Game recap

Seven angels apparently either didn’t have his number or did and are just really big Rays fans

The Phillies got great pitching early this afternoon, but Michael Stutes was charged with five runs in an ugly seventh and the Rays went on to top them 6-1.

Roberto Hernandez started the game for the Phils and pitched well after being hit hard his first time out. He allowed one hit, a single, in three scoreless frames and struck out three.

He got three ground outs in a 1-2-3 first and struck out Vince Belnome in a 1-2-3 second. Logan Forsythe singled to center with one out in the third, but Hernandez retired the next two to set the Rays down.

Through two outings, Hernandez has allowed two runs on five hits and no walks over five innings while striking out three (3.60 ERA and a 1.00 ratio).

Jeff Manship followed Hernandez, coming off of two scoreless innings in his first official outing, and pitched well again. He allowed a one-out single to Evan Longoria in the fourth, but got the next hitter to ground into a double-play. He came back to strike out two in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Five strikeouts in four scoreless innings for Manship. He’s allowed two hits and no walks. He’s gotten hitters to hit into two double-plays. Career 6.42 ERA and 1.62 ratio for the 29-year-old righty is not to be forgotten, but he has pitched really well in two official outings.

Phillippe Aumont was next, making his third appearance. He was terrible his first time out and threw a 1-2-3 frame against the Pirates in his second appearance. Today he got the first two hitters he faced before plunking Cole Figueroa 1-0. Sean Rodriguez was next and Aumont got him to fly to center to end the frame.

Second straight nice outing for Aumont.

Stutes started the seventh with a 1-0 lead. He came into the game having thrown a scoreless frame against the Blue Jays in his only other appearance. Things didn’t go well — Stutes was charged with five runs in the frame on two walks, a single and two doubles. Ended the day with a 22.50 ERA after two times out. The single was deflected by Andres Blanco at short and the Phils failed to get an out on a fielder’s choice handled by Ruf at first, but it wasn’t a good day for Stutes. Two walks and two doubles in the frame.

Justin De Fratus pitched the eighth, faced four batters and allowed a run on a two-out solo homer to lefty Jeremy Moore.

Coming into the game, De Fratus had thrown a scoreless inning in his only other outing, allowing two hits while striking out three.

Just six hits in the game for the Rays, but three of them went for extra-bases. Two doubles and a home run.

A one-out double by Leandro Castro in the fourth led to the Phillie run. Castro was 1-for-3 on the day and is 1-for-7 so far.

Castro is 24-years-old and hits right-handed. He on-based .280 at Triple-A last year, hitting eight home runs in 458 plate appearances. He played mostly the corner outfield positions, but made 17 appearances in center as well.

Revere is hitting .385 (5-for-13 with five singles) after going 1-for-4 with a stolen base.

Maikel Franco was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. 3-for-11 (.273) with two walks and three singles so far.

Ruf 1-for-3 with a walk and a single to drop his average to .308.

Nieves 1-for-3 in the game. Singled home Castro in the fourth for the team’s only RBI on the day. 1-for-6 so far.

Andres Blanco started at second and went 0-for-4. Mayberry was the DH and was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .375 (came into the game 3-for-5 with a home run).

Brown was 0-for-2 and walked twice, dropping his average to .091 (1-for-11 with an infield single).

Cesar Hernandez is 1-for-6 after going 0-for-2.

Galvis was 1-for-1 in the game and may have hurt his ankle running the bases. 2-for-10 so far.

Lee is expected to pitch tomorrow night as the Phils face the Blue Jays.


Third time plucky

Phils topped the Tigers 10-6 this afternoon for their first spring victory.

Kyle Kendrick started the game for the Phils and got hit hard in the first, allowing three runs on two walks, a single and a three-run double by Nick Castellanos. He allowed a leadoff walk and uncorked a two-out wild pitch in the second, but kept the Tigers off the board.

The Phils came into the game with starters Cliff Lee and Roberto Hernandez having allowed three runs in four innings pitched in their starts combined. Kendrick goes two innings, allowing three runs on two hits, three walks and a wild pitch. So after three games, the starters have allowed six earned runs in six innings on eight hits and three walks (9.00 ERA with a 1.83 ratio).

Kendrick made 30 starts last year and walked more than two in five of them. Walked three in two innings today.

