Phillies 6, Cubs 4
Game 23 - Monday Night, April 30th in Philadelphia
Record - 11-12, 4th Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals
One Sentence Summary: The Phillies struck early and then had to rely on Placido Polanco's clutch two-out, two-run double in the eighth to overcome the Cubs, 6-4.
What It Means: The Phillies finished the month of April with an 11-12 record. Given how crappy the offense has been, it could have been a lot worse. They're not that far behind the Nationals in the East (3 1/2 games) and they're on their way to Atlanta to hopefully make up some ground against the second place Braves.
What Went Right: The Phils scored four quick runs in the first on RBI singles from Hunter Pence, Carlos Ruiz and Pete Orr. The Phils are 4-0 in games that Orr spells the offensively challenged Freddy Galvis at second.
Vance Worley (7 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts) was in line for the win until Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls allowed the Cubs to tie it up, 4-4, in the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Juan Pierre reached on a hit by pitch and Jimmy Rollins singled to set up Polanco for his big hit.
Featured Card: Is Topps releasing its sets too quickly? This might sound crazy to some people, but I kind of wish Topps would slow down a little. I'm still digesting the Topps Heritage set (released in mid-March) while most collectors have moved on to the Topps Gypsy Queen cards (released a few weeks ago). I know Topps is doing its job by keeping collectors interested and engaged, so I guess I'm just a little slower than most to jump to the next big thing.
In any event, this is Polanco's card from this year's Heritage set, released way back in March. I think this is my favorite Heritage set since the 2008 offering, which used the 1959 Topps design. Next year's set will be a down year - featuring the bland 1964 Topps design - but I'm already considering collecting the 2014 Topps Heritage set as the 1965 Topps design is probably the best from the decade.