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June 29 2006

The Phillies play again tonight.  I expect to catch the game, but if I can't it's nice to know I can always just bang my head against a wall for three hours and get the same effect.  It's nice to have options.

Early in the year Pat Gillick caused a stir when he said he was concerned the Phillies might not be good enough to make the playoffs.  Since then I think most Phillies have kept it in the back of their mind, worrying if maybe the Phillies aren't going to try to make the playoffs this season and set themselves up for 2007.  At this point I'm more worried if the organization is trying to make the playoffs.

The Phillies lost their seventh straight last night, falling to the Orioles in the second game of a day/night double-header, 12-5.  The loss drops the Phillies to 35-42 on the year.  They are now in a tied for second place with the Florida Marlins, twelve games behind the Mets, who have lost two in a row.

The Phillies got more horrible pitching last night.  Scott Mathieson got the start.  He went 2 2/3 innings and did not return to the game after a 41-minute rain delay in the third.  He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks.  Four of the five hits went for extra-bases.

With one out in the first he gave up a walk, which was followed by an RBI-double by Mora to tie the game at 1-1.

In the second, he gave up a one-out single to Markakis, which was followed by a two-out double from Brian Roberts that put Baltimore up 2-1.  Markakis' single should have been fielded by second baseman Nunez.  Nunez escaped the error, but he should have gotten an out and it cost the Phillies a run.  It looked important at the time, when the score was 2-1, but less so two innings later when the Orioles were up 9-4.  We should all hope that Rollins never needs a day off at short, I'm not really looking forward to seeing Nunez there.

He started the third and gave up a walk and a double to start the inning, which made it second and third with nobody out.  A Ramon Hernadez ground out scored a run and made it 3-1 Orioles.  Mathieson struck out Patterson for the second out of the inning, but walked Conine to put two men on with two outs.  Markakis tripled, scoring two runs and putting the Orioles up 5-1.  Then it rained, and Aaron Fultz came in to pitch when play resumed.  He got Matos to fly out for the last out of the inning.

The Phillies got two in the top of the fourth to get back within 5-3.  Fultz returned for the bottom of the inning and loaded the bases on a single, an error on himself when he dropped a bunt and got nobody out, and a hit batter.  Tejada followed with a sac fly that made it 6-3.  Ramon Hernandez followed that with a three-run homer, putting Baltimore up 9-3.  Fultz got Patterson for the second out of the inning and then gave up back-to-back singles and was removed for Geoff Geary.  Geary got the final out of the inning.

Fultz has allowed five earned runs over his last 2 1/3 innings. 

Geary returned for the fifth.  He allowed two singles but kept the Orioles off the board.

The Phillies got a run in the top of the sixth and trailed 9-4 going into the bottom of the inning with Geary still on the mound.  Conine led off wtih a double and scored on a Markakis single, making the score 10-4.  Geary got the next two batters before a Brandon Fahey double sent Markakis to third, making it second and third with two outs.  Franklin relieved Geary and got a ground ball to Rollins, but Howard dropped the throw from Rollins, allowing a run to score and make it 11-4.  Tejada followed that with a single, putting Baltimore up 12-4 before Hernandez flew out to end the inning.  Howard's error gives him 11 on the season.  No other first baseman in either league has more than seven.

Geary has allowed eight hits and five runs, only three of which were earned, in his last two innings.

Franklin pitched the seventh, loading the bases with one out on a double, a hit batter and a single, but kept Baltimore off the board with a double-play.

Clay Condrey pitched the ninth.  He also loaded the bases, giving up three singles, but got out of the inning without allowing Baltimore to score.

The Orioles batted in eight innings and had 20 hits against the Phillies.  Five Phillies pitchers appeared and all of them but Mathieson, who allowed five hits in 2 2/3, allowing more than two hits per inning.  The days of the good Phillies pen are gone, hopefully not for good.  It's another thing you can blame on the starters, the Phillies lead the NL in innings pitched by the pen (1/3 of an inning more than the Mets).

The Phililes lineup against righty Kris Benson went (1) Rollins (2) Dellucci (3) Utley (4) Abreu (5) Howard (6) Victorinio (7) Bell (8) Nunez (9) Coste.  Dellucci was in left, Utley at DH, Victorino in center, Nunez at second and Coste at catcher.  Victorino in center is my favorite thing here -- would have rather seen Burrell at DH and Nunez at third for Bell, but I don't think it was going to make eight runs worth of difference.

The Phillies got a rare lead in the first, going up 1-0 on a double by Rollins and a single by Dellucci.

In the fourth they got solo homers from Utley and Howard, which seemed at the time to put them back in the game at 5-3.

Dellucci hit a solo homer in the sixth, which made it a 9-4 game. 

Howard hit his second homer of the game and 27th of the year in the eighth, which made the score 12-5 Orioles.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk. 

Dellucci was 2-for-4 with his fourth homer.  He has 13 extra-base hits in 86 at-bats.  His .570 slugging percentage is second on the team only to Howard (and Geary, who has a double in three at-bats).

Utley was 2-for-4 and Abreu 0-for-3 with a walk. 

Hopefully Howard broke out of his nasty slump.  He was 2-for-3 with a walk and two homers.  He leads the NL in home runs.

Victorino, Bell and Nunez combined to go 0-for-12 without a walk. 

Coste had two more hits, going 2-for-4, and is now batting .296.

Ryan Madson gets the start for the Phillies tonight.  He faces Rodrigo Lopez, whose 6.45 ERA is even worse that Madson's 6.40.

The Phillies called up Adam Bernero from Triple-A to take Myers' spot on the roster.  Bernero had a 1.57 ERA at Triple-A in three starts and will pitch on Friday against the Blue Jays.

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