It is really a shame when a starting pitcher gives up three hits, hits a home run and still can not earn a win. Cliff Lee threw an extremely effective outing following his meltdown in the eighth inning of his last start against the Blue Jays. One run over eight innings will win most ballgames, but he was paired against Braves right hander Tommy Hanson, who matched him allowing four hits in seven innings of work. Each team only managed a solo home run off the starting pitcher, meaning that this game came down to the bullpens.
Antonio Bastardo and Juan Perez each pitched one inning, striking out two and shutting out the Braves. The Braves bullpen stalwarts similarly silenced the Phillies with Venters, O’Flaherty and Sherrill each hurling scoreless innings with Sherrill escaping a bases loaded two out jam in the bottom of the tenth. This was really the best scoring opportunity for either team until the top of the eleventh inning.
Michael Stutes has been a huge surprise for the Phillies bullpen this year. He has providing quality innings in high leverage situations for a Philadelphia bullpen that has been decimated by injuries. He did not have it today. He walked Eric Hinske to lead off the inning. The walk was followed by a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Schaffer advancing the running to scoring position. Stutes got Alex Gonzalez to pop out into foul territory, but Ryan Howard dropped the ball and Gonzalez responded by hitting an RBI single to center. Brian McCann followed with a long at bat and a two run home run. Stutes got out of the inning with the Braves taking a 4-1 lead. Craig Kinbrall entered the game and cut through the heart of the Phillies line up and earned the save.
I still hate you Dan Uggla.