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April 25 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
WAS 6-13 62 3.26 T-13 667 (15) 4 3
PHI 7-11 87 4.83 T-6 788 (4) 11 3


Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
WAS 6-13 107 5.63 16 5.55 (16) 4.26 (15)
PHI 7-11 89 4.94 12 4.83 (13) 3.65 (8)

After in early stretch in which the Phillies seemed sure to lose games that they were winning, all of the sudden they have their fans believing even when they're behind.  Last night against the Nats they went down 1-0, then 2-1 and then 3-1.  And even when they did they still managed to keep you feeling they would be just fine.

The big hits that had gone missing in the first ten or 15 games have finally shown up.  The starting pitching is good.  The relief pitching is good.

That happened fast.  Without a doubt, the biggest decision made this season was to send Brett Myers to the bullpen.  The Phils were 3-9 when they did, they're 5-2 since.  Others suggest a team meeting that Charlie Manuel called on Saturday in Cincinnati as the turning point.  The Phils are 4-0 since.

Either way, for the time being at least, there's no sign of the guys who started the season 3-10.

Before it's over, though, the Phils are going to need something other than moving Myers to the pen to sustain them.  They're going to need to put him back in the rotation before too long.  Even if they don't want to, someone in the rotation is bound to get hurt.  I expect they want to as soon as they can get some stability in the pen.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 6-3 to improve to 8-11 on the year.  It is the fourth straight win for the Phils. 

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks.  Four of the six hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a triple.  He struck out five.  Over his first 26 2/3 innings Moyer has allowed just one home run this season.

Moyer got the first two in the first before walking Ryan Zimmerman.  Dmitri Young flew out to center for the third out.

Austin Kearns led off the third with a triple, with an assist to a dive from Rowand.  Ryan Church followed with a double into right that put the Nats up 1-0.  Moyer set down the next three to leave Church stranded at second.

Felipe Lopez led off the third with a single and came around to score when Ronnie Belliard hit a double down the line and into the left field corner.  2-1 Washington.  Moyer put down the next three to leave Belliard stranded at second.

In the fourth, Moyer walked Brian Schneider with two outs.  Jason Bergmann grounded to third to end the inning.

After getting Lopez to lead off the fifth, Moyer walked Belliard.  Zimmerman and Young went down to end the frame.

Kearns doubled to lead off the sixth and moved to third on a fly ball to right from Church.  Restovich grounded back to second with the runner holding for the second out, but Schneider singled to put the Nats up 3-1.  Bergmann went down to end the inning.

Madson started the seventh.  The first man he faced, Lopez, singled just out of the reach of Rollins.  A ground out to second moved Lopez to second.  Zimmerman was next and hit a soft liner up the middle, but Utley caught it and doubled Lopez off of second to end the inning.

Alfonseca pitched the eighth and got the first two men before Church singled into right.  He got Chris Snelling on a ground ball to second to end the inning.  Alfonseca's ERA is 0.77.  In 11 2/3 innings he's been charged with one run on seven hits and four walks.

Gordon warmed up in the bottom of the eighth with the game tied 3-3.  Manuel doesn't bring his closer in to pitch in a tie game.  I don't think it will be long before we see Myers close one out.  When the Phils scored three times in the bottom of the inning this time, however, Manuel called on Gordon.  Gordon struck out Schneider to lead off the inning, throwing two good breaking balls.  Most of what you read about Gordon these days is about whether or not he can throw his curve ball.  He tried last night and looked good early in his outing.  Pinch-hitter Robert Fick was next and hit a rocket to third that handcuffed Helms for an error as the ball found left field.  Gordon got Lopez on a ground ball to first and Belliard grounded to short to end the game as Flash recorded his fourth save of the season.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Bergmann went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell  (6) Helms (7) Rowand (8) Ruiz.  Ruiz catches Moyer.

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

In the second, the first two men went down before Helms hit a chopper to third.  Zimmerman's throw was in the dirt and the ump called Helms safe.  The ball beat Helms so the ump must have thought Young came off the bag.  I didn't think so, but Young got an error on the play.  Rowand was next and crushed a double to right-center.  Helms scored to tie the game at 1-1.  Ruiz struck out to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third.  Burrell walked with two down in the fourth, but Helms popped to short to end the inning with the Phils down 2-1.

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

Rollins and Victorino went down to start the sixth, but Utley doubled on a ball off the glove of a sliding Restovich in left-center.  Howard walked on a pitch-around and Burrell rattled a double into the left field corner.  Utley scored to cut the Washington lead to 3-2 with Howard holding at third.  Helms flew out to left to end the inning. 

Aaron Rowand led off the seventh with a home run way out to left that tied the game at 3-3.  Ruiz followed with a single up the middle and Ruiz pinch-hit for Madson and bunted him to second.  Rollins and Victorino went down to end the inning. 

Utley was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth inning.  Howard struck out and Burrell walked, moving Utley to second.  Manuel did not pinch-run Bourn for Burrell in a tie game.  Great decision.  Helms hit a blooper into center field.  Utley did a great job running the bases, committing early and running hard to score to put the Phils up 4-3.  Burrell also did a nice job, going to third on the blooper.  Church's throw from center went into third and got away from Zimmerman as Burrell slid into the bag.  The ball bounded away, allowing Burrell to score and put the Phils up 5-3.  Helms wound up on second.  Rowand flew to right for the second out, but Ruiz followed with a single up the middle that scored Helms.  6-3.  Dobbs pinch-hit for Alfonseca and flew out to left.  

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Victorino was 0-for-4.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a double.  He's 6-for-his-last-15 and all six hits have gone for extra-bases.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk to drop his average to .207.  2-for-his-last-16.

Burrell was 1-for-2 with a double and walked twice.

Helms was 1-for-4 with a big single.  He was charged with his third error, though it was a tough one.

Rowand was 2-for-4 with a double and a huge homer that tied the game in the seventh.

Ruiz was 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI.

Jon Lieber (0-0, 3.38) faces righty John Patterson (0-3, 7.00) tonight.  Lieber will be making his second start of the year after holding the Reds to a single hit over 5 2/3 innings on Friday.  Patterson is still looking for his first win of the season as he makes start number five, although he's allowed more than three runs in just one of his first four starts.  He faced the Phils last Thursday and allowed three runs over four innings on seven hits and four walks.  Aaron Rowand hit a second-inning home run off of him.

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