July 18 2006

I'm not sure I have a whole lot of life wisdom to pass on to my children.  I do know this, however, and I think it's important:  Do not mess with the people who prepare or serve your food.  Just don't do it.  After the ordering process, you're pretty much out of the loop and a whole lot of things can happen before lunch actually arrives.  A lot of them are bad.  You really, really don't want your server going all Tyler Durden on your cream of mushroom soup because you complained too loudly about sitting near the air conditioner. 

This struck me last night as I watched local sports reporters kill Pat Burrell on television before the game.  Killed him.  Strikes out too often.  Never, never, gets a big hit.  And I thought to myself, Pat Burrell?  The guys who is 17th in the league in OPS?  12th in home runs?    Ninth in walks?  On-basing .471 and slugging .704 against lefties?  The guy who was second in the league in RBI last year?  That Pat Burrell is the problem?  Huh.  I disagree.  I think it's the starting pitching.  Or that for the second straight year the team has gotten heinous offensive production from the third base and catcher's positions.  Or that the guy that gets the most at-bats on the team in on-basing .316.  The thing is, though, if you're a baseball player, you gotta play the game off the field, too.  Cause if you annoy enough reporters for long enough, they start to look and sound curiously like pissed off guys bringing food to your table.

The Phillies lost last night to the San Diego Padres, falling 8-6 to drop to 42-49 on the year.  They fall into third place in the NL East, behind the Braves who have won six straight.  The Phils trail the first-place Mets by 12 1/2 games.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk.  He struck out six. Two of the six hits went for extra-bases, both were home runs.

The Phillies jumped out to 1-0 lead in the top of the first.  In the bottom of the inning, with one out, Mike Cameron hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1.

In the bottom of the second, the Padres found themselves with two down and runners on first and second with pitcher Woody Williams at the plate.  Williams singled, scoring Adrian Gonzalez from second to put San Diego up 2-1.

Hamels got 1-2-3 innings in the third and fourth and kept the Padres off the board in the bottom of the fifth.  The Phillies went up 4-2 in the top of the sixth and Hamels started the bottom of the frame.  With two outs he gave up a solo home run to Gonzalez, which got the Padres within one at 4-3.  Manuel took Hamels out, calling on Rick White, who loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Eric Young grounded out to end the inning.

The Phillies added two more in the top of the seven, which put them up 6-3.  And then things went to hell.

Ryan Franklin started the seventh.  Walk, single, RBI-single and it was 6-4.  Then, with runners on first and second, Franklin got his only out of the game, striking out Khalil Greene.   Rheal Cormier came in to pitch to the lefty Adrian Gonzalez, who stroked a three-run homer to put the Padres up 7-6.  It was the first home run Cormier had allowed on the year.  It didn't really come at a good time.  Geary replaced Cormier and got the next two batters to end the inning.

Geary started the bottom of the eighth with the Phillies still up 7-6.  A single, a sacrifice and a walk made it first and second with one out and Fultz replaced Geary with the lefty Giles at the plate.  Giles singled, scoring the runner from second to make it 8-6. 

The Phillies lineup against righty Woody Williams went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Abreu (4) Burrell (5) Howard (6) Rowand (7) Bell (8) Lieberthal.  Nothing new here.  The lineup, offense or even starting pitching weren't the problem in this game so much as the pen giving up five runs in 2 1/3 innings on seven hits and three walks.  I would like to see more chances for Coste behind the plate, however.  The Phillies catching situation has a good chance to be a disaster next year as well and Coste has looked better than Ruiz in limited time for both this year.

In the first, Chase Utley hit a one-out double and scored on Pat Burrell's two-out single to put the Phillies up 1-0.

The Phillies got two hits in innings two through five, both singles, and were kept off the board.  They went into the top of the sixth trailing 2-1. 

Utley led off the top of the sixth with a single and Abreu followed with another that sent Utley to third.  Burrell hit a sac fly, knotting the game at 2-2 with one out and Abreu at first.  Ryan Howard followed with a two-run homer, his 31st on the year, and the Phillies led 4-2. 

The Padres scored one in the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh started with the Phillies up 4-3.  Lieberthal led off with an infield single and came around to score on a pinch-hit triple by Nunez that put the Phils up 5-3.  It was an unlikely combination to produce a run for the Phils, coming into the game Nunez didn't have a hit since June 18 and Lieberthal didn't have a hit since June 5.  Rollins followed Nunez with an RBI-single that made the score 6-3.  The Phillies went on to load the bases on a Burrell single and a Howard walk, but Rowand flew out to end the inning. 

Rollins was 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double. 

Abreu 1-for-5.  Burrell was 2-for-3 and drove in two runs.  Howard 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI.

Rowand was 0-for-3 and is hitting .214 in July after hitting .223 in June. 

Lieberthal was 1-for-3 with a single.

Victorino was 0-for-1 and is 2-for-his-last-27 with two singles.

Ryan Madson faces Clay Hensley tonight.

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