It was a good night to be a Phillies fan. All the teams playing won! Yea! After some tough times recently, the Phillies, IronPigs and BlueClaws played games to remember when it really counted.
We settled around the old TV, laptop and smartphone Friday night. We were rewarded with some of the best, most important action of the season.
First, it was a Rhys Hoskins home run that finally put the fading Phillies in the win column and still keep them in the post season hunt. The big league team has been quickly falling out of contention and the key cog in the offense, Hoskins, went south with a major batting slump. But when he blasted that home run against the Mets for the 4-3 win, he and the Phillies might have saved their season.
An old teammate of Hoskins was doing his job in Allentown. We will never forget when we watch Rhys and Ranfi Casimiro play in Savannah, Georgia back in 2015 and downed the Mets farm team, the SandGnats, when they were playing for the Lakewood BlueClaws. It was Ranfi again doing it last night for Lehigh Valley to save their season. He came on in relief to pitch out of a base loaded situation with one to get a strikeout on a 95 MPH fastball in the 12th inning of an elimination game against the SWB RailRiders. Read HERE.
Ranfi stayed in and retired the side in the 13th inning helped by inducing a double play. It was nothing new for him. We watch him pitch last winter in the Caribbean Series on ESPN Deportes for the Dominican Republic and doing just about the same thing. The Pigs would give Ranfi the win in the bottom of the 13th on a Nick Rickles walk off base hit. The Valley Boys would live to play another day, now down 2-1 in the best-of-five semi-final series.
How can we forget what Spencer Howard did for Lakewood last night to sweep the semi-final round of the Sally League playoffs? All he did was throw a nine-inning, 103 pitch, no-run, no-hitter against Kannapolis. He survived a bases load situation on two errors and a walk in third inning . Howard started off striking out four of the first six batters he faced and would go on and register nine strikeouts. He was topping at 98 mph early in the game and 92-95 late with his fastball. But he said after the game it was his developing breaking ball that was the difference. Read HERE.
Three better baseball games with so much on the line could not be found this season. Especially with all of them taking place at about the same time. The Phillies organization should be proud of three of the best games its system has played all season last night.