Getting Back on Track
After two blown saves Friday and Saturday, the Phillies rebounded last night while riding the back of rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo. Although they should have swept the 4-game series against the Dodgers, coming away with a split is a relief after the drama of the last several days. And Bastardo must be relieved as well to get a 2nd major league start, and 2nd win, under his belt. Bastardo, who threw mostly fastballs in his first outing, calmed down a bit last night and began to mix in a change-up and a slider. He allowed only 2 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings. Not bad, especially considering he faced the team with the best record in baseball.
But the Phillies have the 2nd best record in all of baseball, and the offense finally showed everyone why that is last night. Three home runs led the way; a two-run shot from Carlos Ruiz and solos from Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard in a park that many consider to be unfriendly to the long ball. Jimmy Rollins was moved from the lead-off spot to #6 in the line-up and it worked. Rollins went 2 for 4 in the game. Charlie Manuel will likely not keep him there, but the change seemed to make him concentrate more on getting his swing back in line.
Now the real question is, could the rookie Bastardo be to 2009 what Kyle Kendrick was in 2007? Kendrick was called up to temporarily fill a hole in the rotation after an injury to Freddie Garcia. He did so well though that the Phillies kept him and Kendrick helped get them to the playoffs that year. But in 2008, Kendrick struggled and has since been sent back to the minors. Bastardo is now filling in for the injured Brett Myers. Could this kid be the answer for 2009? So far, he looks good; but then again, so did Kendrick. We will have to wait and see…
And if you really want to know what went wrong with Kendrick, here is my theory. He took one too many pitching lessons from Adam Eaton. By the way, after being released by the Orioles last month, Eaton singed a minor league contract on 6/6/09 with the Rockies. Good luck to them!
So, after travelling to New York, the Phillies will have the day off today to rest up for a 3-game series with the Mets. Going back to a normal East Coast schedule (thank goodness!), the game will begin at 7:10pm on Tuesday with JA Happ facing Johan Santana.
Photo by Jenn
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