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July 27 2006

The Phillies beat the Diamondbacks 5-2 this afternoon, winning the series and improving their record to 46-53 on the year. 

Cory Lidle got the start for the Phillies on a hot day in Philadelphia.  He gave up two long balls early, but was otherwise awesome for the second straight start.  If you believe the rumors, the Blue Jays and others were watching intently.  It was worth seeing.  Lidle went eight innings, allowing two runs on four hits.  He struck out eight and walked none.  Three of the four hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs.  Over his last four starts he's 4-0 with a 3.58 ERA and has allowed 24 hits in 27 2/3 innings.

Last year Lidle was 8-6 with a 3.65 ERA before the break and 5-5 with a 6.03 ERA after it. 

Luis Gonzalez hit a solo home run with two outs in the first to put Arizona up 1-0. 

Conor Jackson led off the second with a solo home run, extending the Diamondback lead to 2-0.  Lidle, in accordance with the principal that you should maximize base runners on days when the ball is flying out of the yard and two of the first five hitters have gone long against you, plunked the next batter, Shawn Green.  Green was thrown out trying to steal second and the next two Snakes went down to end the inning. 

Green's caught stealing was the fifth out the Diamondbacks had given the Phillies on the basepaths through two games and two innings.  Game one:  Batista out at home, Estrada out at second on the Burrell flub in left.  Game two:  Estrada out at second in the top of the third on his two-run single and Jackson out at second on his RBI-single in the top of the fifth.  Game three:  Green caught stealing. 

Lidle was pretty much other-worldly after that, so the Diamondbacks didn't have a lot of runners to run into outs with.

Lidle got a 1-2-3 third on three ground balls.  Luis Gonzalez led off the fourth with a double, but Lidle got the next three.  He followed that up with a perfect fifth, sixth and seventh.  Through seven innings he had thrown 81 pitches and had a 3-2 lead.

Chris Snyder hit a one-out single in the eighth, but Lidle struck out the next two to end the inning. 

Tom Gordon came in to nail in down in the ninth.  He had his second straight good appearance in two days, getting a 1-2-3 ninth. 

The Phillies lineup against righty Claudio Vargas went (1) Dellucci (2) Utley (3) Abreu (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Bell (7) Lieberthal (8) Nunez.  Dellucci plays left again, for the third time in four games, and Nunez starts at shortstop for Rollins.  Rollins is apparently having some kind of problem with his hamstring.  I don't know what Burrell is having a problem with, although it's been suggested he invoked his right to veto a trade in knocking the wind out of a deal that would have sent him to the Orioles and brought Rodrigo Lopez to Philly.

Dellucci led off the bottom of the first and flied out to deep right.  Utley followed him and was hit by a pitch after hitting a long foul ball.  The hit-by-pitch comes off of an odd situation in Tuesday's game where Rick White hit Johnny Estrada at a time in the game when it looked like the Phillies might intentionally walk or pitch around him.  Abreu singled, sending Utley to third, but Howard struck out for the second out of the inning.  Aaron Rowand followed and was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for David Bell, who struck out to end the inning.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the second and the third.

Aaron Rowand reached on a one-out error by Chad Tracy in the fourth.  Not a good series defensively for Chad.  Bell followed and flew out to right for the second out of the inning.  Lieberthal was up next and celebrated his move up to the seven spot with a two-run homer, his first of the year, which tied the game at 2-2.  Nunez singled, but was stranded when Lidle struck out and Dellucci grounded out to end the inning.  One of these days I'm going to go through the stats and figure out what the Phillies starting pitchers are hitting.  Until I do I can only guess.  I guess about .009.

Utley singled to lead off the fifth and stole second.  Abreu struck out for the first out of the inning, but Howard followed with a double that scored Utley and put the Phils up 3-2.  Rowand and Bell went down to end the inning, stranding Howard at second. 

The Phillies didn't have a duck in the sixth, but Dellucci led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk. An Utley single sent him to second, and they both moved up a base when Abreu grounded to second for the first out of the inning.  Howard followed with a strikeout, making it second and third with two outs for Rowand, who singled them both in and put the Phils up to stay at 5-2. 

Dellucci and Lieberthal got aboard with singles in the bottom of the eighth, but Utley lined to right to end the inning.

Dellucci was 1-for-4 with a walk.  Utley extended his hitting streak to 27 by going 2-for-4. 

Abreu was 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 

Howard was 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.

Aaron Rowand had a big hit, he was 1-for-3 with two RBI. 

Bell was 0-for-4 and has cooled, he's just 1-for-his-last-11.

Lieberthal was 2-for-4 with his first home run of the year.  Nunez 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 

Brett Myers faces Ricky Nolasco and the Fish tomorrow night.


July 27 2006

Little itty-bitty guys like David Dellucci have to be feeling a little pissed right about now.  Wouldn't you think?

The Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 last night to improve to 45-53 on the year.  They are in fourth place in the NL East, 13 1/2 games behind the Mets.  Two teams in the National League have won fewer games.

Jon Lieber got the start for the Phillies and his ascent to goodness didn't begin last night.  He went seven innings, allowing four runs on eleven hits without allowing a walk.  Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles.

