Sunday, August 24, 2008

Live Blogging Phillies on ESPN...Again

The Phillies have taken the first two games from the Dodgers thanks to great outings from Kyle Kendrick, Cole Hamels, and the offense supporting them with a total of 17 runs. Hopefully the good pitching and offense will continue tonight as Joe Blanton takes the mound against Hiroki Kuroda.

TOP 1st
8:09 - Joe Blanton throws the first pitch of the game to Matt Kemp. Here's hoping that he's still feeling that blinding sun in his eyes.  

8:16 - After a long battle with Andre Ethier resulting in a walk, Jeff Kent hits a single down the third base line to put men on the corners for Manny Ramirez. Sorry Jeff, having Manny behind you clearly does help you out. By the way... it seemed as if Ethier actually walked on ball 5...

8:17 - Blanton hits Manny Ramirez with the second pitch in the at-bat to load the bases. 

8:20 - James Loney hits a single to score Ethier from third. Hopefully the offense will be on again tonight because Blanton looks like he's going to need it. He's already thrown 19 pitches this inning. 

8:21 - Nomar Garciaparra pops out to Jayson Werth, and Kent opts not to challenge him. Actually, old friend Larry Bowa opts not to send him. 

8:24 - After trying to strike Casey Blake out with three sliders, he finally gets him with a fastball to end the inning. Blanton threw about 30 pitches this inning. They'll be lucky if they get four innings out of him. 

8:34 - Andre Ethier did indeed walk on ball 5. Not that it matters now. 

8:37 - Rollins reaches base on an error (which he probably would have beat out anyway), but Utley, Burrell, and Howard go down in order. 

TOP 2nd
8:42 - Pat Burrell botches a catch that would have ended the inning. It wasn't a terribly hard catch to make, he was right there and it went right off his thumb. 

8:43 - Kemp steals third, seeing that Carlos Ruiz would have thrown him out going back to second base. So much for not stealing on Joe Blanton. 

8:45 - Shane Victorino catches a pop-up to end the inning. Burrell was right next to him for the catch, presumably to be reminded how routine plays works. 

8:51 - Jayson Werth is hit by a pitch. Could it be retaliation for hitting Manny in the first? If so, Kuroda decided to wait two batters into the inning before doing so. 

8:54 - Victorino heads to third base on a hit and run as Carlos Ruiz pops out to James Loney. Luckily, Victorino gets back to second in time to avoid the double play. That's the Flyin' Hawaiian's impression of a hummingbird. 

8:56 - Blanton strikes out on four pitches to end the inning. Unlike CC Sabathia, Blanton doesn't look terribly comfortable behind the plate. 

TOP 3rd
9:01 - Manny Ramirez strikes out... and then runs into the clubhouse... either he's going back there to cry, get a protein drink, or go to the bathroom. Either way, it's... well, it's a classic case of Manny being Manny. 

9:03 - Loney hits into a double play to end the inning. Ah, the double play - a staple for the Phillies. 

9:12 - An uneventful half-inning. Rollins and Utley get out, Burrell walks, and Howard ends the inning. 

TOP 4th
9:15 - Rollins proves his worth by diving and throwing out Garciaparra. Whether or not he hits, his glove will always be an asset. 

9:17 - Blanton gets his third strikeout of the night to end the inning. He managed to get through four innings having thrown 60 pitches. Half of those pitches were from that first inning. 

9:24 - Still no life from the offense as Dobbs strikes out to end the inning. With Ruiz, Blanton, and Rollins coming up in the fifth, the Phillies will likely need to wait until the sixth before they see any runs. 

TOP 5th
9:28 - Kuroda gets a single on a ground ball that just gets past a diving Jimmy Rollins. 

9:30 - Phillies almost get their second double play of the night, but Ethier beats out the throw to first. Also, Joe Blanton's night looks to be nearly over as Clay Condrey has begun to warm up in the bullpen. Perhaps they pinch hit for Blanton in the upcoming inning with Feliz and take Dobbs out of the lineup. 

9:33 - But, the Phillies do get a double play to end the inning as Kent hits a grounder and Ethier is out at second and Kent at first. 

9:37 - Carlos Ruiz breaks up Kuroda's no hitter with a single up the middle. They're not taking Blanton out as he attempts to bunt Ruiz over to second.

9:38 - Blanton successfully bunts Ruiz over to second. Maybe this will be an offensive inning after all. 

9:44 - Chase Utley gets a single to score Ruiz. Tie game. 

9:48 - Manny makes another run and catch to end the inning. He's had quite a few of those tonight. 

TOP 6th
9:54 - Victorino makes a fantastic over the shoulder catch at the wall for the second out of the inning. 

10:00 - It's ten 0'clock and there are men on first and second with two outs. Meanwhile, Blanton has reached 100 pitches.

10:01 - Russell Martin hit a ball into right field foul territory. Now, if Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, and Ryan Howard go after a ball, who is the most likely to get it? This time, Howard decided it was his and dove out to make a spectacular catch to end the inning. Joe Blanton is incredibly grateful as his night is most likely over. 6 innings, 1 run, and 4 strikeouts - pretty darn good considering things looked grim in the first inning.

10:05 - Howard brings his fielding energy to the plate. Unfortunately it results in him striking out swinging. 

10:09 - Victorino and Dobbs follow suit by grounding out and flying out respectively. Apparently Blanton's night isn't over as he grabs his glove and heads back out to the mound. He is known for being a workhorse after all. 

TOP 7th
10:11 - Scratch that, Joe Torre decided to pinch hit for Kuroda with the left-handed Juan Pierre. Blanton is done for the night and J.C. Romero is coming in to pitch. Juan Pierre is one of the members of the Dodgers outfield logjam. Nevertheless, he has 38 steals on the year. 

10:16 - Pierre gets an infield single. He'll almost certainly be looking to steal as Matt Kemp comes to bat. 

10:23 - J.C. Romero throws to first after Pierre takes off for second. Howard throws to Rollins at second to get Pierre out. A nice strategic move by Joe Torre, BUT ALL FOR NAUGHT! (Spaceballs anyone?)

10:27 - J.C. Romero's 13 pitch battle with Matt Kemp results in a swinging strikeout. The at-bat was made even longer by Romero's attempts to monitor Pierre. 

10:28 - Romero walks Ethier and is taken out in favor of Ryan Madson. Meanwhile Pedro Feliz enters the game to replace Greg Dobbs. Somehow Romero manages to get out the one right-handed hitter he faces and put the two lefties he faces on base. 

10:34 - Ruiz nearly throws out Ethier, but Utley's tag is behind and Ethier gets the stolen base. Meanwhile, Madson throws a ball into the dirt which Ruiz is able to block. 

10:35 - Kent singles into left field and Ethier is able to score from second. 2-1 Dodgers. 

10:37 - Manny grounds to Rollins who gets the force out at second to end the inning. Manny only has one hit in this series so far. 

10:42 - Chan Ho Park comes in to pitch for the Dodgers and starts by striking out Jayson Werth. Park really should never have left Los Angeles. He currently has a 2.51 ERA in 39 games as a reliever. 

10:46 - Carlos Ruiz and Pedro Feliz ground and fly out to end the inning. If the offense is going to show up tonight, it had better come soon. 

TOP 8th
10:50 - Pat Burrell makes a very narrow catch at the wall on the foul line. Obviously he's learned from his earlier mistakes. Ryan Howard also catches another foul ball and there are quickly two outs in the inning. 

10:54 - Martin grounds out to end the inning. Mark Sweeney was on deck and Hong-Chih Kuo was warming up in the bullpen. 

10:57 - Hong-Chih Kuo has come in to pitch. Apparently Torre decided to go with all Asian pitchers tonight: Kuroda is Japanese, Park is Korean, and Kuo is Taiwanese. Also, Angel Berroa is replacing Garciaparra at shortstop. Garciaparra is the Dodgers' version of Pat Burrell; Torre can't leave him in to field at the end of the game. 

11:02 - Brad Lidge is warming up in the bullpen as Rollins strikes out and Utley flies out. 

11:03 - Burrell gets a single and is replaced by pinch runner So Taguchi. Unfortunately this puts Ryan Howard at the plate with two outs against one of the better left-handed pitchers this season. 

11:04 - Aaaaaand... Howard grounds out to end the inning.

TOP 9th
11:07 - Lidge is in to pitch and Taguchi replaces Burrell in left field. Ryan Howard catches yet another foul ball, though this one is not nearly as impressive as his previous two. 

11:08 - Ethier gets his first hit of the night as he singles to center. 

