Boy, this game had a lot of stuff. I kind of forgot that Ethan Martin started it all with an outrageous flourish, striking out 5 of the first 6 Rockies he faced. While he faded around pitch, oh whatever number it was that he threw to Troy Tulowitzki that landed on the moon, he was great for the first few innings, then relied on a pile of ground balls for the last couple of his six innings. When he faded and was pulled in the seventh for Justin DeFratus, he had gone 90 pitches over 6.1 innings, striking out 6, walking just 2, and giving up only 2 runs on 4 hits, though to be fair, the homer to Tulo should have counted for two runs.
Jeff Manship opposed Martin, and failed to restrain a Phillies lineup that included Casper Wells, a slumping (or regressing) Darin Ruf and John Mayberry hitting against a right-handed pitcher. He did not do well, surprisingly. He went 5 innings, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits (two homers), 4 strikeouts, and 1 walk. The homers included a three run shot to Mayberry in the fourth that was...just...over...the wall in left. To be fair, I exercised no small degree of poetic license in the title. For the record, Mayberry's dong was not nearly so long nor so majestic as that of Tulowitzki.
The second Phillies homer was of the solo Chorch variety in the fifth. He catches, of course, but he's swinging a big stick again.
Tonight also witnessed what I hope is a sign of the slow maturation of the bullpen, with Justin DeFratus inheriting and stranding 2 baserunners from Ethan Martin in the seventh. It was blessedly uneventful. The rest was less uneventful, though there were green shoots.
Luis Garcia, walker of 9 in his last 6 appearances, including 2 tonight, does not appear to have a future unless he can reliably throw strikes. He came in during the eighth, and perhaps he was pitching around Tulo, but he also issued a lead off walk to Dexter Fowler, gave up a hit, and THEN had to "pitch around" Tulo. With the bases thusly loaded, he finally paid attention to where his pitches were going, and struck out Michael Cuddyer. He allowed a single to Wilin Rosario while I was having a full conniption fit, and he was finally relieved. Perhaps Ryne Sandberg has a long leash for men on his team. Or perhaps the Phillies are seein what they have. I kind of thought it would have been smart to fetch Garcia, you know, faster and stuff.
Jake Diekman came in. Diekman is someone who, along with JDF, I am beginning to not so much trust as "fear somewhat less" than other bullpen options. Diekman successed in striking out lefty Todd Helton, but was left in to face a righty in Nolan Arenado. Arenado won't take a walk if you try to walk him, so perhaps this was a wise gamble, though Diekman struggles mightily against righties. Diekman reached back and delivered some 99 mph heat on consecutive pitches, finally ringing up Arenado and ending the Rockies eighth with the Phillies still on top, though with just a one run lead. Diekman did make it exciting by balking, though, but it did not cost a run. It was a "fake time" sort of mixup where he stopped his pitch because he thought the umpire would give time to the hitter. No big deal in the end, though.
Papelbon got the Rockies out in the ninth, with one out obtained via a delightful pickoff from first. It is not only John Mayberry who is capable of baserunning gaffes - other teams have spacey players, too. The end result was a Phillies win. I think we owe it to the recent rediscovery of a basted, slathered, ballsy Glenn Wilson photo. I think this caused the Phillies to win tonight, and it certainly inspired a large amount of....good natured fun. ALL HAIL GLENNBO!
Fangraph of shirtless, glistening man from the 1980's with just the right amount of hair to make Cohen a happy guy, plus let's make hay while the sun shines, since Tyler Cloyd pitches tomorrow: