Results tagged ‘ Bullpen ’

With Junior resting, the Phillies hang on to defeat the Reds, 5-4.

Without worrying about Ken Griffey’s Jr.’s bat being in the Reds’ lineup as Junior was taking the day off because of soreness from participating in Sunday’s afternoon game against the Braves, the Phils would hang on to defeat the Reds, 5-4. The Phillies would take a quick 2-0 lead in the first on Chase Utley’s major league leading twenty-first home run of the year off of Reds’ starter Bronson Arroyo, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a single. Utley has now homered in five straight games, tying a franchise record, which has been earlier accomplished by Bobby Abreu (2005), Mike Schmidt (1979) and Dick Allen (1969). The Red would get a run back in the top of the fourth when Jay Bruce would hit his third home run of the year off of Phillies’ starter Kyle Kendrick, making the score 2-1 Phils. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, they would increase their lead as Pedro Feliz would hit his eighth home run of the season, knocking in Geoff Jenkins, who has earlier doubled, making it 4-1 Phillies. Chis Coste would then follow him with a solo shot of his own off of Arroyo, his sixth home run of the year, to make it a 5-1 Phillies’ lead. Edwin Encarnacion would then cut the Phillies’ lead down to 5-2 when he hits a lead off home run off of Kendrick in the fifth, for his ninth home run of the season. One inning later, the Reds would shorten the lead to 5-4 Phillies when, with two out and two men on, Adam Dunn would hit a two-run double off of Chad Durbin, who was pitching in relief of Kendrick, scoring Ryan Freel, who got on base earlier by being safe on a force out, and Bruce, who has earlier singled. Durbin would then get out of the inning with a strike out. That would be it for the Reds as Durbin, Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge would only give up a single among them in the last three innings, with Lidge recording his fourteenth save of the year.

Kyle Kendrck would get the win, as he would pitch five and one-third innings, giving up all four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 5-2 with an ERA of 5.00. Chad Durbin would pitch one and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no earned runs on two hits. Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge would each pitch a 1-2-3 inning, both giving up no runs on no hits, while Lidge would record his fourteenth save of the year. Bronson Arroyo would get the lost, as he would go only four and a third innings, giving up all five earned runs on ten hits. His record is now 4-5 with an ERA of 5.61. Gary Majewski would pitch one and two-third innings in relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Bill Bray would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking two. David Weathers would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up no runs on one hit.

The Phillies’ offense continue its attack as it get twelve hits in the game, including five extra-base hits (2 (2B), 3 (HR)), as they lit up the ERA of yet another opposing starter. In spite of Chad Durbin allowing two runs to score, which would both be charged to Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, the Phillies’ bullpen would have yet another successful outing, as they slammed the door shut on the Reds. The Phillies are now nine games above .500 for the first time this season.

The Phillies-Reds four games series will continue tomorrow night from Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ (34-25) will be starting Adam Eaton (1-3, 4.99), who is coming off of his first victory of the season against the Rockies on May 28, when he would go six innings, giving up only an earned run on four hits, while striking out four and walking just one batter, in the Phillies’  6-1 win. His career record against the Reds is 2-0 with an ERA of 4.19 in six starts, which includes his earlier start this year against the Reds (28-30, 5th National League Central) on April 5, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits as he received a no-decision, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for his second win of the season, while hoping that the bats will once again gives him some runs. His opponent will be Aaron Harang (2-7, 3.81), who is coming off of a lost to the Pirates on May 29, where he would pitch only four innings, as he gives up six earned runs on ten hits, in the Reds’ 7-2 lost. He has already pitched against the Phillies, also versus Eaton, on April 5, where he would get a no-decision while pitching seven innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, with six strikeouts. He will be trying to get his third win of the season while trying to avoid being involved in another bad start.

With their win, the Phillies are now a game and a half ahead of the second place Marlins, who have lost their game against the Braves in extra-innings. Their win against the Marlin will keep the Braves in third place, still trailing the Phils by three and a half games. The Mets’ lost to the Giants put them back into fourth place, four and a half games behind the Phillies. The Phillies hope to continue winning at home while increasing their lead against their rivals in the division.

Offense helps Eaton win his first game of the season, Phils trails Marlins by 1/2 game.

The Phillies’ offense was only able to get six hits during last night’s game, but they were able to make them all count as they defeated the Rockies, 6-1, giving Adam Eaton his first win of the year. The Phillies would score first when, with the bases loaded, and two outs, Geoff Jenkins would take the walk, scoring Shane Victornio who has gotten on base earlier with a single. The Rockies would tie the game in the top of the third, when Todd Helton hits a RBI single to left, scoring Willy Taveras. But, after Pat Burrell has thrown the ball back into the infield, the Phils would catch Helton overrunning first base, and get him into a run down, Jimmy Rollins to Chase Utley to Ryan Howard, who would then throw the ball home when he sees Seth Smith trying to score on the play. Howard’s perfect throw would nail Smith out at home plate, as Carlos Ruiz puts on the tag, keeping the score tied at one to one. The Phillies would then go to work in the fifth. After Greg Reynolds has walked both Rollins and Victorino, he would give up a three-runs home run to Utley, his seventeenth of the year, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, giving the Phils back the lead, 4-1. Three batters later, with Howard on first, via another walk, and with one out, Reynolds would give up another home run, this time to Jenkins, his fourth of the season, scoring Howard, to make it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead. That would be the ballgame, as the Phillies’ bullpen, after relieving Eaton in the seventh, would keep the now very frustrated Rockies from being able to score during the last three innings.

Adam Eaton gets the win, as he would go six innings of very aggressive pitching, giving up only one earned runs on four scattered hits, while striking out four and walking only one. His record is now 1-3 with a 4.99 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch one and one-third innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would pitch the ninth, giving up no runs on two hits. Greg Reynolds took the lost, pitching five and two-thirds innings as he gives up six earned runs on five hits, while walking eight Phils, four of whom would later score. He is now 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. Jason Grilli would pitch one and one-third innings, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Herges would pitch one inning, giving up no runs on one hits.

With the win, the Phillies have completed their second series sweep of the year, with both of them coming at the expense of the Rockies. The Phillies have, in fact, swept their season series with the Rockies and have swept the Rockies for the first time since they have joined the Majors back in 1993.

The Phillies have now won four games in a row for the first time this season, while also being seven wins over .500 for the first time this year. With the six runs that they have scored last night, the Phillies have now scored seventy-three runs in their last eight games, as well as winning seven of their last nine games. During their last four games, Chase Utley has knocked in thirteen RBIs, including his career high six RBIs on Monday night, tying him for first place in RBIs with Lance Berkman of the Astros, while his home run puts him back into first place in home runs with seventeen, over both Berkman and Dan Uggla of the Marlins, both with sixteen home runs. Utley is also among the league leaders in total bases (2nd), runs scored (4th), hits (7th), doubles (8th-T) and slugging percentage (4th), while he is 15th in batting average. Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell are also among the league leaders in several offensive categories. Howard is among the leaders in home runs (5th-T), RBIs (8th-T), runs scored (10th-T) and walks (9th), while Burrell is among the leaders in home runs (7th-T), RBIs (18th-T), doubles (13-T), walks (2nd) and slugging percentage (7th). As a team, the Phillies are right now first in home runs (79), RBIs (284), total bases (874) and slugging percentage (.457), are second in runs scored (293), third in hits (511) and doubles (114), fourth in walks (203) and team on-base percentage (.341) and fifth in team batting average (.267). They are also seventh in stolen bases (38). 

The Phillies presently have the fifth best record in the National League at 31-24 with a .564 winning percentage. Their pitching staff is second overall in innings pitched (490.0), while sixth in team ERA (3.99) and their relief core is still leading the league in ERA (2.81), while it is seventh in saves (14), has given up the third least number of hits (146), the least runs (56), the least earned runs (52), the least home runs given up (10), and is tied with the Padres for the least hit batters (3).

The win puts the Phils a half game behind the now cooling Marlins, who have lost their game with the Mets in extra-innings, 7-6. The Phillies are now two games ahead of the Braves, who have lost their game with the Brewers, 1-0, as their road problems continue. The Phillies are still four games ahead of the fourth place Mets. As the Phillies and Marlins take the day off, the Braves will conclude their series with the Brewers, now in the top of the fifth inning, with the Braves winning, while the Mets will begin a four games series at home with the Dodgers.

The Phillies will start a three games home stand with the Florida Marlins (30-22) tomorrow night. The first game of the series will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils’ starting pitcher will be Brett Myers (2-6, 5.79), who is coming off of his fourth straight lost, this time at the hands of the Astros on May 24, where he pitched six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. Myers will be looking to get back to his winning ways, while hoping that the offense will give him some much needed runs support. The Marlins will be sending to the mound Mark Hendrickson (7-2, 4.14), who is coming off one of his worst starts, in spite of winning the game. He would go five innings against the Giants on May 25, giving up five earned runs on nine hits, in the Marlins’ 8-6 win, in the first game of a makeup doubleheader. He will be going for his eighth win of the season, while hoping that the Phillies’ bat won’t be aiming to up his ERA. The Phillies will be trying to win the weekend series with the Marlins so that they can regain the lead in the National League East, while hoping that the Braves and Mets will lose ground during their series at Cincinnati and against the Dodgers, respectively. 

Edit: The Braves have just won their game against the Brewers, 8-1. So the Phillies are now ahead of third place Atlanta by a game and a half as the Braves head to Cincinnati to play the Reds.

Road trip ends on a low note as the Phillies’ bullpen let one get away.

The Phillies leave San Francisco on a low note as they lose to the Giants, 4-3, as the bullpen is unable to hold the lead. The Giants score first in the second inning as Phils’ starter Adam Eaton gives up a RBI single to John Bowker, knocking in Bengie Molina, who has singled earlier. The Phillies would tie it in the top of the fourth on a bases loaded walk to Eaton by Giants’ starter Jonathan Sanchez, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked. The Giants would regain the lead on a double play ground ball by Jose Castillo, scoring Molina, who has earlier doubled. The Phils would then tie the game in the top of the fifth on a Ryan Howard RBI triple, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier walked. The Giants would then take out Sanchez and replace him with Billy Sadler. Burrell would hit a sacrifice fly off of Sadler, scoring Howard and giving the Fightin’ a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the sixth the Giants would threathen with two hit batmens, and a double, before Chad Durbin, who has replaced Eaton, would get out of the inning with a line drive double play ball, and after an intentional walk, striking out Ray Durham. Then in the seventh, the Giants would retake the lead for good as J.C. Romero, with two outs, gives up a two-run home run to Steve Holm, his first of the year, knocking in Randy Winn, who has earlier reached base on a single. That would be how the game ends, as Giants’ closer Brian Wilson would get a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording save number eleven.

Phils’ starter Adam Eaton would receive yet another no-decision, his seventh of the year, as he goes five innings and two batters, giving up two earned runs on five hits, while hitting a batter. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, giving up no runs and no hits, while also hitting a batter. J.C. Romero, the losing pitcher, would go one inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 3-1, as his ERA goes up to 1.76. Tom Gordon would also pitched an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Giants’ starter Jonathan Sanchez would only go four and one-third inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Billy Sadler would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on no hit. Jack Taschner is the Giants’ winning pitcher, as he goes one inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 2-0, with a 3.86 ERA. Tyler Walker would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hit. Brian Wilson would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, giving up no runs or hits, as he records his eleventh save of the year.

The Phils comes back home, with a 3-4 road trip and once again in third place in the National League East, three games behind the Marlins, who earlier had defeated the Nationals, and trailing the New York Mets by .005 percentage points, as they had also won. The Phils are a game ahead of the Braves, as their game with the Pirates was postponed because of rain.

The now third place Phillies (21-18) will have the day off tomorrow as they prepare to face for the first time this season the fourth place Atlanta Braves (18-17) at Citizens Bank Park for a three game set. The first game of the series will be played Tuesday night at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 4.93), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on May 7, where he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on ten hits in the Phils’ 5-4 come from behind win. Kendrick will be looking to improve his record. He will be opposed by Jo-Jo Reyes (1-0, 2.25). Reyes was taken out of his last game against the Padres on May 8, with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand. He had pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits, in the Braves’ 5-4 win. In his previous start, he defeated the Cincinnati Reds on May 3, giving up one earned run on four hits in five and one-third innings of work in the Braves’ 9-1 win. He will be looking for his second win of the season. The Phils will be looking to regain their winning ways against the once streaking Braves.

Leading by the numbers…

The Phils (18-14) are right now leading the National League East by .5 games over both the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins, as they prepare to meet the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-10), the team with the best record in baseball for a four games series in Phoenix, Arizona.

Let look at the numbers:

Months:

March: 0-1

April:  15-12

May:    3-1

Having a winning April for the first time in several seasons is one of the main reasons why the Phils are leading the National League Eastern division.

Vs. Opponents :

Washington: 1-2

Cincinnati: 2-2

New York: 2-4

Chicago (NL): 2-1

Houston: 2-1

Colorado: 2-0

Milwaukee: 1-1

Pittsburgh: 2-1

San Diego: 2-1

San Francisco: 2-1

At the moment, the Phils have so far lost only three series against their opponents, as one of the things required to have a good season is to win most, if not all, series played against your opponent. They are 1-2 against the Nationals and 2-4 against the Mets, losing both series against the New Yorkers. They have spilt season series with two teams, the Reds and the Brewers. They are leading season series with six other teams, with their best record, so far, being against the 2007 National League Champions Colorado Rockies, 2-0. This means that series wise, the Phils are 6-3-2.

The Phils are 10-8 at home, and 8-6 on the road, which means that they can win games both at home and on the road.

Batting wise, the Phils are leading the National League in home runs with 48, fourth in the league in total bases with 482, fifth in RBIs with 144, at-bats with 1097 and slugging percentage with .439, tied for sixth in walks with 119, seventh in runs scored with 150 and on base percentage with .328. The starting eight should become even more dangerous once the silent bats begin to walk up.

With pitching, the team is overall ranked fifth best in the league in ERA with 3.76, tied for fifth in saves with 8, third in innings pitched with 290.0, tied for sixth best in least runs given up with 137, sixth for least earned runs given up with 121 and least walks given up with 110, tied for eighth for least hits given up with 285, and tied for fourth for least batters hit by a pitch with 7. Their one major problem category is that they have given up too many home runs thus far, giving up 32 total, making them the sixth worst team in that category. The main reason for the success that they have had so far this year has been because of the bullpen. The Phils’ relief corps so far has the second best ERA in the league at 2.66, second best in least hits given up at 79, in least earned runs with 29, and in strike outs with 71, the league best at least runs given up at 32, and is tied for first for least home runs given up with 5 and hit batters with 2. If the bullpen can continue what it is doing now and if the starters can improve during the season, the Phillies will be tough to beat, pitching wise.

The home stand continues…

As the Phils (17-13) meet the Giants (13-17) for two more games at Citizens Bank Park. The first game starts tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern, with Brett Myers (2-2, 5.11) on the mound for the Phils. Myers is coming off a lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 27, where he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits in the Phils’ 5-1 lost. He will be looking to regain both the speed on his pitches and his winning ways. His opponent will be Matt Cain (1-2, 4.41), who has a career record of 0-2, 9.69 ERA in three starts against the Phils. Cain last game was a victory against the Colorado Rockies on April 28, where he pitched five and 1/3 innings, giving up no runs on four hits in the Giants’ 4-0 victory. He’ll be looking to notch his first victory against the Phils.

The final game of the series and of the home stand will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will have Cole Hamels (3-3, 2.70) on the mound. He is coming off of a victory against the Padres on April 29, where he’d pitched a strong seven and 1/3 innings, giving up only five hits and two earned runs, along with six strikeouts, in the Phillies’ 7-4 win. He will be looking to better his record tomorrow afternoon. He will be pitching against Tim Lincecum (4-1, 1.73), one of the league’s best pitchers. But Lincecum is coming off his first lost of the year against the Rockies on April 29, where he would go seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits in the Giants 3-2 lost. He will be looking to get back to his winning ways at the Philles expense.

The Phillies will then start a seven games, two cities, road trip, with four games against the Arizona Diamondbacks (May 5-8) and then three against the Giants in San Francisco (May 9-11), before coming back home on May 13 to face the Atlanta Braves.

The Phils have hit 39 home runs in the month of April, a new franchise record.

Chase Utley, who has just been named the National League Player of the Month for April is presently leading the National League in Home Runs (12) and Slugging Percentage (.771) while he is among the league leaders in Runs Scored (27-3rd), Hits (43-T2nd), Doubles (10-T5th) and Batting Ave. (.364-T3rd). Pat Burrell, meanwhile, is second in RBIs (28) and Slugging Percentage (.690) and is tied for second in Home Runs (9), while presently hitting .330.

The Phillies’ bullpen is still second in the league with an ERA of 2.64.

Still in First.

After a wild night, the Phillies would remain in first place in the National League East thanks to a two-outs, two-runs, walk off home run by Pat Burrell, which would give the Phils the victory in 10 innings against the visiting Giants, 6-5. Pat’s home run would be the third walk off home run of his career and his first since 2003. In fact, all six of the Phils run would come on two-runs homers. The first one would be hit in the bottom of the first by Chase Utley, off of Giants’ starter Pat Misch, as he hit his league leading twelfth home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled. The Giants’ first run of the game would come in the top of the fourth as Jose Castillo gets an RBI single off of Kyle Kendrick, knocking in Aaron Rowand, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would then increase their lead in their half of the fourth as Pedro Feliz hits his fourth roundtripper of the year, the second one of the game off of Misch, knocking in Burrell, who had earlier walked, making it 4-1 Phils. Misch would be taken out for a pitch hitter in the fifth, as he gives up four earned runs to the Fightin’s on five hits in four innings of work. In the meantime, Kendrick would keep the Giants under control until the top of the seventh, when he would give up two straight singles. Charlie Manuel would quickly replace Kendrick with Ryan Madson in an effort to end the Giants’ threat. Unfortunately, Madson would be unable to keep the Giants off the scoreboard as they would score three runs in the innings, with two of the runs being charged to Kendrick, and the other one to Madson. The Giants’ three runs would come in on an RBI single by Ray Durham, knocking in Castillo and Emmanuel Burriss, both of whom have earlier singled, and a Bengie Molina ground out, scoring Eugenio Velez, who had earlier singled. Kendrick would thus receive a no decision, as he pitched six innings and two batters, while giving up three earned runs on eighth hits, while Madson would be credited with giving up an earned run on three hits. This would also take Misch, the Giants’ starter, off the hook. Thus, for the second night in a row, the Phils would be involved in a game that would be decided by both teams’ bullpens. The Giants’ relief core of Keiichi Yabu, Vinnie Chulk, Jack Taschner, Tyler Walker and Merkin Valdez would keep the Phils off the scoreboard for five innings, giving up only one hit. Meanwhile, the Phils would counter with Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge, who would keep the Giants off the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth innings, although the Giants would come close to scoring in their top of the eighth when, with one out, and John Bowker on third, Burriss would hit a ball straight back to Gordon, with Bowker running towards home. Bowker would be caught in a run down and tagged out going back to third, while Burriss would go to second base during the run down. Gordon would then appear to have gotten hurt during the play, but he would stay in the ballgame long enough to get Velez to ground out to Eric Bruntlett to end the inning. Lidge would give up a lead off single to Fred Lewis in the ninth but would then leave him stranded. With J.C. Romero pitching for the Phils in the top of the tenth, Rowand would give the Giants the lead for the first time with one swing of the bat as he connected on the first pitch thrown by Romero, sending it into the center field seats for his third home run of the season, making the score Giants 5, Phillies 4, before Romero would end a later Giants’ threat to add a few more runs. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, with Brian Wilson pitching for the Giants, Utley would get on base on with a single with one out. After Ryan Howard is called out on strikes and is then ejected from the game for arguing the call, Burrell would step in. After getting the count to 3-2, he would slug the next pitch into the left field seats, giving the Phils the victory.

 J.C. Romero would be the winning pitcher, going one inning, giving up one earned run on three hits, upping his record to 2-0. Brian Wilson took the lost, blowing his second save opportunity, as he gives up two earned runs on two hits, while his record drops to 0-1.

In his return to Philadelphia, Rowand would go 2-5 with a double and a home run, two runs scored, and an RBI, while also striking out twice.

The next Phils’ game will be tonight at 7:05 Eastern from Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ (17-13) starter will be Brett Myers (2-2, 5.11) who the Phils hope will soon regain the speed on his pitches. The Giants (13-17) will counter with Matt Cain (1-2, 4.41), who has won his last start.

The victory keeps the Phils .5 games in front of both the Marlins and Mets in the National League East as both teams have won their respective games.

As of last night, the Phils are in First Place.

