After Friday night’s performance by Jamie Moyer, the Philadelphia Phillies knew the odds were against them of witnessing something even half as special this afternoon.
In fact, they were presented with just the opposite. The Phillies (18-12) dropped game two of three to the Braves (13-17) with a final score of 4-1.
But first, some logistics: Charlie Manuel was absent to be at his daughter’s wedding and Chase Utley had the day off leaving 2009 Gold Glover Placido Polanco at the helm at second base. Wilson Valdez continued to stand in for Castro who was standing in for Rollins so with the Phillies out of options they played Greg Dobbs at third. Schneider filled in at Catcher giving Chooch the day off, but after scoring the only run the Phillies would score today, he left the game after the second inning with a left Achilles strain. There has been no official word yet but he was reported to be getting an MRI and Iron Pigs catcher Paul Hoover had been scratched from their starting lineup this evening indicating a trip to the DL for Schneider.
The first inning started off rough for the Phillies with back to back errors by Dobbs and Howard followed by Blanton hitting a batter to load the bases without giving up a single hit. He managed to work out of the inning on 18 pitches (14 for strikes) giving up zero runs. Blanton would follow that up by pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the second and needed just seven pitches to get through the fourth.
Things would start to unravel a bit in the sixth. Blanton gave up back to back singles before Eric Hinske came up with an RBI double snapping the Braves 16-inning scoreless streak. After an RBI single by Melky Cabrera and a sacrifice fly ball off the bat of Omar Infante, the Braves were suddenly up 3-1 and Blanton’s second outing of the season was over. He finished the day with 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, and 3 K’s on 95 pitches (67 for strikes).
The Phillies started to make a little noise in the bottom of the inning when Craig Kimbrel started off by walking Werth who answered by stealing his second bag of the year. After Ibanez flied out, Kimbrel walked Ruiz before being replaced on the mound by Peter Moylan who would get Valdez to ground out into the Phillies’ third double play of the game.
The seventh inning went similarly when the Braves walked Victorino who stole his fourth base of the year and then walked Dobbs. But after Polanco moved the runners up with a ground out, Howard popped up to put an end to the inning and another opportunity for the Phillies to score. At the end of the day the Fightins seemed to have lost their fight, going just 1-8 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. The Braves didn’t fare any better, going just 3-14 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 11 men on base (9 of which can be credited to Troy Glaus, alone). The only difference is they were able to make it work when they needed to, which just reminds me of the countless articles I’ve written on Blanton’s lack of run support that stands behind his record.
Blanton took the loss and is now 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA. The win went to Eric O’Flaherty (2-2, 2.19 ERA) and to the chagrin of Phillies fans everywhere, the Billy Wagner was credited with the save (4, 1.64 ERA).
Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.42 ERA) takes the mound for the Phillies tomorrow for the series finale against Kenshin Kawakami (0-5, 5.47 ERA) at 1:35 PM EDT.
Filed under: Game Review | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Charlie Manuel, Chase Utley, Eric Hinske, Errors, Greg Dobbs, Injuries, Joe Blanton, LOB, Melky Cabrera, Omar Infante, Paul Hoover, Placido Polanco, RISP, Schneider, Stolen Bases, Troy Glaus |