• December 5, 2022

Phillies’ Bats Finally Light Up Josh Johnson

In his four previous starts against the Phillies, Miami pitcher Josh Johnson had Philadelphia’s number. The ace had 2-1 record with a 0.65 ERA against the Phils since the 2010 season. His only loss came when he allowed one unearned run and finished on the losing end of Roy Halladay’s perfect game.

Wednesday’s game would mark the end of Johnson’s dominance of the Phillies.

Johnson was chased from the game after just 3.2 innings of work. He surrendered six runs on 11 hits to an offense that had managed just eight runs in their first four games.

The Phillies chipped away at Johnson slowly in the third inning on their way to a five-run rally. Juan Pierre set the stage for the offensive charge with a one-out single, and then stole second base, allowing Placido Polanco to drive him in with a single. This is exactly the kind of spark that the Phillies hoped that Pierre would be able to provide for them; a smart, small-ball oriented player that can get on base, and cause trouble with his speed and base-stealing ability.

Good hitting is contagious, and once Pierre and Polanco had done their parts, the rest of the lineup managed to catch fire. Johnson surrendered three straight singles to Jimmy Rollins, Hunter Pence, and Shane Victorino, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Freddy Galvis put the icing on the cake with his second two-run double of the series. Johnson returned to start the fourth inning, but was removed after giving up another run on three hits.

A five-run lead was more than enough support for Roy Halladay. The righthander had to work his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, and then gave up a run in the second inning. After his early struggles were behind him, the former Blue Jay allowed just two hits in his final five innings of work, enjoying an easy road to his second victory of the season.

It was encouraging to see the Philadelphia offense break out for a big night against one of the best pitchers in the National League. However, performances like this will be the exception, not the rule. This lineup even on their best nights will find it difficult to consistently score three runs in a game. But tonight’s game did show that the order is capable of much better, smarter performances than some of the weak efforts they’ve displayed in the first games of the season.

Denny Basens

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April 12, 2012 3:52 am

Let’s see if they can keep it up.

April 12, 2012 7:12 am

dogging the line up, I get it already, but you take out any teams 3 and 4 hitters and there will be struggles, if this team can stay close to 500 before Utley and Howard return they can win the east, make playoff run, that was an enjoyable game, but you have to punctuate it with your miserable expectations, which may be false, so just stifle it

April 12, 2012 7:25 am

great game last evening which I watched in it’s entirety…
Great use of the speed up top of the order and I really liked how most of th batters shorten their swings and hit the balls where there they were pitched instead of overswinging.. Doc settled in after the 2nd Inning and got into his groove.. A much needed win and type of win of how the Phils need to play..
Putting the ball in play, stealing some bases,working the counts and playing solid Defense… Big hit by Galvis to make it 5-1 really put the game away…

April 13, 2012 4:54 am

Jake, agreed. My beef is with Amaro’s preparation for the season & idiotic roster moves. But you are correct about it being too early, to worry. Last year they were just as $#!tty this early, but still managed to win 102 games. It’s ashame Lee cost us the 4-1 lead, because the bats died again in the playoffs. Very sad :(. Hopefully they can stay afloat, until either Amaro can make another deal, or two, or Howard can come back at the All-Star break & give us some pop. He won’t be 100% though, at any time this year, & we gotta pray he doesn’t re-injure it, or the other one. It pains me to say it, but IMHO, Utley is done & I have ZERO confidence, in him giving us anything of significance, ever again. It’s a real bummer that Amaro didn’t prepare & pre-plan, better for the future.