Archive for September, 2012

Rebound for (modest) glory

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.


Spoiler alert

The Phillies came crashing down from their recent high this weekend, losing three of four to the lowly Astros as Houston put an enormous dent in the already slender playoff hopes of the Phils.

Houston scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to win game one 6-4. Rollins and Brown hit two-run homers in game two as the Phils won 12-6 to even the series at a game apiece. Kendrick allowed four runs in five innings in game three and the Phillies didn’t score, falling 5-0. Yesterday the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth and were outscored 5-2 the rest of the way as Houston won 7-6.

The pitching had been outstanding coming into the series, but the Phils allowed 24 runs in the four-game set.

The starting pitching was bad, throwing to a 6.00 ERA and allowing 14 runs (13 earned) over 21 innings. Cloyd was awful in game one, going just three innings. Hamels had the best start of the series for the Phils in game two, allowing four runs (three earned) over seven innings. Kendrick and Halladay were both unimpressive in their starts, combining to allow seven runs in 12 innings.

The bullpen was worse, allowing ten runs in 12 innings, throwing to a 5.25 ERA with a 1.58 ratio and walking seven in 12 frames. Only seven of the ten runs the bullpen allowed were earned. Aumont and Diekman floundered in game one as the Astros scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The Phils won game two, but Horst and De Fratus still combined to allow two runs (both unearned) over two innings. Bastardo, Aumont and De Fratus combined to allow four runs (three earned) in two innings yesterday.

The Phillies are 73-74 on the year after losing to the Houston Astros 7-6 yesterday. The Astros take the series three games to one. The Phils are in third place in the NL East, 16 1/2 games behind the first place Nationals. They’re four games out in the Wild Card hunt and Baseball Prospectus has their playoff odds at 0.4%.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and two home runs. He struck out seven. His ERA for the year is up to 4.03. He’s thrown to a 4.80 ERA over his last five starts and opponents have hit .308 against him.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Scott Moore singled to center with two outs, but Halladay struck out Justin Maxwell behind him for the third out.

JD Martinez tripled to center with two outs in the second. Halladay walked Tyler Greene behind him, putting two men on for the pitcher Jordan Lyles. Lyles grounded to short for the third out.

Jimmy Paredes reached on an infield single with one out in the third. Moore was next and hit a 1-2 pitch just out to left, putting the Astros up 2-1. Halladay struck Maxwell out again for the second out and got Matt Dominguez on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Halladay struck out Carlos Corporan and Martinez in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He was up 4-2 when he started the fifth. He walked Paredes with two outs, but got Moore on a ground ball he handled himself to set Houston down.

Halladay got a pair of ground outs to start the sixth before Corporan hammered the first pitch he saw from Halladay out to right, cutting the lead to 4-3. Martinez followed that with a double to left, but Halladay struck Greene out looking to leave Martinez at second.

Second home run that Halladay had allowed in the game. Both had come against batters hitting left-handed.

Bastardo started the seventh with the Phils still up a run. Righty Matt Downs hit for the lefty Brian Bogusevic and Bastardo struck him out swinging for the first out. Altuve was next and hit a ball to third. Martinez handled it, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Altuve stole second before Bastardo walked the switch-hitter Paredes on five pitches, putting two men on for the lefty Moore. Righty Brandon Laird hit for Moore and Aumont came on to pitch to him. Laird walked on five pitches and the bases were loaded. Maxwell was next and he blooped a ball down the first base line, which dropped on the chalk for a double that scored Altuve and Paredes and sent Laird to third with the Astros up 5-4. Dominguez was next and he chopped a ball over the head of Martinez and into left for a single, scoring both runners. 7-4. De Fratus came in to pitch to Corporan. Dominguez took second on a passed ball before De Fratus got Corporan on a ground ball to Utley for the second out with Dominguez moving up to third. Lefty Jason Castro hit for the pitcher Wesley Wright and De Fratus walked him intentionally, putting runners on the corners with two down for Greene. Greene grounded to third to end the inning.

A little bit of less than fantastic luck for the Phillies in the inning as Maxwell’s bloop goes for a double and Dominguez bounces a single over Martinez’s head. That doesn’t get you to four runs, though. The throwing error by Martinez gets things started and is followed up by back-to-back walks issues by Bastardo and Aumont.

Bastardo faces three batters. He struck the first one out, the second reached on the Martinez error and the third walked. He’s charged with two runs in the game (one earned). It’s the first time he had been charged with a run since August 21.

Aumont comes in with one out and runners on first and second. He faces three batters and they go walk, double, single (although both hits were a little fluky). He came into the series with a 1.08 ERA and an 0.96 ratio in nine appearances for the season. He appeared twice in the set, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning on two hits and three walks.

De Fratus pitched the bottom of the eighth with the lead cut to 7-6, setting the Astros down in order.

Very nice day for De Fratus, going 1 2/3 scoreless innings in which he allows one walk, which was intentional. He still hasn’t been charged with an earned run this season over 5 2/3 innings in six appearances.

Overall the pen goes two innings in the game, allowing four runs (three earned) on two hits and three walks. The bullpen has walked 4.26 batters per nine over their last 160 2/3 innings and 4.91 per nine over their last 44 innings.

Bastardo and De Fratus each threw 18 pitches in the game. Aumont threw 14.

Papelbon did not appear in the series for the Phils as the bullpen collapsed. The Phillies put a ton of pressure on Aumont in the set, a 23-year-old rookie with five career appearances coming into the series.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jordan Lyles went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Mayberry (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Ruiz catches with Pierre in left. Martinez plays third.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and hit a ball off the wall in center for a double. Pierre bunted him to third with the first out and Utley brought him home with a sac fly to right, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard struck out swinging to end the frame.

Not a fan of bunting with Pierre when the other team’s pitcher has faced one batter in the game and that batter hit the ball of the wall for a double.

Brown walked with two outs in the second and moved up to second when Martinez followed with a single to left. Halladay struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins walked to start the third and moved up to second when Pierre grounded out for the first out. Lyles got behind Utley 2-0 and then walked him intentionally, putting two men on for Howard. Howard grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.

I think walking Utley so a righty can pitch to Howard with a double-play in order is a pretty bad idea. Working out for the Astros that time, though.

Down 2-1, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Martinez and Halladay both struck out to start the fifth before Rollins drew a walk. Rollins stole second and moved up to third on a throwing error by the catcher Corporan. Pierre was next and doubled to left, scoring Rollins to tie the game at 2-2. Houston didn’t even start to pitch to Utley this time, walking him intentionally to put two men on for Howard. Howard pounded a ball off the wall in left, scoring both runners to make it 4-2. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple for the third out.

Putting extra men on so a righty can face Howard when there’s no double-play in order is an even worse idea. Howard delivers that time.

Righty Hector Ambriz struck out Ruiz and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The lead was cut to 4-3 when Martinez doubled off Ambriz to start the seventh. Orr hit for Halladay and lefty Wesley Wright came in to pitch to Orr. Ruf hit for Orr and grounded to third for the first out with Martinez holding. Rollins struck out swinging for the second out. Wigginton hit for Pierre with the lefty on the mound and was hit by an 0-1 pitch, putting runners on first and second for Utley. Utley blasted an 0-1 pitch to right, but Paredes made a jumping catch on the warning track as he fell to the ground to end the frame.

Nice catch at a big time for Paredes. Cost the Phillies two runs.

Ruf can’t move the runner up to third with the first out in career at-bat number two. No run for the Phils after the leadoff double.

The Phillies were down 7-4 when they hit in the eighth. Lefty Xavier Cedeno struck Howard out for the first out. Righty Mickey Storey came on to pitch to Ruiz and hit him with a pitch. Ruiz moved up to second when Mayberry followed with a single, putting two men on for Brown. Brown cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right-center, cutting the lead to 7-6. Nix hit for Martinez and righty Wilton Lopez came in to pitch to him. Nix struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Schierholtz, who had entered in the bottom of the seventh, grounded to second to leave Brown stranded.

Big hit for Brown, but the Phils can’t move him up from second as Nix and Schierholtz get set down back-to-back by the righty.

Rollins singled to center off of Lopez to start the ninth. Kratz hit for De Fratus and flew to deep right for the first out with Rollins tagging and moving up to second. Utley flew to left for the second out. Ruiz grounded to first to end the game.

Rollins was 3-for-4 with a walk and a double in the game. 6-for-17 with four walks, a double and a home run in the four-game set. 252/313/428 for the year. 333/394/619 so far in 71 plate appearances in September.

Pierre 1-for-2 with a double. 5-for-9 with a double and two walks in the series. 312/355/375 for the season. 452/500/516 in 37 plate appearances this month.

Utley 0-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. 3-for-12 with a double and six walks in the series. Two of the walks were intentional. 254/371/444 on the year.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-16 with two walks and two doubles in the set. 229/308/413 for the season. 189/276/311 over his last 105 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-10 with a walk in the series. 332/401/549 for the year.

Mayberry 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 6-for-16 with two walks and a double in the series. 260/316/426 on the year. 307/385/490 in 174 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run double. 2-for-13 with five walks, a double and a home run in the series. 239/335/370 for the season. 258/395/516 over his last 38 plate appearances.

Martinez 2-for-3 with a double in his only action of the series. Made a throwing error in the bottom of the seventh to get the Houston rally started. 172/212/263 for the year.

Lee (5-7, 3.36) faces righty RA Dickey (18-5, 2.68) tonight. The Phillies have won four straight games that Lee has started. He’s thrown to an 0.99 ERA with an 0.95 ratio in those four outings. Since the start of August he has walked three batters in 56 2/3 innings. Dickey has a 1.72 ERA over his last five starts. Righties are on-basing .250 against him for the year.


Jed dread

The Phillies have played so well of late it seems we should be willing to forgive them just about anything. Looks like we’re going to have to. Tyler Cloyd delivered his second straight ugly start last night and the pen imploded in the eighth, allowing three two-out runs as the Astros beat the Phils 6-4.

Cloyd was solid in the first two innings, setting down the first six batters he faced. He allowed two hits and hit a batter in the third, but worked out of trouble to keep the Astros off the board. He started the fourth up 4-0, but allowed singles to the first two men he faced before Matt Dominguez pounded a three-run homer to left. The Phils took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth, but Aumont, who has been so good of late, and Diekman both struggled badly. Aumont issued a one-out walk, but Kratz made a fantastic throw from his knees to cut the runner down trying to steal second, clearing the bases with two outs and no runs in. Aumont allowed the next two runners to reach on a walk and a hit by pitch before Diekman came in to face Jed Lowrie. Lowrie cleared the bases on a double just out of the reach of Schierholtz in right, putting the Astros up a run. He would come in to score when Brandon Barnes followed with a single, putting Houston up to stay at 6-4.

Lowrie against the lefty Diekman was the biggest at-bat of the game. Bastardo wasn’t available to pitch to Lowrie after throwing a scoreless seventh. Needing a lefty, Manuel called on Diekman rather than Horst and Diekman couldn’t get the job done, allowing hits to three of the four men he faced including the Lowrie double.

It was the second-straight frustrating outing for Cloyd, who hasn’t gotten an out in the fifth inning in either of his last two starts and was hurt by a three-run homer in both games.

The Phillies are 72-72 on the year after losing to the Astros 6-4 last night. The loss snaps a season high seven-game win streak for the Phils. They remain in third place in the NL East, 17 1/2 games out of first. They are four games out in the Wild Card hunt.

Cloyd got the start for the Phillies and went three innings, allowing three runs on five hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a three-run homer. He struck out four.

Cloyd has allowed four home runs in 20 innings so far, which would have him on a pace to allow 40 over 200 innings. That would be too many.

If it makes you feel any better, I can pretty much promise you that Cloyd is never going to allow 40 home runs over 200 innings in a season.

He’s still striking people out. Four in three innings last night gives him 20 in 20 frames for the year. He doesn’t walk anyone — three so far in 20 innings. Opponents are hitting .293 against him and he’s been hammered by home runs. The big blow last night came from righty Matt Dominguez, but lefties are hitting 379/455/621 against him for the year.

He struck out Brett Wallace while setting the Astros down in order in the bottom of the first.

Up 1-0, he struck out Justin Maxwell and Matt Dominguez in the second.

He started the third with a 4-0 lead. Jimmy Paredes led off with an infield single on a ball deflected by Rollins. Cloyd got Tyler Greene on a popup to Rollins. The pitcher Lucas Harrell was next and struck out trying to bunt for the second out. Jose Altuve moved Paredes up to second with a single and Cloyd hit Fernando Martinez with a 1-2 pitch, loading the bases for Wallace. Wallace grounded to Utley to end the inning.

Maxwell and Jason Castro started the fourth with back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and second for Dominguez. Dominguez hit a 3-1 pitch from Cloyd out to left, cutting the lead to 4-3. Rosenberg took over for Cloyd, striking out Paredes for the second out before Greene doubled to left. Rosenberg struck Harrell out looking to leave Greene at second.

Cloyd sets down the first six Astros in order, then six of the next nine reach base and he’s pulled.

Rosenberg set Houston down in order in the fifth.

Great outing for Rosenberg, who goes two scoreless innings, facing seven batters and allowing one hit. He has thrown four scoreless innings over his last four appearances.

Lindblom started the sixth. He walked the first batter he faced, Castro, on five pitches. He got the next three, though, getting Dominguez on a fly ball to right and striking out Paredes and Greene.

Lindblom drops his ERA with the Phillies to 4.32. He hasn’t been charged with an earned run in his last eight appearances, allowing four hits and four walks over six innings while striking out ten. He was charged with two runs that were unearned in Tuesday’s game.

Bastardo started the seventh. Brandon Barnes led off with a single to left. Altuve was next and lined to third for the first out. Righty Matt Downs hit for the lefty Martinez. Barnes stole second before Bastardo struck Downs out for the second out. Wallace popped to Frandsen to end the inning with Barnes still at second.

Bastardo has a 0.00 ERA and an 0.60 ratio over his last ten appearances. In 8 1/3 innings he has struck out 17.

Aumont started the eighth. Maxwell led off and flew to right for the first out. Castro was next and again walked on five pitches. Jordan Schafer ran for him at first. Schafer took off for second as Aumont delivered ball one to Dominguez. Kratz threw from his knees in time to get Schafer for the second out. It cleared the bases with two outs, but Aumont went on to walk Dominguez on five pitches. Lefty Scott Moore hit for the pitcher Wesley Wright and Aumont hit him, putting runners on first and second. Switch-hitter Jed Lowrie hit for the righty Greene and pitcher Jordan Lyle ran for Moore at first. Lowrie’s numbers for the year are way better against righties and Diekman came in to pitch to him. Lowrie lined an 0-1 pitch to right-center, just out of the reach of Schierholtz, which cleared the bases and put the Astros up 5-4. Barnes was next and he singled into center, scoring Lowrie and extending the lead to 6-4. Barnes took second on the throw home. Altuve was next and moved Barnes up to third with an infield single. Altuve stole second before Diekman struck Brian Bogusevic out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

No question that the Phillies need to bring in a lefty to face Lowrie in that key situation. After the double off of Diekman, he’s hitting 203/306/338 against lefties for the year compared to 270/356/498 against righties. I think there’s a huge question of whether it should have been Diekman or Horst. Lefties are on-basing .362 against Diekman for the year and .300 against Horst (although it was guys batting right-handed in Lowrie and Barnes that hurt Diekman last night). Horst has struggled a bit of late, allowing three hits and four walks over three innings in his last three appearances. Diekman had made three straight appearances where he went a third of an inning without allowing a hit or a walk.

Manuel also let Diekman pitch to the righty Barnes with De Fratus and Papelbon presumably both available. Altuve is also a righty. So Diekman faces three batters in a row to start the outing, all batting right-handed, and all three get hits. The one guy Diekman did get, Bogusevic, is left-handed. Righties are now hitting 275/393/412 against Diekman for the year.

The eighth was the kind of inning that makes you miss Raul Valdes.

Fantastic throw by Kratz to get Schafer, which set the Phillies up with two outs, nobody on base and no runs across.

Aumont can’t find the plate, pitching in his fifth game in five days and for the third day in a row. He faces four batters, gets one out, walks two and hits the other. He came into the appearance not having been charged with a run in 4 1/3 innings over his last five appearances. He has now walked six hitters (and hit one) in nine innings over ten appearances for the season. He walked 6.9 batters per nine innings in the minors this season.

Diekman faces four batters, allowing a double, two singles and getting one out. From May 20 to June 27, Diekman made 15 appearances in which he threw to a 1.38 ERA. Since then he has a 7.04 ERA in 7 2/3 innings over 11 outings and opponents have hit 294/415/471 against him. He didn’t walk anyone last night, but he has walked 16 in 22 2/3 innings for the year.

Long day for the pen. They go five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. Aumont and Diekman combine to allow three hits, two walks and hit a batter in the eighth.

Lindblom threw 21 pitches in the game, Rosenberg 20, Bastardo 19, Aumont 17 and Diekman 15. Aumont almost surely cannot pitch tonight after going three days in a row and five times since the start of the day Sunday. Hopefully Hamels pitches for a long time tonight.

The Phillies lineup against righty Lucas Harrell went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Frandsen (8) Kratz. Frandsen returns to the lineup and third base. Ruiz stays on the bench with Kratz catching. Pierre in left against the righty.

Pierre singled to center with one out in the top of the first, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

Brown walked with one out in the second. Frandsen was next and flew to left for the second out, but Kratz followed and hit a ball off of the wall in left for a double that scored Brown and put the Phillies up 1-0. Cloyd grounded to second to leave Kratz at second.

Pierre and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the third, putting runners on the corners for Howard. Howard flew to center for the second out, deep enough for everyone to move up a base. Pierre scored from third to put the Phils up 2-0. Mayberry was next and singled softly to right. Paredes didn’t handle the ball cleanly and was charged with an error. Utley scored from second to put the Phils up 3-0 and Mayberry wound up on second on the error. Mayberry took third on a wild pitch before Brown walked again, putting runners back on the corners for Frandsen. Frandsen reached on an infield single, scoring Mayberry (4-0) and moving Brown to second. Kratz struck out to leave the runners stranded.

Pierre does his best to get the rally started, singling for the second time in three innings. This time he scores. Brown walks for the second time in the game in the third inning.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Utley walked to start the fifth with the lead cut to 4-3, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Frandsen and Kratz went down to start the sixth. Orr hit for Rosenberg and singled to left. He stole second before Rollins and Pierre walked back-to-back, loading the bases for Utley. Lefty Xavier Cedeno came in to pitch to Utley and Harrell was ejected from the game as he walked off the mound, presumably complaining about the strike zone. Utley grounded to first to leave the bases loaded.

Orr’s average is up to .313 for the year (15-for-48) after going 2-for-2 in his last two pinch-hitting chances.

Cedeno walked Mayberry with one out in the seventh and Mayberry moved up to second when Brown grounded out for the second out. Righty Hector Ambriz came on to face Frandsen and Frandsen flew to center to leave Mayberry at second.

Mayberry continues to walk at a much better rate. Thirteen walks and a .458 on-base percentage over his last 72 plate appearances.

Ambriz struck Kratz out swinging for the first out in the eighth. Schierholtz, who entered the game in the bottom of the seventh was next. Lefty Wesley Wright came in to pitch to him and struck him out swinging for the second out. Rollins was next and drew a walk. Ruiz hit for Bastardo and moved Rollins up to second with a single. Rollins stole third, the 400th stolen base of his career, before Utley grounded out to leave the runners at the corners.

Second big chance for Utley with runners on. He grounded out to leave the bases loaded in the sixth.

Rollins has stolen 27 bases this year and been caught just five times.

The Phillies were down 6-4 when they hit in the ninth. Howard was the first hitter and singled to left off of righty Wilton Lopez. Lopez struck Mayberry out looking 0-2 for the second out and Brown grounded into a double-play to end the game.

Seems like a good a time as any to remind that our five-hitter breaks up lefties Pierre, Utley, Howard and Brown hitting two, three, four and six and is hitting 231/302/350 against righties for the year.

Rollins was 0-for-3 in the game and walked twice.

Pierre 2-for-3 with a walk. He’s hitting .440 so far in September. 320/365/371 over his last 111 plate appearances.

Utley 1-for-4 with a walk. Two big ground outs to end the inning in the sixth and again in the eighth. 345/486/483 over his last 37 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI. 179/264/295 over his last 91 plate appearances.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 353/476/569 over his last 56 plate appearances. 298/379/489 in 161 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 0-for-3 and walked twice. He’s hitting just .241 over his last nine starts but on-basing .389 thanks to six walks in 36 plate appearances. Cedeno got him to ground out in the seventh, dropping his line against lefties to 188/297/344 on the year.

Frandsen 1-for-4 with an RBI in his return to the lineup. 5-for-21 (.238) with five singles so far in September.

Kratz was 1-for-4 with an RBI-double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. He’s 1-for-his-last-17.

Hamels (14-6, 3.03) faces righty Bud Norris (5-12, 4.93) tonight. The Phillies have won five of the last six games that Hamels has started. In those outings he’s thrown to a 2.22 ERA and a 1.01 ratio. In five of his last six starts he hasn’t allowed a home run (he allowed two homers in the other start). Norris had had two good starts in a row, allowing just one run over 12 1/3 innings, before allowing five runs in 5 1/3 against the Reds his last time out. He has a 1.90 ERA in his ten starts at home and a 7.34 ERA in his 16 starts on the road this season.


Never tell me the odds!

Oh, but I will, Han.

Cliff Lee and Jimmy Rollins led the way last night as the Phils topped the Marlins 3-1 to win their seventh straight.

The game was scoreless in the top of the sixth when Rollins and Lee made errors on back-to-back plays, leading to an unearned run for the Marlins on a two-out single by Carlos Lee. Rollins didn’t wait long to atone for his error, leading off the bottom of the sixth with a single to right that broke up Johnson’s no-hitter. He was still at second with two outs, though, before Mayberry’s single to center brought him home and tied the game at 1-1. Pete Orr came up big in the bottom of the seventh, delivering a two-out pinch-hit single with the bases empty to give Rollins a chance with a man on. Rollins came through again, lining a two-run homer to right to put the Phils up 3-1. Aumont again shut the Marlins down in the eighth and Papelbon again shut them down in the ninth.

The bullpen was charged with two unearned runs in the second game of the set with the Marlins, but has not been charged with an earned run in their last six games. Over those six games the pen has thrown to a 0.00 ERA and an 0.86 ratio over 16 1/3 innings.

Going back to the start of August, the Phillies are 9-0 in their games in which they have scored three runs (including two of the three games against the Marlins).

That’s a whole lot of things. Really, really unlikely is one of them. They were 4-9 on the year in games in which they scored three runs before the start of August.

For the year, NL teams have a winning percentage of .415 in games in which they score three runs. Someone please check my math, but if a team had a 41.5% chance to win any game in which they score three runs, I think that would mean they have a 0.04% chance to go 9-0 in a given set of nine games in which they score three runs, yes?

The Phillies are 72-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1. The Phils sweep the three-game series and have won seven in a row for the first time this season. They are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nats. They are three games out for the Wild Card and over .500 for the first time since June 3.

Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds Report says 2.7% today, up from 1.0% yesterday. Only thing I know for sure is that if the odds triple every day, that’s good for the Phillies.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing one run, which was unearned, on four hits and a walk. All four of the hits were singles and he struck out six.

Lee hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts. He’s 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA and a 1.09 ratio over those five outings and the Phillies have gone 4-1. He’s allowed three walks in 56 2/3 innings in his eight starts since the beginning of August.

He set the Marlins down in order in the top of the first, getting Gorkys Hernandez on a fly ball to center and Donovan Solano and Jose Reyes on ground balls to short.

Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Lee singled back-to-back to start the second, putting runners on first and second for Justin Ruggiano. Lee struck Ruggiano out looking 2-2 and Ruggiano was ejected for arguing with the home plate ump. John Buck was the next hitter for the Marlins and he grounded to second. Utley made a diving play to field the ball, but had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. He finally did and Lee was forced at second for the second out. It left Miami with two down and runners on first and third for Donnie Murphy. Lee struck Murphy out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that Murphy thought he fouled off, ending the inning with both runners stranded.

Lot of drama there for a pair of strikeouts.

The pitcher Josh Johnson started the third with a single to left and moved up to second when Hernandez grounded softly to third for the first out. Solano grounded to Rollins for the second out and Reyes popped out to Howard to leave Johnson at second.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He struck out the side in the fifth, getting Buck, Murphy and Johnson.

With one out in the sixth, Solano hit a ball back up the middle. Rollins tried to handle it moving to his left, but didn’t field it cleanly for an error that put Solano on first. Reyes was next and he chopped a 1-0 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Lee fielded the ball moving towards third base and threw to second, but his throw was bad on the shortstop side of the bag and pulled Utley off the base. No out for the Phillies on the second error in two at-bats and the Marlins had runners on first and second with one out. Lee got Stanton on a fly ball to left for the second out with the runners holding. It brought Lee to the plate and he singled to right on the first pitch he saw. Brown might have had a chance to get Solano with a perfect throw, but he didn’t come up to one. He again took a bunch of tiny steps on the way to the ball and this time his throw wasn’t that good. It was strong and up the third base line. Solano scored easily to put the Marlins up 1-0 with two down and men on first and third. Lee got Austin Kearns to ground to Martinez to end the inning.

The Phillies make two errors in the frame and it winds up costing them just one run. Brown’s throw could have been a lot better and it sure looks like he needs to do a bunch of work on his footing when charging the ball before he throws. Would have been taken a really good throw to get Solano, though.

At the time, two errors in two batters looked like too many to make given that the Phillies didn’t have a hit in the game. Rollins would redeem himself before it was over.

It was 1-1 when Lee walked Buck to start the seventh. Murphy flew to right for the first out. Johnson hit for himself and tried to bunt Buck to second, but popped up to Martinez in foul territory for the second out. Hernandez flew to right for the third out.

Aumont pitched the eighth with the Phillies up 3-1. He walked Reyes with one out, but struck Stanton out swinging 0-2 for the second. Lee grounded to short to end the frame.

Stanton was 2-for-12 in the series with a home run and seven strikeouts.

Pitching for the second straight day, Aumont dropped his ERA for the year to 1.08 in his ninth appearance. He’s pitched in four games since Sunday, pitching in both games of the double-header and in games two and three of the set with the Fish.

Papelbon started the ninth with a two-run lead and hit the first batter he faced, Austin Kearns, with a 1-1 pitch. He struck Buck out swinging 1-2 for the first out, though, and got Dobbs looking 1-2 for the second. Lefty Bryan Petersen hit for the pitcher Brandon Webb and walked on four pitches, putting the tying run on base with two down and men on first and second for the righty Hernandez. Papelbon struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Papelbon was also pitching for the second straight day. He’s throw five scoreless innings over his last five appearances, striking out eight. Like Aumont, he pitched in both games of Sunday’s double-header and then in games two and three of the series with the Marlins.

Two scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow two walks and strike out four.

Aumont and Papelbon have both pitched two days in a row. And a lot recently. Papelbon threw 19 pitches in the game and Aumont 14.

The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Johnson went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Pierre in left against the righty. Kratz catches with Ruiz on the bench. Martinez at third with Polanco on the DL and Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture in his leg.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the first. Howard went down on a softly hit ball to the pitcher to end the inning.

Mayberry and Brown walked back-to-back to start the second, putting men on first and second for Kratz. Kratz struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Martinez was next and he grounded to first for the second, moving the runners up to second and third for Lee. Lee struck out swinging 2-2 to leave them there.

Johnson had thrown 40 pitches through the first two innings.

The Phillies went in order in the third, fourth and fifth.

They were still looking for their first hit off of Johnson when they started the sixth down 1-0. Rollins led off an chopped a 1-0 pitch past a diving Lee and into right field for a single. Pierre bunted him to second with the first out. Utley followed and walked on four pitches, putting two men on for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. It brought Mayberry to the plate and he hit a 1-0 pitch into center for a single. Rollins scored to tie the game at 1-1. Hernandez threw to third trying to get Utley, but Utley slid in just safe, leaving the Phils with runners on the corners and two down in a tie game. Brown grounded to Lee with Lee throwing to second to force Mayberry and end the inning.

Second time in two days the Fish looked pretty comfortable pitching around Utley to get to Howard. Big strikeout for Howard for the second out, but Mayberry picks him up with a huge two-out single.

Rollins gets the inning started with a leadoff single to break up the no-hitter after making a big error in the top of the frame.

Kratz and Martinez went down to start the seventh. With Johnson still on the mound, Orr hit for Lee and singled to right. Orr stole second before Rollins lined a 2-0 pitch out to right for his second home run in two days, putting the Phils up 3-1. Pierre flew to left for the third out.

Huge two-out single for Orr gives Rollins a chance and Rollins comes through again.

Righty Ryan Webb pitched the eighth for Miami. Mayberry walked with two outs, but Brown flew to center to leave him at first.

Second walk in the game for Mayberry, who is suddenly a walking machine. He has walked 11 times in his last 54 plate appearances. Prior to those 54 plate appearances he had walked 18 times in 355 plate appearances for the year.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game with a two-run homer, which was the only extra-base hit for the Phillies. 5-for-11 with a walk and two home runs in the series. 249/307/423 on the year. 326/360/630 with four home runs in 50 plate appearances so far in September. He hit a big home run in game two of the set, broke up the no-hitter in the sixth inning last night and scored the first Phillies’s run, then hit the two-run homer that accounted for the other two runs the Phils scored.

Pierre 0-for-3. 3-for-7 with a double in the series. 9-for-22 (.409) so far in September. 306/347/368 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-2 with a walk. 4-for-9 with three walks and a double in the series. 254/362/449 for the season. 264/383/409 over his last 133 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-12 in the series. 171/261/220 in 46 plate appearances so far in September. 227/308/415 for the year.

Mayberry 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI in the game. 3-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. 255/311/426 for the season. 299/378/496 in 156 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with two walks and a home run in the series. 292/393/458 over his last 28 plate appearances. 248/329/360 for the year.

Kratz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-6 in the series. 0-for-his-last-13. 211/250/395 over his last 84 plate appearances after hitting 333/400/800 in his 50 PA previous to that. 256/306/545 for the season.

Martinez was 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-9 with two doubles in the series. 156/198/240. He’s a weird guy to start at third base every day if you’re trying to make the playoffs.

Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.24) faces righty Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.83) tonight in Houston. Cloyd will be making his fourth start of the year and it will come on short rest after Cloyd threw 76 pitches in the second game of the double-header against the Rockies on Sunday. Lefties have hit 409/480/727 against Cloyd over his first three starts. Harrell faced the Phillies on May 14, allowing three runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings. He has a 2.06 ERA in his 11 starts at home and a 5.06 ERA in his 17 starts on the road.


All about even

The Phillies didn’t win pretty last night, but they did win, topping the Marlins 9-7 for their sixth straight victory. With the win the Phils are at .500 for the year for the first time since they were 28-28 after losing to the Dodgers 4-3 on June 4.

The game wound up having a little more drama than you would hope given that Roy Halladay started to top of the seventh with an 8-3 lead.

Four hits and a walk off of Fish starter Nathan Eovaldi put the Phils up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Halladay allowed a pair of runs in the top of the third to cut the lead to 3-2, but Pierre led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on an Utley single to extend the lead to 4-2. The Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth, but managed just one run in the frame as Brown bounced into a big double-play to end the inning. Stanton homered off of Halladay in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-3. Martinez doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on a single by Halladay. Later in the same inning, Rollins hit a two-run homer one pitch after Miami catcher Rob Brantly dropped the foul ball that should have ended Rollins’s at-bat. Halladay started the seventh up 8-3, but allowed hits to two of the first three men he faced and was pulled. The Phils would use three relievers and have to work around an Utley error in the frame, getting out of the inning still up 8-7. A leadoff double by Mayberry led to an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Aumont pitched himself out of a huge jam in the eighth and Papelbon set the Fish down in order in the ninth to earn his 33rd save.

The Phillies are 71-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 9-7 last night. They have won six games in a row and are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nats. 14-4 over their last 18 games has them four games out for the Wild Card.

The team’s playoff odds as calculated by Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds Report have jumped from 0.6% yesterday to 1.0% today.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Opponents have hit .320 against Halladay over his last five starts and he’s thrown to 4.73 ERA with a 1.52 ratio. His walk rate for the season is up to 1.8 per nine innings, which is the highest it has been since 2007.

He struck out Bryan Petersen and Justin Ruggiano in a 1-2-3 first.

He started the top of the second up 3-0. Giancarlo Stanton led off with a walk, but Halladay got Carlos Lee to hit into a double-play behind him. Greg Dobbs lined to Martinez at third to end the frame.

Donovan Solano and Rob Brantly singled back-to-back to start the third, putting runners on the corners for the pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi bunted Brantly to second with the first out and Halladay walked Petersen behind him, loading the bases. Ruggiano was next and reached on an infield single. Everyone moved up a base with Solano scoring to cut the lead to 3-1 with the bases still loaded for Jose Reyes. Reyes flew to left for the second out. Brantly tagged from third and scored. 3-2. Halladay struck Stanton out swinging to leave the runners on first and second.

It was 4-2 when Halladay pitched the fourth. Dobbs doubled to right with one out, but Halladay got the next two hitters to leave him at second.

Ruggiano walked with two outs in the fifth and stole second. Reyes flew to center to leave him there.

Three walks in five innings for Halladay.

It was 5-2 when Stanton hit Halladay’s first pitch of the sixth out to left. 5-3. Halladay got the next three.

If Stanton was going to homer he picked a nice time to do it. He’s 1-for-8 with a home run and six strikeouts so far in the series.

Halladay started the seventh up 8-3. Brantly led off and reached on an infield single. Righty Gorkys Hernandez hit for the pitcher and flew to right for the first out, but Petersen followed with a double to center that scored Brantly and cut the lead to 8-4. Lindblom came in to pitch to the righty Ruggiano and Ruggiano singled to center, scoring Petersen. 8-5. Reyes was next and reached on an error by Utley, putting runners on the corners for Stanton. Lindblom got Stanton swinging for the second out, but Lee followed with a single to left that scored Ruggiano (8-6) and moved Reyes to second. Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Dobbs and Dobbs singled to center. Reyes scored (8-7) and Lee moved up to second. Rosenberg got the righty Solano to ground to Martinez to finally set the Marlins down.

Ugly inning for everyone, but again the Phillies strike Stanton out at a big time.

Lindblom entered the game with one out and a man on second. He faced four batters — single, error on Utley, big strikeout of Stanton and single. He was charged with two runs, both of which were unearned. He hasn’t been charged with an earned run over five innings in his last seven appearances. In his last two outings he has allowed two hits and two walks in one inning.

Horst faced one batter and allowed an RBI-single to the lefty Dobbs. In his first ten appearances of the year through the end of July, Horst walked three in ten innings. Since the start of August, he has appeared 13 times, walking eight in 12 2/3 innings. He’s allowed three hits and four walks over his last three innings. The Phillies seem to think he could use some rest and I think they’re right — he was pitching for the first time since September 2.

Rosenberg entered with two outs and runners on first and second, faced one right-handed hitter and got Solano on a much-needed ground out to finally end the frame. He’s allowed one walk in two scoreless innings over his last three appearances.

Aumont stared the eighth with the Phils up 9-7. Brantly led off and walked on four pitches as Aumont couldn’t find the tiny strike zone. Two of the four pitches looked really good to me. Donnie Murphy was next and singled to right, putting runners on first and second. Petersen was next and bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Aumont wiggled out of it, though, striking Ruggiano out swinging 3-2 for the second out and Reyes swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Wow. Huge moment in the game and Aumont strikes out two in a row with runners on second and third.

He allowed a hit and a walk in his frame, but struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.23 after eight appearances. He’s allowed four hits and three walks in 7 1/3 innings (0.95 ratio). Manuel has yet to put him into a game before the eighth inning and the Phils are 7-1 so far in the games he’s appeared. Six of the eight games he’s appeared in were eventually decided by one run or two runs.

Papelbon struck out Stanton and Dobbs in a 1-2-3 ninth.

He’s struck out five in four scoreless innings over his last four appearances.

Overall the pen goes three innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Aumont threw 18 pitches in the game and Lindblom 13. Everyone else was ten or less. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.

The bullpen came into the game having thrown 11 2/3 scoreless innings over the past four games. They didn’t pitch as well last night, but Aumont looked fantastic working out of his own jam in the eighth and Papelbon set the Marlins down without a peep in the ninth.

The Phillies lineup against righty Nathan Eovaldi went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Ruiz returns to the starting lineup for the first time since August 2. Pierre in left against the righty and hitting second. Mayberry dropped to seventh against the righty with Ruiz in the lineup. Martinez plays third with Polanco on the DL and Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture.

Singles by Rollins and Pierre and a walk to Utley loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first. Howard grounded into a double-play and Rollins scored, leaving the Phils up 1-0 with two down and Pierre on third. Ruiz doubled into the right field corner to score Utley and put the Phillies ahead 2-0, then scored on a single to center by Brown. 3-0. Mayberry struck out to leave Brown at first.

The Phillies went in order in the second.

It was 3-2 when the Phillies hit in the third. Pierre led off with a double to left and scored when Utley followed with a single. 4-2. Howard hit into another double-play and Ruiz grounded out to end the inning.

Two at-bats, two double-plays for Howard.

Brown started the fourth with a single to right, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Rollins walked to start the fifth, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Pierre, putting the Phils up 5-2. Lefty Dan Jennings came in to face Utley and Utley singled to right, moving Pierre up to second. Howard flew to center for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Jennings walked the righty Ruiz to load the bases and got Brown to ground into a double-play to keep the Phillies from getting more.

It was 5-3 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Martinez doubled to right off of righty Chris Hatcher with one out. Halladay followed that with a single into center, scoring Martinez to make it 6-3. Rollins was next and popped a 1-1 pitch up near the plate in foul territory, but Brantly just dropped it. Rollins hit the next pitch out to right for a two-run homer. 8-3. Pierre flew to left for the second out before Utley singled. Howard moved Utley to third with a single and Ruiz was hit by a pitch, loading the bases again for Brown. Brown struck out swinging 2-2 to leave them loaded.

Mayberry doubled to right off of righty Chad Gaudin to start the seventh and Martinez bunted him to third with the first out. Nix hit for Rosenberg and lefty Mike Dunn came in to pitch to Nix. Wigginton hit for Nix and drew a walk, putting runners on first and third. Rollins was next and flew to right for the second out. The ball wasn’t hit that deep, but Mayberry tagged and tried to score anyway. He probably would have been out with a good throw from Stanton, but Stanton’s throw was awful, way up the third base line. Mayberry scored and the run extended the lead to 9-7. Wigginton moved up to second when the throw came home. Frandsen hit for Pierre and was walked intentionally. Utley hit for himself and was walked unintentionally, which loaded the bases for Howard. Howard flew to center to end the inning.

Righty Heath Bell set Ruiz, Brown and Mayberry down in order in the eighth.

Rollins was 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, a stolen base and three RBI. He came into the game 4-for-his-last-22. Rollins had two home runs in his first 242 plate appearances for the year. At the end of the day on June 5 he was hitting 247/296/332 for the season. Since June 6 he’s hitting 248/312/472 with 16 home runs in 378 plate appearances. It was really nice of Brantly to drop the popup one pitch before his bomb last night.

Pierre was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-9.

Utley 3-for-3 with two walks and an error. 7-for-his-last-12 with two walks. He has walked in about 11.3% of his plate appearances, which is better than 8.6% for 2011 and better than his career mark of 9.8%. He topped out in ’09 and ’10, walking in 12.8% of his plate appearances in 2009 and 12.3% in 2010.

Howard 1-for-5, grounded into two double-plays and left eight men on base. Grounded into a double-play in the bottom of the first with nobody out and the bases loaded. Grounded into another in the third with nobody out and Utley on first. Flew to center with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh. 171/216/229 over his last 37 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 3-for-5 with a walk and a double since returning from the DL.

Brown 2-for-5 with an RBI, two strikeouts and six men left on base. Hit into a double-play with the bases loaded to end the fifth. Struck out swinging 2-2 with the bases loaded to end the sixth. He’s 6-for-his-last-15 with a walk.

Mayberry 1-for-5 with a double and a strikeout. 289/400/474 so far in September in 45 plate appearances after hitting 290/343/495 in August.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a double. Bunted Mayberry to third with the first out in the bottom of the seventh, which allowed Mayberry to score on the sac fly by Rollins. He’s 6-for-his-last-15 with two doubles.

Lee (4-7, 3.50) faces righty Josh Johnson (8-11, 3.81) this afternoon. Lee hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last five outings and he’s thrown to a 2.08 ERA in those starts. The Phillies have won three games he’s started in a row. They were 4-12 in his first 16 starts on the year. Johnson has had one bad start in his last nine outings, throwing to a 2.76 ERA in those appearances. He has a 5.22 ERA in his 12 starts away from home and a 2.87 ERA in his 16 starts at home for the year.


Can do Kendrick

The Phillies continue to win and win behind fantastic pitching. Kyle Kendrick’s amazing run continued last night as he allowed a run on two hits over seven innings while striking out eight as the Phils topped the Marlins 3-1 for their fifth-straight win.

The Phillies are 13-4 over their last 17 games. In nine of the 13 games they’ve won they’ve scored four runs or less. In four of those 13, including last night’s game, they scored three runs.

Brown hit a two-run homer off of Miami starter Wade LeBlanc in the bottom of the fifth. The Phils added a third run later in the same inning when Martinez doubled, moved to third on a ground out by Kendrick and scored on a wild pitch. Kendrick took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed just one run in the game, which came in the top of the seventh when Carlos Lee led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out and came home to score on a sac fly.

The bullpen went two scoreless frames after Kendrick left. Over the last four games the bullpen has thrown 11 2/3 scoreless innings.

Kendrick was fantastic in the game, but it was arguably just his third-best start of his last six. He threw seven shutout innings against the Marlins on August 14 and eight shutout innings against the Brewers on August 19. Since the start of July, Kendrick has now thrown to a 2.09 ERA with an 0.97 ratio over 64 2/3 innings in 16 appearances (nine starts).

The Phillies are 70-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 last night. The Phils lead the series one games to none and have won five in a row. They remain in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nationals. For the first time since July 26, Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds report gives them a chance of making the playoffs that’s greater than 0%. It’s 1%. They are five games back for the Wild Card and have 21 games left to play.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on two hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out eight.

He struck out Justin Ruggiano and Jose Reyes in a 1-2-3 top of the first.

Struck out Giancarlo Stanton and Greg Dobbs in a 1-2-3 second.

He walked Rob Brantly with one out in the third. The pitcher Wade LeBlanc was next and bunted Brantly to second with the second out. Kendrick got Bryan Petersen on ground ball to Utley to end the frame.

Kendrick struck Ruggiano out again in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He set the Marlins down in order again in the fifth.

The Phillies led 3-0 when Brantly singled to center to start the top of the sixth. Righty Gorkys Hernandez hit for the pitcher LeBlanc and walked on five pitches, putting runners on first and second for Petersen. Petersen hit a ball softly towards second and Utley made a nice play, charging and throwing to first for the first out as the runners moved up to second and third. Ruggiano was next and Kendrick struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out before walking Reyes on five pitches to load the bases for Stanton. Kendrick struck Stanton out swinging 1-2 to leave them loaded.

Biggest at-bat of the game for Kendrick and he gets Stanton swinging. Ruggiano can’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs as Kendrick strikes him out for the third time in the game. Utley made a nice play to get the first out of the inning for the Phils.

Carlos Lee led off the seventh with a double to left. He moved up to third when Dobbs grounded to second for the second out and scored on a sac fly to deep left off the bat off Donovan Solano, cutting the lead to 3-1. Brantly flew to left for the third out.

De Fratus started the eighth with a two-run lead. Righty Austin Kearns hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and struck out looking 2-2 for the first out. Petersen singled to right before De Fratus struck Ruggiano out looking for the second out. Diekman came in to pitch to Reyes and got him on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

Not sure you need to bring a lefty in there to face the switch-hitter Reyes, but it worked out for the Phils. Reyes’s numbers are a tiny bit better against righties than lefties this year (287/348/446 vs righties and 265/337/404 against lefties). For his career he’s been better against lefties than righties — 300/355/438 against lefties and 288/337/442 against righties. So I’m not sure you need to go out of your way to bring a lefty in there.

De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day. He faced three hitters, struck out two and allowed a single to Petersen, which is the only hit he’s allowed in his first four appearances.

Diekman faced one batter in the game and got him out, dropping his ERA on the year to 4.43. He was also pitching for the second day in a row.

Bastardo started the ninth and struck Stanton out on a wild pitch that allowed Stanton to take first. Lee was next and Bastardo got him to ground to Martinez at third. Martinez went to second to start the double-play that cleared the bases. Bastardo struck the lefty Dobbs out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Bastardo gets the ninth after Papelbon pitches in both games of the double-header on Sunday. Bastardo was pitching for the second day in a row. Over his last 11 appearances, he’s allowed one run in nine innings on six hits and a walk while striking out 20. 20?

Overall the pen goes two scoreless innings in the game, allowing one single and striking out four.

All three of the pitchers that appeared have thrown two days in a row. De Fratus threw 13 pitches in the game, Bastardo seven and Diekman two.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Wade LeBlanc went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Wigginton (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Mayberry hits second against the lefty. Wigginton plays left the day after going 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. Kratz catches and Martinez plays third.

Rollins singled to center to start the bottom of the first, but Mayberry hit into a double-play behind him. Utley followed that with a double to left, but was left stranded when Howard struck out swinging.

Howard is hitting 183/234/338 against left-handed pitching for the year with 35 strikeouts in 77 plate appearances.

No run for the Phils despite a single and a double in the inning.

The Phillies went in order in the second, third and fourth.

Wigginton led off the fifth and walked on the ninth pitch of his plate appearance. It brought Brown to the plate and he hit a 3-1 pitch down the first base line and out for a two-run homer, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Kratz popped to Reyes for the first out of the inning before Martinez doubled to left. Kendrick moved Martinez up to third with a ground out to first for the second out. With Rollins at the plate, Martinez scored on a wild pitch, putting the Phils up 3-0 before Rollins struck out swinging to end the inning.

Wigginton gets on base by walking in a long at-bat before Brown homers off of the lefty.

Martinez gets a big hit, doubling to left. Kendrick moves him up to third with a ground ball on the right side, which allows Martinez to score on the wild pitch.

Mayberry singled off of lefty Dan Jennings to start the sixth, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Brown drew a walk off of Jennings to start the seventh with the led cut to 3-1. Righty Ryan Webb took over for Jennings and got Kratz on a fly ball to left for the first out and Martinez on a popup to first for the second. Schierholtz hit for Kendrick and popped to Reyes to leave Brown stranded.

Lefty Mike Dunn set Rollins, Mayberry and Utley down in order in the eighth.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a single. 6-for-his-last-30.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 300/374/500 in 147 plate appearances since the trades.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game. 5-for-his-last-13.

Howard 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 167/254/315 over his last 63 plate appearances.

Wigginton 0-for-2 with a big walk ahead of Brown’s home run. 2-for-13 in September with four walks.

Brown 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run in the game. 5-for-his-last-16 with a double, a home run and two walks.

Kratz 0-for-3. 0-for-his-last-10. 184/200/327 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 5-for-his-last-12.

Halladay (9-7, 3.87) faces righty Nathan Eovaldi (4-11, 4.44) tonight. Halladay’s left/right splits for 2012 are very similar to the same numbers for his career with the exception that righties have hit for more power against him this season. Eovaldi came from the Dodgers to the Fish in the Hanley Ramirez trade at the end of June. He’s thrown to a 4.85 ERA in his eight starts with the Marlins and opponents have hit .294 against him.


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