Phils Smash Astros With Two Big Innings

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, May 25, 2008 08:03 PM | Comments: 15

All seemed doomed for the Phillies in the final game of their four-game series against the Houston Astros. Cole Hamels, usually reliable, had one of his worst professional starts, giving up six runs in five innings. The offense was dragging a little — better than the past two nights, but nothing to write home about.

Then in the sixth inning, the offense went wild.

Pat Burrell started the festivities with his 13th home run of the season. Hits followed, and RBI for Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino got the Phils a five-spot and a 9-6 lead. They weren’t done. In the seventh, Pedro Feliz, Greg Dobbs, Victorino and Chase Utley (a homer) got them a six-spot and a 15-6 blowout lead. The bullpen effectively nailed it down and left Houston with a split and a season win (4-3).

Hamels gets one or two mulligans per season as the ace — hopefully this was the only one. Luckily the offense picked him up, and it was as if they flipped a switch once the Astros turned to their bullpen — a pretty bad one. Like I wrote before, this series was one where the bullpens would decide things. Today the Phils bullpen (5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB) was spectacular while the Astros ‘pen (4 IP, 11 H, 11 ER) was awful.

It was also refreshing to see Victorino hit, and with runners in scoring position in key times. Consider yesterday’s recap his “open letter.” It was also nice to see Geoff Jenkins homer and get three hits. Feliz went 2-for-5 and is having a nice last couple games. Finally, great move by Charlie Manuel not to go to Dobbs in the sixth inning with a lefty ready to come in. Dobbs instead came in against right-handed Dave Borkowski and laced a two-run triple.

Associated Press photo

Avatar of Tim Malcolm

About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Joe DiMaggio

    Time to start a good run at home to assume leadership of the division. Nice to see the offense starting to unleash some power with accross the board hitting. Feliz is starting to show his value and Victorino and Howard are showing promise of coming around.

    Hope that Jenkins starts to perform with Werth on the DL.

  • Posts: 0 chris m

    victorinos not off the leash in my eyes…none of his hits came until we had the lead.

  • Posts: 585 Brian Michael

    Avatar of Brian Michael

    I agree. He gets the Ashburn Award today because he rebounded and helped to salvage the series; but he still blew two opportunities in two days. Tim’s right too, the bullpens really mattered today. The Houston bullpen looked like a high schoolers out there, I almost felt bad for them. Almost…

  • Posts: 0 Lewisauce

    This series was kinda ugly, but I’ll take a split on the road against a team that is playing well so far this year. What’s that old saying? “Play .500 on the road, and dominate at home, and you’ll win the division.”

    Homestand next. Let’s go Phils.

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    This is a immensely important homestand upcoming. The Phils handled the Rockies in Denver, and they’re coming in without Holliday. A sweep is absolutely possible and should be strived for. Then they get a day off (which is tremendous) before the big first series with Florida, the team’s first big test of the season.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce


    Philadelphia Magazine’s piece on Phillies’ ownership. Definitely worth reading it.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Apparently overlooked or ignored is a portion of yesterday’s post on Victorino repeated below.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Oops! Pushed the wrong key. Try again a copy on Victorino.

    “I’m amused that Tim gave a SMAll sample from 51 games (excluding the DL period) for Victorino’s current stats with “late & close”. To get a more complete picture of Victorino’s capability as a “clutch” hitter, I looked at his career stats.
    Late and close: .289 BA (57 for 197 ABs); .352 OBP; 5 HRs & 28 RBIs.
    Within one run: .274 BA (151 for 551 ABs); .336 OBP; 9 HRs & 37 RBIs
    Against Relief Pitching: .285 BA (131 for 460 ABs); .343 OBP

    Oh, just to add another item to Victorino’s reliability. Last year he hit .313 with a runner on 3rd and .286 with the bases LOADED.

    To Victorino: Continue to do what you excel in; get on base and be aggressive (8th stolen base and run scored) ; setting the table…hitting .379 and a .419 OBP in the last 7 games.”

    Tim, maybe MY “open letter” encouraged Victorino yesterday. (laughter)

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    i ecpect nothing less than 7 out of 10 wins on this homestand. 2 of three from florida is minimal. if thayre REALLY ready to start making their move theyll win 8 of 10 AND sweep florida. at the begninning of the yera i thought the tickets to this marlins game on saturday would be give away tickets. definitely going to go to that one though. they really need to put the marlins in their place in a harsh manner so that the marlins latest trip here turns into a horrible experience for that young ballclub.

    id still trade shane because they really cant afford to trade too many minor league prospects to get the pitching they need to be for real in the fall.

  • Posts: 0 Lewisauce

    That Philly Mag piece is priceless. It basically proves what we all knew, but it’s good to see it seriously and soundly documented.

    And yet, if we were to kill those shadowy cheapskates, we’d go to jail. Where’s the justice in that?

    The thing we talk about most — the thing everybody talks about most — is responsibility. People like us buy tickets, buy merchandise, go to the games, helped pay for the damn stadium. And yet, the owners just don’t give a shit if they give us a winner or not. They feel no responsibility whatsoever to uphold their end of the bargain. Un freakin’ believable.

  • Posts: 0 chris m

    bruce lets be serious….he had a chance to win 2 games and he didnt come through. PERIOD. not clutch. i dont give a rats ass what he did last year. he couldnt come through. dont stick up for this little retard like you do for gillick. 2 pop outs with the game on the line. he didnt get a hit yeasterday till we had the lead. he likes blowout wins bc that when he shines

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    yeah i migh thave to go pick up the latest edition of philly magazine. i really have suspected that for a LONG time. they have a brand new money magnet ballpark and they act like that have no money at all. they really dont care. ill bet by now those phone numbers are changed though. the owners let the gm move within a few million of their target line and thats it. i hope someone buys them out. some ruthless businessperson who only cares about winning and understands that theres several times more profit in winning than being a money-grubbing, bottom-feeding parasite like these owners are.

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    Bruce: I presented Vic’s late and close stats from this year to illustrate his poor clutch hitting this year. Sure he has a “career” (2.5 full years) of good hitting in clutch situations, but this year he had not been clutch up until that point. That’s what I was looking at.

  • Posts: 0 Mark

    The feast or famine Phillies offense.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce


    Presenting a small sample (20-27 ABs) for Victorino with less than one third of the season (52 games) to justify your statement ….”Victorino is shaping up to be a fourth outfielder, not an everyday guy. Either that, or he has to be moved down in the batting order…” is like putting the cart before the horse. Based on Victorino’s proven track record, I would not make a premature judgement knowing his value as a no.2 hitter in the line-up. Manuel’s patience with Burrell last year and Howard this year is a good example of why cooler heads prevails. ;-)

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