Thursday, April 08, 2004

That's More Like It | Scripted was the watchword of last night's ragged victory over the Pirates (Inquirer; Daily News). Several accounts of the game note that its last third unspooled as if written by Ed Wade and Larry Bowa: strong bullpen work, including a lights-out ninth inning from Billy Wagner, and a couple of eighth-inning runs to get Randy Wolf off the hook and give the Phillies a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

My viewing of the game was spotty, so I can't offer too much running commentary. The most impressive highlights were the Pat Burrell-to-Jimmy Rollins-to-David Bell relay that pegged Raul Mondesi, who was trying to stretch a double, and Wagner's blistering close to the game. I did catch the ninth, and have to admit to really becoming excited watching Billy take the hill. He blasted fastball after fastball past the Bucs, and even though he ran deep counts the entire inning, there was never any indication that a Mesa-like collapse was imminent. Jack Wilson managed a scratch single in the hole between third and short, and that was it. Four batters, three strikeouts, and the Phils evened their record at 1-1.

Citizens Report has a comprehensive destruction of the game. Elsewhere in the Phillies blogosphere, Phillies Fan astutely worries about shaky pitching -- Wolf coughed up a pair of leads, and Rheal Cormier allowed an inherited runner to score -- and an inconsistent offense (another 10 runners left on base), while Citizen's Blog exults over "the joys of an automatic closer." There will be more to come as bloggers fire up their PCs this morning, I suspect.

Vicente Padilla goes against Ryan Vogelsong in the rubber match at PNC, as the Phillies attempt to head for Florida with a winning record under their belts.


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