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September 21 2007

Shawn Hill came into tonight's game having allowed two earned runs in 21 innings in his last three outings against the Phillies, but the Phils finally got him.  Burrell, Rollins and Howard all homered off of Hill and the Phils jumped out to a 6-1 lead and held on to win for the eighth time in nine games.

They are 14 games over .500 for the first time since October 2, 2005.

Again tonight the Phillies' starter failed to go deep into the game.  Eaton went just five and Manuel went back to the same guys he's been counting on day after day.  He brought in the heavily-used Romero, Gordon and Myers and all three got the job done again.

Four more scoreless innings from the Phillies bullpen.  They allowed one hit and didn't walk a batter.  Over the last four games they've thrown 25 2/3 innings and allowed two runs.  Absolutely unbelievable.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals tonight, winning 6-3 to improve to 84-70 on the year.   

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits.  One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double.  He walked five and struck out two. 

He walked Felipe Lopez to start the first and Ronnie Belliard moved Lopez to second with a single.  Ryan Zimmerman hit a ground ball to third and Belliard was forced at second for the first out.  With men on first and third and one down, Wily Mo Pena was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Ryan Church flew to center for the first out and the runners could not advance, but Austin Kearns walked to force in Lopez and give the Nats a 1-0 lead.  Eaton got Robert Fick on a fly ball to left for the third out.

Eaton was awful in the first, but somehow he held the Nationals to a single run.

With two outs in the second, Lopez and Belliard singled back-to-back.  Eaton struck out Zimmerman to end the inning.

With a 4-1 lead in the third, Eaton walked Church with one out but got the next two.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Eaton took a 6-1 lead into the fifth.  Zimmerman doubled with one out.  Pena was next and Eaton hit him again with a pitch.  Church struck out for the second out before Church walked on four pitches to load the bases.  Fick singled into center and Zimmerman and Pena both scored, cutting the Phillies' lead to 6-3.  Brian Schneider grounded to short for the third out.

Eaton walked D'Angelo Jimenez to start the sixth.  It was the fifth walk of the game issued by Eaton and Manuel gave him the hook, calling on Geary.  Geary got the next three.

Geary returned for the seventh and got the first two before Kearns ripped a ball down the third base line.  Nunez made a diving stop, but his throw to first was in the dirt and Howard couldn't hold on.  Kearns was safe at first with a single, but the play by Nunez robbed him of a double.  Romero came in to the lefty Fick, and Tony Batista hit for Fick.  Batista smoked a ball back up the middle, but Romero made a nice play and threw him out at first to end the inning.

Eighth appearance in nine games for Romero and fourth day in a row.

Romero came out to start the eighth, but righty Justin Maxwell hit for lefty Brian Schneider and Gordon came in to pitch to Maxwell.  Gordon set the Nats down 1-2-3, getting Maxwell on a ground ball to third, Ryan Langerhans on strikes and Lopez on a fly ball to left. 

Seventh appearance in eight days for Gordon.  Fourth day in a row.

Myers started the ninth with the Phils up 6-3.  He was appearing in his fourth straight game and for the seventh time in eight days. 

What Romero, Gordon and Myers have done over the last nine games is just unbelievable.  Manuel had a chance to try and give them a rest tonight and didn't.  It's hard to imagine any of them could pitch tomorrow, but we'll just have to wait and see.  I thought it was kind of hard to imagine we would see any of them tonight, either.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Shawn Hill went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Dobbs (7) Werth (8) Ruiz.  Dobbs at third against the righty.  Werth back in right after Victorino started yesterday.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first. 

Howard started the second with a home run that tied the game at 1-1.  Werth drew a two-out walk, but Ruiz grounded to short to end the frame.

Rollins singled with one out in the third.  Hill tried to pick him off first, but threw the ball away and Rollins went to third.  Utley followed with a single to right and Rollins scored to put the Phils up 2-1.  Burrell was next and he homered to left to make it 4-1.  Howard singled but Rowand hit into a double-play to set the Phils down.

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

In the fifth, Rollins homered to right with one out to make the score 5-1.  Utley followed with a single and went to second when Burrell grounded softly to third for the second out.  Howard doubled to right and Utley scored.  6-1.  Rowand went down on a ball hit to second for the third out.

With lefty Mike Bacsik on the mound, Nunez hit for Dobbs to start the sixth and walked.   Don't know why you wouldn't use virtually anyone right-handed on the Phils' bench there instead.  Even if you wanted Nunez to play defense you really, really don't want him leading off an inning.  I mean, it's not like he's going to draw a walk.  Werth flew for center for the first out.  Ruiz was next and he hit a ball hard back up the middle but was robbed by the Nats middle infield, who made a spectacular play to turn his single into an inning-ending double-play.

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

Howard singled with one out in the eighth, but Rowand followed and hit into a double-play.

Nunez singled to start the ninth and stole second as Werth struck out for the first out.  The ball beat Nunez by a lot, but Belliard missed the tag.  Laforest hit for Gordon and walked.  Roberson ran for Laforest.  Coste struck out and Rollins grounded to first.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with his 29th home run on the year.

Utley was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with his 29th homer.

Howard was 4-for-4 with a double and a home run.

Rowand 0-for-4.

Dobbs 0-for-2.  Nunez 1-for-1 with a walk. 

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk. 

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Kyle Kendrick (9-4, 4.05) faces righty Tim Redding (3-5, 3.73) tomorrow.  Kendrick is still much better against righties than lefties.  Righties are hitting .235 with an 0.92 ratio against him and lefties  .333 with a 1.77 ratio.  He's made two starts against the Nats this season, going 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA.  He started against Washington on July 24 and August 15.  Redding has made 13 starts for the Nats and hasn't gone more than five innings any of his last four times out.  He's thrown to an 8.22 ERA over his last four starts.  He started against Kendrick in the August 15 game and got the win, holding the Phils to two runs on three hits over six innings.

September 21 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
WAS 68-84 621 4.09 16 714 (15) 63 23
PHI 82-70 841 5.53 1 813 (1) 132 18

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
WAS 68-84 730 4.80 10 5.11 (14) 3.71 (4)
PHI 82-70 785 5.16 14 4.98 (13) 4.56 (13)

Tradition may dictate the Phillies find only late-season heartbreak against the Nationals, but first-year Phil Jayson Werth apparently either doesn't know or doesn't care.  His pinch-hit three-run bomb in the seventh inning was a bolt of life last night for a Phillies' team that had struggled to overcome a miserable start by Kyle Lohse.  Werth's blast got the Phillies within one at 6-5 and Jimmy Rollins took it from there, scoring the tying run and driving in the run that gave the Phils a 7-6 win.

Fantastic win for the Phils that, coupled with a collapse by the Mets, keeps the Phils alive in the NL East.  The bullpen was outstanding yet again, throwing seven scoreless innings in which they held the Nats to two hits and four walks and struck out seven.  Everyone in the pen has to be just about beat.  Myers got the save last night, pitching for the third straight day and the sixth time in seven days.  Gordon also pitched for the third straight day and the sixth time in seven days.  Romero for the third straight day and the seventh time in eight days.  You have to believe the chances for one of those guys to get hurt is just enormous at this point. 

Over the last three days, the Phillies' bullpen has thrown 21 2/3 innings and has allowed two runs.  The Phillies won two of three and they did it because of their bullpen, not in spite of it.  But both parts of allowing two runs in the last 21 2/3 innings, the number of innings and the amazing effectiveness, are not sustainable.  If the Phillies are going to keep winning they're going to need better starting pitching, starting right about now.

The Phillies needed more from Lohse last night and he came up small in a big spot against the worst offense in the league.  If Adam Eaton is going to give the Phillies anything this season he shouldn't wait much longer.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 7-6 to improve to 83-70 on the year.  They try to go 14 games over .500 for the first time this season tonight.  The last time the Phils were 14 games over .500 was the end of the 2005 season (they finished 88-74 in '05).  In the NL East, the Phils trail the Mets by 1 1/2 games.  In the Wild Card they're 2 1/2 games behind the Padres and the Padres are just a half game behind Arizona. 

Kyle Lohse got the start for the Phillies and went two innings, allowing six runs on six hits.  Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles.  He walked two and didn't strike anybody out.

Lohse started the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead.  Felipe Lopez led off with a single and was forced at second for the first out when Ronnie Belliard followed with a ground ball to short.  Ryan Zimmerman followed with a double that scored Belliard and put the Nats on the board at 2-1.  Wily Mo Pena popped to second for the second out before Ryan Church walked to put men on first and second.  Austin Kearns grounded to third to end the inning.

Robert Fick started the second with a single and scored when Brian Schneider followed with a double.  2-2.  Pitcher Jason Bergmann bunted Schneider to third for the first out.  Lopez walked to put men on first and third before Belliard drove in both runners with a double that put the Nats up 4-2.  Zimmerman flew to left before Pena was hit by a pitch.  Church doubled to right and Belliard and Pena both scored.  6-2.  Kearns popped to second for the third out.

Durbin came in to pitch the third and threw a 1-2-3 inning, getting three fly balls.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 fourth.   Two perfect innings for Durbin, who gave the Phils two scoreless frames in relief on Tuesday.

Davis started the fifth.  Church doubled with one out.  Kearns struck out but Ruiz didn't catch the third strike.  Kearns was safe at first with Church going to third.  Davis struck out Fick for the second out and walked Schneider intentionally to get to Bergmann.  Bergmann grounded to second to set the Nationals down.

