John Jr. Providing Power
With Shane, Ryan and Chooch out of the lineup, the bench players came through for the second straight game as the Phillies beat the Diamondbacks on a soggy Thursday night to take yet another series.
During their last 16 series, the Phillies are 14-1-1.
Wilson again came through with a run-scoring double and John Jr., playing for the suspended Shane, unloaded a two-run homer. Meanwhile, five different pitchers held Arizona to one run on three hits.
Vance was lifted after a 2:27 rain delay. In his last 11 starts, the Phils are 11-0.
John Jr. has hit seven homers since returning from AAA on July 5, second on the club to Ryan’s nine. Of John Jr.’s last 27 hits, 18 are extra-base hits (10 doubles, eight homers).
Rain delays on get-away days means arriving in the next city in the wee hours of the morning. It wasn’t too bad for the Phillies who had an Amtrak charter train to DC; Arizona had to fly to Atlanta.
Shane was out of uniform serving the first of a two-game suspension. During the rain delay he visited Ruben Amaro’s box behind home plate on the Press Box level “Gee, the game looks easy from up here,” he laughed. “Where’s Ruben? Want to agitate him.” Later we heard reports he visited the Executive Dining Room kitchen and helped himself to some ice cream.
Following a weekend in DC, where there are sure to be thousands of Phillies fans, the Phillies return home for three with the Mets and Marlins next week. Then they became a traveling team, playing 20 of their last 31 games in enemy territories.
In rubber games of a series this season, the Phillies are 10-5 . . . They finished 23-9 against the west division, the most wins since 23 in 1995 . . . With Pence in the lineup, Phils are 14-3.
“What changes would you like to see in baseball” was a question posed to Phillies Alumni. Here’s another view:
Darren Daulton, (C, 1983; 1985-97)
“The DH can stay. Have someone upstairs with access to replays on TV to overrule a missed call. It should only take a few seconds and would eliminate a lot of needless arguing which takes more time. All everyone wants is the correct call. I like the wildcard. Obviously when one division is loaded with good teams some teams are going to feel slighted when they have a much better record than other division winners. Best-of-five is fine. At that time of the year, the players are really exhausted and want to play as least amount of games as possible. Fans obviously would love to see more.”
Down On the Farm
OF Brandon Moss (#22), C Erik Kratz and DH Jack Cust homered as Lehigh Valley coasted, 11-1, over Rochester . . . C Tuffy Gosewisch hit his 11th homer and drove in 3 as Reading beat Portland, 8-3 . . . RH Jonathan Pettibone (9-10) ended a personal 3-game losing streak as Clearwater snapped a 5-game losing streak, 6-1, over Dunedin; win pulled the Threshers to within 2.5 games of first place . . . Just promoted from Gulf Coast League, INF Drew Hillman hit his 1st pro homer in Lakewood’s 6-2 win against Greensboro. LH Jesse Biddle (6-8) was the winner, lowering his ERA to 1.91 since the All-Star Game; his 121 strikeouts are second in the SAL to teammate Garet Claypool’s 137 . . . RH Perci Garner fanned 6 in 4.1 innings as Williamsport beat Tri-City, 3-1, to move into second place . . . Gulf Coast League Phillies lost at Tigers.