Ben Francisco made up for a mostly miserable game last night with one big swing. His two-run single off of Taylor Tankersley in the bottom of the eighth put the Phils ahead to stay and raised hopes that the long offensive funk the Phils have been in may finally be coming to an end.
The Phillies scored ten runs in the game, the most they had scored in any game since May 17. They came into the game having scored three runs or fewer in 13 of their last 15. The Phillies scored ten runs total over a nine-game stretch from May 22 through May 31.
Getting the slumping sticks of Utley, Ibanez and Werth is near the top of the to-do list for the Phils and even with Werth on the bench last night there was a lot of progress in that area. It was a little lost with the big hit from Francisco, but Ibanez was 4-for-5 in the game. He and Utley combined to go 6-for-8 with three RBI. They came into the game hitting a combined .207 since the end of the day on May 10.
The Phillies are 31-26 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 10-8 last night.
Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk. Only five of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out four and has a 4.95 ERA after 12 starts. He has pitched better than Blanton so far this year, but not very well, and he seems likely to lose his spot in the rotation when Happ returns. Happ allowed two runs in three innings for Single-A Clearwater in a rehab start last night.
Kendrick has had a lot of problems with left-handed hitting this year, but last night he got to face a Florida starting lineup with seven righties, the pitcher and lefty Chris Coghlan.
Gaby Sanchez homered off of Kendrick with one out in the first to put Florida up 1-0. Kendrick struck out Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu behind him.
Mike Stanton reached on an infield single with two outs in the second and Ronny Paulino followed that with a double that scored Stanton. 2-0. The pitcher Chris Volstad went down behind Paulino for the third out.
With one out in the third, Sanchez hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Ramirez was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left to make it 4-0. Kendrick got the next two.
The Phillies had cut the lead to 4-3 when Kendrick started the fourth. Kendrick walked Cody Ross to start the inning before striking out Stanton for the first out. Paulino moved Ross to second with a single. It brought up Volstad with one out and men on first and third. Volstad got the bunt down. Kendrick fielded and threw high to first. The throw must have been higher than Utley thought, cause he jumped way up to get it and had the ball go off the heel of his glove. Kendrick was charged with an error for the high throw and the Marlins had the bases loaded. Chris Coghlan was next and the lefty delivered a two-run single to center, putting Florida up 6-3 with men on first and second and one out. Kendrick got Sanchez and Ramirez on a pair of fly balls to end the frame.
Down 6-4, Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
Durbin pitched the sixth with the score tied at 6-6 and set Florida down in order.
Durbin was back for the seventh with the Phillies up 7-6. Coghlan led off and tripled to right. Sanchez was next and he reached on an infield single with Coghlan holding third. Durbin struck out Ramirez for the first out, but Cantu doubled to center as Francisco crashed into the wall, tying the game at 7-7 with one out and men on second and third. Durbin got Dan Uggla on a ground ball back to the mound with the runners holding for the second out. Ross grounded to second to set Florida down.
Durbin comes back to face a lefty to pitch his second inning of the game and it doesn’t go well. Romero and Bastardo don’t pitch in the game. Bastardo hasn’t pitched since June 1.
Contreras started the eighth with the score still tied at 7-7. Stanton led off with a single to right and Paulino followed with a fly ball to center. Righty Wes Helms hit for the pitcher Rick VandenHurk and tripled to right as Francisco dove and came up empty to put Florida up 8-7. Contreras struck out Coghlan and Sanchez to leave Helms stuck at third.
Rough two innings in the field for Francisco. Big strikeouts for Contreras after the Francisco-aided triple to leave Helms at third.
Lidge started the ninth with a 10-8 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Ramirez, but struck out Cantu and Uggla behind him. Ramirez took second without a throw before Lidge walked Ross, putting the tying run on base. Stanton was next and he reached on an infield single that was deflected by Lidge to load the bases. Lidge got Paulino to pop to Utley to end the game.
Durbin threw 36 pitches in the game and shouldn’t have. Lidge threw 31 and Contreras 18. David Herndon has made one appearance this month and has gotten two outs.
The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Ruiz. Francisco plays right against the righty with Werth and lefties Dobbs and Gload not playing right. Valdez plays short with Rollins on the DL and Castro on the bench and hits seventh in the lineup with Ruiz down to eighth.
Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the first.
Howard walked to start the second with the Phillies down 2-0. Francisco hit into a double-play behind him. Ibanez was next and he singled. Valdez hit a ball to short, which Ramirez handled but threw away for an error that put men on second and third with two down for Ruiz. Volstad threw two balls in the dirt to Ruiz and then walked him intentionally to pitch to Kendrick with the bases loaded. Kendrick grounded to first to end the inning.
Down 4-0, Utley singled with two outs in the third. Howard was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left-center. 4-2. Francisco was next and lined a single to left on a ball deflected by Ramirez and stole second. Ibanez singled to left and Francisco scored. 4-3. A wild pitch moved Ibanez to second before Valdez grounded to short.
Big hits from Utley, Howard and Ibanez in the inning. The stolen base by Francisco helps get the Phillies a run on Ibanez’s single.
The Phillies were down 6-3 when the hit in the fourth. Ruiz and Kendrick both went down to start the inning, but Victorino hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to right for his tenth home run of the year. 6-4. Polanco struck out swinging to end the inning.
Second time in two innings the Phillies homered off of Volstad in the first pitch of the at-bat. Victorino is on pace to hit 28 home runs and drive in 102 runs. All that plus the .323 on-base percentage seems to suggest you wouldn’t want him leading off. Polanco, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz, Shortstop until Rollins gets back would be my vote.
It was still 6-4 when the Phillies hit in the fifth. The Phils quickly loaded the bases on a single by Utley, an error by Uggla at second and a walk by Francisco. Ibanez was next and he reached on an infield single to short. 6-5 with the bases still loaded. Righty Brian Sanches came in to pitch to Valdez and Valdez hit a ground ball to short. Howard scored to make it 6-6 and Francisco was forced at second for the first out of the inning. With two outs and men on first and third, Ruiz flew to center for the second out with Francisco holding third. Gload hit for Kendrick and flew to left.
If ever there was a case for hitting for your starting shortstop in the fifth inning it would involve your starting shortstop being Wilson Valdez, the bases being loaded and having Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload on your bench.
No RBI for Ruiz with one out and a man on third.
Victorino walked to start the sixth and Polanco moved him to third with a single. Utley delivered a sac fly to left and Victorino scored to put the Phils up 7-6. Howard lined a single to right and Utley went to third. Francisco hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Again no run for the Phils with less than two outs and a man on third.
The game was tied at 7-7 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Ruiz walked with two outs. With the righty Rick VandenHurk on the mound for Florida, Dobbs hit for Durbin and popped to short.
Dobbs is hitting 140/210/246 for the year.
The Phillies were still down 8-7 when they hit in the eighth. Righty Clay Hensley walked Polanco with one out and Utley was hit by a pitch. It put men on first and second for Howard and Phillie-hating lefty Taylor Tankersley came in to pitch to him. Howard grounded to first for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Tankersley stayed in to pitch to the righty Francisco and Francisco came through, pounding an 0-1 pitch past Ramirez and into left-center. Both runners scored and the Phillies led 9-8. Ibanez was next and he sent Francisco to third with a single. Valdez singled on a softly hit ball to third, scoring Francisco to make it 10-8 with two outs and men on first and second. Ruiz grounded to first to end the inning.
Tankersley stays in to pitch to Francisco because there’s a lefty behind him in Ibanez. He threw the ball in a bad place, not off the plate like he wanted to, and Francisco delivered.
Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and a home run.
Polanco 1-for-4 with a walk.
Utley 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Howard 2-for-4 with a walk, a home run and two RBI.
The Phils score ten runs in the game, but still didn’t pile up the extra-base hits. They had two — the homers from Howard and Victorino.
Francisco hit into two double-plays and had a rough time in right, but delivered the biggest hit of the game. He was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-11.
Ibanez was 4-for-5 with two RBI.
Valdez was 1-for-5 with two RBI.
Ruiz 0-for-3 with two walks.
Roy Halladay (8-3, 2.03) faces righty Josh Johnson (6-2, 2.10). The game is a rematch of the May 28 game in which Halladay was perfect. Lefties have done almost nothing this year against the righty Johnson, hitting just 160/245/229 against him. Righties are doing a little better with a 260/313/377 line.