Archive for April 7th, 2008

Hamels fine as hitters try to find a New York state of mind

You knew it was going to happen sooner or later and after four tries the Phils finally got a win in a game started by Brett Myers or Cole Hamels. Hamels pitched very well for his second straight outing and Rollins got things going by leading off the game with a home run. So far this season Rollins is 5-for-7 with a double and a home run in his at-bats leading off the first inning.

Pat the Bat continues to be just that. Burrell came into the game with a 1.259 OPS for the season and drove in three runs with a pair of homers. Burrell’s blasts accounted for half of the home runs the Phillies hit on the day.

The Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon, winning 5-3 to improve to 3-4 on the season. The Phils and Reds split the four game series.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four.

Hamels started the first with a 3-0 lead and gave up a leadoff double to Ryan Freel. Juan Castro followed with a walk and, with Brandon Phillips at the plate, the runners took off on a double-steal. Feliz didn’t handle the throw at third and both runners were safe. Feliz was charged with an error, his second of the season. Phillips grounded to third and Freel scored to get the Reds on the board at 3-1 with one out. Adam Dunn fouled out to Ruiz for the second out before Jeff Keppinger singled, scoring Castro to make it 3-2. Edwin Encarnacion grounded to third to end the inning.

Hamels walked the pitcher Bronson Arroyo with two outs in the second, but got Freel to end the inning.

He started the third up 5-2 and with one out Phillips singled and stole second. Hamels struck out Dunn and got Keppinger to turn the Reds away.

Paul Bako doubled with two outs in the fourth, but Hamels got Arroyo for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Keppinger walked with one out in the sixth. Hamels got Encarnacion on a fly ball to left for the second out before Norris Hopper moved Keppinger to second with a single. Bako grounded to first to end the inning.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Tom Gordon started the eighth for the Phils after Hamels had been pinch-hit for in the top of the inning. He set the Reds down 1-2-3. Great inning for Flash, who got two fly balls and caught the lefty Dunn looking.

Lidge got his first save opportunity with the Phils in the ninth entering the game with a 5-2 lead after throwing 20 pitches on Sunday. Lidge got Encarnacion on a long fly ball to left for the first out and got Hopper to ground to third for the second. Bako drew a two out walk before Patterson popped one into shallow left. Taguchi made a long run and tried to make a basket catch, but the ball went in and out of his glove for an error. Lidge got behind Griffey 3-0 and then walked him intentionally to load the bases. Javier Valentin hit for Castro. Lidge’s 1-2 was in the dirt and Ruiz was unable to block it. Bako scored to make it 5-3 and the runners went to second and third with two down. Lidge’s next pitch was also in the dirt and Ruiz was unable to block it, but it didn’t trickle far enough away for Patterson to score from third. Valentin fouled one off before Lidge struck Valentin out looking at a pitch that seemed to be a little high and outside.

Don’t know if we’re ever going to see Gordon pitch on back-to-back days this season, but if we are tomorrow may be the day. He only needed nine pitches to set the Reds down in the eighth. Lidge threw 24 pitches and has now gone back-to-back days in which he threw at least 20 pitches.

The Phillies lineup against righty Bronson Arroyo went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Ruiz catches Hamels and Jenkins plays right against the righty.

Rollins led off the first and hit a 3-2 pitch out to right to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino and Utley went down before Howard delivered a two-out double and Burrell followed and hit one out to left to make it 3-0. Jenkins popped out to end the frame.

With two outs in the second, Hamels and Rollins singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Victorino, who struck out for the third out.

With two outs in the third, Burrell homered to left to extend the Phillies’ lead to 4-2. Jenkins was next and he hammered a 2-0 pitch out to the opposite field for his first Phillies home run, making the score 5-2. Feliz flew to center for the third out.

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

Victorino started the fifth with a single. Utley was next and he grounded out to second with the help of a nice play from Phillips, who threw Utley out while lying on his side. Victorino went to second. Howard and Burrell both struck out to end the frame and leave Victorino stranded.

Feliz doubled with one out in the sixth. Ruiz was next and was hit by a pitch. Hamels bunted them to second and third and the lefty Jeremy Affeldt came in to pitch to Rollins and Rollins drew a walk to load the bases. Victorino grounded to third.

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

Feliz singled with one out in the eighth. Ruiz grounded to short for the second out and Feliz moved to second. Dobbs hit for Hamels and grounded out to the pitcher.

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

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run in the game. 6-for-17 in the four-game set. He’s hitting 300/344/567 on the year.

Victorino is struggling badly to start the season. He was 1-for-5 with a single, two strikeouts and five men left on base today. 3-for-17 with six strikeouts in the series. 143/172/214.

Utley was 0-for-5 in the game and 6-for-16 with two doubles in the series. 346/438/769.

Howard is off to a slow start after hitting .221 with three home runs last April. He was 1-for-4 with a double and three strikeouts today. 2-for-14 with a home run and seven strikeouts in the series. 208/333/375 on the season.

Burrell is on fire. 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI today. 7-for-13 with three homers, two doubles and seven RBI in the set. 435/519/957.

Jenkins was 1-for-4 with a home run today. 3-for-15 in the series. 261/320/435. His .320 on-base percentage leads the bottom three of the Phils order of Jenkins/Feliz/Ruiz. Jenkins, Feliz and Ruiz may struggle to get on base all season.

Feliz was 2-for-4 with a double today and 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. 261/292/304.

Ruiz 0-for-3 today and 2-for-11 with a double in the series. He’s at 158/200/263. Coste didn’t play today and was 0-for-4 in the series and is just 2-for-8 on the year.

Werth is the guy I wish was getting a lot more time than he is. He was just 0-for-1 in the series as the Reds threw four righties. He’s 1-for-5 on the year. The Phillies need to figure out a way to get him more time. If Victorino doesn’t turn it around soon, the Phils are going to have to act in some way, either by moving him down in the order or giving Taguchi or Werth (or, less likely, Bruntlett) some starts in center. I’m hoping that giving Werth a few tries in center if the first choice. Werth will no doubt be in right tomorrow against the lefty Perez.

Taguchi was 1-for-1 with a double in the series and is 1-for-3 on the year.

Bruntlett is still on the team but you’ll just have to take my word for it. 0-for-1 in the series and 1-for-2 on the year.

Jamie Moyer (0-0, 7.36) faces lefty Oliver Perez (1-0, 0.00) tomorrow in New York as the Phils play their first of three against the Mets. Moyer was terrible in his first start of the year against Washington, allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings (only three of the runs were earned). Moyer made four starts against the Mets in 2007 and was really good. He went 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.35 ratio. He faced them on April 12, June 5, August 29 (the Marlon Anderson slide game) and September 14. Perez made his first start of the season against the Fish on Wednesday and went six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out eight. Perez made three starts against the Phils in ’07, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA and a 2.25 ratio. The Phils hit just .240 against him but he walked 18 in 13 1/3 innings. He faced the Phils on April 11, August 29 and September 16 of last year.

The Start Log is up to date.

Ace is mild

Opening day starter Brett Myers made his second appearance of the year yesterday in Cincinnati and the results weren’t much better than his first time out. Myers is just one of a slew of Phils struggling out of the gate as the team has gotten off to yet another weak start to the season.

The Great American Ball Park hasn’t been great for the Phillies. Burrell and Utley are just about the only Phillies hitting and the Phils have scored five runs in their last two games. The defensive problems continue as well. Yesterday Clay Condrey started the sixth down 4-1 and got some of the very worst defense you’ll ever see in an inning where there’s no error charged. By the time the frame was over the Phils were down 8-1 and putting up seven runs in three times at-bat is a tough task when the bats have all gone quiet.

The Phillies lost to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, falling 8-2 to drop to 2-4 on the year.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks. Four of the eight hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out four.

After Corey Patterson flew to left for the first out in the first, Jeff Keppinger followed with a hit into right. Jenkins played it well to keep the ball from going to the wall and holding Keppinger to a single. Didn’t matter, though, cause Ken Griffey Jr was next and he hit Myers’ 1-1 pitch well out to right to put the Reds up 2-0. Myers got Brandon Phillips to pop out before Adam Dunn drew a two out walk. Edwin Encarnacion struck out looking to end the inning.

Paul Bako singled to right with one out in the second and again the ball was well-played by Jenkins in right. The pitcher Volquez was next and popped a bunt up foul. Ruiz made a nice sliding play for the second out. Myers struck out Patterson to set the Reds down.

Keppinger led off the third and hammered a 3-1 pitch out to left to put Cincinnati up 3-0. Myers got Griffey to fly to center for the first out before Phillips laced a double into left-center. Dunn lined softly to first for the second out and Encarnacion grounded to third to end the inning.

Myers walked Bako with one out in the four and Volquez bunted him to second. Patterson was next and he doubled, scoring Bako to make it 4-0. Keppinger followed and hit a ball that looked like it went off his foot and down the third base line. Feliz threw to first and Keppinger was ruled out, but the umps may have missed that one.

Griffey and Phillips started the fifth with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second with nobody out for Dunn, who smashed a line drive back up the middle and off the body of Myers. Myers picked it up and threw Dunn out at first as the runners moved to second and third. Encarnacion walked to load the bases, but Myers struck Votto out on a 3-2 pitch for the second out and got Bako on a line drive to center that Victorino tracked down after a long run. Getting Votto to go down swinging on that 3-2 pitch with one out and the bases loaded was huge for Myers.

Condrey started the sixth and walked Patterson. Patterson bunted up the first base line. Condrey fielded and flipped high to Howard, the ball went off the tip of his glove for a single. Condrey’s first pitch to Keppinger went through Ruiz’s legs for a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third. Ruiz should have blocked the ball. Keppinger hit a ball up the middle and into center. Both runners scored without a throw to make the score 6-1. Nobody covered second, Rollins trailed off into right field and I have no idea what Utley did, so Keppinger went to second and was given a double. Condrey walked Griffey intentionally and Phillips hit a bleeder up the third base line. Dobbs fielded nicely and threw to first but not in time. Phillips was safe and the bases were loaded. Dunn singled into center and everyone moved up a base. Keppinger scored and the Reds’ lead was 7-1. Encarnacion followed and hit into a double-play, but Griffey scored to make it 8-1. Norris Hopper hit for the pitcher and grounded out to end the inning.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Lidge made his Phillies debut in the bottom of the eighth with the Phils down 8-2. He got Keppinger on a line drive to right, then struck out Griffey before getting Phillips to pop to short for the third out.

With help from the bizarre sixth inning Condrey threw 39 pitches on the day, so he’s pretty clearly not available for the Phils this afternoon. Lidge threw 20 so I’d guess he’s still the Phils first choice in a save situation despite pitching on back-to-back days. Hopefully we’ll get to see.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edinson Volquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Nothing unexpected there. Ruiz catches Myers again and Jenkins plays right against the righty.

Rollins led off the first with a looping single into right. Victorino flew to left for the first out and Utley followed and flew to center. Rollins stole second with Howard at the plate. Bako’s throw was wild, but Phillips backed it up well and prevented Rollins from going to third. Howard walked and Volquez’s first pitch to Burrell was off Bako’s glove for a passed ball that allowed the runners to move to second and third. Burrell grounded back to the pitcher for the third out. Nice backup by Phillips prevents Rollins from going to third and may have saved a run.

Jenkins, Feliz and Ruiz went 1-2-3 in the second. Jenkins and Ruiz both went down swinging.

Rollins and Victorino struck out in a 1-2-3 third.

Burrell walked with two outs in the fourth. Jenkins was next and hit a ball in between first and second and off the glove of a sliding Phillips. Jenkins beat it out for a single. Feliz struck out swinging for the third out. Two more strikeouts for Volquez in the inning as Howard also went down swinging for the second out.

Ruiz started the fifth and hit a ball to right that rolled to the wall for a double. Myers bunted Ruiz to third and he came in to score when Rollins followed with a ground out to first. It cut the Reds’ lead to 4-1. Victorino struck out for the third out.

Utley started the sixth with a single. Howard was next and went down looking for the first out, but Burrell followed and moved Utley to second with another single. It brought Jenkins up as the tying run and the Reds brought in lefty Jeremy Affeldt to pitch to him. Jenkins hit a hard ground ball to first. Votto didn’t field it cleanly but knocked it down and threw to second to force Burrell for the second out. He may have had a double-play if he had been able to field it cleanly. Righty Jared Burton came in and struck Feliz out to end the frame.

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

Utley doubled with one out in the eighth. Howard grounded to first for the second out before Burrell singled, scoring Utley to make it 8-2. Jenkins struck out to end the inning.

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

Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 4-for-6 so far when leading off the first inning and 3-for-20 when he’s not.

Victorino 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to drop his early average to .130.

Utley was 2-for-4 with a double. He’s 6-for-his-last-11 with two doubles and two home runs.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Burrell 2-for-3 with a walk. He’s hitting .421 after going 5-for-his-last-9 with two doubles and a home run.

Jenkins 1-for-4 and struck out twice.

Feliz 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and four men left on base.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double.

Cole Hamels faces righty Bronson Arroyo this afternoon. Arroyo went 9-15 in 34 starts for the Reds in 2007, throwing to a 4.23 ERA with a 1.40 ratio. He made his first start of 2008 on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks and went five innings, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. Only two of the runs were earned. He did not face the Phils last season. Cole Hamels had one start against the Reds and it was memorable. On April 21, in the fourth appearance of his career, he threw a complete game, holding the Reds to a run on five hits while striking out 15.

The Phillies traded Wes Helms to the Marlins.

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