Best win of the year.
Chris Coste knocked a three-run home run in the second inning, Shane Victorino followed that up with a two-run double, then Chase Utley slammed the coffin lid shut with a two-run line shot, his Major League-leading 18th homer of the season. When the dust ran from the coffin the score was 7-3, and from there it was easy street.
Ryan Howard, for good measure, slanted his 15th off the fair pole, and the Phils would win 12-3 over the Marlins. It’s May 30, and the Phillies are alone in first place in the National League Eastern division.
Brett Myers was the real star of the game. After a poor first inning he settled in and dominated. He struck out 11, locating and attacking with his fastball, then burying hitters with his splendid curveball. When hitters weren’t striking out they were popping and flying out harmlessly. He may not be hitting the mid-90s with the fastball, but if he continues to use it properly there won’t be cause for panic. Tonight it all came together for Myers. More of this, we beg you.
Offensively, do we ever give Chris Coste credit? He plays once every two or three games and puts up absurd numbers. Tonight he stands at .341 with 5 HR and 16 RBI. For a platooning catcher with little Major League experience, that’s overly impressive, and some of us have to start thinking about writing Coste’s name onto the All-Star ballot. Then there’s Victorino, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games and scored two runs. (He also nailed Hanley Ramirez with a line drive; hopefully Ramirez will be OK.) Pedro Feliz had two hits, raising his average to .269.
Between Myers’ fantastic outing (innings two through eight) and the offense’s continuing slayings of opposing pitching staffs, this win tasted best of all. Confidence in the team is at a season high, and seemingly, the best is still to come. While there’s absolutely no way we should get ahead of ourselves, this win demonstrated that this baseball club is a superb one â€” one capable of big things.
Associated Press photo