Sure he’s adorable, he does a really good job handling the pitchers and he’s a solid defensive catcher, but we can never really expect lofty numbers from the erstwhile backstop known as Chooch. Okay, maybe we can amend that to include some clutch postseason hits. Apparently this season has transformed Carlos Ruiz into Carlton Fisk. Chooch hit a go ahead home run in the top of the eighth to give the chance to hang on for dear life to a one run lead before a bunch of random dudes got some hits off some other random dudes and made this one a laugher.
Vance Worley’s arm is hurt. This means that Kyle Kendrick will get yet another chance to slot into the rotation in an attempt to make us all find out where he lives and kill his cats. I mentioned yesterday in my recap that Kyle would surely do fine if the wind was blowing in, good thing for all of us, it was. Kendrick only allowed three hits in six innings and generally didn’t look like the worst pitcher in baseball. It started out bad. Whenever a pitcher gives up a laser beam of a double to the lead off man, it looks like it could be a pretty short day for said below average hurler. Miraculously Kyle buckled down and got out of the first unscathed. The only real damage that the Cubs inflicted was off of the almost cartoonishly oversized bat of Afonso Soriano, who smashed a home run directly after a ball that literally hit Juan Pierre in the mitt and fell to the earth. All in all, this was a tremendously successful start for Kyle, making me believe that the Phillies should invest in high powered fans to blow in during all of his starts to allow mistakes without consequence.
Matt Garza looked like he could have legitimately no hit the Phillies during his last start against them in Citizen’s bank park. Today, not so much. Although he didn’t figure in the decision, the Phillies got his pitch count up a little more and managed to get to him for two runs in 6 2/3 innings of work. Last start he struck out ten batters, this one he struck out two. Mostly I don’t think I like Garza because he looks like a jerk. However, I really enjoy watching him to attempt to field bunts. Juan Pierre made him look absolutely ridiculous on a couple of bunt attempts today. These may be my favorite plays of the year thus far.
Freddy Galvis has looked pretty good lately. Today he plated the first run of the game with an RBI double off of Garza and later he added a lead off variety to start the Phil’s ninth inning rally. It is still really nice to watch Chase Utley do anything related to baseball, but if Freddy can keep not being terrible, it will certainly lessen the blow.
This one was a pretty tight fisted affair into the ninth inning, with the Phils staggering around with a one run lead on the strength of Chooch’s mighty clout. Papelbon started to loosen up with the expectation that the Phillies’ offense would falter, leaving little to no margin for error. Bullpen ineptness, coupled with a two run single from Ty Wigginton and the first career grand slam for Hector Luna put this one out of reach, thus allowing Papelbon to take a seat. 9-2 win and a .500 record.
The offense showed up, the bullpen showed up and all the guys that have played in Lehigh recently got to play. The Phillies go for their second mini sweep and fifth consecutive win with Roy Halladay being opposed by human gas can Chris Volstad.