Archive for July, 2011

Phils so good the front office decides to give ‘em the next four days off

The Phils put an exclamation point on the first half of their season, hammering the Braves 14-1 behind another dominant start by Hamels and a 20-hit performance from the offense.

With the win, the Phils take two of three in the series. They go into the All-Star break with the best record in baseball, on pace to win 101 games.

They won the opener of the series 3-2 on a walkoff homer by Ibanez in the tenth. Halladay started for the Phils and gave up a run in the second when Chipper Jones singled, took second and then came in to score on a single by Freddie Freeman, putting Atlanta up 1-0. The Phils tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on singles by Ibanez and Ruiz and a sac fly by Valdez. Halladay gave up three hits in the fourth, the third of which was a single by Dan Uggla that plated Brian McCann to put the Braves up 2-1. Again the Phils tied the game right back up on a homer by Ruiz in the bottom of the fourth. The Phils didn’t allow a run in the game after that. Halladay pitched scoreless frames in the fifth, sixth and seventh and was followed by Stutes, Bastardo and Perez, who combined to throw three innings without allowing a hit or a walk. Ibanez homered off of righty Scott Proctor with one out in the tenth to give the Phils the win.

Atlanta took game two 4-1 in eleven innings. Cliff Lee started the game for the Phils and pitched great. He gave the Phils a 1-0 lead himself in the third, hitting his first career home run. Dan Uggla tied the game with a homer of his own off of Lee in the fifth. It was the only run that Lee would allow in the game. He went eight scoreless innings and was followed by Bastardo, who threw a scoreless ninth, and Perez, who threw a scoreless tenth. Stutes walked Eric Hinkse to start the eleventh and Hinkse was bunted to second. Alex Gonzalez hit a popup in foul territory that Howard couldn’t make a play on, allow the at-bat to continue. Gonzalez singled Hinkse home to make it 2-1 and McCann followed that with a two-run homer.

Yesterday Hamels was fantastic and the offense pounded out 14 runs as the Phils rolled to a 14-1 win.

The Phillies go into the All-Star break at 57-34 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 14-1 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one and are in first place in the NL East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out six and goes into the break at 11-4 with a 2.32 ERA and an 0.93 ratio. Right-handed batters have hit 198/242/282 against him for the year.

He walked McCann with two outs in the first, but got Freeman to fly to left behind him for the third out.

Uggla led off the second with a double and moved to third on a ground out by Jason Heyward. Julio Lugo was next and hit a ground ball to third, which was fielded by Rollins. Rollins threw to first in time to get Lugo, but Howard didn’t catch it for an error and Atlanta led 1-0. Nate McLouth was next and grounded to second with Lugo forced at second for the second out. Jordan Schaefer went down trying to bunt for a hit to end the frame.

More bad defense from Howard in the series, even though it didn’t cost the Phils a run.

Hamels set Atlanta down in order in the third with the score tied at 1-1. Martinez made a fantastic playing leaning over the third base railing to retire Freeman for the third out.

Heyward doubled to right with one out in the fourth and the Phils up 3-1. Hamels struck Lugo out behind him for the second out before walking McLouth. The pitcher Derek Lowe flew to center for the third out.

Up 4-1, Hamels set Atlanta down in order in the fifth.

He got them in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Up 10-1, Hamels threw a 1-2-3 eighth. David Ross hit for McCann with two outs and hit a long fly ball to left, but Ibanez made a great catch, timing his jump perfectly and catching the ball at the top of the wall to set Atlanta down.

Kendrick pitched the ninth up 14-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Freeman, but got the next three hitters behind him.

Seven pitches in the game for Kendrick. The pen should be really well rested for the next game, which isn’t till Friday.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Mayberry. Martinez at third for Polanco and Mayberry in center for Victorino.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a single and moved to second when Martinez followed with a single to right. Utley grounded to short with Martinez forced at second for the first out before Howard hit into a double-play.

Rollins probably could have gone to third on Martinez’s single to right. Not doing so keeps the Phils off the board.

Down 1-0, Brown singled to center with one out in the second. He came around to score when Mayberry followed with a double to left, tying the game at 1-1. Hamels grounded to short for the third out.

Martinez and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the third, putting men on first and third. Utley stole second before Howard singled to center, scoring Martinez to put the Phils up 2-1 with men on first and third. Ibanez was next and hit a ball hard to second that Uggla didn’t handle for an error. Utley scored (3-1) and Howard took second. Ruiz and Brown both grounded out to keep the Phils from getting more.

Mayberry started the fourth with another double to left and Hamels bunted him to third with the first out. Rollins singled into center, scoring Mayberry to make it 4-1. Martinez moved Rollins to second with another single, but Utley hit into a double-play to end the inning.

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

They scored six times in the seventh. Rollins singled and went to third on a one-out single by Utley. Utley stole second again and Howard was walked intentionally to load the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled to right, scoring Rollins and Utley (6-1) and moving Howard to second. The runners took second and third on a wild pitch before Ruiz walked, loading the bases again. Brown singled to left, scoring Howard and Ibanez. 8-1 with men on first and second. Mayberry doubled to left yet again, scoring both runners and making it 10-1 with a man on second and one out. Hamels struck out and Rollins flew to center to leave Mayberry at second.

Martinez started the eighth with a single and moved up to second on a one-out single by Howard before Ibanez homered to right. 13-1. Ruiz doubled and moved to third on a single by Brown. Mayberry grounded to third for the second out with Brown forced at second and Ruiz scoring. 14-1. Gload hit for Hamels and flew to right to end the inning.

Rollins was 3-for-5 in the game. He was 5-for-14 in the three-game series and goes into the break hitting 268/340/383 for the year.

Martinez was 4-for-5 in the game and 5-for-6 in the series to raise his line on the year to 229/270/289.

Utley was 2-for-5 yesterday with five men left on base. 3-for-14 with a walk in the set. 280/370/439.

Howard 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-14 with a walk and an RBI in the series. 257/353/475 for the year. 238/333/349 over his last 72 plate appearances.

Ibanez 2-for-5 with a home run and six RBI yesterday. 5-for-15 with two home runs and seven RBI in the series. Hit the walkoff homer that won game one in the tenth. 241/287/416 for the year. Over his last five games he’s gone 9-for-25 with three home runs and 13 RBI. 275/307/498 over his last 244 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. 4-for-10 with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 255/360/359 for the year. 279/388/382 in his last 161 plate appearances.

Brown 3-for-5 with two RBI. 5-for-13 with five singles and two RBI in the series. 252/327/408 on the year. He came into July hitting 214/294/411 for the year and has hit 371/436/400 so far in 35 July plate appearances.

Mayberry 3-for-5 with three doubles and four RBI. 4-for-14 with a walk, four doubles and four RBI in the series. 244/326/439 for the year so far.

No game today. The next game for the Phils is against the Mets in New York on Friday.

Polanco will join Victorino in not playing in the All-Star game. The linked article also suggests Madson may be back shortly after the break.


Not saying it’s a big deal, I’m just saying if the Braves win the series somebody better make sure Chicken Little is ready for his close-up

The Phillies have played fewer games than the Braves this more and won more (55-33 for the Phils and 53-36 for the Braves). They are scoring more runs per game (4.16 to 4.02) and allowing fewer (3.27 to 3.30). So what could be the problem?

Maybe nothing. But there’s this — here are the standings in the NL East since the end of April:

Team W L PCT GB RS RA
ATL 40 21 .656 - 248 203
PHI 37 25 .597 3 1/2 246 200
NYM 34 27 .557 6 273 248
WSN 33 30 .524 8 249 241
FLA 24 39 .381 17 226 295

The Phils ended April at 18-8 while the Braves were 13-15. Atlanta has been 3 1/2 games better since. Since April they have outscored the Phils, plating about 4.07 runs per game while the Phils scored about 3.97. The Phillies have still been better at preventing runs, allowing around 3.23 runs per game while the Braves have allowed about 3.33 runs per game. While Atlanta has won 3 1/2 more games than the Phils, the Phils run differential has actually been a tiny bit better since the end of April. The Phillies are at +.742 per game while Atlanta is at +.738.

Finally, I don’t think there are a lot of people who think the Mets are going to win the NL East this season, but it’s worth nothing they’re seven games over .500 in this time period and have scored way more runs than either the Phils or Braves. So let’s hope they don’t get any pitching.

Lidge had his second straight good outing in relief at Single-A Lakewood last night. He’s now allowed two hits and struck out two in two scoreless innings.

Victorino was voted into the All-Star game, but may not play.


Bullpen conflicted about whether they’re better off trying to improve or just convince the front office they’re all Rule V picks

The Phils were unable to finish off the sweep of the Marlins last night, getting miserable pitching as they failed to hold leads of 4-0 and 6-3. They made three errors in the game and Domonic Brown had two big miscues, having a ball go through his legs in the outfield to help Florida score two runs in the third and missing second base on a would-be triple ahead of a home run by Mayberry in the sixth.

As bad as that was, it was hard not to notice the bullpen. The Phils used four relievers in the game and three of them ended the day with an ERA over five for the year. Danys Baez gave up a walkoff homer to Mike Stanton with one out in the bottom of the tenth. That pushes his ERA on the year to 5.40. In his two seasons with the Phils he’s now thrown to a 5.44 ERA with a 1.56 ratio in 82 2/3 innings.

For the Phils, it’s the fourth time in the last 13 games the bullpen has had a bad day. In three of those games they’ve been terrible. Through the end of May, the bullpen threw to a 2.80 ERA and a 1.28 ratio in 151 innings. Since June 9 they’ve thrown to a 4.40 ERA with a 1.41 ratio in 57 1/3 innings. Over the last 13 games they’ve thrown 27 innings with a 6.33 ERA and a 1.59 ratio.

The Phillies are 55-33 on the year after losing to the Florida Marlins 7-6 in ten innings last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. They remain in first place in the NL East, but are just three games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. Only one of the runs was earned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out two and his ERA on the year actually dropped to 3.64. But he didn’t pitch very well.

Emilio Bonifacio bunted for a single to start the bottom of the first. Omar Infante moved him to second with a single and it brought Gaby Sanchez to the plate with nobody out and men on first and second. Sanchez tried to bunt, of course, and popped it up to Ruiz in foul territory for the first out. Hanley Ramirez hit into a double-play behind him.

Not sure why you would bunt with your three hitter when every batter you’ve sent to the plate in the game has reached base, but it sure helped the Phils.

Up 2-0, Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second.

The pitcher Anibal Sanchez singled to right with one out in the third and the Phils up 4-0. Kendrick walked Bonifacio before getting Infante on a fly ball to center for the second out. Sanchez was next and singled to right, but the ball went through Brown’s legs and rolled to the wall. Both runners scored, Brown was charged with an error and the lead was cut to 4-2 with Sanchez at third. Ramirez followed that and hit a ball slowly to short. Rollins charged and threw wildly to first. Ramirez had a single, but held first, and Sanchez scored. 4-3. Morrison grounded to second to end the inning.

I guess it was too much to hope for Sanchez to bunt with two outs.

Up 5-3, Kendrick allowed a one-out double to Bryan Petersen in the fourth, but got the next two hitters behind him.

Bonifacio walked to start the fifth, but Ruiz threw him out trying to steal second for the first out. Infante singled to left, but Kendrick got Sanchez to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Herndon started the sixth up 6-3 after the Phils hit for Kendrick in the top of the inning. Ramirez led off with a single before Logan Morrison hit a 3-1 pitch out to center, cutting the lead to 6-5. Herndon struck out Mike Stanton for the first out before Petersen singled to right. John Buck flew to center for the second out and lefty Dewayne Wise hit for the pitcher Michael Dunn. The righty Carpenter came in to pitch to Wise and got him on a ground ball to second to end the inning.

Carpenter struck Bonifacio out to start the seventh before Infante tripled down the first base line. Sanchez walked before Ramirez singled into center, scoring Infante to tie the game at 6-6 with one out and men on first and second. Morrison was next and he hit a fly ball right at Mayberry. Mayberry didn’t play it right, then dove forward and had it go off of his glove for an error that loaded the bases. It brought Stanton to the plate and he shattered his bat hitting a grounder to third. Martinez made a great play as the head of the bat whizzed past, throwing to second for the first out. Utley made a hop and a strong enough throw to first to double-up Stanton and end the inning.

Great play by Martinez and Utley to get the double-play. The ball wasn’t hit hard. I bet the play where you ignore the huge shards of wood flying past is hard to practice. Two is too many errors for your outfielders to make in one game.

Stutes pitched the eighth with the game still tied at 6-6. Buck singled with one out and Brett Hayes ran for him at first. Mike Cameron hit for the pitcher and Stutes threw wildly to first trying to pick off Hayes for an error that allowed Hayes to take second before Cameron popped up to Howard for the second out of the inning. Stutes struck Bonifacio out swinging 2-2 to leave Hayes at third.

Third error of the game for the Phillies.

Baez set the Marlins down in order in the ninth.

He was back to start the tenth and got Morrison on a ground ball to second for the first out. Stanton was next and he rocketed a 2-1 pitch out to left to give Florida a 7-6 win.

Not a good day for the pen in long relief of Kendrick. They went 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk.

Carpenter threw 26 pitches in the game, Stutes 23 and Baez 22. Herndon 16. Off day today, so those guys should be available for the Braves.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Mayberry. Martinez makes his first appearance of the year at third. Mayberry plays center with Victorino still sidelined with thumb problems. Martinez shouldn’t be hitting second in any lineup, regardless of injuries.

Rollins led off the game with a single. Martinez struck out behind him for the first out before Utley singled to right. Rollins rounded second for third and Stanton’s throw went to third, but was cut off by Ramirez and Utley was caught up between first and second and tagged out for the second out. Howard struck out to leave Rollins at third.

Brown walked with two outs in the second. Mayberry was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 2-0. Kendrick struck out swinging for the third out.

Utley doubled with two outs in the third and Howard was walked intentionally behind him. Ibanez was next and he laced a double to left-center, just out of the reach of Petersen. It cleared the bases and the Phils led 4-0. Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind him before Brown struck out swinging to end the frame.

It was 4-3 when the Phillies hit in the fourth. Mayberry and Kendrick both struck out swinging before Rollins laced a 3-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 5-3. Martinez walked behind him before Utley flew to center.

Rollins continues to show power against righties with the home run off of Sanchez. He’s slugging .292 against lefties for the year compared to .417 against righties. Nice to see Martinez draw a walk.

Howard singled to start the fifth, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him. Ruiz was next and hit the ball hard, but Ramirez handled it at short and threw to first for the third out.

Brown led off the sixth and lined a ball to left-center just past a sliding and flailing Petersen. He raced all the way around to third, but it was ruled that he failed to touch second and was the first out of the inning. Mayberry was next and homered again to left, putting the Phils up 6-3. Valdez hit for Kendrick, who had thrown just 81 pitches and allowed one earned run in five innings, and lined to left. Rollins popped to second for the third out.

Early hook for Kendrick. He wasn’t pitching well, but that was early. I’d feel better about it if the Phils had a better hitter to stick up there than Valdez. Brown costs the Phils a run with the base-running mistake ahead of the home run.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

In the eighth they went in order with the score tied at 6-6.

Mayberry grounded to second for the first out in the ninth. With righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Fish, Gload hit for Stutes and popped to short for the second. Rollins walked and stole second on a pitchout (with help of a terrible throw from Hayes) before Martinez walked. It put men on first and second for Utley and Utley flew to left to leave them both stranded.

The Phils went in order in the tenth.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a walk and a homer in the series. 7-for-13 with two walks, a double, a home run and two stolen bases in the three-game series. 264/338/384 for the year.

Martinez was 0-for-3 and walked twice. He made a great play to avoid a flying bat and start a double-play in the seventh. He also made a very nice catch in center early in game two of the series. If only he could hit. 2-for-13 with a triple, two walks and four RBI in the set. 182/229/247 for the year.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double. 4-for-13 with a double and two strikeouts in the series. 287/380/462 for the year. 324/412/529 in his last 120 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk. 5-for-13 with a double, a home run and two walks in the series, both of which were intentional. 258/356/486 for the year.

Ibanez 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and six RBI in the series. 236/285/400 for the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4. 1-for-9 in the series and he was twice hit by pitch.

Brown 1-for-3 in the game with two big mistakes — missing second the would-be triple and having the ball go through his legs in the third. 5-for-10 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 239/322/410 for the year.

Mayberry was 2-for-4 with three RBI in the first multi-homer game of his career. 2-for-5 with a walk in the series in his first action with the team since June. 239/325/422 in 123 plate appearances for the season. He and Brown have very similar lines for the year.

No game today. Atlanta tomorrow night.


Something special

On August 7, 2008, Chris Volstad made his first career start against the Phils and threw six shutout innings, prompting Jimmy Rollins to proclaim him “nothing special.” That seemed a little ridiculous at the time, but seems a lot less so today as the Phils have had a whole lot of success against Volstad since.

They certainly did last night, pounding Volstad and the Marlins as they won 14-2. Rollins had four hits in the game, which wasn’t close to the best offensive performance of the game for the Phils. Howard and Ibanez combined to go 7-for-10 with two walks and eight RBI.

Volstad came into the game having thrown to a 1.31 ERA over his last three starts. After allowing seven runs in four innings last night, he has a career 5.88 ERA and a 1.59 ratio in 12 starts against the Phils.

The Phillies are 55-32 on the year after hammering the Florida Marlins 14-2 last night. They are 7-2 in their last nine and lead the NL East by four games over the second-place Braves. Fourteen run is a season-high for the Phils are they are 23 games over .500 for the first time this year.

The Marlins are 7-26 since the end of May.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.40. Hamels now has a better ERA, ERA+ and ratio for the season than Halladay. Halladay has struck hitters out at a higher rate and gone deeper into games, but Hamels has thrown an average of 6.89 innings per start. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start in any of his last eight outings.

Gaby Sanchez doubled to right on a ball deflected by Brown with two outs in the first. Hamels walked Hanley Ramirez on a 3-2 pitch behind him, putting men on first and second for Logan Morrison. Morrison hit the ball hard, but Howard took it at first and flipped to Hamels to end the inning.

Mike Stanton started the bottom of the second with a single, but Hamels got the next three to leave him stranded. Martinez made a nice diving play in center on a line drive hit by Bryan Petersen for the second out.

Hamels pitched the third with a 5-0 lead. Omar Infante singled to left with one out, but Hamels got Gaby Sanchez on a fly ball to left for the second out and Ramirez looking for the third.

It was 7-0 when he started the fourth. Stanton tripled to center with one out. Catcher John Buck was next and Buck hit a 2-0 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 7-2. Petersen followed that with a single into center, but Hamels got the next two hitters to prevent further damage.

That’s just the seventh home run of the year allowed by Hamels and the second since May 23. Righties came into the game slugging .263 against him for the season.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He struck out Buck and Morrison in a 1-2-3 sixth with an 8-2 lead.

With two outs in the seventh, Emilio Bonifacio hit a slow ground ball to third. Valdez wasn’t going to get Bonifacio anyway, but threw to first and his throw was bad for an error that allowed Bonifacio to take second. Infante grounded to second to leave Bonifacio stranded.

Ramirez doubled to right with one out in the eighth. Morrison followed that and hit a foul ball that Martinez, playing second, took after a run. Ramirez tagged up and took third with two outs. Stanton struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Ramirez at third.

Mathieson started the ninth with a 14-2 lead. Greg Dobbs led off with a single and move to third when Petersen doubled behind him. Mathieson struck out Brett Hayes and Bonifacio, though, before hitting Infante to load the bases. Sanchez popped to Rollins to leave them loaded and end the game.

Five innings for Mathieson on the year now without being charged with a run. He’s allowed nine hits and three walks in five innings for a 2.40 ratio. Opponents are hitting .409 against him. He threw 22 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. Martinez in center again with Victorino sidelined with thumb issues. Polanco on the bench with a sore back. Valdez starts at third. Ruiz hits sixth, breaking up the lefties Ibanez and Brown.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez singled to center with one out in the second and moved up to second when Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind him. Brown was next and grounded to second with Ruiz forced at second for the second out. With men on first and third, Valdez grounded to second to end the frame.

Rollins singled to center with one out in the third. Martinez struck out swinging behind him for the second out, but Utley moved Rollins to third with a single to right. Volstad walked Howard intentionally, loading the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled to center. Rollins and Utley both scored, making it 2-0 with two down and men on first and second. Ruiz singled to left and the bases were loaded. Brown singled to left and everyone moved up a base. 3-0 with the bases loaded. Valdez singled to center and Ibanez and Ruiz scored. 5-0 with men on first and second. Hamels struck out looking 3-2 for the third out.

Lots of hits for the Phils there, but Ibanez makes Volstad pay for walking Howard intentionally.

Rollins started the fourth with a single. Martinez and Utley went down on ground balls behind him, leaving Martinez on second with two down for Howard. Howard hit an 0-1 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 7-0. Ibanez grounded to third for the third out.

Howard has absurd numbers against Volstad for his career — 13-for-26 with five walks and eight homers for a 500/581/1.462 line. It was home run number 18 on the year for Howard. All 18 have come against right-handed pitchers.

Up 7-2, Brown walked with one out in the fifth. Valdez and Hamels went down behind him.

Rollins led off the sixth with a double and scored on a two-out single by Howard to make it 8-2. Ibanez followed Howard with a walk, but Ruiz struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

Hamels walked with two outs in the seventh and moved to second on a single by Rollins. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch, but Martinez grounded to first to leave them both stranded.

Mayberry, who just took Worley’s spot on the roster, started the eighth with a walk. He moved to second when Howard followed with a single on a ball that was originally called a catch in right field but clearly was not. Ibanez was next and hit into a double-play, leaving Mayberry to third with two down. Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.

Brown started the ninth with a single and went to third on a one-out, pinch-hit double by Francisco. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Martinez, who delivered a bases clearing triple to center that put the Phils up 11-2. Mayberry struck out for the second out before Howard brought Martinez home with a double. 12-2. Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch out to right. 14-2. Ruiz grounded to third to end the frame.

Francisco is 4-for-8 with three doubles in July.

Rollins was 4-for-5 with a double in the game. It was his second four-hit game of the last nine.

Martinez was 1-for-6 with a three-run triple. He also made a nice diving catch in center in the second. He’s hitting .189 and on-basing .218 for the year. In 25 plate appearances against lefties for the year he has a .250 OPS (3-for-24 with three singles and no walks).

Utley 1-for-4. 340/407/468 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Howard was 4-for-5 with a walk, a double, a home run and four RBI. That’s probably his best offensive day of the season with the possible exception of his April 29 game against the Mets where he went 2-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a walk, a home run and four RBI in what’s probably the best offense day of the season for him so far as well. From May 31 to June 28, Ibanez drove in just three runs in 94 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-5 and struck out twice. Despite the two strikeouts, his strikeout rate for the season isn’t bad compared to his career numbers. His power is way down, though. Using slugging percentage minus batting average to calculate isolated power, he was at .145 last year is at .131 for his career and just .093 this season.

Brown 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 7-for-19 with three walks and a double so far in July.

Valdez 1-for-5 with two RBI. He’s 1-for-his-last-17. Among 131 NL players with 175 plate appearances, his .277 on-base percentage is 120th. He also made his sixth error of the season — coming into the year he had made six errors in his career.

Kyle Kendrick (4-4, 3.81) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (6-2, 3.30) tonight. Sanchez has been very good this year, but was hit hard by the Rangers in his most recent start, allowing seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. He’s allowing both walks and hits at well being his career levels so far in 2011. Kendrick didn’t fare well in his last start, either, allowing six runs to the Blue Jays over seven innings on Friday. He’s thrown to a 4.80 ERA in his six starts on the season.


Worley may be wondering if the majors are a lot like baseball except that nobody on either team can hit at all

The Phillies are 3-0 in the last three games that Vance Worley has started — that’s pretty impressive in itself, but it’s even more impressive given that they’ve scored a total of four runs in those games.

In last night’s game, Worley allowed two singles and two walks over seven shutout innings and Michael Martinez drove in the only run of the contest, scoring Brown from second with a seventh-inning single.

Over his last four starts, Worley has thrown to an 0.72 ERA and an 0.92 ratio over 25 innings.

The Phillies are 54-32 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 1-0 last night. They have won six of their last eight and three of four to start July.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two singles and two walks. He struck out six and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.20. The Phils are 6-2 in the eight games he’s started this season.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Hanley Ramirez singled to start the second and Logan Morrison popped to third behind him for the first out . Mike Stanton was next and hit a ground ball to third. Polanco went to Utley to force Ramirez for the second out. Utley didn’t have much of a chance to double-up Stanton, but threw to first anyway and his throw was bad. Howard didn’t handle it, but luckily it did not get far enough away from him to allow Stanton to take second. Stanton stole second before Bryan Petersen flew to left to leave him stranded.

Emilio Bonifacio singled with two outs in the third and stole second before Omar Infante grounded to third to end the inning.

Worley had thrown 46 pitches through three innings.

He walked Gaby Sanchez on a 3-2 pitch to start the bottom of the fourth, but struck Ramirez and Morrison both out looking for the first two outs. Stanton flew to center to leave Sanchez at first.

John Buck walked with one out in the fifth and the pitcher Ricky Nolasco bunted him to second with the second out. Bonifacio was next and hit a ground ball to first. Howard flipped to Worley covering first and Bonifacio was called out to end the inning. Bonifacio was ejected after pointing out that Worley didn’t really tag him and throwing his helmet.

Worley set Florida down in order in the sixth.

He had thrown 89 pitches through six innings.

Up 1-0, Worley set Florida down in order in the seventh.

Stutes threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils still up a run. Lefty Dewayne Wise hit for Choate and grounded to second for the second out.

Bastardo started the ninth. Infante led off and hit a foul ball down the first base line. Utley, Brown and Howard all converged and Utley and Brown both tried to catch the ball. It was knocked out of Utley’s glove and Infante got another chance, but flew to right for the first out. Bastardo walked Sanchez on a 3-2 pitch that bounced, but got Ramirez swinging 0-2 for the second out and Morrison on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Bastardo threw 19 pitches in the game and Stutes nine. Stutes has pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ricky Nolasco went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Brown (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Martinez plays center with Victorino sidelined with a sore thumb. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the bench.

Utley singled with two outs in the first, but Howard grounded to first behind him.

Brown reached on an infield single with one out in the second, but Schneider and Martinez went down behind him.

Worley led off the third and hit a ball that was deflected by a diving Ramirez and right to Infante — Infante threw to first in time to get Worley for the first out. Rollins singled and stole second on a pitchout before Polanco walked. It put men on first and second with one out for Utley. Utley grounded to third with Polanco forced at second for the second out. Howard struck out looking to leave men stranded on the corners.

Schneider singled with two outs in the fourth. Martinez grounded to the pitcher behind him for the third out, dropping his average on the year to .182.

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

Brown singled to start the seventh and moved to second when Schneider followed with a walk. It brought Martinez to the plate and he singled into center on the first pitch of his at-bat. Peterson charged and made a nice throw home, but Brown slid in and was called safe as Buck applied a high tag. It looked like Brown might have missed the plate with his lead foot, but the Phils got the call and led 1-0 with nobody out and men on first and second. Worley struck out trying to bunt for the first out. Rollins grounded out for the second with Martinez forced at second. Polanco grounded to second to leave the runners stranded at the corners.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Brown walked to start the ninth on a close 3-2 pitch. The catcher Buck didn’t like the call and was ejected. Ruiz, who had taken over for Schneider behind the plate in the eighth, bunted Brown to second with the first out. Martinez flew to right for the second. With lefty Michael Dunn on the mound, Francisco hit for Stutes. Righty Edward Mujica came in to pitch and Gload hit for Francisco and flew to the warning track in left to set the Phillies down.

Couple of close calls in the game that the Marlins didn’t get, but the pitch Brown walked on looked like a ball to me.

Rollins was 1-for-4. He’s 5-for-his-last-28.

Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-his-last-15.

Utley 1-for-4. After hitting 222/364/370 in May, Utley hit 297/387/473 in June and is hitting 313/389/563 in the first four games of July.

Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-his-last-17.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-14.

Brown 2-for-3. 9-for-his-last-27.

Schneider 1-for-2 to raise his average to .164 on the year after 61 at-bats.

