After a long, drawn-out slump, the Phillies offense was in need of a serious wake-up call. After wasting a lead-off triple by Shane Victorino in the 1st inning, the Phillies found themselves down 2-0 in the 3rd against the Padres. But Victorino did not give up and started the 3rd off with a single. Three more hits followed as did 4 runs in the inning. Wake-up call: received.
Fueled by the strong performance of Jamie Moyer and some really nice defense, two more runs followed in the 5th on a Ryan Howard single and a Jayson Werth homer. The bell at Citizens Bank Park in centerfield finally had some of the rust knocked off it as it rang with enthusiasm for the Werth home run.
Howard helped out at first base by snagging balls that were all over the place. He looked like Spiderman, shooting webs to snare hits that should have shot past him and he dug several low throws out of the dirt to make outs. One of those throws was from Chase Utley who was literally falling to the ground as he threw the ball after a very tough catch and spin towards first.
Moyer kept right on pitching with confidence…and a 4 run lead. By the end of the 8th inning, he had tossed only 82 pitched, allowed 7 hits and just 2 runs. So Moyer came out for the 9th inning and, despite a lead-off walk, he got the next 3 batters out and ended up with a complete game win. Moyer became only the 3rd pitcher ever to win 100 games after the age of 40. He also has 2 complete games at the age of 47. Jamie Moyer is unbelievable.
After a horrific road trip, can the Phillies now come back home and continue winning? It looks possible after today’s game. The pressure will be on Joe Blanton tomorrow afternoon in the 3rd game of the series; game time is 1:35pm. Go Phillies!
Howard head shot by Jenn Zambri Photography