Archive for July, 2012

A new day is Lindbloming

The Phillies have traded Shane Victorino to the Dodgers for right-handed pitchers Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin.

Victorino was taken by the Phillies in the 2005 Rule V draft from the Dodgers. He was offered back to the Dodgers and LA declined, so the Phils sent him to the minors. He made 19 plate appearances with the Phils in ’05 before playing regularly in 2006. From ’06 to ’12, Victorino got 3,958 plate appearances with the Phils in which he put up a 279/345/438 line, stealing 179 bases while getting caught just 39 times.

Victorino saw significant time at both corner outfield positions in ’06 and more than 900 innings in right in ’07 while Aaron Rowand roamed center for the Phils. Victorino took over as the primary guy in center field in 2008 and has played there through to this point in the 2012 season.

He won three Gold Gloves with the Phillies (’08, ’09 and ’10), was twice an All-Star (’09 and ’11) and twice finished in the top twenty in NL-MVP voting (’09 and ’11). In 2009 and 2011, he led the NL in triples. In 2011, he played to a fielding percentage of 1.000 in 1,150 2/3 innings in center field for the Phils.

His best year with the bat was 2011, when he posted a 279/355/491 line. His 2010 and 2012 seasons were marred by problems hitting against right-handed pitching. In 2010, coming off of a year when he hit 283/347/440 against righties, he posted a 235/306/386 line against them. So far in 2012 he has hit 242/299/346 against righties.

On October 2, 2008, Victorino hit a grand slam off of CC Sabathia in game two of the NLDS against the Brewers. He was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a grand slam in that game.

In game three of the ’08 NLCS against the Dodgers, Victorino gave Hiroki Kuroda the don’t-throw-the-ball-at-my-head gesture after Kuroda threw the ball at his head, which led led to an on-field incident after Victorino grounded out.

The next day, the Phils found themselves down 5-3 headed into the eighth inning. Victorino hit a two-run homer off of Cory Wade and three batters later Matt Stairs hit a memorable bomb off of Jonathan Broxton to put the Phils on top to stay.

In game five of the ’08 World Series, Victorino’s two-run single off of Scott Kazmir in the bottom of the first gave the Phils an early 2-0 lead.

He was fantastic in the first two rounds of the 2009 playoffs, going 13-for-36 (.361) in the NLDS and the NLCS combined before hitting .182 in the World Series against the Yankees. Mariano Rivera got him on a ground ball to second to end the final game of that series as the Yankees won game six 7-3.

Victorino struggled offensively in the post-season in 2010, hitting just .216 overall. He did make a fantastic defensive play in game three against the Reds, though, taking an RBI-double away from Brandon Phillips in the first inning of a game the Phils would win 2-0.

He hit .316 in the NLDS against the Cards in 2011, going 2-for-3 in game five with a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils.

Martin turned 23 in June. The Dodgers took him out of high school in the first round of the 2008 draft with the 15th pick (one pick ahead of Brett Lawrie and four ahead of Andrew Cashner). He was awful in 2009 and 2010, throwing to a 6.17 ERA over 208 2/3 innings between two levels. He’s been much better so far in 2012, making 20 starts in the Double-A Southern League in which he’s gone 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.27 ratio and striking out 112 in 118 innings.

Lindblom has been with the Dodgers all year, making 48 appearances for LA in which he has thrown to a 3.02 ERA with a 1.26 ratio and striking out 43 in 47 2/3 innings. He’s allowed nine home runs in 47 2/3 innings, which is too many. He has walked too many left-handed hitters this year — they are hitting .253 against him but on-basing .352. Much better results in LA than away from it for the year. He’s thrown to a 1.05 ERA in 26 appearances at home this year and 5.32 in his 22 appearances away from home. He turned 25 in June.

This says Domonic Brown is on his way to join the Phils and that a Pence deal is in the works.

Jon Heyman says Pence is on his way to San Francisco.

So does USA Today. Nobody seems to know what the Phils are getting yet, but a lot of people suggest it will include catcher Tommy Joseph.

There must be more, right? Right?

Joseph just turned 21 and has a 256/307/427 line in the minors. He hit 22 homers in 560 plate appearances last year in the Class A Advanced California League and 16 in 473 plate appearances in 2010 in the Class A South Atlantic League as an 18-year-old.

38 is a lot of homers to hit before the end of your 19-year-old season. .307 still isn’t a whole lot to on-base.

Jon Heyman says the Pence deal is 3-for-1 with the Phillies getting Nate Schierholtz, Joseph and maybe a pitcher. Getting better.

Todd Zolecki says the Phils would get Single-A right-handed reliever Seth Rosin in the Giants deal.

Jayson Stark says Cliff Lee won’t be dealt.

The Pence deal is done. The Phillies send Pence and cash to the Giants for Joseph, Schierholtz and Rosin. Let’s hope for the best, but I like the Victorino deal a whole lot better than that one.

Domonic Brown was recalled.


Oof

The Phillies came into Atlanta this weekend winners of four straight and riding about as high as a team 14 games out of first place can ride. It didn’t take long for the Braves to put an end to that, though, sweeping the Phils in three ugly games and dropping them 16 1/2 games out of first.

The offense was at the heart of the problems for the Phillies as they managed to score just four runs in the three-game set. Howard was 1-for-11 with eight strikeouts. Rollins and Utley combined to go 3-for-23. Wigginton and Fontenot started the first two games at third and went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in the series.