Martinez 1-for-4 with the game’s only RBI. He’s hitting 191/222/235 on the year in 68 at-bats.

Cole Hamels (9-4, 2.41) faces righty Chris Volstad (4-7, 5.01) tonight. Volstad has had three good starts in a row, throwing to a 1.31 ERA in 20 2/3 innings over his last three outings. Lefties have pounded him this year, 311/381/592, while righties have hit just 256/271/351. Hamels left his last start after four innings after Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez smashed a line drive off of the palm of his non-pitching hand. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven starts, throwing to a 1.49 ERA over 48 1/3 innings.


Phils get no relief from line drives or their bullpen

The Phils got more scoreless innings from Hamels yesterday, just not enough of them. He had to leave the game after the fourth after Adrian Gonzalez smashed a line drive off of his right hand. The pen didn’t exactly shine after his exit as Herndon and Carpenter combined to allow five runs in the next four innings, turning a scoreless game into a 5-0 lead for Boston. Howard blasted a two-run homer in the ninth, his 17th of the year and his 17th against right-handed pitching, but it wasn’t enough and the Red Sox held on to salvage a game in the set.

If the names of the guys appearing for the Phils in relief these days are starting to concern you, the results should as well. The bullpen was a huge strength of the team in the early going, but they’ve run into trouble lately and been terrible in three of the last five games they’ve been called on to pitch. In the first 75 games of the season, the bullpen combined to pitch to a 2.80 ERA with a 1.31 ratio. In the last seven games they’ve thrown to a 7.94 ERA with a 1.82 ratio. They didn’t pitch at all in two of those seven games thanks to complete games by Halladay and Lee. In three of the last five games they have pitched they’ve allowed runs — in two of the three, including yesterday’s, they were hit real hard. The Start Log tracks bullpen performance by game and starting pitcher.

The Phillies are 51-31 on the year after losing to the Boston Red Sox 5-2 last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. They are in first place in the NL East, four games ahead of the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went four scoreless innings before leaving the game after taking a line drive off his non-pitching hand. He allowed two singles and two walks in the game and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.41.

This article from the Phillies web site says he could miss his next start, which would bring the rotation down to two of its original members (Halladay and Lee).

Jacoby Ellsbury was the first batter of the game and he hit a ball slowly towards short. Rollins charged and threw to first, but Ellsbury beat it out for a single. Darnell McDonald was next and Hamels got him to hit a double-play ball to third, clearing the bases. Hamels struck Adrian Gonzalez out swinging 3-2 for the third out.

After the strikeout, Gonzalez was 1-for-8 in the series.

Josh Reddick singled to center with two outs in the second. Hamels got Drew Sutton to ground to short for the third out.

Hamels set the Red Sox down in order in the third, making a nice play to snag a line drive by Marco Scutaro for the first out.

He got McDonald on a fly ball to left to start the fourth. Gonzalez was next and he hit a line drive off of the palm of Hamels’s glove hand. Hamels picked up the ball and threw to first to get Gonzalez for the second out, but was obviously hurting from the ball hit off of his hand. He stayed in to get Pedroia on a ground ball to third for the third out.

Herndon started the fifth and got Varitek on a ground ball to short for the first out before Reddick hit a ball to right that got passed Francisco and to the wall for a triple. Drew Sutton was next and he singled to right, scoring Reddick to put Boston up 1-0. Scutaro followed that with another single, which moved Sutton to third. Herndon struck the pitcher Lester out swinging for the second out, but Ellsbury delivered a two-out single into left. Sutton scored, 2-0, and Scutaro took second. McDonald grounded to short to leave the runners stranded.

Herndon was back for the sixth. He got Gonzalez and Pedroia on a pair of ground balls for the first two outs, but Varitek was next and hit a 3-2 pitch out to right, putting Boston on top 3-0. Reddick grounded to second for the third out.

Herndon hadn’t been charged with a run in seven June appearances coming into the game, but that didn’t go well. He gave up three runs on five hits in two innings.

Didn’t go well for Carpenter, either. He made his first appearance of the year for the Phils when he started the seventh. Sutton and Scutaro started the inning with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and third for Lester. Lester tried to bunt Scutaro to second, but struck out fouling off strike three for the first out. Carpenter struck Ellsbury out looking 2-2 for the second out and lefty JD Drew hit for McDonald and lined to center to leave both runners stranded.

Carpenter struck Gonzalez out to start the eighth and things were looking just ducky. But. Pedroia hit an 0-2 pitch out to right. 4-0. Varitek was next and he hit his second homer of the day, hitting a 2-0 pitch out to right to make it 5-0. Carpenter got Reddick on a fly ball to right and struck out Sutton to end the frame.

Mathieson pitched the ninth with the Phils still down five runs. He got the first two before Ellsbury and Drew singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third for Gonzalez and Mathieson walked him on four pitches to load the bases. Mathieson kept the Red Sox off the board, getting Pedroia to pop to Utley on a 3-2 pitch to leave the runners stranded.

Third outing of the year for Mathieson. He hasn’t been charged with a run, but has allowed seven hits and four walks in three innings.

Herndon threw 46 pitches in the game. Carpenter 39 and Mathieson 26.

Five innings from the pen on the day before Kendrick’s start probably wasn’t what the Phillies were looking for.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jon Lester went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Francisco (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Brown on the bench with the righty Francisco in right. Francisco came into the game hitting 209/329/328 against lefties for the season. Ruiz catches the day game with the lefty Lester pitching after the lefty Schneider started on Wednesday night with the righty Lackey on the mound for Boston. Ruiz also had terrible numbers against lefties for the season coming into the game — 196/328/235 with two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 61 plate appearances.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard started the second with a walk. Victorino flew to left for the first out before Francisco grounded to third for the second with Howard moving up to second. Ibanez struck out swinging to leave him there.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Utley singled with one out in the fourth and stoles second. Howard flew to left and Victorino flew to center to leave him there.

Down 2-0, the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Down 3-0 they went in order in the sixth. Martinez hit for Herndon and fouled out to Gonzalez for the first out.

Howard singled to center with one out in the seventh and moved to second when Victorino followed with a walk. Francisco flew to center for the second out and Ibanez struck out again, leaving both runners stranded.

The Phils were down 5-0 when Daniel Bard set them down in order in the eighth. Gload hit for Carpenter and the righty Bard got him on a ground ball to first for the second out.

Polanco singled off of righty Bobby Jenks to start the ninth. Utley popped to third for the first out, but Howard was next and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, getting the Phils on the board at 5-2. Victorino walked on five pitches behind Howard and righty Jonathan Papelbon came in to pitch to Francisco. Victorino stole second before moving to third when Francisco grounded to second for the second out. Ibanez struck out looking to end the game and top off a day where he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and left four men on base.

Seventeen homers for Howard, all of which have come against righties. Francisco stays in to hit against the righty Papelbon with the lefty Brown presumably available.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 1-for-11 in the three-game set. He’s 5-for-his-last-28 and has gone 0-fer in five of the last seven games. 254/327/368 on the year. He’s on-basing .259 against lefties for the year.

Polanco 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-12 with three singles in the series. 288/339/363 on the year. 232/284/281 since the end of April. He has 15 extra-base hits in 340 plate appearances for the year, which is about 4.4% and the worst mark for his career.

Utley 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-10 with a triple and a walk in the series. 280/381/449 for the year. 325/424/532 over his last 93 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer. 3-for-10 with two walks in the series. 254/354/488 for the year. 260/330/354 against lefties for the year.

Victorino was 0-for-2 and walked twice. 2-for-9 with a double, a homer and two walks in the series. He’s been the best hitter for the Phils so far this year with a 289/359/504 line. His OPS against lefties for the year dropped below 1.200, though. He’s at 1.170 now.

Francisco was 0-for-4, left four men on base and didn’t look real good in the outfield in his only action of the series. 220/336/351 on the year. I’d keep giving him some starts against lefties, but his numbers against lefties are worse than his numbers against righties for the season — 200/317/314 against left-handed pitching for the season. Brown did not play yesterday, but was 2-for-6 with a double and a home run in the series. 214/294/411 for the year. 165/258/354 in 89 plate appearances in June. After hitting .210 in 77 plate appearances in 2010, he’s hitting 214 in his first 126 plate appearances in 2011.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and four men left on base in stark contrast to his game two heroics. 3-for-10 with a double and a home run in the series. 235/285/393 for the year. The .636 OPS for Phillies left fielders for the year is 14th-best of the 16 NL teams. The .292 on-base percentage is 16th of 16.

Ruiz 0-for-3 in the game and 0-for-7 in the series. He’s 1-for-his-last-14 and hitting 243/348/333 for the year. I still like the Schneider against the righty and Ruiz against the lefty in the day/night game thing, but Ruiz is now hitting 189/317/226 against lefties for the year with two extra-base hits, both doubles, in 63 plate appearances.

Kyle Kendrick (4-4, 3.23) faces lefty Ricky Romero (7-7, 2.74) today. Romero has a 1.95 ERA and a 1.08 ratio over his last nine starts. Lefties have had more luck against him than righties for the season — righties are hitting just 208/273/336 against him. Kendrick will be making his sixth start of the season and has thrown just 23 innings in his first five starts (4.6 innings per start). He’s 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA as a starter this season. Lefties are hitting just .234 against him for the year, but slugging .468. Ten of the 18 hits that Kendrick has allowed to left-handed batters this year have gone for extra-base hits, five doubles, two triples and three home runs.

This says that Oswalt will see a spine surgeon today for a second opinion on his back and that he could return by August. It also says that Madson may not be ready to return on Monday.


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