Archive for June, 2010

Ben Francisco treat

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.


King of the bowed

There’s something wrong with the Phillies. Not sure what it is, but lack of talent surely isn’t the problem. Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem to be having much an impact on Cole Hamels. Hamels took a no-hitter into the seventh last night. He didn’t get it and the Phillies didn’t win, falling 3-1 as they scored three runs or fewer for the thirteenth time in 15 games.

The Phillies are 30-26 on the year after a 3-1 loss to the Padres last night. The teams split the four-game set.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both solo home runs. He struck out six and lowered his ERA on the year to 3.98. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last seven starts, although in his June 1 start he allowed three runs while getting just two outs before being forced from the game by a rain delay.

Hamels threw 121 pitches in the game, which is his most for the season.

He set down the first eight San Diego hitters he faced before walking the pitcher Wade LeBlanc with two outs in the third. Jerry Hairston flew to right behind LeBlanc for the third out.

Hamels walked Adrian Gonzalez with one out in the fourth, but got Scott Hairston to hit into a double-play behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth and a 1-2-3 sixth.

He hadn’t allowed a hit when he started the seventh. David Eckstein grounded to first for the first out, but Gonzalez was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left to put San Diego on top 1-0. Scott Hairston was next. Hamels got ahead of him 0-2, but Hairston homered to left as well. 2-0. Chase Headley grounded to Hamels for the second out before Yorvit Torrealba lined a single to right. Oscar Salazar was next and he hit the ball hard on a line, but Polanco snared it for the out to leave Torrealba stranded.

Hamels came back with a 1-2-3 eighth.

Baez started the ninth — apparently things went do well on Sunday the Phils couldn’t resist having him throw back-to-back days. The Phillies were still down 2-0. Baez got Eckstein to ground to second for the first out before Gonzalez hit a 3-2 pitch out to left to put San Diego up 3-0. Scott Hairston was next and he reach on an infield single. Headley grounded to second with Hairston forced at second for the second out and Ruiz threw Headley out trying to steal to end the frame.

Baez threw 21 pitches in the game and has pitched two days in a row. Over his last three appearances he has allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Wade LeBlanc went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at short and Castro on the bench with Rollins on the DL.

Victorino and Polanco singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the first. Utley flew to left for the first out before Victorino and Polanco pulled off a double steal. A walk to Howard loaded the bases for Werth with one out, but Werth hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Two hits, a walk and two stolen bases for the Phils, but no run.

Ibanez singled to right to start the second. Ruiz flew to center for the first out and Valdez hit into a double-play.

Victorino singled with one out in the third, but Polanco and Utley both flew to right.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

They were down 2-0 when they went in order in the seventh.

Righty Luke Gregerson took over for LeBlanc to start the eighth. He got Ruiz to fly to right for the first out. Dobbs hit for Valdez and grounded to first. Gload hit for Hamels and flew to right.

The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit against righty Heath Bell in the ninth. Polanco singled with one out, but Utley flew out to left behind him. Polanco took second without a throw before Howard delivered a double to left, scoring Polanco to make it 3-1. Werth struck out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Victorino was 2-for-4 in the game. He’s 7-for-16 in the series with a double, a triple and a home run in the series. 264/321/468 for the season.

Polanco was 2-for-4 in the game. 8-for-17 with a walk and eight singles in the four-game set. 320/355/450 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 last night. 2-for-15 in the series with two singles. 140/234/193 over his last 64 plate appearances. .140? 260/379/475.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in game four. 6-for-16 with two doubles and two walks in the series. He has at least one RBI in each of the last three games and drove in six in the series. 286/344/454 for the year.

Werth was 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 1-for-15 with a home run and three walks in the series. 125/222/229 over his last 54 plate appearances. 278/362/552 for the year.

Ibanez was 1-for-3 with a strikeout last night to drop his average for the year to .230. 1-for-13 with two walks in the series. 143/225/229 over his last 40 plate appearances. 230/329/371 on the year.

Ruiz 0-for-3 in the game. 2-for-11 in the series. 214/340/238 over his last 50 plate appearances. 300/425/392 for the year.

Valdez 0-for-2 last night and 1-for-5 in the series. 256/264/360. His .625 OPS for the year is better than his career OPS of .577. Castro was 0-for-7 in the series with four strikeouts to drop his line on the season to 227/252/278. His .531 OPS for the year isn’t quite as good as his career .591 mark.

