Thursday, June 14, 2012

Phils hang onto 9-8 win in Twin City

 Nice statue of Harmon Killebrew, who was a Minnesota Twin legend      pic:  flickr/tonyfro

It hasn't been easy for the Phillies in the past few weeks. Last night was no exception. The Phils spotted themselves a 9-3 lead by the top of the 4th inning, but held on to win last night by a score of 9-8. The Phils finally got some muscle in the form of a Jim Thome home run that sailed into the concourse at Target Field. In fact Jim Thome went 2-4 last night with 4 RBI on the night. He must have wanted to pay his old team back just a little as he used to play for the Twins for two seasons before he was released and went to Cleveland late last year, and this year was signed by the Phillies.

Cole Hamels earned his 9th win of the season, and Jonathan Papelbon earned his  17th save by going with a 4 out save. One of the criticisms of the past few weeks is that we haven't seen Papelbon used effectively in the close games, but last night, this was the case. It's only the second time on the season that Papelbon has been brought in to earn this type of save.

Michael Martinez made a spectacular catch from 2nd base to end the game on a Josh Willingham pop up, it's been great to see Martinez get back into this lineup, he's brought a bit of spunk with him and some much needed youth.

Cole Hamels pitched 6.0 innings, giving up 8 H, 7 R, of those runs 6 were earned runs. Hamels also surrendered 2 HR in the mix, but the Phillies did emerge victorious in this game. The offense banged out 15 hits on the night, they struggled again with scoring runners, they were 5-16 with RISP.

Not sure why something hasn't been done with the batting coach for the Phillies, perhaps they don't want to give Greg Gross the gate, but he has certainly been a good person that the Phils could have made responsible for some of the poor offense we've seen from the Phillies all season. The base running hasn't been all that good either, several runners in the past couple weeks have been thrown out at third when they shouldn't even have started running to third base with a ball hit on the ground to the shortstop.

The Washington Nationals are starting to put some distance between themselves and other teams in the NL East. The Nats now have a 5.0 game lead on the nearest team to them, which is both Atlanta and New York who are both tied for second. The Phillies remain on the bottom of the heap at 9.5 GB, this courtesy of the team going 2-8 in the last 10 games. They are earning the distinction of last place for sure.

The  interleague series in Minnesota comes to an end tonight, another 8:10 PM start for the game. Incidentally, the Twins are pretty talented but they are also in last place in their division. Joe Blanton goes for the Phillies tonight, as he again tried to reverse the downward spiral that he's been in for the last 5 starts, he's given up a ton of earned runs during that span.  

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