And on May 5, the Phillies took first place.
The Phils climbed to the top of the National League East with a 10-7 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The offense gets credit again. Shane Victorino went 4-for-5, coming a triple short of the cycle, scoring three runs and driving three in. He had his hand in half the Phils runs. And he made a dynamite catch to save a few runs in the sixth.
Jayson Werth added a mammoth three-run home run that he delivered to his family, visiting from Illinois. Every Phillies regular scored a hit, including starting pitcher Brett Myers, who began a three-run third with a single.
On the mound, however, Myers had a two-faced night. He was strong at the start, securing easy outs off Albert Pujols and Co. But he gave up two quick solo home runs in the fourth, struggled through the fifth and couldn’t escape the sixth, completely losing the strike zone. Scott Eyre let in a run via a sacrifice fly (that Victorino catch), ending Myers’ line at 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 H. Not good.
Clay Condrey struck out Pujols, but had two-out trouble in the seventh, showing he’s best in smaller doses. Ever the bulldog, Ryan Madson collected a 10-pitch, four-out hold and Brad Lidge — despite giving up a home run to nemesis Pujols — finished the game.
A slight further damper on the win: The Phils made some boneheaded plays in the field and on the bases. Vic was picked off. Ibanez misplayed a ball in the outfield, then got doubled off on a line drive.
The win puts the Phils at 14-10, alone in first place over the Marlins. Pitching is still shaky (especially starting), but the offense continues to pull the team above water.