Righty Sean O’Sullivan struck out two in a 1-2-3 third. He came back for the fourth and retired the first two before hitting Luis Exposito with a pitch. O’Sullivan retired the next hitter on a popup to Hernandez at second to end the frame.

O’Sullivan suddenly seems like he has a shot for some early starts, given the combination of injury questions around pitchers like Hamels, Martin and Pettibone and the miserable early opinions around Gonzalez. The 26-year-old righty had a 6.14 career ERA over 193 2/3 innings in the majors before throwing to a 3.96 ERA in 25 innings for the Padres in 2013. He had a 1.80 ratio to go with his 3.96 ERA last year — 31 hits and 14 walks as opponents on-based .393 against him. He didn’t pitch very well, 3.96 ERA or not. Pitched well today, throwing two scoreless innings without allowing a hit or a walk while striking out three.

Aumont pitched the fifth, coming off of a miserable outing his first time out and set the Tigers down in order.

Luis Garcia made his first official appearance in the sixth and allowed three runs on two singles and a double. Only one of the runs was earned due to a Reid Brignac error at short.

Cesar Jimenez threw a 1-2-3 seventh in his first official appearance and followed that up by setting the Tigers down in order in the eighth. The 29-year-old lefty walked ten in 17 innings for the Phils last year, which is a lot. Had a 0.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio in nine innings through his first eight appearances and a 7.88 ERA and a 2.00 ratio over eight innings his last 11 times out (and walked seven in those eight innings). Did a better job at preventing walks at Triple-A, throwing to a 3.12 ERA and a 1.31 ratio while walking 26 in 66 1/3 innings.

Justin De Fratus made his first appearance in the ninth. He allowed back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced before striking out the next three to end the game with runners on first and second.

De Fratus struck out 42 in 46 2/3 innings for the Phils last year. Walking 25 was the problem and it led to a 1.50 ratio to go with his 3.86 ERA. Walk rate of 2.0 per nine innings in 424 1/3 innings in the minors and 4.8 in 61 1/3 innings in the majors. I would guess his walk rate will go down in 2014.

The Phillies scored eight runs in a bottom of the third that featured three walks, two singles, a hit-by-pitch, a Tiger error and a three-run homer by J-Roll.

Rollins’s shot came off of righty Jose Valdez with two outs in the third. He was 1-for-1 with a home run and two walks in the game.

Gwynn started the game in center for the Phillies and went 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 0-for-3 with two walks so far. Think we should be following what he does offensively and especially defensively when playing center given the Phils seemingly neverending problem trying to backup center field. Things I know for sure: 1) John Mayberry is really, really not the answer 2) Cesar Hernandez, a backup infielder, really, really is not the answer. The Phils have so many problems it’s hard to feel like backup center fielder should go near the top of the list. I think there’s potential for a moral victory here, though.

Utley started at second and went 1-for-3.

Franco started at third and was 0-for-1 with a walk and no errors. He’s seen action in all three official games and gone 0-for-5 with two errors and two walks.

Byrd 2-for-3 with two singles and 3-for-5 with an RBI in the early going.

Howard 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 with a single so far.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 1-for-6 overall.

Ruiz 0-for-1 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-3.

Lou Marson doubled to start the bottom of the eighth, which led to a Phillie run. He was 1-for-1 with a double on the day in his first action.

Ruf 1-for-3 with a single that drove in a run in the second inning. 1-for-3 with two RBI on the day. 2-for-6 with two walks so far.

Yankees tomorrow.


Take two

Wasn’t a lot better than the first one.

The Phils fell to Toronto for the second straight day this afternoon, losing 7-5.

Cliff Lee started the game, coming off of a 2013 campaign in which he was the best Phillie by a wide margin. He went two innings in the game, allowing a run on two hits while striking out three.

He allowed a run on back-to-back doubles to righties Jose Bautista and Moises Sierra in the first and struck out two in a 1-2-3 second.

Brad Lincoln started the third and should have set Toronto down in order. Didn’t happen. With two outs and nobody on, Sierra hit a ball that Asche fielded at third. Asche threw to first, but Maikel Franco didn’t handle the throw at first and was charged with his second error in two days. Bautista followed that with an RBI-double before Lincoln got Edwin Encarnacion looking to leave Bautista at second.

Franco charged with a fielding error at first after making a throwing error fielding Chris Getz‘s bunt at third yesterday. He appeared at first eight times in 2013 at Double-A after not appearing there at all in any previous years.

Diekman pitched the fourth and faced seven batters, allowing two runs on four hits, all singles.

Not a good start for Diekman, but I’d guess he has a good shot to start the year with the team despite his 5.70 ERA in 30 innings at Triple-A last year. He fared much better while with the Phils, throwing to a 2.58 ERA with a less impressive 1.30 ratio.

Ethan Martin pitched the fifth and it wasn’t good. He faced four batters and all four reached on walk, single, double, double. Michael Stutes took over for him and faced four batters, three of which he retired and one of which reached on a throwing error by the catcher Nieves.

Awful for Martin, who left the game with discomfort in his right shoulder, but a nice showing for Stutes in his first appearance.

Mario Hollands pitched the sixth for the Phils and set Toronto down in order. The 25-year-old lefty made 27 appearances (20 starts) between Clearwater and Reading in 2013, throwing to a 2.86 ERA with a 1.23 ratio.

Rosenberg followed Hollands. He set Toronto down in order in the seventh and again in the eighth.

Great day for Rosenberg. Threw to a 2.45 ERA with a 1.09 ratio in his first 16 appearances before allowing six runs in five innings his last six times out for the Phils last year. May be older than you think — he turned 28 in September.

The Phillies scored five runs in the game. Ruf hit a two-run homer off of righty Esmil Rogers and Mayberry hit a solo shot off of lefty Aaron Loup. Revere scored on a passed ball in the first and Franco scored in the eighth on a play that featured a throwing error by Toronto first baseman Andy LaRoche on a might-have-been double-play.

Ruf was 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer after drawing a walk in his only appearance yesterday. Was good (269/363/500) against righties last year and homered off of one today.

Mayberry 2-for-3 with a solo homer in his first action. Didn’t appear in center field even once today, which should be lauded.

Revere was 3-for-4 with three singles. 4-for-6 in the early going.

Abreu 0-for-2 with two more walks. 0-for-3 with four walks.

Franco, Nieves, Frandsen, Asche all went 0-for-3. Franco drew a walk. Galvis 0-for-4.

Franco made an error on a non-catch and Nieves a throwing error.

This from Ryne Sandberg on Ryan Howard: “You want to see if he can make [lefties] throw the ball over the plate. Be patient, be relaxed in those situations. Get a good ball to hit. Make the pitcher come to him. If it means being patient and taking walks, that’s for the betterment of the team. Spit on it, take the walk and be a baserunner. Will that result in some walks? Seventy-five to 100, 120? Probably.” I offer two related predictions: 1) Ryan Howard will walk less than 120 times in 2014 2) if Ryan Howard walks 120 times in 2014 the Phillies will win the World Series. Howard has averaged 24 walks a season over the past two years, walking 48 times in 609 plate appearances. He walked more than 100 times in a season twice — 108 in 2006 and 107 in 2007. Walking a hundred times in a season is hard. Across both leagues, three players did it in 2013. Joey Votto (135), Shin-Soo Choo (112) and Mike Trout (110).

I really don’t see a lot of reason for left-handed pitchers to walk Ryan Howard, either. Howard hit 173/218/321 against lefties in 2013 after hitting 173/226/378 against them in 2012. He’s walked eight times against left-handed pitching over the past two seasons (193 PA).

Tigers tomorrow with Kendrick expected to pitch.


First thud

The Phillies saw their first official spring action today, falling 4-3 to Toronto in a game called due to rain after the top of the seventh.

Roberto Hernandez started the game, seeing his first action for the Phils having thrown to a 5.03 ERA over his last 146 appearances in regular season action. He went two innings, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks. Jose Bautista hit a solo homer off of him in the first and he allowed another run on back-to-back doubles to start the second. Both of the doubles were off the wall, the first, by righty Brett Lawrie, was off the top of the wall and nearly out of the yard.

Seems a good a time as any to point out that Hernandez has allowed 46 home runs over his last 302 1/3 innings pitched, which is about 1.37 per nine innings. Nobody on the Phillies who threw 65 or more innings in 2013 allowed more than one home run per nine innings. Among the guys with at least 65 innings, Lee had the worst rate at 0.89 per nine innings. The righty Bautista got Hernandez in the first, but lefties hit 305/369/537 against the righty Hernandez in 2013 with 17 home runs in 315 plate appearances.

Phillippe Aumont pitched the third, coming off of a 2013 effort in which he walked 51 in 55 innings between the minors and majors. He walked the two first batters he faced and the Blue Jays scored two runs charged to him in the inning on a single, two walks and a wild pitch.

Righty Jeff Manship, who has struggled to retire hitters at the major league level, struck out two in a 1-2-3 fourth and kept the Blue Jays off the board in the fifth as well. One hit, a single, in two scoreless innings for Manship as he strikes out three and gets Bautista to ground into a double-play. The less good news is the career 6.42 ERA and a 1.62 ratio for the 29-year-old righty in 116 1/3 career innings. Righties have hit 329/375/556 against him for his career.

Bastardo pitched the sixth. He allowed a two-out triple to righty Moises Sierra, but retired Dioner Navarro on a fly ball to center to leave Sierra at third.

25-year-old righty Kevin Munson, a Rule 5 pick (be afraid, be very afraid), pitched the seventh. Chris Getz bunted for a single to start the frame with Maikel Franco fielding and throwing it away for an error that left Getz at second with nobody out. The Blue Jays bunted the runner to third with the first out, but Munson struck Kevin Pillar out with one down and the man on third. He walked Anthony Gose before getting Dan Johnson to line to short to leave runners on the corners.

Two hits and a walk in the frame, but Munson keeps Toronto from scoring with the help of the big strikeout with a runner on third and one out. He struck out 66 in 54 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013.

The offense plated three runs in the game — two in the bottom of the first on RBI-singles by Howard and Byrd and the third in the bottom of the fifth when a one-out walk to Tony Gwynn, Jr was followed by a Ronny Cedeno double.

A day after singling and homering off of lefties in an intrasquad game, Howard lined an RBI-single into center off of lefty JA Happ in the bottom of the first. He flew to left in his other at-bat.

Abreu was at DH for the Phils and went 0-for-1 with two walks.

Cedeno’s double in the fifth after the Gwynn walk was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils. Cedeno 1-for-1 with a double and Gwynn 0-for-0 with a walk.

Byrd 1-for-2 with an RBI-single and a strikeout.

Ruf walked in his only appearance.

Revere 1-for-2 with a single and Rollins 0-for-1 with a walk.

Brown 1-for-3 with an infield single and a strikeout.

Utley 0-for-2, Asche 0-for-2, Ruiz 0-for-2.

Franco 0-for-1 with the game’s only error at third.

Blue Jays again tomorrow with Cliff Lee and Ethan Martin expected to pitch for the Phils.


I think he may have something there

Tyler Cloyd got hammered last night, allowing seven runs and getting pulled before getting an out in the second inning. The Phils fell to Atlanta 7-1.

After the game, Cloyd was quoted as saying, “It was just bad.” That pretty much wraps things up better than I ever could. It sort of gave the impression that the people who have to talk about the Phillies and their frustrating year were out of words and out of ideas. Like maybe the one idea they had left was to get back to basics and start over again with something simple enough for everyone to understand.

The game truly was just bad. But a lot of things have been just bad for the Phillies this year.

The offense has scored five runs in the last four games. They were quiet again last night and Cloyd himself drove in the only run the Phillies would score.

It wasn’t really a glass-is-half-full kind of night. If you’re looking for positives, and I know you are, five relievers combined to throw seven shutout innings after Cloyd got shelled. If you’re ever granted a magical power to will your team to excellence in an area of your choosing, you probably don’t want to go with bullpen performance on the days your starter allows seven runs in an inning.

The Phillies are 72-87 on the year after losing 7-1 to the Atlanta Braves last night. They have lost seven of eight and are in fourth place in the NL East.

Cloyd got the start for the Phillies and went one inning, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a home run. He struck out two.

Just a miserable night for Cloyd, whose ERA for the year is at 6.37 after 12 appearances, 11 of which have been starts. Opponents are hitting .324 against him for the year with an isolated power of .210. Righties are slugging .589 against the righty. His numbers in the minors in 2013 didn’t match his outstanding year in 2012. This season he made 19 starts at Triple-A in which he threw to a 4.71 ERA.

