Looking at the pitching matchup, we have Cory Lidle for the Phils versus Derek Lowe for the Dodgers. Lowe started off smoking hot but has cooled as of late and has had little help from his teammates while compiling a 5-10 record (before the game). Lidle has had an excellent first half, but had a pretty bad game last time out. Looks like the pitching should be pretty even.
Manuel again has Utley hitting third and Abreu fourth. I guess this has to do with how well Utley has been playing lately and with how poorly Abreu has been playing. Or maybe homerun derby winners must bat cleanup (which seems more like Manuel's logic). David Bell is in the lineup for the second game in a row. I cannot how Manuel bats him before Lieby. On the Dodger's side, you should feel pretty good when you see that their fourth and fifth hitters are hitting in the .230s. This team has only one good offensive player in Kent.
A leadoff double is squandered by the Phils in the first and is a precursor of things to come. Not much has happened until the bottom of the 3rd when the Gods decide that luck will not be in our favor. Lieby reaches on an infield single and gets sacced to second. With 2 outs, Lofton hits the ball up the middle, hits Lieby and he is called out. This guy is just a magnet for baseballs. The next inning, Utley doubles and Burrell hits a fly that the Repko misplays. He then dives for the ball. It deflects off of his face right to Izturis to throws Utley out at third. The old defected off the face play will get you every time. A decent chance by Utley to get to third with less than 2 outs, but probably not worth the risk.
That is only 2 strikes, we are not out...yet. In the next inning, Lidle gives up a single to Edwards and Werth hits a humpback line drive down the line on the foul side. Howard, apparently looking to double up Edwards, moves too far for the ball (it is across his body) and flubs the play (strike three). Edwards is still on first until Werth deposits the next pitch into the bleachers. All heck breaks lose and the Dodgers put up another 7 runs that inning, 9 total. The Phils outscore the Dodgers in innings not starting with fifth, but, alas, a 2 run homer from David Bell is not enough.
This is chalked up as one of those games. Lidle got hit as pitchers will do at times. You can't really blame Howard as the homerun balls were not his fault. Bobby also showed less than stellar defense on a ball that was definitely catchable that he short hopped for a single. This was one bad inning for the Phils and hopefully they got it out of their system.
In the meantime, the Phils did very little against Lowe. In the three true outcomes department they faired a bit better:
Dodgers hitters: 9
Phils' hitters: 6
Dodger's hitters: 0
Phils' hitters: 2
Dodger's hitters: 2
Phils' hitters: 1
In mopup work, two of the `ezes got into the game and Worrell pitched well striking out 3 and allowing 1 hit in 2 innings of work. We also see that Tejeda relieved Lidle though he is scheduled to start on Saturday. I guess this is just Manuel getting him a bit of work due to the off day. Not really too much to look at here. One big inning will kill most of the strategy of a game and unless they mount a major comeback, not too much positive to take from the game. Final score: Dodgers 10 Phils 2. Phils looking to take the series tomorrow and at least give us a bit more meat to chew on here.