Utley, Eaton Dust Off Rockies – Phillies Nation

Utley, Eaton Dust Off Rockies

The Phillies took care of the team that swept them out of the 2007 playoffs with a clean 5-0 sweep in 2008. Tonight it was the end of a 3-0 home sweep, with Adam Eaton throwing a good six innings for his first win, and Chase Utley guiding the offense with his Major League-leading 17th home run. The 6-1 win puts the Phils at a season-high seven games over .500 and 0.5 games back of the first place Marlins, who lost to the Mets, 7-6, in 12 innings.

Eaton allowed just four hits and a walk in his six innings. He struggled a bit in the third inning, surrendering a run, but bad Rockies baserunning took away the greater threat. Eaton threw 98 pitches and looked comfortable, attacking hitters with fastball strikes and dizzying breaking balls. Give the man credit — he went after an inexperienced Rockies lineup, and like Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick before him, never let up.

Then there’s Utley, who continues to demonstrate why he’s the top National League vote-getter for the All-Star Game. His mammoth upper deck home run in the sixth was the winning shot and the decisive blow off a weary Greg Reynolds. The Rockies’ rookie pitcher walked eight but tiptoed out of trouble throughout the game. His bad control finally caught up to him with Utley damning him handsomely. And as has been the case since his return from injury, Shane Victorino set the tone. He was on base 80 percent of the time tonight (three hits, a walk), stole two bases and scored two runs. He’s now hitting .291 and generally causing menace whenever he reaches base.

Geoff Jenkins supplied two runs via a moonshot to right field in the sixth, his fourth of the season. He’s now hitting .290 — since May 17 he’s raised his average 35 points. Clearly Victorino and Jenkins are responding as they get more time to play.

The bullpen had another night of mop-up work, with Ryan Madson ducking out of trouble in 1.1 innings, JC Romero cleaning up the eighth and Chad Durbin finishing it off for an inning.

There’s nothing like putting a team away for the season, forgetting all about them and knowing you owned them when you played them. Sure the Rox were missing a few key players (Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe, etc.), but a team is a team and wins are wins. Eaton has another good start to build on. The offense can take a short rest after their four-game high-scoring streak. The bullpen got plenty of necessary rest. Now, breathe, and get ready for the year’s biggest test yet: The first-place Florida Marlins.

Associated Press photo

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  1. Greg V.

    May 29, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Seriously! Did Adam Eaton get the Ashburn award because this is most likely the only time he’ll ever be eligable for it? Though I do not let good work go without notice and Eaton did get the job done tonight!

  2. The Geico Caveman

    May 29, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Could Tim Malcolm please find out why Jimmy Rollins is playing my theme music before he bats?

  3. Tim Malcolm

    May 29, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Caveman: He said he really likes the song (addicted to it through the commercial), so that’s what it is now. No real explanation. I do think it is hilarious that’s what you hear when he steps up to the plate.

  4. Mark

    May 29, 2008 at 3:20 am

    Good that we swept the Rockies. The day off will do them good before the BIG series with Florida. Also good that the Mets did us a favor taking a couple from the Marlins.

  5. Don M

    May 29, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Lots of credit going to the top of the order… You need to have guys on base for the others to knock them in. I was at the game on Tuesday night… and you could actually see that Rollins and Victorino are almost able to steal at will… having Davey Lopes back at first base helps this team a ton, Victorino had 4 stolen bases, and scored 7 runs in these past 3 games vs the Rockies.

    Eaton pitched well… time to stay hot, and jump on the Marlins.. Myers needs to be big because the Marlins are very good at the plate, and can get all over his fastball if he doesn’t locate it. Then we have the Reds come in and we seem to always play them close…. time for an 8-2 home stand boys!!

  6. Mike

    May 29, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Our Phillies are Rollin’. The series against the Fish should be very interesting. Two apparently very good teams going head to head – love it! I am going to the games Friday, Sunday and Thursday (Reds – BPS). Friday should prove to be a pivital night for Brett Myers. I he gets hammered, I would remove him from the rotation for a while and give Durbin or Madson a go. Also, at this point, although Ruiz is a fine defensive catcher, Coste would start for me as much as he can physically handle it. The guy is an offensive powerhouse. No one can argue his consistency. With Coste in the line up the Phillies are a nightmare to opposing pithing.

    Go Phillies!!!!!

  7. Mike T.

    May 29, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I’ll have to admit, I am impressed with the sweep. However, the Rockies have such a depleted lineup, and their pitching is just not there this year. But a sweep is a sweep, and I’ll take it.

    I also believe that the Marlins are a fraud. I can’t wait for this series.

  8. Lewisauce

    May 29, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Agreed: this game is pivotal for Myers. The rest of the staff had the benefit of getting their collective confidence (Eaton, Kendrick) up against a weak Colorado team. And while I agree that the Fish are frauds, they’re playing hot, and even an imposter is dangerous when legitimately hot.

    I hate to phrase it like this, but I kinda look at Friday as a serious test for Myers, and possibly as the most important game of this homestand. Hamels will give us a chance to win Saturday, but the real “momentum” game is Friday. It will set the mental tone for the six games following it. I hope he can turn it around and produce a quality start.

  9. Brian Michael

    May 29, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Yes, that is exactly why Eaton got the Ashburn Award today. It was his first win of the season and not a bad showing at all.

    But it’s also partly because we now expect Chase to do something amazing every night….a 3-run bomb is becoming routine!

  10. Lake Fred

    May 29, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I didn’t realize this was a season sweep. Sweet! I hate the Rox. I will until the day I die….and maybe into the great beyond.

    I don’t get the NL imbalanced schedule. We only played the Rox 2 games on the road? That may explain why we played 4 games in Houston this past weekend. It’s not fair. We played an extra game against a good Astros team in exchange for giving up a game against a hapless Rockies team. It’s not fair.

  11. Don M

    May 29, 2008 at 11:17 am

    They need to balance the schedule out more… we play the Nationals, Marlins, Braves, and Mets… 19 times each…. 76 games!… almost half of your schedule is against your own division. Yet we only play the Pirates 6 times..the Cardinals, Cubs.etc… I’d love to see what each team could do against the rest of baseball, not just against their own division each season.

    Interleague play was cool at first, but on rivalry weekend… we played the Blue Jays, while the Brewers were at the Red Sox???? How the hell does that one work? I understand the Nats-O’s, Yanks-Mets, but then wouldn’t it be logical for us to play Boston that weekend.. OR if they are going with the NL-NL for a series, let us play the Pirates… instead we had K.C. at Florida… and all kinds of other nonsensical mathcups…

    Interleague play and inter-division play need to become more of a factor… I would to go see San Diego, or LA… but if your plans don’t match their once-a-season trip, you are out of luck.

    Chicago Cubs series happens to be over Labor Day weekend, so i’m heading out there… thats about the only thing I like about this year’s schedule.

  12. Bruce

    May 29, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I have no problem with the current schedule against “your own division”. It is as it should be; to have as many key and IMPORTANT series throughout the season against teams in your division and enhancing the rivalries that fans enjoy. BTW, I’m not so sure Manuel would like his team to play a dominant team like the Red Sox (chuckle). Only the fans and the owners eyeing $$$$ would love it.

    A quote on Myers from his pitching coach, Rich Dubee who doesn’t think the right-hander is that far from coming out of it:

    “I think he’s close,” Dubee said. “I think three good innings might do it. That’s how fast he could get out of this. This game is built on momentum.”

    Right now, Myers’ problem is locaton, location, LOCATION! He needs better command of his pitches and a solid outing tomorrow will give him all the confidence he needs. I believe there is no deadline (as some posters here wants) by management for immediate improvement from Myers. They know that hitters AND pitchers (with proven success in the past) can have “slumps” and therefore patience is a requirement. And to Manual’s credit, he has that (with Burrell last year and Victorino, Howard and Eaton this season)

    31-24 and just a half game out. Let’s go Phillies!

  13. chrism

    May 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    don m its gillicks fault like everything else…lol

  14. Kwasi

    May 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    The schedule needs to be more balanced like it was back in the days of the mid 1990s. It stinks we only play the Cubbies and Pirates two or three times a year. And it would help our playoff chances tremendously. No one in our division is a walk over this year, except maybe the Nats, but they give us trouble. I would rather have more games against the Pads, Pirates, Reds, etc then with the Braves and Mets. I don’t want the easy road, but if the schedule were balanced we might make the playoffs more often.

  15. Kwasi

    May 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I read the other day that the Twins, if they go down in flames, will shop Livan. The Phils need to make a serious run at that guy. He would look great in the 3 hole and bump down Moyer and Kendrick. Or, he could even take over the #2 if/when Myers goes out and Hamels moves up.

    I think we have some good players to trade to the Twins.

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