What’s it going to take to fluster the Phils this year? The world may never know. Apparently it’s not losing their closers, shortstop, catchers or third or fourth starters. Down to their third and fourth closers, their fourth shortstop and third catcher, they looked pretty comfortable sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend.
The guys filling in did more than just fill in. Wilson Valdez sparkled defensively at short. He and backup backup catcher Paul Hoover combined to hit .400 in the series (10-for-25). The middle of the order didn’t do a ton, but Victorino and Polanco paced the offense by going 14-for-29 (.483) at the top.
The battered bullpen did its part, too. Brad Lidge hit the DL in the series, but Jose Contreras and JC Romero looked just fine working the ninth with both Lidge and Ryan Madson on the shelf. Contreras and Romero nailed down a pair of saves in the series — between them they allowed a hit and a walk over 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Overall, the bullpen allowed one run in seven innings in the series.
The Phils are 23-13 after a three-game sweep of the Brewers in Milwaukee. They have won 11 of their last 14 and lead the NL in wins in winning percentage.
The Phillies won the first game 9-5. Moyer got the start and didn’t pitch very well, but the Phillies got home runs from Werth, Utley and Howard and Victorino went 3-for-5 with three RBI. The game was tied at 3-3 before the Phils scored three in the fourth on a homer by Ibanez and a two-run triple from Victorino. Victorino and Polanco drove in runs in the sixth as the Phillies extended the lead to 8-3. Herndon, Baez and Contreras combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings after Moyer left in the seventh.
They won game two 10-6. Blanton pitched well early and the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the top of the seventh. Paul Hoover had a two-run double in the seventh and the Phillies scored five times. Blanton took the mound in the bottom of the seventh with a 9-2 lead, but allowed a three-run homer to Corey Hart and the Brewers were back in the game at 9-5. The Phillies extended the lead to 10-5 in the top of the eighth. Herndon tried to nail it down in the bottom of the ninth but faced four batters and allowed two doubles and a single. Contreras came in and the Brewers brought the tying run to the plate, but Contreras struck Rickie Weeks and Hart to end the game.
Yesterday the Phillies won 4-2. Hamels pitched well and took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Casey McGehee and Corey Hart hit back-to-back homers off of him with two outs in the sixth to get the Brewers within one. Durbin, Baez and Romero threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings after Hamels left. Romero set Milwaukee down in order in the ninth to get the save.
Moyer got the start in game one. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks. Only four of the runs were earned. He allowed three solo home runs in the game and struck out three.
Blanton started game two and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. He also allowed three home runs in the game. Four of the six hits he gave up went for extra-bases, a double and three homers. He struck out five.
Hamels started game three and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both solo home runs. He struck out three. He’s 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA over his last three starts.
Romero got the chance to save the game yesterday. He entered to pitch the bottom of the ninth with the Phils up 4-2 and set Milwaukee down in order.
Herndon entered game one to pitch to Rickie Weeks in the bottom of the seventh with one out and the bases loaded. The Phillies were winning 8-3. Weeks hit a ground ball to short. Valdez took it and went to Utley for the second out of the inning, but Utley threw the ball away for an error and two runs scored on the play. Herndon struck out Corey Hart to end the inning.
He also pitched in game two, entering in the bottom of the ninth with a 10-5 lead. He got the leadoff hitter, but the next three batters went double, single, double, which put runners on second and third with one out and the lead cut to 10-6. Manuel gave Herndon the hook and called on Jose Contreras to close out the game.
Baez pitched the eighth inning of game one. He entered with an 8-5 lead and allowed two singles but kept the Brewers off the board.
He also pitched the eighth inning yesterday with a 4-2 lead. He allowed singles to the first two men he faced, putting men on first and second with nobody out. He got McGehee to hit into a double-play and Hart to ground to short. Valdez made two very nice plays in the inning, a strong throw to complete the McGehee double-play and another nice throw to get Hart.
Durbin pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 10-5 lead. He allowed a two-out single to Ryan Braun, but got Prince Fielder to ground to Utley behind him.
He also pitched yesterday, taking over for Hamels with two outs, nobody on and the Phillies up 3-2 in the seventh. He allowed an infield single to Rickie Weeks before getting Alcides Escobar on a ground ball to short to end the inning.
Figueroa did not pitch in the series. He has thrown 1 1/3 innings this month.
Contreras pitched the ninth inning of game one. He allowed a one-out single to Joe Inglett but got the next two.
He also pitched in the second game of the set. He entered with one out and men on second and third and the Phils up 10-6. He walked George Kottaras to load the bases. It brought Weeks to the plate as the tying run, but Contreras struck him out for the second out and then struck Craig Counsell out to end the game. First career save for Contreras.
Lidge did not pitch in the series and went on the DL on Saturday. Bastardo is back up to take his place on the roster.
Durbin has pitched two days in a row, throwing 23 pitches in game two and 15 in game three.
The Phillies scored 23 runs in the three-game set.
Victorino was 8-for-15 with a walk, a double, a triple and a home run in the series. He’s at 269/311/519 for the season. He’s having a monster month — 333/382/714 in May. He’s on pace to hit 36 home runs for the season.
Polanco was 6-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series. He walked in the second game in Colorado and the first game of this set, giving him walks in back-to-back games for the first time on the year. 318/344/473 for the year.
Utley was 3-for-14 with two doubles and a homer. He hasn’t walked in his last 31 plate appearances. 304/421/578 for the season. He made two errors in the first game of the series and is on pace to make 27 for the season.
Howard 4-for-14 with a home run and two walks in the set. 289/337/467 on the year.
Werth 3-for-13 with a double and a walk. 333/414/643. He has 19 doubles through 36 games, which puts him on pace to hit 85.5 doubles over 162 games.
Ibanez was 3-for-12 with a double, three walks and a home run. He’s at 237/345/407 for the year.
Valdez played short in all three games, going 5-for-15 with two doubles and a triple with several nice defensive plays. Still doesn’t have a walk on the season, though. 231/231/365.
Hoover caught all three games and went 5-for-10 with two doubles and three walks. He’s 5-for-12 on the season.
Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez combined to go 13-for-53 (.245) in the series. Victorino, Polanco, Valdez and Hoover were 24-for-54 (.444).
Ruiz didn’t play in the series. Castro didn’t play in the series and got his last at-bat on May 5. Francisco didn’t play and has one at-bat since May 4.
Dobbs 0-for-1 in the set. Gload 0-for-2.
Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.89) faces righty Charlie Morton (1-6, 9.19) tonight. Kendrick needs to get out lefties. Morton needs to get out anyone — opponents are hitting .336 against him.
Jimmy Rollins may be back in the lineup tonight.