The Phillies have a postseason-quality starting lineup and closer, but they need starting pitchers to complement Brett Myers and Cory Lidle, particularly with Jon Lieber on the disabled list with a strained groin.
Ryan Madson rose to the occasion Wednesday by going a career-long 7 2/3 innings in the Phils' 7-3 win. Although he allowed three earned runs, two of them came in his final inning of work with the game in hand.
"This is a big opportunity for me," said Madson, who stayed in the rotation when Hamels came off the disabled list this week. "This is it. I have to do it now. That's what I'm telling myself."
REPLAY: The Phillies ended the West Coast portion of their 11-game road trip in impressive fashion, completing a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks with a 7-3 win. Ryan Madson (6-3) rewarded Charlie Manuel's decision to keep him in the starting rotation with 7 2/3 strong innings, as he scattered eight hits and
walked none to earn the victory.
The Phillies were powered by three home runs, as Ryan Howard hit his 21st of the season in the third inning, Jimmy Rollins nailed his sixth in the fourth, and Sal Fasano (4-for-4) went deep for the second straight game in the eighth. The
Phillies went 5-2 in Los Angeles and Arizona and will complete the road trip with four games in Washington.
|Sal Fasano has found his swing, hitting homeruns in back-to-back games and going 4-for-4 in the Phillies win over Arizona Wednesday. Fasano is getting playing time with Mike Lieberthal nursing a sore hip.|
PHILLIES NOTEBOOK:Ryan Madson has had difficulty keeping his pitch count down this season, but that wasn't the case Wednesday. He needed just 95 pitches to go a career-long 7 2/3 innings against the Diamondbacks, and it was the first time Madson hasn't walked a batter in a big-league start.
David Dellucci made his third start in left field in the last eight days, as Pat Burrell's sore foot is turning that position into something of a platoon. Despite going 0-for-3 Wednesday, Dellucci is 11-for-30 with five
doubles, two triples and two homers since May 5.
Sal Fasano didn't have an RBI while C Mike Lieberthal was on the disabled list for most of May, but he has heated up since Lieberthal returned. Fasano is 8-for-18 since then with two home runs and three RBIs. Lieberthal is nursing a sore hip, but hopes to avoid a return to the DL.
Jimmy Rollins has scored a run in the Phillies' last six games, and they are 5-1 in those games and 24-10 this season when Rollins scores a run.
Gavin Floyd was told he needed to become a bigger believer in his ability when he was sent to Triple-A earlier in the week, and he might be
getting the message. In his first start at Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Floyd allowed just one run and got a complete-game victory.
THE NUMBERS GAME - .352: Jimmy Rollins' on-base percentage when leading off an inning this season (through June 2). While criticized for his lack of patience as a leadoff hitter, only five NL players had drawn more leadoff walks than Rollins (nine).
HE SAID WHAT? "It takes a lot for me to lose it like that. I probably got everything inside and took it out on the bat in the tunnel." - Infielder Abraham Nunez, about smashing a bat in frustration following a failed sacrifice-bunt attempt May 31.