The Phillies weren’t very good against lefties before they traded away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. They’re worse now and had no answer to lefty Ross Detwiler and the Nats last night. Detwiler and two relievers stymied the Phils, holding them to three singles as the Nats topped the Phillies 3-0.
Adam LaRoche hit a long home run off of Hamels in the second to give the Nats an early 1-0 lead. The Phillie defense was terrible in the third and the Nats scored two more times thanks to a trio of misplays, none of which was called an error. The Phillies had three hits in the game, all singles. They didn’t get a hit after the third inning.
The Phillies simply don’t have a lot of firepower to put in their lineup against left-handed pitching these days. Last night they started Ruiz, a right-handed hitter who has been great this year. Beyond that, though, things get ugly. Switch-hitter Jimmy Rollins led off — he’s on-basing .261 against lefties for the year. Kevin Frandsen hit second, he has a career on-base percentage against lefties of .281. Wigginton and his 200/317/388 line against lefties for the year hit fifth. Another righty who should hit lefties was next in Mayberry. He’s shown a lot of power against lefties this season and hit for average, but on-based just .274 against them. Michael Martinez curiously played center and hit eighth — his career line against lefties is 167/175/179. The other two spots in the lineup were filled by lefties Utley and Domonic Brown.
The Phillies are 47-58 on the year after losing to the Washington Nationals 3-0 last night. The Phillies take two of three in the series, but remain in last place in the NL East, 15 1/2 games out of first.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out nine. All three runs were earned, but Hamels was victimized by terrible defense in the third that led to two earned runs.
The Phillies have lost six of the last seven games that Hamels has started. Over those seven outings he has thrown to a 3.51 ERA with a 1.29 ratio and struck out 48 in 48 2/3 innings.
He walked Zimmerman with two outs in the first, but struck Michael Morse out swinging to leave Zimmerman at first.
Coming off an outing where he walked six, Hamels walks another in the first. Looked worrisome at the time, but Hamels wouldn’t walk another hitter in the game.
Adam LaRoche hit Hamels’s first pitch of the second way out to right. 1-0. Jayson Werth and Sandy Leon followed with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second for Steve Lombardozzi. Hamels struck Lombardozzi out for the second out, struck the pitcher Ross Detwiler out trying to bunt for the second and Danny Espinosa swinging to leave both runners stranded.
With one out in the third, Zimmerman hit a grounder to second that bounced high off the mound and to Utley. Utley tried to glove it but didn’t handle the ball cleanly. Zimmerman was safe and given a hit, but Utley should have made the play. Morse was next and he hit a ball hard to short, off the glove of Rollins for another single. Again the play should have been made and Rollins could have been charged with an error. Instead of the double-play, the Nats had men on first and second with one out. LaRoche was the next hitter and he lined a single into center. Zimmerman scored (2-0) and, for reasons unknown, Martinez threw the ball to third where he had no chance to get Morse. This allowed LaRoche to move up to second and meant there was no double-play when Werth followed with a ground ball to second. Instead, Morse scored to make it 3-0 and LaRoche moved up to third as Utley went to first for the second out. Hamels struck Leon out to leave LaRoche at third.
Utley’s mishandle should have been an error. The Rollins play was harder, but would have been an inning-ending double-play if he handled it cleanly. Martinez made a big mental mistake and took away the double-play on Werth’s ball.
Both runs charged to Hamels in the inning were earned.
Hamels struck out Detwiler and Espinosa in a 1-2-3 fourth.
He got Zimmerman in a 1-2-3 fifth.
LaRoche singled to center to start the sixth. Werth popped to Rollins before Leon doubled to left, moving LaRoche to third. Lombardozzi was next and lined a ball to right. Mayberry handled it for the second out. LaRoche tagged and tried to score, but Mayberry made a fantastic throw to the plate. Ruiz took it on one hop and applied the tag as LaRoche slid in to end the inning.
Nice throw. Mayberry’s defense has been really good.
Hamels set the Nationals down in order in the seventh. Righty Tyler Moore hit for Detwiler and struck out swinging for the first out.
Schwimer started the eighth and walked the leadoff man Zimmerman. He got the next two before walking Werth, putting two men on for Leon. Schwimer struck the switch-hitter Leon out swinging 2-2 to leave both runners stranded.
Frandsen made a nice diving play to snare a line drive hit by Morse for the first out.
Schwimer has walked 15 in 27 1/3 innings for the season, which is too many. He got away with it last night, though, and has a 2.14 ERA over his last 23 appearances after throwing to an 8.10 ERA in his first six outings. Over his last nine appearances he has walked seven in 7 2/3 innings.
He threw 28 pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Ross Detwiler went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Wigginton (6) Mayberry (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Martinez in center, Mayberry in right, Brown in left and lefties Schierholtz, Pierre and Nix on the bench. Ruiz returns to the lineup to catch. Howard gets the day off against the lefty with Wigginton at first. Detwiler has ugly left-right splits and has been tough on lefties, but you don’t want to see Martinez starting too often against anyone.
Utley singled with two outs in the first, but Ruiz grounded to second behind him to set the Phillies down.
Wigginton started the top of the second with a ground ball to third. Zimmerman bobbled twice and didn’t throw to first — Wigginton was safe on the error. Mayberry was next and grounded to third with Zimmerman going to second to force Wigginton for the first out. Brown was next and walked on five pitches, putting two men on for Martinez. Martinez singled into right and Mayberry tried to score from second, but Harper’s throw from right was good and beat Mayberry by a lot. Leon applied the tag for the second out. Hamels struck out looking to leave the runners on first and second.
Harper made a good throw, but Mayberry was out by a lot. Have to wonder how big a factor the fact that Hamels was due to hit next was in sending Mayberry.
The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the third. Frandsen reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Detwiler with one out. Utley walked behind him, putting two men on for Ruiz. Ruiz flew to right and Wigginton grounded to third to turn the Phillies away.
Down 3-0, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.
Detwiler set them down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
Lefty Sean Burnett threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Kratz hit for Hamels and grounded to short for the first out.
Kratz was the only righty on the bench for the Phils at the start of the game. They also had five lefties in Nix, Pierre, Howard, Schneider and Schierholtz. One isn’t an ideal number of righties to have on the bench.
Righty Tyler Clippard started the ninth with a three-run lead and walked Utley. Ruiz flew to center for the first out. Nix hit for Wigginton and popped out to Zimmerman for the second out. Schierholtz hit for Mayberry and walked as well, bringing Brown to the plate as the tying run. Howard hit for Brown. Clippard threw an 0-1 fastball past Howard and then struck him out looking at an 0-2 fastball on the inside of the plate.
Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. 3-for-13 in the series with a walk and three home runs. 250/308/413 for the season. 211/261/361 against left-handed pitchers for the year.
Frandsen 1-for-4. He played all three games of the set at third for the Phils, going 2-for-12 with a home run. 4-for-15 on the year.
Utley was 1-for-2 with two walks. 4-for-10 with four walks and a double in the series. 253/357/463 for the year. 276/417/517 over his last 76 plate appearances.
Ruiz was 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 1-for-9 with a double in the series. 335/399/559 on the year. 269/324/484 over his last 102 plate appearances.
Wigginton 0-for-3 to drop his average to .230. 1-for-4 in the series. 230/299/364 for the year. 162/222/263 over his last 108 plate appearances. We shouldn’t be counting on him to save the day against lefties — he’s hitting 200/317/388 against them for the year.
Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a pretty throw from the outfield. Started all three games of the series and went 3-for-11 with a double and a walk. 232/272/384 for the season.
Brown was 0-for-2 with a walk in the game and 1-for-7 in the series. So far he’s played 17 disaster-free innings in the outfield.
Not so much for Martinez, who was 1-for-3 with an unusual decision about where to throw the ball from center in the third inning. He’s hitting .146 in 51 plate appearances for the year. He’s not exactly a monster bat to add to your lineup against a left-handed pitcher given his career .175 on-base percentage against lefties with one extra-base hit (a double) and one walk in 81 plate appearances.
Blanton (8-9, 4.59) faces righty Ian Kennedy (9-8, 4.20) tonight in Philadelphia. Blanton has thrown to a 3.61 ERA over his last six starts. Kennedy has a 2.42 ERA over his last three outings. He’s seventh in the NL in fewest walks per nine innings at 1.733. Blanton leads the league in that category with 1.215.