Tag: Lance Berkman

Phils still not scoring runs, but making great strides towards getting their intentional walking ship in order for the post-season

The Phils lost again last night, but clinched home field advantage throughout the post-season with a loss by the Brewers. The offense struggled again for the Phillies in the game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the late but falling 4-3 as the rally fell short.

The Phils have scored three runs or less in ten of their last 11 games.

Halladay surprised a bit in the game by not being lights-out. Coming into the outing having allowed one run over 17 innings over his last two starts, Halladay gave up a pair of runs in the first on his way to allowing four runs over eight innings in the game. It was the fifth time in 31 starts this season that Halladay was charged with more than three runs in a start. He also curiously walked Lance Berkman intentionally twice in the game after Berkman homered off of him in the first. Both times it worked out for Halladay, who came into the start have issued just two intentional walks for the season.

If we’re voting, I think having Halladay walk two batters intentionally in a start is a pretty poor idea. My argument is as follows: He’s Roy flippin’ Halladay. In 67 starts as a Phillie, last night’s is the only one in which Halladay has walked more than three batters in a game. It’s the first time since June 25, 2008 that he has walked more than three batters in a game pitching for any team. He walked more batters intentionally last night than he did in 489 2/3 innings between 2009 and 2010 combined (one IBB in those two seasons).

The Phillies are 98-54 on the year after losing 4-3 to the St Louis Cardinals. St Louis takes the series three games to one.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Rafael Furcal was the first batter of the game and he doubled to right. Nick Punto was next and Furcal moved up to third on a passed ball by Ruiz before Punto grounded to first with Furcal scoring from third to put St Louis up 1-0. Albert Pujols grounded to Halladay for the second out before Lance Berkman hit a 1-0 pitch out to right. 2-0. Allen Craig lined to Utley for the third out.

Halladay set the Cards down in order in the second, getting Jon Jay on a ball handled by Ruiz, Gerald Laird on a ground ball to short and Daniel Descalso on a popup to Utley.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when pitcher Kyle Lohse led off the third with a double to center. Furcal bunted him to third with the first out before Halladay walked Punto. With men on first and third, Halladay struck Pujols out looking 2-2 for the second out. Berkman was next, though, and lined a single into center, scoring Lohse (3-1) and moving Punto to second. Craig popped to Utley for the third out.

With two outs in the fourth, Descalso hit a ground ball to first that Gload didn’t handle for an error. Halladay struck Lohse out swinging to leave Descalso at first.

Furcal reached on an infield single to start the fifth and Punto bunted him to second with the first out. Pujols flew to right for the second out and Halladay walked the switch-hitter Berkman intentionally, putting men on first and second with two outs for Craig. Halladay struck Craig out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.

Not a fan of that one, although it’s harder to argue with if Halladay is going to blow Craig away.

Halladay set St Louis down in order in the sixth.

He walked Punto with two outs in the seventh. Pujols was next and doubled to left, plating Punto to extend the St Louis lead to 4-1. Halladay again walked Berkman intentionally, putting men on first and second, and got Craig on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Again with the intentional walk to Berkman. Enough to make one suspect it has more to do with lack of fear of Craig than it does with fear of Berkman. Worked twice for the Phils, but I’m still not a fan.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Herndon started the ninth. Furcal doubled to left with one out. Punto was next and Herndon struck him out swinging for the second out. Pujols struck out swinging 0-2 to end the frame.

Five scoreless innings in his last four appearances for Herndon. He has a 1.71 ERA in 19 appearances since the All-Star break. He threw 17 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Kyle Lohse went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Pence (5) Ibanez (6) Polanco (7) Gload (8) Ruiz. Gload at first for Howard.

Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.

Polanco singled with two outs in the second and Gload reached on an error by Punto at second behind him. It brought Ruiz to the plate with men on first and second and Ruiz singled into right just under the glove of a diving Punto, scoring Polanco and cutting the lead to 2-1. Halladay struck out swinging to leave the runners at first and second.

