Tag: Ben Francisco

Singles night

Impressive turnout. The weren’t all that attractive, but there sure were a lot of them.

The Phils scored ten runs without an extra-base hit last night, pounding the Cardinals 10-2. Down 2-1 in the eighth, the Phils put together a monster inning, plating nine runs on five singles, four walks and two memorable hit batters.

The game was also notable because the bullpen gave up a run — St Louis scored one charged to Stutes in the seventh. That’s the first run charged to the Phillies bullpen since June 10. The pen came into the game having thrown 17 1/3 scoreless innings over the last nine games. After finishing tenth in bullpen ERA in the NL in 2010, the Phils are second this season as their relievers have thrown to a 2.80 ERA

The Phillies are 46-28 on the year after beating the St Louis Cardinals 10-2 last night. They lead the NL East by 4 1/2 games over the Braves.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.

He walked Ryan Theriot to start the bottom of the first, but Ruiz threw Theriot out trying to steal second for the first out. Halladay struck Jon Jay out for the second out before walking Matt Holliday. Lance Berkman grounded to second to end the inning.

Two walks in the frame for Halladay. He came into the game having not walked more than two batters in any of his 15 starts on the year.

Daniel Descalso doubled with two outs in the second, but Halladay struck pitcher Kyle McClellan out looking 1-2 to leave him at second.

Halladay set St Louis down in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Yadier Molina and Descalso singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the fifth, putting men on first and second. McClellan tried to bunt the runners up, but popped it up to Ruiz for the first out. Molina was way off of second and could have been doubled-off, but there was nobody covering second. Skip Schumaker was next and he blooped a single that dropped just in between Rollins and Victorino for a single. Victorino threw to third and Molina was nearly forced, but was safe and the bases were loaded with one out for Theriot. Theriot rolled an 0-2 pitch to Polanco. Polanco didn’t get it out of his glove cleanly. He threw to second to force Schumaker for the second out, but Theriot beat Utley’s relay to first and Molina scored to put St Louis up 1-0. Jay popped to Rollins to leave the runners at first and third.

Tough inning for Halladay, who should have got a double-play on Theriot’s ball after the bloop falls in shallow center for Schumaker.

Not a good day for bunting by pitchers. McClellan can’t do it there and Halladay can’t do it twice for the Phils.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Stutes started the seventh with the game tied at 1-1. He walked Descalso with one out and lefty Mark Hamilton hit for the pitcher McClellan. Hamilton moved Descalso to third with a single before Schumaker flew to center, deep enough for Descalso to score without a play at the plate. 2-1 St Louis with two outs and a runner on first. Theriot flew to center for the third out.

For Stutes it was the first time in his last six appearances he has been charged with a run. In those appearances he has allowed just two hits but walked six. A walk hurt him last night.

The Phillies led 10-2 when Bastardo started the eighth. He walked Holliday with one out, but got the next two hitters behind him.

Bastardo hasn’t allowed a run in ten innings over his last 12 appearances. In those ten innings he’s allowed just one hit and walked five.

Herndon got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth.

He hasn’t allowed an earned run in any of his last nine appearances. In those nine games, Herndon has thrown 13 innings, allowing one unearned run on nine hits and a walk. He’s dropped his ERA for the year from 9.28 to 4.18.

Bastardo threw 25 pitches in the game. Stutes 20 and Herndon ten. Nobody has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Kyle McClellan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Polanco (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Five-hitter Polanco comes into the game hitting 233/279/285 since the end of April. 130/192/304 in 26 plate appearances in the five-hole for the year (3-for-23 with a double, a home run and two walks). Polanco isn’t a five-hitter when he’s hitting well.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard walked on a 3-2 pitch to start the second. Polanco flew to right for the first out before Ibanez hit into a double-play.

Ruiz singled to center with one out in the third and Halladay struck out trying to bunt him to second. Rollins walked on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino popped to third to leave both runners stranded.

Howard walked again with one out in the fourth. Polanco flew to right for the second out and Ibanez grounded to first to set the Phils down.

Not a good night for driving in Howard after a walk in the early going.

Ruiz singled with one out in the fifth. Halladay again tried to bunt him to second and again couldn’t do it. This time he got the bunt down, but McClellan fielded and threw to second to force Ruiz for the second out. Rollins grounded to first to end the frame.

Halladay isn’t such a good hitter. Or bunter. So let’s hope the Phils don’t put him in the lineup for his stick.

Down 1-0 in the sixth, Utley singled with one out. Howard hit into a double-play behind him.

Ibanez walked with one out in the seventh. Brown flew to right behind him for the second out, but Ruiz followed with a single to left that moved Ibanez up to second. Halladay was up next having thrown 97 pitches in the game and demonstrated his inability to do much anything with the bat. With the righty McClellan still on the mound for St Louis, Gload hit for Halladay and singled to left. Ibanez rounded third and came home. Descalso took the throw from Holliday between second and third almost exactly where Ruiz was in the base path. Descalso tagged Ruiz out at almost the same time Ibanez crossed the plate. Ibanez was called safe, the frame was over and the game was tied at 1-1.

Very close play whether Ibanez actually got home before Ruiz was tagged out.

The Phillies started the eighth down 2-1. Victorino singled off of lefty Trever Miller with one out and Utley walked behind him. St Louis brought righty Jason Motte in to face Howard and Motte hit Howard on the arm with an 0-1 pitch to load the bases. Polanco was next and he was hit on his left hand, forcing in Victorino to tie the game at 2-2. Valdez ran for Polanco at first. Lefty Brian Tallet took over for Motte and struck Ibanez out swinging for the second out. Francisco hit for Brown against the lefty and singled to left, moving everyone up a base and scoring Utley to put the Phils up 3-2. Righty Miguel Batista came in to pitch and walked Ruiz. 4-2. Martinez hit for Stutes and walked on four pitches. 5-2. Rollins singled to center, scoring Ruiz and Francisco and moving Martinez to second. 7-2 with men on first and second. Righty Maikel Cleto came in and walked Victorino on five pitches to load the bases. Utley singled to left, scoring Martinez and Rollins and moving Victorino to second. 9-2 with men on first and second. Howard singled to center, scoring Victorino to make it 10-2 and moving Utley to third. Valdez flew to right to end the frame.

Bringing in a righty to hit Howard probably didn’t please a lot of people. Big strikeout for Ibanez with one out and the bases loaded, but the Phils pick him up in a big way. The Phils get nine runs in the inning on five singles, four walks and two hit batters. Manuel lets Francisco hit for Brown against the lefty and Francisco delivers a big single.

Polanco’s pinky finger on his left hand isn’t broken, but this says he’s day-to-day.

Ruiz singled with one out in the ninth and Martinez reached behind him on an error by Molina, who was now playing first. Rollins followed that with a walk, but Victorino flew to right to leave the bases loaded.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with two walks and two RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-15.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a walk and five men left on base.

Utley 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. 2-for-his-last-12.

Howard 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI. 5-for-his-last-10.

Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-43 and hitting 229/278/280 since the end of April.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with a walk and five men left on base. He’s 4-for-his-last-27.

Brown 0-for-3 and taken out for a pinch-hitter in a big situation against a lefty. He’s 9-for-61 in June (.148).

Ruiz 4-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Cliff Lee (7-5, 3.12) faces righty Kyle Lohse (7-3, 2.88) tonight in game two of the set. Lohse has been great this year, but less fantastic over his last four starts. In his last three outings, Lohse has allowed four runs in each start without getting an out in the seventh inning in any of the three. In those three starts he’s thrown to a 6.48 ERA and opponents have hit .333 against him. Lee has been amazing in his last three starts, allowing one run in 24 innings (0.38 ERA with an 0.75 ratio).


Don’t be a stranger

After four whirlwind games, the Florida Marlins are finally leaving town. They’ll be welcome back whenever they want to come, though. The Phils dismantled the Fish in the series, outscoring them 25-6 and winning all four games.

Yesterday it was Cliff Lee who dominated. Lee threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles and two walks. The Marlins didn’t put a runner on second base in the game.

The Phillies are 44-26 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 3-0 yesterday afternoon. They sweep the four-game series and have won seven in a row and are 18 games above .500 for the first time on the season.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles and two walks. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.12. Over his last three starts, he’s allowed one run in 24 innings on 13 hits and five walks.

He got Emilio Bonifacio, Omar Infante and Logan Morrison on three ground balls in the first.

Gaby Sanchez walked on five pitches to start the second. Jose Lopez was next and he flew to center for the first out. Mike Stanton struck out looking for the second. With John Buck at the plate, Sanchez was picked off of first and Howard threw to second where Rollins applied the tag to end the frame.

Lee got Buck on a ground ball he handled himself for the first out in the third. Chris Coghlan flew to center for the second out. Pitcher Javier Vazquez grounded to Lee for the third.

Lee had faced the minimum through three innings and thrown 33 pitches.

In the fourth he got Bonifacio on a popup to Martinez and Infante and Morrison on a pair of ground outs.

Sanchez flew to right and Lopez struck out swinging to start the fifth with the Phils up 1-0. It brought Stanton to the plate and he singled into center, the first hit of the game for the Marlins. Buck flew to right behind him for the third out.

Lee had a 2-0 lead when he started the sixth. He walked Bonifacio with two outs, but got Infante to fly to left to leave him at first.

The Phils led 3-0 when Morrison started the seventh with a single to center. Sanchez flew to left for the first out and Lee got Lopez to hit into a double-play behind him.

Lee struck Stanton and Coghlan out while setting the Marlins down in order in the eighth.

Hanley Ramirez hit for pitcher Ryan Webb to start the ninth and grounded to short for the first out. Bonifacio grounded to third for the second out and Infante popped to Howard in foul territory to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Javier Vazquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Martinez plays second with Utley on the bench after the Phils played a day/night double-header on Wednesday and a day game yesterday. Ibanez hits fifth with Polanco out of the five-hole and hitting third.

Rollins lined to first for the first out in the bottom of the first, but Victorino and Polanco both singled behind him. It put runners on first and third with one down for Howard and Howard struck out swinging. Ibanez walked to load the bases, but Ruiz popped up to Sanchez in foul territory to leave the bases loaded.

Howard strikes out with a runner on third and less than two outs after failing to bring a runner in from third with less than two outs twice in the night game of the double-header the day before.

Lee singled with two outs in the second, but Rollins popped to short behind him.

Victorino led off the third with a single, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Howard drew a two-out walk, but was left at first when Ibanez followed and grounded to second.

Martinez singled with two outs in the fourth. Lee was next and he roped a ball into the gap in right center. Martinez scored from first and the Phils led 1-0. Rollins popped to second for the third out.

Just another of those Martinez/Lee rallies to plate a run for the Phils.

Victorino struck out and Polanco flew to right for the first two outs in the fifth. It brought Howard to the plate and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center, extending the lead to 2-0. Ibanez followed that with a double to left, but Ruiz flew to right to leave him at second.

That’s home run number 15 on the year for Howard, all 15 of which have come against right-handed pitching. He came into the game hitting for a higher average against left-handed pitching for the year (.256 against lefties and .247 against righties), but slugging .547 against righties and .360 against lefties.

Brown started the sixth with a single off of lefty Michael Dunn. He moved to second on a ground out by Martinez and third on a ground out by Lee. Rollins was next and he lined a double to right. Brown scored and the Phils led 3-0. Victorino struck out swinging to leave Rollins at second.

Brown starts a rally with a single off of a lefty. He came in to the game 2-for-14 against lefties for the year. It was his first hit that wasn’t a home run since June 6 against the Dodgers. In 35 plate appearances June 7 to June 15, Brown went 3-for-29 with three homers and six walks.

Ryan Webb set Polanco, Howard and Ibanez down on three ground balls in the seventh.

Webb was back for the eighth and got Ruiz and Brown on ground outs before Martinez flew to left to end the inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game. 5-for-18 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI in the four-game series. He’s hitting 257/330/377 for the year.

Victorino 2-for-4 with two singles and two strikeouts. 8-for-19 with two doubles in the series. 292/359/476 for the year.

Polanco 1-for-4. 2-for-11 with a walk and a double in the set. 303/351/386 for the year. 244/291/299 in 183 plate appearances since the end of April.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and a solo homer. 4-for-12 with a double and two homers in the series. He walked four times and drove in four runs. 251/347/494 on the year.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 1-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. 242/293/407 on the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 3-for-11 with two walks in the series. 245/362/335 on the year. He has one extra-base hit in his last 58 plate appearances. He’s hitting .209 and slugging .233 in June.

Brown 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-15 with two walks and two home runs in the series. He’s hitting 160/263/360 in 57 plate appearances in June and 229/309/434 in 94 plate appearances for the year. Francisco didn’t play yesterday, but went 0-for-3 with two walks, one of which was intentional, in the set. He’s hitting 216/340/365 for the season. 1-for-his-last-14 with seven walks. In his last 22 plate appearances, he has one hit and a .381 on-base percentage. That’s nutty. I don’t know what it means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not good. He’s striking out a lot less this year and walking a lot more, but getting way fewer hits and seeing less of his hits go for extra-bases.

Martinez 1-for-4 in the game and in the series. 203/226/254 in 64 plate appearances for the year. Utley didn’t play in the game, but was 4-for-11 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, a walk and four RBI in the series. He’s hitting 275/383/500 on the year in 94 plate appearances. In his first 47 plate appearances, which came May 23 to June 4, he hit 195/298/293. In most recent 47 plate appearances he has hit 359/468/718.

Oswalt (4-4, 3.14) faces righty Michael Pineda (6-4, 2.72) tonight in Seattle. Pineda turned 22 in January and has made 13 starts for the Mariners in his rookie season. Opponents are hitting just .208 against him and he’s struck out 80 in 82 2/3 innings. Oswalt’s strikeout numbers continue to drop compared to his career numbers, but he has done a good job of keeping lefties from delivering extra-base hits against him. Lefties are hitting 252/316/336 against him for the year so far, compared to their career mark of 261/307/385.

JC Romero was designated for assignment.

The Phils signed 33-year-old righty Tim Redding to a minor league deal. Redding has made 144 career starts with the Astros, Padres, Yankees, Nats and Mets and thrown to a career 4.95 ERA with a 1.49 ratio. He had a good year for the Astros in 2003 and pitched well for the Nats in 2007 in 15 starts. His last action in the majors came with the Mets in 2009. Lefties have hit 284/368/462 against him for his career.


18 and life for the offense

The bats roared to life over the past three games as the Phils plated 18 runs against the Cubs and won all three. Utley had a fantastic series for the Phils, going 4-for-8 with two doubles and a home run in the last two games, and Howard was huge with the bat yesterday, going 3-for-3 and driving in three of the four runs scored by the Phils.

Friday the Phils won 7-5. After a two-run homer by Brown in the second and a seventh-inning grand slam by Polanco helped give the Phils a 7-0 lead, the Phils managed to hold off Contreras and the Cubs in the last two innings. Chicago scored four times in the top of the eighth, with four runs charged to Contreras, who got just one out in the game. Bastardo struck Carlos Pena out as the tying run to end the game and earn his second save of the season.

Lee held the Cubs to a run over eight innings on Saturday as the Phils won 7-1. Utley had a monster day, going 2-for-5 with a double, a two-run homer and four RBI. Victorino chipped in with three hits of his own, including a double.

Yesterday the Phils won 4-3 behind Oswalt, who pitched great after a miserable first inning, and Howard’s big day with the bat.

The Phillies are 40-26 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-3 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the four-game set three games to one. The remain in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by two games. The third-place Marlins have fallen seven games behind the Phils.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five. After allowing three runs in the first inning on four hits, he allowed a single, two walks and no runs over the next six innings.

He struck Kosuke Fukudome out to start the game, but Darwin Barney followed that with a single to right. Starlin Castro was next and hit a ball that landed just fair down the left field line for a double. Barney scored and Chicago led 1-0. Carlos Pena popped to Rollins for the second out, but Aramis Ramirez hit a 1-0 pitch out left. 3-0. Blake DeWitt singled into center and was left there when Tyler Colvin popped to short.

It was 3-1 when Oswalt set the Cubs down in order in the second. He got Koyie Hill on a ground ball to first, pitcher Doug Davis on a grounder to short and Fukudome on a fly ball to center.

Pena singled to right with two outs in the third, but Oswalt got Ramirez on a fly ball to right for the third out.

DeWitt started the fourth with the lead cut to 3-2 and hit a ball to Rollins that Rollins didn’t handle for an error. Colvin flew to center for the first out before Hill walked on a 3-2 pitch. Davis tried to bunt the runners along, but Oswalt handled it and threw to third to force the lead runner DeWitt for the second out. With two outs and men on first and second, Fukudome flew to right, leaving both runners stranded.

Oswalt walked Pena with two outs in the fifth, but got Ramirez on a pop to Utley for the third out.

He set the Cubs down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Up 4-3, Stutes pitched the eighth. He struck out Pena and Ramirez while setting Chicago down in order.

Stutes lowered his ERA on the year to 2.41 after 21 appearances.

Madson started the ninth and got the first two before Hill singled to right. It brought pitcher John Grabow to the plate as the tying run. Righty Geovany Soto, who tied game one of the series with a ninth-inning home run off of Madson, hit for Grabow. DJ LeMahieu ran for Hill at first. Soto popped a 2-2 pitch into shallow right field. Brown didn’t have a chance to get there, but Utley made a great running catch to snare it and end the game.

Neither Madson nor Stutes have pitched more than one day in a row. Both should be fine for Tuesday with the off-day today. Madson threw 17 pitches and Stutes ten.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Doug Davis went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Francisco in right with Brown on the bench. Polanco gets the day off with Valdez at third and Victorino hitting second. Ibanez stays in the lineup against the lefty.

Down 3-0, Rollins singled to center to start the bottom of the first and was forced at second for the first out when Victorino followed with a ground ball to short. Utley moved Victorino to third with a single before Howard blasted a double off of the wall in straight away center. Victorino scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with Utley held at third. Francisco walked to load the bases, but Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Ruiz lined to third.

No more runs for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Ibanez can’t put the ball in play and the Phils can’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.

Howard still doesn’t have a home run against lefties on the year. He came close there. He’s hitting 259/315/365 against them for the year. He’s on pace to hit about 32 home runs against righties this year and none against lefties.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Utley walked with one out in the third and moved to third on a single by Howard. Francisco followed that with his second walk of the game, loading the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled into right and everyone moved up a base with Utley scoring. 3-2. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Valdez grounded to second for the third.

Second time in three innings the Phils leave the bases loaded. Second time in three innings they strike out with one out and a man on third.

Before walking twice in the first three innings, Francisco came in the game having walked in 11.9% of his plate appearances for the year. That’s the best mark of his career and way better than his career mark of 8.3%. If only he could get a hit.

Victorino walked with two outs in the fourth, but Utley flew to left behind him.

Howard walked to start the fifth and moved to second on a ground out by Francisco, but Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out to leave him at second.

The Phils went in order in the sixth. Manuel was ejected for arguing balls and strikes as Oswalt struck out looking.

Victorino was hit by a pitch to start the seventh and went to third when Utley followed and ripped a double. Howard dribbled a single to the right of second and into center, scoring both runners and putting the Phils up 4-3. With lefty Sean Marshall pitching, Polanco hit for Francisco and popped to Pena for the first out. Ibanez grounded to second with Howard forced at second for the second out. Ruiz struck out to leave Ibanez at first.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. Brown, who took over for Francisco in right after Polanco hit for Francisco in the seventh, grounded to second for the second out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-18 with four walks in the four-game set. He’s hitting 256/331/356 on the season.

Victorino 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday. 6-for-15 with a double and two walks in the series. 280/353/472 for the season.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. 6-for-17 with two doubles and a home run in the series. He also walked three times and drove in four runs. He came into the series with three extra-base hits for the season and doubled that in the four-game set. 261/370/420 on the year in 81 plate appearances.

Howard was 3-for-3 with a double and drove in three of the four runs the Phillies scored in the game. 4-for-13 with a double and five RBI in the series. He also walked five times. He came in to last night’s game 2-for-his-last-18. 247/336/474 for the year.

Francisco 0-for-1 with two walks. 0-for-3 with two walks in the series. 220/338/372 for the year. 172/304/310 against lefties for the season. Brown 0-for-1 yesterday and 1-for-11 with two walks and a homer in the series. He’s 1-for-his-last-18 and hitting 235/312/397 in 77 plate appearances for the season.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with an RBI. 6-for-16 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 250/300/419 for the year. 302/331/537 since the end of April.

Ruiz was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left eight men on base. He lined to third with the bases loaded in the first (3), struck out with the bases loaded in the third (6), struck out with Howard on second in the fifth (7) and struck out with Ibanez on first in the seventh (8). 3-for-12 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 243/360/340 for the year.

