–Carlos Ruiz cannot be stopped. The man is a machine. With three hits – one of which was a bomb that nearly tagged the Geico sign that sits on the second deck perch in left field – Chooch raised his average to a busty .361 on the season and pushed his OPS above 1.000. Just an incredible season for a true MVP candidate in the National League.
-The Phillies got to Erik Bedard early, but weren’t really able to open it up completely. Ty Wigginton‘s two-run shot in the third put the Phillies up 4-1, and while they put up – runs on the night, early it felt like they could have struck for some more. Still, – runs on – hits is nothing to cry about.
INTERESTING NIGHT FOR WORLEY
-Through the first few batters, I wondered if there was something wrong with Vance Worley. He was not even reaching 90 on the gun and appeared to be high in the zone. Worley eventually settled down and put together a decent performance, however, it wasn’t his best. The righty went six-plus innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and five strikeouts. It took him 112 pitches (65 strikes) to get there.
-The great thing about Worley is that when he runs into some trouble, he normally finds his way out of it. The good ones do. Worley was able to minimize damage tonight. In five starts since returning from the DL with elbow soreness, Worley has a 2.70 ERA. He has said time and again the elbow is not giving him trouble and you have to believe him.
SCHWIMER DOES THE JOB
-Great job by Michael Schwimer to take the mound in the highest of high-leverage situations. Holding a 4-3 lead, Charlie Manuel entrusted Schwimer to get three outs with two on after Worley failed to retire anyone in the top of the seventh. He did so, with a little help from the arm of John Mayberry Jr. With one out, Mayberry caught a fly ball off the bat of Neil Walker and gunned out Michael McKenry at home plate. Solid pitching and solid D get you wins and Schwimer and Mayberry held up their end.
OH NO BASTARDO
–Antonio Bastardo is just not the same guy we saw early last year; a guy who nearly set some records. A first-pitch double by Andrew McCutchen in the eighth inning made for some nail-biting. But for some reason, the Pirates elected to pinch-hit for their cleanup hitter and use that guy to bunt. Josh Harrison popped up a bunt and Carlos Ruiz made a great play near the netting behind home plate. Bastardo would leave McCutchen stranded but it was hairy for a moment.
PAPELBON A SCARY NINTH
–Jonathan Papelbon appeared to be in control in the ninth before Michael McKenry went deep to make it a 5-4 Phillies lead. Man, did that Ruiz homer come in handy. He’d eventually get out of it, but not before allowing just his third run of the season in a save situation (his first run in a game that ended in a save).
-Oh yeah, that Chase fella is expected to be back tomorrow. How about that. Utley homered tonight and went 2-for-5 at Lehigh Valley.