And maybe get a middle reliever with an ERA under six?
Charlie Manuel is about to become the man who has managed the most games in Phillie history, reminding me that one of the biggest moments in this era of team history came off the field. On April 17, 2007, the press conference that followed the latest Phillie loss didn’t take long to get out of hand. Manuel eventually challenged a media member critical of the team to fight. That offer refused, Manuel stood telling the room, loudly and more than once, that his team was going to win.
They were 3-9 that day, coming off of an 8-1 loss to the Mets. Wes Helms had started the game at third with Freddy Garcia on the mound. Matt Smith allowed three runs in a third of an inning. Garcia was on his way to throwing to a 5.90 ERA for the year in his 11 starts. The Phillies hadn’t been to the playoffs in the last 13 years and would become the first professional team to reach 10,000 losses later that season. But they did win. They went 86-64 the rest of the way in ’07 and made the post-season for the first time since 1993. They went to the World Series the year after that and the year after that.
Yesterday, the 2013 Phillies scored two runs in the top of the ninth in San Francisco to send the game to extra-innings, where they lost 4-3. After the game, Manuel said he liked the team’s fight. “Keep watching us,” he said.
We will. But that’s not the same thing.
Going back to the end of the 2011 season and counting the ’11 playoffs, the Phillies are 103-111 in the last 214 games they’ve played. It’s not early and this year’s slow start isn’t a blip. If you’re waiting for this team to snap out of its funk, stop waiting. It’s not going to happen. They’re going to be reborn or they’re going to fade away.
I would truly love to believe that they aren’t going to fade away.
But I don’t.
I will, however, keep watching. Just in case. Because I would truly love to be wrong.
The Phillies are 16-19 on the year after losing 4-3 to the San Francisco Giants in ten innings yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one.
Pettibone got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out one.
Pettibone’s ERA rises to 3.63 with the outing. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his four starts. Righties are hitting 304/347/587 against him, however, and if they keep hitting 304/347/587 against him his ERA won’t be at 3.63 a lot longer.
Marco Scutaro singled with one out in the bottom of the first, but Pettibone got Pablo Sandoval to ground into a double-play to end the inning.
Hunter Pence led off the second and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, putting the Giants up 1-0. Pettibone got the next two before Brandon Crawford singled to right. Guillermo Quiroz went down swinging to leave Crawford at first.
Pettibone had allowed four home runs in 18 2/3 innings for his career after the end of the second. That’s a lot, cause it would be 40 over 186 2/3 if he continued to allow home runs at that rate. And pitched 186 2/3 innings.
He set the Giants down in order in the third.
Sandoval and Belt both walked in the fourth, putting men on first and second for Francisco Peguero with one out and the game tied at 1-1. Peguero grounded to second for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Crawford flew to center to leave them both stranded.
You want to avoid walking two batters in an inning, but Pettibone worked out of it there.
With two outs in the fifth, Blanco singled to right, stole second and scored on a Scutaro single, putting the Giants up 2-1. Sandoval moved Scutaro up to third with a single, but Pettibone got Pence on a ground ball handled by Frandsen to leave the runners stranded.
Mayberry made a nice play for the second out in the fifth. Zito popped a ball into shallow left-center, but Mayberry made a diving catch after a run to take a hit away from him. May have saved the Phils a run with Blanco, Scutaro and Sandoval all getting hits behind Zito.
Scutaro’s single was a two-out bloop into center that got the Giants a run.
Pettibone walked Belt to start the sixth and Belt moved up to second on a ground out by Peguero and up to third on a ground out by Crawford. Quiroz was walked intentionally to pitch to Zito with runners on the corners and two down, but Zito singled to right, scoring Belt to extend the lead to 3-1. Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Blanco and walked him, loading the bases. Scutaro went down on a fly ball to right to leave them loaded.
Horst faced two batters in the game, walking one and getting one out. He has a 6.43 ERA for the year. Over his last five appearances he has an 8.31 ERA and a 2.08 ratio.
Aumont pitched the seventh. He walked Pence with one out and Pence stole second with two down, but Peguero grounded to second to leave Pence at second.
Aumont drops his ERA to 2.61 for the season with the appearance. He’s been nowhere near that good, walking nine in 10 1/3 innings. Opponents are on-basing .404 against him, lefties .478.
Durbin struck out Quiroz and Andres Torres in a 1-2-3 eighth.
Nice outing for Durbin. He came off of a pair of bad outings in which he allowed six runs over three innings. 6.17 ERA for the season for Dubin. He’s had a whole bunch of problems this year. Too many hits — opponents are hitting .304 against him. Too many of the hits go for extra-bases, opponents are slugging .609 against him for the year and seven of the 14 hits he’s allowed have gone for extra-bases, including three home runs. He’s also walked seven in 11 2/3 innings.
Adams started the ninth with the game tied at 3-3. Blanco led off with an infield single, but Ruiz threw him out trying to steal second for the first out before Scutaro doubled to center. Sandoval and Pence both went down on fly balls to center to leave Scutaro at second.
The caught stealing by Blanco ahead of the Scutaro double saves the Phils a run.
Adams has pitched for two days in a row. He hasn’t allowed a run in five innings over his last five appearances.
