Tag: Cliff Lee

Walking all

This post from January, 2011, pointed out that during the 2010 season the Phillies walked just 416 batters, which was the fewest walks issued by any National League team. Not only was it the best mark in the NL that year, it was also the fewest number of walks issued by an NL pitching staff since Expos walked 401 in 1995.

The Phils followed 2010 up with two seasons in which their pitchers walked fewer batters than they had in 2010. They walked 416 in 2010, 404 in 2011 and 409 in 2012.

Today’s point is that those days are gone — if not forever, for a long time. The Phillies didn’t lead the league in fewest walks allowed in 2013 and didn’t come close. Here’s how they’ve ranked in fewest walks issued in the NL over the past five seasons:

Year NL Rank fewest BB
2009 2
2010 1
2011 1
2012 1
2013 9

Coming off of three straight years in which they were the best team in the NL at preventing walks, the Phils walked 506 batters in 2013 in a season when the average NL team walked 481. Only one NL team, the Rockies, pitched fewer innings than the Phillies for the year and Colorado only pitched a third of an inning less than the Phils. The 8.14% of batters that the ’13 Phillie pitchers walked was ninth-best and the 3.17 walks per nine they issued was tenth-best.

Forced to guess, I think I would have likely concluded that the combination of the huge number of innings pitched by Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee from 2009-2012 and their low walk rates carried the Phils to league-best marks in the category. That’s wrong, though, or at least incomplete. A look at the numbers will show that the walk rate for the Phillies other than Halladay, Hamels and Lee has increased significantly.

For example, this post from February, 2011, suggested that while Halladay had a lot to do with the success in 2010 at preventing walks, he wasn’t the only factor. During 2010, Halladay threw 250 2/3 innings for the Phils and walked just 30. However, as impressive as Halladay was at preventing walks, the team’s success in this area wasn’t just about one guy or one performance. If you removed Halladay’s performance from the 2010 numbers, the other Phillie pitchers still issued walks at a lower rate than the Cardinals, the second-best team in the NL at preventing walks in 2010.

That works if you add Hamels, too. In 2010, Lee didn’t pitch for the Phillies, but Halladay and Hamels did. The pitchers on the team other than Halladay and Hamels combined to walk 325 hitters in 997 innings, which is about 2.93 batters per nine innings. That was still, without Halladay, Hamels or Lee (who wasn’t on the team) the best rate of preventing walks in the NL that year. St Louis was second behind the Phils at 2.95. In 2013, the pitchers other than Halladay, Hamels and Lee on the Phillies combined to walk 388 hitters in 931 2/3 innings, which is about 3.75 batters per nine. That rate is worse than the overall rate for any 2013 NL team. By a lot. The Cubs had the worst rate of allowing walks in 2013 — they walked about 3.36 batters per nine innings in 2013.

So, again, in 2010, the Phillie pitchers other than Halladay, Hamels and Lee were better than any other NL team at preventing walks, but by 2013 the Phillie pitchers other than Halladay, Hamels and Lee were worse than any other NL team at preventing walks.

This article points out that the Phillies were miserable at preventing walks in the minors this year, too, and suggests that not walking everyone will be a focus next year.


Just how much rain is it reasonable to pray for?

In 2013, the Phillie offense was bad and the pitching was worse. Among the pitchers, though, who were worse, the starters or the relievers? Both were really bad, but I think the answer is the relievers were worse relative to the rest of the league, even if the starters did more damage by throwing more innings.

The Phillies were 14th in the NL in both ERA for their starters and ERA for their relievers:

ERA NL Rank NL Avg
PHI SP 4.41 14 3.86
PHI RP 4.19 14 3.50

Just by ERA, the ERA for the team’s relief pitchers overall was about 1.20 times the NL average and the ERA for the team’s starters was about 1.14 times the NL average.

It’s worse for the pen if you look at the runs they allowed per inning rather than the ERA:

RA per IP NL Rank NL Avg
PHI SP .523 14 .465
PHI RP .518 15 .419

The Phils were better than the Rockies in runs allowed per inning pitched for their starters and better than nobody in their runs allowed per innings pitched for their relievers. Their starters and relievers allowed runs per inning at almost the same rate while the gap for the league was larger — relievers were much more effective at preventing runs. The .523 runs allowed per inning that the starters for the Phils allowed in 2013 was about 1.125 times the .465 runs per inning mark for NL starters for the year. The .518 runs allowed per inning for the relievers was much worse, about 1.236 times the NL average of .419 runs allowed per inning.

