Sunday, July 6, 2008

Live Blogging Phillies vs Mets

Today, instead of our traditional recap, we'll be bringing you live updates from today's Phillies-Mets game. This is perhaps the hardest game of the series to predict, with Kyle Kendrick and Oliver Perez starting. Perez is as erratic as they come and Kendrick, while he's pitched well of late, had one of his worst outings of the season when he faced the Mets early in the year. (We got off to a bit of a late start and didn't catch the entire Top of the 1st.)

Bottom of the 1st
0 on, 0 out
Today, Chase Utley is batting second and Jimmy Rollins is batting third. Charlie Manuel is continuing to tinker with the lineup in the hope of getting those two players going. Has anyone suggested trying Rollins in the two-hole?

Oliver Perez walks the first batter he faces (Jayson Werth). Shocking.

1 on, 0 out
SNY shows us the Mets defense. Marlon Anderson gets the start in left field. Left field? All Phillies fans know that his natural position is short right field. Get with the program Jerry Manuel.

1 on, 1 out
Rollins hits a ball that knocks off Perez' foot. Could there be bizarro injuries to Mets starters two days in a row? No, not quite. He's fine. Rollins at first with a single and Werth goes from second to third.

2 on, 1 out
Brian Schneider makes two consecutive snap-throws back to third...for some reason. Hate to break it to you, buddy, but I don't think Werth is stealing home. The second throw could cost the Mets, as Rollins makes a heads-up playing, stealing second on the throw to third.

Ryan Howard strikes out. What else is new?

2 on, 2 out
Burrell falls behind Perez 0-2. Really? You would think Burrell would be the perfect weapon against an erratic lefty like Perez. Apparently not. Burrell pops out, leaving two in scoring position.

Top of the 2nd
1 on, 1 out
Kendrick walks Anderson after giving up a single to Damion Easley. Apparently he's allergic to washed-up second basemen. Let's see if he can get Brian Schneider. Tom Gordon couldn't last night.

2 on, 1 out
Schneider delivers again...sort of. He singles up the middle, but with Victorino throwing, Easley gets a late stop sign. Scary moment as Howard considers throwing to third to try to get Easley.

3 on, 1 out
Perez can't deliver, as he pops out. Reyes follows with a pop-up of his own. Kendrick escapes unharmed.

Bottom of the 2nd
0 on, 0 out
Feliz hits a ball hard to deep left field. Marlon Anderson camps under it and...misses it entirely. Wow. We weren't kidding about his belonging in short right field. He went for the basket catch and came up completely empty. If only Major League manager Lou Brown was here to stop him. Feliz gets a "double" out of it.

1 on, 1 out
Endy Chavez robs Carlos Ruiz of an extra-base hit with a ridiculous catch. Ridiculous on two levels. 1) He reached over his head, over his shoulder to grab it. 2) If he had better instincts and ran a proper route, it's not nearly so impressive. Either way, it's an out and odds are the Mets are out of danger here as Kendrick comes up with two outs.

1 on, 2 out
Kendrick strikes out to end it. During the commercials we learn that Kevin Garnett likes to torment cable guys by showing them how much more money he has than them. Nice work, KG.

Top of the 3rd
0 on, 2 out
Carlos Beltran finally gets a hit that matters. He hits a line drive home run to right field on a 3-2 count. Mets lead 1-0.

Delgado follows with a grounder to the left side that Rollins can't quite track down. Easley then lines to center for the third out.

Bottom of the 3rd
0 on, 0 out
Werth walks again, this time on four pitches. He may not have to swing at all today.

1 on, 0 out
Utley smashes one to deep center, but not deep enough, as Beltran tracks it down.

1 on, 1 out
Rollins grounds into a 6-4-3 double play after getting ahead in the count. Should've stuck to the Werth strategy of not swinging.

Top of the 4th
1 on, 1 out
After Schneider draws a four-pitch walk, Perez successfully sacrifices him to second.

1 on, 2 out
The sacrifice proves pretty inconsequential, as Reyes singles to left field but Schneider is held at third.

2 on, 2 out
Reyes steals second easily, but it doesn't matter as Chavez chops a grounder to Kendrick on the next pitch.

Bottom of the 4th
0 on, 0 out
Howard strikes out again. Swung at every pitch he was given. That's 121 on the year.

