Saturday, August 16, 2008

Despite lack of offense, Moyer's gem helps Phillies break four game losing streak

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
The Phillies finally found a team that is more inept with the bats than they have been lately and the bullpen actually held on to a lead as the Phillies beat the Padres 1-0. Two oldies but goodies, Jamie Moyer and Greg Maddux, put on a clinic on how to get batters out without throwing 90 miles an hour. Moyer allowed only 3 hits in 7 shutout innings while Maddux allowed just one run in his 7 innings on a Pat Burrell homer in the 7th. The Phillie bullpen, which welcomed Brad Lidge back, finally managed to close out a game, with Lidge earning his 29th save of the season.

The story of the night was definitely Moyer, who looked brilliant. He never really got into any trouble until the 7th inning when he allowed two runners to get on base, but he pitched his way out of any real problems. Moyer has been quietly consistent this season, with tonight's game being his 13th straight start allowing no more than 3 earned runs.

After getting swept by the Dodgers in a four game series, the pitiful Padres were a welcome sight on the schedule. The Padres have a terrible offense that averages less than 4 runs per game so the Phillie starting pitchers, who have actually pitched quite well recently, should have no problem continuing to shut San Diego down.

The Phillie offense is another story. When you look at the statistics, the Phillies have one of the best offenses in the National League. They are 5th in runs scored and have three hitters in the top ten in home runs and two in the top eight in RBIs. Yet they continue to struggle putting runs on the board. They are a feast or famine offense, putting up runs in bunches when they manage to get the ball out of the park. They are maddeningly inconsistent from one game to the next, and even from one inning to the next. Take Wednesday's game against the Dodgers as an example. The Phillies scored 6 runs in the first two innings on a trio of 2-run homers only to get shut out for the remaining 7 innings and lose the game in the bottom of the 9th. The Phillies average close to 5 runs per game, but there are too many instances where they put up 10 runs in a game and then only 2 the following night. Against the Dodgers they did well to score 6 runs in a pair of games, but when they really needed that extra run or that big hit to get back into the game, the offense continually came up short.

Oh well, take tonight's victory as a step in the right direction, a bounce back game after a terrible series in Los Angeles. The Phillies needed a team like the Padres to re-build some of their confidence; hopefully the bats can come alive in the next two games. With the first place Mets playing the crappy Pirates, the Phillies will need to sweep the Padres to keep up. Of course, with the Washington Nationals coming up next on the schedule for the Phils, there will are plenty more confidence-building games on the horizon.


Anonymous said...

When they get the Dodgers again we'll find out if this team has any guts.

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