It sure as hell wasn’t an easy ninth inning, especially with Brad Lidge on the mound for the final frame. But despite loading the bases, Lidge nailed the door shut to give the Phillies their fourth straight win, a 4-3 victory over the Rockies on a rain-soaked afternoon. The win was also the Phils’ seventh straight at home.
J.A. Happ made his return to the Phillies rotation with a solid five-inning effort. The left-hander allowed three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out four. The bull pen followed up with four shut out innings in which Lidge finished off with a save.
The skies opened up after the sixth inning ended (or beginning of seventh which allowed our good buddy Mike Patota to win the rain delay pool). After a 99-minute delay, the Phillies attacked. Jimmy Rollins proved why he is the spark to this offense with his hustle. After Wilson Valdez led off with a ground-rule double, Rollins drove him in on a single and got to second when Carlos Gonzalez booted the ball in left field. Then he stole third base and took home on a passed ball with no one covering home. When Rollins plays his game and manufactures scoring opportunities, he sets the Phillies up to win.
Rollins, Jayson Werth, and Ben Francisco each had two hits. Francisco homered in the second inning and drove in two runs. Raul Ibanez, Valdez, and Ross Gload each hit pinch-hit doubles for the Phillies. For Colorado, Ryan Spilborghs went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
Happ had his velocity today but not the command. He hadn’t pitched since April and it showed with the four walks and the 55/37 strike/ball ratio. Happ gave them five solid innings and kept the game close but he will need to do a much better job at this point in the season.
With the win and the Braves’ 5-4 loss in the 11th inning thanks to former Phillies third baseman Wes Helms’ walk-off single, the Phillies sit five games behind the Braves in the division. They are also three games back of the Giants for the Wild Card, who are playing Arizona right now.
2B: Werth (32), Ibanez (20), Francisco (9), Valdez (9), Gload (4). HR: Francisco (3).
WP: Madson (3-1). LP: Beimel (1-1). S: Lidge (9).
Dan Haren was traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Los Angeles Angles for Joe Saunders and three “top” prospects. The Phillies focus will now turn towards Roy Oswalt as the trade deadline nears.