Without Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, the Phillies continue to collect victories with help from the bullpen and unexpected sources.
Summary: The Phils were led by Chris Coste, who finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Getting his first Major League start, Brad Harman contributed an RBI double. Jayson Werth continued to impress with a 2-for-4 night with two RBIs and a pair of runs. Chase Utley filled in for Ryan Howard at first base. The Phils were able to put up enough runs to cancel out a poor start by Adam Eaton, who allowed all three of his runs in the fourth inning and clearly didn’t bring his A-game to PNC Park. Chad Durbin was charged with two runs in 2 1-3 innings, but once again, the red-hot troika of Tom Gordon, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge combined for three shutout frames to preserve the fifth win in six tries for the 13-11 Phightins.
Beerleaguer: Charlie Manuel must continue to ride these hot bats, although Ryan Howard should be given a chance against right-handed stiff Matt Morris tonight, and so should Greg Dobbs instead of Pedro Feliz at third, and Coste instead of Carlos Ruiz behind the plate.
It’s a shame the bullpen A-listers needed to be used; the B-list, anchored capably by Rudy Seanez and Ryan Madson, will probably be summoned tonight for Kyle Kendrick’s start. As for Eaton, the Phils have little choice but to stick it out and hope someone from the minors gets hot in case he fails. J.A. Happ and Brian Mazone each had good starts recently in Triple-A. The good news is having Durbin and Madson as effective long men makes for a comfortable opportunity to experiment, or stay patient, which is a better idea.