Brilliant pitching and an offense that has gone into off-season hibernation too early. That’s the Phillies right now. They have scored three or fewer runs in seven straight games and yet, they are 4-3, because of the pitching.
KK, Cliff and the bullpen did a job on Thursday in taking two from the Marlins. Earlier in the season, Phillies also won a pair against them, the first time they have won two DH from one team in one season since 1983 (Montreal).
Cliff was one pitch away from a 1-0 victory when he hung an 0-2 cutter for a game-tying home run. Ryan Howard doubled in the winning run in the 10th, his first walk-off hit since 7/9/10.
The homer against Cliff broke a scoreless streak of 29 innings at Citizens Bank Park, where he is 11-2 with one more regular-season start. All-time best record at home belongs to Steve Carlton, 17-3, at the Vet in 1974.
DH was created by Irene rainouts in late August. During the first game Thursday, it did rain, prompting LA to quip, “Irene’s sister showed up.” Game time temp for the first game was 74; after the cold front came through, the temp for the start of the night game had dropped to 57.
Ibanez hit his 30th double, giving him 10 straight seasons reaching that number. Only other player to match him is Albert Pujols . . . Phillies have 51 wins at home, 9th time they have reached or topped 50, all since 1975 . . . Since Hunter joined the Phillies on July 30, they have had their “regular” starting lineup only three games . . . Cardinals start a four-game, four-day series on Friday night. Included is an 8:05 Sunday Night national telecast on ESPN . . . Scoring more than 3 runs, Phils are 68-11; three or less, 30-39.
Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley’s offense was in hibernation too, four singles, in losing 6-2 to Columbus. Clippers lead the best-of-5 series, 2-1, with the next game tonight in Columbus.
What changes would make in baseball? Question was posed to Phillies Alumni.
Greg Luzinski, (OF, 1970-80)
“Less replays because umpires calls are what make the game special. Keep divisions the same and no more wildcards as the season is long enough. Adding more wildcard teams would give someone you beat during the season a second chance. Play more games in your division and cancel inter-league play. Make the World Series very special by matching two leagues against each other. I guess I’m old school.”