Phillies 8, Cubs 7
Game 39 - Thursday Night, May 17th in Chicago
Record - 20-19, 5th Place, 4 games behind the Braves
One Sentence Summary: Carlos Ruiz paced the offense and Roy Halladay pitched eight strong innings as the Phils defeated the Cubs, 8-7.
What It Means: The Phillies have a winning record for the first time since the first game of the season. They'll try to keep their five-game win streak going against the Red Sox as the Sox are coming town for a three-game series starting tonight. Also hopefully on tap - getting out of last place in the East.
What Went Right: With the exception of a few tense moments in the ninth, the Phillies controlled this game pretty much from the outset. Halladay (4-3) allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out four. Jake Diekman, who looked unhittable a few nights before, was touched for four runs in the ninth before Jonathan Papelbon was summoned to record the final out and notch his 11th save.
Ruiz enjoyed a four-hit night, raising his season average to .363. He also drove in three runs. Hunter Pence, Juan Pierre and Halladay also had multiple hits for the Phils. Pierre added some fine defense in left to partially make amends for his miscue on Wednesday night.
Featured Card: For the second game in a row, I have to go with another card for Ruiz. This is Chooch's latest 2012 baseball card, released a few weeks ago. Topps mixed it up this year with its Bowman release, opting for white borders instead of the frequently used black borders for the Bowman base cards. The large color logo on the front of the card is also a nice touch.
I usually don't get too excited about the annual Bowman release, as I'm not a prospector, and this year is no exception. The Phillies have two prospects featured within the Bowman Prospects insert set - starting pitcher Julio Rodriguez, currently 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA for Double-A Reading and outfielder Kyrell Hudson, who is hitting .183 through 34 games with Low-A Lakewood.