What does a team missing its two best offensive players need? A series with another team missing its two guys that know how to hit a baseball. Enter the Colorado Rockies, who suck considerably worse than the Phillies do and they happen to be sans Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. They have struggled pretty considerably on the mound prompting a switch to a four man rotation with the pitchers throwing about 75 pitches a start. Apparently it is not going well in Colorado.
Roy Oswalt has yet to pitch in the major leagues this season. Cliff Lee has nary a win and Roy Halladay is on the shelf with a broken shoulder. Out of last year’s much ballyhooed four aces, only Cole Hamels has been healthy/effective this season. Cole took on the Rockies in an attempt to earn his tenth win this season. He allowed a run in the first inning on a Tyler Colvin single in the first inning. When a struggling team has its best pitcher on the mound and it appears that another struggling team it going to score a bunch of runs it is reasonably upsetting. Luckily, Cole Hamels settled down and managed to throw eight innings of two run ball.
The offense had the pleasure of going up against the personification of abject failure that is the Colorado pitching staff. Former Phillie farmhand and terrible major league pitcher Josh Outman started for the Rockies. After Jimmy Rollins lead off the bottom of the first with a rocket of a double, the Phillies managed to leave him stranded on third. It looked like the notably ineffective Outman was going to manage to be effective. Eventually, the Phillies got to Outman on the strength of a two run home run from John Mayberry Jr. In all, they tagged him for four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
If you are going to have your starting pitchers throw 75 pitches in a game, you damn well better have a competent bullpen. They don’t. The bullpen let the Phillies open up their lead to 7-2. Of course the big statement was made with a two run homer from Carlos Ruiz off of Adan Ottavino. Ruiz has tied his career high for home runs. It is June.
When a team isn’t very good, they do stuff to lose games. Look at all the crap that the Phillies have been doing lately. The Rockies obliged by running themselves out of a two out rally in the top of the sixth. Todd Helton walked, Jordan Pacheco singled on a broken bat blooper to center and Chris Nelson tried to get to second on a single and was thrown out at second by Shane Victorino. It is really nice to watch another team screw up.
The moment that victory seemed more likely than not was Mayberry’s home run. He has actually looked half decent at the plate as of late. It surley helped today that he was facing a crappy left handed pitcher.
The most attractive play of the game was actually a series of plays. After a shaky start, Cole Hamels got five straight guys on strikes.
The hero of the game was Cole Hamels. Eight innings, two runs and no break down late in the game. He is now a ten game winner and has become the ace of the staff.
The villain of the game was Tyler Colvin. A RBI single in the first inning scared the crap out of all of us. Luckily it was short lived.
Tomorrow we all hope that Joe Blanton looks like the good Joe Blanton we were privy to last start. It sure would be nice to get closer to .500.