Archive for August, 2010

The Big Missing Piece

The Phillies saw yet another star hit the DL and kept right on rolling. Worries are that Ryan Howard could be lost for as long as three weeks, but the Phils came out strong again last night to beat Florida 6-1 for their eighth win in ten games.

Halladay did most of the heavy lifting, holding the Fish to a run over seven innings on a hot night in Florida. Again the Phils got a lot of sock out of the bottom of their order as Francisco, Ruiz and Valdez combined to go 9-for-14 with a pair of home runs out of the six, seven and eight holes.

The Phillies are 58-48 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 6-1 last night. They are in second place in the NL East, two games behind the Braves.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out nine and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.17.

He threw a 1-2-3 first and started the second with a 2-0 lead. Dan Uggla led off for the Marlins and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 2-1. Halladay got the next three.

He struck out Hector Luna, pitcher Sean West and leadoff man Hanley Ramirez in a 1-2-3 third.

The Phils led 4-1 when he started the fourth. Logan Morrison led off for Florida and walked. Gaby Sanchez was next and Halladay struck him out looking for the first out before Uggla moved Morrison to second with a single to left. Cody Ross was next and hit a fly ball to Francisco in right that was deep enough for Morrison to tag and go to third. It brought Mike Stanton to the plate with two outs and men on the corners, but Halladay struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.

He set the Marlins down in order in the fifth with the Phillies up 5-1.

Sanchez singled to left with two outs in the sixth. Halladay got Uggla on a fly ball to center to leave him stranded.

Ross and Stanton singled back-to-back to start the seventh. It put men on first and second for Ronny Paulino and Halladay got Paulino to hit into a double-play. Luna flew to right for the third out.

Durbin pitched the eighth with a five-run lead. He allowed a two-out double to Logan Morrison, but struck Sanchez out behind him.

He was back for the ninth. Uggla led off with a single and Durbin struck Ross and Stanton out behind him before Paulino doubled to left and Uggla went to third. Donnie Murphy hit for the pitcher and Durbin struck him out swinging to end the game.

Durbin threw 42 pitches in the game with a five-run lead coming off an off-day for the Phils and their bullpen. Not sure why.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Sean West went (1) Rollins (2) Ibanez (3) Polanco (4) Werth (5) Francisco (6) Ruiz (7) Ransom (8) Valdez. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL. Francisco in right and Werth in center with Victorino on the DL. Ransom at first against the lefty with Howard out with the ankle problem.

Rollins led off the game with a double to left. Ibanez struck out for the first out, Polanco flew to left for the second and Werth struck out to leave Rollins stranded.

Francisco and Ruiz started the second with back-to-back homers, putting the Phils on top 2-0. Valdez singled with one out and Halladay tried to bunt him to second, but hit into a double-play. The pitcher West fielded the bunt and threw softly to first to get Halladay. Valdez tried to take third on the soft throw, but was thrown out at third to end the inning.

Up 2-1, the Phillies went in order in the third.

Francisco singled with one out in the fourth and moved to third when Ruiz followed with a double. Ransom popped out for the first out and the lefty West walked Valdez intentionally to load the bases with one down. Halladay was next and hit a ball down the third base line that went off of Luna and into foul territory. Francisco and Ruiz both scored and the Phils led 4-1. Rollins popped out to first for the third out.

Francisco and Ruiz power the offense again. No RBI for Ransom with one out and men on second and third.

Ibanez singled to start the fifth. Polanco was next and hit a ball that Uggla didn’t handle for an error that allowed Ibanez to go all the way to third. Werth struck out for the first out and Francisco lined to second for the second. Ruiz picked them up, though, singling into left and bringing in Polanco to make it 5-1. Ransom popped to first to leave the runners stranded at first and second.

Werth and Francisco both can’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs. Francisco at least hit the ball.

Rollins walked with two outs in the sixth. Ibanez grounded to the pitcher behind him.

Polanco singled to start the seventh. Werth struck out again behind him for the first out before Francisco moved him to second with a single. Ruiz was next and he grounded to second with the runners moving up to second and third. With righty Burke Badenhop on the mound for Florida, Gload hit for Dobbs and was walked intentionally to load the bases. Valdez was next and he hit a ball ticketed for left. Ramirez made a nice play to get a glove on in and save a run, but Valdez had an infield single and Polanco scored to put the Phillies ahead 6-1. Halladay grounded back to the pitcher to set the Phillies down.

Ibanez walked with one out in the eighth. Polanco popped to short and Werth struck out.

Ruiz singled with one out in the ninth. Gload struck out and Valdez lined to short.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-22.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk. He’s hitting 352/441/545 over his last 102 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-5 out of the three-hole.

Werth 0-for-5, struck out four times and left five men on base. He went 0-for-5 and struck out three times on July 29 and then came back and went 2-for-4 with a homer the next day. He’s still hitting 377/487/623 over his last 76 plate appearances.

Francisco was 3-for-5 with a home run. 355/412/742 over his last 34 plate appearances.

Ruiz was 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI. He’s 14-for-his-last-31 with four doubles and two home runs.

Ransom was 0-for-3 to drop his average on the year to .190.

Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 4.44) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (8-6, 3.33) tonight. Kendrick has been very good in his two starts since coming back from the minors, allowing two runs over 13 1/3 innings. Sanchez threw a complete game one hit shutout against the Giants on Thursday in his last start. He has allowed just five home runs in 124 1/3 innings this season.

Ryan Howard was put on the DL and John Mayberry was called up. Mayberry has hit 258/321/410 in 383 at-bats at Triple-A this season.

Phils hopeful the offense can overcome losing Happ

Roy Oswalt’s first start as a Phillie turned out to be more memorable for the number of runs that the Phillies allowed than for the number they scored. Oswalt struggled and the Phils fell 8-1. Still, it’s been a pattern this season that the Phils have trouble scoring runs when they send their best pitchers to the mound.

The chart below shows the number of games started by each pitcher for the Phils this year, the average number of runs the Phils have scored in those games, the average number of runs the Phils have scored in the games when that pitcher wasn’t starting and the difference between the two:

Pitcher Starts Runs/Start Runs/Not
minus Not Started
Halladay 22 4.14 4.84 -0.71
Hamels 22 4.05 4.87 -0.82
Kendrick 20 5.90 4.41 1.49
Moyer 19 4.58 4.72 -0.14
Blanton 17 5.12 4.61 0.50
Happ 3 5.67 4.67 1.00
Figueroa 1 3.00 4.71 -1.71
Oswalt 1 1.00 4.73 -3.73
Total 105 4.70    

For example, Halladay has made 22 starts for the Phillies this season. In those starts the Phils have scored about 4.14 runs per game. In the games the Phillies have played when Halladay did not start they scored about 4.84 runs per game. 4.14 minus 4.84 is -0.71.

As has been pointed out before, Halladay and Hamels get little support. Each have made 22 starts this season. The Phillies have scored two more runs in the starts by Halladay than they have in the starts by Hamels. They’ve averaged 4.09 runs in the games the pair has started and 5.13 runs in the games they haven’t.

On the other hand, the bats show up in force with Kendrick on the mound. The Phils have scored nearly six runs per game in his 20 starts. They have also scored more than five runs a game for Blanton and Happ. In the 40 games that Kendrick, Blanton or Happ have started for the Phils the team has scored 5.55 runs per game. In the 65 games they haven’t started the Phils have scored 4.17 runs per game.

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