Ben Revere is quietly one of the best hitters in major league baseball. Credit: Getty Images
Ben Revere walks about as often as the Phillies win Sunday games. But the Phillies centerfielder led off with a walk, only his 11th of the season and the Phillies offense generated considerable offense for Jerome Williams, who beat the Cardinals 7-1.
The Phillies, who only won their third Sunday game of the summer (3-11), took back-to-back series for the first time since April.
The Phillies put up crooked numbers in two of the first three innings. However, Williams, who was masterful again for the Phillies didn’t need much support. Williams gave up just one run on five hits in eight innings.
“He was outstanding,” Ryne Sandberg said. “He mixed his speeds and hit his spots.”
Since picking up Williams off the scrap heap earlier in the month, the veteran hurler has been terrific in three starts. Williams is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA. How has Williams picked it up with the Phillies after faring so poorly with the pitching starved Texas Rangers and Houston Astros?
“My stuff was there but I wasn’t using my pitches right earlier in the season,” Williams explained. “Now I’m using every pitch I have in every part of the zone. I’m mixing speeds. I’m not a one-dimensional pitcher.”
Williams also helped himself with the bat by driving in a run on a safety squeeze, for his first RBI since 2008.
“Why are you bringing that up,” Williams cracked. “I saw a big gap on the right side and all I had to do was get it past the pitcher and I did and the run scored.”
The Phillies, who lack pitching depth, have to be thinking about Williams potentially being part of the 2015 rotation. However, Williams claims that he’s not focused on next season.
“I’m not thinking about that yet,” Williams said. “However, it plays out, it plays out. I’ve been through a lot of stuff throughout my career. If I force the issue and keep doing what I’m doing, who knows what will happen?”
It was surprising that Domonic Brown was back in the lineup a day after making two bad gaffes in the outfield. After Saturday night’s game he complained about the lack of playing time.
Sandberg disclosed that he and Brown had a talk about the situation and wrote it off as the young outfielder being frustrated.
Brown, who singled, claims that all is well with he and his manager. “I want to play more,” Brown said. “That’s tough when you have Grady (Sizemore) swinging the bat well and they have (Darin) Ruf here as well. But I think that Ryno is doing a great job. There’s no beef with me and Ryno. He just talked with me earlier to make sure that we’re on the same page about everything.”
Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer and Ben Revere, who leads the NL in hitting, had a pair of hits and an RBI, just his 15th of the season.