1 on, 1 out
Wild pitch gets Burrell to second. The ball basically went behind and around Schneider. Perez still manages to strike out Feliz. Victorino fouls out to end the inning. Manuel keeps putting Victorino lower and lower in the lineup.

Top of the 5th
1 on, 0 out
Wright singles and Beltran follows up with a grounder to short. Rollins gets the fielder's choice at second, but Beltran beats the throw to first.

1 on, 1 out
Delgado strikes out on a 3-2 slider as Beltran takes off. Ruiz throws to second but Beltran is safe.

1 on, 2 out
Beltran then steals third without a throw. Seems an unnecessary risk with two outs. Running on contact, Beltran almost certainly scores on a single from second anyway. Kendrick walks Easley, bringing up Anderson with runners at the corners.

2 on, 2 out
Kendrick lulls Anderson to sleep (not that hard to do) with three straight balls, then gets him to ground out to second to end the inning.

Bottom of the 5th
1 on, 1 out
After a Ruiz single and a Kendrick strikeout, Perez finds the strike zone against Werth. With a 1-2 count, he crushes one foul to left field, then reaches for a foul line drive. After all that, he flies out to right.

1 on, 2 out
Utley grounds out to Delgado for the third out. Once again, the Phillies bats are falling silent.

Top of the 6th
0 on, 0 out
The Phillies finally manage to keep Brian Schneider off the basepaths. That took a lot longer than it should have.

1 on, 2 out
Chavez grounds out to Howard as the Mets continue to strand baserunners.

Bottom of the 6th
0 on, 1 out
The Phillies are warming up Clay Condrey in the bullpen. Condrey is the one pitcher who the Mets haven't seen yet in this series. That's the only justification for bringing him into a 1 run game.

1 on, 2 out
The Mets are warming up Aaron Heilman. They're hoping he'll build off his one pitch wonder outing last night. Given an 0-3 record and a 4.67 ERA, odds are against that.

Pat Burrell flies out to Beltran. Pedro Feliz gets a hit... but it's caught by none other than Endy Chavez to end the inning.

Top of the 7th
0 on, 0 out
Clay Condrey is indeed in the game. Kendrick leaves after 6 innings, 1 earned run, 8 hits, 2 strikeouts, 3 walks, and 112 pitches.

0 on, 1 out
Beltran singles to center field. Suddenly he seems to remember how to play baseball.

1 on, 2 out
Ruiz tries to snag Beltran at first, but Howard misses the throw and it sails into right field as Beltran goes to second base. Howard's defensive woes continue. It wasn't even a bad throw by Ruiz, Howard just...botched it. Turns out not to matter as the Phillies finally get Easley out on a ground ball to Utley to end the inning.

7th Inning Stretch
With the All-Star rosters announced today, we figured we would make our pick for Most Undeserving All-Star as there is undoubtedly at least one. Our pick this year is...

Jason Varitek, C, BOS
There is no reason for Varitek to be at this game. Boston is sending five other players and would have been sending six if David Ortiz weren't injured. Luckily Joe Mauer got a late surge of votes and is going to start the game, but his .219 average is hardly worthy of an All-Star nod. A.J. Pierzynski has the same number of home runs as Varitek (7), but is batting .299, has more RBI than Varitek and even has a stolen base. Even Ivan Rodriguez would have been more derserving (.282/3 HR/28 RBI/6 SB). Hometown stalwart Jorge Posada is about as deserving too (.282/3 HR/22 RBI).

The Phillies end up with two All-Stars in Chase Utley and Brad Lidge. No Cole Hamels or Pat Burrell, though Pat Burrell is a candidate to get the Final Vote. He goes up against former Phillie Aaron Rowand, Carlos Lee, David Wright, and Corey Hart.

Bottom of the 7th
0 on, 0 out
Jose Reyes' throw beats out Shane Victorino in a race of speedsters. Turns out to be a 1-2-3 inning for Perez as the two catchers, Ruiz and Coste get out.

Top of the 8th
0 on, 0 out
J.C. Romero is in to pitch for the Phillies. Hopefully he's got his control issues solved so that there isn't a repeat of last night's debacle. The rain is starting to fall...

0 on, 2 out
Romero was off to a good start, getting the first two batters out, but then walks Chris Aguila to bring up Reyes. Romero redeems himself by picking off Aguila.

Bottom of the 8th
0 on, 0 out
Duaner Sanchez in to pitch for the Mets. Hopefully he'll look more like he did two nights ago than last night.

