In the beginning of a critical 10-game homestand, the Phillies got an offensive surge from an unexpected source. Catcher Humberto Quintero, who entered the game with five RBIs, exited with three more, in addition to his second home run of the season.
The Phillies needed all his offense in a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Quintero was 2 for 3 with a double, home run and the three RBIs.
“It felt good especially against these guys,” Quintero said. “We play in the same division and we have to go to try to win tomorrow and win this series.”
One got the impression that this was not considered any normal game for the Phillies. They still trail Atlanta by 7.5 games and are the same number out in the wild card race, but a bad homestand could bury the Phillies and they know it.
“The only way to gain ground on the team ahead of you is to beat them and we have plenty of opportunity to do that,” said winning pitcher Cliff Lee.
The Phillies have 75 games left and 15 are against the Braves, so Lee’s point is well taken.
And to get an unexpected offensive jolt from Quintero was even bigger.
“It was huge by him,” Lee said.
Then again, Lee said that Quintero brings a lot to the team with his defense.
“He calls a really good game and he has been catching a really long time and definitely knows what he is doing,” Lee said. “He has an unbelievable arm, keeps the running game in check.”
While trying to get back in the race, the Phillies will need huge contributions from a variety of players. On Friday, they got one from Quintero, who had his third multi RBI game of the season.
The Phillies, by the way, are 3-0 in those games.
On this night, Quintero, now batting .237 in 59 at-bats, made his mark at the plate and behind it.
“…Hitting a home run was huge,” Lee said. “He made a huge impact on us winning the game.”