Archive for August, 2013

So what could we get for $172 million?

Maybe they just haven’t spent enough money. It’s brainstorming, folks. There are no bad ideas.

Okay, I take that back. There are some bad ideas. Turns out some of them are really atrocious, actually. On the plus side, it feels like a bunch of them have already been tried. Sooner or later they have to run out, right? Hello?

The Rockies rocked Tyler Cloyd early last night, scoring five times in the first three innings as the Phils fell 5-3.

Colorado jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with the help of a two-run homer by Troy Tulowitzki in the first. They scored another on three hits in the second and Wilin Rosario added a solo shot in the third. The Phillie offense managed three hits in the game, all singles. One was a bloop into left center and another was a seventh-inning infield single by Cody Asche, which was his first career hit against a lefty.

The Phillies are 55-70 on the year after losing 5-3 to the Colorado Rockies last night. The teams have split the first two games of the four-game set. The Phils are 7-22 since the All-Star break, which is the worst record for any team in either league.

Cloyd got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and two home runs. He struck out six.

Cloyd ups his ERA for the year to 4.02 with the outing. Lefties are getting on base a lot against him, on-basing .371, and righties are showing a lot of power. Righties are hitting .284 against him with a .543 slugging percentage and 12 extra-base hits, including four home runs, in 87 plate appearances.

The Rockies got to him early last night, scoring five runs in the first three innings.

He walked the leadoff man Dexter Fowler to start the game and Troy Tulowitzki hit a long home run to left with one out. 2-0. Michael Cuddyer followed that with a double to center, moved up to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.

Tulo is 3-for-7 with a walk and two home runs in the first two games of the set.

Charlie Blackmon doubled with one out in the second and scored on two-out single by Fowler, extending the Colorado lead to 4-0.

With two outs in the third, Wilin Rosario hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to center. 5-0.

Last night was Cloyd’s first outing since June. In June he made three starts and threw to a 1.45 ERA. He didn’t allow a home run in 18 2/3 innings. Last night he allowed two in his first three frames.

The Colorado lead was cut to 5-3 when he pitched the fourth, striking out Blackmon and Fowler as he set Colorado down in order.

He allowed a two-out single to Cuddyer in the fifth and a one-out double to Nolan Arenado in the sixth, but kept the Rockies off the board in both frames.

Cloyd went three scoreless frames after the third innings, allowing a single and a double.

Zach Miner started the seventh. He allowed a leadoff single to Fowler, but Ruiz threw Fowler out trying to steal second and Miner retired the other two batters he faced.

Fifth appearance of the season for Miner, who dropped his ERA to 3.12 with the outing. Four of them have been really good and he was charged with three runs in a third of an inning in the other. Lefties are 1-for-9 against him so far, but righties have hit the righty hard. 7-for-23 (.304) with a walk, a double and a home run.

Cesar Jimenez threw the last two innings. He set the Rockies down in order in the eighth. He allowed a single and a walk in the ninth, but got right-handed pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson to fly to center with runners on first and second to end the frame.

Two innings is the longest outing for Jimenez since 2008. He has a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 ratio after five appearances and six innings with the Phils this year.

Nice day for the pen as they go three scoreless frames in relief of Cloyd, allowing two hits and a walk. Jimenez threw 30 pitches and seems unlikely to be available for tonight’s game.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Jorge De La Rosa went (1) Rollins (2) Ruiz (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Michael Young (6) Ruf (7) Asche (8) Mayberry. Ruf in right and Mayberry in center. Ruiz hits second for the second straight day, which makes more sense against the lefty. Not a big fan of the Ruf needs reps in right field thinking. I’m going to be pretty surprised if Ruf is able to play right. Mayberry shouldn’t be playing center field every day, no matter who is hurt. The righty Wells on the bench against the lefty with the lefty Asche playing third and Young at first. Asche makes his first career start against a lefty.

The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the first. Ruiz walked with one out, but Utley and Brown went down behind him.

Down 4-0, they went in order in the second.

Down 5-0, Mayberry blooped a single into left to start the third. Cloyd bunted him to second with the first out. Ruiz was next and hit a ball pretty hard to first, where Helton didn’t handle it for an error that allowed Mayberry to score (5-1) and Rollins to take third. With runners on the corners and one down, Utley lined a single to right. 5-2 with men on first and third for Brown. Brown hit a line drive into center that Fowler caught for the second out. Ruiz tagged at third and scored on a weak and up the line throw from Fowler, cutting the lead to 5-3. Young struck out to end the inning.

A lot of good fortune in the inning helps get the Phils back in the game. Mayberry starts it off with a bloop to left. Big error by Helton on Ruiz’s ball. Weak throw by Fowler helps Ruiz score from third on Brown’s line drive to center.

The Phils didn’t have a base-runner in the fourth, fifth or sixth.

Asche reached on an infield single off of De La Rosa with one out in the seventh and Mayberry walked behind him. Frandsen hit for Miner and righty Matt Belisle took over for De La Rosa. Frandsen flew to center for the second out and lefty Rex Brothers came in to pitch to Rollins. Rollins ripped a ball down the third base line, but Arenado made a great play, fielding the ball and making an off-balance throw to first where Helton tagged Rollins out to end the inning.

Helton missed the tag on Rollins at first, but Rollins didn’t argue and neither did Sandberg. Very nice play by Arenado.

The Rockies bring the lefty Brothers in to pitch to the switch-hitter Rollins after the righty Belisle retires the only batter he faces. Rollins has been terrible against both righties and lefties this year, but a little worse against lefties. 233/295/300 against lefties and 249/304/346 against righties. He has very similar numbers against lefties and righties for his career.

Brothers was back for the eighth. Utley walked with one out. Brown was next and grounded to short with Utley forced at second. Brothers and the home plate umpire had an issue around whether Brothers was stopping before he came to the plate, which resulted Brown being balked to second and then to third. Young struck out swinging to leave him there.

The first two games of the set have featured the balk more prominently than I would have guessed. Whatever it takes to keep the interest level of the fans sky-high, I suppose.

Righty Rafeal Betancourt got Ruf, Asche and Mayberry in order in the ninth.

Rollins 0-for-3 with a walk. Arenado took a hit away from him in the seventh with a nice play at third. He’s hitting 252/314/397 over his last 2,965 plate appearances going back to the start of 2009. From 2004 to 2008, he hit 286/342/468 over 3,618 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk. 6-for-his-last-11 with a walk, a double and a home run.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 2-for-his-last-18 with two singles.

Brown 0-for-3 with an RBI. First game without a hit or a walk since his return. 306/364/510 in 55 PA since coming back.

Ruf 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Went 0-for-3 with a strikeout against the lefty De La Rosa, although he hit the ball hard to short in the second inning. The righty Betancourt struck him out looking 0-2 in the ninth. He’s still pounding righties with oddly bad numbers against lefties. 5-for-33 (.152) against lefties with strikeouts in about 35.1% of his 35 PA.

Asche 1-for-4 with an infield single. Went on a tear from August 6 to August 12 in which he went 8-for-23 with a walk, two doubles and two home runs. Since then he’s 3-for-21 (.143) with a walk and a double. Hit an 0-1 pitch up the middle in the seventh inning against De La Rosa for his single with Tulowitzki fielding on the second base side of second and throwing to first late. Asche is 1-for-6 against lefties for the year.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a bloop single to left and a walk. 3-for-his-last-8 with two walks and a home run, but hitting just 160/222/300 over his last 54 plate appearances. His numbers against lefties are getting better (264/321/472 now) and I would expect them to continue to do so. His numbers against righties (236/292/394) are bad and I would expect them to continue to be.

Lee (10-6, 3.19) faces righty Juan Nicasio (7-6, 4.94) tonight. The Phillies are 0-5 in Lee’s last five starts and 1-7 his last eight times out. He has a 5.17 ERA in his six starts since the beginning of July and has allowed nine home runs in 38 1/3 innings in those outings. Nicasio faced the Phillies on June 14 and was charged with five runs in 5 2/3 innings. He has a 3.95 ERA in his ten starts in Colorado and a 5.76 ERA in his 13 starts on the road. Part of that is bad luck as he’s allowed a BABIP of .248 at home and .319 on the road, but he’s also struck out about 21.5% of the hitters he’s faced at home and only about 12.1% of the hitters he’s faced on the road.


My favorite Martin

There’s not a whole lot to like about the present or the future for the Phillies, but 24-year-old Ethan Martin sure looked good last night. Martin threw six shutout innings against the Rockies before surrendering a pair of runs in the seventh and the Phils held on for a 5-4 win.

