The Philadelphia Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, the team with the best record in the National League. It was the Phillies first four-game sweep since they swept the Cincinnati Reds on the road in 2011.
The Phillies used a Jimmy Rollins spark in the eighth inning to bring 12 men to the plate and score seven runs. The rally started with Cameron Rupp’s doubt to right field. Manager Ryne Sandberg brought Cesar Hernandez to the plate for David Buchanan and Ben Revere ran for Rupp. Hernandez was able to draw the walk before Tony Gwynn Jr. grounded out and moved both runners up a base. With two outs, it looked like the Phils were going to miss a golden opportunity.
Then, all hell broke loose. Rollins singled to left, scoring Hernandez and Revere. Rollins followed that up by stealing second before Chase Utley walked. Ryan Howard’s ground rule double scored Rollins and moved Utley to third. Marlon Byrd was intentionally walked before Cody Asche added his own ground rule double, scoring Howard and Utley. Domonic Brown kept the show going with a single that scored Byrd and Asche. All told, 12 men came to the plate and seven of them scored a run.
Oh, yeah. The pitching in this game was, believe it or not, phenomenal. Before Jimmy singled with no one out in the seventh inning, Matt Garza had not allowed a hit. David Buchanan pitched seven solid innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, one walk, and five strikeouts. Antonio Bastardo and Jacob Diekman were able to close the game out with three combined strikeouts and allowing no hits over two innings. Garza wasn’t so lucky. After 7.2 innings, reliever Will Smith didn’t record an out while facing five batters, allowing three hits, two walks, and five earned runs. All told, the Brewers allowed nine runs on nine hits, five walks and three strikeouts.
Over the four game series, the Phillies outscored the Brewers 25-11. The Phils still have a run differential of -42 and sit 10 games below .500 and 9.5 games out of first place. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is still likely considering trades that will improve the Phillies over the next several seasons.
The final series before the All-Star break will see the Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park to face the National League East leading Washington Nationals. The series will likely prove more difficult than the last as the Phillies will face Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, and Tanner Roark. The Phils will counter with A.J. Burnett, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Kendrick.
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