Thursday, July 28, 2011

Phils hope to keep streak alive

The Phillies need a victory in tonight's rubber-match with the Giants to keep their series winning streak alive and extend it to ten. An all-star will stand in their way with either Tim Lincecum or Ryan Vogelsong on the mound. San Francisco is also expected to have Carlos Beltran in the lineup, making his Giants debut.

Game One of this series was one of the more exciting games I've had the privilege of attending in recent memory.

Vance Worley continued his dominant stretch on the mound, tossing 114 pitches for his first career complete game. He improved to 7-1 while allowing two runs on three hits, one walk and five strikeouts; throwing himself into the NL Rookie of the Year award race. His remarkable streak of starts lasting five innings or more, while allowing one run or less ended at six, when former fan favorite Aaron Rowand hit a pinch-hit homer in the eighth.

The offense delivered plenty of support for Worley, putting seven runs on the board on the strength of four home runs. Chase Utley's certainly drew the most buzz, as he sped around the bases for his third career inside the park home run. He's tied for the lead in that category among active players with Jimmy Rollins and Bobby Abreu among others. Raul Ibanez helped erase the Phils' early 1-0 deficit with a three-run homer in the first, on the first pitch he saw from Barry Zito.

John Mayberry Jr. and Ryan Howard each added solo shots for the Phils.

The bats weren't quite as loud against Matt Cain last night; while Cole Hamels was once again the tough luck loser. Hamels allowed two runs (although Domonic Brown's blunder aided San Fran in scoring their second run) on six hits, one walk and six strikeouts in 7.2 innings.

Cain was better, allowing one run (unearned) on four hits, one walk and one strikeout.

Brad Lidge came in to pick up the final out of the eighth inning, and he did so by striking out Cody Ross. Antonio Bastardo fanned two in a one-two-three top of the ninth.

Brian Wilson picked up his league leading 32nd save in a perfect bottom of the ninth.

Kyle Kendrick (5-4 3.45) looks to fend off the Giants' bats tonight, and hopes to gain some run support.

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