Archive for May, 2011

First thirty something for the Phils

The Phils played the thirtieth game of their season last night. So far, so good. After winning to complete a three-game sweep of the Nats, the Phils are 21-9 and tied for the best record in baseball.

The series was notable for the explosion of Raul Ibanez, who continued to hit last night, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Ibanez came into the series hitting .154 for the season and pounded the ball in all three games, going 8-for-12 with three doubles and a pair of home runs.

The Phillies are 21-9 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 7-3 last night to complete the three-game sweep. They lead the second-place Marlins by two games in the NL East.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out ten and didn’t walk a batter.

Danny Espinosa was the first batter of the game and grounded to Rollins. Alex Cora followed and singled to center. He stole second and would have been thrown out by Sardinha, but the ball went off of Valdez’s glove and Cora was safe. Halladay struck Jayson Werth out looking and Laynce Nix out swinging to leave Cora at second.

If Valdez isn’t going to hit at all, it’s important he catch the ball when it comes near him.

Adam LaRoche doubled to left to start the second. Halladay struck Wilson Ramos out looking behind him for the first out and Jerry Hairston out swinging for the second. Ian Desmond grounded to Valdez to set Washington down.

Pitcher John Lannan went down on a ground ball to second to start the third. Espinosa struck out looking and Cora grounded to first.

Halladay started the fourth with a 6-0 lead and Werth lined a single to left to start the inning. Halladay struck Nix out again for the first out before LaRoche moved Werth to second with a single. Ramos was next and he singled to left, scoring Werth to cut the lead to 6-1 and moving LaRoche to second. Hairston was next and singled, too, loading the bases. Desmond hit a fly ball to center for the second out, deep enough for LaRoche to score and make it 6-2. Lefty Matt Stairs hit for the pitcher Brian Broderick and grounded to second to leave men on first and second.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He struck out Nix and LaRoche with a 7-2 lead in the sixth.

He struck out Desmond and Brian Bixler in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Bastardo started the eighth. Espinosa led off with a double and moved to third when Cora followed with a single to right. Werth flew to left for the first out with Espinosa tagging and scoring. 7-3. Righty Michael Morse hit for the pitcher Henry Rodriguez and flew to center for the second out. Cora took second on a wild pitch, but Bastardo struck out LaRoche to leave him there.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth to lower his ERA on the year to 0.75.

Two innings for the bullpen in which they allow a run on two hits. Bastardo threw 22 pitches, Madson 11. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Mayberry gets the start in right with Francisco on the bench. The righty Francisco oddly comes into tonight’s game hitting just 241/313/310 on the year against lefties. Ibanez stays in left against the lefty. Valdez at second with Orr on the bench. The righty Sardinha catches with the lefty Schneider and hurting Ruiz on the bench.

Victorino was hit by a pitch with one out in the first, but Polanco and Howard both went down behind him.

Valdez and Sardinha singled back-to-back with two outs in the second, putting men on first and second for Halladay. Halladay smashed a line drive back up the middle, but Lannan caught it to end the inning.

Rollins singled to start the bottom of the third and Victorino homered to left behind him. 2-0. Polanco followed that with a single and Howard walked. Mayberry doubled, Polanco scored (3-0) and Howard went to third. Ibanez cleared the bases with a double. 5-0. Righty Brian Broderick took over for Lannan and Valdez singled to center, scoring Ibanez to make it 6-0. Sardinha flew to left for the first out before Halladay bunted Valdez to second with the second. Rollins grounded to first to leave him there.

First seven batters of the inning reach on three singles, two double, a home run and a walk.

The lead was cut to 6-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Polanco singled with one out, but Howard and Mayberry went down behind him.

Ibanez hit a long home run to right center to start the fifth. 7-2. The Phils went in order behind him.

Rollins singled to start the sixth and Victorino walked behind him. Polanco flew to right for the first out and Howard struck out for the second before Victorino and Rollins pulled off a double-steal. Mayberry flew to Werth in foul territory to leave the runners at second and third.

Ibanez started the seventh with a single. With Valdez at the plate the ball got away from Ramos and Ibanez tried to take second, but Ramos got to it quickly and Ibanez started late and Ibanez was thrown out at second. Valdez and Sardinha both struck out behind Ibanez.

The lead was cut to 7-3 when the Phils hit in the eighth. With lefty Doug Slaten on the mound for Washington, Francisco hit for Bastardo to start the inning and walked. The Phils went in order behind him.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 6-for-13 with two walks and a triple in the three-game series. He’s hitting 292/380/375 on the season.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run in the series. 292/361/492 for the year.

Polanco 2-for-5 last night and 3-for-11 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 375/418/483.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 2-for-11 with five strikeouts and two walks in the series, one of which was intentional. He’s 3-for-his-last-20 with three singles and hitting 276/346/509 on the season.

Mayberry was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 1-for-4 with a double and a walk in the series. 306/405/472 on the year. Francisco walked in his only plate appearance last night and was 0-for-6 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 250/352/413 for the season and is 1-for-his-last-12 with five walks.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 8-for-12 with three doubles, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 214/283/350 on the year.

Valdez 2-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-8 with three singles and two RBI in the series. 250/288/289 on the year.

Sardinha was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He’s 1-for-7 on the season. Schneider was 3-for-8 with three singles in the series and is hitting 184/244/368 in 41 plate appearances.

Cliff Lee (2-2, 3.66) faces Derek Lowe (2-3, 3.72) and the Braves tonight. Two of Lowe’s last three starts haven’t been good and he’s thrown to a 7.07 ERA in 14 innings in those starts overall. Lee was good in his last start, holding the Mets to a run over seven innings.

Update: PS — are you reading the Starts Log? The Phillies have 17 quality starts in their last 20 games. They’re leading all teams in either league with 23 for the year.


Worley’s gig?

Not yet, probably, but he sure is making it look like it will only be a matter of time.

Vance Worley gave the Phils his second good start in two tries last night as the Phils rolled to a 7-4 win over the Nats. The game wasn’t as close as the score as Washington hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth.

Worley allowed a run on four hits over six innings last night and struck out seven. He’s allowed a run on six hits and four walks over 12 innings in his two starts combined.

Worley wasn’t the only Phillie who shined as the Phils banged out 11 hits coming off a game where they managed 12. Raul Ibanez has broken out of his long slump in a big way. After going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the series opener, Ibanez went 3-for-4 last night and hit his first home run since April 7. Rollins shined again as well, going 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in his second straight day in the leadoff spot.

The Phillies are 20-9 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 7-4 last night. They are 11 games over .500 for the first time on the year.

Worley got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing a run on four hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out seven.

He struck Danny Espinosa out looking for the first out of the game before Ian Desmond grounded to short for the second out. Jayson Werth struck out swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

Adam LaRoche struck out looking to start the second before Ramos doubled to right. Laynce Nix flew to center and Jerry Hairston popped up to Valdez to leave Ramos stranded.

Alex Cora led off the third and hit a ball that was deflected by Valdez but found center for a single. The pitcher Jason Marquis was next, tried to bunt, couldn’t and struck out for the first out. Espinosa flew to center for the second out and Worley struck Desmond out swinging 1-2 to leave Cora stranded.

Worley threw a 1-2-3 fourth. LaRoche struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch he thought was inside for the second out and argued. Jim Riggleman came out to argue and was ejected. The pitch in question was a strike.

Cora singled with two outs in the fifth, but Worley got Marquis on a ground ball to short behind him to turn Washington away.

Worley started the sixth with a 3-0 lead and hit the leadoff man Espinosa. Desmond followed with a ground out to short that moved Espinosa to second with one down. Werth struck out for the second out, but LaRoche followed and blasted a double off the wall in left. Espinosa scored to cut the lead to 3-1. Ramos was next and hit a ball down the third base line. Polanco made a very nice play on the line and the long throw to first to end the frame.

JC Romero, just off the DL, pitched the seventh with a 7-1 lead. He got the first two before Cora singled to center. Righty Brian Bixler hit for the pitcher Brian Broderick and grounded to first to set Washington down.

Stutes pitched the eighth. Werth singled with two outs and took second on defensive indifference. LaRoche walked behind him, putting two men on for Ramos, but Ramos fouled out to Schneider to leave both men stranded.

Baez started the ninth with the Phils still up by six runs. Nix lead off with a single, but Baez struck Hairston and Cora out behind him. Lefty Matt Stairs hit for the pitcher Todd Coffey and moved Nix to third with a single. Stairs took second without a throw before Espinosa hit a 2-1 pitch out to center for a three-run homer that cut the Phillie lead to 7-4. Baez got Desmond on a ground ball to short to end the game.

Three innings for the pen in which they allowed three runs on five hits and a walk. Baez threw 18 pitches, Stutes 16 and Romero 15.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Marquis went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Rollins stays in the leadoff spot for the second straight game. The lefty Schneider catches with Sardinha on the bench. The righty Valdez plays second with the lefty Orr on the bench.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a single, but Victorino popped to short and Polanco hit into a double-play behind him.

Howard and Francisco both struck out to start the second, but Ibanez was next and he singled to right. Schneider went down in a dribbler out in front of the plate to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Polanco singled with one out in the fourth. Howard grounded to second with Polanco forced at second for the second out. Francisco grounded to third to leave Howard stranded.

Ibanez hit the first pitch from Marquis in the fifth out to right-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Schneider followed with a single on a ball deflected by the first baseman LaRoche and Valdez followed with a ground ball to short with Schneider forced at second for the first out. Worley lined a single into left, moving Valdez to second, and Rollins walked to load the bases for Victorino. Victorino singled to left and everyone moved up a base. 2-0. Polanco was next and hit a fly ball to left for the second out, deep enough for Worley to tag and score, putting the Phils ahead 3-0. Howard lined to Espinosa to leave Rollins and Victorino stranded.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Francisco started the sixth with a walk. He moved to second when Ibanez followed with a single to right. Schneider singled to right, too, and the bases were loaded for Valdez. Valdez delivered a single to left and everyone moved up a base. 4-1. Righty Brian Broderick took over for Marquis and Gload hit for Worley and struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Rollins followed with another single that moved everyone up again and made it 5-1. Victorino hit a ground ball to second. Espinosa tossed to second to force Rollins for the second out, but the relay to first from Desmond was wide of LaRoche for an error that allowed Victorino to take second. Schneider and Valdez both scored on the play to extend the lead to 7-1. Polanco lined to Desmond for the third out.

Victorino probably would have beaten the play at first even if Desmond hadn’t thrown the ball away. Manuel again uses Gload earlier in the game than he tended to last year. Gload has a bad at-bat, striking out with the bases loaded and nobody out, but Rollins picks him up and the Nats throw the ball away.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Schneider and Valdez went down to start the eighth. With righty Todd Coffey pitching for Washington, Martinez hit for Stutes and drew a walk. Rollins grounded to Coffey for the third out.

Third plate appearance for Martinez since April 24.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. He’s 4-for-8 with a triple and two walks hitting out of the leadoff spot in the last two games.

Victorino 1-for-4 with two RBI. He’s 10-for-his-last-30.

Polanco 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Francisco 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a home run, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils. 5-for-8 with two doubles and a home run in his last two games.

Schneider was 2-for-4 to raise his average on the year to .184.

Valdez 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-28 with three singles and a walk.

Halladay (4-1, 2.14) faces lefty John Lannan (2-3, 3.78) tonight. Lefties have hit 167/286/300 against Lannan so far this season, righties 313/382/434. He faced the Phils on April 13 and allowed three runs, two earned, over six innings. Halladay has made one start this year in which he allowed more than two runs in the game. He started the April 13 game against the Nats and threw a complete game, allowing two runs in the ninth long after any normal human being would have been taken out of the game. Not sure what Halladay is, but I’m sure it’s not a normal human being.

David Herndon was sent to Triple-A to make room for Romero. The Phils continue to carry 14 hitters, including three catchers. Ruiz hasn’t played since last Wednesday (April 27).


Werth returns to Philly, Rollins returns to the leadoff spot and Ibanez returns to form, but Hamels impresses the most by staying right where he’s been

A lot went on in last night’s game with the Nats. Jayson Werth made his first appearance as a visitor since hitting 444/583/778 to help the Phils win the 2008 World Series, Jimmy Rollins made his first appearance of the year in the leadoff spot and delivered two hits, drove in a run and scored another and Raul Ibanez finally broke out of his long slump with a pair of doubles. The most exciting part of the night for the Phils, though, was something that didn’t change at all as Cole Hamels mowed down Washington in his fifth good start in a row.

The Phils rode a complete game by Hamels and an impressive showing by their offense, which tallied 12 hits and seven walks, to a 4-1 win in the opener of the three-game set.

Hamels was hit hard by the Mets in his first start of the year — since then he’s made five starts in which he’s thrown to a 1.42 ERA with an 0.84 ratio and struck out 37 in 38 innings. In all five of those starts he’s gone at least seven innings.

