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May 9 2007

The Phillies' sleepwalk through the last couple games of their ten-game road trip hasn't been real impressive.  Five runs in their last two outings.  A loss today would have them at 3-7 on their trip.

The Phillies made three more errors last night.  They've made six in their last three games. 

Charlie Manuel made a miserable decision in last night, letting Eaton hit for himself in the seventh with two outs and runners on first and third in a 2-2 game.  Didn't work.

The only bright spot of late has been moderately solid starts from Garcia and Eaton.  If the Phillies can get every team to start Alberto Callaspo at third from here on out they might have something.  The Diamondbacks are just a bad offensive team and they've looked like it this series.  They looked better than the Phillies, though.

The Phillies lost to the Diamondbacks last night, falling 3-2 to drop five games below .500 at 14-19.  After beating the Braves on May 1 they were within two games of .500 at 12-14.  They are in fourth place in the NL East and 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta and the Mets, who are tied for the lead in the division. 

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk.  Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs.  He walked one and struck out four.  His ERA dropped to 7.42.

Eaton got Chris Young on a ground ball to short for the first out in the first, but Alberto Callaspo followed with a walk.  Orlando Hudson followed and hit a ground ball to second.  The Phils did a nice job to double Hudson up and set the Snakes down.

Eaton struck out Chad Tracy to start the second but Eric Byrnes hit the first pitch in his at-bat really significantly far out to left to put Arizona up 1-0.  Eaton got Stephen Drew on a grounder to second and Carlos Quentin on a popout to first to end the inning.

Chris Snyder started the third and popped out to short on a ball Rollins caught way behind third and near the line.  The pitcher Owings hit one to Utley for the second out before Young lined a double into left-center that bounced once and cleared the wall for a ground-rule double.  Callaspo lined a ball into center but Rowand tracked it down after a short run for the third out. 

Hudson led off the fourth with a ball up the middle.  Utley got to it headed towards short but slipped as he threw to first and Hudson was safe with a single.  Eaton struck out Tracy for the first out.  Byrnes was next and hit a dribbler towards short.  Nunez made a nice play to cut it off and throw him out at first on a close play (safe) as Hudson went to second.  Drew hit a fly ball to center to end the inning.  Two strikeouts for Eaton through four.  Tracy twice.

In the fifth, Quentin popped to Utley for the first out and Snyder followed with a ball back up the middle.  Utley made a tremendous play, diving into the hole and throwing Snyder out at first for the second out.  Owings was next and hit a ground ball down the third base line.  Nunez tried to backhand and hit went off his glove and dribbled away.  Owings oddly tried to go to second and was thrown out easily.  Error on Nunez.

Young led off the sixth with a single but the next two Diamondbacks went down before Tracy moved him to second with a single.  Byrnes followed with the third hit of the inning, another single, that scored Young from second and put Arizona up 2-1.  Drew popped out to end the inning.

In a 2-2 game, Eaton got the first two in the seventh before pinch-hitter Tony Clark batted for Owings and homered to right.  3-2.  Eaton struck out Young for the third out of the inning.

Geary started the eight and gave up a leadoff walk to Callaspo to start the inning.  Callaspo went to second when a pickoff throw from Geary went not as well as expected.  Hudson followed with a ground ball to second and Utley tried to get Callaspo at third.  The ball got away from Nunez.  Callaspo tried to score but was nailed at the plate for the first out of the inning with Hudson taking second.  Geary got Tracy on a fly ball to right and and Byrnes to ground back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Geary has not been charged with a run since April 17.  He's made ten appearances since. 

The Phillies lineup against righty Micah Owings went (1) Rowand (2) Victorino (3) Rollins (4) Utley (5) Burrell (6) Dobbs (7) Nunez (8) Ruiz.  Golly.  Rowand leads off for the second time this year, but this time against a righty.  The other game he led off was against lefty Dontrelle Willis.  Rollins hits third against the righty as the number of big left-handed bats the Phillies have in the lineup goes from two to one with Howard nursing his quad.  Dobbs gets a start at first.  Helms on the bench with Nunez at third after Nunez strokes three hits in Monday night's game.  Nunez and Helms come into the game with the same number of home runs on the year (zero).  On the season, the Phillies came into the game with one homer from their left fielders (tied for 14th in the NL), one homer from their right-fielders (tied with five other teams for worst in the NL) and zero home runs from their third basemen (tied with two other NL teams for worst in the league).  Spiffy.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the first.  Victorino hit it well to right for the second out, but Quentin made a nice running catch.

Dobbs drew a two-out walk in the second, but Nunez flew out to center to set the Phillies down.

Ruiz led off the third with a beautiful bunt down the third base line but Micah Owens is apparently Batman or something.  He pounced on the ball and let his momentum carry him toward the third-base line as he jumped in the air and threw to first, nipping Ruiz for the first out.  Eaton followed with a line drive into left for a single, but Rowand hit a double-play ball to third to end the inning.

Victorino led off the fourth and got ahead in the count 2-1 before swinging at a pitch so wretched and far from being a strike I question my ability to describe it adequately.  It was a breaking thing that was nearly hitting him in the foot as he flailed at it.  He flew to right for the first out on the 2-2 pitch.  Rollins hit it well to center, but Young tracked it down for the second out at the warning track.  Utley hit a ball hard back to the pitcher, but Owings snared it and threw him out at first to retire the side with the Phils down 1-0.

One hit for the Phillies through four innings.  A single by Eaton.

Burrell hit a line drive to right to start the fifth.  Looked like it had a chance to get over Quentin but not so much.  Quentin made a running catch for the first out.  After that at-bat, Burrell was 2-for-21 in May with just two strikeouts.  He's hitting the ball to right far more frequently and striking out less.  Not much falling but his batting average, though.  Dobbs was next and hit an 0-1 pitch out to right to tie the game at 1-1.  Nunez got up 2-0 and grounded to short for the second out.   Ruiz flew out to center for the third out.

Eaton struck out to start the sixth and Rowand followed with a single into left.  Victorino again got ahead 2-1 and the Phillies hit and run.  Victorino swung at another miserable pitch and fouled it off.  On the 3-2 pitch he hit a double-play ball to second, but Hudson bobbled and Arizona could only get the lead runner Rowand.  With two down and Victorino at first, Rollins got ahead in the count but Owings' 3-1 pitch was called a strike although it looked high and Rollins struck out on a 3-2 pitch that was even higher.

Utley led off the seventh with a home run to right that tied the game at 2-2.  Burrell and Dobbs went down on a fly ball to center and a grounder to first before Nunez hit a double to left.  Nunez went to third on a wild pitch and Arizona walked Ruiz intentionally.  Manuel left Eaton in to hit for himself against the righty Owings with Howard available to pinch-hit on the bench.  Eaton grounded to third to end the inning and would give up the home run to Tony Clark in the bottom of the inning that proved to be the game-winner.  Really bad, and a classic example of how Manuel manages in games where he has no faith in his bullpen.  I understand why he might not have faith in the bullpen, cause, seriously, have you seen those guys lately?  I don't understand why he would have more faith in Eaton after he'd thrown six innings.  Just because the bullpen is bad doesn't mean that Eaton isn't struggling.  At least some of the guys in the bullpen are struggling and hadn't thrown six innings on the day.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the eighth and again in the ninth.

Rowand was 1-for-4 with a single.

Victorino 0-for-4.  Rollins 0-for-4.  Top three go 1-for-12 with a single and no walks.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a solo homer, his sixth of the year.

Burrell was 0-for-4.  2-for-his-last-34. 

Dobbs was the offensive hero for the Phils.  1-for-3 with a walk and a solo homer.

Nunez 1-for-3 with a double. 

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Five hits, two walks for the Phils.  Lose.

Jamie Moyer (3-2, 2.85) faces lefty Randy Johnson (0-2, 6.50) today.  Moyer has been outstanding this year and has yet to allow more than three earned runs in an outing after six starts.  Preventing the home run is key for him -- he's allowed one in 41 innings.  Righties are hitting .205 against him.  The Big Unit has made three starts on the season and allowed five home runs in 18 innings.  Opponents are hitting .324 against him.

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