Jimmy, making it look easy. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Phillies offense came alive Tuesday night after being outscored 4-13 in the prior 3 games. The team beat Miami Marlins’ star prospect Andrew Heaney 7-4, who just didn’t look comfortable on the mound tonight.
However, the moment of primary importance in tonight’s ballgame happened in the 8th inning, with Tony Gwynn Jr.’s first plate appearance following his father’s passing:
It was a show of respect from a Philadelphia crowd that doesn’t typically receive notice for positive acts. Regardless of how the remainder of the season pans out, that’s one of best moments of the year. Additionally, Marlins’ catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia earns a lot of respect for walking to the mound to extend the ovation.
In terms of the game, Phillies’ scoring began early as Heaney’s erratic control put two runners on in the first. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley each stole third and second base, respectively, and advanced a further base on an errant throw (scoring Rollins). Marlon Byrd put an exclamation point on the inning with his 13th HR of the season.
Cody Asche would come through yet again, scoring both Howard and Byrd on a double, and he himself would eventually score on another wild pitch. In total, seven of the nine starting position players would have hits, lead by Jimmy Rollins who went 2 for 2 with a BB, a HBP, and 2 SB.
It was a very sloppy game for the Marlins, who allowed two eventual runs on-base by errors, and two others to score on wild pitches. However, the Phillies suffered from plenty of sloppiness on their own – Chase Utley had two horribly uncharacteristic pop-up drops, despite only being charged for one error.
Additionally, starting pitcher David Buchanan didn’t have his best command. In 5.0 IP, he allowed 6 H, 4 BB, and 2 ER (with only 2 K). He was helped out by his bullpen, who had a sterling night for the most part.
Mario Hollands has really looked effortless, and reliable of late, extending his scoreless streak to 15.2 IP. He’s actually held opponents scoreless in 25 of his 30 appearances this season. And speaking of effortless, Ken Giles blew away Marlins’ hitters in the 7th as well. His slider is looking a lot better than was advertised at the time of his promotion.
B.J. Rosenberg was the hiccup tonight, and just didn’t look comfortable in his Major League return. He was also the victim of the two-out, should-have-been error by Utley, that would have ended the inning. He fell apart after that, immediately allowing a HR to Garrett Jones, and a single to Ed Lucas.
It wasn’t pretty, or as decisive as it appears, but it was a win nonetheless.