Over the last several years, manufacturing runs and playing small ball has not been the Phillies forte. Predominantly a power hitting line-up, they are suffering from a major power outage with both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the DL. But a little small ball tonight helped them crank out some runs to beat the Mets.
In the 3rd inning, Jimmy Rollins singled and then stole both second and third bases with 2 outs in the inning. Shane Victorino doubled to drive Rollins home for their first run of the game. It was Victorino again in the 5th who singled with two outs and stole second. Placido Polanco singled to send Victorino home. Then in the 6th, Jayson Werth led off with a triple and Carlos Ruiz singled him in.
Both Werth and Victorino had a multiple hit night; 2 for Werth and 3 for Victorino. Polanco was hit by a pitch in the hand early in the game but kept playing. Nothing else was said about it so hopefully, he is fine. Although, at the time, it looked painful.
Kyle Kendrick started the game for the Phils and went 6 2/3 innings allowing just one run; it was a home run from Jose Reyes. Kendrick walked only one batter and struck out 4. His last time out, Kendrick allowed 5 runs in only 3 1/3 innings, so this was a great improvement.
With a 3-1 lead, Ryan Madson pitched the 8th without allowing a run. And then Brad Lidge, who has never blown a save against the Mets in his career, came in for the 9th. Lidge kept that streak alive by retiring the Mets in order. The Phillies are now tied for the Wild Card lead and 2 games behind the Braves in the NL East.
In injury news, it appears that Utley may be back with the team as early as Tuesday after having surgery on his thumb for a torn ligament on July 1. He is already playing in rehab games in Clearwater. If Utley does return that soon, we can officially dub him Superman. Either that, or World’s Fastest Healer. Howard may also be back around the same time. That will be a huge boost for the Phillies!
The Phillies have a day off tomorrow before the Giants come to town for a 3-game series starting on Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, I should be at all three games. As usual, I shall return with photos :O)
Pelfrey photo from AP; Werth photo by Jenn Zambri Photography