Where there's a Willis, there's a way
September 9 2007
While walking off the mound after the fourth inning of his May 24 start against the Phillies, Dontrelle Willis started an on-field incident by motioning angrily in the direction of the Phils' dugout. The Phillies made sure that didn't happen today. They pounded him for seven runs in three innings and Willis didn't get a chance to walk off the mound after the fourth.
The Phils took an 8-0 lead into the sixth and the game got a lot closer than you would have hoped, but they held on for an 8-5 win. With the Padres losing the Phils trail San Diego by just two games in the Wild Card hunt.
If the Phillies are looking for a reason to give up they're not going to have much trouble. Their pitching is abysmal and they've had more than their share of injuries. But while it would be easy to find a reason to fold up it's even easier to find a reason not to.
The Phillies beat the Florida Marlins today, winning 8-5 to improve to 75-67 on the year. The Phils take the series two games to one and have 20 games left to play in the season.
Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He walked one and struck out six. He was fantastic early, throwing five shutout innings before getting hammered in the sixth. His ERA is 5.23.
Moyer didn't allow a hit for the first three innings. Hanley Ramirez led off the first with a ball driven to left-center that Rowand made a fantastic play on while crashing into the wall to take away at least a double. Mike Jacobs walked with one out in the second but Moyer got the next two behind him.
Moyer started the fourth with a 7-0 lead. Jeremy Hermida singled with one out, but Moyer struck out Cabrera and Jacobs lined to second to end the frame.
He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
Moyer started the sixth up 8-0. Pinch-hitter Reggie Abercrombie led off with a double and Ramirez followed with a home run to left. 8-2. Alfredo Amezaga flew to center for the first out before Hermida hit a solo shot to right. 8-3. Cabrera singled to left and Mike Jacobs homered to right. 8-5. Antonio Alfonseca came in and struck out Miguel Olivo and Cody Ross to set the Marlins down.
Kane Davis started the seventh and walked Todd Linden to start the inning. He struck out pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza and got Ramirez to hit into a double-play to end the inning. Davis continues to throw critical innings for the Phillies' pen.
Romero started the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to De Aza before getting Hermida on a pop-up to second for the first out. Cabrera walked and it brought the tying run to the plate in lefty Mike Jacobs, but Romero got Jacobs to hit into a double-play to end the frame. Great job by Romero. I'm not thinking it's likely we're going to see the Phils' other lefty in the pen, Fabio Castro, in a lot of big situations. If we were Manuel could have brought in a righty to pitch to Cabrera and then Castro to pitch to Jacobs.
Myers got the first two in the ninth before Linden singled. Josh Willingham pinch-hit for Justin Miller and lined to left to end the game.
Another nice game from the Phils' pen, who gave the team 3 2/3 scoreless innings after Moyer exited in the sixth. The double-play that Jacobs hit into in the eighth was huge. The bullpen allowed just one earned run in 13 1/3 innings in the three-game set.
The Phillies' lineup against lefty Dontrelle Willis went (1) Rollins (2) Iguchi (3) Burrell (4) Utley (5) Rowand (6) Werth (7) Ruiz (8) Nunez. The struggling Howard sits against the lefty. Utley plays first for the first time this season with Iguchi at second. Nunez plays third with Moyer pitching. Utley drops to cleanup. Ruiz catches despite the big home run from Coste yesterday. Werth plays right with Victorino on the bench.
With one out in the first, Iguchi singled and Burrell followed with a walk. Utley struck out for the second out, but Rowand doubled to right and Iguchi scored to put the Phils up 1-0. With men on second and third and two outs, Werth singled to left to bring in two runs and put the Phils up 3-0. Ruiz followed with a home run to left and it was 5-0. Nunez grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning. Five runs for the Phils after they had first and second with two down.
With two outs in the second, Iguchi walked and Burrell homered. 7-0. Utley struck out to end the inning. All seven runs the Phils had scored had come with two outs.
Rowand started the third with a single and Nunez moved him to second with a two-out single, but Moyer grounded to third to end the inning.
Rollins started the fourth with a single and Iguchi went down behind him before Burrell doubled, scoring Rollins to make it 8-0. Utley and Rowand went down behind Burrell.
With one out in the fifth, Ruiz singled and Nunez walked, but Moyer hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Rollins singled to start the sixth, but Iguchi popped out and Burrell struck out to bring Utley up with two outs and a man on first. Utley hit a ground ball through the legs of De Aza at second and Rollins went to second. Rowand flew to left to leave both runners stranded.
Ruiz singled with one out in the seventh, but Nunez and Dobbs, who hit for Davis, went down behind him.
Iguchi singled with one out in the eighth. Burrell struck out for the second out before Utley blooped a single into center. Rowand grounded to short to end the inning.
Rollins was 2-for-5. 5-for-15 with a home run in the series. 297/348/533 on the season.
Iguchi was 2-for-4 with a walk today and 2-for-5 in the series. 313/370/450 in 131 at-bats as a Phil.
Burrell was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 3-for-10 with two home runs and six RBI in the series. 265/406/520.
Utley was 1-for-5 today and struck out twice. 3-for-13 in the series. 338/417/568.
Howard was 0-for-7 with four strikeouts in the series after not getting an at-bat today. 265/382/558.
Rowand was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 5-for-11 with a double in the series. 316/382/523.
Werth was 1-for-4 with two RBI today. 2-for-8 in the series. 320/418/467.
Ruiz was 3-for-4 with his sixth home run of the year today. 3-for-8 in the series. 265/336/416.
Nunez was 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-4 with a double in the series. 239/313/291. The last time he had a slugging percentage higher than his on-base percentage was July 17.
Victorino was 1-for-6 in the series without an at-bat today. 284/352/427.
The Phillies have five regular players slugging at least .520 -- Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell and Rowand. Last year Utley and Howard were the only two players with 300 at-bats to slug .520 for the Phils and Rowand slugged .425, about a hundred points lower than what he is slugging this season.
Kyle Lohse (8-12, 4.46) faces righty Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 4.15) tomorrow night as the Phils play the first of four against the Rockies at home. Lohse is 2-0 with a 4.06 ERA in his seven starts as a Phillie. Despite all the fly balls he throws, he has mostly kept the ball in the yard since joining the team. That will be key against the hard-hitting Rockies. He faced Colorado once this season while pitching with the Reds. On June 2 in Colorado he allowed three runs in six innings and took the loss. Todd Helton hit a two-run homer off of him in that game. Jimenez is 23-years-old and will be making his eleventh start of the season. He hasn't been charged with more than three runs in any of his last five starts, going 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA in those outings. Opponents are hitting just .219 against him this season, righties just .192 with an 0.93 ratio. Overall, he has struck out 47 in 56 1/3 innings.
This article suggests that Cole Hamels could come off the DL in about two weeks.