Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happ, Utley lead Phils to 'W'

J.A. Happ continued his rookie of the year candidacy, improving to 10-2 on the year with yet another impressive victory, defeating the Mets last night.

Happ didn't have his best stuff last night, but he made his way through eight scattered hits and held the Mets to one run over seven innings. He walked just two and had only one strikeout, but his only allowed run was largely due to a defensive lapse.

Omir Santos hit a grounder in the hole toward left with a runner at second in the second inning. Pedro Feliz dove and deflected the ball into left-center field, easily allowing the runner to score. Had Feliz let the ball go, Jimmy Rollins was in perfect position to field the ball and keep it in the infield, though it's unlikely he could have thrown Santos out. Still, in that situation, the ball has to be kept in the infield to prevent the runner from scoring in a tie game. Once Feliz decided to field the ball, he has to make the play and keep it in the infield, and should have done so. The ball deflected off his glove and way from Rollins on a play that should have been executed better.

Chase Utley came through in the sixth, after Tim Redding stifled the Phils' lineup over five shutout innings. Jerry Manuel lifted Redding heading into the sixth, and in a move that he will be criticized for, brought Pat Misch into the game. Misch promptly walked Shane Victorino and allowed the two-run homer to Utley, allowing the Phillies to take the lead as they eventually went on to win 4-1.

Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two batters. Hopefully, as we've been saying all season at any positive sign from Lidge, this gets him back on the right track.

Pedro Martinez starts against his former team today, against the wild and unpredictable Oliver Perez. A good outing from Pedro could put the team in excellent shape to take three of four from New York with Cliff Lee toeing the rubber in tomorrow's series finale.

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