You probably think the biggest reason the Phils and Marlins can’t face each other in the World Series is that they both play in the National League. It’s not.
The ’13 Phils and Marlins finally, finally pulled the plug on their competition with one another last night to the betterment of the baseball-loving world. I’m really not sure how much more the baseball-loving world could have handled. It’s baseball-loving, but we’re going to need to agree on some common sense guidelines everyone can live with, folks.
The Marlins won the game 3-2 with an eighth-inning run off of Ethan Martin.
The Phils are 12-7 against Miami this season and 60-79 against everyone else.
The Phils scored two runs on ten hits last night, nine singles and Darin Ruf‘s seventh-inning double. The last home run they hit came on September 17 when Chase Utley went deep off of Miami lefty Brian Flynn. The Phillies have played seven games since then, going 1-6 and scoring 18 runs. 18 runs over seven games is about 2.57 runs per game. In those seven games, the Phils have hit .215 and slugged .269. If you have good pitching, it’s just about impossible to win consistently hitting .215 and slugging .269. The Phillies don’t have good pitching.
The Phililes are 72-86 on the year after losing 3-2 to the Miami Marlins last night. The Marlins take the three-game set two games to one. The Phillies have lost six of seven and are in fourth place in the NL East, a game behind the third-place Mets. They scored two runs in the one game of their last seven that they won, beating the Marlins 2-1. They are 23-38 since beating the Mets 13-8 on the first day back from the All-Star break.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple. He struck out six.
Hamels ends the year with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.16 ratio. He pitched to a 4.58 ERA and a 1.30 ratio over his first 17 starts from April through the end of June. 2.68 ERA and a 1.03 ratio in his final 16 starts for the season. He walked 17 in 114 innings over his last 16 starts, which is about 1.3 per nine innings and way below his career rates. Matt Gelb from this morning’s Inquirer: “Troglodytes will point to his 8-14 record as an indicator of failure.” Not sure exactly what I wanted to say about that, but it wasn’t nothing. At any rate, Hamels was among the best pitchers in the NL this year, eight wins or not, and the 8-14 record says a lot more about what’s wrong with the Phillie offense and bullpen than it does about what’s wrong with Cole Hamels. There’s nothing wrong with Cole Hamels.
He allowed leadoff single to Christian Yelich to start the bottom of the first, but got the next three hitters.
Justin Ruggiano walked to start the second and moved up to second on an infield single by Placido Polanco, putting runners on first and second for Adeniy Hechavarria. Hamels had Hechavarria buried in the count when the righty crushed an 0-2 pitch to center where it landed for a two-run triple. 2-0 with Hechavarria on third and nobody out. Hamels kept the Marlins from getting more in the frame, getting a ground ball to short with the runner holding for the first out before striking out the next two hitters to end the inning.
Hamels has excelled in preventing walks late in the season, but the leadoff walk to the righty Ruggiano hurts him in the inning. After the infield single, he gets ahead of the weak-hitting Hechavarria before Hechavarria crushes an 0-2 pitch to center for the big blow of the game. Great work after that by Hamels to keep the Marlins from getting another run after they put a man on third with nobody out. He did get the eight-hitter and the pitcher for the first two outs, but impressive nonetheless.
Hamels allowed a double and a walk to the first two men he faced in the third, but set down the next three Miami hitters in order to keep them off the board.
He set the Marlins down in order in the fourth and again in the fifth. Polanco doubled to right with two outs in the sixth, but Hamels got Hechavarria on a fly ball to right for the third out.
Things got weird in the seventh. The Phillies hit for Hamels in the top of the frame and Cesar Jimenez started the bottom of the inning with the score tied at 2-2. Switch-hitter Koylie Hill led off and Jimenez walked him. Juan Pierre was next, pinch-hitting for the pitcher Brad Hand, and bunted. Ruiz fielded the bunt and threw to second in time to force Hill for the first out. Jimenez walked Donovan Solano, putting men on first and second for Ed Lucas. He picked Pierre off of second, but the Phillies didn’t get the call. Lucas hit a ground ball to first with Frandsen throwing to second to force Solano for the second, leaving Miami with two down and runners on the corners for Yelich. Yelich hit a ground ball to Frandsen and Frandsen tossed to Jimenez covering first. Jimenez wasn’t very close to tagging Yelich out, but the Phillies got that call and the inning was over.
Two really bad calls in the inning. Pierre was out at second on the pickoff play and called safe. Yelich was safe at first and called out, which ended the inning instead of giving the Fish their third run of the game.
Jimenez walks two in the scoreless frame. 2.20 ERA and a 1.16 ratio for the year over 16 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .193 against him, but with eight walks in 16 1/3.
The Marlins got their third run of the game in the eighth. Martin got the first out before walking Ruggiano and Ruggiano moved to third on a single by Polanco. It put runners on the corners for Hechavarria. With the infield in, Hechavarria chopped a 2-0 pitch over the mound. Rollins nearly made a fantastic play, ranging far to his left, fielding and throwing home. His throw was a little on the first base side of home, though, and not handled cleanly by Ruiz at the plate. Ruggiano was safe and the Marlins were up 3-2 with runners on second and third with one out. Rollins was charged with a very tough error on the play. Martin struck Hill out swinging for the second out before walking lefty Greg Dobbs to load the bases. He struck the righty Solano out swinging to leave them loaded.
