Archive for September, 2008

Two out of three ain’t bad, but three turns out to be a little hard to watch for Phillies fans

Starting pitching and two big swings of the bat from Greg Dobbs were the story of the Phils’ series with the Mets. The story started out well but didn’t have the happy ending that Phillies fans were hoping for.

Dobbs provided most of the offense as the Phils won games one and two of the set, clubbing a two-run homer in the seventh inning of game one and a three-run shot in the fourth inning of the first game of yesterday’s double-header. Given the amazing starting pitching the Phils got in games one and two of the series, that was just about all the Phillies needed. Myers and Moyer combined to go 15 shutout innings, allowing five hits and five walks.

Starting pitching was sadly also the story of last night’s game for the Phils, as Cole Hamels simply couldn’t get it done as the Phils tried to climb back even with the Mets atop the NL East. Hamels went just five innings, allowing five runs. Carlos Delgado found time to hit two monstrous home runs against him in his short outing.

Overall it was a good series with a disappointing ending for the Phils. They put themselves in position to sweep, but just couldn’t do it as Santana outpitched Hamels in the finale. The Phils remain in the thick of the race, but the outing by their ace Hamels has to be cause for concern — the 24-year-old remains atop the National League in innings pitched as the Phils head down the stretch.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 6-3 to drop to 78-65 on the season. The Phils take the series two games to one but trail the Mets by two games in the NL East.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out six.

Hamels started the first with a 1-0 lead. He got Jose Reyes to pop to Utley for the first out. Ryan Church followed with a single to left. Hamels got ahead of David Wright, but as Wright swung at an 0-2 pitch his bat clipped the tip of Coste’s glove. Coste was called for catcher’s interference and Manuel was ejected arguing the call. With men on first and second, Beltran singled into left and Church scored from second to tie the game at 1-1. With men on second and third, Carlos Delgado singled into center and both runners scored to put the Mets up 3-1. Fernando Tatis was next and hit a ground ball to short. Delgado was forced at second for the second out. Hamels struck out Damion Easley for the third out.

With one out in the second, pitcher Johan Santana hit a ball down the line and off of Feliz’s glove for a single. Reyes followed with a ground ball to short. Rollins fielded and tossed to Utley, but Utley took the toss way off the bag and didn’t get the call at second. Utley was charged with an error and the Mets had men on first and second. Church was next and he dribbled a ball between the mound and short for a single that loaded the bases. Hamels got behind Wright 2-0, but came back to strike him out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Beltran popped to first to leave the bases loaded.

Big strikeout for Hamels, getting Wright with one out and the bases loaded after getting behind 2-0.

Delgado started the third and pounded an 0-2 pitch out to right. 4-2 Mets. Hamels got the next two before Schneider singled to center. Santana grounded to third to end the inning.

Hamels had thrown 78 pitches through three innings.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Hamels got the first out in the fifth before Delgado hit another long homer out to right on the first pitch of his at-bat, putting the Mets up 5-2. Tatis grounded to third for the second out before Easley hit a ball over Burrell’s head for a double. Hamels walked Brian Schneider intentionally to put men on first and second and pitch to the pitcher. He struck Santana out to end the inning.

Still hate walking Schneider intentionally. Hate it more with a lefty on the mound.

Condrey started the sixth with the Phillies down 5-2. Hamels had thrown 110 pitches. Condrey threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Seanez threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Seanez started the eighth and gave up a leadoff triple to Easley. Easley came in to score when Schneider followed with a sac fly to right, putting the Mets up 6-2. Seanez got the next two.

One run over three innings for the pen. They allowed one hit, the triple, and struck out three. Seanez needed 29 pitches to throw his two innings, Condrey threw just nine.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth hits third against the lefty despite coming into the game 3-for-his-last-17. Burrell (3-for-his-last-21) hits fifth with Victorino sixth against the lefty. Feliz at third and Coste catches.

Utley singled with one out in the first. Werth followed with a walk. Howard was next and he laced a single into left and Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Werth going to second. Burrell struck out looking 3-2 and Victorino flew to center.

Burrell is having a pretty rough go of it.

Coste walked with one out in the second. Hamels bunted back to the pitcher and Santana threw to second to force Coste. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

With two outs in the third, Howard blasted the first pitch of his at-bat out to left. It was his 40th home run of the season and it cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Burrell struck out for the third out.

1-2-3 in the fourth and 1-2-3 again in the fifth. Hamels hit for himself to start the fifth, having thrown 88 pitches with the Phils down 4-2.

Burrell walked with two outs in the sixth. Victorino flew to right for the third out.

Feliz singled to right to start the seventh with the Phils down 5-2. Coste flew to center for the first out and Ruiz hit for Condrey with Santana still on the mound for the Mets. Ruiz grounded to third and Feliz was forced at second for the second out. Rollins lined to third to end the frame.

Werth doubled with one out in the eighth. Howard moved him to third with a ground out before Burrell grounded to short to end the frame.

Victorino led off the ninth with the Phils down 6-2 and hit a ground ball out in front of the plate. Schneider jumped on it, but was charged with an error on his throw to first, allowing Victorino to go to second. Dobbs hit for Feliz with righty Luis Ayala on the mound and flew to center for the first out. Stairs hit for Coste and reached on an infield single to third that moved Victorino to third. Andy Tracy hit for Seanez and new Phillie Tad Iguchi ran for Stairs at first. Tracy hit a fly ball to left for the second out, Victorino tagged and scored to make it 6-3. Ayala struck out Rollins to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-5 in the game. 2-for-14 with a double in the series. 270/335/432 for the season.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game. 1-for-11 in the series. 289/377/541 for the year.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with a double and two walks in the series. 277/376/513.

Howard 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. It was his 40th of the season and he has driven in 121. 3-for-10 in the series. He’s hitting 237/326/506 for the year.

Burrell was 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-10 in the series. 253/370/513 for the year. After hitting .181 in August, he’s hitting .133 in September.

Victorino was 1-for-4. 3-for-13 in the set. 280/343/424 for the year.

Feliz was 1-for-3 in the game and 1-for-4 in the series. He’s hitting 250/298/406 for the season. Dobbs 0-for-1 in the game and 4-for-8 with a double, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 299/333/482 for the year.

Coste 0-for-2. 0-for-5 in the series. 270/325/438 on the season and 0-for-10 in September. Ruiz was 0-for-1 in the game and 3-for-5 with a double in the series. 227/323/300 for the year.

In the first game the Phils beat the Mets 6-2 to improve to 78-64 on the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and three walks. Both of the hits were singles and he dropped his ERA to 3.64 on the season.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second with a 2-0 lead. He walked Tatis with two outs, but Easley grounded to third for the third out.

Robinson Cancel bunted to third for a hit, the first of the game by the Mets, to start the third. Pitcher Pedro Martinez bunted Cancel to second for the first out. Reyes grounded to Dobbs for the second out with Cancel holding second. Moyer walked Nick Evans to put men on first and second, but Wright flew to right to end the inning.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 fourth, getting the second out on a hard ground ball to first by Delgado that Howard made a nice play on.

He walked Cancel with one out in the fifth, but got the next two.

With the Phils up 6-0, Moyer threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Golson, who hit for Stairs in the top of the inning, played center with Victorino moving to right.

Easley reached on an infield single with two outs in the seventh. Cancel grounded to second for the third out.

Eyre started the eighth with the Phils up 6-0. He struck out pinch-hitter Argenis Reyes for the first out and got Jose Reyes on a fly ball to right for the second. Nick Evans doubled to center and Wright followed with a double to left, scoring Evans to make it 6-1. Beltran was next and split the gap in left-center with a double. Werth tried to pick the ball up, but dropped it, and Golson picked it up and threw a little wildly into the infield. Beltran went to third and Wright scored to make it 6-2. Golson got a tough error, they didn’t have a chance to get Beltran at third anyway. Eyre struck out Delgado to end the inning.

Back-to-back-to-back doubles by Eyre wasn’t that impressive.

Madson started the ninth up 6-2. He struck out Tatis for the first out before Easley singled. Lefty Daniel Murphy hit for Cancel and Romero came in to pitch to him. Murphy hit into a double-play to end the game.

Two innings, two runs for the pen. Eyre was hit hard, Madson struck one out and gave up a single and Romero got the double-play. Eyre threw 28 pitches, Madson and Romero both under ten.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Pedro Martinez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Stairs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs starts at third against the righty even with Moyer on the mound — Manuel has often gone with his best defensive option at third in games that Moyer has started. Burrell on the bench with Werth in left and Stairs in right. Ruiz catches.

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

Werth walked with one out in the second and went to third when Dobbs followed with a double. Stairs hit a fly ball to right for the second out. It was deep enough for Werth to tag and score and the Phils led 1-0. Ruiz was next and he lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Dobbs scored and it was 2-0. Moyer grounded out for the third out.

Big two-out hit for Ruiz.

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

Howard led off the fourth with a double. Werth followed and blooped a single into left, moving Howard to third. Dobbs was next and drove an 0-1 pitch into right center and just out for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 5-0. Stairs flew to right for the first out before Ruiz doubled down the right field line. Moyer dribbled a ball back to the mound for the second out and Ruiz went to third. Rollins blooped a double between Reyes and Evans in left and Ruiz scored, making it 6-0. Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

1-2-3 fifth.

1-2-3 sixth. Golson hit for Stairs with one out and Scott Schoeneweis and struck out swinging 0-2 in his first career at-bat.

Moyer led off the seventh with a walk. Rollins hit into a double-play behind him. Victorino followed with a single and a walk to Utley put men on first and second for Howard, but Howard struck out to leave both men stranded.

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

Ruiz started the ninth with a single. Feliz moved him to second with a ground out and Rollins moved him to third with another. Victorino fouled out to the catcher to leave him stranded.

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

Victorino 1-for-5.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk.

Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI.

Stairs 0-for-1 with an RBI.

Ruiz 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.79) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.54) tonight. Over his last three starts, Sanchez has allowed 14 runs in 14 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .365 against him for the season, righties .189. Blanton has gone six innings in just one of his last five starts. In his last three starts he has walked 11 in 15 2/3 innings.


Mets can’t get Brett

Just about everyone thinks that this weekend’s series between the Phillies and the Mets is more important to the Phils than it is to the Mets. And I agree with them. But maybe not by quite as much as you might think. The Mets came into the series with a chance to bury the Phils, and if they don’t do it the ghosts of last season are going to start to stir even more than they have already.

Last night the Phils took game one behind a fantastic pitching performance from Brett Myers. Myers went eight shutout innings and struck out ten while allowing the Mets just three hits. The Phils squeaked out a run in the first and got two more on a home run from Dobbs in the seventh.

Despite the win, the story is still much the same for the Phils. They can’t score runs and anything that has to do with the bullpen is terrifying. Lidge was the only guy to make an appearance for the Phils in relief last night. He kept the Mets off the board but looked shaky, allowing two hits and needing 26 pitches to get through his inning.

The Phillies beat the New York Mets last night, winning 3-0 to improve to 77-64 on the season. The Phils trail the Mets by two games in the NL East.

Not to be forgotten is that the last couple of the series between the Phils and Mets have started well for the Phils. In each of the last three series the teams have played, the Phils won the first game of the set and the Mets have won every other game.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks. All three of the hits that he allowed were doubles. He struck out ten.

He started the first up 1-0. With one out, David Murphy hit a ball into left that Burrell dove for, didn’t catch and then kicked. Murphy wound up with a double. David Wright followed with a walk, but Myers got Carlos Delgado to hit into a double-play.

Carlos Beltran started the second with a double. Myers struck Ryan Church and Luis Castillo out back-to-back. It brought the lefty Brian Schneider to the plate with a runner in scoring position and Myers walked him intentionally to face the pitch Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Hate walking Schneider intentionally to pitch to the pitcher. Would much rather see the Phillies get Schneider out and let Pelfrey lead off the third. Worked out great for the Phils, though.

Jose Reyes led off the third and smoked a ball that Howard jumped for and speared for the first out. Fantastic play by Howard. Would have been at least a double and maybe a triple for Reyes. Myers struck out Murphy and Wright to finish the inning.

The play that Howard made on the ball hit by Reyes was enormous. Hard to say a defensive play in the third inning where no run would have scored changed the game, but that play was critical.

Myers struck out Beltran and Church in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He got two ground balls and another strikeout in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Murphy hit a ball off the wall in left for another double with one out in the sixth. Rich Dubee was ejected by the home plate umpire for arguing balls and strikes before Myers got Wright to pop to second and Delgado to fly to center.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 seventh with a 3-0 lead. He had thrown 107 pitches through seven.

In the eighth, he got Schneider on a ground ball to first, pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson on a fly ball to left. He struck Jose Reyes out to end the inning.

Lidge started the ninth with a 3-0 lead. Murphy led off with a ten-pitch at-bat that ended with a fly out to center field. He got ahead of Wright before Wright hit an 0-2 pitch over Victorino’s head. The ball bounced once and cleared the fence for a ground-rule double. Delgado lined a 3-1 pitch into center for a single, bringing Beltran to the plate as the tying run with men on first and third. Beltran got ahead 3-1 and swung at ball four, hitting a lazy fly ball into left field. Sounds pretty routine, but Bruntlett, who came in to play left in the eighth, was playing way deep and had to sprint in before making a basket catch for the second out. Church drove an 0-2 pitch to center, but Victorino tracked it down to end the game.

Nothing about Lidge’s outing that should make you feel at all comfortable. Lidge lowered his ERA since the All-Star break to 4.42. He threw 26 pitches.

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

Victorino singled to right with one out in the first. He stole second and went to third when Schneider’s throw to second wasn’t handled. Utley hit a ground ball to first and Victorino scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard flew to left for the third out.

Dobbs singled with two outs in the second. Coste grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.

1-2-3 in the third.

Howard walked with one out in the fourth, but Burrell popped to second and Werth grounded back to the pitcher.

1-2-3 in the fifth.

Rollins led off the sixth with a single, but Pelfrey picked him off of first. Victorino flew to center and Utley grounded to second.

Howard led off the seventh with a single. Burrell flew softly to left for the first out and Werth struck out swinging for the second. Dobbs was next and drove a 2-2 pitch just over the glove of Church in right and out for a two-run homer that put the Phils up 3-0. Church timed the ball perfectly, it may have gone off the tip of his glove. Coste flew to left for the third out.

1-2-3 in the eighth. Up 3-0, Myers hit for himself having thrown 107 pitches and grounded out. I would have hit for him, but it worked out for the Phils.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Church made a sliding catch in right to take a hit away from Utley for the first out.

Rollins 1-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a stolen base.

Utley 0-for-4 with a big RBI groundout in the first. Church took a hit away from him in the ninth.

Howard 0-for-2 with two walks. Big defensive play to retire Reyes to start the third.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 21-for-his-last-117.

Werth 0-for-3 and struck out twice.

Dobbs 2-for-3 with his seventh home run and two RBI.

Coste 0-for-3.

Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80) faces righty Pedro Martinez (5-3, 5.07) this afternoon. Martinez faced the Phils on August 26 and was strong early, but wound up allowing five runs over five innings. Rollins and Howard both homered off of him in that game. He faced Moyer and Moyer left early, surrendering six runs in three innings. Easley and Tatis both hit home runs against Moyer in that game. Those home runs are the only ones that Moyer has allowed over in his last six starts.

Update: Today’s game has been postponed. They will play a day-night double-header on Sunday.


Mets and Phillies today

I answered some questions for Mets Today.

Brett Myers (8-10, 4.40) faces righty Mike Pelfrey (13-8, 3.66) tonight in New York. Pelfrey has been fantastic over his last four starts, going 3-0 while throwing to a 1.88 ERA (six earned runs in 28 2/3 innings). He’s pitched into the seventh inning in each of those games and went nine in two of them. He hasn’t allowed a home run over 33 1/3 innings in his last five starts. Lefties have hit him hard this season, though, they’re hitting .315 against him with a 1.74 ratio. Righties haven’t fared as well, they’re hitting .239 with a 1.04 ratio. He has been way better at home than away, going 8-5 with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.13 ratio at home and 5-3 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.68 ratio away. Utley is 3-for-8 with two home runs against him in his career.

Pelfrey has made two starts against the Phils this season, going 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.90 ratio. Both of the starts came early in the season. On April 9 the Phils made four errors, including two by shortstop Eric Bruntlett, and the Mets scored seven runs, six of which were unearned, against Kendrick in 2 1/3 innings. The Mets rolled to an 8-2 win. Pelfrey allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over five innings.

On April 20 the Phils hit him harder. Pelfrey again went five innings, but was charged with four runs on ten hits and two walks. Utley hit a pair of home runs off of Pelfrey, one in the first and on in the fourth, driving in four runs. The Phils won the game 5-4. Feliz hit a seventh-inning homer off of Feliciano to break a 4-4 tie.

Myers has been a different pitcher since his trip to the minors. Since his return he has made eight starts, going 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA and a 1.13 ratio. The Phillies have won six of the last seven games that he has started.

Myers has made one start against the Mets, which came on July 23. He allowed three runs on three hits and five walks over five innings. The Mets scored three in the sixth on a homer by a finger-waving Jose Reyes and went on to win 6-3.


Controversy stirs as nobody is quite sure they’ve ever seen the Phillies’ offense and pitchers in the same place at the same time

Maybe, just maybe, they are actually one person.

The Phils finally scored more than four runs in a game last night, but it turned out not to matter as they gave up nine to the weak-hitting Nationals and fell 9-7 after taking a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Chad Durbin stole to spotlight. He faced seven batters, five of which got hits (four singles and a home run). He struck out one and one bunted into an out. Durbin has been an anchor of the Phillies’ pen, but it may be just about time to stop relying on that. He has been hit hard in his last four appearances, giving up runs in three of them while allowing seven earned runs on eight hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings.

It’s going to be overshadowed by the miserable outing by the bullpen, but Joe Blanton came up tiny for the Phils in a big start against a meek Washington offense. Blanton went just four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks.

The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals last night, falling 9-7 to drop to 76-64 on the season. They are three games behind the Mets in the NL East.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out two.

He started the first with a 2-0 lead. Cristian Guzman singled with one out and scored when Ryan Zimmerman followed with a double to right. 2-1. Lastings Milledge popped to short for the second out before Elijah Dukes walked. It put men on first and second for Kory Casto and Casto singled to left, scoring Zimmerman (2-2) and moving Dukes to third. Wil Nieves grounded to second for the third out.

Emilio Bonifacio doubled with two outs in the second, but Blanton struck Guzman out to leave him stranded.

Dukes doubled with two outs in the third. Casto flew to right for the third out.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Bonifacio led off the fifth with a walk and moved to second when Guzman followed with a single. Blanton walked Zimmerman and the bases were loaded with nobody out. Madson came in to pitch to Milledge. Milledge hit a ground ball to Howard. Howard looked at home but threw to second for force Zimmerman for the first out as Bonifacio scored to tie the game at 3-3. Neither Utley or Madson covered first in time for Rollins to made the throw, but Milledge probably would have been safe anyway. With men on first and third with one out, Dukes grounded to third and Feliz threw to second. Milledge was forced at second for the second out. He came in hard to the base and upended Utley, taking away any chance the Phillies had at a double-play. Guzman scored to put the Nationals up 4-3. Dukes stole second before Madson struck out Casto to end the inning.

Madson struck out the side in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Eyre started the seventh up 5-4. He got the two men he faced before Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Zimmerman. Zimmerman hit a 1-1 pitch out to center, tying the game at 5-5. Milledge followed with a single before Durbin struck out Dukes to end the inning.

Durbin returned to start the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Casto. Pete Orr ran for Casto at first. Nieves tried to bunt, but the ball was caught by Howard for the first out. With Roger Bernadina at the plate, a wild pitch by Durbin moved Orr to second. Bernadina singled to left and Orr moved to third. Ronnie Belliard hit for the pitcher Saul Rivera and he singled over Rollins’ head and into left. Bernadina scored and Orr scored to put the Nats up 6-5. With one out and men on first and second, Romero came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Bonifacio. Bernadina stole third before Romero walked Bonifacio, loading the bases. Guzman was next and he delivered a bases-clearing double into center that put Washington up 9-5. Condrey came in to pitch and got Zimmerman on a fly ball to left for the second out before a single by Milledge sent Guzman to third. Condrey struck out Dukes to leave both runners stranded.

Four innings for the pen in which they allow four runs on seven hits and a walk. Madson threw 32 pitches, Durbin 25. Eyre, Romero and Condrey were all ten or under. Romero and Durbin were both pitching for the second straight day, but both had thrown less than ten pitches on Tuesday.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Odalis Perez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Bruntlett. Bruntlett starts in right with Werth in center and Victorino on the bench. Bruntlett is a pretty bad starting right fielder. Coste catches and Werth again hits third.

Utley was hit by a pitch with one out in the first. Werth flew to left for the second out, but Howard blasted a 2-2 pitch out to center to put the Phils up 2-0. Burrell hit a ball back to the pitcher to end the frame.

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

Rollins singled with one out in the third and went to second on a wild pitch. Utley hit a ball to deep center where it went off the glove of Milledge on the edge of the warning track. Utley had a triple and Rollins scored to put the Phillies ahead 3-2. Werth struck out for the second out. Howard struck out for the third.

Werth can’t bring the runner home from third with one out and a man on third.

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

Rollins singled with two outs in the fifth. Utley struck out swinging for the third.

Werth led off the sixth with an infield single. Howard again hit a 2-2 pitch out to nearly the same place in center field. It put the Phils up 5-4. Burrell followed with a single to left, but Feliz and Coste both flew out behind him. Victorino hit for Bruntlett with righty Jesus Colome pitching for Washington and flew to right.

Cevernak hit for Madson to start the seventh and singled up the middle with the Phils down 9-5. The Phils went in order behind him.

Burrell singled to left with one out in the eighth and Golson ran for him at first. Feliz flew to center for the second out. With righty Saul Rivera on the mound for the Nationals, Dobbs hit for Coste. Golson stole second for his first career stolen base before Dobbs grounded to short to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 5-for-12 with a home run in the series. 273/340/439 for the year after going 9-for-his-last-21.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. 3-for-10 in the set. 293/381/550 for the year.

Werth was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. 2-for-11 with two walks in the series. 278/376/518 for the year.

Howard was 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. 4-for-12 with two doubles and two home runs in the series. 236/325/502 for the year.

Burrell 2-for-4 in the game and 2-for-9 in the series. 256/373/519. He’s 6-for-his-last-43.

Feliz 0-for-4. 2-for-9 in the series. 250/298/408 for the year.

Coste 0-for-3 in the game and 0-for-5 in the series. He’s hitting 275/328/446 for the season. Ruiz was 1-for-5 in the series and is hitting 221/318/290 for the year.

Bruntlett 0-for-2 in the game, 0-for-3 in the series and is hitting 218/301/297 for the year. Victorino was 1-for-2 in the game and 2-for-10 in the series. 281/346/429 for the year.

No game today.


Hamels pretty sure the Phils can score two, but not taking any chances

The Phillies got fantastic pitching last night, which apparently is what they’re going to need to have a chance. Hamels took a shutout into the eighth. Romero, Durbin and Lidge finished it off to help get the Phils a 4-0 win.

After scoring 115 runs in 29 games in August, about 3.97 runs per game, the Phils have scored four runs in each of their first two games in September. In August they were tied for tenth in the National League in runs scored

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 4-0 to improve to 76-63 on the season. They are two games behind the Mets in the NL East.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out six.

Ryan Zimmerman doubled with two outs in the first, but Lastings Milledge grounded back to Hamels to leave him stranded.

Ronnie Belliard started the second with a soft ground ball to short that went for a single. Elijah Dukes followed with a ground-rule double to left-center. Jesus Flores was next and hit a line drive into center. Victorino made a nice sliding catch and threw to second where Dukes was doubled-off. Belliard held third. Alberto Gonzalez grounded to second for the third out.

Willie Harris walked with two outs in the third. Zimmerman flew to center for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Wil Nieves led off the fifth with a single. Hamels struck Gonzalez out for the first out before the pitcher John Lannan bunted Nieves to second. Anderson Hernandez lined back to the pitcher for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

He walked Dukes on four pitches with one out in the seventh, but Nieves hit into a double-play behind him.

Hamels struck out Gonzalez to start the eighth. Pinch-hitter Aaron Boone followed with a walk and Hernandez moved Pete Orr, who ran for Boone, to second with a single. Romero entered the game to pitch to Harris and struck him out for the second out. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Zimmerman and got him on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Lidge started the ninth with a 4-0 lead. Milledge led off with a triple, but was left stranded as Belliard grounded back to the pitcher, Dukes struck out swinging and Nieves grounded to second.

The pen went 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing a one hit, the triple by Milledge. Durbin and Romero each faced one batter and got him out. Lidge threw 18 pitches, Romero and Durbin were both under ten.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth hits third against the lefty with the slumping Burrell fifth. Victorino dropped to sixth. Ruiz catches.

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

Feliz led off the third with a single. Ruiz hit a ground ball to short and Feliz was forced at second for the first out. Hamels bunted Feliz to second for the second out. Rollins singled into left and Ruiz scored on a what would have been a close play at the plate if Flores had caught the ball. Rollins going to second with the Phils up 1-0. Utley followed with a single to left and Rollins scored to make it 2-0. A single by Werth moved Utley to third. With Howard at the plate, Lannan threw to first and Utley stormed home. He collided into Flores, who somehow held the ball for the third out. Flores was injured on the play and had to be carted off the field.

Howard started the fourth with a double. Burrell grounded to short for the first out and Howard took third. Victorino grounded to short and Feliz popped to second.

Victorino can’t bring the runner in with one out and a man on third.

Rollins walked with two outs in the fifth, but Utley flew to right behind him.

Werth started the sixth with a walk. Howard lined to third and Burrell struck out before Werth stole second. Victorino grounded softly back to the pitcher for the third out.

Feliz and Ruiz started the seventh with back-to-back singles. Hamels hit for himself with a 2-0 lead, grounding to third and moving the runners to second and third. Rollins was next and he singled into right. Feliz scored to make it 3-0 and Ruiz went to third. Utley hit a ground ball to second and Hernandez threw to first for the second out. Rollins was caught up between first and second, but Ruiz scored before he was tagged out, putting the Phils up 4-0.

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

Rollins was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.

Utley 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phils.

Burrell 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-14 with seven strikeouts.

Victorino 0-for-4. 3-for-his-last-20. No extra-base hits in his last 28 at-bats. One walk in his last 39 at-bats.

Feliz 2-for-4.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.69) faces lefty Odalis Perez (6-10, 4.14) tonight. Righties have hit .308 against Perez this season, lefties .207. He has a 5.00 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. Blanton is 1-0 with a 3.92 ERA in eight starts with the Phillies. He hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning in any of his last four starts. He faced the Nats on August 19 in Philadelphia and allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings.


Kendr-ick!

JA Happ took over for Kyle Kendrick yesterday, which is the kind of thing that Phillies’ fans might want to get used to. Kendrick has been miserable over his last five starts and the Phils lost big on his watch again. With the loss the Phils fell two games behind the Mets with 24 games to play, so if Kendrick isn’t out of chances he’s pretty close.

The Phillies have lost four of Kendrick’s last five starts. In those outings he hasn’t gone six innings once and has allowed 22 earned runs in 21 2/23 innings (9.14 ERA) while allowing 34 hits and 14 walks. He’s getting behind virtually every hitter. Over his last five outings he’s thrown 438 pitches in his 21 2/3 innings, about 20.53 pitches per inning. At that rate he’d have to throw 123 pitches to get through six innings.

He has seven strikeouts in his last five starts combined. Lefties are hitting .340 against him for the season.

This article suggests that Hamels may take Kendick’s start against the Mets on Sunday night (the Phillies are off on Thursday).

The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals yesterday afternoon, falling 7-4 to drop to 75-63 on the year. The Phils are two games behind the Mets in the NL East.

The Phillies have called up seven players as rosters expand. Marson, Golson, Happ and Eaton prior to yesterday’s game and Walrond, Cevernak and Tracy after yesterday’s game.

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

Willie Harris led off the first with a single to right. Cristian Guzman was next and he grounded to short with Harris forced at second for the first out. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a walk that moved Guzman to second. With Lastings Milledge at the plate, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Milledge singled into center and both runners scored, putting the Nats up 2-0. Milledge stole second as Ronnie Belliard struck out for the second out. Kendrick hit Dukes with a 3-0 pitch, putting men on first and second. Jesus Flores grounded to second for the third out.

Pitcher Tim Redding singled with one out in the second. Harris and Guzman went down behind him.

Kendrick walked Zimmerman to start the third, but got Milledge to hit into a double-play behind him. Belliard followed with a walk, but Elijah Dukes grounded to short for the third out.

Jesus Flores led off the fourth with a single. Emilio Bonifacio was next and popped a ball up behind third. Rollins and Dobbs closed in on it and Dobbs tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch but didn’t come up with the ball. Bonifacio had a single and Flores went to second. Redding bunted back to the pitcher and Kendrick threw to third to force Flores for the second out. With one out and men on first and second, Bonifacio tried to steal third but left too early and was thrown out. It cost the Nats a run, cause Harris was next and blasted a ball to right. Stairs may have lost the ball in the sun. It hit high off the wall, but Stairs was in the wrong place when it did. It bounced over his head and Harris had a triple. Redding scored and it was 3-0. Guzman was next and he doubled to right. 4-0. Zimmerman was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch over the center field wall for a two-run homer. 6-0. Milledge grounded to third for the third out.

The triple by Harris was the first extra-base hit that Phillies’ pitchers had allowed since Soriano’s home run in game two of the series in Chicago.

Happ started the fifth after the Phillies hit for Happ in the top of the inning. Belliard led off with a single and Dukes again was hit by a pitch. It put men on first and second with nobody out, but Happ struck out Flores and Bonifacio and got Redding to ground to shortstop for the third out.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phillies down 6-3.

Condrey came back for the seventh. He got the first two before Dukes hit a ground ball to short. He had a hit anyway, but Rollins threw the ball away. Dukes had a single and went to second on the Rollins error. Flores followed with a double to left, scoring Dukes to make it 7-3. Condrey struck out Bonifacio to end the inning.

Rudy Seanez pitched the eighth. He got the first two before Guzman singled and stole second. Zimmerman grounded to short for the third out.

Four innings for the pen in which they allow one unearned run on four hits. Condrey threw 20 pitches, Happ 17 and Seanez 16.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Tim Redding went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Stairs (8) Coste. Slumping Burrell on the bench against the righty with Werth in left. Stairs makes his Phillies’ debut in right. Dobbs plays third and Coste catches.

Rollins led off the first with a walk. Victorino popped to third before Utley was hit by a pitch, moving Rollins to second. Redding tried to pick Rollins off of second but threw the ball into center field, moving the runners to second and third. Howard struck out for the second out. Werth flew to right.

Bad strikeout for Howard with men on second and third and one out. Not a shining example for the strikeouts-don’t-matter folks.

1-2-3 in the second.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the third, but was thrown out trying to steal second with Utley at the plate.

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

Coste walked with two outs in the fifth. Taguchi hit for Kendrick and popped to short.

Victorino reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth. Utley flew to center for the second out before Victorino stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Flores. Howard doubled to right and Victorino scored, getting the Phils on the board at 6-1. Werth walked, putting men on first and second, and lefty Charlie Manning came in to pitch to Dobbs. Feliz hit for Dobbs and loaded the bases with a walk. Burrell hit for Stairs and righty Marco Estrada came in to pitch to him and walked Burrell to force in a run. 6-2. Estrada hit Coste and another run scored. 6-3. Ruiz hit for Happ and grounded to third.

Utley singled with two outs in the seventh. Howard struck out to leave him stranded.

1-2-3 in the eighth.

Rollins homered to right with two outs in the ninth, cutting the lead to 7-4. Victorino grounded to first to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a steal and a caught stealing.

Utley 1-for-3.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two strikeouts.

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk.

Dobbs 0-for-2.

Stairs 0-for-2.

Coste 0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.

The offense has scored 24 runs in the last six games.

Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.13) faces lefty John Lannan (8-12, 3.92) tonight. Lannan has made one good start in his last three times out, allowing 15 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings. He has a 5.06 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. He has made one start against the Phils this season and was charged with eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts. In two starts against the Nats this season he’s allowed one run in 15 innings (0.60 ERA).


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