Archive for June, 2011

Hooray for Hollywood

Cole Hamels was fantastic last night, which is what it’s going to take to get a win for the Phils these days. The Phillies took two of three in their series against the Dodgers, but scored just seven runs in the set. In the two games they won, Lee and Hamels combined to throw 15 shutout innings and strike out 19.

Quick — who’s been the best starting pitcher for the Phillies this year? Okay, you said Halladay and you’re right. But it’s closer than you might think. In their first 13 starts on the year, Halladay and Hamels have almost the same ERA, 2.58 for Hamels and 2.56 for Halladay, while Hamels has thrown to an 0.95 ratio compared to Halladay’s 1.07. Hamels is second in the NL in innings pitched, but Halladay has gone deeper in his starts, averaging more than 7 1/2 innings per start while Hamels is just under seven.

Since an ugly outing his first start of the year, Hamels has thrown to a 2.05 ERA with an 0.88 ratio over his last 12 outings.

The Phillies are 37-25 on the year after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. They are in first place in the NL East, three games ahead of the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing six five singles and a double. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine.

Dee Gordon was the first batter of the game and he flew to left for the first out. Hamels struck Casey Blake out swinging 2-2 for the second before Andre Ethier reached on an infield single. Hamels struck Matt Kemp out swinging 2-2 to leave Ethier at first.

He threw a 1-2-3 second, getting Juan Uribe to pop to Howard in foul territory for the first out, Marcus Thames on a ground ball to third for the second and striking Rod Barajas out swinging for the third.

In the third he struck Jamey Carroll out swinging for the first out and got pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on a ground ball he handled himself for the second. Gordon flew to center to end the frame.

He struck out Blake and got two ground outs in the fourth.

Barajas singled to center with two outs in the fifth, but Hamels got Carroll on a ball that Howard handled in foul territory to leave him stranded.

Hamels struck out Kuroda and Gordon as he set the Dodgers down in order in the sixth.

He started the seventh up 1-0. Ethier led off with a double to right and moved to third when Kemp followed with a single to right. Hamels got out of it, though, getting Uribe on a pop that Martinez handled in shallow right, striking Thames out swinging 1-2 and then getting Barajas to pop to short.

It was 2-0 when he started the eighth. Carroll flew to right for the first out and switch-hitter Aaron Miles hit for the pitcher Matt Guerrier. Miles singled to center. Gordon was due to hit next and James Loney hit for him, flying to left for the second out. Blake was next and hit a ball to short. Valdez fielded and threw to first, but his throw was wide on the home plate side. Howard came off the bag and looked like he could have handled it, but didn’t. Blake had a single and Valdez was charged with an error that let Miles move up to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Hamels got Ethier on a ground ball to first base with Howard flipping to Hamels covering.

Twice in two innings Hamels gets out of a jam to keep the shutout intact. Howard could have handled the throw from Valdez.

Madson started the ninth. Kemp thought he had walked on a close 3-1 pitch that might have been low, but then singled to right. Uribe was next and hit a ball back up the middle, but it went off the tip of Madson’s glove and right to Martinez. Martinez tagged second and threw to first to complete the double-play. Switch-hitter Dioner Navarro hit for Thames and flew to Victorino to end the game.

Madson has pitched just one day in a row, but three of the last four days. He threw 16 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Hiroki Kuroda went (1) Victorino (2) Brown (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Valdez (8) Martinez. Utley on the bench with a righty on the mound after an ugly game with the glove the night before. Martinez at second. Valdez plays short with Rollins sidelined with the bruised knee. Brown moves up to second in the order with Polanco dropping to third. Martinez and Valdez is a really bad middle infield.

Victorino, Brown and Polanco all hit the ball well in the bottom of the first, but all three flew to right.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the second. Valdez struck out looking behind him to leave him stranded.

Kuroda struck out Martinez, Hamels and Victorino, all swinging, in the third.

Polanco singled with one out in the fourth and stole second as Howard struck out for the second out. Ibanez flew to left to leave him there.

