Phillies Stymied By Padres, 1-0
Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Carlton versus Tom Seaver. Curt Schilling versus Greg Maddux. Roy Halladay versus Clayton Kershaw.
Jerome Williams versus Andrew Cashner?
Often times, a classic pitchers duel is billed as such. Many times they appear out of the blue.
On an unusually warm and humid night in San Diego, Cashner and Williams locked horns – matching each other pitch-for-pitch. A second inning fielding gaffe proved to be the only break needed as the Padres squeaked by the Phillies, 1-0.
Williams – coming off two subpar starts – dialed up his finest performance in a Phillies uniform. He kept Padres’ hitters off balance all night – working the corners of the strike zone with an assortment of fastballs and cutters.
San Diego would score the only run of the game in the second inning. Catcher Rene Rivera roped a double into the left field corner. After retiring the next two batters, Williams nibbled against center fielder Max Venable, eventually walking him on a 3-2 pitch. Cashner followed with a hard grounder to third baseman Cody Asche.
Asche tried to field the short hop off to the side. The ball hit the heel of the glove and caromed straight up for the error. Rivera scored, Asche steamed, and Cashner had all the runs he would need.
Cashner was as dominant a pitcher as the Phillies had faced all year. The Phillies’ first base runner was a Chase Utley walk in the fourth inning. He had not allowed a base hit yet, when Domonic Brown stepped to the plate with one out in the fifth inning.
With the Padres playing the infield defense in a pronounced shift, Brown slapped a bunt down the third base line for the first hit of the game. Cashner was visibly upset that Brown had bunted for the first hit. However, it was the fifth inning of a one-run game, with the entire left side of the infield there for the taking.
Cashner would eventually cool down after the bunt and continue his dominance – allowing only a single up-the-middle by Marlon Byrd leading off the eighth inning.
Cashner’s performance was brilliant and precise. Almost Maddux-like. 92 pitches and 68 strikes wrapped up in a two hour and nine minute package. Phillies’ hitters could do anything with his mid-90’s fastball, tight slider, and devastating changeup.
On a night such as this, the batter is pretty powerless. You just tip your cap and head back to the dugout.
Going into last night’s game, the Phillies were an amazing 26-7 at Petco Park since the ballpark opened in 2004.
Major League Baseball suspended Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon for his on-field actions during Sunday’s loss to the Miami Marlins.