CHICAGO, IL - MAY 16: Kyle Kendrick pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
When you look up at the box score for Wednesday night's Phillies' game -- a 9-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field -- you'll see a bunch of runs, 12 hits, and a dominating pitching line of three hits, one earned run, no walks and nine strikeouts.
What you won't see -- and what no one would have expected -- is that the win, which moved the Phillies back to the .500 mark for the season, was courtesy of a bunch of guys that wouldn't ordinarily be counted on to do much of anything.
First, the pitching.
Kyle Kendrick, the oft-maligned swingman for the Phillies, was called upon to pitch in place of the recently DL'ed Vance Worley. He responded with six solid innings where he allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out four. His start allowed the Phillies to keep pace until the offense was able to pull ahead in the late innings. He wiggled out of an early jam in the first inning, and kept the Cubs in check the rest of the way.
The first reliever out of the 'pen was Jose Contreras, who had only his second 1-2-3 inning of the season, when he set the Cubs down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning to keep things tied at two. Coming into the game, Contreras had an ERA of 9.00, and was generally not the guy you wanted to see in the late innings of a tie game. His clean inning, followed by the Phillies taking the lead in the eighth, earned him his first win since 2010.
While the pitching was fine, you can't rout a team without getting some help from the offense. Although opposing starting pitcher Matt Garza limited the damage early on and was able to get out of a few tough spots, he had to turn it over to the bullpen in the late innings. And that's where things got dicey.
Carlos Ruiz, who is known more of a great game caller than a great hitter, has been an offensive force this season. Coming into Wednesday night's game, Chooch had a .956 OPS -- tops amongst NL catchers -- to go along with his immaculate game-calling skills. And while Carlos contributing to the win isn't a shock, it would be criminal not to list him here. He went 2-for-4 on the night, with a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning that would prove to be enough for the bullpen.
He was assisted by Freddy Galvis, who added two more doubles to his ledger -- making it seven on the month -- with the first scoring the Phillies first run of the night, and the second jump-starting the rally in the top of the ninth inning.
The star of the night, however, was the new guy, Hector Luna. Recalled from Lehigh Valley last weekend, Luna saw his first action as a Phillie in the ninth inning, where he came to the plate with the bases loaded, two outs, and the Phillies leading by three. And on an 0-1 pitch, the 32-year-old utilityman launched a deep fly ball to left for his first career grand slam and first hit as a Phillie.
It wasn't like they drew it up, as Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence went a combined 2-for-13, but with this Phillies team, it rarely is. A win is a win and they are one more away from moving above the .500 mark for the second time this season. They'll get that chance on Thursday, when Roy Halladay takes the hill, in search of his fourth win of the season.