Archive for September, 2011

JA carries the da as Phils look like they don’t want to pla

It was ugly take two last night as the Phils fell to the Astros 5-2. The Phils made two errors in the game and got all their offense on two swings of the bat, solo home runs by Pence and Ruiz.

In the first two games of the series, Brett Myers and JA Happ, two pitchers who have struggled this season, have held the Phils to two runs over 14 innings. The Phillies, meanwhile, have been awful. Looking sloppy and tired they have slogged through the first two games against one of the worst teams in baseball and lost them both.

The game was also notable because Cole Hamels was again hurt by the long ball. Clint Barmes delivered the biggest swing of the game, a three-run homer off of Hamels in the fourth. The homer was preceded by a Howard error, but the fact that Hamels gave up another big home run seems like a bigger deal than the Phils presumably temporary sloppy play in the field. From the beginning of the season to the end of July, Hamels allowed eight home runs in 152 innings (0.47 home runs per nine innings). Over his last seven starts he has allowed seven in 47 innings (1.34 home runs per nine). Over his last three starts he’s allowed five home runs in 21 innings.

The Phillies are 94-51 on the year after losing 5-2 to the Houston Astros last night. The Phils have lost three in a row, but still lead the NL East by 11 games. They have 17 games left to play and a magic number of one to reach the post-season and a magic number of five to win the division.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Hamels got Jason Bourgeois to ground to Rollins for the first out of the bottom of the first. Clint Barmes was next and he doubled to left. JD Martinez followed that with another double to left, scoring Barmes to put the Astros up 1-0. Carlos Lee followed with a single to right that pushed Martinez to third before Hamels hit Matt Downs with a pitch to load the bases. Hamel struck Chris Johnson out swinging at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Jason Michaels was next and he hit a ground ball to third with Polanco going to Martinez to force Downs and end the inning.

Big strikeout for Hamels for the second out with the bases loaded, which helps limit the damage to a single run.

He got Humberto Quintero on a fly ball to left for the first out in the second and struck pitcher JA Happ out for the second. Bourgeois singled to center and stole second before Hamels struck Barmes out swinging to end the inning.

Matt Downs singled to center with two outs in the third, where the ball went through Mayberry legs for an error that left Downs at third. Johnson grounded to Hamels to leave him there.

JB Shuck singled to right to start the fourth with the score tied at 1-1. Shuck stole second before Hamels struck Quintero out for the first out. Happ was next and he hit a ground ball to first that Howard didn’t handle. The Phils still might have gotten Happ at first, but Hamels was late to cover and the Astros had men on first and third with one out. Bourgeois singled to left, Shuck scored (2-1) and Happ took second. That brought Barmes to the plate and he delivered the swing of the game, hitting the first pitch he saw from Hamels out to left-center. 5-1. Hamels got Martinez and Lee behind Barmes to end the inning.

Second error in two innings for the Phils, but the real problem is the three-run homer that Hamels allowed to Barmes. The error did cost the Phils a run ahead of the homer, but even with the out Barmes would still have hit a two-run homer if everything else went the same way.

Hamels walked Downs to start the fifth. Johnson flew to center for the first out before Shuck moved Downs to second with a single to right. Hamels struck Quintero out again for the second out and Happ flew to Mayberry to leave both runners stranded.

Herndon set the Astros down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Great outing for Herndon, who now has made two appearances in which he has thrown three scoreless innings since his 69-pitch outing on September 4.

Schwimer pitched the eighth. Shuck led off with a single and Quintero followed that with a single that moved Shuck up to second. Right Angel Sanchez hit for the pitcher Fernando Rodriguez and bunted. Polanco fielded the bunt and went to third, where Shuck was forced for the first out. Bourgeois flew to right for the second out before Schwimer hit Barmes with a pitch, loading the bases. Martinez flew to right to leave them loaded.

Two hits and a hit batter in the inning for Schwimer. That’s also two scoreless appearances in a row for him.

Schwimer threw 21 pitches in the game and Herndon threw 17. Neither has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty JA Happ went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Victorino finally gets a much-needed day off with Mayberry in center. Francisco plays left with Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Martinez at second with Utley sidelined — Orr is the other choice, but he’s not a great option against a lefty.

The Phils went in order in the first.

They were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Mayberry doubled to left with one out. Francisco popped to third for the second out. Ruiz got ahead 2-0, but grounded to short 3-1 to leave Mayberry at second.

The Phils went in order in the third.

With one out in the fourth, Pence hit an 0-1 pitch out to left-center, tying the game at 1-1. Howard walked behind him. Mayberry struck out swinging for the second out before Francisco moved Howard to second with a single. Ruiz grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

The Phils were down 5-1 when they hit in the fifth. Martinez and Hamels went down to start the inning before Rollins singled to right. Happ walked Polanco and Pence on ten total pitches, loading the bases for Howard. Howard hit a 3-2 pitch well to left, but a jumping Martinez caught it at the wall to turn the Phillies away.

Almost a big swing for Howard against a lefty. He’s hitting 230/291/358 against lefties for the season.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the sixth, but Martinez grounded to short behind him.

Right Fernando Rodriguez struck out Victorino and Rollins as he set the Phils down in order in the seventh.

Victorino was double-switched into the game in the bottom of the sixth. Would like to see him get more rest. I’d guess Manuel is thinking that he’ll get it after the Phillies lock up the division, but I kind of wish he would get it now.

Rodriguez was back to strike out Pence and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Righty David Carpenter started the ninth for Houston. Bowker hit for Schwimer and struck out looking for the first out. Ruiz followed and hit a 2-2 pitch just out to right, cutting the lead to 5-2. Orr hit for Martinez and popped to short for the second out. Victorino struck out swinging to end the game.

Glad to see Manuel knows that Bowker is on the team. Bowker is now 0-for-5 with four strikeouts with the Phils.

Rollins 1-for-4. 2-for-8 since returning to the starting lineup.

Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-his-last-7.

Pence 1-for-3 with a walk and his 20th home run of the year. 400/462/743 (14-for-35 with four walks, four doubles, a triple and two home runs) over his last 39 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and a long fly ball. He’s 3-for-his-last-19 with two home runs.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and an error. 200/293/343 over his last 41 plate appearances.

Francisco 1-for-3. 7-for-his-last-13 with two walks. He only has 26 plate appearances since July 23 but is hitting 364/423/455 in those plate appearances. 277/367/361 n his last 99 plate appearances since May 28.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run. 13-for-his-last-37 with seven walks, a double and a home run (351/455/459 over 45 plate appearances).

Martinez was 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-his-last-22 with two singles. I feel like I’m kind of out of words on this one.

Roy Halladay (17-5, 2.44) faces righty Bud Norris (6-9, 3.78) this afternoon. Norris has been very effective against righties this year, but lefties have had more success. Righties have hit just 208/281/346 against him while lefties have put up a 287/357/478 line. He’s tailed off a little towards the end of the year, throwing to a 4.86 ERA over his last eight starts. Over his last 11 starts he’s given up 12 home runs in 64 1/3 innings, which is too many (at that rate he’d allow about 37 over 200 innings). Halladay faced Houston on opening day, holding them to a run over six innings.

IronPigs up 1-0 over Columbus after winning game one of the five-game series 5-2. Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer in the first and Mathieson got the start and the win for the Pigs.

Matt Gelb tweets that Domonic Brown, 1-for-4 in game one of the series, may be back with the Phils when it’s over.

Kendrick looking forward to returning to start on Thursday.


Backwards night at the park not a big hit with the Phils

Everything was a little upside down last night in Houston. Former Astro Roy Oswalt pitched for the Phillies with former Astro Hunter Pence playing right field. Former Phil Brett Myers started for the Astros. Joe Blanton pitched in relief.

Oh, and the Phils looked awful. And lost. 5-1. They didn’t do much of anything with Myers, who dropped his ERA on the year to 4.52 by holding them to a run over eight innings. The Phils weren’t charged with an error in the game, but looked pretty bad in the field. During one three-batter stretch in the fourth, the Phils had a ball go off of Ibanez’s glove in left for a hit, Jimmy Rollins and Pete Orr knocked each other down trying to field a ground ball behind second and Oswalt couldn’t handle a relay from second on a would-be double-play. Again, no errors, but you want to make some of those plays if you’re only going to score one run.

Oswalt again didn’t pitch well for the Phils. In his last five starts he’s had two really good outings, but the other three times out he’s allowed 14 runs in 19 innings. Since the end of May, Oswalt has made 13 appearances with the Phils (12 starts) in which he has thrown to a 4.66 ERA and opponents have hit .314 against him.

The Phillies are 94-50 on the year after falling 5-1 to the Houston Astros last night. The Phils have lost two in a row, but won six of their last eight. Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one. They lead the NL East by 12 games over the second-place Braves. The Braves have 14 games left to play and lead the Cardinals by 4 1/2 games in the Wild Card hunt.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on 11 hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out five.

He set the Astros down in order in the bottom of the first, getting Jordan Schafer on a fly ball to left, Angel Sanchez on a fly ball to center and striking JD Martinez out swinging.

Carlos Lee singled to left to start the second with the Phils up 1-0, but Oswalt got Brian Bogusevic to ground into a double-play behind him. Jimmy Paredes popped to Rollins for the third out.

Oswalt got Jose Altuve on a fly ball to center for the first out of the third. Humberto Quintero grounded to short for the second before pitcher Brett Myers singled to right. Schafer followed that with a walk, but Oswalt got Sanchez on a fly ball to right to leave both runners stranded.

Martinez doubled to right to start the fourth. Lee grounded to third for the first out with Martinez holding second. Bogusevic was next and he hit a ball to left that went off of Ibanez’s glove for a single that moved Martinez up to third. With men on first and third, Paredes hit a ground ball up the middle that Rollins and Orr both tried to field at the same time just to the right of second base. They ran into each other and both fell to the ground. Paredes was safe with a single, Martinez scored to tie the game at 1-1 and Bogusevic took second. Altuve was next and hit a ball to first. Howard went to second to force Paredes for the second out. Oswalt covered first but the relay from Rollins went off of Oswalt’s glove and Altuve was safe. Bogusevic moved up to third on the play. Quintero was the next batter, with two men down and men on first and third, and he doubled into the right field corner. Bogusevic scored to put Houston up 2-1 and Altuve took third. Myers grounded to second for the third out.

Oswalt got the first two to start the fifth before Martinez singled to right. Lee was next and he hammered an 0-2 pitch out to left for a two-run homer that put the Astros on top 4-1. Oswalt struck out Bogusevic for the third out.

Quintero and Myers singled back-to-back with two outs in the sixth, putting men on first and second for Schafer. Schafer lined to short for the third out.

Martinez singled yet again with one out in the seventh. Lee was next and Oswalt hit him on the hand with a pitch. Martinez moved up to third on a wild pitch before Bogusevic hit a ground ball to second. Lee was forced at second for the second out and Martinez scored from third to make it 5-1. Paredes followed with a walk, putting men on first and second, but Oswalt got Altuve on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Martinez made a great play for the first out of the seventh. Sanchez chopped a ball to third and Martinez leaped high to snare it and made a strong throw to first in time for the first out.

Blanton, Joe Blanton, pitched the eighth, making his first appearance for the Phils since May 14. Quintero led off with a single to left. Righty Jason Michaels hit for Myers and popped to third for the first out. Blanton struck Schafer out swinging for the second out and got Sanchez to ground to Rollins for the third.

Blanton dropped his ERA on the year to 5.35 with the scoreless inning.

The Phillies lineup against righty Brett Myers went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Orr (8) Martinez. Rollins returns to the starting lineup for the Phils with Polanco on the bench and Martinez at third. Orr plays second with Utley still sidelined.

Pence doubled to right with two outs in the first, but Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave him at second.

Ibanez doubled to left to start the second. Ruiz grounded to short for the first out before Orr singled into center, scoring Ibanez to put the Phils up 1-0. Orr stole second and moved up to third when Martinez grounded to first for the second out. Oswalt grounded to first as well, leaving Orr at third.

Pence singled with two outs in the third and stole second, but Howard flew to left to leave him stranded.

Ruiz singled to right with one out in the fourth. Orr flew to center for the second out and Martinez grounded back to the mound.

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

They were down 4-1 when they hit in the sixth. Ibanez walked with two outs, but Ruiz flew to center behind him.

They went in order again in the seventh.

Down 5-1, Rollins singled to start the eighth. Victorino flew to left for the first out, Pence grounded to second with Rollins moving up to second for the second. Howard grounded out to Altuve to end the frame.

Righty Mark Melancon took over for Myers in the ninth. Ibanez led off with a walk. Ruiz flew to right for the first out and Orr flew to center for the second. Polanco hit for Martinez and walked, putting men on first and second. Gload hit for Blanton and grounded to second.

Interesting non-use of Bowker there against the righty. Manuel must have felt Polanco was the better bet to get on base, or maybe he’d be better off waiting to use Bowker if the Phils got men on base. Polanco is on-basing .313 against righties for the season.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single in his return.

Victorino 0-for-4. 176/256/311 over his last 82 plate appearances. Really looks like a good candidate for a day off.

Pence 2-for-4 with a double. He’s hitting .408 (13-for-32 with four doubles, a triple and a home run) over his last eight games.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s 3-for-his-last-16 with eight strikeouts.

Ibanez 1-for-2 with a double and two walks. 360/418/600 in his last 55 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 389/457/472 over his last 82 plate appearances.

Martinez was 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-his-last-19 with four walks. He has started nine of the 12 games the Phils have played in September, going 5-for-29 with a double and a home run (172/314/310).

Hamels (14-7, 2.60) faces lefty JA Happ (5-15, 5.77) tonight. Happ is having a miserable year — righties (273/362/473) and lefties (295/356/457) are both hitting him hard. Hamels been very good against righties this season, holding them to a 196/244/298 line for the season, but has allowed more home runs in his recent outings. From May 13 to July 27, Hamels made 15 starts in which he faced 411 batters and hit four home runs. Over his last two starts he has allowed four home runs to the 60 batters he has faced.


Worleywind tour comes to an end in Milwaukee

The Phils completed their series with the Brewers this weekend, taking two of the final three games to take three of four in the series. The series concludes a stretch of seven games against two of the National League’s best teams in which the Phils went 6-1.

On Friday the Phils won game two of the series 5-3. Howard hit a three-run homer in the top of the first to put the Phils up 3-0, which is how it stayed until the seventh. In the seventh, RBI-singles by Ibanez and Ruiz extended the lead to 5-0. Howard didn’t allow a run until the bottom of the seventh, when a leadoff double by Casey McGehee led to a run on a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt, cutting the lead to 5-1. Bastardo started the ninth and allowed the only two batters he faced to reach on single and a walk. Both came in to score after Madson took over for Bastardo, but the Phils held on for the win.

Over his last three appearances, Bastardo has now faced eight batters. Six of them have reached base on two hits and four walks.

Saturday the Phils won 3-2 in ten innings. Pence put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run in the top of the first, but the Brewers tied it up in the bottom of the second on an RBI-single by Betancourt. Lee gave up a second run in the fourth when Ryan Braun led off with a single, Prince Fielder followed with a double and Braun came in on a ground out by Casey McGehee to put the Brewers up 2-1. Polanco tied things up at 2-2 with a two-out homer to center in the fifth. Ibanez led off the tenth with a double and Ruiz tried to bunt him to third, but LaTroy Hawkins threw the ball away and Ibanez scored to put the Phils up to stay at 3-2. Lidge, Stutes and Madson combined to throw three scoreless innings in the game after Lee held the Brewers to two runs over seven innings.

