Archive for July, 2010

And this little IronPiggie cried ‘Whee! Whee! Whee!’ all the way home

After a miserable start against the Cardinals on July 19 in which he allowed seven runs in five innings, Kyle Kendrick was sent to Triple-A. He wasn’t there long, though, and you kind of get the feeling he doesn’t want to go back. The Phils are 2-0 in the two games he’s started since and he pitched into the seventh in both of them, allowing two runs over 13 1/3 innings.

Last night Kendrick held the Diamondbacks to a run over 6 1/3 innings and the Phillies managed a 3-2 win in eleven innings. The Phils got another big hit from Ibanez in the game, a solo homer in the sixth, but mostly it was the bottom of the order that got it done as Howard and Werth went 0-for-10 and struck out five times. Ransom, Ruiz and Valdez combined to go 7-for-14 out of the 6-7-8 spots in the order. With the scored locked at 2-2 in the eleventh, Ransom led off with a walk and moved to second on a hit by Ruiz before Valdez delivered the game-winning single into center.

With the win the Phillies extended their winning streak to eight games. The Phillies have put the run together despite missing several core pieces of their offense — Rollins, Victorino and Utley have all been unable to play in some or all of the games in the streak. It’s also impressive because the Phillies simply never get a day off and a chance to rest their pen. Last night they played for the fifteenth day in a row. They will play three more in a row against the Nats before finally getting a day off on Monday.

The Phillies are 56-46 on the season after a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in eleven innings last night. The Phils sweep the three-game series and have won eight in a row. They are in second place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing a run on four hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.44.

Kelly Johnson singled to left with one out in the first and Justin Upton walked behind him. Kendrick got Adam LaRoche to pop to Polanco at second and Miguel Montero on a ground ball to first.

Mark Reynolds walked to start the second and Stephen Drew popped out to Howard in foul territory behind him for the first out. Gerardo Parra was next and hit a double-play ball to second. Polanco went to short for the first out, but Howard didn’t handle the relay from Valdez at short and was charged with an error. With two outs and a man on first, pitcher Joe Saunders flew to Werth to set the Diamondbacks down.

Chris Young walked to start the third. Johnson hit into a double-play behind him and Justin Upton grounded to third for the third out.

Montero singled to left with one out in the fourth, but Ibanez threw him out trying to stretch it into a double. Kendrick struck Reynolds out swinging for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He was up 1-0 when he threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

He started the seventh with a 2-0 lead and struck out LaRoche to start the inning. Montero was next, though, and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to right to cut the lead to 2-1. Reynolds was next and lined a single into center and that was it for Kendrick. Durbin came in to pitch to the lefty Drew. Drew singled and Reynolds moved to third, putting runners on the corner with one out for Parra. Parra grounded into a double-play to turn Arizona away.

Madson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with a 2-1 lead.

He, not Lidge, was back to start the ninth with the Phils still up by one. Upton led off and got way behind in the count before lining a double to right on an 0-2 pitch. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty LaRoche and LaRoche singled to right, moving Upton to third. Montero, another lefty, was next, and Romero stayed in to pitch to him. Montero hit a high chopper to third. Valdez made a very nice play, bare-handing the ball and making a strong throw to first for the first out of the inning as Upton scored to tie the game at 2-2. It brought the righty Reynolds to the plate with one out and a man on second. Rusty Ryal ran for LaRoche at second and Romero walked Reynolds intentionally. The lefty Drew was next and Romero walked him unintentionally, loading the bases with one out for the lefty Parra. Romero got Parra to hit into a double-play to end the frame. The play at first with Howard taking the relay from Valdez was very close. Parra slammed his helmet to the ground after being called out and was ejected from the game.

No Lidge in the frame, but that didn’t work out real well for the Phils. Madson gets to pitch to a righty and the righty doubles. Romero faces five batters, four of which are lefties, and allowed a single, a walk and walks a batter intentionally. He also got a nice play from Valdez for the first out.

Lidge did pitch the tenth and struck out two as he set the Snakes down in order.

Contreras pitched the eleventh. He walked Montero with two outs, but got Reynolds on a fly ball to right behind him.

Thanks to the complete game from Halladay the day before, nobody in the pen was pitching for a second day in a row. Contreras threw 19 pitches in the game and Romero 17. Everyone else was 12 or fewer.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Joe Saunders went (1) Polanco (2) Ibanez (3) Francisco (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ransom (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez plays short with Rollins out with a foot problem. Polanco at second and leading off. Ransom at third against the lefty. Francisco in right with Werth playing center and Victorino on the DL. Brown on the bench against the lefty.

