With a 5-3 win over the Marlins tonight, the Phillies added another record to the franchise books. And here is how it transpired:
Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt made the start tonight. Since coming off the DL, he has produced one really good start, a couple of okay starts and one bad start. The bad start was against the Marlins last week. This week, facing the same team, he had another sort of up and down day.
While the results were not awful, Oswalt just did not look solid out there. He gave up three runs in 6.1 innings, so it could have been worse. But the Marlins hitters helped a lot by getting themselves out. Oswalt’s control was not great and his pitches were all over the place. Oddly enough, against this Marlins team, it seemed to work.
Oswalt’s inconsistent play is starting to raise some questions about whether or not he should pitch in the post-season. With experience and a solid history on his side, the Phillies won’t yet count him out. Hopefully, his next few starts will really show what he has left in the tank.
In the meantime, the Phillies offense helped Oswalt out with some runs in this game. Shane Victorino started it off with a triple and Placido Polanco hit a sac fly to score him. Most of the additional damage was done later by John Mayberry Jr. who also had a sac fly, plus a 2-run homer in the game.
Mayberry’s sudden emergence since his trip back to Triple-A in June has been amazing to watch. He fixed his batting stance, worked on his defense and is now clicking on all cylinders. There are no more Phillies fans complaining about the team not resigning Jayson Werth in the off-season. Adding Hunter Pence has been a big boost as well.
Speaking of Werth, if you compare his numbers to Mayberry’s this year, the results are night and day. Their home run and RBI numbers are very close, however, Werth has had more than twice the number of at-bats that Mayberry has gotten. Werth has 269 more at-bats, to be precise. That is a whole lot of production from Mayberry in a very short time. Mayberry is simply “werth” more than Werth.
With the three RBI from Mayberry tonight and some bullpen help, the Phillies took a 5-3 lead into the 8th inning. Antonio Bastardo, who seems to be untouchable this year, pitched another superb inning. In fact, Bastardo is on the verge of making baseball history. If Bastardo continues at his current pace, which had batters hitting only .112 against him coming into this game, he could wind up with the lowest BA against a reliever in all of baseball, ever. Yes, EVER. Wow.
As we await those results, the Phillies made another kind of history with today’s win. Now at 42 games over the .500 mark, this is the best mark in Phillies franchise history. No other Phillies team has ever had such a great record. There is still a lot of baseball to go, but this team has the potential to be the greatest Phillies ballclub ever.
And as you let that sink in, remember to tune in again tomorrow night at 7:10pm. Cole Hamels will pitch in game 2 against the Marlins.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography