Archive for May, 2012

Phils work their oft questioned keep-it-close-and-try-to-get-Luna-to-the-plate-late playbook to perfection

The Phillies scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning last night, blowing a close game open on their way to a 9-2 win over the Cubs.

Kyle Kendrick made a strong start in the game, holding the Cubs to two runs on three hits over six innings. Only one of the runs was earned, thanks to an error on a dropped fly ball by Pierre in front of an Alfonso Soriano home run.

The bullpen, still miserable, didn’t blink in a close game. Jose Contreras, who came into the game with a 9.00 ERA for the season, threw a scoreless seventh with the game tied at 2-2. Bastardo, who has allowed one hit in nine appearances so far in May, struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils up a run. Raul Valdes made his debut with the Phillies in the ninth, striking out two more in another perfect frame after a two-run single by Wigginton and a grand slam from Hector Luna had broken the game open in the top of the inning.

By ERA, the Phillies bullpen is no longer the worst in all of baseball. At 5.02 they have passed the Tigers and the Mets.

The Phillies are 19-19 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-2 last night. They have won five of their last six games and four in a row for the first time this season.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Only one of the runs was earned. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter, dropping his ERA to 5.94 with the outing.

Over his last three starts, Kendrick has thrown to a 2.12 ERA with a 1.06 ratio.

David DeJesus doubled to right to start the bottom of the first. Tony Campana bunted him to third with the first out. Kendrick struck Starlin Castro out swinging 0-2 for the second out and got lefty Bryan LaHair on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Big strikeout of Castro for the second out with a runner on third helps Kendrick keep Chicago off the board.

Up 1-0, Kendrick set the Cubs down in order in the second.

Darwin Barney led off the third with a single and pitcher Matt Garza bunted him to second with the first out. DeJesus flew to left for the second out with Barney moving up to third. Kendrick struck Campana out to leave Barney stranded.

With one out in the fourth, LaHair hit a fly ball to left that Pierre dropped for an error that left LaHair on second. Alfonso Soriano was next and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, putting the Cubs on top 2-1. Kendrick got Ian Stewart and Geovany Soto on a pair of ground balls to end the inning.

Would have been a nifty time to catch the really routine fly ball to left in front of Soriano’s homer.

With the score tied at 2-2, Kendrick set the Cubs down in order in the fifth.

He struck out Campana in a 1-2-3 sixth. Mayberry made a nice diving play at first to rob LaHair of a hit, flipping to Kendrick covering first to end the inning.

Contreras started the seventh with the game still tied and got Soriano, Stewart and Soto in order.

Seems nutty to me to put Contreras into a tie game, but it worked out well for the Phils. Contreras is not charged with a run in his appearance for the first time in three outings, dropping his ERA on the season to 8.00.

Bastardo started the eighth with a 3-2 lead. He struck Barney out swinging for the first out. Righty Jeff Baker hit for the pitcher Shawn Camp and Bastardo got him swinging for the second out. DeJesus grounded to short for the third out.

I like Bastardo pitching the eighth in a tight game a whole lot better than Contreras pitching the seventh. Bastardo hasn’t allowed a run in nine appearances in May, giving up just one hit and three walks in 8 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out nine. He has pitched three of the last four days, but got Tuesday off.

Raul Valdes pitched the ninth with a 9-2 lead, making his Phillies debut. He set the Cubs down in order, striking out pinch-hitter Joe Mather and LaHair.

Three shutdown innings from the pen in which they do not allow a hit or a walk while striking out five.

Bastardo threw 21 pitches in the game, Valdes 20 and Contreras 13. None of that group has pitched more than one day in a row, but Bastardo has thrown three of the last four days.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Ruiz (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis.

With one out in the top of the first, Pierre bunted down the first base line. Garza fielded, but made an awful throw to first for an error. Pierre stole second and Victorino bunted him to third with the second out. Pence grounded to third to leave Pierre stranded.

Really, really not a fan of bunting with your three-hitter in the top of the first inning even if it works.

Pierre was almost surely out at first on his bunt attempt, but got the call.

Ruiz started the second with a single into center. Polanco flew to center for the first out before Mayberry moved Ruiz up to second with a dribbler out in front of the plate for the second. Galvis was next and ripped a double down the first base line, scoring Ruiz to put the Phils up 1-0. Kendrick struck out looking to leave Galvis at second.

Rollins and Pierre singled back-to-back to start the third, putting runners on first and second for Victorino. Victorino popped to second for the first out before Pence walked to load the bases. Ruiz grounded into a double-play to end the frame.

Can’t believe they didn’t bunt with Victorino. Just kidding. No run for the Phils after putting runners on first and second with nobody out.

Pierre’s single was another bunt. Again Garza made an absurd throw to first. This time it was called a single instead of an error.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

They started the fifth down 2-1. Kendrick led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out double by Pierre. Victorino was next and reached on an infield single on another close play at first. Kendrick scored to tie the game at 2-2 and Pierre moved up to third. Pence hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Garza walked off the mound remarking to the umpires that it was the second time they had missed the call at first. The first was on Pierre’s bunt in the first and this time Victorino looked out at first.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Galvis fouled out trying to bunt for a hit to start the seventh. With Garza still on the mound for Chicago, Fontenot hit for Kendrick and singled softly to right. Rollins lined to left for the second out. Lefty James Russell came in to pitch to Pierre. Wigginton hit for Pierre and walked, putting runners on first and second. Victorino struck out to leave them both there.

Glad to see Wigginton hit for Pierre against the lefty. Fontenot has one pinch-hit on the season. There are only two players on the team with more than one pinch-hit on the season. Mayberry has three and Pierre has two. 185/267/259 for the pinch-hitters this year for the Phils. They have struck out 24 times in 61 plate appearances.

Righty Shawn Camp got Pence on a fly ball to left for the first out in the eighth before Ruiz hit a 1-1 pitch out to left for his seventh homer of the year, putting the Phils up 3-2. Orr hit for Contreras and struck out for the second out. Mayberry struck out for the third.

Galvis doubled to left off of lefty Scott Maine to start the ninth. Fontenot was hit by a pitch behind him and Rollins walked, loading the bases with nobody out. Righty Michael Bowden came on to pitch to Wigginton and Wigginton singled into right. Galvis and Fontenot scored, putting the Phils up 5-2 with nobody out and runners on first and second. Victorino popped to short for the first out before Rollins and Wigginton pulled off a double-steal. Pence popped to second for the second out. With first base open, the righty Bowden walked the righty Ruiz, loading the bases for Bastardo’s slot. Luna hit for Bastardo and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left for a grand slam, putting the Phils on top 9-2. Mayberry struck out looking to end the frame.

Big swings for Luna and for Wigginton. Galvis is tied for fourth in the NL in doubles.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. The Phillies are tenth in the NL in on-base percentage in the #1 spot in the order at .303. Rollins has on-based .310 in 85 PA as the #1 hitter, Pierre .333 in 60 PA and Victorino .259 in 27 PA.

Pierre was 2-for-3 with a double. Twice he bunted and got on base, one of the attempts was called an error. He dropped a fly ball in left field that cost the Phils one of the two runs they allowed in the game.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with an RBI on his infield single on a very close play at first (and by that I mean he was out). He left seven men on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-14. 235/278/390 over his last 144 plate appearances. For the year, Phillies hitting out of the #3 spot in the order have put up a .601 OPS, which is 15th-best of the 16 NL teams. Victorino has been bad (254/293/394 in 75 PA) and Rollins worse (216/253/243 in 80 PA).

Pence 0-for-4 with a walk and left five men on base. The Phillies score nine runs in the game and their three and four hitters combine to go 1-for-9 with an infield single and 12 men left on base.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run. He’s on pace to hit 30 home runs, which would be more than his career high of nine. He’s 8-for-his-last-17 with two walks and two homers. He’s tied for eleventh in the NL in RBI with 24.

Polanco 0-for-3. He came into the game hitting .362 over his last 74 plate appearances.

Mayberry was 0-for-5 and struck out three times. He’s 3-for-his-last-16. The Phillies need to try someone else at first base against right-handed pitching and I’m guessing they will — Mayberry is hitting 207/246/241 for the year against right-handed pitching. Ty Wigginton obviously isn’t the ideal guy at first against righties, but he may be a better choice than Mayberry in the short term with Thome, Nix and Howard out. Wigginton was 1-for-1 with a walk and two RBI last night. He’s 3-for-his-last-26 overall and hitting 262/324/311 against righties for the year.

Galvis 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-11 with a walk and two doubles. Hitting 298/340/489 in 50 plate appearances so far in May.

Halladay (3-3, 3.20) faces righty Chris Volstad (0-5, 6.92) tonight. Halladay has had two starts of his seven on the season in which he has allowed more than two runs. One of them, May 2 against the Braves, blew up his numbers for the season badly as he allowed eight runs over 5 1/3 innings and was unable to hold a 6-0 lead. Since that start he’s had two outings in which he has allowed four runs over 14 innings (2.57 ERA, 1.00 ratio while striking out 17). Volstad has allowed four or more runs in five straight starts, one of which came against the Phillies. On April 30, he allowed four runs over six innings against the Phils. The Phillies rallied late to win that game 6-4. The righty Volstad has been better against lefties than righties so far this season. Righties have hit 307/354/466 against him and lefties 261/311/391.


Pence and Diekman work overtime to correct the team’s nearly fatal Qualls

The Phillies got more great starting pitching in yesterday’s game against the Astros, but it took some late heroics from Hunter Pence and a fantastic debut by Jake Diekman to get them a 4-3 win in ten innings.

Lee started the game for the Phils and was great, holding Houston to a run over eight innings and striking out ten. With Papelbon having thrown three days in a row, Qualls came on with a 3-1 lead in the ninth and couldn’t get the job done. The Astros tied the game up with a pair of runs and Diekman was forced into his major league debut with two outs and men on second and third. Diekman struck out Marwin Gonzalez to get the Phils out of the jam, came back to set the Astros down in order in the tenth and got the win when Pence hit a walkoff homer in the bottom of the inning.

The Phillies need a whole lot of help in their pen. But Diekman’s debut in which he struck out three over 1 1/3 perfect innings raises hopes that he may be part of the solution.

The 5.19 ERA for the Phillie bullpen is the worst in all of baseball. In yesterday’s game, they allowed two runs in two innings and cost Lee the win, but were arguably better than they had been during Lee’s other starts for the year. Coming into the game, the bullpen had thrown to a 9.00 ERA and a 2.22 ratio in Lee’s starts for the season. They were a little better than that in yesterday’s game, allowing two runs in two innings (9.00 ERA), but allowing just four hits plus walks over two frames (2.00 ratio).

Chad Qualls continues to struggle against lefties. Trying to nail down the save in the top of the ninth he faced two left-handed hitters and both of them doubled. Lefties are hitting 346/414/567 against him for the season.

On the plus side, the starting pitching continues to shine. The Phillies have gotten six quality starts in a row. Over those six games their starters have thrown to a 2.20 ERA with a 1.05 ratio.

The Phillies are 18-19 after beating the Houston Astros 4-3 yesterday afternoon. They sweep the two-game set and have won three in a row and four of their last five.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out ten and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.95. The Phillies are 1-4 in the games he’s started this season.

He walked Justin Maxwell with one out in the top of the first. Matt Downs went down on a fly ball to right for the second out before Schneider threw Maxwell out trying to steal second to end the frame.

Carlos Lee singled to center to start the second. Chris Johnson was next and he grounded to Lee. Lee went to second to force the other Lee for the first out. Our Lee struck JD Martinez out for the second out and got Jason Castro on a ground ball to second for the third.

Lee had a 2-0 lead when he started the third. Marwin Gonzalez led off with a single to center. The pitcher Jordan Lyles was next and tried to bunt, but failed twice then struck out looking for the first out. Jose Altuve was next and hit a ground ball that was deflected off Polanco to Rollins. Rollins went to second to for Gonzalez for the second out. Lee struck Maxwell out swinging 1-2 to set the Astros down.

Big no bunt for Lyles changes the inning and the Phils get a big play from Rollins to get an out on the ball hit by Altuve.

Lee struck out Downs and Johnson as he set the Astros down in order in the fourth.

Martinez singled to center to start the fifth, but Lee got Jason Castro to ground into a double-play behind him. Lee struck Gonzalez out swinging for the third out.

He struck out Altuve and Maxwell in a 1-2-3 sixth.

He started the seventh up 3-0. Matt Downs led off and hit a 3-1 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 3-1. Lee got the next three Astros behind Downs.

Lee started the eighth having thrown 95 pitches in the game. Castro led off and struck out on a wild pitch that got away from Schneider, allowing Castro to take first. Gonzalez was next and hit a ball that Lee handled. Lee went to second for the first out Galvis relayed to first to complete the bases-clearing double-play. Lefty Travis Buck hit for the pitcher Fernando Rodriguez and singled to right. Lee got Altuve on a fly ball to right to leave Buck at second.

Big double-play for the Phils after Castro reaches on the strikeout. The lefty Buck hits against the lefty Lee and reaches base on a single.

Manuel was ejected for arguing with the home plate umpire after the Castro strikeout on a wild pitch for reasons not clear to me.

Qualls started the ninth with a two-run lead, pitching for the second day in a row. Lefty Jordan Schafer hit for the righty Maxwell and hammered a double to center on a 3-2 pitch. Downs was next and he went downs on a ground ball to second, which moved Schafer up to third with one out. Lee was next and singled into center, just passed a diving Rollins. Schafer scored and it was 3-2. Brian Bogusevic ran for Lee and stole second before Johnson grounded softly to third for the second out. Righty JD Martinez was next and singled to right. Bogusevic was held up at third, but Pence lost the handle trying to transfer the ball out of his glove for an error that allowed Bogusevic to come home and tie the game at 3-3. The lefty Castro was next and he doubled off the wall in right, putting runners on second and third for the switch-hitter Gonzalez. Lefty Jake Diekman came on to pitch to him. Diekman struck Gonzalez out swinging 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Qualls can’t pitch to lefties. Shafer doubles off of him to start the mess. Castro, the other lefty that Qualls faced in the inning, doubled as well. Qualls faced six batters in the innings. Two were lefties and both of them doubled. Of the four righties, he allowed two singles and got two ground outs. His ERA is up to 4.05 for the year after being charged with two runs in 2/3 of an inning in the game.

Lee had thrown 110 pitches through eight innings, so he wasn’t a good choice to start the ninth.

Huge debut for Diekman, coming into the game with two outs in the ninth and men on second and third in a tie game.

He was back to pitch the tenth. Switch-hitter Jed Lowrie hit for the pitcher Brandon Lyon and flew to right for the first out. Diekman struck out Altuve and Schafer behind him.

Three strikeouts in 1 1/3 perfect innings for Diekman.

Qualls and Diekman each threw 21 pitches in the game. Diekman’s 21 were better. Qualls has pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jordan Lyles went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Polanco (6) Mayberry (7) Galvis (8) Schneider. Polanco hits fifth after a two-run homer in game one of the set. Schneider catches the day game after a night game with a righty on the mound. Galvis plays second with Orr on the bench. Mayberry hits sixth, hitting 224/269/265 against righties for the season coming into the game.

Rollins was the first batter in the bottom of the first and doubled to right on a ball deflected by Lee at first. Pierre bunted him to third with the first out, but Victorino struck out for the second and Pence grounded to second.

No RBI for Victorino after the Phillies put Rollins on third with one out.

Mayberry reached on a throwing error by Altuve with one out in the second. Galvis flew to center for the second out, but Schneider was next and he hit the first pitch from Lyles out to right-center, putting the Phils on top 2-0. Lee grounded to second for the third out.

Nice start to the game for Schneider, who threw Maxwell out to end the top of the first and hit his first homer of the year in the bottom of the second.

The Phils went in order in the bottom of the fourth.

They went in order in the fifth, too. Rollins tried to bunt for a hit, but popped it up to the catcher in foul territory for the second out.

Pence homered to right off of Lyles with one out in the sixth, extending the lead to 3-0. Polanco followed that with a single, but Mayberry and Galvis both went down behind him.

Rollins singled off of lefty Fernando Abad with two outs in the seventh and the lead cut to 3-1. Wigginton hit for Pierre and the righty Fernando Rodriguez took over for Abad. Wigginton drew a walk, putting two men on for Victorino, but Victorino popped out to the catcher to leave both runners stranded.

Pence singled to right off of righty Brandon Lyon to start the bottom of the eighth. He took second on a wild pitch before Polanco moved him up to third with a single to right. Mayberry was next and hit a ground ball to third. Pence was caught up between third and home and eventually tagged out for the first out. It brought Galvis to the plate with men on first and second and he flew to center. Schneider was next and hit a ball to first that Lee handled, throwing to Lyon covering first who made an ugly slide into the bag in time to beat Schneider and end the inning.

No runs for the Phils after putting me on first and third with nobody out.

The game was tied at 3-3 when the Phillies hit in the bottom of the ninth. Lyon was back for the Astros and set Ruiz, Rollins and Wigginton down in order.

Righty Brett Myers got Victorino to foul out to third for the first out of the tenth. Pence was next and hit a ball just out to left, giving the Phils a 4-3 win.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double in the game. 2-for-8 with a walk in the two-game set. He’s hitting 231/278/293 for the season. He doesn’t have a walk against a left-handed pitcher yet this year.

Pierre 0-for-2 with a strikeout. 0-for-6 in the series. 3-for-his-last-12. 330/380/360 for the year.

Victorino was 0-for-5 with a strikeout and three men left on base yesterday. 1-for-9 with a triple in the series. 250/301/408 on the season. 2-for-his-last-13.

Pence was 2-for-5 with two solo homers. 4-for-9 with two homers in the series. He came into the series 1-for-his-last-15. 255/301/497 for the year. The Phillies have a team on-base percentage of .307 for the year, which is 13th among the 16 NL teams. Victorino, Pence, Mayberry, Rollins and Galvis all have at least 93 plate appearances for the year and an on-base percentage of .301 or worse.

Polanco was 2-for-4. 3-for-7 with a walk and a home run in the series. 288/321/368 for the season. 356/390/479 over his last 80 plate appearances. His .321 on-base percentage for the season is fourth-best on the team among players with 100 plate appearances.

Mayberry 1-for-4 to up his average to .247. 3-for-8 with a double in the series. 247/269/337 on the year. After not walking in his first 51 plate appearances on the season he has walked three times in his last 42. 333/364/500 over his last 33 plate appearances. Slugging .264 for the season against right-handed pitching.

Galvis 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-7 with a walk in the series. 225/265/351 for the year. 8-for-his-last-21 with three walks, three doubles and a triple. His isolated power with the Phillies is .121. Over 2,179 minor league plate appearances it is .076.

Schneider 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in his only action of the series. He’s now hitting 303/324/404 for the season. First home run since April 21, 2011.

Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07) faces righty Matt Garza (2-1, 2.56) tonight in Chicago. Worley threw to a 1.97 ERA over his first five starts of the season, but has pitched to a 6.00 ERA over his last two starts. Garza flummoxed the Phils the last time he saw them, holding them to a hit and and a walk while throwing seven shutout innings on April 29.

Er, not so much on Worley starting tonight. This article says that Worley will miss the start with a sore elbow and Kendrick will take the start in his place. Kendrick has thrown to a 6.43 ERA in his three starts on the season, although only one of the three has been terrible. In his first start of the year he allowed seven runs in three innings against the Diamondbacks. In his two starts since, he’s allowed four runs over 11 innings, throwing to a 2.45 ERA with a 1.36 ratio.


Eat at Joe’s, but don’t even think about trying to hit there

Joe Blanton had yet another strong outing for the Phillies last night, pitching into the eighth inning and holding the Astros to a single run as the Phils topped Houston 5-1.

Over his last four starts, Blanton has thrown to a 2.10 ERA and averaged seven and a half innings per start. Through eight appearances (seven starts) he has walked one right-handed batter this season. His walk rate is the best it has been since 2007. His hit rate is the best it has been since 2005. He has allowed two home runs in 48 2/3 innings for the year, which gives him the best home run rate of his career.

Placido Polanco notched his 2,000th career hit in the game as well and did it in style, popping out a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, providing some much-needed insurance runs for a team that still sports the worst bullpen ERA in baseball.

The Phillies are 17-19 on the year after beating the Houston Astros 5-1 last night. They have won three of their last four games.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run in the top of the eighth. He struck out seven.

On April 12, Blanton walked Hanley Ramirez with one out in the top of the sixth. He hasn’t walked a right-handed batter in his six starts since.

He walked Jed Lowrie with two outs in the top of the first. Carlos Lee was next and blooped a single into center, moving Lowrie up to third. Blanton struck Brian Bogusevic out to leave both runners stranded.

Chris Snyder singled to left with two outs in the second. Blanton got pitcher Lucas Harrell on a ground ball to second to set the Astros down.

Blanton set the Astros down in order in the third. Jordan Schafer tried to bunt for a single, but Blanton threw him out for the second out.

Lee led off the fourth with a single to left, but Blanton set the Astros down in order behind him.

He got three ground outs in the fifth.

The Phillies led 1-0 when Blanton started the sixth. He got the first two before Lee singled again, this time to center. Blanton struck Bogusevic out swinging to leave Lee at first.

It was 3-0 when he set the Astros down in order in the seventh.

Switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez hit for pitcher Fernando Abad to start the eighth and homered to right, cutting the lead to 3-1. Jose Altuve followed that with a single and Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Schafer. Rigthy Justin Maxwell hit for Schafer. Bastardo struck out Maxwell and Lowrie behind Maxwell before Qualls came in to pitch to the righty Lee. Qualls got Lee on a ball hit well to right to leave Altuve at first.

Bastardo and Qualls get the job done after Blanton has a rough start to the frame, facing three hitters and retiring all three.

Bastardo was pitching for the second day in a row and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.64 with the outing. He has made eight appearances in May in which he has allowed one hit and three walks over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. He ended April with a 5.40 ERA through his first seven appearances.

Qualls hasn’t been charged with an earned run over his last four appearances, but has given up three hits and a walk over 2 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting 292/370/464 against him for the season.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 5-1 lead after the Phils scored two in the bottom of the eighth. Chris Johnson singled on a ball that could have been an error on Polanco, but Papelbon struck out the next two batters to end the game.

Papelbon has made 15 appearances on the year and been charged with a run or more in two of them. Three of the four runs he has allowed for the season came on one swing, Jordany Valdespin’s three-run homer on May 7.

Great night for the pen in which they go two scoreless frames, allowing one single and striking out five.

Papelbon has thrown for three days in a row. He threw 14 pitches in the game. Bastardo has thrown two days in a row and threw eleven. Four pitches for Qualls.

The Phillies lineup against righty Lucas Harrell went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Ruiz (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis. Pierre in left against the righty. Mayberry at first for a Phils team without Thome or Nix, but hitting behind Polanco. Galvis at second with the lefty Orr on the bench.

Rollins, Pierre and Victorino all hit the ball well in the bottom of the first, but all three went down on line drives. Rollins and Pierre lined to left and Victorino lined to third.

Pence reached on an infield single to start the second, but Ruiz hit into a double-play behind him. Polanco drew a walk, but Mayberry struck out swinging to leave him at first.

The Phillies went in order in the third. Galvis led off and tried to bunt for a single, but Johnson handled it and threw him out at first.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Ruiz led off the fifth and was hit by a pitch. Polanco was next and hit a ball that Harrell handled, throwing to second to force Ruiz for the first out with Polanco safe at first. Mayberry was next and hit a ball to short that Lowrie didn’t handle for an error, putting men on first and second with one down. Galvis followed with a single into center, scoring Polanco to out the Phils up 1-0 and moving Mayberry up to third. Blanton bunted Galvis to second with the second out. Harrell got behind Rollins 3-0 and then put him on intentionally, loading the bases for Pierre. Pierre grounded to first to end the inning.

Big hit for Galvis helps make the Astros pay for the Lowrie error.

Victorino tripled to center to start the sixth. Pence popped up to second behind him for the first out, but Ruiz followed with a single into center, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 2-0. Polanco grounded to short with Ruiz forced at second for the second out. Mayberry was next and lined a double to left, putting men on second and third for Galvis. Righty Wilton Lopez came in to pitch to Galvis and Galvis singled into left. Polanco scored to extend the lead to 3-0, but Mayberry was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

No RBI for Pence with nobody out and a runner on third. Big hits in the inning from Ruiz and Galvis.

Lefty Fernando Abad set the Phillies down in order in the seventh. Blanton hit for himself to start the inning and popped to first.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when the Phillies hit in the bottom of the eighth. Righty David Carpenter struck out Victorino and Pence before Ruiz singled into left. Polanco was next and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left-center for a two-run homer, the 2,000th hit of his career, putting the Phils up 5-1. Mayberry and Galvis followed that with back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and second for Qualls. Lefty Mike Fontenot, called up on Friday, hit for Qualls and flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping his average on the year to .225. He’s 8-for-his-last-42 (190/261/310 over his last 47 plate appearances).

Pierre was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. Of the 104 NL players with at least 100 plate appearances, his .387 on-base percentage is 12th. He’s hitting .387 over his last 34 plate appearances.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a triple. He’s 6-for-his-last-16.

Pence was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s hitting 198/237/429 over his last 97 plate appearances. It wasn’t a factor in last night’s game, but for the season he’s hitting 179/233/357 against left-handed pitching.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-12 with a walk. He (.583) and Nix (.587) are the only Phillies slugging better than .450 for the season. He, Nix and Pence (.450) are the only Phillies slugging better than .429 for the season.

