Could the Mets be the cure for the bad baseball bug that has bitten the Phillies lately? Today’s 7-2 win that rocked Citizens Bank Park was definitely a good start. Another good start today was that of new Phillies pitcher, Rodrigo Lopez, who stunned Philadelphia fans with his excellent ball control and ability to throw strikes. Throwing strikes does seem to be the object of the game, but not many Phillies pitchers have given that a try recently. So Lopez’s emergence from AAA after his recovering from Tommy-John surgery is a welcome surprise.
But is Lopez that good or are the Mets just that bad right now? It may be a little of both, but Lopez certainly did show promise. And this guy is no stranger to the big leagues; Lopez pitched 5 years with the Baltimore Orioles and part of 2007 with the Rockies before his injury. The experience showed tonight as he was very poised on the mound and unshaken by the large, raucous crowd. Lopez pitched 6 1/3 innings of 2 run ball and walked only 1 batter. If he can repeat this a few more times, the Phillies will be more than happy to keep him around.
The Phillies offense finally found a groove tonight as well.
The top of the line-up led the charge, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley each collecting at least 2 hits each. Utley & Rollins had 2 RBI a piece as well. Maybe Charlie Manuel finally grabbed these guys by the throat and shook them around until some offense fell out, like coins from a piggy bank? Whatever the case, everyone hopes he did not break the bank in one night.
Ryan Madson, who was sorely in need of a clean inning after a horrific few weeks, pitched the 9th with a 5 run lead. John Mayberry Jr. lent a hand by making a diving grab in the outfield. That out helped get Madson through it and he nailed down a scoreless, hitless inning. Madson can now exhale and hopefully, get things back on track.
With two more games coming up against the rival Mets, there may still be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Phillies if they can continue to play with the same intensity they did today. Jamie Moyer will kick things off tomorrow at 4:05pm on the 4th of July! With any luck, the offense will provide the fireworks.
Rollins & Manuel Photo by Jenn
Lopez photo: http://theoriolereport.com/