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April 6 2007

The Phillies hit Ryan Howard fourth with Burrell behind him against a righty for the first time in the young season tonight.  Worked out okay.

The Phillies beat the Marlins tonight, winning 8-2 to improve to 1-3 on the season. 

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and pitched very well, giving the Phillies their third good start in four games.  He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks.  Three of the hits, a double, a triple and a home run, went for extra-bases.  He struck out three.

Moyer set the Fish down 1-2-3 in the first, getting two strikeouts. 

Mike Jacobs doubled with one out in the second, but Cody Ross followed with a ground ball back to Moyer for the second out of the inning.  Miguel Olivo tripled to center, scoring Jacobs to get the Phillies lead to 2-1, but tried to stretch his triple into an inside the park home run and was nailed at the plate.

In the third, Moyer got the first two before Hanley Ramirez homered to left to cut the Phillies' lead to 3-2.  Uggla followed and hit a ball to left that Burrell made a nice diving catch on to end the inning.

Jacobs singled with two outs in the fourth before Moyer got Cody Ross to ground to second to end the inning.

Miguel Olivo singled to lead off the fifth.  Moyer picked off Olivio, but Howard had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and the throw down to second was not in time.  A single from De Aza sent Olivo to third, giving the Marlins runners on first and third with nobody out.  Moyer was brilliant for the rest of the inning, lulling the Marlins' hitters to sleep with unnecessary throws to first.  Boone, Ramirez and Utley all popped up in the infield to leave the runners stranded. 

Cabrera singled to start the sixth and Willingham followed with a line out to right.  Moyer got Jacobs to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Moyer started the seventh by walking the first two batters back-to-back.  The second, Matt Treanor, was hit by a 2-2 but was not given first when the ump ruled he did not try to get out of the way of the ball.  He walked anyway.  Manuel left Moyer in the game to pitch to the lefty De Aza.  De Aza smoked a ball into left center that Michael Bourn, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement for Burrell, tracked down for the first out.  No way Burrell gets to that ball.  Moyer got switch-hitter Joe Borchard to pop to second for the second out and that was it.  With runners on first and second and Ramirez at the plate, Manuel called on Alfonseca.  Ramirez popped to second on Alfonseca's first pitch.

Great outing for Moyer.  The fifth inning when he turned the Fish away without a run after they put runners on first and third with nobody out was tremendous.

Alfonseca returned to pitch the eighth and got the first two before walking Josh Willingham.  Jacobs was next and crushed a ball to deep right center.  Rowand made a long run to track it down and end the inning.  Great play by Rowand and the second time in two innings the Phils' outfield turned an extra-base hit into an out.

I'd be stunned if the Alfonseca thing works out this year.  So far so good, though.

Geoff Geary pitched the ninth and got Ross to lead off the inning on a nice play by Rollins at short.  He needed it cause Treanor followed with a single.  De Aza followed with a ground out to second for the second out of the inning before pinch-hitter Alfredo Amezaga singled, sending De Aza to second.  Geary got Ramirez to fly to right to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Sergio Mitre went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Dobbs (7) Rowand (8) Ruiz.  Howard is in the cleanup spot against a righty for the first time in three games.  Hopefully to stay, we may have to wait and see how much it has to do with Burrell's career numbers against whoever the opponent is starting.  Dobbs starts at third and it's nice to have a left-handed bat breaking up all of the righties.  How bout a Dobbs and Werth platoon in right with Victorino moving to center?

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first.

Ryan Howard led off the second with a ground ball that second baseman Dan Uggla made a nice play on in shallow right field.  Uggla got Howard for the first out of the inning.  Burrell was next and he hit a grounder to third that Cabrera didn't handle, Burrell was safe on the error.  Dobbs was next and crushed a ball over the head of the center fielder.  Dobbs was safe at second and Burrell scored from first to put the Phils up 1-0.  Rowand struck out for the second out of the inning, but Ruiz followed Rowand with another double that scored Dobbs.  2-0 Phils.  Moyer struck out to end the inning.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the third and Howard followed with a walk.  Burrell singled to center, scoring Utley and putting the Phils up 3-1.  Dobbs grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Rowand led off the fourth with a strikeout.  Ruiz followed and hit a dribbler out to the third base side of the mound.  Mitre fielded and threw high to Jacobs and the ump ruled that Jacobs was off the bag (he was probably wrong).  It cost the Fish some runs.  Moyer was next and struck out for the second out of the inning, but Rollins followed with a homer to right that made the score 5-2.  Victorino reached on an infield single before Utley flew to left to end the inning. 

Howard led off the fifth with a single but was left stranded when Burrell, Dobbs and Rowand went in order.

