Opening day starter Brett Myers made his second appearance of the year yesterday in Cincinnati and the results weren’t much better than his first time out. Myers is just one of a slew of Phils struggling out of the gate as the team has gotten off to yet another weak start to the season.
The Great American Ball Park hasn’t been great for the Phillies. Burrell and Utley are just about the only Phillies hitting and the Phils have scored five runs in their last two games. The defensive problems continue as well. Yesterday Clay Condrey started the sixth down 4-1 and got some of the very worst defense you’ll ever see in an inning where there’s no error charged. By the time the frame was over the Phils were down 8-1 and putting up seven runs in three times at-bat is a tough task when the bats have all gone quiet.
The Phillies lost to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, falling 8-2 to drop to 2-4 on the year.
Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks. Four of the eight hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out four.
After Corey Patterson flew to left for the first out in the first, Jeff Keppinger followed with a hit into right. Jenkins played it well to keep the ball from going to the wall and holding Keppinger to a single. Didn’t matter, though, cause Ken Griffey Jr was next and he hit Myers’ 1-1 pitch well out to right to put the Reds up 2-0. Myers got Brandon Phillips to pop out before Adam Dunn drew a two out walk. Edwin Encarnacion struck out looking to end the inning.
Paul Bako singled to right with one out in the second and again the ball was well-played by Jenkins in right. The pitcher Volquez was next and popped a bunt up foul. Ruiz made a nice sliding play for the second out. Myers struck out Patterson to set the Reds down.
Keppinger led off the third and hammered a 3-1 pitch out to left to put Cincinnati up 3-0. Myers got Griffey to fly to center for the first out before Phillips laced a double into left-center. Dunn lined softly to first for the second out and Encarnacion grounded to third to end the inning.
Myers walked Bako with one out in the four and Volquez bunted him to second. Patterson was next and he doubled, scoring Bako to make it 4-0. Keppinger followed and hit a ball that looked like it went off his foot and down the third base line. Feliz threw to first and Keppinger was ruled out, but the umps may have missed that one.
Griffey and Phillips started the fifth with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second with nobody out for Dunn, who smashed a line drive back up the middle and off the body of Myers. Myers picked it up and threw Dunn out at first as the runners moved to second and third. Encarnacion walked to load the bases, but Myers struck Votto out on a 3-2 pitch for the second out and got Bako on a line drive to center that Victorino tracked down after a long run. Getting Votto to go down swinging on that 3-2 pitch with one out and the bases loaded was huge for Myers.
Condrey started the sixth and walked Patterson. Patterson bunted up the first base line. Condrey fielded and flipped high to Howard, the ball went off the tip of his glove for a single. Condrey’s first pitch to Keppinger went through Ruiz’s legs for a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third. Ruiz should have blocked the ball. Keppinger hit a ball up the middle and into center. Both runners scored without a throw to make the score 6-1. Nobody covered second, Rollins trailed off into right field and I have no idea what Utley did, so Keppinger went to second and was given a double. Condrey walked Griffey intentionally and Phillips hit a bleeder up the third base line. Dobbs fielded nicely and threw to first but not in time. Phillips was safe and the bases were loaded. Dunn singled into center and everyone moved up a base. Keppinger scored and the Reds’ lead was 7-1. Encarnacion followed and hit into a double-play, but Griffey scored to make it 8-1. Norris Hopper hit for the pitcher and grounded out to end the inning.
Condrey threw a 1-2-3 seventh.
Lidge made his Phillies debut in the bottom of the eighth with the Phils down 8-2. He got Keppinger on a line drive to right, then struck out Griffey before getting Phillips to pop to short for the third out.
With help from the bizarre sixth inning Condrey threw 39 pitches on the day, so he’s pretty clearly not available for the Phils this afternoon. Lidge threw 20 so I’d guess he’s still the Phils first choice in a save situation despite pitching on back-to-back days. Hopefully we’ll get to see.
The Phillies lineup against righty Edinson Volquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Nothing unexpected there. Ruiz catches Myers again and Jenkins plays right against the righty.
Rollins led off the first with a looping single into right. Victorino flew to left for the first out and Utley followed and flew to center. Rollins stole second with Howard at the plate. Bako’s throw was wild, but Phillips backed it up well and prevented Rollins from going to third. Howard walked and Volquez’s first pitch to Burrell was off Bako’s glove for a passed ball that allowed the runners to move to second and third. Burrell grounded back to the pitcher for the third out. Nice backup by Phillips prevents Rollins from going to third and may have saved a run.
Jenkins, Feliz and Ruiz went 1-2-3 in the second. Jenkins and Ruiz both went down swinging.
Rollins and Victorino struck out in a 1-2-3 third.
Burrell walked with two outs in the fourth. Jenkins was next and hit a ball in between first and second and off the glove of a sliding Phillips. Jenkins beat it out for a single. Feliz struck out swinging for the third out. Two more strikeouts for Volquez in the inning as Howard also went down swinging for the second out.
Ruiz started the fifth and hit a ball to right that rolled to the wall for a double. Myers bunted Ruiz to third and he came in to score when Rollins followed with a ground out to first. It cut the Reds’ lead to 4-1. Victorino struck out for the third out.
Utley started the sixth with a single. Howard was next and went down looking for the first out, but Burrell followed and moved Utley to second with another single. It brought Jenkins up as the tying run and the Reds brought in lefty Jeremy Affeldt to pitch to him. Jenkins hit a hard ground ball to first. Votto didn’t field it cleanly but knocked it down and threw to second to force Burrell for the second out. He may have had a double-play if he had been able to field it cleanly. Righty Jared Burton came in and struck Feliz out to end the frame.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.
Utley doubled with one out in the eighth. Howard grounded to first for the second out before Burrell singled, scoring Utley to make it 8-2. Jenkins struck out to end the inning.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 4-for-6 so far when leading off the first inning and 3-for-20 when he’s not.
Victorino 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to drop his early average to .130.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a double. He’s 6-for-his-last-11 with two doubles and two home runs.
Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
Burrell 2-for-3 with a walk. He’s hitting .421 after going 5-for-his-last-9 with two doubles and a home run.
Jenkins 1-for-4 and struck out twice.
Feliz 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and four men left on base.
Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double.
Cole Hamels faces righty Bronson Arroyo this afternoon. Arroyo went 9-15 in 34 starts for the Reds in 2007, throwing to a 4.23 ERA with a 1.40 ratio. He made his first start of 2008 on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks and went five innings, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. Only two of the runs were earned. He did not face the Phils last season. Cole Hamels had one start against the Reds and it was memorable. On April 21, in the fourth appearance of his career, he threw a complete game, holding the Reds to a run on five hits while striking out 15.
The Phillies traded Wes Helms to the Marlins.