Mario Hollands made his major league debut last night at what seemed like a bit of a weird time, entering in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game to face Shin-Soo Choo, Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder. Didn’t work out so well for the Phils as Choo and Fielder both walked. Choo scored from second on a walkoff single from Adrian Beltre off of B.J. Rosenberg to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.
It wasn’t the only odd choice by the Phillies in the game. Facing their first lefty of the year, they put lefties Domonic Brown and Cody Asche on the bench and Cesar Hernandez and Jayson Nix in their lineup.
Nix and Hernandez were fine in the game, better than fine, actually, going 3-for-7 with a double between them. What wasn’t fine was the Phillies base-running, which saw them picked off of second, doubled off of first and caught stealing in a game where they scored two runs and lost by one.
The bullpen has walked six in 6 2/3 innings over the first two games. The Hollands walk to Choo to start the ninth last night helped put Choo in position to score from second when Beltre singled. Papelbon and Bastardo have been good pitching in relief in the early going — the other three relievers that have appeared, Diekman, Hollands and Rosenberg, have combined to allow four runs on six hits and five walks over three innings (12.00 ERA and a 3.67 ratio).
The Phillies are 1-1 on the season after falling 3-2 to the Texas Rangers last night. The teams have split the first two games of the three-game set.
A.J. Burnett got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on seven hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three.
He allowed a leadoff single to Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom of the first. Choo was on the move when Elvis Andrus grounded to third, which allowed Choo to move up to second. Prince Fielder flew to center for the second out before Choo took third on a wild pitch. Adrian Beltre drew a walk, putting men on the corners with two down, but Burnett got Rios on a fly ball to center to leave both men stranded.
Wild pitch for Burnett in the frame. He’s been in the top ten in his league for six straight seasons and is the active MLB leader in wild pitches. Led the AL in wild pitches in 2011 with 25 and also in 2009 with 17.
He hit Choo with his first pitch in the third. Choo moved up to second when Andrus followed with a single to center, but Burnett got the next three to keep Texas off the board. Hernandez made a nice sliding play on a line drive hit by Rios of the third out.
Burnett has been in the top ten in his league in hit batters in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. He hit 19 batters in 2010, which lead the AL that year.
Donnie Murphy reached on a softly hit infield single to third with one out in the fourth. Burnett got Martin and Chirinos behind him to set Texas down.
Fielder doubled to right with two outs in the fifth. Burnett got Beltre on a ball hit hard to center for the third out.
The Phillies led 2-0 when Burnett started the sixth. Rios led off with a double to right and scored when Mitch Moreland followed with a single to right. 2-1. Murphy was next and lined a ball to right, but Byrd made a nice diving catch and doubled Moreland off of first. Martin followed with a single and stole second before Chirinos grounded to third for the third out.
Fantastic play by Byrd helps hold the Rangers to a run. Big difference between two outs and nobody on and nobody out and men on first and third.
Diekman started the seventh having thrown 23 pitches the day before. Choo led off with a single and Andrus bunted him to second with the first out. Fielder was next and grounded to short for the second out with Choo moving up to third. Beltre was next and lined an 0-1 pitch into the right-field corner, scoring Choo. 2-2. Diekman walked Rios intentionally and righty Michael Choice hit for the lefty Moreland. Choice struck out looking to end the inning.
Two appearances, two bad results for Diekman. Pitched a brilliant sixth in game one, but came back for the seventh and faced righties Beltre and Rios, both of who reached base and later scored. The righty Beltre delivered the big blow against him in last night’s game.
Bastardo struck out Murphy and Chirinos in a 1-2-3 eighth. He was also pitching for the second straight day after 24 pitches on Monday.
25-year-old lefty Mario Hollands made his debut in the ninth. Choo led off and walked on four pitches. Andrus bunted him to second again with the first out. Fielder was next and the lefty drew a walk. Rosenberg came in to pitch to the righty Beltre lined a 1-1 pitch into right-center for a single, scoring Choo to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.
You probably would prefer to have a lefty there, but pitching to Choo, Elvis Andrus, and Prince Fielder isn’t really where Hollands would ideally make his first appearance. Came in to pitch to lefties and allowed both of them, Choo and Fielder, to walk. Got one guy out, the righty Andrus, who was trying to make an out.
Second awful outing for Rosenberg in two days as he faces one hitter and gives up the game-winner. Still hasn’t been charged with a run, but has allowed three hits and a walk so far while getting two outs.
The pen went 2 1/3 innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks. They’ve walked six batters in 6 2/3 innings so far for the year. That’s too many and will make you lose.
Diekman, Bastardo and Rosenberg have all pitched two days in a row. Diekman threw 16 pitches last night, Bastardo 14 and Rosenberg three. Hollands has pitched one day in a row and threw 14 pitches last night.
The Phillie lineup against lefty Martin Perez went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Marlon Byrd (5) Ryan Howard (6) Carlos Ruiz (7) John Mayberry (8) Jayson Nix (9) Cesar Hernandez. That’s just terrible. Utley at DH with Hernandez at second. Nix at third with the lefty Asche on the bench and Nix at third. Mayberry in left with Brown on the bench against the lefty — glad to see Mayberry in the lineup, but that’s not the answer. Howard again plays defense in a DH game and hit fifth with Byrd cleanup.
The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.
Byrd started the second with a single, but the Phillies went in order behind him.
Nix singled to start the third, but was caught stealing by a wide margin when Hernandez swung through a pitch on a hit-and-run. Hernandez singled, but Revere and Rollins both struck out behind him.
The caught stealing ahead of the Hernandez single costs the Phils in the frame.
The Phils went in order in the fourth. Ruiz led off the fifth and reached on an error by Beltre at third. Mayberry followed and lined to Murphy at second with Ruiz doubled off of first. Nix struck out looking for the third out.
Not good base-running by Ruiz. Second time in three innings the Phils give away an out on the bases. They can’t afford to do that given that they had four base-runners on three singles and an error through five innings.
Hernandez led of the sixth with a double. Revere followed and bunted, safely reaching first as Hernandez moved up to third. Rollins followed with a single into center, scoring Hernandez (1-0), and moving Revere up to second. Utley flew to center for the first out before Revere was picked off of second for the second. Byrd followed with a single to center, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard doubled to right, scoring Rollins (2-0) and moving Byrd up to third. Righty Jason Frasor came in to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz grounded to short to end the frame.
Revere getting picked off of second in a close, reply aided play is the third out the Phillies gave away on the bases in four innings. Cost them at least one run in a game where they scored two. Byrd also fails to score from first on the two-out double by Howard.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when Frasor set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.
It was 2-2 when the Phillies faced lefty Neal Cotts in the eighth. Utley singled to right with two outs and took second on a wild pitch. The lefty Cotts walked the righty Byrd intentionally, but Howard struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.
Big at-bat for Howard against a lefty late in a tie game. Didn’t end well. Byrd walked intentionally in front of Howard.
Righty Joakim Soria set the Phillies down in order in the top of the ninth. Brown hit for Mayberry and popped to short for the second out.
Revere 0-for-3 and struck out twice. Got picked off of second ahead of what would have been an RBI-single by Byrd. 3-for-9 with three singles so far.
Rollins 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. 2-for-10 with five RBI.
Utley 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-10 with a double so far.
Byrd 2-for-3 with a walk. Made a fantastic diving catch to start a double-play in the sixth that allowed the Phils to hold Texas to a single run in the frame. Should have had an RBI with the single after Revere was picked off. 4-for-9 with a walk and a home run on the year. Looks really irritated and a little shocked on the field when things don’t go well for the Phillies. I assume he’ll get used to it.
Howard 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Struck out twice. Five strikeouts in nine at-bats, but a big hit last night and a 333/400/444 line so far.
Ruiz 0-for-4 and left three men on base. Got doubled-off of first in one of several base-running blunders for the Phils. 1-for-7 with two walks so far.
Mayberry 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 with a double and a walk. Excellent job by the Phillies of not playing him in center field.
Nix 1-for-4 and struck out twice. Got caught stealing on the missed hit-and-run by Hernandez. He’s a career .219 hitter with a 245/321/408 line against lefties.
Hernandez 2-for-3 with a double. Made a nice play on a Rios line drive to end the third. Excellent job by the Phillies of not playing him in center field.
Kendrick faces lefty Robbie Ross tonight. We’ll see who plays — let’s hope it doesn’t involve Nix and Hernandez.