Utley drives in six runs as Phillies clobber Rockies, 20-5
THE GOOD news? The Phillies scored more last night than the Eagles did in 10 of their 16 games last season. Riding an offensive groove straight out of the Jazz Age, the Phillies bebopped their way to a 20-5 win over the Colorado Rockies last night at Citizens Bank Park.
THE GOOD news? The Phillies scored more last night than the Eagles did in 10 of their 16 games last season.
Even better news? Charlie Manuel didn't add a No. 1 wide receiver in the offseason, either.
Riding an offensive groove straight out of the Jazz Age, the Phillies bebopped their way to a 20-5 win over the Colorado Rockies last night at Citizens Bank Park, getting key contributions from nearly every batter in a line-up that suddenly has begun to live up to the potential the organization believed it had prior to the season.
"It was one of those games where everyone was running to the bat rack," said Ryan Howard, who went 1-for-2 with three RBI and three runs scored.
You need a glass of Alka-Seltzer and some Rolaids to digest the numbers that came out of this one.
First, however, a couple of caveats: the Rockies had two key players - Matt Holliday (hamstring) and Garrett Atkins (neck) - sidelined. They also had a lefthander on the mound named Jorge De La Rosa who entered with a 7.78 ERA.
These weren't the same Rockies who swept the Phillies out of the playoffs last season. That said, the offensive fireworks the Phillies lit were impressive.
Their 20 runs were the most by a major league team in a single game this season, eclipsing the previous high of 19. The last time the Phillies scored at least 20 in a game was July 3, 1999, in a 21-8 win over the Cubs.
Four different Phillies had at least three RBI, led by Chase Utley's career-high six. Seven of the eight regulars who started the game scored at least two runs.
Pedro Feliz went 4-for-6 with four RBI. Chris Coste went 3-for-6 with four RBI and a three-run home run in the team's six-run sixth inning.
"I don't have to say much," Manuel said. "The game was mostly about hitting tonight."
It's easy to forget that the Phillies actually trailed by three runs early in the game after Ryan Spilborghs hit a home run with two men on in the first inning to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead.
Utley answered in the bottom of the frame with his own three-run shot, scoring Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, both of whom reached base on walks.
"That was probably the biggest hit of the game," Coste said. "That right away put us back in the game and eventually put us on that path."
It also gave Jamie Moyer a fresh start, which the veteran lefty took advantage of. He retired the side in the second inning, and did the same in the fifth and sixth. He allowed just one run in his final six innings. He struck out an un-Moyer-like seven batters, more than in any of his previous nine starts this season.
"It's pleasant to see," said Moyer, who allowed four runs on six hits in seven innings while improving to 5-3. "It's not necessarily the number - it's pleasant to see guys get good swings."
Two guys who played integral rolls were Feliz, who continued a recent hot streak, and Shane Victorino, who scored a career-high four runs and reached base five of the six times he came to the plate.
The play of both players has been key to the Phillies' recent offensive outburst. (For the first time all season, they have reached double digits in hits in five of six games.)
In the first 42 games of the year, they reached double digits in runs twice. In the last 11 games, they've reached double digits four times.
Over the last 11 games, the Phillies are hitting .311 as a team. In that same time span, Victorino is hitting .391 with a .472 on-base percentage. Feliz, meanwhile, is hitting .375.
"You just sit there and watch it," said Manuel, whose team improved to 29-24, "and you kind of enjoy it." *
For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read David Murphy's blog, High Cheese, at http://go.philly.com/highcheese.