Tag: Corey Hart

Hefty lefties

When the post-season arrives, the Phils will be starting left-handed pitchers in two of the first three games and feature a bullpen with a single lefty who came into yesterday’s game having allowed nine of the last 15 batters he had faced to reach base.

So it seems important to know how their potential playoff opponents in the NL fare against lefties. For the four NL teams other than the Phillies who look like they have the best chance to make the playoffs, here’s what the teams have done overall against left-handed pitching for the year (none of the numbers in this post include yesterday’s games):

STL 259 333 417 158 750 (2)
ARI 239 314 417 178 731 (5)
MIL 252 314 413 161 727 (7)
ATL 229 292 352 123 644 (16)

So, by OPS, the Cards have been the best of those four teams against left-handed pitching and the Braves have been the worst. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Atlanta has been absolutely atrocious against lefties this year, hitting just 229/292/352 against them, which gives them the NL-worst .644 OPS against left-handed pitchers.

Here’s the list of St Louis’s best hitters against lefties who got at least 100 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season. They are ordered by OPS:

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
STL Pujols 295 342 590 295 932 (16)
STL Holliday 241 411 446 205 857 (27)
STL Molina 278 364 464 186 828 (36)
STL Rasmus 256 374 451 195 825 (37)

That’s kind of a scary list because of its length, but with a couple of problems for the Cards. Holliday is hurt and Rasmus isn’t on the team anymore, traded to the Blue Jays in July. Oh, and the other problem is that they’re almost surely not going to make the post-season.

If they do, they do have some guys without 100 plate appearances against lefties who have good numbers against left-handed pitching. Allen Craig was hitting 306/338/613 against lefties in 63 plate appearances coming into yesterday and David Freese had hit 348/390/522 against southpaws over 77 plate appearances.

And here’s a lot at the top left-bashers on the other three teams, starting with the Snakes:

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
ARI Upton 274 385 563 289 948 (12)
ARI Young 282 387 556 274 943 (13)
ARI Roberts 280 400 504 224 904 (22)

Three guys there who have had monster years against left-handed pitching. Notably, two of them, Young and Roberts, have been miserable against righties. Young has hit 216/306/375 against righties and Roberts has hit 238/321/399 against them. Upton has hammered everyone, putting up a 301/372/535 line against righties. As good as he has been against both sides, he has shown a lot more power against lefties with an isolated power of .234 against righties and .289 against lefties.

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
MIL Braun 362 445 638 276 1.083 (2)
MIL Hart 323 422 586 263 1.008 (7)
MIL Weeks 270 380 472 192 852 (28)
MIL Fielder 279 358 455 176 813 (40)

Two monster bats against lefties for the Brewers in Braun and Hart. Weeks has been struggling with an ankle problem, but is getting stronger and playing again. Fielder, of course, is a lefty, but has still done his share of damage against left-handed pitchers.

Despite the two huge bats against lefties in Braun and Hart, the Brewers have had their share of guys who have brought down their numbers. Righty Casey McGehee has played regularly this year and hit 171/230/187 in his 135 plate appearances against lefties. His fellow righty Yuniesky Betancourt has also gotten a ton of chances and hit 239/256/345 against lefties.

Then there’s Atlanta. And they can’t hit lefties at all — their best hitter by OPS who got at least 100 plate appearances against lefties is their left-handed hitting catcher Brian McCann:

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
ATL McCann 264 312 486 222 798 (43)

That’s a little misleading because of the miserable year righty Dan Uggla has had with the bat. After hitting 173/241/327 through the first 86 games of the season, Uggla has hit 312/396/620 over his last 288 plate appearances. His numbers against lefties for the year are still atrocious, 197/284/338, but he hit 306/409/575 against lefties in 2010 and you have to think that he’s going to be more formidable against lefties in the post-season than he has during the regular season.

The Braves have had other problems against lefties this year, though. Righty Alex Gonzalez has on-based .284 against them. Lefties Freddie Freeman and Jayson Heyward have both struggled as well. Freeman has hit 256/314/420 against them in 194 plate appearances while Heyward has hit a hide-your-eyes 184/263/301 against them in 114.

So, purely for the standpoint of guys who can hit lefties, who should the Phillies be hoping to face in the post-season? It looks like the answer is clearly the Braves, with the caveat that Uggla is a whole lot better than his numbers so far this year. That can’t happen in the first round, of course. For me, the scariest team against lefties is Milwaukee — despite the miserable numbers for a couple of their regulars, Braun and Hart have just demolished left-handed pitching this season.

Finally, it seems important to point out the NL player who came into action yesterday with the best OPS against left-handed pitching for the season (among players with at least 100 plate appearances against lefties). Shane Victorino is the answer with a 327/444/645 line (1.089 OPS).

Yesterday the Phils played a double-header with the Washington Nationals, dropping both games to fall to 98-56 on the year. The Phillies have lost four in a row and scored three runs or less in 12 of their last 13 games.

The Phils lost the day game 4-3 in ten innings. Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and was fantastic again, tossing six shutout innings before being Schwimer took over in the seventh. Schwimer allowed a pair of singles before Roger Bernadina hit one out to right, putting the Nats up 3-0. The Phils tied it up in the bottom of the inning when Ibanez, 1-for-his-last-18, hit a three-run pinch-hit homer off of Tyler Clippard. Stutes started the tenth and got the first two before walking Michael Morse. Morse took second on a passed ball by Erik Kratz and came in to score on a pinch-hit single by Ryan Zimmerman, putting Washington up 4-3. Kratz doubled to start the bottom of the tenth, his first career extra-base hit, but was left at second when Orr lined to short, Schneider struck out and Gload grounded to short.

Kendrick has a 1.91 ERA in his 33 innings since the end of July. Those innings have come over seven appearances, five of which have been starts.

Not a good day for Schwimer, who saw his ERA on the year rise to 6.97 on the three-run homer. He’s allowed five runs in two innings over his last two appearances.

Joe Savery made his debut for the Phillies in the game. He started the eighth and allowed a single on a ball deflected by Orr. The next batter bunted the runner to second and Savery was pulled.

The Phils lost the night game 3-0. Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on 11 hits. Only two of the runs were earned and the Phillies made three errors in the game (Rollins, Utley and Ruiz). The offense had just three hits, two singles by Francisco and one by Polanco, as Ross Detwiler threw 7 1/3 scoreless frames for the Nats.

Danny Espinosa homered off of Lee in the second to put Washington up 1-0. Washington got another run on three singles in the sixth to push the lead to 2-0. Jayson Werth started the seventh with a double for Washington and went to third on a one-out single by Michael Morse. Werth came in to score on a bad pickoff throw by Ruiz, upping the lead to 3-0.

Justin De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 eighth after Lee left and has now thrown two scoreless innings in two appearances.

Herndon threw the ninth, allowing a two-out walks but striking out two and keeping Washington off the board. In his 20 appearances since the All-Star break he has thrown to a 1.65 ERA with a 1.21 ratio.

Vance Worley (11-2, 2.85) faces lefty John Lannan (9-13, 3.68) tonight in leave-your-lefties-on-the-bench night at the yard.

On the please-move-along-there’s-nothing-to-see-here front, Hunter Pence tweaked his left knee in game one yesterday and says it’s going to be fine.

Jimmy Rollins and his wife will host their first annual Havana Nights to benefit the Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation and Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Monday, November 14. Read all about it.

Phils apparently looking to make up for what they missed with roster expansion with lineup expansion

The Phils continued to roll last night, beating the Brewers 7-2 to win for the ninth time in their last 11 games, winning the game with a wackadoo starting lineup that didn’t include Rollins, Utley, Howard or Ibanez. They did just fine without those guys as Valdez, Pence, Mayberry and Francisco combined to go 8-for-18 in the game and drive in six runs.

Hamels gave the Phils another fantastic start, throwing a complete game and holding the Brewers to a pair of runs on two solo homers. If you’re looking for something to worry about in the complete game effort, I’d go with the rising home run rate for Hamels — he was great at preventing the home run early in the season, but has been a lot less great recently. In his first 17 starts he allowed six in 116 innings (about 0.47 HR per nine innings). Over his last 11 starts he has now allowed eight in 78 innings (about 0.92 HR per nine innings).

The Phillies are 92-48 on the year after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 last night. They are 44 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization and lead the NL East by ten games over the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both solo home runs. He struck out two.

He set the Brewers down in order in the first, getting Corey Hart on a fly ball to right, Jerry Hairston on a ground ball to short and Ryan Braun on a popup that Martinez handled.

