PHILADELPHIA -- Freddy Galvis looked up at the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park to see exactly who Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez needed to beat with the bases loaded and no outs to pick up his 19th save of the season.He had
PHILADELPHIA -- Freddy Galvis looked up at the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park to see exactly who Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez needed to beat with the bases loaded and no outs to pick up his 19th save of the season.
He had to face the top of the Cubs' lineup with the Phillies holding a two-run lead.
"I said, this is the guy I want to face the top of that lineup right now," Galvis said after a dramatic 3-2 victory. "He trusts his stuff. His ball has a lot of movement right now. He controls the ball. That's why he is so good."
Gomez, who replaced Hector Neris, got Dexter Fowler to hit a sacrifice fly to left field for the first out. He then got Jason Heyward to hit a bullet to Phillies second baseman Andres Blanco, who replaced Cesar Hernandez in a double switch. Blanco slid to his right, backhanded the ball and flipped it to Galvis at second base. Galvis caught the relay, avoided the slide from Javier Baez and threw to first baseman Ryan Howard for the inning-ending and game-saving double play.
"I don't give Gomez the only save," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I give Freddy and Blanco one, for turning that double play in the eighth inning. Wow. That was a special play."
Blanco told Galvis afterward that he just wanted to knock down the ball. He did better than that and made a perfect flip.
"I just tried to get away from the runner," Galvis said. "We were talking about the new rule at second base. If this happened last year, he might have killed me right there, you know?"
Gomez pitched a scoreless ninth. The guy who entered the season as a middle reliever suddenly leads Major League Baseball in saves.
"I didn't know what role I would have," Gomez said. "I just try to be ready."
"Nobody believes it," Galvis said. "I was talking to Whitey [Blanco] and Jeanmar. This is going to sound weird, but he has no emotions. He's like really chill when he pitches. Whatever happens, happens. He's a Christian guy, so when he goes to the mound he says, 'I'm here, I'm going to throw the ball and that's it.' He has no emotions, so he's controlling himself in that moment. It's really good to have a closer without emotions like that. He can stay in the game, even if he gives up a homer or something like that. He stays in the game."
And most of the time when he is pitching with a lead in the ninth, the Phillies win.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.