Tag: Carlos Delgado

So you’re scared and you’re thinking that maybe we ain’t that young, or slugging .659, anymore

The Phillies outscored the Mets 892 to 804 in 2007, a difference of 88 runs. That difference disappeared completely in 2008 as both teams scored an identical 799 runs. Offense was down across the league last year, but the Mets seemed less bothered than most teams. They scored five fewer runs than they had the year before while the Phillies scored 93 fewer.

There were injuries for the Phillies, most notably to Jimmy Rollins. Let’s hope that was it. Let’s hope what was not it is that the idea that the Mets are built around a pair of young stars in Reyes and Wright while the Phillies are built around a pair of young stars in Utley and Howard just isn’t as true as we’d like it to be. All four are definitely stars, part of baseball’s elite, but some of them are younger than others. Utley is 30 already and Howard turns 30 in November. Reyes won’t be 26 till June and Wright turns 27 in December. Utley and Howard, and Rollins for that matter, who turns 31 in November, are all going to start to get worse sooner than the younger Mets stars. I’m not saying that it’s started already, I don’t think it has. But it will, and when you look at some pairings of Mets and Phillies players over the past three years there are some concerning trends that help shed some light on how the difference in runs scored closed so dramatically in ’08.

Here’s the runs created, as calculated by Baseball-Reference, for Rollins and Reyes over the past three seasons:

rollinsreyes.jpg

Rollins was hurt for a lot of 2008, which will mess up your runs created, but even when he wasn’t Reyes outhit him. Reyes hit 297/358/475 for the year while Rollins hit 277/349/437.

Here’s Utley and Wright:

utleywright.jpg

After being outhit by Utley in 2006, Wright has been better in 2007 and 2008. It should also be noted that there were only four NL players whose runs created were better than the 130 that Utley put up in 2008 — Wright just happens to be one of them.

This one might be the most disturbing of all, comparing Howard and Delgado:

howarddelgado.jpg

Carlos Delgado isn’t the offensive player that Ryan Howard is, let’s not get silly here. But the similarity in the amount of offense they produced in 2008 is alarming. Even more alarming than the fact suggestion that Delgado and Howard created a similar amount of offense in 2008 is how dramatically Howard’s output has dropped since 2006 — for 169 in ’06 to 113 in ’08.

Finally, this one isn’t a natural pairing at all, but Carlos Beltran produced more offense than Burrell consistently over the past three seasons and widened the gap in 2008:

burrellbeltran.jpg

The two were very close in 2007. Both created more runs in 2008 than they had the year before, but Beltran had greater improvement between the two seasons.


If you want to see what God thinks of money, just look at all the people He gave it to (Dorothy Parker)

Pat Burrell had a big contract in 2008 and he’s going to have a big contract in 2009. He’s not much of a defensive player, but does he produce offense at levels similar to other highly paid hitters? In 2008, Burrell made $14.25 million and posted an OPS+ of 125. Using the salary data that you can access here, I compared his OPS+ to 40 non-pitchers who made $12 million or more in ’08.

Some problems with this, including: 1) it ignores defense 2) even if Burrell is as good an offensive player as the other guys making a lot of money they could all be overpaid. Nate McLouth, for example, made $425,000 in 2008 and was arguably a more productive offensive player than at least 30 of the 41 players on the lists below and 3) I’m comparing the OPS+ of National League players to the OPS+ of American League players. That’s a problem as the formula for OPS+ compares a player’s on-base percentage and slugging to the on-base and slugging percentages for their league rather than for both leagues combined. I have put the OPS+ for AL players in red.

All that said, here it is:

  Made at least $12M in ’08 but
OPS+ lower than Burrell

Player

Salary

AB

OPS+
Carlos Guillen 12.0 420 114
Jose Guillen 12.0 598 96
Paul Konerko 12.0 438 102
Ivan Rodriguez 12.379 398 87
Mike Lowell 12.5 419 103
Troy Glaus 12.5 544 124
Garrett Anderson 12.6 557 97
David Ortiz 13.0 416 123
Hideki Matsui 13.0 337 108
Johnny Damon 13.0 555 118
Jorge Posada 13.1 168 103
Derrek Lee 13.25 623 110
Gary Sheffield 13.326 418 90
Adrian Beltre 13.4 556 109
Alfonso Soriano 14.0 453 121

Unlike OPS+, sOPS+ allows us to compare a hitter’s right/left splits to all hitters in the major leagues rather than just other hitters in his league. Burrell’s sOPS+ against righties in ’08 was 132, against lefties it was 144.

