Tag: Chris Coste

We want a pitcher (or maybe three)

Juan Castro or not, the Phillies are going to score a whole bunch of runs in 2010. The Phils have led the NL in runs scored in three of the last four seasons.

The season of the last four when they didn’t lead the league in runs scored, 2008, they won the World Series. So if you’re thinking what the Phils need to do to improve their team overall has a lot more to do with pitching than hitting (and exactly nothing to do with getting guys who on-base .270 to take up roster spots to firm up the defense), I agree with you.

The Phillies were worse at preventing runs in 2009 than they were in 2008. Here’s the rates at which they allowed runs per nine innings, the NL average and the Phillies’ rank for each of the last two years:

Year Runs per 9
IP
NL AVG NL Rank
2009 4.38 4.53 6
2008 4.22 4.66 3

On average, NL teams allowed fewer runs per game in 2009 than they did in 2008. The Phillies allowed more and also saw their rank in runs allowed per nine innings drop from third to sixth. In 2009 the Phils allowed about 96.7% of the runs per nine innings as the average NL team. In 2008 they had allowed about 90.6%.

So they got worse.

Their starters didn’t get worse, though. In 2009 their starters threw 963 2/3 innings and allowed 477 runs. That’s about 4.45 runs per nine innings pitched. In 2008 their starters threw 966 2/3 innings and were charged with 489 runs — about 4.55 runs per nine innings.

Here’s how the numbers looked for the relievers:

Year Runs per 9
IP
NL AVG NL Rank
2009 4.24 4.35 9
2008 3.56 4.47 1

Not so good. The Phillies rate of allowing runs per nine innings was better than the league average, but they were just ninth among the 16 NL teams and near the league average. A year before the Phils won the World Series with the league’s dominant bullpen, allowing nearly a run per nine innings less than the average NL team. The 3.56 runs allowed per nine innings for the Phils’ pen in ’08 was outstanding — the Brewers had the third-best rate for the NL in 2008 and their relievers allowed 4.27 runs per nine (Milwaukee allowed more than half a run more per nine innings and still had the pen that allowed the third-fewest runs per nine innings).

So what exactly went wrong for the Phillies pen in 2009? As tempting as it may be to say it was all Brad Lidge, there’s more to it than that. In 2008, opponents hit 251/333/371 against the Phillies relievers. In ’09 they hit a very similar 246/335/373. In 2009 you were less likely to reach base on a hit or a walk against the Phillies relievers than you were in 2008 (a little more likely to get a walk and less likely to get a hit for a combined total of less likely). You were also less likely to get an extra-base hit. They allowed a lot more runs, though, and were a lot worse compared to the other teams in their league. So something was going on. More on that soon.

This suggests that Scott Mathieson could help the Phillies next year.

Today is the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their players who are eligible. For the Phillies, that includes Condrey, Durbin, Blanton, Ruiz, and Victorino.

It looks like Chris Coste will be a Met.


Rest of the group catchering up with Ruiz

Coming into 2009, the Phillies were 113-79 (.589 winning percentage) in the games that Ruiz started at catcher and 68-64 (.515) in the games someone else started at catcher over the past two years. Their winning percentage when Ruiz starts this year is still good, but the Phillies have had some good results this season with other guys behind the plate, too. Here’s the Phillies record and winning percentage by starting catcher for 2009:

  G W L PCT
Ruiz 97 56 41 .577
Bako 31 19 12 .613
Coste 22 13 9 .591
Marson 6 3 3 .500
Hoover 1 0 1 .000
         
Total 157 91 66 .580

The Phils are 56-41 (.577) this year when Ruiz starts and 35-25 (.583) when he doesn’t.

Jamie Moyer left last night’s game after crumpling on the mound with what the team has called a left groin strain. His status is unknown. After throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings last night, Moyer now has a 1.93 ERA and an 0.70 ratio in 18 1/3 innings in relief for the season.

This says that Carlos Ruiz was in the Phillies lineup as of 4 PM yesterday but was scratched after batting practice. It also says that Myers may be ready by the end of the week.


The house that roared

After struggling at home for most of the year the Phillies have roared to life at Citizens Bank Park in early July. Coming off of a three-game sweep of the rival Mets at home, the Phillies pounded the Reds in a four-game set and now look to finish the first half of the season strong as the Pirates come to town.

The Phillies have won six of their last seven. In those games they’ve thrown 63 innings with a 2.29 ERA. The bullpen has been charged with one run in 19 innings (0.47 ERA) while throwing to an 0.63 ratio with 26 strikeouts. Jimmy Rollins has gone 12-for-28 with five extra-base hits and seven walks and sparkled defensively. The team never makes an error. They scored ten runs in an inning and 22 runs in a game. Jayson Werth homers every day. Victorino has played himself into the All-Star game. Rollins, Victorino and Utley combined to go 22-for-51 atop the lineup in the last four games.

The Phils are 45-38 on the year after taking three of four from the Cincinnati Reds. The Phils are in first place in the NL East, two games ahead of the Florida Marlins. The Mets and Braves are tied for third place, both teams are five games back.

The Phillies blasted the Reds in game one, winning 22-1. They scored ten runs in the bottom of the first, getting two-run homers from Victorino and Dobbs and a three-run shot from Utley. Hamels was fantastic. He allowed a solo homer to Johnny Gomes in the top of the second, but went seven innings and allowed just three hits without walking a batter. The Phils were up 16-1 by the fourth inning and Werth hit a grand slam in the bottom of a six-run eighth.

The Phils lost a close one in game two, falling 4-3. Happ gave them another impressive start, but the Phillies had a lot of trouble with situational hitting and failed several times the bring a runner home. They got a run in the third but couldn’t get any more after putting men on first and second with nobody out. They got a leadoff triple from Ruiz in the fourth but left him stranded. In the eighth they put men on first and third with one out but didn’t score. Home runs from Werth and Howard helped put the Phils up 3-0 by the end of the third. Brandon Phillips connected for a two-run homer off of Happ in the fourth, though, and Phillips tied the game at three with another home run in the sixth. Lidge entered the ninth with the score still tied. He gave up a leadoff double to Joey Votto and Votto came around to score on a Ramon Hernandez single to put Cincy up 4-3. The Phils went quietly in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies took game three 3-2 thanks to solid pitching and a show-stealing performance from Victorino. Lopez made his second start for the Phils and gave up a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Victorino made a run out of almost nothing in the bottom of the inning. He led off and reached on an infield single, stole second, went to third on a sac fly by Utley and scored on a two-out single from Howard to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1. Lopez had to leave with a strained shoulder after five innings after throwing 82-mph fastballs in the top of the fifth. Werth blasted a home run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2. Durbin, Romero and Madson combined to throw four scoreless innings and the game went to the bottom of the ninth still tied at 2-2. Feliz led off with a single, moved to second on a two-out walk from Rollins and came in to score the game-winner on a single to center from Victorino.

The Phils won an ugly 9-6 game yesterday. Moyer didn’t have a good start and the Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. The Phils came back with two in the bottom of the third, thanks to an inside-the-park home run from Utley that was followed by back-to-back doubles by Howard and Werth. Edwin Encarnacion put the Reds up 4-2 with a solo homer in the fourth, but a two-run single from Victorino in the bottom of the inning tied the game at 4-4. Another home run off of Moyer, this one a two-run shot from Brandon Phillips, made it 6-4 in the fifth. The Phillies got four walks and two singles in the bottom of the fifth to go up 8-6 and a solo homer by Werth in the sixth put them up 9-6. Park was awesome in relief of Moyer, entering in the sixth with an 8-6 lead and going three scoreless innings. Lidge got the save in the ninth.

Outstanding pitching for the Phillies in the series. They threw 36 innings to a 3.25 ERA and an 0.89 ratio. This comes off a series against the Mets where the Phils threw to a 1.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio over three games. So they’ve been pitching rather well.

Three great starts in the series for the Phils and one bad one yesterday. 24 innings with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.00 ratio for the starting pitchers combined. The starters allowed five home runs — one by Hamels, two by Happ and two by Moyer. They walked just two in 24 innings. Lopez and Moyer both walked one and Hamels and Happ didn’t walk any.

Hamels was awesome in game one. He allowed two singles and a solo homer over seven innings.

Happ went seven innings in game two and allowed three runs, all of which scored on a pair of homers by Phillips. Aside from the two homers Happ allowed four singles without walking a batter and struck out seven. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts.

Lopez went five innings in game three, allowing two runs on five singles and a walk. The Phillies have won both of his starts and he’s pitched to a 3.18 ERA with a 1.15 ratio, walking just two in 11 1/3 innings.

Moyer allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings yesterday, raising his ERA on the year to 5.99. He’s allowed five home runs in 16 1/3 innings over his last three starts.

The bullpen allowed one run in 12 innings, the run the Lidge gave up in the ninth inning of game two. 0.75 ERA and an 0.67 ratio coming off of seven scoreless innings against the Mets with an 0.57 ratio. The pen didn’t allow a home run against the Reds and gave up just five hits and three walks in 12 innings. The trio of Durbin, Romero and Madson were particularly impressive in game three. Park was fantastic last night, going three scoreless innings in relief of Moyer.

Romero entered game three with two outs in the seventh, men on first and second and the score tied at 2-2 to pitch to Chris Dickerson. Romero struck him out looking to end the frame.

Eyre made his first appearance for the Phils since June 11 in the ninth inning of game one. He entered the game with a 22-1 lead and allowed a single and a double to the first two men he faced, but kept the Reds off the board by getting the next three hitters on a fly ball and two strikeouts.

The outing will surely help his splits for career ERA when pitching with a 21-run lead.

Durbin started the sixth inning of game three with the Phillies down 2-1. He got the first two men he faced before hitting Phillips. He got Laynce Nix on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

He came back to start the seventh in game three. Hernandez led off with a single and moved to second on a ground out by the pitcher Homer Bailey before Durbin hit Edwin Encarnacion. It put men on first and second with nobody out. Durbin struck Johnny Gomes out looking for the second out and Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Dickerson.

Three good outings in a row from Durbin have lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 4.09. He allowed three home runs in 12 2/3 innings in April to start the year. He’s given up just three in 21 1/3 innings over 26 appearances since.

Park entered yesterday’s game in relief of Moyer in the top of the sixth with an 8-6 lead. He allowed a one-out walk in the sixth, but got the next two men he faced. He came back to strike out the side in the seventh and throw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Huge outing for Park in a tight game. Over his last six appearances he’s allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks over 8 1/3 innings. That’s a 1.08 ERA and an 0.84 ratio. Park made six appearances in May, four starts and two in relief. He walked 15 in 22 innings (and 12 in his 18 innings as a starter). So far in June and July he has walked six in 20 2/3 innings.

Walker threw the seventh inning of game one with the Phillies up 16-1 and set the Reds down in order.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with the score tied at 3-3. He set the Reds down 1-2-3.

He also pitched in game three, entering in the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth and a 1-2-3 ninth.

Fantastic series for Madson, pitching three shutdown frames at critical times.

Lidge entered game two in the top of the ninth with the score tied at 3-3. Joey Votto led off with a double to right, was bunted to third and scored on a single by Hernandez before Lidge got out of the inning with a double-play ball.

He also pitched last night in game four, entering in the ninth with a 9-6 lead. He walked Willy Tavares with two outs, but struck Chris Dickerson out to end the game and earn his 17th save.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Park threw 43 pitches last night, so I wouldn’t be expecting to see him in tonight’s game.

The Phillies scored 37 runs in the four-game series (22 in game one).

Rollins was fantastic in the series, both with his glove and with the bat. 7-for-17 with a double and four walks. He is hitting 227/281/351 on the season. He’s 14-for-his-last-32 and hitting .400 in July.

Victorino was pretty fantastic hisownself. He won game three with a walkoff single that scored Feliz and had a monster game one in which he drove in four runs. 8-for-17 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI. 309/375/463 on the year.

Utley hit an inside-the-park home run yesterday. With two outs and nobody on he hit the ball high off the wall in center. It came off the wall and rolled along the track while Utley hustled around the bases and scored without a close play at the plate. 7-for-17 with two doubles and two homers and six RBI in the series. 307/427/578, so Victorino has a higher batting average on the season, which probably won’t last long.

Howard went 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He’s at 253/332/522 on the year. Everyone in front of him is on fire these days, so there are a ton of RBI chances for Howard. He’s hitting just 200/333/333 in July, though.

Werth homered in every game in the series. 6-for-15 with a double, four walks, four homers and nine RBI. 268/373/522 on the year. He’s slugging .885 in July. He hits a lot of home runs with Ryan Howard not on base.

Dobbs starting left field for all four games and went 7-for-16 with a double and a home run. 274/319/472. He was hitting 172/246/310 after 0-for-1 against the Blue Jays on June 17. He even drew a walk in last night’s game, which gives him two since the end of May.

Feliz was 5-for-18 with five singles and is at 292/339/407 for the year.

Ruiz started games one, two and four of the series and went 3-for-9 with a triple and a walk. He’s hitting 239/340/374 for the year. 3-for-his-last-19.

Coste was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line for the year to 245/342/382. He has two at-bats in July.

Bako started game three. He was 1-for-6 in the series and is hitting 200/273/250 in 20 at-bats on the year. In the last three games that Bako has started the team the Phillies were playing has scored two runs twice and one run once. Coincidence? Probably.

Bruntlett was 1-for-5 with a double in the series. 139/207/208.

Mayberry was on the bench to start all four games with the Reds starting four righties. He was 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. 200/250/511 for the year in 36 at-bats. He’s 1-for-his-last-20 with 11 strikeouts.

There’s a whole lot of things going right for the Phillies. One of the things that isn’t and that has been a problem for a long time is right-handed hitting off the bench. Bruntlett, Coste and Mayberry aren’t in a groove. Need some help.

Stairs was 0-for-1 with three walks in the series. His line is at 271/427/458 for the year. Just one extra-base hit, a double, since he homered against the Fish on May 27.

Shane Victorino won the vote and made the All-Star team.

Things are heating up with Pedro Martinez. Martinez will throw for the Phillies again this afternoon. Todd Zolecki seems to think there’s a good chance the Phils will get Pedro.

Lopez says he should be able to make his next start, which could be on July 20.

Update: Jayson Werth has also made the NL All-Star team, taking the place of the injured Carlos Beltran. The addition means that all three of the Phillies starting outfielders will join Utley and Howard on the team.

More update:
The Phillies activated Ibanez from the DL and designated Chris Coste for assignment. Coste was claimed by the Astros.


Apparently if you want to meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and greet the Mets you’ve come to the wrong place

Try the DL.

The Phillies did just about everything right this weekend against the Mets. They got brilliant pitching, got Jimmy Rollins back sparking their offense at the top of the order and played error-free baseball. And when it was over it was hard to have any reaction at all except man-the-Mets-sure-are-looking-awful.

The Phils came into the series with New York 4-14 over their last 18 games. There’s no question that they’re going to snap out of it — the only question is when. They have played badly enough for long enough, though, that one great weekend against the Mets, a team missing three of its four best hitters, isn’t going to get the confidence ball rolling again with a whole lot of steam. Their problems, mostly the fact that there is no reason the rest of the division should be nearly as close to them as they are, took more than one weekend to make and they’re going to take more than one weekend to put behind them.

The Phillies are 42-37 on the year after sweeping the Mets in a three-game series in Philadelphia. They’re a game ahead of the second-place Marlins. The Mets and Braves are tied for third place in the division four games behind the Phils.

Rodrigo Lopez made his debut as a Phillie in game one, which the Phillies won 7-2. Coming off of three straight losses in Atlanta, the Phillies exploded for seven runs in the first three innings as they jumped out to a big early lead. Lopez cruised into the seventh, when the Mets finally got to him for a pair of runs. Park and Madson came on to offer 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Phillies pitching held the Mets down again in game two as Moyer led the way to a 4-1 win. Moyer held New York to a single run and pitched into the seventh. Rollins drove in a pair of runs and four Phillies relievers combined to throw 2 1/3 innings of nearly perfect relief to protect a three-run lead. Lidge struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his fifteenth save on the year.

Blanton dueled Johan Santana in game three and the Phils came out with a 2-0 win. Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a home run and Utley put the Phils ahead 2-0 with another homer in the bottom of the sixth. Blanton was fantastic, pitching into the eighth and allowing just four singles and three walks without giving up a run. Park got a huge double-play in the eighth and Lidge earned his second save in two days by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies got outstanding pitching in the series, allowing just three runs in three games. Their pitchers posted a 1.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio. They didn’t allow a home run and struck out 20 in 27 innings.

The starting pitchers combined to throw 20 innings with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.00 ratio. Lopez, Moyer and Blanton all made good starts.

Lopez was very good in game one, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 innings in his first start since 2007. He allowed six hits, three singles and three doubles, and walked one.

Moyer also went 6 1/3 in game two. He allowed one run on five singles and a walk. He allowed at least one home run in nine of his first ten starts on the season. After not allowing one in game two he has now not allowed one in four of his last six starts.

Blanton threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings in game three, allowing four singles and three walks. He left with one out and a man on first in the eighth. He’s allowed more than three runs in a start once in his last eight outings — he allowed four runs against the Blue Jays on June 18. His ERA has dropped from 7.11 to 4.69.

The relievers were also outstanding in the series. They allowed three hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings over the three games. They struck out ten.

Romero entered game two in the seventh with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies up 4-1. He struck Daniel Murphy out to end the inning. He came back to start the eighth and got the leadoff man before Alex Cora singled to left. Madson came on to face righty David Wright.

He also pitched in game three, entering in the top of the eighth with one out, a man on first and the Phillies up 2-0 to pitch to lefty Alex Cora. He hit Cora with a pitch to put the tying run on base and Park came in to pitch to the righty Tatis.

Escalona didn’t pitch in the series. Eyre took his roster spot yesterday.

Walker did not pitch in the series.

Park entered game one in the bottom of the seventh with one out, a man on second and the Phils up 7-2. He struck out the two men he faced to end the inning. He returned for the eighth. He allowed a leadoff single to Gary Sheffield, but got Wright to hit into a double-play behind him. A single and a walk followed, but Park got out of it by getting Tatis on a fly ball to Werth to set New York down.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering in the eighth with one out, men on first and second and the Phils up 2-0. He got the only man he faced, Tatis, to hit into a big double-play.

Durbin relieved Moyer in game two with one out, nobody on and the Phils up 4-1 in the seventh. He got the first man he faced before hitting Omir Santos with a pitch. Romero came on to face lefty Daniel Murphy.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game one with a 7-2 lead. He set the Mets down in order. Madson isn’t the guy to use to start an inning up by five runs.

He entered game two in the eighth with the Phils up 4-1, one out and Wright at the plate. He got Wright to pop to Utley for the second out and Gary Sheffield on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Lidge struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth in game two with the Phils up 4-1. It was the first time he had thrown a perfect inning since June 1.

He also pitched yesterday. He entered in the ninth with a 2-0 lead and struck out the side.

Romero and Lidge have both pitched two days in a row. Romero threw just two pitches yesterday. Lidge 14 yesterday after throwing 13 in game two.

The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three game series.

Rollins was 5-for-11 with three doubles, three walks and a home run in the three-game set. He’s hitting 217/266/345 on the season. He was also 2-for-4 in the last game in Atlanta, so he’s 7-for-his-last-15.

Victorino was 6-for-14 with a triple in the series. 300/363/447 on the year.

Utley was 3-for-9 with two walks, a home run and three RBI. 301/426/559 on the season.

Howard was 1-for-9 in the series but made two nice defensive plays yesterday. 252/326/519.

Werth went 1-for-7 with three walks and a home run. 261/365/482.

Dobbs started in left in games one and two. He went 2-for-8 with two singles and two RBI. He’s at 244/293/433 for the season. He still has walked just once since May 30 (53 at-bats).

Feliz was 4-for-9 with four singles. 292/340/415 on the year.

Bako got the start behind the plate in each of the first two games and went 1-for-6 with a double and two walks. He’s 3-for-14 with the Phillies. I don’t think it makes sense to have Ruiz, Coste and Bako all on the team at the same time, but if they are going to all be on the team at the same time it’s nice to see Bako play.

Ruiz started yesterday’s game and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He’s hitting 234/337/364 for the season. He was hitting 304/427/529 at the end of May.

Coste was 0-for-1 in the series. 248/345/386.

Bruntlett did not play in the series. One at-bat in the last six games. 134/208/194 for the year.

Mayberry started in left yesterday. 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the series. 209/244/535 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 276/408/466 for the year.

On Thursday the Phillies lost their third straight, falling to the Braves 5-2. Happ pitched very well in the game, holding Atlanta to two runs over seven innings and the teams went into the bottom of the eighth tied at 2-2. Madson got hit hard in the inning, allowing three runs on three hits including a two-run homer by Garret Anderson.

Shane Victorino is one of six vote-in candidates to make the All-Star team.

Eyre up, Escalona down. Jack Taschner was designated for assignment when Lopez was activated to start on Friday.

Ibanez will play for Reading today and may be back before the All-Star break.

Rodrigo Lopez’s starts are purple in the Start Log.


The Phils are a team of necessity — and if they can’t find any necessity they’re happy to make their own

The Phillies dubbed themselves a “team of necessity” last season and this year has brought a marked lack of necessity. The Mets have been riddled with injuries and nothing has forced the Phils to separate themselves from New York and the other teams in a weak NL East. And they didn’t. And now they’ve done it for so long they have some company atop the division.

You hear a whole lot of bashing of the NL East this year. And with good reason. The other teams at least have an excuse. The Mets have had to overcome ridiculous injuries and there aren’t a whole lot of people who thought the Marlins, Braves or Nationals had a huge chance to take the division in the first place. It’s harder to find an excuse for the Phillies.

The next post won’t be till Monday, so here’s the recap of the first two games with the Braves.

The Phillies are 39-36 on the season after dropping the first two games of a three-game set in Atlanta in miserable fashion. The are in first place in the NL East, a half game ahead of the second-place Marlins and two games ahead of the injury-plagued Mets.

The Phillies lost the first game of the series 5-4. Blanton went just five innings and left with the Phils down 3-2. Homers by Mayberry and Feliz put the Phils up 4-3 in the eighth, but Atlanta tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom the eighth with an unearned run that scored with the help of errors by Madson and Werth. The Phils made three errors in the game. The Braves won the game against Park in the bottom of the tenth — Park got the first out and then allowed three straight singles.

The Phillies got two hits yesterday, singles by Bako and Victorino, and lost 11-1. Hamels was awful for his second straight start — he allowed seven runs over four innings. The pen allowed four runs in four frames after he left.

Hamels and Blanton combined to throw to a 9.00 ERA with a a 2.44 ratio over nine innings in the first two games of the set.

Blanton went five innings in game one, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. Not a good outing for Blanton, but he had a 3.62 ERA in his six June starts.

Hamels allowed seven runs on nine hits and two walks over four innings in game two. He didn’t allow a home run in the game, giving up seven singles and two doubles. He struck out just one. It’s two bad starts in a row for Hamels. He’s allowed 11 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings over his last two starts.

The bullpen went 8 1/3 innings in the first two games of the series, throwing to a 3.24 ERA and a 1.56 ratio. They allowed six runs, only three of which were earned, on ten hits and three walks. In the first game Madson was charged with a run on a hit and two walks over 2/3 of an inning before Park took the loss in the tenth. Walker allowed two home runs last night and Taschner gave up two unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth with the game already out of reach.

Romero entered game one in the eighth with two outs, men on first and third and the score tied at 4-4. He got Brian McCann on a popup to Utley to end the inning. He came back to start the ninth with the score still tied and got the only two men he faced before Park came on to pitch to righty Jeff Francoeur.

Taschner started the bottom of the eighth yesterday with the Phillies down 9-1. The first man he faced reached on an error by Feliz. He got the next two before allowing a walk and two singles that plated two runs for the Braves and made the score 11-1. He struck Matt Diaz out with two men on to end the inning.

Both runs charged to Taschner were unearned because of the error by Feliz He didn’t pitch well, though. He has been charged with runs in four of his last five appearances and his ERA has gone from 3.74 to 5.20. He has a 1.95 ratio on the season and has allowed 20 walks in 27 2/3 innings. That’s not a typo — he really has walked 20 in 27 2/3 innings on the year.

Escalona pitched the seventh inning last night with the Phillies down 9-1. He allowed a one-out single, but got the next two.

He’s made six appearances on the season for the Phils — one, on June 13 against the Red Sox, was bad, but the other five have been impressive.

Park entered the ninth inning of game one with two outs and the score tied at 4-4 to pitch to Francoeur. Francoeur flew to right to end the inning. Park came back to start the tenth and struck out the first hitter before back-to-back singles and a throw to third put men on second and third with one out. Prado singled to left to give Atlanta a 5-4 win.

Durbin started the sixth inning of game one with the Phillies down 3-2. He pitched the sixth and the seventh, keeping the Braves off the board and allowing just one single.

Madson started the eighth inning of game one with a 4-3 lead. He got the first two outs before walking Gregor Blanco. Madson made an error trying to pick Blanco off, allowing the runner to move to second where he scored on a Martin Prado double to tie the game at 4-4. Prado went to third on another error when Werth mishandled the wall and Madson walked Chipper Jones intentionally. Romero came in to pitch to McCann with two outs and men on first and third.

Walker relieved Hamels yesterday in the fifth with nobody out and a man on first, the Phillies down 6-1. Two of the next four hitters he faced homered, putting the Phillies down 9-1. He got the pitcher Jair Jurrjens on a ball hit back to the mound to end the inning.

He came back to throw a 1-2-3 sixth.

The runs he allowed last night were the first charged to him on the season.

Lidge did not pitch in the first two games of the series.

Nobody in the pen has pitched two days in a row. Walker threw 29 pitches last night and Taschner 21.

The Phillies scored five runs in the first two games of the series.

Rollins was 0-for-8 with a walk. His last hit came on June 18 and he’s at 205/250/319 for the season.

Victorino 2-for-8 with two singles and a walk. 295/362/440 for the season. The .362 on-base percentage is nice to see. He’s had a little bit of a power drought recently — no extra-base hits in his last 29 at-bats.

Utley went 2-for-8 with a homer in the first two. 301/428/560 on the year.

Howard 2-for-8 with a double. 256/328/535.

Werth 0-for-6 with three walks. 265/363/484 on the year.

Dobbs started in left in each of the first two games. He went 1-for-5 with a double and a walk. 228/284/418 for the year. He has walked once since the game against the Nats on May 30.

Feliz went 3-for-6 with a home run and a walk. 292/337/420 on the year. The walk in the first game of the set means he ends June with three walks in 99 at-bats for the month.

Ruiz started game one and was 0-for-4. 243/349/378. After the first game in June he had a .430 on-base percentage for the season, but hit just .174 with a .250 on-base percentage in June.

Mayberry was 1-for-2 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 231/268/590 for the year with four home runs in 39 at-bats.

Bruntlett was 0-for-1 to drop his line for the year to 134/208/194.

Coste was 0-for-1 and is hitting 250/348/390.

Stairs was 0-for-1 and is at 291/426/491 on the year. He has just one extra-base hit since May 27, a double, which has dropped his slugging percentage from .633 to .491.

Bako started last night and was 1-for-4 in the first two games of the set. He’s 2-for-7 with the Phillies. I’m hoping Escalona gets to stay when Lopez is activated. Not optimistic.

Rodrigo Lopez will start tomorrow night’s game against the Mets. In 13 starts at Triple-A he’s thrown to a 3.91 ERA with a 1.35 ratio. He’s allowed a lot of hits, 83 in 71 1/3 innings, but not too many walks (13) or home runs (4). Over his last three starts he’s allowed two earned runs in 21 innings (0.86 ERA) with a 1.00 ratio.


Canadian awaken

The Phillies won a game ugly yesterday, but given how badly they’ve been playing this is no time to quibble. Madson and Lidge were both a little shaky at the back of the pen, but good enough to hold on and get the Phils a much-needed series win as the team finally gets a break from interleague play.

They could use it. They are 6-12 against the AL this year after going 4-11 against them in 2008. In Toronto, though, they managed to take two games with the help of a monster series from Werth, who went 6-for-8 and walked five times, and an impressive complete-game shutout from Happ in the middle game that helped the bullpen get some needed rest.

The Phillies are 39-34 on the year after taking two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto over the weekend. They are in first place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games above the second-place Mets. The Mets are now at .500. The Phils have won two in a row for the first time since June 10-11. They are 4-11 in their last 15 games.

The Phillies lost game one of the series 6-1. Hamels didn’t pitch well and didn’t make it through the fifth. The Phils didn’t get a hit off of Toronto starter Ricky Romero till the seventh and managed just three singles and two walks in the game. A sac fly from Werth scored Victorino in the ninth for the only Phillies run.

Happ threw a complete game shutout in game two and the Phils rolled to a 10-0 win. The Phils jumped out to a big lead early with four runs in the first. Werth had a huge day, going 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. Happ was fantastic, throwing the first complete game of his career and holding the Blue Jays to four singles and a double without walking a batter.

The Phils pulled out a 5-4 yesterday in the final game of the set. Moyer gave up two homers early to put the Phillies down 3-0 before they scored a run in the top of the third. Moyer allowed another homer in the bottom of the third, the second of the game by Aaron Hill. A two-run triple by Utley keyed a four-run fourth that put the Phils up 5-4. Moyer only went five, but the pen gave the Phils four innings of scoreless relief including a shaky one from Lidge to earn his first save since returning from the DL.

The Phillies pitched well in the series. In 26 innings they threw to a 3.46 ERA and a 1.19 ratio. The only home runs they allowed were the three that Moyer gave up yesterday.

Hamels and Moyer didn’t have good starts, but Happ made the numbers for the starting pitchers good overall. As a group the three pitched to a 3.86 ERA and a 1.18 ratio over 18 2/3 innings.

Hamels started game one and allowed four runs over 4 2/3 innings on eight hits and two walks. He was ejected from the game as he walked off the mound with two outs in the fifth and men on first and third.

Happ was fantastic in the second game. Complete game, five hits, no walks, four strikeouts and needed just 100 pitches to do it. Just a great outing, but it’s especially nice to see him not walking anyone after issuing ten walks over 11 2/3 innings in his two previous starts.

Moyer allowed four runs over five innings in game three. All four of the runs scored on the three homers he gave up in the game. He has a 6.05 ERA after 15 starts.

The relievers threw 7 1/3 innings in the series, throwing to a 2.45 ERA and a 1.23 ratio. They didn’t allow a home run. They gave up just four hits but walked five, which is too many. Both of the runs they allowed were charged to Lidge in game one.

Romero came into the bottom of the eighth in game one with the bases loaded, the Phils down 5-0 and one out. He walked the first man he faced, forcing in a run, but got Aaron Hill to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Taschner did not pitch in the series.

Durbin did not pitch in the series.

Park came into game one in the bottom of the fifth with two outs, men on first and third and the Phils down 4-0. Alex Rios was the first man he faced and Rios smashed a ball back and off the knee of Park. Park threw the ball to first to end the inning, but then collapsed in pain. Walker started the sixth.

He was able to go again in game three. He entered to start the bottom of the sixth with a 5-4 lead and threw two perfect innings.

He has allowed just one home run since the end of April and none on the season while pitching in relief (14 appearances).

Walker started the sixth inning of game one with the Phillies down 4-0. He pitched a perfect sixth and a perfect seventh.

Madson started the eighth inning yesterday with a 5-4 lead. He allowed a one-out single that was followed by a Bruntlett error that put men on first and second. He got the next hitter on a ground out that moved the runners to second and third, then walked Lyle Overbay intentionally to load the bases. He got Russ Adams to pop out to the infield to end the inning.

Lidge started the eighth inning of game one with the Phils down 4-0, making his first appearance since June 6. The first four men he faced reached base on a double, two walks and a single. He left with one out and the bases loaded, the Phillies down 5-0.

He got the save yesterday with a little help from some terrible base-running by Toronto. He started the bottom of the ninth with a 5-4 lead and gave up a single and a walk to start the inning. He got a popup for the first out. With one out and men on first and second, John McDonald was then picked off of second and throw out at third for the second out. Wells grounded to short for the third out.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row, thanks to Happ’s outing in game two, and the Phils don’t play today. So the pen should be well-rested for Atlanta.

The Phillies scored 16 runs in the three-game set.

Victorino was 2-for-11 with two singles in the series. He walked twice and struck out five times. He’s hitting 296/363/446 on the season. Just two home runs in his 210 at-bats since the end of April.

Utley was 4-for-11 with a double, a triple and three walks in the series. 302/433/558 for the season.

Werth was 6-for-8 with a double, two home runs and five walks in the series to raise his line for the year to 271/364/494.

Howard was 4-for-13 with four singles and a walk in the series. 256/330/540 for the season. He’s hitting .237 and on-basing .312 for the month.

Mayberry started in left in all three games and went 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts. He’s at 216/256/514 for the year.

Feliz is hitting 287/331/407 on the year after going 3-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. He also drew a walk in yesterday’s game. It was his second walk in June.

Coste was the DH in all three games. 3-for-8 with two walks. 253/351/394.

Bruntlett started at short in all three games in the series. He made a big error in the eighth inning of game three, but Madson pitched around it. He went 1-for-11 with a single, dropping his line on the year to an ugly 136/211/197.

Ruiz was 3-for-11 with three RBI in the set. He’s hitting 250/357/389 for the year and will probably enjoy the day off today after catching six games in a row.

Rollins did not play in the series and is having an atrocious year. He is outhitting Bruntlett pretty significantly, though.

Stairs didn’t see much action with Toronto throwing three lefties in the series. He went 1-for-2 with a single and is hitting 296/433/500 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 and is at 230/284/419 on the season.

Bako is a pretty bad use of a roster spot if you’re going to let Ruiz catch six days in a row. He has been with the team since June 9 and has gotten three at-bats in which he’s gone 1-for-3. I’d guess he’ll lose his roster spot soon with the Phillies mercifully not needing to use Coste as their DH.

This says JC Romero was involved in an incident with a fan in Florida.

This says Carlos Carrasco may pitch Thursday in Atlanta.

Scott Eyre was eligible to come off of the DL on Saturday. Didn’t.


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