Tag: Brad Lidge

Phils give Papelbon another chance to get some people out in the ninth, but apparently he didn’t come here for that, either

The Phillies lost for the tenth time in 11 games last night, falling 2-1 to the Giants. Hamels threw eight shutout innings and Papelbon started the ninth with a 1-0 lead, but allowed a pair of runs on four hits and a walk. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies loaded the bases with nobody out and failed to score.

It was Papelbon’s sixth blown save in his last 17 appearances, but the first that came on a night that Brad Lidge, perfect in save chances in 2008 when the Phils won the World Series, was remembered and threw out the first pitch. It was ironic. Like rain on your wedding day or 10,000 spoons when all you need is someone to get out Brooks Kieschnick’s nephew.

The Phillies are 50-58 on the year after losing 2-1 to the San Francisco Giants last night. The Giants take the series two games to one. The Phillies are 1-10 since going a game above .500 with a 13-8 win over the Mets on July 19.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

Hamels has allowed more than two runs in a start in just one of his six outings since the beginning of July. He’s allowed two runs in 15 innings over his last two starts (1.20 ERA and a 1.13 ratio). The Phillies have lost both of his last two starts 2-1. Over his last eight starts he’s allowed three home runs in 55 innings. He allowed 12 home runs in 94 innings over his first 15 outings.

Marco Scutaro singled to left with one out in the top of the first. Hamels got Pablo Sandoval to fly to right for the second out before Buster Posey singled to right, putting runners on the corners with two down. Hunter Pence popped to Utley to leave them stranded.

He set the Giants down in order in the second and again in the third.

Posey doubled to left with one out in the fourth. Pence was next and reached on an infield single, putting men on the corners with one down for Brett Pill. Hamels struck Pill out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Pence stole second before Jeff Francoeur grounded to Utley to leave the runners stranded.

Hamels gets a huge second out, striking the righty Pill out with men on the corners.

He walked Andres Torres with two outs in the fifth, but got Scutaro on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

The Phils led 1-0 when he started the sixth. Sandoval led off with a single to left, but Pence grounded into a double-play behind him. Pence was next and doubled to left, but Hamels struck Pill out again to leave Pence at second.

Second time in three innings that Hamels strikes Pill out in a big spot.

Joaquin Arias singled to center with one out in the seventh. The pitcher Matt Cain bunted him to second with the second out. Torres flew to center to leave Arias stranded.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 1-0 lead. Pence led off and reached on an infield single to short. Pill was next and lined a single to right. First and third with nobody out for Francoeur. Lefty Roger Kieschnick hit for the righty Francoeur and singled past a diving Young at first and into right. First and third with nobody out and the game tied at 1-1. Arias singled to left. First and second, nobody out with the Giants up 2-1. Lefty Gregor Blanco hit for the pitcher Cain and bunted. Ruiz fielded and threw to third to force Kieschnick for the first out. Lefty Brandon Belt hit for the switch-hitter Torres and walked, loading the bases for Scutaro. Scutaro grounded to third with Asche throwing home to force Arias for the second out. Sandoval grounded to short to leave them loaded.

Papelbon faces eight hitters in the inning, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. Pence reaches on an infield single to start the inning. Young looked like he had a chance to field Kieschnick’s ball at first.

Papelbon has a 4.09 ERA and a 1.41 ratio over 22 innings in his last 22 appearances. Two of the 12 runs he has allowed have been unearned.

The Phillie lineup against righty Matt Cain went (1) Rollins (2) Michael Young (3) Utley (4) Ruf (5) Asche (6) Mayberry (7) Nix (8) Ruiz. Nix in right against the righty with Delmon Young on the bench. Asche starts at third for the second straight day with Michael Young at first. Asche hits fifth for the Phils despite entering the game without a hit for his career.

Michael Young struck out as the Phils went in order in the first.

Ruf and Asche both struck out as they went in order in the second.

Hamels struck out as they went in order in the third.

Utley lined a single to center with two outs in the fourth. Ruf went down on a popup the first baseman Pill handled in foul territory to end the inning.

Nix and Ruiz singled back-to-back with two outs in the fifth, putting runners on first and second for Hamels. Hamels blooped a ball the opposite way down the left field line for a single. Nix scored (1-0) and Ruiz went to third. With Rollins at the plate, Hamels was caught off of first and eventually tagged out to end the frame.

Rollins struck out as the Phillies went in order in the sixth.

Ruf walked to start the seventh and Martinez ran for him at first. Asche flew to center for the first out before Martinez stole second. Mayberry was next and singled to left. Martinez tried to score from second, but Francoeur made a nice throw to the plate and Martinez was tagged out for the second out. Mayberry took second on the throw. Nix was walked intentionally to put men on first and second for Ruiz, but Ruiz grounded to first to end the inning.

Francoeur made a really good throw to get Martinez.

Rollins tripled to right with one out in the eighth. Michael Young was next and hit a ground ball to short. Arias fielded and threw home in plenty of time to get Rollins, who didn’t slide. Utley lined to Scutaro for the third out.

Rollins was out by a lot trying to score from third on Young’s grounder with Arias in at short.

The Phils trailed 2-1 when they faced righty Sergio Romo in the ninth. Delmon Young hit for Martinez and reached on a fielding error by Arias at third. McDonald ran for Young at first. Asche was next and bunted, badly, back to the mound. Romo picked the ball up, looked at second, turned to throw to first and slipped. Runners were safe at first and second with nobody out. Mayberry was next and squared to bunt, but was hit by the pitch. Bases loaded with nobody out for Nix. Nix flew to shallow right 1-2 with the runners holding. Ruiz was next and flew to shallow left with the runners holding. Kratz hit for Papelbon and grounded to third to end the game.

No run for the Phils after loading the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth down a run. Nix and Ruiz both get chances with less than two outs to tie the game up, but can’t get their fly balls deep enough to give McDonald a chance to score from third.

I’m rooting for Cody Asche as much as anyone and he’s had kind of a rough start at the plate, but to call his miserable bunt back to the mound a hit is ridiculous.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a triple in the game. 3-for-12 with a walk and a triple in the three-game set. 256/316/354 on the season. On-basing .307 in 217 plate appearances hitting #1 in the order.

Michael Young 0-for-4 in the game. 4-for-12 with a walk and a home run in the series. 279/343/408 for the season. 256/318/399 over his last 283 plate appearances.

Ruf 0-for-2 with a walk. 1-for-8 with two walks in the series and was twice hit by a pitch. 10-for-his-last-46 (.217), but with a .345 on-base percentage thanks to six walks and three HBP in those 55 PA.

Asche was 1-for-4 in the game with a non-hit on his ninth-inning bunt. 1-for-9 with a single in the series and on the year. Made a throwing error in game two of the set.

Mayberry 1-for-3 and would have had an RBI except for the great throw by Francoeur. 3-for-10 with a walk and a double in the series. 257/314/430 on the year. One of nine Phillies with at least 125 plate appearances on the year and an on-base percentage lower than .320.

Nix 1-for-3 with a walk, which was intentional. Couldn’t bring McDonald home from third in the ninth with nobody out and the bases loaded. 1-for-4 with walk in the series. 183/231/262 for the year. Two walks in his last 80 plate appearances, one of which is intentional.

Ruiz 1-for-4 in the game and left five men on base. Couldn’t bring McDonald home from third with one out in the ninth and the bases loaded. 2-for-11 with a hit by pitch and a home run in the series. 248/297/292 for the year with five extra-base hits in 177 plate appearances. 212/248/237 against righties and 349/420/442 against lefties for the season.

Ethan Martin (NR) is expected to debut tonight against righty Kris Medlen (7-10, 3.74) and the Braves. Martin has walked 67 in 115 2/3 innings this year at Triple-A while throwing to a 4.12 ERA in 21 starts. He has struck out 107. Medlen has walked 57 in 265 1/3 innings in the majors over the last three years. He had a 2.96 ERA for the year after 15 starts, but has thrown to a 5.88 ERA over his last six times out. Opponents have hit .343 against him in those appearances. The Phils hit him hard in his last start against them, which came on July 7.

PS: Site is in and out a lot today due to networking issues at the hosting company.

The company he kinda keeps

Point for today is that John Mayberry has hit home runs at a high rate with the Phils over the past two years.

Between 2010 and 2011, John Mayberry got 309 plate appearances with the Phillies in which hit to a 276/343/527 line with 27 walks, 77 hits and 17 home runs. In those plate appearances, he walked in 8.74% of his plate appearances, got a hit of any kind in 24.92% and homered in 5.5%.

Looking back at 2011, there were 355 players who got at least 200 plate appearances across both leagues. Of those, how many did at least as well in each of those three categories (ie, walked 8.74% of pa or better, got a hit in 24.92% or better and homered in 5.5% or better)? The answer is three.

Player BB% H% HR%
Matt Kemp 10.74 28.30 5.66
Albert Pujols 9.37 26.57 5.68
Mike Napoli 13.43 27.31 6.94

And how about among the 346 players that got 200 plate appearances in 2010? Four.

Player BB% H% HR%
Albert Pujols 14.71 26.14 6.00
Miguel Cabrera 13.73 27.78 5.86
Joey Votto 14.04 27.31 5.71
Paul Konerko 11.41 27.10 6.18

So it’s a rather exclusive group of offensive players. What makes it so hard to get into? The home runs.

For each of the two seasons, here’s the percentage of players with at least 200 plate appearances that got walks, hits and home runs at the same rates Mayberry has with the Phils over the last two years as a percentage of plate appearances:

2010 2011
% of 200 PA players who walked in 8.74% or more of PA 46.5 39.4
 . . . got hits in 24.92% or more of PA 27.7 30.1
. . . hit home runs in 5.5% or more of PA 3.5 3.9

Nearly half of the players with 200 plate appearances in 2010 walked enough to make the list. Between a quarter and a third in both 2010 and 2011 got enough hits. But less than 4% in each season hit home runs at the rate Mayberry did in 2010 and 2011 combined.

Notably, Mayberry himself doesn’t make the cut in either of the two years, only in the two years combined. In 2010 he only got 13 plate appearances. In 2011, he got enough plate appearances, enough walks and enough hits, but homered in about 5.1% of his plate appearances (15 homers in 296 plate appearances).

In 2011, there were 14 players who got at least 200 plate appearances and hit home runs in 5.5% or more of their plate appearances. Kemp, Pujols and Napoli had all three of the hits, walks and homers. Nelson Cruz, Chris Heisey and Brent Lillibridge had the home runs but not the walks or hits. Adrian Beltre had the home runs and the hits but not the walks. Seven players, Prince Fielder, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Jose Bautista, Mark Reynolds, Mike Stanton and Andruw Jones, had the homers and the walks but not the hits.

In 2010, four players had all three: Pujols, Cabrera, Votto and Konerko. There were eight players with the homers but not each of the other two categories. Stanton and Edwin Encarnacion missed on both walks and hits. Josh Hamilton got the hits but not the walks. And five players, Bautista, Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Jim Thome and Andruw Jones, got the homers and the walks but not enough hits.

Jose Contreras threw a bullpen session yesterday, did “fine” and “threw very, very well.” The same article says that Chad Qualls has arrived in camp and that Justin De Fratus, who has had some recent tightness in his right elbow, started to long toss.

Brad Lidge sounds less than thrilled with what happened between him and the Phillies in the off-season in this piece.

Gary Sheffield worked with Domonic Brown on Brown’s hitting over the winter.

Shane Victorino, who will be a free agent after the season, says he loves Philadelphia and there have been no discussions about a new contract with the Phils yet.

Catch! Rising Star

Point for today is that Domonic Brown has been an atrocious defensive outfielder over the past two seasons. In 2010 his UZR/150 was -37.9 and in ’11 it was -26.0. How bad is that? In 2011 there were 62 NL players who played at least 450 innings as an outfielder — Brown’s -26.0 was the worst mark of those 62. In 2010 he only played he only played 112 defensive innings, but his UZR/150 of -37.9 was 185th-best of the 192 players across both leagues who played at least 100 innings in the outfield.

FanGraphs has UZR data starting in 2002. Among Phillie outfielders who played at least 100 innings in each of the last ten seasons, here’s who posted the best and worst UZR/150 and the number of innings they played that year:

Year Best UZR/150 Innings Worst UZR/150 Innings
2011 Mayberry 9.4 474 1/3 Brown -26.0 451
2010 Victorino 2.8 1265 1/3 Brown -37.9 112
2009 Francisco 12.6 181 1/3 Mayberry -22.6 127
2008 Werth 28.5 966 Burrell -12.3 1198 1/3
2007 Werth 30.5 575 2/3 Burrell -29.6 1028 1/3
2006 C Roberson 24.6 103 2/3 Abreu -16.9 848
2005 J Michaels 32.8 635 1/3 E Chavez -8.9 185
2004 R Ledee 51.1 175 1/3 M Byrd -18.4 753 1/3
2003 J Michaels 25.4 179 2/3 R Ledee -19.0 491
2002 D Glanville 8.7 891 1/3 R Ledee -21.5 371 2/3

And you thought you might go your whole day without thinking about Chris Roberson or Ricky Ledee even once, didn’t you?

In 2007, Pat Burrell put up an UZR/150 of -29.6 while stumbling about in left field for the Phils. That’s the only outfielder for the team, though, that played 100 innings in the outfield in a season over the past ten years and posted a mark worse than the -26.0 that Brown put up over 451 innings in 2011. No outfielder on the team over the past ten seasons has played at least 100 innings for the Phils with an UZR/150 worse than his -37.9 in 2010.

Over the last ten years combined, the Phillies have 15 players who played at least 500 innings in the outfield. Of those, Brown’s combined UZR/150 of -27.8 is fifteenth. By a lot. Ricky Ledee has the second-worst mark at -8.8.

Notably, Burrell, the poster boy for awful defensive outfielders in recent Phillie history, has an UZR/150 of -8.0 over 8,140 innings as an outfielder with the Phils since the start of 2002, considerably better than Brown, but also better than Ibanez (-8.6) or Ledee (-8.8) and the same as Francisco (-8.0). Unlike Brown, whose defensive numbers early in his career have been hideous, Burrell’s defensive numbers weren’t awful early in his career but got bad when he got older. From 2002 to 2004, his age 25, 26 and 27 seasons, Burrell played 3,629 2/3 innings in the outfield for the Phils with an UZR/150 of -0.1.

Ibanez, while we’re on the subject, also had a terrible UZR/150 of -21.8 while playing left field for the Phillies in 2011 (topped in defensive feebleness on the list above only by Brown (twice), Burrell in 2007 and Mayberry in 2009, although Mayberry did a whole lot less damage being terrible in 127 innings in 2009 than Ibanez did in 1,196 2/3 in 2011).

Since the start of 2002, there are 242 NL players that have played at least 500 innings in the outfield. Brown’s combined UZR/150 of -27.8 tops only one of them (Lucas Duda of the Mets).

The Phils traded Wilson Valdez to the Reds for 26-year-old left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst. In the linked article, Amaro mentions Michael Martinez and Freddy Galvis as players who give the Phils utility depth, but also suggests that Galvis will start the year at Triple-A. Valdez should be pretty replaceable, but trying to replace him with Michael Martinez sure seems like a move that would make the Phillies worse. The article also mentions Pete Orr, Kevin Frandsen and Hector Luna as options.

The Valdez era ends with Valdez having hit 254/300/351 in 663 plate appearances with the Phils in 2010 and 2011 combined. Valdez got at least 300 plate appearances with the teams in each of those years. Prior to coming to the Phillies, he had never gotten 150 plate appearances in a season.

On October 6, 2010, Valdez started at third for the Phils in game one of the NLDS against the the Reds, which was somehow overshadowed by Halladay throwing a no-hitter. On October 23 of the same year, he was the pinch-runner at second for Polanco when Brian Wilson struck Howard out looking to end game six of the NLCS with the Giants having topped the Phillies 3-2 to take the series.

Three Phillie pitchers made MLB.com’s list of the top 100 pitching prospects. Righty Trevor May was 54th, lefty Jesse Biddle 78th and righty Brody Colvin 80th.

I think this says that Larry Bowa will be shocked if the Phillies don’t go to the World Series. Hoping for the best, but I will not be shocked if the Phils don’t go to the World Series.

This suggests that Brad Lidge and the Nats have agreed to a deal.

Phils not much for fan appreciation night, but definitely appreciating the math skills of whoever it is that says they’ve clinched

Hope those folks have a computer or double-checked their work or something.

The Phillies are 98-58 on the year after losing 6-1 to the Washington Nationals last night. The Nats sweep the four-game series. The Phillies have lost six in a row for the first time this season.

Oswalt pitched into the eighth inning in the game and was better than his line. In 7 2/3 innings he was charged with six runs on seven hits and two walks. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a three-run homer in the eighth. He struck out four.

Better than his line last night or not, Oswalt has thrown to a 4.65 ERA over his last six starts while opponents have hit .287 against him.

He allowed a pair of runs in the third as the Nats jumped out to an early lead. With two outs and a man on third, Ian Desmond popped a ball up that fell in right field between Utley and Bowker for an RBI-double. Roger Bernadina followed that with a single into right that scored Desmond and put Washington up 2-0.

Oswalt kept Washington off the board after that until the eighth, starting that frame with Washington still holding on to a 2-0 lead. Desmond singled with two outs in the eighth and came in to score when Bernadina followed with a double. 3-0. Oswalt walked the next batter, Ryan Zimmerman, before Michael Morse hit a ball out to center for a three-run homer that put the Nats up 6-0.

The three-run homer by Morse turned Oswalt’s line around and was the big swing of the game. Oswalt hasn’t really had a problem with home runs this year — his issues are more around giving up too many hits. For the season he has now allowed 150 hits in 133 innings, which is about 10.2 hits per nine innings. Opponents have hit .286 against him. Over his career he’s allowed 8.7 hits per nine and opponents have hit .254 against him. Righties are hitting .293 against him and have hit .247 against him for his career. His batting average for balls in play for the year is .326, which is the highest mark for any pitcher on the team who has faced at least 175 batters. .292 for the team for the year.

The Phils had just four hits in the game, two of which came in the bottom of the ninth when they scored their lone run. Mayberry doubled with two outs and came in to score when Ruiz followed with a single to right.

Joe Savery threw a 1-2-3 ninth in his second career appearance.

Lidge got the final out of the eighth, striking out Laynce Nix after Morse’s homer chased Oswalt from the game. He dropped his ERA on the year to 1.10 with the one-out appearance. In 16 1/3 innings he has struck out 21. He hasn’t been charged with a run in 8 1/3 innings over his last 11 appearances. He hasn’t walked anybody in 2 1/3 inning over his last four outings — he hasn’t pitched much this year, but walks have been the problem when he has. He’s walked 12 in 16 1/3 innings for the year.

The offense continues to struggle. Rollins, Victorino and Utley combined to go 0-for-10 in the game. They were 0-for-36 in the series.

Rollins 0-for-13 with a walk in the series. 2-for-his-last-21. 224/307/333 over his last 176 plate appearances.

Victorino 0-for-15 with a walk in the series. 159/246/283 over his last 127 plate appearances.

Utley 0-for-8 in the series. 217/290/319 over his last 183 plate appearances.

Polanco didn’t play yesterday, but was 2-for-8 in the series.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 yesterday and 3-for-12 with a home run in the four-game set.

Ruiz had three of the four hits for the Phils in yesterday’s game, going 3-for-4. 3-for-7 in the series.

Mayberry had the other hit, a ninth-inning double. 1-for-2 in the game. 6-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series.

Francisco went 0-for-2 in the game but was 5-for-14 in the series with five singles.

Hamels (14-9, 2.80) faces righty RA Dickey (8-13, 3.35) tonight.

Doc apparently a specialist in whatever the opposite of back pain is

Front pain? Back painlessness?

Roy Halladay finally got a chance to start last night, making his first appearance for the Phils since August 21. It went well. Halladay threw seven shutout innings and hit a three-run double of his own as the Phils won 9-0.

Howard homered twice for the Phillies in the game. Ibanez returned to the lineup and went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer. Pence added a home run of his own and is slugging .550 in 115 plate appearances with the Phils.

In the first two games of the set, the starting pitchers for the Phils have combined to allow a run on four hits and two walks over 13 innings while striking out 16.

The Phillies are 85-46 on the year after beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-0 last night. Thirty-nine games above .500 ties their best mark for the year. I believe that the last time the Phils were 40 games above .500 was October 2, 1977 (the last day of the 1977 season). The Phillies are in first place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a double, a single and two walks over seven shutout innings. He struck out nine.

Brandon Phillips singled to right to start the bottom of the first. Halladay got Edgar Renteria on a fly ball to center for the first out before walking Joey Votto on five pitches. It put men on first and second for Jay Bruce and Halladay struck him out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Miguel Cairo grounded back to the mound to leave both runners stranded.

Halladay struck out Fred Lewis and Ryan Hanigan in a 1-2-3 second after getting Drew Stubbs to fly to center for the first out.

He struck pitcher Bronson Arroyo out looking to start the third. Phillips and Renteria both grounded out behind Arroyo.

Halladay had a 2-0 lead when he threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He set the Reds down in order again in the fifth.

Up 6-0, he got Alonso and Phillips on ground balls before striking Renteria out looking in the sixth.

He started the seventh with an 8-0 lead. Votto led off and doubled to right. Bruce was next and Halladay hit him with a 1-2 pitch, putting men on first and second. Cairo struck out swinging before Stubbs walked on a 3-2 pitch that sure looked like a strike to me to load the bases. Righty Todd Frazier hit for the pitcher Logan Ondrusek and Halladay struck him out looking for the second out. Hanigan grounded to third to leave the bases loaded.

Lidge started the eighth and walked Alonso on a 3-2 pitch. Phillips grounded to short with Alonso forced at second for the first out. Renteria lined to Wilson at short for the second, but Votto followed that with a single to right that moved Phillips to third. Lidge struck Bruce out swinging 2-2 to leave runners at the corners.

Again with the walks for Lidge. He has now walked nine in ten innings for the Phils this year.

Schwimer started the ninth with a 9-0 lead. Dave Sappelt led off with a single to left. Righty Paul Janish hit for the pitcher Sam LeCure. Schwimer got Janish on a fly ball to right for the first out. Sappelt took second without a throw before Frazier struck out swinging. Hanigan flew to left to end the game with Sappelt on second.

Third career appearance for Schwimer and the first in which he hasn’t been charged with a run.

Lidge threw 15 pitches in the game and Schwimer 14. Neither was pitching more than one day in a row.

The Phillie lineup against righty Bronson Arroyo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Ibanez returns to the lineup in left. Valdez plays short with Rollins on the DL.

Utley singled with two outs in the first, but Howard flew to left behind him.

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

Utley walked with two outs in the fourth. Howard was next and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 2-0. Pence grounded to short before Ibanez singled to left. Ruiz walked behind Ibanez, putting men on first and second for Valdez. Valdez grounded to third to set the Phillies down.

Lefties came into the game hitting 324/376/590 against Arroyo for the season. The lefties on the Phils fared pretty well against him in the third, with Utley getting on board for Howard’s homer and Ibanez singling later in the frame.

Victorino doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Polanco was next and flew to center with Victorino tagging and moving up to third with two down. Utley popped to Cairo in foul territory for the third out.

Howard struck out looking to start the sixth. Pence was next and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils on top 3-0. Ibanez and Ruiz followed that with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second with one out. Valdez reached on an error by Cairo and the bases were loaded. Halladay lined the first pitch of his at-bat into right and the ball rolled into the corner, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 6-0. Victorino fouled out to Votto and Polanco grounded to third to leave Halladay stranded at second.

Halladay now has nine career RBI, three of which came on that swing.

Pence singled to left with two outs in the seventh. Ibanez got ahead 3-0 and hit a 3-1 pitch out to right, extending the lead to 8-0. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Victorino walked with two outs in the eighth, but Polanco flew to center behind him.

Utley grounded to first to start the ninth. Howard was next, facing righty Sam LeCure, and hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for his second homer of the game, putting the Phils up 9-0. Pence and Ibanez both grounded out behind him.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk in the game. He’s just 3-for-his-last-18, but hitting 326/392/620 in August.

Polanco 0-for-5 and left three men on base. 1-for-his-last-13. 227/283/264 in 298 plate appearances since the end of April.

Utley 1-for-4 with a walk. 244/303/354 over his last 89 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI. 3-for-his-last-16 with three home runs and seven strikeouts.

Pence 2-for-5 with a home run. 330/400/550 in 115 plate appearances with the Phillies.

Ibanez 3-for-5 with a two-run homer in his return to the lineup.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 2-for-his-last-10.

Valdez 0-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. 280/327/500 in 55 plate appearances in August.

Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.71) faces lefty Dontrelle Willis (0-3, 4.10) tonight. Willis had made nine starts for the Reds this year and has given up more than three runs in just one of them. He’s been very tough on lefties (184/238/289), but righties have hit 298/377/404 against him for the year. He threw 123 pitches in his most recent start (August 26 against the Nats). Lee has allowed two runs in 31 innings over his last starts, striking out 32 while opponents have hit .163 against him.

This says the Phillies have traded for John Bowker, sending Schwimer back to Triple-A. The left-handed hitting Bowker turned 28 in July and has a career 237/289/390 line. He went 4-for-17 with the Pirates this season. He has hardly ever faced lefties, hitting just .132 against them in 57 career plate appearances. He has a 248/303/415 line against right-handed pitching.

Cheaper by the half dozen

The Phillies won again yesterday, overcoming a weak outing by Halladay to top the Rockies 8-6 for their sixth win in a row. Howard continued to pound the ball for the Phils, driving in four runs and homering against a left-handed pitcher for the first time this season. Howard is slugging .854 over the last 12 games.

After losing to the Cubs 6-1 on July 18, the Phils ended the day just 2 1/2 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East. Since then they have gone 12-3 and extended their lead in the division to eight game.

The Phillies are 71-39 after beating the Colorado Rockies 8-6 yesterday afternoon. They sweep the three-game series and have won six in a row.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out seven.

Halladay was up 1-0 when Eric Young led off the bottom of the first for the Rockies and bunted. Howard was charging and the ball went over his head for a single. Young stole second before Dexter Fowler hit a ball to Howard. Howard had it, then dropped it, then flipped to Halladay covering first, but over the head of Halladay. Young scored from second to tie the game at 1-1 and Fowler went to second. Two errors on the play for Howard, one for not catching the ball and the other for throwing it away. Todd Helton was next and he grounded to second for the first out with Young moving up to third. Troy Tulowitzki was the next batter and he flew to center for the second out, with Fowler tagging from third and scoring to put the Rockies up 2-1. Seth Smith flew to center to end the inning.

Not really such a good inning defensively for Howard, what with the bunt going over his head and making two errors and whatnot. This all came after he had struck out in the top of the first after Hammel had walked the bases loaded to start the game.

Halladay started the second with a 5-2 lead. Ian Stewart led off and doubled to right. Halladay struck Mark Ellis out for the first out, but Eliezer Alfonzo followed with a single to left that scored Stewart and cut the lead to 5-3. The pitcher Hammel bunted Alfonzo to second with the second out, but Halladay got Young on a ground ball to first to end the inning.

Halladay walked Fowler to start the third. Fowler stole second before Helton singled into center, scoring Fowler to cut the Phillie lead to 5-4. Tulowitzki bunted Helton to second with the first out and Smith moved him up to third with a ground out to second. Stewart was next and Valdez made a great play to retire him, leaning over the railing in foul territory to end the inning with Helton at third.

Halladay had thrown 47 pitches through three innings.

He was up 6-4 when he started the fourth. Ellis led off with a single, but was caught stealing when Halladay stepped off and threw to second. Halladay got Alonzo and Hammel behind Ellis.

He struck out Young to start the fifth, but Fowler followed that with a triple and came home to score when Helton grounded to second. 6-5. He struck Tulowitzki out to end the inning.

Halladay had thrown 75 pitches in five innings.

He was up 8-5 when Smith started the sixth with a single. Halladay got Stewart to hit into a double-play and struck out Ellis.

Alonzo started the seventh with a single, but Chris Nelson hit into a double-play behind him. Halladay struck Young out for the third out.

Bastardo started the eighth. He got Fowler on a fly ball to center before Helton hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 8-6. Tulowitzki followed that with a single and went to second on a wild pitch, but Bastardo struck Smith and Stewart both out swinging to end the inning.

Bastardo pitches three days in a row, gets one day off and then pitches again, allowing a home run.

Lidge pitched the ninth to earn his first save of the year, getting pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs on a ground ball to short, striking out Alonzo and getting Nelson to ground to short.

Lidge gets the ball in the ninth because Madson had left the team to be with his wife, who is expecting their fourth child.

Bastardo threw 23 pitches and Hamels nine. Neither has pitched more than one day in a row, but Bastardo has pitched too much of late.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Hammel went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez plays third with Polanco on the bench. Ruiz catches the day game after Schneider started the night game on Tuesday.

Hammel walked Rollins, Victorino and Utley on a total of 15 pitches to start the game, which loaded the bases for Howard. Howard took strike one, fouled off a 1-1 pitch and struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Pence was next and he hit a fly ball to center for the second, deep enough for Rollins and Victorino to both move up a base with Rollins scoring to make it 1-0. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 to leave runners at the corners.


The Phillies were down 2-1 when they hit in the second. Ruiz led off and singled to right. Valdez flew to center for the first out before Halladay bunted Ruiz to second with the second. Rollins was next and singled to right. Smith made a bad decision, throwing home despite not having much chance to get Ruiz, which allowed Rollins to move up to second as Ruiz scored to tie the game at 2-2 Victorino followed that with another single to right, scoring Rollins to put the Phillies up 3-2. Utley was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with two down for Howard. Howard cleared the bases with a double to center, putting the Phils up 5-2. Pence struck out looking 2-2 to leave Howard at second.

After an awful first inning in which he struck out with the bases loaded, made two errors and had a bunt go over his head, Howard comes up with a big swing there.

5-3 when the Phils came to bat in the top of the third. Ibanez, Ruiz and Valdez went in order.

It was 5-4 when Halladay started the fourth with a single to right. Rollins was next and hit a ball passed Helton that looked like it would make it to right, but Ellis made a very nice play to get to the ball and throw to Hammel covering to get Rollins for the first out. Halladay moved up to second on the play. Victorino flew to center for the second out before Utley singled to right, which moved Halladay to third. The righty Hammel walked Howard on four pitches, putting runners on the corners. Hammel uncorked a wild pitch with Pence at the plate, allowing everyone to move up a base and Halladay to score, putting the Phils up 6-4 with men on second and third. Pence flew to center for the third out.

Halladay starts the rally with a single after getting the bunt down in the second.

Ibanez started the fifth with a single to left, but Ruiz hit into a double-play behind him. Valdez was next and hit a triple to center, but Halladay struck out to leave him at third.

If you want to not score in an inning where you get a triple and a single, you should try to work in a double-play or getting someone picked off.

Utley singled to right with two outs in the sixth and the lead cut to 6-5. It brought Howard to the plate against lefty Rex Brothers and Howard hit a 2-0 pitch well out to center, putting the Phils up 8-5. Pence singled to left, but was left stranded when Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

First home run of the year for Howard against a left-handed pitcher. Third homer overall in two games.

Valdez singled with one out in the seventh, but was caught stealing for the second out. Halladay hit for himself and struck out looking.

Rollins, Victorino and Utley went in order in the eighth.

The Phils went in order again in the ninth with their lead cut to 8-6.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 1-for-12 with two walks in the three-game set. He’s hitting 264/337/399 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 4-for-13 with two walks and a home run in the series. 302/379/522 on the year. 342/427/591 over his last 173 plate appearances.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-11 with two walks and a double in the series. 289/383/491 for the year. 307/396/542 over his last 208 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run. 4-for-13 with a double and three home runs in the series. 255/343/495 on the season. 333/360/854 over his last 50 plate appearances. .854? Yup. 16-for-his-last-48 with seven doubles and six home runs.

Pence 1-for-4 with an RBI. The Phillies are 5-0 since he joined the team. 4-for-12 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 286/333/429 in 24 plate appearances with the Phils so far.

Ibanez 1-for-5. 3-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. 247/294/431 for the year. 276/312/498 over his last 321 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 3-for-8 with two doubles in the series. 268/371/381 for the season. 338/440/521 over his last 86 plate appearances.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a triple in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 238/283/303 on the season. Polanco was 2-for-8 in the series and is hitting 275/330/344 for the year. 4-for-13 with four singles since returning from the DL.

Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) faces lefty Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80) late tonight in San Francisco. Bumgarner threw to a 7.79 ERA in his first four starts of the year. He’s thrown to a 3.19 ERA with a 1.19 ratio over his last 18 starts and struck out 106 in 113 innings. He’s allowed just five home runs on the year and only three in his last 115 2/3 innings. After an amazing June in which he allowed one run in 42 innings, Lee was less successful in July. Three of the five starts he made weren’t very good and he threw to a 4.91 ERA for the month while opponents hit .287 against him. Tonight will be his first start in August.

This says Oswalt will start on Sunday against the Giants.

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