Wednesday, August 26, 2009

After J Rolling Early, Phils Fall In the Ninth

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Jimmy Rollins has been watching the nightly thunder being produced by his teammates Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, and apparently decided that he wouldn't mind taking some leisurely trots around the diamond himself. After sitting out most of the game Monday, last night he wasted no time jumping into action as he drove the first two pitches that he saw into the left field stands.

On the hill, starter Joe Blanton worked in and out of trouble all evening, yielding only 1 run on a Ryan Doumit home run over the first 5 innings.  Like Rollins with his fellow hitters, he seemed to take a page out of his teammate J.A. Happ's book by getting key strikeouts and harmless ground balls with runners perched on 2nd and 3rd. It eventually took its toll in the 6th, though, as he surrendered a 2-run homer to Steve Pearce on his 109th pitch, allowing the Pirates to take a 3-2 lead.

The Phils rebounded in the 9th, tying the score on back-to-back doubles by Carlos Ruiz and Ben Francisco with one out. After Rollins whiffed, Shane Victorino hit a rising liner to dead center, that was momentarily misjudged by rookie Andrew McCutcheon. It went over his head for a triple and gave them a 4-3 lead.

Charlie Manuel chose to bring Brad Lidge in to seal the victory for the fourth consecutive day. Lidge quickly got into trouble, allowing a single to Luis Cruz and followed with a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Brandon Moss lined a single to right, and after Jayson Werth bobbled the ball, the tying run scored. Next, McCutcheon stepped to the plate with redemption in mind, and quickly delivered by driving a game ending 2-run blast over the center field fence.

What started out on a high note with Rollins' two big flies, ended on a sour note with another Lidge blown save. Perhaps it was a matter of energy since Rollins was fresh from resting yesterday, while Lidge may have needed a day off today.

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