Tag: Chad Durbin

Roy’d rage

Given that there are approximately two people on the planet named Roy who can pitch better than Cole Hamels, you have to wonder what Cole thinks of having both of them on the Phillies and pushing him to the third slot in the rotation. Maybe he doesn’t care at all. Whether he does or not, though, he sure was fantastic yesterday. Hamels allowed a single and a walk over eight shutout innings. It almost wasn’t good enough for a Phillies team struggling to score runs, but Polanco delivered a solo home run in the top of the eleventh and Werth came through with an RBI-double four batters later to get the Phils out with a 2-0 win.

Hamels wasn’t the only pitcher to have a good day. The Phils are counting on Madson and Durbin to bring some stability to the bullpen coming off of injuries. They did just that yesterday as they combined to throw an inning and two-thirds of perfect relief late in the game.

The Phillies are 49-46 on the season after beating the St Louis Cardinals 2-0 in eleven innings yesterday afternoon. The Cards take the series three games to one. The Phils end their eight game road trip at 2-6. They are back in second place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went eight shutout innings, allowing a single and a walk. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.40.

He was perfect through the first four innings, striking out the first five batters he faced.

Matt Holliday singled to left to start the fifth with the game still tied. Allen Craig was next and he popped a ball behind short. Rollins and Victorino converged and Victorino made a nifty sliding catch to record the out. Holliday was way off base and doubled-up easily. Yadier Molina was next and hit a ball to right. Werth came up with the second dazzling defensive play in two batters for the Phils, sliding to catch the ball and holding on with his bare hand to record the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth. He got another nice defensive play in the inning as Howard made a nifty play on a foul ball hit by Wainwright for the second out.

He set St Louis down in order again in the seventh.

He got the first two in the eight before Molina drew a five-pitch walk. Brendan Ryan was next and Hamels struck him out swinging to end the inning.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Hamels had thrown 97 pitches.

Romero started the tenth with Ransom at second after Dobbs hit for Valdez in the top of the inning. He got Rasmus on a ground ball to first and Durbin came in to pitch to righty Albert Pujols. Pujols blasted a ball foul before Durbin struck him out swinging 3-2. Durbin got Holliday on a check-swing roller back to the mound.

Lidge pitched the eleventh with a 2-0 lead. Jay walked and stole second before Molina grounded to first for the first out with Jay holding second. Lefty Skip Schumaker hit for Ryan and hit a ball that Lidge handled for the second out as Jay moved to third. Winn flew to left to end the game.

Romero was pitching for the second day in a row and has thrown four of the last five days. Lidge threw 14 pitches in the game. Everyone else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Adam Wainwright went (1) Polanco (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Rollins hits sixth again with Polanco and Victorino at the top of the lineup. Ibanez back in left against the righty after a day off. Schneider catches the day game after the night game. Valdez at second against the righty with Dobbs not at second. Start number 50 on the year for Valdez. This time last year, if you had set the over/under for number of games that Wilson Valdez would start for the Phils in 2010 at 0.5, I would have taken the under. Ditto for November 26, a day after they signed him this winter.

Polanco led off the game with a single. Victorino popped the first pitch of his at-bat up to third for the first out before Ibanez singled into center and Polanco moved to second. Howard grounded out on a ball handled by Miles and the runners took second and third with two down. Werth struck out swinging 3-2 to leave both men stranded.

Schneider doubled to right with one out in the second. Valdez followed with a ground out to second and Schneider moved to third. Hamels grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Howard started the fourth with a single. Werth followed with a ground ball to third and Howard was forced at second for the first out. Rollins was next and singled to right, putting men on first and second for Schneider. Schneider struck out swinging before Werth took third on a wild pitch by Wainwright. Valdez grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.

Polanco singled with one out in the fifth, but Molina picked him off for the second out. Victorino grounded to second to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Schneider singled with one out in the seventh. Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

Shawon Dunston, look out. Valdez may have lulled Dunston into a false sense of security with his blazing walk rate to start the second half (he has two), but he’s back on the move (15/6) now. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably point out that there’s no way Valdez catches Dunston now that he has six walks. If he didn’t walk again this season he would need to hit into ten more double-plays.

Victorino lined a ball into left with two outs in the eighth. Holliday had troubling picking it up and the error allowed Victorino to take third. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 as tradition dictates.

