Tag: Chan Ho Park

Phillies rotation doing their best to improve the reputation of the team’s hitters

Citizens Bank Park might always have a reputation as a great place to hit, but the Phillies starters sure made it look like a good place to pitch against the Nationals. The Phils starters combined to allow one run in 23 innings in the series, continuing a string of outstanding performances from the rotation.

Over the last seven games for the Phillies, their starting pitchers have allowed nine runs. In 52 innings they’ve thrown to a 1.56 ERA with a 1.08 ratio and the Phils have gone 6-1. Five of the nine runs that the starters have allowed were surrendered by Moyer in the September 12 game the Phillies lost to the Mets 10-9 on David Wright’s second-two run homer in two innings. In the other six starts, five different starting pitchers, Hamels, Kendrick, Martinez, Lee and Blanton, have combined to allow four runs in 45 innings, pitching to an 0.80 ERA with a 1.07 ratio.

The Phillies are 85-60 on the season after sweeping the Washington Nationals in a three-game set in Philadelphia. They have won five games in a row and are 25 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. After they won game two of the series they were 24 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the NL East by 7 1/2 games.

Cliff Lee threw a complete game shutout and the Phillies won game one 5-0. Rollins started the bottom of the first with a double and came around to score on a single by Utley to put the Phils up 1-0. The Phils jumped out to a 5-0 lead with four runs in a second inning that featured a three-run double by Ruiz. Lee was fantastic, allowing five singles and a double in the game while walking three and striking out nine.

Jayson Werth delivered the big blow in game two, a grand slam in the seventh, and the Phillies won 6-1. Blanton threw six shutout innings and was replaced by Park in the seventh with the Phils leading 2-0. Park injured his right hamstring as Ryan Zimmerman lined into a double-play to end the top of the seventh. The Phils had nobody on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Utley was hit by a pitch and stole second. Howard was walked intentionally and Ibanez unintentionally. It loaded the bases for Werth and Jason Bergmann got ahead of Werth 1-2 before Werth smashed a ball out to left to put the Phillies up 6-0. Walker allowed a run on a pair of hits in the top of the ninth.

The starting pitching was great again last night. Hamels went eight strong innings and the Phils won 4-2. Rollins doubled Feliz in to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the fifth. The Phils extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the sixth — Ruiz walked with the bases loaded to force in the first and Hamels followed with an RBI-single. The Nats managed a run on three singles in the seventh to get on the board at 3-1. A walk to Utley and two wild pitches helped the Phils score another run in the bottom of the seventh. Lidge came on in the ninth with a 4-1 lead and allowed a one-out triple to Elijah Dukes. Dukes would score but Lidge held on for the save.

The Phillies pitching was silly good in the series. They allowed three runs in the series. Hamels allowed one in his start last night, Lidge allowed another in relief last night and Walker was charged with a run in game two. Overall they threw to a 1.00 ERA with a 1.07 ratio in 27 innings. In 27 innings they allowed 20 hits and no home runs while striking out 27.

If the pitching overall was silly good we’re going to need new words for the starters. Lee, Blanton and Hamels combined to allow one run over 23 innings in the three games. They threw to an 0.39 ERA with a 1.04 ratio and struck out 26.

Lee threw a complete game shutout in game one of the series, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out nine. He has now thrown nine innings in three of his nine starts with the Phils. He’s 7-2 with the Phils with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.06 ratio.

Blanton went six shutout innings in game two, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out seven.

Hamels allowed a run in eight innings in game three. He gave up three singles, a double and a triple and walked one while striking out ten. Over his last five starts Hamels has thrown 37 2/3 innings with a 1.43 ERA and an 0.96 ratio. He’s dropped his ERA on the year from 4.78 to 4.07 in those five starts. In all five of the starts he’s allowed less than three walks and has not allowed a home run.

The relievers weren’t quite as good as the starters, but they didn’t have much to do. They tossed just four innings in the set and were charged with two runs. As a group they pitched to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.25 ratio. The worst news for the relief corps coming out of the series is that Park looks lost for the season.

Park started the seventh inning of game two with a 2-0 lead. Pete Orr led off with a single and moved to second when Willie Harris followed and reached on an error. Cristian Guzman bunted back to Park and Orr was forced at third base for the first out of the inning. Zimmerman was next and Howard made a nice play to catch the ball and double Guzman off of first to end the inning.

Park injured his right hamstring on the play and looks likely to miss a lot of time and perhaps the rest of the season.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff walk but kept the Nats off the board with the help of a double-play he induced from Ian Desmond.

Walker started the ninth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Justin Maxwell before retiring the next two hitters. Maxwell took second without a throw and came in to score on a Willie Harris single to make it 6-1. Walker got Guzman on a popup to end the game.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning last night, entering the game with a 4-1 lead. Dukes tripled with one out and scored when Ian Desmond followed with ground out to first. Willie Harris was next and flew to center to end the game.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Lidge threw 16 pitches last night.

The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-13 with two doubles in the series and is hitting 247/291/412 for the year. He has on-based .285 hitting in the first spot in the order. There are 40 players between the two leagues who have at least 150 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter — Rollins’s .285 on-base percentage is 39th (Kaz Matsui has on-based .279 in the #1 spot).

Victorino was 1-for-10 in the series. 296/362/453 on the season. He’s hitting 231/265/369 in September. Rollins is on-basing .299 in September, so there’s not a lot going on at the top of the order these days.

