Pedro Martinez will be given his first shot at redemption tomorrow night against the Cubs as he enters the Phillies starting rotation. Jamie Moyer, on the other hand, has been relegated to the bullpen while the Phillies take a look at Martinez. Moyer is a professional and took the news in stride. While it is sad to see Jamie bumped from the rotation for sentimental reasons, for baseball reasons, it was necessary. Holding the highest ERA in the National League among starters, Moyer has not had the year the Phillies hoped for. However, if Pedro fails to perform, there is no reason Jamie cannot be moved back in as a starter again.
The injury bug has left the bullpen thin over the last month so Moyer may be able to help out in a game where a starter is pulled early. Another member of the pen, Chad Durbin, is just back from his back injury and Rodrigo Lopez was, as expected after several bad outings, sent back to the minors to make room for Durbin. Also recovering still is JC Romero who had an MRI on his forearm which showed no ligament damage. Romero has a slight tear in the muscle which should heal with rest and hopefully, we will see him before the month is out.
The Phillies will have their hands full tonight facing the Cubs and Rich Harden who has a 1.80 ERA in his last 5 games. JA Happ is coming off another complete game shut-out, which is great, except that he threw 127 pitches. Hopefully, the extra work will have no effect on him tonight. The game kicks off at 8:05pm in Chicago.
Photo by Jenn
This team is fun to watch; you never know what is going to happen next. Notching their 10th win in a row after a 13 inning pitching knock-down, drag-out fight, the Phillies enter this afternoon’s game with a 6 ½ game lead in the NL East.
Joe Blanton was as good as you could ask for in a starting pitcher, going 7 innings and allowing only 1 run while striking out 5 batters. The problem was that the Cubs pitcher, Rich Harden, was just as good. Former teammates, the pair looked determined to duke it out on the diamond. The result ended in a draw and the bullpens continued the fight through 13 innings.
Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Chan Ho Park and Clay Condrey combined for 6 scoreless innings to give the Phillies a chance at winning the match.
Lidge contributed in a very unique way in the 9th inning when a little soccer action helped him out. With a runner on first and one out, Lidge needed a double play to end the inning. The next batter lined a ball up the middle and away from Lidge’s glove, so Lidge kicked the ball towards second and it landed right in the glove of Jimmy Rollins who turned two easily. Brad Lidge: Part man, part Pele.
But the big kick came off the bat of Jayson Werth; with 2 out in the lucky 13th inning, Werth blasted a ball over the left field wall to score 3 runs and win the game.
The Phillies will try to sweep the Cubs this afternoon with an early 1:05pm start. Jamie Moyer will take on the emotional, and usually entertaining, Carlos Zambrano. Talk about polar opposites…this should be another good one to watch!