Archive for July, 2011

Terrible two

The Phils couldn’t figure out Giant pitching again last night, dropping their second straight and the series to San Francisco. After losing 4-1 last night, the Phils have lost two in a row for the first time since June 4. In their last two games, the Phils have scored two runs, both of which are unearned.

Kendrick pitched pretty well in the game and was backed by 2 2/3 strong innings from the bullpen. In the seventh, some weak defense from Martinez and Howard helped turn a 2-0 lead for the Giants into a 4-0 lead. The offense didn’t do much of anything against Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco pen, struggling with runners in scoring position and plating the lone run they did score with the help of a two-out error by reliever Ramon Martinez in the seventh.

The Phillies are 65-39 on the year after losing to the San Francisco Giants 4-1 last night. The Giants take two of three in the series. The Phils remain in first place in the NL East, five games ahead of the Braves.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. Only three of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out four.

He set the Giants down in order in the first.

Pablo Sandoval led off the bottom of the first and hit a 1-0 pitch out to the opposite field, tight down the left field line, to put the Giants up 1-0. Aubrey Huff followed that with a walk, but Kendrick got the next three hitters behind him.

Kendrick struggles against lefties and the switch-hitter Sandoval takes him out of the yard for the first run of the game. Lefties are hitting 266/372/516 against Kendrick for the year. The Giants started three lefties and three switch-hitters in the game.

Andres Torres reached on a bunt single that was deflected by Kendrick with one out in the third. Ruiz threw him out trying to steal second before Jeff Keppinger grounded to third to end the frame.

Aubrey Huff doubled to right with two outs in the fourth. Nate Schierholtz was next and he singled to right-center, scoring Huff to make it 2-0. Brandon Crawford grounded to short to leave Schierholtz stranded.

Pitcher Tim Lincecum singled on a ball deflected by Kendrick with one out in the fifth. Kendrick struck Torres out looking for the second out and got Keppinger on a fly ball to center for the third.

He struck out Carlos Beltran and Sandoval in a 1-2-3 sixth.

He walked Schierholtz on four pitches to start the seventh. Crawford popped to Rollins at short for the first out before catcher Chris Stewart singled to left, moving Schierholtz to third. Rowand hit for Lincecum and chopped a ball to third that Martinez didn’t handle cleanly. He picked it up and threw high to first, where the ball went off of Howard’s glove. Howard went after that ball, but not particularly quickly. Schierholtz had scored easily on the play and Stewart raced around third trying to score as well. Howard finally got to the ball and threw home, but Stewart slid in safely to make it 4-0 with Rowand on second and one out. Perez came into the game and got Torres to pop to Utley for the second out. Lidge came in to pitch to the righty Keppinger and got Keppinger on a ground ball to third on a nice diving play and a strong throw by Martinez to end the frame.

Awful defense from Martinez and Howard on the ground ball by Rowand. Martinez may not have gotten two even if he had fielded the ball cleanly, but Howard could have handled the high throw when it came and was very slow going after the ball when it got away from him. Good base-running by Stewart to score from first on a ground ball to third.

First time on the year that Lidge had appeared in back-to-back games.

Kendrick got some bad defense in the inning, but you don’t want to walk the leadoff batter.

Stutes set the Giants down in order in the eighth with the lead cut to 4-1.

That’s two good outings for Stutes in a row in which he’s gone three scoreless frames, coming off of a stretch where he allowed runs in three of four appearances.

Herndon threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

The pen goes 2 2/3 innings in which they don’t allow a hit or a walk. Perez and Lidge get two outs in the seventh with one out and a man on second, preventing the Giants from getting more in the inning. Herndon threw 14 pitches in the game, everyone else was under ten. Lidge has thrown two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Lincecum went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz.

Rollins doubled to right to start the bottom of the first. Martinez bunted him to third with the first out, but Utley popped to short and Howard struck out swinging to end the inning.

Utley can’t bring the runner home from third with one out.

Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the second.

Kendrick singled to right with one out in the third and Rollins walked behind him. It put men on first and second with one out for Martinez and he flew to left for the second out with Kendrick tagging and moving up to third. Utley struck out looking to leave runners on first and third.

Three men left on base for Utley through three innings. Kendrick is 4-for-16 at the plate with four singles and a walk (his .294 on-base percentage is better than Ibanez, Martinez or Valdez).

Down 2-0 in the fourth, Victorino drew a one-out walk but was left at first when Ibanez and Brown both popped out behind him.

Ruiz started the fifth with a walk, but Kendrick struck out trying to bunt him to second. Rollins flew to right on a nice sliding catch by Beltran for the second out before Martinez pushed Ruiz to second with another walk. Utley struck out swinging, leaving both runners stranded.

Two more left stranded gave Utley five through five innings.

Victorino reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth, but Ibanez and Brown both flew out behind him.

Down 4-0, Ruiz started the seventh with a double to center. With righty Ramon Ramirez on the mound, Mayberry hit for Lidge and struck out swinging for the first out. Rollins flew to left for the second out before Martinez reached on an error by the pitcher, putting men on first and third with two down. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt came in to face Utley and Utley doubled into the left field corner, scoring Ruiz (4-1) and moving Martinez to third. Howard grounded back to the pitcher to leave the runners at second and third.

Mayberry hits against the righty and strikes out for the first out. I assume Manuel didn’t use Gload cause the Phils were down by four runs and a homer only gets them within two.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. With the lefty Affeldt still on the mound after getting Ibanez to ground to the pitcher for the second out, Francisco hit for Brown. Righty Sergio Romo came into the game and got Francisco to fly to left to end the inning.

Righty Brian Wilson struck Ruiz out to start the bottom of the ninth. Gload hit for Herndon and doubled to right. Rollins was next and flew to right for the second out, with Gload tagging and moving up to third. Martinez struck out swinging to end the game.

Nice to see Gload running well enough to go from second to third on any fly ball.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. 1-for-12 in the three-game set. He’s hitting 263/333/392 for the year. 2-for-his-last-28.

Martinez 0-for-3 with a walk and left four men on base. 1-for-11 with a walk in the series. 218/264/316 on the year, which really means you shouldn’t be starting that many games at third base or hitting second that often for a team trying to win the World Series.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and five men left on base. 3-for-12 with a double and a homer in the set. 281/374/478 for the year.

Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 246/338/459 on the year.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-10 with two walks in the series. 258/361/387 in 37 plate appearances since his return. 299/374/510 for the year.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and left two men on base. 2-for-11 with a home run in the series. 245/287/418 for the year.

Brown 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 1-for-5 with a walk in the series. 247/338/399 for the year. Mayberry was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run in the set. 255/321/458 on the year.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 1-for-6 in the series. 265/370/373 for the season.

Halladay (12-4, 2.55) faces righty Kevin Correia (11-8, 4.38) tonight. Correia had a 2.91 ERA after his first eight starts of the season, but has thrown to 5.22 ERA over his last 14 starts while opponents have hit .294 against him. Two of his last three starts have been real bad. Both of them came at home — on the road this year he’s 9-2 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.08 ratio. The Phillies have won 11 of the last 12 games that Halladay has started.

Polanco may be activated for Saturday’s game.


Still unable

On October 19, 2010, Matt Cain went seven strong innings against the Phils, backed up by a scoreless eighth from Javier Lopez and a scoreless ninth from Brian Wilson as the Giants topped the Phils 3-0 in game three of the NLCS. It was more of the same last night as San Francisco topped the Phils 2-1 behind more good pitching from Cain, Lopez and Wilson.

Hamels was great in the game for the Phils, pitching into the eighth and holding the Giants to just two runs. Less great was the offense, who managed just one extra-base hit, a double by Martinez, and scored one run, which came with the help of a dropped popup and a bad hop ground ball to first. The top of the order has struggled over the last six games — Rollins and Martinez have combined to go 5-for-48 (.104) with four walks.

Last night the defense wasn’t real good, either. Domonic Brown has produced offensively in recent games, but has been miserable in right. In last night’s game, the Giants led 1-0 in the seventh with runners on first and second and nobody out when Nate Schierholtz lined a ball to right. Brown misplayed it, overrunning it and then diving back the other direction and missing. The ball rolled past him, Schierholtz was given a double and the runner scored from second, giving the Giants their second run of the game on a night they would only need two.

The Phillies are 65-38 on the year after falling to the San Francisco Giants 2-1 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the series.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a triple. He struck out six.

He set the Giants down in order in the first.

Aubrey Huff led off the second and put a pretty bunt down the first base line. Hamels ran over, scooped the ball with his glove to Howard and Howard bare-handed the ball for the first out. Fantastic plays by both Hamels and Howard on a very good bunt by Huff. Hamels struck Jeff Keppinger and Cody Ross out behind Huff.

Eli Whiteside singled with one out in the third. The pitcher Matt Cain was next and tried to bunt him to second, but struck out trying for the first out. Aaron Rowand hammered a 1-1 pitch into the right field corner with Whiteside racing around to score and put the Giants up 1-0. Rowand took third as Utley cut Brown’s throw from right and went home and was given a triple. Mike Fontenot grounded to second to leave Rowand at third.

Hamels set San Francisco down in order in the fourth.

With one out in the fifth, Schierholtz hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Hamels struck Whiteside out behind him for the second out and got Cain to ground to short to end the frame.

Pablo Sandoval singled to left with two outs in the sixth, but Hamels got Huff to fly to center for the third out.

Keppinger doubled to center to start the seventh and Ross walked behind him. Schierholtz was next and lined a ball into right that eluded a diving Brown and rolled past him, scoring Keppinger to make it 2-0 and moving Ross to third. Hamels hit Whiteside and the bases were loaded. The pitcher Cain popped to Utley with the runners holding for the first out. Hamels got Rowand to ground into a double-play to keep the Giants from getting any more.

Brown is a butcher out there. Good job by Hamels — that could have been a whole lot worse after the Giants loaded the bases with nobody out.

It was 2-1 when Hamels started the eighth. He got the first two before Huff doubled to right. Lidge took over for Hamels and Brandon Belt ran for Huff at first. Lidge walked Keppinger on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt, putting men on first and second. He got Ross swinging at a high 2-2 pitch to leave the runners stranded.

Lidge wasn’t throwing real hard and didn’t look real good, but he kept San Francisco off the board.

Bastardo struck out Schierholtz and Whiteside as he set the Giants down in order in the ninth.

Second good outing in a row for Bastardo after getting hit hard by the Padres on Saturday.

The pen goes 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Twelve pitches for Bastardo and 11 for Lidge.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Cain went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Tim Lincecum again doesn’t start the game with the flu, replaced this time with Cain. Mayberry on the bench against the righty despite two extra-base hits in game one of the series and a 313/340/667 line in 50 plate appearances in July. I think it was the right decision, I just think it’s unfortunate there’s not a good way to get him at-bats against righties.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez singled softly to left with two outs in the second and moved to second when Brown followed with a walk. Ruiz grounded to third to end the inning.

The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the third. Martinez doubled to left with two outs, but Utley flew to right to leave him stranded.

Only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils.

Victorino singled with one out in the fourth. Ibanez was next and grounded to second with Victorino moving up to second. Brown struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Victorino stranded.

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

They were down 2-0 when Victorino led off the seventh with a popup out in front of the plate. Whiteside and Cain both tried to catch the ball with Whiteside knocking it out of Cain’s glove for an error. Victorino had stopped running at first and the ball rolled way away from Cain and Whiteside, but Victorino could only take second. Ibanez popped to short for the first out before Brown hit a ground ball to first that took a bad hop and went off Huff’s glove and into right field for a single. Victorino scored and it was 2-1. Ruiz grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

Way to make the most of a popup out in front of the plate and a ground ball to first.

With Gload still on the mound, Gload hit for Hamels to start the eighth and reached on catcher’s interference. Valdez ran for him at first and lefty Javier Lopez came in to pitch to Rollins. Rollins bunted, but Lopez fielded and threw to second where Valdez was forced for the first out. Martinez flew to right before Rollins stole second. Utley flew to center to leave Rollins at second.

Good idea to bring in a lefty to face Rollins. He came into the game hitting 229/268/314 against lefties for the season.

Brian Wilson got Howard, Victorino and Ibanez in order in the ninth.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and is 1-for-his-last-24.

Martinez 1-for-4 with a double. 2-for-his-last-16 and on-basing .264 for the season. I don’t see him as an ideal two-hitter. He’s on-basing .175 against lefties for the year.

Utley 0-for-4. 286/400/619 in 50 plate appearances since the All-Star break.

Howard 0-for-4. He went 2-for-25 in his first 28 plate appearances after the break, but is 6-for-his-last-18 with four extra-base hits (333/333/778 over 18 plate appearances).

Victorino 1-for-4. 359/457/564 in 47 plate appearances in July. 1-for-7 with a walk in the series so far.

Ibanez 1-for-4. 6-for-his-last-15. He has two walks in 81 plate appearances in July. For the year, he’s walked 22 times in 390 plate appearances, which is about 5.6%. His walk rate for his career is about 8.6%.

Brown 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. 7-for-his-last-18 with five walks. He’s really scary out in right.

Ruiz was 0-for-3. 333/433/491 so far in July.

Kyle Kendrick (5-4, 3.45) faces righty Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) tonight. Lincecum has allowed one run or less in five or his last six starts, throwing to a 1.66 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over those six outings. Kendrick is 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.30 ratio in his nine starts on the year.


Complete surprise

Vance Worley threw his the first complete game of his career last night, holding the Giants to two runs on three hits and a walk as the Phils pounded San Francisco for a 7-2 win.

The Phils are now 9-2 on the year in the 11 starts that Worley has made — that .818 winning percentage is the best for any of their starting pitchers. They are 17-4 (.810) when Halladay starts.

Worley hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven starts. In those outings the Phils have gone 7-0 while Worley has thrown to a 1.14 ERA and opponents have hit .151 against him.

The bats have come alive for the Phillies in July. After scoring 3.69 runs a game in May and 3.78 runs a game in June, the Phils have scored 113 runs while going 14-6 so far in July. That’s about 5.65 runs per game.

The Phillies are 65-37 after beating the San Francisco Giants 7-2 last night.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five.

Andres Torres was the first batter of the game and hit a ball over Mayberry’s head and off the wall in right. Torres moved to third on a ground out by Jeff Keppinger and came home to score on Pablo Sandoval’s fly ball to left, putting the Giants up 1-0. Aubrey Huff flew to right for the third out.

Up 4-1, Worley set the Giants down in order in the second and again in the third.

Keppinger led off the fourth with a single. Sandoval popped to short for the first out and Huff flew to right for the second. Nate Schierholtz grounded to Utley to leave Keppinger stranded.

Worley had a 5-1 lead when he started the fifth. Cody Ross led off and hit a ground ball to third. Martinez fielded, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Worley left him stranded by striking out the next three hitters, getting Mike Fontenot, Eli Whiteside and pitcher Barry Zito all looking.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Up 6-1, he set the Giants down in order in the seventh.

He got the first two in the eighth before righty Aaron Rowand hit for the pitcher Zito. Rowand hit Worley’s first pitch out to left, cutting the Phillies lead to 6-2. Worley got Andres Torres on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Keppinger flew to center to start the ninth. Sandoval was next and drove a ball to left, but Ibanez made a nifty catch, timing his jump and crashing into the wall, for the second out. Worley walked Huff, then got Schierholtz to fly to right to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Barry Zito went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Mayberry (8) Schneider. Tim Lincecum was supposed to start the game for the Giants, but was scratched due to the flu. Mayberry played right instead of Brown, who was in the lineup before Lincecum was scratched.

Rollins and Martinez both flew out to start the bottom of the first with the Phils down 1-0. Utley followed with a single and came in to score when Howard doubled into the right field corner, tying the game at 1-1. Victorino walked after that and Ibanez hit the first pitch he saw from Zito out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Mayberry struck out to end the inning.

Ibanez stays in the lineup against the lefty with Francisco on the bench and delivers early. He came into the game hitting 221/250/379 against lefties.

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

Victorino and Ibanez went down to start the fourth. Mayberry was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left center, extending the lead to 5-1. Schneider struck out for the third out.

Score another for Manuel’s lineup against the lefty Zito.

They went in order in the fifth.

Utley led off the sixth and drove a ball to center. It hit off the wall and rolled and rolled towards right. Schierholtz finally got to it and threw it into the infield, but Utley raced all the way around and slid in just ahead of (or at about the same time as) the tag. He was called safe and the Phils were up 6-1. The Phils went in order behind him.

Very close play at the plate. Whiteside’s tag was high cause the relay came in on the third base side of home plate, but Utley might have been out.

Mayberry started the seventh with a double to left. He took off trying to steal third, but left too early. Zito stepped off and threw to second where he was picked off for the first out. Schneider walked behind him. Worley tried to bunt him to second, but struck out fouling off strike two. Rollins flew to center to end the inning.

Up 6-2, Martinez and Utley went down to start the eighth before Howard pounded a 1-0 pitch out to center. 7-2. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-20.

Martinez 0-for-4. 2-for-his-last-16.

Utley 2-for-4 with a home run. 11-for-24 with four doubles and three home runs over his last nine games.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. 6-for-his-last-14. Twenty home runs on the year for Howard, all 20 of which have come against righties. He’s slugging .320 against lefties.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk. 6-for-his-last-16 with three walks.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a three-run homer. 5-for-his-last-11. 279/309/498 over his last 285 plate appearances since May 3.

Mayberry 2-for-3 with a double and a home run. 353/353/647 in his last 34 plate appearances (12-for-34 with seven doubles and a home run).

Schneider 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s hitting .176 in 81 plate appearances for the year.

Cole Hamels (12-5, 2.62) faces righty Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) tonight. Lincecum has allowed one run or less in five or his last six starts, throwing to a 1.66 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over those six outings. Hamels has allowed more than two runs in a start once in his last 11 outings. Righties are hitting 199/246/288 against him for the year. Over his last 14 starts he’s allowed just four home runs in 96 2/3 innings. That’s about .37 home runs per nine innings compared to his career rate of about 1.07.

This suggests there is no timetable for Contreras’s return and that Blanton may not return at all this year.

Gary Finkler has combined sports blogging and sketching at 7thinningsketch.com


The Phils lollygag the ball around the infield. You know what that makes them?

64-37.

How did we ever win 64?

Cliff Lee didn’t have it yesterday as the Phils fell to the Padres 5-4. Lee was pounded in the game, allowing five runs on ten hits in four innings. In the top of the second, with runners on first and third, he made a soft pickoff throw to first and Chris Denorfia raced home from third, stealing a run for San Diego in a game they would win by just one.

On the other hand, the batter doubled anyway and I like Denorfia’s chances of scoring from third on a two-out double.

After an amazing June, two of Lee’s four starts in July have been ugly. In his four July starts he’s 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA and opponents are hitting .292 against him.

There was good news for the Phils yesterday and it’s that the bullpen was outstanding. After Lee’s early exit, the pen went five scoreless frames. Carpenter and Stutes, who have each struggled recently, combined to throw four scoreless innings in which they allowed one hit. Brad Lidge made his first appearance of the season and was truly lights out, needing just 11 pitches to set the side down in order in his inning.

Four innings from Lee wasn’t really what the Phils were looking for — yesterday’s game was the fourth in a stretch where they will play 20 games in 20 days. Their next scheduled off day is August 11.

The Phillies are 64-37 on the year after losing to the San Diego Padres 5-4 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series three games to one and remain in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the second-place Braves. Atlanta has lost three in a row and five of seven.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing five runs on ten hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out five.

He got the first two hitters of the game before Chase Headley and Ryan Ludwick singled back-to-back. It brought Kyle Blanks to the plate with men on first and second and Blanks grounded to short to end the frame.

Lee started the second with a 1-0 lead. Jesus Guzman led off with a double to center and moved to third when Orlando Hudson followed with a ground out to second. Rob Johnson was next and he lined a ball into right-center that eluded a diving Brown for a double. The play was backed-up nicely by Victorino, but Guzman scored easily and the game was tied at 1-1. Lee struck the pitcher Aaron Harang out for the second out before Chris Denorfia singled to left. Ibanez threw home, but Johnson scored easily (2-1) and Denorfia took second on the throw to the plate. Denorfia stole third before Jason Bartlett drew a walk, putting runners on first and third for Chase Headley. With Headley at the plate, Lee threw to first and Denorfia took off from third, sliding in ahead of the throw from Howard to put San Diego on top 3-1. Headley doubled off the wall in center, scoring Bartlett. 4-1. Ludwick grounded to third to leave Headley at second.

Well that was ugly. You want to try and avoid letting the guy on third steal home on a throw to first. Brown, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t big on catching the ball in right. Lee allows three doubles, a single and a walk in the inning.

Hudson and Johnson singled back-to-back with two outs in the third, but Lee struck Harang out to leave the runners stranded at first and second.

Denorfia singled to center to start the fourth. He moved to second on a ground out by Bartlett before Headley singled to center. Victorino threw to third, where Denorfia was safe, allowing Headley to move up to second. Ludwick was next and he flew to center deep enough for Denorfia to tag and score, putting the Padres up 5-1. Lee struck Blanks out to leave Headley at second.

Carpenter started the fifth with the San Diego lead cut to 5-3. Hudson doubled with one out, but was left at second when Johnson popped to short and Harang grounded to second.

It’s fortunate the Phils were able to get Harang out in the game or things could have been worse. The pitcher had left four men on base through five innings.

Carpenter struck out Denorfia and Headley while setting San Diego down in order in the sixth.

Two scoreless innings in the game for Carpenter, who has been miserable so far this year. Coming into the game he had made four appearances for the season and had been charged with runs in three of them.

Lidge started the seventh with the Phils down 5-4, making his first appearance of the season. He set San Diego down in order, getting Will Venable to ground to first, striking out Blanks and getting Guzman on a ground ball to third.

Surprised to see the Phils bring Lidge into a one-run game there. Worked out well.

Stutes pitched the eighth with the Phils still down a run. He got the first two before righty Logan Forsythe hit for the pitcher Chad Qualls. Stutes hit Forsythe with a pitch, but Ruiz threw Forsythe out trying to steal second to set the Padres down.

Stutes was back for the ninth and set the Padres down in order.

Nifty outing for Stutes, who came into the game having allowed a run or more in three of his last four appearances, including Saturday’s game in which the Padres hit him up for a run over an inning and a third.

Five scoreless innings for the pen. Carpenter threw 35 pitches in the game and Stutes 26. Lidge 11. None of those guys has thrown for more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Harang went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz.

Utley walked with two outs in the first and moved to third when Howard followed with a single. Victorino was next and he doubled off the wall in right. Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard tried to score from second, but Ludwick’s throw was cut by Hudson and Hudson threw home in time to nail a sliding Howard and end the inning.

Down 4-1, the Phillies went in order in the second.

Rollins walked with one out in the third. Martinez flew to center behind him for the second out before Utley singled to right, moving Rollins to third. Utley stole second before Howard flew to center, leaving both runners stranded.

Ibanez doubled to left with one out in the fourth and the Phils down 5-1. Brown was next and he lined a ball into right-center. Denorfia and Ludwick converged on the ball with diving efforts, but it was deflected by Ludwick and went for a triple that scored Utley and cut the lead to 5-2. Ruiz followed that with a single into center and Brown scored. 5-3. With one out and a man on first, Francisco hit for Lee and grounded into a double-play.

Francisco is 2-for-his-last-13 after going 0-for-5 in the series. Lee wasn’t thrilled about being pinch-hit for in the fourth.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Victorino doubled softly to left with one out in the sixth and came around to score when Ibanez followed with a single to right, cutting the lead to 5-4. Brown and Ruiz both popped out to leave Ibanez at first.

Mayberry hit for Lidge to start the seventh and singled into center. Rollins followed him and grounded to second, with Mayberry forced at second for the first out. Rollins was thrown out trying to steal second before Martinez flew to center to end the inning.

Utley and Howard both struck out to start the eighth before Victorino tripled to right. Ibanez grounded to third to leave him stranded.

Righty Heath Bell was on to nail down the save in the ninth. Brown led off and walked 3-2. Ruiz bunted him to second with the first out and Gload hit for Stutes. Bell struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Rollins flew to right to end the game.

Two big chances for the Phils in the last two innings, but Ibanez grounds out to end the eighth with Victorino on third and Gload and Rollins go down with Victorino on third in the ninth.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 1-for-16 with a double and three walks in the four-game series. 268/338/398 for the season.

Martinez 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-16 with a walk and a home run in the set. He’s hitting 230/273/328 for the year.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk. 6-for-13 with three walks, a double and two home runs in the series. 283/381/471 on the year.

Howard 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series. 249/343/457 on the year. 227/293/333 so far in July.

Victorino was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and an RBI. 6-for-13 with two walks in the series. 302/376/521 for the year, all three of which are career highs. His career slugging percentage is .437. His isolated power for the year is .219 (.521 slugging minus .302 average), which is 15th best in the NL and best on the Phillies. Howard is second with .209.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 4-for-12 with two doubles in the series. 246/290/417 for the season. He’s hitting .292 in July and slugging .514, but has walked just twice in 72 at-bats.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple. 3-for-11 with a double, a triple and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 249/338/405 for the year. 311/417/393 in July.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with an RBI. 4-for-10 with two walks and three doubles in the series. 267/372/374 on the year. 352/453/519 so far in July.

Worley (6-1, 2.02) faces righty Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) tonight. Lincecum has allowed one run or less in five or his last six starts, throwing to a 1.66 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over those six outings. Worley has been rather good in his last six starts, too, throwing to an 0.94 ERA with an 0.97 ratio. The Phils have won all six games.


Feeling hot, hot, hot

It’s been hot in Philadelphia for the past few days, but the Phils are pretty hot themselves. After taking the first three games of a four-game set with the Padres, the Phils have won five in a row to extend their lead in the NL East to six games over the second-place Braves.

The Phils won the series opener 3-1 on Friday. Hamels started the game and pitched very well, holding San Diego to a run on three hits and a walk over eight innings. Ruiz doubled Victorino home in the second to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. A single by Victorino, a walk by Ruiz, a balk and a double by Martinez helped the Phils score two more in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-0. In the fifth, Cameron Maybin singled, stole second and scored on a ground out to get San Diego on the board at 3-1. Mason set them down in order in the ninth for his 16th save.

The Phillies scored five run in the seventh inning to get an 8-6 win in game two. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a three-run homer by Utley, who was 3-for-3 with a pair of homers and four RBI in the game. Kendrick kept the Padres off the board until the sixth when they tied the game at 3-3 on a two-run homer by Maybin and a solo shot by Chase Headley. Logan Forsythe started the seventh with a triple and scored on a two-out single by Maybin, putting San Diego up 4-3. The Phils got five in the bottom of the seventh on a pinch-hit homer from Howard (Mayberry started the game at first), a three-run shot from Martinez and a solo blast by Utley. They led 8-4, but San Diego came back with two more in the eighth with the runs changed to Bastardo, who allowed two singles, two walks and a wild pitch in the frame before being pulled for Herndon. Madson pitched the ninth again with an 8-6 lead and again got the save. He allowed a two-out double to Ryan Ludwick off the glove of Ibanez, but struck out Kyle Blanks as the tying run to end the game.

The Phils won yesterday’s game 5-3 behind eight strong innings from Halladay.

The Phillies are 64-36 on the year after taking the first three from the Padres in the four-game set. They’re 28 games over .500 for the first time on the season and in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the Braves. Since pulling to within 2 1/2 games of the Phils, the Braves have lost four of six.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Only two of the runs were earned. All eight hits he allowed were singles and he struck out eight.

Maybin was the first batter of the game and singled to center. He stole second before Will Venable struck out swinging, but came around to score when Headley singled to right, putting San Diego up 1-0. Brown’s throw home was terrible, way up the third base line, and Headley took second. Headley went to third when Ludwick flew to center for the second out and was left stranded when Halladay struck Blanks out swinging to end the frame.

Terrible throw by Brown, but it doesn’t cost the Phils this time.

Halladay pitched the second up 2-1. Alberto Gonzalez singled with two outs, but Halladay struck pitcher Tim Stauffer out swinging to leave Gonzalez stranded

Venable singled with one out in the third, but Halladay got the next two to leave him stranded.

Halladay was up 5-1 when he started the fourth. Blanks led off with a single before Forsythe struck out for the first out. Kyle Phillips was next and hit a ball to Howard, who threw it away for his fifth error of the season. It put men on first and second for Gonzalez and he singled to right, scoring Blanks (5-2) and moving Phillips to third. Stauffer got down a bunt and Phillips scored, making it 5-3, as Howard fielded and went to first for the second out. Maybin reached on an infield single that sent Gonzalez from second to third, but Venable grounded to first to leave both runners stranded.

Big error by Howard helps the Padres score an unearned run.

Blanks walked with two outs in the fifth. Forsythe followed that with a single that moved Blanks to third, with Forsythe taking second on the throw to third. Halladay struck Phillips out looking 3-2 to leave both men stranded.

Halladay didn’t allow a runner to reach base after that. He set the Padres down in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth.

Bastardo took over in the ninth after Madson got saves in the first two games of the set. Bastardo was coming off a weak outing in game two of the series in which he had allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning. He set San Diego down in order, getting Gonzalez on a fly ball to left, pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson on a fly ball to right before striking Chris Denorfia out looking 2-2 to end the game.

Eighth save on the year for Bastardo. He threw 17 pitches in the game and has thrown two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Stauffer went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Ruiz catches the day game against the righty after Schneider started the night before against the righty Latos.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the first. Utley walked with two outs and moved to third when Howard followed with a single. Victorino was next and he singled into center, scoring Utley (1-1) and moving Howard to second. Ibanez got behind 0-2, but doubled off the wall in right. Howard scored to put the Phils up 2-1 with men on second and third. Brown flew to left to leave them there.

Ruiz walked to start the second and Halladay bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins moved him to third with a ground out before Martinez walked, putting men first and third for Utley. Utley struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

Howard doubled to start the third and Victorino bunted him to third with the first out. Ibanez followed with a single to right that scored Howard, putting the Phils up 3-1. Brown singled to right and Ibanez took second before Ruiz cleared the bases with a double. 5-1. Halladay struck out and Rollins grounded to second to leave Brown at second.

Up 5-3, the Phils went in order in the fourth and again in the fifth.

Halladay walked on five pitches with one out in the sixth. Rollins flew to center before Martinez moved Halladay to second with a single. Lefty Josh Spence took over for Stauffer and got Utley to fly to center to leave both runners stranded.

Halladay draws a walk after getting the bunt down in the second.

Victorino walked with one out in the seventh, but Ibanez and Brown went down behind him to leave him at first. Ibanez was robbed of a two-run homer by Denorfia, blasting a ball that Denorfia went over the center field wall running hard to catch for the second out.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. Gload hit for Halladay and struck out for the second out.

Gload got a hit in game two of the set, but is now 2-for-his-last-16.

Rollins was 0-for-5 in the game. He’s 1-for-12 in the series so far.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a walk and a single. 296/350/463 in 54 at-bats in July.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-10 with a double and two homers in the series so far.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an error. 5-for-31 (.161) since the All-Star break.

Victorino 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-9 with two weeks in the series.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Denorfia took a two-run homer away from him with a fantastic catch in the seventh.

Brown 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 5-for-his-last-13.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBI. 353/459/529 in 51 at-bats in July.

Lee (9-6, 2.83) faces righty Aaron Harang (8-2, 3.29) this afternoon. Harang had a 5.05 ERA for the year after his first eight starts on the season. Over his last eight starts he’s thrown to a 1.73 ERA with a 1.17 ratio and has allowed more than two runs in a start once. Lee has been even better in his last eight starts, throwing to a 1.42 ERA with an 0.82 ratio.


Cubs caught up in a Worleywind

Vance Worley continued his awesome and almost completely unexpected run yesterday, allowing a run over eight innings as the Phils pounded the Cubs 9-1.

The Phillies are now 8-2 in the games Worley has started this year. He hasn’t allowed more than one run in any of his last six starts. In those outings he’s gone 4-0 with an 0.98 ERA and an 0.97 ratio and opponents have hit .163 against him.

Jimmy Rollins also had a monster day, too, doubling and hitting two home runs, one from each side of the plate. Rollins, Martinez and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 in the game at the top of the order, driving in six runs and scoring seven. The three guys behind them, Howard, Victorino and Ibanez, combined to go 2-for-12 yesterday and 2-for-31 with two singles in the series.

The Phillies are 61-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-1 yesterday. The Phils take the series two games to one and are 25 games above .500 for the first time on the year. The second-place Braves have lost two in a row and fallen 4 1/2 games behind the Phils in the NL East.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.02 in his 62 1/3 innings.

He walked Starlin Castro with one out in the first, but got Aramis Ramirez to line to a leading Rollins for the second out and struck Carlos Pena out looking to end the inning.

Up 5-0, Worley hit Geovany Soto with a pitch on the hand with one out. Alfonso Soriano was next and he smashed a line drive that Worley caught. Worley went to first and Soto was doubled-off to end the inning.

Nice play by Worley. Three outs on hard hit line drives for Worley in the first two innings after Rollins retired Ramirez on a line drive to short in the first.

Up 6-0, Worley set the Cubs down in order in the third.

Up 7-0, he struck out Ramirez and Pena in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Soto singled to right with one out in the fifth for the first Chicago hit of the day. Soriano was next and hit a ground ball to short with Soto forced at second for the second out. Darwin Barney grounded out behind him to end the inning.

Up 8-0, Worley struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Baker and Castro in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Ramirez doubled to center to start the seventh and Pena walked behind him. Marlon Byrd was next and singled to left, loading the bases with nobody out. Soto hit a ball deflected by Martinez that Rollins got to and threw to second to force Soto for the first out. Ramirez scored on the play to make it 8-1, but it was a very nice play by Rollins to get an out anywhere. It put men on first and third for Soriano and Soriano hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with a 9-1 lead. Worley had thrown 111 pitches. Madson set the Cubs down in order.

Madson threw eight pitches in the game and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.14. In his three outings since his return, he’s allowed a run on two hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings. I think we’re going to see him start to pitch less often in 9-1 games soon.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ryan Dempster went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Schneider. Martinez stays at third and in the two-hole with Polanco still sidelined. The lefty Schneider catches the day game against a righty with Ruiz on the bench.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and struck out for the first out. Martinez was next and hit a high popup that was lost in the sun, deflected by Castro for a single. Martinez stole second before Utley walked, bringing Howard to the plate with men on first and second. With the runners on the move, Howard hit a ground ball to short that went through for a single, scoring Martinez to make it 1-0 and moving Utley to third. Victorino was next and hit a soft ground ball to third. Ramirez could only take the out at first, Utley scored and the Phils led 2-0. Ibanez flew to right for the third out.

Way to make the most of popup with nobody on base. Another stolen base by Martinez, whose steal in game two should have led to a run in the sixth inning of game two for the Phils. Good no-strikeout by Victorino to bring home the second run of the frame. He was striking out in about 10.1% of his plate appearances for the year coming into the game, which is the lowest mark of his career (11.5% for his career).

Brown and Schneider both struck out to start the second before Worley and Rollins doubled back-to-back, with the double by Rollins plating Worley to make it 3-0. Martinez was next and he singled into center, scoring Rollins. 4-0. Martinez stole second again and there was a brief delay in the game to allow everyone to run and try to claim him in their fantasy leagues. Except literally. Utley followed that with the third double of the inning, scoring Martinez. 5-0. Dempster struck Howard out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.

Victorino led off the third with a walk. Ibanez flew to right before Victorino was thrown out trying to steal second. Brown followed that with a walk and he came around to score when Schneider doubled to center. 6-0. Worley struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Schneider at second.

Fourth extra-base hit for the Phils in the first three innings of the game. The caught stealing by Victorino costs the Phils a run.

Rollins led off the fourth and hit a ball to Pena that Pena first didn’t handle and then threw away. Two errors for Pena on the play left Rollins at second with nobody out. Martinez grounded back to the pitcher with Rollins holding for the first out before Utley doubled again, scoring Rollins to make it 7-0. Utley moved to third on a Howard ground out to first, but was left there when Victorino flew to right.

Brown and Schneider both struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Rollins homered to right off of righty Ramon Ortiz with one out in the sixth. 8-0. Martinez and Utley both grounded out behind him.

Ibanez and Brown singled back-to-back with two outs in the seventh. Schneider followed that with a walk that loaded the bases for Worley. Worley grounded to first to end the frame.

Mayberry hit for Howard with lefty John Grabow pitching for the Cubs and struck out for the first out. That might have as much to do with trying to get Mayberry at-bats with the return of Victorino as it does with Howard never, ever getting a hit.

Rollins led off the eighth with a home run to left off the lefty Grabow, putting the Phils up 9-1. The Phils went in order behind him, with Valdez hitting for Utley and striking out for the second out.

Second home run of the year against a lefty for Rollins. He came into the game hitting 240/275/302 against lefties for the year.

Brown walked with two outs in the ninth. Schneider hit the ball hard, but grounded to first to end the frame.

Rollins was 3-for-5 in the game with a double, two home runs and four runs scored. 6-for-14 with a double and three home runs in the three-game set. 316/368/511 over his last 144 plate appearances. 277/344/410 for the year. 22-for-his-last-51 (431/463/706 over his last 54 plate appearances).

Martinez 2-for-5 with an RBI. 5-for-13 in the series with a walk, a double and three RBI. 236/278/321 for the year. 310/362/452 in 47 plate appearances in July.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk, two doubles and two RBI. 3-for-10 with a walk, three doubles and four RBI in the series. After going 0-for-3 in game one of the set, he was 1-for-his-last-14. In the last two games of the series he was 3-for-7 with three doubles. 270/367/433 for the year. He’s hitting just 200/321/356 against lefties for the year.

Howard 1-for-3 with an RBI. 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series. 2-for-22 with two singles since the All-Star break. 247/342/452. Mayberry went 0-for-2 yesterday and 2-for-7 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 238/310/420 for the year.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-8 with a walk since being activated for game two of the series. He’s hitting 295/368/509 for the season.

Ibanez 1-for-5 yesterday and 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 243/288/414 on the year.

Brown 1-for-3 with two walks yesterday. 3-for-8 with a double and four walks in the series. 247/339/395 for the year. He’s 3-for-his-last-15 with six walks, giving him a .200 batting average but a .429 on-base percentage over those 15 plate appearances.

Schneider 1-for-4 with a walk, a double and an RBI in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 188/253/319 for the year.

No game today. The Phils play the Padres in Philadelphia tomorrow night.

I will be surprised if the Phillies trade Domonic Brown in a deal to get Carlos Beltran.

Polanco will be getting an injection in his lower back today.

Stadium Journey has recently written about Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA, which is home to the Williamsport Crosscutters. The Crosscutters are the Phillies affiliate in the NY-Penn League.


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