A win last night against the Seattle Mariners had to feel good, if only because of the well-known struggles the Phillies have had against the American League. Looking ahead to the next two games, there was even a belief that the home squad had a chance to win the series, especially considering they did not have to face Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez. Tonight, though, they faced the next toughest hurler in the Mariners rotation in the form of Hisashi Iwakuma. They'd have to hope A.J. Burnett would break out of his current funk to propel the team to a second straight victory.
The Game: Nothing. If you're wondering what the Phillies offense produced from innings one through eight, you just read it. Hisashi Iwakuma came out dominating, and had the Phillies in his his pocket all game long. Philadelphia had just four hits through those first eight frames, and Iwakuma had already collected eleven strikeouts going into inning number nine.
Meanwhile, A.J. Burnett still could not find his groove. In fact, he could not escape the first inning without surrendering a couple of runs. Two straight walks to Austin Jackson and Dustin Ackley did him in, and after both stole a base, Jackson was brought in to score on a Robinson Cano ground out. Burnett would get Kyle Seager to strike out, but an RBI single off of Logan Morrison's bat scored the second run. Seager would go on to homer off Burnett in the sixth to extend the lead to 3-0.
Burnett would pitch into the eighth inning, where he'd let the game slip away. With two men on, Mike Zunino roped a ball into left field for a hit and twin RBIs. Now holding a 5-0 advantage, Iwakuma wrapped up the eighth with the win in hand. Charlie Furbush came in for the ninth, where he'd retire two of the first three batters. Mananger Lloyd McClendon then decided to bring Yoervis Medina in for relief, and he'd serve up a base knock to Marlon Byrd. With runners at the corners, a wild pitch allowed Chase Utley to score from third. A subsequent double from Domonic Brown would then score Byrd and bring the score to 5-2. After Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch, Fernando Rodney was brought in to shut the door, and that he did. Cody Asche struck out to end it, and the Mariners secured the Game Two victory.
Up Next: Tomorrow should be an interesting matchup, as Cole Hamels gets the ball for Philadelphia. James Paxton is the choice for Seattle.
Andrew Gillen, Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com