Tag: Chipper Jones

Phils ride the wave past the Braves

Four wins in a row for the Phillies. When the Phillies put up 12 or 15 or 20 runs in a game there’s really not a whole lot of explanation required to understand what’s going right. Ditto for when Cole Hamels throws a complete game shutout or Adam Eaton gives the team his fourth quality start in a row. Or when the bullpen is just about untouchable game after game.

That’s a pretty long list, but it’s not a complete one. There’s something else there, too. With so many different things going right, all of the sudden the Phillies play like they think they deserve to win and find a way to make it happen in just about every game. In all three of the games this weekend in Atlanta the Braves started the eighth inning either ahead in the game or tied and in all three the Phillies came out on top. In the series the Phillies outscored the Braves 10-1 after the seventh inning.

If the Phils weren’t 15-4 in their last 19 games you’d have to think it was something wrong with the Braves. But the fact that they are makes it seem a little more likely that it’s something, more than one thing, right with the Phillies.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves yesterday afternoon, winning 6-3 to improve to 39-26 on the season. The Phils sweep the three-game set and are 13 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two.

He started the first up 2-0 and got the first two before Yunel Escobar doubled and Mark Teixeira followed with a long home run to center. 2-2. Kelly Johnson grounded to first for the third out.

Jeff Francoeur led off the second with a single and Omar Infante followed with a walk. Eaton struck out Corky Miller for the first out before pitcher Jorge Campillo bunted the runners to second and third. Josh Anderson grounded to first for the third out.

Eaton started the third up 3-2. He hit Gregor Blanco to start the inning. Escobar moved Blanco to second with a single before Teixeira grounded to first, moving the runners to second and third. Eaton walked Johnson to load the bases, but Teixeira hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Infante singled to start the fourth and moved to second when Miller followed with a ball back to Eaton for the first out. Campillo singled and Infante moved to third. Eaton got ahead of Anderson 1-2 but Anderson dumped a single in front of Victorino. Infante scored to tie the game at 3-3 and Campillo went to second. Blanco moved the runners to second and third with a ground ball to first, but Eaton struck out Escobar to leave both runners stranded.

Teixeira started the fifth with a singled, but Eaton got the next three behind him.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Durbin started the seventh with the game still tied at 3-3. Just 99 pitches for Eaton, but it was a very hot (93 degrees) day. Durbin walked Blanco to start the inning before he struck out Escobar for the first out. Teixeira moved Blanco to second with a single before Durbin struck out Johnson for the second out. Francoeur grounded to third for the third out.

Durbin returned for the eighth and got the first two before Brian McCann hit for pitcher Will Ohman and singled. Durbin got Anderson on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Lidge entered the game to protect a 6-3 lead in the ninth, pitching for the third straight day. He got two ground balls and a fly ball in a 1-2-3 inning to end the game.

Three more scoreless innings from the pen. In the three-game set the bullpen went 11 1/3 innings and allowed one run (0.79 ERA). Durbin threw 41 pitches, Lidge seven. Even with the off-day today, Durbin is likely not available for Tuesday.

Romero was not available for the game after injuring his groin in Saturday’s game.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jorge Campillo went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Dobbs gets a start against the righty with Feliz entering the game 3-for-his-last-28. Coste catches.

Victorino and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first, putting men on first and second. Howard laced a 1-0 pitch into right for a double. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 1-0 and Utley went to third. Burrell was walked intentionally to load the bases. Jenkins ripped a 3-2 pitch down the first base line, but Teixeira made a nice play to rob him of a double and force him at first. Utley scored to make it 2-0 and the runners moved to second and third with two outs. Dobbs flew to center for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Victorino led off the third with a bunt single and stole second. Utley flew to center for the first out, but Howard sliced the first pitch of his at-bat down the left field line and just fair for another double. Victorino scored and the Phillies led 3-2. With Burrell at the plate the ball got away from the catcher Miller and Howard tried to go to third but was thrown out. Burrell struck out for the third out.

Dobbs and Coste singled back-to-back with one out in the fourth. It put men on first and second for Eaton who couldn’t bunt and then struck out. Victorino flew to right for the third out.

1-2-3 in the fifth.

With one out in the sixth, Dobbs walked and went to second on a wild pitch. Coste grounded to short and Dobbs moved to third. With the game tied at 3-3, Eaton hit for himself and drew a walk. Rollins struck out for the third out.

Eaton only went one more inning, but I thought it was a good idea to let him hit for himself despite the man on third given how much the pen has worked lately.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh and in order again in the eighth. With lefty Will Ohman on the mound for his second inning in the eighth, Werth hit for Jenkins and grounded out for the second out. Feliz hit for Dobbs and struck out for the third.

With one out in the ninth, Bruntlett hit for Durbin and singled. With Bruntlett running, Rollins singled to right. Bruntlett should have gone to third but slid into second base and had to stay there. Victorino singled into center and Bruntlett scored easily to put the Phils up 4-3. Victorino went to second on the throw home, putting men on second and third with one out for Utley. Utley was walked intentionally to load the bases for Howard. Howard again hit the first pitch of hit at-bat into left field, this time much harder. Howard looked like he thought he had hit it out and watched for about half a second. The ball went off the wall in left for a double. Rollins and Victorino both scored to put the Phils up 6-3. Burrell was walked intentionally to load the bases with one out. Werth hit a line drive to second that was caught and Howard was doubled-off to end the frame.

Bruntlett’s pinch-hit single starts the rally. The Phillies hadn’t had a hit since the fourth inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4 in the game and 2-for-12 with a home run in the three-game series. He’s hitting 280/333/445 for the season.

Victorino 3-for-5 with an RBI and 5-for-12 with two triples in the set. 291/365/408 for the year.

Utley 1-for-4 with a walk. 4-for-12 with a double and a triple in the series. He’s hitting 316/403/660 for the year.

Howard 3-for-5 with three doubles and four RBI. The three doubles were the only extra-base hits of the game for the Phillies. 5-for-15 in the series. He’s hitting 214/317/458 for the season and has struck out just nine times in 34 at-bats so far in June after striking out 40 times in 105 at-bats in May.

Burrell 0-for-3 with two walks and two strikeouts. 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and three walks in the series. 277/419/578 for the year.

Jenkins 0-for-3 with an RBI and robbed of an extra-base hit. 1-for-6 with a double in the series. 281/324/444 for the year. Werth was 0-for-2 in the game and 2-for-6 in the series. 263/338/511.

Dobbs 1-for-2 with a walk. 1-for-4 in the series. 358/391/519 for the year. Feliz was 0-for-1 in the game and 1-for-7 in the series. He’s hitting 248/295/410.

Coste 1-for-4 yesterday and 2-for-8 in the series. 313/374/545 for the season. Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a home run in the series and is hitting 226/303/307 for the year. Coste has 19 at-bats this month, Ruiz ten.

On Saturday night the Phils beat the Braves 6-2 to improve to 38-26 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and five walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run. He struck out three.

Yunel Escobar led off the first with a ground ball to first. Howard’s throw to Kendrick covering was bad. Escobar was safe on the error, but was caught stealing for the first out before Kelly Johnson walked. Johnson stole second as Chipper Jones struck out for the second out. Kendrick walked Mark Teixeira, but Brian McCann grounded to second for the third out.

With one out in the second, Gregor Blanco drew a walk and moved to second when Josh Anderson followed with a single to left. The pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes hit into a double-play to end the inning.

With two outs in the third, Chipper walked and stole second. Teixeira flew to left for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

Johnson led off the sixth with a single with the Phils up 2-0. Chipper hit a 3-2 pitch out to center to tie the game at 2-2. Kendrick got Teixeira on a fly ball to center for the first out, but walked McCann and gave up a single to Jeff Francoeur that moved McCann to second. With the lefty Blanco at the plate, Manuel called on Madson. Blanco grounded to Rollins for the second out and the runners moved to second and third. Anderson was walked intentionally to load the bases for Reyes and Reyes grounded to first for the third out.

Madson got Escobar to start the seventh. Romero relieved Madson and got the lefty Johnson with the help of a great play from Utley for the second out. Chipper grounded to short for the third out.

Gordon started the eighth with the Phils up 4-2 after throwing 23 pitches the night before. He struck out Teixeira and McCann to start the inning before Francoeur singled. Gordon walked Blanco, but struck out Anderson to leave both runners stranded.

Lidge pitched the ninth with the Phils up 6-2 and struck out the side.

The pen gives the Phils 3 2/3 scoreless innings in which they allow a hit and walk while striking out six. Gordon threw 20 more pitches. Madson, Romero and Lidge were all under 15.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jo-Jo Reyes went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth comes off the DL and takes Snelling’s spot on the roster. He starts in right against the lefty. Ruiz starts at catcher against the lefty, which had primarily been Coste’s role lately.

1-2-3 in the first.

Burrell doubled with one out in the second, but Werth struck out Feliz flew out to leave him stranded.

Kendrick walked with one out in the third, but Rollins and Victorino went down behind him.

Utley was hit by a pitch to start the fourth. Howard and Burrell struck out behind him before Werth moved him to third with a single. Feliz lined to right for the third out.

Ruiz led off the fifth and hit an 0-1 pitch out down the left field line to put the Phils up 1-0. Manuel may have given him the start against the lefty to try and get him going. If so, he pushed the right button. The Phillies went in order behind him.

Utley singled to start the sixth and Howard hit into a double-play behind him. Burrell hit a 1-0 pitch out to center and the Phils led 2-0. Werth struck out for the third out.

Feliz singled to start the seventh and Ruiz hit into a double-play behind him. With two outs and the game tied at 2-2, Madson hit for himself and struck out. Madson pitched to the righty Escobar in the bottom of the seventh, but I still think I would have hit for Madson and let Seanez (or even Condrey) pitch to Escobar in the bottom of the inning.

Victorino walked with one out in the eighth. Utley got behind before he laced a triple into the right field corner. Victorino scored and the Phillies led 3-2. Howard singled to right and Utley scored to put the Phils up 4-2. Burrell struck out for the second out before Werth moved Howard to second with a single. Feliz grounded to third for the third out.

Ruiz walked to start the ninth. Dobbs hit for Gordon and struck out, but Rollins followed with a two-run blast out to right. 6-2. Victorino flew out for the second out before Utley was again hit by a pitch. Howard popped to short for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Victorino 0-for-4.

Utley 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI.

Howard 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Burrell was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.

Werth 2-for-4.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a home run, his second of the year, and a walk.

No game today. The Phillies play the Marlins in Florida on Tuesday.


Phillies doing everything they can to bring excitement back to the popup

Two games, two times a popup did its best to steal the show.

A day after Jimmy Rollins took an early seat after not running his popup out, the Phils were down to their last out in the ninth last night when Chris Coste popped a ball into shallow right. Atlanta second baseman Kelly Johnson lined it up but simply failed to catch it. The Phillies tied the game and won it in the tenth.

The dropped popup might have given the Phillies another chance to win the game, but it was Shane Victorino who capitalized on it. Victorino drove in a run in the top of the tenth with his second triple of the game to put the Phillies up. With the Phillies up 4-2 with outs in the bottom of the tenth, Yunel Escobar lined a single into center and Victorino made an amazing throw to the plate to nail the trail runner and end the game.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 4-3 in ten innings to improve to 37-26 on the season. They are 11 games over .500 for the first time this year.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out four.

Over the last four games, Phillies’ starters have allowed four earned runs in 28 1/3 innings (1.27 ERA).

Chipper Jones singled to right to start the first with the Phils up 1-0, but Moyer struck Teixeira out to end the inning. Teixeira didn’t like the call, but the pitch looked pretty good to me.

Brian McCann walked with one out in the second. Omar Infante was next and hit a ground ball to second. Probably would have been a double-play, but Utley bobbled briefly and the Phils had to settle for forcing McCann at second. Gregor Blanco grounded to short for the third out.

Kelly Johnson walked with two outs in the third and Jones followed with a ground-rule double down the right field line. Moyer walked Teixeira to load the bases, but Jeff Francoeur hit a 2-2 pitch into center that Victorino took for the third out.

Moyer hit McCann to start the fourth but got the next three behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Teixeira started the sixth with a ball hit hard and off the glove of Rollins for a single Francoeur tried to bunt and then popped to Rollins in shallow left-center for the first out. McCann was next he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right, putting the Braves up 3-2. Infante was next and hit a ball that landed on the track in left for a triple. With the lefty Blanco at the plate, Manuel brought Durbin in to pitch to him. Blanco got ahead 2-0 and the Braves put the squeeze on. The pitch was outside, but Blanco got his bat on it. The ball died right in front of the plate and Coste chased Infante back to third and tossed to Feliz who tagged him out. The pitcher Hudson hit for himself and flew to center for the third out.

Manuel must have been pretty sure Moyer was done to bring in the righty Durbin to pitch to the lefty Blanco. Worked.

Durbin returned to start the seventh and walked Yunel Escobar to start the inning. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Kelly Johnson and Johnson bunted Escobar to second. Chipper was walked intentionally and Teixeira hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Francoeur. Francoeur hit a 1-2 pitch that Burrell took in shallow left. Escobar tried to score, but Burrell threw him out by a lot for the third out.

Madson started the eighth. Blanco singled with two outs and pitcher Will Ohman hit for himself and drew a walk. The 0-1 pitch to Escobar got away from Coste and the runners tried to move up, but Coste picked up the ball and threw Ohman out at second for the third out.

The Braves obviously wanted the lefty Ohman to pitch to Howard, but letting him hit there is just a gift to the Phillies. Madson walked him. That’s terrible.

Gordon started the ninth with the game tied at 2-2. Johnson ripped a double into the right field corner with one out and Gordon walked Chipper intentionally. Teixeira struck out swinging for the second out. Francoeur got ahead 3-1 but popped to first for the third out.

Lidge started the tenth with the Phils up 4-2. Josh Anderson singled with one out and Blanco followed and bunted for a single with Anderson moving to third. Blanco stole second, putting the winning run on second, before Lidge struck Greg Norton out on three pitches for the second out. Escobar lined an 0-1 pitch into center that Victorino charged. Anderson scored, but Victorino’s throw to the plate was a strike in the air. Coste applied the sweep tag just as Blanco arrived. Blanco was out and the game was over. Just an amazing throw by Victorino. Strong and accurate.

The Phils stole that one. One run in 4 2/3 innings for the bullpen. Gordon threw 23 pitches and Madson 22. Romero, Seanez, Durbin and Lidge all threw 13 or fewer.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Tim Hudson went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Jenkins in right against the righty. Coste continues to see his time against right-handed pitchers expand. Rollins back in the lineup after taking an early seat on Thursday.

Victorino tripled with one out in the first. The Braves played the infield back and Utley grounded out to second. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard flew to center for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Coste singled to start the third and Moyer bunted him to second. Moyer has been great at getting his bunts down lately. Rollins walked to put men on first and second, but Victorino lined to first and Utley grounded to first for the third out.

Howard started the fourth with a single but Burrell struck out and Jenkins hit into a double-play.

Second straight inning the Phils had their leadoff man on base but couldn’t score.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth.

Victorino walked with one out in the sixth. Utley flew out for the second out. Victorino took off for second on the first pitch of Howard’s at-bat, but the Braves pitched out and McCann threw him out on close play at second. Victorino didn’t like the call, but he looked out to me.

Burrell singled with one out in the seventh. Jenkins followed and he hit a ball the opposite way down the left field line for a double. Burrell went to third. Feliz was walked to load the bases, but Coste hit into a double play.

Victorino walked with two outs in the eighth, but lefty Will Ohman came in and got Utley to ground to second for the third out.

Ohman struck Howard out swinging to start the ninth. Righty Blaine Boyer got Burrell on a ground ball to short and stayed in to pitch to Jenkins and walked him on four pitches. Bruntlett ran for Jenkins at first and stole second without a throw as the count went 1-1 on Feliz. Feliz got a great pitch to hit 3-2 but fouled it off before he drew a walk. It brought up Coste with men on first and second. Coste hit a high popup behind first base. Johnson had it lined up, but the ball went off the heel of his glove for an error. Bruntlett scored to tie the game at 2-2 and Feliz tried to score too, but was thrown out at the plate for the third out.

Just a miserable error by Johnson. Jenkins gets on base and Bruntlett scores the tying run because the Braves pitch around Jenkins rather than bring a lefty in to pitch to him. The Braves presumably were trying to avoid using lefty Royce Ring because he had thrown two straight days.

Snelling hit for Gordon to start the tenth and doubled to right-center. Taguchi ran for Snelling at second and Rollins bunted him to third. Victorino hit a ball over the head of Francoeur in right and Taguchi scored to put the Phils up 3-2. Royce Ring did come in to the game at that point, but Utley hammered a 1-2 pitch into the right field corner and Victorino scored. 4-2. Howard flew to left for the second out and righty Buddy Carlyle came in and walked Burrell intentionally. Bruntlett popped to first for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Victorino 2-for-3 with two triples, two walks and an RBI.

Utley 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI.

Howard 1-for-5.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a walk.

Jenkins 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Feliz 0-for-2 with two walks.

Coste 1-for-4.

Kyle Kendrick (5-2, 5.00) faces lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (2-3, 4.78) tonight. Reyes has made seven starts for the Braves and struck out 34 in 37 2/3 innings. He’s allowed just four home runs on the year, but opponents are hitting .279 against him. He started against the Phils on May 13 and was hit hard, allowing five runs on 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings after the Braves put him up 3-0 in the top of the first. The Phils have won eight of the last nine games that Kendrick has started. He gave up two home runs in his last start, which was against the Reds on Monday, but they are the only two he has allowed in his last 24 2/3 innings. He started against Reyes in the May 13 game.


Myers picks a funny time to start long-tossing

Funny strange, not funny ha-ha.

Not an expert on such things, but I’m just about positive they were suggesting that Brett Myers long toss in-between starts rather than during them. Myers’ offerings last night didn’t quite travel 120 feet, but it may have looked like they had to Atlanta hitters by the time the ball reached the plate. Three of the first seven Braves he faced homered off of him and Myers didn’t make it through the fifth inning. Over his last two starts he has allowed 15 runs in 9 1/3 innings.

Down 8-0 in the sixth, the Phils still managed to make a game out of it. The bottom of their pen gave them 4 2/3 scoreless innings and the Phils brought two guys up in the ninth as the winning run.

The Phils lost to the Atlanta Braves last night, falling 8-6 to drop to 22-19 on the season. They have lost three of their last four games and remain in second place in the NL East, a game and a half behind the Marlins.

Myers got the start for the Phils and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits and three walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and three home runs. He struck out six. With more than a quarter of the season played, Myers’ ERA is 5.91. He has made one quality start in his last five outings.

Madson gave up a two-run single in the fifth with the runs charged to Myers, but it wasn’t exactly what tipped the scales to the bad start side.

Yunel Escobar hit Myers’ second pitch of the game out to left. 1-0. Mark Kotsay popped to short for the first out before Chipper Jones homered to left. 2-0. Mark Teixeira drew a walk, but Brian McCann hit into a double-play behind him.

In the second, Kelly Johnson homered with one out to make it 3-0. Myers struck out Gregor Blanco for the second out and pitcher Tom Glavine to end the inning. Jeff Francoeur struck out to start the inning, so Myers struck out the side.

Escobar started the third with walk. Kotsay followed with a ground ball to short. Rollins went to second for the first out, but Howard didn’t handle Utley’s throw and was charged with an error. Chipper hit a ball down the line in left that wedged between the warning track and the mat. Burrell could have picked it up easily but raised both hands and Chipper had to settle for a ground-rule double. Smart play by Burrell, Kotsay would have scored easily, but had to hold third. Turned out not to matter. Myers struck out Teixeira for the second out before McCann doubled over the head of Victorino in right. Both runners scored and the Braves led 5-0. Francoeur struck out for the third out.

Johnson doubled to start the fourth. Blano struck out behind him for the first out. Glavine followed and reached on a swinging bunt, moving Johnson to third. Escobar hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Kotsay started the fifth with a single and Chipper followed with a walk. Teixeira grounded to second and Chipper was forced at second for the second out. With men on first and third and one down, McCann singled into right. Kotsay scored to make it 6-0 and Teixeira went to second. Madson came into pitch and got Francoeur on a ball out in front of the plate for the second out as the runners moved up to second and third. Madson walked Johnson with two outs to load the bases and pitch to Blanco and Blanco singled into center. Teixeira and McCann scored and it was 8-0. Glavine grounded to short for the third out.

Walking Johnson intentionally was a bad idea if it worked. It didn’t.

Madson came back to pitch the sixth. Kotsay singled with one out, but Madson got the next two.

Condrey started the seventh with the Phils down 8-4. Francoeur singled with one out. Johnson was next and he blooped one behind short and into left-center. Werth came in and made a nice diving catch for the second out. Blanco flew to center for the third out.

Seanez threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He returned for the ninth and walked McCann on a 3-2 pitch with two outs. Francoeur lined to Utley to end the frame.

The pen did their job. They went 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks. Madson threw 34 pitches, Seanez 29 and Condrey 14. Probably means Madson and Seanez couldn’t pitch tonight.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Tom Glavine went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Again Werth plays center and Victorino right. I have not heard or read an explanation from Manuel that makes much sense to me on this subject. It seems like he keeps saying I-said-I-was-going-to-play-Werth-in-center-so-now-I’m-playing-Werth-in-center. Playing Werth in center is a fine idea when Victorino is not in the game. Victorino doesn’t belong in right field. Coste catches.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the first and again in the second.

Down 5-0 in the third, Coste singled with one out. Myers bunted him to second, but Rollins flew to right for the third out.

1-2-3 in the fourth and again in the fifth.

Down 8-0, Coste led off the sixth with a single. Bruntlett hit for Madson and drew a walk that moved Coste to second. Rollins split the gap in right-center on the first pitch he saw for a double. Coste scored and Bruntlett went to third. 8-1. Victorino grounded to short for the second out and Bruntlett scored and Rollins moved to third. 8-2. Utley hammered a 1-2 pitch out to right-center and it was 8-4. Howard grounded to first for the second out before Burrell drew a walk. That finally chased Glavine and righty Jeff Bennett came in to pitch to Werth. Werth walked and it put men on first and second for Feliz, but Feliz flew to left to end the inning.

Coste started the seventh with a single. With the righty Bennett still on the mound, Jenkins hit for Condrey. Lefty Will Ohman came in to pitch and Taguchi hit for Jenkins and hit into a double-play. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

Jenkins has a career .715 OPS against left-handed pitching. Taguchi .713.

Howard homered to left with two outs in the eighth off of lefty Royce Ring. 8-5. Righty Blaine Boyer came in and got Burrell to ground to short to end the inning.

Coste singled with two outs in the ninth. Dobbs hit for Seanez and singled into left. It brought Rollins up as the tying run. Rollins got ahead 2-0 before he laced a 2-2 pitch into right for a single. Coste scored from second to make it 8-6 and Dobbs went to third. Rollins stole second base without a throw, putting the tying run on second base for Victorino. Victorino hit a 1-1 pitch hard into right, but Francoeur took it just in front of the warning track to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.

Victorino 0-for-5 with an RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-23. He has five extra-base hits and a .286 slugging percentage for the season.

Utley was 1-for-4 with his 14th home run and two RBI. He’s on pace to hit .323 with 55 home runs.

Howard was 1-for-4 with his eighth home run. 7-for-his-last-25 with a double, a triple and two home runs.

Burrell was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Feliz was 0-for-4. He’s 2-for-his-last-14.

Coste went 4-for-4 with two singles and scored two runs.

Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.36) faces lefty Chuck James (2-2, 7.58) tonight. James has made four starts on the year for the Braves and has allowed four or more runs in three of them. In 19 innings he has struck out 17, but also allowed four home runs. Only two NL pitchers gave up more than the 32 home runs that James allowed in 2007. James gave up his 32 in just 161 1/3 innings. Righties are hitting .304 against him this season, lefties just .133. He made four starts against the Phillies in 2007 and went 1-0 with a 5.49 ERA and a 1.32 ratio. His starts against the Phils came on April 5, May 2, August 10 and September 25. Hamels has thrown a ton of innings for the Phils, 56 1/3, in his eight starts. That’s an average of over seven an outing and there’s no way that’s going to work over a whole season. Going into tonight’s start, Hamels is on pace to throw about 228 innings for the year. Opponents are hitting .217 against him overall and he’s thrown to a 1.10 ratio. He’s walked one left-handed batter this season. Home runs are probably the way to go if you want to score against him, but his home run rate this year is down. After allowing 25 in 183 1/3 innings last seson (1.23 per nine innings), Hamels has allowed five in 56 1/3 so far this year (.80 per nine). In four starts against the Braves last season he went 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.13 ratio. April 4, May 1 and the August 10 game against James.


I got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat and a brand new pair of confused outfielders

Not sure exactly the nature of Charlie Manuel’s problem with Shane Victorino, but whatever it is it almost cost the Phillies a game last night. With both Victorino and Jayson Werth in the starting lineup, Manuel put Victorino in right and Werth in center. That’s just a terrible decision even if it doesn’t cost you. It almost did — with two outs in the ninth, Werth misplayed Brian McCann’s fly ball into a double and gave two Braves a chance to come to the plate as the go-ahead run. If Manuel has a message for Victorino he should deliver it, but if his message is that the team is better defensively with Werth in center it’s going to be a hard one for anybody to take seriously.

One guy not to blame is Werth, who is at least an adequate if not better defensive center fielder. There are a whole lot of guys in the league that can’t play defense like Victorino. Werth more than made up for his miscue in the field with his bat last night, driving in four of the five Phillies’ runs.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 22-18 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. All six hits were singles and he struck out two. After allowing three runs on three hits in the first, Kendrick was very good. He put up five shutout innings in a row in which he allowed just three singles and three walks. Ruiz helped him get a huge out with two men on in the sixth by picking Kelly Johnson off of second base.

In his three starts at home this season, Kendrick has allowed just three extra-base hits. Opponents are slugging .315 against him at home.

Yunel Escobar started the first with a single and went to second on a passed ball before Mark Kotsay drew a walk. Chipper Jones singled to center and Escobar scored to put the Braves up 1-0. Kotsay went to second. Brian McCann grounded to first and the runners moved to second and third with one down. Kendrick got Greg Norton on a popup to shallow center for the second out, but Jeff Francoeur followed and singled into right. Both runners scored and Atlanta led 3-0. Kelly Johnson flew to right for the third out.

Kendrick walked Gregor Blanco to start the second. The pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes tried to bunt him to second but struck out for the first out. Escobar followed with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins couldn’t handle it and Escobar was safe on the error. The Phils weren’t going to get a double-play anyway, but the possibility may have made Rollins rush. Kotsay was next and hit another ball to Rollins’ right. This time Rollins made a nice diving play to take a hit away from Kotsay, forcing Escobar at second for the second out as Blanco went to third. Chipper was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Kendrick got McCann to pop to right-center to end the frame.

Francoeur singled with one out in the third. Johnson followed and grounded to short, Francoeur was forced at second for the second out. Blanco grounded back to Kendrick for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Chipper singled to start the inning, but McCann followed and hit into a double-play. Norton grounded to short to end the frame.

Johnson singled with one out in the sixth and Blanco followed with a walk. Reyes hit for himself and took the first pitch for a strike. Ruiz threw to second and Johnson was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out for the second out. Blanco went to second in the ugly rundown for the Phils. Reyes shattered his bat grounding back to Kendrick to end the frame. Great job by Kendrick to field the comebacker as the barrel of the bat bounced right at him.

Huge play by Ruiz behind the plate to pick off Johnson with one out and two men on base.

Romero started the seventh up 4-3 and got the first two before Chipper singled and McCann followed with a walk. Romero struck out Norton to set the Braves down.

Gordon started the eighth up 5-3. Johnson singled with one out and Blanco followed with a ground ball to second. Johnson was forced at second for the second out. Switch-hitter Ruben Gotay hit for the pitcher Jorge Camillo and struck out for the third out.

Gordon’s ERA for the season is down to 3.63. He’s allowed two runs in his last 16 innings while striking out 16.

Lidge started the ninth up 5-3. He struck out Escobar to start the inning before he walked Kotsay on four straight fastballs. It brought up Chipper as the tying run. Kotsay took second on defensive indifference before Chipper hit a 2-1 pitch deep to left. Bruntlett, seeing his first action in the outfield this season after pinch-running for Burrell in the seventh and staying in to play left, took it on the warning track for the second out. McCann was next and he hit a fly ball to center field that should have ended the game. It didn’t. Werth froze, then came in before realizing the ball was over his head. It landed behind him for a double. Kotsay scored and it was 5-4 with a man on second and two outs for Norton. Norton walked to put men on first and second for Francoeur. Lidge got ahead of him 0-2 before Francoeur hit a 1-2 pitch into right-center that Victorino took to end the game.

With an assist to the Werth misplay, Lidge had to throw 26 pitches on the night. Romero 18 and Gordon 15 coming off an off-day on Monday.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jo-Jo Reyes went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth started in center with Victorino in right for the Phils. To have both Victorino and Werth in your outfield and put Victorino in right and Werth in center is a poor idea. Ruiz catches. We’re going to see a lot of Werth in the series with the Braves scheduled to throw three lefties.

Victorino doubled with one out in the first and the Phils down 3-0, but Utley grounded to second and Howard struck out to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Rollins reached on an error by Escobar with two outs in the third, but Victorino flew to left to end the inning.

Utley singled to start the fourth and Howard followed with a blast over the head of Kotsay in center and off the base of the wall for a double that moved Utley to third. Burrell struck out looking for the first out, but Werth laced a single back through the middle and both runners scored to cut the Atlanta lead to 3-2. Feliz moved Werth to second with a single, but Ruiz grounded to second and Kendrick struck out to leave both men stranded.

With one out in the fifth, Victorino singled and stole second. Utley grounded to second for the second out and Victorino went to third. Howard singled into right and Victorino scored to tie the game at 3-3. Burrell moved Howard to second with a single before Werth singled into left. Howard scored to put the Phils up 4-3 and Burrell went to second. Feliz popped to third to end the inning.

Ruiz singled to start the sixth but the Phils went in order behind him. Taguchi hit for Kendrick and bunted into an out for the first out of the frame.

Burrell doubled to right with two outs in the seventh and Bruntlett ran for him at second. Werth blooped a single in front of a diving Blanco and Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 5-3. Burrell might not have scored on the play even with two outs, but I would have rather seen him stay in the game anyway. Feliz grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins doubled with two outs in the eighth. Victorino grounded to second behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Victorino 2-for-5 with a double and stole his sixth base of the season. 3-for-his-last-18.

Utley was 1-for-4.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a double.

Werth was 3-for-4 with four RBI.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Brett Myers (2-3, 5.56) faces lefty Tom Glavine (0-1, 4.03) tonight. Glavine has made six starts on the year and allowed two runs or fewer in five of them. The Reds hit him hard on May 4 and he was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings. In his other five starts on the season he’s thrown to a 2.59 ERA. Lefties are hitting .360 against him on the season and have hit two of the three home runs he’s allowed — lefties have actually hit him better over his career, but not at a .360 clip (lefties have hit .263 against him in his career). The former Met made five starts against the Phils in 2007 and went 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. April 12, April 17, June 5, August 28 and September 14. Myers has allowed 19 runs in 24 innings over his past four starts. Twelve home runs in his last 44 innings. Righties are hitting .325 against him. He’s not pitching well. He went 1-0 with a 4.30 ERA, a 1.30 ratio and four saves in eight appearances against Atlanta last season.

Manuel talks about starting Werth in center last night here.


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