Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Werth Steals Home in Phillies Win

Fans certainly got their money's worth in tonight's game, which was a rematch of last year's NLCS (albeit with the Dodgers missing a certain Manny Ramirez). While Manny awas absent, fans did get to see an entertaining Phillies win, primarily due to the play of a pair of ex-Dodgers.

Chan Ho Park followed up his tough loss to the Mets with another fine outing, allowing two runs over six innings and recording his first win of the season (and his first since July 1, 2008). Park was not dominant, allowing seven hits, but he got the job done, and left the game with a 4-2 lead.

That score held until the 7th inning when Werth, who played for the Dodgers in 2005 and 2006, singled to left field. He then proceeded to steal second base, then third, and then home, effectively turning his single into a home run. Not too shabby. He became the first Phillie to steal home since Carlos Ruiz in 2007, who did it as part of a double steal with PPB favorite Michael Borun. Werth had also stolen third in the 4th inning, so this gave him a total of four steals on the day; a career high. The four stolen bases also tied a franchise record for a single game, shared by Sherry Magee and Gary Maddox.

Of course the story coming into the game was the alteration in the lineup that had Jimmy Rollins batting fifth, in an attempt to get him out of his season-long funk. It's too early to tell if it worked, but Rollins did have a solid day at the plate, going 1 for 3 with an RBI single and a walk. Batting between Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez could be great for Rollins. With Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Werth, and Howard in front him, Rollins should be up with runners on much of the time, and with Ibanez behind him, he's sure to get more pitches to hit.

Hitting Werth third and Utley second could also pay dividends, as it breaks up the lefties in the lineup. It ought to look even better when Utley is on his game (unlike tonight when he went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts).

Meanwhile, Pedro Feliz had an interesting day with four walks in four plate appearances. (More on that)

The Phillies bullpen did its part to finish the game and Brad Lidge notched his fifth save of the year, despite giving up a run. He got the job done, but Lidge has been very poor so far this year, and one has to hope he gets his act together.

Regardless, the Phillies got a very entertaining win and were able to keep pace with the Mets in the race for the division. We'll see if Charlie Manuel sticks with this lineup, but so far, so good.

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