Archive for April 27th, 2008

Phils refuse to hit until someone explains the pronunciation of Maholm

Might be a while.

Pirates’ lefty Paul Maholm shut down the Phillies’ bat this afternoon and the Phils fell for just the second time in their last eight games. They end their road trip through Colorado, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh at 5-2.

The Phils couldn’t do anything against Malhom, managing just two hits, a double by Burrell and a single by Bruntlett, on the afternoon.

Their bats will no doubt be back soon. Of a little more concern is opening day starter Brett Myers, who was hit hard again today and now has an ERA over five for the season and has allowed ten home runs in five April starts. Myers is struggling to find his velocity and pitched much of today’s game in the mid to upper 80′s.

The Phillies lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon, falling 5-1 to drop to 14-12 on the year. The Phils take the series two games to one.

Myers got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Just two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs by Nate McLouth. Myers struck out five. His ERA is up to 5.11 on the season.

The Pirates hit him hard in the first but only came away with one run. McLouth led off with a home run on Myers’ second pitch of the game, putting the Pirates up 1-0. Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay both grounded out on balls hit hard before Ryan Doumit singled to right. Xavier Nady smashed a ball to left, but Burrell took it for the third out.

Myers struck out Adam LaRoche and Jose Bautista to start the second before Luis Rivas singled. Pitcher Paul Maholm struck out to end the inning.

Myers got two more strikeouts in a 1-2-3 third. He struck McLouth out on four pitches for the first out of the frame, which was pretty much the highlight when it came to Myers/McLouth confrontations on the day.

Adam LaRoche singled with two outs in the fourth and moved to second on a wild pitch. Bautista singled into center on a 3-1 pitch and LaRoche scored to make the Pittsburgh lead 2-0. Bautista stole second with Rivas at the plate before Rivas singled into center. Werth made a strong throw home and Ruiz did a nice job as Bautista was nailed at the plate to end the inning.

Myers started the fifth down 2-1 and walked the pitcher to start the inning. McLouth followed with his second home run of the day. 4-1. Bay singled with one out, but Myers got two ground balls behind him. You can never go wrong with not walking the pitcher to start the inning.

Seanez started the sixth after the Phils hit for Myers in the top of the inning. Seanez started the inning having thrown ten pitches on Saturday night. LaRoche and Bautista singled back-to-back to start the inning, putting men on first and third with nobody out for Rivas. Rivas hit into a double-play, but LaRoche scored to make it 5-1. Seanez walked the pitcher Maholm, but McLouth grounded out behind him. First earned run allowed in nine appearances on the year for Seanez.

Madson started the seventh. With one out Bay singled and moved to second when Doumit followed with a walk. Bay stole third as Nady struck out for the second out. Madson struck LaRoche out swinging at a 2-2 changeup for the third out.

Condrey started the eighth, pitching for the first time since Monday, and gave up a leadoff double to Bautista. Rivas moved him to third with a ground out before Maholm grounded to short. Bautista held third as Bruntlett threw to first for the second out. Condrey walked McLouth intentionally and then got ahead of Sanchez 1-2 before hitting him with a 2-2 pitch. Bay flew to right for the third out.

Seanez threw 21 pitches, Madson 24 and Condrey 23, but with no game Monday they all may be available on Tuesday.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Paul Maholm went (1) Taguchi (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Bruntlett (8) Ruiz. Taguchi in right. Howard stays in the lineup against the lefty. Ruiz catches Myers.

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

Burrell walked with one out in the second, but Feliz hit into a double-play behind him.

Ruiz walked with one out in the third. Myers tried to bunt and hit it back to the mound. Maholm started the double-play that ended the inning.

Taguchi led off the fourth with a line drive to left and was robbed of extra-bases by a fantastic diving catch by Nady deep in right near the line. Werth and Utley went down behind him.

The Phils exploded for one in the fifth. Burrell doubled to left with one out. Feliz grounded to third for the second out, but Bruntlett followed and singled into center. Burrell scored from second to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 2-1. Bruntlett was picked off first and thrown out at second to end the frame.

Brad Harman hit for Myers with one out in the sixth, despite just 80 pitches on the day. The fact that the Phillies didn’t have a game on Monday may have been a factor, with the extra day of rest Manuel may have been more willing to go to his pen so early. Harman walked, but Taguchi and Werth went down behind him.

Howard walked with one out in the seventh, but Burrell and Feliz went down behind him.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Coste hit for Madson and struck out for the third out.

They went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Taguchi again hammered a ball, but this time was robbed when Bautista speared his line drive at third.

Taguchi was 0-for-4 in the game. 1-for-9 in the series. He’s hitting 211/250/263 on the year.

Werth was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 292/386/569.

Utley was 0-for-4. 2-for-12 with two singles and two walks in the set. 359/433/757.

Howard was 0-for-2 with a walk. 1-for-7 with a home run and two walks in the series. 174/300/359.

Burrell was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. 3-for-10 with two doubles and three walks. 349/467/721.

Feliz was 0-for-3 and left three men on base. 1-for-9 with a double in the series. 202/264/357.

Bruntlett was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 3-for-11 in the set. 217/260/275.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk in his only action in the series. 188/246/234 on the year. Coste was 0-for-1 today and 3-for-9 with a double in the series. 361/452/639 on the year.

Jenkins did not play in the game and was 2-for-5 with an RBI in the series. He’s hitting 237/284/329 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 with a walk in the series. 324/395/529.

Five of the eight position players the Phillies started in the game ended the day hitting .217 or lower.

