|Team||W-L||R||R/G||NL Rank R||OPS (NL)||SB||CS|
|Team||W-L||RA||RA/G||NL Rank RA||Starter ERA||Pen ERA|
|SD||10-16||121||4.65||11||3.68 (5)||4.52 (15)|
|PHI||14-12||114||4.38||8||4.37 (10)||2.60 (1)|
The Phils topped the Padres in an unusual pitching duel last night, unusual because the Phils won it 7-4 after the teams combined to score seven runs in the eighth and ninth.
Hamels outdueled cerebral veteran Greg Maddux and while it’s not surprising to see Hamels outpitch anyone, the game added a head-to-head battle of mind and body between Hamels and Maddux and Hamels again came out on top. With the Phils up 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh and a much needed insurance run on first base, Hamels showed bunt early in the count before he laced Maddux’s 1-1 pitch into right field for a single that sent the runner to third. It was enough to send Maddux into a mini-tizzy, and he didn’t face another batter on the night.
The legend grows.
Hamels performance on the mound and at the plate was impressive, but the Phils blew to game open in the bottom of the eighth with some key two out hits. Two of the hits came from a pair of guys struggling badly at the bottom of the order, Feliz and Ruiz.
Before the Phils broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth, Tom Gordon orchestrated yet another magnificent escape act. Gordon entered the game with a 3-1 lead with the bases loaded and one out. He allowed a run to score on a ground out, but got the Phillies out of the inning with the lead. After allowing five runs in a third of an inning in his first appearance of the year, Gordon has allowed two runs on five hits and five walks while striking out 12 in ten innings since (that’s a 1.80 ERA with a 1.00 ratio).
The Phillies beat the San Diego Padres last night, winning 7-4 to improve to 15-12 on the season.
Hamels got the start for the Phils and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He walked two and struck out six.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 first.
He started the second with a 1-0 lead. Justin Huber drew a two out walk, but Hamels struck Scott Hairston out swinging to end the frame.
Three ground outs in a 1-2-3 third. Josh Bard hit the ball hard to start the inning, but right at Bruntlett who handled it for the out.
Up 2-0 in the fourth, Hamels set down the first two before Adrian Gonzalez lofted one into right that dropped a few feet to the left of the foul line. Jenkins was on it fast and made a strong throw to second that beat Gonzalez by a lot to set down San Diego. Nice job by Jenkins to get to the ball quickly and a strong and accurate throw. The play wasn’t close.
He got the first two in the fifth before Hairston came to the plate. Hairston fouled off the first pitch of the at-bat and then blasted one out to left-center, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Bard grounded to third to end the frame.
Brian Giles singled with one out in the sixth. Former Phil Tad Iguchi was next and hit into a double-play back to the pitcher. Odd looking play — Utley had come in and toward second on the dribbler up the middle to Hamels and took Hamels’ throw to second base instead of Bruntlett, but turned the double-play anyway.
Hamels struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff and Gonzalez to start the seventh before Khalil Greene singled to left. Huber struck out to set the Padres down.
Hairston led off the eighth and hammered a double over the head of Werth and off the base of the wall in center. Bard was next and hit a dribbler between the mound and the first base line. Hamels moved over to field it and tried to backhand the ball, but it went off his glove. It bounded to Utley, who made a glove-hand flip to Howard and Bard was called out. Very nice play by Utley, but Bard was safe. Hariston went to third. Switch-hitter Tony Clark hit for the pitcher Cla Meredith and drew a walk. It put men on first and third with one out and the lefty Giles due to hit, and Manuel called on Romero to pitch. Hamels left the game having thrown 97 pitches. Romero walked Giles on an outside 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Gordon came into pitch to the righty Iguchi. Iguchi hit a slow ground ball to short. Bruntlett only had one play and threw to first for the second out as Hairston scored to cut the lead to 3-2. It put men on second and third with two outs for Kouzmanoff, but Flash got him on a ground ball to second to end the frame.
The lead got extended from one run to five in the bottom of the eighth, making Gordon’s appearance in the eighth seem less important, but that was an impressive job by Gordon again.
Interesting contrast between Manuel’s handling of Hamels in this start and his previous start. Last Wednesday in Milwaukee, Manuel left Hamels in to pitch to lefty Prince Fielder in the eighth despite a huge pitch count. Fielder homered for the second time in the game and the Phils went on to lose. This time Manuel takes Hamels out of the game even with the lefty Brian Giles at the plate. How Manuel handles Hamels throughout the season is likely going to depend a lot on the availability of Romero in the pen and where the big lefties are in the opposing team’s lineup — with Romero as the only southpaw Manuel has I think you can expect that he’ll be less likely to take Hamels (or Moyer) out of a game with big lefties looming when Romero isn’t available or when he expects to see the big lefties hit two more times in the game. Another lefty in the pen would be very nice, but until one arrives I hope we see him err on the side of less pitches for Hamels, even if it means some righty relievers throwing to lefties. I don’t think there’s any chance the Phillies are going to go through the season with Romero as the only lefty in the pen.
The Phils were up 3-2 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and scored four runs. Lidge was getting ready to enter the game, but Manuel was able to get Madson up in time to get him in to pitch the bottom of the ninth with the score 7-2. Great job by Manuel to keep Lidge out of the game, even though Madson pitched badly.
Victorino also entered the game defensively in the ninth after pinch-hitting in the bottom of the eighth. Even with some talk from Manuel about letting Werth play some more center despite Victorino’s return, and the fact that Werth started the game in center with Victorino available, Werth moved to right and Victorino played center. It’s just a no-brainer that Victorino is a significantly better center fielder than Werth, even though Werth has looked pretty capable out there.
Victorino’s return does create a difficult situation for the Phils. There seems to be some evidence that Victorino isn’t a favorite of Manuel. Werth needs to play just about every day, whether it’s in right or in center. Victorino doesn’t belong in right field. In my mind it comes down to Jenkins versus Victorino — if Jenkins is in the game I hope just about all of the time it means Werth is in center. Victorino hasn’t done much with the bat, but neither has Jenkins. Victorino is at least an elite defensive player. Not sure why Victorino would be the guy to lose his time because he’s not hitting with Jenkins not hitting as well. Jenkins certainly has more upside as a hitter, but he is slugging .329 so far this season.
Madson started the ninth and Gonzalez led off with a ball off the wall in left. Taguchi played it well to hold him to a single. Madson got the next two on a fly ball and a strikeout before Hairston hit a 2-1 pitch out down the line in left. Second home run in the game for Hairston, and it made the score 7-4. Lidge had to get up and start to throw again, but Madson struck out Bard to end the game.
Great job by Manuel to keep Lidge out of the game with a five-run lead despite all the late runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Six pitches for Romero, seven for Gordon and 19 for Madson. The Phillies didn’t play on Monday so the pen should be in good shape.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Greg Maddux went (1) Werth (2) Bruntett (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Victorino was activated before the game, and Bohn sent down, but Victorino starts the game on the bench with Werth in center. Bruntlett moves up to the second spot in the order, which is too high for him. Jenkins plays right with the righty on the mound. Ruiz keeps getting the call behind the plate.
Bruntlett drew a one out walk in the first and stole second. Utley lined out to first for the second out, but Howard singled to left and Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Burrell grounded out for the third out. Interesting to see Howard go to left field with the monster shift the Padres are playing against him.
Jenkins led off the second and ripped a single into right. Feliz hit into a double-play and Ruiz grounded to third.
With one out in the third, Werth smashed a ball off the wall in right. It rolled away from Giles and Werth had a triple. Bruntlett followed with a single into right, Werth scored and the Phils were up 2-0. Two runs in 2 1/3 innings for the Phils and Bruntlett a big part of both of them. Utley flew to right for the second out. Howard was next and hammered a ball, but was robbed of extra-bases by a fantastic diving catch by Hairston on the warning track.
Feliz doubled to left with two outs in the fourth, but Ruiz flew to center for the third out.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth.
Utley singled to start the sixth. Howard followed with a ground ball to first and Utley was forced at second for the first out. Burrell popped out and Jenkins grounded to first to end the inning.
Ruiz singled with one out in the seventh. Hamels was next and bunted the first pitch foul. He took ball one to even the count and then swung away and ripped a singled into right. Ruiz went to third. Werth hit a ball to center for the second out, deep enough to easily score Ruiz and extend the lead to 3-1. Bruntlett grounded to third for the third out. Fantastic at-bat by Hamels and a nice job by Werth to bring the runner in from third with one out.
Utley doubled to start the eighth. Howard followed and struck out and the lefty Glendon Rusch walked Burrell intentionally to put men on first and second with one out. Victorino hit for Jenkins against the lefty. Righty Kevin Cameron came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino flew to shallow left-center for the second out. Feliz bailed him out, though, with a single into right. Utley scored to make it 4-2 with the runners winding up at second and third after the throw went home. Ruiz smashed a double off the wall in right-center and they both scored. 6-2. Dobbs hit for Gordon and he doubled into center, scoring Ruiz. 7-2. Werth flew to center for the third out. Weak at-bats for Howard and Victorino in the inning, but Feliz, Ruiz and Dobbs bail them out to give the Phils a big inning.
Werth was 1-for-4 with a triple and a sac fly.
Bruntlett was 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and an RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-25 and has his average up to .222. Still not the guy you want to see hitting second.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a double.
Howard was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.
Jenkins 1-for-3 with a nice play in right field.
Feliz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.05) faces righty Chris Young (1-2, 3.77) tonight. Young has made five starts on the season and in four of them allowed two or fewer runs. He allowed seven runs against the Dodgers in LA on April 12, but has made two starts since in which he’s allowed three earned runs on just five hits in 13 innings (3.46 ERA). Opponents are hitting just .208 against him on the year, but he has walked 18 in 28 2/3 innings. He faced the Phillies once last season, on July 19, and held the Phillies to two hits in seven scoreless innings. Moyer has allowed three runs in 12 innings over his last two starts. Opponents are hitting .333 against him on the season, righties .349. After allowing 30 home runs in 2007, he has allowed just two so far in ’08 and none in his last two appearances. He made two starts against San Diego last season. He got bombed for eight runs in 4 2/3 innings on August 24 after allowing four runs over 6 2/3 on July 21.