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June 9 2007

Jon Lieber made his best start of the season tonight, throwing a shutout and setting down the last 15 men he faced.  The offense, led by Greg Dobbs, gave him four runs, which was more than enough.

The Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals tonight, winning 4-0 to improve to 32-30 on the year.

Before the game the Phillies put Freddy Garcia on the DL and announced they had signed Jose Mesa.  The Phils will need to call someone up to make the start on Wednesday against the White Sox.  Kyle Kendrick has been suggested as a possibility.  Brian Mazone might have made sense after throwing to 2.21 ERA in six starts at Triple-A Ottawa , but he asked for and was given his release last month so he can pitch in Korea.  The 22-year-old righty Kendrick is 4-7 with a 3.21 in 12 starts at Double-A Reading.  His last start came on Wednesday.

Lieber got the start for the Phils and was brilliant.  He needed 106 pitches to throw a complete game shutout, holding the Royals to three hits.  One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double.  He struck out 11 with a little help from a big strike zone from home plate umpire Doug Eddings.  Didn't walk a batter.

Lieber gave up a leadoff singled to David DeJesus in the first before striking out the next three batters.

He struck out the side in the second and threw a 1-2-3 third.

In the fourth he got the first two before Shane Costa reached on a bunt single.  Alex Gordon popped out to Barajas in foul territory to end the inning.

John Buck started the fifth with a double, but Lieber struck out Ryan Shealy for the first out, got Tony Pena on a line drive to right and struck out Joey Gathright to end the inning.

Lieber threw a 1-2-3 sixth and a 1-2-3 seventh.  He set the Royals down 1-2-3 again in the eighth, getting the second out on a nice play by Utley.  Pena smoked a line drive back up the middle, but Utley caught it.

Lieber started the ninth having thrown 93 pitches and nobody warming in the pen.  DeJesus swung at the first pitch and grounded to second.  He got behind Grudzielanek 3-0 before Grudzielanek grounded to second on a 3-2 pitch.  Mark Teahen grounded to first to end the game.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Gil Meche went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Burrell  (7) Dobbs (8) Nunez (9) Barajas.  Nunez back at third with Helms on the bench.  Burrell at DH again with Dobbs in left.  Barajas catches after the home run last night.

Victorino and Utley singled with one out in the first, putting men at first and second for Howard, who grounded into a double-play to set the Phils down.

Rowand singled to start the second and Burrell followed with a walk.  Dobbs singled to right, scoring Rowand to put the Phils up 1-0 with men on first and second and nobody out for Nunez. Nunez struck out, Barajas struck out and Rollins grounded to first to end the frame.

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

In the fourth, Rowand singled to center to start the inning and Burrell followed with a double that scored Rowand and put the Phils up 2-0.  Dobbs was next and he doubled to right, scoring Burrell to make it 3-0.  Nunez struck out for the first out, but Barajas doubled to bring in Dobbs and extend the lead to 4-0.  Rollins and Victorino both grounded out to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. 

Dobbs walked with one out in the ninth and Bourn ran for him.  Nunez flew to left for the second out before Bourn stole second with Barajas at the plate.  Barajas flew to left for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Victorino was 1-for-4.  He's hitting .267.

Utley was 1-for-4.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times.

Rowand was 2-for-4 to raise his average to .323.

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

Dobbs was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and two RBI.

Nunez was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left four men on base.

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

Jamie Moyer (5-4, 4.08) faces lefty Jorge De La Rosa (4-6, 4.60) tomorrow afternoon.  Moyer has made 12 starts on the season and been much better on the road than at home.  In five starts at home he's 1-2 with a 5.58 ERA.  In seven starts on the road he's 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA.  He's given up a lot of home runs, ten, nine of which have come against righties and seven of which have come at home.  De La Rosa has made 12 starts on the year and was great his last time out, holding the Indians to a run on five hits over 7 1/3 innings on Tuesday.  Over his last ten starts he's oddly been either great or hit hard.  In five of the starts he's allowed two or fewer runs.  He allowed at least five runs in each of the other five.


June 9 2007

This article says that the Phillies have signed Jose Mesa.

Mesa was released by the Tigers on Sunday after throwing to a 12.34 ERA in 16 games this season. The 41-year-old righty was decent as recently as last year, throwing to a 3.86 ERA in 72 1/3 innings with the Rockies.  Opponents are hitting .365 against him this year.  Last year they hit .270 against him, but he walked a lot of hitters, 36 in 72 1/3 innings. He pitched for the Phillies in 2001, 2002 and 2003, saving 111 games.

No move is too desperate for the Phils' bullpen at this point.

The Phils have yet to confirm the move, but a report on the team's web site says he could join the Phillies in Kansas City this weekend. 

It appears that the Phillies may also need to put Garcia on the DL.  If so, they could give Mesa Garcia's roster spot, but that would leave them with four starters and eight relievers.  Either way the Mesa addition seems like it will eventually cost one of the guys in the pen their job.  Can't imagine it would be Geary, Alfonseca, Madson or Zagurski, which leaves Condrey, Hernandez and Rosario, all of whom have been okay of late.  My first guess would be Hernandez, but if Garcia went to the DL before Mesa was activated the Phils wouldn't need to call up whoever is going to start in Garcia's place until Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Hamels apparently didn't like the Lo Duca bat flip. 

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