Tag: Chad Qualls

Fans looking for some kind of historian to explain what exactly happened last night, but some suggest it might have been a rally

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).


Second time’s the charm

Vance Worley gave the Phils their second fantastic start in two games last night and this time the Phils got the win, beating the Padres 2-0 in the first game of their set in San Diego. Worley struck out 11 in seven innings and was backed by scoreless frames from Qualls and Papelbon.

Over their last two games, the Phillies have gotten 17 scoreless innings from their starting pitchers in which they have struck out 18. Phillies starting pitchers for the year have combined to throw to a 2.32 ERA with a 1.00 ratio and averaged 6.87 innings per start.

Juan Pierre did his very best to jump start the offense for the Phils in the game, walking, singling and tripling in his first three plate appearances, but the Phillies still had a whole bunch of problems scoring runs. They got one in the first on a walk, three hits and an error. The other run came in the ninth and wouldn’t have scored without the help of a passed ball, thanks to back-to-back strikeouts followed by a ground out after the Phils put a runner on third with nobody out.

Six wins on the year for the Phillies, who still haven’t won a game in which they’ve allowed more than two runs. They’ve allowed a total of six runs in the games that they’ve won (zero twice, one twice and two twice). In the seven games they’ve lost, they’ve allowed a total of 28 runs, or four runs per game.

The Phillies are 6-7 on the season after beating the San Diego Padres 2-0 last night. They lead the series one game to none.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple. He struck out 11.

His game score for the start was 77, a mark he equaled in two of his starts in 2011. July 4 against the Marlins and July 26 against the Giants.

He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead and struck out the side. Will Venable went down swinging. Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley both struck out looking.

Lefty Jeremy Hermida led off the second with a triple to center. Lefty Yonder Alonso lined to third for the first out. Worley struck lefty John Baker out looking 1-2 for the second. Righty Jason Bartlett grounded to second to end the inning.

No run for the Padres despite the leadoff triple.

Worley struck out pitcher Joe Wieland in a 1-2-3 third.

He struck Maybin out to start the fourth before walking Headley on five pitches. Hermida was next and he grounded to third, with Headley forced at second for the second out. Alonso was next and he walked on five pitches as well, but Worley got Baker on a ground ball to second to set the Padres down.

Two walks in the inning for Worley, but he works around them. It’s obviously very early, but Worley’s walk rate is up for the year so far. Through three starts he’s walked 12% of the left-handed hitters he’s faced compared to 8.7% in 2011.

Worley struck out Bartlett and Hudson in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Venable lined a single to center to start the sixth. Maybin bunted him to second with the first out before Headley singled in to left, moving Venable up to third. Hermida struck out swinging 3-2 as Headley took off for second. Ruiz threw to second. Rollins took the throw with Venable coming home. Rollins made a strong throw home and Ruiz applied the tag to get Venable and end the inning.

No run for the Padres after putting men on first and third with one out.

Worley got the first two to start the seventh before walking Bartlett on a 3-2 pitch. Hudson moved Bartlett to third with a single to center. Kotsay struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch and was infuriated because the ball was so far outside.

Worley got a call on the 3-2 pitch to Kotsay, but it’s still a great job and a huge at-bat for him after the Padres put the go-ahead run on base.

Qualls pitched the eighth with the Phils still up a run. He walked Headley on a 3-2 pitch with two outs and Headley stole second with Hermida at the plate. Hermida grounded to second to leave Headley stranded.

Fifth outing of the year for Qualls, who still has not been charged with a run in five scoreless innings. Opponents are hitting .167 against him.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 2-0 lead and walked Alonso on a 3-2 pitch. Baker was next, though, and Papelbon got him to ground into a double-play that cleared the bases. He struck Bartlett out looking 2-2 to end the game.

Sixth outing and fourth save for Papelbon. He’s allowed one run over six innings on the homer he allowed to Kearns.

Qualls threw 19 pitches in the game and Papelbon 14. They combined to throw two scoreless innings, allowing two walks and no hits.

The Phillies lineup against righty Joe Wieland went (1) Pierre (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Victorino (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Polanco and Mayberry back in the lineup against the righty. Lefties Nix and Thome on the bench as well as the righty Wigginton. Polanco continues to hit second, even against the righty. Too high.

Pierre was the first hitter of the game and walked on five pitches. Polanco was next and he singled to left with Pierre moving up to third on an error by Venable. It put runners on the corners for Rollins and Rollins hit a ball well to right for the first out. Pierre tagged and scored from third, putting the Phils on top 1-0. Pence was next and he singled into center, moving Polanco up to second. Victorino followed that with another hit, also a single to center, which loaded the bases for Mayberry with one out. Mayberry popped to second on a 3-2 pitch for the second out with all of the runners holding. Ruiz grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

First things first: Pierre walked, number one on the season, so my official guess of April 27 for his first walk proves to be a bust. Mayberry is the other thing there, popping out with the bases loaded and one out to continue a miserable start to the season for him.

The Phillies score in the frame. Given the recent history, that’s something. Still, on a walk, three hits and an error they can only come up with one run.

Pierre and Polanco get it done at the top of the order, coming through with a walk and a single to start the rally.

Galvis and Worley both struck out to start the second before Pierre reached on an infield single. Polanco grounded to short for the third out.

Pierre on base again for the second time in two innings.

Rollins and Pence struck out as the Phils went in order in the third.

They went 1-2-3 in the fourth as well.

Pierre lined a triple down the left field line with one out in the fifth. Polanco was next and he grounded hard to third for the first out, with Pierre holding third. Rollins struck out swinging to leave Pierre at third.

Pierre triples, so my official guess of the 14th of Never-everness for his first extra-base hit also proves to be a bust.

No run for the Phillies after the one-out triple by Pierre. Polanco hit the ball hard right at Headley, so Pierre had no chance to score. Kind of a tough break for Polanco, who could just a couple of breaks at this point. Three plate appearances for Pierre at this point in the game and he has a walk, a single and a triple.

Mayberry struck out as the Phils went in order in the sixth.

Righty Luke Gregerson set the Phils down in order in the seventh, striking out Ruiz for the first out.

Righty Andrew Cashner got Pierre, Polanco and Rollins in order in the eighth.

Righty Ernesto Frieri started the ninth. Pence led off the inning and walked on four pitches. Victorino moved him to third with a single to left. Victorino stole second with Mayberry at the plate, putting men on second and third. The 0-2 pitch to Mayberry was outside and off the catcher’s foot. It rolled way away, allowing Pence to score from third (2-0) and Victorino to move up to third. Mayberry struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Ruiz struck out looking 0-2 for the second. Galvis flew to left to set the Phillies down.

The Phils manage a run, but again Mayberry comes up empty, striking out with a runner on third for the first out. Ruiz couldn’t get it done, either, striking out with a runner on third for the second out.

Pierre had a monster game, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple to up his line to 333/353/394.

Polanco 1-for-4 to up his average to .186. 186/222/209 on the year.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a big sac fly and two strikeouts. He’s 1-for-his-last-15.

Pence 1-for-3 with a walk.

Victorino 2-for-4 with two singles and a stolen base. He has stolen six bases without being caught.

Mayberry was miserable, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and four men left on base. In the first he popped to second with the bases loaded and one out. In the ninth he struck out with nobody out and a runner on third. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He’s hitting .206 since going 4-for-6 to start the year.

Galvis 0-for-4 to drop his average to .216.

Hamels (1-1, 3.65) faces righty Edinson Volquez (0-1, 4.24) tonight. Hamels was better in his most recent start than his first, holding the Mets to two runs over seven innings. He has 19 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings for the season. Volquez struggled in his most recent start, which came against the Dodgers, allowing four runs over five innings. He has walked 12 in 17 innings for the year.


Joe who?

Blanton, apparently. I think I remember something about a guy with a name like that from the 2008 World Series. Not positive, though.

After solid performances with the Phillies in 2008 and 2009, Joe Blanton has been pretty awful since. In 2010 and 2011 combined, Blanton appeared in 40 games for the Phillies, throwing to an ugly 4.85 ERA with an ugly 1.43 ratio over 217 innings.

Last night he made his first start of 2012 and was very good, holding the Marlins to a run on three hits over seven innings. Backed by solo homers from Victorino and Wigginton, it was enough to get the Phils a win.

The Phillies are 3-3 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. Over the last two games of the series, the Phillies outscored Miami 10-2.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three and dropped his ERA to 2.35 after two appearances.

Switch-hitter Jose Reyes was the first hitter of the game and grounded to second. Another switch-hitter, Emilio Bonifacio was next and he grounded to short. Righty Hanley Ramirez flew to Victorino for the third out.

Blanton got righty Giancarlo Stanton to ground to short to start the second. Lefty Logan Morrison was next and he flew to left for the second out. Blanton struck righty Gaby Sanchez out looking to set the Fish down.

Righty Omar Infante led off the top of the third and flew to center, but righty John Buck followed with a double to left. The pitcher Mark Buehrle was next and he hit a ball up the middle. Galvis made a fantastic play, diving to his right, fielding and throwing to first for the second out as Buck moved up to third. Reyes lined to right where the ball was caught by a sliding Pence to end the frame and leave Buck at third.

Two nice plays for the Phils in the inning. Galvis’s was a little more spectacular. He got a nice pick from Wigginton on a throw in the dirt as well.

Blanton had thrown 37 pitches through three innings.

He set the Marlins down in order in the fourth, getting Bonifacio, Ramirez and Stanton.

Blanton had a 2-0 lead when he started the fifth. He got the first two hitters before Infante doubled into left-center. Buck was next and he hit a ball into shallow right-center. Pence made a sliding effort, but didn’t come up with it. Infante scored from second to cut the lead to 2-1. Blanton struck Buehrle out to leave Buck at first.

Reyes started the sixth and hit a ball hard to second that Galvis couldn’t handle for an error. Bonifacio followed with a ball hit to short, where Rollins forced Reyes out at second but couldn’t get the relay to first in time to get Bonifacio. Blanton walked Ramirez on a 3-1 pitch, putting men on first and second for Stanton. Stanton hit a ball very hard, but Galvis made a great play to take it for the second out. Morrison grounded out softly to Blanton to leave both runners stranded.

Blanton set the Marlins down in order in the seventh, getting Sanchez and Infante on popups and striking Buck out swinging.

Qualls started the eighth with a 3-1 lead, making his third appearance of the year and pitching for the second straight day. Pitcher Steve Cishek was due to lead off, but lefty Greg Dobbs pinch-hit for him and Qualls set him down on a ground ball to first. Reyes followed and grounded out to third before Bonifacio reached on an infield single and Ramirez walked behind him. It put me on first and second for Stanton, but Qualls struck him out looking at a pitch that sure looked way out of the strike zone to me to leave both runners stranded.

Three outings for Qualls in which he has not been charged with a run. Two hits and a walk over three scoreless innings. He got a lot of help with the call on the 3-2 pitch to Stanton.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils up two runs. Morrison led off and lined a single to left. Sanchez popped out to Ruiz before Infante moved Morrison to second with a single into center. It brought Buck to the plate with the tying runs on base, but Papelbon got Buck to ground to Rollins and the Phils turned the double-play to end the game.

Second save of the year for Papelbon, who has allowed a run in three innings over three appearances.

Two scoreless innings for the pen. Qualls and Papelbon combine to allow three hits and a walk, but keep the Marlins off the board. Qualls threw 22 pitches in the game and Papelbon 12. Qualls has pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Mark Buehrle went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Mayberry (6) Wigginton (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Wigginton plays first with Mayberry in left. Victorino moves up from five to hit leadoff against the lefty. Hitting second in the order is still too high for Polanco, but it makes more sense against a lefty than a righty. Either Victorino or Pence is the best hitter in the lineup against left-handed pitching. Not sure you want either of them leading off.

The Phils went in order in the first and again in the second. Mayberry and Rollins both struck out, Wigginton popped to first and Pence, Victorino and Polanco went down on ground balls.

Ruiz, Galvis and Blanton all went down on ground balls in the third.

Victorino led off the fourth and hit an 0-2 pitch well out to left, putting the Phils on top 1-0. Polanco was next and he hit the ball well to, but Stanton took it in deep right for the first out. Rollins followed that with a single to left. Pence was next and he doubled into the left field corner. The relay throw got away in the infield and Rollins tried to score from third, but Infante got to the ball and threw home in time to get Rollins for the second out. Mayberry followed with another hit, lining a single into left to score Pence and put the Phils up 2-0. Wigginton went down on a fly ball to left to leave Mayberry at first.

More aggressive play from Phils running the bases, but this time it costs a run as Rollins tries to score from third and is thrown out ahead of the single by Mayberry.

Ruiz, Galvis and Blanton went in order in the fifth with the lead cut to 2-1.

Victorino tried to bunt for a hit to start the sixth, but Ramirez threw him out for the first out. Polanco followed that with a single into center. Rollins popped to second before Pence moved Polanco up to second with a single to right. Mayberry popped to Reyes to end the inning.

Victorino hit 308/424/608 against left-handed pitching. I wouldn’t have him bunting against lefties when leading off the inning too much. It was also the third time in the game he had led off an inning with nobody on base against a lefty. He only hit a solo homer in one of those at-bats.

Wigginton led off the seventh and hit a 1-2 pitch out to left for his first home run of the year, putting the Phils on top 3-1. Ruiz grounded to short before Galvis bunted for a single, putting a man on for Blanton’s spot. With the lefty Buehrle still pitching for the Fish, Thome hit for Blanton. Lefty Randy Choate took over for Buehrle to pitch to Thome and struck him out looking for the second out. Righty Steve Chisek came in to pitch to Victorino and got Victorino on a fly ball to left, leaving Galvis stranded.

Thome still looking for his first hit of the season.

Righty Edward Mujica set the Phils down in the eighth, getting Polanco, Rollins and Pence and working around a Stanton error on a dropped foul ball.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game and 4-for-11 with a walk and a homer in the set. 333/417/476 in 25 plate appearances for the season.

Polanco was 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-13 with three singles in the series. 5-for-22 (.227) with five singles so far.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a single last night and 5-for-13 with an RBI in the series. He’s hitting 280/280/280 through 26 plate appearances (7-for-25 with seven singles and no walks).

Pence was 2-for-4 with a double in the game and 6-for-12 with a double in the series. 391/440/691 in the early going.

Mayberry was 1-for-3 with an RBI in the game and 3-for-11 in the series. 5-for-19 with a double so far. Pierre didn’t appear in the game. He was 1-for-9 in the series and is 3-for-14 with three singles on the year.

Wigginton 1-for-3 with a homer in the game and 1-for-4 in the series. 2-for-12 with a walk and a home run so far.

Ruiz 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-10 with a double and a home run in the series. 6-for-16 with a two walks, a double and a homer run for the season.

Galvis 1-for-3 with a bunt single. 3-for-10 with two doubles and four RBI in the series. 3-for-20 with two doubles for the season. He and Pence are tied for the team lead in RBI with four.

Cliff Lee (0-0, 1.50) faces righty RA Dickey (1-0, 3.00) tonight. Lee allowed just one run over six innings against the Pirates in his first start, but didn’t get a lot of help as the Phils fell to Pittsburgh. Dickey allowed two runs on five hits and four walks over six innings in his first start of the year, which came against the Braves.


Substitution contribution

The other day I pointed out that Papelbon’s addition might help the Phillie bullpen bring down the huge rate at which their relievers issued walks in 2011. Qualls might as well. Here are the rates of runs, hits, walks and strikeouts per nine innings for the ’11 pen as well as Papelbon and Qualls for 2011 and for their careers (remembering that Papelbon has spent his whole career in the AL while Qualls has thrown all but 21 innings of his career in the NL):

Runs per 9 BB/9 H/9 SO/9
Phillie pen 2011 3.68 3.99 7.84 8.01
Papelbon 2011 3.07 1.40 6.99 12.17
Qualls 2011 3.63 2.42 8.83 5.21
Papelbon career 2.64 2.41 6.75 10.67
Qualls career 4.16 2.49 8.93 7.06

The numbers for Qualls are a little scary overall, but his walk rate has always been under the 3.99 per nine innings that the bullpen posted for the Phils in 2011. Qualls has only had one year for his career in which he has posted a walk rate worse than 2.85 batters per nine — in 2010, a disaster for Qualls, he walked about 3.2 batters per nine while throwing to a 7.32 ERA.

Dontrelle Willis is a different story, of course. Willis has seen his walk rate explode in recent years to the detriment of his career. From 2003 to 2007 with the Marlins, Willis threw 1,022 2/3 innings and walked 344 batters — that’s about 3.03 batters per nine. Since he left Florida, 2008-2011, Willis has thrown just 199 innings in which he has walked 156 batters. That’s 7.06 batters per nine innings. You’re going to have some trouble putting up nice numbers overall if you walk 7.06 batters per nine — Willis’s ERA since the end of 2007 is 6.15.

The Phillies played Houston yesterday, losing 6-5 on a walkoff homer by Brian Bixler in the bottom of the tenth. They are 5-6.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was good again, holding the Astros to a run on four hits over five innings without walking a batter. The outing, the third of Spring Training for Hamels, raised his ERA to 1.69.

Bush pitched the sixth, allowing singles to the first two men he faced, but getting the next three to keep Houston off the board and lowering his ERA to 6.75. Lefty Raul Valdes allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the seventh — he’s now allowed a run on three hits and a walk over four innings. Brian Sanches followed him, allowing a run over two innings to lower his ERA to 6.75. Jeremy Horst started the tenth with a 5-3 lead. He allowed a a single and a walk before striking out righty Chris Wallace for the first out. Bixler was next, though, and he hit Horst’s first pitch out to left to give Houston the win. Horst came into the game having not been charged with a run in his first two appearances, but has now been charged with three runs in three innings.

Domonic Brown broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the tenth with a solo home run, his first of Spring Training. He was 2-for-5 on the day, raising his average to .313 (5-for-16 with two triples and a home run). That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’s so bad defensively it’s hard to believe the Phillies are going to put him on the field in a game that counts anytime soon. Brown made another bad miscue reacting to a ball hit to the outfield yesterday, misplaying Carlos Lee’s eighth inning line drive into a double.

Brown had also been charged with a throwing error in the seventh. It was his second error so far this Spring Training, but the reality is that two errors don’t capture just how atrocious his defense has been. He’s now OPSing 1.103 in his 16 official Spring Training at-bats, but there’s little left to the dream he would show up and prove he’s ready to join the team for the start of the regular season.

Michael Martinez was 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, upping his average to .333. Podsednik started in center and made a couple of nice defensive plays in right after shifting there. He was 1-for-5 at the plate to drop his average to .320 (8-for-25 with three doubles). Pierre went 0-for-1 with a walk and is hitting .263.

Mayberry started at first and went 0-for-3, dropping his line to 192/222/269 in a team-high 26 at-bats.

Martinez left yesterday’s game after being hit on the elbow by a pickoff attempt.

The same article says that Nix was scratched from yesterday’s game, but is expected to play soon.

The Phils face the Twins this afternoon with Halladay expected to pitch.


The company he kinda keeps

Point for today is that John Mayberry has hit home runs at a high rate with the Phils over the past two years.

Between 2010 and 2011, John Mayberry got 309 plate appearances with the Phillies in which hit to a 276/343/527 line with 27 walks, 77 hits and 17 home runs. In those plate appearances, he walked in 8.74% of his plate appearances, got a hit of any kind in 24.92% and homered in 5.5%.

Looking back at 2011, there were 355 players who got at least 200 plate appearances across both leagues. Of those, how many did at least as well in each of those three categories (ie, walked 8.74% of pa or better, got a hit in 24.92% or better and homered in 5.5% or better)? The answer is three.

Player BB% H% HR%
Matt Kemp 10.74 28.30 5.66
Albert Pujols 9.37 26.57 5.68
Mike Napoli 13.43 27.31 6.94

And how about among the 346 players that got 200 plate appearances in 2010? Four.

Player BB% H% HR%
Albert Pujols 14.71 26.14 6.00
Miguel Cabrera 13.73 27.78 5.86
Joey Votto 14.04 27.31 5.71
Paul Konerko 11.41 27.10 6.18

So it’s a rather exclusive group of offensive players. What makes it so hard to get into? The home runs.

For each of the two seasons, here’s the percentage of players with at least 200 plate appearances that got walks, hits and home runs at the same rates Mayberry has with the Phils over the last two years as a percentage of plate appearances:

2010 2011
% of 200 PA players who walked in 8.74% or more of PA 46.5 39.4
 . . . got hits in 24.92% or more of PA 27.7 30.1
. . . hit home runs in 5.5% or more of PA 3.5 3.9

Nearly half of the players with 200 plate appearances in 2010 walked enough to make the list. Between a quarter and a third in both 2010 and 2011 got enough hits. But less than 4% in each season hit home runs at the rate Mayberry did in 2010 and 2011 combined.

Notably, Mayberry himself doesn’t make the cut in either of the two years, only in the two years combined. In 2010 he only got 13 plate appearances. In 2011, he got enough plate appearances, enough walks and enough hits, but homered in about 5.1% of his plate appearances (15 homers in 296 plate appearances).

In 2011, there were 14 players who got at least 200 plate appearances and hit home runs in 5.5% or more of their plate appearances. Kemp, Pujols and Napoli had all three of the hits, walks and homers. Nelson Cruz, Chris Heisey and Brent Lillibridge had the home runs but not the walks or hits. Adrian Beltre had the home runs and the hits but not the walks. Seven players, Prince Fielder, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Jose Bautista, Mark Reynolds, Mike Stanton and Andruw Jones, had the homers and the walks but not the hits.

In 2010, four players had all three: Pujols, Cabrera, Votto and Konerko. There were eight players with the homers but not each of the other two categories. Stanton and Edwin Encarnacion missed on both walks and hits. Josh Hamilton got the hits but not the walks. And five players, Bautista, Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Jim Thome and Andruw Jones, got the homers and the walks but not enough hits.

Jose Contreras threw a bullpen session yesterday, did “fine” and “threw very, very well.” The same article says that Chad Qualls has arrived in camp and that Justin De Fratus, who has had some recent tightness in his right elbow, started to long toss.

Brad Lidge sounds less than thrilled with what happened between him and the Phillies in the off-season in this piece.

Gary Sheffield worked with Domonic Brown on Brown’s hitting over the winter.

Shane Victorino, who will be a free agent after the season, says he loves Philadelphia and there have been no discussions about a new contract with the Phils yet.


The Juan left behind?

So what do you do if you’re a professional baseball team, you have John Mayberry and Domonic Brown in your organization, just bid farewell to Raul Ibanez and his .707 OPS over 575 plate appearances from last year and are looking to get better in left field in 2012? I don’t know for sure, but I have some ideas and I’m a little surprised that bringing on Juan Pierre made the list for the Phillies.

After hitting 279/329/327 in 711 plate appearances for the White Sox last year, Pierre has hit 277/335/322 in 1,445 plate appearances over the last two seasons. In 2011, he stole 27 bases, which tied him for 21st-best in all of baseball. He was caught 17 times, which was more than any other player. There were only four players in either league who were caught stealing more than 12 times. In his defense, Pierre was a far more effective base-stealer with the White Sox in 2010. The active career leader in stolen bases swiped an AL-best 68 bases and was caught just 18 times.

Despite on-basing .329 last year, Pierre still has a career on-base percentage of .345. And if he can get on base, that would go a long way towards making up for the gaping lack of power and diminishing speed. But in six of the last seven years he’s on-based under .345. From 2000 to 2004, he on-based .361. Since the end of 2004 he’s on-based .334. And that makes things tough for an outfielder without power who hasn’t appeared in a game at center field since 2009.

Pierre has never hit for a lot of power. He arrived on the scene with Colorado in 2000 and had two extra-base hits in 219 plate appearances, both doubles. He hit .310 that year and slugged .320, giving him and isolated power of .010. No player with 200 plate appearances in either league has posted an isolated power that low since. His isolated power topped out in 2006 with the Cubs at .096 as he hit 292/330/388 with 32 doubles, 13 triples and three home runs over 750 plate appearances.

Over the last two seasons, Pierre has hit .277 and slugged .322, giving him an isolated power of .045. In 2011, among the 146 players in either league with 500 plate appearances, his isolated power of .049 was 146th. In 2010 his isolated power of .041 was 149 of 151 as he topped infielders Cesar Izturis and Elvis Andrus in the category.

Pierre’s isolated power for his career is .067, and he’s hit that mark or better just once in the last five seasons (.084 with the Dodgers in 2009). By comparison, Wilson Valdez has a career isolated power of .087 and an isolated power of .097 while with the Phillies. Martinez’s isolated power last year was .086. Polanco’s for his career is .105, last year it was .062.

Here’s what Mayberry, Ibanez, Pierre and the average NL left fielder did in 2011:

PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA
John Mayberry 296 273 341 513 361
NL AVG LF 259 328 421 327
Raul Ibanez 575 245 289 419 309
Juan Pierre 711 279 329 327 295

The NL average for left fielders in 2011 for wOBA was .327. Pierre’s career wOBA is .315. Over the past five seasons, he’s posted a wOBA of .327 or better just once — in 2009 in his 425 plate appearances with the Dodgers. Pierre put up a wOBA in the .293 to .298 range in each of the other four seasons.

The Phillies signed 33-year-old right-handed reliever Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million contract. Qualls was great from 2004-2008 and pretty good in 2009 before a miserable 2010 season in which he threw to a 7.32 ERA and allowed 85 hits and 21 walks in 59 innings. Last year he bounced back some, if not to his ’04-’08 levels, throwing to a 3.51 ERA with a 1.25 ratio for the Padres.

This article points out some of the recent issues involved with trying to use Chad Qualls against lefties or if you’re not playing at Petco.

Locks for the pen at this point look to me to include Kendrick, Papelbon, Qualls, Willis and Bastardo. Contreras seems likely to take the sixth of seven spots if he’s healthy. Stutes seems close to a sure thing and Herndon would be my first guess to take Conteras’s spot if Contreras can’t go.

If you’re interested in baseball handicapping, check out our sponsor Kevin’s MLB picks blog at http://www.mlbpredictions.org.


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