The game got off to a rocky start for the southpaw, as he surrendered Adam Dunn's 22nd home run of the year in the first inning. The home run tied Dunn for the major league lead in homeruns with Toronto's Carlos Delgado. That would be all Wolf gave up in this game. The lefty pitched seven marvelous innings conceding only one run on two hits and striking out seven along the way. Wolf's performance was an instrumental part of the Phillies win.
Danny Graves wasn't as lucky as his counterpart. Although he only gave up two runs, he did surrender six hits and two walks without a strikeout. But when the bullpen took over for him, it all came undone for the former all-star closer turned starting pitcher.
Bobby Abreu and Jimmy Rollins both appear energized by Larry Bowa's new lineup. Jimmy Rollins opened the scoring in the second inning after doubling and scoring on an RBI double play by Wolf. While Abreu has not taken much liking to batting leadoff, he hit his tenth home run to deep left field in the top of the second in his new role. He also opened the floodgates later in this game.
After a short rain delay in the 8th inning, the Phillies put one run on the board and had bases loaded for Abreu, who slashed a two-run single to make the score 5-1. Placido Polanco came to the plate and hit a huge two run double, making the score 7-1. Jim Thome then singled home a run and the hit parade continued with an infield single by Marlon Byrd, followed by an RBI single from Mike Lieberthal. It wouldn't end there as David Bell slammed a three run home run to right field, making the score 12-1, the home run was his third of the season.
If Saturday night was any indication, Bobby Abreu may just be the prototypical leadoff hitter this team sought all season. Whether it is a new lineup, or a pep talk by Bowa following last night's drubbing, something turned this team around. Hopefully, this performance will be the momentum maker the Phils need with a series against the Braves on the horizon.
- As complete a victory as this was, Pat Burrell is still struggling. Not only did he go hitless (although he made solid contact each at bat), but his troubles have spread to his fielding. After committing an error and floundering on a ground ball to right field it looks like his slump may be worse then anyone ever imagined. Could a demotion to triple A be what brings Burrell out of this slump? Or will this turn into something that nags the left fielder all season long? Stay tuned; this doesn't look to be solved anytime soon.
- Like it or not, Bobby Abreu will likely be the leadoff hitter for this team, and his performance Saturday night may help change his opinion of the role.
- The Phillies will complete the three game series with the Reds Sunday afternoon at 1:15 before playing in the hall of fame game against Tampa Bay at 2:05 on Monday.