Against the Cardinals, Phillies rookie pitcher Vance Worley had another adventurous, yet effective, outing. Through 6 innings, the Vanimal allowed one run on six hits and three walks. The run was issued on a bases loaded walk. Worley seems to have a knack for allowing base runners which elevates his pitch count. He gets out of the jams, but cannot go deep into games as a result.
But Worley limited the damage, giving the Phillies a chance. The offense however, took that chance and sat on it. This turned out to be the 8th straight game where the Phillies scored three runs or less.
Once again, one of the few Phillies in the line-up able to hit was John Mayberry Jr. who went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. In the field, Mayberry was not so sharp, bobbling or missing three balls at first base. He was charged with one official error, although none of the goofs really hurt the team.
What actually hurt the team was the lack of hitting, which also resulted in extra innings. The first four hitters in the line-up combined to go 0-for-18 through 11 innings. As a team, the Phillies tallied only seven hits, left the bases loaded with one out and left eight men on base.
Losing 2-1, the Phillies tied the game up in the 9th. After a Ryan Howard pinch-hit double, Carlos Ruiz sent a fly ball to right, which was dropped by the fielder. But then in the 11th, the 2-2 tie was broken after rookie pitcher Michael Schwimer allowed two runs, giving the Cards a 4-2 lead. So yesterday Schwimer got his first major league win and today, his first loss. His ERA has ballooned to 4.82.
In the bottom of the 11th, the Phillies got a single from Placido Polanco, but did nothing else. John Bowker, who is now 0-7 as a Phillie, made the final out for the 4-2 loss.
The offense, which was cooking earlier this month, has suddenly stalled. The good news is that the Mets are currently spanking the Braves by a score of 11-2 in the 8th inning. If that score holds, the Phillies need only one game to clinch the NL East.
Division Magic # – 2 games (at time of posting)
Home Field Advantage Magic # – 4 games
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography