Perhaps Lou Brown said it best…
Red hot Phillies are 2-0 in their last 2 games, dating back to August 18th
— RAD GOGGLES DOG (@Phylan) August 20, 2013
Consider yourselves now properly inspired.
Last night, the Phils held off a late Colorado rally to beat the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park, 5-4. A trio of young pitchers, starter Ethan Martin, and relievers Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman, all had wonderful nights, and closer Jonathan Papelbon gave up a hit in the ninth but otherwise managed to peacefully close out the win.
(By the way, raise your hand if you realized Papelbon’s ERA was still a very good 2.64. Even with diminished velocity, he has 21 saves and a very good ERA. OK, let’s all go back to hating him again. It’s way more fun.)
Martin cruised through six innings of two-hit, shutout ball, but then ran into problems in the seventh, giving up a homer to Troy Tulowitzki, a walk, a fly out, a double and another walk, before being taken out. It continued a trend for the young right-hander…
Ethan Martin in innings 1-3: 17 K, 1 BB. Ethan Martin in innings 4-7: 5 K, 9 BB.
— Matt Gelb (@magelb) August 20, 2013
Opp. hitters v. Ethan Martin first time through the order this year: 5/34, 14 K, 1 BB, 1 XBH. After that: 13/36, 7 K, 7 BB, 7 XBH
It’s understandable why most people think his future is in the bullpen and as a potential closer.
However, Monday night was a definite step forward for the aspiring starter. It was the most effective he’d been that deep into a game, and the youngster is showing encouraging progress, even if the final results aren’t there just yet.
As for the bullpen, De Fratus and Diekman both shined. De Fratus came in for Martin in the seventh and, in one of the more shocking turn of events in 2013, ACTUALLY STRANDED TWO BASERUNNERS. I didn’t know relief pitchers were allowed to do that!
Then in the eighth inning, Luis Garcia came into the game and promptly gave up two runs while only recording one out. He was taken out in favor of Diekman who, with two on and one out, ALSO STRANDED TWO BASERUNNERS, getting the final out on a freaking 99 mile per hour fastball, striking out Nolan Arenado.
It was some pretty impressive stuff from two young guys who have all the stuff and potential in the world. They just have to throw effective strikes.
Offensively, the Phils got homers from John Mayberry and Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz has been on fire lately, collecting two hits last night after a four-hit game the night before. Suddenly, Chooch’s batting average is up to .270, and he’s hitting .323 since August 8th.
“Hi, John Mozeliak? Yeah, this is Ruben. Listen, you guys suck without Yadier Molina. Feel like talkin’?
On Tuesday, the Phillies will try to make their recent win-blitz an official winning streak when Tyler Cloyd takes the mound for the Phils.
Well, two wins in a row was nice, anyway!