After three miserable losses in a row, the Phils finally got the rebound they needed in Chicago as they took the last two games of the four-game set.
A huge stand in the bottom of the eighth of Saturday’s game may have turned things around for the Phils. After disheartening failures by the pen three days in a row, Romero entered the eighth with nobody out and the Phils clinging to a 5-2 lead with men on first and second. Romero came up huge, striking out the side, and the Phils went on to win the game and the last two games of the series.
Jayson Werth has carried the sluggish Phillies’ offense, going 5-for-8 with a double and three home runs in the last two games. Over the last two games he has seven RBI — the Phillies have scored ten runs.
The Phils scored just 16 runs in the four-game set with the Cubs — that’s a bit odd considering how hot Werth has been and that Rollins, Utley and Howard all had nice series with the bat.
Despite the bullpen blowups in games one and two of the set, Phillies’ pitching has been pretty good overall of late. They allowed 14 runs over their last four games. The Cubs had one extra-base hit in the last three games of the series, the game-winning home run by Soriano in game two of the four-game set.
Still, the bullpen has to be the worry spot for the Phils fan. It’s not a coincidence that in their last two games the pen has allowed a run over six innings and the Phils have won both.
The Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon, winning 5-3 to improve to 75-62 on the year. They start September in second place in the NL East, one game behind the Mets.
Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks. All eight hits were singles and he struck out four.
He started the first up 3-0. Reed Johnson singled with one out, but Moyer got the next two.
Mark DeRosa and Geovany Soto started the second with back-to-back singles. Fukudome hit a ground ball to first that should have been two, but the Phils didn’t turn it. Howard threw to second for the force, but Rollins couldn’t make the relay to first and Fukudome was safe as DeRosa went to third. Ronny Cedeno was next and he hit a fly ball to center that Victorino lost in the sun. The ball went off his leg for a single. DeRosa scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-1 as Fukudome went to second. The pitcher Sean Marshall showed bunt and then swung away, singling up the middle. Fukudome scored (3-2) and Cedeno went to third. Soriano flew to center for the second out and Cedeno had to hold. Johnson flew to right to end the inning.
Moyer walked Derrek Lee to start the third. He got the next two before Soto moved Lee to third with a single. Fukudome struck out swinging to leave them both stranded.
Soriano singled with two outs in the fourth, but Moyer struck Johnson out behind him.
Moyer threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
He started the sixth up 5-2. Fukudome singled with one out and moved to second when Cedeno followed with a walk. Righty Ryan Theriot hit for the pitcher and Durbin relieved Moyer. Durbin struck out Theriot and got Soriano to pop to second.
Durbin threw a 1-2-3 seventh.
Durbin started the eighth. Soto singled with one out. Romero came in to pitch to Fukudome and a wild pitch moved Soto to second. Fukudome grounded to second and Soto went to third with two down. Righty Henry Blanco hit for the pitcher and singled. Soto scored and it was 5-3. Madson came in and gave up a single to pinch-hitter Darlye Ward. It brought up Soriano as the tying run, but Madson struck him out to end the inning.
Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth, throwing for his second straight day.
Romero was also throwing for the second straight day. Overall, the pen went four innings in the game, allowing a run on three hits while striking out five. Durbin threw 33 pitches. Everyone else was under ten.
The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Sean Marshall went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth hits sixth against the lefty with not-a-good-five-hitter Victorino fifth. Ruiz catches. Carlos Zambrano was scheduled to start the game for the Cubs, but was scratched with a tired arm.
Utley walked with one out and stole second. Burrell struck out for the second out, but Howard singled into right and Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino send Howard to second with a single before Werth delivered a two-run double to right. 3-0. Feliz popped to third for the third out.
Big two-out hits from Howard, Victorino and Werth help get the Phils three runs.
With two outs in the second, Rollins singled and stole second. An infield single by Utley moved him to third, but Burrell struck out to leave both runners stranded.
Howard led off the third with a double and went to third when Victorino reached on an infield single in front of the plate. Werth moved Victorino to second with a ground ball and Feliz was walked intentionally to load the bases for Ruiz with one down. Ruiz flew to right with the runners holding and Moyer grounded back to the pitcher.
Ruiz can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth.
Werth homered with two outs in the fifth, putting the Phils up 4-2. Feliz grounded to the pitcher for the third out.
Ruiz led off the sixth with a double and Moyer bunted him to third. Rollins hit a fly ball to left deep enough to score Ruiz and the Phils led 5-2. Utley struck out for the third out.
Howard singled with one out in the seventh, but Victorino and Werth went down behind him.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. With two outs, nobody on and the Phils up 5-2, Durbin hit for himself and struck out.
