Archive for May, 2008

Don’t blame it on the rain

The final game of the three-game set with the Blue Jays was long and wet and didn’t have the outcome you might have hoped. After rain forced starter Kyle Kendrick out of the game early the pen was called on to throw most of the contest. For the second straight day a bad inning by one of the guys in the pen that has been so good this year cost the Phils. A day after Tom Gordon’s bad inning hurt the Phils, this time it was three runs charged to Rudy Seanez in the sixth that did the Phillies in.

The Phils also struggled terribly to get the big hit they needed. Time after time they failed to score after they put a runner on third with one out. In the third inning, with Rollins on third and one down, Utley grounded out and Howard followed with a ground out to first. In the fourth, with one out and men on second and third, Durbin hit for himself and grounded out to short. The Phils were turned away when Werth flew to right after Rollins was walked to load the bases. In the fifth, with one out and men on second and third, Feliz popped out and Ruiz grounded to second behind him.

They lost by one run.

The Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday, falling 6-5. After losing two out of three to Toronto, the Phils are 24-21 on the year.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went just one perfect inning before being forced out of the game by a long rain delay. He dropped his ERA on the year to 4.76.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

After the bottom of the first inning the game was delayed by rain for more than two hours. Chad Durbin came in to pitch the second and set Toronto down 1-2-3.

Durbin walked Marcus Scutaro with one out in the third and Shawn Camp, the new Toronto pitcher, bunted him to second with the second out. Brad Wilkerson lined to third to set the Blue Jays down.

The Phils helped Durbin out with two nice defensive plays in a 1-2-3 fourth. Rollins made a fantastic play on a ball up the middle for the second out, taking a hit away from Alex Rios. Werth tracked a ball hit by Scott Rolen down in right center after a long run to end the frame.

Durbin started the fifth up 3-0. He got the first two before Rod Barajas doubled to right-center. Scutaro walked to put men on first and second with two down. Lyle Overbay hit for the pitcher Shawn Camp and smashed a ball into the upper deck in right, tying the game at 3-3. Wilkerson grounded to short to end the frame.

Seanez started the sixth, pitching for the second straight day. Hill led off with a double. Seanez got the next two on fly balls before he walked Stairs intentionally. Shannon Stewart cleared the bases with double to right-center, putting the Blue Jays up 5-3. Barajas followed with a single that scored Stewart. 6-3. Seanez struck out Scutaro for the third out.

Romero pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.

Condrey started the eighth and got the first two before Stairs doubled to right. Stewart was walked intentionally to get to Halladay. Halladay hit for himself and grounded to third to end the frame.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Long day for the bullpen. As a group they allowed six runs on six hits and four walks over eight innings. Seanez got shelled and Durbin gave up the big home run to Overbay after having two outs and nobody on. No day off for the team until May 29, so all the innings they had to give may be something that’s going to linger. Durbin threw 66 pitches, so you won’t see him for a while. Seanez 25, Condrey 13, Lidge and Romero 12 each. Kendrick could potentially give some innings out of the pen after making just 12 pitches in his start.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Shaun Marcum went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Ruiz returns to the lineup. Victorino on the bench for the second straight day with Werth in center and Jenkins in right.

Rollins singled to start the first and stole second as Werth struck out for the first out. Utley was next and struck out, but Howard hit a ball out to center to put the Phils up 2-0. Burrell walked before Jenkins struck out to end the inning.

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

Rollins doubled to right to start the third. Werth moved Rollins to third with a ground out. With the infield in, Utley grounded to second for the second out and Rollins had to hold third. Howard grounded to first to end the inning with Rollins stranded.

Jenkins and Feliz singled back-to-back with one out in the fourth. Ruiz was next and lined a ball just over the glove of the second baseman and into right. Jenkins scored to put the Phils up 3-0. Ruiz went to second when the throw from the outfield came in to third. With men on second and third, Durbin hit for himself and grounded to short for the second out. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases so the righty Camp could pitch to Werth. Werth flew to right for the third out.

With one out in the fifth, Howard, Burrell and Jenkins all singled in a row to load the bases. Feliz popped to second for the second out and Ruiz grounded to second to end the inning. Manuel lets Feliz hit for himself against righty Jason Frasor with Dobbs available and Feliz pops out with one out and the bases loaded.

Rollins walked with one out in the sixth. Werth struck out for the second out before Utley doubled to right and Rollins scored, cutting the Toronto lead to 6-4. Howard drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to put the tying run on base and the game was again delayed by rain. Roy Halladay was on the mound for Toronto when the game resumed. Burrell got ahead 2-0 but then popped to second to end the inning with both runners stranded.

Halladay set the Phils down 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Dobbs, who had entered the game in the top of the inning, started the eighth with a single. Rollins hit into a double-play and Werth struck out to end the inning.

