Thursday, September 18, 2008

Phils Happ-y to be in 1st

The Phils, behind early offense and the starting pitching of JA Happ, beat the Braves by a score of 6 - 1. The win allows the Phils to remain in first place in NL East, as the Mets also won (albeit they made it interesting on their fans, winning 9 - 7 over the Nationals).

The Phils jumped on a wild Jair Jurrjens early, scoring 4 runs in the 1st inning on run scoring singles from Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. Jayson Werth scored on a stolen base, and a throwing error from catcher Brian McCann.

Phils starter JA Happ, substituting for an ineffective Kyle Kendrick, made those 4 runs stand up, pitching 6 strong innings. He gave up only 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. All in all, a performance that should at least earn Happ one more start.

The bullpen held down the fort the rest of the way, and the Phils tacked on a couple of excuse me runs late, in the form of a Matt Stairs PH home run and a Pedro Feliz RBI single to round out the scoring.

The series concludes tonight with Cole Hamels going against Mike Hampton.


- Shane Victorino just wears the Braves out. He was 3 for 4 last night, and for the year, he's hitting .339, with 6 steals, and an OPS of 1.010.

- And by the way, Victorino was safe on that infield single he beat out in the 6th inning after taking a ball off of his thumb while at the plate. The ump got that one right, IMO.

- Has anyone heard Chris Wheeler mention that the Phillies don't have a lot of speed in their lineup? He's said this before, and I don't understand why he says it. Victorino, Rollins, Utley, and Jayson Werth can all run really well. The stolen base figures:

Rollins 43
Victorino 33
Werth 18
Utley 12

Three of these 4 players play "up the middle" and the fourth is a corner outfielder. Has anyone heard why Wheeler thinks the Phillies don't have a lot of speed? I'm not saying they are the '85 Cardinals, but they have as much speed as anyone and probably use it better than anyone, thanks to Davey Lopes' tutelage.

Photo: REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES)

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