Maybe, just maybe, they are actually one person.
The Phils finally scored more than four runs in a game last night, but it turned out not to matter as they gave up nine to the weak-hitting Nationals and fell 9-7 after taking a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
Chad Durbin stole to spotlight. He faced seven batters, five of which got hits (four singles and a home run). He struck out one and one bunted into an out. Durbin has been an anchor of the Phillies’ pen, but it may be just about time to stop relying on that. He has been hit hard in his last four appearances, giving up runs in three of them while allowing seven earned runs on eight hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings.
It’s going to be overshadowed by the miserable outing by the bullpen, but Joe Blanton came up tiny for the Phils in a big start against a meek Washington offense. Blanton went just four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks.
The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals last night, falling 9-7 to drop to 76-64 on the season. They are three games behind the Mets in the NL East.
Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out two.
He started the first with a 2-0 lead. Cristian Guzman singled with one out and scored when Ryan Zimmerman followed with a double to right. 2-1. Lastings Milledge popped to short for the second out before Elijah Dukes walked. It put men on first and second for Kory Casto and Casto singled to left, scoring Zimmerman (2-2) and moving Dukes to third. Wil Nieves grounded to second for the third out.
Emilio Bonifacio doubled with two outs in the second, but Blanton struck Guzman out to leave him stranded.
Dukes doubled with two outs in the third. Casto flew to right for the third out.
Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth.
Bonifacio led off the fifth with a walk and moved to second when Guzman followed with a single. Blanton walked Zimmerman and the bases were loaded with nobody out. Madson came in to pitch to Milledge. Milledge hit a ground ball to Howard. Howard looked at home but threw to second for force Zimmerman for the first out as Bonifacio scored to tie the game at 3-3. Neither Utley or Madson covered first in time for Rollins to made the throw, but Milledge probably would have been safe anyway. With men on first and third with one out, Dukes grounded to third and Feliz threw to second. Milledge was forced at second for the second out. He came in hard to the base and upended Utley, taking away any chance the Phillies had at a double-play. Guzman scored to put the Nationals up 4-3. Dukes stole second before Madson struck out Casto to end the inning.
Madson struck out the side in a 1-2-3 sixth.
Eyre started the seventh up 5-4. He got the two men he faced before Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Zimmerman. Zimmerman hit a 1-1 pitch out to center, tying the game at 5-5. Milledge followed with a single before Durbin struck out Dukes to end the inning.
Durbin returned to start the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Casto. Pete Orr ran for Casto at first. Nieves tried to bunt, but the ball was caught by Howard for the first out. With Roger Bernadina at the plate, a wild pitch by Durbin moved Orr to second. Bernadina singled to left and Orr moved to third. Ronnie Belliard hit for the pitcher Saul Rivera and he singled over Rollins’ head and into left. Bernadina scored and Orr scored to put the Nats up 6-5. With one out and men on first and second, Romero came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Bonifacio. Bernadina stole third before Romero walked Bonifacio, loading the bases. Guzman was next and he delivered a bases-clearing double into center that put Washington up 9-5. Condrey came in to pitch and got Zimmerman on a fly ball to left for the second out before a single by Milledge sent Guzman to third. Condrey struck out Dukes to leave both runners stranded.
Four innings for the pen in which they allow four runs on seven hits and a walk. Madson threw 32 pitches, Durbin 25. Eyre, Romero and Condrey were all ten or under. Romero and Durbin were both pitching for the second straight day, but both had thrown less than ten pitches on Tuesday.
The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Odalis Perez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Bruntlett. Bruntlett starts in right with Werth in center and Victorino on the bench. Bruntlett is a pretty bad starting right fielder. Coste catches and Werth again hits third.
Utley was hit by a pitch with one out in the first. Werth flew to left for the second out, but Howard blasted a 2-2 pitch out to center to put the Phils up 2-0. Burrell hit a ball back to the pitcher to end the frame.
The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the second.
Rollins singled with one out in the third and went to second on a wild pitch. Utley hit a ball to deep center where it went off the glove of Milledge on the edge of the warning track. Utley had a triple and Rollins scored to put the Phillies ahead 3-2. Werth struck out for the second out. Howard struck out for the third.
Werth can’t bring the runner home from third with one out and a man on third.
The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fourth.
Rollins singled with two outs in the fifth. Utley struck out swinging for the third.
Werth led off the sixth with an infield single. Howard again hit a 2-2 pitch out to nearly the same place in center field. It put the Phils up 5-4. Burrell followed with a single to left, but Feliz and Coste both flew out behind him. Victorino hit for Bruntlett with righty Jesus Colome pitching for Washington and flew to right.
Cevernak hit for Madson to start the seventh and singled up the middle with the Phils down 9-5. The Phils went in order behind him.
Burrell singled to left with one out in the eighth and Golson ran for him at first. Feliz flew to center for the second out. With righty Saul Rivera on the mound for the Nationals, Dobbs hit for Coste. Golson stole second for his first career stolen base before Dobbs grounded to short to end the game.
Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 5-for-12 with a home run in the series. 273/340/439 for the year after going 9-for-his-last-21.
Utley was 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. 3-for-10 in the set. 293/381/550 for the year.
Werth was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. 2-for-11 with two walks in the series. 278/376/518 for the year.
Howard was 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. 4-for-12 with two doubles and two home runs in the series. 236/325/502 for the year.
Burrell 2-for-4 in the game and 2-for-9 in the series. 256/373/519. He’s 6-for-his-last-43.
Feliz 0-for-4. 2-for-9 in the series. 250/298/408 for the year.
Coste 0-for-3 in the game and 0-for-5 in the series. He’s hitting 275/328/446 for the season. Ruiz was 1-for-5 in the series and is hitting 221/318/290 for the year.
Bruntlett 0-for-2 in the game, 0-for-3 in the series and is hitting 218/301/297 for the year. Victorino was 1-for-2 in the game and 2-for-10 in the series. 281/346/429 for the year.
No game today.