Polanco started the first with a double and moved to third when Ibanez flew out to center for the first out. Francisco struck out swinging for the second out. Saunders’s 1-1 pitch to Howard was in the dirt and got away from the catcher. Polanco tried to score from third but was thrown out to end the inning.

No run for the Phils after the leadoff double. Francisco strikes out with one out and a man on third.

Ransom singled with two outs in the second. He was picked off first, but made it to second with his first stolen base of the year. Ruiz flew to left to leave him there.

Kendrick singled with one out in the third. Polanco hit into a double-play behind him.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Ransom singled with one out in the fifth and game into score when Ruiz followed with a double into the left field corner. It put the Phils ahead 1-0. Valdez was next and blooped a single into right, moving Ruiz to third. Kendrick bunted Ruiz to second with the second out. Polanco grounded to short to leave both men stranded.

Ibanez led off the sixth and lined a 2-2 pitch out to right-center. 2-0. Francisco followed that with a single and stole second. Howard struck out, Werth flew to right and Ransom grounded to short.

Like in the first, no run for the Phils after they put a man on second with nobody out.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phillies hit in the seventh. Valdez singled with one out. With the lefty Joe Saunders still on the mound for the Diamondbacks, the lefty Brown hit for Durbin and flew to left. Polanco grounded to short for the third out.

Manuel didn’t chose to lead Brown hit against the lefty there. He had four lefties and switch-hitter Jimmy Rollins on his bench to start the game. Rollins, the only option that wasn’t left-handed, didn’t play in the game.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

The game was tied at 2-2 when they went in order in the ninth.

Polanco doubled to center with two outs in the tenth. Righty Esmerling Vasquez was on the mound for Arizona and he walked the lefty Ibanez intentionally behind Polanco, putting men on first and second. Francisco walked to load the bases. Howard got to hit against the righty Vasquez, but Vasquez struck him out swinging 0-2 to end the inning.

Two outs, but that’s still a huge strikeout for Howard against the righty. He’s 0-for-his-last-9 with six strikeouts.

Ransom walked with one out in the eleventh and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single. Valdez singled into center on a 1-0 pitch and Ransom slid into home just ahead of the throw from Young to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

Polanco was 2-for-5 with two doubles in the game and 5-for-15 with three doubles in the series. He’s hitting 318/347/439 for the year.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk and his ninth home run in the game. 5-for-11 with a double, a home run and four walks in the series. 263/349/423 on the year. 375/462/571 over his last 65 plate appearances.

Francisco was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 1-for-5 in the series. 246/313/398 on the year.

Howard was 0-for-5 and struck out twice. 2-for-13 with a home run and two walks in the series. 295/358/533 for the year.

Werth was 0-for-5 and struck out three times in the game. 5-for-12 with two doubles, two walks and a home run in the series. 290/382/516.

Ransom was 2-for-4 with a walk and scored the winning run. 3-for-7 with a walk and a home run in the series.

Ruiz 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 7-for-12 with a walk, three doubles and five RBI in the series. 286/397/392 for the season.

Valdez was 3-for-5 and won the game with an RBI-single in the eleventh. 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 239/268/361 on the year.

Roy Oswalt (6-12, 3.42) makes his debut for the Phillies tonight against righty Craig Stammen (2-4, 5.50) in Washington. Oswalt was hit hard by the Reds in his last start, allowing six runs in five innings. Opponents are on-basing just .279 against him for the season. Righties are hitting .211 against him, lefties .249 with a little more power. Stammen hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh in any of his last four starts, throwing to a 6.86 ERA and a 1.73 ratio in those appearances. Righties have hit him harder than lefties so far this season (308/363/527 for righties and 286/318/423 for lefties).


Not saying this is all a dream, but whoever sees Leonardo first might want to ask if we can borrow his little magic top

It’s the only way to be sure.

It has been a good couple of days for the Phillies, but last night may have been the best of all. Domonic Brown made his highly anticipated debut with the team and made just about everyone feel he has been worth the wait. Brown drove in a pair of runs and scored two more in support of another fantastic effort by Halladay as the Phils won their seventh straight.

Ibanez and Werth continue to pound the ball, giving hope their recent struggles are in the rear view mirror for good. They combined to go 5-for-7 with two walks and three doubles in the game. They were joined by Carlos Ruiz, who came into the series with Arizona hitting .214 since the beginning of June. After going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a walk in the first game of the set, Ruiz was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI last night.

Oh, and the Phils look like they’re about to get Roy Oswalt.

The Phillies are 55-46 on the year after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1 last night. They have won seven in a row.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing a run on six hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.

He didn’t allow a base-runner in the first two innings. He threw a 1-2-3 third with a 2-0 lead.

Stephen Drew started the fourth with a single. Halladay struck out Kelly Johnson behind him for the first out before Drew was thrown out trying to steal second. Chris Young followed that with a single. It brought Adam LaRoche to the plate and hit a ball hard that went off of Halladay and to third. Dobbs fielded and threw LaRoche out at first to end the frame.

Big caught stealing of Drew in the inning. The Phils get a break that Dobbs can handle the ball hit hard by LaRoche and off of Halladay.

Halladay hit Rusty Ryal with a pitch with two outs in the fifth. He got Gerardo Parra on a ground ball to second behind Ryal for the third out.

He struck out two in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Phils were up 5-0 when he started the seventh. He struck out the first two hitters in the inning before Miguel Montero and Mark Reynolds singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third for Ryal, but Ryal flew to Werth in center to leave both men stranded.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 eighth with a 7-0 lead.

He started the ninth still up by seven runs and having thrown 104 pitches in the game. Kelly Johnson led off with a single to right before Young flew to center for the first out. LaRoche lined to Brown in right for the second out. Montero was next and he doubled into right, scoring Johnson to cut the lead to 7-1. Reynolds flew to left to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edwin Jackson went (1) Polanco (2) Dobbs (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez plays short with Rollins sidelined after fouling a ball off his foot. Polanco at second and leading off. Dobbs at third against the righty. Werth plays center with Brown making his debut in right field.

Ibanez walked with two outs in the first and took second on a passed ball before Howard struck out to leave him stranded.

Werth doubled to right to start the second. Brown’s first at-bat as a Phillie was next and he smoked a 1-1 pitch off the wall in right for an RBI-double that put the Phillies up 1-0. Ruiz followed that with a single that sent Brown to third. Valdez grounded to first for the first out, with Brown scoring to make it 2-0 and Ruiz moving up to second. Ruiz moved to third on a ground out by Halladay, but was left stranded when Polanco grounded to third.

Ibanez doubled with one out in the third and Howard walked behind him. Howard was next and hit a ground ball to third. Ibanez stopped in the middle of the bases before Reynolds could tag him and Reynolds tagged third for the force out. With two outs and men on first and second, Brown grounded to first to end the inning.

Halladay singled with two outs in the fourth. Polanco struck out swinging behind him.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Werth and Brown singled back-to-back to start the sixth. Ruiz was next and doubled into the left field corner, scoring both runners to put the Phils up 4-0. Valdez moved Ruiz to third with a ground out. Halladay was next and he grounded to third for the second out, but Polanco followed that with a single into center. Ruiz scored and it was 5-0. Dobbs grounded to first for the third out.

Ibanez singled to start the seventh. Howard struck out behind him before Werth doubled to right, sending Ibanez to third. Brown hit a fly ball to right deep enough to score Ibanez (6-0) and move Werth to third with two outs. Ruiz doubled again, this time to center, and Werth scored to make it 7-0. Valdez was walked intentionally and Halladay struck out to end the inning.

Ibanez walked with two outs in the eighth. Howard struck out looking behind him.

Polanco was 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Dobbs 0-for-4 to drop his average on the year to .203.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with a double and two walks. He’s 10-for-his-last-20 with five walks, three doubles and a home run.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a walk and struck out four times.

Werth 3-for-4 and doubled twice. 436/549/692 over his last 51 plate appearances. He’s up to 34 doubles and on pace for 55.

Brown 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.

Ruiz 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.

Valdez 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. The walk was intentional, but whatever. 2-for-his-last-28.

Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 4.60) faces lefty Joe Saunders (6-10, 4.62) tonight. Kendrick allowed seven runs in five innings to the Cards on July 19 and was sent to Triple-A. The injury to Moyer forced him back into the rotation, though, and he has made one start since and pitched very well against the Rockies, holding them to a run over seven innings his last time out. Lefties are hitting 320/378/592 against him for the year. .592? Saunders will be making his debut with the Snakes after being acquired in the Dan Haren deal. His last start was very good as he held Texas to a run over seven innings. He’s allowed 135 hits in 120 2/3 innings on the season — opponents are hitting .290 against him.


Phils hit a hundred home running

The Phillies have now played a hundred games in the 2010 season. If the first 94 weren’t that spectacular, the last six sure have been. Last night they got two-run homers in the fifth, sixth and seventh as they exploded for seven runs in a three-inning stretch to bury the Diamondbacks.

The Phils are suddenly getting monster offensive production from the guys they need if from the most. Ibanez and Werth have joined the already hot bats of Howard and Polanco. Last night the four of them combined to go 8-for-16 with four walks and six RBI.

The Phillies are 54-46 on the season after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 last night. They have won six in a row and are in second place in the NL East, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out eight and his ERA on the year rose to 3.48.

Justin Upton singled to center with two outs in the first and Hamels hit Adam LaRoche behind him. Miguel Montero walked behind LaRoche to load the bases and then Hamels walked Mark Reynolds, forcing in a run to make it 1-0. Stephen Drew popped to short for the third out.

Hamels got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 second and two more in a 1-2-3 third.

He had a 2-1 lead when he started the fourth. He got Montero on a fly ball to center for the first out and was ahead of Reynolds 1-2, but Reynolds smashed a ball out to center to tie the game at 2-2. Drew followed that with a walk and Rusty Ryal doubled just past the glove of a diving Dobbs and into left. It put men on second and third with one out for the pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez hit a ground ball to short. Valdez looked Drew back to third and threw to first for the second out. Hamels hit Chris Young to load the bases, but struck Kelly Johnson out swinging 3-2 to leave them that way.

Dobbs nearly got a glove on the double by Ryal. I think Valdez or Polanco would have.

LaRoche doubled to right with one out in the fifth and moved to third when Ryal followed with a ground out to first. Hamels walked the righty Reynolds intentionally to pitch to the lefty Drew. Drew singled to right and LaRoche scored, putting the Diamondbacks up 3-2. Ryal reached on an infield single to load the bases, but Hamels struck Lopez out swinging on three pitches to end the frame.

Second time in the game that Lopez had a big at-bat with men on. Second time that Hamels got him.

The Phillies were up 4-3 when Hamels started the sixth. Young led off with a double over the head of Victorino in center and Drew walked behind him. Gerardo Parra was next and chopped a ball to first that might have been a double-play ball if Howard hadn’t pulled Valdez off the base with his throw to second. The error loaded the bases with nobody out. LaRoche hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Young to score and tie the game at 4-4. Drew moved up to third on the play. Montero was next and hit a ground ball to second. Polanco fielded and Parra hit the ground between first and second. Polanco tried to tag him and missed before he threw to first to get Montero for the second out. Drew came in to score and make it 5-4. Reynolds was next and hit a ball back up the middle, but Polanco made a nice play behind the bag and threw him out at first to end the frame.

Another awful error by Howard on a throw to second base.

Baez threw a 1-2-3 seventh with the Phils up 7-4. Drew flew to center for the first out. Victorino made the play but left the game with a strained left oblique.

First inning without allowing a hit or a walk for Baez since July 9.

Contreras started the eighth with the Phillies up 9-5. He gave up a leadoff single to Young and Young moved to second when Johnson followed with a ground ball to second. Contreras got Parra to fly to left for the second out before he walked LaRoche. With two outs and men on first and second, Montero grounded to first to end the frame.

Madson got two strikeouts and a ground out in a 1-2-3 ninth to drop his ERA on the year to 5.19.

Herndon threw 24 pitches in the game. Contreras 22, Madson 14 and Baez 9.

The Phillies lineup against righty Rodrigo Lopez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at short with Rollins on the bench after hitting a ball off his foot. Polanco plays second with Utley on the DL and Dobbs at third against the righty. Victorino moves up to the leadoff spot. He came into the game on-basing .250 in his last 94 plate appearances.

The Phillies were losing 1-0 when they hit in the first. Polanco singled with one out and Ibanez walked behind him. Howard struck out before a walk to Werth loaded the bases for Dobbs. Dobbs popped up to Drew at short to end the threat.

Ruiz led off the second with a single. Valdez struck out for the first out and Ruiz was caught stealing before Hamels struck out to end the inning.

Victorino started the third with a single and stole second. Polanco hit a ball that Drew fielded at short. Victorino was caught off the base and tagged out at third for the first out. Ibanez followed with a single that put men on first and third for Howard. Howard singled to right and Polanco scored, tying the game at 1-1, as Ibanez went to third. Werth walked to load the bases for Dobbs with one out. Dobbs fouled out to third with the runners holding. Ruiz drew a walk, though, forcing in Ibanez to put the Phils up 2-1. Valdez flew to right for the third out.

Bad base-running by Victorino on the ball hit by Polanco. Ibanez and Polanco both did well to go first to third on singles to right and it helped the Phils out. Disappointing at-bat for Dobbs with one out and the bases loaded. He had left six men on base through two innings.

The game was tied at 2-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Polanco doubled with two outs, but was left stranded when Ibanez flew to center.

Howard led off the fifth with a walk with the Phils down 3-2. Werth was next and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to center for a two-run homer that put the Phils on top 4-3. Dobbs, Ruiz and Valdez went down behind him.

First home run for Werth since June 23.

The Phillies were down 5-4 when they hit in the sixth. Victorino singled with one out and took second when Polanco followed with a ball fielded by the pitcher. A wild pitch moved Victorino to third with two outs before Ibanez brought him home with a single to right, tying the game at 5-5. Howard was next and hit a 3-2 pitch out to center. 7-5. Francisco hit for Herndon, who entered in Dobbs’s spot in the order in the top of the sixth, and struck out for the third out.

Ruiz started the seventh with a single and was bunted to second by Valdez. Ransom was next, he entered in the top of the sixth with Herndon in the ninth spot in the order, and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to left to put the Phillies ahead 9-5. Gload, who entered when Victorino left the game with his side issue, and Polanco went down behind him.

Ibanez, Howard and Werth all flew out in the eighth.

Victorino was 2-for-4.

Polanco 2-for-5 with a double. He’s 10-for-his-last-28.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 367/436/510 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and three RBI. 333/427/739 since July 7.

Werth 2-for-3 with a home run, two walks and two RBI. 339/466/500 since July 8.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 and left six men on base.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Valdez 0-for-3 with a strikeout and four men left on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-25.

Roy Halladay (11-8, 2.28) faces Edwin Jackson (6-9, 5.01) tonight. Halladay allowed six runs in six innings against the Cubs on July 23. That’s his only start of his last four that he’s allowed more than one run. In two of his last three starts he’s gone at least eight innings without allowing any runs. Righties are on-basing .252 against him for the year. Jackson threw a no-hitter against the Rays on June 25. Since then he’s made four starts in which he has thrown to a 6.85 ERA with a 1.93 ratio.


Lights outish Lidge

There wasn’t much about yesterday’s game that was pretty except that the Phillies found a way to win. The Phils are suddenly hot. They came into their four-game set with the Rockies having lost six of eight and come out having won five in a row.

Joe Blanton pitched pretty well yesterday and got a welcome early hook. The Phils scratched out five runs in the game, scoring three times in a second inning that saw the Rockies make two errors and misplay a ball hit in the gap in left-center in a three-batter span. The game was most memorable, though, for the scare Brad Lidge gave us all in the ninth. He entered with a 5-2 lead and allowed a two-run homer that had the Rockies within a run. The next three Colorado hitters all reached to load the bases before he got Ryan Spilborghs on a ground ball back to the mound to end the game.

Lidge was pitching for the second straight day after throwing 30 pitches the day before. It’s been a rough stretch for him, though. Opponents are on-basing .471 against him over his last seven appearances, which is going to make it tough to be successful.

The Phils are 53-46 on the season after being the Colorado Rockies 5-4 yesterday afternoon, completing a sweep of a four-game series. The Phillies have won five in a row.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. All six of the hits were singles and he struck out two. His ERA is at 5.85 — under six for the first time since the end of May.

He walked Jonathan Herrera with one out in the first and Carlos Gonzalez moved Herrera to second with a single. Jason Giambi was next and he lined a single into center. Herrera scored to make it 1-0 with one down and men on first and second. Ryan Spilborghs followed that with a single to left. Gonzalez scored from second (2-0) and Giambi went to second. Blanton got Ian Stewart to ground into a double-play to end the frame.

Miguel Olivo singled to start the second for Colorado, but Blanton got the next three hitters behind him.

Blanton started the third with a 3-2 lead. Gonzalez singled with one out and stole second. Giambi followed that with a walk, putting men on first and second with one down. Spilborghs was next and hit a ground ball to short. Rollins handled that, going to second to force Giambi for the second out. Stewart lined to short to leave the runners stranded on first and third.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth, getting a nice play by Polanco on a ball hit hard by Clint Barmes for the second out.

He got two ground balls and struck out pitcher Jason Hammel in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Blanton walked Giambi on four pitches to start the sixth. Spilborghs followed that with a single into center and the Rocks had men on first and second with nobody out. Stewart was next and Blanton got him to hit into a double-play again before Olivo flew to center to set Colorado down.

Second time in the game that Blanton had gotten Stewart to hit into a rally-thwarting double-play.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils up 5-2 and Werth in right. He got the first two before Seth Smith doubled to left. Durbin got Herrera to fly to left to leave him stranded.

Romero pitched the eighth with Valdez at second and Polanco moved to third. He walked Spilborghs with two outs. Stewart grounded to second for the third out.

