Archive for August, 2010

California redeeming

The Phils got back to their winning ways this weekend in California with a sweep of the Padres. If you want to sweep a three-game series in which you score 11 runs you better pitch pretty well. The Phillies did, led by a starting rotation that saw Oswalt, Blanton and Hamels combine to throw to an 0.82 ERA and a 0.73 ratio in the series, allowing two earned runs over 22 innings.

Yesterday it was Hamels who was lights out. He allowed four singles over eight shutout innings. The Phils didn’t exactly explode offensively in the game, but extended their 1-0 lead to 3-0 on a two-run homer from Sweeney in the seventh and got a solo shot from Werth in the ninth as they rolled to a 5-0 win. They got a lot of help from the Padres, who made four errors in the game.

The Phillies are 73-57 on the year after beating the San Diego Padres 5-0 yesterday afternoon. The Phils sweep the three-game series and are in second place in the NL East, two games behind the Braves. They’re leading the Wild Card race with a 1 1/2 game lead on the Giants.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing four hits. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Ludwick singled back-to-back with two outs in the first. It put men on first and second for Chase Headley, but Hamels got Headley to pop to Utley to leave both runners stranded.

Scott Hairston singled with one out in the second. Hamels struck Will Venable and the pitcher Clayton Richard to leave Hairston stranded.

Hamels started the third with a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez singled with two outs, but Hamels got Ludwick to pop to short for the third out.

He set the Padres down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

He started the seventh up 3-0 and again threw a 1-2-3 frame, getting two ground outs and a strikeout.

Up 4-0, he threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Madson pitched the ninth inning with a 5-0 lead. He allowed a one-out single to Gonzalez, but struck Ludwick out for the second out and got Headley to fly to center to end the game.

Madson threw in all three games in the series and was pitching for the third straight day. He threw 24 pitches in the game. He has made 17 appearances in August, which is too many. In those appearances he’s thrown 17 1/3 innings, pitching to a 1.04 ERA and an 0.87 ratio.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Richard went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Utley (5) Werth (6) Sweeney (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Sweeney at first against the lefty with Howard on the bench. Victorino hits second in the lineup with Polanco and Utley dropped to third and fourth.

The Phillies went in order in the first and second.

Ruiz singled with one out in the third and Richard threw the ball away trying to pick him off at first, allowing Ruiz to take second. Hamels grounded to first with the second out, moving Ruiz to third. Rollins singled into right, scoring Ruiz to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fourth.

Sweeney started the fifth and hit a ground ball to third that Headley didn’t handle for an error, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him. Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Polanco and Utley both struck out to start the seventh, but Werth drew a two-out walk and Sweeney hit the first of his at-bat out to left to put the Phils up 3-0. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

Ruiz started the eighth with a single. Hamels bunted and threw in the dirt to second where the ball wasn’t handled. Richard was charged with another error and the Phils had runners on first and second. Rollins lined a ball to right and Ludwick made a nice diving catch for the first out, but tried to double Hamels off of first and threw the ball into the Padres dugout. Ruiz scored to make it 4-0 and Hamels took third. Victorino flew to right and Polanco flew to left to leave Hamels stranded at third.

No RBI for Victorino with one out and the pitcher on third.

Werth put the Phils up 5-0 with a solo homer to right with one out in the ninth. Sweeney and Ibanez went down behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game. 5-for-14 with a double, a walk and an amazing slide in the series. 248/331/379 on the season.

Victorino was 0-for-4 yesterday and 2-for-13 with a triple and two RBI in the series. 251/312/429 for the year.

Polanco 0-for-4 in the game and 2-for-13 with a home run in the series. 309/343/408.

Utley 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-11 with three walks in the set. His average is down to .265 thanks to 2-for-his-last-17. 265/377/434 for the year.

Top four in the order went 1-for-16 yesterday.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run yesterday. 1-for-10 with three walks in the series. 296/388/518.

Sweeney was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer yesterday. Howard was 1-for-9 with a walk in four strikeouts in the series and is hitting 280/342/498 for the year. He’s 2-for-his-last-25 with 14 strikeouts.

Ibanez was 0-for-4. 1-for-13 in the series. 262/346/423 for the season.

Ruiz 2-for-3 yesterday and 2-for-7 in the series. 291/385/429 for the year.

Halladay (16-9, 2.22) faces righty Hiroki Kuroda (9-11, 3.56) tonight in LA. Halladay allowed three runs to the Astros in seven innings in his last start. He’s gone 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA and an 0.92 ratio over his last seven starts. Kuroda has allowed just 12 home runs on the season and has held right-handed batters to a .289 on-base percentage.

Note: There have been technical problems at Philliesflow and we’ve had to revert to an older copy of the database and lost some content. Assuming things are working now, the next new post should be on Tuesday.


Latest effort leaves Phils feeling nostalgic for the days they were scoring two runs a game

Remember when Jayson Werth got picked off of second by the catcher on an intentional walk? Or when Howard went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts? It was a simpler time.

After three straight days of scoring two runs a game, things managed to get a little worse for the Phillies offense yesterday. Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros held them to a single run as the Astros beat them 5-1 to complete a four-game sweep in Philadelphia. The Phils have now scored two runs or less in seven or their last eight games.

