Tag: CC Sabathia

Phils starting to regret not trading for Halladay less and less with each passing day

Quite a show for the Phils and Cliff Lee last night as a relaxed-looking Phillies team jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the Yankees in the World Series. How good was Lee? Well, Utley hit two home runs before the end of the sixth and that inning ended with the Phils up 2-0 and there’s nobody out there who thinks he was the most important player of the game for the Phillies.

In four starts this post-season, Lee has now pitched 33 1/3 innings. That’s pretty amazing itself, but he has also thrown to an 0.54 ERA and an 0.69 ratio. He has struck out 30, walked three and has not allowed a home run.

Ibanez had a big chance against Yankees’ starter CC Sabathia early in the game, but grounded to second with two outs and the bases loaded in the first to turn the Phils away. Utley connected for a third inning home run to put the Phils up 1-0. In the sixth he hit another off of Sabathia to make it 2-0. Ibanez got another chance with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth and this time he delivered a two-run single that put the Phils up 4-0. Victorino and Howard drove in runs in the ninth to extend the lead to 6-0. Lee was in control the whole game, but did allow back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the ninth. It led to a Yankees run, which scored with the help of a throwing error by Rollins on a double-play that wasn’t meant to be, but the game ended 6-1.

The Phils lead the Yankees one game to none in the World Series after taking the opener 6-1.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing an unearned run on six hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out ten.

He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Posada (C/S) (6) Matsui (DH/L) (7) Cano (2B/L) (8) Swisher (RF/S) (9) Cabrera (CF/S).

The Yankees had four players on their bench to start the game, righties Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston and lefties Brett Gardner and Eric Hinske.

Jeter led off for the Yankees in the bottom of the first and struck out swinging 0-2 for the first out. Damon bunted a 1-1 pitch right back to the mound for the second. Lee struck Teixeira out swinging 2-2 to set New York down.

Eleven pitches for Lee in the inning. Eight were strikes.

He struck A-Rod out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the second. Posada was next and he got ahead 3-1 and singled to right. Matsui got ahead 2-0, but Lee threw three strikes in a row to get him swinging for the second out. Cano swung at the first pitch and flew to center.

Lee battled back after getting behind Mastui down 2-0 with a man on base. He threw 16 pitches in the inning and had thrown 27 for the game.

He started the third with a 1-0 lead. Swisher popped to first. Cabrera popped to second. Jeter was swinging first pitch and doubled down the first base line. Damon hit a 1-2 pitch softly to third. Feliz made the play and a strong throw to first, just nipping Damon to end the inning.

Nice play from Feliz ends the inning and keeps Teixeira from coming to the plate with two men on. After throwing 13 pitches in the inning Lee had thrown 40 in the game.

It might not have mattered anyway. Lee struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth and he got some good hitters doing it. Teixeira struck out swinging 2-2. A-Rod struck out swinging 3-2. Posada struck out swinging 2-2.

Lee had struck out seven through four innings. After 16 pitches in the inning he was at 56.

He got ahead of Matsui to start the fifth. He didn’t get the call on a close 1-2 pitch. Or a close 2-2 pitch. Matsui singled into center with the count full. Cano was next and he hit a soft popup right to Rollins. Rollins looked like he was going to let it drop to get the double-play, but instead caught the ball, just barely getting his glove under it. He touched second and threw to first. It didn’t matter since he had caught it, but that wasn’t the call on the field. The call on the field was that it had bounced and Cano beat the relay from second. The umps huddled and got it right — double-play for the Phils. Swisher popped to Werth in shallow right field for the third out.

Lee was up to 69 after 13 pitches in the inning.

He was up 2-0 when he started the sixth. Cabrera flew to right 1-2 for the first out. Jeter got ahead 2-0 and singled into center. Damon got ahead 2-0, too, and he hit a popup to Lee that Lee looked about as bored as you can look flipping out his glove to catch the ball near his waist for the second out. Teixeira hit a 2-0 pitch back up the middle, but Utley took it near second and beat Jeter to the bag to end the inning.

Jeter, Damon and Teixeira all get way ahead of Lee, but Lee gets out of the inning. Seventeen pitches in the inning had him at 86. The way he caught the Damon popup was just weird.

A-Rod grounded to third 1-0 for the first out of the seventh. Posada got ahead 2-0 but grounded softly back to the mound 2-1. Matsui grounded softly to third on a 1-0 pitch to end the inning.

Nine and 95 for Lee.

He started the eighth up 4-0. Cano led off and hit an 0-1 pitch hard back up the middle. Lee caught it behind his back on one hop and threw to first for the first out. Swisher struck out looking 2-2 for the second out. Cabrera flew to center 0-1 to end the inning.

Pretty amazing play by Lee on a ball hit hard. Eleven pitches in the inning. 106. Swisher had good swings in his at-bat, twice fouling the ball off.

Lee started the ninth up 6-0. Jeter led off and dropped a 1-2 pitch in front of Victorino for a single. Damon was next and he lined a single to right, moving Jeter to second. Teixeira hit a ground ball back up the middle. Utley took it near the bag and flipped to Rollins. Rollins didn’t have a chance to get Teixeira at first, but threw off his wrong foot anyway and the ball went into the dugout. Jeter scored to make it 6-1 with Teixeira at second on the error with one out. Lee struck A-Rod out swinging 1-2 and Posada out swinging 0-2 to end the game.

Lee threw 16 pitches in the ninth inning and 122 in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty CC Sabathia went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (DH/L) (7) Francisco (LF/R) (8) Feliz (3B/R) (9) Ruiz (C/R). The righty Francisco is added to the lineup, hitting in-between Ibanez and Feliz. Ibanez is the DH. I bet Francisco is a little surprised to be starting in the World Series. Feliz should probably be hitting behind Ruiz against a lefty, but I’m pretty sure that Manuel isn’t going to start doing that now.

The Phillies started the game with four players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righty Eric Bruntlett. That’s really not that imposing a bench from the right side of the plate, given that Bruntlett hit 171/224/238 for the season.

Rollins started the World Series by bunting Sabathia’s first pitch too hard to first. Teixeira took it for the first out. Victorino popped to second 1-2 for the second out. Utley got behind 1-2, but came back to work a walk. Howard doubled into right field on an 0-1 pitch, moving Utley to third. Werth walked to load the bases. Ibanez got ahead in the count but was swinging 3-1 and grounded out to second to leave the runners stranded.

Sabathia didn’t look very good in the first. He almost had the Phils down in order, but Utley came back from 1-2 to work a walk. Utley doesn’t score from first with two outs on the double by Howard. Sabathia threw 24 pitches in the inning.

It got better for him in the second. Francisco got ahead 3-0 but grounded to third 3-2 for the first out. Feliz grounded to short 0-1 and Ruiz grounded to second 0-1.

Ten pitches in the inning had him at 34 for the game.

Rollins started the third and drove a ball into left-center, but Cabrera tracked it down on the warning track for the first out. Victorino grounded to short 2-2 for the second. Utley was next and got behind 1-2 before he hit a 3-2 pitch just out to right to put the Phillies up 1-0. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to set the Phils down.

First strikeout of the game for Sabathia. Best at-bat for the game for him against Howard right after the home run. Again he gets way ahead of Utley and can’t put him away. After throwing 24 pitches in the inning he was at 58 for the game.

He set the Phils down in order in the fourth. Werth struck out swinging 2-2. Ibanez struck out looking 2-2. Francisco got ahead and flew to center on a 2-0 pitch.

Thirteen pitches in the inning had Sabathia at 71.

Three up, three down again in the fifth. Feliz struck out looking 0-2. Ruiz grounded softly to short on a 1-2 pitch. Rollins popped to third.

Sabathia had set down seven in a row since the Utley home run. Ten pitches in the inning, 81 in the game.

Victorino got ahead 3-0 to start the sixth but flew to center 3-1 for the first out. Utley was next and again got behind in the count, but hit an 0-2 pitch further out to right this time to make it 2-0. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Werth dribbled a 3-1 pitch into right field for a single, but was left stranded when Ibanez followed and struck out swinging 0-2.

So Utley homers, Sabathia sets down eight in a row and then Utley homers again. Third time in three at-bats that Sabathia got way ahead of Utley and didn’t put him away. Twenty-three pitches for Sabathia put him at 104.

Francisco started the seventh and got ahead 3-1 before walking on a 3-2 pitch. Feliz swung at the first pitch and grounded hard to third. Rodriguez started the double-play to clear the bases. Ruiz grounded to third 0-1 to set the Phillies down.

Francisco gets ahead again and finally gets on base. Big no bunt with Feliz, who doesn’t have much chance to get a hit. Nine pitches for Sabathia in the inning, 113 for the game.

Righty Phil Hughes started the eighth for New York. Rollins got ahead 2-0 and hit a ball way out but foul down the right field line before he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Victorino got ahead 3-0 and Rollins stole second as the count went 3-1. Victorino swung at a bad 3-1 pitch and missed, but walked 3-2 to put men on first and second for Utley. Lefty Damaso Marte came in to pitch to Utley. Utley got ahead 2-0 but struck out looking 2-2. Howard flew to right for the second out, Rollins tagged and took third. It brought Werth up with men on first and third and righty David Robertson came in to pitch to him. Werth walked on four pitches to load the bases. The righty Robertson stayed in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez got behind 1-2 but hit a 2-2 pitch through the right side and into the outfield. Rollins and Victorino both scored to put the Phils up 4-0 with men on first and second. Francisco hit a 1-1 pitch hard, but A-Rod made a nice play at third to throw him out and end the inning.

I have no idea why you would not bring lefty Phil Coke in to pitch to Ibanez. Maybe you have to face the big lefties in the ninth, but maybe not, too. Huge hit for Ibanez after he came up empty with the bases loaded in the first.

Righty Brian Bruney started the ninth for New York and got Feliz to pop to second for the first out. Ruiz was next and he ripped a 2-1 pitch into left-center for a double. Rollins followed and hit an inside out dribbler that seeped down the third base line for a single that moved Ruiz to third. Victorino ripped a single to right, scoring Ruiz to make it 5-0 and moving Rollins to second. Lefty Phil Coke came in to pitch to Utley. Utley flew to center 3-2 for the second out, with Rollins moving to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Howard hit a 1-1 pitch into right that rolled to the wall. Rollins scored easily to make it 6-0, but Victorino was thrown out trying to score to end the inning.

Second time in the game something odd happened with a ball hit to right field. In the first, Utley didn’t score from first on a double with two outs and in the ninth the Phillies ran into an out at the plate. The Phillies don’t really do either of those things. They don’t make outs on the bases and Utley is a fantastic base-runner who scores from first on a double with two outs. So maybe right field is a little smaller than they thought?

Twice in the last two innings the lefties in the New York pen got Utley with two men on base. Marte struck him out with two on in the eighth and Coke got him with two men on in the ninth.

Still think not bringing in Coke to pitch to Ibanez in the eighth was the critical mistake in the game for New York.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base in the game. He hit the ball very well in the third, though, and nearly hit one out against Hughes in the eighth but the ball was just foul. Not a fan of stealing when Victorino is ahead 3-0 and the pitcher can’t throw a strike, though.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and an RBI.

Utley was 2-for-4 with a walk and two home runs.

Howard 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

Werth was 1-for-2 and walked twice.

Ibanez was 1-for-4 with an enormous two-run single in the eighth.

Francisco was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Feliz looks awful. 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 5-for-37 in the post-season.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 with a double that started a two-run rally in the ninth for the Phils.

Pedro Martinez faces AJ Burnett tonight in game two.


Play like a dynasty

It’s a little late for any of us to ask the Phillies to play like champions. They’ve been doing that for a while now — they are champions and nothing can ever take that away from this core of outstanding players. But the World Series starts tonight and with it the chance for the Phils to become something more. For this team that has passed every test over the last two years, the challenge in front of them now feels a little like some kind of monstrous mythical beast willed into being just to face them. The New York Yankees. The name just about says it all. But not quite. They are a mighty team with mighty talent, a mighty payroll, 103 wins, home field advantage and baseball history on their side. There isn’t much of a question that the Yankees have been the best team in baseball this year. The good news for the Phillies is that the year isn’t over yet, though, and if you’ve been waiting for someone to help us see just how good the Phils are you won’t have to wait much longer.

Cliff Lee faces CC Sabathia tonight in game one of the World Series.

Sabathia went 19-8 in 34 starts for the Yankees this year, throwing to a 3.37 ERA and a 1.15 ratio over 230 innings. He didn’t allow a lot of hits or home runs and he was fantastic against lefties. They hit 198/198/310 against him.

He was tied for the American League lead in wins, fourth in innings pitched, fourth in ERA and fourth in ratio.

Third in fewest hits allowed per nine innings in the AL, fourth in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings. Not quite as good at preventing walks. This year he walked 2.62 batters per nine innings. He walked about 7.4% of the right-handed batters he faced and about 6.0% of the lefties. 2.62 walks per inning isn’t a bad walk rate at all — it’s just not as good as his rates of preventing hits and home runs. There were 22 players who pitched for the Phillies this year. Fifteen of them had a walk rate that was worse than that. There were also 22 pitchers who pitched for the Yankees and 17 of them had a walk rate that was worse than Sabathia’s.

He’s had four straight years in which he’s thrown at least 190 innings with an ERA under 3.40 and a ratio under 1.20.

Sabathia made one start in the ALDS against the Twins and two starts in the ALCS against the Angels. Between the three games he pitched 22 innings, going 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA and an 0.75 ratio. He’s allowed three walks, one home run and struck out 20.

He’s pitching very well.

The Phillies faced him in game two of the 2008 NLDS when he was pitching for the Brewers. Milwaukee jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a run off of Myers in the top of the first, but the Phils scored five times off of Sabathia in the bottom of the second. Victorino hit a grand slam off of him in the inning and the Phils rolled to a 5-2 win behind seven strong innings from Myers.

Sabathia faced the Phillies on May 24 of this year and allowed three runs over eight innings. The Yankees tied the game at 3-3 with a run off of Lidge in the ninth, but the Phils got an RBI-double from Ruiz off of Tomko in the top of the eleventh and won 4-3.

Ibanez is the Phillie with the most regular season at-bats against Sabathia for his career. He’s 11-for-40 with five extra-base hits and ten strikeouts (275/326/525). Rollins 4-for-11 with two doubles and a triple. Victorino 3-for-7 with three singles, but he had the biggest hit of the game against Sabathia in game two of the NLDS last year. Utley 0-for-3. Howard 3-for-7 with a double. The Phils could sure use Werth tonight, he’s 0-for-6 with three strikeouts against Sabathia for his career. Feliz 0-for-6 with two strikeouts. Ruiz 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.

Ruiz has had a fantastic post-season so far. I’d be trying to start lefties against the Phils, too, but when you do it gives them a big weapon at the bottom of the lineup. Ruiz hit 293/370/524 against lefties this season.

Lee went 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio in 34 starts for the Indians and Phillies in 2009. He doesn’t walk anyone, almost literally when it comes to lefties. He walked six left-handed batters all season. Lefties hit just 241/263/320 against Lee with eleven extra-base hits for the season. Righties had a lot more luck, hitting 283/321/414.

He started games one and four against the Rockies in the NLDS and was fantastic twice. In 16 1/3 innings he pitched to a 1.10 ERA with an 0.86 ratio.

He was also great in his start in game three of the NLCS against the Dodgers. He allowed three singles over eight shutout innings in the game. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out ten.

In his three starts combined for this post-season he has thrown 24 1/3 innings with an 0.74 ERA and an 0.70 ratio.

He made two starts against the Yankees this year, both of which came while he was with Cleveland. On April 16 he allowed a run on seven hits and three walks over six innings as the Indians topped the Yankees 10-1. Posada hit a home run off of him in that game and Swisher had a double. On May 29 he allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks over six innings and the Yankees won the game 3-1. Posada doubled off of Lee in that game.

The Yankees have seen Lee a lot given how long he pitched in the AL. Jeter 11-for-27 (407/467/519). Posada 6-for-21 with two doubles and two home runs (286/273/667). Cano 4-for-18 with four singles (222/263/222). A-Rod 5-for-15 with two home runs and four walks (333/450/733). Swisher 6-for-18 with two doubles (333/458/444). Teixeira 9-for-23 with four doubles and a home run (391/462/696). Cabrera 3-for-11 with a home run. Damon 2-for-22 (091/130/091).

Here are the World Series rosters.


Pitch account

Here’s the number of runs allowed by the Phils and Yankees for 2009 and how that compares with the other teams in the leagues they played in and with all 30 MLB teams combined:

  Runs allowed RA/G League
Rank
MLB Rank
NYY 753 4.65 6 14
PHI 709 4.38 6 7

Neither the Phillies or the Yankees were exceptionally good at preventing runs. Five of the 14 AL teams allowed fewer runs than the Yankees and five of the 16 teams in the NL allowed fewer runs than the Phillies.

By OPS, both teams fared better against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters:

  R OPS against League MLB L OPS against League MLB
NYY .742 6 15 .724 1 3
PHI .769 12 23 .735 4 7

By OPS against by opposing batters, the Yankees were better against left-handed batters than every team in the AL and also better than every team in the NL except for the Dodgers and Giants. Left-handed batters didn’t do a lot against lefty CC Sabathia — they hit just 198/250/310 against him for the season. They fared better against his left-handed rotation-mate Andy Pettitte. Lefties hit 282/321/409 against Pettitte. The New York bullpen had a lot of luck against left-handed batters. Righties Mariano Rivera and Alfredo Aceves were both very good against lefties. They hit 182/328/273 against Rivera and 212/255/305 against Aceves. Lefties also didn’t do much against lefty relievers Phil Coke and Damaso Marte. They hit just 195/218/366 against Coke. Marte missed about a hundred games this season and faced just 28 left-handed batters. The 28 he did face, though, went 3-for-25 with two walks (120/214/280).

Coke did give up a bunch of home runs, though, ten for the year in just 60 innings. Lefties can hit under .200 against them all they want, but I refuse to fear Coke and Marte in this series. If you’re new to the Phillies, the middle of the Phillies order goes Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez 3-4-5-6, which is three good left-handed hitters split up by Werth, who was among the best hitters in baseball this season against left-handed pitching. Among the 132 players in the leagues combined who got at least 150 plate appearances against lefties, Werth’s 1.080 OPS was third best.

The Phillies pitchers, meanwhile, weren’t good at all against right-handed hitting while A-Rod, Teixeira and Posada all hammered righties.

Pitching in the National League, the starters for the Phillies pitched to a better ERA and ratio than the Yankees starters:

 
Starters
  ERA League MLB Ratio League MLB
NYY 4.48 5 13 1.41 5 19
PHI 4.29 7 9 1.34 6 8

For NL teams for the season, the average ERA was 4.30 and the average ratio was 1.37. So the Phils starters had an ERA that was almost the same as the starting pitchers in their league and a ratio that was a little better.

For AL teams for the season, the average ERA was 4.62 and the average ratio was 1.41. So the ERA for the Yankees starting pitchers was better than the league average while their ratio was about the same.

Neither team has outstanding pitching. Sabathia was clearly the best starter for the Yankees on the season and he went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.15 ratio. Cliff Lee went 14-13 between the Phillies and Indians, throwing to a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio.

The Yankees’ bullpen was much better than the bullpen for the Phillies:

 
Relievers
  ERA League MLB Ratio League MLB
NYY 3.91 5 13 1.25 1 1
PHI 3.91 9 14 1.38 8 15

Yankees’ relievers allowed 7.78 hits per nine innings. Of the 30 teams in MLB, that rate was second-best. They also walked just 3.48 batters per nine, which was third-best of 30. What they did do was give up a whole lot of home runs. They allowed 72 in 515 innings, which is 1.26 homers per nine or 30th of the 30 MLB teams for relief pitchers.

A big part of the problem for the Yankees this year in the bullpen home run department was that Sergio Mitre, Brett Tomko, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Michael Dunn and Anthony Claggett combined to allow 27 homers in 117 innings. You don’t want to be holding your breath waiting to see those guys in this series. Chances are good you could see Phil Coke, Chad Gaudin and Damaso Marte, though — those guys combined to allow 16 home runs in 84 1/3 innings in relief.

Among the guys who look likely to be pitching out of the pen for the Yankees, Aceves (1.00), Coke (1.50), Gaudin (2.45) and Marte (2.03) all allowed at least one home run per nine innings while pitching in relief this season.

The Philadelphia pen, meanwhile, was worse overall but gave up a lot more hits and walks but fewer homers. 8.36 hits per nine innings was eleventh-best among the 30 teams and 4.08 walks per nine was just 22nd-best. They did a better job of keeping the ball in the yard, though, giving up just 46 homers in 492 relief innings for a rate of 0.84 per nine innings that was ninth-best among teams in either league.

Pedro will start game two for the Phillies with Hamels starting game three. The linked article also mentions the possibility that Lee will pitch game four. Hope that works, but I would have liked to have seen the Phillies go with a four-man rotation that went Lee, Blanton, Martinez, Hamels. This way does allow Blanton to pitch out of the pen and the Phils could sure use some help in the pen. If he doesn’t pitch in relief he could start game four. I would much rather they just put their relievers like Condrey or Walker on the roster and let the starters start, though. Happ makes a lot more sense out of the pen to me than Blanton.

This suggests that Bastardo and Myers could be on the roster for the World Series. Myers makes more sense to me than Bastardo to be the third lefty in the pen.


Not saying it’s over, but if you’ve been working up the courage to ask what chorizo is I wouldn’t wait much longer

With a win against the Milwaukee Brewers last night, the Phils took a commanding two games to none lead in the best-of-five set. For the second time in two games, the Brewers couldn’t do much of anything against the Phillies starting pitcher. Brett Myers held them to a pair of runs on two hits and three walks over seven innings and the Phils rolled to a 5-2 win. Between Myers and Hamels in the series opener, Phillies starters have allowed two runs on four hits and four walks over 15 innings.

Again all of the Phillies scoring came in one inning. After a three-run third carried the Phils to a win in the opener, last night it was Shane Victorino’s grand slam off of CC Sabathia in the bottom of a five-run second that gave the Phils all the runs they would need. Sabathia, pitching on three days rest for the fourth straight start, finally looked mortal. After the Phillies had tied the game at 1-1 in the second on an RBI-double by Feliz, Brett Myers had an epic at-bat in which Sabathia just couldn’t put the weak-hitting pitcher away with two men out. Myers drew a nine-pitch walk and Rollins followed with a walk of his own. Victorino hit a hanging 1-2 pitch out to left for his first career grand slam.

Victorino wouldn’t have been in position to deliver his game-changing blast had it not been for an aggressive lineup change by Charlie Manuel. Manuel moved the hot Victorino to the two-hole in the order, dropping the slumping Jayson Werth to sixth in the order against the lefty. Victorino hit 282/345/537 against lefties this year, Werth a monster 303/368/652 with 16 home runs in 155 at-bats against them. They both left the game with more than a little bit of momentum, combining to go 5-for-8 with four doubles and a grand slam.

Finally, Brad Lidge returned to the mound a day after throwing 35 pitches to get a shaky save in game one and looked like a different pitcher. He looked completely in control as he threw a perfect ninth to make him 43-for-43 in save chances as a Phillie.

The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers last night, winning 5-2. With the win they take a two games to none lead in the best-of-five NLDS. They have won five games in a row.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks. Both of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four.

He faced a Milwaukee lineup that went (1) Cameron (CF/R) (2) Durham (2B/S) (3) Braun (LF/R) (4) Fielder (1B/L) (5) Hardy (SS/R) (6) Hart (RF/R) (7) Counsell (3B/L) (8) Kendall (C/R). Hall and Weeks on the bench against the righty Myers with Durham at second and Counsell at third.

There were five position players on the bench for Milwaukee to start the game: Mike Rivera (R), Tony Gwynn, Jr (L), Brad Nelson (L), Rickie Weeks (R) and Bill Hall (R).

Myers struck Mike Cameron out on three pitches to start the game. Cameron didn’t swing at any of them. Durham was next and Myers walked him on four pitches. Myers got ahead of Braun before Braun hammered a 1-2 pitch off the wall in left for a double that sent Durham to third. The lefty Fielder was walked intentionally, loading the bases with one out. Myers got behind JJ Hardy 3-0 before he got strike one over, but then delivered ball four low and outside. Hardy’s walk forced in Durham and put the Brewers up 1-0. For reasons unknown, Hart swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and chopped a ground ball back to Myers. Myers threw home and Ruiz made a strong throw to first to complete the double-play.

Hart swings into a double-play the first pitch after Myers walked in a run.

Myers was pretty much awesome after that. Counsell struck out swinging 1-2 to start the second. Kendall flew to right on a 1-2 pitch and Sabathia swung away ahead 2-0 and flew to left. Kendall hit the ball well for the second out, Werth took it in front of the track after a short run.

Eleven pitches in the second for Myers. After throwing 21 in the first, that put him at 32 through two innings.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 third with a 5-1 lead. Cameron got ahead 3-1 but popped to Utley. Durham struck out swinging. Braun fouled out to Ruiz on a 1-1 pitch. Sixteen pitches. 48 for the game.

Fielder grounded out to second on a 1-0 pitch to start the fourth. Hardy fouled out to Howard for the second out. Myers got ahead of Hart 0-2 and then drilled him in the back. First base-runner Myers had allowed since walking Hardy in the first. Counsell grounded to second on an 0-1 pitch to end the frame. Nine pitches put Myers at 57.

Myers quickly got ahead of Kendall 0-2 to start the fifth. Kendall fouled three pitches off before taking ball one and then ball two before grounding to third. Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitch Mitch Stetter and struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch. Cameron swung at the first pitch and popped to short. Fifteen pitches for Myers. 72.

Durham grounded out to second on a 1-1 pitch to start the sixth. Braun dribbled an 0-2 pitch out in font of the plate and Ruiz pounced on it quickly to throw him out at first. Fielder swung at the first pitch and grounded to second. Quick seven pitch inning for Myers put him a 79.

Hardy led off the seventh and doubled to left on a 1-2 pitch. Hart hit a 1-0 pitch into right field for the second out. Hardy tagged up and moved to third. Werth uncorked a strong throw and made the play at third close, but Hardy slid in safely. Counsell grounded a 3-1 pitch to second and Hardy came in to score and cut the lead to 5-2. Kendall grounded to second on a 1-0 pitch. Fifteen pitches for Myers put him at 94 for the game.

Madson started the eighth with the Phils up 5-2. Righty Rickie Weeks hit for the pitcher Eric Gagne to start the inning. He hit a 1-1 pitch hard to short, where Rollins tried to backhand the ball and dropped it. By the time he picked it up he had no chance to get the speedy Weeks and Rollins was charged with an error. Cameron was next and hit a high foul near the stands behind third base. Feliz made the play after a run for the second out. Durham was next and tried to bunt a 1-1 pitch but fouled it off. He chopped the next pitch back to Madson. Madson threw to second, but his throw was high and Weeks came in hard. Weeks was forced at second but Rollins couldn’t double-up Durham at first. Braun singled into left on a 1-0 pitch, moving Durham to second. Romero came in to pitch to Fielder, who was the tying run, and threw one pitch. Fielder shattered his bat and hit a slow, slow roller to second. But he’s really slow hisownself and Utley threw him out easily to end the frame.

Lidge started the ninth up 5-2 after throwing 35 pitches the day before. Hardy lined 1-1 pitch to left for the first out. Hart flew to shallow right for the second out. Lidge got behind Counsell 3-1, but got strike two over before fouling off a pitch and then flying to center to end the game.

Two scoreless innings for the Phillies pen. They allowed one hit, the single to Braun off of Madson in the eighth. Just 12 pitches for Lidge this time. Madson threw 11 and Romero one. You have to believe everyone will be available on Saturday with the off-day today.

The Milwaukee pen went 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks. In the first two games they have now thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and four walks. McClung threw 33 pitches last night, which looks like the only potential issue for Saturday for the Brewers.

The Phillies lineup against lefty CC Sabathia went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Victorino moves up to second in the order with Werth dropped to sixth. Ruiz stays behind the plate despite the fact that Coste caught Myers far more frequently during the regular season. Coste was behind the plate for 628 of the 817 (about 77%) of the batters that Myers faced.

The hitters on the bench to start the game for the Phils were Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Bruntlett (R), Dobbs (L), Jenkins (L) and Stairs (L).

Rollins grounded to short on a 1-1 pitch for the first out in the first with the Phils down 1-0. Victorino was next and he swung at a bad 2-1 pitch that was outside before he ripped a 2-2 pitch down the third base line, off the base and high in the air. Victorino wound up at second with a double. On Sabathia’s first pitch to Utley, Victorino stole third without a throw (Kendall didn’t catch the pitch cleanly). Sabathia got behind Utley 2-1, but threw him a ridiculous pitch that Utley flailed at wildly to even the count at 2-2. Curve ball, maybe? Dunno, but it fooled Utley. Utley struck out on the next pitch for the second out. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning with Victorino stranded at third.

Sabathia mows down the Phils’ lefties with one out and a man on third. Utley can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.

Burrell started the second and flew to left on a 2-1 pitch. Werth was next and he got behind 1-2 before he doubled into left-center. Feliz was next and hit a 1-0 pitch down the left field line. The ball bounced off the wall where the stands come out. Feliz had a double and Werth scored from first to tie the game at 1-1. Ruiz followed and grounded to first for the second out, moving Feliz to third. Myers was next and had the most memorable at-bat of the night, and that’s saying something cause the guy two hitters after him hit a grand slam. Myers swung at the first pitch for strike one and swung at the second pitch for strike two. The next pitch was very, very close, maybe a little high. Myers took it and thought he was out — he even took a half-step towards the dugout. He wasn’t. Two of the next five pitches were balls in the dirt. The other three were foul balls, with the fans cheering wildly every time that Myers fouled one off. Myers walked on the ninth pitch of his at-bat to put men on first and third. Rollins was next and drew a walk on four pitches to load the bases. It brought up Victorino, with righty Seth McClung warming in the Milwaukee pen. Victorino got behind 1-2 and then popped his first career grand slam out to left on a hanging breaking pitch, putting the Phils up 5-1. Utley struck out on three pitches to end the inning.

Sabathia struck out Howard to start the third, making Howard and Utley 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the game. Burrell popped to right on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Werth was next and doubled into left center again, to almost the safe place he had doubled in the first. Werth stole second on the first pitch of Feliz’s at-bat, again without a throw. Feliz struck out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.

Through three innings, Werth and Victorino had combined to go 4-for-4 with three doubles and a grand slam.

Ruiz hit a ground ball back the mound to start the fourth. Sabathia bare-handed and got him at first for the first out. Myers had another long at-bat, flying to center for the second out. Rollins got ahead 3-0 and doubled to left on a 3-1 pitch. Shane Victorino was walked intentionally, putting men on first and second for the lefty Utley (who had struck out twice already). Lefty Mitch Stetter came in to pitch to Howard. Rollins and Victorino pulled off a double-steal, again without a throw, putting men on second and third with two outs for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Four stolen bases through four innings without a throw from Kendall on any of them. Even with a lefty on the mound, walking Victorino to pitch to Utley is a poor idea.

Righty Seth McClung came in to start the fifth. Burrell led off and walked on five pitches. Werth chopped a ball down the line to third. Counsell made a low throw to first, but Fielder scooped it nicely for the first out as Burrell moved to second. Feliz swung at the first pitch and popped to second. Ruiz drew a five-pitch walk. Myers swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and dumped a single into right. The shock may have been too much for Burrell, who couldn’t score from second with two outs. With the bases loaded and two outs, Rollins hammered an 0-1 pitch right at Fielder at first for the third out.

McClung was still on the mound to start the sixth. He got ahead of Victorino 0-2 before Victorino lined a ball hard to center. After a big misplay in game one, Cameron again misplayed the ball. He came in, then went back and had the ball go off his glove. Victorino had a leadoff double, but Cameron should have made the play. The righty McClung stayed in to pitch to Utley and Utley lined to right for the first out. Howard was walked intentionally, putting men on first and second for Burrell. Burrell took three called strikes for the second out. Werth flew to center on a 3-1 pitch for the third out.

Shouse and Parra were both lefties in the Milwaukee pen presumably available to pitch to Utley and Howard. Parra had thrown 15 pitches the day before. Instead they left McClung in — Utley hit the ball hard and they walked Howard, but McClung got the big strikeout of Burrell.

Gagne started the seventh. Feliz got ahead in the count, but grounded a 3-1 pitch to short. Ruiz flew to right on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Dobbs hit for Myers with the righty Gagne on the mound and struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Torres started the eighth. Rollins led off with a single to right, but was caught stealing second for the first out with Victorino at the plate. Fantastic throw by Kendall on an inside fastball to get Rollins. Victorino popped to third for the second out. Utley struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Ripped the ball in the fifth with the bases loaded, but right at Fielder.

Victorino 3-for-4 with two doubles and a grand slam.

Utley 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Hit the ball well in the sixth, but right at the right fielder.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.

Werth 2-for-4 with two doubles.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk.

No game today. Game three is Saturday in Milwaukee.

Chorizo is a Spanish sausage that, according to Wikipedia, won 14-of-81 Sausage Races at Miller Park this season. This makes it a below average sausage-racer (with five meats in the race and 81 races, you would expect each of them to win about 16.2 times a season if the wins were divided equally). Hot dog, apparently, is a force to be reckoned with.

Geoff Jenkins may be the Phillies’ secret weapon if the series comes down to sausage-racing. Jenkins has participated in the event and won his race. If you’re ever in a situation that requires you to guess the winner in a race between a professional athlete and stadium employees, I think you want to go professional athlete at least nine times out of ten.


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