Tag: Cody Ransom

Fish and foul

The Phillies got an enormous break last night and Carlos Ruiz helped them turn it into another win. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, a runner on second and the scored tied at 4-4, Gaby Sanchez ripped a game-winning hit down the left field line that never happened. The ball was called foul and the game continued. Carlos Ruiz popped one out to left to start the tenth and the Phils came out on top 5-4 for their fourth straight win.

As far as breaks go, they don’t get a lot bigger than the one where the other team wins the game and the umps decide it didn’t count.

The Phillies are 60-48 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 5-4 in ten innings last night. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep of the Fish. They have won four in a row and remain two games behind the Braves in the NL East.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and allowed two runs on three hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, and he struck out five.

He set the Marlins down in order in the first.

Cody Ross singled to center with one out in the second and Mike Stanton walked behind him. Wes Helms was next and hit a ground ball to second. Valdez fielded and threw to third to force the lead runner for the second out. Oswalt walked Ronny Paulino to load the bases with two outs, but struck the pitcher Chris Volstad out swinging to leave them loaded.

Logan Morrison doubled to left with one out in the third and moved to third when Gaby Sanchez flew to right for the second out. Uggla walked to put men on first and third, but Oswalt struck out Ross to end the inning.

Oswalt threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth up 2-0 and again set Florida down in order.

Stanton led off the seventh with a single and Helms walked behind him. Paulino was next and he bunted. Oswalt fielded the bunt and threw to third to force Stanton for the first out. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Jose Veras and the Phils brought Romero in to pitch to him. Righty Donnie Murphy hit for Tracy and lined a ground-rule double to left. It cut the lead to 2-1 with one out and men on second and third. Brett Hayes ran for Paulino at third and Romero walked Hanley Ramirez intentionally to load the bases. Morrison was next and Romero walked him unintentionally on four pitches, tying the game at 2-2 with the bases still loaded and one out. Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Sanchez and Sanchez flared a single to right. Murphy and Ramirez scored to make it 4-2 with men on first and third. Sanchez stole second, but Contreras struck out Uggla and Ross to leave the runners stranded.

Huge strikeouts for Contreras after the Marlins put men on second and third with one out. Oswalt pulled in the seventh having thrown 109 pitches.

Romero has now walked 22 batters in 24 1/3 innings on the year. Righties are on-basing .471 against him despite having just seven hits in 34 at-bats (.206).

Baez pitched the eighth. He allowed a two-out double to Hayes. The pitcher Clay Hensley was due to hit next and Hector Luna pinch-hit for him. Baez got Luna on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with the game tied at 4-4. He hit Ramirez to start the inning and Ramirez stole second as Madson struck out Morrison for the first out. Sanchez was next and ripped a ball down the third base line for what should have been a game-winning hit. It was called foul, however, and Madson went on to strike Sanchez out for the second out. Uggla was walked intentionally so Madson could pitch to Ross and Madson struck him out swinging 0-2 to leave Ramirez stranded.

Sanchez’s ball looked fair and should have ended the game.

Lidge pitched the tenth with a 5-4 lead. Stanton led off with a single and stole second as Helms struck out swinging. Lidge struck Hayes out swinging for the second out and switch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio hit for the pitcher Will Ohman. Lidge got him on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Madson, Contreras and Lidge were all throwing for the second straight day. Madson threw 19 pitches last night after throwing 27 in game two. Contreras threw 13 last night and Lidge 15. Baez 14 and Romero 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Gload (4) Ibanez (5) Werth (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first against the righty and Brown in right. Valdez plays second with Polanco at third and Dobbs on the bench. I really feel strongly that 73 starts in 108 games is too many for Valdez.

Rollins and Polanco started the games with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Gload and Gload flew to left for the first out before a balk moved the runners to second and third. Ibanez walked to load the bases with one out. Werth flew to center for the second and Brown struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

No run for the Phils on two singles, a walk and a balk. No RBI for Werth with men on second and third and one out.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Polanco singled with one out in the third. Gload lined to second behind him for the second. Ibanez was next and singled on a ball deflected by Ramirez at short, moving Polanco to third. Werth grounded to short to end the frame.

Ruiz doubled with one out in the fourth and was thrown out trying for third. Valdez grounded to Ramirez to leave him stranded at third.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Ibanez singled with one out in the sixth and Werth flew out behind him. Brown was next and moved Ibanez to second with a single into center. Ruiz blasted a double over the head of Ross in center, scoring both runners to put the Phils on top 2-0. Valdez was walked intentionally and Oswalt unintentionally, loading the bases for Rollins. Rollins flew to center for the third out.

I really don’t think I would walk Valdez intentionally that much.

Polanco started the seventh with a single. Gload was next and hit a ball to first with Polanco forced at second for the first out and Gload safe at first. Ibanez struck out for the second out before Werth moved Gload to second with a single to left. Brown struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

The Phils were down 4-2 when they hit in the eighth. Ruiz grounded to short for the first out. Dobbs hit for Valdez with the righty Hensley on the mound for Florida and struck out for the second. Sweeney hit for Contreras and drew a walk, but Rollins flew to right to leave him at first.

Righty Leo Nunez was on to protect a 4-2 Florida lead in the ninth. Polanco led off and hit a ball to short, but Ramirez’s throw to first was bad for an error. Gload was next and moved Polanco to second with a single. Ibanez followed that with a double to left, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 4-3 with men on second and third and nobody out. Werth was next and dribbled a single under the glove of Ramirez. Gload scored to tie the score at 4-4 and Ibanez went to third. With men on first and third and nobody out, Brown hit a ball to first. Sanchez fielded and threw home and Ibanez was caught up between third and home and tagged out for the first out. With one out and men on first and second, Werth was picked off of second and caught going for third. Ruiz got behind in the count 0-2 and Brown was caught stealing on a pitch out to end the frame.

That was one of the uglier two-run rallies to tie the game in the ninth you’ll see. Three outs on the bases for the Phils. Brown getting caught for the third out meant that Ruiz got to lead off the tenth with a homer, though.

Ruiz led off the tenth and hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phillies up 5-4. Dobbs struck out for the first out before Francisco hit for Madson. Francisco homered just foul. The call was review and the outcome was a foul ball, which was correct. Francisco flew to center for the second out and Rollins struck out swinging for the third.

Rollins was 1-for-6 in the game. 4-for-14 in the series with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 214/299/305 over his last 174 plate appearances.

Polanco was 3-for-5 in the game 6-for-14 with a walk in the series. He’s 10-for-his-last-23.

Gload 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-9 with three walks in the series.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI in the game. He was 6-for-11 with a double and three walks in the series. 447/542/723 over his last 59 plate appearances. He was hitting 243/326/397 for the year after going 0-for-4 against the Reds on July 11. In his 18 games since he has hit 415/506/615 to get his line on the year up to 275/361/437.

Werth was 2-for-5 with an RBI and left six men on base. 3-for-15 with three singles and seven strikeouts in the series.

Brown was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-9 in the series with four strikeouts. After 27 at-bats with the Phils he has no walks and a 259/241/296 line.

Ruiz was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. 8-for-15 with three doubles and two home runs in the series. 18-for-his-last-41 (.439) with nine extra-base hits.

Valdez was 0-for-2 with a walk (intentional, let’s not be silly here). 2-for-11 with two walks in the series.

Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.86) faces lefty Jon Niese (7-5, 3.78) tonight. Blanton has a 4.15 ERA and a 1.35 ratio over his last four starts after throwing to a 6.41 ERA and a 1.47 ratio in his first 13 appearances. He allowed 15 home runs in 80 innings over his first 13 starts and just two over 26 innings over his last four. Niese has allowed 120 hits in 112 1/3 innings, but doesn’t walk many righties. He’s walked just 27 of the 365 right-handed batters he’s faced this season.

It was Cody Ransom and not John Mayberry who lost his roster spot to Mike Sweeney.


And this little IronPiggie cried ‘Whee! Whee! Whee!’ all the way home

After a miserable start against the Cardinals on July 19 in which he allowed seven runs in five innings, Kyle Kendrick was sent to Triple-A. He wasn’t there long, though, and you kind of get the feeling he doesn’t want to go back. The Phils are 2-0 in the two games he’s started since and he pitched into the seventh in both of them, allowing two runs over 13 1/3 innings.

Last night Kendrick held the Diamondbacks to a run over 6 1/3 innings and the Phillies managed a 3-2 win in eleven innings. The Phils got another big hit from Ibanez in the game, a solo homer in the sixth, but mostly it was the bottom of the order that got it done as Howard and Werth went 0-for-10 and struck out five times. Ransom, Ruiz and Valdez combined to go 7-for-14 out of the 6-7-8 spots in the order. With the scored locked at 2-2 in the eleventh, Ransom led off with a walk and moved to second on a hit by Ruiz before Valdez delivered the game-winning single into center.

With the win the Phillies extended their winning streak to eight games. The Phillies have put the run together despite missing several core pieces of their offense — Rollins, Victorino and Utley have all been unable to play in some or all of the games in the streak. It’s also impressive because the Phillies simply never get a day off and a chance to rest their pen. Last night they played for the fifteenth day in a row. They will play three more in a row against the Nats before finally getting a day off on Monday.

The Phillies are 56-46 on the season after a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in eleven innings last night. The Phils sweep the three-game series and have won eight in a row. They are in second place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing a run on four hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.44.

Kelly Johnson singled to left with one out in the first and Justin Upton walked behind him. Kendrick got Adam LaRoche to pop to Polanco at second and Miguel Montero on a ground ball to first.

Mark Reynolds walked to start the second and Stephen Drew popped out to Howard in foul territory behind him for the first out. Gerardo Parra was next and hit a double-play ball to second. Polanco went to short for the first out, but Howard didn’t handle the relay from Valdez at short and was charged with an error. With two outs and a man on first, pitcher Joe Saunders flew to Werth to set the Diamondbacks down.

Chris Young walked to start the third. Johnson hit into a double-play behind him and Justin Upton grounded to third for the third out.

Montero singled to left with one out in the fourth, but Ibanez threw him out trying to stretch it into a double. Kendrick struck Reynolds out swinging for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He was up 1-0 when he threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

He started the seventh with a 2-0 lead and struck out LaRoche to start the inning. Montero was next, though, and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to right to cut the lead to 2-1. Reynolds was next and lined a single into center and that was it for Kendrick. Durbin came in to pitch to the lefty Drew. Drew singled and Reynolds moved to third, putting runners on the corner with one out for Parra. Parra grounded into a double-play to turn Arizona away.

Madson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with a 2-1 lead.

He, not Lidge, was back to start the ninth with the Phils still up by one. Upton led off and got way behind in the count before lining a double to right on an 0-2 pitch. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty LaRoche and LaRoche singled to right, moving Upton to third. Montero, another lefty, was next, and Romero stayed in to pitch to him. Montero hit a high chopper to third. Valdez made a very nice play, bare-handing the ball and making a strong throw to first for the first out of the inning as Upton scored to tie the game at 2-2. It brought the righty Reynolds to the plate with one out and a man on second. Rusty Ryal ran for LaRoche at second and Romero walked Reynolds intentionally. The lefty Drew was next and Romero walked him unintentionally, loading the bases with one out for the lefty Parra. Romero got Parra to hit into a double-play to end the frame. The play at first with Howard taking the relay from Valdez was very close. Parra slammed his helmet to the ground after being called out and was ejected from the game.

No Lidge in the frame, but that didn’t work out real well for the Phils. Madson gets to pitch to a righty and the righty doubles. Romero faces five batters, four of which are lefties, and allowed a single, a walk and walks a batter intentionally. He also got a nice play from Valdez for the first out.

Lidge did pitch the tenth and struck out two as he set the Snakes down in order.

Contreras pitched the eleventh. He walked Montero with two outs, but got Reynolds on a fly ball to right behind him.

Thanks to the complete game from Halladay the day before, nobody in the pen was pitching for a second day in a row. Contreras threw 19 pitches in the game and Romero 17. Everyone else was 12 or fewer.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Joe Saunders went (1) Polanco (2) Ibanez (3) Francisco (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ransom (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez plays short with Rollins out with a foot problem. Polanco at second and leading off. Ransom at third against the lefty. Francisco in right with Werth playing center and Victorino on the DL. Brown on the bench against the lefty.

Polanco started the first with a double and moved to third when Ibanez flew out to center for the first out. Francisco struck out swinging for the second out. Saunders’s 1-1 pitch to Howard was in the dirt and got away from the catcher. Polanco tried to score from third but was thrown out to end the inning.

No run for the Phils after the leadoff double. Francisco strikes out with one out and a man on third.

Ransom singled with two outs in the second. He was picked off first, but made it to second with his first stolen base of the year. Ruiz flew to left to leave him there.

Kendrick singled with one out in the third. Polanco hit into a double-play behind him.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Ransom singled with one out in the fifth and game into score when Ruiz followed with a double into the left field corner. It put the Phils ahead 1-0. Valdez was next and blooped a single into right, moving Ruiz to third. Kendrick bunted Ruiz to second with the second out. Polanco grounded to short to leave both men stranded.

Ibanez led off the sixth and lined a 2-2 pitch out to right-center. 2-0. Francisco followed that with a single and stole second. Howard struck out, Werth flew to right and Ransom grounded to short.

Like in the first, no run for the Phils after they put a man on second with nobody out.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phillies hit in the seventh. Valdez singled with one out. With the lefty Joe Saunders still on the mound for the Diamondbacks, the lefty Brown hit for Durbin and flew to left. Polanco grounded to short for the third out.

Manuel didn’t chose to lead Brown hit against the lefty there. He had four lefties and switch-hitter Jimmy Rollins on his bench to start the game. Rollins, the only option that wasn’t left-handed, didn’t play in the game.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

The game was tied at 2-2 when they went in order in the ninth.

Polanco doubled to center with two outs in the tenth. Righty Esmerling Vasquez was on the mound for Arizona and he walked the lefty Ibanez intentionally behind Polanco, putting men on first and second. Francisco walked to load the bases. Howard got to hit against the righty Vasquez, but Vasquez struck him out swinging 0-2 to end the inning.

Two outs, but that’s still a huge strikeout for Howard against the righty. He’s 0-for-his-last-9 with six strikeouts.

Ransom walked with one out in the eleventh and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single. Valdez singled into center on a 1-0 pitch and Ransom slid into home just ahead of the throw from Young to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

Polanco was 2-for-5 with two doubles in the game and 5-for-15 with three doubles in the series. He’s hitting 318/347/439 for the year.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk and his ninth home run in the game. 5-for-11 with a double, a home run and four walks in the series. 263/349/423 on the year. 375/462/571 over his last 65 plate appearances.

Francisco was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 1-for-5 in the series. 246/313/398 on the year.

Howard was 0-for-5 and struck out twice. 2-for-13 with a home run and two walks in the series. 295/358/533 for the year.

Werth was 0-for-5 and struck out three times in the game. 5-for-12 with two doubles, two walks and a home run in the series. 290/382/516.

Ransom was 2-for-4 with a walk and scored the winning run. 3-for-7 with a walk and a home run in the series.

Ruiz 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 7-for-12 with a walk, three doubles and five RBI in the series. 286/397/392 for the season.

Valdez was 3-for-5 and won the game with an RBI-single in the eleventh. 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 239/268/361 on the year.

Roy Oswalt (6-12, 3.42) makes his debut for the Phillies tonight against righty Craig Stammen (2-4, 5.50) in Washington. Oswalt was hit hard by the Reds in his last start, allowing six runs in five innings. Opponents are on-basing just .279 against him for the season. Righties are hitting .211 against him, lefties .249 with a little more power. Stammen hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh in any of his last four starts, throwing to a 6.86 ERA and a 1.73 ratio in those appearances. Righties have hit him harder than lefties so far this season (308/363/527 for righties and 286/318/423 for lefties).


Phils hit a hundred home running

The Phillies have now played a hundred games in the 2010 season. If the first 94 weren’t that spectacular, the last six sure have been. Last night they got two-run homers in the fifth, sixth and seventh as they exploded for seven runs in a three-inning stretch to bury the Diamondbacks.

The Phils are suddenly getting monster offensive production from the guys they need if from the most. Ibanez and Werth have joined the already hot bats of Howard and Polanco. Last night the four of them combined to go 8-for-16 with four walks and six RBI.

The Phillies are 54-46 on the season after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 last night. They have won six in a row and are in second place in the NL East, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out eight and his ERA on the year rose to 3.48.

Justin Upton singled to center with two outs in the first and Hamels hit Adam LaRoche behind him. Miguel Montero walked behind LaRoche to load the bases and then Hamels walked Mark Reynolds, forcing in a run to make it 1-0. Stephen Drew popped to short for the third out.

Hamels got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 second and two more in a 1-2-3 third.

He had a 2-1 lead when he started the fourth. He got Montero on a fly ball to center for the first out and was ahead of Reynolds 1-2, but Reynolds smashed a ball out to center to tie the game at 2-2. Drew followed that with a walk and Rusty Ryal doubled just past the glove of a diving Dobbs and into left. It put men on second and third with one out for the pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez hit a ground ball to short. Valdez looked Drew back to third and threw to first for the second out. Hamels hit Chris Young to load the bases, but struck Kelly Johnson out swinging 3-2 to leave them that way.

Dobbs nearly got a glove on the double by Ryal. I think Valdez or Polanco would have.

LaRoche doubled to right with one out in the fifth and moved to third when Ryal followed with a ground out to first. Hamels walked the righty Reynolds intentionally to pitch to the lefty Drew. Drew singled to right and LaRoche scored, putting the Diamondbacks up 3-2. Ryal reached on an infield single to load the bases, but Hamels struck Lopez out swinging on three pitches to end the frame.

Second time in the game that Lopez had a big at-bat with men on. Second time that Hamels got him.

The Phillies were up 4-3 when Hamels started the sixth. Young led off with a double over the head of Victorino in center and Drew walked behind him. Gerardo Parra was next and chopped a ball to first that might have been a double-play ball if Howard hadn’t pulled Valdez off the base with his throw to second. The error loaded the bases with nobody out. LaRoche hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Young to score and tie the game at 4-4. Drew moved up to third on the play. Montero was next and hit a ground ball to second. Polanco fielded and Parra hit the ground between first and second. Polanco tried to tag him and missed before he threw to first to get Montero for the second out. Drew came in to score and make it 5-4. Reynolds was next and hit a ball back up the middle, but Polanco made a nice play behind the bag and threw him out at first to end the frame.

Another awful error by Howard on a throw to second base.

Baez threw a 1-2-3 seventh with the Phils up 7-4. Drew flew to center for the first out. Victorino made the play but left the game with a strained left oblique.

First inning without allowing a hit or a walk for Baez since July 9.

Contreras started the eighth with the Phillies up 9-5. He gave up a leadoff single to Young and Young moved to second when Johnson followed with a ground ball to second. Contreras got Parra to fly to left for the second out before he walked LaRoche. With two outs and men on first and second, Montero grounded to first to end the frame.

Madson got two strikeouts and a ground out in a 1-2-3 ninth to drop his ERA on the year to 5.19.

Herndon threw 24 pitches in the game. Contreras 22, Madson 14 and Baez 9.

The Phillies lineup against righty Rodrigo Lopez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at short with Rollins on the bench after hitting a ball off his foot. Polanco plays second with Utley on the DL and Dobbs at third against the righty. Victorino moves up to the leadoff spot. He came into the game on-basing .250 in his last 94 plate appearances.

The Phillies were losing 1-0 when they hit in the first. Polanco singled with one out and Ibanez walked behind him. Howard struck out before a walk to Werth loaded the bases for Dobbs. Dobbs popped up to Drew at short to end the threat.

Ruiz led off the second with a single. Valdez struck out for the first out and Ruiz was caught stealing before Hamels struck out to end the inning.

Victorino started the third with a single and stole second. Polanco hit a ball that Drew fielded at short. Victorino was caught off the base and tagged out at third for the first out. Ibanez followed with a single that put men on first and third for Howard. Howard singled to right and Polanco scored, tying the game at 1-1, as Ibanez went to third. Werth walked to load the bases for Dobbs with one out. Dobbs fouled out to third with the runners holding. Ruiz drew a walk, though, forcing in Ibanez to put the Phils up 2-1. Valdez flew to right for the third out.

Bad base-running by Victorino on the ball hit by Polanco. Ibanez and Polanco both did well to go first to third on singles to right and it helped the Phils out. Disappointing at-bat for Dobbs with one out and the bases loaded. He had left six men on base through two innings.

The game was tied at 2-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Polanco doubled with two outs, but was left stranded when Ibanez flew to center.

Howard led off the fifth with a walk with the Phils down 3-2. Werth was next and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to center for a two-run homer that put the Phils on top 4-3. Dobbs, Ruiz and Valdez went down behind him.

First home run for Werth since June 23.

The Phillies were down 5-4 when they hit in the sixth. Victorino singled with one out and took second when Polanco followed with a ball fielded by the pitcher. A wild pitch moved Victorino to third with two outs before Ibanez brought him home with a single to right, tying the game at 5-5. Howard was next and hit a 3-2 pitch out to center. 7-5. Francisco hit for Herndon, who entered in Dobbs’s spot in the order in the top of the sixth, and struck out for the third out.

Ruiz started the seventh with a single and was bunted to second by Valdez. Ransom was next, he entered in the top of the sixth with Herndon in the ninth spot in the order, and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to left to put the Phillies ahead 9-5. Gload, who entered when Victorino left the game with his side issue, and Polanco went down behind him.

Ibanez, Howard and Werth all flew out in the eighth.

Victorino was 2-for-4.

Polanco 2-for-5 with a double. He’s 10-for-his-last-28.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 367/436/510 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and three RBI. 333/427/739 since July 7.

Werth 2-for-3 with a home run, two walks and two RBI. 339/466/500 since July 8.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 and left six men on base.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Valdez 0-for-3 with a strikeout and four men left on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-25.

Roy Halladay (11-8, 2.28) faces Edwin Jackson (6-9, 5.01) tonight. Halladay allowed six runs in six innings against the Cubs on July 23. That’s his only start of his last four that he’s allowed more than one run. In two of his last three starts he’s gone at least eight innings without allowing any runs. Righties are on-basing .252 against him for the year. Jackson threw a no-hitter against the Rays on June 25. Since then he’s made four starts in which he has thrown to a 6.85 ERA with a 1.93 ratio.


Hey Joe, where you going with that bat in your hand?

The Phillies needed to shake things up their lineup and they did. It didn’t work, though, and it was rather dramatic about not working. The Phils dropped the slumping Rollins out of the leadoff spot and stacked their lineup with righties against lefty Jaime Garcia. They scored one run in the game and found themselves without a solid right-handed bat off the bench late in the game. They’ve scored two runs in two games, lost four in a row and six of seven since the All-Star break.

Joe Blanton pitched great. For a while. The game was knotted at 1-1 when the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh. With the lefty Garcia still on the mound for St Louis, Manuel let Blanton hit for himself and Blanton struck out on three pitches. The Phillies didn’t score again and the Cardinals went on to plate four more runs.

The decision sure looks bad right now. But Manuel had four lefties and Wilson Valdez on his bench, the Phils were playing game seven of 18 games in 18 days and had gotten one inning from their starter the day before.

Whether you like what Manuel did last night or not, the problems for the Phils are a lot bigger than one decision or even the results of one game. The Phils are in third place in their division and the fourth-place Marlins are just two games behind. They have the ninth-best record in the 16-team National League. If they don’t start playing a lot better soon, it’s not going to matter that they have nothing like the ninth-most talent.

The Phillies are 48-46 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 5-1 last night.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned. He struck out three and has a 6.03 ERA for the season.

He set down the first six St Louis batters before Yadier Molina started the third with a walk. The pitcher Jaime Garcia was next and he bunted Molina to second with the first out. Brendan Ryan flew to right and Felipe Lopez grounded to second to leave Molina stranded.

Jon Jay doubled to start the fourth and came in to score when Pujols followed with a single to left. 1-0. Matt Holliday flew to left for the first out before Pujols stole second. Blanton struck Colby Rasmus out swinging 2-2 and Ruiz picked Pujols off of second to end the inning.

Molina singled to left with one out in the fifth and the game tied at 1-1. Garcia tried to bunt him to second again, but this time Ruiz jumped on the ball and threw to Rollins where Molina was forced for the second out. Ryan grounded to short for the third out.

Jay singled with one out in the sixth, but Blanton got Pujols to hit into a double-play behind him. Ransom made a really nice play on the ball hit by Pujols, diving to his right to field the ball and start the double-play.

Holliday hit Blanton’s first pitch of the seventh out to left, put the Cards up 2-1. Blanton got the next three hitters behind him.

Aaron Miles started the eighth with a single. Ryan was next and he bunted. Ruiz again fielded the ball, but this time his throw was wild for an error and St Louis had men on second and third with nobody out. Lopez was next and he split the gap in right center with a bases clearing double. 4-1. Romero took over for Blanton and the lefty Jay bunted Lopez to third with the first out. Romero walked the righty Pujols intentionally and Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Holliday and hit him to load the bases. Rasmus was next and he hit a ball to right deep enough for Lopez to tag and score, making it 5-1 St Louis. Contreras stuck out pitcher Ryan Franklin for the third out.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jaime Garcia went (1) Polanco (2) Victorino (3) Francisco (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ransom (8) Ruiz. Ransom starts at second for the first time this year. Ibanez on the bench against the lefty with Francisco in right. Rollins dropped to sixth in the order with Polanco hitting leadoff and Victorino batting second. It left the Phillies with lefties Dobbs, Gload, Schneider and Ibanez on the bench and just one righty in Valdez.

The Phillies didn’t have a base runner in the first four innings.

They started the fifth down 1-0. Howard led off an hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, tying the game at 1-1. Werth and Rollins both flew out behind him before Ransom singled to left. Ruiz flew to center to leave Ransom stranded.

With two outs in the sixth, Victorino singled and stole second. Francisco grounded to third for the third out.

Werth walked with one out in the seventh and moved to second when Rollins followed with a single. Ransom struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out before Ruiz walked to load the bases. Manuel left Blanton in to hit for himself with the bases loaded and the score still tied at 1-1. Blanton swung and missed at the first three pitches he saw to leave all three runners stranded.

The Phils were down 2-1 when they hit in the eighth. Righty Kyle McClellan got Polanco on a fly ball to right for the first out. Victorino was next and hit a ball to second that went under Skip Schumaker’s glove for an error. Victorino was running hard all the way and wound up on second. He moved to third on a ground out by Francisco and lefty Trever Miller came in to pitch to Howard. Miller walked Howard to put men on first and third for Werth. Righty Ryan Franklin came in and got Werth on a ground ball to second to leave both men stranded.

Rollins, Ibanez and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs went in order in the ninth with the Phils down 5-1.

Polanco was 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4.

Francisco 0-for-4. He’s 3-for-his-last-20.

1-for-12 with a single for the top three in the order.

Howard 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk. He’s hitting 319/380/681 in July.

Werth 0-for-3 with a walk.

Rollins 1-for-4.

Ransom 1-for-3 with two strikeouts, including a big one in the seventh. He also made a very nice defensive play in the sixth to start a double-play.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.63) faces righty Adam Wainwright (14-5, 2.02) this afternoon. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts. In those outings he’s thrown to a 2.20 ERA. He’s allowed more than three earned runs just one in his last 14 times out. Wainwright is still fantastic. He has allowed one earned run in 29 1/3 innings over his last four starts. Opponents are hitting .214 against him for the season.


Kendrick making sure everyone knows that Halladay’s beard looks like his and not the other way around

After eight more scoreless innings from the starters, the five guys who have started for the Phillies in official spring training games have a 1.41 ERA and an 0.81 ratio. Kyle Kendrick has surprisingly been the best of the bunch, allowing just four hits over nine scoreless innings without walking a batter. It may be enough to make him wish he pitched for a team that was considering spring training when choosing its starting rotation.

Blanton, Halladay and Kendrick have combined to not walk a batter in twenty innings. Happ, Halladay and Kendrick have combined not to allow a run in 20 1/3 innings.

Yesterday Kendrick shut out Baltimore for four innings but the Phils lost 4-3. Kendrick left with a 1-0 lead, but Escalona got hit hard again after Kendrick left the game. Escalona was charged with three runs in the fifth inning, raising his spring ERA to 13.50. Drew Carpenter followed Escalona and allowed a run over three innings to drop his spring ERA to 1.13 over eight innings.

Polanco went 2-for-3 in the game to raise his average to .375 (9-for-24 with nine singles).

Saturday Happ threw four strong innings as the Phils topped the Twins 5-4. Happ held Minnesota to a single single and struck out three before Bastardo got hit hard in the sixth inning. Bastardo allowed four runs on five hits — only three of the runs were earned. Durbin, Madson, Contreras and Baez all threw a scoreless inning in the game. Francisco hit a solo shot in the game and Cody Ransom had a three-run homer. Clay Condrey pitched the sixth for the Twins and allowed a run on a pair of singles.

This suggests that Madson will close if Lidge can’t start the year.

Scott Eyre may be open to the idea of pitching again.

First cuts of camp for the Phillies included Scott Mathieson, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Jesus Sanchez, Joe Savery and Drew Naylor.

Amaro says it’s probably unlikely that Romero will be available to start the season in the article linked above. I think it’s definitely unlikely.

Not many people have been blown away by what Bastardo, Zagurski or Escalona are doing in spring training.


Rotation consideration

I don’t think there’s much question that the Phillies starting pitchers in 2010 are going to be better than their starting pitchers in 2009. The question is just how much better. Here’s what the five guys in the starting rotation for 2010, Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer, combined to do as starting pitchers in 2009 and how it compares to the overall line for Phillies starters in ’09:

  IP H BB SO ERA Ratio
5 SP 915.7 940 224 719 3.81 1.27
PHI SP ’09 963.7 1022 266 736 4.29 1.34

Phillies starting pitchers overall combined to allow about .495 runs per inning in 2009. Those five pitchers combined to allow about .439 runs per inning, which is about 88.7% of .495.

Halladay threw 239 innings last year, which would have been about 25% of the total innings thrown by starting pitchers if he had thrown them for the Phillies and the Phillies starters had still thrown their 963 2/3 innings. He had a 2.79 ERA and a 1.13 ratio in ’09 and it seems like he may be able to reproduce those fantastic numbers with the move to the NL.

Blanton seems like a good candidate to be about as good in 2010 as he was in 2009.

Hamels seems like a good candidate to be better. Maybe a lot better. He also seems like a good candidate to eat up more innings than the 193 2/3 he pitched in 2009.

Happ seems like he will drop off a little. Moyer will be better or pitch less.

It seems reasonable to assume that the improvement by Hamels and the Moyer spot in the rotation will outweigh the drop off for Happ. As starters, Hamels and Moyer combined to throw 337 innings with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.35 ratio in 2009. Hamels and Moyer, or whoever takes over for Moyer, are going to combine to be a lot better than that in 2010.

If those five did exactly what they did in 2009 again in 2010, here’s what the other Phillies starting pitchers would have to do in 2010 for the Phillies to match their 2009 totals in these categories:

IP H BB SO ERA Ratio
48 82 42 17 13.31 2.58

Insert your own Jose Contreras joke here, but someone in the starting rotation is going to be a lot worse in 2010 than they were in 2009 or the numbers for the rotation are going to get better overall.

The Phillies beat the Blue Jays 4-2 yesterday. Hamels sat down the first nine men he faced before allowing a solo homer to Jose Bautista to start the fourth. Ryan Vogelsong followed Hamels and allowed a run over 2 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez pitched the last three innings and held Toronto to a pair of singles while striking out three. Cody Ransom hit a solo home run for the Phils. Dobbs doubled twice. Mayberry was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles to raise his average for the spring to .368.

Kyle Drabek started the game for Toronto and pitched two scoreless innings.

This says Brad Lidge will pitch in a game on Monday.


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