Their better half

In the most recent post, I took a guess at the hitters who might start the year with the Phillies as well as the guys contending for the other spots. Here’s today’s guess about the pitchers:

Other candidates
1 Halladay (R) P Aumont (R)
2 Lee (L) T Cloyd (R)
3 Hamels (L) J De Fratus (R)
4 Kendrick (R) M Schwimer (R)
5 Lannan (L) M Stutes (R)
6 Papelbon (R) BJ Rosenberg (R)
7 Adams (R) E Martin (R)
8 Bastardo (L) J Pettibone (R)
9 JC Ramirez (R)
10 Z Miner (R)
11 J Horst (L)
12 R Valdes (L)
J Diekman (L)
J Savery (L)
M Robles (L)
C Jimenez (L)

Lannan and Bastardo are the guys I feel least sure of among the eight pitchers I have on the team. But I think they both start the year on the staff with Lannan serving as the fifth starter. Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, Papelbon and Adams seem like locks if they are healthy, although I think it’s possible, but unlikely, that Kendrick could be pitching out of the pen at the start of the year.

If those eight guys did make the opening day roster for the Phils, it would leave the pitching staff with four open slots (assuming the team starts the year with 12 pitchers).

Of those four spots, one should go to a long man, or at least someone who could pitch more than one inning, and at least one other would go to a lefty.

The Phillies have a lot of options when it comes to the second lefty in the pen. Horst and Valdes were both very good in 2012 and I think it’s possible they both make the team to start the year. If it’s just one of them, I’d give Horst an advantage over Valdes. I think Horst is pretty close to a lock to start the year with the team.

I think the issue of who will be the long man out of the pen is more complicated. Kendrick is the guy best-suited for that role, but the Phillies would likely prefer to have him pitch out of the rotation, coming off of a 2012 in which he threw to a 2.43 ERA over his last ten starts. Cloyd, Ethan Martin or Jonathan Pettibone seem like the candidates to make the team that are mostly likely to be able to give the Phillies more than one inning, but I have a little trouble seeing the Phillies carrying one of them to pitch out of the pen to start the year. My guess at this point would be that the Phillies don’t have a true long man out of the pen to start the year.

So if Horst takes one of the four open spots, that leaves the Phils with three.

The guy I feel next strongest about is Aumont, given the combination of his upside and some promising results in 2012. I’ll slot him into the tenth spot.

I think it’s really wide open after that. At this point I’ll take Valdes, based on his impressive 2012, for the eleventh slot. Beyond that I see it as close to a toss-up between Stutes and De Fratus as front-runners for the final spot. Stutes is coming off of a significant injury that sidelined him for much of 2012 and both should contribute to the team this year. Stutes helped the Phils a lot in 2011 and De Fratus has had several very impressive years in the minors in a row.

I’ll pick De Fratus for the twelfth spot.

So that gives the Phils 12 pitchers — Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick, Lannan, Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Horst, Aumont, Valdes and De Fratus. Five starters, seven relievers. Three lefties out of the pen and no long man in relief.

If that’s the staff heading into 2013, I expect we’ll all feel a whole lot more comfortable with the pitching than we do with the hitting to start the year.

This article from the Phillies web site adds Michael Cuddyer to the list of players the Phils might be pursuing that includes Hairston, Wells and Soriano.

This article suggests that if the outfield situation stays the same, we may see Brown getting a chance to be the everyday guy in right field to start the year with a platoon in left that includes some combination of the lefty Nix and righties Ruf and Mayberry. Mayberry seems like he should be a candidate to get some at-bats at first base against left-handed pitching as well.

There are a bunch of problems in left if that proves to be the case. One is that it’s hugely unlikely that Laynce Nix is going to be able to take all or maybe even most of the at-bats against righties in left field in 2013. Nix is 32 and has never gotten more than 400 plate appearances in a season. Phillie left fielders are going to get around 480 plate appearances against right-handed pitching in 2013. Nix has never had more than 321 plate appearances against righties in a season. So it seems likely that some parts of that platoon would be hitting a lot against righties. I don’t think you want to see a whole lot more of Mayberry hitting against righties given his 229/291/335 line against them in 2012. We’ll see on Ruf. He was 5-for-17 against righties last year with a home run.

