The Sports Daily > Macho Row
About Last Night: Phillies off to right foot on key road trip

Now that is the way to kick off a road trip. The Phillies got to Brewers starter Wily Peralta early with two runs in the first inning, another in the second and one more in the third and they tacked on one more in the fifth inning with a Delmon Young solo home run to build a steady 5-0 lead. Tyler Cloyd was efficient and composed in picking up his second victory, evening his record at 2-2. On the night the minor league call-up went in to the seventh inning and allowed just four hits and managed to avoid letting five walks cost him. With the win the Phillies moved one game above .500 and evened their road record at 15-15.

Any time Cloyd or Jonathan Pettibone takes the mound I view a win almost as a bonus. This is nothing against either pitcher, but given the state of the team, with two starting pitchers form the Opening Day lineup on the DL, I tend to just hope for the best when a minor league call-up gets a start. If the Phillies manage to pull out a win, I'll take it. Cloyd and Pettibone have had some rookie moments since they have been called up, but I have to say I have been pretty impressed with their overall ability to stay cool on the mound. Last night Cloyd walked five batters but he allowed just four walks and nearly got out of the seventh inning. He had thrown over 100 pitches but never allowed a run to cross the plate. Granted, last night's performance came against one of the worst teams in the National League not from Miami, but I will say again: I'll take it.

The Atlanta Braves lost out in Los Angeles to the Dodgers late last night, 5-0. That puts the Phillies 6.5 games out of first place, for those holding on to hope in the division. If you are instead relying on the National League wild card, the Phillies are now 4.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, with San Francisco and Colorado standing between the two Keystone State franchises. Hey, it's June 7. There is a lot of baseball to be played and the Phillies are currently in the mix. As I said yesterday, a winning road trip followed by a home series victory against the Washington Nationals is an absolute must for me to take them seriously as a playoff contender. Last night was a solid start to the road trip and with Cliff Lee taking the mound tonight the odds appear to be pretty good the Phillies will leave Milwaukee with no less than a split. Considering how lowly the Brewers are right now, that is not great but I would take it if the rest of the road trip goes well.

I wanted to see the Phillies pick up seven wins on this ten-game road trip. One down, six to go.

Follow Macho Row on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.