Prince Fielder grounded to second for the first out of the second. Casey McGehee was next and he singled to left, but Hamels got Yuniesky Betancourt to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Hamels struck Jonathan Lucroy out swinging for the first out in the third. Carlos Gomez tried to bunt for a hit, but Mayberry retired him for the second. The pitcher Chris Narveson grounded to second.

Hamels walked Hairston with one out in the fourth, but got Braun and Fielder to leave him stranded.

McGehee grounded to third for the first out of the fifth. Betancourt was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to left center to put the Brewers up 1-0. Hamels got Lucroy and Gomez behind Betancourt.

He started the sixth with a 6-1 lead. Nyjer Morgan flew to center for the first out, but Hart was next and he lined a 3-1 pitch out to right center, cutting the lead to 6-2. Hamels got Hairston and Braun behind Hart.

Fielder singled to right to start the seventh. McGehee popped to Martinez for the first out. Betancourt was next and he went down on a soft ground ball handled by Hamels, with Fielder moving up to second with two down. Lucroy walked on five pitches and righty Josh Wilson hit for the pitcher Tim Dillard. Wilson grounded to third to end the inning.

Hamels set Morgan, Hart and Hairston down in order in the eighth.

Up 7-2, he got Braun, Fielder and McGehee in the ninth. He threw 111 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Chris Narveson went (1) Victorino (2) Valdez (3) Polanco (4) Pence (5) Mayberry (6) Ruiz (7) Francisco (8) Martinez. Valdez at short with Rollins, who was activated before the game, on the bench. Martinez at second with Utley having his head checked and rested. Mayberry at first against the lefty with Howard resting. Ibanez resting with Francisco in left. Francisco starts just his third game since July 22. July 22 was the 98th game of the year for the Phils — last night’s game was number 140. Polanco drops to three in the order with Valdez hitting second.

The Phils didn’t have a base-runner until Hamels walked with two outs in the third. Victorino flew to center to leave him at first.

They went in order in the fourth.

Mayberry started the fifth with a single. Ruiz fouled out to the catcher and Francisco hit into a double-play behind him.

This might not even be Francisco’s favorite year in professional baseball.

The Phils were down 1-0 when Martinez and Hamels both struck out to start the sixth. Victorino was next and hit a ball to left that almost left the yard, hitting high off the very top of the wall and bouncing back onto the field for a double. Valdez was next and doubled just over the head of Gomez in center, scoring Victorino to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Pence. Pence hit a ball to the gap in right-center that Gomez misplayed badly. Pence should have had a double, but wound up at third with Valdez and Polanco both scoring to put the Phils up 3-1. Mayberry was next and reached on an infield single with Pence scoring. 4-1. Mayberry stole second before Ruiz brought him home with a double to left. 5-1. Francisco singled to left and Ruiz scored. 6-1. Righty Tim Dillard came in to pitch to Martinez and Martinez singled to right where the ball was mishandled by Hart for an error, allowing Francisco to go to third. Hamels struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Looked like the misplay of Pence’s ball that gave him an extra-base was going to cost Milwaukee a run when Mayberry followed with an infield single that brought Pence home from third, but he would have scored on Ruiz’s double anyway. Gomez didn’t have a good inning in center either way.

The lead was cut to 6-2 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Polanco singled with two outs, but Pence grounded to the pitcher behind him.

Francisco singled with two outs in the eighth and stole second before Martinez drew a walk. It put men on first and second for Hamels. Hamels hit for himself and struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Valdez singled with one out in the ninth and Polanco went down on a fly ball to right behind him. Pence was next, though, and he doubled to right with Valdez scoring to extend the lead to 7-2. Mayberry walked before Ruiz grounded to third for the third out.

Victorino went 1-for-5 with a double, dropping his average on the year to .299. That’s the first time he’s ended the day with an average under .300 this year since July 28.

Valdez 2-for-5 with a double. He’s 7-for-19 with three extra-base hits to start September.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a walk. He has one extra-base hit, a double, in his last 155 plate appearances over 36 games.

Pence 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI to raise his line with the Phillies to 311/383/541.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-his-last-8 with three walks.

Ruiz 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 321/390/420 since the All-Star break.

Francisco 2-for-4 with an RBI. 5-for-7 with a double and two walks in his last two starts.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a walk. Five walks in 26 plate appearances in September.

Roy Halladay (16-5, 2.49) faces righty Shawn Marcum (12-5, 3.11) tonight. Righties have hit just 181/230/301 against Marcum for the year. Lefties have fared better at 257/313/390. He made one start against the Phils this year, allowing an unearned run on April 18. Halladay hasn’t allowed a home run in his last eight starts. Halladay has made one start against Milwaukee this year and it was pretty much his worst outing of the season. On April 19 he was charged with six runs in 6 2/3 innings in Philadelphia and the Phils lost 9-0. Halladay’s line was bad for the night anyway, but got worse when Herndon took over for him with two outs and two on in the seventh and gave up a three-run shot to Casey McGehee.

Phils/Playoff Victory Reunion Show finally comes together

That playoff victory was just making some unreasonable demands. Glad they got it worked out, though. It was a little tough to watch, but the ending was good.

The Phillies won their first playoff game in 15 years yesterday, but the way Cole Hamels threw makes you think they may not need to wait 15 days before he pitches them to another. Hamels looked exactly like one of the elite pitchers in baseball in the first game of the series against the Brewers, holding Milwaukee to a pair of singles and a walk over eight shutout innings as the Phils pulled out a 3-1 win.

Hamels was arguably the only Phillie that played well. The Phils had four hits in the game and managed to score in just one inning. They needed a whole lot of help from the Brewers to do that — three defensive misplays and three walks back-to-back-to-back helped the Phils put up the only three runs they would score in the contest in the bottom of the third.

Brad Lidge made the ninth inning memorable. Coming in to game with a three-run lead, Lidge struggled yet again and needed 35 pitches to get through a frame that turned out to be a lot more exciting than one might hope. Despite the struggles, he made it through to extend his streak to 42 saves in 42 tries for the Phils. Still, it’s a little worrisome to see him bend but not break so often these days after we didn’t see him even bend at all for most of the season.

The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday, winning 3-1 in the first game of the best-of-five series.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing two singles and a walk. He struck out nine.

He faced a Milwaukee lineup that went (1) Cameron (CF/R) (2) Hall (3B/R) (3) Braun (LF/R) (4) Fielder (1B/L) (5) Hardy (SS/R) (6) Hart (RF/R) (7) Weeks (2B/R) (8) Kendall (C/R).

There were five position players on the bench for Milwaukee to start the game: Mike Rivera (R), Tony Gwynn, Jr (L), Brad Nelson (L), Craig Counsell (L) and Ray Durham (Switch).

Cameron led off the first. Hamels didn’t get the call on a close 2-1 pitch, running the count to 3-1. Cameron watched strike two and then went down swinging 3-2 for the first out. Hall was next and popped up an 0-1 pitch into shallow center, where Rollins took it for the second out. Hamels struck Braun out swinging 1-2 to end the frame.

Fourteen pitches in the first inning for Hamels.

He struck Fielder out swinging 1-2 to start the second. Hardy hit a 2-1 pitch into right-center field that Victorino took for the second out. Hart hit an 0-1 pitch back up the middle, but Utley moved to his right, back-handed and threw to first to set the Brewers down.

Hamels had thrown 25 pitches through two innings.

Rickie Weeks went down swinging at a 2-2 pitch to start the third. Kendall started his at-bat and hit a long foul ball to left before hitting a lazy fly ball into right-center that Victorino took for the second out. Gallardo flew to Burrell on a 1-0 pitch for the third out. Gallardo hit the ball well and Burrell had to make a run towards to corner to get to it — he looked like he was running about the way that he usually does despite the back issue. Hamels had thrown 36 pitches through three.

Hamels started the fourth up 3-0. Cameron grounded to second on a 1-0 pitch for the first out. Hall got behind 1-2 and then grounded to Howard. Braun hit a lazy fly ball to left on an 0-1 pitch to end the frame.

Perfect through four, having thrown 44 pitches and struck out four.

Fielder struck out swinging 3-2 to start the fifth. Hardy grounded to short on a 2-2 pitch. Hart hit a foul ball hard 0-1 and then singled into right on an 0-2 pitch for the first Milwaukee base-runner of the game. Hamels struck Weeks out looking 1-2 to leave Hart stranded.

60 pitches.