Utley and Burrell singled back-to-back with one out in the ninth. It put men on first and second and Bruntlett ran for Burrell at first. Howard struck out and Victorino flew to right.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with stolen base and an RBI in the game. 5-for-17 with a double and two stolen bases in the four-game series. He stole 12 bases in August and is hitting 270/335/433 for the season.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a walk in the game. 8-for-17 with a double in the set. 293/381/551 for the year.
Burrell was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts in the game. 3-for-18 in the series. After hitting 181/275/343 in August he’s at 257/375/525 for the year.
Howard was 3-for-5 with a double and a walk. 7-for-17 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 234/324/490 for the season.
Victorino 2-for-5. 3-for-16 with three singles in the series. Shouldn’t be hitting fifth. 283/347/434 for the year. Had some big hits in August, but hit only 262/319/411 for the month.
Werth was 2-for-4 with a double and his 21st home run. 7-for-13 with three doubles and three home runs in the series. 282/378/529 for the year.
Feliz was 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-11 with two walks in the series. 1-for-his-last-17. 251/298/412 for the season.
Ruiz was 1-for-4 with a double. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series. 221/320/292 for the year. Nice to see his on-base percentage nearly a hundred points higher than his batting average, but that’s still a hide-your-eyes ugly line. Coste was 1-for-6 in the series. He’s hitting 280/330/455 for the year.
Dobbs was 1-for-6 in the series and is hitting 296/332/452 for the year. Should play more — hopefully the addition of another left-handed bat to the bench in Stairs will make Manuel more willing to put Dobbs in the lineup.
On Saturday the Phils beat the Cubs 5-2 to improve to 74-62 on the season.
Myers got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on 11 hits. All of the hits were singles and he struck out eight. He didn’t walk a batter.
Lee singled to center with two outs in the second, but Myers struck out Ramirez for the third out.
DeRosa and Fukudome singled back-to-back with one out in the second. It put men on first and second for Soto and Soto singled into center. DeRosa scored to put the Cubs up 1-0 and Fukudome went to third. Myers struck out the pitcher Ted Lilly and got Soriano to fly to center to end the inning.
Theriot led off the third with a single and stole second before Lee moved him to third with a single. With men on first and third and nobody out, Ramirez fouled out to Howard and Edmonds hit into a double-play.
DeRosa singled to start the fourth. Fukudome grounded out and DeRosa was forced at second for the first out before a single by Soto put Fukudome on third. Lilly bunted Soto to second, but Myers got Soriano on a ball hit hard to short to leave both runners stranded.
Myers threw a 1-2-3 fifth with the game tied at 1-1.
And a 1-2-3 sixth up 3-1.
Two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 seventh.
Theriot and Lee singled to start the eighth. Ramirez was next and he singled, scoring Theriot from third and moving Lee to second with the Phils’ lead cut to 5-2. With the lefty Edmonds due to hit, Romero came in to pitch and the righty Johnson hit for Edmonds. Romero struck him out for the first out and followed that up by striking out Ronny Cedeno, hitting for the pitcher Neal Cotts, for the second. Fukudome drew a walk to load the bases, but Romero got Soto looking 1-2 to end the inning.
Finally, the bullpen gets a stop.
Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Ted Lilly went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Burrell third and Victorino fifth against the lefty. Still would hit Werth fifth against the lefty.
Rollins singled to start the first and Utley was hit by a pitch, but the Phils went in order behind them.
1-2-3 in the second, third and fourth.
Werth led off the fifth with a home run that tied the game at 1-1. The Phils went in order behind him.
Utley singled with one out in the sixth. Burrell flew out behind him for the second out before Howard moved Utley to third with a single to right. Victorino was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. It brought up Werth and Werth singled to right, scoring Utley and Howard and moving Victorino to third with the Phils up 3-1. Feliz flew to center for the third out.
Huge two out hit for Werth.
Rollins doubled with two outs in the seventh and went to third on a wild pitch, but Utley struck out to leave him stranded.
Howard homered with one out in the eighth to put the Phils up 4-1. Werth homered with two outs to put them up 5-1. Feliz reached on an error before Coste grounded to short for the third out.
Rollins and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the ninth. Bruntlett popped out before Rollins stole third. Howard struck out swinging to end the frame.
Rollins was 3-for-5 with a double.
Howard 2-for-5 with his 37th home run.
Werth was 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI.
Kyle Kendrick (11-7, 4.83) faces righty Tim Redding (9-8, 4.54) this afternoon in Washington. Redding has made four starts against the Phils this season, going 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.20 ratio. Kendrick hasn’t gone six innings in any of his last four starts. Lefties are hitting .336 against him for the season.