Phils hoping to see Adam Eaton some innings
August 28 2007
Three good starts for the
Phils over the past three days, as Lohse, Kendrick and Durbin combined to
allow four earned runs in 19 innings (1.89 ERA). The Phillies won two of
those games and lost the other on Saturday night when Lohse left with a 2-1
lead in the seventh and the pen gave up three home runs.
In all three of those games the Phils' starter went at least six innings. That's all good news, especially given the trio that made the starts. I don't believe it's reasonable to expect a lot from the bullpen the rest of the way -- they are either going to have to be a lot better than they have or they are going to have to not pitch very much for the Phils to make a run. And they've already pitched less than nearly every other team in the NL (only the Giants and the Cubs have called on their bullpens to throw fewer innings than the Phillies this season). Lohse has experience that the Durbin and Kendrick don't, but I don't think you can count on Durbin and Kendrick to go deep into games the rest of the way.
If you've been reading the Start Log, and I know you haven't, you know that the Phils are 61-38 when their starting pitcher gets an out in the sixth inning. They are 7-24 when their starting pitcher doesn't. Going deep into the game is obviously the result and not the cause of good pitching, but when Phils' hurlers get an out in the sixth the team has done well. Even in the games where the starter has gone 5 1/3 innings, 5 2/3 innings or six innings, regardless of how many runs they have allowed, the Phils are 24-21. That's a .533 winning percentage, better than the team's .523 winning percentage for the year.
Here's a look at the average number of innings pitched per start for pitchers who have made a start for the Phillies this season:
No surprise to see Hamels
at the top of the list, but Kendrick's 6.29 innings per start put him third,
just barely behind Lieber. Durbin is not far behind and both he and
Kendrick are ahead of Moyer's 6.10 innings per start. Moyer, as you
may have noticed is fading fast, he's been able to throw just 26 innings in
his five starts this month. That's 5.2 innings per game, which puts
his mark for this month below that of either Eaton or Garcia for the year.
Both Eaton and Garcia have struggled horribly this season.
Lohse doesn't fare well on the list above, but that's mostly because he's made so few starts and had to leave after one inning in his debut against the Cubs. He's been good and helped stabilize a rotation in bad need of stability.
After Eaton starts tonight's game, the Phillies have 31 games to start left this year. It seems like those starts will go to this group of six pitchers: Hamels, Moyer, Lohse, Kendrick, Durbin and Eaton. Things don't look good for Freddy Garcia, who, according to this article, is getting hitters out in A ball but can't get his velocity back.
I have updated the Start Log to include the average number of innings pitched per start by starter.
Things getting desperate for Phils, but Utley lends a hand
August 28 2007
|Team||W-L||R||R/G||NL Rank R||OPS (NL Rank)||SB||CS|
|Team||W-L||RA||RA/G||NL Rank RA||Starter ERA||Pen ERA|
|NYM||73-56||563||4.36||4||4.18 (5)||3.67 (3)|
|PHI||67-62||663||5.14||13||4.90 (12)||4.66 (15|
The Phillies went 15-13 in the games they played without Chase Utley. That wasn't the problem. The problem was the they looked so bad as they went 2-6 in the last eight games of the 28-game stretch that there didn't seem to be much cause for hope.
During that stretch the Phillies couldn't get their offense going, but it didn't matter much because their pitchers got hammered. Three times in the eight games they allowed more than ten runs. Players had to explain why they weren't running out their ground balls. Arguments about how well-hit the home runs they lost games on were nearly came to blows.
And last night those guys were gone. JD Durbin was fantastic. He gave the Phillies four surprisingly perfect innings, but it felt like more. Utley himself stroked three hits including a long home run. Burrell continued his torrid hitting with another long ball. The celebration that followed the pinch-hit home run by Iguchi in the seventh showcased a lively group of happy Phils that had their swagger back. It's been so long since we've seen those guys I'd nearly forgotten they exist.
The Phillies have a long, long way to go if they're going to do anything this year. But Utley is most certainly back, and, after one game at least, it looks like he brought the Phillies with him.
The Phillies beat the Mets last night, winning 9-2 to improve to 68-62 on the year. They are in second place in the NL East, trailing the Mets by five games. The Padres beat the Diamondbacks last night, so the Phils remain three games behind San Diego for the Wild Card. I will be surprised if San Diego doesn't win the NL West. I think the Diamondbacks may prove to be the team the Phils are battling if they stay in the Wild Card hunt.
JD Durbin got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter.
Huge start for Durbin at a big time. He's 2-1 with a 3.93 ERA in his last three starts.
Durbin was perfect through four innings, getting five strikeouts. He got a nice play from Utley to get Jose Reyes for the first out of the game. In the third, Paul Lo Duca led off with chop back up the middle and Durbin made a nice play to jump up and snare the ball and throw to first for the first out.
Carlos Beltran led off the fifth and ripped a double to right-center. Beltran moved to third on a ground ball to second by Moises Alou. Durbin struck out Carlos Delgado for the second out, which looked huge, but Lo Duca blooped a single into center. Beltran scored to cut the Phillies' lead to 3-1. Shawn Green followed with a single into right that moved Lo Duca to third. The pitcher Brian Lawrence was next and he hit a hard one-hopper to third that Dobbs couldn't handle. Lo Duca scored to make it 3-2 and Green went to second on the single. It would have taken a nice play by Dobbs to handle the hard-hit ball. The Phils didn't get one. Reyes grounded to second for the third out.
Luis Castillo singled off the glove of Howard to start the sixth but David Wright was next and hit into a double-play. Beltran lined to Werth on a nice running play to end the frame. Howard should have made the play on Castillo's ball.
Durbin started the seventh and got Alou for the first out before Delgado singled to left. Jimy Williams, managing for Manuel after Manuel was ejected in the first, pulled Durbin and brought Alfonseca in to pitch to the righty Lo Duca. Lo Duca singled to right and Delgado went to second. With the lefty Green up next, Williams brought Romero in and Conine hit for Green. Conine flew to right for the second out. Lastings Milledge pinch-hit for the pitcher Jorge Sosa, and Romero struck him out to set the Mets down with both runners stranded.
Gordon threw a 1-2-3 eighth, getting the second out on a great diving play by Howard to rob Castillo of a single. Castillo had gotten a hit he shouldn't have with the help of Howard in the sixth, so I guess we can call it even.
Condrey pitched the ninth and gave up a one-out single to Alou. He struck out Delgado then got Lo Duca on a fly ball to right to end the game.
The pen throws 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, both singles. The Mets didn't have a walk in the game.
The Phillies' lineup against righty Brian Lawrence went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Dobbs (7) Werth (8) Coste. That's probably the eight best hitters the Phillies can put on the field. They sacrifice defense in right, at third and behind the plate to do it. Manuel may have thought they were going to have to out hit Durbin, but that didn't prove to be the case. It's nice to see all that firepower in there at once, they would score a lot of runs if Manuel continues to put those guys out there. Utley returns to the lineup in his first action since being hit by a John Lannan pitch on July 26. He hits second with Burrell third to break up the lefties Utley and Howard. Victorino on the bench again as Werth stays in right. Coste behind the plate again after the three-run blast on Sunday.
Rollins started the first with a ground ball back up the middle. Castillo made a nice diving play and threw to first. Rollins was called out. Manuel argued and was ejected. Replays showed that Rollins was safe. Utley flew to left for the second out before Burrell singled, but Howard lined out to short to end the inning.
Dobbs singled with one out in the second and Werth followed and rattled a double into left. Dobbs scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Coste grounded to short and Utley held second. Durbin struck out for the third out.
Rollins singled to start the third and stole second. Utley grounded to first for the first out, but Burrell followed and homered to left to put the Phils up 3-0. Howard followed with a single. Rowand was next and he lined to second, Howard was doubled off of first to end the inning.
Werth doubled with one out in the fourth, but Coste and Durbin went down behind him.
With one out in the fifth, Utley hit a home run to center field that extended the Phillies' lead to 4-2. Burrell fouled out before Howard doubled. Rowand walked, putting men on first and second with two down for Dobbs and Dobbs singled into right. Howard scored and Rowand went to third with the Phils up 5-2. Werth walked to load the bases, but Coste struck out to end the inning. Nice job with two outs by the Phils as four straight batters reached.
With one out in the sixth, Rollins singled and scored when Utley followed with a double to left center, putting the Phillies up 6-2. Burrell lined to center for the second out and Howard was walked intentionally. Rowand grounded to third for the third out.
With one out in the seventh, Werth singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Coste doubled just inside the first base line on an inside-out swing. Werth scored to make it 7-2. Tad Iguchi pinch-hit for Romero and launched a two-run shot out to left. 9-2. Rollins flew to center for the second out before Utley blooped one over third for a single. Victorino moved Utley to second with a single up the middle, but Howard grounded to second to end the inning.
Werth singled with two outs in the eighth, making him 4-for-4 in the game and 9-for-his-last-9. Coste flew to center for the third out.
Rollins was 2-for-5.
Utley was 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI.
Burrell was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. 5-for-his-last-11 with a double and two home runs. Since July started he's hitting .361 with 13 home runs (56-for-155).
Howard was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. He's 7-for-his-last-12.
Rowand was 0-for-4 with a walk.
Dobbs was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Werth was 4-for-4. He's raised his average from .270 to .312 by going 9-for-his-last-9.
Coste was 1-for-5 with an RBI and left six men on base. He's left 12 men in base over his last two starts.
Iguchi was 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit two-run homer. Not sure what the Phils are going to do with Iguchi, but I believe them when they say he's not going to play third. He has never appeared at third or short in the major leagues. He clearly improves the bench a great deal, but he's not a player that belongs on the bench. He's hitting 307/362/456 with three home runs in 114 at-bats as a Phillie.
Adam Eaton (9-8, 6.36) faces lefty Tom Glavine (11-6, 4.32) tonight. If you missed it in the first sentence, Adam Eaton's ERA this season is 6.36. His last start came August 11 against the Braves. Over his last four starts he's allowed 19 earned runs in 20 innings (9.47 ERA). Lefites are hitting .330 against him this season and have hit 13 of the 22 home runs he's allowed. He's made two starts against the Mets this season and is 2-0 with a 2.77 in those starts. He faced them on April 11 and June 6. Glavine was hit hard in his last start, allowing six runs in five innings against the Padres on Thursday. In three starts against the Phillies this year he's 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA. He faced the Phillies on April 12, April 17 and June 5.
The Phillies designated Russell Branyan for assignment when they activated Utley yesterday.