Carlos Ruiz led off the sixth with a single and Moyer bunted him to second.  Rollins followed with a line drive to Ross in right.  Ruiz must have thought it was going to fall, but it wasn't close.  Ross caught the ball and doubled Ruiz off of second to end the inning.

Victorino led off the seventh with a chopper between first and second that he probably would have beaten out even if the pitcher Nolasco hadn't dropped the toss from Jacobs.  Victorino stole second.  Utley struck out for the first out of the inning and with first base open the Fish walked Howard intentionally.  Down 1-2 in the count Burrell hit the ball way out to left.  8-2 Phils.   

Nunez, who entered the game with Alfonseca as a defensive replacement in the seventh, singled with one out in the eighth.  Rollins followed and grounded into a double-play.

Victorino led off the ninth with a walk.  Utley flew to left for the first out and Howard lined a ball to short.  Victorino was doubled off first to end the inning.  He really looked safe to me.  Unlike the play with Ruiz in the sixth, that one wasn't Victorino's fault.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.  He stole his first base of the season. 

Utley was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Howard was 1-for-3 and walked twice.  He was robbed of a single in right and lined out to short.  Won't be long now.

Burrell was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.

Dobbs was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Rowand was 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 

Ruiz was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Great matchup tomorrow as Brett Myers faces Dontrelle Willis.

April 6 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
FLA 2-1 24 8.0 1 948 (1) 2 0
PHI 0-3 9 3.0 T-11 735 (7) 2 1
W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
FLA 2-1 12 4.0 T-8 3.71 (10) 3.86 (9)
PHI 0-3 16 5.3 13 4.66 (13) 4.22  (10)

The Phillies roll into Florida tonight for the first of three with the Marlins.  The winless Phils come in at 0-3 while the Marlins opened the season by going 2-1 against the Nats.  Florida was on their way to a sweep after winning the first two games of the set, but lost the third game when new closer Jorge Julio gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday.

It's mostly the same guys for the Marlins this season.  Jacobs, Uggla, Ramirez and Cabrera in the infield with Olivo behind the plate.  In the outfield, Willingham is entrenched in left.  Cody Ross and Joe Borchard have been holding down right field while Jeremy Hermida is on the DL with a problem with his right knee.  Center fielder Alejandro De Aza is the new face in the group.  He's a 24-year-old lefty who hit 278/346/374 at Double-A last year.  In 230 at-bats he had just 16 extra-base hits but stole 27 bases.  He went 4-for-12 with a triple against the Nats.

Tonight's game features Jamie Moyer (NR) against righty Sergio Mitre (NR).  Both pitchers will be making their first start of the season.  Moyer had a lot of success against the Marlins in '06.  He made three starts against them, going 3-0 while throwing to a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings.  Cabrera, Uggla and Willingham combined to go 4-for-26 against him with a double and a triple.  The Phils need a big outing from him tonight and I expect they're going to get it.  Mitre appeared in 15 games for the Fish in '06, seven of which were starts, and threw to a 5.71 ERA.  Lefties hit .344 against him and righties just .232.  He made one start against the Phils and gave up four runs in six innings.  Ryan Howard hit two home runs against him.

Tomorrow, Brett Myers (0-0, 3.52) faces lefty Dontrelle Willis (1-0, 1.50).  Myers started Monday's opener against the Braves and was fantastic, allowing three runs in 7 2/3 innings while striking out nine.  He was 1-1 against the Marlins in four starts last year, throwing to a 2.42 ERA in 26 innings.  Uggla hit him hard, 6-for-13 with two home runs, but Myers handled nearly everyone else.  Cabrera was 1-for-11 and Willingham 1-for-5.  Willis also started on Monday, allowing two runs, only one of which was earned, against the Nats over six innings.  He went 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA against the Phils in four starts in '06.  Burrell was 2-for-7 with two home runs against him.  Nunez had three singles in six at-bats.  Howard 3-for-5 with a home run, but the Phils' other big left-handed bat struggled as Utley was just 2-for-10 against him.

Sunday, Zack Segovia (NR) will make his debut against lefty Scott Olsen (1-0, 3.38).  Segovia made the Phils off of a spring in which he threw to a 4.30 ERA in 14 2/3 innings, allowing 15 hits and two walks.  At Double-A last season he went 11-5 in 17 games, 16 of which were starts, and threw to a 3.11 ERA.  In 107 innings he struck out 75 and allowed 90 hits.  Not sure exactly what to expect from Segovia, but I would guess it won't be pretty.  Olsen made his first start of the year against the Nationals on Tuesday and allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings.  He gave up just two hits but walked five.  The Phils hit him hard in his five starts against them last season, Olsen went 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA and the Phillies hit .291.  Howard was 7-for-12 with two home runs against him, but he managed to handle Burrell whose numbers against lefties are usually tremendous.  Burrell was just 2-for-12 against him with four strikeouts.  Olsen was ejected from his September 24 start against the Phillies last year when he plunked Nunez after the Phillies had scored seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.  At the end of last season with the Phillies still fighting for a playoff spot, Olsen said he wanted to ruin the Phillies season by shutting them down in his last start against them on September 30.  The Phillies were done before his start came, but he took the loss, allowing four runs in six innings.

