Charlie Manuel was the pre-game story yesterday as he drastically changed the lineup on his V-8 Machine. While the Phillies still struggled with runners on base, the slump, streak, nose-dive, decline–whatever you want to call it–came to an end.
The game story belonged to Kyle Kendrick and Chase Utley. Kyle dominated the A’s for eight innings, throwing 71 strikes out of 113 pitches. He demonstrated what command can do, especially pitching inside to a lineup dominated by left-handed hitters. Going into the game, LH hitters were batting .328 against him.
Utley broke out of his mixup with a four-hit game–single, double, triple, single in that order. When asked how worried he was over Utley’s recent struggles, Manuel said, with a grin, “I was scared to death,” as Todd Zolecki reported in this morning’s Inquirer.
Eric Bruntlett, Mr. Versatile, made his first start at first base last night. He borrowed Rich Dubee’s first baseman’s mitt. Frank Coppenbarger, he of equipment fame, needs to order Eric’s own glove.
So, winning two of three comes down to this afternoon’s rubber game. Next, three games in Texas (different time zone) and three games next week in Atlanta (another different time zone).
Another new one:
Rollins ss; Utley, 2b; Burrell, lf; Howard, 1b; Dobbs, 3b; Victorino, cf; Werth, rf; Jenkins, dh; Ruiz, c. Adam Eaton on the mount.
Minor League Notes
Lehigh Valley OF Chris Snelling has been placed on the DL (left knee inflammation) . . . Clearwater RHP Kris Benson has been promoted to LV . . . Clearwater RH reliever Brett Harker is moving up to Reading . . . Reading LH reliever Jason Kershner was released.
High School Honors
OF Zack Collier was named to the USA TODAY High School All-Star team . . . SS Anthony Hewitt was selected to the second team. Hewitt and Collier were the first two players we selected in the draft earlier this month.
In response to a comment yesterday, Doug Mansolino is wearing #53.
In Phillies history…….
1987 RHP Steve Bedrosian ties major league record (Sparky Lyle, Yankees, 1973) with his 11th saved in last 11 appearances, 5-2, over Mets.