If there's any critique of baseball to make, it's that it moves far too quickly. Fans would prefer a game that takes its time; that really conveys it's more about strategic movement than blunt force trauma. Did you know cricket has breaks for tea? Like that.
And that's why tonight's Phillies' victory over the Diamondbacks felt so natural, because there was a one hour, 17 minute hour rain delay in the middle that stretched it to a nice, interminable length. It was made just as unnatural, however, when Grady Sizemore hit his fourth hit of the night.
A Jerome Williams start interrupted by rain is not the formula for a long appearance. Williams was gone after the fifth, having surrendered seven hits and three runs (one unearned) with four strikeouts and no walks. The Phillies' bullpen allowed two more over the course of four innings, including Ken Giles' second career allowed home run, the first being in his debut.
But with a season high in extra base hits (6) and a matched season high in runs scored (7), the Phillies were uncharacteristically able to repeatedly rally. Ryan Howard doubled, Carlos Ruiz doubled, Andres Blanco doubled, Chase Utley doubled, and young slugger Jeff Francoeur hit another home run. Also, Grady Sizemore doubled once and singled three times, logging four hits in a game for the first time in seven years.
After Howard and Utley RBIs in the bottom of the third, Francoeur grounded into a real clutch double play that made it 4-0, but the team was equally effective in the fifth when they knocked three doubles in a row and made it 7-3. Former Phillie Tuffy Gosewisch and former future Phillies Yasmany Tomas tried to start trouble against Justin De Fratus and Ken Giles later on, but in the end the bullpen prevailed, holding the subsequent 7-5 lead by following the example of clear team leader Grady Sizemore.
The Phillies won a series for the first time since last August (and four games in a row), meaning that, according to Scott Franzke, Larry Bowa has to shave his horrible beard.