Archive for April, 2012

One hit makes fans wonder

Matt Garza looked rather fantastic yesterday, holding the Phils to a single and walk over seven shutout innings while striking out ten as he led the Cubs to a 5-1 win. As good as he looked, it was a little hard to tell how much of it was Garza being great and how much was the Phillies being feeble offensively.

Given the Phillies’s offense woes of late, a little of both seems like a good guess.

The biggest problem for the Phillies right now is that Rollins, Pence and Victorino, the trio expected to be the core of an offense that’s missing Utley and Howard, aren’t producing. Rollins has struggled all year and is hitting 222/264/259 for the season. Pence is 5-for-his-last-34 (.147) and Victorino 3-for-his-last-33 (.091).

The Phillies are 10-12 on the year after losing to the Chicago Cubs 5-1 yesterday afternoon. The Cubs have won two of the first three games of the four-game set.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run.

That’s a whole lot better than in his other start of the season, in which Kendrick allowed seven runs over three innings.

He set the Cubs down in order in the first. Bryan LaHair led off the second and doubled to left-center. Jeff Baker was the next hitter and lined a ball to right that Pence looked like he might catch for a second, but went over his head for a double. LaHair didn’t scored, moving up to third to put men on second and third with nobody out for Ian Stewart. Stewart grounded to second for the first out with both runners moving up a base and LaHair scoring to put the Cubs up 1-0. Kendrick walked Joe Mather and Mather stole second, putting men on second and third with one down. Kendrick struck Wellington Castillo and pitcher Matt Garza out back-to-back to leave the runners on second and third.

Big strikeout for Kendrick to get Castillo for the second out with men on first and second.

Tony Campana led off the third with a single to right and took second when Nix didn’t handle a pickoff throw at first for an error. Darwin Barney grounded to second for the first out, with Campana moving up to third. Starlin Castro was next and hit a ball to right, not too deep. Pence took it for the second out and made a good throw home, but Campana tagged and slid in just safe to make it 2-0. Kendrick struck LaHair out looking to end the frame.

Campana, as he demonstrated throughout the series, is really fast. Kendrick’s pickoff throw to first was a little low, but Nix definitely should have caught it.

Kendrick got the first two in the fourth, before Mather hit a 1-0 pitch out to left, putting the Cubs up 3-0. Castillo flew to center for the third out.

Kendrick struck out Garza, Campana and Barney in a 1-2-3 fifth.

He allowed a one-out single to LaHair in the sixth, but got Baker and Stewart behind him.

Contreras set the Cubs down in order in the seventh, striking out Mather and Castillo before getting Garza to ground to first.

Contreras does a nice just against the bottom of the order for the Cubs, coming off of back-to-back ugly outings.

Herndon started the eighth. Campana led off with an infield single and stole second on a pitchout. Barney bunted him to third with the first out. Castro was next and hit a ball to second with the infield in. Galvis came home, but his throw was bad first base side and Campana was safe, putting the Cubs up 4-0 with nobody out and a man on first. Castro tried to steal second, but Schneider threw him out for the first out. LaHair doubled to right and came home on a single by Baker (5-0). Baker took second as the throw came home. Stewart lined to left for the third out.

Campana still fast, what with reaching on the infield hit, stealing second on a pitchout and then scoring on a ground ball to second with the infield in and the throw coming home all in the same frame. Schneider throwing out Castro ahead of the double by LaHair saves the Phils a run.

Herndon came back to set the Cubs down in order in the ninth.

Herndon raises his ERA for the year to 4.70, allowing two runs over two innings. He’s only walked one, but allowed ten hits in 7 2/3 innings for the year. Campana made one of the runs he allowed without a lot of help. Herndon threw 24 pitches in the game, Contreras ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Wigginton (5) Victorino (6) Nix (7) Schneider (8) Galvis. Rollins leads off against a righty for the second straight day, but this time with Pierre behind him playing left and hitting second. Wigginton at third with Polanco on the bench. Nix at first. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the bench. Galvis at second with the lefty Orr watching.

Rollins blooped a single into right center to start the bottom of the first. Pierre followed and grounded to short with Rollins forced at second for the first out. With Pence at the plate, a ball in the dirt got away from Castillo. Pierre tried to take second, but Castillo threw him out for the second out. Pence struck out to end the inning.

The out Pierre gave away at second doesn’t officially count as a caught stealing, so I guess we’ll just have to remember.

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

Down 2-0, Schneider, Galvis and Kendrick all struck out in the third.

Down 3-0, Rollins struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Nix struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Garza got Schneider on a fly ball to right for the first out in the sixth. Galvis struck out for the second out. Mayberry hit for Kendrick and struck out swinging to end the inning.

Mayberry’s average dropped to .208 on the year with the strikeout. He’s 1-for-9 as a pinch-hitter with five strikeouts.

Pierre walked with one out in the seventh, but Pence and Wigginton went down behind him.

The Phillies were down 5-0 when righty Rafael Dolis set them down in order in the eighth.

Righty Carlos Marmol started the ninth and got Galvis on a fly ball to center for the first out. Orr hit for Herndon and walked. Rollins followed that with a walk, putting men on first and second for Pierre. Pierre popped to short for the second out, but Pence reached on an infield single that loaded the bases. Wigginton walked on a 3-2 pitch, forcing in Orr to make it 5-1. Victorino grounded to short to end the game.

Three walks in the inning for the Phils. They only walked four times in the game.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-7 with a walk, a double and two RBI in the last two days.

Pierre 0-for-3 with a walk and gave away a run with a caught stealing that doesn’t count as a caught stealing. .

Pence 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .253. He’s hitting 171/190/268 in 42 plate appearances over his last ten games. 2-for-12 with four strikeouts so far in the series.

Wigginton 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 13-for-his-last-37 (351/415/486 over 41 plate appearances).

Victorino 0-for-4 to drop his average to .230. He’s hitting 200/233/400 over his last 73 plate appearances. 3-for-his-last-33 with two home runs and a double. His last single came April 20 in San Diego.

Nix 0-for-3 with a strikeout and an error at first. He’s on-basing .387 and slugging .556 for the season, both of which lead the team.

Schneider 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Threw Castro out trying to steal second in the eighth. He’s 4-for-18 on the year with four singles.

Galvis 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, which dropped his average under .200 to .194. He’s 4-for-his-last-29. He’s hitting .179 against right-handed pitching with a .209 on-base percentage.

On Saturday, the Phillies won game two of the series 5-2. Blanton got the start for the Phils and was very good, pitching into the eighth inning and holding the Cubs to a pair of runs. J-Roll lead off for the first time this season and hit a two-run double in a four-run fourth for the Phils that also featured a two-run single by Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz added a solo homer in the sixth, his third home run of the season.

Friday the Phils lost the opener of the series 5-1. Halladay allowed three runs over seven innings and Schwimer gave up a pair of runs in the ninth. The only run of the game for the Phils came on a solo home run by Wigginton off of Chicago starter Paul Maholm in the seventh.

Worley (2-1, 2.16) faces righty Chris Volstead (0-3, 6.14) tonight. Worley has made three very good starts in four outings for the year. Over his last two starts he has allowed one run in 13 innings and struck out 17. Volstad has allowed at least four runs in each of his last three starts and hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning in any of them.


Starter’s start

The Phillies have had a whole lot of problems scoring runs in the early going, but they’ve also been less dominating when it comes to preventing them relative to the rest of the league. Coming into today’s games, the Phillie starters had been very good for the season, but weren’t particularly close to being the best rotation in the league.

And that could be a problem for a team counting on having the best rotation in the league.

Here’s a look at how the Phils have fared at scoring and preventing runs so far this season as well as some numbers for their starters and relievers:

Year R/G (Rank) RA/G (Rank) SP ERA (Rank) RA/IP SP IP/G SP RP ERA RA/IP RP IP/G RP
’12 3.32 (14) 3.26 (4) 2.80 (4) .343 6.60 3.12 (5) .438 2.28
’11 4.40 (7) 3.27 (1) 2.86 (1) .338 6.57 3.45 (7) .410 2.55

The biggest problem, of course, is that the Phillies are scoring more than a run less in 2012 than they did in 2011, falling from seventh in the league in runs scored per game to 14th. I don’t think the Phils are going to overcome that, no matter what kind of pitching they get. They’re either going to get a whole lot better than 14th in the league in runs scored per game or they’re going to lose a lot.

Beyond the obvious issues with the offense, I think there’s been another, less important, issue in the early going as well. While the starting pitching for the Phillies has been very good, it hasn’t been as dominant relative to the rest of the league as it was in 2011.

In 2011, the Phillies clearly had the best starting rotation in the NL, throwing to a 2.86 ERA and a 1.11 ratio for the season. The Giants were probably the team with the second-best rotation, but they were significantly behind the Phils, pitching to a 3.28 ERA with a 1.24 ratio and throwing about .41 of an inning less than the Phils per start.

In 2012, the starting pitchers for the Phils have been about as good as they were in 2011 and maybe a little better, throwing to a 2.80 ERA with a 1.09 ratio. The problem is that while similar numbers made them the best in the league in 2011, the Phils haven’t had the best starting rotation in the league so far in 2012. The Nats, Cardinals and Pirates have all had starting pitching that’s been better than the Phillies so far and the Dodgers have been about the same. The bullpen for the Phillies has been better than it was in 2012, but even when you factor that in, the advantage that the Phillies have gotten relative to the rest of the league in preventing runs in 2012 is not as large as it was in 2011.

In 2011, the Phillies allowed an average of 3.27 runs per game, which is about 78.6% of the NL average of 4.16 runs per game. So far in 2012, the Phillies have allowed an even better 3.26 runs per game, but that 3.26 runs per game is about 82.7% of the NL average of 3.94 runs allowed per game.

So even though the pitching has been good, it hasn’t given the Phillies nearly the same advantage it did in 2011. And that’s a problem for a team counting on their starting pitching to make up for a whole lot of problems scoring runs.