Halladay gives the Blue Jays 2 1/3 innings in scoreless relief and it may have been the difference in the game. I found it difficult to watch Halladay’s performance without thinking about Cole Hamels saying last year that he wouldn’t pitch in relief in the playoffs. Cy Young winner Roy Halladay can do if for a team under .500 in a game in the middle of May and Hamels won’t do it in the playoffs? I don’t really have that big a problem with Hamels not wanting to pitch in relief. Talking to the press about it seems like a really bad idea, though.

BJ Ryan came in to pitch the ninth with a 6-4 lead. He got the first two before Burrell hammered a 3-2 pitch out to the upper deck in left. 6-5. Coste hit for Jenkins against the lefty and got behind 0-2 before he doubled into left. Taguchi ran for Coste at second as the tying run. Bruntlett hit for Lidge and lined two balls just foul down the third base line before striking out on a 2-2 pitch out of the strike zone high to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks in the game. 7-for-12 with four doubles in the series. He’s hitting 342/381/570 for the season.

Werth was 0-for-5, struck out three times and left six men on base. 3-for-11 with three home runs in the series. 272/348/544 on the year.

Utley was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 2-for-12 with a double in the series. 306/388/636.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two RBI. 3-for-11 in the set. 191/296/414.

Burrell was 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run. 2-for-10 with three walks in the series. 292/432/583.

Jenkins 2-for-4. 3-for-7 with three singles in the series. 265/298/350. He has one extra-base hit in his last 62 at-bats.

Feliz 1-for-4. 1-for-9 in the series. 233/277/411. Dobbs was 1-for-1 in the game and 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI in the series. 351/387/509.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 with an RBI in his only action of the series. 235/306/306. Coste was 1-for-1 with a double. 2-for-9 with two doubles in the series. 324/400/549.

Brett Myers (2-4, 5.91) faces righty Tim Redding (5-3, 3.55) tonight as the Phils open a set with the Nationals. Opponents are hitting just .201 against Redding this season, righties just .195. In three of his last four starts he’s allowed two runs or fewer. He has gone seven innings just once in his nine starts this year, and that outing came in his lone appearance of the season against the Phillies. On April 2 Redding held the Phils to one hit over seven innings as the Nats beat the Phils 1-0. Myers has allowed 15 runs on 18 hits over 9 1/3 innings over his last two starts.


Saturday night the Blue Jays let their ramRod rock

The Phils couldn’t do much against Toronto starter AJ Burnett last night, so two home runs and five RBI from former Phil Rod Barajas proved to be too many. Barajas hit a grand slam in the first and added a solo shot in the ninth while the Phils managed just three runs on six hits in the game.

Adam Eaton had another short appearance for the Phillies. He gave them just five innings. Tom Gordon was hit hard in the ninth, ending a string of 12 appearances without a run charged.

The Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays last night, falling 6-3 to drop to 24-20 on the season.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a grand slam by Rod Barajas and a double. He struck out three.

Joe Inglett singled with one out in the first. Alex Rios flew to right for the second out before Scott Rolen doubled down the third base line and into the left field corner. Inglett tried to score but Rollins’ relay from Burrell was fantastic and Coste tagged him out to end the inning.

Eaton hit Matt Stairs to start the second. Lyle Overbay and Marco Scutaro followed with back-to-back singles that loaded the bases with nobody out. Barajas hit a 2-1 pitch from Eaton out the opposite way to right field to put the Blue Jays up 4-0. Eaton got the next three.

Utley made a nice diving play to rob Rios of a hit on a live drive back up the middle to start the third. Rolen followed with a walk, but Eaton got the next two to end the frame.

Scutaro walked to start the fourth. Barajas popped to second for the first out before the pitcher AJ Burnett bunted Scutaro to second. Brad Wilkerson was next. He hit a ground ball between first and second. Howard dove for it and it went off his glove. Scutaro tried to score as the Utley picked up the ball and threw home. Coste missed the tag, but Scutaro slid passed home. The home plate ump oddly signaled him safe despite the fact that he hadn’t touch the plate. Scutaro lunged for the plate and Coste tagged him out to end the inning. Nice throw by Utley and the second time in four innings the Phillies threw a runner out at the plate for the third out of the inning.

Rolen and Stairs singled back-to-back with two outs in the fifth. Eaton got Overbay on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Eaton was due to lead off the bottom of the fifth and the Phils hit for him down 4-1. He had thrown 90 pitches in the game. Madson started the sixth and gave up a leadoff walk to Scutaro. Barajas was next and flew to the warning track in center. Scutaro tagged and tried to go to second, but Werth threw him out. Burnett grounded to short for the third out.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Romero started the eighth with the Phils still down 4-1. Shannon Stewart doubled to left with one out and Overbay moved him to third with a ground ball to short. Gordon came in to pitch to the righty Scutaro and got him to ground to second for the third out.