And then came Lidge, pitching on back-to-back days. Miguel Olivo led off with a double to right. Righty Melvin Mora hit for righty Clint Barmes. Mora grounded to third for the first out with Olivo holding first. Lefty Brad Hawpe hit for the pitcher and fouled out to Polanco for the second out. Sure looked like the game was over, but the lefty Smith hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, cutting the lead to 5-4. Lidge walked Herrera and Gonzalez moved him to second with another single. With the lefty Giambi at the plate, a wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third. Lidge put Giambi on intentionally to pitch to the righty Spilborghs with the bases loaded. Spilborghs hit a 1-1 pitch to the left of the mound. Lidge fielded and made a strong throw to first to end the game.

Lidge, Durbin and Romero were all pitching for the second straight day. Lidge threw 34 pitches after throwing 30 in game three, Durbin 21 and Romero 13.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Hammel went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Gload (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Schneider. Gload in right with Werth on the bench. Gload was 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and a walk in the first three games of the series. Polanco plays second for the third straight game with Dobbs getting his turn at third against the righty and Ransom on the bench. Schneider catches. Great to see Polanco at second base with Dobbs and Ransom at third rather than Valdez at second.

The Phillies were down 2-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Ibanez walked with two outs, but Howard struck out swinging behind him.

Gload singled to right to start the second. Victorino struck out behind him, but Dobbs sent him to third with a double. Schneider was next and he hit a ball to left center. Gonzalez and Smith went all Keystone Cops on it — Gonzalez tried to backhand the ball after it dropped but missed and ran into Smith, falling down and allowing Schneider to go to third with a two-run triple that tied the game at 2-2. Blanton was next and hit a ball that was fielded by the pitcher Hammel, but Giambi didn’t handle the throw from Hammel and Blanton was safe with Schneider holding third. Rollins was next and hit a ball to Giambi and Giambi threw it away trying to get Blanton at second for his second error in two plays. Schneider scored to make it 3-2 with men on first and second with one out. Polanco popped to the shortstop for the second out and Ibanez struck out to leave the runners stranded.

Rollins fouled a ball off the top of his foot in his at-bat, but stayed in the game.

Not that impressive an inning defensively for the Rockies.

Victorino singled to center with two outs in the third. He stole second before Dobbs struck out swinging to end the inning.

Blanton and Rollins struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Polanco started the fifth with a single. Ibanez flew to left for the first out before Polanco took second on a wild pitch. Howard went on to walk, putting men on first and second, before Gload struck out looking 0-2. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Dobbs singled to start the sixth and Schneider walked behind him. With the righty Hammel still pitching for Colorado, Ransom hit for Blanton and bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Rollins popped out to Barmes for the second out, by Polanco picked him up with a single to right. Dobbs scored (4-2) and Schneider took third. Lefty Randy Flores came in to pitch to Ibanez, but Ibanez singled to left and Schneider came in to make it 5-2. Howard struck out for the third out.

Different approach with Blanton this time, pulled for a pinch-hitter after throwing six innings and 85 pitches. Dobbs and Schneider get the rally started at the bottom of the order. Big no-RBI for Rollins, but Polanco and Ibanez pick him up with two-out hits. Ransom comes through in a chance off the bench against a righty.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

With righty Taylor Buchholz on the mound for Colorado and one out in the eighth, Francisco hit for Romero and walked. Rollins and Polanco went down behind him.

Rollins was 0-for-5 with an RBI in the game. 7-for-18 with a double, a triple and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 244/335/393 for the season.

Polanco 2-for-5 with an RBI. 5-for-18 with a double and a walk. 317/348/435 on the year.

Ibanez was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 6-for-13 in the series with two doubles, a home run and two walks. 257/340/410 on the season. He has hit 315/383/466 in July.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 3-for-14 with a triple, three walks and six strikeouts in the series. He’s at 300/361/538 on the year.

Gload 1-for-3 with a strikeout. 4-for-7 with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 278/313/478 for the season. Werth was 0-for-1 in the game and 5-for-10 with two doubles and four walks in the series. 285/378/505.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 248/309/438 on the year. He has walked twice in July and is hitting .234 and on-basing .250 for the month.

Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double. 3-for-7 with a double and a walk in the series. 216/278/362 for the year, but it’s better than it sounds. Dobbs came into July hitting 153/228/236 for the season and has posted a 318/362/568 line in 44 at-bats in July. Ransom was 0-for-3 in the series and is 5-for-28 with the Phils this year.

Schneider was 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple. 1-for-6 with two walks in the series. 235/330/400 for the season. Ruiz was 1-for-7 with a walk in the series and is hitting 267/384/364 for the year. He’s 15-for-70 (.214) since the end of May.

Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.40) faces righty Rodrigo Lopez (5-9, 4.58) tonight as the Phils play the first of three with Arizona in Philly. Hamels has allowed one run in his last three starts, allowing 15 hits and six walks in 22 1/3 innings (0.40 ERA and an 0.94 ratio). The former Phil Lopez has allowed 24 home runs in 129 2/3 innings this season. Lefties are hitting 284/333/498 against him.


Road wreck

Thanks to some late drama yesterday, the Phillies have won the first three games of their four-game set with the Rockies in Philadelphia. That extends their home winning streak to seven in a row. They have won three of their last 13 away from Citizens Bank Park.

Overall on the season they are 30-18 at home and 22-28 on the road.

The Phillies started out the year playing very well on the road. Through the end of April they had been better on the road than they had been at home:

Road Home

W-L

RS/G

RA/G

W-L

RS/G

RA/G

9-6

5.27

3.93

3-4

5.14

5.71

The Phils were 12-10 and pounding the ball no matter where they played, scoring more than five runs a game both at home and on the road. They had a whole lot more success at preventing runs on the road than they did at home, though, allowing about 1.8 more runs per game in the first seven games at home as they did in their first 15 games on the road.

The Phillies played their first nine games of May at home and were rolling. They went 7-2 against the Mets, Cards and Braves, outscoring their opponents 50-21 (5.56 to 2.33 runs per game).

They went on the road to Colorado and Milwaukee after that and things went well there, too. They Phils went 4-1 against the Rockies and Brewers and were ten games over .500 for the year at 23-13 at the end of the day on May 16. They were 13-7 on the road and 10-6 at home.

It may seem like things went downhill pretty quickly after that. They didn’t, though. They only went downhill quickly when the Phils were away from home. Here is what the team did this season at home and on the road through May 16:

Through May 16
Road Home

W-L

RS/G

RA/G

W-L

RS/G

RA/G

13-7

5.70

4.05

10-6

5.38

3.81

And here’s what they have done at home and on the road since May 16:

Since May 16
Road Home

W-L

RS/G

RA/G

W-L

RS/G

RA/G

9-21

3.23

5.20

20-12

5.00

3.66

The Phils have been a mess on the road, unable to score or prevent runs. Thirty games where you can’t score or stop other teams from scoring is a lot. Thanks to seven wins in their last seven tries, though, the numbers at home have been a whole lot better. And while it’s good news that the Phils have had success at home, they’re going to need to show tremendous improvement on the road in the second half of the season if they want to challenge the Braves at the top of the NL East.

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Roy’d rage

Given that there are approximately two people on the planet named Roy who can pitch better than Cole Hamels, you have to wonder what Cole thinks of having both of them on the Phillies and pushing him to the third slot in the rotation. Maybe he doesn’t care at all. Whether he does or not, though, he sure was fantastic yesterday. Hamels allowed a single and a walk over eight shutout innings. It almost wasn’t good enough for a Phillies team struggling to score runs, but Polanco delivered a solo home run in the top of the eleventh and Werth came through with an RBI-double four batters later to get the Phils out with a 2-0 win.

Hamels wasn’t the only pitcher to have a good day. The Phils are counting on Madson and Durbin to bring some stability to the bullpen coming off of injuries. They did just that yesterday as they combined to throw an inning and two-thirds of perfect relief late in the game.

The Phillies are 49-46 on the season after beating the St Louis Cardinals 2-0 in eleven innings yesterday afternoon. The Cards take the series three games to one. The Phils end their eight game road trip at 2-6. They are back in second place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went eight shutout innings, allowing a single and a walk. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.40.

He was perfect through the first four innings, striking out the first five batters he faced.

Matt Holliday singled to left to start the fifth with the game still tied. Allen Craig was next and he popped a ball behind short. Rollins and Victorino converged and Victorino made a nifty sliding catch to record the out. Holliday was way off base and doubled-up easily. Yadier Molina was next and hit a ball to right. Werth came up with the second dazzling defensive play in two batters for the Phils, sliding to catch the ball and holding on with his bare hand to record the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth. He got another nice defensive play in the inning as Howard made a nifty play on a foul ball hit by Wainwright for the second out.

He set St Louis down in order again in the seventh.

He got the first two in the eight before Molina drew a five-pitch walk. Brendan Ryan was next and Hamels struck him out swinging to end the inning.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Hamels had thrown 97 pitches.

Romero started the tenth with Ransom at second after Dobbs hit for Valdez in the top of the inning. He got Rasmus on a ground ball to first and Durbin came in to pitch to righty Albert Pujols. Pujols blasted a ball foul before Durbin struck him out swinging 3-2. Durbin got Holliday on a check-swing roller back to the mound.

