Tag: Ryan Braun

Phils consult village elders for wisdom on how to win when you score three runs

Jamie Moyer and Tom Gordon are old. Really old. Someday soon they’re going to be too old to play or at least too old to help a major league team. It might even be today. I don’t know. But I do know it wasn’t yesterday.

Moyer gave the Phils his second strong start in his last two outings. Gordon came on in the seventh with runners on first and third and nobody out and worked a near miracle to keep the Brewers off the board. It kept the game close enough that Burrell’s latest heroics, a two-run double in the eighth, made the Phillies winners for the fourth time in their last five games.

It’s tempting to say that everything is going well for the Phils. But the impressive thing is that it isn’t. The team misses Jimmy Rollins. Ryan Howard looks terrible at the plate and the results are just as bad. Every day the Phils put a whole crew of hitters on the field that just can’t get on base. Somehow the Phils are fighting through, though, with a list of things that are going well that’s a lot shorter than the list of things going wrong. The pen, Utley and Burrell are just out of this world. In addition to what Utley is doing with the bat, after a start to the season where he struggled to make the routine plays at second base it now seems like not a day passes without a brilliant defensive contribution.

Jayson Werth also deserves mention on the short list of Phillies’ hitters that are playing well. Werth bounced back from a wretched game on Wednesday yesterday, hammering ball out to center for one of his two hits. He also made a fantastic play in center, backing up Burrell and helping the Phils throw out a runner trying to stretch a leadoff double into a triple.

The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday, winning 3-1 to improve to 12-11 on the year. The teams split the two-game set.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on eight hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out four. He’s allowed three runs over 12 innings over his last two starts and his ERA is down to 4.05.

Rickie Weeks led off the first and drew a walk, but Moyer picked him off and he was tagged out after a throw down to Bruntlett for the first out. Moyer struck out Gabe Kapler for the first out before Ryan Braun hit a long fly ball to left that went off the glove of Burrell for a double. Braun stole third, but Moyer got Prince Fielder to fly to center for the third out.

Bill Hall singled with one out in the second, but Moyer got the next two.

Weeks walked with one out in the third. Kapler followed with a ground out to third that moved Weeks to second and Braun followed and singled into center. Weeks scored to put the Brewers up 1-0. Fielder popped to third for the third out.

Corey Hart led off the fourth and ripped a double into left field. Burrell misplayed it and it rolled to the wall, but Werth backed it up brilliantly. Hart tried to go to third but was nailed for the first out of the inning. Bad idea by Hart and it cost the Brewers a run cause Hall followed with a single into center. Hall was picked off of first by Moyer with Dobbs again throwing to Bruntlett to apply the tag. Moyer had gotten 11 outs at this point, two on pickoffs and one on Hart trying to stretch a double into a triple. JJ Hardy walked with two outs, turning over the lineup, but Suppan struck out to end the inning.

Jason Kendall led off the fifth with a line drive snared by a diving Utley for the first out. Moyer got Weeks and Kapler behind him to end the inning.

Moyer started the sixth with the score tied at 1-1. Ryan Braun led off with a single. Fielder hit a high foul ball near the third base dugout and Feliz made a nice play leaning over the railing for the first out. Hart hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Hall started the seventh with a double and moved to third when Hardy followed with a single to left. It put men on first and third with nobody out for the pitcher’s spot and, with a short bench, it looked like the Brewers were going to let Suppan hit for himself. Gordon relieved Moyer and lefty Tony Gwynn Jr hit for Suppan. Gordon struck him out on three pitches for the first out. Kendall was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Weeks was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Kapler grounded to short to end the inning.

Just a fantastic job by Gordon to work out of first and third with nobody out.

JC Romero started the eighth with a 3-1 lead. He got Braun and Fielder to start the inning before Madson came in to pitch to the righty Hart. Hart has killed lefties this season, but I was still surprised to see Manuel make the change mid-inning with a two-run lead. All that said, I think it was a good move. Hart grounded to second to end the inning.

Lidge came on in the ninth to protect the two-run lead. He got Hall and Hardy on popups before lefty Craig Counsell hit for the pitcher’s spot and singled. It brought Kendall to the plate as the tying run. Kendall got ahead 2-0 before he flew to Bohn in shallow left to end the game.

