Tag: Brad Lidge

Phils due for some maintenance work as the spark plugs are getting old

The Phillies got Jimmy Rollins back in the lineup last night, but it was a guy who has been here all along that did the heavy lifting as the Phils topped the Cleveland Indians 2-1. Jamie Moyer was fantastic, holding Cleveland to a run on two hits over eight innings.

The lack of offense from the Phils continues to baffle. Last night they failed to deliver an extra-base hit yet again. After scoring two runs in the bottom of the first they were shut out the rest of the game on two singles and two walks.

The game was also notable in how it ended. Lefty JC Romero pitched to three hitters in the top of the ninth with a one-run lead. Two of them reached before Lidge came in to record back-to-back strikeouts to end the game. After the game, Manuel responded to a question about the closer situation by saying, “Lidge is our closer. In my mind, he’s our closer and that’s what counts.” Maybe so, but what’s happening in Manuel’s mind, while interesting, is a whole lot less important to the Phillies than what happens on the field and last night it was someone other than Lidge facing three batters in the ninth inning of a one-run game.

All that said, I think bringing on Romero to pitch to switch-left-switch to start the inning is a pretty good idea. It’s just not the way it’s always been done with this team.

Not to be forgotten is that Manuel also had been ejected from the game, so he shouldn’t have been involved with the decision on who pitched the ninth inning anyway.

The Phillies are 36-32 on the year after a 2-1 win over the Indians last night. They have won four of their last six but scored just three runs in their last two games. They’re in third place in the NL East, 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on two hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.43. Four of his last five starts has been really good with nine runs allowed in an inning in Boston on June 11. Nine runs in an inning will do a number on your numbers (4.22 ERA over his last five starts in this case), but Moyer is pitching very well.

He got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second inning up 2-0. He got two more ground outs to start the second before lefty Russell Branyan came to the plate and hammered the first pitch he saw way out to right. 2-1. Anderson Hernandez grounded to Utley for the third out.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 third and struck out two while setting Cleveland down in order again in the fourth.

He got two ground outs and a fly ball to right in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Moyer got the first two in the sixth before Trevor Crowe reached on an infield single. The lefty Shin-Soo Choo was next and walked on five pitches. Crowe stole third before Moyer got Carlos Santana on a fly ball to left to leave both runners stranded.

He came back with a 1-2-3 seventh and then set the Indians down in order again in the eighth. Former Phil Jason Donald hit the ball well in the eighth, but Victorino tracked it down on the warning track for the second out of the inning.

Romero started the ninth with a one-run lead and got the switch-hitter Crowe on a ground ball to second for the first out. The lefty Choo was next and hit a ball back up the middle that Rollins fielded behind second, but Choo was safe with an infield single. Switch-hitting Carlos Santana was next and Romero walked him on a 3-2 pitch that was nowhere near the plate. It brought righty Austin Kearns to the plate with one out and men on first and second. Lidge came in to pitch to him and struck him out swinging at a 2-2 slider for the second out. Righty Jhonny Peralta followed Kearns, also coming to the plate as the go-ahead run. Lidge struck him out swinging at a 2-2 slider as well to end the game.

Romero threw 13 pitches in the game and Lidge ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mitch Talbot went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Victorino (8) Schneider. Rollins returns to the lineup and the leadoff spot. Victorino is dropped all the way to seventh. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the DL.

Polanco singled with one out in the first and moved to second when Utley followed with a walk. Howard was next and hit a 1-0 pitch into left for a single that scored Polanco (1-0) and moved Utley to third. Werth hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Utley to score and put the Phils up 2-0. Ibanez followed and hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Crowe to catch it and end the inning.

Victorino walked to start the second with the lead cut to 2-1. Schneider hit into a double-play behind him and Moyer struck out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Werth walked with one out in the fourth and moved to third when Ibanez followed with a single to right. Victorino was next and hit a ground ball to second. Donald fielded and threw to Hernandez at second for the second out of the inning with Victorino safe at first, but Ibanez was ruled out on interference and the run was taken off the board with the inning over.

Manuel got ejected arguing the call, which cost the Phils a run, but the ump got it right. Ibanez was way off of second.

The Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Howard singled with two outs in the sixth, but Werth flew to right behind him to set the Phillies down.

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

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and is hitting 311/429/578 in 45 at-bats for the season.

Polanco was 1-for-4. He’s 7-for-his-last-22.

Utley 0-for-2 with a walk. 6-for-his-last-16 with a double, a triple and a home run. He walked 20 times in April and has walked 19 times in May and June combined.

Howard was 2-for-3 with an RBI. He’s hitting 329/368/686 in June.

Werth was 0-for-1 with a walk and an RBI. He’s hitting .218 in June after going 0-for-17 with ten strikeouts to end May. He’s 12-for-his-last-72 (.167). On the plus side, maybe the Phillies will be able to afford him next year after all.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a strikeout. He’s 4-for-his-last-20. His slugging percentage dropped to .371 after the June 6 against the Padres. He had gotten it back up over .400 since then, but it’s back going the wrong direction and sitting on .400 at the start of the day today.

Victorino was 0-for-2 with a walk in the seven-hole. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Schneider was 0-for-3. He was hitting 303/395/364 after going 3-for-4 against the Red Sox on June 12. He’s gone 1-for-14 since, dropping his line on the year to 234/333/277.

Another game for the Phils without an extra-base hit.

Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 4.48) faces righty Jake Westbrook (4-4, 4.76) tonight. Kendrick has been really good in three of his last four starts with one bad outing against the Marlins. Westbrook allowed five runs in seven innings against the Mets last Thursday. He missed the 2009 season off of Tommy John surgery and his rates of allowing hits, walks and home runs are all up above his career marks since his return.


And you thought it was tiring just to watch

Things were looking really good through most of the first two games of this weekend’s series between the Phillies and the Twins. The Phils scored nine runs in game one as they rolled to a 9-5 win. They were on the brink of another victory in game two when things took a dramatic turn for the worse, though, and the Twins wound up taking two of three as the Phils fell 5 1/2 games out of first in the NL East.

The Phils led game two 9-4 going into the ninth inning. Contreras started the ninth and allowed a two-run homer to Jim Thome and then walked Nick Punto before Brad Lidge came on to try to close it out for the Phils with a 9-6 lead and a man on first. Punto took second on defensive indifference and third on a wild pitch before Denard Span delivered an RBI-single with one out that cut the lead to 9-7. Lidge struck out Orlando Hudson for the second out and was one out away from ending the game before Joe Mauer tied it up at 9-9 with a home run to center.

For Lidge it was another big hit he allowed with two outs. Lidge has been a whole lot better earlier in the innings than he has near the end of innings this year. Here’s what opponents are hitting against him for the season with zero or one outs and what they are hitting against him with two outs:

  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
0 or 1 out 25 .167 .200 .292 .492
2 outs 19 .353 .421 .647 1.068

Not a lot of plate appearances, but batters have fared a lot better against him this year with two outs than they did earlier in the inning.

Here’s how batters have fared against him for his career with zero or one outs compared to what they have done against him with two outs:

  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
0 or 1 out 1520 .223 .305 .357 .662
2 outs 783 .221 .332 .368 .700

Batters have been a little better against Lidge with two outs over his career, but there isn’t nearly the same gap as there has been this season.

Whether Lidge is getting tired or not, despite the tiny number of batters that he’s faced this season I think it is good news that he’s actually been better against hitters with less than two outs this year than he has over his career.

It’s important to note, too, that getting hammered with two outs wasn’t Lidge’s problem in 2009. If you look at his splits from ’09, he was miserable all around, but by OPS allowed he was actually better with two outs than he was with zero or one. In ’09, opposing hitters put up an .894 OPS against him for the year with two down compared to a .933 OPS with nobody out and a .907 OPS with one out.

This article suggests that Rollins will be back sometime in the series with the Indians, Ruiz should be back sometime this week and that Happ will make his fourth rehab start on Wednesday.


Imperfect, and looking more imperfecter every day, team throws perfect game

The Phillies miserable skid may not be over, but at least May finally is. The Phils went 2-7 to end the month and scored ten runs in those nine games while being shut out five times.

The nosedive has now cost them the lead in the division to good Atlanta team. Not as good as the Phillies, but good and more than good enough to take the division if the Phils continue to play like they don’t belong.

What does it take for the Phillies to win these days? Well, Roy Halladay showed us all Saturday as he threw the 20th perfect game in major league history. The Phils won 1-0 with a lot of help from a three-base error by Cameron Maybin. The Phils somehow managed to win that three-game set with the Marlins despite scoring four runs in the series. They jumped right back into the swing of things after that, though, getting shut out on Sunday before Tommy Hanson took a shutout into the seventh inning against them yesterday.

Charlie Manuel has tried just about everything now. Meetings, benchings, changing the lineup and getting ejected. None of it is working and slump isn’t the right word for what’s happening to the Phillies anymore.

The Phillies are 28-22 on the year after a 9-3 loss to Atlanta yesterday afternoon. They are in second place in the NL East, a half game behind the Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Chipper Jones. He struck out two. Blanton has been awful this year. He has now thrown to the same 1.32 ratio in 2010 as he did in 2009, but with a 5.68 ERA in ’10 compared to a 4.05 for 2009. He’s giving up more hits and more home runs and his strikeouts are way down — in 2009 he struck out 7.5 batters per nine innings and so far in 2010 he’s struck out 4.5 batters per nine innings.

Martin Prado singled to center to start the bottom of the first. Jason Heyward flew to Victorino for the first out before Chipper hit a 3-2 pitch out to right to put Atlanta up 2-0. Brain McCann flew to center for the second out before Troy Glaus hit a ball to right that Gload butchered for a two-base error. Eric Hinske singled to right and Glaus scored to make it 3-0. Yunel Escobar flew to right to end the inning.

Gload’s error proves costly to the Phils.

The pitcher Tommy Hanson singled to right with one out in the second, but Blanton got Prado on a ball hit out in front of the plate that Ruiz handled and struck Heyward out looking to leave him stranded.

McCann walked with one out in the third and moved to third when Glaus followed with a single. Hinske hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for another Phillies error. McCann scored, 4-0, and Glaus went to third with Hinske safe at second. Escobar singled into center and both runners scored, but Victorino threw Escobar out trying to stretch it into a double. Blanton got Nate McLouth to pop to short to end the inning with the Phils down 6-0.

Two errors in three innings lead to two unearned runs for Atlanta.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

Escobar singled with one out in the sixth. Blanton got McLouth to pop to short for the second out before a Hanson single sent Escobar to third. Prado grounded to second to leave both men stranded.

The Atlanta lead was cut to 6-3 when Bastardo started the seventh. Chipper singled with one out and Omar Infante ran for him at first. A walk to McCann put men on first and second and Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Glaus. Glaus hit his first pitch out to center to extend the lead to 9-3. Gregor Blanco followed that with a double, but Durbin got the next two to leave him at second.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 eighth, getting a strikeout and two ground balls to lower his ERA to 2.08 on the year.

Bastardo threw 22 pitches in the game. Lidge 13 and Durbin seven.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tommy Hanson went (1) Gload (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Well that’s different. Gload in right. Dobbs at third. Victorino dropped to fifth. The Phils go four lefties, switch, lefty at the top of their order.

Dobbs walked with one out in the first and moved to third when Utley followed with a single. Howard hit into a double-play to turn them away.

Down 3-0, Victorino walked to start the second. He stole second before Ibanez walked. Ruiz flew to center and Valdez hit into a double-play.

Blanton started the third with a single. Gload popped to third before Blanton took second on a passed ball. Dobbs flew to left and Utley flew to left. Manuel was ejected during the Dobbs at-bat. The home plate ump ruled Dobbs had been hit by a pitch. Bobby Cox argued that he hadn’t and the call was overturned with Dobbs not getting to take his base. Manuel argued that decision and got tossed. Dobbs wasn’t hit by the pitch.

Third straight inning the Phils put a runner on second without scoring.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

They were down 6-0 when they faced Hanson in the seventh. Ibanez doubled with two outs and righty Peter Moylan came in to pitch to Ruiz. Ruiz doubled to right and Ibanez scored. 6-1. Valdez doubled to left and Ruiz scored. 6-2. Francisco hit for Blanton and he doubled to left-center. 6-3. Lefty Jonny Venters came in to pitch to Gload and hit him, putting men on first and second with two down. The righty Castro hit for the lefty Dobbs and grounded to second for the third out.

Down 9-3, the Phils went in order in the eighth.

Ruiz walked with one out in the ninth. Valdez struck out and Francisco flew to right to end the game.

Gload was 0-for-3 in the game and has proved not to be the magic bullet that pulls the Phils out of their slump. He’s 1-for-his-last-7 and hitting 222/243/389 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 2-for-27 in May and hitting 125/208/250 for the year. That’s really bad.

Utley was 1-for-4 yesterday. He’s 3-for-his-last-27 with three singles.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-20.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk hitting out of the five-hole. He’s been really good this month, hitting 284/357/509 in 116 at-bats.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 2-for-his-last-12.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-10 with a double and two walks.

Valdez was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-15 with two doubles and hitting 250/260/375 for the year. Castro was 0-for-1 yesterday. He’s 2-for-his-last-9 and hitting 250/277/307 for the year. Castro and Valdez have combined to get 160 at-bats for the Phils this season.

Werth didn’t play yesterday and is 0-for-his-last-19 with 11 strikeouts.

Polanco has not played since Thursday due to problems with his left elbow. This says the Phillies should know when he will be able to return today.

The linked article also says that Nelson Figueroa was designated for assignment when Lidge was activated.

Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.82) faces righty Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.24) tonight. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last five starts. Hudson has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in ten outings this year. Opponents are hitting 212/299/301 against him for the year.


Mets refuse to let the Phillies score and are kind of a Dickey about it

New York’s RA Dickey is the latest hurler to stump the Phils. Dickey tossed six shutout innings last night as the Mets pounded the Phils 8-0. In their last three games the Phillies have been shut out twice and nearly no-hit once. In the other game they were shut out through eight innings before scoring three in the bottom of the ninth to turn a blowout into a five-run loss.

Moyer didn’t pitch well in last night’s game, failing to go six innings for the first time this year. The bullpen allowed four runs in three innings. The Phils had plenty of chances to score, but let them all slip away. Most notably, they loaded the bases with nobody out in the second and came away empty. In the seventh, Utley and Howard struck out back-to-back with a man on third and less than two outs.

The Phils have lost five of seven and scored 15 runs over those seven games. In four of the seven they scored one run or zero runs. They’re 26-18 on the season with the loss. They are three games ahead of the second-place Marlins in the division, but just four ahead of the Nats and Mets, who have the same record at the bottom of the division.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He didn’t strike out a batter.

Jose Reyes led off the bottom of the first with a single and Luis Castillo bunted him to second. Reyes stole third and came in to score on a ground out by Jason Bay, putting the Mets up 1-0. Ike Davis flew to center for the third out.

Moyer got David Wright to start the second, but Angel Pagan and Rod Barajas singled back-to-back behind him. It put men on first and third for Jeff Francoeur and Francoeur singled to left, scoring Pagan to put the Mets up 2-0. The pitcher RA Dickey was next and bunted the runners to second and third with two outs. Reyes grounded to third for the third out.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 third.

Wright led off the fourth and hit a ball into shallow center that Victorino didn’t see. It dropped and Wright had a double. Pagan walked to put men on first and second for Barajas. Barajas flew to center deep enough for Wright to go to third. Francoeur was next and he delivered a sac fly too, this one to left. Wright scored and it was 3-0. Dickey flew to right for the third out.

Reyes started the fifth with a pretty bunt single and stole second. Castillo moved him to third with a ground out before Bay singled to left to bring him in and put the Mets up 4-0. Bay stole second and Davis walked. It put men on first and second with one out, but Moyer got Wright on a fly ball to left and Pagan on a fly to center.

Herndon started the sixth after the Phils hit for Moyer in the top of the inning. He allowed a one-out double to Francoeur. Lefty Chris Carter hit for the pitcher Dickey and singled into center, scoring Francoeur to making it 5-0. Herndon got Reyes and Castillo to end the inning.

Herndon came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh. Opponents are hitting .373 against him for the year.

Figueroa started the eighth with the Phils down 5-0. Barajas singled with one out before Francoeur lined to left for the second out. The pitcher Raul Valdes was next and he doubled just out of the reach of Werth. Barajas scored and it was 6-0. Reyes was next and tripled just out of the reach of Werth. 7-0. Castillo singled to left. 8-0. Bay grounded to third to finally end the inning.

Werth was playing really shallow with Valdes at the plate. A little too shallow apparently. That would have been a nice out to have. Figueroa’s ERA for the year is up to 5.09 for the year. He’s allowed runs in two of his last three appearances, giving up five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Herndon threw 30 pitches in the game, Figueroa 29.

The Phillies lineup against righty RA Dickey went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Castro. Castro plays short with Rollins on the DL, hitting eighth with Ruiz seventh.

The Phils went in order in the first.

They hit in the top of the second down 1-0. Howard led off and smashed a ball off the arm of Dickey for a single. Dickey stayed in the game and Werth singled as well, sending Howard to second. Ibanez singled to left and the bases were loaded for Ruiz. Ruiz hit a ball back to the mound. Dickey fielded and threw home to start the double-play with Barajas going to first for the second out. Castro walked to load the bases again, but Moyer struck out swinging to turn the Phillies away.

No run in the inning on three hits and a walk. That’s tough to do.

Victorino started the third with a walk with the Phillies down 2-0. Polanco hit a ground ball to second and Victorino was forced for the first out. Utley struck out before Howard sent Polanco to second with a single. Werth walked to load the bases yet again, but Ibanez lined to short to leave them all stranded.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

They were losing 3-0 when they hit in the fifth. Polanco singled with one out. Utley followed and grounded to second with Polanco forced for the second out. Howard flew to center to set the Phillies down.

It was 4-0 in the sixth. Ibanez and Ruiz singled back-to-back with one out. It put men on first and second for Castro and he lined to Davis at first for the second out. With the righty Dickey still pitching for the Mets, Dobbs hit for Moyer and struck out swinging 1-2.

Lefty Raul Valdes started the seventh with a 5-0 lead. Victorino led off with a walk and moved to third when Polanco followed with a double. Utley struck out and Howard struck out. Werth got to hit against the lefty and hit a ground ball in the hole between third and short. Wright made a nice play to field the ball diving to his left and threw Werth out at first to end the frame.

That’s awful. No run for the Phils when Utley and Howard both strike out with a man on third and less than two outs.

Castro walked with two outs in the eighth. With the lefty Valdes still on the mound for the Mets, Francisco hit for Herndon and popped to Reyes to leave Castro stranded.

Polanco singled off of Valdes with one out in the ninth, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game. It’s tempting to blame the offensive woes on the .310 on-base percentage in the leadoff spot, but Victorino is hitting 280/356/548 so far in May.

Polanco was 3-for-5 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit for the Phils in the game.

Utley 0-for-5.

Howard 2-for-5.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk.

Ibanez 2-for-4. He’s hitting 214/283/357 against lefties this season.

Ruiz 1-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-17.

Castro was 0-for-2 with two walks, giving him four for the season.

Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.06) faces lefty Hisanori Takahashi (3-1, 2.53) tonight in game two of the series. Blanton has been very good early in the game this year and very bad late. So far the results are bad overall. Takahashi has made 15 relief appearances and one start on the season. The start came on Saturday against the Yankees and he threw six shutout innings. He does walk a lot of righties, though. They are hitting 241/347/373 against him for the season.

Some words about Brad Lidge and how good he feels here. The article suggests he could be activated next week.


Nothing but sweep on tap for the Brewers in Milwaukee

What’s it going to take to fluster the Phils this year? The world may never know. Apparently it’s not losing their closers, shortstop, catchers or third or fourth starters. Down to their third and fourth closers, their fourth shortstop and third catcher, they looked pretty comfortable sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend.

The guys filling in did more than just fill in. Wilson Valdez sparkled defensively at short. He and backup backup catcher Paul Hoover combined to hit .400 in the series (10-for-25). The middle of the order didn’t do a ton, but Victorino and Polanco paced the offense by going 14-for-29 (.483) at the top.

The battered bullpen did its part, too. Brad Lidge hit the DL in the series, but Jose Contreras and JC Romero looked just fine working the ninth with both Lidge and Ryan Madson on the shelf. Contreras and Romero nailed down a pair of saves in the series — between them they allowed a hit and a walk over 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Overall, the bullpen allowed one run in seven innings in the series.

The Phils are 23-13 after a three-game sweep of the Brewers in Milwaukee. They have won 11 of their last 14 and lead the NL in wins in winning percentage.

The Phillies won the first game 9-5. Moyer got the start and didn’t pitch very well, but the Phillies got home runs from Werth, Utley and Howard and Victorino went 3-for-5 with three RBI. The game was tied at 3-3 before the Phils scored three in the fourth on a homer by Ibanez and a two-run triple from Victorino. Victorino and Polanco drove in runs in the sixth as the Phillies extended the lead to 8-3. Herndon, Baez and Contreras combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings after Moyer left in the seventh.

They won game two 10-6. Blanton pitched well early and the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the top of the seventh. Paul Hoover had a two-run double in the seventh and the Phillies scored five times. Blanton took the mound in the bottom of the seventh with a 9-2 lead, but allowed a three-run homer to Corey Hart and the Brewers were back in the game at 9-5. The Phillies extended the lead to 10-5 in the top of the eighth. Herndon tried to nail it down in the bottom of the ninth but faced four batters and allowed two doubles and a single. Contreras came in and the Brewers brought the tying run to the plate, but Contreras struck Rickie Weeks and Hart to end the game.

Yesterday the Phillies won 4-2. Hamels pitched well and took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Casey McGehee and Corey Hart hit back-to-back homers off of him with two outs in the sixth to get the Brewers within one. Durbin, Baez and Romero threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings after Hamels left. Romero set Milwaukee down in order in the ninth to get the save.

Moyer got the start in game one. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks. Only four of the runs were earned. He allowed three solo home runs in the game and struck out three.

Blanton started game two and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. He also allowed three home runs in the game. Four of the six hits he gave up went for extra-bases, a double and three homers. He struck out five.

Hamels started game three and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both solo home runs. He struck out three. He’s 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA over his last three starts.

Romero got the chance to save the game yesterday. He entered to pitch the bottom of the ninth with the Phils up 4-2 and set Milwaukee down in order.

Herndon entered game one to pitch to Rickie Weeks in the bottom of the seventh with one out and the bases loaded. The Phillies were winning 8-3. Weeks hit a ground ball to short. Valdez took it and went to Utley for the second out of the inning, but Utley threw the ball away for an error and two runs scored on the play. Herndon struck out Corey Hart to end the inning.

He also pitched in game two, entering in the bottom of the ninth with a 10-5 lead. He got the leadoff hitter, but the next three batters went double, single, double, which put runners on second and third with one out and the lead cut to 10-6. Manuel gave Herndon the hook and called on Jose Contreras to close out the game.

Baez pitched the eighth inning of game one. He entered with an 8-5 lead and allowed two singles but kept the Brewers off the board.

He also pitched the eighth inning yesterday with a 4-2 lead. He allowed singles to the first two men he faced, putting men on first and second with nobody out. He got McGehee to hit into a double-play and Hart to ground to short. Valdez made two very nice plays in the inning, a strong throw to complete the McGehee double-play and another nice throw to get Hart.

Durbin pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 10-5 lead. He allowed a two-out single to Ryan Braun, but got Prince Fielder to ground to Utley behind him.

He also pitched yesterday, taking over for Hamels with two outs, nobody on and the Phillies up 3-2 in the seventh. He allowed an infield single to Rickie Weeks before getting Alcides Escobar on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Figueroa did not pitch in the series. He has thrown 1 1/3 innings this month.

Contreras pitched the ninth inning of game one. He allowed a one-out single to Joe Inglett but got the next two.

He also pitched in the second game of the set. He entered with one out and men on second and third and the Phils up 10-6. He walked George Kottaras to load the bases. It brought Weeks to the plate as the tying run, but Contreras struck him out for the second out and then struck Craig Counsell out to end the game. First career save for Contreras.

Lidge did not pitch in the series and went on the DL on Saturday. Bastardo is back up to take his place on the roster.

Durbin has pitched two days in a row, throwing 23 pitches in game two and 15 in game three.

The Phillies scored 23 runs in the three-game set.

Victorino was 8-for-15 with a walk, a double, a triple and a home run in the series. He’s at 269/311/519 for the season. He’s having a monster month — 333/382/714 in May. He’s on pace to hit 36 home runs for the season.

Polanco was 6-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series. He walked in the second game in Colorado and the first game of this set, giving him walks in back-to-back games for the first time on the year. 318/344/473 for the year.

Utley was 3-for-14 with two doubles and a homer. He hasn’t walked in his last 31 plate appearances. 304/421/578 for the season. He made two errors in the first game of the series and is on pace to make 27 for the season.

Howard 4-for-14 with a home run and two walks in the set. 289/337/467 on the year.

Werth 3-for-13 with a double and a walk. 333/414/643. He has 19 doubles through 36 games, which puts him on pace to hit 85.5 doubles over 162 games.

Ibanez was 3-for-12 with a double, three walks and a home run. He’s at 237/345/407 for the year.

Valdez played short in all three games, going 5-for-15 with two doubles and a triple with several nice defensive plays. Still doesn’t have a walk on the season, though. 231/231/365.

Hoover caught all three games and went 5-for-10 with two doubles and three walks. He’s 5-for-12 on the season.

Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez combined to go 13-for-53 (.245) in the series. Victorino, Polanco, Valdez and Hoover were 24-for-54 (.444).

Ruiz didn’t play in the series. Castro didn’t play in the series and got his last at-bat on May 5. Francisco didn’t play and has one at-bat since May 4.

Dobbs 0-for-1 in the set. Gload 0-for-2.

Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.89) faces righty Charlie Morton (1-6, 9.19) tonight. Kendrick needs to get out lefties. Morton needs to get out anyone — opponents are hitting .336 against him.

Jimmy Rollins may be back in the lineup tonight.


Officials postpone game two of double-header in a last ditch effort to keep Miguel Olivo out of the Hall of Fame

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Roy Halladay is going to be great for the Phillies this year. Not every time out, though. Yesterday was one of the days he wasn’t. Pitching on a cold day in Colorado, Halladay allowed a ton of hits in the game and his pitch count got elevated early. He didn’t go seven innings for the first time in eight starts as a Phillie and the Phils lost the game in extra-innings. Miguel Olivo hit Chad Durbin’s first pitch of the tenth out to left to win the game for the Rockies. It was Olivo’s fifth hit of the day.

The Phillies are 20-13 after losing to the Rockies 4-3 in ten innings yesterday.

Halladay started for the Phils and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on ten hits and two walks. Only two of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out four and threw 121 pitches in the game.

Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith started the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles. Melvin Mora bunted back to the pitcher for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Brad Hawpe was next and he hit a fly ball to left field. Ibanez made a nice sliding catch for the second out, then popped up and tried to throw Gonzalez out tagging from third. Nice play by Ibanez, but Gonzalez was safe and the Rockies led 1-0. Todd Helton walked to put men on first and second for Colorado, but Halladay got Ian Stewart on a fly ball to center to end the inning.

Miguel Olivo led off the second and lined a single to left. Halladay struck Clint Barmes out swinging for the first out and Olivo was gunned down trying to steal with the pitcher Aaron Cook at the plate for the second out. Cook struck out looking to set Colorado down.

Like they did in the first, Gonzalez and Smith singled back-to-back to start the third. Again it put men on first and second for Mora. Mora didn’t bunt this time, though, flying to center for the first out as Gonzalez moved to third. Halladay struck Hawpe out looking at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Helton flew to left for the third out.

Big strikeout of the lefty Hawpe with one out and men on first and third.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Colorado came to bat in the bottom of the fourth. Stewart led off with a single. Olivo was next and drove a ball to left-center for a double. Stewart would have scored easily, but the ball bounced over the wall for a ground rule double. With Barmes at the plate, Halladay delivered a pitch that Hoover didn’t handle cleanly. The ball was in the dirt near the plate and Stewart tried to score from third, but Hoover tagged him out easily for the first out. Olivo went to third with one out. Halladay put Barmes in an 1-2 hole, but lost him and the walk put men on first and third for Cook. Cook bunted back to the mound. Halladay fielded, looked Olivo back to third and threw Cook out as Barmes went to second. Gonzalez grounded to first for the third out.

Two gifts in the frame for the Phils. First the ball bounces over the wall on Olivo’s double, which keeps Stewart from scoring easily. Then Stewart gives them an out trying to score on the ball in the dirt. So no run for Colorado with a single, a double and a walk in the inning.

Four innings, four times the Rockies had gotten their leadoff man on base.

Halladay had a 3-1 lead when he started the fifth. With one out, Eric Young Jr, who took over for Mora at second when Mora had to leave the game in the fourth, hit a ground ball to Utley. Utley should have made the play, but the ball went under his glove for his fourth error of the season. Hawpe moved Young to second with a ground out. With Helton at the plate, Halladay delivered a pitch in the dirt that bounced over Hoover and allowed Young to go to third. Helton lined to Werth to end the inning.

Halladay had thrown 92 pitches through five innings.

Olivo singled to left with one out in the sixth. Barmes flew to center for the second out. Righty Ryan Spilborghs hit for the pitcher Cook and grounded to short for the third out.

Gonzalez started the seventh with a single and Smith lined out to left behind him. Young hit a ball to first. Howard fielded and threw to second, but his throw was in the dirt and Valdez couldn’t handle it. Howard was charged with an error and the Rockies had men on first and second with one out. Hawpe blasted a ball over the head of Werth and Werth fumbled it trying to pick it up. Both runners scored, tying the game at 3-3, with Hawpe safe at third with a triple. The play was originally called a double and an error on Werth, but the scoring was changed to get it wrong. With one out and a man on third, Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Helton. Helton lined to Howard for the second out. His fellow lefty Stewart lined to Utley to end the inning.

Two misplays in the inning for the Phils. The ball that Young hit might not have been a double-play given his speed, but it least should have been one. Howard is really, really awful at throwing the ball. Werth should have been charged with an error but wasn’t.

On the plus side, Romero faced two lefties, including one with a man on third and one out, and got them both out. Line drives or not, it looks good in the box score.

Baez started the eighth. Olivo led off with a single and Barmes bunted him to second. Switch-hitter Dexter Fowler hit for the pitcher Matt Belisle and drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one down, but Baez got Gonzalez on a popup to short and Smith on a fly ball to left.

Nice job by Baez to get two lefties with two men on and one out. The Phils were out of left-handed relievers after Romero left the game.

Durbin pitched the ninth and allowed a two-out walk to Helton. He struck Stewart out behind him to end the inning. Valdez made a nice play to get the first out of the inning on a ground ball hit by Young. Colorado manager Jim Tracy was ejected for arguing that Young was safe on the play.

Durbin came back to start the tenth. Olivo hit his first pitch of the inning out to left to give Colorado a 4-3 win.

Durbin threw 23 pitches in the game, Baez 15 and Romero 11. That’s not going to matter with an off-day today, but might have if they actually played two games yesterday.

The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Cook went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez continues to play short with Rollins on the DL and Castro on the bench. Ruiz stays in the seven-hole despite being one of the hottest hitters in the league.

Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first. It put men on first and second for Howard and Howard hit a double-play ball to Mora at second. Colorado didn’t get two, though, as Mora dropped the ball and had to settle for throwing to first to get Howard as the runners moved to second and third with two down. Werth struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

The Phils started the second losing 1-0. Cook set Ibanez, Ruiz and Valdez down on three ground balls.

Polanco walked with two outs in the third, but Utley grounded to second behind him.

A walk. To Polanco. Number four on the year. It put him two ahead of Moyer for the season. I’m pretty sure (okay, positive) that Polanco is going to walk more than Moyer for the season, but Moyer’s career walk rate is better. Coming into the games yesterday, Moyer had walked in 33 of his 466 career plate appearances (7.1%) and Polanco had walked in 317 of his 6,156 of his (5.1%). So it’s not even very close. Moyer won’t be able to hang in overall walks for long given that Polanco looks sure to get at least 550 more plate appearances this season.

Howard lined a single to right to start the fourth. Werth was next and he lined a ball into center. Gonzalez took an odd angle trying to track it down and the ball rolled past him. Werth had a double and Howard scored to tie the game at 1-1 with Werth on second and nobody out. Ibanez followed with a walk. Ruiz smashed a ball, but right at Stewart who tagged third and threw to second to complete the double-play. With two outs and a man on first, Valdez doubled to right. Ruiz would have scored, but pulled into third limping. He left the game with Hoover coming in to run for him. Halladay got a chance with two outs and men on second and third, but grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.

Polanco doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Utley followed and slapped a ball over Stewart’s head at third for a single. Polanco scored to put the Phils up 2-1. Howard lined a single into center and Utley moved to second. Cook hit Werth on the shoulder and the bases were loaded. Ibanez hit a fly ball to left for the second out, deep enough for Utley to tag and score. 3-1 with two down and men on first and second for Hoover. Hoover struck out looking to leave both runners stranded.

Valdez, Halladay and Victorino went in order in the sixth.

Utley singled with one out in the seventh, but Howard and Werth were retired behind him.

Valdez singled to right with two outs in the eighth and the game now tied at 3-3. With righty Matt Belisle on the mound, Dobbs hit for Romero and struck out to drop his average on the year to .179.

The Phils went in order in the ninth.

Howard singled to start the tenth. Werth was next and hit a ground ball to third. Howard was forced at second for the first out. Ibanez hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Victorino was 0-for-5.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk and a double.

Utley 3-for-5 with an RBI.

Howard 3-for-5.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a double and four men left on base.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-2 and left the game early. Hoover was 0-for-2 and struck out twice.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a double.

Ruiz is day-to-day with a sprained knee. Things would have gotten pretty interesting if Hoover had gotten hurt yesterday. Even if he hadn’t he probably would have been pretty tired by the end of game two had it happened.

Lidge has been sent back to Philadelphia to have his right elbow examined.

It turns out to be easier to argue that you’re not stealing signs before they photograph your bullpen coach with binoculars.

No game today. The Phils play the Brewers on Friday.


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