With a win against the Milwaukee Brewers last night, the Phils took a commanding two games to none lead in the best-of-five set. For the second time in two games, the Brewers couldn’t do much of anything against the Phillies starting pitcher. Brett Myers held them to a pair of runs on two hits and three walks over seven innings and the Phils rolled to a 5-2 win. Between Myers and Hamels in the series opener, Phillies starters have allowed two runs on four hits and four walks over 15 innings.
Again all of the Phillies scoring came in one inning. After a three-run third carried the Phils to a win in the opener, last night it was Shane Victorino’s grand slam off of CC Sabathia in the bottom of a five-run second that gave the Phils all the runs they would need. Sabathia, pitching on three days rest for the fourth straight start, finally looked mortal. After the Phillies had tied the game at 1-1 in the second on an RBI-double by Feliz, Brett Myers had an epic at-bat in which Sabathia just couldn’t put the weak-hitting pitcher away with two men out. Myers drew a nine-pitch walk and Rollins followed with a walk of his own. Victorino hit a hanging 1-2 pitch out to left for his first career grand slam.
Victorino wouldn’t have been in position to deliver his game-changing blast had it not been for an aggressive lineup change by Charlie Manuel. Manuel moved the hot Victorino to the two-hole in the order, dropping the slumping Jayson Werth to sixth in the order against the lefty. Victorino hit 282/345/537 against lefties this year, Werth a monster 303/368/652 with 16 home runs in 155 at-bats against them. They both left the game with more than a little bit of momentum, combining to go 5-for-8 with four doubles and a grand slam.
Finally, Brad Lidge returned to the mound a day after throwing 35 pitches to get a shaky save in game one and looked like a different pitcher. He looked completely in control as he threw a perfect ninth to make him 43-for-43 in save chances as a Phillie.
The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers last night, winning 5-2. With the win they take a two games to none lead in the best-of-five NLDS. They have won five games in a row.
Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks. Both of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four.
He faced a Milwaukee lineup that went (1) Cameron (CF/R) (2) Durham (2B/S) (3) Braun (LF/R) (4) Fielder (1B/L) (5) Hardy (SS/R) (6) Hart (RF/R) (7) Counsell (3B/L) (8) Kendall (C/R). Hall and Weeks on the bench against the righty Myers with Durham at second and Counsell at third.
There were five position players on the bench for Milwaukee to start the game: Mike Rivera (R), Tony Gwynn, Jr (L), Brad Nelson (L), Rickie Weeks (R) and Bill Hall (R).
Myers struck Mike Cameron out on three pitches to start the game. Cameron didn’t swing at any of them. Durham was next and Myers walked him on four pitches. Myers got ahead of Braun before Braun hammered a 1-2 pitch off the wall in left for a double that sent Durham to third. The lefty Fielder was walked intentionally, loading the bases with one out. Myers got behind JJ Hardy 3-0 before he got strike one over, but then delivered ball four low and outside. Hardy’s walk forced in Durham and put the Brewers up 1-0. For reasons unknown, Hart swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and chopped a ground ball back to Myers. Myers threw home and Ruiz made a strong throw to first to complete the double-play.
Hart swings into a double-play the first pitch after Myers walked in a run.
Myers was pretty much awesome after that. Counsell struck out swinging 1-2 to start the second. Kendall flew to right on a 1-2 pitch and Sabathia swung away ahead 2-0 and flew to left. Kendall hit the ball well for the second out, Werth took it in front of the track after a short run.
Eleven pitches in the second for Myers. After throwing 21 in the first, that put him at 32 through two innings.
Myers threw a 1-2-3 third with a 5-1 lead. Cameron got ahead 3-1 but popped to Utley. Durham struck out swinging. Braun fouled out to Ruiz on a 1-1 pitch. Sixteen pitches. 48 for the game.
Fielder grounded out to second on a 1-0 pitch to start the fourth. Hardy fouled out to Howard for the second out. Myers got ahead of Hart 0-2 and then drilled him in the back. First base-runner Myers had allowed since walking Hardy in the first. Counsell grounded to second on an 0-1 pitch to end the frame. Nine pitches put Myers at 57.
Myers quickly got ahead of Kendall 0-2 to start the fifth. Kendall fouled three pitches off before taking ball one and then ball two before grounding to third. Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitch Mitch Stetter and struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch. Cameron swung at the first pitch and popped to short. Fifteen pitches for Myers. 72.
Durham grounded out to second on a 1-1 pitch to start the sixth. Braun dribbled an 0-2 pitch out in font of the plate and Ruiz pounced on it quickly to throw him out at first. Fielder swung at the first pitch and grounded to second. Quick seven pitch inning for Myers put him a 79.
Hardy led off the seventh and doubled to left on a 1-2 pitch. Hart hit a 1-0 pitch into right field for the second out. Hardy tagged up and moved to third. Werth uncorked a strong throw and made the play at third close, but Hardy slid in safely. Counsell grounded a 3-1 pitch to second and Hardy came in to score and cut the lead to 5-2. Kendall grounded to second on a 1-0 pitch. Fifteen pitches for Myers put him at 94 for the game.
Madson started the eighth with the Phils up 5-2. Righty Rickie Weeks hit for the pitcher Eric Gagne to start the inning. He hit a 1-1 pitch hard to short, where Rollins tried to backhand the ball and dropped it. By the time he picked it up he had no chance to get the speedy Weeks and Rollins was charged with an error. Cameron was next and hit a high foul near the stands behind third base. Feliz made the play after a run for the second out. Durham was next and tried to bunt a 1-1 pitch but fouled it off. He chopped the next pitch back to Madson. Madson threw to second, but his throw was high and Weeks came in hard. Weeks was forced at second but Rollins couldn’t double-up Durham at first. Braun singled into left on a 1-0 pitch, moving Durham to second. Romero came in to pitch to Fielder, who was the tying run, and threw one pitch. Fielder shattered his bat and hit a slow, slow roller to second. But he’s really slow hisownself and Utley threw him out easily to end the frame.
Lidge started the ninth up 5-2 after throwing 35 pitches the day before. Hardy lined 1-1 pitch to left for the first out. Hart flew to shallow right for the second out. Lidge got behind Counsell 3-1, but got strike two over before fouling off a pitch and then flying to center to end the game.
Two scoreless innings for the Phillies pen. They allowed one hit, the single to Braun off of Madson in the eighth. Just 12 pitches for Lidge this time. Madson threw 11 and Romero one. You have to believe everyone will be available on Saturday with the off-day today.
The Milwaukee pen went 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks. In the first two games they have now thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and four walks. McClung threw 33 pitches last night, which looks like the only potential issue for Saturday for the Brewers.
The Phillies lineup against lefty CC Sabathia went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Victorino moves up to second in the order with Werth dropped to sixth. Ruiz stays behind the plate despite the fact that Coste caught Myers far more frequently during the regular season. Coste was behind the plate for 628 of the 817 (about 77%) of the batters that Myers faced.
The hitters on the bench to start the game for the Phils were Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Bruntlett (R), Dobbs (L), Jenkins (L) and Stairs (L).
Rollins grounded to short on a 1-1 pitch for the first out in the first with the Phils down 1-0. Victorino was next and he swung at a bad 2-1 pitch that was outside before he ripped a 2-2 pitch down the third base line, off the base and high in the air. Victorino wound up at second with a double. On Sabathia’s first pitch to Utley, Victorino stole third without a throw (Kendall didn’t catch the pitch cleanly). Sabathia got behind Utley 2-1, but threw him a ridiculous pitch that Utley flailed at wildly to even the count at 2-2. Curve ball, maybe? Dunno, but it fooled Utley. Utley struck out on the next pitch for the second out. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning with Victorino stranded at third.
Sabathia mows down the Phils’ lefties with one out and a man on third. Utley can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.
Burrell started the second and flew to left on a 2-1 pitch. Werth was next and he got behind 1-2 before he doubled into left-center. Feliz was next and hit a 1-0 pitch down the left field line. The ball bounced off the wall where the stands come out. Feliz had a double and Werth scored from first to tie the game at 1-1. Ruiz followed and grounded to first for the second out, moving Feliz to third. Myers was next and had the most memorable at-bat of the night, and that’s saying something cause the guy two hitters after him hit a grand slam. Myers swung at the first pitch for strike one and swung at the second pitch for strike two. The next pitch was very, very close, maybe a little high. Myers took it and thought he was out — he even took a half-step towards the dugout. He wasn’t. Two of the next five pitches were balls in the dirt. The other three were foul balls, with the fans cheering wildly every time that Myers fouled one off. Myers walked on the ninth pitch of his at-bat to put men on first and third. Rollins was next and drew a walk on four pitches to load the bases. It brought up Victorino, with righty Seth McClung warming in the Milwaukee pen. Victorino got behind 1-2 and then popped his first career grand slam out to left on a hanging breaking pitch, putting the Phils up 5-1. Utley struck out on three pitches to end the inning.
Sabathia struck out Howard to start the third, making Howard and Utley 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the game. Burrell popped to right on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Werth was next and doubled into left center again, to almost the safe place he had doubled in the first. Werth stole second on the first pitch of Feliz’s at-bat, again without a throw. Feliz struck out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.
Through three innings, Werth and Victorino had combined to go 4-for-4 with three doubles and a grand slam.
Ruiz hit a ground ball back the mound to start the fourth. Sabathia bare-handed and got him at first for the first out. Myers had another long at-bat, flying to center for the second out. Rollins got ahead 3-0 and doubled to left on a 3-1 pitch. Shane Victorino was walked intentionally, putting men on first and second for the lefty Utley (who had struck out twice already). Lefty Mitch Stetter came in to pitch to Howard. Rollins and Victorino pulled off a double-steal, again without a throw, putting men on second and third with two outs for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.
Four stolen bases through four innings without a throw from Kendall on any of them. Even with a lefty on the mound, walking Victorino to pitch to Utley is a poor idea.
Righty Seth McClung came in to start the fifth. Burrell led off and walked on five pitches. Werth chopped a ball down the line to third. Counsell made a low throw to first, but Fielder scooped it nicely for the first out as Burrell moved to second. Feliz swung at the first pitch and popped to second. Ruiz drew a five-pitch walk. Myers swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and dumped a single into right. The shock may have been too much for Burrell, who couldn’t score from second with two outs. With the bases loaded and two outs, Rollins hammered an 0-1 pitch right at Fielder at first for the third out.
McClung was still on the mound to start the sixth. He got ahead of Victorino 0-2 before Victorino lined a ball hard to center. After a big misplay in game one, Cameron again misplayed the ball. He came in, then went back and had the ball go off his glove. Victorino had a leadoff double, but Cameron should have made the play. The righty McClung stayed in to pitch to Utley and Utley lined to right for the first out. Howard was walked intentionally, putting men on first and second for Burrell. Burrell took three called strikes for the second out. Werth flew to center on a 3-1 pitch for the third out.
Shouse and Parra were both lefties in the Milwaukee pen presumably available to pitch to Utley and Howard. Parra had thrown 15 pitches the day before. Instead they left McClung in — Utley hit the ball hard and they walked Howard, but McClung got the big strikeout of Burrell.
Gagne started the seventh. Feliz got ahead in the count, but grounded a 3-1 pitch to short. Ruiz flew to right on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Dobbs hit for Myers with the righty Gagne on the mound and struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.
Torres started the eighth. Rollins led off with a single to right, but was caught stealing second for the first out with Victorino at the plate. Fantastic throw by Kendall on an inside fastball to get Rollins. Victorino popped to third for the second out. Utley struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Ripped the ball in the fifth with the bases loaded, but right at Fielder.
Victorino 3-for-4 with two doubles and a grand slam.
Utley 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Hit the ball well in the sixth, but right at the right fielder.
Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts.
Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
Werth 2-for-4 with two doubles.
Feliz 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk.
No game today. Game three is Saturday in Milwaukee.
Chorizo is a Spanish sausage that, according to Wikipedia, won 14-of-81 Sausage Races at Miller Park this season. This makes it a below average sausage-racer (with five meats in the race and 81 races, you would expect each of them to win about 16.2 times a season if the wins were divided equally). Hot dog, apparently, is a force to be reckoned with.
Geoff Jenkins may be the Phillies’ secret weapon if the series comes down to sausage-racing. Jenkins has participated in the event and won his race. If you’re ever in a situation that requires you to guess the winner in a race between a professional athlete and stadium employees, I think you want to go professional athlete at least nine times out of ten.