Call it a game if you must, but tonight’s Phillies – Marlins match-up looked more like batting practice for both teams. It featured the Phillies worst starter, fresh off a DL stint, in Joe Blanton and the Marlins worst starter, Javier Vazquez. As hitters walked to the plate, they were literally salivating like a pack of ravenous hyenas standing over a fresh kill.
No one was more excited than Ross Gload, who has gotten very little playing time as a bench player this year. With a rare start in right field, Gload finally had an opportunity to do some damage. He took full advantage with two hits and two RBI.
A lot of Phillies had multi-hit games against the struggling Vazquez and some of the Marlins’ bullpen. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and even Raul Ibanez came up with at least two hits in the game, along with Gload.
The pitching was another story. Knowing he had the youngster Vance Worley nipping at his heels, Blanton must have been in a rush to get back to the team after going on the DL. He did not even pitch in a rehab game.
In his race to get healthy, Blanton looked like a guy seriously out of practice. But the defense bailed him out a number of times and he wound up with five innings, three runs allowed, two walks and eight hits.
Worley did wind up pitching in the game, taking over in the sixth. He got though two scoreless innings and then in the eight, allowed a solo homer to Gaby Sanchez. After Worley’s three innings of work, the score was then 6-4, surprisingly low for the number of hacks taken during the game.
The Phillies went on to win by the same score, with Ryan Madson collecting the save. Roy Halladay will pitch Tuesday night. Game time is 7:10pm.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
In the first half of the 2010 season, it looked like Raul Ibanez may be on the down side of an otherwise solid career. But in the second half, he has returned with the new life, similar to that he showed early in 2009.
Tonight against the Marlins, Ibanez continued his hot streak with 2 hits, 2 RBI, a walk and 2 runs scored.
In his quest to conquer Miami, Ibanez was joined by a rookie 16 years his junior. In fact, biologically speaking, Ibanez is old enough to be Domonic Brown’s father. Brown is showing off his many talents early in his Phillies career; he had a hit and 3 RBI tonight plus his very first assist in right field. Brown threw a bullet to home plate in the 3rd, allowing catcher Carlos Ruiz to easily tag out Gaby Sanchez trying to score.
The 1-2 punch of Ibanez and Brown tonight conjured images of the 80’s Miami Vice crime fighting duo. The difference is, they are way more fun to watch than Crockett and Tubbs. And better dressed as well; Philadelphians prefer pinstripes ;o)
But many players contributed to the thumping of the Marlins tonight. Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco each had 2-hit nights; Rollins collected 2 walks as well and had a run-saving catch in the 5th. Ross Gload did a very nice job at first base, making some difficult defensive plays as well as walking twice, getting a hit and an RBI.
Jayson Werth still looked confused at the plate as he struck out for the 7th consecutive time in 2 games. 4 times in one game is the called the Golden Sombrero, which he did yesterday. But 7 times in a row? The only word I know of for that feat is “BAD.” Werth did finally make contact in the 9th inning with a single to left. Hopefully, that will be the hit that breaks the slump. Werth had been 0 for his last 24 before that.
The pitching held up nicely tonight too. Kyle Kendrick had 6 solid innings with 5 strikeouts and 2 runs allowed on 8 hits. The bullpen held down the lead and Brad Lidge was brought into the bottom of the 9th with a 7-2 score. The lack of pressure suited him well as he mowed down the Fish in order. But Lidge in a tight situation is still questionable. Luckily, we did not have to watch another heart stopping 9th tonight, thanks to the offense.
So what began as a rough road trip now has some potential. If they can sweep the Marlins tomorrow, the Phillies can return home with a 4-2 road trip; not too shabby. Roy Oswalt will get his second shot at impressing Philly fans tomorrow; game time is 7:10pm.
Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography