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April 10 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
NYM 4-2 36 6.00 T-2 799 (2) 6 1
PHI 1-5 26 4.33 T-7 769 (4) 4 1


Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
NYM 4-2 11 1.83 1 1.41 (1) 1.32 (4)
PHI 1-5 32 5.33 15 5.86 (15) 3.66 (6)

If there are a whole bunch of people who have contributed to the specifics of this year's miserable start, only one of them came into the season with his job clearly on the line.  Charlie Manuel didn't have a good day yesterday.  With a pen full of rested righties, Manuel let Geoff Geary hit for himself in the top of the eighth in a one run game.  Manuel's choice got blown up in the bottom of the inning as the Mets scored seven times with five of the runs charged to Geary.

The Phillies lost to the Mets yesterday, falling 11-5 to drop to 1-6 on the year.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks.  Only two of the runs were earned.  All six of the hits that he allowed were singles and he struck out seven.

In the first, Hamels set the Mets down 1-2-3.  He struck out Jose Reyes, got a ground ball to third from Lo Duca and struck out Beltran.

Carlos Delgado led off the second inning with a bunt single to a vacant third base against the shift.  David Wright was next and hit a double-play ball to Rollins at short.  Moises Alou popped out to Hamels to end the inning.

In the third, Shawn Green led off with a fly ball well hit to center that Rowand tracked down for the first out.  Jose Valentin struck out for the second out of the inning.  John Maine was next and the pitcher hit it hard back up the middle.  Utley made a nice play to keep the ball out of the outfield, but Maine was safe at first with a single.  Reyes was next and singled into center, sending Maine to second.  Lo Duca grounded to Rollins at short to end the inning.

Beltran led off the fourth with a single and Delgado followed with another single that moved him to third.  Hamels struck out Wright and Alou back-to-back before walking Green to load the bases.  Jose Valentin was next and he singled to left, scoring two runs to put the Mets up 2-1.  Close, close play at the plate as Delgado slid in -- I don't know now after I've seen the replay.  Manuel argued.  Burrell's throw was strong but not quite on line.  Hamels struck out Maine to end the inning.

In the fifth, Reyes hit first and popped a ball up near the pitcher's mound.  Howard and Nunez collided and Reyes would up safe at second with an error charged to Howard, his third of the season.  Lo Duca grounded to second for the first out, sending Reyes to third.  Beltran followed with a walk, putting runners on first and third for Delgado.  Delgado hit a sac fly to center that scored Reyes and put the Mets up 3-2.   With Wright at the plate, Beltran was picked off of first and tagged out at second with the help of a nice play from Rollins to handle the throw from Howard.

In the sixth, Hamels got Wright to fly to right to lead off the inning, but Alou followed with a walk.  Hamels struck out Green and got Valentin to line to left to end the inning.

Matt Smith started the seventh for the Phils and quickly retired Easley and Reyes on a pair of ground balls.  Lo Duca followed with a single, though, and Beltran pushed him to second with a walk.  With two down and runners on first and second, Delgado singled, scoring Lo
Duca and sending Beltran to second with the Phils lead cut to 5-4.  Wright was next and Manuel called on righty Geoff Geary to pitch to him.  Wright hit a line drive to right that Victorino turned into an out with a brilliant catch to end the inning.

The bottom of the eighth started with the Phils up 5-4.  It didn't end that way.

Geary returned to start the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Alou followed by a broken-bat bloop single to shallow left from Shawn Green.  With nobody out and runners on first and second, Valentin bunted, but Nunez fielded and got Alou, the lead runner, at third for the first out of the inning.   Julio Franco pinch-hit for Feliciano and drew a walk to load the bases with one down.  Geary threw him a 3-0 breaking ball.  Reyes was next and he hit a ground ball to Rollins.  Rollins juggled it and the Phils didn't get an out as Reyes was safe on the error as Endy Chavez, who ran for Green, scored to tie the game at 5-5.   With Lo Duca at the plate, Geary threw a wild pitch over the head of Ruiz, allowing Valentin to score and put the Mets up 6-5.  Lo Duca walked to load the bases with still only one out.  Jon Lieber entered the game for Geary and got the first man he faced, Beltran, to fly to center.  Franco tied from third and scored, putting New York up 7-5.  Lieber walked Delgado to load the bases again, now with two down.  Wright followed with a double, plating two more runs and putting runners on second and third with the lead now 9-5.  A two-run single from Alou made the score 11-5 before Chavez grounded to short to end the inning.

The Mets had one extra-base hit on the day, Wright's double against Lieber.

The Phillies pen gave up eight runs in two innings.  Only five of the runs were earned.  The Mets got six hits and four walks in the two frames.

The Phillies lineup against righty John Maine went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Ruiz (7) Rowand (8) Nunez.  Nunez.  Please stop.  The Phils have faced a righty four times in the first seven games and have played someone other than Helms at third in two of them.  Ruiz starts  at catcher and hits sixth, where Helms would normally hit if he were in the lineup.  Manuel sure seems to have a lot of confidence in Ruiz.

In the first, Maine set the Phils down 1-2-3 on a ground out by Rollins, a fly out to right by Victorino and a strikeout by Utley.

Ryan Howard led off the second with a fly out to center, but Burrell was next and followed with a single.  Ruiz was next and struck out for the second out.  Rowand followed with walk that moved Burrell to second, putting runners at first and second with two down for
Nunez.  Nunez dribbled to first to end the frame.

Cole Hamels led off the third with a bloop single behind third base.  Rollins followed and walked on four pitches.  Victorino bunted back to the pitcher and Maine tried to get Hamels at third, but his throw was way late and the bases were loaded with nobody out for
Utley.  Utley hit a sac fly that scored Hamels and put the Phils up 1-0 and Rollins and Victorino did a nice job on the paths to move up to second and third with one down.  Howard came up empty, striking out for the second out of the frame.  Burrell popped out to Lo Duca in foul territory to end the inning.

With the Phils still up 1-0, Ruiz led off the fourth with a single.  Rowand got behind 0-2 but wound up walking and Nunez followed with another walk.  For the second time in two innings, the Phils had loaded the bases with nobody out.  Hamels was up and he hit a ground ball to first that Delgado fielded and came home with, forcing Ruiz for the second out of the inning.  Rollins grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

Shane Victorino led off the fifth and struck out, which was apparently just what the Phillies needed to spark the offense.  Utley followed with a home run, his first of the year, tying the game at 2-2.  Howard drew a one out walk and Burrell followed with a single into right that moved Howard.  Ruiz flew out to center for the second out of the inning.  Aaron Rowand walked to load the bases, but Nunez grounded to first to end the inning.  For the third straight inning the Phillies left the bases loaded.

Hamels hit for himself to start the sixth having thrown 82 pitches and grounded out to first.  Rollins was next and was hit by a pitch that bounced before it hit him.  Victorino followed with a single that sent Rollins to third.  With Utley at the plate, Victorino stole second.  Utley struck out for the second out of the inning.   The Mets left the righty Ambiorux Burgos in to pitch to Howard and that didn't work out so well.  The Phillies finally got a big hit with ducks aboard as Howard homered to right-center to put the Phils up 5-3.  Burrell struck out to end the inning.  Crazy to leave a righty in to pitch to Howard there, but, as you may have noticed, the Phillies have enough problems they need to keep their eyes on their own paper.

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

Geoff Geary hit for himself to lead off the eighth in a one-run game, which is an awful decision.  The Phils went 1-2-3.

Billy Wagner set the Phils down 1-2-3 in the ninth, getting a ground ball from Utley and striking out Howard and Burrell.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk. 

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a single and struck out twice.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBI.  He struck out twice.  The homer was his first of the year.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a homer, a walk and  three RBI.  His first homer of the year and made his third error in seven games.

Burrell was 2-for-5 and struck out twice.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 and struck out twice.  If Carlos Ruiz is hitting sixth your lineup it's a symptom that your lineup has problems.  You might want to check and see if Nunez is in it anywhere.  It's especially odd when you have Wes Helms and Jayson Werth on your bench.

Rowand was 0-for-1 and walked three times.  After walking just 18 times all last season, he's walked five times this season.

Nunez was 0-for-3 with a walk and left five men on base.  His career slugging percentage is .318 after slugging .273 in 322 at-bats for the Phils last season.  If Manuel had close to no alternatives to playing Nunez after Bell was traded last year, he did yesterday.

It's pretty clear that Manuel doesn't have any confidence in the guys he has in the pen.  Perhaps with good reason.  Even so, letting Geary lead off the eighth in a one-run game is just terrible.  After Geary got one out in the seventh, the righties in the pen Manuel had were Lieber, Condrey, Alfonseca, Gordon, Madson and (presumably) Rosario.  Instead of using one of them in either the eighth or to try to get one out in the seventh, Manuel basically gave away one of the six outs he had left in a one-run game.  Geary and the lefty Smith, the pitchers he did use, both pitched in Sunday's game.  You can make the case that Alfonseca, who also pitched Sunday and threw 22 pitches, and the closer Gordon weren't real options either to start the eighth or get one important out in the seventh.  Manuel also said after the game that Madson, who threw 44 pitches on Saturday, wasn't available on Monday.  Whatever his reasons, the guy Manuel picked to start the eighth didn't get it done.  Madson and Condrey have combined to throw zero pitches in the last two games and it's hard to interpret yesterday's use of the pen as anything other than a vote of no-confidence, at least in Condrey. 

In terms of all-round players, Nunez is the third-best third baseman Manuel has available to him behind Helms and Dobbs.  Let's hope we see more of those guys in the days ahead.

The Phillies loaded the bases in the third and fourth with nobody out.  They got one run.  After Utley hit a solo home run in the fifth they loaded them again and again came up empty.  Howard finally broke the spell with a three-run shot in the sixth, and when he did the pen couldn't hold on.

No game today.  That's probably for the best.

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