May 11 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
CHI 16-16 150 4.69 T-8 759 (7) 14 9
PHI 15-19 169 4.97 T-3 784 (4) 30 7


Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
CHI 16-16 118 3.69 2 3.52 (4) 3.08 (5)
PHI 15-19 166 4.88 13 4.85 (13) 4.08 (12)

Pat Burrell's home and road splits just got a little sillier.  Coming off a ten-game road trip in which he was 2-for-28, Burrell carried the Phillies tonight, blasting two home runs off of Cubs' starter Rich Hill and driving in five runs.  It was more than enough for Cole Hamels, who got his fifth win of the season.

The Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs tonight, winning 7-2 to improve to 16-19 on the year.  Two in a row for the Phils.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks.  Four of the seven hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two solo home runs.  Both home runs again came from righties, which has been pretty much the only way to score against Hamels so far this year.  He struck out seven.

Hamels set the Cubs down 1-2-3 in the first.

In the second he got the first two before walking Matt Murton.  Mark DeRosa followed and flew to left for the third out. 

After getting the first two in the third, Alfonso Soriano hit a solo shot to right to put the Cubs up 1-0.  Ryan Theriot followed with a double but Hamels got Derek Lee to ground to first to set the Cubs down. 

Aramis Ramirez led off the fourth with a home run to left that made the Chicago lead 2-0.  Hamels got Michael Barrett to ground back to the pitcher before Murton singled again.  DeRosa and Angel Pagan went down to end the frame.

Soriano doubled with one out in the sixth and stole third.  Hamels got out of it.  He struck out Theriot and got Lee on a ground ball to third.  The Phils led 3-2.

Hamels got the first two in the sixth before Murton singled to left.  Mark DeRosa followed with a walk, but Angel Pagan flew to left on a ball that Burrell caught about a step in front of the wall to end the frame.

Cesar Izturis singled to start the seventh, but Hamels got Soriano to ground into a double-play and struck out Theriot for the third out.

Geoff Geary started the eighth with a 7-2 lead.  I know it falls on deaf ears, but I renew my plea for the members of the bullpen who aren't Geary and Myers to pitch in the games that the Phillies are up 7-2.  Michael Barrett smashed a ball off the wall with two outs, but Victorino played it well and held Barrett to a single.  Murton flew to center to end the inning as Geary dropped his ERA to 1.50.

Alfonseca pitched the ninth, giving up a one-out single but setting down the next two to end the game.

The Phillies' lineup against lefty Rich Hill went (1) Rolllins (2) Victorino (3) Rowand (4) Utley (5) Burrell (6) Helms (7) Nunez (8) Barajas.  The Phillies face their third lefty in four games.  Howard still on the bench with Helms at first and Nunez at third.  Rowand hits third and Barajas starts for the first time in four games.

Rowand singled to center with two outs in the first, but Utley flew to left to end the inning.

Burrell blooped a single into right to start the second, but Helms and Nunez struck out and Barajas lined to third to end the inning.

Down 1-0 in the third, the Phils went 1-2-3.

Rowand led off the fourth with the Phils down 2-0 and walked.  He stole second with Utley at the plate before Utley was hit by a slow curveball.  It brought up Burrell who hit one out to left giving the Phils a 5-2 lead.  Helms struck out, Nunez flew to center and Barajas grounded to third to end the inning. 

Victorino drew a two-out walk in the fifth, but Rowand struck out to end the inning.

Utley walked to start the sixth and Burrell popped his second of the night, this one way out to left.  5-2 Phils.  That was it for Hill.  Michael Wuertz came in and set down the next three in order.  On a positive note, Helms failed to strike out for the first time on the night.  Fly ball to center.

Dobbs pinch-hit for Hamels to start the seventh and singled.  Rollins flew to left before Victorino moved Dobbs to second with a single.  Rowand dribbled one to third for the second out as the runners moved to second and third.  Utley dumped a single into left-center, scoring Dobbs and Victorino to give Phils a 7-2 lead.  The Cubs amazingly left lefty Neal Cotts in to pitch to Burrell, and Cotts got Burrell to fly to center to end the inning.  The game did look a little out of reach at 7-2 in the seventh, but Chicago didn't look to have anyone warming up at 5-2.

Nunez hit one out in front of the plate with one out in the eighth.  Barrett fielded and made a bad throw to first that pulled Lee off of first for an error.  Barajas hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk. 

Rowand was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Utley was 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI.

Burrell was 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI.

Helms 0-for-4.  Nunez 0-for-4.  Barajas 0-for-4.

Not to be lost is that the Phillies' offense except for Burrell was miserable.  Four singles and three walks.  Lots of people ripping the middle of the Phillies order, but Howard was the hero of Wednesday's game with a pinch-hit grand slam and Burrell got it done tonight.  Besides Moyer and Hamels who gave the Phils two good starts, nobody else did much of anything.

It's just not true that Victorino and Rollins are getting on base at the top of the order, at least in the last couple of games after Victorino went nuts against the Giants.  They were 3-for-26 with a walk in Arizona.  1-for-7 with a walk tonight.  After tonight's game Rollins is on-basing .298 in May.

Freddy Garcia (1-2, 5.33) faces righty Angel Guzman (0-0, 2.19) tomorrow.  Garcia comes off his best start as a Phillie, going six innings in Arizona on Monday and holding the Snakes to two runs.  Lefties are hitting .340 against him.  25-year-old Guzman has appeared in five games this season, only one of which was a start.  The start came Sunday and Guzman held the Nationals to a run on two hits over five innings.  He appeared in 16 games for the Cubs last season, ten of which were starts.  In the ten starts he went 0-6 with a 9.28 ERA.

Flash Gordon was hospitalized with a high fever.  Howard had two MRIs that didn't show anything new.  Madson could do a minor-league rehab next week.

May 11 2007

They say you can never go home again, but the Phillies are going to give it a try.  After ten games on the road the Phils return to Philadelphia for ten games at home in which they will face the Cubs, Brewers and Blue Jays.  That's good news for a couple of Phils who just haven't hit on the road at all so far this year.

The Phillies have played just 13 games at home this season -- fewer than any other team in the National League.  They've gone 6-7 at home and 9-12 in their 21 games on the road.  They are scoring more runs, 69 in 13 games or about 5.30 per game, at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.  In their 21 road games they've scored 100 runs or about 4.76 runs per game.  Despite not batting in the ninth-inning of games they were winning, the Phillies scored more runs per game (5.48) in their 81 home games than they did (5.20) in their 81 road games last season.

The Phils have some hitters that have been much better in their early action at home than on the road.

Using OPS as the measure, among players that have 25 plate appearances at home, the Phillies have four players in the top 25.  Among players that have 25 plate appearances on the road they don't have any (doesn't include yesterday's games). 


NL Rank OPS Player AB A/O/S OPS
2 Utley 51 392/484/706 1.190
8 Rowand 51 392/475/674 1.122
10 Rollins 59 373/422/695 1.117
21 Burrell 36 333/468/472 940
NL Rank OPS Player AB A/O/S OPS
33 Rowand 74 338/414/486 900
51 Howard 55 182/347/491 838
55 Rollins 94 255/314/511 824
60 Victorino 79 316/375/430 805

The notion that Ryan Howard, with his .182 average, has been the Phililes' second-best hitter on the road is somewhat disconcerting.  I've been watching and, well, it's been kinda ugly for Ryan early. 

Notably absent from the away list are Burrell and Utley.  Utley has hit a miserable 226/316/452 in 84 at-bats on the road while Burrell has posted a miserabler 180/390/246 in 61 at-bats.  246?  Yup.  One double and one home run in 61 at-bats.  He slugged .517 on the road last season.

Ruiz is the other wacky one early.  344/400/500 in 32 at-bats at home and 224/269/327 in 49 at-bats on the road.

Gillick rips the middle of the order, by whom the author suggests he may mean Burrell, Howard and Helms, in this article, saying "Not everyone is doing their job, or playing to their potential."  The Phillies are tied for third in the NL in runs scored.  Adam Eaton has a 7.43 ERA.  The bullpen includes Yoel Hernandez, Francisco Rosario, Fabio Castro, Antoino Alfonseca and Clay Condrey.  Burrell, Helms and Howard haven't been good, it's true, but there's more than one problem.

The article sure sounds like Gillick wants you to know it's not his fault.  Manuel has suggested his managerial decisions from bizarro-world like letting Geary leadoff an inning or hitting Eaton with runners on first and third in the seventh-inning of a tie game are about his lack of faith in the guys he's been given in the bullpen.  In other words, it's not his fault, either.  At least everybody's focused on the right things.  Hopefully there's somebody in the organization who cares more about the team winning than it not being his fault when they don't.  Not sure who it is, though.  Seriously?  Jimmy Rollins, maybe?  Rowand?  Maybe one of those guys can be the manager and general manager.

Cole Hamels (4-1, 3.59) faces lefty Rich Hill (4-1, 1.73) tonight.  Hamels has made seven starts for the Phils and has gone at least seven innings in three of his last four times out.  He is second in the NL in strikeouts with 52.  He's allowed five home runs in his 47 2/3 innings, and all five have been from righties.  Hill has made six starts for the Cubs and allowed more than two earned runs in just one of them.  Opponents are hitting .181 against him and righties just .175.

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