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News » Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-08-30

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-08-30

Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2008-08-30
--1B Ryan Howard said this week that Major League Baseball was wise to institute instant replay only for fair-or-foul calls on hard-to-judge home runs. But, after Friday's game, he might want replay to be expanded to all close plays. Howard was exasperated when he was called out on a close play at first base in the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Replay showed Howard was safe. If he had been credited with an infield single, the Phillies would've scored a run to take 3-2 lead. Instead, the inning ended, and a half-inning later, Alfonso Soriano belted a home run to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead en route to a victory. "The main thing is getting the call right," Howard said. "As far as instant replay, I don't know what's going to happen down the line. It's for home runs. That's what it is right now. I don't want to get into all that stuff as far as trying to take instant replay to every aspect of the game. But the safe or out calls are definitely important. Like the one we're focused on right now. It changed the outcome of the game."

--RHP Joe Blanton is known for his control. But he matched a career high with five walks Friday, including three in the sixth inning. Blanton walked the bases loaded with two out before LH reliever Scott Eyre walked Kosuke Fukudome to force home the winning run. "I could live with myself better if I gave up five hits in an inning instead or if I walked the bases loaded to get them back in a situation to do some damage," Blanton said.

--2B Chase Utley went 1-for-4 with two runs scored and was hit by a pitch. In his last 10 games, Utley is batting .395 (15-for-38) with two doubles, one home run, eight runs scored and four RBIs.

--LHP Cole Hamels admitted that he agreed with manager Charlie Manuel's decision to remove him after the seventh inning of Thursday night's crushing 6-4 loss. Hamels even encouraged it. "Once you get to 105, 110 pitches, you're pushing the envelope a bit, especially this late in the season," said Hamels, who threw 108 pitches. "I'm leading the league in innings (with 195 2/3). My body definitely has taken a toll. After that (seventh) inning, that was a 20-pitch inning, it took a toll. I trust the bullpen 100 percent." But RH relievers Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin allowed five runs in the eighth inning. "I wouldn't have been able to get the job done, either," Hamels said. "Complete games are great and all, but the (two) complete games I threw early in the season, they took a toll on me." Said pitching coach Rich Dubee, "He said he had enough, so what can you do? I'm not going to send a guy out there that says he's done. He said he was pretty spent."

--RH relievers Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin have struggled to pick up the slack left by setup man Tom Gordon's season-ending elbow injury. But pitching coach Rich Dubee attributes their problems to overuse and fatigue, not inexperience in the eighth inning. Durbin has made a career-high 57 appearances, while Madson has pitched in 62 games after missing the last two months of last season with a shoulder strain. But the Phillies offense hasn't been particularly potent, and 13 of their last 21 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, increasing the late inning relievers' workloads. "You get down one run late, especially at our ballpark, we've used Chad, we've used Ryan, because you're not out of the game," Dubee said. "And we have been in so many low-scoring games lately. They've pitched the eighth before, sometimes when they're fresher."

BY THE NUMBERS: 1,342 -- Games played by RF Geoff Jenkins without appearing in a playoff game. The only active players who have played more games without reaching the postseason are the Mets' Damion Easley, the Giants' Randy Winn and the Mariners' Jose Vidro (assuming Vidro is picked up by another team after being released by the Mariners).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There are definitely guys who come back to the clubhouse and you see the expression on their face. It's like, 'Man, I've got to try to do something.' And they're halfway defeated before they even get up there." -- SS Jimmy Rollins, who has been critical of notoriously tough Phillies fans for not offering their unconditional positive reinforcement for the team.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: August 30, 2008

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