What was with all that finger waving the umpires were doing at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night?
It was really kind of odd. Three times during the Phils' 7-3 win over the Marlins, the umpires on the field would extend their arms in the air, point their finger into the sky, and then start to swirl it around, as if they were mixing an upside-down adult beverage cocktail.
*Quickly looks up umpire baseball rule book*
Oh. A home run signal. It ALL makes sense now.
You'll have to forgive my ignorance on this subject. After all, the Phillies had hit just six home runs through their first 13 games this season, so it wasn't something I was used to seeing. However, on Tuesday night, the Phils used two longballs from two very different sources, shortstop Freddy Galvis and first baseman Ryan Howard, to help power their way to a victory over the Fish, in Philadelphia.
Galvis got the Phils on the board first with a two-run shot in the second inning, continuing his red-hot start to the season. After his 1-for-3 night, Galvis is now hitting .319 with eight RBIs, tied for the team lead.
The Marlins got one of those runs back on a blast by their all-world slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to center field that alone was worth the price of admission.
Miami then took a 3-2 lead in the fifth thanks to an RBI single by Adeiny Hechavarria and a two-out error by Howard off the bat of Dee Gordon.
However, the Philllies would respond. Howard atoned for his miscue by blasting a two-run shot to center of his own off Miami starter Dan Haren, putting the Phils back on top 4-3 in the sixth. That makes Freddy and Ryan all...
It was Howard's first home run of the season, after coming into Tuesday's game against the Marlins hitting .175/.214/.250 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks in 40 plate appearances.
The Phillies then added three more runs in the seventh, with a two-run triple off the bat of Ben Revere the big blow in the inning. Chase Utley added a sacrifice fly for good measure.
In all, six of the Phillies seven runs were scored via an extra base hit, an unusual tactic for a team that was tied for 28th in homers and 29th in slugging percentage.
Perhaps there is a lesson here. Power is good.
On the mound, Jerome Williams kept the Phils in the ballgame and gave them six innings of relative competence. He gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 3.71. The Triple Zero Gang of Luis Garcia, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon all pitched a scoreless inning of relief, keeping their ERAs at 0.00.
And now, the graph of goodness.