Tag: Danys Baez

Committee working on Kendrick’s Hall of Fame induction speech disbands abruptly and without notice

Ditto for the committees working on the speeches for Bastardo, Herndon, Baez and Romero.

Kyle Kendrick was on a nifty little run coming into last night’s game. He had strung together three very nice starts in a row, throwing to a 1.86 ERA in those games as the Phils won all three. It ended with a thud last night, though, as he didn’t make it out of the fourth and was charged with six runs over 3 1/3 innings against the Dodgers.

The worse news is that the bullpen wasn’t any better. They allowed nine runs on ten hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. Thanks to the combo of bad starting pitching and bad relief pitching, the Phils managed to lose a game in which they scored nine runs. That’s tough to do. Since the start of the 2005 season the Phils are 132-4 in games where they’ve scored more than eight runs and 37-3 when scoring nine.

The game was also notable for the construction of the Phillies roster. The Phils gave John Mayberry’s roster to spot to Bastardo, which means they have 12 hitters and 13 pitchers active. They started last night’s game with four hitters (Schneider, Sweeney, Dobbs and Francisco) on the bench. Things didn’t work out well as Polanco and Ruiz both left early, Schneider had to stay in for a big at-bat late against a lefty and Hamels pinch-hit with two men on base for the final out of the game.

The Phillies are 62-50 on the year after losing to the Dodgers 15-9 last night. They are in second place in the NL East and 2 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks. Only five of the runs were earned and seven of the eight hits were singles. The other was a double. He struck out one and saw his ERA puff to 4.60.

Scott Podsednik started the game with a single and was running on the pitch when Ryan Theriot grounded out to short. It put a man on second with one out for Andre Ethier and Ethier singled into center, scoring Podsednik to put LA up 1-0. James Loney flew to center and Casey Blake popped to Ruiz to end the frame.

Jay Gibbons started the second with a single and moved to second when Jamey Carroll walked behind him. Brad Ausmus hit into a double-play and Kendrick struck the pitcher Vicente Padilla out to leave Gibbons stranded at third.

Theriot singled with one out in the third. Ethier followed that with an RBI-double that make it 2-0. Loney walked to put men on first and second. Blake hit a ground ball to third. Polanco fielded and threw to second to force Loney for the second out. With two down and men on first and third, Gibbons lined a single to right and Ethier scored. 3-0. Carroll grounded to short for the third out.

Kendrick continues to struggle against lefties. Ethier 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI through the first three innings. Werth made a really nice play on a line drive by Podsednik for the first out or the inning would have been worse.

Ausmus singled to center to start the fourth. Padilla was next and put down a bunt that was fielded by Kendrick. Kendrick threw to second, but Rollins didn’t handle the throw and was charged with an error. With nobody out and men on first and second, Podsednik singled to right to load the bases. Theriot hit a fly ball to right for the first out. It was deep enough for Ausmus to tag and score (4-0) and Padilla to take third. Bastardo came in to pitch to Ethier and Ethier singled to right. Padilla scored (5-0) and LA had men on first and second. Loney singled. Podsednik scored to make it 6-0 with Ethier taking second. Blake singled. Ethier scored (7-0) and Podsednik took third. Bastardo struck out the lefty Gibbons for the second out and got Carroll on a line drive to third to finally end the frame.

Not exactly a triumphant return for Bastardo in his first action since the middle of June. He faced five hitters and allowed single, single, single before getting a big strike out and a line out.

The lead was cut to 7-1 when Herndon threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Perhaps still in shock at seeing a 1-2-3 frame, Manuel brought Herndon back to pitch the sixth with the LA lead cut to 7-4. Theriot singled and stole second before Ethier walked. Loney doubled to right, Theriot scored (8-4) and Ethier went to third. Blake hit a fly ball to right. Ethier tagged and scored (9-4) and Loney took third. Gibbons hit a 1-1 pitch out to right for a two-run homer. 11-4. Carroll grounded out for the second out before Ausmus hit a ball to short that Rollins didn’t handle for his second error of the game. Reed Johnson hit for the pitcher and popped to second for the third out.

Herndon has now allowed 52 hits in 37 1/3 innings on the year. Opponents are hitting .342 against him for the season.

Baez started the seventh with the Phillies losing 11-5. With one out, Theriot reached on an infield single on a ball that was deflected by Polanco. Ethier moved him to second with a single and the game was delayed for a brief ceremony celebrating his 1,000th hit of the game. Loney was next and hit a ground ball back to the mound. Baez fielded and threw to second for the second out. He walked Blake to load the bases. Righty Matt Kemp hit for the pitcher and singled to right. Theriot and Loney scored to make it 13-5. Baez got Carroll on a ground ball to third to set the Dodgers down.

Baez has a 7.88 ERA and a 2.19 ratio over his last 18 appearances.

Contreras pitched the eighth with the Phils down 13-7. He gave up a leadoff walk to Ausmus and then got the next three hitters.

Romero started the ninth. He hit Ethier with his first pitch, which at least spared us all another ceremony. Struck out Loney for the first out before Blake hit a two-run homer to left. 15-7. Then pitcher George Sherrill hit for himself and walked. Durbin entered the game and struck out Carroll and Ausmus to leave Sherrill at first.

That’s pretty awful. Romero has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances. In those games he has been charged with five runs on three hits (including two home runs), three walks and a hit batter. His ERA for the season has gone from 2.59 to 4.38. He has walked 23 batters in 24 2/3 innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Vicente Padilla 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 Utley on the DL, making his 63rd start of the year.

Down 1-0, Gload singled with two outs in the first. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

Werth started the second with a single, but Brown hit into a double-play behind him. Ruiz flew to center for the third out.

Down 3-0, the Phils went in order in the third.

Polanco singled to start the fourth with the Phillies down 7-0. Gload flew to left for the first out before Ibanez walked. Werth walked as well and the bases were loaded for Brown. Brown flew to right for the second out. Polanco tagged and scored to cut the lead to 7-1. Ruiz struck out looking to leave the runners stranded on first and second.

Valdez singled to start the fifth. Schneider, who had taken over defensively for Ruiz in the top of the inning, flew to left for the first out before Rollins moved Valdez to third with a single. Polanco grounded to third with Valdez scoring to make it 7-2 and Rollins moving to second. Gload hit a 1-0 pitch out to right. 7-4. Ibanez grounded to first for the third out.

They were losing 11-4 when they hit in the sixth. Brown hit his first career homer with one out, connecting on an 0-1 pitch from Ronald Belisario to cut the lead to 11-5. Francisco hit for Herndon and grounded to first for the second out. Valdez grounded to short for the third.

They were down 13-5 when they hit in the seventh. With two outs and righty Carlos Monasterios on the mound, Dobbs hit for Polanco and singled to left. Gload followed that with his second homer of the game and the lead was cut to 13-7. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

This says that Polanco left the game because of left triceps tendinitis.

With two outs in the eighth and Monasterios still pitching, Sweeney hit for Contreras and reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by the pitcher. Valdez moved him to second with a single and lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to Schneider. Schneider flew to center for the third out.

With Ruiz out of the game, the Phillies couldn’t hit for Schneider. They had used all of their hitters on the bench already anyway.

The Phils were down 15-7 when they hit in the ninth. Rollins led off with a single and Dobbs flew out behind him. Gload hit a ground ball to second and Rollins was forced at second for the second out. Ibanez singled and Werth walked and the bases were loaded for Brown. Brown doubled to left, scoring Gload and Ibanez to make it 15-9. Out of hitters, Hamels hit for Contreras and flew to left to end the game with runners stranded at second and third.

Ibanez gets a single off the lefty Sherrill in the inning for his only hit of the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 and made two errors. 333/429/400 over his last seven games.

Polanco 1-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 13-for-35 (.371) in August.

Gload was 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI. 406/500/719 over 39 plate appearances since the end of the day on July 18.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk. 360/446/550 over his last 111 plate appearances.

Werth was 1-for-3 with a single and two walks in the game. He’s hitting 393/500/631 over his last 104 plate appearances. After going 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts in the first two games against the Marlins he has gone 9-for-his-last-18 with two doubles, a homer and five walks.

Brown 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Still looking for his first walk after 38 plate appearances and on-basing .237.

Ruiz was 0-for-2. He’s 0-for-his-last-7 with four strikeouts.

Valdez 2-for-4.

Roy Oswalt (6-13, 3.50) faces righty Chad Billingsley (9-6, 3.82) tonight. Oswalt has a 4.38 ERA and a 1.46 ratio in his two starts with the Phils this season. Billingsley has allowed three runs in 27 2/3 innings over his last four starts, throwing to an 0.98 ERA and an 0.94 ratio.


Moyer misery for the Phils

Even when things are at their lowest, at least we still have that “Moyer” and “more” kind of almost rhyme.

Let’s hope that’s enough. It might have to be.

Another day, another ugly loss for the Phils who are now 1-5 since the All-Star break and seven games back in their division.

Last night’s loss came with yet another injury as Jamie Moyer threw just one inning before leaving the game with a strained left elbow. Even in the best of circumstances, losing your starter after one inning in a stretch where you play 18 games in 18 days would be tough. These are far from the best of circumstances for the Phils, though, and the relief corps and the offense both struggled after Moyer’s exit last night.

The Phils are suddenly leaking pitchers. Two of the five guys in the starting rotation need to be replaced since Kendrick was sent to Triple-A yesterday before Jamie Moyer was injured last night. JA Happ is almost surely part of the mix to fill out the rotation, but that still leaves them one starter short. The bullpen threw seven innings last night and allowed seven runs and the Phils still have to play 12 more days in a row before getting a day off.

Finally, Danys Baez got blasted again and you have to wonder how much longer the Phils are going to stick with him. Over his last 14 appearances he has thrown to a 7.30 ERA with a 2.27 ratio. He’s walked nine in 12 1/3 innings and opponents have hit .380 against him in those games.

The Phillies are 48-45 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 7-1 last night. They remain in third place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves and a half game behind the second-place Mets. They are 1-5 since the All-Star break.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and threw one scoreless inning before leaving the game with a strained left elbow. He allowed two singles and didn’t walk anyone or strike anyone out.

He got the first two in the bottom of the first before Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday singled back-to-back. Pujols and Holliday pulled off a double-steal with Allen Craig at the plate, but Moyer got Craig to line to Victorino for the third out.

Andrew Carpenter took over for Moyer in the second. Aaron Miles singled with one out and the pitcher Chris Carpenter bunted him to second with the first out. Carpenter got Brendan Ryan on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Felipe Lopez started the third with a single. Randy Winn was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center for his second homer in two games, putting St Louis up 2-0. Carpenter got the next three.

Yadier Molina started the fourth with a double. Miles lined back to the mound for the first out, but the pitcher Carpenter singled softly into center and Molina moved to third. Carpenter uncorked a wild pitch with Ryan at the plate, allowing Molina to score (3-0) and Carpenter to take second. Ryan went down on a fly ball to Werth for the second out. Carpenter struck out Lopez for the third.

Baez took over in the fifth. He walked the leadoff man Winn and Winn stole second before Pujols walked. Holliday was next and he blasted a 1-2 pitch out to center for a three-run homer that made it 6-0. Baez got Craig on a ground ball back to the mound before Molina and Miles singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third with one down, but Baez got Carpenter to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

We’ve got to be near the end of the Baez era at this point.

Herndon pitched the sixth. He allowed back-to-back singles to Ryan and Lopez to get things started. It put men on first and second for Winn and Winn hit a fly ball to center deep enough to move Ryan to third. Herndon then struck Pujols out swinging 3-2 and Ruiz threw Lopez out trying to steal second to end the inning.

Contreras pitched the seventh with the Phils down 6-1. He struck Holliday out for the first out. Lefty Colby Rasmus hit for the righty Craig and singled to center, but Contreras got Molina and Miles behind him to keep the Cards off the board.

Madson came on for the eighth, pitching for the second day in a row. He got the first two batters before Lopez doubled to center. Winn followed that with an RBI-single and the St Louis lead was up to 7-1. Pujols grounded to short for the third out.

Long day for the pen with Moyer only going one inning. They didn’t pitch very well, allowing seven runs in seven innings.

