The Phillies played four games in less than forty eight hours and then jumped on a plane to Seattle. Once they arrived in the emerald city to play baseball, they were matched up with twenty two year old fireballer Michael Pineda. West coast games are hard to watch. At least when the Phillies play against the Dodgers we get to hear Vin Scully, watch them tee off on Broxton, or point and laugh at Vicente Padilla. In Seattle? We get to watch Ichiro. I would like him considerably more if he did not just have a fantastic game scoring three of the four Mariner runs. How the hell does he hit the ball bailing like that?
Pineda took advantage of a sleepy Phils offense, holding them hitless into the sixth inning. The six foot seven inch right hander throws in the upper nineties with a plus slider and a passable change up. His raw stuff coupled with the fact that Safeco field is freaking gigantic has made him the early favorite for rookie of the year in the American League. Mistakes from the pitcher turn into flyouts in Seattle and the Phillies were more than happy to keep the majority of Pineda’s offerings in the air. In the sixth inning, the Phils offense loaded the bases on Pineda, but only scratched across one run as the threat was ended with a strikeout from Placido Polanco.
Roy Oswalt pitched for the Phillies, allowing four runs on eight hits in his six and 1/3 innings of work. As has been the case lately, Oswalt was not terrible, but still did not look like himself. He is still having a problems missing bats and his fastball velocity is still under what we are used to, but I still think it is a little early to write little Roy off. It is easy to forget how good this guy has been for the last decade, especially with the bevy of fantastic starting pitching present on this team. Oswalt will be fine. Look for him to come on strong down the stretch. It would also be nice to see the offense bail him out like they did against the Cubs, but it was not to be tonight. He was done in by a big night from Ichiro (3-4 with three runs scored) and a solo homer from Miguel Olivo.
Shane Victorino stayed hot as he went 2-4 (single and homer) and Chase Utley added an RBI single as he continues to hit the ball hard.
Tomorrow the Phillies don’t get too much of a break as they face last year’s Cy Young award winner in Felix Hernandez. With a staff full of aces, Felix misses all the big names and is opposed by Vance Worley.