The Phillies did not allow the injuries that occurred in Friday night’s game to change the outcome. But as those injuries begin to pile up, it is starting to have an effect.
Pedro Martinez pulled a muscle in his neck while swinging the bat last night and was forced to leave the game after 3 innings and 3 runs allowed. The fact that he threw 130 pitches in his last start combined with his age and injury history probably did not help.
Friday night, the bullpen kept the Braves in check after JA Happ was pulled after he appeared to be in some pain in the 3rd inning. But last night, the pen did not get the job done. Chad Durbin allowed 2 earned runs which were the direct result of 2 walked batters, both of whom scored. Paul Bako, filling in for an injured Carlos Ruiz made a throwing error in the 4th which, combined with a walk issued by Durbin, allowed Nate McLouth to score on a sac fly for an unearned run. Those 3 runs turned out to be the difference in a 4-6 loss to the Braves.
The offense was shut-out through 8 innings but made a run at a comeback in the 9th. Ryan Howard hit a two run homer with no outs; then singles by Greg Dobbs and Jimmy Rollins plated 2 more runs. Had the bullpen held the Braves down, those 4 runs would have won the game for the Phillies. Instead, they took a difficult loss. Now this afternoon’s finale of the series has become a must-win for the Phillies so they do not lose more ground to either the Braves or the Marlins, who also won their game last night.
Florida is now 7 games back and Atlanta is 7.5 back. Cliff Lee will try to get the Phillies a series win this afternoon at 1:30pm. Best of luck to him!
Photos by Jenn