Martinez ripped a triple into right field with two outs in the fifth and Hamels walked behind him. Kuroda’s 2-1 pitch to Victorino was behind the batter and went all the way to the wall. Martinez started to go home, then returned to third base. He probably would have scored, because Barajas’s throw to the covering Kuroda hit Victorino. Hamels took second on the wild pitch, so the Dodgers walked Victorino intentionally, loading the bases. Brown flew to Ethier in right-center to leave the bases loaded.

Polanco struck out to start the sixth. Howard was next and hit the first pitch he saw out to right, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez followed that with a double to center and that was it for Kuroda. LA brought right Mike MacDougal in to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz walked. Valdez struck out for the second out and Martinez went down on a ball handled by the pitcher, leaving the runners stranded.

Two extra-base hits in the same inning for the Phils. I would have brought in another pitcher, too.

Victorino tripled to center with one out in the seventh. Brown was next and hit a ball to Carroll at second. Victorino came home and Carroll threw home, but the throw was on the first base side of home plate and Victorino slid in safely. 2-0. Brown stole second, went to third on a ground out by Polanco and was left at third when Howard flew to right.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Victorino was 1-for-3 with a triple in the game and 1-for-9 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 270/340/472 for the year. 4-for-23 since returning from the DL.

Brown was 0-for-4 with an RBI. 1-for-11 with a walk and an RBI in the series. He’s 4-for-his-last-24 and hitting 263/317/404 in 63 plate appearances for the season.

Polanco was 1-for-4. 2-for-11 with a walk in the series. 314/362/388 for the year. 252/299/288 since the end of April.

Howard 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts. 2-for-12 with five strikeouts in the series. 244/325/479 for the year. He’s 6-for-his-last-32.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double. 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 241/292/414 on the year. Of the 70 NL players with at least 200 plate appearances, Ibanez’s .705 OPS is 50th (Rollins’ .701 is 52nd).

Ruiz was 0-for-2 and walked twice. 3-for-9 with a double and three walks in the series. 242/361/348 for the year. 292/433/396 over his last 60 plate appearances.

Valdez was 0-for-4 with a throwing error and struck out twice. It took a nice bare-handed play by Kuroda coming off the mound to get him for the second out in the fifth. 3-for-11 with a double and three strikeouts in the series. 246/287/303 on the year.

Martinez was 1-for-3 with his first career triple in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 189/214/245 in 57 plate appearances for the season. Among the 202 NL players with at least 50 plate appearances, his .214 on-base percentage is 199th. Rollins didn’t play yesterday and was 0-for-1 in the series. He’s hitting 267/338/362 for the year and 237/276/330 over his last 105 plate appearances.

Kendrick (3-4, 3.78) faces righty Randy Wells (1-1, 5.74) and the Cubs tonight. Wells has made just three starts on the season. He pitched well against the Diamondbacks in his first start of the year on April 4, but went on the DL two days later with a strained forearm. He’s made two starts since returning from the DL and neither have been that impressive as he’s allowed nine runs in 9 2/3 innings. Kendrick has made three starts on the year and two of them have been bad. He hasn’t gotten an out in the sixth inning in any of his three starts. He has a 6.23 ERA in his three starts and a 2.21 ERA in his 13 relief appearances.


Too ugly for LA

There wasn’t a whole to jump up and down about last night as the Phils didn’t pitch, hit or throw very well, falling to the Dodgers 6-2. They struggled to take advantage of early wildness by Rubby De La Rosa, scoring just two runs in the game despite walking five times in the first two innings.

After scoring two runs last night, the Phils now scored 17 in six games in June. Seven of the runs came on Sunday against the Pirates, so they’ve scored ten runs in the other five games.

Oswalt didn’t pitch very well, but the defense and pen didn’t exactly shine, either. Utley threw two balls away, but was charged with one error. Oswalt himself had the most memorable play of the night, throwing a pickoff throw to first when the Phillies weren’t holding the runner. Stutes allowed a two-run homer to Matt Kemp in the eighth that broke the game open for the Dodgers.

