The Phils took their second straight game from the visiting Bucs last night and before you say "of course", take a look at the standings in the NL Central. The Phils would like to have Pittsburgh's 38-35 record right about now.
Last night's heroes were a diverse group, but two guys get special mention in my part of the ether. Carlos Ruiz continued his torrid hitting, taking over the NL batting lead with a 3-5 night including what turned out to be the game-winning home run. What more can we say about Chooch? He does everything but drive the team bus. Indeed, he made what might have been a game saving tag for the third out in an inning in which the Pirates looked like they were going to take the lead.
That play brings us to our second hero of the evening, John Mayberry. Whether or not he is scuffling at the plate, Mayberry is one solid defender with a tremendously accurate arm. His throw nailed the aforementioned runner and probably saved the Phils' bacon. Mayberry should be in the starting lineup every day, no matter who's pitching. It won't happen, of course, because Charlie Manuel plays things strictly by the book, but last night's effort underscored how valuable Mayberry is. It's time to give him a full-time chance to sink or swim as a major league starting player.