Archive for September, 2012

Rockie solid

The Phillies continued to roll this weekend, sweeping the Rockies in a three-game set to get within two games of .500.

They won Friday’s opener 3-2 on a walkoff single by Schierholtz in the bottom of the ninth. Lee pitched into the seventh and a pinch-hit double by Nix in the bottom of that inning tied the game at 2-2. Schierholtz singled Rollins home with one out in the bottom of the ninth to get the Phillies the win.

Saturday’s game was rained out and played as part of a double-header yesterday.

The Phillies won the day game of the double-header 3-2. Hamels allowed a pair of runs on four hits in the top of the second to put the Phils in an early 2-0 hole. A two-run double by Howard in the bottom of the fourth tied the game at 2-2. Mayberry singled to left with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, plating Schierholtz to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

The Phillies flipped their recent script in the night game of yesterday’s double-header as they won without good starting pitching, scoring a ton of runs in the game with the help of five errors from the Rockies. An RBI-single by Martinez in the second gave the Phillies an early 1-0 lead, but Cloyd struggled in his third career start. He lasted just four innings, allowing four runs in a top of the fourth that featured a three-run homer by Chris Nelson. The Phils roared back with the help of some miserable defense by the Rockies, though. Howard drove in two unearned runs with a long single in the fifth, cutting the lead to 4-3. They pulled ahead with two more in the sixth, getting a home run from Wigginton to start the inning and another unearned run that came home on an infield single by Frandsen. 5-4. More bad defensive play from Colorado in the seventh kept the inning alive long enough for Ruiz and Schierholtz to deliver RBI-singles as the Phils plated two more unearned runs.

The bullpen was outstanding for the Phillies in the series, throwing 9 2/3 scoreless innings as the Phils came out on top in a pair of one-run games. In the night game of yesterday’s double-header, they threw five scoreless innings in which they allowed one hit and two walks after Cloyd departed after just four innings.

The Phillies are 69-71 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 7-4 in the second game of a double-header last night. The Phils sweep the series and are 8-2 over their last ten games. They are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nationals. 24-14 since trading away Victorino and Pence. The Nationals are the only team in the NL with a better record since the end of the day on July 29 (the Nats are 25-14).

Cloyd got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a three-run homer. He struck out two.

After three starts, Cloyd has thrown to a 4.24 ERA with a 1.29 ratio. He’s walked just three batters in 17 innings, but opponents are hitting .279 against him. He has struck out 16.

Dexter Fowler was the first hitter of the game and he doubled to right. Cloyd got the next three to leave him at second, though, getting Charlie Blackmon on a fly ball to center for the first out, Jordan Pacheco on a fly ball to left for the second and Tyler Colvin on a popup to Utley for the third.

Chris Nelson singled off of Cloyd with one out in the second. DJ LeMahieu flew to right for the second out before Jonathan Herrera moved Nelson to second with a single to left. Cloyd struck the pitcher Drew Pomeranz out looking to leave the runners stranded.

The Phils led 1-0 when Cloyd started the third. Fowler led off with another hit, a single this time. Blackmon was next and grounded back to Cloyd. Cloyd went to Rollins to start a double-play that cleared the bases. Pacheco and Colvin followed that with back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and third for Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez singled to center, scoring Pacheco to tie the game at 1-1 with men on first and second for Nelson. Nelson hit the first pitch from Cloyd out to left, putting Colorado ahead 4-1. LeMahieu lined to Utley for the third out.

Third home run Cloyd had allowed in 15 2/3 innings. That one didn’t come at a good time. He allows four hits, three singles and a home run, in a row with two outs.

Cloyd walked Fowler with two outs in the fourth. Blackmon flew to left to leave Fowler at first.

De Fratus took over for Cloyd in the fifth and set the Rockies down in order.

Solid inning for De Fratus. He has now made three appearances for the Phillies on the year in which he has allowed no hits and two walks over 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

It was 4-3 when BJ Rosenberg struck Nelson and Herrera in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Rosenberg drops his ERA on the year to 11.37 with his 16th appearance. Lefties are on-basing .579 against him for the year, which should go near the top of his list of stuff to work on.

Lindblom started the seventh with the Phillies up 5-4. Righty Matt McBride hit for the pitcher Edgmer Escalona and flew to center for the first out. Lindblom walked Fowler and Fowler took second on a wild pitch before Lindblom walked Blackmon on four pitches. Lindblom got Pacheco to fly to center for the second out and Diekman came on to face the lefty Colvin. Righty Josh Rutledge hit for Colvin and grounded to short to end the frame.

Lindblom faces four batters and walks two of them before Diekman comes and has to get the righty Rutledge to get the Phils out of the jam.

Opponents are hitting just .167 against Lindblom in his 15 1/3 innings since he joined the Phils, but he has walked 13.

Huge out for Diekman to get the righty after the Rockies hit for Colvin. Like Lindblom, he’s walked way too many hitters in his time with the Phillies in 2012. He’s allowed 16 walks in 22 innings.

Up 7-4, Aumont threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He struck Nelson out swinging for the second out.

Aumont pitched in both games of the double-header, going 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the games combined to drop his ERA to 1.42 after seven appearances. He’s the guy whose walks we should really be worried about, but he hasn’t walked a batter in 4 1/3 innings over his last five appearances.

Papelbon was on for the ninth. He struck out the first two batters he faced before Fowler doubled to left. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for the lefty Blackmon and Papelbon got him on a fly ball to left to end the game.

Papelbon also pitched in both games of the double-header, getting the win in the afternoon and the save in the night game. Two scoreless innings on the day combined drops his ERA to 2.52 for the season. He’s allowed two earned runs in 21 2/3 innings over his last 22 outings.

Overall the pen went five scoreless innings in the game, allowing one hit (Fowler’s double off of Papelbon) and two walks while striking out six.

Aumont and Papelbon both pitched in two games yesterday. Papelbon threw 12 pitches in game two and Aumont threw nine. De Fratus threw 17 pitches in the game. Lindblom and Rosenberg each threw 16. Diekman threw eight.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Drew Pomeranz went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Wigginton (6) Brown (7) Martinez (8) Lerud. Martinez at third with Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture in his leg. Mayberry moves up to second in the order. Lerud catches the second game of the double-header with a lefty on the mound for Colorado.

Utley singled with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Howard struck out to leave him at first.

Wigginton doubled to left to start the bottom of the second. Brown struck out for the first out before Martinez singled to center, scoring Wigginton to put the Phils up 1-0. Lerud grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.

The Phils were down 4-1 when they hit in the third. Mayberry walked with two outs and moved up to second on a single by Utley. Howard flew to the left fielder Blackmon in foul territory to leave them both stranded.

With two outs in the fourth, Martinez reached on an error by Nelson at third. Lerud grounded to first behind him.

Righty Josh Roenicke started the fifth for Colorado. Pierre hit for De Fratus and grounded to short for the first out. Rollins fouled out to Nelson for the second. Mayberry was next and hit a ball to third that Nelson didn’t handle for an error. He moved up to second when Utley followed and blooped a single to left. Mayberry probably would have been picked off at second if Roenicke’s pickoff throw was handled. It wasn’t. It went into center and the runners moved up to second and third before Howard hit a ball off the wall in right. Both runners scored, cutting the lead to 4-3, but Howard was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.

Two-out error by Nelson opens the door to a pair of runs for the Phils on back-to-back singles. Mayberry was picked off at second, the Rockies just didn’t the ball and it kept the inning alive.

Wigginton homered off of Roenicke to start the sixth. 4-4. Brown flew to center for the first out before Martinez singled to center. Ruiz hit for Lerud and moved Martinez up to third with a single to left. Nix hit for Rosenberg and the lefty Matt Reynolds came in to pitch for him. Frandsen hit for Nix and reached on a dribbler towards third that went as an infield single. Martinez scored (5-4) and Ruiz moved up to second. Rollins loaded the bases with a single to left. Righty Edgmer Escalona came in to pitch for Mayberry. Lee ran for Frandsen at second and Mayberry struck out swinging for the second out. Utley grounded to third to leave the bases loaded.

Phils can’t get more after loading the bases with one out. Mayberry strikes out swinging 2-2 for the second out.

Righty Will Harris got Howard and Wigginton to start the seventh before Brown doubled to right. Martinez hit a ground ball to short that Herrera didn’t handle for an error that left men on first and third for Ruiz. Ruiz singled to right, scoring Brown (6-4) and moving Martinez to third. Schierholtz hit for Diekman and singled to right, scoring Martinez (7-4) and moving Ruiz to second. Rollins hit a ball to first that Pacheco didn’t handle for another error, loading the bases for Mayberry. Mayberry grounded to the pitcher to end the inning.

Two more errors from Colorado with two outs lead to two more unearned runs.

Righty Rafael Betancourt set the Phillies down in order in the eighth. Orr hit for Aumont and struck out swinging for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and 3-for-14 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 245/304/411 for the year. 5-for-his-last-26.

Mayberry was 0-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-9 in the series with five walks. He had the game-winning hit in game two of the set. 255/308/427 for the year. 302/378/508 in 143 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded. He’s walked 15 times in those 143 plate appearances. Prior to the trades of Victorino and Pence he had walked 12 times in 253 plate appearances with a .269 on-base percentage.

Utley 3-for-5 in the game and 4-for-12 in the series with three walks and four singles. 247/350/445 on the year. He came into yesterday’s game 6-for-his-last-38 (.158).

Howard 1-for-5 with two RBI. 2-for-11 with a walk and a double in the series. 236/320/436 on the year.

Wigginton 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. 2-for-8 with a double, a home run and four strikeouts in the series. 235/308/381 on the year. 189/264/326 in 148 plate appearances since June 8.

Brown 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. 3-for-11 with a walk and a double in the series. 243/320/339 for the year. 179/281/250 in 32 plate appearances against lefties.

Martinez 2-for-4 with an RBI. He started all three games of the series and went 4-for-9 with an RBI. 149/196/218 for the season in 93 plate appearances. 182/240/264 in 327 puzzling career plate appearances, all with the Phillies.

Lerud 0-for-2 in the game and 2-for-10 on the season.

Kendrick (8-10, 3.96) faces lefty Wade LeBlanc (2-3, 2.72) tonight as the Phils play the Marlins. Kendrick has a 2.18 ERA in his 15 appearances since the start of July. His last seven appearances have been starts and he has gone 4-2 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.03 ratio. LeBlanc spent much of the year at Triple-A and joined the Marlins early July. He pitched out of the pen at first, throwing to a 1.15 ERA in 11 appearances before joining the rotation. He’s made six starts on the year, throwing to a 3.51 ERA with a 1.35 ratio. In his 14 relief appearances for the year he’s thrown to a 1.37 ERA with an 0.97 ratio.


What’s whatever the opposite of the matter is here?

The Phillies went 45-57 in their first 102 games this year before trading two of their better hitters and replacing them with lesser offensive players. After they did, the team took off, going 21-14 in their 35 games since the deals sent Victorino and Pence packing.

So what’s going on?

What’s going on is that since the Phillies traded Victorino and Pence, the offense has gotten worse. Just like you would expect. But. The pitching has gotten enormously better. Enough better to offset the offensive dropoff and carry the team.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers since the Phillies traded Victorino and Pence:

W-L RS/Gm RA/Gm SP ERA SP Ratio RP ERA RP Ratio
Thru 7/29 45-57 4.20 4.56 4.07 1.24 4.53 1.38
After 7/29 21-14 4.09 3.51 3.02 1.15 4.08 1.14
Total 66-71 4.17 4.29 3.80 1.22 4.42 1.32

The Phillies scored 4.20 runs per game before they traded Victorino and Pence. In the games they’ve played since they traded them, they’ve scored 4.09 runs per game.

The Phillies were 12th in the NL in runs scored in August and went 17-12. They went 17-12 not because they were a good offensive team, but because they were fourth in the league in runs allowed.

In the games that the Phillies played before trading Victorino and Pence, they allowed an average of 4.56 runs per game. Since they traded that duo, they’ve cut more than a run off of that. They’ve allowed 3.51 runs per game in the 35 games they’ve played since Victorino and Pence left. Going into today’s games, the Nationals were the NL team that had allowed the fewest runs per game in 2012 with 3.56 per game.

So 3.51 per game is impressive.

The bullpen has been better over the past 35 games than they were over the first 102, dropping more than half a run off of their ERA while their ratio has plummeted. Remember that they were terrible for a long time there, though, and the 4.08 ERA they’ve thrown to in the last 35 games isn’t exactly fantastic. If the Phillie bullpen had thrown to a 4.08 ERA for the entire year, that would be eleventh-best in the NL. As it is, their 4.42 bullpen ERA overall is twelfth-best.

The improvement in preventing runs has a lot more to do with the starting pitching than it does the relievers. Two points on what the relievers have done over the past 35 games, though, as they have thrown to a very impressive 1.14 ratio:

  • Over the last 35 games, the relievers have allowed just 59 hits in 86 innings. That’s an amazingly low hit rate of 6.17 hits per nine innings. Going into today’s games, Cincinnati’s bullpen had the lowest rate of hits allowed per nine innings for the season in the league at 7.27.
  • They have walked a ton of hitters in the same 35 games — 39 in 86 innings. That’s a walk rate of 4.08 per nine innings. Going into today’s games, only three NL teams had seen their relievers walk more than four batters per nine. The Dodgers had walked 4.07 per nine, the Brewers 4.18 and the Cubs 4.56 (Chicago relievers had walked 201 hitters in 396 2/3 innings). Here’s the list of Phillie relievers with a walk rate of 4.19 per nine or worse for the season: Schwimer, Sanches, Horst, Aumont, Bastardo, Stutes, Diekman, Rosenberg, Lindblom, De Fratus. Those ten pitchers have combined to throw 165 1/3 innings for the Phillies this year in which they have allowed 96 walks. That’s a walk rate of 5.23 per nine.

Again, the improvement overall in preventing runs has a lot more to do with what the starters have done than what the relievers have. The starters throw more than 70% of the innings for one thing, so even if the improvement of each of the groups had been about the same, the impact of the improvement by the starters would be much greater.

But the starters have improved more in the past 35 games than the relievers.

Here’s a look at what the guys in the rotation did before and after the trades of Victorino and Pence:

GS

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

ERA

Ratio

Hamels

20

138.67

121

56

51

39

138

3.31

1.15

Blanton

20

132.67

139

73

67

18

115

4.55

1.18

Lee

17

118.33

119

53

52

23

112

3.95

1.20

thru 7/29

Worley

17

102.00

109

49

44

36

91

3.88

1.42

Halladay

14

89.33

88

43

43

16

72

4.33

1.16

Kendrick

13

75.33

82

42

38

25

55

4.54

1.42

Valdes

1

2.00

2

3

3

2

2

13.50

2.00

Total

102

658.33

660

319

298

159

585

4.07

1.24

GS

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

ERA

Ratio

Halladay

7

48.00

43

16

16

9

37

3.00

1.08

Lee

7

50.33

49

16

14

3

49

2.50

1.03

Kendrick

7

42.67

37

15

14

7

28

2.95

1.03

after 7/29

Hamels

6

44.67

39

12

11

8

40

2.22

1.05

Worley

6

31.00

45

20

18

11

16

5.23

1.81

Cloyd

2

13.00

11

4

4

2

14

2.77

1.00

Total

35

229.67

224

83

77

40

184

3.02

1.15

Over the first 102 games of the season, Hamels was the only pitcher on the team who started at least one game for the Phillies and threw to an ERA under 3.88. Over the last 35 games, the rotation as a group has thrown to a 3.02 ERA.

Worley hasn’t been good in his six starts since the Phillies traded away Victorino and Pence. In the 29 starts not made by Worley since the trades, though, the rotation has a 2.67 ERA with a 1.05 ratio — every one of the five guys who has started at least one of those games has been very good. That group includes Halladay, Hamels, Lee and, more surprisingly, Kendrick and Cloyd.

The Phillies are going to win a huge percentage of their games in which their starters throw to the 3.02 ERA and a 1.15 ratio like they have since the trade. The Nationals have the best rotation in the NL in 2012 — they’ve thrown to 3.25 ERA for the year with a 1.17 ratio. In 2011, you may remember, the Phillies won 102 games behind a fantastic starting rotation. That group led the league with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.11 ratio. Nobody else was close — the Giant rotation had the second-best starter ERA for the year at 3.28.


A series of fortunate events

Possible exception: Bruce homering every day. Things went well other than that.

Roy Halladay mowed the Reds down yesterday afternoon as the Phils topped the Reds 6-2 to take the series two games to one.

The Phillies pounded Cincinnati starter Mike Leake for the second time since mid-August in the game, scoring six runs and knocking him out of the contest in the top of the third. In his last two starts against the Phils, Leake has been charged with 13 runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Kratz hit a three-run homer as part of a four run top of the second to give the Phillies an early lead. Utley hit a two-run homer off of Leake in the top of the third to extend the lead to 6-0. Halladay allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the fourth. Bruce delivered his daily homer in the ninth, which came against Papelbon this time.

Bruce was 7-for-11 with a walk, two doubles and three home runs in the three-game set and drove in all six runs the Reds scored. He has homered four straight games. Mercifully, that’s someone else’s problem now (best of luck, Houston).

The Phillies are now 21-14 since trading away Victorino and Pence. They have lost just one of the last eight series they have played, going 16-10 in those games. Of the eight series, they’ve won five, lost one (the Mets) and split two four-game sets. They’ve been playing good teams, too, going 11-5 in that stretch against the Reds, Braves, Nats and Cardinals.

The Phillies are 66-71 on the year after beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing a run on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out five.

Joey Votto singled with two outs in the bottom of the first. Halladay got Ryan Ludwick to pop to Utley to end the inning.

The Phillies led 4-0 when Halladay set the Reds down in order in the second.

It was 6-0 when Halladay threw a 1-2-3 third.

Chris Heisey singled to left to start the fourth and Halladay walked Votto behind him. Ludwick was next and grounded into a double-play that left Heisey at third with two down for Jay Bruce. Halladay really wanted a close 2-2 pitch that was called a ball and probably wanted it more after Bruce doubled to right 3-2, scoring Heisey to make it 6-1. It brought Todd Frazier to the plate and Frazier flew to Mayberry to end the inning.

Bruce is a monster. 4-for-7 in the series with a walk and two homers coming into the game and 435/480/957 in 25 plate appearances against the Phillies for the year.

Dioner Navarro started the bottom of the fifth and reached on a ground-rule double to right-center. Didi Gregorius, a 22-year-old, left-handed hitting shortstop from the Netherlands appearing in his first big league game, was next and moved Navarro up to third with a ground out to Utley. Infielder Henry Rodriguez, a switch-hitter, hit for the pitcher Alfredo Simon and Halladay struck him out for the second out. Brandon Phillips flew to center to leave Navarro at third.

Halladay pitches around the leadoff double. Rodriguez can’t bring the runner home from third with one out as Halladay gets the big strikeout.

Names don’t get a lot better than Didi Gregorius, do they?

Votto singled to center with one out in the sixth. Halladay struck Ludwick out swinging 0-2 for the second out before Bruce doubled again, sending Votto to third. Frazier was next and Martinez made a very nice play at third, fielding the ball and then throwing to first. Howard made a nice play to handle the throw, retiring the side and ending the inning.

Martinez and Howard make a pair of nice plays to get Halladay an out that probably saves two runs.

Navarro singled to right to start the seventh. Halladay got Gregorius on a fly ball to center for the first out and lefty Xavier Paul hit for the pitcher Sam LeCure. Paul grounded into a double-play to set the Reds down.

Halladay started the eighth having thrown 93 pitches and struck Phillips out swinging 0-2 for the first out. Heisey was next and singled softly to center on the eighth pitch of his at-bat. Bastardo came on to face the lefty Votto and struck Votto out looking for the second out. Ludwick was next and Bastardo got the righty on a fly ball to right-center to end the inning.

The eighth inning and Bastardo have been miserable this year, but he came through against two good hitters that time including the righty Ludwick.

Over his last six appearances, Bastardo has thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings in which he has struck out 12.

Papelbon started the ninth with a five-run lead, pitching for the first time since Sunday’s disaster in Atlanta. Bruce led off and hit an 0-2 pitch out to left. 6-2. Frazier followed that with a single to left. Papelbon struck Navarro out for the first out. Gregorius followed and grounded to second with Frazier forced at second for the second out. Righty Denis Phipps hit for the pitcher Pedro Villareal. Gregorius took second without a throw before Papelbon struck Phipps out to end the game.

Second straight bad outing in a row for Papelbon, although this one wasn’t nearly as bad as Sunday. In his last two appearances he has been charged with four runs on four hits (including two home runs) and a walk over 1 1/3 innings.

Overall the pen goes 1 2/3 innings in the game, allowing a run on two hits. Papelbon threw 18 pitches and Bastardo 15.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Leake went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Kratz catches the day game after catching the night game. Frandsen on the bench with Martinez playing third. Pierre in left with Brown in right and Schierholtz on the bench. Nix on the bench, too — not clear to me why Pierre gets to play so often against righties with Nix on the bench. Pierre can’t hit enough singles to make him a good offensive corner outfielder.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Howard and Mayberry singled back-to-back to start the second, putting runners on first and second for Brown. Brown singled into center, scoring Howard (1-0) and moving Mayberry up to second. Kratz was next and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left for a three-run homer, putting the Phillies up 4-0. Martinez, Halladay and Rollins went in order behind Kratz.

Home run number nine on the year for Kratz. He came into the game 8-for-his-last-35 (.229) with no walks.

Pierre led off the third with a walk and Utley followed him with a home run to center. 6-0. Howard struck out for the first out before Mayberry doubled high off the wall in left. That was it for Leake and righty Alfredo Simon came in to pitch to Brown. Brown was hit by a pitch, putting two men on again for Kratz. Kratz fouled out to Votto for the second out with the runners holding. Martinez grounded to first to end the frame.

Utley came into the game hitting .236 over his last 105 plate appearances with one home run. Home run number ten on the season for Utley.

Halladay started the fourth with a single to right, but Rollins hit into a double-play behind him and Pierre lined to short for the third out.

The lead was cut to 6-1 when Utley struck out to start the fifth. Howard was next and hit the ball well to left, but Ludwick took it for the second out. Mayberry flew to right to end the frame.

Righty Sam LeCure set the Phillies down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh. Halladay hit for himself and struck out to start the seventh having thrown 82 pitches.

Sean Marshall struck out Utley and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Righty Pedro Villareal started the ninth for the Reds and struck Brown out swinging for the first out. Kratz flew to right for the second out and Martinez to left for the third.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 2-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 246/305/417 for the year. He’s shown remarkable power since a rough start to the season. Through May 28 he was hitting 224/282/276 with eight extra-base hits (seven doubles) in 211 plate appearances. Since May 28 he’s hitting 258/317/493 in 385 plate appearances with 46 extra-base hits, including 16 home runs. His isolated power in those 385 plate appearances is .235. There are eight NL players with 425 or more plate appearances for the season and an isolated power that’s better than .235 (Rollins’s isolated power for the whole year is .171).

Pierre 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-7 in the series with a walk in the series. 299/342/360 for the season. His numbers for the year took a tumble in August when he hit 241/302/293 in 68 plate appearances. He’s 6-for-his-last-33 with six singles.

Utley 1-for-4 with a two-run homer and struck out twice.

Howard 1-for-4. 2-for-11 with two singles in the series. 239/324/446 for the year. 7-for-his-last-40 (.175). 200/254/369 against lefties for the year with 33 strikeouts in 71 plate appearances.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double. 3-for-10 with a double, two walks and a home run in the series. 256/301/430. Yesterday was the first time he has ended the day with an on-base percentage better than .300 for the year since he went 2-for-4 with a double on opening day. 308/364/521 in 129 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 1-for-3 with a hit by pitch. 1-for-9 with a walk in the series. 240/319/337 for the year in 116 plate appearances. 1-for-his-last-20.

Kratz 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. 2-for-7 with a home run in the series. 287/333/611 for the year. There are 429 players across both leagues with at least 100 plate appearances for the season. Of those, his isolated power of .324 for the year is the best.

Martinez 0-for-4 in his only action of the series to drop his average on the year to .115. He made a nice defensive play at a big time to end the sixth. He’s 0-for-his-last-19 with a walk and hitting 115/169/192 for the season.

The Phillies are off today and face the Rockies at home tomorrow.


Catch of the day

The Phillies managed just four hits last night, wasting another strong performance from Kendrick and falling to the Reds 2-1.

The Phils pulled ahead 1-0 in the top of the fourth on a double, a hit by pitch and two walks, the second of which forced in Utley to put the Phillies ahead. Jay Bruce, who homers every day, hit a two-run homer off of Kendrick in the bottom of the sixth for the only other scoring of the game.

The Phillies had two huge chances to add more runs, one in fourth and another in the fifth.

In the fourth they led 1-0 with the bases loaded and one out. Schierholtz hit a ball into center that Drew Stubbs charged and gloved on a hop. He was credited with a catch, but the ball clearly hit the ground. Chaos reigned on the bases and Mayberry was doubled off of second to end the frame.

Kratz led off the fifth with a single, but Kendrick could not bunt him to second with the first out. The no-bunt proved to be critical when Rollins followed with a double that only moved Kratz up to third. Frandsen couldn’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs and Utley grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.

The Phillies are 65-71 on the year after losing to the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 last night. They are in third place in the NL East, 18 1/2 games behind the first-place Nationals.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a two-run homer by Jay Bruce. Kendrick struck out three.

Kendrick has a 2.78 ERA in 57 2/3 innings over 15 appearances (eight starts) since the start of July. Six of his last seven starts have been good and he’s thrown to a 2.95 ERA with a ratio in those seven outings. He’s dropped his walk rate since the start of July, but mostly this is about hits. From the start of the season through the end of June, opponents hit .298 against him with a BABIP of .332. From the start of July through last night, they have hit .212 against him with a BABIP of .235.

Drew Stubbs was the first batter for the Reds in the bottom of the first. Kendrick got ahead of him 1-2, but walked him 3-2. Wilson Valdez was next and grounded to short with Stubbs forced at second for the first out. Valdez stole second and then moved up to third when Brandon Phillips grounded softly to Frandsen on a nice barehanded play for the second out. Ryan Ludwick flew to left to leave Valdez at third.

Kendrick set the Reds down in order in the second. Utley made a diving play to take a hit away from Scott Rolen and threw to first for the third out.

Ryan Hanigan singled to left to start the third. The pitcher Mat Latos was next and bunted, but Kratz fielded the ball and threw to second to force Hanigan for the first out. Stubbs was next and singled to left, putting runners on first and second for Valdez. Valdez grounded to Rollins with Stubbs forced at second for the second out, dropping his average on the year to .199. With Phillips at the plate, Kratz picked Latos off of third to end the inning.

Horst for Valdez was a good trade for the Phillies (in case you were wondering).

The Phillies were up 1-0 when Kendrick started the fourth. Bruce reached on an infield single with two outs, but Kendrick got Frazier on a ground ball to third for the third out.

Hanigan singled to left with one out in the fifth and Latos bunted him to second with the second out. Kendrick struck Stubbs out swinging 2-2 to leave him there.

Ludwick singled to right with two outs in the sixth. That brought Bruce to the plate and Bruce hit a 2-1 pitch from Kendrick out to right, putting the Reds up 2-1. Kendrick struck Frazier out swinging to end the inning.

Third game in a row that Bruce has homered. He hit one in the last game of the Reds’s series with the Astros and in each of the first two games so far against the Phils.

Lindblom pitched the seventh. He got the first two before lefty Xavier Paul hit for the pitcher Latos. Paul doubled to left. Lindblom struck Stubbs out swinging to leave Paul at second.

Lindblom has allowed a run on two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings over his last seven appearances, which has dropped his ERA with the Phillies from 7.88 to 5.02. Opponents have hit just .176 against him with the Phils, but with 11 walks in 14 1/3 innings.

Rosenberg started the eighth. He got the first two before walking Ludwick. Denis Phipps ran for Ludwick. Diekman came in to pitch to the lefty Bruce and walked him, too, putting runners on first and second for righty Todd Frazier . Righty Justin De Fratus came in to pitch to him and Frazier walked as well, loading the bases for Rolen. Rolen flew to right to leave them loaded.

Three straight walks for the pen after getting the first two hitters to start the inning.

Rosenberg faces three hitters, getting the first two out before walking Ludwick. He’s been charged with five runs in two innings over his last three appearances. Lefties are 3-for-10 against him for the year with seven walks.

Diekman faced one batter in the game and walked him. First action for Diekman since July 29. He has walked 16 in 21 1/3 innings for the year.

De Fratus faces two hitters, walking one and getting Rolen on a fly ball with the bases loaded. He was pitching for the second straight day and has now gone 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the year, allowing no hits and two walks.

The number of walks that the bullpen is allowing is getting a little out of hand. Coming into the game, Phillie relievers had walked 36 batters in 78 1/3 innings over the last 31 games. That’s about 4.14 batters per nine, which is too high.

Overall the bullpen went two scoreless innings last night, allowing a hit and three walks.

De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day and threw 13 pitches. Lindblom 17, Rosenberg 17 and Diekman five.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mat Latos went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Schierholtz (8) Kratz. Schierholtz in right with Brown in left. With Pierre on the bench, Frandsen hits second.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Howard started the second with a single to left. Mayberry and Brown went down on a pair of fly balls for the first two outs. Schierholtz was next and hit a 3-2 pitch well down the first base line, but Bruce made a nice play running into the wall in the right field corner for the third out.

Kratz and Kendrick struck out as the Phillies went in order in the third.

Utley doubled to center with one out in the fourth. Howard was hit by a pitch behind him and Mayberry walked, loading the bases for Brown. Brown walked on four pitches, forcing Utley in to put the Phillies up 1-0 with one down and the bases still loaded for Schierholtz. Schierholtz lined a ball into center. Stubbs charged and trapped the ball, but nobody on the bases knew what was going on. Stubbs threw to second to double-up Mayberry for the second out and end the inning. Howard had stayed at third thinking the ball was caught, so the Reds threw home anyway.

Stubbs clearly didn’t catch the ball in center. Think it’s safe to say there was some confusion on the base paths on the part of the Phillie runners.

Bad call to give Stubbs the catch when he didn’t make one, but I think the Phillies are doubled-up either way. Mayberry ran from second to third while Howard held third. If it’s a catch, Mayberry is easily doubled off of second. If it’s not, Brown is forced at second and Howard is out at home (or Mayberry is out at third, but they can’t both be there). Would have been nice to get one clear call, but I think the result winds up the same either way.

Kratz singled to center to start the fifth. Kendrick struck out trying to bunt him to second for the first out before Rollins chopped a double over Frazier and into right for a double, moving Kratz up to third. Frandsen grounded to third for the second out with the runners holding. Utley grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.

Kendrick can’t bunt the runner to second with the first out and it costs the Phils a run when Kratz doesn’t score from first on the double. After that, the Phillies don’t score after putting runners on second and third with one out. Frandsen grounds out to third for the second out with the runners holding.

The double was career hit number 2,000 for Rollins.

Latos got the Phillies in order in the sixth.

The Reds were up 2-1 when he did it again in the seventh. Nix hit for Kendrick and flew to left for the third out.

Righty Jonathan Broxton set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

Lefty Aroldis Chapman, who is sadly unhittable, started the ninth for the Reds with a one-run lead. Howard led off and struck out. Mayberry drew a walk and Wigginton hit for the lefty Brown. Wigginton hit a 1-2 pitch well to left, but Heisey took it in front of the warning track for the second out. Polanco hit for Schierholtz and struck out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Mayberry is now a walking machine against left-handed pitching. He’s up to two now in 144 plate appearances.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double. 7-for-17 with two doubles and two home runs to start September. 261/320/499 with 16 home runs over his last 381 plate appearances.

Frandsen 0-for-4. Couldn’t bring Kratz home from third with the second out in the fifth. 3-for-his-last-16 with three singles and a walk.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double. 4-for-his-last-27 (.148).

Howard 1-for-3 with a strikeout. 6-for-his-last-36 (.167).

Mayberry 0-for-2 with two walks. 287/343/484 in 172 plate appearances since the start of July.

Brown 0-for-2 with a walk, a strikeout and the RBI for the Phils. 0-for-his-last-17 with a walk.

Schierholtz 0-for-3. 0-for-his-last-15 going back to before he went on the DL. 189/244/297 in 42 plate appearances with the Phillies.

Kratz 1-for-3 with a single. He’s 6-for-his-last-16.

Halladay (8-7, 4.02) faces righty Mike Leake (7-8, 4.45) this afternoon in a rematch of the game the teams played on August 20. Halladay didn’t make it out of the fifth inning in his most recent start, allowing four runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings against the Braves. Coming into that game, Halladay had walked ten in 88 1/3 innings over his last 14 starts. Opponents are hitting .338 against him over his last three starts. The Phillies faced Leake on August 20 and pounded him, plating seven runs on ten hits over 4 1/3 innings. He’s had two starts since then and both of them have been good.


Cueto day for the young pitchers as the Phils top the Reds

Soft-throwing Tyler Cloyd has more than a few doubters he’s going to have to convince if he’s going to stick around in the Phillies rotation. So far, so good. After a decent start against the Mets in his first outing, Cloyd was fantastic yesterday, outpitching Johnny Cueto and holding the Reds to a run on four hits over seven innings as the Phillies topped the Reds 4-2.

Cloyd gave up a solo home run to Jay Bruce in the bottom of the third, putting the Phillies in an early 1-0 hole. Lerud and Cloyd singled back-to-back with two outs in the top of the fifth, though, giving Rollins an unexpected chance and Rollins hit a three-run homer to right, putting the Phils up 3-1. Mayberry extended the lead to 4-1 with a solo homer of his own in the sixth. Justin De Fratus made his first appearance with the team in a scoreless frame in the bottom of the eighth. Phillippe Aumont allowed a run on two hits in the bottom of the ninth, but still managed to nail down his first career save.

Cloyd struck out nine Reds in the game, throwing mostly in the mid-80s. After two starts he has a 2.77 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings. Righties have hit .167 against him.

The Phillies are 65-70 on the year after beating the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 yesterday. The Phils are 8-3 in their last 11 games.

Cloyd got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on four hits and no walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out nine.

He set the Reds down in order in the bottom of the first.

Cloyd struck Ryan Ludwick out for the first out in the bottom of the second. Jay Bruce was next and Cloyd’s 1-0 pitch to the lefty was in the middle of the plate. Bruce hammered it out to right, putting the Reds up 1-0. Cloyd struck Todd Frazier out for the second out and got Scott Rolen on a fly ball to center for the third.

Two strikeouts in the frame for Cloyd around the long ball for Bruce.

He struck out the pitcher Johnny Cueto and Zack Cozart in a 1-2-3 third.

Ludwick doubled with two outs in the fourth and the Reds still up 1-0. Cloyd struck Bruce out swinging 1-2 to leave Ludwick on second.

The Phillies led 3-1 when Cloyd started the fifth. Frazier led off with a single, but Cloyd struck Rolen out swinging for the first out. Ryan Hanigan went down on a popout handled by Lerud in foul territory for the second out. Cueto struck out swinging to leave Frazier at first.

Up 4-1, Cloyd threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Ludwick reached on an infield single to start the seventh. Cloyd struck Bruce out swinging for the first and Frazier looking for the second. Rolen hit the ball well to left, but Nix took it on the warning track to end the inning.

Justin De Fratus started the eighth, making his first appearance of the year. He got Hanigan on a ground ball to short for the first out. Righty Denis Phipps hit for the pitcher JJ Hoover and De Fratus walked him, but Cozart was next and De Fratus got him to ground to third and the Phillies turned the double-play to end to turn the Reds away.

De Fratus gets it done against the bottom of the Cincinnati order in his first chance of the year. He was very good in the minors this season, throwing to a 2.10 ERA with an 0.82 ratio in 25 2/3 innings, mostly at Triple-A.

Aumont started the ninth inning looking for the first save of his career. Drew Stubbs led off and grounded to Utley for the first out, but Brandon Phillips followed that with a single to center. Ludwick was next and hit a ball in the hole between third and short. Rollins made a nice play, moving to his right to field the ball, then jumping and throwing to second to nip Phillips for the second out. It brought Bruce to the plate with two down and Ludwick at first before Ludwick took second without a throw. Aumont got ahead of Bruce 1-2, but Bruce hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and into center for a single. Ludwick scored and it was 4-2. It brought Frazier to the plate as the tying run. Aumont got ahead of him 0-2 and then threw three straight balls. Frazier chopped a 3-2 pitch on the third base side of the mound and Aumont made a nice play to get to the ball and throwing strong to first to get Frazier and end the game.

Aumont gets the call for the save after 20 miserable pitches for Papelbon on Sunday against the Braves. The run Aumont allowed was the first he has been charged with in four appearances with the Phils.

Two innings for the bullpen in which they allow a run on two hits and a walk. Aumont threw 25 pitches in the game and De Fratus 13.

The Phillies lineup against righty Johnny Cueto went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Frandsen (8) Lerud. Brown returns to the lineup to start in the right, making his first start since August 28. Lerud gets career start number two behind the plate.

Pierre singled with one out in the top of the first, but Utley grounded out behind him for the second out and Howard struck out swinging for the third.

Frandsen singled with two outs in the second, but Lerud grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

Brown hit the ball hard in the inning, but Cozart made a nice play at short for the second out.

Down 1-0, the Phillies went in order in the third.

Mayberry struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Lerud and Cloyd singled back-to-back with two outs in the fifth. It brought Rollins to the plate and he hit the first pitch from Cueto out to right-center for a three-run homer, putting the Phils up 3-1. Pierre singled, but was left on first when Utley flew to left for the third out.

Back-to-back two-out singles from Lerud and Cloyd give Rollins an unexpected chance to hit in the frame. Home run number 17 on the year for Rollins.

With one out in the sixth, Mayberry hit an 0-1 pitch out to left. 4-1. Brown lined softly to second for the second out before Frandsen singled again. Lerud grounded to first to end the frame.

Cueto set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.

JJ Hoover struck out Mayberry in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Righty Logan Ondrusek set Brown, Frandsen and Lerud in order in the ninth.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. 6-for-13 with two home runs so far in September. He has 16 home runs in his last 373 plate appearances.

Pierre 2-for-4. He’s 6-for-his-last-30 with six singles.

Utley was 0-for-4 to drop his average for the year to .242. He’s 3-for-his-last-23 (.130).

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 5-for-his-last-33 (.152).

Mayberry was 1-for-4 with his 14th home run. 306/355/523 in his 121 plate appearances since Pence and Victorino were traded. 10-for-his-last-21 (.476).

Brown 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup. He’s 0-for-his-last-15.

Frandsen 2-for-4. 9-for-his-last-22. His isolated power for the year of .064 is a little better than Pierre’s (.062) but not as good as Polanco’s (.070).

Lerud 1-for-4 with a big single ahead of the Rollins homer. 2-for-8 on the year.

Kendrick (8-9, 4.01) faces righty Mat Latos (11-4, 3.79) tonight. Kendrick has a 2.09 ERA in his 14 appearances since the end of June, seven of which have been starts. 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA over his last four starts. Latos threw to a 4.77 ERA in his first 15 starts of the year. Over his last 17 outings, he’s thrown to a 2.70 ERA and opponents have hit .208 against him.


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