Not yet, probably, but he sure is making it look like it will only be a matter of time.
Vance Worley gave the Phils his second good start in two tries last night as the Phils rolled to a 7-4 win over the Nats. The game wasn’t as close as the score as Washington hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth.
Worley allowed a run on four hits over six innings last night and struck out seven. He’s allowed a run on six hits and four walks over 12 innings in his two starts combined.
Worley wasn’t the only Phillie who shined as the Phils banged out 11 hits coming off a game where they managed 12. Raul Ibanez has broken out of his long slump in a big way. After going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the series opener, Ibanez went 3-for-4 last night and hit his first home run since April 7. Rollins shined again as well, going 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in his second straight day in the leadoff spot.
The Phillies are 20-9 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 7-4 last night. They are 11 games over .500 for the first time on the year.
Worley got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing a run on four hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out seven.
He struck Danny Espinosa out looking for the first out of the game before Ian Desmond grounded to short for the second out. Jayson Werth struck out swinging 2-2 to end the frame.
Adam LaRoche struck out looking to start the second before Ramos doubled to right. Laynce Nix flew to center and Jerry Hairston popped up to Valdez to leave Ramos stranded.
Alex Cora led off the third and hit a ball that was deflected by Valdez but found center for a single. The pitcher Jason Marquis was next, tried to bunt, couldn’t and struck out for the first out. Espinosa flew to center for the second out and Worley struck Desmond out swinging 1-2 to leave Cora stranded.
Worley threw a 1-2-3 fourth. LaRoche struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch he thought was inside for the second out and argued. Jim Riggleman came out to argue and was ejected. The pitch in question was a strike.
Cora singled with two outs in the fifth, but Worley got Marquis on a ground ball to short behind him to turn Washington away.
Worley started the sixth with a 3-0 lead and hit the leadoff man Espinosa. Desmond followed with a ground out to short that moved Espinosa to second with one down. Werth struck out for the second out, but LaRoche followed and blasted a double off the wall in left. Espinosa scored to cut the lead to 3-1. Ramos was next and hit a ball down the third base line. Polanco made a very nice play on the line and the long throw to first to end the frame.
JC Romero, just off the DL, pitched the seventh with a 7-1 lead. He got the first two before Cora singled to center. Righty Brian Bixler hit for the pitcher Brian Broderick and grounded to first to set Washington down.
Stutes pitched the eighth. Werth singled with two outs and took second on defensive indifference. LaRoche walked behind him, putting two men on for Ramos, but Ramos fouled out to Schneider to leave both men stranded.
Baez started the ninth with the Phils still up by six runs. Nix lead off with a single, but Baez struck Hairston and Cora out behind him. Lefty Matt Stairs hit for the pitcher Todd Coffey and moved Nix to third with a single. Stairs took second without a throw before Espinosa hit a 2-1 pitch out to center for a three-run homer that cut the Phillie lead to 7-4. Baez got Desmond on a ground ball to short to end the game.
Three innings for the pen in which they allowed three runs on five hits and a walk. Baez threw 18 pitches, Stutes 16 and Romero 15.
The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Marquis went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Rollins stays in the leadoff spot for the second straight game. The lefty Schneider catches with Sardinha on the bench. The righty Valdez plays second with the lefty Orr on the bench.
Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a single, but Victorino popped to short and Polanco hit into a double-play behind him.
Howard and Francisco both struck out to start the second, but Ibanez was next and he singled to right. Schneider went down in a dribbler out in front of the plate to end the inning.
The Phils went in order in the third.
Polanco singled with one out in the fourth. Howard grounded to second with Polanco forced at second for the second out. Francisco grounded to third to leave Howard stranded.
Ibanez hit the first pitch from Marquis in the fifth out to right-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Schneider followed with a single on a ball deflected by the first baseman LaRoche and Valdez followed with a ground ball to short with Schneider forced at second for the first out. Worley lined a single into left, moving Valdez to second, and Rollins walked to load the bases for Victorino. Victorino singled to left and everyone moved up a base. 2-0. Polanco was next and hit a fly ball to left for the second out, deep enough for Worley to tag and score, putting the Phils ahead 3-0. Howard lined to Espinosa to leave Rollins and Victorino stranded.
The lead was cut to 3-1 when Francisco started the sixth with a walk. He moved to second when Ibanez followed with a single to right. Schneider singled to right, too, and the bases were loaded for Valdez. Valdez delivered a single to left and everyone moved up a base. 4-1. Righty Brian Broderick took over for Marquis and Gload hit for Worley and struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Rollins followed with another single that moved everyone up again and made it 5-1. Victorino hit a ground ball to second. Espinosa tossed to second to force Rollins for the second out, but the relay to first from Desmond was wide of LaRoche for an error that allowed Victorino to take second. Schneider and Valdez both scored on the play to extend the lead to 7-1. Polanco lined to Desmond for the third out.
Victorino probably would have beaten the play at first even if Desmond hadn’t thrown the ball away. Manuel again uses Gload earlier in the game than he tended to last year. Gload has a bad at-bat, striking out with the bases loaded and nobody out, but Rollins picks him up and the Nats throw the ball away.
The Phils went in order in the seventh.
Schneider and Valdez went down to start the eighth. With righty Todd Coffey pitching for Washington, Martinez hit for Stutes and drew a walk. Rollins grounded to Coffey for the third out.
Third plate appearance for Martinez since April 24.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. He’s 4-for-8 with a triple and two walks hitting out of the leadoff spot in the last two games.
Victorino 1-for-4 with two RBI. He’s 10-for-his-last-30.
Polanco 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Francisco 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.
Ibanez 3-for-4 with a home run, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils. 5-for-8 with two doubles and a home run in his last two games.
Schneider was 2-for-4 to raise his average on the year to .184.
Valdez 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-28 with three singles and a walk.
Halladay (4-1, 2.14) faces lefty John Lannan (2-3, 3.78) tonight. Lefties have hit 167/286/300 against Lannan so far this season, righties 313/382/434. He faced the Phils on April 13 and allowed three runs, two earned, over six innings. Halladay has made one start this year in which he allowed more than two runs in the game. He started the April 13 game against the Nats and threw a complete game, allowing two runs in the ninth long after any normal human being would have been taken out of the game. Not sure what Halladay is, but I’m sure it’s not a normal human being.
David Herndon was sent to Triple-A to make room for Romero. The Phils continue to carry 14 hitters, including three catchers. Ruiz hasn’t played since last Wednesday (April 27).