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April 18 2007

The Phillies have moved Brett Myers to the pen.  Jon Lieber will start against the Reds on Friday.

April 18 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
NYM 7-4 59 5.36 3 756 (4) 12 3
PHI 3-8 53 4.82 8 782 (2) 6 2


Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
NYM 7-4 32 2.91 1 3.18 (2) 1.82 (1)
PHI 3-8 64 5.82 15 5.94 (16) 3.67 (10)

Runners in "scoring" position just seems a little unrealistically optimistic, doesn't it?  Naive, maybe.  0-for-13 with runners in well-at-least-somebody-else-will-carry-my-glove-out-of-the-dugout-for-me-after-Reyes-starts-the-next-double-play-position last night.  Lost.  Scored one run, which was driven in on a walk. 

Oh.  And the bullpen was terrible, too.

For me, however, all of the frustration with the Phillies' latest loss dissipated in a nearly wordless moment while watching Charlie Manuel's post-game press conference.  Asked if the team might benefit by seeing him more demonstrably upset, Manuel struggled, and eventually failed, to maintain his composure.  There was a painfully long moment after the question was asked in which little was said but Manuel's pained expression was both telling and nearly impossible to describe.  I had to wonder if whether he knew it or not, Manuel, who grew up less than a hundred miles from Virginia Tech and has a history of ties to to the school, was less frustrated about his inability get the Phillies to come up with a big hit than his inability to bring dead children back to life.  Or maybe I made that up.  I don't think so, though.  Either way, I couldn't help but feel for the man that virtually all Phillies' fans would agree is a tremendous person.

Still think we don't need Geoff Geary to lead off the eighth in a one-run game, though.  Just saying.

The Phillies lost to the Mets last night, falling 8-1 to drop to 3-9 on the season.  They are in last place in the NL East.  And yes, the Nationals are still in the NL East.

Freddy Garcia got the start for the Phillies and went 4 2/3 innings in his Phillies' debut, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks.  Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a two-run homer to Moises Alou.  He struck out six.  The Mets stole two bases with Garcia on the mound -- he is one of the worst pitchers in baseball at preventing the stolen base.  His line could have been much worse, but Geoff Geary came in with two outs in the fifth with the bases loaded and stranded all three of Garcia's runners by striking out David Wright.

Jose Reyes led off the first with a single, stole second and was picked off of second for the first out of the inning.  Paul Lo Duca walked, but Carlos Beltran hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Garcia struck out Carlos Delgado for the first out in the second.  David Wright followed with a single and Moises Alou socked a two-run homer way out to left on a tough night to hit a home run.  2-0 Mets.  Garcia struck out Shawn Green for the second out.  Jose Valentin was next and slapped a ball into right for a hit.  Victorino fielded and threw to second as Valentin tried to stretch it into a double -- the ball bounced off his batting helmet and Valentin went to third.  Tough error for Victorino.  Not good base running from Valentin who would likely have been out if the throw hadn't hit him, leaving Glavine to lead off the third.  Glavine grounded to short to end the inning.

Beltran singled with two outs in the third and stole second on a curveball that left Ruiz without a chance.  Garcia struck out Delgado for the third out.

Garcia set the Mets down 1-2-3 in the fourth.  Wright grounded to third for the first out and Helms' throw was in the dirt as it often is.  Nice scoop from Howard. 

In the fifth he struck out the leadoff man Valentin, but Glavine followed with a single.  Reyes hit it hard but Burrell handled it for the second out.  Ramon Castro, who entered the game when Lo Duca had to leave after taking a foul ball off of a finger on his right hand, was next and he singled, sending Glavine to second.  Beltran doubled just out of the reach of the slow Burrell in left, scoring Glavine to put the Mets up 3-1 with runners on second and third with two down.  Garcia intentionally walked Delgado to load the bases and, with the righty David Wright at the plate, Geoff Geary entered for the Phillies.  Geary struck out Wright to end the inning.  Big strikeout for Geary in what looked like a big moment early in the game.

Geary returned to start the sixth.  Alou led off with a home run that put the Mets up 4-1 and Green followed with a double ripped to left-center.  Valentin was next and hit a ground ball to third that moved Green to third with one out.  With Glavine at the plate, what must have been a botched squeeze play saw Green getting tagged out at third after a long and poorly executed rundown from the Phils.  Glavine offered a weak swing at a 1-1 pitch and Green was way down the line from third.  Geary struck out Glavine to end the inning.

