Beerleaguer's streak of picking games has ended, but so has the Phils’ three-game skid. They beat the Rockies 8-5 last night behind more strong hitting from Chase Utley.
Utley hit a two-run, towering job in the fifth and added a two-run double in the ninth in a 3-5 night at the plate with a career-high five RBIs. Tomas Perez had the game-winning RBI in the ninth, scoring pinch runner Matt Kata.
Starter Robinson Tejeda was destined to struggle, but proved me wrong once again.
Tejeda struggled with his control a bit and allowed the lead-off man to reach four times, but hung in there in the thin Denver air, lasting 5 1-3 innings, giving up two earned runs, three walks while striking out four.
I keep waiting for a meltdown with Tejeda, but it’s only happened maybe twice all year. He’ll give up his walks and singles (1.40 WHIP), but rarely has the kind of inning his opponent, Byung-Hyun Kim, had in the fifth.
After holding the Phils to one run over four, the little twerp finally got wild – including two wild pitches, a key Kenny Lofton two-run single, and the Utley homer.
It looked like it was going to be another night when Phillies hitters would be neutralized by the Crain Technique. They tend to struggle -- at least in the early innings -- against pitchers from the far east. Remember the game against Jae Seo earlier in the season when he shutout the Phils over seven innings, but the next day was sent down to Triple-A Norfolk? Typical Phillies.
Guys like Pat Burrell and David Bell still don’t have a lifetime hit off the Korean sub-mariner, but Utley and the rest of the crew exposed him for what he really is -- a terrible pitcher overstaying his welcome in Major League Baseball.
- Pat Burrell has one hit on this road trip and is now hitting about .230 away from Citizen’s Bank Park.
- Endy Chavez added another pinch hit last night. L’il Endy is hitting .267, while his arch rival, Marlon Byrd, is at .245. I’d love to see Endy flash his speed, but the guys hitting behind him keep tapping into double plays or a fielder’s choice. He also provides a nice l'il defensive sub late in games.
- Over the last few nights, it’s obvious the Phils are seeing what they got in the bullpen. It wasn’t a great night for Ugueth Urbina, making me a little nervous they’ll hold on to Billy Wagner.
- It was good to see Kenny Lofton finally drive in some RBIs. For the month, he only has three of them. If I was manager Charlie Manuel, I would have started Jason Michaels last night. Lofton has been used like a full-timer lately because they haven’t seen many left-handers. Both players appear to perform better on a strictly part-time basis.
- It's not likely I'll pick the Rockies the rest of this series. They are a bunch of no-names. I've never even heard of their catcher.