The Washington Nationals are a really bad baseball team. The Phillies aren’t, but they came into a four-game set over the weekend playing pretty bad baseball. They took advantage of the opportunity to use the lifeless Nats to jump-start themselves.
With the exception of a much-needed great start by Myers, the rotation didn’t to much of the jump-starting. The bullpen threw almost as many innings as the rotation in the series. Blanton, Andrew Carpenter and Park combined to throw 10 1/3 innings in the three starts that they made. Park clearly beat Happ straight up for the fifth starter job out of spring training, but that’s not going to help him keep it much longer if he doesn’t turn things around soon. Four of the seven starts he has made on the year have now been very poor. Yesterday’s was probably the worst of the group, and given the fact that he allowed five runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings that fact that you have to throw “probably” in there isn’t a good sign.
Finally, Raul Ibanez, who went 9-for-18 with three home runs and nine RBI in the series, is making Ruben Amaro look like a mad genius. After 36 games, Ibanez leads the National League in OPS, slugging, total bases and extra-base hits. He’s tied for second in RBI and fifth in batting average.
The Phillies swept the miserable Washington Nationals in a four-game set over the weekend. After winning four in a row they are 20-16. Four games above .500 ties them for their high-mark on the season — they were 14-10 after being the Cards on May 5.
The Phillies won game one of the series 10-6 in 12 innings. Howard delivered a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to put the Phillies up 6-4. The Nats sent it to extra-innings with two runs off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth. Condrey and Happ were fantastic after that, keeping Washington off the board for three innings. The Phils scored four runs in the top of the twelfth with Ibanez putting them ahead to stay with a two-run single after Kip Wells walked the bases loaded.
The teams played a day-night double-header on Saturday. Myers was huge in game one, keeping the pen in the pen and holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings. Ibanez had a huge day, driving in four with a pair of home runs. The Phils took an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth where Madson gave up three runs to make it 8-5, which was how it ended.
The Phillies won the second game of the double-header, which was stopped due to rain in the bottom of the sixth and not restarted, 7-5. Andrew Carpenter made the first start of his career after Happ, who was scheduled to pitch, had to throw two innings in game one of the series on Friday night. Carpenter wasn’t good, he allowed five runs over 4 1/3, but the Phillies’ offense was. The top four hitters, Rollins, Utley, Ibanez and Howard, combined to go 9-for-12 with six RBI.
The Phils completed the sweep with an 8-6 win yesterday. Park was terrible. The Phils gave him an early lead with three runs in the top of the first, but Park gave that right back and didn’t make it out of the second inning. The bullpen was fantastic, though, holding Washington to a run over 7 2/3 innings. The Phillies tied the game at 5-5 with two runs in the top of the fourth. Down 6-5 in the eighth with men on first and second, Feliz put down a pretty bunt. The pitcher Jesus Colome fielded and threw to first, where Anderson Hernandez must not have seen the ball because he looked like he made no effort to catch it. Both runners scored and Feliz came in to score when Bruntlett delivered a pinch-hit double two batters later. Eyre started the bottom of the ninth with two lefties due to hit to start the inning, but Lidge, pitching for the fourth straight day, came in to induce a double-play to get the last two outs of the game.
The Phillies threw 35 innings in the four-game set, pitching to a 5.66 ERA and a 1.54 ratio. In 35 innings they walked 20.
Myers made a very good start in game two, but otherwise the starting pitching was terrible. The four starters combined to throw 17 2/3 innings with an 8.15 ERA and a 2.04 ratio. They walked 15 in 17 2/3 innings. Blanton, Carpenter and Park combined not to get an out in the sixth inning and the bullpen had to throw 17 1/3 innings in the set, just 1/3 of an inning less than the starters. It should have been worse — the rain that ended game three was a gift for the Phillies and their bullpen.
Blanton got the start in game one and allowed four runs over five innings on five hits and six walks. He has a 6.86 ERA for the season.
Myers started the first game on Saturday and pitched very well in a situation where the Phillies really needed him. He allowed two runs on two solo homers over seven innings while striking out eight. He gave up just three hits in the game and walked two.
Andrew Carpenter made the first start of his career in game three, the night game of Saturday’s double-header. He allowed eight hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs. One of the runs scored on a triple that Condrey allowed to Ronnie Belliard in the fifth inning after Carpenter had left the game.
Carpenter took Miguel Cairo’s spot when he was called up to start the game. Cairo was designated for assignment. Sergio Escalona took Carpenter’s roster and was active for Sunday’s game with Carpenter going back to the IronPigs.
Chan Ho Park started yesterday and was ten pounds of suck in a five-pound bag. Five runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings. His ERA is 7.08 for the season.
With the exception of Myers, the starters were terrible and the bullpen bailed them out. The pen threw 17 1/3 innings to a 3.12 ERA and a 1.04 ratio. They struck out 16 and did not allow a home run.
Happ was expected to start the second game of Saturday’s double-header, but was pressed into action in game one. He entered with the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the eleventh and got the job done, throwing two scoreless frames and getting the win with the help of a four-run top of the twelfth from the offense.
Taschner took over for Park with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second in game four after Park walked in a run to put the Phillies down 4-3. He hit the first man he faced, forcing in another run to make it 5-3, but got Josh Willingham to hit into a huge double-play to get out of the jam. He came back and threw a scoreless third and a scoreless fourth.
Eyre started the seventh in game one after Howard gave the Phils a 6-4 lead with a three-run shot in the top of the inning. He got the only two men he faced before Madson took over to face the righty Austin Kearns.
He threw a 1-2-3 eighth in game four with the Phils up 8-6. With two lefties due to leadoff the bottom of the ninth and Lidge having pitched three days in a row, Eyre started the bottom of the ninth. He got Adam Dunn before walking Willie Harris before Lidge relieved him to pitch to the righty Willingham.
Sergio Escalona made his major-league debut yesterday in the bottom of the seventh with the Phillies down 6-5. He allowed a one-out single to Anderson Hernandez, but got the next two hitters.
Fantastic job by Escalona to keep the Phillies in the game.
Durbin came on for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth in game one with the Phils down 4-3. He hit Nick Johnson with two outs, but got the next hitter.
Yesterday he took over for Taschner in game four in the bottom of the fifth with the score tied at 5-5. He threw a scoreless fifth and came back to start the sixth. In the sixth he allowed back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced before Ryan Zimmerman delivered a sac fly that put the Nats up 6-5. Durbin got the next two to avoid further damage.
Durbin hasn’t allowed a home run in May after giving up three in April.
Condrey threw a 1-2-3 tenth in game one with the score tied at 6-6. Impressive showing for Condrey, pitching on one day’s rest after throwing 40 pitches on Wednesday against the Dodgers.
He entered in the bottom of the fifth in game three, relieving Carpenter in the second game of Saturday’s double-header. He came into the game with one out and a man on first with the Phillies up 7-4. The first man he faced, Belliard, delivered an RBI-triple, but Condrey struck out the next hitters.
Madson entered game one with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the Phils up by two with the bases empty. He got Austin Kearns to end the inning. He came back to throw a scoreless eighth.
After going more than an inning on Friday, Madson entered in the bottom of the eighth in game two with an 8-2 lead. He gave up three runs on four hits. Madson shouldn’t have been in the game with a six-run lead in the first place. Taschner, who had thrown 38 pitches on Wednesday, seems like he was the obvious choice.
Lidge came on to try and save game one with a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth in game one. The Nats tied the game against him on a walk, a single and a two-run double by Willie Harris.
He got another chance to close in game two of the series. He entered with an 8-5 lead and kept Washington off the board, allowing one hit, a single.
Yesterday, in game four, he entered the bottom of the ninth with an 8-6 lead with one down and a man on first. He was pitching for the fourth day in a row. On his second pitch, Willingham hit into a double-play to end the game.
The Phillies scored 33 runs in four games in the series.
Rollins was 7-for-18 with a triple and two walks in the series. 222/268/320 for the year. His on-base and slugging percentages are highs for the season. He went 1-for-4 on opening day, but that was the only day of the year he ended the day with an average better than .222.
Victorino was dropped to sixth in the order for games three and four. 5-for-17 with a double in the series. 256/304/417 for the season.
Utley hit second in the order in games three and four when Victorino dropped to sixth. He didn’t start game two of the series against the lefty Olsen. Bruntlett played second. He went 4-for-9 with five walks and three doubles in the series. 291/443/590 for the year.
Howard had an enormous at-bat in game one. With the Phils down a run in the top of the seventh, the slumping Utley and slumping Howard were due to hit. Utley struck out, but Howard delivered a three-run blast to center. 5-for-17 with a double and two home runs in the series. 266/346/517.
Werth didn’t start gave three with Stairs in right against the righty Daniel Cabrera. 5-for-15 with two walks and a homer in the series. 294/396/540 for the year. He’s hitting .340 in May.
Ibanez hit sixth in the first game of the series, but third in every other game. 9-for-18 with three home runs, two walks and nine RBI in the series. 357/425/714 for the year. If he slugs .714 for the whole season it would be a career-high.
Feliz did not start game three with Cabrera on the mound for Washington. 7-for-14 with two doubles in the set. 308/380/425 for the season.
Ruiz went 3-for-12 with three singles and three RBI in the set. 255/397/340. Coste started game two against Olsen.
Coste started game two. He went 3-for-6 with a double in the series. 236/333/400 for the year.
Bruntlett made another appearance as the Phillies’ top right-handed bat against a lefty in game one. Again it did not work. With two outs and runners on first and second, Dobbs hit for Blanton with righty Garrett Mock on the mound. The Nats brought in lefty Ron Villone, Bruntlett hit for Dobbs and Villone got Bruntlett to pop to shallow center. Bruntlett may be the Phillies’ best option off the bench against a left-handed hitter, but he’s not good enough to consistently burn Dobbs’ bat as teams have done time and again.
He started at second in game two of the series against the lefty Olsen with Utley on the bench. 1-for-6 with a double in the series. 138/206/276. His double yesterday is his only hit in May.
Dobbs started game three with Cabrera on the mound. 0-for-3 in the series. 125/200/125 for the year. 4-for-32 with four singles.
Stairs started game three in right with the righty Cabrera on the mound for Washington. 0-for-3 with two walks in the set. 318/500/636 in 22 at-bats for the year.
Cairo went 0-for-1 on Friday before being designated for assignment on Saturday when Carpenter came up. 118/118/118. 2-for-17 with two singles. Despite his right-handedness, he was never a good match for this team. There’s a bunch of other people in the world who are right-handed and aren’t a good match, either. Me, for example.