Matt Stairs’ pinch hit, two-run home run in the top of the ninth help propel the Phils into their first series win as they defeat the Rockies, 7-5.
The bullpen’s five and one-third innings of shut out pitching allowed the Phillies to come from behind, capped off by Matt Stairs’ pinch hit two-run home run in the ninth inning, to defeat the Rockies, 7-5. The victory gave the Phils their first series win in the 2009 season as they head to the nation’s capital to face the winless Nationals.
After Rockies’ starter, Aaron Cook, had put the Phils down easily in the top of the first inning, Chan Ho Park took the mound to begin his first start as a Phil. He started off nicely by getting the lead-off hitter, Dexter Fowler, to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out. Everything would then go badly after that, as Park’s breaking balls wouldn’t break within Denver’s higher attitude. After Ryan Spilborghs got on base with an one-out single, Brad Hawpe followed him with an RBI double, scoring Spilborghs, and giving the Rockies a quick 1-0 lead. After Park threw a passed ball, allowing Hawpe to reach third, Garrett Atkins brought him home with an RBI single, making the score 2-0 Rockies. Ian Stewart followed him with a single, sending Atkins over to second. The next batter, Troy Tulowitzki, walked, loading the bases with still only one man out. Park then struck out Chris Iannetta for the inning’s second out, thus seeing his chance to get out of the inning with very little damage. Sadly, it was not to be as Clint Barmes hit a two-out single, scoring both Atkins and Stewart, while sending Tulowitzki to third, giving the Rockies a 4-0 lead. Cook, the ninth batter of the inning, finally ended it by grounding out, 1-3. The Phillies got a run back in the top of the second, as, with a runner on second and one man out, Raul Ibanez hit a line drive that bounced off of Cook’s butt and then headed into the hole between shortstop and third for a single, as Ryan Howard, who had earlier double, quickly rounded third and scored on a heads up play, as Rockies’ shortstop, Tulowitzki, is unable to make a good throw to home plate, thus allowing Ibanez to reach second on the throw, making it 4-1 Rockies. The Rockies got that run back in the bottom half of the inning, as Fowler hit a lead-off solo home run, his second home run of the year, giving the Rockies a 5-1 lead. After nobody scored a run in the third, the Phillies got their second run in the fourth, as Jayson Werth knocked in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and had stole second when Howard struck out swinging, cutting the Rockies lead to 5-2. In the bottom half of the inning, after Park had given up a single to Spilborghs and had walked Hawpe, with one out, Charlie Manuel took him out of the game, and brought in Chad Durbin to keep the game close. Durbin did his job as he got Atkins to fly out to center for the second out of the inning and then struck out Stewart, swinging, to end the threat. The Phillies made it 5-3 Rockies in the sixth, when, with two men on base and one out, Werth knocked in his second RBI of the game, scoring Utley, who had earlier walked and had gone to second on Howard’s single, as Howard stopped at second base. In the bottom half of the inning, the Rockies would threathen again, as, with one out, Durbin gave up a single to Fowler, and then walked Spilborghs. Manuel then came out of the dugout and replaced Durbin with Scott Eyre. Eyre proceeded to do his job as he got Hawpe to fly out to left for the inning’s second out and then got Atkins to foul out to Howard to end the inning. Then in the eighth, the Phillies tied the game up at five all as Utley hit a two-run home run off of Manuel Corpas, his first home run of the year, as he knocked in Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled. Ryan Madson came in to pitched the bottom of the inning, and he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. In the ninth inning, with a runner on third and one man out, pinch hitter Matt Stairs would come to the plate and hit a 1-1 fastball into the right center field for a pinch hit two-run home run, giving the Phils a 7-5 lead, as he scored Pedro Feliz, who had earlier double and had gone to third on Chris Coste’s sacrifice bunt. In the bottom of the ninth, Brad Lidge took the mound for the Phils. After getting the first two men out, Lidge gave up a single to pinch hitter Jeff Baker, and then walked Stewart, bringing up the winning run to the plate in the person of Tulowitzki. On a 1-2 pitch, he got Tulowitzki to ground out, 4-3, for the final out, as he records his second save of the season.
Chan Ho Park received a no-decision, as he was only able to pitch three and a third innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out two. Chad Durbin pitched two scoreless innings, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, as he struck out two. Scott Eyre pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Ryan Madson got the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge pitched an inning, as he recorded his second save in two tries, giving up no runs on a hit and a walk, as he struck out a batter. Aaron Cook also received a no-decision as he pitched six strong innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two. Jason Grilli pitched a third of an inning in relief, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out one. Alan Embree pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Manuel Corpas blew the save, as he gave up two runs on three hits, while striking out a batter. Huston Street took the lost as he gave up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. His record is now 0-1 with a high ERA of 10.13. The Phils’ starters are still looking for their first quality start after two full series.
The Phillies had thriteen hits in the ballgame, with Ryan Howard leading the way as he went 3 for 4 (2 singles, 1 double), and scored a run as he raised his batting average for the season to .333. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz followed with each man getting two hits in the game. Utley had a single and a home run, his first of the season, as he knocked in two runs and scored three, raising his batting average to .476, placing him fourth among the league leaders in batting. Werth had two singles, knocking in two runs, as he increased his batting average to .348. Feliz had a single and a double, scoring a run, as he increased his batting average to .368. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Chad Durbin and Matt Stairs had the other four Phillies’ hit, with Ibanez knocking in one run and Stairs hitting a pinch-hit two-run home run. Through six games, the Phillies’ team batting average is .271, presently fifth in the National League.
The Phillies (3-3), continue their six-games road trip by going to the nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. for a three-games series with the presently winless Nationals (0-6). The first game of the series will be played this afternoon at Nationals Park. Game time will be 3:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer, who will be trying to recover from his bad outing against the Braves on April 7, when he gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks, as he struck out two batters, as he pitched for five innings. His record is presently 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA. Moyer willing be trying to give the Phillies their first quality start by one of their starters. His opponent will be Daniel Cabrera, who lost his first start against the Marlins, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, with an ERA of 7.50 in the Nationals’ 6-1 lost on April 8. He will be trying to give the Nationals their first win of the season.