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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Brewers Beat Phils, Add Some Whine

Jamie Moyer couldn’t give the Phillies a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, getting into a high pitch count in the first inning in which he gave up two runs. Ultimately, the Phils only gave up four runs, but once again the offense got very little going and scored just one (official) run.

A second run was taken off the board in the ninth when the Milwaukee manager Dale Sveum complained that Shane Victorino got in the way on a double-play with the bases loaded and no outs. Ryan Howard, who scored on the play, was sent back to third, and Jason Werth was returned to second base. Carlos Ruiz made it a mute point, making the third out moments later. I’m certainly not a rules expert, but how sending runners back a base makes sense is beyond me and something I’ve never seen before. Besides, aren’t runners supposed to try to break-up double-plays? All Victorino did was not get out of the way.

The real problem, though, is the Phils offense. They haven’t scored in more than one inning in each game of the series yet. Chase Utley got just his second hit of the series tonight, and failed in a potentially key spot in the ninth. In the wrong way, he’s backing up my (admittedly not unique) assertion that he makes this offense go. According to the box score the Phillies left six runners in scoring position – it certainly felt like more. On a positive note, Howard and Werth each went 2-for-4.

The offense needs to come alive tomorrow to avoid a deciding game against CC Sabathia, on full rest, Tuesday. No Phillies fan wants that. Joe Blanton is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies in Game 4, with Jeff Suppan, a guy Philadelphia beat twice this year, going for the Brewers. I heard talk of starting Cole Hamels if this game was necessary, but Blanton’s only given up 1, 2, and 3 runs in his last three starts, respectively.

Another key reason the Phils want to end it tomorrow: the Dodgers are up 2-0 in the fifth as I type, and could sweep the Cubs. (Wow . . . believe in jinxes, yet?) Both A.L. series can also end in sweeps, shockingly with the Angels getting ousted.

The Philadelphia dilemma: The Phillies and the Eagles play at the same time tomorrow. So . . . who ya watching? Devoid of picture-in-picture, I’m thinking the Eagles are my main game with plenty of flippin’ channels.

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