Archive for June, 2012

Phils leave fewer than one might hope willing to question their fake toughness after loss to the Twins

Lots of fans hoping the Phils snap out of it these days, but it didn’t happen last night in Minnesota as the weak-hitting Twins hammered away at Phillie pitching for an 11-7 win.

The starting pitching continued to struggle for the Phils. Kyle Kendrick allowed home runs in each of the first two innings on his way to allowing six runs over four frames in the game.

Over the last 23 games, the Phillies have made eight quality starts. In those games the rotation has thrown to a 5.62 ERA with a 1.45 ratio and the Phils are 8-15.

The bullpen was almost as bad as Kendrick last night, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks over four innings as Savery and Rosenberg were both hit hard.

The Twins had 17 hits in eight innings in the game. The Phillies used five pitchers in the game and the first four of them all allowed two or more hits per inning in their outing.

The loss drops the Phils to five games under .500 for the year. On May 8, 2007, the Phillies lost to Arizona 3-2 to fall to 14-19 on the year. That’s the last time they were five games under .500.

All in all, the Phils picked a queer time to unveil their equally odd “Fake Tough” t-shirts before the game, a reference to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo’s comments after Hamels drilled Bryce Harper on May 6. The Phillies have gone 15-19 since that game while the first place Nats are 19-13.

The Phillies are 29-34 on the year after losing 11-7 to the Minnesota Twins last night. They have lost three in a row and nine of their last ten. They are in last place in the NL East, 9 1/2 games behind Washington.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out two. Over his last two starts he has allowed 11 runs in 9 2/3 innings.

Denard Span led off the bottom of the first and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right, putting the Twins up 1-0. Kendrick got the next three.

Ryan Doumit singled with one out in the second. Trevor Plouffe was next and hit a ball way out to left. 3-0. Kendrick got Brian Dozier on a fly ball to left before Jamey Carroll singled to right. Span walked behind Carroll, putting runners on first and second for Ben Revere. Revere singled to right, scoring Carroll (4-0) and moving Span to third. Joe Mauer followed that with a single and everyone moved up another base. Span scored and it was 5-0. Josh Willingham popped to second to finally end the inning.

Justin Morneau doubled to left to start the third, but Kendrick got the next three hitters to leave him stranded.

The lead was cut to 5-4 when Kendrick started the fourth. He walked Span with one out, but struck Revere out looking behind him for the second. Mauer was next, though, and he doubled off the wall in center, scoring Span to make it 6-4. Willingham grounded to third for the third out.

Savery started the fifth. Ryan Doumit singled to right with one out and moved up to third when the ball was misplayed by Pence. Plouffe followed with a single into center on a ball deflected by a diving Rollins. Doumit scored to make it 7-4. Savery got Dozier swinging for the second out before Carroll doubled into the left field corner, scoring Plouffe to extend the lead to 8-4. Span fouled out to Ruiz for the third out.

The lead had been cut to 8-7 when Savery started the sixth. Revere led off with a single, but was picked off of first with Wigginton throwing to Rollins to record the out. Savery struck Mauer out swinging for the second out before Willingham blasted a 3-2 pitch out to left center, making it 9-7. Morneau grounded to short for the third out.

Savery goes two innings in the game, allowing three runs on five hits and no walks to raise his ERA to 4.12. He has been charged with four runs in 2 1/3 innings over his last two appearances. Five is the most hits he has ever allowed in an appearance. Six of the last 13 batters he has faced have gotten hits (.462).

BJ Rosenberg started the seventh and got Doumit swinging for the first out before Plouffe doubled to center. Dozier struck out looking for the second out before Carroll singled into center, scoring Plouffe to make it 10-7. Diekman came in to pitch to Span and walked him, putting runners on first and second. Revere singled into right, scoring Carroll (11-7) and moving Span up to third. Mauer walked to load the bases, but Diekman got Willingham looking 0-2 to leave them loaded.

During Revere’s at-bat, Revere popped a foul near the stands. Fontenot was about to make the catch that would have ended the inning, but a young fan in Phillies gear reached out and caught the ball, taking the out that would have ended the inning away from the Phillies.

Rosenberg has now made two appearances with the Phils and both of them have been bad. He has allowed four runs over 1 2/3 innings.

Qualls pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out double to Doumit. Plouffe grounded out behind Doumit for the second out and Darin Mastroianni ran for Doumit at second. Dozier flew to center to end the inning.

Qualls has thrown three scoreless innings over two appearances since allowing four runs in a third of an inning against the Dodgers on June 7.

Overall the pen went four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks. Savery threw 37 pitches, Diekman 20 and Qualls 18.

The Phillies lineup against righty Nick Blackburn, who came into the start with a 7.75 ERA through eight outings on the year, went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Ruiz (8) Fontenot (9) Martinez. Pierre in left against the righty. Thome at DH. Wigginton at first and Fontenot at third. Martinez plays second. Mayberry on the bench against a righty, which is something.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and singled to right. Pierre walked behind him, but Pence was next and grounded into a double-play. Thome grounded to short to leave Rollins at third.

Ruiz doubled to center with two outs in the top of the second and the Phils down 1-0. Fontenot grounded to second to leave him stranded.

The Phillies were down 5-0 when they hit in the third. Rollins doubled with one out and moved to third on a ground out by Pierre. Pence grounded to short to leave him at third.

Thome led off the fourth with a walk and took second on a wild pitch before moving to third on a ground out by Victorino. Wigginton was next and grounded to third for the second out. Thome came home to score to cut the lead to 5-1. Ruiz and Fontenot singled back-to-back, putting runners on first and second for Martinez. Martinez singled to right, scoring Ruiz (5-2) and moving Fontenot up to third for Rollins. Rollins cleared the bases with a bloop double just foul down the left field line. 5-4. Pierre grounded to second to leave Rollins stranded.

Victorino singled with two outs in the fifth and the Phils down 6-4. Wigginton grounded to short for the third out.

Lefty Brian Duensing walked Victorino to start the sixth with the Phillies down 8-4. Fontenot struck out before Martinez moved Victorino up to second with a single. Rollins followed with a single to left that loaded the bases for Pierre. Mayberry hit for Pierre and righty Alex Burnett came in to pitch to him. Mayberry got behind in the count, but grounded to third on a 1-2 pitch. Everyone moved up a base and Rollins scored to cut the lead to 8-5 with two outs and men on second and third. Pence walked to load the bases again, this time for Thome. Thome lined a single to left, scoring Martinez and Rollins and moving Pence to third with the score 8-7. Victorino flew to left to leave the runners on the corners.

Good no-strikeout by Mayberry after he gets behind in the count against the righty. Big hit for Thome.

The Phillies trailed 9-7 when they hit in the seventh with righty Jared Burton was on the mound for the Twins. Fontenot and Martinez singled back-to-back with two outs, putting runners on the corners for Rollins. Rollins popped to short for the third out.

They were down 11-7 when lefty Glen Perkins struck out Mayberry and Pence to start the eighth. Thome singled to left with two outs, but Victorino fouled out to the catcher to end the frame.

Righty Matt Capps set Wigginton, Ruiz and Fontenot down in order in the ninth.

Rollins was 4-for-5 in the game with two doubles and two RBI. That’s his first four-hit game of the year and first since September 17, 2011 against the Cardinals. He’s hitting 339/361/627 over his last 61 plate appearances.

Pierre was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 6-for-his-last-29 (.207).

Pence was 0-for-4 with a walk and an error. He came into the game 6-for-his-last-9. He’s hitting .289 over his last 38 at-bats, but without an extra-base hit.

Thome was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. In the first four games of his nine-game stint as a DH he has gone 8-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run.

Victorino was 1-for-5 and left four men on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-13. 234/308/406 over his last 215 plate appearances. 236/309/338 against right-handed pitching for the year.

Wigginton was 0-for-5 with an RBI. Clever defensive positioning by the Phils helps keep him off the error board. He’s 3-for-his-last-22.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-30.

Fontenot was 2-for-5 with no errors at third. 261/320/391 over his last 25 plate appearances.

Martinez was 3-for-4 with three singles. He’s 4-for-9 with the Phillies so far this year.

Hamels (8-3, 2.93) faces righty PJ Walters (2-1, 4.42) tonight. Hamels threw to a 2.17 ERA through his first nine starts on the year. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last three, throwing to a 5.23 ERA in those outings overall. In each of his last two starts the Phillies lost the game after taking a three-run lead early in the game. Walters has made six starts on the year. He had a 2.96 ERA for the year after the first four but has allowed nine runs in 9 1/3 innings over his last two times out. He has walked way too many lefties this season, about 14.1% of the left-handed batters he has faced. Lefties are hitting .282 against him and on-basing .381.


