The Phillies are going to need to win and win and win if they’re going to find a way to climb out of the enormous hole they’ve dug for themselves. Last night they took a step in the right direction, pounding the Rockies 7-2 behind a big night from Cole Hamels and big blasts by Mayberry and Ruiz.
The pitching in general and the starting pitching in particular have been a huge part of the recent skid for the Phils. With Halladay out, Hamels and Lee have been unable to stabilize the rotation. Coming into last night’s start, Hamels had thrown to a 6.08 ERA over his last four outings while Lee and Hamels had combined to throw to a 5.72 ERA in their six starts in June.
Hamels was great last night, though, holding the Rockies to a pair of runs over eight strong innings while the offense produced seven runs. Mayberry and Ruiz both doubled and hit a two-run homer. Ruiz has been fantastic all year long. Mayberry hasn’t though, and his recent production with the bat is most welcomed by the Phils. At the end of the day on June 12, Mayberry was 2-for-his-last-22 and hitting 221/255/317 in 153 plate appearances for the year. Since then he has gone 8-for-21 with two doubles and four home runs.
The Phillies are 32-37 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 7-2 last night. They are 4-12 over their last 16 games.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven.
Eric Young was the first batter of the game and reached on an infield single. Marco Scutaro flew to center before Young stole second. It put a man on second for Tyler Colvin and Colvin lined a single to right, scoring Young to put Colorado up 1-0. Michael Cuddyer flew to right for the second out before Hamels walked Todd Helton on four pitches, putting two men on for Jordan Pacheco. Pacheco flew to Mayberry to leave both runners stranded.
Hamels retired Chris Nelson on a fly ball to center for the first out in the second before Wilin Rosario lined a single to center. Hamels walked the pitcher Josh Outman on five pitches, putting men on first and second with one out. He struck Young out swinging and Scutaro out looking to leave them both stranded.
Hamels had allowed three hits and two walks through two innings. You want to avoid walking the pitcher on five pitches with men on base whenever possible. It’s always possible.
He struck Colvin, Cuddyer and Helton all out while setting Colorado down in order in the third.
Five strikeouts in a row.
It was 1-1 when Hamels set the Rockies down in order in the fourth.
The Phils led 3-1 when he threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
The Phillies led 4-1 when Hamels started the sixth. He got the first two before walking Helton. Pacheco was next and singled to center, moving Helton up to second. Nelson was next and he singled passed a diving Rollins and into center, scoring Helton to cut the lead to 4-2. Nelson tried to take second and was thrown out by Victorino to end the frame.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Switch-hitter Dexter Fowler hit for the pitcher Guillermo Moscoso and struck out for the second out.
The Phillies led 7-2 when Scutaro doubled to left-center off of Hamels to start the eighth. Colvin flew to center for the first out. Cuddyer flew to right for the second out with Scutaro moving up to third. Helton grounded to short to leave him stranded.
Hamels throws 113 pitches in the game, including nine in the eighth with a five-run lead.
Qualls pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Qualls dropped his ERA on the year to 4.23 with the appearance. He’s been charged with one or more runs in just one of his ten appearances in June, but allowed four runs in a third of an inning that time out. Over his last six appearances he’s allowed four hits and no walks over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He threw ten pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Josh Outman went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Martinez at second with the lefty Fontenot on the bench. Wigginton at first and Mayberry in left. Pierre on the bench against the lefty.
Down 1-0, Rollins doubled to left to start the bottom of the first. Polanco grounded to third for the first out before Pence moved Rollins up to third with a ground out to second. Ruiz grounded to third to leave Rollins stranded.
No run for the Phillies after the leadoff double by Rollins.
Victorino, Wigginton and Mayberry went in order in the second.
Rollins walked with two outs in the third and came around to score when Polanco followed with a double down the third base line, tying the game at 1-1. Pence fouled out to Helton to leave Polanco at second.
Young made a fantastic diving play in center to take away a hit from Hamels ahead of the Rollins walk. It probably cost the Phillies a run.
Victorino reached on an infield single with one out in the fourth on a ball deflected by Pacheco at third. Wigginton struck out for the second out, but Mayberry was next and he homered to left on a 2-0 pitch, putting the Phils up 3-1. Martinez flew to right for the third out.
Rollins singled with one out in the fifth and took second on a wild pitch before Polanco walked. It put men on first and second for Pence. Righty Guillermo Moscoso came into pitch to Pence and struck him out swinging for the second out. Ruiz was next and he doubled to left, scoring Rollins to put the Phils up 4-1 with men on second and third. Victorino struck out swinging to leave them stranded.
Moscoso set the Phillies down in order in the sixth with the lead cut to 4-2.
Hamels hit for himself to start the seventh and singled to right off of righty Adam Ottavino. Rollins followed that with a walk and Polanco bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Pence was next and chopped a ball to short. Hamels did a nice job to come home and score 5-2 with Rollins moving up to third. Ruiz was next and hit laced the first pitch he saw out to left. 7-2. Victorino struck out swinging for the third out.
Not a fan of much of that, but it worked out great for the Phillies. Hamels hits from himself to start the eighth despite having thrown 104 pitches in the game. Also don’t like bunting with your two-hitter with nobody out and a runner on second. Worked well.
Mayberry doubled to left off of lefty Matt Reynolds with one out in the ninth. Martinez flew to right for the second out. Luna hit for Hamels and struck out looking for the third.
Rollins was 2-for-2 in the game with a double and two walks. He’s hitting 344/394/590 over his last 66 plate appearances. 320/363/547 in June after hitting 239/294/308 through the end of May.
Polanco 1-for-2 with a walk, a double and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-24. Polanco and Rollins are both on-basing .312 for the season.
Pence was 0-for-4 with an RBI and five men left on base. 200/284/350 against left-handed pitching for the year. He’s a career 289/348/506 hitter against lefties.
Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI.
Victorino 1-for-4 and struck out three times. First time that Victorino has struck out three times in a game since September 7, 2011.
Wigginton 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s hitting 132/150/237 over his last 40 plate appearances.
Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-21 with four home runs and two doubles.
Martinez was 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-20. 193/257/269 for his career.
Joe Blanton (6-6, 4.93) faces righty Alex White (2-5, 5.56) tonight. Blanton broke a string of five atrocious outings in a row with a masterful start his last time out, throwing a complete game and holding the Twins to a run on seven hits and no walks. White has been pretty terrible this year, but dropped his ERA from 6.28 to 5.56 by throwing to a 4.32 ERA over his last three starts.
Freddy Galvis has been suspended for 50 games after a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.