Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Polly gives Phils split, Braves next, Phils searching Waivers?

The Phillies salvaged a split in their four-game series with the Cubs with a 6-4 victory last night. Placido Polanco, who is starting to come out of his early season slump was the hero, hit a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth to break a 4-4 tie. It was the first time the Phils won a game on their final at bat all season. Jonathan Papelbon picked up his eighth save of the season in as many opportunities, working around a lead-off walk.

Vance Worley pitched another great game, allowing one run on five hits, two walks and five strikeouts over seven innings. He excited with a 4-1 lead, but Chad Qualls blew the lead on Bryan LaHair's game tying dinger. Despite the blown save, Qualls picked up his first win of the season, thanks to Polly. Polanco was batting just .196 on April 24. His average spiked to .254 on April 27. He's currently batting .250; rather unimpressive overall but he has seven hits in his last four games.

The Phillies open a big series with Atlanta tonight. Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.73) takes the hill against Brandon Beachy (2-1, 1.05). Hamels is 11-6 in his career against the Braves with a 3.72 ERA with 132 strikeouts in 142.2 innings. Beachy, who is off to a tremendous start this season, going at least seven innings in three straight starts is 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA against the Phils in his career.

There are a few interesting options on the waiver wire for the Phillies and their struggling offense. This name will conjure up some bad memories for Phillies' fans and some good ones for others, but Bobby Abreu was released by the Angels. He may not be the player he used to be, but he is still an on-base guy who can take a walk; something the team is lacking. Third baseman Jorge Cantu opted out of his minor league contract, making him a free agent. He was batting .294 with four home runs and 22 RBI in Triple-A. He's not the defensive player Polanco is, but he certainly has a lot more pop. He'd be an interesting option to make some starts at third, at a discounted price. Ruben Amaro Jr. is certain to be looking into these players. It will be interesting to see if he makes a push for one.

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