Kendall started the sixth and struck out swinging 3-2. Craig Counsell was next, he had entered with Carlos Villanueva as part of a double-switch. Counsell lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Hamels got behind Cameron 3-0 before walking him 3-1. It put men on first and second with one down for Hall. Hamels struck Hall out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Braun swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and popped to short to leave both men stranded.

Twenty-one pitches in the sixth for Hamels, putting him at 85 for the game.

Fielder hit Hamels’ first pitch of the seventh down the first base line. Howard played it oddly — the ball wasn’t hit exceptionally hard, but Howard didn’t get in front of it and then made a backhand stab. It worked and Fielder was down for the first out. Hardy was next and hit a 1-1 pitch to third. Feliz did a weird half-dive thing, going to the ground too early, but recovered in time to make the play and throw Hardy out for the second out. Hart flew to center on the first pitch of his at-bat.

It was a five-pitch inning for Hamels. He had thrown 90 through seven.

Hamels hit for himself to start the seventh and returned for the eighth still up 3-0. Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitcher Carlos Villanueva and put down a beautiful bunt on the first pitch he saw. The ball made it passed the mound on the first base side, but Utley made a fantastic play, charging, gloving and making a glove-hand flip to first to beat Gwynn for the first out. Hamels struck Kendall out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Counsell grounded an 0-1 pitch to third to set the Brewers down.

Eleven pitches in the inning, seven of which Hamels threw to strike out Kendall, put him at 101 for the day.

Lidge started the ninth with a three-run lead. He got ahead of Cameron 0-2, but had trouble putting him away. He finally threw a 3-2 slider past him. Cameron must have been looking for something else, cause it hung right where you wouldn’t want it to hang. Switch-hitter Ray Durham hit for the righty Hall. Lidge got ahead of him as well, but Durham lined a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Braun was next and Lidge got up on him 1-2 as well, but couldn’t put him away. Braun lined a high 3-2 pitch down the right-field line and into the corner for a double. Utley went out to catch the relay and slipped, failing to catch the ball, which allowed Durham to score from first and cut the lead to 3-1 with Braun on second and one out. Utley was charged with an error. Fielder was next and Lidge got ahead of him 1-2, too. Fielder worked the count full before Lidge got him with a fastball outside of the zone for a huge second out. Fielder swung at ball four. Hardy walked on five pitches, bringing Hart and a terrible slump to the plate as the go-ahead run with two down. Lidge looked comfortable against him, throwing a 2-2 fastball past him to end the game.

Fielder was the big at-bat of the inning, and he helped Lidge by swinging at ball four.

Tough inning for Lidge, who needed 35 pitches to get through. Interesting decision by Manuel not to bring Hamels back for the ninth. Righties Cameron and Hall scheduled to start the inning may have contributed to the decision. I would have brought him in, too. It’s pretty hard to feel real good about Lidge right now despite the 42-for-42.

I think the approach to using relievers and pitch counts needs to be dramatically altered in the post-season, moving away from what’s in the best long-term interests of the team and the player to how do we win this game today. So if the Phils think Brad Lidge gives them the best chance to win tonight’s game, they should use him. I’d be surprised, though, if they don’t think someone else (like Madson) can help them more a day after Lidge threw 35 pitches.

While the Phillies pen largely got another day off, Milwaukee’s was called on to throw four innings, which they did without allowing a run. They allowed just one hit and one walk, both of which were surrendered by Parra. Villanueva threw 25 pitches, Parra 15, Stetter 12 and Mota 7.

The Phillies lineup against righty Yovani Gallardo went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth moves up to second in the order with Utley dropped to third. Burrell in the lineup after having problems with his back the day before. The righty Feliz plays third with the lefty Dobbs on the bench against the righty Gallardo. Coste on the bench with Ruiz catching. Ruiz was behind the plate for 722 of the 914 batters that Hamels faced this season, about 79%.

The hitters on the bench to start the game for the Phils were Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Bruntlett (R), Dobbs (L), Jenkins (L) and Stairs (L).

Rollins led off the first and hit a 2-2 pitch well to second, but Weeks made a nifty play to backhand the ball and throw to first for the first out. Gallardo struck Werth out swinging at a 1-2 fastball for the second. Like Rollins, Utley hit the ball hard as well, but his line drive was caught by Fielder at first to end the inning.

