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Concerns mount that Jimmy Rollins’s lack of intensity and positive influence may have gone airborne, afflicting the Astros

A split in split squad action today with the Blue Jays and Astros. The Phils top Houston and fall to Toronto.

The Phils beat the Astros 6-3.

Jeff Manship started the game for the Phils and allowed a run on six hits and a walk over five innings while striking out five. 2.25 ERA and a 1.13 ratio for Manship. He’s struck out 14 in 16 innings.

B.J. Rosenberg followed Manship and threw two scoreless innings, allowing a single and a walk to the first two men he faced in the sixth before setting down six in a row. Drops his ERA to 4.82 and his ratio to 1.18 after 9 1/3 innings.

Antonio Bastardo started the eight and retired the only two men he faced, dropping his ERA to 2.35 and his ratio to 0.78. He hasn’t walked a batter in 7 2/3 innings.

Sean O’Sullivan followed Bastardo. He struck out J.D. Martinez to end the eighth and returned for the ninth, allowing two runs on a double and three singles. Overall he went 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks. 6.92 ERA and a 1.54 ratio. He’s walked just one batter in 13 innings, but allowed 19 hits, which is too many.

The Phillies scored six runs on 13 hits in the game. Ronny Cedeno doubled Steve Susdorf home in the fifth. Cesar Hernandez and Reid Brignac had sac flies in the sixth. Cody Asche and Cameron Rupp both had RBI in the seventh and Susdorf had a sac fly in the eighth.

Revere 2-for-5 with two singles to up his average to .349. Stole his fourth base.

Abreu is hitting .281 after going 3-for-4 with a double.

Asche 0-for-5 to drop his average to .139. Howard is hitting .250 after going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Rupp 2-for-5 with an RBI, upping his average to .333.

Brignac 2-for-4 with a double. He’s 6-for-15 (.400) with three doubles. Ronny Cedeno is hitting .267 after going 2-for-4 (4-for-15) with a double and an RBI.

Susdorf 0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI in his first official action.

Toronto beat the Phillies 3-1.

David Buchanan started the game and allowed two runs over four innings on three hits and a walk. Moises Sierra and former Phil Erik Kratz hit back-to-back homers off of him to start the second. 2.70 ERA and an 0.80 ratio for Buchanan after four appearances and ten innings.

Phillippe Aumont followed Buchanan, allowing a single and a walk over a scoreless two innings. For whatever reason, the Phillies brought him back to start the seventh and he allowed a single and two walks to the only three men he faced (although the single, Kratz, was thrown out by Mayberry trying to go for two). Mario Hollands took over for Aumont with one down and men on first and second and kept the Blue Jays from scoring.

Aumont goes 2 1/3 scoreless innings on the day, allowing two singles and three walks. 3.48 ERA and a 1.45 ratio for Aumont after eight appearances. Seven walks in 10 1/3 innings and he’s struck out just one.

Bringing Aumont back to start a third inning just baffles me. I don’t even have a joke. I assume it has something to do with split squads and limited pitchers, but golly. He hasn’t started a game since 2010 and got more than three outs in just two of his 22 appearances with the Phils in 2013.

Hollands retired the only two men he faced in the seventh. He returned for the eighth and allowed two singles, but kept Toronto off the board with the help of a Jose Bautista GIDP. He returned for the ninth and allowed a solo homer to Kratz, Kratz’s second of the game, and a bunt single to Steve Tolleson.

2 2/3 innings in the game for Hollands. He allows a run on four hits and no walks while striking out three. 1.86 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. Eight strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings.

Kratz is hitting .455 on the spring with two home runs after going 3-for-3 with two solo shots today.

The Phils scored one run on seven hits in the game. Tony Gwynn, Jr and Chase Utley doubled back-to-back with one out in the bottom of the first.

Gwynn was 2-for-3 with a walk a double on the day, upping his average to .386. Utley is hitting .184 after going 1-for-2.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a double to drop his average to .265. Rollins 1-for-3 (.138) and Ruiz 1-for-3 (.290) with two strikeouts.

Byrd is hitting .316 after going 0-for-3 and Frandsen .182 after an 0-for-4.

Boston tomorrow.

This suggests Darin Ruf has a stained left oblique.


Roberto Hernandez the latest victim of Jimmy Rollins’s lack of intensity; strength of character alone allows him to hold Blue Jays to seven runs over 3 2/3

Toronto 11, Phillies 6. Hernandez allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings and Lincoln gave up three in his two frames.

Roberto Hernandez got the start for the Phils, entering the game having thrown to a 2.03 ERA and an 0.91 ratio in his four spring starts and coming off of a brilliant appearance last Thursday in which he was perfect through five innings before allowing a sixth inning single.

He didn’t fare as well today, allowing seven runs on 11 hits and a walk over 3 2/3 innings. He threw scoreless frames in the first and second, but allowed four runs in the third on a walk and six hits, including a two-run homer by Jose Bautista. He came back for the fourth and allowed three straight singles to start the frame. He got two outs after that, but was charged with one run while he was pitching and two more when Adam Lind delivered a two-out, two-run double off of Hector Neris.

Hernandez ends the day with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.41 ratio. He came into the game having allowed eight hits and four walks over 13 1/3 innings (12/13 1/3 is an 0.90 ratio) and allowed 11 hits and a walk over 3 2/3 innings today (12/3 2/3 is a 3.27 ratio). So he allowed as many hits plus walks this afternoon in 3 2/3 innings as he had in 13 1/3 innings over his previous four outings.

Neris took over for Hernandez with two outs and men on first and second. He faced two batters in the game, allowing the two-run double to Lind before getting Brett Lawrie to ground to first.

The 24-year-old righty Neris threw to a 4.55 ERA and a 1.32 ratio at Double-A Reading in 2013 over 46 appearances, eight of which were starts. He was making his first official spring appearance.

Jonathan Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 fifth, dropping his spring ERA to 3.60 and his ratio to 1.80. Opponents were hitting .381 against him coming into the game.

Brad Lincoln started the bottom of the sixth, entering the game with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.17 ratio over six official appearances. He got the first batter he faced before Moises Sierra singled and Bautista followed the Sierra single with his second homer of the day. Lincoln returned for the seventh and allowed another run on a single and a Ryan Goins triple. Overall he allowed three runs on four hits over two innings, upping his ERA to 2.79 and his ratio to 1.34.

Shawn Camp allowed a run on a double and a single in the eighth. Came into the game with a 0.00 ERA and an 0.94 ratio and left with a 1.42 ERA and a 1.11 ratio. Five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings over six appearances.

The Phillies scored six runs on ten hits in the game.

Ben Revere had a three-run double in the top of the second. He was 1-for-3 with a walk on the day to drop his average to .333. Third walk of the spring and third extra-base hit (two doubles and a triple).

Cody Asche hit a solo homer in the fourth, his second. 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run on the day to up his average to .161.

Cameron Rupp had an RBI-single in the eight and was followed by Darin Ruf. Ruf grounded into a double-play, which scored Reid Brignac from third.

Rupp is hitting .313 after a 1-for-1 day.

Ruf was 0-for-1 and grounded into a double-play in his only at-bat, dropping his average to .217.

Ryan Howard is hitting .275 after going 2-for-3 with two singles.

Utley 0-for-4 to drop his average to .167. Mayberry .267 after going 0-for-4. Rollins at .115 after going 1-for-4.

Ruiz is hitting .286 after going 1-for-3.

Split squad action on Thursday against Toronto and Houston.


J-Roll’s lack of energy and positive influence force Rosenberg to allow five of the six men he faces in the eighth to reach base as Phils fall again

His lack of energy and positive influence is a powerful force not to be trifled with. If only the Phils had found a way to work Freddy Galvis in to the mix. The Pirates probably would have just quit before the game even started and everyone could have just gone out for some pie.

Pittsburgh 6, Philadelphia 5. Manship, De Fratus and Diekman combined to allow two runs over the first six innings and the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the eighth, but B.J. Rosenberg struggled in that frame and the Pirates plated four runs to go up 6-4. The Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth, but managed to score just once.

So what’s the matter with the Phillies? Maybe they’re distracted. Maybe Jimmy Rollins is spending too much time on the bench telling Ryne Sandberg what it’s like to play in the World Series. Maybe the team just can’t get enough of Sandberg’s story about the time he told the world that his band of loveable losers that hadn’t been to the playoffs in 13 years was the team to beat in their division, then made sure it happened, hitting .286 with 16 homers before the All-Star break on his way to being named league MVP.

Maybe they just can’t figure out whether to start Cliff Lee or Miguel Gonzalez on opening day.

I don’t think it’s any of that, though. I think what’s wrong with the Phillies is that they’re about four good players away from being a good team. That’s not Ryne Sandberg’s fault, but it’s not Jimmy Rollins’s, either. Suggesting it is is a mistake.