Utley was 3-for-10 with a walk in the series. 296/414/537 on the season. He’s hitting just .228 in September.

Howard was 1-for-8 with a single and three walks in the set. 269/351/550 on the year. He has one home run in September in 2009 after hitting 11 in September in 2008.

Ibanez was on the bench last night with Francisco in left against the lefty Ross Detwiler. He was 2-for-5 with a double and four walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/350/566 for the season and a snazzy 296/367/593 in September to come out of a long slump.

Werth was 6-for-11 with a walk and a home run. 272/374/525 on the year with 34 home runs and 88 RBI.

Feliz was 0-for-10 with two walks in the series to drop his line on the year to 264/312/385. He’s hitting 198/245/337 over his last 185 plate appearances.

Ruiz started all three games and went 3-for-11 with two doubles and a walk. 256/354/427.

Francisco started in left field last night in game three a lefty on the mound. 1-for-4 in the series and hitting 246/277/508 in 61 at-bats with the Phils. It would be nice to see him getting some more at-bats, cause the Phils are going to need him in the playoffs. Not sure how, though, especially if you never need to hit for your pitcher.

Dobbs returned to action with a pinch-hit at-bat in game two. 0-for-1 in the series and 255/305/409 on the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the set and is hitting 200/356/389 on the year. It would be snazzy if Dobbs and Stairs were playing well for the post-season. For Stairs it sure seems like he’s dangerous at any time regardless of what he’s done recently. For Dobbs I’d be a lot happier to see him get into a groove in the last handful of games.

This says that Park will not start to rehab for two to three weeks.

The article linked above also says that Shane Victorino, who came out of last night’s game with gastrointestinal complications, expects to play to night.

This article suggests that Manuel thinks Myers is not yet ready to be a closer.


Panama jacks

Carlos Ruiz came into the season with 13 career home runs, but started last night’s game hitting 287/381/515 with six home runs in 162 plate appearances since the All-Star break. That .896 OPS for the second half was better than the second half OPS put up by a bunch of his teammates, including Utley, Ibanez, Rollins and Victorino. Of the eight regulars for the Phillies, only Howard and Werth have put up a better OPS in the second half.

Ruiz hit 235/335/367 in the first half of the season, but his second-half thunder has him up near the top of the list of the best hitting catchers in the league for the season. Here’s the list of the players in the league for the season who have posted the best OPS while playing the position and gotten at least 250 plate appearances (does not include yesterday’s games):

Player OPS
M Montero .861
B McCann .826
C Ruiz .791
J Baker .784
C Ianetta .781

In the AL there were three players going into yesterday’s games with at least 250 plate appearances for the year as a catcher and an OPS better than Ruiz’s .791. Mauer (1.090), Posada (.905) and Pierzynski (.814).

Here’s how Ruiz’s numbers overall in the second half look compared to the five players in either league who have posted a better OPS for the season while behind the plate (they are ordered by their OPS for the second half of the year):

   
Second half
  Season OPS PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Mauer 1.090 240 372 429 596 1.025
Montero 861 199 337 387 576 963
Ruiz 791 162 287 381 515 896
Posada 905 182 276 346 540 886
Pierzynski 814 198 339 378 443 820
McCann 826 211 260 303 490 793

Ruiz is third in that group for OPS since the break. Fourth in batting average, third in on-base percentage and fourth in slugging percentage.

Chan Ho Park hurt his right hamstring in last night’s game. It sounds and looked like we shouldn’t expect to see him again any time soon.


Could we have a volunteer, please?

There’s a whole lot of opportunity at the back of the Phillies bullpen these days. What’s missing is guys who are pitching well. There are three main candidates to be closing for the team in the post-season, Lidge, Madson and Myers, and a dark horse in Tyler Walker. All three of Lidge, Madson and Myers were awful against the Mets, even as the Phils took three out of four.

The Mets scored 16 runs in the four-game series. Ten of those runs were scored in the eighth or ninth inning. Eight of the 16 were charged to Myers, Madson or Lidge and the three combined to pitch just 5 1/3 innings in the set.

The Phillies are 82-60 on the season after taking three of four from the Mets. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by 6 1/2 games.

The Phillies won the first game of the series 4-2. The Phils scored a run in the second and another in the third. Hamels kept New York off the board till the seventh, when the Mets scored a run on two singles, a bunt and a sac fly to make it 2-1. A Ruiz sac fly in the bottom of the seventh brought in Werth to extend the lead to 3-1 and an RBI-double by Utley in the eighth made it 4-1. Madson came on for the save in the ninth, but gave up a leadoff double that lead to a run. He got a big double-play with one out and men on first and third and was able to hold the Mets to a single run.

Game two was a little tough to take. The Phils went into the eighth up 9-5 and lost the game 10-9. The Mets jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Moyer in the first. Carlos Beltran connected for a two-run homer in the inning. Feliz hit a two-run homer in the second. 4-2. Utley hit a solo shot in the third and Ibanez delivered a two-run blast. The Phils led 5-4 after three and extended the lead to 6-4 with another run in the fourth. Two more in the sixth had the Phils up 8-4. Daniel Murphy doubled off of Moyer with one out in the seventh, stole third and came in to score on a ground out. 8-5. Utley started the seventh with a double and came in to score on a single by Ibanez to make it 9-5. Myers started the eighth and got hit hard. A double followed by a David Wright homer made it 9-7. Beltran followed with a single and Park replaced Moyer, but he allowed Beltran to score on two more singles before the inning was over. 9-8. Madson got the first two in the ninth before he allowed a single to Fernando Tatis that was followed by Wright’s second two-run homer in two innings. The Phils went in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Kendrick got his first of the year in the day game of yesterday’s double-header, which the Phillies won 5-4. Kendrick pitched very well. A solo homer by Francisco and a two-run shot from Victorino helped Kendrick go into the top of the eighth with a 4-0 lead. Kendrick got the first batter before allowing a single to Angel Pagan that was followed by a two-run home run by Anderson Hernandez. Walker finished off the eighth for Kendrick. In the bottom of the inning the Phils added another run, getting a two-out double from Stairs followed by an RBI-single from Tracy. Lidge came on in the ninth to protect a 5-2 lead and allowed two runs on three singles, but struck out Pagan to end the game.

Pedro Martinez threw eight shutout innings last night as the Phils won 1-0. Utley drove in Rollins with an RBI-single in the bottom of the first and that was all of the scoring for the game. Pedro gave up four singles, two doubles and walked two while striking out seven. Madson got the save opportunity this time. He allowed a one-out single in the ninth but got the next two hitters.

Phillies pitchers overall threw 36 innings in the series with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.25 ratio.

The starting pitching was much better than the bullpen. The Phils got three good starts from Hamels, Kendrick and Martinez and a bad one from Moyer in game two. Overall the starters threw to a 2.48 ERA and a 1.07 ratio. They walked just four in 29 innings.

Hamels allowed a run on seven hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings in game one. In three of his last four starts he’s thrown into the seventh and allowed one run or less in the game.

Moyer allowed five runs in seven innings in game two. He gave up seven hits and didn’t walk a batter.

Kendrick went 7 1/3 innings in game three, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. He took a 4-0 lead into the eighth before allowing a two-run homer to Anderson Hernandez. He has a 3.55 ERA in his five appearances on the year for the Phils. After allowing three runs in two innings in his first appearance his last four have been good.

Martinez went eight shutout innings in the second game of yesterday’s double-header. He allowed six hits and two walks and struck out seven. He’s 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.09 ratio in seven starts for the Phils.

The bullpen was awful. In seven innings they pitched to a 10.29 ERA and a 2.00 ratio. They didn’t walk a batter but allowed 14 hits in seven innings. Madson allowed a run in game one. Myers, Park and Madson were all awful in game two. Lidge allowed two runs in the ninth inning of game three.

Park took over for Hamels in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, a man on second and the Phils up 2-1. He got Wright on a ground ball to short to set the Mets down.

He also pitched in the eighth inning of game two, entering in the eighth inning with two down, a man on first and the Phils up 9-7. He got a fly ball for the second out before allowing back-to-back singles to Santos and Murphy. Murphy’s single scored Beltran from second and made it 9-8. Park got the pinch-hitter Sullivan to end the inning.

Park has a 2.70 ratio in five appearances this month.

Myers started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies up 3-1 and set the Mets down in order.

He also started the eighth inning in game two with the Phillies up 9-5. He got the first hitter before allowing a double to Tatis and a homer to Wright. Beltran followed with a single and Park relieved Myers.

Walker entered game three with one out in the eighth and the Phillies up 4-2. He got the two hitters he faced to end the frame.

Madson started the ninth inning of game one with a 4-1 lead. He gave up a leadoff double to Omir Santos and pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed followed with a single that moved Santos to third. Cory Sullivan was next and Madson got him to hit into a double-play with Santos scoring from third to make it 4-2. Angel Pagan grounded to second to end the game.

He started the ninth inning of game two with a 9-8 lead. He got the first two hitters before Tatis singled and Wright followed with a two-run homer to put the Mets up 10-9. Beltran singled before Madson got Francoeur on a popup to end the frame.

He pitched the ninth inning in game four with a 1-0 lead. Brian Schneider singled with one out, but Madson struck out Francoeur and got Pagan on a line drive to third to end the game.

Madson has walked four batters since the end of June.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game three with a 5-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Jeff Francoeur and Francoeur took second on defensive indifference. Beltran grounded to deep short on a nine play by Rollins for the first out, but Josh Thole was next and he blasted a ball off the wall in right for a long single. Francoeur scored and the lead was cut to 5-3. Lidge struck Luis Castillo out for the second out of the inning before Thole took second again without a throw. Jeremy Reed was next and singled into center. Thole scored and it was 5-4, but Lidge struck Pagan out to end the game.

Game two, the game that the Phillies lost, Madson, Park and Myers all pitched for the second straight day and all three were awful. Madson has pitched three days in a row and five of the last six days.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-17 with a triple in the series and is hitting 244/289/409 on the season. He also walked twice, giving him seven walks since the end of July.

Victorino was 6-for-15 with three doubles, three walks and a home run. 300/367/460 for the year. He’s on-basing .293 in September after on-basing .336 in August.

Utley was 5-for-13 with two doubles, three walks and a home run. 296/414/542 on the year.

Howard was 3-for-14 with a double and two walks. 272/350/556 on the year. One home run in his last 59 at-bats.

Werth didn’t play in game three of the series with Francisco in right. 1-for-11 with two strikeouts in the series. 266/369/519. He’s hitting .222 this month.