Carpenter threw 49 pitches. Baez 28, Madson 20, Contreras 18 and Herndon 15.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Carpenter went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL, making his 49th start of the season. There have been a whole lot of events this season that the Phillies couldn’t control, but nobody can make you start Wilson Valdez in 49 of 93 games.

1-2-3 in the first.

Werth reached on an infield single with one out in the second, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him.

Ruiz reached on a throwing error by Lopez at third to start the third. Valdez walked behind him to put men on first and second. Carpenter was next and he got the bunt down, but Molina fielded and went after Ruiz who was retired for the second out. Rollins hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.

Nothing for the Phils after putting their first two men on base to start the inning.

Polanco led off the fourth with the Phils down 2-0 and singled to right. Ibanez, Howard and Werth went down behind him.

Down 3-0, the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Valdez grounded to third to end the fifth. Cody Ransom took over for him at second in the bottom of the inning with the new pitcher Baez moving into the eight-hole in the lineup. That’s a great move by Manuel, but it sadly didn’t help as Ransom went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in the game.

With the current roster I think it makes sense for Ransom to start at second base a lot against lefties. At least until he demonstrates he can’t play second. I’m even up for a Dobbs/Ransom platoon at second for a while.

Polanco tripled with two outs in the sixth and the Phils down 6-0. Ibanez was next and hit the ball well, but Pujols reached for the ball at first and got it to retire the side.

Werth and Victorino doubled with one out in the seventh, cutting the lead to 6-1. Ruiz grounded to second for the second out with Victorino holding second. With the righty Carpenter still on the mound for St Louis, Dobbs hit for our Carpenter and grounded to first.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Down 7-1, Howard doubled with one out in the ninth. Werth flew to right behind him for the second out and Victorino struck out swinging to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-24 and hitting 178/263/277 in 114 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Polanco was 2-for-4 with a triple. He’s 6-for-18 since coming back.

Ibanez 0-for-4.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double.

Werth 2-for-4 with a double. He’s still on pace to hit 50 doubles. 6-for-his-last-14 with four walks.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Valdez 0-for-1 with a walk. I think the combination of the Valdez walk plus the Moyer injury puts an end to the great Valdez/Moyer walkoff of 2010. Valdez leads 6-3 now and that lead may be insurmountable given that Moyer didn’t get a chance to hit last night and looks likely to miss significant time. Valdez is hitting 150/209/225 over his last 43 plate appearances.

Blanton (3-5, 6.21) faces lefty Jaime Garcia (8-4, 2.27) tonight as the fun continues. Blanton has had an awful year and has a 6.27 ERA and a 1.50 ratio over his last three starts. Opponents are hitting .300 against him and he’s allowed 16 home runs in 87 innings. Garcia turned 24 this month and had pitched very well this year. He has allowed more than two earned runs in two of 18 starts and given up just four home runs in 103 innings.

Trade rumors abound. The loudest seem to be around two possible moves, trading for Roy Oswalt and trading Jayson Werth. Oswalt would be a great addition, but even with the injuries the problems with this team are mostly about their ability to score runs and not their ability to prevent them. A lot of the offensive problems have to do with hitters that should and will hit simply not hitting. Not all of them, though. See, for example, the thing about Wilson Valdez starting more than half the games for the Phils this season.

Moyer is apparently headed to the DL, maybe for a long time.


It only feels like they’ve already played 18 days in a row

The second half of the season got off to an ugly start for the Phils as the Cubs took three of four in Chicago. In a season where the offense has been a big part of the problem, the losses had a lot more to do with the number of runs the Phillies allowed than the number they scored. The Phils scored 19 runs in four games and didn’t manage to win either of the games in which they scored six runs.

The pitching, on the other hand, was awful. The Phils gave up 28 runs and twice yielded more than ten. Halladay and Moyer combined to allow 12 runs in nine innings in games one and four of the series. The pitching staff gave up 45 hits in 35 innings in the set and seven of the hits were home runs.

It was the bullpen, though, that I think we need to be the most worried about. Contreras and Baez combined to allow six runs in 1 2/3 innings in game one. Madson gave up a critical homer to Aramis Ramirez in game two and Romero, Herndon and Baez combined to allow five runs on seven hits over two innings in last night’s game.

Here’s what the relievers did overall in the series:

IP H BB R ER ERA Ratio
10 20 4 12 11 9.90 2.40

The Phils don’t have an off-day until August 2. That means game one of the series in Chicago was the first of 18 games in 18 days. That would be a problem if the bullpen was pitching well. They aren’t.

Here’s what the seven guys currently in the pen have done since June 15:

Pitcher IP ERA Ratio
Herndon 9 2/3 3.72 1.66
Contreras 9 11.00 1.78
Lidge 8 2/3 7.27 1.73
Baez 8 1/3 4.32 2.06
Romero 8 3.38 1.50
Durbin 6 3.00 1.50
Madson 3 1/3 5.40 0.90
       
Total 53 5.60 1.66

First of all, David Herndon has been pitching pretty well of late, but he shouldn’t be the guy on the team throwing the most innings. In general, with the exceptions of Contreras and Lidge, the ERAs for the group aren’t that terrible. The ratios are, though, with Madson the only guy in the group with a ratio under 1.50. He’s only thrown 3 1/3 innings since June 15.

The biggest worry is the guys at the top of the list, the pitchers who have been throwing the most, are the guys that are getting blasted. If you combine the numbers for the four guys who have thrown the most innings in relief since June 15 (Lidge, Baez, Contreras and Herndon), they have a 6.21 ERA and a 1.79 ratio in those appearances. Hopefully the return of Durbin and of Madson will mean some relief for those guys. Despite the big home run that Madson allowed to Ramirez in game three of the set, the duo combined to allow just that one run over 3 1/3 innings in the four-game set with the Cubs.


And if you want to, you can lean on me — but maybe not all day, every day if you can help it

It was bound to happen sooner or later, probably sooner, and now it has. After a fantastic start, the bullpen finally came up empty yesterday and with an exclamation point. The starting pitching has been a problem for the Phils. Roy Halladay has been magnificent early, but pretty much everyone else in the rotation has either been not good enough or not long enough or both. Yesterday their starter couldn’t go six innings yet again and the Phils took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning. The pen surrendered six runs in the last three innings.

The problem is that impressive as the 7-1 start was for the Phillies, their formula for winning was flawed. It was mediocre starting pitching, strong work from the bullpen and scoring about eight runs a game. The issue with that is their starting pitching is better than mediocre, their bullpen is weak and as good as their offense is they aren’t going to score eight runs a game. They also aren’t going to play the Nationals and Astros every game.

So while that may have worked to start the season, and may work for short sprints, they’re going to need to come up with something else. I feel pretty good about their chances.

The Phillies are 7-2 on the season after losing to the Washington Nationals 7-5 yesterday.

Happ got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and six walks. The run was unearned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He walked six and didn’t strike out anyone. He keeps his 0.00 ERA for the season, but with a 1.65 ratio in just 10 1/3 innings pitched over two starts. The Phillies need him to pitch deeper into games, starting really soon.

He walked Nyjer Morgan on five pitches to start the game. Ian Desmond was next and he hit a ball slowly to Utley. Utley made a great play, flipping to Castro to start the double-play that cleared the bases. Just for a minute, though, cause Cristian Guzman followed and he walked, too. Adam Dunn hammered the ball, but Howard picked it nicely and beat Dunn to the bag to end the frame.

Happ was up 1-0 when he started the second. Josh Willingham led off and flew to right for the first out. Rodriguez was next and he doubled to left. Justin Maxwell followed and walked on five pitches, putting men on first and second with one out. Alberto Gonzalez grounded to Howard for the second out, moving the runners up a base. It brought up the pitcher Scott Olsen with two outs and men on second and third. Happ got him on a popup to third to leave the runners stranded.

Happ walked Morgan again to start the third. He picked him off, too, with the throw going to Howard, but Howard threw the ball away for an error. Desmond bunted Morgan to third with the first out. Guzman brought Morgan home from third with a ground out to short, tying the game at 1-1. Dunn singled to left before Happ got Willingham to pop to second for the third out.

This gig probably involves a lot more backing up throws to second base than Ibanez had anticipated. Howard is really awful at throwing the ball to second. Anywhere else, too, probably, but you don’t get to see that quite as often. Four walks in three innings for Happ, two to lead off an inning.

Happ walked Maxwell with one out in the fourth, but got Gonzalez and the pitcher behind him to leave him stranded at first.

Morgan led off the fifth with a single to center, but Desmond popped to second for the first out and Guzman hit into a double-play.

At least he didn’t walk that time.

Dunn led off the sixth and Polanco made a fantastic catch near the stands with his back to home plate for the first out. Willingham was next and Happ walked him. Happ had thrown 97 pitches in the game and Manuel called on Contreras to pitch to the righty Rodriguez with one out and a man on first. Willingham stole second as the count went 0-2 on Rodriguez. Contreras struck out Rodriguez and Maxwell behind him to leave Willingham stranded.

Golly. Contreras has had an amazing start to the season. One hit in 3 2/3 innings while striking out six.

That was pretty much the end of the good day for the pen, though.

Bastardo started the seventh with a 4-1 lead. Gonzalez led off with a single and moved to second on a ground out by Harris. Morgan flew to left for the second out, but Desmond followed with a single that scored Gonzalez. 4-2. Guzman flew to left for the third out.

Bastardo was pitching having thrown 19 pitches the day before. On April 7 he threw one pitch and came back the next day to throw eight, which was the first time in his career he had thrown on back-to-back days.

On the other hand, Baez has thrown back-to-back days and it didn’t help him any. Dunn started the seventh with a homer. 4-3. Baez struck out Willingham, but then walked Rodriguez. Righty Ryan Zimmerman hit for the pitcher Tyler Clippard and homered to right. 5-4 Nats. Baez struck out Gonzalez for the second out and walked Harris. Harris stole second before Morgan grounded to second.

Madson pitched the ninth. Desmond led off with a single and stole second. Guzman struck out for the first out and Dunn moved Desmond to third with a ground out for the second. Willingham walked and Willy Tavares ran for him and stole second. Rodriguez hit a two-run single that put Washington up 7-4 before Madson struck out Capps to end the frame.

Baez threw 31 pitches and Madson 26. Bastardo 17 after 19 the day before and Contreras nine. Plus a long day in long relief for Figueroa in Wednesday’s game in which he threw 54 pitches.

Thank goodness for Roy Halladay. But while you can count on him to be very, very good, we shouldn’t be counting on him to be perfect every time.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Scott Olsen went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Werth returns to the lineup after missing a game with his hip.

Victorino pounded a ball to left to start the bottom of the first, but Willingham took it on the track for the first out. Polanco grounded to third for the second, but Utley was next and delivered yet another home run to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard grounded to Guzman at second to end the inning.

The Phillies went in order in the second on ground outs by Werth and Ibanez and a strikeout by Castro.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phillies hit in the third. Ruiz led off and ripped a double to left. Happ was next and bunted the ball to first. Dunn fielded and threw to third where Ruiz was tagged out for the first out. Victorino flew to left and Polanco grounded to short.

Phils can’t execute the sacrifice and it means they don’t score after the leadoff double.

Werth walked with two outs in the fourth, but Ibanez struck out behind him.

Castro started the bottom of the fifth with a single. Ruiz struck out behind him. Happ bunted successfully this time, moving Castro to second with two down, but Victorino flew to right to end the inning.

Polanco singled to start the sixth. Utley struck out for the first out. Howard flew out to Morgan in left center field for the second out. Werth walked, putting men on first and second for Ibanez. Ibanez walked too and the bases were loaded for Castro. Castro delivered a single into right, scoring Polanco and Werth to put the Phillies up 3-1. Castro took second when the ball dribbled away from Rodriguez, giving the Phillies men on second and third. Righty Tyler Clippard took over for Olsen and walked Ruiz intentionally. Dobbs hit for Contreras and walked, forcing in Ibanez. 4-1. Victorino grounded to second to end the inning.

I was surprised to see Olsen stay in to pitch to the righty Castro. Surprised to see Castro stay in to hit after he did, too.

Howard doubled with two outs in the seventh and the Phils up 4-2. Werth struck out swinging to leave him at second.

