Tag Archives: A.J. Burnett

Brown’s Fielding Miscue and Lack of Offense Doom Phillies in Loss to Miami

26 Jun

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Domonic Brown has been struggling at the plate and in the field. His misplay of a fly ball cost the Phillies in Wednesday's loss to the Miami Marlins. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Domonic Brown has been struggling at the plate and in the field. His misplay of a fly ball cost the Phillies in Wednesday’s loss to the Miami Marlins. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—It was one of those nights where the Phillies (35-42) could point to doing really well in couple of facets of their game, but found themselves faltering in others.

They got solid effort from their starting pitcher  and a solid effort from their bullpen. The usual suspects of not enough hitting and a bad mistake in the field sealed their doom in a 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins in front of 23, 360 fans at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett didn’t have a bad night at all. He had eight strikeouts while allowing just five hits and three runs. But he had one bad inning that wasn’t exactly his fault.

With two on and two outs in the fourth inning, Miami leftfielder Marcel Ozuna hit should have been an easy fly ball to Domonic Brown in left. But the Phils outfielder over ran it and the ball ended up going to the left field wall to score Giancarlo Stanton from second.

That led Burnett giving up a two-run double to Jarrod Saltalamacchia to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead they had no business having in the first place.

To his credit, Brown didn’t hide from reporters in the training room or in the showers after the game, he took full responsibility for his blunder in the field.

“That’s a play I gotta make for my team,” Brown said. “That changed the whole game. I told A.J. I was sorry about it. But that play has to be made. It was a hard-hit line drive. I made a break in and that was definitely a big mistake. It was a low liner, I took a step in, but it was too late.”

Takeaway Brown’s blunder in the field, the Phillies might have come away with a 2-0 shutout, but that’s the maddening luck of a mediocre team that just can’t seem to get it together.

“If that ball’s caught right there, there’s no runs up on the board, it’s the third out,” said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “A .J had enough stuff to throw a shutout the rest of the game.”

Meanwhile in a solid display of backing up your teammate when stuff hits the fan, Burnett said there was no need for Brown to apologize to him. He said he should have gotten Saltalamacchia, who was 1-for-15 against him with nine strikeouts before that at-bat.

“I felt like I should have picked (Brown) up the next at bat. That’s what we do. You pick each other up,” Burnett said. “If the pitch is a little bit low to (Saltalamachhia) and you pick (Brown) up. He plays hard, he comes in everyday and prepares and goes about his business. It’s not like he’s trying to miss balls out there. Plays like that happen you gotta pick your teammates up.”

On the offensive side, the Phillies had their shots. In the second inning, they had men on second and third with just one out, but could not score. With the bases loaded and one out, the Phillies could only get a sacrifice fly from Chase Utley that scored Ben Revere.

An RBI single by Brown scoring Marlon Byrd in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Marlins lead to 3-2. That’s as close as they would come.

Miami starting right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez wasn’t necessarily the second-coming of Cy Young or Walter Johnson, but he did well enough to keep the Phillies bats at bay. He allowed just two runs (one earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks.

 

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Phillies Edge Mets Thanks to Brignac’s Walk-off Single in the 14th

31 May

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

 

Phillies Reid Brignac' gets a walkoff single to beat the Mets.

Phillies Reid Brignac’ gets a walkoff single to beat the Mets.

PHILADELPHIA— It took all of five hours and 23 minutes, but the Phillies came away with a 6-5 win in 14 innings late Friday night at Citizen’s Bank Park thanks to a walk-off RBI single by Reid Brignac that scored Marlon Byrd.

“I had a good feeling,” Brignac said. “I was trying to stay confident and trying to get a good pitch to hit. Luckily (Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia) threw me a cutter that caught a lot of plate and I didn’t miss it.”

On a long night where the winds started blowing from the outfield to home plate, the Phillies should probably thank Mother Nature for the shifting wind patterns. Byrd opened the 14th and hit what looked to be a routine flyball, but Mets rightfielder Chris Young misplayed it and the ball popped out of his glove.

“It looked like he took his eye off the ball at the last second,” Brignac said. “The wind kind of pushed back a bit. That was a play that Chris (Young) makes 10 out of 10 times. He just happened to drop it this one time. You don’t see that often.”

Byrd ended up on second and was moved to the third on a single by catcher Carlos Ruiz. Mejia intentionally walked Cesar Hernandez to load the bases for Brignac’s single. It was the second walk-off hit of his career. The last time he did it was back 2010 when he was playing for the Tampa Bay Rays against the New York Yankees when he hit a walk-off home run.

“That was a big swing, a couple hits,” said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. “He finally got a strike in the zone. The bases loaded had something to do with that. The pitcher had to come at him.”

The Phillies were able to come away with the victory because of its often-criticized bullpen. The combination Jake Diekman, Mike Adams, Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo, Mario Hollands, and Justin De Fratus, who got the win, held the Mets to just three hits.

“From a bullpen perspective it’s awesome to go out there and hang that many zeroes,” De Fratus said. “Hopefully, we build off of this and we keep it going.”

Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett had a strange night. Sometimes, he was pretty good and other times not so good. He had 11 strikeouts and six walks. He gave up five runs on five hits in seven innings. He threw 115 pitches.

“I’m not all over the place, I’m missing here and there,” Burnett said. “Six (walks) is a lot and they scored. I’m just going to keep grinding until find a way. It was one of the games in which got I stronger.”

Perhaps the biggest hero for the Phillies in this game was leftfielder Domonic Brown, who was 1-for-4 including a huge three-run homer in the fourth inning.

“I was some tough luck at time, but that’s baseball,” Brown said. “I think I’ve been doing a decent job with runners in scoring position. I’m just build off that. I played good tonight, but I’m just trying to keep it going.”

In the second inning, Burnett gave up two straight walks to leftfielder Curtis Granderson and right fielder Bobby Abreu. First baseman Lucas Duda doubled to score Granderson from second. Catcher Tony d’Arnaud grounded out to second to score Abreu from third. Shortstop Ruben Tejada singled to left to bring home Duda.

Burnett helped his own cause with a single to right to open the third inning. Rollins singled to right and Burnett went to third because Abreu over ran the ball and was charged with an error. Burnett scored on Chase Utley’s ground out to second to cut the Mets margin to 3-1.

The Phillies took a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning on a three-run homer to the right-field seats by Brown off Mets starting pitcher Rafael Montero, who allowed four runs on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings.

Just when it looked like the Phillies were about to take control, the Mets regained the lead at 5-4 on a two-out RBI double to right field by Abreu that score Juan Lagares, who reached on an infield single and Daniel Murphy who walked.

The Phillies evened things in the fifth on Brown’s RBI ground out to the shortstop to score Marlin Bryd, who walked to open the inning and went to third on a double by Ruiz.

It would be another three hours and nine innings before anyone scored again.

Revere’s RBI Single Lifts Phillies to Win over the Braves

17 Apr

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Ben Revere's RBI single was the difference in the Phillies win over the Braves.  Photo by Webster Riddick.

Ben Revere’s RBI single was the difference in the Phillies win over the Braves. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—The walk-up song for Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere is the catchy Pharell Williams hit song, “Happy.”

And that’s the feeling the Phillies will take with them on a 10-game road trip through Colorado, Los Angeles and Arizona starting Friday.

Revere’s two-out RBI single driving home Domonic Brown in the bottom of the eighth was difference for the Phillies in a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves in front of 25,750 fans on a crisp Thursday afternoon at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Though hitting for power is not Revere strong suit, hitting it where they ain’t and getting the ball into the outfield is and he was effective when he needed to be. For the game, he was 3-for-4.

“Sometimes, I try to hit homeruns,” Revere said jokingly. “I was waiting for it; I was just kind of patiently waiting to see something happen. I wasn’t trying nothing too big, I was just to put the bat on the ball and find a good pitch. Luckily, it found some outfield grass to score Dom.”

It was the kind of day that things were going well for the Phillies. They even won the replay challenge. In the fifth inning, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons tried to steal second and slid off the bag and was tagged by shortstop Jimmy Rollins. But second-base umpire Bill Welke’s safe called was overturned by the replay officials.

Revere’s game-winning single was the exclamation point for a brilliant pitching performance turned in by A.J. Burnett, who was coming off a small inguinal hernia injury. Though he did not get the win, Burnett was the reason why the Phillies walked away with a victory.

In seven innings, Burnett allowed no runs on just three hits with five strikeouts and just two walks. He threw 101 pitches. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Burnett made things look easy with his approach on the mound.

“I thought Burnett was much better with his 101 pitches with just two walks. He had better command and he talked about having a shorter stride since his hernia. He looked a little more effortless out there and he didn’t fight himself,” Sandberg said. “He was a little bit more in the strike zone and he did a nice job.”

Burnett said the hernia injury did not bother him. He didn’t feel any pain and wasn’t uncomfortable on the mound. He will have surgery at the end of the season, but will live with the pain which comes off the push off (left) foot.

“It’s there, but the pain level is not there,” said the 37-year-old Burnett. “It’s something that I know is going to be there. I’m going to have to manage it the best way I can. Hopefully, I can do that every time I come out.”

It was the second straight game a Phillies starting pitcher when beyond the sixth inning. Burnett said that’s something the starters are expected to do to take the pressure off the relievers, especially early in the season.

“Your starters need to do it in the first couple of months,” Burnett said. “That’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to go deep into games, so those guys are fresh at the end of the year. You want to go deep in those games. The first couple of months we’re supposed to take the haul.”

Meanwhile, a well-rested back end of the Phillies bullpen kept the Braves scoreless for the final two innings. Set-up man Antonio Bastardo got the win in relief, allowing no runs on just one hit.

Closer Jonathan Papelbon got his fourth save of the season. He’s 4-for-4 in save opportunities since blowing his first save opportunity in the Phillies road loss to the Texas Rangers.

“I’ve been able to make adjustments and that’s what this game’s about,” Papelbon said. “Hopefully, I will continue to do that. Texas was one of those things that happen with a closer. You have to put it behind you and keep going.”