Mayberry delivered the big blow of the game, a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Ruiz added a solo shot in the fifth.

The Phillies are 55-69 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 5-4 last night. The Phils have won two straight, but are 6-21 since beating the Mets 13-8 on July 19 to go a game over .500. They have scored 80 runs in those 27 games, which is about 2.96 per game. Coming into last night’s game they had scored 12 runs in their last seven games (about 1.71 per game).

Martin got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out six.

Really nice outing for Martin. He allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Braves in his debut. Since then he’s made three starts in which he’s thrown to a 3.31 ERA and a 1.22 ratio while striking out 16 in 16 1/3 innings.

He allowed a two-out single to Troy Tulowitzki in the top of the first, but got Michael Cuddyer on a ground ball he handled himself to end the frame.

He struck out the side in the second.

Martin struck out Dexter Fowler and Corey Dickerson to start the game. He had five strikeouts through two innings.

He got three ground balls in the third as he set Colorado down in order.

Cuddyer singled to left with two outs in the fourth, but Martin retired Wilin Rosario on a fly ball to right to set the Rockies down.

He started the fifth up 4-0 and set Colorado down in order.

Up 5-0, he threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Wells made a nice sliding catch in right for the third out on a ball off the bat of Dickerson.

Tulo hit Martin’s first pitch of the seventh out to left, cutting the lead to 5-1. Cuddyer was next and walked on four pitches. Rosario flew to left for the first out before Cuddyer stole second, bringing Todd Helton to the plate with one out and a man on second. Helton hit a ball into the gap in left-center that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. 5-2. Nolan Arenado was next and walked on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt, putting men on first and second with one down for righty DJ LeMahieu. De Fratus took over for Martin and got LeMahieu on a fly ball to right for the second out. Lefty Charlie Blackmon hit for the pitcher Jeff Francis and De Fratus struck him out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Martin falls apart a little in the seventh after starting the game with six shutout frames. Tulowitzki leads off by hitting his first pitch out to left and he walks Cuddyer on four pitches behind him. Home run, walk, out, double, walk to the five men he faces in the frame.

Martin had only thrown 72 pitches for the game when he started the seventh.

De Fratus faces two batters in the inning and gets two big outs. He has an 0.73 ERA and a 1.14 ratio in 12 1/3 innings over his last 12 appearances. The righty has been really good against lefties, they’re hitting 143/286/314 against him, but hit hard by righties. 309/387/426.

Luis Garcia started the eighth. Fowler led off with a five-pitch walk and moved up to third when Dickerson followed with a single to right. It brought Tulowitzki to the plate as the tying run and Garcia walked him on four pitches, loading the bases for Cuddyer. Cuddyer struck out swinging for the first out, but Rosario was next and he lined a single into center. Fowler and Dickerson both scored and Tulo moved up to second. 5-4 with one out and men on first and second for the lefty Helton. Diekman struck Helton out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Arenado was next and stepped out of the box as Diekman prepared his 1-2 delivery — Diekman was already in his windup when the batter stepped out and didn’t deliver the pitch. Time out hadn’t been given and Diekman was charged with a balk, moving the runners up to second and third. Arenado went down swinging at a 99-mile-per-hour fastball from Diekman.

You don’t want to walk the leadoff man if you can help it. Garcia gets a huge strikeout of Cuddyer with the bases loaded for the first out, but gives up the two-run single to the next hitter Rosario.

Garcia faced five hitters in the game, allowing two walks and two singles and striking the other out. He’s walked 16 in 16 innings over 16 appearances for the year. Opponents are hitting just .214 against him, but on-basing .397. He’s allowed five earned runs over 1 1/3 innings in his last two appearances, pushing his ERA from 3.07 to 5.63.

Diekman gets called for the weird balk, but faces two hitters and gets two huge strikeouts. The strikeout of Arenado came against a righty with a one-run lead and two men on base. Worked out great for the Phillies, but I think you might want to have a righty against Arenado there, even if it’s Papelbon. Especially given the the pitcher’s spot wasn’t due to hit in the eighth for the Phils and the Rockies were going to go 8-9-1 in the ninth if you can get Arenado out.

Opponents have hit just .147 against Diekman in 10 1/3 innings over his last 11 appearances, but he’s walked seven. Righties are hitting 362/439/500 against him for the year, which is one reason why you don’t want Arenado facing him with two men on base and two outs in the top of the eighth. He’s allowed just two home runs in 51 2/3 innings for his career, which is the way to go if he wants to have a chance given his 32 walks in those 51 2/3 frames.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils up a run. LeMahieu led off and singled softly to center. Righty Charlie Culberson hit for the pitcher Rex Brothers. With the count 1-2 on Culberson, LeMahieu was picked off of first with Ruf throwing to Rollins and Rollins running down LeMahieu in-between first and second for the first out. Culberson grounded to third for the second out. Papelbon struck Fowler out looking to end the game.

Really a great time to pick LeMahieu off of first for Papelbon, what with being the tying run and whatnot.

Three batters in the frame for Papelbon. Single, pickoff and two outs. The single was softly hit. Papelbon was pitching for the second straight day and has allowed two hits in three scoreless innings his last three times out.

Overall the pen 2 2/3 innings in relief of Martin, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks. Garcia struggled, but De Fratus, Diekman and Papelbon all pitched well. Papelbon has thrown two days in a row and threw 12 pitches in the game.

The Phillie lineup against righty Jeff Manship went (1) Rollins (2) Ruiz (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Ruf (6) Asche (7) Mayberry (8) Wells. Mayberry in center with Wells in right. Mayberry can’t play center field. Just stop it. -30.3 UZR/150 in center for the year and -18.8 for his career as calculated by FanGraphs coming into the game. Mayberry has a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of -1.4 for the season coming into the game. Casper Wells is a good defensive outfielder and has been non-terrible in about 211 career innings in center. The Phillies are a really bad team right now, but we don’t need more data on Mayberry in center. I would have trouble defending the decision to play Wells in right and Mayberry in center when they’re both in the lineup. For the bazillionth time, I think Mayberry could help a good team as a fourth outfielder who plays a corner and hits against lefties. Ruiz hits second after going 4-for-4 on Sunday. Second time he’s hit second this year with August 8 being the other. He comes into the game on-basing .270 against right-handed pitching for the season. Michael Young out of the lineup after being removed from Saturday’s game with a sore left ankle.

Ruiz doubled to left with one out in the bottom of the first, but Utley and Brown went down behind him.

Asche singled to center with one out in the second, but Mayberry and Wells both grounded out behind him.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Utley and Brown singled back-to-back to start the fourth, putting men on first and second for Ruf. Ruf walked on five pitches to load the bases for Asche. Asche swung at Manship’s first pitch and grounded to second. Ruf was forced at second for the first out, but everyone else moved up a base. 1-0 with one down and men on the corners for Mayberry. Mayberry pounded a 2-1 pitch out to left for a three-run homer, putting the Phils up 4-0. Wells and Martin went down behind him.

Mayberry delivers the big swing of the game. Asche swings at the first pitch after Ruf walks on five pitches.

Ruiz hit a 2-0 pitch out to left with one out in the fifth for his third home run of the year. 5-0. Utley and Brown both flew out behind him.

Ruf singled off of lefty Jeff Francis to start the sixth, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Righty Wilton Lopez set the Phillies down in order in the seventh. Frandsen hit for De Fratus and popped to third for the first out.

Lefty Rex Brothers struck out Brown and Ruf as the Phils went in order in the eighth.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game to drop his average on the year to .246. He’s having the worst year of his career, both offensively and defensively. 1-for-his-last-19.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and a home run, upping his line against righties for the season to 245/275/314. He’s upped his average for the season from .250 to .270 by going 6-for-his-last-8 with a double and a home run.

Utley 1-for-4. 1-for-his-last-15.

Brown 1-for-4. 326/392/543 in August after hitting 186/222/326 in his last 45 PA in July.

Ruf 1-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 2-for-his-last-6 with two walks. 6-for-his-last-33 (.182) with three home runs. 304/413/576 against righties and 5-for-30 (.167) with two home runs against lefties.

Asche 1-for-3 with an RBI. 2-for-his-last-17 with a walk and a double.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a three-run homer. 4-for-his-last-32 (.125) with a double and a home run. Huge homer off the righty last night, but hitting just 237/293/396 against righties for the year. Mayberry and Ruiz do the damage for the offense in the game, each delivering big swings against a righty in a year in which they’ve struggled against right-handed pitching. Mayberry is hitting just 233/299/384 against righties for his career.

Wells 0-for-3 and made nice catch in right to end the sixth. 1-for-16 with a double since joining the Phils. You know your team is really bad when you see they’ve picked up Casper Wells and you think it’s a really good move that will help the squad. Again, the problem isn’t that he doesn’t belong on the roster, it’s that he shouldn’t be starting. See also John Mayberry.

Cloyd (2-2, 3.41) faces lefty Jorge De La Rosa (12-6, 3.22) tonight. Cloyd has allowed three earned runs in 18 2/3 innings over his last three starts, throwing to a 1.45 ERA with the same 1.45 ratio. He’s allowed nine walks in those 18 2/3 innings — allowing walks at that rate isn’t going to add up to a 1.45 ERA for very long. In six starts on the year, Cloyd has allowed more than two earned runs just once. The one he did allow more than two was awful — he gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Red Sox on May 27. He allowed two home runs in that game. Over his other five starts he hasn’t allowed a home run in 32 innings. De La Rosa has allowed one home run in 27 innings over his last five times out. Righties have had a lot more luck against him on the season than lefties, posting a 282/344/400 line against him while lefties have hit 213/286/255.


Even a blind squirrel gets to play the Cubs once in a while

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.


Phils give Papelbon another chance to get some people out in the ninth, but apparently he didn’t come here for that, either

The Phillies lost for the tenth time in 11 games last night, falling 2-1 to the Giants. Hamels threw eight shutout innings and Papelbon started the ninth with a 1-0 lead, but allowed a pair of runs on four hits and a walk. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies loaded the bases with nobody out and failed to score.

It was Papelbon’s sixth blown save in his last 17 appearances, but the first that came on a night that Brad Lidge, perfect in save chances in 2008 when the Phils won the World Series, was remembered and threw out the first pitch. It was ironic. Like rain on your wedding day or 10,000 spoons when all you need is someone to get out Brooks Kieschnick’s nephew.

The Phillies are 50-58 on the year after losing 2-1 to the San Francisco Giants last night. The Giants take the series two games to one. The Phillies are 1-10 since going a game above .500 with a 13-8 win over the Mets on July 19.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

Hamels has allowed more than two runs in a start in just one of his six outings since the beginning of July. He’s allowed two runs in 15 innings over his last two starts (1.20 ERA and a 1.13 ratio). The Phillies have lost both of his last two starts 2-1. Over his last eight starts he’s allowed three home runs in 55 innings. He allowed 12 home runs in 94 innings over his first 15 outings.

Marco Scutaro singled to left with one out in the top of the first. Hamels got Pablo Sandoval to fly to right for the second out before Buster Posey singled to right, putting runners on the corners with two down. Hunter Pence popped to Utley to leave them stranded.

He set the Giants down in order in the second and again in the third.

Posey doubled to left with one out in the fourth. Pence was next and reached on an infield single, putting men on the corners with one down for Brett Pill. Hamels struck Pill out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Pence stole second before Jeff Francoeur grounded to Utley to leave the runners stranded.

Hamels gets a huge second out, striking the righty Pill out with men on the corners.

He walked Andres Torres with two outs in the fifth, but got Scutaro on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

The Phils led 1-0 when he started the sixth. Sandoval led off with a single to left, but Pence grounded into a double-play behind him. Pence was next and doubled to left, but Hamels struck Pill out again to leave Pence at second.

Second time in three innings that Hamels strikes Pill out in a big spot.

Joaquin Arias singled to center with one out in the seventh. The pitcher Matt Cain bunted him to second with the second out. Torres flew to center to leave Arias stranded.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 1-0 lead. Pence led off and reached on an infield single to short. Pill was next and lined a single to right. First and third with nobody out for Francoeur. Lefty Roger Kieschnick hit for the righty Francoeur and singled past a diving Young at first and into right. First and third with nobody out and the game tied at 1-1. Arias singled to left. First and second, nobody out with the Giants up 2-1. Lefty Gregor Blanco hit for the pitcher Cain and bunted. Ruiz fielded and threw to third to force Kieschnick for the first out. Lefty Brandon Belt hit for the switch-hitter Torres and walked, loading the bases for Scutaro. Scutaro grounded to third with Asche throwing home to force Arias for the second out. Sandoval grounded to short to leave them loaded.

Papelbon faces eight hitters in the inning, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. Pence reaches on an infield single to start the inning. Young looked like he had a chance to field Kieschnick’s ball at first.

Papelbon has a 4.09 ERA and a 1.41 ratio over 22 innings in his last 22 appearances. Two of the 12 runs he has allowed have been unearned.

The Phillie lineup against righty Matt Cain went (1) Rollins (2) Michael Young (3) Utley (4) Ruf (5) Asche (6) Mayberry (7) Nix (8) Ruiz. Nix in right against the righty with Delmon Young on the bench. Asche starts at third for the second straight day with Michael Young at first. Asche hits fifth for the Phils despite entering the game without a hit for his career.

Michael Young struck out as the Phils went in order in the first.

Ruf and Asche both struck out as they went in order in the second.

Hamels struck out as they went in order in the third.

Utley lined a single to center with two outs in the fourth. Ruf went down on a popup the first baseman Pill handled in foul territory to end the inning.

Nix and Ruiz singled back-to-back with two outs in the fifth, putting runners on first and second for Hamels. Hamels blooped a ball the opposite way down the left field line for a single. Nix scored (1-0) and Ruiz went to third. With Rollins at the plate, Hamels was caught off of first and eventually tagged out to end the frame.

Rollins struck out as the Phillies went in order in the sixth.

Ruf walked to start the seventh and Martinez ran for him at first. Asche flew to center for the first out before Martinez stole second. Mayberry was next and singled to left. Martinez tried to score from second, but Francoeur made a nice throw to the plate and Martinez was tagged out for the second out. Mayberry took second on the throw. Nix was walked intentionally to put men on first and second for Ruiz, but Ruiz grounded to first to end the inning.

Francoeur made a really good throw to get Martinez.

Rollins tripled to right with one out in the eighth. Michael Young was next and hit a ground ball to short. Arias fielded and threw home in plenty of time to get Rollins, who didn’t slide. Utley lined to Scutaro for the third out.

Rollins was out by a lot trying to score from third on Young’s grounder with Arias in at short.

The Phils trailed 2-1 when they faced righty Sergio Romo in the ninth. Delmon Young hit for Martinez and reached on a fielding error by Arias at third. McDonald ran for Young at first. Asche was next and bunted, badly, back to the mound. Romo picked the ball up, looked at second, turned to throw to first and slipped. Runners were safe at first and second with nobody out. Mayberry was next and squared to bunt, but was hit by the pitch. Bases loaded with nobody out for Nix. Nix flew to shallow right 1-2 with the runners holding. Ruiz was next and flew to shallow left with the runners holding. Kratz hit for Papelbon and grounded to third to end the game.

No run for the Phils after loading the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth down a run. Nix and Ruiz both get chances with less than two outs to tie the game up, but can’t get their fly balls deep enough to give McDonald a chance to score from third.

I’m rooting for Cody Asche as much as anyone and he’s had kind of a rough start at the plate, but to call his miserable bunt back to the mound a hit is ridiculous.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a triple in the game. 3-for-12 with a walk and a triple in the three-game set. 256/316/354 on the season. On-basing .307 in 217 plate appearances hitting #1 in the order.

Michael Young 0-for-4 in the game. 4-for-12 with a walk and a home run in the series. 279/343/408 for the season. 256/318/399 over his last 283 plate appearances.

Ruf 0-for-2 with a walk. 1-for-8 with two walks in the series and was twice hit by a pitch. 10-for-his-last-46 (.217), but with a .345 on-base percentage thanks to six walks and three HBP in those 55 PA.

Asche was 1-for-4 in the game with a non-hit on his ninth-inning bunt. 1-for-9 with a single in the series and on the year. Made a throwing error in game two of the set.

Mayberry 1-for-3 and would have had an RBI except for the great throw by Francoeur. 3-for-10 with a walk and a double in the series. 257/314/430 on the year. One of nine Phillies with at least 125 plate appearances on the year and an on-base percentage lower than .320.

Nix 1-for-3 with a walk, which was intentional. Couldn’t bring McDonald home from third in the ninth with nobody out and the bases loaded. 1-for-4 with walk in the series. 183/231/262 for the year. Two walks in his last 80 plate appearances, one of which is intentional.

Ruiz 1-for-4 in the game and left five men on base. Couldn’t bring McDonald home from third with one out in the ninth and the bases loaded. 2-for-11 with a hit by pitch and a home run in the series. 248/297/292 for the year with five extra-base hits in 177 plate appearances. 212/248/237 against righties and 349/420/442 against lefties for the season.

Ethan Martin (NR) is expected to debut tonight against righty Kris Medlen (7-10, 3.74) and the Braves. Martin has walked 67 in 115 2/3 innings this year at Triple-A while throwing to a 4.12 ERA in 21 starts. He has struck out 107. Medlen has walked 57 in 265 1/3 innings in the majors over the last three years. He had a 2.96 ERA for the year after 15 starts, but has thrown to a 5.88 ERA over his last six times out. Opponents have hit .343 against him in those appearances. The Phils hit him hard in his last start against them, which came on July 7.

PS: Site is in and out a lot today due to networking issues at the hosting company.


Must it, though? Really?

Yup. The show must go on. For better or worse. But almost certainly for worse.

Surprise! Ruben Amaro didn’t fix everything that’s wrong with the Phillies at the trade deadline. That’s cause the list of things that are wrong with the Phillies is real long and you can’t fix them by trading players other teams aren’t real excited about, regardless of whether it’s because the players you’re trying to deal aren’t playing very well or because they have bad contracts. Or both.

If you think trading Michael Young for a couple of borderline prospects is what it’s going to take to turn things around for the Phillies, I disagree. The number of moves it’s going to take to get the Phils back into contention is large. The first ones didn’t come yesterday.

As if to demonstrate the point, the Phils got hammered by the Giants last night, losing 9-2. Kendrick allowed seven runs over two innings and the Phils got their runs on a solo homer by Utley in the first and an RBI-groundout by Utley in the eighth.

The Phillies are 50-57 on the year after losing 9-2 to the San Francisco Giants last night. They are 1-9 in their last ten games.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went two innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and a walk. Only six of the runs were earned and only one of the hits went for extra-bases (a double). He didn’t strike anybody out.

Kendrick made five starts in July and allowed six or more runs in three of them. Opponents hit .345 against him for the month over 25 2/3 innings.

He allowed four runs in the top of the first. He got Gregor Blanco on a softly hit ground ball for the first out, but five of the next six batters reached on four singles and a double, giving the Giants a 4-0 lead. He got Brandon Crawford to pop to Asche in foul territory with a runner on first to end the frame.

Asche made a fantastic play for the second out of the inning. With one out and men on first and second, Hunter Pence ripped a ball down the third base line. Asche made a great play diving to his right and a strong throw from foul territory in time to nip Pence at first.

It was 4-1 when Kendrick started the second. He walked Blanco with one out, but got Marco Scutaro to ground into a double-play behind him.

Pablo Sandoval led off the third with a ground ball to Utley. Utley fielded and threw to first, but Michael Young came off the bag and Sandoval was safe. Utley was charged with the error. The next three hitters reached on two singles and a hit by pitch, which left the bases loaded with nobody out and San Francisco up 6-1. Valdes took over for Kendrick and fared very well under the circumstances. He faced four batters, struck two out and got a third on a ground out. The other, the pitcher Chad Gaudin, singled to left with one out, moving everybody up a base to make it 7-1.

Sure looked like Young should have handled the throw from Utley to start the inning.

Valdes does a great job in the frame, entering with nobody out and the bases loaded and holding the Giants to one run. Gaudin’s one-out single sort of dribbled through between short and third. Gaudin is now 2-for-59 (.034) at the plate for his career.

Valdes struck out two in a 1-2-3 fourth and another in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Valdes faces ten batters in the game, getting nine outs and allowing Gaudin’s single. He struck out five. This coming off of a start on Saturday in which he allowed nine runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Tigers.

JC Ramirez started the sixth with the Phils still down 7-1. He walked the pitcher to start the inning, but got Blanco to ground into a double-play behind him. Scutaro followed with a single into center, bringing Sandoval to the plate with two outs and a man on first. Sandoval shattered his bat hitting a ball towards short. Asche fielded moving to his left and threw to first. He throw was wide and not handled by Young for an error on Asche. It left the Giants with men on second and third with two down. Ramirez got Buster Posey on a fly ball to right to leave them stranded.

You should try not to walk the pitcher to start the inning, especially down six runs.

Ramirez was back for the seventh and allowed two solo homers, one to Brett Pill and the other to Brandon Crawford. 9-1.

Ten batters in the game for Ramirez. He allows two runs on four hits, including two home runs, and a walk over two innings. Got a big double-play after walking the pitcher to start the sixth or it would have been worse. 7.43 ERA and a 1.86 ratio after 11 appearances and 13 1/3 innings. Eight walks in 13 1/3 and opponents are hitting .315 against him.

Diekman pitched the eighth. He allowed a two-out infield single to Arias, but got Posey on a fly ball to right to leave Arias at first.

Diekman drops his ERA to 3.86 with the outing, but don’t be fooled. Opponents have hit .333 against him for the year and righties have put up a 388/423/551 line in 52 plate appearances.

Garcia set the Giants down in order in the ninth with the lead cut to 9-2.

Garcia has been good in limited time this year, with the exception of Sunday’s outing in which he faced four batters and was charged with four runs. Just 8 2/3 innings on the year over eight appearances. Opponents are hitting just .172 against him, but with five walks. Lefties are 1-for-12 against the righty, but have walked four times in 16 plate appearances.

Overall the bullpen went seven innings in the game, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six. Ramirez struggled, allowing two solo home runs in the seventh, but Valdes, Diekman and Garcia combined to go five scoreless frames. Valdes was especially impressive, throwing three shutdown innings after an ugly start his last time out. Valdes threw 36 pitches in the game and Ramirez 32.

The Phillie lineup against righty Chad Gaudin went (1) Rollins (2) Michael Young (3) Utley (4) Delmon Young (5) Ruf (6) Asche (7) Mayberry (8) Ruiz. Asche gets his first career start at third with Michael Young playing first. Ruf in left. I’m not saying it’s not possible to see a worse defensive outfield than Ruf/Mayberry/Delmon Young. I’m just saying it doesn’t happen very often at this level. Delmon Young has a career 274/305/400 line against right-handed pitching — it’s not a good sign if he’s hitting cleanup for you against a righty.

The Phillies were down 4-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Utley hit a solo homer to right with two outs. 4-1.

They went in order in the second.

Ruiz was hit by a pitch to start the third with the Phils down 7-1. Valdes bunted him to second with the first out, but Rollins flew to left for the first out and Michael Young struck out swinging to leave him stranded.

Ruf reached on an infield single with two outs in the fourth. He took second on a wild pitch, but was left stranded when Asche flew to center for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fifth. Nix hit for Valdes and grounded to second for the third out.

179/223/260 on the year for Nix in 123 plate appearances.

Michael Young singled to center with one out in the sixth. Utley and Delmon Young both struck out behind him.

Ruf walked to start the seventh. Asche, Mayberry and Ruiz went in order on three fly balls behind him.

It was 9-1 when the Phillies faced righty Sandy Rosario in the eighth. Rollins walked with one out and moved to third when Michael Young followed with a single. Utley went down on a ground ball handled by the pitcher for the second out. Rollins scored (9-2) and Young moved up to second. Delmon Young grounded to short to end the inning.

Righty Santiago Casilla hit Ruf to start the ninth, but Asche, Mayberry and Ruiz went in order behind Ruf.

Third time in the game that Ruf had been on base — infield single, walk and hit by pitch. The Phils had five hits, two walks and a hit by pitch in the game.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-his-last-16 with three singles.

Michael Young 2-for-4. Didn’t excel at first on either the Utley throwing error or the Asche throwing error. 4-for-his-last-8 with a walk and a home run.

Utley 1-for-4 with a solo home run and both Phillie RBI. 3-for-his-last-8 after coming into the series 0-for-his-last-12.

Delmon Young 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 2-for-his-last-19 with two singles and no walks. 247/276/288 over his last 76 plate appearances.

Ruf 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit by pitch. 333/439/458 against righties for the season in 57 plate appearances.

Asche 0-for-4. One great play at third in the top of the first and made a throwing error later in the game. 0-for-5 at the plate on the season.

Mayberry 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Came into the game 7-for-his-last-18 with two walks and two doubles.

Ruiz 0-for-3. 4-for-his-last-25 (.160) with a home run.

Hamels (4-13, 4.09) faces righty Matt Cain (6-6, 4.79) tonight. Hamels ended May with a 4.86 ERA, but has thrown to a 3.22 ERA over his last 10 starts. Cain is having the worst year of his career, but he’s also been better of late. 3.81 ERA with a 1.15 ratio over his last nine starts. He allowed 13 home runs in 56 1/3 innings over his first nine starts on the season, but hasn’t allowed any his last five times out and just three over his last 67 2/3 innings.


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