April 6 2007

Pat Gillick raised some eyebrows this off-season when he suggested that new addition to the Phillies rotation Adam Eaton could win twenty games.  You just went ahead and assumed he meant in one season, didn't you?

Another loss for the Phillies, but this time at least without the heartbreak of the first two.  Coming off of a miserable spring training, Adam Eaton got battered around in his first start of the year.  If Eaton is just going through a rough stretch the Phils are just going to have to live with that.  I think the thing that should cause the most worry for fans is simply that we haven't seen him pitch well yet since returning from his injury.

The Phillies continue not to hit, but it's coming soon.  I wouldn't be surprised if it came tonight in Florida at the expense of Sergio Mitre.

The Phillies fell to the Braves yesterday, losing 8-4 as Atlanta completed a three-game sweep to open the season in Philadelphia.  The Phillies scored nine runs in the series. 

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phils and was okay early before getting bombed in the fifth inning.  He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits and four walks.  Only seven of the runs were earned due to a first inning error by Howard.  Two of the seven hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. 

Eaton struck out Kelly Johnson to start the first, but Edgar Renteria followed with a single.  Chipper Jones was next and hit a ground ball to first.  Howard tried to start a double-play, but his throw to second went into the outfield.  Andruw Jones was next, batting with one down and runners on first and second, and walked to load the bases.  Brian McCann followed Jones with a single to left that scored two runs, putting runners at first and third with one down and Atlanta up 2-0.  Eaton got Jeff Francoeur to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Scott Thorman popped to second to start the second.  Ryan Langerhans was next and drew a walk.  Chuck James bunted him to second.  Johnson was next and he smoked a ball right back to the pitcher that Eaton caught to end the inning.

Renteria led off the third with a single to right but Eaton got Chipper to bounce into a double-play, the second that Eaton had induced in the first three innings.  Andruw Jones struck out to end the inning.

Eaton set Atlanta down 1-2-3 in the fourth.  In the fifth, he struck out Langerhans to start the inning but walked the pitcher James with one down.  Kelly Johnson was next and homered to right, extending the Braves lead to 4-1.  Walking the pitcher rarely has a happy ending.  Renteria grounded to short for the second out before Chipper singled to left.   Andruw Jones was next he doubled, scoring Chipper to make the score 5-1.  Eaton walked the lefty McCann intentionally to pitch to the righty Francoeur, who delivered a single to right that scored Jones and moved McCann to third with the score 6-1.  That was it for Eaton as righty Joe Bisenius entered the game, making his major league debut against lefty Scott Thorman.  Thorman doubled into right, scoring two more runs.  Thorman was caught in a rundown between second and third to end the inning with Atlanta on top 8-1.

Bisenius returned for the sixth and gave up a leadoff walk to Langerhans.  He struck out the next two before a Renteria single sent Langerhans to third.  He got Chipper to pop to third to end the inning.  Bisenius' line for the game looks a little better than he pitched -- the two runs that scored on Thorman's double were charged to Eaton.

Clay Condrey saw his first action of the season in the seventh and struck out the side.

Condrey returned for the eighth and stuck out Thorman to start the inning.  Langerhans was next and he hit a ball into foul territory in left.  Burrell made a long run and had the ball go off the end of his glove in left for an error.  Condrey struck out Langerhans for his fifth straight strikeout.  Craig Wilson grounded to third to end the inning.

Condrey faced six men and got five strikeouts and a ground ball.  Wow?

Alfonsenca made his first appearance as a Phil in the ninth and threw a 1-2-3 inning in which he struck out two.  Ditto.

Nice day for the pen.  They threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in which they allowed two hits and a walk and struck out nine, although Bisenius stuck Eaton with the runs that scored on his watch.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Chuck James went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Helms (7) Rowand (8) Barajas.  I'm glad to see Werth in the lineup and hitting second seems fine.  You wonder how much Werth is going to play against lefties, I'm hoping the answer is either "a lot" or "all of the time."  Utley and Howard flip-flop, with Howard back in the cleanup spot protected by the lefty-killer Burrell.  I like this lineup much better than what we saw for games one and two.

Rollins led off the first with a walk and Werth bunted him to second.  Wow, is that a bad play.  Utley and Howard both flew to right to end the inning.  So the first out of the game that James got the Phillies gave to him and they give up their righty so the lefty James can face back-to-back lefties.

Burrell and Helms struck out back-to-back to start the second before Rowand singled.  Barajas grounded to third to end the inning with the Phils still down 2-0.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the third.

