For the second time in three weeks, the Phillies visited a top team and should have swept them. As with the Yankees series from late May, the Phils would have swept the Dodgers had it not been for Brad Lidge's ninth inning troubles. Certainly going 4-3 against the Yankees and Dodgers on the road is nothing to be too upset about. But the Phils could have been 7-0 against the two teams on the road. Imagine that.
The Phils finished off their could-have-been-a-sweep against the Dodgers last night with a decisive 7-2 victory. Through 4 innings, rookie Antonio Bastardo and former-Phil Randy Wolf were equally effective, holding the other team to 1 run each. But then the Phillies' offense came alive. A series of singles in the fifth netted 2 runs, and then a series of home runs later in the game tacked on 4 more. Bastardo held the Dodgers to 2 runs over 5-plus innings, earning his second major league win in as many starts. Chan Ho Park showed how much he loves Dodger Stadium, returning to his home last year and pitching 3 scoreless innings in relief. He hasn't looked this good since spring training.
The offensive star of the game? Carlos Ruiz. Quietly putting up a great year -- .309/.435/.511 -- Ruiz again had two big hits. His first was an RBI single in the 5th that put the Phillies ahead. His second was a no-doubt-about-it two-run home run in the seventh that effectively ended the night.
Also encouraging was that Jimmy Rollins, batting sixth, had two hits and scored a run. Hopefully he can build on that tomorrow night as the Phils return to one of Rollins' favorite places to play, Queens.