Sigh. Now we’ll never get them to do it again.
The Phils scored more than four runs for the first time in 15 games last night. Didn’t matter. Oswalt had an ugly start, left after three innings and the Phils lost 7-5.
The game wasn’t really that close. Francisco homered with two outs n the ninth to get the Phils within two.
The big question coming out of the game is just how healthy Roy Oswalt actually is. He didn’t have much at all last night in his second start since a back problem forced him from a game on April 15. Big answer is we’re going to have to wait and see — it’s just not clear how long.
The Phillies are 15-8 on the year after losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5 last night. They have lost two in a row for the second time this season and the loss ensures they will lose their second series.
Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went just three innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He didn’t strike out any batters. In 17 starts with the Phils going back to last year, that’s the shortest outing for Oswalt. He went less than six innings in only one of the other 17, which was a September 28 start against the Nats at the end of the regular season in 2010 when things were pretty well wrapped up for the Phils.
He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead and set Arizona down in order, getting Chris Young on a pop to second, Kelly Johnson on a ground ball to short and Justin Upton to foul out to Schneider.
Stephen Drew lined to Rollins to start the second. Miguel Montero singled to right before Ryan Roberts lined out to right for the second out. Oswalt walked Juan Miranda on a 3-2 pitch and it brought Gerardo Parra to the plate with men on first and second and two down. Parra singled into right. Francisco came home, but his throw arrived late as Montero scored to tie the game at 1-1. Miranda went to third and Parra took second on the throw to the plate. It brought the pitcher Dan Hudson to the plate and Hudson hit a ball into right-center that rolled all the way to the wall and cleared the bases. 3-1. Young popped to second for the third out.
Huge two-out double by the pitcher Hudson gets the Snakes two runs.
The lead was cut to 3-2 when Oswalt started the third. Johnson led off with a single to right and stole second. Upton moved him to third with a ground out before Drew lined a single into center that brought him home and extended the Arizona lead to 4-2. Montero was next and hit a ground ball back up the middle, but Rollins made a great play, sliding to field the ball to the right of second base and throwing to first for the second out. Drew took second on the play and moved up to third on a wild pitch from Oswalt before Roberts plated him with a single to right that extended the Arizona lead to 5-2. Miranda flew to Ibanez in foul territory for the third out.
Great play by Rollins kept things from getting worse.
Kendrick took over in the fourth and set Arizona down in order.
He came back to throw a 1-2-3 fifth.
Two perfect innings for Kendrick, who has allowed just five hits in ten innings so far but has walked six. He has struck out just one batter on the year, but hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk over four innings in his last three appearances.
It was 5-3 when Zagurski started the sixth. He struck Montero out for the first out, but Roberts was next and hit a 3-2 pitch out to left to push the lead to 6-3. Zagurski got the next two.
Second appearance on the year for Zagurski, who hasn’t been real impressive yet.
Herndon started the seventh and gave up a leadoff single to Xavier Nady, but got Young to hit into a double-play behind him. Johnson reached on an infield single, stole second and took third on a wild pitch by Herndon before coming home on a single by Upton. 7-3. Schneider threw Upton out trying to steal second for the third out.
Herndon was back for the eighth and walked the leadoff man Drew, but Schneider threw him out trying to steal second for the first out. Montero and Roberts both flew out behind Drew.
Herndon gets a lot of help from Schneider as two of the six outs he gets come on the bases. He’s got some ugly numbers on the year so far — he’s thrown to a 7.45 ERA and a 1.86, having allowed 12 hits and six walks in 9 2/3 innings over ten appearances. He has walked too much of everyone and righties are hitting 391/423/565 against him in the early going.
The pen allows two runs in five innings. It’s the first time the relievers have been charged with a run in the last seven games — coming into the game they had thrown 12 1/3 scoreless innings in the last six games, allowing six hits and four walks while striking out 12.
Herndon threw 28 pitches, Kendrick 21 and Zagurski 20. Nobody has thrown more than one day in a row and the off day tomorrow will help rest the pen.
The Phillies lineup against righty Dan Hudson went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Orr (8) Schneider. With the lefty going in today’s day game, Manuel puts the lefties Orr and Schneider into his lineup against the righty. I still think it’s a good idea.
Victorino led off the game with a triple to center and scored when Polanco followed with a single to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Rollins flew to left for the first out before a double by Howard moved Polanco up to third. It brought Francisco to the plate with one out and men on second and third and he struck out swinging 1-2. Ibanez flew to left for the third out.
Francisco can’t put the ball in play with one out and a man on third.
The Phils went in order in the second.
They were down 3-1 when they hit in the third. Victorino led off with a single. Polanco was next and grounded to short, with Victorino forced at second for the first out. Rollins followed with a single that moved Polanco to second before Howard singled to right, scoring Polanco (3-2) and moving Rollins to third. It gave Francisco another chance with a man on third and one out, but he popped to Roberts at third and the runners held. Ibanez was next and he popped a foul ball down the third base line. Roberts made an outstanding catch, reaching over the railing and snaring the ball as he fell to the ground for the third out.
Great play by Roberts. Victorino does his best to spur a Phillie rally for the second time in three innings. Again Francisco comes up empty with less than two outs and a man on third.
They were down 5-2 when they went in order in the fourth.
Rollins singled with two outs in the fifth, but Howard flew to right behind him.
Francisco singled to center to start the sixth. Ibanez flew out behind him, but Orr reached on an infield single that put men on first and second. Schneider struck out swinging for the second out. With the righty Hudson still on the mound for Arizona, Gload hit for Kendrick and singled to center. Francisco scored, 5-3, and Orr took second. Victorino struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.
Apparently the key for Francisco is not to hit with men on third and less than two outs.
It was 6-3 when the Phils hit in the seventh against righty Sam Demel. Polanco led off with a walk and after Rollins flew to left for the first out, Howard walked, too. It put men on first and second for Francisco and he struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Lefty Joe Patterson came in and walked Ibanez, loading the bases for Orr’s spot. Mayberry hit for Orr and righty Esmerling Vazquez came in to pitch to him. Mayberry flew to right to leave the bases loaded.
Unusual decision by Manuel to use Gload pretty early in the game, the sixth, means that Gload isn’t there to give the Phils the option of hitting him for Mayberry. No problem with using Gload in the sixth, it’s just not the way that Manuel normally does it.
Down 7-3, the Phils went in order in the eighth.
Righty David Hernandez set down Polanco and Rollins to start the ninth before Howard singled to right. It brought Francisco to the plate and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left center, cutting the lead to 7-5. Ibanez flew to right to end the game.
That’s the first home run of the four on the year for Francisco that hasn’t come with two strikes in the count. That’s probably just a big old coincidence, but I’d sure feel better about it without the early strikeouts with one out and men on third.
Victorino was 2-for-5 with a triple and a strikeout. He’s on pace to strike out 113 times, which would top his previous career high of 79.
Polanco was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He has at least one hit in 20 of the last 22 games.
Rollins was 2-for-5 with two singles and a snazzy defensive play in the third. He’s on pace to slug .308 for the season with seven RBI over 718 plate appearances.
Howard went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI.
Francisco had one of the less impressive games you’ll see in which a hitter went 2-for-5 with a home run. 2-for-5 with two big strikeouts and six men left on base. He’s 6-for-his-last-16.
Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a walk and five men left on base, dropping his line for the season to 171/253/232. He’s 0-for-his-last-22.
Orr was 1-for-3. He’s 8-for-25 on the year.
Schneider was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, but caught two runners on the bases. He’s 2-for-20 on the year.
Cole Hamels (2-1, 2.92) faces lefty Joe Saunders (0-2, 4.98) this afternoon. Saunders has a 1.75 ratio through his first four starts of the year. Righties have hit 339/452/542 against him. He had his best start of the four his last time out, holding the Mets to a run over six innings. Hamels still hasn’t allowed a home run on the season. After getting hit hard in his first start of the season, he’s 2-0 with an 0.82 ERA and an 0.95 ratio over his last three with 23 strikeouts in 22 innings.
This suggests the Phils expect Contreras to miss three to four weeks.
Update: Roy Oswalt has left the team for personal reasons.