The Phillies got their first start of the season that wasn’t fantastic yesterday, but otherwise things looked just about the same. Not much offense and a defensive miscue that led an unearned run the Phils can’t afford to allow if they aren’t going to score.
There were some offensive highlights to the game as well. Freddy Galvis registered his first career hit, doubling to the gap in left-center to drive a pair of runs.
The other highlight was that the Phillies didn’t bunt in the game. Not once. No Laynce Nix popping the bunt up. No Jimmy Rollins bunting out of the three-hole, no seeing the third hitter in a scoreless game try to bunt the runners along. Of course, a lot of that probably had something to do with being way behind for much of the game, but this is no time to quibble.
For the second straight game, the Phillies had a defensive lapse at first base that led to at least one earned run. In Sunday’s game, Wigginton failed to handle Schneider’s throw to first on a would-be strikeout, which led to a pair of unearned runs. In yesterday’s game, neither Galvis nor Mayberry was there to cover first when Emilio Bonifacio bunted back to the mound. Hamels threw the ball into right field, allowing Bonifacio to take third. Bonifacio scored two batters later.
The Phillies are 1-3 on the year after losing 6-2 to the Miami Marlins yesterday. They have lost three in a row.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. Only three of the runs were earned. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out nine.
At least it was better than his first start of 2011.
Switch-hitter Jose Reyes was the first hitter of the game and he singled into right. Switch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio followed with a single to left that put men on first and second with nobody out for righty Hanley Ramirez. Reyes and Bonifacio pulled off a double-steal as the count went 0-2 on Ramirez. With the infield back, Ramirez grounded softly to second. Ramirez was just out at first, Reyes scored to make it 1-0 with one down and Bonifacio on first. Righty Gaby Sanchez was next and Hamels struck him out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Righty Austin Kearns struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Bonifacio at third.
Back-to-back strikeouts by Hamels keep Bonifacio at third.
Lefty Chris Coghlan led off the top of the second and struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt for the first out. Righty Omar Infante went down on a line drive to third. Righty John Buck struck out swinging 0-2 for the third out.
Four strikeouts for Hamels through two innings. He had struck out four of the last five batters he had faced.
The pitcher Anibal Sanchez led off the third and grounded to third, with Polanco bouncing the throw over to Mayberry for the first out. Reyes was next and tried to bunt for a hit, but Ruiz popped out on it nicely and threw to first for the second out. Bonifacio struck out looking 1-2 to set Miami down.
Eight in a row for Hamels, who had thrown 41 pitches.
Ramirez led off the fourth with a double to left. Sanchez was next and singled into right. Ramirez scored easily, extending the Miami lead to 2-0. Hamels got behind Kearns 3-0, but came back to strike him out looking 3-2 for the first out. Coghlan grounded to short, with the Phillies turning the double-play to set the Fish down.
Infante led off the fifth and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left, extending the lead to 3-0. Hamels struck Buck and Sanchez both out behind Infante before Reyes lined a double to left. Ruiz threw Reyes out trying to steal third with Bonifacio at the plate to end the frame.
You don’t usually want to make the first or third or any out trying to steal third. Hamels allowed a career-best 0.79 home runs per nine innings in 2011, which was the best year of his career. So let’s hope we don’t see the ball going out of the yard too often in the early going. Infante didn’t hit it way out, but he did hit it through the wind.
Bonifacio bunted back to the mound to start the sixth. Hamels fielded and threw to first where nobody was covering. Hamels was charged with an error on the throw and Bonifacio went all the way to third while the Phils chased the ball around the outfield. Ramirez struck out looking for the first out, but Sanchez was next and doubled down the left field line, scoring Bonifacio to make it 4-0. That was it for Hamels and Joe Savery came on to pitch to the righty Kearns. Savery got behind Kearns 2-0 before Kearns grounded to third on a 2-1 pitch for the second out with Sanchez holding second. Coghlan followed and grounded to second on a nice play by Galvis for the third out.
Nice start to the year for Savery in the sixth, keeping more runs off the board after entering with one out and a man on second.
Galvis or Mayberry needs to cover first on the play. The ball was hit pretty straight back to Hamels, so I’ll go with Mayberry if we have to pick one. Either way, it draws attention to the fact that the Phils started two guys on the right side of their infield in the game with very little experience at the position. Cost the Phillies a run.
Savery came back to start the seventh and Infante led off by hitting a 1-1 pitch out to left for his second homer of the day. 5-0. Savery got Buck and Sanchez on a pair of ground balls before Reyes popped to Mayberry for the third out.
It was 5-2 when Herndon started the eighth. He was pitching for the second straight day after throwing 20 pitches in game three in Pittsburgh. Bonifacio led off and singled on a ball that was deflected by Polanco. Ramirez was next and he hit into a double-play, clearing the bases for Sanchez. Herndon got Sanchez swinging 2-2 to set the Fish down.
Papelbon started the ninth for the Phils, making his second appearance of the year and first since Opening Day. Kearns led off and homered to left. 6-2. Papelbon got the next three, getting Coghlan on a ground ball to the mound, Infante on a fly ball to right and striking Buck out swinging.
The Phils did not use Papelbon in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game, which they led 4-3 with two outs and men on first and second before righty Matt Hague singled off of the lefty Bastardo. They do use Papelbon yesterday trailing by three runs in the top of the ninth.
I think if they had that to do over, they might do it differently.
The pen went 3 2/3 innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits (including two solo homers) and no walks.
Herndon has pitched two days in a row. He threw 13 pitches in the game. Papelbon 18 and Savery 15. None of that will matter much with the Phillies not playing today.
At least we know now that Manuel is aware Savery is on the team.
The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Pierre (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Victorino (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Pierre leads off against a righty for the second-straight game and plays left. The righty Mayberry at first with Wigginton, Nix and Thome on the bench. Victorino hits fifth in the order after leading off and hitting out of the one and two spots in the series against the Pirates. Glad to see Victorino dropped to lower in the order — the Phillies are going to need him to drive in some runs. Against a righty, it seems clear to me that Thome is the best offensive option the Phillies have at first base (although it’s pretty likely we’re not going to see him start in back-to-back days). Less clear between Mayberry, Nix and Wigginton, although I would probably go with the lefty Nix. On the other hand, Mayberry doesn’t have nearly the career plate appearances that Nix and Wigginton do, so it’s a little harder to know what he might do. Polanco really shouldn’t hit second.
The Phils were down 1-0 when Pierre led off the bottom of the first and flew to left. Polanco grounded to short before Rollins singled into center, putting a man on first for Pence. Rollins stole second as the count when 1-1 on Pence. Pence popped to Infante in shallow left to leave Rollins at second.
Victorino grounded to first to start the second. Mayberry struck out looking 2-2 for the second out. Ruiz popped out to Kearns in shallow right field to set the Phils down.
Galvis and Hamels both struck out looking on a total of six pitches to start the third. Pierre grounded to second to end the inning.
Polanco and Rollins both grounded out to start the fourth before Pence singled into center. Victorino followed that up by walking on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Mayberry. Mayberry flew to right to leave both runners stranded.
The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the fifth. Ruiz, Galvis and Hamels went in order.
It was 4-0 when Pierre grounded to third for the first out of the sixth. Polanco was next and struck out swinging 3-2. Rollins singled into center and took second on a balk by Sanchez before Pence flew to Bonifacio in left center.
They started the bottom of the seventh down 5-0. Victorino led off with a single to right. Mayberry was next and he singled hard to left center, moving Victorino up to second. Ruiz hit a ball softly to first where it was short-hopped by Sanchez. Mayberry was caught up between first and second and thrown out at second, putting men on first and third with one down for Galvis. Galvis hit for himself and cleared the bases with a double to left center, getting the Phils on the board at 5-2. Nix hit for Savery. Lefty Randy Choate took over for the Marlins. Wigginton hit for Nix and Choate struck him out swinging for the second out. Pierre lined to short for the third out.
First career hit for Galvis. Came at a good time. I would have hit for him.
Victorino’s single was the first runner for the game for the Phils that came with less than two outs. Pierre has to hit for himself against the lefty cause the Phillies only had one right-handed hitter on their bench, Wigginton, and he had already struck out.
While on the subject, Frank Gailey’s first outing with Clearwater didn’t go that well either as Gailey was charged with two runs in 1 1/3 innings.
Righty Edward Mujica started the eighth for Miami. Polanco flew to right, Rollins struck out swinging and Pence grounded hard back to the mound.
And that was that for 2-3-4 in the order.
Righty Steve Cishek started the ninth for the Marlins with a 6-2 lead. He struck Victorino out looking 0-2 for the first out. Mayberry grounded to second for the second. Ruiz struck out swinging to end the game.
Pierre was 0-for-4 in the game and is 2-for-9 on the year.
Polanco 0-for-4 and 2-for-13.
Rollins 2-for-4 with two singles to up his average to .250 (4-for-16). Also stole his first base of the season.
Pence 1-for-4 and left two men on base. 4-for-15 for the year. His .886 OPS leads the team — he and Ruiz are the only two hitters with an OPS over .745. Halladay, 1-for-3 with a single on the season, is fourth on the team in OPS at .667.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk.
Mayberry 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-12 with a double, no walks and four strikeouts.
Ruiz 0-for-4 to drop his average to .400 (4-for-10).
Galvis 1-for-3 with a two-run double. He’s one of three Phillies with an extra-base hit for the season (Pence, Mayberry, Galvis).
Halladay (1-0, 0.00) faces righty Josh Johnson (0-1, 4.50) on Wednesday. Halladay allowed two singles in eight shutout innings against the Pirates on Opening Day. Johnson allowed three runs on ten hits and two walks over six innings in his first start of the season, which came against St Louis.
Eric Pettis, who pitched for Lakewood and Clearwater in 2011 and Williamsport in 2010, has written a book about his experience in the minors. This link is to the Kindle ebook version from Amazon. He was recently interviewed at Phillies Nation.