Even when things are at their lowest, at least we still have that “Moyer” and “more” kind of almost rhyme.
Let’s hope that’s enough. It might have to be.
Another day, another ugly loss for the Phils who are now 1-5 since the All-Star break and seven games back in their division.
Last night’s loss came with yet another injury as Jamie Moyer threw just one inning before leaving the game with a strained left elbow. Even in the best of circumstances, losing your starter after one inning in a stretch where you play 18 games in 18 days would be tough. These are far from the best of circumstances for the Phils, though, and the relief corps and the offense both struggled after Moyer’s exit last night.
The Phils are suddenly leaking pitchers. Two of the five guys in the starting rotation need to be replaced since Kendrick was sent to Triple-A yesterday before Jamie Moyer was injured last night. JA Happ is almost surely part of the mix to fill out the rotation, but that still leaves them one starter short. The bullpen threw seven innings last night and allowed seven runs and the Phils still have to play 12 more days in a row before getting a day off.
Finally, Danys Baez got blasted again and you have to wonder how much longer the Phils are going to stick with him. Over his last 14 appearances he has thrown to a 7.30 ERA with a 2.27 ratio. He’s walked nine in 12 1/3 innings and opponents have hit .380 against him in those games.
The Phillies are 48-45 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 7-1 last night. They remain in third place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves and a half game behind the second-place Mets. They are 1-5 since the All-Star break.
Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and threw one scoreless inning before leaving the game with a strained left elbow. He allowed two singles and didn’t walk anyone or strike anyone out.
He got the first two in the bottom of the first before Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday singled back-to-back. Pujols and Holliday pulled off a double-steal with Allen Craig at the plate, but Moyer got Craig to line to Victorino for the third out.
Andrew Carpenter took over for Moyer in the second. Aaron Miles singled with one out and the pitcher Chris Carpenter bunted him to second with the first out. Carpenter got Brendan Ryan on a fly ball to center for the third out.
Felipe Lopez started the third with a single. Randy Winn was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center for his second homer in two games, putting St Louis up 2-0. Carpenter got the next three.
Yadier Molina started the fourth with a double. Miles lined back to the mound for the first out, but the pitcher Carpenter singled softly into center and Molina moved to third. Carpenter uncorked a wild pitch with Ryan at the plate, allowing Molina to score (3-0) and Carpenter to take second. Ryan went down on a fly ball to Werth for the second out. Carpenter struck out Lopez for the third.
Baez took over in the fifth. He walked the leadoff man Winn and Winn stole second before Pujols walked. Holliday was next and he blasted a 1-2 pitch out to center for a three-run homer that made it 6-0. Baez got Craig on a ground ball back to the mound before Molina and Miles singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third with one down, but Baez got Carpenter to hit into a double-play to end the inning.
We’ve got to be near the end of the Baez era at this point.
Herndon pitched the sixth. He allowed back-to-back singles to Ryan and Lopez to get things started. It put men on first and second for Winn and Winn hit a fly ball to center deep enough to move Ryan to third. Herndon then struck Pujols out swinging 3-2 and Ruiz threw Lopez out trying to steal second to end the inning.
Contreras pitched the seventh with the Phils down 6-1. He struck Holliday out for the first out. Lefty Colby Rasmus hit for the righty Craig and singled to center, but Contreras got Molina and Miles behind him to keep the Cards off the board.
Madson came on for the eighth, pitching for the second day in a row. He got the first two batters before Lopez doubled to center. Winn followed that with an RBI-single and the St Louis lead was up to 7-1. Pujols grounded to short for the third out.
Long day for the pen with Moyer only going one inning. They didn’t pitch very well, allowing seven runs in seven innings.
Carpenter threw 49 pitches. Baez 28, Madson 20, Contreras 18 and Herndon 15.
The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Carpenter went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL, making his 49th start of the season. There have been a whole lot of events this season that the Phillies couldn’t control, but nobody can make you start Wilson Valdez in 49 of 93 games.
1-2-3 in the first.
Werth reached on an infield single with one out in the second, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him.
Ruiz reached on a throwing error by Lopez at third to start the third. Valdez walked behind him to put men on first and second. Carpenter was next and he got the bunt down, but Molina fielded and went after Ruiz who was retired for the second out. Rollins hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.
Nothing for the Phils after putting their first two men on base to start the inning.
Polanco led off the fourth with the Phils down 2-0 and singled to right. Ibanez, Howard and Werth went down behind him.
Down 3-0, the Phils went in order in the fifth.
Valdez grounded to third to end the fifth. Cody Ransom took over for him at second in the bottom of the inning with the new pitcher Baez moving into the eight-hole in the lineup. That’s a great move by Manuel, but it sadly didn’t help as Ransom went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in the game.
With the current roster I think it makes sense for Ransom to start at second base a lot against lefties. At least until he demonstrates he can’t play second. I’m even up for a Dobbs/Ransom platoon at second for a while.
Polanco tripled with two outs in the sixth and the Phils down 6-0. Ibanez was next and hit the ball well, but Pujols reached for the ball at first and got it to retire the side.
Werth and Victorino doubled with one out in the seventh, cutting the lead to 6-1. Ruiz grounded to second for the second out with Victorino holding second. With the righty Carpenter still on the mound for St Louis, Dobbs hit for our Carpenter and grounded to first.
The Phils went in order in the eighth.
Down 7-1, Howard doubled with one out in the ninth. Werth flew to right behind him for the second out and Victorino struck out swinging to end the game.
Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-24 and hitting 178/263/277 in 114 plate appearances since returning from the DL.
Polanco was 2-for-4 with a triple. He’s 6-for-18 since coming back.
Howard 1-for-4 with a double.
Werth 2-for-4 with a double. He’s still on pace to hit 50 doubles. 6-for-his-last-14 with four walks.
Victorino 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Valdez 0-for-1 with a walk. I think the combination of the Valdez walk plus the Moyer injury puts an end to the great Valdez/Moyer walkoff of 2010. Valdez leads 6-3 now and that lead may be insurmountable given that Moyer didn’t get a chance to hit last night and looks likely to miss significant time. Valdez is hitting 150/209/225 over his last 43 plate appearances.
Blanton (3-5, 6.21) faces lefty Jaime Garcia (8-4, 2.27) tonight as the fun continues. Blanton has had an awful year and has a 6.27 ERA and a 1.50 ratio over his last three starts. Opponents are hitting .300 against him and he’s allowed 16 home runs in 87 innings. Garcia turned 24 this month and had pitched very well this year. He has allowed more than two earned runs in two of 18 starts and given up just four home runs in 103 innings.
Trade rumors abound. The loudest seem to be around two possible moves, trading for Roy Oswalt and trading Jayson Werth. Oswalt would be a great addition, but even with the injuries the problems with this team are mostly about their ability to score runs and not their ability to prevent them. A lot of the offensive problems have to do with hitters that should and will hit simply not hitting. Not all of them, though. See, for example, the thing about Wilson Valdez starting more than half the games for the Phils this season.
Moyer is apparently headed to the DL, maybe for a long time.