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Phillies Win Wild One In St. Louis

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Thu, May 24, 2012 11:47 PM | Comments: 19
2012 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Shane Victorino pulls into second after a two-run double in the second inning.(AP)

As Charlie Manuel would say of the warm night in St. Louis, “Tonight was hittin’ weather.” And, oh, how true that would prove to be. Both teams would combine to score 19 total runs with 33 hits in a slug fest that found the Phillies outlasting the Cardinals by a score of 10-9.

FAST START FOR PHILS BATS

- As Ian Riccaboni wrote earlier today, Placido Polanco has had an offensive renaissance of sorts, getting hot at the end of April and continuing it into May. He’d get things started tonight for the Phils, starting off the top of the first with a one-out double. The early momentum with the hit would lead to a four-run inning for the Phillies, who would bat around, forcing Jake Westbrook to throw 39 pitches before recording the final out. Their patience led to two walks in the inning.

- After driving in one run in the first, Shane Victorino would drive in two more in the second to make it 6-0 nothing early. Much like Polanco, Victorino has started to get going at the plate after a slow start. He’s now hitting .312 in the month of May with an OPS approaching .900. He’s had 12 extra-base hits in that span, compared to just four XBHs during the month of April. He is currently 11 for his last 25 at-bats (.444).

TWO-OUT RUNS

- Most impressive about the Phillies quick start was the fact that five of their six runs came with two outs. Despite their offensive inconsistencies, scoring two-outs run is not something new for the Phillies this season. On the night, all but two of their runs would come with two outs, including the run they’d score in the fifth and the two they’d tack on in the sixth. Coming into tonight, they ranked seventh in the majors in two-out runs and fourth in the N.L. With tonight’s game, close to half their runs–88-of-188, to be exact–have come with two outs.

RED BIRDS BATTER BLANTON

- Coming off his worst start of the season against Boston, Joe Blanton was given some breathing room when he was spotted a six-run lead early. But even that wouldn’t be enough against a potent Cardinals offense, and we may have a new winner as far as Blanton’s worst start of the season goes.

- Here’s the damage: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 2 HR.

- Though he found himself in trouble in all but one of his 4+ innings, Blanton allowed all seven earned runs in the third and fifth innings. He would get burned in the third when he allowed Cardinals’ starter Jake Westbrook to lead off the inning with a single to left. The lead-off hit would open the door for the Cardinals to put up a four-run. In the fifth, he’d allow the Cardinals to tie it with a solo home run by Matt Holliday and a two-run home run by Yadier Molina.

- After starting the year off very well, Blanton has notched two porous starts in a row. I didn’t expect Blanton to maintain the 2.81 ERA he had as a starter before the Boston game, but it did seem like he was throwing better than ever, keeping the ball low in the zone and commanding his fastball on both sides of the plate. Tonight, like in the Red Sox game, he got away from that, getting the ball up in the zone on a lot of pitches. It certainly didn’t help him that half of the fly balls he threw left the ballpark and that he only stranded 48.8% of base runners, but he just wasn’t great tonight. There is a silver lining: Blanton struck out five batters in his 4+ innings. But that number offers little solace in the grand scheme of things. The real solace comes in the fact that the Phils won the game.

GALVIS GETS BIG JOE OFF THE HOOK

- Say what you want about his statistics–and I agree there’s a lot of concerning things in the numbers–but Freddy Galvis seems to have a knack for getting a big hit in a bit spot. He did it again tonight. This time, the hit came in the sixth. Right after watching the Cardinals come back to tie it at seven, Galvis came to the plate with runners on first and second and two out. He fought off a tough change-up, serving it into shallow center field and bringing Victorino around to score. It was another clutch hit from the 22-year old Galvis, who had three RBI on the night, and is quickly building his reputation as a guy who likes the spotlight. Mike Fontenot would follow with a pinch-hit single to give the Phillies a 9-7 lead after Blanton  blew their initial margin.

BULLPEN DOES THE JOB

- After Raul Valdes was able to get two outs in relief of Blanton in the fifth inning, Chad Qualls came in and threw a 1-2-3 sixth. In a decision some thought imprudent, Charlie Manuel decided to send Qualls out for the seventh. After retiring the first two hitters he faced, he allowed a mammoth of a home run to David Freese to cut it to 9-8. A Yadier Molina single followed, and that brought Jake Diekman through the bullpen door. The Diek retired Matt Adams to end the inning.

- After a Ty Wigginton eighth-inning home run made it 10-8, Phils, Antonio Bastardo came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He’d work himself into a first and third jam with one out and Skip Schumaker at the plate. After a tough battle at the plate, Schumaker hit a long fly ball to left to score a run and make it 10-9. Bastardo would walk the next batter, before striking out Carlos Beltran to end the inning.  Phillies fans all over unclenched their fists and wiped massive amounts of sweat from their brows as Bastardo walked back to the dugout. It wasn’t pretty, but Bastardo was able to escape with the lead intact.

- Jonathan Papelbon did his thing in the ninth, allowing one hit, but ultimately slamming the door to preserve the victory and remain perfect on the season. He has now saved 13 games.

GAME NOTES

- Tonight’s game marks the second time this season a Phillies starter has blown a six-run lead. The first time came on May 2nd, when Roy Halladay uncharacteristically squandered a six-run lead against the Braves. The Phillies are 1-1 in those games.

- The Phillies continue their four-game set with the Cardinals tomorrow night when Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.66) faces off against former Phillie Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.91). With two starters who are pitching very well right now on the mound, don’t expect another slug fest like tonight’s game.

Avatar of Ryan Dinger

About Ryan Dinger

Ryan Dinger has written 125 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ryan stated writing for Phillies Nation in 2012.

 
 
  • Posts: 5530 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    That felt like a play-off game. Nice job Phils.

     
  • Posts: 2071 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Its great to see Shane & Poly start to shine a bit. Pence was nowhere to be found tonight.

     
  • Posts: 2071 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Phils did it tonight with little to no help from their pitching.
    What does this mean? Anything? The blind squirrel gets the nut every once in a while – Does it mean that our Phils do stand a chance? Exciting game, even though the pitching stunk.

     
  • Posts: 0 Smash

    I’ve been saying a lot recently that Galvis gets hits when it counts. Much like another guy a few years ago by the name of Ruiz. I’ll take Galvis and his defense for clutch hits and a mediocre avergae. Batting average is completely overrated anyway, I’ll use OBP and hits RISP to judge a guy.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    “…more than half their runs–88-of-188, to be exact…” Better check your arithmetic.

    Also, I wonder just how concerning Galvis’ stats are. I, for one, am not about to question clutch hits and 22 RBIs from a player kept around only because of his defense.

    Good writeup, otherwise. Good win, too.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Well, other than the part where he says Polanco ‘led off the top of the first’ with a double. Jimmy led off the top of the first with a ground out.

       
      • Posts: 38 Ryan Dinger

        Avatar of Ryan Dinger

        You’ll note I did say it was a one-out double. I meant to use the word “starting” instead of “leading.” A product of trying to get the post up too fast, I suppose.

        With the arithmetic, a simple error in reading the numbers. No excuses for that one.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        I missed the first. Maybe Ryan did, too.

         
  • Posts: 45 artemis

    Avatar of artemis

    I love the Phillies and games such as this renews the faith everytime, but I’ve seen that “When the Phillies are good, they’re very good (like in this game), but when they are bad they are horrid (like the past four games losing streak).” I’m clueless, great Phillies Phans – Someone please tell me what is the cause for such inconsistency? I’m so darned puzzled!

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Are they more inconsistent than other teams? I’m not sure that’s the case.

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Pence well he didnt do much but that walk he took was instrumental….When is Cholly going to realize once Blanton self-destructs he self-destructs and rarely once he reaches Defcon 1 rarely does he settle back down again…

     
    • Posts: 0 brooks

      Been the same way for years

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    This year it seems if the bats perk up the pitching fails. Take todays game for example. A offensive explosion, followed by a complete falling apart of Blanton. Although the bullpen did a ok job it almost failed us. When the starting pitching is great the bats fail. Then we have the third case the bullpen failing to hold on to a lead. Qualls has been inconsistent. Contreras is still a huge question mark. Herndon and Stutes on the DL. RAJ put too much faith in Contreras returning to health and having a good year. Also a gamble on Qualls who for the previous 2 years prior to last year was horrendous.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    I love this cute little thing that Blanton and Manuel have going. Blanton pitches like total dog *hit, and Manuel leaves him in extra long to try and lose the game.

     
  • Posts: 0 Clawtastic

    Great to see Freddy hitting like he did when he was in Lakewood. I am also glad to see that Deik, the 43rd player to go shore to show from the BlueClaws is getting some playing time and doing well. I love the youtube video on the BlueClaws channel of Deik doing the ChaCha Slide during a rain delay. This is why Minor League Baseball is Clawsome!!

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Clawtastic. A welcome addition. Gotta come on more often.

    Nice job for the Phils comin out on top in an ugly game. Love Deikman by the way.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I believe Ryne Sandberg said of Galvis … That he was a guy that wanted the bat in his hands in big situations. Gotta love that …. I pointed out earlier that his numbers with runner on base where a lot better than with bases empty do it might mean he likes hitting off of pitchers in the Stretch…. Or maybe he’s getting more fastballs with guys on (or at least not bouncing-breaking pitches that are so nasty they could result in WP), or maybe it’s just him batting 7th/8th and pitchers thinking they can blow stuff by him….. Whatever the case, there is no denying that Galvis has been a pleasent surprise this far!

     
  • Posts: 1108 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I do not get how anyone can watch the top of the first and think Blanton would have a chance to to keep this a low scoring game. The home plate ump all though consistant which is a good thing, had a plate the sized of a peanut. I know that if the ump was going to take the corners away Joe would give up some runs. That is why to keep adding runs was improtent for the Phils. Pence was not invisiable he took advantage of the tiny strike zone and took pitches and did not swing at balls out of the K zone for the most part. and did not strike out (i do not think)
    And as for Freddie, can he play third? if so even when Chase comes back could he get enough time just filling in for Chase, Poly and JRoll to give them days off.
    Would like to see Cliff get a win tonight and get back on the right kind of streak a winning one

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      You’ve kind of answered your own initial remark about watching Blanton by stating that the umpire was consistent. That, my friend, is a rarity these days. Most strike zones change from inning to inning, and peanuts many times become watermelons. A manager has to wait a few innings, and fans do, too. And even when the first is a mess, a pitcher many times settles down an inning later.

       
 
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