Finally, if you haven’t done so recently, take a moment and look at the numbers that Washington’s starrting pitchers have posted while pacing the Nats to a 14-5 start. It’s a little silly. Zimmerman, Strasburg, Gonzalez and Detwiler have combined to make 15 starts of the 19 starts and not one of them has an ERA over 1.55 or a ratio over 0.94.

Halladay (3-1, 1.50) faces lefty Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36) tonight as the Phils host the Cubs. Halladay hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his four stars on the year or given up a home run. The Phils are 3-1 in his outings. Maholm was hit hard in his first two starts, allowing six runs in four innings in each, but held the Reds to a run over six innings his most recent time out.


Fans concur they don’t care if it is the heat or the humidity as long as the Phillies keep on hitting

The Phillies continued to pound out runs yesterday afternoon in Arizona, scoring seven more as they topped the Snakes 7-2. The Phillies scored 20 runs in the three-game set, which they came into averaging 2.69 runs per game for the season.

The Phils also got very good starting pitching in each of the two games they won in the series. Hamels allowed two runs over eight innings yesterday in game three, coming off of a game two performance in which Worley held the Diamondbacks to a run over six frames.

After 19 games, the Phils are tied for 14th in the NL in runs scored per game and fourth in runs allowed per game. They’ve still won just one game on the season in which they’ve allowed more than two runs.

The Phillies are 9-10 on the year after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 yesterday afternoon. They take the series two games to one and have won two games in a row.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven. Through four starts, Hamels has thrown to a 2.73 ERA and allowed 24 hits and just three walks over 26 1/3 innings. He has struck out 30.

After allowing a home run in each of his first two starts on the season, Hamels has not allowed one in his last two outings.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Willie Bloomquist led off and doubled to left. Aaron Hill was next and he fouled out to Ruiz for the first out. With Justin Upton at the plate, Bloomquist tried to steal third but left too early. Hamels threw to third and Bloomquist was eventually tagged out after a long and ugly rundown. Upton struck out to end the inning.

Hamels was perfect for the next five innings, setting the Diamondbacks down in order in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth.

He started the seventh with a 6-0 lead and struck out Bloomquist for the first out. Hill and Upton followed with back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and second for Kubel. Kubel singled into center, scoring Hill to cut the lead to 6-1 with one out and men on first and second. Hamels walked Cody Ransom on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Goldschmidt was next and hit a double-play ball to short. Galvis fielded, but his throw to second was low and not handled by Orr. Orr was given an error and everyone moved up a base. Upton scored to make it 6-2. AJ Pollack was the next hitter and Hamels got him on a double-play ball to Orr, ending the inning.

Would have been nice to get a double-play on the Goldschmidt grounder, but instead the Phils don’t get an out anywhere. Fortunately they still had a four-run lead and Hamels got the next hitter to hit into an inning-ending double-play.

Hamels was back for the eighth. He struck Henry Blanco out looking for the first out. Lefty Gerardo Parra hit for the pitcher David Hernandez and Hamels struck him out swinging for the second out. Bloomquist was next and Hamels got him swinging as well to set down the Snakes.

Hamels strikes out the side in the eighth. Bloomquist’s strikeout was his seventh on the day and strike three came on the 108th pitch of the game for Hamels.

Michael Schwimer, just called up when Stutes hit the DL, pitched the ninth with a 7-2 lead, setting the Diamondbacks down in order.

First action of the year for Schwimer, who threw to a 5.02 ERA with the Phillies over 14 1/3 innings in 2011. He threw 12 pitches in the game.

One perfect inning for the pen in the game. For the series, the bullpen threw nine innings in which they allowed six runs, five of which were earned.

The Phillies lineup against righty Trevor Cahill went (1) Pierre (2) Polanco (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Nix (6) Orr (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Rollins on the bench with Galvis making his first start at short. Orr and Nix both in the lineup, Orr at second and Nix at first, after both had big games at the plate in game two of the set. Polanco at third base. Victorino hits third in the slot vacated by Rollins.

Polanco singled to right with one out in the first. Victorino flew to center for the first out before Polanco took second on a passed ball. Pence followed that with a single into left, scoring Polanco to put the Phils up 1-0. Nix was next and popped a ball up down the left field line. It was deflected by a diving Ransom and fell for a double. Pence tried to score from first, but Kubel got to the ball and made a strong and accurate throw to the plate in time to nail him for the third out and end the frame.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second. With Galvis at the plate, a wild pitch got away and rolled towards the Phillies dugout. Ruiz went to third and, seeing nobody covering home, tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate as Ransom got there in time to take Blanco’s throw and apply the tag. Galvis grounded to second for the third out.

Polanco walked with two outs in the third, but Victorino went down on a well-hit ball handled by Hill at second for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth and again in the fifth.