The Phillies took over first place as they defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-2, in a close game. The Phils starter Adam Eaton was once again involved in a no decision as he gave up two earned runs on five hits, as he went six full innings. The two runs he gave up came in the first inning on a two-run home run by Adrian Gonzalez, his sixth of the season, as he knocked in Tadahito Iguchi who had earlier single. But that was all the Pads would be able to do against Eaton as he would shut them down for the next five innings. Meanwhile, the Padres’ starter Randy Wolf would also get a no decision as he went six innings against the Fightin’s, also giving up only two earned runs to his former team on six hits while striking out nine Phils. The Phillies runs would come in the third on an RBI double by Ryan Howard as he knocked in Shane Victorino, who had earlier double. Howard would then score on an RBI double by Pat Burrell. After Eaton and Wolf were taken out for pinch hitters, the game would be left in the hands of the two teams’ respective bullpens. Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, and the eventual winner, Tom Gordon, would combine to pitch the seventh and eighth innings, giving up no runs or hits and walking only one batter, while striking out one batter each. The Padres would counter with Cla Meredith, who would pitch 2/3rd of an inning without giving up a run, and Joe Thatcher, the eventual loser, who, in the bottom of the eighth inning, would give up a massive home run to Ryan Howard for his six of the year. Brad Lidge would then come in and pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his seventh save of the year.

The winning pitcher for the Phils is Gordon, upping his record to 3-2 and lowering his ERA to 5.56 as he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. The loser for the Padres, Thatcher, watch his record drop to 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA, as he gave up only one hit in 1 and 1/3 innings of work, but it would be a killer, as it was Howard’s home run.

Seems like Howard’s mom knew what she was talking about when she said that her son was slow in April as he went 2-4 in the game, with a double, a home run and 2 RBIs. Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come.

With the win, the Phils take over first place in the National League East, .5 games ahead of both the Mets and the Marlins.

The homestand continues tonight at 7:05 in Citizens Bank Park as the NL East leading Phils (16-13) now face the National League West third place San Francisco Giants (13-16). The Phils’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.13). His opponent will be Pat Misch (0-0, 3.00). As the Phils meet the Giants for the first time this season, the Mets (14-12) will be facing the Arizona Diamondbacks (20-8, 1st NLW) in Arizona while the Marlins (15-13) will be playing the Padres (11-18) in Florida.

The Phils end April on a down note.

The Phils ends a good April with a lost as they lose to the Padres, 4-2. Jamie Moyer pitched 5 and 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, with two of the hits being a couple of home run balls. The Padres’ first runs came on a two-run homer in the first to Adrian Gonzalez, his fifth of the year, scoring Tadahito Iguchi, who had earlier single. The Phils would come back to tie it in their half of the first, on a two-run homer by Chase Utley, his league leading eleventh of the season, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who had earlier reached based on a single off of Padres’ starter, and eventual winner, Chris Young. But that would be all that the Phils would be able to do against Young as he would shut the Phils down for the next five innings, giving up a total of five hits and two earned runs in six innings. By that time, the Padres have retaken the lead. In the top of the third, Moyer gave up a solo home run to Kevin Kouzmanoff, his second of the season. The Padres would add an insurance run in the sixth, while knocking Moyer out of the game, as Iguchi knocks in Josh Bard on a single off of Chad Durbin, who had come in to relieve Moyer. Durbin would then get out of the inning, and then, along with J.C. Romero and Rudy Seanez, keep the Padres’ bats quiet for the next 3 and 2/3 innings, giving up only three hits between them. Sadly, the Padres’ bullpen would do even better, keeping the Fightins’ bats equally as quiet, as Joe Thatcher, Heath Bell, and Padres’ closer and all time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, pitched a combined three innings, giving up only two hits, with Hoffman getting his sixth save of the season.

With the lost, Moyer’s record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 4.50, while Young, with the victory, has raised his record to 2-2 with an ERA of 3.63.

The Phils (15-13) conclude their series with the Padres (11-17) tonight at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Adam Eaton (0-0, 5.08), who is still looking for his first win of the year, after five start. Eaton’s career record against the Padres is 1-0. He will be pitching against former Phils Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.68).

The lost put the Phils back into third place, still .5 games behind the Marlins and now .002 percentage points behind the Mets, as the Marlins, like the Mets earlier in the day, got crushed in their game, losing to the Dodgers 13-1.

