Archive for April, 2011

Nats go all one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others on Blanton

I’m not saying Joe Blanton is a bad pitcher. Not at all. I actually think the opposite is true. I’m just saying if I was a Nats fan and knew we’re facing Blanton, Halladay and Lee in the series, I’d be pretty geeked up about the at-bats against Blanton.

Blanton didn’t have it again last night, allowing five runs over six innings to lower his ERA on the year to 10.45 after two starts. The Phils gave him an early 1-0 lead, but Washington tied the game with a run off of him in the third, pulled ahead 4-1 with three in the fourth and extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth. The bullpen struggled after he left, allowing a pair of runs over two innings and the Phils fell 7-4 to drop the series opener.

Twice through their rotation, the Phillies have now gotten four miserable starts — two from Blanton, one from Hamels and one from Lee. Three of them account for their three losses on the year (they won the game in Blanton’s first miserable start). They still haven’t lost a game yet this season in which their starting pitcher allowed less than five runs.

The Phillies are 7-3 on the year after losing to the Washington 7-4 last night.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out four.

He threw a 1-2-3 first, getting Ian Desmond on a ground ball to short, Rick Ankiel swinging 1-2 and Jayson Werth on a ground ball to third.

Blanton was up 1-0 when he struck Matt Stairs out to start the second. Wilson Ramos followed with a single to right and Laynce Nix singled to right as well, moving Ramos to third. It brought Danny Espinosa to the plate and he hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Ramos to tag and score, tying the game at 1-1. Jerry Hairston grounded back to Blanton, leaving Nix stranded at first.

Blanton struck out pitcher Livan Hernandez to start the third. Desmond grounded to third for the second out and Blanton struck Ankiel out for the second time in two at-bats to end the inning.

Werth started the fourth and doubled to left. He moved to third when Stairs followed with a ground out. Ramos was next and he blasted a ball off the base of the wall in right-center, scoring Werth to put Washington up 2-1. Nix hit a ball hard on the right side. Valdez made a nice play to field on the grass in shallow right field, but Nix beat the throw to first for a single and Ramos moved to third. Espinosa was next and Blanton walked him on five pitches to lead the bases for Hariston. Hairston roped a single to left and everyone moved up a base with Ramos scoring. 3-1 with the bases still loaded. Hernandez put down a pretty bunt on the first pitch of his at-bat that rolled down the first base line. Blanton fielded and Nix took off from third and scored as the throw went to first. 4-1 with men on second and third for Desmond, who chopped it to third. Polanco fielded and threw him out at first for the third out.

Nice job by Valdez to keep the ball in the infield in Nix’s at-bat. It saved the Phils a run as Ramos had to hold third, but only for a couple of minutes.

Werth homered to left with one out in the fifth, making it 5-1. Blanton got Stairs and Ramos behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth, getting Nix on a ground ball to second, Espinosa to pop to third and Hairston on a ground ball to short.

David Herndon started the seventh and got Alex Cora, who had been double-switched into the game at third in the top of the inning, on a fly ball to center for the first out. He struck Desmond out for the second out, but Ankiel singled to left and moved to second when Werth walked behind him. Bastardo came on to pitch to the lefty Stairs and righty Michael Morse hit for Stairs. Ankiel and Werth pulled off a steal before Morse walked, loading the bases for Ramos. Bastardo walked him, too, forcing in Ankiel to put the Nats up 6-1. Nix grounded to short for the third out.

Not a real impressive inning for either Herndon or Bastardo. Herndon got the first two before allowing two base-runners in a row. Bastardo walks in the first two guys he faces.

Baez started the eighth with the Phils down 6-3. He walked Espinosa to start the frame. Ivan Rodriguez was next and hit a ball to short. Rollins took and had to go to first for the out with Espinosa taking second. Cora singled past a diving Polanco and into left. Espinosa scored to make it 7-3 and Cora took second when Ibanez threw home and the ball wasn’t cut. Desmond moved Cora to third with a ground out to short, a nice play by Rollins in the hole and a long throw, but Baez got Ankiel to line to short to leave him there.

Two runs in two innings for the pen. None of Herndon, Bastardo or Baez fare particularly well. Herndon threw 18 pitches, Baez 15 and Bastardo 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Livan Hernandez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Francisco continues to hit fifth against righties, breaking up the lefties Howard and Ibanez.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard led off the second and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left for his third homer of the year, putting the Phils up 1-0. Francisco, Ibanez and Ruiz went down behind him.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phils went in order in the third.

Polanco struck out looking to start the fourth, but Rollins followed and dropped a single into right. Howard hit a ground ball to second. Espinosa fielded and Rollins stopped in the base path. Espinosa transferred the ball from his glove to his hand to throw to first, tagged Rollins with his empty glove and got the call for the out, but his throw to first was bad and over Stairs’s head. Rollins was out, Howard was safe and Francisco come to the plate with two down and Howard on first. He hit a line drive to left that went off the glove of a sliding Nix for a single that moved Howard to second. Ibanez flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Awful defense by the Nats. They were lucky to get one out on what should have been a double-play ball hit by Howard. Espinosa made a bad tag and a bad throw. Nix should have made the play on the ball hit by Francisco.

The Phils were down 4-1 when they went in order in the fifth.

Polanco singled with one out in the sixth and the Phils down 5-1. Rollins flew to center and Howard struck out swinging to leave him stranded.

Francisco grounded to second to start the seventh, but Ibanez, Ruiz and Valdez all singled behind him, loading the bases with one out. With the righty Hernandez still on the mound for the Nats, Mayberry hit for Blanton and struck out swinging at a 1-2 curve ball that arrived at the plate at around 60-mph. Righty Tyler Clippard came in and struck Victorino out on a normaler pitch to leave the bases loaded.

No runs for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Big question is why Manuel hit the righty Mayberry instead of the lefty Gload against the righty Hernandez. Big answer seems likely to me to be that he thought it was too early in the game to use the best hitter on his bench. He also could have called on the lefty Orr, backup catcher and other lefty Schneider or the switch-hitter Martinez. It’s got to be one of the good hitters on the bench, though, and those are Gload and Mayberry. I don’t think Gload would have gotten to hit against Hernandez anyway, so it was Mayberry against Hernandez or Gload against not Hernandez (Doug Slaten?). Anyway, Manuel chose Mayberry against the righty and it didn’t work out well for him.

The Phils loaded the bases with one out again in the eighth on a single by Rollins and walks to Howard and Francisco. Lefty Sean Burnett came in to pitch to Ibanez and Ibanez hit a double-play ball to second that should have ended the inning, but the Nats didn’t get two. Espinosa went to second to force Francisco for the second out, but Rollins scored to cut the lead to 6-2. With Ruiz at the plate and men on first and third, Burnett delivered a ball outside and in the dirt that Ivan Rodriguez didn’t handle. Howard scored and Ibanez took second with the score 6-3. Ruiz flew to center to leave Ibanez there.

It was 7-3 when Valdez started the ninth with a pretty bunt on the third base side of the mound. Burnett made a nice sliding play to make it close at first, but Valdez was safe with an infield single as Mike Morse was (maybe) pulled off the bag. Martinez hit for Baez and grounded to third for the first out with Valdez moving up to second. Victorino flew to center for the second out before Polanco delivered a single into center that plated Valdez. 7-4 for Rollins with two outs and a man on first with Howard lurking on deck as the tying run. Rollins lined to short to end the game.

Valdez should have been out. Great play by Burnett and I think Morse stayed on the bal with a nice stretch. It was a very nice bunt either way.

Victorino was 0-for-5 in the game. He has at least one hit in seven of the ten games so far.

Polanco 2-for-5 with an RBI. He hasn’t scored a run in the last five games.

Rollins was 2-for-5 and is 5-for-his-last-14 with three doubles. Rollins hasn’t walked in the last five games. Polanco hasn’t walked in the last six.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a home run, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phillies. He also walked in the game, one of two for the Phils. He’s 3-for-his-last-18.

Francisco was 1-for-3 with the other walk. Glad to see the hit drop for him, but it was a play that Nix should have made.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 7-for-31 with a double against righties (226/294/258) and 3-for-8 with a double and a home run (375/500/875) against lefties.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 8-for-17 over his last five games.

Valdez was 2-for-4 to raise his average to .355 for the year.

I feel nearly completely unmotivated to muster any ill will towards former Phil Jayson Werth, who is 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a home run so far in the series.

Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.69) faces lefty John Lannan (1-0, 3.60) tonight. Lannan has made two starts on the season and gone five innings each time, allowing a run against the Braves in his first outing and three runs against the Marlins his last time out. Ibanez is 10-for-15 against Lannan in his career with a double, a triple and two home runs. Halladay has allowed one run in 13 innings over two starts so far this year.


Still hot. Not Lanta.

The Phils continued to roll in Atlanta this weekend, where just about everything went right with the exception of a weak start by Cliff Lee in game one. The Phils took two out of three.

Cliff Lee struggled in game one and the Phils fell 6-3. The Phils jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to singles by Victorino and Polanco to start the game and extended the lead to 3-0 in the second with the help of an error by Alex Gonzalez after Ruiz started the frame with a single. Lee was just off. He gave up three runs in the second and was charged with three more in the third. Overall he allowed ten hits and a walk and didn’t make it out of the fourth. The Phils didn’t score after the second inning, although Bastardo did have a memorable day. He went two scoreless innings and struck out six.

Oswalt was much better in game two, allowing two runs over six innings as the Phils won 10-2. The Phils were up 3-2 before putting five on the board in the top of the seventh with the help of a pinch-hit grand slam by Carlos Ruiz. Victorino went 4-for-5 in the game and Schneider started behind the plate and hit a two-run homer in the fourth.

Hamels was awesome yesterday as the Phils clinched the series with a 3-0 win. He gave the Phils seven shutout innings and Victorino went 3-for-4, driving in one of the Phillie runs and scoring two of them. The bullpen went two scoreless innings, capping a magnificent series for the relievers in which they didn’t allow a run in 9 2/3 innings. For the season, they’ve now thrown to a 1.47 ERA and a 1.01 ratio, striking out 24 in 30 2/3 innings.

The Phils improved to 7-2 on the year with yesterday’s win.

Hamels got the start and went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out eight.

He set the Braves down in order in the first, getting Martin Prado on a ground ball to second, striking Nate McLouth out swinging and Chipper Jones on a ground ball to third.

Brian McCann struck out swinging 1-2 to start the second. Dan Uggla was next and hit the ball hard, but Polanco took it at third and threw to first for the second out. Jason Heyward flew to left to end the inning.

Hamels got Alex Gonzalez on a popup that Howard took in foul territory for the first out of the third. He struck out Freddie Freeman and the pitcher Derek Lowe behind Gonzalez.

Perfect through three innings, Hamels had thrown 37 pitches and struck out four.

He started the fourth up 1-0 and struck Prado out for the first out. Ibanez was playing unusually shallow and McLouth hit the ball over his head for a double. Chipper flew to right, deep enough for McLouth to tag and move to third. McCann hit the ball hard back up the middle, but Hamels fielded and threw to first to end the inning with McLouth stranded.

Not sure that’s where Ibanez should be playing McLouth. That’s a routine fly ball for a left fielder playing at his normal depth.

Uggla, Howard and Gonzalez went down in order in the fifth on a popup to second, a ground out to short and a strikeout.

Hamels was up 2-0 when Freeman started the sixth with a single into center. Lowe bunted him to second with the first out. Hamels struck Prado out swinging 1-2 for the second. It brought McLouth to the plate with Ibanez playing a little normaler, but Hamels walked him on a 3-1 pitch to put men on first and second for Chipper. Chipper was swinging first pitch and hit a ball hard, but Polanco handled it at third and made the long throw to retire him and end the inning.

Hamels had thrown 80 pitches through six.

He got McCann on a fly ball to center and Uggla swinging to start the seventh. Heyward and Gonzalez followed that with back-to-back singles, with Gonzalez’s single moving Heyward to third. Freeman grounded to Martinez to turn the Braves away.

