The Phillies didn’t get Roy Halladay, but the contributions they are getting from the guy they didn’t trade for him and the guy they traded for instead sure make it look like they made the right decision. Superb starts from JA Happ and Cliff Lee led the way in Philadelphia as the Phils took two of three from the Rockies. In the last two games of the set Lee and Happ combined to throw 16 innings in which they allowed one run and struck out 19.
Joining Lee and Happ in leading the Phillies is the suddenly surging Jimmy Rollins. Rollins has sprung to life after a miserable start to the season. He is hitting 336/392/619 in 148 plate appearances since July 2 and led the offense against Colorado.
The Phils are 61-45 on the year after taking two of three from the Colorado Rockies in Philadelphia. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by seven games and the third-place Braves by 7 1/2. They have the second-best winning percentage in the NL behind the Dodgers. LA is 67-42 with a .615 winning percentage, which is better than the Phillies’ .575. In the American League the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels have played to a better winning percentage than the Phillies.
The Phillies lost the first game of the series 8-3. Garrett Atkins put the Rocks up 2-0 with a two-run homer off of Moyer in the second. Colorado added another pair of runs in the fourth before a two-run shot from Rollins in the bottom of the fifth got the Phils on the board at 4-2. Things blew up in the sixth, though, as Moyer and Lopez, a new addition to the pen with the arrival of Cliff Lee, were touched up for four runs that extended the Rockies lead to 8-2.
JA Happ was brilliant in game two and the Phillies rode his complete-game shutout to a 7-0 win. Feliz, Rollins and Werth all homered before the end of the fifth inning and the blasts drove in six of the Phillies runs. Happ was in control the whole game, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out a career-high ten.
It was Cliff Lee being brilliant yesterday for the Phils. Lee struck out nine while holding the Rockies to a single run over seven innings and the Phillies won 3-1. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a double in and came around to score to give Colorado an early 1-0, but Colorado wouldn’t get any more. Rollins went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple and scored two runs to lead the Phillies offense. Bako hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot off of Aaron Cook in the bottom of the fifth.
The Phillies got outstanding pitching in the series. They allowed nine runs over three games, six of which were charged to Moyer in game one. Overall they threw to a 3.00 ERA with a 1.11 ratio. They allowed just one home run, which Atkins hit off of Moyer. They allowed just 23 hits in 27 innings while striking out 27.
They got two fantastic starts in the set from Happ and Lee. Moyer struggled in his outing. As a group the starters went 21 innings with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 ratio.
Moyer was hit hard in game one. He went five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and four walks. He has had a miserable season and it’s hurting the Phillies. He didn’t get much help from Lopez in this game — Moyer walked the only two men he faced in the sixth before leaving the game and both of them would come around to score. He’s coming off of his best month of the year, a July in which he went 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.27 ratio. His first start of August was an ugly one, though, and he’s now thrown to a 5.55 ERA for the season with a 1.47 ratio. He’s also not going deep into games. Despite the fact that he’s coming off of his best month of the year he still hasn’t gotten an out in the sixth inning in four of his last seven starts.
Happ was awesome in game two. He threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles, two doubles and a pair of walks. He struck out ten, but also threw a career-high 127 pitches in the game. He has a 2.80 ERA and a 1.14 ratio in 14 starts with the Phillies this year.
Lee was almost as good in game two. He allowed one run over seven innings on five singles, a double and a walk. He struck out nine. Each of his first two starts have been fantastic. He’s 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and an 0.81 ratio in two outings with the Phillies. He got seven wins in 22 starts with the Indians this season, but it hasn’t been the Phillies offense powering him to victories. The Phillies have scored eight runs in his two starts.
The bullpen threw just six innings in the three-game set. Lopez had a weak outing in relief of Moyer in game two and was charged with the only two runs that they allowed. As a group they threw to a 3.00 ERA with a 1.17 ratio in the three games. They didn’t walk a batter in the series. Besides Lopez, the only three relievers to pitch were Walker, Madson and Lidge and all three fared well.
Eyre did not pitch in the series.
Lopez entered game one in the sixth inning, making his first relief appearance of the year. He came in with nobody out and men on first and second, the Phillies down 4-2. He got a ground out for the first out of the inning before Atkins cleared the bases with a two-run double that made it 6-2. Chris Ianetta followed with an RBI-single. 7-2. The pitcher Jason Hammel followed with a single of his own before Dexter Fowler delivered an RBI-double that made it 8-2. Lopez got a fly ball to end the inning. He came back to pitch the seventh and allowed a one-out single but got the next two.
