Monday, August 1, 2011

Rauuuuuuul plays hero for Phils

What a day for Raul Ibanez. The veteran has been heating up as of late, culminating with a terrific performance in yesterday's finale to give the Phils a series sweep.

After he'd already hit a solo shot to dead center-field in the second inning, Ibanez stepped to the dish in the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner aboard, two outs and the Phillies trailing 5-3.

Vance Worley had his worst start, in fact his only start that wasn't tremendous, since May 29 against the Mets.

Ryan Howard had just made a base running blunder. After a one-out double, Hunter Pence chopped a ball toward the hole in left. Shortstop Brandon Wood made a nice play to field the ball, but had no play on Pence for what would have been an infield single. The only problem: Howard tried to advance to third on a ball hit to his right; a big no-no. It was an aggressive play, trying to get to third with less than two-out, but it ended up hurting the Phils.

That is until Ibanez crushed a high fastball from Jose Veras into the left-field stands for a game tying, two-run home run, his second long ball of the day.

The game would go extra innings after Chase Utley failed to bring home the winning run from second in the bottom of the ninth.

In the bottom of the tenth, after Howard struck out, Pence lined a ball into the left-field corner for a one-out double. Ibanez stepped up and capped his huge day with a walk-off double into right-field, scoring an ecstatic Pence from second.

Antonio Bastardo picked up the win, he's now 4-0 with a 1.34 ERA. Ibanez's 3-for-5 day gives him 16 homers on the year and 59 RBI.

Worley lasted six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, no walks and seven strikeouts. He was dominant early, but got into some trouble in the middle innings. Still, Worley didn't pitch all that badly. His ERA rose to 2.33.

Brad Lidge allowed a run in one inning of work on one hit, one walk and one strikeout.

The Phillies will open up a series in Denver tonight against the Rockies. Colorado just traded ace Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians, and star out-fielder Carlos Gonzalez is currently on the disabled list. Cole Hamels (12-6, 2.61) will be on the mound for the Phils against Jhoulys Chacin (8-8, 3.50). The Phils faced Chacin on May 19, taking the loss and mustering just one run on four hits and one walk, with nine strikeouts against him. Game time is 8:40.

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