11:13 - Kent flies out to left to end the inning. Once again, Brad Lidge demonstrates his awesomeness despite allowing a base runner. Lidge did his job, now it's up to the offense to get the win. 

11:15 - Jonathan Broxton is in to close out the game for the Dodgers and Pablo Ozuna replaces Old Man Kent at second base.

11:17 - Victorino leads off the inning with a single into center. Everyone get your rally caps ready as Eric Bruntlett comes in to pinch hit. 

11:18 - Chad Durbin is warming up in case the game goes to the tenth. Eric Bruntlett lays down a bunt as Victorino heads to second. As Jayson Werth heads to the plate, Andy Tracy heads to the on deck circle. Tracy hasn't played in the majors since 2004. Hopefully he can make a good first impression on the Philadelphia fans. 

11:22 - Martin makes a great save to prevent Victorino advancing. Man does Broxton throw hard. 

11:24 - Broxton strikes out Werth on a 99 MPH fastball. Nasty... it's now up to Andy Tracy. 

11:27 - Broxton walks Tracy... there's not really much else to say. For some reason Kyle Kendrick is pinch running for Tracy. 

11:28 - Broxton's first and second pitches to Feliz are way inside. Looks like he's having some control issues. 

11:29 - Feliz hits a single over Ozuna's head and Victorino scores from second base to tie the game. Now Broxton has to face the top of the lineup. And Kyle Kendrick would be the winning run. 

11:32 - Rollins grounds out to first to end the inning. The ball didn't look terribly fair and would definitely have gone foul had Loney not been there to get it before it reached the base. But they tied the game and they're headed to the tenth.

TOP 10th
11:35 - Chad Durbin is in to pitch and Chris Coste is in at catcher. Manny Ramirez gets his first hit of the game. By the way, Charlie Manuel has now used his entire bench, so there may be at-bats from the likes of Cole Hamels.

11:37 - James Loney singles. This is not looking good for Durbin. Mark Sweeney is pinch hitting for Broxton as Joe Beimel warms up in the bullpen.

11:40 - Durbin walks Sweeney. No outs and the bases are loaded. Normally Durbin needs another pitcher to load the bases for him so that Durbin can surrender the unearned runs and then get outs to keep his own numbers spotless.

11:41 - Casey Blake hits the ball right to Feliz who tags third base and throws home to get Manny. Suddenly Durbin has two outs. 

11:44 - Russell Martin flies out to Werth. Durbin magically gets out of an incredibly nerve-wracking inning. Maybe he had to load the bases in order to feel comfortable getting outs, not unlike former Phillies closer Jose Mesa. Current Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa remembers those Jose Mesa outings well. 

11:47 - Beimel is in to pitch. He threw 27 pitches yesterday, so hopefully one of Utley, Taguchi, or Howard can take advantage of that. 

11:51 - After 11 pitches, Utley flies out to left. Not necessarily what you'd want from the MVP candidate in a clutch situation, but hopefully Taguchi or Howard will benefit from an even more fatigued Beimel. 

11:53 - James Loney follows in Ryan Howard's footsteps by making a great tumbling catch in foul territory. Speaking of Howard, it's up to him now. 

11:57 - Howard is intentionally walked, and then picked off... well, onto the eleventh. 

TOP 11th
12:00 - Durbin is still in to pitch. He seems to be on his way to loading the bases again as Angel Berroa gets a single. 

12:04 - Durbin decides not to stress everyone out like he did last inning by retiring the next three hitters. Now it's up to Shane Victorino to get the offense started... again.

12:08 - And he does. Victorino rips a double into left field and slides head first into second. That will be it for Beimel. 

12:13 - Jason Johnson takes over the mound. The Phillies also saw him yesterday. Meanwhile, Cole Hamels is getting ready to pinch hit and is discussing strategy with Charlie Manuel. I don't know if I've ever seen Charlie Manuel discuss strategy, I assumed no one would be able to understand him if he did. 

12:15 - Chris Coste fouls the ball off the plate, but it looks fair. That was exciting for a moment. Instead Johnson walks him. 

12:18  - Jayson Werth gets out at first and advances the runners. Now it's up to Cole Hamels. But... Hamels pops out to Pablo Ozuna. So it's up to Pedro Feliz.

12:21 - Pedro Feliz hits a three run home run. Game over. Enough said. Good night. 

No comments: