A big chunk of the United States is suffering through a horrific heatwave making going out to get the mail a tenuous proposition. Roy Halladay was just lifted from a start due to heat exhaustion during a night game. Nighttime is supposed to be the time of day when the suns absence causes the temperature to drop slightly. Apparently that is not happening right now. Today’s game time temperatures were approaching triple digits as the Phillies and Cubs took the field.
The Phillies have struggled against the last two starting pitchers that the Cubs utilized in this series. Captain average Rodrigo Lopez and Matt Garza essentially shut the offense down. Ryan Dempster has overcome a mind numbingly awful April to raise his record this season to 7-6. The Phillies knocked the living hell out of the Cubs right hander to the tune of six earned runs in three innings of work. Dempster gave up two runs in the first thanks to a dropped pop up from Starlin Castro and a excuse me single into left from Ryan Howard. His outing degenerated from there. One positive affect from the scorching weather was the fact that it limited the amount of fit throwing from the ever volatile Cubs pitching staff.
I am not sure what to make of Vance Worley up to this point in the season. The big right hander continues to pitcher extremely effectively without “blow you away” stuff. When you see Braves left hander Johnny Venters throw a slider, it is evident why the guy is difficult to hit. Worley is aggressive and has done a good job of attacking the zone since his demotion to AAA, but he really does not posses an impressive out pitch. He threw a career high eight innings allowing only four hits and one run. He battled through the oppressive heat and lowered his ERA to a paltry 2.02 notching his sixth victory of the year. At this point, everyone has completely forgotten about poor Joe Blanton.
It seems that scoring four runs in the final two innings of last night’s comeback has sparked the Phillies offense. They got to the Cub hurlers for twelve hits and nine runs today. Jimmy Rollins hit a home run from each side of the plate accomplishing the feat for the first time since 2006. Steve Jeltz was mentioned as one of the few Phillies that have done this. Remember his hair?
Fantastic. Other offensive stalwarts were Chase Ultey and Michael Martinez who each collected two hits. I am still reeling from the mention of Steve Jeltz. Good thing there is an off day.
The Phillies return home on Friday as Cole Hamels looks to get back on track versus Cory Luebke and the San Diego Padres.