After Roy Halladay‚Äôs disaster of an outing on Tuesday, few thought the Phillies would even win a game against the Yankees with Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick pitching against one of the most powerful lineups in baseball.
Moyer and Kendrick surprised everyone with back to back quality outings. Moyer left everyone speechless with a masterful 8 inning effort in which he only allowed three hits to the Yankees. Kendrick followed that up with a solid 7 inning performance in which he only gave up one run.
The Phillies offense still isn‚Äôt quite setting the world on fire, but they‚Äôre making progress. In the last four games, the Phillies have scored 19 runs. They aren‚Äôt getting shutout anymore, but they are still having trouble getting key base hits with runners in scoring position. In the 7th inning of Thursday‚Äôs game, the Phillies had Carlos Ruiz at third base with one out, and despite eventually loading the bases with just one out failed to bring any runs home that could have broken the game open.
The Phillies did manage to manufacture some important insurance runs in the 9th inning with sacrifice RBIs from Ryan Howard and Placido Polanco. Polanco gave a great at bat, fouling off many pitches before hitting a fly ball to score a run.
The Phillies have now won three of the last four games, coming against Boston and New York. They have a chance to pick up some additional momentum in the next two series against the Twins and Indians.
The Twins are a strong team, and currently lead the A.L. However, the Phillies will have Halladay and Cole Hamels pitching in the series. The Twins will also be at a disadvantage without the DH. That doesn‚Äôt mean it will be easy to win two out of three against the Twins, but with the Philllies two best pitchers going they should have a good chance to do so.
The Indians are one of the league‚Äôs worst teams, and even though the Phillies will have the back end of their rotation going, the Phillies shouldn‚Äôt have a lot of trouble putting up runs at home against Cleveland‚Äôs weak pitching staff, with is ranked 25th in the league in ERA.
The Phillies have to be feeling good about themselves having surprised their doubters by taking two of three from the Yankees behind their fourth and fifth starters. It‚Äôs important that they capitalize on this success in the coming week if they want to stay in the N.L. East race.