Archive for June, 2012

After eight hints

Looking for a sign of life from the Phillies? The Phillies need a spark and the last two games against the miserable Rockies make you wonder if they might have found it. After pounding Colorado in the series opener, the Phillies rallied for two late last night for a 7-6 win.

Trailing by a run with two outs and nobody on in the ninth, five straight Phillies reached base against Colorado closer Rafael Betancourt. Ty Wigginton, who came into his at-bat 3-for-his-last-31, singled to left and came around to tie the game when Pence blasted a double high off the wall in the left field corner. Ruiz was walked intentionally before Victorino hit a ground ball to short that should have sent the game to extra-innings, but a hustling Victorino beat Marco Scutaro’s throw to first to keep the frame alive. Polanco followed and hit another ground ball to short and again wound up just safe, this time on Todd Helton’s error as the Colorado first baseman’s foot couldn’t quite find the bag in time.

It was the first time this season that the Phillies had won a game they were losing after eight innings.

The bad news is that Joe Blanton was awful again, allowing five runs, all five of which scored on the three home runs he allowed in the first four innings of the game. Blanton pitched to a 2.96 ERA in his first eight starts of the year. Since then he has made seven starts in which he has thrown to a 7.44 ERA, allowing 15 home runs in 42 1/3 innings. He has allowed at least five earned runs in six of his last seven outings.

The Phillies are 33-37 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 7-6 last night. They have won two in a row, but remain in last place in the NL East, eight games behind the first-place Nationals.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all home runs. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.

Carlos Gonzalez singled to center with two outs in the top of the first, but Blanton got Michael Cuddyer on a ground ball to second to end the frame.

The Phillies were up 1-0 when Blanton started the second. Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on first and second for Wilin Rosario. Rosario hit an 0-1 pitch out to center, putting Colorado up 3-1. Blanton struck pitcher Alex White out swinging for the second out and Tyler Colvin out swinging for the third.

Blanton started the third up 4-3. He got the first before Cuddyer hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, tying the game at 4-4. Todd Helton grounded to first for the third out.

Second time in two innings Blanton gave away the lead by allowing a home run.

With one out in the fourth and the game still tied, Chris Nelson homered to center. 5-4 Colorado. Blanton got the next two.

First time in one inning Blanton gave away the tie by allowing a home run.

With the score tied at 5-5, Blanton set the Rockies down in order in the fifth.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth and struck out Rosario and pitcher Jeremy Guthrie in the seventh.

Bastardo started the eighth. Switch-hitter Dexter Fowler hit for the lefty Tyler Colvin and walked. Scutaro lined to third before Gonzalez moved Fowler up to third with a single to right. Bastardo struck Cuddyer out swinging 1-2 for the second out before Gonzalez stole second. Helton fouled out to Polanco to leave the runners at second and third.

Huge strikeout for Bastardo to get the righty Cuddyer with one out and runners on first and third. He was pitching for the first time since June 13 and has allowed one run on five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings over his last seven appearances.

Papelbon started the ninth with the game still tied. He got the first two batters before Rosario doubled to right. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for the pitcher Matt Belisle and was walked intentionally. Pitcher Josh Outman ran for Giambi at first. Fowler was the next hitter for Colorado and he singled to right, scoring Rosario to put Colorado up 6-5 with men on first and third. Fowler stole second before Papelbon struck Scutaro out to leave runners on second and third.

Great job by Manuel to bring Papelbon into a non-save situation, but again Papelbon doesn’t pitch well. In 17 innings in save situations this year, Papelbon has yet to allow a run, pitching to an 0.00 ERA and an 0.58 ratio. In 10 1/3 innings in non-save situations, he has thrown to a 6.10 ERA with a 1.65 ratio.

Bastardo threw 31 pitches in the game and Papelbon 23.

The Phillies lineup against righty Alex White went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Pierre in left and Mayberry at first. Ruiz hits cleanup. Martinez at second with the lefty Fontenot on the bench.

Pierre tripled to left with one out in the bottom of the first and came in to score on a ground out by Pence, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz lined to right for the third out.

Polanco singled to center with one out in the second and the Phillies down 3-1. Mayberry followed that with a walk, bringing Martinez to the plate with two men on. Martinez hit a 1-0 pitch out to center, putting the Phils up 4-3. Blanton and Rollins both grounded out behind him to end the inning.

Martinez is a really bad hitter, don’t let the homer fool you, but a big swing there puts the Phils back on top after Rosario’s three-run shot in the top of the second puts them behind.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the bottom of the third and the game tied at 4-4. Victorino bunted for a hit, putting men on first and second for Polanco. Polanco grounded to the pitcher for the third out.

Mayberry doubled to right to start the fourth with the Phillies down 5-4. White got Martinez and Blanton on a pair of ground balls before lefty Matt Reynolds took over for White. Rollins blooped a double to right, scoring Mayberry to tie the game at 5-5. Pierre grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins’s double didn’t look like much, dropping just in front of a changing Cuddyer in right, but it got things even again. Mayberry delivers another extra-base hit that helps get the Phillies a run.

Righty Jeremy Guthrie set the Phillies down in order in the fifth.

Polanco led off the sixth and reached on an error by Scutaro at short, but Mayberry, Martinez and Blanton went in order behind him.

Scutaro was awful in the game and his defense would be a big factor on two plays in the ninth-inning rally. Polanco’s ball was hit in the hole between short and third and he didn’t backhand it cleanly.

Guthrie set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.

Righty Matt Belisle hit Ruiz to start the eighth. Victorino bunted him to second with the first out and Polanco was walked intentionally. Mayberry struck out swinging for the second out and Martinez grounded to first to leave the runners stranded.

Walking Polanco intentionally is a poor idea. The hot Mayberry can’t come through that time, striking out for the second out in a tie game with two men on.

The Phillies were down 6-5 when they started the ninth against righty Rafael Betancourt. Thome hit for Papelbon and grounded out hard to Helton at first for the first out. Rollins grounded to third for the second before Wigginton, who entered the game at first in the top of the eighth, singled to left. Pence was next and he ripped a 1-1 pitch down the line and off the top of the wall in left for a double. Wigginton scored to tie the game at 6-6. Ruiz was walked intentionally to pitch to Victorino. Victorino hit a ground ball to first, but beat Scutaro’s throw for an infield single that loaded the bases. Polanco was next and he hit a ball to short. Scutaro fielded moving towards second and threw to first. The throw was a little high and when Helton tried to get his foot down he missed first base. Polanco was safe, Pence scored and the game was over.

Big two-out hit for Wigginton, who has been struggling terribly. Pence hits a rocket off the wall to tie the game. Victorino’s ball wasn’t hit hard, but Scutaro stayed back on it a little bit. Great job by Victorino to run hard and beat it out. Scutaro’s throw on the ball Polanco hit to end the game was good enough, Helton should have made the play to send the game to extra-innings.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 14-for-his-last-35 (.400).

Pierre 1-for-4 with a triple. 9-for-his-last-25 (.360).

Pence was 1-for-5 with a game-tying double with two outs in the ninth and two RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-25.

Ruiz went 0-for-2 and walked twice.

Victorino 2-for-4. Big infield single in the ninth-inning rally. 8-for-his-last-36 (.222).

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a walk, a double and two strikeouts. 9-for-his-last-24 with seven extra-base hits.

Martinez 1-for-4 with a three-run homer to raise his average on the year to .182 after 33 at-bats.

Worley (3-3, 2.80) faces lefty Jeff Francis (0-1, 12.46) tonight. Worley has allowed one earned run in 13 innings over his last two starts. Francis has made just two appearances on the season, both starts and both of which didn’t go well. He’s allowed 18 hits in 8 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting .439 against him.


Phils hoping a journey of a thousand miles proves to start with a chance to hit against Colorado pitching

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.


And the hits keep coming and coming and coming

The biggest problem with the Phillies these days is not their awful defense or even that nobody, and by nobody I mean Victorino, Wigginton, Polanco, Rollins, Mayberry and Galvis all have at least 170 plate appearances for the year and an on-base percentage under .320, can get on base. It’s that the team is built on pitching and the pitching is terrible.

During April, the Phils were fourth in the NL in runs allowed. In May that dropped to 12th. So far in June they are 14th — only two teams, the Rockies and the Astros, have allowed more runs in June than the Phillies.

Here’s a look at the final numbers for the 2011 Phillie pitchers and the pace for the current staff:

ERA Ratio R ER H BB SO
2011 3.02 1.17 529 495 1320 404 1299
2012 4.00 1.25 708 646 1444 374 1327

The Phillies are on pace to allow 708 runs over 162 games. That’s 179 more than the 529 they allowed in 2011. The rate at which they have allowed unearned runs has nearly doubled from 2011. After allowing 34 unearned runs in 2011, they have already allowed 26 so far in 2012 and are on pace to allow 62 for the season.

So the defense is hurting the Phils a lot more than it did in 2011. But the Phillies are also on pace to allow 151 more earned runs than they did last year.

The Phillies are striking batters out at a higher rate in 2012 and allowing fewer walks. That leaves hits.

So far in 2012, opponents have hit 259/309/426 against the Phillies. In 2011 they hit 240/296/361.

Here are the percentage of batters that have gotten a hit, walk, strikeout, extra-base hit or home run against the Phillies this year and in 2011:

% H % BB % SO % XBH % HR
2012 23.8 6.2 21.8 8.6 3.0
2011 21.7 6.7 21.4 6.6 2.0

Again, more hits, including extra-base hits and home runs, but fewer walks and more strikeouts.

So far in 2012, opponents are hitting .259 against the Phils and slugging .426. That’s an isolated power of .167. In 2011, opponents hit .240 and slugged .361 against the Phillies. That’s an isolated power of .121. So far in 2012, the average hit surrendered by the Phils has gone for 1.64 bases. In 2011, the average hit went for 1.50 bases.

So not only are the Phillies allowing more hits overall, but the hits they are allowing are worse. The Phillies are currently on a pace to throw about 21 fewer innings than they did in 2011, but to allow 53 more doubles, 11 more triples and 61 more home runs.

The Phillies allowed 120 home runs in 2011. So far in 2012 they have allowed 76, putting them on pace to allow 181.

Against right-handed hitters, the Phillies have allowed more hits in 2012 than they did in 2011, but, more importantly, the hits they have allowed have been much worse. Righties are hitting just .248 against the Phillies after hitting .238 against them in 2011, but slugging .425 (isolated power of .177) after slugging .357 against them in 2011 (.119).

Lefties are also hitting for more power against the Phils in 2012, but the increase is not as dramatic. They are getting a lot more hits, though. Lefties are hitting .274 against the Phils in 2012 with an isolated power of .152 after hitting .243 against them in 2011 with an isolated power of .125.

Here’s how the percentages of hits, walks, strikeouts, extra-base hits and home run for 2011 and 2012 look broken down by what lefties and righties have done against the Phils:

% H % BB % SO % XBH % HR
2012 v R 22.9 5.3 22.7 9.2 3.3
2012 v L 24.7 7.2 20.8 7.9 2.6
2011 v R 21.7 5.8 22.0 6.4 2.0
2011 v R 21.8 8.1 20.4 6.7 1.9

So, again, the hits overall against lefties are up more, but extra-base hits and home runs are up more against righties.

Carlos Ruiz still way behind Molina and Posey in All-Star voting. Votechooch.com has the latest numbers and voting links.


Jay dismay

After scoring 26 runs while taking two of three in Minnesota, the Phillies came into their series with the Blue Jays in Toronto having raised hope they had finally turned their miserable skid around.

They hadn’t. The Blue Jays hammered the Phils in the set, winning all three. The Phillies didn’t score in the first game. Cliff Lee took a 5-2 lead into the eighth inning of game two and the Phils lost 6-5. Kyle Kendrick was terrible yesterday.

Over their last 28 games, Phillies starting pitchers have thrown to a 5.36 ERA with a 1.42 ratio. The Phillies are 10-18 in those games.

The Phillies are 31-37 on the year after losing to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 yesterday afternoon. The Blue Jays sweep the three-game series. The Phillies have lost three in a row and are 3-12 over their last 15 games. They are in last place in the NL East, nine games behind the first place Nationals.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks. Only five of the runs were earned. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run.

The Phillies have lost the last three games he has started. In those outings, Kendrick has thrown to 9.00 ERA with a 1.81 ratio.

Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus doubled back-to-back to start the bottom of the first. Rasmus’s double scored Lawrie to put Toronto up 1-0. Kendrick got ahead of Jose Bautista 0-2, but walked him to put two men on. Ruiz picked Bautista off of first for the first out before Kendrick struck Encarnacion out for the second. Kelly Johnson was next, though, and he singled into center, scoring Rasmus to make it 2-0. Yunel Escobar flew to center for the third out.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when Kendrick set the Blue Jays down in order in the second.

It was 2-2 when he threw a 1-2-3 third.

