After ten games the Phils have been through their rotation twice and Adam Eaton has just about inarguably been their second best starting pitcher behind Cole Hamels. Apparently the Phils are so surprised their hitters can’t think of much to do but stare. In Eaton’s two starts the Phillies have scored six runs.
Last night the Phils found themselves down 3-0 in the sixth, but scored one in the seventh and two in the eighth to tie the game up and send it to extra-innings. Despite a valiant effort from the pen, the Phils’ hitters couldn’t do much more. With two outs in the twelfth, Jose Reyes ripped a double and roared around to score on a close play when Angel Pagan followed with a single up the middle. The Phils had just two hits after the eighth, an infield single and a bunt where the catcher fell down after fielding the ball.
A big part of the problem for the Phils is the top of the order. With Rollins shelved with an ankle injury, Victorino and Bruntlett have combined to go 2-for-18 with two walks in the last two games.
The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 4-3 in twelve innings to drop to 4-6 on the season.
Eaton got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.
Eaton had a pretty 1-2-3 first, getting two fly balls to left before striking out David Wright for the third out. Nine pitches.
He walked Carlos Delgado on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the second and Ryan Church followed with a single into right that moved Delgado to second. Damion Easley was next and hit a double-play ball to second that ended the inning. Nicely done by Bruntlett after a rough game the night before.
Eaton threw a 1-2-3 third.
Pagan led off the fourth with a single. Eaton struck Wright out behind him, but walked Delgado to put men on first and second. Delgado grounded to second for the second out, moving the runners to second and third. Ryan Church was next and delivered a two-run single into center to put the Mets up 2-0. Damion Easley grounded to short to end the frame. Big two-out hit for Church.
Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
Pagan started the sixth with a double and moved to third when Wright followed and grounded out to second. Beltran was next and he singled into right, putting New York up 3-0. Delgado struck out for the second out. With Church at the plate, Beltran tried to steal second — Coste threw him out with the help of a nice pick from Bruntlett.
Ryan Madson started the seventh, seeing his first action since Friday after being sidelined with a sore arm. Jayson Werth, who had pinch-hit in the seventh, entered the game to play center field. Seeing Werth in center should be very, very good news to Phillies fans. He’s not as good as Victorino defensively there, but there’s some evidence he can be solid and brings a ton more offense to the position. Madson gave up a one-out double to Easley before he got Brian Schneider to line softly to Utley. Pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson grounded to second to end the inning.
Romero started the seventh. Jose Reyes led off with an infield single and Pagan bunted him to second. Romero walked the righty Wright intentionally to put men on first and second for Beltran. Beltran swung and missed the 2-1 pitch as Reyes and Wright pulled off a double-steal, putting men on second and third with one out. The Phils brought the infield in, but only for one pitch as Romero struck Beltran out swinging for the second out. It brought up the lefty Delgado with the lefty Church behind him, and Delgado grounded to third to end the inning.
The Beltran strikeout after the double-steal was huge for Romero. Beltran could have put the Mets ahead with an out.
Lidge came in to pitch the ninth with the game tied at 3-3. He gave up a two-out walk to Schneider, but got pinch-hitter Endy Chavez to line to short for the third out.
Seanez started the tenth. He walked Wright on a close 3-2 pitch with two outs. Wright stole second on the 0-1 pitch in the dirt, but Seanez struck Beltran out swinging at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Gordon got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 eleventh.
He returned for the twelfth and got the first two before Reyes doubled. Pagan was next and singled up the middle. Werth charged and made a strong throw home. Reyes beat the ball to the plate, but Coste blocked it well. Very close play, but Reyes was called safe and the game was over. 4-3 Mets. Good play by both Werth and Coste to make it close.
Gordon was great in the eleventh, but asking him to go more than one inning might be optimistic.
Something is afoot with Werth in center. It’s not just curious that he played center, it’s also curious at the end of the game both he and Taguchi were on the field and he was in center and Taguchi was in left. If the Phils are really going to give Werth serious time in center that’s very good news.
