Not tonight, honey, I have a bullpen
August 22 2007
|Team||W-L||R||R/G||NL Rank R||OPS (NL Rank)||SB||CS|
|Team||W-L||RA||RA/G||NL Rank RA||Starter ERA||Pen ERA|
|LAD||64-60||538||4.39||4||4.20 (6)||3.69 (3)|
|PHI||65-58||619||5.03||12||4.92 (13)||4.36 (13)|
Last night's win had another bullpen collapse written all over it, but this one never came. The Phils couldn't break the game open early, getting just one run in the fifth after they loaded the bases with nobody out and Burrell, Howard and Rowand due to bat. With the help of some bad decisions on the bases by the Dodgers, Kyle Kendrick battled through a rough start and again pitched into the seventh inning. He left up a run. It set the stage for the bullpen, called on to protect a one-run lead for 2 1/3 innings. Not a problem. Romero got the last out of the seventh and Gordon and Myers, both pitching on four days rest, didn't allow a base runner in the eighth or ninth.
If the Phils ever find themselves down like 14-2 in the seventh, I say they let Gordon and Myers pitch the eighth and ninth. I don't know, but I'm guessing that their record is pretty good in games when Gordon throws a scoreless eighth and Myers throws a scoreless ninth. Just a thought. (Actually, after looking this up, I think the Phils are only 3-0 when Gordon throws all of the eighth and Myers all of the ninth, 8/8 against the Marlins, 8/14 against the Nats and 8/21 against LA. Still. It's worth a shot).
The Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 66-58 on the year. They are in second place in the NL East, five games behind the Mets. They are tied with the Padres in the race for the Wild Card.
Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He didn't strike anyone out (and maybe never will). He twice put down a nice bunt and laced a single into right to start an inning in his other at-bat.
Kendrick has just been a warrior and his ability to battle through and keep the Phillies in games has been an unexpected but massive boost to the team. The Phils would have been sunk without him or someone else giving the production he has. But he's got to be just about out of gas for this season.
Rafael Furcal started the first with a single and Juan Pierre bunted him to second. Andre Ethier doubled to left and Furcal scored, putting the Dodgers up 1-0. Jeff Kent was next and he flew to center for the second out, but Luis Gonzalez singled into right and Ethier scored. 2-0. Gonzalez was caught stealing second with Russell Martin at the plate to end the frame.
Martin started the second with a home run that put LA up 3-0. Thanks are in order to Gonzalez for the caught stealing to end the first. Kendrick got the next three.
With one out in the third, Pierre slapped a ball into the corner in right. Werth relayed to Iguchi and Iguchi made an excellent throw to third and Pierre was out. Ethier followed with a walk before Kent flew to center for the third out. Of the nine outs the Phils had gotten so far they had one on a bunt, one on a caught stealing and one on a guy trying to stretch a double. Helped Kendrick, who looked like he needed some help early.
Martin reached out his elbow and was hit by a breaking ball with one out in the fourth. James Loney flew to right for the second out. Shea Hillenbrand lined a single into right, but Werth made a strong throw and Martin was nailed going for third. Awful decision by Martin and it meant the pitcher Tomko led off the fifth. Fourth out the Dodgers gave away.
Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
He got the first two in the sixth before walking Gonzalez. Martin flew to deep right for the third out.
Loney started the seventh with a home run to right that cut the Phils' lead to 5-4. Kendrick got the next two and Manuel called on Jose Mesa to pitch to the switch-hitter Furcal. Kendrick leaves after 101 pitches. Mesa walked Furcal in a heavy rain and Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Pierre. Romero got Pierre on a ground ball to first to end the frame.
Gordon pitched the eighth, shutting down the Dodgers 1-2-3.
Myers came in with a 5-4 lead in the ninth, pitching for the first time since Thursday. He got Martin on a 3-2 pop to Howard in foul territory. Loney was next and hit a ground ball back up the middle, but Rollins got it behind second and threw Loney out for the second out. Hillenbrand struck out trying to check his swing at a ball up at his eyes to end the game.
Terrific. I think you can expect Myers to be lights out for an inning when well-rested nearly all of the time. It was nice to see Gordon have success, he's had a rough month in which he's thrown to a 6.75 ERA in eight games, which ties him for the most appearances in any month this season.
Romero's ERA with the Phillies drops to 1.65 in 25 appearances. He's walked 14 in 16 1/3 innings but been charged with just three runs.
