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.