Archive for July, 2008

Phils desperate to find Myers a travel guide to New York that includes the strike zone

It was reasonable to expect that the return of Brett Myers was going to be a wild ride for the Phils and it was. Just not the wild ride the Phils were looking for. Myers walked four Mets in a miserable first inning. He pitched okay after that, but the Phils’ hitters didn’t do much. The Phils and Mets went into the bottom of the sixth tied at 3-3 before Jose Reyes broke the game open with a three-run homer off of Ryan Madson.

It wasn’t a good start for Myers, but the Phillies’ sleepy offense continues to be a big part of the story in July. In the last eight games that the Phillies’ starting pitcher has allowed three runs the Phils are 1-7. In 2007 the Phils went 21-11 in games where their starters allowed three runs in a start. 28-15 in 2006. After last night’s game they are 10-11 in 2008 and that’s with a hugely improved bullpen.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 6-3 to drop to 54-47 on the season. Game three of the set is this afternoon after the teams split the first two of the series.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on three hits and five walks. All three of the hits went for singles and he struck out two. His ERA is 5.82 and the Phils are now 4-14 in games he’s started this season. Using game score as the measure, in 15 of his 18 starts on the season the other team’s starting pitcher pitched better than Myers did.

Jose Reyes grounded to second for the first out in the first. Myers then walked four batters in a row. The fourth walk was to Carlos Beltran and forced in Endy Chavez to put the Mets up 1-0. Marlon Anderson was next and hit a double-play ball to first that Howard didn’t handle. It fortunately went off his glove and right to Utley. Utley threw to Myers covering first to get the second out. David Wright scored from third to put New York up 2-0. Damion Easley grounded to third for the third out, leaving two men stranded.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 second with the score tied at 2-2.

With one out in the third the Mets again loaded the bases when Wright singled, Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch and Beltran singled into center. Myers struck Anderson out for the second out, Damion Easley was next hit a ball in the hole between third and short that went off the glove of Rollins for a single. Rollins may not have had a play anywhere even if he had fielded it cleanly. Wright scored and the run put the Mets up 3-2. Brian Schneider hit the first pitch of his at-bat to first for a ground out that ended the inning.

In the fourth, Myers thought he had leadoff hitter pitcher John Maine struck out on an 0-2 curveball but didn’t get the call. Maine singled into left, but Myers got the next three behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Madson started the sixth with the game tied at 3-3. Easley led off with a slowly hit ground ball up the middle. Rollins tried to barehand it in front of second base but didn’t handle it and Easley had an infield single. Schneider followed with a single that moved Easley to second. Maine tried to bunt but fouled off strike three for the first out. Reyes was next and he blasted Madson’s first pitch out to right-center for a three-run homer that changed the game and put the Mets up 6-3. Reyes circled the bases with a fist and then a single finger in the air, a gesture that was apparently an expression of exuberance about the possibility the Mets might be tied for first with 61 games to go if the pen didn’t blow it again or perhaps a reference to either the Mets winning the NL East in 2006 or something he had done as a small child while growing up in the Dominican Republic. Madson struck out Chavez for the second out before Wright singled and stole second. Delgado followed with a walk before Beltran grounded to second for the third out.

Terrible inning for Madson.

Condrey pitched the seventh. Easley singled with one out and moved to third when Schneider followed with a double. Fernando Tatis hit for the pitcher Maine and grounded to third for the second out with the runners holding. Reyes was walked intentionally to load the bases and Chavez grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Condrey returned for the eighth. Wright led off with a ground ball to third that new third baseman Feliz didn’t handle for an error. Delgado singled to left and Wright moved to second. Beltran bunted the runners to second and third for the first out. Righty Robinson Cancel hit for the pitcher Joe Smith and grounded to short with the runners holding. Easley grounded to second to leave them both stranded.

The Mets hit the pen hard. In three innings Madson and Condrey combined to allow three runs on seven hits and two walks. Condrey threw 31 pitches and Madson 24.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty John Maine went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Victorino (7) Jenkins (8) Ruiz. That’s a new one. I like it. Burrell hits third, breaking up Utley and Howard as the Phils put four lefties in their lineup. Victorino drops down to sixth even against the righty with Jenkins hitting seventh to split Dobbs and Jenkins. I like Utley hitting two instead of Victorino.

1-2-3 in the first.

Down 2-0 in the second, Victorino and Jenkins homered back-to-back with two outs, tying the game at 2-2. Ruiz drew a walk before Myers struck out to end the frame.

Utley walked with one out in the third, but Howard and Burrell went down behind him.

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

Ruiz led off the fifth with a single and Myers bunted him to second. Rollins doubled into right center and Ruiz scored, tying the game at 3-3. Utley popped to second and Burrell struck out to set the Phillies down.

Howard led off the sixth with a single. Dobbs flew to left for the first out before Victorino hit a slow ground ball to second. Easley tagged Howard as he went by and threw to first to complete the double-play. Replays showed that Easley missed the tag on Howard.

With two outs in the seventh, Taguchi hit for Madson and singled. Rollins flew to right for the third out.

Down 6-3 in the eighth, Burrell drew a one out walk. Howard lined to Reyes for the second out and with lefty Scott Schoeneweis on the mound Feliz hit for Dobbs. Righty Joe Smith entered the game for the Mets and got Feliz to ground back to the mound for the third out.

Feliz is now 1-for-17 since the All-Star break.

Billy Wagner threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Bruntlett hit for Jenkins and grounded to third for the second out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-16.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-4. He’s hitting 320/378/693 in July.

Dobbs 0-for-3. He’s 1-for-his-last-10.

Victorino 1-for-4 with his second home run in two days. He’s slugging .592 in July with 11 extra-base hits, including five home runs.

Jenkins 1-for-3 with a home run and two strikeouts.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-his-last-15 with two walks.

Jamie Moyer (9-6, 3.90) faces lefty Oliver Perez (6-6, 4.36) this afternoon. Perez hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last four starts. In those outings he has struck out 27 in 26 innings. Opponents are hitting just .233 against him, but he’s walked 63 in 109 1/3 innings (that’s too many). He’s made three starts against the Phillies this season and hasn’t been charged with a run in 18 1/3 innings. Moyer has allowed three or fewer runs in eight straight starts and hasn’t allowed a home run in 19 2/3 innings over his last three. He has a 3.12 ERA in his ten starts away from Citizens Bank Park.


Thousands mistake last night’s game for something they tivoed in 2007

Just about everyone associated with the New York Mets would have you believe that the collapse of 2007 is all but forgotten as the team presses forward with a new attitude and a new manager. And maybe it was. But I’m pretty sure they remember it now, cause in last night’s game the Mets and Phils looked a whole lot like the guys from last year.

The Phillies picked a perfect time to snap out of their offensive slump. Down 5-2 in the ninth, the Phils sent 11 men to the plate and scored six times. So Taguchi, slumping through a miserable season, tied the game with a two-run double. One batter latter Jimmy Rollins gave the Phils all the runs they would need with a two-run double of his own.

It was just about as pretty as a six-run rally in the ninth can be — but if the Mets take the next two games of the set it’s not going to mean a lot.

Joe Blanton’s debut with the Phillies was expected to be the story of the game, but proved to be something of a non-event. Blanton pitched poorly, allowing a pair of two-run homers as he yielded five runs in six innings.

The Phillies beat the New York Mets last night, winning 8-6 to improve to 54-46 on the season. The Phils reclaim sole ownership of the lead in the NL East, a game ahead of both the Mets and the Marlins.

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

Endy Chavez singled to right with one out in the first, but Blanton got the next two behind him.

He hit Damion Easley with one out in the second. Marlon Anderson flew to left for the second out before Ramon Castro dribbled a ball to third that went for an infield single. Blanton struck out Johan Santana to end the inning.

Jose Reyes led off the third and walked on four pitches. Chavez was next and he hit a ground ball to the right of Utley. Utley knocked it down, sliding, but couldn’t make the play and Chavez was safe with an infield single that moved Reyes to second. He should have made the play. David Wright was next and ripped a 2-2 pitch into left and off the wall. Reyes scored to tie the game at 1-1, but Burrell fielded it cleanly off the wall and Rollins made a nice relay to the plate when Chavez was tagged out for the first out. With Wright on second, Carlos Beltran grounded hard to first and Wright went to third. Blanton got ahead of Delgado 0-2 but threw two of his next three pitches in the dirt before Delgado clubbed a 3-2 pitch out to right to put New York up 3-1. Easley grounded to short for the third out.

Between innings Manuel was ejected for arguing that Delgado should have been out on a check swing on a ball that was in the dirt. Didn’t look so clear on replay — Delgado probably crossed the plate, but the call wasn’t awful.

Marlon Anderson led off the fourth with an infield single. Castro hit into a double-play behind him before Santana singled to center. Reyes popped to Rollins for the third out.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He got the first two in the sixth before he walked Anderson on four pitches. Castro was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to left to put the Mets up 5-1. Santana followed with a walk before Reyes flew to right for the third out.

Seanez started the seventh down 5-2. Chavez led off with a double just out of the reach of Werth in right. Wright followed with a single to right and this time it was Werth who threw Chavez out at the plate. Second time in the game that Chavez made the first out of the inning at the plate — this time it only took one good throw. Wright went to second on the play at the plate. Beltran was walked intentionally and Romero came in to pitch to Delgado and got Delgado to fly to shallow center on one pitch. Romero stayed in to pitch to the righty Easley and hit him in the middle of his back to load the bases. Fernando Tatis hit for lefty Marlon Anderson and hit a soft liner to second that Utley caught on a dive to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Chad Durbin threw a 1-2-3 eighth, setting down Castro, pinch-hitter Argenis Reyes and Jose Reyes.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils on top 8-5. Chavez led off with a walk and took second without a throw before Wright struck out for the first out. A wild pitch moved Chavez to third before Beltran hit a hard ground ball to first that Howard took for the second out. Nice play by Howard and a huge second out as Chavez scored to make it 8-6. Delgado grounded to third to end the game.

Three innings for the pen in which they allow a run on two hits and a walk. Durbin’s 1-2-3 eighth against the bottom of the order and Reyes was big. The Phils used four relievers — of the pitchers they used, Seanez ended the day with the highest ERA for the season: 2.87. Lidge threw 21 pitches, Durbin 16, Seanez 11 and Romero 10.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Ruiz. Victorino drops to seventh in the lineup against the lefty. Burrell up to third, splitting the lefties Utley and Howard. Werth in right and hitting fifth instead of sixth. Ruiz catches. Glad Rollins didn’t drop to third this time.

Burrell and Howard singled back-to-back with two outs in the first. Werth followed with a single up the middle and Burrell scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Howard holding second. Feliz went down swinging on four pitches to leave the runners stranded.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and Blanton bunted him to second. Rollins grounded to second for the third out.

1-2-3 in the third and fourth.

Blanton singled to right with one out in the fifth. Rollins hit into a double-play behind him.

1-2-3 in the sixth.

With two outs in the seventh, Victorino hit a 1-1 pitch out to left. It cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Ruiz followed with a single up the middle. Coste hit for Blanton and struck out.

With two outs in the eighth, Burrell hit a ball down the left field line and off the chalk for a double. Howard flew to Beltran in right-center for set the Phillies down.

The Phillies started the ninth down 5-2. Duaner Sanchez took over for Santana, who had thrown 105 pitches to get through eight innings. Werth singled. Dobbs hit for Feliz and singled. Victorino singled into center and the bases were loaded. Righty Joe Smith relieved Sanchez to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz chopped a ball just to the shortstop side of second base. Victorino was running hard all the way. Reyes fielded, looked at first and then tried to step on second but missed the bag. Victorino was safe, Werth scored to make it 5-3 and the Phils still had the bases loaded. Great hustle by Victorino and a bad play by Reyes. Jenkins hit for Durbin and the Mets called on lefty Pedro Feliciano. Jimy Williams called on Taguchi, still without a pinch-hit on the season, to hit for Jenkins. Taguchi got behind 0-2 before he hit a 2-2 pitch over the head of Chavez in right. Dobbs and Victorino both scored, tying the game at 5-5, with Ruiz going to third on the double. Rollins doubled down the left-field line, clearing the bases with the Phils up 7-5. Utley grounded to first for the first out, moving Rollins to third. The lefty Feliciano walked Burrell intentionally before Howard hit a ball back to the mound that may have been a double-play, but Feliciano didn’t field it cleanly and had to take the out at first. Rollins scored to make it 8-5 and Burrell went to second. Aaron Heilman came in to pitch to Werth and walked him before Dobbs popped to short for the third out.

Second huge hit of the month for Taguchi. On July 11 against the Snakes he led off the twelfth with a single and came around to score the winning run on a single by Werth three batters later.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a huge double and two RBI.

Utley was 0-for-5.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a walk and a double.

Howard 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Werth 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI and started the ninth-inning rally.

Feliz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-16 with eight strikeouts since the All-Star break.

Victorino had a big game. 2-for-4 with his sixth home run.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84) faces righty John Maine (8-7, 4.22) tonight. Maine hasn’t gone six innings in any of his last four starts. He has a 6.63 ERA in those outings. In two starts against the Phillies this season he’s thrown to a 3.09 ERA with a 1.11 ratio. Myers has been terrible this season and will be making his first start since June 27 coming off a stint in the minors. The Phils have lost nine of the last ten games he’s started and are 4-13 with him on the hill this season.


Welcome to your nightmare, welcome to my breakdown

Did you see The Big Kahuna? It’s about salesmen. At one point young salesman Bob says something like it’s time for the others to throw him and the water and see if he can swim. Kevin Spacey’s grizzled veteran Larry Mann breaks it down for him: “I think you’re missing the point here Bob, we’re about to throw you off a cliff and see if you can fly.”

And somebody cue Joe Blanton. Starting in New York against Johan Santana for a team that suddenly can’t score runs with the Mets and Phils locked in a tie for first place in the NL East.

Blanton has made two starts against the Mets in his career. Here’s what his numbers look like:


IP

R

H

BB

K
15.0 0 8 1 10

Not bad. The two starts came in 2005 and 2007, which were Blanton’s best years. On June 14, 2005 in Oakland, Blanton went seven shutout innings against the Mets, allowing three singles and striking out four without allowing a walk. Oakland won the game 5-0. He wasn’t exactly pitching great coming into the game — he came into the contest with a 6.13 ERA having allowed 17 earned runs in his last 18 innings (8.50 ERA).

On June 23, 2007 in New York he tossed eight more shutout innings, allowing five hits and a walk. Ricky Ledee hit a sixth-inning double against him in that game. The Mets won the game 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth when Wright doubled off of Santiago Casilla to plate Ramon Castro. Blanton had been pitching much better coming around that start — he came into the game with a 3.43 ERA having allowed five earned runs in 31 1/3 innings over his last four starts (1.44 ERA).

Blanton (5-12, 4.96) faces lefty Johan Santana (8-7, 3.10) tonight in New York. Santana allowed five runs in four innings in Cincinnati on Thursday, allowing home runs to Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnacion. For Santana it was the first time in 11 starts he had allowed more than one home run in a game. The Mets have lost six of the last eight games that Santana has started. He has made two starts against the Phillies this season, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA but an 0.67 ratio. He hasn’t walked a batter in 15 innings in those starts. Utley is the only current Phillie to have an extra-base hit against Santana in their career — he’s 2-for-7 with a home run. Blanton last pitched on July 9, so he’s well-rested if nothing else. He hasn’t allowed a home run in his last three starts and has walked just three in his last 17 innings.


Just think how much merrier a soul King Cole would be if anyone ever got a hit

The merry would be off the charts. They would need to invent new merry-measuring tools.

Cole Hamels is pitching up a storm and the rest of the Phillies seem to be content just to watch. Hamels went eight innings in Florida yesterday, holding the Marlins to two runs on four hits while striking out seven. The Phillies scored two runs in the game and lost in 11 innings.

They scored 11 runs in the three-game set and are having a lot of trouble getting much of anything out of the top and the bottom of their order. The guys who started the games in the one and two spots in the order combined to go 6-for-28 (.214) with one walk in the series while the guys that started the games in the seven and eight spots in the order combined to go 4-for-25 (.160) with one walk.

The Phillies are 1-2 in the last three games that Hamels has started. In each of those three starts he’s gone at least seven innings and allowed two runs. Over his last ten starts the Phillies have scored three or fewer runs five times. He’s thrown to a 3.03 ERA in those ten outings, going at least seven innings in nine of the ten starts. The Phillies are 5-5 in those games.

The Phillies lost to the Florida Marlins yesterday afternoon, falling 3-2 in 11 innings. The Marlins take the series two games to one. The Phillies are 53-46 and start the day in a tie for first place in the NL East with the Mets. The Marlins are a half game behind.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs. He struck out seven. He needed just 96 pitches to go eight innings.

He started the first with a 1-0 lead. He walked Jorge Cantu with two outs, but got Wes Helms to fly to right for the third out.

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

Jeremy Hermida led off the fourth and hit a high fly ball to right on the first pitch of his at-bat that went out for his second home run in two days. It cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Cantu lined to third before Helms reached on a single, but Hamels got Dan Uggla to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fifth and a 1-2-3 sixth.

Hamels walked Uggla with two outs in the seventh, but got Luis Gonzalez to fly to left for the third out. Hamels had thrown just 82 pitches through seven innings.

Cody Ross led off the eighth and hit an 0-1 pitch out to right center, tying the game at 2-2. Hamels struck out John Baker for the first out before Alfredo Amezaga hit for the pitcher Joe Nelson and singled into left. Hamels pick Amezaga off first with Hanley Ramirez at the plate, but Amezaga beat Howard’s throw to second. Howard is absolutely terrible at that play. Hamels struck out Ramirez and got Hermida on a fly ball to center to leave the runner stranded.

Madson set down 3-4-5 in the Florida order in the bottom of the ninth with the scored tied at 2-2.

He came back out to start the tenth, but when lefty Mike Jacobs was announced as the pinch-hitter for pitcher Matt Lindstrom, Romero entered the game. Romero got Jacobs to ground the first pitch of his at-bat to second for the first out. Durbin came in to pitch to Ross and struck Ross and Baker out to end the frame.

Condrey started the eleventh. Amezaga led off with a single and moved to second when Ramirez followed with a walk. Hermida bunted, badly. The ball came back to Condrey. Condrey looked at third, then turned and threw to first but late. Hermida was safe and the bases were loaded. Condrey got ahead of Cantu 0-2 before Cantu blasted a ball off the scoreboard in left — would have probably been a three-run double, but the Marlins only needed one to win the game.

The game was probably lost with the bases loaded and one out anyway, but with the day off today especially Manuel could have brought in Lidge to try to get the strikeout instead of leaving Condrey on to face Cantu.

Two innings for the pen. Everyone was good except for Condrey, who allowed three hits and a walk without getting an out. Nobody threw more than 14 pitches and the Phils have an off day today.

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

Rollins led off the first with a chopper over the mound that went for an infield single. Victorino flew to left for the first out before Utley moved Rollins to third with a single to right. Howard singled into center and Rollins scored, putting the Phils up 1-0 with Utley going to third. Burrell popped to short and Jenkins grounded back to the pitcher to leave the runners stranded.

Bad result for Burrell with one out and men on first and third.

1-2-3 in the second.

With two outs in the third, Utley walked and came around to score when Howard followed with a double. 2-0. Burrell walked, but Jenkins struck out looking for the third out.

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

Victorino bunted for a single with one down in the sixth. Utley grounded back to the pitcher and Howard grounded hard to first.

Burrell led off the sixth with a single. Jenkins was next and he shattered his bat hitting a slow ground ball to second for a double-play. The bat broke at the handle and a large piece of the barrel caught Jenkins in his shoulder or neck. Jenkins crumpled to the ground and was replaced by Werth in the bottom of the inning. Jenkins is not expected to miss any time. Feliz struck out for the third out.

Ruiz led off the seventh with a walk. Hamels hit for himself with the Phils up 2-1 and bunted, but popped it up for the first out. Rollins hit a ground ball to third and Ruiz was forced at second for the second out. Victorino doubled down the left field line and Rollins moved to third. Lefty Renyel Pinto came in to pitch to Utley and got ahead 0-2 before he hit him to load the bases. Howard grounded to second baseman Uggla in shallow right field for the third out.

Righty Joe Nelson set down Burrell, Werth and Feliz in order in the eighth. Werth had entered the game in right in the bottom of the sixth.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Dobbs hit for Hamels and grounded to second for the second out.

1-2-3 in the tenth.

Bruntlett, who had entered the game in the eighth defensively for Burrell, led off the eleventh. Hate that. Bruntlett popped to second for the first out. Werth struck out behind him before Feliz hit a ball that Ramirez didn’t handle for an error. Ruiz moved Feliz to second with a single and Coste hit for Durbin with righty Doug Waechter on the mound. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Coste struck out swinging to leave them stranded.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game. 3-for-14 with a double and one walk in the series. 271/336/431 for the season.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a double. 3-for-14 in the series. 276/345/402 for the year.

At the top of the order Rollins and Victorino combine to go 6-for-28 (.214) with one walk in the set.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-11 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 296/379/584.

Howard 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-13 with a double, a home run and a walk in the series. 236/325/512.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-12 with two doubles and two home runs in the series. 280/406/594 for the year.

Jenkins 0-for-3 and left five men on base. 2-for-7 with a walk and a home run in the series. 238/291/389 for the year. Werth was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the game and 1-for-6 in the series. 268/352/468 for the season.

Feliz was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. 1-for-13 with a triple and six strikeouts in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-8 with a walk in the set. 204/304/269 for the season. Coste was 0-for-1 in the game and 1-for-5 with a double in the series. He’s hitting .125 in July and 276/330/476 for the year.

No game today.


Short shelling

I’m not holding back on you, I genuinely have no idea what Kyle Kendrick needs to do to get left-handed hitters out. But I know it’s something different. Through four innings and one batter yesterday, lefties had driven in five runs against him on a pair of home runs and an RBI single.

Lefties are hitting 326/394/530 against Kendrick this season and 324/384/539 against him for his career.

Condrey and Seanez followed up Kendrick with weak outings yesterday, but despite a pair of home runs and a double from Burrell the Phils never did manage to overcome Kendrick’s short, miserable start.

Also of note yesterday was that Eaton did not pitch after Kendrick left after just 4 1/3 innings. If he’s not a starter, not a reliever, not a position player and not So Taguchi you have to kind of wonder what his role is at this point. Two would be too many guys to have on a 25-man roster that you never use (while on the subject, Mike Cervenak isn’t really seeing what you’d call regular time, either). Eaton’s last appearance came on July 12.

The Phillies lost to the Florida Marlins yesterday, falling 9-5 to drop to 53-45 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three home runs and a triple. He struck out two. His ERA is up to 4.87 on the season. It was the first time in his career he had allowed three home runs in a start.

With two outs in the first, Jorge Cantu singled and Josh Willingham was hit by a pitch, moving Cantu to second. Kendrick struck out Dan Uggla to leave both runners stranded.

He started the second up 1-0 and hit Mike Jacobs to start the inning. Cody Ross moved Jacobs to second with a single before lefty John Baker hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to right, making it 3-1. The pitcher Scott Olsen was next and he singled on a ball deflected by Rollins. Hanley Ramirez followed with a ground ball to third and Olsen was forced at second for the first out. Jeremy Hermida grounded to second and Ramirez was forced at second for the second out. Hermida stole second before Cantu singled into left. Hermida tried to score from second, but Burrell threw him out at the plate to end the inning.

Kendrick again gets hurt by the lefty, giving up the three-run homer to Baker.

He threw a 1-2-3 third.

Ross led off the fourth with the score tied at 3-3 and hit a fly ball to right that Werth couldn’t track down. Ross wound up on third — it was originally called an error but changed to give Ross a triple. Baker followed and singled into center. Ross scored to make it 4-3, but Baker went for second and was thrown out by Victorino for the first out of the inning. Kendrick got the next two.

Hermida led off the fifth and hit a 2-2 pitch out to right. It put Florida up 5-4 with all five runs having been driven in by Marlins’ lefties. Willingham singled with one out and Uggla came up and hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left to make it 7-4. Kendrick walked Jacobs on five pitches and Condrey came in to pitch to the righty Ross. Ross moved Jacobs to third with a double and Condrey walked Baker to load the bases with one out. Luis Gonzalez hit for the pitcher Olsen and hit into a double-play to avoid further damage.

Condrey returned for the sixth. Hermida walked with one out and moved to third on a double by Cantu. Willingham was walked intentionally to load the bases again, but Condrey struck out Uggla and got Jacobs to pop to third to end the inning.

Seanez started the seventh. Baker walked with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. Wes Helms flew to center for the second out before Seanez walked Ramirez and Hermida back-to-back to load the bases yet again. Cantu blasted a ball off the wall in left and Baker and Ramirez both scored. 9-4. Willingham grounded to third for the third out.

Madson pitched the eighth. With one out Alfredo Amezaga hit for pitcher Doug Waechter and hit a fly ball to right that went over Jenkins’ head — he either misjudged it or didn’t see it, but it was the second bad defensive play in right for the Phils in the game. Amezaga got a double and Madson got the next two to leave him stranded.

Condrey and Seanez were both bad in the game, although Condrey wasn’t charged with any runs. As a group the pen went 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and six walks. Condrey threw 31 pitches and Seanez 34, so you would think neither would be available today. Madson threw 13.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Scott Olsen went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth in righty against the lefty and Coste catching.

Rollins led off the first with a walk, but Victorino hit into a double-play and Utley flew to right.

Howard led off the second with a single and moved to third when Burrell followed with a double. Werth hit a ground ball to third and Howard was thrown out at home for the first out with Burrell moving to third. Feliz followed and he hit a ground ball to third. Cantu fielded and was going to throw home, but lost the ball taking it out of his glove. Burrell scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Cantu picked the ball up and threw to first, but his throw was bad for a second error on the play. Feliz wound up at second and Werth at third with one out. Coste hit yet another ground ball to third and Werth was thrown out at home. Kendrick walked to load the bases, but Rollins grounded to third to end the frame.

That’s a lot of grounding to third. Phils put men on second and third with no outs and different men on second and third with one out and score one run in the frame.

Utley doubled to right with one out in the third, but Howard and Burrell went down behind him.

Feliz tripled with one out in the fourth. Coste was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch down the right field line for a double. Feliz scored to cut the Florida lead to 3-2. Kendrick grounded to short with Coste holding second for the second out. Rollins singled into right center and Coste scored to tie the game at 3-3. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

With two outs in the fifth, Burrell hit a 1-2 pitch out to left to tie the game at 4-4. Werth singled before Feliz popped to second to set the Phillies down.

1-2-3 in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Burrell led off the eighth and hit a 3-2 pitch out to left. 9-5 Florida. Burrell’s second home run of the day hitting with two strikes. The Phils went in order behind him. Dobbs hit for Seanez and flew to center for the first out.

Jenkins walked to start the ninth with the Phils down 9-5. Rollins struck out for the first out before Victorino and Utley singled back-to-back, loading the bases for Howard. Howard struck out and Burrell grounded to short to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Victorino 1-for-5.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double.

Howard 1-for-5.

Burrell 3-for-5 with two home runs and a double.

Werth 1-for-3.

Feliz 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Coste 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.15) faces righty Josh Johnson (0-0, 5.40) this afternoon. Coming off Tommy John surgery the 24-year-old Johnson has made just one appearance this season. It came on July 10 against the Dodgers and allowed three runs over five innings. Johnson finished fourth in the voting for Rookie of the Year in 2006 after going 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.30 ratio for the Fish. Hamels has gone at least seven innings in each of his last three starts and has a 1.99 ERA in those appearances. Hanley Ramirez (8-for-18 with five doubles) has hit him hard over his career.


The old man and the sea

Jamie Moyer and the Phillies’ bullpen shut down the Marlins last night. Moyer held Florida to a pair of runs on four singles over six and Durbin, Romero and Lidge did the rest. Over his last eight starts Moyer has thrown to a 2.86 ERA with a 1.19 ratio. He has a 3.12 ERA for the season in his ten starts away from Citizens Bank Park.

Geoff Jenkins slumped much of the first half, but the first half is over. Jenkins drove in two of the Phils’ four runs in the game, blasting a solo home run out to center in the fourth after he had singled in Burrell in the second.

The Phillies beat the Florida Marlins last night, winning 4-2. They improve to 53-44 on the season.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. All four hits were singles and he struck out three.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 first.

Mike Jacobs led off the second and lifted a fly ball into right field that Jenkins made a sliding play on in foul territory for the first out. Moyer got the next two behind him.

After a 1-2-3 third he started the fourth up 4-0. Hanley Ramirez led off with a walk and Jeremy Hermida followed with a single that moved Ramirez to third. Jorge Cantu was next and he looped a ball into left-center. It looked like both Victorino and Burrell had a chance to make the play with a dive, but neither did and it fell in-between them for a single. Ramirez scored to make it 4-1. Jacobs followed with a single that loaded the bases for Dan Uggla. Uggla hit into a double-play for the first two outs of the inning. Hermida scored and it was 4-2. Josh Willingham popped up to first to end the inning.

Moyer came back with a 1-2-3 fifth.

Cantu singled with two outs in the sixth. Jacobs was next and popped to Howard to leave Cantu stranded.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils still up 4-2. He struck out Uggla and Willingham before getting Cody Ross on a ground ball to short.

Durbin returned for the eighth and got the first two before Ramirez singled. With the lefty Hermida due to hit, Romero came into the game. Righty Wes Helms hit for Hermida and lined to short to end the inning.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a 4-2 lead to nail down his 21st save.

Three scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow one hit. Durbin threw 24 pitches, Romero five and Lidge, coming off 2/3 of an inning in an All-Star game in which he warmed up six times, threw 11.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Ricky Nolasco went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right against the righty with Ruiz behind the plate.

1-2-3 in the first.

Howard led off the second and hit a tracer out to right on a 1-0 pitch to put the Phils up 1-0. Burrell was next and doubled down the third base line. Jenkins singled up the middle and Burrell chugged around to score from second. 2-0. Feliz struck out, Ruiz popped to first and Moyer flew to left to leave Jenkins stranded.

Rollins led off the third with a double. Victorino flew to right for the first out before Utley singled into right. Rollins scored from second and the Phils were up 3-0. Howard flew to left and Burrell struck out swinging to set the Phillies down.

Jenkins led off the fourth and blasted a 1-0 pitch out to center. 4-0. The Phils went in order behind him.

With one out in the fifth Victorino tried to bunt and looked like he was hit by a pitch on the leg but didn’t get the bat out of the way. The home plate ump called it a foul ball. Manuel argued and was ejected. Victorino flew to center for the second out before Utley doubled to right. Howard was walked intentionally, but Burrell fouled out to third to leave both runners stranded.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the sixth and the seventh. Taguchi hit for Moyer to lead off the seventh and popped to short.

Utley was hit by a pitch to start the eighth and went to second on a wild pitch. Howard struck out for the first out. Burrell was next and he flew to deep center for the second out. Utley should have tagged but was halfway to third when Ross caught the ball and had to hold second. With lefty Renyel Pinto on the mound Werth hit for Jenkins. Righty Doug Waechter entered the game for Florida and got Werth swinging for the third out.

Phils can’t score after putting a man on second with no outs. Howard can’t move the runner to third. Utley should have gone to third on Burrell’s ball, but if Werth was going to strike out anyway it wasn’t going to matter. Burrell gets to hit against the lefty with lefties hitting third, fourth and sixth in the lineup.

Ruiz reached on a dribbler to third with one out in the ninth. With righty Joe Nelson on the mound, Dobbs hit for Romero. Ruiz stole second and the catcher John Baker threw the ball into center field. Ruiz went to third, but Dobbs struck out and Rollins struck out to leave him stranded.

Dobbs already had two strikes on him when Ruiz went to third, but still can’t bring the runner home with a fly ball with one out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double.

Victorino 0-for-4.

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

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and his 29th homer.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base.

Jenkins 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Also made a nice defensive play in the second.

Feliz 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.47) faces lefty Scott Olsen (5-4, 3.77) this afternoon. Olsen has been tough on lefties this season, they’re hitting .177 against him. Righties are hitting .258. Howard has hit him well in his career, he’s 10-for-21 with three doubles and two home runs. Utley 3-for-21. The Phillies have won eight of the last ten games that Kendrick has started. Lefties are hitting .320 against him, righties just .247. He’s also walked way more lefites, who are on-basing .386 against him, than righties. About 55% of the batters that Kendrick has faced (258 of 469) have been left-handed, but they have drawn 75% (24 of 32) of the walks he has allowed. Impressively he has walked only eight of the 211 right-handed batters he’s faced (about 3.8%). By comparison, looking at his fellow righties, Myers has walked about 6% of the right-handed hitters he’s faced, Eaton about 7.4% and Blanton 7.8%.

Chad Durbin’s corporate minions would like you to know he has a blog. I’m here to help.


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