Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pitching And Hitting

Two kinds of pitchers give the Phillies fits: good ones and unfamiliar ones. Mike Pelfrey is neither.

The Phils crushed the Mets last night, 10-3, behind emergency starter Vance Worley, who pitched six strong innings. In the process they chased Pelfrey after 4.1 innings, getting eight of their ten hits for the game and four runs.

The Phils carried a shutout into the ninth inning when David Herndon yielded two home runs to account for all the Mets' runs. Over his last few appearances Herndon has shown the world why he was a Rule 5 player and doesn't belong on a major league roster. The Phils carried him on the roster last year for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the rule that would have forced them to return Herndon to his original club if he did not stick on the major league roster. This year there are no such excuses. The Phils may be undermanned in the middle of their bullpen, but Herndon's batting practice presence isn't going to solve the problem.

Worley, on the other hand, showed why he does belong. The young right-hander was filling in for Joe Blanton, who suddenly went on the Disabled List with an elbow impingement. Blanton was probably feeling slightly left out in the Phillies injury parade and wanted to make an appearance on the DL to show he belongs.

Worley pitched well, yielding two hits, walking four and striking out five thanks to mixing speeds well and a slightly generous strike zone at times. To cap off his evening, Worley also flared his first major league hit.

The batting heroes of the night were Ryan Howard, who belted two home runs including a grand slam for six rbi's and Placido Polanco, who set a new team record with his 39th hit in the month of April. He has one more game to add to his new record, which he previously shared with Chase Utley. Howard took over the league lead in rbi's with his evening's work. He struck out later, again with the bases jammed, losing a chance to add to his total. Oh, well, we shouldn't be greedy just because the offense is starting to show a little fight. Ben Francisco also had two hits and two rbi's for the evening, quietly raising his average to .272 and his rbi total to 18.

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