Tag: Casey Blake

Lee foils LA’s plan to try to keep it close and beat him in penalty kicks

I’m not saying that Lee can’t be beat in penalty kicks, either. Cause I have no idea. But it wouldn’t surprise me that much if it proved to be true. Lee homered in the seventh last night, driving in what would prove to be the winning run, and threw eight shutout innings as the Phils topped the Dodgers 2-1.

After allowing one run in 42 innings in June, Lee had an off July in which he threw to a 4.91, but has now thrown 15 shutout innings to start August.

With the win, the Phils improve to 11-1 over their last 12 games. They have allowed more than three runs in a game once in their last nine times out. They’ve gotten six quality starts in a row and quality starts in 12 of their last 15 games.

The Phillies are 76-40 for the year after beating the LA Dodgers 2-1 last night. They are 36 games over .500 for the first time on the year and lead the NL East by 8 1/2 games.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing four singles and two walks. He struck out ten and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.83.

Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first and singled. He stole second before moving up to third on a bunt single by Jamey Carroll. Lee struck Andre Ethier out swinging 2-2 and Matt Kemp out swinging 1-2. Carroll stole second before Lee got Aaron Miles to pop to Howard in foul territory and leave both runners stranded.

No run for the Dodgers after putting men on first and third with no outs. Big strikeouts for Lee of Ethier and Kemp.

Lee struck out Tony Gwynn and Rod Barajas setting the Dodgers down in order in the second.

He threw a 1-2-3 third with a 1-0 lead.

He struck Ethier and Kemp both out again in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Casey Blake started the fifth with a single, but Lee struck Barajas and Gwynn both out behind him. The pitcher Ted Lilly grounded to second for the third out.

Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the sixth and put down a beautiful bunt between the mound and first base. Howard made a great play, fielding the bunt and diving to tag Gordon for the first out. Carroll followed that with a single to right, but Lee got Ethier on a ground ball to second and Kemp on a popup to first to end the inning.

Lee pitched the seventh with a 2-0 lead. He walked Barajas with two outs, but struck Gwynn out behind him to leave Barajas at first.

Switch-hitter Eugenio Velez hit for Lilly to start the ninth and Lee walked him on a 3-2 pitch. Gordon was next and aggravated a right-shoulder injury fouling off a pitch during his at-bat. Trent Oeltjen hit for him and grounded into a double-play that cleared the bases. Lee struck Carroll out to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with a one-run lead and gave up a leadoff single to Ethier. Kemp followed with a ground out to third with Ethier forced at second for the first out. Righty Juan Rivera hit for Miles and grounded to second for the second out with Kemp moving up to second. Blake was next and he singled into left. Kemp scored from second, cutting the lead in half at 2-1. Madson struck Barajas out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Madson threw 17 pitches in the game and has thrown for two days in a row. He gets hurt by the leadoff single by the lefty Ethier in this game, but he’s fared well against lefties for the year. They are hitting just 206/296/296 against him for the season.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Ted Lilly went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Mayberry in left with Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Valdez at third with Martinez on the bench and Polanco sidelined with a sports hernia.

Rollins and Victorino singled back-to-back to start the game, putting men on first and second with nobody out for Utley. Utley hit a liner to short and Gordon made a fantastic play, short-hopping the ball, tagging Rollins and tossing to second to complete the double-play. It left Utley on first with two outs. He stole second before Howard grounded to Blake at first to set the Phillies down.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Valdez led off the third with a single and Lee bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins was next and he blooped a 1-1 pitch over Blake at first that rolled and rolled in right. Valdez scored from second to put the Phils up 1-0 and Rollins had a double. Victorino was next and was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. Utley grounded to the pitcher with Victorino forced at second for the second out and Rollins moving up to third. Howard grounded to short for the third out.

Two hits in two at-bats for Rollins — this one got the job done even if it wasn’t particularly majestic. Lee gets the bunt down to move Valdez up to second. He would come through with the bat later in the game as well.

Ruiz reached second on an error by Carroll with two outs in the fourth, but Valdez flew to right behind him.

Rollins walked with one out in the fifth, but Victorino popped to third and Utley flew to center to leave him at first.

With one out in the sixth, Pence singled into center on a ball deflected by Carroll at second. Mayberry was next and grounded to the pitcher for the second out, with Pence moving up to second. Ruiz grounded to second to end the frame.

Valdez grounded out to start the seventh. It brought Lee to the plate and he hit a 2-0 pitch out to right, putting the Phils on top 2-1. Rollins and Victorino went down behind him.

The Phils went in order in the eighth and again in the ninth.

Rollins 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Over his last seven games he’s 8-for-27 with five walks and a .406 on-base percentage.

Victorino 1-for-3. 371/467/640 in his last 107 plate appearances (which have included a little more than two weeks on the DL).

Utley was 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 3-for-his-last-16 with three singles.

Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-his-last-21 with a walk, a double and 11 strikeouts.

Pence 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 3-for-his-last-11 with a walk. The Phillies are 10-1 in the game he’s played with them this year. He’s hitting 356/388/556 in 49 plate appearances for the Phils. Likes to dive a lot.

Mayberry 0-for-4. 6-for-his-last-21 with four home runs. He hasn’t drawn a walk in his last 57 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-his-last-18 with three singles.

Valdez 1-for-4 with a single. 250/298/338 in 572 plate appearances with the Phillies over the last two seasons.

Vance Worley (8-1, 2.35) faces righty Chad Billingsley (10-9, 4.17) this afternoon. Billingsley has allowed 15 runs in 24 innings over his last four starts, throwing to a 5.63 ERA. Lefties have had a lot of success against him for the year. They haven’t hit for a ton of power, but have a .272 batting average and a .372 on-base percentage against Billingsley for the season. Worley has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in his last nine outings. The Phils are 11-2 in the games he’s started this year.


LA x’d

The Phils capped their 20-game run with a fantastic win last night, scoring eight times in the last two frames to top the Dodgers 10-9. The Phils got five hits and a walk in the bottom of the eighth to cut the LA lead to 9-6. In the ninth they loaded the bases and Ben Francisco hit a double-play ball that went through Casey Blake’s legs for a critical error that helped the Phils plate two runs. Ruiz ended the game three pitches later when he blasted a bases clearing double off of the top of the wall in center field.

The Phillies have won 16 of their last 20 and are 64-50 on the season after beating the LA Dodgers 10-9 last night. The Phils take two of three in the series and are 14 games above .500 for the first time on the season. They remain in second place in the NL East and are two games behind the first place Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks. All eight of the hits were singles and he struck out three.

Scott Podsednik singled to left to start the game and moved to second on a ground out by Ryan Theriot. Andre Ethier grounded to second and Podsednik went to third with two down. James Loney walked and Ronnie Belliard followed that with a single into center. Podsednik scored (1-0) and Loney took second. Matt Kemp was next and he singled to left, scoring Loney to make it 2-0 and sending Belliard to second. Jamey Carroll followed that and blooped a ball into center that fell in front of Werth. Belliard came in to score to put LA up 3-0 with the runners winding up at second and third when the throw came into third. Blanton walked Brad Ausmus intentionally to load the bases so he could pitch to the pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw grounded to second for the third out.

Blanton gets two of the first three batters to start the game, then allows three runs thanks to three singles and a pair of walks.

Podsednik started the second with a single, but Blanton got the next three behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 third with the lead cut to 3-1 and a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Theriot and Ethier started the inning with back-to-back singles, which put runners on first and third with nobody out. Blanton struck Loney out for the first out before Belliard hit a fly ball to left for the second. It was deep enough for Theriot to tag and score from third, extending the LA lead to 4-2. Kemp lined softly to second for the third out.

Ausmus singled with one out in the sixth and Kershaw bunted him to second with the second out. Podsednik and Theriot walked back-to-back, loading the bases for Ethier. Durbin came in to pitch to Ethier and got him to ground to second on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

Durbin comes in to face the tough lefty with the Phils down to a single lefty in the pen after Bastardo is sent down. Worked out great that time, but it’s not a formula for continued success. The Phillies have a problem with left-handed relief out of the bullpen. I agree there’s a good chance that Bastardo isn’t the answer, but somebody has to be.

Durbin was back for the seventh. Loney led off with a single. Durbin got Belliard on a pop to Rollins for the first out before Kemp homered to left, putting LA up 6-2. Carroll walked and stole second, but Durbin struck out Ausmus and got Kershaw on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Kemp’s homer was the only extra-base hit of the game for LA.

Romero started the eighth. Podsednik led off and hit a ball to first that Sweeney butchered for an error. Theriot flew to right for the first out before Ethier moved Podsednik to second with a single. Romero struck the lefty Loney out swinging for the second out and Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Casey Blake. Blake singled to center, scoring Podsednik (7-2) and moving Ethier to third. Kemp followed that and blooped a ball high down the right field line that fell for another single. Ethier scored (8-2) and Blake went to third. Carroll singled to left and Blake scored. 9-2. Contreras struck out swinging for the third out.

At least Romero didn’t walk anyone. The Sweeney error was pretty big in the inning. Without the Dodgers get a single but go down without any damage. Contreras had a miserable frame, facing four batters and allowing three hits before finally striking out Ausmus. Kemp’s hit was ridiculous.

Baez pitched the ninth with the Phils down 9-6. He allowed a leadoff single to Jay Gibbons, but got Podsednik to hit into a double-play behind him and then got Theriot to ground to second.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (2) Ibanez (3) Polanco (4) Sweeney (5) Werth (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. That one’s not a keeper. Francisco in right against the lefty and Sweeney at first. Ibanez hits second in the order, which is too high, especially against a lefty. Valdez at second.

The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the first. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back with two outs, putting men on first and third for Werth. Werth flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and moved to third when Valdez followed with a double. Blanton hit a ball softly to third for the second out. Ruiz came in to score to cut the lead to 3-1 with Valdez moving to third. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Werth started the fourth with a single. Francisco struck out swinging for the first out before Werth stole second. Ruiz singled into center and Werth scored, cutting the lead to 3-2. Valdez and Blanton both grounded out to end the inning.

Down 4-2, the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

They went in order again in the sixth.

They were losing 6-2 when they hit in the seventh. Ruiz and Valdez went down to start the inning. With two outs and Kershaw still on the mound for LA, Victorino hit for Durbin and drew a walk. He stole second before Rollins walked, bringing Ibanez to the plate with two outs and men on first and second. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo took over for Kershaw and got Ibanez on a fly ball to left to leave both men stranded.

They were down 9-2 when they hit in the eighth. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back and moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by righty Ronald Belisario. Werth singled into center and both runners scored. 9-4. Werth took second on a balk before Francisco doubled to left, scoring Werth. 9-5. Righty Kenley Jansen took over for Belisario and got Ruiz on a ground ball to third for the first out. Valdez singled to center and Francisco scored. 9-6. Brown hit for Contreras and lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to him, getting Brown on a fly ball to left for the second out. Rollins walked, putting men on first and second for Ibanez, but Sherrill got Ibanez to ground to second and end the inning.

Jonathan Broxton started the ninth with a 9-6 lead. He hit Polanco and walked Sweeney and Werth, loading the bases for Francisco. Francisco hit a double-play ball to Blake at third, but instead of getting the double-play the ball went through Blake’s legs and into left field. Polanco and Sweeney scored, making it 9-8, with Werth on second and Francisco on first for Ruiz. Ruiz blasted a 1-1 pitch high off the wall in left-center. Werth and Francisco both scored without a throw. Phils win 10-9.

Broxton set it up by letting the first three runners reach, but the error by Blake changed the game.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game and 3-for-12 in the series. 248/344/372 for the season.

Ibanez was 0-for-5 and left four men on base. He shouldn’t be hitting second against a lefty. 3-for-12 with a double and two walks in the series.

Polanco was 2-for-4 last night. 4-for-11 with four singles in the series. 321/352/431 on the year.

Sweeney 2-for-4 in the game and 3-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 5-for-15 with the Phils.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI last night. 4-for-10 with four walks in the series. 304/397/528 for the season.

Francisco 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 1-for-6 in the set. 254/327/415 on the year. Brown was 0-for-1 last night and 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 9-for-39 for the season with a .233 on-base percentage.

Ruiz was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI last night. 3-for-11 in the series. 294/385/431 on the season.

Valdez was 2-for-4 with a double last night. 5-for-11 with a double and a triple in the series. 254/283/367 for the season. 342/375/421 in August.

Cole Hamels (7-8, 3.45) faces righty RA Dickey (7-5, 2.65) tonight. Hamels has a 2.43 ERA and a 1.08 ratio over his last starts and has struck out 61 in 55 2/3 innings in those games. Dickey’s most recent start came against the Phillies on Sunday and he was charged with six runs in three innings. Prior to that start he had posted a 1.70 ERA in his last seven outings. He’s thrown 102 innings this season and walked nine right-handed batters.

The next update to Philliesflow will be around August 24.


Frenemies

Joe Blanton faces lefty Randy Wolf tonight in game four.

The 33-year-old Wolf was very good for LA this season, throwing to a 3.23 ERA and a 1.10 ratio over 34 starts. In 214 1/3 innings he allowed just 178 hits. He was tenth in the NL in innings pitched. Lefties were helpless against him this year, posting a 159/217/200 line for the season. They had four extra-base hits, two doubles, a triple and a home run, on the year.

Wolf was better away from Dodger Stadium than he was at it. 7-4 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.06 ratio in 16 starts away from home and 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.14 ratio in 18 starts at home.

He faced the Phils twice this season. He was good the first time but not the second. On May 13 he held the Phils to a run over six innings as the Dodgers rolled to a 9-2 win over Moyer and the Phillies in Philadelphia. On June 7 Ruiz and Victorino both hit homers off of him in LA as the Phils won 7-2. Wolf allowed six runs in 6 1/3 innings in that game, which was his only start on the year in which he allowed six or more runs.

Wolf started game one of the NLDS against the Cardinals and allowed two runs on six hits and five walks over 3 2/3 innings in the only post-season start of his career. He had not walked five batters in a game in any start in the regular season.

The Phillies took Wolf in the second round of the 1997 draft. He pitched for the Phils from 1999 through 2006. His won 16 games and went to the All-Star game in 2003, but his best year may have been 2002 when he went 11-9 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.12 ratio over 31 starts. After the 2006 season he signed with the Dodgers and made 18 starts for LA in ’07. It looked like the Phillies were about to sign him as a free agent in December of 2007, but it didn’t happen. Gillick came up with this memorable quote about Wolf and the situation after it had become apparent that Wolf would sign with the Padres: “Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. We went after him a couple times, and it didn’t work out last year and this year. So, it’s pretty evident that he doesn’t want to play for our team. If someone doesn’t want to be part of the team, it’s better if he plays somewhere else.” Wolf made 21 starts for the Padres in 2008 before they traded him to the Astros. He made 12 starts for the Astros before signing with the Dodgers again for the 2009 season.

Feliz is the Phillie who has faced Wolf the most over his career. He’s 5-for-17 with three home runs against him. Ruiz 4-for-6 with two doubles and a homer. Howard 1-for-9 with a double and four strikeouts. Utley 1-for-8 with four strikeouts. Werth 1-for-9 with a home run and three walks. Victorino 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. Rollins 3-for-6 with a home run. Ibanez 3-for-11 with two doubles.

Blanton made 31 starts for the Phillies this season, going 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 ratio over 195 1/3 innings. He allowed 30 home runs, which was a career high.

He made one start against the Dodgers this season. On June 6 he pitched well, holding LA to a run on five hits and a walk over six innings, but Kuroda was a little better and LA won 3-2 on a twelfth inning home run that Ethier hit off of Durbin. Ethier also homered off of Blanton in that game, giving LA the only run they would manage off of him.

Blanton has made two appearances in the post-season for the Phillies this year, both in the NLDS against the Rockies. In game two he threw a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phillies down 4-0 in relief of Hamels. He also pitched in game three. In that game he entered in the bottom of the fourth in relief of Happ and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits.

He was great in the 2008 post-season, making three starts in which he went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. The worst of his three ’08 playoff starts came against the Dodgers. He started game four against Derek Lowe, which is the game where Victorino tied it with a late home run and Stairs homered off of Broxton. Blanton didn’t pitch very well in the game, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks over five innings.

Fellow former American Leaguers Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez have both faced Blanton a ton over their careers. Blake is an ugly 1-for-21 with three walks against him and Manny an ugly in a different way 14-for-25 with a double and a home run (560/600/720). Ethier 5-for-11 with two home runs. Kemp 2-for-11 with a double. Loney 5-for-8 with a walk. Martin 2-for-7 with a double.


Only the names, and the fact that the Dodgers are much, much better now, have changed

If it seems like you’ve seen the NLCS between the Phils and Dodgers before it’s because you have. A lot has changed over the past year, though, and the most important among them is that the Dodgers have gotten a lot better. After going 84-78 in 2008, the Dodgers posted the best record in the NL in 2009 at 95-67.

The wins aren’t the only thing that improved for LA this year. Here’s a look at the runs scored by the Dodgers and Phils for this year and 2008:


Team

Runs Scored

NL Rank

’09 LA

780
4

’09 PHI

820
1
     

’08 LA

700

13

’08 PHI

799
3

The Phillies hit in both years compared to the other teams in the National League. The Dodgers were third in runs scored this year, but thirteenth in 2008.

LA was fantastic at preventing runs in both ’08 and ’09. The Phillies allowed 29 more runs in ’09 than they did in ’08 and their rank in the NL dropped from third to sixth:


Team

Runs Allowed

NL Rank

’09 LA

611

T-1

’09 PHI

709
6
     

’08 LA

648
1

’08 PHI

680
3

In 2008 the Phillies scored 799 runs and allowed 680. So they scored 119 more runs than they allowed. In ’09 they scored 820 and allowed 709, which is the difference of a pretty similar 111.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, scored 700 and allowed 648 in 2008, for a difference of 52 runs. This year they scored 780 and allowed 611, which is the difference of a pretty dissimilar 169.

I don’t think there’s much of an argument to be made that the Phillies were better than the Dodgers in 2009. They weren’t. The Dodgers were better. What I’m not sure about is how much it matters. A big part of why the Dodgers were better for the year is that they went 35-17 in April and May. That’s pretty awesome, but it’s also a long time ago. The Phillies are World Champs and if you watched game four of the NLDS it’s a little hard to deny that their magic is alive and well.

At the same time, the Dodgers won more games than the Phillies this year. Their offense was a little worse than the Phillies, but still among the best in the league, while their pitching was much better. They come off an impressive sweep of the Cardinals. They went 4-3 against the Phillies this year without a single plate appearance from Manny Ramirez.

I do think the Phillies will win the series, but it is going to be a tight one.

Here’s a look back at the series from last year:

Hamels started game one last year against Derek Lowe. The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead into the sixth, but Victorino led off the bottom of the sixth and hit a ground ball to Furcal and Furcal threw it away. Utley followed with a home run to tie the game at 2-2 and Burrell hit a solo shot two batters later, putting the Phils on top to stay at 3-2.

Brett Myers and Chad Billingsley faced off in game two. Myers threw behind Manny in the first inning and a Loney double in the second helped put LA up 1-0. A Myers single helped the Phillies score four times in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 4-1. Loney had another big hit off of Myers in the third, an RBI-single that made it 4-2. The Phils extended their lead to 8-2 with four more runs in the bottom of the third, which featured Chan Ho Park striking out Rollins for the second out of the inning. That should have been it for the game, but LA got back into it in the top of the fourth. With two outs and nobody on, Furcal struck out for what should have been the third out of the inning. Ruiz didn’t block the ball, though, and Furcal was safe at first. Martin followed with a single before Manny hit a three-run homer to make it 8-5. The lead stood up for the Phils, thanks to Durbin, Romero, Lidge and Madson, who combined to throw four shutout innings.

Game three was the game the Phillies lost, falling 7-2 in LA. Moyer got the start and the Dodgers scored five times against him in the bottom of the first. Five of the first six Dodgers hitters to face Moyer reached base before he struck out Kemp for the second out of the inning with the bases loaded. He looked like he was going to get out of it down 2-0, but Blake DeWitt cleared the bases with a three-run triple that made it 5-0. A leadoff double by Howard helped the Phils cut the lead to 5-1 in the top of the second, but Moyer didn’t make it out of the bottom of the second. Furcal led off the bottom of the second with a homer that made it 6-1. Nomar Garciaparra extended the lead to 7-1 with an RBI-single off of Happ in the bottom of the fourth. Burrell drove in Utley with a single in the seventh for the Phillies other run.

Coming off of Myers throwing behind Ramirez in game one, LA starter Hiroki Kuroda threw a ball near the head of Shane Victorino in game three. It led to a bench-clearing incident after Victorino grounded out to end the inning.

Game four changed the series thanks to a late home run from Matt Stairs. Utley and Howard drove in runs off of Lowe in the top of the first, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Blake homered off of Blanton in the bottom of the first, cutting the lead to 2-1. Blanton protected the one-run lead until LA hit in the bottom of the fifth. Furcal led off with a walk and moved to second when Ethier followed with a bloop single. Ramirez followed with an RBI-single (2-2) and a ground out by Martin brought in Ethier to make it 3-2. Howard led off the sixth with a walk and came in to score on a wild pitch by Park to tie the game at 3-3. Blake led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer off of Durbin, though, making it 4-3, and a throwing error by Howard on a bunt by Furcal helped the Dodgers score another run to extend the lead to 5-3. That score held till the top of the eighth, when Howard led off with a single. Victorino followed two batters later and lined a ball out to right off of Corey Wade, tying the game at 5-5. Feliz flew out for the second out, but Ruiz delivered a two-out single off of Jonathan Broxton and Stairs followed and connected for a mammoth homer to put the Phils up 7-5. Romero and Lidge kept LA off the board in the eighth and the ninth.

It was hard to imagine LA coming back from Stairs dagger. They didn’t. Hamels outpitched Billingsley in game five with the Phillies winning 5-1. Rollins was the first batter of the game and he put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run to center. Howard and Burrell had RBI-singles in the third, making it 3-0. Furcal had an inning to forget in the fifth, making three errors as the Phils extended the lead to 5-0. Manny Ramirez homered off of Hamels with two outs in the sixth to get LA their only run of the game.

Kendrick and Myers are off the Phillies roster for the NLCS and have been replaced by Chan Ho Park and Eric Bruntlett. Bruntlett and Cairo are a lot of similar guys to have on your roster, especially since it means going with 11 pitchers. I think that’s a bad decision — I would rather have seen them carry 12 pitchers and just one of Bruntlett and Cairo given the bullpen struggles and the fact that I would be pretty worried about Park since he hasn’t pitched for the Phils since September 16.

On the other hand, if they weren’t comfortable with letting Kendrick pitch they shouldn’t have him on the roster. You should try to have 12 pitchers in your organization you feel okay about putting into a game, though. Cairo and Bruntlett both is a lot of Cairos and Bruntletts. Condrey and Walker sure must be wondering what is going on.

My guess is that the thinking here may be to try to put another right-handed bat on the bench out of fear of the lefties in the bullpen for the Dodgers, Kuo and Sherrill. Those guys are scary, but if that’s the reasoning I think the Phils may have overthought this one. If it is about putting another righty on the bench, I wonder if they considered Mayberry instead of Bruntlett. It sure seems like he would provoke a bit more worry in the Dodgers since he can hit the ball out of the yard.

This article suggests Pedro Martinez may start game two. I am hoping for Blanton and Pedro in game four. Blanton was 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio in three post-season starts in the post-season in 2008. Manuel’s seeming reluctance to start him is curious to me. It no doubt has a lot to do with fear of his bullpen, but I’d just let him start.

There have been many technical problems with Philliesflow over the past few days. If the site goes down again for a long period of time, I may post at philliesflow.wordpress.com and would let people know where to find the site via the Philliesflow Twitter page.


California, here we come

Here’s the runs scored and allowed per game and the difference between the two for the Phillies and Dodgers this season:


Regular Season
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 162 5.06 4.38 0.69
LA 162 4.81 3.77 1.04

LA won 95 games this year while the Phils won 93.

The Phillies had the better offense, but LA was a lot better at preventing runs. Overall, the difference between the average number of runs scored and allowed per game is a lot bigger for the Dodgers.

Here’s what they did after the All-Star break:


Second Half
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 76 4.74 3.91 0.83
LA 74 4.55 3.69 0.86

The Phillies were 45-31 (.592) in the second-half while LA went 39-35 (.527), coming off of a brilliant first half when they were 56-32 (.636). The Dodgers had a seven game lead in the NL West going into the break. The Phils still scored more runs in the second half, but also closed the gap between the teams in terms of average difference between runs scored and allowed by improving their pitching significantly.

The Phillies offense was down a little in September, and their pitching got a little worse. The Dodgers widened the gap:


September
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 30 4.67 4.13 0.53
LA 27 4.89 3.81 1.07

Here’s what they’ve done over the past ten games, including games in the post-season:


Last ten games (including post-season)
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 10 5.20 4.40 0.80
LA 10 3.30 3.80 -0.50

The LA offense has been slowed a little, perhaps in part by the Cardinals pitching staff. They went just 2-5 in their seven games before they swept the Cards, scoring just 20 runs in those seven games. Despite outscoring the Cards 13-6 in the NLDS, LA has allowed 38 runs over their last ten games and scored just 33.

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games against each other this year:


Vs opponent in 2009
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 7 3.57 3.71 -0.14
LA 7 3.71 3.57 0.14

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games this year during the regular season. The Dodgers won four, outscoring the Phils 26-25.

Ruiz, Ibanez and Stairs were the only three Phillies that had an OPS for the year against the Dodgers that was better than .750.

Ruiz was 8-for-14 with three doubles, seven walks and a homer (571/714/1.000).

Ibanez 8-for-26, also with three doubles and a home run (308/400/538).

Stairs was 2-for-3 with two singles.

At the less good end of the pool, Victorino was 3-for-24 without a walk (125/125/250). Howard 3-for-28 with a double and a home run (107/156/250). Rollins 5-for-28 with a double and a home run (179/207/321).

Loney, Ethier and Blake all hit the Phillies well this season. Loney 11-for-28 with two home runs (393/433/607), Ethier 8-for-29 with three doubles and two home runs (276/323/586) and Blake 8-for-24 with two doubles and a home run (333/308/542). Curious about that to me is that two of those guys (Loney and Ethier) are lefties and one of them, Ethier, was absolutely atrocious against left-handed pitching this year. By absolutely atrocious I mean 194/283/345 over 187 plate appearances in this case. So maybe the lefty-heavy rotation will have more luck with them in the NLCS.

Lefty-killer Kemp was pretty good against the Phils, but not as good as Loney, Ethier and Blake by OPS. He was 9-for-27 with a double and a triple against the Phils (333/379/444).

Not to be forgotten when you consider what the Phillies did against the Dodgers this season is that Manny Ramirez did not have a single plate appearance against them this season. Seemingly less important is that Belliard didn’t as a Dodger, either, although Ron did slug .714 against the Phils as a Nat in ’09, going 4-for-14 with a double, a triple and a home run (286/286/714).

Furcal (222/250/407) and Martin (227/346/273) both hit under .230 against the Phils in ’09.


West obsessed

Still a few games left to play, but it looks almost just about sure the Phillies will be playing the Rockies of the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs. Here’s how the offenses for the three teams compare for the year, since the All-Star break and for the month that just ended:


Season
Team G R R/G
COL 158 788 4.99
LA 159 767 4.82
PHI 158 805 5.09
       

Second Half
COL 70 346 4.94
LA 71 324 4.56
PHI 72 345 4.79
       

September
COL 27 134 4.96
LA 27 132 4.89
PHI 30 140 4.67

The Rockies have been a little better than the Dodgers offensively.

Ignoring the Phillies offense thinking only about which offense the Phils’ pitchers would fare best against, I still like the Phillies chances against the Rockies a little better than the Dodgers given the Phils seem sure to start lefties Lee and Hamels in the first two games of a short set.

Here’s what the Rockies and Dodgers have done against lefties this season — their average, on-base percentage and slugging against them as a team as well as their rate of getting hits, walks, doubles and triples and hitting home runs per 100 plate appearances:


AVG

OBP

SLG

H/100

BB/100

(2B+3B)/100

HR/100

COL

254

334

436

22.0

9.9

5.7

3.2

LA

271

358

427

23.1

10.5

5.2

2.5

The Rockies did hit for a little more power against lefties this season, but the Dodgers got hits and walks at a higher rate. LA’s .358 on-base percentage against lefties is particularly impressive.

Here are the Rockies hitters that have at least 50 plate appearances this year with an OPS of .850 or better against lefties:


Player

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
Iannetta 299 407 597 1.004
Tulowitzki 268 379 530 .909
Fowler 326 379 492 .872
Smith 259 368 500 .868
Gonzalez 294 356 510 .866

Iannetta hasn’t played nearly as much as Torrealba recently. Smith is a left-handed batter who has only had about 18% of his plate appearances against lefties this season. Fowler and Gonzalez can’t both play center field at the same time — Fowler has appeared only as a center fielder this season while Gonzalez has appeared at all three outfield positions, but mostly center and left.

Tulowitzki is just great.

Lefty Brad Hawpe plays right field just about all the time and has hit 252/348/453 against left-handed pitching this year.

Here’s how the list for the Dodgers looks:


Player

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
Kemp 365 431 620 1.052
Blake 317 441 564 1.005
Ramirez 274 384 521 .904
Hudson 295 363 496 .859

Kemp, Blake and Ramirez are all terrors against lefties. Blake has been out with a sore hamstring, but he should be back this weekend.

Furcal and Pierre have both also been good against lefties this season, but don’t quite have their OPS against them up to .850. Furcal is hitting 298/363/454 against them and Pierre 316/412/398.

Loney and Martin both did a great job of getting on base against lefties this year, but with little power. Loney on-based .373 against them and Martin .411.

On the plus side, Andre Ethier had a fantastic year in which he hit 31 home runs and drove in 105 but was terrible against lefties. In 186 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season he hit 189/280/341.

Jamie Moyer is out for the season. That is very disappointing — both because it would have been nice to see him help the team in the post-season and because there was a very good chance he was going to be able to given how well he had been pitching. Moyer looking up from his knees, badly injured, to see if Victorino had caught the ball in center wasn’t really the last memory of his season I was hoping for. It is, however, a good reminder of what he has given this team. After a terrible first two months this year he had thrown to a 4.06 ERA with a 1.22 ratio over his last 108 2/3 innings.

This article says that Myers was available last night, that Park will be back “very quickly” and seems to suggest that Myers may be on the post-season roster.


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