Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Werth's Bat Carries Phils

Tuesday nights game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies featured a divisional rival that poses an interesting story. An aging Braves team that spent a decade atop the NL East as the Phillies, Mets and Marlins looked up hoping for a Wild Card spot. Now the tables have turned on the Braves and they are the team striving to compete for the number one spot in the division. As the Phillies, Marlins and Mets flourish this season, the Braves are looking for a spark to get rolling. Tuesday they were looking for that spark, but unfortunately for the Braves, Jason Werth showed up in rare fashion.

The Phils sent Kyle Kendrick to the mound on Tuesday to face the Braves JoJo Reyes as Kendrick looked to bring stability to the back of the Phils rotation. Kendirick however took some time to stabilize.

In the top of the first the Braves came out firing on all cylinders. After the first two batters reached base, Chipper Jones singled to center bringing home a run. three batters later though, Jeff Francoeur hit a 2 out 2 RBI single to right giving the Braves a 3-0 lead after the first. Luckily for the Phils though, Kendrick would settle after the shaky start and began to shut down the Braves offense.

It took until the fourth inning for the Phils to put up some runs. In the bottom of the inning, Chase Utley led off with a single and was moved to third on a long double to center off the bat of Ryan Howard. Two batters later, Jason Werth hit a single up the middle and brought both Howard and Utley home to make it a one run game.

The Phils added two more in the fifth inning off an RBI single from Ryan Howard and another from Jason Werth. Werth would continue his stellar 4-4 night with a RBI single in the seventh that would bring home the eventual game winner.

Four of the five Phillies runs came off the bat of Jason Werth which helped to erase a difficult play in the bottom of the ninth when Werth allowed a ball to sail over his head and bring home a run. Luckily for Werth, Brad Lidge kept his composure after allowing the run and closed out the game for his tenth save of the season.

With the Phils win and a loss by the Marlins, the Phils are now only 1.5 games out of first in the NL East. Wednesday's match up features Brett Myers for the Phils and the ageless wonder Tom Glavine to the Braves. Jason Werth has more than likely secured himself a spot in Wednesday's lineup with a 4-4 performance, and the Phils Ryan Howard finally had a solid night going 2-4 with an RBI.

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