After losing their fifth straight on Wednesday night, Charlie Manuel suggested that the Phillies might have bottomed out. Thursday afternoon demonstrated loud and clear that was not the case as the Dodgers pounded the Phils 8-3 to complete a four-game sweep.
The defense was hide-your-eyes bad for the Phillies in the game. Wigginton made a pair of errors in the fourth and some nice pitching by Hamels kept the damage to a single run. It got just about unbearable in the ninth, though, as Chad Qualls got one out and was charged with four runs, turning a one-run game into an 8-3 laugher. There were two big defensive miscues in that inning, a muff by Fontenot that was called an error and a muff by Mayberry that wasn’t. Mayberry couldn’t handle a hard ground ball hit by Andre Ethier with the infield in. The play was initially scored an error, but later changed to give Ethier a two-run double.
The Phillies are 28-31 on the year after losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 yesterday. The Dodgers sweep the four-game series. The Phillies have lost six in a row for the first time this season.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned and all six hits were singles. He struck out six and his ERA for the year rose to 2.93. He has a 5.23 ERA over his last three outings. Yesterday was the second straight start he had made in which the Phillies had a 3-0 lead but lost the game.
Dee Gordon was the first batter of the game and Hamels struck him out swinging for the first out in the top of the first. Elian Herrera grounded to third for the second out before Juan Rivera singled to left. Hamels got Jerry Hairston on a fly ball to center to leave Rivera at first.
Hamels set LA down in order in the second, getting James Loney on a ball he handled himself, Alex Castellanos on a fly ball to center and Tony Gwynn on a fly ball to left.
In the third he got Matt Treanor on a line drive to second, struck out pitcher Aaron Harang for the second out and Gordon behind him.
He started the fourth up 3-0. Herrera led off and hit a ground ball to third that Wigginton didn’t handle for an error. Rivera was next and also hit a ball to third the Wigginton booted for another error, leaving the Dodgers with men on first and third and nobody out for Hairston. Hairston flew to left for the first out, deep enough for Herrera to tag and score, cutting the lead to 3-1. Castellanos was next and grounded to third. Wigginton handled it and threw to second to force Rivera for the second out of the frame, but Castellanos beat the relay to first. Hamels struck Gwynn out swinging to leave the runners at first and third.
That could have been a lot worse. Just one run for LA after Wigginton starts the frame with errors on back-to-back batters.
Hamels set the Dodgers down in order in the fifth. Hamels made a fantastic play to get the third out. Gordon hit a ball to Mayberry. Mayberry fielded and flipped to first, but the flip was behind Hamels and Hamels had to reach back to barehand the ball, nipping the superfast Gordon to set LA down.
He walked Herrera to start the sixth and Herrera moved up to second when Rivera followed with a single. Hairston popped to Rollins for the first out before Loney singled into center, scoring Herrera (3-2) and moving Rivera to third. With men on first and third and one down, Hamels struck out Castellanos for the second out. Gwynn was next and he singled into left, scoring Rivera (3-3) and moving Loney up to second. Treanor followed and lofted a ball into left that eluded Pierre’s dive, scoring Loney moving Gwynn to third with LA up 4-3. With Harang at the plate, Treanor took off for second. Schneider faked a throw to second and caught Gwynn off of third, throwing to Wigginton who ran Gwynn towards the plate and then tagged him out.
Pierre probably should have caught the ball hit by Treanor, although it would have been a nice play. It looked like he combination mistimed and stumbled in his dive for the ball.
Savery pitched the seventh, walking Herrera with two outs but getting Rivera to hit into a ground ball behind him.
He was back to pitch the eighth with the Phils still down a run. He gave up leadoff single to Hairston, but got the next three.
More good work from Savery, who has dropped his ERA from 4.50 to 3.12 with 5 1/3 scoreless innings over his last three outings. The lefty has been very good against right-hander hitters so far — righties are hitting just 206/289/353 against him.
Qualls started the ninth. Treanor led off and reached on an infield single. Lefty Bobby Abreu hit for the pitcher Jamey Wright and he singled to left. Gordon followed that with a single that loaded the bases. With the infield in, Herrera hit a ball that Fontenot didn’t handle for an error, which allowed everyone to move up a base with Treanor scoring to make it 5-3. Ethier was next and hit a ball to first that Mayberry didn’t handle. Originally called an error, it was changed later to give Ethier a double, but Mayberry should have made the play. Abreu and Gordon both scored (7-3) and Herrera was thrown out by Pence at home by a wide margin. Herrera was out by about ten feet, but Ruiz kinda punched him in the head with the ball in his glove hand for reasons unknown. It left Ethier at third with one down for Hairston and Hairston singled into left, scoring Ethier to make it 8-3. Valdes took over for Qualls. He struck out Loney for the second out and got Castellanos to fly to left for the third.
Wow. Fontenot was charging his ball, which wasn’t hit hard, presumably to throw home where he would have forced Treanor. The ball Ethier hit that Mayberry didn’t handle was hit hard with the infield in. Would have been a nice one to handle.
Qualls winds up charged with four runs, three earned in a third of an inning. He got a tough scoring decision on Ethier’s ball to hurt his line, but four of the five non-Ethier batters he faced in the inning got hits.
Qualls was pitching on one day’s rest, but has appeared in five of the seven games the Phillies have played in June. After four appearances in a row in which he hadn’t been charged with a run, his ERA went from 4.15 to 5.32 on the day.
Valdes was pitching for the second straight day and has a 2.13 ERA and an 0.63 ratio for the season.
Again, Qualls can’t get left-handed hitters out and for that reason he’s a poor choice to start an inning late in a close game when he’s going to face them. Again again, bad scoring on the Ethier ball, but he faced three lefties in the frame and allowed two singles and a double. He would have gotten the switch-hitter Herrera on Fontenot’s error were it not for Fontenot’s error. The only out he got in the appearance came on an outfield assist.
Lefties are now hitting 357/413/702 against Qualls for the season. Really they are. That’s reason #2 why you can’t let Qualls face lefties late in a close game. Reason #1 why you can’t let Chad Qualls face lefties late in a close game is that you can’t let Chad Qualls face lefties late in a close game.
Overall the pen went three innings in the game, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
Savery threw 28 pitches in the game, Qualls 18 and Valdes 11. Valdes has thrown two days in a row. Qualls has pitched five of the last seven days, but only one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Harang went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Wigginton (5) Victorino (6) Fontenot (7) Mayberry (8) Schneider. Polanco on the bench again after getting spiked in game two of the set. Wigginton at third and Mayberry at first. Fontenot plays second with Galvis on the DL. Schneider catches the day game after a night game.
Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a single into center. Pierre was next and bunted with Rollins thrown out at second for the first out and Pierre safe at first. Pierre stole second and then moved up to third on a ground out by Pence. Wigginton struck out swinging 2-2 to leave him stranded.
Victorino reached on an infield single to start the second. Fontenot was next and moved Victorino up to third with a single into center, putting runners on the corners for Mayberry with nobody out. Mayberry struck out for the first out. Schneider struck out swinging with Fontenot caught trying to steal second to set the Phillies down.
No run for the Phillies after putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Mayberry and Schneider both strike out and Fontenot is caught stealing.
Hamels singled to center to start the third and moved to third when Rollins followed with a single. A throwing error by Castellanos in center allowed Rollins to take second, putting runners on second and third with nobody out for Pierre. Pierre grounded to the pitcher with the runners holding for the first out. Pence was next and chopped a ball to third. Herrera fielded and threw home, but throw was awful for an error. Hamels scored (1-0), Rollins took third and Pence was safe at first. Wigginton followed with a fly ball to center, deep enough for Rollins to tag and score, putting the Phillies up 2-0. A walk to Victorino put men on first and second for Fontenot and he singled to left, scoring Pence to make it 3-0 with men on first and third for Mayberry. Mayberry flew to center to leave both runners stranded.
The lead was cut to 3-1 when the Phils went in order in the fourth.
Pence and Wigginton singled back-to-back with one out in the fifth, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino grounded to second with Wigginton forced at second for the second out. With men on the corners, Fontenot popped out to Gordon in foul territory to leave them stranded.
The Phillies were down 4-3 when they went in order in the sixth. Thome hit for Hamels, who had thrown 107 pitches, and flew to left for the third out.
Pence singled with two outs in the seventh, but Wigginton grounded to short for the third out.
Fontenot singled off of righty Jamey Wright with one out in the eighth, but Mayberry struck out behind him. Against the righty, the right-handed Ruiz hit for the left-handed Schneider and flew to right.
The Phillies were down 8-3 when the hit against righty Shawn Tolleson in the ninth. Tolleson was making his major league debut. Luna hit for Valdes and walked. Rollins walked behind him. Righty Ronald Belisario took over for Tolleson. Pierre grounded to first and Pence hit into a double-play to end the game.
The Phillies didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk. He was 7-for-16 with a walk, a double, a triple and a home run in the four-game series. 251/301/346 for the season. 292/344/449 over his last 96 plate appearances. He end the day with an on-base percentage for the year of .300 or better for the first time since April 18.
Pierre was 0-for-5 with a stolen base and left five men on base. 1-for-13 in the series. 319/356/361 for the year. 278/293/333 over his last 78 plate appearances.
Pence 2-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-17 in the series with four singles and two RBI. He’s grounded into four double-plays in his last 32 at-bats. 266/331/485 on the year after going 4-for-his-last-21.
Wigginton 1-for-3 with an RBI and two errors at third. 6-for-14 with a double and a homer in the series. 272/346/424 on the year.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-14 with two walks and a home run in the series. 249/319/406 on the year. 159/255/250 over his last 51 plate appearances.
Fontenot was 3-for-4 with an error and an RBI. 3-for-7 with two walks in the series. 414/500/448 in 34 plate appearances for the year.
Mayberry 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and five men left on base. 1-for-11 with a double and four strikeouts in the series. 225/260/326 for the season. 198/261/235 against right-handed pitching for the year, which means you might want to look for someone else to start at first against righties for the time being. Now would be good.
Schneider was 0-for-3 in the game and 0-for-4 in the series. 258/281/403 for the year. He’s 3-for-his-last-20.
Blanton (4-6, 5.27) faces righty Jake Arrieta (2-7, 5.53) tonight in Baltimore. Blanton has allowed at least five earned runs in each of his last four starts, throwing to a 10.98 ERA in those outings while allowing ten home runs in 19 2/3 innings. Arrieta has gone 0-5 with a 7.96 ERA over his last six starts.