The Phillies won an amazing game yesterday when it looked like they were about to drop 2 of 3 at home to the Dodgers. Because the Braves won 2 of 3 from the Astros, the Phillies once again remain 2 games back in the NL East, and 1 game back of the Giants in the wild card.
The Phillies lost the first game of the series with Kyle Kendrick getting lit up, and the bullpen doing horribly. Kendrick pitched poorly from the start, which isn't surprising since even though Kendrick has pitched well, he gets lit up a lot. After Kendrick left the game, Antonio Bastardo let up a run, Herndon let up 4, Baez let up 2, and Romero let up 2. Even though Ex-Phillie Vicente Padilla didn't pitch well, he got the win. The Dodgers won the game 15-9. The Phillies couldn't pull out an amazing comeback. More on that topic later.
Game 2 of the series, the Phillies bounced back and got the 2-0 victory behind Roy Oswalt, who picked up his first win as a member of the Phillies. This was exactly how you draw it up from a managing standpoint. Oswalt pitched 7 scoreless innings, followed by Ryan Madson pitching a scoreless 8th, followed by Brad Lidge with a 1-2-3 9th inning to get the save. It didn't matter that the Phillies offense didn't give them much this day, as the pitching was phenomenal.
Game 3 of the series, the Phillies, behind more bad pitching would find themselves down 9-2 going into the bottom of the 8th inning. Blanton continued his first inning struggles by allowing 3 earned runs in the first inning, which always puts the Phillies in a tough hole to get out of. The bullpen was again bad. Chad Durbin this time allowed 2 runs, J.C. Romero allowed 2, but both were unearned, and Jose Contreras allowed 1 run.
The Phillies were able to overcome this however, as they put up a 4 spot in both the 8th and 9th innings. The Phillies made it a 9-6 game going into the 9th inning, but still had a lot of work to do. After Polanco was hit by a pitch, Sweeney and Werth walked to load the bases with no outs. Ben Francisco hit a grounder right to 3rd baseman Casey Blake, who let the ball go right through his legs. The Phillies scored 2, and then had runners on 1st and 2nd, with beast Carlos Ruiz coming to the plate. Ruiz ripped a drive deep to left center scoring 2 runs, and winning an unbelievable comeback for the Fightins. It was the biggest comeback victory in Citizens Bank Park history, and allowed the Phillies to keep pace in the National League.
Even though the Phillies won an amazing game, it masks the fact that the bullpen was very bad this series. Almost every member of the bullpen allowed a run in this 3 game series. This cannot continue to happen coming towards the end of the season if the Phillies want to make the playoffs, and go deep in the playoffs.
On the other hand, the offense played well overall, despite the injuries, and Carlos Ruiz continues to be an absolute beast. He is very close to Ryan Howard for the offensive MVP of this team right now. Ruiz seems to come up with every clutch hit that is needed lately for the Phillies. Shane Victorino joined the team last night, and the Phillies sent back down Antonio Bastardo to the minors. Victorino did not start last night, but probably will tonight.
The Phillies travel to New York to play the Mets this weekend in a 3 game series. They just have to keep taking care of business and winning ball games, no matter what the Braves, and other wild card teams are doing.