This team is never dull, although sometimes, I wish they were. The Phillies see-saw battle with the Padres today was a real tummy-turner with lots of ups and downs.
UP – Chase Utley smashed a 3-run homer in the first inning. The Phillies held onto the 3-run lead through 5-innings as Kyle Kendrick looked pretty good on the mound. But as with all good things, they must soon end…
DOWN – Kendrick lost his mojo in the 6th inning, giving up two home runs for three RBI total. With the game tied 3-3, Michael Stutes took over on the mound for the next four outs. Despite getting into trouble in the 7th, it looked like Stutes was about to get out of the mess when a Cameron Maybin single put the Padres ahead, 4-3.
UP – As the Phillies bats had laid dormant for five straight innings, a comeback seemed like a remote possibility. Enter, Ryan Howard. Given the day off to try and work on his hitting, Howard was called upon to pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th. It took just one pitch and Howard homered to re-tie the game, 4-4.
The homer was followed by a pinch hit double from Ross Gload and a Jimmy Rollins walk. Then the improbable happened again; rookie Michael Martinez hit his second career homer to add on three more runs. Utley homered again later the same inning to make it an 8-4 Phillies lead.
DOWN – Antonio Bastardo had his first really bad day of the year as he loaded the bases with two outs in the 8th inning. Then things got really wild as Bastardo literally began throwing the ball anywhere but over the plate. After two straight wild pitches, the Padres finally scored again.
In another improbable and frankly, unbelievable move, the Phillies sent David Herndon to the mound to clean up the mess. Herndon has been less than reliable all year so this was a shocker. Not shocking was watching Herndon walk a run home. But he did manage to escape the inning with the Phillies still leading, 8-6.
UP – Ryan Madson closed the game out in the 9th where he allowed one hit, but struck out two batters for the save. And despite allowing a run, Stutes got the win.
UP x2 – The Phillies have won four straight and go for five tomorrow with Roy Halladay on the mound. The Braves lost today, extending the Phillies lead to five game in the NL East.
Game time on Sunday is 1:35pm; I will return with photos.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography