Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
               
SF 13-16 93 3.21 16 676 (14) 33 10
PHI 16-13 136 4.69 4 780 (4) 12 5

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
             
SF 13-16 131 4.52 T-8 4.17 (9) 4.10 (9)
PHI 16-13 124 4.28 T-6 4.32 (10) 2.56 (1)

The pitchers, relievers in particular, have carried more than their share of the load in the early going for the Phils. More than once they’ve helped the team come out with a win in a game where the performance of the offense was lack-luster. Last night the bats returned the favor.

After the Giants came back from down 4-1 to force extra-innings and then pulled ahead with a run in the top of the tenth off of the overused JC Romero, San Francisco closer Brian Wilson came on to protect a one-run lead in the bottom of the tenth. He threw fastball after fastball past the heart of the Phillies order. Utley managed to loop a single into right-center field, but Werth and Howard both struck out. The Phils were down to their last strike when Pat Burrell blasted a 3-2 pitch out to left to win the game.

The Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants last night, winning 6-5 in ten innings to improve to 17-13 on the season. They are four games above .500 for the first time on the season.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out six.

Randy Winn singled to left with two outs in the first, but Kendrick got cleanup hitter Bengie Molina on a fly ball to left to end the frame.

He started the second up 2-0. John Bowker singled to center with one out, but Kendrick got the next two to leave him stranded.

Kendrick struck out Fred Lewis and Ray Durham in a 1-2-3 third.

Winn singled to start the fourth, but Molina followed and hit into a double-play. Aaron Rowand was next and he doubled into left. Bowker was next he lined a single to center. Rowand held third, but Jose Castillo followed with a single into right-center. Rowand scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1 and Bowker went to second. Emmanuel Burriss grounded to short for the third out to leave both runners stranded.

Kendrick started the fifth with a 4-1 lead. Dan Ortmeier hit for the pitcher Pat Misch to start the inning and was hit by a pitch. Kendrick set down the next three, striking out Lewis and getting Ray Durham on a fly ball to left before he struck out Winn to end the frame.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Castillo and Burriss started the seventh with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second with nobody out for the pitcher’s spot and switch-hitter Eugenio Velez hit for reliever Keiichi Yabu. Madson came in to pitch to him and Velez singled into center to load the bases. Madson struck Lewis out swinging at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Durham singled into right and Castillo and Burriss both scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 4-3. Velez went to second. Winn singled off the glove of Feliz and into left, loading the bases for Molina with one out. Madson got ahead of Molina 0-2 before Molina reached out for a pitch way low and outside and hit a slow grounder to short. Bruntlett had to go to first for the second out as Velez scored to tie the game at 4-4. With men on second and third and two, Madson struck Rowand out to end the frame.

Gordon started the eighth. Bowker led off with a single and went to second on a curve ball in the dirt that Coste couldn’t find with Castillo at the plate. Gordon was charged with a wild pitch. With Castillo still at the plate Coste couldn’t handle another pitch from Gordon, this one low and outside, and Bowker went to third with nobody out. Gordon struck Castillo out for the first out. Burriss was next and hit a ground ball back to Gordon. Gordon did a great job, chasing Bowker back to third and then tossing to Feliz who tagged him out. Flash hurt something on the play, but stayed in the game. Velez grounded to short to end the frame.

Miserable inning for Coste, but Gordon worked around it.

Lidge started the ninth for the Phils with the game tied at 4-4 after having pitched an inning the night before. He got ahead of Lewis 0-2 before Lewis singled into right. Brian Bocock hit for the pitcher Tyler Walker and bunted Lewis to second. Winn hit a slow ground ball to first for the second out and Lewis went to third. Molina flew to right to set the Giants down.

I was surprised to see Lidge enter in a tie game. Other choices were Durbin, who threw 36 pitches on Wednesday and probably wasn’t available, Seanez, who threw eight and probably was, and JC Romero who would have been pitching in his fourth game in four days.

Romero came on to pitch the tenth. Rowand hit his first pitch out to center to put the Giants up 5-4. Bowker followed with a single, but Castillo hit into a double-play. Burriss singled and stole second before Velez walked to put men on first and second with two down. Romero struck out Lewis to end the frame.

Manuel didn’t have a good game and Burrell bailed him out. Romero pitching for the fourth day in a row and giving up the go-ahead home run in the tenth to a righty isn’t what you’re looking for. Unless they were not available I think you have to let Seanez or even Condrey pitch.

The Phillies should stop using Romero in the way they have been. The risk of injury seems high and his loss would be a huge problem given the lack of lefties. If you hear them say anything like, “Romero is a big, strong kid and we really know his arm” it’s time to head for the hills.

Bad day for the pen. Phils’ relievers went four innings and allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk. Madson threw 19 pitches, Gordon 22, Romero 20, Lidge 14. Romero cannot pitch five days in a row. Gordon was pitching for the second straight day, so he’s probably out tonight even if he is not injured from the play on the comebacker. Lidge would be going three days in a row if he goes tonight. Phils need a long outing from Myers.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Pat Misch went (1) Victorino (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Bruntlett. Jenkins on the bench against the lefty with Victorino in center and Werth in right. Coste catches Kendrick. Interesting decision tonight for Manuel in center and right with a righy on the mound for the Giants. I assume Jenkins will play right, but I think we might see Victorino in center with Werth on the bench. Werth is 2-for-his-last-20.

Werth singled with one out in the first and stole second before Utley homered down the line in right, putting the Phils up 2-0. Howard and Burrell went down to end the inning.

Feliz started the second with a single and Coste struck out behind him for the first out. Bruntlett drew a walk, moving Feliz to second. Kendrick tried to bunt and failed, striking out for the second out. Victorino flew to right to end the inning.

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

Burrell walked to start the fourth and Feliz followed and hit the first pitch of his at-bat out down the line in right, putting the Phils up 4-1. Coste flew to left for the first out before Bruntlett bunted for a single. Madson bunted him to second for the second out, but Victorino popped to third to end the inning.

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

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

With the score tied at 4-4 in the seventh, Dobbs hit for Madson to start the inning and flew to right. Victorino followed with a single and stole second with Werth at the plate. Werth flew to right for the second out, deep enough for Victorino to go to third. Utley was walked intentionally and lefty Jack Traschner came in to pitch to Howard and struck him out to end the inning. San Francisco would still rather pitch to Howard than Utley even after Howard beat them the night before.

After Howard’s strikeout he was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Had me wondering if I was a little premature with yesterday’s headline.

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

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Jenkins hit for Lidge against the righty Merkin Valdez and flew to center for the second out.

Werth led off the tenth against Giants’ closer Brian Wilson. Werth got ahead 3-0 but Wilson threw three straight fastballs and struck him out swinging. Utley looped the first pitch of his at-bat into right-center field, bringing up Howard as the winning run. Howard struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch and was ejected as he walked away from the plate complaining. The pitch that Howard struck out on was most definitely a strike. Burrell got ahead 3-0 and Wilson threw two fastballs past him. He didn’t throw three. The 3-2 pitch was a little outside, but Burrell hammered it out to left to give the Phils a 6-4 win.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with a stolen base.

Werth 1-for-5 with a stolen base.

Utley 2-for-3 with a home run and two walks.

Howard 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a walk and a game-winning homer.

Feliz 2-for-4 with a two-run homer against his former team.

Coste 0-for-4 and a bad night behind the plate.

Bruntlett 1-for-3 with a walk.

Brett Myers (2-2, 5.11) faces righty Matt Cain (1-2, 4.41) tonight. Cain got bombed by the Cardinals for nine runs in 3 2/3 innings on April 18. In his two starts since he’s allowed one run on nine hits in 12 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .248 against him for the year, righties .233. He has walked way too many, 23 in 32 2/3 innings. The Phillies scored seven runs in three innings against him the only time they faces him last year, which was on May 3. Myers has allowed ten runs in 12 innings over his last two starts. Over his last five starts he’s allowed ten home runs in 32 innings. He didn’t make a start against the Giants last year but threw two scoreless innings in relief.