Philly Sports Live

Sunday Best

After a disappointing Saturday night, the Phillies came out today looking to win this weekend series. Ryan Howard made his second straight start after sitting for three games. Roberto Hernandez took the mound looking to improve his 4-8 record.

Howard made his presence felt both at the plate and in the field. He put the Phillies ahead in the first with a two run home run to left center-field, following a Chase Utley walk. Howard then made a great diving stop in the second inning with Martin Prado on first. Howard threw Prado out at second from his knees, helping to minimize the damage in the inning.

Hernandez would allow a run in the second, but not again until the sixth inning. All told, Hernandez went seven strong innings, allowing the two runs on four hits and did not walk a batter.

The Phillies scored again in the bottom of the sixth on an umpire review. With Howard on first with two outs, Marlon Byrd popped up to short center-field, but second baseman Didi Gregorius could not make the catch. He then threw home to nail Howard at the plate.

However, it appeared as though Diamondbacks’ catcher Miguel Montero failed to leave a path for Howard coming to the plate. The play was reviewed, and Howard was ruled safe. The rule states that the catcher must leave the runner a clear path to home plate until he has possession of the ball.

Though Howard appeared to be out by a good few feet even with a clear path to the plate, the ruling gave the Phillies the lead at 3-2. Keep in mind, regardless of the ruling, if Gregorius makes the catch then the play at home is irrelevant, and should have been.

The Phillies added an insurance run in the seventh when Ben Revere doubled to deep left center-field. Left fielder David Peralta could not make the catch on the run, and Wil Nieves scored all the way from first. Montero could not handle the throw home, otherwise Nieves may have been out.

The Phillies bullpen was strong today, ending with Kenny Giles & Jonathan Papelbon shutting the door. Giles’ season earned run average is now 0.68. Papelbon earned his 25th save of the season, and Giles his fifth hold.

The Phillies travel to Citi Field tonight to take on the arch rival New York Mets tomorrow night. A.J. Burnett takes on Bartolo Colon for New York.

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