The Phils lost their third straight last night, falling to the Dodgers 4-3. Three games after topping out at a season-high three games over .500, the Phillies are back even for the year and remain in last place in the NL East.
Vance Worley returned to the rotation and didn’t pitch well, allowing three runs and needing 80 pitches to get through his four innings. The bullpen was fantastic after that, though, as Savery and Bastardo combined to toss four shutout innings. Papelbon came on in the ninth in a 3-3 game and allowed a leadoff triple, which was followed by a single passed a drawn in infield that plated the run that would decide the game.
The ninth inning triple came off the bat of Dee Gordon, a pitch after Papelbon thought he had struck Gordon out looking on a pretty 1-2 offering near the inside of the plate. About a month after Hamels let fly with what almost everyone assumed would be the hands-down winner of the team’s most ill-advised comments of the year award, Papelbon went out of his way to put himself in contention after the game (although given their current pace and the fact there are 106 games left, who knows what might happen). “I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.” Papelbon said of the home plate ump in a long tirade, going on to add, “He probably needs to go back to Triple-A.”
No question about it, the umpiring, and particularly the balls and strikes calls were bad last night. But anyone who watched the game knew that and it’s twice in 30 days (May 6 was the Bryce Harper game) that a Phillies pitcher made news with their post-game comments. It’s not hard to remember that when the Phils were really good, and it wasn’t long ago, that didn’t happen much at all and it certainly didn’t happen twice in 30 days. You also didn’t have to spend a lot of time wondering if there was anyone in charge of the team. Assuming there is, let’s hope they know there’s a whole lot more wrong with the Phillies than a ball two called with the bases empty on pitch the umpire might have gotten right.
The Phillies are 28-28 on the year after losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 last night. They have lost three in a row.
Worley got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four. He has allowed 11 runs in 16 innings over his last three starts, puffing his ERA for the season from 1.97 to 3.38.
Elian Herrera walked with one out in the top of the first and stole second before Andre Ethier walked, putting runners on first and second for Juan Rivera. Rivera hit a 2-2 pitch from Worley into right for a single, scoring Herrera to put the Dodgers up 1-0 and moving Ethier up to third. With men on the corners, Bobby Abreu singled to left, scoring Ethier (2-0) and moving Rivera to second. Worley struck AJ Ellis out swinging for the second out before the runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. Jerry Hairston grounded to second to leave them both stranded.
Long, long inning for Worley in which several very close or good pitches were called balls by the home plate umpire. Worley threw 32 pitches in the inning, which had an enormous impact in the game.
Adam Kennedy blooped a double to left to start the second and pitcher Clayton Kershaw bunted him to third with the first out. Dee Gordon was next and reached on an infield single that scored Kennedy, making it 3-0. Ruiz threw Gordon out trying to steal second before Worley struck Herrera out to end the frame.
Gordon stole second easily, but came off the bag after he had and Rollins applied the tag for the second out.
Worley struck out Abreu setting LA down in order in the third.
He started the fourth with the game tied at 3-3. Hairston singled with one out and moved up to second on a ground out by Kennedy. Worley walked Kershaw in a nine-pitch at-bat, putting men on first and second for Gordon. Gordon lined a ball to right, but Pence made a nice diving play to retire the side.
You want to avoid walking the pitcher when you can, but a nice play from Pence helps Worley keep the Dodgers off the board in the frame. Worley had thrown 80 pitches through four innings.
Savery started the fifth and set LA down on three ground balls.
He was back to strike out the side in the sixth, getting Abreu swinging ahead of Ellis and Hairston both looking.
Kennedy bunted for a single off of Savery to start the seventh and Kershaw bunted him to second with the first out. Savery hit Gordon, putting runners on first and second for the switch-hitter Herrera. Bastardo came in to pitch to Herrera and struck him out swinging. Ethier popped to Polanco in foul territory to leave both runners stranded.
Very nice outing for Savery, who goes 2 1/3 scoreless innings after Worley has to leave early.
Bastardo was back to start the eighth. He struck Rivera out for the first out before Abreu singled to left. Alex Castellanos ran for Abreu at first and took second on a wild pitch before Bastardo hit Ellis, putting runners on first and second with one down. Bastardo struck out Hairston for the second out and righty Ivan DeJesus hit for Kennedy. DeJesus hit a ball to third that Polanco didn’t handle for an error, loading the bases for Kershaw. Lefty James Loney hit for Kershaw and Bastardo got him on a ground ball to first to end the frame with the bases loaded.
LA calls on the lefty Loney to hit against Bastardo with the bases loaded with righty backup catcher Matt Treanor on the bench.
Bastardo strikes out three in 1 2/3 innings in his appearance. Two of his last four outings haven’t been great those as he’s allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings in those outings (5.79 ERA and a 1.71 ratio).
Papelbon started the ninth with the game still tied. Dee Gordon led off and Papelbon thought he had struck him out on a 1-2 pitch that was looked pretty good but was called a ball. Gordon ripped the next pitch from Papelbon into right-center for a triple. Herrera was next with the infield in and squirted a ball between short and third and into left for a single, scoring Gordon to put LA up 4-3. Papelbon got the next three to end the frame.
The 1-2 pitch to Gordon was probably a strike. It was close, though. It started out inside and may have tailed back away from Gordon to catch the plate. It wasn’t like the pitch was right down the middle and the ump just missed it completely, though. I thought it was a ball watching it live and it looked better on the replay.
Papelbon’s ERA rose to 2.31 with the outing. He came in to the game having allowed one run over 11 appearances since May 7.
Overall the pen went five innings, allowing one run on four hits and no walks while striking out eight. Savery threw 33 pitches in the game, Bastardo 26 and Papelbon 17.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis. Ruiz hits cleanup for the seventh time this season. Mayberry in left and Wigginton at first.
Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in bottom of the first. Abreu made a nice sliding catch in left on a ball hit by Rollins for the first out.
Down 3-0, they went in order in the second.
Mayberry lined a double to left to start the third and came around to score when Galvis followed with a single, cutting the lead to 3-1. Worley bunted Galvis to second with the first out before Rollins popped to short for the second. Polanco hit Kershaw’s first pitch out to left for a two-run homer, tying the game at 3-3. Pence went down on a foul ball handled by the catcher to end the inning.
Ruiz started the fourth with a single into center, but Victorino and Wigginton both struck out behind him. Mayberry was next with two down and a man on first and he hit a ball to third. Kennedy handled it, but lost the ball transferring it to make the throw. Mayberry was safe on the error and the Phils had men on first and second. Galvis popped to short to leave both runners stranded.
Rollins tripled with one out in the fifth. Polanco was next and he hit a ball hard, but right at short. Gordon handled it and threw home, where Rollins was tagged out for the second out. Pence went down on a ball handled by the pitcher Kershaw to end the inning.
No run for the Phils after putting a runner on third with one out. Polanco hit the ball hard, just into an out.
The Phils went in order in the sixth.
Galvis singled to left with one out in the seventh. Luna, who had been double-switch into the game in the top of the inning with Bastardo, was next and he struck out swinging for the second out. Rollins and Polanco followed the strikeout with back-to-back singles, loading the bases for Pence. Pence grounded out to second to leave them loaded.
Righty Ronald Belisario got Ruiz and Victorino to start the eighth. Fontenot hit for Bastardo and smashed a ball back up the middle, but it went off of Belisario’s body. The pitcher picked the ball up and threw to first, retiring Fontenot and the Phillies.
Fontenot hit the ball really hard.
The Phillies were down 4-3 when they hit in the bottom of the ninth with righty Kenley Jensen on the mound for LA. Mayberry struck out swinging for the first out. Galvis was next and lined a ball into center, where Herrera robbed him of a hit with a diving play for the second out. Luna struck out swinging 3-2 to end the game.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a triple. 5-for-18 with two triples so far in June. His last walk came on May 20 and he’s on-basing .292 for the season.
Polanco 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 8-for-16 to start June.
Pence 0-for-4 and left four men on base. Made a nice catch in the fourth for the third out to keep runs off the board. 0-for-his-last-8.
Ruiz was 1-for-4.
Victorino 0-for-4. 2-for-11 to start June. He hit 228/276/380 in April and 267/348/431 in May.
Wigginton 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-his-last-10 with four strikeouts. Luna took over for him at first late in the game and had two at-bats, going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.
Mayberry was 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-8 so far for the month.
Galvis 2-for-4 with an RBI. He also had another hit taken away by Herrera in the ninth. He has one walk since May 15.
Lee (0-2, 3.00) faces righty Chad Billingsley (2-4, 4.09) tonight. Lee has a 4.95 ERA over his last three starts. Over those starts opponents have hit .304 against him. Billingsley had a great April, going 2-1 with a 2.64 ERA and an 0.95 ratio, but threw to a 5.52 ERA in six starts in May. He walked 18 hitters in 31 innings in May.