PHILADELPHIA -- As Andres Blanco crossed home plate to score the winning run in the Phillies' 3-2 walk-off win over the Nationals on Sunday afternoon, he looked back over his shoulder and expected to see Freddy Galvis close behind him.But instead, Galvis was on second base -- or at least
PHILADELPHIA -- As Andres Blanco crossed home plate to score the winning run in the Phillies' 3-2 walk-off win over the Nationals on Sunday afternoon, he looked back over his shoulder and expected to see Freddy Galvis close behind him.
But instead, Galvis was on second base -- or at least near it -- awaiting his teammates, who had begun rushing out of the first-base dugout to celebrate behind the bag.
"I thought he hit a home run," Blanco said.
The ball landed at the foot of the wall in the left-field corner. Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth picked up the ball and tossed it toward the infield. Even though Galvis didn't put it over the wall, the game was over.
Not 20 minutes later, Galvis and Blanco were celebrating together in the locker room.
"Nobody got down today," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The guys are just playing inning by inning, and when it's a one-run game, there's no reason to be down. Guys just stepped up in the 10th inning. It was great to see."
The offense had been among the worst in baseball through the first 12 games -- and through the first nine innings on Sunday. Philadelphia's one run over the first nine innings came on a Carlos Ruiz solo homer.
But something clicked in the 10th inning -- after Bryce Harper hit a home run to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead in the top half of the inning -- against former Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon.
It was Papelbon's second appearance at Citizens Bank Park and fourth against the Phillies since the team traded him in July of last season. He's twice blown a save and three times given up go-ahead or game-tying runs. Galvis and Blanco were at the heart of all three. In his first game back in Philadelphia, Galvis homered off him to tie the game. In Washington two weeks later, Galvis walked and Blanco homered right after.
"I think we're familiar with him," Mackanin said. "We know he's the villain and we know he means business."
For a moment, it seemed as though the Phillies would again rely on the long ball for their offense. On Papelbon's third pitch of the 10th inning, Ruiz hit a ball to deep center that the entire dugout thought was gone. But Matt den Dekker caught it near the warning track, and then the real rally started.
Peter Bourjos doubled down the left-field line, and Cedric Hunter popped out to center for the second out. Without there being two outs, Bourjos doesn't know if he would have scored on Blanco's line drive to left.
"That ball was smoked to left," Bourjos said. "I just tried to get a good jump and run as fast as I can. You obviously know with two outs, you're going to be sent."
Because there were two outs, he didn't have to worry about getting doubled off if Werth caught it. Mackanin thought the Phillies were fortunate to have Bourjos on second.
"I don't think anybody else would have scored except for him," Mackanin said. "And that was still close."
Then, with Blanco standing on second, Galvis poked a high-and-outside 95 mph heater over Werth's head in left. For the third time, Galvis and Blanco had toppled their teammate-turned-rival.
Evan Webeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com.