Sunday, August 31, 2008

Phillies Weekend in Review: Werth helps Phils earn split with Cubs, Benson released

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
After a rough start to the series against the Cubs, the Phillies finished out strong this weekend, winning a pair of games against the best team in the National League. They were helped on Sunday by the late scratch of Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, but the Phillies played some good baseball to earn both victories.

Jayson Werth was the story of the weekend, going a combined 5 for 8 at the plate with 3 homers and 7 runs batted in. Werth's red-hot bat single-handedly carried the offense and he is starting to put together some great numbers on the season. He now has 21 homers and 56 RBI to go with a .282 batting average. Pretty good numbers for a guy who doesn't play every day.

The pitching staff also deserves credit for a solid effort this weekend. On Saturday, Brett Myers continued his dominating ways in striking out 8 batters and earning his 5th win since his return to the majors. Myers looks better than he ever has and is still sporting an ERA well below 2 since his return. The bullpen was huge as well, with J.C. Romero getting the Phillies out of a big jam on Saturday and Brad Lidge saving both games in perfect 1-2-3 fashion.

The Phillies remain 1 game behind the Mets for first place but they now get a break with a series with the Nationals starting Monday. The Mets, on the other hand, will face a tough Brewers team before welcoming the Phillies to New York for a big series next weekend. With 25 games left, every game is huge from this point forward.

Benson gone Sorry, Anna Benson fans, the Kris Benson era is over in Philadelphia. Benson signed a minor league deal with the Phillies with the hope that he would be the first player called up should they need rotation help but he took so long to get healthy that several better options emerged. Benson didn't fit into the Phillies plans for the rest of the year, so the team simply released him. This isn't really that big of a loss considering the Phillies simply took a flier on Benson and he didn't pan out. Perhaps he'll catch on with another team desperate for pitching, or desperate for Anna.

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