Tag: Clay Condrey

Tying ugly

The Phillies managed an ugly split in their four-game series against the Brewers, winning and losing ugly both in a series that saw the two teams combine to make nine errors.

The Phils look sloppy and tired — in the field but also at the plate. Victorino has been in a funk with the bat since the end of July. Utley has one RBI since September 15. Werth is 2-for-his-last-28 with 14 strikeouts.

None of those problems are as worrisome as what’s happening in the bullpen, especially in the ninth inning. The starters got bounced early in the series, none of the four got an out in the seventh inning, and that was a lot of innings to pitch for a defense that wasn’t playing well. Tyler Walker got his chance to pitch in the ninth inning of a game that was close in game three. Didn’t go so well as Walker failed to retire a batter before giving up a walkoff homer. If there was a bright spot it was in what happened yesterday. With a 6-5 lead, the pen gave the Phils three scoreless frames including a four-out save from Madson.

The Phillies are 90-65 on the season after splitting a four-game series with the Brewers in Milwaukee. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by five games with seven left to play. If the Phillies went 0-7 to end the year the Braves would have to go 5-2 to tie them atop the division.

The Phillies won the first game 9-4. Howard drove in Utley to give them a 1-0 lead in the first, but a one-out triple by Jason Kendall in the bottom of the third off of Happ helped the Brewers tie up the game. Feliz doubled in Francisco in the fourth to put the Phils up 2-1 before they got six runs in a fifth inning that featured a three-run homer by Rollins to make it 8-1. Milwaukee scored another run charged to Happ in the sixth to make it 8-2. The Phils extended the lead to 9-2 in the top of the eighth before Milwaukee scored two off of Condrey in the bottom of the ninth.

Lee got hit hard in game two as the Brewers won 8-4. A three-run homer by Mike Cameron off of Lee helped put Milwaukee up 4-0 after one inning. The Phils managed just nine singles and a walk in the game, but put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 4-2. Lee gave up another three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, this one to Prince Fielder, and the Brewers led 7-2. Milwaukee extended the lead to 8-2 with a run off of Lidge in the seventh. The Phils got RBIs from Howard and Werth in the top of the eighth to get within four.

Tyler Walker gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Braun in the ninth inning of game three, which the Brewers won 7-5. Bako put the Phils up 2-0 with a two-run shot in the second and RBIs from Feliz and Werth in the third made the lead 4-0. Milwaukee scored two off of Kendrick in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 4-2 and a walk, a hit batter and a sacrifice bunt helped them score another in the fourth to make it 4-3. Howard put the Phillies up 5-3 with a solo homer in the fifth. Pitching in relief of Kendrick, Moyer got the first two hitters to start the sixth before giving up a walk and a ground-rule double that was followed by a two-run single Craig Counsell blooped into center field and off of Rollins’s glove that tied the game at 5-5. Walker came into the game to start the ninth and faced two batters, allowing a leadoff single to Counsell before Braun popped an 0-1 pitch out to right-center.

The Phils almost blew a five-run lead yesterday, but held on for a 6-5 win. Rollins led off the game with a home run and a one-out triple by Utley helped put the Phils up 2-0 after half an inning. Victorino delivered a two-run double in the second to make it 4-0 before Cameron hit a solo shot in the bottom of the inning. A two-run single by Feliz in the sixth gave Blanton a 6-1 lead to work with, but Mat Gamel hit a three-run homer in the bottom of a four-run sixth and the Phils lead was cut to 6-5. Escalona got Fielder to end the sixth with the tying run on base. Durbin threw a scoreless seventh and got the first two outs of the eighth before Madson picked Corey Hart off of first to end the inning. Madson came back for the ninth and gave up a one-out double to Fielder, but got the next two to end the game and earn his ninth save.

The Phillies threw 34 innings overall in the series with a 5.56 ERA and a 1.65 ratio.

The starting pitching in the series wasn’t good. Happ made the best start of the four and he allowed two runs and went just 5 2/3 innings. None of the four starters went more than six innings. As a group they threw to a 5.51 ERA with a 1.78 ratio over 16 1/3 innings.

Happ got the start in game one and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Happ’s results of late haven’t been great, but he does have his walks down. Over his last five starts he’s walked just seven in 29 2/3 innings.

Lee got blasted in game two. Two three-run homers were the big blasts of the game as he allowed seven runs on nine hits over six innings. Lee hasn’t walked a batter in seven of his last eight starts.

Kendrick went four innings in game three, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Kendrick has allowed just one home run over 20 2/3 innings on the season after giving up 23 in 155 2/3 innings last year.

Blanton got the start yesterday and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks. Four of the five runs he allowed came on the two homers he gave up. Bad start for Blanton coming off of two in which he was fantastic.

The relievers were called on to throw a ton of innings in the series and didn’t fare well. They pitched more innings than the starters in the series, throwing 17 2/3 innings with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.53 ratio. Condrey gave up two unearned runs in game one. Walker surrendered a critical homer in game three.

Escalona started the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 8-4. He struck out the first two men he faced before allowing a single and a walk. He then struck out Corey Hart to leave both men stranded.

Escalona got a huge out yesterday, entering in the bottom of the sixth with one out, Fielder at the plate and the Phils up 6-5. Fielder grounded to second to end the inning.

Moyer took over for Kendrick in the fifth inning of game three with the Phils up 5-3. He threw a 1-2-3 fifth. In the sixth he got the first two before allowing a walk and a ground rule double. It put men on second and third for Counsell and Counsell popped a ball into shallow center. Rollins had a long run to get to the ball, but got there in time and didn’t make the difficult catch. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 5-5. Moyer got Braun on a ground ball to end the inning. Moyer allowed a two-out single in the seventh that was followed with a ground out and threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Over his last 16 appearances Moyer has thrown 88 1/3 innings with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

Durbin took over for Happ in the sixth inning of game two with two outs, men on first and second and the Phillies up 8-2. He got a ground out to end the inning. Durbin came back to pitch the seventh and got the first two before issuing back-to-back walks. He struck out Ryan Braun to end the inning.

Yesterday he started the seventh inning with the Phils up 6-5. He gave up a two-out double but kept the Brewers off the board. He came back to start the eighth and again got the first two before walking Hart. Madson came in to pitch to Braun.

Walker pitched the eighth inning of game one with an 8-2 lead. He hit a batter and gave up two singles, but kept Milwaukee off the board.

He also started the ninth inning in game three with the score tied at 5-5. Counsell led off with a single and Braun followed with a two-run homer to right-center that won the game for Milwaukee.

Condrey started the ninth inning of game one with a 9-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Felipe Lopez before Corey Hart reached on an error by Howard. The next two men grounded out, with the second ground out scoring Lopez to make it 9-3. Casey McGehee delivered an RBI-single to plate another unearned run before Condrey got Mike Cameron on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Condrey also pitched yesterday in game four. He took over for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Hart on first and Ryan Braun at the plate with the Phils up 6-4. Hart stole second before Braun singled, cutting the lead to one at 6-5. Escalona came in to pitch to Fielder.

Madson entered game four with two outs in the eighth and Hart on first with the Phils up 6-5. He picked Hart off of first to end the inning. He came back to pitch the ninth. Fielder doubled with one out, but Madson got Felipe Lopez on a ball chopped back to the mound and struck Cameron out looking to end the game.

Lidge started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 7-2. He gave up a leadoff single to Corey Hart, but got the next two hitters before Hart stole second. McGehee delivered an RBI-single before Lidge struck out Cameron to end the inning.

For Lidge it was his fifth outing in a row in which he had been charged with at least one run. Over his last five appearances he had been charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings on ten hits and two walks.

The Phillies scored 24 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins was 6-for-19 with a double, two walks and two home runs in the series. He’s hitting 247/292/419 for the season.

Victorino was 4-for-19 with a double and two walks. 292/360/442 for the year. He came into yesterday’s game hitting 242/311/379 in 210 plate appearances since the end of July.

Utley was 3-for-18 with a triple in the series. 290/405/522. He has one RBI since September 15.

Howard was 8-for-18 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI in the series. 277/355/569. Fielder was 5-for-16 with two doubles, a walk, a home run and six RBI in the series.

Werth was 1-for-15 with two walks in the series. 266/370/504 for the year. He’s 2-for-his-last-28 with 14 strikeouts, which could be a sign it’s time for a day off or four.

Ibanez started games one and two on the bench with Francisco in left. 1-for-6 with four walks in the series. He’s hitting 276/350/560 on the year.

Feliz was 7-for-17 in the series with a double. 267/311/384 on the year. He’s on-basing .257 in September after on-basing .257 in August.

Bako started games one, three and four of the series and went 6-for-14 with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 229/308/352.

Hoover caught game two of the series. 2-for-3 with two singles in the first action of the season for the 33-year-old.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner and still does not have an at-bat since August 25.

Francisco started the first two games of the series in left. 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 262/292/524 in 84 at-bats with the Phils. He walked 33 times in 308 at-bats this year with the Indians and has walked three times since joining the Phillies.

Mayberry was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 196/237/464 in 56 at-bats for the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 in the series and is hitting 261/312/408.

Stairs 0-for-2. 202/363/394.

Tracy was 1-for-1 and is 2-for-4 on the season.

This says that Romero could be activated today.


Thanks for the memories

Given his unbelievable performance in 2008 and the fact that he’s going to be a Phillie for two more seasons, it’s a little hard to know when to pull the plug on Brad Lidge and his miserable 2009 season. I can help, though. The answer is right now.

The Phillies aren’t playing critical games these days. It would take a huge meltdown in conjunction with miraculous play by some other teams to keep them out of the playoffs. It’s not going to happen. It’s not just about the playoffs, though. Time after time Manuel comes up with “he’s my closer” when asked about Lidge. Really? Well your closer is having a terrible year, it kills your team and he’s only your closer because you say he is. As loyal as you are to Lidge you have a responsibility to your team to do better. At least when the games matter, you do. Lidge has an 8.84 ERA and a 2.02 ratio over his last 22 appearances. Every time Lidge gets the ball with the game on the line now it digs the hole deeper for Manuel — one more time to say he’s my closer and one more chance to get someone else some experience with the role that’s lost.

Lidge has two more years to get his ’08 magic back. It’s gone now, though, and anyone who can’t see that is blinded by something. If it’s loyalty that has Manuel blind I actually think that’s a little impressive. Maybe that loyalty to his players is how he gets so much out of them. But it’s not Brad Lidge’s job to say he doesn’t want to close anymore. Not his job to say he can’t get the job done. He doesn’t believe that and he shouldn’t and it’s never ever going to happen. It is Manuel’s job, though, and he has more than one player he needs to be loyal to.

The Phillies are 88-63 on the season after losing two of three to the Florida Marlins. The Phils are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by 6 1/2 games. Atlanta has gone 8-2 over their last ten games to pull within four of the Rockies for the Wild Card. After winning game one of the series the Phillies were 27 games over .500 for the first time since the 1993 season.

The Phillies rolled to a 9-3 win behind a great start from Blanton in game one. Blanton exited with a 4-0 lead after allowing two singles and two walks over seven innings. The Phils broke it open with a five-run eighth in which Ibanez hit his 32nd homer of the season. Escalona and Walker combined to allow three Marlins runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Anibal Sanchez baffled the Phils in game two, throwing eight shutout innings as the Marlins won 3-0. Dan Uggla put the Fish up 1-0 with a solo homer off of Moyer in the second and Cody Ross extended it to 2-0 with another solo shot in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez doubled in Chris Coghlan in the fifth to make it 3-0. The Phillies had two hits in the game, a single by Utley and a double by Utley.

The Phillies coughed up three runs late last night and lost 7-6. A two-run doubled by Howard put the Phils up 2-0 in the top of the third, but the Fish put a run on the board off of Hamels in the fourth and went up 3-2 in the fifth. Ibanez homered in the sixth to tie the game at 3-3 and Hamels brought Feliz in with a two-out single to put the Phils back up at 4-3. Howard drove in two more runs with a two-run homer in the seventh. 6-3. Gaby Sanchez homered off of Hamels in the bottom of the seventh to get the Marlins back within two runs. Madson gave up a run in the eighth on two singles and a hit batter. 6-5. Lidge started the ninth in defense of the one-run lead and gave up a leadoff double to Ross Gload. He got the next two hitters before Ramirez walked and then Jorge Cantu tied the game with a single. With two outs and men on first, Brett Carroll delivered the game-winning single to center for Florida.

The Phillies threw 25 2/3 innings in the series, pitching to a 4.56 ERA and a 1.36 ratio.

Blanton made a great start in game one. Moyer and Hamels combined to allow seven runs in 14 innings in the next two games. Overall the starters threw to a 3.05 ERA with a 1.05 ratio over 21 innings. They allowed four home runs, Moyer and Hamels each gave up two.

Blanton was fantastic in the opener. He went seven shutout innings, allowing two singles and two walks while striking out nine. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts and has allowed more than three runs in a start in his last 21 starts.

Moyer started game two and allowed three runs over seven innings on nine hits and a walk. He gave up a pair of solo home runs and struck out five. He’s allowed 27 home runs in 156 2/3 innings this year after allowing 20 in 196 1/3 innings in 2008.

Hamels went seven innings in game three, allowing four runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk a batter, but allowed two home runs in a game for the first time in eight starts. He’s walked just five batters in 36 2/3 innings for the month.

The relief pitching was terrible in the series. Escalona and Walker combined to give up three runs with a big lead in game one. Madson and Lidge got hit hard last night. Overall the pen pitched 4 2/3 innings with an 11.57 ERA and a 2.79 ratio. They allowed nine hits and four walks in less than five innings.

Escalona started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies up 9-0. Coghlan singled with one out and Nick Johnson followed with a walk. Ramirez was next and he lined a double to center, scoring Coghlan to make it 9-1 with men on second and third and one out. Walker came in to pitch to the righty Cantu.

Walker entered game one in the eighth inning with one out, men on second and third and the Phillies up 9-1. He struck Jorge Cantu out for the second out, but Uggla was next and delivered a two-run single to right to make it 9-3. Walker walked Ronny Paulino before getting Cody Ross to pop to third to end the inning.

Condrey pitched a 1-2-3 ninth in game one with the Phils up 9-3.

Durbin pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 3-0. He walked Wes Helms with one out before getting Uggla on a popup for the second. Paulino moved Helms to second with a single before Durbin struck out Ross to end the inning.

Madson started the eighth inning of game three with a 6-4 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Cantu and then hit Nick Johnson with a pitch. He got Uggla to hit into a double-play, which left Cantu at third with two down. Ross singled to left and Cantu scored, making it 6-5. Madson struck out Paulino to end the inning.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning last night, entering with a 6-5 lead. Gload doubled to start the inning, but Lidge got the next two before walking Ramirez. It put men on first and third with two down for Cantu and Cantu singled to center, scoring Gload to make it 6-6. Ramirez went to third on the single and scored the game-winner when Carroll followed with a single.

The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 2-for-13 with a double in the series and is hitting 245/290/411 for the season.

Victorino was 2-for-11 with three walks. 295/363/448 on the year. He’s hitting 240/310/385 over his last 198 plate appearances.

Utley was 3-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. 294/412/530 for the year.

Howard went 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and seven RBI. He’s at 272/353/564 for the season.

Ibanez was 3-for-11 with two home runs and a walk in the series. He has six home runs but just ten RBI in the month. 277/347/565 for the year.

Werth was 1-for-9 with two walks in the series. 271/376/516. 1-for-his-last-13.

Feliz was on the bench for game one with Cairo at third. He went 1-for-7 with a double in the series. 262/308/381. He’s hitting 245/283/359 since the end of May. The end of May was a long time ago.

Ruiz started the night game of the double-header before returning to Philadelphia to have his wrist looked at. He was 0-for-2 in the series and is at 253/353/423 for the year.

Bako started games one and three of the series. 2-for-7 with two walks in the series. 198/291/297 on the year.

Cairo started game one at third and went 2-for-5 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 226/250/290 in 31 at-bats for the year.

Francisco was 0-for-1 in the series and is hitting 267/300/547 in 75 at-bats with the Phillies.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner in the series and still does not have an at-bat in September. 167/224/240 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 with a walk in the series and is at 259/312/410 for the season.

Stairs was 0-for-1 with a walk. 206/369/402 on the season. He’s 3-for-37 (.081) since the All-Star break.

This article says that Carlos Ruiz has had an MRI that showed no structural damage to his left wrist. Ruiz will likely have a cortisone injection today and be sidelined for three to five days.

The list of catchers that the Phillies have lost recently includes Jason Jaramillo, Lou Marson, Ronny Paulino and Chris Coste. Marson was part of the Lee deal, which was a fantastic trade for the Phils. The other three were pretty much given away, though. The Phils traded Jaramillo for Paulino in December. Paulino was traded for Taschner in an awful deal for the Phillies at the end of March. The Astros claimed Coste off of waivers in July after the Phils had acquired Bako. Losing Paulino for Taschner is the move of those three that hurts the most, Paulino has hit 278/344/435 in 223 at-bats for the Marlins this season.

The article linked above also says that Eyre was available to pitch last night.


Late, close and watching

Question of the day is why doesn’t Tyler Walker pitch to more batters when the game is close. Answer of the day is “I don’t know” — given that’s the answer at least I can demonstrate that he doesn’t pitch to a lot of batters when the game is close.

First things first: Walker has been fantastic for the Phillies this season. He came into yesterday’s games with a 2.35 ERA for the year and a 0.98 ratio. Opponents were hitting .204 against him for the season and on-basing .258.

Still, as the back of the bullpen implodes Walker virtually never is pitching in situations when the game is close. The chart below lists all of the Phillies pitchers who have faced at least one batter this year, how many total batters they have faced, how many batters they have faced when the score was tied or one of the teams was winning by one run and the percent of batters faced when the score was tied or with the Phils up or down one. It is divided into three sections — pitchers who have worked only as starters are at the top, pitchers who have worked only as relievers are at the bottom and pitchers who have pitched both as starters and as relievers are in a group in the middle (the chart does not include yesterday’s games).

  Total PA PA tie or
within one
% tie or
within one
Pedro
Martinez
171 115 67.3
Cole Hamels 740 483 65.3
Joe Blanton 753 488 64.8
Cliff Lee 275 128 46.5
Antonio
Bastardo
102 46 45.1
       
Brett Myers 294 159 54.1
Kyle Kendrick 66 32 48.5
JA Happ 623 300 48.2
Jamie Moyer 648 277 42.7
Chan Ho Park 362 161 44.5
Andrew
Carpenter
32 13 40.6
Rodrigo Lopez 137 52 38.0
       
JC Romero 68 40 58.8
Ryan Madson 298 126 42.3
Clay Condrey 156 64 41.0
Brad Lidge 263 107 40.7
Scott Eyre 119 39 32.8
Chad Durbin 285 93 32.6
Jack Taschner 138 24 17.4
Sergio
Escalona
34 4 11.8
Tyler Walker 125 14 11.2
Steven
Register
11 0 0.0

So the only player who has pitched for the Phillies this season and thrown to a lower percentage of the batters he’s faced with the score tied or the Phils up or down one run is Steven Register, who appeared in one game and faced 11 hitters.

As I mentioned above, if you’re looking for the answer to why questions you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t know. If I had to guess my guess would be that Manuel is terrified of the prospect of Walker facing a left-handed hitter with the game close. Walker has been great against lefties in 2009 — they’ve hit 209/271/302 against him, which is actually better than the 200/250/343 that righties have hit against Walker. In 2008, however, lefties smoked Walker to the tune of 319/372/597. Over his career lefties have hit an ugly 281/352/459 against Walker.

Aside from Walker, I think that the chart shows some other interesting things. First and most obvious is that starting pitchers generally face more batters with the game close and a higher percentage of their batters than relief pitchers do.

I think the difference in the percentage of the hitters that Romero and Eyre faced in tight games is telling. Both would like be used primarily as situational lefties in the post-season if available, but Manuel has given Romero a lot more of his chances in tight games. Eyre has been better.

Condrey has faced a higher percentage of hitters in one run or closer games than Lidge. His percentage is also higher than Durbin. Durbin has a low percentage of hitters faced in tight games compared to other regulars in the group. It’s also down from last year. In 2008, Durbin faced 364 batters and faced 174 of them (47.8%) with the score tied or the Phils up or down a run. I don’t think any of that bodes well for Durbin.

Myers has a strained back. The Phillies hope he will return before the end of the regular season.

The article linked above says that Happ will start on Thursday, Lee on Friday and (hopefully) Pedro on Saturday.

It also says that Dobbs was not ready to play third yesterday with his calf. I still find starting Cairo to be very odd. Even if Dobbs does not go I don’t understand why it would be Cairo and not Bruntlett. I’ve been saying for a while that I think Bruntlett is on the post-season roster because he’s the only choice to back up the middle infield. That’s not literally true, of course. It’s also notable that Bruntlett does not have an at-bat this month. We’ll see.

The same article says that Eyre needs surgery but is cleared to pitch, pitched yesterday and felt good. It also says that Romero threw 50 pitches yesterday and will throw again tomorrow and that Park could pitch next week.


Feast of the East

It’s not clear how the season is going to end for the Phillies, but one thing I think we can say at this point is that the Phils are better than the other teams in the NL East. The Phils have one more big stop to make in Florida, but they have plowed through the other teams in the division in their recent stretch, going 10-3 against the Nats, Mets and Braves over their last 13 games.

The Phillies are 27-9 on the season against the Mets and Nationals. 60-52 against the other teams in baseball.

The Phillies are 87-61 on the season after taking two of three from the Braves in Atlanta. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by eight games. After winning the first game of the series they were twenty-six games over .500 for the first time since the 1993 season.

The Phillies won the first game of the series 9-4. Martin Prado put the Braves up 1-0 in the bottom of the third with a home run off of Happ. Happ left after three innings for precautionary reasons after a mystery injury that may or may not have been related to his oblique. Howard put the Phils up 2-1 with a two-run homer in the fourth and Kendrick took over for Happ and delivered four scoreless frames. The Phils extended the lead to 3-1 on another home run by Howard, this one a solo shot in the sixth. Werth drove in two runs with a single in the eighth and it was 5-1, but Brian McCann got Atlanta back in the game with a two-run homer off of Walker in the bottom of the eighth. A three-run homer by Rollins and a solo shot from Francisco pushed the Phillies lead to 9-3 and Atlanta scored a run charged to Durbin in the bottom of the ninth.

The Braves won game two 6-4. Again the Phillies saw their starter leave early as Pedro left after three innings with a stiff neck. Martinez did well to get out of the second allowing just one run after the Braves saw their first two hitters reach on a double and a single. Atlanta extended the lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the second on four hits and a hit batter. Durbin took over for Martinez after the early exit, allowing three runs over 2 2/3. The Phillies, meanwhile, couldn’t find the answer to Javier Vazquez. Vazquez tossed seven shutout innings and the Braves took a 6-0 lead into the top of the ninth. The Phils scored four times in the top of the ninth, with Howard delivering the big blow, a two-run homer off of Rafael Soriano. With two outs and men on first and second, Francisco flew to right to end the game and snap a six-game winning streak for the Phils.

The Phils played sloppy yesterday. They gave away outs on the bases, got ejected arguing about it, overthrew the cutoff man, executed one of the worst rundowns you’ve ever seen and dropped the ball — and that was all in the first inning. They pitched well enough to win anyway, taking the game 4-2. The Braves went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first with a run off of Cliff Lee. Francisco doubled in Rollins in the third to tie the game at 1-1 and Ibanez and Feliz drove in runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-1. A triple by Utley in the top of the fifth brought in Rollins and it was 4-1 before a long rain delay that forced Lee from the game. Walker, Escalona, Condrey and Madson combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief of Lee before Lidge allowed yet another run in the ninth.

The Phils threw 26 innings in the series with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.27 ratio.

All three of the starts were cut short. Happ and Martinez had their starts cut short by injury and Lee exited after four yesterday due to rain. The three combined to throw just ten innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.80 ratio. Happ and Lee both pitched pretty well, but Martinez allowed three runs on seven hits over three innings. They allowed just one home run, which Prado hit off of Happ.

Happ left game one of the series after three innings in which he allowed a run on five hits including the solo homer to Prado.

Pedro went three innings in game two before leaving with neck stiffness. In his three innings he allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk. The loss in game two was the first time the Phillies had lost a game that he had started.

Lee only got to throw four innings in his start as well before he was forced from the game by rain. He went four innings, allowing a run on three singles and a pair of doubles. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. He’s allowed one run in 13 innings over his last two starts. 7-2 with the Phils with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.07 ratio. He’s walked just nine over 68 innings.

The pen had to throw a ton of innings in the set with three early exits from the starters. As a group the pen threw 16 innings in the three games, pitching to a 3.38 ERA with an 0.94 ratio. They allowed just 11 hits in 16 innings. Kendrick was fantastic in game one, throwing four shutout innings in relief of Happ, but Walker and Durbin both got hit hard later in that game. Durbin was hit hard again in game two, with Escalona and Condrey pitching well after that. Walker, Escalona, Condrey and Madson combined to pitch four scoreless innings yesterday before Lidge gave up a run in the ninth.

Escalona entered game two in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies down 6-0 to pitch to lefty Brian McCann. He got McCann on a line drive to third to end the game. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

He also started the seventh inning yesterday with the Phils up 4-1. He hit Nate McClouth with two outs and Condrey came on to face the righty Prado.

Escalona sure seems like he should be getting consideration for the post-season roster given the problems for Eyre and Romero, but Manuel makes it sound like there’s not much of a chance. He has a 2.16 ERA and an 0.84 ratio in 8 1/3 innings on the year.

Kendrick took over for Happ in the fourth inning of game one, entering with a 2-1 lead. He threw four scoreless innings, allowing three singles and not walking a batter. He has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.20 ratio in 16 2/3 innings for the Phillies this season.

Walker started the eighth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead. He allowed a one-out single that was followed by a two-out home run by Brian McCann. Walker was pulled for Madson after getting just two outs.

Walker also pitched in yesterday’s game, entering in the bottom of the fifth after the rain delay with the Phillies up 4-1. He threw a 1-2-3 fifth. He came back to start the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to Chipper. He got the next two hitters before walking Omar Infante, then struck out David Ross to leave both runners stranded.

Walker has been fantastic for the Phils. He deserves to throw important innings in the post-season and I think he will.

Madson entered game one with two outs and nobody on, the Phillies up 5-3. He got Omar Infante on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Madson also pitched the eighth inning yesterday, entering with a 4-1 lead, and struck out the side.

Durbin started the ninth inning of game one with a 9-3 lead. He gave up a leadoff double to Garret Anderson and Anderson came around to score on a one-out single by Adam LaRoche. Durbin got the two hitters after LaRoche to end the game.

Durbin also pitched in game two. He entered in relief of Pedro to start the fourth with the Phillies down 3-0. Nate McLouth led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Bako. A sac fly by Prado brought him in to make it 4-0. Durbin came back for the fifth and got the first two before allowing a walk that was followed by a two-run homer by LaRoche. 6-0. He started the sixth as well. McLouth led off with a single and Durbin got the next two before Escalona came on to pitch to the lefty McCann.

Not a good series for Durbin, who the Phils could sure use. He has walked 42 in 62 2/3 innings on the season after walking 35 in 87 2/3 innings in 2008. His walk rate for the year is the worst for his career.

Condrey pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 6-0. In his first action since July 22 he set the Braves down in order.

Condrey also pitched yesterday, entering in the seventh with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies up 4-1 to pitch to Prado. Prado grounded to third to end the inning.

These are critical innings for right-handed pitchers for the Phils looking to make the playoff roster. The Phils have a whole lot of righties — Myers and Durbin aren’t pitching well and Park is hurt.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning yesterday, coming into the game with a 4-1 lead. He got the first two batters he faced. He walked Brooks Conrad with two outs and Conrad took second on defensive indifference. McCann was next and delivered a single to right, scoring Conrad to make it 4-2. Lidge struck out McLouth to end the game.

Lidge has allowed runs in three straight appearances. In his last three times out he has given up four runs on five hits and a walk over three innings. He’s really making it tough for the Phils to think about using him in close games in the playoffs.

The pen can surely use the off day today after throwing 16 innings in the series. Condrey and Escalona have both thrown two days in a row.

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

Rollins was 3-for-13 with a double, two walks and a home run in the series. 247/292/415 for the year.

Francisco started game one in center with Victorino out with stomach problems. 5-for-13 with two doubles and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 270/304/554 with the Phillies.

Utley was 3-for-13 with a triple and a walk in the set. 294/411/533 for the season. He’s hitting .229 in September.

Howard was 4-for-11 with a double and three home runs. 271/354/564 on the year. After hitting three home runs in the series he still has just four for September after hitting eleven in August.

Ibanez was 2-for-11 with a double in the series and is hitting 277/347/559 for the year. In a bizarro coincidence he is also hitting .277 and on-basing .347 in September (but slugging .538).

Werth went 3-for-8 with three walks in the series. 274/377/523 on the year.

Feliz was 3-for-12 in the set and is at 264/310/382 on the year. He’s on-basing .234 in September after on-basing .257 in August.

Ruiz left game one after the top of the sixth with problems with his left wrist. He was 0-for-1 with a walk in the series and is hitting 255/355/426 on the year. 317/411/538 since the start of August.

Bako started games two and three and went 1-for-7 in the series. He’s hitting 190/277/298 on the year.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner in games one and two but did not have an at-bat in the series. He has not gotten an at-bat this month or in any of his last six appearances. 167/224/240 on the season. Need to let him hit if he’s going to be on the post-season roster (he is).

Mayberry was 1-for-2 with a double to improve his line on the year to 200/241/473 over 55 at-bats. Those are the at-bats I’d rather see Bruntlett getting.

Dobbs was 1-for-1 in the series and is hitting 261/309/413 for the season.

Stairs was 1-for-1 with a double and a walk in the series. 208/367/406 on the year.

This suggests that:

  • Carlos Ruiz could be available tomorrow.
  • Eyre felt good throwing yesterday and will throw again tomorrow.
  • Park could pitch again during the regular season.
  • Pedro’s neck isn’t feeling good.

Brett Myers will see a doctor about soreness in his right shoulder. Happ’s status seems to be unclear.


Getting the order in order

Two big items on the to-do list for the Phillies before the post-season starts. The biggest is getting some stability at the back of the bullpen, but also critical for the team will be getting the offense looking like the offense again. The Phils led the NL in runs scored in the first half of the season, scoring about 5.35 runs per game, but have slipped to the middle of the pack in the league in the second half, scoring about 4.56 runs per game since the break.

