Sweep Revenge! Phightin’ Phils Over .500 – Phillies Nation
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Sweep Revenge! Phightin’ Phils Over .500

Pat Burrell’s bases-clearing double off Colorado closer Manny Corpas swung the game completely around in the top of the ninth, giving the Phillies an 8-6 lead, which Brad Lidge nailed down. With yet another awesome comeback, the Phils have swept the Rockies and are now above .500 for the first time in 2008, at 11-10.

In 2007, the Phillies didn’t get over .500 until May 26.

Burrell’s three-run double capped a wild evening where the offenses kept punching back at each other. Chase Utley, while ending his home run streak, blasted a two-run double in the third inning. The Rockies came right back with doubles and a Matt Holliday homer. Down one, Jayson Werth hit his second homer in as many days. The Rockies grabbed two more thanks to a Garrett Atkins homer. Down two, Greg Dobbs singled home Pedro Feliz. That set up the ninth-inning drama.

So Taguchi led off the ninth with a single. Utley singled to center field, and with Taguchi heading to third base, Willy Taveras thoughtlessly threw the ball to third, allowing Utley to reach second. Ryan Howard was intentionally walked with first base open, loading the bases for Burrell. If I’m Rockies manager Clint Hurdle there, I pitch to Howard — why even give Burrell the chance with less than two outs when Howard isn’t even striking balls deep? Poor move.

Charlie Manuel made his own controversial move, leaving ace Brett Myers in the game for the seventh inning after a quick sixth. Garrett Atkins made Manuel pay for his decision. At the time I wasn’t very happy with the decision, but you have to give Myers confidence to go seven, even with mediocre stuff. That he was facing the meat of the Rockies lineup at Coors Field is just a tough factor that led to his six earned runs. His ERA is now at 4.78.

Ryan Madson toughed through the eighth and earned the win. Lidge looked phenomenal, working fast and striking out Clint Barmes en route to his fourth save.

Also, give credit to Jayson Werth, whose .300 average and fine power has been a fine substitute — heck, improvement — for Shane Victorino … and Greg Dobbs, who continues to come up with clutch pinch hit after clutch pinch hit. If there’s one thing we can say about Manuel, it’s that he knows how to use his bench.

All in all another great win for the Phils, who will travel to Milwaukee with Cole Hamels ready to go.

Associated Press photo

Here are some photos from the game:

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  1. Tim Malcolm

    April 23, 2008 at 12:26 am

    I thought about it — Sweep Revenge works. I wanted to say they came back again in the headline, but I think it works. 🙂

  2. Embassy

    April 23, 2008 at 1:10 am

    I’m beyond pissed I couldn’t watch this game, I left my portable TV at home not knowing the game would be on CW57.

  3. Bruce

    April 23, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Pat Burrell is having an incredible start adding 3 more RBIs to his total that now reads 22 RBIs (to go with his 7 HRs). I heard Chris Wheeler commented after Burrell’s clutch hit that his RBI total (22) tied a club record for the month of April. Von Hayes (of all people) is the other player with that RBI total for April. Both Burrell AND Utley (with 20 RBIs) can shatter the record before the month is over.

    On hindsight, yes, it was a bad move by Colorado’s manager, Clint Hurdle. However, I can understand why he made that move. With one out, you put a slow runner (Howard) on 1st, loading the bases. Then in a percentage move of righty vs righty; closer Corpas vs Burrell (another slow runner) there is a better chance for a double play. Especially with Corpas being a ground ball type pitcher with his sinker (think Kyle Kendrick). Fortunately, for the Phillies, Corpas has struggled so far this season with THREE blown saves in seven tries. In ALL of last season, he had just three blown saves to go with nineteen saves in 78 appearances plus an ERA of 2.08.

    Two more shutout innings by the Phillies’ bullpen which has been a pleasant surprise (for me) in the early going. I know the ERA for the bullpen is now below three. Can someone here give me the information as to where I can find updated ERA stats for a team’s bullpen on some website?

  4. Pingback: » Phillies Win Streak at 3 on Another Late Rally | Blogging-Baseball.com

  5. erik

    April 23, 2008 at 8:07 am

    this team is really starting to click.. it is going to be scary once jroll and howard return to their normal selves. really really scary for oppposing pitching staffs, i love it

  6. Tim Malcolm

    April 23, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I think we should remember three players are really giving us the consistent contributions: Utley, Burrell and Werth. Everyone else is really lying in the weeds. (Dobbs is an exception here. Maybe Coste.)

  7. chris.I

    April 23, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Tim I agree…I’m excited to see what Charlie does with Werth when Vic returns? I also don’t understand why Ruiz gets more time over Coste (besides the age factor here) Coste is much better behind the plate offense & deffense.

    The games were on TV (if you have comcast it just doesn’t say it on the guide) Lastnight it was on upn57, and the night before was on cn8. I guess with the Flyers, and Sixers both in the playoff’s at the same time, Comcast ran out of options.

