The Phils let the Milwaukee Brewers back into the best-of-five NLDS last night. With a 4-1 loss, the Phils now lead the best-of-five series two games to one with CC Sabathia looming as the Brewers’ game five starter if the Phils can’t find a way to beat Jeff Suppan this afternoon.
Jamie Moyer made an early exit in yesterday’s game. For the Phils it was the first time this series that their starting pitcher was not fantastic. Moyer needed 90 pitches to give the Phils just four innings and left having allowed two runs.
The offense is a bigger issue for the Phils. After one run in yesterday’s game they have scored nine in the first three games of the set, four of which came on a single swing from Victorino. Yesterday they put their leadoff man on base in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth and brought him in to score just once.
The Phillies lost the Milwaukee Brewers last night, falling 4-1. The Phils lead the best-of-five series two games to one. The winner of the series will face the Dodgers. LA finished their sweep of the Cubs with a 3-1 win last night.
Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. All four of the hits against Moyer were singles — the Brewers did not have an extra-base hit in the game. He struck out three.
Moyer faced a Milwaukee lineup that went (1) Cameron (CF/R) (2) Hall (3B/R) (3) Braun (LF/R) (4) Fielder (1B/L) (5) Hardy (SS/R) (6) Hart (RF/R) (7) Weeks (2B/R) (8) Kendall (C/R). That’s the same lineup that the Brewers used in game one of the series with Moyer’s fellow lefty Hamels on the mound for the Phils.
There were five position players on the bench for Milwaukee to start the game: Mike Rivera (R), Tony Gwynn, Jr (L), Brad Nelson (L), Craig Counsell (L) and Ray Durham (Switch).
Moyer walked Cameron on four pitches to start the first. He got ahead of Hall 1-2, but walked him as well. His first pitch to Braun was in the dirt. Ruiz should have blocked it, but didn’t handle it and it bounced way away towards the Brewers’ dugout. Moyer was charged with a wild pitch and the runners went to second and third with nobody out. Braun popped up to third on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Fielder was next and he flew to right on a 1-1 pitch. Werth took it just in front of the warning track. The runners both moved up with Werth’s throwing going to third, but too late. Cameron scored to make it 1-0 Milwaukee with two down and a man on third. Hardy lined a 2-2 pitch just past Rollins and Hall scored to make it 2-0. Moyer got behind Hart 2-0, but came back to strike him out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.
Long inning for Moyer. He threw 34 pitches. He threw a first pitch ball to each of the six hitters he faced.
Weeks led off the second and got ahead 3-1 before he hit a 3-2 pitch to deep third. Feliz fielded and made a fantastic throw to first, nipping Weeks for the first out. Weeks sprained his knee trying to beat the ball out and was replaced by Counsell at second base in the top of the fourth. Moyer got ahead of Kendall, but Kendall hit a 1-2 pitch under the glove of Utley and into right field for a single. Utley should have made the play, and it meant more pitches for Moyer. Bush bunted Kendall to second for the second out. Cameron was next and walked again. This time Moyer got ahead of him, not getting the call on a 1-2 pitch that was very close but perhaps a tick inside before walking him in an eight-pitch at-bat. It put men on first and second for Hall. Hall got ahead 3-1 and then took two pitches and was twice the victim of a questionable call as he went down looking to end the inning with both men stranded. He took a step towards first after the 3-1 pitch was called a strike. The 3-2 pitch looked pretty outside as Hall headed towards first again and had to be told the inning was over.
Another long inning for Moyer. Twenty-eight pitches had him at 62 for the game.
Braun flew to right for the first out in the third. Fielder got ahead 2-0, but struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Hardy lined a 1-2 pitch into right for a two-out single. Hart was next and he hit the first pitch he saw into right. Werth fielded the ball near the line as Hart rounded first base and threw behind him. Howard tagged Hart out as he dove back in to first base to end the inning. Fourteen pitches for Moyer in the third had him at 76.
Fantastic play by Werth.
