The Phillies pulled out a victory on Sunday and closed the chapter on their 2-7 road trip. Aaron Fultz got the nod in the much anticipated mystery of who would start and quickly reserved his place back in the bullpen. Of course everyone was hoping (as always) for a surprise solid start by another inexperienced Phillies pitcher, but (as always, see also Adam Bernero’s start on Friday) the opponents took the lead in the early innings. Thankfully, the Phillies fought back aided by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard homeruns as the team collected 17 hits and 11 runs on the day. The win also means the Phils finish their interleague schedule with a 5-13 record against the AL East. Although the American League dominated interleague play as a whole this year, perhaps things would not be as bad for the Phils had they locked up with an easier division.
The duo anchoring the right side of the infield also learned Sunday that they, along with closer Tom Gordon, are headed to Pittsburgh next week as Philadelphia’s representatives to MLB’s 77th All-Star Game. All three certainly deserved the honor as they have been the only few Phillies to demonstrate consistency on the year. With their selection, the Phils are one of only four NL teams sending more than two players to the midsummer classic – the Mets meanwhile have at least four in the starting lineup alone. It will be Flash’s third appearance and the maiden voyage for the other two. Ryan Howard was also selected to participate in the Home Run Derby. Although the league leader in homers is certainly an immediate favorite, PNC Park could prove difficult for the Phillies slugger. Howard has hit a majority of his home runs the opposite way this year but PNC plays deeper to left than to right. Also, the Phils have a chance to send a fourth player, in the form of Bobby Abreu, who was selected to the Fan Ballot by Astros manager Phil Garner. Say what you will about Bobby, but as a member of the team, he surely deserves your vote – so vote now!