- Updated: July 10, 2014
Coming into Milwaukee for a four game series seemed like an impossible task for the Phillies. They were 1-5 so far on this road trip, and had just been swept out of Pittsburgh. Limping from Pittsburgh into Milwaukee for a four game series against a Brewers club that held the league’s best record looked quite daunting for this club that appeared to have lost it’s way.
Three games later, the Phils found themselves in position to complete a four game sweep for the first time since 2011. An offense that scores in bunches all of a sudden, along with a lights out bullpen has spelled victory these last four days for the Fightin Phils. Today’s matinee looked all too familiar for the first seven innings.
The Phillies faced off against Matt Garza today for the Brewers. He came into today with 6-5 record and a middle of the road earned run average. Garza would hold the Phillies both scoreless and hit-less until the seventh inning.
Sound about right? The Phillies with a chance to do something great, and they let it slip. They get shutout, or even no-hit.
David Buchanan started for the Phillies and was masterful, allowing four hits and one run in seven strong innings. The lone run was a solo home run by Carlos Gomez in the bottom of the sixth. That home run broke up a scoreless tie.
The Phillies finally scored in the eighth inning, and in a big way. Cameron Rupp got things started with a one out double. Ben Revere would pinch run for him. Cesar Hernandez then worked a walk. Both runners advanced one base on a groundout by Tony Gwynn, Jr. Garza was lifted at that point in favor of lefty Will Smith.
Jimmy Rollins would bat next, and he singled both runners home for a 2-1 lead. He then stole second before Chase Utley walked. Ryan Howard then doubled to left field to bring Rollins home for a 3-1 lead. Smith then walked Marlon Byrd intentionally to face Cody Asche. Asche followed with a double of his own to right field to score Utley and Howard, making it 5-1. That would be all for Smith.
After another pitching change, Domonic Brown singled home both Byrd and Asche for a seven run eighth inning. The Phils sent 12 men to the plate in the inning, and led 7-1 at that point. Howard would knock in two more runs in the top of the ninth with a long two run bomb to right center-field to cap off the scoring at 9-1.
The Phillies helped Buchanan earn his fifth win of 2014, which was well deserved for the way he pitched today. The Brewers had only two chances with men in scoring position, and failed both times. Once again, the Phillie bullpen was rock solid, allowing no runs in two innings.
As great and encouraging as this series is for the Phillies, they’ve been here before. They have risen up at times, only to fall back down by failing to score runs and piling up the losses.
They will have a golden opportunity to make up some ground this weekend when the division leading Nationals invade Citizens Bank Park.
Which team will show up against the top team in the east? The one that pounded the Brew Crew? Or the one that got swept in consecutive weeks by Atlanta and Pittsburgh?
Put Up…or Shut Up.
Stats Courtesy of Phillies.com
Photo Courtesy of Philly.com