I said two things in my game preview: one, that this would be a high scoring game; and two, that if there were no home runs, I'd eat my hat. As it happens, Ryan Howard helped make me look a little less like an idiot.
The vaunted Rockies offense, slated to face perennial underwhelmer Kyle Kendrick, did not exactly live up to their billing, as they were blanked by Kendrick over 6.2 innings and couldn't hang any runs on the not well liked Phillies bullpen. Kendrick in particular played a bend-don't-break game as he allowed six hits and four walks with only two strikeouts, but was able to strand 'em when he needed to. The bullpen played a more strikeout heavy game as the resurgent Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo, and Justin DeFratus (fresh from AAA) combined for 2.1 innings of one hit, no walk, three strikeout ball. Overall, a pretty great line for a team that had not been pitching its best ball of late.
In an effort to give the Rockies some credit, however, let's note that their three .300+ batting average regulars -- Charlie Blackmon, Michael Cuddyer, and Troy Tulowitzki -- were able to amass five of their team's seven hits. So, uh, don't sleep on this offense tomorrow.
That said, we shouldn't sleep on the Phillies offense, either, as they were able to put together one of their more impressive offensive showings in quite a while, just a night after being no-hit by Josh Beckett. Now, don't get it wrong: Jhoulys Chacin (he of the 5.20 ERA and 4.96 FIP) is no Josh Beckett (2.43 ERA, 4.00 FIP), but it isn't as if they're worlds apart. And the Phillies feasted on Chacin, getting seven hits and a walk against only five strikeouts, good for four runs over five innings. One of those hits was a big fly by Ryan Howard, who got off the schneid in a big way today, going 3-4 with five RBI and his eighth homerun. So, uh, good work today big man.
Meanwhile, the Rox bullpen was miserable today, as well, pitching three innings, allowing five hits, one walk, and one home run. The home run was to John Mayberry, Jr, off of fireballer Rex Brothers. I, uh, I don't have a joke here. Rule 5 pick Tommy Kahnle was respectable, as was reliable high leverage guy Adam Ottavino, but the Rockies couldn't overcome Nick Masset and Rex Brothers, and here we are with a 9-0 win.
Hell of a palate cleanser after last night, and, in case you didn't hear the booth's conversation about how the Phillies are only 5 (!!) games back in the miserable NL East, let this be your reminder that terrible teams limp into the playoffs every year, and why not our terrible team? Fangraph of "hey if I squint hard enough..." below.