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.