Philly Sports Live

Week 13 in Review

Week 13 provided triumphs and more frustrations as the Phillies embarked on a west coast road trip through San Diego and Los Angeles. In many ways, the six games they’ve played so far California have shown what this team is capable of, and also how flawed they are.

Monday night made many Phillie fans grind their teeth. Cliff Lee was dominating just as he was last night. He scattered two hits in eight innings against the Padres, walking one and striking out seven. He departed with a 3-0 and Jonathan Papelbon coming in. After converting his 14 save opportunities, Paps went on to blow four of his next five save chances. He has 15 saves this season.

On this night he did inherit runners on second and third, who would both score. With two outs and the tying run on third, he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the runner to score. Yet another blown save and a waste of Lee’s great outing. The Phillies would lose the game in extra innings.

Yet, they followed that with two straight wins to take the series from the Padres at Petco Park. Wednesday night’s game was particularly lifting, as the Phils came back from a three run deficit in the later innings to send the game to extras. After a comedy of errors in the 13th inning by the Padres, the Phillies took a 7-5 lead which Papelbon managed to nail down. This night showed the grit and heart that this team seldom shown thus far in 2013.

Thursday the Phillies benefitted from another quality start from youngster Jonathan Pettibone. Called up to replace the injured John Lannan back in April, Pettibone has given the Phils a chance to win in almost every single start. On this night he went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits. His team was ahead 4-3 in the eighth, but again, the bullpen could not hold on.

Justin De Fratus worked his way into a bases loaded, two out jam.  Dodger rookie phenom Yasiel Puig stepped up and De Fratus got ahead of him 0-2. Puig then took advantage of a hanging slider and singled home the tying and go ahead runs. The Phils lost the game 6-4 after losing another lead late.

Then Friday night came and all bets were off. The Phillies jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first two innings, and Lannan was able to hold the Dodgers in check as the Phils tacked on. They managed 21 hits against Dodger’s pitching, finished with 16 runs in a 16-1 blowout. Fun as wins like that can be, they’re hard to follow up.

Case in point, Saturday night.

Lee took the mound again in what would become a pitcher’s duel. He was opposed by Hyun-Jin Ryu who matched him inning for inning. Both lefties were victimized by the long ball, but they both were able to work quickly and minimize hits from the other team.  The Phillies were able to tie the game in the ninth, but the Dodgers won it 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth.  It was another chance for one of those character building wins, but they came up short.

Heading into this afternoon’s series finale at Dodger Stadium, the Phillies could easily be seeking an undefeated west coast swing. Instead, they’ll look to split with the Dodgers and have to settle for a series win in San Diego that should have been a sweep.

With July 31 only a month away, it will be interesting to see if the team adds, subtracts, or perhaps adds by subtracting. This constant one step forward, two steps back has left the Phillies in contention (barely), yet making a run at the division just seems a few feet out of their reach. Would adding a bat on July 31st help to make up that ground?

Your move Ruben…the clock is ticking.

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