Archive for August, 2011

As Rollins goes, so go the Phils

The Phils lost Jimmy Rollins to the DL yesterday, but came out swinging last night against the Mets, scoring eight runs charged to Dillon Gee in the first four innings on their way to a 10-0 win. Mayberry and Pence both hit two-run homers in the game. Mayberry’s came off the righty starter after a groin problem forced Ibanez from the lineup.

Lee threw seven shutout innings in the game and was backed by two scoreless frames from Herndon. Again, Lee allowed one run in 42 innings in June and had an off month in July in which he threw to a 4.91 ERA in five starts. In his four starts so far in August, he has allowed two runs in 31 innings.

Since July 6, Herndon has allowed one run in 14 1/3 innings over 11 appearances.

The Phillies are 82-44 on the year after beating the New York Mets 10-0 last night. Thirty-eight games above .500 equals their best mark for the season — they were also 38 games over .500 after beating the Nats 5-0 on Saturday. They remain in first place in the NL East and are 6 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Braves. Atlanta has won five in a row and seven of eight and leads the Wild Card race by 8 1/2 games over the Giants.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing three singles and three walks. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.71.

He got Angel Pagan on a fly ball to center to start the game before Justin Turner hit a ball to short that Valdez didn’t handle for an error. Lee struck David Wright out looking for the second out and got Jason Bay to fly to center to leave Turner at first.

Not a great start to Valdez’s stint at short with Rollins hitting the DL.

Lucas Duda singled to right to start the second, but Lee got Scott Hairston to line to third and Ronny Paulino to bounce into a double-play to keep the Mets off the board.

Lee started the third up 3-0. Ruben Tejada led off with a single to left and pitcher Dillon Gee bunted him to second with the first out. Pagan struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out and Lee got Turner to ground to short to set New York down.

Up 5-0, Lee walked Bay with one out in the fourth. He struck Duda out swinging 0-2 for the second out and got Hairston to pop to Howard on a sliding over-the-shoulder catch in foul territory to leave Bay stranded.

He pitched the fifth up 8-0. Nick Evans, double-switched into the game in the fourth, walked with two outs. Pagan grounded to second for the third out.

Lee hit Turner with a pitch to start the sixth, but struck out Wright and Bay behind him and got Duda on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Up 10-0, Lee walked Ronny Paulino with one out in the seventh. Tejada moved Paulino to second with a single, but Lee struck Evans out looking for the second out and got Jason Pridie on a popup to leave both runners stranded.

Herndon took over for Lee in the eighth. Wright singled with one out, but Herndon got Bay to hit into a double-play behind him.

Herndon was back for the ninth. Duda led off with a single to right, but Herndon got Willie Harris to hit into a double-play behind him. Paulino struck out looking 2-2 to end the game.

After four scoreless appearances to end July, Herndon has now thrown eight scoreless innings in August. After allowing two runs in two-thirds of an inning to the Fish on July 6, he had a 5.14 ERA for the season. He threw 21 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Dillon Gee went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Polanco returns from the DL and starts at third. Rollins hits the DL with a strained groin with Valdez playing short. With Rollins sidelined, Victorino leads off and Polanco hits second. Ibanez was a scratch in left with a sore groin and Mayberry got the start against the righty.

Polanco singled to right with one out in the bottom of the first, but was left there when Utley flew out to center and Howard struck out swinging.

After Polanco singled and Utley flew out in the first, both were hitting .277 for the year.

Pence started the second with a single into center. Mayberry popped to short behind him for the first out and Ruiz flew to center for the second before Pence took second on a wild pitch with Valdez at the plate. Valdez singled into right and Pence scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. Lee followed that with another single into right, putting men on first and second with two down for Victorino. Victorino got ahead 3-0 then tripled into the right field corner on a 3-2 pitch, scoring both runners and extending the lead to 3-0. Polanco flew to center to leave Victorino at third.

It looks like the Phils were going to need the help of a wild pitch to score even one run, but Lee follows Valdez’s two-out single with his own two-out single and Victorino clears the bases with a triple.

Pence walked with two outs in the third. Mayberry was next and got behind, but hit a 1-2 pitch out to left to make it 5-0. Ruiz followed that with a double to center. Valdez got ahead 3-0 and was walked intentionally, bringing Lee to the plate with men on first and second. He grounded to second to end the inning.

Mayberry gets behind in the count, but delivers the long ball against a righty. It was home run number eleven on the year for him and his sixth that came with two strikes. Six home runs with two strikes put him into the team lead — he came into the game tied with Victorino and Rollins for the team lead with five two strike home runs.

Tejada made the best defensive play of the game on a foul ball hit by Utley for the first out, making a long run from short and sliding into the tarp to make the catch.

Victorino walked to start the bottom of the fourth and stole second before Polanco walked. Utley was next and he smashed a line drive that Duda caught at first for the first out. Howard struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Pence walked in a nine pitch plate appearance, loading the bases for Mayberry. Mayberry walked on four pitches, forcing in Victorino to make it 6-0, and that was finally it for Gee. Righty Ryota Igarashi came in to pitch with the bases still loaded and Ruiz greeted him with a sharp single to center. Polanco and Pence both scored (8-0) with Mayberry moving up to third. Valdez grounded to short for the third out.

Polanco singled to right with two outs in the fifth, but was left stranded when Utley grounded back to the mound.

Howard singled to center to start the sixth and Pence hit a 1-1 pitch out to left center behind him. 10-0. Mayberry, Ruiz and Valdez went in order behind Pence.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

They went in order again in the eighth. Gload, who took over for Howard at first in the seventh, popped to third for the first out. Martinez, who took over at second for Utley in the seventh, struck out swinging 1-2 for the second.

Gload is 3-for-his-last-33 and hitting 229/247/277 for the season. Martinez 5-for-his-last-38.

Victorino was 1-for-4 in the game with a walk, a triple and two RBI. He’s hitting 362/436/623 so far in August. He hit his 13th triple of the year in the game, which ties his career high from 2009.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk in his first action since August 6.

Utley 0-for-4 and left four men on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-16.

Howard 1-for-4 with a single and three strikeouts. Made a nice sliding catch in foul territory in the fourth. 2-for-his-last-13. 242/307/492 since the All-Star break.

Pence 2-for-3 with two walks and a two-run homer. He scored four runs. 321/409/564 in 21 games with the Phillies.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a walk, a two-run homer and three RBI. 318/348/682 since the All-Star break with six home runs in 66 at-bats.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-15.

Valdez 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s played six straight days now, going 5-for-20 with two doubles, a triple and three walks.

Vance Worley (8-1, 2.76) faces lefty Jon Niese (11-10, 4.05) tonight. Opponents have hit .315 against Niese over his last five starts as he’s thrown to a 5.14 ERA. He’s made four starts against the Phillies this year and the last three have been very good. The Phils hit him hard on April 7, scoring six runs in four innings. In his three starts against the Phils since, Niese has allowed three earned runs in 19 2/3 innings, throwing to a 1.37 ERA with a 1.22 ratio. Rain forced Worley from his most recent start, August 18 against the Snakes, after three shutout innings. Two of Worley’s last four starts haven’t been real good, but his numbers for the season are still outstanding. He’s been especially good against lefties, who have hit just 198/273/302 against him for the season. He has given up more home runs recently. After allowing just two over his first 62 1/3 innings on the year, he has allowed four over his last 29 innings.


Hollywood ending

Playing their twentieth game in twenty days and the tenth game of a ten-game road trip, the Phils found themselves down 5-0 after an inning in Los Angeles yesterday. After three innings it was 6-0 and it seemed like it might be about time to call it a day, appreciate what a great trip it had been and get ready for the Nationals on Friday night.

Turned out it was time to remember that the Phillies are the best team in baseball.

Hunter Pence got the comeback started with a two-run homer in the fourth. Two defensive miscues in the middle innings by LA helped the Phils score three unearned runs and cut the lead to 6-5 by the time the Phils were done hitting in the fifth. Kendrick allowed a run on a single and a double in the bottom of the fifth to extend the LA lead to 7-5, but the Phils roared back again, getting four runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Utley in front of a two-run shot by Howard that put them on top at 9-7. Madson allowed a run in the ninth, but hung on to get the save and the Phils won 9-8.

The Phillies are 77-40 on the year after beating the LA Dodgers 9-8 yesterday. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep and end their ten-game road trip with a 9-1 mark. The game also was the end of a stretch in which the Phils played 20 games in 20 days. They went 16-4 in those games and will be off today and Monday with a three-game set with the Nats in-between the two off-days.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out six and his ERA puffed to 2.85. Worley has scuffled in two of his last three starts, allowing 12 runs in 17 innings while opponents have hit .313 and slugged .567 against him. After allowing two home runs in 62 1/3 innings to start the season, Worley has now given up a home run in each of his last four starts, allowing four over 26 innings.

He struck Aaron Miles out looking 0-2 to start the bottom of the first, but things went downhill from there. Worley walked Casey Blake and Andre Ethier back-to-back before Matt Kemp singled into left, scoring Blake to make it 1-0 and moving Ethier to second. Juan Rivera was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left-center for a three-run homer, putting the Dodgers up 4-0. James Loney walked behind Rivera and Dioner Navarro followed that with a double to right. Loney scored and it was 5-0, but Navarro was caught up between second and third and finally tagged out for the second out. Jamey Carroll was next and tripled to left, but was left stranded at third when Worley struck out pitcher Chad Billingsley to end the inning.

Righties came into the game slugging just .270 against Worley for the year, but Rivera takes him deep for a three-run homer, the switch-hitter Navarro doubles and the righty Carroll adds a triple. Navarro making an out on the bases saves the Phils a run when he doesn’t score on the triple by Carroll.

Worley struck out Blake and Ethier in a 1-2-3 second.

Kemp started the third with a double to left and moved to third when Rivera followed with a single to right. Worley struck out Loney for the first out, but Navarro was next and he flew to left, deep enough for Kemp to tag and score and extend the lead to 6-0. Carroll flew to right for the third out.

Miles doubled to left with one out in the fourth. Blake popped to Rollins and Ethier flew to center to leave him stranded.

Five extra-base hits allowed by Worley in four innings.

Kendrick started the fifth for the Phils with the LA lead cut to 6-5. He struck Kemp out swinging for the first out, but Rivera followed and reached on an infield single. The lefty Loney was next doubled to right, scoring Rivera to make it 7-5. Kendrick struck Navarro out swinging 0-2 for the second out and got Carroll to fly to right to leave Loney at second.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Kendrick has some problems with left-handed hitters. They came into the game hitting 248/350/475 against him. Hitting .248 against him is fine — on-basing .350 and slugging .475 is less great. 311/378/524 against Kendrick for his career coming into the game compared to 258/301/391 for righties.

Herndon set the Dodgers down in order in the sixth.

He dropped his ERA to 4.10 on the year with the 1-2-3 frame. After throwing to a 9.28 ERA in 11 appearances in April, Herndon has pitched to a 2.03 ERA 1.01 ratio in 26 2/3 innings over 21 appearances since.

Lidge started the seventh and struck out Ethier for the first out. Kemp followed with an infield single and stole second before Lidge walked Rivera on four pitches. Bastardo came in to face the left Loney and got him on a fly ball to left for the second out. He struck Navarro out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Bastardo bails out Lidge, coming into the game with runners on first and second and one out. Lidge hasn’t been charged with a run in any of his last three appearances, but six of the 12 batters he has faced have reached base on two singles and four walks.

Bastardo was back to shut the Dodgers down in order in the eighth.

After throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the game, Bastardo has now allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings over his last eight appearances. Over those eight appearances he hasn’t walked any of the 25 batters he faced and opponents have hit .125 against him.

Madson started the ninth with a two-run lead. Blake led off with a single to left.

Ethier was next and smashed a ball to left, but Ibanez tracked it down after a long run for the first out. Kemp moved Blake to third with another single to third, putting the tying run on base and bringing Rivera to the plate. Rivera hit a ground ball to second. Utley went to Rollins for the second out as Blake scored to cut the lead to 9-8. Righty Rod Barajas hit for the pitcher Javy Guerra and Trent Oeltjen ran for Rivera at first. Barajas hit a ball well to center, but Victorino took it on the edge of the track to end the game.

Not a real impressive outing for Madson, who got the job done but gave up two hits and got outs on balls hit hard by Ethier and Barajas in the inning. He was pitching for the third straight day and has allowed a run on two hits in an inning in each of his last two appearances.

Madson threw 18 pitches in the game. Kendrick 22, Bastardo 16, Lidge 11 and Herndon five. Madson is the only guy in the pen who has pitched more than one day in a row and the Phils are off today.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chad Billingsley went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Schneider catches the day game with the righty on the mound for LA. Martinez at third with Valdez on the bench and Polanco sidelined.

Victorino singled with one out in the first. Utley flew to left for the second out before Howard walked, putting men on first and second for Pence. Pence popped to Carroll to leave both runners stranded.

Down 5-0, Ibanez singled to right to start the second. Schneider followed and grounded into a double-play. Martinez flew to left for the third out.

Rollins singled to right with one out in the third. Victorino followed that with a ground-rule double to left that moved Rollins to third. Utley was next and he flew to center. Rollins tried to tag and score, but Loney took the throw from Kemp, threw home and Rollins and was called out to set the Phillies down.

Close play at the plate and it looked like Rollins might have gotten his hand in. Manuel came out to discuss, but with no success.

The Phils were down 6-0 when they hit in the fourth. Howard led off and walked on four pitches. Pence was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to center, getting the Phils on the board at 6-2. Ibanez flew to left for the first out and Schneider grounded to short for the second. Martinez was next and hit a ball through Loney at first. Martinez wound up at second with Loney charged with a two-base error. Worley was next and hit for himself, singling into center. Martinez scored and it was 6-3 with two down and Worley on first. Rollins grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

No play by Loney on the ball hit by Martinez helps the Phils get a run. Worley hits for himself despite having allowed six runs in three innings and comes through. I was expecting a pinch-hitter with the runner in scoring position, especially given the off-day today for the Phils and another coming on Monday.

Victorino led off the fifth and walked on five pitches. Utley flew to left before Howard moved Victorino to second with a single. Pence was next and hit a ball to third that Blake didn’t handle for an error, allowing Victorino to score (6-4) with Howard going to third and Pence winding up at second. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo took over for Billingsley and Ibanez grounded to first for the second out, but Howard scored from third to cut the lead to 6-5 and Pence moved up to third. Kuo struck Schneider out swinging to leave Pence at third.

Two more unearned runs in the inning for the Phils thanks to the error by Blake at third, which gave them three unearned runs in the last two innings.

The Phils trailed 7-5 when they hit in the sixth. Martinez flew to center for the first out. With the lefty Kuo still on the mound for the Dodgers, Francisco hit for Kendrick and walked on five pitches. Righty Blake Hawksworth came in to pitch to Rollins and Rollins singled to right, moving Francisco up to third. Rollins stole second, but Victorino struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Utley picked him up, though, lining a single to left that scored both runners and tied the game at 7-7. Howard was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch out to left for a two-run homer that put the Phils on top at 9-7. Matt Guerrier took over for Hawksworth and struck out Pence to end the inning.

Looked like a huge strikeout for Victorino with one out and men on second and third, but Utley picks him up with the single and Howard delivers another long ball against a right-handed pitcher.

Schneider singled to right with one out in the seventh. Martinez flew to left for the second out. With the righty Guerrier still pitching for the Dodgers, Mayberry hit for Herndon and struck out swinging to set the Phillies down.

Coming off a stretch where he hit four home runs in 16 at-bats, Mayberry is 0-for-his-last-6.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Pence walked with one out in the ninth, but Ibanez and Schneider went down behind him to leave Pence at first.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 5-for-12 with two walks and two doubles in the three-game set. He’s hitting 267/341/401 for the year. 298/403/474 over his last 67 plate appearances.

Victorino 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. 6-for-12 with three doubles and a home run in the series. 312/391/542 for the season.

Utley 1-for-5 with two RBI. 2-for-14 with two RBI in the set. 7-for-his-last-33 with seven singles. He’s hitting 280/368/461 for the year.

Howard was 2-for-3 in the game with two walks and a two-run homer. 4-for-12 with a double and a home run in the game. He’s hit 24 home runs against righties for the year and one against lefties. 252/341/489 for the year.

Pence 1-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run in the series. 347/389/592 in 49 plate appearances with the Phils so far. 313/360/484 for the season overall. The Phillies are 11-1 since he joined the team.

Ibanez 1-for-5 with an RBI. 1-for-9 in the series. 1-for-his-last-17. 240/286/416 for the year.

Schneider was 1-for-5 in the game in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 180/253/292 for the year. Ruiz was 1-for-8 in the series and is hitting 261/360/367 for the season.

Martinez 0-for-4 to drop his average on the year to .216. He was 1-for-8 in the series. 4-for-his-last-30 with a walk and a double. 216/258/304 for the year. Valdez didn’t play but was 1-for-4 in the series and is hitting 236/283/298 on the season.

The Phillies don’t play today. They start a three-game set with the Nationals at home tomorrow.

Philliesflow won’t be updated again until August 23.


Lee foils LA’s plan to try to keep it close and beat him in penalty kicks

I’m not saying that Lee can’t be beat in penalty kicks, either. Cause I have no idea. But it wouldn’t surprise me that much if it proved to be true. Lee homered in the seventh last night, driving in what would prove to be the winning run, and threw eight shutout innings as the Phils topped the Dodgers 2-1.

After allowing one run in 42 innings in June, Lee had an off July in which he threw to a 4.91, but has now thrown 15 shutout innings to start August.

With the win, the Phils improve to 11-1 over their last 12 games. They have allowed more than three runs in a game once in their last nine times out. They’ve gotten six quality starts in a row and quality starts in 12 of their last 15 games.

The Phillies are 76-40 for the year after beating the LA Dodgers 2-1 last night. They are 36 games over .500 for the first time on the year and lead the NL East by 8 1/2 games.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing four singles and two walks. He struck out ten and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.83.

Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first and singled. He stole second before moving up to third on a bunt single by Jamey Carroll. Lee struck Andre Ethier out swinging 2-2 and Matt Kemp out swinging 1-2. Carroll stole second before Lee got Aaron Miles to pop to Howard in foul territory and leave both runners stranded.

No run for the Dodgers after putting men on first and third with no outs. Big strikeouts for Lee of Ethier and Kemp.

Lee struck out Tony Gwynn and Rod Barajas setting the Dodgers down in order in the second.

He threw a 1-2-3 third with a 1-0 lead.

He struck Ethier and Kemp both out again in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Casey Blake started the fifth with a single, but Lee struck Barajas and Gwynn both out behind him. The pitcher Ted Lilly grounded to second for the third out.

Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the sixth and put down a beautiful bunt between the mound and first base. Howard made a great play, fielding the bunt and diving to tag Gordon for the first out. Carroll followed that with a single to right, but Lee got Ethier on a ground ball to second and Kemp on a popup to first to end the inning.

Lee pitched the seventh with a 2-0 lead. He walked Barajas with two outs, but struck Gwynn out behind him to leave Barajas at first.

Switch-hitter Eugenio Velez hit for Lilly to start the ninth and Lee walked him on a 3-2 pitch. Gordon was next and aggravated a right-shoulder injury fouling off a pitch during his at-bat. Trent Oeltjen hit for him and grounded into a double-play that cleared the bases. Lee struck Carroll out to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with a one-run lead and gave up a leadoff single to Ethier. Kemp followed with a ground out to third with Ethier forced at second for the first out. Righty Juan Rivera hit for Miles and grounded to second for the second out with Kemp moving up to second. Blake was next and he singled into left. Kemp scored from second, cutting the lead in half at 2-1. Madson struck Barajas out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Madson threw 17 pitches in the game and has thrown for two days in a row. He gets hurt by the leadoff single by the lefty Ethier in this game, but he’s fared well against lefties for the year. They are hitting just 206/296/296 against him for the season.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Ted Lilly went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Mayberry in left with Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Valdez at third with Martinez on the bench and Polanco sidelined with a sports hernia.

Rollins and Victorino singled back-to-back to start the game, putting men on first and second with nobody out for Utley. Utley hit a liner to short and Gordon made a fantastic play, short-hopping the ball, tagging Rollins and tossing to second to complete the double-play. It left Utley on first with two outs. He stole second before Howard grounded to Blake at first to set the Phillies down.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Valdez led off the third with a single and Lee bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins was next and he blooped a 1-1 pitch over Blake at first that rolled and rolled in right. Valdez scored from second to put the Phils up 1-0 and Rollins had a double. Victorino was next and was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. Utley grounded to the pitcher with Victorino forced at second for the second out and Rollins moving up to third. Howard grounded to short for the third out.

Two hits in two at-bats for Rollins — this one got the job done even if it wasn’t particularly majestic. Lee gets the bunt down to move Valdez up to second. He would come through with the bat later in the game as well.

Ruiz reached second on an error by Carroll with two outs in the fourth, but Valdez flew to right behind him.

Rollins walked with one out in the fifth, but Victorino popped to third and Utley flew to center to leave him at first.

With one out in the sixth, Pence singled into center on a ball deflected by Carroll at second. Mayberry was next and grounded to the pitcher for the second out, with Pence moving up to second. Ruiz grounded to second to end the frame.

Valdez grounded out to start the seventh. It brought Lee to the plate and he hit a 2-0 pitch out to right, putting the Phils on top 2-1. Rollins and Victorino went down behind him.

The Phils went in order in the eighth and again in the ninth.

Rollins 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Over his last seven games he’s 8-for-27 with five walks and a .406 on-base percentage.

Victorino 1-for-3. 371/467/640 in his last 107 plate appearances (which have included a little more than two weeks on the DL).

Utley was 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 3-for-his-last-16 with three singles.

Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-his-last-21 with a walk, a double and 11 strikeouts.

Pence 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 3-for-his-last-11 with a walk. The Phillies are 10-1 in the game he’s played with them this year. He’s hitting 356/388/556 in 49 plate appearances for the Phils. Likes to dive a lot.

Mayberry 0-for-4. 6-for-his-last-21 with four home runs. He hasn’t drawn a walk in his last 57 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-his-last-18 with three singles.

Valdez 1-for-4 with a single. 250/298/338 in 572 plate appearances with the Phillies over the last two seasons.

Vance Worley (8-1, 2.35) faces righty Chad Billingsley (10-9, 4.17) this afternoon. Billingsley has allowed 15 runs in 24 innings over his last four starts, throwing to a 5.63 ERA. Lefties have had a lot of success against him for the year. They haven’t hit for a ton of power, but have a .272 batting average and a .372 on-base percentage against Billingsley for the season. Worley has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in his last nine outings. The Phils are 11-2 in the games he’s started this year.


There’s no place like road

The Phils won for the tenth time in 11 games last night, scoring three early runs and holding on for a 5-3 win. The bullpen was a bit shaky in the eighth in relief of Halladay as Stutes and Lidge combined to allow a pair of runs that got the Dodgers within one. But Victorino homered in the top of the ninth to give the Phils a two-run cushion and Madson kept the Dodgers off the board in the bottom of the inning for his twentieth save.

Victorino had a big game for the Phils, pounding out a pair of doubles and a home run and scoring three of the five runs plated by the Phils.

It’s been a remarkable road trip that has seen the Phils go 7-1 with two games left to go. The Phils have outscored their opponents 37-18 so far on the trip and have allowed more than three runs just once in the eight games. The Phillies have also played for 18 straight days without an off-day, going 14-4 in those games.

The Phillies are 75-40 on the year after beating the LA Dodgers 5-3 last night. The Phils have won ten of their last eleven and lead the NL East by 8 1/2 games.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing a run on nine hits and two walks. All nine of the hits were singles and he struck out four.

He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Casey Blake and Andre Ethier singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and second for Matt Kemp. Halladay got Kemp to hit into a double-play to keep LA off the board.

James Loney singled to center with one out in the second and the Phils up 3-0. Halladay got Rod Barajas to pop to Utley for the second out and Jamey Carroll on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Halladay walked Blake on five pitches with two outs in the third. Ethier followed with a single on a ball deflected by Howard, putting men on first and second with two down. Halladay got Kemp on a popup to Utley for the third out.

Second time in three innings Halladay comes up big against Kemp with men on base.

Halladay set LA down in order in the fourth.

Carroll and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda started the fifth with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second. Tony Gwynn bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Blake followed with a ground ball to short, with Rollins throwing to first for the second out and Carroll scoring from third to cut the Phillies lead to 3-1. Halladay struck Andre Ethier out swinging 3-2 to leave Kuroda at second.

Kemp and Miles singled back-to-back to start the sixth, putting men on first and second for Loney. Loney lined a ball to right, but Pence charged and made a diving catch for the first out with the runners holding. Barajas flew to left for the second out and Halladay struck Carroll out looking to leave both men stranded.

Halladay started the seventh up 4-1. Gwynn singled with one out and moved to second when Blake followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for the lefty Ethier. Halladay had thrown 111 pitches in the game. Manuel called on Bastardo to pitch to Ethier and Ethier got ahead 3-0 but grounded into a double-play on a 3-1 pitch to turn LA away.

Stutes started the eighth. Kemp led off with a single and stole second. Miles followed that with a single to left that scored Kemp and cut the Phillie lead to 4-2. Stutes threw the ball away trying to pick Miles off of first, allowing Miles to move up to second. Loney flew to center for the first out with Miles moving up to third. Lidge took over to face the righty Barajas and walked him on five pitches, putting men on first and third with one down. Righty Juan Rivera hit for the pitcher Matt Guerrier and Eugenio Velez ran for Barajas at first. Rivera singled to left, scoring Miles (4-3) and sending Velez to second. Dee Gordon was the next hitter and he hit a ball slowly to second. Utley charged and waited for it in the basepath, where Rivera plowed him over. Rivera was called out for the second out, Velez went back to second and Gordon was safe at first. Velez and Gordon moved up to second and third on a passed ball with Gwynn at the plate. Gwynn tried to bunt for a base hit and put down a nice bunt on the first base side. Lidge made a nice play to end the inning, though, getting to the ball, gloving and flipping with his glove hand to get Gwynn and end the inning.

Miserable inning for Stutes, who allowed two singles, a steal and made a throwing error while getting one out. After throwing to a 2.08 ERA over his first 23 appearances on the year, Stutes has now pitched to a 4.87 ERA over his last 18 appearances. Lidge fared a little better, allowing a walk, a single and a wild pitch while getting two outs. In his seven appearances for the year he has allowed just two hits in 5 1/3 innings, but walked five.

