Tag: Chris Volstad

Something special

On August 7, 2008, Chris Volstad made his first career start against the Phils and threw six shutout innings, prompting Jimmy Rollins to proclaim him “nothing special.” That seemed a little ridiculous at the time, but seems a lot less so today as the Phils have had a whole lot of success against Volstad since.

They certainly did last night, pounding Volstad and the Marlins as they won 14-2. Rollins had four hits in the game, which wasn’t close to the best offensive performance of the game for the Phils. Howard and Ibanez combined to go 7-for-10 with two walks and eight RBI.

Volstad came into the game having thrown to a 1.31 ERA over his last three starts. After allowing seven runs in four innings last night, he has a career 5.88 ERA and a 1.59 ratio in 12 starts against the Phils.

The Phillies are 55-32 on the year after hammering the Florida Marlins 14-2 last night. They are 7-2 in their last nine and lead the NL East by four games over the second-place Braves. Fourteen run is a season-high for the Phils are they are 23 games over .500 for the first time this year.

The Marlins are 7-26 since the end of May.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.40. Hamels now has a better ERA, ERA+ and ratio for the season than Halladay. Halladay has struck hitters out at a higher rate and gone deeper into games, but Hamels has thrown an average of 6.89 innings per start. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start in any of his last eight outings.

Gaby Sanchez doubled to right on a ball deflected by Brown with two outs in the first. Hamels walked Hanley Ramirez on a 3-2 pitch behind him, putting men on first and second for Logan Morrison. Morrison hit the ball hard, but Howard took it at first and flipped to Hamels to end the inning.

Mike Stanton started the bottom of the second with a single, but Hamels got the next three to leave him stranded. Martinez made a nice diving play in center on a line drive hit by Bryan Petersen for the second out.

Hamels pitched the third with a 5-0 lead. Omar Infante singled to left with one out, but Hamels got Gaby Sanchez on a fly ball to left for the second out and Ramirez looking for the third.

It was 7-0 when he started the fourth. Stanton tripled to center with one out. Catcher John Buck was next and Buck hit a 2-0 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 7-2. Petersen followed that with a single into center, but Hamels got the next two hitters to prevent further damage.

That’s just the seventh home run of the year allowed by Hamels and the second since May 23. Righties came into the game slugging .263 against him for the season.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He struck out Buck and Morrison in a 1-2-3 sixth with an 8-2 lead.

With two outs in the seventh, Emilio Bonifacio hit a slow ground ball to third. Valdez wasn’t going to get Bonifacio anyway, but threw to first and his throw was bad for an error that allowed Bonifacio to take second. Infante grounded to second to leave Bonifacio stranded.

Ramirez doubled to right with one out in the eighth. Morrison followed that and hit a foul ball that Martinez, playing second, took after a run. Ramirez tagged up and took third with two outs. Stanton struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Ramirez at third.

Mathieson started the ninth with a 14-2 lead. Greg Dobbs led off with a single and move to third when Petersen doubled behind him. Mathieson struck out Brett Hayes and Bonifacio, though, before hitting Infante to load the bases. Sanchez popped to Rollins to leave them loaded and end the game.

Five innings for Mathieson on the year now without being charged with a run. He’s allowed nine hits and three walks in five innings for a 2.40 ratio. Opponents are hitting .409 against him. He threw 22 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. Martinez in center again with Victorino sidelined with thumb issues. Polanco on the bench with a sore back. Valdez starts at third. Ruiz hits sixth, breaking up the lefties Ibanez and Brown.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez singled to center with one out in the second and moved up to second when Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind him. Brown was next and grounded to second with Ruiz forced at second for the second out. With men on first and third, Valdez grounded to second to end the frame.

Rollins singled to center with one out in the third. Martinez struck out swinging behind him for the second out, but Utley moved Rollins to third with a single to right. Volstad walked Howard intentionally, loading the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled to center. Rollins and Utley both scored, making it 2-0 with two down and men on first and second. Ruiz singled to left and the bases were loaded. Brown singled to left and everyone moved up a base. 3-0 with the bases loaded. Valdez singled to center and Ibanez and Ruiz scored. 5-0 with men on first and second. Hamels struck out looking 3-2 for the third out.

Lots of hits for the Phils there, but Ibanez makes Volstad pay for walking Howard intentionally.

Rollins started the fourth with a single. Martinez and Utley went down on ground balls behind him, leaving Martinez on second with two down for Howard. Howard hit an 0-1 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 7-0. Ibanez grounded to third for the third out.

Howard has absurd numbers against Volstad for his career — 13-for-26 with five walks and eight homers for a 500/581/1.462 line. It was home run number 18 on the year for Howard. All 18 have come against right-handed pitchers.