He allowed five runs in the bottom of the first on a solo home run to Jason Heyward, three singles and two doubles.

It just wasn’t pretty. Heyward got it started by hammering Cloyd’s first pitch of the game out to right center and it went from there.

Cloyd started the second down 5-1 and faced four batters, allowing two doubles and two walks. Mauricio Robles took over for him with nobody out, men on second and third and the Phils down 7-1. Robles walked the first man he faced in the frame to load the bases, but got the next three hitters to keep Atlanta from adding to their lead.

Robles pitched the third and the fourth for the Phils, keeping Atlanta off the board in each of the frames. He allowed a double and a single in the third, but got Evan Gattis to ground to third with men on second and third to end that inning. Robles walked Gerald Laird to start the fourth, but got the next three Braves in order.

Three scoreless innings for Robles in which he allows a single, a double and walks two. In three appearances for the year he’s thrown to a 1.93 ERA with a 2.14 ratio. He’s allowed seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings and two of the three runs he’s allowed have been unearned.

Savery pitched the fifth. He allowed a one-out double to Heyward and walked Freddie Freeman with two outs, but retired Gattis on a ground ball to second to leave the runners stranded.

Savery has a 3.32 ERA on the year after 17 appearances and 19 innings, but he has walked 11 in his 19 innings and four of the 11 runs he’s allowed have been unearned. Lefties are 8-for-20 (.400) against the lefty with two walks and a 1.035 OPS after Heyward doubled and Freeman walked last night (they both hit left-handed, you see).

De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 sixth to drop his ERA on the year to 3.91. He hasn’t been charged with a run in eight innings over his last nine appearances. Opponents are hitting .260 against him, but have drawn 23 walks in 46 innings. He’s only walked two over 7 2/3 innings in his last eight appearances.

Ramirez pitched the seventh. He allowed a two-out single to Heyward that was followed by a walk by Elliot Johnson. Ramirez got Freeman swinging to leave the runners on first and second.

Rosenberg set the Braves down in order in the eighth. He came into the game having allowed six runs in three innings over his last four appearances. He’s walked nine in 18 2/3 innings for the year and hasn’t allowed a home run. 4.82 ERA with a 1.45 ratio for the season.

Seven shutout innings for the pen in which they allowed four hits and four walks while striking out eight. Robles threw 66 pitches in the game, which seems like it could impact his short-term availability. The good news is I’d set the over/under on human beings currently aware that Mauricio Robles is on the active roster for the Phillies at about six and a half. The nice night for the pen kinda begs the question what it would take to change the perception that the bullpen is 1) miserable and 2) likely to be miserable for a long time. I don’t know the answer on that one. I think it’s a lot, though. And even if we could make it past the perception, there’s still reality to deal with.

The Phillie lineup against rookie righty David Hale went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Brown (4) Ruf (5) Frandsen (6) Asche (7) Kratz (8) Galvis. Utley on the bench with Galvis at second. Frandsen plays first and hits fifth against the righty. He comes into the game with a 195/239/290 line against right-handed pitching for the season and a history of not being a first baseman.

Hernandez reached on an error by Johnson at second to start the game and moved up to second when Rollins followed with a single to left. Brown, Ruf and Frandsen went down in order to keep the Phils off the board.

No run for the Phillies after putting runners on first and second with nobody out with the help of the error. Brown flew to left, Ruf lined to short and Frandsen grounded to third.

The Phillies were down 5-0 when they hit in the second. Asche and Kratz started the frame with back-to-back singles that put men on first and second with nobody down for Galvis. Galvis grounded softly to the pitcher for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Cloyd was next and hit a ground ball to third. Up by five runs, the Braves took the out at first and everyone moved up a base with Asche scoring. 5-1 with two down and Kratz on third for Hernandez. Hernandez grounded to second to end the frame.

Cloyd gets the only RBI of the game. Did a nice job to put the ball in play in a situation where putting the ball in play means a run. First career RBI.

The Phils were down 7-1 when Rollins started the third with a double to right. The Phillies went in order behind him.

Second time in the game the Phillies can’t bring the runner home after putting him on second early in the frame. No run in the first after putting men on first and second with nobody out. No run in the third after putting a man on second with nobody out.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Singles by Orr and Rollins in the fifth gave the Phils men on first and second with one out. Brown struck out swinging for the second out and Ruf struck out swinging for the third.

Kratz doubled with two outs in the sixth. Galvis popped to short to leave him at second.

With lefty Alex Wood on the mound to start the seventh, Mayberry hit for De Fratus and singled to left, but was picked off of first for the first out. Hernandez and Rollins went down behind him.

Frandsen singled to left off of righty Luis Ayala with two outs in the eighth. Asche grounded out on a ball handled by Ayala to end the inning.

Lefty Luis Avilan set the Phils down without a peep in the ninth.

Hernandez was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and made an error in center in the five-run first inning. He’s 3-for-his-last-28 (.107) with a walk and a double. Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of -0.3, which is notable because he’s only played 165 1/3 innings of defense for the Phillies this season. FanGraphs has his UZR/150 in center at -23.2.

Rollins 3-for-4 with a double. Did his best to get things going for the Phils in the first and again in the third. 362/431/534 over his last 65 plate appearances.

Brown 0-for-4 with a strikeout and left five men on base. 2-for-his-last-11 with a walk. 6-for-his-last-23 with six singles.

Ruf was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and also left five men on base. 227/342/351 over his last 117 plate appearances.

Frandsen 1-for-4. 5-for-his-last-28 (.179) with a double.

Asche 1-for-4. 2-for-his-last-20 (.100) with two walks and a double. 170/286/264 over his last 63 plate appearances.

Kratz was 2-for-4 with a double. 152/211/227 over his last 71 plate appearances.

Galvis 0-for-4. He’s 3-for-his-last-16 (.188). One walk in his last 60 plate appearances.

Lee (14-7, 2.93) starts tonight against righty Kris Medlen (14-12, 3.24) Lee has gone at least seven innings in each of his last four starts and walked one batter in 31 innings while striking out 41. Medlen hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last five starts, throwing to a 1.03 ERA with a 1.00 ratio in those outings and striking out 32 in 35 innings.


Phils and Fish decide to call it wrap after 19 games this year, unless, of course, they meet in the World Series

You probably think the biggest reason the Phils and Marlins can’t face each other in the World Series is that they both play in the National League. It’s not.

The ’13 Phils and Marlins finally, finally pulled the plug on their competition with one another last night to the betterment of the baseball-loving world. I’m really not sure how much more the baseball-loving world could have handled. It’s baseball-loving, but we’re going to need to agree on some common sense guidelines everyone can live with, folks.

The Marlins won the game 3-2 with an eighth-inning run off of Ethan Martin.

The Phils are 12-7 against Miami this season and 60-79 against everyone else.

The Phils scored two runs on ten hits last night, nine singles and Darin Ruf‘s seventh-inning double. The last home run they hit came on September 17 when Chase Utley went deep off of Miami lefty Brian Flynn. The Phillies have played seven games since then, going 1-6 and scoring 18 runs. 18 runs over seven games is about 2.57 runs per game. In those seven games, the Phils have hit .215 and slugged .269. If you have good pitching, it’s just about impossible to win consistently hitting .215 and slugging .269. The Phillies don’t have good pitching.

The Phililes are 72-86 on the year after losing 3-2 to the Miami Marlins last night. The Marlins take the three-game set two games to one. The Phillies have lost six of seven and are in fourth place in the NL East, a game behind the third-place Mets. They scored two runs in the one game of their last seven that they won, beating the Marlins 2-1. They are 23-38 since beating the Mets 13-8 on the first day back from the All-Star break.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple. He struck out six.

Hamels ends the year with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.16 ratio. He pitched to a 4.58 ERA and a 1.30 ratio over his first 17 starts from April through the end of June. 2.68 ERA and a 1.03 ratio in his final 16 starts for the season. He walked 17 in 114 innings over his last 16 starts, which is about 1.3 per nine innings and way below his career rates. Matt Gelb from this morning’s Inquirer: “Troglodytes will point to his 8-14 record as an indicator of failure.” Not sure exactly what I wanted to say about that, but it wasn’t nothing. At any rate, Hamels was among the best pitchers in the NL this year, eight wins or not, and the 8-14 record says a lot more about what’s wrong with the Phillie offense and bullpen than it does about what’s wrong with Cole Hamels. There’s nothing wrong with Cole Hamels.

He allowed leadoff single to Christian Yelich to start the bottom of the first, but got the next three hitters.

Justin Ruggiano walked to start the second and moved up to second on an infield single by Placido Polanco, putting runners on first and second for Adeniy Hechavarria. Hamels had Hechavarria buried in the count when the righty crushed an 0-2 pitch to center where it landed for a two-run triple. 2-0 with Hechavarria on third and nobody out. Hamels kept the Marlins from getting more in the frame, getting a ground ball to short with the runner holding for the first out before striking out the next two hitters to end the inning.

Hamels has excelled in preventing walks late in the season, but the leadoff walk to the righty Ruggiano hurts him in the inning. After the infield single, he gets ahead of the weak-hitting Hechavarria before Hechavarria crushes an 0-2 pitch to center for the big blow of the game. Great work after that by Hamels to keep the Marlins from getting another run after they put a man on third with nobody out. He did get the eight-hitter and the pitcher for the first two outs, but impressive nonetheless.

Hamels allowed a double and a walk to the first two men he faced in the third, but set down the next three Miami hitters in order to keep them off the board.

He set the Marlins down in order in the fourth and again in the fifth. Polanco doubled to right with two outs in the sixth, but Hamels got Hechavarria on a fly ball to right for the third out.

Things got weird in the seventh. The Phillies hit for Hamels in the top of the frame and Cesar Jimenez started the bottom of the inning with the score tied at 2-2. Switch-hitter Koylie Hill led off and Jimenez walked him. Juan Pierre was next, pinch-hitting for the pitcher Brad Hand, and bunted. Ruiz fielded the bunt and threw to second in time to force Hill for the first out. Jimenez walked Donovan Solano, putting men on first and second for Ed Lucas. He picked Pierre off of second, but the Phillies didn’t get the call. Lucas hit a ground ball to first with Frandsen throwing to second to force Solano for the second, leaving Miami with two down and runners on the corners for Yelich. Yelich hit a ground ball to Frandsen and Frandsen tossed to Jimenez covering first. Jimenez wasn’t very close to tagging Yelich out, but the Phillies got that call and the inning was over.

Two really bad calls in the inning. Pierre was out at second on the pickoff play and called safe. Yelich was safe at first and called out, which ended the inning instead of giving the Fish their third run of the game.

Jimenez walks two in the scoreless frame. 2.20 ERA and a 1.16 ratio for the year over 16 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .193 against him, but with eight walks in 16 1/3.

The Marlins got their third run of the game in the eighth. Martin got the first out before walking Ruggiano and Ruggiano moved to third on a single by Polanco. It put runners on the corners for Hechavarria. With the infield in, Hechavarria chopped a 2-0 pitch over the mound. Rollins nearly made a fantastic play, ranging far to his left, fielding and throwing home. His throw was a little on the first base side of home, though, and not handled cleanly by Ruiz at the plate. Ruggiano was safe and the Marlins were up 3-2 with runners on second and third with one out. Rollins was charged with a very tough error on the play. Martin struck Hill out swinging for the second out before walking lefty Greg Dobbs to load the bases. He struck the righty Solano out swinging to leave them loaded.

That was a really nice play by Rollins, even though the Phillies didn’t get an out. Ruiz should have caught his throw at the plate. I still don’t think they would have gotten Ruggiano, but it would have saved Rollins the error and kept Hechavarria at first instead of second.

Martin allows a run on a single and two walks in the frame. He walks Ruggiano to start the Miami rally and has walked 25 in 37 innings for the year. Walking 25 in 37 innings makes it really exceptionally difficult to be effective. Opponents are on-basing .364 against him with an isolated power of .240. He has a 6.90 ERA and a 1.80 ratio in his seven starts and a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 ratio in seven appearances in relief.

Two innings for the pen in which they allow a run on a hit and four walks while striking out two. Jimenez threw 23 pitches and Martin 26. Neither has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Brad Hand went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Brown (6) Ruf (7) Frandsen (8) Galvis. Frandsen again at first and Galvis at third. Mayberry on the bench against the lefty and the lefty Asche on the bench. I truly think it would be worthwhile for the Phillies to find out if Mayberry can be a valuable player if you only play him at first and in the corner outfield positions against left-handed pitching.

Utley singled to center with two outs in the top of the first, but Ruiz popped to first behind him.

Brown singled to start the second and took second on a one-out walk by Frandsen. Galvis and Hamels both grounded out to turn the Phillies away.

Frandsen draws his 12th walk of the year. He’s walked in about 4.5% of his plate appearances this season. Last night’s walk came off the lefty Hand, but Frandsen has walked in just five of his 181 plate appearances against righties for the season (2.8%).

Down 2-0, the Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Galvis singled to center with one out in the fifth. Hamels struck out trying to bunt for the second out before Hernandez flew to right.

Hamels can’t bunt Galvis to second after the one-out single.

Utley singled to left with one out in the sixth, but Ruiz grounded into a double-play behind him.

Ruf doubled to center with one out in the seventh and moved up to third when Frandsen followed with a single to left. Galvis was next and blooped a 1-1 pitch into shallow right-center for a single. Ruf scored to cut the lead to 2-1 and Frandsen moved up to second. Mayberry hit for Hamels and the righty AJ Ramos came in to pitch to Mayberry. Asche hit for Mayberry and struck out swinging for the second out. It brought Hernandez to the plate with two down and men on first and second. He lined a 2-0 pitch into right, scoring Frandsen on a close play at the plate and leaving the Phils with runners on second and third in a 2-2 game. Rollins popped to short to leave the runners at second and third.

The Phils hit for Hamels down a run with one out and runners on first and second. Hamels had thrown 103 pitches in the game, allowing two runs over six innings. I think that’s the right decision. I like the idea of Mayberry against the lefty there, although Mayberry should have been in the lineup against the lefty to start with. Mayberry winds up not getting to hit and Asche strikes out in his stead, but the Phils wind up getting the second run that ties the game anyway thanks to the two-out hit by Hernandez.

Brown singled to center off of lefty Mike Dunn with two outs in the eighth. Righty Chad Qualls took over for Dunn and walked Ruf, but Frandsen flew to left to leave the runners on first and second.

Hernandez 1-for-5 with an RBI. Didn’t catch Hechavarria’s early triple that dropped on the track, but it looked pretty uncatchable. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 282/345/330 for the season. Isolated power of .048.

Rollins 0-for-5 and was charged with an error on the play in which Miami scored their third run. 2-for-13 with two doubles in the series. 250/318/346 for the season.

Utley 2-for-4. 3-for-10 with two walks in the series. 282/347/477 for the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4. 0-for-8 in the series. 2-for-his-last-31 (.065) with two walks and two singles. 269/320/370 on the year.

Brown 2-for-4 with two singles, both of which came off of lefties. 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. No homers in his last 87 plate appearances. 274/326/502 for the year. Was slugging .560 after going 2-for-4 with a triple and a home run against the Braves on July 7, but has hit 258/326/381 over his last 172 plate appearances.

Ruf 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. The Phillies again flail against a left-handed pitcher. They need Ruf and he got the job done last night, doubling off the lefty Hand and drawing a late walk off the righty Qualls. 3-for-10 with two walks and a double in the series. 258/359/479 on the year. Still hitting just 197/312/364 against left-handed pitching for the year.

Frandsen 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-8 with a walk in the series. 231/296/343 for the year.

Galvis 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI. 3-for-8 in the series. 16-for-his-last-40 (.400) with a double and two home runs. One walk in his last 56 plate appearances. 239/289/396 on the year.

Cloyd (2-6, 5.40) faces righty David Hale (0-0, 0.00) tonight in Atlanta as the Phils open their final series of the season. Cloyd has allowed at least five earned runs in each of his three September starts, throwing to an 11.77 ERA and a 2.08 ratio. He’s actually only walked two in those 13 innings, but allowed 25 hits as opponents have hit .403 against him. The Braves took the 25-year-old Hale in the third round of the 2009 draft. He threw to a 3.22 ERA at 1.39 ratio at Triple-A for Atlanta this year and made his debut against the Padres earlier this month. He pitched very well in that game, striking out nine in five shutout innings in the only appearance of his career. He struck out 77 in 114 2/3 innings in the minors this year, so don’t go thinking he’s Buzz Lightyear or anything.


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