Archive for June, 2011

Ibanez leaves the Phils hopeful he’s willing to meet them halfway

Raul Ibanez celebrated the halfway point of what’s been a miserable season for him by driving in all the Phillie runs last night. Ibanez knocked Victorino in from second with a single early and broke a 1-1 tie with a solo homer in the seventh as the Phils topped Boston 2-1.

Vance Worley handled the pitching for the Phils, with a big assist to the new back of the bullpen. Worley went seven strong frames before the Phils got a perfect eighth from Stutes and a perfect ninth from Bastardo.

The Phillies are 4-1 in their last five and have allowed a total of six runs in those five games. Four of those runs were allowed in Saturday’s game against Oakland. In eight of their last ten games they have allowed less than three runs.

The Phillies are 51-30 on the year after beating the Boston Red Sox 2-1 last night. They still haven’t buried the Braves, who keep on winning as well. Atlanta is 8-2 in their last ten and remain 4 1/2 games behind the Phils in second place in the NL East. The Mets are in third place, two games over .500 and 9 1/2 games behind the Phillies.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.57. The Phils are now 5-2 in the games Worley has started for the year — that’s a better winning percentage than they have with any other starter except Halladay (14-3 in Halladay’s starts).

Worley set Boston down in order in the first. He knocked Dustin Pedroia down before striking him out on a pitch on the outside part of the plate for the second out.

Pitching with a 1-0 lead, he struck out David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a 1-2-3 second.

Josh Reddick started the third with a single to left, but Worley got the next three behind him to leave Reddick at first. Pitcher John Lackey tried to bunt him to second with the second out, but got behind 0-2 and struck out looking.

Pedroia started the fourth with a single, but Worley got Adrian Gonzalez to hit into a double-play behind him. Worley walked Kevin Youkilis in an eleven-pitch at-bat, but got Ortiz on a fly ball to right to leave Youkilis at first.

Reddick singled again with one out in the fifth. Worley got Marco Scutaro to fly to center for the second out. He got ahead of Lackey 0-2, but Lackey doubled to left-center on a 3-2 pitch, scoring Scutaro to tie the game at 1-1. Jacoby Ellsbury flew to center to leave Lackey at second.

Lackey came into the game 3-for-35 (.086) at the plate for his career. He smashed that ball, though.

Gonzalez singled to center with one out in the sixth. Youkilis was next and hit a ground ball to third, which Polanco fielded and went to second with to force Gonzalez for the second out. Ortiz flew to left to end the frame.

Worley walked Salty to start the seventh, but got the next three hitters behind him. With two outs and Reddick on first, Lackey hit for himself and grounded to third for the third out.

Stutes pitched the eighth with the Phils up 2-1 and set Boston down in order. He got Ellsbury on a fly ball to right, Pedroia on popup that Polanco handled in foul territory and Gonzalez on a ground ball to second.

Golly. Stutes bounces back nicely against some good hitters after being charged with a pair of runs in an inning against the A’s in his last time out on Saturday.

Bastardo came on for the save in the ninth. Youkilis led off with a popup into shallow right-center, which turned into an adventure with Brown and Victorino both playing very deep. Utley handled it for the first out, though. Ortiz popped to Rollins in shallow left for the second out and Salty fouled out to Polanco to end the game.

For Bastardo it was his 13th straight appearance in which he was not charged with a run. In those outings he’s thrown 11 innings, allowing one hit and five walks.

Stutes threw 12 pitches and Bastardo ten. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty John Lackey went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Schneider. The Phils play a day game against a lefty today. The lefty Schneider hits against the righty in this game and Ruiz, I assume, will start today against the lefty.

Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.

Eighth double-play that Howard has hit into for the season. Last year he hit into a career-high 14.

Victorino led off the second with a double the opposite way into left and came in to score when Ibanez followed with a single, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez stole second as Brown struck out looking for the first out. Schneider fouled out to Youkilis at third for the second out and Worley grounded to third to leave Ibanez stranded.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Ibanez doubled with two outs in the fourth, but was left stranded at second when Brown grounded to first.

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

Utley walked with one out in the sixth and stole second. Howard struck out for the second out and Victorino grounded to second.

Ibanez led off the seventh and hit an 0-1 pitch from Lackey out to right, putting the Phils up 2-1. Brown and Schneider went down behind him before Ruiz hit for Worley and flew to center to end the inning.

Rollins started the eighth with a single, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Utley hit Lackey’s first pitch high off the wall in right for a triple. Lefty Franklin Morales took over for Lackey and got Howard on a fly ball to center to leave Utley at third.

Fourth man left on base in the game for Howard.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the game. He’s 1-for-7 in the series so far.

Polanco 1-for-4. He’s 4-for-his-last-15.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple. Third triple for Utley in the season in just 136 plate appearances. His career high is six, but that came in 2005 when he got 628 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-4, struck out twice and left four men on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-16.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a double. His .508 slugging percentage leads the team. The Phillies only have four players slugging .400 or better for the year — Howard at .476, Utley .456 and Brown .411. Their .375 slugging percentage for the team is tenth-best in the NL.

Ibanez 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and drove in both of the runs that the Phillies scored. First home run in June for Ibanez.

Brown was 0-for-3 and struck out twice, dropping his line on the year to 214/294/411.

Schneider 0-for-3 in his second start since returning from the DL. He’s gone 0-for-7 in those games and is hitting 153/194/288 for the season.

Cole Hamels (9-4, 2.49) faces lefty Jon Lester (9-4, 3.66) this afternoon. Lester has thrown to a 2.45 ERA over his last three starts. He’s been tough on lefties, who are hitting 218/277/299 against him, but righties have fared better with a 255/342/437 line. Hamels has a 2.06 ERA in his last 15 outings.

This says that Lidge could start a rehab assignment at Double-A or Triple-A next week.


Lights out, outer and outest

The Phils cruised to a 5-0 win last night behind the fifth straight outstanding start by Cliff Lee. Lee threw a complete-game shutout, holding the Red Sox to two hits and two walks, and was backed by two-run homers from Brown and Victorino.

It continues an amazing run for Lee. After his third consecutive complete-game shutout, he has now thrown 32 scoreless innings in a row. In five starts in June, he’s allowed one run on 21 hits and eight walks in 42 innings (0.21 ERA and an 0.69 ratio).

Lee is the first Phillie to throw three consecutive shutouts since 1950. Grover Cleveland Alexander holds the team record for consecutive scoreless innings — he threw 41 2/3 in 1911.

The Phillies are 50-30 on the year after beating the Boston Red Sox 5-0 last night. They lead the NL East, 4 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.

Lee has thrown an average of 117 pitches over his last five starts. In his last nine starts he’s been over 110 pitches eight times and over 120 three times.

He set Boston down in order in the first.

He walked Kevin Youkilis to start the second, but left him stranded there. He struck Darnell McDonald out looking, got Jason Varitek on a fly ball to center and then got Mike Cameron looking.

Lee started the third up 2-0 and set Boston down in order.

In the fourth he got Dustin Pedroia on a fly ball to right, Adrian Gonzalez on a popup to second and Youkilis looking.

He got McDonald, Varitek and Cameron in the fifth.

The Phils led 3-0 when Lee started the sixth. Marco Scutaro led off and lined a single to left. Beckett was next and was looking to bunt. Having just finished screaming at the home plate ump about balls and strikes from the bench after the end of the bottom of the fifth, Beckett took strike one and fouled off strike two. He swung away 1-2 and hit a double-play ball to Rollins. Jacoby Ellsbury was next and smashed a ball to first, but Howard handled it and took it to first himself for the third out.

Up 5-0, Lee walked Pedroia to start the seventh. Adrian Gonzalez flew to center for the first out and Youkilis to hit into a double-play behind him.

Seems like this is the place where one should mention that you shouldn’t walk the leadoff hitter up 5-0, but the 30 scoreless innings in a row at this point thing is compelling.

McDonald lined a double to left to start the eighth. Varitek was next and smashed a ball towards short, but Rollins took it on one hop and Howard scooped the ball at first for the first out with McDonald holding. Lee struck Cameron out looking for the second out and Scutaro grounded to third for the third.

Switch-hitter Drew Sutton hit for pitcher Bobby Jenks and struck out to start the ninth. Ellsbury grounded to third for the second out and Pedroia lined to third to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Beckett went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Victorino hits fifth with Polanco second, which makes a lot more sense to me.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard started the second with a single to center. Victorino was next and grounded to short with Howard forced at second for the first out. Beckett threw the ball away trying to pick Victorino off of first, allowing Victorino to move up to second. Brown hit a 2-2 pitch out to center, putting the Phils up 2-0. Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.

Rollins walked with one out in the third and stole second. Polanco and Utley both flew to center to leave him there.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Brown doubled to left to start the fifth. He went to third on a deep fly ball by Ruiz and scored when Lee followed that with a fly ball to left for the second out. 3-0. Rollins grounded to first to end the inning.

Polanco started the sixth with a single and Utley bunted him to second. Howard got ahead 3-0, but flew to right for the second out. Victorino hit a 3-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 5-0. Ibanez grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

Hope we don’t see Utley bunting the runners along that much.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Utley reached on an infield single with two outs in the eighth. Howard was next and walked 3-2, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch that looked outside to me. I think he thought so too.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. He’s 4-for-his-last-17. All four of the hits came on Sunday against Oakland.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 3-for-8 with a double over the last two games, but hitting 231/286/282 in 218 plate appearances since the end of April. He’s on pace to walk a career-high 53 times.

Utley was 1-for-3. He’s 7-for-his-last-20 with seven singles. His last extra-base hit came on June 15.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 1-for-his-last-12 with four walks.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. 342/405/605 over his last 85 plate appearances. Didn’t happen last night, but he is pounding left-handed pitching this year to the tune of 353/459/745. He’s been better against lefties for a while now, but doesn’t usually put up a 1.200 OPS against them.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He’s 1-for-his-last-22 and has awful numbers for the year against both righties and lefties. His home/road splits are dramatic, though: 278/324/468 at home and 167/227/258 on the road.

Brown was 2-for-3 with a double and a two-run homer. He’s 4-for-his-last-9 and 5-for-his-last-26.

Ruiz 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-his-last-14. Again, not a factor last night, but he’s hitting 196/328/235 against lefties for the year.

Vance Worley (2-1, 2.83) faces righty John Lackey (5-6, 7.36) tonight in game two of the series. Lackey threw to an 8.01 ERA in his first seven starts of the season and hit the DL in mid-May with a right elbow strain. He returned in June and was at least a little better, throwing to a 5.03 ERA in his next three starts before allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Padres in his most recent start. He’s been bad all over — at home and away, against righties and lefties. For the year he’s allowing hits and walks both a career high levels and striking out just 5.5 batters per nine innings, which is the worst mark for his career. Worley will be making his seventh start with the Phils this year. The Phils have gone 4-2 in his starts so far and all but one, a May 29 mess he pitched against the Mets, have been pretty good. He pitched well against Oakland in his most recent start, holding the A’s to one hit and four walks over six shutout innings. He’s walked ten of the 83 left-handed batters he’s faced this season.


Dare to compare

A 49-30 mark through the first 79 games of the season gives the Phils a .620 winning percentage and puts them on a pace to win 100 regular season games this year. Here’s how that pace and their record through 79 games compares to what they’ve done since 2008:

Year Wins Record after
79 games
2011 100 (pace) 49-30
2010 97 42-37
2009 93 42-37
2008 92 43-36

But are the Phillies really better this year than they were any of the previous three? Yeah. I think they are. At least compared to the rest of the National League.

The table below shows, for this year and the three previous, the number of runs the Phillies have scored and allowed per game this season and how that compares to the rest of the NL (not including yesterday’s games):

Year R/G NL average
R/G
PHI/NL AVG A/G NL AVG A/G PHI/NL AVG
2011 4.05 4.09 0.990 (-1.0) 3.25 4.15 .783 (+21.7) 20.7
2010 4.77 4.33 1.102 (+10.2) 3.95 4.35 .908 (+9.2) 19.4
2009 5.06 4.43 1.142 (+14.2) 4.38 4.49 .976 (+2.4) 16.6
2008 4.93 4.54 1.086 (+8.6) 4.20 4.63 .907 (+9.3) 17.9

For example, in 2011, the Phillies have scored 4.05 runs per game and allowed 3.25 runs per game. The average NL team has scored 4.09 runs per game and allowed 4.15. 4.05 is about .990 of 4.09, so the Phils are scoring about .990 the runs per game as the average NL team. They are way better at preventing runs, though, allowing just 3.25 runs per game compared to 4.15 for the average NL team. 3.25 is about 21.7% lower than 4.15. If you combine the two numbers, -1 for the hitting and +21.7, you get the number in the far right column — 20.7 in this case.

And 20.7 is better than any of the results for the other three years.

Those numbers suggest that compared to the average NL teams for those seasons, the 2011 Phils are the best, followed by ’10, ’08 and ’09 in that order. That’s the same result you get if you use their Pythagorean winning percentage — ’11 is best, on pace for 96 wins, 95 wins for ’10, 93 for ’08 and 92 for ’09.

The 2009 team had the best offense and the worst pitching, while the ’08 team was a tiny bit better at preventing runs than the ’10 Phils, but not as good at scoring them. For all of the teams, the Phils have always been above average at both scoring and preventing runs over the past four years with the exception of the 2011 Phillies, who have scored fewer runs than average for the league.

They have made up for that with unbelievable pitching.

A National League team hasn’t allowed 3.25 runs per game for a season for a long time (and, of course, the ’11 Phillies haven’t done it yet). In the strike-shortened 1981 season, both the Dodgers (3.24) and Astros (3.01) allowed less than 3.25 runs per game over 110 games. In 1968, Bob Gibson threw to a 1.12 ERA over 304 2/3 innings and the Cardinals (2.91), Mets (3.06), Dodgers (3.14) and Giants (3.25) all allowed 3.25 runs per game or fewer.

In 1968, the pitching was so dominant that the average NL team allowed just 3.43 runs per game. So even Gibson’s Cardinals, who allowed 2.91 runs per game, allowed about 84.8% of the average runs per game for an NL team. The Phillies this year are allowing about 78.3% of the average runs per game.

Of the six teams listed above, the only one that has a lower mark compared to the rest of their league for that season is the 1981 Houston Astros. The Astros allowed 3.01 runs per game that season while the NL overall allowed 3.91 — so Houston was allowing about 77.0% of the runs per game as the average NL team.

But. While the Phillies pitching staff has been outstanding this year, there have been others that have been equally or more dominant in recent years.

Going back to 1968, there have been several teams that have allowed fewer than the 78.3% of the average runs per game the Phils have allowed this year without allowing 3.25 runs per game or less. They include the ’93 (76.8), ’97 (78.0) and ’98 (78.0) Braves and the 2003 Dodgers (74.5).

The 2003 Dodgers finished eight games above .500 and in second-place in the NL West. They didn’t even make the playoffs, beaten out for the Wild Card by the Marlins. The ’98 Braves won 106 games but lost to the Padres in the NLCS. In 1997 they 101 games and lost to the Fish in the NLCS. In 1993 they won 104 games and the NL West, but lost to the Phils in the NLCS.

The ’03 Dodgers had a pitiful offense, the worst in the league. All three of the Atlanta teams had a better offense relative to the rest of their league in that season than the Phils have had relative to the rest of the NL so far this year.

To end on a high note, the one World Series that Atlanta did manage to win in their pitching-fed run of the 90′s came in 1995. That year the Braves did have the best pitching in the league (81.0% of the average runs allowed per game), but also had a below average offense, which scored just 4.48 runs per game compared to a league average of 4.63.


Complete works of Cliff Lee getting rave reviews

The Phils topped the Cardinals 4-0 last night behind still more dominant pitching from Cliff Lee. Lee threw a complete-game shutout and rolled to his eighth win of the year, backed up by home runs from Rollins and Howard.

Over his last four starts, Lee has allowed one run in 33 innings, throwing to an 0.27 ERA with an 0.76 ratio. He has thrown two complete games in a row and threw 15 innings in the two starts before that — he’s averaging 8.25 innings pitched over his last four starts.

Lee and Halladay have now combined for seven complete games on the season — Halladay has four and Lee has three. No other team in either league has more than six complete games for the year.

The Phillies are 47-28 on the year after beating the St Louis Cardinals 4-0 last night. They have won the first two games of the set, outscoring St Louis 14-2.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He threw a career-high 126 pitches.

He walked Ryan Theriot to start the bottom of the first. Jon Jay grounded to second with Theriot forced at second for the first out. Matt Holliday hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Yadier Molina singled to left with one out in the second. Lee struck Andrew Brown out looking for the second out and got Daniel Descalso on a fly ball to center for the third.

Pitcher Kyle Lohse doubled to left to start the third. Pete Kozma, the nine hitter behind Lohse hitting eighth, was next and hit a ball hard back up the middle, but Lee leaped up and snared it, looking Lohse back to second and throwing to first to get Kozma. Theriot moved Lohse to third with a single, but Lee got Jay to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Great defensive play by Lee on the ball hit hard by Kozma saves the Phils a run.

Up 3-0, Lee set the Cards down in order in the fourth.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth as well. He had thrown 69 pitches through five innings.

Two popups and a fly ball to center in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Lance Berkman doubled to left with one out in the seventh. Molina was next and grounded to third with Berkman holding. Brown grounded to third for the third out.

Kozma singled to center with two outs in the eighth. Theriot was next and hit a ball back up the middle that was deflected by Lee, but went to Utley who threw to first for the third out.

Up 4-0, Lee got the first two hitters in the ninth before Berkman singled to center. Molina grounded to short to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Kyle Lohse went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Polanco (6) Francisco (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Francisco plays left with Ibanez on the bench against the righty.

Rollin started the game with a single to center on a ball deflected by Kozma at second, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him. Utley flew to right to set the Phillies down.

The Phils went in order in the second and again in the third. Francisco ripped a ball down the third base line, but was robbed of extra-bases by a diving Descalso to end the second.

Rollins led off the fourth and hit a 2-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino grounded to second before Utley singled to left. Howard was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to left. 3-0. Polanco followed with a single before Francisco hit into a double-play to set the Phils down.

Sixteen homers for Howard on the year, all 16 against righties.

The Phils went in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

Howard started the seventh with a single to right. Polanco was next and hit a line drive, but it was caught by Kozma at second and Kozma threw to first where Howard was doubled-off. Francisco flew to center for the third out.

Ruiz singled to right with one out in the eighth. Lee hit for himself and grounded to short for the third out.

Lee had thrown 99 pitches through seven innings when he hit for himself in the eighth.

Victorino tripled to right with one out in the ninth and came in to score when Utley followed with a fly ball to right, putting the Phils up 4-0. Howard struck out for the third out.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a home run in the game. He has three home runs in the last nine games. In those games he’s hitting 297/381/568 in 42 plate appearances.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a triple.

Utley 1-for-3 with an RBI. 3-for-his-last-15 with three singles.

Howard 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. 258/370/570 against righties for the year and 267/327/367 against lefties.

Polanco 1-for-3. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Francisco 0-for-3 to drop his average to .218. Descalso made a great play to take extra-bases away from him in the second. 4-for-his-last-26 with four singles and eight walks.

Brown was 0-for-3 and is hitting .141 in 64 June at-bats. He has outslugged Francisco for the year, but Francisco is out-on-basing him .338 to .278 for the season.

Ruiz 1-for-3. He’s raised his average from .238 to .257 over the past two games, going 5-for-7.

Oswalt (4-5, 3.38) faces righty Chris Carpenter (1-7, 4.47) tonight. Carpenter has allowed a ton of hits so far this year. After allowing 370 in 472 2/3 innings in 2009 and 2010 combined, he has given up 113 in 98 2/3 innings so far this season. Righties are hitting .302 against him for the year. The Phils are just 5-7 in the games that Oswalt has started this year and have lost three of the last four. Oswalt has allowed at least three runs in each of his last three starts. He’s thrown to a 5.12 ERA with a 1.40 ratio over his last three outings.

The next update to Philliesflow won’t be until next week.


Singles night

Impressive turnout. The weren’t all that attractive, but there sure were a lot of them.

The Phils scored ten runs without an extra-base hit last night, pounding the Cardinals 10-2. Down 2-1 in the eighth, the Phils put together a monster inning, plating nine runs on five singles, four walks and two memorable hit batters.

The game was also notable because the bullpen gave up a run — St Louis scored one charged to Stutes in the seventh. That’s the first run charged to the Phillies bullpen since June 10. The pen came into the game having thrown 17 1/3 scoreless innings over the last nine games. After finishing tenth in bullpen ERA in the NL in 2010, the Phils are second this season as their relievers have thrown to a 2.80 ERA

The Phillies are 46-28 on the year after beating the St Louis Cardinals 10-2 last night. They lead the NL East by 4 1/2 games over the Braves.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.

He walked Ryan Theriot to start the bottom of the first, but Ruiz threw Theriot out trying to steal second for the first out. Halladay struck Jon Jay out for the second out before walking Matt Holliday. Lance Berkman grounded to second to end the inning.

Two walks in the frame for Halladay. He came into the game having not walked more than two batters in any of his 15 starts on the year.

Daniel Descalso doubled with two outs in the second, but Halladay struck pitcher Kyle McClellan out looking 1-2 to leave him at second.

Halladay set St Louis down in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Yadier Molina and Descalso singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the fifth, putting men on first and second. McClellan tried to bunt the runners up, but popped it up to Ruiz for the first out. Molina was way off of second and could have been doubled-off, but there was nobody covering second. Skip Schumaker was next and he blooped a single that dropped just in between Rollins and Victorino for a single. Victorino threw to third and Molina was nearly forced, but was safe and the bases were loaded with one out for Theriot. Theriot rolled an 0-2 pitch to Polanco. Polanco didn’t get it out of his glove cleanly. He threw to second to force Schumaker for the second out, but Theriot beat Utley’s relay to first and Molina scored to put St Louis up 1-0. Jay popped to Rollins to leave the runners at first and third.

Tough inning for Halladay, who should have got a double-play on Theriot’s ball after the bloop falls in shallow center for Schumaker.

Not a good day for bunting by pitchers. McClellan can’t do it there and Halladay can’t do it twice for the Phils.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Stutes started the seventh with the game tied at 1-1. He walked Descalso with one out and lefty Mark Hamilton hit for the pitcher McClellan. Hamilton moved Descalso to third with a single before Schumaker flew to center, deep enough for Descalso to score without a play at the plate. 2-1 St Louis with two outs and a runner on first. Theriot flew to center for the third out.

For Stutes it was the first time in his last six appearances he has been charged with a run. In those appearances he has allowed just two hits but walked six. A walk hurt him last night.

The Phillies led 10-2 when Bastardo started the eighth. He walked Holliday with one out, but got the next two hitters behind him.

Bastardo hasn’t allowed a run in ten innings over his last 12 appearances. In those ten innings he’s allowed just one hit and walked five.

Herndon got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth.

He hasn’t allowed an earned run in any of his last nine appearances. In those nine games, Herndon has thrown 13 innings, allowing one unearned run on nine hits and a walk. He’s dropped his ERA for the year from 9.28 to 4.18.

Bastardo threw 25 pitches in the game. Stutes 20 and Herndon ten. Nobody has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Kyle McClellan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Polanco (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Five-hitter Polanco comes into the game hitting 233/279/285 since the end of April. 130/192/304 in 26 plate appearances in the five-hole for the year (3-for-23 with a double, a home run and two walks). Polanco isn’t a five-hitter when he’s hitting well.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard walked on a 3-2 pitch to start the second. Polanco flew to right for the first out before Ibanez hit into a double-play.

Ruiz singled to center with one out in the third and Halladay struck out trying to bunt him to second. Rollins walked on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino popped to third to leave both runners stranded.

Howard walked again with one out in the fourth. Polanco flew to right for the second out and Ibanez grounded to first to set the Phils down.

Not a good night for driving in Howard after a walk in the early going.

Ruiz singled with one out in the fifth. Halladay again tried to bunt him to second and again couldn’t do it. This time he got the bunt down, but McClellan fielded and threw to second to force Ruiz for the second out. Rollins grounded to first to end the frame.

Halladay isn’t such a good hitter. Or bunter. So let’s hope the Phils don’t put him in the lineup for his stick.

Down 1-0 in the sixth, Utley singled with one out. Howard hit into a double-play behind him.

Ibanez walked with one out in the seventh. Brown flew to right behind him for the second out, but Ruiz followed with a single to left that moved Ibanez up to second. Halladay was up next having thrown 97 pitches in the game and demonstrated his inability to do much anything with the bat. With the righty McClellan still on the mound for St Louis, Gload hit for Halladay and singled to left. Ibanez rounded third and came home. Descalso took the throw from Holliday between second and third almost exactly where Ruiz was in the base path. Descalso tagged Ruiz out at almost the same time Ibanez crossed the plate. Ibanez was called safe, the frame was over and the game was tied at 1-1.

Very close play whether Ibanez actually got home before Ruiz was tagged out.

