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June 18 2007

The Phillies fought for every inch this weekend and their pen fought right back.  On a team where it seems that every player, hitters and pitchers alike, gives their all every day, it sure looks like the guys in the bullpen simply aren't good enough.

Eight runs proved not to be enough in the first game of the set on Friday as the pen allowed five runs in four innings.  Yesterday the Phils took a 3-1 lead into the seventh but came up short again as the bullpen surrendered four runs in 2 2/3 innings.

The Phillies fell to the Detroit Tigers yesterday afternoon, losing 7-4 to fall to 36-33 on the year.  The Tigers take the series two games to one. 

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks.  Only one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double.  He struck out two. 

Curtis Granderson singled to start the first, but Eaton got the next two men before Granderson stole second with Maggilo Ordonez at the plate.  Ordonez singled into center, scoring Granderson to put the Tigers up 1-0.  Ordonez tried to take second and was out by a lot to end the frame.

Eaton walked Brandon Inge with two outs in the second, but got Neifi Perez on a ground ball to first to end the inning.

Granderson singled again with one out in the third, but Eaton got Placido Polanco on a ground ball to third that moved Granderson to second and Craig Monroe on a fly ball to right to set Detroit down.

Ivan Rodriguez singled with two down in the fourth, but Eaton struck out Inge for the third out.

After a 1-2-3 fifth, Eaton got the first two in the sixth before he walked Ordonez.  Sean Casey grounded to second to the the frame.

Eaton started the seventh up 3-1.  He got Rodriguez for the first out before Inge doubled to center and went to third on a pinch-hit single by Carlos Guillen.  With Gary Sheffield at the plate and men on first and third with one down, Manuel brought in Geary.  Sheffield singled to left, scoring Inge to make the score 3-2 as Guillen went to second.  The lefty Granderson was due to hit and Manuel called on Zagurski to pitch.  Switch-hitter Omar Infante hit for Granderson and hit one back to Zagurski for the second out.  Sheffield moved to second and Guillen went to third.  Yoel Hernandez came in to pitch to the righty Polanco and walked him intentionally, loading the bases.  Craig Monroe was next and hit  a hard ground ball to third that went off the glove of a diving Nunez at third and dribbled into left field.  Play of the game, but it wasn't Nunez's fault.  Two runs scored and the Tigers led 4-3 with men on first and third and two down for Ordonez, who laced a double into right field that brought in both of them.  6-3.  Hernandez got Casey to pop to Nunez in foul territory for the third out.

I thought Manuel took Eaton out at the right time.  I'd much rather have fresh Geary against Sheffield than Eaton facing Sheffield having thrown 101 pitches and allowed a double and a single to the last two men he faced. 

Geary has now been charged with seven runs over 1 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, allowing runs all three times out.  He's either the best or second-best pitcher in the Phillies' bullpen these days, depending on your opinion of Madson.  Alfonseca's pitching well of late, but I wouldn't try to cash that check.

Hernandez started the eighth down 6-3 and allowed singles to the first two men he faced.  With runners on first and second and nobody out, Guillen singled into center, scoring Rodriguez from second to put Detroit up 7-3.  That was finally the end of the day for Hernandez, who allowed five hits and walked Polanco intentionally while getting one out.  Mesa came in with runners on first and second and did a nice job.  Took a while, though. Marcus Thames, a righty, which is fortunate given that the left-handed portion of the Phillies' pen had already faced their batter today, was the first man to hit against Mesa.  Mesa got ahead of him 1-2 and Thames checked his swing.  No appeal.  Ruiz argued and was ejected.  Manuel argued and was ejected.  Steve Smith went absolutely bonkers and was ejected.  Mesa went on to strike out Thames for the first out, then strike out Infante for the second.  Polanco grounded to third for the third out.

Righty Brian Sanches started the ninth. Sanches was called up from Triple-A Ottawa, despite throwing to a 5.40 ERA and allowing opponents to hit .323 against him with the Lynx, when Rosario was put on the DL with a shoulder strain on Saturday.  He allowed a one-out walk to Ordonez, who moved to second on a wild pitch, but kept the Tigers off the board by setting down the next two.  With the Tigers hurting for position players, Mike Maroth pinch-hit for Fernando Rodney and struck out for the second out and Rodriguez grounded to second for the third.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Justin Verlander went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Dobbs (7) Nunez (8) Ruiz.  Burrell, who came into the game 6-for-43 (.140) in June, sits.  Nunez at third, Dobbs in left.  Ruiz catches.

