Tag: Chris Coste

And one out of three ain’t bad

To the degree a team can have a whole lot of problems when they sit comfortably in first place coming off a year in which they won the World Series, the Phillies have had three big ones so far this season. The starting pitchers have been awful, Brad Lidge of 2009 doesn’t look much like Brad Lidge of 2008 and Jimmy Rollins hasn’t looked like much of anything.

One of those problems appears, for the moment at least, to have been solved. The starting pitching is suddenly fantastic. Antonio Bastardo didn’t make it through the sixth inning last night, but did hold LA to two runs over five frames. For the Phils it was the first time in eight games that they did not get a quality start. On May 30, Hamels allowed six runs over six innings against the Nationals. Since then the Phillies have played eight games in which their starters have thrown to a 1.70 ERA with an 0.83 ratio. In 53 innings they’ve walked six and struck out 35.

One down, two to go. The other two problems certainly didn’t get any better in Los Angeles. Lidge blew two saves, one with the help of a huge error by Feliz. Rollins went 0-for-10 in the first two games of the set, didn’t start the third and hit sixth in the fourth. As if on a mission to remind us all of how important Rollins is to the team, the Phillies scored eight runs in the first three games.

The Phillies are 33-22 on the season after splitting a four-game series with the Dodgers in LA. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Mets by three games. The Dodgers are the only team in either league that has a better winning percentage than the Phillies. After the Phillies took game one of the series they had won seven games in a row.

The Phils took game one 3-0 behind a complete came shutout from Hamels. Hamels allowed four singles and a double in the game. Werth, Howard and Ibanez drove in the Phillies runs.

The Dodgers won game two 4-3. The Phils took an early 3-0 lead thanks to an RBI groundout by Ibanez and a two-run double by Utley. Moyer pitched very well, allowing two runs over seven innings. Lidge started the ninth with a 3-2 lead and got the first two hitters before a single by Casey Blake and a walk to Rafael Furcal put men on first and second. Russell Martin hit a ground ball to third that Feliz booted, keeping the game alive with the bases loaded. Andre Ethier delivered a double to right to score two runs and give LA the win.

The Phils got more good starting pitching in game three, but another blown save from Lidge as LA took the game 3-2. An Ethier home run off of Blanton gave LA a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Stairs put the Phils up 2-1 with a pinch-hit two-run single in the top of the seventh. Furcal hit a solo shot off of Lidge with one out in the ninth to tie it up. Eyre and Durbin kept the Dodgers off the board in extra-innings until Ethier connected for the game-winning home run off of Durbin with two outs in the bottom of the twelfth.

Last night Bastardo got his second win in two starts as the Phils rolled to a 7-2 win. The Phils scored twice in the top of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead, but the Dodgers got a run in the bottom of the sixth to get within one. Home runs from Victorino and Ruiz in the seventh put the Phillies on top to stay. Park pitched very well in the game in relief of Bastardo — he came on with nobody out in the sixth and went three scoreless innings.

The Phillies got fantastic pitching in the series. Over 38 1/3 innings their pitchers threw to a 1.64 ERA and an 0.97 ratio.

The four starters allowed just five runs over 27 innings, throwing to a 1.67 ERA and an 0.85 ratio. Blanton gave up a home run to Ethier, which was the only homer the starters allowed in the set. The starters struck out 17 and walked just two.

Hamels got the start in game one and allowed five hits over nine shutout innings. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

Moyer allowed two runs on three singles and a double in game two. He struck out three and didn’t walk a hitter. He has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.04 ratio in his last four starts. His ERA for the year is down to 6.27. He’s allowed just three walks in his last 25 innings.

Blanton held LA to a run over six innings in game three, allowing five hits and just one walk. That’s three very good starts in a row for Blanton, who has his ERA for the year down to 5.46. Over his last three outings he has a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 ratio.

Bastardo got his second start in game four and was impressive again. He allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. He need 107 pitches to get through five innings. He came out to start the top of the sixth and faced two hitters, but both got hits and Park came on in relief.

