An Ace in the Hole

5 Jul

Well I hope you went somewhere else to see fireworks last night because there sure weren’t any in the Phillies game.  Yes, I know they say good pitching beats good hitting and I know the Phillies did win the game, but don’t you at least have to score a couple of runs once in a while???  One run in 9 innings against the Florida Marlins, driven in by Michael Martinez, by the way, isn’t going to get it done in the long run.

But while the case of the mysterious missing offense continues to go unsolved, the real story again last night was great pitching.   And it wasn’t from the usual suspects.

Vance Worley picked up where the three aces left off allowing just 2 hits in seven innings.  Worley is 2-0 with a o.72 ERA in four starts since rejoining the Phillies on June 16th.  Overall this season he is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA in eight starts.  No one expected this kind of performance from the 23-old rookie.  Maybe just sitting next to Lee, Hamels and Halladay rubs off!

And to top it off, the Phils latest bullpen duo took over.  Michael Stutes retired the Marlins in order in the eighth and Antonio Bastardo earned his fifth save by taking care of business in the ninth.  If someone had told you that  with all the superstar names on this Phillies pitching staff it would be Worley, Stutes, and Bastardo who would be playing key roles this season, you would have  said, “Who?”

And you wouldn’t be alone.  But if they continue at their current pace a lot of the league’s hitters will soon know their names.

And that’s what often happens in baseball.  It’s a long season and injuries and fatigue can take their toll.  It’s the unexpected heroes that can be the difference coming down the stretch and in a play-off series.   Players that come up from the minors or off the bench (Remember Matt Stairs?) and make critical contributions when they are most needed.  Lucky for the Phillies, these three young pitchers are doing just that.

Now if we could just get some more fireworks from the superstars!

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