Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2011 Topps Heritage #220 Ryan Howard

Phillies 10, Mets 7
Game 5 - Wednesday Night, April 6th in Philadelphia

One Sentence Summary:  Behind the mighty bat of Ryan Howard, the Phillies hung on to win a wild one against the Mets, 10-7.

What It Means:  The hope of going 161-1 is still alive.  It wasn't pretty at times, but the offense pounded out 16 hits against Mets pitching and the bullpen pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings.  The Phillies go for the series win tomorrow afternoon behind Roy Halladay.

What Went Right:  Howard is smoking crazy red hot.  He went 4 for 4 with two doubles, a solo home run, and two RBIs.  He's hitting .524 on the young season, and he is just flat raking the ball.  Placido Polanco joined the hit parade with three hits and three RBIs.  Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Pete Orr (starting at second) all enjoyed multi-hit games, while Ben Francisco added his second home run of the year - a bomb in the 6th inning.

The bullpen bailed out Joe Blanton, starting with Antonio Bastardo (who scored the win despite allowing the tying run to score in the fifth) and followed by J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras.  Contreras recorded his first save in his new role as the team's closer.

What Went Wrong:  Blanton got into trouble in the fifth and couldn't escape.  When the inning was over, the Mets had tied things up at 7-7 and Blanton's night was done.

Featured Card:  This is the look Mets starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey will see in his nightmares tonight.

Former Phillie Alert:  Taylor Buccholz allowed three inherited runners to score in the third, but he settled in and struck out five Phillies in his two innings of work.  Buccholz was one the prospects the Phillies traded to the Houston Astros back in November 2003 for Billy Wagner.

Other Stuff:  It's great to see former Phillie Chris Coste on the Phillies post-game show along with Ricky Bottalico.  You can't help but root for a guy like Coste, no matter what he's doing.

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