After dropping two of three to the Pirates this weekend, the Phils have now lost consecutive series to the Pittsburgh and the Washington Nationals. They managed seven runs yesterday, but came into the game having plated just seven in their previous four games and losing all four.
The good news is pretty good. The Phils have the best record in baseball. The bad news is that with Brown up and Victorino back, there’s no more reinforcements on the way and the Phils are still struggling to get offense. Rollins smashed a foul ball off his knee on Saturday, missed some time against the Pirates and will likely miss some more, but there’s nobody else coming and they are eighth in the NL in runs scored for the season. That’s going to be enough to get them a whole lot of wins in the regular season, but getting a whole lot of wins in the regular season isn’t the goal for this team.
The Pirates took the opening game of the series 2-1. Singles by Hamels, Rollins and Utley helped the Phils to a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth, but the Pirates tied the game up in the sixth on a walk, a bunt a wild pitch and a sac fly. Hamels was fantastic in the game, allowing just one run on one hit and three walks in eight innings, but the Phils didn’t score after the sixth. Baez gave a two-out single to Xavier Paul in the twelfth. Paul stole second and came in to score the game-winning run on a single by Tabata.
The Phils lost game two 6-3. Rollins led off the first with a double after fouling a ball hard off of his knee and came around to eventually score on a ground ball by Howard, putting the Phils up 1-0. Rollins would be out of the game in the third, replace at short by Valdez. The Pirates grabbed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the first off of Kendrick, getting a doubles from Paul and Jose Tabata around a single by Andrew McCutchen. Victorino and Ibanez started the fourth with singles by Victorino and Ibanez. Victorino came in to score on a ground out by Brown and the game was tied at 2-2. Brandon Wood hit a two-run homer off of Kendrick in the fourth, putting the Pirates up 4-2. Romero allowed a run on two walks and a double in the seventh and Baez another in the eighth on a walk, a couple of ground outs and a wild pitch. Down 6-2, the Phils loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth. Polanco delivered a single to right, cutting the lead to 6-3, but Utley flew to left behind him to end the game.
Yesterday the Phils won game three 7-3 behind an impressive 14-hit attack and seven strong innings from Halladay.
The Phillies are 35-24 on the year after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-3 yesterday afternoon. They have lost four of five, but remain in first place in the NL East, three games ahead of the second-place Marlins.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a two-run homer. He struck out six.
Xavier Paul led off the bottom of the first with a single to right and Josh Harrison bunted him to second with the first out. Andrew McCutchen was next and he grounded to short, moving Paul to third with two outs. It brought Neil Walker to the plate and Halladay got ahead of him and looked like he had him struck out, but didn’t get the call on a close 0-2 pitch. Walker hit a 1-2 pitch out to center, putting the Pirates on top 2-0. Halladay screamed a curse and a heated discussion between Halladay and home plate umpire Angel Hernandez ensued in which Polanco had to help usher Halladay away from the ump. Halladay struck Lyle Overbay out swinging for the third out.
Garrett Jones started the second with a single to left. Brandon Wood was next and he popped a ball into shallow left. Valdez chased it down and caught it near the foul line. Jones was way off of first base, thinking the ball would drop, and Valdez made a long throw to double him off of first. Dusty Brown grounded to third for the third out.
Pitcher Jason McDonald singled to left to start the third and Paul bunted him to second with the first out. Harrison grounded out and McCutchen struck out looking to leave him stranded.
Third time in three innings that the Pirates got their leadoff man aboard against Halladay.
With the lead cut to 2-1, Halladay set the Pirates down in order in the fourth.
He started the fifth up 3-2. He struck out wood and Brown while setting Pittsburgh down in order.
The Phils were up 4-2 when Halladay pitched the sixth. He got the first two batters before walking McCutchen, but then struck Walker out looking to leave McCutchen stranded.
Halladay got the first two to start the seventh before Wood singled into center. Righty Matt Diaz hit for the pitcher hit for Dusty Brown and hit a ball down the third base line. Polanco made a nice play to backhand the ball, but his throw to first was offline on the home plate side and Howard couldn’t handle it. Diaz had a single and Polanco was charged with an error that allowed Wood to move up to third. The pitcher Daniel Moskos was due next and righty Jose Tabata hit for him. Tabata smoked a line drive that looked ticketed for right field, but Utley made a fantastic diving play to snare the line drive and end the inning with the runners stranded.
Huge play by Utley saves a run for the Phils.
Contreras started the eighth with the Phillies up 5-2. He got Paul on a ball handled by Howard for the first out, but Harrison followed that with a double and came around to score when McCutchen followed with a single. 5-3. Bastardo came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Walker and got him on a fly ball to center for the second out before Overbay moved McCutchen to second with a single. Bastardo struck Jones out swinging to leave both runners stranded.
Madson started the ninth with the Phils up 7-3. Wood led off with a single that was deflected by Polanco and went in to left, but Madson set down the next three Pirates behind him.
