The Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-2 last night.
Although Roy Halladay still could not notch his tenth win, that was not the real story.
Although the Cardinals are still adjusting to life without Albert Pujolz, their superstar first baseman, that was not the real story.
And though it seemed like just another night when the Phillies offense couldn't get anything going, in the end, that wasn't the real story, either.
The real story of last night's win was the eighth inning. Since we don't see innings like that very often, it's worth a second look. And it's a tale best told by the numbers.
9 Let's start with an easy one. The number of runs the Phillies scored in the eighth. They had more runs in this one inning than they have scored in the last three games combined.
43 That's the number of minutes this crazy inning lasted. The game was moving along at a brisk clip and the Phillies bats were making yet another pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate until the eighth.
6 The number of Phillies batters that reached base without a hit. Cardinals pitching gave up four walks and two hit batters (usually more than enough for an entire game) in just this one inning.
14 The Phillies sent 14 men to the plate in the inning.
5 Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa used five (count 'em five!) relievers in this one inning. It's worth mentioning that the inning took off when LaRussa opted to bring in a right-handed pitcher to face lefty Ryan Howard, an unusual move to say the least.
64 The Cardinals pitchers threw a whopping 64 pitches in the frame, which is often enough to get through six or seven innings!
4 The number of hits the Cardinals got off Halladay in a sub-par performance for him. (The Phillies had five hits in the eighth inning alone!)
15 The number of times cameras cut to close-up shots of a frustrated Tony LaRussa in the Cardinals dugout.
4 1/2 The Phillies ended the night 4 1/2 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East.
So there you have it. A tale told by the numbers. And this is one story with a happy ending, at least for the Phillies.
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