A Winning Weekend

27 Aug

Now that’s what I call a good weekend of baseball.  And it wasn’t just the winning.  OK, it was mostly the winning but these games had a little bit of everything.  So here are my Favorite  Moments from the Phillies sweep (I love that word) of the first place (but I still hate that one) Washington Nationals.

 Final-Lee Money at the ‘Bank’

For the first time in 356 days, pitcher Cliff Lee won a game at Citizens Bank Park.  No, that is not a misprint, Lee threw seven innings of one-run ball and won his first game at CBP since Sept. 5 2011.  And this time he left nothing to chance.  When the Phils offense was off to a slow start, Lee got things started with a big hit of his own, a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth.  Lee allowed seven hits, struck out five and din’t allow a walk.  He’s walked just one batter in his last 42 1/3 innings.  So click your cleats together and  repeat after me:  “There’s no place like home.”

Relief Is In Sight

The Phillies bullpen was on fire during this weekend series bringing to mind visions of what might have been.  Phils relievers combined to pitch 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out 13 batters during the three game sweep. That’s the best this group has looked all year.  Special kudos to lefty Antonio Bastardo, who has struggled mightily this season trying to ‘get his groove back.’  Well he found it this weekend striking out all 4 batters he faced including striking out the side in the critical eighth inning on Saturday to help preserve the win.  Overall the Phillies relievers have put together a string of 11 1/3 scoreless innings during the Phils current four-game winning streak.

And congrats also go out to Josh Lindblom who has struggled with his control and just about everything else since joining the Phillies as part of the Shane Victorino trade.  Entering this weekend series, he was 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA, having allowed seven earned runs, eight walks and three homers in only 9 2/3 innings.  But on  Sunday Lindblom only needed 13 pitches to get the final five outs and earn his first save of the season.  In fact, he is the first pitcher not named Jonathan Papelbon (who was unavailable having pitched 3 straight nights) to earn a save for the Phils this season.

What A Steal!

All season I’ve been singing the praises of Juan Pierre, the crafty veteran who always seems to find a way to get on base and never fails to handle himself with dignity whether on the bench or in the field.  On Sunday, Pierre reached a well-deserved milestone.  He tied legendary speedster Maury Wills, that’s MAURY WILLS!, for 19th  on the all-time stolen-base list.  Pierre, who leads the Phillies with 32 steals, is also baseball’s active leader in the category with 586.  You might say, ‘he’s on a run.’  (Sorry.)

“Chase Utley, You Are the Man”

I couldn’t let this weekend series go by without mention of the quintessential Chase Utley moment we witnessed on Saturday.  You’ve heard the All State Insurance slogan “You’re in good hands,” right?  Well in the eighth inning of a one-run game, Chase decided that the Phils needed some insurance so he followed All State’s lead and took matters into his own hands or should we say feet?  First, he reached base after being hit by a pitch, vintage Utley.  He stole second base, then third and scored on a sacrifice fly from John Mayberry.  This from the man with bad knees???

Let’s Hear It For the Bats

It has been nice to see some Phillies both old and new swinging the bat well lately.  As always it all starts with J-Roll who after Sunday’s home run leads all current Phillies with 15 homers this season.  He has six hits in his last 12 at-bats.  In the weekend sweep, Rollins went 5-for-10 with a home run, two walks, three runs scored, and five RBIs.  Now that’s more like it.  And Ryan Howard continues to work his way back into form.  He’s hitting .350 (14-40) over his last 10 games, including four doubles, one home run and seven RBIs.  Even newbie Kevin Frandsen was in on the weekend action hitting 375 (3-for-8) while John Mayberry, Jr. went 4-for-11 (.364) with a home run, two runs scored, and three RBIs.

For What It’s Werth

On the other hand, former Phillie Jayson Werth was unable to put his money where his mouth was or at least his bat.  After vowing that he would do everything in his power to prevent the Phils from another walk down Broad Street, Werth was a dismal 2 for 12 in the series against his former team with 7 strikeouts, no homers and no RBI’s.  Of course his current team still sits in first place, 16 1/2 games ahead of the Phils, but we must take our solace where we can get it.

So there you have it.  A wonderful winning weekend, perhaps the best of the season.  The Phillies are now winners of seven of nine, and six games under .500 for the first time since June 28.  After entering the All-Star break with 50 losses in 87 games, the Phils are 24-17 since. And even more surprising, they have gone 16-10 since July 31, when they traded Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino, 2/3 of their starting outfield.  But that’s baseball, and that’s all I have for today.

I know that’s enough!  Yes, it is a long post but just think, it’ll give you some reading material for a rainy Monday!

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6 Responses to “A Winning Weekend”

  1. Ray August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Susan,

    Hopefully these bright spots give us hope and something to look forward to next year. !!

    • Michael Gillen August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      And I did read it on a rainy Monday, and it was good!

      • Susan Cohen-Dickler August 28, 2012 at 11:15 am #

        Thanks! Have a great holiday!

    • Anonymous August 28, 2012 at 11:13 am #
    • Susan Cohen-Dickler August 28, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      Here, Here, Ray. I hope you have a great holiday, my friend!

    • Susan Cohen-Dickler August 28, 2012 at 11:16 am #

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