On the plus side, Chase Utley delivered a big extra-base hit, driving in a run with a triple in the seventh. It wasn’t exactly a blast to the gap or a bomb over the wall, but Utley has three extra-base hits on the season to this point. So it’s not the time to quibble.

The Phillies are 36-25 on the year after losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 last night. They lead the NL East, three games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out one.

Dee Gordon was the first batter of the game and singled to left for his first major league hit. Casey Blake hit into a double-play behind him before Oswalt struck Andre Ethier out swinging 1-2.

Matt Kemp led off the second with a double to center. Juan Uribe was and hit a line drive that Utley caught at second. James Loney was next and he walked. It brought Dioner Navarro to the plate with men on first and second and one out. He singled to left, scoring Kemp to put the Dodgers up 1-0 and moving Loney to second. Jerry Sands was next and he hit into a double-play to end the frame.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Oswalt started the third. He walked the pitcher Rubby De La Rosa on five pitches, which isn’t the way to start the inning. Gordon was next and singled again, this time to right, moving De La Rosa to third. Blake singled to left, scoring De La Rosa (2-1) and moving Gordon to second. With Ethier at the plate, Oswalt made a baffling mistake, throwing to first base. Howard wasn’t covering first base, so nobody caught it and the ball rolled and rolled. Gordon scored all the way from second to make it 3-1 with Blake going to third. Ethier singled to center, scoring Blake to make it 4-1. It brought Kemp to the plate with a runner on first and still nobody out. He hit a ground ball to short. Valdez went to Utley for the first out, but his throw to first was wild for an error that allowed Kemp to take second. Uribe flew to center for the second out, with Kemp tagging and moving up to third. Loney popped to Utley to finally end the frame.

First four batters of the inning reach on a walk and three singles. Walking the pitcher to start the inning often doesn’t work out that well. Awful for Oswalt to throw to first when there was nobody covering first.

Oswalt came back to throw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Gordon chopped a ball over Oswalt’s head for a single to start the fifth. He stole second before Blake bunted him to third with the first out. Ethier hit a ground ball to Utley, who looked Gordon back and threw to first for the second out. Kemp grounded to Utley to turn the Dodgers away.

Oswalt wins that duel with Ethier as LA can’t score with a runner on third and one out.

Uribe started the sixth with a double to left. Loney moved him to third with a ground out to second for the first out. Oswalt got Navarro to pop to Howard for the second with Uribe holding third. Sands grounded to second leave Uribe at
third.

Again Oswalt wiggles away as the Dodgers can’t score with a man on third and one out.

Romero started the seventh and got the first two before walking Blake. With Ethier at the plate, Romero picked Blake off of first with Howard making the throw to second where Valdez applied the tag for the third out.

Stutes started the eighth after the Phils hit for Romero in the seventh. He walked the lefty Ethier before Kemp belted a 1-0 pitch out the opposite way to right, extending the Los Angeles lead to 6-2. Stutes got the next three.

Picking off Blake in the seventh means the righty Stutes faces the lefty Ethier to start the seventh. Bastardo had thrown for two straight days.

Romero has now walked 11 batters in 15 innings, giving him a walk rate of 6.6 batters per nine innings. That’s really high, but actually lower than it’s been over the past two seasons. In 2009 and 2010, Romero walked 42 in 53 1/3 innings, which is about 7.1 batters per nine innings.

Herndon started the ninth and got Sands on a ground out to third for the first out. Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitcher Scott Elbert and singled to right. Gordon was next and hit a ball to third. Polanco charged, gloved and threw to first for the out. Gwynn rounded second and took off for third, but Valdez moved over to cover third, took the throw from Howard and made a nifty sliding tag to tag out Gwynn and set the Dodgers down.

Herndon was making his first appearance with the team since being called back up on June 6. He threw to a 9.28 ERA in 11 appearances in April, but has appeared four times for the Phils since the end of April and thrown six shutout innings.

Stutes and Romero both threw 15 pitches in the game. Herndon 11. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Rubby De La Rosa went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. Valdez plays short with Rollins sidelined. Ibanez back in left against the righty. Ruiz again hits sixth with Brown still seventh against the righty.

Victorino led off the bottom of the first with a walk and stole second. Polanco hit a ball back to the pitcher and De La Rosa threw back to Uribe, who had Victorino between second and third. Victorino was tagged out at third with Polanco safe at first. Utley moved him to second with a walk before Howard hit a ground ball to second. Utley was forced at second for the second out with Howard and Polanco safe at the corners. Ibanez grounded back to the mound to end the inning.

The Phils were down 1-0 when the hit in the bottom of the second. Ruiz and Brown both walked before Valdez singled into center, loading the bases. Oswalt struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino hit a ball back to the pitcher that would have been a double-play if De La Rosa had fielded it cleanly, but he didn’t. He knocked it down and threw home to force Ruiz for the second out. Polanco walked on four pitches, forcing in Brown to tie the game at 1-1. Utley flew to center to leave the bases loaded.

One run for the Phils. They walked three times in the frame and loaded the bases with nobody out. Oswalt can’t put the ball in play with nobody out and the bases loaded.

De La Rosa had walked five in the first two innings.

Down 4-1 in the third, Ibanez and Ruiz singled back-to-back with one out. It put men on first and second for Brown, who struck out swinging for the second out. Valdez lined a single to right, but Ethier made a fantastic throw to nail the sliding Ibanez at the plate and end the inning.

Oswalt, Victorino and Polanco went in order in the fourth.

De La Rosa had thrown 81 pitches through four innings.

The Phils went in order again in the fifth.

Righty Blake Hawksworth set Ruiz, Brown and Valdez down in order in the sixth.

Romero was due to lead off the seventh with righty Matt Guerrier on the mound for LA and the Phils still down 4-2. Gload hit for Romero and walked. Victorino grounded to second with Gload forced at second for the first out and Polanco flew to right for the second. Lefty Scott Elbert came in to pitch to Utley and Utley ripped a ball down the first base line and into the right field corner for a triple. Victorino scored to make it 4-2. Howard lined to Uribe to end the inning.

Update: It escaped me at the time, but the walk ruins Gload’s no walks, no extra-base hits thing for the season. I’m feeling kind of nostalgic. So whoever had June 7 in the pool is the big winner.

Down 6-2, Ibanez, Ruiz and Brown went in order in the eighth.

The Phils went in order in the ninth, too. Rollins hit for Herndon with righty Javy Guerra on the mound and flew to right for the second out.

Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game with a walk. He’s 3-for-20 with three walks since returning from the DL.

Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He has no extra-base hits in his last 65 plate appearances and one over his last 106.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and two bad throws, only one of which was an error. Nice to see him deliver and extra-base hit, even if it was ripped on the ground down the line rather than something he drove out of the park. He now has three extra-base hits in 61 plate appearances for the year.

Howard was 0-for-4, struck out twice and looked terrible at the plate. He made two nice throws defensively, one to second and another to third. He’s hitting 243/326/470 for the year. All three of those would be career lows if he ended the season with that line. He’s 5-for-his-last-28 with a double.

Ibanez 1-for-4. He’s 3-for-his-last-17 with two walks.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 4-for-his-last-19 with five strikeouts.

Valdez was 2-for-4. He’s 5-for-his-last-13 with two walks and a double.

Cole Hamels (7-2, 2.83) faces righty Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 3.46) tonight. Kuroda has been hit hard in two of his last three starts, throwing to a 5.82 ERA as opponents have hit .352 against him. His last outing was the best of the three as he held the Reds to two runs over six innings. Hamels has lowered his walk rate a bit this year, but mostly he’s not allowing hits and not allowing home runs. He’s allowing 6.8 hits per nine innings this year compared to a career rate of 8.1 per nine and just 0.5 home runs per nine. Over his career he’s allowed about 1.1 home runs per nine innings. After 12 starts he’s allowed five home runs, which would put him on a pace to allow about 14 home runs over 33 starts. Over the last three years, Hamels has made an average of about 32.7 starts per year and allowed an average of 26 home runs.

Chase Utley and his wife dedicated a “Kindness to Animals” mural in partnership with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program.