Francisco Rosario started the seventh for the Phils and Reyes greeted him with a single and stole second on a pitchout.  Rosario walked Castro on a wild pitch that allowed Reyes to move to third.  Beltran hit a ground ball to second that scored Reyes as Castro was forced at second.  5-1 Mets.  With Delgado at the plate, Beltran stole second on a ball that bounced off of Ruiz's glove.  It was the fourth stolen base on the night for the Mets.  Delgado grounded to second for the second out.  Wright flew out to right to end the frame.

Matt Smith started the eighth, appearing in his first game since April 9, and walked Alou and Green to start the inning.  Valentin was next and doubled over a diving Rowand in left-center.  Alou scored to make the score 6-1 with runners on second and third with nobody out.  Smith got pinch-hitter Damion Easley to ground to third with the runners holding for the first out of the inning.  He then walked Reyes intentionally to load the bases.  With the righty Castro at the plate, Madson took over for Smith.  Castro smoked a single into center, scoring Green and Valentin to put the Mets up 8-1.  Rowand juggled the ball in center and Reyes strayed too far off second, Rollins tagged him out for the second out of the inning.  Beltran grounded to second to end the inning.

Madson returned for the ninth and set the Mets down 1-2-3.

Brutal night for a brutal pen.  They allowed five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings on five hits and four walks.  They also threw a lot of pitches.  Geary 17, Rosario 21, Smith 23, Madson 28.  Geary pitches pretty much every day but you have to think the rest of them are unavailable tonight, for better or worse.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Tom Glavine went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Helms (7) Rowand (8) Ruiz.  Victorino still in right field against the lefty.  My guess is Ruiz will usually catch Garcia. 

Rollins flew to center to lead off the first, but Victorino followed with a double and Utley walked.  Howard smoked a ball back to Glavine, but Glavine handled it and threw to second to start a double-play that ended the inning. 

Burrell singled to right to start the second but Helms was next and hit into a double-play.  Rowand flew to center to end the inning.

Down 2-0 in the third, Ruiz led off with a ground ball in the hole between short and third.  Reyes made a nice play and a strong throw to nail him for the first out.  Garcia was next and walked.  He moved to second on a single to left-center from Rollins.  Victorino hit a ground ball to third and Wright forced Rollins at second for the second out as Garcia moved to third.  Utley was hit by a pitch that grazed his uniform, loading the bases for Howard.  Howard walked, forcing in Garcia to make the score 2-1.  Burrell grounded to second to end the inning.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the fourth, but Garcia struck out to end the inning.

Rollins led off the fifth with a double and Victorino followed with a walk.  Utley struck out, Howard struck out and Burrell popped out to first.  Not good.

Helms and Rowand opened the sixth with back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and second.  Ruiz was next and hit a chopper back up the middle.  Valentin fielded behind second base and flipped to Reyes who spun out of the way of a sliding Rowand and made a tremendous throw to first to double-up Ruiz.  Helms went to third.  Amazing play by Reyes, his second of the game.  Werth pinch-hit for Geary against the lefty Glavine and smoked a line drive to left.  A diving catch by Alou ended the inning with the Phillies still down 4-1.  For the second time in two innings the Phils put their first two men on and come up empty.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh against Pedro Feliciano.

Howard doubled to deep center to start the eighth.  Burrell struck out and Helms grounded to second, moving Howard to third.  Rowand walked and Ruiz grounded to first to end the inning.

Dobbs hit for Madson and flew out to right-center to start the ninth.  Rollins singled to right and Victorino followed with a walk.  Utley flew to left for the second out.  Howard flew out to center to end the game. 

Seven more walks for the Phillies.  They got eight hits.  Five singles and three doubles.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with a double.  He's 10-for-his-last-26. 

Victorino was 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. 

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk and left three men on base.  He's hitting .245.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI and left six men on base. 

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a strikeout and left six men on base. 

Helms was 1-for-4.

Rowand was 1-for-3 with a walk to drop his average to .341.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 with a walk and left four men on base.  The Mets stole four bases.

Adam Eaton (1-1, 6.94) faces righty Jason Bergmann (0-1, 3.72) tonight.  Eaton has made two starts on the year, one good last Wednesday against the Mets, and one bad on April 5 against the Braves.  Bergmann has also made two starts.  His last came Thursday against the Braves and threw six shutout innings, holding Atlanta to one hit while striking out eight.  He had less success in his first outing, which came on April 5 against the Diamondbacks.  In that start he allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings.  He made two relief appearances against the Phils last year, allowing two runs in six innings.  Overall last season he threw 64 2/3 innings and righties hit .353 against him. 

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