The Phillies and Marlins each won a game in today’s twin bill. Fortunately for the Phillies, another day in the books represents another day closer to clinching a playoff spot.
It was a tale of two pitchers for the Marlins, both of whom ignored the scouting reports from the pregame post. The Phillies roughed up Josh Johnson from the start of game one, while Anabel Sanchez looked like the no-hitter pitcher of 2006.
Don’t let the 9-3 score in favor of the Phillies fool you, Johnson and the Marlins pitchers show glimpses of mastery over Rollins, Utley and Ibanez, racking up 8 strikeouts between them and 16 overall in game one. The Phils were able to piece together some offense with two RBI fielder choices by Ryan Howard and Miguel Cairo who got the start at third-base. In the fifth inning, Jayson Werth came through with a 2-out single to drive in Victorino and Utley. Raul Ibanez kicked off a 5-run eighth inning with a homer to right field before more RBIs by JRoll and Ryan Howard put the game away.
All the offense in the eighth was gravy, as Joe Blanton cruised through seven innings allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out nine Marlins, including Cody Ross three times. Things got a little uncomfortable when Sergio Escalona coughed up 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth but Tyler Walker ended the threat and Clay Condrey came on to finish the game 1-2-3.
Unfortunately the Phillies bats went quiet in game two, as Anabel Sanchez scattered 2 hits over eight innings. Jayson Werth struck out three times; and the rest of the Phillies long ball hitters could only muster up enough strength to reach the warning track several times throughout the nightcap. Cody Ross and Dan Uggla – both big supporters of the Moyer Foundation – took the Phillies starter deep for two of the Marlins’ three runs.
The Marlins left-fielder Chris Coghlan continued his case for Rookie of the Year honors going 4-for-8 on Tuesday. J.A. Happ’s injury certainly isn’t helping his chances. However, Jamie Moyer despite taking the loss had a quality start giving up three earned runs in seven innings. You can’t ask for much more from the man looking to earn a playoff start.
All-in-all, today was a good day. The magic number is 5.