Archive for July, 2010

Two thumbs down

Cole Hamels came up with a solid outing against the Pirates last night, but for the second day in a row the Phillies couldn’t muster enough offense to back up their starter. The Phils scored two runs in the game — one came with the help of an error and the other on a solo home run by Wilson Valdez.

The core of regular hitters who have escaped injury continues to struggle. With Polanco, Ruiz and Utley all on the DL, Victorino, Rollins, Werth, Ibanez and Howard have driven in one run in the past three games. Last night they were 3-for-20.

And then there’s the injuries. The Phils lost another player in the game. Brian Schneider, who was filling in nicely for Ruiz and is 5-for-his-last-16 with a pair of home runs, injured his left thumb in the second inning of the game and was pinch-hit for in the fourth. Worse than that was the news that Utley could be lost for as long as eight weeks.

The Phillies are 41-36 on the year after losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 last night. With the loss they fall four games behind the first place Braves in the NL East. They trail the second place Mets by two games.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out eight and has allowed more than three earned runs in a game just once in his last 11 starts. The Phils are 1-6 in the last seven games he’s started. They’ve scored three or fewer runs in five of those seven games.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Lastings Milledge singled with one out in the second and Ryan Doumit walked behind him. Bobby Crosby was next and he singled to left, scoring Milledge from second to put the Pirates up 1-0. Doumit went to third on the single, but Hamels struck out Andy LaRoche for the second out and pitcher Daniel McCutchen for the third to end the inning.

It was 1-1 when Hamels started the third. Jose Tabata led off with a walk and came around to score when Pedro Alvarez followed with a double. 2-1. Andrew McCutchen was next and he a ground ball to second that Valdez didn’t handle for an error. It put men on first and third with nobody out. Garrett Jones hit a ball fielded by Hamels for the first out. Alvarez held third with McCutchen taking second. Milledge was next and he hit a ball that Hamels handled as well. Hamels threw home and Alvarez was tagged out by Schneider for the second out. With two down and men on first and third, Hamels got Doumit on a fly ball to right to end the inning.

Twice in two innings Hamels does well to limit the damage. Big strikeout of LaRoche in the second with one out and a man on third. In the third the Pirates can’t get any more after putting men on first and third with nobody out.

LaRoche singled with one out in the fourth and the pitcher McCutchen bunted him to second. Tabata followed that with a single into center, scoring LaRoche to make it 3-1. Hamels picked Tabata off of first, with Howard making a nice play to come forward to catch the ball and then deliver a strong throw to second, for the third out.

Hamels struck out Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen and Jones in a 1-2-3 fifth after the Phils cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the inning.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

LaRoche reached on an error by Dobbs to start the seventh. Ronny Cedeno ran for him at first and pitcher Evan Meek bunted him to second. Tabata flew to center and Alvarez popped to Dobbs at third to leave the runner stranded.

Contreras threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils still down a run.

Contreras threw 11 pitches in the game. He has a 2.19 ERA and a 1.04 ratio for the season. He’s on pace to throw about 62 1/3 innings this year.

The Phillies lineup against righty Daniel McCutchen went (1) Victorino (2) Dobbs (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Dobbs at third and Valdez at second. Rollins hits third with Utley on the DL. Victorino leads off.

Charlie Manuel was suspended for the game. Bench coach Pete Mackanin managed the Phils.

Dobbs singled with one out in the first, but Rollins and Howard went down behind him.

Werth, Ibanez and Schneider all struck out in the second.

Valdez led off the third and hit a 2-1 pitch out to left center, tying the game at 1-1. Hamels followed that with a single into left, but Victorino, Dobbs and Rollins all grounded out behind him.

Valdez came into the year with one career home run in 369 plate appearances. He’s hit four in his last 32 plate appearances.

Howard singled to start the fifth with the Phillies losing 2-1. Werth struck out behind him for the first out and Ibanez flew to left for the second. Sardinha hit for Schneider and popped to third.

The Phils were down 3-1 when they hit in the fifth. Victorino singled with two outs and stole second. Dobbs hit a ball that LaRoche fielded moving to his right almost behind second. LaRoche threw in the dirt to first, but Jones couldn’t pick it. Victorino scored from second to make it 3-2 with Dobbs safe on an error charged to LaRoche. Rollins flew to center for the third out.

