Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Phillies’

Let’s start with the good.  Morales made his 2013 debut, and I have to say that it went decently.  He pitched five solid innings, giving up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out two.  The runs he allowed were the result of a mistake: a two-run home run hit in the first with two out.  Other than that, he was great.

Even the relief corps pulled it together; none of our five relievers gave up a run.  Breslow pitched the sixth, and he and Mortensen teamed up for the seventh.  Tazawa pitched the eighth, and Bailey pitched the ninth.

Let’s end with the better.  Namely, our offense.  We scored our first run in the first; Ellsbury and Nava hit back-to-back singles, and Ellsbury scored on a groundout by Pedroia.  Then Papi walked, Carp singled in Nava, and one out later, Salty batted in two runs with a double.

We didn’t score again until the sixth.  With one out, Iglesias singled, and Gomes came in to pinch-hit for Morales, whose night was thereby over.  It was a good thing he did, though.  Gomes rocketed the ball out of the park for a two-run homer.  According to the Phillies, Gomes took too long to start his jog around the bases, and the pitcher hit Ellsbury.  Needless to say, both sides were warned.  In the end, it had no affect on us at all.  One inning later, Papi led off with a solo shot of his own, also a rocket in a hurry to get out.

In the end, Ellsbury went three for four and stole a whopping five bases.  Salty and Iglesias both had multi-hit games.

Now comes the best part: the final score.  6-2.

AP Photo

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We lost again.  But we expect good outings from Lackey, so the fact that he pitched really well, fortunately, is not so surprising.  The fact that he didn’t have any run support was not great.  And the relief corps did not pitch well at all.  Basically, what I’m saying is that it’s tough to find an unexpected nice surprise in this one.

Lackey delivered yet another quality start.  Three runs on six hits over the course of six innings while walking three and striking out five.  But when I say quality start, it was barely quality.  His final line says quality, but his actual performance says not-so-much.  All three of those runs came via the long ball, which means that half of his hits were home runs, and he made three huge mistakes.

He had a one-two-three first and gave up a solo shot on his third pitch of the second.  He gave up a single and a walk in the third and two consecutive solo shots in the fourth.  He had a one-two-three fifth and issued two walks in the sixth.

After Lackey gave up those three home runs, we were down by only one run.  Ellsbury tripled on the sixth pitch of the game, and he scored on a sac fly by Pedroia.  And Nava homered on the third pitch of the sixth, launching the ball beyond the right field fence.  It was awesome.  And too little.

Miller came on for the eighth and loaded the bases with one out thanks to a single and two consecutive walks; Uehara finished the inning but gave up a home run to lead off the eighth, which doubled the Phillies’ lead in a game in which runs were already hard to come by.

And then, the ninth inning came along.  With one out, Drew walked.  One out later, Gomes singled.  Drew scored on a double by Ellsbury, and the tying run moved to third; the go-ahead run was standing at second.  There were two out, and we had a chance to win it all back.  It would be epic.  Epic like the walkoff wins we’ve had lately.

But instead, Nava grounded out on the first pitch of his at-bat.  And we lost, 4-3.

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We lost.  It was very disappointing.  We were put in a position to win, and we lost.  But it wasn’t our pitchers’ fault.  If hitters could be given decisions, the lineup would be saddled with the loss, not Dempster.  Last night, Dempster was a winner.

The game was tied before the first inning was over.  Dempster’s seventh pitch of the game was hit for a solo shot.  And Ellsbury led off the bottom of the inning with a single, stole second, and scored on a single by Pedroia.

That was it for us.  For the whole game.  Just the one run.  We had a grand total of three runners in scoring position and made good on only one of those opportunities.

Unfortunately, the same can not be said of the Phillies.  For his part, Dempster more or less cruised for the rest of the game; it was one of the best starts we’ve seen from him to date, and it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t get any run support to speak of.  He shut the Phillies out during the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.  He gave up a single to lead off the seventh; the runner advanced on a sac bunt and scored on another single.  All told, though, he gave up only two runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four over the course of seven innings.  And he threw only ninety-eight pitches.  That, my friends, is what I call a quality start.  I mean, it’s as good as it gets.  That’s how really great pitchers pitch on a good day.  And the fact that we saw an outing like that from Dempster shows that he has it in him.  It’s great to see it come out.  Now, that’s what I call a silver lining.

Breslow pitched the eighth, Tazawa pitched the ninth, and Dempster took a very undeserved loss with a final score of 3-1.

