With Roy Oswalt sent to the DL, the Phillies needed a spot starter tonight against the Braves. They went with Kyle Kendrick and the move paid off.
Kendrick has been in the bullpen all year, so his pitch count was limited. But he managed to get through five innings of scoreless baseball, allowing only two hits and striking out two.
The Phillies offense came up with a few key hits to give the team a 3-0 lead through those five innings. Pete Orr played second and had an RBI-fielder’s choice in the second for the first run of the game. The second run was a historic one.
Ryan Howard smashed his career 260th home run in the fourth, passing Del Ennis for 2nd place in Phillies career home runs. Mike Schmidt is in first place with 548 homers. Howard has a long way to go to match Schmidt, but 2nd place is very impressive.
Ennis’ widow Liz, an avid baseball fan, called the Phillies after the historic homer and had them leave a note of congratulations for Howard. It was a very classy move. During the game broadcast, announcer Tom McCarthy noted that Liz made the call after realizing the telegram was no longer being used. :O)
Anyway, run #3 in the game came from a Shane Victorino triple in the fifth. Earlier in the day, Victorino was in the Majestic Clubhouse Store at the stadium signing copies of his new book, “Shane Victorino: The Flyin’ Hawaiian.” He must have been really pumped up after the turnout. I heard from a source outside the ballpark that fans who showed up an hour early for the signing were told the line was already cut-off and they were turned away.
I am totally off topic here, but I have one last note about the book. In the next week or so, I plan on writing a review of the book. I will also reveal some personal conversations I had with Shane’s parents and also his wife, Melissa, many years back about one of the main talking points of the book, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I was very glad to hear Shane shared this in the book as I am sure it will help many people suffering from the disorder. So, stayed tuned for that…
Back to the game…by the sixth inning, this turned into a battle of the bullpens and a 3-0 Phillies lead. Coming out of the pen for the Phillies was J.C. Romero, Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson. Each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the Phillies win.
With so many questions surrounding the Phillies bullpen this year, it is very good to see everyone stepping up. Especially for young pitchers like Stutes and Bastardo, their performances so far this year have been outstanding.
The series is now split 1-1. Tomorrow the Phillies will send Cole Hamels to the mound as they try to win the series with the Braves. It is another dreadful ESPN 8pm start on a Sunday; the second Sunday in a row. I will be there and return with photos.
FYI – The MLBlogs conversion to WordPress has been postponed until next weekend, 5/13-5/16…shocking, I know. Anyway, just keep stopping by and if there is yet another delay, I will let you know. Thanks!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
After Joe Blanton was sent to the DL yesterday, Vance Worley was called up to fill in against the Mets. Worley definitely proved that he has what it takes to pitch in the majors.
And the Phillies certainly challenged him in the first inning. Both Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins committed rare errors in the first to extend the inning. But Worley did not get rattled and eventually coaxed a double play ball to end the inning.
That inning increased Worley’s pitch count, but he still managed to go six innings while allowing only two hits. Despite four walks, Worley shut-out the Mets and got his first major league win of the year. Worley also singled in the game, which was his first major league hit.
However, most of the fireworks at the plate were provided by Ryan Howard who is now tied for 2nd with Del Ennis for Phillies all-time home runs. Howard’s 259 home runs are second only to Mike Schmidt who ended his career with 548.
It took Howard two homers to match the record tonight. The first shot went into the second deck in right field for 2-RBI. The second was a grand slam in the sixth inning, which is the 10th slam of Howard’s career.
Howard came up again in the seventh with the bases loaded, but back-to-back slams were just not meant to be. Sadly, he struck out.
But Ben Francisco helped out in the game as well with two hits and two RBI in the game. And Rollins had another two-hit game, officially announcing his emergence from an early season slump. Raul Ibanez, on the other hand, has not had a hit in 30 consecutive at-bats.
Another record was set tonight as well. Polanco recorded his 39th hit in the month of April, setting a new Phillies team record. Chase Utley held the previous record with 38 hits in April of 2008. And Polly is not done yet…still one more game to go in April.
The bullpen, including newcomer Michael Stutes, held down most of the Phillies huge lead and they went on to win by a score of 10-3. Game two is Saturday at 1:10pm and Roy Halladay will pitch.
***Important Blog FYI: The entire MLBlogs community is going to be switched to a WordPress format beginning on Friday, May 6. The transition may last through Monday night, May 9. All MLBlogs writers will be unable to post and you will be unable to access any MLBlogs during this transition. So do not panic if this and other blogs suddenly disappear during that weekend…we will be back :O)***
Player photos by Jenn Zambri Photography