In yet another lame showing, the Phillies fell to the Pirates, 6-4, dropping three of four in the series.
LEE BLOWS LEAD, BULLPEN STRUGGLES
-Even the great Cliff Lee is not immune to the virus spreading through this team. With a two run lead in the seventh, Lee gave up back-to-back singles to center field, the first to Gaby Sanchez – who also homered to put the Pirates on the board – and then Michael McKenry, tying the game at 3-3. After seven innings and 122 pitches, Lee fanned seven, allowed 10 hits, three runs, and one walk.
-With the score tied in the eighth, Phillippe Aumont was summoned from the bullpen and did the chic thing – give up runs. Aumont allowed three runs on three hits in just 1/3 of an inning before being pulled in favor of Chad Durbin.
-Consider me someone who has been a believer in Aumont. With his power arm, he seemed destined to become a very good major league relief pitcher. Instead, he has a WHIP of 1.95 in just 6 2/3 innings this season. That won’t cut it. The Phillies need pitchers they can rely on and right now Aumont is not one.
-Nor is Durbin, who came in and allowed one inherited runner to score. He also allowed two moon-shot foul balls to Pedro Alvarez before finally retiring him on a hard hit ball to center. This bullpen is completely bi-polar. Durbin has made 7 appearances this season, and has either allowed an earned run or inherited runner(s) to score in 6.
OFFENSE SPUTTERS AGAIN
-Domonic Brown knocked in two of the three Phillies runs, the first on a bloop double to center field. Nice to see him running hard on a ball that landed in no-mans land and stretch it into a double. Brown brought home a second run on a bullet sac fly to center field. He would double for a second time in the ninth, finishing 2-for-3.
-Jimmy Rollins finished 0-for-3 and his average dropped to .258 in the process. After such a hot start, Rollins seems to be leveling off. Ryan Howard raised his average to .284, but is still putting up some nasty-looking at-bats.
-Kevin Frandsen got a start for Michael Young at third base and reached base twice in four PA’s.
-Odd moment: After Frandsen’s eighth inning double, Chase Utley bunted him to third with no outs. The Phillies best hitter should not be bunting under any circumstances, ever. Ever. Utley also
committed his fifth error of the season dropped what looked like a routine line drive in the ninth. While he is hitting, his fielding is suspect, which is very un-Utley-like.
-I’m actually happy to see Charlie Manuel get ejected. After an odd play in which Erik Kratz was interfered with at home plate by Clint Barmes, Manuel came out and argued until he could argue no more. That’s as much fire as we’ve seen from this team in quite a while.