Looking at some of the players who were close to Burrell, Carlos Guillen’s sOPS+ right/left splits were 110/111.

David Ortiz’s were 136/110, suggesting that Ortiz was slightly better against righties and worse against lefties. Baseball Reference calculates Ortiz’s runs created at 79 for 2008 compared to 106 for Burrell.

Mike Lowell’s sOPS+ for ’08 were 108/146. A little better than Burrell against lefties. More than a hundred fewer at-bats and fewer runs created.

Damon 128/104. Runs created of 104.

Glaus killed righties but not lefties, 147/97. Soriano was the opposite, 114/182. Both had lower runs created than Burrell.

  Made at least $12M in ’08 and had an
OPS+ better than Burrell
Player Salary AB OPS+
Chipper Jones 12.33 439 174
Mark
Teixeira
12.5 574 151
Carlos Lee 12.5 436 144
Adam Dunn 13.0 517 129
Albert Pujols 13.87 524 190
JD Drew 14.0 368 137

Burrell did have a better runs created than either JD Drew or Carlos Lee, though, because those players had significantly fewer at-bats in ’08 than Burrell. Chipper also had many fewer at-bats but created more runs.

Dunn’s sOPS+ right/left were 143/121.

Here’s the players that made as much or more than the $14.25 million Burrell made in ’08:

  Made as much or more  in ’08 but
OPS+ lower than or equal to Burrell

Player

Salary

AB

OPS+

Pat Burrell

14.25

536
125

Andruw Jones

14.726

209
34

Miguel Tejada

14.811

362
92

Richie Sexson

15.5

280
89

Jim Thome

15.66

503
123

Bobby Abreu

16.0

609
120

Torii Hunter

16.5

551
110

Todd Helton

16.6

299
100

Ichiro Suzuki

17.102

686
102

Derek Jeter

21.6

596
102

Thome’s sOPS+ was 123/142, again worse than Burrell’s 132/144. Created fewer runs than Burrell.

Torii Hunter 118/122.

The lefty Abreu was better against lefties than righties in ’08, 114/146. His runs created were very similar to Burrell’s — the same using the formula that Baseball-Reference is using and better using the formula used by ESPN‘s baseball stats.

These guys made more money than Burrell and put up a better OPS+:

  Made more money than Burrell and had a
better OPS+

Player

Salary

AB

OPS+

Lance Berkman

14.5

554
159

Aramis Ramirez

15.0

554
128

Vlad Guerrero

15.5

541
130

Rafael Furcal

15.73

143
164

Magglio Ordonez

15.768

561
127

Carlos Delgado

16.0

598

127

Carlos Beltran

16.0

598
127

Manny Ramirez

18.929

552
164

Jason Giambi

23.428

458
128

Alex Rodriguez

28.0

510
150

Aramis Ramirez comes out on top of Burrell because he pounded right-handed pitching. 163/87. Like Ramirez, Carlos Delgado was better than Burrell, but it was close. Delgado did have a better runs created, but Burrell’s sOPS+ right/left splits are a little better than Delgado’s 133/122. Delgado hit for a higher average, .271 to .250, and outslugged Burrell .518 to .507. He also hit five more home runs (38 for Delgado and 33 for Burrell) and drove in 115 runs to Burrell’s 86.

Burrell created more runs than Furcal, who had just 143 at-bats on the season. He also, however, had a better runs created than Vlad Guerrero (whose sOPS+ right/left were 150/112), Jason Giambi (127/140) or Magglio Ordonez (140/125).

This article points out that Jermaine Dye has a no-trade clause and that the Phillies are one of the teams on his no-trade list.

The Braves are expected to finalize their trade for Javier Vazquez today. This article suggests that the Braves may also offer AJ Burntett a five-year deal and that the Phillies have made an offer to Derek Lowe.


Two out of three ain’t bad, but three turns out to be a little hard to watch for Phillies fans

Starting pitching and two big swings of the bat from Greg Dobbs were the story of the Phils’ series with the Mets. The story started out well but didn’t have the happy ending that Phillies fans were hoping for.

Dobbs provided most of the offense as the Phils won games one and two of the set, clubbing a two-run homer in the seventh inning of game one and a three-run shot in the fourth inning of the first game of yesterday’s double-header. Given the amazing starting pitching the Phils got in games one and two of the series, that was just about all the Phillies needed. Myers and Moyer combined to go 15 shutout innings, allowing five hits and five walks.

Starting pitching was sadly also the story of last night’s game for the Phils, as Cole Hamels simply couldn’t get it done as the Phils tried to climb back even with the Mets atop the NL East. Hamels went just five innings, allowing five runs. Carlos Delgado found time to hit two monstrous home runs against him in his short outing.

Overall it was a good series with a disappointing ending for the Phils. They put themselves in position to sweep, but just couldn’t do it as Santana outpitched Hamels in the finale. The Phils remain in the thick of the race, but the outing by their ace Hamels has to be cause for concern — the 24-year-old remains atop the National League in innings pitched as the Phils head down the stretch.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 6-3 to drop to 78-65 on the season. The Phils take the series two games to one but trail the Mets by two games in the NL East.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out six.

Hamels started the first with a 1-0 lead. He got Jose Reyes to pop to Utley for the first out. Ryan Church followed with a single to left. Hamels got ahead of David Wright, but as Wright swung at an 0-2 pitch his bat clipped the tip of Coste’s glove. Coste was called for catcher’s interference and Manuel was ejected arguing the call. With men on first and second, Beltran singled into left and Church scored from second to tie the game at 1-1. With men on second and third, Carlos Delgado singled into center and both runners scored to put the Mets up 3-1. Fernando Tatis was next and hit a ground ball to short. Delgado was forced at second for the second out. Hamels struck out Damion Easley for the third out.

With one out in the second, pitcher Johan Santana hit a ball down the line and off of Feliz’s glove for a single. Reyes followed with a ground ball to short. Rollins fielded and tossed to Utley, but Utley took the toss way off the bag and didn’t get the call at second. Utley was charged with an error and the Mets had men on first and second. Church was next and he dribbled a ball between the mound and short for a single that loaded the bases. Hamels got behind Wright 2-0, but came back to strike him out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Beltran popped to first to leave the bases loaded.

Big strikeout for Hamels, getting Wright with one out and the bases loaded after getting behind 2-0.

Delgado started the third and pounded an 0-2 pitch out to right. 4-2 Mets. Hamels got the next two before Schneider singled to center. Santana grounded to third to end the inning.

Hamels had thrown 78 pitches through three innings.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Hamels got the first out in the fifth before Delgado hit another long homer out to right on the first pitch of his at-bat, putting the Mets up 5-2. Tatis grounded to third for the second out before Easley hit a ball over Burrell’s head for a double. Hamels walked Brian Schneider intentionally to put men on first and second and pitch to the pitcher. He struck Santana out to end the inning.

Still hate walking Schneider intentionally. Hate it more with a lefty on the mound.

Condrey started the sixth with the Phillies down 5-2. Hamels had thrown 110 pitches. Condrey threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Seanez threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Seanez started the eighth and gave up a leadoff triple to Easley. Easley came in to score when Schneider followed with a sac fly to right, putting the Mets up 6-2. Seanez got the next two.

One run over three innings for the pen. They allowed one hit, the triple, and struck out three. Seanez needed 29 pitches to throw his two innings, Condrey threw just nine.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth hits third against the lefty despite coming into the game 3-for-his-last-17. Burrell (3-for-his-last-21) hits fifth with Victorino sixth against the lefty. Feliz at third and Coste catches.

Utley singled with one out in the first. Werth followed with a walk. Howard was next and he laced a single into left and Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Werth going to second. Burrell struck out looking 3-2 and Victorino flew to center.

Burrell is having a pretty rough go of it.

Coste walked with one out in the second. Hamels bunted back to the pitcher and Santana threw to second to force Coste. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

With two outs in the third, Howard blasted the first pitch of his at-bat out to left. It was his 40th home run of the season and it cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Burrell struck out for the third out.

1-2-3 in the fourth and 1-2-3 again in the fifth. Hamels hit for himself to start the fifth, having thrown 88 pitches with the Phils down 4-2.

Burrell walked with two outs in the sixth. Victorino flew to right for the third out.

Feliz singled to right to start the seventh with the Phils down 5-2. Coste flew to center for the first out and Ruiz hit for Condrey with Santana still on the mound for the Mets. Ruiz grounded to third and Feliz was forced at second for the second out. Rollins lined to third to end the frame.

Werth doubled with one out in the eighth. Howard moved him to third with a ground out before Burrell grounded to short to end the frame.

Victorino led off the ninth with the Phils down 6-2 and hit a ground ball out in front of the plate. Schneider jumped on it, but was charged with an error on his throw to first, allowing Victorino to go to second. Dobbs hit for Feliz with righty Luis Ayala on the mound and flew to center for the first out. Stairs hit for Coste and reached on an infield single to third that moved Victorino to third. Andy Tracy hit for Seanez and new Phillie Tad Iguchi ran for Stairs at first. Tracy hit a fly ball to left for the second out, Victorino tagged and scored to make it 6-3. Ayala struck out Rollins to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-5 in the game. 2-for-14 with a double in the series. 270/335/432 for the season.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game. 1-for-11 in the series. 289/377/541 for the year.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with a double and two walks in the series. 277/376/513.

Howard 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. It was his 40th of the season and he has driven in 121. 3-for-10 in the series. He’s hitting 237/326/506 for the year.

Burrell was 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-10 in the series. 253/370/513 for the year. After hitting .181 in August, he’s hitting .133 in September.

Victorino was 1-for-4. 3-for-13 in the set. 280/343/424 for the year.

Feliz was 1-for-3 in the game and 1-for-4 in the series. He’s hitting 250/298/406 for the season. Dobbs 0-for-1 in the game and 4-for-8 with a double, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 299/333/482 for the year.

Coste 0-for-2. 0-for-5 in the series. 270/325/438 on the season and 0-for-10 in September. Ruiz was 0-for-1 in the game and 3-for-5 with a double in the series. 227/323/300 for the year.

In the first game the Phils beat the Mets 6-2 to improve to 78-64 on the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and three walks. Both of the hits were singles and he dropped his ERA to 3.64 on the season.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second with a 2-0 lead. He walked Tatis with two outs, but Easley grounded to third for the third out.

Robinson Cancel bunted to third for a hit, the first of the game by the Mets, to start the third. Pitcher Pedro Martinez bunted Cancel to second for the first out. Reyes grounded to Dobbs for the second out with Cancel holding second. Moyer walked Nick Evans to put men on first and second, but Wright flew to right to end the inning.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 fourth, getting the second out on a hard ground ball to first by Delgado that Howard made a nice play on.

He walked Cancel with one out in the fifth, but got the next two.

With the Phils up 6-0, Moyer threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Golson, who hit for Stairs in the top of the inning, played center with Victorino moving to right.

Easley reached on an infield single with two outs in the seventh. Cancel grounded to second for the third out.

Eyre started the eighth with the Phils up 6-0. He struck out pinch-hitter Argenis Reyes for the first out and got Jose Reyes on a fly ball to right for the second. Nick Evans doubled to center and Wright followed with a double to left, scoring Evans to make it 6-1. Beltran was next and split the gap in left-center with a double. Werth tried to pick the ball up, but dropped it, and Golson picked it up and threw a little wildly into the infield. Beltran went to third and Wright scored to make it 6-2. Golson got a tough error, they didn’t have a chance to get Beltran at third anyway. Eyre struck out Delgado to end the inning.

Back-to-back-to-back doubles by Eyre wasn’t that impressive.

Madson started the ninth up 6-2. He struck out Tatis for the first out before Easley singled. Lefty Daniel Murphy hit for Cancel and Romero came in to pitch to him. Murphy hit into a double-play to end the game.

Two innings, two runs for the pen. Eyre was hit hard, Madson struck one out and gave up a single and Romero got the double-play. Eyre threw 28 pitches, Madson and Romero both under ten.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Pedro Martinez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Stairs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs starts at third against the righty even with Moyer on the mound — Manuel has often gone with his best defensive option at third in games that Moyer has started. Burrell on the bench with Werth in left and Stairs in right. Ruiz catches.

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

Werth walked with one out in the second and went to third when Dobbs followed with a double. Stairs hit a fly ball to right for the second out. It was deep enough for Werth to tag and score and the Phils led 1-0. Ruiz was next and he lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Dobbs scored and it was 2-0. Moyer grounded out for the third out.

Big two-out hit for Ruiz.

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

Howard led off the fourth with a double. Werth followed and blooped a single into left, moving Howard to third. Dobbs was next and drove an 0-1 pitch into right center and just out for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 5-0. Stairs flew to right for the first out before Ruiz doubled down the right field line. Moyer dribbled a ball back to the mound for the second out and Ruiz went to third. Rollins blooped a double between Reyes and Evans in left and Ruiz scored, making it 6-0. Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

1-2-3 fifth.

1-2-3 sixth. Golson hit for Stairs with one out and Scott Schoeneweis and struck out swinging 0-2 in his first career at-bat.

Moyer led off the seventh with a walk. Rollins hit into a double-play behind him. Victorino followed with a single and a walk to Utley put men on first and second for Howard, but Howard struck out to leave both men stranded.

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

Ruiz started the ninth with a single. Feliz moved him to second with a ground out and Rollins moved him to third with another. Victorino fouled out to the catcher to leave him stranded.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Victorino 1-for-5.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk.

Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI.

Stairs 0-for-1 with an RBI.

Ruiz 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.79) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.54) tonight. Over his last three starts, Sanchez has allowed 14 runs in 14 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .365 against him for the season, righties .189. Blanton has gone six innings in just one of his last five starts. In his last three starts he has walked 11 in 15 2/3 innings.


Mets can’t get Brett

Just about everyone thinks that this weekend’s series between the Phillies and the Mets is more important to the Phils than it is to the Mets. And I agree with them. But maybe not by quite as much as you might think. The Mets came into the series with a chance to bury the Phils, and if they don’t do it the ghosts of last season are going to start to stir even more than they have already.

Last night the Phils took game one behind a fantastic pitching performance from Brett Myers. Myers went eight shutout innings and struck out ten while allowing the Mets just three hits. The Phils squeaked out a run in the first and got two more on a home run from Dobbs in the seventh.

Despite the win, the story is still much the same for the Phils. They can’t score runs and anything that has to do with the bullpen is terrifying. Lidge was the only guy to make an appearance for the Phils in relief last night. He kept the Mets off the board but looked shaky, allowing two hits and needing 26 pitches to get through his inning.

The Phillies beat the New York Mets last night, winning 3-0 to improve to 77-64 on the season. The Phils trail the Mets by two games in the NL East.

Not to be forgotten is that the last couple of the series between the Phils and Mets have started well for the Phils. In each of the last three series the teams have played, the Phils won the first game of the set and the Mets have won every other game.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks. All three of the hits that he allowed were doubles. He struck out ten.

He started the first up 1-0. With one out, David Murphy hit a ball into left that Burrell dove for, didn’t catch and then kicked. Murphy wound up with a double. David Wright followed with a walk, but Myers got Carlos Delgado to hit into a double-play.

Carlos Beltran started the second with a double. Myers struck Ryan Church and Luis Castillo out back-to-back. It brought the lefty Brian Schneider to the plate with a runner in scoring position and Myers walked him intentionally to face the pitch Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Hate walking Schneider intentionally to pitch to the pitcher. Would much rather see the Phillies get Schneider out and let Pelfrey lead off the third. Worked out great for the Phils, though.

Jose Reyes led off the third and smoked a ball that Howard jumped for and speared for the first out. Fantastic play by Howard. Would have been at least a double and maybe a triple for Reyes. Myers struck out Murphy and Wright to finish the inning.

The play that Howard made on the ball hit by Reyes was enormous. Hard to say a defensive play in the third inning where no run would have scored changed the game, but that play was critical.

Myers struck out Beltran and Church in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He got two ground balls and another strikeout in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Murphy hit a ball off the wall in left for another double with one out in the sixth. Rich Dubee was ejected by the home plate umpire for arguing balls and strikes before Myers got Wright to pop to second and Delgado to fly to center.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 seventh with a 3-0 lead. He had thrown 107 pitches through seven.

In the eighth, he got Schneider on a ground ball to first, pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson on a fly ball to left. He struck Jose Reyes out to end the inning.

Lidge started the ninth with a 3-0 lead. Murphy led off with a ten-pitch at-bat that ended with a fly out to center field. He got ahead of Wright before Wright hit an 0-2 pitch over Victorino’s head. The ball bounced once and cleared the fence for a ground-rule double. Delgado lined a 3-1 pitch into center for a single, bringing Beltran to the plate as the tying run with men on first and third. Beltran got ahead 3-1 and swung at ball four, hitting a lazy fly ball into left field. Sounds pretty routine, but Bruntlett, who came in to play left in the eighth, was playing way deep and had to sprint in before making a basket catch for the second out. Church drove an 0-2 pitch to center, but Victorino tracked it down to end the game.

Nothing about Lidge’s outing that should make you feel at all comfortable. Lidge lowered his ERA since the All-Star break to 4.42. He threw 26 pitches.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Mike Pelfrey went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Dobbs at third against the righty with Feliz on the bench. Coste catches.

Victorino singled to right with one out in the first. He stole second and went to third when Schneider’s throw to second wasn’t handled. Utley hit a ground ball to first and Victorino scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard flew to left for the third out.

Dobbs singled with two outs in the second. Coste grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.

1-2-3 in the third.

Howard walked with one out in the fourth, but Burrell popped to second and Werth grounded back to the pitcher.

1-2-3 in the fifth.

Rollins led off the sixth with a single, but Pelfrey picked him off of first. Victorino flew to center and Utley grounded to second.

Howard led off the seventh with a single. Burrell flew softly to left for the first out and Werth struck out swinging for the second. Dobbs was next and drove a 2-2 pitch just over the glove of Church in right and out for a two-run homer that put the Phils up 3-0. Church timed the ball perfectly, it may have gone off the tip of his glove. Coste flew to left for the third out.

1-2-3 in the eighth. Up 3-0, Myers hit for himself having thrown 107 pitches and grounded out. I would have hit for him, but it worked out for the Phils.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Church made a sliding catch in right to take a hit away from Utley for the first out.

Rollins 1-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a stolen base.

Utley 0-for-4 with a big RBI groundout in the first. Church took a hit away from him in the ninth.

Howard 0-for-2 with two walks. Big defensive play to retire Reyes to start the third.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 21-for-his-last-117.

Werth 0-for-3 and struck out twice.

Dobbs 2-for-3 with his seventh home run and two RBI.

Coste 0-for-3.

Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80) faces righty Pedro Martinez (5-3, 5.07) this afternoon. Martinez faced the Phils on August 26 and was strong early, but wound up allowing five runs over five innings. Rollins and Howard both homered off of him in that game. He faced Moyer and Moyer left early, surrendering six runs in three innings. Easley and Tatis both hit home runs against Moyer in that game. Those home runs are the only ones that Moyer has allowed over in his last six starts.

Update: Today’s game has been postponed. They will play a day-night double-header on Sunday.


Mets light the Phils up again and, well, you can’t change lights and stuff

The Phillies ended the day yesterday out of first place in the NL East for the first time since May 31. It’s about time. The way they’ve been playing, hitting particularly, lately, they don’t look like they belong anywhere near first place.

Speaking of stuff you worked hard to earn and then let slip away, Jimmy Rollins worked just about his whole life to become one of the elite players in baseball and somebody that his home town fans at least, almost without exception, have tremendous respect for. And all of the sudden he’s neither. Rollins hasn’t shown up for most of this year and yesterday he got literal with it, arriving late to the park and then criticizing his manager publicly for putting him on the bench. That’s atrocious.

Regardless of the effort he gives it’s not reasonable to expect Rollins to be the best player in baseball, or anything near that, year-after-year. Everyone has the right expect that he’s going to show up and play hard.

Yesterday’s game was pretty miserable. Jamie Moyer was fantastic, holding the Mets to a run on two hits over seven innings. Oliver Perez stymied the Phils all day long, though, striking out 12 and keeping the ball in the strike zone well enough to walk just one. The 2-3-4-5 hitters in the Phillies order combined to go 2-for-14 with ten strikeouts. Werth did connect for a seventh-inning home run that tied the game at 1-1, but Romero gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run double by Delgado.

The bullpen has joined the hitters for the time being as what’s wrong with the Phils. The Phillies have lost four of their last five games. Over those five games the bullpen has thrown to a 6.40 ERA. Each of the four losses has featured a different anti-hero from the pen — Seanez, Condrey, Madson and now Romero.

Long season, though, and it’s not over yet. As bad as yesterday was across the board it’s over now. Today brings a new chance and it will keep doing just that until it doesn’t anymore. There’s a whole bunch of guys on the Phils who could use it.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets yesterday afternoon, falling 3-1. With the loss the Phils drop to 54-48 on the year. The Mets take the series two games to one.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on two hits and three walks. All three of the hits were singles and he struck out six. His ERA for the season is 3.76.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

In the second, Fernando Tatis singled with two outs. Damion Easley flew to center for the third out.

Jose Reyes walked with two outs in the third and stole second. Nick Evans followed with another walk before David Wright singled into left. Burrell threw home but his throw was terrible and way up the first base line. Reyes scored to put the Mets up 1-0. Evans took third and Burrell was charged with his first error on the season. The call was later changed to take the error away — either way it was a pretty bad throw. Carlos Delgado grounded to second for the third out.

Moyer set the Mets down 1-2-3 in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

Tatis walked with one out in the seventh before Easley popped to second for the second out. Ramon Castro lined a 2-1 pitch into right that a sliding Werth took for the third out.

Romero started the eighth with the game tied at 1-1. Moyer had only thrown 91 pitches but was due to lead off the top of the eighth with the game tied. You have to hit for him. Righty Robinson Cancel hit for Aaron Heilman and singled to left. Reyes bunted Cancel to second before Chavez lined back to Romero for the second out. Romero walked the righty Wright intentionally to put men on first and second for the lefty Delgado. Delgado hit a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double that scored both runners and put the Mets up 3-1. As the throw came to the plate, Delgado tried to advance to third and was thrown out to end the inning.

With Romero the only lefty in the Phillies pen you have to leave him in to pitch to Delgado, even if it means putting Wright on intentionally.

Romero threw 18 pitches.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Oliver Perez went (1) Bruntlett (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Rollins was a late scratch, so Bruntlett played short and hit leadoff. Again Utley second, Burrell third and Howard fourth. Werth in right against the lefty and hitting fifth. Coste catches with Victorino again dropped in the order but ahead of Feliz. I like Utley, Burrell, Howard 2-3-4 a lot (even though they aren’t doing anything). Bruntlett had a great game but shouldn’t hit leadoff — I think it’s got to be Werth and if not Werth Victorino.

Burrell singled to left with two outs in the first but Howard struck out behind him.

Victorino reached on an infield single with one out in the second. Feliz popped to short and Coste struck out swinging.

Bruntlett singled to left with one out in the third. Utley struck out and Burrell flew to center.

Perez struck out Howard and Werth in a 1-2-3 fourth.

And Coste and Moyer in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Bruntlett led off the sixth with a double to left and Utley moved him to third with a ground out. Burrell flew to left and Bruntlett had to hold. Howard struck out to leave Bruntlett stranded.

Burrell fails to bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.

Werth led off the seventh and got ahead 2-0 before he hit one out to center, tying the game at 1-1. It was the first run that the Phillies had scored against Oliver Perez in 24 1/3 innings this season. Victorino, Feliz and Coste went in order behind him.

With the game still tied at 1-1 in the eighth, Moyer was due to lead off. Taguchi hit for him and grounded to short. Glad they hit for Moyer despite the results. Bruntlett was next and blasted a ball off the wall in left for another double. Utley struck out and the lefty Perez walked Burrell intentionally. Howard was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Righty Aaron Heilman came in to pitch to Werth and Werth stayed in with Dobbs and Jenkins on the bench. Werth got behind 0-2 before he flew to center for the third out.

Jenkins 4-for-12 with a home run against Heilman in his career. Dobbs 1-for-4. Werth 3-for-8 and had driven in the Phillies’ only run in the game with a home run. Coming into the game righties hitting 197/295/254 against Heilman on the season, lefties 312/413/610. Think you gotta have a lefty there.

Billy Wagner came on in the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead. He got the first two before Coste singled to left. Ruiz ran for Coste at first and Rollins hit for Romero and grounded to third to end the game.

Bruntlett was 3-for-4 with two doubles in the game and 3-for-5 in the series. He’s hitting 243/321/338 for the season. Rollins was 0-for-1 in the game and 2-for-10 with two doubles in the series. 269/332/430.

Fantastic job by Bruntlett.

Utley was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left three men on base. 0-for-12 with a walk in the set. 287/370/566 for the year. 243/309/378 in July.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with a double and three walks in the series. 281/408/588 for the year.

Howard was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. 2-for-12 in the series. No walks in his last 22 at-bats. 234/322/501 for the year.

Werth was 1-for-4 with his 13th home run. 3-for-8 with a walk in the series. 272/355/478. Jenkins was 1-for-3 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 240/292/401 for the year. 242/306/545 in July — it’s not time for the Phils to give up on Jenkins.

Victorino 1-for-4. 4-for-12 with two home runs in the series. 278/345/417 for the year.

Feliz was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series. 256/304/424 for the year. 1-for-21 with nine strikeouts since the All-Star break. Kinda hoping he starts catching a ride to the yard with J-Roll.

Coste was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 in the series. 274/326/469 for the year. He’s hitting 135/135/189 in July. He doesn’t have a walk in his last 49 at-bats. Ruiz was 3-for-7 with three singles and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 212/311/274 for the year.

Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22) tonight. Coming off a string of three starts where he did not allow an earned run, Jurrjens has allowed ten earned runs in his last 19 1/3 innings (4.66). Over his last six starts he’s thrown 41 innings and allowed just three home runs, all of which were hit by the Phillies on July 3 in Atlanta. Utley, Howard and Feliz all homered off of him in that game. Kendrick got hammered by the Fish on Saturday, allowing seven runs on ten hits, including a career-high three home runs, in 4 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .326 against him for the year and have hit nine of the 15 home runs he has allowed. He’s made three starts against the Braves this year and is 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.62 ratio. In 17 1/3 innings against the Braves he’s walked 11.


Ready, set, Met

Despite what has been considered by virtually all Phillies fans a successful April, the Phils come into the last day of the first full month of the season at 15-12, percentage points behind the 14-11 Mets in the NL East. Andrew Vazzano from The ‘Ropolitans answered a few questions about the state of the Mets.

Think of it as really advanced scouting on a team the Phils don’t play again till July.

1) What do you see as the most significant developments for the Mets since the start of the season?

Well, most of the fans thought we were indestructible after we landed Johan Santana, so now that we’ve played a few games, we’ve seen that we’re just as good as everyone else and this is going to be a dogfight all season. I’m also very surprised by the back end of our bullpen (sans: Aaron Heilman). With Joe Smith, Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner closing out games, I’m very confident if the team has a lead late, they’ll hold it. (Obviously, since I said this, they’ll blow a few of the next bunch of games!)

2) There seems to be a loud, large contingent of fans that are unhappy with the direction of the team or at least some of the Mets’ players. Is this just frustration with the early results or does it go deeper than that? How do you expect the situation to play out?

It all stems from last season. As far in the past as it is, most fans are yet to get over the collapse. When guys like Carlos Delgado and Aaron Heilman got off to extremely rocky starts, fans regressed to last September, and the boo birds came out in full force. Obviously, we’re not even through a quarter of the season, so I think it’s still way too early to start driving a guy out of town. The players need to pick up the pace, but I think it will all even out in the long run. Only if the player continues to struggle do I see anything coming of this. Again, it’s all from last season, it haunts us.

3) How do you expect the situations in left field and at first base will be resolved? Right now it looks like Pagan may be seeing a lot of time in left — do you think he can make it through a whole season there? What are the other options for the Mets at first base if Delgado doesn’t come around?

Well, Moises Alou just had his ankle checked out, and he should rejoin he team in Arizona. Obviously, there is no way he’s going to make it through a whole season without getting injured again, so time will be split between Angel Pagan and Endy Chavez. There’s no way Pagan can last a whole season, as we’ve already seen him hit a cold snap. Chavez and Pagan are decent in left, a big upgrade defensively over Alou, but Alou can absolutely rake at the plate. On Delgado at first, I think the team needs to wait it out until he *really* starts to tank. The two home run day against the Braves was huge, and with or without a curtain call, it should be a big boost to his confidence. A lot of people have been calling for AA player Mike Carp to get called up. Through 4/29, Carp is batting .376 with 6 home runs, 20 RBI, and 16 runs scored. People seem to think he’s the first baseman of the future, and with Delgado taking a downturn at first, Carp might be called up sooner rather than later. I’d rather see Marlon Anderson or Damion Easley fill in at first, with the majority of the time still going to Delgado. Carp may be called up in September, but I don’t think it will happen before that.

4) What is your expectation about how the rotation is going to shape up behind Santana/Maine/Perez the rest of the way? Do you think it’s likely that most of the other starts will come from Pedro, El Duque, Pelfrey and Figueroa? Do you feel comfortable with that group at the bottom of the rotation? Is there anybody else in the mix?

Stick a fork in El Duque, he’s done. I don’t expect him to come back, ever. I see the rest of the season being split between Nelson Figueroa and Mike Pelfrey, with Pedro Martinez getting the bulk if/when he gets back and if he stays healthy. With Jorge Sosa struggling so far, when Figueroa or Pelfrey gets bumped by Martinez returning to the rotation, one of those two might find themselves as the long man out of the bullpen. Figueroa would probably be the best guy out of the pen, so I think that’s what might happen.

5) Is Willie Randolph the right person to manage the Mets? How safe is his job?

No. He’s good, but not for this team. These players need a leader and with David Wright being so young, and probably the most outspoken player on he team, he doesn’t really fit the bill. I think the Mets need someone like Jim Leyland who isn’t afraid to yell after a lazy loss or poor play. If the Mets don’t make the postseason this year, I doubt Willie returns.

Thanks a lot to Andrew. Remember to check out his blog, The ‘Ropolitans.


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