Tag: Ben Revere

The midday run of Ben Revere

Ben Revere drove home the game’s only run yesterday, plating Domonic Brown with a two-out single single in the eighth to help the Phils to a 1-0 win over the Braves.

It was Revere’s third hit of the game. The Phils only needed one in the game thanks to a fantastic outing by Burnett — Burnett tossed seven scoreless frames in his best start of the young season.

The Phillies are 7-8 on the season after beating the Atlanta Braves 1-0 yesterday afternoon. The Braves win the series two games to one and the teams combine to score two runs in the last two games of the set (Atlanta won game two 1-0 despite a great start from Cliff Lee).

The Phillies are seventh in the 15-team NL in runs scored per game. Despite having allowed a total of one run in the last two games they’ve played, they are still 14th in the NL in runs allowed per game. They’ve allowed eight or more runs in five of the 15 games they’ve played.

If there are 15 teams in your league, you’re going to have trouble winning consistently if you’re the seventh-best team at scoring runs and the 14th-best team at preventing runs.

A.J. Burnett got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks. All three of the hits were singles and he struck out five.

Fantastic start for Burnett, best of his four for the year. By Game Score, two of his 30 starts for the Pirates in 2013 were better, April 17 against the Cardinals and August 4 against the Rockies.

After four outings, he has a 2.74 ERA, but a 1.57 ratio and a FIP of 4.66. He’s walked 16 in 23 innings, which is too many. Lefties are hitting 306/471/500 against him and righties 191/269/255. He was great against lefties and righties both yesterday.

In three of his four starts on the year he’s allowed two runs or less. In the middle two of his four starts, he walked 12 in ten innings. In the other two starts, he walked a much more reasonable four in 13 innings.

He walked Freddie Freeman with two outs in the top of the first, but got Justin Upton on a fly ball to right to leave Freeman at first.

The lefty Freeman gets on base. Again, lefties are on-basing .471 against Burnett so far, 2.74 ERA or not.

He threw a 1-2-3 second. The pitcher Alex Wood, who hits right-handed at least, walked with one out in the third. Jayson Heyward grounded out with Wood forced at second for the second out before B.J. Upton moved Heyward to third with a single. Freeman grounded to first to end the inning.

Struck out Justin Upton and Dan Uggla in a 1-2-3 fourth. Allowed a leadoff single to Andrelton Simmons to start the fifth, but struck out the next two and Nieves threw Simmons out trying to steal second.

Freeman singled with two outs in the sixth, but Burnett got Justin Upton on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Struck out Simmons while setting the Braves down in order in the seventh. Revere made a nice diving play coming in to catch a ball hit by Uggla for the second out.

Bastardo started the eighth in a scoreless tie. He allowed a leadoff double to righty Gerald Laird, but got the next three to leave Laird at second.

4.32 ERA for Bastardo, but with a 1.08 ratio. Opponents are hitting just .120 against him so far, but he’s walked six in 8 1/3 innings. Righties are 2-for-19 (.105) against him. He’s walked 17.1% of the hitters he’s faced this season, which is higher than his career mark of 11.4%. It’s just high, too, regardless of what his career mark is.

Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a 1-0 lead, striking righty Justin Upton out for the second out and righty Chris Johnson out to end the game.

Big gap between Papelbon’s ERA of 4.26 and his 2.26 FIP. 1.26 ratio. He’s made seven appearances on the year — in one he allowed three runs in a third of an inning. In the other six he allowed one hit and one walk while striking out six in six scoreless frames.

Two scoreless innings for the pen in the game in which they allow one hit and strike out three. Nobody threw more than one day in a row thanks to nine innings from Lee in game two of the set.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Alex Wood went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Marlon Byrd (5) John Mayberry (6) Domonic Brown (7) Wil Nieves (8) Jayson Nix. Howard on the bench against the lefty in game three of the series with Mayberry at first. Any time you see Mayberry or Ruf at first against a left-handed pitcher it should be appreciated. Asche also on the bench against the lefty — the lefty Asche is hitting .184 for the year and is 1-for-9 against left-handed pitching. I think it’s a really good idea to start someone other than Asche at third against a lefty if you have a solid option there. Nix has had a rough go of it in the early part of the season, both offensively and defensively.

Revere singled to left to start the bottom of the first, but Rollins lined into a double-play behind him. Utley followed with a single to right, but Byrd struck out swinging to end the inning.

Mayberry and Nieves struck out in a 1-2-3 second.

Burnett singled to center with one out in the third, but Revere grounded into a double-play behind him.

Utley singled with one out in the fourth, but Byrd grounded into a double-play behind him.

Phils hit into three double-plays in the first four innings. Rollins lines into one at first base in the first and Revere and Byrd GIDP in the third and fourth.

The Phils went in order in the fifth. Revere bunted for a single with two outs in the sixth, but was picked off with Rollins at the plate to set the Phillies down.

Byrd reached on an infield single with two outs in the seventh. Mayberry grounded to third to end the inning.

The Phillies scored the only run of the game int he eighth. Brown led off with a single to left and Nieves bunted him to second with the first out. Nix struck out swinging for the second out. With the lefty Wood still on the mound for Atlanta, Howard hit for Bastardo and drew a walk. Asche ran for Howard at first, bringing Revere to the plate with two down and men on first and second. Revere lined an 0-1 pitch into center for a single, scoring Brown from second to put the Phils up 1-0. Rollins struck out swinging to leave runners at first and second.

Nix with a big strikeout against the lefty for the second out. Howard a really weird choice to hit against a lefty, cause he can’t hit lefties, but draws a big walk ahead of the Revere single.