The Phillies were down 5-4 when they hit in the eighth. Lefty Sean Burnett got Ibanez to ground out for the first out. Righty Matt Capps came in to pitch to the righty Castro and Castro popped up a ball that landed right behind Guzman and in front of Willie Harris for a single. Ruiz grounded to third for the second out, with Castro moving to second. Wilson Valdez ran for Castro at second as the tying run. Gload hit for Baez and flew to right to leave Valdez stranded.

Victorino led off the ninth with a homer off of Capps that cut the Washington lead to 7-5. Polanco followed with a single. Utley struck out, Howard flew softly to left and Werth flew softly to center to end the game.

If you’re going to have three chances to tie the game you can’t do much better than Utley and Howard against a righty with Werth behind them.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with a home run in the game and left five men on base. 5-for-14 with a triple and a home run in the series. 244/279/512 for the season after nine games.

Polanco was 2-for-5 yesterday and 6-for-13 with a double in the series. 475/477/650.

Utley 1-for-5 with his fifth home run of the year yesterday. 4-for-12 with four home runs and seven RBI in the series. 343/477/829 on the year. He’s on pace to hit 90 home runs and drive in 198 runs.

Howard was 1-for-5 yesterday. 5-for-14 with two doubles in the series. 357/386/738. His strikeouts are way down so far this year and so are his walks. After nine games he’s on pace to walk 36 times and strike out 90. Not likely. If he’s going to hit 357/386/738 it will be just peachy if he never walks. He’s not, though.

Werth was 0-for-3 yesterday. 1-for-6 with three walks in the set. 323/421/452 on the year.

Ibanez was 0-for-3 yesterday and 1-for-10 with two walks in the series. 206/310/294 for the year. He had a 3-for-4 day on April 9 against the Astros. Eliminating that game he’s 4-for-30 (.133) with a double on the year.

Castro was 3-for-4 with huge hit and two RBI yesterday. He’s 4-for-12 with a double on the season.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double yesterday and 2-for-8 with a double and four more walks in the series. 273/467/318 on the season with one extra-base hit, yesterday’s double. He’s on pace to walk 144 times this year. Only one player on the team has more walks than his eight — Utley has walked nine times but has gotten 14 more plate appearances than Ruiz.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in the series. 1-for-6 with two walks so far.

Francisco was 0-for-3 in the series and is 0-for-4 on the year.

Roy Halladay (2-0, 0.56) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 6.00) tonight as the Phils play the first of three against the Fish at home. Halladay has been fantastic to start the year. Sanchez gave up four runs in six innings against the Dodgers in his only start of the season.

The Start Log is updated. Phils still looking for a quality start from someone other than Halladay. Also, each of the five pitchers who have started a game for the Phillies have gotten an average of at least 6.5 runs scored per game from the Phillie offense in their starts. The Phillies are on pace to score 1,242 runs this season. That might not even happen.

Next update to Philliesflow will be next week.


What can Brown do for himself? Probably not enough

Here’s today’s guess on who will be on the 25-man roster for the Phillies on opening day:

Hitters (13): Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Polanco, Rollins, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Schneider, Gload, Dobbs, Castro and Francisco.

Sure looks like it’s a tough task for Brown to work his way on to the roster, not matter how well he hits this spring.

Pitchers (12): Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, Madson, Durbin, Baez, Contreras, Bastardo, Kendrick, Escalona.

Romero and Lidge on the DL. Pretty low confidence in the Bastardo, Kendrick and Escalona guesses, especially Escalona. The other 22 look like sure things and Bastardo seems closer to a sure thing than Kendrick or Escalona.

No change there for me since the last guess, which came on February 12.

The Phillies are 1-2 in spring training after two losses and a tie since the last post.

Yesterday they lost to the Rays in ten innings, falling 5-3. Happ and Aumont combined to throw five scoreless innings to start the game before Joe Savery gave up three runs in the sixth. A two-run double by Domonic Brown, who is hitting .538 so far this spring, tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth. Yohan Flande threw a scoreless ninth inning but gave up two runs in the top of the tenth. Jimmy Rollins had a solo homer in the game and Ross Gload went 3-for-5 with a double.

