Good in Pairs
Good things came in pairs for the Philadelphia Phillies in their series-opening win over the San Francisco Giants. Now they'll try for a pair of victories over the NL West team as their series continues Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
Chase Utley and former Giant Pedro Feliz each hit two-run homers before Pat Burrell followed with one of his own in the bottom of the 10th to give the Phillies (17-13) a come-from-behind 6-5 victory on Friday. Utley singled with one out, and after Ryan Howard struck out and was ejected, Burrell unloaded a full-count pitch from Giants reliever Brian Wilson into the left-field seats for his first game-winning home run since 2002.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Philadelphia -153 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on Philadelphia -153 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
"To be honest, I was just hoping to see the ball,'' Burrell said. ``He was throwing pretty hard.''
It was Burrell's first homer in eight games, but he is batting .330 with nine homers and 28 RBIs, a marked improvement from last year, when he had only one homer and 10 RBIs through May 2, 2007.
"He's swinging the bat real good,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ``He's been real clutch for us. He works hard. He studies the game. He studies the starting pitcher. Hopefully, he keeps it going.''
Burrell, though, is just 1-for-6 lifetime against Giants (13-17) scheduled starter Matt Cain. But Utley and Howard may be able to compensate, having gone a combined 6-for-16 with four homers against the right-hander.
While Cain (1-2, 4.41) is trying to build off a win from his last start, he still hasn't fully solved his control problems. He scattered four hits and a season high-tying five walks in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-0 victory over Colorado on Monday, throwing 108 pitches.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, however, did not appear overly concerned about Cain's wildness, which has already produced 23 walks in 32 2-3 innings.
"No question it's great to get him a win,'' Bochy said. "He had good stuff. He didn't have his best command but he got it done. He's had some tough luck. ... It's nice for these starters to get wins. They work hard out there. For him, this is big. It's been a long time.''
Cain, who has walked at least three batters in each of his six starts, has struggled against the Phillies - going 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA in three lifetime starts. He was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in three-plus innings of a 9-7 loss in his most recent outing versus them on May 3, 2007.
Philadelphia's Brett Myers (2-2, 5.11) is trying to bounce back from consecutive poor outings. He took the loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday after giving up four runs and eight hits, including two home runs, in five innings of a 5-1 defeat.
Myers has given up 10 runs and 19 hits over 12 innings in his last two starts, and has served up a major league-worst 10 homers in just 37 innings. Manuel noted that the lack of velocity on Myers' fastball hurt him over the weekend.
"He's usually 92-95 mph, somewhere in there,'' said Manuel, who added Myers' fastball topped out at 89 mph. "Right now, he's throwing a lot of cutters. If he throws those cutters in on left-handed hitters, and you don't get it way in, there's a good chance the ball will end up in the seats."
This will be Myers' first start against the Giants since July 16, 2006, when he won after yielding two runs in seven innings. Myers is 1-3 with two saves and an 8.53 ERA in four starts and six overall appearances versus San Francisco.