Three hits on the day for Revere, including the game-winner. Made a nice diving catch in the seventh. 3-for-8 with three singles and an RBI in the three-game set. 0-for-his-last-11 coming into yesterday’s game. 288/315/327 on the year. Isolated power of .039 isn’t a joke — his career isolated power is .045. It’s early, but FanGraphs has his UZR/150 in center for the year so far at -28.1. Hoping for the best on this one, but I’m having some trouble imagining a path to sustained excellence for Ben Revere that doesn’t require him to be very good defensively in center field. He hasn’t been very good defensively in center field for the Phillies this season.

Rollins 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the game and 2-for-11 with a walk in the series. 259/333/426 on the year.

Utley 2-for-3. 4-for-12 with a double in the set. Monster 462/517/769 line for the year. Leads the NL in average, on-base percentage and slugging. Third in isolated power.

Byrd 1-for-3 with a strikeout. 3-for-10 with a double and two RBI in the series. 267/302/400 for the year. One walk in his last 40 plate appearances. 234/265/340 over his last 49 plate appearances since going 5-for-13 to start the season. 238/256/357 against righties for the season — he’s in a lot of trouble if that doesn’t improve, but I think it’s likely to improve. Only Phillie to start all of the 15 games the team has played.

Mayberry 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Was a good idea anyway. 0-for-4 in the series. 0-for-his-last-6 and only has 15 at-bats on the year. 200/294/467. 375/444/875 in nine PA against lefties. 0-for-7 on the year against righties. Howard 2-for-7 with a walk and a home run in the series. 231/355/442 on the year. He has .124 points of on-base percentage, which is higher than his career mark of .091. Isolated power for the year is .211, which isn’t that much better than it was in 2013 (.199) or 2012 (.204). From ’06 to ’09, his isolated power was in the .292 to .346 range for four straight years.

Brown 1-for-3 in the game. Singled off the lefty Wood to start the eighth and scored the only run of the game. 2-for-9 with a walk and a home run in the set. 288/362/385 on the season. Great against lefties in the early going. Hitting .270 against righties with a .357 on-base percentage, but just two extra-base hits, both doubles, in 42 PA. Slugging .324 against righties with an isolated power of .054. His isolated power against righties in 2013 was .240. FanGraphs calculates his UZR/150 in left at 4.4 — that’s a really big deal if it continues. He was terrible defensively in left in 2013.

Nieves 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Threw Simmons out in the fifth. 3-for-10 with a double and two RBI on the season. Ruiz didn’t play yesterday, but has a 233/365/326 line after going 1-for-6 with a walk in the series. Eight walks in 52 plate appearances is about 15.4% of his chances. He’s walked in about 9.9% of his career plate appearances. Not much going well for him at the plate yet except the walks.

Nix 0-for-3 with three strikeouts last night. 3-for-20 with three singles on the year. 1-for-his-last-13 with eight strikeouts. He’s only played 25 1/3 innings defensively at third this season, but FanGraphs calculates his UZR/150 there at -44.0.

Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 1.80) faces righty Tyler Chatwood (0-0, 6.00) tonight in Colorado. Pettibone allowed eight hits and a walk in five innings against the Fish in his only start of the year, holding Miami to two runs, one of which was earned. Chatwood has also made one start on the season, allowing four runs to the Giants over six innings.


Ryan Braun hits like eight home runs, but there were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened

Brutal, ugly game yesterday as the Brewers bombed the Phils 10-4 in the Phillie home opener. Ryan Braun hit three home runs and drove in seven runs for Milwaukee. Kendrick and Lincoln were both awful. So was the defense, especially at third and in center field, as the Phillies made three errors in the game and another big misplay in center that went for a hit.

The Phillies are 3-4 on the year after losing 10-4 to the Milwaukee Brewers in their home opener yesterday afternoon.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and two walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out three.

Kendrick was outstanding in his first start against the Rangers, allowing a run over seven innings. Less outstanding yesterday. 3.75 ERA and a 1.42 ratio after two outings. Lefties are 5-for-13 (.385) against him so far.

Jean Segura singled to center with one out in the top of the first, but Segura was caught stealing and Ryan Braun grounded to short for the first out.

Kendrick started the second up 1-0 and allowed a run on a double by Jonathan Lucroy with one out that was followed by a two-out single by Mark Reynolds. 1-1. Scooter Gennett followed Reynolds with a single that put men on first and second, but Kendrick got pitcher Kyle Lohse on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

Carlos Gomez doubled to left to start the third. Jean Segura was next and bunted, but Kendrick mishandled the bunt for an error that left men on first and second for Braun. Braun homered to left, putting Milwaukee up 4-1. Later in the frame, with two outs and a man on first, Reynolds reached on a throwing error by Asche. It put men on first and second for Gennett and Gennett hit a high bloop into shallow center field that somehow dropped in front of a diving Ben Revere for a single. Reynolds scored to make it 5-1. Kendrick retired Lohse on a ground ball to second to set the Brewers down.

Miserable defense for the Phillies in the inning. Kendrick makes an error on the bunt, Asche makes a throwing error and Revere is not charged with an error when Gennett’s ball somehow drops in center. That one was in the air for a long, long time.

Braun homered to right center with two outs and nobody on, making it 6-1.

It was 6-2 when Kendrick started the fifth. He allowed a leadoff single to Lucroy. He got the next two and with two down and Khris Davis on second, Kendrick intentionally walked Gennett to pitch to Lohse. Lohse grounded to short for the third out.

If we’re voting, I’m voting for trying to get the eight-hitter Gennett out with two outs and a man on second in the fifth inning of a game you’re losing by four runs.

B.J. Rosenberg pitched the sixth with the Phils down 6-3. Segura singled with one out and was caught stealing again with two down to end the frame.

Ruiz throws Segura out twice, once in the first and once in the sixth.

Davis singled off of Rosenberg with two outs in the seventh and the Milwaukee lead cut to 6-4. Reynolds was next and reached on an error by Revere in center, allowing Davis to score. 7-4 with Reynolds on second and two outs. Mario Hollands came in to pitch to the lefty Gennett. Righty Rickie Weeks hit for Gennett and went down on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Rosenberg goes 1 2/3 innings, allowing an unearned run, thanks to the Revere error, on two hits and no walks.

After three appearances, Rosenberg has a 0.00 ERA and a much more telling 2.57 ratio. Opponents are hitting .455 against him.

Hollands faces one hitter in the game, retiring Weeks to drop his ERA to 3.86. He’s been really good since a miserable outing on Opening Day against the Rangers. In three outings since his first appearance, he’s faced six hitters over two innings without allowing a hit or a walk.

Brad Lincoln pitched the eighth and the Brewers broke it open with three more runs. Gomez doubled to left with one out and Lincoln hit Segura behind him, bringing Braun to the plate with two men on. Braun hit Lincoln’s first pitch out to left-center for a three-run homer that made it 10-4. Lucroy doubled off of Lincoln with two outs, but Davis flew to center for the third out.

Lincoln returned for the ninth. He allowed a leadoff double to Reynolds, but retired the next three.

Miserable day for Lincoln, who allows three runs on four hits over two innings. Braun hits the three-run homer off of him in the eighth. 11.57 ERA after two appearances and 2 1/3 innings. He hasn’t walked a hitter, but opponents are hitting .417 against him. Righties 4-for-9 against the righty with three doubles, a home run, a 1.111 slugging percentage and a 444/500/1.111 line.

The pen goes four innings in relief of Kendrick, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits. Ugly day after a fantastic series for the relievers in Chicago. Lincoln threw 39 pitches in the game and Rosenberg 30.

The Phillie lineup against righty Kyle Lohse went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Carlos Ruiz (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Cesar Hernandez (8) Cody Asche. Chase Utley out with the flu, so Cesar Hernandez starts at second and hits seventh. Carlos Ruiz hits third despite not having any hits against righties for the season — he comes into the game 0-for-11 against right-handed pitching.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the bottom of the first and moved to third when Howard followed with a double to center. Byrd was next and hit a ball hard at Segura at short, which Segura did not handle for an error. Ruiz scored to put the Phils up 1-0 and Howard took third. Brown walked to load the bases for Hernandez, but Hernandez struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

It was 1-1 when the Phillies hit in the second. Asche led off with a walk and Rollins walked with two outs, but Ruiz flew to right to leave men at first and second.

They trailed 5-1 when they hit in the third. Brown singled with two outs, but Hernandez flew to right to set the Phillies down.

Revere singled with two outs in the fourth and the Phillies down 6-1. Rollins was next and blasted a 3-2 pitch off the wall in right, plating Revere to cut the lead to 6-2. Ruiz flew to left to end the inning.

First XBH for Rollins since the grand slam on Opening Day.

Brown walked with two outs in the fifth and moved to second when Hernandez followed with a single to right. Asche was next and lined a 1-0 pitch into right-center for a single, scoring Brown (6-3) and moving Hernandez to third. Mayberry hit for Kendrick and struck out swinging to end the inning.

This one seems simple to me. Kyle Lohse is right-handed. John Mayberry is right-handed. John Mayberry can’t hit right-handed pitching. John Mayberry has been fantastic as a pinch-hitter early in the season, but he’s been fantastic as a pinch-hitter against left-handed pitching. You don’t want to use him in a big spot against a right-handed pitcher. He doesn’t have a hit against a right-handed pitcher yet this year. He’s a career 227/294/371 hitter against righties.

Revere tripled off of lefty Zach Duke to start the sixth and scored when Rollins followed with a single to left. 6-4. The Phillies went in order behind Rollins.

First extra-base hit of the year for Revere and it comes against a lefty. Career isolated power against lefties of .045.

The Phillies were down 7-4 when they hit in the seventh. Lefty Will Smith walked Hernandez with one out, but Asche struck out behind him. Nix hit for Hollands and lined to third for the third out.

Mayberry didn’t hit against the lefty in the seventh cause he hit against the righty in the fifth. Two men on in the fifth, but the problem there is he doesn’t have much of a chance to get a hit.

Righty Brandon Kintzler set the Phillies down in order in the eighth with Milwaukee up 10-4.

Righty Jim Henderson struck out Howard and Brown in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Revere was 2-for-5 with a triple. He’s 7-for-his-last-19 (.368).

Rollins 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and two RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a walk. Still doesn’t have a hit against a right-handed pitcher. 0-for-14 against righties for the year.

Howard 1-for-5 with a double and struck out twice. 1-for-his-last-10. On-basing .200 against lefties for the year.

Byrd 1-for-5 with an RBI. 2-for-his-last-17.

Brown 1-for-3 and walked twice. On-basing .529 against righties for the year. 7-for-his-last-14 with four walks.

Hernandez 1-for-3 with a walk to up his average to .375 (3-for-8 with a double).

Asche 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-18 since a 3-for-4 day on Opening Day.

Roberto Hernandez (1-0, 3.38) faces righty Matt Garza (0-1, 1.13) tonight. Hernandez allowed just three hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings while holding the Cubs to two runs in his first start of the year. Garza had fantastic numbers in his first start as he allowed a run on two hits and a walk over eight innings while striking out seven Braves.


