Winning 5 games in a row seemed an impossible task for the Phillies until now. Their longest win streak of the season previous to this one was only 2 games. They have also gone above the .500 mark for the first time since the first game of the year.
Even having Roy Halladay on the mound has been no guarantee of a win this year as the offense has underperformed. Against the Cubs on Thursday night, Halladay finally got some run support and had a good game himself as well.
Over 8 innings, Halladay allowed 3 runs, 2 of which were solo homers. But he was even hotter at the plate, going 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored. Only 3 other Phillies had multi-hit nights,
One of those guys was Halladay’s battery mate, Carlos Ruiz. To say Ruiz is on fire right now is an understatement. He is scorching every pitch that comes his way. In this game, Ruiz went 4 for 5 with 3 RBI and he is now hitting .363. He even stole a base. Wow.
Juan Pierre continues to nip at Ruiz’s heels with a .343 average and 2 more hits in last night’s game. Pierre also made several outstanding grabs in left field.
But while the offense was cooking and it looked like this game might be a laugher, the all too familiar bullpen monster reared its ugly head again. With an 8-3 lead in the 9th, we saw the other side of rookie Jake Diekman. Two games ago, he was spectacular in his major league debut. But last night, he was the exact opposite…awful.
Diekman walked 2 batters, hit a third batter and then gave up a bases-clearing double. The score narrowed to 8-6 with 2 outs and Jonathan Papelbon had to be brought in to close the game. He allowed an RBI single to the first batter he faced, making the total line for Diekman 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning. Yikes!
Papelbon did finally get the job done, but the final score was a frighteningly close 8-7. And the “other” side of Diekman was not something we would ever like to see again.
So the Phillies are heading home for a 3-game interleague series with the Red Sox. Game 1 starts at 7:05pm tonight.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography