Yesterday, it was Fish Fry with a 3-game sweep of the Marlins in Miami. Tonight, it was a cub clubbing in Philly. Perhaps Animal Control needs to issue a citation to the Phillies for animal cruelty? On second thought, nah…
To continue their assault on nature, the Phillies uprooted Ted Lilly of the Cubs and put 9 runs on the board during Lilly’s short 4 innings of work. The delicate flower was no match for the bashing of the Phillies’ bats; especially that of Raul Ibanez who plucked Lilly’s petals with a 3 run homer in the 1st inning. And that homer came with two outs and two strikes on Ibanez after Ryan Howard failed to score any runners by striking out in the previous at-bat. Just when it looked like Lilly may live to bloom another day, Ibanez went in for the kill.
The offense did not end there: Carlos Ruiz joined in later and nailed a 2 run homer and had 3 RBI in the game; Shane Victorino went 2 for 4 and in the 8th, Howard made up for a few bad at-bats with a solo home run. Chase Utley was 1 for3 and also had an RBI in the game.
Rodrigo Lopez finally got another start after leaving early in his last outing with a sore shoulder. Looks like the shoulder is doing well; Lopez got through 6 innings and allowed just one run. Chad Durbin was handed the ball next and given an opportunity for a save by going the final 3 innings. Durbin did the job and notched the Phillies 9th win in row!
Jack Nicholson attended the game tonight and sat behind home plate wearing a Yankees hat. The Phanatic tried to convert him to a Philly-Phaithful by doing his best Joker impersonation, but the hat remained. So here is a little help from Photo Shop to convert Mr. Nicholson:
How about JA Happ? This kid is making a case for Rookie of the Year, without a doubt. He notched his 7th win yesterday in the 5-0 win over the Marlins and his ERA is now 2.68 with no losses recorded. Happ has allowed only 6 runs in his last 5 starts. And last night, Pedro Feliz did his best to lose the game for Happ by committing 2 official errors and had one other ball fly off his glove that should have been, but was not counted as an error. Feliz helped load the bases at one point, on what should have been an easy double play ball, but Happ never rattled and pitched out of the jam. His command and above all, his poise on the mound, make it hard to believe he is a rookie. Happ has the ultimate poker face; you never know what he is thinking or feeling.
And that composure is exactly why the Phillies would be insane to trade him, even for the likes of Roy Halladay, as has been rumored. Happ has pitched as well as Halladay since being promoted to the starting rotation. I agree with going after Halladay, but not if the trade involves Happ. And so this is my plea to the Phillies as the trade deadline draws closer…please, please, please – KEEP JA HAPP! It would be a monumental mistake to let him go. Mark my words.
Utley Photo by Jenn