Jeff Manship got the start for the Phillies. He entered with a 1.29 ERA and an 0.71 ratio over three appearances and went four innings, allowing two runs on six hits and no walks. Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run off of him in the first. He allowed a run on a double and two singles in the third.

2.45 ERA and a 1.00 ratio for Manship after 11 innings.

Justin De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 fifth. He came back to start the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to McCutchen before being pulled. Dropped his ERA to 1.80 on the day and his ratio stays at 1.00.

Jake Diekman took over for De Fratus. He struck Pedro Alvarez out swinging for the first out and got Travis Snider to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Two batters, three outs for Diekman. 7.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. Opponents were hitting .348 against him for the spring coming into the game.

B.J. Rosenberg allowed a single in a scoreless seventh. He came back to start the eighth with the Phils up 4-2 and faced six hitters, allowing four singles and a walk. The Pirates would score four runs charged to him in the frame.

Rosenberg goes 1 1/3 innings in the game, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. They sure stuck with him a long time. 6.14 ERA and a 1.23 ratio for him for the spring. He came into the game having pitched really well, with a 1.50 ERA and an 0.50 ratio over three appearances and six innings.

Mario Hollands took over for Rosenberg with one out in the eighth and Willy Garcia on first. He faced two men in the game and retired them both, dropping his ERA to 1.29 and his ratio to 1.00 after five outings.

The Phillies scored five runs in the game on eight hits.

Ryan Howard hit a solo homer in the sixth, his first home run of the spring. He was 1-for-4 in the game with two strikeouts to up his average to .206.

Darin Ruf was the only Phillie with more than one hit. He’s hitting .270 after going 2-for-4 with a double.

Brown 1-for-2 with a single and walked twice. He’s walked eight times but is just 6-for-32 (.188) with a triple.

Utley was 1-for-4 and drove in two runs. He’s hitting .207.

Rollins started and hit second with Tony Gwynn, Jr leading off. Rollins 0-for-4 to drop his average to .105. Gwynn is hitting .222 after going 1-for-4.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with with a walk to drop his average to .348.

Asche is up to .148 after going 1-for-3 with a walk. First single of the spring for Asche — he’s 4-for-27 with a single, two doubles and a home run.

Galvis DNP.

For the record, Ryne Sandberg never making it to the World Series has a lot more to do with some awful Cubs teams than it did with Ryne Sandberg. His Cubs made the post-season twice in his career. In 1984, Sandberg hit .368 in the NLCS, but the Padres beat Chicago three games to two in the last five-game NLCS. Up 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth in the deciding game five, the Cubs allowed two in the bottom of the sixth and four in the bottom of the seventh. In 1989 the Giants beat the Cubs four games to one with Sandberg hitting .400 in the set. Overall he hit 385/457/641 in 47 post-season plate appearances for his career. He was the MVP of the National League in ’84, hitting 314/367/520 in 700 plate appearances that season and winning a Gold Glove.

Lee is expected to pitch tomorrow night as the Phils face the Red Sox.


Triple threat

It took an unlikely four triples, but the Phils got their third spring win this afternoon, topping Baltimore 6-5.

The Phillies hit two triples in the 28 games they played in May in 2013. They also hit two in 26 September games.

The Phils scored six early runs. A.J. Burnett pitched well through four, but started the fifth and allowed a walk and a home run to the only two men he faced. The Phillies led 6-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Cesar Jimenez, trying to nail down his second inning of the game, allowed a two-run homer.

Revere had two hits and a walk for the Phils. Abreu was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a triple. Brown delivered a three-run triple in the first.

Burnett started the game for the Phils and went four innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. Chris Davis singled to start the bottom of the second and Nelson Cruz followed that with a ground rule double, while led to a Baltimore run in the frame. Burnett started the fifth having allowed a run over four innings, but he allowed a leadoff walk that was followed by a two-run homer by Nolan Reimold and was pulled.

Nice outing for Burnett before the fifth, but he winds up with an ugly line. Drops his ERA on the spring to 10.00 with a 1.56 ratio after three starts and nine innings.

Shawn Camp took over for Burnett in the fifth. He allowed a single in the frame, but kept Baltimore off the board.

Camp hasn’t allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings over four appearances. 0.92 ratio.

Phillippe Aumont pitched the sixth. He allowed a leadoff walk to Chris Davis, but struck out the next hitter and got Ryan Flaherty to ground into a double-play.

Four walks in six innings for Aumont, but he lowers his ERA to 4.50 with the outing. 1.33 ratio.

Kevin Munson pitched the seventh, allowing back-to-back singles to the first two men he faced, which left Baltimore with runners on first and second and nobody out. Munson kept them off the board though — Reimold lined into a double-play and Xavier Paul struck out swinging.

Munson had an unlikely combination of a 1.50 ERA and a 2.17 ratio entering the game. He had walked eight in five innings. Drops his ERA to 1.29 and his ratio to 2.14. A 2.14 ratio means you shouldn’t expect your ERA to stay at 1.29 for long. Allow two hits to the first two men he faced today, but got out of it with the help of a line drive double-play.

Cesar Jimenez threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He came back to pitch the ninth and allowed a leadoff walk to Michael Almanzar. He got the next two before Alex Gonzalez homered on a 3-1 pitch to cut the Phillie lead to 6-5. Jimenez then walked Reimold, but got Paul to pop to Frandsen at second to end the game.

Two innings, two runs for Jimenez on a hit and two walks. 5.40 ERA and a 1.50 ratio for Jimenez after 6 2/3 innings.

The Phillies scored six runs in the game. They got three in the top of the first on a three-run triple by Domonic Brown. Ben Revere and Freddy Galvis tripled back-to-back with two outs in the second for the fourth run. The other two runs came in the fourth — Maikel Franco singled home Cameron Rupp and Revere brought Abreu home from third with a sac fly.

Revere 2-for-2 with a walk, a triple and an RBI, upping his average to .296. First extra-base hit for Revere, which ups his slugging percentage to .370. Revere has an isolated power of .045 for his career in 1,400 plate appearances.

Brown 1-for-3 with a triple and three RBI, upping his average to .107. Also his first extra-base hit — he’s 3-for-28 with two singles and a triple.

Abreu 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a triple. First extra-base hits and seventh walk for Abreu. He’s hitting .207.

Galvis had the other triple. 1-for-2 on the day with a triple and a walk to up his average to .148.

Ruf 0-for-4 to drop his average to .241.

Franco 1-for-4 with a single and an RBI. He’s hitting .207.

Utley 1-for-3 with a single. He’s at .182. Howard is hitting .185 after going 1-for-2 with a walk.

Mayberry is hitting .350 after an 0-for-1 day.

Rupp 1-for-4 to drop his average to .286 and left five men on base.

Roberto Hernandez is expected to pitch tomorrow as the Phils face the Yankees.


Phils get a little literal with the not hitting thing

Two hits for the Phils this afternoon, both singles and neither before the seventh inning, as the Braves topped them 9-1. They have an official spring training record, but I’m not going to tell you what it is. Partly because it’s depressing and partly because it involves ties. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

Okay, 2-10 with two ties. They’ve been outscored 17-2 over the last two days.

Not a lot went well today. Nice outings by David Buchanan and Bastardo were pretty much the highlights. Sean O’Sullivan, who had pitched very well in the early going, was charged with six runs over 2 2/3 innings.

Buchanan started the game for the Phillies and pitched well again, allowing a single and a walk over three scoreless innings. He dropped his ERA to 1.50 with the outing. He’s struck out just three in six innings, but with an 0.67 ratio.

O’Sullivan was next and he entered the game with very nice numbers as well, having thrown five scoreless innings in two times out. He threw a 1-2-3 fourth before allowing a run in the fifth on a solo homer by Dan Uggla that was followed by an Andrelton Simmons double. He returned for the sixth and was hit hard. He faced eight hitters in the frame and was charged with five runs. Single, two-run homer by Edward Salcedo, out, out, single, single, single, two-run triple by Jordan Schafer.

Overall he went 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and no walks. Two home runs, a double and a triple in the game. Came into the outing with fantastic numbers and leaves with a 7.04 ERA and a 1.56 ratio.

Kyle Simon took over for O’Sullivan with two outs in the sixth and a man on third. He struck out Christian Bethancourt to end the inning.

First official appearance for Simon. He’s struck out one in a third of an inning. The 23-year-old righty threw to a 4.45 ERA and a 1.41 ratio in 56 2/3 innings of relief at Double-A Reading last year.

Antonio Bastardo struck out Mark Hamilton in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Great results for Bastardo so far. 1.69 ERA and an 0.79 ratio. Six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

Jake Diekman pitched the eighth and allowed three runs on three hits. Evan Gattis led off with a double to right, Phillip Gosselin singled Gattis home with one out and Todd Cunningham hit a two-run homer with two down.

Diekman has a 9.00 ERA and a 1.80 ratio after a rough outing today.

The Phillies scored one run on two singles. They walked three times in the game.

Frandsen singled Gwynn home with two outs in the seventh. Reid Brignac singled to left to start the eighth, but Cesar Hernandez grounded into a double-play behind him.

Gwynn started in center and went 0-for-2 with a walk to drop his average to .214.

Frandsen is hitting .182 after going 1-for-3.

Brignac is 2-for-8 after singling in his only at-bat.

Galvis (.120), Howard (.160) and Hernandez (.125) all 0-for-3.

Brown is hitting .080 (2-for-25 with two singles) after going 0-for-3.

Asche 0-for-1 with a walk. He’s hitting .143 (3-for-21 with a two doubles and a home run). Still looking for his first single.

Byrd 0-for-2 with a walk to drop his average to .346.

Burnett is expected to pitch tomorrow afternoon as the Phils face Baltimore.

Michael Stutes is off the 40-man roster, leaving the Phils at 39.


Irreversible errors

Atlanta 8, Phillies 1. Cliff Lee got the start and pitched well, but the Braves scored five runs charged to Papelbon in the seventh inning, all of which were unearned thanks to another Maikel Franco error. That’s not to suggest that Papelbon pitched well.

Franco and Ryan Howard combined to make two errors in the game and have combined for five overall.

The Phillies scored one run on five singles and a double in the game.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out five. Jason Heyward was the first batter of the game and homered on Lee’s second pitch. Lee struck out the side in the second and worked around a Ryan Howard error in the third. In the fourth he got the first two before allowing a single to Chris Johnson. Mario Hollands replaced him and allowed a home run to the first man he faced, Dan Uggla, with Johnson scoring a run charged to Lee.

4.15 ERA and a 1.04 ratio for Lee after three starts and 8 2/3 innings. He’s pitched better than that ERA — Hollands allowing a home run after he surrendered a two-out single is the kind of thing that will hurt your ERA when you’ve thrown 8 2/3 innings. Ten strikeouts.

Hollands allowed the home run to Uggla in the fourth, then allowed a double to Gerald Laird before getting the final out of the frame. He allowed a single and a walk in a scoreless fifth and a walk in a scoreless sixth.

Overall he went 2 1/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. He struck out two.

Not a good day for Hollands coming off of three good ones. He came into the day with a 0.00 ERA and an 0.50 ratio after three appearances and four innings. 1.42 ERA and a 1.11 ratio after today. Five strikeouts in 6 1/3. Again, gave up a two-run homer to the first batter he faced with one run charged to Lee.

Jonathan Papelbon started the seventh. Coming into the appearance he had allowed one hit in two scoreless innings over two outings. Tyler Greene was the first batter he faced and Greene reached on a throwing error by Franco at third base, Franco’s third in official spring action. After Franco’s error, Papelbon faced eight hitters before getting out of the inning. Three singled and he walked one before Tommy La Stella hit a three-run double.

Overall, Papelbon was charged with five runs in the inning on four hits and a walk. None of the runs were earned due to Franco’s error.

Papelbon keeps his zero ERA despite allowing five runs in the frame. He has a 2.00 ratio, having allowed five hits and a walk over three innings.

Ken Giles started the eighth with a 4.50 ERA and a 2.00 ratio over his two official outings. He allowed a single and a walk, but struck out the other three hitters he faced. Keeps his ratio at 2.00 and drops his ERA to 3.00. Three walks in his three innings.

Justin De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 ninth to drop his ERA to 2.25 and his ratio to 1.00. No walks and four hits in four innings.

One run on six hits for the Phillies. Reid Brignac singled Mayberry home in the eighth.

Brignac 1-for-1 with an RBI to up his average to .143.

Marlon Byrd had the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phillies. He was 1-for-2 with a walk and a double to up his line to 375/400/583.

Utley, Abreu, Franco and Mayberry had the other singles for the Phils. Utley upped his average to .158 with the 1-for-3 day. Mayberry has a 389/389/833 line after 18 at-bats. Franco is hitting 200/259/200 after going 1-for-3. Abreu is 3-for-20 (.150) after going 1-for-2 with a walk. He’s on-basing .370.

Revere 0-for-3, Rollins 0-for-3, Brown 0-for-3. Revere 240/269/240. Rollins is hitting .133 and Brown is 2-for-22 (.091) with two singles.

Howard 0-for-2 with a walk to drop his average to .182.

Atlanta again tomorrow with David Buchanan expected to pitch.


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