Roy Halladay’s results were a little better last night. He had a rough start and walked five over six frames, but managed to hold Washington to a single run. He exited after six with a 2-1 lead, but the bullpen coughed up a pair late and the Nats topped the Phils 3-2.
Cesar Hernandez had a big day at the plate for the Phils, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a double that plated both Phillie runs. Utley was 3-for-4. Asche had two hits and started the bottom of the ninth with a drive to right-center that looked ticketed for extra-bases, but was tracked down by Jayson Werth on the warning track.
There were some weird matchups late in the game that didn’t work out for the Phils. They called on lefty Jake Diekman to pitch to a righty to start the eighth inning of a tie game. Wilson Ramos walked on four pitches and the go-ahead run scored later in the frame. With one out in the seventh and men on second and third, Sandberg called on righty Kevin Frandsen to hit against a right-handed pitcher. Frandsen didn’t deliver and ended the day hitting 199/252/298 against righties for the year. The Phillies didn’t score and lost by a run.
The Phillies are 63-77 on the year after losing 3-2 to the Washington Nationals. The Nats take the series two games to one. The Phils have lost three series in a row and are 1-4 in their last five games. They are in fourth place in the NL East, 22 1/2 games out of first and a game behind the third-place Mets.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on three hits and five walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.
Halladay had a three-start stretch from April 14 to April 24 in which he allowed four runs over 21 innings. Last night was probably his best start since. Five more walks, though, and his rate of walks per nine innings in up to 4.6. At his best it has been around 1.1. Lefties are on-basing .387 against him and both lefties and righties are hitting for a lot of power as he’s allowed 11 home runs in 51 1/3 innings for the season.
Four of the first five hitters he faced in the top of the first reached on a single and four walks. The other, Adam LaRoche, hit a sac fly that put the Nats up 1-0. Halladay got Wilson Ramos to ground into a double-play to end the inning.
He allowed a walk and hit a batter in the second, too, but struck Ryan Zimmerman out looking with men on first and second to end the frame.
Halladay started the third with a 2-1 lead and kept Washington off the board in the third, fourth fifth and sixth.
He set the Nats down in order in the third.
In the fourth, he hit Steve Lombardozzi with two outs, but got Jordan Zimmermann on a fly ball to right for the third out.
He struck out Zimmerman and Jayson Werth in a 1-2-3 fifth.
The Nationals loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth on a single, a double and an intentional walk, but Halladay retired the pitcher Jordan Zimmermann on a ground ball he handled himself to set Washington down.
Miner started the seventh with a 2-1 lead. With one out, Ryan Zimmerman hit a 2-1 pitch out to left, tying the game at 2-2. Miner allowed a two-out single to Adam LaRoche, but retired Ian Desmond on a fly ball to center.
Miner allows the huge home run that ties the game. He’s been charged with at least one run in three of his last five outings. Didn’t walk anyone last night, but has walked six in 5 2/3 innings over his last five appearances. Lefties don’t have an extra-base hit against the righty and righties are slugging .524 thanks to two doubles and three home runs in 50 plate appearances. Everyone is getting on base too much, thanks to nine walks in his 16 1/3 innings on the year.
Diekman started the eighth in a tie game and walked the leadoff man, the righty Ramos. Jeff Kobernus ran for Ramos at first and righty Scott Hairston hit for the lefty Corey Brown. Hairston bunted Kobernus up to second with the first out. Kobernus stole third, bringing Lombardozzi to the plate with one out. Lombardozzi chopped a ball up the middle. Utley, charging, fielded behind the mound and threw home, but not in time as Kobernus slid in safely to put the Nats up 3-2. Diekman struck out both of the next two batters to leave Lombardozzi at first.
Diekman had been pitching great, but walks the righty Ramos to lead off the inning, which leads to the game-winning run. It’s September. The Phillies don’t have a righty in the bullpen they can use to get out a righty to start the eighth inning of a tie game? Rosenberg seems like the real choice — he’s been pitching well, but had thrown two straight days coming into the game. JC Ramirez and Luis Garcia seem like candidates as well, but Ramirez has been absolutely awful and Garcia threw 31 pitches on Tuesday.
The bigger problem is not the choice to bring in Diekman, but that there aren’t better choices to make given the bullpen.
Diekman allows a run on no hits and a walk in the game. Coming into the game he had a 0.00 ERA and a 0.60 ratio over his last ten appearances with 14 strikeouts in ten innings. Righties are on-basing .392 against him for the year, which makes him a bad candidate to face a righty leadoff man in a tie game in the eighth.
Papelbon pitched the ninth with the Phillies still down a run, allowing a one-out single to Werth, but getting the next two hitters.
Papelbon pitches with the Phils down with the off-day today. He hasn’t been charged with a run in nine innings over his last nine appearances.
The Phillie lineup against righty Jordan Zimmermann went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Ruf (6) Asche (7) Mayberry (8) Bernadina. Hernandez leads off and starts in center for the second time. Ruf plays first with Mayberry in left and Bernadina in right. This lineup is both awful and way, way better than the game two lineup.
Hernandez walked to start the bottom of the first with the Phils down 1-0. He moved up to second on a one-out single by Utley, but Ruiz struck out and Ruf grounded out to leave the runners stranded.
Great to see the leadoff walk for Hernandez, but I think he’s going to have a lot of troubles drawing walks in the majors unless he shows some power, which he’s going to have trouble doing. He walked in about 7.7% of his minor league plate appearances. Two walks in 41 plate appearances with the Phils so far is about 4.9%.
Asche and Mayberry singled back-to-back to start the second. Bernadina struck out for the first out before Halladay bunted the runners up to second and third with the second. Hernandez was next and sliced a ball the other way, double the third base line for a double. Both runners scored and the Phillies led 2-1. Rollins flew to right for the third out.
The Phillies went in order in the third and fourth.
Hernandez singled to center with one out in the fifth, but was caught stealing before Rollins flew to center to end the inning.
Hernandez 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, two RBI and a caught stealing through five innings. He stole a career-high 33 bases in the minors this year and was caught eight times.
Utley started the sixth with a single, but Ruiz grounded into a double-play behind him and Ruf struck out for the third out.
Asche singled softly to left to start the seventh with the game tied at 2-2 and moved up to second when Mayberry was hit by a pitch. Bernadina bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Frandsen hit for Miner and grounded to third. Zimmerman fielded and threw home where Asche was tagged out for the second out. Hernandez grounded to second to end the inning.
Washington made a fantastic defensive play to get Hernandez and end the inning. Herandez hit the ball in the hole between first and second. Lombardozzi fielded moving to his left, spun and threw in the dirt to Zimmermann covering. Zimmermann dug the ball out while on the move to end the inning.
Nothing for the Phils after putting men on first and second with nobody out. The righty Frandsen pinch-hits against a righty with one out and runners on second and third and the Phils come up empty. Frandsen is hitting .219 for the year and 199/252/298 against righties. Domonic Brown is the obvious guy to pinch-hit with there if he’s available. Lefty Pete Orr on the bench for the Phils. Either way, Frandsen against the righty isn’t really what you want.
Utley singled off of lefty Ian Krol with one out in the eighth. Righty Craig Stammen came in to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz moved Utley up to third with a single into center. It put runners on the corners with one down for Ruf. Ruf struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. The ball got away from the catcher Solano. Utley stormed home from third and slid-head first into the plate as Solano dived to apply the tag. Utley was called out on a very close play to end the inning.
Second time in two innings the Nats make a nice defensive play to set the Phillies down. The Phillies get nothing after putting runners on first and third with one out. Ruf can’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs, striking out with one down and men on the corners.
The Phils trailed 3-2 when they hit in the ninth. Righty Rafael Soriano set Asche, Mayberry and Bernadina down in order. Asche absolutely crushed a ball to right-center, but Werth ran it down on the warning track for the first out.
Hernandez was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, two RBI and caught stealing. His double was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. 3-for-11 with two walks and a double in the three-game set. 256/293/308 in 41 plate appearances on the year.
Rollins 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-8 with a walk and a double in the series. 242/309/332 for the year. 227/291/284 over his last 329 plate appearances.
Utley 3-for-4 with three singles. 4-for-7 with two walks and four singles in the series. 274/344/476 for the year. 241/347/325 over his last 98 plate appearances. 208/294/400 against lefties for the season.
Ruiz 1-for-4. 3-for-10 with two walks in the series. 280/327/386 on the year. 328/412/500 against lefties and 265/300/352 against righties.
Ruf 0-for-4 and struck out three times. Struck out in the eighth in a tie game with runners on first and third and one out on the play where Utley was nailed at the plate. 0-for-8 with a walk and four strikeouts in the series. 244/338/489 in 207 plate appearances on the year. 187/265/429 over his last 102 plate appearances.
Asche 2-for-4. Werth took a double away from him to start the bottom of the ninth, running his ball down on the warning track. 5-for-8 with a home run and three RBI in the series. 276/324/449 on the year.
Mayberry 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch. 1-for-10 with a single in the series. 229/292/396 for the year. 194/265/351 over his last 211 plate appearances.
Bernadina 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-6 in the series with a single and three strikeouts. 3-for-his-last-38 (.107) with a home run. Three walks in his last 95 plate appearances. 143/208/306 in 54 plate appearances with the Phillies.
The Phillies are off today. Lee (11-6, 3.09) is expected to face lefty Mike Minor (13-5, 3.08) Friday night when the Phils play the Braves at home. Opponents have hit .291 against Lee in his nine starts since the end of June with a BABIP of .339. In his 17 starts through June they hit .217 against him with a BABIP of .271. None of Minor’s 27 starts this year have come against the Phillies. Opponents have hit just .230 against him for the season and he’s only walked 38 in 172 2/3 innings.