Chooch Comes Up Clutch

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, August 31, 2009 12:18 AM | Comments: 102

Hits with runners in scoring position and 1-2-3 saves have not been the Phillies specialty as of late.  The Phillies got both in their 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Martin Prado killed the Phillies in a previous series in Atlanta.  He continued the beating with a first inning solo home run against Joe Blanton.  That was all Blanton allowed in seven innings.  He gave up three hits, walked four, and struck out seven.

In the fourth, Chase Utley tied the game with his 29th homer of the season.  Over 46% of the Phillies runs have come via long ball.

The Phillies had a golden opportunity in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out.  Blanton didn’t follow the “don’t swing” policy and lined into a double play.  Jimmy Rollins grounded out to end the threat.  Luckily, an error and a timely hit put the Phillies ahead.

Raul Ibanez walked and Pedro Feliz successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt.  However, Chipper Jones made a throwing error and everybody was safe.  Carlos Ruiz’s two-run double gave the Phillies the lead.

Ryan Madson has been struggling, giving up three earned runs, seven hits, and a walk in his last four innings.  Matt Diaz was drilled and Prado singled to start the eighth inning.  Chipper Jones’ RBI single drove in a run, making it 3-2  with two on and nobody out.  Jayson Werth made a strong throw to the plate, but it was a tad wide for Ruiz to make the tag.  Charlie Manuel made the call to the bullpen to escape the jam.

Scott Eyre, who hadn’t pitched since August 16, was called upon.  Eyre got Brian McCann to ground into the unconventional 4-6-5 double play.  Chase Utley made a fantastic pick, and flipped to Rollins.  Heads up, Rollins fired to third.  Feliz and Prado got into a pickle, which Feliz won.  A triple play was almost turned after McCann was a little too far away from the first base bag. 

Garrett Anderson grounded out, and Eyre left the mound with a nice first pump.  Brad Lidge would do the same.  After two quick fly outs, Greg Norton went around on Lidge’s nasty slider to end the game.

The Phillies took the rubber match game of the series and extend their divisional lead to eight games.  Their magic number decreases to 26.

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  • Posts: 0 Ryk

    Fantastic game tonight. I am surprised a bit that the Braves decided to pitch to Chooch with a man on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Load the bases and pitch to Blanton who already GIDP. Give up 1 run and face the top of the order. Big win for our boys to keep their cozy lead in the NL East.

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    I was at the game and it was awesome… Only my 4th the season….

    Wayne’s World. Party time! Excellent… The Braves loose… Their fans are fools….Bobby Cox is such a tool… Carlos Ruiz bleeping rules….

    -Good nite….

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I dont understand something. The almost triple play. Utley flipped to Rollins for one out then the run down. If Feliz just steps on third, isnt that an out. Forced out. I didnt think the runner needs to be tagged on that play.

  • Posts: 0 Adam

    Jeff, Since there is the tag on second, technically the runner from second isn’t forced to go to third, hence no force out there.

  • Posts: 0 Eric

    huh huh huh huh…Chooch!!! huh huh huh huh…I wonder if he had a stiffy when he came to the plate

  • Posts: 0 marty

    Jeff, Adam answered your question..

    RYK, I’ll answer yours.

    They didn’t walk Chooch in the 7th to load the bases because Blanton wasn’t going to hit. He was done because of a high pitch count, and with a chance to score, they weren’t going to let him pitch…

    That’s why they pitched to Chooch…who is only hitting about .235…so it was a smart move.

    Chooch just beat ‘em.

    Magic number 26.

  • Posts: 0 george

    not much to truly celebrate here.

    only bright spots are Blanton and lidge in this one. scoring supect…ahhhgain…like a broken freakin record….they blundered into this win thanks to 2 errors by Atlanta and couldn’t put together more than one run outright. They are headed for a slump… “Lights out Madson” sucked again – no suprise there…getting used to that……him and tag team loser lidge make a great couple…..let in a run and then loaded the bases with no outs – this is what he does for a living? Thanks Madson.

    Now they face the giants with two of the top pitchers in the league and a hot Zito. This combined with a scarcity of runs will net them losing this series since the already cold bats will be shut down by the best pitching in the league. And the braves are getting hot……

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Great to win a close one…like a practice play-off game. Lidge with rest pitches better but that no mystery, just consult a a book on modern sports/training science and you’ll conclude 2 days back to back and 3 only in a once in awhile emergencies is all that can be asked of a reliever. I am just worried about the rest of the pen…batters read madson like an open book, condrey’s oblique (notoriously difficult to heal), romero’s forearm = questionable control, and lidge even with rest = ?, durbin = too inconsistent for comfort…so Chan Ho is to bear the load other than Moyer who is a good long man but not necessarily 7-8 inning material. I suppose there’s Walker, and maybe Escolona. I suppose Myers is the wildcard….

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Oh i forgot Eyre.

  • Posts: 0 Miles

    One question george….


    First of all you seem to forget that the Braves have some pretty damn good pitching of their own. You act like Jurrjens is some stiff we should have knocked around all day. The guy is for real.

    How can you possibly be so negative about this win? This was a great win for the team that featured another tremendous start and (thank God) a dominant finish.

    “And the braves are getting hot…..” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ok, now that thats over, maybe you should research their recent hot streak that saw them lose 2 out of 3 to the padres and 2 of 3 to us. I mean if WE could beat them with awful Madson and our awful offense and brutal Lidge, they must be pretty bad, huh? You are a tool bro.

  • Posts: 0 phils_ftw

    George, I think you’re hitting the panic button a little too early. Sure they’re bad with RISP right now. that is something that needs corrected. As for the runs scored, look who they’ve faced in this series. First, a rain-shortened start from the Braves’ RoY candidate, which they managed 1 run before he was taken out. They then got 3 more off the ATL bullpen (which their BP isn’t all that bad) that’s 4 runs, which is about the average for them this entire month. The second game they faced Lowe. Lowe has been owning them ALL season. Then, this game, we faced Jair, who just happens to have owned the Phils all season as well. Coming into this game the Phils only had 2 runs off of him in almost 20 innings. They had relatively equal numbers off of Lowe.

    Look at it this way instead. We faced some of the Braves best pitching (Lowe owns the Phils so hes one of their best options against us) and STILL they took 2/3. If Lee didn’t throw up a bad start we may have swept. We got lucky tonight with the 2 runs, but sometimes you need luck to win against really good pitching. Also, look at HITS in the games, the Phils are getting plenty of hits, they’re just not very situational hits. This can also be attributed to luck. Getting a lot of hits, just at the time of the hits runners just not being in scoring position. So they’re making plenty of contact, it’s just not at the right times.

    Another thing driving me up a wall is the 3rd base coach. He seems to be playing it WAY too safe. With the serious lack of situational hitting going on TAKE A DAMN CHANCE. Wave a runner around or send them on a fly ball, I’ve seen countless fly balls not score a run AND THE THROW TO THE PLATE HAS BEEN WAY OFF LINE ON A LOT OF THESE FLY BALLS. Those are wasted opportunities for runs right there.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    “Now they face the giants with two of the top pitchers in the league and a hot Zito.”

    The Phils won’t face Cain or Zito.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Whoops, scratch that. The Giants moved up Zito so the Phils will face Sanchez, Lincecum and Zito.

  • Posts: 0 george

    Miles the mook:

    when you come back to reality, let me know so we can have an intelligent conversation. do you ever get out from behind the computer, brah? there’s a whole new world out there…step out your front door and say “Hi world”, this is Miles the mook….

  • Posts: 0 Petey Pablo

    Yikes…George is a semi-sophisticated mets troll who is trying to entertain himself after his team’s season has been flushed down the crapper for two months. Please stop feeding him. And if his mom is reading this – please give him a helmet or at least a leash before he hurts himself.

    Great outing by Blanton…great save by Lidge. Every time he pitches on rest he’s lights out. Not great news for the playoffs, but true for the year so far. 8 games up; hard to complain.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Y.

    The Mets will always be a joke organization.

  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    Madson’s pitch selection has been the problem as of late. You watch him blow his fastball by hitters and then he speeds their bats up by throwing a changeup. Chipper couldn’t keep up with fastball ALL night. Why throw him anything else? That’s what happened in Pittsburgh too. Madson’s fastball is blazing at 99mph and the guy is nowhere near it, but he decides to throw his changeup. The changeup he has is excellent, but you have to use it in the right spots.
    Lidge’s save last night looked like almost any save he converted last year.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    The Mets are New York’s red headed step children. No offense to anyone here who is or has red headed step children.

