Sunday, July 27, 2008

Phillies Hit Five Homers in Comeback

After a short outing from Joe Blanton, a two hour rain delay, and a rocky outing from Adam Eaton, the Phillies had two five-run innings and five home runs and rallied to a 12-10 win, continuing their success over the Atlanta Braves.

Joe Blanton allowed two runs in the first inning, but settled down for a 1-2-3 second inning. However, after a two hour rain delay Blanton was lifted for Adam Eaton. Eaton proved why the Phillies had to trade for Blanton by allowing three runs on two home runs in two innings of work. In the bottom of the fourth, the home run parade started with a two-run shot by Chris Coste followed by a Shane Victorino three-run shot to tie the game. Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero shut down the Braves while the Phils scored six more runs including home runs from Pat Burrell, Jayson Werth, and Jimmy Rollins. Rudy Seanez allowed the Braves to come within three runs, partly due to a mistimed dive by Jayson Werth, and Ryan Madson allowed an RBI double to put the Braves within two. But Brad Lidge kept his perfect save record alive and clinched yet another series against the Braves, who have beaten the Phillies only twice in 2008.

Before last night, the Phillies hadn't scored 10+ runs since May. To see them do it two nights in a row is encouraging, especially with a home run from Jimmy Rollins. The 1 through 4 hitters in the lineup each had two hits, and every spot in the lineup had at least 1 RBI except for Eric Bruntlett, starting again for Pedro Feliz, and Chase Utley. (The suddenly useful So Taguchi drove in a run for the 9 spot.) It's hard to know from his first two outings what to expect from Joe Blanton for the remainder of the season. The two-run first was discouraging, but he recovered in the second. We already knew what to expect from Adam Eaton. But the Phillies' ability to rally was a big reason they were successful last year, especially in the second half.

Also worth noting was the beating Atlanta catcher Brian McCann took. McCann was 1 for 2 in plays at the plate. The first was with Chase Utley, who was thrown out, and the second was a literal head to head collision with Shane Victorino, who was safe but briefly knocked out McCann before he was able to get up and led off the field by the Braves head trainer.

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