So often the past few seasons, the Phillies have ended up on the short end of the stick as far as self-inflicted wounds and uncharacteristic mistakes. Tuesday night in Los Angeles, on the heels of a dominant win the night before, Philadelphia was able to wait out the Dodger meltdown and cash in when it counted. Though starter A.J. Burnett was unable to secure a win despite another impressive outing, the bullpen and defense minimized the damage and gave the team a chance to come through with another dramatic win.
South Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu would get the ball for the Dodgers, who were hoping their prized lefty could duplicate Cliff Lee’s showing for their foes the night before. For much of the early portions of the game, it appeared the first team to score might take it. Burnett was able to wriggle out of some first inning dramatics before settling down and Ryu was able to battle through a few jams himself. It was not until the top of the 5th inning that the Phillies were finally able to make a dent.
Burnett would start the frame by reaching on one of his three base-hits on the night. Ben Revere, who finished 4-5 on the evening, would follow with a single of his own to give the Phillies runners on first and second with no outs. After a Jimmy Rollins flyout Marlon Byrd, batting in the three hole, scorched a double to left to bring Burnett in for the game’s first run. Revere would score on a Ryan Howard sacrifice fly and the Phillies were suddenly up 2-0.
The Dodgers would respond with a sac fly of their own in the home half of the 5th to cut the deficit in half. Burnett looked as if he might be able to escape as the pitcher of record, but a Justin Turner RBI single with two outs in the seventh tied the game at two and spelled the end for the Philadelphia righty. Burnett’s final line would read as follows: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 5 K. It was his second straight impressive showing since being diagnosed with a hernia and the veteran starter has actually seemed much more in control since the injury surfaced a few weeks back.
The combination of Jake Diekman, Mike Adams, and Antonio Bastardo were able to keep Los Angeles from inflicting any more damage as the teams stalemated through the final third of regulation play. With lefty J.P. Howell on for the Dodgers in the 10th, the Phillies were finally able to cash in on another team’s misfortune.
After Howard grounded out to the pitcher, Carlos Ruiz just missed grooving a hanging breaking ball over the left-field seats, instead skying a fly ball lazily into the shallow outfield. A miscommunication between outfielder Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez with the ball in no man’s land would end with a Dodgers error and Ruiz safely stationed at 2nd base. Domonic Brown would make L.A.’s miscue come back and bite them in a big way. Brown would scorch a 1-1 Howell offering into the left-center gap, easily plating Ruiz and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Jonathan Papelbon would work around a Yasiel Puig single to lock down his sixth save of the season and the Phillies would capture their third straight win by a 3-2 margin.
The win moved the Phillies back to the .500 mark and gave them three straight wins for the first time since a weekend sweep of the Marlins. Wednesday’s affair pits Los Angeles magnificent right-hander Zack Greinke against the rehabilitated Cole Hamels for the Phillies. One can imagine few better fashions for the Phillies to secure their most impressive series win of the season than having their franchise lefty turn in a solid showing in his first start back from the setback he suffered during the offseason. The offense will have their hands full with Greinke, as Los Angeles will be looking to get back to their winning ways.