Encarnacion reached on an infield single to start the fourth, but Kendrick got Johnson to ground into a double-play behind him. Escobar singled into center and Yan Gomes was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second for Rajai Davis. Davis singled into center, scoring Escobar to make it 3-2. Kendrick got Jeff Mathis swinging to leave runners on first and second.

Kendrick walked Lawrie to start the fifth. Rasmus was next and he hit the first pitch from Kendrick out to center, extending the Toronto lead to 5-2. Kendrick got the next three.

A double, a home run and three RBI for the lefty Rasmus against Kendrick through the first five innings.

Kendrick set Toronto down in order in the sixth.

Mathis led off the seventh with a double to right. Lawrie flew to right for the first out. Diekman came in to pitch to the lefty Rasmus and Rasmus singled to right. Mathis might have held at third, but Pence didn’t handle the ball cleanly in right for another error. Mathis scored to make it 6-2 with one out and Rasmus on first. Diekman picked Rasmus off of first with Luna throwing to Rollins to apply the tag before Bautista flew to center for the third out.

Diekman has been charged with just one earned run over his last 8 2/3 innings, but he has a 1.85 ratio over those 11 appearances.

Papelbon pitched the eighth. He walked the leadoff man Encarnacion, but got the next three, striking out Escobar and Gomes for the second and third out.

Papelbon has a 1.23 ERA and an 0.82 ratio over 14 2/3 innings in his last 15 appearances.

The pen went 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the game, allowing a walk and a hit while striking out two. Papelbon threw 18 pitches and Diekman ten.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Brett Cecil went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Ruiz (7) Luna (8) Mayberry (9) Martinez. Thome again at DH against a lefty. Polanco at third, Mayberry in left and Luna at first. Martinez plays second with the lefty Fontenot on the bench.

The Phillies went in order in the first.

Down 2-0, Thome homered to right center on a 3-2 pitch to start the second, cutting the lead to 2-1. The Phils went in order behind him.

Only hit in the set for Thome, who was 1-for-12 in the set.

Mayberry led off the third and homered to left, tying the game at 2-2. Martinez and Rollins went down before Polanco drew a walk. Pence singled to left on a ball deflected by Lawrie at third, moving Polanco up to third. Thome grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Victorino singled to start the fourth. Ruiz was next and lined to short on a nice play by Escobar for the first out. Victorino stole second before Luna hit a ball into shallow right-center that was caught by a charging Bautista. Bautista threw to second where Victorino was easily doubled-off to set the Phillies down.

Not good base-runner by Victorino. Bautista didn’t dive for the ball or seem to have much trouble tracking it down.

Mayberry singled to start the fifth with the Phillies down 3-2. Martinez flew to center for the first out and Rollins struck out for the second. Polanco was next and hit a ball that Escobar didn’t handle for an error, putting runners on first and second with two down. Pence flew to left to leave them stranded.

Victorino singled off of lefty Luis Perez with one out in the sixth and the Phillies down 5-2. Ruiz flew to center for the second out and Luna popped to second for the third.

Perez set the Phillies down in order in the seventh. He set them down in order in the eighth with Toronto up 6-2.

Luna reached on an infield single off of righty Jason Frasor with two outs in the ninth. Mayberry moved him to second with another single, putting two men on for Martinez. The lefty Fontenot hit for Martinez and grounded to short to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 and struck out twice in the game. 3-for-13 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 255/303/365 for the year.

Polanco was 0-for-3 with a walk yesterday and 2-for-9 with a walk and a double in the series. 3-for-his-last-22 and hitting 278/307/359 for the season.

Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout and 3-for-12 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 281/347/476 for the year.

Thome was 1-for-4 with a home run and 1-for-12 with a homer in the series. The nine-game stretch of DH games is over for the Phillies — Thome hit 333/415/722 over 41 plate appearances in those games as the Phils went 3-6. He’s hitting 250/344/500 for the year.

Victorino 2-for-4 with a stolen base and doubled off of second yesterday. 3-for-12 in the series. 6-for-his-last-33 (.182). 248/319/402 on the year.

Ruiz was 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-6 with a walk and three strikeouts in the series. 354/416/566.

Luna 1-for-4 yesterday and in the series. 302/362/488 in 47 plate appearances with the Phils this year.

Mayberry 3-for-4 with his fifth home run of the year yesterday. 4-for-9 with two home runs in the series. 235/269/383 for the year. He came into the series 4-for-30 in June (.135).

Martinez 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-8 with two walks in the series. 5-for-25 with five singles and three walks for the year (200/286/200).

The Phillies don’t play today and will face the Rockies at home tomorrow night.


Blanton sics his better-pitching twin on Minnesota

After five straight terrible starts in a row in which he had thrown to a 9.91 ERA, Joe Blanton was fantastic last night, holding the Twins to a single run over nine innings as the Phils topped Minnesota 6-1.

The Phillies came into the contest having allowed at least five runs in each of their last seven games and an average of 7.14 runs per game over those seven.

Jim Thome delivered another enormous hit for the Phillies in the game, a three-run homer in the top of the third off of lefty starter Scott Diamond. Last night’s game was the sixth-straight DH game the Phillies have played. In those six, Thome has gone 11-for-24 with three homers and 13 RBI, putting up a 458/536/917 line and driving in a third of the 39 runs the Phillies have scored.

The Phillies are 31-34 on the year after beating the Minnesota Twins 6-1 last night. The Phillies take the series two games to one. They are in last place in the NL East, nine games behind the Nationals.

On the season, the Phillies have scored one more run than they have allowed (scored 283 and allowed 282). The Mets have also scored one more run than they have allowed (291 to 290), but the Mets are 35-29 and in second place in the NL East. The Marlins, a game over .500 and two games ahead of the Phils in the standings, have allowed 34 more runs than they have scored.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing a run over nine innings on seven hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

Ben Revere singled with one out in the bottom of the first and stole second before Blanton struck out Joe Mauer for the second out.

The Phillies led 1-0 when Blanton started the second. He got Justin Morneau for the first out before Trevor Plouffe hit an 0-2 pitch out to left, tying the game at 1-1. Blanton struck Chris Parmelee out swinging for the second out before Alexi Casilla doubled to right. Jamey Carroll lined softly to second to leave Casilla at first.

Plouffe was 5-for-13 with a double and three home runs in the series. Blanton made a terrible pitch to him way ahead in the count.

Up 4-1, Blanton set the Twins down in order in the third.

Morneau singled to center with one out in the fourth, but Blanton got the next two hitters behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Joe Mauer singled to right with one out in the sixth, but Blanton got Willingham on a fly ball to left and Morneau on a fly ball to center to leave him at first.

Casilla singled to right with two outs in the seventh. Carroll flew to center for the third out.

Blanton started the eighth up 5-1. Mauer reached on an infield single with two outs and took second on a wild pitch, but Blanton struck Willingham out looking 3-2 to leave him at second.

Up 6-1, Blanton set the Twins down in order in the ninth. Parmelee flew to center on Blanton’s 111th pitch of the game for the final out.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Scott Diamond went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Ruiz (7) Wigginton (8) Mayberry (9) Martinez. Mayberry in left with Pierre on the bench against the lefty. Thome continues to DH against the lefty. Wigginton at first and Martinez at second.

Pence singled with two outs in the first and Thome walked behind him, putting two men on for Victorino. Victorino popped to Plouffe in foul territory for the third out.

With one out in the second, Wigginton hit an 0-1 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Mayberry and Martinez went down behind him.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Rollins doubled to left to start the third. He moved up to third when Polanco grounded to second for the first out. Minnesota brought the infield in, but Pence drew a walk, putting runners on the corners for Thome. Thome hit a 2-0 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Victorino grounded out for the second out before Ruiz was hit by a pitch. Wigginton grounded to second for the third out.

Thome crushed the ball for another home run, this time against a lefty. First home run for Thome for the year against a lefty. He’s just 2-for-9 against them for the season.

Casilla made a great play in the inning to take a hit away from Victorino. Victorino hit the ball back up the middle. It was deflected and slowed by Diamond, but Casilla jumped on it and made a strong throw to first to nip Victorino.

Rollins singled with two outs in the fourth, but Polanco grounded to third to leave him there.

The Phils went in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

Righty Lester Oliveros set Martinez, Rollins and Polanco down in order in the seventh.

Oliveros walked Victorino with two outs in the eighth. Ruiz was next and doubled to left, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 5-1. Righty Alex Burnett took over for Oliveros and struck out Wigginton to end the frame.

Mayberry led off the ninth and righty Jeff Gray walked him in an 11-pitch at-bat. Martinez hit into a double-play behind him. Rollins reached on an infield single and stole second before Polanco singled into center, scoring Rollins to make it 6-1. Pence flew to center for the third out.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with a double in the game and 8-for-15 with three doubles in the series. 257/304/364 on the year. He has two walks in his last 97 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-5 with an RBI last night and 1-for-10 in the series. 280/306/360 for the season.

Pence was 1-for-4 with a walk. 4-for-13 with two walks in the series. 282/349/478. His isolated power of his last 51 plate appearances is zero — 15-for-47 (.319) with 15 singles.

Thome 1-for-3 with a walk, a home run and three RBI in the game. He was 5-for-11 with two walks, three home runs and nine RBI in the series. 295/392/545 for the year. On June 7 he was 2-for-20 on the year after going 0-for-1 against the Dodgers. Since then he’s gone 11-for-24 with two doubles and three home runs.

Victorino 0-for-3 to drop his average to .248. 2-for-13 with a walk and a double in the series. 230/305/400 over his last 224 plate appearances. 248/319/409 for the year.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double and hit by a pitch. 6-for-10 with three walks and four doubles in the series. 361/420/579 for the year.

Wigginton 1-for-4 with his seventh home run of the year. 1-for-9 in the series. 254/322/409 on the year.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a walk last night and 2-for-10 with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 222/259/340 for the year. Last night’s walk was his only walk in his last 42 plate appearances.

Martinez 0-for-4 last night. 3-for-12 with a walk in the series. 4-for-17 with four singles for the season (.235).

Worley (3-2, 3.00) faces righty Drew Hutchison (5-3, 4.66) tonight in Toronto. The Phillies have lost three of the last four games that Worley has started. In those starts he’s allowed 14 runs in 22 innings with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.55 ratio. The 21-year-old Hutchinson came into his last outing having allowed just one run in 14 innings in his two previous starts, but gave up five runs in 6 1/3 against the Braves. Through ten starts, he has nearly identical numbers against righties and lefties. Righties have hit 259/328/435 against him and lefties 258/328/433. That’s weird.


Results mixed, but really hard to watch, as Phils transition from a team built around starting pitching to a team built around nothing

The bad news is that the Phillies are going to need to excel at both scoring and preventing runs if they are going to make themselves a factor in the NL this year. The good news is they look like they might be halfway there — the offense pounded out nine runs last night, one more than their pitching allowed as the Phils topped the Twins 9-8.

The Phils aren’t spreading a whole lot of joy with their play these days, even when they win. Last night they scratched out a one-run win despite leads of 7-1 in the third inning and 9-3 in the fourth with Cole Hamels on the mound.

Over the last five games, the Phillies have scored 33 runs (6.60 runs per game). Over the last seven, they’ve scored 5.86 runs per game. The bad news is they’ve gone 2-5 over their last seven and that’s because the pitching is absolutely terrible. The Phillies have allowed 50 runs in their last seven games (7.14 per game) and at least five in all seven.

In the first two games of the series, the weak-hitting Twins have scored 19 runs against the Phillies.

Last night it was Hamels who couldn’t keep runs off the board. He has a 6.08 ERA over his last four starts and has allowed at least four runs in each of the four. His ERA has risen from 2.17 to 3.34 for the year over those four appearances.

The Phillies are 30-34 on the year after beating the Minnesota Twins 9-8 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the series. They are in fifth place in the NL East and 9 1/2 games out of first place. 2-9 in their last 11 games.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks. Only six of the runs were earned. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out six.

He started the bottom of the first with a 6-0 lead. Denard Span led off and singled into center. Ben Revere was next and grounded to second with Span forced at second for the first out. Hamels struck out Joe Mauer for the second out and got Josh Willingham on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

He got Justin Morneau on a fly ball to right for the first out in the second. Ryan Doumit struck out looking for the second out, but Trevor Plouffe followed and hit a 1-2 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 6-1. Brain Dozier flew to Victorino to set Minnesota down.

Jamey Carroll singled to right to start the third with the Phillies up 7-1. Span flew to center before Carroll stole second. Revere singled into right on a ball deflected by Martinez, putting runners on the corners with one out for Mauer. Mauer hit a ground ball to short. Rollins fielded and threw to Martinez at second for the second out, but Martinez’s relay to first was way offline on the right field side for an error. Carroll scored from third on the play (7-2), Revere went to third and Mauer wound up at second on the error. Willingham was the next batter and he grounded to third for the second out. Revere came in to score and cut the lead to 7-3. Hamels walked Morneau, putting runners on second and third, but struck Doumit out swinging 0-2 to leave them there.

Up 9-3, Hamels struck out Plouffe and Dozier while setting the Twins down in order in the fourth.

Span singled to start the fifth, but Hamels got Revere to hit into a double-play behind him. Mauer grounded to short for the third out.

Willingham led off the sixth and hit an 0-1 pitch out to center, cutting the lead to 9-4. Hamels got the next three.

Second home run in six innings for Hamels. Fortunately for the Phils they were both solo shots. Over his last six starts, he has allowed eight home runs in 41 2/3 innings. Over his first seven starts, he allowed three home runs in 47 1/3 innings. His ERA has risen from 2.28 to 3.34 over his last six.

Dozier doubled to start the seventh and Hamels walked Carroll behind him. Span was next and he slapped a ball the other way, down the third base line for a double that scored Dozier (9-5) and moved Carroll to third. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Revere with two down and men on second and third. Revere singled into left, scoring Carroll (9-6) and moving Span to third. Mauer followed that with a single into right. Span scored (9-7) and Revere moved up to second. A wild pitch by Bastardo moved the runners up to second and third. Bastardo got the righty Willingham swinging 3-2 for the first out. Morneau was next and hit a ground ball to second. Martinez threw him out at first, but Revere scored (9-8) and the Twins had a man on third with two outs for the switch-hitter Doumit. Bastardo struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Hamels faces three hitters in the inning, allowing two doubles and a walk. Bastardo faces five hitters in the frame, allowing singles to the first two before getting the next three. Hamels allows one run before he leaves with nobody out and men on second and third, and Bastardo allows the hits that plate those runners with the runs charged to Hamels (not that he has a lot to complain about with Bastardo entering the game with nobody out and men on second and third).

Bastardo is charged with run on two hits in the inning, raising his ERA to 2.53. Over his last five appearances, he has allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings while striking out 13. He got a huge strikeout of the righty Willingham for the first out with men on second and third and nobody out.

Qualls started the eighth with the Phillies still up a run. He struck Plouffe and Dozier both out swinging for the first two outs. The next hitter was Carroll and Qualls struck him out swinging too, but on a wild pitch that allowed Carroll to take first. Papelbon took over for Qualls and got the lefty Span on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Super double hooray for Manuel, who lets Qualls face three righties in a close game and Qualls strikes all three of them out. He then doesn’t let Qualls pitch to the lefty Span, instead bringing Papelbon in to get the final out of the eighth inning.

Qualls goes two thirds of an inning in the game, dropping his ERA on the year to 4.56. He’s made eight appearances so far in June and allowed runs in just one of them, but allowed four runs in a third of an inning the time he did. He has pitched for two days in a row.

Papelbon was back to pitch the ninth and got the Twins in order, getting Revere on a ground ball to second, Mauer swinging and Willingham on a pop to Martinez on a nice play tracking the ball down in shallow center with Victorino playing deep.

Papelbon goes 1 1/3 perfect innings in the game, dropping his ERA to 2.10. He’s allowed two runs in 13 2/3 innings over his last 14 appearances (1.32 ERA and 0.80 ratio).

Overall the pen goes three innings, allowing a run on two hits and no walks while striking out six. Bastardo allows hits that create runs charged to Hamels. Bastardo threw 23 pitches. Qualls has thrown two days in a row and threw 12 pitches in the game. Papelbon threw 11 pitches.

The Phillies lineup against righty PJ Walters went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Ruiz (7) Polanco (8) Mayberry (9) Martinez. Polanco returns to third base, hitting eighth. Thome at DH against the righty and Pierre in left. Mayberry plays first with Wigginton on the bench, coming into the game hitting 198/258/233 against righties for the year. Martinez at second with the lefty Fontenot on the bench.

Walters clearly wasn’t right to start the game. Rollins, Pierre and Pence all reached on singles before Thome hammered a single to right, scoring Rollins and Pierre to put the Phils up 2-0 with men on first and second. Righty Jeff Manship took over for Walters and got Victorino on a fly ball to center for the first out, but Ruiz was next and blooped a single into right. Pence scored (3-0) and Thome moved up to second. Polanco flew to left for the second out. It brought Mayberry to the plate with men on first and second. Mayberry quickly got behind in the count, but hammered a 1-2 pitch well out to left for a three-run homer, putting the Phils up 6-0. Martinez grounded to first for the third out.

