Tag: Charlie Manuel

How ’bout we promise to keep watching and you promise to stop getting caught stealing with the game on the line?

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.

Not-so-easy 101

The Phils got number 101 last night, tying the ’76 and ’77 teams for wins in a season. They will look to set the franchise record tonight as the Braves try desperately to beat them and get into the playoffs.

With the win, Charlie Manuel also tied Gene Mauch for most wins in franchise history as a manager with 645. Mauch managed the Phillies in parts or all of nine seasons from 1960-68 and the Phillies played to a .486 winning percentage under him. This is Manuel’s seventh year with the Phils. They have gone 645-488 under him (.569).

The Phillies are 101-60 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 last night. The Phils have won the first two games of the series and three in a row. The Braves and Cardinals have the same 89-72 record and are tied the race for the Wild Card with one game left in the regular season for each team.

Oswalt started last night’s game for the Phils and threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.69, which is sixth-best among the seven pitchers who have started at least one game for the Phils this season. Oswalt goes into the post-season having allowed six runs in 20 2/3 innings over his last three starts. In two of those starts he threw 13 shutout innings combined in which he allowed eight hits and a walk. In the other he allowed six runs in 7 2/3 innings, but pitched way better than his line, allowing four runs in the eighth inning to ruin what had been a solid start.

Utley gave him a 1-0 lead with a homer off of Derek Lowe in the top of the first. Rollins and Pence both knocked in runs in the third to extend the lead to 3-0. Polanco scored Victorino with a sac fly in the fourth. 4-0. Pence hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 6-0 and Rollins hit a solo shot in the seventh. 7-0. Martin Prado led off the ninth with a homer off of Kendrick to cut the lead to 7-1.

Savery threw a scoreless seventh for the Phils. In four appearances for the Phils he has now thrown 2 2/3 scoreless innings in which he has allowed one hit and struck out two.

Bastardo pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with a 7-0 lead, getting Brooks Conrad on a ground ball to short, Matt Diaz on a fly ball to center and Michael Bourn swinging. That’s an outstanding development for the Phils — Bastardo came into the outing having allowed nine runs on nine hits and seven walks over 3 2/3 innings over his last eight appearances. Sixteen of the last 27 batters he had faced had reached based and he had allowed at least one hit or walk in each of the eight outings.

Kendrick pitched the ninth and allowed the solo shot to Prado. Coming off of four straight starts, Kendrick has now appeared in relief his last two times out and neither appearance has gone that well. In those two appearances he has allowed three runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with a homer in the game. He’s 11-for-his-last-19 with two home runs.

Utley 2-for-4 with a homer. He came into the game 3-for-his-last-25 and hitting 214/292/313 over his last 202 plate appearances.

Pence 1-for-3 with a home run. 5-for-his-last-12 with two home runs.

Top three in the order for the Phils go 6-for-12 with three home runs and six RBI.

Howard was 0-for-4. 4-for-his-last-11.

Victorino 1-for-4. 6-for-his-last-20 with four extra-base hits.

Ibanez 1-for-4. 8-for-his-last-24 with eight singles.

Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-20. From August 5 to September 20 he hit 308/390/355 over 123 plate appearances. 2-for-20 since.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. 5-for-his-last-12.

Mayberry walked in his only chance last night. 2-for-his-last-10 with three walks. 302/355/590 since the All-Star break. 306/353/595 against lefties for the year. Ibanez has hit 212/234/356 against lefties for the year. I’m going to be surprised if Ibanez doesn’t start in left against lefties in the post-season, but I don’t think it will be the right decision.

Bowker struck out pinch-hitting for Oswalt in the seventh last night. He’s 0-for-13 with seven strikeouts with the Phils.

Blanton (1-2, 5.03) faces righty Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23) tonight.

Bullpen market

Here’s some lefties that have pitched for the Phils this spring who, even if they don’t have much of a chance to pitch out of the pen for the Phils at the start of the season, sure won’t be in the starting rotation.

Spring IP Spring ERA Spring ratio Career IP Career ERA Career ratio
JC Romero 3 0.00 1.00 624 2/3 4.08 1.49
Antonio Bastardo 1 0.00 0.00 42 1/3 5.53 1.49
Mike Zagurski 4 2.25 1.25 28 1/3 6.99 1.73
Ryan Feierabend 3 3.00 1.67 106 7.22 1.80
Dan Meyer 3 6.00 1.33 113 2/3 5.46 1.55
Juan Perez 3 3.00 1.33 15 2/3 5.17 1.79

Of those guys, Romero is a lock to make the team and Bastardo and Zagurski seem to have a huge advantage over the other candidates. Despite having three fewer appearances, I would guess it’s still advantage Bastardo at this point.

Also, the career numbers on those guys sure are ugly.

Yesterday the Phils topped the Tigers 5-3 to improve to 7-6 in spring action.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks. He’s thrown to a 3.09 ERA with a 1.11 ratio over 11 2/3 innings in three starts.

Madson, Romero and Herndon followed him with scoreless innings before Zagurski allowed a run on a double, a single and two walks in the ninth.

Romero hasn’t walked a batter in three innings so far. Madson’s allowed one hit in three shutout frames and Herndon has given up two hits and two walks over four scoreless innings.

Brian Schneider homered for the Phils, a three-run shot in the second. It was his second home run of the spring. Jeff Larish also connected for a solo shot, he’s 2-for-10 with a double and a home run.

Ibanez went 2-for-3 with a double, raising his average to .240. Martinez 0-for-2 and hitting .174. Rivero 0-for-1 and hitting .308. Dewlyn Young 1-for-3, raising his average to .321 after 28 at-bats. No Phillie has more plate appearances than Young this spring — he, Polanco and Rollins all have 30.

I think it’s a lot more likely that Delwyn Young is going to start the year with the Phillies than I did a few weeks ago. I do wish we were seeing more of Josh Barfield in official games — he’s 5-for-10 with a walk and a double. I think both those guys are better bets to help the Phils than Martinez or Rivero.

Halladay starts today against the Yankees.

I don’t know when you’re going to see Chase Utley playing baseball next, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be soon. In the linked article, Amaro says, “We don’t know exactly when he is going to be playing for us, but I expect him to be playing for us at some point — hopefully in the early part of the season, maybe even the beginning of the season.” That’s not good.

Amaro says that Utley would be replaced by Wilson Valdez if needed in this article. There’s some drop off there, given that Valdez has a career on-base percentage of .289 and never had 150 plate appearances in a season coming into last year.

The Phillies have come to a deal with Charlie Manuel that will keep him managing the team through 2013.

This says that the Phillies hadn’t contacted the Rangers about Michael Young as of yesterday morning. Moving Polanco to second and trying to get a third baseman makes a lot more sense to me than trying to get a second baseman.

The sixth nonsense

Charlie Manuel finished sixth in the voting for NL Manager of the Year. Sixth?

Moving on, here’s the rates some free agents who could fill the Phils need at third base tallied hits, walks, doubles and triples, home runs and extra-base hits per 100 plate appearances for their last season in which they got more than 450 plate appearances (2008 for Glaus and 2009 for everyone else):

  H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Feliz 24.6 5.6 5.1 1.9 7.0
Tejada 29.6 2.8 7.0 2.1 9.1
DeRosa 22.4 8.2 4.2 4.0 8.2
Polanco 26.1 5.3 5.2 1.5 6.7
Beltre 24.9 4.0 5.7 1.7 7.3
Glaus 23.1 13.7 5.3 4.2 9.6
Figgins 25.1 13.9 5.1 0.7 5.8
Crede 20.4 7.9 4.6 4.1 8.7

And here are the same numbers over their careers:

  H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Feliz 23.7 5.3 5.3 3.3 8.6
Tejada 26.4 6.3 5.5 3.6 9.1
DeRosa 24.4 8.4 5.2 2.6 7.8
Polanco 27.8 5.2 5.1 1.5 6.6
Beltre 24.7 7.0 5.4 3.6 9.1
Glaus 21.7 13.5 4.9 5.2 10.0
Figgins 25.6 10.1 4.9 0.8 5.7
Crede 23.3 5.9 4.9 4.1 9.0

Feliz is a very weak offensive player. He has never on-based over .308 for a season and has a .715 career OPS. Doesn’t walk, doesn’t hit for average and hasn’t hit more than 14 home runs in either of the last two seasons.

Tejada is a career .289 hitter and hit .313 for the Astros last year. He walked just 19 times in 673 plate appearances in ’09. He does deliver a ton of extra-base hits. He’s hit 30 or more homers four times in his career, but just 27 in 1,339 plate appearances over the last two years. He’s not a third baseman, either. He may be in the future, but so far he has appeared at third in zero games over his 13-year career.

DeRosa comes off of a weak season in which he hit 250/319/433 for the Indians and Cards. His walk rate is good, better than everyone on the list except for Figgins and Glaus. Through his age 32 season his career high in home runs was 13. Over the past two years he has hit 21 and 23.

Polanco is the least likely member of this group to walk in a given plate appearance over his career and that’s saying something. Pedro Feliz is in this group. Joe Crede is in this group. Adrian Beltre is in this group. The .303 career average is impressive, though. He’s the worst power option in the group behind Figgins.

Beltre has on-based .330 or better in one of the last nine seasons. He does have some power, but he’s hit under .270 four of the last five years.

The problems with Glaus are that he had terrible injury problems last year and probably can’t play third base anymore. Everything else is just ducky. He’s the least likely of the group to deliver a hit or a double or triple, but he has monster rates for drawing walks and hitting home runs. He’s a career .255 hitter and a big right-handed bat that would look fantastic in the Phillies lineup, but if he really can’t play third base it’s going to make it tough to make him your third baseman.

Figgins walked 101 times last season, leading the American League. Second-best walk rate for his career of the group behind Glaus. Worst power numbers of the group by a lot. He just doesn’t homer. His rate of delivering doubles and triples is actually a little better than the rates for Glaus and Crede. He also has stolen 40 or more bases in four of the last five seasons.

Joe Crede hasn’t gotten 400 plate appearances in any of the past three seasons, so I’d be pretty surprised if the Phillies think he’s the guy to hand the third base job. He doesn’t hit for average or draw walks. He is right-handed and can hit some home runs — his home runs rate is second for the group behind Glaus. Career on-base percentage of .304.

I think the guys on the list that have close to no chance of being the player the Phils go after are Crede and Glaus. They are both the kind of player the Phillies need at third — a righty who can hit for power. I would be tempted to take a chance on Glaus if there’s any way he can play third. I don’t think the Phillies will.

Beltre, Tejada, Figgins and DeRosa all seem like they would be an upgrade over Feliz. I hope the Phillies do not consider Polanco to be a real option. I think it would be a big mistake to give him the third base job this year and it could reasonably be argued that Feliz would have been the better choice.

I still think there’s a good chance the Phils get their third baseman through a trade rather than a free agent signing.

Garrett Atkins has been told by the Rockies that he will not be released, but says he knows he will be with another team in 2010. Atkins comes of a miserable season in which he hit 226/308/342 and lost his job to Ian Stewart, but I would be quite pleased to see him as a Phillie. 289/354/457 career line. Hits lefties hard (301/384/486). And yes, he’s been better at Coors than away from it by a lot, but he still has hit more home runs away than he has at home for his career. Where do I sign?

Atkins is also a close friend and former college roommate of Chase Utley. I’m just saying.

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.

Four??! Goodness sake

Charlie Manuel made an awful decision last night, bringing in a guy with a 6.75 ERA to pitch for the fourth straight day in a game the Phillies led by one run. It didn’t work out well. Lidge didn’t get an out and the Pirates tied the game up before Andrew McCutchen delivered a two-run walkoff homer to give Pittsburgh the win.

Lidge has a 5.23 ERA and a 1.94 ratio this year when pitching on three or more days of rest. So I’m thinking four days in a row might not be the way to go.

It’s just been a miserable season for Lidge. Here’s how his rates of striking out hitters and allowing hits, walks, doubles and triples and home runs for ’09 compare to what he did in ’08 and what he’s done for his career:

  H/100 PA
BB/100 PA
(2B+3B)/100 PA
HR/100 PA SO/ 100 PA
2008 17.12 11.99 3.77 0.68 31.51
2009 24.03 12.02 5.58 4.72 20.60
Career 18.92 10.60 4.37 2.32 31.88

Lots of problems for Lidge this year if you compare his numbers to his lights out ’08 campaign. One thing that isn’t a problem is the walks — he’s issuing walks at about the same rate this year as he did last.

What he’s not issuing at the same rate as last year is home runs. He’s allowed home runs at nearly seven times the rate he did in 2008. Here’s how his rates for ’08 and ’09 compare to each other and his career rates:

  H/100 PA BB/100 PA
(2B+3B)/100 PA
HR/100 PA SO/100 PA
2009 vs 2008 1.40 1.00 1.48 6.89 0.65
’09 vs Career 1.27 1.13 1.28 2.04 0.65
’08 vs Career 0.91 1.13 0.86 0.30 0.99

So, for example, in 2009 Lidge allowed 1.40 times the hits per 100 plate appearances he did in 2008, about the same number of walks, 1.48 times the doubles and triples, 6.89 times the home runs and struck out about 65% of the hitters he struck out the previous year.

Interestingly, 2008 was Lidge’s best year by a wide margin but his rates of allowing walks and striking out hitters were both below his career levels. Compared to his career levels his hits were down a little in ’08, but what was really down was his rates of allowing extra-base hits and home runs. This is especially evident when you look at his ’09 vs ’08 rates of allowing home runs and then his ’09 rate of allowing home runs compared to his career rates. As I mentioned above, his rate of allowing home runs in 2009 is almost seven times what is was in 2008, but it’s only about two times higher than his rate of allowing home runs for his career.

The Phillies will send eight players to the Arizona Fall League, including Scott Mathieson and Domonic Brown.

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