Archive for July, 2009

Streak peek

The Phils rolled off ten wins in a row this month thanks to a fantastic effort all-around. All the fantasticness was enough to make me wonder what group of Phillies it was that had picked things up the most all-around.

Here’s a look at the runs the Phillies scored and allowed during the ten-game winning streak and over the other 82 games of the season as well as the rates the starting and relief pitchers allowed runs per game (nothing in this post includes the results from last night’s game):

5.70 2.60 1.80 0.80
Other 82
5.33 4.91 3.26 1.66

First of all, whoever it was it wasn’t the hitters. The offense scored more runs per game over the ten-game winning streak, but not by a whole lot. The Phillies were much better at preventing runs as they cut their rate of allowing runs nearly in half.

The starters are relievers were both awesome over the streak. The numbers above make it look like the relievers were a little better because they cut their rate down in the streak more than the starters did. The relief pitchers allowed less than half of their runs per inning. The starters cut the number down a lot as well, but not in half.

I don’t think you want to conclude that it was the relievers who had the bigger impact from that, though, because the fact is that the starters threw a lot more innings per game during the streak than they did over the 10-game winning streak.

The starting pitchers were fantastic. Here’s what they did in their ten starts in the win streak compared to their other 82 starts for the year.

  ERA Ratio
2.60 0.95
Other 82
5.04 1.44

And, for both the starters and relievers, here’s a look at how many innings per game they pitched during the streak and the rest of the season and their rates of runs allowed per inning:


  IP per G R per IP IP per G R per IP
6.23 .29 3.47 .23
Other 82
5.75 .57 3.29 .50

There were more innings pitched per game during the streak than there were the other 82 games of the season. For one thing, ten wins means ten times you have to pitch at least nine innings to win the game (if it’s not called early). They also played a 13 inning game against the Cubs and a 12 inning came against the Marlins. The starters were definitely going deeper into games, but the relievers were also called on to throw more innings than they had over the rest of the year. By percentages, the starters threw about 64.2% of the innings during the streak (leaving about 35.8% to the relievers), which is a little higher than the percentage of the innings they pitched during the other games. During the other 82 games the starters had thrown about 63.6% of the innings while the relievers threw about 36.4% of the innings.

Both the starters and relievers were pitching more in the streak than they did outside the streak. For the starters it was a little bit more of a difference. They were throwing about 108.3% of their innings per game compared to 107.4% of the relievers innings per game. It was the relievers, though, that cut their rate of runs allowed per inning more dramatically in the streak. The relievers rate of .23 runs per inning over the ten games is less than half of what it was during the other 82 games of the season. For the starters the rate of runs allowed per inning is also much improved, but not quite cut in half.

So I think the question of who improved more during the streak is still a little up in the air. Before looking into it I would have guessed the starters. Both groups pitched very well and both pitched more than they were used to. The starters gave a few more extra innings and the relievers increased their effectiveness at preventing runs by a little more. The case for the relievers may be a little stronger, though, given that both groups were throwing more innings and the pen cut their rate of allowing runs more dramatically.

The Phillies put Durbin and Romero on the DL and called up Tyler Walker and Andrew Carpenter. The move leaves Scott Eyre as the only lefty in the pen for the Phils. Walker had been designated for assignment on July 17 and was not picked up by another team. He had been assigned to Triple-A on Wednesday.

Fourteenth of July

The Phils were 39-37 after losing on July 2, which was three weeks ago today. At the end of the day they were tied with the Florida Marlins for first place in the NL East, a game ahead of the Mets and two games ahead of the Braves, who had just swept them in Atlanta.

That feels like it shouldn’t be possible. But it is. The Phillies have played 16 games since then. A 14-2 run has them in commanding position in the division with the second place Braves 5 1/2 games out.

Most recently they took two out of three against the Cubs at home. The Phillies rolled to a blowout win in game one, won a dramatic game two with a walkoff homer before dropping an ugly game three yesterday.

The Phillies are have had a fantastic month. Yesterday was a bit worrisome, though, a virtual who’s-who of things to worry about on a pitching staff that has been awesome of late. Moyer, Durbin and Lidge all struggled, which was especially frustrating to see with Moyer and Durbin each coming off of outstanding performances.

Still, the Phils have enough things going right to overcome the struggles of Moyer and Lidge and, to a lesser degree, Durbin. Joe Blanton has a 2.32 ERA and a 1.11 ratio in his last ten starts. Rodrigo Lopez has made three good starts in three chances to help fortify the back of the rotation. Rollins and Victorino are both hitting at least .350 for the month at the top of the order. Chan Ho Park has just been awesome out of the pen. In his last 16 appearances he’s gone 24 2/3 innings with a 1.82 ERA and an 0.89 ratio while striking out 28. Eyre hasn’t been charged with an earned run in his last 22 appearances.

The Phillies are 53-39 on the season after taking two of three from the Cubs. After winning game two they were 15 games over .500 on the year, which was their best mark of the season. The are in first place in the NL East, 5 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Braves. The Marlins are six back and the Mets ten games out.

The Phils blew the Cubs out in game one, winning 10-1. Ibanez, Ruiz and Howard all hit home runs, which accounted for five of the ten runs. Lopez made another good start. He allowed a run over six innings. Durbin followed him and closed the game out with three scoreless innings to earn a save.

The Phillies won the second game 4-1 on a three-run homer from Werth in the bottom of the thirteenth. Rollins put the Phillies up 1-0 with a home run in the third. Blanton gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Theriot to start the fourth and Theriot came around to score on a two-out double by Kosuke Fukudome to tie the game at 1-1. Blanton departed after seven and the bullpen was brilliant after he left. They went six innings without allowing a hit or a walk. Lidge hit a batter in the ninth, but the runner was quickly erased by a double-play. Park was especially fantastic, striking out five in three perfect innings. In the bottom of the thirteenth the first two Phils went in order before Howard and Ibanez drew back-to-back walks. It put men on first and second for Werth and Werth hit a 1-1 pitch out to left.

The Cubs won 10-5 yesterday. Moyer gave up four in the fourth and another run in the top of the fifth. The Phils had gotten it to 5-3 by the time the seventh started, but Durbin had a miserable outing. He allowed two hits and walked three without getting an out, leading to three more runs that put Chicago up 8-3. The Phils scored two more in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-5. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but Howard grounded out to leave the runners stranded. Lidge had another weak outing in the ninth and the Cubs tacked on two more runs — Lidge couldn’t make it out of the frame and Madson had to come in and get the last out.

The Phillies pitchers went 31 innings in the series, throwing to a 3.19 ERA and a 1.16 ratio. They allowed two runs in 22 innings in the first two games and then allowed ten runs yesterday. They didn’t allow a home run in the three games.

They got two great starts, one from Lopez and one from Blanton, and a weak outing from Moyer. The starters combined to go 18 innings with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.33 ratio. They allowed seven runs over three games, five of which were allowed by Moyer.

Lopez went six innings in game one, allowing a run on five hits and three walks. He has a 2.60 ERA and a 1.21 ratio in three starts for the Phillies.

Blanton was also great in game two. He went seven innings and allowed a run on five hits and didn’t walk a batter. He started June with a 6.86 ERA. It’s now down to 4.24. He’s allowed two runs in 21 2/3 innings over his last three starts and given up just 13 hits.

Moyer made a weak start yesterday. He allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Two of his last three starts have been real bad with a brilliant start against the Marlins in the middle.

Like the starters, the pen was great in the first two games and not in the third. Overall they threw 13 innings with a 3.46 ERA and an 0.92 ratio. They allowed five runs that were charged to Lidge and Durbin in game three. As a group they gave up just six hits in 13 innings but walked six.

Romero did not pitch in the series. He’s gotten one out since July 16.

Eyre entered game three with the bases loaded, nobody out and the Phils down 7-3. He got Jake Fox to hit a sac fly for the first out, then got Koylie Hill on a line drive to third and struck out the pitcher Carlos Zambrano to end the frame. He came back to pitch the eighth and allowed a single and a walk but kept the Cubs off the board.

Eyre still has allowed runs in just two of 30 appearances on the season. He’s given up one run in 22 appearances since the end of April.

Durbin went three innings in game one and was fantastic. He allowed one single and didn’t walk a batter.

After throwing 33 pitches in game one, Durbin came back in game three and was not fantastic. He started the seventh with the Phillies down 5-3. He faced five batters: walk, walk, double, walk, single. He left with the bases loaded, nobody out and the Phils down 7-3. Thanks to a nice job by Eyre Durbin was only charged with three runs in the inning.

Park pitched a 1-2-3 tenth in game two with the score tied at 1-1. Ibanez made a great diving catch for the third out to take a double away from Koylie Hill. He came back to pitch the eleventh and struck out two as he set the Cubs down in order. He struck out two more in the twelfth.

Just an outstanding outing for Park. He went three innings and struck out five without allowing a hit or a walk. Over his last eight appearances he’s allowed two runs in 13 1/3 innings (1.35 ERA and a an 0.75 ratio).

Condrey got the win in game two. He threw three ground balls in a 1-2-3 thirteenth before Werth’s homer won it in the bottom of the inning.

He also pitched the sixth inning yesterday in game three. He entered with the Phils down 5-1 and set the Cubs down in order.

He’s allowed one hit and no walks in three scoreless innings this month.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with the score tied at 1-1 and set Chicago down in order.

He also got the final out in the top of the ninth yesterday. He took over for Lidge with two outs, the bases loaded and the Phils down 10-5 and got Aramis Ramirez on a popup.

He hasn’t been charged with a run in nine of his last ten appearances.

Lidge started the ninth inning in game two with the score knotted at 1-1. He hit Aramis Ramirez with one out. Fukudome was next and he hit a ball hard back through the middle, but it hit Lidge’s foot and went right to Rollins who was covering second with Ramirez running. Rollins turned the double-play to end the frame.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phillies down 8-5. With one out the Cubs loaded the bases on a hit batter, a walk and a single before a single by Reed Johnson moved everyone up a base and made it 9-5. Lidge got a strikeout for the second out before walking Derrek Lee to force in another run. Madson took over with two down and the bases loaded.

July has been the best month of the year for Lidge by ERA this season. He has a 5.87 ERA in nine July appearances.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 3-for-13 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 235/290/370 on the year. 351/437/568 in July.

Victorino went 5-for-14 with a double to improve his line to 307/375/455. He’s hitting .360 this month.

Utley was 1-for-13 with a walk. 302/417/554.

Howard went 2-for-12 with seven strikeouts, a home run and three walks. 259/347/531.

Ibanez made a great diving catch with two outs in the top of the tenth in game two, taking a double away from Koylie Hill. Dobbs started in left yesterday in game three. Ibanez was 1-for-9 with a home run and two walks in the set. 309/372/662. If he slugs .662 all season long it will be a career high.

Werth won game two with a three-run homer in the bottom of the thirteenth. 4-for-10 with a home run and five walks. 266/378/508. He’s hitting just .266 this month, but with a .444 on-base percentage and a .603 slugging percentage.

Feliz was 4-for-12 with a walk and two RBI. 289/337/407.

Ruiz caught the first two games of the series and was 2-for-7 with a double and a home run. 228/330/375 on the year.

Bako started yesterday. He was 1-for-6 in the series and is hitting just 206/270/235 for the year. One extra-base hit, a double, in 34 at-bats.

Bruntlett was 0-for-2 in the series to drop his line on the year to 128/202/192.

Mayberry was 1-for-1 with a single. 192/236/462 on the year. He’s one of three players on the Phillies bench with an on-base percentage for the year of .270 or worse. I’m just saying.

Dobbs started in left yesterday in game three. 2-for-7 with two RBI in the series. 274/313/453 on the year. He’s hitting .341 in July after hitting .342 in June. One of four players on the Phillies bench with and on-base percentage of .313 or worse.

Stairs was 0-for-2 in the series. 270/425/492. 1-for-9 with five strikeouts and four walks in July.

Run rundown

You’ve probably heard multiple times by now that the Phillies are some-really-big-number and some-really-small-number when Jimmy Rollins scores a run. That’s fantastic news. Some-really-big-number and some-really-small-number must be really good, don’t you think? If it wasn’t they would have to stop mentioning it all the time, wouldn’t they?

The Phils are actually 37-8 this year in games when Rollins scores a run (the charts in this post don’t include the results from last night’s game). That’s an impressive .822 winning percentage. The team’s record is pretty good when any of their starting eight scores, though. Here’s a look at the number of games each of their starters have played, runs they’ve scored, the number of games they’ve played in which they scored a run and the team’s record and winning percentage in games that player scored at least one run:

  Games R Games
Rollins 88 55 45 37 8 .822
Victorino 88 66 49 38 11 .776
Utley 88 65 50 38 12 .760
Howard 89 57 44 34 10 .773
Ibanez 68 57 40 28 12 .700
Werth 88 61 46 32 14 .696
Feliz 89 38 31 26 5 .839
Ruiz 58 14 12 11 1 .917

Compared to the rest of the group, the .822 winning percentage in games when Rollins scores a run is high. Not as high as when Feliz or Ruiz scores a run, but high. Things may have changed after Werth drove in himself, Howard and Ibanez in a win last night, but going into last night’s game the two hitters at the top of the lineup (Rollins and Victorino) and the two hitters at the bottom of the lineup (Feliz and Ruiz) had the highest winning percentages for the team in games where they score and the four guys in the middle had the lowest.

The lowest winning percentage of the group is for Werth at .696. If a team played to a .696 winning percentage over 162 games it would go 113-49.

The guys in the middle are the ones scoring the runs for the Phils. For the eight players, here’s the number of runs they’ve scored per game, the percentage of games they’ve played in that they’ve scored at least one run and the number of plate appearances per run (they are order by the number of plate appearances per run scored):

scored per game
% of games
scored run(s)
PA per R
Ibanez 0.84 59% 5.35
Utley 0.74 57% 6.03
Victorino 0.75 56% 6.24
Werth 0.69 52% 6.36
Howard 0.64 49% 6.89
Rollins 0.63 51% 7.29
Feliz 0.43 35% 9.21
Ruiz 0.24 21% 15.07

The Phillies have five players in the top ten in runs scored in the NL after last night’s game — Victorino, Utley, Werth, Ibanez and Howard (Ibanez, Howard and David Wright are tied for tenth). Rollins is right behind them, just two runs scored out of the top ten. The runs scored for Ibanez is probably the most ridiculous — he’s in the top ten in the league despite the fact that he’s played about twenty games less than most regulars.

This says that the Phillies may have inquired about Josh Willingham, who would be a perfect cure for the righty ills of the Phils. It also suggests that Condrey continues to have a problem with his oblique and the Phillies considered putting him on the DL and calling up Kendrick.

Will JA sta?

As well as JA Happ has been pitching, I thought it might make sense to check and make sure that Halladay was still having a better season than Happ. He is.

  IP ERA Ratio R/9 H/9 BB/9 SO/9 (2B+3B)/9 HR/9
Halladay 132.0 2.73 1.07 2.86 8.45 1.16 7.70 1.43 0.68
Happ 94.0 2.68 1.15 2.68 7.18 3.16 6.22 1.53 1.05

Halladay, of course, pitches in the DL-loving American League, which is like baseball except that instead of Barry Zito striking out on four pitches, Jim Thome hits a three-run homer. Putting that aside, though, Halladay has still been better.

Happ does have a better ERA. And he has been better at preventing hits. That’s about the end of the list, though. Halladay has been better at preventing walks and by a margin that dwarfs Happ’s advantage at preventing hits. Happ has issued walks at about 2.72 times the rate of Halladay (Halladay has walked just 17 in 132 innings). They’ve allowed doubles and triples at about the same rate, but Halladay is much better at keeping the ball in the yard — Happ’s home run rate is about 1.54 times higher than Halladay’s for the year.

In the grasping-for-straws category we have that runners have been more able to run on Halladay than they have Happ. Halladay has allowed 13 stolen bases in 132 innings on the season compared to just one in 94 innings for Happ.

Halladay is just better. Of course. If you don’t remember Happ winning the Cy Young in 2002 or being a six-time All-Star or finishing in the top five in the league in Cy Young voting for the last three seasons, don’t worry, your memory is fine. That would be Halladay. More importantly, given all of the above it’s just about indefensible to suggest that Happ will be better than Halladay the rest of the way in 2009.

Still, though, there’s this and it’s pretty hard to ignore: Halladay makes $14.25 million in 2009. Happ makes $405,000. Halladay is obviously better — he’s been better so far this season and he’s a lock to be better for the rest of it. But he’s not 35.2 times better. And if you have any trouble finding that hard to ignore, just think how hard it would be for the Phillies.

This suggests that Myers could be back with the Phillies in August, pitching out of the bullpen. Insert your own Lidge-can’t-get-anyone-out joke here.

On that subject, this says that the Phillies sent a scout to watch Arizona closer Chad Qualls over the weekend.

Where were we?

Oh yeah, the Phillies never lose. Thanks.

The notion that the Florida Marlins are going to win the NL East this season is a little tough to swallow. Nonetheless, the Phils and Fish started the second half with a big four-game set that could have ended with the teams tied atop the NL East or the Phillies up by as many as eight games. They only managed to play three, but the results were pretty dramatic as the Phils swept the Marlins away in the three games they played.

The Phillies have started the second half on the same roll they ended the first. The starting pitching has been outstanding all month and the 12-3 July has the Phils at thirteen games over .500 for the first time on the season.

The Phillies are 51-38 on the year. They have won eight in a row and 12 of 13. They are in first place in the NL East. The Braves are in second place and trail the Phils by 6 1/2 games. The Fish are seven back and the Mets nine.

In game one the Phillies rode a brilliant start by Moyer to a 4-0 win. Moyer, Madson and Romero combined to throw a one-hit shutout and the Phillies scored four runs on three homers, two from Ibanez and one from Howard. Howard’s home run was the 200th of his career and he became the fastest player to 200 in major league history.

The Phils won game two 6-5 in twelve innings. Hamels got the start and allowed a run over five innings before being forced from the game by a long rain delay in the sixth. Thanks to a two-run homer from Utley in the first and a pair of runs in the top of the fourth the Phils took a 4-1 lead into the delay. The Marlins scored a run off of Park in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-2. Madson, Romero and Durbin combined to allow a pair of runs in the eighth. Madson started the inning and was charged with both runs, but allowed just two singles and got two outs. Romero walked the only man he faced. Durbin was next and he allowed an RBI-single that tied the game at 4-4 and a walk before ending the inning with a strikeout. The Phils went up 6-4 with two in the twelfth, scoring runs on RBI-singles from Utley and Werth. Lidge struggled again in the bottom of the inning. He got the first out before walking the next two hitters. The Marlins bunted the runners to second and third before Ronny Paulino scored on a wild pitch from Lidge. With two outs and a man on third, Lidge got Dan Uggla to ground to second to end the game.

Game three was rained out with the Phils down 2-0 in the second.

Happ made another fantastic start in game four, which the Phillies won 5-0. Rollins went 3-for-5 and Ibanez drove in two runs. Happ went seven shutout innings and the pen threw the last two.

The Phillies got great pitching in the series. Over 30 innings they threw to a 1.50 ERA with a 1.00 ratio. They gave up just 21 hits in 30 innings and allowed just one home run (Coghlan off of Hamels in game two).

The starting pitching was very good. Blanton struggled in the game that was rained out. In the three games that counted, Hamels, Moyer and Happ combined to allow one run over 19 innings — the home run off of Hamels in the first inning of game two. 0.47 ERA with an 0.68 ratio. Ten hits and three walks over 19.

Moyer was awesome in game one. He allowed a single and a walk over seven innings and struck out four. He hasn’t walked more than one hitter in a start in any of his last three outings.

Hamels went five innings in game two, allowing a run on three singles, a walk and a home run. He hasn’t thrown 100 pitches in a start in any of his last four outings.

Happ pitched game four and allowed five hits and a walk over seven shutout innings to lower his ERA on the year to 2.68. He has a 1.46 ERA in his last five starts.

The bullpen wasn’t quite as good as the starting pitching in the series. They went 11 innings, throwing to a 3.55 ERA with a 1.55 ratio. Too many walks — they walked six in 11 frames. They allowed four runs in the set, all of which they gave up in came two and were charged to Park, Madson and Lidge.

Romero threw a 1-2-3 ninth in game one to preserve the one-hit shutout.

He entered the eighth inning of game two with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies up 4-3 to face Jeremy Hermida. He walked Hermida to put men on first and second with two down. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Wes Helms.

He also pitched yesterday. He entered in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, men on first and third and the Phils up 4-0 to face lefty Ross Gload. Gload flew to right to end the inning.

After walking 12 in 12 appearances in June, Romero has walked just one over eight appearances (just 4 1/3 innings) in July.

Eyre pitched the tenth inning of game two with the scored tied at 4-4. He allowed a two-out walk but struck out the next hitter to end the inning.

He also started the ninth inning yesterday. He allowed a one-out single before getting lefty Jeremy Hermida to fly to center for the second out. Lidge came on to pitch to righty Hanley Ramirez with two outs and a man on first.

He’s been charged with one run, which was unearned, in his last 21 appearances.

Durbin came into game two in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, men on first and second and the Phillies up 4-3 to pitch to Helms. Helms delivered an RBI-single to left, tying the game at 4-4. Durbin walked the next hitter, putting men on first and second with two down, but struck out lefty Chris Coghlan to leave two men on. Durbin presumably pitched to Coghlan instead of Eyre so he could come back and pitch the ninth. He did. He allowed the first two men to reach on a hit and a walk, but got the next three to keep Florida off the board.

We should all be a little worried about Durbin. The Phillies could really use him, especially with Madson pitching so much. Again, very surprised to see Walker designated for assignment.

Park started the sixth inning of game two with a 4-1 lead. He set the Marlins down 1-2-3. He came back to start the seventh and gave up a leadoff double to Paulino. Paulino came around to score on a single by Ross Gload to cut the Phillies lead to 4-2. Park allowed another single in the inning but got Emilio Bonifacio bunting to third with two outs and two men on to end the inning.

Condrey took Tyler Walker’s roster spot on Friday. Walker was designated for assignment in a move that surprised me. Condrey pitched the eleventh inning of game two with the score tied at 4-4. He allowed a one-out single, but got Jorge Cantu to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game one with a 4-0 lead and set the Marlins down in order.

He also started the eighth in game two with a 4-2 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Hanley Ramirez but got the next two. It put Ramirez on second with two outs for Paulino and Paulino singled into center to score Ramirez and make it 4-3. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Jeremy Hermida.

Yesterday Madson also started the eighth, this time with a 4-0 lead. He got the first out before allowing back-to-back singles that put men on first and third. Paulino lined to Feliz at third for the second out and Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Ross Gload.

Interesting series for Madson. He pitched all three games and is on pace to pitch in 87 games this year after making 76 appearances last year. Twice he started the eighth with the Phillies up four runs. In two different games he started the eighth but didn’t finish it and was removed so Romero could face a lefty.

Lidge started the twelfth inning of game two with a 6-4 lead. The Marlins scored a run on two walks and a wild pitch, cutting the lead to 6-5. With two outs and a man on third, Lidge got Uggla to ground to Utley to end the game. Not a pretty outing for Lidge, who got a gift when pitcher Chris Volstad bunted runners to second and third with the second out of the inning.

He came into yesterday’s game with two outs and a man on first to face Ramirez. Ramirez popped to short to end the game.

Lidge is still pretty scary if you’re a Phillies fan.

Madson and Romero pitched for the Phillies in each of the three games in the series. The rainout on Saturday means that they have not pitched three days in a row. Madson threw 20 pitches yesterday and Eyre 21. It would be nice to see some games where the Phillies pen pitches well and Madson gets the day off.

The Phillies scored 15 run in the three-game series.

Rollins was 6-for-16 with two doubles and a triple in the series. He made an ugly base-running play yesterday. After he led off the game with a triple he was thrown out when Victorino followed and chopped a ball to third base. That’s an awful play with nobody out. He’s hitting 236/290/367 on the year. 377/472/590 in July.

Victorino was 2-for-11 with two walks in the series. 306/374/456 for the year. All three of those would be career-highs for him (unless you want to count the 17 at-bats he had in 2005 when he slugged .647. You don’t).

Utley was 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and four RBI. 312/427/573 on the season. Just one walk in his last 39 at-bats.

Howard hit his 200th career home run in game one. He didn’t start yesterday with Bruntlett playing first base. 4-for-9 with a home run in the series. 262/347/535 for the year.

Ibanez socked a pair of homers in game one to start the second half off with a bang. 5-for-10 with a double, two homers and five RBI. He also walked twice. 316/375/669 on the year. If he slugs .669 all season long it would be a career high.

Werth was 3-for-13 with two walks. 262/370/502. He’s hitting just .229 in July but on-basing .409 thanks to 15 walks. He has also hit five home runs this month.

Feliz had a pretty awful game yesterday. He went 0-for-4 with a walk, two errors and left seven men on base. He was 2-for-13 with two walks in the series. 287/335/410 for the season.

Ruiz caught all three games in the series. 1-for-11 with a double and two walks. He’s hitting .138 in July after hitting .174 in June.

Bako did not play in the series.

Bruntlett started yesterday’s game at first base, which should never happen. I really like the idea of giving Howard a day off and I think it’s understandable to hope you can get Bruntlett out of his year-long funk with the bat. The team needs a better option, though. Mayberry in left against the lefty and Ibanez at first? Ibanez has made 135 career appearances at first. The most recent was in 2005. He started 45 games at first for the Royals in 2002. Bruntlett was 0-for-4 with a stolen base in the series. If you have any children in the room you may want to remove them — his line for the year is 132/207/197.

Mayberry was 0-for-2 in the series and is hitting 176/222/451 for the year. He’s 0-for-13 in July.

Dobbs was 1-for-2 in the series and is hitting 273/314/464 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the set. 279/436/508. 1-for-7 in July.

I don’t really understand designating Walker for assignment. He wasn’t really as good as his 1.64 ERA with the Phillies, but he was pretty good. A 1.00 ratio is kind of hard to argue with.

The pitch for relief from pitching in relief

The Phillies open the second half of the season with a big series against the second-place Marlins. The Phils came in to the set knowing they could come out tied atop the division with the Fish or as many as eight games ahead of them. So far, so good. The Phils rolled in game one as Jamie Moyer threw a one-hit shutout with help from Madson and Romero.

The Phils are on a roll and look like they have a chance to put serious distance between themselves and the rest of the NL East. That would be good for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that it would allow them to rest key members of the bullpen down the stretch.

You’ll remember that the Phillies pen was fantastic last year. Durbin and Madson both finished in the top five in the league in innings pitched as a reliever, though. Durbin led the league with 87 2/3 innings pitched in relief and Madson was fifth with 82 2/3 innings pitched in relief. Down the stretch and through the post-season one of them was fantastic and the other faded badly. Durbin ended July last season with a 1.67 ERA and a 1.15 ratio. In his 27 regular season appearances to end the season he threw to a 5.40 ERA and a 1.70 ratio. In seven appearances in the post-season he was charged with just one earned run, but allowed seven hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings (2.70 ERA with a 3.00 ratio). Madson, on the other hand, ended July with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.31 ERA and was fantastic the rest of the way. In his last 28 regular season appearances he threw to a 2.22 ERA and a 1.09 ratio. He followed that up with an awesome run through the playoffs in which he pitched 12 2/3 innings with a 2.13 ERA and an 0.87 ratio.

Durbin and Madson both find themselves in the top ten in the NL in innings pitched in relief again in 2009. Madson has again been fantastic early in the season this year while Durbin has struggled a bit. I think there’s an added element this season as well — for Durbin, his struggles have meant that in addition to all of the innings he’s thrown he’s also had to throw more pitches to get through innings. In 2008 Durbin used 1,417 pitches to get through 87 2/3 innings. So far this year he’s needed 836 pitches to get through 44 1/3 innings. At his ’08 rate of pitches per inning he would have needed just 717 pitches to get through 44 1/3 frames. In 2009, Durbin is throwing about 1.17 times as many pitches per inning as he did last year.

For the 16 pitches who have thrown at least ten innings for the Phillies this season, here are the rates for pitches per batter, batters per inning and pitches per inning for each of them this year (does not include last night’s game):

Pitchers per batter

Batters per inning

Pitches per inning
T Walker
R Lopez
R Madson
B Myers
C Condrey
C Hamels
J Happ
J Moyer
J Blanton
J Taschner
C Park
C Durbin
B Lidge
A Bastardo
J Romero
S Eyre
T Walker
R Lopez
J Happ
C Condrey
R Madson
C Hamels
B Myers
J Blanton
J Romero
S Eyre
J Moyer
C Park
A Bastardo
C Durbin
B Lidge
J Taschner
T Walker
R Lopez
R Madson
J Happ
C Condrey
B Myers
C Hamels
J Blanton
J Moyer
C Park
C Durbin
J Romero
A Bastardo
S Eyre
J Taschner
B Lidge

A lot of pitches per inning isn’t ideal, but the combination of a guy who throws a lot of innings plus needs a lot of pitches to get through an inning is worse. So I don’t think we should be worried about Romero and Eyre needing a lot of pitches to go through a frame since they don’t throw a huge number of innings. I do think we should be worried about Durbin and Lidge.

Durbin and Madson threw about the same number of innings in the first half of the season. Madson threw 44 2/3 and Durbin threw 43 1/3. Madson threw a lot less pitches, though. He threw just 694 while Durbin threw 836, which is 142 more. Madson has thrown 15.54 pitches per inning this season — if he threw at that rate he could have thrown about 54 innings with the 836 pitches Durbin has thrown compared to the 43 1/3 Durbin has.

In addition to the increasing number of pitches that Durbin has to throw to get through an inning, I think for both he and Madson you have to worry about the number of innings they are both pitching. You don’t really want to see both of those guys in the top five for innings pitched in relief for the league every season.

Lidge is the other guy I think you have to worry about in terms of the number of pitches he’s throwing. He’s throwing about 20.2 pitches per inning this year after throwing 17.18 per inning last season. His pitches per innings is at the highest rate for his career with the exception of 2002 when he threw under ten innings. 2006 with the Astros was the other year where he really struggled — in ’06 he needed just 18.01 pitches per inning.

Whether it’s a physical problem or not, Lidge is either going to work through his struggles this year or he isn’t. The worry, though, is that even if he does, by the time he does it he will have thrown so many pitches that he’s worn out.

Clay Condrey could be activated for tonight’s game.

Kyle Kendrick is engaged to marry a former Survivor contestant, which means that five percent of the Phillies 40-man roster is now engaged to or married to someone who has been on the show. Don’t know for sure, but I would guess that leads the league.

With his home run last night, Ryan Howard became the player to hit 200 home runs in the fewest number of games in Major League history.

Philliesflow has a Twitter page.

Update: The Phillies activated Condrey and designated Tyler Walker for assignment.

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