The Phillies came into this series with a couple of goals. The first goal was to win this series from the Pirates and that meant to win three games out of this four game set or sweep. That did not happen; instead the Phillies split the series by losing the last two games by scores of 11-7 and 5-4. The second goal of this series was to see how Chase Utley would play in his first game of this season. Utley played tremendous in his first game back as he went 3 for 5 with one RBI. That one RBI would be a solo home run that Utley crushed in his first at bat back with the team. The last time Utley hit a home run in his first at bat was back in his rookie season at Veterans Stadium when he hit a grand slam.
Also in that same game, it was the bullpen game as reliever Raul Valdes would get the start for the Phillies and he did not do bad as he only gave up three runs but then it got worse as Joe Savery and Chad Qualls would both get light up for runs. Those two players would suffer the consequences as they both would be sent down to AAA. Savery would be optioned to AAA and Qualls on the other hand would be DFA or designated for assignment. For Savery, I think it was good for him to get some experience in the majors and he should be back up before the season is over, but Qualls was just horrible. Qualls sealed his fate in game three of this four game set as he would go on to give up three runs in the eighth inning as the Phillies were trying to make a comeback. At that point, the Phillies were only down one run but Qualls gave the Phillies offense no chance in the last remaining innings. In place of Savery and Qualls, the Phillies purchased the contracts of right handed pitcher Brian Sanches and left handed pitcher Jeremy Horst from Lehigh Valley. If you remember, Horst came to the Phillies via the Wilson Valdez trade to the Cincinnati Reds.
The good things that came out of this series are that the Phillies offense has officially started to hit their stride in a way. In this series alone, the Phillies offense was averaging six runs per game. Finally, the last good thing that came out of this series is finally getting Chase Utley back. Utley’s offense is looking up to speed but his defense is looking great as well. He is looking nimble out there on the field, which is good news for Phillies fans.