So, this is an attempt to recap not one, but two games. Yes, primarily, we'll be talking about the Phillies' 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the simultaneous debut of new franchise savior Jonathan Pettibone. But can we talk too about the absolutely brilliant start by actual franchise savior Jesse Biddle.
Yeah, I bet you weren't watching that game. I wasn't! But fortunately, the internet is a wonderful place, that contains multitudes. For instance, you may know by watching the game that Jonathan Pettibone pitched fairly well, save some uncharacteristic longball trouble, pitching 5.1 innings of two run ball, giving up 6 hits, zero walks (showing far better command than he has over the past 50 innings in AAA), and striking out 6 batters, three swinging. Yes, there were two home runs, and yes, one was to *yeaugh* Russell Martin, but that's not a bad line for a control pitcher living in the low nineties. And there were some swinging strikes! He's like Vance Worley 2.0! It was a good few innings.
But while those innings were happening, Jesse Biddle was in Harrisburg, pitching out of his mind. Seven innings! 16 strikeouts! Two walks! One hit! Flirting with a perfecto and a no-no. Cormican's going to be back soon with some more information on this, but let me tell you friends, no amount of bad competition, luck, or other dark magic gets you 16 strikeouts in 7 innings. All outs, save five, by the K. That's skill, friends -- the very soul of rosterbation and wish-casting for 2014 and beyond.
But back to the present, the Phillies put together a fairly meh offensive performance, but gutted out a win on some timely mistakes: a wild pitch, a hit batsman, and, uh, a single that was pretty straightforward save some hilarious running out of a force tag would net them three runs. Pettibone, like the cliche goes, at least gave up homers when no one was on base. Pirates starter AJ Burnett gave up no homes, but, as the cliche goes, was unable to control his pitches in a consistent manner: five innings brought the Phillies two runs -- the wild pitch and the hit batsman -- along with three walks (and a lot more three ball counts) and seven strikeouts. Give Burnett his due, he did keep the Phillies from breaking the game open, but a lot of shots were darn close to being out of the ballpark. This was almost a very different game.
The winning run ended up coming off of Jared Hughes, bullpen cog from sector 7G, and Bastardo, Adams, and Papelbon closed it out, with some baserunner drama in the ninth. Overall, kind of a snooze, but a pleasant one. It's hard not to drift to the Biddle game going on at the same moment, promising the thrill of an eventual future, but lest we forget, before tonight, that future was Pettibone's. There is much temptation to give the day to Biddle -- and hey, I'm with you there -- but the hero tonight is Steady Eddie Pettibone, who actually, in giving up 2 runs, pitched "well enough to win." That's honestly what the Phillies needed tonight, and they got a hyper-credible John Lannan replacement. We shouldn't lose track of that telescoping wildly into the future. So thanks, 'Bone.
As always, a few things I noticed about the game:
- There was a bases loaded, no outs opportunity in the bottom of the fourth, and the Phillies actually scored a run. I know! It's like my confirmation bias somehow misled me....
- That run was scored on a hit by pitch, the second greatest run-producing outcome next to only the walk off walk (or the mystical, Lidgean walk off balk).
- Erik Kratz brought a lot to the legend of the fourth inning, with a phenomenal at bad against Burnett. Yes, it ended in a strikeout, but it lasted ten pitches and was awesome. I still love that guy.
- That bottom of the fourth lasted Thirty-three pitches. That's how you wear out a batter, dummies.
- The final out of that inning was on my ultimate foe...the debatable check swing. CURSES.
- The top of the fifth started with a homer off Pettibone that fans caught and cheered about catching. That's bad fandom.
- Michael Young hit into his sixth double play tonight. That's the joke.
- That rundown where Jimmy deked the guy at second and Galvis made him throw home which set up the 2nd and 3rd situation (uncapitalized upon) was hilarious. Full marks.
- There was a moment where Chase Utley and John Lannan were talking on the bench. I wonder what about.
- Vin Mazzaro still has a job as a major leaguer! Vin Mazzaro! Color me baffled.
And that's all. Be good to one another, and look to the future while standing firm in the present.