Pierre singled to left to start the sixth and moved to second when Polanco walked behind him. Victorino was next and grounded to second for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. With Pence at the plate, a wild pitch by Cahill allowed Pierre to score (2-0) and Polanco to move up to third. Pence brought Polanco home with a single into left and the Phils led 3-0. Lefty Craig Breslow came in to pitch to Nix. Wigginton hit for Nix and singled to center, moving Pence up to second. Orr struck out swinging for the second out, Ruiz followed him with a single into center that scored Pence (4-0) and sent Wigginton to third. Galvis walked and the bases were loaded. Hamels singled to center, scoring Wigginton and Ruiz to make it 6-0 and moving Galvis up to third. Pierre grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Five singles and two walks for the Phils. They sent ten men to the plate in the inning. Hamels is 3-for-10 with a double at the plate for the year. Hamels, Lee and Halladay have combined to go 8-for-27 (.296) at the plate for the year. Halladay and Hamels both had more hits on the season than Thome.

Polanco singled off of righty Brad Ziegler to start the seventh, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Righty David Hernandez started the eighth for Arizona with the lead cut to 6-2. Ruiz singled with one out, but Galvis and Hamels both struck out behind him.

Pierre started the ninth with a single and came around to score on a double by Polanco, putting the Phils up 7-2. Victorino, Pence and Wigginton went in order behind Polanco.

Pierre was 2-for-5 in the game and 5-for-13 with five singles in the three-game series. He’s hitting 339/361/373 for the year. If he hits 339/361/373 the rest of the way, it would be absolutely fantastic for the Phillies.

Polanco 3-for-3 with a double and two walks. He came into the game with one double and two walks for the season. 4-for-7 with three walks in the series. 237/297/271 for the season. Wigginton was 1-for-3 yesterday and 4-for-11 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 304/365/435 for the year.

Victorino was 0-for-5 and left six men on base. 2-for-13 with two home runs in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-21. 253/309/427 for the year.

Pence was 2-for-5 with two RBI and three strikeouts. 3-for-9 with a home run and five strikeouts in the series. 268/316/423 for the season. 3-for-his-last-22 with nine strikeouts.

Nix was 1-for-2 with a double in the game and 5-for-6 with two doubles and a home run in the series. His line is up to 348/400/652 for the season. Mayberry did not play yesterday, but was 2-for-5 with a double in the series. He’s at 200/200/244 for the season.

Orr was 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-10 with a double and a triple in the series. 267/267/533 for the year. No longer leads the team in batting average or slugging percentage, although he is still second in slugging percentage behind Nix.

Ruiz 3-for-4 with an RBI yesterday and 4-for-9 with a home run in the series. He’s at 302/328/472 for the year. Three walks in 58 plate appearances so far, one of which was intentional. Coming into the 2012 season, Ruiz had walked 241 times in 2,164 plate appearances, which is about 11.1% of PA. He’s at about 5.2% of PA so far this year.

Galvis was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game and 1-for-8 with a walk and a double in the series. 200/238/317 for the season. He’s hitting .184 against righties with a .225 on-base percentage. Rollins was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in the game. He’s hitting 229/267/257 for the year. 400/462/480 at home and 111/163/133 on the road.

It wasn’t a huge factor in the series, but Phillies pinch-hitters are 2-for-25 (.080) on the season with two singles. Thome and Mayberry have combined to go 0-for-14 as pinch-hitters with nine strikeouts.

The Phillies are off today and play the Cubs tomorrow night in Philly.


After spending most of the month looking for the offense, some wonder if it might have been in Arizona all along

Always the last place you look.

The Phillies have hit just 12 home runs this season, but three of them came last night as an offensive explosion and a solid start by Vance Worley got them past the Diamondbacks.

Laynce Nix had a fantastic game, going 3-for-3 with a long home run and hitting another ball off the wall. Pence, just off of missing a game with a shoulder problem and coming into the game 1-for-his-last-16, homered as well. Victorino hit his second home run in two days.

Over the last two games, the Phillies have scored 13 runs. Coming into the series in Arizona, the Phils had scored ten runs in their last six games combined.

Last night’s game was the first time this season that the Phillies have won a game in which they allowed more than two runs.

The Phillies are 8-10 on the year after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the series, with the Snakes outscoring the Phils 14-13.

Worley started the game for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out six and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.16 after four starts. He has struck out 27 in 25 innings for the year. Over his last two starts he has allowed one run over 13 innings while striking out 17.

Justin Upton singled to center with two outs in the first, but Worley got Miguel Montero to fly to left for the third out.

Cody Ransom singled to center with two outs in the second, but Worley got Willie Bloomquist on a ball Worley handled himself to end the inning.

Worley walked Aaron Hill with two outs in the third. Upton hit a ball hard, but Worley again took it himself for the third out.

Third straight inning that Worley had gotten the first two batters in the inning before allowing the third to reach base.

He started the fourth up 4-0 and set the Snakes down in order.

Ransom led off the bottom of the fifth and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left, cutting the Phillies lead to 4-1. Worley got the next two before Parra doubled to left. Hill was next and Worley hit him, putting runners on first and second with two down for Upton. Upton grounded to second to end the inning.

Montero led off the sixth with a single to right, but Worley struck Jason Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt out behind him. Ransom grounded to third to end the inning.

Contreras started the seventh with a 7-1 lead. Bloomquist led off with a double to right on a ball deflected by Victorino. Ryan Roberts hit for the pitcher Bryan Shaw and he doubled, scoring Bloomquist. 7-2. Parra was next and grounded a ball past a diving Orr and into right center for another double. Roberts scored and it was 7-3. Contreras struck out Hill for the first out before Parra stole third. Upton grounded to short for the second out, with Parra coming in to score and cut the lead to 7-4. Bastardo came in to face the lefty Montero and got him to pop to short to end the inning.

Contreras faces five batters in the inning, allowing three runs on three doubles and a stolen base. After three outings, he’s allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings for the season.

Bastardo still hasn’t gotten more than two outs in any of his five appearances, but has struck out five in 2 2/3 innings and been charged with just one run.

Qualls started the eighth with the Phils up 8-4. Kubel led off and hit a 2-0 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 8-5. Qualls struck out Goldschmidt, Ransom and Bloomquist behind Kubel.

That’s the first run that Qualls has been charged with for the season. In seven innings he’s allowed one run on four hits and two walks. He hasn’t allowed a lot of homers over his career, so let’s hope he doesn’t start now.

Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a three-run lead to get his sixth save of the year.

Papelbon has allowed one run on six hits and two walks over eight innings so far.

Overall, the bullpen went three innings in the game, allowing four runs on four hits and no walks while striking out five.

Contreras has thrown two days in a row, with less than fantastic results. He threw 15 pitches in the game. Qualls threw 15 and Papelbon and Bastardo were both under ten.

Michael Stutes has been put on the DL with right shoulder inflammation and Michael Schwimmer called up.

The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Collmenter went (1) Pierre (2) Orr (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Nix (8) Schneider. Pence returns after taking a day off with a shoulder problem. Galvis and Ruiz on the bench with Orr at second and Schneider catching. Wigginton at third with Polanco on the bench. Mayberry on the bench with Pierre in right despite going 2-for-4 with a double and an outfield assist in game one of the set.

Pierre led off the bottom of the first with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal second for the first out. Orr and Rollins went down behind him.

Three stolen bases for the year for Pierre and two caught stealings. He’s also been picked off once.

Pence and Wigginton struck out in a 1-2-3 second.

Nix hit a ball off the middle of the wall in right for a long single to start the third. Schneider flew to right for the first out. Worley was next and bunted, but Collmenter threw to second to force Nix for the second out. Pierre grounded to Collmenter to set the Phillies down.

Worley can’t move Nix up to second with the bunt, which might have cost the Phils a run given that Orr singled to start the fourth.

Orr singled to right to start the fourth. Rollins was next and grounded to second with Orr forced at second for the first out. Pence was next and hit the first pitch of his at-bat just out to right for a two-run homer, putting the Phils on top 2-0. Victorino popped to second for the second out before Wigginton doubled to left. Nix was next and he blasted the first pitch of his at-bat way out to right for his first homer with the Phils. 4-0. Schneider singled before Worley struck out to leave him at first.

Three extra-base hits in the inning for the Phillies. Pence and Nix both hit their homers off of Collmenter on the first pitch of their at-bat.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

With the lead cut to 4-1, they went in order again in the sixth.

Nix and Schneider singled back-to-back to start the seventh, putting runners on first and second for Worley. Polanco hit for Worley with the righty Collmenter still on the mound for Arizona. Righty Bryan Shaw came in to pitch to Polanco and Polanco bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Pierre was next and he hit a ball into left that appeared to have been caught by a sliding Kubel. The Phillies, however, got the call and Pierre had a single that loaded the bases for Orr. Orr lined a triple into the right-field corner, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 7-1. Rollins struck out swinging for the second out. Pence flew to center for the third.

Pierre was out, but the Phils get the call an extra run. Rollins strikes out with a man on third base and one out after the Orr triple.

Victorino led off the eighth with the lead cut to 7-4 and homered to left, extending the lead to 8-4. Wigginton flew to left for the first out. Ruiz hit for Bastardo and flew to left for the second. Mayberry hit for Schneider and popped to first for the third.

Second homer in two games for Victorino. Third home run in the game for the Phillies.

Polanco, Thome (hitting for Qualls) and Galvis went in order in the ninth with the lead cut to 8-5.

Thome struck out swinging for the second out. He’s now 2-for-17 on the season (.118) with two singles and ten strikeouts in 19 plate appearances.

The Phillies scored eight runs in the game without a walk.

Pierre was 2-for-4 with a caught stealing, upping his line on the year to 333/357/370.

Orr was 2-for-4 with a three-run triple. He’s 4-for-11 on the season with three extra-base hits and leads the team in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a strikeout with Orr on third and one out in the seventh. He’s hitting .229 for the year after going 2-for-his-last-25.

Pence 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. He was 1-for-his-last-16 coming into the game.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a home run. He’s homered two days in a row, but is 2-for-his-last-16 with two home runs.

Wigginton 1-for-4 with a double. 353/410/529 in his last 39 plate appearances since going 1-for-9 to start the season.

Nix was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, upping his line to 333/391/619 for the year after 23 plate appearances. He went 0-for-5 to start the season and has gone 7-for-16 with a walk, three doubles and a home run since (438/471/813).

Schneider 2-for-3 to up his average to .267. He’s 4-for-his-last-9.

Cole Hamels (2-1, 2.95) faces righty Trevor Cahill (1-1, 2.84) this afternoon. Hamels has allowed three runs over 13 innings in his last two starts and has 23 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings for the year. Cahill allowed seven runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings in his most recent outing. He has allowed just 13 hits in 19 innings, but walked ten.


Your Miley may vary

The Phillies scored some runs late last night, but didn’t do much of anything early as Wade Miley held them to two hits and a walk over six shutout innings. Kyle Kendrick, on the other hand, had a miserable outing in his first start of the year, allowing seven runs over three innings.

Down 9-0 going into the ninth, the Phils finally got some offense going, getting a three-run homer from Victorino and a solo shot from Ruiz. Their rally fell four runs short, though, and they lost their third straight.

The Phillies are 7-10 on the year after losing 9-5 to the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. They have lost three in a row for the second time this year.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went three innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits and a walk. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a home run. He struck out one and his ERA rose to 9.39.

Gerrardo Parra doubled to left to start the bottom of the first. Aaron Hill was next and hit a 1-0 pitch down the left field line. It was originally ruled a home run, but review showed the ball clearly hit below the line and he was given a double. Parra scored and Arizona led 1-0. Hill stole third and scored on a sac fly by Justin Upton, putting Arizona up 2-0. Kendrick hit the next batter, Miguel Montero, with a pitch and Montero came around to score when Jason Kubel doubled to center. 3-0. Cody Ransom was the next batter and he grounded to first for the second out, with Kubel moving up to third. Lyle Overbay was next and walked, putting runners on first and third for John McDonald. McDonald singled into center, scoring Kubel (4-0), and moving Overbay up to second. The pitcher Wade Miley was next and he singled into right, but Mayberry made a nice throw to get Overbay at the plate and finally end the inning.

Arizona hits around in the inning, getting two singles, three doubles and a hit batter.

Singles from Hill, Upton and Montero loaded the bases with one out in the second. Kendrick got Kubel to foul out to Polanco for the second out, but Ransom was next and lined a two-run double to left. 6-0. Overbay flew to left to leave the runners at second and third.

McDonald reached on an infield single to start the third and Miley bunted him to second with the first out. Parra flew to center for the second out and Hill popped to first for the third.

Upton homered to left to start the fourth. 7-0. That was it for Kendrick as Herndon took over on the mound. He struck out Montero for the first out before Kubel homered to right. 8-0. Herndon got the next two to end the inning.

He was back to set the Diamondbacks down in order in the fifth.

He got the first two to start the sixth before Kubel followed a Montero single with a double. It put men on second and third for Ransom and Herndon got behind him 3-0 before walking him 3-2 to load the bases. Savery took over and struck out Overbay to end the inning.

Herndon gives up two hits and a walk in the inning, but the strikeout from Savery keeps the Diamondbacks off the board this time. Herndon goes 2 2/3 innings in the game, allowing a run on three hits and a walk while striking out four.

McDonald doubled off of Savery to start the seventh. He took third on a passed ball by Ruiz with one out and came in to score on Parra’s sac fly, making it 9-0.

The run charged to Savery was unearned due to the passed ball by Ruiz that allowed McDonald to move up to third. His ERA after four appearances is 1.59. The double was only the second hit allowed by Savery for the year over 5 2/3 innings.

Contreras pitched the eighth, allowing a single and a walk, but getting Henry Blanco to hit into a a double-play to keep Arizona off the board.

Second outing of the year for Contreras. He has allowed a hit and two walks over two scoreless innings so far.

Long night for the pen. They go five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. Herndon threw 51 pitches in the game, Savery 20 and Contreras 18.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Wade Miley went (1) Pierre (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Wigginton (5) Victorino (6) Ruiz (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis. Pierre again starts in left against the lefty. Mayberry in right with Pence sidelined with a sore shoulder. Mayberry hits behind Ruiz in the order.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Down 4-0, they went in order in the second.

Down 6-0, Galvis doubled to center with one out in the third. Kendrick struck out swinging and Pierre grounded to second to leave him there.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Down 8-0, Mayberry doubled to left with two outs in the fifth. Galvis popped to short to leave him there.

Polanco walked with two outs in the sixth. Rollins popped out to third behind him.

Wigginton singled off of righty Brad Ziegler to start the seventh, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Orr doubled to right off of righty Jonathan Albaladejo with two outs in the eighth and the Phillies down 9-0. Pierre was next and singled into left, but Orr was thrown out trying to score to set the Phillies down.

Polanco started the ninth with a single off of lefty Joe Paterson. Nix stayed in the game to hit against the lefty and doubled to center, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 9-1. Wigginton moved Nix to third with a single before Victorino hit a three-run homer. 9-4. Ruiz was next and he homered to right-center. 9-5. Lefty Craig Breslow came in to pitch to Mayberry and Mayberry reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by the pitcher. Gavlis hit into a double-play to clear the bases and Orr grounded to second to end the game.

Two homers in the frame for the Phils, including the first of the year that came with runners on base. Nix hits against a lefty and it doesn’t go so bad.

Pierre was 1-for-4 in the game to drop his average for the year to .320.

Polacno 1-for-3 with a walk, upping his line to 200/241/218.

Rollins 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Wigginton 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, upping his line to 308/378/436. He’s hitting 367/429/533 over his last 35 plate appearances since going 1-for-9 to start the year.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with his second homer of the year.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double and an outfield assist. He was also 2-for-4 with a double on Opening Day against the Pirates. So he’s 4-for-8 with two doubles on Opening Day and in last night’s game combined. In all other games he has gone 5-for-36 (.139) with five singles and 11 strikeouts.

Galvis 1-for-4 with a double to raise his average to .214. He’s 1-for-his-last-11.

Worley (1-1, 2.74) faces righty Josh Collmenter (0-1, 10.22) tonight. Worley was fantastic in his most recent start, striking out 11 Padres over seven shutout innings. Collmenter has allowed at least four runs in each of his three starts and has gone more than four innings in just one of them (and he only went 5 1/3 innings in that one). He’s allowed four home runs in 12 1/3 innings.


California dreaming for the Phils proves to have a lot to do with scoring runs

After winning the first two games of their series with the Padres, the Phils were outscored 11-2 by San Diego in the last two games combined and dropped both.

In yesterday’s game they made three errors, which led to three unearned runs. In ten of the 16 games they have played this year, the Phillies have scored less than three runs. They’ve scored less than three in five of their last six, averaging 1.67 runs per game over those six games.

After 16 games, the Phillies have two players with an OPS better than .725 for the season. One of them is Cole Hamels, who is 2-for-6 with a double. The other is Wigginton, who is hitting 286/366/429. That’s a .794 OPS, which is 50th best among the 148 NL batters with at least 25 plate appearances. The Phils are 15th in the league in runs scored.

The Phillies are 7-9 on the year after losing to the San Diego Padres 6-1 yesterday. The teams split the four game series.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks. Only three of the runs were earned. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, two triples and a home run.

After four appearances, three of which were starts, Blanton has a 4.34 ERA for the year. He has walked just three batters in 18 2/3 innings, but opponents have hit 303/333/513 against him.

Will Venable reached on a bunt single to start the bottom of the first. Mark Kotsay was next and hit a ball that Blanton mishandled for an error that put runners on first and second. Chase Headley was the next hitter and he lined a ball to right that Pence misplayed, freezing before the ball sailed over his head for a double. Venable scored (1-0) and Kotsay moved up to third. Nick Hundley was next and he hit a ball to left center field that Victorino handled for the second out. Kotsay tagged and scored (2-0), but Victorino made a strong and accurate throw to third and Headley was out trying to tag and move up to third. Yonder Alonso grounded to short for the third out.

Great throw by Victorino. Pence should have caught the ball hit by Headley.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when Blanton started the third. He got the first two hitters before Cameron Maybin tripled to center. Blanton struck out Anthony Bass swinging to leave Maybin at third.

Blanton walked Headley on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the third. Hundley was next and he tripled to right, scoring Headley to make it 3-1. Alonso followed and hit a ground ball to first that should have ended the inning. Thome fielded it cleanly, but his throw to Blanton covering first was way behind the pitcher for an error. Alonso went to second and Hundley scored, putting the Padres on top 4-1. Maybin grounded to short for the third out.

More bad defense for the Phils in the inning as Thome’s throwing error costs the team a run.

Blanton set San Diego down in order in the fourth.

He walked Headley with two outs in the fifth. Hundley was next and he blasted a 1-1 pitch out to left center for a two-run homer, making it 6-1. Alonso flew to right for the third out.

Maybin singled to start the sixth, but Ruiz threw him out trying to steal second for the first out. Bartlett grounded to third before Hudson singled into right. Righty Jesus Guzman hit for the pitcher Anthony Bass and Blanton got him on a fly ball to center to end the inning.

Savery pitched the seventh and kept the Padres off the board. He had to work around his own two-out error that allowed Headley to reach first, but got Hundley to ground to first and leave Headley stranded.

Savery was back to get three fly balls in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Two scoreless innings in the game for Savery, who allowed just one runner to reach base. That runner reached on an error. He’s been charged with a run in 4 1/3 innings over three appearances for the Phillies so far. He threw 22 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anthony Bass went (1) Pierre (2) Victorino (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Thome (6) Wigginton (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Polanco on the bench with Wigginton at third against the righty and Victorino hitting second. Thome plays first with Nix and Mayberry on the bench.

Pierre was the first hitter of the game and walked, but was picked off of first for the first out. Victorino walked, too, putting a man on first for Rollins. Rollins hit a ball to first that Alonso didn’t handle for his first error of the play. The ball bounced out in front of him and he tried a blind backhand flip to first that was nowhere near the bag for another error that allowed Victorino to move up to third. Rollins stole second before Pence grounded to second with the runners holding for the second out. Thome struck out looking to end the frame with both runners stranded.

