Offense, Bullpen Come Up Big In Victory Over Braves – Phillies Nation
2012 Game Recaps

Offense, Bullpen Come Up Big In Victory Over Braves

Ty Wigginton fist bumps Juan Samuel after driving in two runs in the fourth inning. (AP)

Late hits by a slumping John Mayberry, Jr. and a scoreless three innings by the bullpen helped propel the Phillies to a 4-2 victory over the Braves in Atlanta tonight.

In a game in which Cole Hamels was only able to go six innings, leaving a tie ball game in his wake, the fate of the Phillies would be in the hands of their bullpen and their offense, and the two struggling units were up to the task.

Hamels Battles, Bullpen Slams The Door:

– Hamels was lacking his usual accuracy, and the Braves took advantage by working deep counts and forcing him into a high pitch count. All said and done, Hamels had thrown 108 pitches and worked seven three-ball counts through six. In that sixth inning, he worked himself into a one-out bases loaded jam–thanks to some shaky defense (more on that later) and a walk–with Juan Francisco at the plate, and a 2-1 lead. Hamels was able to get Francisco to sky one for a sacrifice fly, tying the game at two. He then retired Tyler Pastornicky to escape the inning without any further damage. It would be the end of Hamels’ night. To his credit, he was able to keep the Phils in the game even though he didn’t have his best stuff.

– Antonio Bastardo worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning. It was a good sign from Bastardo, as he’s struggled quite a bit since last September. He threw primarily fastballs tonight, and his velocity hovered around 92-93 MPH, up from the 90 MPH he was averaging earlier in the season.

Trading Defense For Offense:

– What’s more important to the Phillies right now, defense or hitting? Every time Charlie Manuel pencils Ty Wigginton’s name into a lineup, it becomes evident: Hitting. Remember that shaky defense I referred to earlier? That was directed at Wigginton. At the start of the sixth inning, Wigginton allowed a Freddie Freeman grounder to sneak by him into right field for a hit. Or at least that’s how it was ruled. But it was a ball Wiggy easily could’ve gotten to and could’ve been ruled an error. Freeman would come around to score later in the inning.

Wigginton’s glove is subpar, there’s no questioning it. But the way he’s been hitting lately, he needs to be in the lineup (he drove in two runs tonight’s game and has reached base in all sixteen of his starts). With the way this team has been searching for offense, you’ll take his errors for his production at the plate for as long as this hot streak lasts.

Mayberry Comes Through, Rollins Continues To Roll:

– With one out in the eighth inning, pinch hitter, John Mayberry Jr., would serve a one-out double down the right field line. The hit had to feel good for Mayberry, who had been hitting .204 with just 2 XBH before the at-bat. It sparked a 2-run inning for the Phils, including  when Mayberry came around to score  the first run on a wild pitch by Johnny Venters. Hunter Pence drove in Jimmy Rollins on a single later on in the inning, and the Phillies would go on to win it 4-2. Speaking of Rollins:

– Is J-Roll coming out of his slump? Rollins went 2-for-4 tonight and scored a run. He is now 6 for his last 15, with three runs, and two RBI. Small sample size? Sure. But his bat looks quicker and his swing more compact. If he can get going, it’d be a big shot in the arm for the offense.

Game Notes:

– The Phillies have now beaten the Braves eight times in a row, dating back to July 9th of last year.

– With a loss by the Nationals, the Phillies are within 2.5 games of first place.

– Tomorrow, the Phils (will seek their second road series victory of the season) when they send Roy Halladay (3-2, 1.95) to the mound against Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.00).

Thome To The DL?:

– Jim Thome has been dealing with a balky back since straining it sliding into second base on Saturday night, and now, after Thome was unavailable to play for the third straight game, leaving the team with a short bench once again, the Phillies are considering putting the first baseman on the DL. Charlie Manuel met with Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Scott Sheridan before Tuesday’s game, and he had this to say to reporters afterwards:”The longer sits there sometimes I think he needs to go hit. When you sit there and you’re not playing and not doing anything and you’re not getting at-bats when you are able to, it usually takes you a while to get going.” Reading between the lines of what Manuel says, he could be suggesting that it’d behoove the Phillies to DL Thome, giving him an opportunity to rest, and then get some at-bats in a rehab assignment. At the same time, the move would allow the Phillies to add a bat to the roster in Thome’s absence. Thome is just 2-for-18 this season, with ten strikeouts. He has looked nothing short of helpless at the plate. His status is something to keep an eye on over the next couple of days.

Click to comment


  1. Chris

    May 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Move along nothing to see here. Everyone should keep pressing the panic button. After playing the worst they really could have for the first month (offensively at least) the Phillies are still 2.5 games out of first. 2.5 Games! That’s insurmountable. Pack it in boys. Gut the team and start over no way this team can contend this year.

  2. bacardipr05

    May 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Todays game is what the old Phillies where about. We need more of this, instead of there usual folding they have been doing.

  3. brooks

    May 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    The old Phillies had some pop too bacardi, this team has no guns

    • Lefty

      May 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      I just saw your question in the game-day thread. I knew right away.

      • brooks

        May 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        I know it was not all situational – he was just bad ass all the way!

  4. Savannah Phillies Phan

    May 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I am so glad the Phillies took this game tonight. I was watching a repeat of the Atlanta Braves against the Pirates, when the anouncer, the guy who speaks through this nose, said they were getting ready to watch the phillies come limping into Atlanta. Also mentioned with a “snigger” in his voice that it was a different situation because the phillies have to look up from the bottom to see the Braves. What an azz! I hate that guy….he is really childish and gets under my skin….

  5. Andrew from Waldorf

    May 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Winner winner chicken dinner.
    .500 is nice. Now need to roll.

    I am sure the Braves are not finishing ahead of the Phils unless the phils collapse.
    They own the braves.

  6. Bob in Bucks

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Offense over defense? Two words – Ryan Howard.

  7. Chuck A.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Nice win by the Fightins last night. Any time you can go into a division rival’s park and get a W it’s a good night. And speaking of that park….what’s up with the pitiful attendance? Team’s a contender and it’s a division matchup. I don’t care if Atlanta has “Hawks Fever” as Wheels alluded to. We would never allow that to happen here if the Sixers or Flyers were playing in a playoff game across the street. Braves fans suck. Lame.

    • Lefty

      May 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      They are a disgrace, but Washington is worse!!! Bryce Harper’s debut and they can only get 22,000? No Capitals playoff game excuse either, they didn’t play last night.

  8. Don M

    May 2, 2012 at 7:54 am

    When asked what offseason signing was going to be the biggest boost to the Phillies this season, I answered Ty Wiggington- though this isnt what I pictured… I thought that our whole lineup would be in more o a straight platoon situation and Wiggy either faced only LHP or came off the bench with RISP when someone needed to drive a ball somewhere, etc …. That said, I think his playing time has obviously contributed to his nice start and I wonder how he’ll do once Howard gets back in the mix (do we try to sit Polly more?)

  9. JMills

    May 2, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Its Cody Overbeck time. Put Thome on the dl.

    • Chris

      May 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

      I mean it may be that Thome needs to go on the DL but don’t expect much out of Overbeck. A 1B with an OPS under .800 in AAA is nothing to get excited about. He’s also a notoriously slow adjuster when he moves up a level.

    • Lefty

      May 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Thome to the DL- Erik Kratz called up.


    May 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

    All wins over the Braves are great wins indeed. Nice game, too bad Cole didn’t get the victory.
    Hopefully Mayberry will come around.

  11. betasigmadeltashag

    May 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Wiggy glove is ok at First Base as long as he keeps hitting in key situations. I worry about that defense at third if you want to keep his bat in the line up when Ryan Comes back. Good game by JRoll also last night, outside his first AB had good swings all night. Would like to see JMJ in the line up a little more, I know it was a bleeder but against lefties I would like to see JMJ in LF.
    Cole was a little off, and the Ump did have a tight strike Zone, consistant, but a little narrow did not give the corners much.(I will say he called a consistant game and that is the most importent thing so I am not complaining about the calls) It was good to see Cole pitch through a game where he did not have his best stuff, and keep the Braves to two runs.
    Very optimisic about Bastardo’s perfromance it was nice to see Charlie using him for a whole inning, and pitching to a RH to start the inning. I said it before that the kid needs to pitch, he did not start to sturggle last year until his innings started going down. He should be the first guy out of the penat least every other day, unless it is the 8th and you want Qualls. but I would like to see Bastardo pitch in the eigth.
    Would like to see Doc get a win to

  12. The Original Chuck P

    May 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I think the Kratz call-up means the writing is on the wall for Schneider… the only reason that Schneider has been on this team is because he’s left handed (with a reputation for being solid offensively) and he was making a lot of money ($1.6 million for a back-up catcher). With Kratzy’s bat being hot (7 xbh – that’s 7 more than Schneider at this point) and seeing how much of a liability Schneider is defensively (he doesn’t block balls, he doesn’t frame pitches, guys are constantly shaking him off and his presence results in an automatic steal sign from the opposition – his caught stealing percentage well below league average for the past three seasons), I’m not sure what would keep him here now that his salary is half of what it was last year. Kratz has played well enough to get the nod.

    Dom Brown left today’s Iron Pigs game with hamstring tightness.

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