Punto’s error keeps the inning alive for Ruiz to knock into Polanco. Not a good inning defensively for the Cards at second, with Punto just missing on Ruiz’s single.

Victorino singled with one out in the third and the Phils down 3-1. Utley hit a ball to second. Punto fielded and went to second where Furcal didn’t handle it for an error that left the Phils with one down and men on first and second. Pence loaded the bases with a single to left, but Ibanez struck out swinging 2-2 and Polanco struck out swinging 1-2.

It’s almost like Howard were still in the lineup. No RBI, no contact for Ibanez with one out and the bases loaded and the Phils can’t take advantage of the extra out on the error by Furcal.

Gload singled to start the fourth. Ruiz flew to center for the first out and Halladay bunted Gload up to second with the second. Rollins walked to put two men on base, but Victorino grounded to first to leave them both stranded.

Can Gload score from second on a single with two outs? We may never know. I’m guessing it depends on what kind of a single it is. Not sure I would bunt him to second with the second out unless I was pretty sure.

Pence singled with one out in the fifth. Ibanez was next and smashed a ball back up the middle, but Lohse caught the low line drive and threw to first where Pence was doubled-off to end the inning.

Gload doubled to center with one out in the sixth. Ruiz grounded to short for the second out with Gload holding second. Halladay grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Down 4-1, the Phils went in order in the seventh.

Polanco walked with two outs in the eighth. With lefty Marc Rzepczynski on the mound for the Cards, Mayberry hit for Gload and grounded to first to end the inning.

Ruiz doubled to left to start the ninth. With righty Jason Motte pitching for St Louis, Moss hit for Herndon and struck out swinging. Rollins was next and he ripped a triple into the gap in right-center, scoring Ruiz to cut the lead to 4-2. Victorino grounded to short for the second out with Rollins scoring. 4-3. Lefty Arthur Rhodes came in to pitch to Utley and Utley singled to right. Righty Octavio Dotel took over for Rhodes and got Pence to ground to third to end the game.

Moss instead of Brown gets the at-bat against Moss. First at-bat of the year for Moss. Rollins looked good running the bases on his triple. Looked like a double when he hit it to me.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a triple and a walk. 6-for-18 with a triple in the four-game series. That’s his first walk since August 20 (although he missed about 20 days from August 22 to September 9). 278/339/397 for the year. He hit 20 triples in 2007 and has hit 19 since.

Victorino 1-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-15 with three walks and a homer in the set. He’s hitting .195 in September and 288/365/505 for the year.

Utley 1-for-5. 4-for-18 in the series. He doesn’t have a walk in his last 63 plate appearances and is on-basing .241 in September. 262/341/430 for the season.

Pence 2-for-5 yesterday and 5-for-17 with two walks and a double in the series. 317/386/541 with the Phillies for the year. He’s tops on the team in all three categories with the exception of on-base percentage — Dane Sardinha has on-based .419 for the Phils this year in his 43 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-14 with a grand slam in the series. 4-for-his-last-32 and hitting 242/288/419 for the season.

Polanco 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-14 with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 308/395/385 in September. 281/341/345 for the season. He was hitting .273 after going 0-for-4 against the Fish on September 3. He’s 19-for-his-last-57 (.333) with eight walks. 301/381/350 in his 118 plate appearances since August 5.

Gload 2-for-3 with a double. 2-for-7 in the series with a walk and a double. 257/278/314 for the year.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 2-for-9 with a walk and a double in the set. 280/371/385 for the season.

The Phils play a double-header with the Nats today. Kendrick (8-6, 3.22) faces lefty Ross Detwiler (2-5, 3.76) in the afternoon game. Righties are hitting .295 against Detwiler for the season and have hit six of the seven home runs he has allowed. Kendrick has a 2.60 ERA over 52 innings in his last 11 appearances since July 6, but seven of the 22 runs he allowed in that time have been unearned. He’s allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his last ten starts. Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.38) faces rookie lefty Tom Milone (1-0, 4.60) in the night game.


