the left field seats for a three-run home run.
“It really doesn’t matter what I think,” Moyer said of the pivotal play, which sparked the Marlins to a 5-3 victory and handed the Phillies just their third defeat in 11 games. “You need to go ask Marvin.”
***Third, Ronny Paulino's RBI single up the middle in the sixth (if you are counting, all five runs were driven in by ex-Phillies). The Phillies were trying to pitch around Paulino, believing that the Marlins would leave Chris Volstad in to bat with the bases loaded and two out in the innings. After throwing Paulino three balls, Moyer unleashed a pitch that caught the plate. Paulino drove it up the middle for an RBI.
"I should have thrown it to the backstop," Moyer said.
Who knows if the Phillies would have won had any of the aforementioned three situations transpired differently. Even if Helms had struck out, there would have been one out and men on base in the fourth. Even if Paulino had walked, the Marlins might have pinch hit for Volstad in the sixth. And even if Victorino had remained at first, Stairs' groundout might have been turned into a double play.
That's the beauty of baseball.