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July 25 2007

 

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
WAS 42-56 370 3.78 16 682 (16) 36 12
PHI 50-48 531 5.42 1 811 (1) 78 12

 

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
WAS 42-56 476 4.86 10 5.18 (15) 3.77 (7)
PHI 50-48 506 5.16 15 4.99 (14) 4.62 (14)

For the Phillies to make a playoff push this season they don't need to win pretty, they just need to win.  Last night they won pretty and Aaron Rowand led the way in a game that saw the top four of the order combine to go 1-for-15.

After making a fantastic throw in the third inning to nail a runner at the plate trying to score from second on a single, Rowand came to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the game tied.  After taking a 1-2 pitch that was a whisker away from ending the inning, Rowand smashed the next pitch way out to left to put the Phils ahead to stay.

Rowand didn't do it all by himself.  With the Phils up by a run in the top of the ninth and a man on first with nobody out, Utley made one of the nicest diving plays you'll ever see to turn a single to right into the first out of the inning.  If Utley is going to hit like he has and make plays like that with his glove there's not a lot more you can ask of him.

Pat Burrell, forever criticized as a guy who would rather take a walk than try to drive in a run, smoked a 3-0 pitch to deep right in the sixth for a sac fly that tied the game at 3-3.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 last night to improve to 51-48 on the year.   It was the fourth win in a row for the Phils.  They play their 100th game of the season tonight.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks.  Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles.   He struck out two.

He threw a 1-2-3 first and a 1-2-3 second.

Brian Schneider started the third with a walk.  Ryan Langerhans was next and flew to center for the first out.  Pitcher Jason Bergmann was next and he bunted towards first.  Howard fielded and threw to second for the force but Bergmann beat the relay to avoid the double-play.  Felipe Lopez was next and he singled to left, moving Bergmann to second.  Ronnie Belliard singled into center and Bergmann tried to score from second, but Rowand threw him out at the plate. 

Ryan Zimmerman started the fourth with a double to left and moved to third on a ground out dribbled in front of the plate by Dmitri Young.  Ryan Church followed with a walk and Kendrick nipped Austin Kerns' uniform with an inside pitch, loading the bases.  Schneider was next and delivered a bases clearing double into left-center, putting the Nats up 3-2.  Kendrick got the next two to leave Schneider stranded at second.

Lopez started the fifth with a walk.  Belliard followed and fouled out to Howard for the first out and with Zimmerman at the plate Ruiz caught Lopez with a snap throw to first for the second.  Zimmerman flew to right to end the frame.

Kearns singled with two outs in the sixth and Manuel called on JC Romero to pitch to the lefty Schneider despite the fact that that Kendrick had thrown just 82 pitches.  Romero struck out Schneider for the third out.

Romero returned for the seventh and got the lefty Langerhans on a ground ball to first for the first out.  Righty Tony Batista pinch-hit for pitcher Chris Booker and Manuel brought in Madson to pitch to Batista.  Batista popped to Ruiz for the second out before Madson hit Lopez with a pitch.  Belliard grounded back to the pitcher to end the frame.

Madson returned to throw a 1-2-3 eighth to lower his ERA to 3.21.  He's allowed one run in 12 innings in July.

Alfonseca came in to pitch the ninth with a 4-3 lead and walked the leadoff man Kearns on a 3-2 pitch.  The lefty Schneider was next and he hit a ball ticketed for right field but Utley snared the ball with an all-out dive and threw to first to get the out as Kearns went to second.  Alfonseca struck out the lefty Langerhans for the second out and Robert Fick pinch-hit for Luis Ayala with two down and the tying run on second.  Fick hit a ground ball to first on the first pitch of the at-bat to end the game.

Utley's play on Schneider's ground ball for the first out was huge.

Fantastic night for the Phillies' pen.  They went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only the walk to Kearns in the ninth.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Jason Bergmann went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Burrell (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz.  Ruiz catches with Dobbs at third against the righty.

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

Rowand doubled with one out in the second and moved to third on a single by Burrell.  Dobbs flew to center for the second out before Ruiz smoked a double to left-center.  Rowand scored and Burrell was held at third ahead of the pitcher.  Kendrick grounded to third to end the inning.

Rollins started the third with a home run to right that put the Phils up 2-0.  Utley was next and walked.  Bergmann injured a hamstring on the pitch that Utley walked on and had to leave the game.  Lefty Billy Traber came in to pitch and got Howard to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Burrell walked with one out in the fourth and Dobbs stayed in the game to face the lefty Traber and singled into right, moving Burrell to second.  Ruiz struck out and Kendrick grounded back to the pitcher to turn the Phils away.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fifth.

Rowand doubled to right with one out in the sixth and moved to third on a wild pitch.  Burrell swung at a 3-0 pitch and drove it to right, deep enough to score Rowand and tie the game at 3-3.  Dobbs popped to Zimmerman on a nice play in foul territory by the Nat's dugout to end the inning.

Nunez, who entered the game with Madson in the top of the inning, walked with one out in the seventh but Victorino and Utley went down behind him.

After lefty Ray King got Utley and Howard to start the eighth, righty Luis Ayala came in to pitch to Rowand.  Ayala got ahead of Rowand 1-2 and thought he had struck him out on the pitch that moved the count to 2-2 (it was high).  The next pitch was inside and Rowand crushed it out to left, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead.   Burrell followed with a walk and Bourn ran for him, but Helms hit for Madson and flew to center to end the inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with his 20th home run of the season.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 0-for-4.   Top four in the lineup go 1-for-15.

Rowand was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run.  He scored three of the Phillies' four runs.  He's hitting 403/438/746 in 67 July at-bats.

Burrell was 1-for-1 with an RBI and two walks.  He's hitting 404/538/702 in 47 July at-bats. 

Dobbs 1-for-3 with a single, just his fourth hit of the season against a left-handed pitcher.  All four are singles. 

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.69) faces lefty Matt Chico (4-6, 4.65) tonight.  Hamels was fantastic on Thursday against the Padres in San Diego, holding the Padres to a run on two hits in seven innings.  He has allowed a ton of home runs this season, 21, 19 of which have been hit by right-handed hitters.  He faced the Nationals once this season, on April 26 he allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in Philadelphia.   Dmitri Young homered off of him in that game.  Chico has made 20 starts for the Nats this season.  He's allowed 117 hits in 108 1/3 innings.  Lefties are hitting .315 against him and righties .265.  The Nats got Chico in the deal that sent Livan Hernandez to the Diamondbacks in August of last year.  He has never faced the Phils.  

Brett Myers is scheduled to make his third appearance at Clearwater tonight and could join the Phils this weekend.  Jayson Werth starts his rehab tonight, also at Clearwater.

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