Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Phillies Bullpen Falters Against Mets (Live)

After playing for over five hours last night, the Phillies and Mets return to the field to play the second game of a two game series. Mets ace Johan Santana faces off against Kyle Kendrick, who nearly had to pitch last night.

TOP 1st
7:09 - Jose Reyes starts off the night with a single over Chase Utley's head. With a young starting pitcher and a bad fielding catcher, Reyes will probably get to second base pretty quickly.
7:12 - Reyes runs as Luis Castillo hits a high fly ball to shallow left field. Pat Burrell barely holds onto the ball, getting Castillo out and throws the ball back to field. It looked like Howard had Reyes out except that Reyes slid right into Howard's glove, not only knocking the ball out but knocking Howard's glove off his hand. Luckily the ball doesn't get far, and Reyes has to stay at first.
7:14 - Reyes takes off again and Wright grounds the ball to Feliz. Reyes gets second base this time, but Wright is out at first.
7:16 - The Mets get on the board as Carlos Delgado grounds the ball into right field, driving in Reyes. 1-0 Mets. Hopefully that's all the damage they'll do, unlike last night.
7:17 - Carlos Beltran hits a ball up the middle and Rollins just barely throws him out at first. Looks like Beltran is in non-clutch mode.

7:20 - Jimmy Rollins continues his hot streak as he gets his first career hit off Johan Santana. He hits the ball to shallow left field, where none of Reyes, Beltran, or Daniel Murphy can get it.
7:24 - Utley flies out to Ryan Church and Pat Burrell foul tips strike three into Brian Schneider's glove. Rollins' single may not matter as Ryan Howard's odds against Santana are not good as he's hitting .186 against lefties. He is, however 3 for 10 against Santana.
7:27 - Rollins is picked off at first, but goes ahead and gets his 35th stolen base of the year.
7:30 - Ryan Howard hits his 35th home run of the year. Did not see that coming. That gives him 9 home runs against left handers this year and his first home run off Santana. 2-1 Phillies. Looks like this game could have a seesaw feel to it.
7:32 - Shane Victorino strikes out to end the inning. No matter, the damage is done for now.

TOP 2nd
7:36 - With a 3-2 count Ryan Church hits the ball the other way. Victorino is too far back to get to it in time, and Burrell slides, but is only able to stop the ball from going any further, keeping Church to a single. Burrell gets hustle points. Now up comes a struggling rookie in Daniel Murphy.
7:38 - Church steals a base as Coste makes a poor throw to second. Luckily Rollins is able to get to the ball and keep Church at second. Kendrick is up to a 3-2 count against Murphy.
7:40 - After a few foul balls, Kendrick strikes Murphy out looking on the inside corner. In this case, the veteran gets advantage of the newbee. That's right, Kendrick is the veteran in this situation despite being the same age as Murphy.
7:45 - Schneider and Santana ground out to first to end the inning. Kendrick is now up to 42 pitches in the game, 27 of which were in this inning.

7:48 - Jayson Werth hits the second home run of the game off Johan Santana. This is the fifth time all year that Santana has given up multiple home runs in a game, the most he's given up being three. That's Werth's 18th home run of the year. Amazing that he has this many considering he's more or less a platoon player.
7:51 - Feliz, Coste, and Kendrick go down in order, but that may not be such a bad thing considering it means Rollins will lead off the next inning. If the Phillies scored three runs off Santana on the first time around, who knows what they can do the second time.

TOP 3rd
7:55 - Reyes is now 2-2 on the night as he singles on a grounder right past Chase Utley.
8:00 - Reyes and Castillo attempt the hit and run again. This time, Victorino catches the ball and is able to throw Reyes out at first for the double play. It's always a sigh of relief when you can get Jose Reyes off the basepaths.
8:03 - And David Wright ends the inning by popping out to Howard. Kendrick is up to 59 pitches, so he could conceivably get through five. Good thing they called up prospect Drew Carpenter to help in the bullpen.

8:10 - Santana finally has an easy inning, getting Rollins, Utley, and Burrell out. None of them struck out, however.

TOP 4th
8:13 - Carlos Part I (Delgado) lines out to Howard, but Carlos Part II (Beltran) gets a single.
8:16 - Kendrick gives up his first walk of the night to Ryan Church.
8:18 - Daniel Murphy hits the ball right to Victorino. The rookie's struggles continue.
8:21 - Schneider grounds out to Howard and the inning is over. Kendrick manages to continue holding off the Mets, but he ends the inning having thrown 79 pitches. They'll probably only get one more inning out of him, but at least that's more than Jamie Moyer gave them last night.

8:26 - Santana walks Howard, but Victorino hits into a double play on the second pitch. It was extremely close at first base, as it usually is with Victorino. Perhaps Werth can avenge his teammates. Howard's walks are way down this year. He had over 100 the last two years, but has only 66 so far this year.
8:29 - Werth flies out to Murphy to end the inning. That's the second straight 1-2-3 inning for Santana and the ninth straight Phillie he's retired. Only one of those outs, however was a strikeout: pitcher Kyle Kendrick.

TOP 5th
8:33 - Kendrick quickly retires Santana and Reyes. Hopefully Castillo goes down quickly and the Phillies can squeeze another inning out of Kendrick.
8:34 - Castillo singles to right, but Wright pops out to Utley. Kendrick manages to get a quick inning, but Charlie Manuel may take him out anyway since he is due up next inning. He's already up to 91 pitches. With a depleted staff, they may try to keep him in.

8:38 - Feliz leads off the inning with a single. If Coste can get on as well, Manuel may leave Kendrick in to bunt Feliz and possibly Coste to the next base. Kendrick is in the on deck circle.
8:40 - Coste flies out to left, but Kendrick is still in to bat and to bunt. But he decides to swing at the first pitch anyway and fouls it it. Kendrick seems to be alternating between swinging and bunting. Finally, he strikes out on a bunt attempt. Not exactly sure what was going through Kendrick's mind through that at-bat.
8:44 - Santana walks Rollins. That might be a good thing for Santana since it gives him the lefty-lefty matchup against Utley.
8:47 - Castillo apparently has a little good fielding left in him as he snags a hard hit ball by Utley and throws him out at first to end the inning.

TOP 6th
8:51 - Carlos Delgado crushes a pitch to right field and cuts the Phillies' lead in half. 3-2 Phillies. Meanwhile, Scott Eyre is warming up in the bullpen in case Kendrick can't get through the inning.
8:54 - Carlos Part II hits a squibber toward third base and Kendrick dives in front of it to block it, but can't get Beltran out at first. This prompts Charlie Manuel to take Kendrick out in favor of Scott Eyre, who pitched 1 2/3 innings last night. Makes a lot of sense considering the next three batters are all left-handed.
8:59 - Eyre ends the inning in five pitches by striking out Church and getting Murphy to ground into a double play.

9:03 - Burrell gets his first hit of the series (granted, it's two games, but Burrell had a ton of chances last night) as he hits a double over the head of Murphy. Howard follows with his second walk of the night.
9:17 - Brian Stokes is starting to warm up for the Mets as Victorino strikes out, Jayson Werth pops out, and Feliz strikes out to end the inning, stranding Burrell and Howard. Most likely, Santana's night is over, finishing with three runs in six innings and seven strikeouts.

TOP 7th
9:24 - Eyre logs a second inning by striking out Brian Schneider and pinch hitter Nick Evans. Then, Howard just barely had enough room at the foul wall to catch a Jose Reyes pop-up.

9:29 - Brian Stokes is in to pitch. Coste gets his first hit of the night and Eyre's night is over as Greg Dobbs comes in to pinch hit and Rudy Seanez starts to warm up in the bullpen. But... Dobbs hits into a double play. Rollins keeps the inning alive with his second walk of the night.
9:35 - As soon as Rollins got on base, it seemed evident that he would try for the steal. He does, and gets it. Apparently he's trying to catch up with rival Jose Reyes. With a 3-0 count to Utley, the Mets give him the last ball to put him on first and get Burrell at the plate.
9:38 - The Mets' plan works as Burrell grounds out to third to end the inning.

