Sunday, July 10, 2011

Phillies pound Braves, enter All-Star break with best record in baseball

You couldn't have scripted a better way for the Phillies to enter the All-Star break. After two nail biters against the Braves, the Phillies demolished Atlanta, winning 14-1 to maintain their 3.5 game lead in the NL East.

It was an offensive explosion for the Phils, who knocked out 20 hits against Derek Lowe and the rest of the solid Braves pitching staff. It was a complete team effort as every starter had at least one hit and one run, with most scoring twice and picking up multiple hits. Raul Ibanez had a huge game, driving in 6 runs while hitting his 12th home run of the season. Michael Martinez and John Mayberry, both filling in for injured All-Stars, also were key contributors, combining for 7 hits, 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. When Martinez and Mayberry have games like that, you know things are going well.

Cole Hamels also put together one last dominant start before the All-Star game, giving up just 3 hits while striking out 6 in 8 innings of work. He picked up his 11th win, tying Roy Halladay for most wins on the team.

The Phillies now enter the All-Star break with the best record in baseball. After crushing the second best team in the NL, they have to feel pretty good about their season so far. They've positioned themselves in such a way that all they need to worry about is getting healthy for the playoffs. With their starting pitching, they are built for another deep playoff run as long as they get even league average offense. If they hit even close to how they did today, they might not lose another game.
(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

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