The Phillies couldn’t figure out 25-year-old lefty Jeff Locke last night. Locke came into the game with a career ERA of 5.67 and made the best start of his career, throwing six shutout innings as the Pirates beat the Phillies 2-0.
The Philiies put multiple runners on base in the first, second and fourth innings last night, but were unable to score. After the fourth inning they had two hits, both singles that came in the eighth.
Four of the eight position players the Phils started last night ended the day hitting under .230 for the season (Revere, Brown, Kratz and Galvis). Those four players have combined to post an on-base percentage of .261 over 259 plate appearances in 2013.
The Phillies have been shut out in three of their last eight games. In ten of their last 12 games they have scored three runs or less. They’re hitting 182/239/280 against left-handed pitching with a .520 OPS, which is 30th of 30 MLB teams. Their hitters batting number one in the order have a .272 on-base percentage for the season, which is 27th of 30 MLB teams. They are 12th in the NL in on-base percentage and 14th in walks. Only two NL teams have struck out more.
The Phillies are 9-12 on the season after losing 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates last night. The teams have split the first two games of a four-game set.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a homer. He struck out six.
Third straight good start for Hamels. Over those three starts he has thrown to a 2.57 ERA with a 1.00 ratio and struck out 19 in 21 innings. The Phillies have scored a total of four runs in those games and gone 0-3.
Starling Marte led off the top of the first with a softly hit single to left and stole second. Jose Tabata went down on a ground ball to short before Andrew McCutchen hit a ball to Young that was mishandled for an error. It left runners on first and second with one out for Gaby Sanchez. Hamels struck Sanchez out for the second out and got Russell Martin on a fly ball to center to leave the runners stranded.
McCutchen’s ball was chopped to third. Young tried to backhand it and didn’t field it cleanly. Nice job by Hamels to work around the misplay after it put runners on first and second with one down.
Neil Walker led off the second with a ball hit hard to short that Rollins didn’t handle for another Phillie error. Hamels got the next three to set the Pirates down, with the help of a fantastic play by Young for the first out. Brandon Inge ripped a ball down the third base line, but Young made a diving stop, got to his feet and made a very strong throw to first in time to retire Inge.
Just an outstanding play by Young helps Hamels keep the Pirates off the board after the Rollins error to start the frame. I don’t recall seeing him making a throw like that before. Inge is slow, of course, but it was still rather impressive.
Marte doubled to left to start the third. Tabata and McCutchen went down behind him before a walk to Sanchez put men on first and second. Martin grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.
Neil Walker reached on an infield single to start the fourth. Inge was next and doubled off the base of the wall in right-center, scoring Walker to put the Pirates up 1-0. Clint Barmes was next and flew to center for the first out with Inge tagging and moving up to third. The pitcher Jeff Locke was next and grounded to short with Inge holding third and two down. Marte popped to Rollins to leave the runner stranded.
Walker’s ball to start the inning was chopped between third and short and not handled cleanly by Rollins. Rollins probably wouldn’t have been able to throw Walker out if he had handled it cleanly.
Sanchez doubled to left with two out in the fifth, but Hamels struck Martin out swinging to leave him there.
He struck out Walker, Inge and Barmes in a 1-2-3 sixth.
He set the Pirates down in order in the seventh. Lefty Travis Snider hit for the pitcher Locke and grounded to Hamels for the first out.
With one out in the eighth, Sanchez hit a 2-1 pitch out to right, putting the Pirates up 2-0. Martin followed with a single to left, but Hamels got the next two.
Aumont set the Pirates down in order in the ninth.
Aumont still hasn’t been charged with an earned run this season, but he has walked six in 6 1/3 innings over seven appearances.
One scoreless inning for the pen. Aumont threw seven pitches in the game.
The Phillie lineup against lefty Jeff Locke went (1) Rollins (2) Galvis (3) Young (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Revere (8) Kratz. Utley on the bench against the lefty with Galvis playing second. Young moves up to third in the order with Mayberry hitting fifth.
Young walked with two outs in the bottom of the first. Howard was next and doubled to left-center, moving Young up to third. Mayberry grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.
The ball never got past the outfielders, so it was not a huge surprise that Young didn’t score as McCutchen got the ball in quickly. Nice hustle by Howard to get to second on the hit.
Howard doubles off of a lefty.
Revere reached on an error by Marte with one out in the second and Kratz walked behind him. Hamels bunted the runners up to second and third with the second out, but Rollins went down swinging to leave the runners stranded.
The Phils leave runners on second and third in each of the first two innings.
Young and Howard struck out in a 1-2-3 third.
Down 1-0, Mayberry led off the fourth with a triple to right. Brown was next and was hit by a pitch. The Pirates brought the infield in and Revere hit a ball to third with Mayberry thrown out at the plate. Kratz was next and grounded into a double-play to end the inning.
The Phillies went in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.
Lefty Tony Watson started the seventh for Pittsburgh and struck out Brown and Revere while setting the Phils down in order.
Righty Mark Melancon started the eighth. Nix hit for Hamels and singled to right. Rollins flew to right for the first out. Utley hit for Galvis and struck out swinging for the second. Young moved Nix up to second with a single to left, but Howard grounded to first to set the Phillies down.
Righty Jason Grilli set Mayberry, Brown and Revere down in order in the ninth with the Pirates up 2-0.
Rollins was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the game. He’s on-basing .250 against lefties for the year after on-basing .281 against them in 2012 and .280 in 2011.
Galvis 0-for-3 to drop his average on the year to .226. He’s 0-for-his-last-11.
Young 1-for-3 with a walk and an error. Also made a fantastic defensive play in the second, which probably saved the Phillies a run. He has at least one hit in 14 straight games. 12-for-his-last-40 with 12 singles.
Howard 1-for-4 with a double and struck out twice. He’s 6-for-his-last-15. Doubled off of the lefty in the game, but he’s still hitting just 111/158/222 against lefties for the season.
Mayberry 1-for-4 with a triple. He’s 7-for-his-last-24 with four extra-base hits and ten strikeouts. His numbers are good so far against both righties and lefties — the Phillies should let him play a lot until they aren’t.
Brown 0-for-3 and struck out twice to drop his average to .206. He’s 2-for-his-last-21 with two singles.
Revere 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s 5-for-his-last-33.
Kratz 0-for-2 with a walk. He didn’t walk at all in his first 57 plate appearances and has two walks in his last seven.
Halladay (2-2, 6.04) faces lefty Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 0.56) tonight. Halladay’s first two starts of the season were both terrible and his last two both good. Over his last two outings he’s thrown to a 1.80 ERA with an 0.67 ratio. Opponents have hit .143 against him and two of the three runs he’s allowed have come on solo homers. He walked six in 7 1/3 innings in his first two starts and has walked three over 15 in his last two. Three walks in 15 innings is 1.8 per nine innings, which is similar to his career walk rate of about 1.9 per nine innings. Rodriguez has been battling a hamstring problem that caused him to miss a recent start, but has been outstanding when he has pitched. He’s allowed a run on five hits and a walk in his 16 innings for the season. Opponents are 5-for-52 with a double against him for the year (096/145/115).