Archive for May 8th, 2008

Phils caught in a web of Webb

Brett Myers has been pitching badly just about all year long, so it’s hard to say that throwing 121 pitches against the Giants on Saturday was a factor in today’s start. It is safe to say that there’s just about zero chance it helped, though.

For the third time in four starts, Myers gave the Phils a miserable outing. The Diamondbacks were all over him and he exited down 7-1 after five innings.

The contrast with Diamondbacks’ ace Brandon Webb wasn’t so hot. Webb threw a complete game and didn’t allow an extra-base hit.

The Phillies lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks today, falling 8-3 to drop to 20-16 on the season. The teams split the four-game set. The Phillies haven’t lost a series since the Mets beat them two out of three April 18-20. They’ve played six series since and won four and split two.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits and three walks. Only six of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out five. Myers continues to be hurt by the home run, among other things. After the one he allowed today he has now given up 12 in his last 44 innings.

With one out in the first, Augie Ojeda singled and Chris Young followed with a home run to left, putting Arizona up 2-1. Myers got the next two.

Mark Reynolds and Chris Snyder started the second with back-to-back singles that put men on first and second for Chris Burke. Burke hit into a double-play with Reynolds safe at third. Myers struck out the pitcher Brandon Webb to end the inning.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 third.

In the fourth, Myers walked Justin Upton and Stephen Drew to start the inning before Mark Reynolds reached on an infield single. Snyder hit a two-run double to left that put Arizona up 4-1 with men on second and third. Burke hit a ground ball between third and short that went off the glove of Dobbs for a single. Reynolds scored and it was 5-1. Webb flew to right for the first out before Byrnes hit a double-play ball to second that Utley dropped for an error, loading the bases. Ojeda flew to center and Snyder scored. 6-1. Young popped to short to end the inning.

The first five batters in the inning went walk, walk, single, double, single, which isn’t really what you’re looking for.

Drew tripled to right with one out in the fifth and scored when Reynolds followed with a single. 7-1. Snyder popped to second for the second out before Reynolds stole second. Myers got behind the righty Burke 2-0 and walked him intentionally to pitch to Webb. He struck Webb out to end the inning. Walking Burke intentionally is not a good decision. You really need to try to get him out so the pitcher starts the next inning. You’re already down by six runs and Burke ended the day hitting .149 for the year. That might not have been the difference in this one, though.

Condrey pitched the rest of the game for the Phils. He threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Upton lead off the seventh with a home run that made the score 8-1, but Condrey got the next three in order. He got three ground outs in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Nice job by Condrey to pitch well enough to save the bullpen. He was in just his second game since April 27. That’s not enough. He threw 34 pitches, which should put him out at least one game.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Brandon Webb went (1) Victorino (2) Bruntlett (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Jenkins (6) Dobbs (7) Taguchi (8) Coste. Burrell, 4-for-16 with a home run against Webb in his career, on the bench with Taguchi in left. Dobbs gets a start at third despite the big home run from Feliz the night before. Coste catches Myers.

Victorino led off the first with a ground ball to first that Burke knocked down but couldn’t handle cleanly. Victorino was safe with a single. Bruntlett hit a ground ball to short and it looked like Drew could have gotten Victorino at second, but threw to first for the first out with Victorino safe at second. Victorino went to third on a passed ball before Utley flew to center deep enough to score him, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard struck out for the third out.

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

Bruntlett was hit by a pitch to start the fourth and stole second after Utley flew to left for the first out. Howard grounded to first and Jenkins popped to third.

1-2-3 in the fifth. Bruntlett singled with two outs in the sixth but Utley grounded to first behind him.

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

In the eighth, Coste singled with one out. Harman, who entered the game in the sixth as a pinch-hitter and stayed on to play second and give Utley some rest in the blowout, hit into a double-play to end the frame.

With Webb still on the mound, Victorino started the ninth with a single and stole second. Bruntlett followed with another single, scoring Victorino to cut the lead to 8-2. Ruiz hit for Condrey and grounded to third for the first out with Bruntlett moving to second. Howard lined a single into right and Bruntlett scored. 8-3. Jenkins hit into a double-play to end the game.

The Phils had six singles in the game and didn’t draw a walk.

Victorino was 2-for-4 in the game and 6-for-17 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 256/322/317 on the year.

Bruntlett was 2-for-3 with an RBI. 7-for-18 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the series. 250/308/352.

Utley was 0-for-2 with an RBI and his fifth error in the game. 3-for-13 with two doubles in the series. 345/423/727 on the year.

Howard was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 2-for-13 with two singles and six strikeouts in the set. 165/285/331.

Jenkins was 0-for-4. 4-for-14 in the series. 255/292/349. He has one extra-base hit in his last 51 at-bats.

Dobbs was 0-for-3. 1-for-5 in the series. 283/333/457.

Taguchi 0-for-3. 0-for-5 in the series. 182/217/227. 2-for-his-last-23 with two singles.

Coste was 1-for-3. 1-for-6 in the series. 288/383/481 on the season. Ruiz was 0-for-1 in the game and 5-for-11 with five singles in the series. 235/293/318.

Burrell was 1-for-12 with five strikeouts in the series. 305/432/627 on the year.

Feliz was 5-for-11 with a double and a home run in the series. 237/293/421 on the year. That gives him an OPS for the season of .714 — from 2005 through 2007 the range on his OPS at the end of the season went from .708 to .717.

Cole Hamels (3-3, 3.10) faces lefty Pat Misch (0-0, 5.40) on Friday in San Francisco as the Phils play the first of three against the Giants. Misch has made just two appearances with the Giants this season, and one of them was a start against the Phils on May 2. The Phils scored four runs against Misch in four innings in that start. Utley and Feliz both homered off of him. Righties are hittting .333 against Misch, lefties are 1-for-12. On the year he’s allowed four home runs in ten innings. Over his last three starts Hamels has allowed 11 runs in 20 1/3 innings and seven of the runs have come on the four home runs he’s allowed. Opponents are hitting .213 against him, lefties .211 with an 0.87 ratio. He faced the Giants on May 4 and allowed four runs in six innings. Rich Aurillia hit two doubles and a home run off of him in that game.

Conor Jackson may be wishing he’d just gone with drinking too much tequila and getting arrested for peeing on a wall

Apparently that just wasn’t good enough for him. I sometimes find the elitism of professional athletes to be nearly unbearable.

The Phils got a fantastic win last night with the help of key back-to-back hits from Bruntlett and Utley in the eighth and more great work from the pen. It’s safe to say that Snakes’ first baseman Conor Jackson will never forget his 26th birthday. Also in the eighth, after Jackson had been hit by a pitch early in the game, Jackson and Victorino attempted to occupy the same space at the same time and produced one of the uglier baseball collisions you’ll ever see. Jackson had to leave the game.

This quotes Jackson as saying he is all right. Also says he’s day-to-day.

Jimmy Rollins is poised to return soon for the Phils, perhaps as soon as tomorrow against the Giants, which will surely mean an end to regular playing time for the red-hot Eric Bruntlett. Bruntlett had one of the biggest hits of the game last night as his eighth-inning double scored Victorino and tied the game. When Utley followed with a single, Bruntlett game around to score what would prove to be the game-winner. Bruntlett is 5-for-15 with two doubles, a triple and a home run and seven RBI in the first three games of the set.

On the other end of the spectrum, Ryan Howard continues to struggle horribly. After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts last night, Howard is hitting .163 on the season. He’s 1-for-his-last-20 with 11 strikeouts.

The Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 20-15 on the season. Five of the Phillies’ last seven games have been decided by one run and the Phils have gone 4-1 in those one-run games.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on ten hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out two.

Augie Ojeda singled to left with one out in the first. Kendrick got Eric Byrnes on a fly ball to Victorino for the second out before Conor Jackson moved Ojeda to third with a single. Stephen Drew was next and he laced a single into left. Ojeda scored to put Arizona up 1-0 and Jackson went to second. Mark Reynolds hit a slow grounder to third. Feliz charged and made a nice play to throw Reynolds out at first.

Jeff Salazar started the second with a single, but Ruiz threw him out trying to steal second. Chris Snyder walked before Kendrick struck out pitcher Micah Owings for the second out. Chris Young smoked a single into left-center, moving Snyder to second. Kendrick struck Ojeda out swinging at a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

Salazar’s stolen base cost the Diamondbacks at least a run. Through two innings the Snakes had five hits, all singles, and a walk against Kendrick and had scored one run.

Jackson was hit by a pitch with one out in the third, but Drew followed and hit into a double-play.

Snyder singled with one out in the fourth. It brought up Owings, who lined a ball into right. Jenkins made a nice diving catch coming in to end the inning.

Young started the fifth with a home run that put Arizona up 2-1. Ojeda followed with a triple before Byrnes grounded back to the pitcher for the first out. Jackson hit a slow ground ball to second for the second out. Ojeda scored and it was 3-1. Drew flew to center for the third out.

Salazar singled with one out in the sixth. Snyder was next and hit a ground ball to third. Feliz threw to second for the first out, but Howard didn’t handle the relay from Utley for an error and Snyder was safe at first with two outs. Owings doubled into left and Snyder went to third. Young grounded to Feliz for the third out.

Madson started the seventh with the game tied at 3-3. Byrnes singled with one out and stole second. Jackson lined one into left-center and Victorino took a bad angle on the ball. It got past him and to the wall for a double — it should have been a hit but just a single. Byrnes scored to make it 4-3. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Drew and Drew grounded to second, moving Jackson to third. Righty Justin Upton hit for the lefty Salazar and struck out.

Interesting to see Manuel to put Madson into the game in such a pressure situation. Madson hasn’t been one of Manuel’s first options of the pen for much of the year. This time didn’t go well, but it’s nice to see anyway. Manuel needs to use his whole pen or Lidge and Romero are going to be done long before the season is.

Madson has now allowed six hits in his last 2 1/3 innings.

Gordon started the eighth with the Phils up 5-4 and Snyder led off with a double. Snyder was left stranded when Gordon set down Montero (flew to left), Young (struck out) and Ojeda (ground ball to second).

Lidge started the ninth with a one run lead and struck out Byrnes and Chris Burke before getting Drew to ground to first to end the game.

Great day for Romero, Gordon and Lidge, who combined to allow a hit and a walk while striking out five in 2 1/3 innings after Madson was hit hard in the seventh. Madson and Lidge both threw 15 pitches, Romero 13 and Gordon 11. Gordon pitched on Tuesday so he probably won’t go three days in a row, but my guess would be the other three are available this afternoon.

The Phillies’ lineup against right Micah Owings went (1) Victorino (2) Bruntlett (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right field with Werth on the bench despite the home run from Werth last night. Coming into the game Werth was hitting 218/290/400 against righties on the season, Jenkins 287/323/402. Howard back in the lineup and Utley back at second. Ruiz catches Kendrick.

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

Howard struck out to start the second and Burrell followed with a walk. Jenkins struck out and Feliz popped to third.

Ruiz started the third with a single and Kendrick bunted him to second. Victorino singled into center and Ruiz slid in to the plate just in front of the throw from Young to tie the game at 1-1. Really good base-running from Ruiz on the play. Bruntlett flew to right for the second out before Utley walked and stole second. Howard struck out for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

They started the seventh down 3-1. Jenkins singled with one out and it brought up Feliz and Feliz jerked Owings’ 0-1 pitch down the line in left and just out. 3-3. Ruiz grounded out behind him and Werth hit for Kendrick and struck out.

Victorino led off the eighth and struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch. Strike three got away from Snyder and Victorino took off for first base. It looked like Jackson at first set up to receive the throw from Snyder on the dugout side of the first base line, but the throw came on the second base side. Jackson reached across his body to catch the ball just as Victorino arrived and a horrific collision ensued. Victorino’s legs came out from under him and he wound up on his back, while Jackson wound up lying face down in front of first. Jackson had to leave the game but Victorino stayed in. Bruntlett was next and he ripped a double down the left field line and into the corner. Victorino scored to tie the game at 4-4. Utley singled into center and Bruntlett scored. 5-4. Howard and Burrell both struck out before Jenkins walked. Feliz grounded to short for the third out.

Dobbs hit for Gordon with one out in the ninth and singled, but Victorino and Bruntlett went down behind him.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with an RBI. Amazing that he could stay in the game after a play like that and score from first when the next hitter doubled — he got a great jump cause he was trying to steal second on the pitch that Bruntlett doubled on (the ball rattled around, so he may have been safe anyway).

Bruntlett was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Big hit for Bruntlett.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a walk and a single that won the game.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out three times.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.

Jenkins 1-for-3 with a walk. Nice play in right to take a hit away from Owings.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a big homer, his fifth on the season, and two RBI. He’s 5-for-11 with a double and a home run so far in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a single.

Brett Myers (2-2, 4.70) faces righty Brandon Webb (7-0, 2.49) this afternoon. Righties are hitting .152 against Webb and have drawn three walks this season. Lefties do at least a little better, but you’d sort of have to. They are hitting .247 against Webb and have hit both the home runs that Webb has allowed on the year (Helton and Delgado). Webb didn’t face the Phils last season. Myers threw 121 pitches his last time out, but he’s a big strong kid so it’s probably nothing. Over his last six starts Myers has allowed 11 home runs in 39 innings — if he allowed home runs at that rate over 200 innings he would surrender 56. That would be too many. Myers didn’t start against the Snakes in ’07, mostly cause he was being a big strong kid in the bullpen just about all the time he wasn’t on the DL.

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