Polanco 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer. 354/382/492 over his last 70 plate appearances.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double to up his average to .247. 346/379/538 over his last 29 plate appearances — 9-for-26 with two walks, two doubles and a home run. After striking out in 20 of his first 60 plate appearances on the season, he has struck out in just three of his last 29. His power for the year against righties is still virtually non-existent. His double off of Harrell in last night’s game was just his second extra-base hit of the year against a righty. For the season he’s hitting 224/269/265 against righties and about 58.4% of his plate appearances have come against right-handed pitching.

Galvis was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Over his last five starts he’s gone 8-for-18 with two walks, three doubles, a triple and seven RBI, upping his line on the season from 189/215/289 to 231/265/361.

Cliff Lee (0-1, 2.17) pitches this afternoon against a Houston starter TBD. Lee has made just one start since returning from the DL, holding the Mets to two runs over six innings. The team is 0-4 in the games he has started this season, despite Lee’s 2.17 ERA and 0.76 ratio.


Fans unsure if they can get their ticket money back, but some willing to consider more pleasant alternatives to actually watching the games like maybe root canal or doing their taxes over again or something

Things were ugly for the Phils going into last night’s game, but they took it up to another level not many believed existed last night. In a string of games marked by spectacular failures by the bullpen, the Phillies saved their ugliest effort for last night as they fell to the Mets 10-6.

The Phillies again got a good effort from their starter, Cliff Lee this time, and started the top of the seventh with a 4-2 lead. Over the final three innings of the game, Kendrick, Contreras and Sanches allowed eight runs over three innings.

The game seemed to mark the turn of a major corner with the fans. There was a whole lot more booing and a whole lot more empty seats than you had seen at a home game in Philadelphia for a long time.

The Phillies are 14-18 on the year after losing to the Mets 10-6 last night. The Mets sweep the three-game series. The Phillies are four games under .500 for the first time since 2007. They have lost five of six.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out six and his ERA rose to 2.17.

He set the Mets down in order in the first and again in the second.

He started the third up 1-0. Rob Johnson singled with one out. The pitcher Dillon Gee was next and he bunted, but Lee handled the bunt and threw to second to force Johnson for the second out. Lee walked Andres Torres on five pitches, putting men on first and second for Daniel Murphy. Murphy doubled to left, scoring Gee to tie the game at 1-1 and moving Torres up to third. David Wright hit the ball hard, but Polanco took it at third and threw to first to end the frame.

Scott Hairston singled off of Lee to start the fourth, but Lee struck Vinnie Rottino out looking for the first out and got Justin Turner to ground into a double-play behind him.

Lee started the fifth up 2-1 and struck out Johnson and Gee while setting the Mets down in order.

Torres led off the sixth and lined a ball into center field. Victorino made a sliding effort, but didn’t catch the ball as it got passed him and rolled for a while. Torres wound up with a triple. Lee struck Murphy out for the first out before Wright singled, scoring Torres to tie the game at 2-2. Lee got Hairston to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Kendrick started the seventh with the Phils up 4-2. Lefty Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit for the righty Rottino and Kendrick walked him. Turner was next and doubled him home. 4-3. Davis followed that with another double, sending Turner to third. Kendrick walked Johnson on four pitches, loading the bases. Lefty Lucas Duda hit for the pitcher Tim Byrdak and Kendrick hit him, forcing Turner home to tie the game at 4-4. Torres hit a ground ball to second. Duda was forced at second for the first out, but Davis scored and the Mets led 5-4. With men on first and third, Kendrick got Murphy to hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Moral victory alert — Phils don’t bring in a lefty to give up an RBI-single to Duda, hitting him with a righty instead. It’s the little things.

I’m also grateful for this series for the opportunity to learn how to spell Nieuwenhuis. That can’t be a real name, can it? Someone just thought that up in a lab in an underground bunker somewhere, right? Right?

Manuel was so impressed with Kendrick’s work in the seventh that he let him start the eighth. Wright and Hairston doubled back-to-back with Hairston plating Wright to make it 6-4. Sensing there was nothing wrong with this situation that couldn’t be made worse by Jose Contreras, Manuel went with his gut and brought him on. Contreras struck out Nieuwenhuis (thank you people working overtime in the underground bunker!) for the first out before Turner had the devious foresight to hit a routine fly ball to right. Pence dropped it. No, really. He just was about to catch it and then, instead, didn’t. Like you or I might do in the same situation. Anyhow, Hairston was too stunned to move up to third, so it put men on first and second for Ike Davis to crush a ball way, way, really far out to right field, raising his average for the year to .179 and putting the Mets up 9-4. Johnson flew to right for the second out. Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher Manny Acosta and grounded to short.

I think it was at this point the Mets offered to play 16 innings this one time, just as a special treat to the fans, but the offer was rejected to allow us all a little more time to reflect fondly on the Danys Baez years and wonder if someway, somehow we could ever get him back.

Sanches started the ninth with the lead cut, temporarily, to 9-5. Cause why not? Torres homered (10-5), Murphy singled and Sanches got the next three.

Swear I’m not making this up: That was the best performance of any of the three relievers for the Phillies in the game.

Kendrick threw 30 pitches in the game, Contreras 20 and Sanches 13.

Overall, the pen went three innings in the game, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks. Of the three pitchers that appeared in relief for the Phils in the game, Kendrick has the best ERA for the season of the trio at 7.32.

The Phillies lineup against righty Dillon Gee went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Polanco (6) Mayberry (7) Schneider (8) Galvis. Nix, Ruiz and Wigginton all on the bench. Mayberry at first against the righty and Pierre in left. Schneider catches. Galvis plays second with the lefty Orr on the bench off a two-error night.

Pierre singled with out in the first, but Victorino and Polanco both went down behind him.

Schneider and Galvis singled back-to-back with two outs in the bottom of the second, putting runners on first and third for Lee. Lee reached on an infield single with everyone moving up a base. Schneider scored to make it 1-0. Rollins flew to center to leave Galvis at second.

The Phils went in order in the third with the score tied at 1-1.

Polanco and Mayberry singled back-to-back to start the fourth. Schneider grounded softly to first for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Galvis grounded softly to second for the second out with everyone moving up again. Polanco scored and the Phils led 2-1. Lee grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins singled to start the fifth, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

The game was tied at 2-2 when the Phils hit in the bottom of the sixth. Schneider singled with one out and came around to score when Galvis blasted a double off the wall in left. 3-2. Nix hit for Lee and singled into center, scoring Galvis and putting the Phils on top 4-2. Lefty Tim Byrdak took over for Gee. Ruiz ran for Nix at first. Rollins popped to second to end the inning.

Down 5-4, Pierre singled off of righty Manny Acosta to start the seventh. Victorino hit into a double-play behind him and Pence struck out swinging.

Down 9-4, Polanco singled off of righty Jon Rauch to start the eighth. Mayberry flew to right for the first out before Schneider moved Polanco up to second with a ground out. Galvis was next and tripled to right, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 9-5. Orr hit for Contreras and struck out swinging to leave Galvis at third.

Down 10-5, Rollins singled off of righty DJ Carrasco to start the ninth. He moved up to second as Pierre struck out on a wild pitch. Victorino popped to short for the second out before Pence blasted a triple off the wall in right center, scoring Rollins to make it 10-6. Polanco grounded to short to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 4-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series. 230/279/270 for the season.

Pierre 2-for-5 with three strikeouts in the game. 4-for-10 with a walk in the series. 341/396/364 for the year.

Victorino 0-for-5 and left four men on base. 3-for-13 with two walks and a double in the set. 244/298/405 on the year.

Pence 1-for-5 with a triple last night. 2-for-13 with a walk, a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 262/299/492 for the year. He leads the group of Pence, Victorino, Rollins, Thome, Galvis and Mayberry with a .299 on-base percentage for the year. The Phillies have 69 walks for the year, which is 29th of the 30 MLB teams (the Pirates have 66).

Polanco 2-for-5 yesterday and 4-for-12 with a double in the series. 275/307/321 on the year.

Mayberry 1-for-4 yesterday and 4-for-12 in the series. 225/233/268 on the year.

Schneider was 2-for-4. He’s hitting 231/259/231 for the year. 210/294/312 over the last three seasons with the Phils.

Galvis was 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI. The Phillies had three extra-base hits in the game and he had two of them. 3-for-8 in the series. 213/237/340 for the year. His isolated power for the season is now better than Wiggington’s. Galvis has nine extra-base hits in 99 plate appearances and is tied with Ruiz for the team lead in doubles with seven. Wigginton has five extra-base hits in 91 plate appearances.

Mercifully, the Phillies don’t play today. Vance Worley (2-2, 2.84) faces lefty Clayton Richard (1-4, 4.89) tomorrow night. Worley was hit hard by the Nats in his last outing, which was his worst start of the year. He allowed five runs over six innings. Richard has been tough against lefties this year (192/276/241), but righties have already hit five home runs against him while posting a 276/333/482 line.

Next post won’t be until Tuesday, 5/15.


Wait till last year?

The ugliness continued for the Phillies last night as bad defense and awful work from their pen got together late and the Mets topped them 7-4.

Joe Blanton was charged with four runs over 6 2/3 innings in the game, but pitched a whole lot better than his line. He left with a 4-2 lead with two men on in the seventh. Qualls and Bastardo took over after that, facing three batters and getting just one out as the other two delivered RBI-singles. The Phils also put together just about the ugliest rundown you’ve ever seen in the frame.

The miserable performance of the bullpen continues as the Phils remain, by ERA, the worst bullpen in either league. The team’s bullpen ERA for the season is up to 4.95.

Over the last five games, the bullpen has been charged with more than one run in every game, allowing 13 runs (12 earned) in 13 innings and throwing to an 8.31 ERA with a 2.30 ratio. In 13 innings they’ve allowed 20 hits and ten walks. Those numbers don’t include the game they lost 15-13 on May 2 — in that game the bullpen was charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The pen has also allowed more than one run in eight of the last ten games. In one of those games they didn’t appear at all (Blanton’s complete game on May 3). There’s only one game in the last ten where the bullpen got at least one out and allowed less than two runs (May 1 against the Braves).

The Phillies are 14-17 on the year after losing to the New York Mets 7-4 last night. The Mets have won the first two games of the series. The Phillies have lost four of their last five games.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out seven.

Blanton walked Kirk Nieuwenhuis with one out in the first, but got David Wright on a fly ball to right and Lucas Duda swinging to leave him at first.

Up 2-0, he set the Mets down in order in the second.

Up 4-0, he threw a 1-2-3 third.

Nieuwenhuis doubled to center to start the fourth and moved to third when Wright flew to right for the first out. Duda followed with a walk, putting runners on first and third for Daniel Murphy. Murphy singled into left, scoring Nieuwenhuis to make it 4-1 with men on first and second. Blanton got Ike Davis and Jordany Valdespin, both on fly balls to center, to end the frame.

Blanton hit Mike Nickeas to start the fifth. Pitcher Miguel Batista bunted Nickeas to second with the first out and Nickeas took third when Andres Torres grounded to second for the second. Blanton struck out Nieuwenhuis to leave Nickeas at third.

Wright led off the sixth with a double. Blanton struck out Duda before Murphy moved Wright up to third with a ground out. He got behind Davis 2-0 before striking him out swinging 3-2 to end leave Wright at third.

Blanton walked Valdespin to start the seventh. He struck Nickeas out for the first out and righty Scott Hairston hit for the pitcher Manny Acosta. Hairston popped to second for the second out, but Torres followed and singled softly to right, moving Valdespin up to third. Nieuwenhuis followed with a single to right that scored Valdespin (4-2) and moved Torres to second. Qualls came in to pitch to Wright. Wright singled to right. Hunter fielded and threw home, but his throw wasn’t close to getting Torres, who scored to make it 4-3. Ruiz moved out in front of the plate to take the throw and Wright was caught up between first and second. Rollins threw to Orr covering first and Orr ran Wright towards second, but there was nobody covering second. Orr threw to third to try and Nieuwenhuis there, but his throw was in the dirt and got away for an error, allowing Nieuwenhuis to score and tie the game at 4-4 with two outs and Wright on third. Bastardo came in to pitch to the left Duda and Duda singled to right, scoring Wright to put New York on top 5-4. Murphy flew to center for the third out.

The Wright single play was really ugly. Don’t know why Pence threw home in the first place, cause there was no chance to get Torres. Don’t know why his throw wasn’t cut before making it home. Don’t know why nobody was covering second when Orr was running towards second. The thing that bothers me least about the play was the throw to third, which was in the dirt but could easily have been handled there to prevent the second run.

Qualls and Bastardo face three batters in the inning, allowing two singles and getting one out. Two runs score on the first single, with the help of ugly defense, and one on the second.

Qualls has with at least one run in four of his last six appearances, although the run he was charged with last night was unearned due to Orr’s throwing error. Over his last 4 1/3 innings, he has allowed nine hits and three walks.

Bastardo started the eighth. Davis led off and hit a ball to second that Orr didn’t handle for an error, his second in four batters. The lefty Valdespin flew to left for the second out. Contreras took over for Bastardo, pitching to the righty Nickeas. Ruiz threw Davis out trying to steal second before Nickeas fouled out to Mayberry to end the frame.

Bastardo allows the RBI-single to Duda in the seventh with the run charged to Qualls, then comes back to work around the Orr error in the eighth. He has allowed one hit and two walks over 4 2/3 innings without being charged with a run over his last five appearances. He has thrown two days in a row.

Schwimer started the ninth. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher Tim Byrdak and walked on six pitches. Torres moved Baxter to third with a single. Nieuwenhuis flew to left with both runners moving up a base. Baxter scored to make it 6-4 with one out and a man on second. Schwimer struck Wright out swinging for the second out. Savery came in to pitch to the lefty Duda. Duda singled to center on a ball deflected by Savery, scoring Torres to make it 7-4. Murphy grounded back to the pitcher to end the frame.

Second time in three innings that the Phillies bring in a lefty to face the lefty Duda and Duda delivers an RBI-single.

Schwimer has made five appearances on the season and been charged with runs in four of them. He has an 8.53 ERA for the year and opponents have on-based .400 against him. He’s allowed way too many hits and way too many walks in his short time with the Phillies this year. On the plus side, six of the seven hit he’s allowed have been singles.

Savery dropped his ERA to 4.50. It was the only outing of his last three in which he was not charged with a run.

Overall the pen goes 2 1/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. It was worse than that, though, cause two of the runs that scored after Blanton left were charged to Blanton.

Bastardo has thrown two days in a row and threw 18 pitches in the game. Schwimer 17 and everybody else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Miguel Batista went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Ruiz (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Orr. Mayberry starts at first against the righty with Nix on the bench with a sore calf. Pierre in left and hitting second. Ruiz hits fifth. The lefty Orr at second with the righty Galvis on the bench.

Pierre singled with one out and stole second before Victorino popped out for the second. Pence was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to center for his seventh home run of the year, putting the Phils up 2-0. Ruiz followed that with a double to center, put Polanco grounded to the pitcher to end the inning.

Mayberry led off the second and reached on a throwing error by Valdespin at short that left Mayberry on second. Mayberry took third on another error, a bad pickoff attempt by Batista. Orr singled into center and Mayberry scored, putting the Phils up 3-0. Blanton struck out trying to bunt before Orr stole second. Rollins followed that with a walk, putting men on first and second for Pierre. Pierre flew to center for the second out, but Victorino was next and lined a ball over short and into the gap in left center for a double that scored Orr (4-0) and moved Rollins to third. Pence flew to center for the third out.

Mayberry singled with two outs in the third, but Orr flew to left behind him.

Blanton started the fourth with a walk with the lead cut to 4-1. Rollins grounded into a double-play behind him. Pierre grounded to second to end the inning.

The Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Mayberry singled to center with one out in the sixth and moved to third when Orr followed with a double. Righty Manny Acosta came in to pitch to Blanton and Blanton went down on a ground ball to second with the runners holding for the second out. Rollins struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

No runs for the Phils after putting men on second and third with one out.

The Phillies were down 5-4 when they hit in the seventh. Righty Ramon Ramirez walked Victorino with one out. Pence was next and grounded to third with Victorino forced at second for the second out. Ruiz grounded to second to end the inning.

Polanco reached on an infield single off of Ramirez to start the eighth. He took second on a wild pitch before Mayberry lined hard to second for the first out. He took third on another wild pitch before Orr struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that was off of the plate. Nix hit for Contreras. Lefty Tim Byrdak came in to pitch to Nix. Wigginton hit for Nix and flew to center to set the Phillies down.

No run for the Phillies after putting a runner on third with one out. Awful at-bat by Orr, striking out on a pitch out of the strike zone when the Mets were looking like they might be happy to let the righty Ramirez walk the lefty Orr.

Down 7-4, Pierre singled off of righty Jon Rauch with one out in the ninth. Victorino flew to left and Pence grounded to third to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk in the game. 3-for-his-last-21.

Pierre 2-for-4. 337/396/361 for the season. Among the 115 NL players with 75 plate appearances, his .396 on-base percentage is 12th.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk and a double. 10-for-his-last-30 with four walks and four extra-base hits.

Pence 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. 1-for-8 so far in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double.

Polanco 1-for-4. 5-for-his-last-12.

Mayberry 2-for-4. 296/310/370 over his last 29 plate appearances.

Orr was 2-for-4 with a double, two errors and an ugly strikeout in the eighth. His .455 slugging percentage is fourth-best on the team.

Lee (0-1, 1.96) returns from the DL to face righty Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.50) tonight. Lee threw ten shutout innings against the Giants on April 18, which was his last start before hitting the DL. Gee has walked just one right-handed batter in his five starts on the season. He’s made four appearances against the Phils in his career (three starts) in which he’s thrown to a 7.85 ERA and a 1.85 ratio.


Phils making it tougher and tougher to put a Valdespin on their season

Well, at least we got to see Papelbon in a tie game.

The Phillies have a bunch of problems in a bunch of areas these days, but the bullpen seems willing to go the extra mile to get itself noticed in a competitive environment. After several games where he stayed in the pen late in a tie game on the road, Papelbon pitched in a tie game at home last night. Didn’t go well. Entering with the score knotted at 2-2, Papelbon gave up a three-run home run to Jordany Valdespin and the Mets beat the Phils 5-2.

The Phillies have played 30 games this season. Over the first 14 games of the year, the bullpen pitched to a 2.01 ERA 31 1/3 innings. Over the last 16 games, Phillie relievers have thrown 39 innings in which they have pitched to a 7.15 ERA and a 1.69 ratio. Combine those results and you get the worst bullpen in baseball — at least by ERA. After allowing three runs in two innings last night, the bullpen ERA for the Phils for the year is up to 4.86. The Angels have the second-worst bullpen ERA at 4.76.

Over the last two games, we’ve now seen the Phillies hit Bryce Harper on purpose, say they did it on purpose, get suspended for it, cost themselves a run they didn’t have to spare on an interference call at second base because their runner was so far off the bag and into the shortstop the ump didn’t have much of a choice and put their shoulder into the catcher’s jaw on a play at the plate, knocking him out of the game.

Not sure if any of that is the kind of stuff that’s going to pull the Phillies out of their funk or not. It hasn’t so far.

The Phillies are 14-16 on the year after losing to the Mets 5-2 last night. Coming off of a 6-3 stretch, the Phils have lost three of four.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.28. He has the fifth-best ERA among the six pitchers who have started games for the Phils this year.

He set the Mets down in order in the first. Andres Torres was the first batter of the game and ripped a ball to the gap in left-center, but Mayberry made a diving catch to record the out.

Halladay started the second with a 1-0 lead. Daniel Murphy singled to right with one out and stole second as Halladay struck out Ike Davis swinging for the second out. Justin Turner grounded out to leave Murphy at second.

Up 2-0, Halladay set the Mets down in order in the third, fourth and fifth.

He got Josh Thole to pop to Galvis for the first out in the sixth before lefty Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher Jon Niese. Baxter popped to Rollins for the second out before Halladay walked Andres Torres. Torres moved up to second on a single by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, putting men on first and second for David Wright. Wright doubled down the third base line, clearing the bases and tying the game at 2-2. Halladay struck Lucas Duda out swinging for the third out.

Davis singled with one out in the seventh. Halladay got Turner on a line drive to left for the second out before Thole moved Davis up to second with an infield single. Righty Scott Hairston hit for the pitcher Manny Acosta and popped a ball up in the infield, right behind the mound. Galvis made a nice sliding catch in front of Rollins to end the frame.

Bastardo started the eighth with the game still tied and walked Torres to start the inning. Nieuwenhuis bunted Torres to second with the first out. Bastardo walked the righty Wright intentionally, putting runners on first and second for Duda. Duda grounded into a double-play to set New York down.

Don’t remember Antonio Bastardo walking a lot of guys intentionally last year? Me neither. The intentional walk to Wright was the first he has issued in his career.

Bastardo hasn’t allowed a hit or a run over his last four appearances, each of which have been one full inning. Over those four outings, his ERA has dropped from 5.40 to 2.45. He has walked six in 7 1/3 innings for the season.

Papelbon started the ninth. He walked Ike Davis, who is 1-for-his-last-13 and hitting .173 on the year, with one out. Papelbon struck Turner out swinging for the second out before Mike Nickeas doubled to left, moving Davis up to third. Lefty Jordany Valdespin hit for the pitcher Tim Byrdak and hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, putting the Mets on top 5-2. Torres flew to left for the third out.

Papelbon’s ERA for the year rises from 0.82 to 3.00 with the outing. He allowed three home runs in 64 1/3 innings in 2011 and has allowed two so far in 12 innings in 2012.

Papelbon threw 30 pitches in the game and Bastardo 22.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jon Niese went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Wigginton (6) Ruiz (7) Polanco (8) Galvis. Mayberry starts in left and second in the order for the first time on the season. Wigginton at first against the lefty.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a double and moving up to third on a bobble error by Torres. Mayberry was next and flew to center for the first out, deep enough for Rollins to tag and score, putting the Phillies on top 1-0. Victorino singled to left before Pence grounded to third with Victorino forced at second for the second out. Wigginton struck out looking to end the inning.

Ruiz walked to start the bottom of the second and scored when Polanco ripped a double to the gap in left-center. 2-0. Galvis was next and grounded to short for the first out. Polanco moved up to third, but Halladay struck out behind Galvis for the second out of the inning. Rollins struck out to leave Polanco at third.

No more runs for the Phils after putting Polanco on third with one out. Halladay strikes out with one down and a runner on third.

Victorino walked with one out in the third, but Pence and Wigginton both grounded out behind him.

Ruiz walked to start the fourth, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Mayberry singled to left with one out in the fifth. Victorino fouled out to Wright for the second out before Pence drew a walk, moving Mayberry up to second. Wigginton struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

It was 2-2 when righty Manny Acosta set the Phillies down in order in the sixth.

Righty Bobby Parnell started the seventh for the Mets. Pierre hit for Halladay and drew a walk. Rollins moved him to second with a single before Mayberry flew to right for the first out. Victorino reached on an infield single to load the bases for Pence. Pence grounded to second. The Mets went to second for one, but Pence just beat the relay to first. It would have been a run for the Phils as Pierre crossed the plate, but Victorino was called for interference at second. Victorino was out, Pence was out and the inning was over.

Victorino was way out of the base line at second.

Wigginton started the eighth with a single to center before Ruiz bunted for a hit, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Polanco bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Galvis chopped a ball back to the pitcher. Parnell fielded and threw home as Wiggington arrived. Wigginton put his shoulder into Thole’s jaw, but somehow Thole hung onto the ball to retire the out. Thole had to leave the game and Nickeas came on to catch for New York. Lefty Tim Byrdak came on to pitch to the lefty Nix. Kratz hit for Nix and struck out swinging to leave the runners at first and third.

Amazing job by Thole to hang onto the ball. Big at-bat for Kratz, who got ahead 2-0, but went down swinging on a 3-2 pitch that was outside.

Righty Frank Francisco set the Phillies down in order in the ninth. Rollins was the first batter for the Phils and put a pretty bunt down the first base line, but Francisco made a nice play to get to the ball and Davis put on an acrobatic swiping tag to get Rollins for the first out.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double in the series. He has five extra-base hits in 127 plate appearances for the year and a slugging percentage of .274.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with an RBI and some nice defensive work in left.

Victorino 2-for-4 with a walk. 333/394/533 in 33 plate appearances so far in May.

Pence 0-for-3 with a walk and five men left on base. He has walked in about 4.8% of his plate appearances so far in 2012. His career rate is about 7.0% and his worst mark for any season is 5.4% in 2007.

Wigginton 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and four men left on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-13 with eight strikeouts.

Ruiz 1-for-2 with two walks. 372/417/721 over his last 48 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. 364/391/455 over his last 47 plate appearances.

Galvis 0-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. There are 111 NL players with at least 75 plate appearances — Galvis’s .215 on-base percentage is 110th and his .289 slugging percentage is 106th.

Blanton (3-3, 2.83) faces righty Miguel Batista (0-1, 6.92) tonight. Blanton was outstanding his last time out, throwing a complete-game shutout against the Braves. His 2.83 ERA is second-best among Phillie starters and he’s walked just three in 35 innings on the year. Bastista has mostly been appearing in relief for the Mets. He’s made one start on the year and that was a disaster as he allowed six runs over 3 2/3 innings against the Giants on April 23. He hasn’t gone more than 3 2/3 innings in any appearance this season.

Cole Hamels was suspended for five games.


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