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July 28 2007

 

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
PIT 42-58 409 4.09 15 698 (15) 35 18
PHI 52-49 548 5.43 1 810 (1) 80 14

 

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
PIT 42-58 491 4.91 T-9 4.63 (11) 4.47 (13)
PHI 52-49 521 5.16 14 4.96 (14) 4.55 (14)

If they Phillies are going to lay down and die after losing Chase Utley they didn't start last night.  In their first game since losing the game's best second baseman to a broken hand, the Phils battered the Pirates and looked like a team that thinks they're good enough to stay around a while.

The Phillies' front office has to be given tremendous credit for making a deal for a guy who is about to become a free agent in Tad Iguchi.  It took them one day.  In addition to the boost they'll see on the field, it sends a clear message to anyone wondering that the front office believes the Phillies are good enough to win right now. 

Apparently, so do the players.  Everybody came out swinging.  Bourn had four hits and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot.  White-hot Pat Burrell drove in three runs and Jamie Moyer pitched seven strong innings.   

The Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, winning 8-1 in a game shortened by rain to seven innings.  The Phillies improve to 53-49 on the year and move into a tie for second-place with the Braves in the NL East.  Both teams are four games behind the Mets.  Having moved into a tie with Atlanta, they now trail only three teams in the Wild Card hunt, Arizona, San Diego and Chicago.  They are 2 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks, the current Wild Card leader. 

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on six hits.  The run was unearned and one of the his went for extra-bases, a double.  He struck out four and didn't walk a batter.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 first and followed it up with a 1-2-3 second.

Ronny Paulino started the third with a single.  Moyer struck out Jack Wilson for the first out before the pitcher John Van Benschoten bunted Paulino to second.  Moyer got Nate McLouth on a ground ball to second to end the frame.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth. 

Josh Phelps started the fifth with a ground ball to third.  Dobbs' throw to first was high and pulled Howard off the bag for an error.  More awful defense at third from the Phils.  Jose Castillo followed with a double to center that moved Phelps to third.  Paulino was next and he singled, scoring Phelps to make the score 8-1 as Castillo went to third.  Moyer prevented any further damage, getting a fly ball to short right, a strikeout and a ground ball to first to turn the Pirates away.

Jason Bay singled to left with one out in the sixth, but Moyer got the next two.

Paulino and Wilson singled back-to-back with one out in the seventh.  It put men on first and second for pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit.  Doumit hit into a double-play to end the frame.

And then it rained.

The rain saved two innings of work for the Phillies pen.  They could use the rest.  It just saved an inning for the Pirates, assuming they wouldn't have scored seven runs in two innings, but the Phils still get to the Pittsburgh pen in the first game of the series as Van Benschoten is chased after just 2 1/3.

The Phillies lineup against right John Van Benschoten went (1) Bourn (2) Victorino (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Dobbs (7) Ruiz (8) Nunez.  Lots of new stuff here in the first game with Utley on the DL.   Rollins drops to third.  Rowand, who hurt his left-shoulder in a non-baseball related injury, is on the bench with Bourn in center and hitting leadoff.  Burrell hits fifth with Dobbs at third and Nunez at second. 

The Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the first on a single by Bourn, a hit by pitch by Victorino and a walk by Rollins.  Howard and Burrell both struck out, but Dobbs picked them up with a two-run single to right.  Ruiz walked to load the bases again, but Nunez grounded to third to end the inning with the Phils up 2-0.

Bourn singled with one out in the second and stole second.  Victorino and Rollins both grounded out to end the inning.

Howard walked to start the third and Burrell followed with a home run.  4-0.  Dobbs walked and Ruiz doubled him in.  5-0.  Nunez moved Ruiz to third with a ground ball to second and Moyer scored him with a single.  6-0.  Bourn and Victorino both singled, loading the bases for Rollins.  Rollins singled to left and Moyer scored to make it 7-0.  Howard struck out for the second out, but Burrell followed with a walk that forced in Bourn and made it 8-0.  Dobbs popped to first to end the inning.

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

Bourn singled again to start the fifth and went to second on a wild pitch.  Victorino moved Bourn to third with a ground ball to second.  Rollins was next and hit a ground ball to short with the infield in.  Wilson booted it and Rollins was safe on the error with Bourn holding third.  Howard followed and hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.

Burrell doubled to start the sixth but Dobbs and Ruiz struck out and Nunez grounded back to the pitcher.

Moyer hit for himself to start the seventh with the Phils up 8-1 and grounded to second.  Bourn followed with a walk, but Victorino hit into a double-play with the help of a fantastic throw from Jack Wilson at short.

Bourn was 4-for-4 with his 17th stolen base of the season.  He is hitting 303/384/424.

Victorino was 1-for-4.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.  He left eight men on base, twice striking out with the bases loaded and hitting into a double-play with men on first and third.

Burrell was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, a home run and three RBI.  Using OPS as the measure, he's been the best hitter in baseball in July among players who have gotten at least 25 plate appearances.  He's at 446/571/786 this month.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 with two RBI. 

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

Nunez was 0-for-4 and left five men on base.

 JD Durbin (2-2, 5.76) faces lefty Shane Youman (2-2, 3.24) tonight.  Over his last two starts Durbin has allowed one run in 15 innings.  The news isn't all good, though, righties are hitting .372 against him this season.  Youman has made four starts for the Pirates and allowed just one home run in his 25 innings.  Righties are hitting .299 against him with a 1.38 ratio, lefties .231 with a 1.00 ratio. 

Prior to the game the Phillies put Utley on the DL and called up Joe Thurston.   Utley had surgery on his hand today and his "expected recovery time is up to four weeks" according to the linked article. 

The Phillies also activated Brett Myers and sent Mike Zagurski to Triple-A.

They also acquired second baseman Tad Iguchi from the White Sox for minor-league right-handed pitcher Michael Dubee.  Fantastic trade for the Phils.  Iguchi has struggled this season, hitting just 251/340/382 with six home runs in 327 at-bats for the White Sox, but he's a huge upgrade from Thurston or Nunez at second.   Dubee is the son of Phils' pitching coach Rich Dubee.  The 21-year-old was 4-4 with a 3.88 ERA for Single-A Lakewood this season.  In 55 2/3 innings he allowed 52 hits and 22 walks.  He struck out 54.  The Phillies took him in the 18th round of the 2006 draft.

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