Apparently the Phils are unsatisfied with baseball and think expansion into the one-breeding business is the way to go. Soon we’ll have ‘em running around everywhere. It’ll be like our own little Weeble village, but with ones instead of weebles. It’s what we’ll have in town instead of a successful baseball team. Things will be fine until PETO hears tell of what’s going on, and with that in mind I offer the following public service announcement: Never, ever, ever buy a one from a breeder. It’s the moral equivalent of driving around in your Hummer and not recycling and removing your mattress tag all at the same time.
The Phillies scored one run for the second straight game yesterday. A day after making Braden Looper look like someone who looked kinda like Braden Looper but had even more fantastic baseball-related abilities, Dave Bush nearly no-hit ‘em. They managed two hits in the game, a single by Victorino and a pinch-hit home run by Stairs.
That’s not even the bad news. The bad news that Prince Fielder blasted a line drive off of Hamels’ shoulder in the fourth inning. Hamels is not expected to miss a start, but the early exit made for a long day for the pen. The other bad news is that the Phillies couldn’t get Ryan Braun out if they attended a seminar. Braun was 8-for-10 with three home runs, four walks and six RBI for Milwaukee in the set. The set is now mercifully over.
The Phillies lost to the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday afternoon, falling 6-1 to drop to 6-8 on the season. The Phils lose the series two games to one. Two games below .500 ties them for their low mark on the year.
Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies exited early after taking a line drive to the body in the fourth. He went 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run. He struck out six.
Hamels struck out Rickie Weeks to start the first. Corey Hart was next and he singled into center. Ryan Braun went down swinging as Coste threw Hart out trying to steal second to set Milwaukee down.
He struck out the side in the second, getting Prince Fielder, Mike Cameron and JJ Hardy.
He threw a 1-2-3 third, getting Bill Hall and Mike Rivera on ground outs and striking out the pitcher Dave Bush to set Milwaukee down.
Hart reached on an infield single with one out in the fourth. Braun was next and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to left, putting Milwaukee up 2-0. You would think that would surely be the worst news of the inning, but Fielder was next and he hammered the first pitch he saw right back at Hamels and off his body, up near his left shoulder, hard. Fielder was safe at first with a single and Hamels was out of the game. With Cameron at the plate, Happ came in to pitch and struck Cameron out for the second out. Happ walked Hardy on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Hall. Hall flew to right to leave both men stranded.
Happ struck Rivera out to start the fifth. Bush and Weeks followed with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second with one down. Hart lined hard to first. Howard caught the ball for the second out. Bush was way off second and looked like he would be easily doubled-off, but Howard dropped the ball and Bush was able to get back. It meant the Phils got to pitch to Braun with two men aboard. If that doesn’t sound like a good idea to you, apparently the Phillies agree. Braun was walked, unintentionally, on four pitches to load the bases. Fielder lined a 2-2 pitch into the left-field corner where it bounced once and found the wall. It cleared the bases and Milwaukee led 5-0. Cameron followed with a walk, but Hardy grounded back to Happ to leave both men stranded.
Howard dropping the ball by Hart after he caught it was huge in the inning. If they had doubled Bush off the inning would have been over. As it was, the Brewers scored three more times.
Taschner set the bottom of the Milwaukee order down 1-2-3 in the sixth.
Taschner returned for the seventh. Weeks led off with an infield single. Hart flew to center before the Phillies walked Braun yet again. Fielder popped to short for the second out and it brought up Cameron with two outs and two men on. Cameron flew to Ibanez to end the frame.
Durbin started the eighth. He was pitching for the third straight day, although he had thrown just seven pitches in his outing on Tuesday. He got Hardy on a ground ball to first for the first out, but Hall was next and hit the first pitch he saw out down the left-field line to put Milwaukee up 6-0. Durbin got Rivera and Bush to set the Brewers down.
Lidge started the ninth down 6-1, coming off his first blown save as a Phillie. He got the first two before Braun singled to left. Lidge hit Fielder with a fastball up and in, putting two men on for Cameron. Cameron grounded softly to first for the third out.
Long day for the pen after an unfortunate early exit for Hamels. They went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. Happ threw 43 pitches and is likely unavailable tonight. Durbin just ten, but he was pitching for the third straight day. I’d try hard not to use him four days in a row. Taschner threw 29 pitches, Lidge 14.
Overall, Phillies pitchers threw 27 innings in the three-game series with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.41 ratio. The starters, Moyer, Blanton and Hamels, combined to toss 15 innings with a 5.28 ERA and a 1.37 ratio. The bullpen threw 12 innings to a 3.09 ERA and 1.46 ratio. The Phillies allowed five home runs in the set, four of which were yielded by the starters in their 15 innings (Moyer 2, Blanton 1, Hamels 1). The starters also walked just two batters over three games while the bullpen walked seven in 12 innings.
The Phillies lineup against righty Dave Bush went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Still no start at third for Dobbs against a righty, even with good career numbers against Dave Bush. Coste catches Hamels.
Rollins was hit by a pitch to start the first. Victorino struck out and Howard hit into a double-play.
The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the second.
Coste walked with one out in the third. Hamels bunted him to second with the second out, but Rollins flew to left to leave him stranded.
Down 2-0, Victorino drew a walk to start the fourth. Utley was next and hit a ground ball to second. Victorino was forced at second for the second out. Howard flew to center and Werth grounded to short to leave Utley stranded.
Ibanez led off the fifth with a walk. Feliz flew to center for the first out and Coste struck out for the second. Cairo hit for Happ and popped to second to end the inning.
Third time in five innings the Phillies had their leadoff man on base and didn’t get him past second base. In one of the other two innings, the third, they had a man on first with one down.
The Phillies went in order in the sixth.
Bush started the seventh with a no-hitter, having thrown 78 pitches. Howard flew to left-center for the first out before Bush hit Werth with a 2-2 pitch. Ibanez flew to left for the second out. Feliz grounded to third to end the inning.
Bush started the eighth having thrown 97 pitches. Dobbs led off, hitting for Coste, and hit a grounder to third. Hall made a fantastic play to get him, fielding and making an off-balance throw with his momentum carrying him into foul territory. Great play by Hall. Durbin’s slot was next and Stairs hit for him. Stairs got ahead 3-1 and hit a ball off the right-field foul pole for a home run. First hit of the day for the Phillies and it cut the Milwaukee lead to 6-1. Rollins flew to center for the second out before Victorino singled to right. Lefty Mitch Stetter came in to pitch to Utley and got Utley on a ground ball to second to end the inning.
Stetter set the Phillies down in order in the ninth.
Rollins was 0-for-3 in the game. 3-for-13 in the series. He’s hitting 169/206/254 for the season.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk in the game. 4-for-11 with two walks in the set. 250/323/357.
Utley 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-10 with three walks in the series. 333/443/588.
Howard 0-for-4 in the game and 0-for-10 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 278/361/500 for the year.
The top four hitters in the lineup got 44 at-bats in the series and didn’t have an extra-base hit.
Werth did, though. He was 0-for-3 yesterday and 4-for-12 in the series with two doubles and a home run. He’s hitting 288/351/519. He has struck out in just five of 57 plate appearances in 2009, that’s about 8.8%. In 2008 he struck out in 119 of 482 plate appearances, about 24.7%.
Ibanez 0-for-3 in the game. 2-for-11 with two walks in the series. 345/410/727. If he maintains his .727 slugging percentage for the whole season, it would be a career high (that’s a joke).
Feliz was 0-for-3 in the game and may now be eligible at shortstop in your rotisserie league. 3-for-11 with a walk and a home run in the series. 304/382/435.
Coste 0-for-1 with a walk in the game. 2-for-7 with two doubles in the series and 214/290/357 for the year. Marson was 0-for-3 in the series and is 3-for-9 on the year.
Brett Myers (1-1, 5.03) faces righty Josh Johnson (2-0, 2.91) tonight in Florida. Opponents have hit just .237 against Myers and he hasn’t walked a ton of batters, six in 19 2/3 innings. It’s been all about the home runs, he’s given up seven in his three starts. That’s too many. He made one regular season start against the Brewers last year and was fantastic in the big four-game set with the Phillies’ season on the brink. On September 14, in the second game of a double-header, Myers threw a complete game two-hitter. He needed just 95 pitches. He also faced Milwaukee in game two of the NLDS and again pitched well, allowing two runs over seven innings. Johnson made two fantastic starts to begin the season before allowing six runs to the Nats over six innings in his most recent outing. He has an 0.97 ratio after three starts, opponents are hitting .225 against him and he’s walked just three in 21 2/3 innings. Howard is 7-for-16 with two home runs against him in his career.