Madson pitched the ninth. He allowed a one-out single to Prado, but got McLouth to hit into a double-play behind him.

The single to Prado is the only his Madson has allowed in three appearances so far this season. He has struck out four and hasn’t walked a batter.

Contreras threw a 1-2-3 ninth with the Phils up 3-0. He got Chipper and McCann on ground balls to second and then struck Uggla out to end the game.

Two saves in two tries for Contreras. He hasn’t allowed a run in three innings over three appearances for the year.

Contreras threw 15 pitches in the game. Madson 12. Everyone should be available Tuesday when the Phils face the Nats.

Fantastic series for the bullpen. They allowed four hits and two walks over 9 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Martinez starts at second with Valdez on the bench. Francisco continues to hit fifth against righties in the series with Ibanez dropped to sixth against an Atlanta team that has a lot of lefties to call on in their pen.

Victorino led off the game and lined a single into left, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Rollins grounded to short for the third out.

Lowe got Howard, Francisco and Ibanez on three fly balls in the second.

Ruiz struck out looking to start the third. Martinez grounded to second and Hamels grounded back to the mound.

Lowe had faced the minimum through three innings and thrown 34 pitches.

Victorino started the fourth and slapped a single into left. Polanco was next and he singled into left-center, putting men on first and third for Rollins. Rollins chopped a ball to short. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 1-0, but Atlanta turned to and cleared the bases with Howard due to hit. Howard flew to center for the third out.

Softly hit singles to Victorino and Polanco to start the second. Nice job by Victorino to go first to third on the single by Polanco and it lets him score when Rollins hits into a double-play.

Francisco popped to second for the first out of the fifth, but Ibanez and Ruiz followed him with back-to-back singles that put men on first and second for Martinez. Martinez lined a ball right to Gonzalez at short. Gonzalez caught it and threw to first. Ruiz would have been doubled-off easily, but Gonzalez’s throw hit Ruiz and Hamels got to hit with two men on base. He dribbled a ball out in front of the plate that Lowe took and threw to first to end the frame.

Gonzalez’s throw hitting Ruiz keeps Hamels from leading off the sixth.

Victorino led off the sixth and hit a 2-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 2-0. Polanco, Rollins and Howard went down behind him.

Victorino’s a little hot. The homer was seven hits in his last eight at-bats.

Ruiz singled with two outs in the seventh, but Martinez struck out behind him.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. Hamels was due to lead off. With lefty Jonny Venters on the mound for the Braves, Mayberry hit for him and grounded to short.

At least Mayberry got to hit against a lefty that time.

Rollins started the ninth with a double to right and took third on an error by Heyward when he bobbled the ball. Howard was next and hit a ball hard, but Gonzalez handled it at short and threw to first to get Howard as Rollins scored to put the Phils up 3-0. Francisco walked, but Ibanez struck out behind him and he was picked off of first and thrown out at second with Ruiz at the plate.

Victorino was 3-for-4 in the game with a home run. 9-for-13 in the series with a double and a home run. 417/432/611 on the year.

Polanco was 1-for-4 in the game and 2-for-13 in the series. 342/390/447 on the year.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a double in the game. 3-for-13 with three doubles in the series. He came into the set without an extra-base hit in the first six games. 324/390/405.

Howard 0-for-4 with an RBI yesterday. 1-for-11 in the series with a walk and a double. 361/390/639.

Francisco 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-13 with a walk and a double in the series. He also stole a base and struck out just once. 306/375/528 for the season.

Ibanez 1-for-4. 2-for-12 with a double, a walk and five strikeouts in the series. 257/350/400 on the year.

Ruiz 2-for-3 with two singles yesterday. 6-for-9 with a double, a home run and five RBI in the series. 346/414/538.

Martinez was 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-8 with a walk on the year. Valdez was 0-for-6 with a walk in the set and is hitting 333/357/444 on the season.

No game today. Blanton (0-0, 14.54) faces righty Livan Hernandez (0-1, 4.76) Tuesday. Blanton looked okay early in his first start before the Mets hammered him in the fifth. Hernandez has made two starts for Washington. In his most recent outing he faced the Fish and walked five in five innings.


Hot. Lanta.

The offensive train for the Phils kept right on rolling last night, scoring 11 runs in a game where Halladay and the bullpen ensured they would only need one. The Phils have plated 21 runs in their last two games and the offense that worried so many at the start of the season is averaging more than seven runs a game.

Next stop is Atlanta.

In last night’s game, Halladay gave the Phils the outstanding start we’ve come to expect, throwing seven shutout innings. He was backed by Baez and Herndon, who combined to throw a pair of scoreless frames. Wilson Valdez had a night to remember at the plate, going 4-for-4 and driving in three runs. Polanco continues to pound the ball as well — after driving in four runs last night he’s tied with Howard for the team lead with eight RBI.

The Phils are 5-1 on the year after topping the Mets 11-0 last night. The Phillies take two of three in the series.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and a walk. All six of the hits were singles and he struck out seven. After two starts he has an 0.69 ERA and an 0.92 ratio. In 13 innings he’s allowed 11 hits and a walk and struck out 13.

Jose Reyes was the first batter of the game and he lined a single into right. Willie Harris was next and Halladay struck him out swinging 0-2 for the first out. Reyes was running as Wright grounded to short. Rollins fielded and had to go to first for the second out. It brought Ike Davis to the plate with two down and a man on second and he fouled out to Polanco to leave Reyes stranded.

Angel Pagan started the second and Halladay walked him on four pitches. Lucas Duda was next and he hit a ball that went off of Halladay’s leg as Halladay fell to the ground. The ball deflected to Valdez and Valdez tagged Pagan for the first out with Duda safe at first. Brad Emaus was next and hit into a double-play to set the Mets down.

Josh Thole led off the third with a single into center. The pitcher Jon Niese was next and tried to bunt but fouled off a 1-2 pitch, striking out for the first out. Reyes and Harris followed with back-to-back singles, loading the bases for Wright with one out. Wright struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Davis grounded to second to leave the bases loaded.

Big strikeout of Wright with one out and the bases loaded helps keep the Mets off the board.

The Phils were up 2-0 when Pagan started the fourth with a single into center. Halladay got Duda on a fly ball to left before Pagan stole second. Emaus was next and he flew to center with Pagan tagging moving up to third. Halladay got Thole looking 3-2 to end the frame.

Fourth time in four innings that the leadoff batter reached for the Mets.

It was 6-0 when Halladay started the fifth. Going by what had happened in the series, this is about the time you would expect the Mets to score eight runs and Halladay to start to look like Rudy Stein. But it didn’t happen. Halladay set Murphy, pinch-hitting for Niese, Reyes and Harris down in order.

Up 8-0, he got Wright to fly to center to start the sixth. Davis was next and he singled to right before Pagan hit a ball that Ibanez took on the track in left for the second out. Duda grounded back to the mound to end the frame.

Halladay had thrown 99 pitches through six innings.

He struck out Emaus to start the seventh, got Thole to ground to first for the second and Murphy to ground to first with Halladay covering to end the frame.

Baez started the eighth with a 10-0 lead. He allowed a two-out double to Wright, but got Davis on a fly ball to center to leave Wright stranded.

Herndon pitched the ninth, walking Duda with one out but getting Emaus to hit into a double-play behind him to end the game.

Two more scoreless innings for the pen, who allowed one run in 13 innings in the series. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Baez and Herndon both threw ten pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jon Niese went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Francisco moves up a slot between Howard and Ibanez. Ruiz catches after getting the night game off the day before.

Victorino started the bottom of the first with a single back up the middle and into center. Polanco hit into a double-play before Niese struck Rollins out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.

Howard walked on four pitches to start the second. Francisco was next and struck out looking 2-2 for the first out. Ibanez struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Ruiz struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

So much for that.

Francisco came into the game leading the team in strikeouts. After this plate appearances he had eight in 24 plate appearances.

Valdez started the third with an infield single and Halladay bunted him to second. Victorino was next and singled into center and Valdez scored. Pagan threw home and the first baseman Davis tried to cut the throw near the mound, but it bounced away from him. Pagan was charged with an error that allowed Victorino to take second. Polanco was next and he doubled to left, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 2-0. Rollins hit the ball hard, but Emaus took it as second and threw to first for the second out as Polanco took third. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Francisco hit Niese’s first pitch of the fourth into center for a single. Ibanez was hit with an 0-1 pitch, putting two men on for Ruiz. Ruiz singled into left, scoring Francisco to make it 3-0 and moving Ibanez to second. Valdez hit the first pitch of his at-bat into the right field corner, scoring Ibanez (4-0) and sending Ruiz to third. Halladay struck out swinging for the first out and Victorino struck out swinging for the second, but Polanco picked them both up with a two-run single into right. 6-0. Rollins grounded to third to end the inning on a very nice play by Wright in which he charged, bare-handed and threw strong to first.

Howard started the fifth with a single. Francisco was next and he flew to left for the first out. Ibanez hit a ball that was fielded by Davis, but Davis’s throwing error left Howard safe at second and Ibanez safe at first with one out for Ruiz. Ruiz flew to center for the second out and it brought Valdez to the plate with two men on. Valdez delivered a bases clearing double that put the Phils up 8-0, but Reyes took the throw from Pagan and Valdez was tagged out going for third to end the inning.

If you had asked me before the game started how many RBI doubles to expect from Valdez before the end of the fifth inning, I would have said less than two.

Halladay started the sixth with a single to center. Victorino was nearly killed by Pedro Beato’s 1-1 pitch, but survived to hit a ground ball to short. Halladay was forced at second with Victorino beating the relay to avoid the double-play. Polanco followed and hit into a double-play.

Rollins started the seventh with a single and was forced at second when Howard followed with a ground out to Davis. Francisco struck out swinging for the second out before Ibanez hit one out to right for a two-run shot that put the Phils up 10-0. Ruiz flew to center to set the Phils down.

First home run of the year for Ibanez.

Valdez started the eighth with an infield single. With righty DJ Carrasco on the mound for New York, Mayberry hit for Baez and singled to left. It put men on first and second for Victorino and he flew to center. Valdez did a nice job to tag and go to third, which allowed him to score when Rollins followed with a ground out to short. 11-0 with two outs and Polanco on first for Rollins and he singled, putting men on first and second. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, but Howard grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with an RBI in the game. 4-for-15 with five strikeouts in the series. He has one walk on the season so far and a .292 on-base percentage.

Polanco 2-for-5 with a double and four RBI yesterday. 6-for-13 with a walk and eight RBI in the series. Hasn’t struck out this season. Howard is the only player on the team with more than five plate appearances who has a better OPS so far than Polanco’s 1.100.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with two more singles. 3-for-12 with two walks in the set. He’s hitting .375 and leads the team with four walks, but is still looking for his first extra-base hit.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout in the game. 5-for-12 with a home run, two walks and two RBI in the series.

Francisco 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. 2-for-12 with a walk, a home run and two RBI in the series. Hit two balls that probably would have been out to left on a normal day. He’s struck out in nine of 25 plate appearances (36%). Coming into last night’s game he had struck out in about 18.5% of his plate appearances for his career.

Ibanez was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. 5-for-12 with a home run and three RBI in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with an RBI. 1-for-7 in the series.

Valdez was 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. 5-for-10 with two doubles in the series.

Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.86) starts tonight in Atlanta against righty Tim Hudson (1-0, 1.29).


Joe my goodness

The second game of the series with the Mets looked like the first in a couple of ways and completely different in a third. Again the Phillie starter was awful and again the bullpen was great, but this time the offense hit and hit, plating ten runs to pace the Phils to a win.

Joe Blanton took a 7-0 lead into the fourth inning and couldn’t hold it. He was out of the game and the score was 7-7 before the top of the fifth ended. The bullpen was fantastic. After a solid performance in game one after Hamels left early, they have been called on to throw 11 innings in the first two games of the set and have been charged with one run.

Polanco drove in three runs in the game and Francisco finally got a ball to go out to left, but it was Howard who really drove the offense for the Phils in the game. He went 4-for-4 with a home run and pair of doubles after a frustrating night in the first game of the series.

The Phillies are 4-1 on the year after beating the New York Mets 10-7 last night.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Jose Reyes was the first batter of the game and bunted for a single. With Willie Harris at the plate, Reyes stole second and took third on a throwing error by Schneider. Blanton struck Harris out swinging, though, and followed that up by getting David Wright looking. Carlos Beltran flew to left to turn the Mets away.

Up 2-0 when he started the second, Blanton got Angel Pagan and Ike Davis on a pair of ground outs before Brad Emaus reached base on a ball hit out in front of the plate. Josh Thole grounded to second for the third out.

It was 3-0 when he started the third. He struck the pitcher Mike Pelfrey out for the first out and got Reyes to fly to left for the second. Harris singled to right, but Blanton struck Wright out for the second time in three innings to leave Harris at first.

Blanton started the fourth with a 7-0 lead. He hit Beltran to start the inning. Pagan was next and hit an 0-1 pitch just out to left-center, cutting the lead to 7-2. Blanton struck out Davis for the first out before Emaus reached on another infield single. Thole hit into a double-play behind him.

Blanton struck Daniel Murphy, pinch-hitting for the pitcher Taylor Buchholz, out to start the fifth. Reyes was next and hit a ball that landed on the warning track in left for a double. Harris followed that with a walk before Wright singled into center, scoring Reyes to make it 7-3 and moving Harris to second. Beltran was next and he hit the first pitch he saw into center for another single. Harris scored and it was 7-4 with men on first and second for Pagan. Pagan lined a single just passed a diving Rollins and into left, moving everyone up a base to load them for Davis. Davis hit a ball into right that rolled all the way to wall. Wright scored and Beltran scored, bringing Emaus to the plate with men on second and third and the lead cut to 7-6. Blanton walked Emaus on four pitches, loading the bases for the lefty Thole. Bastardo took over for Blanton with Valdez double-switched in at second as well and struck Thole out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Another lefty, Murphy, was next and he swung at the first pitch and singled into left. Everyone moved up another base and Pagan scored to tie the game at 7-7. Reyes lined to Ibanez in left to finally end the frame.

Big strikeout for Bastardo with one out and a man on third, but Murphy follows it up with a single.

Bastardo came back to pitch the sixth with a 9-7 lead and set the Mets down in order.

Romero pitched the seventh up 10-7. He allowed a one-out single to Davis, but Emaus followed Davis and hit into a double-play.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Contreras started the ninth with the Phils still up three. He struck Harris out for the first out got Wright on a popup that Valdez took near the foul line behind first base. Beltran drew a walk, but Contreras got Pagan to line to short to end the game.

Second night in a row that the bullpen pitches great to bail out the starting pitcher. They went 4 2/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk. Romero and Bastardo were both throwing for the second straight day. Contreras threw 21 pitches in the game, Bastardo 20, Madson ten and Romero eight.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Pelfrey went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Francisco (7) Orr (8) Schneider. With lefty Jon Niese scheduled to pitch today’s game, Manuel starts lefties Orr and Schneider against the righty and will surely start Ruiz against the lefty today. Wily.

Victorino started the bottom of the first and lined a triple into center. Polanco was next and hit a ball that Emaus handled at second, but Victorino came in to score and put the Phillies up 1-0. Howard was next and lined a double into center. Rollins flew to center for the second out before Ibanez lined a single to left that scored Howard, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Francisco flew to left for the third out.

Orr reached on an infield single to start the second. Schneider was next and flew to left for the first out. Blanton got the bunt down. Pelfrey got to the ball, but his throw wasn’t handled for an error that left the Phils with men on second and third with one out. Victorino was next and hit a ground ball to short. Orr was running on contact and scored from third, extending the lead to 3-0 for the Phils. Polanco was next and lined a single into center, moving Blanton to third. With two down and men on the corners, Rollins struck out to end the inning.

Howard hit Pelfrey’s first pitch of the third out to center for his second home run of the year. It put the Phils up 4-0. Ibanez followed that with another single and Francisco drew a walk. It put men on first and second for Orr and Orr popped a ball into shallow left field that stayed in the air a long, long time, but managed to drop between Reyes and Harris for a single that loaded the bases. That was all for Pelfrey and the Mets brought righty Taylor Buchholz in to pitch to Schneider. Schneider struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out, but Blanton chopped a single down the left field line and Ibanez and Francisco both scored. 6-0 with men on first and third. Victorino struck out looking for the second out before Polanco dropped a flair into right-center field for a single that scored Orr from third and moved Blanton to second with the Phils up 7-0. Rollins struck out swinging 2-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Schneider and Victorino both can’t put the ball in play with less than two outs and a man on third. Monster shot for Howard and a big hit for Blanton.

The lead was cut to 7-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Howard led off and lined a double off the wall in left. Ibanez moved Howard to third with a ground out and Francisco got ahead 3-0 before striking out swinging. Buchholz struck Orr out on three pitches to leave Howard at third.

Francisco can’t bring Howard in from third with one out.

The game was tied at 7-7 when the Phils hit in the bottom of the fifth. Schneider and Valdez went down to start the inning before Victorino doubled to left. Polanco was next and singled to right, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 8-7. Rollins was next and walk, moving Polanco to second. Howard followed and hit a ball that went off of the pitcher Blaine Boyer. Emaus finally tracked it down, but Polanco raced all the way around to score and put the Phils up 9-7. Ibanez grounded to short for the third out.

Great hustle by Polanco to score on the ball hit by Howard.

Francisco started the sixth and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left for his second homer of the year, extending the lead to 10-7. With righty Blaine Boyer pitching for the Mets, Mayberry hit for Bastardo and singled to left. Schneider hit into a double-play and Valdez struck out swinging.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Howard walked to start the eighth. Ibanez was next and hit a ground ball to first. Howard was forced at second, but Ibanez beat the relay. Ibanez stole second as Francisco struck out for the second out. With righty Francisco Rodriguez on the mound for New York, Gload hit for Madson and struck out swinging.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.

Polanco 3-for-5 with three RBI.

Rollins 0-for-4 with a walk.

Howard was 4-for-4 with a walk, two doubles and a home run. Two RBI.

Ibanez 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Francisco 1-for-4 with a walk, a home run and two RBI.

Orr was 2-for-3.

Schneider 0-for-4 with a throwing error and five men left on base.

Halladay (0-0, 1.50) faces lefty Jon Niese (0-0, 2.57) this afternoon. He went six innings against the Astros on opening day, allowing a run on five hits and no walks while striking out six. Niese has also made one start on the year, which came against the Marlins. He allowed two runs over seven innings on four hits and a walk.


Hamels hammered and some wonder if his splits pitching on 168 days of rest will ever recover

At least now we’ll know once and for all if anyone in the front office is playing in a rotisserie league where there are categories for pitching on 168 days of rest. If they don’t let Hamels pitch again till September 21 just so they can win a stupid game, I think that would be irresponsible.

Cole Hamels didn’t pitch real well in his first start of the year, which came last night against the Mets. He wormed his way out of trouble in the first, but got blasted in the third, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks and getting just two outs in the inning before making an early exit.

The offense didn’t do a whole lot on a cold and windy night, either. Ben Francisco had two would-be home runs taken in at the wall and Ibanez had a pair of singles, but the Phils managed just one extra-base hit in the game, a double by Polanco. Howard and Victorino combined to go 0-for-9 and struck out six times.

The Phillies are 3-1 on the year after losing 7-1 to the New York Mets last night.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three and has a 20.25 ERA after one outing.

Jose Reyes was the first batter of the game and he singled into left. Angel Pagan was next and Hamels hit him with a 1-0 pitch, moving Reyes to second. With David Wright at the plate, Reyes and Pagan pulled off the double-steal, but Hamels struck Wright out swinging for the first out. Carlos Beltran was next and he popped to second for the second out with both runners holding. Hamels struck Scott Hairston out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Hamels wiggles out of a huge scoring opportunity for the Mets as Wright, Beltran and Hairston come up empty.

He set New York down in order in the second, getting Ike Davis and Brad Emaus on fly balls to left and catcher Mike Nickeas on a ground ball to short.

Pitcher Chris Young led off the third and singled into left on a 1-0 pitch. Reyes was next and put down a bunt. It wasn’t a real good bunt, chopped down the third base line. Hamels got to it quickly enough, but had trouble getting it out of his glove before he threw to first and Reyes was safe. Pagan walked on a 3-2 pitch that wasn’t close to load the bases. Wright was next and didn’t strike out this time, breaking his bat and looping a single into left. Young and Reyes both scored, putting the Mets up 2-0 with men on first and third. Hamels struck Beltran out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Wright stole second as the count went 1-0 on Hairston and the Ruiz just didn’t handle the 1-1 pitch. It was a passed ball that allowed Pagan to score (3-0) and moved Wright to third. Hamels walked Hairston on a 3-1 pitch, putting men on first and third yet again, this time for Davis. Davis lined a single into center, scoring Wright to make it 4-0 and moving Hairston to second. Emaus dribbled a single back through the middle and into center. Hairston scored (5-0) and Davis took second. Hamels got Nickeas on a ball that Victorino handled in center for the second out, but Young was next and delivered his second hit of the inning, another single into left that scored Davis and put Emaus on second with New York up 6-0. Kendrick took over for Hamels and got Reyes to pop to Rollins in shallow center to finally end the frame.

Two hits in an inning is too many to give up to the pitcher. Getting an out on the bunt by Reyes would have helped a lot. Ruiz just didn’t catch the ball on the play where Wright scored. Second time in three innings that Beltran fails with a man on third and less than two outs. Overall, though, I think we have to give that frame to the Mets.

Kendrick was back to start the fourth. He struck Pagan out for the first out before Wright singled into right field. Beltran was next and walked on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Hairston. Hairston flew to right for the second out and Kendrick got Davis to ground to second and leave both men stranded.

Kendrick pitched the fifth, too. He got the first two hitters before Young singled yet again, this time on the infield. Reyes grounded to Valdez to leave him stranded.

Just the three hits for Young in the first five innings.

Herndon started the sixth, having thrown two innings and 29 pitches in Sunday’s game against the Astros, with the Phils down 6-1. He got Pagan on a ground ball to second for the first out before Wright doubled to center. Herndon struck Beltran out swinging 0-2 for the second out, but Hairston singled to left, Wright scored and it was 7-1. Hairston took second as the throw came home and Davis followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Emaus. Emaus grounded to short to end the frame.

Three outings on the year so far for Herndon. Two of them have been bad.

Romero started the seventh and gave up a one-out single to Chin-lung Hu, who had been double-switched into the game at second in the bottom of the sixth. Reyes grounded to third with Hu forced at second for the second out. Pagan flew to right to set the Mets down.

Baez pitched the eighth. Wright led off with a single, but he got Beltran to hit into a double-play behind him and Hairston flew to center for the third out.

Bastardo made his first appearance of the year in the ninth, setting down Davis, pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy and Nickeas in order. He struck Nickeas out swinging 0-2 for the third out.

Long, long night for the bullpen on a day when the Phils are playing the first of six days in a row. They pitched well, allowing a run in 6 1/3 innings on six hits and two walks while striking out four. Kendrick in particular did his job, giving the Phils 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Nice for the Phils to have a fifth starter with a chance to go deep into the game. Kendrick threw 42 pitches last night, Herndon 25, Romero 16, Baez 10 and Bastardo nine. Kendrick clearly can’t pitch tonight. Herndon has thrown at least 25 pitches in each of the last two games for the Phils, with an off-day on Monday in-between.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Young went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Francisco continues to hit sixth against righties with Howard and Ibanez four and five.