Third time not quite so charming

The Phils fell 8-3 to the Cubs yesterday, dropping a game in which A.J. Burnett walked six in 5 2/3 innings and a huge error by Ben Revere in the sixth inning led to four unearned runs for Chicago.

It was far from all bad for the Phils in the series, though, as they took two out of three. Revere, Utley and Brown combined to go 17-for-36 in the set (.472) and the bullpen, which had been miserable against the Rangers in the year’s first series, was fantastic. Phillie relievers combined to throw eight scoreless innings over the three games, allowing a single and four walks while striking out seven.

The Phillies are 3-3 on the season after losing 8-3 to the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon. The Phils win the three-games series two games to one.

A.J. Burnett got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on five hits and six walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Three hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple. He struck out three.

Two starts for Burnett so far, one good and this one, which was awful. Last time he walked six or more in a game was July 18, 2011.

He allowed four runs in the bottom of the first on three walks, a triple to lefty Ryan Kalish, a double to righty Starlin Castro and two sac flies.

Burnett walks three in the frame and all three score to put the Phis in an early 4-0 hole.

He walked Kalish with two outs in the second, but picked him off of first to end the inning.

Burnett set the Cubs down in order in the third and again in the fourth.

It was 4-1 when he started the fifth. He walked Kalish again, this time with two outs, and Kalish moved up to third when Anthony Rizzo followed with a single. Nate Schierholtz was next and he walked as well, loading the bases for Luis Valbuena. Valbuena flew to right to end the inning.

With one out in the sixth, Ryan Sweeney lined a ball into center that went off of Revere’s glove for a three-base error. Burnett hit John Baker 1-1 and righty Mike Olt hit for the pitcher Brian Schlitter. Burnett struck Olt out swinging for the second out, but Emilio Bonifacio was next and reached on an infield single. Sweeney scored from third (5-1) and the Cubs had men on first and second with two down for Kalish. Kalish cleared the bases with a double to center. 7-1 with Kalish on second. The righty Brad Lincoln came in to face the lefty Rizzo and Rizzo singled to left. 8-1. Lincoln retired Schierholtz on a fly ball to left for the third out.

All four runs in the frame are unearned thanks to the Revere error. Revere got to the ball, just didn’t catch it. Burnett didn’t pitch well in the frame, though, allowing a single and a double after hitting Baker. Don’t know why Lincoln debuted facing a lefty with a runner in scoring position, but it didn’t work. Down 7-1, it probably didn’t matter a lot, either.

Two batters for Lincoln in the game in his first appearance as a Phillie. He allows a single and gets the the other out.

Jeff Manship threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He came back for the eighth and walked Junior Lake with one out, but got the next two behind Lake.

Manship has made two appearances for the Phils, allowing the walk to Lake over 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

The pen goes 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the game, allowing a single and a walk. Lincoln allows a run charged to Burnett. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row and the Phils are off today. Manship threw 29 pitches and Lincoln 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Carlos Villanueva went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Carlos Ruiz (8) Cody Asche. Rollins returns to the lineup and the two-spot off of paternity leave. Phils have three lefties three through six in what I presume will be their regular lineup against righties until someone gets hurt.

Rollins singled to right with one out in the top of the first and Utley was hit by a pitch behind him. Howard flew to center for the second out with Rollins moving up to third. Byrd grounded back to the mound to set the Phillies down.

They trailed 4-0 when they hit in the second. Brown led off with a single to right, but the Phils went in order behind him with Asche and Burnett both striking out.

They went in order in the third.

Byrd and Brown singled back-to-back with one out in the fourth, putting runners on first and second for Ruiz with one out. Ruiz reached on an error by Castro at short, loading the bases for Asche. Asche hit a ball back to the mound with Villanueva coming home to force Byrd for the second out. With the bases loaded and two outs, Burnett flew to center to end the frame.

No run for the Phils after they load the bases with one out.

Revere led off the fifth with a single, stole second and moved up to third on a single to center by Rollins. Rollins stole second, putting men on second and third with nobody out for Utley. Utley hit a ball that went off of Villanueva’s glove to Castro at short. Castro threw to first in time to nip Utley on a close play. Revere scored (4-1) and Rollins held second. Howard was next and lined a ball to right, but Bonicfacio, playing in shallow right, caught it and doubled Rollins off of second to set the Phillies down.

One run for the Phils after they put men on second and third with nobody out. Close play at first on the ball hit by Utley. Howard looked like he had a hit, but the second baseman Bonifacio caught it in shallow right.

Righty Brian Schlitter set the Phillies down in order in the sixth.

They were down 8-1 when they faced righty Hector Rondon in the seventh. Asche led off with a single, but Hernandez, hitting for Lincoln, Revere and Rollins went down behind him.

Rondon pitched the eighth as well. Utley led off with a double and moved up to third on a ground out by Howard, but Byrd struck out for the second out and Brown grounded to the pitcher to turn the Phils away.

No run for the Phillies after putting a man on third with one out. Byrd strikes out swinging against the righty for the second out.

Righty Jose Veras walked Asche with one out in the ninth. Gwynn hit for Manship and he walked as well, putting men on first and second with one down for Revere. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before Revere walked to load the bases for Rollins. Rollins grounded to third with Gwynn forced at third for the second out. Asche scored to make it 8-2 with two down and men on first and second. Utley walked to load the bases again for Howard and righty Pedro Strop took over to face Howard. Everyone moved up another base on another wild pitch with Revere scoring to make it 8-3 before Howard flew to left to end the game.

Revere was 1-for-4 in the game with a walk, a stolen base and a huge error that led to four unearned runs. 5-for-14 with a walk in the series. 286/310/286 after 30 plate appearances for the year (8-for-28 with eight singles and a walk).

Rollins 2-for-5 with an RBI yesterday. 2-for-9 with two singles in the set. 211/211/368 so far.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk and a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. 6-for-11 with two walks, two doubles and two home runs in the series. Drove in five runs. 458/536/833 for the year in 28 plate appearances. 5-for-13 with a walk, a double and a home run against lefties (385/429/692).

Howard 0-for-5 and left six men on base. Hit the ball way better than that, flying out to deep center and lining into a double-play. 2-for-12 with two walks in the series. Struck out just twice after seven strikeouts in 14 PA against the Rangers to start the year. 240/321/400 to start the year. Hitting .273 against righties with no extra-base hits. Hitting .214 against lefties with a double, a home run and a .500 slugging percentage. Just two strikeouts in 14 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.

Byrd 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. Struck out four times. 240/296/360 so far. Great series against the Rangers in which he went 5-for-13 with a walk and a home run and then goes 1-for-12 against the Cubs. Has looked great defensively in right field. 2-for-14 (.143) against righties so far with two singles. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run against lefties.

Brown 2-for-4 with two singles yesterday and 6-for-11 with two walks and a double in the set. 381/435/429 for the year. Just one extra-base hit in 23 plate appearances, a double, but just about everything else is going great for him at the plate so far. 3-for-9 with three singles against lefties and hitting .417 against righties.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-6 with two walks in the series. 235/435/294 so far with five walks in 23 PA. 0-for-11 against right-handed pitching and 4-for-6 with a double against lefties. 3-for-6 hitting second in the order and 1-for-11 hitting anywhere else.

Asche 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-11 with a walk and five strikeouts in the set. 263/333/474 so far. 1-for-6 (.167) against lefties and 308/357/615 against righties. 2-for-15 with a walk and two singles since going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run on Opening Day.

The Phillies don’t play today and will face the Brewers tomorrow afternoon.


Dutch treat, but not for the Phillies

Mario Hollands made his major league debut last night at what seemed like a bit of a weird time, entering in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game to face Shin-Soo Choo, Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder. Didn’t work out so well for the Phils as Choo and Fielder both walked. Choo scored from second on a walkoff single from Adrian Beltre off of B.J. Rosenberg to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.

It wasn’t the only odd choice by the Phillies in the game. Facing their first lefty of the year, they put lefties Domonic Brown and Cody Asche on the bench and Cesar Hernandez and Jayson Nix in their lineup.

Nix and Hernandez were fine in the game, better than fine, actually, going 3-for-7 with a double between them. What wasn’t fine was the Phillies base-running, which saw them picked off of second, doubled off of first and caught stealing in a game where they scored two runs and lost by one.

The bullpen has walked six in 6 2/3 innings over the first two games. The Hollands walk to Choo to start the ninth last night helped put Choo in position to score from second when Beltre singled. Papelbon and Bastardo have been good pitching in relief in the early going — the other three relievers that have appeared, Diekman, Hollands and Rosenberg, have combined to allow four runs on six hits and five walks over three innings (12.00 ERA and a 3.67 ratio).

The Phillies are 1-1 on the season after falling 3-2 to the Texas Rangers last night. The teams have split the first two games of the three-game set.

A.J. Burnett got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on seven hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three.

He allowed a leadoff single to Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom of the first. Choo was on the move when Elvis Andrus grounded to third, which allowed Choo to move up to second. Prince Fielder flew to center for the second out before Choo took third on a wild pitch. Adrian Beltre drew a walk, putting men on the corners with two down, but Burnett got Rios on a fly ball to center to leave both men stranded.

Wild pitch for Burnett in the frame. He’s been in the top ten in his league for six straight seasons and is the active MLB leader in wild pitches. Led the AL in wild pitches in 2011 with 25 and also in 2009 with 17.

Burnett walked Leonys Martin with two outs in the second. Robinson Chirinos grounded to third to end the inning.

He hit Choo with his first pitch in the third. Choo moved up to second when Andrus followed with a single to center, but Burnett got the next three to keep Texas off the board. Hernandez made a nice sliding play on a line drive hit by Rios of the third out.

Burnett has been in the top ten in his league in hit batters in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. He hit 19 batters in 2010, which lead the AL that year.

Donnie Murphy reached on a softly hit infield single to third with one out in the fourth. Burnett got Martin and Chirinos behind him to set Texas down.

Fielder doubled to right with two outs in the fifth. Burnett got Beltre on a ball hit hard to center for the third out.

The Phillies led 2-0 when Burnett started the sixth. Rios led off with a double to right and scored when Mitch Moreland followed with a single to right. 2-1. Murphy was next and lined a ball to right, but Byrd made a nice diving catch and doubled Moreland off of first. Martin followed with a single and stole second before Chirinos grounded to third for the third out.

Fantastic play by Byrd helps hold the Rangers to a run. Big difference between two outs and nobody on and nobody out and men on first and third.

Diekman started the seventh having thrown 23 pitches the day before. Choo led off with a single and Andrus bunted him to second with the first out. Fielder was next and grounded to short for the second out with Choo moving up to third. Beltre was next and lined an 0-1 pitch into the right-field corner, scoring Choo. 2-2. Diekman walked Rios intentionally and righty Michael Choice hit for the lefty Moreland. Choice struck out looking to end the inning.

Two appearances, two bad results for Diekman. Pitched a brilliant sixth in game one, but came back for the seventh and faced righties Beltre and Rios, both of who reached base and later scored. The righty Beltre delivered the big blow against him in last night’s game.

Bastardo struck out Murphy and Chirinos in a 1-2-3 eighth. He was also pitching for the second straight day after 24 pitches on Monday.

25-year-old lefty Mario Hollands made his debut in the ninth. Choo led off and walked on four pitches. Andrus bunted him to second again with the first out. Fielder was next and the lefty drew a walk. Rosenberg came in to pitch to the righty Beltre lined a 1-1 pitch into right-center for a single, scoring Choo to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.

You probably would prefer to have a lefty there, but pitching to Choo, Elvis Andrus, and Prince Fielder isn’t really where Hollands would ideally make his first appearance. Came in to pitch to lefties and allowed both of them, Choo and Fielder, to walk. Got one guy out, the righty Andrus, who was trying to make an out.

Second awful outing for Rosenberg in two days as he faces one hitter and gives up the game-winner. Still hasn’t been charged with a run, but has allowed three hits and a walk so far while getting two outs.

The pen went 2 1/3 innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks. They’ve walked six batters in 6 2/3 innings so far for the year. That’s too many and will make you lose.

Diekman, Bastardo and Rosenberg have all pitched two days in a row. Diekman threw 16 pitches last night, Bastardo 14 and Rosenberg three. Hollands has pitched one day in a row and threw 14 pitches last night.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Martin Perez went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Marlon Byrd (5) Ryan Howard (6) Carlos Ruiz (7) John Mayberry (8) Jayson Nix (9) Cesar Hernandez. That’s just terrible. Utley at DH with Hernandez at second. Nix at third with the lefty Asche on the bench and Nix at third. Mayberry in left with Brown on the bench against the lefty — glad to see Mayberry in the lineup, but that’s not the answer. Howard again plays defense in a DH game and hit fifth with Byrd cleanup.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Byrd started the second with a single, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Nix singled to start the third, but was caught stealing by a wide margin when Hernandez swung through a pitch on a hit-and-run. Hernandez singled, but Revere and Rollins both struck out behind him.

The caught stealing ahead of the Hernandez single costs the Phils in the frame.

The Phils went in order in the fourth. Ruiz led off the fifth and reached on an error by Beltre at third. Mayberry followed and lined to Murphy at second with Ruiz doubled off of first. Nix struck out looking for the third out.

Not good base-running by Ruiz. Second time in three innings the Phils give away an out on the bases. They can’t afford to do that given that they had four base-runners on three singles and an error through five innings.

Hernandez led of the sixth with a double. Revere followed and bunted, safely reaching first as Hernandez moved up to third. Rollins followed with a single into center, scoring Hernandez (1-0), and moving Revere up to second. Utley flew to center for the first out before Revere was picked off of second for the second. Byrd followed with a single to center, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard doubled to right, scoring Rollins (2-0) and moving Byrd up to third. Righty Jason Frasor came in to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz grounded to short to end the frame.

Revere getting picked off of second in a close, reply aided play is the third out the Phillies gave away on the bases in four innings. Cost them at least one run in a game where they scored two. Byrd also fails to score from first on the two-out double by Howard.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when Frasor set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.

It was 2-2 when the Phillies faced lefty Neal Cotts in the eighth. Utley singled to right with two outs and took second on a wild pitch. The lefty Cotts walked the righty Byrd intentionally, but Howard struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Big at-bat for Howard against a lefty late in a tie game. Didn’t end well. Byrd walked intentionally in front of Howard.

Righty Joakim Soria set the Phillies down in order in the top of the ninth. Brown hit for Mayberry and popped to short for the second out.

Revere 0-for-3 and struck out twice. Got picked off of second ahead of what would have been an RBI-single by Byrd. 3-for-9 with three singles so far.

Rollins 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. 2-for-10 with five RBI.

Utley 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-10 with a double so far.

Byrd 2-for-3 with a walk. Made a fantastic diving catch to start a double-play in the sixth that allowed the Phils to hold Texas to a single run in the frame. Should have had an RBI with the single after Revere was picked off. 4-for-9 with a walk and a home run on the year. Looks really irritated and a little shocked on the field when things don’t go well for the Phillies. I assume he’ll get used to it.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Struck out twice. Five strikeouts in nine at-bats, but a big hit last night and a 333/400/444 line so far.

Ruiz 0-for-4 and left three men on base. Got doubled-off of first in one of several base-running blunders for the Phils. 1-for-7 with two walks so far.

Mayberry 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 with a double and a walk. Excellent job by the Phillies of not playing him in center field.

Nix 1-for-4 and struck out twice. Got caught stealing on the missed hit-and-run by Hernandez. He’s a career .219 hitter with a 245/321/408 line against lefties.

Hernandez 2-for-3 with a double. Made a nice play on a Rios line drive to end the third. Excellent job by the Phillies of not playing him in center field.

Kendrick faces lefty Robbie Ross tonight. We’ll see who plays — let’s hope it doesn’t involve Nix and Hernandez.


The highway is alive tonight, but nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes

Sittin’ down here in the campfire light, searchin’ for the ghost of like six different people, including, surprisingly, Cliff Lee.

The Phillies exploded for 14 Opening Day runs yesterday afternoon, topping the Rangers 14-10. The Phils jumped out to an early 6-0 lead with the help of a second-inning grand slam from Jimmy Rollins, but Texas stormed back with eight runs charged to Lee over his five innings.

The Phillie offense kept pounding away, though, bashing out 17 hits, including six for extra-bases. Rollins, Byrd and Asche all hit home runs in the game. Utley, Asche and Revere all had three hits. John Mayberry came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit, two-run double in the fifth.

The Phils hit 13 home runs in their final 26 games in 2013.

The bullpen was actually a little better than you might think for a team that allowed ten runs. Lee obviously wasn’t at his best, allowing eight runs, but Bastardo and Papelbon were very solid at the back of the pen in the game, combining to throw 2 1/3 scoreless frames in which they allowed one base-runner. Diekman was fantastic in the sixth, but came back to start the seventh and allowed both of the hitters he faced to reach base. Rosenberg tried to bail him out, but didn’t have much success, allowing three of the four hitters he faced to reach as Texas scored twice.

The Phillies are 1-0 on the year after beating the Texas Rangers 14-10 yesterday afternoon.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing eight runs on 11 hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a three-run homer. After striking out 26 in 24 2/3 innings in Spring Training, he struck out just one.

Opponents are hitting .423 against Lee after one start. He didn’t allow 11 or more hits in any of his 31 starts in 2013 and allowed more than nine once (April 25 he allowed ten hits to the Pirates).

Lee set the Rangers down in order in the bottom of the first.

He started the second up 6-0. Adrian Beltre led off with a double to left and held second when Alex Rios reached on an infield single. Mitch Moreland flew to center for the first out before J.P. Arencibia drew a walk that loaded the bases for Leonys Martin. Martin singled to right and everyone moved up a base. 6-1 with the bases still loaded for Josh Wilson. Wilson doubled to left, clearing the bases. 6-4. Shin-Soo Choo grounded to second for the second out with Wilson moving up to third. Elvis Andrus flew to right to leave Wilson stranded.

Four runs in the frame for the Rangers on two doubles, two singles and a walk. All to righties except the single by the lefty Martin. Righty Josh Wilson delivers the big hit of the frame, a two-run double. The righty Beltre doubles off of Lee to get things started. Lee was ahead of Arencibia 0-2 but couldn’t put him away as Arencibia worked a seven-pitch walk ahead of the Martin single.

Prince Fielder and Beltre singled back-to-back to start the third, putting men on first and second for Rios. Rios hit a 1-0 pitch out to left-center, putting Texas up 7-6. Lee got the next three hitters in order with the help of a nice diving play by Revere in center on a ball hit by Arencibia for the second out.

The righty Rios delivers the second three-run swing in two innings for the Rangers.

It was 7-7 when Lee started the fourth. He allowed singles to Wilson and Andrus in the frame, but kept the Rangers off the board, getting Beltre on a ground ball to third to end the inning with two men on.

He started the fifth up 9-7. Arencibia doubled with two outs and scored when Martin followed with a single to center. 9-8. Wilson flew to center for the third out.

The Phillies led 13-8 when Diekman threw a 1-2-3 sixth, striking out Choo and Fielder.

The lefty Diekman impresses against the big Texas lefties, striking out Choo (left) looking and Fielder (left) swinging. Nice time for Sandberg to use Diekman and like the Mayberry move it worked out well for him.

Diekman came back for the seventh and things didn’t go as well. He faced Beltre and Rios, both righties, and they both reached on a Beltre walk and a Rios single. It left men on first and second with nobody out and Rosenberg came in to pitch to the right-handed pinch-hitter Michael Choice. Choice singled to center, loading the bases for Arencibia. Rosenberg got Arencibia to ground into a double-play, scoring Beltre from third (13-9) and leaving Rios at third with two down for Martin. Rosenberg walked Martin and the left-handed Jim Adduci hit for the righty Wilson. Adduci singled to left, scoring Rios (13-10) and moving Martin up to second. Bastardo took over to pitch to the lefty Choo and walked him, putting two men on for Andrus. Andrus grounded to Utley to end the inning.

After a fantastic sixth, Diekman faces two hitters in the frame and both reach base.

Rosenberg faces four hitters in the game, allowing two singles and a walk and getting the other, Arencibia, to ground into a double-play.

Bastardo faces two hitters in the frame, walking the lefty he was called on to get out before retiring the righty Andrus on a ground ball.

Bastrado set Fielder, Beltre and Rios down in order in the eighth with the Phils up 14-10.

Impressive frame for Bastardo against some good hitters. He gets four outs in the game. He got more than three outs in just five of his 48 appearances in 2013.

Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a four-run lead in the ninth.

Diekman and Bastardo both appear in two innings in the game. Diekman threw 23 pitches and didn’t have success coming back for the second frame. Bastardo threw 24 pitches and was great coming back for a second inning. Rosenberg wasn’t charged with a run in the game, but didn’t pitch well, throwing 12 pitches. Twelve pitches for Paplebon in his 1-2-3 frame.

Overall the pen went four innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks. Three is too many to walk in four innings. Four is too many innings for the pen to pitch regularly. Diekman tries to go more than one inning after a great sixth and it doesn’t work. Rosenberg comes into the game with a 5.44 career ERA and struggles. Bastardo and Papelbon both pitch really well. You probably don’t want to see Papelbon pitching with a four-run lead too often, even with Thursday’s scheduled off-day. Ditto Bastardo going more than one inning.

The Phillie lineup against righty Tanner Scheppers went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Carlos Ruiz (8) Cody Asche (9) Tony Gwynn, Jr. Brown at DH with Gwynn in left. The righty Byrd breaks up lefties Utley, Howard and Brown. Revere leads off with Rollins hitting second. Rollins last led off for the Phils on August 22, 2013. He hit somewhere other than leadoff for his last 140 PA in ’13. Revere was hitting leadoff for 192 of his 332 plate appearances in 2013, about 57.8%. He was in the leadoff spot on July 7, 2013, when he injured his ankle to end his season and had been for seven straight games. He entered the game with a career .313 on-base percentage while hitting first in the order over 773 plate appearances.

Brown at DH on Opening Day sure isn’t a sign the Phillies have a lot of confidence he has achieved his goal of being the best defensive outfielder in the game yet. Ryan Howard played defense for the Phils in the game — playing Howard defensively in a DH game is a poor idea.

Do you remember that the Phillies started John Mayberry and Erik Kratz on Opening Day in 2013? They did. Michael Young, too.

Revere, Rollins and Utley went in order in the top of the first.

The Phillies scored six times in the top of the second. Howard and Ruiz both drew walks while Brown and Byrd when down on a line out and a ground out. It left the Phils with two down and runners on first and second for Asche. Asche doubled to left on a 1-0 pitch, putting the Phils up 1-0 with men on second and third. Gwynn walked to load the bases for Revere. Revere singled into center with everyone moving up a base. 2-0 with the bases still loaded for Rollins. Rollins hit a 1-0 pitch out to right for a grand slam. 6-0. Utley grounded to second to end the frame.

Three walks in the frame. Howard, Ruiz and Gwynn. Rollins delivers the big blow on Opening Day after a ridiculous Spring Training in which he hit .173. Howard manages to score from second on a two-out double.

The lead was cut to 6-4 when the Phillies hit in the third. Howard and Bryd started the inning with back-to-back singles and moved up to second and third with Brown at the plate. Brown popped out to Beltre at third for the first out. Ruiz was next and hit a ground ball to short with Andrus coming home to get Howard for the second out. Asche grounded back to Scheppers to turn the Phils away.

No run for the Phils after putting men on second and third with nobody out. Brown pops out for the first out and Howard is thrown out at the plate on the ground out.

The Phillies trailed 7-6 when they hit in the fourth. Revere singled to left with one out and stole second before Rollins went down looking for the second out. Utley was next and singled to right on a ball deflected by Wilson at second, scoring Revere. 7-7. Howard moved Utley up to third with another single before Byrd popped to first to set the Phillies down.

Ruiz singled off of lefty Pedro Figueroa with one out in the fifth. Asche followed with a walk and Mayberry hit for the lefty Gwynn, lining a two-run double to center that put the Phils up 9-7. Revere and Rollins both flew out to leave Mayberry at second.

The lefty Asche draws a walk off of the lefty Figueroa. Great to see Mayberry hitting against lefties and he delivers the two-run double.

The lead was cut to 9-8 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Utley and Howard went down to start the frame before Byrd hit the first pitch he saw from Figueroa out to left, putting the Phils up 10-8. Brown followed and singled into center. He stole second before righty Alexi Ogando took over for Figueroa and walked Ruiz, putting men on first and second for Asche. Asche singled on a ball deflected by Ogando, allowing Brown to score (11-8) and moving Ruiz up to second. Mayberry followed with a walk that loaded the bases for Revere and Revere singled to center, scoring Ruiz and Asche (13-8) and leaving runners on the corners. Rolilns grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Mayberry gets on base again, this time walking against the rigthy Ogando. Byrd’s first homer with the Phils. Revere delivers a two-run single on a three-hit day.

Utley singled off of Ogando to start the seventh, but Howard, Byrd and Brown all struck out behind him.

It was 13-10 when the Phils hit in the top of the eighth. With one out, Asche homered to right off of righty Scott Tolleson. 14-10. Mayberry and Revere went down behind him.

Monster day for Asche as he goes 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run.

Utley doubled to left off of righty Seth Rosin with one out in the ninth, but Howard and Byrd went down to leave him stranded.

Rangers giving a ton of room off the third base line to lefties and Asche and Utley both deliver doubles to left in the game.

Revere 3-for-6 with three singles, a stolen base and three RBI. Made a very nice diving catch in center to take a double away from Arencibia in the third.

Rollins 1-for-6 with a grand slam.

Utley 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI.

Howard 2-for-5 with a walk and two singles. Struck out three times. If he’s going to on-base .500, he can strike out as much as he wants. He’s not going to.

Byrd 2-for-6 with a home run. Left five men on base.

Brown 1-for-5 with a single and a stolen base.

Ruiz 1-for-3 and walked twice.

Asche 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and a walk. Two RBI. I’d watch what he does against left-handed pitching pretty closely in the early going — so far he’s 0-for-0 with a walk. He went 7-for-32 with a .265 on-base percentage against lefties last year.

Gwynn 0-for-1 with a walk. Hoping for the best, but he’s not really a guy you should be thrilled starting in left field for you on Opening Day. Came into the game having on-based .297 over his last 956 plate appearances.

Mayberry didn’t start, but had a big day. 1-for-2 with a walk, a double and two RBI. Sandberg picked a fantastic time to use him as a pinch-hitter, whether it worked or not. It worked.

A..J Burnett makes his first start as a Phillie tonight against lefty Martin Perez. Burnett has had two good years in a row and comes into the outing with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.23 ratio over his last 61 starts. The 22-year-old Perez made 20 starts for the Rangers in 2013, throwing to a 3.62 ERA and a 1.34 ratio. Lefties actually fared a little better than righties against the lefty Perez in 2013, posting a 282/349/410 line compared to 262/312/406 for righties.


Take two

Wasn’t a lot better than the first one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tigers tomorrow with Kendrick expected to pitch.


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