Tonight’s Phillies – Cardinals match-up was basically a snooze-fest through six innings. For the Cards, few hits were not surprising since they had to face Roy Halladay. But the Phillies faced a pitcher they really should have hit and they did not.
Halladay allowed only one run. Although if Placido Polanco had gotten a ground ball out of his glove quicker in the 5th, he would have had a double play to prevent that run from scoring.
Polanco had a bad day overall. He is simply not hitting while in the 5-hole and went 0-for-3 today. In the 8th inning, Polly got plunked with a pitch in the hand. And though he got an RBI because the bases were loaded, he had to leave the game. No word yet on how serious the injury may be.
The rest of the offense was just as bad against starter Kyle McClellan. They managed only five hits and one run off a very average starter. Carlos Ruiz was the only exception with three hits off McClellan and four hits in the game total.
What is really frustrating is watching Phillies batters strike out with less than two outs and the bases loaded or hit into a double play with runners on base. Raul Ibanez did both tonight.
But the Cardinals proceeded to implode in the 8th after McClellan was lifted. The drama began when two hitters got hit with pitches, including Polanco, and Chase Utley was walked before that. Three runs were forced home that inning.
Suddenly, the Phillies offense woke up. I suppose three free runs will do that. Another run scored on a Ben Francisco pinch-hit and two more on a Jimmy Rollins single. All of this happened with two outs, and they were not done yet. After batting around, Utley added two more runs with a single. Ryan Howard followed suit and another run scored.
Let us total the top of the 8th inning damage: 4 walks, 2 HBP, 5 singles, 9 runs scored & 43 minutes of playing time.
By the time the magical 8th inning came to a close, the Phillies went from trailing 2-1 to leading by a score of 10-2.
The only shame, again, was that a great pitching performance from Halladay did not yield a win for him. So both he and Cole Hamels are still waiting for win #10.
Cliff Lee will pitch on Wednesday night; game time is 8:15pm.