The Philadelphia Phillies have won five games in a row with two remaining until the All-Star break. Make no mistake about it – they caught a break when Washington National’s starter Jordan Zimmerman (6-5) started showing signs that something was wrong in the third inning. Zimmerman clearly wasn’t 100% throughout the entire game today.
The other guys who took the mound today were definitely on their game. A.J. Burnett (6-8) got the start for the Phillies. He was able to pitch 7.2 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, four walks and striking out six. Ken Giles finished off the ballgame, allowing only one hit and striking out one batter. As trade rumors surrounding Jonathan Papelbon escalate, Giles is showing that the has the stuff to take over the closing job if Pap leaves. In 14 inning this season, Giles has 18 strikeouts, three walks, seven hits, and only one earned run. His 0.71 WHIP and 0.64 ERA are as young as he is, but there’s no reason to think he can’t handle the closer job after completing the game tonight.
The Phillies had a bit of a confusing night at the plate. For once, let’s lead with the bad instead of harping on it later. The Phillies struck out 10 times and only walked once. You can’t win five games in a row like that and hope to keep the streak alive. However, they strung six runs together on 10 hits. Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown were the catalyst for the game. Rollins homered twice and drove in three runs while Brown had a double, a walk and two RBIs. Catcher Cameron Rupp drove in the other run of the night with a double in the sixth inning.
Perhaps the most puzzling events of the evening surround the outfield. Grady Sizemore was obviously going to see some playing time throughout this series. The safe bet was on Sizemore, Ben Revere, and Marlon Byrd in the outfield. Sizemore can play left field and Revere has been on a roll, collecting 12 hits in his last 10 games. Yes, Revere is on the day-to-day list with a sore ankle, but he hasn’t played in two games – with the exception of pinch running and hitting in the big eighth inning last night. Manager Ryne Sandberg assured fans that Revere has not lost his job in center, but was just resting the sore ankle. Time will tell if Sandberg is sure about that and if the ankle is worse than we thought it was.
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