Roy Oswalt came into last night’s outing having been forced from his previous start by a tight back. How is back is actually doing is something we might never know, but he had more than enough to mow down the Padres. He allowed just one hit through six shutout innings before a high pitch count forced him from the game. The Phils scored three early runs with the help of homers from Francisco and Schneider and the bullpen held after Oswalt departed as the Phils earned a win in the first of their four-game set with the Padres.
The Phils have now hit four home runs in their last two games, which have driven in six of the seven runs the team has scored. The offense continues to scuffle, having scored 30 runs in the last ten games. Howard, Ibanez and Rollins continue to struggle in the heart of the order for the Phils — last night they combined to go 1-for-12 with six strikeouts, three walks and 11 men left on base.
The Phillies are 12-6 on the year after beating the Padres 3-0 last night in San Diego.
Oswalt got the start for the Phillies allowed one hit and two walks over six shutout innings. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.88. After four starts he has an 0.88 ratio for the season — in 24 innings he’s allowed 15 hits and six walks.
The Phillies have seven quality starts in their last eight games.
He walked Jason Bartlett 3-2 to start the bottom of the first. Oswalt got Orlando Hudson looking for the first out and Jorge Cantu on a fly ball to center for the second before Bartlett stole second. Oswalt got Chase Headley to fly to left to end the inning.
He started the second with a 2-0 lead and got Ryan Ludwick to fly to right for the first out. Nick Hundley was next and Oswalt walked him on another 3-2 pitch. Cameron Maybin flew to right and Chris Denorfia struck out to leave Hundley at first.
Oswalt struck the pitcher Mat Latos out to start the third with the Phils up 3-0. Bartlett and Hudson both grounded out behind Latos.
It took 14 pitches and nine foul balls, but Oswalt got Cantu swinging to start the fourth. Headley struck out behind him and Ludwick lined to third.
He got the first two Padres to start the fifth before Denorfia lined a single to right. Pitcher Cory Luebke, who took over for Latos in the fifth, was next and he struck out swinging to leave Denorfia stranded.
Oswalt threw a 1-2-3 sixth. He ended the inning having thrown 106 pitches.
Herndon took over in the seventh with the Phils still up 3-0. He got the first two before Hundley lined a single to center. Maybin walked behind him, putting two men on and bringing Denorfia to the plate as the tying run. Lefty Will Venable hit for the righty Denorfia and Bastardo came in to pitch to him. Bastardo got ahead of Venable 1-2, but threw three straight balls to walk him and the bases were loaded for the pitcher’s spot in the order. Righty Alberto Gonzalez hit for Luebke and flew to right to leave the bases loaded.
Herndon wasn’t charged with any runs there, but it still wasn’t a real impressive outing as he lowered his ERA to 8.22.
Bastardo was back to start the eighth and Bartlett led off with a single to left. Hudson struck out and Cantu flew to left for the first two outs. Lefty Eric Patterson hit for the pitcher and struck out looking to end the inning.
In seven appearances, Bastardo has now thrown eight scoreless innings in which he’s struck out 11. He’s allowed three hits and four walks.
Contreras started the ninth and got the first two before Maybin doubled to left. The lefty Venable walked on five pitches, bringing Gonzalez to the plate as the tying run. Lefty Brad Hawpe hit for the righty Gonzalez and Contreras struck him out looking 3-2 to end the game.
Three scoreless innings for the pen preserves the shutout, but they allowed three hits and three walks. Contreras threw 26 pitches, Bastardo 23 and Herndon 15.
The bullpen for the Phils is walking too many batters. They have now walked 27 in 51 innings (about 4.76 per nine innings).
The Phillies lineup against righty Mat Latos went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Francisco (7) Orr (8) Schneider. Lefties Orr and Schneider in the lineup against the righty. Ibanez hits fifth with Francisco sixth, so Francisco breaks up the four left-handed hitters.
Polanco reached on an error by the pitcher Latos with one out in the first and stole second. Rollins was next and looped a ball that fell in left. The throw went to third, but Polanco was safe there and the play allowed Rollins to take second. It put men on second and third with one out, but Howard struck out swinging 2-2 and Ibanez struck out swinging 3-2.
Nothing for the Phils, who get to send their left-handed four and five hitters to the plate against a righty. Howard can’t bring the runner home from third with one out. Ibanez continues to strike out at a worrisome rate — including last night’s game he has struck out in 25.3% of his plate appearances so far this season. For his career he has struck out in about 15.7% of his plate appearances.