Hamels lasted just five innings in the opener, but it was long enough for him to walk six as the Phils lost 6-1. Blanton pitched well in the second game, allowing just two runs over seven innings, but Mike Minor was even better and the Phils fell 2-1.

Yesterday Halladay again didn’t look like Halladay and Diekman allowed three runs in less than an inning after he left. The Braves won 6-2.

The Phillies are 45-57 on the year after losing to the Atlanta Braves 6-2 yesterday afternoon. The Braves sweep the three-game set. The Phils are in last place in the NL East, 16 1/2 games behind the first place Nationals.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out seven.

Halladay hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning in any of his last five starts, throwing to a 7.20 ERA and allowing six home run in 25 innings. He has made three starts since returning from the DL and thrown to a 5.82 in those outings.

He got the first two in the bottom of the first before Jason Heyward homered to right, putting the Braves up 1-0. Chipper Jones followed with a single and Freddie Freeman walked, putting two men on for Dan Uggla. Uggla doubled to left, scoring Jones (2-0) and moving Freeman up to third. David Ross was next and struck out, but on a wild pitch that allowed Ross to reach base. With runners on the corners, Halladay got Paul Janish to pop to Howard in foul territory to end the inning.

Pitcher Tim Hudson reached on an infield single to start the second. He moved up to second on a ground out by Michael Bourn and up to third on a ground out by Martin Prado. Halladay struck out Heyward to leave him at third.

Chipper started the third with a homer to right. 3-0. Ross singled with two outs, but Halladay got Janish looking to leave Ross stranded.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Halladay set the Braves down in order in the fourth.

He struck out Heyward and Jones in a 1-2-3 fifth.

The Phillies had cut the lead to 3-2 when Halladay pitched the sixth. He again set Atlanta down in order.

Diekman started the seventh. Righty Tyler Pastornicky hit for pitcher Chad Durbin and singled to right. Bourn bunted him to second with the first out and Prado moved him to third with a single. Heyward was next and hit a ball that Diekman didn’t handle for an error. Pastornicky scored (4-2) and Prado went to second. Chipper was next and grounded to second with the runners moving up to second and third. Freeman followed with a single to left, scoring both of them. 6-2. Kendrick took over for Diekman and walked both Uggla and Ross to load the bases. He got Janish to pop to Howard in foul territory to end the inning.

None of the runs charged to Diekman were earned. He didn’t pitch well, though. He got one out that they gave him on a bunt. Other than that he faced five batters — three singled, one reached on an error and the other grounded out. He has allowed nine runs in 6 1/3 innings in his nine July appearances. Four of the nine runs that he has allowed have been unearned.

Kendrick walked two while getting just one out, but still hasn’t been charged with a run in 14 2/3 innings in July.

Papelbon pitched the eighth. He walked pinch-hitter Eric Hinske to start the frame, but got the next three behind him. Mayberry made a fantastic diving play coming in on a line drive hit by Heyward for the third out.

Papelbon has struck out five in three scoreless innings over his last three appearances.

Two innings overall for the pen in which they allow three runs, all unearned, on three hits and three walks while striking out two. Diekman threw 22 pitches, Papelbon 17 and Kendrick 13.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Hudson went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Nix (7) Pierre (8) Frandsen. Nix starts in right with Pence on the bench against the righty. The righty Frandsen starts at third with Fontenot on the bench. Pierre in left.

Victorino singled with one out in the top of the first. Utley flew to center for the second out before Victorino was thrown out trying to steal to end the frame.

Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the second.

Frandsen singled with one out in the third. Halladay struck out trying to bunt him to second for the second out. Rollins went down on a ball handled by the catcher Ross to set the Phillies down.

It was 3-0 when Victorino led off the fourth with a homer to right. 3-1. Utley, Howard and Ruiz went in order behind him.

First home run for Victorino since June 8.

Pierre and Frandsen singled back-to-back with one out in the fifth, putting runners on the corners. Again Halladay tried to bunt and couldn’t, fouling off strike three for the second out. Rollins flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

Nothing for the Phils after putting men on first and third with one out. Halladay 0-for-2 trying to bunt.

Victorino singled to start the sixth. Utley and Howard went down behind him before Victorino stole second. Ruiz singled to center, scoring Victorino to cut the lead to 3-2. Lefty Jonny Venters came in to pitch to Nix. Pence hit for Nix and moved Ruiz to second with a single. Mayberry hit for Pierre against the lefty Venters. Righty Chad Durbin came in to face Mayberry. The runners moved up to second and third on a passed ball before Mayberry grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh. Fontenot hit for Halladay and Durbin struck him out swinging for the second out.

The Phils were down 6-2 when they hit in the eighth. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty struck out Victorino and Howard while setting them down in order.

Pence singled off of righty Cristhian Martinez with one out in the ninth. Mayberry grounded into a double-play behind him to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 2-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. He’s hitting 251/309/397 on the season. He’s 8-for-his-last-48 (.167).

Victorino 3-for-4 in the game with a solo home run, which was the only extra-base hit for the Phillies. 6-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 385/429/635 over his last 58 plate appearances (20-for-52 with four walks, four doubles, three triples and a home run).

Utley 0-for-4 to drop his average on the year to .235. 1-for-11 with a walk and a home run in the series. 235/327/459 on the year. He’s hitting 222/323/426 against righties.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 1-for-11 with eight strikeouts in the series. 214/323/464 on the year.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with an RBI. 2-for-8 with a walk and a double in the series. 8-for-his-last-32 (.250). 342/407/569 on the year.

Nix 0-for-2 with a strikeout. 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the game. 302/362/528 for the year. 1-for-7 with four strikeouts since returning from the DL. Pence didn’t start but was 2-for-2 in the game and 4-for-9 in the series. 271/336/447 for the season.

Pierre 1-for-2 in the game and 1-for-5 in the series. 227/277/273 over his last 48 plate appearances. 306/346/373 for the year.

Frandsen 2-for-3 in his first action with the Phillies. Wigginton 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in the series. Fontenot was 0-for-3 in the series and struck out twice.

The Phillies don’t play today. Nats tomorrow.


Second half brings second wind for the Phils

The Phillies have been fantastic since the All-Star break, going 8-4 and winning their last four in a row in dramatic fashion. Here’s how some of the numbers before and after the break look:

Record RS/G RA/G SP ERA SP Ratio RP ERA RP Ratio
1st half 37-50 4.23 4.55 4.04 1.24 4.76 1.38
2nd half 8-4 4.67 4.58 4.30 1.27 3.86 1.26
Total 45-54 4.28 4.56 4.08 1.24 4.64 1.37

The Phillies have actually allowed more runs per game in their 12 games so far in the second half, but have had much better overall results because they’ve increased their runs scored per game by a lot more than their runs allowed per game has gone up.

The starters have been worse in the early part of the second half. The Phillies have gotten just one quality start in their last six games (Blanton in game three of the set with the Giants), but have gone 4-2 in those games while their starters have thrown to a 6.53 ERA. In those six games they’ve scored about 5.33 runs per game and their bullpen has thrown to a 1.89 ERA. The bullpen has been much better early in the second half, dropping nearly a full run off of their ERA in the 12 games.

The Phillies remain in an enormous hole, mostly because of an ugly stretch of 35 games from early June to mid-July. Here’s a look at what the Phillies did in those 35 games compared to what they’ve done the other 64 (the rest of the season):

Record RS/G RA/G SP ERA SP Ratio RP ERA RP Ratio
6/2 thru 7/13 9-26 4.09 5.34 4.91 1.36 5.11 1.46
Other games 36-28 4.39 4.13 3.64 1.19 4.38 1.31
Total 45-54 4.28 4.56 4.08 1.24 4.64 1.37

Everything went wrong for the Phils over those 35 games — they scored fewer runs and the starters and the relievers were both awful.

The numbers for the games not in that stretch look a lot better for the Phils. Offense is up and runs allowed overall is way down. The starters are good. The bullpen is still a problem, though. A 4.38 ERA with a 1.31 ratio isn’t where you want to be. Had the bullpen thrown to a 4.38 ERA for the year, that mark would still be just 12th best in the NL.

The Phillies pul Polanco on the DL and called up Kevin Frandsen.


Drama kings

The Phillies are apparently willing to do whatever it takes to deliver dramatic wins. Start Wigginton at third against righties no matter how bad he is at hitting righties or playing third. Let their lefties with ERAs up near five pitch to Ryan Braun as the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. The Phillies did it all yesterday and still came out with a win, scoring twice in the bottom of the tenth to beat the Brewers 7-6.

Worley cruised into the sixth inning with a 5-1 lead and after three straight nail biters it looked like the Phils were on their way to an easy win. Didn’t happen. Worley allowed two runs in the sixth on a Rickie Weeks homer and an RBI-double by Carlos Gomez, cutting the lead to 5-3. Manuel tried to use Bastardo to pitch the eighth despite a mountain of evidence going into the game that that isn’t going to work. There’s more now. Bastardo stayed in to face the righty Ryan Braun with two outs and Braun took him out of the yard for a two-run homer that tied the game at 5-5. A two-base error by Wigginton led to an unearned run off of Schwimer in the top of the tenth, putting the Phils behind 6-5. A walk to Mayberry and a double by Kratz put runners on second and third with one out in the tenth. Ruiz hit a sac fly to tie things up at 6-6 before a two-out walkoff single by Rollins gave the Phils a 7-6 win.

Manuel had a miserable game, starting Wigginton at third against a righty with Fontenot on the bench and leaving Bastardo in to face Braun. Wigginton made two errors and has made three in the last two games. His second yesterday to start the tenth looked like the biggest play of the game before the Phils rallied for two in the bottom of the frame. Bastardo has a 5.23 ERA for the year. He can’t be allowed to pitch to Ryan Braun as the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.

The Phillies are 45-54 on the year after beating the Milwaukee Brewers by a 7-6 score for the third straight game. The Phils sweep the series, but remain in last place in the NL East, 14 games behind the Nationals. They have won four in a row.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on ten hits and a walk. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

The Phillies didn’t have a quality start in the series. In the three games, the starters combined to throw to a 7.36 ERA and allowed 30 hits in 18 1/3 innings. The pen threw 9 2/3 innings in the three games, pitching to a 1.86 ERA with an 0.93 ratio. Remember this? In two of the three games, the Phillies won despite the fact that their starting pitcher put up a worse game score than the Milwaukee starter.

Worley got the first two hitters in the top of the first before Ryan Braun doubled to center. Aramis Ramirez popped to first to leave Braun stranded.

Braun was 5-for-9 in the series with a double and a home run through two games and one at-bat.

Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks singled back-to-back to start the top of the second, putting men on first and second for Martin Maldonado. Maldonado lined a single to right, scoring Hart to put Milwaukee up 1-0 with men on first and third. Cody Ransom bunted Maldonado up to second with the first out. Worley struck the pitcher Marco Estrada out swinging for the second out. Carlos Gomez grounded to short to leave the runners stranded.

The bunt ahead of the pitcher with nobody out and men on first and third was a gift. That’s a really bad idea. Worley hadn’t gotten an out in the inning.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Worley started the third. Nyjer Morgan led off with a single to center. Braun was next and hit a ball to third that Wigginton didn’t handle, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Ramirez grounded into a double-play and Hart flew to center to keep the Brewers off the board.

Second error in two games for Wigginton at third.

The Phillies led 3-1 when Worley hit Weeks with the first pitch of the fourth inning. Weeks stole second as Maldonado struck out looking for the first out. Worley walked Ransom, putting two men on for Estrada again. Estrada again struck out looking. Gomez flew to left to leave both runners stranded.

Estrada 0-for-2 with four men left on base through four innings.

The Phils were up 5-1 when Worley started the fifth. Braun doubled with one out, but Ramirez went down on a pop to Utley and Hart flew to center to leave him stranded.

Weeks led off the sixth and hit a 2-1 pitch from Worley out to left. 5-2. Worley struck out Maldonado for the first out before Ransom doubled to left. Lefty Travis Ishikawa hit for the pitcher Tyler Thornberg and Ishikawa moved Ransom up to third with a single. Gomez was next and he doubled to left, off the glove of a diving Pierre near the third base line. Ransom scored and Ishikawa moved up to third with the lead cut to 5-3. Manuel called on Kendrick to pitch to the lefty Morgan with one out and men on second and third. Morgan flew to right with the runners holding for the second out. Braun was next and Kendrick threw him three straight balls before walking him intentionally to load the bases. He got Ramirez on a fly ball to left to end the frame.

That worked out really well. For the record, I was not a fan of bringing Kendrick in to face the lefty Morgan with one out and men on second and third, especially given the four lefties in the pen, but whatever. Whoever came up with the don’t-throw-the-ball-anywhere-near-the-plate strategy for Braun’s at-bat did a nice job.

Weeks reached on an infield single off of Kendrick with one out in the seventh. Maldonado was next and hit a ground ball to third with Wigginton throwing to first for the second out as Weeks moved up to second. Kendrick got Ransom swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Kendrick great again, throwing another 1 2/3 innings without being charged with a run. He has now thrown 14 1/3 innings in July without being charged with a run, allowing eight hits and four walks (0.84 ratio).

Bastardo started the eighth and lefty Norichika Aoki hit for Livan Hernandez. Aoki went down swinging 2-2 for the first out. Gomez was next and lined a single to center. Righty Jeff Bianchi hit for the lefty Nyjer Morgan and hit a ball caught by a sliding Pence for the second out. It brought the righty Braun to the plate as the tying run and Bastardo stayed in to pitch to him. Braun hit a 2-1 pitch out to left, tying the game at 5-5. Bastardo got Ramirez on a ground ball to third to end the frame.

That’s atrocious. Schwimer had pitched two days in a row and the pitcher spot was due to lead off the bottom of the eighth, but you really don’t want Bastardo pitching to Braun there. Was nice of the Brewers to hit with a lefty against Bastardo for the first out.

Braun was 7-for-12 in the series with two walks, two doubles and two home runs.

Bastardo has a 12.15 ERA with a 1.50 ratio in July. He didn’t allow a home run in 14 2/3 innings in his first 20 appearances of the year through May 30. Since the start of June he’s thrown 18 innings and allowed six home runs.

Papelbon started the ninth. Hart led off with a single and stole second before Weeks singled into left, moving Hart up to third. Maldonado was next and bunted. Papelbon fielded and Hart was caught up between third and home. Papelbon threw to third and Hart was run down and tagged for the first out. It left one down and men on first and second for Ransom. Papelbon struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Aoki grounded to Utley for the third out.

Huge play on the bunt and Papelbon escapes after Milwaukee puts men on the corners with nobody out. He pitched two scoreless frames in the last two games of the set.

Schwimer started the tenth. Gomez was the first batter and reached on a two-base error by Wigginton. Switch-hitter Cesar Izturis hit for the pitcher John Axford and bunted Gomez to third with the first out. Braun was walked intentionally to put runners on the corners. Ramirez was next and popped a ball up — Utley made a running basket catch with his back to the infield, but Gomez tagged from third and scored ahead of the throw from Utley. 6-5 Milwaukee. Kratz threw Braun out trying to steal second to end the frame.

Good idea walking Braun intentionally. Bad idea playing Wigginton at third.

The two-base error by Wigginton was just a high popup to third that Wigginton dropped. Nice job by Gomez getting to second, cause that ball is caught a huge percentage of the time at the major league level and it was questionable fair/foul as well.

Schwimer pitches all three games in the series, allowing an unearned run on no hits and two walks. He got the wins in games two and three. He had a 7.56 ERA over his first nine appearances of the year. Since then he’s had 18 appearances in which he’s thrown to a 2.08 ERA over 17 1/3 innings.

The pen goes 4 2/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs, two of which were earned. Bastardo allows a two-run homer and Schwimer charged with the unearned run on the Wigginton misplay.

Schwimer has thrown three days in a row and Papelbon two. Kendrick threw 40 pitches on Sunday and 33 on Wednesday. Today’s off-day can’t hurt.

The Phillies lineup against righty Marco Estrada went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Wigginton (7) Pierre (8) Kratz. Ruiz on the bench for the day game. Pierre in left against the righty. Wigginton at third against the righty despite being terrible at third and against righties. 247/294/359 against righties for the season in 187 plate appearances. Fontenot on the bench despite being able to play third and hitting 342/388/405 against righties for the season coming into the game. Also, Wigginton was hitting .163 over his last 89 plate appearances. So that one doesn’t make a lot of sense to me even if Wigginton doesn’t have an awful game.

Utley walked with two outs and stole second. He was left there when Howard struck out swinging to end the inning.

Pierre doubled to right with two outs in the second and the Phillies down 1-0. Kratz was next and singled to left, scoring Pierre to tie the game at 1-1. Worley was next and moved Kratz up to second with a single. Rollins flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

Three RBI in his last two at-bats for Kratz.

Victorino singled to center to start the third and scored when Utley followed with a double. 2-1. Howard moved Utley up to third when he grounded softly to the pitcher for the first out. Pence was next and blooped a single to right, scoring Utley to make it 3-1. Wigginton struck out and Pierre flew to left to leave Pence stranded.

Kratz doubled to left to start the fourth and Worley bunted him to third with the first out. Rollins grounded to second for the first out with Kratz holding. Victorino followed with a walk, putting runners on the corners for Utley. Utley cleared the bases with a double to right center, putting the Phils up 5-1. Howard followed with a walk, but Pence struck out to leave runners on first and second.

No RBI for Rollins with one out and a runner on third.

Wigginton singled to left off of righty Tyler Thornberg to start the fourth. Pierre moved him to second with a single, but Kratz was next and grounded into a double-play. It left Wigginton on third with two outs for Worley. Worley flew to left to leave Wigginton stranded.

No runs for the Phils after putting runners on first and second with nobody out.

The lead was cut to 5-3 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Rollins and Victorino both went down before Utley hit a ball that went off of first base and into foul territory for a single. Howard moved Utley to third with another single, but Pence flew to right to leave them both stranded.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

It was 5-5 when the Phils hit against righty John Axford in the eighth. Nix hit for Bastardo and grounded to first for the first out. Rollins popped to Ransom for the second and Victorino grounded out for the third.

Axford struck out Utley, Howard and Pence in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phils were down 6-5 when they faced righty Francisco Rodriguez in the tenth. Wigginton led off and flew to center on the first pitch of his at-bat. Mayberry was next and drew walk. Kratz followed and doubled to left, putting men on second and third. Ruiz hit for Schwimer and Fontenot ran for Kratz at second. Ruiz hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Mayberry to tag and score, trying the game at 6-6. Rollins was next and he lined a single into center. Gomez took it moving to his right, but his throw home wasn’t close to getting Fontenot at the plate. Fontenot scored to give the Phils a 7-6 win.

Rodriguez came into the game having walked six batters over 1 2/3 innings in his last two outings. Not sure you want to be swinging first pitch.

Just another one of those rallies started by a walk by Mayberry and a double by Kratz. Ruiz gets the job done with a sac fly with the second out and Rollins delivers a key two-out hit.

Best game of the set for the Milwaukee bullpen, but they still allow two runs in 5 2/3 innings and lose the game. Rodriguez allowed six earned runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings in the series.

Rollins was 1-for-6 in the game. Made the one count, though, giving the Phils a walkoff win with his single in the bottom of the tenth. 2-for-13 in the series with two singles and two walks. He walked in the ninth inning of game one to start that rally. Got the walkoff single in the tenth in the final game of the series against the Giants. 253/311/401 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-8 with a double and two walks in the set. 253/319/387 for the season.

Utley 3-for-4 in the game with a walk, two doubles and three RBI. 4-for-9 with five walks, two doubles and a home run in the series. 257/349/473 for the year in 74 at-bats.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI. 5-for-12 with a two walks, a double and a home run in the series. 244/370/556 on the year. 2-for-16 against lefties. 310/412/655 against righties.

Pence 1-for-5 with an RBI and three strikeouts. 2-for-13 with a walk and two RBI in the series. Got the bloop single that won game two. 267/334/447 for the year. 143/208/204 in 49 at-bats since the All-Star break. 189/259/230 in 74 at-bats in July.

Wigginton 1-for-5 with a strikeout and two errors, one of which was a huge two-base dropped popup to start the top of the tenth. 2-for-12 with a walk and an RBI in the series. He hit the sac fly that scored Kratz to win game one of the set. 234/305/373 on the year. On-basing .292 against righties.

Pierre 2-for-4 with a double. 3-for-7 with a walk, a double and two stolen bases in the series. 308/349/376 for the season. He came into yesterday’s game on-basing .302 over his last 119 plate appearances. He hit .340 in his first 167 plate appearances of the year through June 3. .265 since June 3 (30-for-113).

Kratz 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. Just a monster series for Kratz: 4-for-6 with two doubles and a home run. Ran for Howard and scored the winning run in game one of the set. Hit a two-run pinch-hit homer to start the long rally back in game two. Two doubles in game three, including a huge one in the bottom of the tenth. Fontenot ran for him in game three and scored the run that won the game on the single by Rollins. Kratz is 6-for-16 on the season with two doubles and three home runs.

Mayberry walked in is only chance yesterday and was 2-for-8 with a walk and a double in the set. 237/276/397 on the year.

The Phillies don’t play today. They are in Atlanta tomorrow night.


No Zack attack

The Phillies did it again last night, roaring to life in the bottom of the eighth to score six runs and beat the Brewers 7-6.

Lee started the top of the eighth down 3-1, but allowed a solo homer and a two-run shot in the frame, putting the Phils in a 6-1 hole. The Phils feasted off the Milwaukee pen in the bottom of the inning, though, after a curious decision to pull Milwaukee starter Zack Greinke after 87 pitches. Erik Kratz delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer to get things started. With two outs and nobody on the Kratz blast looked like all the Phillies would get in the frame, but six straight batters reached for the Phils on four walks, a three-run double by Ruiz and a go-ahead bloop single by Pence. The Phils scored four more times and Papelbon nailed it down in the bottom of the inning.

The bullpen was good for the third straight game for the Phils as Schwimer and Papelbon combined to go two scoreless frames without allowing a hit or a walk. Over the last three games the bullpen has gone nine shutout innings, allowing two hits and four walks.

In the first two games of the set, the Phillies have scored 11 runs off of the Milwaukee bullpen in 3 2/3 innings. In last night’s game, Greinke had retired 14 in a row going back a third-inning single by Rollins before being pulled for the start of the eighth.

The Phillies are 44-54 on the year after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 last night. The Phils have won three in a row and are 7-4 since the All-Star break. They are still in last place in the NL East, 14 games behind the first place Nationals.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing six runs on 12 hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all home runs. He struck out six. Lee allows more than two home runs in a game for the first time this season. He last allowed four in a game on August 21, 2010 while pitching for the Rangers.

Norichika Aoki was the first batter of the game and singled to left. Carlos Gomez popped to third before Braun moved Aoki to second with a single. Aramis Ramirez was next and he singled to right. Aoki tried to score from second, but Pence threw him out at the plate for the second out. Braun moved up to second. Corey Hart was next and he singled to, this time to left. Braun scored to put Milwaukee up 1-0 with runners on the corners for Rickie Weeks. Weeks grounded to short to end the frame.

Lee gives up four hits in the inning. Gets one of three outs on the bases.

Martin Maldonado, Cesar Izturis and pitcher Zack Greinke went in order in the second with the game tied at 1-1.

Lee set the Brewers down in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Maldonado and Izturis singled back-to-back to start the fifth, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Greinke bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Lee walked to load the bases for Gomez. During the at-bat, Lee was off the rubber and Maldonado was way off of third. Lee threw over to third and Maldonado was caught, eventually run down and tagged out for the second out. Lee struck Gomez out swinging 0-2 to leave the bases loaded.

Bizarre play to get Maldonado, but it helped Lee get out of the jam.

Braun hit Lee’s first pitch of the sixth out to left, putting the Brewers up 2-1. Hart singled with one out, but Lee got Weeks to ground into a double-play behind him.

Lee struck out Maldonado and Izturis to start the seventh before Greinke homered to left. 3-1. Aoki lined to third for the third out.

Third career home run for Greinke.

Gomez homered to left on Lee’s first pitch of the eighth. 4-1. Braun followed that with a singled before Ramirez hit an 0-2 pitch out to left. 6-1. Schwimer took over for Lee and got the first two hitters he faced before Maldonado reached on an error by Wigginton. Izturis lined to short for the third out.

Lee allowed four home runs in the game. Three of them, Braun, Greinke and Gomez, came on the first pitch of the at-bat. Ramirez’s came 0-2.

Error by Wigginton makes Schwimer get four outs in the frame. He has a 2.20 ERA with a 1.16 ratio over his last 17 appearances.

Papelbon pitched the ninth with the Phils up 7-6 and needed just ten pitches to set Milwaukee down in order. Lefty George Kottarras hit for righty Jeff Bianchi and struck out swinging for the first out. Aoki flew to center for the second and Gomez struck out looking to end the game.

Schwimer’s good inning with the Phillies down by five runs didn’t look like it mattered at all at the time, but the Phils get two scoreless frames from the pen without allowing a hit or a walk.

Schwimer threw 16 pitches and Papelbon ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Zack Greinke went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Pence (7) Wigginton (8) Mayberry. Mayberry in left and Wigginton at third despite both being terrible against righties. Lefties Pierre and Fontenot on the bench.

The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Victorino doubled with one out. Utely was next and struck out on a ball not handled by Maldonado. Maldonado threw to first to retire Utley for the second out, but Victorino moved up to third. Howard was next and singled to left, scoring Victorino to tie the game at 1-1. Ruiz grounded to third for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Rollins singled with one out in the third, but Victorino and Utley went down behind him.

The Phils went in order in the fourth and fifth.

Down 2-1, Rollins, Victorino and Utley went in order in the sixth.

Down 3-1, Greinke set them down in order in the seventh.

It was 6-1 when righty Jose Veras started the eighth. Greinke had not been hit for in the top of the frame and had thrown just 87 pitches in the game. Wigginton led off with a single and moved up to second when Mayberry grounded to second for the first out. Nix hit for Schwimer. Lefty Manny Parra came in to pitch to Nix. Righty Erik Kratz hit for Nix and Kratz hit the first pitch from Parra out to left centet, cutting the lead to 6-3. Rollins lined to left for the second out. Parra walked Victorino and Utley back-to-back. They pulled off a double steal before Parra walked Howard, loading the bases. Fontenot ran for Howard. Righty Kameron Loe came in to pitch to Ruiz. Ruiz got behind in the count, but ripped a 1-2 pitch into the gap in left-center. The double cleared the bases, tying the game at 6-6. Pence was next and he got behind in the count as well, but made a weak swing at an outside 1-2 pitch and blooped a ball that fell for a single in shallow right field, just out of the reach of Weeks. Ruiz scored and the Phils led 7-6. Wigginton walked before Mayberry grounded to short to end the inning.

Rodriguez had a nightmare inning in the first game of the set, this time the Phils jump all over Parra. Parra’s outing went two-run homer, out, walk, walk, double-steal, walk. That’s a lot of walks.

With two outs, nobody on and the Phils down three runs, they score four on four walks, a double and a single.

The Phillies drew nine walks to help them win game one of the set. Last night they only had four walks in the game, but all four of them came with two outs in the eighth inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a double.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI.

Pence 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-26.

Wigginton 1-for-3 with a walk.

Mayberry 0-for-4. He’s now hitting 200/262/262 against righties for the season.

Worley (5-6, 3.82) faces righty Marco Estrada (0-4, 4.10) this afternoon. Worley has a 6.75 ERA with a 1.81 ratio so far in July. Two of his four starts have been awful and the other two solid. Opponents have hit .341 against him this month with ten walks in 22 2/3 innings. Estrada came off the DL at the end of June and has thrown to a 3.58 ERA in five appearances since. Since his return he has allowed 11 runs in 27 2/3 innings. Of those 11 runs, ten have scored on the six home runs he has allowed.

This says that the Phillies and Cole Hamels have agreed to a six-year, $144 million deal.


Eight is only usually enough

The Phils rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth last night to beat the Brewers 7-6. For the Phillies it was their first win this season in a game they trailed after eight innings.

Halladay made his second start since coming off the DL and struggled, allowing six runs in the first four innings. The Phils trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. They scratched out a run on a passed ball in the seventh to get within three. In the bottom of the ninth, they feasted on Francisco Rodriguez, scoring four times on three hits and three walks.

The Phillies walked nine times in the game.

For the second straight game, the Phillies got outstanding work from their bullpen and won late by a single run. Joe Savery got career win number one last night as Savery, Schwimer and Diekman combined to toss three shutout frames. Over the last two games, the bullpen has thrown seven innings without being charged with a run.

The Phillies are 43-54 on the year after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 last night. The Phils remain in last place in the NL East, 14 games behind the Nationals.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out three.

In two starts since his return, Halladay has allowed eight runs in 11 innings. Opponents have hit .302 against him. In his last four starts overall he has an 8.05 ERA.

Norichika Aoki was the first batter of the game and grounded to Utley for the first out. Halladay hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch and Gomez stole second before Ryan Braun grounded to short for the second out. Aramis Ramirez was next, though, and he doubled to right, scoring Gomez to put the Brewers up 1-0. Corey Hart followed and lined a single into left. Ramirez scored. 2-0. Halladay struck Rickie Weeks out swinging to leave Hart at first.

It was 2-2 when Halladay started the second. George Kottarras led off and Halladay walked him. Cesar Izturis was next and hit a ground ball to first. Howard fielded and threw to second where Kottarras was forced for the first out. The pitcher Randy Wolf bunted Izturis to second with the second out, but Halladay struck Aoki out to leave Izturis at second.

Gomez led off the second with a single and stole second. Braun was next and singled into right on a ball deflected by Howard, scoring Gomez to make it 3-2. Halladay got the next two with Braun moving up to second when Hart went down on a ball Halladay handled himself for the second out. Braun stole third before Halladay struck out Weeks to leave him stranded.

Wolf and Aoki singled back-to-back with two outs in the fourth, bringing Gomez to the plate with two outs and men on first and second. Gomez hit Halladay’s first pitch down the left field line and off the foul pole for a three-run homer. 6-2. Braun grounded to short for the third out.

Brewers get three in the frame despite having nobody on base, no runs and the pitcher coming up.

Ramirez singled to right to start the fifth. Halladay got the next two before picking Ramirez off of first with Howard throwing to Rollins to apply the tag.

Second time in the game that a Howard throw ends with an assist rather than E3 and people chasing the ball around in left field. Maybe it’s the dawn of a new era.

Halladay set Milwaukee down in order in the sixth.

Schwimer started the seventh. He walked Gomez with one out, but Ruiz threw Gomez out trying to steal second for the second out. Schwimer struck Braun out swinging 1-2 to set the Brewers down.

Schwimer has been charged with a run in just one of his last 12 appearances. He has a 2.35 ERA with a 1.24 ratio in 15 1/3 innings over his last 16 appearances.

Diekman started the eighth with the Phils down 6-3. He walked Weeks with two outs and the righty Martin Maldonado hit for the lefty Kottarras. Maldonado struck out looking to leave Weeks at first.

Diekman has a 7.94 ERA in July and has been charged with at least one run in three of his last five outings. For the year he has walked 15 in 20 2/3 innings.

Savery pitched the ninth and set Milwaukee down in order. Righty Cody Ransom hit for the pitcher John Axford and struck out for the second out.

First career win for Savery. He was pitching for the first time since being called up on July 13. Golly. That’s kind of a long time. He didn’t exactly make a good impression with the Phils in his previous stint, allowing nine earned runs in 5 1/3 innings over his final three outings.

Three scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow two walks but no hits.

Diekman threw 21 pitches, Schwimer 16 and Savery 14.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Randy Wolf went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Pence (7) Wigginton (8) Mayberry. Utley and Howard both play against the lefty. Polanco on the bench with Wigginton at third and Mayberry at first.

The Phillies were down 2-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Rollins fouled out to first for the first out and Victorino struck out for the second, but Utley was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center, cutting the lead to 2-1. Howard was next and hit a 1-0 pitch the opposite way for what was reviewed and eventually ruled another home run. 2-2. Ruiz walked before Pence struck out swinging to leave him at first.

Victorino struck out swinging 3-2. He tried to hold his swing 3-2 and it looked like the ball hit him, but he was called out on strikes for the second out. He left the game and Pierre came in to play left in the top of the second. Mayberry moved over to center.

Mayberry singled to right with one out and Halladay bunted him to second with the second out. Rollins lined to short to leave Mayberry at second.

Howard doubled to center with two outs in the third and the Phils down 3-2. Ruiz walked behind him to put two men on for Pence, but Pence grounded to short for the third out.

Howard 2-for-2 against the lefty with a double and a homer. The righty Pence still awful against lefties for the year — 0-for-2 with three men left on base through three innings.

The Phils were down 6-2 when they hit in the fourth. Mayberry doubled with one out, but Halladay struck out looking and Rollins flew to right to leave him stranded.

Utley walked with one out in the fifth. Howard flew to left for the second out and Ruiz flew to center to leave Utley at first.

The Phillies went in order in the sixth.

Rollins and Pierre were walked back-to-back by lefty Manny Parra with one out in the seventh. They pulled off a double-steal before a walk to Utley loaded the bases. With Howard at the plate, a passed ball allowed Rollins to score, cutting the lead to 6-3 with men on second and third. Howard struck out looking for the second out. Righty John Axford came in to pitch to Ruiz and struck him out to end the inning.

One run for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Howard strikes out looking for the second out with men on second and third.

Axford set Pence, Wigginton and Mayberry down in order in the eighth.

Righty Francisco Rodriguez started the ninth for Milwaukee. Nix hit for Savery and struck out for the first out. Rollins followed with a walk and moved to third when Pierre singled to right. Pierre stole second before Utley walked, loading the bases for Howard. Howard took two quick strikes on breaking balls, putting him behind in the count 0-2. For reasons unknown, Rodriguez threw a fastball over the plate and Howard singled into center, scoring Rollins and Pierre and cutting the lead to 6-5 with men on first and third. Ruiz lined a 1-1 pitch into left. Utley scored (6-6) and Howard moved up to second. Pence walked, loading the bases. Kratz ran for Howard at third. Wigginton took ball one then lined the 1-0 pitch to left. Braun took it moving to his right. He didn’t have much time to set his feet and his throw home was up the third base line. Kratz slid in safe to give the Phils a 7-6 win.

They sure stuck with Rodriguez a long time. He allowed three hits and three walks in the frame.

The 0-2 pitch to Howard was a surprise. Not running for Howard when he was the winning run on second and then running for him when he moved up to third didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. I thought Braun made a pretty good throw given the circumstances. Kratz would have been out if his thrown was on line. Howard might have been out on the throw Braun did get had he been trying to score on the play. Worked out well for the Phils.

Rollins was 0-for-3 and walked twice. He’s hitting .211 over his last 108 plate appearances.

Victorino 0-for-1 with a strikeout. He says he hopes to be able to play today.

Utley 1-for-2 with three walks and a homer. 8-for-his-last-30 with six walks, a triple and two home runs (267/405/533).

Howard 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 5-for-his-last-16 with three home runs.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI.

Pence 0-for-4 with a walk. 8-for-his-last-54 (.148) with seven singles and a home run. 233/303/433 against lefties for the season.

Wigginton was 0-for-4 and won the game with his RBI sac fly in the ninth. 0-for-his-last-15. 159/222/280 over his last 90 plate appearances.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double. 4-for-his-last-8 with three extra-base hits. Continues to do everything except walk against left-handed pitching — 284/288/569 for the year against lefties. He has not drawn a walk this season in 104 plate appearances against lefties.

Lee (1-6, 3.72) faces righty Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.57) tonight. Lee has a 2.05 ERA in his three starts in July. The Phillies are 1-7 in his last eight starts and 4-12 in his appearances for the year. Greinke has a 9.00 ERA and a 1.86 ratio over his last four starts. He recently started three straight Brewers’s games in a row — the first he was ejected after four pitches, the next day he threw three innings before the All-Star break and then he started the first game after the break.


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