April is almost over…

And the Phils have an outside chance of being in first place before the month is over. The present third place Phillies have gotten off to a good start this month as they have won 15 games while losing 12, trailing the Florida Marlins, who lead the National League East, and have also won 15 games, by .5 games, and trails the second place New York Mets by .004 percentage points as the New Yorkers have won 14 games.

I’m sure everyone in Phillies land were all hoping that the team would start off the season a lot better than they have during the last few years, but I’m sure that no one would have expected them to win this many games as May rolls around with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino both being out for a while, Ryan Howard slumping badly, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz and Geoff Jenkins all hitting below their career averages and Brett Myers’ arm not throwing heat. But we can thanks our lucky stars that while all this was happening that Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Jayson Werth and Chris Coste all got hot, while the bullpen is second best in the league right now with a combine ERA of 2.77, and Adam Eaton, although he hasn’t won a game yet, has kept the team in games, sometimes in spite of himself.

It’s a good thing that the bullpen is so good right now, since the starters combine ERA, going into today’s game, is 10th best in the league, at 4.29. Hopefully, the starters will get better as the year continue, since they have mainly avoided a repeat of the opening day fiasco, as the pitching staff overall has only given up more than six runs only three times since that game.  

The Phillies’ starter for tonight’s game, Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.05), is coming off of a no-decision against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 24, as he went six innings plus two batters, giving up only one earned run on eight hits, in the Phils 3-1 victory over the Brew Crew. His previous start was a lost to the Mets on April 19 as he went six full innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost to New York. His opponent, Chris Young (1-2, 3.77), is coming off a lost to the San Francisco Giants, where he pitched seven innings, giving up one earned run on two hits, while losing 1-0. He is trying to snap his own personal two game losing streak. 

Correction. The Phils are now in second place as the Pirates have just finished destroying the Mets at Shea Stadium, 13-1, dropping New York to third place at 14-12. If the Phils can defeat the Padres and Florida loses to the Dodgers, the Phils will end April in first. Keep your fingers cross people, especially as the Phils tend to do better in May.

Quality starts, the Bullpen and Adam Eaton.

The Phillies have played 23 games so far this season. Of those 23 games, the starters have had 12 quality starts. For those who don’t know what a quality start is, it means that a starter has gone at least six full innings, and has given up three runs or less during those innings. Ten of those quality starts had occurred before the Phils second series against the Mets.

The important of quailty starts is mainly this: the deeper that the starters can go into games that they are starting, the longer they can keep the bullpen out of the game until they are needed for the late innings. This gives the manager a large numbers of options on how to use his relief staff than he would if the starters were constantly getting knocked out early in the game, and forcing him to bring in those relievers that make up his middle relief corps.

With that said, the Phillies present relief corps, believe it or not, is leading the National League with a 2.60 ERA. That’s right, the Phils relievers are leading the league. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. I was expecting them to be more towards the middle of the pack, not the ones leading it. Well, guess we’ll see how long that’ll last, won’t we? Now if the pitching staff, as a whole, can get their ERA down from the present 3.68, fifth best in the National League, the Phillies might really go somewhere.

With that said, Adam Eaton, tonight’s starter, have so far pitched four games during the season, of which three has actaually been quailty starts. That’s right. Three quality starts. He has pitched at least six innings and gave up at least three EARNED runs. (Sadly, that has been the numbers of runs that he have given up in each of those games, all earned, and in at least two he was the losing pitcher of record before the Phils rally late to get him off the hook.) In his last start he only pitched five innings and gave up four earned runs, but all of the runs came in the sixth when both he and Chad Durbin were together unable to keep the Mets off of the scoreboard before Durbin was finally able to put the fire out. That seems to be Eaton’s luck so far this year. He pitched good enough to win his first start, but he couldn’t keep the Reds from scoring the tying run late in the game, which led to a lost in the 9th; the Phils got him off the hook by coming back from behind against the Mets on April 10 before finally losing; he was the pitcher of record against Houston on the 15th before the Phils came from behind in the ninth to win that game; and I’d already mentioned what happened during his last outing against the Mets. Now, he’s going to be the starter against the Pirates tonight. Hopefully the Phils will score some runs early and often against the Bucos to get him the victory, as Adam deserves a victory in the worst possible way.

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