After a 1-2-3 first, Rowand walked with one out in the second and the Phils down 1-0.  Dobbs was hit by a pitch, moving Rowand to second.  Nunez singled to center, scoring Rowand to tie the game at 1-1 with one down and men on first and second.  Ruiz popped to second for the second out, but Eaton followed with an infield single on a ground ball to third that Inge bobbled, loading the bases.  Rollins struck out to end the inning.

With one out in the third, Utley reached on a ground-rule double to left.  Howard followed with a ball well-hit to right, moving Utley to third with two down.  Dobbs grounded to third to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth.  In the fifth, Utley singled with two outs but Howard struck out to set the Phillies down.

With one out in the sixth, Dobbs hit a ball down the line in left.  Monroe misplayed it, perhaps thinking it was going to bounce off the stands and back into the middle of left field, but it stayed down the line for a triple.  With the infield in, Nunez chopped a ball to first.  Dobbs held third as Casey dove and tagged a sliding Nunez at first for the second out.  Ruiz was walked intentionally and Eaton ripped a single into left.  Dobbs scored to put the Phils up 3-1 as Ruiz went to second.  Rollins popped to second for the third out.

Down 6-3 in the seventh, the Phils put men on first and second with nobody out when Victorino and Utley started the frame with singles.  Howard struck out for the first out and Rowand followed and flew to right on a ball nearly misplayed by Ordonez.  With the lefty Bobby Seay on the mound, Manuel pinch-hit Helms for Dobbs with Burrell available.  Very odd -- neither of them were going to hit against a lefty, but it surprised me that the Phillies didn't go with Burrell with runners aboard.  Righty Fernando Rodney came in to pitch and struck out Helms to end the inning. 

Nunez started the eighth with a single and moved to second on a ground out by Barajas.  Burrell pinch-hit for Mesa and struck out.  Rollins hit a ground ball to short that took an odd hop and went through the legs of Guillen.  Nunez scored to cut the lead to 7-4.  It was called an error and then changed to a single.  Absurd call given the going through the legs and whatnot.  Rollins stole second and Victorino walked, bringing up Utley as the tying run, but Utley grounded to third to end the inning.  Utley nearly beat it out when Inge oddly looked at second, but Inge then made a strong throw to first and nipped him.

Michael Bourn, who entered the game in center in the top of the eighth, singled with two outs in the ninth, but Nunez flew to center to end the game.  Bourn entered for Rowand who had to leave the game with leg cramps.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with an RBI on a hit that should have been called an error.  He left five men on base.  4-for-14 in the series with a triple and two home runs.  278/324/520 on the season.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday and 6-for-14 with two home runs in the set.  278/346/411 on the year. 

Utley was 3-for-5 with a double.  6-for-13 with three doubles in the series.  320/397/572 on the year. 

Howard was 0-for-5, struck out twice and left four men on base.  2-for-14 with a double, a home run and seven strikeouts in the series.  232/377/514.

Rowand was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI yesterday.  5-for-10 with a double a home run and three walks in the series.  339/431/536 in June.  325/401/508 on the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-2 with a triple yesterday and 2-for-7 with a triple and a home run in the set.  285/331/553.

Nunez was 2-for-5 with an RBI.  4-for-9 with a double in the series.  270/324/336.

Ruiz 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday and 3-for-7 with two doubles in the series.  272/327/405.  Barajas 0-for-1 Sunday and 0-for-4 in the series.  205/352/375.

Burrell 0-for-1 yesterday and 0-for-7 with three walks in the series.  1-for-his-last-16 and 211/382/387 on the year. 

Helms 0-for-1 in a big at-bat yesterday and 0-for-2 in the series.  248/302/325.

Werth 0-for-1 yesterday and in the set.  239/329/380.  Bourn 1-for-1 yesterday in his only at-bat in the series.  263/364/316.

Cole Hamels (9-2, 3.47) faces lefty Cliff Lee (3-4, 6.04) tonight in Cleveland.  Hamels has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his last eight starts.  He has allowed five home runs in his last two starts, all solo shots, and 16 home runs on the year overall.  Fifteen of the homers he's allowed have been hit by righties.  Lee has made nine starts on the year, allowing 10 home runs in 50 2/3 innings.  Lefites are hitting .329 against him, righties .273.  Barajas and Rowand are the only Phillies who have faced him.  Barajas is 0-for-3 and Rowand 5-for-16 with a home run, two doubles and three walks.

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