What a difference a week can make. After firing long-time manager Charlie Manuel last Friday and naming Ryne Sandberg as interim manager, the Philadelphia Phillies’ bats have finally come back to life this week against the Colorado Rockies.
In Monday’s opener, the Phillies helped Ethan Martin earn his second win in his young career behind the bats of Mayberry and Ruiz. Mayberry launched a bomb in the 4th inning off of Rockies pitcher Manship, and Ruiz followed suit in the 5th inning.
Overall, the Phillies hammered out 7 hits against the Rockies, but that would not be the case Tuesday, when the Rockies jumped out against Tyler Cloyd early and often, racking up a 5 run lead by the third inning. Cloyd went on to take the loss (5-3) – his 3rd loss of the season. The Phillies found it difficult to get hits off Rockies pitcher De La Rosa, who kept them to just 3 hits this game. Only Mayberry, Rollins and Asche reached base on hits.
Wednesday evening, the Phillies showed some sense that they can play small-ball when necessary – banging out 11 hits against the Rockies. Mayberry continued to make a point that he deserves to get more playing time by going 2 for 4 and getting a double in the win. Utley went 1 for 4, while slugging his 16th homer of the season, and giving Diekman the win.
Tonight the Phillies can take the series from the Rockies, and in the process give Sandberg his fourth win, provided Kyle Kendrick can outlast Chad Bettis in the series finale. If Kendrick wins tonight, it’ll be his first win since August 6th.
A couple of side note to tonight’s game: Ryan Howard will begin a rehab assignment in Clearwater. Howard is recovering from a torn meniscus earlier this season. If he can return to the team before the end of the season, he could bring a little more pop to the lineup and give some cover for Dominic Brown as well. Roy Haladay be making his third rehab start, this time with the Reading Phillies (Fightin’ Phills) on Sunday in Reading. While he’s still pitching slower than his norm, Haladay is working mainly on pitch location. He says he likes the feel of his arm thus far, and is looking to ramp up the speed within the next few outings.