Wednesday, September 10, 2003

One of those nights

Monday night was "one of those nights" -- nothing seemed to go as the Phillies would have hoped. Last night was another "one of those nights" -- albeit to the other extreme.

18 runs. 14 hits. 9 walks. 2 grand slams.

My only thought is this: couldn't we spread this out over multiple games?!? Otherwise, damn fine job.

Mike Lieberthal hit a three-run homer in the first -- for the second straight night -- to get the game off to a good start. The Phils then blew the door off in the second, scoring seven more, including Tomas Perez's grand slam. Braves starter Shane Reynolds didn't last through the second, although I'm not sure it would have made a difference.

Every starter had at least one hit, except for Jimmy Rollins, who at least walked and scored. Even Randy Wolf drove in two runs. After two innings, it was 10-2, and the Phillies were just looking to get Wolf through five innings to get him the win. He went five and no more, giving up two runs on five hits. He also walked four, but picked up his 14th win (14-9). He wasn't sharp, and wasn't thrilled with his stuff, but on a night like last night, he didn't need much.

It was a night that the Phillies were unexpectedly able to give some guys some time off, and some youngsters got to play. Wolf went only five, allowing Brandon Duckworth to get in two innings, Josh Hancock to pitch his first inning, and Geoff Geary to throw his second. Each gave up two hits, and walked no one. Duck allowed both of his hits to score (easy when they are both homers), while Hancock allowed one. Geary got out of the ninth unscathed.

The lineup also saw wholesale changes: Ricky Ledee replaced Marlon Byrd late in the game. Nick Punto did the same for Jimmy Rollins. Jason Michaels replaced Bobby Abreu midway through the game -- early enough to let Michaels hit a 6th inning grand slam. Pratt pinch-hit for Thome in the middle innings, and Lieberthal gave way to Kelly Stinnett. Pat Burrell and Chase Utley played all nine, but Tomas Perez gave way to Travis Chapman, who was getting his first taste of the majors. He flied out to right in the 7th, but stuck around to play some defense.

All in all, it was a good night for the Phillies: an easy win, and a lot of rest for the regulars. Let's hope that this momentum carries over to tonight's game.


Other Wild Card games

Florida 3, Mets 1 -- Florida hangs on to the Wild Card tie
LA 4, Arizona 1 -- 20 year old Edwin Jackson beats Randy Johnson on his birthday. Happy Birthday!
Houston 7, Milwaukee 6
Cubs 4, Montreal 3 -- Cubs keep pace with Astros in Central, knock Expos further back.
Colorado 8, St. Louis 1 -- Cards only team within five games to lose last night. Bad timing.


Other Phillies News and Notes

  • The Phillies called up SS Anderson Machado to provide some pinch-running speed off the bench. Machado hit just .196 at Reading this year, but had a very good BB/K ratio (9:10).

  • Terry Adams threw the other day and felt no pain. He should come off the DL tomorrow, and be ready to go.

  • 3B David Bell is expected to rejoin the team sometime this week and swing the bat. If he is pain-free, he will be activated. If he is not, he may shut it down for the year.

  • 2B/3B Placido Polanco sat out his 9th (10th?) straight game last night with what is being termed as a muscle contusion in his left quad. Surgery apparently remains an option to resolve the issue; such a decision would end his year. The team still hopes that it will heal with a bit more rest.