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June 15 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
DET 37-28 385 5.92 NA 835 30 15
PHI 35-31 334 5.06 1 775 (1) 51 10


Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
DET 37-28 316 4.86 NA 4.19 5.21
PHI 35-31 332 5.03 T-14 4.70 (14) 4.57 (13)

One can hope that the wily Phils were thinking they would tire the Tigers out in the first game of the set by making them run around and around the bases.  If that was their plan it was well implemented.  They certainly picked the right pitchers.

Out with the White Sox, the Royals and the Mets' JV.  In with the best-hitting team in the American League. 

Didn't go so well.

The Phillies lost to the Detroit Tigers tonight, falling 12-8 to drop to 35-32 on the year.  The Phils are 7-3 in their last ten.  In the last two games the Phillies have lost they have allowed 29 runs.  After a day in second place they are back in third in the NL East.

Jon Lieber got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and two walks.  Only six of the runs were earned.  Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run.  In his last three starts at home, Lieber has allowed 17 runs on 33 hits in 16 2/3 innings. 

He got the first two men in the first before walking Gary Sheffield.  Magglio Ordonez flew to center for the third out. 

Carlos Guillen started the second with a single and moved to third when Ivan Rodriguez hit a fly ball to left-center that went off the glove of Rowand after a long run.  Burrell and Rowand looked confused about who was going to catch the ball.  Nobody apparently.  Sean Casey followed with a single that scored Guillen, cutting the Phillies' lead to 2-1 and moving Rodriguez to third.  With nobody out and men on first and third, Lieber struck out Brandon Inge and Jeremy Bonderman.  With Curtis Granderson at the plate, Lieber tried to pick Casey off of first, which would have worked a lot better if Howard had been holding the runner.  He wasn't.  Balls gone wild as everybody ran for a while and Lieber was charged with an error.  Rodriguez scored to tie the game at 2-2 as Casey went to third.  Lieber struck out Granderson to end the inning. 

Lieber threw a 1-2-3 third.  In the fourth he allowed a two-out single to Casey, but Inge flew to center to end the frame.

The game was tied at 2-2 going into the fifth.  Bonderman led off the inning and dribbled a ball past the mound.  Dobbs got to it but couldn't get him at first.   Granderson singled to right and Polanco singled off the arm of Lieber and into center field to load the bases.  Sheffield hit a fly ball well to right.  Bonderman tagged and scored to put Detroit up 3-2 as Granderson went to third, putting men on first and third with one out for Ordonez.  Ordonez, the only player in baseball who came into the game with more doubles than Utley this season, doubled.  Granderson scored to make it 4-2.  Guillen struck out looking in what seemed like a big at-bat, but Rodriguez followed and hit a ball just out to center field for a three-run homer.  7-2.  Casey doubled and Inge was walked intentionally so they could strike out Bonderman to end the frame.

Rosario started the sixth.  Granderson doubled and Polanco bunted him to third.  Sheffield grounded to third with Granderson holding for the second out.  Ordonez and Guillen both walked, loading the bases.  Rodriguez hit a two-run single, 9-3 with runners on first and third with two outs.  Casey doubled everybody in.  11-3.  Rosario walked Inge intentionally so he could strike out Bonderman to end the frame.  Rosario's ERA is 6.64 and he's allowed runs in each of his last three appearances. 

Mesa started the seventh.  Granderson led off with a routine ground ball to second that Utley couldn't get out of his glove cleanly.  Granderson was safe on the error and went to third on a single by Polanco.  Sheffield hit a ground ball to second that should have been a double-play, but Utley had trouble again, this time he was slow with the toss and the Phils could just get one out, forcing Polanco at second.  Granderson scored to extend the lead to 12-4.  Ordonez hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Mesa returned and threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Yoel Hernandez got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Jeremy Bonderman went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Burrell (7) Dobbs (8) Barajas.  Dobbs at third against the righty.  Barajas catches.

Rollins led off the first with a home run, putting the Phils up 1-0.  With two outs, Howard homered into the upper deck in right.  2-0.  Rowand singled to left and was thrown out trying for two.  He was out by a lot.

Burrell walked to start the second but the next three went down behind him.

Victorino singled with one out in the third and, after Utley flew to left for the second out, stole second with Howard at the plate.  Howard struck out to end the inning.

Rowand singled and stole second to start the fourth, but the next three went down.  Burrell couldn't move him to third with the first out, a popup to second base.

With one out in the fifth, Rollins homered again, cutting the Detroit' lead to 7-3.  After Victorino grounded to first, Utley singled.  Howard struck out for the the third out.

Dobbs homered with two outs in the sixth.  Detroit led 11-4.  Barajas grounded to second on a nice play by Polanco.  Barajas is kinda slow. 

Ruiz started the seventh with a single.  After Rollins popped to first, Victorino hit his second home run five games.  12-6.  Utley doubled to center but Howard struck out yet again and Rowand flew to right.

With two outs in the eighth and Dobbs, who had walked, on first, Ruiz doubled to center.  Dobbs scored to cut the lead to 12-7.  Rollins followed with a triple on a ball that was misplayed by Sheffield in left.  12-8.  Victorino popped to short to end the inning.

After Utley and Howard went down to start the ninth, Rowand and Burrell both walked but Dobbs struck out to end the game.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with two home runs, a triple and three RBI.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. 

Utley was 2-for-5 with a double.

Howard was 1-for-5 with a strikeout and three home runs.

Rowand was 2-for-4 with a walk.

Burrell was 0-for-3 and walked twice. 

Dobbs was 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk.

Barajas 0-for-3.  Ruiz 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI after entering with Mesa in the seventh.

Jamie Moyer (5-5, 4.55) faces stud prospect lefty Andrew Miller (2-0, 3.18) tomorrow night.  Moyer has thrown to a 5.58 ERA in his five starts at Citizens Bank Park this season, allowing seven home runs in 30 2/3 innings.  His last start came in Kansas City and he was hit hard there, allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings.  The 22-year-old Miller has made two starts this season.  After throwing six shutout innings on May 18 he didn't get his second start till last Sunday against the Mets in New York.  In that game he allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings.  Righties are hitting .243 against him, lefties are still looking for their first hit of the year.

June 15 2007

Here's a look at 13 of the key Phillies hitters this season, what they've done so far and what their numbers would look like at the end of the year if they hit like they have so far the rest of the way:



Player AB H 2B HR RBI K SB
Rollins 288 80 16 11 39 39 12
Utley 256 80 27 12 53 48 3
Victorino 249 67 12 5 23 35 20
Rowand 242 77 15 9 35 37 3
Burrell 187 41 10 8 29 45 0
Howard 163 39 7 13 41 60 0
Helms 155 39 9 1 17 33 0
Ruiz 151 40 10 3 20 25 1
Nunez 128 33 6 0 12 27 1
Dobbs 116 33 8 6 27 18 1
Barajas 84 18 6 3 7 17 0
Werth 70 17 1 3 10 20 0
Bourn 35 9 0 0 2 7 10

On Pace

Player AB H 2B HR RBI K SB
Rollins 707 196 39 27 96 96 29
Utley 628 196 66 29 130 118 7
Victorino 611 164 29 12 56 86 49
Rowand 594 189 37 22 86 91 7
Burrell 459 101 25 20 71 110 0
Howard 400 96 17 32 101 147 0
Helms 380 96 22 2 42 81 0
Ruiz 371 98 25 7 49 61 2
Nunez 314 81 15 0 29 66 2
Dobbs 285 81 20 15 66 44 2
Barajas 206 44 15 7 17 42 0
Werth 172 42 2 7 25 49 0
Bourn 86 22 0 0 5 17 25

After going into 2006 with a career high in home runs of 14, Rollins appears poised to have his second straight season in the mid-20's.  He's hitting 278/324/503.  The .324 on-base percentage would be his lowest mark since 2003, his .503 slugging the best of his career.  His .827 OPS is the best of his career.  He was awful in May, hitting 250/279/400 in 120 at-bats without a home run after tearing the league up in April.  In April he hit 297/366/613 with nine home runs.  He's on pace to steal just 29 bases, which would also be his lowest mark since 2003.

Utley is on pace to drive in 130.  His career high is 103.  Pretty sure he's not going to hit 66 doubles -- his career high of 40 came last season.  Freddy Sanchez led the NL with 53 last season and Derrek Lee with 50 in 2005.   Earl Webb is the singled-season leader in doubles, he hit 67 in 1931 for the Red Sox and is the only player to hit 66 in a year.  No player has hit 60 doubles since 1936, although Todd Helton hit 59 for the Rockies in 2000.  Utley is at 313/393/566, all three of which would be career highs.  MVP talk will be heating up if he doesn't cool off soon.

