Tag: Brian McCann

Call it a comeback

The Phils put 22 runs on the board in the final two games of their series with the Braves, leaving many fans believing their bats may have finally awoken. Given the way they’ve been pitching, let’s hope so.

Atlanta scored 27 runs in the three-game set and the Phils got more miserable work from the weary pen yesterday — the bullpen threw 15 1/3 innings in the series. In games one and three of the set they allowed 15 runs in ten innings.

Only way to overcome that is to score a whole bunch of runs. And the Phillies did. After coming back from a 9-3 deficit to win on Saturday, the Phils rallied behind five home runs yesterday after trailing 5-0.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves yesterday, winning 12-10 to improve to 56-49 on the season. The Phillies win the series two games two one.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went two innings before being forced from the game by a long rain delay. He allowed two runs on three hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out one. The Phillies have won both games that Blanton has started, but he’s allowed seven earned runs in eight innings (7.87 ERA).

With one out in the first Yunel Escobar singled to left. Mark Teixeira followed with a walk that moved him to second before Brian McCann ripped a 2-0 pitch into right field for a single. Escobar slid in just ahead of Werth’s throw to put Atlanta up 1-0. Mark Kotsay was next with men on first and third with one out and he doubled to left-center. Teixeira scored to make it 2-0 with McCann holding third. Blanton struck out Jeff Francoeur with men on second and third before Kelly Johnson grounded to first for the third out.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 second.

Eaton started the third after a long delay. Teixeira singled with one out, but McCann grounded into a double-play behind him.

Eaton returned for the fourth. Kotsay led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch before Francoeur struck out for the first out. Kelly Johnson was next and he blasted a 1-0 pitch out to right field to make it 4-0. Infante was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to left. 5-0. Pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes was next and he doubled to left. Gregor Blanco followed with a walk, but Eaton got Escobar to hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Condrey started the fifth with the game tied at 5-5 and gave up a leadoff single to Teixeira. He got the next two before walking Francoeur. With men on first and second, Johnson grounded to first for the third out.

With the Phils up 6-5, Condrey threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Romero started the seventh, pitching for the fourth straight day. He walked Teixeira with one out but got Corky Miller to hit into a double-play behind Teixeira.

It’s been a brutal couple of days for the Phils in terms of how much they’ve had to use their pen. I’d try pretty hard not to pitch guys four days in a row, though.

Seanez started the eighth with the Phillies up 12-5. Kotsay led off with a single before Francoeur popped to second for the first out. Johnson moved Kotsay to second with a walk before Infante blasted a ball into the corner in left for a double that scored Kotsay and made it 12-6 with Johnson moving to third. Greg Norton was next and hit a ball back to Seanez that the pitcher didn’t handle for an error. It loaded the bases for the lefty Blanco and Madson came in to pitch to him and walked him on five pitches to force in Johnson. 12-7. Escobar popped to third for the second out, but Martin Prado hit for the pitcher Buddy Carlyle and cleared the bases with a three-run double to right that made the score 12-10. Werth made a dive for the ball in right and didn’t get it — he probably would have saved the Phils a run by playing back on it. Corky Miller grounded to third for the third out.

Awful inning for both Seanez and Madson. Seanez got bombed and Madson, a day after walking three hitters in an inning, walks in a run with a six run lead.

Over his last four appearances, Seanez has been charged with six runs on five hits and five walks in two innings.

Lidge started the ninth, pitching for the third straight day. He walked Francoeur with one out, bringing Johnson to the plate as the tying run. Lidge struck out the lefty for the second out before Francoeur took second on defensive indifference with Infante at the plate. Infante grounded to second for the third out.

Long day for a tired pen, forced to throw seven innings. They allow eight runs on nine hits and six walks. Eaton, Seanez and Madson all pitched badly. Eaton threw 42 pitches. Everyone should enjoy the off-day today.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jorge Campillo went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Bruntlett (8) Coste. Bruntlett at third with Feliz still out and surprisingly Dobbs on the bench against the righty. Werth also starts in right against the righty with Jenkins on the bench. Campillo has been tough on lefties, they are hitting .204 against him this season compared to .254 for righties. Coste catches.

Utley singled with two outs in the first. He was running on a 3-2 count when Howard singled into center. Utley tried to score and was thrown out easily to end the inning.

With two outs in the second lefty Jo-Jo Reyes relieved Campillo after a long rain delay and walked Bruntlett. Coste moved Bruntlett to second with a single. Eaton hit for Blanton, who was going to have to leave the game, and drew a walk to load the bases. Rollins struck out looking for the third out.

Would have been nice to use someone other than Eaton with two men on to hit for Blanton. Assuming Feliz cannot hit, Taguchi and Ruiz were two right-handed options the Phillies had on a short bench. Both hit later in the game, but it’s not a lot of right-handed depth on the bench that Manuel gave himself by putting Werth and Bruntlett in the starting lineup.

Victorino was hit by a pitch to start the third. Utley struck out and Howard grounded into a double-play.

The Phils started the fourth down 5-0. Werth walked with one out and Bruntlett struck out behind him. Coste was next and he got the Phillies on the board, hitting a 2-1 pitch out to left-center to cut the Atlanta lead to 5-2. Taguchi hit for Eaton and reached on an infield single. Rollins followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Victorino and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to left for a three-run homer. Utley flew to center for the third out.

Another pinch-hit for Taguchi, although it wasn’t really a majestic blast. Victorino has six home runs in July and is slugging .609 for the month. He had two home runs coming into July.

Burrell homered with one out in the fifth to put the Phils up 6-5. Werth was hit by a pitch, but Bruntlett struck out and pitcher Julian Tavarez made a circus catch between his legs on a line drive Coste hit back up the middle to end the inning.

Ruiz hit for Condrey to start the sixth and doubled to left. Rollins followed with a single that sent him to third before Victorino singled into center field. Ruiz scored to make it 7-5 with men on first and second for Utley. Utley struck out for the first out of the inning. Rollins and Victorino pulled off a double-steal that put men on second and third with one down. Rollins scored easily to make it 8-5. Victorino and Francoeur’s throw from right arrived at about the same time and Victorino hammered McCann, who dropped the ball and would have to leave the game with the Phils up 9-5. Burrell flew to left for the second out before Werth popped a 3-2 pitch out to left-center, putting the Phils up 11-5. Bruntlett flew to right for the third out.

Rollins homered with two outs in the seventh to make it 12-5. Victorino lined to second for the third out to end the inning.

With the lead cut to 12-10, Utley led off the eighth with a single but was caught stealing (he was safe but didn’t get the call). Howard and Burrell went down behind him.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk and his seventh home run of the season in the game. He was 4-for-13 in the series and is hitting 271/333/435 for the season.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. 5-for-12 with a triple and a home run in the series. 283/350/431 for the year.

Utley was 2-for-5 and struck out twice. 4-for-12 in the series. 288/368/559 for the year with no extra-base hits in his last 27 at-bats.

Howard 2-for-5 with two RBI. 4-for-12 with a home run in the set. 237/324/504.

Burrell 1-for-5 with a home run. 2-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 277/400/585.

Werth 1-for-2 with a walk, a home run and two RBI. 2-for-7 in the series and 272/358/485 for the year. Jenkins was 1-for-3 with a walk in the series. 241/295/400.

Bruntlett 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 0-for-6 with two walks in the series. 234/318/325 for the year. I don’t think it’s a good idea to start him against a righty with Dobbs on the bench. Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the game and 2-for-5 with a huge home run in the series. 313/350/443 for the year.

Coste was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. 5-for-7 in the series, raising his average for July up to .227. 291/340/500 for the year. Ruiz was 1-for-2 with a double in the game and 1-for-5 in the set. 211/309/277 for the year. Seems like he’s picked it up of late, but he’s hitting just .195 in July with one extra-base hit (the double yesterday, which was his first extra-base hit since June 13).

No game today.

Adam Eaton accepted a minor league assignment and JA Happ is likely to be called up, presumably to work as the second left out of the pen.

Pat Gillick says that Utley has a problem with his right hip. Utley says no.


Lidge spares the Phils the misery of another close loss

The list of tasks on the Phils to-do list is short but daunting: get the hitters hitting and the bullpen getting some people out. Right now they’re not real close on either front.

The Phils scored three runs of fewer for the third straight game last night and the fourth time in five games. Given how badly the bullpen is pitching they’re going to need a lot more than three runs if they want to win a game. Brad Lidge got lit up so dramatically last night it was hard to come away from the game with much besides that on your mind.

Kyle Kendrick and Jair Jurrjens battled in a splendid pitcher’s duel through eight innings. Lidge started the ninth inning down 1-0 and the Braves put up seven runs in the frame, the big blast coming on a Brian McCann grand slam.

The Phillies have now lost five of their last six and each of the five losses has featured a blowup by a different guy in the pen — Seanez, Condrey, Madson, Romero and now Lidge. Durbin is the only guy in the pen to remain unscathed unless you count Eaton as a reliever. Eaton apparently has settled into a new role as team mascot in the roster spot where you’d be looking for a seventh reliever (he has thrown 6 1/3 innings since July 2).

The Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves last night, falling 8-2 to drop to 54-49 on the season. They have lost three in a row.

Kyle Kendrick got the start and gave the Phils their second straight great start. He went six innings, allowing a run on seven hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Mark Kotsay singled with one out in the second. Jeff Francoeur followed with a ground ball to third and Kotsay was forced at second for the second out. Kendrick walked Kelly Johnson on four pitches to put men on first and second. Omar Infante was next and hit a rocket of a line drive back up the middle and off Kendrick. It knocked Kendrick’s glove off and Kendrick picked the glove up and looked in it, but the ball had rolled behind him. It loaded the bases for pitcher Jair Jurrjens and Kendrick got him on a ground ball to second to end the frame.

Kendrick set the Braves down in order in the third.

Brian McCann led off the fourth and blasted a 1-0 pitch out to center to put Atlanta up 1-0. Kotsay grounded to first and Jenkins made a nice diving play coming in on a soft liner by Francoeur for the second out. Johnson singled again before Infante grounded to short.

Gregor Blanco doubled to right with one out in the fifth. Yunel Escobar was next and Kendrick hit him with a 1-2 pitch to put men on first and second. Mark Teixeira hit a ground ball to first and Howard fed Kendrick covering for the second out and the runners moved to second and third. Kendrick walked the lefty McCann to load the bases and got the lefty Kotsay to fly to left to end the frame.

McCann is really good, but I hate putting another man on base for a lefty given how hard they hit Kendrick.

Francoeur singled to start the sixth. Kendrick got Johnson and Infante on fly balls before Jurrjens singled to right, moving Francoeur to second. Blanco flew to Burrell on a nice play in foul territory to leave both men stranded.

Romero started the seventh down 1-0 coming off a rough outing against the Mets on Thursday. He struck out Escobar and Teixeira before McCann walked and stole second. Kotsay grounded to first for the third out.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 eighth to drop his ERA to 1.75.

Lidge started the ninth down 1-0. Switch-hitter Greg Norton hit for Jurrjens to lead off the inning and blasted a double to the base of the wall in right-center. Blanco was next and bunted to third but beat out Dobbs’ throw for a single. With men on first and third the Phils brought the infield in, but Lidge walked Escobar to load the bases. Teixeira was next and he singled into left. Escobar scored and it was 2-0 with the bases still loaded. McCann hit a 1-2 pitch out to right for a grand slam. 6-0. Condrey entered the game and got Kotsay on a pop to Rollins in shallow left field before Kotsay doubled past Burrell in left. Johnson hit one off the wall in center for a double. Francoeur scored and it was 7-0. Infante singled into left and Johnson went to third. Norton grounded to first for the second out and Johnson scored to make it 8-0 with Infante at second. Condrey walked Blanco before Escobar grounded to second for the third out.

The pen went three innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks. Lidge and Condrey were both terrible. Romero threw 23 pitches appearing for the second straight day. Lidge 18, Condrey 16.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jair Jurrjens went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Feliz was scratched from the lineup with tightness in the lower back, so Dobbs starts against the righty. Jenkins in right against the righty. Ruiz catches.

Victorino walked with one out in the first. With Utley at the plate he took off for second and McCann’s throw hit him and bounced away, allowing Victorino to go to third. Utley struck out and Howard flew to center.

No joy for Utley with a man on third and one out. Victorino stole second and wound up on third as the count went 1-1.

Dobbs singled with two outs in the second. Ruiz struck out behind him.

1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.

With the Phils down 1-0, Jenkins led off the fifth with a single. Dobbs was next and hit into a double-play. Ruiz grounded to third.

Kendrick was due to lead off the sixth having thrown 94 pitches and down 1-0. Taguchi hit for him and struck out. Rollins grounded to third before Victorino singled and stole second. Utley struck out again.

Golly.

They went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Dobbs lined to third on a nice play by Infante for the first out in the eighth. Ruiz hit it hard, too, but Teixeira caught his ball for the second out. Werth hit for Durbin with the righty Jurrjens still on the mound and smashed a 3-1 pitch back through the middle and off the pitcher’s body. Jurrjens jumped on it quickly and threw to first to get Werth to end the inning. Nice play.

Down 8-0 in the ninth, Utley singled with two outs and Howard followed with a home run to left. 8-2. Burrell flew to right to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.

Utley 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Howard 1-for-4 with his 30th home run.

Burrell 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Jenkins 1-for-3.

Dobbs 1-for-3.

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11) faces lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (3-9, 4.95) this afternoon. Reyes allowed six runs in just 2 1/3 innings his last time out, Sunday against the Nationals. He hasn’t allowed a home run in his last four starts, but opponents are hitting .287 against him for the year. He has a 7.14 ERA in nine starts in Atlanta and a 2.72 ERA in six starts away from Atlanta. Hamels has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last four starts. The Phils have scored 12 runs in those games combined.


I got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat and a brand new pair of confused outfielders

Not sure exactly the nature of Charlie Manuel’s problem with Shane Victorino, but whatever it is it almost cost the Phillies a game last night. With both Victorino and Jayson Werth in the starting lineup, Manuel put Victorino in right and Werth in center. That’s just a terrible decision even if it doesn’t cost you. It almost did — with two outs in the ninth, Werth misplayed Brian McCann’s fly ball into a double and gave two Braves a chance to come to the plate as the go-ahead run. If Manuel has a message for Victorino he should deliver it, but if his message is that the team is better defensively with Werth in center it’s going to be a hard one for anybody to take seriously.

One guy not to blame is Werth, who is at least an adequate if not better defensive center fielder. There are a whole lot of guys in the league that can’t play defense like Victorino. Werth more than made up for his miscue in the field with his bat last night, driving in four of the five Phillies’ runs.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 22-18 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. All six hits were singles and he struck out two. After allowing three runs on three hits in the first, Kendrick was very good. He put up five shutout innings in a row in which he allowed just three singles and three walks. Ruiz helped him get a huge out with two men on in the sixth by picking Kelly Johnson off of second base.

In his three starts at home this season, Kendrick has allowed just three extra-base hits. Opponents are slugging .315 against him at home.

Yunel Escobar started the first with a single and went to second on a passed ball before Mark Kotsay drew a walk. Chipper Jones singled to center and Escobar scored to put the Braves up 1-0. Kotsay went to second. Brian McCann grounded to first and the runners moved to second and third with one down. Kendrick got Greg Norton on a popup to shallow center for the second out, but Jeff Francoeur followed and singled into right. Both runners scored and Atlanta led 3-0. Kelly Johnson flew to right for the third out.

Kendrick walked Gregor Blanco to start the second. The pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes tried to bunt him to second but struck out for the first out. Escobar followed with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins couldn’t handle it and Escobar was safe on the error. The Phils weren’t going to get a double-play anyway, but the possibility may have made Rollins rush. Kotsay was next and hit another ball to Rollins’ right. This time Rollins made a nice diving play to take a hit away from Kotsay, forcing Escobar at second for the second out as Blanco went to third. Chipper was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Kendrick got McCann to pop to right-center to end the frame.

Francoeur singled with one out in the third. Johnson followed and grounded to short, Francoeur was forced at second for the second out. Blanco grounded back to Kendrick for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Chipper singled to start the inning, but McCann followed and hit into a double-play. Norton grounded to short to end the frame.

Johnson singled with one out in the sixth and Blanco followed with a walk. Reyes hit for himself and took the first pitch for a strike. Ruiz threw to second and Johnson was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out for the second out. Blanco went to second in the ugly rundown for the Phils. Reyes shattered his bat grounding back to Kendrick to end the frame. Great job by Kendrick to field the comebacker as the barrel of the bat bounced right at him.

Huge play by Ruiz behind the plate to pick off Johnson with one out and two men on base.

Romero started the seventh up 4-3 and got the first two before Chipper singled and McCann followed with a walk. Romero struck out Norton to set the Braves down.

Gordon started the eighth up 5-3. Johnson singled with one out and Blanco followed with a ground ball to second. Johnson was forced at second for the second out. Switch-hitter Ruben Gotay hit for the pitcher Jorge Camillo and struck out for the third out.

Gordon’s ERA for the season is down to 3.63. He’s allowed two runs in his last 16 innings while striking out 16.

Lidge started the ninth up 5-3. He struck out Escobar to start the inning before he walked Kotsay on four straight fastballs. It brought up Chipper as the tying run. Kotsay took second on defensive indifference before Chipper hit a 2-1 pitch deep to left. Bruntlett, seeing his first action in the outfield this season after pinch-running for Burrell in the seventh and staying in to play left, took it on the warning track for the second out. McCann was next and he hit a fly ball to center field that should have ended the game. It didn’t. Werth froze, then came in before realizing the ball was over his head. It landed behind him for a double. Kotsay scored and it was 5-4 with a man on second and two outs for Norton. Norton walked to put men on first and second for Francoeur. Lidge got ahead of him 0-2 before Francoeur hit a 1-2 pitch into right-center that Victorino took to end the game.

With an assist to the Werth misplay, Lidge had to throw 26 pitches on the night. Romero 18 and Gordon 15 coming off an off-day on Monday.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jo-Jo Reyes went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth started in center with Victorino in right for the Phils. To have both Victorino and Werth in your outfield and put Victorino in right and Werth in center is a poor idea. Ruiz catches. We’re going to see a lot of Werth in the series with the Braves scheduled to throw three lefties.

Victorino doubled with one out in the first and the Phils down 3-0, but Utley grounded to second and Howard struck out to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Rollins reached on an error by Escobar with two outs in the third, but Victorino flew to left to end the inning.

Utley singled to start the fourth and Howard followed with a blast over the head of Kotsay in center and off the base of the wall for a double that moved Utley to third. Burrell struck out looking for the first out, but Werth laced a single back through the middle and both runners scored to cut the Atlanta lead to 3-2. Feliz moved Werth to second with a single, but Ruiz grounded to second and Kendrick struck out to leave both men stranded.

With one out in the fifth, Victorino singled and stole second. Utley grounded to second for the second out and Victorino went to third. Howard singled into right and Victorino scored to tie the game at 3-3. Burrell moved Howard to second with a single before Werth singled into left. Howard scored to put the Phils up 4-3 and Burrell went to second. Feliz popped to third to end the inning.

Ruiz singled to start the sixth but the Phils went in order behind him. Taguchi hit for Kendrick and bunted into an out for the first out of the frame.

Burrell doubled to right with two outs in the seventh and Bruntlett ran for him at second. Werth blooped a single in front of a diving Blanco and Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 5-3. Burrell might not have scored on the play even with two outs, but I would have rather seen him stay in the game anyway. Feliz grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins doubled with two outs in the eighth. Victorino grounded to second behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Victorino 2-for-5 with a double and stole his sixth base of the season. 3-for-his-last-18.

Utley was 1-for-4.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a double.

Werth was 3-for-4 with four RBI.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Brett Myers (2-3, 5.56) faces lefty Tom Glavine (0-1, 4.03) tonight. Glavine has made six starts on the year and allowed two runs or fewer in five of them. The Reds hit him hard on May 4 and he was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings. In his other five starts on the season he’s thrown to a 2.59 ERA. Lefties are hitting .360 against him on the season and have hit two of the three home runs he’s allowed — lefties have actually hit him better over his career, but not at a .360 clip (lefties have hit .263 against him in his career). The former Met made five starts against the Phils in 2007 and went 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. April 12, April 17, June 5, August 28 and September 14. Myers has allowed 19 runs in 24 innings over his past four starts. Twelve home runs in his last 44 innings. Righties are hitting .325 against him. He’s not pitching well. He went 1-0 with a 4.30 ERA, a 1.30 ratio and four saves in eight appearances against Atlanta last season.

Manuel talks about starting Werth in center last night here.


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