The Phils won a wild one yesterday with a little help. Coming off of an outing in which he threw 120 pitches, superstar Tim Lincecum got what many saw as an early hook and the Phillies roared back with three runs in the ninth inning to tie the game after he left. They also got help from the wind in San Francisco not once or twice but three times and it had a huge impact on the game.
The first and biggest of the three came with the bases loaded in the ninth inning with the Phillies down to their final strike. Jayson Werth lofted a high fly ball that stayed up in the air forever and finally dropped on the line in right field for a bases clearing double that tied the game. With two outs in the top of the eleventh, Wilson Valdez hit a fly ball to left that carried and carried until it hit high off the wall for an RBI-double that put the Phillies ahead. The next batter for the Phils hit what should have been a routine fly ball to left that turned out not to be routine. San Francisco left fielder Eugenio Velez couldn’t reel it in and the two-base error helped the Phillies score a critical second run in the inning.
The Phillies made more than their share of their own luck in the game as well. The most memorable defensive effort of the game came from backup catcher Brian Schneider, who made an amazing play for the second out of the eleventh to keep the game from being tied. With one out and men on second and third and the Phils up a run and the infield in, Velez hit a ground ball to first. Howard threw home, but his throw was bad and on the first base side of home plate. Schneider took the throw and spun back towards the plate, tagging Juan Uribe out as he slid into the plate for the second out of the inning. The next batter grounded to second to end the game.
The Phillies are 12-9 on the year after beating the Giants 7-6 in eleven innings yesterday. San Francisco takes the series two games to one.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and four walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out ten. His ERA on the year is up to 5.28.
The starting pitching has been terrible of late. Last night was the sixth game in a row without a quality start. Over those six games the Phillies starters have thrown to a 6.69 ERA and a 1.77 ratio. They’ve allowed 50 hits in 35 innings.
He walked Edgar Renteria with one out in the first and Renteria stole second. Pablo Sandoval was next and he hit the ball hard, but Utley took it for the second out with Renteria moving to third. Hamels struck out Aubrey Huff for the third out.
He walked Bengie Molina with one out in the second. Matt Downs was next and Hamels struck him out for the second out before Nate Schierholtz moved Molina to second with a single. Hamels struck the pitcher Tim Lincecum out swinging 2-2 to leave the runners stranded.
Hamels got the first two hitters to start the bottom of the third before Sandoval doubled on a ball softly hit to right that went off of Werth’s glove. Hamels struck Huff out for the third out.
Mark DeRosa started the fourth with a single, but was caught trying to steal second as Molina struck out. It left the bases empty with two outs for Downs and Hamels struck him out to end the inning.
He had a 1-0 lead when he started the fifth. Schierholtz led off with a single and Lincecum bunted him to second. Andres Torres doubled to left, scoring Schierholtz to tie the game at 1-1. Renteria was next and he reached on an infield single with Torres holding second. Hamels got Sandoval on a popup in the infield and struck out Huff to leave both men stranded.
Molina singled with one out in the sixth and Downs followed with a double that moved him to third. Hamels intentionally walked the lefty Schierholtz, loading the bases with one out for Lincecum. Lincecum struck out. Hamels got ahead of Torres 1-2, but then threw three straight balls to walk him and force in a run. 2-1 with the bases still loaded. Renteria singled to right and Downs and Schierholtz both scored to make it 4-1. Sandoval flew to center for the third out.
I know it sets up the double-play and Schierholtz was 5-for-5 in the game, but I object to walking him intentionally there even if it works. Lefty-lefty on the eight hitter. I think you have to try to get him out.
Baez pitched the seventh. He gave up a two-out single to Molina before getting Downs on a fly ball to Victorino to end the inning.
Contreras got the eighth. Schierholtz led off with a single. Lincecum, who had thrown 98 pitches and had a 4-1 lead, hit for himself and bunted Schierholtz to second. Contreras struck Torres out swinging for the second out and got Renteria to ground to Utley to leave Schierholtz stranded.
Herndon came in to pitch the ninth after the Phillies tied the game at 4-4 with three runs in the top of the ninth. Sandoval led off with a single, but Herndon struck Travis Ishikawa out behind him for the first out. DeRosa hit a slow ground ball to third for the second out that moved Sandoval to second. Herndon walked the righty Molina intentionally and got the righty Downs to ground to third to send the game to extra-innings.
Madson was looking for a save when he entered the game in the bottom of the tenth, trying to protect a 5-4 lead. Schierholtz led off and doubled down the right field line. Howard was playing close to the line and probably should have made the play, but he didn’t. Eugenio Velez moved Schierholtz to third with a ground ball to second. Torres was next and he dumped a single in front of Werth, scoring the runner to tie the game at 5-5. Torres stole second and moved to third when Renteria grounded to second. Sandoval was walked intentionally and took second without a throw when the Phillies didn’t hold him on. Ishikawa grounded to second to end the inning.
Figueroa had a 7-5 lead when he started the eleventh. He got DeRosa on a fly ball to right for the first out before Molina singled to center. Eli Whiteside ran for Molina at first and righty Juan Uribe hit for the pitcher Sergio Romo. Uribe smashed a ball back up the middle and off the body of Figueroa. The ball rolled toward first and Howard picked it up and tried to flip to the pitcher covering first, but the flip was awful. Uribe was safe at third with Whiteside on first and Howard charged with an error. Schierholtz was next and he doubled again, scoring Uribe to make it 7-6 and sending Whiteside to third. The Phillies brought the infield in and Eugenio Velez chopped a ball to Howard. Howard fielded and threw home. His throw was bad, on the first base side of the plate, but Schneider made an amazing play. He caught the throw and spun back towards home, putting his glove in front of the plate. Uribe slid in and tried to avoid the glove and put his hand on the plate but Schneider got him for the second out. Torres grounded to second to end the game.
Golly. Just a fantastic play by Schneider. Getting the tag in exactly the right place, seemingly without looking, might have taken a little luck. Whether it did or not, it was pretty to watch.
Two bad throws in the inning for Howard. One a flip, actually.
Three scoreless innings in the middle of the game from Baez, Contreras and Herndon were critical in the game. Madson and Figueroa were the only guys in the pen to throw more than 15 pitches. Figueroa threw 28 and Madson 27, but the Phillies are off today.
The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Lincecum went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz.
The Phils went in order in the first.
Lincecum struck out Howard, Werth and Ibanez all swinging in the second. It gave him four for the game cause Polanco went down swinging in the first.
One more strikeout (Hamels) in a 1-2-3 third.
Polanco singled softly to right with one out in the fourth. Utley hit into a double-play behind him.
Howard hit Lincecum’s first pitch of the fifth out to left to put the Phils up 1-0. Lincecum got the next three.
Lincecum threw a 1-2-3 sixth with the game tied at 1-1.
Howard doubled with two outs in the seventh and the Phils down 4-1. Werth flew to center to leave him stranded.
The Phillies went in order in the eighth. With two outs, Gload hit for Ruiz and lined to short.
Lincecum came back to start the ninth with a 4-1 lead having thrown 98 pitches in the game. Dobbs hit for Contreras to start the inning and hit the ball hard, but Ishikawa took it for the first out. Victorino followed with a walk. The Giants brought righty Brian Wilson in to pitch to Polanco and Polanco flew to center for the second out. Utley moved Victorino to third with a single and took second on defensive indifference. Howard walked and the bases were loaded with two down. Werth got behind 1-2 and then lofted a high fly ball down the right field line. It landed either on or just inside the line for a double that cleared the bases and tied the game at 4-4. Ibanez was walked intentionally and Castro popped to second for the third out.
I don’t think there’s and chance that Lincecum pitches to Howard given that Howard has homered and doubled off of him in the game. Probably not Utley either. I thought it was surprising he didn’t pitch to Polanco, though. Even after he walks Victorino, if he gets Polanco and Utley he doesn’t face Howard. Polanco wasn’t a lefty and he wasn’t the tying run.
Schneider was hit by a pitch to start the tenth. Valdez bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino singled to center and Schneider moved to third. With Polanco at the plate, San Francisco pitcher Jeremy Affeldt delivered a pitch that Molina should have handled but didn’t. Schneider scored to put the Phils up 5-4. Polanco was hit by a pitch on the foot and Utley walked to load the bases for Howard with one out. Howard struck out swinging 0-2. Sergio Romo came in and struck Werth out to leave the bases loaded.
Huge strikeout for Howard with one out.
The Giants tied it up in the bottom of the tenth. Ibanez led off the eleventh with a single. Francisco hit for Madson and bunted Ibanez to second. Schneider struck out swinging for the second out. Valdez was next and he lofted a 3-2 pitch down the left field line. The ball carried and carried and went high off the wall for a double. Ibanez scored to put the Phillies up 6-5. Victorino was next and he hit a fly ball to shallow left that should have ended the frame, but the ball went off of Velez’s glove for an error and Ibanez scored to make it 7-5. Velez was there, he just didn’t catch the ball. Polanco flew to right for the third out.
Enormous error for Velez given that the Giants scored a run in the bottom of the eleventh. Glad to see Ibanez start the rally in the eleventh.
Victorino was 1-for-5 yesterday and 4-for-14 with two doubles and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 225/263/393 on the year.
Polanco was 2-for-13 with a walk in the series. 313/344/446 for the year. He’s 3-for-his-last-25 with three singles.
Utley was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 2-for-10 in the series. 3-for-his-last-22 with three singles. 282/429/564.
Howard was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run yesterday. 4-for-11 with two walks in the set. 286/323/505.
Werth was 1-for-5 with a huge double in the ninth. He struck out three times. 2-for-10 with two doubles and six strikeouts in the series. 315/398/589 for the year.
Ibanez was 1-for-4 yesterday with a big single in the eleventh and a walk. 1-for-6 in the series. 219/346/344 for the year. He didn’t play in game one with Francisco in left.
Castro was 0-for-4 yesterday and 0-for-7 in the series. He started games two and three at short with Valdez playing in game one. 283/292/326 for the season.
Ruiz was 0-for-2 yesterday and 0-for-6 with three walks in the series. Gload hit for him in the eighth yesterday, which is a little unusual. 269/424/327 on the season.
Francisco started in left in game one of the set and was 1-for-5 with an RBI in the series. He’s 4-for-18 with a double for the season.
Valdez started game one at short and had a big hit yesterday in the top of the eleventh. 1-for-4 in the series and 3-for-13 for the year.
Schneider made an outstanding defensive play in the bottom of the eleventh yesterday to keep the game from being tied. He was 0-for-1 in the series and is 2-for-14 on the season.
Blanton allowed five runs over five innings for Reading last night. This says the Phillies have not given him a timetable for his return.
No date yet for Lidge, either.