Houston? We have a solution

After dropping two straight one-run games to the Astros, the Phils made sure it was going to take 16 runs if Houston was going to pull off that particular feat for a third day in a row. The Phillies cruised behind an offensive explosion this afternoon, overcoming Cole Hamels’ worst start of the year.

Coming off two brilliant starts, Hamels allowed six runs in four innings.

The Phils leave Houston with a big win, but it’s hard to ignore the two tough losses that preceded it. In both of those games the Phils seemed to have the Astros on the ropes late in the game but came away empty.

The Phillies beat the Houston Astros this afternoon, winning 15-6 to improve to 28-24 on the season. The teams split the four-game set.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He didn’t strike out a batter. He has at least four strikeouts in each of his other starts this season.

He got the first two in the first before Miguel Tejada and Lance Berkman singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third for Carlos Lee. Lee fouled off a 2-2 pitch and his backswing caught home plate umpire Jerry Crawford in the back of the head. Crawford was unable to continue and the game had to be delayed for 12 minutes. When it resumed, Lee hammered Hamels’ second pitch out to left to put the Astros up 3-0. Hunter Pence popped to second for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second.

With the game tied at 3-3 in the third, Hamels walked Michael Bourn to start the inning and Kaz Matsui moved Bourn to second with a single. Tejada grounded to short and Matsui was forced at second for the first out, but Utley double-clutched the throw to first so the Phils didn’t get the double-play. With men on first and third and one out, Berkman hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right field for a single. Bourn scored and the Astros led 4-3 with men on first and second. Tejada stole third and scored when Lee grounded to short, making it 5-3. Pence flew to center to end the inning.

Not an error by Utley as the Phils don’t get the double-play on Tejada’s ball, but it cost the Phils a run.

Ty Wigginton led off the fourth with a double with the Phils down 5-4. JR Towles popped to second for the first out before the pitcher Chris Sampson singled to right and Wigginton moved to third. Bourn grounded to short and Sampson was forced at second. Utley made a strong relay this time, but Bourn was just too fast to double-up. Wigginton scored and it was 6-4. Bourn stole second before Matsui grounded to third to end the inning.

Seanez started the fifth with the Phils still down 6-4. He got the first two before Lee walked and stole second. Pence reached on an infield single that moved Lee to third with two down. Wigginton was next and he ripped a ball down the third base line for what would have been a double but was ruled foul. With the exit of the home plate umpire the crew was one ump short and the home plate ump had to make the call on the ball that looked like it went over the bag. He called it foul but was probably wrong. Wigginton walked to load the bases, but Towles grounded to short for the third out.

Romero was up 9-6 when he started the sixth. Mark Loretta doubled to start the inning, but Seanez got the next three.

Up 15-6, Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Madson allowed a two out single to Darin Erstad in the eighth, but got Bourn to pop to short to end the inning.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Long day for the pen, but in the five innings they pitched the Phils outscored the Astros 11-0. Seanez 24 pitches, Madson 22, Romero 17 and Condrey seven. None of those guys had pitched since Friday so there’s a chance you could see any of them tomorrow night against the Rockies.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Chris Sampson went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right against the righty. Ruiz catches.

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

Down 3-0 in the second, Burrell walked with one out and Jenkins followed with his third home run of the year. It made the score 3-2. Feliz and Ruiz went down behind him.

Huge hit for Jenkins after the Astros had jumped out to the early lead.

Hamels singled to start the third and moved to third when Rollins followed with a double. Victorino grounded to second for the first out with the runners unable to advance. Utley flew to center deep enough for Hamels to score and tie the game at 3-3 with Rollins going to third. Howard walked, but Burrell popped out for the third out.

With two outs in the fourth, Ruiz doubled and Hamels followed with a single to right that scored Ruiz and cut the Houston lead to 5-4. Rollins flew to left for the third out.