Strike out slinging

Coming off an ugly start, Cliff Lee mowed ‘em down last night, throwing seven shutout innings to pace the Phils to a 3-1 win against the Dodgers. Lee struck out ten in the game and has now registered double-digit strikeouts in six of his 13 starts.

Lee is striking out about 10.3 batters per nine innings this year, which is a huge jump from his career mark of 7.1. In 2008, he won the Cy Young in the American League and struck out 6.9 batters per nine for the Indians.

Led by Lee and his NL-high 100 strikeouts, the Phils lead the league in inducing whiffs. Halladay is second with 97 and Hamels fifth with 82.

The Phillies are 36-24 on the year after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 last night.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing seven hits and a walk. All seven of the hits were singles and he struck out ten.

Jamey Carroll was the first batter of the game and he reached on an infield single. Aaron Miles followed that with a single into center that moved Carroll up to second. Marcus Thames followed and hit a double-play ball to second, which left the Dodgers with two down and Carroll on third. Lee struck Matt Kemp out looking 2-2 to leave Carroll at third.

He struck Juan Uribe out swinging for the first out in the second and got Casey Blake on a fly ball to center behind him for the second. Jerry Sands drew a two-out walk, but Lee got Rod Barajas on a fly ball to right for the third out.

The pitcher Ted Lilly grounded to third to start the third. Carroll singled to center behind him before Lee got Miles swinging for the second out. Thames flew to right to leave Carroll at first.

Lee started the fourth with a 2-0 lead. Uribe singled to left with one out, but Lee struck out Blake and Sands, both looking, behind him.

Carroll singled on a ball hit out in front of the plate with two outs in the fifth. Miles moved him to second with a single into center, but Lee struck Thames out swinging to leave both men stranded.

He struck out the side in the sixth, getting Kemp and Uribe swinging and Blake looking. Blake didn’t care for the call and was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

Sands smashed a ball back up the middle to start the seventh, but Lee, seemingly on purpose, put his body in front of the ball. It hit off him hard, but Lee picked it up and threw to first for the first out. Barajas popped to Polanco for the second out and lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitcher Lee. Gwynn singled back up the middle, bringing Carroll to the plate with two outs and a man on first. Gwynn was running on the 3-2 pitch as Carroll grounded to short. Valdez made a nice play, charging the ball and throwing to first to set the Dodgers down.

Bastardo threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He’s been charged with a run in just three of his 25 appearances on the year. He’s walked 12 in 23 innings, which is too many, but allowed just 11 hits.

Madson started the ninth with the Phils up 3-0. Juan Uribe led off and homered to right and Russ Hodges screamed “The Giants win the pennant” over and over again till we all threw up. Except that didn’t really happen. This time Uribe just blooped a single to right. Uber-prospect Dee Gordon ran for Uribe at first, making his major league debut, and the game was delayed briefly so that a child-labor investigation could be conducted to determine if it was okay or not for the Dodgers to put someone who looks like they’re twelve in the game. Turns out Gordon just turned 23, so play was allowed to resume. James Loney, who entered the game at first after Blake was ejected after the sixth, was next and he lined a single to center. Gordon moved up to third, doing something that would normally be described as running, but in this case looked a lot faster. Wow. It put men on first and third with nobody out for Sands and lefty Andre Ethier hit for the righty Sands. Ethier sliced an oddly spinning line drive that Valdez stopped on a short-hop. He picked it up and tossed to second to force Loney for the first out as Gordon scored, cutting the lead to 3-1. Madson struck Barajas out swinging 2-2 for the second out and switch-hitter Dioner Navarro hit for the pitcher Mike MacDougal. Madson struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

I know Lee threw seven shutout innings and struck out ten and whatnot, but watching Gordon go first to third might have been the highlight of the game. He’s strong like bull. Only with running and not being strong and without the bull.

Valdez also made a really nice play on the spinning line drive hit by Ethier, which helped keep the inning under control.

Madson and Bastardo have both pitched back-to-back days, with Madson pitching Sunday in a non-save situation with a 7-3 lead. Madson has a 6.43 ERA and a 1.43 ratio over his last seven appearances, having allowed five runs in seven innings. He threw 19 pitches in the game. Bastardo threw 14.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Ted Lilly went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. With Rollins out with a bruised knee, Valdez plays short and Victorino leads off. Francisco plays left with Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Brown plays right against the lefty, making his first start of the year against a southpaw, but continues to hit seventh with Francisco and Ruiz back-to-back righties behind Howard.

Victorino was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the first, but the Phils went in order behind him.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Valdez started the third with a double to left and Lee bunted him to third with the first out. Victorino drew a walk, putting men on first and third for Polanco. Polanco went down and got a low 0-1 pitch, hitting a soft liner into center that scored Valdez (1-0) and moved Victorino to second. Utley flew to center for the second out, but Howard ripped a ball into right for a single, scoring Victorino to make it 2-0 and moving Polanco to third. Francisco struck out looking to leave both men stranded.

Brown singled with one out in the fourth. Valdez struck out behind him and Lee flew to left.

Victorino, Polanco and Utley went in order in the fifth.

Ruiz singled to center with two outs in the sixth, but Brown grounded out to first for the third out.

Valdez grounded to short to start the seventh. With righty Blake Hawksworth on the mound for the Dodgers, Ibanez hit for Lee and grounded to second for the second out. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Utley walked with one out in the eighth. Howard struck out behind him for the second out before Francisco moved him to second with another walk. Ruiz was next and hit a 2-2 pitch off the wall in left. Utley scored, putting the Phils up 3-0, and Francisco moved up to third. Brown grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Victorino was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 3-for-16 with three walks since returning from the DL.

Polanco 1-for-4 with an RBI. He didn’t walk last night, but he’s on pace to walk 54 times this season, which would be a career high. He has had two seasons when he on-based better than .380 — in 2005 he on-based .383 but walked just 33 times and in 2007 he on-based .388 but walked just 37 times. He’s on-basing .365 this season.

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He’s hitting .224 with a .306 slugging percentage in his first 57 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Francisco 0-for-3 with a walk. I like the idea of letting him play against lefties, but he’s hitting 182/297/327 against left-handed pitching for the year.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s just 2-for-15 so far in June.

Brown was 1-for-4. 2-for-8 with a double against lefties on the season.

Valdez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 3-for-his-last-9 with two walks, one of which was intentional.

Oswalt (3-3, 2.70) starts tonight against righty Rubby De La Rosa (1-0, 1.80). The 22-year-old De La Rosa will be making his first career start in place of the recently DL’ed Jon Garland. De La Rosa has made three relief appearances for the Dodgers, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out five in five innings. Oswalt didn’t seem thrilled about being pulled after five innings and 79 pitches in his last start. He has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in his nine starts this season.

The Phillies took Larry Greene, an 18-year-old corner outfielder from Georgia who hits left-handed, with the 39th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft.


What’s the matter here, mateys?

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.


Earnings report

It sure seems like the Phillies are scoring a lot of runs that aren’t earned these days. Enough, at least, to make me wonder how the percentage of the runs that the Phillies are scoring that are earned compares to the other teams in baseball. The table below shows, for all 30 teams, the percentage of the runs they have scored this season that have been earned (the table doesn’t include Thursday’s games):

Team % of runs scored that are earned
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Baltimore Orioles 
New York Yankees 
Cleveland Indians 
Florida Marlins 
Houston Astros 
San Francisco Giants 
Atlanta Braves 
Toronto Blue Jays 
Tampa Bay Rays 
Boston Red Sox 
Arizona Diamondbacks 
St. Louis Cardinals 
Pittsburgh Pirates 
Milwaukee Brewers 
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 
Minnesota Twins 
Detroit Tigers 
Los Angeles Dodgers 
Chicago White Sox 
Philadelphia Phillies 
Oakland Athletics 
Texas Rangers 
San Diego Padres 
Cincinnati Reds 
Washington Nationals 
Colorado Rockies 
Seattle Mariners 
Kansas City Royals 
New York Mets 
Chicago Cubs 
96.76%
95.41%
94.66%
94.55%
94.37%
93.81%
93.64%
93.38%
92.67%
92.51%
92.31%
92.14%
91.83%
91.63%
91.15%
91.01%
90.76%
90.59%
90.57%
90.35%
89.60%
89.58%
89.47%
88.89%
88.79%
88.52%
88.14%
87.80%
87.44%
86.96%

So the Phillies are in the bottom half at 20, but they aren’t going to win any awards or anything.

It is true that the Phillies have a higher percentage of their runs scored this year than they have in the last few years. Here’s the number of runs and earned runs they have scored over the past six seasons and the percentage of runs scored in each year that were earned:

Year Runs Earned Runs % of runs that were earned
2011 228 206 90.4
2010 772 708 91.7
2009 820 765 93.3
2008 799 739 93.7
2007 892 818 91.7
2006 865 761 88.0

So while the numbers aren’t that dramatic compared to the other teams in baseball, the Phils have had their highest percentage of unearned runs since the 2006 season so far in 2011.

Of course, the much bigger problem for the Phils is not how many of the runs they score that are unearned, but how few runs they are scoring altogether. Looking at the six seasons from 2006-2011 in the table above, in three of those years (’06, ’07 and ’09) the Phils lead the NL in runs scored. In 2010 they were second and in 2008 they were third. So far in 2011 they are ninth in the NL in runs scored.


Nats nix the Phils’ chances to win, score an earned run

The Phils put together five hits and no earned runs yesterday and it wasn’t enough as the Nats topped them 2-1 to take the three-game set two games to one. Laynce Nix changed the game with a spectacular diving catch on a ball hit by Domonic Brown that ended the top of the sixth with the bases loaded for the Phils.

The game was also memorable because of the early exit of Roy Oswalt. Oswalt was pulled so Brown could hit for him in the sixth, having gone just five innings and thrown 79 pitches. Oswalt doesn’t sound particularly thrilled about the decision.

The Phillies are 34-22 on the year after losing to the Washington Nationals 2-1 yesterday afternoon. They have lost three of four and scored three runs in their last two games.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out three. In his nine starts on the year he’s thrown to a 2.70 ERA and a 1.26 ratio, but the Phillies are 4-5.

Roger Bernadina led off the bottom of the first and blooped a single to left. Ian Desmond bunted him to second with the first out before Jayson Werth singled into left, scoring Bernadina to put Washington up 1-0. Laynce Nix flew to left for the second out and Michael Morse flew to right for the third.

It was 1-1 when he started the second. He got Danny Espinosa on a ground ball to second for the first out before Wilson Ramos doubled to right. Alex Cora followed that with a walk. The pitcher John Lannan tried to bunt the runners up a base, but struck out fouling off strike three for the second out. Oswalt struck Bernadina out swinging to leave the runners stranded at first and second.

Oswalt retired Desmond and Werth on a pair of fly balls to right to start the third. Nix was next, though, and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to right-center, putting the Nats back on top at 2-1. Oswalt walked Morse on four pitches and then hit Espinosa with the first pitch of his at-bat, putting men on first and second for Ramos. Ramos grounded to second to end the inning.

Espinosa went 4-for-8 with three home runs in the first two games of the series.

Oswalt got Cora and Lannan to start the fourth before reached on a single on a ball out in front of the plate. Desmond grounded to short for the third out.

Morse doubled to right with two outs in the fifth. Oswalt got Espinosa on a fly ball to right for the third out.

Stutes started the sixth after the Phils hit for Oswalt in the top of the inning. He set Washington down in order, getting Ramos swinging for the first out and Jerry Hairston, who took over for Cora at third in the fifth, on a fly ball to left for the second. Pitcher Jason Marquis hit for pitcher Doug Slaten and flew to center for the third out.

Stutes was back for the seventh and threw another 1-2-3 frame, getting Bernadina looking for the first out, Desmond on a ground ball to short for the second and Werth on a fly ball to center for the third.

Stutes threw two perfect innings and was throwing for the second straight day, lowering his ERA on the year to 2.02. He also threw three days in a row May 23-25.

Bastardo came in to pitch the ninth and got the first two men he faced before walking Espinosa. Ramos grounded to short for the third out.