The Phillies are 19-9 on the season after beating the Washington Nationals 4-1 last night. The Phillies are now 10-2 on the year in the games started by Hamels or Halladay and 9-7 in the games started by anyone else. That’s despite the fact that they don’t have a losing record in the starts made by any of their six starting pitchers (3-3 in Lee’s starts, 3-2 Oswalt, 2-2 Blanton, 1-0 Worley).

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a solo home run. He struck out six and lowered his ERA on the year to 2.66.

Danny Espinosa led off the game and popped to third. Hamels struck Ian Desmond out looking 2-2 for the second out before Jayson Werth walked on five pitches. Werth stole second before Adam LaRoche struck out swinging for the third out.

Werth got a mixed reaction that was largely boos in his first at-bat, but stepped out and tipped his helmet to the crowd and the boos turned to cheers.

Michael Morse started the second with a single to right. Jerry Hairston flew to left for the first out. Ivan Rodriguez was next and he grounded to third, with Polanco throwing to second to force Morse for the second out. Brian Bixler grounded to short for the third out.

The pitcher Livan Hernandez led off the third and grounded to Hamels for the first out. Hamels got Espinosa swinging for the second out and Desmond on a ground ball to short for the third.

Up 1-0, Hamels set the Nats down in order in the fourth.

He had thrown 51 pitches through four innings and struck out four.

Hairston lined to Rollins for the first out of the fifth before Rodriguez doubled to center. Bixler flew to center and Livan grounded to short to leave Rodriguez at second.

Hamels had a 2-0 lead when Espinosa started the sixth with an infield single. Desmond grounded into a double-play behind him and Werth fouled out to Howard for the third out.

Morse homered to right with one out in the seventh, cutting the lead to 2-1. Hairston was next and hit a ball down the third base line. Polanco made a nice play, fielding behind the bag and making the long throw from foul territory for the second out. Hamels struck Rodriguez out to end the frame.

Very nice play by Polanco on a ball that may have been foul. Second home run that Hamels has allowed on the year and the second in two starts. Chris Young got him his last time out, so both of them have been hit by righties. Right-handed batters are still slugging just .307 against him for the year.

Hamels started the eighth with a 4-1 lead. Bixler led off with a ground ball to short. Rollins stayed back on the ball and Bixler just beat his throw to first for a single. Righty Wilson Ramos hit for the pitcher Doug Slaten and hit a ball back to the mound. Hamels put up his glove and deflected it and the ball went right to Rollins near second. Rollins tagged second and threw to first to complete the double-play. Espinosa grounded to second for the third out.

Bixler’s ball to start the inning was just about routine. Need to get an out there. That’s the second time in two games Rollins looked like he made a bad decision about how to play a not very unusual ground ball — the other was a ball hit by Scott Hairston in the fourth inning of Sunday night’s game. Very fortunate that ball hit by Ramos was deflected right to Rollins at second.

Hamels got Jerry Hairston on a ground ball that Hamels fielded for the first out of the ninth. Werth struck out on a big swing at a 1-2 pitch for the second. LaRoche grounded to second to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Livan Hernandez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Orr (8) Schneider. Rollins moved from three in the order to the leadoff spot. Hot-hitting Polanco dropped to third. Ibanez plays left against the righty with Mayberry on the bench. Lefties Orr and Schneider start at second and catcher with righties Valdez and Sardinha on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first and again in the second.

Orr led off the third and popped to the first baseman LaRoche in foul territory. Schneider was next and he ripped a line drive back up the middle, but Hernandez reached up and snared it for the second out. It brought Hamels to the plate and he crashed a ball high off the wall in right for a stand-up triple. Rollins was next and he lined a single into center, scoring Hamels to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino followed and dumped a less impressive single into center, moving Rollins to second. Rollins and Victorino pulled off a double-steal before Polanco struck out swinging to leave them both stranded.

Apparently if you want Rollins to drive in runs you need to hit him behind Cole Hamels. Who knew?

Howard started the fourth with a single to right. Francisco flew to center for the first out, but Ibanez was next and he finally got a hit, pounding a ball over the head of Hairston in center that landed on the warning track and bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Hernandez walked Orr intentionally to set up the double-play and he got it. Schneider chopped a ball back to the mound, Hernandez fielded, went home and Rodriguez relayed to first to complete the double-play and turn the Phils away.

Ibanez breaks an 0-for-35 with the double to center. The ball bouncing over the wall costs the Phillies a run, cause Howard would have scored from first.

Rollins lined a triple to right with one out in the fifth. Victorino walked before Polanco flew to right for the second out. Rollins tagged and scored to put the Phils up 2-0. Werth threw home but his throw was offline on the first base side, allowing Victorino to take second. Howard was walked intentionally and Francisco unintentionally and the bases were loaded for Ibanez. Ibanez hit a ball that Werth took in foul territory in the right field corner to leave the bases loaded.

Orr and Schneider singled back-to-back to start the sixth. It put men on first and second for Hamels and he got the bunt down, but the third baseman Bixler fielded and threw to Desmond covering short to force Orr for the first out. Rollins grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Victorino led off with a single and moved to second when Polanco went down for the first out on a ball dribbled out in front of the plate. Howard was next and he lined a single into right, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 3-1. Righty Todd Coffey took over for Hernandez and got Francisco on a line out to short for the second out. It brought Ibanez to the plate with two down and a man on first and the Nats brought lefty Doug Slaten in to pitch to him. Ibanez lofted a fly ball to left-center that stayed in the air a long, long time before dropping about a foot from both Morse and Hairston for a double. Howard scored to put the Phils up 4-1. Mayberry hit for Orr and was walked intentionally, but Schneider grounded to first to leave both men stranded.

Ibanez is certainly due his share of luck, but his ball should have been caught.

Hamels hit for himself having thrown 99 pitches and singled to right off righty Henry Rodriguez to start the eighth. Rollins moved him to second with a walk before Victorino hit a ground ball to first. Rollins was forced at second with Hamels moving to third and Victorino safe at first. The Nats pitched 2-1 with Polanco at the plate, but Victorino wasn’t going. Polanco walked, loading the bases for Howard and Howard hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk, a triple and an RBI out of the leadoff spot. He has on-based .465 over his last 43 plate appearances but is hitting with little power. He has a .369 slugging percentage to go with his .270 average. That said, the first two parts of the three slash categories are looking good for him right now: 279/370/369 on the season. He got stolen base number six on the season in the game, which puts him on pace to steal 35 for the year.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a walk hitting out of the two-hole. 346/414/538 over his last 30 plate appearances. He also stole his sixth base of the year.

Polanco went 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI, ending an eleven game hitting streak. Coming into last night’s game he had at least one hit in 18 of the last 19.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Francisco 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 1-for-his-last-9.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. First extra-base hit for him since April 9. First hit since April 18 and first RBI since April 18. From April 8 through May 1 he hit 103/176/118 — 7-for-68 with a double, six walks and 24 strikeouts.

Orr was 1-for-2 with a walk. Like Rollins, he’s hitting for average and getting on base without power. 278/350/306 in 40 plate appearances on the year.

Schneider was 1-for-4 and left five men on base. He’s 5-for-34 on the season (147/216/353).

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game to drop his line on the year to 226/322/406. He’s curiously doing nothing with left-handed pitching this year — 103/257/172 so far for the season. I’m pretty sure he can hit lefties.

Vance Worley (1-0, 0.00) faces righty Jason Marquis (3-0, 2.62) tonight in game two. Marquis threw a complete-game shutout in his last start, holding the Giants to five hits and no walks while striking out seven. Worley was very good in his season debut his last time out, throwing six scoreless innings against the Mets.


Walks off

In 2010, the Phillies were outstanding at preventing walks. They walked just 416 batters, which was the fewest that any National League team had walked in a season since the Mets walked 401 batters in 1995.

The effort was led by Halladay, who walked 30 hitters in 250 2/3 innings in 2010, but the pitchers other than Halladay on the 2010 Phils were good at preventing walks as well. The non-Halladay pitchers combined to walk batters at a lower rate than the Cardinals, who were the second-best pitching staff at preventing walks overall in 2010.

The Phils weren’t particularly outstanding at preventing walks when pitching in relief, though. Only four NL teams saw their relievers walk fewer batters in 2010, but the Phils called on their bullpen to pitch fewer innings than anyone in the NL. By walks allowed per inning pitched, the relievers of seven NL teams were better at preventing walks in 2010 than the Phillie relievers were.

That has slipped even further in the early part of this season. In 2011, the Phils have allowed fewer walks overall than any team in baseball (although the Braves, who have played three more games, are allowing slightly fewer walks per nine innings). The walk rate for the starters has gotten a little bit worse (2.57 per nine in 2010 to 2.71 per nine so far this year), but the walk rate for the relievers has gotten a lot worse.

The table below shows the number of innings pitched for the Phillies bullpen in the last two seasons, the number of walks and the rate at which each of the teams issued walks per nine innings and how those numbers rank in the NL for that year:

Year IP NL Rank BB NL Rank BB/9 NL Rank
2011 74 1/3 16 36 6 4.36 14
2010 421 16 177 12 3.78 8

So in both 2010 and 2011, the Phillies are at the bottom of the NL in terms of innings pitched by their relievers, but the rate at which their relievers have issued walks per nine innings has gone from the middle of the pack in 2010 to the bottom of it in 2011.

In looking to explain the problems with the walk rate for the bullpen in the early going, you have to look at Kendrick and Herndon. That duo has combined to walk 15 in 23 2/3 innings pitched, which is way too many. If you remove the numbers for Kendrick and Herndon, the bullpen is allowing walks at a very similar rate to 2010 — 3.78 per nine innings in 2010 and 3.73 for the non-Kendrick and Herndon pitchers in 2011.

Kendrick in particular is a guy whose walks we should be watching. He was fantastic as a 22-year-old in 2007. In that year he walked just 25 in 121 innings, about 1.86 per nine innings, and threw to a 3.87 ERA with a 1.27 ratio. Since the end of 2007, he’s allowed 2.95 walks per inning and thrown to a 4.86 ERA with a 1.47 ratio. So far in 2011 he’s walked eight in 13 innings, although four of the eight walks that he’s allowed have been intentional. He leads all pitchers in either league in intentional walks and is tied for 201st in innings pitched.

Cole Hamels (3-1, 3.13) faces righty Livan Hernandez (3-2, 3.23) tonight as Jayson Werth and the Nationals come to Philadelphia. Righties have done nothing with Hernandez this season — they’re hitting 230/284/297 against him for the year without a home run. He faced the Phils on April 12 and held them to a run over 6 2/3 innings. Blanton struggled in that game and Washington won 7-3. Hamels was hit hard by the Mets in his first start of the year and was charged with six runs in 2 2/3 innings. Since then he’s made four starts in which he’s thrown to a 1.55 ERA with an 0.90 ratio and struck out 31 in 29 innings. He’s gone at least seven innings in each of his last four starts.

Someone might know when Chase Utley will return, but it’s not me. According to this article, Utley played in a “semi-simulated” game on Sunday that involved running, fielding and, and I swear I’m not making this up, sitting in the dugout. So at least we can cross that milestone off the list. If he can just break through the drinking with a straw barrier we could see him any day now. It’s probably best if you just read the article, cause I promise I have no idea. I do think someone needs to consider calling, um, balderdash on the “semi-simulated” game, though, cause I’m not convinced that’s really a thing.

Ditto the having no idea on Domonic Brown, who is now hitting 333/385/625 between Clearwater and Lehigh Valley in his first 24 at-bats back.

This says that Oswalt could start on Saturday against the Braves.


Thousands of chanting fans not enough to wake up the bats for the Phils

The Phils took two of three against the Mets this weekend, winning the first two games of the set before dropping a memorable game three last night. With the score tied late in last night’s game, news of the death of Osama bin Laden spread through the crowd, which erupted in chants of U-S-A. The exuberance wasn’t enough to wake the sleeping bats of the Phils — their last 11 hitters went down without reaching base and the Phils lost 2-1 in fourteen innings.

Vance Worley was fantastic in the series opener, throwing six shutout innings as the Phils rolled to a 10-3 win. Worley walked four in his first start of the year, but allowed just two singles and struck out five. Howard had two home runs in the game including a sixth-inning grand slam, driving in six runs in the game. The Phils took a 10-0 lead into the ninth inning and Herndon struggled again, he was charged with three runs to raise his ERA on the year to 9.28.

Halladay carried the team to a 2-1 win in game two of the set, throwing a complete game and allowing a run on seven hits and a walk. Mayberry started in left with lefty Jon Niese on the mound for the Mets and hit a solo home run in the seventh to tie the game at 1-1. Valdez, Dane Sardinha and Victorino all reached after that and Valdez scored on a sac fly by Polanco to put the Phils up to stay. Sardinha took Zagurski’s spot on the roster before Friday night’s game.

Cliff Lee started last night’s game and pitched well, holding the Mets to a run over seven innings. The Phils tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, but New York went ahead with a run in the top of the fourteenth and held on to take a game in the series.

The Phils had to play 14 innings in the game with a short bench. Ross Gload and Carlos Ruiz were both unavailable.

The ten runs in game one of the series marked the end of a nice little run for the offense in which the Phils had plated 23 runs in three games. The Phillies have followed that up with a quick return to their worrisome offensive ways, scoring three runs over the last two games.

The Phillies are 18-9 on the year after losing to the Mets 2-1 in fourteen innings last night. The Phils take the series two games to one.

Lee got the start and went seven innings, allowing a run on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

Jose Reyes doubled to left to start the game and Justin Turner walked behind him. Lee struck David Wright out looking for the first out and got Carlos Beltran to fly to left for the second. He got ahead of Jason Bay 0-2, but walked him to load the bases for Ike Davis. Davis grounded to second to leave them loaded.

Lee threw 34 pitches in the inning.

Ronny Paulino singled to center to start the second. Lee got Scott Hairston fouling out to Schneider for the first out before the pitcher Young bunted Paulino to second with the second out. Reyes flew to left to leave Paulino stranded.

Wright singled with one out in the third, but Lee got Beltran on a fly ball to right and Bay to ground to short to turn New York away.

Hairston reached on an infield single with two outs in the fourth. Rollins didn’t do a great job of playing the ball, staying back on it, then backhanding and throwing low to first a little too late. Lee struck Young out behind him to leave him at first.

Infield single by Hairston keeps Young from leading off the fifth.

Reyes and Turner both went down on ground outs for the first two outs of the fifth before Wright hit a ball over the head of Ibanez in left for a long single. Beltran was next and he ripped a double into right-center that rolled to the wall. Victorino got to it and picked it up, but his throw short-hopped Orr and Orr didn’t handle it. Victorino was charged with an error that allowed Wright to take third as Wright scored to put New York up 1-0. Bay flew to right to leave Beltran at third.

Lee had thrown 88 pitches through five innings.

Paulino reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth, but Lee got Hairston of a fly ball to center for the second out. Young was next and popped a ball up in foul territory behind first and Howard made a nice running over-the-shoulder catch for the third out.

Reyes started the seventh with an infield single and stole second after Lee struck out Turner. Wright moved Reyes to third with a ground out, but Lee got Beltran on a fly ball to left to leave him there.

Manuel was ejected arguing that Schneider didn’t go around on strike three when he struck out to end the bottom of the seventh. He did.

Stutes started the eighth and got Bay on a popup to second for the first out. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Davis and walked him. The righty Paulino was next and moved Davis to second with a single. Bastardo struck out Jason Pridie, who had taken over for Hairston in center in the bottom of the seventh, for the second out. Righty Chin-lung Hu hit for the pitcher Young and Bastardo got him swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Madson started the ninth with the game tied at 1-1 and got the first two before walking Wright. Wright stole second with Beltran at the plate and Madson walked the switch-hitter Beltran to get to the righty Bay behind him. Bay flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Baez started the tenth and got Davis on a fly ball to center for the first out. Paulino followed with a single before Pridie grounded to first with Paulino forced at second for the second out. Lefty Willie Harris hit for the pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. Pridie stole second before Harris struck out swinging to leave Pridie stranded.

Baez came back for the eleventh and set Reyes, Murphy and Wright down in order.

Two scoreless innings for Baez, who lowered his ERA on the year to 1.46 with the outing. He isn’t pitching regularly, he’s made just four appearances since allowing a run on two hits while getting just two outs on April 15, but in those four outings he’s thrown six scoreless innings in which he’s allowed just one hit and one walk.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 twelfth.

He was back for the thirteenth and allowed a one-out double to Pridie. Lefty Josh Thole hit for the pitcher Pedro Beato and flew to right for the second out with Pridie tagging and moving up to third. Kendrick got behind Reyes 3-0 and then put him on base intentionally. Reyes stole second before Kendrick got the lefty Murphy to ground to second and leave both men stranded.

Wright started the fourteenth with a single before Beltran popped to Rollins for the first out. Bay moved Wright to second with a single to center before Davis flew to center for the second out, allowing Wright to tag and move up to third. It brought Paulino to the plate and he doubled to left, scoring Wright to put New York up 2-1 and sending Bay to third. Kendrick walked Pridie intentionally with the pitcher behind him and the Mets out of bench players. Taylor Buchholz grounded to Kendrick to leave the bases loaded.

Three innings for Kendrick, who threw 46 pitches in the game. Baez threw 24, Bastardo 22 and Madson 22. Stutes two. Overall the pen allowed a run on six hits and five walks over seven innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Young went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Orr (8) Schneider. Ibanez in left against the righty with the lefty Orr getting the start at second.

Victorino and Polanco went down to start the bottom of the first before Rollins drew a walk. Rollins was caught off of first and thrown out at second to end the inning.

Gotta run against Young. Don’t gotta get picked off.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Brian Schneider lined a double into the right field corner with one out in the third. Lee hit the ball well, but right at Beltran in right for the second out. Victorino grounded to short with Davis making a nice play to scoop the throw from Reyes for the third out.

Polanco singled to left to start the fourth, but Rollins and Howard both flew out before Francisco struck out swinging to leave him stranded.

Down 1-0, the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Lee, Victorino and Polanco went in order in the sixth.

Howard walked with one out in the seventh and moved to second when Francisco was hit by a pitch behind him. Ibanez got ahead 2-0, but struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Orr walked to load the bases for Schneider, but Schneider struck out trying to check his swing 2-2 and Manuel was ejected arguing the call.

Mayberry walked to start the eighth and Victorino bunted him to second with the first out. Polanco popped to short, but Rollins followed that with a walk that put men on first and second with two down for Howard and Howard singled to left, scoring Mayberry to tie the game at 1-1 with men on first and second. Francisco Rodriguez came in to pitch for New York and a wild pitch allowed Howard to move up to second before Francisco walked to load the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez grounded to second to end the inning.

Schneider singled with one out in the ninth and Martinez ran for him at first. Mayberry struck out swinging before Victorino moved Martinez to second with an infield single. Polanco flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

Francisco singled to right with two outs in the tenth and was caught stealing with Sardinha at the plate for the third out.

Orr singled to center with one out in the eleventh. Valdez hit for Baez and struck out swinging for the second out. Mayberry popped to second to leave Orr at first.

Victorino, Polanco and Rollins went down on three fly balls in the twelfth.

Howard, Francisco and Sardinha went in order in the thirteenth.

The Phils trailed 2-1 when they hit in the fourteenth. Orr popped to short for the first out. Hamels hit for Kendrick and grounded to second for the second. Mayberry struck out swinging 0-2 to end the game.

Victorino was 1-for-5 in the game and 3-for-12 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 284/345/477 for the season.

Polanco was 1-for-6. 5-for-14 with a double and three RBI in the set.

Rollins was 0-for-4 and walked twice. 3-for-11 with four walks in the series. 323/447/452 over his last 38 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-5 with a walk and an RBI. He had a monster game with two home runs and six RBI in the opener, but went 1-for-9 with a walk in the last two games of the set. 3-for-13 with two home runs, a walk and seven RBI overall in the series. 286/350/543 for the year.

Francisco was 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday and 3-for-10 with three walks and two RBI in the set. He was also hit by two pitches. 265/354/439 on the season.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and five men left on base yesterday. 0-for-8 with a walk and three strikeouts in the series. He’s 0-for-his-last-31 with 11 strikeouts. 154/238/209 for the season. 11-for-69 with a double against right-handed pitching, which is good for a .159 average and a .179 slugging percentage. Among the 140 players in either league that have 100 plate appearances to far, his .446 OPS is 140th.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a walk last night and 2-for-8 with a walk and a home run in the series. 313/405/469 for the season.

Orr was 1-for-5 with a walk in the game and 1-for-9 with a walk and a hit by pitch in the series. 265/324/294 in 37 plate appearances for the season. Valdez was 0-for-1 with a strikeout last night and 1-for-4 in the series. 235/278/279 on the season. He’s 3-for-his-last-31 with three singles.

Schneider 2-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. 2-for-7 with a double and two walks in the series. 4-for-30 (.133) on the season with a single, a double and two home runs. Sardinha was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts yesterday and 0-for-3 with two walks in the series in his first action of the year.

The Phillies don’t play today. Nats tomorrow night. Phils should enjoy these off days while they can — May 13 through June 1 they are scheduled to play 20 days in a row.


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