Contrary to popular belief, the Phillies aren't dead.
At least they weren't on a blustery night in Philadelphia, when the offense rattled out 14 hits and seven runs to rout the Miami Marlins in what would be their first good offensive showing of the season.
After scoring more than two runs just once in their first four games, the Phillies broke out the hitting sticks against Miami Ace Josh Johnson, who allowed a career high 11 hits in 3.2 innings, where he also allowed six earned runs.
The Phillies offense, which can best be described as “scrappy” at this point in the season, used almost all singles to down the Marlins, as only three of their hits were for extra bases, two of which (double and homer) belonged to Carlos Ruiz.
The biggest hit of the night came in the third inning, when light-hitting Freddy Galvis came to the plate after Johnson intentionally walked Carlos Ruiz to load the bases with two outs. With the Phillies up by a score of 3-1, courtesy of RBI singles from Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence, Galvis (who notched his first career hit in Monday's home opener), roped a two-out double to right, which plated to runs to put the cap on on their five run inning. After going 0-12 to start his big league career, the second baseman now has a pair of two RBI doubles in his last two games. Look out Chase Utley!
For a time, it appeared as if the Phillies offensive woes had gone away, almost as quickly as they arrived. While that would be a great feeling, I wouldn't get too comfortable with the Phillies breaking out the offense like they did against the Fish on Wednesday. After all, they didn't exactly knock the snot out of the ball. Their offensive assault consisted mostly of singles and aggressive base-running, as it seemed like nearly every hitter took an extra base on shoddy defense by the Marlins.
And as fun as it was to see the Phillies knock around a great pitcher like Johnson, I can't help but feeling a sense of unease when I think about this performance. Sure, I blogged about the Phillies offense not being as bad as people think, but a performance like this makes me glad that baseball is a sport that is not restricted by the laws of nature. After all, Josh Johnson really should have mowed down the Phillies with aplomb.
But, baseball is a funny game, and sometimes the breaks just go your way. That was evident on Wednesday, when the Phillies owed their offensive outburst to a pair of lucky breaks. In the third, Juan Pierre was clearly out when he stole second base, but was called safe by the ump. A few pitches later, the Phillies scored their first run of the game on a Placido Polanco single that was deflected through the left side of the infield. From there on out, it was on.
It wasn't like anyone would have drawn it up, but hey, runs are runs, and a win is a win. It would be awesome if they can start generating some more power with the bats, but until Chase Utley and Ryan Howard get back (and until they replace Juan “Bunty Bunty” Pierre with Domonic Brown), it's probably going to be a steady diet of singles and seeing-eye doubles.