Bobby Abreu delivered a two-out, walk-off home run off Tim Hamulack to give the Phillies their first win of 2006, beating the Dodgers 6-3 this afternoon.
It was a fitting end for Abreu, who had the right approach at the plate all game. Often criticized for failing to deliver the big hit, the all-star, gold-glove right-fielder gave the Phils their biggest hit of the young season. In watching Abreu's curtain call, one can't help but think that a monkey had been lifted from his back. Hopefully, certain fans will ease off, too.
His blast erased an otherwise forgettable game from the rest of his mates, including more poor defense and even more questionable decisions by Charlie Manuel, including another starting nod to David Bell against a right-handed pitcher. Bell went hitless and grounded into a rally-killing double play in the eighth inning. Bell entered the game 3-for17 lifetime against Derek Lowe and has yet to collect a hit off a righty. He's batting a lusty .071.
In addition, Manuel's decision to bunt in the ninth nearly cost them a valuable out.
Early blunders by Aaron Rowand and Jimmy Rollins spoiled a very good start by Ryan Madson, who pitched six innings and allowed only one earned run. Madson got stronger as the game went on and left in complete control. The Phils also received good innings from Arthur Rhodes, Ryan Franklin and Tom Gordon (1-1), who earned the win with a solid ninth inning.
Shane Victorino earns props for a good walk and good hustle in scoring the tying run. Abreu had two good walks before his three-run homer in the ninth. Rowand delivered the tying run with an RBI single. The Phillies entered the game last in hitting with runners in scoring position (.083).
The Phillies will look to keep the good feeling going in Game 2. Jon Lieber will take to the hill against right-hander Brad Penny.