Archive for July, 2013

And if they ever decide to start in April again some year, just think where this could go

The Phillies weren’t over .500 in any of the first three months of the season, but they’ve started July strong, going 6-2 in their first eight games. Last night they topped the Nats 4-2 behind eight great innings from Cole Hamels.

In 2012, the Phillies went 34-22 in August and September combined and finished the year at 81-81.

The Phils are going to need a well-rounded effort the rest of the way if they’re going to contend for a playoff spot in 2013, but the starting pitching has done most of the work in their current three-game winning streak. Over the last three games, their starters have allowed two earned runs over 21 1/3 innings (0.84 ERA and an 0.89 ratio). That’s good enough to get you some wins even if your offense is pretty uninspired and your bullpen is downright terrible.

There might not be a lot of hope for the bullpen, but it is important to recognize that the offense has improved of late. The Phils have scored at least three runs in each of their eight July games and are averaging 4.63 runs a game so far in July. There’s only one NL team that’s averaged 4.63 runs or better for the season — St Louis has scored an average of 5.0 runs per game and Colorado is second in the league at 4.55. The bad news is that the Phillies aren’t the only NL team whose offense has picked up in July. Their 4.63 runs per game for July is just sixth best in the NL.

The Phillies are 45-46 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 4-2 last night. They’ve won three in a row and are 6-2 over their last eight.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out four.

The Phillies went 2-14 in the first 16 games that Hamels started this season, but are 3-0 his last three times out. In his last two starts he’s allowed two earned runs in 15 innings (1.20 ERA with an 0.80 ratio).

Scott Hairston led off the top of the first with a single into center, but Hamels got Ian Desmond to ground into a double-play behind him. Bryce Harper struck out looking 1-2 for the third out.

With one out in the second, Werth reached out over the plate for a 1-1 pitch from Hamels and hit it out to left, putting the Nats up 1-0. Hamels got the next two.

He hit Kurt Suzuki with an 0-2 pitch to start the third and the pitcher Taylor Jordan bunted Suzuki to second with the first out. Hamels struck Hairston out looking for the second out and got Desmond on a fly ball to right to leave Suzuki at second.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

The game was tied at 1-1 when he started the fifth. He got the first two before hitting Suzuki again 0-2. Jordan lined to right to end the frame.

Hamels hits Suzuki twice in the first five innings of the game. He hadn’t hit more than one batter in a start since September 14, 2010.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Phils led 4-1 when he started the seventh. Adam LaRoche singled to right with one out and moved up to second on an infield single by Anthony Rendon. It put men on first and second with two down for Suzuki and Suzuki flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

Werth homered with one out in the second. LaRoche and Rendon hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the seventh. In between, Hamels faced 18 batters and the only two times the hitter reached base were the two times he hit Suzuki.

Hamels started the eighth having thrown 87 pitches with the Phils still up by three runs. Hairston reached on an infield single with one out and moved up to second when Desmond singled into center. Hamels walked Harper on a 3-2 pitch, loading the bases for Ryan Zimmerman with one out. Hamels struck Zimmerman out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Werth was next. Hamels delivered a 2-2 fastball that was way up and away before Werth pounded the 3-2 pitch to center. Revere took it on the edge of the track to leave the bases loaded.

Hamels had thrown 103 pitches when Werth’s at-bat started. I think it’s pretty nuts to let him pitch to Werth as the go-ahead run there, but it worked out for the Phillies that time.

Huge Zimmerman at-bat ahead of the Werth at-bat and Hamels strikes him out swinging 0-2 with one out and the bases loaded.

Bastardo started the ninth with the overused Papelbon unavailable to pitch after throwing in four of the last five days. Bastardo got LaRoche on a fly ball to right for the first out before walking Rendon 3-2. Suzuki struck out swinging for the second out before righty Wilson Ramos hit for the pitcher Ian Krol and doubled off the base of the wall in right. Rendon scored, making it 4-2 with two down and Ramos on second. Bastardo got Hairston to pop to Utley to end the game.

Bastardo earns his second save of the season and the eleventh of his career. Faces five batters, allows a walk and a double and gets three outs. He’s walked 17 in 31 1/3 innings for the year. For his career he has walked 11.1% of the right-handed batters he has faced and 11.2% of the left-handed batters he has faced.

The Phillie lineup against righty Taylor Jordan went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Michael Young (6) Delmon Young (7) Ruf (8) Ruiz. Revere and Rollins again hit one-two in the order after a nice performance in game one of the set. Ruf at first against the righty with Howard out.

Revere singled to center to start the bottom of the first, but Rollins grounded into a double-play behind him. Utley flew to right to set the Phillies down.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Michael Young walked with one out, but Delmon Young grounded into a double-play behind him.

Third walk for Michael Young in the last three games. 4-for-his-last-8 with three walks, a double and a .636 on-base percentage.

Second time in two innings the Phils ground into a double-play.

The Phillies went in order in the third.

Utley doubled to center with two outs in the fourth. Brown was next and lined a ball into right that was short-hopped by a charging Werth. Werth threw home with the ball and Utley arriving at about the same time, but Suzuki didn’t handle the ball. Utley slid past the base, Suzuki tagged him and Utley was called safe. Brown was headed for second, so as soon as Suzuki tagged Utley, Suzuki threw to second. His throw wasn’t handled there and skipped into center, leaving Brown at third with two down. Michael Young struck out swinging to leave him there.

Many a break for the Phillies on Brown’s single. Had Werth’s throw been handled at the plate as Utley slid in, it would have been a close play, even if Utley had touched the plate. Utley slid past the plate without touching it. When Suzuki tagged him, he should have been out, but the Phillies got a helpful call. Brown would have been out by a lot if the throw at second had been handled there as he tried to move up to second when the throw came home.

Delmon Young and Ruf singled back-to-back to start the fifth, putting runners on first and second for Ruiz with nobody out. Ruiz grounded to third and the Nats turned two, leaving the Phils with Young on third and two outs for Hamels. Hamels grounded to second to end the inning.

No run for the Phils after putting men on first and second with nobody out. Ruiz grounds into their third double-play of the game.

Revere and Rollins singled back-to-back to start the sixth, putting men on first and second again with nobody out. Utley was next and hit a ball to first that was fielded by LaRoche. LaRoche made a good throw to second, but it went off the arm of Rollins as Rollins slid into the bag, off the glove of Desmond and into short left. Revere scored (2-1), Rollins went to third and Utley was safe at first with nobody out. Brown popped to short for the first out. Michael Young was next and doubled to the gap in right-center. Rollins and Utley both scored (4-1). The relay came home as Utley crossed the plate, but Suzuki made a nice play, coming out in front of the plate to take the throw and throw to third. Young was tagged out trying to move up for the second out. Righty Craig Stammen took over for Jordan and walked Delmon Young. Mayberry ran for Young at first, but was left there when Ruf struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Phils give away an out on the bases as Michael Young is thrown out trying to move up to third as Utley scores. They should have given up another out on the bases in the second when Brown tried to take second, but Suzuki’s throw wasn’t handled that time.

Revere and Rollins start another rally, singling back-to-back to start the inning and both coming around to score. Between them they’ve score five of the seven runs the Phils have plated in the first two games of the set.

Michael Young’s double off the righty Jordan is the big hit of the game.

Ugly at-bat for Brown in the frame, popping to short with runners on the corners and nobody out ahead of the double.

Stammen set the Phils down in order in the seventh.

Lefty Ian Krol got Rollins, Utley and Brown on three ground balls in the eighth.

Revere was 2-for-4 in the game, upping his average for the year to .302. He’s 13-for-his-last-27 (.481). 346/381/408 in 226 plate appearances since the start of May. BABIP of .382 after the start of May and .237 before the start of May.

Rollins 1-for-4. Two extra-base hits, both doubles, in his last 145 plate appearances.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double. Scored two of the fourth Phillie runs. Scored in the second when he doubled with two outs and scored on Brown’s single. Reached on an error in the sixth and scored on Michael Young’s double. 2-for-his-last-12 with a double.

Brown 1-for-4 with a single. Popped out with runners on the corners and nobody out in the sixth. Has at least one hit in eight games in July.

Michael Young 1-for-2 with a walk, a double and two RBI. 6-for-his-last-12.

Delmon Young 1-for-2 with a walk. 431/473/549 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Ruf 1-for-3 and struck out twice. 4-for-10 with a double and two walks so far. Six strikeouts in 11 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.

Ruiz 0-for-3. 2-for-his-last-15 with two singles. Delivered extra-base hits in 11.4% of his plate appearances in 2012 and about 2.4% of his plate appearances in 2013.

Lee (10-2, 2.73) faces lefty Gio Gonzalez (6-3, 3.14) tonight. Lee allowed four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Braves in his last start, which is the only time in his last 12 outings that he allowed more than three earned runs. Over his last four starts he’s allowed four home runs to the 114 batters he’s faced. Prior to those starts he went five starts in which he didn’t allow a home run to 144 hitters. Gonzalez threw to a 1.79 ERA in his six starts in June and didn’t allow more than two earned runs in any of those outings, but gave up three earned runs over 6 2/3 in his first start of July against the Padres. He faced the Phillies on June 19 and held the Phils to two runs over seven innings while striking out 11. The Phils had two hits in his seven innings that day — a single by Revere to lead off the bottom of the first that was followed by a two-run homer by Michael Young.


Can you hear me now?

The Nats didn’t want John Lannan, but his performance last night may have them wondering why. Lannan was outstanding, throwing eight shutout innings as the Phils topped Washington 3-2.

An overused Papelbon gave up a pair of runs in the ninth, but held on to get his 19th save.

It was Lannan’s day, but Revere and Rollins stole the show offensively for the Phils. Hitting one and two in the order, the duo combined to go 5-for-9 with a double and two stolen bases and scored all three Phillie runs. They were the driving forces behind a two-run bottom of the first and produced another run in the sixth when Revere doubled with two outs and Rollins singled him home. They did their best to start another rally in the second, but a nice play from Ian Desmond at short took a hit away from Rollins.

The Phils have gone 5-2 over their last seven games, playing against some of the best teams in their division and in the NL between the Pirates, Braves and Nationals.

The Phillies are 44-46 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 3-2 last night. The Phils lead the four-game series one game to none. They’re 5-2 in July despite allowing the same number of runs they’ve scored (33). They’ve scored 70 runs in their last 13 games, an average of 5.38 runs per game. Prior to those 13 games, they had scored 283 runs in 77 games, or about 3.68 runs per game. The 5.38 runs per game over the last 13 is inflated by a single game on June 28 when they beat the Dodgers 16-1, but even removing that game they’ve still scored 4.5 runs per game over their last 12.

Lannan got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing four hits, all singles, and two walks. He struck out four.

That’s definitely Lannan’s best start as a Phillie and probably his best since May 27, 2011. He allowed two hits and two walks over 7 2/3 scoreless innings that day as the Nats topped the Padres 2-1.

He drops his ERA on the year to 4.23 after eight starts. He’s allowed just two home runs in 44 2/3 innings over his eight appearances, but righties are hitting 309/362/441 against him.

He set the Nats down in order in the top of the first.

He started the second up 2-0. Jayson Werth reached on a softly hit infield single with one out, but Lannan got Andy LaRoche on a fly ball to center for the second out and struck Anthony Rendon out swinging for the third.

He threw a 1-2-3 third.

Bryce Harper walked with one out in the fourth, but Ruiz threw him out trying to steal second for the second out. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single into center and Werth walked behind Zimmerman, putting men on first and second for LaRoche. LaRoche hit the ball well, but Utley handled it and threw to first to set the Nats down.

Huge caught stealing of Harper for the second out in the inning saves the Phils at least one run. Harper looked like he was actually safe at second on a close play, but the Phils catch a big break with the call.

Lannan set the Nats down in order in the fifth.

Harper singled to right with two outs in the sixth. Zimmerman grounded to short for the third out.

Up 3-0, Lannan threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Steve Lombardozzi bunted for a single with one out in the eighth. Denard Span was the next batter and grounded to second with Utley going to Rollins to force Lombardozzi for the second out. Lannan struck Ian Desmond out swinging 0-2 to end the frame.

Lannan allowed just four hits in his eight innings. One was the bunt single by Lombardozzi in the eighth and the other was a softly hit infield single by Werth in the second.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils still up by three. Harper led off with a single into center and moved up to third when Zimmerman doubled to center. It brought Werth to the plate as the tying run with nobody out and man on second and third. Werth blasted an 0-1 pitch to center, but Revere took in on the track in front of the wall for the second out. Harper tagged and scored (3-1) and Zimmerman moved up to third. LaRoche was next and he flew to center for the second out. Zimmerman tagged and scored. 3-2 with two outs and nobody on. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and flew to center to end the game.

Papelbon started the inning despite having thrown in three of the past four days, including 25 pitches the day before.

Papelbon gets Tracy to end the game. On June 17, Tracy homered off of Papelbon with two outs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 4-4. The Phils won it in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out single by Brown that scored Revere. Lannan also started the June 17 game.

Papelbon has pitched two days in a row and four times in five days. He almost surely will not pitch tonight, which is a problem for the Phillies given his status as the the only effective reliever in their pen.

Last night was just the second time this year he’s allowed more than one earned run in an appearance. He has a 4.09 ERA over 11 innings in his last 11 times out. He’s also allowed two unearned runs over those outings.

The Phillie lineup against righty Dan Haren went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Michael Young (6) Delmon Young (7) Ruf (8) Ruiz. Rollins hit second in the order for the first 11 games of the season and now has hit second two in a row. He’s been in the starting lineup 86 times — batting first 39 times, third 31 and second 16. Ruf plays first against the righty with Howard on the DL and out 6-8 weeks.

Revere and Rollins singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the first and pulled off a double-steal that left them on second and third with nobody out. Utley struck out swinging for the first out, but Brown was next and hit a ball back up the middle and off Haren’s foot. The ball rolled towards first and Brown beat it out for a single. Revere scored (1-0) and Rollins moved up to third, leaving runners on the corners with one down for Michael Young. Haren uncorked a wild pitch with Young at the plate, which moved Brown up to second with Rollins holding third. Young went on to walk, loading the bases for Delmon Young. Delmon Young struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Ruf was next and walked on a 3-2 pitch, moving everyone up a base and forcing Rollins home to make it 2-0. Ruiz flew to right to leave them loaded.

The Phils get three hits, two walks, two stolen bases and a wild pitch in the frame, but wind up with just one run. Big strikeouts for Utley and Delmon Young with less than two outs before Ruiz flies out with the bases loaded.

Brown moves up to second on the wild pitch with Rollins holding third, which looks weird in the box score, but looked less weird when it happened. The ball went under the catcher Ramos and to the backstop, off the wall and straight back towards the catcher. Rollins held and would have been out had he tried to go home, except that Ramos didn’t handle the ball as it came off the wall and it kicked away from him. So Rollins would actually have been safe. Didn’t matter at all as he scored on Ruf’s walk anyway.

Revere singled softly to right with one out in the second. Rollins was next and hit a ball in the hole between short and third, but Desmond made a nice diving play and threw to first to retire Rollins. Utley flew to left for the third out.

Second time in two innings that Revere and Rollins do their part to get a rally started at the top of the order. Desmond made a very nice play to take a hit away from Rollins and change the inning.

Brown walked to start the third and moved up to second when Michael Young followed and singled softly into center. Delmon Young struck out swinging for the first out and Ruf struck out swinging for the second. Ruiz flew to right to end the inning.

No run for the Phillies after they put runners on first and second with nobody out to start the inning. Second huge strikeout for Delmon Young in two at-bats. In the first he struck out swinging with one out and the bases loaded. In the third he struck out swinging with nobody out and runners on first and second.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Michael Young singled with one out in the fifth and moved to third when Delmon Young singled softly to right. It put runners on the corners for Ruf with two down. Ruf struck out swinging to leave them stranded.

Revere doubled to left off of lefty Fernando Abad with two outs in the sixth. Rollins was next and lined a single to right. Revere tried to score from second and slid in just ahead of a strong throw from Werth, putting the Phils up 3-0 with Rollins on second and two down. Utley grounded to second to end the frame.

Revere and Rollins again come up big. Back-to-back singles in the first and they both score. Revere singled with one out in the second and Rollins has a hit taken away by Desmond. Revere doubles in the sixth and scores on a two-out single by Rollins.

Revere doubles against the lefty. Ends the day with a 369/379/492 line against left-handed pitching for the season with seven extra-base hits in 66 PA. His isolated power for the year against righties is .030 and .123 against lefties.

Righty Ross Ohlendorf set the Phillies down in order in the seventh. Brown got an extra chance when Ramos dropped a foul popup, but grounded to third for the first out.

Ruf singled off of Ohlendorf to start the eighth and McDonald ran for him at first. Ruiz struck out for the first out. Frandsen hit for Lannan and struck out swinging for the second. Revere grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Two scoreless innings and three strikeouts for Ohlendorf, who pitched kinda like he was channeling Fozzie Bear after Fozzie had spent a week studying pitchers from the 1920s. Don’t know where he came up with that windup, but it’s definitely entertaining. The whole thing owes an assist to the reality that Ohlendorf’s last name is Ohlendorf and he has an eightish ERA over the last two years.

Revere was 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base in the game. Scored two of the three Phillie runs and his double was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils. 11-for-his-last-23 with two doubles and a triple. 343/379/406 in his 222 plate appearances since the end of April.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a stolen base and an RBI. 3-for-his-last-12. Two extra-base hits, both doubles, and a .281 slugging percentage over his last 141 plate appearances.

Utley 0-for-4 with a big strikeout after the double-steal in the first. 6-for-27 (.222) to start July.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 370/404/700 so far in July. 300/333/614 over his last 285 plate appearances.

Michael Young 2-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-his-last-10 with two walks.

Delmon Young was 1-for-4, struck out three times and left five men on base. He had two huge early strikeouts with less than two outs. Struck out with the bases loaded and one out in the first and with men on first and second with nobody out in the third. He’s hitting 429/462/551 over his last 52 plate appearances.

Ruf 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Struck out twice. 3-for-7 with a double and two walks on the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a strikeout and six men left on base. 2-for-his-last-10. Three extra-base hits in 122 PA for the year and an isolated power of .028.

Hamels (3-11, 4.38) faces righty Taylor Jordan (0-1, 2.70) tonight. The Phillies have won two games started by Hamels in a row for the first time this season. Coming in those two starts they were 2-14 in games he started. The 24-year-old Jordan was drafted by the Nats in the ninth round of the ’09 draft and has made two appearances with Washington this year, both starts. He hasn’t allowed an extra-base hit to any of the 46 batters he’s faced this season.


The merrier old soul

The Phils came out on top in a battle of Coles yesterday afternoon, topping the Pirates 6-4 to take the series two games to one.

Both Cole Hamels and Gerrit Cole pitched well, but Gerrit Cole got an early hook and not much help from his pen. The Phils took a 6-2 lead into the eighth before De Fratus coughed up a pair of runs that got the Pirates within two, but Papelbon shut them down in the ninth.

The Pirates came into the set white-hot winners of nine in a row, but the Phils outpitched them in the series. They got a solid start from Pettibone and 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in game one and a solid outing from Hamels in yesterday’s game.

The Phillies are 41-45 on the year after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one and are in third place in the NL East, 8 1/2 behind the first-place Braves and 2 1/2 behind the Nats.

The Phillies would have to go 49-27 (.645) in their remaining 76 games to finish the season with 90 wins.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Only one of the runs was earned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

The Phillies are just 4-14 on the year in starts by Hamels, but have won his last two times out. Righties have hit for a lot more power against him in 2013 than in recent years, but he fared well against them last night.

Jose Tabata doubled to left with one out in the first, but Hamels got Andrew McCutchen on a fly ball to center for the first out and Gaby Sanchez on a popup to Ruiz for the third.

Hamels struck out Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez in a 1-2-3 second.

He struck out Clint Barmes and pitcher Gerrit Cole to start the third before Starling Marte singled to right. Tabata was next and grounded a ball to the third base side of short. Rollins dove, backhanded and threw to second, where Ultey just didn’t catch the ball. It rolled around in short right field until Howard got it. Marte would up at third and Tabata on second. Utley was charged with an error. McCutchen was the next batter and he singled into center, scoring both runners to put the Pirates up 2-0. Sanchez grounded to short to end the inning.

Marte would have been safe at second on the ball hit by Tabata, even if Utley had caught it. Because Tabata got a single, one of the two runs charged to Hamels in the frame is earned. Had Utley caught the ball, it still would have been men on first and second with two down. The inning still would have continued and Marte still would have scored on the single by McCutchen.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when he set the Pirates down in order in the fifth.

The Phillies were up 5-2 when he threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

He allowed a leadoff single to Martin to start the seventh, but got the next three to leave Martin at first.

Hamels allows just one base-runner in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh on Martin’s single to start the seventh.

De Fratus started the eighth with the Phils up 6-2. Jordy Mercer and Starling singled back-to-back to start the frame, putting men on first and second with nobody out for Tabata. Lefty Garrett Jones hit for Tabata and singled to center. Mercer scored (6-3) and Marte moved up to third. McCutchen was next and grounded into a double-play. 6-4 with two down and the bases empty. Sanchez flew to left for the third out.

De Fratus faces five batters in the frame, allowing three hits. Huge double-play by McCutchen holds the damage to two runs. At least he didn’t walk anyone.

His ERA for the year is up to 5.19. He’s allowed eight runs in five innings over his last nine appearances. He’s faced 34 batters over those appearances and they’ve hit 458/606/625 against him.

Papelbon pitched the ninth. Pedro Alvarez singled with one out. Papelbon got Neil Walker on a fly ball to left for the second out. Lefty Travis Snider hit for the pitcher Ryan Reid and Papelbon struck Snider out swinging 0-2 to end the game.

The Phillie lineup against righty Gerrit Cole went (1) Revere (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Brown (6) Delmon Young (7) Frandsen (8) Ruiz. Frandsen starts at third with Michael Young on the bench and Revere leading off.

Revere led off the top of the first with a single to center, but was caught stealing after Utley struck out. Rollins delivered a two-out single into center, but was caught stealing with Howard at the plate to set the Phillies down.

Two caught stealings in the inning for the Phils. Revere’s went catcher to first base to second and Rollins was thrown out in the traditional way.

Revere stole three bases against the Mets on June 22. Since then he hasn’t stolen a base and has been caught four times.

Howard singled to left to start the second, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Revere singled to left with two outs in the third and moved up to third when Utley followed with a double. Rollins struck out swinging 0-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Ruiz singled to right with one out in the fifth and Hamels bunted him up to second with the second out. Revere was next and he singled to center. McCutchen threw home trying to get Ruiz, but his throw was terrible, way off line up the first base line. Ruiz scored (2-1), McCutchen was charged with an error and Revere took second. Utley grounded to first to leave Revere stranded.

Revere 3-for-3 with an RBI through the first five innings. Comes up with a big two-out hit to get the Phillies on the board.

Howard walked with one out in the sixth and moved up to second when Brown followed with a single to right. Righty Vin Mazzaro came in to pitch to Delmon Young and Young singled to left, loading the bases for Frandsen. Frandsen blooped a ball down the first base line that dropped for a single. Everyone moved up a base and Howard scored, tying the game at 2-2. Ruiz was next and lined a single into center, scoring Brown and Young. 4-2 with men on first and third with one out. Hamels was grazed by an 0-2 pitch, loading the bases again. Lefty Tony Watson came in to pitch to Revere. Revere grounded to short. Ruiz was out at third, but Frandsen scored to make it 5-2 with two down and runners on first and second. Utley flew to right to leave them there.

Quick hook for Cole. He had thrown just 78 pitches in the game and allowed one run. Left with one out and men on first and second and both went on to score.

Big break for the Phils with Hamels getting grazed by the pitch way down in the count. Gets them another runs as Frandsen is able to score on Revere’s ground out.

Rollins singled off of Watson to start the seventh, but Howard grounded into a double-play behind him. Brown struck out looking for the third out.

Delmon Young singled off of righty Ryan Reid to start the eighth and Mayberry ran for him at first. Frandsen was next and was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second with nobody out for Ruiz. Ruiz bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Michael Young hit for Hamels and flew to left, deep enough for Mayberry to tag and score from third. 6-2 with two down and Frandsen on second for Revere. Revere flew to center to set the Phillies down.

Frandsen hit by a pitch again. Seven in 107 plate appearances (about 6.5% of his PA). Nobody else on the team has been hit more than three times.

Utley tripled to center off of Reid to start the ninth with the lead cut to 6-4. Rollins popped to short for the first out. Howard struck out swinging for the second. Brown was walked intentionally to put runners on the corners for Mayberry. Mayberry grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.

No run for the Phillies after the leadoff triple in a two-run game. Rollins and Howard both can bring the runner home from third with less than two outs. Howard doesn’t put the ball in play against the righty.

Revere was 3-for-5 with a caught stealing and two RBI. 4-for-13 in the three-game set. 290/329/330 for the year. 333/373/381 over 204 plate appearances since the start of May. On-basing .293 at home and .355 on the road.

Utley was 2-for-5 with a double and a triple. Made a non-catch error on a throw from Rollins in the third that cost the Phillies a run. 3-for-12 with two walks, two doubles and a triple in the set. 282/349/521 for the year. 300/363/527 against righties and 238/314/508 against lefties. Better power against lefties than righties and more points of on-base percentage, but a lot more hits coming against righties.

Rollins was 2-for-5 and struck out twice. 4-for-14 with a double in the set. 264/325/362 for the year. One walk in his last 31 PA. Two extra-base hits, both doubles, and a .277 slugging percentage in his last 125 PA.

Howard 1-for-4 with walk. Struck out with Utley on third and one out in the ninth. 3-for-9 with a walk and an RBI in the series. 3-for-his-last-27 with three singles. 266/319/457 for the year.

Brown 1-for-4 with an intentional walk. 5-for-12 with a home run in the series. His numbers against righties have passed his numbers against lefties for the season. 278/331/561 against righties and 282/311/518 against lefties. 279/326/549 for the year. He came into the season having walked in 10.4% of his plate appearances and slugging .388 with an isolated power of .152. This year his isolated power is .270 and he’s walked in about 6.5% of his PA. Seems like his monster power display in 2013 should mean more walks, but it’s meant less.

Delmon Young 2-for-4. 6-for-12 with a double in the set. 17-for-his-last-35 with a 486/514/657 line over 37 PA with nine RBI. 273/323/443 for the year.

Frandsen 1-for-3 with an RBI. 2-for-5 with two RBI in the series. 286/387/440 for the year.

Ruiz 2-for-3 with two RBI. 4-for-9 with a walk and four singles in the set. 278/339/309 in 110 PA for the year. 12-for-his-last-31 (.387).

Lee (9-2, 2.59) faces righty Tim Hudson (4-7, 4.22) tonight in Philly as the Phils face the Braves. Lee hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last 11 starts and he’s averaged about 7.6 innings per start in those outings. Opponents have hit .189 against him over 30 innings in his last four starts. Hudson has a 2.45 ERA over his last six outings, but his most recent start was the worst of the six as he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Diamondbacks.

Update 7/8: Ryan Howard needs surgery and will be out 6-8 weeks.


It takes a really motley village

It took seven Phillie pitchers, two Pirates errors and a bunch of misplays, but the Phils won ugly last night, topping Pittsburgh 3-1 to snap a nine-game winning streak for the Pirates.

Pettibone started the game for the Phillies and pitched well, holding the Pirates to a run over 5 2/3 innings on a solo homer by Garrett Jones. Pettibone’s departure gave way to an ugly performance by a slew of relievers as Diekman, Aumont, Ramirez and Bastardo somehow managed to throw two scoreless innings despite allowing three hits and three walks. Justin De Fratus bailed them out, striking Jordy Mercer out swinging with the bases loaded to end the eighth, and Papelbon threw a scoreless ninth.

The Phillies were miserable on the bases, twice benefiting from misplays by Pirate outfielders that should have left them with a runner on second and nobody out. In the second, Brown was thrown out at third trying to turn his two-base gift into a three-base gift. In the ninth, Mayberry was picked off base after a misplay in left had given him a leadoff double. It’s probably not the way to go given that runs look likely to be scarce in the series. The Pirates have scored five runs in their last three games and the Phillies have scored seven.

The Phillies are 40-44 on the year after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 last night.

Pettibone got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He came into the start with six strikeouts in 15 innings over his last three outings, but struck out six last night.

Starling Marte led off the bottom of the first with a single into left. Russell Martin was next and lined to short with Rollins throwing to first in plenty of time to double-off Marte. Pettibone walked Andrew McCutchen, but retired Garrett Jones on a ground ball to first to end the inning.

Pettibone came into the game having gotten into huge trouble in the first inning in two of his last three starts. He gets a lot of help from the line out double-play this time and keeps the Pirates off the board despite the leadoff single and two-out walk.

He struck out Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker in a 1-2-3 second.

He got Travis Snider looking to start the third. The pitcher Brandon Cumpton was next and hit a fly ball to right that Delmon Young dropped for an error. Marte was next and grounded to short with Cumpton forced at second for the second out. Marte stole second before Martin walked on five pitches, putting runners on first and second with two down for McCutchen. McCutchen reached on an infield single, loading the bases for Jones. Pettibone got Jones swinging 2-2 to leave the bases loaded.

Huge strikeout for Pettibone with the bases loaded keeps the Pirates off the board despite an error, a single, a walk and a stolen base in the frame.

Pettibone threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth up 3-0. He walked Martin on five pitches to start the inning, but got McCutchen to ground into a double-play behind him. It cleared the bases for Jones, which was good because Jones hit a 2-1 pitch out to center, cutting the lead to 3-1. Diekman came in to pitch to the lefty Alvarez and walked him on five pitches. Walker struck out looking to leave Alvarez at first.

Walking the leadoff man is never good, but getting the double-play behind him is the way to go when you do. Phils were fortunate Jones picked the sixth and not the third to hit his homer.

Diekman faces two batters in the game, walking one and striking out the other. He’s walked 22 in 33 1/3 innings for his career.

Aumont started the seventh. Jordy Mercer led off and dumped a hit into left. Brown took the ball moving towards the line and Mercer went for two. Brown’s throw wasn’t especially strong, but it was on line and in time to get Mercer going for second for the first out. Snider was next and singled to right, but Aumont got the next two to leave him at first.

Aumont allows two hits in a scoreless frame, getting a lot of help as Brown throws Mercer out going for two on the leadoff single. Hasn’t walked anybody in either of his last two outings, though, which is a good sign. He’s allowed 13 walks 18 innings on the year.

JC Ramirez started the eighth and walked the leadoff man Martin on five pitches. McCutchen flew to center for the first out and Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Jones. Righty Brandon Inge hit for Jones and Bastardo struck him out swinging for the second out. Bastardo walked Alvarez 3-2 and a single to left by Walker loaded the bases for the righty Mercer with two down. De Fratus came in to pitch to Mercer and struck him out swinging 1-2 to leave the bases loaded.

If I haven’t been clear about this before, I’m really against walking the leadoff hitter. You shouldn’t count on allowing two walks and a single in an inning without giving up a run. Martin walks to start both the sixth and the eighth, but doesn’t score in either frame.

Ramirez faces two batters, allowing a leadoff walk and retiring the other. Last night’s walk to Martin is the only hit or walk he’s allowed over four innings in four appearances.

Bastardo faces three hitters, allowing a hit and a walk and getting one out. He’s walked 15 in 28 innings on the year.

De Fratus faced one batter and struck Mercer out with the bases loaded to end the eighth. He’s walked ten in 16 1/3 innings for the year.

Papelbon set the Pirtes down in the ninth to earn his 16th save.

Second scoreless outing for Papelbon in a row, coming off a funk where he allowed five runs in five innings over five appearances.

Overall the pen went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks. They struck out three. Bastardo threw 16 pitches in the game. He was the only reliever above 12.

The Phillie lineup against righty Brandon Cumpton went (1) Michael Young (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Brown (6) Delmon Young (7) Revere (8) Ruiz.

Utley walked with one out in the top of the first, but Rollins and Hoaward went down behind him.

Brown led off the second and lined a ball to right that probably should have been caught, but wasn’t. Snider played it on a bounce and the ball got away from him. Then he struggled trying to pick it up. Brown took second and then tried for third, but Snider’s throw came in to Walker and Walker threw to third in time to get Brown for the second out. Delmon Young and Revere went down behind Brown.

Brown didn’t look to be running hard out of the box on the ball he hit to right. Whether he was or wasn’t, second base would have been a nice place to be with nobody out given the multiple gifts Snider offered up on the play.

Michael Young reached on an infield single with two outs in the third. Utley grounded to Walker to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Ruiz was hit by a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the fifth. Pettibone grounded softly to first for the third out.

Young singled into center to start the sixth. Utley was next and grounded to second with Young forced at second for the first out. Rollins followed with a soft single to right that put men on first and second for Howard. Howard lined a single to left-center, scoring Utley (1-0) and moving Rollins up to third. It brought Brown to the plate with one down and men on the corners. He flew to center for the second out, deep enough for Rollins to tag and score. 2-0 with two down and Howard on first for Delmon Young. Young lined a 1-1 pitch to the gap in left-center for a double. Howard rolled around third and tried to score. McCutchen got to the ball quickly and threw to Mercer at short. Mercer’s throw home was on line, but Martin didn’t handle it cleanly. Howard scored (3-0) and Mercer was charged with a tough error. Lefty Justin Wilson came in and got Revere on a ground ball to second, leaving Young stranded.

Howard is really slow, but he probably would have slid in safe to home on the Young double even if Martin had handled Mercer’s throw.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Wilson set the Phils down in order in the seventh. Frandsen hit for Diekman and popped to third for the second out.

Righty Bryan Morris pitched the eighth for Pittsburgh. Howard chopped a single on the left side of the infield with two outs, but Brown struck out trying to check his swing 0-2 to leave him at first.

Mayberry led off the ninth and doubled to left off the glove of Marte. Revere tried to bunt him up to third, but missed an 0-1 pitch and Martin threw to second and picked Mayberry off for the first out. Revere grounded to second for the second out before Ruiz singled to left. Nix hit for De Fratus. Ruiz took second on a wild pitch, but was left stranded when Nix struck out swinging.

Second huge base-running mistake of the game for the Phils were a runner on second base with nobody out was erased. Brown in the second and Mayberry in the ninth.

Marte should have caught Mayberry’s ball. In both the second and the ninth, the Phillies got a gift from a Pirates outfielder that should have left them with a runner on second and nobody out. In the second, Brown was out going for third. In the ninth, Mayberry was picked off of second. That’s terrible.

Michael Young was 2-for-4 in the game. He’s 8-for-his-last-19. 419/432/535 in his 44 PA batting #1 in the order this year. So I’d go with that for a while.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s slugging .292 with two extra-base hits, both doubles, in his last 120 plate appearances. Shouldn’t be hitting third. His isolated power for the year in .098, which is his worst mark in any year he’s gotten 100 PA.

Howard 2-for-4 with an RBI. Managed to score from first on a two-out double, but just barely. Came into the game 0-for-his-last-18.

Brown 1-for-3 with an RBI. Miserable base-running in the second. Threw Mercer out at second in the seventh. Sac fly with one out in the sixth. Walked in 9.9% of his 121 PA in June after not drawing a walk in 109 PA in May.

Delmon Young 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Dropped a fly ball for an error. 12-for-his-last-26 with two walks, three doubles and a home run. After 301 1/3 innings in right field, FanGraphs has his UZR/150 there at -36.5, which is the worst mark among the 40 players across both leagues who have played at least 200 innings in right this season.

Revere 0-for-4. Came into the game 9-for-his-last-16. 313/350/365 over his last 224 plate appearances with a .349 BABIP.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a hit by pitch and a single that should have driven in Mayberry, but instead drove in nobody. Three extra-base hits, all doubles, in 102 PA for the year and an isolated power of .033.

Lannan (1-2, 4.83) faces lefty Jeff Locke (7-1, 2.06) tonight. Righties are hitting 316/370/500 against lefties for the season and lefties 167/231/167. Opponents are hitting .199 against Locke for the year. He has a 1.07 ERA over his last eight starts. He’s been outstanding this year. If there’s a chink in his armor it’s that he’s walked a lot of right-handed hitters. He’s walked about 12% of the righties he’s faced this season.


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