The Philadelphia Phillies are on a winning streak. No, that’s not a typo. It’s only a two-game winning streak, but it’s a good sign after what has been a very tumultuous summer for the Phillies. Tonight’s first of four games between the Colorado Rockies and the Phillies featured two young pitchers facing off – Jeff Manship for the Rockies, and Ethan Martin for the Phillies. Martin would pitch a very strong and efficient six and 1/3 innings to earn the win against the Rockies, despite a shaky end for the Phillies bullpen.
The Phillies would jump out to a 5-0 lead by the fifth inning, which would effectively end Manship’s night. All of the Philadelphia runs crossed the plate in the fourth and fifth innings, with Cody Asche knocking in the first run on a fielder’s choice RBI. With Domonic Brown and Asche on base, John Mayberry Jr., who has struggled both in the field and at the plate this year, crushed a three-run home run, his ninth of the year, to put the Phillies in front 4-0. Carlos Ruiz would add a solo home run in the fifth.
Ethan Martin was quite efficient tonight, throwing just 72 pitches through six innings. However, he would run into some trouble in the top half of the seventh, allowing a long home run to Rockies’ All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. After walking another All-Star, Michael Cuddyer, who would steal second, Todd Helton would bring him home with a ground rule double. Martin would issue another walk and be pulled with a 5-2 lead.
Justin De Fratus would come in and shut down the Rockies to get out of the inning. This allowed Martin to finish the night with a strong six and 1/3 innings pitched, four hits, two runs, two walks, and six strikeouts. Tonight’s win goes down as the strongest outing of Ethan Martin’s young career.
With the Phillies bullpen responsible for the rest of the game, Luis Garcia would begin the top of the eighth. Garcia would load the bases before recording an out. He came back to strike Michael Cuddyer out, and then gave up a two run single to catcher Wilin Rosario, which would cut the Phillies lead to 5-4. Jake Diekman would be brought in to finish off the inning.
Diekman would strike out Todd Helton on three pitches, then would face Nolan Arenado. In an awkward twist, Diekman would be called for a balk, as he interrupted his windup after it appeared time had been called. However, time was never called, and runners were allowed to advance to second and third. Diekman, however, did not let this affect him, and put away Arenado away with a 99 mph fastball to end the inning in dramatic fashion.
The Phillies would not score in the top of the ninth, leaving it to Jonathan Papelbon, who was given his first save opportunity in nearly three weeks. Papelbon allowed a hit, but was able to pick off the baserunner, and would ultimately pick up the save to preserve Ethan Martin’s second major league win.
The Rockies, who have the third worst road record in the major leagues at 22-40, dropped to 58-68 on the season. The Phillies, who have won back to back games for the first time since the first game after the All-Star break, move to 55-69 on the year. The bullpen certainly made it interesting this evening, but the Phillies were able to salvage the win. Tyler Cloyd will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start tomorrow night’s game against Colorado lefty Jorge De La Rosa.
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