Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Domonic Brown Shines in Debut

We all knew this day would come sooner or later. Domonic Brown has been tearing up the minor leagues while his Major League counterparts have been struggling to score runs. We just didn't think he'd get to play alongside Jayson Werth, who supposedly had one foot out the door as the Phillies shopped the soon-to-be free agent. But with Shane Victorino's injury, Brown gets the call and Werth can rest assured that he's staying put for the rest of the year.

It could be argued that Brown should've been called up sooner. The Phillies offense could've used the help and he's been nothing short of dominant in both AA and AAA. His combined minor league numbers in 93 games this year consist of a .327 BA, .391 OBP, .589 SLG (combining for a .980 OPS), 20 HR, 68 RBI, and 17 SB. In other words, about as complete an offensive performance as you could ask for. But with the Phillies outfield returning three All-Stars, it was a tough sell to get him in the lineup, even with the struggles of Raul Ibanez.

But Victorino's trip to the DL opened up a lineup spot, so here we are. Brown made his debut tonight against Arizona's Edwin Jackson, batting sixth, behind Werth (the man he was supposed to replace). And give Brown this, he knows how to make an entrance. In his first Major League at-bat, he ripped an RBI double off the right field wall, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. He'd later hit a single and then a sacrifice fly. His line score was 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI. Not bad at all.

Meanwhile the Phillies are on quite the roll right now, having won a season-high seven in a row. Roy Halladay dominated once more, throwing his eighth complete game of the season as the Phillies cruised to a 7-1 win over the Diamondbacks. In case you're wondering, the last Phillie to throw 8 complete games in a season was (not surprisingly) Curt Schilling in 1999. One more complete game for Halladay and he'll be the first Phillie to throw 9+ complete games since...Schilling in 1998...who threw 15. Okay, so he's not catching Curt in that regard (though it is worth nothing that Schilling's ERA that year was 3.25, while Halladay's is 2.21), but it's still quite an impressive feat.

Tomorrow night the Phillies will look to extend their streak to eight games, as Kyle Kendrick faces off against Arizona's newly acquired Joe Saunders. We'll see how Brown fares against a left-handed pitcher. Whatever happens, the Phillies have to be pleased with what they're seen so far.

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