The Phillies finally displayed some of the capabilities of their offense in an 8-4 win over Colorado on Saturday. The Phillies' fifteen-hit attack was supported by a strong perfomance by the bullpen (scoreless frames from Madson and Lidge) and an adequate start from Brett Myers. In improving their record to 2-3, Philadelphia had at least one hit from every spot in the batting order, except for the ninth.
The Phillies' offense had five players (Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz, and Chase Utley) with at least two hits, and scored seven two-out runs. Ibanez hit his second home run of the year, one of the Phillies' five extra-base hits. The Phillies left twelve runners on base in the game. (Concerned about all those LOB's? Perhaps you shouldn't be overly concerned. All those LOBs means the Phils had many baserunners. Over a long season, many baserunners will likely lead to many runs and many wins. For example, the 1976 Reds had a record 1328 LOBs (an average of 8.2 LOB/game). The Big Red Machine also averaged a league-leading 5.29 runs/game, in finishing the regular season with a .630 winning percentage and a World Championship.)
Brett Myers showed improved velocity and command during most of his seven-inning, four-run outing. He had six strikeouts, and permitted just a single walk. He only allowed four hits, but all were for extra bases, including three homers. This increased his MLB-leading total to six home runs allowed. Bad luck? Maybe. Or it could be his propensity to throw a handful pitches with mid-80s velocity over the middle of the plate during each start. If he continues this pace, and makes thirty-five starts, he'll allow one hundred and five home runs, and break Cooperstown-deserving Bert Blyleven's MLB record of fifty in a season. Myers probably won't make it that far, however, as he'll be likely be invited to take J.A. Happ's spot in the bullpen, if he continues to be taken deep with such frequency. (On the plus side, a disgruntled Myers would make the MLBN reality show on the Phillies bullpen even more entertaining...)
Chan Ho Park will make his first start for the Phillies in Sunday's rubber game in Colorado. Park chose club over country earlier this year, as he opted to join the Phillies in Spring Training, rather than join South Korea in the WBC. (Would Park have been able to prevent South Korea's Championship game loss to Japan? We will never know. But my guess is "no.") He won the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation over J.A. Happ with a strong spring (2.53 ERA, 25/2 K/BB). He had a strong season as a starter as recently as 2001. This replacement-level blogger is not overly optimistic about Park. But, as a Phillies fan, he has my support, and for his WBC Sacrifice, Park has my appreciation.