Tonight, the Phillies downed the Colorado Rockies 8-5. For the Phils, who had lost five straight, and 11-of-12, coming into the contest, it was a much-needed victory. It took all-around effort, as only the middle relief didn’t contribute to the win.
VANIMAL DOES IT ALL
– Before tonight, Vance Worley had never made a start at Coors Field. Evidently, he enjoys playing there. Aside from throwing 6.2 innings of two-run baseball, Worley would also collect two hits, including an improbable two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning that would make it 6-2 Phillies. The hit was especially energizing because it came after the Rockies intentionally walked Mike Fontenot–who was 0-for-2 at the time–to get to Worley. The double would be Worley’s first extra base hit of 2012, and just the second of his career. The 2 RBI were also his first of the season.
– On the mound, Worley gutted out his 6.2 innings. He wasn’t dazzling, and he wasn’t efficient, but he held the Rockies to just two runs on eight hits. It was exactly what the team needed from him, and, even though he didn’t have his best stuff, he gave it to them.
– The defining moment for Worley came in the fifth, when Carlos Gonzalez came up with runners on second and third and two out. With first base open, the Phils opted to walk Gonzalez and face the right-handed Michael Cuddyer with the bases loaded. Worley would work a full count, but end up striking out Cuddyer with a fastball to slam the door. Worley pumped his fist after Cuddyer swung through the pitch, clearly feeling the adrenaline of a high-tension moment in the game.
FIRST INNING EXPLOSION, RUNS LATE
– Outside of Worley’s offensive heroics in the sixth, the Phillies would start the game with four early runs against Jeremy Guthrie. Shane Victorino would get the action started with a one-out double in the the first. The double was Victorino’s first extra base hit since June 8th. Chase Utley would follow with a single to give the Phils a 1-0 lead.
– Victorino would also start another rally when he tripled home Jimmy Rollins in the ninth for an insurance run. Once again, Utley would drive him in with a single to make it 8-5. Combined with his outfield assist, it was an all-around great effort by Vic today. It was a welcome sight for a guy having a really down year.
DIEKMAN STARTS THE EIGHTH
– Perhaps signaling a changing of the guard, Charlie Manuel opted to go with Jake Diekman to pitch the eighth inning. Earlier this season when the Phillies had the lead, Antonio Bastardo was Manuel’s man for the eighth. But Bastardo’s recent struggles have been well-documented (11.57 ERA, 3:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last ten games). Bastardo was up and throwing, but Manuel elected to sit him down in lieu of Diekman. With a ‘pen that has been crucial in the team’s failure this season, he could be looking at a demotion. Diekman wouldn’t do his part to reward Manuel’s confidence, however, as he promptly put two on after recording the first out, forcing Manuel to make a move.
– Out of the bullpen door came Brian Sanches, he of the 8.53 ERA and fastball made for long home runs. This time, it would take Sanches only three pitches to give up a bomb off the bat of Wilin Rosario and make it 6-5. Manuel once again made a pilgrimage to the mound, but this time, he’d go with the only man in the Phillies bullpen worth trusting: Jonathan Papelbon.
PAPELBON FOR FIVE
– For the third time this season, Jonathan Papelbon would be called on to record a save of more than three outs. He’d retire the side in short order in the eighth. After the Phils tacked on in the ninth, Pap would pitch a very comfortable bottom half to close it out. That’s the $50 million dollar man we were looking for!
– Behind the arm of Cole Hamels, the Phillies will try to get the series victory tomorrow.