Phillies, Moyer stung by Giants

A three-run double in the seventh erased a 2-0 Phillies lead. A three-run eighth settled matters.

Posted: May 05, 2007

 Jamie Moyer has seen and pitched enough baseball to know nothing is fair.

He had thrown 13 1/3-consecutive scoreless innings when the San Francisco Giants scored three runs off him in the seventh inning in last night’s 6-2 loss at AT&T Park.

One pitch cost him.

One pitch in 103.

“Man, you pitch that good and we need to win the game,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “That’s the bottom line. When you pitch like that you’re supposed to win.”

“You would hope to,” Moyer said.

But while Moyer pitched well enough to win – he allowed five hits and three runs in seven innings after throwing 7 1/3 shutout innings Sunday against Florida – his teammates didn’t pick him up. The Phillies went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and Ryan Howard was thrown out trying to score from second base with no outs in the sixth inning, which helped kill a potentially big inning.

“Great game,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Great comeback.”

Moyer retired the first 10 batters he faced when Randy Winn singled to right-center field with one out in the fourth to end a potential no-hit bid. Moyer retired eight of the next 10 batters after that.

But then he walked Barry Bonds to lead off the seventh and Bengie Molina followed with a single to left. After Pedro Feliz flied out to the warning track in left field for the first out, Omar Vizquel singled to center to load the bases.

Moyer got pinch-hitter Ray Durham to fly out to right for the second out.

Just one more batter.

Just one more out and the Phillies would carry a 2-0 lead into the eighth, with Brett Myers ready to close in the ninth.

But pinch-hitter Eliezer Alfonzo smoked a 0-1 fastball to left-center field for a double to clear the bases to hand the Giants the one-run lead. It looked like centerfielder Aaron Rowand might have a play, but he couldn’t get to the ball in time.

“He was a lot closer than I thought he was going to be,” rightfielder Shane Victorino said. “I actually thought he was going to catch it. The ball went a lot further than I thought. I watched it from the side. You feel like you want to reach out with him, you know? It was so close. Unfortunately, it came down to one pitch. It tears me up.”

If Alfonzo had popped out instead of doubled, the fact the Phillies struggled with runners in scoring position would have been overlooked. The fact that Howard was thrown out at home would have been a footnote.

But those moments become magnified in a loss.

Of course, it didn’t start that way.

The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the first with the help of Jimmy Rollins and Victorino, who went a combined 5 for 9 with two triples, four RBIs, four runs scored and two stolen bases in Thursday’s 9-7 victory over the Giants.

Rollins hit a leadoff single to left and moved to third on Victorino’s double to right. Rollins scored on Chase Utley’s fielder’s choice and Victorino scored on Howard’s sacrifice fly to left field.

Bonds doesn’t have much of an arm in left field, so it made perfect sense for third base coach Steve Smith to send him.

Bonds threw to shortstop Omar Vizquel, who fired home. But Victorino knocked over Giants catcher Bengie Molina to score.

The Phillies offense went silent after that. Giants righthander Matt Morris allowed eight hits, two runs and three walks in seven innings. He struck out three.

But the Phillies got something cooking in the sixth.

Morris walked Howard and Pat Burrell to start the inning. Rowand then singled to center.

Smith sent Howard home.

It was close as Dave Roberts threw to second baseman Kevin Frandsen who threw home, but Howard was out at the plate. Instead of having the bases loaded and no outs, the Phillies had runners on first and second and one out. Wes Helms bounced into a double play to end the inning.

“Dave Roberts doesn’t have a real good arm, but the second baseman made a hell of a throw,” Manuel said. “Then it comes down to judgment. We’ve got the bases loaded and nobody out and when we get a guy thrown out at the plate it’s tough.”

“Great relay throw and it saved us,” Bochy said. “We were in a tough jam there. He made a great throw to get Howard there. No question it was the play of the game.”

Alfonzo pops out and nobody remembers it.

But Alfonzo didn’t pop out.

“That’s this game,” Moyer said. “The game can change on one pitch. I’ve seen it happen. Stay focused and keep trying to make pitches. That’s  all you can do. That’s all you can ask of yourself.”

EXTRA BASES. Howard went 0 for 2 to drop his season average to .200. He has one hit in his last 13 at-bats with nine strikeouts.


Contact staff writer Todd Zolecki at 215-854-4874 or tzolecki@phillynews.com. Read his blog at http://go.philly.com/zozone.

 

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