Clutch Hit Wins It For Phils

admin Last updated on: February 17, 2024

John Lannan made his Phillies debut Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. It was his first opportunity to make everyone forget about 2007 when, as a member of the Washington Nationals, Lannan hit Chase Utley’s wrist with a fastball, sideling the all-star second basemen for over a month.

Lannan wound up ejected from that ball game, and has always been met rudely by Phillies fans. On this night however, Lannan succeeded in pleasing the crowd, and his new teammates.

He was perfect through the first three innings, and worked relatively quickly all night.

He lost his perfect bid in the fourth, when Alex Gordon reached base on an error by Utley. He did not allow a hit until the fifth. Lannan plunked Lorenzo Cain to start the inning, and Jeff Francoeur followed that with a double to left field.

With two runners in scoring position, Miguel Tejada grounded out to second, bringing Cain home. Eliot Johnson came up next, and he hit the ball up the middle into center field. Francoeur scored, and the Royals led 2-0.

The Phils would respond in the bottom of the fifth, when John Mayberry Jr. led off with a walk. After a strikeout by Humberto Quintero, Lannan stepped up and sacrificed Mayberry to second. With two outs, Ben Revere smoked the ball off the glove of a diving Tejada at third, and into left field. Mayberry scored and the lead was cut to 2-1 Kansas City.

The Phillie offense did not help Lannan much all night. They managed only one run on TWO hits through eight innings. Royals starter Luis Mendoza worked ahead of many of the Phils’ hitters, forcing them into defensive swings early in the count and making for quick outs.

Lannan would allow another run in the seventh, when Francoeur led off with a double to left center field. Tejada followed with a double of his own down the right field line to bring Francoeur in, and the Royals led 3-1.

Johnson then sacrificed Tejada to third with one out. Chris Getz would pinch hit for the pitcher Mendoza, but on the second pitch to him, catcher Quintero caught Tejada wandering off third, and threw down to nail him for the second out. Getz then flied out to left field.

All told, Lannan turned in seven strong innings, surrendering just three runs on five hits. He recorded five strikeouts and did not walk a batter. The bullpen fared much better on this night, with Mike Adams pitching the eighth and Antonio Bastardo the ninth. They each worked a scoreless frame.

Meanwhile, the Phillies would not reach base again until the ninth inning.

Utley, 0 for 3 on the night, led off the inning with a walk against Royals’ closer Greg Holland. Holland would then walk Ryan Howard on four pitches, and also Michael Young. Recent pickup Ezequiel Carrera came in to run for Howard at second.

With the bases loaded, nobody out and trailing by two runs, they still nearly blew it.

Domonic Brown came up with a chance to tie the game with a hit, and he promptly struck out on three pitches. He chased two pitches in the dirt, a very poor at-bat. Mayberry came up next, and also struck out.

With two outs, and the bases still loaded without a hit, Charlie Manuel sent Kevin Frandsen in to pinch hit for Quintero. All he did was bail out his entire offense, roping the first pitch he saw to right center field that would go to the wall.

It was the only extra base hit for the Phillies, and just their THIRD hit all night. It cleared the bases and won the game for a team that sorely needed it, not deserving of the win otherwise.

Frandsen gave his team a shot to win the series today in the rubber match at 1:35 at the bank. John Lannan pitched great in his debut, giving his anemic offense a shot to win it after he departed. Bastardo recorded the victory, his first of the season.

It’s a battle of aces today as Cole Hamels goes for the Fightins’ while the Royals counter with former Tampa Bay Ray James Shields.

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