Kendrick gave up four runs in the first four innings yesterday and that turned out to be too many given the miserable performance of the offense. They managed one walk through the first four innings. In the fifth they put men on second and third with nobody out and didn’t score. The top four hitters in their lineup went 1-for-15 in the game.

The Phillies are 70-57 on the season after losing to the Astros 5-1 yesterday afternoon. They have lost four in a row and are in second place in the NL East. They trail the Braves by three games in the division and the Giants by a half game in the Wild Card race.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out one.

Anderson Hernandez singled with one out in the first. Hunter Pence flew to right for the first out before Carlos Lee doubled to the corner in left, scoring Hernandez to put Houston up 1-0. Chris Johnson grounded to short for the third out.

Angel Sanchez and Jason Castro singled back-to-back with one out in the second. It put men on first and second and the pitcher Wandy Rodriguez bunted them to second and third with the second out. Michael Bourn was next and he singled into right, scoring Sanchez to put Houston up 2-0 and moving Castro to third. Kendrick got Hernandez on a ground ball to Utley for the third out.

Lee hit a 3-2 pitch out to left with one out in the third. 3-0 Houston. Kendrick got the next two hitters behind him.

Sanchez started the fourth with a double and moved to third when Castro followed and grounded out to Howard at first. The pitcher Rodriguez singled into right, scoring Sanchez. Schneider caught Rodriguez headed for second for the second out and Bourn flew to left to end the frame.

Pence singled to right with one out in the fifth, but Kendrick got Lee to hit into a double-play behind him.

He set the Astros down in order in the sixth.

Romero started the seventh with the Phils down 4-1. Bourn singled with two outs on a ball deflected by a diving and shoe-losing Romero and stole second. Hernandez was next and hit a ball slowly to third. Polanco charged and barehanded the ball, but his throw to first was late and Hernandez was safe with a single. Bourn was running all the way and scored from second on the slow developing play, putting the Astros up 5-1. Pence grounded to second for the third out.

Strange inning for Romero, who was charged with a run on two softly hit singles and a stolen base. He’s allowed eight runs over 4 2/3 innings in his last eight appearances.

Contreras threw a 1-2-3 eighth on five pitches. He was pitching for the third straight day and has allowed one run in 12 2/3 innings over his last 14 appearances.

Herndon pitched the ninth. He had thrown 50 pitches on Tuesday. Castro doubled with one out and Herndon got Jason Bourgeois to pop to Schneider for the second. Bourn reached on an infield single and stole second before Herndon struck Hernandez out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Romero threw 20 pitches in the game, Herndon 18 and Contreras five. If Contreras pitches tonight it will be four days in a row. I’d say there’s no chance that’s going to happen, but I would have bet a lot against seeing Herndon yesterday on one day’s rest after throwing 50 pitches.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Wandy Rodriguez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Victorino (8) Schneider. Utley hits second in the order with Polanco dropped to third against the lefty. Schneider catches the day game after a night game.

Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the first.

Down 2-0, Ibanez walked with two outs in the second. Victorino grounded to short for the third out.

Down 3-0, the Phils went in order in the third.

Down 4-0, the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Werth started the fifth with a single and moved to third when Ibanez followed with a double to right. Victorino struck out for the first out. Schneider was next and hit a fly ball to shallow right field. Pence made the catch and threw home to nail the tagging Werth for the third out.

No run for the Phils with nobody out and men on second and third.

Francisco hit for Kendrick to start the sixth and reached on an infield single. Rollins grounded to third with Francisco forced at second for the first out. Utley was next and ripped a double into the right field corner with Rollins scoring from first to cut the Houston lead to 4-1. Polanco grounded to third with Utley holding and Howard struck out to end the inning.

The Phils were down 5-1 when they hit in the seventh. Ibanez singled with one out, but Victorino and Schneider went down behind him.

Utley walked with two outs in the eighth. Polanco popped to second behind him.

Ibanez and Victorino singled back-to-back with two outs in the ninth. Ruiz hit for Schneider with men on first and second and flew to center to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-20 in the series. He’s hitting 242/327/375 for the year. He’s on-basing .305 in 1,040 plate appearances since the end of the 2008 season.

Utley was 1-for-3 in the game with a walk and an RBI-double. 4-for-16 with a double and four walks in the series. 272/381/446 for the season.

Polanco was 0-for-4 in the game. 3-for-15 with a double and two walks in the series. 314/348/416 for the season.

Howard was 0-for-4 in the game and 1-for-16 with ten strikeouts in the series. 283/345/506.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the series. 6-for-19 with a double, a home run and seven strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 300/389/520 for the year.

Ibanez was 3-for-3 with a double and a walk yesterday. 6-for-14 with two walks and three doubles in the series. 268/353/434.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. 3-for-15 with four walks in the set. 254/317/433 for the year.

Schneider was 0-for-3 with a strikeout and three men left on base. He was 0-for-5 in the series and is hitting 208/298/347 for the year after going 1-for-his-last-16.

Oswalt (9-13, 3.22) faces righty Mat Latos (13-5, 2.33) tonight. The Phillies have won the last four games that Oswalt has started. He’s gone 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA and an 0.95 ratio in those outings. Latos has allowed more than two runs in a start once in his last 19 starts. Over those games he has thrown 122 1/3 innings, pitching to a 1.69 ERA and an 0.90 ratio.


JA, don’t go awa mad (just go awa)

JA Happ is the most recent former Phil to shut the team down. Last night he got the win as he held the Phillies to a pair of runs over 6 1/3 innings. For the Phillies it’s the sixth time in seven games that they have scored two runs or less.

Hunter Pence homered off of Halladay in the fourth to put the Astros up 1-0, but Werth tied things up with a solo shot of his own in the fifth. A Michael Bourn homer gave Houston a 2-1 lead in the sixth, but the Phils got even again in the bottom of the inning on an RBI-double by Polanco. The Phils missed big chances to add more runs in both the sixth and seventh — in the sixth Utley popped to second with one out and a man on third and Francisco was picked off of third base to end the seventh. It cost them, too, because the Astros managed to pull ahead 3-2 with a run in the seventh on a double and a single and the Phils didn’t manage to plate another run in the game.

The Phillies are 70-56 on the season after losing to the Astros 3-2 last night. They have lost three in a row and five of their last seven. The division-leading Braves have been just as bad — they’ve also lost three in a row and five of their last seven and allowed the Phils to stay 2 1/2 games behind in the division. In the same way, the Giants and Cardinals haven’t taken control of the Wild Card race despite the slump for the Phils. The Phillies remain tied with the Giants in the chase for the Wild Card with St Louis a game back. San Francisco is 4-6 over their last ten games and the Cardinals are 3-7.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out six and the Phillies lost a game he started for the first time in seven outings.

Halladay was perfect through three and started the fourth with the game still scoreless. He got the first two hitters to start the fourth before Hunter Pence hit a 2-0 pitch out to left center field, putting the Astros up 1-0. Halladay struck Carlos Lee out behind Pence for the third out.

Chris Johnson started the fifth with a single, but Halladay got Brett Wallace to hit into a double-play behind him. Humberto Quintero followed that with a single before Tommy Manzella grounded to third for the third out.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Halladay started the sixth. He got Happ to pop to third before Michael Bourn homered to right to put Houston up 2-1. Halladay struck out Anderson Hernandez and Pence behind Bourn to set the Astros down.

The Phils tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth. Halladay got Lee on a fly ball to center for the first out in the seventh before Johnson doubled to right. Wallace popped to Sweeney at first for the second out. Quintero was next and he singled to left, scoring Johnson to put Houston up 3-2. Halladay struck Manzella out for the third out.

Contreras threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He was pitching for the second straight day after throwing 15 pitches in Tuesday’s game. He has allowed one run in 11 2/3 innings over his last 13 appearances.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 ninth, also pitching for the second straight day. He threw 21 pitches on Tuesday.

Sixteen pitches last night for Durbin and 14 for Contreras. If either of them pitched this afternoon it would be for the third straight day. Herndon is almost surely unavailable today after throwing 50 pitches on Tuesday.

The Phillies lineup against lefty JA Happ went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Utley (5) Werth (6) Sweeney (7) Francisco (8) Ruiz. Sweeney and Francisco in the lineup against the lefty with Howard and Ibanez on the bench. Victorino moves up to second in the order with Polanco and Utley dropped down.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Utley walked to start the second. Werth struck out behind him for the first out before Sweeney hit into a double-play.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Down 1-0 in the fourth, Victorino drew a one-out walk. Polanco struck out and Utley lined to right to leave him stranded at first.

Werth lined a 1-0 pitch out to left to start the bottom of the fifth, tying the game at 1-1. The Phils went in order behind him.

The Phillies trailed 2-1 when Halladay started the sixth with a single into center. Rollins flew to left for the first out before Victorino moved Halladay to second with a single. Polanco was next and lined a 2-1 pitch into left and over the head of Lee for a double. Halladay scored from second, tying the game at 2-2, and Victorino went to third. Utley popped to second for the second out and Werth grounded out to leave the runners stranded at second and third.

No RBI for Utley with one out and a man on third.

The Phils were losing 3-2 when Sweeney started the seventh with a single into center. Francisco was next and grounded to third, with Sweeney forced at second for the first out. Ruiz moved Francisco to second with a single to left before Ibanez flew out to center. Francisco tagged and took third on the ball hit by Ibanez, but Quintero picked him off of third after pitcher Mark Melancon delivered a 2-2 pitch to Rollins.

That would have been a fantastic time not to get picked off of third.

Brandon Lyon set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

He was back for the ninth and struck out Utley and Werth to start the inning. Howard hit for Sweeney against the righty and delivered a two-out single into center. Francisco was due to hit for the Phils and Manuel called on Brown to hit for him. Lyon struck Brown out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk. He had a big at-bat in the sixth with a runner on third and less than two outs and he flew to the second baseman in short right field with the runner holding third. He’s 7-for-31 since his return with six singles and a double.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a walk and his 17th home runs of the year. He has hit 359/447/558 over his last 150 plate appearances.

Sweeney was 1-for-3 with a single. He’s hitting 243/270/317 in 37 at-bats for the Phils for the year.

Francisco 0-for-3 and was picked off of third in a big play in the seventh. He’s 2-for-his-last-17 (118/167/235).

Ruiz 1-for-3.

Kyle Kendrick (8-6, 4.58) faces lefty Wandy Rodriguez (9-12, 4.00) this afternoon. Kendrick has been hit hard in two of his last three starts, pitching to a 6.32 ERA in those outings while opponents hit .348 against him. He still can’t get lefties out — they are hitting 321/380/566 against him for the season. On the plus side, the Phillies have scored about 5.75 runs per game in the games he’s started this season. That’s a big part of the reason they’re 14-10 in his games and just 13-13 when Hamels starts. Rodriguez has allowed two earned runs or less in six starts in a row, throwing to a 1.09 ERA and an 0.92 ratio in those outings while striking out 48 in 41 1/3 innings.


Effete sixteen

The Phils lost in sixteen innings last night in a wild affair in which they again struggled to score runs. After losing 4-2 last night the Phils have now scored two runs or less in five of their last six games.

Hamels provided yet another strong outing, but the Phillies found themselves losing 2-1 and down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth before Jimmy Rollins homered to tie the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the fourteenth, Howard had a chance with two outs and men on second and third. He twice tried to check his swing in the at-bat and twice didn’t get the call. The second check swing attempt was called strike three and Howard was out with the side retired. He threw his helmet and was ejected, setting up a situation where pitcher Roy Oswalt played left field for the Phils with Ibanez moved to first. In the top of the sixteenth, a mishandled grounder by Polanco helped the Astros plate a pair of runs charged to a weary David Herndon. The Phils couldn’t get anything done in the bottom of the inning and fell for the fourth time in their last six games.

For the Phils it was the second time in two games that a call by the ump hurt their chances. In Monday night’s game, Michael Bourn was called safe and Manuel ejected after Bourn looked like he may have left the basepaths or been tagged trying to avoid a lunge from Howard.

It’s hard not to feel like Howard’s struggles at the plate are a big part of the recent offensive woes for the Phillies. Last night he went 0-for-7 and struck out five times before being ejected. Since his return from the DL he’s gone 2-for-19 and struck out ten times.

The Phillies are 70-55 on the season after losing to the Houston Astros 4-2 in sixteen innings last night. They remain 2 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East. They are tied with the Giants atop the Wild Card race.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. Four of the hits were singles and both runs he allowed scored on a two-run homer by Carlos Lee in the fourth inning. He struck out eight and walked one.

He retired the first four men he faced before Jason Michaels singled with one out in the fourth. Chris Johnson was next and he singled into center, moving Michaels to second. It brought Tommy Manzella to the plate and Hamels got him to hit into a double-play to third to end the frame.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 third.

Hunter Pence singled to center with one out in the fourth. It brought Lee to the plate and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to left, putting the Astros up 2-0. Hamels got the next to hitters to set the Astros down.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Pence walked with one out in the sixth and stole second. Hamels got Lee to ground to third to leave Pence stranded.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when Hamels pitched the seventh. He allowed a one-out single to Johnson, but struck out Manzella and Humberto Quintero to leave Johnson at first.

Hamels was due to lead off the bottom of the seventh, so the Phillies hit for him and Romero started the eighth. Bourn reached on a one-out single and Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Angel Sanchez. Durbin got Sanchez to hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Durbin was back to start the ninth. He got the first two batters, with Lee hitting one nearly out that Ibanez caught on the warning track, before hitting Michaels. Durbin walked Johnson after that, but got Manzella on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 tenth with the score tied at 2-2.

Contreras pitched the eleventh. He allowed back-to-back singles to Pence and Brett Wallace with one out. It put men on first and second for Jason Michaels. The runners were on the move with the count 3-2 when Michaels popped to Utley. Pence was easily doubled off of second to end the frame.

Madson pitched the twelfth, throwing for the third straight day, and allowed a one-out single to Manzella. He struck Jason Castro out for the second out and Anderson Hernandez pinch-hit for the pitcher. Hernandez reached on an infield single, putting men on first and second for Bourn. Bourn grounded to Howard for the third out.

Baez set Houston down in order in the thirteenth.

Herndon pitched the fourteenth, with Schneider taking over behind the plate. He allowed a one-out single to Johnson, but got Manzella to hit into a double-play behind him.

Herndon was back for the fifteenth with Ibanez at first and Oswalt in left after Howard had been ejected. He set Houston down in order, with pitcher Wandy Rodriguez hitting for pitcher Mark Melancon and grounding to the mound for the second out.

He was back for the sixteenth, having thrown two innings and 19 pitches in the game. Pence reached on an infield single with one out and Herndon hit Wallace behind him. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and Michaels was walked intentionally to load the bases. Johnson hit a ground ball to third that might not have been two but should have at least been one. Polanco didn’t handle the ball cleanly, then picked it up and threw to first. It wasn’t in time and Pence scored from third to put Houston up 3-2 with one out and the bases still loaded. Manzella was next and hit a ground ball to short. Rollins went to Utley to get the second out of the inning, but everyone else was safe and Wallace scored to make it 4-2. With men on first and third, Herndon walked Castro intentionally to load the bases and pitch to the pitcher Jeff Fulchino. Herndon struck Fulchino out swinging to end the frame.

Would have been nice to have a double-play on the ball that Polanco didn’t handle instead of not getting an out.

Long, long night for the bullpen as the Phils used all seven of their relievers. Madson was pitching for the third straight day and Lidge for the second straight day. Herndon threw 50 pitches in the game, which was a career-high. He has thrown at least 37 pitches in each of his last three appearances.

Madson threw 27 pitches, Durbin 21, Baez 16, Contreras 15, Lidge 14 and Romero seven. My guess would be that Madson and Herndon are the guys who would not be available tonight. That could be a lot worse and the Phils can thank their starting rotation that it’s not. Over the past three games, Oswalt, Blanton and Hamels have combined to throw 21 innings and allow three runs (1.29 ERA).

The Phillies lineup against righty Bud Norris went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Victorino (8) Ruiz. Look at that — it’s all eight of the Phillies regulars in the same lineup at the same time.

Polanco singled with one out in the first, but Utley and Howard struck out behind him.

Victorino walked with two outs in the second. He took second on a balk before Ruiz walked. Hamels grounded to short to leave both men stranded.

Utley singled with two outs in the third. Howard hit the ball hard, but Bourn handled it in center for the third out.

The Phils were down 2-0 when they hit in the fourth. Victorino drew another walk with two outs, but Ruiz flew to center for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Werth singled with one out in the sixth. Ibanez was next and he doubled into left. Werth stormed around the bases to score and cut the lead to 2-1. Victorino followed that and reached on an infield single that moved Ibanez to third. Ruiz flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

With Norris still on the mound, Brown hit for Hamels to start the seventh. The Astros called on lefty Tim Byrdak to pitch and Francisco hit for Brown. Francisco flew to center for the first out, but Rollins and Polanco both walked behind him. It put men on first and second for Utley. Rollins tried to steal third and was thrown out for the second out. Polanco took second. Utley flew to center to leave Polanco stranded at second.

Big caught stealing for Rollins crushes the threat. It was the only time he has been caught this year. The Phils burn Brown and Francisco making an out to start the inning.

Ibanez hit a ball to the gap in right center with two outs in the eighth. Bourn had a long run to get to the ball and didn’t pick it up cleanly when he did. The error allowed Ibanez to take third. Victorino flew to right to leave him stranded at third.

Wilton Lopez set down Ruiz and Sweeney, hitting for Durbin, for the first two outs in the ninth. Rollins got ahead in the count and then blasted a 3-1 pitch way out to right, tying the game at 2-2. Polanco grounded to short for the third out.

Werth reached on an infield single with two outs in the tenth, but Ibanez grounded to second behind him.

The Phils went in order in the eleventh, with Valdez hitting for Contreras with two outs and flying out to center.

Utley singled to left with two outs in the twelfth. Howard was next and lined to Wallace at first in foul territory for the third out.

Ibanez walked with one out in the thirteenth. Victorino popped to second and Ruiz struck out swinging to leave him at first.

Polanco singled with two outs in the fourteenth and Utley walked behind him. They took second and third on a wild pitch with Howard at the plate. Howard tried to check his swing 0-1 and looked like he did, but didn’t get the call. He again tried to check his swing 1-2 and looked like he did but was called out swinging. He threw his helmet and was ejected by the third base umpire.

If you were sleeping by the time the fourteenth inning rolled around, the third base umpire had a memorable approach to the at-bat. You can watch it here.

Werth and Ibanez went down to start the fifteenth. The Phils were out of hitters. Victorino got ahead in the count 3-0 and then was put on intentionally ahead of David Herndon. Herndon struck out looking 1-2 to end the inning.

The Phils were down 4-2 when they hit in the sixteenth. Schneider and Rollins went down before Polanco drew a walk. Oswalt, the new left fielder, was in Howard’s spot in the order behind Utley. Utley was walked intentionally, putting men on first and second for Oswalt. Oswalt grounded to third to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-7 with a huge home run to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth and a walk. He was had a big caught stealing in the seventh. He’s 6-for-his-last-28 (.214).

Polanco 2-for-6 and walked twice. The ball was hit to him on a critical play in the sixteenth and the Phils didn’t get an out. He’s 5-for-his-last-14.

Utley was 2-for-6 and walked twice. 7-for-28 with a 250/364/286 line since coming off the DL.

Top three in the order did their part getting on base. They combined to go 5-for-19 with five walks in the game.

Howard. 0-for-7, five strikeouts, five men left on base. His ejection forced Oswalt into left and Ibanez to play first. He’s 2-for-19 with ten strikeouts since coming off the DL.

Werth 2-for-7 with two strikeouts.

Ibanez 2-for-6 with two doubles, a walk and an RBI. He made his first appearance at first base since 2005.

Victorino 1-for-4 with three walks.

Ruiz 0-for-5 with a walk and left four men on base.

Roy Halladay (16-8, 2.16) faces lefty JA Happ (8-8, 3.54) tonight. Halladay has allowed one run or less in five of his last six starts, throwing to a 1.37 ERA and an 0.93 ratio over those outings. The Phillies won all six of those games. Happ has gone 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in five starts since being traded to the Astros. Overall he has walked 6.4 batters per nine innings for the season, which is way too many. Opponents are hitting just .215 against him with two home runs in 40 2/3 innings.


Phils unsure if they should be hoping for the umps to call people out at first or for Utley and Howard to go back on the DL

The Phillies got a tough break on a bad call last night, but it was their inability to do much offensively that cost them the game. The Phils have scored 12 runs in their last five games and lost three of them. In four of their last five they have scored two runs or less.

Blanton pitched very well in last night’s game and the Phils took a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning. With nobody out and a man on first, Michael Bourn put down a pretty bunt. He looked like he was either tagged out or ran out of the basepath trying to avoid Ryan Howard’s tag, but was called safe. After the Astros bunted the runners to second and third, Carlos Lee broke his bat lining a single into left that plated two runs and put Houston on top to stay at 3-2.

The return of Chase Utley and his fellow monster slugger Ryan Howard to the lineup is sure to spur the offense for the Phils if we wait long enough. It hasn’t so far, though. Utley is 5-for-22 since his return and Howard 2-for-12 with five strikeouts.

The Phillies are 70-54 on the season after losing 3-2 to the Houston Astros last night. They are in second place in the NL East and trail the first place Braves by 2 1/2 games. They are in the lead for the Wild Card, a game ahead of both the Cardinals and Giants.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, 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. Over his last eight starts he has thrown to a 3.63 ERA and a 1.31 ratio, lowering his ERA for the season from 6.41 to 5.32.

Bourn led the game off with a single and stole second. He moved to third on a single by Angel Sanchez and came in to score on a sac fly by Hunter Pence, putting the Astros up 1-0. It brought Carlos Lee to the plate with one out and Sanchez on first. Lee doubled to the gap in right center and the ball rolled to the warning track. Utley took the relay from Victorino and threw home, just in time for Ruiz to tag Sanchez out as he slid into the plate. Chris Johnson flew to right for the third out.

Could have been worse. Sanchez thrown out at the plate was a gift. Would have been better for the Astros to have runners on second and third with one out.

Blanton struck out Humberto Quintero and Anderson Hernandez in a 1-2-3 second.

He threw a 1-2-3 third and started the fourth with a 2-1 lead. He struck out Pence and Johnson as he set Houston down in order.

Quintero singled with one out in the fifth, but Blanton got Hernandez and the pitcher Brett Myers to leave Quintero stranded.

Bourn singled to start the sixth and stole second. Blanton struck Sanchez out for the first out before a fly out by Pence moved Bourn to third. Lee flew to right for the third out.

Quintero bunted for a single with two outs in the seventh. Blanton struck Hernandez out behind him to end the frame.

Madson started the eighth with the Phils still leading 2-1. Jason Michaels led off with a single to right. Bourn was next and he put down a bunt between the mound and first base. Howard fielded the ball and lunged at Bourn as he ran for first. He was very close to tagging Bourn and maybe did. Bourn also looked like he went way out of the baseline in an effort to avoid the tag, but was called safe at first with a single that put men on first and second. Manuel was ejected for arguing. Sanchez bunted the runners to second and third for the first out and Madson struck out Pence for the second. Lee was next and he swung at the first pitch, breaking his bat as he softly lined a two-run single into left field to put Houston up 3-2. Madson got Johnson to ground to short for the third out.

Lidge pitched the ninth with the Phils down a run. Hernandez singled with two outs and stole second, but Lidge struck Michaels out looking for the third out.

I hear you can run on Lidge.

The Phillies lineup against righty Brett Myers went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez plays third against the righty with Polanco on the bench with a sore elbow.

Down 1-0, the Phillies went in order in the first.

Myers struck out Howard, Werth and Ibanez in the second.

Ruiz led off the third and hit a 2-0 pitch out to left, tying the game at 1-1. Valdez grounded out for the first out before Blanton singled into center. Rollins was next and singled into left. Lee bobbled the ball, allowing the runners to go to second and third. Victorino hit a ground ball to first. Brett Wallace fielded and threw home where Blanton was tagged out for the second out. Rollins went to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Utley singled into center, scoring Rollins to put the Phils up 2-1. Howard struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded on first and second and signal the end of the offense for the game for the Phillies.

Ibanez singled with one out in the fourth. Ruiz was next and hit a ground ball to short. Ibanez was forced at second with Ruiz safe at first and two down. Valdez moved Ruiz to second with a single into center, but Blanton struck out to leave both men stranded.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Bourn doubled to center with one out in the sixth. Ibanez struck out swinging behind him for the second out. Ruiz was next and the Astros walked him intentionally to pitch to Myers. Myers delivered ball four and Werth walked slowly back towards second base with his head down. Quintero took ball four and threw to second. Werth was tagged out to end the inning.

