The surprises just keep on coming.
Kyle Kendrick stepped in for an ailing Roy Oswalt and pitched five strong innings last night as the Phils topped the Braves 3-0. Who'd have thunk it were possible? And four successive relievers threw a shutout inning each as the Phils evened the weekend series at a game apiece going into today's finale. Cole Hamels gets the start today.
The Phils didn't exactly light up the Braves Julio Teheran, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, who was making his major league debut, also as a fill-in. They managed all of five hits. Normally, the Phils don't fare well against unknown hurlers and last night wasn't really any different; but they managed to score three runs including Ryan Howard's 260th, moving him past Del Ennis into second place all-time in the club's history. Mike Schmidt is more than comfortably ahead with 548 round-trippers.
Florida lost again as the Phils increased their lead to three full games over the second place Fish. The Phils also sport the best record in baseball.
The Phils continue to get good pitching and adequate hitting. Get used to it.
On another front, Chase Utley played baseball yesterday albeit not your conventional kind. He played in the field every other inning apparently and batted early and often. That he had five hits including two home runs is less important than he took the field at all. His return would be a huge boon to the woeful offense.