Some guy made the game winning hit in the 12th inning, as the Phils win the game 5-4, and their first series in eight tries. Credit the bullpen for one of the finer efforts this season. (AP photo)
Ramon Martinez is his name. Second-string utility is his game. He knocked in David Bell from third with the bases loaded, two outs, just before he ran out of time to catch a flight to Puerto Rico, the AP reported.
The story of the game: the Phils bullpen outlasting Washington’s very good pen in a close contest. Washington had been winning virtually all of their close games, while the Phils have been inept in that category.
Sitting back and watching the extra sets unfold, it put the state of the Phils in perspective a little more before the All-Star break. What it said to me was that our bullpen is the strength of the team, just as most Phans thought it would be at this stage of the season. There’s absolutely no need to deal for relief pitching.
Ugueth Urbina’s 9th inning and Billy Wagner’s 10th was some of the best pitching I’ve seen all season, especially Urbina. Coming to the Phils with a reputation as a flyball hitter who allowed a high amount of home runs, he also carried a reputation as a smart pitcher that can outfox hitters with his location and speed.
The Nats had no clue against Urbina yesterday, who struck out the last batter he faced with a dramatic pump of his fist. His stuff was unhittable in its location.
I’ve always enjoyed a little pomp in my relief pitching, and Urbina is one confident fellow. He’s not ideal for the Bank, but there’s no question he’ll help tremendously if they stay in the hunt.
Even Rheal Cormier, who I’m not high on, pitched two decent sets to earn the win.
As for Washington, as soon as the Phils got past closer Chad Cordero, I knew they couldn’t outlast the Phils bullpen. There isn’t anyone in the Nats’ lineup that scares me. I can’t see this team staying atop the NL East, as my gut keeps telling me Atlanta will win it.
Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell and Chase Utley
Have all been slumping to varying degrees, but none more so than Pat Burrell, who's done absolutely nothing since the Homestand. Burrell looks downright 2003-ish and basically struck out the entire series. It's time to reopen my case files.
The People vs. Pat Burrell.
In hindsight (between the time it took to write this post at 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.), I'll wait until after the break to open up the books. A break will do the Bat good.
I also forgot to note two great games by Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, who was especially swift on the bases yesterday. As for Howard, kiss the minor leagues goodbye, big fella.