The Phillies started the eighth down 2-1. Victorino singled off of lefty Trever Miller with one out and Utley walked behind him. St Louis brought righty Jason Motte in to face Howard and Motte hit Howard on the arm with an 0-1 pitch to load the bases. Polanco was next and he was hit on his left hand, forcing in Victorino to tie the game at 2-2. Valdez ran for Polanco at first. Lefty Brian Tallet took over for Motte and struck Ibanez out swinging for the second out. Francisco hit for Brown against the lefty and singled to left, moving everyone up a base and scoring Utley to put the Phils up 3-2. Righty Miguel Batista came in to pitch and walked Ruiz. 4-2. Martinez hit for Stutes and walked on four pitches. 5-2. Rollins singled to center, scoring Ruiz and Francisco and moving Martinez to second. 7-2 with men on first and second. Righty Maikel Cleto came in and walked Victorino on five pitches to load the bases. Utley singled to left, scoring Martinez and Rollins and moving Victorino to second. 9-2 with men on first and second. Howard singled to center, scoring Victorino to make it 10-2 and moving Utley to third. Valdez flew to right to end the frame.

Bringing in a righty to hit Howard probably didn’t please a lot of people. Big strikeout for Ibanez with one out and the bases loaded, but the Phils pick him up in a big way. The Phils get nine runs in the inning on five singles, four walks and two hit batters. Manuel lets Francisco hit for Brown against the lefty and Francisco delivers a big single.

Polanco’s pinky finger on his left hand isn’t broken, but this says he’s day-to-day.

Ruiz singled with one out in the ninth and Martinez reached behind him on an error by Molina, who was now playing first. Rollins followed that with a walk, but Victorino flew to right to leave the bases loaded.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with two walks and two RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-15.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a walk and five men left on base.

Utley 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. 2-for-his-last-12.

Howard 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI. 5-for-his-last-10.

Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-43 and hitting 229/278/280 since the end of April.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with a walk and five men left on base. He’s 4-for-his-last-27.

Brown 0-for-3 and taken out for a pinch-hitter in a big situation against a lefty. He’s 9-for-61 in June (.148).

Ruiz 4-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Cliff Lee (7-5, 3.12) faces righty Kyle Lohse (7-3, 2.88) tonight in game two of the set. Lohse has been great this year, but less fantastic over his last four starts. In his last three outings, Lohse has allowed four runs in each start without getting an out in the seventh inning in any of the three. In those three starts he’s thrown to a 6.48 ERA and opponents have hit .333 against him. Lee has been amazing in his last three starts, allowing one run in 24 innings (0.38 ERA with an 0.75 ratio).


Jason and the who?

Mariners, apparently.

The Phils dropped two of three to the Mariners in Seattle this weekend. After splitting the first two games, Jason Vargas flummoxed the Phils yesterday, holding them to three singles and a pair of walks while throwing a complete game shutout.

The offense has clearly slowed for the Phils over the past four games. They’ve gone 2-2 in those games, but scored just ten runs. Polanco didn’t start yesterday’s game and is hitting 233/279/285 since the end of April. Francisco and Ibanez were the corner outfielders for the Phils on Opening Day — Ibanez leads that duo with a .402 slugging percentage and there aren’t a whole lot of signs yet that Domonic Brown is going to bail the Phillies out in right. After going 1-for-8 in the series and 5-for-his-last-41, Brown is hitting 220/294/418 for the year in 102 plate appearances.

The Phillies lost the series opener 4-2, ending their win streak at seven. Michael Pineda took a no-hitter and a 3-0 lead into the sixth. Victorino broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single that sent Rollins, who had walked, to third. Utley followed that with another single, which scored Rollins and cut the lead to 3-1. The Mariners extended the lead to 4-1 with a double and a single off of the Phils’ starter Oswalt in the seventh. Victorino homered in the eighth to make it 4-2, but that’s as close as the Phillies would get.

On Saturday the Phils got good pitching and a huge day from Shane Victorino to win 5-1. Worley started the game for the Phils and allowed just one run over five innings. He was backed by Stutes, Bastardo and Madson, who combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief. Felix Hernandez started the seventh with a 1-0 lead, but the Phils scored a pair of runs on a two-run double by Victorino to take the lead. Victorino added a two-run homer off of Jamey Wright in the ninth to make it 4-1, capping a day where he went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple a home run, a walk and four RBI.

Seattle won yesterday’s game 2-0 behind a great start by Vargas.