Last 22 a bust for the Phils

On May 18, the Phillies scored four runs off of Boston starter Daniel Bard in the bottom of the first inning on their way to a 6-4 win. The win was the sixth in a row for the Phils and they were two games above .500 for the year at 21-19.

Since May 18, the Phillies have played 22 games in which they’ve won eight and lost 14. If you compare the first 40 games to the last 22, you’ll find these things are true:

  • Over their last 22 games, in which they Phils went 8-14, they scored more runs per game than they had in the first 40 games of the season during which they went 21-19.
  • Over the last 22 games, the bullpen was dramatically better than it was during the first 40. The relievers pitched more innings with much better results.

Here are the numbers on the runs scored per game and on the bullpen performance through May 18 and after May 18:

W L Runs R/G Pen IP/Game Pen ERA Pen Ratio
Thru 5/18/12 21 19 165 4.13 2.3 5.34 1.49
After 5/18/12 8 14 96 4.36 3.0 2.74 1.04

Over the last 22 games, the Phillies have scored more runs (4.36) than they did over the first 40 (4.13). More dramatic than that, though, is that the bullpen has seen a remarkable turnaround while the Phillies have gone 8-14. After throwing to an ERA over five through the first 40 games, the bullpen has been very good over the last 22 games.

But while the Phillies have scored about a quarter of a run more over the last 22 games (.23 more runs per game), the problem is that they’ve allowed a whole lot more than that. In games through May 18, the Phillies allowed 3.88 runs per game. Since May 18, they’ve allowed almost a full run more at 4.86 runs per game. If you score a quarter of a run more per game and allow nearly a full run more per game and play enough games, you’re results are going to get worse.

The table above shows the problem is not the bullpen. The defense has been awful over the last few games, but not awful enough to be the primary source of the problem. The Phillies allowed about .325 unearned runs per game in games 1-40 and about .318 unearned runs per game in games 41-62. That leaves the starting pitchers. And they have been absolutely terrible.

Here’s what starters have done as a group through May 18 and after May 18 as well as the won-loss record for the team:

W L SP IP SP IP/G ERA Ratio
Thru 5/18 21 19 267.7 6.69 2.93 1.09
After 5/18 8 14 133.7 6.08 5.39 1.41
Total 29 33 401.3 6.47 3.75 1.20

Over the last 22 games, the Phillies have made eight quality starts and their rotation has thrown to a 5.39 ERA.

Here are some numbers on the starters through and after May 18:

Games 1-40 Games 41-62
GS IP ERA Ratio GS IP ERA Ratio
Lee 5 33.7 4.54 1.37 5 37 1.95 0.76
Blanton 5 26.3 9.91 1.86 7 48 2.81 1.04
Kendrick 4 27 3.00 1.26 4 20 4.95 1.50
Hamels 4 28.7 3.77 1.08 8 54.3 2.48 1.03
Halladay 2 8 10.13 1.88 9 64.3 3.22 1.06
Worley 2 10 3.60 1.40 7 44 3.07 1.34
Total 22 133.7 5.39 1.41 40 267.7 2.93 1.09

Lee and Blanton were dramatically better in their starts in games 1-40. Hamels and Worley were better, but not as dramatically. Kendrick has been better in his last four starts than he was in his first four. A major issue, of course, is Halladay. During the first 40 games of the season, Halladay threw 64 1/3 innings. That was about 18% of the total innings thrown by Phillies pitchers in those games. Over the last 22 games, he threw about 4% of the total innings pitched by the Phils, making two starts, both of which were awful. He’s not coming back any time soon, either, so if the Phils are going to stay alive in 2012 they’re going to need to figure out how to stabilize the rotation without him and fast. Now would be good.


Not so perfect ten

After winning the opener in their series in Baltimore, the Phillies dropped the next two, both in extra-innings, to lose the series.

Yesterday they couldn’t hold a 4-1 lead with Cliff Lee on the mound and fell 5-4 in ten innings.

The defense was absolutely terrible in the set. The Phillies made five errors and have made eight over their last four games. In yesterday’s game, a Wigginton error in the bottom of the tenth put Adam Jones on base and Jones scored the game-winning run when the next batter, Matt Wieters, doubled off the wall in right.

Wigginton has made four errors over the last four games.

With the loss, the Phillies are eight games out of first place. They have lost ten more games than the first place Nationals.