Utley led off the fourth with a double to right.  Howard followed and popped out to first in foul territory.  Burrell was next doubled to left, scoring Utley and cutting the Atlanta lead to 2-1.  Helms followed with a single to center and Burrell was held at third.  It was the second time in the game that the Phillies seemed cautious on the paths after last night's debacles -- it looked like Rollins may have been able to tag and go to third on Utley's fly out in the first.  I'm completely and totally in favor of never making an out on the paths, though, so no complaints here.  With runners at first and third and one down, Rowand struck out for the second out of the inning.  Not a good at-bat for Rowand.  Barajas ended the frame with a fly out to right.

Carlos Ruiz, who entered the game with Bisenius, led off the fifth and flew out to right.  Rollins followed with a single before Werth flew to right for the second out of the frame.  A single from Utley moved Rollins to second before Howard struck out to end the inning.

Burrell led off the sixth with a double to left that just missed leaving the yard by inches.  Helms struck out for the first out of the inning before a Rowand single moved Burrell to third.  Dobbs hit for Bisenius and hit a ground ball to first that scored Burrell and moved Rowand to second.  8-2.  Ruiz grounded to short to end the inning.

Rollins led off the seventh with a single.  Werth flew to center for the first out, but Utley was next and he singled, sending Rollins to second.  With runners on first and second with one out, Howard and Burrell both struck out.

With two outs in the eighth, Michael Bourn, pinch-hitting for Condrey, and Ruiz had back-to-back singles, but Rollins flew out to left to end the inning. 

Down 8-2 in the ninth, Werth led off with a walk before Utley flew to center for the first out of the inning.  Howard, Burrell and Helms all walked in a row, with Helms' walk brining in a run that made the score 8-3.  With one out and the bases loaded, Rowand struck out for the second out.  Victorino was next, pinch-hitting for Alfonseca, and he walked, forcing in another run to make the score 8-4 with the bases loaded, two down and Carlos Ruiz at the plate as the tying run.  Ruiz popped out to short to end the game.  The Phils had five walks and no hits in the inning.

An awful start by Eaton and the Phillies just aren't hitting enough to overcome that type of performance yet.  Condrey and Alfonseca were impressive, though.

Rollins was 2-for-4 on the day with two singles and a walk.  He was 4-for-11 with a .533 on-base percentage in the three-game set.

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk on the day and 1-for-4 in the series.  Victorino walked in his lone plate appearance and was 2-for-9 in the series.

Utley was 3-for-5 with a double on the day.  5-for-14 in the series without an RBI.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts yesterday.  He left six men on base.  2-for-11 with four walks and no RBI in the series.  The Phillies aren't going to do well in most series that Howard and Utley combine for zero RBI.  Howard made two errors in the three-game set.

Burrell was 2-for-4 with a walk and two doubles.  4-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series.  Todd Zolecki suggests that Burrell received some unjustified boos during the series in this article.

Helms was 1-for-4 with a walk and struck out three times.  2-for-12 with two RBI in the series.

Rowand was 2-for-5 with two strikeouts and left five men on base.  4-for-13 with an RBI in the series.

Barajas 0-for-2 yesterday and 0-for-6 in the series.  Ruiz was 1-for-4 yesterday and left four men on base.  He was 3-for-8 with a home run in the series.

Jamie Moyer faces Sergio Mitre tonight in Florida.

Francisco Rosario is expected to join the Phillies today in Miami, which will require a move to the 25-man roster.  Joe Bisenius is my guess (and pretty much everyone else's I suspect).  In the linked article Victorino says he wanted to play all 162.  I'm sure he did.  As a Phillies' fan you need to be hoping the Phillies get more offense out of right than Victorino can provide whether it's from Werth or somebody else.  Victorino can be an everyday player, but it needs to be in center.

Things went well for Garcia and Coste in Clearwater last night.

Manuel was still unhappy about Victorino's caught stealing from Wednesday yesterday morning.  I'm totally with him on that one and his reluctance to let the Phillies run into outs on the bases is one of his strengths as a manager.  I do find it nuts that he's so adamant about that at the same time he thinks it's a good idea to have Werth bunt Rollins to second with nobody out in the first.  So is the number two hitter in the lineup going to bunt in his first at-bat of the game about 30% of the time? That's about how often Rollins is either going to walk or single in his first at-bat in the first.  (On further review, this number was actually about 24.5% last year and about 22.1% for Rollins' first-inning at bats over his career.  I was on a roll, though.  And indignant).  If the answer is yes it needs to be rethought, but if after the rethinking the answer is still yes the second batter should be someone other than Werth just because he's too good of a bat to give away that often.

The linked article also says that Jimmy Rollins will be the Phillies representative to wear the number 42 on April 15 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier.

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