And if anyone knows where we can find a blind squirrel, I don’t think we should discount the possibility it might be able to give the outfield a defensive boost. At least not without careful consideration.
Kyle Kendrick struggled again last night, but the Phils managed nine runs and topped the Cubs 9-8. Domonic Brown returned to the lineup and made a huge error in the top of the ninth, dropping a fly ball that should have ended the game. Chicago scored three in the frame, but the Phils held on to win by a run despite another ugly outing from Papelbon.
Despite the struggles of Kendrick and Papelbon and the misplay by Brown, the Phils won thanks to massive production from an offense that has been struggling. Ruiz homered for the second time in 20 at-bats, Utley had three hits and drove in a pair and Asche had two hits, including a double. Michael Young had a walk and two doubles out of the leadoff spot. Darin Ruf wielded the biggest stick of them all for the Phils, driving in a pair of runs with a double and his fourth homer of the season. He’s slugging .596 for his career after 133 plate appearances.
The Phillies are 51-61 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-8 last night. They snap a five-game losing streak with the win and are 2-13 over their last 15 games.
Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Only four of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
Kendrick has a 6.93 ERA over his last seven starts. Opponents have hit .330 against him in those outings and he’s allowed five or more runs in four of the seven.
He threw a 1-2-3 first and started the second up 1-0. He allowed four runs in the second. Donnie Murphy hit a three-run shot to left with one out to put the Cubs up 4-1. Kendrick got the next two hitters behind Murphy.
Second time in two starts that Kendrick got hammered early in the game. In his most recent start before last night, he allowed four runs in the top of the first to the Giants.
Kendrick did suffer a bit of misfortune in the frame. Darwin Barney reached on catcher’s interference right ahead of the home run by Murphy. The Cubs also got a little help from the Phils to score their first run of the frame ahead of the homer. With one out and Nate Schierholtz on third, Wellington Castillo grounded hard to third. Asche fielded and came home, but not in time to get Schierholtz as the runner slid in safe to put the Cubs up 1-0. Asche fielded the ball nicely, but was a little slow with the throw and the Phillies wound up not getting an out on the play.
The lead was cut to 4-2 when Kendrick pitched the third. Anthony Rizzo hit a solo home run to right with one out to extend the Chicago lead to 5-2.
The Phils were down 5-4 when Kendrick set the Cubs down in order in the fourth and again in the fifth.
The Phillies led 7-5 when he started the sixth. He allowed a one-out single to Wellington Castillo, but got the two hitters behind Castillo to turn the Cubs away.
Kendrick retires ten of 11 batters he faces from the last out of the third inning through the sixth.
Diekman pitched the seventh with the Phils up 8-5. He allowed a two-out single to Junior Lake, but got Rizzo behind Lake to end the frame.
Diekman was back to start the eighth and struck the lefty Schierholtz out looking for the first out. De Fratus came in to pitch to the righty Starlin Castro. Castro reached on an infield single and Castillo followed with softly hit single to center, which put men on first and second with one out for the pitcher Hector Rondon. Switch-hitter Dioner Navarro hit for Rondon. De Fratus struck him out swinging for the second out and got Murphy swinging to leave the runners stranded.
Two huge strikeouts for De Fratus after the Cubs bring the tying runs to the plate. He faces four batters in the game, allowing two singles and striking the other two out. Drops his ERA for the year to 4.23 with the outing. He hasn’t been charged with a run in seven innings over his last seven appearances. Hasn’t walked any of the 19 batters he’s faced in his last five appearances. Has still walked about 11.1% of the hitters he’s faced for the year, which is too many. 10% of right-handed batters and 16.2% of left-handed batters.
Diekman faces five batters in the game, getting four outs and allowing a single to the other. He has a 1.77 ratio for the year in his 25 appearances. He’s been great against lefties, but righties are hitting 377/441/528 against him.
Papelbon started the ninth with a 9-5 lead. Logan Watkins led off with a single and moved up to third when Castillo followed with a double to right. Papelbon struck out the next two hitters before Schierholtz singled into center, scoring both runners. 9-7 with two outs and Schiertholtz on first. Castro was next and hit a 3-2 pitch to left that should have ended the game, but Brown just dropped the ball for an error. Schierholtz scored (9-8) and Castro moved up to second. Castro took third on a wild pitch before Castillo walked, putting runners on the corners with two down for pitcher Michael Bowden. Righty Thomas Neal hit for Bowden and flew to left to end the game.
Bad time to drop a fly ball for Brown. He had to move to his left to get to it, but was there and just didn’t catch it.
Papelbon has to pitch around the error by Brown, but even without the error he would have allowed two runs on two singles and a double in the frame. After 19 appearances on the year he had thrown to an 0.92 ERA and an 0.61 ratio. Since then he’s made 20 appearances in which he’s thrown to a 4.32 ERA with a 1.44 ratio.
Three innings for the pen in which they allow three runs, two earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out six. Papelbon threw 30 pitches in the game (assist to Brown’s error on that front).
The Phillie lineup against righty Edwin Jackson went (1) Michael Young (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Brown (5) Ruf (6) Mayberry (7) Asche (8) Ruiz. Brown returns to the lineup and left field after missing time with concussion-related issues. Ruf plays right field for the first time ever in the majors or minors (played there one game in a winter league). Brown/Mayberry/Ruf is a horrible, horrible defensive outfield much in the same way Ruf/Mayberry/Young is a horrible, horrible defensive outfield. Asche at third with Michael Young at first.
The Phils jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Michael Young led off with a double to center and scored when Utley followed with a single to left. The Phils put runners on first and third with one down for Ruf later in the frame, but Ruf lined to short and Brown was doubled off of first to end the inning.
The Phils were down 4-1 when they hit in the second. Asche doubled to right with one out and scored on a two-out single by Kendrick. 4-2.
First career extra-base hit for Asche leads to a run for the Phils.
They were down 5-2 when they hit in the third. Utley and Rollins singled back-to-back to start the frame, putting runners on the corners with nobody out for Brown. Rollins stole second before Brown grounded to short for the first out. Utley scored (5-3) and Rollins moved up to third. Ruf was next and doubled to right, scoring Rollins (5-4), but was out trying to stretch his double to the gap into a triple. Mayberry flew to right for the third out.
Asche walked to start the fourth, but Ruiz grounded into a double-play behind him. Kendrick struck out swinging for the third out.
Young walked to start the fifth and scored when Utley followed with a triple off the wall in center. 5-5. Rollins grounded to second for the first out with Utley holding. Brown was next and grounded to first for the second out with Utley scoring from third. 6-5. Ruf was next and smashed a 3-1 pitch out to left, putting the Phils on top 7-5. Mayberry grounded to first to end the inning.
Second huge hit for Ruf in three innings.
Asche singled to right off of righty Hector Rondon to start the sixth and scored when Michael Young lined a two-out double to right, putting the Phillies up 8-5.
Rondon set Rollins, Brown and Ruf down in order in the seventh.
With two outs in the eighth, Ruiz homered to left off of righty Michael Bowden. 9-5. Frandsen hit for De Fratus and flew to right for the third out.
Michael Young 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and an RBI. He came into the game 1-for-his-last-15.
Utley 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBI. He came into the game 5-for-his-last-36.
Rollins 1-for-4 with a single. 214/252/296 over his last 104 plate appearances.
Brown 1-for-4 with two RBI and a huge error in the ninth in his first action since July 23.
Ruf 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Non-catastrophic in right. 6-for-his-last-15 with two walks, two home runs and a double. 339/438/548 against right-handed pitching in 73 plate appearances for the year. Still just 4-for-19 (.211) against lefties, but with two home runs.
Mayberry 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 217/275/383 over his last 131 plate appearances.
Asche 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Didn’t get an out in the top of the first when he came home with Castillo’s grounder and Schierholtz scored. 3-for-20 on the year with a double.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a home run. 6-for-his-last-20 with a walk, two doubles and two home runs. He had four extra-base hits, all doubles, in his last 165 plate appearances and has four over his last 24.
Hamels (4-13, 3.87) faces lefty Travis Wood (7-8, 3.05) tonight. Hamels has allowed more than two runs in just one of his last six starts, throwing to a 2.09 ERA with a 1.07 ratio in those appearances. The Phils are 0-3 in his last three times out and has lost each of his last two starts by a 2-1 score. He’s allowed two home runs in 43 innings since the start of July. Wood has been outstanding this year, but struggled in three of his last four starts, throwing to a 4.98 ERA and a 1.98 ratio in those appearances. Opponents are hitting just .214 against him for the year and lefties just 180/265/246.
The next update to Philliesflow won’t be until around August 20.