Shane Victorino hits a two-run homer in the top of the 9th to cap off his three-hit, four-RBI night.
Of all the hits to fall short of the cycle with, Shane Victorino chose the easiest.
The center fielder doubled, tripled and homered while driving in four runs as the Phils beat Seattle, 5-1, and expanded their lead in the NL East to a season high six games.
Victorino hit a two-run double in the 7th inning to snap a 1-1 tie created by Seattle in the 2nd and then capped off his three-hit night with a two-run home run in the top of the 9th.
Jimmy Rollins also had three hits for the Phils. Ryan Howard drove in the Phils other a run, a sacrifice fly in the 1st inning.
Vance Worley made the start for the Phils, lasting five innings and tossing 96 pitches. He allowed a run on five hits and two walks while striking out three.
On the day he joined Twitter, Michael Stutes got his first win of his Major League career as he was on the hill when the Phils took the lead off Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. King Felix allowed three runs in seven innings of work while striking out five.
2B: Howard (17), Brown (6), Victorino (10). 3B: Victorino (7). HR: Victorino (8).
PHI: 44-26, 1st in NL East; SEA: 35-34, 2nd in AL West
When: June 17-19 Where: Safeco Field (Seattle, WA)
Probable Pitchers Friday: Roy Oswalt (4-4, 3.14) vs Michael Pineda (6-4, 2.72) Saturday: Vance Worley (2-1, 3.75) vs Felix Hernandez (7-5, 3.30) Sunday: Cole Hamels (9-2, 2.49) vs. Jason Vargas (4-4, 4.13)
Broadcast Info Friday, 10:10, CSN Saturday, 10:10, CSN Sunday, 4:1o, PHL 17 All Games on 1210 AM
Question: In Game 7 of the World Series, who would you want taking the hill (Non-Phillies)?
This go-around, writers Chris Bengel and Christian Hetrick go at it in Team to Beat’s third installment of “Faceoff.” Hetrick is 1-0 this year and Bengel is taking his first stab at the face off.
Christian: Tim Lincecum
Okay time to play manager.
Since this is a Phillies blog, it is quite easy to get caught up and pick one of the Phillies starters. Cliff Lee has pitched in two World Series’ in the last two years, Halladay threw a postseason no hitter, and heck, even our “number four starter” is a World Series MVP.
However, the pitcher you want does not wear red pinstripes. If you need just one win, you want San Francisco Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum. Now this doesn’t mean I think Lincecum is the best pitcher in the game. Personally I think that honor goes to Mr. Halladay, and to be honest Lincecum might not even be the best pitcher on the west coast. Those honors go to AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.
But if I am picking a pitcher for a must win game, I have to go with the guy with a great playoff resume. You see there are pitchers who are great in the regular season, but are awful in the postseason – Johan Santana, I’m looking at you.
No offense to King Felix, but he has no playoff resume, or big game resume for that matter. That is not his fault though; after all he didn’t choose to be on the Mariners. Still, he is unproven in big games and isn’t a safe choice for a must win game. Now this is where all of you tell me Doc is proven in big games because he threw a playoff no hitter, and Cliff Lee is proven because he has a 7-2 postseason record.
The problem with that logic is if I can have any pitcher I want, I have to also assume my opposing manager can have whoever he wants. This means my ace has to out-duel another ace, and Lincecum has out-dueled Halladay once in last year’s NLCS AND Cliff Lee twice in last year’s World Series.
Even though he has only one postseason under his belt, Lincecum went 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA and one complete game shutout. More importantly, he beat out pitchers that are arguably better than him which in my opinion makes him clutch, and in my opinion makes him the best possible pitcher to choose if I need to win one game.
Chris: Felix Hernandez
First off, my counterpart will question my choice of Felix Hernandez. Sure King Felix has no postseason experience. I give you that. Then again he plays for the Seattle Mariners and they haven’t been good since Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez left.
It is sometimes unsafe to ride a guy with no postseason experience. However as most Phillies fans know, Roy Halladay had ZERO postseason experience with the Toronto Blue Jays. He came over to the Phillies for a chance at playoff glory. Many people had previously crowned Halladay as the best pitcher in baseball before he threw a pitch of postseason baseball.
I would argue that King Felix is one of the best pitchers in the game next to Halladay. I’d hand the ball to him if I had to win a big game. Hernandez went 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA last season and still walked away with the AL Cy Young award. He also finished second in 2009 for the Cy Young. Ladies and gentlemen, he is that good.
Let’s take a look at some of the guys that King Felix beat out for the award: David Price, CC Sabathia, Jon Lester, and even Cliff Lee. These are guys that he faces all throughout the regular season. Well not Lee since he turned down the Yankees. He may not always come out on top because of his team’s failure to give him run support. The Mariners had the worst run support in the American League last year with 3.07 runs-per-game.
But Felix is a horse that doesn’t get a lot of recognition because he plays on a bad team. I can assure you that I want him pitching that must-win game for me. I’d hand him the ball and not think twice about it. I think it’s inevitable that we’ll see King Felix pitch in the postseason one day and he will show why he is a King.
That being said, Tim Lincecum is all well and good. He’s a great pitcher and has the playoff experience. I can’t deny those simple facts. But I feel that Hernandez would be an exceptional postseason pitcher if he ever gets traded to another team or Seattle decides they want to win. He’s the guy I want mowing down hitters and bringing my team that victory.
Yankees – They’re the 2009 World Series champions and still kept intact the solid nucleus that got them there. They traded top prospects to land centerfielder Curtis Granderson, a much better defensive asset than Johnny Damon. They also traded Melky Cabrera to the Braves for Javier Vazquez to bolster the starting rotation. With guys like C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Brunett, and Andy Pettitte, the Yankees boast a very good pitching unit. Mariano Rivera is still the best closer in the game and the aging offense led by Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira can still put a ton of runs up on the score board. If things go right, they could have another parade down Broadway.
Red Sox – The pitching is truly phenomenal. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Daisuke Matsuzaka form the best top-four in baseball. The offense is led by top young stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Marco Scutaro is hoping to end the revolving door at the short stop position and Adrian Beltre is an offensive upgrade at third. Offensive depth is the only thing that should concern the Sox but they have the pitching to get the job done. David Ortiz is a shell of his old self but it still the DH.
Twins – It’s safe to say that Joe Mauer is the scariest hitter in the AL. The reigning MVP is one of the reasons Minnesota is buzzing prior to the 2010 season. Along with a new outdoor park and a very dangerous lineup featuring Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer, the fans and Twins have high expectations for this year. The only problem with them this year though is pitching. If their starters can have decent years, they could beat out Detroit for the division.
Mariners – Seattle is truly going to be a serious contender in the AL. The addition of Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins, and Milton Bradley will revamp a pitching staff and offense in need of fire power. Lee became a hot pitcher again after his last season transformation with the Phillies and will look to create a formidable 1-2 punch with Felix Hernandez. Figgins will add speed and Bradley will look to add power to a Mariners lineup that hit 160 homer (12th in the AL) last season.
Angels – Surely they make their case for a serious playoff contender every year but there has to be a breaking point. They improved an already solid lineup with Hideki Matsui and bolstered their bull pen with Fernando Rodney but the team still doesn’t jump out at anyone. The core of the offense is aging in Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Matsui and they lost Figgins to the division rival Mariners. Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders, and newly acquired Joel Pineiro will need to have season like 2009 to give the Mariners a fighting chance in an AL crowded with contenders.
East: Yankees Central: Twins West: Mariners Wild Card: Red Sox