Three scoreless innings for the pen. Stutes was throwing for the second straight day and threw 29 pitches. Bastardo threw 18 pitches. Both should be available on Friday with the off-day today.

The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Polanco (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Polanco hits leadoff with Rollins on the bench and Valdez at short. Mayberry plays center and hits second for the first time in his career. Francisco in right against the lefty with Brown on the bench, despite Brown being 10-for-his-last-19. Ruiz catches the day game after catching the night game the night before. After hitting sixth against the righty the day before, he’s dropped to seventh against the lefty.

Polanco led off the game with a single to right, but was erased when Mayberry followed and hit into a double-play. Utley flew to right for the third out.

Down 1-0, Howard led off the second with a double and Francisco walked behind him. Ibanez struck out for the first out, but Ruiz was next and hit a ball to third that Cora didn’t handle for an error. Howard scored to tie the game at 1-1 with Ruiz safe at first and Francisco safe at second. Valdez flew to center and Oswalt grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Mayberry was hit by a pitch with one out in the third. Utley flew to right for the second out. Howard was next and he hit a ground ball that Espinosa fielded in shallow right field with the Howard shift on. Mayberry tried to score from second, but Espinosa threw home and Ramos applied the tag to Mayberry to end the inning.

Francisco, Ibanez and Ruiz went down on three ground balls in the fourth. The Phillies were trailing 2-1.

Valdez reached on an error by Hairston at third to start the fifth. Oswalt bunted him to first with the first out before Polanco drew a walk, putting men on first and second for Mayberry. Mayberry hit a ground ball to third with Valdez forced at third for the second out. Utley flew to right to leave the runners at first and second.

Francisco walked with one out in the sixth and the Phils still down a run. Ibanez moved him to second with a single and righty Todd Coffey took over for Lannan. Ruiz flew to right for the first out, with Francisco tagging and moving up to third. Rollins hit for Valdez and walked, loading the bases for Oswalt. Brown hit for Oswalt against the righty Coffey and lined a ball to left-center, with Nix making an unbelievable diving catch to snare the ball and retire the side.

Fantastic catch by Nix changed the game.

The Phils went in order in the seventh and the eighth.

Ruiz flew to center for the first out of the ninth. Rollins was next and put down a pretty bunt that Espinosa tried to bare-hand, but didn’t get cleanly. Rollins had a single. With righty Drew Storen on the mound for Washington, Ross Gload hit for Bastrado and flew to left. Polanco was next and ripped a ball just foul that would have scored Rollins easily, but struck out looking 1-2 to end the game.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 5-for-12 with two walks in the three-game set. He’s hitting 319/367/403 for the year.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 and left three men on base. 3-for-11 with a double and a homer in the set. 231/316/365 on the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 in the game and 1-for-10 with three walks in the series. 194/324/323 on the season in 37 plate appearances.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phils. 4-for-12 with a double and a home run in the set. 252/336/500 for the year. 311/404/622 with three home runs in 52 plate appearances over his last 11 games.

Francisco was 0-for-2 and walked twice. 0-for-3 with two walks in the series. He’s 5-for-his-last-16 with three walks, two doubles and a home run, but hitting just 224/337/385 for the year.

Ibanez was 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-11 with a walk and a home run in the series. 246/296/427 on the season. 324/348/611 over his last 115 plate appearances.

Ruiz was 0-for-4. 4-for-13 with a double in the series. 250/348/362 on the season. 344/432/469 in 37 plate appearances over his last eight games.

Valdez 0-for-2 in the game and in the series. 242/277/298 on the year. Of the 149 NL players with at least 100 plate appearances this season, Valdez’s .575 OPS is 141st. On the plus side, he’s out-OPSing Dan Uggla (175/241/316).

Rollins was 1-for-1 with a walk in the game and 1-for-10 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 263/337/357 for the year.

No game today. At Pittsburgh Friday night.


  • Calender

    June 2011
    M T W T F S S
    « May   Jul »
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930  
  • Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.



    Web Directory

    Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Philliesflow.com. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress