The day after the Phillies' six-game win streak came to an end at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, they started another one with a 4-2 win on a cold day in Denver. Severino Gonzalez, in his third Major League start, pitched five solid innings, scattering five hits. He walked and struck out none, but limited Colorado to a single run.
Meanwhile, the Phillies tagged the Rox' Eddie Butler with two runs in each of the first and third innings, including nearly chasing him in the first by sending eight men to the plate. Butler needed 77 pitches to get through three, compared to just 65 for Gonzalez's five.
The old-timers paced the Phils' offense tonight, with Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Jeff Francoeur combining for eight of the nine hits, all four runs scored, and half of the four walks. Shades of 2008.
In the first, Maikel Franco reached on a throwing error by Butler, allowing Utley to score, and moving Howard to third where Francoeur's single to left could drive him in. 2-0.
In the third, Howard hit a solo home run, and, after Francoeur reached on a double, Oduble Herrera was able to drive him in with a single. 4-0.
That would be all the scoring that Gonzalez and the 'pen would need. The Rockies got single runs back in the fourth and seventh, on an RBI single from Carlos Gonzalez and groundout from Nick Hundley, respectively.
After S. Gonzalez's five innings, Jake Diekman came out for the sixth, and was promptly paradoxian. He hit Charlie Blackmon, induced a grounder from Troy Tulowitzki, and struck out C. Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado. Not bad. He was then left out to face the right-handed Willin Rosario leading off the seventh, who promptly doubled.
(Interlude) See, this is why Diekman's been so up-and-down this year. Shit like this. Come on, guys. (/Interlude)
Diekman was pulled for Luis Garcia, but Rosario came around to score on a groundout from Hundley. Garcia, meanwhile, retired each of his three hitters. Ken Giles pitched a scoreless eighth around a leadoff single, and Jonathan Papelbon retired three quickly in the ninth for his 11th save of the year.
The moral of the bullpen story seems to be that if the 'pen is used properly, they're really quite good. When #SandBall is allowed to happen, they're less good.
|Franco, M, 3B||4||0||0||0||1||0||3||.292|
|Herrera, O, CF||3||0||1||1||1||0||1||.269|
|Gonzalez, S, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.000|
|Blanco, A, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.242|
|Conzalez, S (W, 2-1)||5||5||1||1||0||0||0||7.11|
|Diekman (H, 3)||1||1||1||1||0||2||0||7.63|
|Garcia, Lu (H, 6)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.48|
|Giles (H, 9)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.96|
|Papelbon (S, 11)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.5|
Fangraph of... actually, you know what? No more fangraphs. At least, not from me.
This game was played in somewhat cold weather, as I mentioned above. Those of you who know me know my thoughts on cold weather, but even so, 40 degrees in the rain is not ideal baseball conditions. As Larry Andersen said, "it's tough to get people to come out to a baseball game when it's damp, misty, 40 degrees and your team's in last place."
The Phillies, now 18-24, go for the series win tomorrow--during the daytime!--sending Jerome Williams against the Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa. Thanks for staying up late with me this week, folks; these west coast trips are always a highlight of my season, and I hope at least a few of you enjoy them as much as I do.