Gavin Floyd Stymies Potent Cards Lineup

05-04-09 Phillies vs. Cardinals Scorecard

Gavin Floyd, the Phillies rookie making but his fifth start ever, overcame a rough first inning to settle down and retire 19 consecutive Cardinals batters on his way to his first win in 2005. Along the way, he picked up his first major league base hit. Seven solid innings that showed a lot of maturity after a 26-pitch first inning was had by the youngster. He lasted longer than any Phillies starter yet through the rotation and left the suspect bullpen with a nine-run lead to help ensure a win.

And the bullpen needed that lead as it gave up three runs in the ninth after a shaky eighth. Pat Burrell continues to hit well, knocking in five of the Phillies 10 runs. Thome, Utley, and Abreu all had good offensive days too.

The Pros
In the Phillies third inning, they produced a run with two out. Abreu singled. Lofton moved him to third on a single of his own. Thome knocked Abreu in on the third consecutive single of the inning. Perhaps smallball is out of favor right now, but this run put the Phillies ahead for the rest of the game. Scoring with two out is a good sign.

Congratulations to Gavin Floyd on his first MLB hit—a single in the fourth.

After the two-out run in the third, the Phillies added two more in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth, and then the final three in the eighth. Tacking on runs is something which the team failed to do the last two games. Consistently putting pressure on the other team is important and the Phils applied that pressure well today.

It was good to see Rollins steal second with two outs in the sixth. That helped create a run. I am a fan of manufacturing runs. The big boys are hitting, but the last few games they resembled the last couple years. Lots of offense, but too few runs. Start the base runners and get the offense moving. This was good to see today.

Gavin Floyd: after a shaky first inning, settled down and got batters out efficiently. Twenty-six pitches in the first inning followed up by seven, 15, 10, 11, six, and then 14. He retired 19 in a row at one point. It is good to see a solid lengthy (sigh, lengthy these days come in at seven innings) outing from a starter. Floyd pitched well and let the Cardinals hit the ball. The defense took care of the rest.

The Cons
Utley swinging 3-0 in the fifth was not a good move. I like aggression at the plate, but take one to ensure the pitcher can actually get one over. As it was, Utley swung at a ball and flew out meekly to left.

Manuel made the right move in bringing Worrell in. The team had a nine-run lead and this was a good place to rehabilitate number 38’s confidence. The problem is that Worrell had another poor effort. He gave up a solid hit up the middle on an 0-2 count. That pitch should have been off the plate. It was down the middle. Only a poor base running on the part of Diaz kept that from being an issue. Later, Eckstein hit another pitch solidly to left.

It was good getting Liriano some work. Like Worrell, this was a good place to put him in. Granted he’s young and inexperienced, but he was rattled in the ninth. Walking the leadoff batter is inexcusable. He got no help with Utley’s error, but he dealt with that by missing terribly for Edmonds to stroke a double. He did the same with Diaz a few batters later. He was not sharp on the hill. Giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, despite the lead the team had, is not going to instill confidence that you can get batters out.

Wheels
He just talks too much. He went on and on about practicing cut offs during spring training. Give it up already. Wheels had been leaving for the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. He stayed today. Sigh . . . doesn’t Kalas deserve better?

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