Phillies fans got a glimpse into the future tonight, as on of the young arms that figures to be in the Phillies rotation for years to come, Jonathan Pettibone, made his major league debut. And Pettibone was impressive in his debut, going 5.1 innings, striking out six, while only allowing 2 earned runs and scattering six hits. Pettibone finished with a no-decision.
Pettibone also helped offensively, by taking his first career MLB walk in inning number three and scoring on a wild pitch from A.J. Burnett. The Phillies continued to be an offensive juggernaut in the fourth inning, as Jimmy Rollins was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, to force in Michael Young to give the Phillies a two to one lead at the time. The Phillies took the lead in the sixth on Jimmy Rollins 800th career RBI, which scored Erik Kratz.
Pettibone left after 5.1 innings, and got solid relief from Raul Valdes, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams. It was refreshing to see the bullpen hold a lead for a few innings, and give Jonathan Papelbon a chance to come in and close out the game. To this point, Antonio Bastardo has been impressive in 2013 and looks much more like the 2011 Bastardo, who had a tremendous season, than the 2012 Bastardo, who fans were scared to see come in the game. Mike Adams has been inconsistent to this point, but tonight he was solid, pitching a one-two-three eighth inning.
In the ninth Papelbon got Andrew McCutchen to pop up to Erik Kratz on the first pitch of the ninth inning, but then allowed Garrett Jones to reach second on a stand-up double. With one on and one out, Pap got Neil Walker to fly out to left, and Dom Brown made the catch on the sinking liner. Pedro Alvarez, who homered in the second was the Pirates last hope, but Papelbon notched his fourth save of the year, striking out Alvarez on a comeback sinker.
Raul Valdez picks up the win, and Jonathan Pettibone was impressive in his Major-League debut, leading the Phillies to a win in the series opener over the Pirates.