Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Duel! Volquez outpitches Myers to lead Reds over Phillies

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
The Phillies wasted an amazing outing by Brett Myers, who held the Reds hitless through 6 and 2/3rds innings, and fell to Cincinnati 2-0. Reds starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was the story of Wednesday night's game.

3 UP:
1. Volquez dominates When an opposing pitcher is this good, he gets top billing. Edinson Volquez has taken the league by storm this season and the Phillies never had a chance tonight. Volquez pitched 7 innings and gave up only 2 hits and 2 walks and struck out 8 batters. For the 4th time this season, Volquez didn't give up an earned run and lowered his major league low ERA to 1.32, a number that dwarfs the next lowest ERA in the NL, Tim Lincecum's 2.23. Volquez also leads the majors in strikeouts with 91. With all the talk about how good Brandon Webb was at the beginning of the year, Volquez has to be the NL Cy Young with numbers like that. The Phillies offense never stood a chance.

2. Myers takes no-hitter into 7th You can't blame tonight's loss on Brett Myers. Despite some wildness (6 walks), Myers held up his end of the pitchers duel by not allowing a hit until the 7th inning. Of course, that hit came after Myers walked a batter, so his first hit allowed turned into his first run allowed:

Myers pitched 7 1/3rd innings in all and gave up only the one hit and struck out 8 batters. In his last two outings, Myers has now struck out 19 batters in 15 1/3rd innings. It's safe to say the Phillies have their ace back, at least for now.

3. Burrell walks twice On a night where very few Phillies managed to reach base (2 hits, 3 walks as a team), Pat Burrell walked twice. Yep, that's the best I can do.

3 Down
1. Howard....again! For the third day in a row, Ryan Howard finds his way onto the Down list. Yes, Howard managed a hit, one of only two on the night for the Phillies, but he also struck out twice and stranded 4 runners on base in a game where getting a single run could have made a huge difference. That's 6 strikeouts in his last three games.

2. Utley hitless I thought about giving Chase Utley a pass, but if he's the MVP, he should still manage to fare better than an 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. Of course, Utley, being The Man that he is, still managed to get on base via a hit by pitch in the 5th inning, but one of his patented homers would have been nice.

3. Phillips kills a rally The Phillies had one of their few rallies going in the second inning when Pedro Feliz was robbed by Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips:

You'll definitely see that catch on SportsCenter's Top Plays.

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