JA Happ took a shutout into the seventh inning last night. He didn’t come out with his first career win, but with the help of big hits from Ryan Howard the Phils did snap their four-game losing streak.
Howard drove in two of the four Phillies’ runs, both times tallying the RBI while hitting with two strikes. His home run in the bottom of the eighth put the Phillies up to stay.
The Phillies beat the St Louis Cardinals last night. With the 4-2 win they are 49-43 on the season.
JA Happ got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.
He walked Skip Schumaker on four pitches to start the first but struck Ryan Ludwick out behind him for the first out. Albert Pujols was next and absolutely smashed a line drive to third that Feliz caught for the second out. Troy Glaus followed with a walk that moved Schumaker to second, but Happ got Rick Ankiel on a fly ball to center to end the frame.
With one out in the second, Jason LaRue singled and the pitcher Brad Thompson bunted him to second. Cesar Izturis grounded to first for the third out.
Pujols singled to left with two outs in the third. Glaus flew to left for the third out.
LaRue doubled to left with two outs in the fourth. Thompson grounded to third to set St Louis down.
Izturis walked to start the fifth and moved to second when Schumaker followed with a ground out to first. Happ made a nice play covering first to take the toss from Howard and tagging Schumaker for the out. Happ struck Ludwick out again, bringing up Pujols with two outs and a man on second. Pujols was walked intentionally and Glaus flew to right for the third out.
Happ started the sixth up 2-0 and set the Cards down 1-2-3 on nine pitches.
He started the seventh having thrown 98 pitches. Izturis singled with one out and Glaus followed and slammed the first pitch of his at-bat into right center. Izturis would have scored easily, but the ball got stuck under the padding and Izturis had to hold third on the ground-rule double. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Ludwick and walked him on four pitches to load the bases for Pujols. Pujols swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and flew to left, deep enough to score Izturis and cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. Durbin got ahead of Glaus 1-2 before Glaus reached out and dumped a single into center. Schumaker came in from second to score — he probably would have been out if Victorino’s throw had been on target, but it was well up the third base line. Schumaker’s run tied the game at 2-2. Durbin intentionally walked the lefty Ankiel, loading the bases for pitcher Jason Isringhausen. Righty Joe Mather hit for Isringhausen and Durbin struck him out to end the frame.
Huge out for Durbin. St Louis had two lefties on the bench in Chris Duncan and Adam Kennedy. I think you have to conclude LaRussa liked Mather against Durbin better than Duncan against Romero. Think I would have rather had Ducan/Romero if I was him. Either way, Durbin scraped through a shaky inning. Getting Pujols on the fly ball to left was huge.
With game tied at 2-2, Condrey pitched the eighth and struck out the side.
Condrey lowered his ERA to 3.82 on the year, appearing in one of the bigger spots we’ve seen him in in his time with the Phils. He has walked two hitters since April 27 (in 29 innings pitched).
Lidge started the ninth with a 4-2 lead and walked Schumaker in a ten-pitch at-bat. It brought Ludwick up as the tying run and Ludwick struck out for the third time in the game. Lidge’s nemesis, Pujols, was next. Pujols got ahead 2-0 and then popped one up to right for the second out. Glaus walked to put men on first and second. With the tying run on base, Lidge struck the lefty Ankiel out on three pitches to end the game.
The pen went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a hit and four walks. Durbin allowed two runs that were charged to Happ but came into the game in a tough situation with men on second and third with one out. Condrey had a strong inning against a weak part of the order, but it’s nice to see him pitch to well and get to throw in big spots. Lidge threw 29 pitches throwing for the second straight day. 24 for Durbin, 14 for Condrey.
The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Mark Mulder went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth in right against the lefty. Ruiz sure gets a lot of chances.
Victorino walked with one out in the first and stole second before Utley drew a walk. Mulder had to leave the game and righty Brad Thompson came in to pitch for the Cards. Howard hit into double-play to end the inning.
Burrell walked to start the second, but the Phils went in order behind him.
Happ struck out for the first out in the third. Rollins was next and hit a high fly ball into left that sliced towards the line. Schumaker made a nice play, catching the ball as he slid into the wall for the second out. Victorino drew a two-out walk but was caught stealing to end the inning.
With one out in the fourth, Howard walked and Burrell moved him to second with a single. Werth lined to short and Feliz grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.
Ruiz led off the fifth with a single and Happ tried to bunt him to second but struck out. Rollins was next and he split the gap in right-center with a triple that scored Ruiz to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino chopped a 2-2 pitch to short. Rollins came home but Izturis fielded and made a solid throw to the plate. Rollins was out for the second out. Utley was next and he singled to right, sending Victorino to second. Howard followed and lined a 3-2 pitch into right. Victorino scored from second to make it 2-0 and Utley went to third. Righty Russ Springer came in and struck out Burrell to end the inning.
Ruiz walked with two outs in the sixth. Happ hit for himself and grounded to second for the third out.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.
They started the bottom of the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. With lefty-killers Burrell and Werth behind Howard the Cards left righty Kyle McClellan in to pitch to Howard. Howard got behind 0-2 and then blasted a ball out to right to put the Phils up 3-2. Second time in the game Howard drove in runs while hitting with two strikes. Closer-to-be righty Chris Perez came in and struck out Burrell and Werth before Feliz lined a 1-2 pitch out to left for his 11th home run of the year. 4-2 Phils. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. He has three triples so far in July.
Victorino was 0-for-2 with two walks.
Utley 1-for-3 with walk.
Howard was 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two RBI. He’s hitting 361/439/778 in July. Sometime this season he’s going to have an absurd month where he just hits day after day. There aren’t that many months left.
Burrell was 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
Werth 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Werth has been great in July, hitting 320/414/440 so far. He hasn’t been good in the last two days, going 1-for-8 with three strikeouts. He’s played nine days in a row and it’s hard not to wonder if he’s tired.
Feliz was 1-for-4 with a home run.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.
Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.12) faces righty Bradon Looper (9-6, 4.15) this afternoon. Looper has allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight of his last ten starts. In his five starts during the day he has thrown to a 6.75 ERA. In 13 night starts he’s thrown to a 3.39 ERA. The Phillies have lost the last four games that Moyer has started, but Moyer has pitched pretty well. Righties are hitting .306 against him on the season, lefties just .215. Pujols is 0-for-7 against him in his career.