Nothing comes easy these days for the Phillies, as the National League East division’s last place club went down to the wire on Wednesday night to notch a victory over the Twins by a score of 9-8.
Behind a less-than-sharp Cole Hamels, the Phils were able to lock down a win in a month when such results aren’t very common. The game marked just the third time the 2012 Phillies did not lose in June.
Even the “Good” Games Leave You Feeling Badly:
-Hamels, who was charged with six earned runs in 6 innings of work, has a 6.07 ERA in his past four starts, while his ERA in the nine starts that preceded those was 2.17.
-Amazingly, in a contest where the opposing starting pitcher, P.J. Walters, didn’t record an out and when the Phillies grabbed a six-run lead in the opening frame, it wasn’t an easy win, as Minnesota battled and made the visiting team sweat in the late innings.
-Despite striking out the side in the 8th inning, a wild pitch on the 3rd K by Chad Qualls allowed the tying run to reach base in the bottom of the 8th inning. Manager Charlie Manuel then went to Jonathan Papelbon for the four-out save. Papelbon allowed no additional runners and locked down his 17th save of the season.
-The Phillies missed a golden opportunity to pad their slim 9th inning lead when they loaded the bases with no outs and failed to plate a run. Placido Polanco, John Mayberry Jr. and Michael Martinez were the culprits who let the offense down in a critical spot.
-Placido Polanco, who was missed by the Phils, especially on defense, over the past week, since he was sidelined after being spiked on his glove hand last week, returned to action and went 0-for-5.
A Couple Bright Spots:
-Jim Thome and John Mayberry Jr. combined for 8 RBI. Each man homered for the Phillies. Thome’s blast in the 4th inning garnered a standing ovation from the Target Field crowd that used to cheer for the veteran on a more regular basis when he played for the home team.
Notes From Elsewhere:
-Chase Utley, DH’ing in a rehab outing for Class A Advance Clearwater, went 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
Joe Blanton, who has tallied a 9.91 ERA over his past five starts, takes the hill in Thursday’s series finale. He’ll face lefty Scott Diamond, who is 3-0 with a 1.03 ERA in four home starts this season.
Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.