BENNY! MAD DOG! Francisco's Pinch-Hit Homer Propels Phils to Wild Win

BENNY! MAD DOG! Francisco's Pinch-Hit Homer Propels Phils to Wild Win

In case of emergency... USE BEN FRANCISCO!??!?

And Ryan Madson for sure. Oh my. Breathe. Don't forget to breathe. Phew.

With two outs in the seventh inning of a scoreless ball game and Shane Victorino standing on second base, St. Louis Cardinals' Manager Tony LaRussa opted to intentionally walk Carlos Ruiz to get to the pitcher's spot, where pinch-hitter Ben Francisco waited for his chance to become legendary.

Jaime Garcia delivered a high fastball that found way too much of the plate, and with one swing of the bat Benny Fresh propelled himself from unheralded, oft maligned bench player to potential playoff hero. [photos + audio + video below]

Francisco's three-run home run landed in the Phillies bullpen at Busch Stadium, putting the Phils up 3-0 and instantly silencing the crowd.

The combination of Vance Worley, Antonio Bastardo, Brad Lidge, and Ryan Madson finished off the game that Cole Hamels started (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 hits, 8 Ks for Cole). Not without an unhealthy dose of agita, mind you. We're not complaining though... Ya gotta get to October to feel that burn.

Charlie Manuel called on Ryan Madson with only one out in the eighth inning and the bases loaded thanks to Worley, Bastardo, and Lidge, but Mad Dog got the job done. Madson forced Allen Craig to ground sharply to Chase Utley, who turned two, tagging second himself and firing one to first to end the ginormous threat in the eighth.

Madson allowed the winning run to come to the plate in the ninth after Albert Pujols — hate that guy! — doubled and Molina singled to bring the Cards to within one. Finally, Madson got the pesky Ryan Theriot — hate that guy more! — to ground out to Chase.

Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

With the wild 3-2 win on Tuesday night, the Phillies now take a commanding 2-1 lead in the NLDS and regain home field advantage and have Roy Oswalt pitching for the series win tomorrow night.

Ben Francisco: freshly minted recipient of free beers for life in the city of Philadelphia.

[watch video of Ben Francisco's pinch-hit 3-run home run in game 3 of the NLDS here]

Photos by US Presswire

Audio of Scott Franzke's radio call below:

Upload MP3s using free MP3 hosting from Tindeck.

Thanks to MarkM625 for the audio.

Watch: Eagles fan wearing Donald Trump mask gets roll thrown at him

Watch: Eagles fan wearing Donald Trump mask gets roll thrown at him

Philadelphia sports fans have a storied history of throwing things.

They threw snowballs at Santa Claus back in 1968 and bracelets onto the ice at the Wells Fargo Center during a Flyers home playoff game last April.

On Sunday, one fan took that long-standing reputation to new heights.

At a tailgate outside the Linc leading up to the Eagles-Steelers game, a dancing Birds fan wearing a Donald Trump mask had an Amoroso roll thrown at his face.

(h/t Deadspin)

Instant Replay: Mets 17, Phillies 0

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USA Today Images

Instant Replay: Mets 17, Phillies 0

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — This time, there was no lead for the Phillies’ bullpen to blow.

Sunday, the Mets tagged five Phillies relievers for 14 runs in a 17-0 demolition and won the four-game series. 

The Phillies only recorded three hits against Robert Gsellman, a rookie righthanded starter who stands to play a large role in the Mets’ injury-ravaged rotation down the stretch.

The Mets — for now — regained control of the first wild card spot in the NL. They had entered Sunday tied in the standings with the Giants. The Giants’ game against the Padres had no score when the Mets’ game concluded. The Cardinals sit a half-game back of both teams. Their game against the Cubs does not begin until 8:08 p.

The Phillies fell to 70-86.

Players from the Mets and Phillies both poured out of the dugouts for a pregame moment of silence in honor of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who died early Sunday morning in a boating accident at the age of 24.

Starting pitching report
Jake Thompson showed life on his changeup, a pitch he has struggled to wield effectively since his August arrival in the majors. He ran into trouble in the second inning when he surrendered a double to Jay Bruce on a middle-in fastball and a single to T.J. Rivera, but escaped with only one run in damage after inducing James Loney into an easy double play.

He nearly imploded in the fourth, surrendering a solo homer to Curtis Granderson to lead off the inning and then walking Jose Reyes with the bases loaded and two out to force in a run. Thompson elicited a popout to left from Asdrubal Cabrera to end the bases-loaded scenario, but that was the end of his afternoon.

Gsellman erased the rough memories of his first major league start, a 5-1 defeat to the Phillies at Citi Field on Aug. 28 in which he surrendered four runs on five hits and was pulled in the seventh inning.

He struck out eight batters in seven shutout innings. Gsellman only ran into trouble in the first inning when he faced a runners-on-the-corners, two-out situation in the top of the first. He promptly got Ryan Howard to ground out to first base.

Gsellman even managed to reach base with a bunt single in the third despite not being able to swing a bat due to a labrum tear in his non-throwing shoulder.

Bullpen report
Phil Klein made his first appearance since being called up for the second time on Sept. 10. He had been dealing with elbow soreness. Klein only retired one batter in the fifth and surrendered two runs on two walks, two singles and a pitch that hit Rene Rivera in the left hand. He departed with the bases still loaded.

Colton Murray entered to clean up the mess in the fifth and allowed an inherited runner to score on a wild pitch. He added a scoreless sixth but loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and got pulled.

Frank Herrmann inherited the bases-loaded situation and promptly walked the first batter he faced, Jose Reyes, to force in a run. It was all downhill from there, as Asdrubal Cabrera took him deep to right for a grand slam.

Patrick Schuster gave up four runs in the eighth on a Jose Reyes double with the bases loaded and a two-run single by Eric Campbell.

Luis Garcia allowed two runners to score in the eighth on a Michael Conforto double, one of which was assigned to Schuster.

At the plate
Cesar Hernandez’s 29-game streak of reaching base safely came to an end.

Freddy Galvis was the only Phillies player to advance past second base, singling in the first and then advancing on a wild pitch and steal of third. He was stranded by Howard’s grandout.

In the field
Hernandez and Freddy Galvis turned a 4-6-3 double play in the second inning in a runners-on-the-corners, no out situation.

Health check
Tyler Goeddel did not play as he recuperates from his concussion. Relievers Luis Garcia and Severino Gonzalez were unavailable last night due to ankle issues. Garcia pitched the end of the eighth in mop-up duty.

Up next
The Phillies will have a day off before they start their final homestand of the season against the Braves on Tuesday. Jerad Eickhoff (11-14, 3.75 ERA) will start for the Phillies. He has a 1.75 ERA against Atlanta in four starts against them this season.

The Braves’ scheduled starter has yet to be determined and their game against the Marlins scheduled for Sunday was cancelled once news emerged of Fernandez’s death.

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