Veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer nearly became the first Phillies starter to complete a game in 2007, taking a 2 hit shutout into the 9th inning as the Phils scored single runs in the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th innings, just enough to beat the Washington Nationals by a 4-2 score to split their short two game series.
Winning pitcher Moyer, who retired the side in order in 4 of the 8 full innings he pitched, went into the 9th inning with a 2 hit shutout having spread out 3 walks and was never in any trouble until the 9th inning. In fact, he only faced 3 hitters in the 6th inning as well, walking 1 with one out in the inning and then getting a doubleplay ball to end the inning. Moyer, who won his 2nd game against 1 loss, gave up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out 4 for the game.
And the enemic Phils offense scored a run in the 1st inning on rightfielder Shane Victorino’s RBI single, in the 2nd on centerfielder Aaron Rowand’s solo homer to leftfield, his first homer of the season. Their 3rd run came as 3rd baseman Wes Helms drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield in the 5th inning. All 3 runs were charged to Nationals starter John Patterson who went 4 innings and was charged with the loss, his third of the season.
Struggling slugger 1st baseman Ryan Howard sat out the game nursing the sprained ligament that connects the tibia to the fibia just below his left knee. The Phils list him as day-to-day and GM Pat Gillick “didn’t think Howard would have to go on the disabled list.”
Yahoo sport’s AP report provides game highlights;
John Patterson (0-3) gave up a leadoff double to Jimmy Rollins, then Shane Victorino’s RBI single — meaning Philadelphia went ahead 1-0 by coming through in its initial situation with a runner in scoring position. But the club had its problems in the clutch later. A runner was thrown out at the plate ending the fourth, and runners were stranded on third in the fifth and sixth innings.
Washington, meanwhile, was set down in order by Moyer in the bottom half of the first inning. The Nationals became the first NL team to go through the first 16 games of a season without scoring in the first inning since the 1979 St. Louis Cardinals did it for the opening 17 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Rowand’s solo shot leading off the second made it 2-0, and the Phillies tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Patterson was supposed to be Washington’s top starter — he was the only pitcher who entered spring training with a spot in the rotation guaranteed — but the Nationals have lost all four of his starts in 2007.
He allowed three runs, seven hits and four walks over four-plus innings Thursday, which actually dropped his ERA slightly, to 7.00.
Things got a bit dicey for Moyer in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Moyer began the inning by giving up a leadoff double to center by 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Then 1st baseman Dmitri Young followed with a double to left scoring Zimmerman. Moyer was removed with none out for closer Tom Gordon and has been the case lately, Gordon made the situation even more dicey.
First, rightfielder Austin Kearns was plunked by a pitch — runners on 1st and 2nd base. Then centerfielder Ryan Church dropped a single to left, just in front of late inning defensive replacement Michael Bourne to load the sacks — still none out. Bourne held all of the runners with a rocket throw back to the infield. Pinch hitter Robert Fick drove in the 2nd Washington run with a sacrifice fly to left centerfield. Then pinch hitter Brian Schneider grounded out to first base for the second out leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd. Gordon then struck out leftfielder Chris Snelling to end the game. For Gordon, it was his 3rd save of the season.
For all of the boxscores and recaps on all Thursday games, click here.
The Phils head for Cincinnati for a 3 game series with the Reds from Friday through Sunday as they try to put some wins together. On Friday, Jon Lieber, who was just placed back in the starting rotation, will make his season debut as a starter vs Kyle Lohse. On Saturday, two southpaws face each other as youngster Cole Hamels opposes Eric Milton. On Sunday, Freddy Garcia duels Matt Belisle.