Thursday, July 21, 2011

Worley dominates, Rollins slugs Phils to series win

Vance Worley is quickly making a name for himself in the big leagues. Yet another dominant performance in the sweltering heat yesterday afternoon in Chicago led the way to a Phillies 9-1 victory, as they won their eighth consecutive series. Worley improved to 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA by tossing eight innings, allowing one run on four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

Worley has now made six consecutive starts going five or more innings and allowing one earned run or less in each start. The last Phillies starter to do that: Steve Carlton in 1972. Worley and Carlton are the only Phillies pitchers since since 1920 to accomplish such a feat. Since June 18, when Worley was recalled from the minors, no pitcher has a lower ERA.

Worley could cause a problem, albeit a good problem, for the Phillies' brass if and when Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton are set to return to the rotation. The team can't send this guy down, and he shouldn't be pitching out of the bullpen. In the meantime, hopefully Worley keeps pitching well and we can all enjoy the show.

The offense did a lot to back Worley and get him a lead from the start. Jimmy Rollins homered twice, once from each side of the plate for the second time in his career. Chase Utley drove in two runs, and chipping in an RBI were: Michael Martinez, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Brian Schneider.

The Phils scored two in the first, three in the second and one in each the third and fourth, chasing Ryan Dempster early. He lasted just three innings, allowing six run on seven hits, three walks and five strikeouts.

The bats put together a rather unlikely two-out rally in the second. After Domonic Brown and Schneider struck out, Worley was the only man standing between Dempster and a quick one-two-three inning. Worley responded by ripping his first career double into the right-center field gap. Rollins followed with a double down the right-field line. Martinez drove him in with an RBI single, stole second, and scored on Utley's double.

Martinez is lucky his ground-ball found its' way into center-field, otherwise he would have made a terrible mistake. Worley had just scored from second base on the scorching hot afternoon, and had just gotten back into the dugout. He hadn't even had a chance to sit down, when Martinez swung at the first pitch and hit it into center. Had Martinez hit a weak grounder to second, Worley would have had to take the mound immediately after running the bases. A veteran player like Utley would have taken a pitch if not more to give his pitcher time to rest. Someone must have pointed this out to Martinez, because next time it could come back to bite the Phillies' starter.

With a Braves loss, the Phils moved 4.5 games up in the NL East. The Phils are off today before opening a four-game set with San Diego, while the Braves will wrap up their series in Colorado at 3:10. Tommy Hanson is on the mound for Atlanta, while the Rockies will send Jhoulys Chacin to the hill.

No comments:

Post a Comment