The Phillies haven’t fired on all cylinders yet this season, and one of the ways you can tell is that it’s shocking to see them put 12 runs on the board. The bullpen is pretty much the only area where the team has really excelled in 2008, but the bats are starting to rumble and you have to believe the offense is coming soon.
Last night everybody hit and the Phils topped the Nats in a blowout. Ryan Howard popped two long balls, one way, way out to right center. Howard continues to puzzle. He has hit five home runs in his last 30 at-bats, but he’s hitting .227 in May after hitting .165 in April. Twelve of his 34 hits on the year have been home runs.
The Phillies offense feels like it’s poised to explode, but they are going to need consistent production from Howard if that’s going to happen. So far it hasn’t. Last night’s offensive explosion came off a pair of games in which the Phillies put up a total of one run.
Jamie Moyer tossed just about the ugliest six shutout innings you’ll ever see. In the three-game set, Phillies’ starting pitchers combined to allow three earned runs in 19 innings (1.42 ERA).
The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 12-2 last night. They are 26-22 on the season after taking two of three in the set.
Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings. He wasn’t charged with a run and allowed seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles, and he struck out three. Moyer’s ERA for the year is down to 4.37.
Ryan Zimmerman singled with two outs in the first, but Moyer got Dmitri Young to ground to third to preserve the Phils 1-0 lead.
Lastings Milledge and Jesus Flores singled back-to-back to start the second with the Phils up 2-0. Milledge stole third without a throw before Wily Mo Pena flew to center for the first out. Moyer struck out Elijah Dukes and the pitcher Matt Chico to end the inning.
Big strikeout of Dukes for Moyer with one out and a man on third. Nats can’t score after putting a runner on third with nobody out.
Felipe Lopez doubled to start the third, but Moyer got Cristian Guzman and Zimmerman on ground balls and Lopez had to hold first. Young walked, but Milledge flew to center for the third out.
Flores led off the fourth with a double into the corner in left that took a bizarre bounce over the head of Burrell. Would have been a double without the way it came off the wall, but it was odd-looking. Pena hit a ball in the hole between third and short under the glove of a diving Rollins. Not an error or anything close, it was a ball you usually see Rollins field or at least knock down. He didn’t this time and Flores went to third. With nobody out and men on first and third, Moyer struck out Dukes again for the first out. Chico bunted Pena to second for the second out, but Lopez grounded to second to end the inning.
Second time in three innings Moyer struck out Dukes with a man on third and less than two outs.
Moyer finally got a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. He had thrown 84 pitches through five.
Milledge started the sixth with a single, but Flores followed and hit into a double-play. Pena lined to third for the third out.
Condrey started the seventh with a 12-0 lead and gave up a leadoff single to Dukes. Rob Mackowiak grounded to second and Dukes was forced at second for the first out. Lopez doubled to left and Mackowiack went to third. Willie Harris hit for the pitcher and flew to left for the second out with both runners holding. Zimmerman hit a ball back up the middle that was deflected by Condrey but went for an infield single. Mackowiak scored and it was 12-1 with men on first and third. Young followed with a real single and Lopez scored. 12-2. Milledge struck out for the third out.
Flores started the eighth with a popup to third that baffled Feliz. It was wind blown, but Feliz shoulda-but-didn’t catch it. Flores was given a single, no doubt because the official scorer concluded that Flores could probably use the hit and he or she estimated the viewing audience at less than 20. Condrey must have thought it was particularly funny. No doubt remorseful, the Nats let pitcher Joel Hanrahan hit for himself and he grounded out. With nobody on third, a baffled Dukes apparently saw no reason to strike out and went with hitting into a double-play to end the inning.
Condrey threw a 1-2-3 ninth.
Nice job by Condrey to pitch well enough to go three innings and save the bullpen in the blowout. He threw 37 pitches so you somebody else might have to carry the mop-up duty weight till Saturday or so.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Matt Chico went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth in right and Victorino in center this time. No idea. Maybe Manuel has a coin he flips? Victorino in center and Werth in right seems clearly the better option for the Phils. Jenkins on the bench against the lefty. Coste catches.
Victorino doubled to left with one out in the first. Utley lined softly to second for the second out before Howard doubled to the gap in left-center. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Werth flew to right for the third out.
Feliz led off the second and hit a high 2-1 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 2-0. Rollins doubled with two outs, but Victorino grounded to third to end the frame.
Utley singled to start the third. After Howard flew to left, Utley stole second without a throw. Burrell flew to deep center for the second out and Utley went to third, but Werth lined to left for the third out.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth. Guzman made a nice diving play to take a hit away from Coste for the second out.
With one out in the fifth Victorino homered down the left field line. 3-0. Utley struck out for the second out but then Howard crushed one way out to center to extend the lead to 4-0. Burrell struck out for the third out.
With one out in the sixth, Feliz and Coste singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Moyer. Moyer tried to bunt, but a wild pitch from Jesus Colome moved the runners to second and third for him. Colome walked Moyer to load the bases. Rollins lined a ball into right and Dukes played it on a hop. Feliz scored to put the Phils up 5-0. Victorino followed with another single into right. Dukes threw home and Young tried to cut it off, but it glanced off his glove and rolled into the dugout. Coste, Moyer and Rollins all were allowed to score when the ball went out of play, putting the Phils up 8-0 with Victorino on third. Utley followed with a double over the head of Dukes. Victorino scored and it was 9-0. With no lefty in their pen, righty Chris Schroeder came in to pitch to Howard and Howard hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to right-center. 11-0. Burrell flew to right for the second out before Werth walked. Feliz singled and Werth went to second. Coste singled just inside the first base line. Werth scored to make it 12-0 and Feliz went to third. Moyer, the thirteenth batter of the inning for the Phils, hit for himself and struck out to end the frame.
With one out in the seventh, Victorino walked, Bruntlett hit for Utley and walked and Howard walked to load the bases. Burrell struck out and Werth grounded to short.
Taguchi walked with two outs in the eighth, but Rollins grounded to short for the third out.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Rollins was 2-for-6 with a double and an RBI in the game. 2-for-13 in the series. He’s hitting 315/364/522 on the season.
Victorino had his best offensive day of the season. He was 3-for-5 with a walk, a double and a home run. He was 6-for-13 with two doubles and a home run in the series and is hitting 258/321/375 for the year.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 5-for-12 with two doubles in the series. 314/390/632 for the season. His .632 slugging percentage is fifth in the NL.
Howard was 3-for-5 with a walk, a double, two home runs and four RBI. 3-for-12 in the series with five strikeouts. 195/300/443.
Burrell was 0-for-4 with a walk. 0-for-11 with four strikeouts in the set. 271/413/542 on the year.
Werth was 0-for-4 with a walk and left six men on base. 0-for-5 in the series. 262/340/523.
Feliz was 3-for-5 with his seventh home run. 5-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series. 245/286/434.
Coste was 2-for-5 with an RBI in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 329/400/539 on the year.
Dobbs was 1-for-2 in the series with a game-winning hit in game two. 356/391/508 on the season.
Jenkins was 4-for-7 with two doubles in the series. 282/318/379.
Ruiz was 2-for-7 in the series. 238/304/305. Before the start of May, Ruiz had 64 at-bats on the year and Coste 40. In May, Ruiz has 37 at-bats and Coste 36.
The last four times the Phillies have faced a left-handed starting pitcher (Chico, Purcey, James and Glavine) Coste has gotten the start behind the plate. The issue is complicated by a stomach flu by Ruiz that made him unavailable for at least one of those games even if Manuel had wanted to start him.
Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.76) faces righty Roy Oswalt (4-4, 5.43) tonight in Houston. Oswalt was hit hard his last time out. Against the Rangers on Saturday Oswalt allowed six runs on 11 hits over six innings. Lefties are hitting .351 against him on the season. In just 63 innings he’s allowed 14 home runs, which is one less than Eaton, Kendrick and Hamels have allowed combined. Kendrick made just 12 pitches in his start on Sunday before rain chased him out of the game. Prior to that he had been pitching very well, allowing three or fewer earned runs in four straight starts while going at least six innings in each outing.