Archive for June, 2011

Don’t be a stranger

After four whirlwind games, the Florida Marlins are finally leaving town. They’ll be welcome back whenever they want to come, though. The Phils dismantled the Fish in the series, outscoring them 25-6 and winning all four games.

Yesterday it was Cliff Lee who dominated. Lee threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles and two walks. The Marlins didn’t put a runner on second base in the game.

The Phillies are 44-26 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 3-0 yesterday afternoon. They sweep the four-game series and have won seven in a row and are 18 games above .500 for the first time on the season.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles and two walks. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.12. Over his last three starts, he’s allowed one run in 24 innings on 13 hits and five walks.

He got Emilio Bonifacio, Omar Infante and Logan Morrison on three ground balls in the first.

Gaby Sanchez walked on five pitches to start the second. Jose Lopez was next and he flew to center for the first out. Mike Stanton struck out looking for the second. With John Buck at the plate, Sanchez was picked off of first and Howard threw to second where Rollins applied the tag to end the frame.

Lee got Buck on a ground ball he handled himself for the first out in the third. Chris Coghlan flew to center for the second out. Pitcher Javier Vazquez grounded to Lee for the third.

Lee had faced the minimum through three innings and thrown 33 pitches.

In the fourth he got Bonifacio on a popup to Martinez and Infante and Morrison on a pair of ground outs.

Sanchez flew to right and Lopez struck out swinging to start the fifth with the Phils up 1-0. It brought Stanton to the plate and he singled into center, the first hit of the game for the Marlins. Buck flew to right behind him for the third out.

Lee had a 2-0 lead when he started the sixth. He walked Bonifacio with two outs, but got Infante to fly to left to leave him at first.

The Phils led 3-0 when Morrison started the seventh with a single to center. Sanchez flew to left for the first out and Lee got Lopez to hit into a double-play behind him.

Lee struck Stanton and Coghlan out while setting the Marlins down in order in the eighth.

Hanley Ramirez hit for pitcher Ryan Webb to start the ninth and grounded to short for the first out. Bonifacio grounded to third for the second out and Infante popped to Howard in foul territory to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Javier Vazquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Martinez plays second with Utley on the bench after the Phils played a day/night double-header on Wednesday and a day game yesterday. Ibanez hits fifth with Polanco out of the five-hole and hitting third.

Rollins lined to first for the first out in the bottom of the first, but Victorino and Polanco both singled behind him. It put runners on first and third with one down for Howard and Howard struck out swinging. Ibanez walked to load the bases, but Ruiz popped up to Sanchez in foul territory to leave the bases loaded.

Howard strikes out with a runner on third and less than two outs after failing to bring a runner in from third with less than two outs twice in the night game of the double-header the day before.

Lee singled with two outs in the second, but Rollins popped to short behind him.

Victorino led off the third with a single, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Howard drew a two-out walk, but was left at first when Ibanez followed and grounded to second.

Martinez singled with two outs in the fourth. Lee was next and he roped a ball into the gap in right center. Martinez scored from first and the Phils led 1-0. Rollins popped to second for the third out.

Just another of those Martinez/Lee rallies to plate a run for the Phils.

Victorino struck out and Polanco flew to right for the first two outs in the fifth. It brought Howard to the plate and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center, extending the lead to 2-0. Ibanez followed that with a double to left, but Ruiz flew to right to leave him at second.

That’s home run number 15 on the year for Howard, all 15 of which have come against right-handed pitching. He came into the game hitting for a higher average against left-handed pitching for the year (.256 against lefties and .247 against righties), but slugging .547 against righties and .360 against lefties.

Brown started the sixth with a single off of lefty Michael Dunn. He moved to second on a ground out by Martinez and third on a ground out by Lee. Rollins was next and he lined a double to right. Brown scored and the Phils led 3-0. Victorino struck out swinging to leave Rollins at second.

Brown starts a rally with a single off of a lefty. He came in to the game 2-for-14 against lefties for the year. It was his first hit that wasn’t a home run since June 6 against the Dodgers. In 35 plate appearances June 7 to June 15, Brown went 3-for-29 with three homers and six walks.

Ryan Webb set Polanco, Howard and Ibanez down on three ground balls in the seventh.

Webb was back for the eighth and got Ruiz and Brown on ground outs before Martinez flew to left to end the inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game. 5-for-18 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI in the four-game series. He’s hitting 257/330/377 for the year.

Victorino 2-for-4 with two singles and two strikeouts. 8-for-19 with two doubles in the series. 292/359/476 for the year.

Polanco 1-for-4. 2-for-11 with a walk and a double in the set. 303/351/386 for the year. 244/291/299 in 183 plate appearances since the end of April.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and a solo homer. 4-for-12 with a double and two homers in the series. He walked four times and drove in four runs. 251/347/494 on the year.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 1-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. 242/293/407 on the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 3-for-11 with two walks in the series. 245/362/335 on the year. He has one extra-base hit in his last 58 plate appearances. He’s hitting .209 and slugging .233 in June.

Brown 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-15 with two walks and two home runs in the series. He’s hitting 160/263/360 in 57 plate appearances in June and 229/309/434 in 94 plate appearances for the year. Francisco didn’t play yesterday, but went 0-for-3 with two walks, one of which was intentional, in the set. He’s hitting 216/340/365 for the season. 1-for-his-last-14 with seven walks. In his last 22 plate appearances, he has one hit and a .381 on-base percentage. That’s nutty. I don’t know what it means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not good. He’s striking out a lot less this year and walking a lot more, but getting way fewer hits and seeing less of his hits go for extra-bases.

Martinez 1-for-4 in the game and in the series. 203/226/254 in 64 plate appearances for the year. Utley didn’t play in the game, but was 4-for-11 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, a walk and four RBI in the series. He’s hitting 275/383/500 on the year in 94 plate appearances. In his first 47 plate appearances, which came May 23 to June 4, he hit 195/298/293. In most recent 47 plate appearances he has hit 359/468/718.

Oswalt (4-4, 3.14) faces righty Michael Pineda (6-4, 2.72) tonight in Seattle. Pineda turned 22 in January and has made 13 starts for the Mariners in his rookie season. Opponents are hitting just .208 against him and he’s struck out 80 in 82 2/3 innings. Oswalt’s strikeout numbers continue to drop compared to his career numbers, but he has done a good job of keeping lefties from delivering extra-base hits against him. Lefties are hitting 252/316/336 against him for the year so far, compared to their career mark of 261/307/385.

JC Romero was designated for assignment.

The Phils signed 33-year-old righty Tim Redding to a minor league deal. Redding has made 144 career starts with the Astros, Padres, Yankees, Nats and Mets and thrown to a career 4.95 ERA with a 1.49 ratio. He had a good year for the Astros in 2003 and pitched well for the Nats in 2007 in 15 starts. His last action in the majors came with the Mets in 2009. Lefties have hit 284/368/462 against him for his career.


Six of won, none of the other

The Phils swept a double-header with the Fish yesterday, winning the afternoon game in an 8-1 blowout and getting a walkoff single from Ruiz in the bottom of the tenth to win 5-4 last night.

The Phils now won six games in a row for the first time this season. In the six games they have outscored their opponents 40-15. You need a lot of guys contributing the score 6.7 runs a game, but the most welcome sight in the offensive display has been the emergence of Chase Utley. Utley has gone 9-for-23 with seven extra-base hits in the last six games, posting a 391/489/913 line in 27 plate appearances.

The Phillies are 43-26 on the year after winning both games of a double-header with the Florida Marlins yesterday. They have won six in a row and are 17 games above .500 for the first time on the year. They have the best record in baseball and lead the second-place Braves by five games in the NL East.

Last night the Phils won the second game 5-4 on a walkoff single by Ruiz in the bottom of the tenth.

Halladay got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a solo home run. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

He had a rough first inning, allowing a pair of runs that gave Florida an early 2-0 lead. Hanley Ramirez led off the game with a double and came around to score on a pair of ground outs. Gaby Sanchez homered to right-center with the bases empty for the second run.

The Phils scored a run in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to 2-1. Halladay kept Florida off the board in the second and the third, hitting Greg Dobbs with a pitch in the third and allowing a one-out single to Chris Coghlan in the third.

Florida scored two more in the fourth. Dobbs and Jose Lopez doubled back-to-back with one out, putting men on second and third for John Buck. Buck went down to get a 2-2 pitch and dumped it into center, scoring both runners to extend the Fish lead to 4-1.

Halladay didn’t allow a base-runner in the fifth, sixth or seventh. In the seventh he struck out the side, getting Buck and pitcher Anibal Sanchez looking and Ramirez swinging.

The Phils had added another run in the fifth, so Bastardo started the eighth with the Phillies down 4-2. He got the first two batters he faced and Stutes came in to get the righty Sanchez to ground to short for the third out.

Bastardo lowered his ERA on the year to 1.05 with the outing. In his last ten appearances he’s thrown 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and four walks. Opponents are hitting .129 against him for the season.

Stutes pitched the ninth with the Phils still down 4-2. He walked Mike Stanton to start the inning, but got Dobbs on a fly ball to left behind him. He hit Lopez with a pitch, putting men on first and second for Buck. Stutes got Buck on a popup to Utley for the second out and pinch-hitter Omar Infante on a ground ball to short.

Stutes has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his last four appearances.

Madson pitched the ninth. He allowed a leadoff walk to Ramirez, who was bunted to second. Logan Morrison lined to second for the second out. Madson walked Sanchez intentionally and struck Stanton out to leave both runners stranded.

Three shutout innings from the bullpen in the game in which the relievers don’t allow a hit but walk three. Stutes threw 24 pitches in the game, Madson 22 and Bastardo ten.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Polanco (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Ruiz catches the night game after Sardinha started the day game. Polance, an unusual choice to hit fifth, came into the game having hit 243/293/294 over his last 151 plate appearances.

The Phils trailed 2-0 when they hit in the first. Rollins led off with a walk and, with one out, Utley sliced a double into the left field corner. Rollins rounded third and slid in safe safe ahead of Buck’s tag on a close play, cutting the lead to 2-1. Utley went to third on the play at the plate, but the Phils couldn’t bring him home to tie the game. Howard grounded to first with Utley holding and Polanco grounded to second.

No RBI for Howard with one out and a man on third.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the second, but Halladay struck out swinging behind him.

The Phils went in order in the third.

They trailed 4-1 when they hit in the fourth. Howard led off with a single and Polanco walked behind him. Ibanez struck out swinging for the first out and Brown grounded to second for the second. It put men on first and third for Ruiz, who was walked intentionally to get to Halladay. Halladay again struck out, leaving the bases loaded.

They did score in the fifth. Victorino singled with one out and stole second before Utley hammered a triple to the gap in right-center. Victorino scored to make it 4-2. Again the Phillies couldn’t bring the runner home from third with one out. Howard struck out swinging and Polanco flew to right.

Again no RBI for Howard with one out and a man on third.

The Phils didn’t have a runner in the sixth or seventh.

Polanco doubled to center with two outs in the eighth, but Ibanez struck out behind him.

They started the ninth down 4-2 with righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Marlins. Ruiz singled with one out and Gload hit for Stutes and singled as well, putting men on first and second with one out for Rollins. Martinez ran for Gload at first. Rollins hit a ball hard off of Nunez’s foot, but Nunez took it and went to first for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Victorino hit a 2-1 pitch just out of the reach of a diving Lopez and into center field. Ruiz and Martinez both scored and the game was tied at 4-4. Victorino stole second and took third when Buck’s throw to second wasn’t handled, but Utley flew to left to leave him there.

Howard was hit by a pitch to start the tenth, but Polanco and Ibanez went down behind him. Brown drew a two-out walk, though, moving Howard up to second. Ruiz was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch into center for a single. Emilio Bonifacio charged and didn’t field the ball cleanly. Howard scored to give the Phils a 5-4 win.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk in the game. He’s 4-for-14 in the series so far with two home runs and six RBI.

Victorino 2-for-5 with two RBI. 6-for-his-last-15 with two doubles.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double, a triple and two RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-19 with four doubles, a triple and two home runs. He was hitting 195/298/293 after going 1-for-5 against the Pirates on June 4. After last night’s game he’s hitting 275/383/500 for the year in 94 plate appearances.

Howard was 1-for-4 last night and 2-for-7 with a walk and a double in the double-header. Twice in last night’s game he couldn’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. He’s 2-for-his-last-12.

Ibanez 0-for-5 and struck out three times. 1-for-his-last-13.

Brown was 0-for-4 with a walk. 0-for-7 with two walks in the double-header. 3-for-his-last-29 with three homers.

Ruiz 2-for-3 with two walks and a game-winning RBI. 3-for-7 with two walks in the series.

The Phils won the opener 8-1 behind a strong performance by Kendrick and a six-run third inning that featured a three-rule triple by Valdez and a three-run homer by Rollins.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out five and dropped his ERA to 3.12 for the year.

Kendrick allowed a solo home run to Morrison in the top of the first as well as a walk and a single, but held the Marlins to a single run.

He gave up a single in the second, but threw a 1-2-3 third and started the fourth up 8-1.

Dobbs reached on an error by Brown in the fourth, but that was the only base-runner for the Marlins in the fourth, fifth or sixth.

In the seventh, the allowed back-to-back single with one out. It put men on first and second with one out, but Kendrick struck out Brett Hayes for the second out and got Wes Helms to ground to Rollins to keep the Marlins off the board.

Romero threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Baez pitched the ninth with a seven-run lead. He allowed a two-out single to Dobbs, but got Omar Infante on a ground ball to second to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Elih Villanueva went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Brown (6) Francisco (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Francisco plays left with Ibanez on the bench. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the bench. Valdez at third with Polanco on the bench.

Down 1-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first, the Phils tied the game at 1-1 on doubles by Victorino and Howard.

Francisco and Kendrick both walked in the second and Rollins delivered a two-out single, scoring Francisco to put the Phils up 2-1. Victorino struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded at first and second.

The Phillies scored six times in the third. Valdez hit a three-run triple after Utley was hit by a pitch, Howard walked and Francisco was walked. That put the Phils up 5-1 with Valdez on third and one out. Sardinha walked behind Valdez, putting men on first and third. Kendrick struck out trying to bunt Sardinha to second, but Rollins was next and hit a three-run homer. 8-1.

The Phils didn’t score any more runs in the game. Brown walked in the fourth, Valdez had singles in the fifth and the seventh and Martinez singled in the seventh.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game with a home run and three RBI.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a double.

Utley 0-for-3 with a strikeout and was hit by a pitch.

Howard 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk.

Francisco 0-for-2 with two walks.

Valdez 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBI.

Sardinha 0-for-3 with a walk.

Cliff Lee (6-5, 3.41) faces righty Javier Vazquez (3-6, 7.09) this afternoon. Vazquez has allowed 13 runs in 7 2/3 innings over his last two starts. Lee has allowed one run in 15 innings over his last two starts.


The gang’s all here

Let’s hope they stay a while.

Everyone showed up last night and the Phils mashed the Marlins, winning 9-1. Howard, Utley, Brown and Rollins combined to hit five home runs that drove in eight runs. Brown hit two solo home runs in the first multi-homer game of his career.

Over the last three games, Utley and Howard have combined to go 11-for-21 with five walks, four doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI.

In his last 13 starts, Hamels has thrown to a 1.99 ERA with an 0.85 ratio and struck out 94 in 95 innings.

The Phillies are 41-26 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 9-1 last night. They have won four in a row and lead the NL East by 3 1/2 games over the second-place Braves. They’ve scored 27 runs in their current four-game winning streak.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on three singles and a walk. He struck out six and lowered his ERA on the year to 2.49.

Hanley Ramirez was the first batter of the game and flew to center for the first out. Emilio Bonifacio was next and singled to center. Logan Morrison moved him to third with a single before Gaby Sanchez grounded. Howard took it to first for the second out as Bonifacio scored to make it 1-0 and Morrison took second. Mike Stanton grounded to third for the third out.

The Phils were up 2-1 when Hamels set Florida down in order in the second. He got John Buck on a fly ball to right, Omar Infante on a ground ball to third and Wes Helms on a ground ball to short.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 third, getting pitcher Chris Volstad on a ground ball to second, Ramirez swinging and Bonifacio on a ground ball to short.

Up 4-1, he set the Marlins down in order again in the fourth.

It was 5-1 when he threw a 1-2-3 fifth. He had thrown 61 pitches through five innings.

6-1 when he threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

He started the seventh up 8-1. Morrison led off and hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Sanchez moved Morrison to second with a single to right. Stanton hit a ground ball to third and Sanchez was forced at second for the first out, with Morrison moving up to third. With runners on the corners and one out, Hamels struck Buck out looking 2-2 for the second out and Infante out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.

Hamels had retired 17 straight before Morrison reached on Howard’s error.

Hamels started the eighth with a 9-1 lead. He walked Helms to start the inning and righty Osvaldo Martinez hit for the pitcher Edward Mujica. Herndon took over for Hamels and struck Martinez out for the first out and Ramirez for the second. Bonifacio moved Helms to third with a single, but Herndon got Morrison on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Stanton and Buck singled back-to-back with one out in the ninth and Herndon still pitching for the Phils. It brought Infante to the plate with runners on first and second and he grounded to short with Buck forced at second for the second out and Stanton moving to third. Helms grounded to Polanco to end the game.

Herndon threw 33 pitches in the game. He may be sent down on Saturday when Worley is called up. He’s allowed just one run, which was unearned, over ten innings in his last six appearances.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Polanco (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Polanco hits fifth for the third time this year, with Victorino second behind Rollins. Doesn’t seem like a great choice, what with two lefties right behind him in Ibanez and Brown. Polanco came into the game having hit 248/296/301 in 170 plate appearances since the end of April.

The Phils were down 1-0 when Rollins started the bottom of the first with a single to center. Victorino struck out looking behind for the first out and Utley flew to left for the second, but Howard hit a 1-0 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 2-1. Polanco grounded to short for the third out.

Ibanez, Brown and Ruiz went in order in the second.

Victorino singled with two outs in the third. It brought Utley to the plate and he hit a 3-1 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Howard walked before Polanco flew to right to end the inning.

Ibanez grounded to first to start the fourth. Brown was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to right for his third homer of the year, putting the Phils up 5-1. Ruiz and Hamels went in order behind him.

Victorino singled with one out in the fifth and moved to third when Utley followed with a double to right. Howard was walked intentionally to load the bases for Polanco. Polanco hit a fly ball to right that wasn’t that deep, but Victorino tagged and slid in just safe ahead of the throw from Stanton, which was on line but came in on a couple of hops. Utley moved up to third with Howard holding first, so it brought Ibanez to the plate with two down, men on the corners and the Phils up 6-1. Ibanez flew to Bonifacio in left-center to leave the runners stranded.

Two extra-base hits for Utley in three innings.

Ruiz singled with one out in the sixth. Hamels tried to bunt him to second, but fouled two pitches off and then struck out swinging. Rollins picked him up, though, hitting a 1-0 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 8-1. Victorino followed that with a double and Utley walked behind him, but Howard grounded to the pitcher to end the inning with both men stranded.

With two outs in the seventh, Brown hit an 0-2 pitch out to right. 9-1. Ruiz lined back to the mound on a nice play by Mujica for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. Herndon hit for himself and struck out for the first out.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Victorino 3-for-5 with a double. He’s 10-for-his-last-23 with two doubles and a triple. He’s now at 302/412/395 in 52 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Utley was 2-for-3 with walk and a two-run homer. 6-for-his-last-11 with two walks, three doubles, two home runs and six RBI.

Howard 1-for-2 with two walks and a two-run homer. 5-for-his-last-10 with three walks, a double, a homer and six RBI.

Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI. He’s hitting 242/291/297 in 142 plate appearances since the end of the day on May 8.

