Archive for May, 2008

Eight is enough to make you throw up in your mouth a little bit

A two-run homer from Steve Holm I can live with, but intentionally walking Omar Vizquel three times in a game is a little bit tougher. That’s just indefensible for a lot of reasons, but the big ones are that he’s 41-years-old and on-based .305 and slugged .316 last season.

And yes, I do remember that after each of the three intentional walks to Vizquel in Sunday’s game the pitcher struck out the next Giant to end the inning. It’s not that kind of a thing.

Indefensible or not, there’s got to be something going on. Turns out it might be that what part of it is is that the Phils are getting shelled by eight hitters this season. Here’s what guys in the eight hole have done against the Phillies so far:


AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
309 405 434 839

If that looks bad, well, it is. The .839 OPS that opponents eight hitters have posted against Phillies hurlers is the worst in the NL. By a lot. Not including yesterday’s game, Colorado had been second-worst against eight hitters using OPS as a measure. They had posted a .775 OPS against them.

Overall for the season, opponents have hit 264/333/422 against the Phils, a .756 OPS — eight hitters have been significantly better than other hitters in the lineup.

The .309 batting average eight hitters have posted against Phils’ hurlers is the worst in the league. The Phillies have struck out opponents eight hitters 17 times this season, also (tied for) the worst in the league. The Reds have struck out the eight hitter the most times — again, not counting yesterday’s games, 43. The Phils have walked the eight hitter intentionally six times, the most in the NL.

Put it all together and you’ve turned the molehill of the eight-spot into a mountain. Here’s what Phillies’ pitchers have done overall against hitters in each of the non-pitchers spot in the order so far this season, and their rank compared to the other NL teams using OPS as the measure (still doesn’t include yesterday’s games. Really, nothing in this post includes anything from yesterday’s games):


# in order

OPS against

NL Rank
1 .829 14
2 .675 5
3 .913 12
4 .882 9
5 .806 7
6 .749 9
7 .745 9
8 .839 16

Using OPS as the measure, not only have the Phillies been the worst team in the NL against eight hitters, but #8 hitters in the order have been more effective against them than leadoff men, #2, #5, #6 and #7 hitters.

Eight NL teams, that’s half, have thrown to a lower OPS against their opponents #3 hitters than the Phillies have to their opponents’ #8 hitters (ie, eight NL teams have thrown to an OPS lower than .839 against #3 hitters).

In 2007, eight hitters hit 285/366/374 against the Phillies pitchers. That was bad, 11th worst in the NL, but not quite as bad as the Phils were overall. Overall in 2007 the Phils’ pitchers threw to the 13th-best OPS in the league.

In 2007 the Phils still walked the eight hitter a lot. The 68 walks to the eight hitter were third most in the league (overall the Phils were tied for allowing the eighth-most). They intentionally walked the eight hitter 17 times. Only two teams intentionally walked the eight hitter more than that, Colorado and Arizona both walked the eight hitter 18 times in ’07.

All these huge numbers for eight hitters this year must at least one someone and probably more on the Phillies’ pitching staff is getting bombed by guys in the eight hole. And someones are. Among the guys in the rotation, eight hitters are 7-for-19 with a double and three walks against Myers (368/455/421 with an .876 OPS). That’s bad, but Kendrick and Moyer have been even worse. Eight hitters are 5-for-15 with two doubles, a home run and two walks against Kendrick (333/444/667, 1.111 OPS). 7-for-16 with four doubles, a triple and two walks against Moyer (438/500/813, 1.313 OPS).

Some of that is surely just bad luck that will even out along the way. The thing the Phillies can definitely control is how often they pitch around the eight hitter and how often they walk him intentionally. I’d go with a lot less. It’s just one that doesn’t need to be over-thought. There’s a reason that the guy is hitting eighth and the chances are pretty good that it’s there are seven guys in the lineup that can hit better than he can. Try to get him out.


Holm is where the hurt is

If you walk Omar Vizquel intentionally three times in a game you deserve to lose, and apparently the baseball gods aren’t afraid to get a little creative in figuring out how. Yesterday they went with career home run number one for Steve Holm. The two-run blast came off of JC Romero in the bottom of the seventh and proved to be the difference as the Phils fell 4-3.

Romero has been fantastic since joining the Phils and has earned more than one blowup. No chance his run ends as well as it started, though, and the way he has been used by Manuel has to concern you. The details of the backup plan when it comes to a lefty out of the pen are a little fuzzy.

The Phillies lost to the San Francisco Giants yesterday afternoon, falling 4-3 to drop to 21-18 on the season. The Giants win the series two games to one. The Phils have lost three of four and scored three or fewer runs in each of the three games they lost.

Eaton got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and five walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four and dropped his ERA to 5.40. His line wasn’t that impressive, but he was worse than his line. Chad Durbin bailed him out after Eaton put runners on second and third with nobody out to start the sixth.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Bengie Molina started the second with a single and Aaron Rowand followed with a walk. John Bowker fisted a 2-2 pitch just over the glove of Rollins and into left-center. Molina scored to put the Giants up 1-0 and Rowand went to second. Jose Castillo smashed a ball, but right at Utley and Utley started a double-play. With Rowand at third and two outs, Eaton walked Omar Vizquel intentionally before he struck out the pitcher Jonathan Sanchez to end the inning.

Fred Lewis walked to start the third, but Eugenio Velez hit into a double-play behind him. Randy Winn followed and hit a slow ground ball to second. Utley fielded, but his overhand flip to Howard was bad for an error. Ruiz threw Winn out trying to steal second for the third out.

Molina started the fourth with a double and again Eaton walked Rowand behind him. Bowker singled to load the bases and Castillo hit into another double-play. Molina scored to put San Francisco up 2-1. Eaton again walked Vizquel intentionally, putting men on first and second before Vizquel stole second. Eaton again struck out Sanchez to end the inning.

Very bizarrely similar to the second inning. To review, Molina led off both innings and the same hitter was hitting in the same slot in the order in both frames. The second went 1B, BB, 1B, GDP, IBB, K and the fourth went 2B, BB, 1B, GDP, IBB, K.

Two times in three innings is too many to walk Omar Vizquel intentionally.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth up 3-2 and hit Molina. Emmanuel Burriss ran for Molina and Rowand doubled to right, sending Burriss to third. With the lefty Bowker at the plate, Manuel pulled Eaton and brought Durbin in to pitch. Durbin hit Bowker with his first pitch to load the bases. Castillo was next and lined into a double-play to first, with Howard catching the ball and doubling Bowker off first. Third time in five innings Castillo had hit into a double-play. Vizquel was walked intentionally for the third time to load the bases. Switch-hitter Ray Durham hit for the pitcher Billy Sadley and Durbin struck him out to end the inning.

Romero started the seventh still up a run. Winn singled to left with one out and it brought up Steve Holm, who came on to catch after the Giants ran for Molina in the bottom of the sixth. The righty Holm hit the first pitch he saw from Romero out to left to put the Giants up 4-3. Romero walked Rowand before he got Bowker to pop to third for the third out.

Gordon started the eighth and gave up a leadoff triple to Castillo. He struck out Vizquel, got Rich Aurillia on a fly ball to shallow center and Lewis on a ground ball to second to leave Castillo stranded.

Romero threw 22 pitches, Durbin nine and Gordon 16. With the off day today all three may be available tomorrow against the Braves.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jonathan Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins plays right against the lefty. Ruiz catches despite then homer from Coste the day before.

Utley singled with two outs in the first, but Howard flew to right for the third out.

Burrell started the second with a single. Werth followed with a ground ball to short. Burrell was forced at second for the first out with Werth safe at first. Feliz flew to center for the second out before Werth stole second. Ruiz drew a walk to put men on first and second for Eaton, but Eaton flew to center for the third out.

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

Burrell walked with one out in the fourth. Werth struck out behind him, but Feliz doubled down the left field line and Burrell moved to third. Ruiz was walked intentionally to load the bases for Eaton, and Eaton drew a walk that forced in Burrell and tied the game at 1-1. Rollins was next and would have walked too, but he swung at ball four and flew to center for the third out.

Utley walked with one out in the fifth and Howard followed with a triple off the wall in right. Utley scored to tie the game again, this time at 2-2. Burrell hit a fly ball to right deep enough to score Howard and the Phils led 3-2. Werth fouled out to end the frame.

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

With one out in the seventh, Victorino singled and stole second. Utley flew to right for the second out, moving Victorino to third, but Howard struck out to end the frame.

Down 4-3 in the eighth, the Phillies went 1-2-3.

Righty Brian Wilson came on for the Giants in the ninth to protect a 4-3 lead. Jenkins hit for Ruiz and struck out. Dobbs hit for Gordon and hit a ball hard down the first base line. Rich Aurillia made a nice diving play, but Wilson didn’t cover first base nearly in time and Dobbs had a single. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch back to the pitcher and Wilson started a double-play to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-5 and left four men on base. He was 3-for-14 with a double and a home run in the series and is hitting 283/309/509 on the year.

Victorino was 1-for-4. 1-for-13 with a single in the set. 232/291/284 on the year. He’s in danger of losing time to Werth soon if he doesn’t start to hit.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-11 with two walks in the series. 327/409/680.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. 3-for-13 with a triple and a home run in the series. 171/280/357.

Burrell was 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. 1-for-6 with five walks. 298/437/605.

Werth was 0-for-4. 1-for-9 in the series. 252/328/495 on the year after going 4-for-his-last-27. Jenkins was 0-for-1 yesterday and 1-for-4 in the series. 255/291/345.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a double. 3-for-11 with two doubles in the series. 240/291/424 on the year. Dobbs was 3-for-5 with an RBI in the series and is hitting 320/364/480.

Ruiz was 0-for-1 and walked twice. 1-for-5 with three walks and two RBI in the series and 233/310/311 for the year. Coste was 1-for-3 with a home run in the series. 291/381/527.

No game today. First of three against the Braves tomorrow night in Philadelphia.


Moyer goes foyer

The San Francisco Giants’ offense is hide-your-eyes-Bengie-Molina-hitting-cleanup bad, but it didn’t help Jamie Moyer much today. Coming off a fantastic outing against the Snakes his last time out, Moyer got pounded by the Giants. He could give the Phils just four innings and exited down 6-1.

Tim Lincecum, on the other hand, was dominant. He struck out eight Phils in eight innings, holding them to four hits. The Phillies’ runs came on solo homers from Coste and Howard.

The Phillies lost to the San Francisco Giants this afternoon, falling 8-2 to drop to 21-17 on the season. The series is tied at one game apiece and the teams will play the final game of the set tomorrow afternoon.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out one.

Omar Vizquel singled with one out in the first, but Moyer got the next two.

Moyer started the second with a 1-0 lead. Aaron Rowand led off the inning with a home run to center that tied the game at 1-1. Jose Castilllo followed with a double and Emmanuel Burriss bunted him to third. Dan Ortmeier drew a walk and it put men on first and second for Lincecum. Lincecum singled back up the middle. Castillo scored to make it 2-1 and Ortmeier went to second. Lewis flew to center for the second out and Vizquel grounded to third to end the inning.

Randy Winn singled to start the third. Bengie Molina lined to Feliz at third for the first out, but Rowand and Castillo followed with back-to-back singles that loaded the bases for Burriss. Burriss flew to left deep enough to score Winn and put the Giants up 3-1 with men on first and second. Ortmeier followed with double into right that cleared the bases and made it 5-1. Lincecum grounded to short to end the inning.

Moyer got the first two in the fourth before Winn homered to left to extend the lead to 6-1. Molina flew to center for the third out.

Seanez started the fifth down 6-1. Rowand and Castillo singled back-to-back to start the inning, putting men on first and second for Burriss. Burriss grounded to third for the first out and the runners moved to second and third. Seanez walked Ortmeier intentionally to load the bases for Lincecum. Lincecum hit a ground ball to first and Howard threw home to force Rowand for the second out. Coste threw to first to try to get Lincecum, but his throw was bad and got passed Howard. Utley backed Howard up, but didn’t field the throw cleanly. Castillo came in to score and put the Giants up 7-1. Lewis grounded to second for the third out.

Vizquel and Winn started the sixth inning with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second with no outs for Molina. Molina flew to center and Rowand struck out, but Castillo singled into right and Vizquel scored to extend the lead to 8-1. Burriss grounded to second for the third out.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Condrey pitched the eighth with the Phils down 8-2. He gave up a leadoff single to Winn, but got Vizquel to hit into a double-play and Molina on a fly ball to deep right for the third out.

Two runs in four innings for the pen. Seanez was hit pretty hard, allowing five hits and a walk in two innings. Madson and Condrey both pitched well. Seanez threw 37 pitches, Madson 14 and Condrey 11, so Seanez should be shelved for a day or two.

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

Lincecum struck out the side in the first.

Howard started the second with an opposite field home run to put the Phils up 1-0. The next three Phils went in order.

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

Down 5-1 in the fourth, they went 1-2-3 again.

Burrell walked to start the fifth and Jenkins moved him to second with a single. Feliz and Coste struck out back-to-back and Dobbs hit for Moyer. Dobbs grounded to first to end the frame.

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

Coste homered with one out in the eighth to cut the San Francisco lead to 8-2. Dobbs followed with a single off the wall in right, but Rollins and Victorino went down behind him to leave him stranded.

Brian Wilson set the Phils down 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Victorino 0-for-4 and struck out three times.

Utley 0-for-4. Top three in the order combined to go 0-for-12 with five strikeouts.

Howard 1-for-4 with a home run.

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

Jenkins 1-for-3.

Feliz 0-for-2.

Coste 1-for-3 with his third home run of the year.

Eaton (0-1, 5.63) faces lefty Jonathan Sanchez (2-2, 4.74) tomorrow afternoon. Sanchez has made seven starts on the season and two, including his most recent, have been really bad. Twice he allowed seven runs in a start — in his other five starts he’s thrown to a 1.80 ERA. Lefties are hitting .194 with an 0.70 ratio against him, righties .248 with a 1.61 ratio. He made two relief appearances against the Phils in 2007 and allowed two runs in 2 2/3 innings. Monster contract or not, Eaton is going to have to show something soon. His numbers through seven starts this year are a little better than last, but not enough better. Righties are hitting just .254 against him, lefties .286. He faced the Giants twice last season and threw to a 14.14 ERA in those starts. May 3 and June 1.


Rollins reminds the Phils what they’ve been Misching

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
               
SF 14-21 117 3.34 T-15 689 (14) 38 12
PHI 20-16 173 4.81 4 766 (7) 17 5

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
             
SF 14-21 165 4.71 10 4.40 (7) 4.10 (12)
PHI 20-16 159 4.42 7 4.58 (10) 2.70 (1)

MVP returned to the Phillies lineup last night with a bag. Two bangs, actually. In the fifth he hit a two-run shot off of Giants’ starter Pat Misch. He added an RBI double in the eighth and finished the day 3-for-5 with three RBI as he led the Phils to a 7-4 win over the Giants.

With the win the Phils are 21-16 on the season.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out seven. After eight starts his ERA on the season is 3.36.

He struck out Fred Lewis and Jose Castillo to start the first before Randy Winn flew to center for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 second.

In the third, Emmanuel Burriss singled with one out and the pitcher Pat Misch bunted him to second. Lewis followed with a single back up the middle. Victorino threw home strong, but Burriss slid in safe and Ruiz didn’t handle the ball cleanly (would have been safe anyway). Lewis went to second and Ruiz was charged with an error. The game was tied at 1-1. Hamels struck out Castillo to end the inning.

Winn started the fourth with a double, but Hamels got ground outs from the next two hitters with Winn holding second. Rich Aurillia got ahead 3-0 on two bad ball-strike calls from the home plate ump and was then walked intentionally. It put men on first and second with two outs for Eugenio Velez and Velez hit a slow ground ball to short. Rollins charged but did not handle it. Error on Rollins. Winn got a great jump on the 2-2 pitch and scored to put San Francisco up 2-1. Burriss followed with a triple down the line in right. Both runners scored and it was 4-1. Hamels walked Misch on five pitches, but struck out Lewis for the third out.

Winn singled with one out in the fifth, but Castillo hit into a double-play behind him.

The score was tied at 4-4 when Hamels started the sixth. Aurillia walked with one out and Velez followed and hit a ground ball to third. Aurillia was forced at second for the second out before Velez was picked off of first to set the Giants down.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Gordon pitched the eighth up 7-4 and walked Castillo to start the inning. Winn flew to center for the first out before Castillo went to second on defensive indifference. Bengie Molina flew to left for the second out. Rowand walked to bring up Aurillia as the tying run, but Gordon got him to pop to second to end the inning.

Lidge got three strikeouts in the ninth to earn his ninth save on the year. Burriss singled with one out, but Lidge struck out pinch-hitter John Bowker and Lewis to end the game and keep his ERA at 0.00 for the year.

Another nice day from the pen. Gordon has been charged with two runs in his last 15 innings while allowing eight hits, seven walks and striking out 15. His ERA is down to 4.11. He threw 27 pitches, Lidge 14. That may mean Gordon is not available this afternoon.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Pat Misch went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Rollins returns to the lineup for his first start since April 8. Werth in right against the lefty with Jenkins on the bench. Ruiz catches.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first. Rollins grounded to short on an 0-1 fastball in his first at-bat back.

Burrell walked with one out in the second. Werth flew to right for the second out before Feliz moved Burrell to third with a single. Ruiz scored Burrell with a single to center to put the Phils up 1-0 before Hamels struck out to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third. Lewis made a nice play colliding with the wall for the second out on a line drive by Victorino.

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

In the fifth, Hamels singled with two outs and Rollins followed and hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left, cutting the Giants’ lead to 4-3. Victorino grounded to short for the third out. Two out hit for Hamels gives Rollins a chance.

Howard singled with one out in the sixth and Burrell followed with a walk. Werth struck out for the second out, but Feliz hit the first pitch of his at-bat off the wall in right on a hop. Howard scored and Burrell went to third. 4-4. Ruiz was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Hamels hit for himself and struck out. Have to let Hamels hit for himself there.

Rollins started the seventh with a single, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Burrell walked to start the eighth and Taguchi ran for him at first. Werth singled and Taguchi went to second. Feliz struck out on a wild pitch and the runners moved to second and third. With the count full, Ruiz hit a ground ball to second and Velez came home, but Taguchi slid in safe to put the Phils up 5-4. Velez took the ball with his momentum carrying him towards first and the play at the plate wasn’t close. With men on first and third and one out, Dobbs hit for Hamels and singled. Werth scored, 6-4, and Ruiz went to second. Rollins followed with a double to right, scoring Ruiz and moving Dobbs to third with the Phils up 7-4. Victorino grounded to first and Aurillia came home to get Dobbs for the second out. Utley was walked intentionally to load the bases for Howard, but Howard flew to center to end the frame.

Taguchi walked to start the ninth but the Phils went in order behind him.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI.

Victorino 0-for-5.

Utley 0-for-4 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-5 and left four men on base.

Burrell 0-for-1 with three walks.

Werth was 1-for-5 and left four men on base.

Feliz 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBI.

Jamie Moyer (2-2, 4.15) faces righty Tim Lincecum (4-1, 1.49) this afternoon. Lincecum’s last start came against the Phils on May 4. He allowed four runs over six innings, all of which were unearned, on six hits and two walks. He has struck out 45 in 42 1/3 innings on the season and has allowed just one home run. In three of Moyer’s last four starts he’s gone at least six innings and allowed two runs or fewer. So far in ’08 both his walk and home runs rates are down compared to ’07, although he is allowing opponents to hit for a higher batting average overall, .319 in ’08 versus .285 in ’07. He faced the Giants once last year. On May 4, 2007, Moyer allowed three runs over seven innings and took the loss.


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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