Tag: Derek Lowe

Middle in absentia

The Phils managed to win one of three against the Braves this weekend, which was something of a remarkable feat given that they scored just five runs in the three games. The resurgent Ibanez went back into hiding, going 2-for-10 with a pair of singles in the three-game set. Howard, Francisco and Ibanez combined to go 4-for-29 in the series in the middle of the order for the Phils.

Cliff Lee struck out 16 in the first game, but the Phils lost 5-0 because Derek Lowe was even better. Lowe took a no-hitter into the seventh, where the Phils managed their only hits of the game, a single by Victorino and a double by Polanco. That put men on second and third for the Phils with nobody out, but Howard, Francisco and Ibanez all struck out in a row to keep the Phils off the board and down 3-0. Baez allowed a pair of runs in the top of the ninth as Atlanta extended their lead to 5-0.

Kendrick made his first start of the year in game two of the series and pitched well, going five shutout innings as the Phils won 3-0. Kendrick was backed up by four scoreless innings for the pen and Howard connected for a long home run in the fourth inning.

Hamels allowed three runs on a pair of home runs through seven innings last night before a pinch-hit home run by Eric Hinske off of Stutes extended the Atlanta lead to 5-1 in the eighth. Stutes and Mathieson were miserable in the game — they combined to allow two runs on three hits and four walks. The whole thing could have been a whole lot worse, but Baez bailed Mathieson out by getting a big double-play to end the eighth. The Phils managed a run in the bottom of the eighth, but lost the game 5-2.

The Phillies are 22-11 on the year after losing two of three to the Atlanta Braves this weekend.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the five hits he allowed went for extra-bases, both home runs. He struck out nine. All three of the runs he allowed in the game came on home runs — after not allowing a home run in his first four starts of the year, he has allowed four in his last four starts.

Martin Prado led off the game with a single to right, but Sardinha threw him out trying to steal second as Jason Heyward struck out swinging to clear the bases. Chipper Jones grounded to third for the third out.

Hamels struck out Brian McCann for the first out of the second and got Dan Uggla on a ball hit to Victorino for the second. Freddie Freeman singled to right and then Alex Gonzalez hit a 2-1 pitch out to left to put Atlanta on top 2-0. Hamels struck Nate McLouth out for the third out.

He struck out pitcher Jair Jurrjens to start the third and got Prado and Heyward on ground balls behind him.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when he set the Braves down in order in the fourth, striking out Chipper and McCann before getting Uggla to pop to Rollins.

Hamels had thrown 53 pitches and struck out six through four innings.

Freeman led off the fifth with a home run to right that put Atlanta up 3-1. Hamels got Gonzalez on a ground out before McLouth reached on an infield single. Jurrjens tried to bunt him to second, but Hamels fielded the bunt and threw to second to start the double-play that set Atlanta down.

Hamels walked Prado to start the sixth, but struck out Heyward and Chipper behind him. McCann popped to Rollins for the third out.

He set Atlanta down in order in the seventh, striking out Uggla for the first out.

Stutes started the eighth and walked McLouth to start the inning. Lefty Eric Hinske hit for the pitcher Eric O’Flaherty and hit a 2-0 pitch out to right, putting Atlanta on top 5-1. Stutes got Prado for the first out, but then walked Heyward. Righty Scott Mathieson, called up when Oswalt hit the DL, came on to pitch to Chipper. Chipper hit a ground ball to third with Heyward forced at second for the second out. McCann moved Jones to second with a single, but Mathieson got Uggla to ground to third to end the frame.

Mathieson was back to start the ninth with the Phils down 5-2. Freeman led off with a single to left and Diory Hernandez bunted him to second with the first out. Mathieson walked McLouth behind him and switch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit for the pitcher Jonny Venters. Mathieson walked him, too, and the bases were loaded. Baez took over for Mathieson and got Prado to hit into a double-play to turn Atlanta away.

Mathieson was terrible in the game and not charged with a run. He allowed two hits and two walks in an inning and was bailed out when Baez induced the double-play. Mathieson threw 24 pitches in the game, Stutes 15 and Baez six.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jair Jurrjens went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Valdez starts at second with the lefty Orr on the bench. Sardinha catches with the lefty Schneider on the bench.

