The Phillies really hate making things easy for themselves. The club banged out 16 hits on the night, led by Ben Revere (4-6), but could only muster 3 runs. Thankfully, that was enough to ear them the win, and put this long losing streak behind them.
Despite all the hits, Cliff Lee was the star of the game. So what else is new. He tossed seven innings, giving up two runs and striking out 6. He nailed down his eight win of year, by far the most on the team, and probably enough to lock down an all-star spot as well. No knock against Cole Hamels, but Lee is the unquestioned ace of this years team. If for no other reason than his ability to stop the bleeding from an ugly 5-game losing streak.
Lee’s stellar performance was almost wasted. Entering the eight inning the Phils weren’t short on base runners, but found themselves trailing 2-1. Michael Young had the biggest hit of the night, singling in Kevin Frandsen just a half inning after the Twins took the lead. J-Roll followed that up with a slow roller to first base, drawing a throw home from Justin Morneau just a hair too late to catch the speedy Revere coming home and scoring the go-ahead run.
From there it was just as the team drew it up in the off-season. Mike Adams pitched a scoreless eight, followed by a perfect ninth inning from Jonathan Papelbon. A win is nice no matter how it looks, but this one was full of hope, grief, disappointment, euphoria and everything in between. The 3-2 win against a struggling Twins team doesn’t change the Phillies fate, but a win is a win is a win.
Ben Revere continued his hot hitting in the series, going 4-6 with a triple and 2 runs scored. Playing his old club woke up something in the young center fielder, which will hopefully carry over into the future. He’s raised his average to .266, but still has a paltry .306 OBP.
Humberto Quintero did his best to remind fans that he’s no Erik Kratz. He was 0-3 with 3 K’s, killing multiple opportunities to add to the lead. Amongst all that ails the Phillies, Kratz’s injury is the icing on the disabled cake. Not only did the pitching staff feel comfortable with him behind the plate, but he was starting to really drive the ball (he slugged 8 homers!). On the bright side Chooch may only be a week away from re-joining the big club.
Come back Chooch come back!!!
At the end of the night the Phillies are still staring up at the Nats and Braves in the standings, and will face a pesky Rockies team over the weekend before coming home. With plenty to complain about, it’s important to stop and enjoy it when things break the Phillies way. After all, these wins could be fewer and far between.