By Joe Christensen
Chase Utley’s return was the big story in Philly last night, as the Phillies stayed within three games of the NL wild-card lead with a big win over the Mets. And, oh yes, J.D. Durbin was solid again.
Durbin continues to surprise me. I’ve had Twins people tell me he seemed “scared to death” on a big league mound, and his first appearances for Arizona and Philadelphia this year seemed to cement that notion. But here’s an excerpt from Todd Zolecki’s game story in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
We can’t forget about J.D. Durbin, either. He entered last night with a 1.29 ERA in three road starts and an 8.62 ERA in three home starts.
But he overcame his home struggles. He had a perfect game through four innings before Carlos Beltran hit a leadoff double in the fifth inning. Two runs eventually scored, but in 61/3 innings he limited the Mets to six hits, two runs and no walks. He also struck out a career-high six batters.
He is 5-2 with a 4.22 ERA in seven starts for the Phillies.
“Just getting ahead of guys,” Durbin said. “I made them hit the pitches I wanted [them] to hit. My slider was so much better today. I was able to throw it in every situation again.”
Also, that’s Phillies reliever J.C. Romero in the accompanying photo with the fist pump after lowering his ERA to 1.96. And did someone ask about Kyle Lohse? He’s scheduled to pitch Thursday’s series finale against the Mets. Don’t ask me to explain it, but Philadelphia must be where former Twins pitchers go to find themselves.