Madson threw 21 pitches in the game, Bastardo 13 and Contreras ten.
The Phillies lineup against righty Jason McDonald went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. Rollins on the bench after fouling a ball off his knee in Saturday’s game, so Victorino leads off and Valdez plays short. Ruiz hits sixth, breaking up the lefties Ibanez and Brown, which is too high for him.
Utley singled to right with two outs in the first, but Howard struck out swinging to leave him stranded.
Down 2-0, the Phils went in order in the second.
Victorino singled with two outs in the third and took second on a wild pitch, but Polanco grounded to third to leave him at second.
Utley walked to start the fourth and went to second on a wild pitch before Howard walked. With Ibanez at the plate, a passed ball by Brown allowed the runners to move up to second and third. Ibanez hit a fly ball to deep center for the first out, allowing Utley to tag and score, cutting the lead to 2-1, and moving Howard up to third. Ruiz was hit by a curve ball he didn’t try real hard to get out of the way of, putting men on first and third with one out for Brown. Brown smashed a ball back up the middle that hit the umpire. Brown had a single, but the runners had to hold and the bases were loaded for Valdez. Valdez hit into a double-play to end the frame.
Hugely unfortunate for the Phils, who can use all the help they can get scoring runs.
McDonald walked Halladay, Victorino and Polanco on a total of 13 pitches to load the bases to start the fifth. Righty Chris Resop came in to pitch to Utley and Utley hithttp://www.philliesflow.com/wp-admin/post-new.php a ground ball to first that Overbay fielded deep. He was still able to throw home to force Halladay for the first out of the inning. It brought Howard to the plate for a long at-bat, which ended on the 13th pitch when Howard hammered a ball deep to center. McCutchen tracked it down at the wall for the second out, though, and everyone moved up a base with Victorino scoring to tie the game at 2-2. Ruiz was next and was hit on a pitch up and in, loading the bases again. Brown grounded to first to leave them loaded.
Halladay singled with one out in the sixth and moved to second on a ground out by Victorino. Polanco singled into left, scoring Halladay to put the Phils up 4-2. Utley moved Polanco to third with a single and stole second, but lefty Daniel Moskos came in to the game and struck Howard out swinging to leave both runners stranded.
Brown doubled with two outs in the seventh and Valdez walked intentionally behind him. Halladay stayed in the game and struck out looking to leave both men stranded.
I wouldn’t walk Valdez intentionally that often. And by that I mean ever.
Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the eighth, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard lined a single into center, scoring Polanco to make it 5-2 and moving Utley to second. Ibanez was next and hit a ball to first that went off the glove of Overbay for an error, loading the bases for Ruiz. Ruiz fouled out to the catcher and Brown struck out swinging to end the frame.
No more runs for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Ruiz can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.
Valdez started the ninth with a single. With righty Daniel McCutchen pitching for the Pirates, Francisco hit for Bastardo and singled to right, moving Valdez to third. Victorino was next and he singled into center, scoring Valdez (6-3) and moving Francisco up to second. Polanco and Utley both went down on fly balls before Howard singled to right, scoring Francisco to put the Phils up 7-3 and moving Victorino to third. Ibanez grounded to first to leave the runners on the corners.
Victorino was 2-for-5 with a walk in the game and 3-for-14 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 278/337/479 on the season.
Polanco 2-for-5 with a walk in the game and 5-for-15 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 320/367/398 on the year. He’s 10-for-27 over the last six games.
Utley was 3-for-5 with a walk yesterday in his second multi-hit game of the year. Also 5-for-15 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 239/340/326 with two extra-base hits in 53 plate appearances for the season.
Howard was 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI yesterday. 2-for-12 with a walk and four RBI in the set. 248/332/482 on the season. 206/308/405 in his last 146 plate appearances.
Top four hitters in the lineup yesterday went 9-for-19 with four walks.
Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 2-for-12 with a double and two walks in the series. 242/294/417 for the season.
Ruiz was 0-for-3 with an RBI. 0-for-7 with two walks in the series. 236/349/341.
Brown was 2-for-5 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. He also left six men on base. 3-for-12 with a double, walk and an RBI in the series. 304/353/478 in his first 51 plate appearances for the year.
Valdez was 1-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-7 with two walks in the series. 244/288/298 on the season. 275/341/325 over his last 46 plate appearances. Rollins was 3-for-7 with a double in the series and 268/340/364 for the year.
Cliff Lee (4-5, 3.94) faces lefty Ted Lilly (4-4, 4.22) and the Dodgers tonight. After throwing to a 6.00 ERA in his first three starts of the season, Lilly has thrown to a 3.74 ERA and a 1.14 ratio in his last nine starts. The Phils are 3-5 in the last eight games that Lee has started. He’s thrown to a 3.95 ERA in those games but a 1.34 ratio, allowing 57 hits and 16 walks in 54 2/3 innings.
This suggests that Rollins thinks he won’t need to go to the DL.