I don't know about you guys, but yesterday's day off was huge. No game. No disappointment. No Delmon Young. It was a huge relief for the fans. However, would it be good for the Phillies? Coming of a series against the Dodgers in which they went 1-for-4, the team was reeling. Having to face not only the league's winningest team, but the league's hottest team was going to be nothing short of difficult. The first to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates was right-hander Jonathan Pettibone. He got a bit of a break a few hours before game time when it was announced he would not have to face off against the impressive Jeff Locke. Instead, Triple A callup Brandon Crumpton would get the nod. How would Philly fare in this ballgame?
Let's jump ahead to the bottom of the third, where the Delmon Young we've come to love made his first mark on the night. With one out, Crumpton would pop the pitch out to right field. Naturally, Young botched the play and dropped the routine catch. On a play that would've ended the inning, Starling Marte grounded a ball out to shortstop. Jimmy Rollins was able to nab Crumpton at second, but that's all they could get. After Marte stole, Russell Martin worked a walk to put two on. Andrew McCuthen would follow with what looked to be an RBI single up the middle. However, in what may turn out to be one of his last plays as a Phillie, Chase Utley made a miraculous diving play and throw to the plate to keep Marte from scoring. It would prove even more important when Pettibone, who threw over 30 pitches in the inning, struck out Garrett Jones.
The Phillies w0uld arrive at their first scoring opportunity in the sixth inning, and actually capitalized. Michael Young began everything with a single, but was quickly erased on an Utley grounder to short. Jimmy Rollins then singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Ryan Howard broke his 0-for-22 streak with a single of his own, and the Phillies were on the board. With Rollins now at third, Domonic Brown sacrificed a ball to deep center field. The Phillies' third and final run of the inning came off the bat of the most flip-flopping player on the team, Delmon Young. His double would score Howard, and the Phillies held a 3-0 lead.
Pettibone remained in the game to begin the sixth, where Martin would walk once again. McCutchen could do nothing with the opportunity, as a double play reset the inning. That would turn out to be important for Pettibone, who allowed a homerun to the next batter, Garrett Jones. Jake Diekman would come on to wrap up the inning. 3-1 Phillies.
Phillippe Aumont would pitch the seventh for the Phils, and received some excellent defensive help from one Domonic Brown. Jordy Mercer popped one out to Brown in left and tried turning it into a double. A one-hope throw to second from Brown would cut Mercer off in the process to record the first out. Save for a Travis Snider single, Aumont would escape unscathed.
Despite giving up two walks and a hit, J.C. Ramirez, Antonio Bastardo, and Justin De Fratus kept the Pirates at bay (HA!) in the bottom of the eighth. John Mayberry Jr.'s double would be forgotten when he was picked off at second base in the ninth.
Jonathan Papelbon would come on to close it out for Jonathan Pettibone in the ninth, his first appearance since the series against the San Diego Padres. He saved the game (possibly his last as a Phillie) and the Phillies take Game One, ending the Pirates winning streak.
An overall good win the the Phils. The day off seemed to help not only the defense, but Ryan Howard as well, who recorded two hits. Even with only three runs, the Phillies beat the pitcher they had to, as the next two Pittsburgh starters will prove to be a much more difficult. Nevertheless, the Phillies will try to use this momentum headed into tomorrow's game, as John Lannan will face off against Jeff Locke in 7:05 action.