    As for Lidge, like I have said for the last few weeks, he is ok when he gets rest. When he is asked to go back to back he gets shaky. Anything more than two days in a row is just plan ludicroui and I was glad Steve Phillips ripped Manuel for it last night because he was exactly right. He set Lidge up to fail pitching 4 straight days and that is what happened.

    I also hope Charlie never considers making Madson the closer ever again. The guy clearly can’t handle it, and what is worse, it puts him in a funk for a few weeks. I mean crap, he faced 3 guys last night, hit one allowed 2 hits and an earned run. If it weren’t for Eyre flying into the stadium with his Superman cape who knows what would have happened. I love Madson but clearly he is not a closer. To be fair though, when he was given a shot earlier in the year he did convert 3 straight save opps before blowing three straight and seeing his ERA sky rocket to a season high 3.46. After being solid for over a month and getting his ERA down to a respectable 2.85, he has now ballooned it back up to 3.23…I guess 3 runs in 3 innings including that blown save will do that to you. Hopefully Madson gets his stuff together. Like I said before, what good is a solid closer if your set up guy blows it for you?

  • Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Chooch Comes Up Clutch…

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Chooch Comes Up Clutch…

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Regarding the “near triple play”…
    When Rollins threw the ball to third, it was a heads up play, Feliz chased down the runner and tagged him which made for out #2. McCann, who had bolted to second from first, should have stayed on second but instead he headed back to first and was nearly picked off which would have been a triple play, a tremendous blunder by McCann – he should have stayed on second when he saw that the runner on second was in a rundown.
    Madson’s velocity was down for him. The radar gun blipped at 96 only once but the good news (if there is any for his outing as he did not record an out) was that he did throw a breaking ball at 84 for a strike.
    Lidge, God bless him, was not all that “Lights Out” as some are saying. He faced the bottom of the order and 2 out of 3 batters hit the ball pretty hard, one to the warning track for an out. The last batter, Morton (I believe) a PH was hitting .141 at before he struck out. I know in the past the average has not meant a lot but this guy was nervous and looked whacked.
    Good win for the Phils for sure. Impressive? Not really.. the Phils are in the midst of an offensive slump.
    Ryan has 3 hits in the last 2 games. 2 of them have been infield singles.
    In the last 7 games they have scored more than 4 runs 1 time yet their record is 4-3. If you call that a slump, man I’ll take it!
    If the starters (especially Hamels) keep the pressure up, we should be more than OK going into September. August winds up 16-11.

  • Posts: 0 George

    No one answered Eric’s question about Ruiz, so I will:
    Keep your asinine and juvenal thinking off an otherwise clean site!!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Interesting observation about “asinine thinking”…….for the poster who actually said earlier in the thread, “not much to truly celebrate here.”..

    It amazes me how some people will constantly complain about this team as though they are supposed to get 20 hits every night and every pitcher is supposed to get three outs every inning in order for the team to be considered successful.

    Jurrjens is the real deal and the Phillies are extremely lucky that they won this game. The way Blanton has been pitching as of late and with Jurrjens on the mound, it’s pretty obvious that this was going to be a low scoring game. The bullpen, except for Madson, Eyre and Lidge specifically, came up big, J-Roll flashed some serious leather, and Chooch was the man at the plate.

    I really don’t know how anyone can complain about this win. After losing 2 of three in Pittsburgh and getting blown out on Saturday, the fact that the Phillies won 2 of 3 from avery good Braves team is HUGE.

  • Posts: 0 Michael

    i still have a really sour taste in my mouth from all of ibanez’ current struggles. he really needs to get his swing back. he’s the bat we really need in the postseason.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    This was a really good win for the Phils, why the complaining? Jurrjens is the most underrated pitcher in the major leagues and the Phils broke through when it mattered, Madson’s outing was a blip but Eyre came up big and so did the defense and Lidge did his job in a tight spot.