Werth reached on an error by Alvarez with one out in the sixth. Ibanez grounded to short with Werth forced at second for the second out. Ibanez stole second and Sardinha flew to center to leave him there.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Rollins doubled with one out in the eighth. Howard struck out behind him swinging at ball four for the second out before Werth walked. It put men on first and second for Ibanez, but Ibanez flew to left to leave both men stranded.

Sardinha singled to left off of Octavio Dotel to start the ninth. Valdez bunted him to second with the first out and Gload hit for Contreras with the righty Dotel on the mound. Gload grounded to second for the second out with Sardinha taking third. Victorino struck out looking for the third out.

Can Sardinha score from second on a single? Since it’s tough to run for him since you’re out of catchers I think you might be better off letting Valdez hit away. Especially since he’s just about the only guy on the team driving in any runs.

Victorino 1-for-5.

Dobbs 2-for-4. He’s 3-for-7 with a walk in his last two games, putting his line for the year at 171/241/250.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a double.

Howard 1-for-4.

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and left four men on base.

Schneider 0-for-1. Sardinha 1-for-3.

Valdez 1-for-3 with a homer.

Jamie Moyer (9-6, 4.30) faces righty Ross Ohlendorf (0-6, 4.90) tonight. Moyer has allowed more than two runs in a start just one in his last six outings. Ohlendorf has made 11 starts for the Pirates. He’s 0-3 with a 5.87 ERA and a 1.39 ratio in his last four outings.

Some injury updates on the Phils here. It suggests that Madson could be back before the break and Durbin may be after. Happ has already made five rehab appearances and will start at Triple-A on Sunday. Things haven’t been going especially well.

Jay Zsss the Phils

The Phils dropped game three of the set with the Reds yesterday. Cincinnati takes the series two games to one.

Halladay started the eighth with a 3-2 lead, but allowed a leadoff single to Johnny Gomes and stayed in the game to face lefty Jay Bruce. Bruce hammered his first pitch out to right for a two-run homer that put the Reds on top to stay.

With Utley, Ruiz and Polanco all sidelined, the problem with the offense in the last two games of the set proved to be the regulars who usually play alongside them and not the guys who have replaced them. Yesterday all of the offense for the Phils came on a three-run shot by Dane Sardinha. In the last two games, Victorino, Rollins, Howard, Werth and Ibanez have combined to go 9-for-42 (.214) with one RBI. Wilson Valdez, Dane Sardinha and Brian Schneider, meanwhile, have carried the offense, going 8-for-16 with three home runs and ten RBI.

The Phillies are 41-35 on the year after a 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday afternoon.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing four runs on 13 hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out ten and didn’t walk a batter.

After allowing three home runs in 101 innings over his first 13 starts, Halladay has allowed seven home runs in 29 innings over his last four starts. The Phillies drop to 9-8 on the year in the games that he has started. They’ve lost four of the last five times he’s started and seven of the last ten. In those ten games he’s thrown to a 3.16 ERA with a 1.04 ratio.

Brandon Phillips started the bottom of the first with a single, but Halladay got the next three Reds behind him.

Drew Stubbs and Ramon Hernandez singled back-to-back with two outs in the second. It brought the pitcher Aaron Harang to the plate with two outs and men on first and second. Harang grounded out to second to leave both men stranded.

Halladay struck out Orlando Cabrera and Joey Votto in a 1-2-3 third.

He started the fourth up 3-0. Johnny Gomes doubled on a ball off Howard’s glove with one out and moved to third when Jay Bruce followed with a single. Halladay struck Stubbs out swinging for the second out and got Hernandez to pop to second to leave both runners stranded.

Big strikeout for Halladay with one out and men on third keeps the Reds off the board.

Halladay set Cincinnati down in order in the fifth.

Votto started the sixth with a home run to right to cut the lead to 3-1. Scott Rolen was next and lined a single to right, but Halladay struck out Gomes, Bruce and Stubbs all in a row to leave him stranded.

