This was the game in this series that was going to feature offense. There was a rookie who was having trouble throwing strikes and a overpriced veteran that can’t get anyone out occupying the mounds respectively for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox. A 2-1 pitcher’s duel was exactly how everyone thought that this one was going to go right? Probably not.
Worley was really good tonight. It was a commonly held belief that the Red Sox would utilize their patient approach to grind the bemowhawked right hander into tiny bits of baseball player. Worley attacked the zone and worked ahead of the Red Sox hitters throughout his seven innings of work. He threw a career high amount of pitches (115) and his seven innings pitched was also a career high. He allowed one run on a double to opposing pitcher John Lackey and only walked two batters while striking out five. This is considerably better than even the most optimistic observer would have predicted for Worley.
John Lackey has been fucking horrible. He had the highest ERA in the major leagues coming into tonight’s game and has been nothing but a disappointment since his arrival in Boston via free agency. Traditionally, Lackey has had difficulty getting Raul Ibanez out. “But Tony,” you say. “This is merely a relic of them facing one another when Raul was more than a rotten shell of a baseball player.” Raul entered the conversation by telling you to shut up via a 3-3 day at the plate. He drove in both Phillie runs and proved that he can hit Lackey no matter how horrible he has looked of late. His eighth inning golf shot home run gave the Phillies the lead and made a winner out of Vance Worley.
Every pitcher that pitched in today’s game for the Phillies has been a Lehigh Valley Iron Pig this season. Worley, Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo are proving that they are all capable of performing in high leverage situations. Stutes entered the game in the eighth inning with the Phillies nursing a one run lead. He got a former MVP and the league’s leading hitter out to send the game to the ninth. Bastardo closed out the game retiring Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia consecutively for his third save. Bastardo is the oldest of the trio at 25. This is extremely encouraging.
The Phillies go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with Cole Hamels gunning for his tenth win. Fellow lefty John Lester is also aiming for his tenth win.