Seven Runs Again, But No Bullpen Follies This Time
It seems that Charlie Manuel has found a line-up that works. Two games in a row, the Phillies offense has scored seven runs. Friday night, the bullpen gave five runs back. But tonight, Cliff Lee was in control for eight innings, keeping the pen mostly out of the equation.
Lee was sharp tonight against the Cubs. He allowed only four hits, two walks and one run. And just to continue being the well-round player he is, Lee had a hit in the game as well.
And there was more good news tonight. Chase Utley finally had a Chase Utley-like game for the first time since coming off the DL. He went 2-for-5 with four RBI, including a two-run homer. It was only Utley’s third multi-hit game since his return on May 23.
Shane Victorino also has his legs back; he went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez picked up RBI’s as well.
The offense still has work to do though. Even after scoring seven runs, they still ended up leaving nine men on base and went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. But two games with a high run count is a good sign that the Phils could be ready to snap out of this offensive funk.
Antonio Bastardo pitched the ninth inning. It was his second game appearance in a row in the ninth and he shut the Cubs down again. The Phillies walked away with a 7-1 win and Lee’s sixth of the year.
There was a short 32-minute rain delay before the game as rain surprised everyone seconds before the first pitch. Sunday’s forecast is not sunny either. But with a little cooperation from Mother Nature, game time should be at 1:35pm.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography