After a disappointing series in Florida where Brad Lidge blew his 11th save, the Phillies needed a pick-me-up…quick.
The Brewers took care of that for them as the Phillies spanked them in the 4-game series opener by a score of 9-4. JA Happ took the mound and pitched 5.2 innings, allowing only 2 runs, 6 hits and he struck out 7 batters. Happ even helped himself out in the game going 1-2 at the plate with a single. The Phillies are Happ-Y to see the rookie back to form after some down time with an oblique strain; he now has the best ERA among rookie starters and is tied for the lead in wins.
Jimmy Rollins had the big blow in the game; in the 5th inning, he hit a 3-run homer which marks his 20th home run this year. Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz also collected 2 RBI a piece and only Chase Utley and Jayson Werth were shut-out at the plate. Yes folks, even back-up catcher Paul Bako had 2 hits. Bako also got creamed at the plate saving a run on a throw from Shane Victorino. Bako is doing a nice job in the absence of Carlos Ruiz who is still out with a wrist sprain.
Ben Francisco started the game in place of Raul Ibanez who sat out with the stomach flu, we assume, thanks to Victorino who was ill last week. Francisco had 2 hits in the game and scored 2 runs; he has been a great addition to this team and a very nice surprise. Francisco came over in the Cliff Lee trade and it looks like we got 2 for the price of one.
Lee will pitch tonight against the Brew Crew – game time is 8:05pm. And the magic number is now 4!
Photo by Jenn