Davis threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Condrey started the seventh and walked Church with one out.  Nook Logan ran for Church and stole second.  Condrey walked Kearns, and with the lefty Fick due to hit, Romero came in to pitch.  Tony Batista hit for Fick and hit a double-play ball to third to end the inning. 

With the lefty Schneider leading off, Romero came back to start the eighth with the Phils up 7-6.  Romero got Schneider on a ground ball to second for the first out.  Switch-hitter D'Angelo Jimenez hit for the pitcher and Romero walked him on four pitches.  One batter too many for the overused Romero.  Gordon relieved Romero and Lopez hit a ground ball to first.  Howard looked at second and would have had Jimenez with a good throw, but didn't throw the ball.  He tagged first for the out as Jimenez went to second.  Belliard grounded to short to end the inning.

Howard showed a surprising lack of confidence in his ability to throw to second base and it put Jimenez in scoring position.  Didn't hurt the Phils this time.

Romero has been absolutely amazing.  Last night he was pitching for the third day in a row and, amazingly, the seventh time in eight days.  He has a 0.00 ERA in 9 2/3 innings this month.  The double-play he induced from Batista was huge.

Myers came in to pitch the ninth with a one-run lead and gave up a one-out single to Pena.  Jesus Flores hit for Nook Logan as the winning run and flew to center for the second out.   Myers got Kearns looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the game.

Great job by Myers who really needs a rest.  He had a lot of help from the guys in the pen.  Durbin, Davis, Romero and Gordon were all just fantastic.  What the bullpen has done over the last three days is just amazing.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Jason Bergmann went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Rowand (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz.  Victorino returns to the lineup and the two hole.  Burrell vacates the three-spot and hits fifth.  Dobbs plays third against the righty.  I like it.  Victorino still doesn't look like he's running well, but I like Burrell hitting fifth more than third.  Two may be too high for Utley.  Werth seems like he might be a guy to consider in the two-hole when he starts in right.

Utley tripled off the glove of Church in center with two outs in the first and Howard followed with a long home run to right.  2-0.  Burrell flew to center for the third out. 

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

Victorino doubled with two outs in the third, but Utley flew to right for the third out. 

Howard walked to start the fourth.  Burrel flew to center for the first out before Rowand moved Howard to second with a single.  Dobbs popped to third and Ruiz popped to second to end the frame.

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

Burrell walked with two outs in the sixth, but Rowand popped to Belliard in shallow center to end the frame.

Dobbs started the seventh with a single and Ruiz followed with a walk.  With righty Luis Ayala on the mound, Pete Laforest hit for Davis.  Lefty Arnie Munoz relieved Ayala and Manuel called on Werth to hit for Laforest.  Werth got ahead 3-1 and absolutely hammered a ball way out to left for a three-run homer.  It cut the Washington lead to 6-5.  Nice job by Manuel to use Werth, the best right-handed hitter he had on his bench, there even though it was only the seventh.  Rollins followed with a double down the line and Victorino bunted him to third for the first out.  With the infield in, Utley hit a ground ball to second.  Belliard came home with the ball but didn't get much on the throw.  Rollins scored without a slide to tie the game at 6-6 with Utley safe at first.  Howard was hit by a pitch to put men on first and second with one out, but Burrell struck out looking and Rowand grounded to second.

Ruiz walked with one out in the eighth and stole second as Werth struck out for the second out.  Rollins doubled down the line and Ruiz scored to put the Phils up 7-6.  Victorino grounded to second to end the frame. 

Howard walked with one out in the ninth, but Bourn and Rowand struck out behind him.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.  Huge night for Rollins late in the game.  I'd love to see him get going, he's just 3-for-his-last-17.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a double.  He's 3-for-his-last-19. 

Utley was 1-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.

Howard was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer and two walks.  He's 3-for-his-last-12 with three home runs and nine walks.

Burrell was 0-for-3 with a walk.  2-for-his-last-13.

Rowand was 1-for-5 with a single.   2-for-his-last-14.

Dobbs was 1-for-4 with a single.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 and walked twice.

Werth had the biggest swing of the game and was 1-for-2 with his seventh home run on the night.  It came a night after the game that ended on an unfortunate play in left where he lost the handle on the ball and couldn't make a throw home.  He's going to be pretty hard to take out of the lineup the rest of the way, especially if Victorino is hobbling.

Adam Eaton (9-9, 6.36) faces righty Shawn Hill (4-4, 3.01) tonight.  Eaton has an 8.48 ERA over his last eight starts.  He's made two starts against the Nats this year, throwing to a 5.84 ERA in 12 innings.  He started against them on April 18 and July 26.  Shawn Hill has made ten starts for Washington.  Righties are hitting just .194 against him, lefties .264.  On the season he's allowed just six home runs in 92 2/3 innings.  In two starts against the Phils this season he's allowed five hits in 14 innings while throwing to a 1.29 ERA.  He has an 0.57 ratio in his two starts against the Phils, which came on April 26 and August 14.

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