Imagine That: Phils Rally to Victory From Behind With Two Outs in the Bottom in the Ninth

Imagine That: Phils Rally to Victory From Behind With Two Outs in the Bottom in the Ninth

It was nothing you haven't seen before. Locked in a tight contest from the first pitch, the Phillies failed to come up with a clutch hit before surrendering the go-ahead run late. Usually that's game over.

Not on Wednesday night. Not against the pitiful Rockies, who decided to wait until the final out before completely falling apart. Down one in the bottom of the ninth, the Fightins staged a two-out rally against closer Rafael Betancourt, who picked up his third blown save of the season -- with an assist from stalwart first baseman Todd Helton.

Ty Wigginton initially kept the game alive with a single, setting up Hunter Pence for what may have been the swing of the season. Pence unloaded on a 1-1 pitch that got up in the zone, sending a rope to the the left field corner that nearly burrowed a hole in the wall. Wigginton happened to be running on the play, and was able to make it home standing up to knot the score.

With Pence on second, Carlos Ruiz was walked intentionally, bringing Shane Victorino to the plate. His slow roller to short appeared to be the end of the inning on first glance, which would have sent them to extras, but the Flyin' Hawaiian beat Marco Scutaro's throw to load the bases.

The final at bat would look eerily similar. Placido Polanco sent another weak ground ball to Scutaro, only he lacks Vic's speed down the base line. Polly busted it anyway, and wound up beating the throw by a foot -- Helton's.

A starter at first base for 15 years with Colorado, Helton somehow got lost at the bag. He wasn't touching when the ball arrived in his glove, and before he could drag his foot the remaining inches or centimeters for the out, Polanco came charging through, stepping on Helton's toes as his own beat the force.

7-6, Philadelphia. Helton was charged with an error on the play.

This was typical 2012 Phillies: some good, a lot of ugly. They lived to tell about another Joe Blanton outing -- five runs over seven, including three more homers. Michael Martinez, slugging all of .172 entering the night, provided the power with a three-run blast. Converted reliever Jeremy Guthrie held the Phils to three frames of scoreless baseball, while Jonathan Papelbon was nearly dealt his third loss of the season.

Once again though, winning is winning. They don't count for any less because the Rockies are terrible.

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.