Friday, December 19, 2014

Victorino Delivers, Big Brown Does Not

The Phillies came through again in an impressive 6-2 victory over the Braves at Turner Field.

Victorino Delivers, Big Brown Does Not

Brad Lidge struck out the side in the ninth inning in last night´s 6-2 victory over the Braves.
Brad Lidge struck out the side in the ninth inning in last night's 6-2 victory over the Braves. GREGORY SMITH / Associated Press

Big Brown faded down the stretch.

Got to be honest, I was rooting against him. I like the underdog. So I thought it was amusing that Charlie Manuel brought up Big Brown after last night's 6-2 victory over the Braves at Turner Field. He brought up the horse when asked about the speed Shane Victorino showed when Chase Utley tripled into the right-field corner in the eighth inning. Victorino's run handed the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

“Shane might have outrun Big Brown today,” Manuel said. “Big Brown had a rough trip.”

“Shane was rolling,” Jimmy Rollins said. “He’s fast. He probably would have (beaten Big Brown). I don’t know about a mile and a half, but a short sprint he definitely gets him.”

But the Phillies certainly are on an impressive run. They have won 11 of their last 13 games to improve to 12 games over .500 for the first time this season. The Phillies haven't been 38-26 since 1995, and haven't had a better record than that since ... 1993, when they were 45-19.

"It just feels good to come to the ballpark everyday," Kyle Kendrick said.

The Phillies haven't been on a run like this since last September.

It feels like it "a little bit," Kendrick said. "Obviously, we're not at that point yet, but guys are pitching well, the bullpen is doing great, we're scoring runs when we need to. It just feels like ... there was no doubt in my mind that we weren't going to lose this game. We knew we were going to win it. It was just nice to have that feeling."

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Carlos Ruiz, Pat Burrell and Rollins each homered.

Ruiz and Rollins both needed hits. It was just Ruiz's second hit in his last 20 at-bats. It snapped a 0-for-13 skid for Rollins.

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Brad Lidge struck out the side in order in the ninth. Why did he pitch in a non-save situation? Because he was already warmed up and ready to pitch when Rollins hit his two-run homer in the top of the ninth to make it a four-run game. Lidge needed just 14 pitches to work out of the ninth after he threw just 13 pitches Friday, which means he'll be available in the series finale with a day off Monday.

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In the Phillies Notebook, Jayson Werth is back from the DL.

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In The Inquirer's Sunday baseball column, Jim Salisbury looks at the Cincinnati Reds' young talent and how they could be developing into a NL Central powerhouse in the near future. Don't forget to check out Extra Bases,

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Chipper Jones has no problem talking about 400, or .400.

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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
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