The pitching the Phillies got last night in San Francisco wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t all that awful, either. Joe Blanton had a rough start and wound up allowing four runs over five innings, but the pen was strong after that and the Phils held the Giants to just four runs in the game.
That proved to be too much for a Phillies team that has yet to win a game in which they’ve allowed more than two runs. After 11 games, there is only one member of the 2012 Phils with more than five plate appearances for the year with an OPS of .780 or better (Pence is at .915).
The Phillies are 5-6 on the year after falling to the San Francisco Giants 4-2 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the series.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two triples. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.
He has now made three appearances on the year, two starts and one relief outing, and thrown to a 4.26 ERA with a 1.34 ratio. In 12 2/3 innings, he has walked just one batter, but allowed 16 hits. Opponents are hitting .308 against him.
Switch-hitter Angel Pagan led off the bottom of a scoreless first and lined a single into center. Switch-hitter Melky Cabrera was next and he tripled down the first base line and into the corner. Pagan scored to put the Giants up 1-0. Switch-hitter Pablo Sandoval was next and he grounded out to second with Cabrera scoring to make it 2-0. Righty Buster Posey singled before Blanton struck lefty Aubrey Huff out looking for the second out. Lefty Nate Schierholtz was next and he singled softly into left, moving Posey up to second. Lefty Brandon Crawford grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.
Another rough first inning for a Phillie starter. The Phils have an 8.18 ERA in the first inning so far this season, having allowed ten earned runs in 11 innings. Opponents are hitting .400 against them in the first.
Blanton got switch-hitter Emmanuel Burriss to ground out to start the second and pitcher Madison Bumgarner on another grounder before Pagan tripled to center. Cabrera grounded out to leave Pagan at third.
Huff and Schierholtz singled back-to-back with two outs in the third, but Blanton got Crawford on a ground ball to first to leave them both stranded.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when Burriss started the bottom of the fourth with an infield single. Bumgarner bunted him to second with the first out, but Pagan popped out and Cabrera struck out swinging to leave him at second.
Sandoval doubled to center to start the fifth and moved to third on a single by Posey. Huff went down on a popup to Rollins for the first out, but Schierholtz followed with a single into right that scored Sandoval (3-1) and moved Posey up to second. Posey stole third before Crawford grounded back to the pitcher. Blanton went to second, but the Phils were unable to get more than one out. Schierholtz was forced at second, Posey scored (4-1) and Crawford was safe at first. Ruiz threw Crawford out trying to steal second to end the inning.
Kendrick started the bottom of the sixth with the Phillies down 4-2 and set Burriss, Bumgarner and Pagan down in order.
He was back for the seventh. Sandoval and Posey singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on first and second. Huff popped out to shortstop before Kendrick walked Schierholtz on four pitches, loading the bases for Crawford. Kendrick quickly got ahead of Crawford 0-2 and struck him out swinging 3-2 to leave all three runners stranded.
Kendrick dropped his ERA on the year to 1.92 with two scoreless frames. He’s has walked three in 4 2/3 innings so far, though, which is too many.
Stutes started the eighth and walked the leadoff man Burriss 3-2. Lefty Brandon Belt flew to left for the first out before Burriss stole second. Pagan flew to right for the second out before Cabrera struck out looking to leave Burriss at second.
Stutes, like Kendrick, also has a 1.93 ERA for the season, having allowed one earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He has also walked three batters in 4 2/3 innings, which is too many for him as well.
You really, really want to try to avoid walking Emmanuel Burriss to start an inning given that he has one extra-base hit since the end of 2009. His isolated power since the end of 2009 is .006. One extra-base hit, a double, in 184 plate appearances. Kudos to the Phillies, though, for fighting the impulse to snap him up and start him in left field.
Kendrick and Stutes combined to throw three scoreless innings in the game, allowing two hits and two walks. Kendrick likely will be unavailable tonight after throwing 39 pitches in the game. Stutes threw 19 pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Madison Bumgarner went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Wigginton (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Victorino hits leadoff against the lefty with Wigginton at first and Mayberry in left. Victorino needs to hit lower in the order given his success against lefties. Polanco is a really bad two-hitter, but it’s not as awful against lefties as it is against righties.
Victorino was the first batter of the game and hit a ball up the middle that Crawford didn’t handle moving to his left for an error. Polanco was next and he got sawed off hitting a ball back to the mound. Bumgarner fielded it and threw to second, where again Crawford didn’t handle it. Everyone was safe and Bumgarner was charged with an error for a low throw that Crawford should have handled. Rollins was next and he grounded into a double-play, putting Victorino on third with one out. Pence popped to first to leave him there.
Five outs for the Phils and no runs, who don’t score after putting men on first and second with nobody out. Miserable start to the game for Crawford defensively, flubbing his first two touches in the game.
Down 2-0, Wigginton walked to start the second. Mayberry popped to second for the first out before Ruiz moved Wigginton up to second with a single. Galvis was next and lined to short with Wigginton doubled off of second to end the frame.
Again the Phillies hit into a double-play and again they fail to score, this time after putting runners on first and second with one out.
Victorino doubled to left with one out in the third and stole third as Polanco struck out swinging. Rollins struck out swinging to leave him there.
Again, I don’t really think you want Victorino hitting behind the pitcher all that much against lefties.
Pence led off the fourth and homered to left, cutting the San Francisco lead to 2-1. The Phils went in order behind him.
Galvis started the fifth with a single to right and Blanton bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino popped to short and Polanco grounded to short to leave Galvis stranded.
Again no run for the Phils, this time after putting a man on second with one out.
Rollins started the sixth with a single to center with the Phils down 4-1. He took second on a wild pitch before Pence was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Wigginton singled to left on ball deflected by Crawford, loading the bases. Mayberry popped to first with the runners holding for the first out. Ruiz was next and flew to left for the second, with Rollins tagging from third and scoring to cut the lead to 4-2. Galvis grounded to short to set the Phillies down.
One run for the Phils after loading the bases with nobody out. Mayberry can’t come through, popping out for the first out. He ends the game hitting .219 for the season with no walks and one double.
Pierre, double-switched into the game in the bottom of the sixth, led off the seventh and singled into center. Righty Clay Hensley took over for Bumgarner and struck Victorio for the first out. Polanco flew to center for the second before Pierre stole second. Rollins struck out swinging to leave him at second.
Pierre does his job trying to get the rally started, but the Phils go quietly behind him. Three stolen bases on the year with one ugly caught stealing of third that was rather unnecessary. One of the three times he was safe he was really out, but if he’s going to be safe 75% of the time that might be the best we can hope for. I’m guessing he’s not going to be safe 75% of the time before it’s over.
Righty Sergio Romo set down Pence and Wigginton to start the eighth. Thome hit for Kendrick and flew to right for the third out.
Seems a little odd to me that Thome hits there with the Phillies down by two runs and nobody on base. Whether it’s Romo or Casilla, the Giants seem sure to be throwing a righty in the ninth and looking ahead there seems like a big chance to hit for Galvis in the ninth as the tying run if Ruiz can get on base to start the frame.
The righty Casilla got Ruiz and Galvis on ground balls to start the ninth before singled. Victorino hit a ball hard to short, but Crawford made a very nice diving play to get the ball and throw to first to end the game.
Crawford starts the game out with some awful defense and ends it with a great play.
Victorino was 1-for-5 with a double and left three men on base. That’s just his second extra-base hit of the year. The Phillies could use some more thump out of him, no matter where he hits in the order.
Polanco was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. He’s hitting .179 with one walk for the season, which isn’t what you’re looking for from either your two-hitter or your third baseman.
Rollins 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts. He has struck out in four of his last eight plate appearances. He has just one extra-base hit, a double, through 48 plate appearances.
Pence was 1-for-3 with his second home run of the year. He’s 5-for-his-last-11 and leads the team with seven RBI for the season.
Wigginton 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 4-for-his-last-12 with two walks, a double and a home run. So far this year, the average walk percentage for NL hitters is about 8.5% of plate appearances. The Phillies only have two players at 8.5% of PA or higher — Wigginton (12.0%) and Nix (14.3%). Wigginton’s career walk percentage is 7.3% and Nix’s is 5.7%.
Mayberry 0-for-3 with four men left on base. Pierre is hitting .346 after going 2-for-2 in the game.
Ruiz was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Still hitting just .222 since going 4-for-6 in the first two games of the year.
Galvis 1-for-4 with a single to up his average for the year to .229.
Cliff Lee (0-1, 3.46) faces righty Matt Cain tonight (1-0, 3.00). Lee allowed a run over six innings in his first start of the year, which came against the Pirates. He had a rough first inning in his other start, allowing three runs in the top of the first to the Mets, but was solid after that as he allowed four runs over seven innings overall. Cain allowed five runs over six innings in his first start, but was brilliant in his other outing on the year. His last time out he faced the Pirates and threw a complete game one-hitter. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 11.