Here’s the rate at which the eight regulars for the Phillies registered runs, hits, doubles and triples, home runs and strikeouts per 100 plate appearances in the first half of the season:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB
Ibanez 18.3 27.7 6.9 7.6 7.6
Utley 16.6 25.7 5.1 5.3 13.9
Werth 16.3 22.0 4.3 5.4 14.1
Howard 14.0 22.5 5.8 5.8 10.8
Victorino 16.0 27.5 7.6 1.5 9.4
Feliz 10.9 26.9 5.7 1.8 6.6
Ruiz 5.7 20.2 6.2 1.6 11.9
Rollins 13.4 21.0 5.8 1.8 7.1

And here are the numbers for the second half (not including last night’s game):

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB
Ibanez 12.8 21.3 6.2 4.3 10.0
Utley 16.0 22.4 4.2 4.6 13.1
Werth 12.5 23.7 4.9 5.8 11.6
Howard 14.9 26.0 6.2 6.6 9.9
Victorino 13.4 25.5 7.8 1.7 7.8
Feliz 8.5 21.9 4.0 2.2 4.9
Ruiz 12.7 23.4 7.0 3.8 12.7
Rollins 13.2 25.2 7.0 4.3 3.9

And here’s how their rates for the second half compare to the rates for the first:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB
Ibanez 70% 77% 89% 56% 131%
Utley 97% 87% 83% 87% 94%
Werth 77% 108% 113% 107% 82%
Howard 106% 116% 106% 114% 91%
Victorino 84% 93% 102% 113% 83%
Feliz 78% 81% 70% 123% 74%
Ruiz 222% 116% 112% 244% 106%
Rollins 98% 120% 121% 232% 55%

So, for example, Ibanez is scoring about 70% of the runs per 100 plate appearances in the second half of the season that he did in the first.

Ruiz is having a monster second half.

Utley is down in all five categories in the second half. Feliz and Ibanez are down in four. Victorino is down in three.

Ibanez’s numbers for home runs are way down in since the break and Utley’s rate of long balls is down as well, but the rest of the group is hitting more home runs. The Phillies lead the NL in home runs since the All-Star break. By a lot. They’ve hit 82 — Arizona is second and they’ve hit 70.

What they’re not doing more of is walking. With the exceptions of Ibanez and Ruiz, everyone is drawing walks at a worse rate in the second half than they did in the first. Rollins’s walk rate for the year started out bad in the first half and has been atrocious in the second half. Thanks to his walk-free second-half, Rollins is now drawing walks for the season at a rate that is lower than the serial non-walker Feliz. Including last night’s game Rollins has now walked 37 times for the year in 643 plate appearances. That’s once every 17.4 plate appearances or 5.8 walks per 100 plate appearances. Feliz has walked 34 times in 599 plate appearances — once every 16.4 plate appearances or 6.1 walks per 100 plate appearances.

Condrey has been activated. The linked article also says that Happ hopes to be back in the rotation on Friday and that Eyre threw lightly without pain. Dobbs went 0-for-2 rehabbing at Lakewood.


The ninth wait

The three-game set with the Nationals started with Charlie Manuel insisting that Brad Lidge was his closer and ended with it clear that Lidge was not. Lidge was pulled from a save opportunity in game one, on the bench for another in game two and pitching in the eighth inning with the Phillies down by six runs in the third.

While it sure seems likely that the Phillies closer situation is going to continue to bounce around in the near future, the series did show that Manuel wasn’t going to let blind loyalty to Lidge ruin the year for the Phils. While most probably saw that one coming, it is a sigh of relief for fans who have watched Lidge struggle through an awful season coming off of a brilliant 2008.

The Phillies are 79-59 on the season after taking two of three from the Washington Nationals. They’re in first place in the NL East, but the Florida Marlins have cut the Phillies lead in the division to five games by going 7-3 over their last ten.

The Phillies hit five solo home runs in game one of the series and won 5-3. Pedro got the start and gave up two runs in the first four innings, but Ibanez got the Phils on the board at 2-1 with a homer in the fifth. Ibanez, Werth and Ruiz all homered in the seventh and the Phils led 4-2. A home run by Willie Harris off of Martinez made it 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but Utley hit one in the eight to put the Phils up 5-3. Lidge came on in the ninth to protect the two-run lead. He got one out, but Washington loaded the bases on a single, a hit batter and a wild pitch and Manuel called on Madson to replace Lidge. Madson struck out Ryan Zimmerman for the second out and got Adam Dunn on a grounder to Rollins to end the game.

The Phils won game two 6-5. Washington went up 1-0 with a run off of Lee in the first, but the Phils put together four hits and a walk in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. A two-out double by Ibanez in the fifth knocked in Howard to extend the lead to 4-1, but the Nationals came back with two more against Lee in the bottom of the inning and then tied it at 4-4 with another run in the seventh. Werth and Feliz both hit solo homers in the eighth and the Phils led 6-4. Another error by Howard helped Washington score an unearned run in the eighth, but Madson came on to nail down the save in the ninth.

Last night the Phillies saw their ninth-inning rally fall just short and fell 8-7. A triple from Utley in the first put the Phillies up 2-0 early, but the Nats tied the game up with a pair of runs off of Blanton in the third and pulled ahead 3-2 with another in the fourth. Blanton didn’t make it through the fifth. The Nats scored five times, getting home runs from Dunn and Ian Desmond, and Blanton left with two outs in the fifth and the Phils down 8-2. The score stayed that way till the top of the ninth, when Stairs delivered a one-out grand slam that got the Phillies within two at 8-6. Rollins followed with a single and Victorino doubled him home. 8-7. Utley was next and he singled as well, putting men on first and third with one out. Things looked real good, but Howard hit into a double-play to end the game and leave the Phils a run short.

The Phillies threw to a 5.19 ERA and a 1.42 ratio over 26 innings in the series. Most of the problems in the series can be blamed on the starters — despite all of the drama with the closer the relievers weren’t charged with a run in the series.

The starters were. Pedro made the best start of the series, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 in game one. Lee and Blanton combined to allow 13 runs in 11 2/3 innings in the next two games. As a group the starters posted a 7.36 ERA and a 1.58 ratio over 18 1/3 innings. They allowed 24 hits but walked just five.

Martinez started game one and improved to 4-0 as a Phillie, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings on seven hits and a walk. He has a 3.64 ERA and a 1.11 ratio in six starts with the Phils.

Lee went seven innings in game two, allowing five runs on ten hits. Only four of the runs were earned and he didn’t walk a batter. The worse news is that that was the best of his last three starts. He’s allowed 29 hits in 15 innings over his last three times out.

Blanton got mauled in game three. He allowed eight runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since May and the most runs he has allowed in any start all season. Just the second time in his last 19 starts that he has allowed more than three runs in a start.

The relievers weren’t charged with a run over 7 2/3 innings in the series and threw to a 1.04 ratio.

Park entered the eighth inning of game two with nobody out, men on second and third and the Phillies ahead 6-4. He walked Elijah Dukes to load the bases for the Nats before getting a fly ball for the first out with all the runners holding. Pinch-hitter Pete Orr was next and he delivered a sac fly that made it 6-5 with two down and men on first and second, but Park got Wil Nieves on a grounder to first to end the inning.

Durbin pitched the seventh inning of game three. He got the first out before allowing a double and a walk, but got the next two hitters.

The Phillies sure could use Durbin, who has struggled this season. He has been very good in his last three outings, though, throwing five scoreless frames with a 1.20 ratio.

Walker entered for Blanton in the fifth inning of last night’s game with two outs and the Phillies down 8-2. The first man he faced reached on an error and he got the next on a popup to end the inning. He came back and threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Walker hasn’t been charged with a run in his last 11 appearances. In those appearances he’s allowed three hits and three walks over 13 1/3 innings while striking out 12.

Myers took over for Martinez in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, the bases empty and the Phillies up 4-3. He gave up a single to Cristian Guzman before striking out Zimmerman to end the inning. He came back to pitch the eighth and Dunn reached on an error by Howard to start the inning, but Myers got the next three.

He’s now made three appearances since returning from the DL and allowed one hit and two walks over 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Madson entered the ninth inning of game one with one out, the bases loaded and the Phillies up 5-3. He struck out Zimmerman for the first out and got Dunn to ground to Rollins to turn the Nats away.

He started the ninth in a save situation in game two, entering with a 6-5 lead. Justin Maxwell led off with a single and stole second before Madson struck out Guzman for the first out of the inning. Dunn was next and smashed a line drive that Utley snared. Utley threw to Rollins at second in time to double Maxwell off and end the game.

Lidge started the ninth inning of game one with a two-run lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Wil Nieves before getting Alberto Gonzalez on a ground out for the first out. He hit Harris with a pitch, though, before walking Guzman to load the bases. Manuel gave him the hook, calling on Madson to nail down the save.

He threw the eighth inning last night, entering with the Phillies down 8-2. He allowed a one-out triple, but struck Orr out for the first out and Zimmerman out to end the inning.

The Phillies scored 18 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins made two throwing errors in last night’s game. He came into the game having made just three for the season. He was 3-for-14 in the series and is hitting 243/286/409 on the year. He’s on-basing .244 in September and has on-based under .300 in every month this season except for July.

Victorino was 5-for-14 with two doubles. 297/363/450. He’s on-basing .200 in September and is hitting .182 with no walks in his last 66 plate appearances.

Utley was 3-for-13 with a triple and a home run in the series. 293/411/536 on the year. He’s hitting 147/237/294 in September.

Howard made an error in each of the first two games. He also deserved an assist on a throwing error charged to Rollins in last night’s game. I’m thinking a day or two off might be in order. 1-for-11 in the series. 273/350/563 for the year. Just one strikeout in his last five games.

Werth was 4-for-12 with two home runs in the series. 270/373/528.

Ibanez went 5-for-13 with two doubles and two home runs. 278/346/567 for the season.

Feliz was 3-for-11 with a home run in the series. 268/315/383 on the year. 232/276/337 over his last 306 plate appearances.

Ruiz started games one and three. 2-for-5 with a home run and three walks in the set. 254/351/426 on the year. He’s hitting 385/467/577 in September after hitting 305/391/559 in August.

Bako started game two. 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. 203/280/324.

Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series.

Francisco didn’t bat in the series.

Cairo didn’t bat in the series.

Tracy got an at-bat in game two and struck out. 0-for-1 on the year.

Stairs hit a ninth-inning grand slam in last night’s game. 1-for-2 with a home run in the series. 198/360/385 for the season.

This article talks about the Phillies closer situation and mentions Lidge, Madson and Myers as possibilities. Walker should be considered and I think he will be.

The article linked above also suggests we shouldn’t expect to be seeing Eyre over the next several days.

This suggests that Condrey is almost ready to pitch again, either in a minor league or simulated game. It also suggests Dobbs may be able to return in seven or eight days and that there’s no timetable for Romero.


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