Before Tuesday night’s 7-3 win over the Marlins in Miami, things certainly did not seem as though things were going to go well.
First, Chase Utley was scratched from the lineup with a rib cage issue. Second, the pitching match-up was not a favorable one for the Phils. Miami was sending young right-hander Jose Fernandez against the Phillies against AAA fodder Tyler Cloyd. The Phils offense had been unable to hit Fernandez in two previous starts against them…
…and Cloyd wasn’t exactly spectacular in his last start for Lehigh Valley…
…which of course could only mean one thing…
Sometimes I’m so freaking smart I don’t know what to do with myself.
May 21, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd (50) during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Phils came out on top of a pitching match-up in which they should have been beaten. It’s the 2013 Cole Hamels Corallary… or the 2012 Cliff Lee Corallary. Both are similar.
And while the Phillies didn’t exactly beat the pants off of Fernandez – 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 Ks, 1 BB – they knocked him out of the game early enough to finally take advantage of the Fish’s bullpen, scoring six runs in the final four innings.
That’s right, the Phillies scored runs last night. Seven of them. Actual, real, live runs that actually counted.
Meanwhile, Cloyd managed to corral a Marlins lineup that had outscored the Phillies 28-20 in the eight games in which they had played against each other heading into last night. His line – 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 5 Ks, 2 BB – was certainly good enough to beat a Marlins lineup that was without Giancarlo Stanton and featured some guy named Derek Deitrich as their #3 hitter.
Seriously, there’s really no excuse for anyone to EVER lose a game to the Marlins, right?
Despite indications that Ryan Howard was headed to the disabled list after a cortisone shot to his left knee, Howard returned to the lineup last night, and had an immediate impact. He went 3 for 5 with 2 runs, 3 RBI and no strikeouts. Every member of the starting lineup, except for Cloyd, had at least one hit, including Delmon Young, who hit his second homer of the season.
That homer will probably buy him another month.
Ben Revere continued his hot May, going 3 for 5 with two runs scored, while Dom Brown went 1 for 5 with 2 key RBIs.
You know, when the Phillies score runs, they look like a competent team. They actually are pretty fun to watch. All it takes, really, is four runs for the Phils to be a different ballclub.
Meanwhile, that sound you hear is Cole Hamels gently sobbing, rocking back and forth in the fetal position over there in the corner…
Someone give him a cookie, please.
Where It All Went Right
When Howard smacked a bases loaded double to right field, scoring two huge runs and giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead. Howard proved to a weary Phillies nation that yes, baseball players are allowed to get extra-base hits with runners in scoring position. It actually ADDS WAR points. Good note.
Howard, who returned to the lineup after getting a cortisone injection in his knee and delivered a huge game, something he hadn’t done it what seemed like weeks. Those 4 for 34 skids will do that every time.
Jose Fernandez, who again pitched pretty effectively against the Phils, although the Phillies made him work much harder the third time around. Still, we should all hate him.