Manuel brought Gordon back for the ninth with the Phils now down 4-3. Didn’t work. Barajas led off the inning with a home run to left. 5-3. Hill singled and stole second before Wilkerson popped out for the first out. Hector Luna hit for the pitcher Scott Downs and hit a ground ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Hill scored to put Toronto up 6-3. Rios moved Luna to second with a single. That was it for Gordon and Seanez came in to pitch to Rolen. Rolen flew to center for the second out and Luna went to third. With Stewart at the plate on men on first and third, the Blue Jays tried a double steal before Seanez had come home with the pitch. Seanez looked Luna back and threw to second. Utley moved in front of the bag and made a strong throw home to get Luna and end the frame.

Miserable base-running in the game for the Blue Jays.

Two strong innings out of the pen for Madson, who has his ERA down to 4.22. Gordon allowed two runs on four hits and got just two outs. Twenty pitches for Madson, 18 for Gordon, nine for Romero and four for Seanez.

The Phillies lineup against righty AJ Burnett went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Jenkins returns to right as the Phils finally see a righty after five straight lefties. Victorino on the bench and Werth in center and hitting second. Dobbs plays third against the righty. Coste catches again, Ruiz has missed time with a stomach flu.

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

Eaton walked with two outs in the third and the Phils down 4-0. Rollins moved him to third with a single and stole second before Werth walked to load the bases. Utley grounded to third to end the inning.

With two outs in the fourth, Jenkins singled and scored when Dobbs followed with a double to center. It cut the Blue Jay lead to 4-1. Coste struck out for the third out.

With two outs in the fifth, Werth walked and stole second. Utley struck out for the third out. Taguchi hit for Eaton to start the inning, which is early given that Eaton had just allowed four runs. The Phillies’ pen was well-rested. Eaton wasn’t pitching well, but all the runs he had allowed came on one swing of the bat.

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

Dobbs singled to start the seventh before Coste popped out for the first out. Victorino hit for Madson and Dobbs stole second. Victorino walked. Rollins hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a double. Both runners scored and the Phils were within one at 4-3. Rollins went to third on a passed ball, but Werth struck out for the second out of the inning. Utley was hit by a pitch to put two men on for Howard, but Howard flew to right to end the inning.

Unfortunate strikeout for Werth with one out and a man on third in a one run game.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Bruntlett hit for Jenkins with lefty Scott Downs on the mound and fouled out for the second out. Bruntlett’s career slugging percentage against lefties is .401 — down a run I think I would have let Jenkins hit. Dobbs struck out for the third out.

Down 6-3 in the ninth, Rollins doubled with two outs and took third on defensive indifference. Feliz hit for Rudy Seanez and struck out to end the game.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI.

Werth was 0-for-2 with two walks and two strikeouts.

Utley 0-for-3 and left four men on base.

Howard 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Burrell 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.

Jenkins 1-for-3.

Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Coste 0-for-4.

Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.87) faces righty Shaun Marcum (4-2, 2.22) this afternoon. Opponents are hitting just .151 against Marcum in his eight starts and he’s struck out 49 in 56 2/3 innings. Marcum started against the Phils on May 19 of last season and allowed two runs over six innings. Kendrick has made five quality starts in his last six appearances. The Phils are 5-0 in the last five games he’s started.


Jayson doing his best to make Interleague play seem Werthwhile

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
               
TOR 21-22 162 3.77 X 692 (x) 28 13
PHI 23-19 201 4.67 5 766 (6) 24 5

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
             
TOR 21-22 163 3.79 X 3.69 (x) 3.18 (x)
PHI 23-19 187 4.35 T-8 4.69 (T-11) 2.63 (1)

There are a lot of fans having trouble getting excited about the return of Interleague play, but Jayson Werth did his best to inject his own brand of excitement into a rain-soaked game last night. Werth hit a three-run homer and a grand slam in his first two at-bats and added a solo shot in the fifth. His eight RBI paced the Phils to an easy win in the first game of their set against the Blue Jays.

The Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays last night, winning 10-3 to improve to 24-19 on the season.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.

Alex Rios singled with two outs in the first, but Burrell threw him out trying to stretch it into a double.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 second and a 1-2-3 third.

He started the fourth up 8-0. Aaron Hill singled with one out and came around to score when Rios followed with a double to left-center. 8-1. Scott Rolen brought Rios in with a single to center to make it 8-2 before Matt Stairs struck out for the second out. Shannon Stewart singled to right and Rolen went to second. Lyle Overbay grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Rolen walked with two outs in the sixth, but Stairs struck out behind him.

Overbay singled with one out in the seventh and went to second on a passed ball. Greg Zaun walked and lefty Brad Wilkerson hit for the pitcher Jesse Litsch. Wilkerson flew to right for the second out before Marcus Scutaro singled to right. Overbay scored and the Phillies’ lead was cut to 10-3. With men on first and third and two down, Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Hill and got him to foul out to Coste to end the frame.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Condrey pitched the ninth. Overbay singled with one out and was forced out at second when Zaun followed and grounded out to first. Joe Inglett hit for the pitcher Brian Tallet and singled, moving Zaun to second. Scutaro grounded to short to end the game.

The pen throws another 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Durbin saves Moyer’s line by getting Hill in the eighth and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.42. Condrey and Durbin both threw 18 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty David Purcey went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Victorino in right, Werth in center. Coste catches again, getting his third straight start behind the plate.

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

Howard and Burrell walked to start the second before Werth smashed an 0-1 pitch out to the opposite field. 3-0. Feliz, Coste and Moyer went down behind him.

Rollins started the third with a bunt single and moved to second when Victorino followed with a walk. First walk in 38 at-bats for Victorino. Rollins faked a steal of third and Victorino took off for second, but Rollins was still there. Victorino was tagged out for the first out with Rollins holding second. Utley singled and moved Rollins to third. Howard hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single. Rollins scored and it was 4-0. Utley went to third on the single. Burrell walked to load the bases for Werth. Werth hit a 3-1 pitch this time, out to right again and nearly in the same place but a little more toward center. 8-0. Feliz grounded to third and Coste flew to left on a nice play by Kevin Mench as he caught the ball running into the wall. Mench hurt his knee on the play and the Blue Jays hit for him in the top of the fourth.

Victorino singled with two outs in the fourth, but Utley flew to center to end the inning.

With two outs in the fifth, Werth hit a 2-1 pitch out to left center to put the Phils up 9-3. Feliz struck out for the third out. Eight RBI through five innings for Werth.

Coste doubled to start the sixth but was doubled off of second when Moyer followed and hit a ball into left that was caught by Stewart. Rollins and Victorino doubled back-to-back. Rollins scored on the double by Victorino to put the Phils up 10-2. Utley struck out to leave Victorino stranded.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Werth popped a 3-2 pitch up to first in his bid for a four homer game.

1-2-3 in the eighth. Bruntlett hit for Durbin with two outs and popped to second.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double.

Victorino 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Utley 1-for-4.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Burrell 0-for-2 with two walks.

Werth 3-for-4 with three home runs and eight RBI. He now has nine home runs on the year. He hit eight in 255 at-bats last year.

Feliz was 0-for-4.

Coste 1-for-4 with a double.

Adam Eaton (0-1, 5.40) faces righty AJ Burnett (3-4, 4.94) tonight. The Phils finally get a righty after facing five left-handed starting pitchers in a row. Burnett has appeared in nine games for the Blue Jays, eight of which have been starts. In five starts away from home he’s 2-2 with a 3.15. At home he’s thrown to an 8.64 ERA. In each of the last four seasons he’s made at least 19 starts and thrown to an ERA under 4.00. Eaton has gotten an out in the sixth inning just once in his last five starts. His last time out was one of his better outings of the season as he held the Giants to two runs over five innings. He’s walking too many batters. Over his last two starts he’s thrown nine innings and allowed eight walks.


The kid stays in (the pitcher)

The Phils brought out the long ball last night, but a brilliant outing by Cole Hamels ensured it would have only taken one to beat the Braves. Hamels threw a complete game four-hit shutout, holding Atlanta to three singles and a soft line drive into left for a double.

Feliz, Howard and Victorino hit home runs, driving in four of the five runs the Phillies scored.

Not much bad at all for the Phils in this one as Hamels was simply fantastic. If you’re looking for some I’d go with 120 pitches for Hamels. He threw 121 in Milwaukee on April 23, so that’s twice in his last five outings he’s thrown at least 120. At least this time he didn’t allow five runs in the game and the Phillies won. Hamels has now thrown 65 1/3 innings on the season through 42 games. He almost surely won’t pitch again till game 46. After game 45 he will be on pace to throw over 235 innings for the season.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 5-0 to improve to 23-19 on the season. The Phils take the series two games to one.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and allowed four hits over nine scoreless innings. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He walked two and struck out six.

Omar Infante singled with one out in the first, but Hamels got the next two.

He got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 second.

With a 1-0 lead in the third he set the Braves down in order again.

Up 3-0 in the fourth, he got Infante to ground to first, Jeff Francoeur on a fly ball to center and Mark Teixeira on a line out to Howard at first.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth with a 5-0 lead. He needed just seven pitches to get two fly balls and a strikeout.

Gregor Blanco singled to left with one out in the sixth. Yunel Escobar was next and he hit a high popup that Victorino took in foul territory after a long run. Infante hit a line drive to left to end the frame.

Brain McCann doubled into left with two outs in the seventh. Matt Diaz flew to right for the third out.

Greg Norton hit for the pitcher Jorge Campillo to start the eighth and drew a walk. Hamels got Ruben Gotay on a fly ball to center and struck out Blanco for the second out before Escobar drew a walk, moving Norton to second. Infante grounded to short to end the frame.

Hamels started the ninth up 5-0 having thrown 108 pitches with Lidge warming in the pen. Francoeur led off and hit a slow ground ball between short and third. Feliz made a nice play and a strong throw, but Francoeur beat it out for a single. Mark Teixeira was next and hit a rocket to short. Rollins fielded on one hard hop and fell on his back as he did. He threw to second on his back and a strong relay from Utley doubled-up the slow Teixeira. Hamels struck McCann out swinging at a 2-2 pitch to end the game.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Chuck James went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Victorino in right again with Werth in center. Coste catches after going 4-for-4 on Wednesday.

Rollins singled to start the first and stole second after Victorino flew to left for the first out. Utley and Howard both walked, loading the bases for Burrell. Burrell popped to short for the second out and Werth lined to short to end the inning. Phils get nothing after loading the bases with one out.

Feliz homered to left to start the second, putting the Phils up 1-0. Coste walked and Hamels bunted. The third baseman Infante fielded and threw to second in time to force Coste for the second out. Rollins moved Hamels to second with a single, but Victorino hit into a double-play to end the inning.

With one out in the third, Howard hit a 2-2 pitch out to left to put the Phils up 2-0. Burrell walked and went to second on a wild pitch that McCann just didn’t catch before Werth flew to center for the second out. Feliz singled off the very top of the wall in left, missing his second home run by in two innings less than a foot. Burrell scored and the Phils led 3-0. Coste flew to center for the third out.

Rollins walked with one out in the fourth and Victorino followed and lined one over the wall in left-center for his first home run of the year. 5-0. Utley and Howard went down behind him.

Werth singled with one out in the fifth but Feliz hit into a double-play behind him.

Coste doubled to left to start the sixth and moved to third when Hamels followed with a single into center. Rollins hit a fly ball into left for the first out and Coste tagged and came home. Diaz threw him out on a close play at the plate for the second out. Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

Burrell blooped a single into left with two outs in the seventh. Taguchi ran for him at first. Werth followed with a ground ball deep in the hole between short and third and had an infield single. Feliz flew to left for the third out.

Hamels blooped a single to left with one out in the eighth. Rollins flew to center for the second out and Victorino grounded to short to end the inning.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game. 5-for-14 with two doubles in the series. 299/329/507 on the year.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with his first home run of the year and two RBI. He left five men on base. 3-for-15 with a double and a home run in the series. 227/280/309. He had four RBI in 106 at-bats on the season coming into the game.

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game and 2-for-11 with a home run in series. 317/399/665 after going 3-for-his-last-24.

Howard was 1-for-3 with his ninth home run and a walk. 4-for-11 with a double and two home runs in the series. He’s homered in three of the last five games and is hitting 185/290/404 on the year.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with a double in the set. 299/435/590 on the year.

Werth was 2-for-4 in the game. 5-for-11 in the series. 272/344/491 on the year.

Feliz was 2-for-4 with a home run. 3-for-12 in the series. 241/288/431 on the year. He’s hitting 304/333/565 in May.

Coste was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 6-for-10 with a double and a home run in the set. 339/423/565 on the season. Ruiz was 1-for-4 in the set and is hitting 234/308/309 on the season but 308/419/423 in May.

Jamie Moyer (2-3, 5.02) faces yet another lefty tonight as David Purcey (0-0, 2.08) gets the call for Toronto as the Phils play the first of three with the Blue Jays. The 26-year-old Purcey has made just on the season. On April 18 against the Tigers he allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings on just two hits but walked seven. Purcey has made seven starts at Triple-A in the International League this season and gone 3-3 with a 2.22 ERA. In 44 2/3 he struck out 52 while walking 16. Triple-A opponents have hit .186 against him. Moyer had his worst start of the season on Saturday as the Giants pounded him for six runs on nine hits in four innings. He’s allowed five home runs in 16 1/3 innings over his last three starts. Righties are hitting .350 against him.


Myers picks a funny time to start long-tossing

Funny strange, not funny ha-ha.

Not an expert on such things, but I’m just about positive they were suggesting that Brett Myers long toss in-between starts rather than during them. Myers’ offerings last night didn’t quite travel 120 feet, but it may have looked like they had to Atlanta hitters by the time the ball reached the plate. Three of the first seven Braves he faced homered off of him and Myers didn’t make it through the fifth inning. Over his last two starts he has allowed 15 runs in 9 1/3 innings.

Down 8-0 in the sixth, the Phils still managed to make a game out of it. The bottom of their pen gave them 4 2/3 scoreless innings and the Phils brought two guys up in the ninth as the winning run.

The Phils lost to the Atlanta Braves last night, falling 8-6 to drop to 22-19 on the season. They have lost three of their last four games and remain in second place in the NL East, a game and a half behind the Marlins.

Myers got the start for the Phils and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits and three walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and three home runs. He struck out six. With more than a quarter of the season played, Myers’ ERA is 5.91. He has made one quality start in his last five outings.

Madson gave up a two-run single in the fifth with the runs charged to Myers, but it wasn’t exactly what tipped the scales to the bad start side.

Yunel Escobar hit Myers’ second pitch of the game out to left. 1-0. Mark Kotsay popped to short for the first out before Chipper Jones homered to left. 2-0. Mark Teixeira drew a walk, but Brian McCann hit into a double-play behind him.

In the second, Kelly Johnson homered with one out to make it 3-0. Myers struck out Gregor Blanco for the second out and pitcher Tom Glavine to end the inning. Jeff Francoeur struck out to start the inning, so Myers struck out the side.

Escobar started the third with walk. Kotsay followed with a ground ball to short. Rollins went to second for the first out, but Howard didn’t handle Utley’s throw and was charged with an error. Chipper hit a ball down the line in left that wedged between the warning track and the mat. Burrell could have picked it up easily but raised both hands and Chipper had to settle for a ground-rule double. Smart play by Burrell, Kotsay would have scored easily, but had to hold third. Turned out not to matter. Myers struck out Teixeira for the second out before McCann doubled over the head of Victorino in right. Both runners scored and the Braves led 5-0. Francoeur struck out for the third out.

Johnson doubled to start the fourth. Blano struck out behind him for the first out. Glavine followed and reached on a swinging bunt, moving Johnson to third. Escobar hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Kotsay started the fifth with a single and Chipper followed with a walk. Teixeira grounded to second and Chipper was forced at second for the second out. With men on first and third and one down, McCann singled into right. Kotsay scored to make it 6-0 and Teixeira went to second. Madson came into pitch and got Francoeur on a ball out in front of the plate for the second out as the runners moved up to second and third. Madson walked Johnson with two outs to load the bases and pitch to Blanco and Blanco singled into center. Teixeira and McCann scored and it was 8-0. Glavine grounded to short for the third out.

Walking Johnson intentionally was a bad idea if it worked. It didn’t.

Madson came back to pitch the sixth. Kotsay singled with one out, but Madson got the next two.

Condrey started the seventh with the Phils down 8-4. Francoeur singled with one out. Johnson was next and he blooped one behind short and into left-center. Werth came in and made a nice diving catch for the second out. Blanco flew to center for the third out.

Seanez threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He returned for the ninth and walked McCann on a 3-2 pitch with two outs. Francoeur lined to Utley to end the frame.

The pen did their job. They went 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks. Madson threw 34 pitches, Seanez 29 and Condrey 14. Probably means Madson and Seanez couldn’t pitch tonight.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Tom Glavine went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Again Werth plays center and Victorino right. I have not heard or read an explanation from Manuel that makes much sense to me on this subject. It seems like he keeps saying I-said-I-was-going-to-play-Werth-in-center-so-now-I’m-playing-Werth-in-center. Playing Werth in center is a fine idea when Victorino is not in the game. Victorino doesn’t belong in right field. Coste catches.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the first and again in the second.

Down 5-0 in the third, Coste singled with one out. Myers bunted him to second, but Rollins flew to right for the third out.

1-2-3 in the fourth and again in the fifth.

Down 8-0, Coste led off the sixth with a single. Bruntlett hit for Madson and drew a walk that moved Coste to second. Rollins split the gap in right-center on the first pitch he saw for a double. Coste scored and Bruntlett went to third. 8-1. Victorino grounded to short for the second out and Bruntlett scored and Rollins moved to third. 8-2. Utley hammered a 1-2 pitch out to right-center and it was 8-4. Howard grounded to first for the second out before Burrell drew a walk. That finally chased Glavine and righty Jeff Bennett came in to pitch to Werth. Werth walked and it put men on first and second for Feliz, but Feliz flew to left to end the inning.

Coste started the seventh with a single. With the righty Bennett still on the mound, Jenkins hit for Condrey. Lefty Will Ohman came in to pitch and Taguchi hit for Jenkins and hit into a double-play. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

Jenkins has a career .715 OPS against left-handed pitching. Taguchi .713.

Howard homered to left with two outs in the eighth off of lefty Royce Ring. 8-5. Righty Blaine Boyer came in and got Burrell to ground to short to end the inning.

Coste singled with two outs in the ninth. Dobbs hit for Seanez and singled into left. It brought Rollins up as the tying run. Rollins got ahead 2-0 before he laced a 2-2 pitch into right for a single. Coste scored from second to make it 8-6 and Dobbs went to third. Rollins stole second base without a throw, putting the tying run on second base for Victorino. Victorino hit a 1-1 pitch hard into right, but Francoeur took it just in front of the warning track to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.

Victorino 0-for-5 with an RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-23. He has five extra-base hits and a .286 slugging percentage for the season.

Utley was 1-for-4 with his 14th home run and two RBI. He’s on pace to hit .323 with 55 home runs.

Howard was 1-for-4 with his eighth home run. 7-for-his-last-25 with a double, a triple and two home runs.

Burrell was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Feliz was 0-for-4. He’s 2-for-his-last-14.

Coste went 4-for-4 with two singles and scored two runs.

Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.36) faces lefty Chuck James (2-2, 7.58) tonight. James has made four starts on the year for the Braves and has allowed four or more runs in three of them. In 19 innings he has struck out 17, but also allowed four home runs. Only two NL pitchers gave up more than the 32 home runs that James allowed in 2007. James gave up his 32 in just 161 1/3 innings. Righties are hitting .304 against him this season, lefties just .133. He made four starts against the Phillies in 2007 and went 1-0 with a 5.49 ERA and a 1.32 ratio. His starts against the Phils came on April 5, May 2, August 10 and September 25. Hamels has thrown a ton of innings for the Phils, 56 1/3, in his eight starts. That’s an average of over seven an outing and there’s no way that’s going to work over a whole season. Going into tonight’s start, Hamels is on pace to throw about 228 innings for the year. Opponents are hitting .217 against him overall and he’s thrown to a 1.10 ratio. He’s walked one left-handed batter this season. Home runs are probably the way to go if you want to score against him, but his home run rate this year is down. After allowing 25 in 183 1/3 innings last seson (1.23 per nine innings), Hamels has allowed five in 56 1/3 so far this year (.80 per nine). In four starts against the Braves last season he went 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.13 ratio. April 4, May 1 and the August 10 game against James.


I got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat and a brand new pair of confused outfielders

Not sure exactly the nature of Charlie Manuel’s problem with Shane Victorino, but whatever it is it almost cost the Phillies a game last night. With both Victorino and Jayson Werth in the starting lineup, Manuel put Victorino in right and Werth in center. That’s just a terrible decision even if it doesn’t cost you. It almost did — with two outs in the ninth, Werth misplayed Brian McCann’s fly ball into a double and gave two Braves a chance to come to the plate as the go-ahead run. If Manuel has a message for Victorino he should deliver it, but if his message is that the team is better defensively with Werth in center it’s going to be a hard one for anybody to take seriously.

One guy not to blame is Werth, who is at least an adequate if not better defensive center fielder. There are a whole lot of guys in the league that can’t play defense like Victorino. Werth more than made up for his miscue in the field with his bat last night, driving in four of the five Phillies’ runs.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 22-18 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. All six hits were singles and he struck out two. After allowing three runs on three hits in the first, Kendrick was very good. He put up five shutout innings in a row in which he allowed just three singles and three walks. Ruiz helped him get a huge out with two men on in the sixth by picking Kelly Johnson off of second base.

In his three starts at home this season, Kendrick has allowed just three extra-base hits. Opponents are slugging .315 against him at home.

Yunel Escobar started the first with a single and went to second on a passed ball before Mark Kotsay drew a walk. Chipper Jones singled to center and Escobar scored to put the Braves up 1-0. Kotsay went to second. Brian McCann grounded to first and the runners moved to second and third with one down. Kendrick got Greg Norton on a popup to shallow center for the second out, but Jeff Francoeur followed and singled into right. Both runners scored and Atlanta led 3-0. Kelly Johnson flew to right for the third out.

Kendrick walked Gregor Blanco to start the second. The pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes tried to bunt him to second but struck out for the first out. Escobar followed with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins couldn’t handle it and Escobar was safe on the error. The Phils weren’t going to get a double-play anyway, but the possibility may have made Rollins rush. Kotsay was next and hit another ball to Rollins’ right. This time Rollins made a nice diving play to take a hit away from Kotsay, forcing Escobar at second for the second out as Blanco went to third. Chipper was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Kendrick got McCann to pop to right-center to end the frame.

Francoeur singled with one out in the third. Johnson followed and grounded to short, Francoeur was forced at second for the second out. Blanco grounded back to Kendrick for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Chipper singled to start the inning, but McCann followed and hit into a double-play. Norton grounded to short to end the frame.

Johnson singled with one out in the sixth and Blanco followed with a walk. Reyes hit for himself and took the first pitch for a strike. Ruiz threw to second and Johnson was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out for the second out. Blanco went to second in the ugly rundown for the Phils. Reyes shattered his bat grounding back to Kendrick to end the frame. Great job by Kendrick to field the comebacker as the barrel of the bat bounced right at him.

Huge play by Ruiz behind the plate to pick off Johnson with one out and two men on base.

Romero started the seventh up 4-3 and got the first two before Chipper singled and McCann followed with a walk. Romero struck out Norton to set the Braves down.

Gordon started the eighth up 5-3. Johnson singled with one out and Blanco followed with a ground ball to second. Johnson was forced at second for the second out. Switch-hitter Ruben Gotay hit for the pitcher Jorge Camillo and struck out for the third out.

Gordon’s ERA for the season is down to 3.63. He’s allowed two runs in his last 16 innings while striking out 16.

Lidge started the ninth up 5-3. He struck out Escobar to start the inning before he walked Kotsay on four straight fastballs. It brought up Chipper as the tying run. Kotsay took second on defensive indifference before Chipper hit a 2-1 pitch deep to left. Bruntlett, seeing his first action in the outfield this season after pinch-running for Burrell in the seventh and staying in to play left, took it on the warning track for the second out. McCann was next and he hit a fly ball to center field that should have ended the game. It didn’t. Werth froze, then came in before realizing the ball was over his head. It landed behind him for a double. Kotsay scored and it was 5-4 with a man on second and two outs for Norton. Norton walked to put men on first and second for Francoeur. Lidge got ahead of him 0-2 before Francoeur hit a 1-2 pitch into right-center that Victorino took to end the game.

With an assist to the Werth misplay, Lidge had to throw 26 pitches on the night. Romero 18 and Gordon 15 coming off an off-day on Monday.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jo-Jo Reyes went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth started in center with Victorino in right for the Phils. To have both Victorino and Werth in your outfield and put Victorino in right and Werth in center is a poor idea. Ruiz catches. We’re going to see a lot of Werth in the series with the Braves scheduled to throw three lefties.

Victorino doubled with one out in the first and the Phils down 3-0, but Utley grounded to second and Howard struck out to end the inning.

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

Rollins reached on an error by Escobar with two outs in the third, but Victorino flew to left to end the inning.

Utley singled to start the fourth and Howard followed with a blast over the head of Kotsay in center and off the base of the wall for a double that moved Utley to third. Burrell struck out looking for the first out, but Werth laced a single back through the middle and both runners scored to cut the Atlanta lead to 3-2. Feliz moved Werth to second with a single, but Ruiz grounded to second and Kendrick struck out to leave both men stranded.

With one out in the fifth, Victorino singled and stole second. Utley grounded to second for the second out and Victorino went to third. Howard singled into right and Victorino scored to tie the game at 3-3. Burrell moved Howard to second with a single before Werth singled into left. Howard scored to put the Phils up 4-3 and Burrell went to second. Feliz popped to third to end the inning.

Ruiz singled to start the sixth but the Phils went in order behind him. Taguchi hit for Kendrick and bunted into an out for the first out of the frame.

Burrell doubled to right with two outs in the seventh and Bruntlett ran for him at second. Werth blooped a single in front of a diving Blanco and Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 5-3. Burrell might not have scored on the play even with two outs, but I would have rather seen him stay in the game anyway. Feliz grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins doubled with two outs in the eighth. Victorino grounded to second behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Victorino 2-for-5 with a double and stole his sixth base of the season. 3-for-his-last-18.

Utley was 1-for-4.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a double.

Werth was 3-for-4 with four RBI.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Brett Myers (2-3, 5.56) faces lefty Tom Glavine (0-1, 4.03) tonight. Glavine has made six starts on the year and allowed two runs or fewer in five of them. The Reds hit him hard on May 4 and he was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings. In his other five starts on the season he’s thrown to a 2.59 ERA. Lefties are hitting .360 against him on the season and have hit two of the three home runs he’s allowed — lefties have actually hit him better over his career, but not at a .360 clip (lefties have hit .263 against him in his career). The former Met made five starts against the Phils in 2007 and went 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. April 12, April 17, June 5, August 28 and September 14. Myers has allowed 19 runs in 24 innings over his past four starts. Twelve home runs in his last 44 innings. Righties are hitting .325 against him. He’s not pitching well. He went 1-0 with a 4.30 ERA, a 1.30 ratio and four saves in eight appearances against Atlanta last season.

Manuel talks about starting Werth in center last night here.


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