They promised us that the hitters would flip the switch when the season started and flip the switch they did. Rollins, Utley and Werth all had awful springs and came up big in yesterday’s opening day contest against the Nats. Utley hit a bomb, Werth was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Rollins was the best of them all, starting the first with a double and coming around to score without the help of another hit and getting the game even again at 6-6 with a two-run blast in the seventh.
The problem is that the bullpen was horrific in spring training too and nobody even suggested they had a switch, much less one that they would flip. And if there’s nobody out there willing to suggest you might have an imaginary switch, well, that’s not good. A miserable outing by Tom Gordon in a 6-6 game in the ninth sealed the Phillies’ fate. Gordon got one out and was charged with five runs.
The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals yesterday, falling 11-6 to drop to 0-1 on the season.
Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out two.
Myers got Christian Guzman on a popup to second to start the season. Lastings Milledge was next and he flew out on a ball hit to Burrell in left for the second out. Ryan Zimmerman popped one up to Utley for the third out.
With the Phils up 1-0, Nick Johnson started the second with a ball past Burrell in left for a double. Myers struck Austin Kearns out looking at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Myers hit Lo Duca on the hand with a 1-1 pitch, putting runners on first and second for Ronnie Belliard. Belliard hit a ball that carried well to center, but Victorino tracked it down for the second out. Johnson tagged and moved to third. It put men on first and third with two down for Willie Harris and Harris walked on a close 3-2 pitch to load the bases for pitcher Matt Chico. Myers, who thought he had struck Harris out on the 3-2 pitch to end the inning and started to walk off the mound, quickly got behind Chico 2-0 but came back with three straight strikes to set the Nats down. The walk of Harris with two down was unfortunate — it would have been nice to have Chico leading off the third. Nice job by Myers to get it together after not getting the call on Harris and getting behind Chico 2-0. The strikeout of Kearns also helped to shape the inning.
Still up 1-0, Myers set the top of the Nationals order down 1-2-3 in the third on two fly balls and a pop up to Howard in foul territory.
Johnson led off the fourth and hit a 2-2 pitch to the warning track in right, but Werth took it for the first out. Kearns was next and laced a single past Rollins and into left, but LoDuca popped to Utley for the second out. Belliard hit a grounder down the line to third, but Feliz made a strong throw for the third out to end the frame.
Myers started the fifth up 2-0 and got Harris on a line out to second for the first out. Chico was next and he singled into center. Guzman followed with a single just out the reach of a diving Utley, putting men on first and second with one down for Milledge. Myers got ahead of Milledge 1-2 but hit him on the arm, loading the bases for Zimmerman. Zimmerman hit a fly ball to right that Werth took in front of the track for the second out, but Chico tagged and scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Guzman went to third, putting men on first and third with two outs for the lefty Johnson. Myers walked Johnson, loading the bases and bringing up the righty Kearns. Kearns hit the first pitch into right field for a double that hopped once and came off the wall. Guzman and Milledge both scored and the Nats led 3-2 with men on second and third for LoDuca. LoDuca hit a routine ground ball to short that Rollins bobbled. Rollins couldn’t recover in time to get LoDuca. Johnson scored on the error, making it 4-2, and Kearns went to third. Belliard popped to second to end the frame. Four runs, all started with a single by the pitcher. Pitching around the lefty Johnson to get to the righty Kearns didn’t work out.
Ryan Madson started the sixth with the Phils down 4-2. Harris led off and hit a ball deflected by Madson that went to Rollins. Rollins threw Harris out. Chico was next and hit for himself and grounded to short for the second out. Guzman followed with a ball chopped back the middle. Rollins fielded behind second but couldn’t throw out Guzman, bringing up Milledge with two outs and a man on first. Milledge crushed a 1-1 pitch out to left and the Nats lead was 6-2. Zimmerman flew to center for the third out.
Chad Durbin started the seventh with the Phils down 6-3 and walked Kearns with one out, but go LoDuca and Belliard on ground outs to end the frame.
Romero pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two.
Tom Gordon entered the ninth with the score tied at 6-6. Milledge led off and reached on an infield single. Gordon got Zimmerman to fly to right for the first out, but Johnson doubled to center. Milledge tried to score from first and was just safe on a close play at the plate. Victorino made a really nice play and a strong throw. They didn’t really have much of a chance to get Milledge at the plate but Rollins helped make it close with a strong throw that was up the first base line. 7-6 Nats. Kearns was next and walked, putting runners on first and third after Johnson had gone to third on the play at the plate. LoDuca was next and showed bunt on the first pitch of his at-bat, which was a ball. Ruiz tried to pick Johnson off at third, but threw the ball into left field. Johnson scored and it was 8-6. Kearns went to second. LoDuca doubled and Kearns scored and it was 9-6. Belliard followed and he doubled, scoring LoDuca to make it 10-6. That was it for Gordon. Condrey came in and had to face the lefty Harris cause the Phils only had one lefty in the pen in Romero and they had already used him. Condrey got Harris to pop to the catcher, but Dmitri Young hit for the pitcher Saul Rivera and ripped a ball high off the wall in right. Belliard scored and it was 11-6. Guzman grounded to short to end the frame.
Miserable day for Flash and a bad day for Madson. Durbin and Romero pitched well. The ball Young hit off of Condrey was well hit. Madson threw 22 pitches, Gordon 20, but the Phils don’t play today.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Matt Chico went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Werth (8) Ruiz. Werth plays right field against the lefty, which is a no-brainer. Feliz hits behind Burrell, though, with Werth hitting seventh. Not a fan of that one. Feliz has more power but Werth is the better hitter overall and killed lefties last season, hitting 375/467/591 against them. Burrell gets on base so much I think it’s a mistake to hit Feliz behind him.
Rollins led off the first for the Phils and lined a 3-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double. Victorino bunted and was thrown out at first on a very close play, Rollins moved to third. Utley hit one to the warning track in center field for the second out, but Rollins scored easily to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard grounded to second for the third out. Hate the Victorino bunt there, but it worked out for the Phils in that case.
Burrell led off the second with a walk. Feliz was next and hit a double-play ball to shortstop in his first Phillies at-bat. Werth followed with a double to left. Ruiz looked at the first two pitches and got behind 0-2 before lining a 2-2 pitch to left for the third out. The double-play that Feliz hit into killed that inning for the Phils.
Myers went down looking to start the bottom of the third. Rollins flew to center for the second out and Victorino flew to right for the third.
Utley led off the fourth and blooped a single in front of Milledge and Howard followed and singled into left. Utley read it well and went to third and the Phils had men on first and third with nobody out for Burrell. Burrell lined one into left for another single. Utley scored to put the Phils up 2-0 and Howard went to second. Feliz went down looking at 2-2 pitch for the first out. Werth was next and he went down swinging. Ruiz popped to second to set the Phils down. Phils add another run, but can’t get more with men on first and second with one out.
Myers was due to lead off the bottom of the fifth with the Phils down 4-2 having thrown 86 pitches. Taguchi hit for him and grounded back to the mound for the first out. Rollins was next and he popped to first for the second. Victorino fouled out to LoDuca to end the inning. Interesting use of Taguchi for Manuel. I think the decision to hit for Myers was the right one, given the wet weather conditions and the chance to a rainout. It’s nice to see that Manuel wasn’t holding Taguchi out till the seventh so that he could put him in to run for Burrell.
Utley led off the sixth with a home run to left, cutting the Nats’ lead to 6-3. Howard struck out looking for the first out and righty Joel Hanrahan came on to pitch to Burrell. Burrell struck out swinging for the second out. Feliz followed and struck out to end the inning.
With the righty Hanrahan still on the mound, Werth led off the seventh and Manuel led him hit for himself with lefties Dobbs and Jenkins on the bench. I think that’s the right way to go with the Phils down 6-3. Werth drew a walk. Ruiz followed and doubled to left, scoring Werth to cut the lead to 6-4. Jenkins hit for Durbin and the Nats called on lefty Ray King, who struck Jenkins out for the first out. Rollins was next and hit a ball out to center to tie the game at 6-6. Victorino and Utley went down behind him to end the inning.
Howard, Burrell and Feliz went 1-2-3 in the eighth with the game still tied at 6-6.
Werth, Ruiz and Dobbs went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Dobbs had entered with Condrey in the top of the inning.
Rollins had a monster game. He was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.
Victorino was 0-for-3. Please no more bunting after Rollins doubles to start the inning.
Utley was 2-for-3 with a home run, a single and two RBI.
Howard was 1-for-4 with a single.
Burrell was 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.
Feliz was miserable. 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and hit into a double-play.
Werth was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Ruiz was 1-for-4 with an RBI double.
No game today.
The Phillies have signed right-handed reliever Rudy Seanez, so a roster move is coming before Wednesday’s game. Seanez turns 40 in October and appeared in 73 games in relief for the Dodgers last season, throwing to a 3.79 ERA with a 1.38 ratio in 76 innings.
The starts made by Brett Myers are white in the Start Log.