Starting pitching is never an issue for the Phillies, with three of the team’s starters already reaching 13 wins. Their collective 2.99 ERA is the best of any rotation in the majors by .25, and they also average the third most strikeouts per starting rotation in the majors. The Phillies bullpen however, is not as good, (though they still are not bad) with the seventh best ERA of any bullpen and the ninth most wins. So when tonight’s game was delayed for more than two hours and fifteen minuets in just the 3rd inning, it was a cause for alarm, as rookie Vance Worley would be forced out of the game. However, a great showing from the bullpen coupled with a few runs from the Phillies lineup gave the Phillies their 80th win of the year.
Starter Vance Worley would come into the game looking for his ninth win of the year, and he would get help early from Wilson Valdez who hit a 2nd inning double to put the Phillies on top 1-0. After that though the rain set in, delaying the game and ending Worley’s quest for win number nine. He would go three innings allowing just one hit while striking out two batters.
The Phillies would come back from the delay, picking up right where they left off, getting two more runs from a John Mayberry Jr. home run, his 10th of the year. The Phillies would a final run from Raul Ibanez in the 5th, his second of three hits on a night that he would go 3-4.
The Phillies batters wouldn’t be the only ones to come out of the rain delay well, as David Herndon would come out and throw three scoreless innings. He would allow a single hit, and double Worley’s strikeout total sitting down four batters. Michael Stutes would make the only mistake of the night, allowing a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt, his second of the series. The bullpen as a whole would allow just three batters to reach base over six incredibly strong innings.
The win gives the Phillies 80 on the year, and they are the first team to reach that mark so far, five wins ahead of the Red Sox and Yankees who are tied for second. The Phillies have been truly dominant this year, and they showed it today, winning with just four regular starters in (five if you count Valdez as a regular now). It’s not easy to beat a division-leading team in the MLB, and it’s even harder when you are using players that don’t normally play. The win proves not only that the Phillies are a truly better team than the Diamondbacks, but also that their bench is deep, something that, come October will be very important.