Ibanez was 5-for-17 with a double and a home run. 278/344/566. 341/357/707 in his last 42 plate appearances. He has just a .314 on-base percentage for the month, though, with just two walks.

Feliz was 5-for-16 with three doubles and a home run. 270/315/393 on the year. He’s hitting .216 in September with a .245 on-base percentage.

Ruiz started games one, two and four in the series. 2-for-7 with a double and walk. 255/354/426 for the year.

Bako started game three. He was 0-for-3 and is hitting 195/271/312 in 77 at-bats for the year.

Bruntlett pinch-ran yesterday, but didn’t get an at-bat in the series. 167/224/240.

Francisco started in right in game three. 2-for-5 with a home run in the series. 246/279/526 with the Phils in 57 at-bats.

Stairs was 1-for-3 with a double in the series. 202/359/394 for the year.

Tracy had a huge hit in game three, driving in a run with a pinch-hit single in a game the Phils won by one. 1-for-1 in the series and 1-for-3 on the year.

This suggests that Condrey does not understand why he hasn’t been activated.


The ninth wait

The three-game set with the Nationals started with Charlie Manuel insisting that Brad Lidge was his closer and ended with it clear that Lidge was not. Lidge was pulled from a save opportunity in game one, on the bench for another in game two and pitching in the eighth inning with the Phillies down by six runs in the third.

While it sure seems likely that the Phillies closer situation is going to continue to bounce around in the near future, the series did show that Manuel wasn’t going to let blind loyalty to Lidge ruin the year for the Phils. While most probably saw that one coming, it is a sigh of relief for fans who have watched Lidge struggle through an awful season coming off of a brilliant 2008.

The Phillies are 79-59 on the season after taking two of three from the Washington Nationals. They’re in first place in the NL East, but the Florida Marlins have cut the Phillies lead in the division to five games by going 7-3 over their last ten.

The Phillies hit five solo home runs in game one of the series and won 5-3. Pedro got the start and gave up two runs in the first four innings, but Ibanez got the Phils on the board at 2-1 with a homer in the fifth. Ibanez, Werth and Ruiz all homered in the seventh and the Phils led 4-2. A home run by Willie Harris off of Martinez made it 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but Utley hit one in the eight to put the Phils up 5-3. Lidge came on in the ninth to protect the two-run lead. He got one out, but Washington loaded the bases on a single, a hit batter and a wild pitch and Manuel called on Madson to replace Lidge. Madson struck out Ryan Zimmerman for the second out and got Adam Dunn on a grounder to Rollins to end the game.

The Phils won game two 6-5. Washington went up 1-0 with a run off of Lee in the first, but the Phils put together four hits and a walk in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. A two-out double by Ibanez in the fifth knocked in Howard to extend the lead to 4-1, but the Nationals came back with two more against Lee in the bottom of the inning and then tied it at 4-4 with another run in the seventh. Werth and Feliz both hit solo homers in the eighth and the Phils led 6-4. Another error by Howard helped Washington score an unearned run in the eighth, but Madson came on to nail down the save in the ninth.

Last night the Phillies saw their ninth-inning rally fall just short and fell 8-7. A triple from Utley in the first put the Phillies up 2-0 early, but the Nats tied the game up with a pair of runs off of Blanton in the third and pulled ahead 3-2 with another in the fourth. Blanton didn’t make it through the fifth. The Nats scored five times, getting home runs from Dunn and Ian Desmond, and Blanton left with two outs in the fifth and the Phils down 8-2. The score stayed that way till the top of the ninth, when Stairs delivered a one-out grand slam that got the Phillies within two at 8-6. Rollins followed with a single and Victorino doubled him home. 8-7. Utley was next and he singled as well, putting men on first and third with one out. Things looked real good, but Howard hit into a double-play to end the game and leave the Phils a run short.

The Phillies threw to a 5.19 ERA and a 1.42 ratio over 26 innings in the series. Most of the problems in the series can be blamed on the starters — despite all of the drama with the closer the relievers weren’t charged with a run in the series.

The starters were. Pedro made the best start of the series, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 in game one. Lee and Blanton combined to allow 13 runs in 11 2/3 innings in the next two games. As a group the starters posted a 7.36 ERA and a 1.58 ratio over 18 1/3 innings. They allowed 24 hits but walked just five.

Martinez started game one and improved to 4-0 as a Phillie, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings on seven hits and a walk. He has a 3.64 ERA and a 1.11 ratio in six starts with the Phils.

Lee went seven innings in game two, allowing five runs on ten hits. Only four of the runs were earned and he didn’t walk a batter. The worse news is that that was the best of his last three starts. He’s allowed 29 hits in 15 innings over his last three times out.

Blanton got mauled in game three. He allowed eight runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since May and the most runs he has allowed in any start all season. Just the second time in his last 19 starts that he has allowed more than three runs in a start.

The relievers weren’t charged with a run over 7 2/3 innings in the series and threw to a 1.04 ratio.

Park entered the eighth inning of game two with nobody out, men on second and third and the Phillies ahead 6-4. He walked Elijah Dukes to load the bases for the Nats before getting a fly ball for the first out with all the runners holding. Pinch-hitter Pete Orr was next and he delivered a sac fly that made it 6-5 with two down and men on first and second, but Park got Wil Nieves on a grounder to first to end the inning.

Durbin pitched the seventh inning of game three. He got the first out before allowing a double and a walk, but got the next two hitters.

The Phillies sure could use Durbin, who has struggled this season. He has been very good in his last three outings, though, throwing five scoreless frames with a 1.20 ratio.

Walker entered for Blanton in the fifth inning of last night’s game with two outs and the Phillies down 8-2. The first man he faced reached on an error and he got the next on a popup to end the inning. He came back and threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Walker hasn’t been charged with a run in his last 11 appearances. In those appearances he’s allowed three hits and three walks over 13 1/3 innings while striking out 12.

Myers took over for Martinez in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, the bases empty and the Phillies up 4-3. He gave up a single to Cristian Guzman before striking out Zimmerman to end the inning. He came back to pitch the eighth and Dunn reached on an error by Howard to start the inning, but Myers got the next three.

He’s now made three appearances since returning from the DL and allowed one hit and two walks over 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Madson entered the ninth inning of game one with one out, the bases loaded and the Phillies up 5-3. He struck out Zimmerman for the first out and got Dunn to ground to Rollins to turn the Nats away.

He started the ninth in a save situation in game two, entering with a 6-5 lead. Justin Maxwell led off with a single and stole second before Madson struck out Guzman for the first out of the inning. Dunn was next and smashed a line drive that Utley snared. Utley threw to Rollins at second in time to double Maxwell off and end the game.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game one with a two-run lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Wil Nieves before getting Alberto Gonzalez on a ground out for the first out. He hit Harris with a pitch, though, before walking Guzman to load the bases. Manuel gave him the hook, calling on Madson to nail down the save.

He threw the eighth inning last night, entering with the Phillies down 8-2. He allowed a one-out triple, but struck Orr out for the first out and Zimmerman out to end the inning.

The Phillies scored 18 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins made two throwing errors in last night’s game. He came into the game having made just three for the season. He was 3-for-14 in the series and is hitting 243/286/409 on the year. He’s on-basing .244 in September and has on-based under .300 in every month this season except for July.

Victorino was 5-for-14 with two doubles. 297/363/450. He’s on-basing .200 in September and is hitting .182 with no walks in his last 66 plate appearances.

Utley was 3-for-13 with a triple and a home run in the series. 293/411/536 on the year. He’s hitting 147/237/294 in September.

Howard made an error in each of the first two games. He also deserved an assist on a throwing error charged to Rollins in last night’s game. I’m thinking a day or two off might be in order. 1-for-11 in the series. 273/350/563 for the year. Just one strikeout in his last five games.

Werth was 4-for-12 with two home runs in the series. 270/373/528.

Ibanez went 5-for-13 with two doubles and two home runs. 278/346/567 for the season.

Feliz was 3-for-11 with a home run in the series. 268/315/383 on the year. 232/276/337 over his last 306 plate appearances.

Ruiz started games one and three. 2-for-5 with a home run and three walks in the set. 254/351/426 on the year. He’s hitting 385/467/577 in September after hitting 305/391/559 in August.

Bako started game two. 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. 203/280/324.

Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series.

Francisco didn’t bat in the series.

Cairo didn’t bat in the series.

Tracy got an at-bat in game two and struck out. 0-for-1 on the year.

Stairs hit a ninth-inning grand slam in last night’s game. 1-for-2 with a home run in the series. 198/360/385 for the season.

This article talks about the Phillies closer situation and mentions Lidge, Madson and Myers as possibilities. Walker should be considered and I think he will be.

The article linked above also suggests we shouldn’t expect to be seeing Eyre over the next several days.

This suggests that Condrey is almost ready to pitch again, either in a minor league or simulated game. It also suggests Dobbs may be able to return in seven or eight days and that there’s no timetable for Romero.


Swept, away

The Phillies still can’t score and now they can’t win. It was bound to happen sooner or later. They’ve scored 31 runs in their last 13 games and scored ten times in four games against the Astros. They lost all four, dropping each of the last three by a single run.

The Phils have scored 13 runs in September, which is 30th of the 30 teams in baseball.

If you’re looking for a bright spot in the series it’s that Brett Myers returned and looks like he’s going to be able to contribute at the back of the Phillies pen. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how that plays out, but it sure looks like the Phillies will be able to use the help. Madson was one of a large group of Phillies regulars that missed at least part of the Astros series with an injury — Victorino, Utley, Happ and Madson all have been battling what we’ll have to hope are minor injuries. Lidge continues to be a huge problem, he allowed a pair of runs to blow the save in game two and has a 7.15 ERA for the season.

The Phillies are 77-58 on the year after being swept by the Astros in a four-game set in Houston. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by six games. The Phils have lost five of six.

Cliff Lee got hit hard for the second straight outing and the Phils lost game one 7-0. Coming off a start where he allowed six runs over five innings to the Braves, the Astros scored four runs off of Lee in the second and two more in the third. Moyer relieved Lee in the fourth and allowed a run on three innings on a solo homer by Carlos Lee. Again the Phillies offense did almost nothing. They had seven singles and a double by Victorino in the game. They didn’t draw a walk.

The Phillies dropped game two 5-4 as Houston scored two runs off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth. The Astros scored got three early runs off of Blanton and took a 3-0 lead into the seventh, but the Phils pulled ahead with two runs in the seventh and another two in the eighth. Lidge got the leadoff man to start the bottom of the ninth before Houston loaded the bases on a single and two walks. Michael Bourn chopped a ball to first with the infield in and Howard forced the runner at home for the second out, but Kaz Matsui delivered a two-run single that gave Houston the win.

