Good thing Shane Victorino showed up or that could have been embarrassing.
Rich Harden pitched great for the A’s yesterday afternoon, holding the Phils to a pair of singles by Victorino over eight innings while striking out 11. Sadly it doesn’t take great pitching to beat the Phillies these days, they lost for the seventh time in eight games. Over those eight games the Phillies have scored 15 runs.
Tom Gordon continues to struggle with shoulder soreness and the-other-team-hits-it-really-hard-and-far-itis. You have to wonder if the Phils are going to have to act in some way to deal with the problem soon.
Yesterday’s game did help produce the best Charlie Manuel quote in a long time: “We need to be more focused or something.” I do love that. Almost makes the whole thing worth it. Maybe we need to get more focused or maybe we need to order some pizza. Either way.
The Phillies lost to the Oakland A’s yesterday, falling 5-0. After dropping the series two games to one the Phils are 43-37 on the season.
Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six.
Mark Ellis led off the first and walked on four pitches. Ryan Sweeney was next and he blasted an 0-1 pitch into left-center for a double that scored Ellis and put Oakland up 1-0. Jack Cust was next and he singled into right. Victorino charged and made a strong throw home, but not in time to get Sweeney. The A’s led 2-0. Eric Chavez struck out swinging for the first out. Eaton got Bobby Crosby on a fly ball to right and Jack Hannahan on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning.
He threw a 1-2-3 second and a 1-2-3 third. Dobbs made a nice play for the second out in the third, charging and bare-handing a Rajai Davis bunt and making a strong throw to first.
With one out in the fourth Crosby doubled to left and Hannahan followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Carlos Gonzalez and Gonzalez hit a ground ball to second. Hannahan was forced at second for the second out and Crosby moved to third. Daric Barton flew to right to leave both runners stranded.
Rob Bowen led off the fifth with a double. Ellis followed and lined to second for the first out before Davis reached on an infield single. With men on first and second, Cust walked to load the bases. Eaton struck out Chavez for the second out before he got Crosby to pop to Howard to leave the bases loaded.
With one out in the sixth, Gonzalez lined the first pitch of hit at-bat out to left to make it 3-0. Eaton got the next two.
Ellis reached on an error by Rollins to start the seventh. Davis grounded back to Eaton and Ellis was forced at second for the first out. Eaton struck out Cust for the second out before Davis was gunned down by Ruiz trying to steal second on a pitchout to end the inning.
Gordon started the eighth and walked the leadoff man Chavez. Crosby flew to right for the first out before Hannahan doubled to center and Chavez scored to make it 4-0. Gonzalez was next and again hit the first pitch of his at-bat, lining it into center for a single. Victorino charged but didn’t handle the ball. It bounced off his side and Chavez came in to score. Gonzalez went for second, but Victorino picked up the ball and threw Gonzalez out at second for the second out of the inning with the A’s up 5-0. Flash struck out Barton to set the A’s down.
Two hits and a walk in the inning for Gordon. In his last three appearances Gordon has allowed seven runs on five hits and three walks in two innings. Rest apparently wasn’t the cure — before yesterday’s appearance he hadn’t pitched since June 15. He threw 18 pitches, but you have to think the Phillies are thinking about what to do with him at this point.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Rich Harden went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Victorino (7) Werth (8) Jenkins (9) Ruiz. Still not back to normal. Victorino again finds himself moved down in the order, even against the righty. Utley up to two and Burrell up to three again. The lefty Dobbs gets the start at third and hits fifth. Werth in right with Jenkins the DH.
Rollins and Utley struck out in a 1-2-3 first.
1-2-3 in the second.
Werth and Jenkins struck out in a 1-2-3 third.
With two outs in the fifth, Victorino singled to center. Werth went down swinging for the third out.
Ruiz walked with one out in the sixth. Rollins struck out and Utley popped to third.
Victorino started the eighth with an infield single with the Phils down 3-0. Werth struck out and Jenkins struck out before Victorino stole second. Then Ruiz struck out.
With two outs in the ninth, Burrell crushed a ball high off the scoreboard in left and then rolled about half way back to short with Emil Brown chasing behind it. Burrell had a triple and was left stranded when Howard grounded to second to end the game.
Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game with three strikeouts. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 271/336/436 for the year.
Utley was 0-for-4 in the game. 4-for-11 with a double and a triple in the game. 293/382/600 for the year.
Burrell was 1-for-4 with a triple in the game. 3-for-10 with a home run in the series. 272/408/508.
I had assumed that the Phillies were going to exploded out of this collective slump, but it looks a little like they might sludge out of it slowly. Utley and Burrell might be starting to hit a little bit better.
Howard was 0-for-4. 1-for-13 in the set. 213/307/457 for the year.
Dobbs was 0-for-3 in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 337/376/465 for the year. Feliz was 3-for-9 with a triple in the series and is hitting 263/313/420 for the year.
Victorino was 2-for-3 in the game and 5-for-10 in the series. 280/351/382 for the year.
Werth was 0-for-3 and struck out three times. 1-for-9 with three walks and five strikeouts in the set. 257/349/479.
Jenkins 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Wow. 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in the series. 2-for-his-last-41. 239/289/378. I have no idea what the Phillies should do with Jenkins. They need him to hit.
Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday and 0-for-5 with a walk in the series. 219/305/296 for the season. Your slugging percentage is one of those things you’d like to see higher than your on-base percentage. Coste was 2-for-3 with two RBI in the series. 315/375/531. Needs to play a lot more.
Brett Myers (3-9, 5.51) faces lefty Kason Gabbard (2-3, 4.96) tonight in Texas. The 26-year-old Gabbard has made 11 starts this season and walked 34 in 52 2/3 innings. He rarely gives up the long ball, he’s allowed just three on the year. Righties are hitting .309 against him, lefties .231. He has a 6.75 ERA over his last seven starts. The Phils have lost nine of the last ten games that Myers has started. Over his last three starts he’s allowed eight home runs in 19 innings. In each of his last three and six of his last nine starts he’s allowed at least four runs.