Bastardo started the tenth. Righty Buster Posey hit for Belt and singled to center. Righty Joaquin Arias hit for the pitcher Santiago Casilla and bunted Posey to second with the first out. Posey took third on a wild pitch before Crawford walked, putting men on first and third with one down for Quiroz. Bastardo struck the righty Quiroz out swinging for the second out, but Torres was next and lined a single to right. Posey scored to give the Giants a 4-3 win.
The wild pitch that moved Posey up to third with one out changed the inning. Nice job by Bastardo to struck Quiroz out with one out and the winning run on third, but it’s not enough as Torres follows with the single.
Bastardo came into the game with an 0.90 ERA for the year over 11 appearances. Opponents had hit .125 against him.
Overall the pen went four innings in the game, allowing a run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Adams has pitched two days in a row and threw 15 pitches in the game.
The Phillie lineup against lefty Barry Zito went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Michael Young (4) Utley (5) Delmon Young (6) Ruiz (7) Mayberry (8) Revere. Howard and Brown on the bench against the lefty with the Phils due to face another lefty tonight. Righties Frandsen and Mayberry in the lineup at first and in left. The lefty Revere stays in the lineup against the lefty.
The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.
Down 1-0, they went in order in the top of the second.
Revere doubled to right with one out in the third, but Pettibone struck out swinging for the first out and Rollins flew to center for the third.
Second extra-base hit of the season for Revere in his 113th plate appearance. He came into the game 5-for-his-last-13 with three walks in 16 May plate appearances.
Frandsen led off the fourth and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left, tying the game at 1-1. The Phils went in order behind him.
First home run of the year for Frandsen.
The Phils went in order in the fifth.
They were down 2-1 when they hit in the sixth. Rollins doubled with one out, but was caught trying to steal third for the second out. Frandsen grounded to short to end the inning.
Rollins was out caught stealing by a lot. Just his second caught stealing on the year, but it would have been a good time either to stay at second or to be safe.
Zito got both Youngs and Utley in order in the seventh with the Phils down 3-1.
Ruiz singled to left to start the eighth. Righty Santiago Casilla came in to pitch to Mayberry. Howard hit for Mayberry and struck out swinging for the first out. Revere was next and grounded to first for the second out with Ruiz moving up to second. With Domonic Brown in the on-deck circle and set to hit for Aumont, lefty Jeremy Affeldt took over for Casilla. Brown did hit for Aumont and went down on a ground ball handled by Affeldt to end the frame.
Righty Sergio Romo started the ninth for the Giants with a 3-1 lead. Rollins led off and doubled into the right field corner. He moved up to third when Frandsen flew out to Pence in foul territory for the first out. Michael Young drew a walk that put runners on the corners for Utley. Utley singled into center, scoring Rollins (3-2) and moving Young up third. Utley took second as the throw came in to third, putting men on second and third with one down for Delmon Young. Young flew to right for the second out. Michael Young tagged and scored from third as the throw came home way up the line, tying the game at 3-3 with two down and Utley at third. Ruiz flew to center to leave Utley stranded.
Romo came into the game with a 1.72 ERA for the season and the Phils score two on two hits and a walk to tie the game. Second double for Rollins since the start of the sixth inning.
Revere singled off of lefty Javier Lopez with one out in the top of the tenth, but was caught stealing for the second out. Brown struck out to end the frame.
Second time in the game the Phils were caught stealing. Second hit for Revere in the game, both of which came off of the lefties he’s been prone to sit against recently.
Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game with two doubles and a caught stealing. 3-for-13 with two doubles in the set. 6-for-his-last-36. 242/294/364 for the season.
Frandsen 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season. Started just his third game of the season. 259/333/444 on the year. He’s appeared in just one game at third base this season while appearing at second three times.
Michael Young 0-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-11 with three walks and three doubles in the series. 322/394/415 for the year. Isolated power of .093.
Utley 1-for-4 with an RBI. 5-for-13 with a walk and a home run in the series. 276/324/504 for the year. Ten walks in 139 plate appearances is 7.2%, well below his career mark of 9.8% and the lowest it’s been in any year since 2004. 121/194/273 against lefties for the season.
Delmon Young 0-for-3 with a big RBI. 3-for-23 on the season. 1-for-his-last-20.
Ruiz 1-for-4 to drop his average to .138 after 29 at-bats. 2-for-9 in the set.
Mayberry 0-for-2. Made a nice diving catch in the third to take a hit away from Zito. 1-for-7 in the series. 213/292/400 for the year. 143/208/286 over his last 53 plate appearances.
Revere 2-for-4 with a double. 4-for-8 with a double in the series. 234/281/262 for the year with two extra-base hits in 116 plate appearances. 412/500/471 in 20 plate appearances in May.
Hamels (1-4, 4.34) faces lefty Patrick Corbin (4-0, 1.80) tonight in Arizona. Hamels pitched to a 10.97 ERA over his first two starts this season. 1-2 with a 2.31 ERA and an 0.94 ratio over his last five. Opponents have hit .171 against him in those five outings, but drawn 12 walks in 35 innings. Corbin has made six starts and hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of them. Lefties are hitting .160 against him for the year.