To say the least, this isn't how Ruben Amaro Jr. drew it up back in March: Vance Worley gives way to Michael Stutes before Antonio Bastardo closes it out. Against the Red Sox, no less. But in impressive fashion, that's the way it played out in the Phils' 2-1 win over Boston on Wednesday.
The back end: With closers #1, #2 and #3 all on the DL, the Phillies got their first look at closer #4. And Bastardo didn't disappoint, retiring Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in order for his third career save. It should also be noted that Stutes logged a 1-2-3 eighth against the top of the Boston order.
The missing man: Raul Ibanez sparked the offense with three hits, including the go-ahead homer in the seventh. Ibanez, who also had an RBI single in the second inning, finished a triple shy of the cycle. He entered the game in a 1-for-22 slump but finished 3-for-3 on Wednesday. Raul improved his career numbers against John Lackey to 22-for-57 (.386).
The Vance Dance: Worley went a career-high seven innings, allowing only an RBI double to Lackey. He threw 116 pitches – also a career high – and gave up just five hits and a pair of walks. Worley has yielded a total of two runs in 18 innings over his last three starts in lowering his ERA to 2.57.
Next up: Cole Hamels and the Phillies go for the sweep on Thursday afternoon against Jon Lester in an awesome matchup of talented left-handers.