It was a night of great anticipation for Phillies fans.
It was the night they finally got to see legendary pitcher, Pedro Martinez, pitch at Citizens Bank Park. But alas, it was Jamie Moyer who would dazzle the fans on this night.
In what must have felt like an old timer's game on the pitching mound for the Phillies, Martinez and Moyer combined for an impressive 5-1 victory for the Phillies.
Martinez took the start and lasted three innings, when a rain delay a little over an hour forced manager Charlie Manuel to replace Martinez with Moyer. Martinez had given up a demoralizing lead off home run to start the game to Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew, but recovered nicely. He allowed just one more base hit, also in the first inning, and struck out three batters in his brief three inning stint. Of his 38 pitches in the game, 26 were for strikes.
Moyer was called upon in his new role out of the bullpen for some long relief. Perhaps pitching with some added motivation to show that he belongs in the starting rotation, Moyer was as dominant as he has been all season.
The crafty lefty pitched the rest of the game after the rain delay and was fantastic in his six full innings of relief. Moyer allowed just two hits and shut the Diamondbacks out. He also struck out five batters and did not issue a walk.
Offensively, Moyer also got the job done, chipping in with a pair of base hits. On a night where the Phillies left 11 base runners stranded on the base paths, it was Carlos Ruiz who lead the charge.
Ruiz went 3-for-3 on the night, including a a base hit in the bottom of the third to push the Phillies' lead to 3-1. The Phillies had trailed entering the third inning, but scored three runs in the inning. Pedro Feliz was called out at home to end the inning.
Ruiz and Jayson Werth each hit solo home runs in the game, which was good because Ryan Howard had a rough night.
The 1B who had hit a couple clutch home runs over the weekend in Atlanta, could not come through in two separate bases loaded situations with less than two outs. Howard went 0-for-5 on the night, including his two strike outs with the bases packed.
But its nights like these, when the big guy struggles in the clutch and the starter's night is cut short, that make you feel like the Phillies are going to win the NL East.
With a month to go, it will be interesting to see if the Phils can keep that distance between them and other NL East teams.