11 1/3 innings of relief in the set for the Phils. The relievers allowed four runs, only two of which were earned (the two runs Lidge allowed in the Feliz error game were unearned). Lidge allowed three runs in the series and Durbin one. 1.59 ERA and a 1.29 ratio overall for the pen in the four games. They did allow two critical home runs — Furcal off of Lidge in game three and Ethier off of Durbin later in the same contest.

Eyre started the tenth inning of game three with the score tied at 2-2. He allowed singles to the first two men he faced. It pen men on first and second with nobody out, but Eyre got the next two before Durbin relieved him to pitch to the righty Matt Kemp.

Taschner did not pitch in the series and has thrown one inning since May 20. That’s a terrible use of a roster spot.

Romero pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 3-2 lead. He allowed a walk and a stolen base, but no runs.

He came in for Condrey in the bottom of game three with one out and men on first and second. He picked Juan Castro out at second for the second out of the inning and it saved him a run, cause Juan Pierre followed with a single. Romero got Orlando Hudson on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Park entered game four with a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, nobody out and men on first and third. He pitched very well. He got Matt Kemp to hit into a double-play, allowing a run to score that was charged to Bastardo, then got the next hitter to get out of the sixth. He came back and pitched the seventh and the eighth, allowing one hit and one hit batter.

Great outing for Park. The score of the game didn’t make the score look close, but Park got some critical outs when it was.

Durbin entered game three with two outs in the bottom of the tenth and men on first and second. He struck Kemp out to end the inning.

He returned for the bottom of the eleventh and set LA down in order. With Park and Taschner well-rested, he came back for the bottom of the twelfth. He got the first two before Ethier hit a 3-2 pitch out to center to give LA the win.

The Phils lost game three on Durbin’s 36th pitch of the game, which came to a lefty who had already homered in that game. Durbin was pitching well, but the Phillies had better options. Even if Taschner isn’t going to come into the game, with the slumping righty Russell Martin due to hit next it was a good time not to groove one to the not-slumping Ethier.

Condrey started the seventh inning of game three with a 2-1 lead. He faced three hitters and got one out while allowing two singles.

Madson interestingly did not pitch the eighth inning of game two with a one-run lead. He did pitch the eighth inning of game three with a 2-1 lead. He allowed a leadoff walk but got the next three.

He pitched the ninth inning of game four with a 7-2 lead and allowed a leadoff single but got the next three. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring in Madson in with a five-run lead, off-day today or not. Taschner never, ever pitches and you don’t need to let Madson’s innings continue to pile up.

Lidge came into the ninth inning of game two with a 3-2 lead. He got the first two men he faced before allowing a hit and a walk. The game should have been over when Martin followed with a grounder to third, but Feliz did not handle it. Ethier followed with a two-run double to give LA the win.

He entered game three with a 2-1 lead in the ninth. He retired three of the four men he faced, but Furcal hit a pinch-hit home run off of him to tie the game.

The Phillies scored just 15 runs in the series — eight in the first three games and seven yesterday.

Rollins went 0-for-10 in the first two games of the series, didn’t start the third batted sixth last night. He was 2-for-16 in the series and is hitting 222/261/322 for the season. No walks in June and three in his last 91 at-bats.

Utley was 4-for-15 with three doubles and five walks in the set. 296/438/548.

Werth hit second in game three of the series and third in the other three games. He was 5-for-16 with five singles and four walks. 256/355/437. One extra-base hit, a double, in his last 42 at-bats. He played center field in games one and two with Victorino out of the lineup.

Howard was 3-for-17 with a double and a home run in the series. 259/337/577.

Ibanez was 4-for-17 with two doubles. 329/386/676 for the year. If he slugs .676 for the whole season it would be a career high.

Victorino was out of the lineup for games one and two. In games one and three he was in the leadoff spot. 2-for-10 with a home run and three strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 295/343/467 for the season.

Feliz made a critical error in game two. He’s made three errors on the season, but two of them have been critical ones late in games that were big factors in a loss. He was 6-for-15 with a double in the set and is hitting 306/361/425 for the year.

Ruiz was 4-for-8 with a home run in the series. 309/435/511. Coste started game two with Ruiz starting the other three.

Coste started game two with Moyer pitching. 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in the set. 229/341/414 for the year.

Bruntlett started game three at shortstop with Rollins on the bench. He also started games one and two in right field with the Dodgers throwing lefties. 2-for-9 with a walk in the series. 152/212/239. He’s really not the guy you want starting back-to-back games in right field.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the series to drop his line to 188/273/354 for the season.

Stairs was 1-for-1 with a big two-run single in game three. He’s hitting 324/500/618 for the season.


Month-to-month

Nine Phillies batters have gotten at least 20 plate appearances in each of the first two months of the ’09 season. Notably absent from the list of the guys who have are Bruntlett, Stairs and Ruiz. Bruntlett got 19 PA in May and Ruiz and Stairs each got 15 in March and April.

For each of the nine, their career OPS and the OPS they put up in each of the first two months of the season are on the charts below. The first graph has the three outfielders and Coste:

ofc45.jpg

Ibanez is way above his career levels. Victorino and Werth have done about what they’ve done over their careers in each of the two months. Coste doesn’t get the at-bats the other guys do, but in the ones he got in April he was awful and in the ones he got in May he was fantastic. Coste went 9-for-23 (.391) with three doubles, five walks and two home runs in May.

And here are the infielders:

if45.jpg

Utley hit just .253 in May after a monster April. Howard has been a little below his career marks for each of the first two months of the year. Feliz had a huge April and still batted .289 with a .343 on-base percentage in May but without a home run. Rollins has been miserable, but a little better in May than in the first month of the season. There was no place to go but up for Dobbs after going 2-for-18 with two singles in the first month of the year.


Two out of three ain’t bad (and six out of seven is even more ain’t badder)

The Phillies don’t look like a hot team. They win ugly games where their starting pitcher gives up five runs in an inning. 12-5 games, 10-6 games. Their starters don’t just look terrible in spots, they’ve been terrible consistently.

What they do manage to do, though, is win. They’ve won six of their last seven thanks in large part to an offense that has put up 49 runs in those six wins. Until they get their starting pitching straightened out they’re going to need all those runs — in five of the last six games they’ve won they’ve allowed at least five runs. They don’t win any pitcher’s duels because they don’t play in any — they’ve won one game so far this season in which they’ve scored less than five runs.

The Phillies are 22-17 after taking two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati. Five games above .500 matches their best mark of the season. They are in first place in the NL East, 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Mets.

The Phillies won game one of the set 4-3. The Phils scored three times against Johnny Cueto in the top of the fifth to pull ahead 4-1. Hamels gave up two in the bottom of the sixth, but Condrey, Madson and Lidge combined to toss three shutout innings to make the one-run lead stand up.

Cincinnati took game two 5-1 as Moyer’s fourth try for his 250th career win came up short. Moyer had his best outing of his four May starts, but it wasn’t especially good and the Phillies didn’t do much of anything with the bats against Aaron Harang. Ibanez hit a solo homer in the fourth to get the Phillies on the board at 3-1. Moyer made it through six innings, but the Reds opened up a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh with two runs off of Durbin and held on to win.

The Phils won game three 12-5. Blanton kept the Reds off the board for the first four innings and the Phils jumped out to a early 6-0 lead. Cincinnati scored five times off of Blanton in the bottom of the fifth, getting a three-run homer from Brandon Phillips, but the Phils put up six more unanswered runs. Rollins, Utley and Ibanez, the top three hitters in the Phillies lineup, combined to go 9-for-15 with eight RBI in the game.

Overall, the Phils threw 26 innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio.

The starting pitching continues not to impress. 5.82 ERA and a 1.47 ratio over 17 innings. The starters gave up four homers in their 17 innings.

Hamels got the start in game on and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out seven.

Moyer has a 7.62 ERA after eight starts. He allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk in game two. He has a 2.13 ratio in May.

Blanton cruised through the first four innings of game three before the Reds scored five runs against him in the bottom of the fifth. He’s been awful this season, throwing to a 7.11 ERA and a 1.67 ratio over eight starts.

The bullpen threw nine innings in the series and allowed two runs, both of which were charged to Durbin in game two. 2.00 ERA and a 1.56 ratio. They walked seven in nine innings, which is too many, but didn’t allow a home run (which means you might be able to get away with it).

Eyre started the bottom of the seventh in game three with the Phils up 11-5. The first two men he faced reached on a walk and a single, but he got Phillips to hit into a double-play and struck Lance Nix out to end the frame.

Eyre hasn’t been charged with an earned run in his nine appearances in May. He has allowed one run, which was unearned, over 6 2/3 innings.

Taschner pitched the bottom of the eighth in game two with the Phils down 5-1. He hit a batter and allowed one hit, a single, but kept the Reds off the board.

Escalona entered the bottom of the seventh in game two with two outs, a man on third and the Phillies down 5-1. He struck Jay Bruce out to end the inning.

He also pitched the bottom of the ninth in game three. He entered with a 12-5 lead and set the Reds down in order.

He’s allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief on the season.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 3-1. The Reds scored twice against him on a single, a walk and a two-run triple. Durbin got just two outs in the inning before Escalona relieved him to pitch to the lefty Bruce with two outs and a man on third.

Durbin has allowed five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings over his last four appearances.

Condrey started the bottom of the seventh in game one with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a walk and a stolen base, but kept the Reds off the board.

In game three he took over for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth with a 7-5 lead. He allowed a walk and a single in the frame, but did not allow Cincy to score. He hasn’t been charged with a run in any of his last four appearances. Opponents are hitting .198 against him for the year.

Park made his second relief appearance of the year in the bottom of the eighth in game three. Pitching with a 12-5 lead, he allowed two walks but did not give up a run.

Madson started the eighth inning of game one with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Phillips, but got the next three.

Lidge came on for the save in game one, entering in the ninth with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a one-out single to Alex Gonzalez, which was followed by a walk to pinch-hitter Lance Nix. He got the save, though, striking out Willy Tavares and getting Jerry Hairston on a fly ball to center.

Sadly enough, despite getting 12 runs yesterday and winning by five it was still a long day for the pen due to Blanton’s early exit. Condrey threw 22 pitches yesterday and Park 25. Escalona has pitched on back-to-back days, but threw just three pitches in game two and just 13 yesterday. Madson and Lidge both pitched in game one for the Phils, but not in games two or three.

The Phillies scored 17 runs in the three-game set.

In terms of the lineup, Utley is now regularly hitting second with Ibanez behind him. Victorino has been dropped to sixth.

Rollins went 4-for-6 yesterday and was 5-for-14 with a double and two RBI in the series. He’s hitting 234/275/329 for the season.

Utley was 1-for-8 in the first two games before going 3-for-4 with four RBI yesterday. 4-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 295/432/597.

Ibanez went 3-for-12 with a double and two home runs in the series. 349/410/724 for the season. If he slugs .724 for the whole year it would be a career-high. His 1.134 OPS is the best of all players in either league. He’s on pace to hit 62 home runs with 166 RBI.

Howard went 3-for-11 with two walks, a double and two home runs in the set. 266/349/545.

Werth did not start yesterday with Stairs in the lineup against righty Micah Owings. He went 0-for-10 with four strikeouts in the series and is hitting 272/371/500 for the year.

Victorino was 3-for-11 with two doubles. 257/306/419 for the season. 229/273/361 in May.

Feliz started the first two games of the series with Dobbs playing third yesterday against the righty. 3-for-9 with two doubles in the series. He’s hitting 310/370/434 for the year.

Ruiz caught games one and three of the series with Coste behind the plate for Moyer’s start. 1-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series. 236/373/327 for the season.

Coste started the middle game. He’s hitting 241/333/414 after going 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 6-for-his-last-14 with three doubles and a home run.

Bruntlett was 0-for-2 in the series. 129/194/258 for the season. 1-for-15 since April 26.

Dobbs started at third yesterday in game three against the righty Owings and went 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run. The homer was his first extra-base hit of the season. He’s hitting 143/250/229 for the year after going 1-for-3 with a homer and two walks in the series.

Stairs got a start in right yesterday. He went 0-for-1 with a walk in his only action of the set. He’s hitting 304/515/609. He would be the obvious choice to DH against the Yankees this weekend except that New York will start lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in two of the three games. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the Phillies are carrying an extra reliever, giving them a short bench. My guess is that if the Phillies don’t make a roster move that Bruntlett will DH against the lefties, which isn’t really what you’re looking for.


As Jimmy goes so go the Phillies, except when they don’t

The Phillies offense is off to a nice start in 2009, helping the team win with pitching, starting pitching especially, that has been very bad.

Ibanez and Utley are the guys with the really eye-opening numbers to start the season. The Phils have gotten offense from other places as well. Feliz has been very good early. Howard hasn’t hit the ball out of the yard as often as he does when he’s on a roll, but his numbers are solid as well. Not everyone has had a good April, though. Rollins has had some high-profile struggles. Forced into more regular action by the injury to Ruiz, Coste has also struggled with the bat.

There are eight Phillies who have gotten at least 45 plate appearances this season. The charts below compare their rates for hits, walks, strikeouts, extra-base hits and home runs for this season so far to their career numbers.

Hits
Ibanez 1.20              
  Feliz 1.17            
    Howard 1.08          
      Utley 1.07        
        Victorino 1.0      
          Werth 0.97    
            Rollins 0.77  
              Coste 0.59

As an example of how to read the chart, Ibanez has 28 hits in 90 plate appearances on the season. He’s gotten a hit in about 31.1% of his plate appearances. Over his career he’s had 5,387 plate appearances and gotten 1,397 hits. That’s a hit about 25.9% of the time. Based on his career numbers we would have expected him to get 23.31 hits in his 90 plate appearances this season. He actually has gotten 28, which is 1.20 times as many as 23.31.

At the other end of the chart, Coste has seven hits in 46 plate appearances (15.2%) for the year and 180 hits in 697 plate appearances for his career (25.8%). So at his career level we would expect 11.87 hits rather than seven. Seven is 0.59 of 11.87.

Walks
Feliz 2.22              
  Coste 1.84            
    Utley 1.65          
      Ibanez 1.45        
        Werth 1.18      
          Victorino 1.10    
            Howard 0.74  
              Rollins 0.47

Just three walks in 88 plate appearances for Rollins put him way below his career levels.

Feliz has set the bar pretty low for himself, but he’s walking more than twice as often in 2009 as he has over his career.

Strikeouts
Victorino 0.45              
  Feliz 0.58            
    Werth 0.59          
      Ibanez 0.75        
        Utley 0.78      
          Howard 0.79    
            Rollins 1.13  
              Coste 1.37

Low numbers are good in the case of strikeouts. Victorino has whiffed just five times so far in 2009 in 95 plate appearances (5.3% of the time). He struck out about 11% of his plate appearances last year and about 12.2% of them in 2007.

Extra-base hits
Ibanez 1.54
Victorino 1.13
Werth 1.10
Coste 1.03
Howard 0.96
          Feliz 0.89    
            Utley 0.83  
              Rollins 0.63

Utley’s extra-base hits numbers are down early in the season just because he hasn’t hit as many doubles as he usually does. He’s hit seven home runs, but just one double so far. That means his home run rate is way up and, for the time being, his rate of extra-base hits is down. I would be surprised if he doesn’t hit at least 40 doubles again in 2009, which would be the fourth-straight year for him (and he hit 39 in 2005).

Home runs
Ibanez 2.22
Utley 1.84
Victorino 1.57
Feliz 0.75
Werth 0.67
          Howard 0.62    
            Rollins 0.53  
              Coste 0.00

The home run numbers are pretty fragile because so few of them are hit. Ibanez and Utley are both on pace to hit 56 for the year, for example, and that might not even happen.

Ibanez has been better than his career numbers in all five categories.

Victorino is better in everything except for hits, and his hit rate is virtually identical to what it has been for his career. He has 24 hits in 95 plate appearances for the year (a hit in 25.26% of his PA) and 453 of 1,791 (25.29% a tiny bit better, but very, very close) for his career.

Utley is up in everything except for extra-base hits.

Feliz is up in hits, walks and strikeouts, but down in extra-base hits and home runs.

Werth is better in walks, strikeouts and extra-base hits, but down in home runs and hits.

Coste has better rates for walks and extra-base hits, but his hits, strikeout and home run rates are all worse.

Howard has been better than his career numbers with hits and strikeouts, but worse with walks, extra-base hits and home runs.

Rollins is worse in all five categories.


Phils score Manny runs

The Phillies hammered Manny Parra and the Brewers last night. In three career appearances against the Phils (two of which were starts), Parra has thrown 6 1/3 innings and allowed 12 runs on 16 hits and eight walks (a 17.05 ERA and a 3.79 ratio).

The Phils fared pretty well against the Milwaukee pen as well, scoring five runs in the fifth off of Jorge Julio and their old mate RJ Swindle.

All of the offense was enough to overcome a monster game from Ryan Braun. Braun went 5-for-5 with a pair of home runs and drove in all four of the Milwaukee runs.

The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers last night, winning 11-4 to improve to 6-6 on the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits were home runs, both hit by Braun. He struck out two and has a 6.35 ERA after three starts.

Moyer struck out Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart to start the first before Braun hit a 1-1 pitch out to right-center to put Milwaukee up 1-0. Moyer hit Prince Fielder with a pitch before JJ Hardy grounded to short to set the Brewers down.

The Phillies led 4-1 when Moyer started the second. Mike Cameron led off and flew to Victorino on the warning track on the first pitch of the inning. Bill Hall was next and reached on an infield single off the glove of Moyer. Jason Kendall followed and blooped a ball into center that dropped in front of Victorino, but Hall read it badly and Victorino was able to throw to second and get him there for the second out. With two outs and Kendall of first, pitcher Manny Parra and grounded to second for the third out.

Casey McGehee, who entered the game to play second when Weeks had to leave after a collision in the infield in the first, led off the third and grounded out. Hart popped to Utley in shallow center for the second out. Braun was next he reached on an infield single off the glove of Rollins in the hole, bringing up Fielder with two down and a man on first. Moyer hit him again, putting men on first and second with two down for Hardy.

Chris Duffy hit for Parra and grounded to short for the first out of the fifth. McGehee followed with a single into center, but Moyer got Hart to pop to Rollins for the second out. Sadly, though, the rules dictate that Ryan Braun be permitted to hit every couple of innings. Braun hit his second home run of the day, this one a monster shot blasted way out to left. It cut the lead to 5-3. Fielder flew to right for the third out.

Up 10-3, Moyer set the Brewers down in order in the sixth.

Up 11-3, he walked Kendall to start the seventh. Mike Rivera hit for the pitcher RJ Swindle and singled to left, moving Kendall to second. Durbin came on to pitch to the righty McGehee and struck him out swinging 3-2 in heavy rain for the first out. And then the game was delayed by rain. The delay lasted about an hour and twenty minutes. When play resumed, Condrey took the mound for the Phils with Kendall on second and one out. Hart moved Kendall to third with a ground out before Braun reached on an infield single that scored Kendall and cut the lead to 11-4. Condrey struck Fielder out looking for the third out.

Condrey came back for the eighth and gave up singles to Hardy and Cameron to start the inning. He struck Hall out swinging, though, and got Kendall to ground into a double-play to keep Milwaukee off the board.

Taschner started the ninth. Lefty Brad Nelson hit for the pitcher to start the inning and drew a walk. Taschner got the next two hitters on popups before Braun reached yet again, this time on another infield single that sent Nelson to second. Fielder popped to third to leave both runners stranded and end the game.

Three scoreless innings for the pen. They allowed four hits and a walk. Taschner threw 23 pitches, Condrey 22 and Durbin 7.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Manny Parra went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth back at fifth now that the Phils play a team with a lefty. Coste catches with Marson on the bench.

The Phillies started the bottom of the first down 1-0. Rollins grounded to short for the first out, but Victorino followed with a walk. Utley was next and Victorino was running as he hit a ground ball near second. Weeks and Hardy got tangled up as Hardy tried to field the ball and the Brewers didn’t get an out. Utley was safe with a single and the Phils had men on first and second with one down. Howard drew a walk to load the bases for Werth and Werth delivered a double into the left-field corner that scored Victorino and Utley and moved Howard to third with the Phils up 2-1. Ibanez singled into left and everybody moved up a base. 3-1 with men on first and third. Feliz was next and he singled past a diving Hall into left, scoring Werth to make it 4-1 with men on first and second. Coste flew to center and Moyer struck out to end the inning.

Weeks was shaken up in the collision with Hardy and was replaced defensively in the second.

Victorino singled to left with one out in the second. Utley was next and hit a ground ball back up the middle, but Hardy fielded behind the bag and the Brewers forced Victorino at second with Utley safe at first and two down. Howard struck out to leave Utley stranded.

Werth and Ibanez went down to start the third, but Feliz was next and hit a ball out to right field to put the Phillies up 5-1. First home run of the year for Feilz. Coste followed with a double to center, but Moyer struck out to leave him stranded.

Utley drew a walk with two outs in the fourth. Howard grounded to right field, er, second base, ending the inning.

The lead had been cut to 5-3 when the Phillies hit in the fifth. Jorge Julio was in to pitch for Milwaukee and got Werth on a ground ball to third for the first out before he walked Ibanez. Ibanez stole second as the count went 2-2 on Feliz and went to third when Julio bounced the next pitch in the dirt. Feliz walked, putting men on first and third with one out for Coste. Coste hit a slow ground ball to third. Hall made a nice play, bare-handing and throwing to first to get Coste as Ibanez scored to put the Phillies up 6-3. Julio walked Moyer on a 3-2 pitch, putting men on first and second for Rollins. Rollins singled into right and Feliz held at third, loading the bases. A single into center from Victorino moved everyone up another base and scored Feliz to make it 7-3. Lefty and former Phil RJ Swindle came in to pitch to Utley and walked him on a 3-2 pitch that was a little low. 8-3. Swindle got ahead of Howard 1-2 but delivered a wild pitch in the dirt. Rollins stormed home to score and Kendall’s throw to Swindle covering the plate went over the pitcher’s head, allowing Victorino to score and Utley to go to third with the Phils up 10-3. Howard struck out for the third out.

Werth started the sixth with a double off the base of the wall in left. Ibanez moved Werth to third with a ground ball to second for the first out. Feliz was next and he smashed a ball back up the middle and off the body of Swindle for a single. Werth scored to put the Phillies up 11-3. Coste struck out and Moyer hit for himself and grounded to second.

Rollins started the seventh with a single to center. Victorino flew out behind him before Utley drew a walk. Howard and Werth both struck out to leave both men stranded.

Coste doubled to left with two outs in the eighth. With righty Carlos Villanueva on the mound, Dobbs hit for Condrey and drew a walk. It put two men on for Rollins, but Rollins flew to center for the third out.

Rollins was 2-for-6 to raise his average for the season to .173. He’s 5-for-his-last-16 after starting the season 4-for-36.

Victorino 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s hitting .245.

Utley was 1-for-2 with an RBI and three walks.

Howard 0-for-4 with a walk.

Werth 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-17.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base.

Feliz 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk and three RBI.

Coste 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. 4-for-his-last-12 with four doubles after starting the year 2-for-14.

Joe Blanton (0-1, 9.00) faces righty Braden Looper (1-0. 3.27) tonight. Blanton has made two starts on the season. He got blasted by the Braves in his first outing, but pitched better against the Nats on Thursday, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings. Opponents are hitting a brutal .370 against him for the year. Lefties have put up a 444/500/778 line in 20 plate appearances. Looper has allowed four runs in 11 innings over two starts this season. Ryan Howard is 4-for-5 against him in his career with four home runs. Utley 4-for-11 with a double and a home run.


North henceforth

Have you heard tell of the legend of Greg Maddux that had him allowing guys to hit home runs off of him during spring training so he could surprise them with a totally different approach in at-bats that count? Let’s hope that’s what Jamie Moyer was doing yesterday. With everyone. Especially with Ryan Zimmerman. Moyer got blasted yesterday as the Nats beat the Phils 12-10 in the final Florida game of the Phils’ spring training.

The Phils head north with a 12-18-2 spring training record.

Moyer went just four innings, allowing nine runs on 11 hits and two walks. Zimmerman homered off of him twice. Austin Kearns hit a solo shot in the fourth. Taschner tried to keep pace but fell short, allowing just two home runs. He only pitched an inning, though, so it’s remarkable nonetheless. Cristian Guzman and Alex Cintron both got Taschner for solo shots in the eighth. Condrey tossed two scoreless frames to drop his spring ERA to 1.46. Durbin allowed a run on two hits in the seventh.

Feliz had a huge day with the bat for the Phils, 4-for-5 with three doubles and a home run. He started the day hitting 205/220/231 for spring training and ended it with a slightly more impressive 273/283/432 line. Howard hit his tenth home run of the spring, a two-run shot off of Scott Olsen in the first. Stairs was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, raising his spring average to .255. Victorino went 1-for-4, dropping his average to .214.

The Phillies play Tampa Bay tonight in Philadelphia.

A number of Phillies have been outstanding in Florida, including:

  • Howard: 310/390/746 with ten home runs and a team high 24 RBI.
  • Bruntlett: 370/483/548. Two home runs and seven doubles. Led the Phils with 13 walks.
  • Rollins: 355/429/581 with three home runs in 31 at-bats.
  • Werth: 308/347/662 with six home runs.
  • Ruiz: 351/381/622 with a pair of home runs in 42 plate appearances.
  • Ibanez 308/372/462 in 78 at-bats.
  • Condrey: 1.46 ERA with a 1.05 ratio in ten appearances.
  • Blanton: Threw 22 innings with a 2.45 ERA and an 0.82 ratio. Walked just two batters all spring.
  • Park: 21 1/3 innings. 25 to 2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 2.53 ERA and a 1.03 ratio.
  • Myers: 23 innings with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.26 ratio.
  • Koplove: Struck out nine in 9 1/3 innings with an 0.96 ERA and an 0.96 ratio (not a typo, his ERA and ratio were the same). Looking forward to seeing him pitch for the Phillies.
  • Madson: 2.03 ERA but a 1.43 ratio. Did not walk a batter in 13 1/3 innings, but allowed 19 hits. Opponents hit .328 against him.

There were some guys who struggled, too:

  • Coste: 4-for-32 with four singles and 13 strikeouts. 125/275/125. He did draw five walks.
  • Victorino: 9-for-42. 214/267/310. Didn’t steal a base and drove in just two runs.
  • Dobbs: 13-for-50 with three doubles. 260/333/320.
  • Moyer: Made five starts in which he threw to an 8.27 ERA with a 1.94 ratio. He also struck out 17 in 20 2/3 innings, so let’s cross our fingers he was just messing around.
  • Taschner: Ten appearances between the Giants and Phils he put up a 6.75 ERA and a 2.53 ratio. He also allowed three runs that were unearned. In 10 2/3 innings he issued 14 walks. I’m writing that one again, just because it seems important: In 10 2/3 innings he issued 14 walks. I truly have my fingers crossed about Taschner, but it’s pretty hard for me to see that one working out for the Phils. I’m still holding out some hope they let him start the season in AAA, cause I would be very surprised if he makes a positive contribution in the short term.
  • Eyre: Struck out 15 in ten innings, but posted a 6.30 ERA and a 1.30 ratio. His numbers suffered from a single terrible outing against the Yankees on March 26 when he gave up five runs in an inning.

Chris Coste’s family and Fargo home are safe from flood waters. Now if he could just get Shane Victorino to stop calling him in the middle of the night.

Roster-shaping events are surely coming. I’ll try to post the links as I see them, but there are a host of sites that are better if you’re looking to get the news first, including High Cheese, The Phillies Zone and The Zo Zone.

Baseball-Reference has a new look.

Update: Jon Heyman says that Gary Sheffield will sign with the Mets.

More update: Happ and Taschner have made the opening day roster to pitch out of the bullpen. Majewski will go to the minors after the exhibition games. Ugh.

Ad: Ticketcity has tickets for tonight’s game and regular season games.


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