Phillies Notebook: Phillies on wrong side of reviews
Besides balk, Phils lose out on two questionable plays
WASHINGTON - Cole Hamels didn't balk in a run yesterday afternoon, but his balk did lead to the game-winning run, as Ian Desmond, who moved from second to third on the balk, easily scored from third on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
The balk call - which Ryne Sandberg called "questionable" - wasn't the only play the Phillies could look back and second-guess in a one-run loss to the Nationals.
Two plays during the game went to instant replay review, each against the Phillies.
In the first, Grady Sizemore scored the game's first run, after hitting a single and circling the bases when Marlon Byrd followed with a base hit to center and the Nationals decided to throw the ball all around the diamond. Both centerfielder Denard Span and third baseman Anthony Rendon were charged with throwing errors on the play.
But the Phillies felt Byrd should have scored on the play, too, since Rendon's throw (after recovering Span's throw from center) was fired wide to the plate and into Washington's dugout.
"The argument was that Byrdie was already around second base and it's two bases," Sandberg said. "So when they gathered to see where the runners were, they came up that he was not at second base yet. So I asked if they could review that and check, which they opted to do. And then they got on the headphones and said that was a non-reviewable play . . . It was an unfortunate play for us."
In the eighth, trailing by one run, Ben Revere led off with a single and stole his 44th base of the season. For a brief moment, the game-tying run was in scoring position with one out and the top of the lineup up.
But the Nationals reviewed the play and the umpires ruled that Revere had popped off the bag after arriving safely.
"A combination of the infielder blocking second base with his foot, tag took his hand off the base and when he slid by his hand had come off," Sandberg said.
Return of Adams
Mike Adams returned to the mound of the first time in 3 months Friday night.
Although the Phillies won, it didn't go well for the veteran reliever. He gave up a walk and two hits to the three batters he faced.
But Adams had an opportunity to redeem himself before he left Washington, taking over for Cole Hamels in the seventh inning of a one-run game. Adams was summoned to face Jayson Werth with two on and one out.
Despite falling behind the former Phillie and current Nationals three-hole hitter, Adams got Werth to bounce into a doubleplay to end the threat and the inning.
"It was a big situation for myself to get back in, especially after that last outing," Adams said. "I had to make up some ground for myself . . . Hopefully it's a start this month where I can get something going and continue to get successful outings."
Adams, 36, spent the majority of the season on the disabled list with right rotator-cuff inflammation.
Chase Utley was out of the lineup for the third time in the last 11 games. The All-Star starting second baseman had started 41 of 42 games in the 6 weeks prior.
Utley is hitting .241 with three home runs and six doubles in 44 games since the All-Star break. Is it just the byproduct of a 35-year-old entering the final months of a long season?
"Possibly," Sandberg said. "I think he's still capable of having quality at-bats. But yeah a little bit of wear and tear but still gives you a quality at-bat."
Entering play yesterday, Utley's .350 slugging percentage in the last 2 months (since June 8) ranked eighth among the Phillies' regular eight everyday players (Ryan Howard, .359; Cody Asche, .362; Domonic Brown, .378; Carlos Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins, .379; Ben Revere, .405; Marlon Byrd, .450).
Ben Revere, who was out of the starting lineup for the first time in 38 games, hit a pinch-hit single to led off the eighth inning. Revere is hitting .315 on the season. At the conclusion of yesterday's game, he was one point behind Colorado's Justin Morneau (.316) in the National League batting crown race . . . The Phillies begin a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at Citizens Bank Park. The series marks the return of righthander Vance Worley, who was sent to Minnesota in a trade for Revere in December 2012. Worley has gone 6-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 14 starts with Pittsburgh this season . . . The Phillies will host "Bark in the Park" Night on Wednesday, when fans seated in the rooftop bleachers can bring their dogs to the game; a portion of the proceeds will benefit PAWS (Pennsylvania Animal Welfare Society). Adoptable dogs also will be at the first base and leftfield gates.