When a pitcher allows three runs over 5 2/3 innings whether or not you think he pitched well or not might depend on how much you like the pitcher. I like Jamie Moyer a lot. It’s pretty hard for a Phillies fan not to like the 45-year-old as he sprints off the mound in pursuit of balls that have already gone foul and comes up big for his team time after time. Last night, pitching on short rest, Moyer gave up a pair of home runs but threw well enough to help the Phillies get a much-needed win.
He pitched well enough for the Phillies to win in large part due to the massive contribution of Ryan Howard. Howard drove in three of the six runs the Phillies scored and homered for the sixth time in the last eight games. After a mostly disappointing season, Howard has driven in runs in each of his last five games. He’s hitting 368/415/1.000 in September.
The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers last night, winning 6-3 to improve to 80-67 on the season. They trail the Mets by three games in the NL East. They are tied with the Astros in the Wild Card race, both teams trail the Brewers by three games.
Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. All four of the hits he allowed went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. All three of the runs he gave up came on homers. He struck out five.
Moyer’s 3.68 ERA is 17th-best in the NL.
He threw a 1-2-3 first.
He started the second up 2-0. He hit Prince Fielder to start the inning and Fielder moved to second on a wild pitch before Corey Hart drew a walk. Moyer struck out Mike Cameron and Bill Hall before he got Jason Kendall to ground to third to leave both runners stranded.
With two outs in the third, JJ Hardy hit a 2-2 pitch out to left to cut the lead to 2-1. Moyer got Ryan Braun to line to first for the third out.
Corey Hart doubled with one out in the fourth. Cameron was next and struck out swinging as Hart was caught stealing third to end the frame.
Up 4-1, he set the Brewers down in order in the fifth.
Rickie Weeks led off the sixth with a double. Hardy was next and hit the ball hard, but Feliz took the grounder for the second out with Weeks holding second. Braun flew to center for the second out. Fielder was next and pounded the first pitch of his at-bat out to center, cutting the lead to 4-3. Madson came in and got Hart on a ground out to short for the third out.
Madson returned for the seventh up 5-3. Hall singled to left with one out, but Kendall followed and lined to short for the second. Lefty Mike Lamb hit for the pitcher Ben Sheets and grounded to second for the third out.
He came back for the eighth, too. Weeks led off with a soft infield single in front of the plate, but Madson struck out Hardy and Braun. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Fielder and walked him on a 3-2 pitch, putting the tying run on base. With runners on first and second, Durbin entered the game and got Hart to ground to third.
Lidge started the ninth with a 6-3 lead and set the Brewers down 1-2-3.
The pen went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two singles and a walk while striking out three. Madson threw 29 pitches — he had thrown three days in a row before getting a day off on Wednesday. Lidge threw 15 pitches, Eyre 8 and Durbin 1.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Ben Sheets went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth stays in the two-hole against the righty with Victorino sixth, but it’s Feliz at third this time. Ruiz catches.
Rollins led off the first with a single and was running as Werth grounded out to third, allowing him to move to second with one out. Utley struck out for the second out, but Howard came up with another big swing. He drove the first pitch of his at-bat out to center, putting the Phils up 2-0. Burrell flew to right for the third out.
1-2-3 in the second and again in the third.
Utley started the fourth with a single and came around to score when Howard followed with a double to center. It put the Phils up 3-1 with nobody out and a man on second for Burrell. Burrell grounded to short for the first out before Victorino’s ground out to first pushed Howard to third. Feliz delivered a double to right and Howard scored. 4-1. Ruiz drew a walk before Moyer grounded to first to end the inning.
Rollins blooped a single into left to start the fifth but was thrown out going for second. It cost the Phils a run, cause Werth was next and he tripled to right. Utley popped to first for the second out and Sheets walked Howard intentionally to pitch to Burrell. Burrell flew to center to leave both men stranded.
Utley doesn’t bring the man in from third with one out.
Feliz singled with one out in the sixth and came around to score when Ruiz followed and ripped a double into left. It put the Phils up 5-3. Madson hit for himself with one out and a man on second and struck out. A walk to Rollins put men on first and second, but Werth grounded to third to set the Phils down.
Madson had faced one batter with the bases empty in the top of the sixth.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.
Victorino led off the eighth with a single and moved to second when pitcher Carlos Villanueva tried to pick him off and threw the ball away. Feliz bunted Victorino to third and with Ruiz at the plate the Phillies executed the squeeze — Ruiz got the bunt down in front of the plate as Victorino stormed home to put the Phillies up 6-3. Dobbs hit for Durbin and struck out to end the inning.
Rollins was 2-for-3 with a walk.
Werth 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
Utley 1-for-4 and struck out twice. He has one extra-base hit in his last 48 at-bats.
Howard 2-for-3 with a double, a two-run home run and three RBI.
Burrell 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Feliz 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Ruiz 1-for-2 with two RBI. He drove in as many runs last night as he did in all of August — Ruiz had one RBI in July and two in August.
Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12) faces lefty Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03) tonight. Parra has been hit hard by righties, they’re hitting .280 against him for the season compared to .217 for lefties. Parra has allowed 11 runs in ten innings over his last two starts, but only five of the runs have been earned. The Brewers have lost four of the last five games that he’s started. Hamels was hit hard by the Mets on Sunday, allowing four runs over five innings. He’s already thrown 208 innings on the season, which is too many what with the 24-edness and all.