Archive for June, 2008

Dream catchers

The Phillies have used five starting pitchers and two catchers this season. Here’s how many batters each of the pitchers has faced with each catcher behind the plate and what opposing hitters have done against the pitcher by the catcher he was throwing to, using OPS as the measure:


Pitcher

Catcher

BF

% BF

Opp OPS
Hamels Ruiz 414 93 661
Hamels Coste 32 7 354

Hamels has pitched almost exclusively to Ruiz this season, although he has fared very well against the small number of batters that he has faced with Coste behind the plate. In 2007, Hamels also threw rarely to Coste, but again his results against those batters by OPS were better than his results with Barajas or Ruiz behind the plate. In ’07, Hamels faced 60 batters with Coste behind the plate. Those batters posted a .612 OPS. The 470 batters he faced with Ruiz behind the plate posted a 666 OPS. The 213 batters he faced with Barajas behind the plate posted a .753 OPS.


Pitcher

Catcher

BF

% BF

Opp OPS
Myers Ruiz 165 37 943
Myers Coste 279 63 853

Myers has thrown more to Coste than to Ruiz this season and with better results. In ’07 he worked primarily as a reliever and threw most often to Ruiz. The 191 batters he faced with Ruiz catching posted a .733 OPS. The 67 batters he faced with Barajas catching posted a .848 OPS and the 35 batters he faced with Coste behind the plate posted a .261 OPS (4-for-35 with four singles).


Pitcher

Catcher

BF

% BF

Opp OPS
Moyer Ruiz 127 33 633
Moyer Coste 254 67 873

Moyer has fared better this year throwing to Ruiz. He pitched almost exclusively to Ruiz in 2007. Of the 867 batters he faced in 2007, 833 were with Ruiz behind the plate. Those hitters posted an .820 OPS. The 34 hitters he faced with Coste catching posted a .960 OPS.


Pitcher

Catcher

BF

% BF

Opp OPS
Eaton Ruiz 173 47 715
Eaton Coste 196 53 920

Eaton has pitched to Ruiz and Coste about equally this season, with better results with Ruiz behind the plate. In 2007 he pitched to Barajas most often. The 380 hitters he faced with Barajas behind the dish put up an .849 OPS, the 262 with Ruiz catching .897 and the 92 with Coste catching a 1.101.

That’s probably just a coincidence, but I think I’d let Ruiz catch him just in case.


Pitcher

Catcher

BF

% BF

Opp OPS
Kendrick Ruiz 280 79 845
Kendrick Coste 76 21 732

Kendrick has mostly pitched to Ruiz, but has fared a bit better with Coste catching. Kendrick threw to Ruiz most frequently in 2007 and had similar results pitching to all three catchers. 307 batters faced with a .763 OPS to Ruiz, 167 to Coste with a .796 and 25 to Barajas with a .769.

Jamie Moyer (7-4, 4.09) faces righty Joe Blanton (3-10, 4.81) tonight in Oakland. Blanton got bombed his last time out, allowing eight runs in just three innings against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Oakland has lost six of the last seven games he has started. Righties are hitting him hard — they’ve hit .326 against him this season compared to .248 for lefties. It’s not going to help the Phillies tonight, but away from hitter-friendly Oakland he has a 6.75 ERA in five starts. The Phillies have won six of the last seven games started by Moyer. He has a 1.96 ERA over his last three starts. He didn’t pitch well his last time out, though, walking five Red Sox in just five innings (the five walks was a season-high).

George Carlin on baseball.


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

What we learned in recent games is something we all should have known already — the Phillies aren’t as good as the Red Sox or the Angels. That’s not a problem. The problem is that trying to prove they were got them so tight they couldn’t play. But to be as good as the elite teams in baseball the Phillies are going to have to get better, not play harder.

There’s no way that all the Phillies’ hitters developed some kind of physical problem at the same time that made them unable to hit. Despite the excellent pitching the Red Sox and Angels threw, the Phils’ hitters are just too good for that. The task now for the Phils is to work themselves out of the collective frenzy they managed to slip into so easily — some games against the long list of teams the Phillies are better than should help. Immediately.

It’s not time to worry unless it doesn’t.

The Phillies lost to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim yesterday, falling 3-2 to drop to 42-35. The Angels swept the three-game set. The Phillies have lost five in a row and scored nine runs in their last five games.

A day after losing four games in a row for the first time this season the Phillies have now lost five in a row for the first time this season.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Vladimir Guerrero singled to start the second. Torii Hunter moved him to second with a ground ball to first. Gary Matthews Jr was next and lined a 1-2 pitch into right-center for a single that scored Guerrero and put Anaheim up 1-0. Lefty Casey Kotchman was next and hammered a 1-0 pitch out way out to right. 3-0. Hamels got the next two.

Chone Figgins led off the third with a bunt single. Erick Aybar was next and he bunted a ball that Hamels fielded. Hamels threw to second to force Figgins for the first out. Howie Kendrick flew to right for the second out and Ruiz picked Aybar off with a snap throw to first with Vlad at the plate to end the inning.

Hunter singled with one out in the fourth, but Matthews grounded into a double-play behind him.

1-2-3 fifth.

Aybar singled with one out in the sixth. Kendrick moved Aybar to second with a ground out to first before Hamels struck Guerrero out swinging at an 0-2 pitch to end the frame.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He had thrown 94 pitches through seven.

Madson started the eighth. With one out Reggie Willits and Figgins singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Aybar. Aybar flew to right and Willits went to third. Madson got Kendrick on a ground ball to second to leave both men stranded.

Madson’s ERA is down to 3.03 on the year. He has a 1.80 ERA in 20 appearances since the end of April.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phillies down a run. Hunter doubled with one out and Garrett Anderson hit for pitcher Scott Shields and moved Hunter to third with a ground ball that Lidge fielded. Lidge walked the lefty Kotchman intentionally and the righty Mike Napoli unintentionally on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, but Willits struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch for the third out.

Both Madson and Lidge were shaky, but they combined to throw two scoreless innings the day before an off-day. Lidge needed 24 pitches, Madson 14.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jared Weaver went (1) Rollins (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Jenkins (8) Ruiz. Dobbs plays third against the righty and hits second, putting three lefties in a row 2-3-4 for the Phils. Victorino, who came into the game 2-for-his-last-14, moves down to sixth in the order. Jenkins plays right against the righty. Ruiz catches. Utley returns to the lineup after a day off.

Rollins led off the first with a single and stole second. Dobbs walked, putting men on first and second with nobody out before Utley flew to left. With Howard at the plate Rollins and Dobbs pulled off a double-steal, but Howard struck out and Burrell struck out to leave them both stranded.

Howard strikes out with a man on third and one out. The Phils got a hit, a walk and three stolen bases in the frame but cannot score.

Victorino started the second with a walk but the next three Phils went in order behind him.

With two outs in the third, Utley put an end to an 0-for-24 with a double to right-center. Howard followed with a single to right and the Phils were on the board at 3-1. Burrell popped to third for the third out.

Jenkins walked with one out in the fourth, but Ruiz grounded to short and Hamels struck out.

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

Howard led off the sixth with a single. Weaver struck out Burrell for the first out and lefty Darren Oliver came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino his hitting. 218 against lefties and .301 against righties. Oliver got Victorino to hit a ground ball to second and Howard was forced at second for the first out. Werth hit for Jenkins and the lefty Oliver stayed in to pitch to him and got Werth on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning. Brave move to leave Oliver in to face Werth and it worked for Anaheim.

Ruiz led off the seventh with a walk. With Oliver still on the mound, Feliz hit for Hamels and grounded to third. Figgins threw Feliz out at first with Ruiz going to second. Rollins was next and he ripped a double down the third base line and just barely off the tip of Figgins’ glove. Ruiz scored and it was 3-2. Coste hit for Dobbs and Anaheim brought in righty Scott Shields. Shields struck out Coste and Utley to end the inning.

Even without the benefit of hindsight I would have rather had Dobbs against Oliver with Shields on the bench. Bringing in Shields to pitch to Coste meant Utley got the righty, too, but that didn’t seem to be a problem for Shields.

1-2-3 in the eighth. Willits made a nice diving play on a line drive by Burrell for the second out.

Werth led off the ninth with a ball down the third base line. Figgins made a nice play to pick and Kotchman made a nice scoop to nip Werth for the first out. Ruiz grounded to short for the second out before Feliz singled to left. Bruntlett ran for Feliz and stole second. It put the tying run in scoring position for Rollins and Rollins was walked intentionally with Lidge due to hit behind him. Taguchi hit for Lidge with the winning run on base. He got ahead 2-0 before he fouled out to third on a pitch out of the strike zone to end the game.

That could have worked out better with Utley due to hit behind Taguchi.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two stolen bases. 2-for-12 in the series. He’s hitting 282/346/455 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a walk. 0-for-4 in the series. 347/387/480 for the year. Feliz was 1-for-2 in the game and 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 261/313/415 for the season.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. 1-for-7 with a double in the set. 291/379/599 for the season.

Howard 2-for-4 with an RBI in the game and 2-for-11 in the series. He’s hitting 220/316/474 for the year.

Burrell was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and four men left on base. 1-for-11 with a walk and five strikeouts in the series. 271/411/571 for the year. 1-for-his-last-19.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-10 in the series. 270/343/377 on the year. He’s hitting .221 in June.

Jenkins 0-for-1 in the game and 0-for-6 in the set. He’s 1-for-his-last-23. 249/300/393. Werth was 0-for-2 in the game and 1-for-5 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 266/350/500.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 with a walk in his only action of the series. 226/310/305 for the year with nine extra-base hits. Coste was 0-for-1 yesterday and 2-for-6 with a double in the series. 307/371/528.

No game today.


Now if we can just get someone to write a column calling the 13 hitters wimps we should be all set

Coming off a miserable string of starts, Brett Myers was much better last night. The Phils didn’t win or anything, let’s not get nuts, but he pitched deep into the eighth inning before the game changed on a two-run homer he surrendered to Erick Aybar.

Myers’ line doesn’t look particularly fantastic — he allowed four runs in 7 2/3 innings. But he pitched better than his line. Myers started the eighth with the game tied 2-2, having allowed three hits and a walk in the contest.

The Phillies have lost six of seven and four in a row. Over their last four games they have scored a total of seven runs.

The Phillies lost to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last night, falling 6-2 to drop to 42-34 on the year.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went 7 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He struck out seven.

With one out in the first, Myers walked Maicer Izturis. Izturis stole second, but Myers got Garrett Anderson to ground to second and Vladimir Guerrero to pop to first to end the frame.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 second.

With two outs in the third, Chone Figgins bunted for a single. Erick Aybar pinch-hit for Izturis, who left the game with a tight right hamstring, and grounded to short.

With one out in the fourth, Vlad pounded an 0-1 pitch out to left to put the Angels up 1-0. Myers got the next two.

He struck out Gary Matthews Jr, Jeff Mathis and pitcher Joe Saunders in the fifth.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Guerrero led off the seventh and again was swinging early in the count. He belted the first pitch he saw out to left to put Anaheim up 2-0. Myers got the next three behind him.

Myers started the eighth with the game tied at 2-2 having thrown just 88 pitches. He got the first two before Figgins singled. He got ahead of the switch-hitter Aybar 0-1 before Aybar drove one down right field line and just out to put the Angels up 4-2. Anderson followed with a double and Myers stayed in to walk Vlad to put men on first and second. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Kotchman and got him to ground to second.

Myers had allowed three hits going into the eighth. Given the low pitch count I don’t think you can argue with letting him start the inning.

Third career home run for Aybar.

Durbin started the ninth. He hit Matthews with one out and Matthews stole second. Mathis hit a fly ball to left that Taguchi, who had run for Burrell in the bottom of the eighth, misplayed for a two-base error that allowed Matthews to go to third. Righty Juan Rivera hit for pitcher Scott Shields and the Phillies brought the infield in. Rivera chopped a ball slowly up the middle. Bruntlett fielded and threw home, but Matthews slid in safely. 5-2. With men on first and third, Figgins blooped a ball between Rollins and Taguchi for a single. Mathis scored and it was 6-2. With men on first and second, Durbin struck out Aybar and got Anderson on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Two runs in 1 1/3 innings for the pen, but both were unearned. Durbin was charged with both runs, but pitched well and allowed just one hit, which was a bloop single. Durbin hasn’t been charged with an earned run in 13 1/3 innings over his last ten games. He threw 27 pitches, so he’s probably out today. Romero threw just seven.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Joe Saunders went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Coste (7) Feliz (8) Bruntlett. The slumping Utley on the bench against the lefty. Bruntlett plays second and hits eighth. Burrell moves up to third in the lineup. Coste catches and moves up to sixth in the lineup.

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

Coste singled with two outs in the second, but Feliz grounded to third for the third out.

1-2-3 in the third.

Burrell singled with one out in the fourth. Howard followed and struck out on three pitches. Werth flew to left for the third out.

They went 1-2-3 in the fifth.

Myers led off the sixth with a walk. Rollins popped to short and Victorino hit into a double-play.

With two outs in the seventh Werth hit a high fly ball to center that went off the top of the wall and out for a home run that cut the Anaheim lead to 2-1. Tenth home run on the year for Werth. Coste followed with a walk and Feliz reached out and hit a 2-2 pitch into left-center for a double. Coste scored from first with two outs to tie the score at 2-2. Play of the game was next. Bruntlett lined the first pitch of his at-bat into center. Matthews charged and threw home but the first baseman Kotchman made a brilliant play. He cut the ball, then looked towards home, whirled and threw to second to nail Bruntlett to end the inning. Bad base-running from Bruntlett, but a better play by Kotchman.

Dobbs hit for Romero to start the eighth and struck out. Rollins went down swinging for the second out before Victorino struck out swinging on a pitch that Mathis didn’t handle and Victorino took first. Burrell walked and Taguchi ran for him at first with the Phils down 4-2. Shields struck Howard out swinging 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Down 6-2 in the ninth, Werth and Coste started the inning with back-to-back walks before Feliz hit into a double-play. With righty Francisco Rodriguez on the mound, Jenkins hit for Bruntlett and popped to third to end the game with Werth stranded at third.

Rollins 0-for-4.

Victorino 0-for-4.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-15.

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

Coste 1-for-2 with two walks.

Feliz 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Bruntlett 1-for-3.

Cole Hamels (7-4, 3.23) faces righty Jared Weaver (6-7, 4.73) this afternoon. Weaver has allowed 17 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings (6.56 ERA) over his last four starts. Righties are hitting .282 against him on the year but have hit just two of the 12 home runs he has allowed. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last three starts. Over those starts he has allowed four runs which came on four solo home runs.


We’re no Angels

Ugly. Outhit 17-2, the Phils lost again last night. They have lost five of their last six.

It’s not like Anaheim was playing pristine baseball, either. The Angels made four errors, but Adam Eaton was pounded for six runs on 12 hits over just five innings and the Phils did nothing with the bats.

Chase Utley is the poster-boy for the Phillies’ offensive struggles, but the problem, although surely temporary, is far deeper than that. Over their last three games the Phillies have two extra-base hits, both doubles, in 94 at-bats. Utley is so good that no matter how badly he’s struggling I’m sure every time he comes to the plate he’s about to get a hit. I’m wrong a lot, though. With an 0-for-3 last night he’s 0-for-his-last-23.

The Phillies lost to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last night. With the 7-1 loss they are 42-33 on the year.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing six runs on 12 hits and three walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out one.

With two outs in the first, Garrett Anderson doubled to right. Vladimir Guerrero was next and he blasted the first pitch he saw out to left to put the Angels up 2-0. Torii Hunter followed with a double to left and Casey Kotchman walked behind him. Eaton got Howie Kendrick swinging at a 2-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Chone Figgins singled with two outs in the second and Macier Izturis walked behind him. Anderson singled to left and Figgins scored to make it 3-0 with Izturis going to third. Vlad flew to center for the third out.

Hunter started the third and hit a ground ball to third that Feliz didn’t handle for an error. Kotchman flew to center for the first out before Kendrick doubled, sending Hunter to third. Eaton walked Jeff Mathis intentionally to set up the double-play, and pitcher Ervin Santana hit into one to end the frame.

With two outs in the fourth, Eaton hit Anderson with a pitch and Guerrero moved him to third with a single. Hunter went down on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Kendrick and Mathis singled back-to-back with one out in the fifth. It put men on first and second for Santana and Santana grounded to second. Mathis was forced at second for the second out and Kendrick went to third. Figgins grounded to second for the third out.

Izturis and Anderson singled back-to-back to start the sixth. It put men on first and second with nobody out for Guerrero and Guerrero singled into center. Izturis scored and it was 4-0. With the righty Hunter at the plate Madson came in to pitch and struck Hunter out for the first out. Kotchman singled to right and Anderson scored to make it 5-0 as Guerrero went to third. Kendrick hit a ball to left-center that got stuck under the wall. Kendrick had to settle for a double. Guerrero scored (6-0) and Kotchman had to hold third. Mathis was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Madson struck out Santana and got Figgins on a fly ball to center to avoid further damage.

Madson allows two hits in the inning that score two runs charged to Eaton.

He returned for the seventh and allowed a one-out walk to Anderson, but Guerrero hit into a double-play behind him.

Condrey started the eighth. Kotchman doubled with one out and moved to third when Kendrick singled to right. Mathis doubled to left and Kotchman scored to put Anaheim up 7-1. Switch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr hit for Santana with men on second and third and was walked intentionally to load the bases. Condrey got Figgins to hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Romero threw the ninth and walked Guerrero with two outs. He struck Hunter out for the third out.

Four innings for the pen. They were charged with a run on five hits, including three doubles. Madson made Eaton’s mess in the sixth worse. Madson threw 28 pitches, Condrey 19 and Romero 14.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Ervin Santana 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.

With one out in the first, Victorino singled, stole second and went to third when Mathis threw the ball into center field. Utley struck out before Howard walked to put men on first and third. Burrell flew to left to end the inning.

Bad strikeout for the scuffling Utley with one out and a man on third.

Santana threw 32 pitches in the first inning and 73 over the next six.

Coste doubled with two outs in the second, but Eaton flew to center behind him.

1-2-3 third.

Santana struck out Howard, Burrell and Jenkins in the fourth.

Two more strikeouts in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Rollins led off the sixth and reached on an error by Kotchman at first. He stole second and went to third on another throwing error by Mathis. Victorino walked to put men on first and third and Utley flew to center deep enough to score Rollins and make it 6-1. Victorino stole second, but Howard and Burrell both struck out to leave him stranded.

1-2-3 in the seventh.

Dobbs hit for Condrey to start the eighth and struck out. Rollins grounded to second for the second out before Victorino reached on another error by Kotchman. Utley flew to center to end the inning.

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

Rollins 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-3.

Utley 0-for-3 with an RBI.

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

Burrell 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Jenkins 0-for-4. 2-for-his-last-30.

Coste 1-for-3 with a double.

Brett Myers (3-8, 5.58) faces lefty Joe Saunders (10-3, 3.06) tonight. Saunders was great in his last start, allowing six hits while throwing 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Braves on Sunday. Saunders has allowed 11 home runs in 94 innings this season, ten of which have been hit by righties. In six starts away from home he’s 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA and a 1.11 ratio. The Phillies are 1-9 in Myers’ last ten starts. Over his last two starts he’s allowed 11 runs on 15 hits, including five home runs, five doubles and a triple, in 11 1/3 innings.


Offense from right a little slight

You would probably guess that the right field platoon of Jenkins and Werth hasn’t been a smashing success, but you may not have realized just how bad it has been. Here’s a look at how the Phillies are producing offensively by position this season, using OPS as the measure (does not include yesterday’s games):


POS

OPS

NL Rank
C 729 7
1B 794 11
2B 990 1
3B 721 13
SS 767 7
LF 980 1
CF 808 4
RF 706 15

It’s not going to be a surprise to many people that third base continues to be a big problem for the Phils. Howard’s struggles compared to other first basemen in the league have been more dramatic than I would have guessed. The right field production has been a worse problem than either of them.

You can also see the problem in right field if you look at production by spot in the batting order compared to other teams in the NL, again using OPS as the measure and not counting yesterday’s games:

 
OPS

NL Rank
1 764 8
2 792 2
3 983 3
4 821 10
5 973 1
6 734 10
7 758 6
8 711 2

Werth has moved around some, but generally speaking the six-hole is the home of Werth and Jenkins this season. If you look at the list, two of the other problems areas at one (Rollins) and four (Howard) seem likely to improve as the season progresses.

The problem in right for the Phillies is primarily Jenkins, who has not hit well for much of the season and is currently 2-for-his-last-24, and the fact that Werth has been less effective with the bat while playing right field than he has overall. Here’s what the Phillies who have gotten at least 25 plate appearances as a right fielder have done offensively this season while playing right field:


Player

AB as RF

AVG

OBP

SLG
Jenkins 185 265 315 405
Werth 52 250 316 327
Taguchi 32 250 333 313

Werth is hitting 268/351/490 overall and 290/362/613 in 93 at-bats as a center fielder. That’s probably just a coincidence, but it does help explain why the numbers are so bad for the team overall. Jenkins is the big question mark. His numbers are just bad, pretty much the worst for his career since 1998, despite he gets to hit almost exclusively against right-handed pitching. 194 of his 213 plate appearances have come against righties, about 91.1%. His career line overall, 276/345/493 (287/356/520 against righties) is much better than that despite the fact that only about 76.5% of his career plate appearances have come against righties.

The good news for the Phillies is that it’s reasonable to expect Jenkins to hit much better the rest of the year than he has so far.

Adam Eaton (2-4, 4.57) faces righty Ervin Santana (8-3, 3.40) tonight. Santana was hit hard his last time out. On Saturday against the Braves he allowed six runs over 5 2/3 innings. Before that he had made three straight starts where he pitched at least into the seventh inning and allowed less than two runs. Opponents are hitting .208 against him for the season. righties just .192 and lefties .272. He has walked just 21 overall in 95 1/3 innings. Eaton has a 3.49 ERA over his last five starts and has allowed three or fewer runs six of his last seven times out. He hasn’t walked more than two hitters in a game in any of his last six starts.


Kyle vile

The Phillies have one extra-base hit, a double by Jimmy Rollins, over 64 at-bats in their last two games. If you’re going to hit like that you better pitch pretty well and the Phillies haven’t. After Jamie Moyer struggled on Tuesday, Kyle Kendrick lasted just three miserable innings yesterday afternoon. The bullpen pitched well behind him, but if the bullpen is the only part of your team playing well it isn’t not going to be enough.

It wasn’t yesterday.

The Phils have lofty goals for this season and with good reason. They aren’t hitting right now, but that’s a temporary problem that’s sure to solve itself. To make the playoff run that Phillies’ fans are looking for, though, the Phils are going to need a consistency from their starting pitching that they haven’t been getting and that the current rotation looks like it may be unable to provide. Jamie Moyer has been fantastic in some big starts for the Phils, but Cole Hamels is still the only guy in the rotation that most fans wouldn’t be surprised to see come up big in a big game against a good offense. Before the season is over the Phillies will hopefully be playing a lot of big games against big offenses all in a row. Cole Hamels won’t be pitching all of them.

The Phillies lost to the Boston Red Sox yesterday afternoon, falling 7-4 to drop to 42-32 on the season. The Phils lose the series two games to one. They have lost three series in a row.

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

Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia started the first with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for JD Drew and Drew hammered an 0-1 pitch out to right-center. 3-0. Mike Lowell was next he got ahead 2-1 before he smoked one out to left. 4-0. Kendrick got the next three.

Kendrick struck out the side in the second, setting down Julio Lugo, the pitcher Justin Masterson and Ellsbury in order.

Drew doubled to right with one out in the third. Lowell was grazed by a pitch to put men on first and second before Sean Casey lined to Utley for the second out. Jason Varitek walked to load the bases. Lefty Brandon Moss hit for Coco Crisp and lined a single into center. Drew and Lowell both scored, putting the Sox up 6-1, and Varitek went to third. Kendrick walked Lugo to load the bases but struck out Masterson again to the frame.

Condrey started the fourth after having thrown an inning the night before. Pedroia doubled to left with one out. Drew was next and singled to right-center. Pedroia scored easily and the Boston lead was 7-1. Howard made an over-the-shoulder catch on a popup by Lowell along the right field foul line for the second out before Casey moved Drew to second with a single. Varitek flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Lugo doubled with one out in the fifth. Condrey struck out Masterson and Ellsbury to leave him stranded.

Thank goodness for Masterson. The Red Sox might have scored 40.

Chad Durbin started the sixth with the Phillies down 7-2. Drew singled with one out before Durbin struck out Lowell for the second. Casey doubled into left and Drew went to third, but Durbin struck out Varitek to leave both runners stranded.

Seanez threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Romero pitched the eighth. Pedroia singled with one out and Drew moved him to second with the second. Romero walked the righty Lowell intentionally to get to the lefty Casey. Casey grounded to short for the third out.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth to drop his ERA on the year to 0.90.

The Phils burned through their pen the day before an off-day. Phils’ relievers allowed one run in six innings while striking out eight. Pitching for his second day in a row, Condrey threw 30 pitches. Durbin 19, Romero 18, Seanez 12 and Lidge 14.

Drew was 4-for-5 with four RBI in the game.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Justin Masterson went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. The slumping Jenkins in right against the righty. Dobbs plays third against the righty with Feliz on the bench. Ruiz catches.

Down 4-0 in the first, Victorino walked with one out. Utley grounded to second for the second out and Victorino moved to second. Howard singled into right and Victorino scored to get the Phils on the board at 4-1. Burrell flew to center for the third out.

Jenkins started the second with a walk. Dobbs was next and hit a ground ball to second. Jenkins was forced at second for the first out. Ruiz was hit by a pitch to put men on first and second. Kendrick was next and bunting, but he popped it up. Casey caught it and threw to second to double-off Dobbs and end the inning.

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

And the fourth.

Dobbs and Ruiz singled back-to-back to start the fifth. It put men on first and third and Werth hit for Condrey. Werth chopped a ball to short and Ruiz was forced at second for the first out. Werth beat out the relay and Dobbs scored to cut the Boston lead to 7-2. Utley grounded to first to end the inning with Werth stranded.

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

With lefty Javier Lopez on the mound, Bruntlett hit for Dobbs to start the seventh. Righty Craig Hansen came in to pitch to him and Bruntlett reached on an infield single. Bruntlett stole second before Ruiz walked and Feliz hit for Seanez. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Feliz reached out and hit a 3-2 pitch into center for a single. Both runners scored and the Boston lead was cut to 7-4. Rollins moved Feliz to second with a walk. Victorino got behind 0-2 and then popped to second for the first out. Utley lined an 0-2 pitch to left for the second. Howard went down swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Despite sending 2-3-4 in their order to the plate, the Phils can’t get any more after putting men on first and second with nobody out.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Coste hit for Romero with two outs and struck out looking.

Ruiz, Feliz and Rollins went in order in the ninth. Ruiz got a tough call on a pitch out of the strike zone to strike out to start the inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game and 6-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 289/353/468 for the year.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk and left four men on base. 3-for-11 with a double in the set. 278/347/389 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 in the game and left five men on base. 0-for-13 with zero walks in the series. 0-for-his-last-20. 294/385/606.

Howard was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 4-for-13 with a triple and two home runs in the series. 221/319/486.

Burrell was 0-for-4 in the game and 2-for-10 with a triple in the series. 280/421/593 for the year.

Jenkins 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-7 in the series and 2-for-his-last-27. 256/305/405. Werth was 0-for-1 with an RBI in the game and 2-for-5 in the set. 268/351/490.

Dobbs was 1-for-2 in the game in his only action in the series. 362/396/500 for the year. Feliz 1-for-2 with two RBI in the game. 3-for-8 in the series. 262/316/418.

Ruiz 1-for-2 with a walk. 2-for-9 in the series. 230/311/311 on the season. Coste 0-for-1 in the game and 0-for-2 in the series. He’s hitting 306/364/529 for the year and 214/241/357 in June.

No game today. Angels tomorrow.

Dan Gattuso, who used to pen the blog Phoglights, is back in the blogging saddle with the Phillies Sports Blog, which you can check out here.


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