The Phils offense has struggled horribly this season, but they delivered in a big way last night, picking up the bullpen as the Phils rallied late to top the Cubs 6-4. The Phillies jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the game and cruised behind another strong start by Vance Worley until the Cubs pounded out three runs against the pen in the top of the eighth. Polanco, who had already provided two outstanding defensive plays in the game at third, delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the inning that put the Phils on top to stay.
It was just the second win of the year for the Phillies in a game where they had allowed more than two runs.
The starting pitching for the Phillies has been outstanding lately. Worley was fantastic last night, holding the Cubs to a run over seven innings and giving the Phils their eleventh quality start in their last 12 games. Over those 12 games, their starters have thrown to a 2.69 ERA with a 1.13 ratio. The Phils have gone 6-6.
The bullpen is a different story. Last night’s game saw Bastardo and Qualls combine to blow a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning. In the frame, Bastardo got an early hook and Qualls stayed in long enough to give up a game-tying homer to a left-handed hitter. Over the last nine games, the bullpen has allowed 15 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings (6.53 ERA). Bastardo still hasn’t gotten more than two outs in any appearance for the year.
The Phillies are 11-12 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 6-4 last night. The teams split the four-game series. The Phillies have won four of their last six.
Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.97.
Worley has made five starts on the season and allowed more than one run in one of them.
David DeJesus was the first batter of the game and he hammered a 2-2 pitch off the wall in right. The ball rolled right to Pence and Pence made a perfect throw to second to nail DeJesus for the first out. Worley got the next two hitters behind him.
Worley started the second with a 4-0 lead and set the Cubs down in order.
He got Blake DeWitt, Geovany Soto and pitcher Chris Volstad in order in the third.
Worley struck DeJesus out looking for the first out in the fourth. The speedy Tony Campana was next and he put down a pretty bunt, but Polanco made a great play to field and throw to first in time to nip Campana for the second out. Starlin Castro followed with a single on a ball deflected by Rollins. It brought lefty Bryan LaHair to the plate for Chicago and he slapped a ball down the left field line, just out of the reach of a diving Polanco for a double that moved Castro up to third. Alfonso Soriano flew to right for the third out.
Great play by Polanco on the bunt by Campana helps keep the Cubs off the board. Campana was 5-for-14 in the series with three stolen bases and six runs scored.
Worley walked Ian Stewart to start the fifth. DeWitt was next and he chopped a ball in-between first and second. Wigginton made a sliding backhand attempt to field the ball, but it went off of his glove for an error that put men on first and second with nobody out. Worley struck out Soto for the first out before Volstad bunted the runners up to second and third with the second. DeJesus flew to center to leave both runners stranded.
You want to avoid walking the leadoff man, especially with a four-run lead, but Worley works around that and the error by Wigginton nicely.
Worley threw a 1-2-3 sixth.
Soriano doubled to right to start the seventh and Worley walked Stewart behind him. DeWitt was next and singled into center, loading the bases for Soto. Soto hit a ball to third. Polanco fielded, tagged third and threw to first to complete the double-play. Soriano scored from third to make it 4-1. With two down and a man on second, righty Reed Johnson hit for Volstad. Worley got Johnson on a ground ball to first to end the frame.
Another big defensive play by Polanco, this time starting a critical double-play. Worley again walks Stewart and again handles Soto in a big situation.
Bastardo started the eighth. He got DeJesus to foul out to Ruiz for the first out before walking Campana on four pitches. Qualls came in to pitch to the righty Castro. Campana stole second before Castro singled into left, scoring Campana to make it 4-2. LaHair was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to right-center, tying the game at 4-4. Qualls got Soriano on a fly ball to left for the second out before Stewart singled to center. DeWitt flew to left to end the frame.
Bastardo gets the quick hook after walking Campana on four pitches, then Qualls gives up the homer to the lefty LaHair with Savery presumably available in the pen. For the year, lefties are hitting 333/375/688 against Qualls and righties are hitting 118/167/167. In 2011, lefties hit 320/381/452 against Qualls and righties 218/255/257. Qualls should not be pitching against left-handed hitters as the tying run late in the game a whole lot.
Bastardo walking Campana on four pitches is bad, but the Phils still haven’t let him get more than two outs in an appearance yet this year. He does have a 2.40 ratio, having allowed four hits and four walks over 3 1/3, which is kinda high.
Papelbon started the ninth with a 6-4 lead. He walked the leadoff hitter Stewart, but got the next three, striking Campana out looking 0-2 to end the game.
Eighth save of the year for Papelbon, who lowered his ERA on the season to 0.90. He’s allowed one run in ten innings on six hits and three walks.
Two innings for the pen in which they are charged with three runs on three hits and two walks. Papelbon threw 16 pitches. Bastardo and Qualls were both under ten.
The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Wigginton (6) Nix (7) Ruiz (8) Orr. Rollins continues to lead off with Polanco hitting second. Wigginton at first and Nix in left with Pierre on the bench against the righty. Orr plays second with Galvis on the bench.
Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a single. Polanco struck out for the first out before Victorino moved Rollins up to second with a single. Pence singled into center, scoring Rollins to put the Phils up 1-0 and moving Victorino to second. Wigginton strucko out for the second out before a walk to Nix loaded the bases for Ruiz. Ruiz singled into right, scoring Victorino and Pence to make it 3-0. With men on first and second, Orr lined a single into right, scoring Nix to make it 4-0. DeJesus’s throw from right wasn’t close to getting Nix, but Soto didn’t handle it cleanly and the error allowed Orr to move up to second. Worley grounded to short for the third out.
Polanco singled with one out in the second, but Victorino struck out for the second out and Pence grounded to short to end the inning.
Ruiz walked with two outs in the third, but Orr grounded back to the pitcher to set the Phillies down.
The Phils went in order in the fourth.
Wigginton singled with two outs in the fifth, but Nix lined to right behind him for the third out.
Orr bunted for a single with one out in the sixth. Worley bunted him to second with the first out. Orr moved up to third on a balk before Rollins walked, putting runners on first and third for Polanco. Polanco flew to center to end the inning.
Righty Shawn Camp started the seventh for the Cubs with the lead cut to 4-1. Wigginton singled with two outs. Lefty Scott Maine came in to pitch to Nix. Mayberry hit for Nix and struck out swinging to leave Wigginton at first.
Mayberry’s average drops to .204 after striking out against the lefty. 1-for-10 as a pinch-hitter with six strikeouts. Phillies pinch-hitters overall are 3-for-30 on the year with three singles and a walk (100/156/100).
It was 4-4 when the Phillies hit in the eighth. With one out and the lefty Maine still on the mound for the Cubs, Pierre hit for Qualls and was hit by a pitch. Galvis popped out out foul for the second out before righty Rafael Dolis came in to pitch to Rollins. Rollins singled into right, moving Pierre up to third. Polanco was next and lined a double into left, scoring both runners to put the Phils on top 6-4. Victorino grounded hard to second to leave Polanco stranded.
Pierre pinch-hits against the lefty and gets on base. Thome and Schneider, both lefties, were the other guys on the bench for the Phils at the time with Thome unavailable.
Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game with a big hit in the eighth-inning rally. 4-for-15 with a double and two walks in the four-game set. 4-for-11 with a double and a 364/462/455 line in three games since his insertion into the leadoff spot. He’s still hitting a miserable 235/283/271 for the year.
Polanco was 2-for-5 with a double, the only-extra base hit of the game for the Phils, and two big RBI. He also made two big defensive plays in the game, one on the bunt by Campana and the other starting the double-play on the ball hit by Soto with the bases loaded. He was 4-for-13 with a double in the series. He’s 7-for-his-last-16 with two walks and two doubles. 250/299/292 for the year.
Victorino 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-17 with a double in the series. He’s 4-for-his-last-38 (105/128/289 over 39 PA). 228/276/380 for the year.
Pence 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game and 3-for-16 with a double in the series. 203/239/313 over his last 67 PA. 253/293/391 for the year.
Wigginton 2-for-4 in the game with his third error of the season, which is the most of anyone on the squad. Nix and Wigginton have combined to make five errors defensively for the Phils so far. Wigginton was 5-for-13 with a walk and a homer in the series. 322/379/475 for the year. He went 1-for-9 with a single to start the season and has hit 360/411/540 in 56 plate appearances since.
Nix was 0-for-2 with a walk in the game. 0-for-6 with three walks in the series. 276/382/517 for the year. For the season, he has five walks in 34 plate appearances, which is about 14.7% of his PA. Coming into the season he had walked in about 5.7% of his plate appearances for his career. His walk rate is the best of anyone on the team except for Blanton — Blanton has walked in two of nine plate appearances to this point. Nix leads the team in on-base percentage. He’s also leading the team in isolated power at .241. The Phillies ought to play him a whole lot as long as he’s going to lead the team in both on-base percentage and isolated power.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. 4-for-11 with a walk, a double, a home run and five RBI in the set. 313/343/516 for the year.
Orr 2-for-3 with an RBI in the game and 2-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 286/318/476 for the season. Galvis was 1-for-8 with two strikeouts in the set and is at 191/225/294 for the year.
Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.73) faces righty Brandon Beachy (2-1, 1.05) tonight as the Phils face the Braves in Atlanta. Since allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Marlins his first start of the season, Hamels is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA and an 0.86 ratio. Beachy has allowed two earned runs in 20 2/3 innings (0.87 ERA) over his last three starts. He’s allowed one extra-base hit to a right-handed hitter so far this season (Matt Kemp homered off of him in his most recent start).