Series recap

Phils extend their Halladay from good baseball

It looks like ugly has gone and flipped on us again.

With the exception of a really nice start from Cole Hamels, not much went well for the Phillies this weekend against the Boston Red Sox. Kendrick and Halladay both had ugly outings, with Halladay’s start particularly worrisome given his recent pitch counts. The Phils were shut out and nearly no-hit in game two of the series. They were nearly shut out again in yesterday’s game before they put three runs on the board in the bottom of the ninth.

They also lost Jimmy Rollins again. Rollins pulled up lame after singling in the sixth inning of game one and left with a right calf strain. His most recent trip to the DL ensures we’ll be seeing more of Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez manning short in the next few weeks.

The Phillies are 26-17 after dropping two of three to the Red Sox this weekend. They have lost four of six and scored 15 runs in their last six games. They still have a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL East, but we should all keep an eye on the Braves who are now in second place and have won seven of their last ten.

The Phils won game one 5-1 behind a great start by Hamels, but lost Rollins. Rollins pulled up with an injury to his right calf after singling in the sixth inning and is back on the DL. Hamels was fantastic in the game, holding the Red Sox to a run on three hits and a walk over seven innings. Howard and Werth homered early for the Phils and Herndon, Baez and Contreras combined to keep Boston off the board after Hamels left the game.

Almost getting no-hit by Daisuke Matsuzaka was the story of game two. Castro’s looping single just out of the reach of Marco Scutaro was the only hit of the game for the Phils. Kendrick got the start for the Phils and didn’t pitch well, allowing five runs and exiting before the end of the fifth.

Halladay didn’t pitch well in game three and the Phils lost 8-3. They were nearly shut out again, too, but avoided that with three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Dobbs made a big error at third with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, turning an inning-ending double-play into an inning extender and helping the Red Sox plate a pair of runs. Halladay just wasn’t good, though, allowing seven runs over 5 2/3 innings coming off a 132-pitch outing. Gload delivered another pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth, driving in two of the three runs in the game for the Phils.

Hamels got the start in game one and went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out eight. In four starts in May he’s 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA.

Kendrick started game two. He went 4 2/3 innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He has a 5.66 ERA for the year. Lefties are hitting 344/414/594 against him.

Halladay started game three and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks. Only six of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out just one. The Phillies are 0-3 in the last three games Halladay has started and continue to play miserable defense behind him.

Manuel and Halladay both seem sure that 132-pitches in his previous start and 121 the start before that weren’t a factor. I’m not.

Bastardo entered game two in the fifth inning with two outs, a man on second and the Phils down 5-0. He struck out Jeremy Hermida to end the frame. He came back and got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 sixth to set down the bottom of the Boston order.

Romero entered in the ninth inning of game one with one out, men on first and second and the Phillies up 5-1. He got JD Drew on a ground out to first that moved the runners to second and third for the first out. He then hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch. It brought the tying run to the plate. With the lefty Romero on the mound, the lefty David Oritz hit for the righty Bill Hall. Romero got Ortiz on a fly ball to center to end the game.

Romero also pitched the eighth inning of game three. He allowed a single to Adrian Beltre to start the inning before getting Jeremy Hermida on a ground out for the first out. Marco Scutaro drew a walk to put men on first and second, but the pitcher Tim Wakefield couldn’t bunt and struck out for the second out and Romero got Jacoby Ellsbury looking to leave both men stranded.

Righties are now hitting .181 and slugging .181 against Romero for the year but on-basing .400.

Herndon pitched the eighth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead and set the Red Sox down in order. He also pitched the ninth inning of game two with the Phils down 5-0. He walked Mike Lowell with one out but got the two hitters behind him. He has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 ratio in five appearances in May. Opponents are still hitting .390 against him for the season.

Durbin pitched in game three. He entered in the sixth with two outs and a man on first and the Phillies down 7-0. He got Dustin Pedroia to pop to first for the third out. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Durbin has made nine appearances this month and nine of them has been good. Overall he’s thrown to a 2.61 ERA in May while allowing four hits and four walks over 10 1/3 innings.

Figueroa threw a 1-2-3 seventh in game two with the Phillies down 5-0. He came back for the eighth and allowed a two-out single to Hermida before getting Jason Varitek on a hard hit ground ball to first for the third out.

Baez started the ninth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead. He got the leadoff man before allowing a single to Victor Martinez and a walk to Kevin Youkilis. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Drew.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering to pitch the ninth with the Phillies down 7-0. Pedroia walked to start the inning and moved to third when Victor Martinez followed with a double. Youkilis flew to right for the first out. Darnell McDonald hit for JD Drew and reached with the help of a Hoover error on a rundown to load the bases. Beltre delivered a sac fly to make it 8-0 before Baez got Hermida on a ground ball to end the inning.

The run was unearned thanks to the error. Baez has a 1.23 ERA over his last eight appearances, but opponents are hitting .345 against him in those games.

Contreras did not pitch in the series.

Nobody in the bullpen has pitched more than one day in a row and the Phillies don’t play today. Baez threw 20 pitches yesterday and Romero and Durbin each threw 18.

The Phillies scored eight runs in the three-game series.

Victorino was 2-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 257/308/475 for the year.

Polanco didn’t start yesterday and went 0-for-7 with two walks in the series. 298/333/444 for the year.

Utley was 3-for-10 with a triple and two walks in the set. 307/429/587 for the year and 343/427/629 so far in May.

Howard was 2-for-9 with a home run and two walks in the series. 299/351/486 on the year. He’s on pace to hit 30 home runs.

Werth was 4-for-11 with two doubles and a home run. 327/401/647 for the season. He’s walked once in his last 29 at-bats. Still on pace to hit 83 doubles, which would be a lot compared to other people who have played baseball in the past.

Ibanez was 2-for-9 with two doubles and two walks. 245/349/403 for the year. 220/289/366 against lefties for the year.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with a walk in game one before hitting the DL again. He is at 341/462/634 in 41 at-bats for the season. Castro took over for Rollins at short and was 2-for-8 with a double in the set. He’s hitting 260/272/312 for the year.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and was 0-for-8 in the series with three strikeouts. 297/429/406 on the year. He’s 0-for-his-last-13.

Hoover started yesterday’s game. He was 0-for-3 in the series and is 5-for-18 for the year. He made a throwing error in a rundown in yesterday’s game.

Dobbs started at third yesterday and made a key error. He was 0-for-6 with a strikeout in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-21 and hitting 154/233/308. He’s hitting 228/283/368 since the end of 2008.

Gload was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI in the series. He’s 7-for-29 on the year.

Francisco was 0-for-1 in the series and is just 1-for-8 in May.

No game today.

Jamie Moyer (5-3, 4.30) faces righty RA Dickey (0-0, 3.00) tomorrow in New York as the Phils start a three-game set with the Mets. Moyer has been great in two of his last three starts and has gone at least six innings in every start this year. Dickey has made one start on the year and held the Nats to two runs over six innings.

Wilson Valdez is back on the roster, taking the spot left when Rollins went on the DL.

Brian Schneider should be back for tomorrow’s game.


Nothing but sweep on tap for the Brewers in Milwaukee

What’s it going to take to fluster the Phils this year? The world may never know. Apparently it’s not losing their closers, shortstop, catchers or third or fourth starters. Down to their third and fourth closers, their fourth shortstop and third catcher, they looked pretty comfortable sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend.

The guys filling in did more than just fill in. Wilson Valdez sparkled defensively at short. He and backup backup catcher Paul Hoover combined to hit .400 in the series (10-for-25). The middle of the order didn’t do a ton, but Victorino and Polanco paced the offense by going 14-for-29 (.483) at the top.

The battered bullpen did its part, too. Brad Lidge hit the DL in the series, but Jose Contreras and JC Romero looked just fine working the ninth with both Lidge and Ryan Madson on the shelf. Contreras and Romero nailed down a pair of saves in the series — between them they allowed a hit and a walk over 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Overall, the bullpen allowed one run in seven innings in the series.

The Phils are 23-13 after a three-game sweep of the Brewers in Milwaukee. They have won 11 of their last 14 and lead the NL in wins in winning percentage.

The Phillies won the first game 9-5. Moyer got the start and didn’t pitch very well, but the Phillies got home runs from Werth, Utley and Howard and Victorino went 3-for-5 with three RBI. The game was tied at 3-3 before the Phils scored three in the fourth on a homer by Ibanez and a two-run triple from Victorino. Victorino and Polanco drove in runs in the sixth as the Phillies extended the lead to 8-3. Herndon, Baez and Contreras combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings after Moyer left in the seventh.

They won game two 10-6. Blanton pitched well early and the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the top of the seventh. Paul Hoover had a two-run double in the seventh and the Phillies scored five times. Blanton took the mound in the bottom of the seventh with a 9-2 lead, but allowed a three-run homer to Corey Hart and the Brewers were back in the game at 9-5. The Phillies extended the lead to 10-5 in the top of the eighth. Herndon tried to nail it down in the bottom of the ninth but faced four batters and allowed two doubles and a single. Contreras came in and the Brewers brought the tying run to the plate, but Contreras struck Rickie Weeks and Hart to end the game.

Yesterday the Phillies won 4-2. Hamels pitched well and took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Casey McGehee and Corey Hart hit back-to-back homers off of him with two outs in the sixth to get the Brewers within one. Durbin, Baez and Romero threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings after Hamels left. Romero set Milwaukee down in order in the ninth to get the save.

Moyer got the start in game one. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks. Only four of the runs were earned. He allowed three solo home runs in the game and struck out three.

Blanton started game two and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. He also allowed three home runs in the game. Four of the six hits he gave up went for extra-bases, a double and three homers. He struck out five.

Hamels started game three and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both solo home runs. He struck out three. He’s 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA over his last three starts.

Romero got the chance to save the game yesterday. He entered to pitch the bottom of the ninth with the Phils up 4-2 and set Milwaukee down in order.

Herndon entered game one to pitch to Rickie Weeks in the bottom of the seventh with one out and the bases loaded. The Phillies were winning 8-3. Weeks hit a ground ball to short. Valdez took it and went to Utley for the second out of the inning, but Utley threw the ball away for an error and two runs scored on the play. Herndon struck out Corey Hart to end the inning.

He also pitched in game two, entering in the bottom of the ninth with a 10-5 lead. He got the leadoff hitter, but the next three batters went double, single, double, which put runners on second and third with one out and the lead cut to 10-6. Manuel gave Herndon the hook and called on Jose Contreras to close out the game.

Baez pitched the eighth inning of game one. He entered with an 8-5 lead and allowed two singles but kept the Brewers off the board.

He also pitched the eighth inning yesterday with a 4-2 lead. He allowed singles to the first two men he faced, putting men on first and second with nobody out. He got McGehee to hit into a double-play and Hart to ground to short. Valdez made two very nice plays in the inning, a strong throw to complete the McGehee double-play and another nice throw to get Hart.

Durbin pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 10-5 lead. He allowed a two-out single to Ryan Braun, but got Prince Fielder to ground to Utley behind him.

He also pitched yesterday, taking over for Hamels with two outs, nobody on and the Phillies up 3-2 in the seventh. He allowed an infield single to Rickie Weeks before getting Alcides Escobar on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Figueroa did not pitch in the series. He has thrown 1 1/3 innings this month.

Contreras pitched the ninth inning of game one. He allowed a one-out single to Joe Inglett but got the next two.

He also pitched in the second game of the set. He entered with one out and men on second and third and the Phils up 10-6. He walked George Kottaras to load the bases. It brought Weeks to the plate as the tying run, but Contreras struck him out for the second out and then struck Craig Counsell out to end the game. First career save for Contreras.

Lidge did not pitch in the series and went on the DL on Saturday. Bastardo is back up to take his place on the roster.

Durbin has pitched two days in a row, throwing 23 pitches in game two and 15 in game three.

The Phillies scored 23 runs in the three-game set.

Victorino was 8-for-15 with a walk, a double, a triple and a home run in the series. He’s at 269/311/519 for the season. He’s having a monster month — 333/382/714 in May. He’s on pace to hit 36 home runs for the season.

Polanco was 6-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series. He walked in the second game in Colorado and the first game of this set, giving him walks in back-to-back games for the first time on the year. 318/344/473 for the year.

Utley was 3-for-14 with two doubles and a homer. He hasn’t walked in his last 31 plate appearances. 304/421/578 for the season. He made two errors in the first game of the series and is on pace to make 27 for the season.

Howard 4-for-14 with a home run and two walks in the set. 289/337/467 on the year.

Werth 3-for-13 with a double and a walk. 333/414/643. He has 19 doubles through 36 games, which puts him on pace to hit 85.5 doubles over 162 games.

Ibanez was 3-for-12 with a double, three walks and a home run. He’s at 237/345/407 for the year.

Valdez played short in all three games, going 5-for-15 with two doubles and a triple with several nice defensive plays. Still doesn’t have a walk on the season, though. 231/231/365.

Hoover caught all three games and went 5-for-10 with two doubles and three walks. He’s 5-for-12 on the season.

Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez combined to go 13-for-53 (.245) in the series. Victorino, Polanco, Valdez and Hoover were 24-for-54 (.444).

Ruiz didn’t play in the series. Castro didn’t play in the series and got his last at-bat on May 5. Francisco didn’t play and has one at-bat since May 4.

Dobbs 0-for-1 in the set. Gload 0-for-2.

Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.89) faces righty Charlie Morton (1-6, 9.19) tonight. Kendrick needs to get out lefties. Morton needs to get out anyone — opponents are hitting .336 against him.

Jimmy Rollins may be back in the lineup tonight.


May day after day after day

What the Phillies have done so far in May has been impressive, but what Jamie Moyer did in the first game of the three-game set against the Braves was historic. Moyer chopped Atlanta up, holding them to a pair of singles over nine innings as the Phillies rolled to a 7-0 win. With the effort he became the oldest player in major league history to throw a shutout.

The Phils got a win this afternoon with the help of a fantastic effort from their pen to take the series.

The Phillies are 19-12 after taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves. They are 7-2 in May and have won five of their last six.

On Friday the Phillies won game one of the set 7-0 as Jamie Moyer became the oldest player in major league history to throw a shutout. Werth put the Phils up 3-0 with a three-run homer in the third. Ibanez and Valdez each drove in a pair of runs in a four-run fifth.

The Phils lost game two 4-1. Blanton got the start and pitched well early in the game. He worked around errors by Dobbs and Howard in the top of the first and took a 1-0 lead into the sixth. Atlanta plated three runs on three singles and a double in the sixth, taking a 3-1 lead. Baez gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth. Victorino drove in the only run of the game for the Phils with a single in the second. The Phils had a ton of opportunities in the game, but Howard, Werth and Valdez combined to go 1-for-11 with 12 men left on base.

Outstanding work from the pen helped the Phils take game three today, 5-3. Hamels left after five innings with a 4-3 lead and Durbin, Contreras and Lidge combined to go four scoreless innings. Lidge worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the year. Polanco and Victorino each homered in the game — they are on pace to combine to hit 63 home runs this year with 219 RBI.

Moyer threw a two-hit shutout in game one. He allowed two singles, both to Troy Glaus, over nine innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. He lowered his ERA for the season from 5.70 to 4.38 with the outing.

Blanton went six innings in game two, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He allowed just one hit and two walks through the first five innings. He struck out three. He’s 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA. In his first start he also pitched very well early. He started the seventh with the game tied at 1-1 and St Louis scored five runs in the seventh.

Hamels got the start today. He went five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks. Only one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five. He was up 4-0 when he started the fifth, but allowed three runs on four singles and two walks in the frame. Melky Cabrera hit a ball hard to Utley with the bases loaded and nobody out that Utley didn’t handle. Cabrera was given a single on the play — it would have taken a nice play by Utley, but it would have been a nice one to have.

Romero started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies losing 3-1. He walked Nate McLouth to start the inning and McLouth went to second on a ground out before Romero walked Chipper Jones. It put men on first and second with one out for Brian McCann and Romero struck him out swinging. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Glaus.

Figueroa did not pitch in the series.

Durbin came in to game two with the Phillies down 3-1 with two outs and men on first and second. He struck Glaus out swinging to end the frame. He also pitched today, entering in the sixth with a 4-3 lead. He pitched great. After a 1-2-3 sixth, he was back for the seventh and set Atlanta down in order again, striking out Glaus and McCann for the last two outs.

Durbin has a 1.72 ERA and an 0.83 ratio for the year. Over his last four appearances he has allowed one walk and no hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Contreras pitched the eighth inning of game two and walked Eric Hinske to start the inning, but got the next three hitters behind him. He also pitched in game three today. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth with a 5-3 lead.

Herndon did not pitch in the series. He last pitched on April 30.

Baez pitched the ninth inning of game two, starting the inning with the Phillies losing 3-1. McLouth led off with a single and Martin Prado bunted him to second for the first out. A ground out by Chipper sent McLouth to third and Baez walked McCann. It put men on first and third with two outs for Glaus and Glaus singled to center to score McLouth and put Atlanta up 4-1. Baez got Matt Diaz to ground to short for the third out.

Lidge got his first save of the year today. He threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a 5-3 lead, but not in a way that would make you feel very comfortable. The first two batters he faced hammered the ball, but their fly balls were taken at the warning track. He then threw two nice sliders to Prado before Prado tapped back to the mound to end the game.

Contreras and Durbin have both thrown two days in a row. Durbin threw 27 pitches today.

The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three-game set.

Victorino was 2-for-13 with a walk and a home run in the series. 241/271/459 for the year. He has seven home runs on the season and a career high of 14.

Polanco was 7-for-13 with a double and a home run. 302/328/468 for the year. He started game two of the series at second with Utley on the bench and Dobbs at third.

Utley was 3-for-7 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 297/435/586 for the year.

Howard made an error on a tough play in game two, trying to field the ball with a broken bat flying at him and then making a bad flip to Blanton. He was 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. 279/321/465.

Werth delivered a three-run homer in the third inning of game one that gave Moyer an early lead. 3-for-10 with a walk, a double, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 349/417/688 for the year and 406/457/938 so far in May. Nobody besides me seems to care that he’s on pace to shatter the single-season record for doubles and it kinda hurts my feelings.

Ibanez was 4-for-11 with a double. 253/350/414.

Valdez was 1-for-11 in the series and his hitting 172/172/241 for the year.

Ruiz caught games one and three and went 3-for-7 with three walks in the series. He’s at 325/465/429 for the season. He’s on pace to walk 110 times.

Dobbs started at third in game two and made an error. He was 0-for-3 with a walk in the series and is hitting 192/276/423 for the year.

Schneider started behind the plate in game two and was replaced after the third by Ruiz after straining his left Achilles. He has been put on the DL with Paul Hoover called up to take his place on the roster. Schneider was 1-for-1 in the series and is 3-for-18 on the season.


Return of the king has people wondering just how long he plans to stay

The offense lost its mojo this weekend and the Phillies lost the series, but there is a lot of hope this morning about what the team might have gotten back. Cole Hamels looked like the Hamels of old yesterday as he mowed down the Florida Marlins. He started the ninth inning having allowed one run on a solo homer, raising hope that the Phillies really can have two true aces atop their rotation.

The Phillies didn’t win the game because they didn’t score. They’re off that now, apparently, having plated one run in the last two games. That’s sure to come around, though. A bigger question will be whether or not Hamels is back to stay.

The Phillies are 8-4 on the year after dropping two of three to the Florida Marlins. They have lost two in a row for the first time this season and lost a series for the first time this season.

The Phillies won game one 8-6. It shouldn’t have been nearly that close, but got scary in the end. Halladay was fantastic again, allowing two runs over eight strong innings. Herndon started the ninth with an 8-2 lead but was charged with four runs on five hits. Madson came into the game with one out, men on first and third and the Phils up 8-5. John Baker came to the plate as the tying run and grounded out with the runner forced at second as the other scored to make it 8-6 with two outs and a man on first. Hanley Ramirez singled and the tying runs were on base, but Madson got Jorge Cantu to ground to short to end the game.

The pen had been charged with ten runs over their last four innings. Castro had another big game with the bat, going 2-for-3 and knocking in three runs. Polanco and Utley both homered for the Phils.

Moyer allowed five runs in the first inning in the middle game of the series and the Phillies couldn’t overcome it as they lost 5-1. Jayson Werth hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to account for all the Phillies runs. Ricky Nolasco threw a complete game for the Fish, holding the Phils to four singles, Werth’s home run and three walks.

Yesterday Hamels pitched eight strong innings but the Phillies lost 2-0. Hamels allowed a home run to Dan Uggla in the second and left in the ninth after allowing a leadoff single to Jorge Cantu. Madson came in and allowed an RBI-double to Uggla with the run charged to Hamels. The Phils blew a lot of opportunities in the game. In the second they put men on first and second with one out and got nothing. In the fourth they had men on second and third and nobody out and couldn’t score. Castro struck out, Ruiz lined to left and Hamels grounded out. In the seventh they were turned away after putting men on first and second with one down.

The Phillies pitched pretty well overall in the series, throwing to a 4.33 ERA and a 1.15 ratio. They got good starts from Halladay and Hamels and a bad start from Moyer. Overall the starters threw to a 3.68 ERA and a 1.00 ratio in the series. They walked just one batter in 21 innings.

Halladay went eight innings in game one, allowing two runs on eight hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. After three starts he’s 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA.

Moyer went six innings in game two, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. Ronny Paulino hit a three-run homer off of him in the first, which was the only extra-base hit he allowed. He struck out seven. 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA after two starts.

Hamels pitched great in game three, allowing two runs on seven hits over eight innings. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and Uggla’s home run. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight. His quality start yesterday was the first for the season thrown by a pitcher other than Halladay.

The bullpen didn’t have very good numbers in the series overall, but that was mostly due to a miserable day for Herndon in game one. They threw to a 7.20 ERA and a 1.80 ratio in five innings. They allowed four runs and all of those were charged to Herndon in the opener. Excluding Herndon’s day on Friday, the pen allowed two hits and two walks over 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

Bastardo did not pitch in the series.

Figueroa took over for Moyer in the seventh inning of game two with the Phils down 5-0. He threw two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and a walk. In three appearances in long relief he’s throw to a 2.45 ERA for the Phils. In 7 1/3 innings he’s allowed just three hits but walked five.

Durbin pitched the ninth inning of game two with the Phillies down 5-0. He walked Cody Ross with two outs, but got Brian Barden to fly to center behind him. He’s allowed three hits and two walks over 6 1/3 scoreless innings on the year.

Contreras did not pitch in the series.

Herndon started the ninth inning of game one with an 8-2 lead. Things didn’t go well. He got one out and was charged with four runs on five hits. Madson wound up pitching with the tying runs on base to get the save.

Baez did not pitch in the series.

Madson had to pitch in game one of the series after Herndon couldn’t protect a six-run lead in the ninth. He got the save, facing three batters and getting two out while allowing a single. He also pitched in yesterday’s game, entering in the ninth with a man on first and the Phillies down 1-0. Uggla was the first man he faced and Uggla delivered an RBI-doubled into the right field corner. Cantu scored from first with the run charged to Hamels. Madson got the next three.

The Phillies scored nine runs in the three-game series.

Victorino was 2-for-11 in the set with two walks. 231/286/442.

Polanco was 2-for-13 in the series. He’s hitting 396/404/585 on the season. Top two in the Phillies order go 4-for-24 (.167) with two walks.

Utley 3-for-9 with a home run and four walks. 341/491/795. He’s on pace to walk 175 times.

Howard was 2-for-13 with an RBI in the series. 309/333/600. He’s walked twice on the season and zero times in his last seven games.

Werth was 4-for-10 with two walks, two doubles and a home run. 341/440/561. This article talks about Werth not scoring from third on a line drive to left by Ruiz that was a big factor in the Phillies not scoring a critical run in yesterday’s game.

Ibanez got a day off yesterday with a lefty on the mound for the Fish. 0-for-7 with two walks in the series. 171/294/244 on the season. He’s 1-for-his-last-17.

Castro struck out yesterday in a big at-bat with men on second and third and nobody out. 3-for-9 with three RBI in the set. 333/348/381 in 21 at-bats for the season.

Ruiz started games one and three of the series and went 2-for-5 with two walks. 296/486/333 in 27 at-bats. He’s walked in 27% of his plate appearances this year. That’s a lot.

Francisco started in left field for Ibanez in yesterday’s game with lefty Nate Robertson on the mound for Florida. He was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in the series. He’s 1-for-7 for the season.

Schneider caught Jamie Moyer’s start in the series and was 1-for-3. He’s 1-for-9 on the season. Schneider also caught Moyer’s other start this season, which came on April 10.

No game today. The Phils are in Atlanta tomorrow night for the best of three with the Braves.

JA Happ has a sore forearm and might not make his next start. That there is a problem.


Liftoff

The Phillies have started the 2010 season doing just about everything well. They’ve scored seven runs a game, but it was the pitching that was on display in Houston as they swept the Astros in a three-game set.

Happ threw five solid innings in game one of the series. Halladay threw a complete game yesterday as the Phils won 2-1. Just as impressive was the performance of a much-maligned bullpen, which gave the Phils four scoreless innings in the first game of the set and helped overcome a weak start by Moyer in game two by holding the Astros to a run over three innings in a tight game.

The Phillies are 5-1 on the season after winning three against the Astros.

The Phils rolled to an 8-0 win in game one. Happ threw five scoreless innings and was backed up by four scoreless innings thrown by the group of Herndon, Baez and Contreras. Ibanez’s bat sprang to life in the game — he was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Polanco was 4-for-5 in the game, driving in a pair of runs.

In game two the Phils gave Moyer an early 4-0 lead, but the Astros put up five against him in the bottom of the third. With two outs and nobody on in the seventh, Utley drew a walk and Howard followed with his third home run of the year, putting the Phils up 6-5. Werth, Ibanez and Victorino followed that up with back-to-back singles, with Victorino’s bringing in Werth to make it 7-5. Victorino hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to put the Phils up 9-5. Madson gave up a leadoff double to Michael Bourn to start the ninth and he came around to score, but that’s as close as the game got. It ended 9-6.

Halladay was awesome yesterday, throwing a complete game as the Phils won 2-1. Rollins led off the game with his first home run of the season and the Phils extended the lead to 2-0 in the second thanks to a leadoff double by Ibanez. Halladay had some trouble fielding bunts in the sixth inning and his error on one put down by Jeff Keppinger helped the Astros score an unearned run in the frame to get them within one. Halladay continued to roll after that, shutting them down the rest of the way. Halladay allowed six singles in the game and didn’t walk a batter, improving his mark as a Phillie to 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA after two starts.

The Phillies got great pitching in the series overall. In 27 innings, their pitchers allowed seven runs on 26 hits and just three walks. One of the runs was unearned. That’s a 2.00 ERA and 1.07 ratio.

The starters went 20 innings, pitching to a 2.25 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. All five of the earned runs that they allowed were charged to Moyer, who also gave up both of the home runs they surrendered.

Happ got the start in game one and threw five scoreless innings, allowing six hits and a pair of walks while striking out five. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double.

Moyer’s weak start in game two was one of the few things that went wrong for the Phils in the set. Moyer went six innings in game two, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a pair of two-run homers. He didn’t strike out a batter.

Halladay was fantastic yesterday. He threw a complete game, allowing one unearned run on six hits and no walks. He struck out eight.

The relievers were even better than the starters, allowing one earned run over seven innings on four hits and no walks while striking out eight. That’s a 1.29 ERA and an 0.57 ratio.

Bastardo didn’t pitch in the series.

Herndon threw two innings in game one of the series and was very good. He entered in the sixth with the Phillies up 7-0, nobody out and men on first and second. He got out of the inning with the help of a big double-play ball he induced from JR Towles. He came back to throw a scoreless seventh — he allowed back-to-back singles with one out, but struck out Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee with men on first and third.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 seventh in game two with the Phils up 7-5.

Contreras pitched the ninth inning of game one with an 8-0 lead and set the Astros down in order.

Figueroa didn’t pitch in the series.

Baez pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phils up by eight runs. He had a 1-2-3 frame, getting two strikeouts and a ground out. He also pitched in game two, entering in the bottom of the eighth with the Phillies up 7-5. Again he threw a 1-2-3 inning, getting two ground balls and a strikeout.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game two with the Phillies leading 9-5. He gave up a leadoff double to Bourn and Bourn came in to score on a one-out single by Jason Michaels. Madson got the next two to end the game.

Everyone in the pen should be ready to go this afternoon, thanks to the complete game from Halladay on Sunday.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 4-for-12 with a double, a home run and three walks in the series. He’s scored eight runs in six games, putting him on pace to score 216 for the season. He’s 9-for-23 on the year.

Polanco made his first error of the season in game one. 6-for-13 in the set with a double and a walk. 13-for-27 on the year. He’s one of three Phillies, Howard, Rollins and Polanco, who have an OPS above 1.200 for the season.

Utley was 3-for-11 in the series with a double, a home run and two RBI. He also walked three times, giving him seven in six games. 8-for-23 on the year.

Howard was 4-for-13 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the series. He drove in four runs. 10-for-28 after six games. He’s on pace to hit 81 home runs with 270 RBI.

Werth 5-for-12 with a double and three RBI. 9-for-25 on the year.

Ibanez bounced back nicely from an ugly start against the Nationals, going 5-for-13 with three doubles and three RBI in the series. 6-for-24 on the year.

Victorino is one of two regulars for the Phils that is on-basing under .400 for the year. He’s at .241 and Ibanez is at .345. He was 3-for-14 with a home run in the series. 5-for-27 on the season.

Ruiz caught the first and third games of the series, going 1-for-8. He’s 4-for-14 on the year.

Schneider caught game two and went 0-for-3 with two walks. He’s 0-for-6 on the season.

Cole Hamels (1-0, 3.60) and righty Jason Marquis (0-1, 13.50) go this afternoon in the Phillies home opener. It will be a rematch of game two of the season, which the Phillies won 8-4.


All sides decry the lack of decency as magic number campaign goes negative

The Phillies are heading to the playoffs as division champs once again. A grand slam from Pedro Feliz in game two helped get things going in the right direction and the Phils clinched the NL East with a decisive 10-3 win in game three of a four-game set with the Astros.

A few guys clearly need some rest for the Phils, but the team is plugging along offensively. The pitching, on the other hand, is a mess. The bullpen pitched well in the series, but the ninth inning has been an adventure and seems guaranteed to be for some time to come. The starting pitching is suddenly awful. The Phillies don’t have a quality start in their last nine games. Over those games their starters have combined to throw to a 6.26 ERA and a 1.61 ratio. In five of their last six and six of their last eight games their starting pitcher has thrown less than six innings.

The Phillies are 92-67 on the season after splitting a four-game series with the Houston Astros. The Phils have won the division and currently are second among the four NL playoff teams with 92 wins. All four of the Phils, Cards, Dodgers and Rockies have three games to play. LA has 93 wins and the Rockies and Cards each have 91. The Phils will play the Dodgers or the Rockies in the first round of the playoffs. The Dodgers lead the Rockies by two games with the teams set to play a three-game series this weekend.

The Phillies lost the first game of the series 8-2. Rollins put the Phils up 1-0 in the bottom of the first as he singled, stole second and came in to score on a sac fly by Utley. Hamels kept Houston off the board until the fourth, when the Astros tied the game at 1-1 on three singles and walk. Three of the first four Houston batters reached in the sixth and the Astros scored two more to extend their lead to 3-1. Victorino doubled with one out in the bottom of the sixth, moving to third on a ground out and came in to score on a balk to make it 3-2. Houston blew it open in the seventh. Hamels got the first two batters in the frame before allowing two singles, a stolen base and walking the next hitter intentionally. Walker took over for Hamels and was awful again, allowing a two-run double, a walk and a single before Condrey took over. Condrey allowed a two-run single before striking out JR Towles to end the five-run inning with the Phillies down 8-2. With two outs and nobody on, seven straight Astros reached in the frame.

The Phils got a huge win in game two, topping Houston 7-4. With the help of a loss by the Braves the win helped reduce their magic number to one. Lance Berkman homered off of Happ with two outs in the third to put the Astros up 1-0. Bako led off the bottom of the third with a walk and came in to score on a double by Rollins, tying the game at 1-1. Howard, Ibanez and Werth got on board to start the fourth before Feliz delivered an enormous blow, hitting the first pitch of his at-bat from Wilton Lopez out to left for a grand slam that put the Phils up 5-1. Houston got another run off of Happ in the top of the fifth on two singles and a catcher’s interference to make it 5-2. Werth hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth and it was 7-2. Kaz Matsui got Happ for a two-run shot as well in the top of the sixth. 7-4. Moyer came on in relief of Happ in the top of the sixth. He got the last out and returned for the seventh, injuring his groin as Jeff Keppinger flew to center for the third out. Madson worked the final two innings to earn the save.

The Phils clinched the NL East with a 10-3 win in game three. The Astros loaded the bases in the first on three singles before Pedro walked Pence with two outs to force in a run an put Houston up 1-0. Rollins started the bottom of the first with a double and came in to score on a ground out by Utley to tie the game at 1-1. JR Towles hit a solo shot off of Martinez in the top of the second, putting Houston on top again at 2-1. Towles did it again in the top of the fourth to make it 3-1. Martinez left after four innings, but Kendrick came on next and was fantastic in relief. He struck out four in three scoreless innings while the Phillies broke the game open. Two singles, a walk, a double by Feliz and a costly throwing error by Astros starter Brian Moehler helped the Phils score four runs in the bottom of the fourth, putting them on top at 5-3. Back-to-back triples by Rollins and Victorino to start the fifth helped the Phillies score two more. 7-3. An RBI-double by Ruiz in the sixth brought in Feliz and made it 8-3. Ibanez hit a two-run shot in the seventh and it was 10-3. Eyre got the first two outs in the ninth before Brad Lidge came in and got Berkman to ground to first to end the game.

The Phillies lost last night’s game 5-3. Berkman put the Astros up 2-0 with a two-run double off of Lee in the top of the first. Francisco doubled in the fifth and came in to score on a single by Rollins to cut the lead to 2-1. The Phils couldn’t get any more in the inning, though, as Werth grounded to short with the bases loaded to leave all three runners stranded. Tejada hit a two-run shot off of Lee in the top of the sixth to make it 4-1 and Houston added a run on three singles off of Myers in the seventh. Down 5-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies got a two-out double from Feliz. 5-3. Tracy followed with a single that moved Feliz to third and put the tying run on base, but Cairo flew to center to end the game.

The Phillies threw 36 innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.47 ratio.

The starting pitching was bad. 6.14 ERA and a 1.68 ratio over 22 innings. Five home runs allowed — two against Happ, two off of Martinez and one off of Lee.

Hamels got the start in game one. He was strong early but ended up with an ugly line, allowing six runs over 6 2/3 innings on nine hits and three walks while striking out five. Six starts in September for Hamels — three were good and three were bad. Two bad ones in a row have him allowing ten runs on 17 hits and three walks over 13 2/3 innings in his last two starts (6.59 ERA and a 1.46 ratio). His line would have look a whole lot better if he had gotten Bourn with two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh. He’s keeping people in the yard these days, which is a good sign. In six of his last seven starts he hasn’t allowed a home run.

Happ went 5 2/3 innings in game two, allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned and he struck out six. He has a 3.77 ERA over his last three starts, but hasn’t pitched nearly that well. He’s allowed 20 hits and three walks over 14 1/3 innings (1.60 ratio). After walking lots of hitters for most of the season, he hasn’t walked two or more in a start any of his last six times out. He’s allowed too many hits in those six starts, though, 35 in 28 1/3 innings. Seven of the hits have been home runs. That’s too many, too. Seven home runs over 28 1/3 innings would have him on a pace to give up about 49 homers over 200 innings.

Pedro started game three and went four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. He gave up a pair of home runs to Towles. He’s allowed more than three runs in a start just once as a Phillie, he allowed four against the Mets on August 23, but has gone five innings or less in five of his nine starts.

Lee went 5 2/3 in game four, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk. One of the runs was unearned. He’s allowed 11 runs in 11 2/3 innings over his last two starts. He’s also given up three home runs — he’s allowed just 17 home runs in 231 2/3 innings on the year. The 231 2/3 innings he’s thrown on the year is fourth in all of baseball. That’s not good.

The pen pitched well. They threw 14 innings with a 1.93 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. Walker was awful in game one, but came back to throw a 1-2-3 inning last night. Madson had a nifty two inning save in game two. Kendrick sparkled in relief of Martinez in game three. Myers had a worrisome outing last night.

Eyre started the ninth inning of game three with the Phillies up 10-3. Making his first appearance since September 7, he faced two batters and retired them both. He has been charged with two runs in 32 appearances since the end of April.

Romero pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phils down 8-2. He allowed back-to-back singles with one out before getting the next two hitters to leave the runners stranded.

Escalona pitched the ninth inning last night with the Phils down 5-1 and set the Astros down in order. He’s been charged with runs in two of his 12 appearances on the season, but appears to have little chance to be on the post-season roster.

Moyer took over for Happ in the sixth inning of game two with two outs, nobody on and the Phillies up 7-4. He got Miguel Tejada on a fly ball to center to end the frame. He came back for the seventh, too. He walked Hunter Pence with two outs before getting Jeff Keppinger on a fly ball to deep center field. Moyer fell to the ground after delivering the pitch to Keppinger and left the game with a strained groin.

Kendrick was awesome in game three. Pitching in relief of Pedro, he went three scoreless innings in which he allowed two hits and struck out four. He has a 2.66 ERA and a 1.27 ratio in 23 2/3 innings for the Phillies this season. He allowed three runs in two innings to the Red Sox in his first appearance of the year — since then he’s thrown to a 1.66 ERA.

Walker took over for Hamels in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, men on first and second and the Phils down 4-2. He gave up a two-run double to Carlos Lee and then walked Hunter Pence. It put men on first and second with two down for Jeff Keppinger and Keppinger reached on an infield single to load the bases. Condrey took over for Walker to pitch to Kaz Matsui.

Second straight terrible outing in a row for Walker — over his last two appearances he had allowed four runs on four hits and a walk without getting an out. It’s raised his ERA on the year from 2.23 to 3.34. His ratio went from 1.05 to 1.21.

He got another chance in game four and pitched better. He started the eighth with the Phillies down 5-1 and set the Astros down in order.

Durbin pitched the eighth inning of game three with the Phillies up 10-3. He walked Matsui with one out but got the next two. He has a 1.98 ERA in nine appearances in September, but hasn’t pitched nearly that well. In 13 2/3 innings he has walked eleven.

Condrey entered game one in the top of the seventh with two outs, the bases loaded, the Phils down 6-2 and Matsui at the plate. Matsui delivered a two-run single before Condrey struck out JR Towles to end the frame.

Condrey also pitched last night, entering the game in the sixth inning with two outs, men on second and third and the Phillies down 4-1. He hit Humberto Quintero with a pitch before pinch-hitter Aaron Boone flew to center to end the frame.

Condrey hasn’t been charged with an earned run in any of his last ten appearances. In seven innings he’s allowed five hits without walking a batter.

Myers started the seventh inning of game four with the Phillies down 4-1. Bourn led off with a bunt single, went to second on a passed ball and was bunted to third. Tejada followed with a single that scored Bourn and made it 5-1. Berkman was next and he singled as well, putting me on first and second with one out. Pence hit into a double-play to end set Houston down.

It was the first appearance for Myers since September 12.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phils down 8-2. He got the first two before he hit a batter and allowed a single. He got Jason Michaels to ground to third to leave both men stranded.

Lidge also pitched in game three, entering in the ninth inning with two outs, nobody on and the Phillies up 10-3. He got Berkman to ground to first to end the game and clinch the division for the Phillies.

Madson entered game two in the top of the eighth with the Phillies up 7-4. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth and came back for the ninth. Matsui led off the ninth with a single before Tejada flew to right for the first out. Berkman reached on a single just out of reach of Rollins, moving Matsui to second and bringing Lee to the plate as the tying run. Lee struck out swinging and Madson got Pence swinging to end the game.

The Phillies scored 22 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins had a fantastic series. He was 6-for-15 in the series with two doubles and a triple and is hitting 250/297/424 on the year.

Victorino was 4-for-12 with a double and two triples. He’s hitting 293/360/448 for the year. Hopefully a lot of rest is the answer for Victorino. He’s hitting 243/309/395 over his last 232 plate appearances. He was hitting 319/386/476 after going 3-for-5 on July 28.

Utley was 0-for-9 in the series and got last night off. He’s hitting 285/401/513 on the season. He hit an ugly 204/304/343 in September.

Howard was 3-for-12 with five walks in the series. 276/358/563 on the season.

Werth 5-for-13 with a home run and four walks. 268/374/506.

Ibanez 3-for-14 with two walks, a home run and four RBI. 274/348/556.

Feliz hit a huge grand slam in game two. 5-for-17 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI in the series. 268/311/390 for the year. Feliz has been awful since the end of July, hitting 230/260/376 over 224 plate appearances. He’s shown a lot of life lately, though, hitting 327/327/489 over his last 49 plate appearances. No walks in his last 53 at-bats.

Bako started games one, two and four of the series. 2-for-8 with two walks. He’s up to 230/315/345 on the season. 333/405/455 over 37 plate appearances in his last ten games.

Ruiz started game three of the series and went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 253/351/424 on the year.

Hoover appeared in game one without an at-bat.

Francisco started in center field last night in game four. 3-for-5 with two doubles in the series. 281/316/551 in 89 at-bats with the Phillies.

Cairo was 1-for-3 in the series and is hitting 235/257/294 for the year.

Bruntlett started at second base last night and went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. He’s hitting 158/214/228 for the year. He did not have a bat in all of September before starting October with a tough game. Hasn’t been such a good year for him.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the series to drop his line on the year to 255/306/400. He’s 5-for-22 with five singles since the end of July.

Tracy went 1-for-2 in the series and is 3-for-6 with the Phillies.

Victorino and Utley are the guys the Phillies really need to snap out. Rollins was a monster in the series and so was Feliz despite recent struggles.

This article breaks down tie scenarios for the best record in the NL.

Chan Ho Park left a simulated game yesterday after facing five batters due to a problem with his hamstring. It also suggests that whether Happ or Martinez is fourth starter behind Lee, Hamels and Blanton will depend on the health of Eyre and Romero.


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