Werth, Ibanez and Utley are the guys the Phillies need. Since the end of the day on May 10, that trio has hit 199/292/344 over 277 plate appearances. All three have hit under .215 (Utley .202, Werth .183 and Ibanez .213).

Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.62) faces righty Chris Volstad (3-6, 4.08) tonight. Kendrick has had two nice starts in a row, allowing one earned runs in his last 13 innings. One of those starts came against the Marlins on May 28. Lefties are still hitting 315/386/532 against him for the year. Volstad has allowed just one home run in his last five starts and faced Kendrick in the May 28 game, holding the Phils to three runs over 6 1/3 innings.


No average Joe

The Phillies showed some life in the first two games of their four-game set with the Padres, but yet another weak start from Blanton and a big out they gave away on the bases in the bottom of the tenth cost them yesterday. Tonight they’ll look for another win as they try to take three of four in their series against the Padres.

On Friday the Phillies scored three runs or less for the twelfth game in a row, but got a win anyway thanks to nice work from Halladay and a big day for Victorino. Victorino was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run and scored two of the three runs as the Phils won 3-2.

Moyer was fantastic on Saturday and the Phils finally scored more than three runs in a game as they won 6-2. Moyer threw a complete game and the middle of the order showed some much-needed life as Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez combined to drive in all six Phillie runs.

Blanton was miserable again yesterday, allowing five runs in five innings to push his ERA over six for the year. The Phillies scored five times in the first two innings, but the Padres pulled ahead 6-5 with a run off of Baez in the tenth. Polanco walked with one out in the bottom of the tenth, but was thrown out trying to go to third when Utley followed with a single. It put him on the bench watching when Howard delivered a single that would have tied the game and Werth followed with his third strikeout on the day to end the game.

The Phillies are 30-25 on the year after losing to the San Diego Padres 6-5 in ten innings yesterday. They trail the Braves by two games in the NL East. The Mets are in third place a game behind the Phils.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on 11 hits and no walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. After seven starts he has a 6.07 ERA for the season.

Jerry Hairston singled with one out in the first. Adrian Gonzalez was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left center to put San Diego up 2-0. Chase Headley followed with a double to right before Nick Hundley popped out to Howard for the second out. The former Phil Matt Stairs was next and he singled into center, scoring Headley to make it 3-0. Stairs stole second, really he did, before Tony Gwynn grounded to first to end the frame.

At least Blanton didn’t wait till late in the game to get plastered this time.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Blanton started the second. Lance Zawadzki, San Diego’s switch-hitting second baseman, led off with a single to left. Blanton struck out the pitcher Kevin Correia for the first out before Zawadzki stole second. Blanton struck out Scott Hairston and got Jerry Hairston to ground to third to set the Padres down.

The Phillies started the third up 5-3. Gonzalez and Headley singled back-to-back to start the inning, but Blanton got Hundley, Stairs and Gwynn in order to leave them stranded.

He got the first two in the fourth before Scott Hairston doubled to center. Jerry Hairston followed with a single to right, scoring Hairston to make it 5-4. Jerry Hairston went to second when the throw came home, but Headley popped to third to leave him there.

Hundley hit Blanton’s first pitch of the fifth out to left-center to tie the game at 5-5. Blanton set down the next three Padres.

Durbin pitched the sixth. He allowed a two-out single to Jerry Hairston, but got Gonzalez to fly to right behind him.

He was back to start the seventh, too. He gave up a leadoff single to Headley, but got Hundley to hit into a double-play behind him. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Stairs and struck him out for the third out.

Gwynn singled off of Romero to start the eighth and Zawadzki bunted him to second. Righty David Eckstein hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and Contreras came in to pitch to him. Eckstein hit a ball to third. Polanco fielded and threw to first for the second out. Gwynn tried to go to third, but Howard threw to Polanco and Gwynn was tagged out to set San Diego down.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Baez started the tenth. Headley led off with a single and Hundley bunted him to second. Will Venable was next and he grounded out to Utley for the second out, with Headley taking third. Righty Oscar Salazar hit for the pitcher Mike Adams and reached on an infield single to short. Headley scored and San Diego led 6-5. Baez got Eckstein on a ground ball back to the mound for the third out.

Everyone in the pen was rested after the complete game by Moyer on Saturday. Durbin threw 20 pitches, Baez 16, Lidge 14, Romero 13 and Contreras one.

The Phillies lineup against righty Kevin Correia went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Castro. Schneider behind the plate in the day game after the night game. Castro at short with Valdez on the bench.

Victorino singled to start the bottom of the first with the Phils down 3-0 and stole second. Polanco hit a ball to second that Zawadzki didn’t handle for an error. Victorino held second, so it brought Utley up with men on first and second. Utley grounded to first with the runners moving to second and third. Howard grounded to second and everyone moved up a base again, with Victorino scoring to cut the lead to 3-1. Werth struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Phillies scored the rest of their runs for the game in the second. Ibanez led off with a walk before Schneider flew to center for the first out. Castro was next and hit a ground ball to short. Ibanez was forced at second for the second out with Castro safe at first. Blanton moved Castro to second with a two-out single and then Victorino walked, loading the bases. Polanco singled to left and everyone moved up a base. 3-2 with the bases still loaded. Utley walked. 3-3. Howard singled to right on a ball deflected by Zawadzki, putting the Phillies up 4-3. Righty Sean Gallagher came to pitch to Werth and walked him. 5-3. Ibanez grounded to short to finally set the Phillies down.

With two outs and a man on first, the Phils score four runs by going single-walk-single-walk-single-walk.

Blanton walked with two outs in the third. Victorino was hit by a pitch behind him and Polanco singled to center to load the bases. Utley struck out swinging to leave them loaded.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Schneider singled to center to start the fifth with the game tied at 5-5. Castro bunted him to second with the first out. With the righty Gallagher still on the mound for San Diego, Dobbs hit for Blanton and struck out swinging. Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Righty Ryan Webb set them down in order in the sixth.

Schneider doubled off of Webb with two outs in the seventh, but Castro struck out behind him.

Manuel didn’t use Gload to hit for Castro there with Valdez and Gload both available. Both players would get a chance later in the game.

Right Mike Adams was pitching for the Padres when the Phils hit in the eighth. Gload hit for Contreras to start the inning and grounded to short. Victorino grounded to first before Polanco singled. Utley hit a ball to first that Gonzalez didn’t handle and was safe on the second San Diego error of the day. With two outs and men on first and second, Howard struck out swinging 0-2 to end the inning.

Gload hits with nobody on in the eighth instead of with a man on in the seventh.

Adams walked Schneider with two outs in the ninth. The righty Francisco pinch-hit for the righty Castro with the righty Adams on the mound and moved Schneider to third with a single to right. Ruiz hit for Lidge and Valdez ran for Schneider at third. Francisco took second without a throw, but Ruiz grounded back to Adams to end the inning.

Odd inning. Francisco against the righty works out, but the Phils come up empty.

Heath Bell was on to protect a 6-5 lead in the ninth for San Diego. Polanco walked with one out. Utley was next and he singled softly into center. Polanco went for third, but Gwynn made an excellent throw to nail him at third for the second out. Howard moved Utley to third with a single, but Bell struck Werth out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

It took a nearly perfect throw from Gwynn to get Polanco, but it would have been a really fantastic time not to make an out on the bases.

The Phillies scored five runs in the first two innings then none in the next eight. This whole thing is really unusual.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs. He’s 5-for-his-last-12 with a double, a triple and a walk.

Polanco was 3-for-5 with two RBI. 6-for-his-last-13 with six singles.

Utley was 1-for-5 yesterday with a walk and five men left on base. He’s 3-for-19 with a double in June. 130/231/152 with one extra-base hit, a double, over his last 46 at-bats.

Howard 2-for-6 with three RBI yesterday. 5-for-his-last-13 with a double, a walk and seven strikeouts.

Werth was 0-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-34.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a walk. He’s 0-for-his-last-10 and 1-for-17 in June.

Schneider was 2-for-4 with a walk and double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. He’s 7-for-29 on the season. Ruiz was 0-for-1 yesterday and is 2-for-his-last-8.

Castro 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop his line on the year to 227/252/278 in 97 at-bats. Ninety-seven is too many at-bats to give a guy who isn’t going to surprise you by hitting 227/252/278. He’s 0-for-his-last-13.

Cole Hamels (5-4, 4.20) faces lefty Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 3.67) tonight in game four of the series. Hamels threw just 24 pitches in his last start before rain forced him from the game. He got two outs and was charged with three runs. LeBlanc has some strange numbers. Overall, they aren’t as good as his 3.67 ERA, opponents are hitting 296/365/446 against him for the year, but he has allowed two runs or less in seven of his nine starts.


Phils starting to suspect something is afoot after waking up to the same Sonny and Cher song for the sixteenth day in a row

At least in Groundhog Day they had cake. And Andie MacDowell.

The Phillies games are apparently stuck in a loop. They lost again yesterday. No terrible defense this time and Kendrick pitched well, but the Phils scored one run and it wasn’t enough. In the very limited good news category, Werth hit the ball well and looks like he’s either back or just about back. We’ve already got Ruiz, so that makes two with eleven hitters left to go.

It should leave us plenty of time to learn to ice sculpt.

The Phillies are 28-24 on the year after a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves sweep the three-game set despite scoring four runs in the last two games and lead the Phils in the NL East by 2 1/2 games. The Phillies have won two of their last 11 and have scored 14 runs in those 11 games.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four. That’s two good starts in a row for Kendrick, who has allowed one earned run in 13 innings his last two times out and dropped his ERA from 5.66 to 4.62.

Martin Prado and Jayson Heyward singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the first. It put men on first and third with nobody out for Chipper Jones and Kendrick got Chipper to bounce into a double-play with Prado scoring to put Atlanta up 1-0. Brian McCann flew to center for the third out.

Troy Glaus doubled to left to start the second. Kendrick struck lefty Eric Hinske out for the first out. Yunel Escobar was next and he lined a ball back to the mound that Kendrick caught. Kendrick threw to second and Glaus was doubled-up to end the inning.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Kendrick started the third. He walked the pitcher Derek Lowe on five pitches with one man out. He struck Prado out and got Heyward on a fly ball to right to end the inning and leave Lowe stranded.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

In the fifth he walked Nate McLouth with two men out, but got Lowe to fly to right for the third out.

Prado reached on an infield singled to start the sixth, but Kendrick got Heyward to hit into a double-play behind him. Infante singled to center before McCann flew to right to end the inning.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Contreras started the eighth with the score still knotted at 1-1 and walked McLouth on five pitches. Switch-hitter Melky Cabrera hit for Lowe and bunted McLouth to second. Contreras struck out the righty Prado and then walked the lefty Heyward intentionally. He got ahead of Infante 0-2, but Infante singled to right on a 3-2 pitch and McLouth scored to put Atlanta ahead 2-1. With two outs and men on first and third, Romero came in to pitch to the lefty McCann and got him to fly to right to end the inning.

Contreras has now allowed two runs on the year and both of them have been scored by McLouth. That’s just weird.

Contreras threw 23 pitches in the game and Romero three. Contreras was pitching back-to-back days after six pitches on Tuesday.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Werth (2) Valdez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Dobbs (8) Schneider. Victorino on the bench with Werth in center and Francisco in right. Dobbs at third against the righty with Castro on the bench. Werth leads off and Valdez hits second, which is way too high for him. Schneider behind the plate in day game after a night game, which is unfortunate given Ruiz’s nice game on Tuesday night.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Down 1-0, they went in order in the second.

Schneider singled with one out in the third. Kendrick bunted one foul and then, with the infielders in looking for a bunt, swung away and singled to left. It put men on first and third for Werth and Werth singled to center, scoring Schneider to tie the game at 1-1 and moving Kendrick to second. Valdez bunted for a single to load the bases for Utley, but Utley grounded into a double-play to keep the Phillies from getting any more.

Big hit for Werth is nice to see. Double-play by Utley is more of the same. Nice job by Manuel to let Kendrick swing away and get a big hit.

Howard started the fourth with a single. Francisco popped to second for the first out before Ibanez hit into a double-play.

Dobbs, Schneider and Kendrick went down quietly in the fifth.

Werth hit the ball hard to start the sixth, but it went off of Lowe and right to Prado at second. Prado took it and threw to first to get Werth for the first out. Valdez and Utley went down behind him, with Utley hitting the ball hard on the ground to third for the third out.

Again Werth hits the ball well, but no hit this time.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Dobbs singled to start the eighth and Schneider bunted him to second. With Lowe still on the mound, Gload hit for Kendrick and grounded to short. Dobbs moved to third with two down. Lowe walked Werth intentionally to put men on first and third. Valdez flew to center to end the frame.

Score one for not hitting Valdez second. No reason to pitch to Werth there and it works out great for Atlanta.

Francisco walked with two outs in the ninth and the Phils down 2-1. With lefty Billy Wagner on the mound for Atlanta, Victorino hit for Ibanez and struck out swinging to end the game.

Werth was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI and hit the ball well. He’s 2-for-his-last-23 and hitting 296/374/575 for the season.

Valdez was 1-for-4 in the game and 4-for-13 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 259/268/370 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. He was 2-for-12 with a double and no walks in the series. He’s 3-for-his-last-19 and hitting 270/387/503 for the year.

Howard was 1-for-4 in the game and 2-for-13 with a home run and no walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/336/450.

Francisco was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 2-for-6 with a double and a walk in the series. 214/283/286 for the year. Victorino didn’t start yesterday and went 0-for-1 in the game. He was 0-for-9 with a walk and three strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 251/308/442 for the year.

Ibanez was 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-10 with a double in the series. 242/340/394.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 yesterday and 2-for-8 in the series. 148/220/259. Castro was 0-for-3 in the series and is hitting 244/271/300 for the year.

Schneider 1-for-2 yesterday in his only action for the series. 5-for-25 with five singles for the year. Ruiz was 3-for-5 with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 311/443/412 for the season.

Roy Halladay (5-1, 1.99) faces righty Mat Latos (5-3, 3.08) tomorrow. Halladay has been just about perfect all season long and literally perfect in his last start against the Marlins. Opponents are hitting .207 against Latos for the year. He’s 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA over his last six starts — over those six appearances he has allowed 23 hits in 41 innings and struck out 37.


Brave new world?

The Phillies can’t hit, can’t field and can’t win. Those are all big problems, but just part of the challenge faced by this year’s Phils. The other part is that the Atlanta Braves are just good and have been for a while. The Braves looked a whole lot better than the Phils over the past two games, but just about everyone is looking better than the Phils during the recent funk. The problem is that Atlanta winning more than the Phils isn’t a recent development. Here’s what the teams have done in the regular season going back to the start of August, 2009:


Games after July 31 in the 2009 season
Team W L Scored Allowed Dif
ATL 34 25 283 214 +69
PHI 34 27 276 243 +33
           

2010
Team W L Scored Allowed Dif
ATL 30 22 255 206 +49
PHI 28 23 237 203 +34
           

Regular season games after 7/31/09
Team W L Scored Allowed Dif
ATL 64 47 538 420 +118
PHI 62 50 513 446 +67

The Braves are 2 1/2 games better than the Phils since the start of last August. The scarier part is how much better their run differential has been than the Phillies over those 110 games or so. In those games the Phillies have scored 67 more runs that their opponents. Atlanta has nearly doubled that, scoring 118 more runs than they have allowed.

There is good news, though, and that’s that the Phillies are simply better than Atlanta. They finished comfortably ahead of the division in 2009, six games ahead of the second-place team and the second-place team wasn’t even the Braves — it was the Marlins. The Phillies played well enough to win and the Braves didn’t win anything as well as they played.

Sooner or later, the Phillies are going to start to hit and field and win again. When they do, my guess is they win often enough to outpace the Braves. I’m feeling a little less sure than I did couple of weeks ago, though, and they didn’t do a lot last night to make it look like they were about to turn the corner.

The Phillies are 28-23 on the year after a 7-3 loss to the Braves. The Phils fall a game and a half behind the Braves in the NL East. They have lost eight of their last ten.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and got two outs in the first before a rain delay that forced him from the game. He allowed three runs on a double, a homer and two walks and struck out one. Hamels did not return after a delay of an hour an four minutes in the first inning. Atlanta’s starter, Tim Hudson, did and allowed two runs over six innings in the game.

Martin Prado doubled to left to start the bottom of the first. Jason Heyward flew to right for the first out before Hamels walked Chipper Jones. It put men on first and second for Troy Glaus and Glaus hit a 2-1 pitch out to left to put Atlanta up 3-0. Hamels struck out McCann before rain stopped the game. When it started back up the Phils had Durbin on the mound. Durbin walked Yunel Escobar before getting Omar Infante to pop to second to end the inning.

Hamels was behind Escobar 2-1 when rain stopped the game, so when Durbin walked him when the game resumed the walk was charged to Hamels.

Durbin struck out Melky Cabrera to start the second inning before the pitcher Tim Hudson singled to center. Durbin got the next two to leave Hudson stranded.

He walked Glaus with one out in the third and McCann moved Glaus to third with a single. Escobar hit a double-play ball to Castro at third, but the Phillies didn’t get a double-play. They didn’t even get a single play, cause Castro didn’t handle the grounder cleanly and was charged with an error. Glaus scored to make it 4-0 with McCann going to second and Escobar safe at first. Infante was next and he singled to left, scoring McCann (5-0) and sending Escobar to third. Durbin got out of it without any more damage, getting Cabrera to line to short and Hudson to ground to short.

Big error for Castro at third. With both Valdez and Castro in the starting lineup, the Phils put Castro at third and Valdez at short. That presumably means that the Phils think Valdez is better at short or worse at third.

Bastardo threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He was back for the fifth and walked McCann with one out. Escobar was next and he singled into center, sending McCann to second. Herndon came in to pitch to the righty Infante and walked him to load the bases. Cabrera hit a ground ball to second. Utley went to Valdez for the second out, but that’s all the Phillies would get. McCann scored to put Atlanta up 6-0 with two down and men on first and third for Hudson. Hudson grounded to second to end the inning.

Bastardo threw 1 1/3 innings having thrown 22 pitches the day before. He’s been charged with five runs on 14 appearances for the season, three of which have scored in the last two days.

The lead was cut to 6-2 when Romero started the sixth. He walked Heyward with one out and struck Chipper out swinging before Heyward stole second. After the stolen base, the lefty Romero put the righty Glaus on intentionally and got McCann on a fly ball to right to end the inning.

Baez pitched the seventh. He gave up a leadoff single to Escobar, but got Infante on a fly ball to left for the first out before getting Cabrera to hit into a double-play.

Baez was back for the eighth. Lefty Eric Hinske hit for the pitcher Takashi Saito to and singled to right. Werth mishandled the ball for the Phillies second error of the game, which allowed Hinske to go to third. Gregor Blanco ran for Hinske and came in to score when Prado followed with a fly ball to right, putting Atlanta up 7-2. Baez walked Heyward and Contreras came in to pitch to Jones, getting Chipper to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Long day for the pen, especially Durbin who threw 51 pitches after throwing seven in Monday’s game. Durbin also pitched three days in a row May 26-28. That’s too much Durbin and you’re not likely to see him for a while. Bastardo was also pitching for the second day in a row. He threw 23 pitches last night after throwing 22 on Monday. Before Monday’s game he hadn’t ever thrown 20 pitches in relief in a game. Now he’s done it twice in two days.

Baez threw 31 pitches in the game. Herndon 12 and Contreras six.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Hudson went (1) Victorino (2) Valdez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Valdez at short. Castro at third. Werth back in the lineup after sitting with his 0-for-19. Ruiz catches. Valdez came into game hitting 333/350/513 over his past 41 plate appearances, but he has a .269 on-base percentage for the season and .272 for his career. Hitting him second in the lineup is a poor idea.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Werth walked with one out in the second and the Phillies down 3-0. Ibanez flew to center and Castro grounded to short.

Ruiz reached on an infield single to start the third. Durbin tried to bunt him to second and couldn’t, striking out for the first out. Victorino struck out too, bringing Valdez to the plate with two outs and Ruiz still on first. Valdez singled to left and Infante mishandled the ball for an error, letting Ruiz go to third and Valdez to second. Utley struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

Durbin can’t get the bunt down.

Ibanez singled with two outs in the fourth and the Phils down 5-0. Castro grounded to short for the third out.

Ruiz walked to start the fifth. Dobbs, who had entered with Bastardo in the bottom of the fourth, was next and he grounded to third with Ruiz forced at second for the first out. Victorino struck out again before Valdez grounded back to the pitcher.

Second time in three innings the Phillies put the leadoff man on base but didn’t score. Victorino struck out in both innings.

Utley started the sixth with a double. Howard followed and hit a 2-2 pitch out to right, cutting the Atlanta lead to 6-2. Werth and Ibanez went down behind him before Gload hit for Herndon and grounded to short.

First home run for Howard since May 21. Including last night, he has hit 139/244/222 in his last 41 plate appearances.