Valdez 0-for-4 yesterday in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 240/279/295 for the year. Polanco was 0-for-1 yesterday and 3-for-14 with a walk and a grand slam in the series.

No game today. Marlins tomorrow for the first of four. Then the Mariners (of course).


Strike out slinging

Coming off an ugly start, Cliff Lee mowed ‘em down last night, throwing seven shutout innings to pace the Phils to a 3-1 win against the Dodgers. Lee struck out ten in the game and has now registered double-digit strikeouts in six of his 13 starts.

Lee is striking out about 10.3 batters per nine innings this year, which is a huge jump from his career mark of 7.1. In 2008, he won the Cy Young in the American League and struck out 6.9 batters per nine for the Indians.

Led by Lee and his NL-high 100 strikeouts, the Phils lead the league in inducing whiffs. Halladay is second with 97 and Hamels fifth with 82.

The Phillies are 36-24 on the year after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 last night.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing seven hits and a walk. All seven of the hits were singles and he struck out ten.

Jamey Carroll was the first batter of the game and he reached on an infield single. Aaron Miles followed that with a single into center that moved Carroll up to second. Marcus Thames followed and hit a double-play ball to second, which left the Dodgers with two down and Carroll on third. Lee struck Matt Kemp out looking 2-2 to leave Carroll at third.

He struck Juan Uribe out swinging for the first out in the second and got Casey Blake on a fly ball to center behind him for the second. Jerry Sands drew a two-out walk, but Lee got Rod Barajas on a fly ball to right for the third out.

The pitcher Ted Lilly grounded to third to start the third. Carroll singled to center behind him before Lee got Miles swinging for the second out. Thames flew to right to leave Carroll at first.

Lee started the fourth with a 2-0 lead. Uribe singled to left with one out, but Lee struck out Blake and Sands, both looking, behind him.

Carroll singled on a ball hit out in front of the plate with two outs in the fifth. Miles moved him to second with a single into center, but Lee struck Thames out swinging to leave both men stranded.

He struck out the side in the sixth, getting Kemp and Uribe swinging and Blake looking. Blake didn’t care for the call and was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

Sands smashed a ball back up the middle to start the seventh, but Lee, seemingly on purpose, put his body in front of the ball. It hit off him hard, but Lee picked it up and threw to first for the first out. Barajas popped to Polanco for the second out and lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitcher Lee. Gwynn singled back up the middle, bringing Carroll to the plate with two outs and a man on first. Gwynn was running on the 3-2 pitch as Carroll grounded to short. Valdez made a nice play, charging the ball and throwing to first to set the Dodgers down.

Bastardo threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He’s been charged with a run in just three of his 25 appearances on the year. He’s walked 12 in 23 innings, which is too many, but allowed just 11 hits.

Madson started the ninth with the Phils up 3-0. Juan Uribe led off and homered to right and Russ Hodges screamed “The Giants win the pennant” over and over again till we all threw up. Except that didn’t really happen. This time Uribe just blooped a single to right. Uber-prospect Dee Gordon ran for Uribe at first, making his major league debut, and the game was delayed briefly so that a child-labor investigation could be conducted to determine if it was okay or not for the Dodgers to put someone who looks like they’re twelve in the game. Turns out Gordon just turned 23, so play was allowed to resume. James Loney, who entered the game at first after Blake was ejected after the sixth, was next and he lined a single to center. Gordon moved up to third, doing something that would normally be described as running, but in this case looked a lot faster. Wow. It put men on first and third with nobody out for Sands and lefty Andre Ethier hit for the righty Sands. Ethier sliced an oddly spinning line drive that Valdez stopped on a short-hop. He picked it up and tossed to second to force Loney for the first out as Gordon scored, cutting the lead to 3-1. Madson struck Barajas out swinging 2-2 for the second out and switch-hitter Dioner Navarro hit for the pitcher Mike MacDougal. Madson struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

I know Lee threw seven shutout innings and struck out ten and whatnot, but watching Gordon go first to third might have been the highlight of the game. He’s strong like bull. Only with running and not being strong and without the bull.

Valdez also made a really nice play on the spinning line drive hit by Ethier, which helped keep the inning under control.

Madson and Bastardo have both pitched back-to-back days, with Madson pitching Sunday in a non-save situation with a 7-3 lead. Madson has a 6.43 ERA and a 1.43 ratio over his last seven appearances, having allowed five runs in seven innings. He threw 19 pitches in the game. Bastardo threw 14.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Ted Lilly went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. With Rollins out with a bruised knee, Valdez plays short and Victorino leads off. Francisco plays left with Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Brown plays right against the lefty, making his first start of the year against a southpaw, but continues to hit seventh with Francisco and Ruiz back-to-back righties behind Howard.

Victorino was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the first, but the Phils went in order behind him.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Valdez started the third with a double to left and Lee bunted him to third with the first out. Victorino drew a walk, putting men on first and third for Polanco. Polanco went down and got a low 0-1 pitch, hitting a soft liner into center that scored Valdez (1-0) and moved Victorino to second. Utley flew to center for the second out, but Howard ripped a ball into right for a single, scoring Victorino to make it 2-0 and moving Polanco to third. Francisco struck out looking to leave both men stranded.

Brown singled with one out in the fourth. Valdez struck out behind him and Lee flew to left.

Victorino, Polanco and Utley went in order in the fifth.

Ruiz singled to center with two outs in the sixth, but Brown grounded out to first for the third out.

Valdez grounded to short to start the seventh. With righty Blake Hawksworth on the mound for the Dodgers, Ibanez hit for Lee and grounded to second for the second out. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Utley walked with one out in the eighth. Howard struck out behind him for the second out before Francisco moved him to second with another walk. Ruiz was next and hit a 2-2 pitch off the wall in left. Utley scored, putting the Phils up 3-0, and Francisco moved up to third. Brown grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Victorino was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 3-for-16 with three walks since returning from the DL.

Polanco 1-for-4 with an RBI. He didn’t walk last night, but he’s on pace to walk 54 times this season, which would be a career high. He has had two seasons when he on-based better than .380 — in 2005 he on-based .383 but walked just 33 times and in 2007 he on-based .388 but walked just 37 times. He’s on-basing .365 this season.

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He’s hitting .224 with a .306 slugging percentage in his first 57 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Francisco 0-for-3 with a walk. I like the idea of letting him play against lefties, but he’s hitting 182/297/327 against left-handed pitching for the year.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s just 2-for-15 so far in June.

Brown was 1-for-4. 2-for-8 with a double against lefties on the season.

Valdez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 3-for-his-last-9 with two walks, one of which was intentional.

Oswalt (3-3, 2.70) starts tonight against righty Rubby De La Rosa (1-0, 1.80). The 22-year-old De La Rosa will be making his first career start in place of the recently DL’ed Jon Garland. De La Rosa has made three relief appearances for the Dodgers, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out five in five innings. Oswalt didn’t seem thrilled about being pulled after five innings and 79 pitches in his last start. He has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in his nine starts this season.

The Phillies took Larry Greene, an 18-year-old corner outfielder from Georgia who hits left-handed, with the 39th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft.


Nats nix the Phils’ chances to win, score an earned run

The Phils put together five hits and no earned runs yesterday and it wasn’t enough as the Nats topped them 2-1 to take the three-game set two games to one. Laynce Nix changed the game with a spectacular diving catch on a ball hit by Domonic Brown that ended the top of the sixth with the bases loaded for the Phils.

The game was also memorable because of the early exit of Roy Oswalt. Oswalt was pulled so Brown could hit for him in the sixth, having gone just five innings and thrown 79 pitches. Oswalt doesn’t sound particularly thrilled about the decision.

The Phillies are 34-22 on the year after losing to the Washington Nationals 2-1 yesterday afternoon. They have lost three of four and scored three runs in their last two games.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out three. In his nine starts on the year he’s thrown to a 2.70 ERA and a 1.26 ratio, but the Phillies are 4-5.

Roger Bernadina led off the bottom of the first and blooped a single to left. Ian Desmond bunted him to second with the first out before Jayson Werth singled into left, scoring Bernadina to put Washington up 1-0. Laynce Nix flew to left for the second out and Michael Morse flew to right for the third.

It was 1-1 when he started the second. He got Danny Espinosa on a ground ball to second for the first out before Wilson Ramos doubled to right. Alex Cora followed that with a walk. The pitcher John Lannan tried to bunt the runners up a base, but struck out fouling off strike three for the second out. Oswalt struck Bernadina out swinging to leave the runners stranded at first and second.

Oswalt retired Desmond and Werth on a pair of fly balls to right to start the third. Nix was next, though, and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to right-center, putting the Nats back on top at 2-1. Oswalt walked Morse on four pitches and then hit Espinosa with the first pitch of his at-bat, putting men on first and second for Ramos. Ramos grounded to second to end the inning.

Espinosa went 4-for-8 with three home runs in the first two games of the series.

Oswalt got Cora and Lannan to start the fourth before reached on a single on a ball out in front of the plate. Desmond grounded to short for the third out.

Morse doubled to right with two outs in the fifth. Oswalt got Espinosa on a fly ball to right for the third out.

Stutes started the sixth after the Phils hit for Oswalt in the top of the inning. He set Washington down in order, getting Ramos swinging for the first out and Jerry Hairston, who took over for Cora at third in the fifth, on a fly ball to left for the second. Pitcher Jason Marquis hit for pitcher Doug Slaten and flew to center for the third out.

Stutes was back for the seventh and threw another 1-2-3 frame, getting Bernadina looking for the first out, Desmond on a ground ball to short for the second and Werth on a fly ball to center for the third.

Stutes threw two perfect innings and was throwing for the second straight day, lowering his ERA on the year to 2.02. He also threw three days in a row May 23-25.

Bastardo came in to pitch the ninth and got the first two men he faced before walking Espinosa. Ramos grounded to short for the third out.

Three scoreless innings for the pen. Stutes was throwing for the second straight day and threw 29 pitches. Bastardo threw 18 pitches. Both should be available on Friday with the off-day today.

The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Polanco (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Polanco hits leadoff with Rollins on the bench and Valdez at short. Mayberry plays center and hits second for the first time in his career. Francisco in right against the lefty with Brown on the bench, despite Brown being 10-for-his-last-19. Ruiz catches the day game after catching the night game the night before. After hitting sixth against the righty the day before, he’s dropped to seventh against the lefty.

Polanco led off the game with a single to right, but was erased when Mayberry followed and hit into a double-play. Utley flew to right for the third out.

Down 1-0, Howard led off the second with a double and Francisco walked behind him. Ibanez struck out for the first out, but Ruiz was next and hit a ball to third that Cora didn’t handle for an error. Howard scored to tie the game at 1-1 with Ruiz safe at first and Francisco safe at second. Valdez flew to center and Oswalt grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Mayberry was hit by a pitch with one out in the third. Utley flew to right for the second out. Howard was next and he hit a ground ball that Espinosa fielded in shallow right field with the Howard shift on. Mayberry tried to score from second, but Espinosa threw home and Ramos applied the tag to Mayberry to end the inning.

Francisco, Ibanez and Ruiz went down on three ground balls in the fourth. The Phillies were trailing 2-1.

Valdez reached on an error by Hairston at third to start the fifth. Oswalt bunted him to first with the first out before Polanco drew a walk, putting men on first and second for Mayberry. Mayberry hit a ground ball to third with Valdez forced at third for the second out. Utley flew to right to leave the runners at first and second.

Francisco walked with one out in the sixth and the Phils still down a run. Ibanez moved him to second with a single and righty Todd Coffey took over for Lannan. Ruiz flew to right for the first out, with Francisco tagging and moving up to third. Rollins hit for Valdez and walked, loading the bases for Oswalt. Brown hit for Oswalt against the righty Coffey and lined a ball to left-center, with Nix making an unbelievable diving catch to snare the ball and retire the side.

Fantastic catch by Nix changed the game.

The Phils went in order in the seventh and the eighth.

Ruiz flew to center for the first out of the ninth. Rollins was next and put down a pretty bunt that Espinosa tried to bare-hand, but didn’t get cleanly. Rollins had a single. With righty Drew Storen on the mound for Washington, Ross Gload hit for Bastrado and flew to left. Polanco was next and ripped a ball just foul that would have scored Rollins easily, but struck out looking 1-2 to end the game.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 5-for-12 with two walks in the three-game set. He’s hitting 319/367/403 for the year.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 and left three men on base. 3-for-11 with a double and a homer in the set. 231/316/365 on the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 in the game and 1-for-10 with three walks in the series. 194/324/323 on the season in 37 plate appearances.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phils. 4-for-12 with a double and a home run in the set. 252/336/500 for the year. 311/404/622 with three home runs in 52 plate appearances over his last 11 games.

Francisco was 0-for-2 and walked twice. 0-for-3 with two walks in the series. He’s 5-for-his-last-16 with three walks, two doubles and a home run, but hitting just 224/337/385 for the year.

Ibanez was 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-11 with a walk and a home run in the series. 246/296/427 on the season. 324/348/611 over his last 115 plate appearances.

Ruiz was 0-for-4. 4-for-13 with a double in the series. 250/348/362 on the season. 344/432/469 in 37 plate appearances over his last eight games.

Valdez 0-for-2 in the game and in the series. 242/277/298 on the year. Of the 149 NL players with at least 100 plate appearances this season, Valdez’s .575 OPS is 141st. On the plus side, he’s out-OPSing Dan Uggla (175/241/316).

Rollins was 1-for-1 with a walk in the game and 1-for-10 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 263/337/357 for the year.

No game today. At Pittsburgh Friday night.


Phils whip up a little something for the how-are-they-ever-going-to-go-on-a-losing-streak-with-that-rotation crowd

Seven runs in four games should do it. Four runs in three games is even better.

Still no sign of the offense as the Phils dropped their fourth straight last night. Oswalt made his return to the rotation and looked pretty good in the five innings he was able to go. The Phils went into the eighth down 1-0 and got a gift run with the help of a dropped popup to tie things up, but Baez started the ninth and allowed hits to the first three men he faced and St Louis pushed a run across on a walkoff single to win 2-1.

The Phils are 25-16 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 2-1 last night. They have lost four games in a row for the first time on the season and are 7-8 in May.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing a run on seven hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

He got Ryan Theriot to line to Rollins for the first out in the bottom of the first. Then he struck Jon Jay out swinging 2-2 for the second out and Albert Pujols out looking 3-2 to end the inning.

Matt Holliday fouled out to Howard for the first out in the second. Lance Berkman was next and he singled to center but was forced at second for the second out when Allen Craig followed and grounded to short. Yadier Molina moved Craig to second with a single to right, but Oswalt got Daniel Descalso to pop to Rollins in foul territory to leave both men stranded.

Pitcher Jaime Garcia led off the St Louis third and grounded to Oswalt. Theriot and Jay followed with back-to-back singles, with Jay’s sending Theriot to third. Oswalt got Pujols to hit a double-play ball to Rollins to keep St Louis off the board.

Oswalt walked Berkman with one out in the fourth and Craig moved him to second with a single to center. Molina was next and he singled to left. Berkman tried to score and looked like he didn’t have much of a chance, but the throw from Mayberry came in on a hop and a little up the third base line. The ball and Berkman arrived about the same time with Berkman sliding in to avoid Sardinha’s tag and the Cards led 1-0. It brought Descalso to the plate with men on first and second and he grounded to Valdez with Molina forced at second for the second out. Oswalt struck Garcia out for the third out, leaving runners at the corners.

Mayberry didn’t make a great throw, but Sardinha still had a chance to get Berkman and missed the tag.

Pujols doubled to right with two outs in the fifth, but Oswalt got Holliday on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Stutes started the sixth and made just three pitches before hurting his back and exited for Kendrick. Kendrick walked Berkman and Berkman moved up to second on a ground out by Craig and then third when Molina was retired on a ball handled by Kendrick. Kendrick walked Descalso intentionally, putting men on first and third for the pitcher Garcia. Garcia grounded to third to end the inning.

Another intentional walk for Kendrick, who has walked five intentionally in 21 2/3 innings.

Kendrick allowed a two-out single to Pujols in the seventh, but Holliday lined to Francisco to leave Pujols stranded.

Two scoreless frames in the game for Kendrick. He has a 1.15 ERA and a 1.09 ratio over 15 2/3 innings in his last eight appearances (one of which was a start).

Bastardo started the eighth with the game tied at 1-1. He got Berkman and Tyler Greene to start the inning before Molina doubled. Bastardo walked Descalso behind Molina and switch-hitter Nick Punto hit for the pitcher Garcia with two men on base. Bastardo struck him out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Baez started the ninth. Theriot led off with an infield single. Jay moved him to second with a real single and Pujols blooped a ball that fell in right for another single, loading the bases. Holliday was next and he hit a ground ball to short. Rollins fielded and threw home to force Theriot for the first out. Berkman was next and Romero came in to face him, forcing the switch-hitter Berkman to hit right-handed. Berkman hit the ball over the head of Martinez, who was playing shallow in center, to plate Jay and give St Louis a 2-1 win.

Berkman is hammering both lefties and righties this season. Over his career he’s been better against righties (308/424/590 against righties and 261/365/418 against lefties). So no argument with Romero.

I think you can have an argument about no Madson in the ninth. Baez’s line looks awful, but one of the singles he allowed was an infield hit and another a softly hit ball by Pujols.

Over his last four appearances, Baez has allowed six runs on ten hits and two walks over four innings (13.50 ERA and a 3.00 ratio). Last year with the Phils he threw to a 5.48 ERA and a 1.64 ratio.

Stutes and Romero were both pitching for the second day in a row, but I’m going to be surprised if we see Stutes any time soon. Kendrick threw 24 pitches in the game, Bastardo 21, Baez 13, Stutes three and Romero one.

Stutes will see a doctor today.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jaime Garcia went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Francisco (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Polanco returns to the lineup and the three-hole. Martinez in center with Mayberry in left, Francisco in right and Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Valdez plays second against the lefty with the lefty Orr on the bench. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the bench.

Martinez singled to center with one out in the first and moved to second on a ground out by Polanco. Howard flew to center to leave him at second.

Descalso made a very nice play at third and a strong throw to first on a ball hit down the line by Polanco for the second out.

Mayberry led off the second with a single and stole second, but was left there when Francisco flew to center, Valdez popped to Theriot and Sardinha lined to third.

The Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.

With the Phils down 1-0, Valdez hit a ball just over Descalso and down the line for a double with one out in the fifth. Sardinha followed that with a walk and Oswalt bunted the runners to second and third with the second out. Rollins flew to Jay in left-center to leave both runners stranded.

Polanco singled with one out in the sixth. Howard struck out behind him and Mayberry grounded to third.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh.

With one out in the eighth, Rollins popped a ball up on the infield that Tyler Greene just dropped for an error. Martinez moved him to third with a single before Polanco flew to center for the second out, deep enough for Rollins to tag and score, tying the game at 1-1 with two outs and Martinez at first. Howard struck out swinging to leave Martinez stranded.

The Phillies went in order in the ninth. With righty Fernando Salas on the mound for St Louis, Orr hit for Valdez and struck out looking for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Martinez had a nice game, going 2-for-4 with a big single in the eighth to help the Phils score their run. He’s 7-for-29 on the year with seven singles and two walks. Glad to see him have a nice game, but it seems pretty hard to argue that he’s a good use of a roster spot.

Polanco was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 222/258/259 in May.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. If you want to make a ranked list of the problems with the Phillies offense, you need to put the fact that Howard has hit 208/300/431 over his last 150 plate appearances way higher than who the offensive players filling out the roster are.

Mayberry was 1-for-4. He’s 4-for-his-last-23.

Francisco 0-for-4. 218/327/346 for the season. Having a starting right fielder who has hit 218/327/346 on the year should go pretty high on the list, too.

Valdez was 1-for-3 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phillies. The Phils are slugging .345 as a team in May. Valdez is on-basing .265 this season and .297 over the 463 plate appearances the Phillies have given him over the last two years.

Sardinha 0-for-2 with a walk. Unfortunate he wasn’t able to tag Berkman out and prevent the first St Louis run of the game. 3-for-17 on the year.

Ibanez didn’t play in the game, but it feels like he needs to be included in order to help fill out the list of things that are more important to the offense than the players filling out the roster. He’s hitting 223/280/338 for the year.

Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.19) faces lefty Jorge De La Rosa (5-1, 3.70) tonight. De la Rosa had his worst start of the year his last time out, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Padres. In his eight starts, lefties have hit .107 against him with no extra-base hits. Hamels has thrown to a 2.29 ERA and an 0.92 ratio since his first start of the season.


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