Series recap

Tying ugly

The Phillies managed an ugly split in their four-game series against the Brewers, winning and losing ugly both in a series that saw the two teams combine to make nine errors.

The Phils look sloppy and tired — in the field but also at the plate. Victorino has been in a funk with the bat since the end of July. Utley has one RBI since September 15. Werth is 2-for-his-last-28 with 14 strikeouts.

None of those problems are as worrisome as what’s happening in the bullpen, especially in the ninth inning. The starters got bounced early in the series, none of the four got an out in the seventh inning, and that was a lot of innings to pitch for a defense that wasn’t playing well. Tyler Walker got his chance to pitch in the ninth inning of a game that was close in game three. Didn’t go so well as Walker failed to retire a batter before giving up a walkoff homer. If there was a bright spot it was in what happened yesterday. With a 6-5 lead, the pen gave the Phils three scoreless frames including a four-out save from Madson.

The Phillies are 90-65 on the season after splitting a four-game series with the Brewers in Milwaukee. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by five games with seven left to play. If the Phillies went 0-7 to end the year the Braves would have to go 5-2 to tie them atop the division.

The Phillies won the first game 9-4. Howard drove in Utley to give them a 1-0 lead in the first, but a one-out triple by Jason Kendall in the bottom of the third off of Happ helped the Brewers tie up the game. Feliz doubled in Francisco in the fourth to put the Phils up 2-1 before they got six runs in a fifth inning that featured a three-run homer by Rollins to make it 8-1. Milwaukee scored another run charged to Happ in the sixth to make it 8-2. The Phils extended the lead to 9-2 in the top of the eighth before Milwaukee scored two off of Condrey in the bottom of the ninth.

Lee got hit hard in game two as the Brewers won 8-4. A three-run homer by Mike Cameron off of Lee helped put Milwaukee up 4-0 after one inning. The Phils managed just nine singles and a walk in the game, but put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 4-2. Lee gave up another three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, this one to Prince Fielder, and the Brewers led 7-2. Milwaukee extended the lead to 8-2 with a run off of Lidge in the seventh. The Phils got RBIs from Howard and Werth in the top of the eighth to get within four.

Tyler Walker gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Braun in the ninth inning of game three, which the Brewers won 7-5. Bako put the Phils up 2-0 with a two-run shot in the second and RBIs from Feliz and Werth in the third made the lead 4-0. Milwaukee scored two off of Kendrick in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 4-2 and a walk, a hit batter and a sacrifice bunt helped them score another in the fourth to make it 4-3. Howard put the Phillies up 5-3 with a solo homer in the fifth. Pitching in relief of Kendrick, Moyer got the first two hitters to start the sixth before giving up a walk and a ground-rule double that was followed by a two-run single Craig Counsell blooped into center field and off of Rollins’s glove that tied the game at 5-5. Walker came into the game to start the ninth and faced two batters, allowing a leadoff single to Counsell before Braun popped an 0-1 pitch out to right-center.

The Phils almost blew a five-run lead yesterday, but held on for a 6-5 win. Rollins led off the game with a home run and a one-out triple by Utley helped put the Phils up 2-0 after half an inning. Victorino delivered a two-run double in the second to make it 4-0 before Cameron hit a solo shot in the bottom of the inning. A two-run single by Feliz in the sixth gave Blanton a 6-1 lead to work with, but Mat Gamel hit a three-run homer in the bottom of a four-run sixth and the Phils lead was cut to 6-5. Escalona got Fielder to end the sixth with the tying run on base. Durbin threw a scoreless seventh and got the first two outs of the eighth before Madson picked Corey Hart off of first to end the inning. Madson came back for the ninth and gave up a one-out double to Fielder, but got the next two to end the game and earn his ninth save.

The Phillies threw 34 innings overall in the series with a 5.56 ERA and a 1.65 ratio.

The starting pitching in the series wasn’t good. Happ made the best start of the four and he allowed two runs and went just 5 2/3 innings. None of the four starters went more than six innings. As a group they threw to a 5.51 ERA with a 1.78 ratio over 16 1/3 innings.

Happ got the start in game one and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Happ’s results of late haven’t been great, but he does have his walks down. Over his last five starts he’s walked just seven in 29 2/3 innings.

Lee got blasted in game two. Two three-run homers were the big blasts of the game as he allowed seven runs on nine hits over six innings. Lee hasn’t walked a batter in seven of his last eight starts.

Kendrick went four innings in game three, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Kendrick has allowed just one home run over 20 2/3 innings on the season after giving up 23 in 155 2/3 innings last year.

Blanton got the start yesterday and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks. Four of the five runs he allowed came on the two homers he gave up. Bad start for Blanton coming off of two in which he was fantastic.

The relievers were called on to throw a ton of innings in the series and didn’t fare well. They pitched more innings than the starters in the series, throwing 17 2/3 innings with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.53 ratio. Condrey gave up two unearned runs in game one. Walker surrendered a critical homer in game three.

Escalona started the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 8-4. He struck out the first two men he faced before allowing a single and a walk. He then struck out Corey Hart to leave both men stranded.

Escalona got a huge out yesterday, entering in the bottom of the sixth with one out, Fielder at the plate and the Phils up 6-5. Fielder grounded to second to end the inning.

Moyer took over for Kendrick in the fifth inning of game three with the Phils up 5-3. He threw a 1-2-3 fifth. In the sixth he got the first two before allowing a walk and a ground rule double. It put men on second and third for Counsell and Counsell popped a ball into shallow center. Rollins had a long run to get to the ball, but got there in time and didn’t make the difficult catch. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 5-5. Moyer got Braun on a ground ball to end the inning. Moyer allowed a two-out single in the seventh that was followed with a ground out and threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Over his last 16 appearances Moyer has thrown 88 1/3 innings with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

Durbin took over for Happ in the sixth inning of game two with two outs, men on first and second and the Phillies up 8-2. He got a ground out to end the inning. Durbin came back to pitch the seventh and got the first two before issuing back-to-back walks. He struck out Ryan Braun to end the inning.

Yesterday he started the seventh inning with the Phils up 6-5. He gave up a two-out double but kept the Brewers off the board. He came back to start the eighth and again got the first two before walking Hart. Madson came in to pitch to Braun.

Walker pitched the eighth inning of game one with an 8-2 lead. He hit a batter and gave up two singles, but kept Milwaukee off the board.

He also started the ninth inning in game three with the score tied at 5-5. Counsell led off with a single and Braun followed with a two-run homer to right-center that won the game for Milwaukee.

Condrey started the ninth inning of game one with a 9-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Felipe Lopez before Corey Hart reached on an error by Howard. The next two men grounded out, with the second ground out scoring Lopez to make it 9-3. Casey McGehee delivered an RBI-single to plate another unearned run before Condrey got Mike Cameron on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Condrey also pitched yesterday in game four. He took over for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Hart on first and Ryan Braun at the plate with the Phils up 6-4. Hart stole second before Braun singled, cutting the lead to one at 6-5. Escalona came in to pitch to Fielder.

Madson entered game four with two outs in the eighth and Hart on first with the Phils up 6-5. He picked Hart off of first to end the inning. He came back to pitch the ninth. Fielder doubled with one out, but Madson got Felipe Lopez on a ball chopped back to the mound and struck Cameron out looking to end the game.

Lidge started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 7-2. He gave up a leadoff single to Corey Hart, but got the next two hitters before Hart stole second. McGehee delivered an RBI-single before Lidge struck out Cameron to end the inning.

For Lidge it was his fifth outing in a row in which he had been charged with at least one run. Over his last five appearances he had been charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings on ten hits and two walks.

The Phillies scored 24 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins was 6-for-19 with a double, two walks and two home runs in the series. He’s hitting 247/292/419 for the season.

Victorino was 4-for-19 with a double and two walks. 292/360/442 for the year. He came into yesterday’s game hitting 242/311/379 in 210 plate appearances since the end of July.

Utley was 3-for-18 with a triple in the series. 290/405/522. He has one RBI since September 15.

Howard was 8-for-18 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI in the series. 277/355/569. Fielder was 5-for-16 with two doubles, a walk, a home run and six RBI in the series.

Werth was 1-for-15 with two walks in the series. 266/370/504 for the year. He’s 2-for-his-last-28 with 14 strikeouts, which could be a sign it’s time for a day off or four.

Ibanez started games one and two on the bench with Francisco in left. 1-for-6 with four walks in the series. He’s hitting 276/350/560 on the year.

Feliz was 7-for-17 in the series with a double. 267/311/384 on the year. He’s on-basing .257 in September after on-basing .257 in August.

Bako started games one, three and four of the series and went 6-for-14 with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 229/308/352.

Hoover caught game two of the series. 2-for-3 with two singles in the first action of the season for the 33-year-old.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner and still does not have an at-bat since August 25.

Francisco started the first two games of the series in left. 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 262/292/524 in 84 at-bats with the Phils. He walked 33 times in 308 at-bats this year with the Indians and has walked three times since joining the Phillies.

Mayberry was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 196/237/464 in 56 at-bats for the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 in the series and is hitting 261/312/408.

Stairs 0-for-2. 202/363/394.

Tracy was 1-for-1 and is 2-for-4 on the season.

This says that Romero could be activated today.


Thanks for the memories

Given his unbelievable performance in 2008 and the fact that he’s going to be a Phillie for two more seasons, it’s a little hard to know when to pull the plug on Brad Lidge and his miserable 2009 season. I can help, though. The answer is right now.

The Phillies aren’t playing critical games these days. It would take a huge meltdown in conjunction with miraculous play by some other teams to keep them out of the playoffs. It’s not going to happen. It’s not just about the playoffs, though. Time after time Manuel comes up with “he’s my closer” when asked about Lidge. Really? Well your closer is having a terrible year, it kills your team and he’s only your closer because you say he is. As loyal as you are to Lidge you have a responsibility to your team to do better. At least when the games matter, you do. Lidge has an 8.84 ERA and a 2.02 ratio over his last 22 appearances. Every time Lidge gets the ball with the game on the line now it digs the hole deeper for Manuel — one more time to say he’s my closer and one more chance to get someone else some experience with the role that’s lost.

Lidge has two more years to get his ’08 magic back. It’s gone now, though, and anyone who can’t see that is blinded by something. If it’s loyalty that has Manuel blind I actually think that’s a little impressive. Maybe that loyalty to his players is how he gets so much out of them. But it’s not Brad Lidge’s job to say he doesn’t want to close anymore. Not his job to say he can’t get the job done. He doesn’t believe that and he shouldn’t and it’s never ever going to happen. It is Manuel’s job, though, and he has more than one player he needs to be loyal to.

The Phillies are 88-63 on the season after losing two of three to the Florida Marlins. The Phils are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by 6 1/2 games. Atlanta has gone 8-2 over their last ten games to pull within four of the Rockies for the Wild Card. After winning game one of the series the Phillies were 27 games over .500 for the first time since the 1993 season.

The Phillies rolled to a 9-3 win behind a great start from Blanton in game one. Blanton exited with a 4-0 lead after allowing two singles and two walks over seven innings. The Phils broke it open with a five-run eighth in which Ibanez hit his 32nd homer of the season. Escalona and Walker combined to allow three Marlins runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Anibal Sanchez baffled the Phils in game two, throwing eight shutout innings as the Marlins won 3-0. Dan Uggla put the Fish up 1-0 with a solo homer off of Moyer in the second and Cody Ross extended it to 2-0 with another solo shot in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez doubled in Chris Coghlan in the fifth to make it 3-0. The Phillies had two hits in the game, a single by Utley and a double by Utley.

The Phillies coughed up three runs late last night and lost 7-6. A two-run doubled by Howard put the Phils up 2-0 in the top of the third, but the Fish put a run on the board off of Hamels in the fourth and went up 3-2 in the fifth. Ibanez homered in the sixth to tie the game at 3-3 and Hamels brought Feliz in with a two-out single to put the Phils back up at 4-3. Howard drove in two more runs with a two-run homer in the seventh. 6-3. Gaby Sanchez homered off of Hamels in the bottom of the seventh to get the Marlins back within two runs. Madson gave up a run in the eighth on two singles and a hit batter. 6-5. Lidge started the ninth in defense of the one-run lead and gave up a leadoff double to Ross Gload. He got the next two hitters before Ramirez walked and then Jorge Cantu tied the game with a single. With two outs and men on first, Brett Carroll delivered the game-winning single to center for Florida.

