Analysis

Phillies Offense Has a Pulse

Galvis with the dagger. (AP)

Oh, the difference a day off makes.

Heading into Wednesday night’s game against Josh Johnson and the Miami Marlins, it appeared a pitchers duel was shaping up with Roy Halladay on the bump for the Phillies. But in this crazy game of baseball, your luck can change just that quick.

During the first four games of the season, the Phillies managed to put up runs and scared the fan base into believing the season was over before it began. On Wednesday, against one of the most talented righties in baseball, they put up five runs in the third inning, en route to a 7-1 victory. The crushing blow came courtesy of Freddy Galvis; of all people. With “Freddy” chants pouring down upon the 22-year-old shortstop, the pressure was high; but not so high that the kid couldn’t focus in and rip a double down the right field line to score two.

Galvis took it in stride. “That’s the first time I’ve heard that many people yell my name. I was like, ‘Alright, I have to do something.’”

Great to see the kid understanding the importance of what was going on around him and delivering.

With that double, and with that explosive inning, many minds were eased. After Monday’s despicable display of offense (other than Galvis, of course), which followed a weekends worth of garbage by the Phillies bats, any glimmer of hope that they could piece together runs would be welcomed. It got the cold crowd on their feet and made people forget, if not for a second, that things have change in Philadelphia.

Carlos Ruiz went yard in the seventh to tack another one on, eliciting the ol’ Chooch chants from the 45,359 that braved the elements on Wednesday night.

Charlie Manuel’s club is no longer one that mashes 200-plus home runs and out-slugs you. It’s clearly a different dynamic; everyone is aware, Manuel, too. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be ugly all year. When locked in, this group of misfits can string together innings like we’ve seen in the past.

And it might get better soon enough. Ruben Amaro addressed the media today and gave an injury update on Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

Yesterday, Howard saw Dr. Mark Myerson, who performed the achillies surgery in the offseason. Myerson said the achillies is progressing and is structurally sound. Amaro said it might even be stronger than when he began to do some baseball-related activities in February. The wound from the secondary surgery, however, is not fully healed. That will take a little more time. On Thursday, Howard will see a wound specialist at Jefferson hospital to see how much longer he’ll need before ramping up activities.

Utley is looking stronger, according to Amaro. He’s still in Arizona working with therapist Brett Fischer, where there has been improvement. The Phillies will meet up with Utley at some point on their west coast trip, which includes a trek to Arizona. That does not mean Utley will rejoin the team. However, the signs are positive with regards to their two most important offensive pieces.

It’s just one game but it gets people believing again. As Shane Victorino said following the win, “when you score runs, it’s happiness.” Damn right.

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