Ruiz usually does most of his damage come playoff time, but decided to carry the Phillies to this regular season victory. Ruiz had 2 of the 5 Phillies hits, and had both RBI’s. The first RBI came in the 7th inning of a scoreless game, with a deep sac fly that scored Ibanez. Then in the 10th inning, Ruiz had a great at bat, and blasted a walk off solo home run that sent everyone home happy.
Cole Hamels pitched well, which is obviously a very good sign going forward. Hamels faced a strong right handed lineup of Ludwick, Pujols, and Holliday and did well against them. Hamels did run into some trouble in the 9th inning, but overall you have to be pleased with his performance. This is a good much needed sign, as Hamels has to become that solid #2 guy in the rotation. This is due to the fact that Ruben Amaro made one of the worst trades in team history by giving away Cliff Lee. This is probably the worst trade in Philadelphia sports history in the last 30 years.
But anyways, Hamels pitched well, and Blanton pitched pretty well on Monday night, even though he ran into some trouble in the 7th inning. You still have to be pleased, as Blanton’s stuff looked good, and in his first start back, he got through 6 innings with only 1 earned, and then did run into some trouble in the 7th.
The offense, which has been struggling, came alive in the last 2 games of the Mets series, including smashing around Johan Santana. The first 2 games of this Cardinals series however, have not been great offensively. They haven’t gotten many hits, and have not put runs on the board. I think the offense will come with time, and only get stronger as the season goes on.
Unfortunately, offense can come and go, and will go stretches where they will struggle, which is why it is always important to have a solid pitching staff, and also why in the playoffs, pitching tends to be more important than hitting.
The bullpen needs to get better, and Ryan Madson is not being reported out at least 2 months. I believe the Phillies need to bring up Scott Mathieson from Triple A, and see what he can do as a major league reliever. Mathieson’s stuff is very good, and he might be able to get in there and play well.