Tag: Matt Garza

One hit makes fans wonder

Matt Garza looked rather fantastic yesterday, holding the Phils to a single and walk over seven shutout innings while striking out ten as he led the Cubs to a 5-1 win. As good as he looked, it was a little hard to tell how much of it was Garza being great and how much was the Phillies being feeble offensively.

Given the Phillies’s offense woes of late, a little of both seems like a good guess.

The biggest problem for the Phillies right now is that Rollins, Pence and Victorino, the trio expected to be the core of an offense that’s missing Utley and Howard, aren’t producing. Rollins has struggled all year and is hitting 222/264/259 for the season. Pence is 5-for-his-last-34 (.147) and Victorino 3-for-his-last-33 (.091).

The Phillies are 10-12 on the year after losing to the Chicago Cubs 5-1 yesterday afternoon. The Cubs have won two of the first three games of the four-game set.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run.

That’s a whole lot better than in his other start of the season, in which Kendrick allowed seven runs over three innings.

He set the Cubs down in order in the first. Bryan LaHair led off the second and doubled to left-center. Jeff Baker was the next hitter and lined a ball to right that Pence looked like he might catch for a second, but went over his head for a double. LaHair didn’t scored, moving up to third to put men on second and third with nobody out for Ian Stewart. Stewart grounded to second for the first out with both runners moving up a base and LaHair scoring to put the Cubs up 1-0. Kendrick walked Joe Mather and Mather stole second, putting men on second and third with one down. Kendrick struck Wellington Castillo and pitcher Matt Garza out back-to-back to leave the runners on second and third.

Big strikeout for Kendrick to get Castillo for the second out with men on first and second.

Tony Campana led off the third with a single to right and took second when Nix didn’t handle a pickoff throw at first for an error. Darwin Barney grounded to second for the first out, with Campana moving up to third. Starlin Castro was next and hit a ball to right, not too deep. Pence took it for the second out and made a good throw home, but Campana tagged and slid in just safe to make it 2-0. Kendrick struck LaHair out looking to end the frame.

Campana, as he demonstrated throughout the series, is really fast. Kendrick’s pickoff throw to first was a little low, but Nix definitely should have caught it.

Kendrick got the first two in the fourth, before Mather hit a 1-0 pitch out to left, putting the Cubs up 3-0. Castillo flew to center for the third out.

Kendrick struck out Garza, Campana and Barney in a 1-2-3 fifth.

He allowed a one-out single to LaHair in the sixth, but got Baker and Stewart behind him.

Contreras set the Cubs down in order in the seventh, striking out Mather and Castillo before getting Garza to ground to first.

Contreras does a nice just against the bottom of the order for the Cubs, coming off of back-to-back ugly outings.

Herndon started the eighth. Campana led off with an infield single and stole second on a pitchout. Barney bunted him to third with the first out. Castro was next and hit a ball to second with the infield in. Galvis came home, but his throw was bad first base side and Campana was safe, putting the Cubs up 4-0 with nobody out and a man on first. Castro tried to steal second, but Schneider threw him out for the first out. LaHair doubled to right and came home on a single by Baker (5-0). Baker took second as the throw came home. Stewart lined to left for the third out.

Campana still fast, what with reaching on the infield hit, stealing second on a pitchout and then scoring on a ground ball to second with the infield in and the throw coming home all in the same frame. Schneider throwing out Castro ahead of the double by LaHair saves the Phils a run.

Herndon came back to set the Cubs down in order in the ninth.

Herndon raises his ERA for the year to 4.70, allowing two runs over two innings. He’s only walked one, but allowed ten hits in 7 2/3 innings for the year. Campana made one of the runs he allowed without a lot of help. Herndon threw 24 pitches in the game, Contreras ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Wigginton (5) Victorino (6) Nix (7) Schneider (8) Galvis. Rollins leads off against a righty for the second straight day, but this time with Pierre behind him playing left and hitting second. Wigginton at third with Polanco on the bench. Nix at first. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the bench. Galvis at second with the lefty Orr watching.

Rollins blooped a single into right center to start the bottom of the first. Pierre followed and grounded to short with Rollins forced at second for the first out. With Pence at the plate, a ball in the dirt got away from Castillo. Pierre tried to take second, but Castillo threw him out for the second out. Pence struck out to end the inning.

The out Pierre gave away at second doesn’t officially count as a caught stealing, so I guess we’ll just have to remember.

Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the second.

Down 2-0, Schneider, Galvis and Kendrick all struck out in the third.

Down 3-0, Rollins struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Nix struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Garza got Schneider on a fly ball to right for the first out in the sixth. Galvis struck out for the second out. Mayberry hit for Kendrick and struck out swinging to end the inning.

Mayberry’s average dropped to .208 on the year with the strikeout. He’s 1-for-9 as a pinch-hitter with five strikeouts.

Pierre walked with one out in the seventh, but Pence and Wigginton went down behind him.

The Phillies were down 5-0 when righty Rafael Dolis set them down in order in the eighth.

Righty Carlos Marmol started the ninth and got Galvis on a fly ball to center for the first out. Orr hit for Herndon and walked. Rollins followed that with a walk, putting men on first and second for Pierre. Pierre popped to short for the second out, but Pence reached on an infield single that loaded the bases. Wigginton walked on a 3-2 pitch, forcing in Orr to make it 5-1. Victorino grounded to short to end the game.

Three walks in the inning for the Phils. They only walked four times in the game.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-7 with a walk, a double and two RBI in the last two days.

Pierre 0-for-3 with a walk and gave away a run with a caught stealing that doesn’t count as a caught stealing. .

Pence 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .253. He’s hitting 171/190/268 in 42 plate appearances over his last ten games. 2-for-12 with four strikeouts so far in the series.

Wigginton 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 13-for-his-last-37 (351/415/486 over 41 plate appearances).

Victorino 0-for-4 to drop his average to .230. He’s hitting 200/233/400 over his last 73 plate appearances. 3-for-his-last-33 with two home runs and a double. His last single came April 20 in San Diego.

Nix 0-for-3 with a strikeout and an error at first. He’s on-basing .387 and slugging .556 for the season, both of which lead the team.

Schneider 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Threw Castro out trying to steal second in the eighth. He’s 4-for-18 on the year with four singles.

Galvis 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, which dropped his average under .200 to .194. He’s 4-for-his-last-29. He’s hitting .179 against right-handed pitching with a .209 on-base percentage.

On Saturday, the Phillies won game two of the series 5-2. Blanton got the start for the Phils and was very good, pitching into the eighth inning and holding the Cubs to a pair of runs. J-Roll lead off for the first time this season and hit a two-run double in a four-run fourth for the Phils that also featured a two-run single by Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz added a solo homer in the sixth, his third home run of the season.

Friday the Phils lost the opener of the series 5-1. Halladay allowed three runs over seven innings and Schwimer gave up a pair of runs in the ninth. The only run of the game for the Phils came on a solo home run by Wigginton off of Chicago starter Paul Maholm in the seventh.

Worley (2-1, 2.16) faces righty Chris Volstead (0-3, 6.14) tonight. Worley has made three very good starts in four outings for the year. Over his last two starts he has allowed one run in 13 innings and struck out 17. Volstad has allowed at least four runs in each of his last three starts and hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning in any of them.


Rule V mash

Things looked bad early for the Phils last night, but Cliff Lee made it through a shaky start to his start and Michael Martinez delivered another big hit. Down 2-0, Utley doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. The Phils rallied for two more in the ninth, getting two-out singles from Francisco and Rollins before Martinez cleared the bases with a two-out double.

For Martinez it was his second huge offense game in the last three the Phils have played. He’s hitting 297/357/459 in 37 at-bats in July. In the five games since the All-Star break, he’s driven in more runs than Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Brown and Ruiz combined. The day before the All-Star break, he went 4-for-5 against the Braves.

The Phillies are 60-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 last night. They lead the NL East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Reed Johnson led off the bottom of the first and doubled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Starlin Castro was next and he hit Lee’s first pitch out to left, putting the Cubs up 2-0. Aramis Ramirez was next he doubled to center. Jeff Baker lined to short for the first out before Marlon Byrd hit a ball hard towards third that Martinez snared. Martinez went for first for the second out with Ramirez holding second. Lee struck Alfonso Soriano out looking 1-2 to end the inning with Ramirez at second.

Not a great start for Lee. First three batters he faces deliver extra-base hits, followed by a line drive out and a ball hit hard to third.

Carlos Pena started the second with a double and moved to third when Geovany Soto followed with a single. The pitcher Matt Garza tried to bunt Soto to second but couldn’t and struck out for the first out. Lee struck Johnson and Castro out back-to-back to leave runners on the corners.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.

Johnson doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Castro was next and he hit a ball that was deflected by Rollins and went into left for a single that moved Johnson to third. Lee got Ramirez on a popup to short and struck out Baker to keep the Cubs from extending their lead.

No run for Chicago after putting men on first and third with one out.

Carlos Pena singled to right with two outs in the sixth. Lee got Soto on a ground ball to third to leave him at first.

Stutes took over for Lee in the seventh. Johnson singled to left with one out and Castro flew to right behind him for the second. Ramirez moved Johnson to second with a single into center and lefty Blake DeWitt hit for the righty Baker. Stutes got DeWitt on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Stutes was back to pitch the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He got the first two batters before getting behind the lefty Pena 2-0. Pena was walked intentionally and Stutes struck Soto out to leave him at first.

Not a fan of walking Pena or much of anyone with two outs and nobody on base.

Bastardo started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Lefty Kosuke Fukudome hit for the pitcher Sean Marshall and the lefty Bastardo struck him out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Johnson struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. Castro fouled off fives pitches before striking out looking 1-2 to end the game.

Three scoreless innings for the pen. Stutes threw 37 pitches in the game, Bastardo 18. Neither of them have thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Victorino returns to the lineup and Mayberry goes back to the bench. Martinez continues to play third and hit second for Polanco. Second is too high for Martinez.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez and Brown walked back-to-back with two outs in the second and the Phils down 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Brown doubled to left with one out in the fifth, but was left stranded at second when Ruiz fouled out to Pena and Lee struck out swinging.

Martinez walked with one out in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Soto. Utley struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Martinez at third.

Utley and Howard can’t put the ball in play against the righty Garza and the Phils don’t score with one out and a man on third. Martinez turned out to be the hero in the ninth, but did his best to make a run for the Phils out of almost nothing in the sixth.

Brown singled to center with two outs in the seventh and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single to right. With the righty Garza still pitching for Chicago, Gload hit for Lee and flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Gload is 1-for-his-last-14.

Rollins led off the eighth and singled to right off of Garza. Lefty Sean Marshall took over for Garza and Martinez singled softly to center, moving Rollins to second. Utley was next he hammered a 1-1 pitch to the gap in left-center. The ball landed on the track and bounced off the wall. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 2-2 with nobody out and Utley on second. Utley stole third as Howard struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino was next and chopped a ball to short. Castro fielded and threw home, where Soto tagged out a sliding Utley on a close play for the second out. Ibanez struck out swinging to leave Victorino at first.

Third strikeout of the game for Howard.

With the lefty Marshall on the mound, Mayberry hit for brown and grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Francisco hit for Stutes and singled to center. Rollins was next and he reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Ramirez at third, putting men on first and second for Martinez. Martinez flared an 0-1 pitch into right that dropped inside the line. Both runners scored, putting the Phils up 4-2. Martinez was caught be between second and third and was tagged out sliding into third for the third out.

Manuel takes Brown out of the game with the score tied, letting Mayberry hit for him against the lefty. Francisco delivers a big pinch-hit single that keeps the frame alive for Rollins to single and Martinez to double and put the Phils ahead.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with two singles. He’s 8-for-his-last-18 and hitting 365/412/492 in July.

Martinez was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a stolen base and two RBI.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-18.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 1-for-his-last-19.

Victorino 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk.

Brown 2-for-2 with a double and a walk and removed for a pinch-hitter against a lefty in a tie game. He’s 2-for-his-last-12. I think the Phils should be considering both Mayberry and Francisco as potential platoon partners for Brown in right with Victorino back.

Ruiz was 1-for-4. He’s hitting 341/442/477 so far in July.

Worley (5-1, 2.15) faces righty Ryan Dempster (7-6, 4.68) this afternoon. Dempster threw to a 6.32 ERA in his first 13 starts of the year, but has gone 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.10 ratio over his last seven outings. Worley has allowed one run or less in seven of the nine starts he has made for the Phillies this season.

This suggests that Oswalt could return in early August if things continue to go well.


One for the aged

Jamie Moyer waited 22 years to get to pitch in the World Series, so when he had to wait another hour and a half he apparently was unfazed. The Phillies won game three of the World Series last night not in spite of Moyer, but in large part because of him. Years from now when you look back at his line for the game it won’t look like anything special. So we’ll just have to remember.

Moyer allowed a run in the second inning when Carl Crawford led off with a bloop double down the left field line off the glove of a sliding Burrell. Crawford stole third and came in to score on a sac fly to tie the game at 1-1. Ruiz gave the Phils another lead with a home run in the bottom of the second. Utley and Howard went back-to-back in the bottom of the sixth off of Matt Garza and Moyer took a 4-1 lead into the seventh. Crawford again got him, leading off with a pretty bunt down the first base line. Moyer made an even prettier play, though, diving for the ball, gloving and flipping to Howard at first who bare-handed, just nipping Crawford for the first out of the inning. One problem, though: Crawford was called safe and the Rays went on to score two runs in the inning they almost surely wouldn’t have had without the call.

BJ Upton used his speed in the top of the eighth to create a run off of Madson where there was none, tying the game at 4-4. The Phils won it in the bottom of a wild ninth. The inning featured a hit batter, a wild pitch, two intentional walks and finally Ruiz dribbling a ball down the third base line with five infielders playing for the Rays. None of them could do anything about the swinging bunt and the Phils had won game three.

The weak-hitting Ruiz is suddenly not so weak-hitting. After going 2-for-3 with a walk last night, Ruiz is hitting .500 in the series with three runs batted in. The Phillies have nine RBI in the first three games of the series — seven of them have been driven in by either Utley or Ruiz.

The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the World Series last night, winning 5-4. They lead the series two games to one.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

He faced a Tampa Bay lineup that went (1) Akinori Iwamura (2B/L) (2) BJ Upton (CF/R) (3) Carlos Pena (1B/L) (4) Evan Longoria (3B/R) (5) Carl Crawford (LF/L) (6) Dioner Navarro (C/S) (7) Gabe Gross (RF/L) (8) Jason Bartlett (SS/R). The lefty Gross starts in right for Tampa Bay with the righty Baldelli and Ben Zobrist, who started game one against Hamels, on the bench.

The Rays started the game with six players on their bench: Michael Hernandez (R), Rocco Baldelli (R), Fernando Perez (S), Cliff Floyd (L), Ben Zobrist (S) and Willy Aybar (S).

The start of the game came about five minutes after ten after a rain delay of about an hour and a half.

Iwamura led off the first for the Rays and popped an 0-1 pitch into center for the first out. Moyer got two called strikes out the outside part of the plate before Upton grounded a 1-2 pitch to Rollins for the second out. Pena checked his swing at a low 1-2 pitch before walking on a 3-2 pitch that was low and outside. Longoria went down swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

Crawford started the second and popped a ball into shallow left field, near the foul line. Burrell slid for it after a long run and the ball went off his glove. Burrell picked it up and threw to second, but Crawford had a double. Navarro was next and he hit a bloop to second that Utley took for the first out. Crawford stole third on the first pitch to Gross, and Gross delivered a long fly ball to right center that Victorino took on the warning track for the second out. It was more than deep enough for Crawford, though, and he tagged and scored to tie the game at 1-1. Bartlett flew to center for the third out.

Garza led off the third and grounded to third for the first out. Iwamura was next and he popped to right for the second. Upton went down looking 1-2 and didn’t care much for the call.

Pena flew to right on a 2-2 pitch to start the fourth. Moyer got ahead of Longoria 0-2 before striking him out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Crawford flew softly to left on a 3-1 pitch to end the frame.

Navarro led off the fifth with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins tried to backhand, but the ball went off his glove. Navarro was given a single – Rollins may not have been able to throw him out even if he had fielded the ball cleanly. Gross popped a 1-2 pitch to left for the first out. Bartlett was next and he popped to short. Garza grounded to Utley to set the Rays down.

Moyer got Iwamura flailing 2-2 to start the sixth. Upton was next and he lined a 2-1 pitch into left where it fell for a single. Moyer threw over to first enough times that Upton was headed back to the base consistently as Moyer delivered to Pena, and Moyer got Pena looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Before Moyer delivered a pitch to Longoria, Upton took off for second. Moyer threw to first and Howard made an accurate throw to Utley at second, but Upton just beat the throw and was safe at second with a stolen base. Longoria absolutely hammered a ball to left, but a strong wind blowing in knocked it down and Burrell took it on the warning track right in front of the wall.

Huge break for Moyer, cause they ball is well out of the yard on most days.

Moyer started the seventh having thrown 86 pitches with a 4-1 lead and Eric Bruntlett playing left. Crawford bunted the first pitch down the first base line. Beautiful bunt, but Moyer dove for it and made a glove-flip to Howard. Howard caught the ball with his bare hand and Crawford was called safe (replays show he was out). Fantastic play by Moyer and by Howard. Navarro ripped a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double, sending Crawford to third. Moyer stayed in to pitch to the lefty Gross. Gross hit a ground ball to first that Howard took to the bag for the first out as Crawford came in to score and cut the Phillies lead to 4-2 with Navarro at third and one out. Durbin came in to pitch to Bartlett. Bartlett grounded Durbin’s first pitch to short for the second out, scoring Navarro to make it 4-3. Switch-hitter Willy Aybar hit for the pitcher Matt Garza. Durbin walked Aybar on a 3-1 pitch outside. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Iwamura and quickly got ahead 0-2 before striking Iwamura out swinging 3-2.

The missed call at first base on the Crawford bunt costs the Phillies two runs — Navarro would have doubled with one out and probably gone to third on the Gross ground out, but Bartlett’s ground out would have ended the inning without any damage. The Rays do get back the two runs they lost when the wind took away Longoria’s homer in the sixth.

Crawford came into the game with great numbers against Moyer and hurt him in this game, scoring two of the three runs charged to Moyer.

Madson started the eighth with a 4-3 lead. He quickly got behind Upton 2-0, but came back with two strikes to even the count before Upton chopped a 3-2 pitch back up the middle. Rollins fielded, but didn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly and Upton beat his throw easily for an infield single. Pena swung at a 2-0 pitch out of the strike zone and fouled it off. Madson struck him out with a ball down and in — Pena tried to check his swing but couldn’t. Upton stole second without a throw as Madson delivered ball one to Longoria. Upton took off for third on the next pitch. Ruiz’s throw to third was in the dirt, then off the body of Upton and toward the Rays’ dugout. Upton scored easily on the throwing error to tie the game at 4-4. Longoria hit a ball back up the middle that Utley made a nice play on for the second out. Romero came in to pitch to Crawford with the bases empty and two outs. Crawford swung at Romero’s first pitch and flew softly to right.

Romero came back to start the ninth and struck Navarro out with a pitch that bounced in front of the plate. He got the lefty Gross to ground softly to Utley for the second out. Romero stayed in to pitch to the righty Bartlett and Bartlett bounced a 3-2 pitch to Rollins for the third out.

I would have had Lidge start the inning, but that worked out great for the Phillies. Bartlett probably can’t hit a home run, but he hit 379/411/508 against lefties this season. I think you have to bring a righty in to pitch to him, even with two outs and nobody on. Manuel may have been thinking that the Phils were not in a great position to score in the bottom of the ninth with Bruntlett, Victorino and Feliz scheduled to hit.

The Phillies pen went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run. Upton’s speed and a bad throw by Ruiz helps Madson cough up a run — Upton needed his wheels to beat out the hit and then stole two bases. He stole three in the game. The bullpen has allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings in the series. Madson and Romero each threw 15 pitches in the game. Durbin and Eyre each threw six.

The Tampa Bay bullpen allowed a run over two innings. They walked three batters, hit another and uncorked a wild pitch. Two of the walks were intentional. As a group they have now allowed three runs in 8 1/3 innings. After an off-day on Friday, nobody in the Rays pen threw more than 16 pitches.

Pena and Longoria are a combined 0-for-22 with ten strikeouts and two walks in the first three games of the series.

The Rays scored four runs in game three and at least three of them wouldn’t have scored without their speed. Crawford stole third in the second, allowing him to score on the fly ball by Gross. He put down a beautiful bunt to start the seventh. He was out, but it wouldn’t have been close without his speed. Upton made a run out where there was none off of Madson in the eighth.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz stays at third against the righty. Ruiz has been hitting well, but has made 12 straight playoff starts (with some time off in-between series) for the Phils and made his second error in three games last night.

The Phillies started the game with six players on their bench: Bruntlett (R), Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins led off the first for the Phils and lined a single into center for his first hit of the World Series. Werth was next and he walked on five pitches. Garza’s 0-1 pitch to Utley was in the dirt and blocked by Navarro, but the wild pitch allowed the runners to move to second and third with nobody out. Utley grounded a 3-1 pitch to first for the first out, scoring Rollins to make it 1-0 and moving Werth to third with one out. Howard got ahead 2-0, but then fouled off two pitches and struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Burrell swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Phils get one run out of second and third with one out. Utley brings in a run with a ground out, but Howard strikes out with one down and a man on third. Again. The Phillies really had Garza on the ropes in the first, but he gets out with the help of the huge strikeout of Howard.

Victorino led off the second with game tied at 1-1. He hammered a 2-2 pitch on the ground, but right at Pena, who took it for the first out. Feliz was next and hit a ground ball back up the middle, but Bartlett made a nice play to get the second out. Ruiz was next and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left to put the Phillies up 2-1. Moyer struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Rollins started the third with another single, this one into right. Werth took a strike to even the count at 2-2 as Rollins took off for second. Navarro gunned him down for the first out. Werth reached out and poked an outside pitch into right field for a single. Utley drove a 1-1 pitch to center, but Upton caught it at the warning track for the second out. Howard waived at Garza’s first pitch, a breaking ball, and missed. He hit a 2-1 pitch to Bartlett, playing where you would expect the second baseman to be, to end the inning.

Not sure if the caught stealing cost the Phils a run or not. Rollins surely would have gone to third on Utley’s deep fly ball, likely putting men on first and third with one out for Howard. Not sure if the Rays would have been able to turn a double-play on Howard’s grounder or not.

Garza struck out the side in the fourth. Burrell went down swinging at a 3-2 pitch to get things started. Victorino struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch that looked high for the second out. Feliz struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch in the dirt.

Ruiz led off the fifth and walked on a 3-2 pitch. Moyer tried to bunt, but popped the first pitch of his at-bat to the catcher for the first out. Rollins lined a 2-2 pitch to Iwamura at second for the second out. Werth flew to right on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning with Ruiz stranded.

Not a good bunt by Moyer, but the Phils still would have been turned away if Rollins and Werth had come up with the same results.

Utley led off the sixth and blasted a 2-1 pitch from Garza out to right to extend the Phillies’ lead to 3-1. Howard was next and he popped a 2-2 pitch out to right. 4-1. Burrell struck out looking at an inside fastball for the first out. Victorino popped up an 0-1 pitch in the infield. Pena took it for the second out. Feliz went down swinging to end the inning.

Chad Bradford started the seventh for the Rays and got Ruiz to chop a ball to short for the first out. Jenkins hit for Eyre against the righty Bradford and worked the count full before grounding to short. Rollins popped to short to set the Phillies down.

Bradford came back to pitch to Werth to start the eighth and walked him on four pitches. With Utley and Howard coming to the plate, the Rays called on lefty JP Howell. With the count 2-1 on Utley, Werth took off for second. The pitch was a ball and the throw down to second not in time. Utley fouled off the 3-1 pitch before Howell struck him out with a breaking ball that nearly ended up in the dirt for the first out. Howell picked Werth off of second with the count 0-1 on Howard for the second out. Howard struck out looking at a 2-2 breaking ball that swept into the strike zone.

Unbelievably awful play by Werth to get picked off.

Bruntlett led off the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at 4-4 with the lefty Howell still on the mound for Tampa Bay. Howell got behind Bruntlett 2-0 and hit him in the leg with a 2-1 pitch. Grant Balfour came in to pitch to Victorino with the Rays looking for a bunt. Victorino showed bunt and took strike one. The next pitch was wild, right at Victorino. Victorino jackknifed out of the way and the ball went to the wall as a wild pitch. It bounced off the wall and came right back to Navarro, who had no chance to get Victorino but threw to second anyway. That throw was wild as well. It went in to center field, allowing Bruntlett to go to third. Victorino was walked intentionally, putting men on first and third with nobody out for Feliz. Dobbs hit for Feliz with the righty Balfour on the mound. Tampa Bay brought the right fielder Zobrist in as a fifth infielder, playing right on top of second base. Balfour walked Dobbs intentionally, loading the bases. Balfour threw a 1-1 pitch past Ruiz to put the catcher in a 1-2 hole. Ruiz dribbled a 2-2 pitch down the third base line. Longoria charged hard and barehanded, but didn’t have a chance with his momentum taking him into foul territory. His flip went way over the head of Navarro as Bruntlett scored to give the Phillies a 5-4 win.

Yet another good no-strikeout from Ruiz.

Hugely athletic play by Victorino to get out of the way of the pitch from Balfour, which was right at his body. Changed the game.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game and is 2-for-14 (.143) in the series.

Werth 1-for-2 with two walks. 4-for-11 (.364) in the first three games with three walks.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. 3-for-12 (.250) and leads the team with four RBI in the series.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a home run last night. 3-for-13 (.231) with a double and a home run in the series. He has struck out six times, which is tied with Longoria for the most for either team.

Burrell 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-9 with two walks and five strikeouts in the series.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-11 (.364) with a walk in the series.

Feliz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 2-for-10 (.200) with a walk in the series.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. He’s 4-for-8 (.500) with two doubles, a home run and three RBI in the series.

Seven of the nine RBI for the Phillies have come from Ruiz or Utley. Howard has one and Bruntlett has one.

Joe Blanton (9-12, 4.69) faces righty Andy Sonnanstine (13-9, 4.38) tonight in game four. Sonnanstine was better in the second half of the season than the first, throwing to a 4.58 ERA with a 1.37 ratio before the All-Star break and a 4.08 ERA and a 1.17 ratio after. He’s made two starts in the post-season, going 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA and an 0.85 ratio.

He walked just 37 hitters in the regular season and has walked just two in two playoff starts.

He’s been tough on lefties this season, handling them a little better than righties. Righties hit 289/319/464 against him and lefties 265/303/426.

Stairs is the only Phillie to have faced Sonnanstine, he’s 4-for-12 with a double and a home run.

Blanton still hasn’t been charged with a loss since joining the Phils. After going 4-0 in the regular season, Blanton is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.45 ratio in two post-season starts.

He has an ugly history against the Rays. In eight starts against Tampa Bay, Blanton has gone 2-3 with a 6.05 ERA and a 1.73 ratio. Carlos Pena is 4-for-7 against him. Crawford 7-for-22 (.318). Upton 3-for-11 with a home run.

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Phils counting on Philadelphia World Series crowd to perform coming off 5,483 days of rest

Although rain could give the crowd that much-needed 5,484th day, allowing them to go on their regular schedule. Could be critical.

Jamie Moyer (16-7, 3.71) faces righty Matt Garza (11-9, 3.70) in game three.

The 24-year-old Garza came to the Rays in a trade from the Twins in November of last year and has pitched very well for Tampa Bay this post-season, going 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.32 ratio. He was the MVP of the ALCS, holding the Red Sox to a run on two hits and three walks over seven innings while striking out nine in game seven.

Opponents hit .245 against Garza this season, and he fared well against both righties (.245) and lefties (.244). Lefties walked at a slightly higher rate and slugged .410 against him compared to just .347 for righties. He didn’t strike out a huge number of hitters, just 128 in 184 2/3 innings, but yielded just 19 home runs on the season. He struck lefties out at a higher rate than righties, striking out about 15% of the righties he faced and about 19% of the lefties.

He was much better at home this season than away from it. In 15 starts at home he went 7-3 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.18 ratio. In 15 starts away from home he was 4-6 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.30 ratio.

Matt Stairs is the only Phillie to have faced Garza. He’s 1-for-10 with two walks against him.

Moyer comes off of miserable starts back-to-back in the post-season. After going just four innings and allowing a pair of runs against Milwaukee in the NLDS, Moyer got bombed by the Dodgers in game three of the NLCS. He was charged with six runs in 1 2/3 innings to puff his post-season ERA for the year to 13.50. The Phillies have lost three games in the post-season and Moyer has started two of them.

Moyer was far better away from Citizens Bank Park this year than he was at it. 4.61 ERA with a 1.47 ratio at home and 2.92 ERA and a 1.20 ratio away.

Some of the Rays have seen him a lot with good results. Pena 10-for-20 (500/545/950) with three doubles and two home runs. Crawford 9-for-19 (474/474/632) with a double and a triple. Upton 3-for-5 with three singles. Baldelli 1-for-10. In case you forget that Moyer’s old, Wade Boggs was 21-for-55 (382/414/527) with two doubles and two home runs against him. There’s a chance that Boggs won’t even be a factor in game three.

It’s not really what you’d call a dream matchup on paper for the Phils. Moyer had a fantastic year in 2008, though, and despite the miserable results in the post-season has come up huge for the Phillies in several big games over the last two years. In game three of the playoffs last year he was fantastic, holding the red-hot Rockies to a run on five hits over six innings. Twice in the last two seasons he’s come up with a huge start against the Nationals at the end of the regular season to pitch the Phillies into the playoffs — in those two starts he allowed one earned run in 11 1/3 innings.

Citizens Bank Park is going to be a tough place for the young Rays to hit (or pitch, think, throw or hear) in game three. You hear people say over and over that the key to hitting against Moyer is to be patient. For better or worse, the Rays have more than their share of hitters who love to be aggressive early in the count. Here’s a look at some of the key Tampa Bay hitters, how many plate appearances they’ve had this season that ended in one pitch, how many total plate appearances they had and the percentage of those plate appearances that ended in one pitch (some key Phillies are included below the Rays):

Player 1-pitch PA Total PA % 1-pitch
Iwamura 66 707 9.3
Upton 77 639 12.0
Pena 84 607 13.8
Longoria 44 508 8.7
Crawford 88 482 18.3
Navarro 43 470 9.1
Bartlett 74 494 15.0
       
       
Rollins 51 625 8.2
Werth 17 482 3.5
Utley 51 707 7.2
Howard 81 700 11.6
Burrell 70 645 10.9
Victorino 73 627 11.6
Feliz 88 463 19.0
Ruiz 33 373 8.8

Feliz is the king of the group at putting the ball into play on the first pitch, but Bartlett, Crawford, Pena and Upton all went after the first pitch aggressively this season.

And if it’s true that you have to be patient to get to Moyer, that’s a problem for Tampa Bay.

Sadly, though, there’s this: When opponents’ hitters had their plate appearance end on one pitch this year, they hit .293 and slugged .480 against Moyer. When they didn’t, they hit .257 and slugged .393. That trend has been even more dramatic if you look at his numbers over his entire career (or at least the part of his career for which Baseball Reference has splits on first pitch plate appearances) — on plate appearances that ended after one pitch, opponents have hit .331 and slugged .523 against Moyer.

In 2008, after Moyer got ahead 0-1 opposing hitters hit .214 with a .321 slugging percentage.

What I think Moyer’s career numbers suggest is that what you can’t do against the wily veteran is not swing at the first pitch but take strike one. So hopefully nobody tells the Rays hitters that what they need to do is go up there and be impatient.

No matter what they do, though, Jamie Moyer didn’t win 246 games because he doesn’t know how to pitch. Whether the Rays go after him early in the count or not, there’s a Moyer that carves up hitters regardless of their approach. Despite his recent absence, Phillies fans have seen a lot of him in big situations over the past two seasons. Just because he’s shown up more often than not when the Phillies have needed him so far, I think there’s a good chance he’s in the building whenever game three gets played.

Matt Garza ended the 2008 regular season with 19 career wins. If he wins 15 games a season forevermore, he would pass Jamie Moyer in career wins in 2024 (assuming Moyer does not get any more wins).

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