After last night’s tummy turning, see-saw circus act, a nice old-fashioned blow-out would have been a welcome event. And through 7 innings tonight, it was so very nice and relaxing. The Phillies offense swung the bats like a starving man who was just tossed a cracker. They scored against the Marlins in every inning except the 6th and the 8th.
Ryan Howard led the fish feast with 6 RBI, including a 3-run homer to the opposite field. Chase Utley was hungry too; he went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, a walk and was hit by a suspicious pitch in the 7th. The 9-0 lead at the time and ball thrown near his head made people wonder if the Marlins pitcher, Jose Ceda, was expressing his displeasure at the routing. Luckily, it hit him in the upper shoulder area and Utley looked to be okay.
Jimmy Rollins had two hits in the game before having to leave with a tight right hamstring. Leslie Gudel reported on Twitter that J-Roll was not feeling well and was dehydrated before the game, even skipping batting practice. Why he then started the game is a mystery. Hopefully, the injury is not serious.
As the runs were piling on, Cole Hamels kept right on pitching as if it were a tie game, which later on, turned out to be a really good thing. Hamels went 7 strong without allowing a run and striking out 5. Marlins batters were feeling the heat as Hamels kept right on cooking.
A former Fish, Nate Robertson, was called on in the 8th inning to pitch to his former team. However, Robertson was the one who got cooked this time. In 2/3 of an inning, Robertson walked two batters and allowed 6 runs, including a 3-run homer. If Robertson was looking to revive his career, he did himself no favors tonight.
Entering the 8th inning with a 10-0 lead, manager Charlie Manuel put in a bunch of back-ups to give them some playing time. Ross Gload at first has issues handling an Utley throw; catcher Paul Hoover dropped a pop-up and later dropped a ball after a collision at home. Had he held it, the inning would have been over. Instead, the 5th run of the inning scored.
The 10-0 blowout at the start of the 8th turned into a 10-6 “holy crap-fest” real fast. David Herndon, who finished off the 8th inning, came in again to pitch the 9th. He got one out, walked the next batter and them forced the managers hand…Ryan Madson, who should have had this day off, was forced to come in to pitch and prevent further damage. Madson got the final two outs for a 10-6 final score. Whew!
So tomorrow is an off-day for the Phillies for some much needed rest after a LONG stretch of 23 games and no off-day. On Friday, they will return in New York to face the Mets for 3 games. Brad Lidge, who says his elbow is sore, should be back for that game. And with any luck, J-Roll will be back and well rested.
In the meantime, feel free to check out my new Facebook community page, “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney.” And when you are done there, hop over to the Phillies #1 fan contest and VOTE for me! You can vote up to 25 times a day :O) Thank you for the support!
Hamels photo by Jenn Zambri Photography