Sunday, April 20, 2008

Utley and Feliz Power Phils

Chase Utley provided the meat of the offense, Pedro Feliz supplied the gravy, and the Phillies avoided being swept in a 5-4 win over the Mets.

Adam Eaton had another solid start, but once again wound up with a no-decision. He was solid through 5 innings, not allowing a run and striking out four, but once the sixth inning came around, he couldn't get an out. Two home runs by Utley, which gives him eight on the year, gave the Phils a 4-0 lead coming into that inning. Eaton let by three runs and left a runner on second for Chad Durbin, who allowed that runner to score before getting out of the inning. But Pedro Feliz, pinch hitting for Greg Dobbs, hit a home run in the seventh, J.C. Romero pitched two scoreless innings, and Eric Bruntlett made a fine defensive play to secure Brad Lidge's third save of the year.

The Phillies are turning out to have a really strong bullpen this year, which could make the difference when competing with teams like the Braves and the Mets. The Braves bullpen is getting injured one at a time, and aside from Wagner, Feliciano is pretty decent, Jorge Sosa can be good, but Joe Smith, Scott Scheoneweis, and even Aaron Heilman aren't particularly scary. While Rollins and Victorino are out, the bullpen becomes extremely important because it's hard to know how much offense the Phillies will be able to get on a given night without a true leadoff hitter to get the ball rolling. If they can get enough offense from Burrell, Utley, or anyone else, it's become clear that they can trust the bullpen.

1 comment:

Brian Raab said...

Not sure you can call Rollins a "true" leadoff hitter, but there's no doubt they're missing him. The last two wins have been purely due to Utley's ridiculous hitting. Who knows how long he (or Burrell who has been almost as hot) can keep that up.