Tag: Chase Utley

Third time not quite so charming

The Phils fell 8-3 to the Cubs yesterday, dropping a game in which A.J. Burnett walked six in 5 2/3 innings and a huge error by Ben Revere in the sixth inning led to four unearned runs for Chicago.

It was far from all bad for the Phils in the series, though, as they took two out of three. Revere, Utley and Brown combined to go 17-for-36 in the set (.472) and the bullpen, which had been miserable against the Rangers in the year’s first series, was fantastic. Phillie relievers combined to throw eight scoreless innings over the three games, allowing a single and four walks while striking out seven.

The Phillies are 3-3 on the season after losing 8-3 to the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon. The Phils win the three-games series two games to one.

A.J. Burnett got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on five hits and six walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Three hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple. He struck out three.

Two starts for Burnett so far, one good and this one, which was awful. Last time he walked six or more in a game was July 18, 2011.

He allowed four runs in the bottom of the first on three walks, a triple to lefty Ryan Kalish, a double to righty Starlin Castro and two sac flies.

Burnett walks three in the frame and all three score to put the Phis in an early 4-0 hole.

He walked Kalish with two outs in the second, but picked him off of first to end the inning.

Burnett set the Cubs down in order in the third and again in the fourth.

It was 4-1 when he started the fifth. He walked Kalish again, this time with two outs, and Kalish moved up to third when Anthony Rizzo followed with a single. Nate Schierholtz was next and he walked as well, loading the bases for Luis Valbuena. Valbuena flew to right to end the inning.

With one out in the sixth, Ryan Sweeney lined a ball into center that went off of Revere’s glove for a three-base error. Burnett hit John Baker 1-1 and righty Mike Olt hit for the pitcher Brian Schlitter. Burnett struck Olt out swinging for the second out, but Emilio Bonifacio was next and reached on an infield single. Sweeney scored from third (5-1) and the Cubs had men on first and second with two down for Kalish. Kalish cleared the bases with a double to center. 7-1 with Kalish on second. The righty Brad Lincoln came in to face the lefty Rizzo and Rizzo singled to left. 8-1. Lincoln retired Schierholtz on a fly ball to left for the third out.

All four runs in the frame are unearned thanks to the Revere error. Revere got to the ball, just didn’t catch it. Burnett didn’t pitch well in the frame, though, allowing a single and a double after hitting Baker. Don’t know why Lincoln debuted facing a lefty with a runner in scoring position, but it didn’t work. Down 7-1, it probably didn’t matter a lot, either.

Two batters for Lincoln in the game in his first appearance as a Phillie. He allows a single and gets the the other out.

Jeff Manship threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He came back for the eighth and walked Junior Lake with one out, but got the next two behind Lake.

Manship has made two appearances for the Phils, allowing the walk to Lake over 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

The pen goes 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the game, allowing a single and a walk. Lincoln allows a run charged to Burnett. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row and the Phils are off today. Manship threw 29 pitches and Lincoln 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Carlos Villanueva went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Carlos Ruiz (8) Cody Asche. Rollins returns to the lineup and the two-spot off of paternity leave. Phils have three lefties three through six in what I presume will be their regular lineup against righties until someone gets hurt.

Rollins singled to right with one out in the top of the first and Utley was hit by a pitch behind him. Howard flew to center for the second out with Rollins moving up to third. Byrd grounded back to the mound to set the Phillies down.

They trailed 4-0 when they hit in the second. Brown led off with a single to right, but the Phils went in order behind him with Asche and Burnett both striking out.

They went in order in the third.

Byrd and Brown singled back-to-back with one out in the fourth, putting runners on first and second for Ruiz with one out. Ruiz reached on an error by Castro at short, loading the bases for Asche. Asche hit a ball back to the mound with Villanueva coming home to force Byrd for the second out. With the bases loaded and two outs, Burnett flew to center to end the frame.

No run for the Phils after they load the bases with one out.

Revere led off the fifth with a single, stole second and moved up to third on a single to center by Rollins. Rollins stole second, putting men on second and third with nobody out for Utley. Utley hit a ball that went off of Villanueva’s glove to Castro at short. Castro threw to first in time to nip Utley on a close play. Revere scored (4-1) and Rollins held second. Howard was next and lined a ball to right, but Bonicfacio, playing in shallow right, caught it and doubled Rollins off of second to set the Phillies down.

One run for the Phils after they put men on second and third with nobody out. Close play at first on the ball hit by Utley. Howard looked like he had a hit, but the second baseman Bonifacio caught it in shallow right.

Righty Brian Schlitter set the Phillies down in order in the sixth.

They were down 8-1 when they faced righty Hector Rondon in the seventh. Asche led off with a single, but Hernandez, hitting for Lincoln, Revere and Rollins went down behind him.

Rondon pitched the eighth as well. Utley led off with a double and moved up to third on a ground out by Howard, but Byrd struck out for the second out and Brown grounded to the pitcher to turn the Phils away.

No run for the Phillies after putting a man on third with one out. Byrd strikes out swinging against the righty for the second out.

Righty Jose Veras walked Asche with one out in the ninth. Gwynn hit for Manship and he walked as well, putting men on first and second with one down for Revere. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before Revere walked to load the bases for Rollins. Rollins grounded to third with Gwynn forced at third for the second out. Asche scored to make it 8-2 with two down and men on first and second. Utley walked to load the bases again for Howard and righty Pedro Strop took over to face Howard. Everyone moved up another base on another wild pitch with Revere scoring to make it 8-3 before Howard flew to left to end the game.

Revere was 1-for-4 in the game with a walk, a stolen base and a huge error that led to four unearned runs. 5-for-14 with a walk in the series. 286/310/286 after 30 plate appearances for the year (8-for-28 with eight singles and a walk).

Rollins 2-for-5 with an RBI yesterday. 2-for-9 with two singles in the set. 211/211/368 so far.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk and a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. 6-for-11 with two walks, two doubles and two home runs in the series. Drove in five runs. 458/536/833 for the year in 28 plate appearances. 5-for-13 with a walk, a double and a home run against lefties (385/429/692).

Howard 0-for-5 and left six men on base. Hit the ball way better than that, flying out to deep center and lining into a double-play. 2-for-12 with two walks in the series. Struck out just twice after seven strikeouts in 14 PA against the Rangers to start the year. 240/321/400 to start the year. Hitting .273 against righties with no extra-base hits. Hitting .214 against lefties with a double, a home run and a .500 slugging percentage. Just two strikeouts in 14 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.

Byrd 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. Struck out four times. 240/296/360 so far. Great series against the Rangers in which he went 5-for-13 with a walk and a home run and then goes 1-for-12 against the Cubs. Has looked great defensively in right field. 2-for-14 (.143) against righties so far with two singles. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run against lefties.

Brown 2-for-4 with two singles yesterday and 6-for-11 with two walks and a double in the set. 381/435/429 for the year. Just one extra-base hit in 23 plate appearances, a double, but just about everything else is going great for him at the plate so far. 3-for-9 with three singles against lefties and hitting .417 against righties.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-6 with two walks in the series. 235/435/294 so far with five walks in 23 PA. 0-for-11 against right-handed pitching and 4-for-6 with a double against lefties. 3-for-6 hitting second in the order and 1-for-11 hitting anywhere else.

Asche 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-11 with a walk and five strikeouts in the set. 263/333/474 so far. 1-for-6 (.167) against lefties and 308/357/615 against righties. 2-for-15 with a walk and two singles since going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run on Opening Day.

The Phillies don’t play today and will face the Brewers tomorrow afternoon.


Wait, what was it again that was just another word for nothing left to lose?

Phillie fans didn’t care much for Bobby Abreu when he was great, so it’s a little tough to see them getting too excited about the news the 39-year-old Abreu is coming to Spring Training to try to win a job with the team.

Does he have a chance? I think he does. Mostly because 1) the Phillies are terrible 2) Abreu still has a chance to hit right-handed pitching and 3) a lot of guys the Phillies have been giving chances lately really don’t.

The Phillies would love Abreu to do three things — play defense, hit left-handed pitching and hit right-handed pitching.

He’s a lock not to do two of those things.

He’s an atrocious defensive player and has been for a long time. Negative dWAR as calculated by Baseball-Reference in each of the last 14 years he’s played. dWAR of -1.5 or worse in five of those years. By comparison, Baseball-Reference had 18 players who appeared in the NL last year with a dWAR of -1.5 or worse (four of them, Delmon Young, Michael Young, Darin Ruf and John Mayberry, played for the Phils). FanGraphs gives him a negative UZR/150 in right for nine straight years and negative in left for three straight years.

He’s also not going to hit left-handed pitching. Here’s what he’s done over the last four years in which he appeared in MLB (he didn’t play in MLB 2013):

Year PA v L AVG OBP SLG ISO
2009 201 267 348 386 119
2010 206 228 296 342 114
2011 167 238 319 279 041
2012 50 267 340 378 111
Total 624 246 323 342 096

246/323/342 over his last 624 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. That’s not enough for a corner outfielder who can’t play defense.

The numbers against righties are a lot better, though:

Year PA v R AVG OBP SLG ISO
2009 466 305 408 457 152
2010 461 267 377 478 211
2011 418 259 366 400 141
2012 207 236 353 333 098
Total 1552 272 380 431 159

Abreu was great against righties in 2009 and 2010, hitting 286/393/468 against them over 927 plate appearances. Those numbers carry him to a 272/380/431 line for the four-year span.

In 2011 and 2012 combined he hit 251/362/378 against them. That’s a .362 on-base percentage with an isolated power of .127.

Here’s the complete list of 2013 Phillies who had both an on-base percentage of .362 or better against righties and an isolated power of .127 or better against righties:

Player

PA

OBP vs Right

ISO vs Right

D Ruf

212

363

261

That’s it.

Here’s the guys who made it for one of the two, but not the other (among the players with 50 PA vs righties for the Phils last year):

Player

PA

OBP vs Right

ISO vs Right

D Brown

381

336

235

C Utley

361

360

193

J Mayberry

276

283

143

R Howard

230

357

220

D Young

219

283

143

E Kratz

173

295

189

F Galvis

167

287

145

C Asche

145

310

162

C Hernandez

87

368

050

R Bernadina

67

242

161

Utley comes the closest to hitting the .362/.127 marks, falling short by just a couple of points of on-base percentage. Howard almost did it as well. Nobody else came real close. The Phillies only had two players on the team on-base better than .360 against righties — Ruf and Cesar Hernandez.

Important to remember is that not reaching those marks doesn’t mean those who didn’t were lesser offensive players. Utley, for example, was a way better hitter against righties than a player who on-based .362 with an isolated power of .127 despite not matching both categories. Ditto Howard. Brown’s on-base percentage was way below .362, but his isolated power against righties was a whole lot better than .127.

As a group, though, there’s some room for improvement. Of course, miserable offensive production by the 2013 Phillies doesn’t make Abreu good. It might, though, make him more likely to make the team.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.


With a little luck, though, the special teams could be something special

Fingers crossed. I’m especially excited about what they might do with the punting game.

The last couple of posts have been about declining WAR amongst the Phillie pitchers, but things aren’t going particularly swimmingly on the hitting side, either. Looking at the non-pitchers, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins have been the core of the hitters over the past seven years and all four are likely to impact the 2014 Phillies as well.

The news when it comes to the hitting core of the Phils isn’t good for two big reasons. The first is that the combined WAR produced by that core group of players is a) bad and b) getting worse. The second is that the total WAR accumulated by Phillie hitters other than that group of four is also a) bad (really atrocious in 2013) and b) getting worse.

Here are the WAR numbers for each of those four players, the four as a group and for the rest of Phillie hitters over the last seven seasons as calculated by Baseball-Reference:

’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12 ’13
Total for 4 18.8 16.2 16.4 13.3 10.1 8.8 6.0
Ruiz 2.0 0.1 2.7 4.1 2.8 4.5 1.7
Howard 2.9 1.7 3.8 1.3 1.1 -1.1 0.6
Utley 7.8 9.0 8.2 5.8 3.7 3.0 3.5
Rollins 6.1 5.4 1.7 2.1 2.5 2.4 0.2
Rest of PHI hitters 14.4 12.6 12.6 10.2 5.9 8.1 -2.4
Top 3 other hitters Rowand 5.1 Victorino 4.3 Werth 4.5 Werth 5.8 Victorino 5.4 Pierre 2.0 Brown 2.5
Victorino 3.3 Werth 3.7 Victorino 3.7 Polanco 3.2 Pence 2.2 Victorino 1.5 Revere 0.8
Werth 3.0  Burrell 2.3 Ibanez 2.9 Victorino 3.1 Polanco 1.9 Kratz 1.4 Frandsen 0.5

The total bWAR for the group of Ruiz, Howard, Utley and Rollins topped out at 18.8 in 2007. In 2013 it was down for the fourth year in a row and was at 6.0.

Ruiz has had two years in which he posted a bWAR better than 2.8 — 2010 and 2012. In 2013 he was at 1.7 after averaging about 3.3 over the past three seasons.

Howard has had a bWAR of three of better once in the last seven seasons. Less than two in five of the last six years.

Utley has been in the threes in bWAR for three straight years, which is nice, but a drop from ’07 to ’09 when his bWAR range was 7.8 to 9.0 over a three-year span. From 2005 through 2009 he was over seven for five straight seasons.

Rollins hasn’t topped 2.5 in any of the last five years. From 2004 to 2008 he was in the range of 4.6 to 6.1 for five seasons in a row.

The other big problem for the Phils is that the guys other than the core four have been getting worse. A lot worse. Gone are Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino. Placido Polanco was one of the team’s top position players in 2010 and again in 2011. Domonic Brown had a nice year for the Phils in 2013, but the second best hitter outside of the big four for the Phils was Ben Revere. Revere’s bWAR of 0.8 was worse than the bWAR of the third-best non-Ruiz/Howard/Utley/Rollins hitter on the team in the past six years.


You wanna build a what?

For 2013, Baseball-Reference calculates the combined WAR for Phillie hitters at 3.7.

I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

What? We have to do more?

There were 32 individual NL hitters last year with a bWAR better than 3.7. As you probably guessed, things aren’t exactly headed in the right direction for the Phils in this area — the team was first in bWAR for batters in 2009 after being second in ’08. They slipped to fifth in 2010 and have been in the bottom half of the league ever since. They were 14th in 2013, ahead of only the Marlins.

Here are the eight non-pitchers on the ’13 Phillies who have both a WAR calculated by Baseball-Reference that’s greater than zero and a WAR calculated by FanGraphs that’s greater than zero:

Player bWAR (NL Rank) fWAR (NL Rank)
Utley 3.5 (36) 3.9 (28)
Brown 2.5 (52) 1.6 (83)
Ruiz 1.7 (78) 1.4 (91)
Revere 0.8 (114) 0.9 (108)
Howard 0.6 (127) 0.4 (143)
Rollins 0.2 (170) 1.6 (85)
Quintero 0.2 (180) 0.4 (151)
Rupp 0.2 (181) 0.1 (199)

That’s not good. Using the FanGraphs data, for example, Domonic Brown has the second-best fWAR on the team at 1.6, which was 83rd best in the league.

Baseball-Reference’s guide on interpreting WAR suggests 5+ for an All-Star, 2+ for a starter, 0-2 for a reserve and less than zero replacement level. The Phillies had two hitters with a bWAR higher than two in 2013 and five of the eight players listed above have a bWAR less than one.

Humberto Quintero is a good bet not to be on the Phillies in 2014. Carlos Ruiz is a free agent that could be back, but I wouldn’t count on it. Ruiz not being back is a blow to the Phils — less because he was good last year and more because, by WAR calculated by Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, he was the third or fourth-best non-pitcher on the Phillies last season despite on-basing .320 with five home runs

That leaves the Phils with six players on the ’14 team that had a positive WAR at both sites in ’13: Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Jimmy Rollins, Ben Revere, Ryan Howard and Cameron Rupp.

Utley was clearly the best non-pitcher on the Phillies in 2013. He’s had a bWAR that’s ranged from 3.0 to 3.7 over the last three years and seems like a good bet to be in that range again in 2014. The problem is that he was the best non-pitcher on the Phils in 2013 and was about the 28th or 36th best non-pitcher in the 15-team league. That and there’s a pretty monster drop off behind him.

Again, Utley’s bWAR was 3.5. The total bWAR for all the hitters on the team was 3.7. Milwaukee was seventh in the NL in bWAR for hitters at 20.6 last year and the Padres were eighth at 20.3. So to get to about middle of the pack in the NL last year, the Phllies would have needed to add about 16.7 or so bWAR from their hitters, which is about 4.8 players with the 3.5 bWAR of their best hitter. Obviously it’s more complicated than that, because they couldn’t just add players without taking away some that contributed to their 3.7 bWAR in the first place, but the point is they’re a long way away from being in the middle of the pack in the NL.

Brown impressed with the bat in 2013, but he sure can’t play defense. Posted a positive bWAR for the first time in his career, but fWAR was a lot less impressed. Still, he seems like a good bet to get better and is one of a very few blocks the Phillies have to build on.

Rollins put up a bWAR of 0.2, the worst mark for any year in his career in which he’s gotten at least 100 plate appearances. Coming into the season, his bWAR range for the four previous seasons had been 1.7 to 2.5. If he bounces back, it might not be that high. His -1.0 dWAR was the worst mark for his career. FanGraphs had his UZR/150 at short at -2.7 coming off of positive marks for ten years in a row.

Revere is still young, still never going to walk and never hit for power. The Phillies will need him to be an elite defensive player if he’s going to be good and I’m not sure why you’d think that would happen. He wasn’t in 2013, posting the worst dWAR of his career at -0.4 despite less playing time than he had in the last two years. His UZR/150 in center as calculated by FanGraphs was negative for the second straight year as well. He did hit a monster 407/426/482 in his last 123 plate appearances before injury ended his season. I think he’ll probably be okay on the WAR fronts if he can keep that up. Even assuming he doesn’t, I don’t see center field as one of the biggest areas of concern for the Phillies, where they have a good chance to have a very cheap player who will make a positive contribution. If you want to worry, I’d go with right field, first base and catcher in that order. And cross your fingers about Cody Asche at third base.

Howard on-based .319 in 2013 and his isolated power (.199) dropped under .200 for the first time in his career. Over the last two years his average bWAR is -0.25 and his average fWAR is -0.35. Over his last four years his average bWAR is 0.48 and his average fWAR is 0.45.

The Phillies are due to pay Utley, Rollins and Howard a combined $51 million in 2014 and there’s a real chance only one of the three will put up a bWAR better than one. The trio made $46 million in 2013 with Utley the only player of the group with a bWAR better than 0.6. Per the table above, FanGraphs thought Rollins was a lot better than Baseball-Reference.

Cameron Rupp makes a surprise appearance on the list. Let’s hope for the best, but there are going to be some surprised folks out there if he proves to be more than a backup catcher. He also has 14 career plate appearances. Presumably the Phillies will add a catcher before the season starts, which will prevent them from going into the season with Kratz and Rupp handling the catching duties and, presumably, will mean Rupp starts the year somewhere other than on the active roster.


Are we there yet?

The bad news is that Phillies/Marlins games have almost undeniably taken on a somebody-has-to-win feel. The worse news is that it happened around the middle of last year. Last night it was the Phillies’s turn to win as they topped Miami 2-1, snapping a five-game losing streak and handing the Marlins their 100th loss of the season.

Miami starter Henderson Alvarez struggled in the first inning, walking three straight batters and helping the Phils push across a pair of early runs. That was all they would get and all they would need. Zach Miner started the game for the Phillies and held the Fish to a run over four innings. He was followed by four Phillie relievers who combined to throw five shutout frames.

One of the four relievers in the game for the Phils was Jake Diekman, who allowed a one-out single in a scoreless eighth. Over his last 18 appearances, Diekman has thrown to an 0.55 ERA and an 0.61 ratio while striking out 23 in 16 1/3 innings.

The Phillies are 72-85 on the season after beating the Miami Marlins 2-1 last night. The Marlins are 58-100. The Phillies remain tied with the Mets for third-place in the NL East. Both teams are 21 games behind the first-place Braves and trail the second-place Nats by 11 1/2.

Miner got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three.

Miner drops his ERA on the season to 3.08 with the outing. The 3.08 ERA is a lot more impressive than the 1.52 ratio. Miner has allowed just 26 hits in his 26 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .263 average, but has walked 14. Lefties especially have drawn a ton of walks — they’re hitting just .241 but on-basing .395 against him for the year.

The Phillies led 2-0 when he set the Marlins down in order in the bottom of the first.

Giancarlo Stanon singled to center to start the second. Justin Ruggiano was next and lined a 1-0 pitch into the gap in left-center for a double. Stanton scored from first (1-0) and Ruggiano tried to move up to third as Brown rambled to the ball, but Brown finally got there and relayed to Rollins. Rollins’s throw to third was in time to get Ruggiano, leaving the bases empty with one down. Miner got the next two hitters on a ground ball to second and a strikeout.

Miner’s issues this season have mostly been with walks, but the only run he allowed in his four innings last night came on back-to-back hits by righties. The Phillies and Miner were fortunate to get Ruggiano at third as there was a good chance Ruggiano on third with nobody out would have led to at least a second run in the frame.

Miner allowed a one-out double to the pitcher Henderson Alvarez with one out in the third. He walked Ed Lucas with after getting the second out, putting men on first and second with two down for lefty Christian Yelich. Yelich grounded to Miner to end the inning.

Ruggiano singled to left with one out and stole second before Logan Morrison drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one down, but Miner retired Adeiny Hechavarria on a ground ball to third for the second out and got Jeff Mathis swinging for the third.

Second time in two innings that Miner allows a hit and a walk in the inning, but keeps the Marlins from scoring.

Michael Stutes threw a 1-2-3 fifth. Galvis made a nice play at third on a ball hit hard to retire Alvarez for the first out.

Wait, Michael Stutes is on the team, I hear you cry? Evidently. He was activated from the 60-day DL on Friday after missing more than two months with biceps tendinitis. Last night’s appearances was his first since June 22. He threw to a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings in his first 11 appearances on the season. From June 19 to June 22, he pitched three times and two of the outings were miserable — in the three appearances combined he allowed eight runs over two innings. Last night was his first appearance since.

JC Ramirez pitched the sixth and the seventh. Miami didn’t score in either inning and Ramirez allowed just one base-runner on a Yelich single to start the sixth.

Ramirez has just been awful this year, but he goes two scoreless innings in his best outing in a long time. Coming into last night’s game he had allowed a least one run in each of his last ten appearances, throwing to an 11.57 ERA and a 2.43 ratio in those outings.

Diekman pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out single to Lucas, but got the next two.

Diekman continues to be fantastic. Over his last 18 appearances, he’s thrown to an 0.55 ERA and an 0.61 ratio while striking out 23 in 16 1/3 innings. For the year, righties numbers against the lefty are still pretty concerning. Righties are hitting 305/374/402 against him while lefties have a 148/209/148 line. Lefties don’t have an extra-base hit against him in 68 plate appearances. He’s allowed just one home run on the year, which was hit by righty David Wright.

Papelbon pitched the ninth. He allowed a two-out single to Hechavarria, but retired Placido Polanco on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Papelbon drops his ERA on the year to 2.52 with the outing. Compared to his career numbers, Papelbon has been better against lefties this year, but righties have gotten more hits against him than they had in the past. Righties are hitting .250 against him for the season and .221 against him for his career.

Five scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow three singles and don’t walk a batter while striking out three. Ramirez threw 25 pitches in the game and Diekman 20.

The Phillie lineup against righty Henderson Alvarez went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Brown (5) Ruf (6) Frandsen (7) Galvis (8) Rupp. Frandsen plays first against the righty. He comes into the game hitting 200/244/297 against right-handed pitching for the year. Times are hard, but you really have to figure out a way not to do that. Galvis enters the game with a negative Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR for the year and a .270 career on-base percentage. Cameron Rupp makes his second career start behind the plate. Hernandez hits leadoff — he enters the game on-basing .405 out of the leadoff spot in the order.

Rollins doubled to right with one out. Utley and Brown both walked behind him, loading the bases for Ruf. Ruf walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside, forcing Rollins home. 1-0 with the bases still loaded. Frandsen was next and grounded to short with the infield back. Hechavarria took the out at first and everyone moved up a base. Utley scored, making it 2-0 with two down and men on second and third. Galvis grounded to second for the third out.

Two runs in the frame for the Phils on the Rollins double and three walks. Nice job by Utley, Brown and Ruf to let Alvarez walk them all in a row.

Miner singled to center with one out in the second, but Hernandez grounded into a double-play behind him.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phillies hit in the third. Utley singled to right with one out and moved up to third on a two-out single by Ruf. Frandsen grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

The Phillies didn’t have a base-runner in the fourth, fifth or sixth.

Rupp singled to center off of Alvarez with one out in the seventh, but Mayberry and Hernandez both struck out behind him.

Utley walked off of lefty Dan Jennings with one out in the eighth and the Phils still down a run. Brown flew to center and righty Ryan Webb retired Ruf on a ground ball to short.

Utley draws the walk against the lefty. He’s hitting .232 and on-basing .317 against lefties for the year. The Fish bring in a righty to get Ruf, but Ruf is still hitting just 190/311/349 against lefties for the season.

Webb was back and set the Phillies down 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Hernandez was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 0-for-his-last-7 and 1-for-his-last-12. Hitting .286 and on-basing .352 for the year with an isolated power of .051. The high average and pretty good on-base percentage might be for real. The no power is very definitely for real. Also, he’s not a center fielder and you can’t make him one by playing him in center field. See also: John Mayberry. Hernandez’s UZR/150 as calculated by FanGraphs is -23.2. Mayberry’s is -28.9. Everyone accepts without question that Delmon Young was an abysmal right fielder. And he was. FanGraphs has his UZR/150 in right for the season at -22.2.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a double. 367/446/551 over his last 56 plate appearances. 309/405/456 in 79 plate appearances in September.

Utley 1-for-2 and walked twice. He’s 11-for-his-last-31 (.355).

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk. 250/385/344 in 39 plate appearances since his return.

Ruf 1-for-3 with an RBI. 302/387/453 over his last 62 plate appearances.

Frandsen 0-for-3 with an RBI and left four men on base. Well, coach, what you’re doin’ with Kevin Frandsen . . .I’m not seeing it. 196/240/292 against righties for the year. Not a first baseman. Seems like all that should add up to not starting him at first base against a righty.

Galvis 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Well, coach, what you’re doin’ with Freddy Galvis . . .I’m not seeing it.

Rupp 1-for-4 with a single. 2-for-8 with two singles on the year.

Hamels (8-14, 3.62) faces lefty Brad Hand (1-1, 3.14) tonight. Neither of Hamels’s last two starts have been good as he’s allowed ten runs over 13 innings. Hamels started June with a 4.86 ERA, thanks in part to allowing ten home runs in 74 innings over his first 12 times out. He ended August with a 3.58 ERA. In his 16 starts in June and August, he made 16 starts in which he threw to a 2.73 ERA and allowed seven home runs in 112 innings. He’s allowed four home runs in 28 innings in his first four starts in September. He allowed home runs to about 3.1% of the batters he faced in his 12 starts through the end of May, about 1.6% of the batters he faced in his 16 starts from June through August and has now allowed home runs to about 3.6% of the batters he’s faced so far in September. Not giving up home runs might be the cause of good pitching and it might be the symptom — whichever it is, the differences in results for Hamels over the stretches where he’s limited the home run this year have been pretty dramatic. Hand has made eight appearances in relief this year and one start. In the eight relief appearances, he’s allowed a run over 8 2/3 innings on one hit and five walks (1.04 ERA and an 0.69 ratio). His only start came against the Mets on September 13 and he allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .122 against him for the season.


Short circuited

The Phillies lost a tough one last night, falling 4-3 to the Marlins in ten innings.

Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria made two spectacular plays in the game. In the sixth he took a hit away from Asche with a remarkable leap to snare a line drive. The Phils were poised to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Hechavarria made a miraculous diving play that turned Roger Bernadina‘s RBI-single into the third out of the frame.

Hechavarria’s plays impacted the game without a doubt, but the Phillies had a number of opportunities they couldn’t cash in on and made more than their share of mistakes in the one-run game. Brown and Bernadina both gave away outs on the bases. A throwing error and a wild pitch helped the Marlins score an unearned run in the fifth. The bullpen couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead. The Phils failed to score in the eighth inning after putting a runner on third with one out. Down a run in the tenth, they couldn’t score after putting men on second and third with nobody out.

The Phillies are 71-81 on the year after losing 4-3 to the Miami Marlins in ten innings last night. The Phils take the series two games to one and are 8-4 over their last 12 games.

Miner got the start for the Phillies and went three shutout innings, allowing two singles and two walks. He struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.22.

Nice result for Miner in his first start in the big leauges since August 12, 2009. His 3.22 ERA on the season is more impressive than his 1.52 ratio. Opponents have hit just .262 against him, but with 12 walks in 22 1/3 innings. He’s walked seven of the 34 lefties he’s faced (20.6%) and lefties are on-basing .412 against him.

He walked two hitters back-to-back with two outs in the top of the first. He got behind Justin Ruggiano 3-0 before coming back to strike Ruggiano out swinging, leaving both runners stranded.

He allowed a one-out single in second, but got the next two. Ed Lucas singled to left with one out in the third, but Lucas was caught stealing as Christian Yelich struck out swinging, ending the frame.

Luis Garcia kept the Marlins off the board in the fourth. Ruggiano hit a ball off the wall in right with one out, but Bernadina fielded the ball nicely off the wall and made a strong throw to second in time to nail Ruggiano going for two.

Garcia was back for the fifth and allowed a run on a single, a throwing error by Ruiz, a wild pitch and an RBI-ground out, which put the Marlins up 1-0.

Two innings for Garcia in which he allows an unearned run on two hits. He drops his ERA to 4.39 with the outing. Walks didn’t hurt him last night, but they’ve hurt him this year. Opponents are hitting .229 against the righty, but with a .368 on-base percentage.

Martin started the sixth with the Phils up 3-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton followed, mashing a 1-1 pitch way out to center to tie the game at 3-3. Martin got the next two. Asche made a fantastic play on a bunt by Adeiny Hechavarria for the third out, bare-handing and throwing strong to first.

Five batters for Martin. He allows two runs on the single and the home run. He’s allowed nine home runs in 34 innings on the year. That was hit fourth appearance in relief and the first time he’s been charged with a run as a reliever. 6.90 ERA in his seven starts and now a 4.50 ERA in four innings as a reliever. For the season, opponents are hitting .255 with a slugging percentage of .511. The righty has allowed seven homers to the 83 right-handed batters (8.4%) he has faced.

De Fratus pitched the seventh. He allowed a two-out single, but struck out two and kept the Marlins off the board.

De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day and hasn’t been charged with a run in five innings over his last six appearances. Didn’t walk anyone last night, but has walked 21 in 43 innings for the year.

Rosenberg struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Rosenberg was also pitching for the second day in a row. He has a 1.29 ERA and an 0.86 ratio over 14 innings in his last 16 outings. Opponents have hit .149 against him in those appearances.

Diekman pitched the ninth with the game still tied. He allowed back-to-back singles with two outs, but retired Donovan Solano on a fly ball to center to leave the runners on first and second.

Diekman was also pitching for the second day in a row. He has an 0.63 ERA and the same 0.63 ratio over 14 1/3 innings in his last 16 appearances. 22 strikeouts in his last 14 1/3 innings — opponents have hit .146 against him in those outings and he’s walked just two of the 51 batters he’s faced without allowing a home run. Lefties are hitting 153/215/153 against the lefty (no extra-base hits in 63 plate appearances) while righties are hitting 312/384/416.

Jimenez stared the tenth. Lucas led off and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, putting Miami up 4-3. Jimenez hit Ruggiano with two outs. Ruggiano stole second before Logan Morrison grounded to first to end the frame.

The lefty Jimenez allows a homer to the righty Lucas to start the inning, then hits the righty Ruggiano three batters later. Two of the three righties that Jimenez faces in the frame reach on a solo homer and a hit-by-pitch. He retires both lefties.

The home run that Jimenez allowed to Lucas was the first he had given up in the majors since August 5, 2008. Jason Kubel, playing for Minnesota, homered off of Jimenez, who was pitching for Seattle.

Jimenez’s ERA for the year rises to 2.51 with the outing. He has a 1.12 ratio.

The pen went seven innings in the game, allowing four runs, three of them earned, on eight hits. They didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven. De Fratus, Rosenberg and Diekman have all pitched two days in a row, which shouldn’t matter by Friday given today’s off-day. Garcia threw 27 pitches in the game and everyone else besides Miner (61) was below 20. Miner seems unlikely to be available Friday.

The Phillie lineup against righty Nathan Eovaldi went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Brown (6) Ruf (7) Asche (8) Bernadina. Bernadina plays right with Hernandez in center.

Rollins singled to center with one out in the bottom of the first, but Utley and Ruiz went down behind him.

Asche was hit by a pitch with two outs in the second. Bernadina struck out for the third out.

Hernandez singled to left with one out in the third. Rollins and Utley went down behind him.

Brown walked with one out in the fourth, but was picked off and caught up between first and second after Ruf flew to center for the second out.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the fifth. Bernadina walked with one out and Martinez hit for Garcia. Martinez flew to left for the second out before Hernandez moved Bernadian up to second with a single. Rollins followed with a walk that loaded the bases for Utley. Everyone moved up a base on a passed ball, Bernadina scored to make it 1-1, before Utley singled to right. Hernandez and Rollins both scored, putting the Phils ahead 3-1. Ruiz drew a walk before Brown flew to left, leaving the runners at first and second.

Another big hit for Utley. Two more RBI account for all the RBI the Phils had in the game. He drove in 10 of the 21 runs the Phillies scored in the three-game series.

Hernandez and Rollins again find themselves in the middle of a rally for the Phils. Hernandez was 6-for-12 in the series with two walks and scored five runs. Rollins was 6-for-11 with three walks and four runs scored.

It was 3-3 when Bernadina singled to right off of righty AJ Ramos with two outs in the sixth. Kratz hit for Martin and popped a ball up that fell in-between Lucas and Hechavarria for a single. Bernadina moved up to third, but Kratz was caught up between first and second. Bernadina tried to come home, but was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out to end the inning.

Hernandez walked to start the seventh, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Hernandez in on-basing .398 in 88 plate appearances for the year after going 2-for-4 with a walk in the game. He’s on-basing .471 against right-handed pitching. Had they set the what-will-cesar-hernandez-on-base-against-righties-in-his-first-88-plate-appearances line at .470 before the start of the season, I would have taken the under.

Brown doubled to center off of lefty Mike Dunn to start the eighth. Righty Chad Qualls came in to pitch to Ruf and retired Ruf on a ground ball to short with Brown moving up to third for the first out. Asche struck out swinging for the second. Bernadina was next and hit a ball hard in the hole between short and third. Hechavarria made an amazing play to end the inning, diving to his right to field the ball, getting to his feet and making a strong throw to first to beat the speedy Bernadina.

The play Hechavarria made to end the inning was ridiculous. If you haven’t seen it you should stop reading this and go find the video. That was just a hit and he took it away. It was a hit off the bat and it also should have been a hit after he managed to glove it, given the speed of Bernadina. The throw was just as impressive as the glove.

It was the second-best play Hechavarria made in the game, although it came at a bigger point in the game than the first, given that the Phils would have taken the lead if Hechavarria hadn’t robbed Bernadina to end the eighth. With one out in the sixth, Asche lined a ball headed for left-center and singlehood, but Hechavarria got impossibly high to make an amazingly-timed stab at the ball.

Video of the two Hechavarria plays here.

Hechavarria says he was motivated to catch Asche’s ball after Asche had made a great play to take away Hechavarria’s bunt single to end the top of the sixth.

Brown doubles off the lefty to start the inning, then makes a nice base-running play, moving up to third on Ruf’s ground ball to short when the third baseman goes towards short thinking he might have to field the ball. This after fourth-inning ugliness on the bases for Brown to end that frame.

Asche strikes out against the righty with one out and a man on third.

Rollins walked with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the game still tied, took second on a wild pitch and stole third. He was left at third when Utley grounded to second to end the inning.

Rollins is on-basing .441 in September. He came into the month on-basing .309 for the year.

The Phillies were down 4-3 when they hit against righty Steve Cishek in the bottom of the tenth. Ruiz led off and reached on an error by Lucas at third. Brown was next and lined a double to right, moving Ruiz up to third. Ruf flew to right with the runners holding for the first out. Asche was next and Qualls walked the lefty intentionally, loading the bases for Bernadina. Bernadina struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Galvis hit for Jimenez and grounded to short for the third out.

That is not good. Down a run in the bottom of the tenth, the Phils can’t score after putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Ruf flies out for the first out and Bernadina strikes out with the bases loaded for the second.

Hernadez 2-for-4 with a walk in the game. 6-for-12 with two walks and six singles in the series. 329/398/380 on the year.

Rollins 1-for-3, walked twice and stole a base. 6-for-11 with three walks and a double in the series. 289/413/400 in his last 109 plate appearances going back to September 18. 252/322/345 for the season.

Utley 1-for-5 with two RBI. 6-for-14 with two home runs and ten RBI in the series. 279/345/482 for the year. 18-for-his-last-48 (.375) with two walks, five extra-base hits and 16 RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a walk. 1-for-13 with a walk in the set. Came into the series 10-for-his-last-20. 283/333/390 on the year. Started the series with a .404 slugging percentage on the only day his slugging percentage had been above .400 for the year since he had gone 1-for-4 with a double against the Mets in his first appearance of the season on April 28.

Brown 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk. One double off of a lefty and the other off a righty. 3-for-11 with two walks and three doubles in the series. 272/321/510 on the year.

Ruf 0-for-5 and struck out twice. Struck out with nobody out and men on second and third in the tenth with the Phillies down a run. 4-for-12 with two walks and a home run in the series. 253/353/484 on the season. 220/314/439 over his last 153 plate appearances.

Asche 0-for-3 with a walk, which was intentional. Made a fantastic play on Hechavarria’s bunt to end the sixth. Struck out with one out and Brown on third in the eighth. 1-for-8 with a walk in the series with Galvis at third against the lefty in the middle game. 263/336/438 on the year. 7-for-his-last-36 (.194), but with seven walks and a .341 on-base percentage.

Bernadina 1-for-4 with a walk. Threw Ruggiano out going for a double on his ball off the wall in the fourth. Robbed of what should have been an RBI-single to end the eighth. Struck out with one out and the bases loaded in the tenth. 2-for-7 with two walks and a triple in the series. 180/252/300 on the year. 185/264/369 in his 74 plate appearances with the Phillies.

The Phillies are off today and home against the Mets tomorrow night.


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