His name has been in trade rumors the past few weeks because teams believe he’s capable of good, maybe even great, things. Vance Worley showed why he’s such a hot commodity, why the fans adore him in Philadelphia, and why it’ll be hard for the Phillies to trade such a solid young arm, as he sliced and diced the sub-par Giants offense, en route to a 7-2 win.
Worley went the full nine innings, giving up two runs – one in the first inning, one in the eighth on an Aaron Rowand home run – for his first career complete game. The lowly Giant offense was fooled into five strikeouts by Worley; he gave up just three hits and one walk. It was a defining performance for Worley, whom many believe to be a solid 4th starter, perhaps even a 3rd, but not an ace. Too bad, because he’s certainly pitching like one.
To make it easier on Worley, the Phillies offense showed up in a big way, led by Chase Utley and his inside-the-park home run. He blasted a ball off the tall wall in left center field, which caromed past centerfielder Andres Torres, allowing Utley to circle the bases for his 3rd career ITPHR. That knee ain’t an issue. And how about the slide at the end? Vintage Utley.
Raul Ibanez started off the scoring with a first inning, three-run blast off of Giants starter Barry Zito, filling in for the sick Tim Lincecum. Lincecum was a pre-game scratch due to the flu and the Phillies teed off on Zito, who now carries a 5.24 ERA along with a $126 million contract that can’t expire quick enough.
In the 4th inning, John Mayberry Jr. launched a mammoth home run, his 6th this year. Right handed power bat, anyone?
Ryan Howard also homered, his 20th coming in the 8th inning. A few days ago on the radio I called for the real Ryan Howard to please stand up. When the weather gets hot, he usually does the same, so perhaps we’re seeing his second half explosion a tad earlier than usual? Howard has six hits in his last four games, including two on Tuesday night. His second hit was a double.
Looking past Mayberry’s inclusion of power, Howard’s semi-hot streak, and Utley’s Utley-like highlight-reel play, Vance Worley was again the story. There had been rumors that the Phillies took him off the market and if that’s true, they could be looking at a future rotation piece that could stick in Philly for a long time. And I don’t think anyone would mind.
STARK ON TRADE RUMORS:
Jayson Stark was a guest today of the radio show I’m a part of, “The Sports Bash with Mike Gill.” He discussed the Phillies and trade rumors surrounding them. Stark is as plugged in with this organization as one person can be, so I like to take what he says to be fairly close to gospel. Listen to what he had to say.