Thursday, June 16, 2011

Phils sweep twin bill

Yesterday was a good day for the Phillies, who swept the day-night double-header and have taken the first three games of the series from Florida. Each game was very different.

In the first game, Elih Villanueva made his Major League debut and it was a memorable one for him. Just for all the wrong reasons.

He lasted just three innings, allowed eight runs on five hits and five walks with two strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches, 52 strikes and 40 balls.

Leading 2-1 in the third, the Phils put a six spot on the board to chase Villanueva from the game. They had just two hits in the inning, but made them count. Wilson Valdez came up with a huge bases clearing three-run triple, after a hit by pitch, a walk and an intentional walk. Jimmy Rollins would eventually follow with a three-run home run to seal the game.

It was J-Roll's fourth RBI of the game and second multi-run homer in as many days.

Kyle Kendrick pitched a solid seven innings, allowing one run on five hits, one walk and five strikeouts as the Phils took the first game 8-1.

The nightcap featured a good pitching match-up of Roy Halladay against Anibal Sanchez. Halladay didn't have his best stuff, but the bats took him off the hook with some late inning heroics.

Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth with Marlins' closer Leo Nunez on the mound, the Phils started a rally.

Carlos Ruiz hit a one-out single, and Ross Gload followed with a pinch hit single. Then, the Phillies' fortunes seemed to be turning against them.

Jimmy Rollins hit as absolute blast up the middle, which hit Nunez and rolled right to the first baseman who stepped on the bag for out number two. The ball would have been very difficult for any Florida fielder to reach, and would have likely been an RBI single which would have also moved the tying run to third.

But fortunately, Shane Victorino played hero, ripping a line drive to center field, just out of the reach of a diving Jose Lopez, tying the game at four.

An inning later, Carlos Ruiz hit a walk-off single, scoring Ryan Howard who was hit by a pitch to lead-off the inning.

The 5-4 victory pushes Florida 10.5 games out.

Halladay didn't pitch his best game for the Phils, allowing two runs in the first on a Logan Morrison RBI ground-out and a Gaby Sanchez home run.

He allowed two more in the fourth, on a weakly hit two-run single of the bat of John Buck.

Doc lasted seven innings, allowing the four runs on six hits, no walks an eight strikeouts. Ryan Madson picked up his third win of the season, pitching a scoreless top of the tenth.

Sanchez deserved a better fate, allowing two runs over seven innings on four hits, four walks and six strikeouts.

Cliff Lee looks to put the nail in Florida's coffin this afternoon. A sweep would push the Marlins 11.5 out, a likely insurmountable deficit.

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