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June 28 2007

Geoff Geary shaved his goatee in an effort to turn his season around.  Early results are mixed.

Jamie Moyer took a no-hitter into the sixth last night against the Reds.  He lost it on a two-out single by Josh Hamilton, but got through the sixth and left in the seventh with the bases loaded, nobody out and the Phils up 3-0.  On came the pen and a couple of hours later the Phils had lost 9-6.

Ryan Howard made some history in the game as he crushed the 100th home run of his career way out to center in the fifth inning.  It made him the fastest player to 100 home runs in baseball history.

The Phillies lost to the Cincinnati Reds last night, falling 9-6 to drop to 40-37 on the season.  It was their third attempt to go five games over .500 for the season.  0-for-3.  They are tied with the Braves for second-place in the NL East, both teams are 3 1/2 games behind the Mets. 

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks.  All three hits were singles and he struck out eight.

He struck out two in a 1-2-3 first. 

He walked Edwin Encarnacion with two outs in the second, but got Alex Gonzalez to pop to Ruiz for the third out.

He got three ground ball outs in the third, getting the second out on a nice diving play by Howard. 

Another 1-2-3 in the fourth and another nice defensive play by Howard, this time turning a hard hit ball by Ken Griffey into an out. 

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth and took a no-hitter into the sixth.  In the sixth he struck out David Ross and Aaron Harang to start the inning.  Josh Hamilton was next and lined a single into center.  Brandon Phillips followed with another single, moving Hamilton to second.  Moyer struck out Griffey to end the frame.

Moyer started the seventh up 3-0 and the Reds loaded the bases with nobody out on a single by Jeff Conine and back-to-back walks to Adam Dunn and Encarnacion.  That was all for Moyer, who had thrown 89 pitches on a hot night.  Five of the last six men he faced had reached base.  With the righty Gonzalez at the plate, Geary came in to pitch.  He got ahead of Gonzalez 1-2, but Gonzalez smashed a 3-2 pitch off the top of the wall in right.  Two runs scored to cut the Phillies' lead to 3-2.  With nobody out and men on second and third, Javier Valentin pinch-hit for Ross and singled into left.  Enarnacion scored to tie the game at 3-3 and Gonzalez went to third.  Harang bunted and Valentin went to second.  With men on second and third and one out, Geary stayed in the game and walked the lefty Josh Hamilton intentionally to load the bases and set up the double-play.  Phillips singled to center, making it 4-3 with the bases still loaded and the lefty Griffey due to hit.  Zagurski replaced Geary and Griffey singled to left.  Two runs scored and the Reds led 6-3 with men on first and third.  Zagurski stayed in to pitch to the righty Conine and struck him out.  Big strikeout for Zagurski with runners on the corners and one out.   The lefty Dunn lined to short to finally end the inning. 

Sanches started the eighth with the score tied at 6-6.  He got ahead of Encarnacion 0-2 and then hit him with a pitch.  Gonzalez bunted Encarnacion to second.  Madson relieved Sanches to pitch to the switch-hitter Valentin.  Valentin doubled to right, scoring Encarnacion to put the Reds up 7-6.  Hatteberg grounded to short for the second out as Valentin went to third.  Hamilton flew to left for the third out. 

Mesa started the seventh and got the first man before Griffey reached on an error by Howard at first.  Chad Moeller flew to right for the second out, but Dunn followed with a two-run shot to left that put the Reds up 9-6.  Encarnacion popped to first to end the inning.  Mesa's ERA drops to 8.84 cause both of the runs he allowed were unearned.  His ERA with the Phillies is 3.52, but don't be fooled.  He's allowed seven runs in 7 2/3 innings, only three of which have been earned. 

Three innings for the pen in which they were charged with six runs, which does not include the three runs that scored after Geary entered the game that were charged to Moyer.

The Phillies need Geary in a big way and his ERA is 5.11.  In 11 appearances in June he's thrown to an 8.44 ERA and been charged with runs in five of the 11 games. 

The Phillies' lineup against righty Aaron Harang went (1) Rollins (2) Bourn (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Victorino (7) Nunez (8) Ruiz.  Burrell on the bench again.  No Helms.  Would have liked to have seen Dobbs at third against the righty.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first.