Francisco hit an 0-2 pitch out to center to start the second. 1-0. Orr flew to center for the first out before Schneider hit a 3-1 pitch out to right-center. Oswalt and Victorino both struck out.
Francisco has three home runs on the year. Two of them have now come on an 0-2 count and the other also came with two strikes (a 2-2 pitch from Blaine Boyer on April 6). For Francisco, it was his first extra-base hit since April 8. Including last night he’s gone 6-for-36 with a home run and four walks since April 8.
Polanco singled to start the third and moved to second on a walk by Rollins. Howard struck out for the first out before a walk to Ibanez loaded the bases for Francisco. Francisco hit a ball to right that Denorfia didn’t handle for the second San Diego error in 2 1/3 innings. Everyone moved up a base and Polanco scored, making it 3-0 with one out and the bases still loaded. Orr popped up to second on the infield fly rule and Schneider grounded out to second, leaving the runners stranded.
Again Polanco and Rollins get on base to do what they can to rally the Phils. Again Howard strikes out. Francisco’s ball would have scored Polanco even if Denorfia had caught it, but Orr comes up empty in a big spot with less than two outs.
Victorino and Polanco walked back-to-back with one out in the fourth. Rollins struck out for the second out before the Phils pulled off a double-steal. It put men on second and third for Howard, but he struck out again to leave both men stranded.
Polanco on base again. Howard strikes out again with men on base. Through four innings, Howard was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and six men left on base. The only inning in which he hadn’t struck out with two men on base was the second.
Francisco walked with one out in the fifth and apparently five walks through 4 1/3 was enough for the Padres to pull Latos. Lefty Cory Luebke took over and struck out lefties Orr and Schneider to set the Phils down.
Polanco singled to left with two outs in the sixth, but Rollins lined to third behind him.
The Phils went in order in the seventh.
Orr singled to left off of righty Pat Neshak to start the eighth. Schneider flew to center for the first out before Mayberry, who was double-switched into the game in the bottom of the seventh, moved Orr to second with a single to left. A walk to Victorino loaded the bases, but Polanco hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.
Ibanez walked with two outs in the ninth. With righty Chad Qualls pitching for San Diego, Gload hit for Bastardo and flew to left for the third out.
Victorino was 0-for-3 with two walks. He has at least one hit in six of his last eight, but his line overall in those eight games isn’t so impressive — 233/361/433. Two walks last night puts him on pace to walk 63 times this year, which would be a career high. He’s walked in about 9.0% of his plate appearances so far this year. 8.2% last year and 7.5% for his career.
Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk. 360/415/493 for the year.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk, dropping his average to .260. He’s slugging .315 for the season with one RBI, which puts him on pace to drive in nine runs. He needs to hit with more power or move out of three-hole.
Howard was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts and six men left on base. He’s 4-for-his-last-29 with a double, three walks and 11 strikeouts (138/235/172). In the first nine games of the season he hit 361/390/639 and struck out seven times in 41 plate appearances. Over the last nine games he has hit 156/263/281 and struck out 12 times in 38 plate appearances.
Ibanez was 0-for-3 and walked twice. He’s 4-for-his-last-28 with ten strikeouts.
Francisco 1-for-2 with a home run, a sac fly and a walk. Nice to see him have a big game with his long struggles. He’s not striking out, he’s just not getting hits. Over his last 36 plate appearances he’s struck out just twice but put up a 161/250/258 line (5-for-31 with a home run and four walks).
Orr was 1-for-4 with a big popup in the third. He’s 6-for-16 (.375) with a walk and six singles on the year.
Schneider was 1-for-4 with a home run and five men left on base. 2-for-12 with two home runs on the year gives him the highest slugging percentage on the team at .667.
Cole Hamels (1-1, 4.32) faces lefty Clayton Richard (1-0, 4.50) tonight in game two of the set. Richard has made four starts this season, but one of them was only an inning long before the game was delayed by rain. Two of the other three have been good, but his last time out he was hit hard by the Astros, allowing six runs in 5 1/3 innings. Hamels got hammered by the Mets in his first start of the year, but has been very good his last two times out, allowing two runs over 14 innings while striking out 15. He hasn’t given up a home run yet this year.