Saturday the Phils and Pirates played to a 3-3 tie in ten innings. Blanton gave up three runs in the bottom of the first, two of which came on a two-run shot by Ryan Church. Baez and Zagurski both pitched two scoreless innings in the game. Jesus Sanchez had another impressive outing, striking out two in a perfect bottom of the tenth. Brown went 2-for-3 with a walk.

On Friday the Phils fell to Toronto 14-9. Hamels celebrated the start of a brand new year by giving up a home run to the first man he faced. He pitched better after that, allowing a run on two hits and a walk in two innings overall. JC Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Bill White followed Hamels and combined to give up 13 runs over three innings. Bastardo struck out two in a perfect eighth. Tyson Gillies went 2-for-2 with a home run and Brown was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Moyer had an impressive outing in the B-game against Toronto on Friday. He struck out three while tossing three scoreless frames.

Lidge will face hitters on Wednesday and Romero is “a ways from facing hitters.”

Victorino still has a sore shoulder and will not play today against the Yankees. Kendrick is expected to pitch in today’s game.


No way Jose

Ruben Amaro suggested last week that Phillies fans might want to relax about the lack of lefties in the pen and further suggested that righty Jose Contreras and his splitter might be a big weapon against lefties this season. I actually feel pretty relaxed about the pen, but more because I feel confident that Amaro and the team can address the issues and less because I think that Contreras and his splitter are the answer to what ills the Phils.

Last week I mentioned that the Phillies have been improving steadily against left-handed batters over the past couple of years. In 2007, by OPS against for lefties, the Phillies were the worst pitching team in the NL. In 2008 they made it to the middle of the pack and last season only three teams in the league held lefties to a lower OPS. The table below compares how the OPS against for left-handed batters against Contreras and his new fellow righty Danys Baez stacks up against what the Phillies overall did against left-handed pitching over the past three seasons.


OPS by left-handed hitters
Year vs PHI vs
Contreras
vs Baez
2009 .735 .713 .707
2008 .772 .826 Did not play
2007 .825 .887 1.004
       
Total ’07-’09 .778 .821 .823
       
Career - .757 .766

Good news, bad news there, but I think there’s a little more bad news. The worst news is that in 2007, when the Phillies allowed the worst OPS to left-handed batters in the NL, Baez and Contreras were both getting hit even harder than the Phils. The other bad news is that overall for the three year period, both pitchers have allowed a higher OPS overall that the Phils have.

The good news is that both pitchers had very good results against lefties in 2009. Lefties have a career line of 272/352/413 against Baez, but hit just 248/312/395 against him in ’09. A tiny .232 BAbip for Baez last year adds a lot of question makes to his nifty 1.13 ratio for the season, but while his BAbip for righties was a paltry .198, lefties managed a more reasonable .269. Even if you’re a total non-believer in batting average for balls in play, Baez still lowered his walk rate against lefties in ’09 compared to his career levels. In 2009 he walked 7.8% of the 141 lefties he faced. Coming into the season he had walked about 10.8% of the lefties he faced.

I’m a little more wary of the success that Contreras had against lefties last year. First of all, it came off of the ’07 and ’08 seasons in which lefties combined to hit an ugly 316/376/488 against him. Second, despite the success against lefties, Contreras just didn’t pitch very well last year. Between Chicago and the Rockies his ERA was up near five with a 1.47 ratio. While he did hold lefties to a snazzy .713 OPS against him, righties pounded away to a 292/350/450 tune. It’s going to be a whole lot more important for him to be able to get out righties in 2010. So even if you could take his ’09 success against lefties, if it comes with that kind of line from right-handed batters he’s going to have some trouble being successful in 2010.

This says that JC Romero will throw off a mound on Saturday and that Bastardo is the front-runner for the job of lefty out of the pen. It also suggests that Rich Dubee thinks that Bastardo’s future may be at the back of the bullpen.

The Phillies signed 32-year-old lefty Brad Wilkerson to a minor league contract. Wilkerson was an everyday player for the Expos/Nationals from 2002 through 2005 and hit 32 home runs for Montreal in 2004. He has a career 247/350/440 line over about 3,700 at-bats but has hit 226/311/411 in 1,063 plate appearances since the end of the 2005 season.

Lidge’s prospects for being ready by opening day don’t seem particularly bright.


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