The Phillies got Roy Halladay back last night, but it was Hunter Pence and the bullpen that stole the show as the Phils topped LA 3-2 for their fourth straight win.
A Jimmy Rollins double in the game’s first at-bat helped get the Phils an early 1-0 lead. Halladay gave up a pair of runs in the second and left after five innings with the Phils still down 2-1. The pen didn’t budge after he left, though, and Hunter Pence delivered a two-out, two-run single in the top of the eighth to put the Phillies on top to stay.
Five relievers combined to throw four scoreless innings after Halladay left the game. The bullpen came into the game having thrown to a 7.00 ERA over its last 15 games and a 5.33 ERA over its last 77 games.
The Phillies are 41-51 on the year after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 last night. They have won four in a row and remain in last place in the NL East, 13 games behind the first place Nats. They have allowed four runs in their last two games, winning two one-run games in a row despite scoring three runs in each of the two games.
Halladay got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
Up 1-0, Halladay threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, but it took 18 pitches. Six to get unlikely leadoff hitter Bobby Abreu looking, five more to get Mark Ellis looking and seven to get Matt Kemp to fly to left.
Andre Ethier singled to right to start the second and moved to third on a double by Adam Kennedy. James Loney was next and the lefty lined a single into left field, scoring Ethier to tie the game at 1-1 and moving Kennedy up to third. Luis Cruz followed that with a single into center. Kennedy scored and LA led 2-1 with men on first and second and nobody out. AJ Ellis was next and lined to Utley for the first out with Utley throwing to first to double off Cruz. With pitcher Stephen Fife at the plate for his first career plate appearance, a wild pitch by Halladay allowed Loney to take third before Halladay got Fife looking to leave him stranded.
Another long inning for Halladay. Twenty pitches in the frame had him at 38 for the game after just two innings. The Dodgers hit him well in the frame. Three singles and a double. He struck out the pitcher in the first plate appearance of his career for one of them and got another on a bad base-running play by Cruz. The Ellis line drive was a soft liner — Cruz was way too far off of base and was doubled off easily.
Ellis singled with one out in the second, but Kemp grounded into a double-play behind him.
Kemp is a good guy to get out if you want to beat the Dodgers. So far in the series he’s 1-for-8 with a single and has grounded into two double-plays in the series.
Just ten pitches in the frame for Halladay.
He struck out Ethier and Kennedy in a 1-2-3 fourth.
With two outs in the fifth, the pitcher Fife hit a ball that Halladay handled, but Halladay’s throw to first was bad and Fife was safe on the error. Abreu grounded to first to leave Fife stranded.
Fife’s ball was chopped to the third base side of the mound. Halladay didn’t handle it cleanly then picked it up and threw in the dirt to first.
Schwimer started the sixth. He got the righties Ellis and Kemp for the first two outs. The lefty Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Ethier and hit him with a pitch. Kennedy flew to right for the third out.
I think there’s a lot to like there in a one-run game. Schwimer gets Kemp out. Then Manuel brings in the lefty to pitch to Ethier.
First outing for Schwimer after being charged with three runs while getting two outs against the Rockies. Horst was pitching for the first time since July 8. He has allowed one hit and two walks over 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his six appearances with the Phillies this year. Manuel doesn’t seem so impressed — see his first appearance since July 8.
Kendrick pitched the seventh. Ellis singled with two outs, but Kendrick got Gwynn to pop to Polanco to set LA down.
The bullpen needs all the help they can get and that’s a huge inning from Kendrick. Kendrick to the bullpen isn’t enough to fix what’s wrong, but it’s a start.
Kendrick was back to start the eighth with the Phils up 3-2. He got the first two hitters before Kemp singled to right. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Ethier and struck him out looking 3-2 to leave Kemp stranded.
Again, great job by the pen. Righties on righties and a big strikeout for Bastardo against the lefty Ethier.
Fantastic job out of the pen for Kendrick in the game. He got five huge outs in a one-run game and allowed two singles. Between one start and two reliefs appearances, he’s throw ten scoreless innings in July with an 0.70 ratio. He has a 6.23 ERA as a reliever this year with most of the ugly coming on May 9 against the Mets when he was charged with five runs in an inning. He has a 1.17 ERA as a reliever over 7 2/3 innings in his other six appearances.
Bastardo struck out the only batter he faced in the game. 5.10 ERA for the year and 8.22 ERA over his last 16 appearances since the end of May. Four lefties in the pen (Horst, Diekman, Savery and Bastardo) and Bastardo is still the guy facing lefties in a one-run game in the eighth.
With the Phils still up a run, Papelbon set the Dodgers down in order in the ninth. Righty Juan Rivera hit for pitcher Kenley Jansen and struck out looking 1-2 to end the game.
Papelbon was pitching for the second day in a row. He’s struck out six in 4 2/3 scoreless innings over his last four appearances.
Just a fantastic game for the bullpen. Halladay leaves after five and the relievers combine to throw four shutout innings in which they allow two singles and don’t walk a batter.
The Phillies lineup against righty Stephen Fife, making his major league debut, went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Pence (7) Pierre (8) Polanco. Polanco again against the righty with Fontenot on base. Pierre in left.
Rollins doubled to right to start the game and Victorino bunted him to third with the first out. Utley grounded to first for the second out with Rollins scoring to put the Phillies up 1-0. Howard grounded to Ellis for the third out.
Phils manufacture a run with a double, a bunt and a ground out to give them the early lead. I’d rather see Victorino try to get a hit, but if they were looking for one run they sure got it.
Pence walked with one out in the second and moved up to second when Pierre followed with a single to right. Polanco flew to right for the second out and Halladay grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.
Nothing for the Phils after putting two men on with one out.
Down 2-1, the Phillies went in order on three ground outs in the third.
Howard walked to start the fourth and took second on a wild pitch by Fife, but was left there when Ruiz and Pence both grounded out and Pierre flew to right.
Polanco singled softly to right to start the fifth and Halladay bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins struck out swinging and Victorino grounded out to leave him there.
Howard walked with one out in the sixth and again took second on a wild pitch with Ruiz at the plate. Ruiz flew to second for the second out. Pence was next and he singled into center, a little to the left field side of Kemp. Howard tried to score from second, but he’s really slow. Kemp’s throw was a little up the third base side of the plate and the play at the plate was very close, but Ellis dove back to apply the tag Howard was called out for the third out.
Very close play at the plate. Looked safe to me at the time. Howard is still very slow either way. Should be able to score on a single to center with two outs.
That was it for Fife in the game. He held the Phillies to a run on four hits and three walks over six innings.
Righty Josh Lindbloom set the Phillies down in order in the seventh. Pridie hit for with two outs and flew to center.
Pridie is 3-for-8 on the year and 1-for-4 as a pinch-hitter.
Righty Ronald Belisario started the eighth with the Dodgers still up a run. He came into the game with a 1.67 ERA and an 0.90 ratio for the year. He was pitching for the second straight day after needing just 11 pitches to strike out Ruiz, Pence and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 ninth in the first game of the set. Rollins and Victorino went down on a pair of ground balls to start the inning before Utley walked on four pitches. Belisario hit Howard in the foot 1-2 to put runners on first and second. Mayberry ran for Howard at first. Belisario hit Ruiz 3-2 to load the bases for Pence and righty Kenley Jansen came on to pitch to Pence. Pence hit a ball up the middle for a single. Utley and Mayberry both scored, putting the Phils up 3-2. Kemp threw Ruiz out going to third for the third out.
Pinch-running for Howard turns out to be a great idea. Second outfield assist of the game for Kemp. The Dodgers leave Belisario in to face the lefties Utley and Howard with two outs and neither of them on. He doesn’t get either of them out and both of them end up scoring (Howard in the person of Mayberry). Scott Elbert is the lefty in the pen for LA. He had thrown 21 pitches in game one of the set.
Ruiz was hit by a pitch for the 14th time this season in the inning. There’s only one player in either league other than Ruiz who has been hit by a pitch more than nine times this season — Josh Willingham has been hit 11 times for the Twins.
Jansen set the Phillies down in order in the ninth. Wigginton hit for Bastardo and flew to left for the third out.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout in the game. He’s 7-for-his-last-19 with five extra-base hits.
Victorino 0-for-3. He bunted Rollins over to third with the first out of the second inning, which allowed Rollins to score on Utley’s ground out. 6-for-his-last-15. Still hitting just 228/289/322 against right-handed pitching for the season.
Utley 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 6-for-his-last-36 with one walk. 7-for-34 against righties (.207).
Howard 0-for-1 with two walks and a hit by pitch. 3-for-21 at the plate (.138) with a .308 on-base percentage.
Ruiz 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch. He’s hitting .349 for the year and on-basing .411. All the hit by pitches (14) are helping to hide the fact that he’s not drawing nearly as many walks this year as he has in previous seasons. He’s only got 17 walks for the year — he’s walked just three more times than he’s been hit by pitch. With zero hit by pitches instead of 14, he’d been hitting .349 and on-basing .383 instead of hitting .349 and on-basing .411. He has .062 points of on-base percentage — .034 from walks and .028 from being hit by pitches. From 2009-2011, he hit .281 for the Phils and on-based .376. Of those .095 points of on-base percentage, about .010 came from being hit by pitches 20 times in 1,284 plate appearances and about .083 came from walking 150 times in those PA.
Pence 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. He came into the game 1-for-his-last-18.
Pierre 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 343/382/424 against right-handed pitchers for the season. 171/190/171 (7-for-41 with seven singles) against lefties.
Polanco 1-for-4 with a single. 4-for-his-last-36 (.111) with a walk and four singles.
Lee (1-6, 3.92) faces lefty Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.84) this afternoon. The Phillies have lost six of the last seven games that Lee has started and are 4-11 in his starts for the year. Both of his starts in July have been good — he’s 1-1 with a 2.57 for the month. Kershaw has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts. He’s allowed one home run in 32 1/3 innings over his last five outings.