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August 10 2007

The next update to Philliesflow will be on or about Sunday, August 19.

The Phils play the first of three with Atlanta tonight.  After the Braves they hit the road for three with the Nationals and then three with the Pirates.


August 10 2007

Kyle Kendrick doesn't strike a lot of guys out, which may be a big part of why his contribution to the Phillies this season hasn't gotten more attention.  So far he's done just about everything else.  After another fantastic outing last night, Kendrick has a 3.75 ERA in his 11 starts with the Phils.

Despite the nice outing from Kendrick, the Phils lost.  Brett Myers didn't pitch well and Tom Gordon didn't pitch at all.  Offense scored two runs and had one extra-base hit.

The Phillies lost to the Florida Marlins last night, losing 4-2 to drop to 60-54 on the year.  They are back in third place in the NL East, a half game behind the Braves and four behind the Mets. 

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk.  One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run.  He struck out one.

Kendrick was perfect through three, getting eight ground balls and a popup to short.

Hanley Ramirez led off the fourth with a single and stole second.  Alejandro De Aza tried to bunt, it looked like he was bunting for a hit, but popped it up to Ruiz in foul territory.  Miguel Cabrera was next and he singled into left, moving Ramirez to third.  Josh Willingham hit a ball to short, Cabrera was forced at second for the second out but Ramirez scored to put the Marlins up 1-0.  Dan Uggla moved Willingham to third with another single, but Kendrick got Mike Jacobs on a fly ball to right to end the frame.

Miguel Olivo started the fifth with a single.  Jeremy Hermida was next and flew to left.  The pitcher Sergio Mitre bunted Olivo to second, but Ramirez grounded to second for the third out.

Willingham homered to right with two outs in the sixth, putting the Marlins up 2-0.  Uggla grounded to short for the third out.

Jacobs walked on a close 3-2 pitch to start the seventh.  Olivo hit it hard to third, and the Phils did a nice job to turn a double-play in the pouring rain.  Hermida reached on an infield single to second, but Kendrick got pinch-hitter Todd Linden on a ground ball to first to end the frame.

Alfonseca started the eighth in a tie game, entering as the three-hitter as Roberson went to left in a 2-2 game.  Burrell had made the last out of the seventh, but he hit 435/564/768 with six homers last month and Roberson has one extra-base hit in his career.  Not a fan of that move.  De Aza doubled to center with one out and the Phils walked Cabrera intentionally.  Alfonseca struck out Willingham for the second out.  Uggla was next and he hit a little pop that dropped in front of second base.  Iguchi and Rollins nearly collided, but Iguchi got the ball and had no chance to get Uggla at first.  De Aza tried to score from second on the slow-developing play, but Iguchi made a solid throw home and Ruiz held the ball as De Aza ran him over.  Great play by Iguchi and a nice job by Ruiz to hold the ball and end the frame.

Brett Myers started the ninth with the game still tied.  Jacobs led off with a single into center and Cody Ross ran for him at first base.  Olivo bunted back to the pitcher on the first base side of the mound.  Myers fielded but there was nobody at first base.  Howard had come in to try to field the ball and Taguchi was really slow getting over from second.  Iguchi's fault, no idea what he was doing.  Hermida showed bunt, but Myers walked him on four pitches to load the bases.  Alfredo Amezaga hit for Taylor Tankersley and grounded to second on a nice diving play by Iguchi.  Hermida was forced at second for the first out, but Ross scored to put the Marlins up 3-2.  Ramirez hit a ball hard back up the middle.  It went off of Myers glove and to Iguchi.  Iguchi threw to second, but Ramirez just beat out Rollins' relay to avoid the double-play.  Very close play but he was safe.  Olivo scored from third and it was 4-2.  De Aza was next and he hit the ball well to left-center, but Rowand tracked it down after a long run for the third out.

Myers just didn't pitch well.  The Iguchi mistake hurt him, but walking Hermida on four pitches was awful.  The ball Ramirez hit was smashed, Myers was lucky to get an out on it.  After the game, Iguchi said that he didn't get to first because he slipped.  I didn't see him slip, but the field was very soggy as most of the game was played in a steady rain.

Myers also entered in the ninth in a tie game.  Manuel usually seems to try to avoid doing that.  You'd think it would be Gordon's job, but Gordon pitched on Wednesday and the Phils apparently don't want to use him in back-to-back days.  It's unfortunate if Gordon can't pitch back-to-back days.  If that's the case, though, somebody else has to be the eighth inning (or ninth inning in a tie game in this case) guy.  You can't roll Myers out there more often than you should to try to make up for the fact that Gordon is unavailable, you need to use the other guys in your pen.  No objections to what Manuel did last night, but I'm hoping the Phils use extreme caution with how they use Myers and don't try to make up for their lack of confidence in their pen by using him too much.  We've seen that show before.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Sergio Mitre went (1) Rollins (2) Iguchi (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Dobbs (7) Werth (8) Ruiz.  Dobbs plays third against the righty.  Werth stays in right and drops down a spot to seventh.  All Ruiz all the time.

