Tag: Brian Schneider

Walking haul

In 2012, NL batters walked in about 7.9% of their plate appearances. Right-handed hitters like Delmon Young walked in about 7.3% of their plate appearances. In their chances against righties they drew walks about 6.9% of the time and in their chances against lefties they walked about 8.0% of the time.

Delmon Young walks less than that and he always has.

The table below shows Young’s walk percentages for every year of his career except 2006. In 2006, he got 131 plate appearances and walked once (0.8% walk rate). Not saying it matters, but the walk came against righty Huston Street.

Year BB% vs L vs R
2007 3.8 4.1 3.7
2008 5.6 7.5 4.8
2009 2.9 2.2 3.2
2010 4.6 6.7 3.6
2011 4.6 5.6 4.2
2012 3.3 2.1 3.8
Career 4.1 4.7 3.8

His walk rate has just about always been bad. The years when it’s been really atrocious are 2009 and 2012. As I mentioned yesterday, in 2012 there were 222 players other than Young across both leagues with at least 350 plate appearances and 221 of them had a better walk rate than he did. In 2009 his 2.9% walk rate was 249th of 252 players across both leagues with at least 350 plate appearances.

In both of those years, Young’s walk rate against lefties was down super low, almost to 2%. You’ll notice that in 2010, his walk rate against righties was similar to his walk rate in ’09 and ’12, but he got his overall walk rate up to 4.6% thanks to walks in 6.7% of his plate appearances against lefties.

Young’s best walk rate of his career was 2008 when he walked in about 5.6% of his plate appearances. That still isn’t good. In Phillies context, among the players with 100 plate appearances in 2012, Polanco walked in about 5.5% of his PA and Pieree in about 5.2%. They were all below the team rate of 7.4%. And the team rate of 7.4% was terrible.

Brian Schneider seems to be retiring at age 36. Schneider spent the last three years of his career with the Phillies, hitting 212/295/327 over 384 plate appearances.

MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list is now available. It includes left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle at number 60 and right-handed pitcher Ethan Martin at number 80. Given that there are 30 MLB teams, having your best prospect on the list appear at number 60 isn’t a good sign.


Same old story same old act

One step up and two steps back.

After winning the opening game of the series with the Rays on a walkoff homer by Thome, the Phils lost both games of a double-header yesterday to drop back to six games under .500 for the season.

The series got off to a hopeful start. Bastardo and Papelbon combined to allow three innings in the eighth and ninth as the Phils blew a 6-3 lead, but Thome delivered a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Phils a 7-6 win.

Yesterday they lost the day game of the double-header 3-2 in a heart-breaker. Rollins homered in the bottom of the sixth to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. Hamels threw seven shutout innings, but after 111 pitches he was due to hit third in the bottom of the seventh. With Luna playing third for the Phils, Manuel had Polanco hit for Hamels with two outs and nobody on base. Bastardo started the eighth and walked two of the first three men he faced before allowing a three-run homer to Carlos Pena that put the Rays up 3-1. In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies put runners on the corners with the score 3-2 and one out. Mayberry struck out for the second out. With a righty on the mound, Thome hit for Qualls and was walked intentionally. The Rays brought on lefty Jake McGee, Martinez hit for himself and flew to right to end the inning. The Phils went quietly in the ninth and lost by a run.

Big questions for Manuel in the game. Among them are why Hamels didn’t start the eighth and why Bastardo did. Bastardo had thrown 29 less than impressive pitches in game one of the set. Others found fault with sending Martinez to the plate to face McGee with two outs and the bases loaded. The biggest issue of all, though, was sending Thome to the plate to face a righty with a base empty in a situation where he was sure to be walked, leaving the Phillies without a legitimate pinch-hitting option against a lefty like McGee.

Cliff Lee was awful as the Phils lost the night game 7-3, allowing five runs over seven innings. He has a 5.10 ERA over his last seven starts and the Phils have lost five of those games. The bullpen was terrible in that game as well. BJ Rosenberg got two outs in the eighth and walked four with the fourth walk forcing in a run. Diekman took over for him with two outs and the bases loaded and walked in another run.

The Phillies are 34-40 on the season after dropping both games of a double-header with the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday. They are in last place in the NL East, nine games behind the first-place Nationals.

They lost the day game 3-2.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out seven. He didn’t allow an extra-base hit in the game.

He didn’t allow a runner in the first three innings.

BJ Upton walked to start the fourth, but was picked off of first with Wigginton throwing to Rollins for the first out. Jeff Keppinger and Hideki Matsui singled back-to-back with two outs, putting runners on first and second for Ben Zobrist. Zobrist walked to load the bases, but Hamels got Sean Rodriguez on a fly ball to left to leave them loaded.

He walked Elliot Johnson with one out in the fifth and Johnson stole second with two men down, but Hamels got Upton on a ground ball to short to leave Johnson at second.

After a 1-2-3 sixth, Hamels led 1-0 when he started the seventh. Rodriguez singled with one out, but Hamels got Jose Molina to ground into a double-play to end the frame.

Bastardo started the eighth with a one-run lead. Hamels had thrown 111 pitches in the game. Bastardo walked two of the first three men he faced, putting runners on first and second for the lefty Carlos Pena. Pena hit the first pitch he saw from Bastardo out to right, putting the Rays up 3-1. Qualls took over for Bastardo and got out of the frame on a line out, a walk and a caught stealing.

Bastardo started the inning having thrown 29 pitches the day before. He faced two switch-hitters in Johnson and Conrad, walking Johnson before walking the righty Upton ahead of Pena. I don’t think you can bring in Qualls to pitch to two switch-hitters to start the inning. If you were only picking between Qualls and Bastardo I think it has to be Bastardo, despite the 29 pitches. There are other guys out there, though.

Over his last four appearances, Bastardo has allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings. He has been charged with at least one run in three of the four outings.

Schwimer threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Phillies lineup against lefty David Price went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Wigginton (6) Mayberry (7) Luna (8) Martinez. Luna at third, Mayberry in left and Wigginton at first. Luna starts a game at third for the first time since 2010 and makes his first ever appearance there with the Phillies.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a single, but was caught stealing second before Pence doubled to center. Ruiz struck out looking to leave Pence at second.

The Phillies didn’t have another base-runner till the fifth. With one out, Mayberry was hit by a pitch and moved up to second on a single by Luna. Martinez and Hamels both grounded out to keep the Phils off the board.

Rollins put the Phils up 1-0 when he started the sixth with a home run to left. Victorino followed with a walk and stole second before Pence struck out for the first out. Ruiz was walked intentionally to put men on first and second, but Wigginton and Mayberry both flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

Down 3-1, Polanco hit for Hamels with two outs in the seventh and walked. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

Manuel uses the right-handed pinch-hitter he will need later with two outs and nobody on, taking Hamels out of the game after 111 pitches. Presumably he did it at least partly so that Polanco could take over for third at Luna with a 1-0 lead.

Down 3-1, Pence doubled to right with one out in the eighth. Ruiz moved him to third with a single and Wigginton singled after that, scoring Pence (3-2) and moving Ruiz to third. With one out and men on the corners, righty Burke Badenhop struck Mayberry out looking 0-2 for the second out. Thome hit for Qualls and was walked intentionally, loading the bases. Lefty Jake McGee came on to pitch to Martinez and Pierre ran for Thome at first. Martinez flew to shallow right for the third out.

Martinez and not Pierre or Fontenot hitting against McGee is fine. I think the big mistake is calling on Thome to hit against the righty Badenhop with the base open. Thome is sure to be walked. How about Pierre or Fontenot hit for Qualls and not wasting Thome?

Huge strikeout for Mayberry with one out, men on the corners and the Phillies down a run.

Rollins singled with one out in the ninth. Victorino struck out for the second out before Rollins stole second. Righty Fernando Rodney struck out Pence to end the game.

The Phillies lost the night game 7-3.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out nine.

He gave up a leadoff single to Desmond Jennings in the top of the first, but got Pena to hit into a double-play behind him.

He allowed three runs in the second, allowing a single and a walk to the first two hitters before Rodriguez and Conrad doubled back-to-back. After Conrad’s double, he got the next three to leave Conrad stranded.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

The lead was cut to 3-2 when he started the fifth. He walked Jennings with two outs. Jennings stole second before Lee got Pena swinging for the third out.

Lee got the first two in the seventh before Ben Zobrist single and a Rodriguez walk brought Conrad to the plate with two men on. Conrad smashed a double to center, just missing a home run and plating both runners to extend the lead to 5-2. Rodriguez plowed over Schneider at the plate as the catcher waited for the throw and Schneider would have to leave the game. Lee got Jose Lobaton on a ground ball to third for the third out.

It was 5-3 when Lee struck out the side in the seventh.

BJ Rosenberg started the eighth and walked three of the first five batters he faced, loading the bases for Lobaton with two outs. Manuel left Rosenberg in to pitch to the switch-hitter and walked him as well, forcing in a run to make it 6-3. Diekman came on and walked pitcher Brandon Gomes to force in another run. 7-3. He tried to walk Jennings, too, but Jennings struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch way up and away to leave the bases loaded.

I think it’s a poor idea to leave Rosenberg in to face someone hitting left-handed in any inning in which he has already walked the bases loaded. Just generally, I think if someone walks the bases loaded you want to get him out of the game.

Diekman threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Cesar Ramos went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Polanco (6) Mayberry (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Pierre in left against the lefty. Schneider catches. Martinez at second. Polanco hitting fifth is atrocious.

Victorino walked and stole second with two outs in the first. Pence walked behind him to put two men on, but Polanco flew to left to leave them both stranded.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Down 3-0, Rollins walked with one out in the third, but Pierre and Victorino both grounded out behind him.

A walk by Pence, a double by Polanco and a Mayberry single to start the fourth got the Phils on the board and cut the lead to 3-2. After putting Mayberry on second with nobody out, the Phils couldn’t get a third run. Schneider popped out. With righty Wade Davis now pitching for Tampa, Fontenot hit for Martinez and grounded out and Lee struck out.

After going in order in the fifth, the Phillies started the sixth down 5-2. Pence led off with a walk and came in to score on a Polanco double. 5-3. Polanco took third on the throw, but was left there when Mayberry struck out, Ruiz popped to second and Fontenot grounded to second.

The Phils can’t bring home the runners from third with nobody out. Mayberry strikes out and Ruiz pops out with a man on third and less than two outs.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Down 7-3, Victorino bunted for a single to start the eighth, but was erased when Pence followed and grounded into a double-play. Polanco walked before Mayberry grounded to third.

The Phils didn’t have a base-runner in the ninth.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the second game yesterday. He was 5-for-12 with a walk and two homers in the three-game set. 266/316/404 on the year. 392/436/706 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Pierre was 0-for-4 in the game. 2-for-7 with a homer in the series. 322/361/390 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk in the game and 1-for-7 with two walks in the series. 249/320/393 on the year. He’s 10-for-his-last-47 (.213).

Pence 0-for-1 and walked three times. 2-for-10 with three walks and two doubles in the series. 272/341/462 on the year.

Polanco 2-for-3 with a walk and two doubles. 2-for-8 with two walks and two doubles in the series. 273/313/361 on the season.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. In the day game of the double-header, Mayberry struck out for the second out in the bottom of the eighth with men on first and third. In the night game he struck out with Polanco on third and nobody out in the bottom of the sixth. 1-for-11 with four strikeouts in the series. 239/277/402 on the year. He came into the series 11-for-his-last-28 with four home runs.

Schneider was 0-for-2 in his only action of the series and left the game with a right ankle sprain after being bowled over by Sean Rodriguez. Manuel says he will be out a few days in this article. 232/293/362 on the year.

Martinez was 0-for-1 with a strikeout and 0-for-9 with four strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 133/188/200 for the year and 185/245/268 for his career. The Phillies should consider not starting him every day.

Blanton (6-6, 5.04) faces righty Jeff Karstens (0-1, 4.50) tonight. Six of Blanton’s last seven starts have been terrible — he has thrown to a 7.44 ERA over those seven outings while allowing 15 home runs in 42 1/3 innings. Karstens has thrown just 12 innings over three starts on the year. He will be making his first start since April 17 after missing time with shoulder and hips problems.


Peak peek

There have been some low moments in Phillies history, but yesterday marks one of the high ones. With a 6-4 win over the Reds, the Phils completed a four-game sweep and moved to 41 games above .500, which ties them for the best mark in the history of the organization.

For the only time in the series, the Phillies didn’t get outstanding starting pitching in yesterday’s game. Worley pitched well early, but gave up a three-run homer in the seventh before leaving charged with four runs. The bullpen was very good, though, throwing three shutout frames after he left in which they held the Reds to just one walk and struck out five. The pitching overall held the Reds to six runs in the four-game set, three of which came on one swing — a pinch-hit three-run homer by Chris Heisey off of Worley yesterday.

The Phils outscored the Reds 21-6 in the four game series. Howard and Martinez both homered yesterday. The Phils hit eight long balls in the series — three for Howard and two for Pence with Ibanez, Martinez and Victorino all hitting one.

The Phillies are 87-46 after beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 yesterday afternoon. With the win the Phils complete a sweep of the four-game series. They are in first place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games of the second-place Braves. The Phils were also 41 games over .500 in August of 1976.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a homer. He struck out seven. Worley allowed two home runs in 62 1/3 innings to start the season. Since then he has allowed five in 42 innings.

Brandon Phillips singled to right to start the bottom of the first. Worley got Edgar Renteria and Joey Votto on a pair of fly balls before Jay Bruce flew to center to leave Phillips at first.

Worley started the second with a 3-0 lead. He walked Juan Francisco on four pitches and Yonder Alonso moved Francisco up to second with a single into center. Worley got out of it, though, striking Drew Stubbs out looking 0-2 for the first out, Ryan Hanigan looking 2-2 and getting the pitcher Mike Leake on a ground ball to third to leave both runners stranded.

Phillips doubled to start the third. Renteria was next and hit a ball to short, which Valdez made a fantastic diving play on, fielding and throwing to first for the first out with Phillips moving up to third. Votto followed with a fly ball to center, deep enough for Phillips to tag and score, cutting the lead to 3-1. Bruce singled to right before Worley struck Francisco out looking to end the inning.

First run allowed by a Phillies’s starting pitcher in the series.

Worley set the Reds down in order in the fourth.

First 1-2-3 inning for Worley and the first time that the leadoff hitter had not reached based. He had thrown 53 pitches through four innings.

Worley got Leake and Phillips to start the fifth before Renteria hit a ball that Ibanez may have misread. It landed for a double. Worley got ahead of Votto 2-0 and struck him out looking 2-2 to end the inning with Renteria at second.

Up 4-1, Worley set the Reds down in order in the sixth.

He started the seventh with a 6-1 lead. Stubbs led off and doubled over Victorino’s head in center. Hanigan moved Stubbs to third with a single. Righty Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Jeremy Horst and Heisey lined an 0-1 pitch out to right for a three-run homer that made it 6-4. Lidge took over for Worley and struck Phillips out for the first out before walking Renteria. Bastardo took over to face the lefty Votto and got Votto to hit into an inning-ending double-play.

Heisey makes it a game again with the pinch-hit three-run homer. Lidge continues to walk way too many hitters, walking one of the two guys he faces. He has a 1.74 ERA for the year, but has walked ten in 10 1/3 innings.

Bastardo was back for the eighth and struck out the side, getting Bruce , Francisco and Alonso all swinging.

Golly. Bastardo dropped his ERA on the year to 1.38 with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He has struck out 65 in 52 1/3 innings. This says that the .112 average opponents have hit against him is the best in history for any pitcher who has thrown more than 50 innings.

Madson pitched the ninth. He got Stubbs swinging 1-2 for the first out and Hanigan on a ground ball to third for the second. Righty Ramon Hernandez hit for the pitcher Francisco Cordero and Madson got him on a ground ball to short to end the game.

Madson has thrown two days in a row and threw 14 pitches in the game. Bastardo 18 and Lidge nine.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Leake went (1) Victorino (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Schneider catches the day game after a night game. Valdez plays short with Rollins on the DL. Martinez plays third with Polanco on the bench. Ibanez in left against the righty with Mayberry on the bench. Martinez doesn’t really belong hitting second, no matter how many games you’ve won or who is hurt. I assume Manuel does it that way to keep the other players hitting in the same spot in the order, but I think I’d just go with something other than the who can’t hit hitting second.

The Phillies went in order in the first.

Pence doubled to left with one out in the second and Ibanez walked behind him. Schneider was next and he singled to left, scoring Pence to put the Phils up 1-0 with one out and men on first and second. Valdez reached on an infield single to load the bases before Worley singled into center. Ibanez scored from third (2-0) and Schneider tried to score from second but was thrown out by Stubbs for the second out. With men on first and second, Victorino singled into left, scoring Valdez (3-0) and pushing Worley to second. Martinez flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

RBI-single for Worley after Halladay knocked in three runs with a double in game two.

Utley, Howard and Pence went in order in the third.

With the lead cut to 3-1, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Victorino singled to right with one out in the fifth. Martinez was next and hit the ball hard, but Votto took the line drive and stepped on first to double-off Victorino and set the Phillies down.

Martinez hit that ball well, just into bad luck.

With one out in the sixth, Howard hit a 1-0 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Pence flew to center for the second out before Ibanez hit a ball to first that went under the glove of Votto for a two-base error. Schneider struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Ibanez at second.

Valdez singled off of righty Jared Burton to start the seventh. Worley bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino grounded to second with Valdez moving up to third. Martinez was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for a two-run homer, putting the Phils up 6-1. Utley and Howard singled back-to-back before Pence grounded to short to leave them on the bases.

Again Martinez hits the ball hard, this time out of the yard.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. With lefty Bill Bray on the mound for the Reds, Ruiz hit for Schneider and flew to left for the second out.

With righty Francisco Cordero pitching for Cincy, Gload hit for Bastardo and singled to left to start the ninth. Mayberry ran for Gload at first, but Victorino, Martinez and Utley all grounded out to keep the Phils off the board.

With Bowker available on the bench, Manuel gives the at-bat to Gload. Gload still being run for on the bases with his hip problem. Gload starts September with a hit after going 1-for-15 in August and coming into the game 3-for-his-last-29.

Victorino 2-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-16 with three walks, a double and a home run in the four-game series. He’s hitting 307/382/538 for the year.

Martinez 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. He’s 8-for-his-last-52 (154/170/250) and hitting 212/249/312 for the season.

Utley 1-for-5 in the game and 3-for-18 with three singles and a walk in the series. 241/309/330 over his last 123 plate appearances. 272/355/444 for the season.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a home run yesterday and 4-for-18 with three home runs and five RBI in the series. 250/337/490.

Pence 1-for-4 with a double. 5-for-16 with a walk, a double and two home runs in the set. He’s hitting 312/366/492 for the year and 327/398/570 in 123 plate appearances with the Phils.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-8 with a walk and a home run in the series. 240/280/416 for the year. Mayberry pinch ran yesterday and was 1-for-7 with a walk in the series to drop his line on the year to 264/329/514.

Schneider 1-for-3 with an RBI in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 176/248/275 for the year.

Valdez 2-for-4 in the game and 5-for-15 in the series. He’s hitting 247/292/335 for the year. 293/333/483 in 63 plate appearances since the beginning of August.

Oswalt (6-8, 3.77) faces lefty Brad Hand (1-4, 4.08) tonight in Florida. Hand had good numbers for the season before his most recent start, August 8 against the Braves, in which he allowed seven runs in five innings. He was sent back to the minors after that and returns to the Marlins for tonight’s start. He’s walked too many this year, giving up 25 walks in 39 2/3 innings. He’s especially walked a ton of right-handed batters — righties are hitting .211 against him for the year but on-basing .351 (he’s walked 24 of the 136 righties he has faced). Oswalt didn’t look good in his most recent start, which came against Florida a week ago today. He allowed six runs on 12 hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. John Buck hit a grand slam off of him in the sixth.


Jason and the who?

Mariners, apparently.

The Phils dropped two of three to the Mariners in Seattle this weekend. After splitting the first two games, Jason Vargas flummoxed the Phils yesterday, holding them to three singles and a pair of walks while throwing a complete game shutout.

The offense has clearly slowed for the Phils over the past four games. They’ve gone 2-2 in those games, but scored just ten runs. Polanco didn’t start yesterday’s game and is hitting 233/279/285 since the end of April. Francisco and Ibanez were the corner outfielders for the Phils on Opening Day — Ibanez leads that duo with a .402 slugging percentage and there aren’t a whole lot of signs yet that Domonic Brown is going to bail the Phillies out in right. After going 1-for-8 in the series and 5-for-his-last-41, Brown is hitting 220/294/418 for the year in 102 plate appearances.

The Phillies lost the series opener 4-2, ending their win streak at seven. Michael Pineda took a no-hitter and a 3-0 lead into the sixth. Victorino broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single that sent Rollins, who had walked, to third. Utley followed that with another single, which scored Rollins and cut the lead to 3-1. The Mariners extended the lead to 4-1 with a double and a single off of the Phils’ starter Oswalt in the seventh. Victorino homered in the eighth to make it 4-2, but that’s as close as the Phillies would get.

On Saturday the Phils got good pitching and a huge day from Shane Victorino to win 5-1. Worley started the game for the Phils and allowed just one run over five innings. He was backed by Stutes, Bastardo and Madson, who combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief. Felix Hernandez started the seventh with a 1-0 lead, but the Phils scored a pair of runs on a two-run double by Victorino to take the lead. Victorino added a two-run homer off of Jamey Wright in the ninth to make it 4-1, capping a day where he went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple a home run, a walk and four RBI.

Seattle won yesterday’s game 2-0 behind a great start by Vargas.

The Phillies are 45-28 on the year after losing 2-0 to the Seattle Mariners yesterday afternoon. Seattle take the three-game set two games to one. The Phils remain in first place in the NL East. They lead the second place Braves by five games.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Hamels allowed just two base-runners in the first five innings of the game. Justin Smoak singled to left with two outs in the first, but was left at first when Miguel Olivo followed and grounded to Utley. Franklin Gutierrez singled to left with two outs in the second, but Hamels struck Mike Carp out behind him to leave him at first.

Seattle didn’t put a runner on base in the third, fourth or fifth.

In the fourth inning, Hamels struck Olivo out swinging 0-2 for the 1,000th strikeout of his career.

The game was still scoreless when Hamels started the sixth. He got Chone Figgins on a ground ball to short for the first out. Ichiro was next and hit a ball to first that Howard deflected on a bad hop, but didn’t handle. Ichiro was safe with a single and moved to second when Brendan Ryan followed and grounded to short for the second out. It brought Smoak to the plate and he hit a 1-0 pitch to left, which dropped between Martinez and Rollins for a single. Ichiro scored and Seattle led 1-0. Olivo moved Smoak to second with a single, but Hamels got Greg Halman on a ground ball to third for the third out.

Dustin Ackley started the seventh with a triple to right. Gutierrez grounded to short with Ackley holding for the first out, but lefty Adam Kennedy hit for the lefty Carp and blooped a single to left. Ackley scored and Seattle led 2-0. Contreras took over for Hamels and got Figgins to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Herndon pitched the eighth. He gave up a leadoff single to Ichiro and Ryan bunted him to second with the first out. Herndon walked the switch-hitter Smoak intentionally and got Olivo to hit into a double-play behind him.

Neither Herndon or Contreras has pitched more than one day in a row. Herndon threw 16 pitches, Contreras five.

The Phillies lineup against left Jason Vargas went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ruiz (7) Ibanez (8) Valdez (9) Martinez. Francisco in right with Brown on the bench. Ibanez is the DH. Valdez plays third with Polanco on the bench. Martinez in left with Ibanez DHing. Martinez should never, ever start a game in left unless a whole bunch of people are hurt. Interleague play DH games don’t do much for the case of having Martinez on the team.

Utley struck out with two outs on the first, but reached base when strike three wasn’t handled. Howard moved him to second with a single to left and they both moved up on a wild pitch, putting men on second and third for Francisco. Francisco hit a ball into shallow left-center, but Halman made a sliding catch to leave both runners stranded.

Valdez walked with two outs in the second, but Martinez struck out behind him

The Phils went in order in the third.

Francisco singled to left with one out in the fourth and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a walk. Ibanez was next and hit a soft liner to third for the second out. Ruiz was oddly way off first and doubled-off to end the frame.

Vargas set the Phils down in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

The Phils were down 1-0 when he set Francisco, Ruiz and Ibanez down in order in the seventh.

They were down 2-0 when he set Valdez, Martinez and Rollins down in order in the eighth.

Howard singled to center with two outs in the ninth. It brought Francisco to the plate as the tying run, but he flew to center to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. 3-for-11 with two walks in the series. 258/332/373 on the season.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 5-for-12 with a double, a triple, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 299/364/513 on the year. 408/463/694 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Utley 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-11 in the set. 253/364/451 for the year.

Howard 2-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-11 with a double and a walk in the series. 256/348/493 on the year.

Francisco 1-for-4 and left three men on base. 2-for-7 with a walk in the set. 218/341/362 on the year. Brown didn’t play yesterday but was 1-for-8 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 220/294/418 for the year.

Ruiz 0-for-2 with a walk. 1-for-9 with a walk in the series. 238/354/323 on the year.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 3-for-11 with three singles in the series. 243/292/402 for the year.

Valdez 0-for-2 with a walk in his only action of the series. 250/292/316 on the year. Polanco was 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series. 233/279/285 since the end of April. 2-for-his-last-20 and hitting 295/342/375 for the year.

Martinez 0-for-3 and struck out twice. He’s hitting 195/214/242 on the year. Of the 218 NL players with 50 plate appearances, his .457 OPS is 213th and his .215 on-base percentage is 214th.

No game today. At St Louis tomorrow.

Brian Schneider has gone 4-for-10 in three rehab games at Reading. He is hoping to be active for Friday’s game.


Lights outish Lidge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not that impressive an inning defensively for the Rockies.

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

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

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

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

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

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


New life of Brian

Brian Schneider returned to the starting lineup with a bang last night. After going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his first four at-bats, one of which came with a man on third and nobody out, Schneider popped an 0-1 pitch from Jordan Smith out to right in the bottom of the twelfth to give the Phils a walkoff win.

Other than the late drama provided by Schneider, though, it wasn’t a great game for the Phils. Kendrick pitched very well and Contreras and Figueroa threw three shutdown innings at the end of the game. But the offensive continued to scuffle as Rollins, Howard, Ibanez and Werth combined to go 2-for-17.

The Phillies are 44-40 on the year after being the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 in twelve innings last night.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and allowed a run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings. All three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.49.

Joey Votto homered to right center with two outs in the first, putting the Reds up 1-0.

The Phillies tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Kendrick set the Reds down in order in the second, third and fourth.

The Phils were up 2-1 when Cincinnati hit in the top of the fifth. Jay Bruce led off with a double to right. Laynce Nix was next and flew to center, with Bruce tagging and moving up to third. It brought Drew Stubbs to the plate and the Reds tried to pull off the squeeze, but Stubbs popped the bunt up. Kendrick caught it and Bruce was easily doubled-off of third to end the frame.

Corky Miller doubled to start the sixth and the pitcher Johnny Cueto bunted him to third. Brandon Phillips was next and he hit a ball to third that Dobbs handled. Dobbs looked the runner back and threw to first for the second out. Orlando Cabrera popped to Valdez to keep the Reds off the board.

Second time in two innings that Kendrick works out of a man no third with one out.

Kendrick got the first two in the seventh. With the Phils still up by just a run, Manuel brought in Romero to pitch to the lefty Bruce. Romero struck him out for the third out.

Kendrick had thrown 73 pitches in the game and allowed three hits and no walks.

Madson, activated for the game taking Zagurski’s spot in the pen, started the eighth. Stubbs and Miller singled back-to-back with one out. Righty Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Cueto and struck out swinging for the second out. It brought Phillips to the plate. Madson got ahead of him and threw a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Phillips swung and missed, but the ball bounced way away from Schneider. Schneider stood up and looked around wildly but couldn’t find the ball. Madson pointed and then ran after the ball, which bounced off the wall and back behind home plate. Schneider saw it then, too, and both of them took off after it while Stubbs raced around the bases. Schneider finally got to the ball, but there was nobody covering home and Stubbs scored to tie the game at 2-2. Orlando Cabrera grounded out to leave the runners stranded.

Lidge started the ninth with a 3-2 lead. Votto led off with a single and Scott Rolen walked behind him. It put men on first and second for Bruce, but Lidge got Bruce to ground into a double-play with Votto winding up at third with two down. Righty Miguel Cairo hit for the pitcher Arthur Rhodes and doubled to left, scoring Votto to tie the game again at 3-3. Stubbs flew to center for the third out.

Contreras, pitching for the third day in a row, threw a 1-2-3 tenth.

Figueroa, who had thrown 22 pitches the day before, struck out Cabrera and Votto in a 1-2-3 eleventh.

He was back for the twelfth and again set the Reds down in order. Jordan Smith smoked a ball to right in the frame, but Werth made a nice play to catch it up against the wall for the second out.

No runs charged to Contreras as he throws for the third straight day. He threw 19 pitches on July 4, didn’t pitch on the fifth and then threw three days in a row. Figueroa has made four appearances since rejoining the team on June 24 and has allowed a hit and a walk over 7 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out seven.

