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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Braves Bullpen Implosion Hands Phillies Victory


The game was very rosy at first. The Braves knocked around Phillie starter Joe Blanton and Javier Vazquez pitched a quality start. However, the Braves bullpen suffered a catastrophic meltdown as the Phillies stormed back to take a 12-11 victory.

Starting the seventh, Eric O'Flaherty got an out and gave up a single to Chase Utley and hit Ryan Howard with a pitch. The Braves didn't record a single out until Ryan Howard grounded to first, driving in the go-ahead run. The Braves walked four batters with the bases loaded and gave up three bases-loaded singles.

Peter Moylan, in his first major league appearance since his Tommy John surgery, walked in two and allowed two of the bases loaded singles. Blaine Boyer walked in two batters as well, and Jorge Campillo allowed another single and walked in the tying run on a pitch he wanted called a strike. He got Ryan Howard to ground out to first, but that drove in the Phillies' eighth run of the inning.

It wasn't over after that. Campillo walked Pedro Feliz and then Carlos Ruiz doubled to left. Eric Bruntlett hit a sacrifice fly to center field off of new reliever Jeff Bennett, scoring another run. Bennett was able to hold the damage down after that, but the meltdown was complete.

Matt Diaz hit a one-out solo shot off of of Phillies closer Brad Lidge to make it 12-11, but Lidge got Jordan Schafer to ground out to second and struck out Garret Anderson to end it.

In all, the five Braves relievers, in just two innings of work, gave up nine runs on six hits and six walks.

Four Braves players had two hits apiece. Brian McCann and Schafer both had two-run homers for the Braves.

Four Phillies players had two hits apiece as well. Raul Ibanez went 2-3, tied the game early with a two-run homer and also had a run-scoring single in the eight-run eighth.

The Braves have an off-day before their home opener against the Nationals, who were swept by the Marlins.

W - Clay Condrey (1-0)
L - Blaine Boyer (0-1)
S - Brad Lidge (1)
HR - ATL - Brian McCann (2)
Jordan Schafer (2)
Matt Diaz (1)
PHI - Raul Ibanez (1)


2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia - 2-4, 2B, R, BB, 2 RBI

LF Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia - 2-3, HR, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 RBI

LF Matt Diaz, Atlanta - 2-4, HR, 2 R, BB, 3 RBI

Photo by John Amis

EDIT: Changed box score link to, added photo

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