The Phils' Tomas Perez hit a three-run home run and an RBI sac fly tonight to help the Phils slip past the Diamondbacks, 8-7, tonight. In the process the Phils have reached .500 for the first time since April 7, when they were just 1-1; it was their seventh try to reach the mediocrity mark.
Perez now has two home runs on the season and both were off of Arizona's Brandon Webb. The first came in the May 2 game which the Phillies won, 6-5, in the 14th inning (though they should have won in with the bases loaded and one out in the 11th, but Bowa ran Glanville out to hit). The two-run homer by Perez was the Phils' first runs in the ballgame. It came in the seventh with the D-Backs leading, 4-0. What's more, Webb has given up just three home runs on the season and two were to Perez.
It reminded me of the way that role player Tommy Hutton used to own Tom Seaver in the mid-Seventies. Hutton rarely started but whenever the Phils played the Metsand Seaver was pitching, there he'd be at first or left with his blond Cheshire Cat moustache and his glove way up on his hand. Seaver was probably the best pitcher of his era, and Hutton was little more than a bench player, but somehow Hutton owned 'im. I remember one night game at the Vet in 1977, in which Hutton hit a home run to lead the Phils over Seaver and the Mets. I remember a picture of Hutton rounding the bases with the old Vet scoreboard brimming with the word "TOMMY!" in lights while Seaver manicured the mound with his heel. I just looked the game up in Retrosheet and it was May 27. Hutton went 2-for-3 with four RBI. He singled in the game's first run in the first, hit a two-run home run in the sixth to put the Phils up 4-1, and hit a sac fly in the eighth that put the Phils ahead to stay, 5-4. Hutton hit one other home run and drove in 7 other runs in his 78 other at-bats that year.
By the way, more news from the Age of Jive. Ryan "Don't Call Me Oscar" Madson broke Marty Bystrom's team record for consecutive scoreless innings to start a career tonight with 21.1. For those who don't remember Bystrom went 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA after a September call-up in 1980. Before his first game September 7, the Phils were a game behind the Expos for the NL East lead. His first start came Sept 10 and he beta the the Mets, 5-0, pitching a complete-game shutout (he only had one other for his career). At this point the Phils were a half-game back. On 9/14, he held the Cardinals scoreless throiugh seven to keep the Phils a full game back of the Expos. He finally relinquished his first major-league runs on 9/20 in the fourth inning against the Cubs but ends up winning his third straight. On September 25, Bystrom wins a 2-1 pitchers dual against the Mets Pat Zachry to put the Phils in first by a half game as the Expos lose to the Cubs by one-run, 6-5. The Phils again fall behind the Expos, but Bystrom's 14-2 victory over the Cubs on September 30 kept the Phils one half-game back. Philadelphia ended up tied with Montreal as the faced off in the final series, which the Phils won two games to one. Bystrom ended up getting shelled in his one World Series start that year allowing three runs and 10 hits in five innings. The Phils, however, ended up winning 4-3 and ended up winning the Series the next game.