Howard started the second with a walk.  Rowand followed with a ball up the middle.  Phillips made a diving stop but his toss to second lacked goodness.  Everybody was safe and Rowand had an infield single.  Victorino hit a ground ball to second and Rowand was forced at second for the first out.  Howard went to third, so with one down and men on first and third Nunez bunted Victorino to second.  That there is an unusual decision.  Ruiz was walked intentionally and Moyer popped to third to end the inning.

With two outs in the third, Utley smashed a single off the glove of Phillips at second.  Howard struck out to end the inning.

Nunez singled with two outs in the fourth.  Ruiz grounded to second to set the Phillies down. 

Dobbs, who entered the game in the top of the inning when Bourn left with leg cramps, singled to right with two outs in the fifth.  Utley got behind 0-2 but had fantastic 10-pitch at-bat and worked a walk.  Howard absolutely smashed the first pitch of his at-bat way out, over the brick wall in center for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 3-0.  Rowand grounded to third to end the inning.

Ruiz singled with two outs in the seventh.  Moyer hit for himself and flew to left.  Nice job by Ruiz to turn the lineup over and the Phils had a big inning in the seventh.

Rollins started the seventh with a single and scored when Dobbs followed with a double into right.  It cut the Reds' lead to 6-4.  With Utley at the plate, Dobbs moved to third on a wild pitch.  Utley walked, putting men on first and third for Howard with nobody out.  Howard struck out for the first out of the inning.  With Rowand at the plate, Utley took off for second and Valentin, the Reds' catcher, didn't catch the ball.  It went over his glove and hit the ump and bounced away.  Dobbs scored and Utley went all the way to third with the Phils now down 6-5.  With the infield in, Rowand singled up the middle to tie the game at 6-6.  Rowand stole second with Victorino at the plate before Shane popped to second for the second out.  Nunez was walked intentionally, which is just crazy.  I have no explanation, except to posit that maybe they really, really didn't want anyone hitting left-handed against the just-up righty McBeth.  Just a bad decision.  But it worked.  Ruiz grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning. 

With two outs in the eighth, Dobbs hit a ball deep into right and off the top of the wall.  Triple.  With Utley at the plate the game was delayed by rain.  The game was delayed 42 minutes and when it resumed, Utley walked.  Howard struck out again.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth.  Burrell got an at-bat, pinch-hitting for Mesa, and grounded to short to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-5.  He's at 305/345/514 in June.

Bourn was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.  Dobbs 3-for-3 with a double, a triple that was nearly a home run and an RBI.   He's slugging .556 on the season, which would put him in the top ten in the category in the NL if he had enough at-bats to qualify.

Utley was 1-for-2 with three walks.  He had a great at-bat in the fifth to draw a walk ahead of Howard's mammoth homer.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer that went 505 feet.  He struck out three times and left five men on base.  In his last nine at-bats he has seven strikeouts and two home runs.  The home run was the 100th of his career, and he is the fastest player in history to hit 100 bombs, taking just 325 games.  Two nice defensive plays at first, but another error, his sixth on the season.    

Rowand was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Victorino 0-for-5 and left three men on base.

Nunez 1-for-3 with a walk.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.  Nice job in the sixth to turn over the lineup with a single.

Adam Eaton (7-5, 5.63) faces righty Matt Belisle (5-5, 4.73) tonight as the Phils try to take the set.  Eaton was hit hard his last time out, allowing six runs in 5 1/3 innings Saturday in St Louis.  Prior to that outing he had been pitching well, going 2-0 in his three previous starts with a 2.33 ERA.  He's allowed 90 hits in 86 1/3 innings this season, opponents are hitting .277 against him.  Belisle hasn't walked many this year, just 21 in 93 1/3 innings, but has given up 105 hits.  Opponents are hitting .289 against him.  The Phillies faced him on April 22 and scored four runs against him in five innings.  The game was notable as Brett Myers, building the case for how he was used like other closers in his time in the pen, started the ninth inning with the Phillies up 9-2.  Really he did.  Utley hit two doubles off of Belisle in that game.

JA Happ will start the game in Friday's double-header with the Mets that Hamels doesn't start.    Happ, who will be making his major-league debut, is a 24-year-old lefty.  In 13 starts at Triple-A he went 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA, allowing 62 hits and 34 walks in 62 2/3 innings.  Too many walks but he struck out 67.  The Phillies acquired him in the third round of the 2004 draft.

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