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September 7 2007


Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL Rank) SB CS
FLA 60-80 675 4.82 7 783 (3) 93 29
PHI 73-66 762 5.48 1 818 (1) 114 18


Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
FLA 60-80 755 5.39 16 5.34 (16) 4.10 (11)
PHI 73-66 716 5.15 T-14 4.92 (12) 4.74 (15)

Remember when Scott Olsen said the Marlins wanted to ruin the Phillies' season?  Apparently Scott and his mates were willing to go the distance.  A year late, maybe, but the Florida Marlins have stopped the Phillies dead in their tracks. 

The Phillies lost tonight for the fifth time this month.  Today is the seventh and they didn't play yesterday.  They've gone 0-3 against the Marlins in September.  The Phils look like they think they have no chance against the team with the worst record in the National League.  They look like they think they're in a pennant race about as much as they think they're in a local theater production of Oklahoma!.

Another bad start for the Phillies.  All the offense came on one swing of the bat.  Two errors in the field, including an awful throw by Ryan Howard that cost the Phils two runs they especially couldn't afford if they weren't going to hit.

The Phillies lost to the Florida Marlins tonight, losing 6-3 to drop to 73-67 on the year.  They will almost certainly flip the switch and turn it back on again before the end of the year, but it looks like it will be too late.   

JD Durbin got the start for the Phillies and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks.  Only two of the runs were earned, but Durbin was awful.  Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run.  He struck out three.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 first.

Miguel Cabrera started the second.  With one out, Mike Jacobs singled to right, moving Cabrera to third.  Cody Ross doubled down the line in left, Burrell dropped the ball and was charged with an error.  Both runners scored, putting the Marlins up 2-0.  Miguel Olivo walked to put men on first and second and the pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim bunted towards first.  Howard fielded and threw wildly towards third for another error.  Both runners scored to make it 4-0 and Kim went to second.  Durbin struck out Hanley Ramirez for the second out before walking Dan Uggla to put men on first and second.  Jeremy Hermida flew to right for the third out.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 third.  In the fourth, Olivo homered with one out to put the Marlins up 5-3.  Durbin got the next two. 

Hermida doubled to left with one out in the fifth and Durbin walked Cabrera intentionally and Willingham unintentionally.  It loaded the bases for Jacobs.  Clay Condrey, of course, came in to pitch to the lefty.  Condrey got Jacobs to hit into a double-play that ended the frame.

Alfonseca pitched the seventh, giving up a leadoff double to Ross but getting the next three.

Kane Davis started the eighth and got the leadoff man before Jacobs smashed a triple off the wall in center.  Cody Ross was walked intentionally to set up the double-play.  Olivo was next and he doubled off the wall in center.  Reggie Abercrombie, who had run for Jacobs, scored to extend the Florida lead to 6-3.  Ross went to third.  Davis struck out pinch-hitter Jason Wood for the second out and got Hanley Ramirez on a ground ball to third to end the frame.  Davis didn't have a good inning, two balls were smoked off the wall, but did a nice job to prevent another run after the Marlins put men on second and third with one out.

Jose Mesa threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

The bullpen allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Byung-Hyun Kim went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Dobbs (7) Werth (8) Ruiz.  Dobbs plays third against the righty.  Victorino stays on the bench.  Ruiz catches Durbin.

Utley singled with one in the first by Burrell and Howard went down behind him.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

In the third, Durbin and Rollins singled back-to-back with one out.  It put men on first and second, but Utley struck out for the second out.  Burrell was next and he homered to left, cutting the Marlins' lead to 4-3.  Howard struck out to end the inning.

Rowand singled to start the fourth, but the next three Marlins went down behind him.  Victorino took over for Rowand in the top of the fifth in center field, Rowand had to leave with a strained left hip.  If only the team had a chiropractor.

Rod Barajas led off the fifth, pinch-hitting for Condrey, and doubled.  The next three Phils went down behind him.

Dobbs doubled off the wall in right-center with two outs in the sixth.  Werth struck out behind him, swinging at a 3-2 pitch that was way outside.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Howard walked with two outs in the eighth and Victorino followed and was hit by a pitch. 

Werth started the ninth with a walk.  Ruiz was next and flew to right.  Laforest hit for Mesa and struck out.  Rollins grounded to first to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-5.

Utley was 1-for-4.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his 26th of the year. 

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk.  He's 2-for-his-last-15.

Rowand was 1-for-2.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 with a double.

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts.

Ruiz was 0-for-4.

John Ennis (0-0, 3.00) faces righty Rick VandenHurk (4-5, 6.94) tomorrow.  Ennis has one career start.  In 2002 he started for the Braves against the Phillies and allowed two runs in four innings.  In 23 career innings opponents have hit .305 against him and he's thrown to a 7.04 ERA.  After allowing just one run each of his two previous times out, VanderHurk was hit hard by the Nats on Monday.  He allowed six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.  He has faced the Phils just once this season.  On August 7 he allowed six runs on five hits and five walks in 2 1/3 innings.

September 7 2007

Only one team in the NL, the Reds, has a worse ERA than the 4.86 that Phillies' pitchers have posted on the year.  The Phils have the same 4.86 ERA at home (15th in the league) as they do on the road.  Their 4.86 road ERA is is tenth-best in the NL.  Citizens Bank Park hurts the Phils, but they are just a bad pitching team.  They were a bad pitching team when Lieber, Garcia and Hamels were healthy and they're a bad pitching team today.

The Phillies rotation has broken down remarkably this year.  Moyer, Garcia and Eaton have made 65 starts in which they threw to a 5.69 ERA.  Lieber is injured and out for the year after throwing to a 4.73 ERA in his 78 innings -- the Phils went 3-9 in the 12 games that he started. Myers is in the pen after making three starts on the year, two of which were miserable.  All of those guys struggled to get it done in the Phillies' rotation this season, and as the team struggles through the pennant race they look to some unlikely names to pick up the slack, including Kyle Kendrick and JD Durbin.

Kendrick has been fantastically successful this season.  Durbin hasn't. Kendrick is 8-3 with a 3.78 ERA, Durbin 6-4 with a 5.20 ERA with the Phillies.  Including his time with Arizona, opponents are hitting .303 against Durbin and he's walked 29 in 56 innings.  Kendrick can't get lefties out, they've hit .330 against him this year, but righties are hitting .219 with an 0.85 ratio against him.

One thing that Kendrick and Durbin do have in common is that they both get a lot of their outs on the ground.  Here's a look at the Phillies' pitchers who have made more than three starts this season and how many of their outs have come on strikeouts, ground outs and fly balls:


Lohse 28 105 175 214 494 21.3 35.4 43.3
Moyer 28 112 186 203 501 22.4 37.1 40.5
Eaton 26 88 158 175 421 20.9 37.5 41.6
Hamels 25 156 168 170 494 31.6 34.0 34.4
Kendrick 16 37 146 109 292 12.7 50.0 37.3
Lieber 12 54 95 84 233 23.2 40.8 36.1
Garcia 11 50 59 62 171 29.2 34.5 36.3
Durbin 8 32 78 56 166 19.3 47.0 33.7
Total 154 634 1065 1073 2772 22.9 38.4 38.7

Everyone knows that Kendrick has been an extreme ground ball pitcher in his time with the Phillies. But so has Durbin.  Besides Kendrick, no other Phillies' starting pitcher has gotten a higher percentage of his outs on ground balls.

With Hamels on the DL, Myers in the pen and Garcia out for the year, nobody in the Phillies' rotation gets a lot of strikeouts.

Lohse has gotten more of his outs in the air than either Moyer or Eaton, which has to cause some worry.  In 37 2/3 innings with the Phils he's allowed four home runs. That's about one every 9.41 innings with the Phils.  In his 131 2/3 innings with the Reds this year he allowed 16 home runs, or about one every 8.23 innings.  Over his career, he's allowed 155 home runs in 1140.2 innings, about one every 7.36 innings.  He has kept the home runs down so far with the Phillies, but given his history you have to worry whether he's going to be able to continue that trend given all the fly balls he's throwing in such a small park.

The Phils start a three-game set with the Marlins tonight with Durbin (6-4, 6.27) on the hill against righty Byung-Hyun Kim (8-6, 5.54).  Durbin faced the Marlins on Saturday and didn't get an out, allowing seven runs on five hits and a walk.  Kim started that game for Florida and got the win but was hit hard, allowing four runs on ten hits in five innings.  Rollins and Rowand both homered against him in that game.  Kim has allowed 15 home runs in just 92 2/3 innings this year, 12 of which have been hit by lefties.  Lefties have hammered Kim this year, but righties are hitting just .224 against him.

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