Howard singled off of lefty Denys Reyes to start the ninth. The Cards brought in righty Jason Motte to pitch to Werth. Werth quickly got behind 0-2 and struck out swinging 1-2. Rollins chopped a ball to first. Pujols fielded, stepped on first and threw to second where Howard was tagged out to complete the double-play.

Motte got Schneider to pop to third for the first out of the tenth. Dobbs hit for Valdez and struck out for the second. Gload hit for Madson and flew to center to end the frame.

Polanco led off the tenth and hit a 1-1 pitch from Kyle McClellan out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino grounded to short for the first out and lefty Trever Miller came in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez walked and moved to second when Howard followed with a single. Righty Fernando Salas came in to pitch to Werth and Werth delivered a double to left, scoring Ibanez to make it 2-0 with men on second and third. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Schneider. Schneider hit a ball back to Salas and Howard was forced at home for the second out. Ransom flew to center to leave the bases loaded.

Polanco was 2-for-5 with a home run in the game. 6-for-18 with a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 319/350/441 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a double yesterday and a big defensive play in the fifth to turn a double-play. 4-for-17 with two doubles in the series. He has one walk in July in 82 at-bats. He’s hitting 253/314/448 for the year and on-basing .265 this month.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-13 with two walks in the series. 248/331/392 on the year.

Howard was 3-for-5 with three singles in yesterday’s game and 7-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run in the series. 303/360/545 on the season.

Werth 1-for-5 with an RBI double yesterday. 5-for-15 with two doubles and a walk on the year. 279/369/498 on the year.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-17 with a walk in the series. 184/267/276 in July. 227/326/373 for the year. He’s hitting .183 in 123 plate appearances since coming off the DL.

Schneider was 2-for-5 with a double yesterday. Ruiz caught the other three games and went 2-for-9 with a double and a walk.

Valdez was 0-for-3 yesterday and 0-for-8 with a walk in the series. 239/267/367 on the year. Ransom was 1-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series and is 5-for-25 with the Phillies this season.

Roy Halladay (10-8, 2.40) faces Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.56) tonight in Philadelphia as the Phils and Rockies start a four-game set. Coming off of two excellent starts in a row, Halladay was hit hard his last time out as he allowed six runs in six innings to the Cubs. Cook threw seven shutout innings against the Reds in his last start, but has a 5.83 ERA in his ten starts away from home this season.

This article suggests that Moyer’s injury could end his career.

Happ and Kendrick will fill out the rotation this weekend against the Rockies.

The Phillies fired Milt Thompson as their hitting coach and replaced him with Greg Gross.


It only feels like they’ve already played 18 days in a row

The second half of the season got off to an ugly start for the Phils as the Cubs took three of four in Chicago. In a season where the offense has been a big part of the problem, the losses had a lot more to do with the number of runs the Phillies allowed than the number they scored. The Phils scored 19 runs in four games and didn’t manage to win either of the games in which they scored six runs.

The pitching, on the other hand, was awful. The Phils gave up 28 runs and twice yielded more than ten. Halladay and Moyer combined to allow 12 runs in nine innings in games one and four of the series. The pitching staff gave up 45 hits in 35 innings in the set and seven of the hits were home runs.

It was the bullpen, though, that I think we need to be the most worried about. Contreras and Baez combined to allow six runs in 1 2/3 innings in game one. Madson gave up a critical homer to Aramis Ramirez in game two and Romero, Herndon and Baez combined to allow five runs on seven hits over two innings in last night’s game.

Here’s what the relievers did overall in the series:

IP H BB R ER ERA Ratio
10 20 4 12 11 9.90 2.40

The Phils don’t have an off-day until August 2. That means game one of the series in Chicago was the first of 18 games in 18 days. That would be a problem if the bullpen was pitching well. They aren’t.

Here’s what the seven guys currently in the pen have done since June 15:

Pitcher IP ERA Ratio
Herndon 9 2/3 3.72 1.66
Contreras 9 11.00 1.78
Lidge 8 2/3 7.27 1.73
Baez 8 1/3 4.32 2.06
Romero 8 3.38 1.50
Durbin 6 3.00 1.50
Madson 3 1/3 5.40 0.90
       
Total 53 5.60 1.66

First of all, David Herndon has been pitching pretty well of late, but he shouldn’t be the guy on the team throwing the most innings. In general, with the exceptions of Contreras and Lidge, the ERAs for the group aren’t that terrible. The ratios are, though, with Madson the only guy in the group with a ratio under 1.50. He’s only thrown 3 1/3 innings since June 15.

The biggest worry is the guys at the top of the list, the pitchers who have been throwing the most, are the guys that are getting blasted. If you combine the numbers for the four guys who have thrown the most innings in relief since June 15 (Lidge, Baez, Contreras and Herndon), they have a 6.21 ERA and a 1.79 ratio in those appearances. Hopefully the return of Durbin and of Madson will mean some relief for those guys. Despite the big home run that Madson allowed to Ramirez in game three of the set, the duo combined to allow just that one run over 3 1/3 innings in the four-game set with the Cubs.


Ancient art

Jamie Moyer has been a treat to watch over this last couple of starts, tossing two gems in three outings. After allowing 11 hits over 22 1/3 innings in those games, Moyer’s got some nifty numbers for the year as well. His ERA for the season is down to 4.30 and he’s sporting a sparkling 1.05 ratio. Compared to the last couple of years, his walk rate is down and his hit rate is down. Opponents are hitting .231 against him for the season. Righties are slugging .375 against him after slugging .496 against him in 2009.

It didn’t help the Phils much last night. For the second game in a row, the Phillies couldn’t get their offense going and wasted a great performance from a starting pitcher. The Phillies have scored two runs in their last two games and have one extra-base hit.

Charlie Manuel didn’t have a particularly good game, either, and that’s two in a row. With a bullpen full of rested righties, Manuel let Chad Durbin pitch too long and then let Romero pitch to a righty with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth in a 2-1 game. Xavier Nady delivered a two-run single into center off of Romero that turned a 2-1 game into a 4-1 game. The lineup is also funky. Manuel had Ibanez hitting seventh last night with a lefty on the mound for the Cubs, with Rollins sixth. On a team that has four regulars on-basing over .400, the lineup featured a leadoff man with a .315 on-base percentage for the season and a two-hitter who ended the day on-basing .335.

The Phillies are 24-15 after losing to the Chicago Cubs 4-1 last night.

Moyer got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven.

He walked Derrek Lee with two outs in the first, but got Marlon Byrd to ground out behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 second.

He struck out Geovany Soto and pitcher Tom Gorzelanny to start the third before Ryan Theriot singled to left. Theriot stole second with Starlin Castro at the plate and came in to score when Castro singled to left on a ball deflected by Polanco. His run put the Cubs up 1-0. Lee grounded to third to leave Castro stranded.

Moyer struck out Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth and a 1-2-3 sixth.

He got the first two in the seventh before Soriano lined a double to left. Jeff Baker was next and he singled into left on another ball deflected by Polanco. Soriano scored to put Chicago up 2-0. Soto grounded to short for the third out.

Durbin pitched the eighth and allowed an infield single to Castro with two outs, but picked him off of first to end the frame.

He was back to start the ninth with the lead cut to 2-1. He walked Lee to start the inning and hit Byrd on the leg with a pitch. It put men on first and second with nobody out and he struck out Ramirez for the first out. Soriano walked, though, and it loaded the bases for lefty Tyler Colvin. Romero came in to pitch to him and struck him out for the second out. Righty Xavier Nady hit for the pitcher Carlos Zambrano and Romero stayed in to pitch to him. Nady singled into center, scoring two runs to make it 4-1 with men on first and second. Romero struck out Koylie Hill to leave both runners stranded.

Nice to see Romero get the strikeout of the lefty with one out and the bases loaded. It sure would have been a swell time to bring a righty in to pitch to the right-handed Nady, though. Baez, Contreras, Figueroa and Herndon were presumably all available in the pen. Given all those righties in the pen, it sure seems like Manuel let Durbin pitch for a while.

Durbin threw 28 pitches in the game, Moyer 12.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Tom Gorzelanny went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Utley returns to the lineup and the three-hole after battling the flu. With the lefty on the mound, Manuel drops Ibanez to seventh in the order and hits Rollins sixth. I think Rollins will be back hitting leadoff soon against both righties and lefties.

The Phillies went in order in the first.

Howard single to start the second. Werth struck out behind him for the first out before Rollins moved him to second with a single. Ibanez flew to center for the second out with Howard tagging and going to third. Ruiz was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Moyer, but Moyer struck out swinging to end the inning.

They went in order in the third, with Theriot making a nice play on an Utley ground ball to rob him of a hit for the third out.

The didn’t have a base runner in the fourth or fifth.

Victorino walked to start the sixth and stole second after Polanco flew to right for the first out. Utley drew a walk, too, and it put men on first and second for Howard. Howard struck out and Werth flew to right.

Ibanez singled with the one out in the seventh and the Phillies down 2-0. Ruiz was next and he smashed a line drive off the body of Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny made a remarkable play to get the ball and flip to first to get Ruiz as Ibanez went to second, but the pitcher had to leave the game. Lefty John Grabow came in to pitch and Francisco hit for Moyer. Francisco struck out swinging to leave Ibanez stranded at second.

Polanco doubled to left with one out in the eighth. Utley followed and blooped a ball over the first baseman’s head and into right for a single that sent Polanco to third. With one out and men on first and third, Grabow was still on the mound to pitch to Howard. Howard hit a ball slowly down the third base line and Grabow made a great play to get to the ball and throw a laser to first to nip Howard for the second out. Polanco scored to cut the lead to 2-1 with Utley going to first. Righty Carlos Zambrano came in and got Werth to ground to short to end the inning.

Righty Carlos Marmol was on the mound to start the ninth with a 4-1 lead. Ibanez walked with one out and Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind him. Gload hit for Romero, coming to the plate as they tying run, but struck out for the second out. Marmol struck Victorino out swinging to end the game.

Victorino was 0-for-4 with a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-12 with three singles and a walk.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a double, which is the only extra-base hit for the Phillies in the last two games. He’s 2-for-his-last-12 with a walk.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a single.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI. He was almost safe on his dribbler off of Grabow in the seventh.

Werth was 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Rollins 1-for-4.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-15 with three singles.

Ruiz was 0-for-2. He’s got just one walk in his last five games, which has his pace for the year down to 91.

Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.49) faces righty Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.49) this afternoon. Blanton has pitched very well early in the game in his three starts and gotten into trouble late in the game. On May 3 he allowed four runs, all of which came in the seventh. On May 8, he allowed three runs, all of which came in the sixth. On May 13 he allowed five — one in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the seventh. Dempster has walked 19 in 56 2/3 innings, but he’s struck out 55 and opponents are hitting .210 against him.


Officials postpone game two of double-header in a last ditch effort to keep Miguel Olivo out of the Hall of Fame

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Roy Halladay is going to be great for the Phillies this year. Not every time out, though. Yesterday was one of the days he wasn’t. Pitching on a cold day in Colorado, Halladay allowed a ton of hits in the game and his pitch count got elevated early. He didn’t go seven innings for the first time in eight starts as a Phillie and the Phils lost the game in extra-innings. Miguel Olivo hit Chad Durbin’s first pitch of the tenth out to left to win the game for the Rockies. It was Olivo’s fifth hit of the day.

The Phillies are 20-13 after losing to the Rockies 4-3 in ten innings yesterday.

Halladay started for the Phils and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on ten hits and two walks. Only two of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out four and threw 121 pitches in the game.

Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith started the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles. Melvin Mora bunted back to the pitcher for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Brad Hawpe was next and he hit a fly ball to left field. Ibanez made a nice sliding catch for the second out, then popped up and tried to throw Gonzalez out tagging from third. Nice play by Ibanez, but Gonzalez was safe and the Rockies led 1-0. Todd Helton walked to put men on first and second for Colorado, but Halladay got Ian Stewart on a fly ball to center to end the inning.

Miguel Olivo led off the second and lined a single to left. Halladay struck Clint Barmes out swinging for the first out and Olivo was gunned down trying to steal with the pitcher Aaron Cook at the plate for the second out. Cook struck out looking to set Colorado down.

Like they did in the first, Gonzalez and Smith singled back-to-back to start the third. Again it put men on first and second for Mora. Mora didn’t bunt this time, though, flying to center for the first out as Gonzalez moved to third. Halladay struck Hawpe out looking at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Helton flew to left for the third out.

Big strikeout of the lefty Hawpe with one out and men on first and third.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Colorado came to bat in the bottom of the fourth. Stewart led off with a single. Olivo was next and drove a ball to left-center for a double. Stewart would have scored easily, but the ball bounced over the wall for a ground rule double. With Barmes at the plate, Halladay delivered a pitch that Hoover didn’t handle cleanly. The ball was in the dirt near the plate and Stewart tried to score from third, but Hoover tagged him out easily for the first out. Olivo went to third with one out. Halladay put Barmes in an 1-2 hole, but lost him and the walk put men on first and third for Cook. Cook bunted back to the mound. Halladay fielded, looked Olivo back to third and threw Cook out as Barmes went to second. Gonzalez grounded to first for the third out.

Two gifts in the frame for the Phils. First the ball bounces over the wall on Olivo’s double, which keeps Stewart from scoring easily. Then Stewart gives them an out trying to score on the ball in the dirt. So no run for Colorado with a single, a double and a walk in the inning.

Four innings, four times the Rockies had gotten their leadoff man on base.

Halladay had a 3-1 lead when he started the fifth. With one out, Eric Young Jr, who took over for Mora at second when Mora had to leave the game in the fourth, hit a ground ball to Utley. Utley should have made the play, but the ball went under his glove for his fourth error of the season. Hawpe moved Young to second with a ground out. With Helton at the plate, Halladay delivered a pitch in the dirt that bounced over Hoover and allowed Young to go to third. Helton lined to Werth to end the inning.

Halladay had thrown 92 pitches through five innings.

Olivo singled to left with one out in the sixth. Barmes flew to center for the second out. Righty Ryan Spilborghs hit for the pitcher Cook and grounded to short for the third out.

Gonzalez started the seventh with a single and Smith lined out to left behind him. Young hit a ball to first. Howard fielded and threw to second, but his throw was in the dirt and Valdez couldn’t handle it. Howard was charged with an error and the Rockies had men on first and second with one out. Hawpe blasted a ball over the head of Werth and Werth fumbled it trying to pick it up. Both runners scored, tying the game at 3-3, with Hawpe safe at third with a triple. The play was originally called a double and an error on Werth, but the scoring was changed to get it wrong. With one out and a man on third, Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Helton. Helton lined to Howard for the second out. His fellow lefty Stewart lined to Utley to end the inning.

Two misplays in the inning for the Phils. The ball that Young hit might not have been a double-play given his speed, but it least should have been one. Howard is really, really awful at throwing the ball. Werth should have been charged with an error but wasn’t.

On the plus side, Romero faced two lefties, including one with a man on third and one out, and got them both out. Line drives or not, it looks good in the box score.

Baez started the eighth. Olivo led off with a single and Barmes bunted him to second. Switch-hitter Dexter Fowler hit for the pitcher Matt Belisle and drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one down, but Baez got Gonzalez on a popup to short and Smith on a fly ball to left.

Nice job by Baez to get two lefties with two men on and one out. The Phils were out of left-handed relievers after Romero left the game.

Durbin pitched the ninth and allowed a two-out walk to Helton. He struck Stewart out behind him to end the inning. Valdez made a nice play to get the first out of the inning on a ground ball hit by Young. Colorado manager Jim Tracy was ejected for arguing that Young was safe on the play.

Durbin came back to start the tenth. Olivo hit his first pitch of the inning out to left to give Colorado a 4-3 win.

Durbin threw 23 pitches in the game, Baez 15 and Romero 11. That’s not going to matter with an off-day today, but might have if they actually played two games yesterday.

The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Cook went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez continues to play short with Rollins on the DL and Castro on the bench. Ruiz stays in the seven-hole despite being one of the hottest hitters in the league.

Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first. It put men on first and second for Howard and Howard hit a double-play ball to Mora at second. Colorado didn’t get two, though, as Mora dropped the ball and had to settle for throwing to first to get Howard as the runners moved to second and third with two down. Werth struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

The Phils started the second losing 1-0. Cook set Ibanez, Ruiz and Valdez down on three ground balls.

Polanco walked with two outs in the third, but Utley grounded to second behind him.

A walk. To Polanco. Number four on the year. It put him two ahead of Moyer for the season. I’m pretty sure (okay, positive) that Polanco is going to walk more than Moyer for the season, but Moyer’s career walk rate is better. Coming into the games yesterday, Moyer had walked in 33 of his 466 career plate appearances (7.1%) and Polanco had walked in 317 of his 6,156 of his (5.1%). So it’s not even very close. Moyer won’t be able to hang in overall walks for long given that Polanco looks sure to get at least 550 more plate appearances this season.

Howard lined a single to right to start the fourth. Werth was next and he lined a ball into center. Gonzalez took an odd angle trying to track it down and the ball rolled past him. Werth had a double and Howard scored to tie the game at 1-1 with Werth on second and nobody out. Ibanez followed with a walk. Ruiz smashed a ball, but right at Stewart who tagged third and threw to second to complete the double-play. With two outs and a man on first, Valdez doubled to right. Ruiz would have scored, but pulled into third limping. He left the game with Hoover coming in to run for him. Halladay got a chance with two outs and men on second and third, but grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.

Polanco doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Utley followed and slapped a ball over Stewart’s head at third for a single. Polanco scored to put the Phils up 2-1. Howard lined a single into center and Utley moved to second. Cook hit Werth on the shoulder and the bases were loaded. Ibanez hit a fly ball to left for the second out, deep enough for Utley to tag and score. 3-1 with two down and men on first and second for Hoover. Hoover struck out looking to leave both runners stranded.

Valdez, Halladay and Victorino went in order in the sixth.

Utley singled with one out in the seventh, but Howard and Werth were retired behind him.

Valdez singled to right with two outs in the eighth and the game now tied at 3-3. With righty Matt Belisle on the mound, Dobbs hit for Romero and struck out to drop his average on the year to .179.

The Phils went in order in the ninth.

Howard singled to start the tenth. Werth was next and hit a ground ball to third. Howard was forced at second for the first out. Ibanez hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Victorino was 0-for-5.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk and a double.

Utley 3-for-5 with an RBI.

Howard 3-for-5.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a double and four men left on base.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-2 and left the game early. Hoover was 0-for-2 and struck out twice.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a double.

Ruiz is day-to-day with a sprained knee. Things would have gotten pretty interesting if Hoover had gotten hurt yesterday. Even if he hadn’t he probably would have been pretty tired by the end of game two had it happened.

Lidge has been sent back to Philadelphia to have his right elbow examined.

It turns out to be easier to argue that you’re not stealing signs before they photograph your bullpen coach with binoculars.

No game today. The Phils play the Brewers on Friday.


I-really-wish-it-were-so effect

Is Placido Polanco going to get more extra-base hits playing in Citizens Bank? Well, over the past three years the Phillies overall haven’t gotten that many more extra-base hits at Citizens Bank Park than they have hitting away from it. Here’s the percentage of plate appearances that Phillies hitters have gotten extra-base hits at home and away from home since the 2007 season:

  XBH PA % of PA
XBH
2009 Home 286 3096 9.2
2009 Away 285 3242 8.8
       
2008 Home 266 3091 8.6
2008 Away 275 3182 8.6
       
2007 Home 283 3159 9.0
2007 Away 297 3377 8.8

So in 2009, Phillies batters got extra-base hits in about 0.4% more of their plate appearances at home than on the road. In 2008 the rate of getting extra-base hits per plate appearance was actually a tiny bit better on the road and in 2007 it was about 0.2% better at home.

Let’s say that averages out to about 0.2% better overall. That’s one more extra-base hit every 500 plate appearances.

For his career, Polanco has 399 extra-base hits in 6,017 plate appearances (6.63%). He got 675 plate appearances last year — based on his career rate of getting extra-base hits we would have expected 45 extra-base hits. That’s exactly what he had, hitting 31 doubles, four triples and ten home runs. If he had gotten extra-base hits in 0.2 percent more of his plate appearances we would have expected him to have 46 extra-base hits instead of 45. That’s not really a huge difference.

The curious thing, though, is that Polanco has monster numbers at Citizens Bank park in a pretty large number of at-bats. In 381 plate appearances he has hit 334/386/485 with 12 home runs. He only has 90 home runs in his career, so 12 is a lot. He’s gotten 6.3% of his career plate appearances at Citizens Bank Park and he has hit 13.3% of his career homers.

For his career, he has extra-base hits in 7.3% of his PA at Citizens Bank Park — that would be 49 extra-base hits over 675 at-bats instead of 45.

Polanco hit a career-high 17 home runs playing for the Phillies in 2004 — ten of them at Citizens Bank Park and seven on the road. He has hit 40 home runs in five seasons and 2,991 plate appearances since.

So what’s it all mean? Well, we’ll see. My guess is that what you see is what you get with Polanco and we shouldn’t expect big things from the move to Citizens Bank Park. If you know a magic park that makes him walk more, though, now’s the time to speak up.

The Phils topped the Yankees 6-2 in spring training action yesterday. Blanton got the start and allowed two runs over five innings. Contreras followed with two scoreless frames and Escalona and Durbin each pitched a scoreless inning. After walking two in his inning, Escalona now has an 11.25 ERA and a 2.75 ratio in four spring training appearances. Werth provided the big blow of the game, a three-run homer in the fifth. Rollins and Howard each had two hits.

This says that Romero hopes to pitch in the series against the Nationals that starts April 12. It also says that Polanco may play tomorrow and Utley has not played since Monday with an upper respiratory infection.

Phils are off today. Happ will pitch in a minor league game.

Sports betting odds and lines available at Bodog.com.


First look

Earlier this month I wrote about how important it was for Phillies pitchers not to walk a batter with the bases empty. Phillies hitters also drive in a lot more runs in their chances to hit with runners on base than in their chances with the bases empty. If you had asked me who the Phillies hitters whose rate of driving in runs increased the most last year when they come to the plate with a runner on first instead of with the bases empty, I would have said that it’s the home run hitters because when they hit a home run with a man on first it drives in twice as many runs as when they hit a home run with the bases empty.

I would have been wrong, of course. In terms of their RBI per plate appearance it’s the guys who hit very few home runs with the bases empty who saw their rate of RBI per plate appearances rise the most when hitting with a man on first base.

Here’s the rate of RBI per plate appearance with the bases empty for the eight Phillies regulars for 2009 as well as the rates for Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs:


Bases Empty
Player RBI per PA
Ibanez .066
Francisco .065
Howard .060
Werth .056
Utley .054
Dobbs .042
Rollins .023
Ruiz .022
Feliz .014
Victorino .014

Since you’re going to run into a lot of problems if you try to get an RBI with the bases empty without hitting a home run, you would probably think that the list should be just about the same as the list of the number of home runs per plate appearance. And it’s pretty close, but not identical. Ibanez, Francisco, Howard, Werth and Utley are the top five in the list above. For the same ten players the leaders on the list of plate appearances per home runs (regardless of who was on base) for 2009 went Howard, Ibanez, Werth, Francisco, Utley. Among players that had more than 50 plate appearances last year, none of those guys was the leaders in home run rate. Guesses? It might take a while, but the best rate for the year was John Mayberry. Mayberry hit four home runs in 60 plate appearances or one every 15 times he came to the dish. Had he gotten Howard’s 703 plate appearances and hit home runs at that rate he would have hit about 47 (Howard hit 45). There’s a chance that might not even have happened.

Here are the rates for RBI per plate appearance with a runner on first for 2009 for the same ten players:


Man on first
Player RBI per PA
Ibanez .179
Howard .174
Ruiz .143
Utley .142
Francisco .136
Werth .117
Rollins .091
Feliz .086
Dobbs .074
Victorino .049

Everyone’s rate is up. Overall for the team the average rate for RBI per plate appearance was .036 with the bases empty and .101 with a man on first. .101 is about 2.8 times as much as .036.

The point, though, is that some rates are up a whole lot more than others. The chart below shows, for each of the ten players, the rate of RBI per plate appearance with a runner on first compared to the player’s rate of RBI per plate appearance with the bases empty.

Player RBI per PA with man on 1B/RBI per PA with
the bases empty
Ruiz 6.40
Feliz 6.03
Rollins 3.97
Victorino 3.52
Howard 2.89
Ibanez 2.72
Utley 2.63
Francisco 2.11
Werth 2.10
Dobbs 1.76

So, for example, Carlos Ruiz got about 6.4 times as many RBI per plate appearance when he was hitting with a man on first last year as when he was hitting with the bases empty. At the bottom of the list, Greg Dobbs got just 1.76 times as many. Generally speaking, it wasn’t the guys who hit a lot of home runs who saw their RBI per plate appearance jump the most with a man on first. It’s the guys whose rates of getting RBI with the bases empty were tiny. The top four guys on that list were at the bottom of the list of RBI per plate appearance with the bases empty.

The Phillies avoided arbitration with Chad Durbin. Durbin and the Phils agreed to a one-year, $2.125 million contract. Victorino, Blanton and Ruiz are the team’s three remaining arbitration-eligible players.


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