As the bleeding finally stopped with last night’s win against the Nationals, the Phillies looked to start up a winning streak tonight in the second game of a three game series against the Nats. With the help of Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz’s solo home runs, the Phils were able to pull out a win in Washington by a score of 5 to 6.
After two tough starts, Cliff Lee looked much better tonight, throwing seven-plus innings, giving up 10 hits and five runs (four earned) while striking out four and not allowing a walk. His command looked much better tonight, and despite some bad luck with hits dropping in, he was able to stay in control of the game.
Helping out Lee was Raul Ibanez. Raul, who had struggled since returning from the DL with a groin injury, looks to have returned to all-star form, going 2 for 4 tonight with an RBI double and a run. In the current series against the Nationals, he has gone 5 for 9 with two home runs and 3 RBI.
The resurgence of Lee and Ibanez will be crucial for the Phillies to make a postseason push. If Lee can return to making quality starts each time out and Ibanez can spark the struggling Phillies offense then the Phils will have no trouble wrapping up the NL East. Last year, it was Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard’s bats that clinched a playoff berth for the Phillies. With Burrell now in Tampa, Raul’s performance (in combination with a solid effort by Cliff Lee) will be an important part of trying to repeat as world champions.
Here are some final notes from tonight’s game:
-The last 15 home runs hit by the Phillies have all been solo homers. This just goes to show that a team can win with the longball, but they need men on base for it to be truly effective.
-The Phillies will go for a much-meeded sweep in Washington tomorrow as Joe Blanton will face Livan Hernandez. First pitch is slated for 7:05.
-Tom Hagan ’11