0 on, 1 out
Chase Utley finally gets on base as Sanchez bobbles a ground ball. The ball just slipped out of his hand, when he should have thrown it to Carlos Delgado as soon as he got it. Utley takes advantage of his recent minimal time on the bases by stealing second with Rollins at the plate. Sanchez walks Rollins and with Howard coming up, Jerry Manuel decides to go to Pedro Feliciano.

2 on, 1 out
As Pedro Feliciano warms up, the ground crew begins rolling out the tarp as a rain delay is called. The Mets would be extremely lucky if the game is not resumed as they are now in a difficult position with two men on and Howard and Burrell coming up. In the meantime, CW11 will show us an episode of "The Odd Couple." Apparently hilarity ensues when they discover that Oscar's father tried to kill Felix' father.

After the Rain Delay
I wasn't able to live blog the rest of the game after the rain delay, so I'll revert to a standard recap.

When we last saw the team, Ryan Howard was up with two men on. Nothing came of that situation and the game went to the top of the ninth, which brought a very happy Brad Lidge, with a place on the All-Star and a three-year extension. However, Lidge gave up a rare run as Carlos Beltran continued his productive day with a single to score Jose Reyes. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies managed to get past Billy Wagner again as Jayson Werth hit a two run home run. The game then went until the twelfth when Fernando Tatis hit a two run homer off of Chad Durbin in his second inning of work to make it 4-2 Mets. Jimmy Rollins led off the bottom of the inning with a single, stole second, and got to third on a Geoff Jenkins ground out. However, none of Ryan Howard, Jenkins, or the hero from two nights ago, Pedro Feliz, were able to capitalize and the Mets held onto a 4-2 victory.

The team has a lot of trouble when its stars aren't hitting. Chase Utley wasn't effective for them and Jimmy Rollins couldn't come through at the right times. It seemed as if the top of the lineup was easier to get through than the bottom. It was uncharacteristic of the team not to back up Kyle Kendrick with at least six runs. Batting Rollins third hasn't seemed to help and it's hard to tell how much of the lack of offense is related to players being in slumps or the fact that Charlie Manuel is constantly changing the lineup. Shane Victorino toward the bottom of the lineup is a bizarre because he is often able to spark the team into big offensive innings. Jayson Werth is having success hitting leadoff, so that's all well and good when he's in the lineup. Pedro Feliz also looks comfortable hitting sixth, so that's something else that these experiments have revealed. But the four main hitters in the offense aren't producing right now and they need to find a solution. If Jimmy Rollins is having offensive issues, bat him seventh. I would be interested to see the following lineup:
Werth/Victorino/Utley/Burrell/Howard/Feliz/Rollins/Coste or Ruiz/pitcher.

In other news, it looks like C.C. Sabathia is headed to Milwaukee, though the Phillies had supposedly been involved in trade talks for him. They don't have a great deal of Major League-ready talent, but they have a bunch of interesting prospects lower in the system such as Greg Golson, Jason Donald, Josh Outman and Carlos Carrasco. We'll have to get used to J.A. Happ unless the Phillies try to play the same game for Erik Bedard or Aaron Harang. Seattle might be interested in prospects further away from the majors since they're probably going to start rebuilding under their new management, which could take a while considering the amount of contracts and veterans they'll have to slog through and deal with over the next couple years. Toronto's A.J. Burnett and current Padre, former Phillie Randy Wolf are other options, though both are injury prone and might frustrate the team more than help them. Hoping J.A. Happ can be this year's Kyle Kendrick might be the best solution.

4 comments:

AdBeast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AdBeast said...

Hey man, don't go hating on Ryho. The kid may strike out on occasion (ok, on a number of occasions), but when he hits, he hits big.

I just saw this video of him and Vlad Guerrero hitting long balls like mad men, warming up for the derby. I wouldn't write him off just yet. Check it.

Jeff Raab said...

Strike out on occasion? He's got 123 this year. He's going to shatter his own record of 199 from last year.

What's amazing is his 23 homers and league leading 76 RBI, so it's hard to complain. His batting average is slowly creeping up, which is a good sign of things to come.

Sweet video. The man definitely has power.

Bill said...

Hopefully these losses will light a fire under Pat Gillick to get a deal done. We already missed out on Sabathia and Harden. Let's not wait any longer!

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