Iguchi singled with one out in the first.  With Burrell at the plate, a wild pitch bounced off Olivo's chest guard and in front of the plate.  Iguchi went for second.  Olivo threw wildly to second and the ball went into the outfield for an error, allowing Iguchi to go to third.  Burrell smoked the ball down the line, but Cabrera made a nice play for the second out and Iguchi had to hold third.  Howard was walked intentionally and Rowand flew to left on a nice running play by Willingham at the wall.

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

Howard singled with one out in the fourth.  Rowand was next and hit a ground ball to third.  Howard was forced at second for the first out, but Uggla threw the relay to first away.  Rowand was safe and went to second on the error.  Dobbs flew to right for the third out.

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

Iguchi and Burrell singled back-to-back with one out in the sixth.  Howard was next and he hit a ground ball to second.  Howard was out at first and the runners moved to second and third.  Rowand walked to load the bases for Dobbs with two outs, and Dobbs drove a ball to center that bounced once and cleared the wall.  Two runs scored for the Phils and the game was tied at 2-2.  If the ball hadn't bounced over the wall, all three runners would have scored.  Werth popped up near the mound to end the inning.

Ruiz started the seventh with a walk.  Helms pinch-hit for Kendrick and struck out.  Rollins struck out behind him.  Ruiz went to second on a passed ball high and outside before Iguchi walked.  It put men on first and second with two down for Burrell.  Burrell got ahead in the count and didn't get the call on a 3-0 pitch that was outside.  Burrell struck out to end the inning.  Kendrick had thrown just 71 pitches in the game, but I thought Manuel did the right thing taking him out when he did.  Young pitcher, long night in the rain, Phils needed to score some runs. 

Taylor Tankersley struck out Howard and Dobbs in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Jayson Werth started the ninth and worked a walk with a great ten-pitch at-bat. Ruiz hit it hard to right, but caught. Coste pinch-hit for Roberson and hit it hard to center but caught. Rollins at least didn't hit it hard, he popped to short to end the game.

The Phils didn't have a lefty on the bench so Coste had to pinch-hit against the righty Kevin Gregg with the game on the line. Presumably, that's Branyan's job starting tonight. The Phils could have hit the switch-hitter Nunez for Roberson, but that would have been an awful choice.

Rollins was 0-for-5 with a strikeout.  2-for-13 with two singles in the series.  He's slugging .206 in August.  288/337/516 on the year.

Iguchi was 2-for-3.  6-for-13 in the series.  He's hitting 388/458/531 in 49 at-bats with the Phils.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a strikeout but looked better at the plate last night.  2-for-12 in the series.  265/419/484 on the year.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a walk.  4-for-11 with two home runs in the series.  271/399/595 on the year. 

Rowand was 0-for-3 with a walk.  3-for-9 with a double and two home runs in the series.  316/388/526.

Dobbs was 1-for-4 with a huge double and two RBI in his only action of the series.  His double was the only extra-base hit for the Phils in the game.  His roster spot has to be safe, but the news of the addition of Branyan, another left-handed third baseman, can't bode well for his playing time.  286/328/491.

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk.  3-for-9 with a triple and four walks in the set.  259/372/417. 

Ruiz was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.  2-for-13 with a triple in the series.  254/322/386.  Coste was 0-for-1 last night in his only action in the series.  Needs more at-bats, you have to think someone is afraid of his defense behind the plate.  323/344/435 on the year.

Cole Hamels (12-5, 3.57) faces lefty Chuck James (9-8, 3.84) tonight as the Phils play the first of three against the Braves.  Hamels' last outing came on Saturday and he allowed four runs to the Brewers over seven innings, but the Phils lost the game 6-5 on Prince Fielder's two-run homer off of Gordon in the eighth.  He's 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA in three starts against the Braves this season.  James has made two starts against the Phillies this year, he's 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA.  He's allowed 20 home runs this season, 15 of which have been hit by righties.  Rollins is 7-for-13 against him in his career, Burrell 5-for-12 with two home runs.

In this chat from January of last year, Gillick talks about Russell Branyan and says the Phillies didn't want to sign him because Manuel, who had had Branyan before with the '01 Indians, was worried about adding so many more strikeouts to the lineup.

Branyan was added to the 25-man roster.  Geary was sent to Triple-A.  Zack Segovia was designated for assignment to make room for Branyan on the 40-man roster.

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