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

They started the sixth down 6-4. Burrell led off with a home run just out to left. 6-5. Jenkins singled and moved to third on a double by Feliz. Ruiz singled to right and the runners moved up a base. 6-6 with men on first and third and no outs. Bruntlett hit for Seanez and walked to load the bases. Rollins hit a slow ground ball to second. Matsui wanted to tag Bruntlett and throw to first for the double-play, but Bruntlett did a nice job to stop in between first and second. Matsui threw to first to get Rollins, but Bruntlett was safe at second as Feliz scored to put the Phils up 7-6. Victorino ripped a double down the left-field line. Feliz and Bruntlett both scored to put the Phils up 9-6. Utley grounded to second and Howard flew to left to end the frame.

Burrell doubled to start the seventh and moved to third when Jenkins followed with a single. Taguchi ran for Burrell at third before Feliz hit a 3-2 pitch into left for a single. Taguchi scored and it was 10-6. Jenkins went to second. Ruiz tried to bunt and struck out bunting foul for the first out. Dobbs hit for Romero and tripled into the right field corner, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 12-6. It really should have been a double, but when Matsui took the relay from Pence he looked at home and allowed Dobbs to go to third. Rollins grounded to second for the second out before Victorino drove Dobbs home with a single. 13-6. Utley bombed a 2-0 pitch into the second deck in right-center. 15-6. Howard struck out for the third out.

Bunting with Ruiz is pretty absurd there.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth and 1-2-3 in the ninth. Bohn hit for Madson in the ninth and grounded out for the second out.

Rollins was 1-for-6 in the game with a double and an RBI. 7-for-20 with four doubles in the four game series. 321/367/527 on the year.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI. 7-for-20 with a double in the series. 270/325/375 for the season.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in the series. 2-for-13 in the series. 303/385/616 on the year.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a walk and struck out twice. 5-for-17 with two doubles and two home runs in the series. 204/303/471 for the season. He’s slugging .609 in May.

Burrell was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a home run. 5-for-11 with two doubles and three home runs in the series. 283/421/602 for the year.

Jenkins 3-for-5 with a home run. 4-for-14 in the set. 283/318/391.

Feliz was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 6-for-16 with a double in the series. 257/301/434 for the year. He’s hitting 310/341/512 in May.

Ruiz 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 4-for-13 in the series. 246/310/314. Coste was 2-for-6 in the series and is hitting 329/396/524 for the season.

On Saturday night, the Phillies lost to the Astros 4-3.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out two. Over hit last two starts he’s allowed nine doubles in 12 innings.

He started the first up 1-0. Bourn singled and stole second after Matsui struck out. Berkman walked and Lee doubled in both runners to put Houston up 2-1. Pence flew to center for the third out.

He hit Wigginton to start the second, but got a double-play and a ground out to turn the Astros away.

Matsui walked with one out in the third and went to third when Tejada followed with a double. Myers walked Berkman intentionally to load the bases with one out, but got Lee on an inning-ending double-play ground ball to third.

With the Phils up 3-2 in the fourth, Wigginton doubled with one out but Myers got the next two to leave him stranded.

Bourn doubled to start the fifth. Matsui bunted but popped it up to Myers. Tejada flew to center and Bourn went to third. Myers walked Berkman for the third time in five innings. Lee was next and ripped a 1-0 pitch into the left-field corner. Bourn scored to tie the game at 3-3 as Berkman went to third and Burrell threw to second. The ball got away from Utley at second and Berkman stormed home, but Howard picked up the ball as it rolled towards first and threw home. Coste tagged Berkman out to end the inning.

Wigginton reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth. Ausmus flew to left for the second out on a nice play by Burrell near the wall. Burrell threw to first to try to double Wigginton off, but Howard didn’t handle the throw and Wigginton went to second on the play. Miserable defense at first from Howard in the series and it cost the Phils again on Saturday. Mark Loretta hit for the pitcher Brian Moehler and singled into left-center. Wigginton scored to put the Astros up 4-3. Bourn grounded to first for the third out.

Second time in two games a play not made by Howard in which he isn’t charged with an error contributes to the Phillies giving up a run. The Phils lost both of those games by one run.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils down 4-3. Tejada singled with one out, but Durbin got the next two to turn Houston away.

Durbin pitched the eighth as well. Pence led off with a single but Coste threw him out stealing second. Durbin struck out Wigginton and Ausmus to end the inning.

Again we see Durbin pitch much later in the game, and in a one-run game, than we have during the early parts of the season. Neither Gordon or Romero had pitched on Friday and Manuel called on Durbin to throw 27 pitches in a one-run game.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Brian Moehler went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Coste catches against the righty.

With one out in the first, Victorino reached on an error by Berkman and stole second. Utley walked before Howard doubled to left, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 1-0 with men on second and third. Burrell hit a ball to third and Wigginton came home where Utley was tagged out for the second out. Jenkins popped to second for the third out.

Phils can’t score again after putting men on second and third with one out.

Myers singled with two outs in the second, but Rollins grounded to first for the third out.

With one out in the third, Utley was hit by a pitch. Howard followed and hit a 1-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 3-2. Burrell and Jenkins grounded out behind him.

1-2-3 in the fourth.

Victorino singled with one out in the fifth, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

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

Coste and Taguchi, hitting for Myers, went down to start the seventh before Rollins doubled. Victorino grounded to first to end the frame with the Phils down 4-3.

Taguchi doesn’t have a hit in May. 0-for-11. No hits isn’t good, but it’s hard to feel like he’s worth a spot on the roster if he’s going to get so few opportunities. It’s not going to happen with Werth on the DL, or probably ever, but I still think the Phils should consider giving that roster spot to a third catcher.

Still down a run in the eighth, Burrell drew a two out walk and Bohn ran for him at first. Lefty Wesley Wright came in to pitch and Bruntlett hit for Jenkins. Bruntlett grounded to third for the third out.

Jenkins is a better hitter than Bruntlett. I would let him hit against a lefty there if Bruntlett is the other choice.

Feliz and Coste started the ninth with back-to-back singles off of righty Doug Brocail. Ruiz ran for Coste at first and Dobbs hit for Durbin. Brocail stepped off the rubber and threw to second, but there was nobody covering second. The runners moved to second and third with two outs. Dobbs fisted a ball to shallow center for the first out. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases. Victorino got ahead 2-0 and hit a fly ball to left and Feliz tagged and tried to score. Darin Erstad made a strong throw home without a cut, slightly up the first base line. Ausmus took the throw and tagged Feliz out on a close play as Feliz slid into home to end the game.

I’ve heard some criticism today about the 2-0 pitch that Victorino swung at. It may not have been a good pitch to hit, but at least it looks to me like it was a strike. The result was unfortunate, but I don’t have a problem with Victorino swinging at the pitch.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double.

Victorino 1-for-5.

Utley 0-for-2 with a walk.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and a home run and drove in all three of the Phillies’ runs.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.

Jenkins 0-for-3.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Coste 1-for-4.

Jamie Moyer (4-3, 4.37) faces lefty Jorge De La Rosa (1-2, 7.78) tomorrow night as the Phils play the first of three against the Rockies in Philadelphia. De la Rosa has made four starts for the Rockies this year and hasn’t gone six innings in any of them. It will be interesting to see what the Phillies do in right without Werth against the lefty. Moyer is 2-0 in his last two starts and has allowed three runs over 12 2/3 innings.


The middle rages

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
               
HOU 27-21 234 4.88 3 747 (7) 54 13
PHI 26-22 232 4.83 4 776 (6) 30 6

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
             
HOU 27-21 221 4.60 9 4.68 (13) 3.75 (8)
PHI 26-22 208 4.33 7 4.48 (8) 2.92 (1)

The middle of the Phillies order has been mostly missing in May as the 3-4-5 of Utley, Howard and Burrell have done just about zilch. Not last night, though. Ryan Howard banged the ball around the yard for the second straight game, but the biggest swing of the night came off the bat of Burrell. With the game tied at 5-5 in the eighth, Burrell bounced off the bench and bopped a ball just out to left to put the Phils on top to stay.

The Phils again got great work from their bullpen. The pen gave them four innings and were not charged with a run.

The bad news on the night was a weak start from Kyle Kendrick, whose ERA is over 5.00 for the season, and an injury to Jayson Werth. Werth hurt his right oblique and had to leave early. Losing Werth for a stretch of games would be a big blow to the Phils, forcing Jenkins to play against lefties or Taguchi, Bruntlett or Dobbs to see regular time as a corner outfielder.

The Phillies beat the Houston Astros last night in the first game of a four-game set. They won 7-5 to improve to 27-22 on the year and have won three in a row. Tonight they have a chance to go six games over .500 for the first time this season and win four in a row for the first time this season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out two. His ERA is up to 5.19.

Michael Bourn led off the first with a single. Kendrick got Kaz Matsui on a line out to second before Miguel Tejada hit a ground ball to short. Bourn was forced at second for the first out with Tejada safe at first. The red hot Lance Berkman was next and he smashed a ball just over Dobbs in left for a double. Tejada scored and Houston led 1-0. Carlos Lee crushed the first pitch of his at-bat, but Victorino took it to end the inning.

Kendrick started the second with the game tied at 1-1. Hunter Pence led off with a walk and moved to third when Ty Wigginton followed with a single. Brad Ausmus flew to right for the first out and Pence tagged and scored. Jenkins’ throw home was terrible, up the third base line, but Pence probably would have been safe even if it had been on line. The pitcher Roy Oswalt bunted Wigginton to second, but Kendrick struck out Bourn for the third out.

Up 4-2 in the third, Kendrick gave up a two out single to Berkman. Lee flew to right for the third out.

With one out in the fourth, Wigginton dumped a ball into right-center. Victorino got to it quickly, but his throw to second was off target and Wigginton was safe with a double. Ausmus hit a slow ground ball to short for the second out and Wigginton moved to third. Oswalt grounded out to end the inning.

With the Phils up 5-2 in the fifth, Bourn led off with a single and stole second after Matsui flew to left for the first out. Tejada fouled out to Ruiz and Berkman popped to short. Kendrick had thrown 79 pitches through five innings.

Kendrick hit Lee with a pitch to start the sixth. Pence followed with a single that moved him to second. Wigginton was next and he ripped the first pitch of his at-bat into the left field corner. Both runners scored and the Phils’ lead was cut to 5-4. With the righty Ausmus at the plate, Madson came in to pitch and Ausmus bunted Wigginton to third for the first out. Geoff Blum hit for Oswalt and Romero came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Blum. Blum didn’t have a hit against lefties on the season (0-for-10). He singled into left, of course, and Wigginton scored to tie the game at 5-5. Romero struck out Bourn for the second out and got Matsui to ground to short for the third out.

Durbin started the seventh with the score tied at 5-5. Berkman doubled with one out, but Durbin got Lee to ground to third and Pence to pop to Ruiz in foul territory to leave him stranded.

Gordon threw a 1-2-3 eighth with a 7-5 lead. He has a 1.86 ERA in May after throwing to a 1.80 ERA in April. In his one appearance in March he allowed five runs in a third of an inning (135.00 ERA).

Lidge pitched the ninth with a two run lead. He gave up a two out single to Tejada, which brought up Berkman as the tying run. Berkman flew to left on the first pitch of his at-bat to end the game.

It will be over-shadowed by Burrell’s big swing and Howard’s night, but the bullpen was fantastic for the Phillies again last night. After Kendrick left in the sixth, the pen went four innings without being charged a run. They allowed three hits and didn’t walk a batter. Romero gave up the single to Blum with the run charged to Kendrick, but otherwise they kept the Astros in check for four frames.

Durbin was used in the seventh inning, which is later than we have generally seen him this year.

Manuel has backed off on his use of Romero significantly in April and that’s a very good sign. After making 13 appearances in April, Romero has made just eight in May and they haven’t been particularly good. In 6 1/3 innings he’s thrown to a 4.26 ERA with a 1.89 ERA. Romero was fantastic but overused in the early part of the season. Maybe that’s something that can be remedied with less use and maybe it isn’t. We’ll see. Four days in a row April 29 through May 2 was a poor idea.

Despite having to throw four innings, the only guy to throw more than ten pitches out of the Phillies’ pen last night was Lidge. He threw 13.

Berkman was 3-for-5 with two doubles against the Phils last night. He’s hitting 506/573/935 with eight home runs in 74 at-bats in May. How badly he hurts the Phils is going to be critical in the three remaining games of the set.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Roy Oswalt went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Feliz (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. The slumping Burrell gets the night off against the tough righty. Dobbs plays left. Jenkins in right, giving the Phils four lefties in five hitters three through seven in the order. Victorino again in center with Werth on the bench. Ruiz catches.

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

Down 1-0 in the second, the Phils loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by Howard and Feliz and a walk to Jenkins. Dobbs popped to second for the first out. Ruiz followed with a single into right and everyone moved up a base with Howard scoring to tie the game at 1-1. Kendrick grounded to short and Tejada threw home to force Feliz for the second out. Rollins grounded to third to end the frame.

One run out of bases loaded and nobody out.

Victorino started the third with an infield single and move to second when Utley followed with a walk. Howard doubled into left. Victorino scored to tie the game at 2-2 and Utley went to third. Feliz laced the first pitch of his at-bat back through the middle for a single. Utley scored to make it 3-2 and Howard held third with nobody out. Jenkins hit a fly ball to center. Not very deep, but Howard tagged anyway and Bourn’s throw was ridiculously bad. Howard scored easily and Feliz went to second with the Phils up 4-2. Dobbs and Ruiz both grounded out to leave Feliz stranded.

Rollins doubled to center with one out in the fourth. Victorino and Utley went down behind him.

Howard led off the fifth with a long home run to left that put the Phils up 5-2. Jenkins singled with one out, but Dobbs and Ruiz went down behind him.

Kendrick started the sixth with a single, but Rollins followed and hit into a double-play. Victorino singled before Utley flew to Bourn on the warning track to end the frame.

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

With lefty Wesley Wright on the mound, Burrell hit for Dobbs to start the eighth. He hit a 3-2 pitch just out to left, putting the Phils up 6-5. Ruiz followed with a walk. Werth was next and grounded to short. Ruiz was forced at second for the first out. Werth clearly had something wrong with his side or lower back, but stayed in the game. A single by Rollins moved Werth to second, where he was replaced by pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett. Victorino popped to short for the second out, but Utley followed and singled into right. Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 7-5 and Rollins went to third. Howard struck out to end the frame.

Feliz walked to start the ninth. Taguchi grounded to short behind him and Feliz was forced at second. Coste hit for Gordon and singled, putting men on first and second for Ruiz. Ruiz flew to center for the second out and Bruntlett popped to short to leave the runners stranded.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double.

Victorino 2-for-5. He’s 5-for-his-last-10.

Utley 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Howard 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI.

Feliz 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 7-for-his-last-13.

Jenkins 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.

Dobbs 0-for-3 and left five men on base.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59) faces righty Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58) tonight. Righties are hitting just .240 against Backe, lefties .309. In 55 innings he’s walked 29, which is a lot. He’s also given up ten home runs. He’s been better in his four starts at home, 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.48 ratio, than he has away (1-4 with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.66 ratio in six starts). He faced the Phillies once this season, on April 7, and it was his worst outing of the year. The Phils scored six runs on ten hits over just three innings. Eaton hasn’t gotten an out in the sixth inning in any of his last three starts. Over his last three outings he’s allowed 12 runs in 14 innings while walking ten. His walk rate is actually up compared to last season. He faced the Astros once this season and pitched well. On April 15 he held Houston to three runs over six innings.


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