A Very Long Night
Are you still awake out there? It was a long game tonight; the Phillies tried to repeat last night’s nightmare of tying up the game, only to blow it, but JA Happ and a little offense bailed them out. In fact, it took 12 innings and four and a half hours, but the Phillies squeaked one out, winning 10-6 over the Nationals. had a rough start this year with an oblique injury, but he has certainly found his way back. In the last week, he has been a hitting machine! With 7 hits and 5 walks in his last 3 games, Ruiz is the bright light in what has been a dim offense of late. Today he racked up 2 more RBI for the Phils.
Raul Ibanez has also had 7 hits in the last 3 games; the biggest one came in the 12th today when he singled and 2 runs scored, putting the Phillies in the lead. Between him, Ruiz and Pedro Feliz, who was 4 for 5 today with 2 RBI, the bottom part of the line-up has held up their end of the bargain. The top half is coming around slowly; Shane Victorino had a 2 hit night and Ryan Howard, although he looked awkward at the plate most of the night, did knock in 3 runs with a homer in the 7th.
The pitching, as usual, has not been great. JA Happ was supposed to get his first start of the season tomorrow, but the Phillies were forced to use him in relief tonight after Brad Lidge blew the save. However, with as well as Happ has pitched, one has to wonder which starting pitcher is going to be in the dog house? Joe Blanton did nothing tonight to keep his job; he struggled to get through 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and SIX walks, including a run walked in with the bases loaded. Jamie Moyer may have to watch his back as well, although his experience gives him an edge over Blanton. But Moyer’s 8.15 ERA also has the dog’s barking. Chan Ho Park is hanging in there with 2 good starts in a row, but questions are still floating around about his ability to keep up the pace after a very bad start to the year.
Joining Blanton in the doghouse tonight is Lidge who, as I mentioned, blew his second save of the year tonight. 2 hits and 2 runs in one inning now balloons his ERA to a disgusting 9.19. What in the world is wrong with Lidge? Well, I hope he likes doggy chow…
As for Happ, after 2 scoreless innings tonight, he is set up to replace Blanton in the rotation as that spot comes up again in 5 days; will that actually happen? No official word yet. And who will pitch in the double-header tomorrow? Brett Myers is scheduled for game 1 at 1:05pm. The 7:05pm game starter is yet unknown. Stay tuned…
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