Ibanez was 0-for-4. He’s 2-for-his-last-12.

Brown was 2-for-4 with two solo homers. He’s 3-for-his-last-22 with three homers and four walks.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 3-for-his-last-14.

The Phils play a day/night double-header with the Marlins today. Kendrick (3-4, 3.47) will start the day game for the Phils against righty Elih Villanueva. Villanueva will be making his major league debut. Halladay (9-3, 2.39) will face righty Anibal Sanchez (6-1, 3.06) tonight.

Hamels had a problem with his back at the end of last night’s start, but in this article says he thinks he’ll make his next start.


Picking favorites

Using the Start Log, we can track how the bullpen is doing this year based on the game’s starting pitcher. Here’s how things look so far (the starters are ordered by the average number of innings the bullpen has thrown in their starts):

Starts Total IP by
Pen in starts
IP per start Pen ERA Pen Ratio H/9 BB/9 SO/9
Kendrick
Blanton
Worley
Oswalt
Lee
Hamels
Halladay
4
6
4
11
14
13
14
21.0
22.7
15.0
33.3
32.0
29.0
28.7
5.25
3.78
3.75
3.03
2.29
2.23
2.05
2.14
3.18
6.00
2.97
2.25
1.55
4.40
1.43
1.46
1.40
1.26
1.22
1.31
1.26
9.43
6.35
9.60
7.56
7.88
6.52
7.22
3.43
6.75
3.00
3.78
3.09
5.28
4.08
7.71
5.96
6.60
4.86
9.00
7.76
7.53
Total 66 181.7 2.75 3.02 1.32 7.63 4.21 7.08

So, for example, Kendrick has made four starts on the year. In those starts the bullpen has thrown 21 innings, which is about 5.25 innings per start. In those 21 innings they’ve thrown to a 2.14 ERA and a 1.43 ratio while allowing 9.43 hits per nine innings, 3.43 walks per nine innings and struck out about 7.71 batters per nine innings.

Important to remember is that some elements of how many innings the bullpen pitches in a start by a particular starter is out of that starter’s control. For example, the bullpen has thrown 28 2/3 innings in the 14 starts that Halladay made, but 12 of those innings came in a May 25 game against the Reds that went 19 innings. Despite that, the pen has still thrown the fewest number of innings per game when Halladay was on the mound. Excluding the May 25 game, they have pitched 16 2/3 innings in his 13 starts or about 1.28 innings per game.

Overall, the pen has thrown an average of 2.75 innings per game for the year. They have thrown less than that in the starts by Halladay, Hamels and Lee and more than that in the starts by Oswalt, Worley, Blanton and Kendrick.

In the games where Lee or Hamels was on the mound, the pen has 1) thrown to a better than average ERA 2) thrown to a better than average ratio and 3) struck out batters at a rate that’s higher than average for the year.

In the games started by Blanton or Worley, the pen has been worse in all three of those categories.

That leaves Kendrick, Oswalt and Halladay. With Halladay on the mound, the pen has thrown to a slightly higher than average ERA but was better in the ratio and strikeout categories. With Oswalt on the hill they’ve struck batters out at a lower rate, but pitched to a better than average ERA and ratio. In Kendrick’s starts they’ve struck out more batters than they have on average and thrown to a better ERA, but with a higher ratio.

Finally, if you look at the runs allowed per inning pitched for the year based on the starter who started the game, it’s easily to see who has gotten the best performance from the pen:

Starter Runs allowed per inning by pen
Hamels
Lee
Oswalt
Kendrick
Blanton
Halladay
Worley
0.172
0.281
0.330
0.381
0.441
0.488
0.667

Remember there that we’re looking at runs allowed per inning by the pen and not earned runs. So the pen has a 2.14 ERA in games started by Kendrick, but three of the eight runs the pen has allowed in his starts are unearned. So the pen has a nifty ERA in his starts, but the runs allowed per inning pitched is much worse compared to the rest of the group.

Anyway, it’s clear that Hamels is the big winner of the best bullpen performance so far award. Relievers have allowed just five runs in 29 innings in his 13 starts for the year.


18 and life for the offense

The bats roared to life over the past three games as the Phils plated 18 runs against the Cubs and won all three. Utley had a fantastic series for the Phils, going 4-for-8 with two doubles and a home run in the last two games, and Howard was huge with the bat yesterday, going 3-for-3 and driving in three of the four runs scored by the Phils.

Friday the Phils won 7-5. After a two-run homer by Brown in the second and a seventh-inning grand slam by Polanco helped give the Phils a 7-0 lead, the Phils managed to hold off Contreras and the Cubs in the last two innings. Chicago scored four times in the top of the eighth, with four runs charged to Contreras, who got just one out in the game. Bastardo struck Carlos Pena out as the tying run to end the game and earn his second save of the season.

Lee held the Cubs to a run over eight innings on Saturday as the Phils won 7-1. Utley had a monster day, going 2-for-5 with a double, a two-run homer and four RBI. Victorino chipped in with three hits of his own, including a double.

Yesterday the Phils won 4-3 behind Oswalt, who pitched great after a miserable first inning, and Howard’s big day with the bat.

The Phillies are 40-26 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-3 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the four-game set three games to one. The remain in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by two games. The third-place Marlins have fallen seven games behind the Phils.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five. After allowing three runs in the first inning on four hits, he allowed a single, two walks and no runs over the next six innings.

He struck Kosuke Fukudome out to start the game, but Darwin Barney followed that with a single to right. Starlin Castro was next and hit a ball that landed just fair down the left field line for a double. Barney scored and Chicago led 1-0. Carlos Pena popped to Rollins for the second out, but Aramis Ramirez hit a 1-0 pitch out left. 3-0. Blake DeWitt singled into center and was left there when Tyler Colvin popped to short.

It was 3-1 when Oswalt set the Cubs down in order in the second. He got Koyie Hill on a ground ball to first, pitcher Doug Davis on a grounder to short and Fukudome on a fly ball to center.

Pena singled to right with two outs in the third, but Oswalt got Ramirez on a fly ball to right for the third out.

DeWitt started the fourth with the lead cut to 3-2 and hit a ball to Rollins that Rollins didn’t handle for an error. Colvin flew to center for the first out before Hill walked on a 3-2 pitch. Davis tried to bunt the runners along, but Oswalt handled it and threw to third to force the lead runner DeWitt for the second out. With two outs and men on first and second, Fukudome flew to right, leaving both runners stranded.

Oswalt walked Pena with two outs in the fifth, but got Ramirez on a pop to Utley for the third out.

He set the Cubs down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Up 4-3, Stutes pitched the eighth. He struck out Pena and Ramirez while setting Chicago down in order.

Stutes lowered his ERA on the year to 2.41 after 21 appearances.

Madson started the ninth and got the first two before Hill singled to right. It brought pitcher John Grabow to the plate as the tying run. Righty Geovany Soto, who tied game one of the series with a ninth-inning home run off of Madson, hit for Grabow. DJ LeMahieu ran for Hill at first. Soto popped a 2-2 pitch into shallow right field. Brown didn’t have a chance to get there, but Utley made a great running catch to snare it and end the game.

Neither Madson nor Stutes have pitched more than one day in a row. Both should be fine for Tuesday with the off-day today. Madson threw 17 pitches and Stutes ten.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Doug Davis went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Francisco in right with Brown on the bench. Polanco gets the day off with Valdez at third and Victorino hitting second. Ibanez stays in the lineup against the lefty.

Down 3-0, Rollins singled to center to start the bottom of the first and was forced at second for the first out when Victorino followed with a ground ball to short. Utley moved Victorino to third with a single before Howard blasted a double off of the wall in straight away center. Victorino scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with Utley held at third. Francisco walked to load the bases, but Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Ruiz lined to third.

No more runs for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Ibanez can’t put the ball in play and the Phils can’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.

Howard still doesn’t have a home run against lefties on the year. He came close there. He’s hitting 259/315/365 against them for the year. He’s on pace to hit about 32 home runs against righties this year and none against lefties.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Utley walked with one out in the third and moved to third on a single by Howard. Francisco followed that with his second walk of the game, loading the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled into right and everyone moved up a base with Utley scoring. 3-2. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Valdez grounded to second for the third.

Second time in three innings the Phils leave the bases loaded. Second time in three innings they strike out with one out and a man on third.

Before walking twice in the first three innings, Francisco came in the game having walked in 11.9% of his plate appearances for the year. That’s the best mark of his career and way better than his career mark of 8.3%. If only he could get a hit.

Victorino walked with two outs in the fourth, but Utley flew to left behind him.

Howard walked to start the fifth and moved to second on a ground out by Francisco, but Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out to leave him at second.

The Phils went in order in the sixth. Manuel was ejected for arguing balls and strikes as Oswalt struck out looking.

Victorino was hit by a pitch to start the seventh and went to third when Utley followed and ripped a double. Howard dribbled a single to the right of second and into center, scoring both runners and putting the Phils up 4-3. With lefty Sean Marshall pitching, Polanco hit for Francisco and popped to Pena for the first out. Ibanez grounded to second with Howard forced at second for the second out. Ruiz struck out to leave Ibanez at first.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. Brown, who took over for Francisco in right after Polanco hit for Francisco in the seventh, grounded to second for the second out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-18 with four walks in the four-game set. He’s hitting 256/331/356 on the season.

Victorino 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday. 6-for-15 with a double and two walks in the series. 280/353/472 for the season.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. 6-for-17 with two doubles and a home run in the series. He also walked three times and drove in four runs. He came into the series with three extra-base hits for the season and doubled that in the four-game set. 261/370/420 on the year in 81 plate appearances.

Howard was 3-for-3 with a double and drove in three of the four runs the Phillies scored in the game. 4-for-13 with a double and five RBI in the series. He also walked five times. He came in to last night’s game 2-for-his-last-18. 247/336/474 for the year.