TOP 8th
9:44 - Rudy Seanez gets Castillo to ground out and strikes David Wright out on a great pitch. Now it's Carlos time. Lights Out Lidge is warming up in the bullpen.
9:46 - Carlos Part I hits a solo home run to tie the game. Could there be another extra inning game. In all fairness to Seanez, Delgado has been red hot lately. He's apparently determined to win this game single-handedly. On to Carlos Part II.
9:48 - Carlos Part II gets another squibber which Feliz can't quite barehand to first. Manuel decides to end Seanez' night and brings in Brad Lidge. Strange that he didn't bring him in when Delgado came to bat, but Seanez started off the inning so well, Manuel must have figured he'd get one of the two Carloses out and save Lidge. No pun intended.
9:52 - Coste doesn't even attempt a throw as Beltran steals second base. With first base open, they decide to walk Ryan Church and pitch to Daniel Murphy. Church has gotten on base twice tonight while Murphy hasn't had a hit in his last 16 at-bats.
9:54 - But, Murphy comes through in the clutch and rips a pitch down the right field line to score Beltran and give the Mets a 4-3 lead. The Phillies better be ready to hit next inning.
9:56 - Schneider hits a ball right behind Feliz as the Mets get two more runs to lead 6-3. Utley stops the bleeding by diving on a Damion Easley hit up the middle and tossing it to Rollins to get the out at second. Either way, Charlie Manuel looks pretty foolish right now for taking a chance in letting Seanez pitch to Delgado. The Phillies will have two more chances to redeem themselves.

10:00 - Pedro Feliciano is in to pitch and Endy Chavez comes in to play left field. Meanwhile, Drew Carpenter is warming up in the Phillies bullpen. Carpenter was brought up today, most likely in reaction to using every pitcher last night, and Andy Tracy was designated for assignment to make room for him.
10:02 - Chavez sprints in to get a high Ryan Howard pop up. David Wright follows that up by making a long throw to get Victorino out at first. The Phillies now bring in Joe Smith to pitch to Jayson Werth.
10:07 - Werth hits the first pitch directly to Reyes, who throws him out to end the inning. Jerry Manuel is being extra careful to make sure he gets this win. Maybe this is why Werth doesn't usually swing at the first pitch.

TOP 9th
10:10 - Drew Carpenter is brought in for his major league debut. He is greeted by giving up a single to Jose Reyes. Castillo bunts him over to second.
10:16 - Reyes moves over to third on a wild third strike to Wright. Coste does, however get Wright out at first. They don't even want to think about pitching to Delgado and intentionally walk him to face Beltran.
10:19 - Beltran flies out to end the inning. Carpenter has a shaky debut, but no damage is done. Last chance for the offense coming up.

10:21 - Luis Ayala, the Mets closer in Billy Wagner's absence, comes in to the save situation. He'll face Feliz, Coste, and Taguchi. Wouldn't be surprised if Bruntlett comes up for Taguchi. It takes only one pitch for him to get the first out as Feliz grounds out to short. Coste does likewise.
10:26 - And So Taguchi does exactly the same thing as he grounds out to short to end the game.

Coming into this two game series, it seemed unlikely that the Phillies would take both of the games with Santana pitching tonight. They were extremely lucky to get the win last night, which takes a little pain out of the loss tonight, but they had no excuse losing in the way they did. If Santana had a stellar game, that would have been one thing; he's Johan Santana, the Mets signed him to win big games like this. But the Phillies were able to get to Santana just enough and Kyle Kendrick, who had been struggling of late, kept the Mets offense in check and gave a solid outing. Scott Eyre even came in and pitched two innings. Well, really one inning as that first inning he pitched was one he took over from Kendrick and needed only five pitches to get out of. With a one run lead, Charlie Manuel should have been playing this game just as closely as Jerry Manuel did even after he had a three run lead. Rudy Seanez looked good against Castillo and Wright, but he's never had success against Delgado, and Delgado has been red hot lately. Brad Lidge could have handled a four out save and Charlie Manuel should not have taken that chance given the situation. Winning this game would have been huge for the Phillies, especially since it was against Johan Santana. Luckily, splitting the two game series puts the two teams right back where they started: neck and neck with each other. If the Phillies win tomorrow while the Mets have a day off, they would be tied for the division lead. The problem is that the Phillies are heading out to Chicago to face the best team in the National League if not all of baseball in the Cubs, while the Mets have to deal with the pesky Marlins. The momentum from winning this game could have helped the Phillies tremendously in the coming series. This was an extremely unfortunate loss for the Phillies which could have been prevented fairly easily.

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