Good day overall for the pen as they hold the Mets to a run over 5 2/3 innings. Nice to see Madson come back. Nobody threw a ton of pitches, Seanez was the high man with 22. We’ll have to see if Madson can go back-to-back days after his first action since Friday. You would think Romero and Lidge would be okay for tonight. Seanez is likely unavailable after throwing back-to-back days. Gordon only threw 19 pitches, but I would guess that after going more than an inning he probably won’t pitch tonight. Kudos to Chad Durbin for his heroic long effort in relief on Thursday — it gave the Phils a rested pen that pitched well and gave the hitters a lot of chances to win the game.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty John Maine went (1) Victorino (2) Bruntlett (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Rollins stays on the bench with his sore ankle. Victorino and Bruntlett stay at the top of the order. Still too high for Bruntlett, wish they’d just go Utley/Howard/Burrell 2-3-4. Coste gets a start behind the plate with Eaton on the mound.
Victorino led off the first with a single. He took off for second with the count 2-1 on Bruntlett and Bruntlett popped it up to first. Victorino couldn’t get back in time and was doubled-up. Utley flew to the warning track in left for the third out.
With two outs in the second, Jenkins hammered a ball of the wall in left-center for a double. Feliz flew to center to set the Phillies down.
Coste walked to start the third and Eaton bunted him to second. Victorino grounded back to the pitcher for the first out and Bruntlett flew to center.
Burrell walked with two outs in the fourth, but Jenkins grounded to first for the third out.
With the Mets up 2-0 in the fifth, the Phils went down 1-2-3.
Victorino led off the sixth with a walk. Bruntlett followed and flew out before Victorino took off for second with Utley at the plate and was thrown out. Utley singled, Howard walked and Burrell walked, loading the bases with two down. Jenkins grounded out to short to end the frame. The caught stealing by Victorino killed the Phils in the inning as the next three hitters reached based. Second time on the bases that Victorino gave away an out after getting doubled-off in the first.
Feliz started the seventh and hit one out to left for his first home run as a Phil, cutting the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Coste followed with a ground-rule double to left and Dobbs hit for Eaton. Lefty Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch for Maine, and Werth hit for Dobbs and drew a walk. It put men on first and second with nobody out and Victorino tried to bunt them along, couldn’t do it and swung away with two strikes and struck out. Bruntlett struck out looking and Utley went down swinging. The Phils get nothing out of first and second with one out. I would have let Victorino hit, but he had a pretty bad at-bat for the first out.
Righty Aaron Heilman started the eighth against the lefty Howard and Howard smoked a 1-1 pitch out to center to cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Righty Aaron Heilman is not really the guy you want facing lefty Ryan Howard in a close game. Don’t understand why it wasn’t the lefty Schoeneweis, especially with another lefty Jenkins hitting after Burrell. Burrell walked and Taugchi ran for him at first. Jenkins singled into right and Taguchi went to third. Big hit for Jenkins. I wouldn’t have run for Burrell there, but he wouldn’t have gone first to third. Feliz grounded softly to third and Wright didn’t have a chance to get Taguchi, who was going on contact. Wright threw Feliz out as Taguchi scored to make it 3-3 and Jenkins went to second. Coste struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Werth grounded softly to first to end the frame.
Not seeing Schoeneweis, who threw 1/3 of an inning on Tuesday, is perplexing. I know the Mets’ fans hate him but if you’re not going to use him to get out lefties it’s hard to understand why he’s on the team. The lefties Howard and Jenkins hurt Heilman in the inning, Howard with the home run and Jenkins with the single. After you get through those guys, though, there’s nobody you need a lefty for for a while. Feliz, Coste, Werth, three righties (and guys Heilman set down 1-2-3 when he finally got to them).
Rollins hit for Romero to start the ninth and struck out swinging. Bruntlett flew to right for the second out before Utley drew a walk. Howard didn’t look like he had a chance against Wagner and struck out swinging to end the frame.
Jenkins walked with one out in the tenth. Feliz was next and flew to center before Coste lined to first base for the third out.
Werth led off the eleventh with an infield single to third. Wright was guarding the line and had to make a nice diving stop near shortstop to keep it in the infield. Cole Hamels hit for Seanez to bunt and deadened the ball right in front of home plate. Schneider picked it up and slipped as he started to throw to first. Hamels was safe at first with a single and Werth went to second. Bruntlett was next and he tried to bunt. He got down 0-2 and bunted foul for the first out. Schoeneweis came in to pitch to Utley and got him to hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.
Jenkins reached on an error with two outs in the twelfth, but Feliz followed and grounded to third to end the frame.
Victorino was 1-for-3 with a walk and a caught stealing. Bad day on the bases and couldn’t get the bunt down in the seventh. 3-for-12 with three singles and two walks in the three-game series. 175/233/225 on the season. He needs to start hitting or he’s going to start losing more at-bats.
Bruntlett was 0-for-6 with two strikeouts and left seven men on base. 1-for-10 with a single and a walk in the series. 167/231/167 in 12 at-bats on the year. Just a miserable start all-around for Bruntlett.
Utley was 1-for-5 with a walk and left four men on base. 3-for-11 with a walk and two doubles in the set. 324/447/676 on the year.
Howard was 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk to raise his average to .189. 2-for-13 with two walks and four strikeouts in the series. 189/311/378.
Burrell was 0-for-1 with three walks in the game. I wouldn’t have run for him in the eighth, even though it helped score the run that tied the game. I might have lost, too, but at least I would have lost with my best players on the field. Burrell was 2-for-8 with four walks in the series. He’s hitting 387/513/774 on the year.
Jenkins was 2-for-5 with a walk and a double. 3-for-9 with a walk and a double in the series. 281/343/438.
Feliz was 1-for-6 with a home run and two RBI. 1-for-13 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 194/256/306.
Coste was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The Mets stole three bases in the game and he gunned down Beltran once. 2-for-5 with two doubles and a walk in the series. 308/400/692 in 13 at-bats on the season.
Werth was 1-for-2 with a walk. Still hope the Phillies figure out how to get him more time, and it seems like they’re trying. 3-for-6 with three walks in the series. 364/563/455 in 11 at-bats on the season. Got to get him on the field.
Speaking of got to get him on the field, Rollins was 0-for-1 with a strikeout last night. 2-for-6 in the series. 306/342/528.
Taguchi was 0-for-2. 0-for-4 in the series, 143/143/286 in seven at-bats on the year.
Dobbs was wasted for the second straight game, announced as a pinch-hitter and then pinch-hit for. 0-for-1 with a strikeout in the series. 100/100/100 on the year, really he is.
Ruiz did not play in last night’s game but was 2-for-8 with a walk in the series. 185/241/259.
Victorino, Ruiz, Feliz and Howard are all playing regularly and on-basing .311 or lower.
Burrell and Utley continue to lead the Phillies offense. Werth and Coste have been good with the bat in less playing time.
Lefty Steve Kline signed a minor league deal with the Phils.
Brett Myers (0-1, 6.30) faces righty Carlos Zambrano (1-0, 1.32) tonight. Jason Maquis was supposed to make the start but has the flu, so Zambrano was moved up a day. Zambrano has been good in both of his starts this year. He last pitched on Sunday against the Astros and shut Houston out on three hits over 6 2/3 innings. He didn’t face the Phils last season. Myers has made two starts on the season, neither of them inspired. Opponents have hit .310 against him and he’s walked five in ten innings, four of them lefties. He pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief against the Cubs last season over four games, allowing a run on three hits and two walks.
Myers says he’s closing for nine innings tonight, so look for him to blow out his arm around the fourth.
While on web sites dedicated to fantasy baseball, I also wanted to mention Fantasy Dope. Fantasy Dope is a fantastic aggregator that pulls in news about baseball and other major sports from blogs, team sites and other traditional news outlets. Lots of good baseball stuff whether you’re playing fantasy baseball or not.