Phils Plunder Pirates

The Phillies earned a huge sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates to cap an incredible 9-1 home stand, erasing the memories of that 1-8 home stand in June. They started the stand with a sweep of the Mets and then won three of four versus Cincinnati. Pending today’s games for the Marlins, Braves, and Mets the Phillies are currently 4.5, 5.5, and 7 games in first place respectively.

The Pirates came into this series on a cold spell and the Phillies were hot, playing teams they should and did beat up. The Pirates became the next victim of that Philly Butt Whuppin’. I said a few weeks ago that I am not worried about the Phillies because they heat up in July and they proceeded to make me look good. With the All Star break finally here, I will look back at the first half of the season probably Monday or Tuesday.

Friday – Phillies won 3-2: Shane Victorino provided the spark with three hits and a pair of doubles. The Pirates got their only two runs on solo homers off Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge. Blanton 7.1 innings, giving up a run on four hits, one walk, and striking out six. Lidge pitched .2 innings to earn his 18th save.

Saturday – Phillies won 8-7: Cole Hamels got roughed up in his outing, lasting six innings and giving up five runs on seven hits. The Pirates managed to hit three homers off the struggling ace. After falling early 5-0, the Phillies fought back to make it 5-3. Chad Durbin surrendered two runs in his very short outing as the Pirates made it 7-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Stairs hit a pinch hit homer to start things off. Then with one out and two men on, Ryan Howard hit a three-run bomb to left center to tie it up at seven. Ibanez hit the next pitch over the center field wall on a bounce for a ground-rule double, Jayson Werth walked, and Pedro Feliz hit an infield single off Mat Capps rear. Paul Bako stepped in and hit a walk off single to win the game.

Sunday – Phillies won 5-1: After scoring five runs in the ninth the night before, the Phillies got five quick runs thanks to a Howard sac fly and Feliz grand slam in the first inning. JA Happ pitched tremendous ball, going seven strong and giving up a run on four hits and two walks, striking our four.

Series MVP’s:
Ryan Howard (PHI): 3-7, HR, 4 RBI’s
JA Happ (PHI): 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Next Up: The All Star Break. I will go into more detail about the first half and the ASG tomorrow and Monday. Have a good few days and don’t forget to watch the dingers by Howard on Monday in the derby and our five all stars on Tuesday.

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