Big swing for Mayberry, who hits hit first home run of the year off a right-handed pitcher and third overall.

Pence singled with two outs in the second and Thome walked behind him. Victorino grounded to second to end the frame.

It was 6-1 when the Phillies hit in the third. Ruiz led off with a double to center. Polanco grounded out behind him for the first out, but Mayberry was next and doubled down the third base line, scoring Ruiz to make it 7-1. Martinez flew to left for the second out and Rollins struck out for the third.

Four RBI for Mayberry in the first three innings on an RBI-double and a three-run homer, both off of righties.

Righty Anthony Swarzak started the fourth for Minnesota with the lead cut to 7-3. Pence singled with one out. Thome was next and he blasted a 2-1 pitch way out to center, putting the Phils up 9-3. Victorino grounded out behind Thome for the second out before Ruiz walked. Polanco grounded to second to end the inning.

Martinez walked with one out in the fifth, but Rollins hit into a double-play behind him.

Pierre singled to start the sixth, but Pence flew to right for the first out and Thome hit onto a double-play behind Pence.

Ruiz doubled off of Swarzak with one out in the seventh and the lead cut to 9-4. Polanco was next and hit a ball to short. Dozier handled it and threw to third where Ruiz was tagged out for the second out. Mayberry grounded to short for the third out.

Polanco hit the ball pretty hard, but right at Dozier. Dozier had an easy throw to third, where Ruiz was tagged out on a play that wasn’t very close. That’s one of those things you want to avoid when possible.

It was 9-8 when the Phils hit in the eighth. Righty Jeff Gray got Martinez and Rollins for the first two outs before Pierre singled to center. He took second on a balk before Pence grounded to short for the third out.

Lefty Glenn Perkins started the ninth. Thome led off and reached on an error by the pitcher. Fontenot ran for him at first and moved to third when Victorino doubled to left. Perkins walked the righty Ruiz intentionally to load the bases. Polanco grounded to third, with Plouffe fielding and throwing home to force Fontenot for the first out. Mayberry struck out swinging for the second and Martinez struck out swinging for the third.

No run for the Phillies after loading the bases with nobody out in the ninth inning of a one-run game. Polanco at least makes contact, grounding to third for the first out before Mayberry strikes out for the second. Mayberry strikes out against the lefty with one down and the bases loaded after two big swings against righties earlier in the game.

Thome hits for himself against the lefty to start the ninth after a big game with the bat. Wigginton was not available to hit, but the righty Luna presumably was.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts in the game. He’s 6-for-his-last-25 (.240). He has two walks and a .304 on-base percentage over his last 92 plate appearances.

Pierre was 3-for-5 to raise his average to .326. 7-for-his-last-17 with seven singles.

Pence was 3-for-5 with three singles. 14-for-his-last-35 (.400) with 14 singles.

Thome 2-for-4 with four RBI. 10-for-21 with two walks, two doubles, two home runs and ten RBI in the five-game stretch of DH games for the Phillies. 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts as a pinch-hitter. 12-for-31 (.387) when not a pinch-hitter for the year. The last five games for the Phils have been DH games. They have scored 33 runs, ten of which have been driven in by Thome. We don’t want to go too nuts about the offensive resurgence if it’s foundation has Thome driving in two runs a game and Thome won’t be on the field hardly at all a week or so from now.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a double and left four men on base. He’s 3-for-his-last-18.

Ruiz 3-for-3 with two doubles and two walks. 5-for-his-last-7 with three walks and three doubles.

He did it in front of Polanco, who went 0-for-5 and left eight men on base in his first plate appearances since June 5.

Mayberry 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and four RBI. He came into the game 2-for-22 in June.

Martinez 0-for-4 with a walk and an error. 4-for-13 on the season.

Blanton (5-6, 5.40) faces lefty Scott Diamond (5-1, 1.61) tonight. Blanton has a 9.91 ERA over his last five starts. In those outings he has allowed 11 home runs in 26 1/3 innings and opponents have hit .361 against him. His walk rate is the best it has been for his career — he’s walked just 12 hitters in 75 innings. He might want to try more walks and less throwing the ball over plate, cause what he’s doing right now isn’t working so well. Diamond hasn’t allowed an earned run in 13 innings over his last two starts. He’s made seven starts on the year and walked just four batters in 44 2/3 innings. He hasn’t walked a left-handed hitter this season.


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