The Phils are off tomorrow and play their first of three against the Padres on Tuesday.

Phils deep-six the Pirates

The Phillies jumped out to a 6-0 lead early last night in Pittsburgh for the second time in two days. After leading 6-0 in the fourth on Friday, the Phils were up 6-0 in the second on Saturday. Unlike Eaton on Friday, Kyle Kendrick found himself on the mound, although briefly, in the eighth inning and the Phils rolled to an 8-4 win.

The game also saw the return of Ryan Howard to the starting lineup after two days starting the game on the bench. Howard stroked a two-run homer in the first, but ended the day 1-for-4 with a walk and two more strikeouts.

The Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates last night, winning 8-4 to improve to 14-11. It’s the third win in a row for the Phils who are three games over .500 for the first time on the year.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Only three of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter.

Kendrick got two ground balls and a strikeout in the first, pitching with a 5-0 lead.

Up 6-0 in the second, he set the Pirates down 1-2-3.

Kendrick hit Brian Bixler with one out in the third, giving the Pirates their first base runner. Pitcher Phil Dumatrait bunted Bixler to second for the second out down six runs. Nate McLouth followed with a single into center and the Pirates were on the board at 6-1 as Bixler scored. Freddy Sanchez followed with a double into right. Jenkins had no chance to throw out McLouth, who scored on the play to make it 6-2, but missed the cutoff man completely. It didn’t matter, though, cause Jason Bay grounded to third to end the inning.

Xavier Nady ripped a double into left with one out in the fourth. Doug Mientkiewicz flew to center for the second out before Ronny Paulino smashed a ground ball to short, but Bruntlett made a nice play to end the inning.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth and a 1-2-3 sixth.

Mientkiewicz singled into center with one out in the seventh. Paulino was next and hit a dribbler between the mound and the third base line. Kendrick got on it fast, but threw wildly to first. Paulino went to second on the error and the Pirates had runners on second and third with one out. Bixler grounded out to second and Mientkiewicz scored to make it 8-3. Jose Bautista hit for the pitcher and grounded out to second to end the inning.

Nate McLouth hit Kendrick’s first pitch of the eighth out for a home run that cut the Phillies’ lead to 8-4. Sanchez followed with a single and Seanez relieved Kendrick. Bay hit a ground ball to short and Sanchez was forced at second for the first out. LaRoche singled into right, moving Bay to third.

Madson threw a quick 1-2-3 ninth.

Seanez threw just ten pitches, Madson six. The single by LaRoche is the only hit Seanez has allowed on the season in eight innings, although he has walked seven.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Morris went (1) Werth (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Coste (8) Bruntlett. Howard returns to the lineup after two days starting the game on the bench. Utley goes back to second after playing first the night before. Dobbs gets another start at third against a righty and Coste gets to catch again after a big game with the bat on Friday night.

Utley singled to right with two outs in the first. Howard was next and hit a 1-2 pitch out to center field, putting the Phils up 2-0. Jenkins followed and hit a ball hard to right and off the glove of Nady for a two-base error. Burrell scored and it put the Phils up 3-0. Coste was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second for Bruntlett. Bruntlett came through with a single into center. Jenkins scored to make it 4-0 and Coste went to second. Kendrick hit a ground ball to short that Bixler booted for the Pirates second error of the inning. Coste scored to make it 5-0 with Bruntlett moving to second. Werth flew to right for the third out.

With one out in the second, Utley singled and Howard moved him to second with a walk. Burrell popped out for the second out, but Jenkins singled into left and Utley scored to make it 6-0. Howard went to second. Lefty Phil Dumatrait relieved Morris and got Coste on a popup to short to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third. Dumatrait struck out Utley and Howard in a 1-2-3 fourth.

They didn’t figure out Dumatrait in the fifth, either, as Burrell, Jenkins and Coste went down in order. Ten in a row for Dumatrait.

Bruntlett started the sixth with a routine ground ball to short that Bixler booted again for his second error of the night. Kendrick tried to bunt him to second but couldn’t, striking out for the first out. Werth followed with a double down the line in left and Bruntlett was waived home. Close play at the plate and Bruntlett may have been out if Paulino hadn’t dropped the ball. A little too aggressive for me with one out, but it made the score 7-2. Feliz was next and he split the gap in right center with another double. Werth scored and it was 8-2. The righties Werth and Feliz finally get through against the lefty Doumatrait. Utley followed with a walk that put men on first and second, but Howard struck out for the second out. Righty Franquelis Osoria came in to pitch to Burrell and got a ground ball to third to end the frame.

Jenkins singled to start the seventh, but Coste followed and hit into a double-play. Bruntlett grounded to first for the third out.

Kendrick hit for himself to lead off the eighth having thrown 93 pitches and the Phils up 8-3. He drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch before Werth walked, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Feliz lined to second and Kendrick was doubled off of second. Utley struck out to end the frame.

Burrell and Jenkins struck out in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Dobbs was 0-for-3.

Utley 2-for-4 with a walk He’s hitting .374.

Howard 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk and struck out twice.

Burrell 1-for-5 and left four men on base.

Jenkins 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Coste 0-for-3.

Bruntlett 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Brett Myers (2-1, 4.78) faces lefty Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.22) this afternoon. Righties are hitting .328 against righties on the year, lefties .238. He’s walked just six in his 21 1/3 innings and hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning this year. He faced the Phils once last season and allowed six runs over seven innings. In his last four starts, Myers has allowed eight home runs in 27 innings. Lefties are hitting .180 against him and righties .325.

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