It looked like for the second straight game, the Phillies were going to waste an excellent pitching performance by one of their starters. But after a modest rally resulted in a run, all of a sudden the Phillies were the team winning a tight pitchers’ duel.
In his first start since being diagnosed with a hernia, A.J. Burnett was terrific for the Phillies. He gave up three hits in seven shutout innings, and most of the wildness that plagued him in starts earlier this season was gone. Burnett actually credited the injury for his improved performance. “It’s going to be a blessing in disguise,” Burnett said of the injury. “It helped me stay within myself, be simple, nice and easy.”
His performance was almost for naught, as for the second straight day the Phillies’ offense struggled to score runs. Braves’ starter Alex Wood matched Burnett for seven innings. The Phillies managed a few baserunners, but it seemed like as soon as they’d get a man aboard, he would be eliminated either via a double play or being caught stealing.
Finally, the Phillies broke through in the eighth. Dom Brown led off with a single, and after being sacrificed to third, he came home on Ben Revere‘s two out single.
After that, it was up to Jonathan Papelbon, who finished it off with a clean ninth for his fourth save. Since his meltdown against Texas in the opening week of the season, Papelbon has been excellent.
The win gives the Phillies some much needed momentum as they embark on a trip to the West Coast. A sweep at the hands of the Braves would have been disheartening after their excellent weekend series against the Marlins. And although only scoring one run isn’t going to cut it most games, it’s a much better feeling than getting shut out two straight games.
There are still some worries about the Phillies lack of offense the past two days, but that might have been the result of running into some good Atlanta pitching. If the offense continues to struggle this weekend in Colorado, then some concern is probably merited.
Tags: Philadelphia Phillies