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June 28 2006

The Phillies treated us all to more of their own special blend of hard-to-watch baseball this afternoon -- terrible starting pitching and pretty much everyone coming up empty with ducks aboard.  It wasn't enough to win this afternoon, it rarely is, and the Phillies dropped their sixth straight. 

The 7-4 loss in the first game of the day/night double-header drops the Phillies record to 35-41 on the year.  After going into the seventh inning of their previous game down 6-0, the Phillies took it up a notch this afternoon, going into the top of the eighth inning down 7-0.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and pitched terribly.  He went five innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits and three walks.  Five of the nine hits, including two home runs, went for extra-bases.  Over his last three starts Hamels has gone 15 2/3 innings, allowing 14 runs on 22 hits.

Hamels got into trouble in the bottom of the first but got out of it with the help of a hard hit lineout double-play.  The first two Orioles got aboard via a leadoff walk and a single, but Tejada hit a hard liner to first, which Howard caught and stepped on the bag to double off Mora.  Hamels got Ramon Hernandez to fly out and end the inning. 

In the second, Baltimore got a one-out triple from Conine.  He came home on a Patterson ground out to put Baltimore up 1-0. 

Brian Roberts led off the third with a single and was called safe on a steal of second when it looked like the Phillies had picked him off.  Hamels got Mora to fly out for the first out of the inning, but Tejada singled to score Roberts from second and put Baltimore up 2-0.  Ramon Hernandez followed that up with a two-run homer to make it 4-0 Baltimore. 

Brian Roberts hit a two-run homer in the fourth, his first home run of the year, to put the Orioles up 6-0.  He hit it on an 0-2 pitch.

Tejada led off the fifth with a double and Hamels hit Hernandez, who had homered in his last at-bat, to make it first and second with nobody out.  Hamels struck out Lopez, but a wild pitch that send the runners to second and third with one out.  Conine was intentionally walked to load the bases, and then Hamels got Cory Patterson to fly to center.  The fly ball couldn't score Tejada from third, so the bases were still loaded with two outs.  Hamels walked the next batter, Millar, driving in a run to make it 7-0 Baltimore, before getting Markakis to end the inning. 

Hamels left after five, as Phillies pitchers are wont to do, having thrown 96 miserable pitches.  On came Rick White, making his Phillies debut.  White got a 1-2-3 sixth. 

White returned to pitch the bottom of the seventh, allowing a two-out single but keeping Baltimore off the board.

Clay Condrey came in to pitch the bottom of the eighth.  He allowed a hit and a walk but kept the Orioles off the board.  It's all about timing, Clay.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Erik Bedard went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Abreu (4) Burrell (5) Howard (6) Rowand (7) Victorino (8) Bell (9) Fasano.  Burrell was at DH and Victorino in left. 

Pat Burrell's struggles continued for the Phils in the first inning.  With one out and runners on first and second he struck out and the Phillies were turned away when Ryan Howard flew out to left to end the inning. 

The Phillies stranded two more in the second.  With one out and runners on first and third, Fasano struck out and Rollins grounded out to end the inning. 

Nothing really horrific happened in the third or fourth.  The Phillies didn't score but spared us the baserunners.  They picked things up in the fifth.  With one out and runners on first and third, Abreu grounded into a double-play to end the inning and keep the score 6-0 Baltimore.

The Phils were kept off the board in the sixth and seventh on one hit and went into the top of the eighth down 7-0.  They finally got on the board on a two-run homer by Pat Burrell himself, breaking a streak where he was 0-for-18 with 11 strikeouts.  Victorino followed with a two-out, two-run homer of his own, which got the Phillies within 7-4.

The Phillies went down 1-2-3 in the ninth against Orioles closer Chris Ray.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. 

Utley was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Abreu 1-for-3 with a walk. 

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts.  Howard was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.  Ryan is 2-for-his-last-22 with 11 strikeouts. 

Rowand was 1-for-4.  He's 3-for-his-last-18. 

Victorino 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and was hit by a pitch.

Bell 2-for-4. 

Fasano was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.  He's 0-for-his-last-9 with five strikeouts.

Same two teams go at 7:05 tonight as Scott Mathieson faces Kris Benson.  It should be interesting to see what the Phillies do with their lineup after the Burrell home run in his last at-bat today.  I expect we'll see Dellucci in left against the righty Benson, and Coste at catcher.  I don't think it's a sure thing, but I hope they bring Burrell back at DH for game 2 and give Rowand a break with Victorino in center.

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