Father’s Day Gift from Phillies

St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies salvaged the finale of a long homestand with a big 9-2 victory over the Saint Louis Cardinals on a sunny, breezy Father’s Day afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

This was probably the one game during this series that, at the very beginning, almost everyone penciled in as a victory for the visitors. After all, the Phils were starting lefty Adam Morgan in his first-ever MLB appearance. Meanwhile, the Cards were going with their young ace, Michael Wacha.

If the pitching matchup alone didn’t appear to be a mismatch, all one had to do was check the results of the last two nights, when Saint Louis crushed the Phils by a combined score of 22-5.

Turns out that, for one of the very few times in this entire season, the Phillies brought their collective bats to the yard. They whacked Wacha (9-3) around for 8 hits and 5 earned runs over his 5 innings, then scored off each of the next two relievers that Cards’ skipper Mike Matheny paraded to the mound.

Meanwhile, the rookie Morgan (1-0) was keeping his team in the ballgame with a workmanlike effort. He allowed 6 hits and 2 walks over 5.2 innings, throwing 54 strikes in his 78 pitches. Thus the men 15 and over in attendance not only received the expected gift of a 1960’s-era Phillies cap, but also a somewhat unexpected gift of victory.

Those suddenly active Phillies bats gave the kid pitcher some early breathing room, scoring three times in the bottom of the 2nd off Wacha. Domonic Brown and Cody Asche began the frame with back-to-back doubles to make it 1-0. Later in the inning, with two out and the bases jammed, Cesar Hernandez came through with a 2-run single to make it 3-0.

In the top of the 4th, Jhonny Peralta led off with his 11th homerun, a solo shot to make it a 3-1 game. Then in the bottom of the 5th, the Phils got two more from a Maikel Franco RBI double followed by an RBI single by Ryan Howard that brought Franco home.

With two outs in the 6th, Odubel Herrera created another run with his speed. He beat out a single, stole 2nd, and then scored on a base hit by Ben Revere, making it a 6-1 Phillies lead. With one out in the 7th, Andres Blanco drove a 3-run homer to right-center off Matt Belisle, putting the nail in the coffin and making the score 9-1.

Leading off the top of the 9th, Jason Heyward took Phils closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was on to get some work and audition for scouts, deep to left field for his 7th homerun of the season. That closed the scoring out at the 9-2 final.

The Phillies will now move up to the Bronx, traveling to new Yankee Stadium for a 3-game set with the New York Yankees beginning on Monday night. The club then has Thursday off before returning home to host Washington and Milwaukee for a 7-game home stand.