Sep 012010

Phillies slugger Ryan Howard

September 1 Philadelphia Daily News

“Against a couple of familiar faces, the Phillies found a reprieve from the offensive struggles that have plagued them for most of the last 2 weeks.

A three-run homer by Brian Schneider in the second inning helped knock former Phils farmhand Carlos Monasterios out of the game in the third inning, and a two-run single by Carlos Ruiz off longtime rival Jonathan Broxton helped seal an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium last night.

The Phillies entered the night having scored three or fewer runs in 10 of their previous 12 games, including a 3-0 shutout at the hands of Hiroki Kuroda on Monday night.

The last time the Phillies scored eight runs was Aug. 18 in an 8-2 win over the Giants. At that point, they were 2 1/2 games behind the Braves. In the 12 games that followed, they hit .184 with a .261 on-base percentage while averaging just 2.3 runs per game.

Yet they saw their deficit in the NL East grow by just half a game during that stretch. After last night’s victory, which improved them to 74-58, they trail Atlanta by three games, but lead the wild-card race by 1 1/2 games over the Giants.

After the Dodgers scored a run, righthander Kyle Kendrick escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first by getting Casey Blake to ground into an inning-ending doubleplay. Jayson Werth then led off the second with a double, which helped set the stage for Schneider’s three-run homer deep into the rightfield seats.

The Phillies started the third with back-to-back singles by Placido Polanco and Chase Utley, prompting Dodgers manager Joe Torre to remove Monasterios after just 40 pitches.

Monasterios began his career with the Yankees in 2006, but ended up in Philadelphia later that season as part of the package of prospects New York sent to the Phillies in exchange for Bobby Abreu. The 6-2, 175-pound righthander, who pairs an average fastball with a changeup, wasn’t considered anything more than a middling prospect. As a 21-year-old at low-Class A Lakewood in 2007, he posted a 4.62 ERA with 6.6 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine innings. At high-Class A Clearwater in 2008, he went 5-8 with a 5.63 ERA, 6.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.

After last season, when Monasterios went 5-6 with a 3.73 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 at Clearwater and Double A Reading, the Phillies left him unprotected for the Rule 5 draft. The Dodgers selected him, and have kept him on their active roster throughout the season.”

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