Thursday, August 28, 2003


*shakes his head in disgust*

Well, one positive that I can take out of last night's game is that the offense isn't backing down. Trailing 6-1 in the seventh, the Phillies fought back for five runs -- including a Marlon Byrd grand slam -- to tie the game at 6. The unfortunate part is that there were 8 other innings to play.

The pitching staff again failed the Phillies. Brett Myers lasted only five innings last night, giving up five runs on ten hits. He walked three while striking out only two. Control has been a major issue for Myers in the last few weeks. From his start against Atlanta oin June 17th through his victory over Colorado on August 5th -- a span of 10 starts in which he went 6-0 -- Myers walked only 14 batters. In the four starts since: 14 free passes. I think we may have identified a small problem. His lack of control is leading to high pitch counts in minimal innings. In these last four starts, he has thrown 384 pitches in 21 innings -- an average of 96 innings in less than 5 1/3 innings per start. Not good numbers...

Still, the offense found a way out of the hole that Myers dug. The five-run inning featured big hits and timely hitting, something the Phillies have sorely lacked lately. After leaving 17 men on base in the first two games of the series, the Phillies left but two men on last night. In the seventh, anyone who got in, came in to score. Pat Burrell had a run-scoring double, and a baserunner later, Byrd cleared all of the bases. Yet, the Phillies still had to turn the game over to the bullpen.

Dan Plesac finally got an out this week -- two of them, in fact -- but he also allowed three baserunners. Two hits and a walk later, and the eventual winning run crossed home plate. Turk Wendell came on to relieve Plesac, but to no avail. Wendell threw just 1/3 of an inning and allowed two runs...without giving up a hit or a walk! After getting Orlando Cabrera to fly out to end the bottom of the 7th, Wendell plunked Jose Vidro and Vlad Guerrero to start the 8th. Both runners came home two outs later on a Brian Schneider ground-rule double. 9-6. Drive home safely.

On the bright side, Jose Mesa didn't pitch again.

Series finale this afternoon, 1:05. Then the team moves on to New York, and the last three games of this ugly, ugly road trip.


In other news...

A few bullpen moves were made yesterday: Terry Adams was placed on the 15-day DL with what I heard described as a strained oblique muscle. Adams evidently injured himself in Tuesday night's game; Brandon Duckworth was called up to take his place on the roster. With Amaury Telemaco still scheduled to start tonight, that would leave Duckworth relegated to the bullpen unless Larry Bowa plans on going with six starters for a small stretch to give his starting arms a little extra rest.

The other bullpen move was putting Mike Williams on the bereavement list. In his short absense, the Phils called up P Geoff Geary, who threw one inning last night, giving up a run on a hit and a pair of walks.


By the way, that's 35 runs allowed in three games in Canada. With the current conversion rate, those 35 runs translate into just shy of 25 US runs.

That's still pretty sad...