Lieber, who recently rejoined the starting rotation in a swap with Brett Myers who is now set-up man, and 4 relievers 1 hit the Reds for 8 Innings. But then closer Tom Gordon blew another save opportunity and then lost the game as the Phils lost to the Reds in 10 innings on Friday by a 2-1 score.
In the meantime, the New York Mets, preoccupied with all of the media hype about catcher Paul Lo Duca’s off-field extra-curricular activities, bowed to the Atlanta Braves by a 7-3 score as Tim Hudson bested Mike Pelfrey. The Mets did come back to knot their series at 1-1 with a 7-2 win in a Saturday afternoon game.
For 4 innings Lieber and Lohse threw zeros before the Phils broke through to score as catcher Carlos Ruiz scored on two errors in the 5th.
Ruiz singled to open the fifth, and Lieber hit a grounder that deflected off Hatteberg at first base for an error. Phillips, playing second base, retrieved the ball in shallow right field and made a wild throw toward the infield, allowing Ruiz to score.
Lieber went into the 6th inning having given up only a leadoff double in the 3rd inning and a 2 out walk in the 4th inning.
In the Cincinnati 6th inning, after pitcher Lohse grounded out, centerfielder Ryan Freel got on through 3rd baseman Abraham Nunez’s error, with Freel going to 2nd base on the play. Lieber then struck out leftfielder Adam Dunn.
Manager Charlie Manuel nearly strategized the Phils out of the game at this point.
Enter Geoff Geary to walk second baseman Brandon Phillips. Phillips rpomptly stole second with Freel going to 3rd on the play. Enter lefthander Matt Smith to pitch to lefthanded rightfielder Josh Hamilton. Smith, who’s appearances have been awful so far this season, walks Hamilton to load the bases. Finally, Manuel brings in Antonio Alfonseca to get 3rd baseman Edwin Encarnacion, on a fielders choice with Hamilton out at second base, to end the inning.
The Phils continued to miss the meat of their order. 2nd baseman Chase Utley continued his cold spell going hitless and they miss struggling slugger 1st baseman Ryan Howard’s bat in cleanup as he nurses his leg injury. The entire offense continues suffering enemia.
Cincinnati starter Lohse pitched well although not involved in the final decision. He pitched 7 innings giving up the 1 unearned run on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. Lieber, in 5 2/3 innings gave up 1 hit, while walking 1 and striking out 5.
Alphonseca pitched a perfect 7th inning and Brett Myers only surrendered a 2 out walk in the 8th. The Cincinnati bullpen only gave up 1 hit to the Phils the rest of the way as lefthander Jon Coutlangus emerged as the winner having pitched a perfect 10th inning.
In the meantime, closer Gordon got the 1st two outs in the 9th inning before surrendering the tying run, a solo homer by Scott Hatteberg who erred as the Phils scored their lone run in the 5th inning.
Inquirer Staff Writer Todd Zolecki describes the scene during Gordon’s 1 1/3 innings;
Gordon had been up three times in the bullpen in Wednesday’s 13-inning loss in Washington before throwing 23 pitches in Thursday’s victory over the Nationals. But he said he felt fine as he stepped onto the mound in the ninth. In fact, he retired the first two batters he faced before Hatteberg went deep.
“I caught Flash,” said Hatteberg, who was 1 for 8 lifetime against him. “I kind of have an idea of what he’s going to do.”
In the 10th, Gordon walked Javier Valentin with one out, allowed a single to Ryan Freel, and walked Adam Dunn to load the bases before Phillips knocked in the winning run with a single through a drawn-in infield. Gordon might not have pitched the 10th, but Manuel had only Ryan Madson and Francisco Rosario left in the bullpen, and Manuel said Madson wasn’t available.
He chose to go with Gordon over Rosario.
For all of the boxscores and recaps on all Friday’s games, click here.