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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Old Junkballer Strikes Again; Phils Take Series


Forty-seven year old Jamie Moyer just keeps chugging along. Two years younger than Julio Franco when he retired in 2008, the crafty left-hander carved up Braves batters. With near immediate support, he helped the Phillies cruise to an 8-3 win.

The Philles struck first off Braves starter Derek Lowe with three singles and a sacrifice fly in the first inning. They added three more in the third aided by an errant throw by second baseman Martin Prado on an attempted double play that sailed high and bounced off of Escobar's glove. Two runs scored on that play and shortstop Juan Castro added a third run with an RBI single. He ended up with three hits on the day. Greg Dobbs and Chase Utley both scored two runs in the two innings.

The Braves got a similar break in the fifth inning. Walks by Melky Cabrera and pinch-hitter Omar Infante put men on first and second with one out. In the next at bat, Matt Diaz grounded a ball to short. Castro's throw bounced off of Chase Utley's glove, allowing Cabrera to score and Infante to move to second. Prado then grounded to Castro at short and Utley threw wildly to first base while trying to avoid Diaz's slide. That allowed Infante to score. Chipper Jones lined to Dobbs at third to end the inning.

Philadelphia tallied a run off of Kris Medlen in the sixth with Shane Victorino's sacrifice fly and became the first team to get to Peter Moylan, scoring two runs off of him in the seventh. Ross Gload and Victorino had consecutive RBI singles off of the sidearmer.

The Braves threatened in the sixth with men on second and third with one out, but Jason Heyward struck out looking and Melky Cabrera popped out to Castro at short. That ended Moyer's day; he finished with only four hits and two walks given up in six innings. The three Phillies starters in the series didn't allow a single earned run.

Brian McCann was able to get a run in with the bases loaded with one out in the seventh with a sacrifice fly, but Troy Glaus struck out swinging to end the Braves' threat. The team had to endure a similar indignity in the final frame. After Diaz turned a leadoff Eric Hinske single into a double play, Prado hit a grounder that Castro couldn't quite corral and Chipper doubled to left. The two got five of the Braves' nine hits on the day. However, McCann flew to the warning track to end the game.

Odd 'N End: I may as well keep a running tally of the Braves' offensive futility as long as they're struggling:

AVG: .229 (T-14th in NL, T-24th in MLB)
OBP: .329 (10th in NL, 15th in MLB)
SLG: .361 (13th in NL, 23rd in MLB)

So, basically, the Braves' NL-leading 72 walks are keeping them from having a totally putrid offense.

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