Losses like the one the Phillies suffered last night against the Marlins can be demoralizing for a team and can be a catalyst for what becomes a downward spiral. Losses like that can also be a wake-up call for a ball-club and a signal to everyone in the clubhouse that the time to get serious, is now.
Thankfully, the Phillies decided to heed the wake-up call, in game one of this four-game series against the Brewers.
In what was another fine display of timely hitting, the Phillies bats exploded against Brewers starter Jeff Suppan. Suppan who had come into the game 3-6 with a plus-six ERA against the Phillies in his career, continued his futility against Philadelphia.
In 4.1 innings, the Phillies offense touched Suppan up for eight runs, seven earned on 12 hits.
The Phillies got the scoring started early when Chase Utley came home on a Ryan Howard single in the first. After the Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the third, the Phillies regained the lead in the top half of the fourth when Ben Francisco scored on a Pedro Feliz double.
Jayson Werth started the hit-parade in the fifth when he reached base on a one-out throwing error. Following the error, the Phillies scored three runs on four straight singles, including an R.B.I. single from pitcher J.A. Happ. Jimmy Rollins capped off the inning with a three-run shot to give the Phillies the commanding 8-1 lead.
With the six run inning, the Phillies tied the Brewers for the most innings with five or more runs scored at 23.
Starter J.A. Happ looked dominant after lasting just three innings in his last outing due to a tweak of his oblique. Although he lasted just 5.2 innings, he pitched well, allowing two earned on just six hits. He finished with seven strike-outs. With the win, Happ moves on to 11-4 on the season with a 2.79 ERA.
With the Marlins and Braves both idle tonight, the Phillies magic number now drops to four games.