The Phillies' lineup against righty Brett Tomko went (1) Rollins (2) Iguchi (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Dobbs (7) Werth (8) Ruiz. Dobbs plays third, a bit of a surprise given that Branyan came into the game 6-for-10 with three home runs against Tomko in his career.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first and again in the second.
Werth started the third with a single and scored when Ruiz followed with a double to left, cutting the Dodgers' lead to 3-1. Kendrick bunted nicely, moving Ruiz to third with one out. Rollins followed and flew to center. It was deep enough to score Ruiz and make the score 3-2. Iguchi walked but Burrell struck out to end the inning. Nice job by the Phils to create Ruiz's run with a bunt and a sac fly.
Howard started the fourth with a double and Rowand followed with a two-run shot to left that put the Phils up 4-3. Dobbs grounded to first for the first out, but Werth followed with a walk. Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Kendrick and Rollins singled back-to-back to start the fifth. It put men on first and second with nobody out for Iguchi, who put down a beautiful bunt towards third. Hillenbrand flinched towards third, perhaps thinking Tomko would field the bunt and throw to third, but it got passed Tomko. Hillenbrand fielded and threw to first, but pulled Loney off the bag and Iguchi was safe on Hillenbrand's error. It loaded the bases for Burrell, who walked to force in Kendrick and put the Phils up 5-3. Tomko was replaced by the lefty Mark Hendrickson with Howard at the plate. Howard went down on a soft liner behind second. Rowand fouled off five pitches in a nine pitch at-bat but struck out. With the lefty Hendrickson in the game, Helms hit for Dobbs and flew to right to leave the bases loaded. Phils got one but they had a chance to blow it open. Like the decision to hit Helms for Dobbs, even as early as it was.
Werth singled to left to start the sixth. Ruiz was next and he lined to short before Kendrick put down another nice bunt for the second out, moving Werth to second. Rollins grounded to second to end the inning.
Howard singled with two outs in the seventh. With Rowand behind in the count 0-1, Howard stole second. He was safe easily with his first career stolen base, but in Martin's defense it falls in the category of unexpected. Rowand flew to left to end the inning.
With two outs in the eighth, Ruiz hit the ball high off the wall in right, missing a home run by a couple of feet. Branyan hit for Gordon and struck out on three pitches to end the inning.
Rollins was 1-for-3 with an RBI. He's 7-for-his-last-21 and hopefully about to get hot.
Iguchi was 0-for-2 with a walk and a nice bunt. 8-for-his-last-21.
Burrell was 0-for-3 with an RBI. 6-for-his-last-19 with a double and two home runs.
Howard was 2-for-4 with a double. He and Rollins can carry the team when they get back on track. Howard's at 206/313/412 in August.
Rowand was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. Huge homer, but the strikeout in the fifth with one out and the bases loaded hurt. He's 2-for-his-last-10 and hitting .212 in August.
Dobbs was 0-for-2.
Werth was 2-for-3 with a walk. He's hitting 309/433/564 in 55 at-bats in August.
Ruiz was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. 342/419/605 in 38 at-bats in August.
JD Durbin (5-2, 5.36) faces righty Derek Lowe (9-11, 3.45) tonight. It will be the sixth start of the year for Durbin, who is 4-1 with a 4.11 ERA as a starter and 1-1 with an 8.31 ERA in 13 innings as a reliever. Overall on the season he's walked 25 in 43 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting .292 against him. He made a start against the Dodgers in LA on July 17 and was very good, allowing a run in six innings to get his first career win. Lefites are hitting .270 with a 1.46 ratio against Lowe, righties .237 with a 1.05 ratio. He was great his last time out, throwing seven shutout innings against the Astros on Thursday. He hasn't faced the Phillies this season, but Howard is 2-for-10 against him in his career with two singles.
Hamels was supposed to start the game but has a sore left elbow. Spiffy. He will have an MRI today. Unfortunate, but I thought the Phillies had done a nice job at keeping his pitch counts down of late. He hadn't been over 110 in any of his last seven starts and only once since May 16. Consensus seems to be he'll miss at least two starts, but it obviously could be far worse than that. Devastating news for the Phillies.
Utley may be able to return for next week's series with the Mets, which is a four-game set that starts on Monday.
My nomination in the ESPN Face of the Franchise project is scheduled to go up today. When it does, you can read it here.