The Snakes hit three singles in the first two innings, but Lieber kept them off the board and went into the top of the third with a 5-0 lead.  He got the first two men in the inning before giving up back-to-back singles to Conor Jackson and Luis Gonzalez, bringing Chad Tracy to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second.  Tracy knocked in the first run for Arizona with a single to right, making the score 5-1 with runners on first and second.  A wild pitch from Lieber moved the runners up a base, and Estrada singled, scoring both runs to make it 5-3.  Estrada tried to go to second on the play, but was caught in a rundown and retired for the final out of the inning.

In the fourth Lieber allowed a two-out double to Stephen Drew, but got Brandon Webb to end the inning.  I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing Drew in the eight-hole for much longer.

Lieber and the Phillies led 6-3 going into the fifth.  Eric Byrnes led off the inning with a double and scored on a Conor Jackson single to cut the Phillies lead to 6-4.  Jackson was thrown out by Victorino trying for second.  If I were playing the Phillies I'd try really hard not to make outs on the basepaths and take my chances against their starting pitchers.  Through five innings, two of the 15 outs the Phillies had gotten came on the paths -- this after a terrible decision by Batista to try and score in last night's game.

That was it for Arizona against Lieber.  Jon threw a 1-2-3 sixth.  He gave up a leadoff single in the top of the seventh, but Drew was quickly erased on a nifty double-play started by Utley and Byrnes popped out to Coste on a great play against the railing to end the inning.

Arthur Rhodes pitched the eighth, keeping the Diamondbacks off the board while allowing a single walk.  Let's call it momentum for Rhodes.  Pay no attention to the 6.03 ERA, Gillick can say when trying to pawn him off on someone, he hasn't allowed a hit since July 18. 

Tom Gordon pitched the ninth for the Phillies, allowing a one-out double but striking out Stephen Drew and Carlos Quentin to end the game.  Gordon has been shaky of late, but he earned his 24th save, which is third best in the NL. 

The Phillies lineup against righty Brandon Webb went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Abreu (4) Howard (5) Dellucci (6) Victorino (7) Bell (8) Coste.  It's the second start in three days for both Victorino and Dellucci as Manuel takes out all the righties he can against the tough Webb.  On the June 5 game Webb started in Arizona Burrell went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and left six men on base.  Coste catches Lieber.  Victorino usually hits second when he starts, but I expect Manuel didn't like his chances much against Webb.

Rollins led off the first with a single and, with one out, Abreu reached on an error by Orlando Hudson and Howard walked to load the bases.  Dellucci hit a ball through Chad Tracy's legs at third for the second Diamondbacks error of the inning, scoring two runs and putting runners at second and third with one out.  Victorino loaded the bases with another walk, but Bell followed and grounded into an inning-ending double-play.

Chase Utley hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the second, putting the Phillies up 5-0. 

David Dellucci led off the third with a solo homer and the Phillies' lead was 6-3. 

Utley hit a two-out double in the fourth, but Abreu followed with a strikeout. 

The Phils had just one man aboard in the fifth and sixth, which came on a two-out single from Lieber.

With two outs in the seventh and a 6-4 lead, the Phillies got a two-out walk from Howard and a pinch-hit single from Rowand, but a Victorino ground out ended the inning.  They put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth, but Rollins and Utley both flew out to end the inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk.

Utley was 2-for-5 with a home run, his third in two days, and a double.  He extended his hitting streak to 26 games.  He's slugging .735 in 83 July at-bats.

Abreu was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.  He's 3-for-his-last-20 with a double.

Howard was 0-for-2 with two walks on the night named after his own bobblehead.  He's walked five times in his last three games.  One thing I would like to know is if when the bobbleheads get together for a big game they have real-people giveaways.

Dellucci was 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.  His .621 slugging percentage would be good for second in the National League behind only Pujols if he had enough at-bats to qualify.  He doesn't (124).  He has four at-bats against left-handed pitching this year.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk.  Since May he's 14-for-73 (.192) with three extra-base hits.  His average was at .327 on June 11 and at .268 after last night's game.  If you haven't noticed, he's really, really fast -- the winner of Hawaii state sprinting titles at 100, 200 and 400 meters while in high school.

Coste was 1-for-3 with a strikeout. 

Cory Lidle faces Claudio Vargas this afternoon as the Phillies try to take the series.

Yesterday the Phillies traded Sal Fasano to the Yankees for 21-year-old infielder Hector Made.  Made is a righty who can play short or second and was hitting 286/312/397 for the Class-A Tampa Yankees.  He had walked 13 times in 315 at-bats and stolen six bases while being caught eight times.  He stays in the Florida State League as the Phillies have assigned him to Clearwater.  I think it's safe to say that if he makes a splash in the big leagues there are going to be a lot of surprised folks out there.  I'd love to see Fasano have a nice stretch with the Yankees and even get a post-season at-bat.  He has appeared in one post-season game, in 2000 with the A's, but didn't get an at-bat -- the A's lost to the Yankees in the first round and Fasano caught the ninth inning of game five. 

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