Victorino doubled with one out in the first. Polanco was next and flew to center for the second out with Victorino tagging and moving up to third. Howard grounded to first to leave Victorino at third.

Down 2-0, Valdez doubled to left with two outs in the second, but Sardinha grounded to short behind him.

Rollins singled to right with one out in the third and moved to second when Victorino grounded out behind him. Polanco delivered a two-out hit, singling into center. Rollins scored to cut the lead to 2-1. Howard followed with a walk, but Francisco flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

With two outs in the fourth, Sardinha hit a ball well to left that landed on the track and hit the wall on a hop. Prado played it well to hold Sardinha to a long single. Hamels struck out on three pitches to leave him at first.

Two-out hit by Sardinha keeps Hamels from leading off the fifth. Jurrjens was at 61 pitches through four innings.

Down 3-1, the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Howard started the sixth with a single and Francisco bunted him to second. Ibanez lined a single into center, which moved Howard to third. Valdez hit into a double-play to end the inning.

The sacrifice by Francisco not enough for Howard to score from second on a single after it works.

Schneider hit for Sardinha to start the seventh and flew to right. Orr hit for Hamels and singled to left, but Eric O’Flaherty got Rollins to hit into a double-play behind Orr to end the inning.

The Phils were down 5-1 when they hit in the eighth. Victorino led off with a triple and came into score when Polanco followed with a single that was deflected by the pitcher Venters. 5-2 with nobody out and Polanco on first. Howard grounded to Uggla with Polanco forced at second for the first out. Francisco flew to center for the second before Ibanez moved Howard to second with a single. It brought Valdez to the plate as the tying run and with the lefty Venters on the mound, Mayberry hit for Valdez. Mayberry flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

Gload hit for Baez and singled with one out in the ninth. Rollins moved him to second with a walk, which brought Victorino to the plate as the tying run. Victorino struck out looking 1-2 for the second out. Polanco flew to center to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game and 2-for-10 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 285/380/362 on the season. 333/455/444 on the year.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a double and a triple yesterday. 4-for-13 with a double and two triples in the series. He has three walks in his last 66 plate appearances, but is hitting 293/356/511 for the year. His .511 slugging percentage leads the team.

Polanco was 2-for-5 with two RBI last night. 3-for-11 with a walk, a double and two RBI in the series. 366/411/473.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a walk in the game and 2-for-11 with a walk and a home run in the set. 5-for-his-last-31 with a home run, four singles, four walks and ten strikeouts. 268/338/504 for the season.

Francisco went 0-for-3 to drop his average on the year to .232. 0-for-8 with two walks in the series. 1-for-his-last-20 with seven walks. 232/341/384.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 last night and 2-for-10 with three strikeouts in the series. 212/276/336. Mayberry was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-2 in the set.

Valdez was 1-for-3 with a double and hit into a double-play last night. 1-for-5 with a double in the series. 159/196/182 in his last 47 plate appearances. 247/282/296 for the year.

Orr was 1-for-1 last night, 1-for-5 with an RBI in the series and hitting 268/333/293 on the year.

Sardinha was 1-for-2 in the game and in the series. He’s 2-for-9 with the Phillies. Schneider 0-for-2 in the game and 1-for-8 in the series. He’s hitting 174/224/326 in 41 plate appearances for the season.

Joe Blanton (0-1, 5.92) faces righty Javier Vazquez (2-2, 6.39) tonight. Vazquez has allowed ten runs in 11 2/3 innings over his last two starts and hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning in six starts this year. He faced the Phils on April 15 and allowed three runs in five innings. Blanton allowed four runs in 14 innings in his two starts before hitting the DL.


Phils starting to suspect something is afoot after waking up to the same Sonny and Cher song for the sixteenth day in a row

At least in Groundhog Day they had cake. And Andie MacDowell.

The Phillies games are apparently stuck in a loop. They lost again yesterday. No terrible defense this time and Kendrick pitched well, but the Phils scored one run and it wasn’t enough. In the very limited good news category, Werth hit the ball well and looks like he’s either back or just about back. We’ve already got Ruiz, so that makes two with eleven hitters left to go.

It should leave us plenty of time to learn to ice sculpt.

The Phillies are 28-24 on the year after a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves sweep the three-game set despite scoring four runs in the last two games and lead the Phils in the NL East by 2 1/2 games. The Phillies have won two of their last 11 and have scored 14 runs in those 11 games.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four. That’s two good starts in a row for Kendrick, who has allowed one earned run in 13 innings his last two times out and dropped his ERA from 5.66 to 4.62.

Martin Prado and Jayson Heyward singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the first. It put men on first and third with nobody out for Chipper Jones and Kendrick got Chipper to bounce into a double-play with Prado scoring to put Atlanta up 1-0. Brian McCann flew to center for the third out.

Troy Glaus doubled to left to start the second. Kendrick struck lefty Eric Hinske out for the first out. Yunel Escobar was next and he lined a ball back to the mound that Kendrick caught. Kendrick threw to second and Glaus was doubled-up to end the inning.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Kendrick started the third. He walked the pitcher Derek Lowe on five pitches with one man out. He struck Prado out and got Heyward on a fly ball to right to end the inning and leave Lowe stranded.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

In the fifth he walked Nate McLouth with two men out, but got Lowe to fly to right for the third out.

Prado reached on an infield singled to start the sixth, but Kendrick got Heyward to hit into a double-play behind him. Infante singled to center before McCann flew to right to end the inning.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Contreras started the eighth with the score still knotted at 1-1 and walked McLouth on five pitches. Switch-hitter Melky Cabrera hit for Lowe and bunted McLouth to second. Contreras struck out the righty Prado and then walked the lefty Heyward intentionally. He got ahead of Infante 0-2, but Infante singled to right on a 3-2 pitch and McLouth scored to put Atlanta ahead 2-1. With two outs and men on first and third, Romero came in to pitch to the lefty McCann and got him to fly to right to end the inning.

Contreras has now allowed two runs on the year and both of them have been scored by McLouth. That’s just weird.

Contreras threw 23 pitches in the game and Romero three. Contreras was pitching back-to-back days after six pitches on Tuesday.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Werth (2) Valdez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Dobbs (8) Schneider. Victorino on the bench with Werth in center and Francisco in right. Dobbs at third against the righty with Castro on the bench. Werth leads off and Valdez hits second, which is way too high for him. Schneider behind the plate in day game after a night game, which is unfortunate given Ruiz’s nice game on Tuesday night.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Down 1-0, they went in order in the second.

Schneider singled with one out in the third. Kendrick bunted one foul and then, with the infielders in looking for a bunt, swung away and singled to left. It put men on first and third for Werth and Werth singled to center, scoring Schneider to tie the game at 1-1 and moving Kendrick to second. Valdez bunted for a single to load the bases for Utley, but Utley grounded into a double-play to keep the Phillies from getting any more.

Big hit for Werth is nice to see. Double-play by Utley is more of the same. Nice job by Manuel to let Kendrick swing away and get a big hit.

Howard started the fourth with a single. Francisco popped to second for the first out before Ibanez hit into a double-play.

Dobbs, Schneider and Kendrick went down quietly in the fifth.

Werth hit the ball hard to start the sixth, but it went off of Lowe and right to Prado at second. Prado took it and threw to first to get Werth for the first out. Valdez and Utley went down behind him, with Utley hitting the ball hard on the ground to third for the third out.

Again Werth hits the ball well, but no hit this time.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Dobbs singled to start the eighth and Schneider bunted him to second. With Lowe still on the mound, Gload hit for Kendrick and grounded to short. Dobbs moved to third with two down. Lowe walked Werth intentionally to put men on first and third. Valdez flew to center to end the frame.

Score one for not hitting Valdez second. No reason to pitch to Werth there and it works out great for Atlanta.

Francisco walked with two outs in the ninth and the Phils down 2-1. With lefty Billy Wagner on the mound for Atlanta, Victorino hit for Ibanez and struck out swinging to end the game.

Werth was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI and hit the ball well. He’s 2-for-his-last-23 and hitting 296/374/575 for the season.

Valdez was 1-for-4 in the game and 4-for-13 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 259/268/370 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. He was 2-for-12 with a double and no walks in the series. He’s 3-for-his-last-19 and hitting 270/387/503 for the year.

Howard was 1-for-4 in the game and 2-for-13 with a home run and no walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/336/450.

Francisco was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 2-for-6 with a double and a walk in the series. 214/283/286 for the year. Victorino didn’t start yesterday and went 0-for-1 in the game. He was 0-for-9 with a walk and three strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 251/308/442 for the year.

Ibanez was 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-10 with a double in the series. 242/340/394.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 yesterday and 2-for-8 in the series. 148/220/259. Castro was 0-for-3 in the series and is hitting 244/271/300 for the year.

Schneider 1-for-2 yesterday in his only action for the series. 5-for-25 with five singles for the year. Ruiz was 3-for-5 with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 311/443/412 for the season.

Roy Halladay (5-1, 1.99) faces righty Mat Latos (5-3, 3.08) tomorrow. Halladay has been just about perfect all season long and literally perfect in his last start against the Marlins. Opponents are hitting .207 against Latos for the year. He’s 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA over his last six starts — over those six appearances he has allowed 23 hits in 41 innings and struck out 37.


Only the names, and the fact that the Dodgers are much, much better now, have changed

If it seems like you’ve seen the NLCS between the Phils and Dodgers before it’s because you have. A lot has changed over the past year, though, and the most important among them is that the Dodgers have gotten a lot better. After going 84-78 in 2008, the Dodgers posted the best record in the NL in 2009 at 95-67.

The wins aren’t the only thing that improved for LA this year. Here’s a look at the runs scored by the Dodgers and Phils for this year and 2008:


Team

Runs Scored

NL Rank

’09 LA

780
4

’09 PHI

820
1
     

’08 LA

700

13

’08 PHI

799
3

The Phillies hit in both years compared to the other teams in the National League. The Dodgers were third in runs scored this year, but thirteenth in 2008.

LA was fantastic at preventing runs in both ’08 and ’09. The Phillies allowed 29 more runs in ’09 than they did in ’08 and their rank in the NL dropped from third to sixth:


Team

Runs Allowed

NL Rank

’09 LA

611

T-1

’09 PHI

709
6
     

’08 LA

648
1

’08 PHI

680
3

In 2008 the Phillies scored 799 runs and allowed 680. So they scored 119 more runs than they allowed. In ’09 they scored 820 and allowed 709, which is the difference of a pretty similar 111.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, scored 700 and allowed 648 in 2008, for a difference of 52 runs. This year they scored 780 and allowed 611, which is the difference of a pretty dissimilar 169.

I don’t think there’s much of an argument to be made that the Phillies were better than the Dodgers in 2009. They weren’t. The Dodgers were better. What I’m not sure about is how much it matters. A big part of why the Dodgers were better for the year is that they went 35-17 in April and May. That’s pretty awesome, but it’s also a long time ago. The Phillies are World Champs and if you watched game four of the NLDS it’s a little hard to deny that their magic is alive and well.

At the same time, the Dodgers won more games than the Phillies this year. Their offense was a little worse than the Phillies, but still among the best in the league, while their pitching was much better. They come off an impressive sweep of the Cardinals. They went 4-3 against the Phillies this year without a single plate appearance from Manny Ramirez.

I do think the Phillies will win the series, but it is going to be a tight one.

Here’s a look back at the series from last year:

Hamels started game one last year against Derek Lowe. The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead into the sixth, but Victorino led off the bottom of the sixth and hit a ground ball to Furcal and Furcal threw it away. Utley followed with a home run to tie the game at 2-2 and Burrell hit a solo shot two batters later, putting the Phils on top to stay at 3-2.

Brett Myers and Chad Billingsley faced off in game two. Myers threw behind Manny in the first inning and a Loney double in the second helped put LA up 1-0. A Myers single helped the Phillies score four times in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 4-1. Loney had another big hit off of Myers in the third, an RBI-single that made it 4-2. The Phils extended their lead to 8-2 with four more runs in the bottom of the third, which featured Chan Ho Park striking out Rollins for the second out of the inning. That should have been it for the game, but LA got back into it in the top of the fourth. With two outs and nobody on, Furcal struck out for what should have been the third out of the inning. Ruiz didn’t block the ball, though, and Furcal was safe at first. Martin followed with a single before Manny hit a three-run homer to make it 8-5. The lead stood up for the Phils, thanks to Durbin, Romero, Lidge and Madson, who combined to throw four shutout innings.

Game three was the game the Phillies lost, falling 7-2 in LA. Moyer got the start and the Dodgers scored five times against him in the bottom of the first. Five of the first six Dodgers hitters to face Moyer reached base before he struck out Kemp for the second out of the inning with the bases loaded. He looked like he was going to get out of it down 2-0, but Blake DeWitt cleared the bases with a three-run triple that made it 5-0. A leadoff double by Howard helped the Phils cut the lead to 5-1 in the top of the second, but Moyer didn’t make it out of the bottom of the second. Furcal led off the bottom of the second with a homer that made it 6-1. Nomar Garciaparra extended the lead to 7-1 with an RBI-single off of Happ in the bottom of the fourth. Burrell drove in Utley with a single in the seventh for the Phillies other run.

Coming off of Myers throwing behind Ramirez in game one, LA starter Hiroki Kuroda threw a ball near the head of Shane Victorino in game three. It led to a bench-clearing incident after Victorino grounded out to end the inning.

Game four changed the series thanks to a late home run from Matt Stairs. Utley and Howard drove in runs off of Lowe in the top of the first, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Blake homered off of Blanton in the bottom of the first, cutting the lead to 2-1. Blanton protected the one-run lead until LA hit in the bottom of the fifth. Furcal led off with a walk and moved to second when Ethier followed with a bloop single. Ramirez followed with an RBI-single (2-2) and a ground out by Martin brought in Ethier to make it 3-2. Howard led off the sixth with a walk and came in to score on a wild pitch by Park to tie the game at 3-3. Blake led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer off of Durbin, though, making it 4-3, and a throwing error by Howard on a bunt by Furcal helped the Dodgers score another run to extend the lead to 5-3. That score held till the top of the eighth, when Howard led off with a single. Victorino followed two batters later and lined a ball out to right off of Corey Wade, tying the game at 5-5. Feliz flew out for the second out, but Ruiz delivered a two-out single off of Jonathan Broxton and Stairs followed and connected for a mammoth homer to put the Phils up 7-5. Romero and Lidge kept LA off the board in the eighth and the ninth.

It was hard to imagine LA coming back from Stairs dagger. They didn’t. Hamels outpitched Billingsley in game five with the Phillies winning 5-1. Rollins was the first batter of the game and he put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run to center. Howard and Burrell had RBI-singles in the third, making it 3-0. Furcal had an inning to forget in the fifth, making three errors as the Phils extended the lead to 5-0. Manny Ramirez homered off of Hamels with two outs in the sixth to get LA their only run of the game.

Kendrick and Myers are off the Phillies roster for the NLCS and have been replaced by Chan Ho Park and Eric Bruntlett. Bruntlett and Cairo are a lot of similar guys to have on your roster, especially since it means going with 11 pitchers. I think that’s a bad decision — I would rather have seen them carry 12 pitchers and just one of Bruntlett and Cairo given the bullpen struggles and the fact that I would be pretty worried about Park since he hasn’t pitched for the Phils since September 16.

On the other hand, if they weren’t comfortable with letting Kendrick pitch they shouldn’t have him on the roster. You should try to have 12 pitchers in your organization you feel okay about putting into a game, though. Cairo and Bruntlett both is a lot of Cairos and Bruntletts. Condrey and Walker sure must be wondering what is going on.

My guess is that the thinking here may be to try to put another right-handed bat on the bench out of fear of the lefties in the bullpen for the Dodgers, Kuo and Sherrill. Those guys are scary, but if that’s the reasoning I think the Phils may have overthought this one. If it is about putting another righty on the bench, I wonder if they considered Mayberry instead of Bruntlett. It sure seems like he would provoke a bit more worry in the Dodgers since he can hit the ball out of the yard.

This article suggests Pedro Martinez may start game two. I am hoping for Blanton and Pedro in game four. Blanton was 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio in three post-season starts in the post-season in 2008. Manuel’s seeming reluctance to start him is curious to me. It no doubt has a lot to do with fear of his bullpen, but I’d just let him start.

There have been many technical problems with Philliesflow over the past few days. If the site goes down again for a long period of time, I may post at philliesflow.wordpress.com and would let people know where to find the site via the Philliesflow Twitter page.


For openers

Brett Myers faces Derek Lowe tomorrow night as the Phillies open their season against the Atlanta Braves.

Myers comes off a solid spring. In five starts he threw to a 3.52 ERA with a 1.26 ratio. He walked just six hitters in 23 innings, a rate of 2.34 per nine innings that’s better than his career mark of 3.15. He made two starts against the Braves in 2008 and was hit hard in both. He was hammered on May 14, allowing eight runs over 4 1/3 innings. On September 24 he also lasted just 4 1/3 and was charged with six runs. Overall he was 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA and a 2.77 ratio against Atlanta last season.

Chipper Jones and Brian McCann both have a lot of at-bats against Myers and have hit him hard. Chipper is 10-for-30 with three home runs against him (333/474/667). McCann 10-for-27 with four doubles and a home run (370/414/630). Martin Prado 3-for-3. Kelly Johnson just 3-for-17.

Lowe made one regular season start against the Phils in 2008. While with the Dodgers, he allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings on August 11. Jimmy Rollins hit a seventh-inning triple off of Chan Ho Park in that game.

Lowe also started games one and four of the NLCS for Los Angeles and allowed four earned runs over 10 1/3 innings in the two starts combined. Lowe pitched very well in game one of the NLCS, but a Rafael Furcal error in the sixth was followed by a home run by Utley and another by Burrell. The Phils won that game 3-2. Game four featured a late home run by Matt Stairs off of Jonathan Broxton.

Lowe had a nice spring as well, making six starts with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.08 ratio. In 26 innings he walked just two.

The Phillies have a lot of ugly career numbers against Lowe. Feliz 5-for-23 (.217). Ibanez 2-for-19 (.105) with two home runs. Howard 2-for-16 (.125) with two singles. Rollins and Utley are among the exceptions. Rollins 6-for-20 (.300) with two doubles. Utley 5-for-14 with three doubles (.357).

The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park last night. Jason Donald won it with a walk-off RBI single to right in the bottom of the ninth.

Blanton got the start and was very good yet again, allowing two runs on six hits. Again he didn’t get hurt by the walk — he struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. Durbin, Eyre, Madson and Lidge all pitched scoreless innings. None of those guys seem likely to pitch today given that the Phils play a game that counts tomorrow.

Werth was 2-for-3 with a double. Coste 0-for-3 with a walk. Bruntlett 0-for-2 and walked twice.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Cole Hamels is on the mound this afternoon as the Phils face the Rays again (Burrell homered off of him in the first).

I would like to point out that the money the Phillies have to pay Jenkins this season not to play is very similar to the amount they presumably would have had to pay to have Burrell on the team in ’09. The Phils owe Jenkins $6.75 million in salary plus a $1.25 million buyout for 2010. That’s $8 million. Burrell signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Rays. I think we’re going to miss Pat’s bat this year.

Update: 4/5 The Phils 25-man roster is set and includes Miguel Cairo. Miguel Cairo and Eric Bruntlett is too many backup infielders to have on your team that includes 13 hitters (too many by one).

Philliesflow maintains a Start Log, which is a record of the performances by starting pitchers on the squad. The ’09 version is ready for action. You can view the older Start Logs here.


Phils may be hoping for a little less consistency from Feliz in ’09

There was some hope coming into to 2008 that the combination of hitting in Citizens Bank Park and joining a high-powered Phillies lineup would help Pedro Feliz’s offensive production. Here’s what he did at home last year compared to his career numbers excluding what he did at home last year:

  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
2008 @ home 233 260 304 409 714
Rest of
career
3257 251 289 430 719

He was a little worse than his career numbers overall, hitting for a slightly higher average and getting on base a little more, but with a lower slugging percentage.

Here’s another way to look at it, taking the percentages of his plate appearances that resulted in hits, walks, extra-base hits or strikeouts:

  H BB XHB K
2008 @ home 24.0 6.0 6.9 10.3
Rest of
career
23.5 5.2 9.0 16.3

Again, this suggests that he got hits and drew walks at a slightly higher rate than he has over his career and also delivered fewer extra-base hits. It also suggests that he struck out at a lower rate at home in 2008 than he has over his career.

Feliz was a little better overall at home than on the road in 2008, hitting 260/304/409 at home and 238/300/395 on the road.

Finally, we know Feliz has had serious back problems that kept him off the field for about a month between the end of July and mid-August last season. It’s difficult to know how much they were a factor for him last year. His numbers at the end of the season over the last four years have been remarkably consistent, however. He played the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Giants and ended those years with an OPS of .717 in 2005, .709 in 2006 and .708 in 2007. In 2008 with the Phillies his OPS for the year was .705. Over the last four seasons the range on his batting average at the end of the year has been .244-.253, on-base percentage .281-.302 and slugging .402-.428. So he has been very consistent. It could, of course, be that he got a huge boost from playing at Citizens Bank Park that was offset by the back injury, but either way his numbers at the end of the year wound up almost exactly where they have been.

Four years, $60 million was apparently enough for the Braves to get Derek Lowe.

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Good Burrells go to heaven, but the bad Burrells go everywhere

Disappointing news this morning as Jayson Stark reports the Phillies have agreed to a three year, $30 million deal with 36-year-old left-handed outfielder Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is a very good hitter, but so was longtime Phillie Pat Burrell. It’s hard to imagine the financial commitment the Phils appear to be willing to make to Ibanez is much less than it would have taken to bring back Burrell. The Phils will apparently be paying Ibanez about $10 million a year when he’s 39 years old and will give up a draft pick to bring him in.

The addition leaves the Phils just about naked from the right side of the plate. Jayson Werth was fantastic in 2008. The second-best right-handed hitter on the team is Pedro Feliz, Chris Coste or Ronny Paulino. Take your pick. Switch-hitter Shane Victorino hit lefties well last season, 282/345/537. Fellow switchy Jimmy Rollins was a little better against righties than lefties. He hit 288/341/436 against left-handed pitching. The Phillies needed two right-handed bats without the addition of Ibanez. Still do, and if Ibanez joins the team there’s less places for them to play.

None of this is Raul Ibanez’s fault. Ibanez has pumped out at least 20 home runs four years in a row and put up 338 RBI in the last three years. He strikes out far less often than Burrell — over his career, Ibanez has struck out in 787 of his 5,301 plate appearances, which is about 14.8 percent of the time. Burrell has struck out 1,273 times in 5,388 plate appearances, about 23.6 percent of the time. It should also be pointed out that Ibanez has put up his recent numbers at Safeco Field, which is not a particularly good place to hit. Curiously, however, in three of the last four years his numbers have been better at Safeco than away.

Other than his age, the downside with Ibanez as an offensive player as I see it is his 268/322/411 career line against left-handed pitching. That .733 OPS is worse than Burrell’s 251/352/467 (.819 OPS) against his same side. Burrell’s .950 career OPS against his opposite side (left) of .950 is also better than the .849 OPS Ibanez has put up against righties. There are more right-handed pitchers than left, though, and Ibanez pounded lefties in 2008. In 2008 he hit 305/368/497 against left-handed pitching, after hitting a miserable 256/294/356 against them in 2007 and a miserabler 243/301/362 against them in 2006.

Interesting question about who will hit behind Howard in 2009 for the Phils. The answer is almost surely Jayson Werth at this point, assuming Utley and Howard continue to hit three-four.

It’s a little tough to separate how this will affect the Phillies on the field and the disappointment with the realization that it means Burrell won’t be back. I do think Burrell is the better hitter and will be this year as well, but not by a huge amount. All the left-handed hitters is a problem for the Phils that needs a solution. Overall, though, I would have to disagree with Amaro who suggested previously in relation to Burrell that it was not the time to be sentimental. I think it was a perfect time to be sentimental.

Cole Hamels has some stuff to say about the Mets and their ability to finish. Interesting question for me has been how Hamels is going to motivate himself after winning the World Series and being named the MVP of the NLCS and World Series all before he turned 25. That may be the answer.

If you’re every wondering if the article about Brad Harman you’re reading is from an Australian news source, learning that he was “overawed” by facing Randy Johnson and that Tim Lincecum throws 150km/h (that’s 90 miles an hour) should clue you in. No word on how things came out between Victoria and Queensland, though.

This suggests that Derek Lowe will get about four years, $65 million.

This says the Brewers are interested in Jamie Moyer.


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