Lopez has been effective pitching in relief over his career. In 27 relief appearances he has a 3.14 ERA and a 1.24 ratio over 63 innings (4.88 ERA with a 1.42 ratio in 166 career starts). Not a ton of appearances, but I don’t think the idea of pitching him out of the pen is ridiculous. Having all three of him, Kendrick and Park in the pen at the same time is getting a little close to ridiculous, though.
Kendrick did not pitch in the series.
Park did not pitch in the series.
Walker pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies down 8-3. He set Colorado down in order.
Madson pitched the eighth inning of game three yesterday with the Phillies up 3-1. He gave up a leadoff single but struck the next batter out and then got a double-play.
Again, it’s great to see Madson pitching less regularly recently. The Phillies are obviously going to need him before it’s over, but they don’t need him pitching every day now. He’s made two appearances this week after making one last week.
Lidge pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phillies losing 8-3. He got two ground outs and a popup in a perfect frame.
He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering in the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead. He gave up a two-out single to Brad Hawpe, which brought pinch-hitter Ian Stewart to the plate as they tying run. Lidge struck Stewart out on three pitches to end the game and earn his 21st save on the year.
Encouraging developments from Lidge. He has been charged with one or more runs in just one of his last five appearances. In the outing that he did give up runs he was pitching for the third straight day. 3.60 ERA with an 0.80 ratio over five innings in his last five appearances.
Seven guys in the bullpen for the Phils. Three of them, Kendrick, Park and Lopez, can start and two of them are pitchers who have primarily been starters over their career.
Nobody in the pen has appeared more than one day in a row and neither Madson or Lidge threw more than 20 pitches yesterday.
The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three-game series.
Rollins was 6-for-14 with a double, a triple and two home runs in the series to raise his line on the year to 245/294/410. After going 1-for-5 with a home run in game two he was slugging .400 — it was the first time on the year that his slugging had been at .400 or better. He had 24 total bases in all of April and 28 in all of June. So far in August he has 21.
Victorino was 3-for-12 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 313/378/467 on the season.
Utley was 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 299/418/541 on the year. He’s 4-for-his-last-20 with a double.
Howard was 1-for-12 in the set. 2-for-20 with two singles in August. 258/341/516 on the year.
Ibanez was 4-for-10 with two doubles and a walk in the series. 304/369/626 for the year. Since May 30 he has hit just 257/321/534, but most of that is due to struggles June. He went on the DL in the middle of June, but before he did he had hit 254/299/571 for the month. He came back and appeared in his first game back on July 11. From July 11 to now he has hit 276/360/526.
Werth was 2-for-11 with a home run. Not a great series for Werth, but the home run was a big one. The three-run blast in game two opened up a big lead for the Phils. 268/376/501 on the year. He’s off walks apparently. He has walked once in his last 37 plate appearances. In his 132 plate appearances prior he had walked 32 times.
Feliz was 2-for-10 with a home run. 287/333/397 for the season. He’s 5-for-his-last-30.
Ruiz started the first two games of the series and went 3-for-7 with two doubles. 231/328/380 on the year.
Bako started yesterday and went 2-for-3 with a home run. His line is at 196/255/294 for the year. Bako hit six home runs in 299 at-bats for the Reds last year. Six is his career-high.
Francisco walked in both of his plate appearances in the series. He’s 4-for-12 with two walks since joining the Phillies.
Bruntlett didn’t play in the series. 133/202/205 for the year.
Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line on the year to 254/297/421. I think the Phillies should be looking for chances to play Dobbs more regularly — it looks to me like the way to do that would be at third against some right-handed pitchers. Ibanez didn’t get an at-bat for the Phils between June 18 and July 10. During that time period Dobbs got 51 plate appearances in which he hit 396/412/667 with three home runs. He hit 172/246/310 in 65 plate appearances before June 18 and has hit 150/182/150 in 22 plate appearances since July 11.
Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line on the year to 227/376/413. He’s appeared in 13 games defensively for the Phils and been on the roster all season. That’s a big investment in Stairs, presumably for a small number of critical at-bats down the stretch and in the playoffs.
This suggests that Happ will not lose his spot in the rotation to Pedro Martinez. It also considers the possibility that the Phillies could go with a six-man rotation. I would be surprised if that happened and even more surprised if it happened with Kendrick, Lopez and Park still on the roster. Maybe the Phils could go with nine starters in a 12-man pitching staff. Perhaps Hamels or Moyer will develop a blister.
Encouraging news about Durbin, Myers and Romero in this article. Durbin appears to be the player of the group whose return will come first with Romero not too far behind.