The Phillies are 29-33 on the year after losing to the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 in ten innings yesterday afternoon. Baltimore wins the series two games to one.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out eight.

Adam Jones and Matt Wieters singled back-to-back with two outs in the bottom of the first, putting runners on the corners for Ronny Paulino. Paulino singled into left, scoring Jones to put Baltimore up 1-0 with men on first and second. Lee struck Mark Reynolds out looking to leave the runners stranded.

The ball hit by Wieters took a bad hop on Wigginton, who deflected the ball. Would have been a nice one to have.

Up 3-1, Lee set the O’s down in order in the second.

He struck out the side in the third, getting Robert Andino swinging, JJ Hardy looking and Jones swinging.

He started the fourth with a 4-1 lead. Wieters led off with a walk, but, thanks to a nice scoop by Luna at first, Lee got Paulino to hit into a double-play behind him. Reynolds followed that with a walk and moved to third when Steve Pearce doubled to left. Steve Tolleson hit a 1-2 pitch from Lee out to left for a three-run homer, tying the game at 4-4. Endy Chavez flew to right for the third out.

Big blow of the game comes from Tolleson, who delivers career home run number three way behind Lee in the count.

Jones and Wieters singled back-to-back with two outs in the fifth, but Lee struck Paulino out looking to leave them on the corners.

Lee struck out Pearce in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Schwimer started the seventh. Andino singled with one out. Hardy flew to center for the second out and Jones struck out swinging to leave him at first.

Schwimer was back for the eighth, striking Paulino and Reynolds both out looking while setting Baltimore down in order.

He pitched the ninth, too, walking Chavez with two outs but getting Paulino to pop to Luna to end the inning.

Fantastic job by Schwimer, who goes three shutout innings to drop his ERA on the year to 5.56. After being charged with runs in four of his first five appearances on the season, it was his fifth appearance in June and he’s allowed a run on two hits and two walks over five innings this month. Three innings ties him for the longest outing of his career. He also went three innings on August 21, 2011 in his first appearance with the Phils.

Savery started the tenth and got Hardy to pop to Rollins for the first out. Jones was next and reached on an error by Wigginton at third, putting a runner on first for Wieters. Wieters hit an 0-2 pitch high off the wall in right for a double, scoring Jones to give Baltimore a 5-4 win.

Savery goes just a third of an inning in the game with the run he allowed unearned due to the Wigginton error. It would have been better if Wieters hadn’t hit the ball off the wall, though. Savery came into the game having thrown 5 1/3 innings without been charged with a run over his last three outings.

Overall the pen went 3 1/3 innings in the game, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk while striking out four.

Schwimer threw 42 pitches in the game and Savery 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Hammel went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Ruiz (7) Wigginton (8) Luna (9) Martinez. Pierre in left against the righty with Thome at DH. Wigginton at third, Luna at first. The lefty Fontenot on the bench with the switch-hitter Martinez at second.

Pierre walked with one out in the top of the first and moved to second when Pierre followed with a single. Thome was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Victorino, but Victorino popped out to third for the second out. Ruiz struck out swinging to leave the bases loaded.

No run for the Phils after loading the bases with nobody out as Victorino pops out and Ruiz strikes out. Victorino can’t bring the runner in from third with one down.

The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Luna singled with one out, but Martinez flew to center behind him for the second. Rollins walked and Pierre singled on a softly hit ball deflected by the pitcher Hammel, loading the bases for Pence. Pence singled into center, scoring Luna and Rollins and moving Pierre up to second with the Phils on top 2-1. Thome followed that with a single the other way into left. Pierre scored and it was 3-1 with two down and men on first and second. Victorino walked, loading the bases again for Ruiz, but Ruiz grounded to short to leave them loaded.

Again Ruiz goes down with the bases loaded to end the inning. Six men left on base through two innings.

The Phillies went in order in the third.

Pierre singled with one out in the fourth and stole second before Pence walked. Thome hit a ball softly that Hammel handled, throwing to first for the first out while the runners moved up to second and third. Victorino walked again and again they were loaded for Ruiz. Pierre came home on a wild pitch, putting the Phils up 4-1, before Ruiz struck out to end the frame.

Great base running by Pierre to score on the wild pitch, which came with the count 0-2 on Ruiz. Close play at the plate. Again Ruiz can’t deliver the big hit with the bases loaded and two outs.

The game was tied at 4-4 when the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Hammel set them down in order in the sixth, too. Tolleson made a nice play diving to his right to field a ball hit by Pence and then a strong throw to nail Pence at first for the third out.

Lefty Troy Patton started the seventh for Baltimore. He got the first two before Ruiz singled to left. Wigginton grounded to short for the third out.

Timing, Carlos. Timing.

Martinez singled off of Patton with one out in the eighth. Rollins was next and grounded to third for the second out with Martinez moving up to second. Pierre flew to left to leave Martinez there.

Righty Jim Johnson set the Phillies down in the ninth.

Righty Darren O’Day started the tenth and hit Ruiz to start the inning. Wigginton moved Ruiz up to second with a ground out before Luna flew to right for the second out. Fontenot hit for Martinez and flew to right to leave Pierre at second.

The Phillies didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk in the game and 1-for-15 with a walk and a home run in the three-game series. He’s on-basing .219 against left-handed pitching for the season. 240/291/341 on the year. He came into the series on-basing .301 for the year, which was the first time his on-base percentage had been above .300 since mid-April.

Pierre was 2-for-4 with a walk in the game and 5-for-14 with a walk and a triple in the series. He’s hitting 322/359/372 for the season. 377/400/472 over his last 56 plate appearances.

Pence was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. 7-for-13 with a walk and seven singled in the series. 281/346/488 for the year. 375/409/525 so far in June.

Thome 1-for-4 with an RBI. He finally contributes in the series, going 6-for-13 with two doubles and a home run. 242/324/394 on the year in 37 plate appearances. Coming into the series he was 2-for-20 with two singles for the season.

Victorino 0-for-3 with two walks. 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and five RBI in the first game of the season. 1-for-8 with two walks in the last two games. 253/325/419 on the season. Rollins can’t hit lefties this year and Victorino can’t hit righties — Victorino is at 236/310/340 against right-handed pitching for the season.

Ruiz 1-for-4 and struck out twice. He left eight men on base in the game. 2-for-10 with an RBI in the series. 347/399/555 for the year. He’s 4-for-his-last-26 (.154) with four singles.

Wigginton was 0-for-5 and left two men on base. He made an error in the ninth that led to the unearned run that won the game for Baltimore. He has made four errors in the last four games. 2-for-14 with a double in the series. 262/332/407 on the year. 230/308/372 in 130 plate appearances since the start of May.

Luna was 1-for-5 with a strikeout. 3-for-9 with a walk and a home run in the series. 308/372/513 in 43 plate appearances so far this year.

Martinez was 1-for-4 yesterday and 1-for-5 with two strikeouts in the series in his first action of the year with the Phils. We’ll be seeing him at third base before long if Wigginton doesn’t start to catch the ball.

The Phillies don’t play today.


Home town scoring takes away error number four, but the most astute of observers suspect some issues with the Phillies anyway

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.


Phils hoping for Hollywood Hamels to help them out against LA after take five doesn’t go much better than the previous four

Kyle Kendrick didn’t get a lot of help from his bullpen last night, but he didn’t pitch very well either, allowing five runs over 5 2/3 innings as the Phils fell to the Dodgers.

The list of things that are wrong with the Phils these days is long, but one of them is the starting pitching. Look at the Start Log. The Phillies have six quality starts in their last 18 games. Over those 18 games, the starters have thrown to a 5.53 ERA with a 1.46 ratio. The team, built to win with starting pitching, has seen its starters throw to a 3.68 ERA for the year. That’s fifth best in the NL.

Kendrick walked five batters in the game, which the most walks allowed by a starting pitcher for the Phillies since Lee walked six Cardinals in his start on May 16, 2011.

Twice in last night’s game, once with Kendrick on the mound and once with Diekman on the mound, the Phillies walked a batter with a base open to load the bases and then walked the hitter behind him to force in a run.

The loss was the fifth in a row for the Phillies. Four of the five losses have been by one run. Over their last seven games, the Phillies have gone 2-5 but been outscored by just 32-30.

The Phillies are 28-30 on the season after losing to the LA Dodgers 6-5 last night. The Dodgers have won the first three games of the series. The Phillies have lost five in a row for the first time this season. They are six games out of first place for the first time since May 13.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits and five walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out six and his ERA for the year rose to 4.44.

Dee Gordon was the first batter of the game and Kendrick got him on a fly ball to center for the first out. Elian Herrera was the next batter and he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Ruiz threw Herrera out trying to steal second before Kendrick struck out Bobby Abreu to end the frame.

Kendrick set the Dodgers down in order in the second, getting Andre Ethier on a ground ball to second, AJ Ellis on a popup to second and James Loney on a grounder to second. The play that Galvis made on Ellis’s ball was fantastic. It was a popup into right field, which Galvis chased down and snared with a leaping effort for the second out.

He started the third up 1-0. Adam Kennedy led off with a single. Gwynn was next and he tripled to right despite a tremendous effort from Pence, who crashed into the wall and looked like he hurt his glove hand making the effort. Kennedy came around to score, tying the game at 1-1. The pitcher Chris Capuano was next and hit a ball that Mayberry didn’t handle for an error, allowing Gwynn to score and put LA up 2-1. Kendrick hit Gordon (maybe) with a pitch before Abreu walked, loading the bases with one out. He got Ethier on a fly ball to left for the second out and Ellis on a ground ball to third to leave the runners stranded.

Pence looked hurt after the Gwynn double, but stayed in the game.

Mayberry just booted a ground ball to first for his error.

Kendrick set LA down in order in the fourth.

Herrera walked with two outs in the fifth, but Kendrick got Abreu looking to leave him at first.

The Phils led 4-2 when Kendrick started the sixth. He struck Ethier out for the first out before Ellis singled into center. James Loney followed that with a double to left, moving Ellis up to third. Kendrick struck Kennedy out swinging for the second out and walked the lefty Gwynn intentionally to load the bases for the pitcher Capuano’s spot. Righty Jerry Hairston hit for Capuano and drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch, forcing in Ellis to make it 4-3. The lefty Valdes came in to pitch to the lefty Gordon and Gordon singled into right, scoring Loney and Gwynn (5-4 LA) and moving Hairston up to third. Herrera flew to center for the third out.

Kendrick walks Gwynn intentionally to load the bases, then walks Hairston behind him to force in a run. Valdes gives up a big two-out hit to Gordon, which puts two more runs on Kendrick’s line. Would have been a nice time for Valdes to have gotten the lefty out.

Valdes was back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Tenth appearance on the year for Valdes, who dropped his ERA to 2.25 with the outing. He allowed all three runs he’s given up on the year in one of the ten. Seven hits and a walk over 12 innings while striking out 12 (that’s an 0.67 ratio).

Bastardo started the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Loney. He struck Alex Castellanos out behind Loney for the first out and then got Gwynn swinging for the second. Loney took second on a wild pitch before Bastardo struck Hairston out swinging to leave him there.

Bastardo ended April with a 5.40 ERA through his first seven appearances. Since the end of April he’s made 16 appearances, throwing to a 1.80 ERA and 0.87 ratio while striking out 19 in 15 innings.

Diekman started the ninth with the Phillies still down a run. Herrera doubled to center with one out. Righty Juan Rivera hit for the pitcher Josh Lindblom and struck out swinging, but on a ball not handled by Ruiz. Rivera made it first and Herrera moved up to third, put runners on the corner with one down. Diekman struck Ethier out swinging for the second out. Diekman got behind the righty Ellis 3-1 and then put him on, loading the bases for the lefty Loney. Loney walked on five pitches, forcing in Herrera to made it 6-4. Schwimer came in to pitch to the righty Castellanos and got him on a ground ball to third to set the Dodgers down.

Second time in four innings the Phils put a guy on to load the bases and then walk the batter behind him to force in a run. Manuel could have brought in Qualls, Papelbon or Schwimer to face the righty Ellis, but instead let’s Diekman face him with a base available and it costs the Phillies.

The run Diekman allowed was unearned, thanks to the non-strikeout by Rivera, so his ERA for the year drops from 4.50 to 4.15. He didn’t pitch well, though, allowing a double and two walks while getting two outs. Schwimer retired the one batter he faced. He’s now made three appearances since being recalled, allowing one walk over 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The line for the pen in the game was better than the performance. They went 3 1/3 innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits and two walks. Valdes and Diekman both didn’t pitch well, though, with Valdes allowing a big hit in the sixth with the runs charged to Kendrick and Diekman losing control in the ninth.

Diekman threw 26 pitches in the game, Bastardo 21, Valdes 15 and Schwimer five.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Chris Capuano went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis. Rollins hits leadoff against the lefty despite a 207/220/276 line against left-handed pitching for the season. Wigginton at third after Polanco was spiked in the eighth inning the night before. Pierre plays left against the lefty with Mayberry at first.

Rollins and Pence struck out as the Phils went in order in the bottom of the first.

Victorino hit a 3-2 pitch out to right with one out in the second, putting the Phillies up 1-0. Wigginton and Mayberry went down behind him.

Down 2-1 in the third, Galvis and Kendrick both struck out as the Phils went in order.

Ruiz singled with two outs in the fourth, but Victorino popped to short for the third out.

Wigginton led off the fifth and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left center, tying the game at 2-2. Mayberry grounded to short for the first out. Galvis was next and he hurt himself running out a ground ball down the first base line. He came back to foul off one pitch, but took himself out of the game and Fontenot hit for him. Fontenot took the 3-2 pitch from Capuano low for a walk. Kendrick bunted Fontenot to second with the first out, bring Rollins to the plate with a man on second and Rollins hit a 2-2 pitch out to left for his third home run of the year. 4-2. Pierre went down on a ball handled by the pitcher for the third out.

First home run of the year for Rollins against a lefty. He ends the game hitting 213/226/328 against them for the year.

Righty Todd Coffey set the Phillies down in order in the sixth with LA leading 5-4.

Wigginton singled to left to start the seventh and Mayberry flew to left behind him. Lefty Scott Elbert came in to pitch to Fontenot and got him on a fly ball to left for the second out. Luna hit for Valdes and flew to center to leave Wigginton at first.

The Phils don’t move Wigginton past first after the leadoff single.

Righty Josh Lindblom started the eighth for LA. Pierre singled with one out, but Pence hit into a double-play behind him.

Righty Kenley Jansen started the ninth for the Dodgers with LA up 6-4, pitching for the third straight day. Ruiz was hit by a pitch in the twelfth pitch of his at-bat, but Victorino flew to center behind him for the first out. Ruiz took second on a wild pitch before Wigginton hammered a double to left, scoring Ruiz to cut the lead to 6-5. The Phils looked like they had Jansen on the ropes at this point, he had thrown 19 pitches in the frame already, thanks to Ruiz, pitching for the third day in a row. Thome hit for Mayberry and struck out looking. Fontenot was next and drew a walk, putting men on first and second with two down. Schneider hit for Schwimer and popped to Loney at first to end the game.

Thome wasn’t close to getting a hit off of the weary Jansen, swinging at and missing badly two of the first three pitches he saw before looking at a pitch with a lot of the plate for strike three.

Second day in a row the Phillies put a runner on base in the bottom of the ninth in a close game and the pinch-hitters go meekly. The pinch-hitters for the Phillies are now hitting 213/289/350 for the season. Thome is 0-for-9 as a pinch-hitter with seven strikeouts.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the game. He’s hitting 371/371/714 over his last 35 plate appearances.

Pierre was 1-for-4. 6-for-16 so far in June (.375).

Pence 0-for-4. Hopefully his left arm is okay after colliding with the wall in right on Gwynn’s triple. If you think things are bad now, you don’t want to see what happens if Hunter Pence goes down. He’s 2-for-his-last-16 with two singles and no walks.

Ruiz 1-for-3. 2-for-his-last-15 with two singles.

Victorino 1-for-4 with his seventh home run. 146/234/244 over his last 47 plate appearances.

Wigginton 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Did his best to help the Phillies tie the game in the ninth, but was left at second. Coming off a 1-for-10, he’s 5-for-his-last-8.

Mayberry 0-for-3 with an error. 5-for-his-last-33 with ten strikeouts (152/200/303 over 35 plate appearances).

Galvis was 0-for-1 and put on the DL with a back problem after the game. 190/203/259 over his last 60 plate appearances. Fontenot was 0-for-1 with two walks in the game. He’s hitting 360/467/400 in 30 plate appearances for the Phillies so far.

Hamels (8-2, 2.81) faces righty Aaron Harang (4-3, 3.90) this afternoon. Hamels has allowed nine earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over his last two starts, raising his ERA on the season from 2.17 to 2.81. Harang ended April with a 5.72 ERA, but five of his last six starts have been good as he’s dropped his ERA under four. He’s walked 24 batters in 64 2/3 innings for the season, which gives him his highest rate of walks per nine innings since 2002 when he walked 45 in 78 1/3 innings for the A’s.


You are number four

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.


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