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Phillies-Cubs Game Thread 5/17/12

The Phillies used more of their late-game magic to turn a game headed to extra innings into an old-fashioned rout in Chicago last night. They scored seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings en route to winning 9-2, continuing what has been an interesting trend so far this season. 44 percent of the Phillies’ runs have come in innings 7-9 (most in the league), compared to 27 percent in innings 1-3 and 29 percent in innings 4-6. Carlos Ruiz hit a solo home run in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and Hector Luna‘s ninth-inning grand slam put the Phillies up 9-2.

Their victory last night allowed the Phillies to move to .500 for the first time since May 3 and, with Roy Halladay starting tonight, they have the chance to finally go over .500 for the first time since Opening Day. If having a two-time Cy Young winner on the mound wasn’t enough, Halladay will be opposed by Chris Volstad, a pitcher the Phillies have always hit with great ease. Over his career, Volstad has allowed 18 home runs to Phillies batters, 11 more than the second-most he’s allowed (Braves, Nationals). Among teams he has racked at least 40 innings against, his 5.89 Phillies ERA is also easily the worst.