Francisco 0-for-1 with two walks. 0-for-3 with two walks in the series. 220/338/372 for the year. 172/304/310 against lefties for the season. Brown 0-for-1 yesterday and 1-for-11 with two walks and a homer in the series. He’s 1-for-his-last-18 and hitting 235/312/397 in 77 plate appearances for the season.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with an RBI. 6-for-16 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 250/300/419 for the year. 302/331/537 since the end of April.

Ruiz was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left eight men on base. He lined to third with the bases loaded in the first (3), struck out with the bases loaded in the third (6), struck out with Howard on second in the fifth (7) and struck out with Ibanez on first in the seventh (8). 3-for-12 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 243/360/340 for the year.

Valdez 0-for-4 yesterday in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 240/279/295 for the year. Polanco was 0-for-1 yesterday and 3-for-14 with a walk and a grand slam in the series.

No game today. Marlins tomorrow for the first of four. Then the Mariners (of course).


Blame it on the wane

Everything was great early for the Phils last night. Jimmy Rollins returned to the starting lineup and blasted a three-run homer in the second and Kendrick went three shutout innings to start the game. Then it rained and when the game resumed, the Phillies did not.

Up 3-0 at the delay, the offense didn’t manage a run or an extra-base hit in the last 8 2/3 innings of the game. They had four singles. The Phils are now tenth in the NL in runs scored per game. They’re still ahead of the Pirates, but not by a whole lot (3.95 for the Phils and 3.90 for Pittsburgh). The Phils have lost six of their last nine and scored more than three runs in just one of those games.

Madson, scuffling of late and pitching for the fourth time in five days, entered the game in the ninth to protect a 3-2 lead and gave up a game-tying homer. He nearly gave up another homer to the next hitter, which would have given the Cubs the lead, but that call was reversed on a fan interference call and Tyler Colvin had to settle for a double. Herndon allowed an unearned run in the eleventh to put the Cubs ahead to stay at 4-3.

The defense was rather miserable for the Phils. Up 3-0 in the sixth, Starlin Castro lined a single to right and Darwin Barney stormed home trying to score from second. Brown’s throw from left was in time, but Sardinha didn’t handle it cleanly and the run scored. In the eleventh, Colvin led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball, which allowed him to score on a throwing error by Polanco and put the Cubs ahead to stay.

The Phillies are 37-26 on the year after falling 4-3 to the Cubs last night.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went three shutout innings before being forced from the game by a long delay. He allowed two singles and two walks and struck out two.

He threw a 1-2-3 first. Kosuke Fukudome flew to center for the first out. Kendrick struck Darwin Barney out looking 2-2 for the second. Starlin Castro flew to center for the third.

Carlos Pena led off the second and grounded to first for the first out. Aramis Ramirez was next and singled to left, but was thrown out, Ibanez to Rollins to Utley, going for second. Blake DeWitt flew to left for the third out.

The Phils were up 3-0 when Kendrick started the third. Geovany Soto struck out looking for the first out and Tyler Colvin grounded to second for the second. Pitcher Randy Wells singled to right, but was left stranded when Fukudome grounded to second to end the frame.

A delay of about an hour and twenty minutes forced Kendrick from the game after the third. Baez started the fourth. He walked Castro with one out, but got Pena on a fly ball to left behind him for the second out. Castro stole second before Ramirez grounded to short for the third out.

Baez threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He got the first two batters in the sixth before hitting Barney with a pitch. Barney stole second before Castro lined a single to left. Barney rounded third and Brown made a strong throw home that would have been in time to get Barney, but Sardinha didn’t handle the throw on the hop and Barney was safe. 3-1. Romero came in to pitch to Pena and Pena fouled out to Sardinha for the third out.

Nice throw by Brown — it would have been nice to get an out there.

Stutes started the seventh and got the first two before Soto doubled to left. Stutes walked Colvin on a 3-2 pitch, putting men on first and second with two down. Lefty Brad Snyder hit for pitcher James Russell and Manuel called on Bastardo to pitch to him. Righty Lou Montanez hit for Snyder and Bastardo got him to foul out to Polanco in foul territory to leave both runners stranded.

Bastardo got the lefty Fukudome to start the eighth and then Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Barney. Barney grounded to short for the second out, but Castro and Pena followed that with back-to-back doubles, with Pena’s plating Castro to cut the lead to 3-2. Ramirez grounded to short for the third out.

Contreras was not charged with a run in any of his first 12 appearances of the year, but has allowed a run in each of his last two.

Madson started the ninth and got DeWitt on a ground ball to second for the first out. Soto was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to left-center, tying the game at 3-3. Colvin was next and lined an 0-1 pitch out to right for what was originally ruled a home run. Umpires review the play and changed the call to a double, ruling that a fan had reached out and interfered with the ball. So Colvin was on second with one out and the game tied. Righty DJ LeMahieu hit for the pitcher John Grabow and struck out swinging 2-2. Madson walked the lefty Fukudome intentionally and then got Barney on a ground ball to short to leave both runners stranded.

Madson continues to scuffle. Last night he was pitching for the second day in a row and fourth time in five days. In his last nine appearances he’s thrown to a 6.00 ERA and allowed at least one run four times.

