Baseball is a wonderful sport sometimes.
Last night, the Phillies got a win. Tonight, the Phillies also got a win. That's pretty much where the similarities between the two games stopped.
Last night's game was almost 5 hours long, the longest game the Phillies had played in two years. Last night's game involved 45 players, 21 of whom were Phillies. Last night's game involved the Phils' starting pitcher throwing 86 pitches in just 4.3 innings. Last night's game had 6 Phillies relievers.
Tonight's game was the opposite. It was only two hours, forty two minutes long. Tonight, the Phillies' box score featured nine names, no more, no less (and presumably tying the record lowest number used in a regulation baseball game (with many many other teams)). Tonight, the Phils' starting pitcher threw 106 pitches in 9 innings. Tonight, not a single Phillies reliever entered the game.
In other words, after the longest game of the year for the Phils, they did what they had to do - won big and won quick.
The star was Jeremy Hellickson, who had the best outing of his career. He pitched a complete game shutout, giving up only 3 hits, while striking out 5 and walking no one. He has thrown one other complete game shutout in his career, back on May 13, 2011, but in that game he gave up 4 hits and walked a batter, striking out only 3. Today, he was better.
Hellickson continued an impressive streak for the Phils - games in which the starting pitcher has given up 3 runs or less. It's been over 2 weeks since that has happened (September 2, Hellickson giving up 4 runs). You have to go back to 2000 to find a similar length streak for the team.
Thankfully, as opposed to many of the games in this streak, the Phils' bats came alive. And they did so early, putting up a 5-spot in the first inning, only the 4th time this year they've scored more than 2 runs in the first inning. Almost everyone contributed today, but AJ Ellis broke the game open with his 3 RBI double in the first, giving the Phils their 5-0 lead.
Tommy Joseph hit a 2-run home run in the second, his 20th home run of the year, but his first with men on since the All-Star Break, and only his 5th all year. Odubel Herrera continued his hot hitting of late, with 2 more hits, along with 2 runs and an RBI.
The Phillies go for the sweep against the Marlins tomorrow at 1:35, hopefully before the much-needed rain comes to Philadelphia.