No runs for the Phils on two walks, a stolen base and two errors. No run after putting runners on second and third with one out as Pence can’t move the runners up. Pierre was probably safe on a close play when he was picked off, but not getting picked off would have helped the inning as well.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and the Phils down 2-0. Galvis was next and hit a ball out in front of the plate that Hundley handled for the second out, with Ruiz moving up to second. Blanton drew a walk, putting men on first and second for Pierre with two down. Pierre singled into right and Ruiz would have held third, but Venable didn’t field the ball cleanly. Ruiz scored, getting the Phils on the board at 2-1. Victorino grounded to first to leave the runners stranded on first and second.

No run for the Phils without the Venable error, so their only tally on the day is unearned. Pierre gets on base for the second time in two innings.

Rollins ripped a double to right to start the top of the third. Pence was next and grounded to third for the first out. Thome struck out looking for the second before Rollins stole third. Wigginton struck out swinging to leave him there.

No run for the Phils despite the leadoff double. Second bad at-bat of the game for Pence as he can’t move Rollins up to third with the first out. Second extra-base hit of the season for Rollins.

Down 4-1, the Phils went in order in the fourth.

They went in order in the fifth as well.

Thome and Wigginton walked back-to-back with one out in the sixth and the Phils down 6-1. Ruiz hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.

Lefty Joe Thatcher got Galvis to ground to second to start the seventh. Mayberry hit for Blanton and struck out swinging for the second out. Pierre reached on an infield single, but Luke Gregerson took over for Thatcher and struck out Victorino to leave Pierre on first.

Rollins reached on an infield single to start the eighth, but Pence hit into a double-play behind him. Thome followed that with a single to right, raising his average for the year to .125 (2-for-16), and Wigginton moved Thome up to second with another single. Ruiz grounded to short to end the frame.

Three hits in the inning for the Phils, but no run. Rough day for Pence at the plate and in the field.

Righty Ernesto Frieri started the ninth for San Diego. Orr hit for Galvis and struck out for the first out. Nix hit for Savery and struck out for the second before Pierre singled to center. Victorino went down on a ball out in front of the plate that Hundley handled to end the game.

Pierre was 3-for-4 with a walk in the game and 6-for-16 with two walks and a triple in the four-game set. 326/354/370 for the year. Mayberry was 0-for-1 in the game and 0-for-7 with four strikeouts in the series. Pierre notably started against a lefty in game three of the set. Mayberry is 7-for-40 with a double, no walks and 13 strikeouts for the season (175/175/200).

Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk and four men left on base. 4-for-15 with two walks and a home run in the series. 274/338/387 for the year. 0-for-his-last-8. 244/295/341 over his last 44 plate appearances.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils. 2-for-14 with two walks and a double in the series. 254/294/286 for the year. He’s 4-for-17 against lefties for the year with no walks and four singles (235/235/235).

Pence 0-for-4 and left four men on base. He was 1-for-16 in the series with a walk and five strikeouts, going 1-for-3 with a walk in the first game of the set and 0-for-13 over the next three games.

Thome 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 1-for-4 with a walk in the series. 2-for-16 with two walks and nine strikeouts for the season. He has struck out in half of his 18 plate appearances.

Wigginton also 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 4-for-10 with two walks and a double in the series. He also struck out five times. 286/366/429 for the season. He leads all Phillie hitters in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He’s second behind Pierre in batting average. Polanco didn’t play in the game but was 3-for-13 with three singles in the series. He’s hitting 192/222/212 with one walk and one double in 52 plate appearances for the season.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with four men left on base. 1-for-8 with two strikeouts in the series. 273/306/409 on the year. 211/244/368 since going 4-for-6 to start the season. Schneider was 2-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 2-for-12 with a walk and two singles for the year.

Galvis 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 2-for-14 with a walk and two singles in the series. 212/241/327 for the season. His isolated power mark of .115 is better than Victorino (.113) and way better than Pierre (.043), Rollins (.032), Mayberry (.025) or Polanco (.019). This is not to say that Galvis’s isolated power of .115 is good, though. Of the 148 NL players with 25 plate appearances, his .115 is tied for 89th.

San Diego won Saturday’s game 5-1. Halladay walked four in the game, but still held the Padres to a pair of runs over seven innings before Stutes got banged around in the eighth. Stutes was charged with three runs in the frame, upping his ERA for the year to 6.35. The Phillies had just three hits in the game, singles from Polanco and Halladay and a double by Wigginton. Against a left-handed starting pitcher, the lefty Pierre was in the leadoff spot and struggling righty John Mayberry on the bench. Pierre was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the game.

On Friday the Phils beat the Padres 4-1 behind outstanding pitching. Hamels allowed a run over six innings in the game and was backed by three scoreless innings from the pen (Contreras, Qualls and Papelbon all tossed a scoreless frame). Down 1-0 to start the seventh, the Phils scored three runs in the frame on a two-run single by Pierre and an RBI-single by Schneider. Victorino hit his second home run of the season in the eighth.

Kendrick (0-0, 1.93) faces lefty Wade Miley (1-0, 3.12) tonight in Arizona. Kendrick will be making his first start of the year, filling in for the DL’ed Lee. Miley will also be making his first start of the year, filling in for the sidelined Daniel Hudson. Miley has thrown just 48 2/3 innings for his career, but has walked too many hitters in the innings he has thrown, having walked 22 in those 48 2/3 frames.


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