    You have to savor the close wins where the game is on the line the whole way through. I want to see this team tested every game for the next month so when when it gets to October this team has still remembers how to tough out a win.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Exactly, NJ….this is true down-the-stretch, playoff atmosphere baseball. Who cares if we only scored three runs?? We won against a very good pitcher and a very good team. This race is not over yet. Yes…we have an 8 game lead…BUT….with the Braves you just can’t count them out. There is one more 3 game series with them that could be very huge.

    Next up…the Giants….with a good “playoff” team of their own to boast about. The Phillies have to keep plugging away.

    Lidge looked GREAT this weekend. Hopefully…???….this will be the beginning of a looonnnngggg stretch of success for him going right into October.

    I could pick apart lots of things right now……but I just want to be happy about where we are at this point and realize that we have a VERY,VERY GOOD TEAM that has a VERY,VERY GOOD CHANCE of repeating..

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    “… the fact that the Phillies won 2 of 3 from avery good Braves team is HUGE.”

    Right on Chuck… you have to win 2 out of 3 or the slump becomes reality. How can you be in a slump if you just took 2 of 3 from the team chasing you? The fact that we won despite not playing our best baseball says something about this team. We ran into the Braves’ three best pitchers (Hanson, Lowe and Jurrjens) and still took 2 out of 3. You’re not going to win many meaningful games by more than 2 or 3 runs and a good team is going to be able to grind out those types of wins… one thing that we take for granted is defense. This team plays great defense; 2nd in all of MLB in errors committed and unearned runs (behind, surprisingly, the Pirates). Lidge is getting better… as long as they continue to give him rest, he’s going to be fine. With Hamels’ most recent performance, you have to think that our playoff rotation couldn’t look any better. Lee, Hamels, Blanton and Happ matches up with anyone.

    Sanchez/Hamels – Hamels… last time out he threw 127 pitches. Thankfully, he’ll get an extra day of rest. I expect him to shut the Giants down.
    Lincecum/Happ – This is going to be a great game. I’m sure that many people will be tuned in to see what the ROY candidate can do against the reigning NL Cy Young award winner. Nod… gotta give it to Lincecum.
    Zito/Martinez – I’m going with Martinez. You have to feel good about how things have went. I mean, the rain has allowed him to work his way back into form. I expect a great game from Martinez and even though Zito his pitching well, I think that the Phils will have a good idea of how to face him (we just saw him a couple of weeks ago).

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I’m going Thursday and am kind of bummed that I won’t see the Lincecum/Happ matchup in person. BUT…..there’s something about watching that sort of game on TV that I’m really ok with it (not that I’m sitting in lousy seats). Sometimes it’s actually better to watch on TV with the different camera angles, replays, etc.

    Zito/Pedro should be a good matchup, though. Last time I went I saw Pedro and he only went three innings because of the rain, so it will be fun to hopefully witness him pitch 6 or maybe 7 (??) good innings.

    I’m really pumped for the last month of the REGULAR season and the stretch drive. Man…this has been fun for the past year or so…gotta keep it going.

  • Posts: 0 Erik

    The best thing about this win is Lidge getting another 1-2-3 save. It’s all about what is going in his noggin…..if he can get some confidence going into the playoffs, that would be huge.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    win series. that’s a winning proposition especially when you do it against the teams chasing you. I’m feeling pretty good about our rotation and believe it or not our bull pen. As long as Madson is not used in a save situation and Lidge isn’t over used we’ll be fine. My only concern at this time is our bench bats. Very dissapointed we didn’t make a move.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Brett gacve up his first run since coming back last night. 2 innings 2 hits 0 walks and 1 er. Mathiason was dominant as usual 2 innings 4 KO’s, 0 bbs. His era is at 1.17. I’d like to take a shot with him over Durbin. I think Durbin gets bumped anyway when the injured guys come back.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I don’t think Madson will be used in a save situation anymore this season…unless it’s one of those wierd games where there’s nobody else available. And, after last week, I have a feeling that the braintrust learned its lesson about Lidge and proper rest. Man, he was dominant last night….and Friday.

    The bench…yeah….as much as I love Matt Stairs…what is up with him??
    I can live with slumps, but this guy is brutal right now. In his defense, it HAS to be tough to stay sharp in a PH role….but that’s what he gets paid to do….pinch hit. 0 for what?? 27 ?? now….

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Did anyone catch the Joe Morgan explaination last night for Ibanez swinging late?He said he gave Jroll and Victorino some advice about the same problem.Some way of preventing that .

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The thing with Lidge, is that Charlie is a big, big fan of the “Dance with the girl that brought you” theory..

    Lidge has the stuff… just needs to be more consistent..

    But clearly Madson doesn’t have the mental makeup to be a closer… and I doubt they’ll bump Lidge for Myers (coming off injury, and two years removed from that role)

    Nice series by everyones favorite, Chase Utley!
    5-for-12… scored 3 of our 8 runs in the series..

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Richie Allen… The first key to living a long and mentally healthy life is: Don’t listen to Joe Morgan….He’s more aloof than a plastic bag floating in the wind.. Not saying isn’t smart…Just a little out of touch with today’s MLB…Phil_ftw… I agree. Steve Smith is a _ssy. He should’ve sent Ibanez there. Ibanez was a foot away from 3rd by the time Anderson got the ball. Anderson came up throwing and it took 3 seconds before the ball finally arrived to Chipper. And Charlie should’ve asked Blanton to bunt there early in the count. When the count went 2-2. Blanton had to take there as that was ball 3. Or he could’ve pulled him(before Blanton comes up to the plate) for Ben Fran… and went with Chan Ho for the 6th and 7th innings. Charlie had an off day to work with. Feliz’s bunt in the 8th was a prime example of what “stepping outside” the box can do for you….

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Think about that though…..we only scored 8 runs in three games….and we STILL won 2 out of 3. Good playoff-style baseball!!

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    repeat, I agree. sometimes Charlie gets stuck in the American league mentality. This was going to be a low scoring game were you have to play small ball when necessary.

    How far away are Romero and Condry from rehabing?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    From Zolecki: Phillies DFA Brad Harman to make room on 40-man roster. Be it for a waiver-trade thats about to go down or for a call-up they want to be eligible for the postseason roster, they are DEFINITELY up to something….sneaky Phillies.

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Repeat….I am ignoring Joe Morgan and I feel way better already…

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    I have no idea really…. Condrey, as some one said earlier made be farther away from rejoining the Phillies than what’s being reported. If we can get him back that’ll obviously be huge. If not, I think we might just be ok. If gets back it’s bye,bye Durbin… Something the Phils are probably considering any way. Romero: I’m guessing they are trying to save him for the playoffs. A smart move if true, especially with the way Scotty has been money. The rosters expand tomm Sept 1st;it’ll be interesting to see how the Phils will taken advantage of this…

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Mike Taylor…

  • Posts: 0 dsr121@netscape.net

    Joe Morgan says:Pete Rose has been bettie, bettie good to me. And you say he’s just a friend… Oh baby you…you got what I neeeeed….

    I’m glad you’re feeling better Richie… The Phils play a couple of more times on Sunday Nite baseball: Presented by Chris Berrman’s “back back back back back.. gone!” … Please be mindful that there’s a strong chance for a relaspe…..

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I always come back to this when I need to feel better.


    Because if it comes, it comes..

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Opps I did it again… I’m such a retard………. And the rockets’ red glare…Uh O!………

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Geoff, isn’t Ennis going to go on the 40 man roster or is that a separate move?

    I haven’t seen Taylor in the lineup for the Iron Pigs in a while?

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Chuck P… That was the clip of the year! Maybe even the decade. I heard about it, but it’s the first time I ever saw it. My stomach hurts… Thanks…

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Taylor’s hurt… I think..

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Why would they want to do that? Like, Ennis hasnt been up since 2007. Im not sure if he would be able to get people out. Naylor, Mathieson are some internal options. Perhaps even Rosenberg from AA if theyre feeling bold (hes a lights out closer, liek 22/23 but has been double jumped already this season straight to AA).

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Nomar Garciaparra cleared waivers.. and the Phillies reportedly sent scouts to watch him play this weekend.

    He could be the possible addition the Phillies make at the waiver-deadline today.. ?

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Orig Chuck P……I think I just officially lost it on that Sarge tape.Good One!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Just heard on 950 ESPN w/Mike Missanelli that Nomar could be added to the roster. Stay tuned….

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