Baez needs to pitch if he’s on the team.

Figueroa threw 26 pitches, Madson 20, Lidge 15, Contreras 12, Romero five.

You would have to guess the Contreras and Figueroa are unlikely to pitch tonight.

The Phillies lineup against righty Johnny Cueto went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Valdez (8) Schneider. Schneider returns to the lineup after missing time with his thumb. Dobbs at third against the righty. Valdez plays second.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Victorino homered with one out to tie the game at 1-1. Ibanez and Howard went down behind him.

1-2-3 in the second.

Schneider and Kendrick both struck out to start the third before Rollins walked. Victorino followed that and hit a ball hard to first. Votto didn’t handle it and it rolled away from him. He got it and flipped to Cueto covering, but the ball and Victorino arrived at the same time and got away from Cueto. Votto fetched it and Victorino took a big turn around first and went back to the base. Votto threw to Cueto at first to try to get Victorino coming back to the bag, but Cueto didn’t handle the throw. Rollins stormed in from third and slid in safely, just ahead of the throw from Votto after he retrieved the ball yet again. Cueto then picked Victorino off of first to end the inning.

Wild play. Great hustle by Rollins to score from third when Cueto didn’t handle the throw from Votto for the second time.

Ibanez started the fourth with a single. He moved to second on a ground out by Howard and to third on another by Werth. Dobbs popped to Rolen at third to leave him stranded.

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

Victorino walked with one out in the sixth, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him.

Werth singled with one out in the seventh. Dobbs was next and hit a soft liner towards second. Phillips let it drop intentionally and started a double-play to end the inning.

The game was tied at 2-2 when Valdez tripled to start the bottom of the eighth. Schneider struck out for the first out. With righty Nick Masset on the mound, Gload hit for Madson. Arthur Rhodes took over for Masset and Francisco hit for Gload. Francisco drew a walk and Rollins delivered a fly ball to left deep enough for Valdez to score and put the Phillies up 3-2. Francisco stole second before Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Stranding that runner at third after the leadoff triple would have been too much. Big sac fly for Rollins. Also a nice job by Francisco not to make an out and to get into scoring position with the stolen base.

The game was tied at 3-3 when the Phillies went in order in the ninth.

Castro started the tenth with a walk. Valdez tried to bunt him to second, but fouled off two pitches. Something went wrong after that, cause Valdez took a two strike pitch and Castro was thrown out stealing. Valdez blooped a single to right before Schneider flew to center for the second out. With righty Logan Ondrusek on the mound, righty Cody Ransom hit for Contreras and walked. Rollins grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Victorino reached on an infield single to start the eleventh. Ibanez grounded to second with Victorino forced at second for the first out. Howard followed that with a ground ball to short — he was thrown out at first with Ibanez moving to second. Werth was walked intentionally with Castro hitting behind him. Castro grounded to short to end the inning.

I would walk Werth a whole lot when Castro is hitting behind him.

Valdez grounded to third for the first out in the twelfth before Schneider hit an 0-1 pitch out to right to win the game for the Phils.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk, but did well to score from first base on a grounder to first in the third inning.

Victorino was 3-for-4 with a walk and a home run. Two homers in two days for Victorino.

Ibanez 1-for-5.

Howard 0-for-5.

Werth 1-for-4 with a walk.

Ibanez, Howard and Werth combine to go 2-for-14 with a single and a walk in the game.

Dobbs 0-for-3.

Valdez 2-for-5 with a triple. He now is outslugging Ibanez for the season. He’s at .402 and Ibanez is .394. The list of players outslugging Ibanez also includes Schneider, Sardinha and Gload (and Nelson Figueroa, but he’s outslugging everyone else on the team as well with his 2-for-4 with a double on the season).

Schneider was 1-for-5 and won the game with his third homer.

Blanton (5-3, 6.27) faces righty Mike Leake (6-1, 3.38) tonight. Blanton had made three pretty good starts in a row before allowing five runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Pirates in his last start. He has allowed 14 home runs in 74 1/3 innings this season. Leake faced the Phils on June 29 and was charged with six runs in six innings. Valdez and Schneider both homered off of him in that game. Over his last five starts he’s allowed five or more runs three times and thrown to a 6.35 ERA with a 1.91 ratio.


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