Counsell hit an 0-2 pitch to short to start the fourth. Rollins made strong throw to nip him for the first out. Moyer got ahead of Kendall 0-2 before Hall grounded a 3-2 pitch to third for the second out. Bush grounded an 0-2 pitch to short for the third out. Fourteen more pitches for Moyer put him at 90 for the game.
Condrey started the fifth after Stairs hit for Moyer in the top of the fifth. The Phils trailed 2-0. He hit Cameron with a 3-2 pitch to start the frame. Hall was next and hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for a single. Cameron did a great job running the bases, aggressively taking third and sliding in safe just ahead of Victorino’s throw. With men on first and third and nobody out, Braun flew to left on the first pitch of his at-bat. Burrell had zero chance to throw out Cameron, who tagged and scored, but missed the cutoff man Rollins throwing towards home and Hall tagged up and took second as well. Feliz had to field the throw from Burrell and Hall was safe easily. Big mistake by Burrell, but it didn’t cost the Phils. Condrey walked the lefty Fielder intentionally, putting men on first and second for Hardy. Hardy flew to right on an 0-1 pitch for the second out with both runners holding. Hart walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Counsell. Counsell got ahead 2-0, but Condrey came back and got three called strikes on Counsell to set him down and leave the bases loaded. Counsell looked like he had a case on strike three, which looked high.
Big out for Condrey to get Counsell with the bases loaded, especially after getting behind 2-0.
Durbin started the sixth and got Kendall to ground to short for the first out. The pitcher’s spot was next and the Brewers let Villanueva hit for himself. He singled up the middle and went to second when Cameron followed with a single up the middle. It put men on first and second with one out for Hall. Hall lined a 2-2 pitch into right for another single, but the pitcher Villanueva was unable to score from second. Most runners would have scored on the play. It loaded the bases with one out and Braun and Fielder coming to the plate for Milwaukee. Durbin struck Braun out swinging at a 1-2 slider that was way outside. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Fielder. Fielder got ahead 3-1, but hit a soft fly ball to left that Werth took for the third out. Jenkins had entered in righty when Eyre came into the game, with Werth moving to left and Burrell going to the bench.
Given the seriousness of the situation, I was surprised to see Eyre and not Romero come in to pitch to Fielder. Manuel must have thought it was too early in the game. Fielder still didn’t have a hit in the series after the fly ball to left.
Second time in the game that Braun had come up small with men on base and less than two outs. He popped to third with nobody out and men on second and third in the first.
Eyre came back to start the seventh. Hardy led off with a single into center. The slumping Hart was next and he put a pretty bunt down the first base line. Howard made a nice play to field and flip to Utley for the first out as Hardy went to second. Counsell was next and he hit a slow roller to first as well, but the ball was hit too slowly this time and Howard couldn’t get an out anywhere as Counsell slid in head first with a single. Hardy moved to third. Kendall hit a 1-1 pitch into left for another single, scoring Hardy to make it 4-1 as Counsell moved to second. With men on first and second, one out and the lefty Eyre still on the mound, the Brewers called on lefty Brad Nelson, a 25-year-old with seven career at-bats, to hit for the pitcher Villanueva. Eyre struck Nelson out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Madson came into the game to pitch to Cameron and got him to ground to short on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.
Eyre faced three righties in the inning, Hardy and Hart to start the inning and Kendall with one out and men on first and third. The only guy of the three he got was Hart, and he bunted. Seanez is the guy who should have started the inning, and he’s not on the roster because JA Happ is. Without Seanez, though, it has to be Madson. If not to start the inning, to come in and pitch to Kendall.
Brad Nelson hitting against a lefty when the other choice was Ray Durham is a gift for the Phils.
Madson looked great in a 1-2-3 eighth. He struck Hall out on three pitches, got Braun to line to Utley and struck Fielder out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.
The Phillies pen went four innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. They struck out five. Condrey, Durbin and Eyre all looked bad, Madson was fantastic. Condrey threw 26 pitches, Durbin 20, Eyre 20 and Madson 13. You would assume everyone is available today.
I was surprised to see Eyre pitch so long with Romero not appearing in the game. Another shaky outing for Durbin. The Phils really need him with Seanez not on the roster, and he’s been struggling for a while now. The strikeout of Braun was encouraging.
The Milwaukee pen went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits, including Werth’s double off of Gagne in the eighth. The Brewers pen has not allowed a run in 11 2/3 innings in the series. Nobody in the Milwaukee pen threw more than 17 pitches, so they are likely all available today as well. After a perfect 1 1/3 innings last night, Villanueva has not allowed a hit or a walk in 3 2/3 innings in the first three games of the set. Stetter has done his job against the Phillies lefties, getting four outs without allowing a hit or a walk.
The Phillies lineup against righty David Bush went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth returns to the second spot in the order after a big day hitting sixth in game two. Victorino dropped again to sixth. Ruiz continues to start behind the plate in the post-season. Ruiz was behind the plate for about 60% of the batters that Moyer faced this season, with Coste catching the other 40%.
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 got ahead 1-0 to start the game, but went down swinging 1-2 for the first out. Werth was next and got behind 1-2 before he struck out on just about the worst pitch you can imagine. The ball was about a foot outside and bounced way in front of the plate. Don’t know if Werth thought the ball was uncatchable for Kendall or not — either way it was a very odd decision to swing at the pitch. Utley grounded the first pitch of his at-bat back to Bush to set the Phils down.
The Phils started the top of the second down 2-0. Howard split the gap in left-center with the first pitch of his at-bat and the ball rolled all the way to the wall. Howard had a double. Burrell grounded a 2-2 pitch to Hall for the first out and Howard had to hold. Victorino lined the first pitch of his at-bat to center for the second. Feliz flew to left on a 1-2 pitch to leave Howard stranded.
Phils can’t bring Howard in after the leadoff double.
Ruiz flew to right for the first out in the third. Moyer was next and grounded back to Bush for the second. Rollins blooped an 0-1 pitch the opposite way and into left field, where is landed near the line and bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. Werth went down swinging, he flailed at a 1-2 curve ball to leave Rollins stranded.
Utley singled into center to start the fourth. He was running when Howard grounded a 3-2 pitch to second. Counsell looked to second, then threw to first as Utley rounded second. Utley probably could have made it to third, but fell going around the base. He had to scurry to get back to second safely as Fielder took the throw from Counsell and then threw to second. Burrell flew to right for the second out. Victorino lined a 2-1 pitch, but right to Hardy to end the inning.
Third time in three innings the Phils put a runner on second and didn’t score him. Like in the second when Howard led off with a double, Burrell and Victorino can’t bring the runner in (although this time the runner didn’t make it to second until there was one out).
Feliz led off the fifth and chopped the first pitch of his at-bat between third and short. Hall moved to his left and the ball went off the tip of his glove for a single. Ruiz got behind 0-2 and flew to right for the first out. Stairs hit for Moyer, who had thrown 90 pitches but allowed just two runs and had thrown a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth, with the righty Bush still pitching for the Brewers. Stairs flew to center on an 0-1 pitch for the second out. Rollins swung at the first pitch and popped to Hardy.
That’s a really early exit for Moyer. Manuel did have a good, well-rested pen, and Moyer had thrown 90 pitches, but I was still surprised to see Stairs hit for Moyer.
The Phils put their leadoff man on in the second, fourth and fifth and couldn’t plate any of them.
They started the sixth down 3-0. Werth led off and drove an 0-2 pitch to deep right. Hart caught it crashing into the wall, but the ball came out of the glove as he hit the ground. Werth was running all the way and wound up at third with a triple. Utley popped to Hardy in shallow center field for the first out with Werth holding. Howard was next lefty Mitch Stetter came in to pitch to him. Howard hit a slow ground ball to third. Werth scored to cut the lead to 3-1 and Hall threw to first to nip Howard for the second out. Howard was called out at first, but he was probably safe on a very close play. Righty Carlos Villanueva came in to pitch to Burrell and got Burrell to ground to third to end the frame.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Victorino led off and tried to bunt for a hit, but bunted foul. He flew to right near the line for the first out. Feliz grounded to second for the first out. Ruiz hit a ball hard down the third base line, but Hall made a nice play to field it and throw him out.
Jenkins flew to left for the first out in the eight with the Phillies down 4-1. Rollins was next and he dribbled a ball down the first base line. Gagne made a nice play, fielding the ball and tagging Rollins out for the second out. Werth pounded a 3-2 pitch off the base of the wall in left center for a double, but Gagne stayed in to pitch to Utley and got Utley to fly to center to set the Phillies down.
Torres started the ninth with a 4-1 lead. Howard led off with a single into center. Dobbs hit for Madson and got behind 0-2 before he lined a 3-2 pitch into right center for a single that moved Howard to second. Victorino got behind in the count as well, but reached out and hit a 1-2 pitch that was way outside into left for a single that loaded the bases with nobody out. Feliz was next and swung at the first pitch, hitting a double-play ball to third. Hall fielded and threw to second. Victorino didn’t slide into second, instead hip-checking Counsell and dumping him to the ground. Counsell made a fantastic play, delivering the relay to first to double-up Feliz as Howard scored. The call was that Victorino was out on interference at second. Howard had to return to third and Dobbs to second. Ruiz dribbled back to the pitcher for the third out.
I don’t know why Coste didn’t hit for Ruiz with two outs and men on second and third. Jenkins was behind Ruiz, so there wasn’t a reason to save him. Ruiz is a terrible hitter and Coste is not.
Victorino’s play at second is indefensible. Just a terrible decision. The Brewers aren’t going to like it, either. Feliz hitting into the double-play was awful, too. No Stairs to hit for him against the righty after Stairs hit for Moyer in the top of the fifth.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double.
Werth 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.
Howard 2-for-4 with a double.
Burrell 0-for-3. 0-for-8 in the series.
Feliz 1-for-4 with four men left on base. He hit into an enormous double-play in the ninth.
Ruiz 0-for-4. 1-for-10 in the series.
The Phils have still scored in only one inning of each of the three games.
I don’t think Manuel had a good game. Pulling Moyer early, using Stairs, arguably his best hitter on the bench, in the fifth, letting Eyre pitch to a bunch of righties. I don’t know what he was saving Coste for.
Joe Blanton (9-12, 4.69) faces righty Jeff Suppan (10-10, 4.96) this afternoon. Suppan was hit hard at the end of the season, throwing to an 8.44 ERA with a 2.11 ratio in his last five starts. Righties hit .308 against him for the year (lefties .288) and he allowed 30 home runs in 177 2/3 innings — only three NL pitchers gave up more home runs.
He faced the Phillies twice this year. On April 24 in Milwaukee, he held the Phils to a run over seven innings on five hits (including a home run by Werth). The Phils scored two runs off of David Riske in the eighth and won the game 3-1. He faced Myers in Philadelphia earlier this month (September 14) and the Phils hit him hard — he was charged with six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Burrell homered off of him in that game.
Burrell is 9-for-21 (.429) with two doubles and three home runs in his career. Utley 9-for-19 with a homer. Howard 3-for-10 with two homers. Rollins 8-for-24. Werth 4-for-7 with a home run. Dobbs is 0-for-6 against Suppan with two strikeouts while Feliz has gone 6-for-22 (.273) with two doubles and a homer.
Suppan had a remarkable post-season in 2006, helping to pitch the Cardinals into the World Series. In the NLCS against the Mets, he made two starts and allowed one earned run on five hits and six walks over 15 innings.
Blanton was 4-0 with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.37 ERA in his 13 starts with the Phillies this season. Righties hit him hard, hitting .286 with a 1.56 ratio against him compared to .256 with a 1.25 ratio for lefties. The Phillies have won the last four games he started.
One of his starts with the Phils came against Milwaukee. On September 14 he allowed three runs over seven innings and the Phils got the win 7-3. Cameron and Durham both homered off of him in that game. Durham is the Brewer who has seen him the most, he’s 6-for-14 with two doubles, a triple and a home run against him (429/429/929).