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September 4 2007

Their offspring does have a remarkable family resemblance. 

After battling for every inch in a four-game sweep of the Mets last week, the Phils have given most of it away without much of a fight.  They lost their third straight yesterday.  This one can't be blamed on the bullpen -- Braves' starter Lance Cormier yielded just three singles and a double in 5 2/3 innings and the Phils didn't manage a hit off the Atlanta bullpen in 3 1/3 innings.

The Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves yesterday, falling 5-1 to drop to 72-65 on the year.   Third straight loss for the Phils.  They are in second place in the NL East, five games behind the Mets.  The Dodgers have tied them in the Wild Card hunt, both Los Angeles and the Phils are three games behind the Diamondbacks.  The Phils have 25 games left to play. 

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits.  Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles.  He struck out seven and walked two.

After Moyer threw a 1-2-3 first, Mark Teixeira started the second with a single to center.  Moyer got the next three behind him to end the inning.

With two outs in the third, Yunel Escobar doubled and Matt Diaz followed with a walk.  Chipper Jones was next and just missed a double down the left-field line before striking out to end the inning.

In the fourth, Teixeira walked to start the inning and moved to second on a single by Jeff Francoeur.  Andruw Jones hit a soft ground ball to third, but Nunez couldn't handle it and Jones was safe with a single that loaded the bases.  Brian McCann was next and he hit a double into right that scored Teixeira and Francoeur and put the Braves up 2-1.  With men on second and third and one out, Kelly Johnson hit a fly ball to center field.  Rowand threw the ball over everything.  Jones scored to make it 3-1 and Jones went to third with one out.  With the pitcher Cormier at the plate, the Phils pitched out and McCann was caught off third and tagged out after a rundown.  Cormier struck out to end the inning.

Chipper doubled with two outs in the fifth.  Teixeira was next and he drove the ball to right field, but Werth made a long run and caught the ball just before he ran into the wall to end the inning.

With two outs in the sixth, McCann and Johnson singled back-to-back.  It put men on first and third for the pitcher's spot and switch-hitter Brayan Pena hit for Peter Moylan.  Moyer stayed in to pitch to Pena and gave up a single just out of the reach of Rollins.  McCann scored to make it 4-1 and Johnson went to second.  Alfonseca came in to pitch to Escobar and got him on a fly ball for the third out.  Pena has just 24 at-bats this season.  For his career, the switch-hitter is about the same against lefties and righties (238/273/357 against lefties and 226/238/306 against righties). 

Gordon started the seventh and loaded the bases with nobody out on a walk by Diaz and back-to-back singles by Chipper and Teixeira.  Francoeur hit a fly ball to right.  Diaz scored to make it 5-1 as Chipper went to third.  Andruw lined to short and McCann flew to center to prevent further damage.

Fabio Castro threw a 1-2-3 ninth. 

The used four pitchers in the game, none of which had an ERA under 5.00. 

In their last three games the Phillies have used 11 different pitchers:  Moyer, Alfonseca, Gordon, Castro, Eaton, Davis, Rosario, Romero, Durbin, Condrey and Mesa.  Of the 11 only one, Romero, has an ERA under 5.00.  Of the 11, four, Eaton, Durbin, Davis and Mesa (including his time with the Tigers), have an ERA of at least 6.00.  Rosario's ERA is 5.96.  I really think people should consider the possibility that who hits behind Ryan Howard isn't the issue with this team.  I'm just saying.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Lance Cormier went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Werth (7) Ruiz (8) Nunez.  Nunez plays third with Moyer on the mound.  Werth stays in the six-hole with Dobbs on the bench.  Ruiz catches.

Utley singled with one out in the first but Burrell followed and hit into a double-play.

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

In the fourth, Utley doubled with one out and Burrell followed with a single into left.  Utley came around to score on a close play at the plate to put the Phils up 1-0.  The ball got away from McCann.  Burrell should have gone to second when the ball got away from McCann, but didn't, and Howard followed and hit into a double-play.

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

Moyer walked with one out in the sixth.  Rollins popped to second before Utley sent Moyer to third with a single.  Burrell popped to first for the third out.

Werth walked with two outs in the seventh, but Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth and again in the ninth.

The Phillies had four hits in the game and one after the fourth inning.  Three singles and a double.  They walked twice.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Utley was 3-for-4 with a double.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out three times.  3-for-his-last-18 with 11 strikeouts. 

Rowand was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 

Werth was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Ruiz was 0-for-3.  He's hitting 248/319/359 in 145 at-bats away from Citizens Bank Park this season. 

Nunez 0-for-2 with a strikeout.  He's 0-for-his-last-10.

Kyle Lohse (7-12, 4.54) faces righty Buddy Carlyle (8-5, 5.02) tonight.  Lohse is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA in his six starts with the Phils.  He didn't make it through four innings his last time out.  Against the Mets on Thursday he was pulled after allowing three runs in 3 2/3 innings.   He hasn't faced the Braves this season.  Andruw Jones is 3-for-4 against him in his career with two home runs.  Mark Teixeira 8-for-18 with three doubles.  Carlyle has thrown to an 8.40 ERA over his last three starts.  On the season, lefties are hitting .337 against him with a 1.73 ratio and righties .221 with a 1.01 ratio.  In two starts against the Phils this season he's 0-2 with an 8.64 ERA.  He started against them on August 12 and May 26

John Ennis and Geoff Geary should arrive today to help the pen.

Ruben Amaro Jr will interview for the Astros' GM job this week.

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