That was a really nice play by Rollins, even though the Phillies didn’t get an out. Ruiz should have caught his throw at the plate. I still don’t think they would have gotten Ruggiano, but it would have saved Rollins the error and kept Hechavarria at first instead of second.
Martin allows a run on a single and two walks in the frame. He walks Ruggiano to start the Miami rally and has walked 25 in 37 innings for the year. Walking 25 in 37 innings makes it really exceptionally difficult to be effective. Opponents are on-basing .364 against him with an isolated power of .240. He has a 6.90 ERA and a 1.80 ratio in his seven starts and a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 ratio in seven appearances in relief.
Two innings for the pen in which they allow a run on a hit and four walks while striking out two. Jimenez threw 23 pitches and Martin 26. Neither has thrown more than one day in a row.
The Phillie lineup against lefty Brad Hand went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Brown (6) Ruf (7) Frandsen (8) Galvis. Frandsen again at first and Galvis at third. Mayberry on the bench against the lefty and the lefty Asche on the bench. I truly think it would be worthwhile for the Phillies to find out if Mayberry can be a valuable player if you only play him at first and in the corner outfield positions against left-handed pitching.
Utley singled to center with two outs in the top of the first, but Ruiz popped to first behind him.
Brown singled to start the second and took second on a one-out walk by Frandsen. Galvis and Hamels both grounded out to turn the Phillies away.
Frandsen draws his 12th walk of the year. He’s walked in about 4.5% of his plate appearances this season. Last night’s walk came off the lefty Hand, but Frandsen has walked in just five of his 181 plate appearances against righties for the season (2.8%).
Down 2-0, the Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.
Galvis singled to center with one out in the fifth. Hamels struck out trying to bunt for the second out before Hernandez flew to right.
Hamels can’t bunt Galvis to second after the one-out single.
Utley singled to left with one out in the sixth, but Ruiz grounded into a double-play behind him.
Ruf doubled to center with one out in the seventh and moved up to third when Frandsen followed with a single to left. Galvis was next and blooped a 1-1 pitch into shallow right-center for a single. Ruf scored to cut the lead to 2-1 and Frandsen moved up to second. Mayberry hit for Hamels and the righty AJ Ramos came in to pitch to Mayberry. Asche hit for Mayberry and struck out swinging for the second out. It brought Hernandez to the plate with two down and men on first and second. He lined a 2-0 pitch into right, scoring Frandsen on a close play at the plate and leaving the Phils with runners on second and third in a 2-2 game. Rollins popped to short to leave the runners at second and third.
The Phils hit for Hamels down a run with one out and runners on first and second. Hamels had thrown 103 pitches in the game, allowing two runs over six innings. I think that’s the right decision. I like the idea of Mayberry against the lefty there, although Mayberry should have been in the lineup against the lefty to start with. Mayberry winds up not getting to hit and Asche strikes out in his stead, but the Phils wind up getting the second run that ties the game anyway thanks to the two-out hit by Hernandez.
Hernandez 1-for-5 with an RBI. Didn’t catch Hechavarria’s early triple that dropped on the track, but it looked pretty uncatchable. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 282/345/330 for the season. Isolated power of .048.
Rollins 0-for-5 and was charged with an error on the play in which Miami scored their third run. 2-for-13 with two doubles in the series. 250/318/346 for the season.
Utley 2-for-4. 3-for-10 with two walks in the series. 282/347/477 for the year.
Ruiz 0-for-4. 0-for-8 in the series. 2-for-his-last-31 (.065) with two walks and two singles. 269/320/370 on the year.
Brown 2-for-4 with two singles, both of which came off of lefties. 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. No homers in his last 87 plate appearances. 274/326/502 for the year. Was slugging .560 after going 2-for-4 with a triple and a home run against the Braves on July 7, but has hit 258/326/381 over his last 172 plate appearances.
Ruf 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. The Phillies again flail against a left-handed pitcher. They need Ruf and he got the job done last night, doubling off the lefty Hand and drawing a late walk off the righty Qualls. 3-for-10 with two walks and a double in the series. 258/359/479 on the year. Still hitting just 197/312/364 against left-handed pitching for the year.
Frandsen 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-8 with a walk in the series. 231/296/343 for the year.
Galvis 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI. 3-for-8 in the series. 16-for-his-last-40 (.400) with a double and two home runs. One walk in his last 56 plate appearances. 239/289/396 on the year.
Cloyd (2-6, 5.40) faces righty David Hale (0-0, 0.00) tonight in Atlanta as the Phils open their final series of the season. Cloyd has allowed at least five earned runs in each of his three September starts, throwing to an 11.77 ERA and a 2.08 ratio. He’s actually only walked two in those 13 innings, but allowed 25 hits as opponents have hit .403 against him. The Braves took the 25-year-old Hale in the third round of the 2009 draft. He threw to a 3.22 ERA at 1.39 ratio at Triple-A for Atlanta this year and made his debut against the Padres earlier this month. He pitched very well in that game, striking out nine in five shutout innings in the only appearance of his career. He struck out 77 in 114 2/3 innings in the minors this year, so don’t go thinking he’s Buzz Lightyear or anything.