Tag: Tom Gordon

Phils apparently able to overcome anything except a start from Hamels

If you were wondering how long it would take the Phils to find their form again after Saturday’s loss, the answer turns out to be not very. Yesterday they found themselves down 5-1 in the third, but as they have so many times of late they stormed back behind their bats and a strong performance from the bullpen. Jenkins delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer in the sixth and Burrell doubled in a pair of runs in the seventh to put the Phils ahead to stay.

Chase Utley is on fire. Having already had a stretch between April 17 and April 23 this season where he hit seven home runs in seven days, he has now homered six times in the last seven games.

The Phillies have won six of their last seven and nine of their last 12.

The Phillies beat the Florida Marlins yesterday, winning 7-5 to improve to 33-25 on the season. With the win they reclaim first place in the NL East by a half game over the Fish. The Phils take the three-game set two games to one.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs off the bat of Mike Jacobs. Moyer didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.

Hanley Ramirez singled to left to start the first, but Moyer got Jeremy Hermida to pop to short and Jorge Cantu to hit into a double-play.

He started the second with a 1-0 lead. Jacobs led off and hit the first pitch of his at-bat way out to right, tying the game at 1-1. Moyer got the next three hitters on ground balls.

He got the first two in the third before Ramirez hit a soft ground ball to second and just beat out Utley’s flip to Howard. Hermida was grazed by a pitch, putting men on first and second, before Jorge Cantu singled. Ramirez scored to put the Marlins up 2-1 with men on first and second. Jacobs was next and again the lefty blasted the first pitch of his at-bat way out to right, putting Florida up 5-1. Moyer struck out Uggla to end the frame.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth. Utley made a nice play to end the top of the fifth. Hermida hit a ball back up the middle, but Utley ranged to his right and made a strong throw to nip Hermida at first for the third out.

Cantu singled to start the sixth with the Phils down 5-3. Again Jacobs hammered the first pitch of his at-bat, but this time it was a line drive right at Howard. Howard caught it and stepped on first to double off Cantu. Moyer struck out Uggla to end the frame. He might want to go somewhere else with his first pitch the next time he faces Jacobs. Roll it to the plate, maybe?

The game was tied at 5-5 in the seventh. Cody Ross led off with a single, but Jacque Jones bunted and popped it up towards first. Howard made a nice diving play to catch the ball for the first out. Mike Rabelo hit into a double-play behind Jones.

Gordon started the eighth with the Phils up 7-5 and walked Luis Gonzalez on five pitches to start the inning, but got the next three behind him to keep the Fish off the board. Nice bounce-back performance from Gordon after he was hit hard in his previous outing against the Rockies. After Gordon walked Gonzalez he got behind Ramirez 2-0 and Rollins came in for a pep talk. It apparently helped. The Inquirer thought the chat was a pretty big deal, complete with a headline in bazillion point. Must have been quite a talk.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Jacobs, getting Uggla on a fly ball to left and striking out Ross.

Two scoreless innings from the pen in which they allow one walk after Moyer goes seven. Gordon threw 17 pitches, Lidge 14. Gordon may be questionable for tonight’s game against the Reds.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andrew Miller went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Taguchi. Coste catches against the lefty again. Taguchi in right with Werth out. Taguchi hits eighth and Feliz and the catcher’s spot move up one place in the order. Would still try Jenkins in right even against the lefty with Werth out.

With two outs in the first, Utley walked and stole second. Howard got behind 1-2 before he hit a 2-2 pitch back through the middle for a single. Utley scored and the Phils led 1-0. More good hitting with two strikes from Howard after he drove in Victorino on Saturday night with a ground ball out with two strikes. Burrell flew to right for the third out.

Taguchi walked with two outs in the second, but Moyer struck out behind him.

Down 5-1 in the third, Rollins led off and hit a ground ball to third. Cantu threw it away, however, and Rollins was safe on the error. Victorino was next and flew to center. Rollins went to third and then made a move towards home. Miller threw to third but his throw got away for another error. Rollins scored to cut the lead to 5-2. Utley blasted a 1-1 pitch out to right for his 20th home run and the score was 5-3. He’s on pace to hit 56 home runs this season. Howard flew out for the second out before Burrell walked. Feliz hit an 0-1 pitch into left center, but was robbed of a hit by a diving catch by Ross to end the inning.

Phils get a run thanks to Cantu’s error.

Coste singled to start the fourth. Taguchi flew to right for the first out before Moyer bunted Coste to second. Rollins popped to first for the third out. Another sacrifice for Moyer, who has been very good at getting his bunts down.

Victorino put down a pretty bunt to start the fifth, but Miller made a great play to field it and throw Victorino out at first with his momentum carrying him towards the first base line. Utley walked, but Howard hit into a double-play.

Burrell walked to start the sixth with the Phils still down 5-3. Feliz flew to left and Coste struck out, bringing up Taguchi’s spot with the righty Doug Waechter on the mound for Florida. Jenkins hit for Taguchi and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right, tying the game at 5-5. Moyer hit for himself and struck out to end the inning. There are some that seem blown away with the brilliance of pinch-hitting for Taguchi with Jenkins there — seems like the pretty clear choice to me.

Victorino singled with one out in the seventh. Utley popped to second for the second out before Howard was hit by a pitch. It put men on first and second and righty Logan Kensing came in to pitch to Burrell. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Burrell hit a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner. Both runners scored and the Phillies led 7-5. Like Howard, Burrell gets it done with two strikes. That’s just a great job of hitting with two strikes from the strikeout kings Burell and Howard — hitting with two strikes the pair combined to knock in three of the seven runs the Phillies scored in the game. Bohn ran for Burrell at second and Feliz struck out for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Dobbs hit for Gordon and struck out for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 1-for-12 with a single in the series. He is hitting 292/340/460 for the season.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a single. 4-for-13 in the series with three doubles. He’s hitting 292/356/404 for the season. His on-base percentage is higher than Rollins’.

Utley was 1-for-2 with a home run and two walks. 4-for-11 with three home runs in the series. Six home runs in seven days. He is hitting 312/398/665 for the year. Uggla was 1-for-12 with a single in the series and is hitting 294/371/632 for the year.

Howard was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 2-for-8 with a home run and five RBI in the series. 208/324/469 for the season.

Burrell was 1-for-2 with two walks, a game-winning double and two RBI. 3-for-9 with three walks in the series. 280/422/582 for the year.

Feliz was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. 2-for-12 in the series. 259/297/423 for the year.

Coste was 1-for-4 in the game and 2-for-9 with a home run in the set. 330/393/567. Ruiz was 0-for-2 in the series. He has six extra-base hits in 127 at-bats this season and is hitting 228/300/291 for the year. Not counting yesterday’s games, of the 128 NL players with at least 125 plate appearances this season only six have a worse slugging percentage than Ruiz’s .291.

Taguchi was 0-for-1 with a walk. 1-for-3 with three walks in the series. 203/288/271 for the year, which isn’t really what you’re looking for from your starting right fielder. Jenkins was 1-for-2 with a monster two-run homer, his fifth of the year. He was 1-for-6 in the series. 285/321/430 for the season.

Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 4.84) faces righty Bronson Arroyo (4-4, 5.29) tonight as the Phils play the first of three with the Reds. Arroyo is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his last two starts. In those starts he struck out 15 in 12 1/3 innings. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last five starts. He faced the Phils on April 7 and gave up five runs over 5 2/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .345 against Kendrick, but the Phillies have won seven of the last eight games he has started. His first start of the season came against the Reds. On April 4 he allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings.


The Phils suddenly can’t hit, but Hamels takes no offense

If nothing else, at least now we know how the Phils are going to have to pitch if they’re going to win games while they’re hitting like this. Last night it took a shutout. Cole Hamels gave the Phillies his second straight brilliant outing, striking out 11 and allowing four hits in seven innings. Gordon and Lidge combined to contribute a pair of scoreless frames.

One run for the Phils, who have now scored nine times in their last four games. Of the three players that hit 3-4-5 just about every day for the Phils, using OPS as the measure Ryan Howard is having the best May. He’s hitting 200/278/471 this month (Utley 229/321/414 and Burrell 203/368/373).

If you’re looking for the offensive silver lining from last night, it’s that one of the biggest hits for the Phils came off the bat of the scuffling Pedro Feliz. Feliz ripped a double into left to start the ninth. Bruntlett ran for him and scored what would be the only run of the game when pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs muscled a single into center field two batters later.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 1-0 to improve to 25-22 on the year. With the win they snap their three-game losing streak.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out 11, which ties his high for the season.

Over his last two starts Hamels has allowed eight hits and four walks in 16 scoreless innings while striking out 17.

Cristian Guzman singled with one out in the first. Ryan Zimmerman was next and flew to the warning track in left for the second out. With Dmitri Young at the plate, Guzman tried to steal second but took off too early. Hamels threw to first, but Howard’s throw to second was terrible, on the shortstop side of second base. Rollins, backing up, caught the ball and saved Howard the error, but it was a miserable throw. Young grounded out on a nice play by Feliz deep at third to end the inning.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second.

He struck out Elijah Dukes and the pitcher Jason Bergmann to start the third before Felipe Lopez walked. Guzman grounded to third for the third out.

Zimmerman and Young started the fourth with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Milledge. Milledge flew to right for the second out and Zimmerman moved to third. Hamels struck out Jesus Flores for the second out and Wily Mo Pena flew to center to end the inning.

Big strikeout of Flores for Hamels with one out and a man on third.

Hamels struck out Dukes, Bergmann and Lopez in a 1-2-3 fifth.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Pena doubled to left with two outs in the seventh and Dukes followed with a walk. Righty Aaron Boone hit for Bergmann and Hamels struck him out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Gordon started the eighth. Guzman singled with one out. Zimmerman followed with a ground ball back to the pitcher and Guzman was forced at second for the second out. Young walked to put men on first and second, but Milledge grounded to third for the third out.

Lidge started the ninth with a 1-0 lead. He struck Flores out swinging and Pena out swinging. Dukes was next and Lidge walked him on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. Dukes stole second on a 1-2 pitch to Mackowiak, putting the trying run in scoring position. Dukes took third on the 2-2 pitch that was high before Lidge walked Mackowiak. Willie Harris ran for Mackowiak at first with Lopez at the plate. Lopez hit the first pitch of his at-bat to second. Utley juggled but threw to first in time to get Lopez and end the game. Lopez didn’t run hard out of the box, but probably would have been out even if he had — when Utley bobbled the ball went up in the air and he caught it right away.

After Bruntlett ran for Feliz in the top of the ninth and Dobbs pinch-hit for Gordon, Bruntlett and not Dobbs played third in the bottom of the ninth. Haven’t seen much of Bruntlett at third, but I’m guessing that was a nice call by Manuel. Also nice to see Hamels leave before the eighth despite the great outing — not sure exactly when the bill is going to come due for all the work Hamels has gotten, but I am sure it’s going to be before the end of the season. Hamels threw 110 pitches last night after throwing 120 his previous start.

Gordon and Lidge combined to throw two scoreless innings, but allowed a hit and three walks. Twenty pitches for Gordon and 22 for Lidge, so there’s a chance the Phils may try to stay away from Gordon tonight if they can.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jason Bergmann went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right against the righty with Victorino in center and Werth on the bench. Feliz stays at third. Ruiz catches.

Utley doubled with two outs in the first. Howard followed with a walk, but Burrell fouled out to the catcher to leave them both stranded.

Jenkins started the second with a bloop single into center. Feliz flew out to center for the first out. Ruiz struck out and Hamels grounded to first.

Victorino walked with one out in the third and stole second (but just barely on a close play). Utley and Howard both struck out to end the frame.

Jenkins singled with one out in the fourth. Feliz popped out and Ruiz flew to right.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fifth and again in the sixth.

With one out in the seventh, Feliz and Ruiz singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Hamels. Hamels hit for himself having thrown 90 pitches and put down a pretty bunt that moved the runners to second and third with two down. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Victorino lined to center to end the frame.

With two outs in the eighth, Burrell walked and Werth ran for him at first. Jenkins popped to second for the third out.

Feliz led off the ninth and ripped a double down the line in left. Bruntlett ran for him at second. Ruiz bunted Bruntlett to third. With righty Jon Rauch on the mound, Dobbs hit for Gordon and blooped a single into center. Bruntlett scored to put the Phillies up 1-0. Rollins flew to left for the second out before Victorino hit a ball in the gap to left-center. Milledge got to the ball after a long run and relayed to Guzman as Dobbs rounded third and tried to score. Guzman’s throw was perfect on a bounce and the ball arrived as Dobbs slid into home. Very close play, but Dobbs was out because Flores blocked the plate beautifully.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a double and stole a base.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out three times. He’s on pace to strike out 234 times this season.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk. Howard and Burrell are a combined 0-for-14 with six strikeouts in the first two games of the set.

Jenkins was 2-for-4. He’s 6-for-his-last-11 and hitting 317/341/439 in May.

Feliz was 2-for-4 with a huge double in the ninth.

Ruiz 1-for-3.

Jamie Moyer (3-3, 4.89) faces lefty Matt Chico (0-5, 6.07) tonight. Chico has made ten appearances for the Nationals this season, seven of which have been starts. The last three times he has pitched has been in relief. In those three relief appearances he’s been good, charged with just one run in 6 1/3 innings. In his seven starts he’s thrown to a 6.87 ERA. He’s allowed four or more runs in five of his seven starts. Overall on the season opponents are hitting .324 against him and he’s allowed seven home runs in 43 innings. He started against the Phils on March 31, opening day for the Phils, and allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings. Moyer has two wins in his last three starts. In the two games he won he gave the Phils his longest outings of the season — he went seven against the Snakes on May 5 and 6 2/3 against the Blue Jays Friday night. Righties are hitting .348 against him on the season and he’s allowed seven home runs overall on the year in 49 2/3 innings. His home run rate is down from 2007 but one of the big keys to his success this season is still going to be keeping the ball in the yard. He started against the Nats on April 3 of this year and allowed six runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings.


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.


Cubs open the door, but Phils getting more e4 than you would hope for

The Phils split the final two games of the three-game set with the Cubs. On Saturday they cruised behind yet another brilliant start by Cole Hamels. Hamels gave the Phils seven shutout innings of one-hit ball and the offense backed him with seven runs. Yesterday the Phils had a chance for the sweep and took a 5-4 lead into the eighth, but Gordon gave up a run in the eighth and the Phils fell in extra-innings with the help of yet another error by Chase Utley.

Utley’s error hurt, but the Phils had a lot of chances in the game. They couldn’t get the big hit early. Late in the game they twice asked an unlikely guy to bunt and twice it didn’t work out. Jamie Moyer gave them another weak start, his second in three outings on the year.

The Phillies lost to the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon, falling 6-5 in ten innings to drop to 6-7 on the season. The Phils take the series two games to one, winning a series for the first time this season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two. Over his first three starts, Moyer has allowed 22 hits in 14 2/3 innings.

Moyer set the Cubs down 1-2-3 in the first.

In the second, Kosuke Fukudome singled with one out, but Moyer set down the next three.

Henry Blanco started the third with a single. The pitcher Jason Marquis tried to bunt him along but popped up to Coste for the first out. Soriano moved him to second with a single and Reed Johnson followed with another single that scored Blanco and moved Soriano to second with the game tied at 1-1. Derrek Lee was next and he doubled over the head of Werth in center. Both runners scored and the Cubs led 3-1. Moyer got the next two to leave Lee stranded.

Blanco singled again with two outs in the fourth, but Marquis went down behind him.

With two outs in the fifth, Lee hit a ball back to Moyer that went off his glove. Moyer recovered and threw to first, but not well. Howard couldn’t catch it and Lee went to second on the error by Moyer. Moyer walked the righty Aramis Ramirez intentionally and then got the lefty Fukudome on a fly ball to deep right.

Moyer started the sixth with the Phils trailing 3-2. Mark DeRosa led off for the Cubs and hit a 1-1 pitch down the left field line and out of the park for a home run. Replays showed clearly that the ball was foul. Burrell came in to point this out and Manuel came out to argue and was ejected. 4-2 Cubs. Ryan Theriot was next and he singled into center and that was all for Moyer. Chad Durbin came in to pitch and Ruiz came in to catch as part of the double-switch. The Phils pitched out and Ruiz gunned Theriot down trying to steal for the first out and Durbin set down the next two behind him.

Durbin returned for the seventh with a 5-4 lead. Derrek Lee singled with two outs, but Durbin struck out Ramirez behind him to set the Cubs down.

Gordon came in to pitch the eighth and walked DeRosa with one out. Ronny Cedeno ran for DeRosa at first and moved to second when Theriot singled to left. Lefty Felix Pie hit for the catcher Blanco, and JC Romero came in to pitch for the Phils. Righty Geovany Soto hit for Pie and Cedeno stole third before Soto delivered a check-swing bloop into right field. Cedeno scored to tie the game at 5-5 and Theriot went to second. Lefty Daryle Ward hit for the pitcher Carlos Marmol and struck out for the second out before Soriano flew to left to end the frame.

Lidge pitched the ninth with the score tied at 5-5. He walked Ramirez with two outs, but got Fukudome on a fly ball to left to set the Cubs down.

Rudy Seanez started the tenth and gave up a leadoff walk to Cedeno. Theriot bunted Cedeno to second before Cedeno walked Soto. It put men on first and second for pitcher Kerry Wood. The Cubs were out of position players, so Carlos Zambrano hit for Wood. Zambrano hit a double-play ball to short. Bruntlett tossed to second, but Utley’s relay to first was miserable. Instead of an inning-ending double-play, Cedeno scored from third and the Cubs led 6-5. Soriano flew to right for the third out.

Miserable play by Utley, his fourth error on the season. After 13 games he’s on pace to make 50 errors. He’s also made several bad plays on which he wasn’t charged with an error. Seanez was victimized by the error, but the leadoff walk to Cedeno wasn’t fantastic either.

With the off day today, the Phils bullpen should be in good shape. Lidge needed 21 pitches to get through the ninth, but everyone else, including Durbin, who threw two innings, threw less than 20. Durbin threw 17.

Durbin continues to be fabulous for the Phils, giving them two more good innings to drop his ERA on the season to 0.90.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jason Marquis went (1) Jenkins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Bruntlett. Werth gets the start in center with Victorino on the DL — very nice to see him start there instead of Taguchi cause the Phils need his bat. Jenkins in right and hitting leadoff, which is not the way to go. Bruntlett plays short with Rollins hopefully out with his ankle for the last time. The Phils have three lefties in their lineup but still manage to put four righties in a row five through eight in their order. I think you go Werth-Utley-Howard-Burrell-Jenkins-Feliz-Coste-Bruntlett if those are the players in your lineup (chances are good we won’t see those eight players in lineup at the start of the game again this season).

With one out in the first Werth was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single by Utley. Werth and Utley pulled off a double-steal, putting men on second and third for Howard and Howard was walked intentionally. Burrell was next and flew out to the warning track in left. Werth scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Feliz flew to left for the third out.

Coste started the second with a walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Bruntlett moved him to third with an infield single. Moyer bunted Bruntlett to second, putting men on second and third with one out for Jenkins. Jenkins popped to short for the second out. Werth walked to load the bases, but Utley flew to left to end the inning.

Phils leave five runners stranded in the first two innings, getting one run after loading the bases with one out in the first and putting men on first and third with nobody out in the second.

Down 3-1 in the third, the Phils went 1-2-3.

Bruntlett singled with one out in the fourth and again Moyer bunted him to second. Jenkins lined to second to end the inning.

Werth led off the fifth and smashed a 2-0 pitch out to left-center, cutting the Cubs’ lead to 3-2. Utley flew to center for the first out before Howard walked. Burrell struck out swinging for the second. With Feliz at the plate, Howard went to second on a wild pitch. Feliz walked, putting men on first and second for Coste, but Coste grounded out to short.

Bruntlett led off the sixth with the Phils down 4-2 and hit one out to left. 4-3. Ruiz and Jenkins singled back-to-back, putting men on first and third with nobody out for Werth. Werth singled to right, scoring Ruiz and moving Jenkins to third with the score tied at 4-4. Utley hit a fly ball to right for the first out and Jenkins came home, putting the Phils up 5-4. Howard flew to center for the second out before Werth stole second. Burrell walked, putting men on first and second with two down, but Feliz was caught looking to end the inning.

Just called up Chris Snelling hit for Durbin to start the seventh and popped to third. Bruntlett and Ruiz went down behind him.

Jenkins led off the eighth with a single with the game tied at 5-5. Werth tried to bunt him along, but popped it up for the first out. Bunting with Werth there is a bad idea if it works. Utley flew to center and Howard grounded to the shortstop, playing to the right of second.

Phils waste the leadoff single.

Burrell led off the ninth with a walk and Taguchi ran for him at first. Feliz bunted back to the pitcher and Taguchi was forced at second with Feliz safe at first. Dobbs hit for Lidge and was hit by a pitch, moving Feliz to second. With one out and men on first and second, Bruntlett, who had three hits on the day, struck out. Ruiz grounded to first for the third out. You have to wonder if Bruntlett hitting for himself really means that Rollins wasn’t ready to play in the field. On the other hand he did have three hits on the day. Second inning in a row the Phils get the leadoff man on and get nothing. Second inning in a row they give away an out trying to bunt leadoff men to second. Feliz and Werth should combined to bunt approximately never. Twice in two innings?

Down 6-5 in the tenth, Jenkins and Werth went down for the first two outs before Utley doubled to right. Howard was walked intentionally with Taguchi behind him, and Taguchi grounded to second to end the game. I’d walk Howard intentionally a lot when the game is on the line and Taguchi is hitting behind him.

Phils can’t break through in the early innings. In the eighth and ninth they gave some outs away trying to bunt.

Jenkins was 2-for-6 in the game. 2-for-11 in the series. 256/304/372 on the year. Phillies will hopefully either get Rollins back or find a top of the order hitter by process of elimination soon. .304 isn’t really what you’re looking for.

Werth is amazing. 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two RBI. 4-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 421/593/684 on the year.

Utley was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. His fielding has been absurdly bad so far this season. 5-for-14 with two doubles and a triple in the set. 333/419/667.

Howard 0-for-3 with three walks. 2-for-10 with a double, a home run four walks in the series. 191/339/426.

Burrell was 0-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 359/500/769.

Feliz was 0-for-4 with a walk and left five men on base. 2-for-9 with a home run in the series. 200/265/356 on the year, so look for him to lead off any day now.

Coste was 0-for-2 with a walk in the game in his only action of the series. 267/389/600. Ruiz was 1-for-3 on the day and 3-for-11 with three singles in the series. 211/250/263. He has one extra-base hit in April.

Bruntlett was 3-for-5 with a home run. 3-for-12 in the series. 208/240/333.

Dobbs was hit by a pitch in his plate appearance today. 2-for-3 with a double in the series. 231/286/308. Nice to see him get a start in the series — hopefully we’ll see him get a lot of starts against lefties, especially when the Phils have a fly ball pitcher on the mound.

Taguchi was 0-for-1. 1-for-2 with a double in the series. 222/222/444 in nine at-bats on the season. I’m not saying there’s no situation in which you shouldn’t pinch-run for Pat Burrell, but the Phils would be a better team overall if they instituted a rule that they would not run for Burrell under any circumstances.

Victorino was 4-for-7 with a walk in the series before hitting the DL. 234/294/277. He has one extra-base hit on the year.

On Saturday the Phils beat the Cubs 7-1.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phils and went seven shutout innings, allowing one hit, a double, and two walks. He struck out five and dropped his ERA to 0.82 after three starts.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 first and a 1-2-3 second. The third out of the second inning came on a nice play by Victorino. Mark DeRosa hammered a ball to left-center and Victorino made the catch while crashing into the wall to end the frame.

In the third, Ryan Theriot drew a one out walk and pitcher Ted Lilly bunted him to second. Alfonso Soriano flew to right to leave Theriot stranded.

Derrek Lee doubled with one out in the fourth, but Hamels got the next two to leave him stranded.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fifth and got three fly ball in a 1-2-3 sixth. Through six innings Hamels had allowed one hit and one walk and thrown 86 pitches.

He walked Lee to start the seventh, but struck out Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto behind him and got DeRosa on a popup to the pitcher for the third out.

Ryan Madson came in to pitch the eighth. Hamels leaves with a one-hitter having thrown 111 pitches. Another inning for Hamels would have been too much, especially with the well-rested pen coming off of Myers’ long outing on Friday. Madson walked pinch-hitter Fukudome to start the inning, which isn’t so much what you’re looking for with a five-run lead. Theriot was next and blooped a ball that fell in front of Jenkins in right. Fukudome didn’t read it right, though, and Jenkins threw to second and got the force for the first out. Mike Fontenot was next and grounded to second. Utley threw to first for the second out as Theriot moved to second. Soriano singled into right and Theriot scored, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 5-1. Madson struck Reed Johnson out on three pitches to set the Cubs down.

Madson got a huge boost in the inning from the base-running mistake by Fukudome.

Condrey started the ninth with a 7-1 lead. He gave up a one out single to Aramis Ramirez, but got the next two to end the game.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Ted Lilly went (1) Victorino (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Ruiz (8) Bruntlett. Werth plays right against the lefty and hits second. Bruntlett at short with Rollins still out with his ankle problem.

