On Jewish Heritage Night, the Philadelphia Phillies hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks for an evening of baseball featuring Ian Kennedy and Vance Worley. With Carlos Ruiz out with an altogether unfortunate contusion, the Phillies were undermanned. In subtraction to Chooch, they were down Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard. Placido Polanco is still injured, and Raul Ibanez is in an Ice Age again, so he hardly counted, right?
And the Phillies were sending out Vance Worley against Cy Young pretender Kennedy, who is having a really great season. And Arizona is a division leader. Truly a game of lowered expectations for the Philies, right? Right? The team with the best record in baseball as underdogs? Say it ain't so! Not in 2011, folks. This team is just magnificent. How sweet it is right now.
Tonight's story was, after the depleted lineup for the Phillies, probably the weather, which tried to sabotage things. Things got underway fine, but after three innings, some droogs kicked in the door, duct taped Ian Kennedy, put a ball gag in Kirk Gibson's mouth, and sang a few choruses of Singin' in the Rain. You can Youtube the fun version, but I'm not linking it from here. Before the rain, though, the Phillies did just fine against Kennedy, scoring one run in the second on a pair of doubles by the unlikely dynamic duo of Ibanez and Valdez. In the third, John Mayberry hit his tenth home run of the year, driving in Jimmy Rollins. Going into the lengthy rain delay, the Phillies had a 3 - 0 lead, as Vance Worley pitched three solid innings, surrendering no runs.
Bullpennery ensued. Both teams had effective outings from a variety of pitchers, with only 1 run allowed by each team the rest of the way. The Phillies saw innings from David Herndon, Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson. Stutes gave up a solo homer, and that was that. Rather than breaking down each Phillies pitcher, perhaps just giving the cumulative line would be better, including Worley: 9 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 10 K. That is ace-worthy, folks. And it makes me happy!
On a final note, there were requests for a full report from joecatz on the line of Raul Ibanez this evening. This may be the false dawn, since Ibanez was 2 of 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI. But maybe not.
Prepare your ballots for the "How Many Wins the Phillies Will Have in the Regular Season" Pool, coming soon.
Fangraph of Gladness!