May 12 2007

After seeing their 5-1 lead and the best start of Freddy Garcia's Phillie career go up in smoke in the top of the seventh inning this afternoon, the Phillies sprang to life in the bottom of the frame.  With two down and nobody on, the Phils hit and hit and when they looked up they had scored six times and were back on top 11-7.  They held on for their third win in as many games.

The Phillies beat Chicago Cubs 11-7 today to improve to 17-19 on the season.

Freddy Garcia got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks.  Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double by Cesar Izturis.  He was very strong early and pitched better than his line.

Garcia threw a 1-2-3 first and a 1-2-3 second. 

In the third, Izturis singled with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch with Angel Guzman at the plate.  Guzman struck out for the second out before Alfonso Soriano walked to put men on first and second.  Cliff Floyd popped to short to end the frame with the Phils up 2-0.

Derek Lee singled to start the fourth but Aramis Ramirez followed and hit into a double-play.  Michael Barrett grounded to third to set the Cubs down.

Izturis singled with two outs in the fifth, but Garcia got Guzman on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Soriano singled to start the sixth and stole second as Floyd struck out for the first out of the inning.  Lee followed with a single to right, but a great throw by Victorino nailed Soriano at the plate for the second out.  Lee went to second on the throw home and came around to score when Ramirez singled to left, cutting the Phillies' lead to 2-1.  Barrett sent Ramirez to second with another single and the runners moved to second and third on Garcia's second wild pitch of the game.  Jacque Jones struck out to set the Cubs down.

The seventh started with the Phillies up 5-1 and ended more than an hour later a total disaster.  Mark DeRosa led off with a walk after getting behind 0-2 and moved to second on Garcia's third wild pitch of the game.  Izturis hit a liner to right that went off of Victorino's glove for a double.  DeRosa had to hold at third.  Geary replaced Garcia and the first man he faced, pinch-hitter Matt Murton, hit a three-run homer to left that cut the Phillies' lead to 5-4.  Soriano followed with a single and moved to second on a dribbler from Floyd up the first base line.  Geary made a great play to throw around the runner as his momentum carried him in the direction of the Phillies' dugout.  A Lee single to right sent Soriano to third with one out.  Ramirez followed with another single to right.  Soriano scored to tie the game at 5-5 with men on first and third with one down.  The game was delayed by rain for about an hour.  When it resumed, Alfonseca took over for Geary.  He got Barrett on a line drive to third for the second out, but Jones hit a two-run double to left-center and the Cubs led 7-5.  DeRosa followed with a single to right and Victorino made another great throw, nailing Jones for his second outfield assist of the game to end the frame.

Geary awful and Alfonseca awful in the seventh.  Nice play by Geary on the dribbler by Floyd, but he got one out and gave up four hits including a three-run homer.  Alfonseca got two outs, one on a ball smashed to third and the other on a single to right where the runner was thrown out at the plate.

Myers started the eighth with the Phillies up 11-7.  The Phils had gone into the bottom of the seventh down 7-5 and they scored six runs with two outs, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds.  But it was bad.  The Phils need to get someone else up faster in situations like that.  They have two guys in the pen that are reliable, Geary and Myers, and one of them got bombed today.  Castro, Condrey, Hernandez and Rosario never pitch.  They need to.  Myers threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

He also returned for the ninth. He gave up singles to the first two men he faced, but with runners on first and second and nobody out he struck out Ramirez, Barrett and Jones to end the game.

Five strikeouts in two innings for Myers.  He is likely unavailable tomorrow and it's cause he threw 35 pitches in a game he entered when the Phillies were winning by four runs.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Angel Guzman went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Rowand (4) Utley (5) Burrell (6) Dobbs (7) Nunez (8) Ruiz.  Rowand hits third against the righty.  Dobbs starts at first with Helms on the bench and Nunez at third.

Victorino singled and stole second with one out in the first, but Rowand and Utley went down behind him.

Burrell led off the second with a double down the third-base line and went to third on a single by Dobbs.  Nunez grounded to second and the Cubs couldn't get two.  They got Dobbs at second as Nunez was safe at first.  Burrell scored to put the Phils up 1-0.  Ruiz doubled into left center and Nunez was out by a lot trying to score.  With two down and Ruiz on second, Garcia hit an unlikely double to right that put the Phils up 2-0.  Rollins walked before Victorino struck out to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third.  In the fourth, Ruiz singled to left with two outs but Garcia struck out to end the inning.

After a 1-2-3 fifth the Phillies entered the sixth with a 2-1 lead.  Utley led off with a home run that put the Phils up 3-1.  Burrell flew to right for the first out before Dobbs singled to center and went to second when Jones bobbled the ball.  Nunez sent a triple to the gap in left, scoring Dobbs to put the Phils up 4-1.  With Ruiz at the plate, Manuel called a suicide squeeze and Ruiz got it down beautifully on a tough pitch to bunt with Nunez storming home.  5-1.  There ya go.  Now Fox viewers everywhere are gonna go off thinking that Charlie Manuel is a suicide-squeeze-calling type.  Swear I don't mind if the Phillies don't call for a suicide squeeze for another three or four years.  Looked pretty today, though.  Garcia grounded to second to end the inning.

Suddenly down 7-5, Rollins and Victorino went down to start the inning in the seventh.  Rowand singled.  Utley doubled, scoring Rowand with the help of an error by Murton in right.  7-6.  Burrell walked, putting runners on first and second for Dobbs.  Dobbs was 3-for-3 on the day and hits left-handed with righty Bob Howry on the hill for the Cubs.  You still have to wonder if Howard was healthy the Phils would have pinch-hit for Dobbs there.  They didn't (Howard has been put on the DL since) and Dobbs tripled down the right field line.  The biggest hit of the day for the Phillies scored two and put the Phils up 8-7.  Nunez followed and hit a ball hard to third base and off the glove of Ramirez for a single.  Dobbs scored and the Phils led 9-7.  Ruiz followed with two-run shot out to right to extend the lead to 11-7.  Bourn hit for Alfonseca and flew to left to end the inning.

Six runs for the Phillies with two outs and nobody on coming off a top of an inning that took more than an hour and saw their 5-1 lead disappear.

Victorino walked with one out in the eighth.  Rowand followed and struck out for the second out.  Utley doubled to right and there was a play at the plate.  Victorino buried Barrett and was out to end the inning.  Probably would have been safe with a slide.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk.  2-for-his-last-21.  Second walk since April 9.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.  Two outfield assists.

Rowand was 1-for-5 with a single.

Utley was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run, his seventh of the year. 

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Dobbs was tremendous.  4-for-4 with a triple and two RBI.

Nunez was 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI.  407/448/593 in May.

Ruiz was 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI.

Jon Lieber (1-1, 3.33) faces lefty Ted Lilly (2-2, 2.78) tomorrow as the Phils go for the sweep.  Lieber has made four starts, the worst of which came last Saturday in San Francisco when he took the loss, allowing four runs over six innings.   He's been tough on righties this season but has allowed ten of his 11 walks to left-handed batters.  Lilly has been very good in his seven starts, allowing more than three earned runs just once.  He hasn't walked anyone (seven in his 45 1/3 innings) or been hurt by the long ball (two on the year).  Righties are hitting .207 against him and he's thrown to an 0.97 ratio on the season.

The Phillies put Ryan Howard on the DL with a strain of the left quad and called up Chris Coste from Triple-A.  In his first 90 at-bats with the Lynx this year, Coste has hit 233/317/289 with five extra-base hits, all doubles.

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