Archive for May, 2008

Opponents may be considering up up down down left right left right B A start to try and slow Phils’ offense

Worth a try. Probably won’t hurt and I actually can’t think of that many better ideas.

It was more of the same again last night as the Phils’ surging sluggers put on yet another show. After finding themselves down 3-0 after half an inning, the unfazed offense put up seven in the second and cruised to a 12-3 win behind three-run homers from Coste and Howard and a two-run shot from Utley.

The Phillies have scored 60 runs in their last five games.

It may have been the umpteenth time this season we’ve seen the bats shine after the Phils found themselves in an early hole, but it was the first time in recent memory that Brett Myers turned a rocky start into a brilliant outing. After allowing three runs on three hits and two walks in the first, Myers tossed seven shutout frames in which he allowed three singles and a walk and struck 11.

The Phillies beat the Florida Marlins last night, winning 12-3 to improve to 32-24 on the season. They are in first place in the NL East, a half game ahead of the Fish. They are eight games over .500 for the first time this year and have won five in a row.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. All six of the hits went singles. After he allowed three runs in the top of the first inning he was absolutely awesome. He struck out 11 in the game.

Hanley Ramirez hit Myers’ first pitch of the game into center for a single. Jeremy Hermida moved him to second with a walk before Jorge Cantu ripped a 1-0 pitch into left. Ramirez scored to put the Marlins up 1-0. Hermida went to third on the single. Neither Rollins or Feliz cut off Burrell’s throw, which allowed Cantu to go to second. Mike Jacobs walked to load the bases before Dan Uggla popped up for the first out of the game. Luis Gonzalez singled to left on a ball that Burrell misjudged on the warning track, Hermida and Cantu both scored. 3-0 with men on first and second and one out. Matt Treanor and Jacque Jones both popped up on the infield to end the frame.

Three hits and two walks in the inning against Myers.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 second.

He started the third up 7-3. Uggla singled with two outs and Gonzalez moved him to second with another single, but Myers got Treanor looking at a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

Myers struck out the side (Jones, pitcher Mark Hendrickson and Ramirez) in a 1-2-3 fourth and followed it up with a 1-2-3 fifth.

With the Phils up 11-3 in the sixth, Myers walked Gonzalez with one out. Treanor popped to second before Jones moved Gonzalez to second with a single. Righty Cody Ross hit for pitcher Burke Badenhop and flew to center, leaving both runners stranded.

Myers got two more strikeouts in a 1-2-3 seventh.

He struck out Jacobs, Uggla and Gonzalez in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out pinch-hitter Wes Helms to end the game.

Condrey threw 13 pitches. He has a 3.60 ERA with a 1.20 ratio in 15 May innings. He’s been pitching garbage time innings, but the fact that he has been effective has allowed the other guys in the bullpen to rest.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Mark Hendrickson went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Taguchi. Coste continues to catch nearly all the time against left-handed pitchers. Taguchi plays right against the lefty with Werth on the DL. Taguchi has been great in his starts in right, but I’d like to see Jenkins get some chances against lefties with Werth out.

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

Howard walked to start the second and moved to second when Burrell followed with a ball dribbled back to the pitcher. Feliz reached on an infield single bobbled and then thrown away by Uggla, Howard went to third. Coste got ahead 2-0 and hit one just out to left-center, tying the game at 3-3. Taguchi singled. Myers wanted to bunt, but Hendrickson walked him anyway, putting men on first and second. Rollins lined to third for the second out. Victorino sliced a double into left-center and Taguchi and Myers both scored to make it 5-3. Nice hustle by Myers on the play to score from first. Utley got behind 1-2 and hit a ball just out to right. 7-3. Howard struck out for the third out.

1-2-3 in the third.

Taguchi walked to start the fourth. Myers bunted in front of the plate and was tagged by Treanor for the first out. Treanor threw to second and his throw went into center field, allowing Taguchi to go to third. Rollins singled to left and Taguchi scored to put the Phils up 8-3. Victorino smashed a ball off the glove of Ramirez. Ramirez was able to flip to second to force Rollins for the second out, but appeared to injure his thumb on the play. He stayed in the game but would be replaced defensively in the bottom of the fifth. Utley singled and Victorino went to third. Righty Burke Badenhop came in to pitch to Howard. Bringing in the righty to pitch to Howard is a non-traditional approach. In this case it didn’t work. Howard got behind 0-1 but homered down the left field line and off the pole, putting the Phils up 11-3. Burrell grounded to third for the third out.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fifth and the sixth.

Howard walked with one out in the seventh. Righty Justin Miller came into the game to pitch to Burrell and struck him out. Feliz followed with a single and Coste walked, loading the bases. Taguchi followed with a walk of his own, forcing in Howard and putting the Phils up 12-3. Myers hit for himself having thrown 105 pitches and struck out. Myers struck out the side in the top of the eighth and ended the game having thrown 117 pitches — I think you need to pinch-hit for him there. He’s thrown more than 105 pitches in each of his last three starts and threw 121 on May 3 against the Giants. Too many pitches.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Bruntlett hit for Rollins and struck out for the first out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI.

Utley 2-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Howard was 1-for-2 with a three-run homer and two walks.

Burrell 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-11.

Feliz 2-for-4.

Coste was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a walk.

Taguchi 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.

Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.18) faces righty Ricky Nolasco (4-3, 4.70) tonight. Nolasco has made 11 appearances for the Marlins this season, nine of which have been starts. He had a 6.10 ERA for the season after allowing six runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Padres on May 3, but has thrown to a 2.78 ERA in 22 2/3 innings over his last four appearances. Righties hit .350 against him last year; so far this season they are hitting just .226 against him. Lefties are hitting .320. After two straight fantastic starts, Hamels was hit hard on Sunday against the Astros. He allowed six runs in just four innings and didn’t strike out a batter in what was his worst start of the season. Opponents are hitting .214 against him for the season and he’s allowed just one home run in his last four starts. The Phillies have won the last six games he’s started.

The Grammarphile, a Phillies fan and lover of all things grammar, writes the grammar-infatuated Red Pen, Inc blog. She really, really doesn’t like it when imperfection in writing and the Phillies find themselves in the same sentence. She especially doesn’t like it when your sentence messes with Cole Hamels. Also knows the great joke about using ‘ph’ to make an ‘f’ sound.

New group blog about the NL East wants you to know they’re out there as well. Check out The NL East Blog here.


Doubles trouble

Kyle Kendrick hasn’t been fantastic this season, far from it. But he is managing to survive despite the low strikeout rate and the inability to get lefties out. I theorized that the secret to his success had to do with preventing extra-base hits, so I thought I’d look into it.

Through 55 games the Phillies have used just five starting pitchers, which is quite a feat. They’re the only NL team that hasn’t used more than five starters. Through 55 games of the 2007 season the Phils had used seven starting pitchers (Myers, Hamels, Eaton, Moyer, Segovia, Garcia and Lieber). Each of the five starters has made 11 starts, and here’s how many runs, hits, walks, strikeouts and extra-base hits they have allowed this season per 100 batters they have faced:

 
Runs

Hits

Walks

Strikeouts

XBH
Myers 15.4 27.5 8.4 17.4 12.8
Hamels 9.5 19.6 7.2 21.2 7.5
Moyer 12.2 29.0 5.4 11.8 10.4
Eaton 13.0 24.5 9.6 12.6 7.7
Kendrick 14.4 26.6 6.8 10.3 9.1

So much for that. Compared to the other guys in the rotation for the Phils, Kendrick hasn’t actually allowed an unusually low number of extra-base hits. If anything it’s Eaton’s rate of allowing extra-base hits along with the low walk rate for Moyer that was the most surprising thing to me about those numbers.

Not only are Kendrick’s numbers in terms of preventing extra-base hits compared to the other guys in the Phillies’ rotation not extraordinary, but this season Kendrick is allowing extra-base hits at about the same rate that he did last year. Compared to 2007, Kendrick is allowing more hits (25.9 per hundred batters in ’07), more walks (5.0) and more runs (10.6), but just about the same number of extra-base hits (9.0).

The not-a-lot-of-extra-base-hits theory clearly is no good, but one thing that is true is the this season Kendrick has seen a higher percentage of the extra-base hits that he has allowed go for doubles (which is kinda like saying that he doesn’t allow a lot of home runs). Here’s what the five guys in the starting rotation have done this season in terms of the percentage of the extra-base hits they have allowed that have gone for doubles:

 
2B

XBH

% 2B
Myers 21 38 55.3
Hamels 15 23 65.2
Moyer 20 29 69.0
Eaton 12 20 60.0
Kendrick 18 24 75.0
       
All PHI 113 174 64.9

Brett Myers (2-6, 5.79) faces lefty Mark Hendrickson (7-2, 4.14) tonight as the Phillies play the first of three against the Marlins. Hendrickson hasn’t gotten an out in the sixth inning in any of his last four starts, throwing to a 5.12 ERA in those appearances. Righties are hitting .291 against him, lefties .191. You may have noticed from the XBH column above or a large number of other sources, but Myers is getting hammered this year. He hasn’t allowed a long ball in his last two starts, but opponents are hitting .311 against him for the season, righties .333. His five starts at home have been better than his five starts away. At home he’s 2-1 with a 4.31 ERA, away from Citizens Bank Park he’s 0-5 with a 7.15 ERA.


Eaton’s feat helps Phillies sweep the rocky Rockies

Battered by the injury bug, the Colorado Rockies look like they feel just about ready to call it a season. That’s somebody else’s problem, but for a Phillies fan the good news is that the Phils look like they’re just getting started. While the Rockies ran into out after out on the bases, walked 18 in the set and turned fly balls into new kinds of entertainment programming, the Phillies swept the series with monster bats but also by playing crisp baseball. The Phils ran their ground balls into hits, backed up third and, despite three errors in the series, showed flashes of brilliance defensively. It probably didn’t hurt that Chase Utley drove in ten runs three games, either.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Adam Eaton finally has a win. Eaton has put back-to-back solid starts together and earned his first win of the year last night.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 6-1 to improve to 31-24 on the season. They sweep the three-game series and have won four in a row. They are seven games above .500 for the first time this season.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and was very good. He went six innings, allowing a run on four hits and a walk. All four of the hits were singles. He struck out four.

He walked Todd Helton with two outs in the first, but Garrett Atkins flew to center for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 second.

With two outs in the third, Willy Taveras and Seth Smith singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third for Helton and Helton hit a ball that went over the head of Burrell in left and off the wall. Taveras scored easily to tie the game at 1-1, but the ball bounced right back to Burrell and Burrell fired the ball back to the infield. Rollins took the throw and fired to Utley at second. Helton was caught in between first and second. Utley ran towards him and Smith came home from third. Utley threw to Howard and Howard made a nice throw home. Ruiz put down a pretty sweep tag to get Smith at home to end the frame. He looked safe to me, but either way it was a nice play by all five of the Phillies in the field who were involved in the play — Burrell, Rollins, Utley, Howard and Ruiz.

Eaton hit Atkins to start the fourth, but Ryan Spilborghs lined into a double-play behind him. Ian Stewart struck out for the third out.

Eaton started the fifth with a 6-1 lead. Omar Quintanilla singled with one out and the pitcher Greg Reynolds bunted, but Ruiz threw Quintanilla out at second for the second out. Taveras flew to left for the third out.

He set the Rockies down 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Madson started the seventh with a 6-1 lead. Spilborghs led off and chopped a ball over Madson. The ball hit the cutout between the grass and the infield grass and Rollins couldn’t handle it cleanly. Spilborghs was safe with an infield single. Stewart was next and singled to right. Jenkins threw to third, but the bouncing ball got passed Feliz. Spilborghs tried to score, but Madson had backed up third well and threw Spilborghs out at home. Great job by Madson to cover third. The throw from Jenkins was fine — Feliz should have handled it. Stewart went to second so Jenkins was charged with a tough error. Madson struck out Chris Iannetta for the second out. Quintanilla flew to right for the third.

Terrible base-running again from the Rockies after Smith gave away an out at home the game before. I realize they can’t score, but that’s just not the way to go.

Madson started the eighth and walked Taveras with one out. Romero came in and got the lefties Smith and Helton to end the frame.

Durbin started the ninth with a five run lead. Spilborghs singled to right with one out before Stewart flew to center for the second out. Spilborghs took second on defensive indifference and went to third when Iannetta singled to left. Quintanilla flew to left for the third out.

Three scoreless innings for the bullpen, although they allowed four hits and a walk. Madson threw 28 pitches, so he’ll probably get a day or two of rest. Ditto Durbin after 22 pitches. Romero threw nine.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Greg Reynolds went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Burrell returns to the lineup after being scratched late on Tuesday with a stiff neck. Ruiz catches against the righty.

With one out in the first, Victorino singled on a dribbler between first and second and stole second. Utley walked before Howard hit a ball back to the pitcher. Reynolds juggled briefly or he might have had a double-play. Howard was thrown out at first and Victorino went to third with Utley at second and two down. Burrell walked to load the bases and Jenkins followed with a walk of his own. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Feliz flew to center for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second and again in the third.

Burrell doubled to start the fourth with the score tied at 1-1. Jenkins popped to third and Feliz lined to third for the first two outs before Ruiz was walked intentionally to pitch to Eaton. Eaton popped to second to end the inning.

Phillies can’t score after the leadoff double. Jenkins fails to move the runner to third with the first out. I really wouldn’t walk Carlos Ruiz intentionally very often — he’s probably not going to get an extra-base hit and there’s a good chance Burrell can’t score from second on a single even with two outs.

Rollins and Victorino walked back-to-back to start the fifth. Utley pounded an 0-1 pitch into the second deck in right, putting the Phillies up 4-1. Howard walked before Burrell flew to center for the first out. Jenkins followed and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 6-1. Feliz and Ruiz went down behind him.

Victorino reached on another infield single, this one deflected by the pitcher, with two outs in the sixth. Again he stole second. Utley followed with a walk, but Howard struck out for the third out.

With one out in the seventh, Jenkins hit a high fly ball to left-center. Spilborghs looked like he had it lined up, but Taveras cut in front of him and had it go off his glove for a two-base error. Feliz and Ruiz both grounded out to leave Jenkins stranded.

With two outs in the eighth, Victorino reached on yet another infield single. This one was just a ground ball to third. Fantastic hustle for Victorino and he got three hits out of it in the game. Utley flew to right for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-13 in the three game set. He is hitting 312/363/496. Yesterday was just one of two days this season where he has ended a game with a slugging percentage under .500 for the year.

Victorino was 3-for-4 in the game and 6-for-10 with three walks and four stolen bases in the series. He’s hitting 291/360/392 for the season.

Utley was 1-for-3 with his 17th home run of the year. 5-for-12 with a double, two home runs and ten RBI in the series. He’s hitting 310/394/638 for the season.

Howard was 0-for-3 and left four men on base. 2-for-8 in the series. 206/315/462 for the year.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 1-for-7 in the series. 277/417/590 for the year. He’s hitting .222 in May.

Jenkins was 1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. 3-for-7 with a double and a home run in the series. 290/327/421 for the year. 323/353/516 in May.

Feliz was 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 5-for-14 with two doubles in the series. 265/305/439 for the year. 316/343/510 in May.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. 0-for-7 in the series. 232/299/296. Coste was 3-for-6 in the series with a double and a home run. 341/402/568 for the season.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the game and 3-for-7 with a double in the series. 361/390/542 for the year.

No game today. First of three with the Fish tomorrow night.


The Brave Little Rockie

Ubaldo Jimenez did muster the courage to show up last night, but that’s pretty much where the heartwarming part of the story ended from a Colorado perspective. Jimenez wasn’t through the second inning before he found himself down 7-0. The Phils’ bats cooled a little after that, but seven runs proved to be enough as the Phils rolled to their third straight win.

The Phillies continue to hit up and down their order. After going 11-for-35 at the plate as a team last night they are 48-for-113 (.425) as a team over their past three games.

They start the day six games above .500 for the first time this season.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 7-4 to improve to 30-24 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

Seth Smith singled with one out in the first and stole second as Todd Helton struck out for the second out. Garrett Atkins grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second.

Willy Taveras reached on an infield single with two outs in the third and the Phillies up 7-0, but Smith flew to left for the third out.

Atkins singled to center with one out in the fourth, but Ryan Spilborghs followed with a ground ball to short and Atkins was forced at second for the second out. Kendrick hit Ian Stewart with a pitch, but Yorvit Torrealba struck out swinging to end the frame.

Omar Quintanilla doubled to start the fifth. Cory Sullivan hit for the pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and flew to right. Jenkins’ throw back into the infield was bad and the error allowed Quintanilla to go to third. Taveras grounded to third and Quintanilla scored, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-1. Smith singled and Helton followed with a walk, but Atkins flew to center to leave them both stranded.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth and a 1-2-3 seventh.

Smith doubled to left to start the eighth. Helton followed with a single into left and Bohn, who had just entered the game, threw Smith out at the plate with a nice throw. Terrible base-running by Smith to get thrown out down six runs for the first out of the inning. Gordon came in to pitch to the righty Atkins and got him on a ground ball to second. Helton, who had gone to second on the throw home to get Smith, went to third. Spilborghs got ahead 1-0 and hit a ball out to left-center, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-3. Stewart doubled to left and Torrealba moved him to third with a single, but Flash got Quintanilla on a ground ball back up the middle that Rollins made a nice play on to end the inning.

In 27 career plate appearances against the Phillies, Spilborghs is hitting 478/519/913 with three home runs and a double.

Terrible outing for Gordon. Three of the five hitters he faced got hits including a double and a home run. The throw by Bohn and the bad base-running by Smith looked irrelevant when it happened, but turned out to be important. Gordon needed a nice play from Rollins to end the frame.

Lidge started the ninth. Taveras walked with one out and took second on defensive indifference. Lidge struck out Smith for the second out before Helton singled to right, scoring Taveras to cut the Phillies’ lead to 7-4. Atkins flew to right to end the game.

Gordon threw 20 pitches, Lidge 23. Gordon has pitched on back-to-back days four times this season, but never after he threw more than 15 pitches in the first game. I would guess the Phils would try not to use him tonight.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Ubaldo Jimenez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Burrell was a late scratch with a stiff neck. Dobbs played left, putting lefties three through six in the Phillies’ lineup. Ruiz catches with a righty on the mound despite a big game from Coste with the bat the night before.

Rollins and Victorino singled back-to-back to start the first, putting men on first and third for Utley. Victorino stole second as Utley struck out for the first out. Howard walked to load the bases and Dobbs dumped a single into right. Rollins scored easily and Victorino and the ball arrived at the plate at about the same time. Victorino plowed over Torrealba, who had already failed to catch the ball by the time Victorino arrived. Torrealba was given an error on the play and the Phillies’ runners went to second and third with the Phils up 2-0. Jenkins grounded to first and Helton threw home. Howard was called out, although it appeared he slid in safely head first before the tag was applied. Feliz doubled into right field and Dobbs and Jenkins both scored, putting the Phils up 4-0. Ruiz struck out for the third out.

With one out in the second, Rollins singled and stole second. Victorino grounded to second for the second out and Rollins went to third. Utley doubled into right and Rollins scored. 5-0. Howard hit a ground ball right to where the shortstop would be were it not for the shift. Single, Utley scored, 6-0. Dobbs moved Howard to second with a single before Jenkins doubled. Howard scored to make it 7-0 with men on second and third for Feliz. Feliz struck out looking to end the inning.

1-2-3 in the third.

Victorino led off the fourth with a single and Utley followed with a walk. Howard, Jenkins and Dobbs went down behind them.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fifth and again in the sixth.

Jenkins singled with two outs in the seventh, but Feliz grounded to short behind him.

With the count 0-1 on Ruiz in the eighth, the game was delayed by rain for about an hour and a half. When it resumed the Phils went 1-2-3. Taguchi hit for Gordon and flew to center for the second out.

Rollins was 2-for-5.

Victorino 2-for-4.

Utley 1-for-3 with a double.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk. No strikeouts in his last two games.

Dobbs was 2-for-4 with two RBI. He’s hitting .400 in May.

Jenkins was 2-for-4 with a double. 322/345/475 in May.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-4. He has six extra-base hits on the season. 300/357/532 in May.

Adam Eaton (0-3, 5.37) faces righty Greg Reynolds (0-1, 4.08) tonight. Reynolds has made three appearances on the season, all of them starts. Opponents are hitting .197 against him, but he has allowed four home runs and seven walks in just 17 2/3 innings. Eaton has taken three losses in his last four starts, but pitched well against the Astros on Friday, holding them to three runs over seven innings.


Seriously, though, if Ubaldo Jimenez even shows up they should at least write a children’s book about his courage or something

Apparently the only group of people more frustrated than the fans with the Phillies’ back-to-back one-run losses to the Astros this weekend was the Phillies themselves. The Colorado Rockies, or at least what’s left of them, rolled into Philadelphia last night and for the second time in two days the Phils’ offense put on a show. A day after scoring 15 runs against the Astros, the Phillies scored 20 to pound the Rockies.

Chase Utley drove in six runs in the game. After struggling through most of May he’s 4-for-his-last-10 with two home runs and nine RBI.

The Phillies crushed the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 20-5 to improve to 29-24 on the season. In their past two games they have scored 35 runs. They have another chance to go six games over .500 for the first time this season tonight.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out a season-high seven. He faced a decimated Rockies’ lineup that did not include Holliday, Atkins, Tulowitski or Hawpe.

Willy Taveras singled to start the first. Moyer struck out Jonathan Herrera for the first out before Todd Helton moved Taveras to second with a walk. Taveras stole third before Ryan Spilborghs hit one just out to center, tying the game at 3-3. Jeff Baker hit a ground ball to short, but Howard didn’t handle the throw at first and was charged with an error. Seth Smith and Yorvit Torrealba went down behind Baker to end the frame.

More horrid defense from Howard.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 second.

With the game still tied, Helton singled with one out in the third. Spilborghs doubled to left and Helton went to third. Baker hit a fly ball to left-center and Burrell threw to third. Helton scored to put Colorado up 4-3. Smith flew to left to end the frame.

Torrealba singled to start the fourth with the score tied at 4-4. Omar Quintanilla popped to short for the first out before the pitcher Jorge De La Rosa bunted Torrealba to second. Moyer struck out Taveras to leave Torrealba stranded.

Moyer started the fifth up 10-4 and set Colorado down 1-2-3.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Moyer had thrown 79 pitches through six.

Taveras singled with two outs in the seventh, but Moyer got Herrera on a ground ball to short to end the frame.

Condrey got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 eighth.

He returned for the ninth and got the first two before Quintanilla doubled and pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan followed with a single. Quintanilla scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 20-5. Taveras grounded to short to end the game.

Condrey threw 24 pitches in the game. He has his ERA down to 4.76 for the season and has been good in May. In nine appearances this month Condrey has thrown 14 innings with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. He has walked just one batter this month.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jorge De La Rosa went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Taguchi. With Werth on the DL, Taguchi plays righty against the lefty. Coste catches against the lefty. Feliz and the catcher’s spot move up in the lineup with Taguchi hitting eighth.

Rollins and Victorino started the bottom of the first with back-to-back walks with the Phils down 3-0. A balk moved them to second and third before Utley hit a 2-2 pitch out to right-center. 3-3. Howard, Burrell and Feliz went down behind Utley.

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

Victorino walked with one out in the third and stole second before Utley hit a ground ball to second that Herrera didn’t handle. Victorino went to third with Utley safe at first on the error. Howard hit a ball hard to right, but Smith took it just in front of the warning track for the second out. Victorino scored to tie the game at 4-4. Utley stole second before Burrell flew to left to end the inning.

Feliz led off the fourth with a double. Coste followed and squirted a ball down the first base line that a fan reached out and grabbed. Feliz scored on the ground rule double to put the Phils up 5-4. Taguchi ripped a double into the corner in left and Coste scored. 6-4. First hit of the month for Taguchi. Moyer bunted Taguchi to third. With the infield in Rollins singled into center and Taguchi scored to make it 7-4. Victorino moved Rollins to third with a single. Utley grounded to first for the second out. Rollins scored and Victorino went to second with the Phils up 8-4. Howard and Burrell both walked, loading the bases for Feliz. Feliz singled to center and Victorino and Howard both scored. 10-4 with men on first and second. Coste flew to right for the third out.

Taguchi doubled to start the fifth and Moyer bunted him to third. Second time Moyer moved the runner along with the bunt in the game. Rollins struck out and Victorino was hit by a pitch to put men on first and third, but Utley popped to short to end the inning.

Howard walked to start the sixth. Burrell was next and was called out on a pitch that was low for the first out. Feliz moved Howard to second with a single before Coste popped an 0-1 pitch out to left to put the Phils up 13-4. Taguchi singled and a walk to Moyer moved him to second. Rollins flew to left for the second out. Victorino was again him by a pitch, loading the bases. Utley singled to right and everyone moved up a base with Taguchi scoring to make it 14-4. Howard singled to center and Moyer and Victorino scored. 16-4 with men on first and third for Burrell, who grounded to third to end the inning.

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

Dobbs doubled to start the eighth and moved to third on a single by Bruntlett. Victorino popped to short for the first out. He’d have like 80 RBI this season if he could bring in runners with a man on third and less than two outs. Eighty might be a little strong. 75? Utley singled and Dobbs scored with Bruntlett going to second. 17-5. Howard walked to load the bases. Bohn hit a dribbler passed the mound and right to where Herrera would have been if Herrera and Quintanilla hadn’t both been covering second thinking the pitcher would field the ball. Everyone moved up a base. 18-5. Feliz followed with a real single down the line into left. Utley and Howard scored and it was 20-5 with Feliz on first and Bohn on second. Coste singled to load the bases, but Condrey hit for himself and struck out. Dobbs struck out for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single and a walk.

Victorino 1-for-2 with two walks and scored four runs.

Utley 3-for-6 with a home run and six RBI.

Howard 1-for-2 with three walks and three RBI.

Burrell 0-for-4 with a walk.

Feliz 4-for-6 with a double and four RBI. His single in the ninth should have been a double as well.

Coste 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and four RBI.

Taguchi 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

6-7-8 in the order combined to go 10-for-17 with nine RBI.

Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 5.19) faces righty Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4, 4.61) tonight. In nine of Jimenez’s ten starts he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer. Jimenez shut the Phillies down in the playoffs last season. Lefites are hitting .344 against Kendrick this season.


Houston? We have a solution

After dropping two straight one-run games to the Astros, the Phils made sure it was going to take 16 runs if Houston was going to pull off that particular feat for a third day in a row. The Phillies cruised behind an offensive explosion this afternoon, overcoming Cole Hamels’ worst start of the year.

Coming off two brilliant starts, Hamels allowed six runs in four innings.

The Phils leave Houston with a big win, but it’s hard to ignore the two tough losses that preceded it. In both of those games the Phils seemed to have the Astros on the ropes late in the game but came away empty.

The Phillies beat the Houston Astros this afternoon, winning 15-6 to improve to 28-24 on the season. The teams split the four-game set.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He didn’t strike out a batter. He has at least four strikeouts in each of his other starts this season.

He got the first two in the first before Miguel Tejada and Lance Berkman singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third for Carlos Lee. Lee fouled off a 2-2 pitch and his backswing caught home plate umpire Jerry Crawford in the back of the head. Crawford was unable to continue and the game had to be delayed for 12 minutes. When it resumed, Lee hammered Hamels’ second pitch out to left to put the Astros up 3-0. Hunter Pence popped to second for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second.

With the game tied at 3-3 in the third, Hamels walked Michael Bourn to start the inning and Kaz Matsui moved Bourn to second with a single. Tejada grounded to short and Matsui was forced at second for the first out, but Utley double-clutched the throw to first so the Phils didn’t get the double-play. With men on first and third and one out, Berkman hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right field for a single. Bourn scored and the Astros led 4-3 with men on first and second. Tejada stole third and scored when Lee grounded to short, making it 5-3. Pence flew to center to end the inning.

Not an error by Utley as the Phils don’t get the double-play on Tejada’s ball, but it cost the Phils a run.

Ty Wigginton led off the fourth with a double with the Phils down 5-4. JR Towles popped to second for the first out before the pitcher Chris Sampson singled to right and Wigginton moved to third. Bourn grounded to short and Sampson was forced at second. Utley made a strong relay this time, but Bourn was just too fast to double-up. Wigginton scored and it was 6-4. Bourn stole second before Matsui grounded to third to end the inning.

Seanez started the fifth with the Phils still down 6-4. He got the first two before Lee walked and stole second. Pence reached on an infield single that moved Lee to third with two down. Wigginton was next and he ripped a ball down the third base line for what would have been a double but was ruled foul. With the exit of the home plate umpire the crew was one ump short and the home plate ump had to make the call on the ball that looked like it went over the bag. He called it foul but was probably wrong. Wigginton walked to load the bases, but Towles grounded to short for the third out.

Romero was up 9-6 when he started the sixth. Mark Loretta doubled to start the inning, but Seanez got the next three.

Up 15-6, Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Madson allowed a two out single to Darin Erstad in the eighth, but got Bourn to pop to short to end the inning.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Long day for the pen, but in the five innings they pitched the Phils outscored the Astros 11-0. Seanez 24 pitches, Madson 22, Romero 17 and Condrey seven. None of those guys had pitched since Friday so there’s a chance you could see any of them tomorrow night against the Rockies.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Chris Sampson went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right against the righty. Ruiz catches.

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

Down 3-0 in the second, Burrell walked with one out and Jenkins followed with his third home run of the year. It made the score 3-2. Feliz and Ruiz went down behind him.

Huge hit for Jenkins after the Astros had jumped out to the early lead.

Hamels singled to start the third and moved to third when Rollins followed with a double. Victorino grounded to second for the first out with the runners unable to advance. Utley flew to center deep enough for Hamels to score and tie the game at 3-3 with Rollins going to third. Howard walked, but Burrell popped out for the third out.

With two outs in the fourth, Ruiz doubled and Hamels followed with a single to right that scored Ruiz and cut the Houston lead to 5-4. Rollins flew to left for the third out.

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

They started the sixth down 6-4. Burrell led off with a home run just out to left. 6-5. Jenkins singled and moved to third on a double by Feliz. Ruiz singled to right and the runners moved up a base. 6-6 with men on first and third and no outs. Bruntlett hit for Seanez and walked to load the bases. Rollins hit a slow ground ball to second. Matsui wanted to tag Bruntlett and throw to first for the double-play, but Bruntlett did a nice job to stop in between first and second. Matsui threw to first to get Rollins, but Bruntlett was safe at second as Feliz scored to put the Phils up 7-6. Victorino ripped a double down the left-field line. Feliz and Bruntlett both scored to put the Phils up 9-6. Utley grounded to second and Howard flew to left to end the frame.

Burrell doubled to start the seventh and moved to third when Jenkins followed with a single. Taguchi ran for Burrell at third before Feliz hit a 3-2 pitch into left for a single. Taguchi scored and it was 10-6. Jenkins went to second. Ruiz tried to bunt and struck out bunting foul for the first out. Dobbs hit for Romero and tripled into the right field corner, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 12-6. It really should have been a double, but when Matsui took the relay from Pence he looked at home and allowed Dobbs to go to third. Rollins grounded to second for the second out before Victorino drove Dobbs home with a single. 13-6. Utley bombed a 2-0 pitch into the second deck in right-center. 15-6. Howard struck out for the third out.

Bunting with Ruiz is pretty absurd there.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth and 1-2-3 in the ninth. Bohn hit for Madson in the ninth and grounded out for the second out.

Rollins was 1-for-6 in the game with a double and an RBI. 7-for-20 with four doubles in the four game series. 321/367/527 on the year.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI. 7-for-20 with a double in the series. 270/325/375 for the season.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in the series. 2-for-13 in the series. 303/385/616 on the year.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a walk and struck out twice. 5-for-17 with two doubles and two home runs in the series. 204/303/471 for the season. He’s slugging .609 in May.

Burrell was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a home run. 5-for-11 with two doubles and three home runs in the series. 283/421/602 for the year.

Jenkins 3-for-5 with a home run. 4-for-14 in the set. 283/318/391.

Feliz was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 6-for-16 with a double in the series. 257/301/434 for the year. He’s hitting 310/341/512 in May.

Ruiz 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 4-for-13 in the series. 246/310/314. Coste was 2-for-6 in the series and is hitting 329/396/524 for the season.

On Saturday night, the Phillies lost to the Astros 4-3.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out two. Over hit last two starts he’s allowed nine doubles in 12 innings.

He started the first up 1-0. Bourn singled and stole second after Matsui struck out. Berkman walked and Lee doubled in both runners to put Houston up 2-1. Pence flew to center for the third out.

He hit Wigginton to start the second, but got a double-play and a ground out to turn the Astros away.

Matsui walked with one out in the third and went to third when Tejada followed with a double. Myers walked Berkman intentionally to load the bases with one out, but got Lee on an inning-ending double-play ground ball to third.

With the Phils up 3-2 in the fourth, Wigginton doubled with one out but Myers got the next two to leave him stranded.

Bourn doubled to start the fifth. Matsui bunted but popped it up to Myers. Tejada flew to center and Bourn went to third. Myers walked Berkman for the third time in five innings. Lee was next and ripped a 1-0 pitch into the left-field corner. Bourn scored to tie the game at 3-3 as Berkman went to third and Burrell threw to second. The ball got away from Utley at second and Berkman stormed home, but Howard picked up the ball as it rolled towards first and threw home. Coste tagged Berkman out to end the inning.

Wigginton reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth. Ausmus flew to left for the second out on a nice play by Burrell near the wall. Burrell threw to first to try to double Wigginton off, but Howard didn’t handle the throw and Wigginton went to second on the play. Miserable defense at first from Howard in the series and it cost the Phils again on Saturday. Mark Loretta hit for the pitcher Brian Moehler and singled into left-center. Wigginton scored to put the Astros up 4-3. Bourn grounded to first for the third out.

Second time in two games a play not made by Howard in which he isn’t charged with an error contributes to the Phillies giving up a run. The Phils lost both of those games by one run.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils down 4-3. Tejada singled with one out, but Durbin got the next two to turn Houston away.

Durbin pitched the eighth as well. Pence led off with a single but Coste threw him out stealing second. Durbin struck out Wigginton and Ausmus to end the inning.

Again we see Durbin pitch much later in the game, and in a one-run game, than we have during the early parts of the season. Neither Gordon or Romero had pitched on Friday and Manuel called on Durbin to throw 27 pitches in a one-run game.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Brian Moehler went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Coste catches against the righty.

With one out in the first, Victorino reached on an error by Berkman and stole second. Utley walked before Howard doubled to left, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 1-0 with men on second and third. Burrell hit a ball to third and Wigginton came home where Utley was tagged out for the second out. Jenkins popped to second for the third out.

Phils can’t score again after putting men on second and third with one out.

Myers singled with two outs in the second, but Rollins grounded to first for the third out.

With one out in the third, Utley was hit by a pitch. Howard followed and hit a 1-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 3-2. Burrell and Jenkins grounded out behind him.

1-2-3 in the fourth.

Victorino singled with one out in the fifth, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

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

Coste and Taguchi, hitting for Myers, went down to start the seventh before Rollins doubled. Victorino grounded to first to end the frame with the Phils down 4-3.

Taguchi doesn’t have a hit in May. 0-for-11. No hits isn’t good, but it’s hard to feel like he’s worth a spot on the roster if he’s going to get so few opportunities. It’s not going to happen with Werth on the DL, or probably ever, but I still think the Phils should consider giving that roster spot to a third catcher.

Still down a run in the eighth, Burrell drew a two out walk and Bohn ran for him at first. Lefty Wesley Wright came in to pitch and Bruntlett hit for Jenkins. Bruntlett grounded to third for the third out.

Jenkins is a better hitter than Bruntlett. I would let him hit against a lefty there if Bruntlett is the other choice.

Feliz and Coste started the ninth with back-to-back singles off of righty Doug Brocail. Ruiz ran for Coste at first and Dobbs hit for Durbin. Brocail stepped off the rubber and threw to second, but there was nobody covering second. The runners moved to second and third with two outs. Dobbs fisted a ball to shallow center for the first out. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases. Victorino got ahead 2-0 and hit a fly ball to left and Feliz tagged and tried to score. Darin Erstad made a strong throw home without a cut, slightly up the first base line. Ausmus took the throw and tagged Feliz out on a close play as Feliz slid into home to end the game.

I’ve heard some criticism today about the 2-0 pitch that Victorino swung at. It may not have been a good pitch to hit, but at least it looks to me like it was a strike. The result was unfortunate, but I don’t have a problem with Victorino swinging at the pitch.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double.

Victorino 1-for-5.

Utley 0-for-2 with a walk.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and a home run and drove in all three of the Phillies’ runs.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.

Jenkins 0-for-3.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Coste 1-for-4.

Jamie Moyer (4-3, 4.37) faces lefty Jorge De La Rosa (1-2, 7.78) tomorrow night as the Phils play the first of three against the Rockies in Philadelphia. De la Rosa has made four starts for the Rockies this year and hasn’t gone six innings in any of them. It will be interesting to see what the Phillies do in right without Werth against the lefty. Moyer is 2-0 in his last two starts and has allowed three runs over 12 2/3 innings.


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