Lucy's Dugout > Phillies down to one ace, but Wigginton shines at bat

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This past Monday's game was a winner for the Phils (8-4) over the New York Mets at Citi Field. Actually, that game belonged to Ty Wigginton. If you didn't see it, you missed a beauty of a performance. Wigginton drove in a career-high six runs that included a three-run homer, two-run double and an RBI single. He also had two walks against the Mets. Incidentally, Wigginton played for the Mets 2002-2004. He really helped starter, Cole Hamels, win his eighth straight decision. Hamels struck out six, allowing seven hits in his eight innings. One ace is better than none, I guess. How sweet it is.

Getting to Tuesday's game (sour grapes): the Mets beat our guys (6-3). Joe Blanton truly struggled, again. In the short five innings Blanton pitched, he handed the Mets nine hits and six runs. After the game, he stated that he was so mad at himself, he could not discuss it. I guess so. Blanton lost this game to the Mets' starting pitcher, Jeremy Hefner, who got his first Major League victory and added to his accomplishment on the mound by hitting a home run. It's always discouraging for me to write about our Pinstripers when they lose, so this week, I'll refrain from doing so.

You must know by now that Roy Halladay will be out six-eight weeks with a strained right shoulder. That's the bad news; the good news is that the shoulder is not affecting Halladay's rotator cuff. Rest is the prescribed remedy. Halladay is currently (4-5) in his eleven starts with a 3.98 ERA.

Carlos Ruiz was scratched from Tuesday night's lineup several hours before the game - benched for a tight right hamstring.

Ryan Howard, as you know, still rehabbing (Achilles' tendon); Chase Utley is also off the bench (knee problems). He is still taking batting practice and traveling with the team.

Roy Oswalt is joining the Texas Rangers' Triple A Round Rock (Texas) team this week.

Well, make this weekend is a sweet one for the Phillies. Catch them tonight, at Citizens Bank Park, 7 p.m., CSN; Saturday, 4 p.m., CSN and Sunday, 1:30 p.m., WPHL.

Jerry's Take:

Take one: Sometimes, adversity creates opportunity. The best example of that occurred in 1925, when the New York Yankees' first baseman Wally Pipp complained of a nagging headache on the second of June and requested the day off. His replacement on that day was Lou Gehrig. Gehrig remained in the lineup for 13 years and established a record for playing in 2,130 consecutive games. Sadly, Gehrig died of ALS at the age of 38, but said he considered himself the "luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Take two: Injuries have given many players a jump start they may otherwise have not gotten. The most recent example is Bryce Harper replacing Jayson Werth for the Washington Nationals. Harper is the real deal, and, at age 19, has a good chance to play 20 years or more, and, if he doesn't take a paternity leave, he may break Cal Ripken's record, which broke Lou Gehrig's record.

Take three: What has become of the "Four Aces?" Roy Oswalt is gone; Cliff Lee hasn't won a game in April or May and Roy Halladay is hurt. Cole Hamels is the lone ACE, and he may not be a Phillie in 2013.

Take four: What will the Phillies do with Jim Thome when and if he returns? He isn't any better than the guys we have. What about Michael Stutes and David Herndon? I think Raul Valdes and Jake Diekman are better relief pitchers. Freddy Galvis is making the best of his opportunity replacing Chase Utley.

The Oakland Athletics (the subject of the movie, "Moneyball") have a total payroll under $50 million. In comparison, Utley, Howard and Halladay are earning $56 million combined, yet are not currently playing. Oakland has 22 wins and the Phillies have 26. Ironic, isn't it? Only four wins difference!


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