The Phillies started to hit in the second in a light rain with the wind blowing wildly. Howard drew a five-pitch walk to start the inning. Burrell hit the first pitch of his at-bat to short, where Hardy took it, stepped on second and threw to first to complete the double-play. Gallardo threw four straight balls to Victorino, putting him on first with two down for Feliz. Feliz hit a 2-1 pitch hard to short, but it was taken on one hop and Feliz was thrown out to leave Victorino stranded.

Tough to see Burrell hitting into a double-play first pitch when Gallardo couldn’t throw a strike.

Ruiz started the third and hit a 2-1 pitch back up the middle for a single, the first hit of the game. Hamels bunted the first pitch of his at-bat to third. Hall fielded, looked to second where he would have had Ruiz, but bobbled the ball, picked it up and threw to Weeks covering first. Weeks dropped the ball for an error. Ruiz moved to second with Hamels safe at first. Rollins swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and flew to shallow left for the first out. Werth was next and swung at a bad pitch to start his at-bat, then took two balls before taking strike two and finally going down swinging at a bad pitch for his second strikeout of the game. Bad at-bat for Werth. Utley and Cameron picked him up, though. After a loud foul ball, Utley lined a 2-2 pitch into center that Cameron misplayed. He came in on the ball, then had to go back and finally had the ball go off his glove. Utley had a bases-clearing double and the Phils were up 2-0. The righty Gallardo intentionally walked Howard, putting men on first and second with two down for Burrell. Second time in less than three innings that Gallardo appeared to want no part of Howard. Gallardo walked Burrell on a low 3-2 curveball, loading the bases for Victorino. Victorino took two balls before Gallardo got strike one over. He checked his swing at a 2-1 pitch in the dirt and got the call on the appeal at third. Close. Ball four was close, but ball four nonetheless. Utley came in to score and it was 3-0. Feliz hit a 1-1 pitch to center for the third out, leaving the bases loaded.

Three bad defensive plays in the frame by the Brewers, including the error by Weeks and Cameron’s misplay of Utley’s double. Hall would have had Ruiz at second without the bobble. The intentional walk to Howard with Gallardo struggling to find Dana DeMuth’s strike zone hurt as well when Burrell and Victorino followed with walks.

Gallardo had thrown 57 pitches through three innings.

Ruiz tried to bunt for a hit to start the fourth. He popped a 1-0 pitch back to Gallardo for the first out. Hamels struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Rollins lined a 3-2 pitch into right for a single. Werth was next, bringing his 0-for-2 with two strikeouts with him to the plate. He hit a high popout that Fielder took in foul territory to end the inning.

Lefty Mitch Stetter started the fifth with Utley and Howard due to hit and the Phils up 3-0. Utley grounded a 2-2 pitch to third for the first out. Howard struck out swinging at a 3-2 breaking pitch that was low and away for the second out. Round one of Utley and Howard versus the Brewer’s lefties goes to the Brewers. Villanueva came in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell flew to left on a 1-1 pitch for the third out.

Villanueva came back for the sixth. Victorino led off and tried to bunt, but missed, before flying to right on an 0-2 pitch. Feliz flew to center before Ruiz swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and grounded to third. Eight pitch inning for Villanueva.

Villanueva came back for the seventh and struck out Hamels, Rollins and Werth in order.

Lefty Manny Parra came in to pitch the eighth. Utley grounded a 3-2 pitch to second for the first out before Howard walked on five pitches. Bruntlett was next, having entered defensively for Burrell in the top of the inning. Bruntlett hit the first pitch he saw from Parra back up the middle. Hardy made a diving stop to keep it in the infield, but Howard was safe at second. Victorino grounded an 0-1 pitch to second and Bruntlett was forced at second for the second out, but the ball was hit too slowly for Victorino to be doubled-up. It brought up Feliz with one out and men on first and third and Guillermo Mota came in to pitch to him. Manuel did not to hit Dobbs for Feliz, choosing to keep Feliz’s glove in the game with a three-run lead. Victorino stole second without a throw before Feliz popped a 2-2 pitch into shallow right-center field. Counsell made a nice play to catch the ball, chasing it and making an inning-ending catch with glove extended to set the Phils down.

Don’t quite understand why the lefty Parra stayed in to face both Bruntlett and Victorino. Bruntlett probably doesn’t scare you, but Victorino was better against lefties this year and the Phils did have a man on base with just one out.

Feliz was not involved in a play defensively in the top of the ninth.

Rollins was 1-for-4. Weeks robbed him of a hit in the first.

Werth had a terrible game. 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and three men left on base.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. The double was well-hit, but Cameron should have made the play. He made two very nice defensive plays in the game, one on a ground ball up the middle and one on a drag bunt past the mound.

Howard was 0-for-1 with three walks. The Brewers seemed happy to pitch around him with the righty Burrell and his bad back behind Howard.

Burrell 0-for-2 with a walk. It’s possible that today could be the last day we see him in a Phillies uniform at home.

Victorino 0-for-2 with a stolen base and two walks.

Feliz 0-for-4 and left six men on base. That hardly seems possible given the Phils had four hits in the game. Here goes: grounded to short to end the second with Victorino on first (one), flew to center with the bases loaded to end the third (three more, four total), popped out to Counsell with men on second and third and two down in the eighth (six).

Ruiz 1-for-3. The way Lidge was pitching, I felt a lot more comfortable with him behind the plate in the ninth than I would have with Coste back there. Would be nice to get Coste’s bat in, but I think we may see a lot of Ruiz in the post-season.

Brett Myers (10-13, 4.55) faces lefty CC Sabathia (17-10, 2.70) tonight. The Brewers acquired the 28-year-old Sabathia from Cleveland on July 7. The 2007 AL Cy Young winner had made 18 starts for the Indians and thrown to a 3.83 ERA with a 1.23 ratio. He made 17 starts for the Brewers since — 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.00 ratio. Lefties have hit just .205 against him this season. Righties .247. He’s allowed just 19 home runs in 253 innings. Sabathia led all of baseball in innings pitched this season — there were only three players in either league who threw more than 230. The 35 starts he made are also the high for either league. His last three starts have all come on three days rest and he’s been brilliant — in those three starts he went 21 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs (0.84 ERA) on 15 hits and four walks without giving up a home run.

Sabathia has pitched in the post-season for the Indians in 2001 and 2007. In four post-season starts he’s 1-2 with a 7.17 ERA and a 2.13 ratio.

He’s made two career starts against the Phillies. On June 10, 2002, he pitched into the seventh inning and held the Phils to three runs over seven innings. Terry Adams was a little better and the Phils won 3-1. On June 20, 2007, he allowed four runs over six innings in Cleveland, but the Indians scored eight runs in the sixth inning and rolled to a 10-6 win. The Phillies hitters don’t have a lot of at-bats against him. Rollins is 3-for-7 with a double and a triple. Utley and Howard a combined 1-for-6 with a double by Howard. You would think Stairs would have faced him in the AL, but he hasn’t, no doubt cause of lefty-lefty. Stairs is 0-for-1 against him. Victorino, Jenkins and Feliz are all 0-for-3 against him. The Phils may be able to get some info out of Tad Iguchi — Iguchi isn’t on the roster but has 29 career at-bats against Sabathia (7-for-29 (.241) with a double and a home run).

Myers had an absolutely miserable first half of the season, going 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA and a 1.56 ratio in his first 17 starts. Opponents hit .284 against him and he allowed 24 homers in 101 2/3 innings. Baffled, the Phils sent him to the minors and he came back a new pitcher. In his first 11 starts after returning, Myers went 7-2 with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 ratio. And then, at the end of the year, in his last two starts it all few apart for him again. He comes into game two of the NLDS off of a pair of miserable starts in which he didn’t go five innings either outing and allowed 16 runs over 8 1/3 innings. The Fish blasted him for ten runs in four innings on September 19 and the Braves scored six runs against him in 4 1/3 on September 24.

In the 11 game stretch (from July 23 through his start on September 14) after his return from the minors, Myers allowed four home runs in 80 innings. Opponents hit 216/268/308 against him. In his 19 other starts he allowed 24 home runs in 110 innings.

Myers made one start against the Brewers this season. It came in the window where he was pitching great and he pitched great. On September 14, pitching on three days rest, Myers dominated the Brewers. He held them to a run on two hits and needed just 95 pitches to throw a complete game. Maybe throwing a complete game on three days rest hurt him and maybe it didn’t, but he’s been awful in his two starts since.

Fielder 1-for-5 with a home run against him in his career. Braun 0-for-3. Hardy 0-for-10, Hart 1-for-5, Kendall 1-for-6. Cameron 3-for-13 with two home runs.

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