Phillies Win as Odds Catch Up to O’s
By Matt Veasey
There’s an old saying in sports that goes something like “ya can’t win ’em all”, and thankfully for the Phillies, the reverse is also true: you can’t lose ’em all. At least not in baseball, where over the course of 162 games, even the worst teams of all-time have won more than 1/3 of their games.
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The 2015 Phillies may indeed prove to be one of the worst teams of all-time in Major League Baseball. And today the Baltimore Orioles found out that even those worst teams do indeed win, given enough chances. The Orioles won the first three games of the four-game home-and-home series, but the odds caught up with them today, and they have to settle for taking 3 of 4.
The Phils didn’t do much offensively, as usual. They mustered just 5 hits against Orioles starter Bud Norris, and then were shutout by a pair of relievers. But one of those hits against Norris was a big one, a 2-out, 2-strike, line drive homerun to dead centerfield by Ryan Howard that put the Phillies on top 2-1, providing the winning margin.
The Orioles had jumped on top against Phils starter Sean O’Sullivan when Manny Machado led off the O’s half of the first inning with a homerun for the second time in the series, his 14th round-tripper of the season. He had done the same in Tuesday’s romp in Baltimore.
But after that, O’Sullivan settled down and allowed just 3 more hits over 5 innings, striking out 7 and walking 2 batters. He was followed to the mound by a parade of relievers, all of whom tossed shutout innings. Jake Diekman (1-1) went first, and would earn the win in his first game back from the minors. Luis Garcia and Ken Giles preserved the narrow 2-1 lead into the 9th, where Jonathan Papelbon nailed it down with his 13th Save.
The victory certainly does nothing to change the basics about the dismal nature of this season for the Phillies. Trade rumors continue to swirl around a half-dozen players or more. Speculation about the job security of both manager Ryne Sandberg and GM Ruben Amaro also runs rampant. All this negativity, and still more than half a season to play.
So the Orioles had to settle for a .750 winning percentage in this series, and the Phillies brought their 9-game losing streak to an end thanks to a strong day from their pitchers. Over the course of 162 games, this is sure to happen at least 20-30 more times. Just don’t get to used to the feeling.