It’s been a while since Philadelphia Phillies fans had an opportunity to chant “RAUUUUL!” After a trip to the disabled list and the All Star Game, Raul Ibanez gave everybody a chance to clear their throats. It wasn’t just Ibanez who made everybody stand up and cheer (even if it was just in their living rooms), but also Jamie Moyer’s astounding performance.
As he typically does at LandShark (formerly Dolphins) Stadium, Moyer dazzled the Florida Marlins. He put on a clinic. Through four innings, Moyer faced the minimum. He surrendered only one hit in seven shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four in arguably his best start of the season.
Moyer was backed by two All Stars: Ibanez and Ryan Howard. Ibanez’s opposite field two-run home run gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the second inning. In the fourth, Ibanez hit his 24th homer of the season, and the second of the game, extending the lead to three.
Then, there was Howard who was sitting on 199 career home runs. With one swing of the bat, Howard smoked a homer in the first row of the right field seats for his 200th career home run. In his 658th game, he became the fastest player to reach 200 home runs, surpassing Ralph Kiner, who did it in 706. He is also the eighth Phillie to reach the 200 home run milestone.
Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero each combined for two hitless innings out of the bullpen. It is the first time since 1986 that the Phillies pitchers combined to throw a one-hitter.
One: the number of hits the Phillies pitching allowed combined. Two home runs by Ibanez. 200 career home runs for Howard. All were necessary in Moyer’s 255th career win.
The Phillies have won six in a row and ten of their last 11. In addition, they extended their lead over the second-place Marlins to five games. It is one game, but a nice way to start the second half of the year. This is when they tend to pick it up.