Darin Ruf arrived on the Phillie scene last night, homering in his first career start as the Phils topped the Washington Nationals 6-3.
Ruf’s solo shot off of lefty Ross Detwiler tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second. Ruiz hit a three-run shot in a four-run fourth as the Phils pulled ahead 5-1. Hamels allowed a pair of runs on four hits in the fifth, cutting the lead to 5-3, but Brown hit the third homer of the game for the Phils in the sixth, a solo blast that put the Phils up to stay at 6-3.
For Ruf it was his 40th home run of the season and the first hit of his career above Double-A.
Hamels went just five innings in the game. Five relievers combined to throw four scoreless innings in which they allowed one single and no walks after he left.
Through July 6, the Phillie bullpen threw to a 4.84 ERA over 213 1/3 innings. Since July 6, the bullpen has thrown 178 1/3 innings in which they have posted a 2.88 ERA.
The Phillies are 78-76 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 6-3 last night. They are in third place in the NL East, 15 games out of first and 5 1/2 behind for the Wild Card.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. All seven hits were singles and he struck out six.
He struck Jayson Werth out swinging for the first out in the top of the first. Bryce Harper was next and singled to center. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a ground ball to third with Harper forced at second for the second out. Hamels struck Adam LaRoche out swinging to leave Zimmerman at first.
Hamels struck Michael Morse out swinging for the first out in the second. Ian Desmond flew to center for the second before Danny Espinosa walked. Espinosa stole second and scored when Kurt Suzuki singled into center, putting the Nats up 1-0. The pitcher Ross Detwiler grounded to short to set Washington down.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Hamels set the Nats down in order in the third.
Hamels started the fourth up 5-1. Morse singled to left with one out. Desmond flew to left for the second and Hamels struck out Espinosa for the third.
Suzuki led off the fifth with a single and Detwiler bunted him to second with the first out. Werth grounded to short for the second out with Suzuki holding. Harper was next, though, and he singled past a diving Rollins and into center. Suzuki scored, cutting the lead to 5-2, and Harper wound up at second as the throw came home. Zimmerman followed with another single, scoring Harper. 5-3. It brought LaRoche to the plate and he singled as well, putting men on first and second for Morse. Morse grounded to third to end the inning.
Harper winds up at second on his single cause Mayberry throws home and the ball goes off of Howard’s glove between the mound and second base. Mayberry had no chance to get Suzuki at the plate. It doesn’t matter if the next two hitters are going to single anyway, though. Would have mattered if the next one hitter was going to single.
Hamels allowed three straight hits after two outs and a man on second.
Lindblom set the Nationals down in order in the sixth.
Three up, three down for Lindblom, dropping his ERA with the Phils to 4.05. Opponents have hit just .189 against him in his 23 appearances since joining the team, but he has walked 15 in 20 innings.
De Fratus started the seventh up 6-3. He got switch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi, hitting for the pitcher Michael Gonzalez, for the first out and struck Werth out swinging for the second. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Harper and struck him out swinging to end the frame.
De Fratus faces two hitters and gets them both. He’s been charged with one run in 7 2/3 innings over nine appearances with the Phils.
Bastardo faces one lefty in the game and strikes out Harper. He has an 0.84 ERA in 10 2/3 innings over his last 14 appearances with 23 strikeouts.
Aumont set the Nats down in order in the eighth.
Aumont handles Zimmerman, LaRoche and Morse without a peep. That’s two outings back-to-back without allowing a hit or a walk over two scoreless frames since three worrisome appearances in a row against the Astros and Mets.
Papelbon started the ninth. He struck Desmond out for the first out and Espinosa out for the second before Suzuki singled into center. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Zach Duke and grounded to second to end the game.
Third hit of the game for Suzuki.
Papelbon has an 0.63 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings over his last 29 appearances.
Overall the pen goes four scoreless innings, allowing a single and no walks while striking out five. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row. Aumont threw 15 pitches in the game, Lindblom 13, Papelbon 12, De Fratus eight and Bastardo five.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Ross Detwiler went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Ruf (8) Frandsen. Ruf makes his first start for the Phillies, playing in left against the lefty. He was primarily a first baseman in the minors in 2012, but appeared in left 29 times for Double-A Reading. Mayberry hits second. He comes into the game 4-for-his-last-23 (.174) with four singles and no walks.
Utley singled to left with two outs in the bottom of the first. Howard struck out to leave him stranded.
With two outs in the bottom of the second and the Phils down 1-0, Ruf hit a 3-2 pitch from Detwiler out to left, tying the game at 1-1. Frandsen followed with a double to center and Hamels walked to put two men on for Rollins. Rollins popped to first to leave both runners stranded.
First career hit for Ruf and he makes it a big one. The Phils gave him the extended silent treatment in the dugout after the blast. Ruf got ahead in the count 3-0 before hammering the 3-2 pitch out to left.
Walks to Mayberry and Utley started the third, putting two men on for Howard. Howard singled to right, scoring Mayberry and moving Utley up to second with the Phils on top 2-1. Ruiz was next and he hit a 2-0 pitch out to left for a three-run homer. 5-1. Brown, Ruf and Frandsen went in order behind him.
Ruf struck out swinging for the second out for career strikeout number one. I think it’s safe to say there are more to come.
Ruf’s homer gets all the attention in the game, but the three-run homer by Ruiz is really the big swing of the day for the Phils.
The Phils went in order in the fourth.
The lead was cut to 5-3 when they went in order in the fifth.
Brown hit the first pitch from righty Craig Stammen out to right to start the bottom of the sixth, extending the Phillie lead to 6-3. Ruf followed with a single to right and Frandsen flew to center for the first out. Schierholtz hit for Lindblom and walked. Rollins walked as well and the bases were loaded for Mayberry. Stammen struck Mayberry out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Lefty Michael Gonzalez came in to pitch to Utley and got Utley on a ball hit hard to LaRoche at first to end the inning.
Big strikeout for Mayberry with one out and the bases loaded keeps the Phils from getting more in the inning.
They get one run on a homer, a single and two walks.
Lefty Zach Duke set Howard, Ruiz and Brown down in order in the seventh.
Brown grounds to second against Duke for the third out, which drops his line against lefties on the year to 150/261/275. 270/350/443 against righties at the end of the day after homering off of the righty Stammen in the sixth.
Duke got Wigginton, Frandsen and Schierholtz in the eighth.
Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-his-last-13.
Mayberry 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-his-last-13. 5-for-his-last-30 with ten strikeouts.
Utley 1-for-3 with a walk. He has 15 walks in his last 78 plate appearances. 274/395/458 over his last 248 plate appearances.
Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s walked twice in his last 66 plate appearances, hitting .190 and on-basing .212.
Brown 1-for-4 with his fifth homer. 1-for-his-last-12.
Ruf 2-for-3 with a home run. 2-for-5 with a home run and a sac fly for the year. The sac fly means his on-base percentage is going to be higher than his average for a while — right now his line is at 400/333/1.000.
Frandsen 1-for-4 with a double off the lefty Detwiler. He’s hitting .404 against lefties for the year with a BABIP of .422.
Kendrick (10-11, 3.89) faces lefty John Lannan (3-0, 4.43) tonight. Kendrick has a 2.17 ERA and an 0.87 ratio over his last eight starts and the Phils have gone 6-2 in those games. He ended June with a 5.35 ERA. Since the start of July he has thrown to a 2.48 ERA over 18 appearances (11 starts) and opponents have hit just .211 against him. Opponent’s BABIP in 74 innings through the end of June was .332. Since the start of July it has been .241. Lannan spent most of the year in the minors prior to taking Strasburg’s spot in the Washington rotation. He’s made four starts on the year and threw to a 2.41 ERA over the first three before allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Dodgers his last time out.
I updated the Start Log so the Result column is green for wins and red for losses. It may be helpful in making it easier to figure out where things went wrong for the Phils this year (helpful hint: they went most wrong from about June 2 to July 13).