The Phils worked through a short, weary pen and injuries to Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge and Carlos Ruiz in their series against the Nationals, riding their high-powered offense to wins in the first two games of the set. Chad Durbin gave them 3 2/3 innings of critical relief in game two, saving a pen in desperate need of some saving.
The Phillies are 11-9 on the season after taking two of three from Washington. After winning the middle game of the series the Phils were three games above .500 and had won five games in a row. Both marks were bests for the season.
After 20 games, the Phillies have scored 119 runs and allowed 112 runs. That puts them on pace to score 964 and allow 907. They will almost surely both score and allow fewer runs than that over the year. Last year after 20 games they were 10-10 and had scored 94 runs and allowed 88. So compared to this time last year, they’ve scored 25 more runs and allowed 24 more.
In the first game of the series, the Phillies managed to work around a miserable start from Blanton and two two-run homers allowed by Eyre in the eighth inning to get their fourth straight win. After Howard had delivered a fifth-inning grand slam to tie the game at 6-6, the Phillies started the bottom of the eighth down 11-7. The Phils cut the lead to 11-9 and, with two outs, Ibanez delivered the Phillies’ second grand slam of the game, putting them on top to stay at 13-11.
Utley and Feliz gave the Phillies a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the third in the second game of the series. Utley hit a two-run homer and Feliz followed with a three-run shot four batters later. Hamels was cruising and took a shutout into the fifth inning. With one out in the fifth he sprained his left ankle fielding a John Lannan bunt and left the game. Durbin came on and delivered 3 2/3 innings of quality relief and the Phils rolled to a 7-1 win.
The Phillies didn’t find an answer to Scott Olsen in game three, getting just one run on a solo homer by Victorino before Olsen left in the sixth. Myers pitched well early, but allowed a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to break a 1-1 tie and put Nationals up 3-1. Washington extended the lead to 4-1 with an eighth-inning run off of Taschner, which is how it ended.
The Phillies got awful pitching overall in the series. Over 27 innings they threw to a 5.33 ERA and a 1.70 ratio.
The starters were a little worse than the relievers. The starters as a group went 15 innings and pitched to a 5.52 ERA and a 1.91 ratio. As they have been all year they were hurt by the home run, allowing three over the 15 innings. On the plus side, all three were surrendered by Blanton. Myers, who has been giving up a ton, didn’t allow a homer in his start for the first time this season. The starters have been great at preventing walks this season, but not in this series. They walked eight over 15 innings.
Blanton got blasted in game one, allowing six runs over 4 1/3 innings. He gave up three home runs, two to Ryan Zimmerman and one to Elijah Dukes.
Hamels was great in game two, but also left early with a sprained ankle. In 4 1/3 scoreless innings he gave up four hits and two walks.
Myers went six innings in game three. He walked three in the third, including a walk issued to Anderson Hernandez to force in a run. He started the sixth with the game tied at 1-1, but may have tired coming off a start where he made 119 pitches. The Nats scored two runs on four hits off of him in top of the sixth and he left down 3-1.
As a group, relievers threw to a 5.11 ERA with a 1.46 ratio in 12 innings in the series. Eyre’s miserable numbers in his game one outing hurt them as a group — outside of that appearance they pitched to a 2.19 ERA with a 1.05 ratio (also in 12 innings as Eyre didn’t record an out in game one).
Happ came on to bail out Eyre in the eighth inning of game one and threw a scoreless inning with the Phils down four runs. He also pitched the top of the ninth in game three down 4-1. He allowed a two-out single to Willie Harris, but kept the Nats off the board.
Taschner took over for Blanton in the first game of the set. He went 1 1/3 innings in the game and was charged with a run. He walked two, but allowed just one hit, which was a double that should have been caught by Victorino. After he walked the bases loaded, Condrey walked in Dukes with the run charged to Taschner. He also pitched in game three. He started the top of the seventh down 3-1 and set the Nationals down in order. He came back to pitch the eighth and Washington and allowed a run on two hits and two walks. Manuel left him in to pitch to righty Austin Kearns with two outs and men on second and third. That’s a poor idea, but Taschner walked him and the next hitter flew to right so it didn’t hurt the Phillies.
Eyre started the eighth inning of game one with the score tied at 7-7. He hadn’t allowed a hit or a walk on the season, but he had a terrible outing. He gave up a pair of two-run homers, one to Nick Johnson and one to Adam Dunn. He didn’t get an out in the game and raised his ERA on the season from 0.00 to 10.80.
Durbin was fantastic in relief of Hamels in game two. He threw 42 pitches and gave the Phils 3 2/3 much-needed innings while holding the Nats to a single run. That was just a huge outing by Durbin to save the bullpen with Lidge unavailable.
Over his last seven appearances, Durbin has allowed two runs on three hits and a walk over eight innings (2.25 ERA with an 0.50 ratio) while striking out seven.
Condrey entered in the sixth with the bases loaded in game one and walked Dukes to force in a run charged to Taschner. He followed that up with a 1-2-3 seventh.
In game two he pitched a scoreless ninth with a 7-1 lead.
Madson got the call to save game one with Lidge sidelined with a knee problem. Pitching with a two-run lead, he gave up a bunt single to start the inning but got the next three
Lidge didn’t appear in the series with a knee problem. He last pitched on Saturday.
The Phillies scored 21 runs in the series, 20 of which came in games one and two.
Rollins came into the series slumping, 1-for-his-last-12. He got caught stealing in the fifth inning of game three with the score tied at 1-1. 6-for-14 in the series with a double. He’s hitting 207/241/293 for the year.
Victorino wasn’t charged with an error, but in game one Anderson Hernandez drove a ball to center that went in and out of his glove after a run. Hernandez was given a double, but Victorino should have made the play. Hernandez came in to score later in the inning when Condrey walked Dukes with the bases loaded to put Washington up 7-6. He went 5-for-13 in the series with a double and a home run. He has hit in ten straight games and is 15-for-his-last-43. He’s hitting 286/337/476 for the year.
Utley was 5-for-10 with two walks and two home runs in the series. 342/461/644 for the year.
Howard was 3-for-11 with a game one grand slam and two walks. He’s hitting 288/367/525 for the season.
Werth was 1-for-11 with two walks in the set. He’s 4-for-his-last-24 with a double and eight strikeouts. 260/372/438 for the year.
Ibanez hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning in game one, putting the Phillies ahead to stay. He was 6-for-10 with a double and two home runs in the series. He’s at 359/433/718 for the year.
Feliz hit a big three-run homer in game two after Dobbs got the start in game one. 4-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 323/395/477. He’s on pace to walk 73 times this season. That would be more than his career high of 38. Also on pace to drive in 113 runs. Great start for him, he’s been a big part of the offense and they’ve needed his contribution to work around the awful pitching.
Coste was 1-for-7 with a walk in the series. 175/267/275 for the year. 1-for-his-last-14 with a single and five strikeouts.
Marson got the start in game one. 0-for-3 with a walk in the series. 235/350/294 in 17 at-bats for the year.
Bruntlett was 0-for-1 in the series. 176/200/353 for the year.
Dobbs got his first start of the year in game one of the series and was double-switched into game three. He went 0-for-3 in the series with a strikeout and is hitting 111/111/200 for the year — 2-for-18 with two singles.
Stairs hit for Taschner in game three as the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the Phils down 4-1. He grounded to second. 0-for-2 in the series. 308/400/769 in 13 at-bats for the season.
Cairo did not play in the series (as tradition dictates). 0-for-7 without a walk on the season. How bout giving his roster spot to a right-handed reliever? Or a left-handed reliever? Or a right-handed hitter with some pop? Or any baseball player that Manuel will put on the field?
Lidge and Hamels will both throw on Friday, which will help determine what happens with them in the immediate future (ie, whether Hamels will miss a start or Lidge will go to the DL). The linked article also says that Ruiz will return to a Triple-A rehab, but it’s not clear for how long.