Now this is the Phillies team that fans were hoping for. Over the past two nights in San Francisco, the Phils have gotten good starting pitching, situational hitting and strong performances from the back-end of their bullpen. Headed into the season, this team had a variety of question marks. If they were to compete, they were going to have to win a lot of games exactly like they’ve won the last two. Today, they go for a sweep of the world champs.
Jonathan Pettibone has been a godsend in place of injured starter John Lannan, with the Phillies winning all three of his starts. To be fair, the three opponents Pettibone has faced – the Pirates, Mets and Marlins – are all offensively challenged. But to his credit, Pettibone has kept it simple; minimizing base runners by throwing strikes and forcing the opponent to put the ball in play. The Giants offense is fifth in the NL in runs, but struggled against Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick and has been streaky all season long.
The Phillies offense has shown signs of life in the City by the Bay, scoring six runs each night using a combination of small ball, two-out hitting and solo home runs. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both hit long home runs on Tuesday night a day after Domonic Brown deposited a Madison Bumgarner offering into McCovey Cove – all solo shots. That trio has accounted for 19 of the Phillies 30 home runs in 2013. Now if they can just find a way to get some base runners on for them. The Phils face Barry Zito on Wednesday afternoon, who, outside of one awful start in Milwaukee, has pitched great this year.
This is the fifth time the Phillies have won two or three in a row. Each of their first four “win streaks” have been quickly followed by a losing stretch, which is what has made it impossible for the Phils to get to that elusive .500 mark. Winning two games by identical 6-2 scores is as consistent as it gets. If they can make it three in a row, on the road against a very good Giants team, Phillies fans will finally have something to get excited about.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Frandsen 1B, M. Young 3B, Utley 2B, D. Young RF, Ruiz C, Mayberry LF, Revere CF, Pettibone P
GAMEDAY BEER: Anchor’s Liberty Ale
Most of the names of Anchor Brewing’s best have some sort of historical difference and their Liberty Ale is no different, first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride. Produced right in San Francisco, Liberty Ale was the first modern IPA brewed after Prohibition.