May 29, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT
Timely hitting, runs scored—who is this Phillies team we’ve been watching at Citi Field these past few days, exactly? Perhaps that 19-inning win flipped a switch with our guys, a test of endurance that once proven, has given them a new sense of confidence and purpose. Or perhaps it has something to do with the return of guys named Chase Utley and Domonic Brown to our starting lineup, at the expense of offensive powerhouses like Pete Orr and Ben Francisco. It’s a rich tapestry, no doubt, but whatever the reason, the Phillies have scored five or more runs in each of their last four games—all wins—after only doing so once in their twelve games prior.
It’s pretty sweet, especially considering that five runs is almost always going to be enough these days, with our starting rotation locking down the other side of the ball. Cole was the hero last night, getting his first-ever win in Queens, but today, we call on a Mr. Vance Worley, who since joining the staff, has done a much better job playing the “Guy who should be the one dude in the rotation that other teams don’t dread facing” role than the injured Joe Blanton. In fact, Worley hasn’t missed a beat backing up the four aces in his three starts this year, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA. It probably won’t last—unless it doesn’t really matter who the Phillies throw out as a starter this year, but wearing the uniform is enough to turn any Joe Schmo starter into a Cy Young candidate. It’s a possibility.
1:10 first pitch from Citi Field, with the reliably mediocre Jon Niese taking the hill for the Metropolitans. A win today would give the Phils their first three-game road sweep in New York since they were clawing back to the top of the NL East back in September ’07. “Every start matters. Everything counts,” Worley told the Phils’ web site. “I just want to have the best stuff I can to help them out and give us a chance to win.” We’ll try to spot you some runs again today, Vance, just to be on the safe side. Maybe even before the eighth inning this time.
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