July 1, 2009 9:01 AM

Bunts and Balks (6/30)

Form of Victory.

Jimmy Rollins returned to the lineup on Tuesday, and increased his hitless streak to 24 AB, with an 0 for 5 effort. The Braves fans mocked him, chanting .208 (his batting average). Still better than Gnome Bruntlett...

Paul Bako played in the field, and was allowed to bat (!), in Tuesday night's loss to Atlanta. These events should only be permitted to occur under emergency circumstances, or in blowouts. This may have been our last chance to see Bako on the field, however, if he is removed from the roster on Friday.

The Phillies acquired Brian Mazone, a soft-tossing journeyman, to bolster the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) staff. With a day-night doubleheader looming on Friday, and the probable promotion of a member of their starting rotation to the parent club, the Phils just wanted another arm for AAA. They may not want to promote any of their AA starters, at this point, though Joe Savery could be an option late in the season. (Kyle Drabek, coming off TJ surgery, should probably stay at AA for the season, and keep his innings down.)

J.A. Happ has been named as the starter for Thursday night, so the Friday night starter (against the Mets) will, likely, be a pitcher currently in AAA. This move keeps Happ on his regular day, and gives him the start in the final game before the All-Star break. It also enables the Phillies to wait another game, before opening up a roster spot, with the optioning of (Sergio Escalona? Jack Taschner?) or the DFA'ing of Paul Bako.

The starter for Friday still has not been announced. It could be Andrew Carpenter, Carlos Carrasco, Rodrigo Lopez, or Roy Halladay. Carrasco and Carpenter have options remaining, while the veteran Lopez would have to pass waivers to return to the LV. Halladay is a bit of a darkhorse here, as he would be on three days' rest, and is currently in the Blue Jays' organization. My money is on Carrasco making the start (or Arizona RHP Doug Davis, who would be on full rest).

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) fell to two games under .500, with a 3-1 loss to the Norfolk Tides. The Tides scored two eighth-inning runs to break the tie. Kyle Kendrick pitched a bullpen-saving complete game (106 pitches, 70 strikes), allowing only two earned runs (six hits, two walks/one strikeout) in the nine-inning effort. The FeHogs were held to only five hits.

The Reading Phillies (AA) trailed the Altoona Curve, 5-4, in the bottom of the ninth. They tied it in the ninth, and won on a 12th inning walkoff HR by Kevin Mahar. In Yohan Flande's long-awaited R-Phils debut, the lefty allowed five runs in the second inning. In the other five innings he pitched, he held the Curve scoreless. Flande permitted only four hits, with three walks/four strikeouts.

The Clearwater Threshers (A) were rained out on Tuesday night. They will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, against the Palm Beach Cardinals.

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