Archive for June, 2008

American ugly

A 3-9 stretch against AL teams seems to suggest that the Phillies can’t play with the American League, but not to be forgotten is that prior to miserable stretch against the AL they had dropped back-to-back sets against the Marlins and the Cardinals.

The way the Phillies have been playing, they aren’t going to be able to beat much of anyone, regardless of what league they’re in.

Yesterday the Phillies managed a run on five hits. It wasn’t enough, and with the latest loss they have dropped six series in a row.

The Phillies lost to the Texas Rangers yesterday. With the 5-1 loss they drop the series two games to one and fall to 44-39 on the year.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out six.

Ian Kinsler led off the first with a triple into the right field corner. With the infield back, Michael Young brought in Kinsler with a ground ball to short to put the Rangers up 1-0. Josh Hamilton followed with a walk, but Moyer struck out Milton Bradley and got David Murphy to ground to second to end the inning.

Chris Davis hit a 3-2 pitch out to center with one out in the second, making it 2-0. Max Ramirez grounded to short before Ramon Vazquez singled to left. Moyer got Kinsler on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Young started the third with a double off the glove of Victorino and came around to score when Hamilton followed with a single. 3-0. Bradley flew to center for the first out before Moyer picked Hamilton off of first but Hamilton beat the throw down to second and had a stolen base. Hamilton moved to third on a ground out to second and was left stranded there when Marlon Byrd popped to Rollins.

Davis started the fourth with a walk. Moyer set down Ramirez and Vazquez behind him before Kinsler moved him to second with a single. Young flew to left for the third out.

Kinsler was 9-for-13 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the three-game set.

Hamilton started the fifth with a single, but Moyer got the next three behind him.

Moyer walked Ramirez with one out in the sixth. He struck Vazquez out for the second out, but then walked Kinsler to put men on first and second. Manuel brought in Madson to pitch to the righty Young and Young grounded to short to end the inning with both men stranded.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

He returned for the eighth and gave up a leadoff double to Byrd. Davis moved Byrd to third with a ground ball to second for the first out. Madson hit Ramirez to put men on first and third with one out. With the Phils down 3-1 the infield came in and Vazquez blooped a ball just over Utley for a single. Byrd scored and Ramirez went to second with the Rangers up 4-1. Kinsler bunted for a single to load the bases with one down. Young chopped a ball to third that Feliz didn’t handle cleanly. He caught a break and he picked it up right at the bag. After tagging third for the first out he threw to first in the dirt and Howard couldn’t scoop it. If he had Young would have been doubled up, but Young was safe and Ramirez scored to make it 5-1. Hamilton flew to right for the third out.

No idea why Manuel would bring Madson back for a third inning the day before an off-day or why he would leave him in after four of the first five men reached in the eighth. Whatever the reason it didn’t work. Two runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings for Madson. Madson threw 23 pitches.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Eric Hurley went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Burrell (5) Howard (6) Dobbs (7) Feliz (8) Werth (9) Ruiz. Werth again plays right against the righty. Burrell again hits fourth with Howard fifth. Dobbs at DH and Ruiz at catcher. I do not understand why you would not use Burrell as your DH, although in this game at least he played the whole game.

Victorino walked with one out in the first. Utley popped to short for the second out before Victorino was caught stealing to end the frame.

Burrell walked to start the second, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Rollins doubled to right with two outs in the third, but Victorino flew to right for the third out.

Burrell singled with one out in the fourth and the Phils down 3-0. Howard flew to center for the second out before Burrell went to second on a wild pitch. Dobbs struck out looking to leave him stranded.

Werth doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Ruiz fouled out and Rollins lined to second.

Utley doubled to right with one out in the sixth. Burrell struck out for the first out, but Howard followed and lined a 1-1 pitch into left center for a single. Utley scored to cut the Texas lead to 3-1. Dobbs grounded to short for the third out.

1-2-3 in the seventh. Bradley made a nice diving catch in right to take a hit away from Feliz for the first out.

Victorino reached on an error by Kinsler with one out in the eighth. Utley struck out and Burrell flew to right.

Howard and Coste, who hit for Dobbs against the lefty CJ Wilson, struck out in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Rollins was 1-for-14 with a double in the game. 2-for-14 with a double and a triple in the series. He’s hitting 264/326/431 for the season and 217/297/377 in June.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-11 in the series. 272/346/370 for the year.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double in the game. 5-for-13 with three doubles and a home run in the series. 297/384/610.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with a double and four walks in the series. 271/410/571 for the year.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-11 with a home run and three RBI in the set. 215/310/460 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 with a strikeout and three men left on base. 1-for-8 in the series. 321/359/440 for the year. He doesn’t have an extra-base hit in his last 42 at-bats. One RBI since May 27.

Feliz 0-for-4. 2-for-11 with a home run in the series. 260/311/421 for the year.

Werth 1-for-3. 4-for-11 with a double and a home run. 264/353/494. Jenkins did not get an at-bat in the series and is hitting 239/289/378 for the year.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 in the game in his only action of the series. 215/301/291 for the year. He’s hitting 178/302/289 in June. Coste was 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 312/373/543 for the year.

No game today.


All the Phillies’ O’s apparently live in Texas

There was lots of speculation about what it would take to snap the Phils out of their collective offensive slump and the answer has finally revealed itself: Texas Rangers’ pitching. The Rangers came in to the series having allowed the most runs in all of baseball and the Phils feasted in the first two games. The 15 runs the Phillies have scored in the first two games of the set are as many as they had scored in their previous eight games combined.

Last night it was former Phil Vicente Padilla the Phils hit hard. Padilla ended the night charged with seven runs in six innings. Phillies’ pitchers have struggled in Texas as well, but last night they hung on with the help of a huge strikeout from Romero in the bottom of the eighth and Lidge’s ability to get out of a jam of his own creation in the ninth.

The Phillies beat the Texas Rangers last night, winning 8-6 to improve to 44-38 on the season.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out eight.

Ian Kinsler led off the first with a single. Michael Young was next and he hit a 2-0 pitch out to right to put Texas up 2-0. Hamels got the next three.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second with the Phils up 3-2.

1-2-3 third.

Josh Hamilton led off the fourth with a walk, but Milton Bradley followed and hit into a double-play. Hamels struck out Marlon Byrd for the third out.

Hamels walked Max Ramirez to start the fifth. Brandon Boggs was next and hit a ground ball to short. The Phils forced Ramirez at first but Utley throw to first was bad for an error that allowed Boggs to wind up at second with one out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was next and drove a ball into left-center that landed on the warning track. Boggs scored on the double to cut the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. Hamels struck out German Duran for the second out before Kinsler ripped a single into center. Salty scored and it was 6-4. Young moved Kinsler to third with a single, but Hamels struck out Hamilton to leave both men stranded.

Bradley started the sixth with a single, but Byrd hit into a double-play behind him and Hamels struck out Ramirez to end the inning.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Durbin started the eighth. Kinsler led off the first with a single, but Durbin picked him off for the first out before Young grounded to short for the second out. Hamilton was next and hit a hard ground ball to first off the body of Howard for a single. Howard should have made the play. Bradley was next and popped an 0-1 pitch up foul, but his backswing caught and knocked off Coste’s glove. Coste was charged with catcher’s interference and Bradley was given first base with Hamilton moving to second. Byrd followed with a single into center that loaded the bases with one out. Ramirez singled into left and Hamilton scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 8-5 with the bases still loaded. Romero came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Boggs and walked him, forcing in another run. 8-6 with the bases still loaded. Romero stayed in to pitch to Saltalamacchia and struck him out for the third out.

Manuel again doesn’t bring Lidge into a tight game in the eighth, maybe cause it’s the eighth and maybe because Saltalamacchia needs to face a lefty. Boggs has been much better this season against lefties than against righties. 282/333/641 against lefties and 252/328/364 against righties. Saltalamacchia has been much better against righties than lefties this season.

Lidge did pitch the ninth. Pinch-hitter Ramon Vazquez led off with a double into the right field corner. Kinsler grounded to third for the first out before Young singled into left, moving Vazquez to third. Lidge struck Hamilton out swinging at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Bradley went down swinging on three pitches to end the game.

Two innings for the pen. They allow two runs on six hits and a walk. Durbin threw 23 pitches, Romero 12 and Lidge 17.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Vicente Padilla went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Burrell (5) Howard (6) Dobbs (7) Feliz (8) Werth (9) Coste. Werth plays right against the righty with the slumping lefty Jenkins on the bench. Victorino moves back to second in the order. Utley back in his standard three spot, but Burrell stays hitting cleanup with Howard fifth. Dobbs is the DH and Coste catches. Don’t know why you don’t let Burrell DH. In this game the Phils replaced him in the seventh.

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

Howard drew a walk with one out in the second. Dobbs and Feliz followed with singles that loaded the bases. Werth was next and he singled into left, Howard and Dobbs both scored with the help of a miserable throw from Boggs to tie the game at 2-2. Werth went to second on the throw home. Padilla uncorked a wild pitch with Coste at the plate and the runners moved up a base with Feliz scoring to make it 3-2. Coste was down 0-2 before the wild pitch but struck out for the second out. Rollins flew to left for the third out.

Coste can’t put the ball in play with one out and men on second and third.

Utley homered with one out in the third to make it 4-2. Burrell followed with a walk before Howard hit a long home run to right-center. 6-2. Dobbs reached on an error by Young at short, but Feliz hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Werth walked to start the fourth. Coste was next and was hit by a pitch. Rollins flew to right for the first out before Victorino hit a ball back to Padilla. Padilla threw to second to force Coste and Werth moved to third. Utley flew to center for the third out.

Phils get nothing after putting men on first and second with one out.

1-2-3 in the fifth.

Coste doubled to left with two outs in the sixth. Rollins was next and blasted a 3-1 pitch to right-center and off the base of the wall. It rolled back passed the right fielder Hamilton. Coste scored easily to make it 7-4 and Rollins rolled around third and went for the inside-the-park home run but was tagged out on a close play at the plate to end the frame.

Victorino led off the seventh with a bunt single. Utley was next and hit a ball the opposite way and over the outstretched glove of Boggs in left for a double. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 8-4. Burrell struck out, Howard grounded to second and Dobbs flew to center to leave Utley stranded.

1-2-3 in the eighth.

Utley doubled with two outs in the ninth, but Bruntlett flew to center for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.

Victorino 1-for-5 and struck out twice.

Utley 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and two RBI.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk, a home run and two RBI.

Dobbs 1-for-4.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Werth 1-for-3 with two RBI.

Coste 1-for-3 with a double.

Jamie Moyer (7-5, 4.09) faces righty Eric Hurley (0-1, 4.24) late this afternoon. The highly-touted Hurley doesn’t turn 23 until September and has made three starts for the Rangers this season. In 17 innings he’s allowed 17 hits and nine walks while striking out nine. At Triple-A this season he struck out 72 in 74 2/3 innings in 13 PCL starts, but opponents still hit .285 against him. Moyer has a 3.38 ERA with a 1.03 ratio in five June starts. The Phillies have won six of the last eight games he has started.


Phillies struggling to be a little less consistent

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
               
TEX 40-40 437 5.46 X 801 (x) 43 12
PHI 43-37 404 5.05 2 773 (2) 64 7

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
             
TEX 40-40 444 5.55 X 4.90 (x) 4.98 (x)
PHI 43-37 329 4.11 4 4.42 (9) 2.59 (1)

The Texas Rangers came into last night’s game as the team that had both scored and allowed the most runs in all of baseball this season. That must be frustrating if you’re a Rangers fan. If you’re a Phillies fan the frustrating thing is the even-handed, steady consistency with which the Phillies are playing, and losing, these days.

Brett Myers stole the show last night as the Phillies lost for the eighth time in nine games. Myers couldn’t hold a 5-1 lead and didn’t make it out of the third inning. In his defense he may have been suffering from shock that the Phillies scored five runs in a game.

The Phillies lost to the Texas Rangers last night, falling 8-7. They are 43-38 on the season.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went two innings, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out two. His ERA is up to 5.84 on the season.

Ian Kinsler led off the first and hit Myers’ second pitch of the game out to left. 1-0. Josh Hamilton walked with one out, but Milton Bradley hit into a double-play behind him.

David Murphy started the second with a walk and Marlon Byrd walked behind him. Myers struck out Chris Davis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and then got Ramon Vazquez to ground back to the mound to leave both runners stranded.

He started the third with a 5-1 lead. Kinsler led off with a double and moved to third when Michael Young followed with an infield single. Hamilton was next and he hit a ball back up the middle and off the foot of Myers. The ball bounded in-between first and second where Bruntlett took it, but Hamilton was safe with a single and Kinsler scored to make it 5-2 with men on first and second. Bradley walked to load the bases and Murphy followed with another walk that forced in Young and made it 5-3. Condrey came in to pitch to the righty Byrd and Byrd hit a ground ball to third. Feliz went to Utley for the first out and Utley’s throw to first was in time to get the call. Looked safe to me. Hamilton scored on the play to make it 5-4 with Bradley going to third. Huge double-play for Condrey and it was made bigger when Davis hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left to put Texas up 6-5. Salty flew to left for the third out.

Myers started the inning up 5-1 and gave up three hits and two walks without getting an out. His line would have been worse without the double-play ball Condrey threw.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He returned for the fifth and with one out Bradley pounded a 3-2 pitch down the right field line and off the foul pole, putting the Rangers up 7-6. Murphy and Byrd followed with back-to-back singles before Condrey struck out Davis for the second out with men on first and second. Saltalamacchia hit a ball that Rollins fielded at deep short. Rollins threw to second but not in time to get Byrd and the bases were loaded. Madson came in to pitch to the lefty Vazquez and struck him out swinging at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Huge out for Madson against a lefty.

Madson came back for the sixth. Kinsler led off with a double and moved to third when Young followed with a fly ball to deep right. Hamilton was next and grounded out to first on a nice diving play by Bruntlett — Kinsler should have scored but held third. Bradley grounded to first to end the inning.

Romero pitched the seventh and walked Byrd with one out, but struck out Davis and Saltalamacchia behind him.

Seanez pitched the eighth. Kinsler walked with one out and stole second. Young doubled to right-center, but Kinsler didn’t run until late and had to hold third. Second bad base-running play by Kinsler in three innings. Hamilton flew to left and Kinsler scored to put Texas up 8-6. Bradley was hit by a pitch before Murphy grounded to second to end the inning.

Six innings for the pen in which they allow three runs on seven hits and two walks. Condrey gave up a pair of home runs, but did help bail Myers out in the third. Manuel didn’t use Lidge, who last pitched on Sunday, and the run that Seanez allowed proved to be critical.

Manuel didn’t have a good game.

Condrey threw 46 pitches, Romero 23, Seanez 20 and Madson 18. The Phils could use a long outing from Hamels.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Kevin Gabbard went (1) Werth (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Burrell (5) Howard (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Coste (9) Bruntlett. Howard at DH, Bruntlett plays first. Rollins stays at third with Werth hitting leadoff. Utley stays at second in the order instead of the third, and Burrell and Howard flip from their usual spots in the order. Victorino down to seventh after hitting sixth against the righty on Thursday. Coste catches. Bruntlett should never play first. Nice to see Coste in the lineup. The DH gives the Phillies a chance to put an extra hitter in their lineup and they go with the backup shortstop? Bruntlett is a good utility player — the Phillies shouldn’t ask him to be more than that.

1-2-3 in the first.

Burrell walked to start the second, but Howard struck out and Feliz popped to second. Burrell went to second on a wild pitch before Victorino walked. Coste grounded to short for the third out.

Bruntlett walked to start the third. Werth was next and lined a ball back to the pitcher Gabbard. Gabbard didn’t catch the ball and was bizarrely given an error. Bruntlett went to second. Utley walked to load the bases. Rollins chopped a 1-2 pitch to short. Young charged and made a nice throw to nip Rollins as Bruntlett scored to tie the game at 1-1. The lefty Gabbard walked the righty Burrell to load the bases and set up the double-play. Howard struck out for the second out, but Feliz picked him up, hitting a 1-0 pitch out down the left field line for a grand slam that put the Phils up 5-1. Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

Bad at-bat for Howard with the bases loaded and one out.

Coste homered to left to start the fourth, tying the game at 6-6. After Bruntlett grounded to second for the first out, Werth and Utley singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third with one out for Rollins and Rollins hit into a double-play.

Howard walked with one out in the fifth, but Feliz flew to center and Victorino grounded to first. Davis made a nice diving play on a ball well-hit by Victorino for the third out.

Bruntlett was hit by a pitch with one out in the sixth. Werth struck out for the second out. With Utley at the plate, Bruntlett was running on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt that bounced away from Saltalamacchia. Bruntlett would have moved to second anyway, but because he was running has his eighth stolen base of the season. Utley struck out to end the frame.

Eight stolen bases is a career high for Bruntlett.

Burrell and Howard struck out in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Feliz walked to start the eighth and Taguchi ran for him at first. Victorino struck out swinging at a bad pitch and Coste flew to left before Taguchi stole second. Bruntlett popped to second for the third out.

Werth led off the ninth with a home run that cut the Texas lead to 8-7. Utley grounded to first and Rollins struck out looking before Burrell doubled into the right field corner. Jenkins ran for Burrell and Howard reached on an infield single to short that moved Jenkins to third. Dobbs, who had entered the game at first in the bottom of the eighth after Taguchi ran for Feliz, grounded to second on a 1-1 pitch to end the game and leave both runners stranded.

With Dobbs and Bruntlett both in the game, Manuel put Dobbs at first and Bruntlett at third.

Pinch-running Taguchi for Feliz in the top of the eighth took Feliz out of the game. Phils wound up with the lefty Dobbs instead of the righty Feliz, who hit a grand slam in the game, facing lefty CJ Wilson with two outs and men on first and third in the ninth.

Werth was 2-for-5 with a home run.

Utley 1-for-4 with a walk.

Rollins 0-for-5 with an RBI, two strikeouts and four men left on base.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a double and two walks.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk, three strikeouts and four men left on base.

Feliz 1-for-3 with a walk and a grand slam.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk.

Coste 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Bruntlett 0-for-2 with a walk.

Cole Hamels (7-5, 3.27) faces righty Vicente Padilla (10-3, 3.74) tonight. Texas has won nine of the last ten games that the former Phil Padilla has started. In his 16 starts this season Padilla has walked just ten right-handed batters. Opponents are hitting just .259 against him and his rate of hits per nine innings hasn’t been lower since 2003. He does give up a lot of home runs and has surrendered eight over his last five starts. Hamels is on pace to throw about 226 innings this season coming into this start — that’s too many and there’s no way he’s going to throw that many. He has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last four starts, going at least seven innings each time out.


We need to score some more runs or something

Good thing Shane Victorino showed up or that could have been embarrassing.

Rich Harden pitched great for the A’s yesterday afternoon, holding the Phils to a pair of singles by Victorino over eight innings while striking out 11. Sadly it doesn’t take great pitching to beat the Phillies these days, they lost for the seventh time in eight games. Over those eight games the Phillies have scored 15 runs.

Tom Gordon continues to struggle with shoulder soreness and the-other-team-hits-it-really-hard-and-far-itis. You have to wonder if the Phils are going to have to act in some way to deal with the problem soon.

Yesterday’s game did help produce the best Charlie Manuel quote in a long time: “We need to be more focused or something.” I do love that. Almost makes the whole thing worth it. Maybe we need to get more focused or maybe we need to order some pizza. Either way.

The Phillies lost to the Oakland A’s yesterday, falling 5-0. After dropping the series two games to one the Phils are 43-37 on the season.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Mark Ellis led off the first and walked on four pitches. Ryan Sweeney was next and he blasted an 0-1 pitch into left-center for a double that scored Ellis and put Oakland up 1-0. Jack Cust was next and he singled into right. Victorino charged and made a strong throw home, but not in time to get Sweeney. The A’s led 2-0. Eric Chavez struck out swinging for the first out. Eaton got Bobby Crosby on a fly ball to right and Jack Hannahan on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning.

He threw a 1-2-3 second and a 1-2-3 third. Dobbs made a nice play for the second out in the third, charging and bare-handing a Rajai Davis bunt and making a strong throw to first.

With one out in the fourth Crosby doubled to left and Hannahan followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Carlos Gonzalez and Gonzalez hit a ground ball to second. Hannahan was forced at second for the second out and Crosby moved to third. Daric Barton flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

Rob Bowen led off the fifth with a double. Ellis followed and lined to second for the first out before Davis reached on an infield single. With men on first and second, Cust walked to load the bases. Eaton struck out Chavez for the second out before he got Crosby to pop to Howard to leave the bases loaded.

With one out in the sixth, Gonzalez lined the first pitch of hit at-bat out to left to make it 3-0. Eaton got the next two.

Ellis reached on an error by Rollins to start the seventh. Davis grounded back to Eaton and Ellis was forced at second for the first out. Eaton struck out Cust for the second out before Davis was gunned down by Ruiz trying to steal second on a pitchout to end the inning.

Gordon started the eighth and walked the leadoff man Chavez. Crosby flew to right for the first out before Hannahan doubled to center and Chavez scored to make it 4-0. Gonzalez was next and again hit the first pitch of his at-bat, lining it into center for a single. Victorino charged but didn’t handle the ball. It bounced off his side and Chavez came in to score. Gonzalez went for second, but Victorino picked up the ball and threw Gonzalez out at second for the second out of the inning with the A’s up 5-0. Flash struck out Barton to set the A’s down.

Two hits and a walk in the inning for Gordon. In his last three appearances Gordon has allowed seven runs on five hits and three walks in two innings. Rest apparently wasn’t the cure — before yesterday’s appearance he hadn’t pitched since June 15. He threw 18 pitches, but you have to think the Phillies are thinking about what to do with him at this point.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Rich Harden went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Victorino (7) Werth (8) Jenkins (9) Ruiz. Still not back to normal. Victorino again finds himself moved down in the order, even against the righty. Utley up to two and Burrell up to three again. The lefty Dobbs gets the start at third and hits fifth. Werth in right with Jenkins the DH.

Rollins and Utley struck out in a 1-2-3 first.

1-2-3 in the second.

Werth and Jenkins struck out in a 1-2-3 third.

1-2-3 fourth.

With two outs in the fifth, Victorino singled to center. Werth went down swinging for the third out.

Ruiz walked with one out in the sixth. Rollins struck out and Utley popped to third.

1-2-3 seventh.

Victorino started the eighth with an infield single with the Phils down 3-0. Werth struck out and Jenkins struck out before Victorino stole second. Then Ruiz struck out.

With two outs in the ninth, Burrell crushed a ball high off the scoreboard in left and then rolled about half way back to short with Emil Brown chasing behind it. Burrell had a triple and was left stranded when Howard grounded to second to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game with three strikeouts. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 271/336/436 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 in the game. 4-for-11 with a double and a triple in the game. 293/382/600 for the year.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a triple in the game. 3-for-10 with a home run in the series. 272/408/508.

I had assumed that the Phillies were going to exploded out of this collective slump, but it looks a little like they might sludge out of it slowly. Utley and Burrell might be starting to hit a little bit better.

Howard was 0-for-4. 1-for-13 in the set. 213/307/457 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 337/376/465 for the year. Feliz was 3-for-9 with a triple in the series and is hitting 263/313/420 for the year.

Victorino was 2-for-3 in the game and 5-for-10 in the series. 280/351/382 for the year.

Werth was 0-for-3 and struck out three times. 1-for-9 with three walks and five strikeouts in the set. 257/349/479.

Jenkins 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Wow. 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in the series. 2-for-his-last-41. 239/289/378. I have no idea what the Phillies should do with Jenkins. They need him to hit.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday and 0-for-5 with a walk in the series. 219/305/296 for the season. Your slugging percentage is one of those things you’d like to see higher than your on-base percentage. Coste was 2-for-3 with two RBI in the series. 315/375/531. Needs to play a lot more.

Brett Myers (3-9, 5.51) faces lefty Kason Gabbard (2-3, 4.96) tonight in Texas. The 26-year-old Gabbard has made 11 starts this season and walked 34 in 52 2/3 innings. He rarely gives up the long ball, he’s allowed just three on the year. Righties are hitting .309 against him, lefties .231. He has a 6.75 ERA over his last seven starts. The Phils have lost nine of the last ten games that Myers has started. Over his last three starts he’s allowed eight home runs in 19 innings. In each of his last three and six of his last nine starts he’s allowed at least four runs.


Lucky number seven

The Phils shuffled their lineup around last night, but it was a tremendous pitching performance from Kyle Kendrick that got them a win for the first time in seven games. Kendrick tossed eight scoreless frames in which he held Oakland to four hits.

It wasn’t exactly an offensive explosion for the Phils. They came up empty on multiple chances to score, especially late in the game. Chase Utley did have a nice game, going 4-for-5 with a double and a triple. Utley came into the game 3-for-his-last-32.

The Phillies beat the Oakland A’s last night, winning 4-0 to improve to 43-36 on the season.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing four hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four.

He walked Jack Cust with two outs in the first, but Eric Chavez flew to right for the third out.

He set the A’s down 1-2-3 in the second, third and fourth without striking out a batter.

With one out in the fifth and the Phils up 3-0, Jack Hannahan reached on a ground-rule double to left. Kurt Suzuki grounded to third and Carlos Gonzalez flew to center to end the inning with Hannahan left stranded.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Up 4-0 in the seventh, he struck out Cust and Chavez both swinging to start the inning. They were the first two strikeouts for Kendrick since he struck out Mark Ellis for the first out in the first inning. Bobby Crosby followed with a single, but Hannahan lined to short for the third out.

Kendrick returned for the eighth and Suzuki led off with a single. Gonzalez flew to center for the first out. Daric Barton was next and he moved Suzuki to second with a single. It brought up Ellis and Kendrick struck him out looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Ryan Sweeney grounded back to Kendrick for the third out.

Romero pitched the ninth having thrown 19 pitches the night before. He walked the righty Crosby with two outs and Crosby took second without a throw, but Hannahan grounded back to Romero to end the game.

One scoreless inning from the pen as Romero bounces back nicely after giving up the home run on Tuesday. He threw 16 pitches. Still don’t love the idea of using him in the ninth with a four-run lead just cause he’s the Phillies only lefty. If the Phillies need to get a lefty out this afternoon (thinking Cust or Chavez) it might have to be Romero pitching for the third straight day.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Greg Smith went (1) Werth (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Burrell (5) Howard (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Coste (9) Bruntlett. Really it did. Werth plays right and leads off with Rollins hitting third. Utley moves up from third to second. Burrell hits fourth against the lefty. Howard at DH and moves down to fifth against the lefty. Feliz moves up to sixth. Victorino, who came into the game hitting .225 against lefties on the season, moves down to seventh. Coste catches. Bruntlett plays first for the second time in his career and first time since 2005. Burrell was born to DH — it doesn’t make sense against a lefty given the corner outfield options, but it made sense on Tuesday. You would think you especially wouldn’t want Burrell in such a monstrous outfield. Bruntlett shouldn’t be playing first base ever.

Werth led off the first with a walk and moved to second when Utley blooped a single into right. Rollins popped to Ellis in short center field for the first out before Werth and Utley pulled off a double-steal with Burrell at the plate. Burrell flew to center and Werth tagged and came home. Gonzalez’s throw was strong and online, but Suzuki didn’t handle it on a bounce and Werth was safe. 1-0. Utley held second and was left stranded when Howard struck out.

The Phillies wouldn’t have scored without the double-steal.

1-2-3 in the second.

With two outs in the third, Utley doubled to right. Rollins was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch into right. Utley tried to score, but this time Suzuki caught the ball on a bounce and tagged Utley out for the third out.

Burrell started the fourth with a single. Howard struck out again before Feliz hit the first pitch of his at-bat off the wall in left for a triple. Even Burrell can score from first on a triple and the Phils led 2-0. Victorino followed with a walk that put men on first and third. Coste got behind in the count but managed to hit a 1-2 pitch into right deep enough for Feliz to tag and score without a throw and put the Phils up 3-0. Bruntlett popped to first for the third out.

Nice job by Coste with two strikes.

With one out in the fifth, Utley tripled. Rollins flew to right for the second out and Utley had to hold third. Burrell struck out to leave him stranded.

Rollins doesn’t bring the runner home from third with one out.

Victorino reached on a bunt single with two outs in the sixth. Righty Chad Gaudin came in to pitch to Coste and Coste looped a ball into shallow left-center that went in and out of the glove of a diving Gonzalez for a single. Victorino was able to score from first with two outs on the slow-developing play. 4-0. Bruntlett flew to right for the third out.

Werth walked to start the seventh and again Utley moved him to second with a single. Rollins flew to center, Burrell struck out and Howard lined to short to leave both runners stranded.

Feliz started the eighth with a single and went to third when Victorino reached on an error by Crosby. Victorino stole second before Coste reached on a dribbler back to the pitcher to load the bases. Bruntlett hit a ground ball to short and Crosby threw home to force Feliz for the first out. Werth struck out and Utley lined to short.

After putting men on first and second with nobody out in the seventh and being unable to score, the Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth and couldn’t push a run across.

Rollins walked to start the ninth. Jenkins, Howard and Feliz went down behind him. Jenkins entered the game in the bottom of the seventh when Burrell exited with the Phils up 4-0. If you DH Burrell you really don’t have to take him out of the game for defensive reasons (again, I don’t think it makes sense with a lefty on the mound cause Jenkins or Dobbs in the outfield against a lefty is probably no good).

Werth was 0-for-3 with two walks.

Utley 4-for-5 with a double and a triple.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a walk and left five men on base.

Burrell 1-for-3 with an RBI and two strikeouts.

Howard 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and five men left on base.

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

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk.

Coste 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Bruntlett 0-for-4 and left five men on base.

Adam Eaton (2-5, 4.94) faces righty Rich Harden (4-0, 2.44) this afternoon. Harden has started ten games for Oakland this season and the A’s have won eight of them. He’s allowed more than three runs in just one of them. Righties are hitting just .159 against him and overall he’s struck out 72 in just 59 innings. Eaton was hammered his last time out, allowing six runs on 12 hits in just five innings against the Angels on Friday. He’s struck out just five in his last 17 2/3 innings.

Ed Wade has problems in Houston.


Emil happy to demo what Brown, or having an offense that gets a hit just every now and again, can do for you

Apparently a day off and a trip across the country wasn’t what the Phillies needed to get their offense going.

Jamie Moyer was fantastic for six innings last night, but he pitched more than six. He took a 1-0 lead into the seventh before Emil Brown’s three-run homer put the A’s up to stay.

The Phillies had one extra-base hit in the game. They have scored 11 runs over their last six games. Carlos Ruiz hit into another enormous double-play for the Phils with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh.

The Phillies lost to the Oakland A’s last night, falling 5-2 to drop to 42-36 on the year. They have lost six in a row for the first time this year.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out nine, which is his high for the season and the most batters he has struck out in a start since July 28, 2004 (also in Oakland).

Kurt Suzuki led off the first and dumped a single into center. Ryan Sweeney was next and he hit a ground ball hard to first. Howard took it and threw to second to force Suzuki, then retreated to first to take Rollins’ relay and nip Sweeney to complete the double-play. Nice play by Howard. Jack Cust lined to right for the third out.

Moyer struck out the first two in the second before he walked Jack Hannahan. A wild pitch moved Hannahan to second before Moyer struck out Carlos Gonzalez to end the inning.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 third, fourth and fifth. If the fifth, A’s hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

Moyer struck out the side again in the sixth.

He started the seventh up 1-0, having allowed one single and one walk and nothing since the second inning. Sweeney led off with a single to left. Cust followed with a fly ball to left for the first out. Bobby Crosby was next and he blooped a single in front of a diving Victorino, putting men on first and second for Emil Brown. Brown got ahead 2-1 and popped one just out to left-center. 3-1. Hannahan flew to right for the second out before Gonzalez hit a ground-rule double to right. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Donnie Murphy and struck him out to end the inning.

Romero started the eighth down 3-2 and got the first two before Sweeney drew a walk. The lefty Cust was next and he got ahead 1-0 before he muscled one out to the opposite field to put the A’s up 5-2. First home run that Romero has allowed to a left-handed batter since Eric Chavez hit one against him on April 21, 2006, also in Oakland. That’s just weird. Madson came in and struck out Bobby Crosby to end the inning.

The pen goes 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on one hit while striking out three. Romero threw 19 pitches, Durbin and Madson each threw five.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Joe Blanton went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Jenkins (8) Feliz (9) Ruiz. Werth in right against the righty. Jenkins the DH. Ruiz catches. Werth in the lineup instead of Dobbs with the righty on the mound, perhaps because Blanton’s numbers against righties are bad this year.

With one out in the first, Victorino lined a ball back up the middle and off the glove of a diving Crosby for a single. Utley followed with a walk to put men on first and second before Howard hit a ground ball to second too slow to get a double-play. Utley was forced at second for the second out and Victorino went to third. Burrell grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Jenkins and Feliz struck out in a 1-2-3 second.

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

With two outs in the fourth, Burrell hit a 3-2 pitch out to left-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Werth followed with a walk, but Jenkins again struck out to end the frame.

Feliz and Ruiz struck out in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Utley walked with one out in the sixth, but Howard hit into a double-play behind him.

Burrell led off the seventh with a walk. Werth was next and he hit a ground ball to third that Hannahan probably should have handled, but bobbled, and Werth was given an infield single. Jenkins flew to left for the first out before Feliz loaded the bases with a single to right. Ruiz stayed in to face the righty Blanton and chopped a ball slowly to third. Hannahan stepped on third and threw to first to double-up Ruiz and turn the Phillies away.

Unless one of Dobbs or Coste is not available, I think you should hit Dobbs for Ruiz there. There’s no pitcher to hit for and the Phils didn’t use either of them in the game. Dobbs would just about surely have faced the lefty Alan Embree and not Blanton, though.

Down 3-1 in the eighth, Victorino singled with one out and stole second. Utley struck out for the second out before Howard singled into center. Victorino scored to cut the lead to 3-2. Howard went to second on a passed ball, but Burrell struck out to set the Phillies down.

Houston Street struck out Werth and Jenkins to start the ninth and got Feliz on a ground ball to short to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4. 3-for-his-last-20.

Victorino 2-for-4.

Utley 0-for-2 with two walks.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk. He has one extra-base hit in his last 43 at-bats.

Jenkins 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He’s 2-for-his-last-37.

Feliz was 1-for-4 and struck out twice.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He’s 2-for-his-last-18.

Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06) faces lefty Greg Smith (4-5, 4.51) tonight. The 24-year-old Smith has allowed two earned runs in 10 innings over his last two starts. He’s tough on lefties, they are hitting .179 against him on the season with an 0.71 ratio. He walks a lot of righties — righties are hitting .245 against him but on-basing .335. The Phillies have won five of the last six games Kendrick has started. Lefties are hitting .338 against him on the year.


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