The Phillies threw 25 2/3 innings in the series, pitching to a 4.56 ERA and a 1.36 ratio.

Blanton made a great start in game one. Moyer and Hamels combined to allow seven runs in 14 innings in the next two games. Overall the starters threw to a 3.05 ERA with a 1.05 ratio over 21 innings. They allowed four home runs, Moyer and Hamels each gave up two.

Blanton was fantastic in the opener. He went seven shutout innings, allowing two singles and two walks while striking out nine. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts and has allowed more than three runs in a start in his last 21 starts.

Moyer started game two and allowed three runs over seven innings on nine hits and a walk. He gave up a pair of solo home runs and struck out five. He’s allowed 27 home runs in 156 2/3 innings this year after allowing 20 in 196 1/3 innings in 2008.

Hamels went seven innings in game three, allowing four runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk a batter, but allowed two home runs in a game for the first time in eight starts. He’s walked just five batters in 36 2/3 innings for the month.

The relief pitching was terrible in the series. Escalona and Walker combined to give up three runs with a big lead in game one. Madson and Lidge got hit hard last night. Overall the pen pitched 4 2/3 innings with an 11.57 ERA and a 2.79 ratio. They allowed nine hits and four walks in less than five innings.

Escalona started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies up 9-0. Coghlan singled with one out and Nick Johnson followed with a walk. Ramirez was next and he lined a double to center, scoring Coghlan to make it 9-1 with men on second and third and one out. Walker came in to pitch to the righty Cantu.

Walker entered game one in the eighth inning with one out, men on second and third and the Phillies up 9-1. He struck Jorge Cantu out for the second out, but Uggla was next and delivered a two-run single to right to make it 9-3. Walker walked Ronny Paulino before getting Cody Ross to pop to third to end the inning.

Condrey pitched a 1-2-3 ninth in game one with the Phils up 9-3.

Durbin pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 3-0. He walked Wes Helms with one out before getting Uggla on a popup for the second. Paulino moved Helms to second with a single before Durbin struck out Ross to end the inning.

Madson started the eighth inning of game three with a 6-4 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Cantu and then hit Nick Johnson with a pitch. He got Uggla to hit into a double-play, which left Cantu at third with two down. Ross singled to left and Cantu scored, making it 6-5. Madson struck out Paulino to end the inning.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning last night, entering with a 6-5 lead. Gload doubled to start the inning, but Lidge got the next two before walking Ramirez. It put men on first and third with two down for Cantu and Cantu singled to center, scoring Gload to make it 6-6. Ramirez went to third on the single and scored the game-winner when Carroll followed with a single.

The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 2-for-13 with a double in the series and is hitting 245/290/411 for the season.

Victorino was 2-for-11 with three walks. 295/363/448 on the year. He’s hitting 240/310/385 over his last 198 plate appearances.

Utley was 3-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. 294/412/530 for the year.

Howard went 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and seven RBI. He’s at 272/353/564 for the season.

Ibanez was 3-for-11 with two home runs and a walk in the series. He has six home runs but just ten RBI in the month. 277/347/565 for the year.

Werth was 1-for-9 with two walks in the series. 271/376/516. 1-for-his-last-13.

Feliz was on the bench for game one with Cairo at third. He went 1-for-7 with a double in the series. 262/308/381. He’s hitting 245/283/359 since the end of May. The end of May was a long time ago.

Ruiz started the night game of the double-header before returning to Philadelphia to have his wrist looked at. He was 0-for-2 in the series and is at 253/353/423 for the year.

Bako started games one and three of the series. 2-for-7 with two walks in the series. 198/291/297 on the year.

Cairo started game one at third and went 2-for-5 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 226/250/290 in 31 at-bats for the year.

Francisco was 0-for-1 in the series and is hitting 267/300/547 in 75 at-bats with the Phillies.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner in the series and still does not have an at-bat in September. 167/224/240 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 with a walk in the series and is at 259/312/410 for the season.

Stairs was 0-for-1 with a walk. 206/369/402 on the season. He’s 3-for-37 (.081) since the All-Star break.

This article says that Carlos Ruiz has had an MRI that showed no structural damage to his left wrist. Ruiz will likely have a cortisone injection today and be sidelined for three to five days.

The list of catchers that the Phillies have lost recently includes Jason Jaramillo, Lou Marson, Ronny Paulino and Chris Coste. Marson was part of the Lee deal, which was a fantastic trade for the Phils. The other three were pretty much given away, though. The Phils traded Jaramillo for Paulino in December. Paulino was traded for Taschner in an awful deal for the Phillies at the end of March. The Astros claimed Coste off of waivers in July after the Phils had acquired Bako. Losing Paulino for Taschner is the move of those three that hurts the most, Paulino has hit 278/344/435 in 223 at-bats for the Marlins this season.

The article linked above also says that Eyre was available to pitch last night.


Feast of the East

It’s not clear how the season is going to end for the Phillies, but one thing I think we can say at this point is that the Phils are better than the other teams in the NL East. The Phils have one more big stop to make in Florida, but they have plowed through the other teams in the division in their recent stretch, going 10-3 against the Nats, Mets and Braves over their last 13 games.

The Phillies are 27-9 on the season against the Mets and Nationals. 60-52 against the other teams in baseball.

The Phillies are 87-61 on the season after taking two of three from the Braves in Atlanta. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by eight games. After winning the first game of the series they were twenty-six games over .500 for the first time since the 1993 season.

The Phillies won the first game of the series 9-4. Martin Prado put the Braves up 1-0 in the bottom of the third with a home run off of Happ. Happ left after three innings for precautionary reasons after a mystery injury that may or may not have been related to his oblique. Howard put the Phils up 2-1 with a two-run homer in the fourth and Kendrick took over for Happ and delivered four scoreless frames. The Phils extended the lead to 3-1 on another home run by Howard, this one a solo shot in the sixth. Werth drove in two runs with a single in the eighth and it was 5-1, but Brian McCann got Atlanta back in the game with a two-run homer off of Walker in the bottom of the eighth. A three-run homer by Rollins and a solo shot from Francisco pushed the Phillies lead to 9-3 and Atlanta scored a run charged to Durbin in the bottom of the ninth.

The Braves won game two 6-4. Again the Phillies saw their starter leave early as Pedro left after three innings with a stiff neck. Martinez did well to get out of the second allowing just one run after the Braves saw their first two hitters reach on a double and a single. Atlanta extended the lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the second on four hits and a hit batter. Durbin took over for Martinez after the early exit, allowing three runs over 2 2/3. The Phillies, meanwhile, couldn’t find the answer to Javier Vazquez. Vazquez tossed seven shutout innings and the Braves took a 6-0 lead into the top of the ninth. The Phils scored four times in the top of the ninth, with Howard delivering the big blow, a two-run homer off of Rafael Soriano. With two outs and men on first and second, Francisco flew to right to end the game and snap a six-game winning streak for the Phils.

The Phils played sloppy yesterday. They gave away outs on the bases, got ejected arguing about it, overthrew the cutoff man, executed one of the worst rundowns you’ve ever seen and dropped the ball — and that was all in the first inning. They pitched well enough to win anyway, taking the game 4-2. The Braves went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first with a run off of Cliff Lee. Francisco doubled in Rollins in the third to tie the game at 1-1 and Ibanez and Feliz drove in runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-1. A triple by Utley in the top of the fifth brought in Rollins and it was 4-1 before a long rain delay that forced Lee from the game. Walker, Escalona, Condrey and Madson combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief of Lee before Lidge allowed yet another run in the ninth.

The Phils threw 26 innings in the series with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.27 ratio.

All three of the starts were cut short. Happ and Martinez had their starts cut short by injury and Lee exited after four yesterday due to rain. The three combined to throw just ten innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.80 ratio. Happ and Lee both pitched pretty well, but Martinez allowed three runs on seven hits over three innings. They allowed just one home run, which Prado hit off of Happ.

Happ left game one of the series after three innings in which he allowed a run on five hits including the solo homer to Prado.

Pedro went three innings in game two before leaving with neck stiffness. In his three innings he allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk. The loss in game two was the first time the Phillies had lost a game that he had started.

Lee only got to throw four innings in his start as well before he was forced from the game by rain. He went four innings, allowing a run on three singles and a pair of doubles. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. He’s allowed one run in 13 innings over his last two starts. 7-2 with the Phils with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.07 ratio. He’s walked just nine over 68 innings.

The pen had to throw a ton of innings in the set with three early exits from the starters. As a group the pen threw 16 innings in the three games, pitching to a 3.38 ERA with an 0.94 ratio. They allowed just 11 hits in 16 innings. Kendrick was fantastic in game one, throwing four shutout innings in relief of Happ, but Walker and Durbin both got hit hard later in that game. Durbin was hit hard again in game two, with Escalona and Condrey pitching well after that. Walker, Escalona, Condrey and Madson combined to pitch four scoreless innings yesterday before Lidge gave up a run in the ninth.

Escalona entered game two in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies down 6-0 to pitch to lefty Brian McCann. He got McCann on a line drive to third to end the game. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

He also started the seventh inning yesterday with the Phils up 4-1. He hit Nate McClouth with two outs and Condrey came on to face the righty Prado.

Escalona sure seems like he should be getting consideration for the post-season roster given the problems for Eyre and Romero, but Manuel makes it sound like there’s not much of a chance. He has a 2.16 ERA and an 0.84 ratio in 8 1/3 innings on the year.

Kendrick took over for Happ in the fourth inning of game one, entering with a 2-1 lead. He threw four scoreless innings, allowing three singles and not walking a batter. He has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.20 ratio in 16 2/3 innings for the Phillies this season.

Walker started the eighth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead. He allowed a one-out single that was followed by a two-out home run by Brian McCann. Walker was pulled for Madson after getting just two outs.

Walker also pitched in yesterday’s game, entering in the bottom of the fifth after the rain delay with the Phillies up 4-1. He threw a 1-2-3 fifth. He came back to start the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to Chipper. He got the next two hitters before walking Omar Infante, then struck out David Ross to leave both runners stranded.

Walker has been fantastic for the Phils. He deserves to throw important innings in the post-season and I think he will.

Madson entered game one with two outs and nobody on, the Phillies up 5-3. He got Omar Infante on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Madson also pitched the eighth inning yesterday, entering with a 4-1 lead, and struck out the side.

Durbin started the ninth inning of game one with a 9-3 lead. He gave up a leadoff double to Garret Anderson and Anderson came around to score on a one-out single by Adam LaRoche. Durbin got the two hitters after LaRoche to end the game.

Durbin also pitched in game two. He entered in relief of Pedro to start the fourth with the Phillies down 3-0. Nate McLouth led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Bako. A sac fly by Prado brought him in to make it 4-0. Durbin came back for the fifth and got the first two before allowing a walk that was followed by a two-run homer by LaRoche. 6-0. He started the sixth as well. McLouth led off with a single and Durbin got the next two before Escalona came on to pitch to the lefty McCann.

Not a good series for Durbin, who the Phils could sure use. He has walked 42 in 62 2/3 innings on the season after walking 35 in 87 2/3 innings in 2008. His walk rate for the year is the worst for his career.

Condrey pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 6-0. In his first action since July 22 he set the Braves down in order.

Condrey also pitched yesterday, entering in the seventh with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies up 4-1 to pitch to Prado. Prado grounded to third to end the inning.

These are critical innings for right-handed pitchers for the Phils looking to make the playoff roster. The Phils have a whole lot of righties — Myers and Durbin aren’t pitching well and Park is hurt.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning yesterday, coming into the game with a 4-1 lead. He got the first two batters he faced. He walked Brooks Conrad with two outs and Conrad took second on defensive indifference. McCann was next and delivered a single to right, scoring Conrad to make it 4-2. Lidge struck out McLouth to end the game.

Lidge has allowed runs in three straight appearances. In his last three times out he has given up four runs on five hits and a walk over three innings. He’s really making it tough for the Phils to think about using him in close games in the playoffs.

The pen can surely use the off day today after throwing 16 innings in the series. Condrey and Escalona have both thrown two days in a row.

The Phillies scored 17 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 3-for-13 with a double, two walks and a home run in the series. 247/292/415 for the year.

Francisco started game one in center with Victorino out with stomach problems. 5-for-13 with two doubles and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 270/304/554 with the Phillies.

Utley was 3-for-13 with a triple and a walk in the set. 294/411/533 for the season. He’s hitting .229 in September.

Howard was 4-for-11 with a double and three home runs. 271/354/564 on the year. After hitting three home runs in the series he still has just four for September after hitting eleven in August.

Ibanez was 2-for-11 with a double in the series and is hitting 277/347/559 for the year. In a bizarro coincidence he is also hitting .277 and on-basing .347 in September (but slugging .538).

Werth went 3-for-8 with three walks in the series. 274/377/523 on the year.

Feliz was 3-for-12 in the set and is at 264/310/382 on the year. He’s on-basing .234 in September after on-basing .257 in August.

Ruiz left game one after the top of the sixth with problems with his left wrist. He was 0-for-1 with a walk in the series and is hitting 255/355/426 on the year. 317/411/538 since the start of August.

Bako started games two and three and went 1-for-7 in the series. He’s hitting 190/277/298 on the year.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner in games one and two but did not have an at-bat in the series. He has not gotten an at-bat this month or in any of his last six appearances. 167/224/240 on the season. Need to let him hit if he’s going to be on the post-season roster (he is).

Mayberry was 1-for-2 with a double to improve his line on the year to 200/241/473 over 55 at-bats. Those are the at-bats I’d rather see Bruntlett getting.

Dobbs was 1-for-1 in the series and is hitting 261/309/413 for the season.

Stairs was 1-for-1 with a double and a walk in the series. 208/367/406 on the year.

This suggests that:

  • Carlos Ruiz could be available tomorrow.
  • Eyre felt good throwing yesterday and will throw again tomorrow.
  • Park could pitch again during the regular season.
  • Pedro’s neck isn’t feeling good.

Brett Myers will see a doctor about soreness in his right shoulder. Happ’s status seems to be unclear.


Phillies rotation doing their best to improve the reputation of the team’s hitters

Citizens Bank Park might always have a reputation as a great place to hit, but the Phillies starters sure made it look like a good place to pitch against the Nationals. The Phils starters combined to allow one run in 23 innings in the series, continuing a string of outstanding performances from the rotation.

Over the last seven games for the Phillies, their starting pitchers have allowed nine runs. In 52 innings they’ve thrown to a 1.56 ERA with a 1.08 ratio and the Phils have gone 6-1. Five of the nine runs that the starters have allowed were surrendered by Moyer in the September 12 game the Phillies lost to the Mets 10-9 on David Wright’s second-two run homer in two innings. In the other six starts, five different starting pitchers, Hamels, Kendrick, Martinez, Lee and Blanton, have combined to allow four runs in 45 innings, pitching to an 0.80 ERA with a 1.07 ratio.

The Phillies are 85-60 on the season after sweeping the Washington Nationals in a three-game set in Philadelphia. They have won five games in a row and are 25 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. After they won game two of the series they were 24 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the NL East by 7 1/2 games.

Cliff Lee threw a complete game shutout and the Phillies won game one 5-0. Rollins started the bottom of the first with a double and came around to score on a single by Utley to put the Phils up 1-0. The Phils jumped out to a 5-0 lead with four runs in a second inning that featured a three-run double by Ruiz. Lee was fantastic, allowing five singles and a double in the game while walking three and striking out nine.

Jayson Werth delivered the big blow in game two, a grand slam in the seventh, and the Phillies won 6-1. Blanton threw six shutout innings and was replaced by Park in the seventh with the Phils leading 2-0. Park injured his right hamstring as Ryan Zimmerman lined into a double-play to end the top of the seventh. The Phils had nobody on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Utley was hit by a pitch and stole second. Howard was walked intentionally and Ibanez unintentionally. It loaded the bases for Werth and Jason Bergmann got ahead of Werth 1-2 before Werth smashed a ball out to left to put the Phillies up 6-0. Walker allowed a run on a pair of hits in the top of the ninth.

The starting pitching was great again last night. Hamels went eight strong innings and the Phils won 4-2. Rollins doubled Feliz in to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the fifth. The Phils extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the sixth — Ruiz walked with the bases loaded to force in the first and Hamels followed with an RBI-single. The Nats managed a run on three singles in the seventh to get on the board at 3-1. A walk to Utley and two wild pitches helped the Phils score another run in the bottom of the seventh. Lidge came on in the ninth with a 4-1 lead and allowed a one-out triple to Elijah Dukes. Dukes would score but Lidge held on for the save.

The Phillies pitching was silly good in the series. They allowed three runs in the series. Hamels allowed one in his start last night, Lidge allowed another in relief last night and Walker was charged with a run in game two. Overall they threw to a 1.00 ERA with a 1.07 ratio in 27 innings. In 27 innings they allowed 20 hits and no home runs while striking out 27.

If the pitching overall was silly good we’re going to need new words for the starters. Lee, Blanton and Hamels combined to allow one run over 23 innings in the three games. They threw to an 0.39 ERA with a 1.04 ratio and struck out 26.

Lee threw a complete game shutout in game one of the series, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out nine. He has now thrown nine innings in three of his nine starts with the Phils. He’s 7-2 with the Phils with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.06 ratio.

Blanton went six shutout innings in game two, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out seven.

Hamels allowed a run in eight innings in game three. He gave up three singles, a double and a triple and walked one while striking out ten. Over his last five starts Hamels has thrown 37 2/3 innings with a 1.43 ERA and an 0.96 ratio. He’s dropped his ERA on the year from 4.78 to 4.07 in those five starts. In all five of the starts he’s allowed less than three walks and has not allowed a home run.

The relievers weren’t quite as good as the starters, but they didn’t have much to do. They tossed just four innings in the set and were charged with two runs. As a group they pitched to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.25 ratio. The worst news for the relief corps coming out of the series is that Park looks lost for the season.

Park started the seventh inning of game two with a 2-0 lead. Pete Orr led off with a single and moved to second when Willie Harris followed and reached on an error. Cristian Guzman bunted back to Park and Orr was forced at third base for the first out of the inning. Zimmerman was next and Howard made a nice play to catch the ball and double Guzman off of first to end the inning.

Park injured his right hamstring on the play and looks likely to miss a lot of time and perhaps the rest of the season.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff walk but kept the Nats off the board with the help of a double-play he induced from Ian Desmond.

Walker started the ninth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Justin Maxwell before retiring the next two hitters. Maxwell took second without a throw and came in to score on a Willie Harris single to make it 6-1. Walker got Guzman on a popup to end the game.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning last night, entering the game with a 4-1 lead. Dukes tripled with one out and scored when Ian Desmond followed with ground out to first. Willie Harris was next and flew to center to end the game.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Lidge threw 16 pitches last night.

The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-13 with two doubles in the series and is hitting 247/291/412 for the year. He has on-based .285 hitting in the first spot in the order. There are 40 players between the two leagues who have at least 150 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter — Rollins’s .285 on-base percentage is 39th (Kaz Matsui has on-based .279 in the #1 spot).

Victorino was 1-for-10 in the series. 296/362/453 on the season. He’s hitting 231/265/369 in September. Rollins is on-basing .299 in September, so there’s not a lot going on at the top of the order these days.

Utley was 3-for-10 with a walk in the series. 296/414/537 on the season. He’s hitting just .228 in September.

Howard was 1-for-8 with a single and three walks in the set. 269/351/550 on the year. He has one home run in September in 2009 after hitting 11 in September in 2008.

Ibanez was on the bench last night with Francisco in left against the lefty Ross Detwiler. He was 2-for-5 with a double and four walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/350/566 for the season and a snazzy 296/367/593 in September to come out of a long slump.

Werth was 6-for-11 with a walk and a home run. 272/374/525 on the year with 34 home runs and 88 RBI.

Feliz was 0-for-10 with two walks in the series to drop his line on the year to 264/312/385. He’s hitting 198/245/337 over his last 185 plate appearances.

Ruiz started all three games and went 3-for-11 with two doubles and a walk. 256/354/427.

Francisco started in left field last night in game three a lefty on the mound. 1-for-4 in the series and hitting 246/277/508 in 61 at-bats with the Phils. It would be nice to see him getting some more at-bats, cause the Phils are going to need him in the playoffs. Not sure how, though, especially if you never need to hit for your pitcher.

Dobbs returned to action with a pinch-hit at-bat in game two. 0-for-1 in the series and 255/305/409 on the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the set and is hitting 200/356/389 on the year. It would be snazzy if Dobbs and Stairs were playing well for the post-season. For Stairs it sure seems like he’s dangerous at any time regardless of what he’s done recently. For Dobbs I’d be a lot happier to see him get into a groove in the last handful of games.

This says that Park will not start to rehab for two to three weeks.

The article linked above also says that Shane Victorino, who came out of last night’s game with gastrointestinal complications, expects to play to night.

This article suggests that Manuel thinks Myers is not yet ready to be a closer.


Could we have a volunteer, please?

There’s a whole lot of opportunity at the back of the Phillies bullpen these days. What’s missing is guys who are pitching well. There are three main candidates to be closing for the team in the post-season, Lidge, Madson and Myers, and a dark horse in Tyler Walker. All three of Lidge, Madson and Myers were awful against the Mets, even as the Phils took three out of four.

The Mets scored 16 runs in the four-game series. Ten of those runs were scored in the eighth or ninth inning. Eight of the 16 were charged to Myers, Madson or Lidge and the three combined to pitch just 5 1/3 innings in the set.

The Phillies are 82-60 on the season after taking three of four from the Mets. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by 6 1/2 games.

The Phillies won the first game of the series 4-2. The Phils scored a run in the second and another in the third. Hamels kept New York off the board till the seventh, when the Mets scored a run on two singles, a bunt and a sac fly to make it 2-1. A Ruiz sac fly in the bottom of the seventh brought in Werth to extend the lead to 3-1 and an RBI-double by Utley in the eighth made it 4-1. Madson came on for the save in the ninth, but gave up a leadoff double that lead to a run. He got a big double-play with one out and men on first and third and was able to hold the Mets to a single run.

Game two was a little tough to take. The Phils went into the eighth up 9-5 and lost the game 10-9. The Mets jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Moyer in the first. Carlos Beltran connected for a two-run homer in the inning. Feliz hit a two-run homer in the second. 4-2. Utley hit a solo shot in the third and Ibanez delivered a two-run blast. The Phils led 5-4 after three and extended the lead to 6-4 with another run in the fourth. Two more in the sixth had the Phils up 8-4. Daniel Murphy doubled off of Moyer with one out in the seventh, stole third and came in to score on a ground out. 8-5. Utley started the seventh with a double and came in to score on a single by Ibanez to make it 9-5. Myers started the eighth and got hit hard. A double followed by a David Wright homer made it 9-7. Beltran followed with a single and Park replaced Moyer, but he allowed Beltran to score on two more singles before the inning was over. 9-8. Madson got the first two in the ninth before he allowed a single to Fernando Tatis that was followed by Wright’s second two-run homer in two innings. The Phils went in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Kendrick got his first of the year in the day game of yesterday’s double-header, which the Phillies won 5-4. Kendrick pitched very well. A solo homer by Francisco and a two-run shot from Victorino helped Kendrick go into the top of the eighth with a 4-0 lead. Kendrick got the first batter before allowing a single to Angel Pagan that was followed by a two-run home run by Anderson Hernandez. Walker finished off the eighth for Kendrick. In the bottom of the inning the Phils added another run, getting a two-out double from Stairs followed by an RBI-single from Tracy. Lidge came on in the ninth to protect a 5-2 lead and allowed two runs on three singles, but struck out Pagan to end the game.

Pedro Martinez threw eight shutout innings last night as the Phils won 1-0. Utley drove in Rollins with an RBI-single in the bottom of the first and that was all of the scoring for the game. Pedro gave up four singles, two doubles and walked two while striking out seven. Madson got the save opportunity this time. He allowed a one-out single in the ninth but got the next two hitters.

Phillies pitchers overall threw 36 innings in the series with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.25 ratio.

The starting pitching was much better than the bullpen. The Phils got three good starts from Hamels, Kendrick and Martinez and a bad one from Moyer in game two. Overall the starters threw to a 2.48 ERA and a 1.07 ratio. They walked just four in 29 innings.

Hamels allowed a run on seven hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings in game one. In three of his last four starts he’s thrown into the seventh and allowed one run or less in the game.

Moyer allowed five runs in seven innings in game two. He gave up seven hits and didn’t walk a batter.

Kendrick went 7 1/3 innings in game three, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. He took a 4-0 lead into the eighth before allowing a two-run homer to Anderson Hernandez. He has a 3.55 ERA in his five appearances on the year for the Phils. After allowing three runs in two innings in his first appearance his last four have been good.

Martinez went eight shutout innings in the second game of yesterday’s double-header. He allowed six hits and two walks and struck out seven. He’s 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.09 ratio in seven starts for the Phils.

The bullpen was awful. In seven innings they pitched to a 10.29 ERA and a 2.00 ratio. They didn’t walk a batter but allowed 14 hits in seven innings. Madson allowed a run in game one. Myers, Park and Madson were all awful in game two. Lidge allowed two runs in the ninth inning of game three.

Park took over for Hamels in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, a man on second and the Phils up 2-1. He got Wright on a ground ball to short to set the Mets down.

He also pitched in the eighth inning of game two, entering in the eighth inning with two down, a man on first and the Phils up 9-7. He got a fly ball for the second out before allowing back-to-back singles to Santos and Murphy. Murphy’s single scored Beltran from second and made it 9-8. Park got the pinch-hitter Sullivan to end the inning.

Park has a 2.70 ratio in five appearances this month.

Myers started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies up 3-1 and set the Mets down in order.

He also started the eighth inning in game two with the Phillies up 9-5. He got the first hitter before allowing a double to Tatis and a homer to Wright. Beltran followed with a single and Park relieved Myers.

Walker entered game three with one out in the eighth and the Phillies up 4-2. He got the two hitters he faced to end the frame.

Madson started the ninth inning of game one with a 4-1 lead. He gave up a leadoff double to Omir Santos and pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed followed with a single that moved Santos to third. Cory Sullivan was next and Madson got him to hit into a double-play with Santos scoring from third to make it 4-2. Angel Pagan grounded to second to end the game.

He started the ninth inning of game two with a 9-8 lead. He got the first two hitters before Tatis singled and Wright followed with a two-run homer to put the Mets up 10-9. Beltran singled before Madson got Francoeur on a popup to end the frame.

He pitched the ninth inning in game four with a 1-0 lead. Brian Schneider singled with one out, but Madson struck out Francoeur and got Pagan on a line drive to third to end the game.

Madson has walked four batters since the end of June.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game three with a 5-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Jeff Francoeur and Francoeur took second on defensive indifference. Beltran grounded to deep short on a nine play by Rollins for the first out, but Josh Thole was next and he blasted a ball off the wall in right for a long single. Francoeur scored and the lead was cut to 5-3. Lidge struck Luis Castillo out for the second out of the inning before Thole took second again without a throw. Jeremy Reed was next and singled into center. Thole scored and it was 5-4, but Lidge struck Pagan out to end the game.

Game two, the game that the Phillies lost, Madson, Park and Myers all pitched for the second straight day and all three were awful. Madson has pitched three days in a row and five of the last six days.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-17 with a triple in the series and is hitting 244/289/409 on the season. He also walked twice, giving him seven walks since the end of July.

Victorino was 6-for-15 with three doubles, three walks and a home run. 300/367/460 for the year. He’s on-basing .293 in September after on-basing .336 in August.

Utley was 5-for-13 with two doubles, three walks and a home run. 296/414/542 on the year.

Howard was 3-for-14 with a double and two walks. 272/350/556 on the year. One home run in his last 59 at-bats.

Werth didn’t play in game three of the series with Francisco in right. 1-for-11 with two strikeouts in the series. 266/369/519. He’s hitting .222 this month.

Ibanez was 5-for-17 with a double and a home run. 278/344/566. 341/357/707 in his last 42 plate appearances. He has just a .314 on-base percentage for the month, though, with just two walks.

Feliz was 5-for-16 with three doubles and a home run. 270/315/393 on the year. He’s hitting .216 in September with a .245 on-base percentage.

Ruiz started games one, two and four in the series. 2-for-7 with a double and walk. 255/354/426 for the year.

Bako started game three. He was 0-for-3 and is hitting 195/271/312 in 77 at-bats for the year.

Bruntlett pinch-ran yesterday, but didn’t get an at-bat in the series. 167/224/240.

Francisco started in right in game three. 2-for-5 with a home run in the series. 246/279/526 with the Phils in 57 at-bats.

Stairs was 1-for-3 with a double in the series. 202/359/394 for the year.

Tracy had a huge hit in game three, driving in a run with a pinch-hit single in a game the Phils won by one. 1-for-1 in the series and 1-for-3 on the year.

This suggests that Condrey does not understand why he hasn’t been activated.


The ninth wait

The three-game set with the Nationals started with Charlie Manuel insisting that Brad Lidge was his closer and ended with it clear that Lidge was not. Lidge was pulled from a save opportunity in game one, on the bench for another in game two and pitching in the eighth inning with the Phillies down by six runs in the third.

While it sure seems likely that the Phillies closer situation is going to continue to bounce around in the near future, the series did show that Manuel wasn’t going to let blind loyalty to Lidge ruin the year for the Phils. While most probably saw that one coming, it is a sigh of relief for fans who have watched Lidge struggle through an awful season coming off of a brilliant 2008.

The Phillies are 79-59 on the season after taking two of three from the Washington Nationals. They’re in first place in the NL East, but the Florida Marlins have cut the Phillies lead in the division to five games by going 7-3 over their last ten.

The Phillies hit five solo home runs in game one of the series and won 5-3. Pedro got the start and gave up two runs in the first four innings, but Ibanez got the Phils on the board at 2-1 with a homer in the fifth. Ibanez, Werth and Ruiz all homered in the seventh and the Phils led 4-2. A home run by Willie Harris off of Martinez made it 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but Utley hit one in the eight to put the Phils up 5-3. Lidge came on in the ninth to protect the two-run lead. He got one out, but Washington loaded the bases on a single, a hit batter and a wild pitch and Manuel called on Madson to replace Lidge. Madson struck out Ryan Zimmerman for the second out and got Adam Dunn on a grounder to Rollins to end the game.

The Phils won game two 6-5. Washington went up 1-0 with a run off of Lee in the first, but the Phils put together four hits and a walk in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. A two-out double by Ibanez in the fifth knocked in Howard to extend the lead to 4-1, but the Nationals came back with two more against Lee in the bottom of the inning and then tied it at 4-4 with another run in the seventh. Werth and Feliz both hit solo homers in the eighth and the Phils led 6-4. Another error by Howard helped Washington score an unearned run in the eighth, but Madson came on to nail down the save in the ninth.

Last night the Phillies saw their ninth-inning rally fall just short and fell 8-7. A triple from Utley in the first put the Phillies up 2-0 early, but the Nats tied the game up with a pair of runs off of Blanton in the third and pulled ahead 3-2 with another in the fourth. Blanton didn’t make it through the fifth. The Nats scored five times, getting home runs from Dunn and Ian Desmond, and Blanton left with two outs in the fifth and the Phils down 8-2. The score stayed that way till the top of the ninth, when Stairs delivered a one-out grand slam that got the Phillies within two at 8-6. Rollins followed with a single and Victorino doubled him home. 8-7. Utley was next and he singled as well, putting men on first and third with one out. Things looked real good, but Howard hit into a double-play to end the game and leave the Phils a run short.

The Phillies threw to a 5.19 ERA and a 1.42 ratio over 26 innings in the series. Most of the problems in the series can be blamed on the starters — despite all of the drama with the closer the relievers weren’t charged with a run in the series.

The starters were. Pedro made the best start of the series, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 in game one. Lee and Blanton combined to allow 13 runs in 11 2/3 innings in the next two games. As a group the starters posted a 7.36 ERA and a 1.58 ratio over 18 1/3 innings. They allowed 24 hits but walked just five.

Martinez started game one and improved to 4-0 as a Phillie, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings on seven hits and a walk. He has a 3.64 ERA and a 1.11 ratio in six starts with the Phils.

Lee went seven innings in game two, allowing five runs on ten hits. Only four of the runs were earned and he didn’t walk a batter. The worse news is that that was the best of his last three starts. He’s allowed 29 hits in 15 innings over his last three times out.

Blanton got mauled in game three. He allowed eight runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since May and the most runs he has allowed in any start all season. Just the second time in his last 19 starts that he has allowed more than three runs in a start.

The relievers weren’t charged with a run over 7 2/3 innings in the series and threw to a 1.04 ratio.

Park entered the eighth inning of game two with nobody out, men on second and third and the Phillies ahead 6-4. He walked Elijah Dukes to load the bases for the Nats before getting a fly ball for the first out with all the runners holding. Pinch-hitter Pete Orr was next and he delivered a sac fly that made it 6-5 with two down and men on first and second, but Park got Wil Nieves on a grounder to first to end the inning.

Durbin pitched the seventh inning of game three. He got the first out before allowing a double and a walk, but got the next two hitters.

The Phillies sure could use Durbin, who has struggled this season. He has been very good in his last three outings, though, throwing five scoreless frames with a 1.20 ratio.

Walker entered for Blanton in the fifth inning of last night’s game with two outs and the Phillies down 8-2. The first man he faced reached on an error and he got the next on a popup to end the inning. He came back and threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Walker hasn’t been charged with a run in his last 11 appearances. In those appearances he’s allowed three hits and three walks over 13 1/3 innings while striking out 12.

Myers took over for Martinez in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, the bases empty and the Phillies up 4-3. He gave up a single to Cristian Guzman before striking out Zimmerman to end the inning. He came back to pitch the eighth and Dunn reached on an error by Howard to start the inning, but Myers got the next three.

He’s now made three appearances since returning from the DL and allowed one hit and two walks over 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Madson entered the ninth inning of game one with one out, the bases loaded and the Phillies up 5-3. He struck out Zimmerman for the first out and got Dunn to ground to Rollins to turn the Nats away.

He started the ninth in a save situation in game two, entering with a 6-5 lead. Justin Maxwell led off with a single and stole second before Madson struck out Guzman for the first out of the inning. Dunn was next and smashed a line drive that Utley snared. Utley threw to Rollins at second in time to double Maxwell off and end the game.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game one with a two-run lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Wil Nieves before getting Alberto Gonzalez on a ground out for the first out. He hit Harris with a pitch, though, before walking Guzman to load the bases. Manuel gave him the hook, calling on Madson to nail down the save.

He threw the eighth inning last night, entering with the Phillies down 8-2. He allowed a one-out triple, but struck Orr out for the first out and Zimmerman out to end the inning.

The Phillies scored 18 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins made two throwing errors in last night’s game. He came into the game having made just three for the season. He was 3-for-14 in the series and is hitting 243/286/409 on the year. He’s on-basing .244 in September and has on-based under .300 in every month this season except for July.

Victorino was 5-for-14 with two doubles. 297/363/450. He’s on-basing .200 in September and is hitting .182 with no walks in his last 66 plate appearances.

Utley was 3-for-13 with a triple and a home run in the series. 293/411/536 on the year. He’s hitting 147/237/294 in September.

Howard made an error in each of the first two games. He also deserved an assist on a throwing error charged to Rollins in last night’s game. I’m thinking a day or two off might be in order. 1-for-11 in the series. 273/350/563 for the year. Just one strikeout in his last five games.

Werth was 4-for-12 with two home runs in the series. 270/373/528.

Ibanez went 5-for-13 with two doubles and two home runs. 278/346/567 for the season.

Feliz was 3-for-11 with a home run in the series. 268/315/383 on the year. 232/276/337 over his last 306 plate appearances.

Ruiz started games one and three. 2-for-5 with a home run and three walks in the set. 254/351/426 on the year. He’s hitting 385/467/577 in September after hitting 305/391/559 in August.

Bako started game two. 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. 203/280/324.

Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series.

Francisco didn’t bat in the series.

Cairo didn’t bat in the series.

Tracy got an at-bat in game two and struck out. 0-for-1 on the year.

Stairs hit a ninth-inning grand slam in last night’s game. 1-for-2 with a home run in the series. 198/360/385 for the season.

This article talks about the Phillies closer situation and mentions Lidge, Madson and Myers as possibilities. Walker should be considered and I think he will be.

The article linked above also suggests we shouldn’t expect to be seeing Eyre over the next several days.

This suggests that Condrey is almost ready to pitch again, either in a minor league or simulated game. It also suggests Dobbs may be able to return in seven or eight days and that there’s no timetable for Romero.


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