Philadelphia bullpen shuts down Marlins in 9-1 victory
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The Phillies received a major lift from three players who don’t normally step into the spotlight, and picked up a much-needed September win.
Dobbs tied the game with a two-out triple in the fourth and Coste lined the next offering from Florida starter Rick VandenHurk into the left-field seats as the Phillies snapped a two-game losing streak.
“That was a big game for us,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, whose team pulled within 2 1/2 games of the San Diego Padres in the National League wild-card race. “We needed to put up some runs, and the bullpen did a heck of a job for us.”
Manuel isn’t the least bit worried about his team’s recent mark of near-misses. The Phillies finished a game out of the wild-card hunt in 2005, led the wild-card chase in the final week of the season last year, and haven’t been to the playoffs since 1993.
“We’re not done yet,” said Manuel, who has guided the Phillies through a season where 18 players have spent time on the disabled list. “I say the more times you go to the post, one of these days you’re going to finish first.”
Condrey (5-0) pitched 2 1-3 innings of relief to earn the victory for the Phillies, as the bullpen allowed just three hits over five shutout innings. Condrey, who has spent the season shuttling back-and-forth to Triple-A Ottawa, now has as many wins as stints with the big league club this season.
He needed just 11 pitches to retire the first six batters he faced after entering the game with runners on first and second and nobody out in the fifth.
“That’s a sign (Condrey) is going well,” Coste said. “His ball has so much movement and he gets guys out early in the count.”
VandenHurk (4-6) took the loss for Florida, which fell to 5-18 in its last 23 games.
Hanley Ramirez hit a leadoff homer, his 25th of the season, but emergency Phillies starter John Ennis escaped further damage when right fielder Shane Victorino made a sliding grab to rob Mike Jacobs of an RBI single and end the first inning.
Ennis—a reliever at Ottawa for most of the season—pitched into the fifth inning, and the much-maligned bullpen slammed the door the rest of the way.
Philadelphia waited until the fourth to break through against VandenHurk. Dobbs’ triple hit off the wall just to the right of the 398-foot sign in right-center, while Coste ripped an 89 mph fastball well over the 374-foot marker in left-center.
“(Rick) was pretty good for three innings, then he got some balls up,” Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “The pitch to Coste was supposed to be down-and-away, but he left it out over the plate.”
Philadelphia LHP Cole Hamels threw 45 tosses in the outfield before the game. Hamels (14-5, 3.50 ERA), who has been out since Aug. 16 with a strained left elbow, is also scheduled to throw before Sunday’s game. He hopes to return to the rotation within two weeks. … Utley was hit by his 20th pitch of the season, breaking the previous franchise mark of 19 set by Dave Hollins in 1992. … Former Marlins manager Joe Girardi saw his old team for the first time Saturday. Girardi, the 2006 National League Manager of the Year, was fired at the end of last season because of a stormy relationship with team management. He was the television analyst for the game. … Ramirez began the game with his seventh leadoff homer of the season and 14th of his career.