The Phillies lost game three 4-3. Rollins started the game with a home run that put the Phillies up 1-0. Bourn led off the third with a single off of Hamels and came around to score and tie the game at 1-1. A solo shot from Francisco in the fourth put the Phillies up 2-1, but the Astros scored three times in the bottom of the fourth to go back on top at 4-2. Werth hit a solo homer in the eighth to get the Phillies within one, but that was how it ended.

Houston completed the sweep with a 4-3 win yesterday. Moyer got the start despite throwing 38 pitches in game one after Happ was scratched with an oblique strain. Again the Phillies went up with a run in the first inning, this time when Howard knocked in Victorino with an RBI-single. Pence connected for a two-run homer off of Moyer in the bottom of the second to put Houston up 2-1. Howard and Ibanez went back-to-back in the top of the fourth and the Phillies led 3-2. Park took over for Moyer in the seventh and things did not go well. The Astros greeted him with back-to-back doubles that tied the game at 3-3. After getting a fly ball for the first out of the inning, Park walked the lefty Darin Erstad to set up the double play, but then walked the next two batters. The second walk forced in a run to put Houston ahead to stay.

The pitching was terrible for the Phillies in the series. Overall the pitchers threw 32 2/3 innings with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.47 ratio.

The starters were worse than the relievers. Moyer allowed two runs over six innings yesterday, but that was the best start for the group. Lee lasted just three innings in game one. Overall they pitched to a 6.43 ERA and a 1.43 ratio in 21 innings, allowing 26 hits including three home runs. They walked just four and none of the four walked more than two in a start.

Lee got hammered in game one. He went three innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and three walks. He’s allowed 12 runs in eight innings over his last two starts.

Blanton went six innings in game one, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. He’s been charged with more than three runs in a start once in 17 outings since the end of May.

Hamels took the loss in game three, allowing four runs over six innings on eight hits and two walks. He has thrown at least 114 pitches in each of his last three starts.

Moyer started game four, making the start for Happ. He went six innings and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out four. He has a 3.58 ERA and a 1.24 ratio over his last 70 1/3 innings.

The bullpen threw 11 2/3 innings in the series with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.54 ratio. Lidge struggled badly in game two and Park in game four. The pen issued nine walks in 11 2/3 innings overall, which is too many.

Eyre entered in the bottom of the seventh yesterday with one out, the bases loaded and the Phillies down 4-3. He struck out Kaz Matsui and then got Berkman on a fly ball to leave the bases loaded.

Moyer took over for Lee in the fourth inning of game one, entering with the Phils down 6-0. He threw a 1-2-3 fourth, allowed a solo homer to Lee and a walk in the fifth and hit a batter in a scoreless sixth. In three appearances in long relief he had allowed two runs in 13 1/3 innings on seven hits and one walk. That’s a 1.35 ERA and an 0.60 ratio.

Nice outing in game one for Moyer helped to save the bullpen.

Taschner entered game one with two outs in the eighth, the Phils down 7-0 and a man on first. He allowed a single to Michael Bourn that put men on first and second. Kaz Matsui followed with another single, but Victorino threw Bourn out at home to end the inning.

Durbin took over for Hamels in game three, starting the seventh with the Phillies down 4-2. He threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He came back to pitch the eighth and the first two batters reached on a single and a walk, but Durbin struck out Blum for the first out and got JR Towles to hit into a double-play to end the inning. That’s two good outings in a row for Durbin in which he’s thrown a total of four scoreless innings.

Park pitched the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 3-2. He allowed a two-out single but kept the Astros off the board.

He also started the seventh inning yesterday in game four, entering to start the seventh with the Phillies up 3-2. Tejada and Pence greeted him with back-to-back doubles, tying the game at 3-3. Park got Blum on a fly ball for the first out and then walked the lefty Erstad intentionally to set up the double-play. He didn’t get it. Instead he walked the next two batters he faced, first walking Michaels to load the bases and then Bourn to force in the run that put Houston up 4-3. Eyre came in to pitch to switch-hitter Kaz Matsui.

Walker started the seventh inning in game one with the Phillies down 7-0 and set the Astros down in order. He came back to start the eighth and got the first two batter before hitting Aaron Boone. Taschner came in to pitch to the lefty Bourn.

Madson did not pitch in the series. He has been unavailable and hopefully will be able to pitch soon.

Myers pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies up 4-3. Myers was making his first appearance since May 27 and walked the first batter he faced, Lance Berkman. Myers got Carlos Lee on a fly ball to right for the first out and Berkman was thrown out trying to steal second for the second. Miguel Tejada flew to left to end the inning. That’s a pretty bad time to get caught stealing if you’re the Astros, but it worked out great for the Phils. Myers got three outs in the inning on a caught stealing and two line drives hit well to the outfield.

He also pitched the bottom of the eighth yesterday, entering the game to start the inning with the Phillies down 4-3. He walked Pence with two outs but got Blum to fly to left to leave the runner stranded.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game two with a 4-3 lead. He struck out Hunter Pence to start the inning, then walked Geoff Blum, gave up a single to Chris Coste and walked Jason Michaels to load the bases. The Phillies brought the infield in and Bourn chopped a ball to first. Howard made a nice play to throw home and force the runner at the plate. With two outs and the bases still loaded, Matsui lined a two-run single into center and the Astros won the game 5-4.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Park threw 23 pitches yesterday.

The Phillies scored ten runs in the four game series.

Rollins was 4-for-18 with a double and a home run in the series. He’s on-basing .258 in September after on-basing .294 in August.

Victorino was on the bench for game three with a bruised knee. He was 2-for-14 with a double in the series to drop his line on the year to 295/363/449 on the year. He’s 4-for-his-last-30 and has not drawn a walk since August 24.

Utley did not start game two after fouling a ball of his right foot in game one. 2-for-11 in the series. 295/414/533 on the year. He’s 2-for-21 with two singles in September.

Howard 5-for-15 with a triple and a homer. 277/353/573 on the season.

Werth was 3-for-14 with a double and a homer in the series. 269/373/521 for the year. He’s 8-for-his-last-37.

Ibanez was on the bench for game one against the lefty Wandy Rodriguez. Francisco played left. Ibanez was 4-for-11 with a home run in the set. 274/345/554 on the year.

Feliz was 2-for-15 with two singles and is hitting 268/314/379 for the year. He’s 3-for-24 with three singles in September.

Ruiz was 5-for-13 with a double in the series to raise his line on the year to 252/345/416 on the year.

Bako started game two behind the plate and was 1-for-2 in the series. 208/278/333.

Bruntlett didn’t have an at-bat in the series and is hitting 167/224/240 for the year.

Francisco started in left in game one and right in game three. 3-for-10 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 231/268/481 in 52 at-bats with the Phillies.

Cairo started at second in game two. 3-for-7 with a double in the series. 192/222/231 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 with two walks in the series. 191/357/348.

Charlie Manuel is mad the Phillies never win.

Happ hopes his oblique strain will not force him to miss another start.


Phils offense fights it out with the Giants in a battle of mythological creatures

The Phillies did something against the Giants you’re not going to see very often. They won a three-game series in which they scored three runs. The only way to do that is with the help of some great pitching — in this case the great pitching was provided by Cole Hamels, who tossed a complete-game shutout in the series opener, and Pedro Martinez, who held the Giants to a run on five hits last night as the Phillies took game three of the series.

The Phillies have scored 21 runs in their last nine games and gone a miraculous 5-4. Twenty-one runs in nine games is 2.33 runs per game, which makes it almost impossible to win. The Padres have scored the fewest runs of the 30 MLB teams this year and they’re scoring about 3.91 runs per game. Over the nine games the Phillies have allowed 28 runs, or about 3.11 runs per game. The Giants are the team in baseball that has allowed the fewest runs and they have allowed about 3.72 runs per game. Finally, of the 28 runs that the Phils have given up over their last nine games, nine of them came in a 9-1 loss to the Braves on August 29. So in the other eight games they allowed 19 runs over eight games.

So what I’m trying to say here is that they’re pitching well.

The Phillies are 77-54 after taking two of three from the San Francisco Giants. They are in first place in the NL East. The Marlins and Braves are tied for second-place and both teams trail the Phils by 8 1/2 games. The Phils hit 23 games above .500 with a win in game one of the series, which is their high mark for this season and their best mark since 1993.

Cole Hamels threw a complete game two-hit shutout in game one, which the Phillies won 1-0 on a fourth-inning double from Ryan Howard that drove in Shane Victorino. Hamels started the ninth protecting a one-run lead and gave up a leadoff single to Rich Aurilia. Andres Torres ran for Aurilia and Hamels picked him off of first. Howard made a nice throw to second and Torres was called out. He was safe, but whatever. Big play in the game.

Weary from their explosion in game one, the Phillies bats rested in game two as Brad Penny pitched the Giants to a 4-0 win. Happ allowed a run in the fifth that put San Francisco up 1-0 and Juan Uribe and Aaron Rowand hit back-to-back homers off of Happ in the sixth that extended the lead to 4-0. The Phillies offense managed five singles and a walk in the game.

Eugenio Velez hit Pedro Martinez’s first pitch of the game out to right-center last night, but that was all for the Giants’ offense against Pedro and the Phils won the game 2-1. Martinez didn’t allow another run in the game and struck out nine without walking a batter. Werth hit a long home run off of Tim Lincecum in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 1-1. Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the sixth and came around to put the Phillies up to stay when Howard followed with a double.

Given the lack of offense, the Phillies needed fantastic pitching to win. They got it. The pitchers threw 27 innings with a 1.67 ERA and an 0.78 ratio. They allowed five runs in the series, four of which were scored against Happ in game two.

They got two fantastic starts — Hamels threw a complete game shutout in game one and Pedro held the Giants to a run over seven innings in game three. Happ was hit harder in the middle game. Overall the starters went 22 innings with a 2.05 ERA and an 0.77 ratio. They struck out 25 in 22 innings and walked just two.

Hamels threw shutout in game one. In nine innings he allowed a single, a double and a walk and struck out nine. That’s two fantastic starts in a row for Hamels. He has allowed no runs on nine hits and three walks over 17 innings while striking out 16 in his last two starts. He’s pitching rather well. If you’re looking for something to worry about I’d go with this: over his first 24 starts the most pitches Hamels had thrown in a game this year was 117. Over his last two starts he’s thrown 123 and 118.

Happ went six innings in game two, allowing four runs on eight hits and walk. It was just the second time in his last 14 starts that Happ has allowed more than three runs in an outing. Happ hasn’t had a whole lot of problems this year. To the degree he’s had any one of them has been that he gives up too many walks. His walk rate is down recently, though. Over his last three starts he hasn’t walked more than two batters in a game.

The Phillies are going to need Moyer to start a few double-header games in September, but I think they should (and will) also consider giving some of Happ’s starts to Moyer to keep Happ’s innings down.

Pedro allowed a run on five hits in seven innings in last night’s game. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. He’s issued just three walks in 23 innings over five starts with the Phillies, throwing to a 3.52 ERA and a 1.09 ratio. He has 23 strikeouts in 23 innings and the Phillies are 5-0 in the games he’s started, although twice rain has shortened his start and Moyer helped the Phils get a win with excellent work in long relief.

The bullpen threw just five innings in the series. They didn’t allow a run and threw to an 0.80 ratio, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out six.

Eyre did not pitch in the series.

Moyer did not pitch in the series.

Taschner started the ninth inning of game two with the Phils down 4-0. He faced one batter, lefty Nate Schierholtz, and struck him out with the help of some weird sidearm thing I’d not seen from him before.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 4-0 and threw two scoreless innings. He allowed two walks. In the seventh he walked Torres with one out but got the next batter to hit into a double-play. In the eighth he walked Uribe with two outs but got Rowand to fly to left. For Durbin it was his first outing in his last three that he had not been charged with a run.

Park did not pitch in the series. He’s gotten two outs since August 24.

Walker entered the ninth inning of game with the Phillies down 4-0. He faced two batters and struck them both out.

Over his last nine appearances Walker has allowed three hits and three walks in 10 1/3 scoreless innings (0.00 ERA and an 0.58 ratio) with ten strikeouts.

Madson pitched the eighth inning in last night’s game with a 2-1 lead and set the Giants down 1-2-3. It broke a string of four appearances in a row in which he had been charged with at least one run.

Lidge came on in the ninth last night with a 2-1 lead. He got the first two hitters and had Randy Winn buried at 0-2 before Winn singled to right. Uribe followed with a walk, but Lidge got Fred Lewis on a ground ball to second to end the game.

Lidge has thrown three scoreless innings in his last three appearances, allowing a hit and a walk over three innings. He’s been charged with one or more earned runs in just one of his last eight times out.

Nobody in the Phillies pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Lidge threw 22 pitches last night.

The Phillies scored three runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 3-for-12 with a double on the series. He’s hitting 244/289/413 for the year. Among the 25 players in either league who have at least 300 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter, Rollins’ .282 on-base percentage hitting first is 24th. Over his last 82 plate appearances overall he has two walks and a .259 on-base percentage.

Victorino was 1-for-12 with a single in the series. 300/368/455 for the year. His last walk came on August 24.

Utley was 0-for-10 with a walk in the series. 298/417/542 for the year.

Howard doubled in the only run the Phillies scored in a 1-0 win in game one. He also made a solid throw in the ninth to get Torres at second when Hamels picked the runner off in the ninth inning of the series opener. He was 4-for-11 with three doubles in the series. He drove in two of the three runs that the Phillies scored and is hitting 275/353/570 on the year. 337/396/831 with six doubles, a triple and 11 home runs over his last 91 plate appearances.

Howard was walked intentionally 37 times in 2006 and then 35 times in 2007. In 2009 he has been walked intentionally three times and just once in his last 254 plate appearances. His OPS in those 254 plate appearances is .977, which is very similar to the .976 OPS he posted in 2007 when he was walked intentionally 35 times.

Werth had a monster home run last night to give him 30 for the season. His career-high coming into the season was 24 (last year). He has had more plate appearances this year than last, but he’s also hitting home runs at a quicker pace. In ’08 he hit 24 in 482 plate appearances, which is one every 20.08 plate appearances. This year he has 30 in 551, which is one every 18.36 plate appearances. He 2-for-8 with a home run and two walks in the set. 270/374/521 on the year.

Ibanez is a mess. 0-for-8 with a walk and four strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 272/343/551 for the season. He has hit 200/297/338 over his last 195 plate appearances.

Feliz was 1-for-9 in the series. 272/318/387.

Ruiz went 3-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series to raise his line on the year to 245/343/414. He’s hitting 366/438/707 with five doubles and three home runs in his last 50 plate appearances.

Bako did not play in the series.

Bruntlett did not play in the series.

Francisco went 0-for-1 to drop his line with the Phillies to 214/261/452 in 42 at-bats.

Cairo was 0-for-1 in the series and is 2-for-19 with the Phillies this year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series. He’s 1-for-34 since the end of June and hitting 193/349/352 for the year. I wrote yesterday that it’s pretty hard to find things to quibble with in the Amaro era, but if you’re looking to add to the Paulino-for-Taschner list I think Stairs instead of Jenkins belongs on the list as well. I think it’s hard to defend putting a guy on your roster all year who doesn’t play defense and hits .193, especially with Dobbs on the team most of the year. It’s not over yet, though, and the biggest at-bats on the year for Stairs are still to come.

This says that Brett Myers will be activated for tonight’s game against the Astros. It also suggests that Romero thinks he could be activated soon, which comes a surprise.


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