It wasn’t quite as entertaining this go-round.
It’s a little hard to watch the Phillies play the Rays without thinking back to 2008 and the World Series. It’s also a little hard to think back to 2008 without wondering what exactly it is that’s wrong with the Phillies. And the answer is that there’s more than one thing wrong. They aren’t playing well. They don’t hit well and don’t pitch well. They make absurd mental mistakes that we’ve almost never seen from the team. They don’t notice as the batter who just walked runs to second. They forget how many outs there are on a fly ball and cost the team a run by getting doubled-off of first. They flip the ball to the wrong base a little too late, keeping an inning alive.
The Phillies are 37-33 on the season after losing two of three to Tampa Bay. They are in first place in the NL East, but lead the Mets by a half game and are just one game ahead of the Marlins. They have lost eight of their last nine and ten of their last twelve.
The Phillies pounded the Rays 10-1 in the first game of the series. The Phils scored six times in the first inning, getting a three-run homer from Mayberry. Moyer pitched very well, allowing just one run over six innings. Walker and Escalona came on after Moyer and gave the Phils three innings of scoreless relief.
Tampa Bay took game two 7-1, but things were a lot closer than that before the Rays blew the game open late. Blanton pitched very well, but Matt Garza shut down the Phils. Tampa started the top of the eighth with a 2-1 lead — they should have been kept off the board in the frame, but a Rollins misplay with two outs and the bases loaded kept them alive. They went on to score five times in the inning.
The Phils lost game three 10-4. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, but Bastardo gave back three in first and three more in the second before leaving in the fourth inning with a shoulder problem. It made for a long day for the pen. They were called on to throw 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs.
Awful pitching from the Phils in the series. In 25 innings they threw to a 6.48 ERA with a 1.48 ratio. They allowed 32 hits and walked 14.
They got two good starts, one from Moyer and one from Blanton, and an awful start from Bastardo. As a group the three threw 16 2/3 innings to a 4.86 ERA and a 1.56 ratio.
Moyer went six innings in game one, allowing a run on five hits, two singles and three doubles, and three walks. Four of his last five starts have been good. He’s allowed just three home runs in his last 31 innings after allowing 13 over 48 1/3 innings to start the season.
Blanton allowed two runs over seven innings in game two, giving the Phils their fourth-straight quality start. He struck out ten while allowing six hits and two walks. He has been fantastic recently. Over his last six starts he has a 2.75 ERA and a 1.14 ratio over 39 1/3 innings. He’s gone seven innings in four of his last six starts.
Bastardo was unimpressive in game three as the Phils gave him an early lead and he gave it right back. He allowed six runs over 3 2/3 innings on seven hits, including two home runs, and three walks. Over his last three starts he has allowed 14 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings (10.80 ERA) with a 1.80 ratio. Even if he was healthy enough to make his next start you would have to wonder if the Phils would have been ready to give someone else a try.
The relief pitching was atrocious. 9.72 ERA with a 2.40 ratio in 8 1/3 innings. They didn’t allow a home run, but gave up 14 hits and six walks. Walker and Escalona were very good in game one, but Romero and Park got hit hard in game two and Durbin in game three. Taschner also allowed a run on two hits and a walk in game three.
Romero entered game two in the bottom of the eighth with the Phils down 2-1 after BJ Upton doubled off of Blanton to start the frame. He gave up a single to send Upton to third, bringing up Willy Aybar with nobody out. Aybar hit a fly ball to Stairs in left for the second out and Stairs threw Upton out tagging from third. Crawford held second. Romero hit Carlos Pena with a pitch and then walked Ben Zobrist, loading the bases with two down. Park relieved Romero to pitch to the righty Burrell.
Awful outing for Romero, but he would have gotten out of it with his ERA unscathed if the inning had ended when Park got Burrell to ground to Rollins. He didn’t, as it turned out, and Romero was charged with three earned runs in the game.
Through the appearance he had walked 11 in 9 2/3 innings this season.
Taschner pitched the seventh inning of game three with the Phillies down 9-4. He allowed a triple a walk and a double in the frame and was lucky to give up just one run in the inning.
Over his last four appearances Taschner has allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits and four walks. That’s a 12.60 ERA and a 3.20 ratio. He’s not pitching very well.
Escalona lowered his ERA for the season to 3.38 with a 1-2-3 in the ninth inning of game one with the Phils up 10-1.
He’s pitching a whole lot better than Taschner, but lost his spot on the roster when Lidge returned.
Durbin entered game three yesterday in the bottom of the fourth with two outs, men on first and second and the Phils down 6-4. He struck Burrell out to get out of the inning. He came back for the fifth and got the first two before allowing two singles and a walk to load the bases. He struck out Dioner Navarro to leave the runners stranded. He returned for the sixth. Tampa Bay loaded the bases on a double and two walks. With two outs and the bases full, Tyler Walker relieved Durbin with the bases full and Jason Bartlett at the plate. Walker allowed back-to-back singles, so all three runners scored with the runs charged to Durbin.
Durbin has been charged with runs in each of his last three appearances, allowing five runs in four innings.
Park entered game two in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, the bases loaded and the Phils down 2-1. He got Burrell to hit a ground ball to short, but the ball was slowly hit and Rollins’ toss to second was not in time to force Ben Zobrist. Rollins almost surely would have had Burrell if he had gone to first. 3-1 with the bases loaded. Jason Bartlett followed and blooped a two-run single to right. 5-1. Gabe Gross was next and he doubled to right, driving in two more runs to make it 7-1, but was thrown out going for third to end the inning.
Walker pitched the seventh and eighth innings of game one with a 10-1 lead. He allowed three singles but no runs.
He also pitched in game three, entering in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, the Phils down 6-4 and the bases loaded to face Bartlett. He allowed an RBI-single to Bartlett and Aybar followed with a two-run single that made it 9-4. Victorino threw Aybar out at second to end the inning.
Another outing for Walker where the runs he helps allow are charged to another pitcher. He has a 0.00 ERA and a 1.60 ratio with the Phils in five appearances.
Madson pitched the eighth inning of game three with the Phillies down 10-4. He allowed a single and walk but kept the Rays off the board.
Lidge took Escalona’s roster spot for game three but did not pitch.
Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Durbin threw 54 pitches last night and Taschner 35, so I would guess you won’t be seeing either of them tonight.
The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three-game series.
Rollins made a great play in game one and a miserable play in game two. In game one he made a great catch on a ball off the catwalk. With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth in game two, Burrell hit a slow ground ball to short. Rollins had time to get Burrell at first, but instead underhanded to second and the runner beat it out, allowing a run to score. The Rays blew the game open from there.
He didn’t start last night. 0-for-9 in the series. 0-for-his-last-19. He’s hitting 211/254/328 for the year.
Victorino was 2-for-10 with three walks in the series. 300/366/456 for the year.
Utley was 4-for-11 with a double and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 300/430/555 for the season. One home run in his last 51 at-bats.
Howard was 2-for-11 with two doubles and three RBI. 254/329/551. He has one home run in his last 37 at-bats.
Werth grounded into a big double-play in game two of the set. With the Phils down 2-0, Matt Garza walked the bases loaded to start the fourth inning. Werth came to the plate and swung at the first pitch, hitting a ground ball to third that the Rays turned into a third to home to first double-play. 3-for-11 with a home run in the series. He’s at 257/344/460 for the year.
Feliz was 2-for-11 with two singles in the series. 289/332/398. He’s 4-for-his-last-35 with four singles. He has one walk since May 23 and has gotten 112 at-bats since May 23.
Mayberry started the first game of the series and was 2-for-5 with a home run in the set. 320/346/760 in 25 at-bats on the year.
Coste played first base in game one with Howard at DH. 1-for-5 in the series. 242/337/396 for the year.
Ruiz caught all three games of the series and went 1-for-10 with a single and four strikeouts. 248/359/391 for the season.
Bruntlett started at shortstop yesterday with Rollins on the bench. He’s not really the guy you want starting against a righty like Sonnanstine, what with the career .276 on-base percentage against righties. 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the series. 145/234/218 for the year.
Dobbs played first base in games two and three. 3-for-8 with three singles in the set. His line is up to 233/288/425 on the season. He’s hitting 343/333/657 in June without a walk.
Stairs started in left in game two and threw Upton out trying to tag and score from third in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Phillies down 2-1. He also started in left in game three. 2-for-5 with a double in the series. 288/431/500 in 52 at-bats for the season. He’s on pace to get 120 at-bats for the year.
Bako did not play in the series and is 1-for-3 with the Phils on the season.
Burrell played for Tampa Bay in the series. 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and four RBI. He’s hitting 243/354/324 on the season. Coming into the series he hadn’t had an extra-base hit since May 2 against the Red Sox.