Three more scoreless innings for the pen as they allow one hit and one walk. That makes it 15 innings in a row without being charged a run. Fifth save for Lidge, who keeps his ERA at 0.00.

Gordon and Lidge both threw 15 pitches. Romero eight and Madson six.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jeff Suppan went (1) Werth (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Burrell (5) Jenkins (6) Feliz (7) Bruntlett (8) Ruiz. Howard on the bench after 0-for-his-last-8 is the story here. Dobbs plays first with Feliz at third. Werth plays center and leads off while Bruntlett moves ahead of Ruiz and into the seven spot. Coste still can’t get into the game. Burrell moves into the cleanup spot with Howard out of the game. This says that Howard won’t be in the lineup tonight against lefty Zach Duke in Pittsburgh.

Werth singled to start the first, but Dobbs grounded into a double-play behind him. Utley flew to right for the third out.

Burrell walked to start the second. Jenkins struck out behind him before Feliz hit into a double-play.

Bruntlett led off the third and singled into center. Ruiz followed and hit into a double-play, the third the Phils had hit into in 2 2/3 innings. Moyer struck out looking for the third out.

Dobbs walked with one out in the fourth and Utley moved him to second with an infield single with an assist to Weeks. Burrell flew to right and Jenkins grounded to second.

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

Werth hit an 0-1 pitch out to center with one out in the sixth, tying the game at 1-1. Dobbs grounded to second for the second out before Utley singled. Burrell moved Utley to second with a walk, but Jenkins flew to left to end the frame with both runners stranded. Four men left on base in three innings for Jenkins.

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

Howard hit for Gordon to start the eighth with righty David Riske on the mound. Howard struck out and Werth followed with another strikeout before Dobbs drew a walk. Utley was next and he singled to left, moving Dobbs to second. Burrell followed and doubled to left, both runners scored to put the Phils up 3-1. It gave Burrell 24 RBI in April, which is a new team record. Bohn ran for Burrell at second. Jenkins grounded to second for the third out with lefty Brian Shouse on the mound for Milwaukee. The Brewers let lefties Dobbs and Utley hit against the righty Riske and they hurt him. They did bring in Shouse to pitch to Jenkins, but it was a little late. Interesting that they left him in with Burrell hitting fourth — if Howard had been in the four hole they almost certainly would have brought Shouse in earlier with three lefties in a row.

Bruntlett singled with one out in the ninth. Ruiz followed and was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard had a miserable at-bat, striking out again, this time on four pitches. Werth grounded to third for the third out.

Werth was 2-for-5 with his fourth home run yesterday. 3-for-10 with a double in the series and 8-for-his-last-24 with two doubles and three home runs. 300/391/567 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 and walked twice after coming into the game without a walk on the season. 2-for-5 with a home run in the series. He has raised his average from .200 to .355 by going 8-for-his-last-16. 355/412/581.

Utley was 3-for-4. 5-for-7 with a home run in the series. 385/453/835 on the year.

Burrell was 1-for-2 with two walks and a double. 2-for-6 with a home run in the series. 355/474/750 on the year.

Jenkins was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and left six men on base. 0-for-7 in the series and 225/276/324 on the year. He could really give the Phils a boost with Rollins out, but he’s been struggling. 1-for-his-last-10 with a single and four strikeouts.

Ditto Feliz, who was 0-for-4 yesterday. 0-for-6 in the series. 213/280/373.

Bruntlett was 2-for-4 yesterday. 3-for-8 in the set and 207/258/276 for the season.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 yesterday and 1-for-7 in the series. 194/242/242 on the year. Coste did not get an at-bat in the series and is hitting 370/469/704 on the year.

Howard was 0-for-2 and struck out twice. 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series. 176/297/341.

Taguchi walked in his only plate appearance of the series and is hitting 241/290/310 for the year.

Five Phillies regulars are on-basing under .300 for the season: Jenkins, Howard, Bruntlett, Ruiz and Feliz. So is Taguchi.

Given the large numbers of Phillies struggling to hit, I think they need to find a way to keep Dobbs’ bat in the lineup despite the weak defense. I don’t think giving Howard another night off tonight against the lefty is a bad idea. Howard is sure to get hot and when he does he isn’t going to carry the team for a few days, he can carry it for a month. But right now he looks awful. I’m surprised how much time Coste is spending on the bench with so few Phils hitting.

Adam Eaton (0-0, 4.74) faces lefty Zach Duke (0-1, 4.37) tonight in Pittsburgh. Duke was hit hard by the Cubs in his last outing, which came in Chicago on Sunday. In that start he allowed five runs on eight hits over four innings. Opponents are hitting .347 against him, although he hasn’t walked many, just six in 22 2/3 innings. He has struck out only seven batters on the year but hasn’t allowed a home run. He didn’t face the Phils last year. Eaton has been really good this season coming off a miserable 2007. Opponents are hitting just .267 against him after hitting .301 last season. In ’07 he good killed by the long ball, giving up 30 in 161 2/3 innings — he comes into tonight’s start having allowed just one in his first 24 2/3 innings. Eaton didn’t face the Pirates last year.


Hamels strikes out 11, but Prince parties like it’s 1999

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
               
MIL 12-8 99 4.95 T-5 706 (12) 14 4
PHI 11-10 102 4.86 4 800 (5) 8 3

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
             
MIL 12-8 86 4.30 6 4.00 (7) 4.34 (11)
PHI 11-10 94 4.48 8 4.23 (9) 2.76 (1)

Cole Hamels gave the Phils six fantastic innings last night. The problem was that he didn’t pitch six innings. Hefty lefty Prince Fielder jumped on his first inning cheese like it was, well, cheese, belting out a two-run homer on a 1-2 fastball. In the eighth, on another 1-2 pitch, Fielder hit another two-run shot, this one on a changeup. Fielder’s blasts led the Brewers to a 5-4 win.

Chase Utley hit his seventh home run in seven days for the Phils. Ho hum.

You know who didn’t have a good game? Jayson Werth. With the Phils up a run in the seventh, Werth was picked off of second base for the first out of the inning. Utley singled two batters last and Werth almost assuredly would have scored on the play if he wasn’t on the bench. With the Phils down a run in the bottom of the ninth, Werth struck out with one down and a runner on third.

Charlie Manuel might like to have last night’s game back as well. Manuel let Hamels come out to start the eighth inning having thrown 110 pitches with the Phils up a run. Hamels faced two batters in the frame — righty Ryan Braun doubled before Fielder hit the homer that won the game. Hamels is 24-years-old and you really want to try to limit the number of innings he starts after throwing 110 pitches in games where he’s already allowed three runs.

The Phillies lost to the Milwaukee Brewers last night, 5-4. The Phils are 11-11 on the season.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out 11.

Rickie Weeks led off the first with a double to left. Gabe Kapler was next and he singled into left. Burrell didn’t have a chance to get Weeks, but he threw home anyway. His throw was terrible, off line and over everyone. It allowed Kapler to go to second and Weeks scored to make it 1-0. No error on Burrell, but not a good play. With Ryan Braun at the plate Hamels tried to pick Kapler off of second and threw the ball into center field. Kapler went to third on the error. Two terrible plays defensively for the Phils back-to-back, but neither of them mattered cause after Braun popped to Howard in front of the mound, Fielder homered to right, putting Milwaukee up 3-0. Corey Hart was next and he singled to right. Hart was on the move as Hall grounded to second for the second out, Utley had to take the out at first. Hamels got behind the righty JJ Hardy 3-1 and put him on intentionally to pitch to the pitcher David Bush. Bush struck out for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second, getting a nice diving play from Jenkins for the second out.

He got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 third and another in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Hamels started the fifth with the scored tied at 3-3. Jason Kendall led off the inning and reached on a single. Weeks followed with a walk, putting men on first and second with nobody out, but Hamels got Kapler on a popup and struck out Braun and Fielder to end the inning.

Hamels got the first two in the sixth with the Phils up 4-3 before Hardy singled to center. Bush, who would face one batter in the top of the seventh (Werth doubled), hit for himself and struck out.

He struck out Kendall and Weeks in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Hamels returned for the eighth and Braun led off with a double to right. Fielder was next and hit a 1-2 changeup out for his second home run of the day, putting the Brewers ahead at 5-4. Durbin came in to pitch and got the next two before Hardy singled to left. Tony Gwynn Jr hit for the pitch and walked, putting men on first and second, but Kendall grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Romero had last pitched on Sunday. It would have been nice to see him against Fielder.

