Archive for July, 2008

Happ more

JA Happ took a shutout into the seventh inning last night. He didn’t come out with his first career win, but with the help of big hits from Ryan Howard the Phils did snap their four-game losing streak.

Howard drove in two of the four Phillies’ runs, both times tallying the RBI while hitting with two strikes. His home run in the bottom of the eighth put the Phillies up to stay.

The Phillies beat the St Louis Cardinals last night. With the 4-2 win they are 49-43 on the season.

JA Happ got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

He walked Skip Schumaker on four pitches to start the first but struck Ryan Ludwick out behind him for the first out. Albert Pujols was next and absolutely smashed a line drive to third that Feliz caught for the second out. Troy Glaus followed with a walk that moved Schumaker to second, but Happ got Rick Ankiel on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

With one out in the second, Jason LaRue singled and the pitcher Brad Thompson bunted him to second. Cesar Izturis grounded to first for the third out.

Pujols singled to left with two outs in the third. Glaus flew to left for the third out.

LaRue doubled to left with two outs in the fourth. Thompson grounded to third to set St Louis down.

Izturis walked to start the fifth and moved to second when Schumaker followed with a ground out to first. Happ made a nice play covering first to take the toss from Howard and tagging Schumaker for the out. Happ struck Ludwick out again, bringing up Pujols with two outs and a man on second. Pujols was walked intentionally and Glaus flew to right for the third out.

Happ started the sixth up 2-0 and set the Cards down 1-2-3 on nine pitches.

He started the seventh having thrown 98 pitches. Izturis singled with one out and Glaus followed and slammed the first pitch of his at-bat into right center. Izturis would have scored easily, but the ball got stuck under the padding and Izturis had to hold third on the ground-rule double. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Ludwick and walked him on four pitches to load the bases for Pujols. Pujols swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and flew to left, deep enough to score Izturis and cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. Durbin got ahead of Glaus 1-2 before Glaus reached out and dumped a single into center. Schumaker came in from second to score — he probably would have been out if Victorino’s throw had been on target, but it was well up the third base line. Schumaker’s run tied the game at 2-2. Durbin intentionally walked the lefty Ankiel, loading the bases for pitcher Jason Isringhausen. Righty Joe Mather hit for Isringhausen and Durbin struck him out to end the frame.

Huge out for Durbin. St Louis had two lefties on the bench in Chris Duncan and Adam Kennedy. I think you have to conclude LaRussa liked Mather against Durbin better than Duncan against Romero. Think I would have rather had Ducan/Romero if I was him. Either way, Durbin scraped through a shaky inning. Getting Pujols on the fly ball to left was huge.

With game tied at 2-2, Condrey pitched the eighth and struck out the side.

Condrey lowered his ERA to 3.82 on the year, appearing in one of the bigger spots we’ve seen him in in his time with the Phils. He has walked two hitters since April 27 (in 29 innings pitched).

Lidge started the ninth with a 4-2 lead and walked Schumaker in a ten-pitch at-bat. It brought Ludwick up as the tying run and Ludwick struck out for the third time in the game. Lidge’s nemesis, Pujols, was next. Pujols got ahead 2-0 and then popped one up to right for the second out. Glaus walked to put men on first and second. With the tying run on base, Lidge struck the lefty Ankiel out on three pitches to end the game.

The pen went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a hit and four walks. Durbin allowed two runs that were charged to Happ but came into the game in a tough situation with men on second and third with one out. Condrey had a strong inning against a weak part of the order, but it’s nice to see him pitch to well and get to throw in big spots. Lidge threw 29 pitches throwing for the second straight day. 24 for Durbin, 14 for Condrey.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Mark Mulder went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth in right against the lefty. Ruiz sure gets a lot of chances.

Victorino walked with one out in the first and stole second before Utley drew a walk. Mulder had to leave the game and righty Brad Thompson came in to pitch for the Cards. Howard hit into double-play to end the inning.

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

Happ struck out for the first out in the third. Rollins was next and hit a high fly ball into left that sliced towards the line. Schumaker made a nice play, catching the ball as he slid into the wall for the second out. Victorino drew a two-out walk but was caught stealing to end the inning.

With one out in the fourth, Howard walked and Burrell moved him to second with a single. Werth lined to short and Feliz grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.

Ruiz led off the fifth with a single and Happ tried to bunt him to second but struck out. Rollins was next and he split the gap in right-center with a triple that scored Ruiz to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino chopped a 2-2 pitch to short. Rollins came home but Izturis fielded and made a solid throw to the plate. Rollins was out for the second out. Utley was next and he singled to right, sending Victorino to second. Howard followed and lined a 3-2 pitch into right. Victorino scored from second to make it 2-0 and Utley went to third. Righty Russ Springer came in and struck out Burrell to end the inning.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the sixth. Happ hit for himself and grounded to second for the third out.

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

They started the bottom of the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. With lefty-killers Burrell and Werth behind Howard the Cards left righty Kyle McClellan in to pitch to Howard. Howard got behind 0-2 and then blasted a ball out to right to put the Phils up 3-2. Second time in the game Howard drove in runs while hitting with two strikes. Closer-to-be righty Chris Perez came in and struck out Burrell and Werth before Feliz lined a 1-2 pitch out to left for his 11th home run of the year. 4-2 Phils. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. He has three triples so far in July.

Victorino was 0-for-2 with two walks.

Utley 1-for-3 with walk.

Howard was 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two RBI. He’s hitting 361/439/778 in July. Sometime this season he’s going to have an absurd month where he just hits day after day. There aren’t that many months left.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Werth 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Werth has been great in July, hitting 320/414/440 so far. He hasn’t been good in the last two days, going 1-for-8 with three strikeouts. He’s played nine days in a row and it’s hard not to wonder if he’s tired.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a home run.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.

Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.12) faces righty Bradon Looper (9-6, 4.15) this afternoon. Looper has allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight of his last ten starts. In his five starts during the day he has thrown to a 6.75 ERA. In 13 night starts he’s thrown to a 3.39 ERA. The Phillies have lost the last four games that Moyer has started, but Moyer has pitched pretty well. Righties are hitting .306 against him on the season, lefties just .215. Pujols is 0-for-7 against him in his career.


At least we hit our pitcher ninth

Cole Hamels was great last night. Must be a little lonely.

He gave the Phils seven strong innings and Madson and Lidge finished off the game with a pair of scoreless frames. The Phils scored zero runs on six hits, failing most notably to score in the second after putting men on second and third with nobody out.

Some kind of intervention is in order around Carlos Ruiz, who hit into one of the three double-plays the Phils served up.

If losing all the time is starting to seem a little blase and you’re looking for something new to worry about, here ya go: After 19 starts, Cole Hamels leads the NL in innings pitched and is second in pitches thrown. He is 24.

For the fourth time in five games the Phillies had a single extra-base hit in the contest. The Phils have scored four or fewer runs in five of their last six.

The Phillies lost to the St Louis Cardinals last night, falling 2-0. They have lost four in a row and are 48-43 on the season. A loss tonight would put them four games over .500 for the first time since May 25.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

He didn’t allow a base runner till the third. He struck out the first two in the third before Cesar Izturis singled to center and stole second. Hamels struck out Adam Kennedy for the third out.

He set the Cards down 1-2-3 in the fourth.

Rick Ankiel led off the fifth and hit a 1-0 pitch out to center to put St Louis up 1-0. Hamels got the next three.

With two outs in the sixth Hamels got ahead of Ryan Ludwick 0-2 but Ludwick pounded a ball out to center to make it 2-0. Albert Pujols grounded to third for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Madson started the eighth with the Phils down 2-0. Nice job by Manuel to get Hamels out of the game after 100 pitches coming off an outing in Atlanta where he threw 125. Chris Duncan led off with a single and pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker bunted him to second. Madson balked Duncan to third before Izturis hit a fly ball to right. Werth took it for the second out as Duncan tagged and came home. Werth’s throw beat Duncan by a lot but was on the first base side of the plate. Coste took it and Duncan hammered him, knocking off his mask. Coste held the ball and Duncan was out to end the frame.

Lidge pitched the ninth with the Phils still down two. Kennedy led off with a double before Ludwick grounded to Howard. Lidge walked Pujols intentionally and got Troy Glaus to hit a double-play ball back to the mound to set St Louis down.

Two scoreless innings for the pen. Madson threw nine pitches, Lidge 13.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Joel Pineiro went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth again in righty against the righty and up to sixth in the lineup. Ruiz catches Hamels.

Victorino reached on an error by Pujols with one out in the first but was picked off. Utley struck out swinging for the third out.

Howard led off the second with a walk and went to third when Burrell doubled to right center. Werth struck out swinging for the first out before Feliz walked to load the bases. Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Bad strikeout for Werth, playing against the righty with Jenkins on the bench. Ruiz hitting into a double-play probably didn’t surprise a lot of people.

1-2-3 in the third.

Burrell and Werth singled back-to-back with two outs in the fourth. It put men on first and second for Feliz and Feliz flew to center.

1-2-3 fifth.

Utley singled with one out in the sixth and Howard hit into a double-play behind him.

Burrell walked to start the seventh. Werth was next and hit a ground ball to third. Burrell was forced at second for the first out. Feliz moved Werth to second with a single. With Ruiz due to hit into another double-play, Dobbs hit for Ruiz with the righty Pineiro still on the mound. Lefty Ron Villone came in to pitch to Dobbs and Coste hit for Dobbs and hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Nice job by Manuel. Didn’t work.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Bruntlett hit for Madson to start the inning and hit a ball in front of the plate for the first out.

Ryan Franklin pitched the ninth with the Cards up 2-0. Utley flew to center for the first out. Howard tried to bunt an 0-1 pitch before he singled up the middle on a ball Izturis should have fielded. It brought up Burrell as the tying run, but Burrell flew to center and Werth popped to shallow right to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Victorino 0-for-4 and was picked off of first in the first.

Utley 1-for-4.

Howard 1-for-3.

Burrell 2-for-3 with a double, the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies.

Werth 1-for-4 with a bad at-bat in the second and four men left on base.

Feliz 1-for-2 with a walk.

Ruiz 0-for-2 and left three men on base. He is 1-for-his-last-25.

I thought Manuel had a nice game. Werth for Jenkins didn’t work out for him, but I thought he did a good job to get Hamels out early and pinch-hit for Ruiz in the seventh.

JA Happ (0-0, 3.86) faces lefty Mark Mulder (0-0, 13.50) tonight. Mulder has pitched 12 1/3 innings since 2006. He’s made two appearances in relief this season and gotten four outs while allowing four hits. Happ makes his second start of the year. On Friday against the Mets he was solid through four before getting hit hard in the fifth.


Eaton junk has Phils ill

After the bullpen threw 12 2/3 innings in the first three games of the series with the Mets, 2 2/3 innings out of Eaton’s start wasn’t exactly what the Phillies needed. It was what they got, though.

The Phillies found themselves down 8-0 in the third and 10-1 in the bottom of the sixth. They did put together a valiant comeback, bringing Howard, Burrell, Feliz and Werth to the plate in the bottom of the ninth as the tying run. Never did tie the game up, though.

The pen has now thrown 19 innings over the Phillies’ last four games.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 10-9. They lose the series three games to one and are 48-42 on the season. They have lost three in a row and have lost seven of the last eight series they have played.

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on ten hits. Only six of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He walked one and struck out one.

Jose Reyes led off the first with a single and stole second. Endy Chavez bunted for a single that moved Reyes to third. David Wright was next and looped a ground ball to second. Utley tried to tag Chavez but missed and threw Wright out at first for the first out as Reyes scored to put the Mets up 1-0. Carlos Beltran grounded to first and Chavez moved to third. Damion Easley was next and he singled into right, scoring Chavez to make it 2-0. Carlos Delgado grounded to second for the third out.

Fernando Tatis singled off the glove of Dobbs to start the second. Brian Schneider followed with a ground ball to second. Utley made a nice diving play to force Tatis at second. The pitcher Pedro Martinez tried to bunt Schneider to second but struck out for the second out. Eaton walked Reyes to put men on first and second. Chavez was next and singled into right center, scoring Schneider to make it 3-0 with Reyes going to third. Wright blasted a 2-2 pitch down the left field line for a bases clearing double. 5-0. Eaton got Beltran to pop to third to end the inning.

Delgado doubled with one out in the third and moved to third when Tatis followed with a single. Schneider hit a slow ground ball to short and Rollins threw him out at first as Delgado scored to make it 6-0. Pedro hit a hard ground ball to third through Dobbs for an error. Tatis scored from second and it was 7-0. Reyes moved Pedro to second with a single. Chavez hit a 3-2 pitch back through the middle and Pedro scored. 8-0. Condrey relieved Eaton and got Wright to fly to center for the third out.

Eaton needed 68 pitches to get eight outs.

Condrey pitched the fourth, throwing for the third straight day. With one out he allowed back-to-back singles to Easley and Delgado, but got Tatis and Schneider on ground outs to end the frame.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth to drop his ERA on the season to 3.93.

RJ Swindle made his major league debut in the sixth. Wright was the first man to face him and hit a 3-2 pitch just out down the left field line to put New York up 9-1. Beltran and Easley followed with singles that put men on first and second before Swindle struck out Delgado to get his very own ERA. He walked Tatis to load the bases before Schneider popped to short for the second out. Pedro ripped a single back through the middle. Beltran scored to make it 10-1 but Victorino threw Easley out at the plate for the third out.

Swindle came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh and a 1-2-3 eighth.

Romero started the ninth, pitching for the third straight day, and gave up a leadoff single to Tatis. Tatis went for two and Burrell threw him out for the first out. Tatis was safe, but the ball beat him by a lot and the Phillies got the call. Romero got the next two.

The pen goes 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Condrey and Romero were both really good. Swindle was solid after a shaky start. Condrey threw 37 pitches, pitching for the third day in a row. Swindle 53 pitches, Romero nine.

Romero and Condrey should not be allowed to pitch four days in a row. I would say there’s close to zero chance Condrey pitches after throwing 37 last night, but Manuel may be tempted to use Romero. Swindle is no doubt unavailable after 53 and Romero is the only other lefty in the pen. On the plus side, Hamels is the one guy in the rotation who can give you a long outing. That issue is complicated as Hamels threw 125 pitches his last time out.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Pedro Martinez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Dobbs (7) Werth (8) Coste. Werth in right against the righty with Jenkins on the bench. Dobbs at third with Feliz on the bench. Coste catches.

1-2-3 in the first.

Howard started the second with a single. Burrell and Dobbs struck out behind him before Werth walked. Coste grounded to first.

1-2-3 third.

Utley led off the fourth and hit a 1-2 pitch out to right to cut the New York lead to 8-1. Howard drew a walk but Burrell and Dobbs both grounded out before Werth drew another walk. With men on first and second and two down, Coste struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

Taguchi hit for Condrey to start the fifth and struck out. Rollins singled to center before Victorino flew to center for the second out. Rollins stole second, but was left there when Utley struck out looking to end the inning.

Burrell homered with one out in the sixth. 10-2. Dobbs followed with a double, but Werth and Coste both struck out to leave Dobbs stranded.

With one out in the seventh, Rollins singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Victorino doubled to right and Rollins scored to make it 10-3. Bruntlett, who replaced Utley in the top of the inning, moved Victorino to third with a ground out. Howard was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat deep to right where it was touched by a fan who reached over the railing. Howard was given a home run that made it 10-5. Should have been a double. Jerry Manuel was ejected arguing. Burrell struck out for the third out.

Werth singled with one out in the eighth. Coste struck out for the second out. Jenkins hit for Swindle with the righty Aaron Heilman on the mound and hit the first pitch he saw way out for a home run that made it 10-7. First home run since June 7 for Jenkins. Rollins struck out looking to end the inning.

With the Phils still down 10-7, Victorino led off the ninth against Billy Wagner and doubled down the third base line. Bruntlett drew a walk and it brought Howard up as the tying run. Howard struck out swinging for the first out before Burrell flew to right. Feliz was next, hitting for Dobbs against the lefty, and got behind 0-2 before he singled into center. Victorino scored to make it 10-8 and Beltran’s throw went to third base and got away from Wright. Bruntlett scored to make it 10-9 and Feliz went to second. It brought up Werth with the tying run on second. He got ahead 1-0 but flew to right to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game. 4-for-18 with a walk and one run scored in the four-game set. 272/337/437 for the season.

Victorino 2-for-5 with two doubles. 6-for-17 in the series. 270/341/375 for the year. He had five extra-base hits in June and two last night.

Utley was 1-for-3 with his 25th home run. 3-for-16 with a walk in the series. 294/378/601. He has three walks in his last 52 at-bats.

Howard 2-for-4 with his 24th home run. 6-for-17 with two home runs in the series. 226/317/484. There are a lot of people who will tell you that Howard is having a good season, but most of them turn out to work for the Phillies. His .317 on-base percentage is 114th of the 155 NL players with 150 plate appearances this year.

Burrell was 1-for-5 with his 22nd home run. 4-for-15 in the series. 277/409/586 for the year.

Dobbs 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-5 in the series. 322/358/443 for the year.

Werth 1-for-3 with two walks in the game. 3-for-8 with a home run and four walks in the series. 277/369/503. Jenkins was 1-for-1 with a home run in the game and 1-for-6 with three strikeouts in the series. The Phils need his bat. 237/287/384 in a miserable season so far.

Coste was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left six men on base. That’s not so much what you’re looking for in a game you lose by a run. 0-for-12 in the series. 292/349/506. Ruiz was 1-for-6 in the series and is 1-for-his-last-23 overall. 207/298/277 overall. That is really bad. Among the 155 NL players with 150 or more plate appearances, Ruiz’s .277 slugging percentage is 152nd.

Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22) faces righty Joel Pinero (2-4, 4.52) tonight. Pinero has walked just 17 in 75 2/3 innings this season. He’s been hit hard his last two times out, allowing 11 runs on 21 hits over 12 2/3 innings. The Cards have lost six of the last seven games he has started. Hamels has gone at least seven innings in six straight starts and the Phils have won three of the last four he’s started. Hamels threw 125 pitches against the Braves in his last start, which is too many and his high for the season.

The exercise to determine whether more people live in New York or Philadelphia continues. You can still vote for Burrell until 5 PM on Thursday.


If I had to do the same again, I wouldn’t, my friend, Fernando

The Phillies apparently get one extra-base hit a game these days. At least they’re making the most out of them. On Friday Pedro Feliz doubled in the ninth and came in to score the winning run on a single by Victorino. On Saturday the lone extra-base hit was a three-run shot by Howard that tied the game at 3-3 early before the pen imploded late. Yesterday the Phils were down 4-2 and down to their last strike before Werth’s shot tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Phils lost in 12.

The bullpen is still the story for the Phils. They came into the game dragging and left even more so. With his choices limited, Manuel called on Chad Durbin to throw two innings after a long outing on Friday. It didn’t work. Fernando Tatis connected for a two-run shot in the 12th that won it for the Mets.

The bullpen hasn’t been great against the Mets, but the Phils need more out of their offense. The Phillies have scored nine runs in the first three games of the series.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets yesterday, falling 4-2 in 12 innings to drop to 48-41 on the season. The Mets lead the four-game set two games to one.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing one run on eight hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.39.

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

With one out in the second Damion Easley singled. Marlon Anderson followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Brian Schneider and Schneider loaded the bases with a single to center. Kendrick got the pitcher Oliver Perez on a popup fisted to third for the second out. Jose Reyes flew to center to end the frame.

With two outs in the third Carlos Beltran lined a 3-2 pitch out to right to put the Mets up 1-0. Carlos Delgado followed with a single but Easley went down on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Schneider walked with one out in the fourth and Perez bunted him to second for the second out. Reyes singled to left and Schneider went to third. Reyes stole second before Kendrick got Chavez on a ground ball back to the mound to leave both runners stranded.

David Wright led off the fifth with a single and was forced at second for the first out of the inning when Beltran followed with a ground ball to short. Beltran stole second as Delgado struck out for the second out. He stole third without a throw before Easley walked. Kendrick got Anderson to ground to second to leave both men stranded.

Reyes doubled to left with two outs in the sixth. Kendrick got Chavez to ground to first for the third out.

Condrey started the seventh after Kendrick had needed 112 pitches to get through six. Beltran singled with one out. Delgado popped to short for the second out. With Easley at the plate Ruiz made a snap throw to first that got passed Howard and into right for an error on Ruiz that allowed Beltran to got to second. Easley grounded to second for the third out.

Romero started the eighth with the Phils still down 1-0, coming off a weak outing the night before. He got the first two before pinch-hitter Chris Aguila drew a walk. Romero picked him off to end the frame.

Nice bounce back outing for Romero.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils down 1-0. Reyes led off with a single to right and stole second. Chavez bunted him to third for the first out. Lidge got behind Wright 3-0 but came back to strike him out for the second out. Beltran was next and he lined the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. Reyes scored to give Beltran his second RBI of the day and the Mets were up 2-0. Lidge struck out Delgado for the third out.

Madson pitched the tenth, coming off a four-pitch outing the night before. He got the first two before Schneider singled. Switch-hitter Argenis Reyes hit for the pitcher Billy Wagner. Madson got behind him 3-1 but came back to strike him out to set the Mets down.

Chad Durbin pitched the eleventh having thrown 35 pitches on Friday night. Chavez singled with one out, but he struck Wright out swinging for the second out got Beltran to pop to Feliz to end the frame.

Durbin came back for the twelfth. He got ahead of the leadoff man Delgado 0-2 but lost him and gave up the walk. Easley bunted him to second. He got behind Fernando Tatis 2-0 before Tatis drove a 2-2 pitch out to left-center, putting the Mets up 4-2. Durbin struck out Schneider and pitcher Joe Smith.

Six innings for the pen. They allow three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. In the first three games of the four-game set they have thrown 12 1/3 innings. That’s too many.

The guys in the pen that Manuel didn’t use instead of bringing Durbin back after 35 pitches on Friday to thrown two innings were Seanez and Gordon. Both pitched on Saturday. Seanez threw 23 pitches on Saturday, but before that had not pitched since June 27. Gordon threw 16 pitches on Saturday and had thrown a single pitch to get the final out in Thursday’s game. Asking Durbin to come back for a second inning was asking a lot.

After the game the Phillies put Tom Gordon on the DL and called lefty RJ Swindle back up.

Big problems in the pen for the Phils with the amount of usage they’ve been getting. They don’t have an off day till July 14, so somebody’s going to probably need to take one for the team before it’s over.

Madson threw 20 pitches in the game, Lidge 19, Romero 16 and Condrey 14. Durbin threw 37 more. Too many.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Oliver Perez went (1) Werth (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Ruiz. Rollins dropped to third again against the lefty for the second time in three games. Victorino down to seventh with Utley hitting second. Werth plays right and leads off against the lefty. Ruiz catches. Just hit Rollins leadoff, please. Coming into the game he was a career 241/286/353 in 126 plate appearances as a three hitter. The Phils have scored five runs in the two games in this series they’ve hit Rollins third against a lefty.

Werth started the first with a walk. Utley popped out for the first out before Werth was picked off but beat the throw to second for a stolen base. Rollins moved Werth to third with a single. With Howard at the plate Schneider tried to pick Werth off third and Rollins made a nice play on the bases to steal second. With men on second and third and one down, Howard struck out for the second out. Burrell fouled out to Delgado to end the inning.

Bad strikeout for Howard with one out and men on second and third.

Feliz drove a ball to left center that Anderson dropped for a two base error to start the second. The Phils went in order to leave Feliz stranded.

Werth started the third with another walk, but Utley flew to center and Rollins hit into a double-play.

Burrell singled to left with one out in the fourth. He moved to second on a wild pitch, but Feliz struck out and Victorino popped to Delgado.

Ruiz started the fifth with a single but the Phils went in order behind him.

Howard singled to right with one out in the sixth. Burrell flew to center and Feliz flew to right.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. With the lefty Perez still on the mound, Coste hit for Condrey and flew to center for the third out.

With one out in the eighth Utley reached on an error by pitcher Duaner Sanchez and stole second. Rollins followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Howard and lefty Pedro Feliciano came into the game and struck him out swinging for the second out. Aaron Heilman walked Burrell with the Phillies down 1-0 and Jenkins ran for Burrell at first. Feliz grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Running for Burrell, who would be the run that puts you up 3-1, is just a miserable play. It’s especially bad with lefties Scott Schoeneweis and Billy Wagner looming in the Mets pen and no possibility of the double-play with two outs.

Second big strikeout of the game for Howard.

With the Phils down 2-0, Victorino led off the ninth with a single off of Billy Wagner. Ruiz flew to center for the first out. Bruntlett hit for Lidge and was called out looking at a 2-2 pitch that was outside. Werth got behind in the count but blasted a 1-2 pitch out to left center to tie the game at 2-2. Utley followed with a single but Rollins grounded to short for the third out.

Schoeneweis started the tenth and struck out Howard and Jenkins, in Burrell’s spot, to start the inning. Feliz and Victorino singled back-to-back to put men on first and second, but righty Joe Smith came in and got Ruiz to ground to third for the third out.

Smith set the Phillies down in order in the eleventh.

With the Phils down 4-2, Rollins started the twelfth with a single and stole second. Howard flew to left, Jenkins grounded to short and Feliz dribbled a ball down the third base line that Smith fielded and threw to first to end the game. Jenkins at least got to hit against a righty this time.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a home run and two walks. He’s 10-for-his-last-25.

Utley 1-for-6 and left three men on base.

Rollins 2-for-5 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-6 with four strikeouts and five men left on base.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk.

Feliz 1-for-6 with six men left on base.

Victorino 2-for-5.

Ruiz 1-for-5. He’s 1-for-his-last-23.

A little down on Manuel’s game. I don’t know that Seanez was a much better option than Durbin, but I’m not a fan of the lineup with Rollins hitting third and don’t like Jenkins running for Burrell at all.

Adam Eaton (3-6, 4.79) faces righty Pedro Martinez (2-2, 7.39) tonight. Over his last three starts Pedro has allowed 17 earned runs in 15 innings. Lefties are hitting .370 against him for the season. The Phils have lost three of the last four games that Eaton has started, but he’s pitched pretty well. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in three of his last four starts.

Pat Burrell, who is in the top six in the league in on-base percentage and slugging, is one of five NL players who will be voted into the All-Star game. Despite the best efforts of Manuel, Taguchi and Bruntlett, Burrell is tied for seventh in the league in home runs. Voting ends on Thursday at 5 PM.


Phils relievers have promises to keep and miles to go before they sleep

The Phillies split the first two games of their set with the New York Mets, winning one game thanks to a tremendous performance by their bullpen and losing the second due to its dismal failure.

Last night’s game was blown open late by the Mets as New York’s left-handed hitters pounded away at a Phils’ pen that featured a single, and last night at least, ineffective lefty. The first game of the set served as a reminder to all of one of the big differences between Brett Myers and JA Happ — even when Happ pitches well it’s reasonable to expect that he’s only going to go 4 2/3 innings. That leaves a lot of innings for the pen to throw.

After two long days, the Phillies’ relievers could sure use a break. The sad fact of the matter is the new Phillies’ rotation looks like it has only one guy who should be counted on to give it to them — and he’s not pitching today.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 9-4 to fall to 48-40 on the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four.

In the first he gave up singles to Jose Reyes and Ryan Church that put men on first and third for David Wright. Moyer got Wright to hit into the double-play, but Reyes scored to make it 1-0. Carlos Beltran popped to Coste for the third out.

With one out in the fourth Wright doubled and stole third. Beltran walked to put men on first and third. Moyer picked Beltran off of first, but Howard’s throw to second went into left field for an error. Wright scored to put New York up 2-0. Damion Easley followed with a single into center that scored Beltran from second and made it 3-0. Moyer got the next two to leave him stranded.

The game was tied at 3-3 when Moyer started the seventh. Chris Aguila singled with one out and moved to third when Reyes hit a two-out double. Ryan Church was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Madson came in to pitch to the righty Wright and got him on a ground ball to short to end the frame.

The bullpen blew up in the eighth. Romero started the inning and gave up one out singles to Easley and Carlos Delgado. It put men on first and third for righty Ramon Castro and Gordon came in to pitch to him. Lefty Marlon Anderson hit for Castro and Gordon walked him to load the bases, but not before a wild pitch from Gordon scored Easley to tie the game at 4-4 and sent Delgado to second. Lefty Endy Chavez hit for Aguila and moved the runners to second and third with a ground ball for the second out. Lefty Brian Schneider hit for Feliciano and ripped a double to right center, clearing the bases and putting the Mets up 6-4. Reyes flew to left for the third out.

Yuck. The Phillies only lefty in the pen leaves the game so Gordon has to face three lefties in a row. Anderson walked, Chavez grounded out and Schneider killed him with the double. Swindle, who is at least a second lefty in the pen if not the one the Phillies need, was sent down on Thursday so Happ could be called up.

The Mets blew the game open with three more runs against Seanez in the ninth. Fernando Tatis led off with a double and moved to third on a ground out by Wright. Beltran hit a ball pretty hard back to the mound that Seanez didn’t handle for a tough error. Tatis scored and it was 7-4. Easley moved Beltran to second with a single and Delgado followed with another single that loaded the bases. Anderson grounded to second and Beltran scored as Delgado was forced at second for the second out. 8-4. Chavez singled to right and Easley scored to make it 9-4. Condrey came in and got Schneider on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Again the Phillies can’t get the lefties out as hits by Delgado and Chavez help the Mets score three.

Long, bad day for the pen after Happ went just 4 2/3 the day before. They go 2 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk. Seanez and Gordon were the only two of the five Phillies relievers to throw more than ten pitches. Seanez threw 23 and Gordon 16. Phils could use a long outing by Kendrick this afternoon.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty John Maine went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Jenkins (8) Coste. Coste starts again. Jenkins in the lineup against the righty but dropped to seventh below Feliz. Rollins and Victorino back at the top of the order.

The Phillies didn’t have a man on base in the first three innings.

They started the fourth down 3-0. Victorino was hit by a pitch with one out and stole second before Utley walked. Howard was next and he smoked a 2-1 pitch out the opposite way to tie the game at 3-3. Burrell struck out and Feliz grounded to short to end the inning.

The game was still tied at 3-3 in the seventh. Burrell led off with a single and Bruntlett ran for him at first. Feliz bunted Bruntlett to second and righty Joe Smith walked Jenkins intentionally to put men on first and second. Coste flew to left for the second out. Dobbs hit for Madson and lefty Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch to Dobbs. Werth hit for Dobbs and hit a 3-2 pitch into left for a single. Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 4-3. Werth went for second when the throw came home, but Castro threw him out to end the inning.

The Phils put men on first and second with two outs in the eighth. Ruiz hit for Gordon and grounded to short.

They went 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Rollins 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-3.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer. The home run was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phils. They have two extra-base hits in the first two games of the series.

Burrell 1-for-3.

Feliz 0-for-3.

Jenkins 0-for-3 with a walk.

Coste 0-for-4.

Friday night the Phillies beat the Mets 3-2 on a single by Victorino with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It was the fourth straight win for the Phils. They improved to 48-39 on the season.

JA Happ made his first start of the year for the Phillies. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and four walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

Happ was really good through four, allowing just a walk and a single. He got a nice diving play from Werth in left to end the second with Castro, who had singled, on first base.

He started the fifth with the game tied at 0-0. Easley led off with a single and moved to third when Castro followed with a double. Chris Aguila walked to load the bases. The pitcher Johan Santana popped to Coste for the first out before Reyes hit a ground ball to second. Utley threw to Rollins but Reyes just beat the relay to first. Easley scored to make it 1-0 Mets. Happ walked Chavez to load the bases. It looked like he had Wright struck out on an 0-2 pitch, but didn’t get the call. Wright went on to walk and Castro scored to make it 2-0. Durbin came in to pitch to Beltran and struck him out swinging at a 3-2 pitch to end the frame.

Durbin pitched a 1-2-3 sixth and a 1-2-3 seventh, striking out five of the six men he faced.

Madson threw a scoreless eighth, giving up a leadoff single to Chavez but getting the next three.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Durbin was simply brilliant after Happ fell apart quickly. Overall the pen went 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, a single, and no walks. Durbin threw 35 pitches, Madson 14 and Lidge just five.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Werth (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Coste. Werth in right hitting leadoff. Rollins moves to third. Victorino drops to seventh. Coste catches. I think I’d just hit Rollins leadoff.

Singles by Werth and Howard were the Phillies only two base runners of the first five innings.

They started the sixth down 2-0. Werth and Utley singled back-to-back after Durbin hit for himself and struck out to start the inning. It put men on first and second for Rollins and Rollins flew to center for the second out. Howard swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and hit a ground ball to where the shortstop would have been playing without the shift. Nobody was there and it went for a single that scored Werth and cut the lead to 2-1. Burrell was next with men on first and second and lined a single to left that scored Utley and made it 2-2. Feliz grounded to short for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh and the eighth.

Howard and Burrell struck out to start the ninth before Feliz doubled to left. Victorino was next and he got behind in the count before he lined a 1-2 pitch into left that scored Feliz to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

Werth was 2-for-4.

Utley 1-for-4.

Rollins 0-for-4 with three men left on base.

Howard 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Burrell 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double, the Phillies’ only extra-base hit of the game.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a game-winning single.

Coste 0-for-3.

On Thursday the Phillies beat the Braves 4-1 to improve to 47-39.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went 8 2/3 innings, coming one pitch short of a complete game. He allowed five hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Yunel Escobar doubled with one out in the first, but Hamels got the next two behind him.

In the second he gave up a leadoff single to Omar Infante. He walked the next batter, Brian McCann, but got the next three.

He only allowed one more base runner before the eighth. He walked pitcher Jair Jurrjens with two outs in the fifth, but got Gregor Blanco bunting for a hit behind him to end the inning.

Blanco doubled with two outs in the eight before Escobar popped to second.

Hamels started the ninth up 4-0. Chipper Jones doubled to start the inning and scored when McCann doubled with two outs. 4-1. Gordon came in and made one pitch to Jeff Francoeur. Franceour flew to left to end the game.

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

The Phillies scored all four of their runs against Jurrjens, three of which came on home runs.

Utley put the Phils up 1-0 with a solo shot in the first.

Rollins started the third with a triple, but Victorino grounded to first, Utley struck out and Howard grounded to the pitcher.

Burrell doubled to start the fourth. Feliz brought him in with a one out single to make it 2-0.

Howard homered with one out in the sixth. Feliz hit a 2-2 pitch out to left to start the seventh.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple.

Victorino 0-for-4.

Utley 1-for-4 with his 24th home run.

Howard 1-for-4 with his 22nd.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a double.

Jenkins 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Feliz 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-4.

The Phillies and Brad Lidge have agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $37.5 million.


Funk shrunk

Evidently the collective funk the Phils found themselves in earlier this month was as easy to fall out of as it was to fall into. All it took was a National League team to play.

A lot of things have gone right for the Phillies in Atlanta. Last night they got an early three-run bomb from Howard that put them up 4-0 in the third. Adam Eaton wasn’t great, but he was good enough. The bats have come alive and twice in two games they got huge outs from their pen. Jimmy Rollins is 5-for-8 with two walks in the first two games against the Braves after going 3-for-26 in six games against the A’s and Rangers.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 7-3 last night. With the win they improve to 46-39 on the year and ensure they will win their first series out of their last seven. The Phillies have won five in a row against the Braves.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and five walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two.

Yunel Escobar singled with one out in the first. Chipper Jones followed with a ground out to second that moved Escobar to second. Eaton got Mark Teixeira on a popup to short for the third out.

Eaton walked Kelly Johnson with one out in the second. He struck Jeff Francoeur out swinging for the second out and got Mark Kotsay on a pop to third.

Gregor Blanco singled to center with one out in the third. Escobar flew to right for the first out before Eaton walked Chipper and Teixeira back-to-back to load the bases for the lefty Brian McCann. McCann flew to center for the third out to leave the bases loaded.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Eaton started the fifth up 5-0. Ruben Gotay hit for the pitcher Jorge Campillo to lead off the frame and lined a 2-2 pitch just out to right over the glove of Werth. Blanco followed with a walk. Escobar was next and he smashed a ball back up the middle, but Rollins made a fantastic play to start a double-play. Chipper grounded to third for the third out.

Great play by Rollins changed the inning.

Teixeira led off the sixth with a double. Eaton walked McCann on five pitches to put men on first and second before Johnson loaded the bases with a single to right. With the righty Francoeur at the plate Manuel called on Durbin. Durbin got Francoeur to hit a double-play ball to short. Teixeira scored to make it 5-2. Durbin got Kotsay looking at a 2-2 pitch to leave McCann stranded at third.

Great job by Durbin, who came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Romero started the eighth. Chipper was the first to face him and hit a 1-1 pitch just out to center. 5-3. Teixeira walked on four pitches before Romero struck McCann out swinging for the first out. Johnson was next and chopped a ball high to first. Howard fielded and tagged out Johnson for the second out as Teixeira went to second. Madson came in to pitch to the righty Francoeur and struck him out swinging to end the inning.

Lidge started the ninth, pitching for the second straight day in a non-save situation. He struck out Kotsay for the first out before Greg Norton hit for Royce Ring and singled to center. Blanco was next and hit a ball to Howard that Howard didn’t handle for an error. With runners on first and second, Lidge struck out Escobar for the second out. Chipper was next and hit a ground ball between first and second. Howard cut in front of Utley and didn’t make the play. He was charged with another error, his second in three batters and ninth on the season. It loaded the bases and brought Teixeira to the plate as the tying run, but Lidge struck him out swinging at a 3-2 pitch out of the strike zone to end the game.

Lidge strikes out the side, allowing a hit and working around two errors to post a scoreless frame. The pen allowed one run in four innings while striking out six. Durbin was fantastic. He threw 22 pitches, Lidge 28 with an assist to Howard, Romero 19 and Madson six.

Lidge and Romero were pitching for the second straight day.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jorge Campillo went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth again in right despite the righty and a couple of hits from Jenkins the night before. Coste catches Eaton. Howard stays at four and Burrell at five. With two switch-hitters and two lefties in the lineup the Phils have four righties in a row five through eight.

Utley doubled to right with two outs in the first. Howard grounded to first for the third out.

Feliz doubled to left with two outs in the second. Coste was next and hammered a double to left center. Feliz scored and the Phils led 1-0. Eaton followed with a single to left and Coste tried to score from second. Blanco’s throw was strong but a little up the third base line. McCann took it and made a nice tag to nail Coste to end the inning.

Rollins started the third with a single. Victorino flew to right before Rollins stole second. Utley walked and it brought Howard up with two men on. Howard got up 2-1 and then hit one out to left-center for a three-run shot that put the Phils up 4-0. Burrell flew to right and Werth grounded to short.

Coste singled with one out in the fourth and Eaton bunted him to second. Rollins walked to put men on first and second with two down, but Victorino popped to short to end the frame.

With two outs in the fifth, Burrell got ahead 3-1 and then pulled a ball on the outside of the plate out to left to put the Phillies up 5-0. Werth popped to first for the third out.

Feliz started the sixth with a single but Coste hit into a double-play behind him. Eaton struck out for the third out.

Rollins started the seventh with an infield single but Victorino, Utley and Howard went down in order behind him.

Werth singled with one out in the eighth. Feliz flew to left for the second out before Werth stole second. Coste grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

Bruntlett, who had entered the game in left in the bottom of the eighth, started the eighth with a walk. Rollins followed with a triple to right-center that scored Bruntlett and put the Phils up 6-3. Victorino struck out for the first out before Utley singled to left, scoring Rollins to make it 7-3. Utley stole second before Howard walked. It put men on first and second with one down. Taguchi hit for Madson and hit into a double-play.

Bad strikeout by Victorino with nobody out and a man on first. Utley picked him up.

Rollins was 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Victorino 0-for-5 and left five men on base. He’s 3-for-his-last-21.

Utley 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI.

Howard 1-for-4 with a three-run homer and a walk.

Burrell 1-for-4 with his 21st home run.

Werth 1-for-4.

Feliz 2-for-4 with a double.

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

Cole Hamels (8-5, 3.38) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (8-3, 2.94) tonight. Over his last three starts Jurrjens has not allowed an earned run in 21 2/3 innings. He’s allowed just five home runs in 98 innings on the year. Opponents are hitting just .248 against him, but he’s walked too many, 37 in 98 innings. He’s just 22 so you might as well get used to him. Hamels has allowed six home runs in his last four starts but has gone at least seven innings in all of them.

This suggests that JA Happ or Brian Mazone will get a start this weekend against the Mets.


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