Ruiz singled off of lefty Eric O’Flaherty to start the seventh. Dobbs stayed in the game and singled to right, sending Ruiz to third. Victorino popped to first with the runners holding for the second out. Valdez was next and hit a ground ball to third. Chipper fielded and went to second for an out as Ruiz took off for home. Prado took the throw at second and made a strong throw home, where McCann applied the tag and held the ball as Ruiz slid in to end the frame and turning the Phillies away.

Wow. Great play by Atlanta.

Just a miserable game for Victorino, who can’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs. He went 0-for-5 and left six men on base in the game.

Dobbs gets a rare at-bat against the lefty with the Phils out of third baseman and comes through with a single. Valdez, Castro and Dobbs are presumably the healthy players on the Phils who could play third. Valdez was playing short and Castro was double-switched out of the game in the fourth.

Werth doubled to center with two outs in the eighth, finally breaking his long slump (he’s 1-for-his-last-22). Ibanez struck out looking for the third.

The Phillies were down 7-2 when they hit in the ninth. Francisco, who had entered with Contreras in the bottom of the eighth, led off with a single to center. Ruiz walked. Dobbs again got to hit against a lefty, this time Jonny Venters, and this time he struck out. Victorino was next and he hit a ground ball back to the pitcher. Venters went to second to force Ruiz for the second out. It brought up Valdez with men on first and third. Victorino took second without a throw before Valdez singled to center, scoring Francisco (7-3) and sending Victorino to third. Utley was hit by a pitch to load the bases and bring Howard to the plate as the tying run. Billy Wagner came in to pitch to Howard and got him to ground an 0-2 pitch to short to end the game.

Victorino was 0-for-5 and struck out twice.

Valdez was 2-for-5 with an RBI and still shouldn’t be hitting second.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double. He’s hitting 176/288/294 over his last 59 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. He’s on pace to hit 29 home runs this year and walk 54 times.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk and a double. He’s still on pace to set the single-season doubles record with 73.

Ibanez 1-for-4.

Castro was 0-for-2. He’s 4-for-his-last-22. You kind of get the feeling he’s not a Manuel favorite.

Ruiz was 2-for-2 with two walks. He’s 6-for-his-last-12 with four walks.

Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 5.04) faces righty Derek Lowe (7-4, 4.86) this afternoon. Lefties are hitting 343/412/586 against Kendrick for the year. He comes off of a strong start against the Marlins in which he allowed two unearned runs over six innings. Lowe ended April with a 5.79 ERA but has a 2.88 ERA and a 1.16 ratio over his past four starts.

This article suggests that Polanco may play again on Friday.


Imperfect, and looking more imperfecter every day, team throws perfect game

The Phillies miserable skid may not be over, but at least May finally is. The Phils went 2-7 to end the month and scored ten runs in those nine games while being shut out five times.

The nosedive has now cost them the lead in the division to good Atlanta team. Not as good as the Phillies, but good and more than good enough to take the division if the Phils continue to play like they don’t belong.

What does it take for the Phillies to win these days? Well, Roy Halladay showed us all Saturday as he threw the 20th perfect game in major league history. The Phils won 1-0 with a lot of help from a three-base error by Cameron Maybin. The Phils somehow managed to win that three-game set with the Marlins despite scoring four runs in the series. They jumped right back into the swing of things after that, though, getting shut out on Sunday before Tommy Hanson took a shutout into the seventh inning against them yesterday.

Charlie Manuel has tried just about everything now. Meetings, benchings, changing the lineup and getting ejected. None of it is working and slump isn’t the right word for what’s happening to the Phillies anymore.

The Phillies are 28-22 on the year after a 9-3 loss to Atlanta yesterday afternoon. They are in second place in the NL East, a half game behind the Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Chipper Jones. He struck out two. Blanton has been awful this year. He has now thrown to the same 1.32 ratio in 2010 as he did in 2009, but with a 5.68 ERA in ’10 compared to a 4.05 for 2009. He’s giving up more hits and more home runs and his strikeouts are way down — in 2009 he struck out 7.5 batters per nine innings and so far in 2010 he’s struck out 4.5 batters per nine innings.

Martin Prado singled to center to start the bottom of the first. Jason Heyward flew to Victorino for the first out before Chipper hit a 3-2 pitch out to right to put Atlanta up 2-0. Brain McCann flew to center for the second out before Troy Glaus hit a ball to right that Gload butchered for a two-base error. Eric Hinske singled to right and Glaus scored to make it 3-0. Yunel Escobar flew to right to end the inning.

