MIAMI– It seems that the Phillies are finally beginning to break out of their April funk. The recent success starts with the guy on the Pitchers mound.
Yesterday, that guy was Jamie Moyer. Moyer allowed one run in six innings of work Sunday, leading the Phils to a 13-2 victory over the Marlins at Dolphin Stadium.
“Let me tell you something,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “As long as we get pitching, we’re going to win games.”
Quality pitching was something the Phils enjoyed little of before this weekend, they were 6-8 and carried a 6.31 ERA into the series, the worst mark in the NL. They had just four quality starts, the fewest in all of baseball.
“As long as we’re winning games, I don’t care how we pitch,” Moyer said. “You want to pitch well and win games, but it’s a process and it’s a long season. We’re starting to put one foot in front of the other and find a little more consistency.
“We’re swinging the bats well. We’re staying in the game. That’s important, too.”
And the Phillies did swing the bats Sunday, scoring twelve runs. It all got started in the first, when Shane Victorino, who was batting lead-off for the struggling Jimmy Rollins, and Eric Bruntlett drew walks to start the game and later scored on a single by Ryan Howard and a sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez.
Then, in the seventh, the Phils began to pile it on, leading 4-1 at the time thanks to a Chase Utley RBI single. The Phillies scored four in the seventh and five in the eight, batting around both innings.
Shane Victorino led the charge, with four RBIs during the two innings. Pedro Feliz also broke out of his o-14 slump, with a 3-5 day.
With the Phillies lead a very comfortable 13-2, they were able to give Utley a rest and Miguel Cairo a rare at-bat against Marlins’ right-fielder Cody Ross, who had warmed up to make his first career pitching appearance.
The Phils went scoreless against Ross, and called on J.A. Happ to finish the game in his second inning of work. Happ completed the sweep, sending the bewildered Marlins to the airport, where they’ll fly to New York to attempt to end their six game losing streak against John Maine and the Mets.
The Phillies are back in Philadelphia, where they’ll look to continue their success against the last place Nationals tonight at Citizens Bank Park. But, Phillies fans are already looking ahead to the Mets, who come to town Friday night for the first meeting of the two rivals this season.*