The Phillies are 45-28 on the year after losing 2-0 to the Seattle Mariners yesterday afternoon. Seattle take the three-game set two games to one. The Phils remain in first place in the NL East. They lead the second place Braves by five games.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Hamels allowed just two base-runners in the first five innings of the game. Justin Smoak singled to left with two outs in the first, but was left at first when Miguel Olivo followed and grounded to Utley. Franklin Gutierrez singled to left with two outs in the second, but Hamels struck Mike Carp out behind him to leave him at first.

Seattle didn’t put a runner on base in the third, fourth or fifth.

In the fourth inning, Hamels struck Olivo out swinging 0-2 for the 1,000th strikeout of his career.

The game was still scoreless when Hamels started the sixth. He got Chone Figgins on a ground ball to short for the first out. Ichiro was next and hit a ball to first that Howard deflected on a bad hop, but didn’t handle. Ichiro was safe with a single and moved to second when Brendan Ryan followed and grounded to short for the second out. It brought Smoak to the plate and he hit a 1-0 pitch to left, which dropped between Martinez and Rollins for a single. Ichiro scored and Seattle led 1-0. Olivo moved Smoak to second with a single, but Hamels got Greg Halman on a ground ball to third for the third out.

Dustin Ackley started the seventh with a triple to right. Gutierrez grounded to short with Ackley holding for the first out, but lefty Adam Kennedy hit for the lefty Carp and blooped a single to left. Ackley scored and Seattle led 2-0. Contreras took over for Hamels and got Figgins to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Herndon pitched the eighth. He gave up a leadoff single to Ichiro and Ryan bunted him to second with the first out. Herndon walked the switch-hitter Smoak intentionally and got Olivo to hit into a double-play behind him.

Neither Herndon or Contreras has pitched more than one day in a row. Herndon threw 16 pitches, Contreras five.

The Phillies lineup against left Jason Vargas went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ruiz (7) Ibanez (8) Valdez (9) Martinez. Francisco in right with Brown on the bench. Ibanez is the DH. Valdez plays third with Polanco on the bench. Martinez in left with Ibanez DHing. Martinez should never, ever start a game in left unless a whole bunch of people are hurt. Interleague play DH games don’t do much for the case of having Martinez on the team.

Utley struck out with two outs on the first, but reached base when strike three wasn’t handled. Howard moved him to second with a single to left and they both moved up on a wild pitch, putting men on second and third for Francisco. Francisco hit a ball into shallow left-center, but Halman made a sliding catch to leave both runners stranded.

Valdez walked with two outs in the second, but Martinez struck out behind him

The Phils went in order in the third.

Francisco singled to left with one out in the fourth and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a walk. Ibanez was next and hit a soft liner to third for the second out. Ruiz was oddly way off first and doubled-off to end the frame.

Vargas set the Phils down in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

The Phils were down 1-0 when he set Francisco, Ruiz and Ibanez down in order in the seventh.

They were down 2-0 when he set Valdez, Martinez and Rollins down in order in the eighth.

Howard singled to center with two outs in the ninth. It brought Francisco to the plate as the tying run, but he flew to center to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. 3-for-11 with two walks in the series. 258/332/373 on the season.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 5-for-12 with a double, a triple, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 299/364/513 on the year. 408/463/694 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Utley 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-11 in the set. 253/364/451 for the year.

Howard 2-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-11 with a double and a walk in the series. 256/348/493 on the year.

Francisco 1-for-4 and left three men on base. 2-for-7 with a walk in the set. 218/341/362 on the year. Brown didn’t play yesterday but was 1-for-8 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 220/294/418 for the year.

Ruiz 0-for-2 with a walk. 1-for-9 with a walk in the series. 238/354/323 on the year.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 3-for-11 with three singles in the series. 243/292/402 for the year.

Valdez 0-for-2 with a walk in his only action of the series. 250/292/316 on the year. Polanco was 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series. 233/279/285 since the end of April. 2-for-his-last-20 and hitting 295/342/375 for the year.

Martinez 0-for-3 and struck out twice. He’s hitting 195/214/242 on the year. Of the 218 NL players with 50 plate appearances, his .457 OPS is 213th and his .215 on-base percentage is 214th.

No game today. At St Louis tomorrow.

Brian Schneider has gone 4-for-10 in three rehab games at Reading. He is hoping to be active for Friday’s game.


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