The Phils had no answer for Ian Kennedy last night in Arizona. Kennedy struck out ten in a complete game shutout as the Snakes topped the Phils 4-0.
Cliff Lee struck out 12 over seven innings for the Phils, his third time in five starts this season that he has struck out at least 11 in a game. Chris Young connected for a two-run homer off of him in the third and Gerardo Parra a solo shot in the fifth. A leadoff double by Justin Upton in the sixth was led to a fourth run for the Diamondbacks.
The Phillies are 9-5 over their last 14 games, but have been outscored 40-39 in those games. Charlie Manuel recently explained the Phillies fantastic record early in the season by saying, “I’d say good pitching, timely hits, or enough hits, and lucky as hell.” No argument here. Not to be lost in all of that is that allowing 40 runs in 14 games is rather fantastic — that’s about 2.86 runs per game. That will get the job done almost all of the time, unless you’re scoring about 2.79 runs per game. If you’re scoring 2.79 runs per game and allowing 2.86 runs per game you better figure out how to be lucky as hell if you want to go 9-5.
The Phillies are 15-7 on the year after losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 last night.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out 12.
He threw a 1-2-3 first, getting Chris Young on a popup to second, Kelly Johnson on a fly ball to center and striking Justin Upton out looking.
He struck out Steven Drew and Xavier Nady to start the second. Miguel Montero grounded to third for the third out.
Ryan Roberts started the third with a single to left and stole second. Lee struck out Gerardo Parra for the first out and pitcher Ian Kennedy for the second. Once through the order, Lee had five strikeouts. It brought Young to the plate for a second chance with two down and Roberts on second. Young blasted the first pitch he saw from Lee out to left-center, putting the Snakes up 2-0. Johnson lined a ball to right, but Francisco made a fantastic diving play to catch it for the third out.
Upton started the fourth with a double to center, but Lee struck out Drew, Nady and Montero behind him to leave him at second.
He got Roberts on a fly ball to right to start the fifth. It brought the lefty Parra to the plate and he sliced the first pitch of his at-bat the other way and out to left-center. 3-0. Kennedy grounded to short and Young struck out behind him.
Second time in five innings the Diamondbacks homered off of Lee on the first pitch of the at-bat.
Lee walked Upton with one out in the sixth and Upton stole second before Lee struck out Drew for the second out. Nady was next and he singled into left, scoring Upton without a play at the plate to make it 4-0. Montero grounded to Lee for the third out.
Lee threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Parra tried to bunt for a hit, but popped it up to Polanco for the second out.
Stutes, who just took Romero’s place on the roster, pitched the eighth and fared very well. He got the righty Young on a fly ball to left, struck the lefty Johnson out swinging 2-2 for the second out and got the righty Upton on a popup to Howard.
Stutes threw nine pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against righty Ian Kennedy went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez.
Polanco doubled to right with one out in the first, but Rollins and Howard both struck out behind him.
The Phils went in order in the second and the third.
Down 2-0, Rollins reached on an infield single with one out. Howard was next and lined a 2-1 pitch to right center, but Upton made a nice diving play to snare it for the out. Francisco grounded to short for the third out.
Nice play by Upton stops a mini-rally for the Phils.
The Phils went in order in the fifth.
They were down 3-0 when they hit in the sixth. Polanco reached on a single to left with two outs and took second on a balk. Rollins grounded to second to leave him there.
They went in order in the seventh with the Arizona lead at 4-0.
Kennedy set them down in order in the eighth, too. Orr hit for Valdez and fouled out to the third baseman Roberts for the second out. Gload hit for Lee and struck out swinging for the third.
Victorino started the ninth with a ball back up the middle and off the glove of Kennedy, but it deflected to the second baseman Johnson and he threw to first in time to get Victorino. Polanco flew to right and Rollins struck out swinging to end the game.
Victorino was 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s 2-for-his-last-19.
Polanco 2-for-4 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit for the Phils. He’s hitting 372/432/500 for the year and has struck out four times in 95 plate appearances.
Rollins was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 210/290/274 over his last 69 plate appearances.
Howard 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Over the last five games he’s gotten 21 plate appearances in which he has struck out ten times and walked none.
Francisco went 0-for-3 with a great diving catch in right. He was 4-for-his-last-8 coming into last night’s game, but has just six hits in his last 31 plate appearances (214/258/393 since April 18).
Ibanez was 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop his line on the year to 179/256/244. His OPS is under .500 for the first time since he went 0-for-4 on opening day. He’s 0-for-his-last-18 with seven strikeouts.
Ruiz 0-for-3. 0-for-20 in his last seven games.
Valdez was 0-for-2. He’s 2-for-his-last-22.
Oswalt (3-0, 1.88) faces righty Dan Hudson (0-4, 5.92) tonight in game two of the series. Hudson’s a lot better than his 5.92 ERA. He has struck out 26 in 24 1/3 innings so far this year and opponents have hit just .227 against him. He has walked way too many lefties — lefties are hitting just .233 against him but on-basing .368. Oswalt has gone six innings in each of his four starts, allowing two runs three times and shutting the Padres out for six frames his last time out. He has allowed five hits in his last two starts combined. Opponents are hitting .179 against him for the season.
Charlie Manuel thinks that Contreras was not overused before he was hurt. I agree. Manuel did call on him to pitch five times in the seven days from April 15 to April 21 and Contreras threw more than 20 pitches in two of those outings, but I don’t think he had an unusual workload as the team’s closer. It does seem he was an odd choice to be the closer in the first place.