Archive for May, 2009

And whatever you do, don’t let the starting pitcher pitch well

You win a whole lot when you get quality starts. At least you do if you’re the Phillies in recent history. Here is what they’ve done over the past three seasons:

  ERA W-L WPCT
Quality Starts 2.36 169-67 .716
Not Quality Starts 7.95 97-153 .388

In 2009, however, the Phillies have a better winning percentage in their games when they do not get a quality start than they games when they do:

  ERA W-L WPCT
Quality Starts 2.86 10-9 .526
Not Quality Starts 8.74 15-11 .577

Given that it makes about zero sense that the Phillies would have a better record in the 26 games where their starting pitchers threw to an 8.74 ERA than in the 19 games where their starters threw to a 2.86 ERA, you would probably guess that the Phillies offense scored a lot more runs in the games where their starting pitcher did not make a quality start than in the games where he did. And you would be right. In the 19 games in ’09 where the Phillies got a quality start they scored 88 runs or about 4.63 runs per game. In the 26 games where they didn’t get a quality start they’ve scored 161 runs. That’s 6.19 runs per game.

The Phils also scored more runs in games when they did not get quality starts in 2008 than they did in 2009. In 2008 they scored 400 runs in the 74 games when they did not get quality starts (5.40 runs per game) and 399 runs in the 88 games where they did get a quality start (4.53 runs per game). So in 2008 they scored more runs in the non-quality starts games like they have in ’09. In 2009 the difference between the number of runs they’ve scored in quality starts and non quality starts is more dramatic. In ’09 they scored about 1.34 times as many runs in non quality starts (6.19 over 4.63) while in 2008 they scored about 1.19 times as many runs in non quality starts (5.40 over 4.53). Also of note is that while the number of runs they’ve scored in games where they get a quality start has stayed about the same from ’08 to ’09 while the number of runs they’ve scored when they don’t has gone up dramatically.

The fact that the Phillies scored a lot more runs in the games where they didn’t get a quality start this year made me wonder how the number of runs their starting pitcher has allowed related to the number of runs they scored in the game in 2009. Generally speaking, as the number of runs their starter has allowed has gone up so has the number of runs they’ve scored:

RA by SP G Runs
scored
RS/G
0 3 12 4.0
1 3 21 7.0
2 7 35 5.0
3 8 28 3.5
4 9 53 5.9
5 8 59 7.4
6 2 15 7.5
7 5 26 5.2
       
Total 45 249 5.5
       
Three or fewer 21 96 4.6
More than three 24 153 6.4
       
Total 45 249 5.5

I’m pretty sure there are some people out there who know how well the number of runs your starting pitcher allows correlates with the number of runs your offense scores in a particular game. I’m not one of them. I would bet, though, that the answer is higher than you think.

The news on Brett Myers and his hip problem is not good. It seems likely that he will miss some if not all of the regular season. Todd Zolecki talked with Amaro about what the Phillies might do. The loss of Myers is a huge blow for a team that had enormous problems with the starting pitching already.


The top of the Phillies’ order apparently wants to be sure that whoever Billy Joel is talking to knows they didn’t start the fire either

At least we don’t have to look at the standings and wonder how the Phillies manage to stay in first place any longer. The offense that has been picking up a miserable rotation has gone into a mini-slump and the Phils have lost three of their last five. They’ve scored 18 runs in their last five games, which isn’t going to be enough given how bad their starting pitching is.

The Phillies have a .265 on-base percentage for their first hitter in the lineup for the season. As you would probably guess, that’s the worst mark for #1 hitters for any team in either league. Their #2 hitters have a .333 on-base percentage, which is better but still just 11th-best in the National League.

The struggles of Rollins atop the order have certainly been a big problem for the Phillies. But he’s not the only guy who isn’t hitting. Rollins, Utley, Ibanez and Werth combined to go 6-for-45 (.133) with one RBI in the three-game set against the Marlins. Rollins is 2-for-his-last-22. Werth 2-for-his-last-21 and Utley 2-for-his-last-12. Those guys will surely come around. Let’s hope it’s not too long, though, cause the Raul-Ibanez-puts-up-an-1.100-OPS formula for success isn’t really the one you want to rely on for much more than a quarter of your season.

The Phillies are 25-20 on the year after losing two of three to the Marlins. They are second in the NL East, trailing the Mets by a half game.

Florida took game one 5-3. Howard hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the first to give Moyer a 2-0 lead. Former Phil Wes Helms hit a three-run homer off of Moyer in the top of the fourth to put the Fish up 3-2 and the Marlins extended the lead to 4-2 with another run in the top of the sixth. Howard hit another homer in the bottom of the sixth to get the Phils within one, which was as close as they would get. Park followed Moyer and allowed a run over three innings.

The Phillies rode a magnificent start by Blanton to a 5-3 win in game two of the set. Blanton gave the Phils their best start of the season, striking out 11 over seven shutout innings. The Phils jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and had extended it to 5-0 by the time Madson relieved Blanton in the top of the eighth. Durbin had a shaky outing in the top of the ninth and was charged with three runs, only one of which was earned due to a throwing error by Howard, but Lidge came on to get the last two outs.

It will be good news for the Phillies if it turns out the game is all they lost in game three. Myers exited in the sixth inning with an injury to his right hip. The Phillies lost the game 6-2. Myers allowed one base-runner through the first three innings before a Dan Uggla home run put Florida up 1-0. The Fish put up another run in the top of the fourth to make it 2-0. They extended the lead to 5-1 with two doubles and a two-run homer from Cody Ross off of Myers in the sixth. Taschner allowed the sixth run in the top of the ninth. Solo home runs by Stairs and Ruiz accounted for the Phillies offense in the game.

In 27 innings in the series the Phillies threw to a 4.37 ERA and a 1.37 ratio.

The starting pitchers combined to throw to a 4.34 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. A fantastic start by Blanton in game two masks the numbers for the group. Moyer and Myers both struggled. Moyer and Myers combined to allow three home runs in 11 2/3 innings.

Moyer went six innings in game one, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. He continues to struggle. He still hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning this season and has had five tries to get win number 250 for his career. His ERA for May is 9.62.

Blanton was fantastic in game two. He allowed five hits, four singles and a double, and two walks over seven shutout innings. He’s had five starts in May, two of which have been good and three of which have been bad. He has been better at preventing home runs — he’s allowed just one in 17 innings over his last three starts.

Myers was very good early in his start but ended the day with an ugly line. He allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. Over his last three starts he has given up seven home runs in 20 2/3 innings (that rate would have him giving up 68 over 200 innings).

As a group, the relief pitchers threw eight innings in the series. They pitched to a 3.24 ERA and a 1.56 ratio, walking five in the eight innings. Durbin had a bad outing in game two, but two of the three runs he allowed were unearned due to a throwing error by Howard. The relievers did not allow a home run.

Eyre entered game two in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded and the Phils up 5-0. He relieved Durbin to pitch to lefty Ross Gload. Gload hit a ground ball to first. Howard fielded, but his throw to second was wild for an error. Two runs scored and Eyre was relieved by Lidge.

Taschner started the ninth inning of game three with the Phillies down 5-2 and allowed a run on two hits and a walk. He has a 3.92 ERA for the year, but a 1.69 ratio.

Park took over for Moyer in game one of the set with the Phillies down 4-3 in the top of the seventh. He finished out the game, allowing a run on four hits and a walk over three innings while striking out five.

Durbin started the ninth inning in game two with a 5-0 lead. He got the first man he faced before the Fish loaded the bases on two walks and a single. Walking two with a five-run lead is to be avoided, if possible. When the lefty Gload hit for the pitcher, Manuel called on Eyre to face Gload.

Condrey took over for Myers in game three with the Phillies down 5-1 in the sixth with a man on first and two down. He would finish out the sixth then pitch the seventh and eighth. He did not allow a run and gave up just one hit, a leadoff single to Uggla to start the eighth. Uggla was quickly erased on a double-play.

Condrey hasn’t been charged with a run in eight innings over his last six appearances.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 5-0 lead. He set the Marlins down in order.

Not a fan of using Madson up five runs. Taschner had made one appearance, and pitched one inning, since May 17 and hadn’t pitched in five days. Up five runs is a nifty time to mix him in, no matter what inning it is. The Phillies do have an off-day today, so Manuel knew that even if Madson pitched an inning in game two and an inning last night he would still likely be available to pitch Friday. Still would have used someone else.

Lidge came into game two with the Phils up 5-2 and men on second and third with one out. He gave up a walk that loaded the bases, but got Jeremy Hermida on a ground out that made it 5-3 and then struck Helms out to end the game.

Condrey threw 22 pitches last night and Taschner 18, but with the off-day today you would expect everyone in the pen to be available for tomorrow’s game. Neither of the guys who pitched last night had pitched in game two.

The Phillies scored ten runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 1-for-13 with a double in the set. He is hitting 223/271/332 for the season.

Utley was 2-for-11 with a walk in the series. 289/425/550 for the year. He’s hitting .237 in May.

Ibanez went 1-for-9 with four strikeouts and an RBI in the series. He’s hitting 339/402/707 for the season. If he slugged .707 for the whole year it would be a career high, but I’m getting the feeling that I’m actually going to have to look up what his career high in slugging is before too long (that’s a little humor — it’s .537).

Howard hit a pair of home runs that accounted for all of the Phillies’ offense in game one. In game two he made his first error of the season, a throw to second that got away. His defense this year has been very good.

He went 4-for-8 with a double and two home runs in the series. He drove in four of the ten runs the Phillies scored. 263/338/542 for the season. He’s hitting .242 and on-basing .315.

There’s a big question in my mind about whether Howard’s 2008 on-base percentage was an exception to the rule or the way his career is heading. After on-basing .425 and .392 in 2006 and 2007 he on-based a much worse .339 in 2008. In 2008 he on-based .339 and slugged .543. So far in ’09 he’s on-basing .338 and slugging .542.

Werth hit sixth in the lineup in games two and three of the series. The Phils put lefties Utley, Howard and Ibanez all in a row for all three games. He was 2-for-12 with a double in the series. 2-for-his-last-21 with no walks. 255/346/472 for the year.

Victorino was caught stealing in the bottom of the ninth in game one with Matt Stairs at the plate in the bottom of the ninth. He came back with a fantastic game in game two of the set, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles.

He hit sixth in the first game and second in the next two. The Marlins threw righties in games one and three, so Manuel wasn’t moving him around based on what hand the Fish starter threw with. He went 5-for-11 with two doubles and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/327/440 for the year.

Feliz was 5-for-11 with three doubles and two RBI in the series. He’s hitting 307/373/433 for the season.

Ruiz was 2-for-12 with a double and a home run in the set. 280/386/453.

Coste did not appear in the series. He does not have an at-bat since he played on Saturday against the Yankees. 230/319/393 for the year.

Bruntlett pinch-ran for Stairs in last night’s game, but did not have an at-bat in the series. He’s hitting 118/179/235 for the season.

Mayberry did not play in the series and is 2-for-8 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the series and is hitting a miserable 135/238/216 for the season.

Stairs was 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 300/488/633 for the year in 30 at-bats. He leads the team, including Ibanez, who has been approximately the best hitter in the NL this year, in OPS. I’d let him play more until he’s not, especially with Werth struggling.

With the exception of Stairs, the bench is awful. Awful or not, though, Bruntlett, Coste and Mayberry is too many players to not use at all during a series when you score ten runs.


May days

The Phillies got a brilliant start from Joe Blanton last night as he pitched well and deep into the game. The Phillies needed it badly. The starting pitching has been atrocious this season. Some of the problems seem to have been ironed out in May. Surely the Phils have improved as a group after a terrible April, but by how much?

Here’s what Phillies starting pitchers have done so far in May:

  GS IP H ER BB K ERA Ratio
Hamels 4 25 23 8 5 28 2.88 1.12
Myers 4 26.3 25 11 4 17 3.76 1.10
Blanton 5 31 29 16 12 28 4.65 1.32
Moyer 5 24.3 38 26 10 11 9.62 1.97
Park 4 18 21 14 12 11 7.00 1.83
Happ 1 6 4 2 0 4 3.00 0.67
Carpenter 1 4.3 8 5 3 4 10.38 2.54
                 
Total 24 135 148 82 46 103 5.47 1.44

Hamels and Myers have both been fantastic. After last night’s outstanding outing, Blanton’s numbers for the month are around where you would expect them to be. Happ made one start that was very good. Hamels, Myers and Happ have combined to walk just nine hitters in 62 innings during May. Hamels, Myers and Blanton (and Happ in his one start) have all allowed less than a hit per inning for the month. Blanton and Hamels have 56 strikeouts in 56 innings.

Still, 10 of the 24 starts the team has made in May have gone to Moyer, Park or Carpenter. Those guys simply haven’t pitched well. As a group, the three pitched 46 2/3 innings in those ten starts with an 8.68 ERA and a 1.97 ratio. Two problems there, one is an 8.68 ERA is really bad and the other is that averaging about 4.7 innings per start leaves a lot of frames for the bullpen to throw.

Here is what the starting pitchers have done as a group for April, May and over the entire season:

  G IP ERA Ratio H/9 BB/9 SO/9
Season 44 242.7 5.86 1.55 10.83 3.08 7.01
April 20 107.7 6.35 1.68 12.04 3.09 7.19
May 24 135 5.47 1.44 9.87 3.07 6.87

So the good news is that they have been better in May. The walk rate is just about the same and they’ve struck out fewer hitters than they did in April, but they’ve been much better at preventing hits and runs.

The bad news is that even in May they have a 5.47 ERA and a 1.44 ratio. And that’s awful. In 2008, for example, the Pirates had the worst starting pitching in the NL by ERA. Their starters threw to a 5.36 ERA for the year. The ratio for Pittsburgh starters for ’08 was 1.62, but they were just one of four teams (along with the Nationals, Reds and Rockies) who had their starters put up a ratio that was worse than 1.44.

Barring an injury I expect that Hamels, Myers and Blanton are going to be fine at the top of the rotation. Better than fine. The problem as I see it is that you can’t expect JA Happ is going to hold down the last two spots in the rotation for the rest of the year. I’m not even sure it’s reasonable to expect that he’ll hold down one spot at the bottom of the rotation for the rest of the year. The bigger problem is that I don’t see an easy solution — it may look like no more starts for Park and Carpenter is going to solve the Phillies’ problems. It’s not. The fact that those guys are making starts in the first place is a symptom of the lack of depth and options that they Phillies have at the bottom of their rotation. The names may change, but I’m not as sure about the results. A return to form by Moyer would surely help a lot, cause it looks like the Phillies have a number of eggs in the Moyer-being-usable-all-season-long basket. If it doesn’t come the Phillies are going to have to get creative.


Been caught stealing

Nothing like a caught stealing in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run at the plate to get you thinking about how effective the Phillies have been at stealing bases this season. Turns out the answer is less.

  SB CS
2008 136 25
2009 30 9
2009 Pace 113 34

The Phils are on pace to steal 23 fewer bases in 2009 than they did in 2008 and be caught nine more times. Newcomer Raul Ibanez isn’t the problem, he’s been safe in all four of his steal attempts.

The problem is that Rollins and Victorino have been awful trying to steal bases. Here’s what they’ve combined to do this year compared to what they did last year:


Rollins and Victorino
  SB CS
2008 83 14
2009 12 7
2009 Pace 45 26

Rollins and Victorino are on pace to steal 38 fewer bases and be caught 12 more times. That’s not going to happen, but we already know that at least once in 2009 Victorino is going to get caught stealing with Stairs at the plate as the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.

The good news is that the other guys continue to swipe bags with tremendous efficiency. The players on the team other than Rollins and Victorino have combined to steal 18 bases and been caught just twice. Werth, with eight steals and just one caught stealing, is on pace to steal 30 for the first time in his career. His twenty steals in ’08 was a career high and the first time he ever had more than 11 in a season.

Mayberry will stay with the team as a bench player.


The Phils pack up all their troubles in their old kit-bag. Except one.

The Phils won two of three against the Yankees in an exciting series in New York this weekend. The series was notable because the Phillies did so many things well that they haven’t all year. They got fantastic starting pitching, won when they didn’t score a lot of runs and got outstanding production from Carlos Ruiz.

All the things they did well help shine an even brighter light on what they didn’t. 2009′s Brad Lidge isn’t 2008′s Brad Lidge and as the season continues it gets harder and harder to ignore. Lidge had two chances to save games in the series and couldn’t get the job done either time. Lidge deserves to get the save opportunities as long as he’s healthy and on the roster — as long as he’s a Phillie I’m pretty sure he’s going to get them. But he’s not currently the Phillies’ best pitcher out of the pen and not the guy whose appearance in the game gives the team the best chance to win. It’s hard not to wonder if the Phillies would be better off giving whatever’s wrong with him a name and putting him on the DL with it.

The Phillies are 24-18 on the year after taking two of three from the Yankees. Six games above .500 is their best mark for the year — they reached it for the first time on the season after winning game one of the set.

The Phils took game one 7-3. Myers gave them eight strong innings, allowing three runs on three solo homers. Rollins took AJ Burnett out of the yard on the first pitch of the game and the Phillies hitters followed his example. The Phils scored all seven of their runs in the game on home runs, hit by Rollins, Ruiz, Werth and Ibanez.

On Saturday the Yankees scored three runs off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth to win game two 5-4. Happ pitched very well for the Phils in his first start of the season and John Mayberry, playing in his first major league game, put the Phillies up 4-1 with a three-run homer in the fifth. Jeter hit a home run off of Happ in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-2. Lidge started the ninth with a two-run lead. He got one out, allowing a two-run homer to A-Rod that was followed by a single, a stolen base and a game-winning single by Melky Cabrera.

Game three was a fantastic pitching matchup between Hamels and CC Sabathia that the Phils won 4-3 in eleven innings. Teixeira hit a solo shot off of Hamels in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Phillies lead to 3-2. Lidge came on in the ninth with another chance for a save and again couldn’t get it done. He allowed a single, a stolen base and a game-tying RBI-single before getting the next three. Condrey put up two scoreless frames after that, though, and Ruiz put the Phils on top to stay with an RBI-double with two outs in the top of the eleventh.

The Phillies got fantastic starting pitching in the series. Their three starters combined to go 20 innings with a 3.15 ERA and did not walk a batter.

Myers went eight innings in game one and allowed three runs, all of which came on solo homers. He didn’t walk a batter. After walking 15 hitters in his first five starts of the year he has walked four in his four starts in May.

Happ was fantastic in his first start of the year in game two. He held the Yankees to two runs on four hits and no walks over six innings.

Hamels allowed two runs over six innings in game three. He gave up eight hits and struck out five. He has a 2.88 ERA in four May starts and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game in any of his last six outings.

Lidge is the only member of the Phillies pen that was charged with a run in the series.

Eyre started the eighth inning of game three with a 3-2 lead and retired Johnny Damon, the only man he faced, on a fly ball to center.

He hasn’t allowed an earned run in ten appearances in May.

Taschner did not pitch in the series.

Escalona was active for game one and did not pitch. Mayberry was called up to take his roster spot on Saturday.

Park did not pitch in the series.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game two with a 4-2 lead and threw a perfect inning.

He came back for game three, entering again in the seventh inning. This time he had a 3-2 lead. He allowed a single but kept New York off the board.

Condrey pitched the tenth and eleventh innings of game three. He did not allow a run but was charged with two hits, both of which came in the bottom of the tenth. After allowing back-to-back singles to start the tenth he got Teixeira to hit into a critical double-play before walking A-Rod intentionally and then getting Ramiro Pena to fly to center. He sent the Yanks down in order in the eleventh.

Fantastic job by Condrey.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game one. Entering with a 7-3 lead, he set the Yankees down in order.

He pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 4-2 lead. He gave up a one-out pinch double to Brett Gardner, but struck out the next two men he faced.

He entered with one out in the bottom of the eighth with the Phillies up 3-2. He got the two men he faced.

Three days in a row for Madson. He has been scored on in one of his last 15 appearances.

Lidge entered game two in the bottom of the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Johnny Damon led off with a walk and stole second before Lidge struck Mark Teixeira out for the first out. A-Rod followed and tied the game with a two-run homer to right. Robinson Cano singled and stole second before Cabrera’s single to center won the game for New York.

Two stolen bases against Lidge and Coste in the inning.

He started the bottom of the ninth in game three with a 3-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Robinson Cano. Ramiro Pena ran for Cano and stole second before Cabrera drove Pena in with a single to center to tie the game at 3-3. Lidge got the next three.

Lidge has pitched for two days in a row. Madson has pitched for three days in a row, although he only threw five pitches in game three. Condrey threw 33 pitches in game three, which probably means he can’t pitch in the first game against Florida.

The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three games of the series.

Rollins went 3-for-13 with two walks, a double and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 233/280/344 for the season.

Utley didn’t start game three with Sabathia pitching, but entered in the top of the ninth and wound up scoring the winning run. He drew a two-out walk in the top of the eleventh, stole second and scored on Ruiz’s double. He was 3-for-9 with three singles and a walk in the series. 297/434/580 for the year.

Ibanez was at DH for games two and three of the series. 5-for-13 with a double and two home runs in the set. 352/412/739 for the year. If he slugs .739 for the whole season it would be a career high. He has hit ten home runs in May.

Howard was 2-for-14 in the series and is hitting 256/333/512 for the year.

Werth moved to left field for games two and three with Mayberry in right and Ibanez at DH. 2-for-13 with a home run. 262/358/490.

Victorino was hitting second in game three after hitting sixth for the first two games. 6-for-15 with a triple. 269/313/429 for the year.

Feliz went 1-for-10 with two walks in the series. 295/367/410.

Ruiz had a monster day in game three, going 3-for-4 with a walk and the game-winning double. He also held on to the ball to nail Damon on a play at the plate early in the game and gunned down two men on the bases. 6-for-8 with a double, a walk and a home run in the series. He was hitting 235/371/314 after going 0-for-4 against the Reds on May 19. He is now hitting 302/421/444 for the season.

Mayberry was called up on Saturday and played right field in games two and three. He delivered a monster blow in game two, connecting for a three-run homer to put the Phils up 4-1. He was 2-for-8 with a double and a home run.

Stairs was the DH for game one. 1-for-5 with a single in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 286/474/536 for the year.

Dobbs did not see any action in the series and is hitting 143/250/229 for the season.

Bruntlett started at second base in game three. He went 0-for-3. 118/179/235 for the year.

Coste caught game two. He went 0-for-3, dropping his line on the season to 230/319/393.


Two out of three ain’t bad (and six out of seven is even more ain’t badder)

The Phillies don’t look like a hot team. They win ugly games where their starting pitcher gives up five runs in an inning. 12-5 games, 10-6 games. Their starters don’t just look terrible in spots, they’ve been terrible consistently.

What they do manage to do, though, is win. They’ve won six of their last seven thanks in large part to an offense that has put up 49 runs in those six wins. Until they get their starting pitching straightened out they’re going to need all those runs — in five of the last six games they’ve won they’ve allowed at least five runs. They don’t win any pitcher’s duels because they don’t play in any — they’ve won one game so far this season in which they’ve scored less than five runs.

The Phillies are 22-17 after taking two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati. Five games above .500 matches their best mark of the season. They are in first place in the NL East, 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Mets.

The Phillies won game one of the set 4-3. The Phils scored three times against Johnny Cueto in the top of the fifth to pull ahead 4-1. Hamels gave up two in the bottom of the sixth, but Condrey, Madson and Lidge combined to toss three shutout innings to make the one-run lead stand up.

Cincinnati took game two 5-1 as Moyer’s fourth try for his 250th career win came up short. Moyer had his best outing of his four May starts, but it wasn’t especially good and the Phillies didn’t do much of anything with the bats against Aaron Harang. Ibanez hit a solo homer in the fourth to get the Phillies on the board at 3-1. Moyer made it through six innings, but the Reds opened up a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh with two runs off of Durbin and held on to win.

The Phils won game three 12-5. Blanton kept the Reds off the board for the first four innings and the Phils jumped out to a early 6-0 lead. Cincinnati scored five times off of Blanton in the bottom of the fifth, getting a three-run homer from Brandon Phillips, but the Phils put up six more unanswered runs. Rollins, Utley and Ibanez, the top three hitters in the Phillies lineup, combined to go 9-for-15 with eight RBI in the game.

Overall, the Phils threw 26 innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio.

The starting pitching continues not to impress. 5.82 ERA and a 1.47 ratio over 17 innings. The starters gave up four homers in their 17 innings.

Hamels got the start in game on and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out seven.

Moyer has a 7.62 ERA after eight starts. He allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk in game two. He has a 2.13 ratio in May.

Blanton cruised through the first four innings of game three before the Reds scored five runs against him in the bottom of the fifth. He’s been awful this season, throwing to a 7.11 ERA and a 1.67 ratio over eight starts.

The bullpen threw nine innings in the series and allowed two runs, both of which were charged to Durbin in game two. 2.00 ERA and a 1.56 ratio. They walked seven in nine innings, which is too many, but didn’t allow a home run (which means you might be able to get away with it).

Eyre started the bottom of the seventh in game three with the Phils up 11-5. The first two men he faced reached on a walk and a single, but he got Phillips to hit into a double-play and struck Lance Nix out to end the frame.

Eyre hasn’t been charged with an earned run in his nine appearances in May. He has allowed one run, which was unearned, over 6 2/3 innings.

Taschner pitched the bottom of the eighth in game two with the Phils down 5-1. He hit a batter and allowed one hit, a single, but kept the Reds off the board.

Escalona entered the bottom of the seventh in game two with two outs, a man on third and the Phillies down 5-1. He struck Jay Bruce out to end the inning.

He also pitched the bottom of the ninth in game three. He entered with a 12-5 lead and set the Reds down in order.

He’s allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief on the season.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 3-1. The Reds scored twice against him on a single, a walk and a two-run triple. Durbin got just two outs in the inning before Escalona relieved him to pitch to the lefty Bruce with two outs and a man on third.

Durbin has allowed five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings over his last four appearances.

Condrey started the bottom of the seventh in game one with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a walk and a stolen base, but kept the Reds off the board.

In game three he took over for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth with a 7-5 lead. He allowed a walk and a single in the frame, but did not allow Cincy to score. He hasn’t been charged with a run in any of his last four appearances. Opponents are hitting .198 against him for the year.

Park made his second relief appearance of the year in the bottom of the eighth in game three. Pitching with a 12-5 lead, he allowed two walks but did not give up a run.

Madson started the eighth inning of game one with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Phillips, but got the next three.

Lidge came on for the save in game one, entering in the ninth with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a one-out single to Alex Gonzalez, which was followed by a walk to pinch-hitter Lance Nix. He got the save, though, striking out Willy Tavares and getting Jerry Hairston on a fly ball to center.

Sadly enough, despite getting 12 runs yesterday and winning by five it was still a long day for the pen due to Blanton’s early exit. Condrey threw 22 pitches yesterday and Park 25. Escalona has pitched on back-to-back days, but threw just three pitches in game two and just 13 yesterday. Madson and Lidge both pitched in game one for the Phils, but not in games two or three.

The Phillies scored 17 runs in the three-game set.

In terms of the lineup, Utley is now regularly hitting second with Ibanez behind him. Victorino has been dropped to sixth.

Rollins went 4-for-6 yesterday and was 5-for-14 with a double and two RBI in the series. He’s hitting 234/275/329 for the season.

Utley was 1-for-8 in the first two games before going 3-for-4 with four RBI yesterday. 4-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 295/432/597.

Ibanez went 3-for-12 with a double and two home runs in the series. 349/410/724 for the season. If he slugs .724 for the whole year it would be a career-high. His 1.134 OPS is the best of all players in either league. He’s on pace to hit 62 home runs with 166 RBI.

Howard went 3-for-11 with two walks, a double and two home runs in the set. 266/349/545.

Werth did not start yesterday with Stairs in the lineup against righty Micah Owings. He went 0-for-10 with four strikeouts in the series and is hitting 272/371/500 for the year.

Victorino was 3-for-11 with two doubles. 257/306/419 for the season. 229/273/361 in May.

Feliz started the first two games of the series with Dobbs playing third yesterday against the righty. 3-for-9 with two doubles in the series. He’s hitting 310/370/434 for the year.

Ruiz caught games one and three of the series with Coste behind the plate for Moyer’s start. 1-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series. 236/373/327 for the season.

Coste started the middle game. He’s hitting 241/333/414 after going 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 6-for-his-last-14 with three doubles and a home run.

Bruntlett was 0-for-2 in the series. 129/194/258 for the season. 1-for-15 since April 26.

Dobbs started at third yesterday in game three against the righty Owings and went 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run. The homer was his first extra-base hit of the season. He’s hitting 143/250/229 for the year after going 1-for-3 with a homer and two walks in the series.

Stairs got a start in right yesterday. He went 0-for-1 with a walk in his only action of the set. He’s hitting 304/515/609. He would be the obvious choice to DH against the Yankees this weekend except that New York will start lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in two of the three games. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the Phillies are carrying an extra reliever, giving them a short bench. My guess is that if the Phillies don’t make a roster move that Bruntlett will DH against the lefties, which isn’t really what you’re looking for.


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