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August 1 2007

The Phils saw their four-game win-streak snapped last night as they fielded a weak lineup and had trouble pitching, hitting and fielding.  Especially fielding.

The Phils made three errors in the game.  Eaton threw a bunt into right field in the first, which helped the Cubs score two runs.  The sixth inning started with a ground ball under the glove of Howard that went for a single.  Burrell added an error of his own two batters later and Chicago went on to score three runs in that inning.  Dobbs' miserable defense at third base continued with an error in the ninth, but Mesa pitched around that one.

With Bourn and Victorino hitting the DL, the lineup looked ridiculous.  Chris Roberson, just up from Triple-A, went 4-for-4 and stole a base, so it's hard to blame him.  But the Phils didn't field a team that looked like it could win regularly, either on paper or on the field.

Roberson had a nice game, but has hit 266/311/356 in 433 at-bats at Triple-A this season.  The Phils need an answer in right field right now, and I'm hoping it's Helms, Werth or Dobbs or someone who isn't on the team right now.  Cause I'm pretty sure it's not Roberson.

Geoff Geary returned and looked a lot like the Geoff Geary you remember from earlier in the season.

The Phillies lost to the Chicago Cubs last night, falling 7-3 to drop to 56-50 on the season.  The Phillies are in second place in the NL East, three games behind the division-leading Mets and a half game up on the third-place Braves.  They are one game out for the Wild Card, trailing three teams.  

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.  Only four of the runs were earned.  Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles.  He struck out two and walked two. 

Alfonso Soriano led off the first with a ground ball to deep short.  Rollins made a strong throw but Soriano got the call and was safe with a single.  Ryan Theriot was next and he bunted.  It looked like he was bunting for a hit rather than a sacrifice.  The bunt went towards third.  Eaton slid and fielded, but threw the ball into right field.  Theriot was safe at second on the error and Soriano went to third.  Soriano scored on a ground ball to short by Derek Lee with the infield playing back, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.  Aramis Ramirez was next and doubled high off the wall in left.  Theriot scored to put the Cubs up 2-0.  Cliff Floyd flew to right for the second out before Mark DeRosa walked, putting men on first and second with two down.  Jacque Jones grounded to first to end the inning.

Eaton got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 second.  He followed it up with a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.

With one out in the fifth the Cubs loaded the bases on singles by pitcher Jason Marquis and Soriano and a walk to Theriot.  Eaton got Lee on a fly ball to short right for the second out.  Ramirez grounded to second to end the inning.

Floyd started the sixth with a ground ball that went under the glove of Howard and into right field.  They gave him a single.  DeRosa moved Floyd to second with a single and Jacque Jones followed with a double down the line in left.  Burrell dropped the ball after a long, slow run and both runs scored, although the ball arrived to the plate at just about the same time as DeRosa.  DeRosa slid in under Coste's tag to put the Cubs up 4-3.  Jason Kendell bunted Jones to third and pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot singled into right.  Jones scored to make it 5-3.  Geary relieved Eaton and struck out Soriano for the second out.  Theriot flew to right to end the inning.

Geary returned for the seventh and walked Lee to start the inning.  Lee moved to second on a ground out and the Phils walked Floyd intentionally, putting men on first and second with one out.  Angel Pagan ran for Floyd at first.  Geary walked DeRosa, loading the bases, but got a big strikeout of Jones for the second out.  Kendell followed with a two-run single, though, putting the Cubs up 7-3.  Geary struck out pitcher Carlos Marmol to end the inning.

Not an impressive outing by Geary in his first action with the Phils since June 29.  His ERA on the year rises to 5.53.

Mesa pitched the eighth.  With one out, Theriot reached on an infield single and went to second on yet another throwing error by Dobbs at third.  Lee lined to short and Rollins stepped on second, doubling off Theriot to end the inning.

Lots of moves for the Phillies prior to the game as Bourn and Victorino were both put on the DL.  Chris Roberson was called up from Triple-A.  Jayson Werth was called also called up, but not in time for last night's game.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Jason Marquis went (1) Dobbs (2) Iguchi (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Burrell (7) Coste (8) Roberson.  Hate this lineup.  Dobbs plays third against the righty and hits leadoff.  Roberson plays right and hits eighth.  Rather see Helms in right, miserable season or not (and 4-for-4 for Roberson or not).  Dobbs is either the sixth or seventh best hitter in the lineup and he never, ever walks -- there's no way he should be hitting leadoff.  Sixth is way too low for Burrell given the current needs of the team and the way he's been hitting.  Nice to see Coste in there, though.

Iguchi walked with one out in the first but Rollins and Howard went down behind him.

With one out in the second, Burrell and Coste singled back-to-back.  It put men on first and second for Roberson, who singled to center.  Burrell scored, cutting the Cubs' lead to 2-1.  Coste went to second, but both runners were left stranded when Eaton struck out and Dobbs flew to left.

Iguchi started the third with a walk and stole second as Rollins struck out for the first out.  Howard moved Iguchi to third with a ground ball to short.  Rowand flew to center.

Roberson singled with two outs in the fourth, but Eaton flew to center to end the frame.

Dobbs started the fifth with a single and went to third on a double by Iguchi.  Rollins grounded to short, bringing in Dobbs to tie the game at 2-2.  Iguchi went to third.  Howard was walked intentionally and Rowand hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.  One run out of second and third with nobody out.

Burrell led off the sixth with a home run to left that gave the Phils a 3-2 lead.   Roberson singled with one out and stole second as Eaton struck out for the second out.  Dobbs flew to center to end the frame.

Howard singled to center with two outs in the seventh, but Rowand flew to center for the third out.

Roberson singled with two outs in the eighth, but Nunez pinch-hit for Geary and struck out.

With one out in the ninth, Iguchi singled and went to third on a double by Rollins.  Howard and Rowand both struck out to end the game.

Dobbs was 1-for-5.

Iguchi was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.  He's hitting 462/579/846 with two stolen bases in his first four games with the Phillies.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a walk.  He struck out twice and left four men on base.  Nine strikeouts in his last 17 at-bats.

Rowand was 0-for-5 and left six men on base.

Burrell was 2-for-4 with a home run.

Coste was 1-for-4.

Roberson was 4-for-4 with four singles, a steal and an RBI.

Jamie Moyer (9-8, 4.75) faces lefty Rich Hill (6-6, 3.59) tonight.  Moyer was fantastic on Friday against the Pirates, holding them to an unearned run over seven innings.  He's given up a lot of home run to righties -- 17 on the season.  Hill has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last three starts.  He has also allowed a lot of home runs on the season, 20, 17 of which has been hit by righties.  He started against the Phils on May 11 and allowed five runs in five innings.  Burrell hit two home runs against him in that game.

Julio Mateo has been assigned to Double-A Reading.

Clay Condrey was sent back to Ottawa to make room on the roster for Lohse.

Gary Knotts, who the Phils acquired yesterday from the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, was sent to Double-A Reading.  The righty Knotts last appear in the major leagues in 2004 when he made 19 starts for the Tigers, throwing to a 5.25 ERA.  In four years with the Marlins and Tigers he pitched 267 1/3 innings, throwing to 5.45 ERA.  He had one season, 2002 with the Fish, where he threw to an ERA under 5.25.  He turned 30 in February.

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