Ah the doubleheader. I think that my favorite part of the doubleheader is getting to listen to the early game on the radio. Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke are really good/borderline great broadcasters while Chris Wheeler and Tom McCarthy show up for work on time. I like Sarge, mostly because he is absolutely ridiculous. It also makes me feel considerably better when my favorite team wins both games of said doubleheader as I get to run the gamut of Phillies baseball announcers.
Game one featured the same offense that showed up in Houston. The Phillies scored two early runs off of Marlin’s starter Anibal Sanchez and proceeded to fall asleep for the remainder of the afternoon. This proposition becomes considerably more treacherous when new father Kyle Kendrick is asked to protect said small lead. Despite all the jokes, Kendrick has been more than competent this season. After not pitching for the last month, he responded by going five innings and limiting the Marlins to one run on a Logan Morrison homer. He even struck out six people. He now is tied with Roy Oswalt with eight victories.
The bullpen made this one pretty interesting as Antonio Bastardo’s struggles are becoming a little more worrisome. Charlie Manual turned to the equally worrisome Brad Lidge who managed to wiggle free of trouble thanks to a great outfield assist from Raul Ibanez. That is the first time that I ever expect to write anything positive about Raul’s ability to throw the ball. After Bastardo allowed two of the three batters he faced to reach base in the top of the eighth inning, Lidge allowed a single to Gaby Sanchez at which point Raul threw Omar Infante out at the plate. Lidge worked out of the inning and the Phillies handed the ball to Ryan Madson to close out the 3-1 win. He allowed the first two batters to face, but earned his 31st save without allowing the Marlins to score.
In game two, the temperature fell to near October levels and both teams struggled to put runs on the board. There were several hard hit balls that were knocked down by the San Francisco-esque breezes howling in from left field. John Mayberry Jr. hit a low line drive home run off of Alex Sanabia to start the scoring. Neither team generated any offense until the bottom of the ninth.
Cliff Lee was on tonight. He had a four hitter going entering the ninth inning and had random player Jose Lopez down 0-2 with two outs in the inning. Lopez hit a game tying solo home run and ruined Cliff’s chance at another shut out. Lee was absolutely fantastic striking out twelve and only allowing five hits. It is an absolute shame that Cliff was handed a no decision tonight, but at least we can all take solace in the fact that he did not get a loss.
In extra innings, after Michael Schwimmer pitched a perfect tenth, the Marlin’s turned to Burke Badenhop to extend the game. He walked Michael Martinez on four pitches setting the table for Ryan Howard. Howard responded by winning the game with a double into the gap in left center. Wind be damned as Ryan smashed the living crap out of a fastball and cut the Phillies’ magic number to two.
Tomorrow, Vance Worley attempts to start another winning streak against Jamie Garcia and the streaking Cardinals. Whenever the Philies face the Cardianls, all I can think about is how terrible Tony LaRussa is. Here’s to a few days of thinking about Tony.