Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sloppy Fielding Dooms Phillies

Jimmy Rollins finally missed a game and the Phillies felt it more than ever. The Phillies committed four errors, including three in the third inning that led to six Mets runs. Philadelphia never recovered, falling to the Mets 8-2.

Kyle Kendrick had the shortest start of his career, surviving through only 2 1/3 innings. He surrendered seven runs, though only one was earned, but he didn't do himself any favors, walking six batters. He might have gotten away with the walks, but the team completely unraveled in the third inning. Rollins' replacement, Eric Bruntlett, made two crucial errors that led to Mets runs and when Ryan Church finally struck out to end the inning, the Phillies were down 7-1.

After that, the team looked flat and never mounted any sort of comeback. Mike Pelfrey gave the Mets five quality innings, allowing only two runs. The Mets bullpen, with a much bigger lead to work with than last night, held the Phillies scoreless through the final four innings.

The Phillies bullpen was also reasonably effective, though there was no real pressure due to the score. Chad Durbin replaced Kendrick in the third and pitched 3 2/3 hitless innings, allowing only one walk. Clay Condrey surrendered a run in the 7th and Rudy Seanez pitched scoreless 8th. Of course, because of the poor fielding none of it mattered.

Rollins' ankle injury does not appear to be terribly serious, but it is unknown exactly when he will return. He was a game-time decision today, so it's quite possible he returns for the rubber game of the series tomorrow. Unfortunately it's not soon enough to keep his consecutive games played streak alive, which ended at 230 games (third longest among active players). More importantly, it wasn't soon enough to save the Phillies (and Eric Bruntlett) from a humiliating defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals.

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