A couple of Phillies were getting hot, hot, hot in Miami tonight. At the plate, Carlos Ruiz ended the game only a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Not only was his bat hot, but he got big hits with 2 outs and in key situations, collecting 2 RBI’s and scoring 2 runs. Ruiz had 4 hits on the night against the Marlins!
Ben Francisco was nipping at Ruiz’s heels all night too. Both players hit solo homers in the 2nd inning, back-to-back. Francisco ended with 3 hits, an RBI and 2 runs scored. Wilson Valdez contributed 2 hits as well. With Ryan Howard being sent to the DL today and Chase Utley already on the DL, the Phillies needed other players to step up and add some pop to the line-up. Ruiz, Francisco and Valdez did just that.
No one appreciated the effort more than Roy Halladay, who has suffered from a lack of run support in games past. In fact, during the 4th inning, it looked like the Phils would let him down again when they had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Cody Ransom got ahead in the count and then on the 2-0 pitch, he popped out, leaving the runners stranded. After an intentional walk to Valdez, Halladay decided to get the job done himself. A 2-out hit down the 3rd base line is just what the Doc ordered. Halladay collected 2 RBI and now has 3 RBI this year.
Not only was Halladay hot at the plate, but he looked like he was yielding a flame thrower on the mound. In 7 innings, the only run he allowed was a solo homer to Dan Uggla. He gave up 5 hits, 1 walk and struck out 9 batters. Halladay left the game drenched in sweat and with a 6-1 lead.
Chad Durbin was called upon to finish the game with 2 innings to go. He had a fairly quick 8th inning and ran into some trouble in the 9th. But Durbin buckled down and got the job done without allowing a run. For a bullpen that has been up and down all year, Durbin supplied a much needed boost of confidence.
So, who was not hot tonight? Jayson Werth got the Golden Sombrero by striking out 4 times. He has done that twice now this season; the last time was 5/30/10. Ransom went hitless and popped out twice. Raul Ibanez struck out twice, but did have one hit and a walk. Placido Polanco went 1 for 5. But they all picked a good day to have a bad day; with Halladay on the mound and their teammates picking them up, all is well that ends well.
Kyle Kendrick will pitch tomorrow against the Fish; game time is 7:10pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography