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.