  8. Vernon Dozier

    April 23, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I think it’s time for Howard to watch a few games from the bench. Sometimes that helps…he looks lost at the plate right now. (Maybe his agent will stop comparing him to Pujols & A-Rod, also.)

  9. Kelly

    April 23, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Burrell is doing great so far, we need him to keep it up. But it makes me nervous when Charlie substitutes him in late innings when the game is close. Although it worked out the other day…it is always good to have his bat in there in situations like that.

  10. Mike

    April 23, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    The Philliies are really impressing me so far this season. They have gotten incredible offense production from Bat Burrell and ChUtley.

    My big concern is Ryan Howard. He will definently come around to be his old self; one of the top power sluggers in the game. But right now I believe he needs to sit at least one game out. I would play Dobbs at first base in his place. IMHO, Ryan is way to far off of the plate. He is completely off balance on anything on the outer half of the plate. I just don’t get it. I know he likes to get his arms extended to get his power, but this is clearly not working. I was at the Mets games on Fri and Sun. It seemed to me that he did move slightly closer to the plate. If I were calling pitches against him, he would get a steady dose of outside breaking balls. He won’t touch them right now. One more point. The Howard Shift is so extreme towards right field that 3B is completely vacant. If I were Charlie, I would have him working hard at slap hitting to the enormous 3B hole. This may help his eye-hand coordination also. There is a lot of things going on with Ryan right now, but I can guarantee you that he will return to normal very shortly…….look out opposition, you are all going to be in trouble! Go Phillies!!!!!

  11. Geoff

    April 23, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Every pitcher in the league, well most of them, have Howard totally figured out now. everybody knows that youre out pitch for ryan howard is a breakling ball that tails low and away. he whiffs at that every time because of how far away he stands. good starters, as you can pretty much see, just sit him down in an embarrassing way. thats why he shouldnt be hitting cleanup now but if managers like clint hurdle will intentionally walk him to get to one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball then i guess they feel vindicated.

  12. Geoff

    April 23, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    werth is a solid player. really solid. hes pretty consistent and i think if he was a little more consistent when everyone is healthy then he wouldnt have to platoon. everyone in a while hell stop getting patient and swing at garbage but for the most part hes a patient hitter. like last year, i think that werth should be left in the lineup when vic comes back and vic will have to try and take his starting job back again. i dont know that they will do that but werth should be your man in center for the near future.

  13. Bruce

    April 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Tim Malcom: It’s great that the team is getting offensive support from key players who are having an outstanding start of a long season. Since a team effort, it’s also important to note how well the pitching has been. With all the preseason concerns for both starters AND bullpen, it’s almost astonishing that the Phillies’ starters currently have N.L. fifth best ERA of 3.72. Even MORE incredible, the Phillies’ bullpen have the BEST ERA today in the N.L. (2nd in the Majors) with a 2.76 ERA !!

    It’s frustating as to why the Phillies have a 11-10 record. One can point to inconsistent hitting with RISP (relying on the longball too often). The key injuries to MVP Rollins and Victorino (who had 5 hits in last three games before the injury) which took away aggressive speed on the basepaths and defense at their respective position. It compounded the team’s problems in situational hitting as noted above. Of course, Howard’s usual slow start in April didn’t help either. Unusually sloppy fielding (20 errors; 2nd worst in the N.L.) is not acceptable for a team that has excelled in that category last season.

    We hope and expect the team to improve when Rollins and Victorino come off the DL and Howard gets hot when the weather warms.

    GO Phillies!

  14. Don M

    April 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    $SO FAR… HOWARD is getting paid an alarming $333,333.33 per Strikeout…. Surely that amount will drop as his Strikeout totals inch closer and closer to 200, but still you have to admire the balls he has to laugh at the suggestion of a deal similar to that of Chase Utley’s new contract, and instead continue to insist that he is worth closer to $20 million per season… He’s a joke anymore, and they’ll have a tough time getting rid of him in a trade, while getting real value for him if he continues to strikeout. He’s the classic example of Risk/Reward at the plate, but he’s getting riskier by the inning..

  15. Greg

    April 23, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Why is everyone comparing Werth to Victorino and saying Werth should replace him? Hello?!!! who do we have in right? Jenkins?!! I thought the entire pick-up of Jenkins was to create a lefty/righty platoon in right? Dump the platoon and put Werth in right.
    Victorino adds WAY too much to this line-up with his speed and has proven time and time again to be clutch both defensively and offensively.

    As for Jenkins? He strikes out less than Howard despite his cartoon “three cuts at Bugs Bunny’s slowball” uppercut of a swing. Good job, buddy, so does everyone else in the league. I for one, can’t wait to get ShaneVic back patrolling the grounds in center and get one more situational-disaster hitter on the pine.

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