The Phillies started the second half nicely in Colorado this weekend, taking two of three from the Rockies.
The Rockies won the opener 6-2 on Friday. The teams went into the bottom of the sixth tied at 1-1, but Colorado scored five runs charged to Lee and Schwimer in the sixth and seventh innings and rolled to a win. The bullpen nearly gave away game two of the set. The Phils led 6-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, but Brian Sanches coughed up a three-run homer and Manuel had to call on Papelbon to get the last five outs. Two runs in the top of the ninth extended the Phillies lead and they won 8-5.
Yesterday the Phillies won 5-1 behind strong pitching from Cole Hamels and a three-run homer from Hunter Pence.
The bullpen is still terrible and if Utley (on-basing .289 so far) and Howard (0-for-8 in the series) are going to pull the Phils out of their long, long funk it hasn’t happened so far. There were signs of life from Shane Victorino the set, though. After going 0-for-4 in the first two games of the series, Victorino was 3-for-8 with a walk, a double and two triples as the Phils took the last two. He had three extra-base hits in his last 121 plate appearances going into get two of the set.
The Phillies are 39-51 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 5-1 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one. They’re in fifth place in the NL East, 14 games behind the first-place Nationals.
Remember this? The Phils went into the second half needing to play to a .707 winning percentage the rest of the way if they were going to get to 90 wins for the year. Taking two out of three against the Rockies is nice, but it actually ups that needed winning percentage to .708 the rest of the way. The needed winning percentage in remaining games to hit various win marks is now tracked in the Start Log at the bottom of the blue band.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.07. The Phillies have won just one of the last four games he has started, but he’s thrown to a 2.48 ERA with a 1.07 ratio over those four outings.
He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Dexter Fowler led off with a single to left. Marco Scutaro was next and bunted. Hamels fielded, but his throw to first sailed over Wigginton’s head. Scutaro was safe and Fowler moved up to second, putting men on first and second for Carlos Gonzalez. Hamels struck Gonzalez out swinging for the first out. Ramon Hernandez was next and Hamels struck him out swinging at a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. Michael Cuddyer grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.
Nice job by Fontenot backing up Hamels’s throw to first and holing everyone to a single base. Hamels does well to pitch around his error after the first two batters of the inning reach base.
Tyler Colvin singled to start the second, but Hamels got the next three Rockies in order behind him.
Fowler led off the bottom of the third and singled to right. Hamels picked him off of first with Wigginton throwing to Rollins for the first out. Hamels got Scutaro and Gonzalez behind Fowler.
Up 2-0, Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fourth. Mayberry made a nice diving catch on a ball hit by Cuddyer for the second out.
Chris Nelson reached on an infield single to start the fifth with the Phils up 5-0, but Hamels got Josh Rutledge to ground into a double-play behind him. Switch-hitter Jonathan Herrera hit for the pitcher Drew Pomeranz, but Hamels got him on a ground ball to second to end the inning.
Hamels walked Scutaro with one out in the sixth and Gonzalez followed with a triple to center that scored Scutaro and cut the lead to 5-1. Hamels struck Hernandez out for the second out and got Cuddyer on a ground ball to second for the third.
Big strikeout for Hamels, getting Hernandez for the second out with Gonzalez on third helps keep the Rockies from getting more.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh.
Switch-hitter Eric Young hit for the pitcher Mike Ekstrom and singled to center to start the eighth. Hamels got the next three to turn Colorado away.
Bastardo got two ground balls and a strikeout in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Nice start to the second half for Bastardo. He came into the game having thrown to a 9.00 ERA in his 14 appearances since the end of June. He threw seven pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Drew Pomeranz went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Wigginton (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Fontenot. Utley and Howard both on the bench against the lefty after they both played the first two games of the series. Mayberry in left, Wigginton at first and Fontenot at second. Victorino continues to hit second with Polanco sixth against the lefty. Fontenot starts against the lefty with Utley resting.
Victorino tripled with one out in the top of the first. Pence struck out behind him for the second out, but Ruiz picked Pence up with a single into left that scored Victorino and put the Phils up 1-0. Wigginton drew a walk before Polanco grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.
The Phils went in order in the second and again in the third.
Ruiz led off the fourth with a double and moved up to third on a ground out by Wigginton. Polanco flew to right for the second out. Ruiz tagged and scored, putting the Phils up 2-0. Mayberry grounded to third for the third out.
Fontenot and Hamels both struck out to start the fifth before Rollins singled to left. An error on a pickoff throw by Pomeranz allowed Rollins to take second and Victorino walked to put two on for Pence. Pence hit a 2-1 pitch out to left for a three-run homer, putting the Phils up 5-0. Ruiz flew to center to set the Phillies down.
Huge swing off of Pence against a lefty. He came into the game hitting 247/326/442 against them for the year with just three home runs.
Righty Carlos Torres set the Phils down in order in the sixth.
Fontenot walked to start the seventh with the lead cut to 5-1. Hamels bunted him to second with the first out before Rollins walked. Victorino grounded to second for the second out and Pence flew to right for the third.
Righty Mike Ekstrom set the Phils down in order in the eighth.
Righty Rafael Betancourt started the ninth. Fontenot walked with one out. Howard hit for Hamels and grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.
Rollins was 1-for-3 in the game and 5-for-12 with a walk, two doubles and a triple in the series. He’s hitting 261/315/414 for the year.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple yesterday. 3-for-12 with a walk, a double and two triples in the series. 3-for-8 with a walk and three extra-base hits in the last two games after going 0-for-4 in the opener. 245/311/379 on the year. Rollins and Victorino hit one-two at the top of the order — Rollins leads that duo with a .315 on-base percentage for the season.
Pence 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, which was his only hit of the series. He was 1-for-12, dropping his line on the year to 278/344/477.
Ruiz was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 5-for-12 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 353/412/595 for the year. He has five home runs in his last 59 plate appearances.
Wigginton 0-for-3 with a walk in his only action of the set. 181/253/319 over his last 79 plate appearances. 244/317/393 on the season.
Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI. 1-for-7 in the series. 3-for-his-last-29 with a walk and three singles. 263/306/337.
Mayberry 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-7 with two strikeouts in the set. 234/270/374 for the year. He’s terrible against righties (207/267/273 for the year) but hitting .269 against lefties with a .505 slugging percentage. On-basing .274 against left-handed pitching with zero walks in 95 plate appearances. That’s zero with a z.
Fontenot was 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-6 with two walks in the series. 315/365/371 for the year. Should be starting close to every game against a righty given the combination of Polanco being Polanco and Utley needing extra rest.
Utley was 3-for-8 with three RBI in the series and his hitting 262/289/405 over 45 plate appearances for the year. Howard was 0-for-1 yesterday and 0-for-8 with two walks in the set. He’s 2-for-16 so far.
Blanton (7-8, 4.98) faces righty Nathan Eovaldi (1-5, 4.21) tonight in LA. Blanton has a 6.12 ERA over his last nine starts. Eovaldi had a 2.35 ERA over his first five starts of the year but has thrown to a 7.71 ERA over his last three outings.