Jeff Kent hit a three-run blast and Brad Penny earned a convincing win as the Dodgers defeated the Phillies 10-3 in Los Angeles.
Recap (From Beerleaguer’s news sources): Jamie Moyer (7-8) retired nine in a row after Kent's three-run homer, but the damage had already been done. Kent's 12th home run of the season made it 6-1 by the third, and the Phils wasted a scoring opportunity in the fourth when Moyer struck out looking with the bases loaded. In the sixth, James Loney and Nomar Garciaparra singled before Ryan Howard's fielding error allowed the first baserunner to score. Matt Kemp then launched a three-run shot, handing Moyer a crushing defeat in his first start against the Dodgers in a decade. Moyer’s final line: 10 runs, nine earned, on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 5 1-3 innings.
Beerleaguer: Caught between a rock and a hard place, manager Charlie Manuel conceded the battle in order to win the war by leaving Moyer in the ballgame to preserve his bullpen. It turned out to be the right call as the Phils couldn’t counter.
Yesterday was Adam Eaton’s turn to come under the microscope; today it’s Moyer’s turn. This morning on the Phillies Web site, Manuel expressed concern that Moyer might be wearing down. "When we had him up over 100 pitches so many times early in the year, that was too much," Manuel told Phillies.com. "There comes a time when you pay a price for that. Right there before the [All-Star] break, I think you started to see that."
In three July starts, the 44-year-old veteran, who denied feeling fatigued, is 0-3 with a 10.03 ERA. Besides July, he’s had a good season, but his latest stretch of bad starts serves as a reminder that initial expectations were as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
On a positive note, Moyer’s extra work meant the Phillies only burned two relievers: J.C. Romero and Jose Mesa. Tonight, they send J.D. Durbin to the mound with hopes they can get at least five innings from him. Realistically, the Phillies could call on three or more relievers by the time it's over. The Phils follow tonight's contest with a day game on Wednesday with Kyle Kendrick scheduled to pitch.
Good link: Rich Hofmann examines the launching pad known as Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies have already surrendered 81 home runs. The case continues to build against CBP as a place where the Phils can win consistently. Indeed, they're a .500 club, two games better than .500 at home, and have almost identical runs scored/runs allowed totals (484 scored, 490 allowed). They are the embodiment of mediocrity.