Miserable job by Werth. He’s still on pace to hit 55 doubles.

With one out in the seventh and Myers still pitching for Houston, Brown hit for Blanton and singled to right. Rollins moved Brown to second with a single, but Victorino hit into a double-play to end the inning with the Phils still up 2-1.

They were down 3-2 when they hit in the eighth. Werth singled to left with two outs, but Ibanez flew to center to leave him stranded.

Ruiz drew a walk against righty Brandon Lyon to start the ninth and Francisco ran for him. Valdez was next and tried to bunt Ruiz to second, but popped the bunt up to Wallace at first for the first out. Polanco hit for Lidge and flew to center. With Rollins at the place, Francisco stole second. Rollins lined to left for the third out.

Gutsy and important stolen base for Francisco, who was just safe. Huge no sacrifice for Valdez in the inning when he popped the bunt up for the second out. The Phils sure seemed to miss recently designated Greg Dobbs in the game, starting Valdez at third against the righty, letting Valdez hit for himself against a righty in the ninth. They also hit Polanco against a righty in the ninth, but they probably would have done that anyway even if Dobbs was on the team. Brown and Schneider are the only two lefties on the bench for the Phils these days, and you shouldn’t be looking for Schneider to pinch-hit pretty much ever as long as there are two catchers on the roster.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with two singles in the game. 284/356/395 over his last 90 plate appearances. He slugged .634 through May 21 and then hit the DL. Since returning from the DL at the end of June he has slugged .335 in 247 plate appearances.

Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-15 and on-basing .312 for the season.

Utley 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 5-for-22 with a double (227/320/273) since coming off the DL.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times. He’s 2-for-his-last-25 with 13 strikeouts. He did get Bourn, though, if that makes you feel any better.

Werth 2-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. He also got picked off of second in a play that was hard to believe. He’s hitting 301/393/522 for the season. It might not seem like he’s having the best offensive year of his career, but he is. Look it up.

Ibanez 1-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s 6-for-his-last-43 with a .196 on-base percentage, which has dropped his line on the year from

4-5-6 in the order for the Phils were 3-for-12 with seven strikeouts and a picked off of second base on an intentional walk.

Ruiz was 1-for-2 with his sixth home run of the year and two walks. He’s hitting 297/389/443 for the season. 11-for-his-last-30 with five walks and four extra-base hits.

Valdez was 1-for-4. If he gets 13 more plate appearances for the Phillies this season he will have twice as many this year as he has had in any other season. 2-for-his-last-17.

Cole Hamels (7-10, 3.51) faces righty Bud Norris (6-7, 5.23) tonight. Hamels allowed five runs in five innings against the Giants in his last start. Three of his last five starts have been bad, but the other two were very good. Norris threw 123 pitches against the Mets in his last start, holding them to a pair of runs over seven innings. In the start before that he struck out 14 Pirates while holding them to two runs over seven innings. He had a 6.84 ERA for the season at the end of June and has gone 4-2 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.14 ratio over eight starts since the start of July.


LA x’d

The Phils capped their 20-game run with a fantastic win last night, scoring eight times in the last two frames to top the Dodgers 10-9. The Phils got five hits and a walk in the bottom of the eighth to cut the LA lead to 9-6. In the ninth they loaded the bases and Ben Francisco hit a double-play ball that went through Casey Blake’s legs for a critical error that helped the Phils plate two runs. Ruiz ended the game three pitches later when he blasted a bases clearing double off of the top of the wall in center field.

The Phillies have won 16 of their last 20 and are 64-50 on the season after beating the LA Dodgers 10-9 last night. The Phils take two of three in the series and are 14 games above .500 for the first time on the season. They remain in second place in the NL East and are two games behind the first place Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks. All eight of the hits were singles and he struck out three.

Scott Podsednik singled to left to start the game and moved to second on a ground out by Ryan Theriot. Andre Ethier grounded to second and Podsednik went to third with two down. James Loney walked and Ronnie Belliard followed that with a single into center. Podsednik scored (1-0) and Loney took second. Matt Kemp was next and he singled to left, scoring Loney to make it 2-0 and sending Belliard to second. Jamey Carroll followed that and blooped a ball into center that fell in front of Werth. Belliard came in to score to put LA up 3-0 with the runners winding up at second and third when the throw came into third. Blanton walked Brad Ausmus intentionally to load the bases so he could pitch to the pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw grounded to second for the third out.

Blanton gets two of the first three batters to start the game, then allows three runs thanks to three singles and a pair of walks.

Podsednik started the second with a single, but Blanton got the next three behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 third with the lead cut to 3-1 and a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Theriot and Ethier started the inning with back-to-back singles, which put runners on first and third with nobody out. Blanton struck Loney out for the first out before Belliard hit a fly ball to left for the second. It was deep enough for Theriot to tag and score from third, extending the LA lead to 4-2. Kemp lined softly to second for the third out.

Ausmus singled with one out in the sixth and Kershaw bunted him to second with the second out. Podsednik and Theriot walked back-to-back, loading the bases for Ethier. Durbin came in to pitch to Ethier and got him to ground to second on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

Durbin comes in to face the tough lefty with the Phils down to a single lefty in the pen after Bastardo is sent down. Worked out great that time, but it’s not a formula for continued success. The Phillies have a problem with left-handed relief out of the bullpen. I agree there’s a good chance that Bastardo isn’t the answer, but somebody has to be.

