Vance Worely pitched five shutout innings and allowed only one hit making a bid to jump into the 5th starter competition in Spring Training next year. He combined with Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez, Ryan Madson, and Jose Contreras for the three hit shutout beating the Braves 7-0.
The Phillies are 97-64. Even if they lose today they would still have the best record in the Major Leagues. Besides the obvious, the win, another bright spot for the Phillies was the return of Placido Polanco. Polanco received a cortisone shot on Wednesday but was back in the lineup last night against the Braves going 2 for 4. In the beginning of the season, when Polly received a shot he went on a hitting tear reaching base safely in nine straight games. Let’s hope his elbow is feeling good going into the playoffs.
Shane Victorino had three hits for the Phillies, while Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Polly, Brian Schneider all had two hits each. It really seems the Phillies are getting help from all angles. This is very good going into the playoffs not having to depend on the long ball.
The Phillies are still going to hit home runs, don’t get me wrong, but I think they are at their best when they can score seven run via small ball. One number I would like to see down next week is strikeouts. Braves pitching struck out Phillies hitters 15 times in this game. Now I know a win is a win and they did get 14 hits, but capitalizing with runners on is key come playoff time. They did strand 17 runners as well.
Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt will get some work in today gearing up for their respective NLDS starts next week.