Looking to Finish Strong

The Phillies celebrate how they always celebrate: by beating the crap out of the guy who won the game.

The Phillies need to finish strong before they scatter across the country for the all-star break.

Last night helped.

Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and the bullpen came up big in a 6-5 victory in 12 innings over the Diamondbacks. The Phillies have won three consecutive games, which has maintained their 1 1/2 game lead over the Marlins and Mets in the National League East. The Marlins have won three straight and the Mets have won seven straight. The way these three teams are bunched up, it should be an interesting final 2 1/2 months of the season because nobody has shown signs of going away.


Hey, was that So Taguchi who started the 12th inning with a leadoff single?

It was. He's been in Charlie Manuel's doghouse (or whatever you want to call it) for some time. He hasn't started a game since June 1. He hadn't had a hit since June 13. In fact, he had just four at-bats between the 13th and last night. Four. He's also rarely been used as a defensive replacement. He entered last night as a leftfielder, the first time that's happened since June 7. Manuel has given those duties to Eric Bruntlett. Taguchi is in a tough spot. Manuel has lost faith in him to produce, but it's tough to get out of that hole when he has very, very limited chances to play.

Maybe last night is a start in the right direction.


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