The Dodgers are in town! In the first game of an 11-game home stand tonight, the Phillies came away with a victory.
Cliff Lee was coming off a bad start where he allowed 6 runs in 5.1 innings. Lee has had a rough start to the year, wavering on and off his usual solid game. But against the Dodgers, he found his stride once again.
Through seven innings, Lee did not allow a run and struck out 10 batters. So frustrated were some of the Dodgers that Casey Blake wound up getting tossed from the game after apparently arguing balls and strikes.
And while the Phillies offense is still not setting the world on fire, they did manage a few runs. In the third inning, Wilson Valdez led off with a double and Lee bunted him to third. Singles from Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard plated two runs.
In the eighth, Carlos Ruiz doubled home Chase Utley for a 3-0 lead. It was Ruiz’s second hit of the night. Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson held down the lead in the eighth and ninth, giving Lee his fifth win of the year.
Although, Madson’s outing was an adventure. Former Phillies closer Tom Gordon looked as his son, Dee Gordon, scored the first run of his major league career off Madson. But Madson got the job done and the Phils won by a score of 3-1.
As for the walking wounded, Jimmy Rollins had an MRI on the knee he fouled a ball off of on Saturday and it was negative. So J-Roll may be back in action very soon.
On the other hand, Brad Lidge is having more issues. After reporting shoulder soreness a few days ago, Lidge now also has soreness in his pitching elbow. When his arm finally falls off, I will let you all know. In the meantime, the bullpen is moving on without Lidge.
The next game against the Dodgers is tomorrow night at 7:05pm. Roy Oswalt will pitch.
In the meantime, do not forget to enter to win an admission ticket to the Phillies Phestival right here! Entries will be accepted until Wednesday at 6pm. Enter today…good luck!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
That’s a lot of no’s. Where the offense and defense for the Phillies are hiding is a mystery. And one which needs to be solved – quick. This team has sunk into a funk. The real shame of it is that Cole Hamels pitched an outstanding game and has nothing to show for it. Hamels nailed down 7 full innings, giving up only 1 earned run. Another run scored in the 3rd inning as a result of a Jimmy Rollins error on a routine play that should have ended the inning; instead, the ball hit off his glove and Casey Blake scored from 3rd. But this was just one of the many brain freezes the Phillies experienced on the day.
In the 5th inning, Hamels did not help his own cause; he did manage to get to first base after a bunt and a Dodgers error which moved Carlos Ruiz to 3rd base. But right after that, he wandered too far off 1st base and got caught in a run down; Ruiz saw Hamels floundering and broke for home, but he was cut down and tagged out. Losing the runner in scoring position killed the rally and the Phillies did not score.
Later, in the 9th inning, Raul Ibanez joined the mental-lapse party and dove for a ball that he had no shot at in left field. The ball rolled past him and what should have been a long single or a double, turned into a triple for the Dodgers. The next batter nailed a sac fly to score the run, putting the Dodgers up 3-1.
And although the Phillies rallied in he bottom of the 9th to tie the game 3-3, those 2 runs scored by the Dodgers on errors proved to be fatal. Chad Durbin pitched the 10th inning and gave up 2 runs; the Dodgers won 5-3.
While Durbin’s failure to hold down the tie was a huge disappointment, an even bigger problem in this last week has been the lack of offense. Rollins was 1 for 5 on the day with a solo home run and is batting a measly .200 on the year. The entire top of the line-up is just not hitting. Ruiz was 2 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 RBI; Ibanez had 2 hits and a walk and that was it; 5 hits on the day. The rest of the players looked like they were off visiting another planet and had never seen a baseball before. If they do not get it together soon, Charlie Manuel may toss them all into a space shuttle and send them to Jupiter. Philadelphia: We have a problem.
The Phillies will begin a 10-day road trip today; after visiting President Obama in the White House this morning, they will kick off a 4-game series with the Nationals, including a double-header tomorrow. If all goes well, maybe Obama can offer a few words of inspiration. If not, maybe he can recruit some players for the Space Program. ;O)
Player Photo by Jenn
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