May 23, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT
Two days ago people were calling for an end to the Delmon Young experiment, or at least for Charlie to sit the guy down for a few days anyway. Now all of a sudden he’s a five-tool player, hitting bombs, tearing up the base paths, and patrolling the outfield.
Young was a big reason why the Phillies were able to salvage two of three in Miami this week. One day after going 2-for-4 with a couple of runs batted in, he followed that performance by making his impact felt in every phase of the game on Wednesday in a 3-0 victory.
The right fielder got the offense started by crushing (no exaggeration) his second home run in as many days in the fourth inning, this solo shot going to nearly the exact same place as the one before, about 400 feet away to left center. Maybe Delmon actually likes that tacky contraption the Marlins have out there.
Young scored another run after reaching first on a two-out infield single in the sixth, nubbing the ball past Wade LeBlanc as he dived off the mound, leaving no play for second baseman Derrick Dietrich. The next batter was Domonic Brown who crushed a triple to deep center to bring him home. Freddy Galvis then singled for a little insurance.
Not that the Phillies needed it, because Delmon had it going on in the outfield as well. Half a frame earlier he was showing off that cannon attached to his right arm, gunning down Chris Coghlan from a foot or two in front of the warning track in right field as the runner attempted to tag from first. Great leather by J-Roll. Not. Even. Close.
Oh, and that Cliff Lee guy pitched sort of magnificently, too. Lee picked up his first complete-game shutout since recording six in 2011, surrendering three hits and striking out five as he increased his record to 5-2 while his ERA dropped to 2.48.
Back to Young, he has a long way to go before he wins over a lot of fans, but his power was on full display these last two days. He swatted a few that would have been in the seats at most ballparks, and if this is any kind of sign that the right-hander is finding his stroke, that might help the club survive the recent rash of injuries.
The Fightins may have hit a bump in the road with their embarrassing loss on Monday – not to mention a bunch of other places along the way – they did manage to salvage two of three in Miami with back-to-back wins. And it may not always look pretty, but the Phils have now won seven of the last 10 games as well.
For the first time in nine tries since falling below .500 on April 15, the Phillies are within one game of climbing back to even. The Nationals are also just one game ahead in the standings, as the teams prepare to meet for the first time this year on Friday.
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