Hernandez led off the seventh with a single. Lefty Laynce Nix hit for the pitcher Logan Ondrusek and Halladay got him on a fly ball to Victorino for the first out. A double by Phillips moved Hernandez to third before Cabrera lined a single into center, scoring Hernandez to make it 3-2 with one out and men on first and third. Halladay struck Votto out looking at a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner for the second out and Rolen flew to right to end the inning.

Another big strikeout for Halladay with a man on third and less than two outs.

He was back to start the eighth with a 3-2 lead having thrown 96 pitches. Gomes led off and lined a 1-2 pitch into left for a single. Halladay stayed in to pitch to the lefty Bruce and Bruce hit the first pitch he saw out to right, putting the Reds on top 4-3. Halladay struck out Stubbs for the first out before Hernandez singled. Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Arthur Rhodes and struck out for the second out. Halladay got Phillips on a ground ball back to the mound for the third out.

Phils lose on Halladay’s 100th pitch of the day, delivered to a lefty with a one-run lead in the eighth.

The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Harang went (1) Victorino (2) Dobbs (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Dobbs at third and Valdez at second. Sardinha catches the day game after a night game. Victorino leads off again with Rollins dropped to Utley’s spot in the order.

Victorino and Dobbs singled back-to-back to start the game. It put men on first and second with nobody out, but Rollins struck out, Howard grounded to Phillips with the runners moving to second and third and Werth struck out to leave them stranded.

They went in order in the second.

Dobbs walked with two outs in the third, but Rollins followed and fouled out to Rolen.

Dobbs on base twice in three innings.

Werth singled with one out in fourth and Ibanez flew to left behind him. Valdez was next and lined a single to right that moved Werth to second. Sardinha was next and he jumped on the first pitch from Harang, hitting it out to left to put the Phillies up 3-0. Halladay grounded to third for the third out.

Valdez, Schneider and Sardinha all hit three-run homers in the last two games of the three-game set. All three of them came on the first pitch of their at-bat. Sardinha cane to the Phillies with no career home runs in 88 plate appearances and has now hit two in a week.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Howard started the sixth with a single. Werth flew out behind him before Ibanez popped to second. Valdez moved Howard to second with a single, but Sardinha flew to center to leave both men stranded.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when the Phillies hit in the seventh. Victorino singled with one out and righty Logan Ondrusek came in to pitch to the lefty Dobbs. Dobbs flew to center and so did Rollins behind him, leaving Victorino stranded.

Lefty Arthur Rhodes struck out Howard and Werth in a 1-2-3 eighth.

The Phils were down 4-3 when they hit in the ninth against righty Francisco Cordero. Valdez led off and grounded to second. Gload hit for Sardinha and delivered a single to center. Francisco hit for Halladay and struck out as Gload stole second. Victorino grounded softly to second to end the game.

Gutsy and important stolen base for Gload, putting the tying run in scoring position for Victorino.

Victorino was 2-for-5 in the game and 4-for-13 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 252/326/448 for the season.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 with a walk yesterday. 1-for-6 in the series and 153/228/236 for the year.

Rollins was 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-13 in the series. 270/382/473 for the season. He’s 6-for-33 (.182) since coming back from the DL.

Howard was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. He was 4-for-12 with a walk, two doubles and a triple in the series without an RBI. 295/352/513 on the season after hitting 320/373/650 in June.

Werth was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 4-for-10 in the series with three walks. 292/378/549 for the year. He wound up hitting 286/396/488 in June despite going 3-for-24 to start the month.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series. After hitting 229/292/375 in June he’s at 240/328/394 for the year.

Valdez was 2-for-4 yesterday and 4-for-10 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 259/275/393 on the year.

Sardinha was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer. He’s 3-for-15 with a double and two homers for the Phils.

Cole Hamels (6-6, 4.08) faces righty Daniel McCutchen (0-3, 11.00) tonight in Pittsburgh. Hamels allowed five runs in four innings against the Blue Jays in his last outing, which was the only start of his last ten in which he was charged with more than three earned runs. McCutchen is filling in for Zach Duke in the Pirates rotation and has made four starts on the season, throwing to an 11.65 ERA in those appearances. Lefties have hit .406 against him for the season.

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