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September 20 2007

The Phillies saw their six-game winning streak come to an end last night as they fell to the Cardinals.  The Phils continue to fight for every inch, but their bats have suddenly gone quiet.  Over the last 24 innings they have managed just 14 hits.  Last night Adam Wainwright shut them down, holding them to a run over eight strong innings.  The Cards scratched out a run in the bottom of the tenth to give them a 2-1 win.

The biggest decisions of the year for the Phillies have been around Brett Myers.  Putting and keeping Myers in the pen have left their mark on the Phils -- when people look back on the decision to keep Myers in the pen for as long as they have they are going to see it as a mistake.  Jamie Moyer gave the Phils a solid start last night, but the rotation has struggled mightily to pitch deep into games over the last month and it put a burden on a pen that was weak already.  The relievers have been much better of late, though, they've allowed just two runs in their last 14 2/3 innings -- both of those runs were charged to Myers, who has taken a loss and a blown save in the last two games.

The Phillies lost to the St Louis Cardinals last night, losing 2-1 in ten innings to drop to 82-70 on the season.  They fall to 3 1/2 games behind the Mets in the NL East and 2 1/2 behind the Padres for the Wild Card.  They have ten games left to play.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing one run on seven hits and five walks. All seven hits were singles. He struck out three.

He walked So Taguchi with one out in the first, but Rick Ankiel followed and hit into a double-play.

Scott Spiezio singled to start the second. Miguel Cairo popped to first for the first out before Skip Schumaker hit one back to Moyer. Moyer threw to second to force Spiezio for the second out. Yadier Molina grounded to short to end the inning.

Aaron Miles walked with one out in the third. David Eckstein was next and flew to right for the second out. Taguchi bunted for a hit and Ankiel walked to load the bases. Moyer got Spiezio looking to set the Cards down.

Schumaker and Molina singled back-to-back with one out in the fourth. It put men on first and second for the pitcher Adam Wainwright. Wainwright blooped a single on the line in right. Schumaker was caught up between third and home and tagged out for the second out. Miles flew to right for the third out.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth with a 1-0 lead. He got the first two before he walked Schumaker. Molina moved Schumaker to second with a single before Wainwright singled again, this time to center, and Schumaker scored to tie the game at 1-1. Miles walked to load the bases, but Moyer got Eckstein to fly to right to the end the inning.

Romero got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 seventh. He was pitching for the sixth time in seven days. In those six games he's allowed one hit in 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

Gordon threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He got the first out on a nice play by Nunez. Cairo hit a high chopper and Nunez stretched to get it. Nunez threw low to first by Howard made a nice scoop to get the out.

Geary started the ninth with the score still tied at 1-1. Ludwick led off with a single and was bunted to second. Eckstein hit a line drive into left. Werth dove for it and didn't get it, but the ball fortunately didn't go far and Ludwick couldn't score. With men on first and third, Taughi hit a bloop into right that Victorino caught after a long run and the runners couldn't advance. Ankiel flew to right for the third out.

Myers started the tenth.  After he got the first out on a ball hit to the wall in right, Cairo hit a slow ground ball to short.  Rollins charged and made a strong throw to first, but Cairo beat it out.  Lefty Russell Branyan hit for Randy Flores and Cairo stole second.  The stolen base was huge because it put Cairo in position to score on a silly single into left (which he did).  Branyan struck out, but Molina chopped a ball between short and third that went through.  Werth charged and gloved as Cairo rounded third, but lost the handle on the ball and never made the throw home.  The play at the plate that never happened would have been close.  He probably had him with a good throw.  Great job on the bases by Cairo.  First he beat out the chopper to short, then he stole second and scored from second on a single to win the game.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Adam Wainwright went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Werth (7) Ruiz (8) Nunez. Nunez plays third with Moyer pitching. Ruiz catches and moves up to seventh with Nunez in the lineup.

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

Rowand doubled with one out in the second. Werth struck out and Ruiz grounded to short.

They went 1-2-3 again in the third.

In the fourth, Howard walked with two outs but Rowand grounded to second for the third out.

Ruiz walked with one out in the fifth but Nunez hit into a double-play behind him.

Utley was hit in the foot by a pitch with two outs in the sixth. Burrell followed with a double to left and Utley scored on a close play, putting the Phils up 1-0. Another aggressive decision by third base coach Steve Smith and another one that worked out well for the Phils. Howard walked to put men on first and second, but Rowand popped to second to end the frame.

Ruiz singled with one out in the seventh. Nunez flew to center for the second out and Laforest hit for Moyer. Laforest struck out for the third out.  I think I would have hit Dobbs for Nunez there, which is what Manuel did two innings later.

Utley tripled with one out in the eighth. Burrell struck out and Howard was walked intentionally. Rowand hit it hard but right to the shortstop Eckstein, who tossed to second to force Howard and end the frame. Burrell's strikeout with a man on third and one out was big.

Ruiz singled with one out in the ninth. Dobbs hit for Nunez and singled, moving Roberson, who ran for Ruiz, to second. Victroino hit one back to the pitcher and the runners moved up to second and third. Rollins hit it down the first base line, but Spiezio made a diving play for the third out.

Utley was hit by another pitch to start the tenth and Coste bunted him to second.  Howard walked to put men on first and second with one down, but Rowand and Werth both struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins was 0-for-5 last night and 3-for-16 with a home run in the series.  293/344/525 on the year. 

Utley was 1-for-3 with a triple and 4-for-14 with two doubles and a triple in the series.  333/414/565.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a double last night and 2-for-10 in the series.  262/405/509.

Howard was 0-for-1 with four walks.  2-for-10 with seven walks in the series.  259/381/552.

Rowand was 1-for-5 with a double.  4-for-14 with a double and two home runs in the series.  312/380/525.

Werth was 0-for-5 and struck out three times.  3-for-14 with two triples in the series.  He walked three times and struck out five.  313/420/461.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a walk.  4-for-12 with a double in the series.  260/336/402.  Coste played but did not get an at-bat last night.  He was 0-for-1 in the series.  300/328/450 on the year.

Nunez 0-for-3 last night and 0-for-6 in the series.  234/313/283.  He's 3-for-his-last 26 and has gotten 244 at-bats this season.  Dobbs was 1-for-1 last night and 2-for-8 in the series.  280/337/473.

Victorino was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-2 in the series.  283/350/423. 

The Phils play the first of four tonight against the Nationals as Kyle Lohse (8-12, 4.49) faces righty Jason Bergmann (5-5, 4.38).  He's 2-0 with a 4.25 ERA in his nine starts with the Phillies and hasn't allowed more than three runs in an outing over his last five.  He's 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in two starts against Washington this season.  He faced them on May 23 with the Reds and on August 14 with the Phils.  Bergmann has been tough on righties this season, they are hitting just .199 with an 0.98 ratio against him.  Lefties have hit him harder.  In 100 2/3 innings on the year he's allowed 16 home runs, 12 of which have been hit by lefties.  In three starts against the Phillies this season he's thrown to a 3.68 ERA. 

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