Phillies Earl Weaver-ed the Dodgers
It was a game that Hall-of-Fame Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver would have been proud of. Armed with three-run homers in the second and third innings, the Philadelphia Phillies powered their way to an 8-4 victory fending off a rally by the Dodgers.
“We crept back into it, and we just couldn’t hold them at bay,” manager Joe Torre said.
Carlos Monasterios (L, 3-5) was shaky from the outset. His hope to repeat Hiroki Kuroda’s 7 1/3 innings of hitless ball ended when the second batter of the game, Placido Polanco, lined a single to center field. Although Monasterio’s control went by the wayside hitting Chase Utley on the right thigh with a pitch, Ryan Howard bailed Monasterios out with an inning ending double play.
Monasterios wasn’t so lucky in the second inning. After a double by Jayson Werth and a walk to Shane Victorino, Monasterios gave up a three-run homer to backup catcher Brian Schneider on the first pitch to give the Phillies the 3-1 lead.
Back-to-back singles by Polanco and Utley to lead off the third inning was enough for Torre to pull Monasterios in favor of Ramon Troncoso.
“I was trying to pitch my game,” Monasterios said through translator Kenji Nimura. “But they were reading my pitches. All of my breaking balls they were hitting out of the infield.”
“He struggled in the second,” Torre commented. “Then he got himself in trouble in the third, and I just didn’t want to wait any longer.”
Troncoso, who had given up runs to 15 of the 24 inherited runners this season, didn’t disappoint giving up a three-run homer to Ryan Howard for the 6-1 Phillies lead.
And to think the Dodgers had the opportunity to break the game wide open in the first inning off of Kyle Kendrick (W, 9-7). With the bases loaded and one out, a walk to James Loney was all the Dodgers could muster before Casey Blake’s double play ended the threat.
But the Dodgers tried their best to get back into the game.
After Rod Barajas led off the fifth inning with a single relief pitcher Kenley Jansen came in as a pinch hitter. A career .229 hitter in parts of six seasons in the minor leagues, Jansen got his first Major League hit with a single continuing the rally. Although he would be out at second on Scott Podsednik’s grounder, Barajas scored the Dodgers second run on Jamey Carroll’s grounder.
“We wanted to make sure we didn’t use him out of the bullpen,” Torre joked about Jansen only being used as a pinch hitter. “That was a good way of getting him into the game and have a little bit of fun with it. He put us in a position to score a run.”
The Dodgers came within two runs in the sixth inning when James Loney hit a two-run homer 398 feet into the right field pavilion.
Even defensively the Dodgers did their best with left fielder Scott Podsednik making a spectacular grab on a tailing fly ball in foul territory landing in the seats in the seventh inning.
“I knew it was going to be close to the wall,” Podsednik said. “So I did everything I could to make as much ground up on it.”
Not only did he steal that ball, he apparently grabbed the wrong hat.
“I don’t know how I ended up with someone else’s hat in my hand,” he said. “I still don’t know whose it was.”
However his effort was erased when George Sherrill’s inability to throw a strike loaded the bases which brought in Jonathan Broxton to face pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz hit a single that scored Howard and Werth to give the Phillies the 8-4 lead.