Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rollins, Martinez clutch in Phils come back win

The top of the lineup did something last night in Chicago the Phillies have been waiting for it to do for a long time: steal a game.

The duo of Jimmy Rollins and Michael Martinez did just that in a 4-2 victory that splits the series at one game a piece entering this afternoon's finale.

Trailing 2-0 entering the eighth inning, Matt Garza was still on the mound. He'd allowed just three hits over seven innings, and Chicago even let him bat to lead-off the bottom of the seventh. Rollins led-off the inning and his single did two key things. It put the lead-off man aboard, and it removed Garza from the hill.

Sean Marshall entered the game, and promptly surrendered a single to Martinez and the Phils had their first two men on. Chase Utley, who's struggled mightily of late and has been terrible against lefties all year stroked a double into the left-center field gap, plating Rollins and Martinez to tie the score.

An inning later, the Phillies started a two out rally.

Ben Francisco's pinch hit single brought Rollins to the plate. J-Roll ripped a ball down the third base line that likely would have tied the game, had Aramis Ramirez not been guarding the line. Ramirez made a tremendous play to knock the ball down, but Rollins' infield single kept the inning alive.

Martinez followed with a bloop double down the right-field line that rattled around against the wall in the Phillies' bullpen. Reed Johnson bobbled the ball, which allowed Rollins to score behind Francisco, putting the Phillies up for good, 4-2.

Antonio Bastardo dominated once again, striking out the side in a one-two-three bottom of the ninth for his seventh save of the season.

It looked like once again, the Phillies' all-star rotation was struggling post all-star break. Cliff Lee started the game by allowing a double, a home run and a double to put the Phils in an early 2-0 hole. Fortunately, he settled down to pitch six innings, allowing those two runs on eight hits, no walks and six strikeouts.

Today is supposed to be another scorcher in Chicago. Hopefully Vance Worley doesn't suffer the same ill effects Roy Halladay did on Monday.

Fox Sports is reporting the Phillies and the Boston Red Sox are the most aggressive suitors for Carlos Beltran. The report states the Mets may not have to pay as much of Beltran's remaining $6 million salary this season as anticipated, because of the high interest from many teams. A prior report indicated the Mets may be willing to pay most or all of his remaining salary for a top prospect in return. Beltran will be a free agent, and would likely be a rental if acquired. While Beltran would look great in red pinstripes, hopefully they don't decimate the farm system for a rental player not quite of superstar stature any longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment