If nothing else, at least now we know how the Phils are going to have to pitch if they’re going to win games while they’re hitting like this. Last night it took a shutout. Cole Hamels gave the Phillies his second straight brilliant outing, striking out 11 and allowing four hits in seven innings. Gordon and Lidge combined to contribute a pair of scoreless frames.
One run for the Phils, who have now scored nine times in their last four games. Of the three players that hit 3-4-5 just about every day for the Phils, using OPS as the measure Ryan Howard is having the best May. He’s hitting 200/278/471 this month (Utley 229/321/414 and Burrell 203/368/373).
If you’re looking for the offensive silver lining from last night, it’s that one of the biggest hits for the Phils came off the bat of the scuffling Pedro Feliz. Feliz ripped a double into left to start the ninth. Bruntlett ran for him and scored what would be the only run of the game when pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs muscled a single into center field two batters later.
The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 1-0 to improve to 25-22 on the year. With the win they snap their three-game losing streak.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out 11, which ties his high for the season.
Over his last two starts Hamels has allowed eight hits and four walks in 16 scoreless innings while striking out 17.
Cristian Guzman singled with one out in the first. Ryan Zimmerman was next and flew to the warning track in left for the second out. With Dmitri Young at the plate, Guzman tried to steal second but took off too early. Hamels threw to first, but Howard’s throw to second was terrible, on the shortstop side of second base. Rollins, backing up, caught the ball and saved Howard the error, but it was a miserable throw. Young grounded out on a nice play by Feliz deep at third to end the inning.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second.
He struck out Elijah Dukes and the pitcher Jason Bergmann to start the third before Felipe Lopez walked. Guzman grounded to third for the third out.
Zimmerman and Young started the fourth with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Milledge. Milledge flew to right for the second out and Zimmerman moved to third. Hamels struck out Jesus Flores for the second out and Wily Mo Pena flew to center to end the inning.
Big strikeout of Flores for Hamels with one out and a man on third.
Hamels struck out Dukes, Bergmann and Lopez in a 1-2-3 fifth.
He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.
Pena doubled to left with two outs in the seventh and Dukes followed with a walk. Righty Aaron Boone hit for Bergmann and Hamels struck him out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Gordon started the eighth. Guzman singled with one out. Zimmerman followed with a ground ball back to the pitcher and Guzman was forced at second for the second out. Young walked to put men on first and second, but Milledge grounded to third for the third out.
Lidge started the ninth with a 1-0 lead. He struck Flores out swinging and Pena out swinging. Dukes was next and Lidge walked him on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. Dukes stole second on a 1-2 pitch to Mackowiak, putting the trying run in scoring position. Dukes took third on the 2-2 pitch that was high before Lidge walked Mackowiak. Willie Harris ran for Mackowiak at first with Lopez at the plate. Lopez hit the first pitch of his at-bat to second. Utley juggled but threw to first in time to get Lopez and end the game. Lopez didn’t run hard out of the box, but probably would have been out even if he had — when Utley bobbled the ball went up in the air and he caught it right away.
After Bruntlett ran for Feliz in the top of the ninth and Dobbs pinch-hit for Gordon, Bruntlett and not Dobbs played third in the bottom of the ninth. Haven’t seen much of Bruntlett at third, but I’m guessing that was a nice call by Manuel. Also nice to see Hamels leave before the eighth despite the great outing — not sure exactly when the bill is going to come due for all the work Hamels has gotten, but I am sure it’s going to be before the end of the season. Hamels threw 110 pitches last night after throwing 120 his previous start.
Gordon and Lidge combined to throw two scoreless innings, but allowed a hit and three walks. Twenty pitches for Gordon and 22 for Lidge, so there’s a chance the Phils may try to stay away from Gordon tonight if they can.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jason Bergmann went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right against the righty with Victorino in center and Werth on the bench. Feliz stays at third. Ruiz catches.
Utley doubled with two outs in the first. Howard followed with a walk, but Burrell fouled out to the catcher to leave them both stranded.
Jenkins started the second with a bloop single into center. Feliz flew out to center for the first out. Ruiz struck out and Hamels grounded to first.
Victorino walked with one out in the third and stole second (but just barely on a close play). Utley and Howard both struck out to end the frame.
Jenkins singled with one out in the fourth. Feliz popped out and Ruiz flew to right.
The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fifth and again in the sixth.
With one out in the seventh, Feliz and Ruiz singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Hamels. Hamels hit for himself having thrown 90 pitches and put down a pretty bunt that moved the runners to second and third with two down. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Victorino lined to center to end the frame.
With two outs in the eighth, Burrell walked and Werth ran for him at first. Jenkins popped to second for the third out.
Feliz led off the ninth and ripped a double down the line in left. Bruntlett ran for him at second. Ruiz bunted Bruntlett to third. With righty Jon Rauch on the mound, Dobbs hit for Gordon and blooped a single into center. Bruntlett scored to put the Phillies up 1-0. Rollins flew to left for the second out before Victorino hit a ball in the gap to left-center. Milledge got to the ball after a long run and relayed to Guzman as Dobbs rounded third and tried to score. Guzman’s throw was perfect on a bounce and the ball arrived as Dobbs slid into home. Very close play, but Dobbs was out because Flores blocked the plate beautifully.
Rollins was 0-for-4.
Victorino 1-for-4 with a double and stole a base.
Utley 1-for-4 with a double.
Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out three times. He’s on pace to strike out 234 times this season.
Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk. Howard and Burrell are a combined 0-for-14 with six strikeouts in the first two games of the set.
Jenkins was 2-for-4. He’s 6-for-his-last-11 and hitting 317/341/439 in May.
Feliz was 2-for-4 with a huge double in the ninth.
Jamie Moyer (3-3, 4.89) faces lefty Matt Chico (0-5, 6.07) tonight. Chico has made ten appearances for the Nationals this season, seven of which have been starts. The last three times he has pitched has been in relief. In those three relief appearances he’s been good, charged with just one run in 6 1/3 innings. In his seven starts he’s thrown to a 6.87 ERA. He’s allowed four or more runs in five of his seven starts. Overall on the season opponents are hitting .324 against him and he’s allowed seven home runs in 43 innings. He started against the Phils on March 31, opening day for the Phils, and allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings. Moyer has two wins in his last three starts. In the two games he won he gave the Phils his longest outings of the season — he went seven against the Snakes on May 5 and 6 2/3 against the Blue Jays Friday night. Righties are hitting .348 against him on the season and he’s allowed seven home runs overall on the year in 49 2/3 innings. His home run rate is down from 2007 but one of the big keys to his success this season is still going to be keeping the ball in the yard. He started against the Nats on April 3 of this year and allowed six runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings.