$50 million mistake hits his fifty-millionth homer
September 11 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|
|COL||74-68||670||4.72||8||4.65 (8)||3.93 (9)|
|PHI||75-67||728||5.13||13||4.93 (12)||4.61 (14)|
After hitting 258/388/502 in 2006 and 281/389/504 in 2005, Pat Burrell changed his approach at the plate this season. He changed his stance, struck out less and hit the ball to right field far more often. And it didn't work. At least not early in the season it didn't. Burrell stuck with it, though, and it's working now.
Burrell ended June hitting .203 with a .368 slugging percentage. The same critics who called his '05 and '06 seasons failures that stemmed from his inability to change his approach howled. In early July, a piece in the Inquirer called his contract a $50 million mistake. That was after the Phils' $10 million free agent Freddy Garcia had made the last of his 11 starts in which he had posted a 5.90 ERA. Fellow high-priced free agent Adam Eaton had made 17 starts and thrown to a 5.67 ERA. Everybody knew that the Phillies had the best offense in the league and, if not the worst bullpen, one of them. The Inquirer piece clearly reflected, more than shaped, the perception of Burrell held by a great many Phillies' fans. But Pat Burrell wasn't what was wrong with the Phillies and he never has been. Almost everybody knows that Burrell wants to stay in Philadelphia. A lot of people have more trouble understanding why.
Whatever the reason, Burrell hit 435/564/768 in July. He hit 290/368/650 in August. He's hitting 250/416/656 in September. He has hit .333 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI in his last 201 at-bats.
Last night in the seventh inning he rocketed a three-run homer that tied the game at 5-5. Ryan Howard won it for the Phillies in the bottom of the tenth with an opposite field double that scored Chase Utley to give the Phils their third straight.
The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 6-5 in ten innings to improve to 76-67 on the year. The Phils are in second place in the NL East, six games behind the Mets. They trail the Padres by 1 1/2 games for the Wild Card.
Kyle Lohse got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, five doubles and a home run. He struck out five and walked two.
The Phillies' starting pitcher has gone seven innings or more once in the last 28 games (Kendrick went seven on August 31). And that's with Manuel working as hard as he can not to use a bullpen he knows is flawed. In those 28 games, Phillies' starters have thrown to a 5.44 ERA.
The last time a Phillies' starter went 7 1/3 innings or more was July 30 (Hamels went eight). The Phils have played 38 games since.
With one out in the first, Troy Tulowitski doubled to right and Matt Holliday followed with a walk. With the runners on the move, Todd Helton grounded to short and Rollins had to take the out at first. With men on second and third and two down, Lohse got Garrett Atkins on a fly ball to center to end the frame.
Lohse threw a 1-2-3 second and a 1-2-3 third.
Helton doubled to right with one out in the fourth. Atkins grounded to short for the second out with Helton holding second. Brad Hawpe was next and he hit a hard ground ball between first and second. Utley made a sliding play to keep it in the infield, which kept Helton from scoring, but Hawpe had a single and Helton went to third. Lohse hit Ryan Spilborghs with a pitch to load the bases. Yorbit Torrealba was next and he drove a ball to right field. A fan reached over and touched the ball, which either would have left the yard or hit high off the wall. It was a ground rule double for Torrealba, which cost the Rockies at least a run. The double put Colorado up 2-1. The pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez grounded to second for the third out.
Tulowitski homered to left center with one out in the fifth, putting the Rockies up 3-1. Holliday followed with a double just inside the line in left. Helton walked to put men on first and second, but Lohse struck out Atkins and Hawpe to end the frame.
With one out in the sixth, Torrealba doubled and Jimenez bunted him to third. Omar Quintanilla grounded back to Lohse to leave Torrealba stranded.
Mesa started the seventh up 3-2 and gave up a leadoff walk to Tulowitski. Matt Holliday followed with a home run to left. 5-2. JC Romero came in to pitch to Helton and got him to ground out to first for the first out. Romero struck out Atkins and Hawpe to set the Rockies down.
Gordon, who came into the game with a 6.26 ERA, started the eighth with the score tied at 5-5. Spilborghs led off with a single and Torrealba bunted him to second. Lefty Joe Koshansky hit for Jorge Julio and lined a ball into right that Victorino made a nice play on for the second out. Quintanilla grounded to second for the third out.
Myers started the ninth with the game still tied. Holliday singled with one out and Helton followed with a ball chopped to first base. It went off the heel of Howard's glove, but Howard recovered in time to flip to first and get Helton for the second out as Holliday went to second. Myers walked Atkins on a close 3-2 curve ball that may have been a little high. Hawpe smashed a ground ball to second base, but Utley took it and threw to first for the third out.
Myers returned for the tenth and Spilborghs led off with a single and Torrealba again bunted him to second. Cory Sullivan pinch-hit for pitcher Justin Speier and grounded to second and Spilborghs went to third. Ian Stewart hit for Quintanilla and grounded to second for the third out.
Mesa was awful again, facing two batters and giving up two runs. He's allowed 13 earned runs in his last five innings. Time for somebody else to get a try.
The Phillies' lineup against righty Ubaldo Jimenez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs plays third against the righty. Howard returns to the lineup after a day off. Victorino in right and Ruiz behind the plate.
Burrell singled with two outs in the first, but Howard struck out behind him.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.
Ruiz started the third with a walk and Lohse bunted him to second. Rollins flew to left for the second out before Utley ripped a single off the glove of Helton at first. Ruiz scored from second to put the Phillies up 1-0. Burrell grounded to third to end the inning.
With two outs in the fourth, Victorino singled and stole second. Dobbs was walked intentionally and the righty Jimenez got Ruiz to ground to short for the third out.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth.
Howard homered with one out in the sixth to cut the Colorado lead to 3-2. Rowand grounded to second for the second out before Victorino walked and stole second. Dobbs popped out to end the inning.
With two outs in the seventh, Rollins singled and stole second and third. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt walked Chase Utley and righty Julio Franco came in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell got ahead of Franco and crushed a 2-0 pitch out to left to tie the game at 5-5. Howard struck out to end the inning.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth.
Nunez walked with one out in the ninth. Rollins followed and smashed a line drive that was caught by Helton. Helton doubled Nunez off of first to end the inning.
Utley led off the tenth with a single. Burrell struck out for the first out before Howard lofted a high fly ball down the left field line that dropped and rolled towards the wall. Holliday ran to cut it off and the ball went off the heel of his glove and bounced away from him. He couldn't find the ball and turned around in a full circle. Utley scored easily and the Phils won 6-5.
Rollins was 1-for-5 and stole two bases.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He scored the winning run.
Burrell was 2-for-5 with a three-run homer.
Howard was 2-for-5 with a home run and a double that won the game.
Rowand was 0-for-4.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and stole two bases.
Dobbs 0-for-2 with a walk.
Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk.
Adam Eaton (9-8, 6.28) faces lefty Franklin Morales (0-2, 6.23) tonight. Eaton has a 9.00 ERA over his last four starts. He started against the Rockies on July 8 (the tarp game) in Colorado and got the win, allowing four runs in six innings. Morales has made four starts for the Rockies. Righties are hitting .404 against the 21-year-old, lefties .143. He has struck out just seven in 17 1/3 innings.