USA Today Sports Staff/Bob DeChiara

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This one was not dramatic.  It wasn’t a nailbiter.  At no point was it the least bit suspenseful.  No, we just had to deal with the fact that we were on top from the very beginning.  Somehow, it wasn’t that hard to adapt to that kind of situation.  Somehow, when we’re busy cleaning up like that, it just feels natural.

Aceves started this one, and I have to say that he did an absolutely spectacular job.  Just going in there and randomly starting a game when you’re not doing it on a regular basis is no easy task, but Aceves made it look like just that.  He pitched six innings of one-run ball, giving up seven hits, three walks, and four strikeouts.  Even that one run was the result of just one isolated mistake; Aceves missed his spot with a fastball thrown with one out in the third, and it was hit for a solo shot.  Other than that, his start was as solid as solid gets.

So was Mortensen’s seventh.  The same can not be said of the eighth.  Mortensen gave up a double to start the frame.  Then there was a fielder’s choice, and then he was replaced by Miller.  Miller gave up the second home run of the night for the Phillies; this one, though, was a two-run home run that came on a slider that missed.

Fortunately, it didn’t matter.  We were way beyond the point where another two runs would have counted for anything.  The Phillies scored three runs all game, and all three came via the home run.  Well.  We scored three runs in the first inning alone, and all three came via the home run.

First, Ellsbury singled.  Then Nava grounded out, moving to Ellsbury to second.  He took third on a wild pitch, and then on a 2-1 count, Pedroia got a bad cutter and made the Phillies pay.  He rocketed the ball right around the Pesky Pole.  And we all know how small of a guy Pedroia is and, therefore, how awesome it is to see him just unleash on a ball.  And it’s not like the ball took its time leaving the ballpark, either.  It was awesome.

Papi struck out.  And then Napoli went yard on his first pitch of the game, which was also a bad cutter.  This one went beyond the fence in right center.  And we all know the kind of power that Napoli possesses, so he just made it look so easy and so effortless, like it was the most natural thing in the world that he would be doing at that moment.

Then Drew walked, and Carp flied out.  End inning one.

We had two runners in scoring position in the second but didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.  Not that it mattered in the end.  We were back at it in the third anyway, doubling our run total.  Papi doubled and scored on a double by Napoli, who scored on a single by Drew.  Carp struck out, Salty singled, Iglesias popped out, and Ellsbury doubled in Drew.  Unfortunately, Salty was thrown out at home, but again, it’s not like it mattered in the end.

We went down in order in the fourth and resumed in the fifth.  Napoli struck out swinging to lead it off, and then Drew singled, Carp doubled, and Salty hit a bases-clearing single with a little help from a fielding error.

We took a break in the sixth and seventh and padded our lead even more in the eighth.  We had the bases loaded with two out, thanks to a single and two walks, and the pitcher to whom the Phillies had turned that inning walked in a run.  All Drew had to do was stand there, wait, and accept what was given to him.  Fantastic.

Bottom of the ninth? With a score of 9-3? I don’t think so.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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The good signs continue.  We’re battling some soreness and whatnot, but the performance is good.  Victorino’s got some extra-base hits, and the pitchers continue to make a strong showing.  Drew left camp to see a concussion specialist; he resumed baseball activities, but the timetable for his full return is unclear.  Papi made his return to the batting cages.  Congratulations to the Dominican Republic; Team DR won the World Baseball Classic.  And last but most certainly not least, we and the Yanks have decided to dedicate Opening Day by honoring the community and memory of Newtown, Connecticut.  It’s going to be a beautiful ceremony, and the two teams are really doing the right thing.

We lost to the Pirates on Monday, 4-3.  Buchholz ruled the day; in five innings, he made one mistake in the form of a solo shot while walking two and striking out four.  Carpenter took the blown save and the loss; he gave up two runs.  Nava went two for three, and Victorino tripled.  On Tuesday, we lost to Baltimore, 8-7.  Dempster went five innings, giving up three runs on six hits.  Tazawa turned in a scoreless inning, and Bard gave up three runs on two hits.  Middlebrooks went two for three with a double, and Victorino doubled as well.  Unfortunately the Yanks shut us out on Wednesday; better in Spring Training than in the regular season.  Doubront pitched four and one-third innings and gave up four runs on seven hits.  Bailey finished the rest of the inning.  Hanrahan and Mortensen each pitched a scoreless frame.  We beat the Phillies yesterday, 6-1.  Lackey looked pretty sharp; he tossed five innings and gave up only one run on four hits while walking none and striking out one.  Bailey pitched a scoreless frame and picked up the win.  Pedroia went two for two with a double; Middlebrooks doubled, and Victorino tripled.

In other news, the B’s lost to the Jets and beat the Sens.

AP Photo

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