Up 7-2, Brown walked with one out in the fifth. Valdez and Hamels went down behind him.

Rollins led off the sixth with a double and scored on a two-out single by Howard to make it 8-2. Ibanez followed Howard with a walk, but Ruiz struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

Hamels walked with two outs in the seventh and moved to second on a single by Rollins. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch, but Martinez grounded to first to leave them both stranded.

Mayberry, who just took Worley’s spot on the roster, started the eighth with a walk. He moved to second when Howard followed with a single on a ball that was originally called a catch in right field but clearly was not. Ibanez was next and hit into a double-play, leaving Mayberry to third with two down. Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.

Brown started the ninth with a single and went to third on a one-out, pinch-hit double by Francisco. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Martinez, who delivered a bases clearing triple to center that put the Phils up 11-2. Mayberry struck out for the second out before Howard brought Martinez home with a double. 12-2. Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch out to right. 14-2. Ruiz grounded to third to end the frame.

Francisco is 4-for-8 with three doubles in July.

Rollins was 4-for-5 with a double in the game. It was his second four-hit game of the last nine.

Martinez was 1-for-6 with a three-run triple. He also made a nice diving catch in center in the second. He’s hitting .189 and on-basing .218 for the year. In 25 plate appearances against lefties for the year he has a .250 OPS (3-for-24 with three singles and no walks).

Utley 1-for-4. 340/407/468 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Howard was 4-for-5 with a walk, a double, a home run and four RBI. That’s probably his best offensive day of the season with the possible exception of his April 29 game against the Mets where he went 2-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a walk, a home run and four RBI in what’s probably the best offense day of the season for him so far as well. From May 31 to June 28, Ibanez drove in just three runs in 94 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-5 and struck out twice. Despite the two strikeouts, his strikeout rate for the season isn’t bad compared to his career numbers. His power is way down, though. Using slugging percentage minus batting average to calculate isolated power, he was at .145 last year is at .131 for his career and just .093 this season.

Brown 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 7-for-19 with three walks and a double so far in July.

Valdez 1-for-5 with two RBI. He’s 1-for-his-last-17. Among 131 NL players with 175 plate appearances, his .277 on-base percentage is 120th. He also made his sixth error of the season — coming into the year he had made six errors in his career.

Kyle Kendrick (4-4, 3.81) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (6-2, 3.30) tonight. Sanchez has been very good this year, but was hit hard by the Rangers in his most recent start, allowing seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. He’s allowing both walks and hits at well being his career levels so far in 2011. Kendrick didn’t fare well in his last start, either, allowing six runs to the Blue Jays over seven innings on Friday. He’s thrown to a 4.80 ERA in his six starts on the season.


Ben Francisco treat

Ben Francisco made up for a mostly miserable game last night with one big swing. His two-run single off of Taylor Tankersley in the bottom of the eighth put the Phils ahead to stay and raised hopes that the long offensive funk the Phils have been in may finally be coming to an end.

The Phillies scored ten runs in the game, the most they had scored in any game since May 17. They came into the game having scored three runs or fewer in 13 of their last 15. The Phillies scored ten runs total over a nine-game stretch from May 22 through May 31.

Getting the slumping sticks of Utley, Ibanez and Werth is near the top of the to-do list for the Phils and even with Werth on the bench last night there was a lot of progress in that area. It was a little lost with the big hit from Francisco, but Ibanez was 4-for-5 in the game. He and Utley combined to go 6-for-8 with three RBI. They came into the game hitting a combined .207 since the end of the day on May 10.

The Phillies are 31-26 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 10-8 last night.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk. Only five of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out four and has a 4.95 ERA after 12 starts. He has pitched better than Blanton so far this year, but not very well, and he seems likely to lose his spot in the rotation when Happ returns. Happ allowed two runs in three innings for Single-A Clearwater in a rehab start last night.

Kendrick has had a lot of problems with left-handed hitting this year, but last night he got to face a Florida starting lineup with seven righties, the pitcher and lefty Chris Coghlan.

Gaby Sanchez homered off of Kendrick with one out in the first to put Florida up 1-0. Kendrick struck out Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu behind him.

Mike Stanton reached on an infield single with two outs in the second and Ronny Paulino followed that with a double that scored Stanton. 2-0. The pitcher Chris Volstad went down behind Paulino for the third out.

With one out in the third, Sanchez hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Ramirez was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left to make it 4-0. Kendrick got the next two.

The Phillies had cut the lead to 4-3 when Kendrick started the fourth. Kendrick walked Cody Ross to start the inning before striking out Stanton for the first out. Paulino moved Ross to second with a single. It brought up Volstad with one out and men on first and third. Volstad got the bunt down. Kendrick fielded and threw high to first. The throw must have been higher than Utley thought, cause he jumped way up to get it and had the ball go off the heel of his glove. Kendrick was charged with an error for the high throw and the Marlins had the bases loaded. Chris Coghlan was next and the lefty delivered a two-run single to center, putting Florida up 6-3 with men on first and second and one out. Kendrick got Sanchez and Ramirez on a pair of fly balls to end the frame.

Down 6-4, Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Durbin pitched the sixth with the score tied at 6-6 and set Florida down in order.

Durbin was back for the seventh with the Phillies up 7-6. Coghlan led off and tripled to right. Sanchez was next and he reached on an infield single with Coghlan holding third. Durbin struck out Ramirez for the first out, but Cantu doubled to center as Francisco crashed into the wall, tying the game at 7-7 with one out and men on second and third. Durbin got Dan Uggla on a ground ball back to the mound with the runners holding for the second out. Ross grounded to second to set Florida down.

Durbin comes back to face a lefty to pitch his second inning of the game and it doesn’t go well. Romero and Bastardo don’t pitch in the game. Bastardo hasn’t pitched since June 1.

Contreras started the eighth with the score still tied at 7-7. Stanton led off with a single to right and Paulino followed with a fly ball to center. Righty Wes Helms hit for the pitcher Rick VandenHurk and tripled to right as Francisco dove and came up empty to put Florida up 8-7. Contreras struck out Coghlan and Sanchez to leave Helms stuck at third.

Rough two innings in the field for Francisco. Big strikeouts for Contreras after the Francisco-aided triple to leave Helms at third.

Lidge started the ninth with a 10-8 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Ramirez, but struck out Cantu and Uggla behind him. Ramirez took second without a throw before Lidge walked Ross, putting the tying run on base. Stanton was next and he reached on an infield single that was deflected by Lidge to load the bases. Lidge got Paulino to pop to Utley to end the game.

Durbin threw 36 pitches in the game and shouldn’t have. Lidge threw 31 and Contreras 18. David Herndon has made one appearance this month and has gotten two outs.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Ruiz. Francisco plays right against the righty with Werth and lefties Dobbs and Gload not playing right. Valdez plays short with Rollins on the DL and Castro on the bench and hits seventh in the lineup with Ruiz down to eighth.

Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the first.

Howard walked to start the second with the Phillies down 2-0. Francisco hit into a double-play behind him. Ibanez was next and he singled. Valdez hit a ball to short, which Ramirez handled but threw away for an error that put men on second and third with two down for Ruiz. Volstad threw two balls in the dirt to Ruiz and then walked him intentionally to pitch to Kendrick with the bases loaded. Kendrick grounded to first to end the inning.

Down 4-0, Utley singled with two outs in the third. Howard was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left-center. 4-2. Francisco was next and lined a single to left on a ball deflected by Ramirez and stole second. Ibanez singled to left and Francisco scored. 4-3. A wild pitch moved Ibanez to second before Valdez grounded to short.

Big hits from Utley, Howard and Ibanez in the inning. The stolen base by Francisco helps get the Phillies a run on Ibanez’s single.

The Phillies were down 6-3 when the hit in the fourth. Ruiz and Kendrick both went down to start the inning, but Victorino hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to right for his tenth home run of the year. 6-4. Polanco struck out swinging to end the inning.

Second time in two innings the Phillies homered off of Volstad in the first pitch of the at-bat. Victorino is on pace to hit 28 home runs and drive in 102 runs. All that plus the .323 on-base percentage seems to suggest you wouldn’t want him leading off. Polanco, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz, Shortstop until Rollins gets back would be my vote.

It was still 6-4 when the Phillies hit in the fifth. The Phils quickly loaded the bases on a single by Utley, an error by Uggla at second and a walk by Francisco. Ibanez was next and he reached on an infield single to short. 6-5 with the bases still loaded. Righty Brian Sanches came in to pitch to Valdez and Valdez hit a ground ball to short. Howard scored to make it 6-6 and Francisco was forced at second for the first out of the inning. With two outs and men on first and third, Ruiz flew to center for the second out with Francisco holding third. Gload hit for Kendrick and flew to left.

If ever there was a case for hitting for your starting shortstop in the fifth inning it would involve your starting shortstop being Wilson Valdez, the bases being loaded and having Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload on your bench.

No RBI for Ruiz with one out and a man on third.

Victorino walked to start the sixth and Polanco moved him to third with a single. Utley delivered a sac fly to left and Victorino scored to put the Phils up 7-6. Howard lined a single to right and Utley went to third. Francisco hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Again no run for the Phils with less than two outs and a man on third.

The game was tied at 7-7 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Ruiz walked with two outs. With the righty Rick VandenHurk on the mound for Florida, Dobbs hit for Durbin and popped to short.

Dobbs is hitting 140/210/246 for the year.

The Phillies were still down 8-7 when they hit in the eighth. Righty Clay Hensley walked Polanco with one out and Utley was hit by a pitch. It put men on first and second for Howard and Phillie-hating lefty Taylor Tankersley came in to pitch to him. Howard grounded to first for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Tankersley stayed in to pitch to the righty Francisco and Francisco came through, pounding an 0-1 pitch past Ramirez and into left-center. Both runners scored and the Phillies led 9-8. Ibanez was next and he sent Francisco to third with a single. Valdez singled on a softly hit ball to third, scoring Francisco to make it 10-8 with two outs and men on first and second. Ruiz grounded to first to end the inning.

Tankersley stays in to pitch to Francisco because there’s a lefty behind him in Ibanez. He threw the ball in a bad place, not off the plate like he wanted to, and Francisco delivered.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and a home run.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a walk.

Utley 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Howard 2-for-4 with a walk, a home run and two RBI.

The Phils score ten runs in the game, but still didn’t pile up the extra-base hits. They had two — the homers from Howard and Victorino.

Francisco hit into two double-plays and had a rough time in right, but delivered the biggest hit of the game. He was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-11.

Ibanez was 4-for-5 with two RBI.

Valdez was 1-for-5 with two RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with two walks.

Roy Halladay (8-3, 2.03) faces righty Josh Johnson (6-2, 2.10). The game is a rematch of the May 28 game in which Halladay was perfect. Lefties have done almost nothing this year against the righty Johnson, hitting just 160/245/229 against him. Righties are doing a little better with a 260/313/377 line.


Flying Fish

Most people who felt the NL East was anything but a two-team race as the 2008 season began thought it was the Braves that had a chance to keep pace with the Phillies and Mets. That didn’t prove to be the case. The Braves had a miserable season, finishing in fourth place and 20 games out of first.

It was the Florida Marlins that were in the thick of the race early in the season and they did more than keep pace. The Marlins led the East or had a piece of first place for 42 days in ’08 and led the division by a full three games after a win on May 11. Their record peaked at ten games above .500 — they were 30-20 on May 26. The Phils and Mets controlled the division from June on and the Fish went 54-57 after May 26 to finish the year at 84-77, which put them in third place and 7 1/2 games out.

The improvement for Florida was remarkable, however. Coming off of 71 wins in 2007, they improved their run differential by more than 100 runs. Here’s a look at the run differentials for the teams in the NL East for the past five seasons:

rundiff.jpg

In 2007, the Marlins allowed 891 runs and scored 790. They allowed 101 runs more than they scored. In 2008, they allowed 767 and scored 770, so they scored three more than they allowed. That’s a difference of 104 runs, which is the second-biggest improvement from the previous year for a team in the NL East in the past five years behind what the Mets did in 2006. In 2006, the huge improvement by New York shot them past the Phils and the Braves. In 2008, the huge improvement by the Marlins shot them past the Braves but still left them short of the Phils and Mets.

With offense down across the league, the Marlins scored 20 fewer runs in 2008 than they had in 2007. The difference in their pitching was huge — Marlins hurlers were charged with just 767 runs after allowing 891 runs the year before.

In 2007, Marlins’ relievers threw to a 4.05 ERA. In 2008 they threw to a 4.06 ERA. So the massive improvement was in large part due to what the starting pitching did. And the starting pitching for the Marlins is very young. The rotation for this year is penciled in as Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Chris Volstad, Anibal Sanchez and Andrew Miller — Nolasco is the oldest of the group and he turned 26 in December. Nolasco, Johnson and Volstad were all good last year, with Nolasco making the biggest contribution as he threw 212 1/3 innings with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.10 ratio. Anibal Sanchez and Andrew Miller both have a good chance to be fantastic — the Fish showed dramatic improvement last year with that duo combining to throw to a 5.77 ERA and a 1.62 ratio over 159 innings. If there’s good news for the rest of the division in the Marlins rotation, it’s that Scott Olsen, who was solid for the Marlins in 33 starts last year, was dealt to the Nationals over the winter in a deal that looks like a steal for Washington. The Marlins, however, look like they have more than enough arms to make up for the loss.

While the Marlin’s green line is creeping up closer to where the Mets and Phillies are (and where the Braves had been till last season), the question has to be whether the Marlins are ready to challenge the other teams in the NL East atop the division. I think the answer is no, not yet, for two reasons.

The first is that as much as the pitching is improving, it still has a long way to go. In 2008, only five NL teams, the Braves, Reds, Rockies, Nats and Pirates, allowed more runs than Florida.

The second is that they benefited from an electric offense in 2008 and chances are good that even if the rotation continues to improve the Marlins won’t be fifth in the NL in runs scored in 2009 like they were in 2008. Mike Jacobs and Josh Willingham are gone and although neither were outstanding I would guess the Marlins will struggle to replace their production. I’d bet a lot against them having four infielders who hit at least 29 home runs again as well.

I think the thing to worry about is that there is a huge amount of young talent in Florida between all that starting pitching as well as offensive firepower that includes Hanley Ramirez, Cameron Maybin and Jeremy Hermida. That’s a whole lot of moving parts, but if they all got popping at the same time it would be a big problem for the Mets and the Phillies. I think it’s a little tough to predict that’s going to happen in 2009, though.

Finally, on what’s only a slightly related note, I feel I should remind all that the Fish are just a strange and surprising organization. In their 16 year history they have twice won the World Series, but never been closer to winning the NL East than they were in 2005 when they finished in third place, seven games behind the Braves (in 2003 and 1997, they finished second and went to the playoffs and won the World Series, but in each year they finished more than seven games out of first place). So you never know.

The Braves agreed to a one-year deal with Garret Anderson.

Charlie Manuel says something about the chances of Jason Donald and John Mayberry to make the team in this article, but I’m not quite sure I understand what it is.

The Phillies play the Pirates tomorrow. They have announced who will pitch in upcoming games.

MLB Network will be making a reality show about the Phillies bullpen which will debut in June.

Scott Eyre has had assets frozen as part of a federal investigation, which has caused financial problems for him.

Ad: TicketCity has Phillies tickets for spring training and regular season games.


If wishes were fishes we’d have a bunch of happy wishes out there right about now

Pitching decisions and plain old bad pitching were the story as the Phils lost the last two games of their three-game series with the Marlins. The losses put the Phillies in a big hole — they have 16 games left to play and trail the Mets by 3 1/2 games.

In yesterday’s game, Brett Myers hit for himself with two outs and nobody on in the seventh in a tie game with two lefties expected to hit in the top of the eighth for Florida. He had thrown 104 pitches. He got just one out in the eighth. Both of the lefties he faced got hits and one of them scored the run that would prove to be the game-winner.

The go-ahead run came on a big double off of Chad Durbin. Durbin continues to struggle miserably down the stretch after being outstanding for most of the year. After throwing to a 1.89 ERA in the first half of the season, Durbin been charged with six runs on seven hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings over his last three appearances.

The only decision that the Phillies couldn’t overcome on Tuesday was the one to start Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick was charged with seven runs in the game and got four outs. Despite being down 9-1 in the fourth, the Phils did mount a comeback. They fell short and dropped the game 10-8. The Phils are 1-5 in Kendrick’s last six starts. In those outings he hasn’t gone six innings once and has thrown to an 11.35 ERA.

The Phillies lost to the Florida Marlins yesterday afternoon, falling 7-3 to drop to 79-67 on the season. They trail the Mets by 3 1/2 games in the NL East.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a walk. He struck out nine.

He allowed a pair of doubles in the first, but kept Florida off the board. Hanley Ramirez led off with a double but was thrown out when he tried to go to third on a ground ball to short. After Dan Uggla doubled, Myers struck out both Mike Jacobs and Josh Willingham to leave him stranded.

The threw a 1-2-3 second and the Phils gave him a 1-0 lead to start the third. Ramirez walked with one out before Luis Gonzalez blasted a 2-0 pitch out to right to put Florida up 2-1.

In the fourth the Marlins extended their lead to 3-1. Dallas McPherson led off with a double. Myers got the next two before the pitcher Ricky Nolasco drove him in with a single to left.

Myers didn’t allow a base-runner in the fifth, sixth or seventh, which probably influenced Manuel’s decision to let him come back and start the eighth having thrown 104 pitches to face a couple lefties. He faced three hitters in the eighth. Gonzalez led off with a single, Myers struck out Uggla and a single by Jacobs moved Gonzalez to third. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Willingham. Willingham got ahead 3-0 and then chopped a 3-1 pitch down the third base line. The umpires called fan interference, although it appeared that the fan in question did not touch the ball. One run scored and Robert Andino, who ran for Jacobs, went to third. Durbin walked the left McPherson, loading the bases and setting up the double-play, which he got from Paul Lo Duca to end the frame.

Durbin returned for the ninth with the Phils down 4-3. He gave up a leadoff single to Alfredo Amezaga and Amezaga was bunted to second for the first out. He walked Hanley Ramirez intentionally to put men on first and second. Lefty Jeremy Hermida pinch-hit and Romero came in to pitch to him. Cody Ross hit for Hermida and Romero got him on a fly ball to right for the second out. With two down and men on first and second, Uggla delivered a two-run double that put Florida up 6-3. Condrey came in to pitch to Wes Helms and Helms singled into center, scoring Uggla and making it 7-3. Willingham flew to left for the third out.

Romero gives up the big double to Uggla an inning after two hits by lefties against Myers set up a run for Florida.

The pen went 1 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. All three relievers that appeared, Durbin, Romero and Condrey, gave up big hits. Durbin threw 17 pitches, Condrey and Romero each six or less. Durbin has thrown to a 6.10 ERA since the end of July. Romero a 4.76 ERA since the end of July. Condrey was pitching for the second straight day and hasn’t been charged with an earned run this month.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Ricky Nolasco went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Again Werth hits second against the righty with Victorino dropped to sixth. Dobbs at third with Feliz on the bench and Coste behind the plate.

Howard put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run to start the second.

Myers doubled over the head of Amezaga in center to start the third with the Phils down 2-1. He went to third on a ground out by Rollins, but was left stranded when Werth struck out and Utley lined to short.

Werth can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.

Nolasco struck out Howard, Burrell and Victorino in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Down 3-1 in the fifth the Phils scored a pair of runs to tie the game at 3-3. Dobbs led off with a single and scored when Coste followed with a double. Myers bunted Coste to third for the first out before Rollins popped to short. Werth delivered a two-out single, scoring Coste to tie the game and picking up Rollins after Rollins failed to bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.

The Phillies only base-runner in the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth was a one-out walk by Burrell in the sixth. Victorino hit into a double-play behind him.

With two outs and nobody on in the seventh, Myers hit for himself and struck out. With the righty Nolasco on the mound, Stairs would have been the likely choice to hit for Myers.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 5-for-13 with a walk in the series. 273/337/431 for the season. He’s slugging .410 in September after slugging .398 in August.

Werth was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-13 with a home run in the series. 275/371/511. He’s hitting .212 in September.

Utley 1-for-4. 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. 289/378/535 for the year. 219/316/281 so far this month.

Howard 1-for-4 with his 42nd home run. 5-for-13 with two doubles and two home runs in the series. 241/328/517. He has five home runs in his last 27 at-bats.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-7 with a triple and two walks in the series. 254/372/513 for the year. The triple is his only extra-base hits in his last 40 at-bats.

Victorino 0-for-4. 1-for-11 with a walk in the series. 276/339/417. Hitting .176 in September.

Dobbs 1-for-3 in the game. 2-for-10 with a double in the series. 295/327/473 for the year. No walks in his last 37 at-bats. Feliz was 1-for-2 in the series and is hitting 251/300/407 for the year.

Coste 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the game. 1-for-6 in the series. 267/322/435 for the year. He’s 1-for-his-last-20. Ruiz was 2-for-6 with a double in the series. 230/320/304 for the year.

Stairs went 1-for-2 with a walk in the series. He’s 3-for-7 with the Phillies.

On Tuesday the Phillies lost 10-8 to drop to 79-66 on the season.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 1 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out one. His ERA was 4.37 after he got the win against the Marlins on August 6 — it’s 5.44 now, six starts later.

The Fish were all over Kendrick. They scored three times in the first, getting three singles, a walk and a sac fly. Uggla had the biggest hit, a two-run single to right with the bases loaded. Four more runs in the second put the Marlins up 7-1. They got a pair of doubles, a walk and a three-run homer from Jorge Cantu that chased Kendrick.

Happ followed Kendrick, getting the last two outs of the second. Happ kept them off the board in the third, but yielded two more runs in the fourth. Cantu singled with one out and Jacobs hit a two-run shot that put the Marlins up 9-1.

The Phils cut it to 9-4 in the bottom of the fourth, but Happ gave up another homer, this one a solo shot, to Cody Ross in the fifth. 10-4. He got the next two before Condrey came out to retire Ramirez and end the frame.

Condrey threw a scoreless sixth. Seanez and Eyre combined to keep the Marlins off the board in the seventh. Madson pitched a scoreless eighth and Lidge, with the Phils down 10-8, turned them away in the ninth.

Long day for the pen as they went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk. All three of the runs were allowed by Happ, who saw his ERA rise to 5.71 by giving up three runs in 3 1/3 innings. Happ threw 66 pitches in the game, Lidge 17. Everyone else was 15 or less.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Werth hits second against the righty with Victorino sixth. Dobbs at third and Ruiz catching.

With one out in the first, Werth singled, stole second, stole third and scored on a ground out by Utley to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-1.

Down 7-1 in the second they went in order. Ruiz singled to start the third and Happ bunted him to second, but Rollins and Werth left him stranded.

Down 9-1 in the fourth, Utley singled and was driven in by a two-run homer by Howard. Burrell tripled and scored on a ground out by Victorino. The Phils ended the inning down 9-4.

It was 10-4 when they started the sixth. Victorino singled in Howard to make it 10-5 and a two-run double by Dobbs cut it to 10-7. With Dobbs on second and nobody out, Stairs hit for Condrey and singled Dobbs in. 10-8. Coste flew to right for the first out before Rollins moved Stairs to third and then stole second. It put men on second and third with one down, but Werth flew to right and the runners held and Utley popped to short, leaving the tying runs stranded.

They went in order in the ninth.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.

Werth 1-for-5 with a strikeout and left six men on base. With one out and a man on third in the eighth he couldn’t bring the runner in.

Utley 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Howard 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a triple and a walk.

Victorino 1-for-4 with two RBI.

Dobbs 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Ruiz 1-for-2.

Jamie Moyer (13-7, 3.64) faces righty Ben Sheets (13-7, 2.82) tonight. Sheets hasn’t allowed a run in any of his last three starts, giving up 12 hits and four walks in 20 innings. On the year he’s allowed just 14 home runs in 188 innings. The Phillies have won five of the last six games that Moyer has started. He’s been much better away from Citizens Bank Park than at it this year — 9-3 with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.17 ratio away and 4-4 with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.54 ratio at home. Moyer will be throwing on short rest after pitching Sunday against the Mets.


Phils find comfort knowing that if they do face a pitcher who’s something special it can’t get any worse

If Cole Hamels decides to sue for non-support he may want to start his case with this: In each of his last two starts he’s broken up the opposition’s no-hitter with a single with two outs in the fifth. Don’t know when the last time that happened was, but I’m betting there were fewer people going out to eat in flip-flops and sweatpants.

Hamels pitched well yesterday. Coming off back-to-back bad worrisome starts, he pitched into the seventh and was changed with two earned runs.

It’s tough to win when you don’t score, though, and the Marlins’ Chris Volstad saw to that. He gave the Fish six shutout innings. The Florida pen backed him up with three scoreless innings in which they allowed a hit and two walks.

After the game Jimmy Rollins, who apparently has forsaken offense this season and instead is focused on seeing how bizarre he can get the quotes in the newspaper that appear next to his name to be, suggested that Volstad was “nothing special.” What really has been nothing special lately, though, is the Phillies’ offense. The Phils scored seven runs in the three-game series, two of which came on a home run that was foul.

The Phillies lost to the Florida Marlins yesterday, falling 3-0 to drop to 62-52 on the year. The Marlins win the series two games to one.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. Only two of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Hanley Ramirez led off the first with a double to left. Hamels got the next two hitters before Ramirez stole third, but Josh Willingham popped to Howard for the third out.

Cody Ross doubled with two outs in the second, hitting the ball past Bruntlett, who probably should have made the play. Matt Treanor was next and he singled into right. Jenkins threw home, but wasn’t close to getting Ross whose run put the Fish up 1-0. Treanor took second when the throw came home and was safe on a pretty close play as Ruiz nearly got him after taking Jenkins’ throw. Hamels struck out pitcher Chris Volstad to end the frame.

Ramirez led off the third with a walk, but Hamels got Jeremy Hermida to hit into a double-play behind him and struck out Jorge Cantu for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fourth. He struck out Treanor and Volstad in a 1-2-3 fifth.

With one out in the sixth, Hermida singled and stole second. Cantu popped to third for the second out. Willingham was next and hit a ball into the left-field corner for a double. Hermida scored easily and it was 2-0. Dan Uggla flew to center for the third out.

Wes Helms and Ross started the seventh with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Treanor and Treanor hit a ground ball to third. Bruntlett should have had a double-play but bobbled the ball and then tagged out Helms for the first out of the inning. Lefty Mike Jacobs hit for the pitcher Volstad and hit a ball to Howard. Howard threw to second, but his throw was bad for his 14th error of the season. A nice play by Rollins kept it out of the outfield. It loaded the bases for Ramirez and Madson came in to pitch to him. Ramirez hit a ground ball to short and Rollins had to take the out at first as Ross scored to make it 3-0. With men on second and third, Madson walked the lefty Hermida intentionally to load the bases and got Cantu to line to Utley for the third out.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils down 3-0. He got the first two, getting the second out with the help of a diving catch by Jenkins. Lefty Luis Gonzalez hit for the pitcher Matt Lindstrom and singled and moved to second when Ramirez followed with a walk. Hermida singled into right, but Jenkins threw Gonzalez out at home to turn the Fish away.

The pen threw 2 2/3 innings without being charged with a run. Madson helped save Hamels’ line in the seventh, although Hamels is not to be blamed completely for the mess due to bad plays by Howard and Bruntlett in the frame. Madson pitched in all three games of the series and threw 11 pitches yesterday. Lidge 28 and Condrey 11.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Bruntlett (8) Ruiz. Bruntlett again at third against a righty. Jenkins in right with Ruiz catching. Too much Bruntlett at third against righties with Dobbs on the bench.

Utley walked with two outs in the first, but Howard grounded out to Uggla in shallow right for the third out.

Burrell walked to start the second and moved to second on a soft ground ball to second by Jenkins. Bruntlett popped to short and Ruiz grounded to short to end the inning.

Rollins walked with one out in the third and moved to second when Victorino followed with a ground out to first. Utley grounded to first for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth.

Hamels singled with two outs in the fifth. Rollins followed with a walk that moved him to second. Victorino flew to right for the third out.

Second straight start for Hamels that he’s gotten the team’s first hit of the game and it came with two outs in the fifth.

Utley singled to start the sixth. Howard was next and he drove a ball into right-center that Ross made a diving catch on for the first out. Burrell popped to second for the second out before Jenkins moved Utley to second with a softly hit single to left. Bruntlett grounded to first for the third out.

Ruiz led off the seventh with the Phils down 3-0 and drew a walk. With righty Joe Nelson on the mound, Dobbs hit for Madson and the righty stayed in and struck out Dobbs for the first out. Rollins hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Victorino led off the eighth with a double off of lefty Arthur Rhodes, but Rhodes got Utley on a fly ball and Howard on a ground ball before righty Matt Lindstrom walked Burrell to put men on first and second. It brought Jenkins up as the tying run against the righty, but Jenkins got behind 0-2 and then grounded to first.

Coste hit for Lidge to start the ninth and grounded to short. Werth hit for Ruiz and hit a fly ball to shallow right. Uggla and Hermida collided and failed to catch it and Werth wound up at second. Dobbs and Rollins both grounded to second to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with two walks. 4-for-11 with a double in the series. 266/337/431 for the year.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a double in the game, the only extra-base hit for the Phillies. 3-for-13 with a double and a home run in the set. 284/349/447.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with a double and two walks in the series. 292/374/571.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Ross took a hit away from him in the sixth. 3-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series. 241/327/503 for the season.

Burrell 0-for-2 with two walks in the game. 1-for-9 with a double and three walks in the series. He’s 3-for-19 in July (.158).

Jenkins was 1-for-4 in the game and 1-for-8 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 242/301/396. He could have an on-base percentage that starts with a three and a slugging percentage that starts with a four before too long if he’s not careful. Werth was 0-for-1 in the game and 0-for-2 in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-15 and hitting 264/349/476 for the year.

Bruntlett was 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the game and 2-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series. 227/313/313. Dobbs was 0-for-2 yesterday and 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the set. 297/335/441. He’s 2-for-his-last-15.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk in the game and 1-for-5 with two walks in the series. 214/310/275 for the season. Coste was 0-for-1 yesterday and 1-for-5 with a double in the series. 276/326/472.

Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.94) faces lefty Paul Maholm (7-7, 3.95) tonight. Two of Maholm’s last four starts have been good — he allowed one run and went at least seven in each of them. In the other two he went six innings he time and allowed five runs. Lefties are hitting .178 against him with two home runs for the year. On April 27 he held the Phillies to a run on two hits while throwing a complete game. The good news is that he was probably nothing special. Blanton is 1-0 with a 4.80 ERA in three starts for the Phils. He was fantastic in St Louis his last time out. On Saturday he held the Cards to a run on four hits over seven innings. Righties are still hitting .315 against him for the season.

The Phillies traded Single-A right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter to the Cubs for left-handed reliever Scott Eyre. Eyre had a 7.19 ERA in 19 appearances for the Cubs this season, but threw just 11 1/3 innings. He was great in 2005, throwing to a 2.63 ERA with a 1.08 ratio in 68 1/3 innings for the Giants and solid in ’06 and ’07 for the Cubs.

The next update to Philliesflow will be on August 17.


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