Tag: Brett Myers

Durbin definitely either getting worse, improving or staying about the same

Chad Durbin was a huge part of the Phillies bullpen in 2008. In 2009 he has struggled, but a lot of his numbers make it look like ’09 has been a better year for Durbin than ’08. Opponents are hitting .230 against him this season after hitting .254 against him last year. He’s struck out a whole lot more hitters this year than he did in ’09 than he did in ’08, too, striking out about 8.2 batters per nine in ’09 after striking out about 6.5 batters per nine in ’08. He’s faring better against lefties this year as well — lefties have hit 240/370/394 against him in ’09 after hitting 311/401/394 against him in 2008.

Something’s wrong, though, maybe more than one something. Here’s the rates he has allowed runs, hits, doubles and triples, home runs, walks and struck batters out per 100 plate appearances over the past two seasons:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB SO
2009 13.3 18.6 4.2 2.8 14.7 20.0
2008 9.1 22.3 3.3 1.4 9.6 17.3

The extra-base hits and the walks are both way up. He’s allowing home runs at about twice the rate he did last year and walks at about 1 1/2 times the ’08 pace.

As I mentioned above, Durbin has actually been a little better against lefties in ’09 than he was in ’08. Righties have been hitting him a little harder this year, connecting for more extra-base hits, but the bigger problem is that despite the fact that righties are hitting just .222 against Durbin in ’09 they are on-basing .355. A year ago he held them to a .214 average but they on-based just .284 for the year.

When you look at Durbin’s numbers for the year, the thing that’s more worrisome than comparing his numbers for the season to last year’s numbers is comparing his numbers for the season to his career numbers. Durbin has put up a 4.88 ERA and a 1.52 ratio for the season, but both of those numbers are better than his numbers for his career. Over his career Durbin has a 5.25 ERA and a 1.53 ratio. Even given that he spent most of his career in the American League that still shouldn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Here’s how his numbers for the year compare to his career numbers for the categories in the chart above:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB SO
2009 13.3 18.6 4.2 2.8 14.7 20.0
Career 14.4 24.4 4.8 3.3 9.8 14.0

Again, Durbin was in the AL for most of his career, but still in 2009 he has been better at preventing runs, hits, doubles and triples, home runs and at striking batters out than he has been over his career. The only thing that’s worse for him is the walks.

This article suggests that Myers and Park may pitch again this season, that Romero may face hitters this week and that the Phils hope Romero and Eyre will both return soon.


Feast of the East

It’s not clear how the season is going to end for the Phillies, but one thing I think we can say at this point is that the Phils are better than the other teams in the NL East. The Phils have one more big stop to make in Florida, but they have plowed through the other teams in the division in their recent stretch, going 10-3 against the Nats, Mets and Braves over their last 13 games.

The Phillies are 27-9 on the season against the Mets and Nationals. 60-52 against the other teams in baseball.

The Phillies are 87-61 on the season after taking two of three from the Braves in Atlanta. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by eight games. After winning the first game of the series they were twenty-six games over .500 for the first time since the 1993 season.

The Phillies won the first game of the series 9-4. Martin Prado put the Braves up 1-0 in the bottom of the third with a home run off of Happ. Happ left after three innings for precautionary reasons after a mystery injury that may or may not have been related to his oblique. Howard put the Phils up 2-1 with a two-run homer in the fourth and Kendrick took over for Happ and delivered four scoreless frames. The Phils extended the lead to 3-1 on another home run by Howard, this one a solo shot in the sixth. Werth drove in two runs with a single in the eighth and it was 5-1, but Brian McCann got Atlanta back in the game with a two-run homer off of Walker in the bottom of the eighth. A three-run homer by Rollins and a solo shot from Francisco pushed the Phillies lead to 9-3 and Atlanta scored a run charged to Durbin in the bottom of the ninth.

The Braves won game two 6-4. Again the Phillies saw their starter leave early as Pedro left after three innings with a stiff neck. Martinez did well to get out of the second allowing just one run after the Braves saw their first two hitters reach on a double and a single. Atlanta extended the lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the second on four hits and a hit batter. Durbin took over for Martinez after the early exit, allowing three runs over 2 2/3. The Phillies, meanwhile, couldn’t find the answer to Javier Vazquez. Vazquez tossed seven shutout innings and the Braves took a 6-0 lead into the top of the ninth. The Phils scored four times in the top of the ninth, with Howard delivering the big blow, a two-run homer off of Rafael Soriano. With two outs and men on first and second, Francisco flew to right to end the game and snap a six-game winning streak for the Phils.

The Phils played sloppy yesterday. They gave away outs on the bases, got ejected arguing about it, overthrew the cutoff man, executed one of the worst rundowns you’ve ever seen and dropped the ball — and that was all in the first inning. They pitched well enough to win anyway, taking the game 4-2. The Braves went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first with a run off of Cliff Lee. Francisco doubled in Rollins in the third to tie the game at 1-1 and Ibanez and Feliz drove in runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-1. A triple by Utley in the top of the fifth brought in Rollins and it was 4-1 before a long rain delay that forced Lee from the game. Walker, Escalona, Condrey and Madson combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief of Lee before Lidge allowed yet another run in the ninth.

The Phils threw 26 innings in the series with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.27 ratio.

All three of the starts were cut short. Happ and Martinez had their starts cut short by injury and Lee exited after four yesterday due to rain. The three combined to throw just ten innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.80 ratio. Happ and Lee both pitched pretty well, but Martinez allowed three runs on seven hits over three innings. They allowed just one home run, which Prado hit off of Happ.

Happ left game one of the series after three innings in which he allowed a run on five hits including the solo homer to Prado.

Pedro went three innings in game two before leaving with neck stiffness. In his three innings he allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk. The loss in game two was the first time the Phillies had lost a game that he had started.

Lee only got to throw four innings in his start as well before he was forced from the game by rain. He went four innings, allowing a run on three singles and a pair of doubles. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. He’s allowed one run in 13 innings over his last two starts. 7-2 with the Phils with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.07 ratio. He’s walked just nine over 68 innings.

The pen had to throw a ton of innings in the set with three early exits from the starters. As a group the pen threw 16 innings in the three games, pitching to a 3.38 ERA with an 0.94 ratio. They allowed just 11 hits in 16 innings. Kendrick was fantastic in game one, throwing four shutout innings in relief of Happ, but Walker and Durbin both got hit hard later in that game. Durbin was hit hard again in game two, with Escalona and Condrey pitching well after that. Walker, Escalona, Condrey and Madson combined to pitch four scoreless innings yesterday before Lidge gave up a run in the ninth.

Escalona entered game two in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies down 6-0 to pitch to lefty Brian McCann. He got McCann on a line drive to third to end the game. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

He also started the seventh inning yesterday with the Phils up 4-1. He hit Nate McClouth with two outs and Condrey came on to face the righty Prado.

Escalona sure seems like he should be getting consideration for the post-season roster given the problems for Eyre and Romero, but Manuel makes it sound like there’s not much of a chance. He has a 2.16 ERA and an 0.84 ratio in 8 1/3 innings on the year.

Kendrick took over for Happ in the fourth inning of game one, entering with a 2-1 lead. He threw four scoreless innings, allowing three singles and not walking a batter. He has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.20 ratio in 16 2/3 innings for the Phillies this season.

Walker started the eighth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead. He allowed a one-out single that was followed by a two-out home run by Brian McCann. Walker was pulled for Madson after getting just two outs.

Walker also pitched in yesterday’s game, entering in the bottom of the fifth after the rain delay with the Phillies up 4-1. He threw a 1-2-3 fifth. He came back to start the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to Chipper. He got the next two hitters before walking Omar Infante, then struck out David Ross to leave both runners stranded.

Walker has been fantastic for the Phils. He deserves to throw important innings in the post-season and I think he will.

Madson entered game one with two outs and nobody on, the Phillies up 5-3. He got Omar Infante on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Madson also pitched the eighth inning yesterday, entering with a 4-1 lead, and struck out the side.

Durbin started the ninth inning of game one with a 9-3 lead. He gave up a leadoff double to Garret Anderson and Anderson came around to score on a one-out single by Adam LaRoche. Durbin got the two hitters after LaRoche to end the game.

Durbin also pitched in game two. He entered in relief of Pedro to start the fourth with the Phillies down 3-0. Nate McLouth led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Bako. A sac fly by Prado brought him in to make it 4-0. Durbin came back for the fifth and got the first two before allowing a walk that was followed by a two-run homer by LaRoche. 6-0. He started the sixth as well. McLouth led off with a single and Durbin got the next two before Escalona came on to pitch to the lefty McCann.

Not a good series for Durbin, who the Phils could sure use. He has walked 42 in 62 2/3 innings on the season after walking 35 in 87 2/3 innings in 2008. His walk rate for the year is the worst for his career.

Condrey pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 6-0. In his first action since July 22 he set the Braves down in order.

Condrey also pitched yesterday, entering in the seventh with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies up 4-1 to pitch to Prado. Prado grounded to third to end the inning.

These are critical innings for right-handed pitchers for the Phils looking to make the playoff roster. The Phils have a whole lot of righties — Myers and Durbin aren’t pitching well and Park is hurt.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning yesterday, coming into the game with a 4-1 lead. He got the first two batters he faced. He walked Brooks Conrad with two outs and Conrad took second on defensive indifference. McCann was next and delivered a single to right, scoring Conrad to make it 4-2. Lidge struck out McLouth to end the game.

Lidge has allowed runs in three straight appearances. In his last three times out he has given up four runs on five hits and a walk over three innings. He’s really making it tough for the Phils to think about using him in close games in the playoffs.

The pen can surely use the off day today after throwing 16 innings in the series. Condrey and Escalona have both thrown two days in a row.

The Phillies scored 17 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 3-for-13 with a double, two walks and a home run in the series. 247/292/415 for the year.

Francisco started game one in center with Victorino out with stomach problems. 5-for-13 with two doubles and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 270/304/554 with the Phillies.

Utley was 3-for-13 with a triple and a walk in the set. 294/411/533 for the season. He’s hitting .229 in September.

Howard was 4-for-11 with a double and three home runs. 271/354/564 on the year. After hitting three home runs in the series he still has just four for September after hitting eleven in August.

Ibanez was 2-for-11 with a double in the series and is hitting 277/347/559 for the year. In a bizarro coincidence he is also hitting .277 and on-basing .347 in September (but slugging .538).

Werth went 3-for-8 with three walks in the series. 274/377/523 on the year.

Feliz was 3-for-12 in the set and is at 264/310/382 on the year. He’s on-basing .234 in September after on-basing .257 in August.

Ruiz left game one after the top of the sixth with problems with his left wrist. He was 0-for-1 with a walk in the series and is hitting 255/355/426 on the year. 317/411/538 since the start of August.

Bako started games two and three and went 1-for-7 in the series. He’s hitting 190/277/298 on the year.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner in games one and two but did not have an at-bat in the series. He has not gotten an at-bat this month or in any of his last six appearances. 167/224/240 on the season. Need to let him hit if he’s going to be on the post-season roster (he is).

Mayberry was 1-for-2 with a double to improve his line on the year to 200/241/473 over 55 at-bats. Those are the at-bats I’d rather see Bruntlett getting.

Dobbs was 1-for-1 in the series and is hitting 261/309/413 for the season.

Stairs was 1-for-1 with a double and a walk in the series. 208/367/406 on the year.

This suggests that:

  • Carlos Ruiz could be available tomorrow.
  • Eyre felt good throwing yesterday and will throw again tomorrow.
  • Park could pitch again during the regular season.
  • Pedro’s neck isn’t feeling good.

Brett Myers will see a doctor about soreness in his right shoulder. Happ’s status seems to be unclear.


Phillies rotation doing their best to improve the reputation of the team’s hitters

Citizens Bank Park might always have a reputation as a great place to hit, but the Phillies starters sure made it look like a good place to pitch against the Nationals. The Phils starters combined to allow one run in 23 innings in the series, continuing a string of outstanding performances from the rotation.

Over the last seven games for the Phillies, their starting pitchers have allowed nine runs. In 52 innings they’ve thrown to a 1.56 ERA with a 1.08 ratio and the Phils have gone 6-1. Five of the nine runs that the starters have allowed were surrendered by Moyer in the September 12 game the Phillies lost to the Mets 10-9 on David Wright’s second-two run homer in two innings. In the other six starts, five different starting pitchers, Hamels, Kendrick, Martinez, Lee and Blanton, have combined to allow four runs in 45 innings, pitching to an 0.80 ERA with a 1.07 ratio.

The Phillies are 85-60 on the season after sweeping the Washington Nationals in a three-game set in Philadelphia. They have won five games in a row and are 25 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. After they won game two of the series they were 24 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the NL East by 7 1/2 games.

Cliff Lee threw a complete game shutout and the Phillies won game one 5-0. Rollins started the bottom of the first with a double and came around to score on a single by Utley to put the Phils up 1-0. The Phils jumped out to a 5-0 lead with four runs in a second inning that featured a three-run double by Ruiz. Lee was fantastic, allowing five singles and a double in the game while walking three and striking out nine.

Jayson Werth delivered the big blow in game two, a grand slam in the seventh, and the Phillies won 6-1. Blanton threw six shutout innings and was replaced by Park in the seventh with the Phils leading 2-0. Park injured his right hamstring as Ryan Zimmerman lined into a double-play to end the top of the seventh. The Phils had nobody on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Utley was hit by a pitch and stole second. Howard was walked intentionally and Ibanez unintentionally. It loaded the bases for Werth and Jason Bergmann got ahead of Werth 1-2 before Werth smashed a ball out to left to put the Phillies up 6-0. Walker allowed a run on a pair of hits in the top of the ninth.

The starting pitching was great again last night. Hamels went eight strong innings and the Phils won 4-2. Rollins doubled Feliz in to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the fifth. The Phils extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the sixth — Ruiz walked with the bases loaded to force in the first and Hamels followed with an RBI-single. The Nats managed a run on three singles in the seventh to get on the board at 3-1. A walk to Utley and two wild pitches helped the Phils score another run in the bottom of the seventh. Lidge came on in the ninth with a 4-1 lead and allowed a one-out triple to Elijah Dukes. Dukes would score but Lidge held on for the save.

The Phillies pitching was silly good in the series. They allowed three runs in the series. Hamels allowed one in his start last night, Lidge allowed another in relief last night and Walker was charged with a run in game two. Overall they threw to a 1.00 ERA with a 1.07 ratio in 27 innings. In 27 innings they allowed 20 hits and no home runs while striking out 27.

If the pitching overall was silly good we’re going to need new words for the starters. Lee, Blanton and Hamels combined to allow one run over 23 innings in the three games. They threw to an 0.39 ERA with a 1.04 ratio and struck out 26.

Lee threw a complete game shutout in game one of the series, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out nine. He has now thrown nine innings in three of his nine starts with the Phils. He’s 7-2 with the Phils with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.06 ratio.

Blanton went six shutout innings in game two, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out seven.

Hamels allowed a run in eight innings in game three. He gave up three singles, a double and a triple and walked one while striking out ten. Over his last five starts Hamels has thrown 37 2/3 innings with a 1.43 ERA and an 0.96 ratio. He’s dropped his ERA on the year from 4.78 to 4.07 in those five starts. In all five of the starts he’s allowed less than three walks and has not allowed a home run.

The relievers weren’t quite as good as the starters, but they didn’t have much to do. They tossed just four innings in the set and were charged with two runs. As a group they pitched to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.25 ratio. The worst news for the relief corps coming out of the series is that Park looks lost for the season.

Park started the seventh inning of game two with a 2-0 lead. Pete Orr led off with a single and moved to second when Willie Harris followed and reached on an error. Cristian Guzman bunted back to Park and Orr was forced at third base for the first out of the inning. Zimmerman was next and Howard made a nice play to catch the ball and double Guzman off of first to end the inning.

Park injured his right hamstring on the play and looks likely to miss a lot of time and perhaps the rest of the season.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff walk but kept the Nats off the board with the help of a double-play he induced from Ian Desmond.

Walker started the ninth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Justin Maxwell before retiring the next two hitters. Maxwell took second without a throw and came in to score on a Willie Harris single to make it 6-1. Walker got Guzman on a popup to end the game.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning last night, entering the game with a 4-1 lead. Dukes tripled with one out and scored when Ian Desmond followed with ground out to first. Willie Harris was next and flew to center to end the game.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Lidge threw 16 pitches last night.

The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-13 with two doubles in the series and is hitting 247/291/412 for the year. He has on-based .285 hitting in the first spot in the order. There are 40 players between the two leagues who have at least 150 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter — Rollins’s .285 on-base percentage is 39th (Kaz Matsui has on-based .279 in the #1 spot).

Victorino was 1-for-10 in the series. 296/362/453 on the season. He’s hitting 231/265/369 in September. Rollins is on-basing .299 in September, so there’s not a lot going on at the top of the order these days.

Utley was 3-for-10 with a walk in the series. 296/414/537 on the season. He’s hitting just .228 in September.

Howard was 1-for-8 with a single and three walks in the set. 269/351/550 on the year. He has one home run in September in 2009 after hitting 11 in September in 2008.

Ibanez was on the bench last night with Francisco in left against the lefty Ross Detwiler. He was 2-for-5 with a double and four walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/350/566 for the season and a snazzy 296/367/593 in September to come out of a long slump.

Werth was 6-for-11 with a walk and a home run. 272/374/525 on the year with 34 home runs and 88 RBI.

Feliz was 0-for-10 with two walks in the series to drop his line on the year to 264/312/385. He’s hitting 198/245/337 over his last 185 plate appearances.

Ruiz started all three games and went 3-for-11 with two doubles and a walk. 256/354/427.

Francisco started in left field last night in game three a lefty on the mound. 1-for-4 in the series and hitting 246/277/508 in 61 at-bats with the Phils. It would be nice to see him getting some more at-bats, cause the Phils are going to need him in the playoffs. Not sure how, though, especially if you never need to hit for your pitcher.

Dobbs returned to action with a pinch-hit at-bat in game two. 0-for-1 in the series and 255/305/409 on the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the set and is hitting 200/356/389 on the year. It would be snazzy if Dobbs and Stairs were playing well for the post-season. For Stairs it sure seems like he’s dangerous at any time regardless of what he’s done recently. For Dobbs I’d be a lot happier to see him get into a groove in the last handful of games.

This says that Park will not start to rehab for two to three weeks.

The article linked above also says that Shane Victorino, who came out of last night’s game with gastrointestinal complications, expects to play to night.

This article suggests that Manuel thinks Myers is not yet ready to be a closer.


Could we have a volunteer, please?

There’s a whole lot of opportunity at the back of the Phillies bullpen these days. What’s missing is guys who are pitching well. There are three main candidates to be closing for the team in the post-season, Lidge, Madson and Myers, and a dark horse in Tyler Walker. All three of Lidge, Madson and Myers were awful against the Mets, even as the Phils took three out of four.

The Mets scored 16 runs in the four-game series. Ten of those runs were scored in the eighth or ninth inning. Eight of the 16 were charged to Myers, Madson or Lidge and the three combined to pitch just 5 1/3 innings in the set.

The Phillies are 82-60 on the season after taking three of four from the Mets. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by 6 1/2 games.

The Phillies won the first game of the series 4-2. The Phils scored a run in the second and another in the third. Hamels kept New York off the board till the seventh, when the Mets scored a run on two singles, a bunt and a sac fly to make it 2-1. A Ruiz sac fly in the bottom of the seventh brought in Werth to extend the lead to 3-1 and an RBI-double by Utley in the eighth made it 4-1. Madson came on for the save in the ninth, but gave up a leadoff double that lead to a run. He got a big double-play with one out and men on first and third and was able to hold the Mets to a single run.

Game two was a little tough to take. The Phils went into the eighth up 9-5 and lost the game 10-9. The Mets jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Moyer in the first. Carlos Beltran connected for a two-run homer in the inning. Feliz hit a two-run homer in the second. 4-2. Utley hit a solo shot in the third and Ibanez delivered a two-run blast. The Phils led 5-4 after three and extended the lead to 6-4 with another run in the fourth. Two more in the sixth had the Phils up 8-4. Daniel Murphy doubled off of Moyer with one out in the seventh, stole third and came in to score on a ground out. 8-5. Utley started the seventh with a double and came in to score on a single by Ibanez to make it 9-5. Myers started the eighth and got hit hard. A double followed by a David Wright homer made it 9-7. Beltran followed with a single and Park replaced Moyer, but he allowed Beltran to score on two more singles before the inning was over. 9-8. Madson got the first two in the ninth before he allowed a single to Fernando Tatis that was followed by Wright’s second two-run homer in two innings. The Phils went in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Kendrick got his first of the year in the day game of yesterday’s double-header, which the Phillies won 5-4. Kendrick pitched very well. A solo homer by Francisco and a two-run shot from Victorino helped Kendrick go into the top of the eighth with a 4-0 lead. Kendrick got the first batter before allowing a single to Angel Pagan that was followed by a two-run home run by Anderson Hernandez. Walker finished off the eighth for Kendrick. In the bottom of the inning the Phils added another run, getting a two-out double from Stairs followed by an RBI-single from Tracy. Lidge came on in the ninth to protect a 5-2 lead and allowed two runs on three singles, but struck out Pagan to end the game.

Pedro Martinez threw eight shutout innings last night as the Phils won 1-0. Utley drove in Rollins with an RBI-single in the bottom of the first and that was all of the scoring for the game. Pedro gave up four singles, two doubles and walked two while striking out seven. Madson got the save opportunity this time. He allowed a one-out single in the ninth but got the next two hitters.

Phillies pitchers overall threw 36 innings in the series with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.25 ratio.

The starting pitching was much better than the bullpen. The Phils got three good starts from Hamels, Kendrick and Martinez and a bad one from Moyer in game two. Overall the starters threw to a 2.48 ERA and a 1.07 ratio. They walked just four in 29 innings.

Hamels allowed a run on seven hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings in game one. In three of his last four starts he’s thrown into the seventh and allowed one run or less in the game.

Moyer allowed five runs in seven innings in game two. He gave up seven hits and didn’t walk a batter.

Kendrick went 7 1/3 innings in game three, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. He took a 4-0 lead into the eighth before allowing a two-run homer to Anderson Hernandez. He has a 3.55 ERA in his five appearances on the year for the Phils. After allowing three runs in two innings in his first appearance his last four have been good.

Martinez went eight shutout innings in the second game of yesterday’s double-header. He allowed six hits and two walks and struck out seven. He’s 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.09 ratio in seven starts for the Phils.

The bullpen was awful. In seven innings they pitched to a 10.29 ERA and a 2.00 ratio. They didn’t walk a batter but allowed 14 hits in seven innings. Madson allowed a run in game one. Myers, Park and Madson were all awful in game two. Lidge allowed two runs in the ninth inning of game three.

Park took over for Hamels in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, a man on second and the Phils up 2-1. He got Wright on a ground ball to short to set the Mets down.

He also pitched in the eighth inning of game two, entering in the eighth inning with two down, a man on first and the Phils up 9-7. He got a fly ball for the second out before allowing back-to-back singles to Santos and Murphy. Murphy’s single scored Beltran from second and made it 9-8. Park got the pinch-hitter Sullivan to end the inning.

Park has a 2.70 ratio in five appearances this month.

Myers started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies up 3-1 and set the Mets down in order.

He also started the eighth inning in game two with the Phillies up 9-5. He got the first hitter before allowing a double to Tatis and a homer to Wright. Beltran followed with a single and Park relieved Myers.

Walker entered game three with one out in the eighth and the Phillies up 4-2. He got the two hitters he faced to end the frame.

Madson started the ninth inning of game one with a 4-1 lead. He gave up a leadoff double to Omir Santos and pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed followed with a single that moved Santos to third. Cory Sullivan was next and Madson got him to hit into a double-play with Santos scoring from third to make it 4-2. Angel Pagan grounded to second to end the game.

He started the ninth inning of game two with a 9-8 lead. He got the first two hitters before Tatis singled and Wright followed with a two-run homer to put the Mets up 10-9. Beltran singled before Madson got Francoeur on a popup to end the frame.

He pitched the ninth inning in game four with a 1-0 lead. Brian Schneider singled with one out, but Madson struck out Francoeur and got Pagan on a line drive to third to end the game.

Madson has walked four batters since the end of June.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game three with a 5-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Jeff Francoeur and Francoeur took second on defensive indifference. Beltran grounded to deep short on a nine play by Rollins for the first out, but Josh Thole was next and he blasted a ball off the wall in right for a long single. Francoeur scored and the lead was cut to 5-3. Lidge struck Luis Castillo out for the second out of the inning before Thole took second again without a throw. Jeremy Reed was next and singled into center. Thole scored and it was 5-4, but Lidge struck Pagan out to end the game.

Game two, the game that the Phillies lost, Madson, Park and Myers all pitched for the second straight day and all three were awful. Madson has pitched three days in a row and five of the last six days.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-17 with a triple in the series and is hitting 244/289/409 on the season. He also walked twice, giving him seven walks since the end of July.

Victorino was 6-for-15 with three doubles, three walks and a home run. 300/367/460 for the year. He’s on-basing .293 in September after on-basing .336 in August.

Utley was 5-for-13 with two doubles, three walks and a home run. 296/414/542 on the year.

Howard was 3-for-14 with a double and two walks. 272/350/556 on the year. One home run in his last 59 at-bats.

Werth didn’t play in game three of the series with Francisco in right. 1-for-11 with two strikeouts in the series. 266/369/519. He’s hitting .222 this month.

Ibanez was 5-for-17 with a double and a home run. 278/344/566. 341/357/707 in his last 42 plate appearances. He has just a .314 on-base percentage for the month, though, with just two walks.

Feliz was 5-for-16 with three doubles and a home run. 270/315/393 on the year. He’s hitting .216 in September with a .245 on-base percentage.

Ruiz started games one, two and four in the series. 2-for-7 with a double and walk. 255/354/426 for the year.

Bako started game three. He was 0-for-3 and is hitting 195/271/312 in 77 at-bats for the year.

Bruntlett pinch-ran yesterday, but didn’t get an at-bat in the series. 167/224/240.

Francisco started in right in game three. 2-for-5 with a home run in the series. 246/279/526 with the Phils in 57 at-bats.

Stairs was 1-for-3 with a double in the series. 202/359/394 for the year.

Tracy had a huge hit in game three, driving in a run with a pinch-hit single in a game the Phils won by one. 1-for-1 in the series and 1-for-3 on the year.

This suggests that Condrey does not understand why he hasn’t been activated.


The ninth wait

The three-game set with the Nationals started with Charlie Manuel insisting that Brad Lidge was his closer and ended with it clear that Lidge was not. Lidge was pulled from a save opportunity in game one, on the bench for another in game two and pitching in the eighth inning with the Phillies down by six runs in the third.

While it sure seems likely that the Phillies closer situation is going to continue to bounce around in the near future, the series did show that Manuel wasn’t going to let blind loyalty to Lidge ruin the year for the Phils. While most probably saw that one coming, it is a sigh of relief for fans who have watched Lidge struggle through an awful season coming off of a brilliant 2008.

The Phillies are 79-59 on the season after taking two of three from the Washington Nationals. They’re in first place in the NL East, but the Florida Marlins have cut the Phillies lead in the division to five games by going 7-3 over their last ten.

The Phillies hit five solo home runs in game one of the series and won 5-3. Pedro got the start and gave up two runs in the first four innings, but Ibanez got the Phils on the board at 2-1 with a homer in the fifth. Ibanez, Werth and Ruiz all homered in the seventh and the Phils led 4-2. A home run by Willie Harris off of Martinez made it 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but Utley hit one in the eight to put the Phils up 5-3. Lidge came on in the ninth to protect the two-run lead. He got one out, but Washington loaded the bases on a single, a hit batter and a wild pitch and Manuel called on Madson to replace Lidge. Madson struck out Ryan Zimmerman for the second out and got Adam Dunn on a grounder to Rollins to end the game.

The Phils won game two 6-5. Washington went up 1-0 with a run off of Lee in the first, but the Phils put together four hits and a walk in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. A two-out double by Ibanez in the fifth knocked in Howard to extend the lead to 4-1, but the Nationals came back with two more against Lee in the bottom of the inning and then tied it at 4-4 with another run in the seventh. Werth and Feliz both hit solo homers in the eighth and the Phils led 6-4. Another error by Howard helped Washington score an unearned run in the eighth, but Madson came on to nail down the save in the ninth.

Last night the Phillies saw their ninth-inning rally fall just short and fell 8-7. A triple from Utley in the first put the Phillies up 2-0 early, but the Nats tied the game up with a pair of runs off of Blanton in the third and pulled ahead 3-2 with another in the fourth. Blanton didn’t make it through the fifth. The Nats scored five times, getting home runs from Dunn and Ian Desmond, and Blanton left with two outs in the fifth and the Phils down 8-2. The score stayed that way till the top of the ninth, when Stairs delivered a one-out grand slam that got the Phillies within two at 8-6. Rollins followed with a single and Victorino doubled him home. 8-7. Utley was next and he singled as well, putting men on first and third with one out. Things looked real good, but Howard hit into a double-play to end the game and leave the Phils a run short.

The Phillies threw to a 5.19 ERA and a 1.42 ratio over 26 innings in the series. Most of the problems in the series can be blamed on the starters — despite all of the drama with the closer the relievers weren’t charged with a run in the series.

The starters were. Pedro made the best start of the series, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 in game one. Lee and Blanton combined to allow 13 runs in 11 2/3 innings in the next two games. As a group the starters posted a 7.36 ERA and a 1.58 ratio over 18 1/3 innings. They allowed 24 hits but walked just five.

Martinez started game one and improved to 4-0 as a Phillie, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings on seven hits and a walk. He has a 3.64 ERA and a 1.11 ratio in six starts with the Phils.

Lee went seven innings in game two, allowing five runs on ten hits. Only four of the runs were earned and he didn’t walk a batter. The worse news is that that was the best of his last three starts. He’s allowed 29 hits in 15 innings over his last three times out.

Blanton got mauled in game three. He allowed eight runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since May and the most runs he has allowed in any start all season. Just the second time in his last 19 starts that he has allowed more than three runs in a start.

The relievers weren’t charged with a run over 7 2/3 innings in the series and threw to a 1.04 ratio.

Park entered the eighth inning of game two with nobody out, men on second and third and the Phillies ahead 6-4. He walked Elijah Dukes to load the bases for the Nats before getting a fly ball for the first out with all the runners holding. Pinch-hitter Pete Orr was next and he delivered a sac fly that made it 6-5 with two down and men on first and second, but Park got Wil Nieves on a grounder to first to end the inning.

Durbin pitched the seventh inning of game three. He got the first out before allowing a double and a walk, but got the next two hitters.

The Phillies sure could use Durbin, who has struggled this season. He has been very good in his last three outings, though, throwing five scoreless frames with a 1.20 ratio.

Walker entered for Blanton in the fifth inning of last night’s game with two outs and the Phillies down 8-2. The first man he faced reached on an error and he got the next on a popup to end the inning. He came back and threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Walker hasn’t been charged with a run in his last 11 appearances. In those appearances he’s allowed three hits and three walks over 13 1/3 innings while striking out 12.

Myers took over for Martinez in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, the bases empty and the Phillies up 4-3. He gave up a single to Cristian Guzman before striking out Zimmerman to end the inning. He came back to pitch the eighth and Dunn reached on an error by Howard to start the inning, but Myers got the next three.

He’s now made three appearances since returning from the DL and allowed one hit and two walks over 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Madson entered the ninth inning of game one with one out, the bases loaded and the Phillies up 5-3. He struck out Zimmerman for the first out and got Dunn to ground to Rollins to turn the Nats away.

He started the ninth in a save situation in game two, entering with a 6-5 lead. Justin Maxwell led off with a single and stole second before Madson struck out Guzman for the first out of the inning. Dunn was next and smashed a line drive that Utley snared. Utley threw to Rollins at second in time to double Maxwell off and end the game.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game one with a two-run lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Wil Nieves before getting Alberto Gonzalez on a ground out for the first out. He hit Harris with a pitch, though, before walking Guzman to load the bases. Manuel gave him the hook, calling on Madson to nail down the save.

He threw the eighth inning last night, entering with the Phillies down 8-2. He allowed a one-out triple, but struck Orr out for the first out and Zimmerman out to end the inning.

The Phillies scored 18 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins made two throwing errors in last night’s game. He came into the game having made just three for the season. He was 3-for-14 in the series and is hitting 243/286/409 on the year. He’s on-basing .244 in September and has on-based under .300 in every month this season except for July.

Victorino was 5-for-14 with two doubles. 297/363/450. He’s on-basing .200 in September and is hitting .182 with no walks in his last 66 plate appearances.

Utley was 3-for-13 with a triple and a home run in the series. 293/411/536 on the year. He’s hitting 147/237/294 in September.

Howard made an error in each of the first two games. He also deserved an assist on a throwing error charged to Rollins in last night’s game. I’m thinking a day or two off might be in order. 1-for-11 in the series. 273/350/563 for the year. Just one strikeout in his last five games.

Werth was 4-for-12 with two home runs in the series. 270/373/528.

Ibanez went 5-for-13 with two doubles and two home runs. 278/346/567 for the season.

Feliz was 3-for-11 with a home run in the series. 268/315/383 on the year. 232/276/337 over his last 306 plate appearances.

Ruiz started games one and three. 2-for-5 with a home run and three walks in the set. 254/351/426 on the year. He’s hitting 385/467/577 in September after hitting 305/391/559 in August.

Bako started game two. 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. 203/280/324.

Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series.

Francisco didn’t bat in the series.

Cairo didn’t bat in the series.

Tracy got an at-bat in game two and struck out. 0-for-1 on the year.

Stairs hit a ninth-inning grand slam in last night’s game. 1-for-2 with a home run in the series. 198/360/385 for the season.

This article talks about the Phillies closer situation and mentions Lidge, Madson and Myers as possibilities. Walker should be considered and I think he will be.

The article linked above also suggests we shouldn’t expect to be seeing Eyre over the next several days.

This suggests that Condrey is almost ready to pitch again, either in a minor league or simulated game. It also suggests Dobbs may be able to return in seven or eight days and that there’s no timetable for Romero.


Swept, away

The Phillies still can’t score and now they can’t win. It was bound to happen sooner or later. They’ve scored 31 runs in their last 13 games and scored ten times in four games against the Astros. They lost all four, dropping each of the last three by a single run.

The Phils have scored 13 runs in September, which is 30th of the 30 teams in baseball.

If you’re looking for a bright spot in the series it’s that Brett Myers returned and looks like he’s going to be able to contribute at the back of the Phillies pen. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how that plays out, but it sure looks like the Phillies will be able to use the help. Madson was one of a large group of Phillies regulars that missed at least part of the Astros series with an injury — Victorino, Utley, Happ and Madson all have been battling what we’ll have to hope are minor injuries. Lidge continues to be a huge problem, he allowed a pair of runs to blow the save in game two and has a 7.15 ERA for the season.

The Phillies are 77-58 on the year after being swept by the Astros in a four-game set in Houston. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by six games. The Phils have lost five of six.

Cliff Lee got hit hard for the second straight outing and the Phils lost game one 7-0. Coming off a start where he allowed six runs over five innings to the Braves, the Astros scored four runs off of Lee in the second and two more in the third. Moyer relieved Lee in the fourth and allowed a run on three innings on a solo homer by Carlos Lee. Again the Phillies offense did almost nothing. They had seven singles and a double by Victorino in the game. They didn’t draw a walk.

The Phillies dropped game two 5-4 as Houston scored two runs off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth. The Astros scored got three early runs off of Blanton and took a 3-0 lead into the seventh, but the Phils pulled ahead with two runs in the seventh and another two in the eighth. Lidge got the leadoff man to start the bottom of the ninth before Houston loaded the bases on a single and two walks. Michael Bourn chopped a ball to first with the infield in and Howard forced the runner at home for the second out, but Kaz Matsui delivered a two-run single that gave Houston the win.

The Phillies lost game three 4-3. Rollins started the game with a home run that put the Phillies up 1-0. Bourn led off the third with a single off of Hamels and came around to score and tie the game at 1-1. A solo shot from Francisco in the fourth put the Phillies up 2-1, but the Astros scored three times in the bottom of the fourth to go back on top at 4-2. Werth hit a solo homer in the eighth to get the Phillies within one, but that was how it ended.

Houston completed the sweep with a 4-3 win yesterday. Moyer got the start despite throwing 38 pitches in game one after Happ was scratched with an oblique strain. Again the Phillies went up with a run in the first inning, this time when Howard knocked in Victorino with an RBI-single. Pence connected for a two-run homer off of Moyer in the bottom of the second to put Houston up 2-1. Howard and Ibanez went back-to-back in the top of the fourth and the Phillies led 3-2. Park took over for Moyer in the seventh and things did not go well. The Astros greeted him with back-to-back doubles that tied the game at 3-3. After getting a fly ball for the first out of the inning, Park walked the lefty Darin Erstad to set up the double play, but then walked the next two batters. The second walk forced in a run to put Houston ahead to stay.

The pitching was terrible for the Phillies in the series. Overall the pitchers threw 32 2/3 innings with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.47 ratio.

The starters were worse than the relievers. Moyer allowed two runs over six innings yesterday, but that was the best start for the group. Lee lasted just three innings in game one. Overall they pitched to a 6.43 ERA and a 1.43 ratio in 21 innings, allowing 26 hits including three home runs. They walked just four and none of the four walked more than two in a start.

Lee got hammered in game one. He went three innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and three walks. He’s allowed 12 runs in eight innings over his last two starts.

Blanton went six innings in game one, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. He’s been charged with more than three runs in a start once in 17 outings since the end of May.

Hamels took the loss in game three, allowing four runs over six innings on eight hits and two walks. He has thrown at least 114 pitches in each of his last three starts.

Moyer started game four, making the start for Happ. He went six innings and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out four. He has a 3.58 ERA and a 1.24 ratio over his last 70 1/3 innings.

The bullpen threw 11 2/3 innings in the series with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.54 ratio. Lidge struggled badly in game two and Park in game four. The pen issued nine walks in 11 2/3 innings overall, which is too many.

Eyre entered in the bottom of the seventh yesterday with one out, the bases loaded and the Phillies down 4-3. He struck out Kaz Matsui and then got Berkman on a fly ball to leave the bases loaded.

Moyer took over for Lee in the fourth inning of game one, entering with the Phils down 6-0. He threw a 1-2-3 fourth, allowed a solo homer to Lee and a walk in the fifth and hit a batter in a scoreless sixth. In three appearances in long relief he had allowed two runs in 13 1/3 innings on seven hits and one walk. That’s a 1.35 ERA and an 0.60 ratio.

Nice outing in game one for Moyer helped to save the bullpen.

Taschner entered game one with two outs in the eighth, the Phils down 7-0 and a man on first. He allowed a single to Michael Bourn that put men on first and second. Kaz Matsui followed with another single, but Victorino threw Bourn out at home to end the inning.

Durbin took over for Hamels in game three, starting the seventh with the Phillies down 4-2. He threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He came back to pitch the eighth and the first two batters reached on a single and a walk, but Durbin struck out Blum for the first out and got JR Towles to hit into a double-play to end the inning. That’s two good outings in a row for Durbin in which he’s thrown a total of four scoreless innings.

Park pitched the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 3-2. He allowed a two-out single but kept the Astros off the board.

He also started the seventh inning yesterday in game four, entering to start the seventh with the Phillies up 3-2. Tejada and Pence greeted him with back-to-back doubles, tying the game at 3-3. Park got Blum on a fly ball for the first out and then walked the lefty Erstad intentionally to set up the double-play. He didn’t get it. Instead he walked the next two batters he faced, first walking Michaels to load the bases and then Bourn to force in the run that put Houston up 4-3. Eyre came in to pitch to switch-hitter Kaz Matsui.

Walker started the seventh inning in game one with the Phillies down 7-0 and set the Astros down in order. He came back to start the eighth and got the first two batter before hitting Aaron Boone. Taschner came in to pitch to the lefty Bourn.

Madson did not pitch in the series. He has been unavailable and hopefully will be able to pitch soon.

Myers pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies up 4-3. Myers was making his first appearance since May 27 and walked the first batter he faced, Lance Berkman. Myers got Carlos Lee on a fly ball to right for the first out and Berkman was thrown out trying to steal second for the second. Miguel Tejada flew to left to end the inning. That’s a pretty bad time to get caught stealing if you’re the Astros, but it worked out great for the Phils. Myers got three outs in the inning on a caught stealing and two line drives hit well to the outfield.

He also pitched the bottom of the eighth yesterday, entering the game to start the inning with the Phillies down 4-3. He walked Pence with two outs but got Blum to fly to left to leave the runner stranded.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game two with a 4-3 lead. He struck out Hunter Pence to start the inning, then walked Geoff Blum, gave up a single to Chris Coste and walked Jason Michaels to load the bases. The Phillies brought the infield in and Bourn chopped a ball to first. Howard made a nice play to throw home and force the runner at the plate. With two outs and the bases still loaded, Matsui lined a two-run single into center and the Astros won the game 5-4.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Park threw 23 pitches yesterday.

The Phillies scored ten runs in the four game series.

Rollins was 4-for-18 with a double and a home run in the series. He’s on-basing .258 in September after on-basing .294 in August.

Victorino was on the bench for game three with a bruised knee. He was 2-for-14 with a double in the series to drop his line on the year to 295/363/449 on the year. He’s 4-for-his-last-30 and has not drawn a walk since August 24.

Utley did not start game two after fouling a ball of his right foot in game one. 2-for-11 in the series. 295/414/533 on the year. He’s 2-for-21 with two singles in September.

Howard 5-for-15 with a triple and a homer. 277/353/573 on the season.

Werth was 3-for-14 with a double and a homer in the series. 269/373/521 for the year. He’s 8-for-his-last-37.

Ibanez was on the bench for game one against the lefty Wandy Rodriguez. Francisco played left. Ibanez was 4-for-11 with a home run in the set. 274/345/554 on the year.

Feliz was 2-for-15 with two singles and is hitting 268/314/379 for the year. He’s 3-for-24 with three singles in September.

Ruiz was 5-for-13 with a double in the series to raise his line on the year to 252/345/416 on the year.

Bako started game two behind the plate and was 1-for-2 in the series. 208/278/333.

Bruntlett didn’t have an at-bat in the series and is hitting 167/224/240 for the year.

Francisco started in left in game one and right in game three. 3-for-10 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 231/268/481 in 52 at-bats with the Phillies.

Cairo started at second in game two. 3-for-7 with a double in the series. 192/222/231 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 with two walks in the series. 191/357/348.

Charlie Manuel is mad the Phillies never win.

Happ hopes his oblique strain will not force him to miss another start.


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