Seven runs in four games should do it. Four runs in three games is even better.
Still no sign of the offense as the Phils dropped their fourth straight last night. Oswalt made his return to the rotation and looked pretty good in the five innings he was able to go. The Phils went into the eighth down 1-0 and got a gift run with the help of a dropped popup to tie things up, but Baez started the ninth and allowed hits to the first three men he faced and St Louis pushed a run across on a walkoff single to win 2-1.
The Phils are 25-16 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 2-1 last night. They have lost four games in a row for the first time on the season and are 7-8 in May.
Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing a run on seven hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.
He got Ryan Theriot to line to Rollins for the first out in the bottom of the first. Then he struck Jon Jay out swinging 2-2 for the second out and Albert Pujols out looking 3-2 to end the inning.
Matt Holliday fouled out to Howard for the first out in the second. Lance Berkman was next and he singled to center but was forced at second for the second out when Allen Craig followed and grounded to short. Yadier Molina moved Craig to second with a single to right, but Oswalt got Daniel Descalso to pop to Rollins in foul territory to leave both men stranded.
Pitcher Jaime Garcia led off the St Louis third and grounded to Oswalt. Theriot and Jay followed with back-to-back singles, with Jay’s sending Theriot to third. Oswalt got Pujols to hit a double-play ball to Rollins to keep St Louis off the board.
Oswalt walked Berkman with one out in the fourth and Craig moved him to second with a single to center. Molina was next and he singled to left. Berkman tried to score and looked like he didn’t have much of a chance, but the throw from Mayberry came in on a hop and a little up the third base line. The ball and Berkman arrived about the same time with Berkman sliding in to avoid Sardinha’s tag and the Cards led 1-0. It brought Descalso to the plate with men on first and second and he grounded to Valdez with Molina forced at second for the second out. Oswalt struck Garcia out for the third out, leaving runners at the corners.
Mayberry didn’t make a great throw, but Sardinha still had a chance to get Berkman and missed the tag.
Pujols doubled to right with two outs in the fifth, but Oswalt got Holliday on a ground ball to second for the third out.
Stutes started the sixth and made just three pitches before hurting his back and exited for Kendrick. Kendrick walked Berkman and Berkman moved up to second on a ground out by Craig and then third when Molina was retired on a ball handled by Kendrick. Kendrick walked Descalso intentionally, putting men on first and third for the pitcher Garcia. Garcia grounded to third to end the inning.
Another intentional walk for Kendrick, who has walked five intentionally in 21 2/3 innings.
Kendrick allowed a two-out single to Pujols in the seventh, but Holliday lined to Francisco to leave Pujols stranded.
Two scoreless frames in the game for Kendrick. He has a 1.15 ERA and a 1.09 ratio over 15 2/3 innings in his last eight appearances (one of which was a start).
Bastardo started the eighth with the game tied at 1-1. He got Berkman and Tyler Greene to start the inning before Molina doubled. Bastardo walked Descalso behind Molina and switch-hitter Nick Punto hit for the pitcher Garcia with two men on base. Bastardo struck him out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.
Baez started the ninth. Theriot led off with an infield single. Jay moved him to second with a real single and Pujols blooped a ball that fell in right for another single, loading the bases. Holliday was next and he hit a ground ball to short. Rollins fielded and threw home to force Theriot for the first out. Berkman was next and Romero came in to face him, forcing the switch-hitter Berkman to hit right-handed. Berkman hit the ball over the head of Martinez, who was playing shallow in center, to plate Jay and give St Louis a 2-1 win.
Berkman is hammering both lefties and righties this season. Over his career he’s been better against righties (308/424/590 against righties and 261/365/418 against lefties). So no argument with Romero.
I think you can have an argument about no Madson in the ninth. Baez’s line looks awful, but one of the singles he allowed was an infield hit and another a softly hit ball by Pujols.
Over his last four appearances, Baez has allowed six runs on ten hits and two walks over four innings (13.50 ERA and a 3.00 ratio). Last year with the Phils he threw to a 5.48 ERA and a 1.64 ratio.
Stutes and Romero were both pitching for the second day in a row, but I’m going to be surprised if we see Stutes any time soon. Kendrick threw 24 pitches in the game, Bastardo 21, Baez 13, Stutes three and Romero one.
Stutes will see a doctor today.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Jaime Garcia went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Francisco (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Polanco returns to the lineup and the three-hole. Martinez in center with Mayberry in left, Francisco in right and Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Valdez plays second against the lefty with the lefty Orr on the bench. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the bench.
Martinez singled to center with one out in the first and moved to second on a ground out by Polanco. Howard flew to center to leave him at second.
Descalso made a very nice play at third and a strong throw to first on a ball hit down the line by Polanco for the second out.
Mayberry led off the second with a single and stole second, but was left there when Francisco flew to center, Valdez popped to Theriot and Sardinha lined to third.
The Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.
With the Phils down 1-0, Valdez hit a ball just over Descalso and down the line for a double with one out in the fifth. Sardinha followed that with a walk and Oswalt bunted the runners to second and third with the second out. Rollins flew to Jay in left-center to leave both runners stranded.
Polanco singled with one out in the sixth. Howard struck out behind him and Mayberry grounded to third.
The Phillies went in order in the seventh.
With one out in the eighth, Rollins popped a ball up on the infield that Tyler Greene just dropped for an error. Martinez moved him to third with a single before Polanco flew to center for the second out, deep enough for Rollins to tag and score, tying the game at 1-1 with two outs and Martinez at first. Howard struck out swinging to leave Martinez stranded.
The Phillies went in order in the ninth. With righty Fernando Salas on the mound for St Louis, Orr hit for Valdez and struck out looking for the third out.
Rollins was 0-for-4.
Martinez had a nice game, going 2-for-4 with a big single in the eighth to help the Phils score their run. He’s 7-for-29 on the year with seven singles and two walks. Glad to see him have a nice game, but it seems pretty hard to argue that he’s a good use of a roster spot.
Polanco was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 222/258/259 in May.
Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. If you want to make a ranked list of the problems with the Phillies offense, you need to put the fact that Howard has hit 208/300/431 over his last 150 plate appearances way higher than who the offensive players filling out the roster are.
Mayberry was 1-for-4. He’s 4-for-his-last-23.
Francisco 0-for-4. 218/327/346 for the season. Having a starting right fielder who has hit 218/327/346 on the year should go pretty high on the list, too.
Valdez was 1-for-3 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phillies. The Phils are slugging .345 as a team in May. Valdez is on-basing .265 this season and .297 over the 463 plate appearances the Phillies have given him over the last two years.
Sardinha 0-for-2 with a walk. Unfortunate he wasn’t able to tag Berkman out and prevent the first St Louis run of the game. 3-for-17 on the year.
Ibanez didn’t play in the game, but it feels like he needs to be included in order to help fill out the list of things that are more important to the offense than the players filling out the roster. He’s hitting 223/280/338 for the year.
Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.19) faces lefty Jorge De La Rosa (5-1, 3.70) tonight. De la Rosa had his worst start of the year his last time out, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Padres. In his eight starts, lefties have hit .107 against him with no extra-base hits. Hamels has thrown to a 2.29 ERA and an 0.92 ratio since his first start of the season.