Werth singled with one in the first, but Utley and Howard both struck out behind him.

Burrell led off the second with a walk and Feliz followed and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left-center, putting the Phils up 2-0. Ruiz and Bruntlett went down behind him before Hamels doubled. Victorino was next and moved him to third with a single. Werth walked to load the bases, but Utley popped out to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third and again in the fourth.

Victorino led off the fifth with a single. Werth popped to Lee at first for the first out, but Utley doubled into right. Victorino held at third. With Howard at the plate a wild pitch from Lilly brought Victorino home to extend the Phillies’ lead to 3-0. Utley went to third, but it didn’t matter cause Howard muscled one just out to right-center. 5-0. Burrell drew a walk and Feliz hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Ruiz led off the sixth with a ground ball to third that went off the heel of Ramirez’s glove. Ruiz was hustling all the way and just beat the throw to first (he was out). Bruntlett, Hamels and Victorino all grounded out behind him. Victorino appeared to pull up a little with some type of leg problem while running to first on the final out. He was out of the game in the top of the seventh with a strain of the right calf.

Utley tripled off the wall in right-center with one out in the seventh. Howard followed with a walk before Burrell struck out for the first out. Feliz grounded to short to turn the Phillies away. Burrell’s been great so far this year, but his strikeout with a runner on third and one down wasn’t fantastic.

Ruiz led off the eighth with a single. Bruntlett popped to first for the first out before Taguchi doubled to right, scoring Ruiz to put the Phils up 6-1. Jenkins flew to center for the second out before Werth doubled, scoring Taguchi to make it 7-1. Utley grounded to second for the third out.

Victorino was 2-for-4 and was put on the DL after the game.

Werth 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double and a triple.

Howard 1-for-3 with his third home run of the season.

Burrell 0-for-2 with two walks.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a two-run homer.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Bruntlett 0-for-4.

No game today. The Phils start a three-game series with the Astros tomorrow.


Sloppy firsts

The Phils’ first win of the season started ugly but ended well. Jamie Moyer got absolutely shelled, battered for six runs and unable to get out of the fourth inning. The Phils, who made four errors in the game, played miserable defense behind him and the combination didn’t make for a pretty first inning — the Phils found themselves down 5-0 before they had a chance to hit.

Led by an outstanding performance from a much-maligned bullpen, though, the Phils stormed back to win the game in extra-innings. Chris Coste got the offense started in the third by hitting the first pitch he saw on the season out for a home run. The sixth inning saw nine straight Phils reach on eight singles and a hit batter as the Phils scored six runs and take a 7-6 lead. The Nats came back to tie it up at 7-7, but Jimmy Rollins took things into his own hands in the bottom of the tenth, leading off with a single and then going to third on a sacrifice bunt.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals yesterday afternoon, winning 8-7 in ten innings to improve to 1-2 on the season. The Phils lose the three-game set two games to won.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned, but if you think that means that Moyer pitched well, think again. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out three.

Christian Guzman led off the first with a double over the head of Jenkins in right. Lastings Milledge was next and hit a ball in between short and third. Rollins fielded and threw to first, where Howard dropped it. Milledge, who was given a hit that was later changed to an error on Howard, was safe at first and Guzman safe at second. Ryan Zimmerman was next and hit a double-play ball to third. Feliz went to second for the first out, but Utley’s throw to first was wide for his second error in two games. Guzman scored to put the Nats up 1-0. Austin Kearns was next and Moyer didn’t want much of the big righty, walking him on four pitches to put men on first and second. Aaron Boone followed with a single up the middle. Zimmerman scored and it was 2-0 with men on first and second for Ronnie Belliard. Belliard laced a ball into left that made it to the wall for a two-run double. 4-0. Moyer got Felipe Lopez on a ball popped into right for the second out. Jesus Flores followed and he doubled down the line in left to score Belliard and make it 5-0. The pitcher Bergmann was next and Moyer struck him out to end the frame.

Two miserable defensive plays in the inning, one by Howard and the other by Utley.

Guzman started the second with his second double in as many innings, this one to left. Milledge followed with a slow roller to short. Rollins gloved and threw to first and again Howard dropped the ball. This time Milledge would have been safe anyway so there was no error, but ya can’t go wrong with catching the ball. Zimmerman was next and hit a ball back to Moyer, who was looking Guzman back to third and didn’t handle it cleanly. Moyer couldn’t recover in time to get Zimmerman and was charged with an error, the third in the game for the Phils. It loaded the bases for Kearns with nobody out. Kearns hit a ground ball back to Moyer, who came home for one and Coste threw to first to complete the double-play. It brought up Boone with two down and men on second and third. Moyer struck him out to end the inning.

Flores doubled into the corner in left with two outs in the third. Bergmann grounded to short for the third out.

Guzman started the fourth with a ground ball to third that Feliz knocked down but didn’t field cleanly. Guzman was safe and it was an error, and the fielding problems at that point officially had spread to the entire infield. Milledge followed with a single into left that moved Guzman to second with nobody out. Zimmerman flew to center for the first out and both runners had to hold. With the count 2-2 on Kearns, Milledge and Guzman took off but they left too early. Moyer stepped off the mound and got Guzman at third for the second out and Milledge went to second. The count went full on Kearns before he singled into right. Jenkins threw home but Milledge was safe to make the score 6-1 with Kearns going to second on the throw home. Manuel gave Moyer the hook and Durbin came in to pitch to Boone, appearing in his third straight game. Boone dribbled one in front of the plate and Durbin pounced on it and threw to first for the third out.

Durbin returned to start the fifth and, after getting Belliard to foul out to Howard for the first out, gave up a one-out single to Lopez. Flores followed and hit one back to Durbin, who started the double-play that ended the frame.

Rudy Seanez started the sixth with the Phils still down 6-1. Bergmann led off and lined a ball to right and Jenkins made a fantastic diving catch for the first out of the inning. Guzman was next and hit a dribbler out in front of the plate that Coste pounced on and threw to first. With the help of a nice stretch from Howard, Guzman was called out (he was safe). Seanez got Milledge on a soft grounder to first for the third out.

Madson started the seventh with a 7-6 lead and set the Nats down 1-2-3.

Madson came back for the eighth still protecting a one-run lead and gave up a leadoff walk to Belliard on four pitches. Lopez flew to center for the first out. Flores was next and he blooped a ball into left-center for a single that sent Belliard to second. Rob Mackowiack was announced as the pinch-hitter for the pitcher Joel Hanrahan and JC Romero came in to pitch to the lefty. Paul LoDuca hit for Mackowiack with one down and men on first and second. Madson got behind LoDuca 3-1 before LoDuca popped a 3-2 pitch into center field for the second out. Guzman hit a ground ball in between second and third that went off the tip of Feliz’s glove, then off of Rollins and into left field. Belliard scored and the game was tied at 7-7 with men on first and second and two down for Milledge. Milledge hit a ball hard to third where Feliz made a dive to stop the ball. He threw to first, but not in time to get Milledge and the bases were loaded. Nice play by Feliz, though, keeping the ball in the infield. Zimmerman grounded to short for the third out.

Gordon started the ninth with the game tied at 7-7. Kearns struck out trying to check his swing on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Flash got ahead of Nick Johnson 0-2 before Johnson singled into right off the glove of a diving Utley on a 3-2 pitch. Belliard was next and Gordon walked him to put men on first and second. Lopez flew to left for the second out before Flores walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Willie Harris hit for Luis Ayala and grounded to first to end the frame.

Condrey came in to pitch the tenth with the score knotted at 7-7. He got Guzman on a fly ball to center and struck out Milledge and Zimmerman to set the Nats down.

After allowing five extra-base hits through three innings, Phils’ pitchers didn’t allow any after the third.

Overall a great day for the pen as they hold the Nats to a single run over 6 1/3 innings after the early exit by Moyer. Durbin, Seanez and Condrey all had a nice day. Romero and Gordon both got hit a little but managed to avoid major damage, although there still wasn’t much to suggest there should be a whole lot of confidence in Gordon. Madson allows a run after giving up the big home run to Milledge in game one of the series, so a little bit of a rocky start to the season for him.

Tough combination for the Phils as the series starts tonight in Cincy as they have a worn out pen and a starter who probably won’t go real deep in the game. Durbin is almost surely unavailable having pitched in each of the Phils first three games. Romero has also pitched in all three games, but my guess is that Manuel would be more willing to use him three days in a row than Durbin (the Phils had an off-day Tuesday after their first game). Gordon threw 34 pitches on Thursday so you’d have to guess he’s not available, we’ll see if he closes if it comes to that tonight. Madson threw 23 pitches but didn’t appear on Wednesday, so I think it’s more likely he’d be available tonight.

The infield defense was horrid and has been so far this season. Howard, Utley and Rollins had all been really bad. Feliz had an error on Thursday but has been much better overall.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Bergmann went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Jenkins plays right and hits sixth. Feliz stays in the seven-hole against the righty. Coste gets his first start of the year in the day game after a night game.

The Phillies started the first down 5-0 and went 1-2-3.

Jenkins dumped a single into right with two outs in the second. Feliz followed and lined one into left, but Lopez tracked it down to end the inning.

Coste led off the third and hit the first pitch he saw on the season out to left. 5-1. Moyer struck out swinging and Rollins fouled out to the catcher for the second out before Victorino drew a two-out walk. Utley flew to left for the third out.

Howard started the fourth and tried to bunt the 1-0 pitch against the massive shift and fouled it off. He struck out swinging for the first out. Burrell was next and he got ahead 2-0 before striking out swinging at a 3-2 pitch. Jenkins went down swinging too, missing a 2-2 offering from Bergmann. Bergmann had five strikeouts through four innings.

Feliz started the fifth with a line drive to Lopez in left that a regular left fielder might have handled. Lopez didn’t and Feliz had a single. Coste flew to Milledge in left-center for the first out. Durbin was due to hit next and the righty Taguchi hit for him. Taguchi struck out for the second out. Dobbs was the other guy Manuel could have used there, but Manuel must have wanted to save him for later in the game despite the runner on first base. Rollins flew to left for the third out.

With one out in the sixth, Utley singled into right on a sharply hit ball that wasn’t played well by Belliard at second. Howard was next and he smashed a single into right, moving Utley to second. Burrell followed hit it down the line past third. Utley scored from second to make it 6-2 with men on first and third for Jenkins. After three straight batters had hit the ball hard against Bergmann I was pretty surprised he stayed in to face Jenkins. But he did. Jenkins singled into right and Howard scored to make it 6-3 with men on first and second. Righty Saul Rivera came in to pitch to Pedro Feliz and his first offering was a wild pitch off the shin guard of Flores that allowed the runners to move to second and third. Feliz singled up the middle and both runners scored to make it 6-5. Coste was next and he singled into right, moving Feliz to second. Seanez was due to hit next and now Manuel did call on Dobbs with Nats’ lefty Ray King warming but apparently not ready to enter the game. Dobbs gave the Phils their seventh straight single, this one into left. Feliz scored to tie the game at 6-6 with Coste going to second. Ray King entered and hit Rollins with his first pitch, loading the bases with one down for Victorino. Victorino singled into right and everyone moved up another base. Coste scored and the Phils had the lead at 7-6 with the bases still loaded with one down. Utley hit a ball to first. Boone came home for the first out and Flores threw to first to complete the double-play.

Fantastic inning for the Phils but the use of King was pretty odd by the Nats. I thought it was a mistake to leave Bergmann in to pitch to Jenkins. Dobbs also got to hit against the righty Seanez. It must be a tough position for an opposing manager with just one lefty in their pen — you want to save the single lefty to pitch to Utley and Howard, but there are other lefty hitters you need to get out as well. We’ll have to watch and see how often Jenkins and Dobbs get to hit against righties but I wonder if it might prove to be more often than you would expect.

Howard started the seventh and singled into right off of King. Righty Joel Hanrahan came in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell lined one into right and past Kearns for a double. Howard was held at third and Adam Eaton ran for Burrell at second. Really he did. That’s a bad decision to take Burrell out of the game. Jenkins struck out for the first out. Feliz grounded to third for the second out and the runners had to hold at second and third. Coste grounded out to short to end the inning.

Miserable. Is Eaton even faster than Burrell? Maybe a little. The Eaton/Burrell run isn’t the one that ties the game or puts you up by one — it’s the one that puts you up by three. In the seventh. Burrell is the guy you want in the game when it’s close. Beyond the decision to take Burrell out of the game, the Phils got nothing out of men on second and third with nobody out. Jenkins striking out against the righty was particularly unhelpful, but not to be forgotten is that Jenkins was fantastic in the game with his bat and his glove. The Phils also didn’t get to let Werth hit in the pitcher’s spot, so Werth played left in the top of the eighth and the Phils had the pitcher’s spot lead off the bottom of the eighth with Werth, the best hitter that started the game on the bench for the Phils, unavailable to pinch-hit because he’s in the game.

Bruntlett had to pinch-hit for Romero to start the bottom of the eighth and singled off the heel of the glove of Zimmerman. Rollins followed with a 13-pitch at-bat that ended with him grounding to second on a 3-2 pitch. The full count allowed Bruntlett to take off with the pitch, so he moved up to second. Victorino flew to center for the second out and, with no lefty available in the Nats’ pen after the departure of King, the righty Ayala walked Utley intentionally to pitch to Ryan Howard. The first pitch to Howard was off the glove of Flores and the runners moved to second and third, so Howard was walked intentionally to load the bases with two down for Werth. Werth grounded to short to end the inning.

Switching out Burrell didn’t prove to be a disaster for the Phils, but it wasn’t good. Bruntlett’s pinch-hit single bailed Manuel out a little, and he still got a good hitter, Werth up there in the fifth spot. Would have been better to have Burrell up there, who is undeniably a better hitter against right-handed pitchers than Werth.

Jenkins led off the ninth and ripped a double into the right field corner off of Jesus Colome. Big hit for Jenkins after striking out in the seventh with men on second and third and nobody out. Feliz popped to short for the first out and Coste followed with a walk that put men on first and second with one out and set up the double-play. Ruiz hit for Gordon and hit into a double-play. The double-play by Ruiz is obviously bad, but so is Feliz being unable to move the runner to third with nobody out.

Rollins led off the tenth with an infield single. Victorino followed and put down a beautiful bunt. Zimmerman fielded and threw to first, but Rollins didn’t stop at second and busted it all the way to third base. The fantastic base running by Rollins to go from first to third on a sacrifice bunt was the play of the game for the Phils. Zimmerman charged and threw to first to get Rollins, but nobody (Flores’ mistake) covered third for the Nats and the first baseman Johnson wound up taking Belliard’s not-in-time throw from first. The righty Colome walked Utley and Howard intentionally, loading the bases with one down for Werth. Colome walked Werth on four pitches to force in Rollins and give the Phils an 8-7 win.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and 3-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 1-for-11 in the series.

Utley was 1-for-4 with two walks. 3-for-10 with a home run in the series.

Howard was 2-for-4 with two walks. 3-for-10 in the series.

Burrell was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the game and 3-for-10 with a walk in the series.

Jenkins was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 3-for-8 in the set. He had a fantastic game yesterday.

Feliz was 2-for-5 with two RBI in the game. 3-for-12 in the series.

Coste was 2-for-4 with a home run in his only action of the series.

Ruiz was 0-for-1 on the day and 1-for-8 in the series coming off a strong spring training with the bat.

Werth was 0-for-1 with a walk that won the game and 1-for-4 with a double in the series.

Jamie Moyer’s starts appear in red in the Start Log.

Kyle Kendrick faces Josh Fogg tonight in Cincinnati. Fogg was 10-9 with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.53 ratio in 165 2/3 innings for the Rockies last season. He didn’t face the Phils. Jenkins has seen him a ton and kills him — 17-for-31 with four doubles and four home runs (a 548/600/1.065 line). Kendrick made one start against the Reds last season, on June 26, and didn’t pitch well but it didn’t matter cause the Phils bombed Homer Bailey.

Brad Lidge, eligible to come off the DL tomorrow, didn’t exactly wow-em in a tune-up last night with Single-A Clearwater. Lidge threw one inning and allowed a run on two hits, including a home run, while striking out two (box score here — nice outing for Savery, by the way, but that’s a whole different web site). I would be surprised if Lidge is able to both come off the DL tomorrow and pitches well for the Phillies over the next few days.

The article linked in the paragraph above also laments Jimmy Rollins’ decision not to talk to some members of the media yesterday. Multiple reports over the last two games have included complaints about Phillies being unavailable after games.


Pen struggles to find switch — it’s dark in there and, oh yeah, it doesn’t exist

They promised us that the hitters would flip the switch when the season started and flip the switch they did. Rollins, Utley and Werth all had awful springs and came up big in yesterday’s opening day contest against the Nats. Utley hit a bomb, Werth was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Rollins was the best of them all, starting the first with a double and coming around to score without the help of another hit and getting the game even again at 6-6 with a two-run blast in the seventh.

The problem is that the bullpen was horrific in spring training too and nobody even suggested they had a switch, much less one that they would flip. And if there’s nobody out there willing to suggest you might have an imaginary switch, well, that’s not good. A miserable outing by Tom Gordon in a 6-6 game in the ninth sealed the Phillies’ fate. Gordon got one out and was charged with five runs.

The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals yesterday, falling 11-6 to drop to 0-1 on the season.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out two.

Myers got Christian Guzman on a popup to second to start the season. Lastings Milledge was next and he flew out on a ball hit to Burrell in left for the second out. Ryan Zimmerman popped one up to Utley for the third out.

With the Phils up 1-0, Nick Johnson started the second with a ball past Burrell in left for a double. Myers struck Austin Kearns out looking at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Myers hit Lo Duca on the hand with a 1-1 pitch, putting runners on first and second for Ronnie Belliard. Belliard hit a ball that carried well to center, but Victorino tracked it down for the second out. Johnson tagged and moved to third. It put men on first and third with two down for Willie Harris and Harris walked on a close 3-2 pitch to load the bases for pitcher Matt Chico. Myers, who thought he had struck Harris out on the 3-2 pitch to end the inning and started to walk off the mound, quickly got behind Chico 2-0 but came back with three straight strikes to set the Nats down. The walk of Harris with two down was unfortunate — it would have been nice to have Chico leading off the third. Nice job by Myers to get it together after not getting the call on Harris and getting behind Chico 2-0. The strikeout of Kearns also helped to shape the inning.

Still up 1-0, Myers set the top of the Nationals order down 1-2-3 in the third on two fly balls and a pop up to Howard in foul territory.

Johnson led off the fourth and hit a 2-2 pitch to the warning track in right, but Werth took it for the first out. Kearns was next and laced a single past Rollins and into left, but LoDuca popped to Utley for the second out. Belliard hit a grounder down the line to third, but Feliz made a strong throw for the third out to end the frame.

Myers started the fifth up 2-0 and got Harris on a line out to second for the first out. Chico was next and he singled into center. Guzman followed with a single just out the reach of a diving Utley, putting men on first and second with one down for Milledge. Myers got ahead of Milledge 1-2 but hit him on the arm, loading the bases for Zimmerman. Zimmerman hit a fly ball to right that Werth took in front of the track for the second out, but Chico tagged and scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Guzman went to third, putting men on first and third with two outs for the lefty Johnson. Myers walked Johnson, loading the bases and bringing up the righty Kearns. Kearns hit the first pitch into right field for a double that hopped once and came off the wall. Guzman and Milledge both scored and the Nats led 3-2 with men on second and third for LoDuca. LoDuca hit a routine ground ball to short that Rollins bobbled. Rollins couldn’t recover in time to get LoDuca. Johnson scored on the error, making it 4-2, and Kearns went to third. Belliard popped to second to end the frame. Four runs, all started with a single by the pitcher. Pitching around the lefty Johnson to get to the righty Kearns didn’t work out.

Ryan Madson started the sixth with the Phils down 4-2. Harris led off and hit a ball deflected by Madson that went to Rollins. Rollins threw Harris out. Chico was next and hit for himself and grounded to short for the second out. Guzman followed with a ball chopped back the middle. Rollins fielded behind second but couldn’t throw out Guzman, bringing up Milledge with two outs and a man on first. Milledge crushed a 1-1 pitch out to left and the Nats lead was 6-2. Zimmerman flew to center for the third out.

Chad Durbin started the seventh with the Phils down 6-3 and walked Kearns with one out, but go LoDuca and Belliard on ground outs to end the frame.

Romero pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two.

Tom Gordon entered the ninth with the score tied at 6-6. Milledge led off and reached on an infield single. Gordon got Zimmerman to fly to right for the first out, but Johnson doubled to center. Milledge tried to score from first and was just safe on a close play at the plate. Victorino made a really nice play and a strong throw. They didn’t really have much of a chance to get Milledge at the plate but Rollins helped make it close with a strong throw that was up the first base line. 7-6 Nats. Kearns was next and walked, putting runners on first and third after Johnson had gone to third on the play at the plate. LoDuca was next and showed bunt on the first pitch of his at-bat, which was a ball. Ruiz tried to pick Johnson off at third, but threw the ball into left field. Johnson scored and it was 8-6. Kearns went to second. LoDuca doubled and Kearns scored and it was 9-6. Belliard followed and he doubled, scoring LoDuca to make it 10-6. That was it for Gordon. Condrey came in and had to face the lefty Harris cause the Phils only had one lefty in the pen in Romero and they had already used him. Condrey got Harris to pop to the catcher, but Dmitri Young hit for the pitcher Saul Rivera and ripped a ball high off the wall in right. Belliard scored and it was 11-6. Guzman grounded to short to end the frame.

Miserable day for Flash and a bad day for Madson. Durbin and Romero pitched well. The ball Young hit off of Condrey was well hit. Madson threw 22 pitches, Gordon 20, but the Phils don’t play today.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Matt Chico went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Werth (8) Ruiz. Werth plays right field against the lefty, which is a no-brainer. Feliz hits behind Burrell, though, with Werth hitting seventh. Not a fan of that one. Feliz has more power but Werth is the better hitter overall and killed lefties last season, hitting 375/467/591 against them. Burrell gets on base so much I think it’s a mistake to hit Feliz behind him.

Rollins led off the first for the Phils and lined a 3-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double. Victorino bunted and was thrown out at first on a very close play, Rollins moved to third. Utley hit one to the warning track in center field for the second out, but Rollins scored easily to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard grounded to second for the third out. Hate the Victorino bunt there, but it worked out for the Phils in that case.

Burrell led off the second with a walk. Feliz was next and hit a double-play ball to shortstop in his first Phillies at-bat. Werth followed with a double to left. Ruiz looked at the first two pitches and got behind 0-2 before lining a 2-2 pitch to left for the third out. The double-play that Feliz hit into killed that inning for the Phils.

Myers went down looking to start the bottom of the third. Rollins flew to center for the second out and Victorino flew to right for the third.

Utley led off the fourth and blooped a single in front of Milledge and Howard followed and singled into left. Utley read it well and went to third and the Phils had men on first and third with nobody out for Burrell. Burrell lined one into left for another single. Utley scored to put the Phils up 2-0 and Howard went to second. Feliz went down looking at 2-2 pitch for the first out. Werth was next and he went down swinging. Ruiz popped to second to set the Phils down. Phils add another run, but can’t get more with men on first and second with one out.

Myers was due to lead off the bottom of the fifth with the Phils down 4-2 having thrown 86 pitches. Taguchi hit for him and grounded back to the mound for the first out. Rollins was next and he popped to first for the second. Victorino fouled out to LoDuca to end the inning. Interesting use of Taguchi for Manuel. I think the decision to hit for Myers was the right one, given the wet weather conditions and the chance to a rainout. It’s nice to see that Manuel wasn’t holding Taguchi out till the seventh so that he could put him in to run for Burrell.

Utley led off the sixth with a home run to left, cutting the Nats’ lead to 6-3. Howard struck out looking for the first out and righty Joel Hanrahan came on to pitch to Burrell. Burrell struck out swinging for the second out. Feliz followed and struck out to end the inning.

With the righty Hanrahan still on the mound, Werth led off the seventh and Manuel led him hit for himself with lefties Dobbs and Jenkins on the bench. I think that’s the right way to go with the Phils down 6-3. Werth drew a walk. Ruiz followed and doubled to left, scoring Werth to cut the lead to 6-4. Jenkins hit for Durbin and the Nats called on lefty Ray King, who struck Jenkins out for the first out. Rollins was next and hit a ball out to center to tie the game at 6-6. Victorino and Utley went down behind him to end the inning.

Howard, Burrell and Feliz went 1-2-3 in the eighth with the game still tied at 6-6.

Werth, Ruiz and Dobbs went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Dobbs had entered with Condrey in the top of the inning.

Rollins had a monster game. He was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.

Victorino was 0-for-3. Please no more bunting after Rollins doubles to start the inning.

Utley was 2-for-3 with a home run, a single and two RBI.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a single.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.

Feliz was miserable. 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and hit into a double-play.

Werth was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 with an RBI double.

No game today.

The Phillies have signed right-handed reliever Rudy Seanez, so a roster move is coming before Wednesday’s game. Seanez turns 40 in October and appeared in 73 games in relief for the Dodgers last season, throwing to a 3.79 ERA with a 1.38 ratio in 76 innings.

The starts made by Brett Myers are white in the Start Log.


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