Tag: Brian Schneider

Halfway display

The Phils hit the halfway mark of what has been a mostly disappointing season last night. Coming off an ugly series in which they lost three of four to the Pirates, the Phils relied on a two-run shot from Greg Dobbs and another fantastic start from Roy Halladay to get a 3-1 win over the first place Braves.

The Phillies are 43-38 on the year and in third place in the NL East, four games behind the Braves and two behind the Mets.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing one run on five hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.33.

He got the first two in the first before Chipper Jones homered to left center, putting Atlanta on top 1-0. Brian McCann followed that with a single before Eric Hinske popped to short for the third out.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 second and a 1-2-3 third.

McCann doubled with one out in the fourth and moved to third when Hinske hit a ball that Victorino caught deep in center. Halladay struck out Melky Cabrera looking to leave McCann stranded at third.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Chipper doubled to right with two outs in the sixth, but Halladay struck McCann out looking 2-2 to end the frame.

Halladay had a 2-1 lead when he started the seventh. Hinske led off and walked on a 3-2 pitch, but Halladay got Cabrera to hit into a double-play behind him. Yunel Escobar flew to center for the third out.

Gregor Blanco started the eighth with a bunt single. Switch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit for the pitcher Derek Lowe and Sardinha made a very nice throw to nail Blanco trying to steal before Conrad struck out for the second out. Martin Prado struck out behind him for the third out.

Halladay set Atlanta down in order in the ninth. He threw 93 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Dobbs plays third against the righty with Ransom on the bench. Ibanez hits third with Rollins back leading off and Utley on the DL. Valdez plays second base. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the DL. The five guys the Phillies need to hit right now go 1-2-3-4-5 in the order.

Ibanez singled with two outs in the first and the Phils down 1-0. Howard grounded to short for the third out.

Werth and Dobbs singled back-to-back to start the second. It put men on first and second with nobody for Valdez and Valdez hit a slow ground ball to third. Chipper fielded and threw Valdez out at first as the runners moved to second and third. Sardinha struck out swinging for the second out and Halladay struck out to leave both men stranded.

No RBI for Sardinha with one out and a man on third

The Phils went in order in the third.

Howard started the fourth with a single, but Werth lined to center behind him for the first out. Dobbs was next and hit a ground ball to second. Howard was forced at second for the second out with Dobbs safe at first. Valdez hit a ball to third. Chipper fielded and threw to second, but Prado didn’t handle the throw for an error. Sardinha walked to load the bases for Halladay, but Halladay struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Five runners stranded by Halladay in the first four innings.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

They started the sixth still down a run. Werth singled with one out. Dobbs was next and he popped the first pitch he saw out to right center to put the Phils up 2-1. Valdez and Sardinha both struck out behind him.

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

Ibanez and Howard singled back-to-back to start the eighth. Werth was next and hit a ball back to the pitcher. Howard was forced at second for the first out with the runners safe at first and third. With Castro at the plate the Phils tried to execute the squeeze, but Castro missed the bunt completely. Ibanez was tagged out after a brief rundown and Werth went to second with two outs. Werth was running when Castro chopped a ball to third, but Chipper had moved to cover the bag and ball dribbled through to left for an RBI-single. 3-1. Valdez flew to right for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 0-for-his-last-8 and 4-for-19 in July. 10-for-49 (.204) since coming off the DL.

Victorino 0-for-4 in the game. He was 5-for-15 with a triple in the series with the Pirates, making him 5-for-his-last-19.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. He’s 5-for-his-last-16. No walks in his last 29 at-bats.

Howard 2-for-4. After hitting 320/373/650 in June he’s started July by going 6-for-19 with six singles.

Werth 2-for-4 yesterday. He’s 3-for-16 with a double and seven strikeouts to start the month.

Dobbs 2-for-3 with a two-run homer. He’s 6-for-his-last-18.

Valdez 0-for-4 and 1-for-his-last-11.

Sardinha caught the full game for the fourth day in a row yesterday. He was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 4-for-14 with a walk, a double and a home run in those four games (286/333/571).

Cole Hamels (6-7, 4.07) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (1-3, 5.59) tonight. Hamels has allowed more than three earned runs in a start once in his last 11 outings. Jurrjens struggled to start the season and hit the DL with a hamstring issue. Since his return he’s made one start, which came on June 30 against the Nats. In that game he allowed a run on six hits and two walks over five innings. He had a terrible start against the Padres on April 12 in which he allowed eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings — excluding that outing he has a 3.51 ERA and a 1.21 ratio for the season.

This suggests that Schneider could play today and that Madson could be back this week. It also says that Happ thinks he’s ready to return but may not be back till after the break.


The replacements

Injuries to Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz have meant that some unexpected players have had a major impact on the Phillies this year. We might as well start expecting them, though, cause the recent trips to the DL by Chase Utley and Placido Polanco ensure we’ll be seeing a lot of those guys in the days to come.

Day one of the Utley/Polanco free era went pretty well. The Phils scored nine runs and won in ten innings. Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez combined to go 5-for-8, hitting two home runs, executing a safety squeeze and driving in seven runs. Seven? Yup.

The game was also notable for another two-out blowup by Brad Lidge. The Phils took a 9-6 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Lidge set down the first two Reds without a peep before a walk and a single brought Joey Votto to the plate and Votto blasted a three-run homer to tie the game.

Lidge’s ERA puffed to 5.25 on the year with the outing. He has allowed seven runs on the season, six of which have scored with two outs. Opponents are hitting .154 against him with nobody out, .143 against him with one out and 381/458/762 with two outs.

I don’t know what it is with Lidge, but he has had big problems late in innings. My first guesses would be he’s getting tired or something is happening with his slider that makes it much less effective the more he throws it in a game. As I wrote last week, he hasn’t had the same kind of problems over his career with the two-out drop off he is having this season. Either way, it’s an issue whatever the cause and his results for the season aren’t looking so good anymore after last night’s outing.

The Phillies are 41-34 on the season after beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-6 in ten innings last night. They are in third place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves and one game behind the Mets.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple. He struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 6.19. It’s his third straight start in which he’s allowed three runs or fewer and just the second time this season he didn’t allow a home run in his outing.

Brandon Phillips led off the bottom of the first with a triple and came in to score when Orlando Cabrera followed with a ground out. 1-0. Joey Votto flew out to center for the second out before Johnny Gomes doubled and Jay Bruce followed that with a walk. Blanton hit Miguel Cairo with a pitch to load the bases, but got Chris Heisey on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Blanton started the second up 3-1. Pitcher Mike Leake singled with one out, but Blanton got Phillips and Cabrera behind him to turn Cincinnati away.

Votto singled to start the third, but the Reds went in order behind him.

The Phils were up 6-1 when Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

Blanton got the first two in the sixth before Cairo singled and Heisey walked behind him. Ramon Hernandez was next and he delivered a bases clearing double to center, cutting the lead to 6-3. Blanton got the pitcher Leake on a fly ball to center to end the inning.

Phillips started the seventh with a single and Cabrera hit into a double-play behind him. Votto grounded to short for the third out.

Blanton got the first two outs in the eighth before Cairo singled into left. Contreras took over for him and got pinch-hitter Laynce Nix on a fly ball to left for the third out.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils still up 6-3. He got Hernandez on a soft ground ball to short for the first out and struck out pinch-hitter Drew Stubbs for the second. Phillips was next and Lidge walked him on five pitches. Cabrera was next and moved Phillips to third with a single to left. It brought Votto to the plate and Votto hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center, tying the game at 6-6. Lidge got Gomes on a ball hit out in front of the plate and fielded by Schneider to send the game to extra-innings.

Romero pitched the bottom of the tenth with a 9-6 lead and set the Reds down in order for his third save of the year.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Leake went (1) Victorino (2) Dobbs (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Dobbs at third and Valdez at second. Rollins drops to third in the lineup with Utley on the DL. Dobbs hits second against the righty. Schneider catches with Ruiz sidelined.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard and Werth started the second with back-to-back walks with the Phillies down 3-1. Ibanez was next and flew to center. Howard tagged and went to third. Werth took second with the help of a dropped throw in from the outfield by Cabrera. Schneider was next and he hit the first pitch he saw from Leake out to right, putting the Phillies up 3-1. Valdez and Blanton went down behind him to set the Phillies down.

Rollins singled with two outs in the third, but Howard grounded out behind him.

Werth singled to start the fourth and moved to second on a one-out single by Schneider. Valdez was next and he also hit the first pitch from Leake out of the park, this one to left, putting the Phillies up 6-1. Blanton struck out swinging for the second out before Victorino singled. Dobbs popped to short for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

The lead was cut to 6-3 when the Phils hit in the sixth. Schneider singled with one out, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

Blanton hit for himself to start the seventh and struck out. Victorino followed with a walk. With lefty Daniel Herrera on the mound for Cincinnati, Castro hit for Dobbs and walked as well. Rollins flew to center for the first out with Victorino moving to third, but Howard struck out to leave both runners stranded.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Valdez started the ninth with a single off of righty Jordan Smith. Gload hit for Contreras and grounded to first with Valdez moving to second. Victorino walked to put men on first and second for Castro, but Castro struck out for the second out and Rollins struck out for the third.

The game was tied at 6-6 when the Phillies hit in the tenth. Lefty Arthur Rhodes, who had an 0.28 ERA in 35 appearances for the year, was on the mound for the Reds. Howard led off with a double and Werth walked. Charlie Manuel was ejected during Ibanez’s at-bat for arguing balls and strikes. Ibanez quickly got behind 0-2 before doubling to center, scoring Howard to put the Phils up 7-6 with men on second and third. Francisco hit for Schneider with the lefty still on the mound and singled into left on a ball deflected by the Cincinnati third baseman Cairo. Werth scored (8-6) and Ibanez went to third. Righty Nick Masset took over for Rhodes and Valdez executed the squeeze with Ibanez scoring to make it 9-6. With men on first and second and still nobody out, Sardinha hit for Lidge. He tried to bunt the runners along, but popped it up for the first out. Victorino flew to right and Castro grounded to second to end the frame.

Victorino was 1-for-4 and walked twice.

Dobbs 0-for-3 to drop his average on the year to .145.

Rollins was 1-for-5. He’s hitting 207/303/310 in 29 at-bats since coming off the DL.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Werth 1-for-3 and walked twice.

Ibanez 1-for-5 with a double.

Schneider 3-for-4 with a three-run homer.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.

Roy Halladay (9-6, 2.29) faces righty Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.07) this afternoon. Halladay threw seven shutout innings against the Blue Jays his last time out, coming off of a pair of starts in which he allowed a combined ten runs in 14 innings. Harang has allowed more than three runs in a start just once in his last six outings.


Big swing from J-Roll keeps Phils rolling

It took a day, but the Phillies got the spark they were looking for from Jimmy Rollins. If J-Roll’s first eight at-bats after returning from the DL didn’t wow a whole lot of folks his ninth sure did. With the Phils down a run in the ninth, Rollins hammered a 1-1 offering from Kerry Wood out to right for a two-run homer that took Phils from down 6-5 to 7-6 winners.

Rollins wasn’t the only Phillie who hit last night. Jayson Werth, in a miserable slump, went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and a home run. Brian Schneider hit his first long ball of the year to tie the game in the seventh and delivered a key walk to start the ninth-inning rally.

The Phils have won five of their last seven games and are 37-32 on the year after a 7-6 win over Cleveland last night. The Phils are in third place in the NL East and trail the Braves by three games.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and two home runs. He struck out one.

Trevor Crowe led off the game with a double to right. Shin-Soo Choo was next and he hit an 0-2 pitch out to right, putting Cleveland up 2-0. Carlos Santana followed with a walk, but Kendrick got the next three.

The lefty Choo gets Kendrick, who was blasted by lefties early in the season but had been getting a lot better recently.

Kendrick set Cleveland down in order in the second with the lead cut to 2-1.

It was 2-2 when he started the third. Crowe led off with another double and moved to third on a fly ball to center from Choo. Santana hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Crowe to tag and score (3-2) before Kendrick got Austin Kearns to line to Utley to end the frame.

Russell Branyan started the fourth with an infield single. Jhonny Peralta flew to left for the first out before a Luis Valbuena ground out moved Branyan to second. Kendrick walked righty Jason Donald intentionally to get to the pitcher Jake Westbrook with two out and men on first and second. Kendrick struck him out looking to end the inning.

Really not a fan of walking the eight hitter to get to the pitcher. Especially righty on righty. Jason Donald came into the game on-basing .210 against right-handed pitching. Get him out and let the pitcher lead off the fifth.

The Phils were up 4-3 when Kendrick started the fifth. Crowe led off and hit a ball to Utley that Utley didn’t handle for an error. Choo followed that with his second home run of the game, putting Cleveland back on top at 5-4. Santana was next and he doubled. That was all for Kendrick. Herndon came in to pitch to the righty Kearns and got him on a ground ball to third with Santana holding second. Herndon struck Branyan out swinging for the second out. Peralta followed that with a single to left, but Ibanez made a nice throw home and Schneider applied the tag to get Santana and set Cleveland down.

Valbuena started the sixth with a double to right and Donald bunted him to third. Lefty Travis Hafner hit for the pitcher Westbrook and Mike Zagurski came in to pitch to him. Zagurski got Hafner on a ground ball to third with Valbuena holding for the second out and struck out Crowe to end the inning.

Great start to the year for Zagurski.

He walked Choo to start the seventh, but Schneider threw Choo out stealing for the first out. Choo was safe, but whatever. Zagurski got Santana on a fly ball to center before Baez came in to pitch to the righty Kearns and got him on a ground ball to second to end the frame.

Durbin pitched the eighth with the score tied at 5-5. Branyan led off with a single, but Durbin got the next three behind him.

Durbin was back to start the ninth. Anderson Hernandez bunted for a single to start the inning and Durbin hurt his right hamstring going after the ball. He’s since hit the DL with Figeuroa called back up. Romero came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Crowe and Crowe singled softly to right, sending Hernandez to third. Choo was next and hit a ball back to Romero. Romero went to third and Polanco threw home where Schneider tagged out Hernandez for the first out. Crowe wound up at third and Choo at second. Santana was next and hit a ball hard to Rollins. Rollins fielded, but threw home wildly for an error as Crowe scored to put Cleveland up 6-5. Romero walked the righty Kearns intentionally to load the bases for Branyan, but Branyan lined into a double-play with Utley catching and throwing to first to double-off Kearns and end the frame.

Herndon and Zagurski each threw 16 pitches in the game. Durbin 15, Romero 14 and Baez five. Romero was pitching for the second straight day.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jake Westbrook went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Victorino (8) Schneider. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the DL. Victorino continues to hit seventh.

Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first and the Phils down 2-0. It put men on first and third for Howard, but Howard hit into a double-play with Polanco scoring before it was over to cut the lead to 2-1.

Werth started the second with a home run to right that tied the game at 2-2. Victorino singled with one out, but was caught stealing before Schneider flew to center to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the third with the Indians up 3-2.

Howard singled with one out in the fourth and moved to third when Werth followed with a double. Ibanez was next and he doubled into right, scoring both runners and putting the Phils on top at 4-3. Ibanez went to third on a wild pitch before Victorino lined to short for the second out. Schneider was walked intentionally to put men on first and third for Kendrick. Kendrick grounded to third to leave both men stranded.

The Phils went in order in the fifth with Cleveland up 5-4.

Howard and Werth singled back-to-back to start the sixth. It put men on first and second for Ibanez and Ibanez hit into a double-play. Victorino followed with a walk that put men on first and third for Schneider. The Cleveland pitcher Tony Sipp threw to first and Victorino was caught between first and second. A flurry of throws followed and Howard moved for home. The first baseman Branyan threw home and Howard was tagged out to end the inning.

The Phils were still down 5-4 when they hit in the seventh. Schneider led off with a home run, his first of the year, tying the game at 5-5. The Phils went in order after that. With righty Frank Hermann on the mound for Cleveland, Gload hit for Baez and flew to center for the first out.

Utley walked to start the eighth with the score still tied. Howard was next and hit a ground ball that Branyan fielded at first. He threw to second to force Utley for the first out. Werth followed with a walk that put men on first and second. Ibanez hit a ground ball to first and Werth was forced at second for the second out. With men on first and third, Victorino flew to left to end the inning.

The Phils were down 6-5 when the hit in the ninth against righty Kerry Wood. Schneider led off with a walk and Valdez ran for him at first. Francisco hit for Romero and hit a ground ball to short for the first out that moved Valdez to second. It brought Rollins to the plate and J-Roll lined a 1-1 pitch out to right to give the Phils a 7-6 win.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a big two-run homer.

Polanco 1-for-4.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 2-for-4 with two singles.

Werth was 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and a walk. He’s still on base to hit 59 doubles for the year.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk.

Schneider was 1-for-2 with his first home run of the year and two walks. He played a big role offensively in the game for the Phils, tying the game with the homer in the seventh and starting the ninth with a walk.

Blanton (2-5, 6.96) faces righty Fausto Carmona (6-5, 3.31) this afternoon. Carmona has allowed more than three earned runs in just two of 14 starts this season. Blanton has been terrible, but held the Twins to three runs over six innings his last time out.


Phils extend their Halladay from good baseball

It looks like ugly has gone and flipped on us again.

With the exception of a really nice start from Cole Hamels, not much went well for the Phillies this weekend against the Boston Red Sox. Kendrick and Halladay both had ugly outings, with Halladay’s start particularly worrisome given his recent pitch counts. The Phils were shut out and nearly no-hit in game two of the series. They were nearly shut out again in yesterday’s game before they put three runs on the board in the bottom of the ninth.

They also lost Jimmy Rollins again. Rollins pulled up lame after singling in the sixth inning of game one and left with a right calf strain. His most recent trip to the DL ensures we’ll be seeing more of Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez manning short in the next few weeks.

The Phillies are 26-17 after dropping two of three to the Red Sox this weekend. They have lost four of six and scored 15 runs in their last six games. They still have a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL East, but we should all keep an eye on the Braves who are now in second place and have won seven of their last ten.

The Phils won game one 5-1 behind a great start by Hamels, but lost Rollins. Rollins pulled up with an injury to his right calf after singling in the sixth inning and is back on the DL. Hamels was fantastic in the game, holding the Red Sox to a run on three hits and a walk over seven innings. Howard and Werth homered early for the Phils and Herndon, Baez and Contreras combined to keep Boston off the board after Hamels left the game.

Almost getting no-hit by Daisuke Matsuzaka was the story of game two. Castro’s looping single just out of the reach of Marco Scutaro was the only hit of the game for the Phils. Kendrick got the start for the Phils and didn’t pitch well, allowing five runs and exiting before the end of the fifth.

Halladay didn’t pitch well in game three and the Phils lost 8-3. They were nearly shut out again, too, but avoided that with three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Dobbs made a big error at third with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, turning an inning-ending double-play into an inning extender and helping the Red Sox plate a pair of runs. Halladay just wasn’t good, though, allowing seven runs over 5 2/3 innings coming off a 132-pitch outing. Gload delivered another pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth, driving in two of the three runs in the game for the Phils.

Hamels got the start in game one and went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out eight. In four starts in May he’s 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA.

Kendrick started game two. He went 4 2/3 innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He has a 5.66 ERA for the year. Lefties are hitting 344/414/594 against him.

Halladay started game three and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks. Only six of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out just one. The Phillies are 0-3 in the last three games Halladay has started and continue to play miserable defense behind him.

Manuel and Halladay both seem sure that 132-pitches in his previous start and 121 the start before that weren’t a factor. I’m not.

Bastardo entered game two in the fifth inning with two outs, a man on second and the Phils down 5-0. He struck out Jeremy Hermida to end the frame. He came back and got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 sixth to set down the bottom of the Boston order.

Romero entered in the ninth inning of game one with one out, men on first and second and the Phillies up 5-1. He got JD Drew on a ground out to first that moved the runners to second and third for the first out. He then hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch. It brought the tying run to the plate. With the lefty Romero on the mound, the lefty David Oritz hit for the righty Bill Hall. Romero got Ortiz on a fly ball to center to end the game.

Romero also pitched the eighth inning of game three. He allowed a single to Adrian Beltre to start the inning before getting Jeremy Hermida on a ground out for the first out. Marco Scutaro drew a walk to put men on first and second, but the pitcher Tim Wakefield couldn’t bunt and struck out for the second out and Romero got Jacoby Ellsbury looking to leave both men stranded.

Righties are now hitting .181 and slugging .181 against Romero for the year but on-basing .400.

Herndon pitched the eighth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead and set the Red Sox down in order. He also pitched the ninth inning of game two with the Phils down 5-0. He walked Mike Lowell with one out but got the two hitters behind him. He has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 ratio in five appearances in May. Opponents are still hitting .390 against him for the season.

Durbin pitched in game three. He entered in the sixth with two outs and a man on first and the Phillies down 7-0. He got Dustin Pedroia to pop to first for the third out. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Durbin has made nine appearances this month and nine of them has been good. Overall he’s thrown to a 2.61 ERA in May while allowing four hits and four walks over 10 1/3 innings.

Figueroa threw a 1-2-3 seventh in game two with the Phillies down 5-0. He came back for the eighth and allowed a two-out single to Hermida before getting Jason Varitek on a hard hit ground ball to first for the third out.

Baez started the ninth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead. He got the leadoff man before allowing a single to Victor Martinez and a walk to Kevin Youkilis. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Drew.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering to pitch the ninth with the Phillies down 7-0. Pedroia walked to start the inning and moved to third when Victor Martinez followed with a double. Youkilis flew to right for the first out. Darnell McDonald hit for JD Drew and reached with the help of a Hoover error on a rundown to load the bases. Beltre delivered a sac fly to make it 8-0 before Baez got Hermida on a ground ball to end the inning.

The run was unearned thanks to the error. Baez has a 1.23 ERA over his last eight appearances, but opponents are hitting .345 against him in those games.

Contreras did not pitch in the series.

Nobody in the bullpen has pitched more than one day in a row and the Phillies don’t play today. Baez threw 20 pitches yesterday and Romero and Durbin each threw 18.

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

Victorino was 2-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 257/308/475 for the year.

Polanco didn’t start yesterday and went 0-for-7 with two walks in the series. 298/333/444 for the year.

Utley was 3-for-10 with a triple and two walks in the set. 307/429/587 for the year and 343/427/629 so far in May.

Howard was 2-for-9 with a home run and two walks in the series. 299/351/486 on the year. He’s on pace to hit 30 home runs.

Werth was 4-for-11 with two doubles and a home run. 327/401/647 for the season. He’s walked once in his last 29 at-bats. Still on pace to hit 83 doubles, which would be a lot compared to other people who have played baseball in the past.

Ibanez was 2-for-9 with two doubles and two walks. 245/349/403 for the year. 220/289/366 against lefties for the year.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with a walk in game one before hitting the DL again. He is at 341/462/634 in 41 at-bats for the season. Castro took over for Rollins at short and was 2-for-8 with a double in the set. He’s hitting 260/272/312 for the year.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and was 0-for-8 in the series with three strikeouts. 297/429/406 on the year. He’s 0-for-his-last-13.

Hoover started yesterday’s game. He was 0-for-3 in the series and is 5-for-18 for the year. He made a throwing error in a rundown in yesterday’s game.

Dobbs started at third yesterday and made a key error. He was 0-for-6 with a strikeout in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-21 and hitting 154/233/308. He’s hitting 228/283/368 since the end of 2008.

Gload was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI in the series. He’s 7-for-29 on the year.

Francisco was 0-for-1 in the series and is just 1-for-8 in May.

No game today.

Jamie Moyer (5-3, 4.30) faces righty RA Dickey (0-0, 3.00) tomorrow in New York as the Phils start a three-game set with the Mets. Moyer has been great in two of his last three starts and has gone at least six innings in every start this year. Dickey has made one start on the year and held the Nats to two runs over six innings.

Wilson Valdez is back on the roster, taking the spot left when Rollins went on the DL.

Brian Schneider should be back for tomorrow’s game.


May day after day after day

What the Phillies have done so far in May has been impressive, but what Jamie Moyer did in the first game of the three-game set against the Braves was historic. Moyer chopped Atlanta up, holding them to a pair of singles over nine innings as the Phillies rolled to a 7-0 win. With the effort he became the oldest player in major league history to throw a shutout.

The Phils got a win this afternoon with the help of a fantastic effort from their pen to take the series.

The Phillies are 19-12 after taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves. They are 7-2 in May and have won five of their last six.

On Friday the Phillies won game one of the set 7-0 as Jamie Moyer became the oldest player in major league history to throw a shutout. Werth put the Phils up 3-0 with a three-run homer in the third. Ibanez and Valdez each drove in a pair of runs in a four-run fifth.

The Phils lost game two 4-1. Blanton got the start and pitched well early in the game. He worked around errors by Dobbs and Howard in the top of the first and took a 1-0 lead into the sixth. Atlanta plated three runs on three singles and a double in the sixth, taking a 3-1 lead. Baez gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth. Victorino drove in the only run of the game for the Phils with a single in the second. The Phils had a ton of opportunities in the game, but Howard, Werth and Valdez combined to go 1-for-11 with 12 men left on base.

Outstanding work from the pen helped the Phils take game three today, 5-3. Hamels left after five innings with a 4-3 lead and Durbin, Contreras and Lidge combined to go four scoreless innings. Lidge worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the year. Polanco and Victorino each homered in the game — they are on pace to combine to hit 63 home runs this year with 219 RBI.

Moyer threw a two-hit shutout in game one. He allowed two singles, both to Troy Glaus, over nine innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. He lowered his ERA for the season from 5.70 to 4.38 with the outing.

Blanton went six innings in game two, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He allowed just one hit and two walks through the first five innings. He struck out three. He’s 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA. In his first start he also pitched very well early. He started the seventh with the game tied at 1-1 and St Louis scored five runs in the seventh.

Hamels got the start today. He went five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks. Only one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five. He was up 4-0 when he started the fifth, but allowed three runs on four singles and two walks in the frame. Melky Cabrera hit a ball hard to Utley with the bases loaded and nobody out that Utley didn’t handle. Cabrera was given a single on the play — it would have taken a nice play by Utley, but it would have been a nice one to have.

Romero started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies losing 3-1. He walked Nate McLouth to start the inning and McLouth went to second on a ground out before Romero walked Chipper Jones. It put men on first and second with one out for Brian McCann and Romero struck him out swinging. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Glaus.

Figueroa did not pitch in the series.

Durbin came in to game two with the Phillies down 3-1 with two outs and men on first and second. He struck Glaus out swinging to end the frame. He also pitched today, entering in the sixth with a 4-3 lead. He pitched great. After a 1-2-3 sixth, he was back for the seventh and set Atlanta down in order again, striking out Glaus and McCann for the last two outs.

Durbin has a 1.72 ERA and an 0.83 ratio for the year. Over his last four appearances he has allowed one walk and no hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Contreras pitched the eighth inning of game two and walked Eric Hinske to start the inning, but got the next three hitters behind him. He also pitched in game three today. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth with a 5-3 lead.

Herndon did not pitch in the series. He last pitched on April 30.

Baez pitched the ninth inning of game two, starting the inning with the Phillies losing 3-1. McLouth led off with a single and Martin Prado bunted him to second for the first out. A ground out by Chipper sent McLouth to third and Baez walked McCann. It put men on first and third with two outs for Glaus and Glaus singled to center to score McLouth and put Atlanta up 4-1. Baez got Matt Diaz to ground to short for the third out.

Lidge got his first save of the year today. He threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a 5-3 lead, but not in a way that would make you feel very comfortable. The first two batters he faced hammered the ball, but their fly balls were taken at the warning track. He then threw two nice sliders to Prado before Prado tapped back to the mound to end the game.

Contreras and Durbin have both thrown two days in a row. Durbin threw 27 pitches today.

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

Victorino was 2-for-13 with a walk and a home run in the series. 241/271/459 for the year. He has seven home runs on the season and a career high of 14.

Polanco was 7-for-13 with a double and a home run. 302/328/468 for the year. He started game two of the series at second with Utley on the bench and Dobbs at third.

Utley was 3-for-7 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 297/435/586 for the year.

Howard made an error on a tough play in game two, trying to field the ball with a broken bat flying at him and then making a bad flip to Blanton. He was 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. 279/321/465.

Werth delivered a three-run homer in the third inning of game one that gave Moyer an early lead. 3-for-10 with a walk, a double, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 349/417/688 for the year and 406/457/938 so far in May. Nobody besides me seems to care that he’s on pace to shatter the single-season record for doubles and it kinda hurts my feelings.

Ibanez was 4-for-11 with a double. 253/350/414.

Valdez was 1-for-11 in the series and his hitting 172/172/241 for the year.

Ruiz caught games one and three and went 3-for-7 with three walks in the series. He’s at 325/465/429 for the season. He’s on pace to walk 110 times.

Dobbs started at third in game two and made an error. He was 0-for-3 with a walk in the series and is hitting 192/276/423 for the year.

Schneider started behind the plate in game two and was replaced after the third by Ruiz after straining his left Achilles. He has been put on the DL with Paul Hoover called up to take his place on the roster. Schneider was 1-for-1 in the series and is 3-for-18 on the season.


Phils get their wind back

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.


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