When many people think of Wilson Valdez they think of the 19 inning epic the Phillies played back in May, where the back-up infielder pitched the 19th inning, earning the win for the night. However, rarely do the talk about his batting ability, and for good reason, as his .239 career batting average is unimpressive. However, sometimes even Valdez can come through with a big hit, just what he did today. Valdez’ 7th inning gave the Phillies the lead, and they never looked back, scoring five runs after that to finish off the Diamondbacks.
After last night’s loss, Cliff Lee took the field looking to redeem teammate and fellow ace Roy Halladay’s complete game loss. He did a fine job, allowing just two runs on a two run home run in the second inning. He allowed just two hits after that, lasting until the 7th inning, and collecting seven strikeouts along the way. The win was Lee’s 13th of the year, tying him with Cole Hamels for second most on the team.
Tonight though, was about the Phillies bats which were able to collect a total of 12 hits and nine runs. Other than Valdez who got the go-ahead RBI for the Phillies, John Mayberry Jr. played a large role, going 3-4 with an RBI and two runs. Mayberry hasn’t played much this month, but when he has played, he’s managed to hit the ball well, with an average of .333. With Raul Ibanez struggling to hit this month, it may not be a bad idea for Charlie Manuel to start Mayberry more often, and let the 27 year old get some more playing time. In fact, tomorrow would be another great opportunity for Mayberry, as the righty Ian Kennedy is set to take the hill, and Mayberry’s numbers against right-handed pitching are significantly better than Ibanez’.
The Phillies send rookie Vance Worley to pitch tomorrow, looking to rebound from one of his worst games of the season. Tomorrow’s game will be important for Worley to prove that he has the ability to bounce back from such a bad loss, as he hasn’t truly proven that he has that skill yet. A win from Worley would give him nine on the year, tying him with Mariners rookie Michael Pineda and seriously putting him in the running for NL rookie of the year.