Herndon pitched the tenth. Pena and Ramirez singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and second for DeWitt. DeWitt grounded to Utley with Ramirez forced at second and runners safe on the corners. Herndon struck Soto out looking to leave both men stranded.

Colvin led off the eleventh with a single off of Herndon. Pitcher Ryan Dempster hit for pitcher Sean Marshall and Colvin took second on a passed ball by Ruiz, who had taken over Sardinha, before Dempster struck out fouling off a bunt attempt. Fukudome was next and Herndon struck him out, too. It brought Barney to the plate and he chopped a ground ball to third. Polanco fielded, but his throw to first was in the dirt and not handled cleanly by Howard. The ball went off of Howard’s body and right in front of him, but Colvin rounded third and stormed home to score and put the Cubs up 4-3. Polanco was charged with an error. Castro grounded to third for the third out.

Herndon’s having an ugly year, but you can’t blame that one on him. Cubs need the passed ball by Ruiz and the error by Polanco to score the go-ahead run.

The bullpen wasn’t awful at all, allowing four runs in eight innings, only three of which were earned. Herndon threw 43 pitches and Baez 41, so don’t expect them tonight. Madson 19, Contreras 12, Bastardo ten and Romero two.

Madson has pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Randy Wells went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Sardinha. Rollins returns to the lineup and the leadoff spot. Victorino hits fifth behind Howard, with back-to-back lefties in Ibanez and Brown behind him. Third start of the year for Victorino hitting third. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the bench on a very hot night after another very hot night.

Polanco reached on an error by the pitcher Wells with one out in the bottom of the third and moved to second when Utley followed with a single to right. Howard and Victorino both flew to left to leave the runners stranded.

Ibanez started the bottom of the second with a single to center, but Brown fouled out to the second baseman Barney behind him. Sardinha walked and Kendrick struck out trying to bunt the runners up to second and third. It didn’t matter, though, cause Rollins was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 3-0. Polanco flew to right for the third out.

Utley flew to right for the first out in the third. With the count 3-0 on Howard, the game was delayed due to ominous winds and impending storms. Righty Rodrigo Lopez was on the hill for Chicago when the game resumed about an hour and twenty minutes later. Howard walked and moved to second on a single by Victorino before Ibanez flew to center for the second out. Brown drew a walk to load the bases for Sardinha. Sardinha hit a ground ball in the hole between short and third, but Ramirez made a diving play to field the ball and threw to first to end the inning.

Great play by Ramirez at a huge time for the Cubs.

Polanco singled on a ball deflected by Ramirez with two outs in the fourth. Utley grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

With the lead cut to 3-1, the went in order in the sixth. Martinez hit for Romero and flew to center for the third out.

Utley walked with two outs in the seventh. He took second on a balk before Howard walked. Victorino struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Up 3-2, the Phils went in order in the eighth. Francisco hit for Sardinha against lefty John Grabow and flew to center for the third out.

The game was tied when they hit in the ninth. Ruiz, Rollins and Polanco went in order. Rollins absolutely smashed his ball, which was a line drive that pitcher Sean Marshall speared.

Utley and Howard struck out to start the tenth before Victorino walked. Ibanez moved Victorino to third with a single and Brown was walked intentionally to load the bases. Herndon was the last reliever, so with Gload and Valdez still available, he hit for himself and looked bad striking out to leave the bases loaded.

Romero faced one batter in the game. Bastardo two.

The Phils were losing 4-3 when they hit in the eleventh. Ruiz led off with a single. Rollins flew to right, Polanco flew to right and Utley flew to left.

I’m fine with not bunting with Rollins after the leadoff single. Manuel says he didn’t bunt because Herndon had already thrown 43 pitches as the last reliever available and he thought he needed to try to win, not tie, the game.

Rollins was 1-for-6 with a three-run homer. He’s on-basing .289 over his last 83 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-6 with a huge error. He’s slugging .280 in his 138 plate appearances since May 7.

Utley 1-for-5 with a walk. He only has 67 plate appearances for the year, but has walked in 13.4% of them, which is a career high. On the down side, he has gotten an extra-base hit in 4.5% of his early plate appearances, which is a low mark and way below the 10.1% rate for his career.

Howard 0-for-3 with two walks. He’s 1-for-his-last-11.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk. 185/333/259 in 33 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Ibanez 2-for-5. 233/273/300 in June through eight games.

Brown 0-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout. 0-for-his-last-10 and 4-for-his-last-27.

Sardinha 0-for-2 with a walk. Ramirez made a great play to take what would have been a huge hit away from him with the bases loaded in the third. He’s on-basing .436 for the season, but hitting just .241 and slugging just .276 through 39 plate appearances.

Halladay (8-3, 2.56) faces righty Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 3.98) tonight. Zambrano has made three good starts in a row, throwing to a 1.29 ERA in his last three outings with a 1.05 ratio. Halladay has thrown at least 101 pitches in each of his 13 starts on the season. He leads the NL in pitches thrown and nobody besides Lincecum is close. Opponents hit .220 against him in his first eight starts, but have hit .287 against him over his last five.


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