Durbin was back for the seventh. Loney led off with a single. Durbin got Belliard on a pop to Rollins for the first out before Kemp homered to left, putting LA up 6-2. Carroll walked and stole second, but Durbin struck out Ausmus and got Kershaw on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Kemp’s homer was the only extra-base hit of the game for LA.

Romero started the eighth. Podsednik led off and hit a ball to first that Sweeney butchered for an error. Theriot flew to right for the first out before Ethier moved Podsednik to second with a single. Romero struck the lefty Loney out swinging for the second out and Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Casey Blake. Blake singled to center, scoring Podsednik (7-2) and moving Ethier to third. Kemp followed that and blooped a ball high down the right field line that fell for another single. Ethier scored (8-2) and Blake went to third. Carroll singled to left and Blake scored. 9-2. Contreras struck out swinging for the third out.

At least Romero didn’t walk anyone. The Sweeney error was pretty big in the inning. Without the Dodgers get a single but go down without any damage. Contreras had a miserable frame, facing four batters and allowing three hits before finally striking out Ausmus. Kemp’s hit was ridiculous.

Baez pitched the ninth with the Phils down 9-6. He allowed a leadoff single to Jay Gibbons, but got Podsednik to hit into a double-play behind him and then got Theriot to ground to second.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (2) Ibanez (3) Polanco (4) Sweeney (5) Werth (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. That one’s not a keeper. Francisco in right against the lefty and Sweeney at first. Ibanez hits second in the order, which is too high, especially against a lefty. Valdez at second.

The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the first. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back with two outs, putting men on first and third for Werth. Werth flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and moved to third when Valdez followed with a double. Blanton hit a ball softly to third for the second out. Ruiz came in to score to cut the lead to 3-1 with Valdez moving to third. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Werth started the fourth with a single. Francisco struck out swinging for the first out before Werth stole second. Ruiz singled into center and Werth scored, cutting the lead to 3-2. Valdez and Blanton both grounded out to end the inning.

Down 4-2, the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

They went in order again in the sixth.

They were losing 6-2 when they hit in the seventh. Ruiz and Valdez went down to start the inning. With two outs and Kershaw still on the mound for LA, Victorino hit for Durbin and drew a walk. He stole second before Rollins walked, bringing Ibanez to the plate with two outs and men on first and second. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo took over for Kershaw and got Ibanez on a fly ball to left to leave both men stranded.

They were down 9-2 when they hit in the eighth. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back and moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by righty Ronald Belisario. Werth singled into center and both runners scored. 9-4. Werth took second on a balk before Francisco doubled to left, scoring Werth. 9-5. Righty Kenley Jansen took over for Belisario and got Ruiz on a ground ball to third for the first out. Valdez singled to center and Francisco scored. 9-6. Brown hit for Contreras and lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to him, getting Brown on a fly ball to left for the second out. Rollins walked, putting men on first and second for Ibanez, but Sherrill got Ibanez to ground to second and end the inning.

Jonathan Broxton started the ninth with a 9-6 lead. He hit Polanco and walked Sweeney and Werth, loading the bases for Francisco. Francisco hit a double-play ball to Blake at third, but instead of getting the double-play the ball went through Blake’s legs and into left field. Polanco and Sweeney scored, making it 9-8, with Werth on second and Francisco on first for Ruiz. Ruiz blasted a 1-1 pitch high off the wall in left-center. Werth and Francisco both scored without a throw. Phils win 10-9.

Broxton set it up by letting the first three runners reach, but the error by Blake changed the game.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game and 3-for-12 in the series. 248/344/372 for the season.

Ibanez was 0-for-5 and left four men on base. He shouldn’t be hitting second against a lefty. 3-for-12 with a double and two walks in the series.

Polanco was 2-for-4 last night. 4-for-11 with four singles in the series. 321/352/431 on the year.

Sweeney 2-for-4 in the game and 3-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 5-for-15 with the Phils.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI last night. 4-for-10 with four walks in the series. 304/397/528 for the season.

Francisco 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 1-for-6 in the set. 254/327/415 on the year. Brown was 0-for-1 last night and 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 9-for-39 for the season with a .233 on-base percentage.

Ruiz was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI last night. 3-for-11 in the series. 294/385/431 on the season.

Valdez was 2-for-4 with a double last night. 5-for-11 with a double and a triple in the series. 254/283/367 for the season. 342/375/421 in August.

Cole Hamels (7-8, 3.45) faces righty RA Dickey (7-5, 2.65) tonight. Hamels has a 2.43 ERA and a 1.08 ratio over his last starts and has struck out 61 in 55 2/3 innings in those games. Dickey’s most recent start came against the Phillies on Sunday and he was charged with six runs in three innings. Prior to that start he had posted a 1.70 ERA in his last seven outings. He’s thrown 102 innings this season and walked nine right-handed batters.

The next update to Philliesflow will be around August 24.


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