Second inning: Left on base, ibid


MILWAUKEE – The Phillies are back to putting runners on base, while Jayson Werth is back to striking out. Actually, it’s been feast or famine for the Phils’ right fielder who has a pair of two-hit games and six strikeouts in 14 at-bats.

However, Pat Burrell got his first hit of the series. Not so coincidentally, the hit came off Jeff Suppan, a pitcher Burrell has a career .429 batting average against with three homers.

Still, the Phillies got back to leaving runners in scoring position when Greg Dobbs, starting for the first time in the series, laced a single to right-center. He advanced to second on a wild pitch to give the Phillies a big opportunity to break it open a bit with just one out, but Suppan bore down and whiffed both Carlos Ruiz and Joe Blanton to end the threat and strikeout the side.

Meanwhile, Blanton looks pretty good on the mound through two frames. He got two pop ups during a perfect second and five of his six outs have come on soft flies.

Still, with 36 pitches through two innings, Blanton might be piling them up a little too quickly.

End of 2: Phillies 1, Brewers 0

Eighth inning: Oh, those runners left on base


MILWAUKEE – Geoff Jenkins made his first post-season plate appearance to start the eighth after 10 years in the big leagues playing for the Brewers. They really like Jenkins here and some even call Miller Park, “The House that Jenk Built.”

Not quite, but it’s a nice sentiment.

Nevertheless, Jenkins lifted an easy fly to left off once-dominant closer, Eric Gagne for the first out of the eighth before Jimmy Rollins tried to beat out a bunt, but was off on the execution.

Jayson Werth helped the Phillies add to their impressive runners-left-stranded-in-scoring-position totals by ripping a double off the wall in left before Chase Utley ended the inning with a fly out.

Combined, Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell are a combined 3-for-26 in the series. That total fits nicely with the 22 runners left on base during the series, including 15 in scoring position.

Fortunately, the Brewers could not add on against Ryan Madson in the eighth as the Phillies go down to their final three outs against closer Salomon Torres.

We’ll all know what we’re doing on Sunday very soon.

End of 8: Brewers 4, Phillies 1

Sixth inning: Dodging bullets

MILWAUKEE – The Phillies finally caught a break when Jayson Werth pounded a long fly ball to right field that Corey Hart caught just before crashing into the fence. But when he hit the ground, the ball fell out of his glove as he was trying to make the exchange in order to show the ump that he made the catch.

Without breaking stride, Werth coasted into third with a triple. He came in with the first run when Ryan Howard grounded out to third off lefty reliever Mitch Stetter with one out.

Still, even though the Phils got a run they are 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position tonight.

Brewers’ pitcher Dave Bush’s line:

5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 3 K – 70 pitches, 51 strikes.

Chad Durbin, a.k.a., “The Chad,” entered the game in the bottom of the sixth, promptly retired catcher Jason Kendall before giving up a single to relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva.

Yes, a relief pitcher got a hit off of a relief pitcher.

So did center fielder Mike Cameron, who made it to base safely for the fourth time in the game, but for the first time via a hit. Luckily for the Phillies the pitcher was clogging up the bases because Villanueva could not score when Bill Hall singled to load ‘em up.

After a seven-pitch strikeout for Durbin against Ryan Braun, manager Charlie Manuel summoned lefty Scott Eyre to face lefty Prince Fielder.

Good move.

Fielder popped up a 3-1 fastball to Eyre to leave the bases loaded for the second straight inning as the Phils dodged another bullet.

That’s 10 runners left on base for the Brewers – six in scoring position.

End of 6: Brewers 3, Phillies 1