It was another hot night in Phoenix, with the news of the days trading activities that brought Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco into the Phillies organization, it was an opportunity for the team to show the new arrivals how good they really are with a sweep in Arizona. Unfortunately this was not to happen, Petit who started this game for the D-Backs was 0-5 on the year, but to watch him pitch tonight you would think he had been 5-0, he kept the Phillies hitters off balance and swinging wildly at the plate, the only 2 Philly players that even was remotely succesful off him was Howard and Ibanez, both picking up 2 hits off him.
Victorino, was shut down completely, in a rare shortened game for him. The bottom of the 1st inning with a runner on first Victorino made an unbelieveable diving catch in the outfield, somewhere it appeared a spike got caught, then his glove under his body, regardless he held onto the ball for the 2nd out of the inning, however as he started to come to his feet you could see some pain showing in his expression. As with team mates Werth came over to check him out, but Shane was definately walking with a slight limp as he moved back towards center field. He would leave later in the game and is now listed as day to day.
The very next hitter, Upton, launched a ball to left field just clearing the fench and missing Ibanez’s glove for a 2 run home run. That was all Happ would allow the D-backs for the 6 innings he pitched, Happ may not have
been the winner today, but showed maturity and quality with every pitch after the home run holding the D-Backs to just 1 more hit.
The Phillies bullpen also gave up 2 runs, giving the D-Backs a 4-0 shut out over the reigning World Series champions.
The Phillies head to San Francisco for a 4 game set and to meet up with their new team mates, it was reported yesterday on MLB Network, from other media sources that Lee would wear #34, since Lopez had the #31 shirt, but who knows that could change and Francisco would wear the #10, they also reported that Lee would start Saturday, but as yet that is unconfirmed, as reports say Charlie hasn’t decided yet.
In other news, the AP are reporting that New York is offering free airline tickets to anywhere in the world for homeless people, there are obviously some provisions attached, I am just speculating but could this seriously affect the Mets fan base, or this an attempt by the Yankees to try and strong arm the Mets team out of New York, only time will tell. AP further reports that this practice has been going on since 2007 and some 550 families have been sent somewhere else in the world, because their homeless and New York would rather they weren’t in New York…. Watch out Florida, they may be sending some new Marlins or Rays fans your way…
With the trade deadline approaching, and more people are asking is Hamels the Ace we all wanted or was he a flash in the pan. Last night he showed everyone why he has been the Ace of the Phillies pitching staff. On a night more than any other this year he needed his ‘A’ game and he delivered.
The Haren vs Hamels game had been headlined as a make or break for Cole, days before, the Philly fans are looking to see if management delivers another Ace to the starting rotation, the fans were also looking to see if Cole could deliver them a sign that he is the Ace.
The first inning Hamels gave up, what became a complimentary homerun to Roberts, from then on he pounded the strike zone through 8 innings, he threw a total of 112 pitches, 79 of them for strikes. He gave up a hit to his counterpart, Haren, who singled in the 3rd inning. Since Cole out pitched Haren he certainly didn’t want to be out done by him at the plate, so in the 5th inning Hamels returned the favor, only instead of a single Hamels
crushed a double to left center, splitting the gap in the outfield, Hamels cruised into 2nd standing,eventually Hamels crossed the plate to break the tie and put the Phillies in front, and from there they never looked back.
Victorino, had tied the ball game with a solo homerun in the 3rd inning keeping his hot streak alive and well.
The D-Back errors didn’t start until the 5th inning last night, it was like boredom set in so the players just lost concentration. Rollins hit a ball hard, causing a miss play by the D-Backs, Utley’s smart base running to 1st base caused an error on a throw to home plate, mix in some other miss plays and the D-Backs had another game of errors turns into opposition runs.
You had to feel bad for Haren, he pitched very well, with almost any other defense behind him he would have probably won that game, there was more than once you could tell from the look on his face, he wished he were somewhere else. The Phillies offense really did well last night working the count and getting Haren to throw as many pitches as they could, he ended up throwing 117 pitches in 5 innings of work.
The only real shadow of doubt for the Phillies last night was the 9th inning, Lidge with a save opportunity came in to close out the game and ended up giving up 2 runs, before finally finishing off the D-Backs, I for one am glad it was NOT a 1 run game.
It all happens again tonight with Happ going against Petit, if he hasn’t been traded by then of course, if Happ is on the mound, here’s hoping Happ has recovered from his first loss and puts on another dynamic display of pitching.