Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dodgers rally against Lidge, end Phils' streak

Last night's loss to the Dodgers was a brutal one. The Phillies had no business losing that game, and blew it in a very uncharacteristic fashion. Despite eleven runners left on base, the Phils appeared to be well on their way to their eight straight victory.

The Dodgers were down to their last strike before rallying against Brad Lidge, with a single, walk and rare error by sure-handed third baseman Pedro Feliz. Andre Eithier finished the rally with a walk-off, two-run double.

The team consistently failed to bring in runners throughout the game. They had chance after chance to add some insurance runs to pad the lead but failed to do so, setting themselves up for defeat. Still, Lidge needs to get that final out to end the game. Sure, Feliz made an error, but retiring Casey Blake, James Loney or Andre Eithier would have ended the game.

Unfortunately, Jamie Moyer's great start was wasted; he allowed just two runs over seven innings. Eric Bruntlett should have made that catch in the seventh and prevented the Dodgers' second run from scoring. He's done a fine job, but he's not an outfielder. He can't be blamed for not making a play at a position he's not familiar with. The Phillies only have one back-up outfielder, Matt Stairs, and he's not exactly Mr. Defensive replacement.

The Phillies are short handed offensively, with just a four man bench. With Victorino sitting out, the bench is down to three. One of the three left handed arms in the bullpen should be moved, allowing the Phillies to add another outfielder to the roster. With the return of J.C. Romero, Jack Taschner's role on the team is minuscule. John Mayberry Jr. would be more valuable to this team than a third left handed relief pitcher.

Joe Blanton looks to get the team back on track in L.A. this afternoon. The starting pitching has been phenomenal lately, and Blanton has been pitching much better. If the trend continues, look for the Phillies to start another winning streak starting today.

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