Tag: Brad Lidge

Twenty, no questions

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about which of the three outstanding starting pitchers might get the call for the team in game one of a critical series? I don’t. If all three are healthy and on normal rest and the Phillies give the ball to anyone other than Roy Halladay, I will be stunned.

Last night, Halladay became the first right-handed pitcher to win twenty games for the Phillies since Robin Roberts did it in 1955. Halladay wasn’t great, but he went seven innings and held Atlanta to three runs. The Phils squandered a ton of opportunities and left an army on base, but they got two big swings in the game, the back of the bullpen held and they came out with a 5-3 win. Werth put them up 3-0 with a three-run shot in the third and Ibanez delivered a two-out, two-run double into the right field corner in the sixth. Halladay, Madson and Lidge did the rest.

The Phillies are 91-61 on the season after beating the Atlanta Braves 5-3 last night. They have won nine in a row and lead the NL East by five games. The second-place Braves are a game ahead of the Padres for the Wild Card.

Halladay got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out three. It’s his sixth start in a row in which he has allowed three earned runs or more. Over those starts he’s thrown to a 4.32 ERA and allowed ten home runs in 41 2/3 innings. Opponents have hit .294 against him

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Derrek Lee singled to right with one out in the second, but Halladay struck Nate McLouth out swinging for the second out and got Alex Gonzalez to ground to short.

Rick Ankiel started the third with a single, but the pitcher Mike Minor hit into a double-play behind him with Valdez taking the feed from Utley and 360-ing before throwing to first. Omar Infante lined an 0-2 pitch into right for a single before Jason Heyward flew to right for the third out.

The Phils were up 3-0 when Halladay started the fourth. Martin Prado led off with a walk, but Halladay got the next three batters to keep Atlanta off the board.

Gonzalez lofted a ball near the right field foul line that Werth couldn’t reach to start the fifth. The ball got away from Werth and Utley had to track it down and Gonzalez had a double. Ankiel was next and he moved Gonzalez to third with a single to right. Lefty Eric Hinkse hit for the pitcher and he hit a ground ball near second. Utley fielded and flipped with the glove hand to second for the first out as Ankiel slid hard into Valdez. Valdez’s throw to first hit Ankiel in the left hand, so the Phils only got one out. Gonzalez scored on the play to cut the lead to 3-1 and Infante came to the plate with one out and Hinske on first. Halladay got Infante to fly to right for the second out and struck Heyward out looking to end the frame.

The Phils thought Ankiel went too far out of the base path to slide into Valdez. Looked okay to me.

Prado led off the sixth with a single and came around to score when Brian McCann followed with a double to center. 3-2. Lee hit a fly ball to center for the first out. McCann tried to tag and go to third, but Victorino made a nice throw that beat him easily for the second out. McLouth grounded to Halladay for the third out.

Halladay started the seventh up 5-2. He got the first two before lefty Freddie Freeman hit for the pitcher Peter Moylan. Freeman absolutely crushed the first pitch he saw from Halladay out to right center, cutting the lead to 5-3. Halladay struck Infante out to end the frame.

I think chances are good you’ll be seeing that Freeman guy again at some point. That’s career home run number one, but there are a lot more coming.

Madson pitched the eighth. Heyward walked to start the inning, but Madson struck out Prado and got McCann to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Madson hasn’t been charged with a run in 10 2/3 innings over his last 11 appearances. Since July 29 he has thrown 31 innings with an 0.58 ERA and an 0.87 ratio and 41 strikeouts. Going back to April 24 he has a 1.49 ERA and has allowed one home run to the 170 batters he has faced.

Lidge pitched the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Lee. It brought McLouth to the plate as the tying run. Lidge struck out McLouth and got Gonzalez on a fly ball to center. Ankiel popped to short to end the game.

Lidge has an 0.87 ERA and an 0.73 ratio since the start of August. In 20 2/3 innings he has struck out 22. He was throwing for the second day in a row and threw 17 pitches in the game. Madson threw 12 on two days rest.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Mike Minor went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. That’s the same lineup they used in game one of the series.

Utley and Howard singled back-to-back with two outs in the first, putting men on first and second for Werth. Werth popped to third to leave both men stranded.

Valdez and Halladay singled back-to-back with two outs in the second, putting men on first and second. Valdez stole third before Victorino grounded to short for the third out.

Polanco led off the third with a walk and moved to second when Utley followed with a single to right. Howard flew to right for the first out before Werth blasted a 2-1 pitch out to left center, putting the Phils up 3-0. Ibanez followed with a double and the righty Christhian Martinez walked Ruiz intentionally. Valdez hit a ball to third that Prado didn’t handle, loading the bases with one down. Halladay struck out on three pitches and Victorino struck out swinging 1-2 to leave the runners stranded.

Second error in two games for Prado after he failed to handle the ball at second base on Utley’s steal in game one.

Polanco started the fourth with a single. Utley and Howard went down behind him before Werth moved him to second with a walk. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

It was 3-1 when the Phils hit in the fifth. Ruiz flew to center for the first out before Valdez hit a ball that the pitcher Kyle Farnsworth fielded. Farnsworth’s throw was bad, though, and Valdez was safe on an error for the second time in two at-bats. Halladay struck out and Victorino grounded to second to end the inning.

Howard walked with two outs in the sixth and the lead cut to 3-2. He moved to third when Werth singled off the wall in left. Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner and both runners scored, putting the Phils up 5-2. Ruiz grounded to second to leave Ruiz stranded.

Huge two out hit for Ibanez. Howard continues to walk and walk.

Valdez singled to start the seventh with the lead cut to 5-3. With righty Craig Kimbrel on the mound for the Braves, Gload hit for Halladay. Valdez took second on a passed ball before Gload struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino was next and lined a ball to second. Valdez was caught off base and doubled-up to end the inning.

Polanco singled to start the eighth. Utley and Howard struck out behind him before Werth grounded to second.

Victorino was 0-for-5 and left seven men on base. He’s 1-for-13 without a walk in his last three games. Rut roh.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk. 4-for-his-last-11 with two walks. He is slugging .331 over his last 264 plate appearances with 13 extra-base hits (12 doubles and a triple).

Utley 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk. He has at least one walk in eight straight games. In four of those games he walked more than once and on-based .541.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and a three-run homer. Over his last eight games he’s 12-for-36 with five home runs and four walks. Get it? The thing where Howard always walks before Werth homers is good for everyone. You get more points that way.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. His two-out double in the sixth was huge. 434/492/755 over his last 59 plate appearances has raised his line on the year from 256/337/409 at the end of the first game of the September 1 double-header to 274/352/444. He hit 213/267/350 against lefties in the first half of the season and has hit 264/319/443 against them so far in the second. In September he’s 8-for-24 against them with three doubles and a home run (333/385/583).

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk. 359/479/590 over his last 12 games.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a nifty little twirly thing in the third and a less nifty throw-it-off-of-Rick-Ankiel’s-arm-and-into-the-dugout thing in the fifth. 348/400/485 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Roy Oswalt (13-13, 2.90) faces righty Tommy Hanson (10-11, 3.62) tonight. The Phillies have won nine games that Oswalt has started in a row. In those outings he’s gone 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA and opponents have hit .187 against him. Hanson has made two starts against the Phils this season, but both came early in the year. On April 20 he allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings and on May 31 he allowed a run on three hits over 6 2/3.

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Fevered pitchers

The Phils didn’t get a whole lot of offense last night, but they don’t need much to win these days. Cole Hamels gave the team its third fantastic start in a row as the Phils won for the sixth time in seven games.

Hamels struck out 13 while holding the Fish to a run over 6 2/3 innings and throwing 127 pitches. Since the start of August, the Phillies have gone 26-7 in the games started by their top four starters (Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels and Blanton). In those 33 games the four have combined to throw to a 2.42 ERA and 1.05 ratio while striking out 217 in 226 2/3 innings.

The back of the pen is faring rather well itself. Madson and Lidge combined to throw two more scoreless innings last night. Since the start of August they have combined to appear in 45 games, allowing three earned runs in 44 1/3 innings (0.61 ERA).

The little offense the Phils did get in the game came with a big assist from Shane Victorino, who continues to impress at the top of the order. Last night he went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk and scored both of the runs the Phils plated in the game. He led off the game with a single in the first and came around to score when Polanco followed with a double. He started the fifth with a double of his own and came in to score on a Jayson Werth ground out four batters later.

The Phillies are 85-61 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 2-1 last night. They have extended their lead in the NL East to two games over the Braves. Atlanta is a game and a half ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. All five of the hits were singles and he struck out 13. Thirteen strikeouts is his high for the season. He also struck out 13 Florida batters on June 11, 2008.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Emilio Bonifacio led off with a single. Logan Morrison was next and hit a ground ball to first with Howard throwing to Valdez to force Bonifacio at second for the first out. Hanley Ramirez singled into right and Bonifacio moved to third. Dan Uggla was next and he hit a ball in-between first and second that rolled slowly until Utley got to it on the grass in shallow right field. Morrison scored to tie the game at 1-1 and Ramirez took second. Gaby Sanchez flew to right for the second out and Mike Stanton struck out looking to end the inning.

Hamels allowed three singles in the inning. The ones hit by Uggla and Bonifacio were softly hit. Over the next 5 2/3 innings he would allow two singles and two walks while striking out 12.

The pitcher Adalberto Mendez singled with two outs in the second. Hamels got Bonifacio on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Uggla walked with two outs in the third and Hamels hit Morrison behind him. He struck Stanton out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

He struck out Wes Helms, Brad Davis and the pitcher Mendez in the fourth.

The Phils led 2-1 when he pitched the fifth. Morrison singled with one out, but Hamels got Ramirez on a pop to second and Uggla on a fly ball to center to leave him there.

He struck out Sanchez and Stanton to start the sixth before hitting Helms with a pitch. Davis struck out swinging to leave Helms at first.

He struck out pinch-hitter Hector Luna and Bonifacio to start the seventh before Morrison drew a walk. With the Phils still up 2-1 and Hamels having thrown 127 pitches, the Phils brought Durbin in to pitch to the right Ramirez. Durbin got Ramirez to line to short for the third out.

That’s four appearances in a row for Durbin in which he hasn’t been charged with a run, but he’s thrown just 1 2/3 innings in those appearances and faced just seven batters.

Madson started the eighth and Uggla led off with a single. Madson set Sanchez down on a pop up to second and struck Stanton out. It left Uggla on first with two down for lefty Chad Tracy, who pinch-hit for the righty Helms. Tracy drew a walk, but Madson got Davis on a ground ball to Utley to leave both men stranded.

Since July 9, Madson has appeared in 37 games for the Phils. In those games he’s thrown 36 1/3 innings with a 1.24 ERA and an 0.80 ratio and struck out 44. He has faced 141 batters and they have hit 171/230/225 against him.

Lidge was on in the ninth to protect a one-run lead. Lefty Scott Cousins hit for the pitcher and grounded back to the mound for the first out. Bonifacio fouled out to Ruiz and Morrison flew to center to end the game.

Lidge was pitching for the first time since September 6. He has allowed one earned run in 17 1/3 innings over his last 18 games (0.52 ERA) while striking out 18. Through July 31 he had faced 97 batters and allowed five home runs. Since July 31 he has not allowed a home run to the 64 batters that he has faced.

The Phillies lineup against righty Adalberto Mendez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. No changes there with Rollins sidelined, Valdez at short and Victorino hitting leadoff.

Victorino started the game with a single and came around to score when Polanco followed with a double to the gap in left-center. 1-0. Utley flew to center before Howard hit a ball that Uggla fielded in short right field. Uggla made a great play, nipping Howard to take away a hit as Polanco went to third. Werth drew a walk to put men on first and third, but Ibanez grounded to short to leave both men stranded.

Hamels singled to center with two outs in the second and the score tied at 1-1. Victorino flew to center to leave him there.

Utley and Howard walked back-to-back with one out in the third. Werth flew to right for the second out with Utley tagging and moving up to third. Ibanez flew to right to leave two more runners stranded.

Ruiz was hit by a pitch to start the fourth, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him. Hamels grounded to second for the third out.

Victorino started the fifth with a double to right. Polanco walked behind him before Utley flew to right for the first out. Victorino and Polanco pulled off a double steal, but Howard walked anyway and the bases were loaded. Werth was next and chopped a ball to third. Helms fielded and went to first for the second out with everyone else moving up a base and Victorino scoring to put the Phils up 2-1. Righty Burke Badenhop walked Ibanez intentionally to load the bases and then struck Ruiz out to end the frame.

Valdez started the sixth with a single and Hamels bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino walked before Polanco flew to right for the second out. Utley grounded back to the pitcher to leave both men stranded.

Howard, Werth and Ibanez went in order in the seventh.

Valdez walked with one out in the eighth. Gload hit for Durbin and hit into a double-play.

Valdez 14, Moyer three in the walk competition. Moyer is going to have to get hot to Valdez is on-basing .360 over his last 25 plate appearances.

Utley walked with two outs in the ninth. He stole second and Howard was walked intentionally, allowing righty Clay Hensley to face the righty Werth. Hensley struck Werth out swinging for the third out.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double in the game. He scored both of the Phillie runs. 432/488/595 over his last eight games.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-27.

Utley was 0-for-3, walked twice and left five men on base.

Howard 0-for-2 with three walks. He had a hit and an RBI stolen from him in the first. He’s 3-for-14 since homering three days in a row.

Werth was 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-16 with a walk.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk and four men left on base.

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Valdez was 1-for-3 with a walk. Rollins left the game on September 8 and Valdez took over at short. Since then he has gone 7-for-23 with two doubles and a walk (304/360/391).

Roy Halladay (18-10, 2.44) faces righty Jorge Sosa (2-2, 5.82) tonight. Halladay has gone at least seven innings in ten straight starts and the Phils are 8-2 in those games. He has waked 28 batters in 228 2/3 innings on the season. Sosa will be making his first start since 2007. Lefties have hit 286/372/571 against him for the season.

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Half and half and half

The Phils won half of the games they played yesterday, which was good enough to cut Atlanta’s lead in the division in half to a half game. After getting hammered 7-1 in the day game of a day-night double-header, the Phils came back strong in the night game and rolled to a 7-4 win.

Oswalt didn’t pitch especially well last night, he allowed three home runs for the first time this season, but he did manage to go seven innings. With Werth getting the game off, the Phils went to an odd lineup that worked out very nicely as Victorino, Polanco and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 with five RBI out of the top three spots in the order.

Madson and Lidge combined to deliver two more shutout innings for the Phils in game. Since the start of August, the pair has now combined to make 39 appearances in which they’ve allowed three earned runs, throwing to an 0.70 ERA and the same 0.70 ratio. Opponents have hit .154 against the pair in those outings and they’ve struck out 48 in 38 1/3 innings.

The Phillies are 79-60 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 7-4 last night and are just a half game behind the Braves in the NL East. They are a game and a half ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He struck out seven. It was the first time he had allowed three home runs in a game since 4/22/09 against the Dodgers.

Logan Morrison singled to right with one out in the first. Oswalt got Hanley Ramirez on a fly ball to center field for the second out before Dan Uggla popped to Utley at second to leave Morrison stranded.

Oswalt got the first two in the second before Mike Stanton blasted a 3-2 pitch way out to left, putting Florida up 1-0. Mike Rivera struck out looking for the third out.

Oswalt started the third up 5-1 and got the first two batters before walking Morrison on a 3-2 pitch. Ramirez was next and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 5-3. Oswalt struck Uggla out swinging for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Maybin hit a 1-1 pitch out to left with two outs in the fifth, cutting the lead to 5-4. Oswalt struck Morrison out behind him for the third out.

Uggla singled with one out in the sixth and the Phils up 7-4, but Oswalt got the next two hitters behind him.

Oswalt allowed a double to pinch-hitter Scott Cousins with two outs in the seventh. Cameron Maybin popped to Utley for the third out.

Romero started the eighth and walked the lefty Morrison. Madson took over for Romero and set Ramirez, Uggla and Tracy down in order.

After a nifty run in which he didn’t allow a walk over eight appearances, Romero has walked two of the last four batters he has faced.

Madson hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last nine appearances. Over his last 23 appearances he has thrown 23 innings with an 0.78 ERA and opponents have hit 169/216/193 against him. He has struck out 32 in 23 innings.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a three-run lead. He allowed a two-out single to pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio, but struck Cousins out to end the game.

Over his last 17 games, Lidge has thrown to an 0.55 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit 123/183/143 against him and he has struck out 18.

Lidge threw 21 pitches in the game. Romero and Madson were both under ten. None of the group has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rollins (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Werth on the bench with the lefty Brown in right — Werth started the day 2-for-19 with 13 strikeouts against Sanchez for his career. Victorino hits leadoff with Rollins dropped to fifth in the order. Ruiz behind the plate after Schneider caught the day game.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the first. Ryan Howard struck out swinging for the third out.

In the day game of the double-header, Mike Zagurski drilled Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in the back in the ninth inning.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Rollins and Ibanez got things started with back-to-back singles that put runners on first and second with nobody out. Brown drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch that was probably a strike. Ruiz followed Brown and he walked on four pitches, forcing Rollins in to tie the game at 1-1. Oswalt flew to right for the first out with the runners holding. Victorino hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single. Ibanez scored and Brown tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate for the second out. It brought Polanco to the plate with two outs and men on first and third and the Phils up 2-1. Victorino stole second before Polanco ripped a ball down the left field line. A fan reached out and touched the ball, so Polanco had a ground-rule double with both runners scoring to put the Phils up 4-1. Utley followed that with a single into left, scoring Polanco. 5-1. Howard flew to center for the third out.

Stanton made a very nice, strong throw to get Brown at the plate for the second out, but it would have been a lot better not to get the runner thrown out trying to score from second. Before the Utley single it looked like the stolen base by Victorino got the Phils an extra-run on the Polanco ground-rule double, but Victorino would have scored anyway even without the stolen base on the single by Utley.

Up 5-3, the Phils went in order in the third. Brown hammered a ball to center, but Maybin took it on the warning track for the third out.

They went in order again in the fourth.

Their lead was cut to 5-4 when they hit in the fifth. Polanco led off and hit a ball high off the wall in left center. It rolled away from Maybin towards right field and Polanco had a triple. Utley followed with a single that scored Polanco to make it 6-4. Utley took second on a wild pitch before Howard walked. Rollins popped out before Ibanez doubled to center, scoring Utley (7-4) and sending Howard to third. Brown was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Ruiz flew to center with Howard holding third for the second out. Oswalt swung out swinging to leave the bases loaded.

Six men left on base for Oswalt through five innings. No RBI for Ruiz with one out and a man on third.

Victorino led off the sixth with a single and took second on a wild pitch by Jorge Sosa with two outs. Howard struck out swinging to leave him there.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Victorino singled with two outs in the eighth and Polanco walked behind him. Utley grounded to first to leave both men stranded.

Victorino was 3-for-5 with an RBI in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-10 with three walks.

Polanco was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s hitting 259/318/310 over his last 130 plate appearances.

Utley 2-for-4 with two RBI. 387/444/581 over his last 36 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He’s 11-for-65 (.169) with 24 strikeouts since returning from the DL.

Rollins was 1-for-4. 172/232/281 over his last 69 plate appearances. He’s on-basing .303 over his last 1,093 plate appearances.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with an RBI. 159/178/205 over his last 45 plate appearances.

Brown was 0-for-2 with two walks in a game for the first time in his career. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-11 with two walks.

Vance Worley made his first career start in the first game of the double-header and the Phillies got pounded, losing 7-1. The 22-year-old righty Worley went 10-7 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.30 ratio in 28 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley this season. He pitched pretty well, holding the Fish to a pair of runs on six hits and a walk over five innings. The bigger problem was that the Phils couldn’t hit 28-year-old righty Adalberto Mendez. Mendez was making his Major League debut and held the Phils to a single and two walks over six shutout innings.

Worley allowed a run in the first on a walk, a wild pitch and a single. Chad Tracy homered off of him in the second to extend the lead to 2-0. Mike Stanton hit a two-run homer off of Durbin in the eighth and Mike Zagurski got knocked around in the ninth as he gave up three runs and Florida extended the lead to 7-0. A single by Werth in the bottom of the ninth, just the third hit of the day for the Phils, knocked Howard in for the team’s only run.

Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.25) faces righty Chris Volstad (9-9, 4.82) tonight. Blanton gave up three home runs in 4 1/3 innings as he was charged with six runs against the Rockies. Prior to that start he had been pitching very well. He was 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.29 ratio over his last nine starts. Volstad was ejected from his last start after Nyjer Morgan charged the mound after Volstad threw behind him. He has a 5.79 ERA and a 1.58 ratio in his 12 starts away from home this season.

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No place like home for the wizardry of Oswalt

Roy Oswalt made his home debut with the Phillies last night and looked more than comfortable, tossing seven shutout innings as the Phils topped the Dodgers 2-0.

Oswalt was pinch-hit for in the seventh after throwing 109 pitches in the game, but the Phillies got great work from Madson and Lidge in the eighth and ninth to close things out. That duo has been fantastic in August. Between them they have appeared in 12 games, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out 16 over 11 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Phillies are 63-50 on the year after beating the Dodgers 2-0 last night.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and threw seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

James Loney started the second with a double down the first base line. Oswalt walked Casey Blake behind Loney, but got Gibbons to bounce into a double-play that left Loney at third with two down. Jamey Carroll grounded to third to leave Loney stranded.

Scott Podsednik reached on an infield single with two outs in the third and moved to second when Ryan Theriot followed with a single to right. Andre Ethier flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Oswalt got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth up 1-0. Carroll led off and doubled to right. Oswalt got AJ Ellis on a fly ball to center for the first out and struck the pitcher Chad Billingsley out for the second. Podsednik reached on another infield single, sending Carroll to third. Theriot hit a ground ball to short and Podsednik was forced at second to end the frame.

Oswalt struck out Loney and Blake in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Phils led 2-0 when he started the seventh. Carroll walked with one out and Ellis lined to right behind him for the second out. Righty Matt Kemp hit for Billingsley and struck out swinging 2-2 to leave Carroll stranded.

Madson pitched the eighth. He gave up a leadoff double to Podsednik, but struck out Theriot and Ethier behind him and then got Loney on a fly ball to left.

Madson has thrown 7 1/3 scoreless innings over his last seven appearances, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out 12. He has dropped his ERA on the year from 5.12 to 3.86.

Lidge struck out Gibbons and Carroll in a 1-2-3 ninth. He hasn’t been charged with a run in his six appearances in August, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out six over 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chad Billingsley went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Gload (4) Ibanez (5) Werth (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first and Brown in right against the righty. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Werth singled to left with one out in the second. Brown struck out behind him for the second out and Ruiz fouled out to Theriot behind first base to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Polanco started the fourth with a single to right. Gload was next and lined a ball into left, but Gibbons made a very nice diving play to take away the hit and record the first out. Ibanez and Werth both walked behind Gload, loading the bases for Brown. Brown hit a ground ball to second, but it wasn’t hit hard enough to get the double-play. The Dodgers forced Werth at second for the second out as Polanco scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz flew to center to leave the runners stranded at first and third.

Valdez started the fifth with a triple to left center, just out of the reach of a diving Podsednik. Oswalt grounded to short with the runner holding and Rollins grounded to second with the runner holding. Polanco flew to left for the third out.

No run for the Phils after the leadoff triple by Valdez. Remember when Valdez was outslugging Ibanez? It wasn’t that long ago, but he’s not anymore. He’s getting pretty close to Rollins, though. Valdez at .361, Rollins .377.

Gload doubled to right to start the sixth, but came into second limping. He left the game with a strained right groin and Sweeney ran for him at second. Ibanez was next and he doubled to the gap in left-center, scoring Sweeney to put the Phils up 2-0. Werth moved Ibanez to third with a ground out to first for the first out. Brown was next and walked for the first time in his career, putting men on first and third with one out for Ruiz. Ruiz flew to left with the runners holding and Valdez grounded to third.

Again the Phillies don’t score with a man on third and less than two outs. The Ruiz fly out to left was the big at-bat this time.

With righty Kenley Jansen on the mound for the Dodgers, Dobbs hit for Oswalt and struck out for the first out of the seventh. Rollins singled to left before Polanco flew to left for the second out. Rollins stole second, but was left there when Sweeney struck out to end the inning.

Ibanez started the eighth with a single, but Werth, Brown and Ruiz went down in order behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-4. 302/400/349 over his last 50 plate appearances. He’s slugging .311 with seven doubles, a triple and a home run over his last 182 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-4. He’s hitting .359 in August.

Gload 1-for-3 with a double and was also robbed of a hit by a nice diving catch by Gibbons. It seems like we might not be seeing him for a while, while is a shame cause he was on a tear. 394/487/727 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Ibanez was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. He has an 18-game hitting streak in which he’s hit 409/506/667.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk. 391/500/621 over his last 108 plate appearances.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two strikeouts. Career walk number one helps raise his on-base percentage to .238.

Ruiz was 0-for-4 and left six men on base. He’s 0-for-his-last-11.

Valdez 1-for-3 with a triple. He’s 15-for-his-last-44 and hitting 341/370/386 over those 46 plate appearances.

Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.65) faces lefty Clayton Kershaw tonight (10-7, 3.19). Blanton has a 3.82 ERA and a 1.27 ratio over his last five starts. In those outings he allowed two home runs in the 33 innings. In his 13 previous starts he allowed 15 home runs in 80 innings. Opponents are hitting just .222 against Kershaw. He’s allowed just 117 hits in 143 2/3 innings while striking out 153. He walks a lot of batters, though, 62 for the season so far. He had made three strong starts in a row before allowing six runs to the Nationals in six innings his last time out.


Lights outish Lidge

There wasn’t much about yesterday’s game that was pretty except that the Phillies found a way to win. The Phils are suddenly hot. They came into their four-game set with the Rockies having lost six of eight and come out having won five in a row.

Joe Blanton pitched pretty well yesterday and got a welcome early hook. The Phils scratched out five runs in the game, scoring three times in a second inning that saw the Rockies make two errors and misplay a ball hit in the gap in left-center in a three-batter span. The game was most memorable, though, for the scare Brad Lidge gave us all in the ninth. He entered with a 5-2 lead and allowed a two-run homer that had the Rockies within a run. The next three Colorado hitters all reached to load the bases before he got Ryan Spilborghs on a ground ball back to the mound to end the game.

Lidge was pitching for the second straight day after throwing 30 pitches the day before. It’s been a rough stretch for him, though. Opponents are on-basing .471 against him over his last seven appearances, which is going to make it tough to be successful.

The Phils are 53-46 on the season after being the Colorado Rockies 5-4 yesterday afternoon, completing a sweep of a four-game series. The Phillies have won five in a row.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. All six of the hits were singles and he struck out two. His ERA is at 5.85 — under six for the first time since the end of May.

He walked Jonathan Herrera with one out in the first and Carlos Gonzalez moved Herrera to second with a single. Jason Giambi was next and he lined a single into center. Herrera scored to make it 1-0 with one down and men on first and second. Ryan Spilborghs followed that with a single to left. Gonzalez scored from second (2-0) and Giambi went to second. Blanton got Ian Stewart to ground into a double-play to end the frame.

Miguel Olivo singled to start the second for Colorado, but Blanton got the next three hitters behind him.

Blanton started the third with a 3-2 lead. Gonzalez singled with one out and stole second. Giambi followed that with a walk, putting men on first and second with one down. Spilborghs was next and hit a ground ball to short. Rollins handled that, going to second to force Giambi for the second out. Stewart lined to short to leave the runners stranded on first and third.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth, getting a nice play by Polanco on a ball hit hard by Clint Barmes for the second out.

He got two ground balls and struck out pitcher Jason Hammel in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Blanton walked Giambi on four pitches to start the sixth. Spilborghs followed that with a single into center and the Rocks had men on first and second with nobody out. Stewart was next and Blanton got him to hit into a double-play again before Olivo flew to center to set Colorado down.

Second time in the game that Blanton had gotten Stewart to hit into a rally-thwarting double-play.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils up 5-2 and Werth in right. He got the first two before Seth Smith doubled to left. Durbin got Herrera to fly to left to leave him stranded.

Romero pitched the eighth with Valdez at second and Polanco moved to third. He walked Spilborghs with two outs. Stewart grounded to second for the third out.

And then came Lidge, pitching on back-to-back days. Miguel Olivo led off with a double to right. Righty Melvin Mora hit for righty Clint Barmes. Mora grounded to third for the first out with Olivo holding first. Lefty Brad Hawpe hit for the pitcher and fouled out to Polanco for the second out. Sure looked like the game was over, but the lefty Smith hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, cutting the lead to 5-4. Lidge walked Herrera and Gonzalez moved him to second with another single. With the lefty Giambi at the plate, a wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third. Lidge put Giambi on intentionally to pitch to the righty Spilborghs with the bases loaded. Spilborghs hit a 1-1 pitch to the left of the mound. Lidge fielded and made a strong throw to first to end the game.

Lidge, Durbin and Romero were all pitching for the second straight day. Lidge threw 34 pitches after throwing 30 in game three, Durbin 21 and Romero 13.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Hammel went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Gload (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Schneider. Gload in right with Werth on the bench. Gload was 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and a walk in the first three games of the series. Polanco plays second for the third straight game with Dobbs getting his turn at third against the righty and Ransom on the bench. Schneider catches. Great to see Polanco at second base with Dobbs and Ransom at third rather than Valdez at second.

The Phillies were down 2-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Ibanez walked with two outs, but Howard struck out swinging behind him.

Gload singled to right to start the second. Victorino struck out behind him, but Dobbs sent him to third with a double. Schneider was next and he hit a ball to left center. Gonzalez and Smith went all Keystone Cops on it — Gonzalez tried to backhand the ball after it dropped but missed and ran into Smith, falling down and allowing Schneider to go to third with a two-run triple that tied the game at 2-2. Blanton was next and hit a ball that was fielded by the pitcher Hammel, but Giambi didn’t handle the throw from Hammel and Blanton was safe with Schneider holding third. Rollins was next and hit a ball to Giambi and Giambi threw it away trying to get Blanton at second for his second error in two plays. Schneider scored to make it 3-2 with men on first and second with one out. Polanco popped to the shortstop for the second out and Ibanez struck out to leave the runners stranded.

Rollins fouled a ball off the top of his foot in his at-bat, but stayed in the game.

Not that impressive an inning defensively for the Rockies.

Victorino singled to center with two outs in the third. He stole second before Dobbs struck out swinging to end the inning.

Blanton and Rollins struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Polanco started the fifth with a single. Ibanez flew to left for the first out before Polanco took second on a wild pitch. Howard went on to walk, putting men on first and second, before Gload struck out looking 0-2. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Dobbs singled to start the sixth and Schneider walked behind him. With the righty Hammel still pitching for Colorado, Ransom hit for Blanton and bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Rollins popped out to Barmes for the second out, by Polanco picked him up with a single to right. Dobbs scored (4-2) and Schneider took third. Lefty Randy Flores came in to pitch to Ibanez, but Ibanez singled to left and Schneider came in to make it 5-2. Howard struck out for the third out.

Different approach with Blanton this time, pulled for a pinch-hitter after throwing six innings and 85 pitches. Dobbs and Schneider get the rally started at the bottom of the order. Big no-RBI for Rollins, but Polanco and Ibanez pick him up with two-out hits. Ransom comes through in a chance off the bench against a righty.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

With righty Taylor Buchholz on the mound for Colorado and one out in the eighth, Francisco hit for Romero and walked. Rollins and Polanco went down behind him.

Rollins was 0-for-5 with an RBI in the game. 7-for-18 with a double, a triple and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 244/335/393 for the season.

Polanco 2-for-5 with an RBI. 5-for-18 with a double and a walk. 317/348/435 on the year.

Ibanez was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 6-for-13 in the series with two doubles, a home run and two walks. 257/340/410 on the season. He has hit 315/383/466 in July.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 3-for-14 with a triple, three walks and six strikeouts in the series. He’s at 300/361/538 on the year.

Gload 1-for-3 with a strikeout. 4-for-7 with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 278/313/478 for the season. Werth was 0-for-1 in the game and 5-for-10 with two doubles and four walks in the series. 285/378/505.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 248/309/438 on the year. He has walked twice in July and is hitting .234 and on-basing .250 for the month.

Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double. 3-for-7 with a double and a walk in the series. 216/278/362 for the year, but it’s better than it sounds. Dobbs came into July hitting 153/228/236 for the season and has posted a 318/362/568 line in 44 at-bats in July. Ransom was 0-for-3 in the series and is 5-for-28 with the Phils this year.

Schneider was 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple. 1-for-6 with two walks in the series. 235/330/400 for the season. Ruiz was 1-for-7 with a walk in the series and is hitting 267/384/364 for the year. He’s 15-for-70 (.214) since the end of May.

Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.40) faces righty Rodrigo Lopez (5-9, 4.58) tonight as the Phils play the first of three with Arizona in Philly. Hamels has allowed one run in his last three starts, allowing 15 hits and six walks in 22 1/3 innings (0.40 ERA and an 0.94 ratio). The former Phil Lopez has allowed 24 home runs in 129 2/3 innings this season. Lefties are hitting 284/333/498 against him.


The replacements

Injuries to Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz have meant that some unexpected players have had a major impact on the Phillies this year. We might as well start expecting them, though, cause the recent trips to the DL by Chase Utley and Placido Polanco ensure we’ll be seeing a lot of those guys in the days to come.

Day one of the Utley/Polanco free era went pretty well. The Phils scored nine runs and won in ten innings. Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez combined to go 5-for-8, hitting two home runs, executing a safety squeeze and driving in seven runs. Seven? Yup.

The game was also notable for another two-out blowup by Brad Lidge. The Phils took a 9-6 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Lidge set down the first two Reds without a peep before a walk and a single brought Joey Votto to the plate and Votto blasted a three-run homer to tie the game.

Lidge’s ERA puffed to 5.25 on the year with the outing. He has allowed seven runs on the season, six of which have scored with two outs. Opponents are hitting .154 against him with nobody out, .143 against him with one out and 381/458/762 with two outs.

I don’t know what it is with Lidge, but he has had big problems late in innings. My first guesses would be he’s getting tired or something is happening with his slider that makes it much less effective the more he throws it in a game. As I wrote last week, he hasn’t had the same kind of problems over his career with the two-out drop off he is having this season. Either way, it’s an issue whatever the cause and his results for the season aren’t looking so good anymore after last night’s outing.

The Phillies are 41-34 on the season after beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-6 in ten innings last night. They are in third place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves and one game behind the Mets.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple. He struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 6.19. It’s his third straight start in which he’s allowed three runs or fewer and just the second time this season he didn’t allow a home run in his outing.

Brandon Phillips led off the bottom of the first with a triple and came in to score when Orlando Cabrera followed with a ground out. 1-0. Joey Votto flew out to center for the second out before Johnny Gomes doubled and Jay Bruce followed that with a walk. Blanton hit Miguel Cairo with a pitch to load the bases, but got Chris Heisey on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Blanton started the second up 3-1. Pitcher Mike Leake singled with one out, but Blanton got Phillips and Cabrera behind him to turn Cincinnati away.

Votto singled to start the third, but the Reds went in order behind him.

The Phils were up 6-1 when Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

Blanton got the first two in the sixth before Cairo singled and Heisey walked behind him. Ramon Hernandez was next and he delivered a bases clearing double to center, cutting the lead to 6-3. Blanton got the pitcher Leake on a fly ball to center to end the inning.

Phillips started the seventh with a single and Cabrera hit into a double-play behind him. Votto grounded to short for the third out.

Blanton got the first two outs in the eighth before Cairo singled into left. Contreras took over for him and got pinch-hitter Laynce Nix on a fly ball to left for the third out.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils still up 6-3. He got Hernandez on a soft ground ball to short for the first out and struck out pinch-hitter Drew Stubbs for the second. Phillips was next and Lidge walked him on five pitches. Cabrera was next and moved Phillips to third with a single to left. It brought Votto to the plate and Votto hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center, tying the game at 6-6. Lidge got Gomes on a ball hit out in front of the plate and fielded by Schneider to send the game to extra-innings.

Romero pitched the bottom of the tenth with a 9-6 lead and set the Reds down in order for his third save of the year.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Leake went (1) Victorino (2) Dobbs (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Dobbs at third and Valdez at second. Rollins drops to third in the lineup with Utley on the DL. Dobbs hits second against the righty. Schneider catches with Ruiz sidelined.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard and Werth started the second with back-to-back walks with the Phillies down 3-1. Ibanez was next and flew to center. Howard tagged and went to third. Werth took second with the help of a dropped throw in from the outfield by Cabrera. Schneider was next and he hit the first pitch he saw from Leake out to right, putting the Phillies up 3-1. Valdez and Blanton went down behind him to set the Phillies down.

Rollins singled with two outs in the third, but Howard grounded out behind him.

Werth singled to start the fourth and moved to second on a one-out single by Schneider. Valdez was next and he also hit the first pitch from Leake out of the park, this one to left, putting the Phillies up 6-1. Blanton struck out swinging for the second out before Victorino singled. Dobbs popped to short for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

The lead was cut to 6-3 when the Phils hit in the sixth. Schneider singled with one out, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

Blanton hit for himself to start the seventh and struck out. Victorino followed with a walk. With lefty Daniel Herrera on the mound for Cincinnati, Castro hit for Dobbs and walked as well. Rollins flew to center for the first out with Victorino moving to third, but Howard struck out to leave both runners stranded.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Valdez started the ninth with a single off of righty Jordan Smith. Gload hit for Contreras and grounded to first with Valdez moving to second. Victorino walked to put men on first and second for Castro, but Castro struck out for the second out and Rollins struck out for the third.

The game was tied at 6-6 when the Phillies hit in the tenth. Lefty Arthur Rhodes, who had an 0.28 ERA in 35 appearances for the year, was on the mound for the Reds. Howard led off with a double and Werth walked. Charlie Manuel was ejected during Ibanez’s at-bat for arguing balls and strikes. Ibanez quickly got behind 0-2 before doubling to center, scoring Howard to put the Phils up 7-6 with men on second and third. Francisco hit for Schneider with the lefty still on the mound and singled into left on a ball deflected by the Cincinnati third baseman Cairo. Werth scored (8-6) and Ibanez went to third. Righty Nick Masset took over for Rhodes and Valdez executed the squeeze with Ibanez scoring to make it 9-6. With men on first and second and still nobody out, Sardinha hit for Lidge. He tried to bunt the runners along, but popped it up for the first out. Victorino flew to right and Castro grounded to second to end the frame.

Victorino was 1-for-4 and walked twice.

Dobbs 0-for-3 to drop his average on the year to .145.

Rollins was 1-for-5. He’s hitting 207/303/310 in 29 at-bats since coming off the DL.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Werth 1-for-3 and walked twice.

Ibanez 1-for-5 with a double.

Schneider 3-for-4 with a three-run homer.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.

Roy Halladay (9-6, 2.29) faces righty Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.07) this afternoon. Halladay threw seven shutout innings against the Blue Jays his last time out, coming off of a pair of starts in which he allowed a combined ten runs in 14 innings. Harang has allowed more than three runs in a start just once in his last six outings.


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