Tag: BJ Rosenberg

Not Ruf enough to whip this world alone

Darin Ruf homered twice last night, but it wasn’t enough for the Phillies as they fell to the Nats 4-2.

Rosenberg came up with a solid effort, getting the start in what was sure to be a bullpen game for the Phils. He pitched well and left after four frames with the score tied at 1-1. The bullpen wasn’t real good after that, though. Lindblom and Bastardo both struggled and the Phils were lucky they combined to allow just three runs over the two innings that they threw.

Ruf’s pair of solo shots accounted for all of the runs the Phillies scored in the game.

The Phillies are 81-80 on the year losing to the Washington Nationals 4-2 last night. The loss snaps a three-game win streak for the Phils. They are in third place in the NL East, 16 games out of first, and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Rosenberg got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three and dropped his ERA on the year to 6.12.

He struck out Tyler Moore in a 1-2-3 bottom of the first.

Adam LaRoche walked to start the second and moved to second when Chad Tracy followed with a single. Rosenberg struck Mark DeRosa out swinging for the first out before Roger Bernadina walked to load the bases. Rosenberg struck Sandy Leon out swinging for the second out and got the pitcher Tom Gorzelanny on a ground ball to third to leave the bases loaded.

Two walks and a single in the frame, but Rosenberg gets out of it with the help of two big strikeouts. No run for the Nats with one out and a man on third as he gets Leon swinging 0-2.

Rosenberg set the Nats down in order in the third.

The Phillies led 1-0 when LaRoche doubled off of Rosenberg to start the fourth. Tracy moved LaRoche up to third with a ground out before Roger Bernadina singled to left, scoring LaRoche to tie the game at 1-1. Rosenberg picked Bernadina off of first to end the inning.

Diekman started the fifth and gave up a leadoff single to Leon. Switch-hitter Danny Espinosa hit for the pitcher Christian Garcia and struck out swinging for the first out. Steve Lombardozzi was next and grounded to third with Leon forced at second for the second out. Bryce Harper was next and moved Lombardozzi to third with a single to right. Harper stole second before Diekman struck Moore out swinging 3-2 to leave the runners at second and third.

Diekman allows two hits in the frame, but puts up a zero. He’s been charged with one run in six innings over nine appearances since the start of September, but with a 1.83 ratio. He’s walked five in six innings.

Lindblom started the sixth. LaRoche was the first batter he faced and the lefty hit a 1-0 pitch out to right, putting Washington up 2-1. Tracy walked and moved to second when DeRosa followed with a single. Bernadina popped out to Frandsen for the first out before Lindblom hit Leon with a pitch, loading the bases for righty Eury Perez. Perez grounded to short with Martinez coming home to force Tracy for the second out. With the bases still loaded, Mayberry singled into center, moving everyone up a base and plating DeRosa to extend the Washington lead to 3-1. Righty Kurt Suzuki hit for the pitcher Zach Duke and grounded to short to end the inning.

Not a good inning for Lindblom, who faces eight hitters and allows two singles, a home run, a walk and hits a batter. He was lucky to only allow two innings in the frame.

Over his last two appearances, Lindblom has allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings.

For the year, Lindblom has a 4.96 ERA and a 1.50 ratio when not pitching in Dodger Stadium. He threw 25 2/3 innings in Dodger Stadium this year, allowing three runs. All three of the runs came on a solo homer.

Horst struck out LaRoche and Tracy in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Horst hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk over his last three appearances, striking out four over 2 2/3 innings. He was pitching for the second day in a row.

Bastardo started the eighth with the Phillies down 3-2. The Nats quickly loaded the bases with nobody out — DeRosa doubled, Bernadina was hit by a pitch and Leon walked. Perez was next and again grounded to short. Martinez again fielded and came home for the force, this time getting DeRosa for the first out. Lombardozzi was next and flew to center for the second out. Bernadina tagged and scored from third. 4-2. Righty Ian Desmond hit for the pitcher Tyler Clippard and flew to Brown in right to leave the runners at first and second.

Like Lindblom in the sixth, Bastardo was fortunate to allow as few runs as he did. Washington loads the bases with nobody out and winds up scoring just one.

Bastardo came into the game having not been charged with a run over 4 1/3 innings in his last six appearances.

The bullpen went four innings in the game, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four. Lindblom and Bastardo both didn’t pitch well, but were able to limit the damage.

Horst threw 14 pitches in the game and has thrown two days in a row. Lindblom threw 24 pitches last night. Bastardo 19 and Diekman 17. Rosenberg surely cannot go today after 54 pitches over four innings.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Tom Gorzelanny went (1) Frandsen (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Wigginton (5) Ruf (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Martinez continues to play short with Rollins sidelined with a sore calf. Wigginton at first against the lefty with Howard down. Ruf hits fifth and plays left. Kratz catches with Ruiz likely to go in this afternoon’s finale.

Frandsen and Mayberry struck out back-to-back to start the top of the first before Utley drew a walk. Wigginton moved Utley up to third with a single, but Ruf struck out swinging to leave the runners at the corners.

Timing, Darin, timing.

Kratz walked with one out in the second, but Martinez grounded into a double-play behind him.

Frandsen doubled with one out in the third. Mayberry was next and hit a ball that DeRosa didn’t handle at short for an error, putting runners on the corners with one down for Utley. Utley hit a ball to first. LaRoche fielded and came home, where Frandsen was caught up and eventually tagged out for the second out. With two down and runners on second and third, Wigginton struck out swinging to end the frame.

Nothing for the Phils after putting men on first and third with one out.

Ruf led off the fourth and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Brown and Kratz went down before Martinez singled to left. Righty Christian Garcia came in to pitch to Rosenberg and got him on a popup to Tracy at third in foul territory.

It was 1-1 when Garcia set the Phillies down in order in the fifth.

Lefty Zach Duke started the sixth and walked the leadoff man Wigginton. Ruf struck out for the first out before Brown moved Wigginton to second with a single. Kratz lined softly to short for the second out. Martinez hit a ball back up the middle and off the pitcher’s glove for a single that loaded the bases. Ruiz hit for Diekman and grounded to short to end the frame.

Frandsen doubled to left off of righty Ryan Mattheus to start the seventh with the Phils down 3-1. Mayberry struck out, Utley struck out and Wigginton flew to left to leave him at second.

Nice to see Frandsen, who has been pounding lefties, double off of the righty.

Ruf led off the eighth and homered to left off of righty Tyler Clippard on an 0-2 pitch, cutting the Washington lead to 3-2. Kratz singled with one out in the frame, but Martinez and Orr went down behind him to leave him at first.

Tyler Clippard is a good right-handed pitcher and Ruf homers off of him down 0-2 in the count. Clippard has really struggled of late, throwing to an 8.76 ERA over his last 13 appearances, but that’s still impressive.

Righty Drew Storen set the Phillies down in order in the ninth. Nix hit for Bastardo and grounded to short to end the game.

Frandsen 2-for-5 with two doubles. 4-for-his-last-9.

Mayberry 0-for-5 and struck out twice. 3-for-his-last-36 with a double and 13 strikeouts.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-his-last-10.

Wigginton 1-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-his-last-11 with a walk.

Ruf 2-for-4 with two strikeouts and two solo homers. 11-for-31 on the year with six extra-base hits, including three home runs, and nine RBI. Ten strikeouts and one walk, which was intentional, in 33 plate appearances.

Brown 1-for-4. 200/293/340 against lefties for the year.

Kratz 1-for-3 with a walk. 181/224/292 over his last 76 plate appearances.

Martinez 2-for-4 with two singles. 11-for-his-last-33 with three doubles.

Lee (6-8, 3.12) faces righty Edwin Jackson (9-11, 4.13) this afternoon. Lee has an 0.93 ERA in his ten starts since the end of July. Jackson has allowed 16 home runs to left-handed batters on the season, which is a lot. Rollins, who almost surely won’t play in the game, is 4-for-6 against him this year with two homers.


The Rosenberg disaster

Worley is kind of a disaster, too, but at least that one is a little slower moving and we’ve had some time to get used to it.

The Phillies fell to the Mets 9-5 in ten innings last night. Worley gave them another miserable start and was gone after just 4 1/3 innings. Solid work from the bullpen kept the Phils in the game for a while, but BJ Rosenberg got hammered in the top of the tenth, allowing four runs in the frame as the Mets blew the game open.

Howard and Utley paced the offense for the Phils. Howard hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first and Utley added a solo homer in the fifth.

Worley has been terrible since the end of June, making 11 starts in which he has thrown to a 5.80 ERA with a 1.83 ratio. In 59 innings he has allowed 86 hits. He suggests the bone chip in his right elbow is not a factor in recent results.

Domonic Brown also did some freaky stuff in left field you would really hope he could avoid. He sort of tippy-toed up to a single to left in the top of the first before unleashing a fantastic throw that arrived not quite in time, perhaps thanks in part to the tippy-toeing. In the eighth inning, playing towards left center, Brown took forever to get to a ball hit near the line, allowing a runner to score from first. He was removed for a defensive replacement in the top of the tenth and looks like he might get some additional time to rest his sore knee.

The Phillies are 61-68 after losing 9-5 to the New York Mets in ten innings last night. The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Phils. They remain in third place in the NL East, 16 1/2 games out of first.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a two-run homer. He struck out four.

Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy were the first two batters that Worley faced in the top of the first and they reached on a pair of singles that put runners on first and second. David Wright was next and singled to left. Tejada tried to score and slid in safe ahead of Brown’s throw — he was originally ruled out, but the home plate ump got some help from the other umps who saw Kratz had dropped the ball and the runner was clearly safe. 1-0 with men on first and second for Ike Davis. Davis flew to left for the first out. Lucas Duda was next and he lined to short with Rollins throwing to second to double off Murphy and end the inning.

Brown’s throw to the plate was great. Very strong and on target. The problem was he took a long time to get to the ball. It looks like he needs to take way too many little steps to get his body into the position he wants to be in to throw. When he does throw, the throw is often fantastic. Takes too long, though.

The Phillies led 4-1 when Kelly Shoppach started the second with a single. Shoppach took second on a passed ball, but Worley struck Mike Baxter out for the first out, Andres Torres out for the second and got the pitcher Chris Young on a fly ball to right to leave Shoppach there.

Murphy singled to center with one out in the third and took second on another passed ball by Kratz. Wright flew to center for the second out. Davis was next and hit a ball into shallow left field that Rollins took near the line after a long run to leave Murphy stranded.

Two passed balls in two innings for Kratz.

Duda singled to start the fourth. Shoppach was next and Worley struck him out swinging for the first out, but Baxter was next and lined the first pitch from Worley out to right for his first home run of the year. 4-3. Torres flew to center for the second out and the pitcher Young struck out for the third.

Worley joins Edinson Volquez on the list of people who have ever allowed a home run to Mike Baxter in a Major League game. In their collective defense, Baxter did hit 18 home runs in the PCL one year.

Tejada led off the fifth and doubled down the left field line on a ball interfered with by a fan. Muprhy moved him up to third with another single, putting runners on the corners for Wright. Wright hit a fly ball to center for the first out, deep enough for Tejada to tag and score, tying the game at 4-4. Valdes took over for Worley and got the next two to leave Murphy at first.

The Phils were back up 5-4 when Valdes set the Mets down in order in the sixth.

Valdes has been fantastic for the Phillies this season. He drops his ERA for the year to 2.93 with the outing. Among the 225 pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings in the NL this year, his 0.75 ratio is fourth-best. He has an 0.96 ERA with an 0.43 ratio in 9 1/3 innings in his ten appearances in August.

Lindblom started the seventh and walked Scott Hairston to get things started. Tejada flew to left behind Hairston for the first out. Hariston was caught trying to steal second as Murphy struck out swinging to end the frame.

Lindblom was back to walk Wright to start the eighth. Bastardo came in to pitch to Davis and got him on a fly ball to right for the first out. Duda was next and Bastardo struck him out for the second. Shoppach was next and he dumped a ball down the left field line. Brown was playing towards left center and it took him a whole lot of time to get to the ball. Wright scored to tie the game at 5-5 with Shoppach at second. Baxter flew to left to leave Shoppach at second.

Second time in the game that Brown did something weird in left field. In the first, he seemed to take a whole lot of steps to get ready to make his strong throw to the plate. This time he was just super slow running to get the ball, presumably (we hope) cause he is still having problems with his knees.

Lindblom has walked way too many hitters and his walk to the leadoff man hurts the Phils as Wright comes around to score. He has now walked ten in 10 2/3 innings since joining the Phils while throwing to a 6.75 ERA.

Bastardo goes an inning, allowing a double and a run that is charged to Lindblom. He has a 7.01 ERA since the end of May.

Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth with the score tied at 5-5.

Papelbon again not terrible in a tie game as he set New York down in order. He’s been charged with one earned run in 15 1/3 innings over his last 15 appearances.

Rosenberg started the tenth. Wright singled with one out. Davis followed and blasted a ball into the gap in left center, scoring Wright to make it 6-5. Duda followed that with a single into center. Davis scored (7-5) and Duda took second as the throw came home. Shoppach was next and he hit the first pitch he saw from Rosenberg out to left. 9-5. Rosenberg hit Baxter with a pitch and pitcher Bobby Parnell bunted Baxter to second with the second out. Hairston flew to center to set the Mets down.

Helpful guideline for deciding whether to use Horst or Rosenberg in the tenth inning of a tied game: Horst good, Rosenberg, not so much yet. Rosenberg was coming off four outings in a row without being charged with a run, but his ERA for the year is up to 12.66 after allowing four runs in an inning. He has a 4.29 ratio against left-handed hitter for the year — in 2 1/3 innings he has allowed three hits and walked seven.

The pen goes 5 2/3 innings in the game, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks. They did a nice job after Worley left after 4 1/3 until the tenth inning rolled around. Valdes and Papelbon were great. Lindblom and Bastardo combined to allow a run in two innings.

Valdes threw 26 pitches. Lindblom and Rosenberg each threw 18. Bastardo 15 and Papelbon 11.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Young went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Nix (8) Kratz. Brown returns to the lineup after getting two days off to rest his knee. He plays left with Nix in right — Brown’s UZR/150 numbers suggest he’s been a lot better defensively in left than in right in limited innings in 2012. Mayberry in center, where the same numbers suggest he’s awful (-38.3 UZR/150 in center coming into the game, which is 47th of the 47 players across both leagues with at least 200 innings in center this year). Kratz should be catching a lot with Schneider and Ruiz both on the DL, backed up by Steven Lerud, up from Double-A.

The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. The loaded the bases with nobody out on walks by Rollins and Utley and a hit by pitch to Frandsen. It brought Howard to the plate and he hit a 1-2 pitch into the Phillie bullpen for a grand slam that put the Phils on top 4-1. The Phillies went in order behind him.

Young didn’t look like he had a whole lot. The scoreboard was showing his fastball in the mid-80s.

Kratz singled to start the bottom of the second, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Mayberry walked with two outs in the third, but Brown popped to Wright to leave him at first.

It was 4-3 when Nix started the fourth with a single. Kratz was next and hit a ball handled by Young. Young threw to second to force Nix for the first out. Worley bunted Kratz to second with the second out, but Rollins flew to left to leave him there.

It was 4-4 when the Phils hit in the fifth. Frandsen flew to right for the first out before Utley hit a 2-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 5-4. Lefty Robert Carson took over for Young and struck Howard out for the second out. Carson hit Mayberry with a pitch, but Brown grounded to short with Mayberry forced at second to end the inning.

Hit by pitch is kinda like a walk against a lefty for Mayberry, but not a walk. Mayberry is the only righty in the lineup from three (Utley) to seven (Nix). He can’t break up four lefties as the righty in the five-hole if he’s never going to get on base against lefties. He came into the game hitting .271 against lefties, but on-basing .273 against them with no walks in 132 plate appearances. The guy on-basing .273 isn’t going to strike a lot of terror into a team who thinks they’re going to bring in a lefty to go through two through seven in the lineup with a single reliever. More on that later.

Carson got Nix to fly to left for the first out in the sixth. Righty Ramon Ramirez got Kratz to pop to third for the second out. Polanco hit for Worley and grounded to short to end the inning.

Ramirez walked Rollins to start the seventh and struck Frandsen out behind him. Lefty Josh Edgin came in to pitch to Utley and got Utley to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

It was 5-5 when the Phillies hit in the eighth. Mayberry singled off of the lefty Edgin with one out. Brown was next and lined to right for the second. Nix stayed in and hit for himself against the lefty, drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch to put runners on first and second. Righty Jon Rauch came in to pitch to Kratz and got Kratz on a fly ball to right to leave both runners stranded.

Another nice plate appearance for Nix against a lefty as he draws a walk off of Edgin. He’s now 2-for-6 with a walk, a double and a home run against lefties for the year.

Righty Bobby Parnell set the Phillies down in order in the ninth. Wigginton hit for Papelbon and grounded to second for the first out.

Wigginton doesn’t hit for Nix against the lefty in the eighth, then does hit against a righty in the ninth. The lefty Lerud and the switch-hitter Martinez were on the bench for the Phils and unused in the game.

The Phillies were down 9-5 when Utley singled off of Parnell to start the tenth. Parnell struck out Howard and Mayberry for the first two outs and got Pierre to ground to third to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-3 in the game and walked twice. He came into the game 5-for-his-last-10.

Frandsen was 0-for-4. He’s 3-for-his-last-14.

Utley 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run. First home run since August 10.

Howard 1-for-5 with a grand slam and three strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-12.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a walk. 7-for-his-last-17.

Brown 0-for-4 with some trouble in left. Pierre took over for him defensively in the top of the tenth inning. Let’s hope his knee is bothering him. A lot. He says that he does not feel bad at all.

Nix 1-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-his-last-11 with two walks.

Kratz 1-for-4 with two passed balls. Dropped the throw from Brown in the top of the first on a close play at the plate. 2-for-his-last-14 with two singles.

Hamels (14-6, 2.99) faces righty Matt Harvey (2-3, 2.75) tonight. Hamels has a 1.86 ERA with a 1.01 ratio in his five starts in August. The Phils will get their first look at the 23-year-old rookie Harvey. Harvey has made six starts on the season and only one of them has been bad — he allowed five runs in five innings against the Padres on August 5. He has a 1.74 ERA his other five starts with 38 strikeouts in 31 innings. Opponents are hitting just .186 against him for the year, but he’s walked 15 in 36 innings for the year.

Okay. John Mayberry and no walks against left-handed pitchers. Coming into last night’s game, Mayberry had 132 plate appearances against lefties in which he had walked zero times. Question of the day is when is the last time that a player for either league ended the season with 132 or more plate appearances against lefties in which they walked zero times (which, of course, Mayberry hasn’t done yet)? Answer for the day is that I hope you know, cause I don’t. Ivan Rodriguez came close in 2007, walking zero times in 126 plate appearances against lefties. In 1986, Angel Salazar walked zero times in 111. Rob Picciolo none in 115 in 1980. Good chance I missed someone, but my inefficient system of looking it up didn’t find anyone since 1980. Hopefully he’ll just get a walk against a lefty soon and we can all just forget about it.

Update: Hamels is ill, so Tyler Cloyd will start tonight. The righty Cloyd turned 25 in May and will be making his Major League debut. He was fantastic at Triple-A this year, throwing to a 2.35 ERA with a 1.01 ratio in 22 starts while allowing just 105 hits in 142 innings. Cloyd doesn’t throw real hard and doesn’t strike people out — he has 93 strikeouts in 142 innings at AAA this year.

He’s drawn light blue in the Start Log — hopefully a slightly different shade than Oswalt, Blanton, Freddy Garcia, Corey Lidle or Randy Wolf.

Please note that the Start Log helpfully points out the Phils merely need to play to a 1.030 winning percentage in their 33 remaining games to reach 95 wins for the season.

Update 2: This says Worley is out for the rest of the season.


Who are you and what have you done with our bullpen?

After dropping two straight one-run games to the Reds, the Phillies won one last night, plating a run in the bottom of the eleventh to win 4-3 and earn a split in the four-game set.

The game was expected to be a pitcher’s duel between Hamels and Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto. Both pitched okay on a soggy, rain-soaked night, but both saw their pitch count climb early and both were gone by the time the seventh inning rolled around. The Phillies did get outstanding pitching in the game, but it came from their bullpen. Hamels left after six and after he left, five Phillie relievers combined to throw five shutout innings without allowing a hit.

Three of the first four Cincinnati batters reached in the top of the first as the Reds jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. In the fifth, a ball hit hard to short went for a single as Martinez couldn’t handle it and Todd Frazier followed that with a two-run double that extended the Cincinnati lead to 3-0. The Phils got two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a pair of sac flies, then tied things up at 3-3 in the eighth when singles by Brown, Mayberry and Kratz loaded the bases for a sac fly by Rollins. Mayberry chopped a single into left with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eleventh.

The Phillies are 58-67 on the year after beating the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 in 11 innings last night. The teams split the four-game set. The Phillies have pulled ahead of the Mets and into third place in the NL East. They’re 19 1/2 games out of first in the division.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four.

The Phillies have won four games in a row that Hamels has started and scored 15 runs in those games (3.75 per game).

Zack Cozart and Drew Stubbs singled back-to-back to start the top of the first. It brought Jay Bruce to the plate and Hamels struck him out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Hamels walked Ryan Ludwick on four pitches, loading the bases for Todd Frazier. Frazier hit a ground ball to third, taken by a charging Frandsen. He might have had Cozart at the plate with a good throw, but went to first for the second out instead. Cozart scored and it was 1-0 with men on first and second for Miguel Cairo. Cairo lined a ball towards short. Martinez made a very nice play, diving to his left to field it and then throwing to first in time to get Cairo.

Hamels threw 34 pitches in the inning.

Hamels got Wilson Valdez, Ryan Hanigan and pitcher Johnny Cueto in order in the second.

He set them down in order again in the third. He was at just 53 pitches after needing just 19 to set down six in a row in innings two and three.

Cairo singled with two outs in the fourth. Hamels struck Valdez out swinging to leave him at first.

Hanigan walked to start the fourth. Cueto tried to bunt him to second, but popped it up to Kratz in foul territory for the first out. Cozart struck out and Stubbs flew to left to end the frame.

Bruce and Ludwick singled back-to-back to start the sixth, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Frazier was next and pounded a ball to center, over the head of Nix and off the base of the wall. Both runners scored, putting the Reds up 2-0. Nix didn’t handle the ball as it came off the wall for an error that allowed Frazier to move up to third with nobody out. Hamels got Cairo on a ball he handled himself for the first out. He struck Valdez out for the second before walking Hanigan intentionally to pitch to the pitcher. Cueto grounded to Hamels as well to leave Frazier at third.

Two misplays in the inning behind Hamels and Hamels does well to limit the damage to two runs after the Reds put a runner on third with nobody out.

Nix’s error allows Frazier to take third with nobody out. Ludwick’s ball was hit hard, but Martinez had a chance to make the play. He didn’t get in front of the ball, swiping at instead and deflecting it as it went passed. It would have been a good play to field the ball, but if he had it likely would have been a double-play that changed the inning.

Rosenberg threw a 1-2-3 seventh with the game tied at 2-2.

Great outing for Rosenberg, who was pitching on one day of rest but has thrown three of the last four days. He’s gone 1 2/3 scoreless innings over his last three outings after throwing to a 12.91 ERA over his first eight.

Phillippe Aumont made his debut in the eighth with the score still tied. Ludwick was the first hitter he faced and Aumont got ahead of him 0-2 on two straight swinging strikes before throwing three balls in a row. Ludwick grounded to short 3-2 on a diving play by Rollins for the first out. Frazier flew to center for the second before Cairo walked, but Aumont got Valdez on a ground ball Aumont handled himself to end the frame.

I would be absolutely thrilled if Aumont can help the Phillies. That said, I’m pretty worried about how likely that is. He’s had an enormous problem with walks in the minors, walking 4.99 batters per nine over his minor league career. At Triple-A this year he has walked 34 in 44 1/3 innings (6.9 per nine). There’s close to no chance he can be successful without cutting that number down enormously. One walk in one inning so far. He got a bunch of help from a very nice play by Rollins for the first out last night.

Papelbon started the ninth in a tie game. Coming into the game, opponents were hitting 406/472/719 against him for the year in tie games. He walked Hanigan to start the inning and pitcher Mike Leake ran for Hanigan at first. Lefty Xavier Paul hit for the pitcher Sam Demel and bunted Leake to second with the first out. Cozart flew to Mayberry for the second and Papelbon struck Stubbs out swinging 0-2 to leave Leake stranded.

Better results in a tie game for Papelbon. He’s allowed one runs in 12 1/3 innings over his last 12 appearances while striking out 14.

Horst struck out Bruce and Ludwick in a 1-2-3 tenth.

Back with the team after the birth of his son, Horst continues to give the Phillies fantastic work out of the bullpen, dropping his ERA to 1.00 after 18 innings. In his last four appearances he has struck out nine in six scoreless innings. Hasn’t allowed a home run this season. Has walked seven in 18 innings, which is too many.

Valdes set the Reds down in order in the eleventh. Righty Chris Heisey hit for Valdez and grounded to second for the second out.

Valdes was pitching for the second straight day. He has a 1.23 ERA in eight August appearances and an 0.77 ratio for the year.

Five scoreless innings for the pen in the game in which they allow two walks and no hits while striking out four. Everyone was really good, perhaps most interestingly Rosenberg throwing a 1-2-3 seventh and Aumont making his debut in a big spot in the eighth.

Valdes has thrown two straight days and threw eight pitches in the game. Aumont threw 18. Everyone else was under 15.

The Phillies lineup against righty Johnny Cueto went (1) Pierre (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Brown (6) Nix (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Rollins on the bench with Martinez at short. Pierre leads off. Mayberry on the bench with the lefty Nix starting in center for the third time this season. Kratz catches with the lefty Schneider on the bench. Four lefties in a row for the Phils three through six in the order.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they went in order in the bottom of the first.

Nix and Kratz singled back-to-back with two outs in the second. Martinez had a good at-bat, but popped up to first to leave them both stranded in the ninth pitch of his at-bat.

Cueto had thrown 42 pitches through two innings. He had the option of pitching around Martinez to face Hamels, raising an interesting question about which of them is the better hitter. Hamels 168/196/202 in 490 plate appearances. Martinez 187/247/276 in 298. So Martinez takes it and it isn’t real close. Hamels was out-OPSing Martinez coming into the game for 2012 — .559 to .461.

Pierre walked with one out in the third and Frandsen was hit by a pitch behind him. Utley followed with a single to center. Pierre tried to score and was thrown out at the plate. Howard walked to load the bases for Brown, but Cueto struck Brown out swinging 2-2 to leave them loaded.

Would have been better not to get thrown out at the plate, but the Reds got a great throw from Stubbs and a nice block of the plate from Hanigan to get the out. Pierre was also likely slowed a little by the very wet base paths. Even given that out Cueto was at 68 pitches after three innings. Would have been nice to make him throw some more.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Hamels singled to right to start the fifth and Pierre bunted him to second with the first out. Hamels took third on a balk before Cueto struck Frandsen out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Utley lined to right to leave Hamels at third.

No run for the Phils after putting Hamels on third with one out. Frandsen can’t put the ball in play, striking out for the second out.

The Phillies were down 3-0 when Howard started the bottom of the sixth with a walk. Brown was next and doubled to left, moving Howard up to third. Righty Jose Arredondo came in to face Nix and Nix flew to right, deep enough for both runners to move up. Howard scored to make it 3-1 with one out and Brown on third. Kratz was next and flew to left. Brown tagged and scored. 3-2. Rollins hit for Martinez, who had failed to handle the hard ground ball by Ludwick in the two-run top of the inning, and went down on a ground ball handled by the catcher Hanigan.

Another extra-base hit for Brown, his third in two games. Howard is really slow, but did a nice job to tag and score on Nix’s ball to right. Likewise, if Brown doesn’t take third on Nix’s ball he can’t score on Kratz’s.

Polanco hit for Rosenberg and grounded to third for the first out in the seventh. Pierre grounded to second before Frandsen drew a walk. Lefty Sean Marshall came in to pitch to Utley and struck him out to leave Frandsen at first.

Brown singled to center off of Marshall with one out in the eighth. Mayberry hit for Nix. Righty Sam LeCure came in to pitch to Mayberry and Mayberry moved Brown up to second with a single into center. Kratz followed that with a single to left that loaded the bases for Rollins. Rollins his a fly ball to left. Brown tagged from third and slid in just safe ahead of the throw from Ludwick, tying the game at 3-3. Wigginton hit for Aumont and struck out swinging to leave the runners at first and second.

Mayberry would win the game with a single in the bottom of the eleventh, but also had a big hit in the eighth-inning rally that tied the game.

Righty JJ Hoover started the ninth for the Reds. Pierre led off with a walk. Frandsen followed with a bunt. Cairo fielded and Frandsen stopped in the middle of the base path on the way to first. Cairo swiped at him while taking a look at Pierre, but Frandsen dodged the tag and was safe at first, putting men on first and second for Utley with nobody out. Utley flew to center for the first out. Howard hit a ball in-between first and second that a diving Cairo gloved, but dropped trying to transfer to his glove. Howard had a single and the bases were loaded for Brown with one out. Brown grounded into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.

Ew. Utley can’t move the runners up and Brown hits into a huge double-play when the Phillies could have won the game with a different kind of out.

The Phillies left another army on the bases in the tenth. Kratz singled off of Hoover with one out and moved to third when Rollins followed with a double. Schneider hit for Horst and grounded to third for the second out with the runners holding. Pierre popped to third to end the inning.

Nothing for the Phils after putting runners on second and third with one out. Schneider grounds to third for the first out with Kratz holding third.

Frandsen singled to center off of righty Alfredo Simon to start the eleventh. Frandsen moved to third on a double by Utley and Howard was walked intentionally, again loading the bases for Brown. Brown grounded to first with Cairo fielding and throwing home for the force out Frandsen. Mayberry was next with the bases still loaded and he chopped a ball through the left side of the infield and into left, scoring Utley to give the Phils a 4-3 win.

Second big hit of the game for Mayberry in three at-bats.

Brown had three at-bats in the game with the bases loaded. None of them went well. He struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the third. With a chance to win the game in the ninth with one out and the bases loaded, he grounded into a double-play. With one out in the eleventh and the bases loaded again he grounded to first.

Pierre was 0-for-3 and walked twice. He was 0-for-11 with two walks in the series. 256/302/314 over his last 136 plate appearances. 301/343/366 for the year.

Frandsen 1-for-3 with a walk. Struck out with a runner on third for the second out in the fifth. 5-for-8 in the series with a walk and a triple. 357/400/440 on the year in 91 plate appearances.

Utley 2-for-6 with a double. 5-for-18 with two doubles in the series. 250/354/464 for the year.

Howard 1-for-3 with three walks and struck out twice. 4-for-14 with a home run and five walks in the series. 250/335/464 on the year. 322/394/593 over his last 66 plate appearances.

Brown was 2-for-6 with a double and left nine men on base. Had some trouble in his at-bats (three of ‘em) with the bases loaded. 6-for-17 in the series with a walk, three doubles and a home run. 286/362/405 for the year.

Nix 1-for-2 with an RBI and an error in center that required an impressive effort from Hamels not to cost the Phils a run. 1-for-5 in the series. 253/323/410 for the year. 178/240/200 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Kratz was 3-for-4 to raise his average to .319. He started three of the four games in the series and went 6-for-10 with a walk, a double and a home run. 319/383/725 on the year in 81 plate appearances. Across both leagues there are 445 players with at least 75 plate appearances for the year. His .725 slugging percentage is best among those players by a whole lot. Justin Ruggiano is second at .615.

Martinez 0-for-2 with a big no-play on the Ludwick single that helped the Reds score two runs in the sixth. 0-for-2 in the series. 148/200/246 in 66 plate appearances for the year. Rollins was 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI in the game. 4-for-16 with three doubles in the series.

Mayberry was 2-for-3 with a game-winning single. 5-for-15 with a home run in the series and 238/279/399 for the year.

Kendrick (6-9, 4.20) faces righty Edwin Jackson (7-8, 3.69) tonight as the Phils faced the Nats. Kendrick has thrown 15 scoreless innings over his last starts, allowing eight hits and one walk while striking out 13. He has a 1.93 ERA over his 12 appearances since the end of June, five of which have been starts. Jackson’s hit rate is the best of his career — he has allowed just 124 in 144 innings and opponents are hitting just .232 against him (righties .218 and lefties .245). He’s coming off one of his best starts of the year, having allowed two runs on two hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out 11 Mets his last time out.


Phils leave fewer than one might hope willing to question their fake toughness after loss to the Twins

Lots of fans hoping the Phils snap out of it these days, but it didn’t happen last night in Minnesota as the weak-hitting Twins hammered away at Phillie pitching for an 11-7 win.

The starting pitching continued to struggle for the Phils. Kyle Kendrick allowed home runs in each of the first two innings on his way to allowing six runs over four frames in the game.

Over the last 23 games, the Phillies have made eight quality starts. In those games the rotation has thrown to a 5.62 ERA with a 1.45 ratio and the Phils are 8-15.

The bullpen was almost as bad as Kendrick last night, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks over four innings as Savery and Rosenberg were both hit hard.

The Twins had 17 hits in eight innings in the game. The Phillies used five pitchers in the game and the first four of them all allowed two or more hits per inning in their outing.

The loss drops the Phils to five games under .500 for the year. On May 8, 2007, the Phillies lost to Arizona 3-2 to fall to 14-19 on the year. That’s the last time they were five games under .500.

All in all, the Phils picked a queer time to unveil their equally odd “Fake Tough” t-shirts before the game, a reference to Nationals GM Mike Rizzo’s comments after Hamels drilled Bryce Harper on May 6. The Phillies have gone 15-19 since that game while the first place Nats are 19-13.

The Phillies are 29-34 on the year after losing 11-7 to the Minnesota Twins last night. They have lost three in a row and nine of their last ten. They are in last place in the NL East, 9 1/2 games behind Washington.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out two. Over his last two starts he has allowed 11 runs in 9 2/3 innings.

Denard Span led off the bottom of the first and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right, putting the Twins up 1-0. Kendrick got the next three.

Ryan Doumit singled with one out in the second. Trevor Plouffe was next and hit a ball way out to left. 3-0. Kendrick got Brian Dozier on a fly ball to left before Jamey Carroll singled to right. Span walked behind Carroll, putting runners on first and second for Ben Revere. Revere singled to right, scoring Carroll (4-0) and moving Span to third. Joe Mauer followed that with a single and everyone moved up another base. Span scored and it was 5-0. Josh Willingham popped to second to finally end the inning.

Justin Morneau doubled to left to start the third, but Kendrick got the next three hitters to leave him stranded.

The lead was cut to 5-4 when Kendrick started the fourth. He walked Span with one out, but struck Revere out looking behind him for the second. Mauer was next, though, and he doubled off the wall in center, scoring Span to make it 6-4. Willingham grounded to third for the third out.

Savery started the fifth. Ryan Doumit singled to right with one out and moved up to third when the ball was misplayed by Pence. Plouffe followed with a single into center on a ball deflected by a diving Rollins. Doumit scored to make it 7-4. Savery got Dozier swinging for the second out before Carroll doubled into the left field corner, scoring Plouffe to extend the lead to 8-4. Span fouled out to Ruiz for the third out.

The lead had been cut to 8-7 when Savery started the sixth. Revere led off with a single, but was picked off of first with Wigginton throwing to Rollins to record the out. Savery struck Mauer out swinging for the second out before Willingham blasted a 3-2 pitch out to left center, making it 9-7. Morneau grounded to short for the third out.

Savery goes two innings in the game, allowing three runs on five hits and no walks to raise his ERA to 4.12. He has been charged with four runs in 2 1/3 innings over his last two appearances. Five is the most hits he has ever allowed in an appearance. Six of the last 13 batters he has faced have gotten hits (.462).

BJ Rosenberg started the seventh and got Doumit swinging for the first out before Plouffe doubled to center. Dozier struck out looking for the second out before Carroll singled into center, scoring Plouffe to make it 10-7. Diekman came in to pitch to Span and walked him, putting runners on first and second. Revere singled into right, scoring Carroll (11-7) and moving Span up to third. Mauer walked to load the bases, but Diekman got Willingham looking 0-2 to leave them loaded.

During Revere’s at-bat, Revere popped a foul near the stands. Fontenot was about to make the catch that would have ended the inning, but a young fan in Phillies gear reached out and caught the ball, taking the out that would have ended the inning away from the Phillies.

Rosenberg has now made two appearances with the Phils and both of them have been bad. He has allowed four runs over 1 2/3 innings.

Qualls pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out double to Doumit. Plouffe grounded out behind Doumit for the second out and Darin Mastroianni ran for Doumit at second. Dozier flew to center to end the inning.

Qualls has thrown three scoreless innings over two appearances since allowing four runs in a third of an inning against the Dodgers on June 7.

Overall the pen went four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks. Savery threw 37 pitches, Diekman 20 and Qualls 18.

The Phillies lineup against righty Nick Blackburn, who came into the start with a 7.75 ERA through eight outings on the year, went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Thome (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Ruiz (8) Fontenot (9) Martinez. Pierre in left against the righty. Thome at DH. Wigginton at first and Fontenot at third. Martinez plays second. Mayberry on the bench against a righty, which is something.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and singled to right. Pierre walked behind him, but Pence was next and grounded into a double-play. Thome grounded to short to leave Rollins at third.

Ruiz doubled to center with two outs in the top of the second and the Phils down 1-0. Fontenot grounded to second to leave him stranded.

The Phillies were down 5-0 when they hit in the third. Rollins doubled with one out and moved to third on a ground out by Pierre. Pence grounded to short to leave him at third.

Thome led off the fourth with a walk and took second on a wild pitch before moving to third on a ground out by Victorino. Wigginton was next and grounded to third for the second out. Thome came home to score to cut the lead to 5-1. Ruiz and Fontenot singled back-to-back, putting runners on first and second for Martinez. Martinez singled to right, scoring Ruiz (5-2) and moving Fontenot up to third for Rollins. Rollins cleared the bases with a bloop double just foul down the left field line. 5-4. Pierre grounded to second to leave Rollins stranded.

Victorino singled with two outs in the fifth and the Phils down 6-4. Wigginton grounded to short for the third out.

Lefty Brian Duensing walked Victorino to start the sixth with the Phillies down 8-4. Fontenot struck out before Martinez moved Victorino up to second with a single. Rollins followed with a single to left that loaded the bases for Pierre. Mayberry hit for Pierre and righty Alex Burnett came in to pitch to him. Mayberry got behind in the count, but grounded to third on a 1-2 pitch. Everyone moved up a base and Rollins scored to cut the lead to 8-5 with two outs and men on second and third. Pence walked to load the bases again, this time for Thome. Thome lined a single to left, scoring Martinez and Rollins and moving Pence to third with the score 8-7. Victorino flew to left to leave the runners on the corners.

Good no-strikeout by Mayberry after he gets behind in the count against the righty. Big hit for Thome.

The Phillies trailed 9-7 when they hit in the seventh with righty Jared Burton was on the mound for the Twins. Fontenot and Martinez singled back-to-back with two outs, putting runners on the corners for Rollins. Rollins popped to short for the third out.

They were down 11-7 when lefty Glen Perkins struck out Mayberry and Pence to start the eighth. Thome singled to left with two outs, but Victorino fouled out to the catcher to end the frame.

Righty Matt Capps set Wigginton, Ruiz and Fontenot down in order in the ninth.

Rollins was 4-for-5 in the game with two doubles and two RBI. That’s his first four-hit game of the year and first since September 17, 2011 against the Cardinals. He’s hitting 339/361/627 over his last 61 plate appearances.

Pierre was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 6-for-his-last-29 (.207).

Pence was 0-for-4 with a walk and an error. He came into the game 6-for-his-last-9. He’s hitting .289 over his last 38 at-bats, but without an extra-base hit.

Thome was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. In the first four games of his nine-game stint as a DH he has gone 8-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run.

Victorino was 1-for-5 and left four men on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-13. 234/308/406 over his last 215 plate appearances. 236/309/338 against right-handed pitching for the year.

Wigginton was 0-for-5 with an RBI. Clever defensive positioning by the Phils helps keep him off the error board. He’s 3-for-his-last-22.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-30.

Fontenot was 2-for-5 with no errors at third. 261/320/391 over his last 25 plate appearances.

Martinez was 3-for-4 with three singles. He’s 4-for-9 with the Phillies so far this year.

Hamels (8-3, 2.93) faces righty PJ Walters (2-1, 4.42) tonight. Hamels threw to a 2.17 ERA through his first nine starts on the year. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last three, throwing to a 5.23 ERA in those outings overall. In each of his last two starts the Phillies lost the game after taking a three-run lead early in the game. Walters has made six starts on the year. He had a 2.96 ERA for the year after the first four but has allowed nine runs in 9 1/3 innings over his last two times out. He has walked way too many lefties this season, about 14.1% of the left-handed batters he has faced. Lefties are hitting .282 against him and on-basing .381.


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