Victorino's 20 stolen bases on the season is among the biggest surprises of the year for me so far.  Caught just twice it increases his value as an offensive player significantly.  He's hitting 269/339/386, though, and all three numbers are down from last season.  He's hitting just 243/312/357 against lefties, which just isn't good enough for a corner outfielder. 

Rowand is having a monster year.  He's at 318/389/492, of which only the .492 slugging percentage would not be a career-high.  He's sure to draw comparisons to his 2004 campaign with the White Sox -- he's slightly off on doubles and home runs, 38 and 24 in '04 and on-pace for 37 and 22 in '07, but driving in more runs.  He's on pace to drive in 86 this season after knocking in 69, primarily hitting first and second, in 2004.  Even if he does keep hitting, you have to wonder if he can stay healthy the whole season. 

Burrell, at 219/386/401, has just been miserable.  The .401 slugging percentage would be the worst of his career, and 20 home runs his worst since 2000.  He's posted less than 71 RBI in just one season, his miserable 2003 campaign.  He's on-pace to strike out just 110 times, his previous career low was 130.  One of baseball's best-hitters against left-handed pitcher, Burrell has struggled miserably this season, hitting just 164/333/344 against them.  He clearly has a new approach at the plate -- let's hope it just takes him a while to get it all together.

At 239/389/521, Howard is down from last year's monster numbers in all three categories.  After a miserable April in which he hit just 221/396/390 in 77 at-bats, Howard posted a 1.073 OPS in May and a .980 so far in June.  The fireworks haven't started yet, but they're coming.

Wes Helms has been a huge disappointment for an organization with so few options at third.  252/306/329 with one home run.  His .329 slugging percentage is 111th of 122 NL players with 150 plate appearances.  The Phils still should be playing him at third far more than they are -- he has a chance to start hitting the ball off and over the wall, Nunez doesn't.  Helms has also been bad defensively.

One of the surprises for me so far is that Ruiz has gotten so much more playing time than Barajas.  Ruiz is at 265/315/391 this season, fairly similar to the 261/316/435 line he posted in 69 at-bats last year.  He's hitting 182/250/242 against lefties. 

Nunez is on-pace to get another 314 at-bats with the Phils.  If he did it would give him 637 between 2006-07.  Too many.  He's striking out more often this season than he has in others, 66 strikeouts would be a career high for him.  After driving in 32 runs in 322 at-bats last season, if he drove in 29 in 314 at-bats this year it would give him 61 in 637 at-bats over his two years with the Phils. 

Hopefully we see a lot more of Dobbs at third base against righties the rest of the way. 

Barajas is on pace to walk 44 times, which would dwarf his career high of 26 in 2005.  In 2005 he needed 410 at-bats to walk 26 times, this season he's on pace for 44 in 206 at-bats.  I think we may see more of Barajas and less of Ruiz as the year goes on.

Werth is striking out a lot, 20 times in 70 at-bats, a higher rate than anyone else on the list except Howard.  Very limited at-bats, but so far he's not doing much against righties, 200/300/286 with one extra-base hit and 14 strikeouts in 35 at-bats against righties.  286/366/486 in 35 at-bats against lefties.  He's another guy I think we're going to see playing a lot more as the season goes on. 

Bourn needs more chances to hit -- he's on pace to steal 25 bases and get just 86 at-bats for the season.

Freddy Garcia will not have surgery on his arm and may be able to pitch again this season.  Not for a long time, though.  Kendrick will get another start next week in Cleveland.

Jon Lieber (3-4, 3.72) faces righty Jeremy Bonderman (6-0, 3.63) tonight as the Phils start a three-game set with the Tigers in Philadelphia.  Lieber made his best start of the season his last time out, throwing a complete game shutout as he held the Royals to three hits and struck out 11 on Saturday.  It came off of back-to-back starts where he was pounded, giving up 10 runs on 23 hits over 11 2/3 innings.  The two starts he got hit hard in before the outing in KC both came at home.  On the season he's thrown to a 4.46 ERA with a 1.46 ratio at home and a 2.97 ERA with a 1.17 ratio on the road.  He threw to a 5.18 ERA in 15 starts at Citizens Bank Park last season (4.64 on the road).  Bonderman has gone 6-0 in his last six starts, throwing to a 4.03 ERA over those six games.  He's allowed just 14 walks in 72 innings on the season.  Lefties are hitting .220 against him, righties .262.  He's allowed just five home runs, and yes, he gets help from his yard, but not that much.

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