Durbin’s ERA is down to 0.60 on the year after another scoreless inning. He threw 20 pitches. That’s 12 scoreless innings in a row for the pen.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty David Bush went (1) Werth (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Ruiz (8) Bruntlett. Dobbs at third against the righty. I was surprised not to see Feliz after the three hit day on Tuesday. Ruiz catches Hamels.

Dobbs singled with one out in the first and Utley followed with a walk. Howard grounded to second and Utley was forced at second for the first out with Howard safe at first and Dobbs safe at third. Burrell lined out to third for the third out.

Bruntlett singled with two outs in the second, but Hamels struck out behind him.

With two outs in the third, Utley hit Bush’s first pitch of his at-bat out to center. Tenth homer of the season for Utley and it cut the Brewers’ lead to 3-1. Howard grounded out to first to end the frame.

Ruiz singled with two outs in the fourth, but Bruntlett grounded out behind him.

Hamels started the fifth with a single. Werth followed and grounded to short. Hamels was forced at second for the first out with Werth safe at first. Dobbs was next and he hammered a 3-2 pitch out to right, trying the game at 3-3. Utley and Howard went down behind him.

Score one for Manuel for playing Dobbs after the big day for Feliz.

Burrell started the sixth and hit a 3-1 pitch out to left for his eighth home run of the year. It put the Phils up 4-3. Jenkins walked and stole second as Ruiz struck out for the first out. Bruntlett grounded to second for the second out and Jenkins moved to third. Hamels flew to left to leave Jenkins stranded at third.

Werth started the seventh with a double to left-center and lefty Mitch Stetter relieved Bush. Feliz hit for Dobbs against the lefty and Werth took off for third, but too early. Stetter stepped off the rubber and Werth was thrown out after a short rundown. Feliz struck out looking for the second out. Utley, perhaps on a one-man mission to demo why not to get picked off of second base, got ahead 3-1 and singled into right. Howard struck out swinging to end the frame.

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

Bruntlett struck out to start the ninth and Taguchi hit for Durbin and drew a five-pitch walk. Taguchi stole second and would have been out except that Kendall’s throw went into center field for an error. Taguchi took third. It brought up Werth, who got ahead 2-1 before he swung at a bad 2-2 pitch and then went down swinging for the second out. Feliz grounded to short to end the game. It worked out great for the Phils, but I don’t think I would have hit Taguchi, won’t just about can’t hit a home run, for Durbin, instead of Coste, who can, with the Phils down a run in the ninth. Assuming Coste is not hurt, I’m sure Manuel did it to get Taguchi’s speed on the bases. But even if Coste had singled the Phils could have used Taguchi to run for him. The only reason to save Coste’s bat was because Bohn was in the five-hole and you probably don’t want him to hit with the game on the line. But after Feliz the Phils still had Utley and Howard to hit before they got to Bohn.

Werth was 1-for-5 with a double.

Dobbs was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer. He’s 8-for-his-last-14 with two home runs and doesn’t have a walk on the season in 29 at-bats.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run. He is slugging .839.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice to drop his average to .181. 0-for-his-last-8.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a home run.

Jenkins 0-for-3 with a walk in his return to Milwaukee.

Ruiz 1-for-4 to raise his average to .203. Coste did not play in the game and is hitting .370.

Bruntlett 1-for-4 to raise his average to .185.

Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.79) faces righty Jeff Suppan (1-0, 4.13) this afternoon as the Phils try to split the two-game set. Suppan has made three starts on the season, three of which have been very good. His last outing came on Saturday against the Reds and he held them to two runs on three hits over 6 2/3 innings. Lefties have been much better against him than righties so far, they are hitting .304 with a 1.76 ratio against him while righties are hitting .227 with an 0.87 ratio. He faced the Phils twice last season and threw to a 3.55 ERA in two starts, which came on May 16 and August 5. Opponents are hitting .326 against Moyer so far and he’s yet to get an out in the seventh inning. Two of his four starts have been good, including his last time out on Saturday against the Mets. He made one start against the Brewers last year, on May 14, and was hit hard.


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