Tag: Brett Myers

Phils offense fights it out with the Giants in a battle of mythological creatures

The Phillies did something against the Giants you’re not going to see very often. They won a three-game series in which they scored three runs. The only way to do that is with the help of some great pitching — in this case the great pitching was provided by Cole Hamels, who tossed a complete-game shutout in the series opener, and Pedro Martinez, who held the Giants to a run on five hits last night as the Phillies took game three of the series.

The Phillies have scored 21 runs in their last nine games and gone a miraculous 5-4. Twenty-one runs in nine games is 2.33 runs per game, which makes it almost impossible to win. The Padres have scored the fewest runs of the 30 MLB teams this year and they’re scoring about 3.91 runs per game. Over the nine games the Phillies have allowed 28 runs, or about 3.11 runs per game. The Giants are the team in baseball that has allowed the fewest runs and they have allowed about 3.72 runs per game. Finally, of the 28 runs that the Phils have given up over their last nine games, nine of them came in a 9-1 loss to the Braves on August 29. So in the other eight games they allowed 19 runs over eight games.

So what I’m trying to say here is that they’re pitching well.

The Phillies are 77-54 after taking two of three from the San Francisco Giants. They are in first place in the NL East. The Marlins and Braves are tied for second-place and both teams trail the Phils by 8 1/2 games. The Phils hit 23 games above .500 with a win in game one of the series, which is their high mark for this season and their best mark since 1993.

Cole Hamels threw a complete game two-hit shutout in game one, which the Phillies won 1-0 on a fourth-inning double from Ryan Howard that drove in Shane Victorino. Hamels started the ninth protecting a one-run lead and gave up a leadoff single to Rich Aurilia. Andres Torres ran for Aurilia and Hamels picked him off of first. Howard made a nice throw to second and Torres was called out. He was safe, but whatever. Big play in the game.

Weary from their explosion in game one, the Phillies bats rested in game two as Brad Penny pitched the Giants to a 4-0 win. Happ allowed a run in the fifth that put San Francisco up 1-0 and Juan Uribe and Aaron Rowand hit back-to-back homers off of Happ in the sixth that extended the lead to 4-0. The Phillies offense managed five singles and a walk in the game.

Eugenio Velez hit Pedro Martinez’s first pitch of the game out to right-center last night, but that was all for the Giants’ offense against Pedro and the Phils won the game 2-1. Martinez didn’t allow another run in the game and struck out nine without walking a batter. Werth hit a long home run off of Tim Lincecum in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 1-1. Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the sixth and came around to put the Phillies up to stay when Howard followed with a double.

Given the lack of offense, the Phillies needed fantastic pitching to win. They got it. The pitchers threw 27 innings with a 1.67 ERA and an 0.78 ratio. They allowed five runs in the series, four of which were scored against Happ in game two.

They got two fantastic starts — Hamels threw a complete game shutout in game one and Pedro held the Giants to a run over seven innings in game three. Happ was hit harder in the middle game. Overall the starters went 22 innings with a 2.05 ERA and an 0.77 ratio. They struck out 25 in 22 innings and walked just two.

Hamels threw shutout in game one. In nine innings he allowed a single, a double and a walk and struck out nine. That’s two fantastic starts in a row for Hamels. He has allowed no runs on nine hits and three walks over 17 innings while striking out 16 in his last two starts. He’s pitching rather well. If you’re looking for something to worry about I’d go with this: over his first 24 starts the most pitches Hamels had thrown in a game this year was 117. Over his last two starts he’s thrown 123 and 118.

Happ went six innings in game two, allowing four runs on eight hits and walk. It was just the second time in his last 14 starts that Happ has allowed more than three runs in an outing. Happ hasn’t had a whole lot of problems this year. To the degree he’s had any one of them has been that he gives up too many walks. His walk rate is down recently, though. Over his last three starts he hasn’t walked more than two batters in a game.

The Phillies are going to need Moyer to start a few double-header games in September, but I think they should (and will) also consider giving some of Happ’s starts to Moyer to keep Happ’s innings down.

Pedro allowed a run on five hits in seven innings in last night’s game. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. He’s issued just three walks in 23 innings over five starts with the Phillies, throwing to a 3.52 ERA and a 1.09 ratio. He has 23 strikeouts in 23 innings and the Phillies are 5-0 in the games he’s started, although twice rain has shortened his start and Moyer helped the Phils get a win with excellent work in long relief.

The bullpen threw just five innings in the series. They didn’t allow a run and threw to an 0.80 ratio, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out six.

Eyre did not pitch in the series.

Moyer did not pitch in the series.

Taschner started the ninth inning of game two with the Phils down 4-0. He faced one batter, lefty Nate Schierholtz, and struck him out with the help of some weird sidearm thing I’d not seen from him before.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 4-0 and threw two scoreless innings. He allowed two walks. In the seventh he walked Torres with one out but got the next batter to hit into a double-play. In the eighth he walked Uribe with two outs but got Rowand to fly to left. For Durbin it was his first outing in his last three that he had not been charged with a run.

Park did not pitch in the series. He’s gotten two outs since August 24.

Walker entered the ninth inning of game with the Phillies down 4-0. He faced two batters and struck them both out.

Over his last nine appearances Walker has allowed three hits and three walks in 10 1/3 scoreless innings (0.00 ERA and an 0.58 ratio) with ten strikeouts.

Madson pitched the eighth inning in last night’s game with a 2-1 lead and set the Giants down 1-2-3. It broke a string of four appearances in a row in which he had been charged with at least one run.

Lidge came on in the ninth last night with a 2-1 lead. He got the first two hitters and had Randy Winn buried at 0-2 before Winn singled to right. Uribe followed with a walk, but Lidge got Fred Lewis on a ground ball to second to end the game.

Lidge has thrown three scoreless innings in his last three appearances, allowing a hit and a walk over three innings. He’s been charged with one or more earned runs in just one of his last eight times out.

Nobody in the Phillies pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Lidge threw 22 pitches last night.

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

Rollins was 3-for-12 with a double on the series. He’s hitting 244/289/413 for the year. Among the 25 players in either league who have at least 300 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter, Rollins’ .282 on-base percentage hitting first is 24th. Over his last 82 plate appearances overall he has two walks and a .259 on-base percentage.

Victorino was 1-for-12 with a single in the series. 300/368/455 for the year. His last walk came on August 24.

Utley was 0-for-10 with a walk in the series. 298/417/542 for the year.

Howard doubled in the only run the Phillies scored in a 1-0 win in game one. He also made a solid throw in the ninth to get Torres at second when Hamels picked the runner off in the ninth inning of the series opener. He was 4-for-11 with three doubles in the series. He drove in two of the three runs that the Phillies scored and is hitting 275/353/570 on the year. 337/396/831 with six doubles, a triple and 11 home runs over his last 91 plate appearances.

Howard was walked intentionally 37 times in 2006 and then 35 times in 2007. In 2009 he has been walked intentionally three times and just once in his last 254 plate appearances. His OPS in those 254 plate appearances is .977, which is very similar to the .976 OPS he posted in 2007 when he was walked intentionally 35 times.

Werth had a monster home run last night to give him 30 for the season. His career-high coming into the season was 24 (last year). He has had more plate appearances this year than last, but he’s also hitting home runs at a quicker pace. In ’08 he hit 24 in 482 plate appearances, which is one every 20.08 plate appearances. This year he has 30 in 551, which is one every 18.36 plate appearances. He 2-for-8 with a home run and two walks in the set. 270/374/521 on the year.

Ibanez is a mess. 0-for-8 with a walk and four strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 272/343/551 for the season. He has hit 200/297/338 over his last 195 plate appearances.

Feliz was 1-for-9 in the series. 272/318/387.

Ruiz went 3-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series to raise his line on the year to 245/343/414. He’s hitting 366/438/707 with five doubles and three home runs in his last 50 plate appearances.

Bako did not play in the series.

Bruntlett did not play in the series.

Francisco went 0-for-1 to drop his line with the Phillies to 214/261/452 in 42 at-bats.

Cairo was 0-for-1 in the series and is 2-for-19 with the Phillies this year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series. He’s 1-for-34 since the end of June and hitting 193/349/352 for the year. I wrote yesterday that it’s pretty hard to find things to quibble with in the Amaro era, but if you’re looking to add to the Paulino-for-Taschner list I think Stairs instead of Jenkins belongs on the list as well. I think it’s hard to defend putting a guy on your roster all year who doesn’t play defense and hits .193, especially with Dobbs on the team most of the year. It’s not over yet, though, and the biggest at-bats on the year for Stairs are still to come.

This says that Brett Myers will be activated for tonight’s game against the Astros. It also suggests that Romero thinks he could be activated soon, which comes a surprise.


Phils pitching wishing there really were 500 days of summer

The Phillies might not be scoring a ton of runs these days, but they sure are pitching well. Here’s the number of runs they have allowed per game by month for the season:

Month Runs
allowed per game
April 5.60
May 4.75
June 4.77
July 3.59
August 3.59

In both July and August the Phillies played 27 games and allowed 97 runs, which is 3.59 runs per game. Both their starters and relievers have been improved over the last two months:

 
Before July

July and August
  ERA Ratio ERA Ratio
Total 4.79 1.47 3.28 1.19
SP 5.21 1.46 3.09 1.18
RP 4.07 1.47 3.72 1.23

While each of the groups was better in July and August than they were before, the starters were a whole lot better.

The area in which the starters showed tremendous improvement in July and August compared to the rest of the season was in preventing home runs. Here are the rates at which the starters and relievers allowed runs, hits, walks and home runs per nine innings before July and in July and August:

 
Before July

July and August
  R/9 H/9 BB/9 HR/9 R/9 H/9 BB/9 HR/9
SP 5.3 10.3 2.9 1.73 3.4 8.4 2.2 0.97
RP 4.4 8.5 4.8 0.97 4.0 7.9 3.1 0.82
TOT 4.9 9.6 3.6 1.45 3.6 8.3 2.5 0.93

So the starters allowed about 65% (3.4 over 5.3) of the runs per nine innings in July and August as they had in the previous months, but their improvement in preventing hits and walks wasn’t nearly that good. They allowed 82% of the hits per nine (8.4 over 10.3) and 77% of the walks. It was the home runs they allowed that were way down — they cut their rate of allowing home runs nearly in half, lowering it from 1.73 per nine innings to 0.97 per nine innings. That’s about 57% of the home runs per nine innings.

The relievers showed improvement too, but it wasn’t as dramatic as the improvement overall for the starters. For the bullpen it was the change in the walk rate that was most dramatic in July and August. They walked 3.1 batters per nine innings in July and August after walking 4.8 in the months before July.

The Phillies called up Jack Taschner. The linked article also suggests the Phillies may be considering calling up 19-year-old Anthony Gose to work as a pinch-runner. I would be surprised if that happened. Gose stole 75 bases for the Single-A BlueClaws while hitting 268/333/366 in 489 at-bats.

Brett Myers threw a 1-2-3 ninth to get the IronPigs a win last night.

The Phillies are 76-53 on the year, which puts them at 23 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season.


The worn reborn?

Cole Hamels made a brilliant start for the Phillies last night, but they have been a less frequent this year coming off of a 2008 season in which Hamels was just fantastic. The Phillies won the fifth game of the World Series on October 29, 2008. Hamels went six innings in the game and was announced World Series MVP that night. He turned 25-years-old almost two months later, on December 27, 2008.

Hamels was a monster in ’08, first in the regular season and then in the post-season. The 24-year-old threw 227 1/3 innings in the regular season, going 14-10 in 33 starts with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.08 ratio. The Phillies wouldn’t have won the World Series without him as he tossed 35 post-season innings with a 1.80 ERA and an 0.91 ratio.

Only one pitcher in the National League threw more regular season innings than Hamels, but Johan Santana, who threw seven more frames than Hamels in the regular season, didn’t throw any in the post-season. Among pitchers who pitched at least part of the year in the AL, Roy Halladay threw about 19 more innings in the regular season than Hamels, but also didn’t pitch in the playoffs. Workhorse CC Sabathia led all baseball in innings pitched with 253 and added 3 2/3 more in the post-season to give him a total of 256 2/3 between the regular and post-season. That’s still not as many as Hamels, who threw 262 1/3 innings between the regular and post-seasons to lead everyone. A lot of the other guys weren’t 24-years-old.

The 2009 season has been a different story than 2008 for Hamels and that must have a whole lot to do with how many innings he threw last year, mustn’t it? Between 2004 and 2008 there were ten pitchers who threw 220 innings when they were in their age 25 season or younger. Here’s a look at their ERA, ratio and strikeouts per nine innings in the year they did it and the year after — the seven who got worse the next year are in the top group and the three who got better, Lincecum, Haren and Buehrle, are in a group at the bottom:


Year

Player(age)

ERA

ERA next

Ratio

Ratio next

SO/9

SO/9 next

2008

Hamels (24)

3.09

4.78

1.08

1.35

7.8

7.7

2006

Willis (24)

3.87

5.17

1.42

1.60

6.4

6.4

2005

Willis (23)

2.63

3.87

1.13

1.42

6.5

6.4

2005

Zambrano (24)

3.26

3.41

1.15

1.29

8.1

8.8

2005

Garland (25)

3.50

4.51

1.17

1.36

4.7

4.8

2004

Sheets (25)

2.70

3.33

0.98

1.07

10.0

8.1

2004

Santana (25)

2.61

2.87

0.92

0.97

10.5

9.2
               

2008

Lincecum (24)

2.62

2.43

1.17

1.04

10.5

10.4

2006

Haren (25)

4.12

3.07

1.21

1.21

7.1

7.8

2004

Buehrle (25)

3.89

3.12

1.25

1.18

6.1

5.7

So in seven of those ten seasons the player had a worse ERA and a worse ratio the season after he threw more than 220 innings at age 25 or younger. The three guys at the bottom each got better in both ERA and ratio the year after (except for Dan Haren’s ratio, which stayed at 1.21 in both 2006 and 2007).

Just three of the ten pitchers struck out more batters the next season per nine innings than they had the previous season (Haren, Zambrano and Garland). Willis’s numbers show 6.4 strikeouts per nine for 2006, but his rate was down a tiny bit in 2007.

Hamels numbers for ERA and ratio have taken a big hit compared to the other six pitchers who were worse after throwing a huge number of innings at a young age. Even after a brilliant start last night, his ERA for 2009 is still up about 146% from last year. The only change in ERA that is worse than that is Willis’s difference between 2005 and 2006 — his ERA went up 147%, but he still threw to a 3.87 ERA in 2006 after a ton of innings in ’05 at age 23. Willis’s ’05-’06 difference in ratio is also the only one that is worse than Hamels for ’08 and ’09. Willis saw his ratio rise 126% compared to 124% for Hamels.

So of the seven pitchers who got worse, Willis probably got the most worse from ’05 to ’06, but Hamels from ’08 to ’09 was second.

The other thing that I think is critical is how many innings Hamels threw in the post-season. The 227 1/3 innings that Hamels threw in the regular season is a lot. But the 35 innings he threw in the post-season is a ton. Forgetting age, the last time that any player threw that many innings in the post-season was 2003 when Josh Beckett threw 42 2/3. Beckett was just 23 years-old, but he had thrown just 142 innings in the regular season.

So has there ever been a player 25 or younger that threw 220 innings in the regular season and then threw 35 or more in the post-season? No drum roll, please, cause while I’m sure there’s someone out there who knows the answer I’m also sure it isn’t me. What I do know is that there’s nobody 25 or under that threw 220 innings in the regular season and then threw 38 or more innings in the post-season that year. Baseball-Reference’s list only goes to the top ten and the guys at the bottom of the list threw 38 innings in the post-season. Of the guys that threw at least 38 innings in the post-season, Fernando Valenzuela may be the closest to doing it. In 1981 Valenzuela threw 40 2/3 innings in the post-season at age 20 but had thrown only 192 1/3 frames in the regular season.

This suggests that all three of Condrey, Romero and Bastardo are expected to return this season.

Brett Myers struck out five in two innings for Reading last night without allowing a hit or a walk.


Better halves

No team in the National League has played to a better winning percentage than the Phillies since the All-Star break. The Phils went 23-12 in their first 35 games since the break. That .657 winning percentage is tied for the third-best in baseball and trails only two AL teams. The Yankees have gone 27-9 since the break (.790) and the Angels are 25-11 (.694). The Cardinals have matched the Phils in the second half, also playing to a 23-12 record in their 35 games since the break.

In the first half of the year the Phils went 48-38 for a .558 winning percentage. That mark was fifth-best in all of baseball. The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels all posted better marks while the Dodgers went 56-32 for a .636 winning percentage that was the best for either league. The Giants were also fantastic before the break. They put up a 49-39 record, which gave them the sixth-best winning percentage in either league just a tick behind the Phillies.

The Dodgers and the Giants have both struggled in the second half. The Dodgers are 18-19 and the Giants 18-18. LA maintains a 3 1/2 game in the NL West while the Giants are three games out in the Wild Card hunt.

The Phillies have improved overall in the second-half because their pitching has been much better. Here’s the rate at which the Phillies have scored runs before and after the All-Star break this season:

  W-L G R R/G NL Rank
R/G
First Half 48-38 86 460 5.35 1
Second Half 23-12 35 181 5.17 4

So in the 35 games after the break the Phillies have played to a .657 winning percentage and in the 86 games before the break they played to a .558 winning percentage, but they scored more runs per game before the break. In the first half there was no NL team that scored more runs per game. In the second-half the Braves, Rockies and Brewers all have scored more runs per game. That probably means they have been a lot better at preventing runs in the second half. They have.

  W-L G RA RA/G NL Rank
RA/G
First Half 48-38 86 412 4.79 13
Second Half 23-12 35 126 3.60 3

The Phillies were thirteenth-best of the 16 NL teams at preventing runs in the first half of the season. They are third-best in the second half of the year and have allowed more than a run less per game in the second-half of the year.

Only the Braves have allowed fewer runs per game in the second-half of the season. The Cardinals and the Phillies are tied behind the Braves — both St Louis and the Phillies have allowed 126 runs in their first 35 games of the second half.

Notably, the Braves have both scored more runs per game than the Phillies and allowed fewer runs per game than the Phillies in the second-half of the season. The Phils have managed the better winning percentage, though, going 23-12 (.657) while the Braves have gone 23-13 (.639).

The Phillies have gone 7-2 in nine games since the last post. They took two of three from the Braves in Atlanta, swept the Diamondbacks at home and won two of the first three games of a four-game set against the Mets in New York.

Dobbs strained his right calf in Friday’s game and was put on the DL. Cairo was called up to take his roster spot and Bastardo was put on the DL to make room for Cairo on the 40-man roster.

Brett Myers was supposed to pitch for the Single-A BlueClaws yesterday but the game was rained out. This suggests that Myers may be ready to return to the Phillies by early September.


Roy void enjoyed

The Phillies didn’t get Roy Halladay, but the contributions they are getting from the guy they didn’t trade for him and the guy they traded for instead sure make it look like they made the right decision. Superb starts from JA Happ and Cliff Lee led the way in Philadelphia as the Phils took two of three from the Rockies. In the last two games of the set Lee and Happ combined to throw 16 innings in which they allowed one run and struck out 19.

Joining Lee and Happ in leading the Phillies is the suddenly surging Jimmy Rollins. Rollins has sprung to life after a miserable start to the season. He is hitting 336/392/619 in 148 plate appearances since July 2 and led the offense against Colorado.

The Phils are 61-45 on the year after taking two of three from the Colorado Rockies in Philadelphia. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by seven games and the third-place Braves by 7 1/2. They have the second-best winning percentage in the NL behind the Dodgers. LA is 67-42 with a .615 winning percentage, which is better than the Phillies’ .575. In the American League the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels have played to a better winning percentage than the Phillies.

The Phillies lost the first game of the series 8-3. Garrett Atkins put the Rocks up 2-0 with a two-run homer off of Moyer in the second. Colorado added another pair of runs in the fourth before a two-run shot from Rollins in the bottom of the fifth got the Phils on the board at 4-2. Things blew up in the sixth, though, as Moyer and Lopez, a new addition to the pen with the arrival of Cliff Lee, were touched up for four runs that extended the Rockies lead to 8-2.

JA Happ was brilliant in game two and the Phillies rode his complete-game shutout to a 7-0 win. Feliz, Rollins and Werth all homered before the end of the fifth inning and the blasts drove in six of the Phillies runs. Happ was in control the whole game, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out a career-high ten.

It was Cliff Lee being brilliant yesterday for the Phils. Lee struck out nine while holding the Rockies to a single run over seven innings and the Phillies won 3-1. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a double in and came around to score to give Colorado an early 1-0, but Colorado wouldn’t get any more. Rollins went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple and scored two runs to lead the Phillies offense. Bako hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot off of Aaron Cook in the bottom of the fifth.

The Phillies got outstanding pitching in the series. They allowed nine runs over three games, six of which were charged to Moyer in game one. Overall they threw to a 3.00 ERA with a 1.11 ratio. They allowed just one home run, which Atkins hit off of Moyer. They allowed just 23 hits in 27 innings while striking out 27.

They got two fantastic starts in the set from Happ and Lee. Moyer struggled in his outing. As a group the starters went 21 innings with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 ratio.

Moyer was hit hard in game one. He went five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and four walks. He has had a miserable season and it’s hurting the Phillies. He didn’t get much help from Lopez in this game — Moyer walked the only two men he faced in the sixth before leaving the game and both of them would come around to score. He’s coming off of his best month of the year, a July in which he went 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.27 ratio. His first start of August was an ugly one, though, and he’s now thrown to a 5.55 ERA for the season with a 1.47 ratio. He’s also not going deep into games. Despite the fact that he’s coming off of his best month of the year he still hasn’t gotten an out in the sixth inning in four of his last seven starts.

Happ was awesome in game two. He threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles, two doubles and a pair of walks. He struck out ten, but also threw a career-high 127 pitches in the game. He has a 2.80 ERA and a 1.14 ratio in 14 starts with the Phillies this year.

Lee was almost as good in game two. He allowed one run over seven innings on five singles, a double and a walk. He struck out nine. Each of his first two starts have been fantastic. He’s 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and an 0.81 ratio in two outings with the Phillies. He got seven wins in 22 starts with the Indians this season, but it hasn’t been the Phillies offense powering him to victories. The Phillies have scored eight runs in his two starts.

The bullpen threw just six innings in the three-game set. Lopez had a weak outing in relief of Moyer in game two and was charged with the only two runs that they allowed. As a group they threw to a 3.00 ERA with a 1.17 ratio in the three games. They didn’t walk a batter in the series. Besides Lopez, the only three relievers to pitch were Walker, Madson and Lidge and all three fared well.

Eyre did not pitch in the series.

Lopez entered game one in the sixth inning, making his first relief appearance of the year. He came in with nobody out and men on first and second, the Phillies down 4-2. He got a ground out for the first out of the inning before Atkins cleared the bases with a two-run double that made it 6-2. Chris Ianetta followed with an RBI-single. 7-2. The pitcher Jason Hammel followed with a single of his own before Dexter Fowler delivered an RBI-double that made it 8-2. Lopez got a fly ball to end the inning. He came back to pitch the seventh and allowed a one-out single but got the next two.

Lopez has been effective pitching in relief over his career. In 27 relief appearances he has a 3.14 ERA and a 1.24 ratio over 63 innings (4.88 ERA with a 1.42 ratio in 166 career starts). Not a ton of appearances, but I don’t think the idea of pitching him out of the pen is ridiculous. Having all three of him, Kendrick and Park in the pen at the same time is getting a little close to ridiculous, though.

Kendrick did not pitch in the series.

Park did not pitch in the series.

Walker pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies down 8-3. He set Colorado down in order.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game three yesterday with the Phillies up 3-1. He gave up a leadoff single but struck the next batter out and then got a double-play.

Again, it’s great to see Madson pitching less regularly recently. The Phillies are obviously going to need him before it’s over, but they don’t need him pitching every day now. He’s made two appearances this week after making one last week.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phillies losing 8-3. He got two ground outs and a popup in a perfect frame.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering in the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead. He gave up a two-out single to Brad Hawpe, which brought pinch-hitter Ian Stewart to the plate as they tying run. Lidge struck Stewart out on three pitches to end the game and earn his 21st save on the year.

Encouraging developments from Lidge. He has been charged with one or more runs in just one of his last five appearances. In the outing that he did give up runs he was pitching for the third straight day. 3.60 ERA with an 0.80 ratio over five innings in his last five appearances.

Seven guys in the bullpen for the Phils. Three of them, Kendrick, Park and Lopez, can start and two of them are pitchers who have primarily been starters over their career.

Nobody in the pen has appeared more than one day in a row and neither Madson or Lidge threw more than 20 pitches yesterday.

The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 6-for-14 with a double, a triple and two home runs in the series to raise his line on the year to 245/294/410. After going 1-for-5 with a home run in game two he was slugging .400 — it was the first time on the year that his slugging had been at .400 or better. He had 24 total bases in all of April and 28 in all of June. So far in August he has 21.

Victorino was 3-for-12 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 313/378/467 on the season.

Utley was 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 299/418/541 on the year. He’s 4-for-his-last-20 with a double.

Howard was 1-for-12 in the set. 2-for-20 with two singles in August. 258/341/516 on the year.

Ibanez was 4-for-10 with two doubles and a walk in the series. 304/369/626 for the year. Since May 30 he has hit just 257/321/534, but most of that is due to struggles June. He went on the DL in the middle of June, but before he did he had hit 254/299/571 for the month. He came back and appeared in his first game back on July 11. From July 11 to now he has hit 276/360/526.

Werth was 2-for-11 with a home run. Not a great series for Werth, but the home run was a big one. The three-run blast in game two opened up a big lead for the Phils. 268/376/501 on the year. He’s off walks apparently. He has walked once in his last 37 plate appearances. In his 132 plate appearances prior he had walked 32 times.

Feliz was 2-for-10 with a home run. 287/333/397 for the season. He’s 5-for-his-last-30.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and went 3-for-7 with two doubles. 231/328/380 on the year.

Bako started yesterday and went 2-for-3 with a home run. His line is at 196/255/294 for the year. Bako hit six home runs in 299 at-bats for the Reds last year. Six is his career-high.

Francisco walked in both of his plate appearances in the series. He’s 4-for-12 with two walks since joining the Phillies.

Bruntlett didn’t play in the series. 133/202/205 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line on the year to 254/297/421. I think the Phillies should be looking for chances to play Dobbs more regularly — it looks to me like the way to do that would be at third against some right-handed pitchers. Ibanez didn’t get an at-bat for the Phils between June 18 and July 10. During that time period Dobbs got 51 plate appearances in which he hit 396/412/667 with three home runs. He hit 172/246/310 in 65 plate appearances before June 18 and has hit 150/182/150 in 22 plate appearances since July 11.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line on the year to 227/376/413. He’s appeared in 13 games defensively for the Phils and been on the roster all season. That’s a big investment in Stairs, presumably for a small number of critical at-bats down the stretch and in the playoffs.

This suggests that Happ will not lose his spot in the rotation to Pedro Martinez. It also considers the possibility that the Phillies could go with a six-man rotation. I would be surprised if that happened and even more surprised if it happened with Kendrick, Lopez and Park still on the roster. Maybe the Phils could go with nine starters in a 12-man pitching staff. Perhaps Hamels or Moyer will develop a blister.

Encouraging news about Durbin, Myers and Romero in this article. Durbin appears to be the player of the group whose return will come first with Romero not too far behind.


Start chart

The Phillies have gone 59-45 in their first 104 games of the season. As you could no doubt guess, their starting pitchers have pitched much better in the games that they’ve won than in the games that they’ve lost. Here are the ERA, ratio and average Game Score for the Phillies starting pitchers for this year in games they won and in games they’ve lost (nothing in this post includes results from last night’s games):

  G IP ERA Ratio Avg GS
Wins 59 359.7 3.78 1.22 53.4
Losses 45 251.7 5.90 1.57 43.5

So in the 59 games that the Phillies have won their starting pitchers have thrown to a 3.78 ERA with a 1.22 ratio and an average Game Score of 53.4.

For each of the ten Phillies pitchers who have made at least one start this season, here’s how many starts they have made and how many of those starts they have thrown to an ERA of 3.78 or better, a ratio of 1.22 or better or a Game Score of 53.4 or better:

  GS ERA Rat GS All 3 % ERA % Rat % GS % all 3
Hamels 21 10 11 11 7 47.6 52.4 52.4 33.3
Moyer 21 7 4 7 4 33.3 19.0 33.3 19.0
Blanton 20 10 12 11 10 50.0 60.0 55.0 50.0
Happ 13 8 8 8 6 61.5 61.5 61.5 46.2
Myers 10 3 4 4 3 30.0 40.0 40.0 30.0
Park 7 2 3 2 1 28.6 42.9 28.6 14.3
Bastardo 5 2 2 2 1 40.0 40.0 40.0 20.0
Lopez 5 3 2 2 1 60.0 40.0 40.0 20.0
Lee 1 1 1 1 1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Carpenter 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
                   
Total 104 46 47 48 34 44.2 45.2 46.2 32.7

Even before Happ made his best start of the season last night, he and Blanton had accounted for a large number of the team’s starts when the pitcher threw to all three of an ERA of 3.78 or better, a ratio of 1.22 or better and a Game Score of 53.4 or better. Happ and Blanton had combined to do it 16 times in 33 starts, which is about 48.5% of the time. The other starters on the team combined to make 71 starts and do it 18 times (25.3% of the time).

Finally, it’s a good a time as any to remind that the starting pitching was absolutely atrocious early in the season. As you can see in the table above the Phillies have had a starting pitcher throw to an ERA of 3.78 or better in 46 of their 104 starts and that’s 44.2% of the games. They did it twice in their first 22 games on the year (9.1% of the time). They didn’t have a single start on the year in which the starting pitcher both threw to an ERA that was better than 3.78 and a ratio that was 1.22 or better until the 23rd game of the season. On that day Blanton wasn’t fantastic, but he allowed a run on four hits and a walk over six innings as the Phils beat the Cardinals 6-1. After that day, May 4, they did it four times in the next seven games.

Pedro Martinez struck out 11 in six innings in a start from Double-A Reading yesterday.

Durbin pitched well for Clearwater last night. Romero and Durbin are both expected to make rehab appearances tomorrow.


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