A few of the Phillies bats had a small, yet short-lived, resurrection on Friday night against the Texas Rangers. Both Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez went deep to score all three of the Phillies runs in the 3-2 win.
Both players have been struggling, especially Francisco. Perhaps the call-up of Domonic Brown lit a fire under the two outfielders. Francisco won the right field spot out of spring training, but he may be on the verge of losing it now with his recent slump, the Brown call-up and better defense from John Mayberry Jr.
While the future of the outfield is up in the air, the starting rotation remains steady. Led by Roy Halladay, the Phillies put together a win while totaling only four hits in the game, two of which were home runs.
Both teams had issues with home plate umpire, Andy Fletcher, who had a moving strike zone that no one could nail down. But Halladay stayed on his game, despite the inconsistencies. He went eight innings, allowing just two runs on six hits and a walk. Halladay also struck out seven.
The closer role for the Phillies has been another question mark this year with both Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras going on the DL. But Ryan Madson, who had trouble with this role in the past, has left little doubt about who the Phillies closer should be.
Madson has been practically unhittable. He has allowed only one run the entire season so far and last night, he earned his eighth save in eight opportunities. So now it is Madson who is lights-out, not Lidge.
Saturday night Cliff Lee will face the reigning AL Champs and his former team, the Rangers. Game time is 7:10pm.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography