Coming off a sweep of the Cards in a two-game set, the Phils wake up this morning in first place in the NL East. As has been the story all season long, the success in St Louis had a lot more to do with outstanding work by the offense than it did with the team’s starting pitching. Blanton was very good in game one, by Myers scuffled again in game two. The Phillies took the series in large part thanks to good bullpen work and the trio of Victorino, Werth and Howard, who combined to go 11-for-23 with 14 RBI in the series.
The Phillies swept a two-game set with the Cardinals and are now 14-10 on the season. They have won three games in a row and are four games above .500 for the first time this year.
The Phillies took the first game of the series 6-1. Blanton was fantastic, holding the Cards to a run on four hits over six innings. Werth put the Phillies up 2-1 with a two-run homer off of Kyle Lohse in the fourth. Howard hit a grand slam off of Lohse in the top of the fifth. Madson, Eyre and Durbin finished it off with three scoreless innings in which they allowed one hit.
The pitching wasn’t nearly as good last night, but the offense was better. A day after pointing out that the Phillies rarely put up a lot of runs in games started by Myers they did just that. They needed them, too, as they topped the Cards 10-7. Myers took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth before allowing a pair of home runs to make it a 4-3 game. A three-run homer by Werth in the top of the fifth put the Phils up 7-3. St Louis cut the lead to two by the top of the seventh, when the Phils pushed across two more runs on three singles and two hit batters to make it 9-5. Condrey yielded a run in the bottom of the seventh and Pujols hit a solo shot off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth.
Overall, Phillies pitching threw 18 innings in the series and allowed eight runs. They threw to a 4.00 ERA with a 1.11 ratio.
Two starts, one great one by Blanton and a bad one by Myers. Combined they went 11 1/3 innings with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.32 ratio. Blanton didn’t allow a home run and Myers allowed two.
Blanton allowed four hits and two walks in game one. One of the hits was a ball that is usually fielded by Rollins. He got his first win of the year and lowered his ERA to 6.84. Best start of the year for Blanton. Also the first start in which he has not allowed a home run.
Myers allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings in game two. He allowed nine hits, including two home runs, and didn’t walk a batter. He only struck out one.
The relief pitching was very good for the Phillies. In the series they allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings, throwing to a 2.70 ERA with an 0.75 ratio. They allowed just three hits and two walks over 6 2/3 frames. Pujols homered off of Lidge last night, which was the only longball they gave up.
Happ did not pitch in the series. If nothing else it should mean he will be well-rested if he needs to bail out Park.
Taschner did not pitch in the series. Needs to pitch if he’s on the team.
Eyre pitched the seventh inning of game one with a 6-1 lead. He allowed a one-out double to Joe Thurston, but got the next two to keep the Cards off the board. He came into game two in the bottom of the sixth, relieving Myers with the bases loaded and one out. He got Khalil Greene on a ball driven to right-center that Victorino took for the second out as the runner from third tagged and scored, then got Joe Thurston on a popup to the mound. Could have been much worse.
Durbin pitched the ninth inning of game one with a five-run lead. He hit Tyler Greene to start the inning, but got the next three.
Condrey started the seventh inning of game two with a 7-5 lead. He got two outs and was charged with a run on a double and two walks. It was just the second of his 15 appearances on the year that he’s been charged with a run. He has a 1.80 ERA for the year.
Madson threw a perfect eighth in game one with a 6-1 lead. In game two, he got the final out for Condrey in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, men on second and third and the Phillies up 9-6 (Tyler Greene flew to right). He came back and threw a 1-2-3 eighth.
Fantastic series for Madson. Last night’s game was the first that he went more than an inning in a game for the season. Over his last seven appearances he’s gone 7 1/3 innings without allowing a run. He’s allowed four hits and four walks.
Lidge pitched the ninth with a 10-6 lead in game two. Pujols led off the inning with a home run before Lidge got the next three. He has a 6.75 ERA for the year and has allowed four home runs in 10 2/3 innings. In 2008 he allowed two home runs in 69 1/3 innings.
I was surprised that Manuel did not use Taschner with a five-run lead in game one, instead throwing Durbin, Madson and Eyre.
Madson and Eyre each pitched in both games of the series. Madson did not throw more than ten pitches in either outing, but he did get more than three outs in a game for the first time on the year. Eyre did not throw more than 11 pitches in either game.
The Phillies scored 16 runs in the two-game set.
Rollins probably should have made a play in the bottom of the second in game one on a ground ball by Ludwick. It was a hard play, but one he usually makes. He went 3-for-10 with a double in the series and is hitting 210/252/290 for the year. He’s hitting .222 in May so far, which is less than .400.
Victorino made a great catch in the bottom of the sixth in game two. With the bases loaded and one out, Khalil Greene drove an Eyre pitch in the gap in right-center. Victorino tracked it down on the warning track. The runner tagged from third, but the play probably saved the Phils two runs. He had a monster game in game two, going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 308/353/529 for the year after going 5-for-10 in the series.
Oddly, after striking out five times in all of April he struck out four times against the Cardinals.
Also oddly, he’s outslugged Howard for the year. That might not even last.
Utley did not start game two of the series with a problem with his foot. He was 1-for-2 with a walk in the series and is hitting 346/485/667 on the season.
Howard’s grand slam in game one was the big blow of the game. 3-for-6 with three walks and five RBI for the series. He’s hitting 295/385/526 for the season.
Werth hit a two-run homer in game one and a three-run shot in game two. 3-for-7 with a double, two homers and six RBI in the series. 264/375/506 for the season.
Ibanez made a base-running mistake in the top of the third in game two. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Werth lined out to center. Ibanez thought it was going to drop for a hit and was double-off of second. 2-for-8 with a double in the series. 351/417/702 for the year. If he slugs .702 for the whole season, it would be a career high.
With Utley out of the lineup in game two, Ibanez hit third.
Feliz was 2-for-9 with a double. 325/383/458.
Ruiz caught both games and went 2-for-8 with two singles. 238/333/286.
Coste did not play in the series and is hitting 182/280/273 on the year.
Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series. 3-for-21 with three singles on the season.
Stairs 0-for-1 in the series and 4-for-14 with two home runs on the year.
Bruntlett 0-for-1 in the series and 150/240/300 for the season.
Cairo started game two at second base and went 1-for-4 with a single. 083/083/083 (1-for-12 with a single) on the year.