How did we ever win 64?
Cliff Lee didn’t have it yesterday as the Phils fell to the Padres 5-4. Lee was pounded in the game, allowing five runs on ten hits in four innings. In the top of the second, with runners on first and third, he made a soft pickoff throw to first and Chris Denorfia raced home from third, stealing a run for San Diego in a game they would win by just one.
On the other hand, the batter doubled anyway and I like Denorfia’s chances of scoring from third on a two-out double.
After an amazing June, two of Lee’s four starts in July have been ugly. In his four July starts he’s 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA and opponents are hitting .292 against him.
There was good news for the Phils yesterday and it’s that the bullpen was outstanding. After Lee’s early exit, the pen went five scoreless frames. Carpenter and Stutes, who have each struggled recently, combined to throw four scoreless innings in which they allowed one hit. Brad Lidge made his first appearance of the season and was truly lights out, needing just 11 pitches to set the side down in order in his inning.
Four innings from Lee wasn’t really what the Phils were looking for — yesterday’s game was the fourth in a stretch where they will play 20 games in 20 days. Their next scheduled off day is August 11.
The Phillies are 64-37 on the year after losing to the San Diego Padres 5-4 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series three games to one and remain in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the second-place Braves. Atlanta has lost three in a row and five of seven.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing five runs on ten hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out five.
He got the first two hitters of the game before Chase Headley and Ryan Ludwick singled back-to-back. It brought Kyle Blanks to the plate with men on first and second and Blanks grounded to short to end the frame.
Lee started the second with a 1-0 lead. Jesus Guzman led off with a double to center and moved to third when Orlando Hudson followed with a ground out to second. Rob Johnson was next and he lined a ball into right-center that eluded a diving Brown for a double. The play was backed-up nicely by Victorino, but Guzman scored easily and the game was tied at 1-1. Lee struck the pitcher Aaron Harang out for the second out before Chris Denorfia singled to left. Ibanez threw home, but Johnson scored easily (2-1) and Denorfia took second on the throw to the plate. Denorfia stole third before Jason Bartlett drew a walk, putting runners on first and third for Chase Headley. With Headley at the plate, Lee threw to first and Denorfia took off from third, sliding in ahead of the throw from Howard to put San Diego on top 3-1. Headley doubled off the wall in center, scoring Bartlett. 4-1. Ludwick grounded to third to leave Headley at second.
Well that was ugly. You want to try and avoid letting the guy on third steal home on a throw to first. Brown, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t big on catching the ball in right. Lee allows three doubles, a single and a walk in the inning.
Hudson and Johnson singled back-to-back with two outs in the third, but Lee struck Harang out to leave the runners stranded at first and second.
Denorfia singled to center to start the fourth. He moved to second on a ground out by Bartlett before Headley singled to center. Victorino threw to third, where Denorfia was safe, allowing Headley to move up to second. Ludwick was next and he flew to center deep enough for Denorfia to tag and score, putting the Padres up 5-1. Lee struck Blanks out to leave Headley at second.
Carpenter started the fifth with the San Diego lead cut to 5-3. Hudson doubled with one out, but was left at second when Johnson popped to short and Harang grounded to second.
It’s fortunate the Phils were able to get Harang out in the game or things could have been worse. The pitcher had left four men on base through five innings.
Carpenter struck out Denorfia and Headley while setting San Diego down in order in the sixth.
Two scoreless innings in the game for Carpenter, who has been miserable so far this year. Coming into the game he had made four appearances for the season and had been charged with runs in three of them.
Lidge started the seventh with the Phils down 5-4, making his first appearance of the season. He set San Diego down in order, getting Will Venable to ground to first, striking out Blanks and getting Guzman on a ground ball to third.
Surprised to see the Phils bring Lidge into a one-run game there. Worked out well.
Stutes pitched the eighth with the Phils still down a run. He got the first two before righty Logan Forsythe hit for the pitcher Chad Qualls. Stutes hit Forsythe with a pitch, but Ruiz threw Forsythe out trying to steal second to set the Padres down.
Stutes was back for the ninth and set the Padres down in order.
Nifty outing for Stutes, who came into the game having allowed a run or more in three of his last four appearances, including Saturday’s game in which the Padres hit him up for a run over an inning and a third.
Five scoreless innings for the pen. Carpenter threw 35 pitches in the game and Stutes 26. Lidge 11. None of those guys has thrown for more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Harang went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz.
Utley walked with two outs in the first and moved to third when Howard followed with a single. Victorino was next and he doubled off the wall in right. Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard tried to score from second, but Ludwick’s throw was cut by Hudson and Hudson threw home in time to nail a sliding Howard and end the inning.
Down 4-1, the Phillies went in order in the second.
Rollins walked with one out in the third. Martinez flew to center behind him for the second out before Utley singled to right, moving Rollins to third. Utley stole second before Howard flew to center, leaving both runners stranded.
Ibanez doubled to left with one out in the fourth and the Phils down 5-1. Brown was next and he lined a ball into right-center. Denorfia and Ludwick converged on the ball with diving efforts, but it was deflected by Ludwick and went for a triple that scored Utley and cut the lead to 5-2. Ruiz followed that with a single into center and Brown scored. 5-3. With one out and a man on first, Francisco hit for Lee and grounded into a double-play.
Francisco is 2-for-his-last-13 after going 0-for-5 in the series. Lee wasn’t thrilled about being pinch-hit for in the fourth.
The Phils went in order in the fifth.
Victorino doubled softly to left with one out in the sixth and came around to score when Ibanez followed with a single to right, cutting the lead to 5-4. Brown and Ruiz both popped out to leave Ibanez at first.
Mayberry hit for Lidge to start the seventh and singled into center. Rollins followed him and grounded to second, with Mayberry forced at second for the first out. Rollins was thrown out trying to steal second before Martinez flew to center to end the inning.
Utley and Howard both struck out to start the eighth before Victorino tripled to right. Ibanez grounded to third to leave him stranded.
Righty Heath Bell was on to nail down the save in the ninth. Brown led off and walked 3-2. Ruiz bunted him to second with the first out and Gload hit for Stutes. Bell struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Rollins flew to right to end the game.
Two big chances for the Phils in the last two innings, but Ibanez grounds out to end the eighth with Victorino on third and Gload and Rollins go down with Victorino on third in the ninth.
Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 1-for-16 with a double and three walks in the four-game series. 268/338/398 for the season.
Martinez 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-16 with a walk and a home run in the set. He’s hitting 230/273/328 for the year.
Utley 1-for-3 with a walk. 6-for-13 with three walks, a double and two home runs in the series. 283/381/471 on the year.
Howard 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series. 249/343/457 on the year. 227/293/333 so far in July.
Victorino was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and an RBI. 6-for-13 with two walks in the series. 302/376/521 for the year, all three of which are career highs. His career slugging percentage is .437. His isolated power for the year is .219 (.521 slugging minus .302 average), which is 15th best in the NL and best on the Phillies. Howard is second with .209.
Ibanez 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 4-for-12 with two doubles in the series. 246/290/417 for the season. He’s hitting .292 in July and slugging .514, but has walked just twice in 72 at-bats.
Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple. 3-for-11 with a double, a triple and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 249/338/405 for the year. 311/417/393 in July.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with an RBI. 4-for-10 with two walks and three doubles in the series. 267/372/374 on the year. 352/453/519 so far in July.
Worley (6-1, 2.02) faces righty Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) tonight. Lincecum has allowed one run or less in five or his last six starts, throwing to a 1.66 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over those six outings. Worley has been rather good in his last six starts, too, throwing to an 0.94 ERA with an 0.97 ratio. The Phils have won all six games.