Victorino struck out and Polanco grounded to third to start the bottom of the first. Rollins was next and put a beautiful bunt down the first base line for a single. Rollins stole second, but Howard, after absolutely crushing a 1-1 pitch into the upper deck but foul, struck out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the second, with Ibanez and Francisco both striking out before Ruiz flew to right.

They were down 6-0 when they hit in the third. Valdez struck out looking, Kendrick flew to center and Victorino grounded to second.

Young had struck out five through three innings.

Polanco walked to start the fourth. Rollins followed and lined to right for the first out. Howard struck out swinging for the second before Ibanez moved Polanco to second with a single. Francisco was next and hit a ball into right that a fan interfered with as Beltran tried to make the play, ending the inning with both men stranded.

Three walks on the season for Polanco through three games and four innings.

With one out in the fifth, Valdez hit a ball a ball deflected by the pitcher Young for an infield single. The switch-hitter Martinez hit for Kendrick and Valdez stole second before Martinez drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Victorino struck out swinging for the second out, but Polanco doubled into down the third base line, scoring Valdez and sending Martinez to third with the Phils down 6-1. Rollins drew a walk that loaded the bases and gave the Phils a chance to get back into the game with Howard at the plate, but Howard grounded to second to end the inning.

Three extra-base hits for Polanco through three games and five innings. Nice to see Martinez draw a walk. Not nice to see Victorino strikeout in middle of the token rally for the Phils.

Ibanez started the sixth with a single to center with the Phils down 7-1. Francisco was next and hammered a 1-1 pitch to left, but Hairston took it in front of the wall for the first out. Ruiz drew a walk, sending Ibanez to second, and the Mets brought in righty DJ Carrasco to pitch to Valdez. Valdez hit into a double-play to end the inning.

It was enough to remind you that Wilson Valdez hit into double-plays pretty regularly last year.

Orr hit for Romero to start the seventh and singled into center. Victorino, Polanco and Rollins went in order behind him.

Howard struck out again to start the eighth. Ibanez grounded to short for the second out. Francisco crushed it to left again, but Hairston jumped and took it at the wall for the third out.

Twice in two at-bats that Francisco had hit the ball real hard.

Ruiz popped to second and Valdez grounded to short to start the ninth. With righty Bobby Parnell pitching for the Mets, Gload hit for Bastardo and singled to center. Victorino flew to center to end the game.

Victorino was 0-for-5 in the game and struck out three times. 2-for-13 with a walk on the season.

Polanco 1-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. 6-for-15 with three doubles and three walks on the year. That puts him on pace for 121.5 doubles and 121.5 walks for the season, which are equally likely.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk and a pretty bunt single. 7-for-15 with three walks and seven singles on the year.

Howard had a miserable game with the exception of a long foul ball. 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and five men left on base. 7-for-17 with a double and a homer so far. No walks and six strikeouts.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 and is 4-for-15 with a double and three walks for the year.

Francisco was 0-for-4 but nearly hit two home runs. 6-for-17 with a walk, a double and a homer.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk in the game and 2-for-13 with two walks to start the year.

Valdez was 1-for-4 and is 5-for-15 with a double on the season.

Joe Blanton makes his first start of the year tonight against righty Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 10.38). Pelfrey started for the Mets on opening day against the Fish and allowed five runs on four hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings.

The Start Log is updated. It continues to include data on bullpen performance by starting pitcher.

The Phillies released Dan Meyer and the Pirates signed him to a minor league deal.


Full house

I’m really hoping the Phils sign a prince or two, cause if we can’t work our way up to Royal Flush soon I’m worried that the poker headlines might start to get unbearable. It doesn’t have to be a prince. I’d take like Keyser Söze or a Gurkhan or something.

The Phillies got some rather outstanding starting pitching as they swept their opening series with the Astros. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt combined to go 19 innings in the three games, throwing to a 2.84 ERA and an 0.79 ratio while striking out 23 times as many batters as they walked. That’s not going to come as a huge surprise to many fans. What is a surprise is that the offense arrived cranking out runs. They Phils put 21 on the board in the series and delivered hit after hit with runners in scoring position.

Yesterday they got a solid start from Oswalt and a monster day from Howard as they topped the Astros 7-3 to improve to 3-0 on the year.

Oswalt started the game for the Phils and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Michael Bourn led off the game and grounded to Polanco at second for the first out. Angel Sanchez flew to right for the second before Hunter Pence singled into left. Carlos Lee fouled out to Howard at first to leave Pence at first.

He was up 4-0 when he started the second. He struck Bill Hall and Brett Wallace out back-to-back to start the inning. Chris Johnson was next and doubled to left, but Oswalt struck Humberto Quintero out swinging to leave Johnson at second.

He set the Astros down in order in the third, getting pitcher Bud Norris on a ball hit back to the mound, Bourn trying to bunt for a hit and Sanchez on a ground ball to short. Rollins made a nice play to end the frame on a ball hit up the middle by Sanchez, fielding on the grass in shallow center, spinning around and making a strong throw to nail Sanchez.

He was up 5-0 when he started the fourth. Pence led off and hit a 3-1 pitch out to right. 5-1. Oswalt hit Lee with his next pitch and it brought Hall to the plate with nobody out and a man on first. Hall drove a pitch to deep right that Francisco took as he crashed up against the wall, but Francisco held on for the first out. Oswalt struck the lefty Wallace out again for the second out and then got Johnson on a ground ball to third to end the frame.

Quintero flew to left to start the fifth and lefty Joe Inglett hit for the pitcher Bud Norris with the Astros still down four runs. Oswalt struck Inglett out swinging 1-2 for the second, but walked Bourn on a 3-2 pitch to put a man on for Sanchez. Sanchez grounded to second for the third out.

Oswalt’s walk to Bourn was the only walk given up by the starters for the Phillies in the series. In 19 innings, they struck out 23.

Pence singled into center to start the sixth. Lee was next and hit a ground ball to short, with Pence forced at second for the first out and Lee safe at first. Hall was next and he doubled into left, moving Lee to third. Wallace followed and hit a ground ball to first that moved both runners up a base. Lee scored and the lead was cut to 5-2. Oswalt struck Johnson out swinging 0-2 to leave Hall at third.

The Phillies hit for Oswalt in the bottom of the sixth and Herndon started the seventh with a 7-2 lead, coming off of a rough outing on opening day in which he was charged with a pair of runs and gave up a big triple to Bourn. He threw a 1-2-3 seventh, getting Quintero on a fly ball to center for the first out, pinch-hitter Jason Bourgeois on a ground ball to second for the second and Bourn on a fly ball to center for the third.

Herndon came back for the eighth. He allowed a two-out single to Lee, but got Hall to ground to short behind him for the third out.

Much better.

Kendrick started the ninth with the Phils still up by five. He walked the lefty Wallace to start the inning and Johnson moved Wallace to third with a single. Quintero was next and Kendrick got him to ground into a double-play with Wallace scoring to make it 7-3. Jason Michaels flew to right to end the game.

Walking the leadoff man with a five-run lead isn’t the way to do. Lefties hit 312/367/535 against Kendrick in 2011, which is the kind of thing that makes it tough to be a starting pitcher. In his defense, it’s pretty hard for anyone who you have Halladay, Oswalt, Lee and Hamels on your team.

Herndon threw 29 pitches in the game and Kendrick 17. They should both be available against the Mets with the off-day today.

Not a great start to the year for the pen. They went eight innings in the three games, throwing to a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio.

The Phillies lineup against righty Bud Norris went (1) Martinez (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Martinez starts in center with Victorino sidelined after hurting his calf while colliding with Francisco in game two of the series. Hitting Martinez, who has a career on-base percentage of .315 in the minors and was making the first start of his career, in the leadoff spot is rather awful. Manuel did it so as not to disturb the rest of the order. Francisco moves back to sixth in the order after hitting fifth to break up lefties Howard and Ibanez against lefty Wandy Rodriguez in game two of the series.

Martinez struck out to start the bottom of the first, but Polanco drew a walk and Rollins moved him to second with a single to right. It brought Howard to the plate and Howard blasted a 3-0 pitch out to center, putting the Phils up 3-0. Ibanez struck out swinging for the second out before Francisco hit an 0-2 pitch out to left. 4-0. Ruiz grounded out to the pitcher for the third out.

Howard crushed his call for his first home run of the year. Great to see Francisco hit one out on an 0-2 pitch. Almost equally glad to see Polanco draw a walk.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Polanco started the third and lined a double to center. Rollins followed him with another single that sent Polanco to third. Howard was next and again crushed a 3-0 pitch, but this one went off the top of the wall in right for a double. Polanco scored to make it 5-0 with Rollins moving to third. Ibanez was next and grounded to first for the first out. Francisco struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out and Ruiz struck out swinging 3-2 to leave the runners stranded at second and third.

Again Howard hammers a 3-0 pitch. Again Polanco and Rollins both get on base. That’s it for the good in that inning, though. Not sure how Rollins didn’t score from first on the ball that Howard smashed off the top of the wall. After that the Phils can’t score again with nobody out and men on second and third. Ibanez at least hit the ball on the right side, but Francisco can’t put the ball in play with one out and a man on third.

The lead was cut to 5-1 when the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Howard singled with two outs in the fifth, but Ibanez grounded out behind him.

It was 5-2 when the Phils hit in the sixth. Francisco led off with a single to left and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a walk. Valdez bunted the runners to second and third with the first out and Victorino hit for Oswalt with righty Aneury Rodriguez pitching for the Astros. Houston brought in righty Enerio Del Rosario to pitch for Victorino and Victorino hit his first pitch into right for a single that scored Francisco (6-2) and moved Ruiz to third. Martinez was next and he hit an 0-1 pitch under the glove of Johnson and down the left field line. Ruiz scored to make it 7-2 and Victorino moved to second. Polanco followed with a ground out that moved Victorino to third before Rollins walked to load the bases for Howard with two outs. Howard lined to second on an 0-1 pitch to leave the bases loaded.

Manuel hardly ever bunts with a position player. Nice to see Rollins draw a walk, especially when it gives Howard a chance to hit with the bases loaded.

Francisco singled with one out in the seventh. Ruiz flew to right for the second out before Valdez moved Francisco up to second with a single into right. Victorino, who had stayed in the game to play center, was next and grounded to first to leave both men stranded.

With righty Jeff Fulchino on the mound for Houston, Gload hit for Herndon to start the eighth and grounded to short. Polanco followed and doubled again, this time to left. Rollins walked and again there were two men aboard for Howard. Howard hit a ball that dropped in left, but Polanco was forced at third base and the Phils had men on first and second for Ibanez. Ibanez walked to load the bases, but Francisco struck out to leave them loaded.

Martinez was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game and in the series. Victorino 1-for-2 with an RBI in the game and 2-for-8 with a walk and three RBI in the series.

Polanco was 2-for-4 with two doubles yesterday and 5-for-12 with two doubles and two walks in the series. He leads the team with five runs scored.

Rollins 2-for-3 with two walks in the game and 6-for-12 with six singles in the series.

Howard had a monster game, going 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and four RBI. 7-for-13 in the series.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a walk in the game and 2-for-11 with a double and three walks in the series.

Francisco 3-for-5 with a homer yesterday. 6-for-13 with a walk, a double and home run in the set.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk in the game and 2-for-10 with a walk and a double so far.

Valdez 1-for-3 yesterday and 4-for-11 with a double on the season.

The Phillies went 15-for-36 with runners in scoring position in the set.

No game today. Cole Hamels faces righty Chris Young tomorrow when the Phils face the Mets. One thing to remember about Chris Young is that you can run on him. Really, really a lot. Like more than you can imagine. Between 2006 and 2007, opponents stole 85 bases off of him and were caught four times. You can look it up.

The Start Log for 2011 is ready to go. It has been modified to track bullpen performance based on the starting pitcher. You can access it by clicking on the START LOG link in the upper right-hand corner of the page.


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