Coming off of a miserable series in Houston, the Phils got right back in the swing of things last night, winning behind brilliant starting pitching as they topped the Mets 3-1.
Cliff Lee was fantastic, holding New York to a run over eight innings. Some shaky defense from the Mets helped the Phils score a run in the first without a hit or a walk. Rollins hit a ball just out in the fifth and Brown hit another just out in the seventh. New York scored their run in the bottom of the fifth on a bunt single, a sacrifice and a bloop single to left.
Lee continued what has been a tremendous run for him late in the season. He has a 1.63 ERA and an 0.97 ratio over his last seven starts and has struck out 54 in 49 2/3 innings in those outings. The Phillies have won the last five games he has started.
The Phillies are 74-74 on the year after beating the New York Mets 3-1 last night. They’re in third place in the NL East, 16 games behind the first-place Nationals, and 3 1/2 games out in the Wild Card hunt. The Playoff Odds report has them at 0.6%.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on seven hits and one walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out ten.
He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Ruben Tejada led off and singled to left. Lee struck out Daniel Murphy for the first out before David Wright singled to left, putting runners on first and second for Scott Hairston. Hairston grounded to third with Frandsen making a nice play to charge and field, then throwing to second to force Wright for the second out. Lee struck Lucas Duda out swinging 3-2 to leave the runners on the corners.
Lee struck out Jason Bay for the first out in the second before Andres Torres singled to left. Lee struck out Mike Nickeas and the pitcher RA Dickey to leave Torres at first.
Lee’s strikeout of Bay was the 1,500th of his career.
He struck Murphy out in a 1-2-3 third.
Duda doubled to right with one out in the fourth. Bay flew to right for the second out and Torres flew to center for the third.
The Phils led 2-0 when Lee started the fifth. Nickeas led off with a bunt singled and Duda bunted him to second with the first out. Tejada was next and grounded to second for the second out with Nickeas moving up to third. It brought Murphy to the plate and he blooped a single to left, scoring Nickeas to cut the lead to 2-1. Wright struck out looking to leave Murphy at first.
Lee struck out Hairston and Bay in a 1-2-3 sixth.
He started the seventh up 3-1. Torres grounded to third for the first out. Righty Ronny Cedeno hit for Nickeas and popped to Rollins for the second out. Righty Kelly Shoppach hit for the pitcher Dickey and singled to center. Tejada moved Shoppach up to second with a walk, but Lee got Murphy to line to Utley to leave both runners stranded.
Lee set Wright, Hairston and Duda down in order in the eighth.
Papelbon started the ninth, pitching for the first time since September 12. Lefty Jordany Valdespin hit for Bay and fouled out to Frandsen for the first out. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for Torres and flew to left for the second. Ike Davis hit for the pitcher Ramon Ramirez and struck out swinging 0-2 to end the game.
Nothing like Jordany Valdespin facing Papelbon to bring back ugly memories. On May 7, Valdespin hit a three-run homer off of Papelbon in the top of the ninth to break a 2-2 tie.
One scoreless inning for the pen in the game. Papelbon has an 0.73 ERA and an 0.81 ratio in 24 2/3 innings over his last 25 appearances. He’s allowed five runs in that period, three of which were unearned. He’s struck out 33.
He threw 12 pitches in the game. Looked great.
Again, Papelbon did not pitch in the four-game set with the Astros as the bullpen collapsed.
The Phillies lineup against righty RA Dickey went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Schierholtz (7) Brown (8) Frandsen. Pierre on the bench with Schierholtz in right and Brown in left. Mayberry moves up to second in the order, which is really high given that he can’t hit right-handed pitching. Frandsen plays third.
Rollins led off and struck out swinging on a ball not handled by Nickeas, allowing Rollins to take first. He moved up to second on a bad pickoff throw by Dickey that went for an error. Mayberry grounded softly to Dickey for the first out and Rollins moved up to third. Utley hit a ball to shallow center that was taken by Torres took for the second out. Rollins tagged and came home. Torres’s throw was terrible, Rollins was safe and the Phils led 1-0. Howard went down on a ball handled by Dickey to end the frame.
Bad defense in the inning helps the Phils score a run without a hit or a walk. Rollins reaches on passed ball, takes second on the error by Dickey and scores on a miserable throw from Torres in center.
Ruiz started the second with a single. Schierholtz struck out swinging for the first out before Ruiz took second on a balk. Brown struck out swinging for the second out. Dickey walked Frandsen intentionally to get to Lee. Lee grounded to first to set the Phillies down.
Nutty to walk Frandsen intentionally there. The Phils get another free base on the balk.
Rollins and Mayberry struck out to start the third before Utley singled to right. Howard flew to left to leave Utley at first.
Brown tripled to center with two outs in the fourth. Frandsen grounded to short to leave him at third.
First triple of the year for Brown and the second of his career.
With one out in the fifth, Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch to right center that was ruled a home run after review, putting the Phils up 2-0. Mayberry and Utley went down behind him.
Rollins’s home run was originally ruled a triple. Replays show the ball went off the roof of the New York pen and back onto the field and not off the top of the wall.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Howard and Ruiz struck out as the Phils went in order.
Brown led off the seventh and hit an 0-1 pitch off the top of the wall in right and just out for a home run. 3-1. Frandsen and Lee went down before Rollins drew a walk. Mayberry flew to left to leave Rollins at first.
Fourth home run of the year for Brown and his second extra-base hit in two at-bats. Tejada made a nice sliding play to take a hit away from Frandsen for the first out.
Lefty Robert Carson pitched the eighth for the Mets. Utley led off with a single, but Howard grounded into a double-play behind him. Ruiz grounded to third to set the Phillies down.
Lefty Josh Edgin struck out Schierholtz and Brown to start the ninth. Righty Ramon Ramirez came in to pitch to Frandsen. Frandsen popped to the catcher for the third out.
The Phillies didn’t use a pinch-hitter or a defensive substitution in the game — the only change for the game was Papelbon replacing Lee to pitch the ninth. Don’t know how often that happens. Not very.
Rollins was 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run. The Phillies scored three runs in the game. Rollins hit a home run to account for one of them. He scored another in the first as the Phillies scored without a hit or a walk. He’s 11-for-his-last-27 with six walks and four home runs (407/500/889). He has hit 19 home runs since June 6 (256/324/493 over 407 plate appearances).
Mayberry 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 2-for-his-last-11. He now has the same number of plate appearances on the year as a Phillie that Victorino does. Mayberry 258/313/422 in 413 plate appearances, Victorino 261/324/401. Victorino was a lot better defensively in center. Neither of them hit right-handed pitching at all, but Mayberry was a little worse awful. Victorino on-based .375 against lefties while Mayberry on-based .327, but with enormous power (although Victorino had very good power numbers against lefties as well).
Utley 2-for-3 with an RBI. 414/548/483 over his last 42 plate appearances with nine walks.
Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout and grounded into a double-play. 180/261/246 so far in September.
Ruiz 1-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-13.
Schierholtz 0-for-4. 3-for-19 since returning from the DL.
Brown 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and two strikeouts. 286/405/657 over his last 42 plate appearances. He suggests in this article that his success last night might have had something to do with letting it eat.
Frandsen 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s hitting .341 over his last 47 plate appearances.
Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.95) faces righty Matt Harvey (3-5, 2.92) tonight. Cloyd has struggled in two straight starts, allowing seven runs on 12 hits over seven innings. In each of his last two starts he has allowed a three-run homer. Lefties are hitting 379/455/621 against him so far. Harvey struck out ten Nationals in five innings in his most recent start. Cloyd and Harvey faced each other on August 29, which was Cloyd’s first start of the season. The Mets won that game 3-2.