The Phils lost again last night, but clinched home field advantage throughout the post-season with a loss by the Brewers. The offense struggled again for the Phillies in the game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the late but falling 4-3 as the rally fell short.
The Phils have scored three runs or less in ten of their last 11 games.
Halladay surprised a bit in the game by not being lights-out. Coming into the outing having allowed one run over 17 innings over his last two starts, Halladay gave up a pair of runs in the first on his way to allowing four runs over eight innings in the game. It was the fifth time in 31 starts this season that Halladay was charged with more than three runs in a start. He also curiously walked Lance Berkman intentionally twice in the game after Berkman homered off of him in the first. Both times it worked out for Halladay, who came into the start have issued just two intentional walks for the season.
If we’re voting, I think having Halladay walk two batters intentionally in a start is a pretty poor idea. My argument is as follows: He’s Roy flippin’ Halladay. In 67 starts as a Phillie, last night’s is the only one in which Halladay has walked more than three batters in a game. It’s the first time since June 25, 2008 that he has walked more than three batters in a game pitching for any team. He walked more batters intentionally last night than he did in 489 2/3 innings between 2009 and 2010 combined (one IBB in those two seasons).
The Phillies are 98-54 on the year after losing 4-3 to the St Louis Cardinals. St Louis takes the series three games to one.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six.
Rafael Furcal was the first batter of the game and he doubled to right. Nick Punto was next and Furcal moved up to third on a passed ball by Ruiz before Punto grounded to first with Furcal scoring from third to put St Louis up 1-0. Albert Pujols grounded to Halladay for the second out before Lance Berkman hit a 1-0 pitch out to right. 2-0. Allen Craig lined to Utley for the third out.
Halladay set the Cards down in order in the second, getting Jon Jay on a ball handled by Ruiz, Gerald Laird on a ground ball to short and Daniel Descalso on a popup to Utley.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when pitcher Kyle Lohse led off the third with a double to center. Furcal bunted him to third with the first out before Halladay walked Punto. With men on first and third, Halladay struck Pujols out looking 2-2 for the second out. Berkman was next, though, and lined a single into center, scoring Lohse (3-1) and moving Punto to second. Craig popped to Utley for the third out.
With two outs in the fourth, Descalso hit a ground ball to first that Gload didn’t handle for an error. Halladay struck Lohse out swinging to leave Descalso at first.
Furcal reached on an infield single to start the fifth and Punto bunted him to second with the first out. Pujols flew to right for the second out and Halladay walked the switch-hitter Berkman intentionally, putting men on first and second with two outs for Craig. Halladay struck Craig out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.
Not a fan of that one, although it’s harder to argue with if Halladay is going to blow Craig away.
Halladay set St Louis down in order in the sixth.
He walked Punto with two outs in the seventh. Pujols was next and doubled to left, plating Punto to extend the St Louis lead to 4-1. Halladay again walked Berkman intentionally, putting men on first and second, and got Craig on a ground ball to third to end the inning.
Again with the intentional walk to Berkman. Enough to make one suspect it has more to do with lack of fear of Craig than it does with fear of Berkman. Worked twice for the Phils, but I’m still not a fan.
Halladay threw a 1-2-3 eighth.
Herndon started the ninth. Furcal doubled to left with one out. Punto was next and Herndon struck him out swinging for the second out. Pujols struck out swinging 0-2 to end the frame.
Five scoreless innings in his last four appearances for Herndon. He has a 1.71 ERA in 19 appearances since the All-Star break. He threw 17 pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against righty Kyle Lohse went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Pence (5) Ibanez (6) Polanco (7) Gload (8) Ruiz. Gload at first for Howard.
Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.
Polanco singled with two outs in the second and Gload reached on an error by Punto at second behind him. It brought Ruiz to the plate with men on first and second and Ruiz singled into right just under the glove of a diving Punto, scoring Polanco and cutting the lead to 2-1. Halladay struck out swinging to leave the runners at first and second.
Punto’s error keeps the inning alive for Ruiz to knock into Polanco. Not a good inning defensively for the Cards at second, with Punto just missing on Ruiz’s single.
Victorino singled with one out in the third and the Phils down 3-1. Utley hit a ball to second. Punto fielded and went to second where Furcal didn’t handle it for an error that left the Phils with one down and men on first and second. Pence loaded the bases with a single to left, but Ibanez struck out swinging 2-2 and Polanco struck out swinging 1-2.
It’s almost like Howard were still in the lineup. No RBI, no contact for Ibanez with one out and the bases loaded and the Phils can’t take advantage of the extra out on the error by Furcal.
Gload singled to start the fourth. Ruiz flew to center for the first out and Halladay bunted Gload up to second with the second. Rollins walked to put two men on base, but Victorino grounded to first to leave them both stranded.
Can Gload score from second on a single with two outs? We may never know. I’m guessing it depends on what kind of a single it is. Not sure I would bunt him to second with the second out unless I was pretty sure.
Pence singled with one out in the fifth. Ibanez was next and smashed a ball back up the middle, but Lohse caught the low line drive and threw to first where Pence was doubled-off to end the inning.
Gload doubled to center with one out in the sixth. Ruiz grounded to short for the second out with Gload holding second. Halladay grounded to second to set the Phillies down.
Down 4-1, the Phils went in order in the seventh.
Polanco walked with two outs in the eighth. With lefty Marc Rzepczynski on the mound for the Cards, Mayberry hit for Gload and grounded to first to end the inning.
Ruiz doubled to left to start the ninth. With righty Jason Motte pitching for St Louis, Moss hit for Herndon and struck out swinging. Rollins was next and he ripped a triple into the gap in right-center, scoring Ruiz to cut the lead to 4-2. Victorino grounded to short for the second out with Rollins scoring. 4-3. Lefty Arthur Rhodes came in to pitch to Utley and Utley singled to right. Righty Octavio Dotel took over for Rhodes and got Pence to ground to third to end the game.
Moss instead of Brown gets the at-bat against Moss. First at-bat of the year for Moss. Rollins looked good running the bases on his triple. Looked like a double when he hit it to me.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with a triple and a walk. 6-for-18 with a triple in the four-game series. That’s his first walk since August 20 (although he missed about 20 days from August 22 to September 9). 278/339/397 for the year. He hit 20 triples in 2007 and has hit 19 since.
Victorino 1-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-15 with three walks and a homer in the set. He’s hitting .195 in September and 288/365/505 for the year.
Utley 1-for-5. 4-for-18 in the series. He doesn’t have a walk in his last 63 plate appearances and is on-basing .241 in September. 262/341/430 for the season.
Pence 2-for-5 yesterday and 5-for-17 with two walks and a double in the series. 317/386/541 with the Phillies for the year. He’s tops on the team in all three categories with the exception of on-base percentage — Dane Sardinha has on-based .419 for the Phils this year in his 43 plate appearances.
Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-14 with a grand slam in the series. 4-for-his-last-32 and hitting 242/288/419 for the season.
Polanco 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-14 with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 308/395/385 in September. 281/341/345 for the season. He was hitting .273 after going 0-for-4 against the Fish on September 3. He’s 19-for-his-last-57 (.333) with eight walks. 301/381/350 in his 118 plate appearances since August 5.
Gload 2-for-3 with a double. 2-for-7 in the series with a walk and a double. 257/278/314 for the year.
Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 2-for-9 with a walk and a double in the set. 280/371/385 for the season.
The Phils play a double-header with the Nats today. Kendrick (8-6, 3.22) faces lefty Ross Detwiler (2-5, 3.76) in the afternoon game. Righties are hitting .295 against Detwiler for the season and have hit six of the seven home runs he has allowed. Kendrick has a 2.60 ERA over 52 innings in his last 11 appearances since July 6, but seven of the 22 runs he allowed in that time have been unearned. He’s allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his last ten starts. Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.38) faces rookie lefty Tom Milone (1-0, 4.60) in the night game.