It was the most improbable of wins. With J.A. Happ on the disabled list the Philadelphia Phillies put Nelson Figueroa on the mound to make his first start since his October 4th complete game vs. the Astros (which was done in a Mets uniform). Figgy knows how lucky he is to be playing professional baseball right now, especially for the Phillies, after being put on waivers by the Mets on opening day, but I doubt he thought he would be starting a game for the Fightins any time soon.
And let’s face it, we didn’t see it coming either.
In a 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks, Nelson pitched a solid 5 innings giving up 5 hits, 2 runs on a home run to Kelly Johnson, walked 2, and struck out 4. Durbin, Contreras (W, 1-1, 1.59 ERA), and Madson (S, 4, 6.75 ERA) carried out the rest of the game with near perfect precision putting up a combined 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, and 8 K.
The real heroes of the night, though, were Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez. Werth went 2-4 with 2 RBI each on a solo home run. Raul followed suit with a solo blast of his own (his first of the year) and finished the night similarly at 2-4 and 1 RBI.
Don’t let a few long balls fool you, though. The offensive dry-spell that has cast a cloud over the rest of the Phillies lineup was still ever-present on Saturday evening. Victorino, Utley, Polanco, and Howard each went 0-4; Polly being the only one of the bunch to avoid a strikeout. Juan Castro went 1-2 before being taken out of the game in the 7th with a mild left hamstring strain and was replaced by Valdez who went 0-2.
The Phillies wrap the series in Arizona tomorrow at 4:10 PM ET with Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 7.24 ERA) taking the mound against Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 3.50 ERA) before heading off to San Fransisco.