Timely Hitting Sparks Phils

Nothing like some manufactured runs and solid pitching. Now if the Phillies can get that every game, who knows how far it will take them. I saw some things last night that worried me but at the same time saw some things that worked and I liked.

JA Happ and Joe Blanton combined for 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks with Happ striking out four in the Phillies 6-5 win over Colorado to take the 2-1 series lead. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched a flawless 8th and Brad Lidge came on in the 9th after the Phillies go ahead run to close out the game.

Chase Utley had a solo home run in the first but the Phillies saw that lead quickly diminish with a pair of Rockies runs in the bottom. Colorado tacked on another runs in the third inning and the Phillies exploded in the 4th for three runs to take the 4-3 lead. That lead was quickly vanished after Carlos Gonzalez’s solo homer in the fourth.

With the game tied at five in the top of the ninth, Jimmy Rollins got on with a single and Shane Victorino bumped him to second on a sacrifice bunt. Utley then reached base on a check-swing infield single. With runners on 1st and 3rd and Ryan Howard at the plate, the league leader in RBI’s could do only 1 thing: hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Rollins for the go ahead and game winning score.

Some of the bad things I saw included Happ’s performance. He was bad all night, struggling to find the strike zone, getting worked into deep counts, and then getting hit hard by the Rockies. The other bad thing I saw was pinch hitting. Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs have not been getting the job done. Use Miguel Cairo or if you want you use Ben Francisco, work out a double switch so he can play the field.

Eyre injured his ankle in the 7th inning but appeared to be fine. “I’ll be fine, but I sure would love Cliff Lee to throw a seven or eight innings in Game 4 to give me a couple days to rest it.” – Eyre. Ruben Amaro Jr. would have to hold me down and tie me up and that’s not going to happen because I’m bigger than he is.” – Courtesy of Macho Row’s Twitter

Some of the good things I saw included Blanton’s pitching out of the bull pen. Durbin also looked real nice and Lidge got a huge confidence booster by being given the opportunity to close out a 1-run playoff game.

Next Game: Today at 6:07 EST in Colorado
Weather: 51 degrees at game time
Probables: PHI: Lee, Cl (1-0, 1.00), COL: Jimenez, U (0-1, 9.00)

The Phillies will want to close out this series so they can rest up and get prepared for the NLCS. The Rockies can’t afford to lose or else they will have to book their ski trips at Vail. The pitching match ups are going to be the repeat of game 1.

The Phillies offense was consistent throughout the game, getting support from all parts of the line up. The can definitely do that again tonight facing Ubaldo Jimenez, who got beat up in game 1. Lee will look to have a performance similar to his in game 1. If those two things happen, bring on the Dodgers.

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