None of this means the starters were good. They really, really weren’t. I mentioned in the last post that Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels were great in 2013. Here’s what everyone else on the team did in 98 starts in ’13 not made by Lee or Hamels:

Pitcher GS IP ERA Ratio
Kendrick 30 182 4.70 1.40
Pettibone 18 100.3 4.04 1.47
Lannan 14 74.3 5.33 1.52
Halladay 13 62 6.82 1.47
Cloyd 11 54.3 6.96 1.80
Martin 8 33 6.55 1.79
Miner 3 9.3 5.79 2.14
Valdes 1 3.7 22.09 3.27
Group Total 98 519 5.41 1.53
NL Average SP - - 3.86 1.28

So in a year in which the average NL pitcher threw to a 3.86 ERA and a 1.28 ratio, the Phillie starters other than Hamels and Lee combined to make 98 starts in which they threw to a 5.41 ERA and a 1.53 ratio. Jonathan Pettibone led the group with a 4.04 ERA and Kyle Kendrick with a 1.40 ratio. That group combined to allow 10.35 hits per nine innings in a season in which the average NL starter allowed about 8.73 hits per nine innings. Roy Halladay is the only one of the eight that allowed less than a hit per inning in 2013 — you may remember he had some troubles with walks and home runs last year (he actually allowed hits at a rate below his career average while his rates of allowing walks and home runs were both more than twice his career average).

In 2013, the average NL reliever threw to a 3.50 ERA and a 1.28 ratio. The Phillies used 21 relief pitchers in 2013. Here’s the list of Phillie relievers in 2013 who had both an ERA of 3.50 or better and an ERA of 1.28 or better:

Pitcher IP ERA Ratio
Papelbon 61.7 2.92 1.14
Bastardo 42.7 2.32 1.27

Among the 21 relievers the Phillies used in 2013, two (Jake Diekman and Joe Savery) threw at least ten innings in relief with an ERA better than 3.50 but a ratio worse than 1.28. Two (Raul Valdes and Michael Stutes) also had a ratio of 1.28 or better, but an ERA worse than 3.50. But Papelbon and Bastardo were the only two of the 21 that were as good or better than league average in both ERA and ratio.

Here’s the 19 who were worse than league average in both categories:

Pitcher G IP ERA Ratio
Justin De Fratus 
Jake Diekman 
Luis Garcia 
Raul Valdes 
Jeremy Horst 
Mike Adams 
J.C. Ramirez 
Joe Savery 
B.J. Rosenberg 
Zach Miner 
Phillippe Aumont 
Michael Stutes 
Cesar Jimenez 
Chad Durbin 
Ethan Martin 
Tyler Cloyd 
Mauricio Robles 
Casper Wells 
John McDonald 
58
45
24
16
28
28
18
18
22
13
22
16
19
16
7
2
3
1
1
46.7
38.3
31.3
31.3
26.0
25.0
24.0
20.0
19.7
19.3
19.3
17.7
17.0
16.0
7.0
6.0
4.7
0.7
0.3
3.86
2.58
3.73
5.74
6.23
3.96
7.50
3.15
4.58
3.72
4.19
4.58
3.71
9.00
3.86
3.00
1.93
67.50
0.00
1.50
1.30
1.60
1.21
1.81
1.36
1.88
1.30
1.48
1.55
1.91
1.25
1.41
2.13
1.29
1.67
2.14
9.00
6.00

Overall for the season, the starters threw way more innings than the pen. The Phillies pitched 1,436 1/3 innings in 2013 and 961 2/3, about 67%, were thrown by the starters. Hamels and Lee combined to throw 442 2/3 innings, which is about 46% of the total innings thrown by Phillie starting pitchers on the year.


Worser by far

The point of the last post was that the Phillies were extremely bad in 2013, perhaps better than only the Marlins in the 15-team National League.

Today’s point is that relative to the rest of the league, the Phillies were worse at preventing runs last year than they were at scoring them. That’s not to suggest that they couldn’t have been miserable at both — they were, in fact, miserable at both. But worse at preventing them than they were at scoring them.

The Phillies scored 3.77 runs per game in 2013 in a year when the average NL team scored 4.0 runs per game. So they scored about 94% of the average runs per game in the NL for the season.

They allowed about 116% of the average runs allowed in the league for the season, giving up 4.69 runs per game in a year when the average NL team allowed 4.04.

Using runs per game, the Phillies were better than only the Rockies at preventing runs in 2013. The Rockies allowed 4.76 runs per game, a very similar mark to the 4.69 surrendered by the Phillies.

Both the Phils and the Rockies were way above the rest of the NL in runs allowed per game. The Phillies were 14th in the category and the Padres were 13th. San Diego allowed 4.33 runs per game, more than a third of a run less per game than the Phils.

The Phillies also had two outstanding pitchers in Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels — each of them finished the year in the top ten in the NL in WAR for pitchers as calculated by both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs.

bWAR NL Rank fWAR NL Rank
Lee 7.3 2 5.1 4
Hamels 4.6 7 4.2 8

Lee was top five at each of the sites and Hamels top ten. The problem was pretty much everybody else. Here’s some of the numbers for Lee and Hamels as well as the other pitchers on the team compared to NL averages for 2013:

IP ERA Ratio
Lee and Hamels 442 2/3 3.23 1.08
All other PHI P 993 2/3 4.80 1.50
Team Total 1436 1/3 4.34 1.37
NL Avg - 3.73 1.28

In a year when the average NL pitcher threw to a 3.73 ERA and a 1.28 ratio, all of the pitchers on the Phillies other than Lee and Hamels combined to pitch to a 4.80 ERA with a 1.50 ratio. That requires some pitchers having some miserable years and the Phillies had them. Lannan, Martin, Horst, Cloyd, Halladay, Valdes, Ramirez, Durbin and outfielder Casper Wells all threw to an ERA over 5.00 on the year and everyone on that list other than Lannan threw to an ERA over 6.00. Cloyd, Lannan and Halladay all threw at least 60 innings on the season. Cloyd, Halladay, Martin and Lannan combined to make 46 starts (about 28.4% of the team’s starts) for the season and threw to a 5.97 ERA in in 236 2/3 innings in those starts.


Well, that was different

The Phillies and the Marlins run out ugly teams with ugly lineups these days. They did last night, too, playing after many of the Phils had shown off shirts bearing Cliff Lee‘s likeness and the caption, ” . . .but I’m different” in the clubhouse in the hours before the game. Lee was different, all right, dominating the game from the mound and excelling at the plate as he led the Phils to a 12-2 win. He held the Marlins to two runs on over eight innings, struck out 14 and didn’t walk a batter. He went 3-for-4 with the bat with a triple and four RBI.

For the Phils, it was the second time in five games they had scored ten or more runs. The Phillies have spent most of the past few weeks ahead of only Miami for runs scored per game in the NL. Thanks to their recent outbursts, they’ve caught up with some of the other weak offenses in the NL. They’re now even with the Cubs, who have also scored 575 runs in 150 games (3.83 runs per game), and past the Padres. San Diego has scored 569 runs in 149 games, which is about 3.82 runs per game.

The Phillies are 70-80 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 12-2 last night. They’ve won four of their last six and remain in third place in the NL East, 19 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves and 9 1/2 behind the Nats.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out 14 and didn’t walk a batter.

Fourteen strikeouts in a game is the most for Lee since he struck out 16 Braves on May 6, 2011. The Phillies lost 5-0 that day. Lee has gone eight innings in each of his last three starts, throwing to a 1.87 ERA and an 0.67 ratio. The Phils are 3-0 in those games and Lee has struck out 33 in 24 innings while walking one.

He kept the Marlins off the board in each of the first four innings. In the top of the first, Ed Lucas doubled to center with one out, but Lee struck out the next two to end the frame. He didn’t allow a base-runner in the second, third or fourth, striking out four of the nine batters he faced.

He started the fifth up 7-0 and the Fish plated a run when Justin Ruggiano led off with a double to left and scored on a softly hit single to center by Adeiny Hechavarria. 7-1. Lee struck Donovan Solano out swinging with two outs and men on first and second to set the Marlins down.

He started the sixth up 9-1. Ed Lucas led off with a double to right. Lee struck out the next two hitters before Ruggiano ripped a 2-0 pitch down the third base line. 9-2. Lee got Logan Morrison looking to leave Ruggiano at second.

Second doubles of the game for both Lucas and Ruggiano. Five of the eight hits that Lee allowed in the game were doubles.

Lee kept the Marlins off the board in the seventh and the eighth. He allowed a two-out double in the seventh and a two-out single in the eighth.

Martin pitched the ninth with a 12-2 lead. He walked the leadoff man Morrison on a 3-2 pitch to start the frame, but retired the next three.

That’s the third appearance in relief for Martin. The walk to Morrison last night is the only base-runner he has allowed in three scoreless frames. Ten batters, nine outs, including three strikeouts, and a walk. You don’t want to walk the leadoff batter up by ten runs in the top of the ninth, but he has been very impressive.

One scoreless inning for the pen in which they walk one. Martin threw 15 pitches.

The Phillie lineup against 25-year-old righty Sam Dyson, who was making his first career start, went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Brown (6) Ruf (7) Asche (8) Bernadina. Ruiz hits fourth, presumably to break up the lefties Utley and Brown. Hernandez in center with Bernadina in right. Always nice to see Mayberry not playing against a righty, but Bernadina in right field isn’t really the answer, either. What would it take for the Phillies to permanently drop Rollins from the top of their order? The world may never know. On-basing .315 over his last 1,310 plate appearances coming into the game apparently isn’t it. Hernandez comes into the game with a nifty 351/442/432 line against righties in 43 career plate appearances. I don’t know what Ruiz is hitting against righties lately, but it’s something good. He comes into the game with a 282/320/369 line. At the end of the day on July 11 he was hitting 238/278/262 against right-handed pitching.

Hernandez walked to start the bottom of the first and moved up to third when Rollins blooped a double down the third base line that dropped and flipped into the stands. Utley followed with a ground out to second for the first out. Everyone moved up a base and Hernandez scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Rollins on third. Ruiz struck out for the second out and Brown grounded to short.

Hernandez starts the rally with a walk out of the leadoff spot. Utley gets the job done with a ground ball to the right side for the first out. Ruiz has been enormously hot, but can’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs.

The Phils went in order in the second.

They scored six in the third. With one out, Hernandez singled and moved up to second when Rollins followed with walk. Utley was next and crushed a 2-0 pitch way out to right. 4-0. Ruiz flew to left for the second out before Brown singled and took second on a walk by Ruf. Asche singled to right and Brown scored. 5-0 with two outs and men on second and third as Asche took second on the throw. Bernadina walked to load the bases for Lee and Lee delivered a two-run single to right. 7-0 with two outs and runners on the corners for Hernandez. Hernandez grounded to second to end the inning.

Again Hernandez, Rollins and Utley start a rally at the top of the order. Utley just crushed his home run to right.

Brown just buried the Miami catcher Jeff Mathis scoring from second on Asche’s single to right. Stanton’s throw beat Brown to the plate, but Mathis didn’t handle it cleanly before Brown plowed him over.

Utley singled to center with one out in the fourth, but Ruiz and Brown went down behind him.

It was 7-1 when the Phils hit in the fifth. Ruf led off with a single to right. Asche and Bernadina both struck out behind him before Lee tripled to center. 8-1. Hernandez followed with a single to left that scored Lee. 9-1. Rollins flew to center to leave Hernandez at first.

Lee drives in his third run in three innings. Hernandez again delivers for the Phils. Walked to start a rally in the first, singled to start a rally in the third and delivers an RBI-single with two outs in the fifth.

It was 9-2 when they hit in the sixth. Brown walked off of righty Chris Hatcher with two outs. Ruf was next and hit the first pitch he saw from Hatcher out down the left field line. 11-2. Asche grounded to second on a ball hit hard for the third out.

Fourteenth homer of the year for Ruf. Second that came on the first pitch of his at-bat and his 11th off of a right-handed pitcher. The righty has an isolated power of .270 against righties and .164 against lefties. Very nice line against righties, 289/392/559, but oddly hitting just .164 against lefties.

Bernadina tripled to right off of left Dan Jennings to start the eighth and scored when Lee followed with a single to center. 12-2. Rollins moved Lee up to second with a one-out single to left, but Utley and Ruiz went down behind Rollins.

Second career triple for Bernadina off of a left-handed pitcher. He also tripled off of Andrew Miller on August 30, 2010. Bernadina ends the day 4-for-31 (.129) against lefties for the year.

Hernandez 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-17 with a double and three walks.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. 9-for-his-last-23 (.391) with four walks.

Utley 2-for-4 with a three-run homer off the righty Dyson and four RBI in the game. 302/361/510 against righties on the year and 219/303/401 against lefties.

Ruiz was 0-for-5, struck out twice and left four men on base. He struck out with one out in the first and Rollins on third. Came into the game 10-for-his-last-20 with ten RBI in those 23 plate appearances.

Brown was 1-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-10 with a walk since his return.

Ruf 2-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer. 10-for-his-last-33 (.303) with six walks, a double and two home runs.

Asche 1-for-5 with an RBI and struck out twice. He’s hitting .318 over his last 50 plate appearances with six walks and three home runs.

Bernadina 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple. He’s 3-for-his-last-6 with two walks, two doubles and a triple.

Halladay (3-4, 7.28) faces lefty Brian Flynn (0-1, 10.13) tonight. Halladay has thrown to a 5.06 ERA in his four starts since returning to the team — a little better than his 8.65 ERA over his first seven starts. He’s walked 31 in 55 2/3 innings for the season and opposing batters have an isolated power of .230 against him on the year. The 23-year-old Flynn threw to a 2.63 ERA in 27 minor league starts between Double and Triple-A, 23 of which came in the PCL. He’s made two starts for the Fish and both of them have been bad as he’s allowed nine runs on 12 hits and nine walks over eight innings. Opponents are 12-for-33 (.364) against him with eight extra-base hits, including three home runs, and nine walks.


Freddy and the jets

There are, to say the least, a wealth of opportunities for young Phillies, and old Phillies, for that matter, looking to play their way into the team’s future. So far, not a lot of players have distinguished themselves as they try to take advantage of the situation. Freddy Galvis seems like he may have found his overdrive, though. Last night he went 3-for-3 with a homer and a double as the Phils topped the Padres 4-2.

Galvis and Rollins combined to go 5-for-6 in the game with a walk, a double and two home runs. They drove in three of the four Phillie runs and scored three. Galvis has started each of the last four games for the Phils, going 8-for-16 with a double and two home runs.

Cliff Lee delivered yet another outstanding start, holding San Diego to a pair of runs on two solo homers over eight innings. He has a 2.00 ERA and an 0.97 ratio over his last five starts and the Phils are 4-1 in those games.

The Phillies are 67-78 on the year after beating the San Diego Padres 4-2 last night. The teams have split the first two games of a three-game set.

Coming into last night’s game, the Phillies had allowed 4.61 runs per game for the year, which was the worst mark for any team in the NL. They had scored 3.76 runs per game, which was 14th of the 15 NL teams, better than only the Marlins. Their Pythagorean winning percentage suggests they are the second-worst team in the NL, ahead of only the Fish. Their actual winning percentage is eighth-best among the 15 NL teams. Believe what you will, but if you think the Phillies might be the eighth-best team in the National League this year, I don’t agree.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, solo homers that accounted for the two runs San Diego scored in the game. He struck out nine.

Lee hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his eight starts since the end of July. 2.78 ERA and a 1.09 ERA in eight starts since the end of July. He’s allowed seven hits in 16 innings over his last two starts.

He kept the Padres off the board in each of the first four innings. He allowed a two-out walk in the top of the first that was followed by a single, which left San Diego with two down and men on first and second for Kyle Blanks. Lee retired Blanks on a ground ball he handled himself to end the inning.

He didn’t allow a base-runner in the second, third or fourth, striking out the side in the fourth.

Righty Tommy Medica led off the fifth and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left-center, putting San Diego up 1-0. Lee got the next three in order.

The 25-year-old Medica homers off of Cliff Lee in career plate appearance number two. He struck out looking in the second in his first chance. He hit 20 home runs in 338 plate appearances in the minor leagues this year, 18 of which came in the Double-A Texas League.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Lee started the sixth. He got the first two before Jedd Gyorko hit an 0-2 pitch out to left, putting San Diego up 2-0. Jesus Guzman flew to right for the third out.

Second righty homers off of Lee in two innings, this time behind in the count 0-2. Gyroko came into the series 3-for-his-last-28 and has gone 4-for-8 with a double, a walk and a home run in the first two games.

It was 2-2 when Lee pitched the seventh. He allowed a two-out single, but struck Nick Hundley out looking to leave the runner at first.

He allowed another two-out single in the eighth with the Phils up 3-2, but struck Gyroko out swinging for the third out.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 4-2 lead and set the Padres down in order. Kyle Blanks hit a ball well to center, but Hernandez made a nice running play on the warning track for the second out.

Papelbon throws a 1-2-3 frame coming off an outing Saturday in which he allowed a two-run homer to Andrelton Simmons. 1.50 ERA and an 0.80 ratio in 12 innings over his last 12 appearances. He’s walked just one of the 60 batters he’s faced in his last 15 outings.

One perfect inning for the pen in the game with the help of a nice catch by Hernandez. Papelbon threw ten pitches in the game.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Eric Stults went (1) Hernandez (2) Rollins (3) Frandsen (4) Ruiz (5) Ruf (6) Asche (7) Galvis (8) Mayberry. Hernandez in center, Ruf in left and Mayberry in righty with Ruf at first. Galvis plays second with Utley on the bench. Hernandez comes into the game on-basing .345, thanks to going 6-for-his-last-14 with three walks. Ruf enters with a 170/302/340 line against lefties in 63 plate appearances. Mayberry comes into the game hitting 233/296/444 against lefties for the year.

The Phillies didn’t score in the first four innings. Rollins had a one-out single in the bottom of the first and Galvis a two-out single in the second, but both were followed by outs. The Phils went in order in the third and fourth. Ronny Cedeno made a nice play at short on a ball hit by Frandsen for the first out in the fourth.

They were down 1-0 when they hit in the fifth. Asche struck out swinging for the first out, but Galvis followed and lined a 3-2 pitch down the third base line and out to left, tying the game at 1-1. Mayberry and Lee went down behind him.

Career home run number nine for Galvis in 389 plate appearances and his fifth off of a lefty. His isolated power for his career against lefties is up to .188. .145 against righties and .157 overall. Those are all impressive. His isolated power in 2,445 minor league plate appearances is .079. For his career he’s homered about once every 116 plate appearances in the minors and once every 43 plate appearances in the majors.

The Phils were down 2-1 when they hit in the sixth. Rollins hit a 2-1 pitch well out to left with one out, tying the game at 2-2. Frandsen followed with a single and moved up to third on a two-out double by Ruf, but Asche flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

Home run number six on the year for Rollins, coming off a season where he hit 23. Just his second of the year off of a lefty. His isolated power against left-handed pitching for the season is .078. You have to go back to 2009 to find the last year Rollins showed good power against left-handed pitching. His isolated power against lefties that year was .195. In 2007 it was .221 as he posted a 321/374/542 line against left-handed pitching.

Ruf doubles off the lefty Stults. If he’s going to continue to be right-handed and continue to be a bad defensive player at first and corner outfield positions, Ruf needs to crush lefties. 179/303/357 on the year in 66 plate appearances against lefties. But he’s not a bad defensive player, I hear you cry? I disagree. He’s only played in 57 games this year and gotten 227 plate appearances, but has a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of -1.1. FanGraphs gives him bad defensive numbers at first, left and in right. He’s going to need to make a lot of offense to overcome that, which is going to be close to impossible if he doesn’t pound lefties.

Galvis doubled softly to left off of righty Nick Vincent to start the seventh and Mayberry walked behind him. Lee bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Hernandez was next and hit a ball slowly by the pitcher. It was fielded by Gyroko for the second out, but Galvis scored to put the Phils up 3-2 and Mayberry moved up to third. Rollins was walked intentionally, putting runners on the corners for Frandsen. Frandsen flew to the right fielder Blanks in foul territory to end the inning.

Galvis starts the rally with the double. Lee stays in the game and bunts the runners up to second and third with the first out, allowing Galvis to score on the softly hit ball by Hernandez.

Lee had thrown 91 pitches in the 2-2 game when he bunted for the first out in the bottom of the seventh. He came back to throw a scoreless eighth, so it worked out great for the Phillies. They started Hernandez, Frandsen, Galvis and Mayberry in the game, so it’s not like the Phils have an army of monster bats to call on on their bench. Letting Lee bunt seems like a no-brainer.

Ruiz singled off of righty Brad Boxberger to start the eighth and Ruf walked behind him, putting men on first and second for Asche. Asche grounded to short with Ruf forced at second for the first out. Galvis was next with runners on the corners and one down. On the first pitch of his at-bat, he put a pretty bunt down the first base line. He was out at first for the second out, but Ruiz scored (4-2) and Asche took second on the safety squeeze. Mayberry struck out looking to leave Asche at second.

Pretty bunt by Galvis. Ruf draws a walk after the leadoff single by Ruiz, getting on base for the second time in the game after doubling in the sixth.

Hernandez 0-for-4 with an RBI and struck out three times. Made a nice catch on the warning track in the ninth for the second out. Very limited plate appearances for the year (59), but he’s been good against righties and is hitting 217/250/261 against lefties.

Rollins 2-for-3 with a walk, which was intentional, and a home run. 5-for-his-last-26 (.192) but with six walks in his last 32 plate appearances.

Frandsen 1-for-4. 6-for-his-last-16 (.375) with a walk and two doubles.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 296/347/427 over his last 220 plate appearances. Hammering lefties for the year with a 313/390/478 line. 268/305/354 against righties.

Ruf 1-for-3 with a walk and a double. 182/327/341 over his last 55 plate appearances. Last night’s game was at home, but he’s hitting 208/293/375 on the road for year.

Asche 0-for-4 with a strikeout and left four men on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-15. Gets the start against the lefty. Just 125 plate appearances on the year and for his career, but his line against lefties is better than against righties. 292/320/458 against lefties and 250/310/457 against righties. More power and walks against righties, but more hits against lefties. He has a total of 24 at-bats against lefties for his career, so it might be a mistake to get too optimistic about any of that.

Galvis 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Beautiful bunt in the eighth helped get the Phillies a run. Showing more power than he did in the minors, but also walking more. He’s walked in about 6.9% of his plate appearances this year. About 5.5% for his career in the minors. He’s started three of the last five games for the Phillies in left field, where he has exactly zero chance to be a regular player for a good team.

Mayberry 0-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-his-last-37 (.108) with two walks. 154/235/288 over his last 115 plate appearances.

Halladay (3-4, 7.19) faces righty Tyson Ross (3-7, 2.79) tonight, flu-like symptoms permitting. Halladay allowed a run over six innings against the Nationals his last time out and has thrown to a 4.24 ERA in his three starts since his return at the end of August. Ross started the year in the San Diego rotation, made three starts in which he threw to a 3.86 ERA, but walked ten in 14 innings, and moved to the pen. After 19 relief appearances he moved back into the rotation and has made nine starts since, going 3-3 with a 2.16 ERA and a an 0.94 ratio. Righties are hitting just 207/276/271 against him for the year, so look for Frandsen in the cleanup spot.


In with the old, in with the new

The old guard and new guard got together last night as the Phillies won for the seventh time in nine games, topping the Mets 2-1 behind strong pitching from Lee and a two-run triple by Asche.

Lee allowed a run over eight innings. New York scored in the bottom of the second with the help of a leadoff double by Marlon Byrd on a ball that should have been caught by Bernadina.

Lee threw 121 pitches in the game, including 30 in the bottom of the eighth with a one-run lead.

Cody Asche led the Phillie offense, going 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk and driving in both of the team’s runs. He’s hitting 303/352/515 over his last 71 plate appearances after going 1-for-17 to start the season.

The Phillies are 60-71 on the year after beating the New York Mets 2-1 last night. They are 7-2 in their last nine games and have scored at least three runs in each of the other eight.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven.

That’s probably Lee’s best start since May. The only other that’s close in his last 14 times out is his June 18 outing against the Nats in which he held Washington to two runs over eight innings and struck out nine.

He allowed a single to Juan Legares to start the bottom of the first, but struck Daniel Murphy out behind Legares for the first out. Josh Satin was next and lined to Utley for the second out — Utley threw to first to double Legares off to end the inning.

Marlon Byrd led off the second and hit a fly ball into right center that Bernadina seemed to lose. It dropped for a double. Andrew Brown was next and singled up the middle, scoring Byrd to put the Mets up 1-0. Lee got the next three to set the Mets down.

Lee allows one run in the game, which goes as earned as Byrd’s ball is called a double.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 third and started the fourth with a 2-1 lead. Byrd singled to left with one out in the fourth, but Lee got Brown to ground into a double-play behind him.

Lee struck Wilmer Flores and Travis d’Arnaud out in a 1-2-3 fifth and set the Mets down in order again in the sixth and the seventh.

Mayberry made a nice catch to end the sixth. With two outs and nobody on, Murphy hit a ball well to right, but Mayberry tracked it down, jumping on the run on the warning track to make the catch.

With one out in the eighth and the Phils still up a run, d’Arnaud singled to left. Lee struck the righty Justin Turner out looking 2-2 for the second out before lefty Lucas Duda hit for the pitcher Carlos Torres. Duda drew a walk, putting men on first and second for Legares, but Lee struck Legares out swinging 3-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Lee threw 30 pitches in the eighth inning, striking Legares out swinging on a full count with two men on and the Phils up a run on his 121st pitch of the game.

Papelbon set the Mets down in order in ninth to earn his 22nd save of the year. He hasn’t been charged with a run in six innings over his last six appearances.

The Phillie lineup against righty Zack Wheeler went (1) Bernadina (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Young (6) Ruf (7) Asche (8) Mayberry. Bernadina leads off and plays center with Mayberry in right and Ruf in left. Brown sidelined. Ruiz hits cleanup for the first time this year, which doesn’t made me feel a whole lot better than Kratz hitting cleanup.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Young singled to left with one out in the second. Ruf struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out before Asche moved Young up to second with a single to center. Mayberry struck out looking 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Down 1-0, the Phillies went in order in the third.

Young singled to center with two outs in the fourth and Ruf walked behind him, putting men on first and second with two down for Asche. Asche lined a triple into the gap in right-center, scoring both runners to put the Phillies on top 2-1. Mayberry struck out swinging 2-2 to leave Asche at third.

Asche delivers the big hit of the game. 2-for-2 with a triple and two RBI through four innings.

Mayberry’s at least out of center, but not having any more luck against righties (at least early in the game). Strikes out to end the second with two men on and strikes out to end the fourth with Asche on third.

Wheeler set the Phillies down in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

With two outs in the seventh, Mayberry doubled to left. Lefty Pedro Felciano took over for Wheeler and struck Lee out to leave Mayberry stranded.

Mayberry lines a double to left against the righty Wheeler after two ugly at-bats early.

Lee hits for himself with the Phils up 2-1 and a runner on second. He had thrown 80 pitches in the game and would throw 41 more in the seventh and the eighth.

Bernadina singled off of lefty Scott Rice to start the eighth. Rollins followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Utley. Utley grounded to first with Satin fielding and throwing to short to force Rollins for the first out. It left the Phils with runners on the corners and one down for Ruiz and righty Carlos Torres came in to pitch to Ruiz. Utley was thrown out trying to steal second before Ruiz grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Nothing for the Phils after they put men on first and second with nobody out. Would have been a good time not to get caught stealing. Utley has stolen seven bases and been caught three times on the year. Three is the most times he has been caught stealing in a season since 2006. From 2007 through 2012, he stole 84 bases and was caught six times.

Asche and Mayberry walked back-to-back off of righty Gonzalez Germen with two outs in the ninth. Brown hit for Lee. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before Brown fouled out to third for the third out.

Asche on base for the third time in the game. Mayberry again reaches against the righty. Brown can apparently pinch-hit.

Bernadina 1-for-4 in the game. Didn’t catch Byrd’s ball, which led to the only New York run of the game. He’s 4-for-21 (.190) with the Phillies with a walk, two doubles and a home run.

Rollins 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-his-last-7.

Utley 0-for-4 with a caught stealing. 1-for-his-last-13 with four walks.

Ruiz 0-for-4. 347/373/556 in 77 plate appearances in August.

Young 2-for-4. 188/275/265 over his last 131 plate appearances. 245/308/369 over his last 380 plate appearances.

Ruf 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 215/282/508 over his last 71 plate appearances with six home runs and 25 strikeouts. Still just 7-for-40 (.175) against left-handed pitching on the year.

Asche 2-for-3 with a walk and a two-run triple.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and struck out twice. 7-for-his-last-25 with five walks, five extra-base hits and a 1.040 OPS over 30 plate appearances.

Kendrick (10-10, 4.51) faces lefty Jon Niese (5-6, 4.03) tonight. Kendrick has a 5.92 ERA over his last 14 starts and has allowed 108 hits in 79 innings in those outings. Opponents have hit .353 against him in his nine starts since the beginning of July. Every now and then you hear somebody suggest the way the Phils can turn things around is by trading Kendrick. That seems a little optimistic given the circumstances. Niese has made three starts since returning from the DL. After allowing four runs in six innings against the Diamondbacks in the first, he’s allowed two runs over 13 innings and struck out 19 in his last two times out.


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