If you had the Phillies coming into Milwaukee and sweeping the team with the NL’s best record in their own yard after losing nine of their last ten, raise your hand?
After being held hitless until the top of the seventh by Matt Garza, the Phillies exploded for seven runs in the eighth and rewarded a fine effort by rookie David Buchanan and led the Phillies to a 9-1 win and a series sweep against the team with the NL’s best record in their own ballpark.
Buchanan Stymies Brewers
Buchanan earned his fifth win of the season, pulling his record to an even 5-5. Buchanan’s ERA dropped to 4.40 after going seven innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits, striking out five. Buchanan surrendered a sixth inning homer to Carlos Gonzalez which had the feeling of a game-winner in a game strapped for offense. But…
The Offense Comes Out Swinging, Both Barrels Loaded With Two Outs in the Eighth
It looked like one of those all-too-common days where a Phillies pitcher would toss a winnable game only to have the offense not reward them but Cameron Rupp started an offensive onslaught that almost didn’t stop in the eighth inning. Rupp hit a one-out double and was followed by a pinch-hit walk by Cesar Hernandez. Rupp and Hernandez would each move up a base on a Tony Gwynn Jr. ground out.
With two outs, Jimmy Rollins singled home Rupp and Hernandez. Rollins would steal second before a Chase Utley walk. Ryan Howard would follow with a reviewed and up-held ground rule double, scoring Rollins, putting the Phillies up 3-1. Marlon Byrd would be intentionally walked before Cody Asche hit a ground-rule double of his own to make the score 5-1. Domonic Brown would join the party with a two-run single of his own to make it 7-1.
In the ninth, the Big Piece smashed a two-run homer, ending a 20-game homer-less drought, putting the Phillies ahead 9-1. Anotonio Bastardo struck out one in a perfect eighth and Jake Diekman struck out a pair in a perfect ninth to preserve the win.
Well, what now? The Phillies, left for dead, end a difficult road trip 5-5 on a four-game winning streak. With their playoff results improving 12-times over after yesterday’s results, going from 0.1% to 1.2%, each win pulls on your heart strings and makes you think this team has some kind of chance to play, at the very least, fun baseball for the rest of the summer, no?