Gload’s error proves costly to the Phils.

The pitcher Tommy Hanson singled to right with one out in the second, but Blanton got Prado on a ball hit out in front of the plate that Ruiz handled and struck Heyward out looking to leave him stranded.

McCann walked with one out in the third and moved to third when Glaus followed with a single. Hinske hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for another Phillies error. McCann scored, 4-0, and Glaus went to third with Hinske safe at second. Escobar singled into center and both runners scored, but Victorino threw Escobar out trying to stretch it into a double. Blanton got Nate McLouth to pop to short to end the inning with the Phils down 6-0.

Two errors in three innings lead to two unearned runs for Atlanta.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

Escobar singled with one out in the sixth. Blanton got McLouth to pop to short for the second out before a Hanson single sent Escobar to third. Prado grounded to second to leave both men stranded.

The Atlanta lead was cut to 6-3 when Bastardo started the seventh. Chipper singled with one out and Omar Infante ran for him at first. A walk to McCann put men on first and second and Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Glaus. Glaus hit his first pitch out to center to extend the lead to 9-3. Gregor Blanco followed that with a double, but Durbin got the next two to leave him at second.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 eighth, getting a strikeout and two ground balls to lower his ERA to 2.08 on the year.

Bastardo threw 22 pitches in the game. Lidge 13 and Durbin seven.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tommy Hanson went (1) Gload (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Well that’s different. Gload in right. Dobbs at third. Victorino dropped to fifth. The Phils go four lefties, switch, lefty at the top of their order.

Dobbs walked with one out in the first and moved to third when Utley followed with a single. Howard hit into a double-play to turn them away.

Down 3-0, Victorino walked to start the second. He stole second before Ibanez walked. Ruiz flew to center and Valdez hit into a double-play.

Blanton started the third with a single. Gload popped to third before Blanton took second on a passed ball. Dobbs flew to left and Utley flew to left. Manuel was ejected during the Dobbs at-bat. The home plate ump ruled Dobbs had been hit by a pitch. Bobby Cox argued that he hadn’t and the call was overturned with Dobbs not getting to take his base. Manuel argued that decision and got tossed. Dobbs wasn’t hit by the pitch.

Third straight inning the Phils put a runner on second without scoring.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

They were down 6-0 when they faced Hanson in the seventh. Ibanez doubled with two outs and righty Peter Moylan came in to pitch to Ruiz. Ruiz doubled to right and Ibanez scored. 6-1. Valdez doubled to left and Ruiz scored. 6-2. Francisco hit for Blanton and he doubled to left-center. 6-3. Lefty Jonny Venters came in to pitch to Gload and hit him, putting men on first and second with two down. The righty Castro hit for the lefty Dobbs and grounded to second for the third out.

Down 9-3, the Phils went in order in the eighth.

Ruiz walked with one out in the ninth. Valdez struck out and Francisco flew to right to end the game.

Gload was 0-for-3 in the game and has proved not to be the magic bullet that pulls the Phils out of their slump. He’s 1-for-his-last-7 and hitting 222/243/389 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 2-for-27 in May and hitting 125/208/250 for the year. That’s really bad.

Utley was 1-for-4 yesterday. He’s 3-for-his-last-27 with three singles.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-20.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk hitting out of the five-hole. He’s been really good this month, hitting 284/357/509 in 116 at-bats.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 2-for-his-last-12.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-10 with a double and two walks.

Valdez was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-15 with two doubles and hitting 250/260/375 for the year. Castro was 0-for-1 yesterday. He’s 2-for-his-last-9 and hitting 250/277/307 for the year. Castro and Valdez have combined to get 160 at-bats for the Phils this season.

Werth didn’t play yesterday and is 0-for-his-last-19 with 11 strikeouts.

Polanco has not played since Thursday due to problems with his left elbow. This says the Phillies should know when he will be able to return today.

The linked article also says that Nelson Figueroa was designated for assignment when Lidge was activated.

Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.82) faces righty Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.24) tonight. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last five starts. Hudson has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in ten outings this year. Opponents are hitting 212/299/301 against him for the year.


  • Calender

    June 2010
    M T W T F S S
    « May   Jul »
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    282930  
  • Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.



    Web Directory

    Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Philliesflow.com. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress