Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Phillies blank Padres behind Morton and bullpen

Charlie Morton looked masterful on Tuesday, leading the Phillies to a 3-0 win over the Padres.
Having looked masterful at times, Charlie Morton sauntered off the mound and headed to the dugout in the seventh inning staked to a one-run lead. He left hoping the bullpen would be able to string together seven more outs to secure the Phillies first home win of the season.

Entering Tuesday, the Phillies' bullpen had tossed 10 scoreless innings dating back to Saturday's contest in New York. The relief corps pushed that scoreless streak to 12 1/3 innings on Tuesday night, sealing a 3-0 win for the Phillies over the Padres at Citizens Bank Park.

Prior to their new found success, the Phillies bullpen surrendered 15 runs in its first eight innings.

"I think the uncertainty of roles had something to do with it," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Nobody stepped up during Spring Training and rose above the pack. I think everybody felt a lot of pressure to impress. Now they've kind of got their confidence back."

Hector Neris, David Hernandez, and Jeanmar Gomez provided Morton his seven outs. Neris faced just one batter, striking out Wil Myers to strand a pair of inherited baserunners to end the seventh.



Jeanmar Gomez picked up his third save in three opportunities, though Mackanin is not yet ready to anoint him as the club's closer.

"Everyone is doing a really good job," Gomez said. "We're trying to stay together. We're trying to speak more during the game and focus on that game. That's really important because all seven of us are focused on the game. And that gave us a good result."

Already ahead by a run, the Phillies scored a pair in the ninth as Cedric Hunter scored on a fielder's choice and Emmanuel Burriss came home on a throwing error by Padres second baseman Cory Spangenberg.

Odubel Herrera drove a two-out triple to right field in the sixth inning, scoring Tyler Goeddel from second to give the Phillies a 1-0 advantage. Goeddel reached earlier in the frame by collecting his first major-league hit, a single to left.

Morton threw 100 pitches, 59 of which were strikes. He did a fine job of locating his fastball and his sinker kept Padres' hitters off-balance for much of the night.

"I feel like we're going to be in every game with our starting pitching," Mackanin said. "And the way the bullpen seems to be shaping up, we're pretty pleased with the way it looks."

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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON 
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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