With Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins on the bench, the Phils were hoping for some help from their role players tonight against the Dodgers. Chase's much maligned fill-in may have helped uncork the bats...
Michael Martinez tripled with two outs in the fifth, good for just the Phillies' second hit of the evening. That was followed up by Cole Hamels putting in a professional at bat, working a walk that seemed to fluster Hiroki Kuroda, who was then very erratic in delivering to Shane Victorino, including throwing a wild pitch that Martinez somehow didn't score on from third.
With the bases loaded after Shane was given the free pass, Dom Brown worked a full count that breathed some much needed life into Citizens Bank Park and brought the fans to their feet. They were begging for an onslaught of runs. The blue seats were quickly depressed though, as Brown popped out weakly to left to end the threat. Another frustrating night for the offense seemed in order.
But in the following inning, Ryan Howard shut up his haters -- at least for a moment -- by catching a Kuroda fastball on the sweet spot and depositing it into the first row in right center.
Cole Hamels was incredibly thankful for this one run of support and it proved to be all he would need as the lefty was dealing. Cole's final line: 8.0 innings, 6 hits, 9 Ks, 0 runs. Even when he got in trouble in later frames, he was able to deal his way out of it.
XBHs Can Still Happen
Martinez's extra-base hit seemed to wake the bats a bit. After notching only seven extra-base hits in the last seven days, the Phillies had four tonight, with Shane Victorino's triple in the bottom of the seventh leading to a second (!) run. While Martinez had a gaffe on third in the sixth, Vic showed off some nice baserunning the following inning when he scored on a Dom Brown fielder's choice hit to the first baseman. Heady, brah. After Howard's homer, Raul Ibanez mashed a double that helped expedite Kuroda's departure.
Yep we're celebrating a pair of runs.
Finally, Ryan Madson maintained his perfect save percentage by notching his fourteenth of the season, capping another Phillies series win.