The Phils lost yesterday’s game 3-2, dropping a game started by Worley for the first time in 15 outings.

The Phillies are 94-49 on the year after falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take two of the last three games in the series and three of four in the set overall. After a win on Saturday the Phillies were 46 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization. They are in first place in the NL East, 12 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Corey Hart led off the bottom of the first with a single and Nyjer Morgan bunted him to second with the first out. Braun grounded to second for the second out with Hart moving up to third. Worley struck Fielder out looking 3-2 to leave Hart at third.

Worley walked Rickie Weeks to start the second, but struck Taylor Green out behind him for the first out. Betancourt moved Weeks to second with a single to left and a wild pitch by Worley allowed the runners to take second and third. Jonathan Lucroy grounded to second, with Orr going to Howard for the second out as Weeks scored (1-0) and Betancourt moved up to third. The pitcher Yovani Gallardo grounded to short to end the inning.

Morgan doubled to right with one out in the third and moved up to third on a ground out by Braun. Fielder popped to Martinez at short for the third out.

Worley hit Weeks with his first pitch in the bottom of the fourth, but got Green, Betancourt and Lucroy in order behind Weeks.

Gallardo doubled to right on a ball that Pence either didn’t see well or didn’t play well. Worley struck out Hart before Gallardo took third on a balk. Morgan flew to right with Gallardo holding for the second out and Braun flew to Pence deep in right for the third out.

Worley started the sixth up 2-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Fielder, but got the next three hitters in order.

Hart doubled to left with two outs in the seventh. Morgan followed that with a double to right, plating Hart and tying the game at 2-2. Braun was next and singled into right. Morgan scored and Milwaukee led 3-2. Schwimer took over for Worley and struck Fielder out swinging 2-2 to leave Braun at first.

Just the second of five appearances for Schwimer on the year in which he isn’t charged with at least one run.

Herndon pitched the eighth. He walked Craig Counsell with one out, but got the next two hitters behind him.

First appearance for Herndon since his 69-pitch outing on September 4.

Herndon threw 19 pitches and Schwimer five. Nobody in the pen has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Yovani Gallardo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Orr (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Orr at second and Martinez at short with Rollins active but on the bench and Valdez sidelined after hurting his left hamstring stealing a base on Saturday. Schneider catches the day game with Ruiz on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard led off the second with a single, but Ibanez, Orr and Schneider all struck out behind him.

Down 1-0, Worley walked with one out in the third. Victorino was next and he grounded to second with Worley forced at second for the second out. Victorino stole second before Polanco grounded to short to set the Phils down.

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

Orr struck out swinging on a wild pitch to start the fifth and made it safely to first. Orr stole second as Schneider struck out again for the first out. Martinez moved Orr to third with a ground out, but Worley struck out to leave Orr at third.

Phils waste the leadoff strikeout by Orr.

Victorino led off the sixth and homered to right center to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco and Pence went down behind him before Howard hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center to put the Phils up 2-1. Ibanez struck out for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh.

Down 3-2 and with righty Francisco Rodriguez pitching for Milwaukee, Gload hit for Schwimer to start the inning and singled to right. Mayberry ran for Gload at first and Victorino flew to right for the first out. Polanco grounded to third with Mayberry forced at second for the second out. Pence moved Polanco to third with a single, but Howard grounded to second to end the frame.

Gload still has to be replaced by a pinch-runner with his hip after reaching base to start the inning. That costs the Phils a bench player and a good one in this case in Mayberry. The Phils used two pinch-hitters in the ninth and they went 0-for-2. If Rollins can hit they surely would have used him, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t have used Mayberry even against the righty Axford instead of Bowker if Mayberry had been available. He wasn’t.

Righty John Axford started the ninth for Milwaukee with a one-run lead. He struck Ibanez out for the first out before Orr singled to center. Rollins hit for Schneider and struck out swinging for the second out. Martinez was next and drew a walk, pushing Orr to second as the tying run. Bowker hit for Herndon and popped to third to end the game.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game. 3-for-19 in the four-game set with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 295/371/516 for the year but just 204/278/327 so far in September.

Polanco 0-for-4 yesterday. 5-for-18 with a home run in the series. 278/332/343 for the year. His home run in Saturday’s game was his first since June 10.

Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 7-for-17 in the series with two walks, a double, a triple and a home run. 320/393/551 in 147 at-bats with the Phillies.

Howard 2-for-4 with his 33rd home run of the year. 3-for-8 with two walks and two home runs in the series. 254/348/501 for the year. He has hit seven home runs in his last 59 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out four times. 3-for-11 with a double in the series. 247/293/425 for the year. He’s hitting 201/250/312 away from home this season.

Orr was 1-for-4 and struck out three times. 4-for-9 with a walk in the series. 253/317/293 in 75 at-bats with the Phils for the year.

Schneider was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 167/235/259 in 108 plate appearances for the season.

Martinez 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series. 209/264/304 on the year.

Oswalt (7-8, 3.72) faces righty Brett Myers (4-13, 4.66) tonight in Houston. Myers saw his ERA shoot up to 4.95 after allowing seven runs to the Rockies in five innings on August 22, but has made three appearances since in which he has allowed just three runs in 16 2/3 innings (one of the appearances was a two-inning relief outing). He has allowed 31 home runs in 189 1/3 innings for the year. Oswalt faced his former team in his first start of the season, holding the Astros to two runs over six innings on April 3. In keeping with the guys-playing-on-the-wrong-team theme, Pence homered off of Oswalt in that game. It’s like an Esher drawing.


Phils apparently looking to make up for what they missed with roster expansion with lineup expansion

The Phils continued to roll last night, beating the Brewers 7-2 to win for the ninth time in their last 11 games, winning the game with a wackadoo starting lineup that didn’t include Rollins, Utley, Howard or Ibanez. They did just fine without those guys as Valdez, Pence, Mayberry and Francisco combined to go 8-for-18 in the game and drive in six runs.

Hamels gave the Phils another fantastic start, throwing a complete game and holding the Brewers to a pair of runs on two solo homers. If you’re looking for something to worry about in the complete game effort, I’d go with the rising home run rate for Hamels — he was great at preventing the home run early in the season, but has been a lot less great recently. In his first 17 starts he allowed six in 116 innings (about 0.47 HR per nine innings). Over his last 11 starts he has now allowed eight in 78 innings (about 0.92 HR per nine innings).

The Phillies are 92-48 on the year after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 last night. They are 44 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization and lead the NL East by ten games over the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both solo home runs. He struck out two.

He set the Brewers down in order in the first, getting Corey Hart on a fly ball to right, Jerry Hairston on a ground ball to short and Ryan Braun on a popup that Martinez handled.

Prince Fielder grounded to second for the first out of the second. Casey McGehee was next and he singled to left, but Hamels got Yuniesky Betancourt to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Hamels struck Jonathan Lucroy out swinging for the first out in the third. Carlos Gomez tried to bunt for a hit, but Mayberry retired him for the second. The pitcher Chris Narveson grounded to second.

Hamels walked Hairston with one out in the fourth, but got Braun and Fielder to leave him stranded.

McGehee grounded to third for the first out of the fifth. Betancourt was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to left center to put the Brewers up 1-0. Hamels got Lucroy and Gomez behind Betancourt.

He started the sixth with a 6-1 lead. Nyjer Morgan flew to center for the first out, but Hart was next and he lined a 3-1 pitch out to right center, cutting the lead to 6-2. Hamels got Hairston and Braun behind Hart.

Fielder singled to right to start the seventh. McGehee popped to Martinez for the first out. Betancourt was next and he went down on a soft ground ball handled by Hamels, with Fielder moving up to second with two down. Lucroy walked on five pitches and righty Josh Wilson hit for the pitcher Tim Dillard. Wilson grounded to third to end the inning.

Hamels set Morgan, Hart and Hairston down in order in the eighth.

Up 7-2, he got Braun, Fielder and McGehee in the ninth. He threw 111 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Chris Narveson went (1) Victorino (2) Valdez (3) Polanco (4) Pence (5) Mayberry (6) Ruiz (7) Francisco (8) Martinez. Valdez at short with Rollins, who was activated before the game, on the bench. Martinez at second with Utley having his head checked and rested. Mayberry at first against the lefty with Howard resting. Ibanez resting with Francisco in left. Francisco starts just his third game since July 22. July 22 was the 98th game of the year for the Phils — last night’s game was number 140. Polanco drops to three in the order with Valdez hitting second.

The Phils didn’t have a base-runner until Hamels walked with two outs in the third. Victorino flew to center to leave him at first.

They went in order in the fourth.

Mayberry started the fifth with a single. Ruiz fouled out to the catcher and Francisco hit into a double-play behind him.

This might not even be Francisco’s favorite year in professional baseball.

The Phils were down 1-0 when Martinez and Hamels both struck out to start the sixth. Victorino was next and hit a ball to left that almost left the yard, hitting high off the very top of the wall and bouncing back onto the field for a double. Valdez was next and doubled just over the head of Gomez in center, scoring Victorino to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Pence. Pence hit a ball to the gap in right-center that Gomez misplayed badly. Pence should have had a double, but wound up at third with Valdez and Polanco both scoring to put the Phils up 3-1. Mayberry was next and reached on an infield single with Pence scoring. 4-1. Mayberry stole second before Ruiz brought him home with a double to left. 5-1. Francisco singled to left and Ruiz scored. 6-1. Righty Tim Dillard came in to pitch to Martinez and Martinez singled to right where the ball was mishandled by Hart for an error, allowing Francisco to go to third. Hamels struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Looked like the misplay of Pence’s ball that gave him an extra-base was going to cost Milwaukee a run when Mayberry followed with an infield single that brought Pence home from third, but he would have scored on Ruiz’s double anyway. Gomez didn’t have a good inning in center either way.

The lead was cut to 6-2 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Polanco singled with two outs, but Pence grounded to the pitcher behind him.

Francisco singled with two outs in the eighth and stole second before Martinez drew a walk. It put men on first and second for Hamels. Hamels hit for himself and struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Valdez singled with one out in the ninth and Polanco went down on a fly ball to right behind him. Pence was next, though, and he doubled to right with Valdez scoring to extend the lead to 7-2. Mayberry walked before Ruiz grounded to third for the third out.

Victorino went 1-for-5 with a double, dropping his average on the year to .299. That’s the first time he’s ended the day with an average under .300 this year since July 28.

Valdez 2-for-5 with a double. He’s 7-for-19 with three extra-base hits to start September.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a walk. He has one extra-base hit, a double, in his last 155 plate appearances over 36 games.

Pence 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI to raise his line with the Phillies to 311/383/541.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-his-last-8 with three walks.

Ruiz 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 321/390/420 since the All-Star break.

Francisco 2-for-4 with an RBI. 5-for-7 with a double and two walks in his last two starts.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a walk. Five walks in 26 plate appearances in September.

Roy Halladay (16-5, 2.49) faces righty Shawn Marcum (12-5, 3.11) tonight. Righties have hit just 181/230/301 against Marcum for the year. Lefties have fared better at 257/313/390. He made one start against the Phils this year, allowing an unearned run on April 18. Halladay hasn’t allowed a home run in his last eight starts. Halladay has made one start against Milwaukee this year and it was pretty much his worst outing of the season. On April 19 he was charged with six runs in 6 2/3 innings in Philadelphia and the Phils lost 9-0. Halladay’s line was bad for the night anyway, but got worse when Herndon took over for him with two outs and two on in the seventh and gave up a three-run shot to Casey McGehee.


Ross takes a Gload off of everyone’s mind

It has been a magical season for the Phillies so far in 2011. But not for everyone. Several key players have struggled overall despite the amazing success of the team. Last night two of the guys who have struggled made enormous contributions as the Phils topped the Braves 3-2 on a walkoff single by Gload to complete a three-game sweep.

Oswalt threw seven strong innings in the game for the Phils, throwing in the low 90′s coming off of two worrisome starts in a row. Coming into the outing, Oswalt had thrown to a 4.79 ERA over his last seven outings. He looked great last night, though, especially early as he started the game tossing five shutout innings in which he struck out six.

The Phils hit in the bottom of the ninth with the game knotted at 2-2. With one man out and men on first and second, Manuel called on Gload to hit against righty Peter Moylan and Gload delivered in a big way, ripping a ball down the right field line for a game-winner. It was a huge hit for Gload in a season where he has been slowed by a hip injury — he came into last night’s game just 5-for-his-last-39.

The Phillies are 91-48 after beating the Atlanta Braves 3-2 last night. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep of Atlanta and extend their lead over the Braves in the NL East to 10 1/2 games. They are 43 games above .500 for the first time in the history of the organization.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven. Two of his last four starts have been very good.

Oswalt got Michael Bourn on a ground ball to second for the first out of the game. Martin Prado was next and hit a ball to short that Martinez muffed for an error. It put a man on first for Chipper Jones, but Chipper hit a ball back to the mound and Oswalt went to second as the Phils turned two.

Oswalt walked Brian McCann on a 3-2 pitch to start the second. He struck Dan Uggla out swinging for the first out and got Eric Hinske to fly to left for the second. Jason Heyward walked 3-2, though, and the Braves had runners on first and second for Alex Gonzalez. Oswalt struck him out on three pitches, getting him swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Oswalt started the third with a 1-0 lead. He struck out the pitcher Brandon Beachy for the first out and Michael Bourn for the second. Prado grounded to short to end the frame.

Oswalt struck Uggla and McCann both out swinging in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He walked Heyward with one out in the fifth. Gonzalez flew to right for the second out. Beachy hit a ground ball to short. Martinez fielded and looked to flip to Utley for the force, but Utley was already headed for the dugout. Martinez beat Heyward to second for the force to end the frame.

Bourn doubled to center to start the sixth. Prado tried to bunt him to third, but popped it up to Oswalt for the first out. Chipper was next and he singled into center, scoring Bourn to tie the game at 1-1. Oswalt struck McCann out for the second out before walking Uggla. Hinske popped out to Polanco in foul territory to leave both runners stranded.

Heyward started the seventh with a single to center and Gonzalez bunted him to second with the first out. Freeman was next and he singled into center, scoring Heyward to put Atlanta up 2-1. Bourn and Prado both flew to right to leave Freeman at first.

Bastardo started the eighth and Chipper singled to center to start the inning. McCann walked behind Jones, putting men on first and second for Uggla. Uggla hit a ground ball to third. Polanco fielded, stepped on third and threw to second to complete a double-play that left the Braves with two down and a man on first. Righty Matt Diaz hit for the pitcher Eric O’Flaherty and flew to right on a ball that Pence took in foul territory for the third out.

Bastardo keeps the Braves off the board with the help of the big double-play by Polanco, but doesn’t look fantastic. This comes off of his most recent outing on Saturday in which he walked the only two hitters he faced, so four of the last six batters he has faced in his last two outings have reached on three walks and a single. On the plus side, he does have a 1.66 ERA for the year and opponents are hitting .114 against him.

Madson pitched the ninth with the game tied at 2-2. Heyward led off with an infield single and Gonzalez bunted him to second with the first out. Freeman popped to short for the second and Bourn grounded to short to end the frame.

Madson has thrown 7 1/3 shutout innings over his last eight appearances. He was pitching for the second straight day and threw 11 pitches in the game. Bastardo threw 16 pitches.

The Phillies lineup against righty Brandon Beachy went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Martinez at short with Rollins sidelined.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard and Pence both struck out to start the second, but Ibanez was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

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

Beachy set them down 1-2-3 again in the fourth.

Pence struck out for the first out as the Phils went in order again in the fifth.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Victorino walked on four pitches with two outs and moved to third when Polanco followed with a single to right. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty took over for Beachy and hit Utley on the helmet with a pitch, loading the bases. Howard struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

The original ruling was that Heyward had caught Polanco’s sinking line drive to right, but that was overruled and Fredi Gonzalez was ejected arguing. Looked like the ball was trapped by Heyward.

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

With lefty Jonny Venters on the mound for the Braves, Mayberry hit for Martinez to start the eighth and singled to right. Valdez hit for Bastardo and bunted Mayberry to second with the first out. Victorino struck out swinging for the second out, but Polanco lined a single to right. Mayberry raced around third and came in to score as Heyward’s throw was way up the third base line, tying the game at 2-2. Francisco hit for Utley, who had been hit in the head with a pitch in the sixth, and drew a walk. Howard struck out swinging to leave the runners at first and second.

Big strikeout for Victorino after Mayberry gets bunted to second, but Polanco picks him up with the RBI-single.

Ibanez walked with one out in the ninth and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single. With righty Peter Moylan on the mound for the Braves, Gload hit for Madson. He got behind 0-2, but hit a 1-2 pitch past Freeman and down the right field line. Would have been a double, but Ibanez scored to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 2-for-11 with three walks in the three-game series. 300/379/523 for the year. 196/305/314 over his last 59 plate appearances. He’s high on the list of Phillies who look to me like they could use some rest.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a huge RBI. 5-for-12 in the series and twice hit by a pitch. 278/333/336 on the year. 236/293/270 in 329 plate appearances since the end of April.

Utley 0-for-2 and hit by a pitch. This says that Utley will not fly to Milwaukee. 3-for-12 with a triple and a home run in the series. 262/344/441 for the year. 206/264/363 over his last 110 plate appearances.

Howard was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left five men on base. 3-for-10 with three walks and a home run in the series. 262/368/570 over his last 125 plate appearances with ten home runs. He’s hitting 252/345/491 for the season.

Pence 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 4-for-11 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 308/363/484 for the year. 308/383/523 in 149 plate appearances with the Phillies. He’s now hit to the same .308 average with the Astros and the Phillies, but gotten on base more and hit with more power while with the Phils.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils (Gload was denied a double by winning the thing). 4-for-7 with a double, a walk, a home run and four RBI in the series after sitting against a righty in game one. He’s at 247/293/426 for the year. He’s walking in about 6.2% of his plate appearances this season, which is his worst rate since 1998.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 2-for-8 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 280/373/382 for the year. He’s hitting .250 at home and .309 on the road. He’s on-based .377 over his last 1,214 plate appearances.

Martinez 0-for-2 with a strikeout and an error. 0-for-7 with two walks in the series. 209/259/308 for the year.

Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.63) faces lefty Chris Narveson (10-6, 4.26) tonight in Milwaukee. Narveson has pitched well over his last seven outings, throwing to a 2.70 ERA. He hasn’t gone more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his last three starts. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last seven starts. His home runs are up a little of late — he allowed two in his last start and has given up four over his past 33 innings. He only allowed eight in 152 innings to start the season.


Vance trance

The Phils topped the Braves last night, winning 6-3 behind another solid effort from Vance Worley. The Phils are 14-0 in the last 14 games that Worley has started.

After sitting against a righty in game one of the series, Ibanez was back in the lineup and hammering the ball in game two. He went 3-for-4 with a double and drove in three of the six Phillie runs.

The Phillies are 90-48 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 6-3 last night. With the win the Phils extend their lead over Atlanta in the division to 9 1/2 games.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out six.

He walked Martin Prado with one out in the first and Prado moved up to second when Brian McCann followed with a single to left. Worley stuck Dan Uggla out swinging and Chipper Jones out looking to leave both runners stranded.

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

Michael Bourn bunted for a single with one out in the third. Prado was next and grounded to second with Bourn forced at second for the second out. Worley struck McCann out looking to set Atlanta down.

Uggla led off the fourth and hit a 2-1 pitch out to right center, cutting the lead to 2-1. Chipper and Freddie Freeman followed that with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Worley escaped further damage, though, striking out Alex Gonzalez and Jose Constanza before getting the pitcher Tim Hudson on a ground ball to first.

Six strikeouts for Worley through four innings — he wouldn’t get any more in his last two innings. Over his last seven starts he has struck out 43 hitters in 39 innings. In his first 13 appearances on the year he struck out 53 in 73 1/3 innings.

Bourn started the fifth with a single into center, but Worley got Prado to hit into a double-play behind him. McCann flew to center for the third out.

He walked Uggla to start the sixth and Chipper followed with a double that moved Uggla up to third. Freeman walked on a 3-2 pitch and the bases were loaded. Gonzalez flew to left for the first out, deep enough for Uggla to tag, score and tie the game at 2-2. Constanza was next and he flew to left with the runners holding first and second. Hudson hit for himself and flew to center.

Worley comes up big against the bottom of the order after walking two to help the Braves load the bases.

Stutes started the seventh with a 4-2 lead. Bourn led off with a double to right. Prado was next and flew to left for the first out before Stutes walked McCann. Bourn stole third and the runners were at the corners for Uggla. Uggla hit a ground ball to third with Bourn scoring (4-3) as Polanco went to second to force McCann for the second out. Chipper flew to right to leave Uggla at first.

Stutes has a 5.18 ERA over his last 19 appearances and has given up five home runs in 24 1/3 innings in those outings.

Lidge started the eighth with a 6-3 lead. Gonzalez singled to left with one out, but Lidge struck Constanza out behind him for the second out. Lefty Eric Hinske hit for the pitcher Cristhian Martinez. Lidge struck him out swinging at a wild 2-2 pitch with Hinske taking first. Bourn struck out swinging 1-2 to leave the runners at first and second.

Lidge strikes out three in the frame and doesn’t walk a batter. In 12 1/3 innings he has now struck out 17 and walked ten.

Madson pitched the ninth up 6-3. He allowed a leadoff single to Prado, but got McCann to hit into a double-play behind him. He struck Uggla out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Madson hasn’t been charged with a run in his last seven appearances since he was charged with six runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Nats on August 19. Over his last seven appearances he has allowed four hits and no walks over 6 1/3 innings while striking out six.

Lee threw a complete game in the series opener, so nobody in the pen has pitched more than one day in a row. Stutes threw 21 pitches, Lidge 20 and Madson 16.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Hudson went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Martinez at short with Rollins still on the DL and Valdez on the bench. Ibanez back in left after Mayberry started against the righty Lowe in game one. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the bench.

With two outs in the first, Utley hit a 2-2 pitch out to right center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard and Pence followed that with back-to-back singles, which put men on first and second for Ibanez. Ibanez dumped a single in front of a diving Bourn. Howard scored to put the Phils up 2-0 and Pence moved up to third. Schneider grounded to second for the third out.

Victorino walked with two outs in the second, but Polanco grounded to short behind him.

Howard and Pence struck out as the Phils went in order in the third.

Martinez walked with two outs in the fourth and the lead cut to 2-1. Worley was next and smashed a ball to third, but Chipper handled it and threw to second to force Martinez and end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

The game was tied at 2-2 when Howard walked to start the sixth. Pence doubled to center, putting men on second and third. With Ibanez at the plate, a wild pitch brought Howard home (3-2) and moved Pence to third. Ibanez doubled high off the wall in right center, scoring Pence to extend the lead to 4-2. Schneider fouled out to third for the first out before Martinez walked, putting men on first and second. With the righty Hudson still pitching for Atlanta, Mayberry hit for Worley and grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

No more runs for the Phils after putting Ibanez on second with nobody out. Martinez walks twice in a game for his second time in three starts. Manuel calls on Mayberry to hit against the righty. It’s too early for Gload, but it’s an interesting choice of Mayberry over the lefty Bowker.

It was 4-3 when Victorino led off the seventh with a single to right. Polanco was hit by a pitch behind him, putting men on first and second. Utley grounded to second with Polanco forced at second for the first out and Victorino moving to third. Howard grounded to second with Victorino scoring (5-3) and Utley moving up to second with two outs. Pence followed with a walk, putting men on first and second for Ibanez. Ibanez singled to right, scoring Utley to make it 6-3 with Pence moving up to second. With righty Cristhian Martinez pitching for the Braves, Ruiz hit for Schneider and walked to load the bases. Martinez struck Martinez out swinging 0-2 to leave the bases loaded.

With righty Anthony Varvaro pitching for Atlanta, Gload hit for Lidge and flew to right for the first out of the eighth. Victorino grounded to short for the second out before Polanco singled to right. Utley flew to center to leave Polanco at first.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-18.

Polanco 1-for-4. He has two extra-base hits, both doubles, in his last 159 plate appearances.

Utley 1-for-5 with his tenth home run. He’s 5-for-30 to start September.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 6-for-his-last-12 with a double, a home run and seven walks. 284/411/581 over his last 90 plate appearances.

Pence 2-for-3 with a walk a double. 317/393/540 with the Phils in 145 plate appearances.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. He’s 13-for-his-last-34 with four doubles and a home run (382/417/588).

Schneider was 0-for-3 in the game and is 1-for-his-last-13.

Martinez 0-for-2 with two walks and two strikeouts.

Oswalt (7-8, 3.80) faces righty Brandon Beachy (7-2, 3.37) tonight. Righties are on-basing just .283 against Beachy for the year, but the Phils have hit him well in his three starts against them. In three outings against the Phillies, Beachy is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA and has allowed 21 hits in 14 innings. Oswalt has thrown to a 4.70 ERA in his ten starts since the end of May, allowing 78 hits in 59 1/3 innings as opponents have hit .324 against him. He has made one start against Atlanta this year, allowing two runs (only one of which was earned) over six innings on April 9.

Chuck LaMar resigned.


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