Vance Worley continued his awesome and almost completely unexpected run yesterday, allowing a run over eight innings as the Phils pounded the Cubs 9-1.
The Phillies are now 8-2 in the games Worley has started this year. He hasn’t allowed more than one run in any of his last six starts. In those outings he’s gone 4-0 with an 0.98 ERA and an 0.97 ratio and opponents have hit .163 against him.
Jimmy Rollins also had a monster day, too, doubling and hitting two home runs, one from each side of the plate. Rollins, Martinez and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 in the game at the top of the order, driving in six runs and scoring seven. The three guys behind them, Howard, Victorino and Ibanez, combined to go 2-for-12 yesterday and 2-for-31 with two singles in the series.
The Phillies are 61-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-1 yesterday. The Phils take the series two games to one and are 25 games above .500 for the first time on the year. The second-place Braves have lost two in a row and fallen 4 1/2 games behind the Phils in the NL East.
Worley got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.02 in his 62 1/3 innings.
He walked Starlin Castro with one out in the first, but got Aramis Ramirez to line to a leading Rollins for the second out and struck Carlos Pena out looking to end the inning.
Up 5-0, Worley hit Geovany Soto with a pitch on the hand with one out. Alfonso Soriano was next and he smashed a line drive that Worley caught. Worley went to first and Soto was doubled-off to end the inning.
Nice play by Worley. Three outs on hard hit line drives for Worley in the first two innings after Rollins retired Ramirez on a line drive to short in the first.
Up 6-0, Worley set the Cubs down in order in the third.
Up 7-0, he struck out Ramirez and Pena in a 1-2-3 fourth.
Soto singled to right with one out in the fifth for the first Chicago hit of the day. Soriano was next and hit a ground ball to short with Soto forced at second for the second out. Darwin Barney grounded out behind him to end the inning.
Up 8-0, Worley struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Baker and Castro in a 1-2-3 sixth.
Ramirez doubled to center to start the seventh and Pena walked behind him. Marlon Byrd was next and singled to left, loading the bases with nobody out. Soto hit a ball deflected by Martinez that Rollins got to and threw to second to force Soto for the first out. Ramirez scored on the play to make it 8-1, but it was a very nice play by Rollins to get an out anywhere. It put men on first and third for Soriano and Soriano hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Madson started the ninth with a 9-1 lead. Worley had thrown 111 pitches. Madson set the Cubs down in order.
Madson threw eight pitches in the game and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.14. In his three outings since his return, he’s allowed a run on two hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings. I think we’re going to see him start to pitch less often in 9-1 games soon.
The Phillies lineup against righty Ryan Dempster went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Schneider. Martinez stays at third and in the two-hole with Polanco still sidelined. The lefty Schneider catches the day game against a righty with Ruiz on the bench.
Rollins was the first batter of the game and struck out for the first out. Martinez was next and hit a high popup that was lost in the sun, deflected by Castro for a single. Martinez stole second before Utley walked, bringing Howard to the plate with men on first and second. With the runners on the move, Howard hit a ground ball to short that went through for a single, scoring Martinez to make it 1-0 and moving Utley to third. Victorino was next and hit a soft ground ball to third. Ramirez could only take the out at first, Utley scored and the Phils led 2-0. Ibanez flew to right for the third out.
Way to make the most of popup with nobody on base. Another stolen base by Martinez, whose steal in game two should have led to a run in the sixth inning of game two for the Phils. Good no-strikeout by Victorino to bring home the second run of the frame. He was striking out in about 10.1% of his plate appearances for the year coming into the game, which is the lowest mark of his career (11.5% for his career).
Brown and Schneider both struck out to start the second before Worley and Rollins doubled back-to-back, with the double by Rollins plating Worley to make it 3-0. Martinez was next and he singled into center, scoring Rollins. 4-0. Martinez stole second again and there was a brief delay in the game to allow everyone to run and try to claim him in their fantasy leagues. Except literally. Utley followed that with the third double of the inning, scoring Martinez. 5-0. Dempster struck Howard out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.
Victorino led off the third with a walk. Ibanez flew to right before Victorino was thrown out trying to steal second. Brown followed that with a walk and he came around to score when Schneider doubled to center. 6-0. Worley struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Schneider at second.
Fourth extra-base hit for the Phils in the first three innings of the game. The caught stealing by Victorino costs the Phils a run.
Rollins led off the fourth and hit a ball to Pena that Pena first didn’t handle and then threw away. Two errors for Pena on the play left Rollins at second with nobody out. Martinez grounded back to the pitcher with Rollins holding for the first out before Utley doubled again, scoring Rollins to make it 7-0. Utley moved to third on a Howard ground out to first, but was left there when Victorino flew to right.
Brown and Schneider both struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.
Rollins homered to right off of righty Ramon Ortiz with one out in the sixth. 8-0. Martinez and Utley both grounded out behind him.
Ibanez and Brown singled back-to-back with two outs in the seventh. Schneider followed that with a walk that loaded the bases for Worley. Worley grounded to first to end the frame.
Mayberry hit for Howard with lefty John Grabow pitching for the Cubs and struck out for the first out. That might have as much to do with trying to get Mayberry at-bats with the return of Victorino as it does with Howard never, ever getting a hit.
Rollins led off the eighth with a home run to left off the lefty Grabow, putting the Phils up 9-1. The Phils went in order behind him, with Valdez hitting for Utley and striking out for the second out.
Second home run of the year against a lefty for Rollins. He came into the game hitting 240/275/302 against lefties for the year.
Brown walked with two outs in the ninth. Schneider hit the ball hard, but grounded to first to end the frame.
Rollins was 3-for-5 in the game with a double, two home runs and four runs scored. 6-for-14 with a double and three home runs in the three-game set. 316/368/511 over his last 144 plate appearances. 277/344/410 for the year. 22-for-his-last-51 (431/463/706 over his last 54 plate appearances).
Martinez 2-for-5 with an RBI. 5-for-13 in the series with a walk, a double and three RBI. 236/278/321 for the year. 310/362/452 in 47 plate appearances in July.
Utley 2-for-3 with a walk, two doubles and two RBI. 3-for-10 with a walk, three doubles and four RBI in the series. After going 0-for-3 in game one of the set, he was 1-for-his-last-14. In the last two games of the series he was 3-for-7 with three doubles. 270/367/433 for the year. He’s hitting just 200/321/356 against lefties for the year.
Howard 1-for-3 with an RBI. 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series. 2-for-22 with two singles since the All-Star break. 247/342/452. Mayberry went 0-for-2 yesterday and 2-for-7 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 238/310/420 for the year.
Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-8 with a walk since being activated for game two of the series. He’s hitting 295/368/509 for the season.
Ibanez 1-for-5 yesterday and 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 243/288/414 on the year.
Brown 1-for-3 with two walks yesterday. 3-for-8 with a double and four walks in the series. 247/339/395 for the year. He’s 3-for-his-last-15 with six walks, giving him a .200 batting average but a .429 on-base percentage over those 15 plate appearances.
Schneider 1-for-4 with a walk, a double and an RBI in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 188/253/319 for the year.
No game today. The Phils play the Padres in Philadelphia tomorrow night.
I will be surprised if the Phillies trade Domonic Brown in a deal to get Carlos Beltran.
Polanco will be getting an injection in his lower back today.
Stadium Journey has recently written about Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA, which is home to the Williamsport Crosscutters. The Crosscutters are the Phillies affiliate in the NY-Penn League.