Thursday, August 25, 2011

Phils drop finale to Mets

The Phillies were unable to complete the sweep over the Mets yesterday, dropping the finale 7-4.

Kyle Kendrick was hurt in the first inning. First, by Michael Martinez booting a double-play ball which would have left the bases cleared with two outs. Second, by Nick Evans' three-run shot.

Kendrick fell to 7-6, lasting just four innings and allowing six runs (two earned) on seven hits, one walk and one strikeout.

David Wright also took KK deep, with a solo shot to right in the third.

Shane Victorino drove in two more runs for the Phils from the leadoff spot, while Chase Utley and Hunter Pence each tacked on an RBI.

Now let me just say this: Mike Pelfrey is a clown. The Phils have hit him very well in the past, and they've also had some problems with him on the field. He tried to start something again yesterday.

On a harmless play, with no on on base, he threw inside to Placido Polanco. Everything looked normal, until Pelfrey started barking at Polly, apparently upset that he was trying to let the ball hit him.

First of all, that's baseball. The Phillies just lost a game when Brad Lidge hit a batter with the bases loaded on about a 35 MPH slider that took 25 seconds to reach home plate. The batter could have easily moved, but he leaned in and let it hit him. Umpires very rarely call the rule of a batter not making an attempt to get out of the way. Until they do, batters will keep doing this.

Second of all, Polanco was just stepping into the ball, and did appear to move his elbow guard out of the way at the last second. But that's neither here nor there. If you don't want to hit him, don't throw it close to him. Batters don't instantly move out of the way, because pitches tail back toward the plate. Even the Mets' catcher appeared to disagree with his pitcher's reaction and handled the situation very well. He immediately talked to Polanco, calming him down before anything escalated, and then went out to talk to Pelfrey. Nice job Josh Thole. The last thing the Phils need is another benches clearing incident, resulting in suspensions and possible injuries.

After a day off, the Phils will open a three-game set with the Marlins. Well, maybe. The northeast is supposed to get slammed by hurricane Irene, getting hit hardest on Sunday. Down in Florida, the Reds and Marlins cancelled their game today, and played a doubleheader yesterday. The Phils may want to do the same and play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. If they don't, this will be a two-game series.

The Phillies are 9-3 against Florida this season, outscoring them 64-30. Roy Oswalt (6-7, 3.51) is set to take the ball in the opener against reliever turned starter Clay Hensley (1-5. 5.47).

Oswalt is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA since returning from the DL. He threw eight shutout innings against Washington in his last outing. He faced Florida back in April, picking up a no decision after throwing six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, one walk and six strikeouts.

Hensley is 0-1 with a 7.80 ERA in his last three starts. He threw two-thirds of an inning in relief against the Phils in April. He's 1-1 with a 2.94 ERA in his career against Philly.

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