After struggling at home for most of the year the Phillies have roared to life at Citizens Bank Park in early July. Coming off of a three-game sweep of the rival Mets at home, the Phillies pounded the Reds in a four-game set and now look to finish the first half of the season strong as the Pirates come to town.
The Phillies have won six of their last seven. In those games they’ve thrown 63 innings with a 2.29 ERA. The bullpen has been charged with one run in 19 innings (0.47 ERA) while throwing to an 0.63 ratio with 26 strikeouts. Jimmy Rollins has gone 12-for-28 with five extra-base hits and seven walks and sparkled defensively. The team never makes an error. They scored ten runs in an inning and 22 runs in a game. Jayson Werth homers every day. Victorino has played himself into the All-Star game. Rollins, Victorino and Utley combined to go 22-for-51 atop the lineup in the last four games.
The Phils are 45-38 on the year after taking three of four from the Cincinnati Reds. The Phils are in first place in the NL East, two games ahead of the Florida Marlins. The Mets and Braves are tied for third place, both teams are five games back.
The Phillies blasted the Reds in game one, winning 22-1. They scored ten runs in the bottom of the first, getting two-run homers from Victorino and Dobbs and a three-run shot from Utley. Hamels was fantastic. He allowed a solo homer to Johnny Gomes in the top of the second, but went seven innings and allowed just three hits without walking a batter. The Phils were up 16-1 by the fourth inning and Werth hit a grand slam in the bottom of a six-run eighth.
The Phils lost a close one in game two, falling 4-3. Happ gave them another impressive start, but the Phillies had a lot of trouble with situational hitting and failed several times the bring a runner home. They got a run in the third but couldn’t get any more after putting men on first and second with nobody out. They got a leadoff triple from Ruiz in the fourth but left him stranded. In the eighth they put men on first and third with one out but didn’t score. Home runs from Werth and Howard helped put the Phils up 3-0 by the end of the third. Brandon Phillips connected for a two-run homer off of Happ in the fourth, though, and Phillips tied the game at three with another home run in the sixth. Lidge entered the ninth with the score still tied. He gave up a leadoff double to Joey Votto and Votto came around to score on a Ramon Hernandez single to put Cincy up 4-3. The Phils went quietly in the bottom of the ninth.
The Phillies took game three 3-2 thanks to solid pitching and a show-stealing performance from Victorino. Lopez made his second start for the Phils and gave up a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Victorino made a run out of almost nothing in the bottom of the inning. He led off and reached on an infield single, stole second, went to third on a sac fly by Utley and scored on a two-out single from Howard to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1. Lopez had to leave with a strained shoulder after five innings after throwing 82-mph fastballs in the top of the fifth. Werth blasted a home run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2. Durbin, Romero and Madson combined to throw four scoreless innings and the game went to the bottom of the ninth still tied at 2-2. Feliz led off with a single, moved to second on a two-out walk from Rollins and came in to score the game-winner on a single to center from Victorino.
The Phils won an ugly 9-6 game yesterday. Moyer didn’t have a good start and the Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. The Phils came back with two in the bottom of the third, thanks to an inside-the-park home run from Utley that was followed by back-to-back doubles by Howard and Werth. Edwin Encarnacion put the Reds up 4-2 with a solo homer in the fourth, but a two-run single from Victorino in the bottom of the inning tied the game at 4-4. Another home run off of Moyer, this one a two-run shot from Brandon Phillips, made it 6-4 in the fifth. The Phillies got four walks and two singles in the bottom of the fifth to go up 8-6 and a solo homer by Werth in the sixth put them up 9-6. Park was awesome in relief of Moyer, entering in the sixth with an 8-6 lead and going three scoreless innings. Lidge got the save in the ninth.
Outstanding pitching for the Phillies in the series. They threw 36 innings to a 3.25 ERA and an 0.89 ratio. This comes off a series against the Mets where the Phils threw to a 1.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio over three games. So they’ve been pitching rather well.
Three great starts in the series for the Phils and one bad one yesterday. 24 innings with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.00 ratio for the starting pitchers combined. The starters allowed five home runs — one by Hamels, two by Happ and two by Moyer. They walked just two in 24 innings. Lopez and Moyer both walked one and Hamels and Happ didn’t walk any.
Hamels was awesome in game one. He allowed two singles and a solo homer over seven innings.
Happ went seven innings in game two and allowed three runs, all of which scored on a pair of homers by Phillips. Aside from the two homers Happ allowed four singles without walking a batter and struck out seven. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts.
Lopez went five innings in game three, allowing two runs on five singles and a walk. The Phillies have won both of his starts and he’s pitched to a 3.18 ERA with a 1.15 ratio, walking just two in 11 1/3 innings.
Moyer allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings yesterday, raising his ERA on the year to 5.99. He’s allowed five home runs in 16 1/3 innings over his last three starts.
The bullpen allowed one run in 12 innings, the run the Lidge gave up in the ninth inning of game two. 0.75 ERA and an 0.67 ratio coming off of seven scoreless innings against the Mets with an 0.57 ratio. The pen didn’t allow a home run against the Reds and gave up just five hits and three walks in 12 innings. The trio of Durbin, Romero and Madson were particularly impressive in game three. Park was fantastic last night, going three scoreless innings in relief of Moyer.
Romero entered game three with two outs in the seventh, men on first and second and the score tied at 2-2 to pitch to Chris Dickerson. Romero struck him out looking to end the frame.
Eyre made his first appearance for the Phils since June 11 in the ninth inning of game one. He entered the game with a 22-1 lead and allowed a single and a double to the first two men he faced, but kept the Reds off the board by getting the next three hitters on a fly ball and two strikeouts.
The outing will surely help his splits for career ERA when pitching with a 21-run lead.
Durbin started the sixth inning of game three with the Phillies down 2-1. He got the first two men he faced before hitting Phillips. He got Laynce Nix on a ground ball to third to end the inning.
He came back to start the seventh in game three. Hernandez led off with a single and moved to second on a ground out by the pitcher Homer Bailey before Durbin hit Edwin Encarnacion. It put men on first and second with nobody out. Durbin struck Johnny Gomes out looking for the second out and Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Dickerson.
Three good outings in a row from Durbin have lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 4.09. He allowed three home runs in 12 2/3 innings in April to start the year. He’s given up just three in 21 1/3 innings over 26 appearances since.
Park entered yesterday’s game in relief of Moyer in the top of the sixth with an 8-6 lead. He allowed a one-out walk in the sixth, but got the next two men he faced. He came back to strike out the side in the seventh and throw a 1-2-3 eighth.
Huge outing for Park in a tight game. Over his last six appearances he’s allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks over 8 1/3 innings. That’s a 1.08 ERA and an 0.84 ratio. Park made six appearances in May, four starts and two in relief. He walked 15 in 22 innings (and 12 in his 18 innings as a starter). So far in June and July he has walked six in 20 2/3 innings.
Walker threw the seventh inning of game one with the Phillies up 16-1 and set the Reds down in order.
Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with the score tied at 3-3. He set the Reds down 1-2-3.
He also pitched in game three, entering in the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth and a 1-2-3 ninth.
Fantastic series for Madson, pitching three shutdown frames at critical times.
Lidge entered game two in the top of the ninth with the score tied at 3-3. Joey Votto led off with a double to right, was bunted to third and scored on a single by Hernandez before Lidge got out of the inning with a double-play ball.
He also pitched last night in game four, entering in the ninth with a 9-6 lead. He walked Willy Tavares with two outs, but struck Chris Dickerson out to end the game and earn his 17th save.
Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Park threw 43 pitches last night, so I wouldn’t be expecting to see him in tonight’s game.
The Phillies scored 37 runs in the four-game series (22 in game one).
Rollins was fantastic in the series, both with his glove and with the bat. 7-for-17 with a double and four walks. He is hitting 227/281/351 on the season. He’s 14-for-his-last-32 and hitting .400 in July.
Victorino was pretty fantastic hisownself. He won game three with a walkoff single that scored Feliz and had a monster game one in which he drove in four runs. 8-for-17 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI. 309/375/463 on the year.
Utley hit an inside-the-park home run yesterday. With two outs and nobody on he hit the ball high off the wall in center. It came off the wall and rolled along the track while Utley hustled around the bases and scored without a close play at the plate. 7-for-17 with two doubles and two homers and six RBI in the series. 307/427/578, so Victorino has a higher batting average on the season, which probably won’t last long.
Howard went 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He’s at 253/332/522 on the year. Everyone in front of him is on fire these days, so there are a ton of RBI chances for Howard. He’s hitting just 200/333/333 in July, though.
Werth homered in every game in the series. 6-for-15 with a double, four walks, four homers and nine RBI. 268/373/522 on the year. He’s slugging .885 in July. He hits a lot of home runs with Ryan Howard not on base.
Dobbs starting left field for all four games and went 7-for-16 with a double and a home run. 274/319/472. He was hitting 172/246/310 after 0-for-1 against the Blue Jays on June 17. He even drew a walk in last night’s game, which gives him two since the end of May.
Feliz was 5-for-18 with five singles and is at 292/339/407 for the year.
Ruiz started games one, two and four of the series and went 3-for-9 with a triple and a walk. He’s hitting 239/340/374 for the year. 3-for-his-last-19.
Coste was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line for the year to 245/342/382. He has two at-bats in July.
Bako started game three. He was 1-for-6 in the series and is hitting 200/273/250 in 20 at-bats on the year. In the last three games that Bako has started the team the Phillies were playing has scored two runs twice and one run once. Coincidence? Probably.
Bruntlett was 1-for-5 with a double in the series. 139/207/208.
Mayberry was on the bench to start all four games with the Reds starting four righties. He was 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. 200/250/511 for the year in 36 at-bats. He’s 1-for-his-last-20 with 11 strikeouts.
There’s a whole lot of things going right for the Phillies. One of the things that isn’t and that has been a problem for a long time is right-handed hitting off the bench. Bruntlett, Coste and Mayberry aren’t in a groove. Need some help.
Stairs was 0-for-1 with three walks in the series. His line is at 271/427/458 for the year. Just one extra-base hit, a double, since he homered against the Fish on May 27.
Shane Victorino won the vote and made the All-Star team.
Things are heating up with Pedro Martinez. Martinez will throw for the Phillies again this afternoon. Todd Zolecki seems to think there’s a good chance the Phils will get Pedro.
Lopez says he should be able to make his next start, which could be on July 20.
Update: Jayson Werth has also made the NL All-Star team, taking the place of the injured Carlos Beltran. The addition means that all three of the Phillies starting outfielders will join Utley and Howard on the team.
More update: The Phillies activated Ibanez from the DL and designated Chris Coste for assignment. Coste was claimed by the Astros.