The other important problem with Nix as the left-handed part of a platoon in left is that Nix, despite his left-handedness, isn’t exactly a fabulous hitter against right-handed pitching anyway. His career line against righties is 253/297/447. Last year he got just 117 plate appearances against righties, but put up a 248/316/390 line. So Nix probably couldn’t completely man a left-handed platoon in left anyway and if he could, you might not want him to.

Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain

I’ll really do my best to limit your exposure to lyrics from Anne Murray songs on the blog. Promise.

The Phillies sure could use a little good news and here it is: Jon Heyman says they are finalizing a deal to acquire Wilton Lopez.

The 29-year-old righty has been fantastic for the last three years with the Astros, throwing to a 2.64 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over 204 1/3 innings in 205 relief appearances. In two of those years, 2010 and 2012, he threw to a ratio of 1.06 or better (1.27 in 2011). In 2010 and 2012 combined, he walked 13 hitters in 133 1/3 innings while striking out 104.

Lopez would be an ideal fit to bring much needed stability to the eighth inning for the Phils.

No word at this point what the Phils would give up to get Lopez. This article suggests it may be a minor league prospect. This blog post speculates that “a Sebastian Valle for Lopez deal would make sense for both sides.”

This article says: “The Astors will receive minor league players in the deal. The prospects involved are said to be close to major league ready.”

Make your own joke day at Philliesflow as we give you the chance to insert your own joke here about the Phillies and how many prospects they have that are close to major league ready.

Yesterday the Phillies signed 33-year-old catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal. Quintero seems likely to get a chance with the Phillies early in the season in the wake of the Ruiz suspension.

Quintero really, really can’t hit. 234/267/323 in 1,281 plate appearances in the majors over his ten year career. The righty has a career 233/268/319 line against righties and a not much better 238/262/336 line against lefties. He has a career .319 on-base percentage in his 2,984 plate appearances in the minors.

What he can do is play defense. In 2010, he played just 653 2/3 innings for the Astros, but managed to post a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of 1.2, which was tied for 21st-best in the NL.

In 2011 he played just 642 innings defensively and again posted a dWAR of 1.2, which was 13th-best in the league.

Update: This suggests that the Braves have reached an agreement with BJ Upton, which would make it less likely that Upton would be playing for the Phillies in 2013.

Update 2: This says five years, $75 million for Upton to the Braves.

What’s whatever the opposite of the matter is here?

The Phillies went 45-57 in their first 102 games this year before trading two of their better hitters and replacing them with lesser offensive players. After they did, the team took off, going 21-14 in their 35 games since the deals sent Victorino and Pence packing.

So what’s going on?

What’s going on is that since the Phillies traded Victorino and Pence, the offense has gotten worse. Just like you would expect. But. The pitching has gotten enormously better. Enough better to offset the offensive dropoff and carry the team.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers since the Phillies traded Victorino and Pence:

Thru 7/29 45-57 4.20 4.56 4.07 1.24 4.53 1.38
After 7/29 21-14 4.09 3.51 3.02 1.15 4.08 1.14
Total 66-71 4.17 4.29 3.80 1.22 4.42 1.32

The Phillies scored 4.20 runs per game before they traded Victorino and Pence. In the games they’ve played since they traded them, they’ve scored 4.09 runs per game.

The Phillies were 12th in the NL in runs scored in August and went 17-12. They went 17-12 not because they were a good offensive team, but because they were fourth in the league in runs allowed.

In the games that the Phillies played before trading Victorino and Pence, they allowed an average of 4.56 runs per game. Since they traded that duo, they’ve cut more than a run off of that. They’ve allowed 3.51 runs per game in the 35 games they’ve played since Victorino and Pence left. Going into today’s games, the Nationals were the NL team that had allowed the fewest runs per game in 2012 with 3.56 per game.

So 3.51 per game is impressive.

The bullpen has been better over the past 35 games than they were over the first 102, dropping more than half a run off of their ERA while their ratio has plummeted. Remember that they were terrible for a long time there, though, and the 4.08 ERA they’ve thrown to in the last 35 games isn’t exactly fantastic. If the Phillie bullpen had thrown to a 4.08 ERA for the entire year, that would be eleventh-best in the NL. As it is, their 4.42 bullpen ERA overall is twelfth-best.

The improvement in preventing runs has a lot more to do with the starting pitching than it does the relievers. Two points on what the relievers have done over the past 35 games, though, as they have thrown to a very impressive 1.14 ratio:

  • Over the last 35 games, the relievers have allowed just 59 hits in 86 innings. That’s an amazingly low hit rate of 6.17 hits per nine innings. Going into today’s games, Cincinnati’s bullpen had the lowest rate of hits allowed per nine innings for the season in the league at 7.27.
  • They have walked a ton of hitters in the same 35 games — 39 in 86 innings. That’s a walk rate of 4.08 per nine innings. Going into today’s games, only three NL teams had seen their relievers walk more than four batters per nine. The Dodgers had walked 4.07 per nine, the Brewers 4.18 and the Cubs 4.56 (Chicago relievers had walked 201 hitters in 396 2/3 innings). Here’s the list of Phillie relievers with a walk rate of 4.19 per nine or worse for the season: Schwimer, Sanches, Horst, Aumont, Bastardo, Stutes, Diekman, Rosenberg, Lindblom, De Fratus. Those ten pitchers have combined to throw 165 1/3 innings for the Phillies this year in which they have allowed 96 walks. That’s a walk rate of 5.23 per nine.

Again, the improvement overall in preventing runs has a lot more to do with what the starters have done than what the relievers have. The starters throw more than 70% of the innings for one thing, so even if the improvement of each of the groups had been about the same, the impact of the improvement by the starters would be much greater.

But the starters have improved more in the past 35 games than the relievers.

Here’s a look at what the guys in the rotation did before and after the trades of Victorino and Pence:








































thru 7/29


























































































after 7/29









































Over the first 102 games of the season, Hamels was the only pitcher on the team who started at least one game for the Phillies and threw to an ERA under 3.88. Over the last 35 games, the rotation as a group has thrown to a 3.02 ERA.

Worley hasn’t been good in his six starts since the Phillies traded away Victorino and Pence. In the 29 starts not made by Worley since the trades, though, the rotation has a 2.67 ERA with a 1.05 ratio — every one of the five guys who has started at least one of those games has been very good. That group includes Halladay, Hamels, Lee and, more surprisingly, Kendrick and Cloyd.

The Phillies are going to win a huge percentage of their games in which their starters throw to the 3.02 ERA and a 1.15 ratio like they have since the trade. The Nationals have the best rotation in the NL in 2012 — they’ve thrown to 3.25 ERA for the year with a 1.17 ratio. In 2011, you may remember, the Phillies won 102 games behind a fantastic starting rotation. That group led the league with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.11 ratio. Nobody else was close — the Giant rotation had the second-best starter ERA for the year at 3.28.

Phils not making it easy on whoever is in charge of naming employee of the month

Here’s a look at the record for the Philies, how many runs they’ve scored and allowed per game and the ERA and ratio their starters and bullpen pitched to for each month of the season so far:

Month Record RS/G RA/G SP ERA SP Rat RP ERA RP Rat
April 11-12 3.30 3.39 2.77 1.09 3.81 1.33
May 16-13 5.00 4.59 4.05 1.22 5.23 1.34
June 9-19 4.43 5.21 4.99 1.36 4.32 1.47
July 5-8 3.62 4.62 3.45 1.19 7.20 1.43

The Phillies are over .500 in just one month this season. They went 16-13 in May. A miserable June was the worst month of the season as they went 9-19.

The offense was solid in May and June. The Phils were third in the NL in runs scored in May and sixth in June. Twelfth in April and fourteenth so far in July.

Early in the year they were doing very well at preventing runs, but have dropped off significantly since April. Fourth in the NL in runs allowed in April, tenth in May, thirteenth in June and fourteenth so far in July.

The starting pitching was good in April. That’s about it. The numbers overall for July are okay — starters threw to a 4.70 ERA in the first six games of July, but have been good lately, throwing to a 2.45 ERA with a 1.09 ratio over the last seven games.

The first part of May, about the first half, was good for the starters as well. From May 1 to May 18, the Phillies went 10-7 and their starters pitched to a 3.13 ERA with a 1.09 ratio.

From May 18 to the end of June, the starting pitchers threw to a 5.34 ERA with a 1.38 ratio. The Phillies went 15-25 in those games.

The bullpen had its best month in April. A 3.81 ERA and a 1.33 ratio might look good compared to the rest of that chart, but it isn’t that good compared to the rest of the league. For the year, the average NL team has seen their relievers throw to a 3.86 ERA with a 1.36 ratio. A 3.81 bullpen ERA for the year would be ninth-best in the NL at this point. The Padres are eight-best with a 3.56 ERA and the Rockies ninth-best at 4.09.

Since the end of April, the bullpen has a 5.17 ERA and a 1.41 ratio.

Since June 12, the bullpen has a 6.15 ERA and a 1.58 ratio over 31 games.

52 dropoff

After 52 games, the Phillies are 27-25 and in last place in the NL East. Their 2011 campaign, which ended with 102 wins and the best record in baseball, seems like it was a long time ago.

Here’s what the Phillies did through and after game 52 in 2011 and through 52 games in 2012:

Games 1-52 Games 53-162
2011 33 19 4.13 3.25 69 41 4.53 3.27
2012 27 25 4.25 4.06 - - - -

The biggest news for me there is that the 2012 Phillies have outscored the 2011 Phillies through the first 52 games of the season. In 2011, the Phillies were fourth in the NL in runs scored in April and 12th in May. In 2012, they were 12th in April and 4th in May.

Overall, though, they scored more runs in their first 52 games of 2012 than they did in 2011, plating 221 runs so far in 2012 after having scored 215 in the first 52 games of 2011.

The 2012 Phils fared well with the bats in May, but it’s easier to forget how badly they struggled in the same month in 2011. Rollins hit .242 and on-based .306 in 134 plate appearances. Howard hit 208/317/434 over 123. Polanco on-based .289 and slugged .294 at third. Mayberry and Francisco were both terrible — Mayberry got 80 plate appearances and put up a 194/275/319 line while Francisco hit 167/315/300 in his 74.

Important to remember is that the offense got way better after 52 games for the Phils in 2011. In games 53-162, they plated 4.53 runs per game, more than they had through the first 52 games of the year and more than the ’12 Phils have through the first 52 games of the year.

The Phillies ended 2011 having allowed the fewest runs in the National League by an enormous margin. They allowed 529 and the Giants were second having allowed 578. They 578 runs that the Giants allowed is about 3.57 per game — a lot worse than the Phillies allowed in either the first 52 games of 2011 or games 53-162.

The 2012 Phillies are on pace to allow 657 runs.

Early in 2011, the Phillies got outstanding performances from both their starters and relievers. In the first 52 games of 2012, the starters for the Phillies have been good, probably the second or third best rotation in the NL behind the Nats and maybe the Dodgers, but their bullpen has been atrocious.

Here’s how the numbers compare for 2011 and 2012 for games 1-52:

2011 338 3.17 1.17 141 1/3 2.67 1.27
2012 341 1/3 3.48 1.16 126 4.64 1.33

The starting and relief pitching for the Phillies in 2012 were both worse than they were in the first 52 games of 2011. The starters were worse and the pen has been a whole lot worse.

One thing we need to understand about the 2012 Phillies is that they have, to this point a least, a terrible bullpen.

Also, looking at the 2011 Phillies, after game 52, the pen got worse but the starters, which were already better than the 2012 starters through 52, got a whole lot better.

In games 53-162, the starters for the Phils combined to throw to a 2.71 ERA with a 1.08 ratio. The relievers threw to a 3.85 ERA with a 1.34 ratio. The starters threw a whole lot more innings (about 72.8% of the innings games 53-162) so the overall numbers come out great for the Phils when you combine starters and relievers after game 52. In games 53-162, the Phillies overall threw to a 3.02 ERA. For the season in 2011, the Phils led the NL in ERA and the Giants were second at 3.20. The 2011 Phillies threw to the same 3.02 ERA in games 1-52, but without the huge gap in the performance between the starters and the relievers.

So far in 2012, the Phillies have thrown to a 3.79 ERA, which is seventh-best in the NL.

Finally, the fact that the bullpen is terrible in 2012 surely hasn’t been lost on the Phillies and Charlie Manuel. In 2011, Phillies relievers threw the fewest innings in the NL with 412 1/3. Through the first 52 games of 2012, they have thrown 126 innings, which is again the fewest in the NL and puts them on pace to throw about 392 2/3 for the season. I have written about how few innings the bullpen throws for recent Phillies teams often over the last couple of years, including this post and this one. So far in 2012, the number of bullpen innings continues to drop.

And that’s a surprise to me, given who’s starting for the Phils in 2012. Here’s a look at who started the first 52 games for the Phillies in 2011 compared to who started the first 52 in 2012:

Pitcher Starts games 1-52 in 2011 Starts games 1-52 in 2012
Halladay 11 11
Hamels 11 10
Lee 11 8
Oswalt 8 0
Blanton 6 10
Worley 3 7
Kendrick 2 6

In the first 52 games of 2011, 41 of the starts (78.8%) were made Halladay, Hamels, Lee or Oswalt. In 2012, just 29 of the first 52 starts (about 55.8%) were made by that group of four, yet the 2012 starters went deeper into games and the bullpen pitched less (although much, much worse).

Looking closer at the numbers, most of the guys in the rotation this year have simply pitched deeper into games than they did in 2011. Oswalt also averaged just 5.63 innings per start in his first eight starts of 2011. Halladay’s innings per starts over the first 52 games are down in 2012, thanks in large part to a two-inning outing his last time out, but just about everyone else is up. Of the six guys who have made starts for the Phillies in 2012, all six have averaged at least six innings per start and everyone other than Halladay who started in both 2011 and 2012 have gone deeper into games this season.

When you compare the 2011 Phillies to what the 2012 Phillies have done to this point, the bottom line is that the 2011 Phillies created an enormous advantage relative to the rest of the league by preventing runs. The 2012 Phillies don’t have that advantage and it’s not close. The 2011 Phils threw to the best ERA in the league by a wide margin and led the league in fewest runs allowed by a wide margin. The 2012 Phils are seventh in ERA and eighth in runs allowed. The 2011 Phils also saw their offense take off after game 52, a step forward it’s not clear how the 2012 Phillies are going to make.

Wait till last year?

The ugliness continued for the Phillies last night as bad defense and awful work from their pen got together late and the Mets topped them 7-4.

Joe Blanton was charged with four runs over 6 2/3 innings in the game, but pitched a whole lot better than his line. He left with a 4-2 lead with two men on in the seventh. Qualls and Bastardo took over after that, facing three batters and getting just one out as the other two delivered RBI-singles. The Phils also put together just about the ugliest rundown you’ve ever seen in the frame.

The miserable performance of the bullpen continues as the Phils remain, by ERA, the worst bullpen in either league. The team’s bullpen ERA for the season is up to 4.95.

Over the last five games, the bullpen has been charged with more than one run in every game, allowing 13 runs (12 earned) in 13 innings and throwing to an 8.31 ERA with a 2.30 ratio. In 13 innings they’ve allowed 20 hits and ten walks. Those numbers don’t include the game they lost 15-13 on May 2 — in that game the bullpen was charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The pen has also allowed more than one run in eight of the last ten games. In one of those games they didn’t appear at all (Blanton’s complete game on May 3). There’s only one game in the last ten where the bullpen got at least one out and allowed less than two runs (May 1 against the Braves).

The Phillies are 14-17 on the year after losing to the New York Mets 7-4 last night. The Mets have won the first two games of the series. The Phillies have lost four of their last five games.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out seven.

Blanton walked Kirk Nieuwenhuis with one out in the first, but got David Wright on a fly ball to right and Lucas Duda swinging to leave him at first.

Up 2-0, he set the Mets down in order in the second.

Up 4-0, he threw a 1-2-3 third.

Nieuwenhuis doubled to center to start the fourth and moved to third when Wright flew to right for the first out. Duda followed with a walk, putting runners on first and third for Daniel Murphy. Murphy singled into left, scoring Nieuwenhuis to make it 4-1 with men on first and second. Blanton got Ike Davis and Jordany Valdespin, both on fly balls to center, to end the frame.

Blanton hit Mike Nickeas to start the fifth. Pitcher Miguel Batista bunted Nickeas to second with the first out and Nickeas took third when Andres Torres grounded to second for the second. Blanton struck out Nieuwenhuis to leave Nickeas at third.

Wright led off the sixth with a double. Blanton struck out Duda before Murphy moved Wright up to third with a ground out. He got behind Davis 2-0 before striking him out swinging 3-2 to end leave Wright at third.

Blanton walked Valdespin to start the seventh. He struck Nickeas out for the first out and righty Scott Hairston hit for the pitcher Manny Acosta. Hairston popped to second for the second out, but Torres followed and singled softly to right, moving Valdespin up to third. Nieuwenhuis followed with a single to right that scored Valdespin (4-2) and moved Torres to second. Qualls came in to pitch to Wright. Wright singled to right. Hunter fielded and threw home, but his throw wasn’t close to getting Torres, who scored to make it 4-3. Ruiz moved out in front of the plate to take the throw and Wright was caught up between first and second. Rollins threw to Orr covering first and Orr ran Wright towards second, but there was nobody covering second. Orr threw to third to try and Nieuwenhuis there, but his throw was in the dirt and got away for an error, allowing Nieuwenhuis to score and tie the game at 4-4 with two outs and Wright on third. Bastardo came in to pitch to the left Duda and Duda singled to right, scoring Wright to put New York on top 5-4. Murphy flew to center for the third out.

The Wright single play was really ugly. Don’t know why Pence threw home in the first place, cause there was no chance to get Torres. Don’t know why his throw wasn’t cut before making it home. Don’t know why nobody was covering second when Orr was running towards second. The thing that bothers me least about the play was the throw to third, which was in the dirt but could easily have been handled there to prevent the second run.

Qualls and Bastardo face three batters in the inning, allowing two singles and getting one out. Two runs score on the first single, with the help of ugly defense, and one on the second.

Qualls has with at least one run in four of his last six appearances, although the run he was charged with last night was unearned due to Orr’s throwing error. Over his last 4 1/3 innings, he has allowed nine hits and three walks.

Bastardo started the eighth. Davis led off and hit a ball to second that Orr didn’t handle for an error, his second in four batters. The lefty Valdespin flew to left for the second out. Contreras took over for Bastardo, pitching to the righty Nickeas. Ruiz threw Davis out trying to steal second before Nickeas fouled out to Mayberry to end the frame.

Bastardo allows the RBI-single to Duda in the seventh with the run charged to Qualls, then comes back to work around the Orr error in the eighth. He has allowed one hit and two walks over 4 2/3 innings without being charged with a run over his last five appearances. He has thrown two days in a row.

Schwimer started the ninth. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher Tim Byrdak and walked on six pitches. Torres moved Baxter to third with a single. Nieuwenhuis flew to left with both runners moving up a base. Baxter scored to make it 6-4 with one out and a man on second. Schwimer struck Wright out swinging for the second out. Savery came in to pitch to the lefty Duda. Duda singled to center on a ball deflected by Savery, scoring Torres to make it 7-4. Murphy grounded back to the pitcher to end the frame.

Second time in three innings that the Phillies bring in a lefty to face the lefty Duda and Duda delivers an RBI-single.

Schwimer has made five appearances on the season and been charged with runs in four of them. He has an 8.53 ERA for the year and opponents have on-based .400 against him. He’s allowed way too many hits and way too many walks in his short time with the Phillies this year. On the plus side, six of the seven hit he’s allowed have been singles.

Savery dropped his ERA to 4.50. It was the only outing of his last three in which he was not charged with a run.

Overall the pen goes 2 1/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. It was worse than that, though, cause two of the runs that scored after Blanton left were charged to Blanton.

Bastardo has thrown two days in a row and threw 18 pitches in the game. Schwimer 17 and everybody else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Miguel Batista went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Ruiz (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Orr. Mayberry starts at first against the righty with Nix on the bench with a sore calf. Pierre in left and hitting second. Ruiz hits fifth. The lefty Orr at second with the righty Galvis on the bench.

Pierre singled with one out and stole second before Victorino popped out for the second. Pence was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to center for his seventh home run of the year, putting the Phils up 2-0. Ruiz followed that with a double to center, put Polanco grounded to the pitcher to end the inning.

Mayberry led off the second and reached on a throwing error by Valdespin at short that left Mayberry on second. Mayberry took third on another error, a bad pickoff attempt by Batista. Orr singled into center and Mayberry scored, putting the Phils up 3-0. Blanton struck out trying to bunt before Orr stole second. Rollins followed that with a walk, putting men on first and second for Pierre. Pierre flew to center for the second out, but Victorino was next and lined a ball over short and into the gap in left center for a double that scored Orr (4-0) and moved Rollins to third. Pence flew to center for the third out.

Mayberry singled with two outs in the third, but Orr flew to left behind him.

Blanton started the fourth with a walk with the lead cut to 4-1. Rollins grounded into a double-play behind him. Pierre grounded to second to end the inning.

The Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Mayberry singled to center with one out in the sixth and moved to third when Orr followed with a double. Righty Manny Acosta came in to pitch to Blanton and Blanton went down on a ground ball to second with the runners holding for the second out. Rollins struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

No runs for the Phils after putting men on second and third with one out.

The Phillies were down 5-4 when they hit in the seventh. Righty Ramon Ramirez walked Victorino with one out. Pence was next and grounded to third with Victorino forced at second for the second out. Ruiz grounded to second to end the inning.

Polanco reached on an infield single off of Ramirez to start the eighth. He took second on a wild pitch before Mayberry lined hard to second for the first out. He took third on another wild pitch before Orr struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that was off of the plate. Nix hit for Contreras. Lefty Tim Byrdak came in to pitch to Nix. Wigginton hit for Nix and flew to center to set the Phillies down.

No run for the Phillies after putting a runner on third with one out. Awful at-bat by Orr, striking out on a pitch out of the strike zone when the Mets were looking like they might be happy to let the righty Ramirez walk the lefty Orr.

Down 7-4, Pierre singled off of righty Jon Rauch with one out in the ninth. Victorino flew to left and Pence grounded to third to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk in the game. 3-for-his-last-21.

Pierre 2-for-4. 337/396/361 for the season. Among the 115 NL players with 75 plate appearances, his .396 on-base percentage is 12th.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk and a double. 10-for-his-last-30 with four walks and four extra-base hits.

Pence 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. 1-for-8 so far in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double.

Polanco 1-for-4. 5-for-his-last-12.

Mayberry 2-for-4. 296/310/370 over his last 29 plate appearances.

Orr was 2-for-4 with a double, two errors and an ugly strikeout in the eighth. His .455 slugging percentage is fourth-best on the team.

Lee (0-1, 1.96) returns from the DL to face righty Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.50) tonight. Lee threw ten shutout innings against the Giants on April 18, which was his last start before hitting the DL. Gee has walked just one right-handed batter in his five starts on the season. He’s made four appearances against the Phils in his career (three starts) in which he’s thrown to a 7.85 ERA and a 1.85 ratio.

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