The offense, somehow, saved the day.
After blowing a 4-0 lead, Placido Polanco’s two-run double in the eighth inning was the game winner as the Phillies split the 4 game series with the Cubs, winning 6-4 on Tuesday night.
BULLPEN BLOWS IT
-Antonio Bastardo was lights out last year and was the pleasant surprise of the 2011 roster. This year, he just hasn’t looked the same. He, along with Chad Qualls, allowed the Cubs to tie it in the eighth inning. Bryan LaHair’s 2-run home run wiped away a Vance Worley win.
-As @TheLollipopking said on twitter – “I know Qualls gave up the HR, but it’s a shame Bastardo has gone from being awesome last yr to a guy you can’t trust anymore.” Well put.
WORLEY STAYING STRONG
-Worley began the night thanking his right fielder for a strong defensive play. David DeJesus roped a ball off the wall that was picked up cleanly by Hunter Pence, who threw a strike to get DeJesus at second base. Except, he wasn’t out. The umpire just called it that way. So, Worley started with a mulligan. From there on, he retired the first 11 batters of the game.
-His trouble spots were the fourth and fifth, and seventh innings. In the fourth and fifth, he got out of jams with two runners on base. In the seventh, he loaded the bases with no outs, but got a little help from his defense as Placido Polanco turned a 6-3 double play. A run would score on that play and one batter later, Worley would get Reed Johnson to ground out to first. Crises averted.
-For the past two seasons, Vance Worley has been a K-looking machine. Heading into Monday night’s game against the Cubs, Worley had fanned 57% of his strikeout victims on called third strikes. This year, that number is at 67% (thanks Corey). On Monday, he fanned five Cubs, three of them looking.
-Worley ran his scoreless-innings streak to –. He has been unreal recently and, as I’ve been saying, is just fun to watch. He has that swagger going. The glasses are still cool. Everything about him is just working right now.
-It wasn’t a full-on breakout, but the Phillies did put up a crooked number in the first inning to get the crowd involved early. They put up four runs on five hits (all singles), making Chris Volstad throw 30 pitches. If you’re unaware, the Phillies have owned Volstad.
-After the first inning, it was another bore-fest by the Phils. More terrible at-bats and stranded runners plaguing them. After Volstad’s 30-pitch first frame, the next 11 Phillies batters saw just 27 total pitches.
-It wasn’t until the bottom of the eighth that the Phillies slowed down and took advantage of mistakes at the plate. Juan Pierre was hit by a pitch and Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco followed that up with two solid plate appearances. Eventually, Polly would win the Phillies the game with a two-run double. That’s the kind of hitting this team needs.
-Jonathan Papelbon walked Geovany Soto to lead off the ninth, but set the next three batters down in order for his eighth save in as many tries.
-Phillies hit the road for the next six games; three in Atlanta, three in DC.
-Tuesday is the start of May. So I guess those who wanted April to end have their wish. Will it get better from here?