Yesterday, the Phillies lost a heartbreaker. Cliff Lee was stellar in a compete game shut out loss. The only run that Cliff Lee gave up with a solo home run to Evan Gattis that barely went out. In the game, Lee struck out 13 bats and lowered his season ERA to 4.00.
Today, the Phillies sent A.J. Burnett to the hill. Burnett has not yet found his groove going into day. It has helped that he is pitching with a hernia in his groin. During this week’s bullpen, Burnett shortened his drive to the plate to help with control and to put less stress on his groin. On the season going into today, Burnett was 0-1 with 3.94 ERA in 16 innings.
Burnett was opposed by Braves sophomore starter, Alex Wood. Wood has been stellar this season with 1.89 ERA in three starts going 2-1 on the season. In his rookie season, Wood was 3-3 with a 3.13 ERA in 11 starts.
The Game: The Phillies started the bottom of the first with an early threat, but unfortunately Freddie Freeman made incredible jumping catch off Jimmy Rollins allowing him to double up Ben Revere who led of the inning with a single. 0-0 Tie
A pitchers duel continued until the top of the fifth, but Andrelton Simmons led off with a single to center. Gerald Laird struck out for the first out, but Simmons tried to take second base of steal. Simmons was call safe, but the replay showed he slide off the bag and Jimmy Rollins got him with the tag trying to get back to the bag. Manager Ryno Sandberg challenged the call, the Umpires reversed the call and Simmons was out for the second out. Burnett struck out Alex Wood to end the inning. 0-0 Tie
In the seventh inning, with one out, Ben Revere made an incredible catch off a soft liner off the bat of Dan Uggla. That play helped the Phillies to in control of the game. 0-0 Tie
In the top of the eighth, Antonio Bastardo came into the game in relief of A.J. Burnett. After allowing a lead of double to Gerald Laird, Alex Wood came up to the plate. Wood was coming on to bunt Laird to third, but couldn’t get the bunt down and struck out. That saved a run for the Phillies since Jason Heyward lined out to Marlon Byrd next, which would have gave him a sac fly. Bastardo ended the threat by getting B.J. Upton to pop out. In the bottom of the inning, Domonic Brown led off with a single. Wil Nieves, who caught for Ruiz today, sac bunted Brown to second. With one out, Ryan Howard pinched hit for Bastardo. Howard had an excellent at bat and worked a walk. He was pinch run for with Cody Asche. Ben Revere then came up in the clutch with a single to center to score Brown. That was his third hit of the game. 1-0 Phillies
Jonathan Papelbon came into close out the game. He got the first out with a fly out to Ben Revere off Freddie Freeman. Then struck out Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to get the save.
Notable Offensive Performances:
Ben Revere: 3-4 RBI
Chase Utley: 2-3
Domonic Brown 1-3 R
Ryan Howard 0-0 BB
Impact: The Phillies avoided the sweep with stellar outing by A.J. Burnett. This is now two games in a row in which the Phillies starters went at least seven innings. Thats important so the bullpen is not over worked. Also, Jonathan Papelbon has consistantly looked better out the pen and his fastball is now sitting 92-93 mph instead 89-90 like when he blew the save to the Rangers.
Up Next: The Phillies will fly out west tonight as they face the Colorado Rockies this weekend. Jonathan Pettibone this may be his last start before he is sent back to AAA. Cole Hamels is on the verge of coming back and could return in the Dodgers series early next week. In Pettibone’s last start he went five innings and only gave up one earned run and struck out five batters. The Rockies will counter with Tyler Chatwood. In one start, Chatwood is 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA in six innings.
PS. LETS GO FLYERS TONIGHT AS THEY FACE THE RANGERS IN GAME 1 OF THE PLAYOFFS. Follow Flyerdelphia for the lastest Flyers Info.
Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Ashipotofsky