Madson pitched the ninth with a two-run lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Blake, but got Ethier on a foul ball to Martinez for the first out and struck Kemp out swinging 0-2 for the second. Miles chopped a ball out in front of the plate, but Ruiz jumped on it and threw to first in time to end the game.

Nice job by Madson setting down Ethier and Kemp without a peep as the tying runs. He has allowed one run in 11 2/3 innings over his last 12 appearances.

Lidge and Stutes have both pitched two days in a row. Lidge threw 14 pitches in the game and Stutes 12. Bastardo five and Madson 17.

The Phillies lineup against righty Hiroki Kuroda went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Martinez starts again at third with Polanco getting MRIed in Philadelphia.

Victorino doubled to center with one out in the first. Utley followed with a ground out to second that moved him up to third with one out. Howard was next and he squibbed a ball that went over the pitcher’s head and spun towards third. Blake threw to first, but not in time to get Howard. Howard had a single, Victorino scored and the Phils led 1-0. Pence moved Howard to second with a single, but Ibanez fouled out to Loney at first to leave both men stranded.

Ruiz led off the second with a single and moved to third when Martinez reached on a throwing error by Loney. Halladay bunted Martinez to second with the first out. Rollins was next and cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right-center, putting the Phils on top 3-0. Victorino moved Rollins to third with a ground out, but Utley flew to right to leave him there.

Pence singled with one out in the third, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him.

Martinez singled with one out in the fourth and Halladay bunted him to second with the second out. Rollins followed with a walk, but Victorino struck out looking to leave both men stranded.

Utley led off the fifth with a single and stole second, but Howard and Pence both struck out and Ibanez grounded to second.

The lead was cut to 3-0 when the Phils went in order in the sixth.

Victorino doubled to right with one out in the seventh. Lefty Scott Elbert took over for Kuroda and got Utley on a fly ball to center for the second out. Howard ripped a 3-2 pitch into right center and the ball rolled to the wall for a double. Victorino scored and the Phils led 4-1. The lefty Elbert walked Pence intentionally, putting men on first and second for Ibanez, but Elbert struck Ibanez out swinging 1-2 to leave the runners stranded.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. With two outs, nobody on and righty Matt Guerrier pitching for the Dodgers, Gload hit for Bastardo and lined to second.

Gload is 3-for-his-last-24.

The Phils were up 4-2 when they hit in the ninth. Rollins flew to left for the first out, but Victorino was next and he lined a 1-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 5-2. Utley and Howard went down behind him.

For Victorino, it was his fifth home run of the year with two strikes. That ties him for the team lead with Rollins and Mayberry.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI in the game. 6-for-32 (.188) so far in August.

Victorino 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run. 333/425/600 in 88 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Utley 1-for-5. 343/418/614 over his last 79 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-17 with ten strikeouts. He did deliver a big double against the lefty Elbert in the seventh, helping him raise his line against lefties on the year to 246/303/358.

Pence 2-for-3 with a walk. 444/467/741 in 30 plate appearances over his last seven games.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 and left six men on base. He’s 0-for-his-last-12 and hitting 143/200/214 so far in August.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 3-for-his-last-8 and 3-for-his-last-14. 318/408/471 over his last 100 plate appearances.

Cliff Lee (11-7, 2.96) faces lefty Ted Lilly (7-1, 4.86) tonight. Righties are hitting 275/322/504 against Lilly for the year with 21 home runs. If you’re wondering if 21 is a lot of home runs to have allowed to right-handed batters at this point in the season, it really, really is. Lee threw a complete game shutout against the Giants in his last start. He faced the Dodgers on June 6 in Philadelphia and struck out ten in seven shutout innings.

Polanco has a sports hernia and may need surgery that could sideline him for a month. Of the 176 NL players with at least 150 plate appearances this season, Martinez’s .265 on-base percentage is 169th and Valdez’s .284 on-base percentage is 157th.

The article linked above says that Mathieson was sent back to Triple-A after clearing waivers.


Saturday afternoon’s alright for pitching

Sunday is apparently pretty good, too.

The Phils took two of the last three in San Francisco over the weekend, winning a series that featured a game two brawl and a lot of excellent pitching three games to one.

The Phils won 9-2 on Friday in a game that will be most remembered for a sixth-inning brawl. The Phils scored four runs in the fourth with the help of homers from Victorino and Mayberry to take a 4-1 lead. They extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth when Polanco knocked Rollins in from second. They had scored three more in the sixth, extending their lead to 8-2, when Ramon Ramirez drilled Victorino in the back. Victorino started a slow walk towards the mound, with Ramirez moving towards him, the catcher Whiteside in-between and Polanco coming in fast from first. Whiteside tackled Polanco and the melee was on, ending with Ramon, Whiteside and Victorino all ejected. Pence homered in the seventh to extend the lead to 9-2, which is how it ended. Worley got the win in another strong start, holding San Francisco to two runs over seven innings.

Hamels was fantastic on Saturday, throwing a complete game as the Phils won 2-1. Rollins started the game with a double and Utley walked two batters later. Pence singled to right to put the Phils up 1-0. The throw came into third and Utley would have been out by a lot, but Pablo Sandoval dropped the ball and Ibanez was allowed to hit with two outs and men on first and third. Ibanez struck out, but not before a passed ball that allowed Utley to score from third and put the Phils up 2-0. Hamels kept the Giants off the board for 8 2/3 strong innings, but Sandoval homered with two outs in the ninth to make it 2-1 before Hamels got Orlando Cabrera on a ground ball to short to end the game.

Oswalt made his first start since June 23 yesterday, allowing three runs over six innings as the Phils fell to Lincecum and the Giants 3-1.

The Phillies are 74-40 on the year after losing to the San Francisco Giants yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series three games to one and are in first place in the NL East, 8 1/2 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies in yesterday’s game and went six innings, allowing three runs on 12 hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four.

Jeff Keppinger singled to center with one out in the bottom of the first, but Oswalt got Carlos Beltran to ground into a double-play behind him.

Pablo Sandoval started the second with a single into center, but Oswalt got Aubrey Huff to hit into a double-play behind him. Orlando Cabrera followed that with a double to left center and Nate Schierholtz walked behind Cabrera, but Oswalt got Chris Stewart to pop to Rollins to leave both men stranded.

Two double-plays help Oswalt through the first two innings.

Oswalt started the third up 1-0. Keppinger singled with two outs, but Oswalt struck Beltran out swinging to leave him at first.

Sandoval doubled to right to start the fourth and held second when Huff followed with a single to left on a ball that eluded Rollins. Cabrera flew to left for the first out before Schierholtz loaded the bases with a single to right. Stewart was next and he singled into center with everyone moving up a base and Sandoval scoring to tie the game at 1-1. Lincecum was next and he put a bunt down out in front of the plate, but Ruiz made a very nice play to jump on the ball and come back to home in time to get Huff for the second out. Oswalt got Torres on a fly ball to center to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Keppinger and Beltran singled back-to-back to start the fifth, putting men on first and third for Sandoval. Sandoval hit a ball to Howard and Howard came home, with Ruiz tagging out Keppinger for the first out. Oswalt walked Huff to load the bases for Cabrera, who flew to center for the second out, but deep enough for Beltran to score (2-1) and Sandoval to move to third. Schierholtz flew to center for the third out.

Oswalt was fortunate to allow just two runs in the fourth and fifth, allowing a double, five singles and a walk in two innings.

It wasn’t much better in the sixth, but again Oswalt didn’t allow more than a run. Stewart led off with a single to center and Lincecum bunted him to second. Torres singled to left and Stewart took third. Keppinger was next and he hit a fly ball to right, deep enough for Stewart to tag, score and put the Giants up 3-1 with two down and Torres on first. Torres stole second before Oswalt struck Beltran out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.

Lidge pitched the seventh. He walked Huff with one out and Huff stole second before Lidge got Cabrera swinging for the second out. Lidge walked the lefty Schierholtz intentionally to put men on first and second and got Stewart on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Not really a fan of the intentional walk to Schierholtz. Lidge has now made six appearances for the Phils and been charged with just one run.

Stutes pitched the eighth. Keppinger singled with two outs, but Stutes got Rowand on a popup to second for the third out.

Stutes has allowed one run in seven innings over his last six appearances. He threw 17 pitches in the game, Lidge 16.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Lincecum went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Polanco out of the starting lineup with a problem with his right hip. Martinez takes over for him at third.

Rollins led off the game with a walk, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Ruiz singled with two outs in the second, but Martinez grounded to second for the third out.

Oswalt started the second with a single and moved to second when Rollins grounded to first for the first out. Victorino struck out looking for the second out, but Utley singled into right and Oswalt came around to score and put the Phils up 1-0. Howard struck out swinging to leave Utley at first.

Ruiz and Martinez singled back-to-back with two outs in the fourth. It put men on first and second for Oswalt, who grounded back to Lincecum to end the frame.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Rollins started the fifth with a single. The Phils went in order behind him.

Second time in the game that Rollins got on base to start the inning and the Phils went quietly behind him.

Down 2-1, the Phils went in order in the sixth.

Down 3-1, they went in order in the seventh.

Utley singled with one out in the eighth. Howard flew to center for the second out. Pence was next and he hit a rocket to first base that went through Huff’s legs and into right, putting runners on first and third. Lefty Javier Lopez came into the game and got Ibanez to fly to left, leaving both runners stranded.

Pence’s ball was originally ruled a hit, then changed to an error. The change means it’s Pence’s first game with the Phils in which he doesn’t get a hit.

Righty Brian Wilson started the ninth and got Ruiz to ground to short for the first out. Francisco was next and popped a ball up that eluded Cabrera and dropped for a double. Gload hit for Stutes at the tying run and flew to left. Rollins hit a ball hard, but Mike Fontenot knocked it down at second and threw to first in time to get Rollins and end the game.

Gload is 2-for-his-last-17. Francisco 2-for-his-last-15. His doubleish was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. He was 4-for-16 with a double and two walks in the four-game series. 263/337/396 for the year. 292/366/483 over his last 134 plate appearances.

Victorino 0-for-4. 5-for-13 with a home run and two walks in the series. 306/384/525 on the year.

Utley 2-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-12 with a walk in the series. 288/379/479 for the year.

Howard 0-for-4, struck out three times and left four men on base. 1-for-12 with a walk and eight strikeouts in the set. 250/338/483 on the year

Pence 0-for-4. 7-for-17 with two home runs and four RBI in the series. He’s hitting 311/357/481 on the year and 342/366/579 in 42 plate appearances with the Phillies.

Ibanez 0-for-4. 4-5-6 in the order go 0-for-12 in the game. Ibanez was 1-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. 243/290/423 for the season.

Ruiz 2-for-4. 2-for-10 in the series. 265/366/375 on the year. 309/387/436 since the All-Star break.

Martinez 1-for-3 in the game and in the series. 221/265/314 for the season. Polanco was 3-for-11 with a walk in the series and is hitting 275/330/342 for the year. He’s hitting 184/254/228 over his last 126 plate appearances. 223/280/264 in 269 plate appearances since the end of April.

Halladay (14-4, 2.55) starts tonight against righty Hiroki Kuroda (7-13, 2.96). Kuroda has allowed one run in 13 innings over his last two starts to drop his ERA under 3.00 for the year. Halladay has made four career starts against the Dodgers, going 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.03 ratio. On June 18, 2002, Halladay threw a complete game four-hitter against LA in LA while with the Blue Jays.

Polanco is back in Philadelphia for an MRI.


Concern grows that batters may refuse to face Lee unless agreement can be reached to hold July more regularly

After an unbelievable June in which he allowed one run in 42 innings over six starts, Cliff Lee was a little off in July. Last night he made his first start of August and it looked like June all over again. Lee threw a complete game shutout, striking out eight as the Phils topped the Giants 3-0.

Pence went 3-for-4 in last night’s game, homering early and adding an RBI-single in the ninth. He drove in two of the three runs the Phils scored in the game.

The Phillies are 72-39 on the year after beating the San Francisco Giants 3-0 last night in San Francisco. They have won seven in a row and lead the NL East by 8 1/2 games.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing six singles and a double. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.

Aaron Rowand led off the bottom of the first with a single, but Lee got Jeff Keppinger to ground into a double-play behind him. Pablo Sandoval grounded to third for the third out.

Up 2-0, Lee set the Giants down in order in the second.

Chris Stewart singled to center with one out in the third. The pitcher Madison Bumgarner bunted him to second with the second out, but Lee got Rowand to ground to short to leave Stewart stranded.

Sandoval singled with one out in the fourth. Lee struck Carlos Beltran out behind him before Orlando Cabrera moved Sandoval to second with a single. Lee struck Cody Ross out swinging 2-2 to the inning with both men stranded.

Lee set the Giants down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh. In the fifth inning, Howard made a very nice over-the-shoulder sliding catch in foul territory to retire Stewart for the second out. In the sixth, Keppinger hit a ball down the third base line, but Polanco made a diving stop and threw to first in time for the second out. Cabrera ripped a line drive ticketed for left field in the seventh, but Polanco snared it for the second out.

Aubrey Huff singled to start the eighth with the Phils still up 2-0. Stewart flew to left for the first out and switch-hitter Andres Torres hit for the pitcher Bumgarner. Torres reached on an infield single that moved Huff up to second, but Lee struck Rowand out looking and got Keppinger on a ground ball to third to keep the Giants off the board.

Lee was up 3-0 when he started the ninth. Beltran doubled to left with one out. Cabrera popped to short for the second out and Lee struck Ross out looking 2-2 to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Madison Bumgarner went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Victorino (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Utley and Ibanez sit against the lefty with Mayberry in lefty and Valdez at second. Victorino hits third for Utley with Polanco hitting second.

Rollins and Polanco both singled to start the game, putting men on first and second. Rollins was thrown out trying to steal second for the first out, with Polanco moving up to second. Victorino walked, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard hit an inside-out liner to third, which was caught by Sandoval. Sandoval threw to second to double-off Polanco and end the frame.

No run for the Phils on two hits, a walk and a stolen base.

Pence led off the second and homered to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Mayberry was next and he homered to left, too. 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second for the first out before Valdez walked. Lee tried to bunt him to second, but struck out for the second out. With Rollins at the plate, Valdez was picked off of third and then thrown out at second to set the Phillies down.

The Giants had gotten six outs in the game, two of which they had gotten on the bases.

Polanco and Victorino struck out as the Phils went in order in the third.

Howard and Mayberry struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Ruiz and Lee struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Victorino singled to right with two outs in the sixth, but Howard struck out behind him.

Pence singled to center to start the seventh. Mayberry was next and he grounded to third, with Pence forced at second for the first out. Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Victorino singled to left with one out in the ninth and moved up to second on a ground out by Howard. Pence chopped a ball up the middle for a single and Victorino raced around to score, putting the Phils up 3-0. Mayberry struck out swinging to leave Pence at first.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single and a caught stealing. He’s stolen 24 bases on the year and been caught six times.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a couple of nice plays at third.

Victorino 2-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Pence 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 360/393/600 in 25 at-bats with the Phillies so far. The Phils are 6-0 since he arrived.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts. He has three home runs in his last 11 at-bats.

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Valdez 0-for-2 with a walk.

Vance Worley (7-1, 2.33) faces lefty Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81) tonight. Sanchez has been sidelined with biceps tendinitis and will be making his first start since June 24. He’s walked 52 of the 297 right-handed batters he’s faced this season. Righties are hitting just .224 against him for the year, but on-basing .367. Worley didn’t pitch great in his last start, allowing four runs in six innings to the Pirates. His seven starts before that were fantastic, though. In those outings he was 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA and opponents hit .151 against him over 47 1/3 innings.

Manuel is doing his best to explain why he called Lincecum and Cain “good but not great.” It’s kind of a tough task.

The article linked above suggests that when Oswalt is activated to start Sunday’s game, Francisco or a pitcher may lose their roster spot. The Phils are currently carrying 11 pitchers. If you count Gload as an infielder, they have seven infielders.


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