The offense is still sluggish as the Phillies have now lost six in a row.
The Phillies wasted a good effort by Jamie Moyer as the offense once again let the team down as they lost their sixth straight game. For the first six innings of the game, Moyer and A’s starter Joe Blanton would be involved in a pitchers’ duel, with Moyer only giving up one hit during that time, a lead-off single in the first inning to Kurt Suzuki, who would later by wiped out in a 3-6-3 double play by Ryan Sweeney, and striking out nine A’s, striking out the side twice, while Blanton would give up only two hits, one of which was Pat Burrell’s nineteenth home run of the year, a solo shot in the fourth inning, which gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Things would change in the seventh when the Phillies would get their first two men on base, Burrell via a walk and Jayson Werth via a single. But, things would then go flat as Geoff Jenkins would fly out to left, swinging on the first pitch, for the first out of the inning. Pedro Feliz would then single to right, but the third base coach, not taking a chance on getting Burrell thrown out at the plate, holds him up at third base to load the bases. This move would soon come back to haunt the Phillies as Carlos Ruiz, with a 2-1 count, would hit into a twin killing, third to first, with the third baseman touching third base first before throwing to first. The Phillies being unable to capitalize in their half of the inning would turn out to be a momentum changer, as, with Moyer still pitching, Sweeney would start off the A’s half of the seventh with a single. One out later, Bobby Crosby would get a pop single, on a ball that was misplayed by Shane Victorino and would drop in front of him, moving Sweeney to second. After Charlie Manuel decides to leave Moyer in the game, despite the fact that Chad Durbin was ready to go, Moyer would give up a three-run home run to Emil Brown, his sixth home run of the year, scoring both Sweeney and Crosby, and giving the A’s the lead, 3-1. After getting the second out and then giving up a ground rule double, which might have ended up being worst if it has not bounced into the stands, to Carlos Gonzalez, Manuel would come out and finally replace an out of gas Moyer with Durbin, who would then strike out Donnie Murphy to end the inning. In the eighth, the Phils would come back to cut the lead to 3-2, as, with Victorino on second, after getting on base with a single and then stealing second, he would score on a RBI single by Ryan Howard. Although Howard would later get to second base on a pass ball charged to Suzuki, Burrell would leave him there as he strikes out. The A’s would then deliver the coup de grace in the bottom of the inning, as with two out, J.C. Romero would walk Sweeney and then give up a two-run home run to Jack Cust, Cust’s twelfth home run of the year, to make it 5-2 A’s. That would be it as Huston Street would come in to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to record his fourteenth save of the year.
Jamie Moyer would take the lost, although pitching a very good game until the disasterous seventh. He would go six and two-thirds inning, giving up only three runs on five hits, while striking out nine A’s. His record is now 7-5 with a 4.09 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning in relief, striking out the only man he would face. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up two earned runs on only one hit, while walking one and striking out one. Ryan Madson would go a third of an inning, striking out the only A that he would face. Joe Blanton would get the win, as he pitches seven innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits. His record is now 4-10 with an ERA of 4.58. Alan Embree would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Huston Street would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth as he get his fourteenth save of the season.
It is now official, the offense presently stinks, and even they are starting to realize it, as they would acknowledge in an article posted on Phillies.com about the game. Even the manager seems to be noticing that the guys are right now doing everything wrong at the plate, and those things includes, “…guys not hitting, swinging bad, swinging at balls in the dirt, chasing balls over their heads, it looks like they’ve never seen a baseball….” and those things are going to keep hurting this team until the batters finally get it into their thick skulls that they should be trying to meet the ball, and not trying to hit home runs everytime they get up to the plate, with the situations that occurred in the first and seventh innings being perfect examples of what is presently wrong with this team. Especially the seventh, when Jenkins, who should have been up there trying to move the runners over into scoring position, which might have required him taking a pitch or two until he saw something which he was sure he could hit towards the right side of the infield and get Burrell and Werth over to third and second, instead swings at the first pitch and flies out, moving no one. This would come back to hurt the Phils, as I am sure that Feliz’s single would’ve scored both Burrell and Werth from second and third, and would instead load the bases, as the Phils’ third base coach refuses to send Burrell home, afraid that he might have been cut down at home by a throw from Sweeney. Me, I’d made the attempt. Why? To shake things up a bit. There’s a difference between being aggressive and being passive. Stopping Burrell at third was being passive, and is part of the reason that the Phils are mired in their present slide. If the third base coach had been aggressive, it would have taken a real good throw to home to get Burrell thrown out. Sure, Burrell isn’t as fast as Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino, his running towards home would’ve still forced Sweeney to have to throw an almost perfect strike to get him out at home, and who know what would’ve happened if the throw was anything but a perfect strike. But, since he didn’t send Burrell home, it’s all a very moot point. Hopefully, the players’ own realization that they are stinking up the place might just get them to do something to reverse it before the situation can get any worst.
The series between the Phillies (42-36) and the Athletics (42-34, 2nd American League West) continues with a night game at McAfee Coliseum. The game will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send up Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06) to see if he can stop their slide before it can get any worst. He is coming off an awful start against the BoSox on June 18, where he would only pitch three innings, as he gave up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phils’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to return to his winning ways, while, as mentioned earlier, trying to put a stop to the Phils’ swoon. The A’s will counter with Greg Smith (4-5, 3.51), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on June 19, where he would only go five innings, giving up an earned run on three hits, in the A’s 2-1 lost. He will be trying to improve his record, while at the same time seeing if he can adds to the Phillies’ present offensive woes.
The Phillies are still leading by one, four and four and a half games over the Marlins, Mets and Braves respectively, as all three teams lost their games while the Phils were unable to take advantage of it. The Phillies will be trying to end their present slump, which is a team effort, and stop wasting some good efforts that they have recently been getting from their starters.