June started out well for the Phils as a 6-4 win over the Marlins got them three games over .500 for the first time this year and within 2 1/2 games of first place. Since then the Phils have played four games, scoring just nine runs and losing all four.
Last night the Dodgers beat them 2-1. Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a double and came around to score on an RBI-single by Pence. Lee was great after that and for much of the game it looked like a single run might be all the Phillies would need. In the eighth, though, on Lee’s 122nd pitch of the night, Elian Herrera doubled off the wall in left, plating two runs and putting the Dodgers on top to stay.
The Phillies are 28-29 on the year after losing to the Dodgers 2-1 last night. They have lost four games in a row for the second time this season.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and went 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out 12, which is the most strikeouts he has had in a game since September 15, 2011.
The Phillies went 22-10 in the 32 games that Lee started in 2011. So far in 2012 they have gone 3-6 in his nine starts.
He threw a 1-2-3 first, getting Dee Gordon on a fly ball to center, Elian Herrera on a ground ball to short and Juan Rivera on a ground ball to first.
Lee started the second up 1-0. He walked Andre Ethier to start the inning. Alex Castellanos popped to second before Jerry Hairston moved Ethier up to second with a single to left. Lee struck Matt Treanor out for the second out and got Tony Gwynn on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.
Lee struck out the pitcher Chad Billingsley and Gordon in a 1-2-3 third.
He struck out Ethier and Castellanos setting LA down in the fourth.
Gwynn singled with two outs in the fifth, but Lee struck Billingsley out behind him to turn LA away.
He struck out Gordon, Herrera and Rivera in a 1-2-3 sixth.
He struck out Ethier and Hairston while setting the Dodgers down in order in the seventh.
Treanor led off the eighth and doubled to center. Gwynn was next and bunted a ball with two strikes that Lee fielded. He threw to third in time for Polanco to tag out Treanor for the first out with Gwynn safe at first. Lefty Bobby Abreu hit for Billingsley and singled to right. Pence fielded the ball and Gwynn tried for third, but Pence made a great throw in time to get Gwynn for the second out. Gordon followed with a single, putting runners on first and second with two down for Herrera. Lee got ahead of Herrera 1-2, but Herrera hit a 2-2 pitch well to left and off the wall for a double that cleared the bases and put LA up 2-1. Qualls took over for Lee and got the righty Rivera on a ground ball to short.
Polanco’s finger was caught by Treanor’s spike as Treanor slid into third and Polanco would be pinch-hit for in the ninth. Not a dirty play by Treanor, just a hard slide.
Herrera’s double came on Lee’s 122nd pitch of the game. Pierre almost caught the ball at the wall, jumping for it and missing. The taller Mayberry might have caught it if he had been able to get to it, but Pierre was probably in the game because he was due to lead off the bottom of the eighth.
Lee stayed in the game a long time. Even before the double by Herrera, he needed two good defensive plays, one he made himself and a fantastic throw by Pence, to get the two outs in the inning he did get.
Qualls was back to throw a 1-2-3 ninth with the Phils still down a run.
Qualls has now pitched in four of the five games the Phillies have played in June, allowing one hit and no walks over three scoreless innings. He threw nine pitches in the game. He didn’t pitch on Monday after going three days in a row prior.
The Phillies lineup against righty Chad Billingsley went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Polanco (8) Galvis. Pierre in left against the righty. Wigginton at first. Ruiz continues to hit cleanup.
Rollins doubled to right to start the bottom of the first. Pierre followed with a fly ball to center for the first out, deep enough for Rollins to tag and move up to third. Pence singled into left and Rollins scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz popped to second for the second out before Victorino drew a four-pitch walk that moved Pence up to second. Wigginton hit an 0-2 pitch hard to right, but it was taken at the wall by a jumping Ethier to leave both runners stranded.
The Phils went in order in the second.
Pence singled with two outs in the bottom of the third. Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.
Wigginton singled to left with one out in the fourth. Polanco was next and grounded out to first with Wigginton moving down to second. Galvis flew to left for the third out.
Rollins singled to right with one out in the fifth. Pierre was next and hit a ball that Billingsley handled, throwing to second to get Rollins for the second out with Pierre safe at first. Pierre stole second before Pence flew to center for the third out.
In addition to hitting .331 so far for the season, Pierre has also been more effective than I would have guessed stealing bases. Nine steals for the year, caught twice and picked off once.
Victorino singled with one out in the sixth, but Wigginton popped to second Polanco went down on a ground ball handled by Billingsley.
Galvis, Lee and Rollins went in order in the seventh. Galvis put down a pretty bunt trying to bunt for a hit, but Billingsley made a nice play and his flip just beat Galvis to first.
Righty Josh Lindblom set Pierre, Pence and Ruiz down in order in the eighth.
Righty Kenley Jansen got Victorino on a soft ground ball to third before Wigginton singled into center. Mayberry ran for Wigginton at first. The lefty Fontenot hit for Polanco, who had been accidentally spiked in the eighth. Jansen struck him out swinging at a high 1-2 fastball then struck Galvis out swinging at a high 2-2 fastball to end the game.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double. 284/333/420 over his last 87 plate appearances. 387/387/677 over his last 31 plate appearances. 207/220/276 against lefties for the season.
Pierre was 0-for-4 with a stolen base. Couldn’t get Herrera’s ball up against the wall in the eighth. He’s 14-for-his-last-30 (467/484/567 over 32 plate appearances).
Pence 2-for-4. He’s 2-for-his-last-12.
Ruiz was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .358. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 5-for-his-last-37 (.135) with a double.
Wigginton 2-for-4. 3-for-14 with three singles and a walk to start June. 217/315/337 with 29 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances since the end of April.
Polanco was 0-for-3. He came into last night’s game 8-for-his-last-16. He has walked three times in his last 136 plate appearances.
Galvis was 0-for-4. He’s 6-for-his-last-41 (146/167/220 over 43 plate appearances).
Kendrick (2-4, 4.02) faces lefty Chris Capuano (7-2, 2.50) tonight. Kendrick hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last six starts (although he did allow three runs in one and allowed five runs in an inning in a relief appearance since the first of those six starts). Over his last four appearances, all starts, he has dropped his ERA for the season from 7.32 to 4.02, thanks to allowing five earned runs over 27 1/3 innings. Capuano had a 2.14 ERA for the season coming into his most recent start. In that outing he was charged with seven runs, four earned, over 5 1/3 innings. He has a 1.36 in his first starts in LA for the year and a 3.57 ERA in his six starts away from LA.
I’m really having a whole lot of trouble not liking Juan Pierre. First, he’s got the hat under the batting helmet a la Little League thing. Plus he’s just a classy guy. How bout this from last night: “I should have caught the ball. Cliff pitched such a good game tonight, and not to make the play behind him stinks. You’ve got to make a play and I didn’t, so you can hang this one on me.” Not even true, but I’ll take it. How ’bout more of that and less the umpires suck? Can handle the Phillies winning and even handle them losing with just a little class. Not sure how much time I want to invest watching them lose and look like a bunch of um, jerks.