Lidge pitched the eleventh with a 2-0 lead. Jay walked and stole second before Molina grounded to first for the first out with Jay holding second. Lefty Skip Schumaker hit for Ryan and hit a ball that Lidge handled for the second out as Jay moved to third. Winn flew to left to end the game.

Romero was pitching for the second day in a row and has thrown four of the last five days. Lidge threw 14 pitches in the game. Everyone else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Adam Wainwright went (1) Polanco (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Rollins hits sixth again with Polanco and Victorino at the top of the lineup. Ibanez back in left against the righty after a day off. Schneider catches the day game after the night game. Valdez at second against the righty with Dobbs not at second. Start number 50 on the year for Valdez. This time last year, if you had set the over/under for number of games that Wilson Valdez would start for the Phils in 2010 at 0.5, I would have taken the under. Ditto for November 26, a day after they signed him this winter.

Polanco led off the game with a single. Victorino popped the first pitch of his at-bat up to third for the first out before Ibanez singled into center and Polanco moved to second. Howard grounded out on a ball handled by Miles and the runners took second and third with two down. Werth struck out swinging 3-2 to leave both men stranded.

Schneider doubled to right with one out in the second. Valdez followed with a ground out to second and Schneider moved to third. Hamels grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Howard started the fourth with a single. Werth followed with a ground ball to third and Howard was forced at second for the first out. Rollins was next and singled to right, putting men on first and second for Schneider. Schneider struck out swinging before Werth took third on a wild pitch by Wainwright. Valdez grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.

Polanco singled with one out in the fifth, but Molina picked him off for the second out. Victorino grounded to second to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Schneider singled with one out in the seventh. Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

Shawon Dunston, look out. Valdez may have lulled Dunston into a false sense of security with his blazing walk rate to start the second half (he has two), but he’s back on the move (15/6) now. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably point out that there’s no way Valdez catches Dunston now that he has six walks. If he didn’t walk again this season he would need to hit into ten more double-plays.

Victorino lined a ball into left with two outs in the eighth. Holliday had troubling picking it up and the error allowed Victorino to take third. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 as tradition dictates.

Howard singled off of lefty Denys Reyes to start the ninth. The Cards brought in righty Jason Motte to pitch to Werth. Werth quickly got behind 0-2 and struck out swinging 1-2. Rollins chopped a ball to first. Pujols fielded, stepped on first and threw to second where Howard was tagged out to complete the double-play.

Motte got Schneider to pop to third for the first out of the tenth. Dobbs hit for Valdez and struck out for the second. Gload hit for Madson and flew to center to end the frame.

Polanco led off the tenth and hit a 1-1 pitch from Kyle McClellan out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino grounded to short for the first out and lefty Trever Miller came in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez walked and moved to second when Howard followed with a single. Righty Fernando Salas came in to pitch to Werth and Werth delivered a double to left, scoring Ibanez to make it 2-0 with men on second and third. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Schneider. Schneider hit a ball back to Salas and Howard was forced at home for the second out. Ransom flew to center to leave the bases loaded.

Polanco was 2-for-5 with a home run in the game. 6-for-18 with a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 319/350/441 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a double yesterday and a big defensive play in the fifth to turn a double-play. 4-for-17 with two doubles in the series. He has one walk in July in 82 at-bats. He’s hitting 253/314/448 for the year and on-basing .265 this month.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-13 with two walks in the series. 248/331/392 on the year.

Howard was 3-for-5 with three singles in yesterday’s game and 7-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run in the series. 303/360/545 on the season.

Werth 1-for-5 with an RBI double yesterday. 5-for-15 with two doubles and a walk on the year. 279/369/498 on the year.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-17 with a walk in the series. 184/267/276 in July. 227/326/373 for the year. He’s hitting .183 in 123 plate appearances since coming off the DL.

Schneider was 2-for-5 with a double yesterday. Ruiz caught the other three games and went 2-for-9 with a double and a walk.

Valdez was 0-for-3 yesterday and 0-for-8 with a walk in the series. 239/267/367 on the year. Ransom was 1-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series and is 5-for-25 with the Phillies this season.

Roy Halladay (10-8, 2.40) faces Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.56) tonight in Philadelphia as the Phils and Rockies start a four-game set. Coming off of two excellent starts in a row, Halladay was hit hard his last time out as he allowed six runs in six innings to the Cubs. Cook threw seven shutout innings against the Reds in his last start, but has a 5.83 ERA in his ten starts away from home this season.

This article suggests that Moyer’s injury could end his career.

Happ and Kendrick will fill out the rotation this weekend against the Rockies.

The Phillies fired Milt Thompson as their hitting coach and replaced him with Greg Gross.


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