The other day I pointed out that Papelbon’s addition might help the Phillie bullpen bring down the huge rate at which their relievers issued walks in 2011. Qualls might as well. Here are the rates of runs, hits, walks and strikeouts per nine innings for the ’11 pen as well as Papelbon and Qualls for 2011 and for their careers (remembering that Papelbon has spent his whole career in the AL while Qualls has thrown all but 21 innings of his career in the NL):

Runs per 9 BB/9 H/9 SO/9
Phillie pen 2011 3.68 3.99 7.84 8.01
Papelbon 2011 3.07 1.40 6.99 12.17
Qualls 2011 3.63 2.42 8.83 5.21
Papelbon career 2.64 2.41 6.75 10.67
Qualls career 4.16 2.49 8.93 7.06

The numbers for Qualls are a little scary overall, but his walk rate has always been under the 3.99 per nine innings that the bullpen posted for the Phils in 2011. Qualls has only had one year for his career in which he has posted a walk rate worse than 2.85 batters per nine — in 2010, a disaster for Qualls, he walked about 3.2 batters per nine while throwing to a 7.32 ERA.

Dontrelle Willis is a different story, of course. Willis has seen his walk rate explode in recent years to the detriment of his career. From 2003 to 2007 with the Marlins, Willis threw 1,022 2/3 innings and walked 344 batters — that’s about 3.03 batters per nine. Since he left Florida, 2008-2011, Willis has thrown just 199 innings in which he has walked 156 batters. That’s 7.06 batters per nine innings. You’re going to have some trouble putting up nice numbers overall if you walk 7.06 batters per nine — Willis’s ERA since the end of 2007 is 6.15.

The Phillies played Houston yesterday, losing 6-5 on a walkoff homer by Brian Bixler in the bottom of the tenth. They are 5-6.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was good again, holding the Astros to a run on four hits over five innings without walking a batter. The outing, the third of Spring Training for Hamels, raised his ERA to 1.69.

Bush pitched the sixth, allowing singles to the first two men he faced, but getting the next three to keep Houston off the board and lowering his ERA to 6.75. Lefty Raul Valdes allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the seventh — he’s now allowed a run on three hits and a walk over four innings. Brian Sanches followed him, allowing a run over two innings to lower his ERA to 6.75. Jeremy Horst started the tenth with a 5-3 lead. He allowed a a single and a walk before striking out righty Chris Wallace for the first out. Bixler was next, though, and he hit Horst’s first pitch out to left to give Houston the win. Horst came into the game having not been charged with a run in his first two appearances, but has now been charged with three runs in three innings.

Domonic Brown broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the tenth with a solo home run, his first of Spring Training. He was 2-for-5 on the day, raising his average to .313 (5-for-16 with two triples and a home run). That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’s so bad defensively it’s hard to believe the Phillies are going to put him on the field in a game that counts anytime soon. Brown made another bad miscue reacting to a ball hit to the outfield yesterday, misplaying Carlos Lee’s eighth inning line drive into a double.

Brown had also been charged with a throwing error in the seventh. It was his second error so far this Spring Training, but the reality is that two errors don’t capture just how atrocious his defense has been. He’s now OPSing 1.103 in his 16 official Spring Training at-bats, but there’s little left to the dream he would show up and prove he’s ready to join the team for the start of the regular season.

Michael Martinez was 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, upping his average to .333. Podsednik started in center and made a couple of nice defensive plays in right after shifting there. He was 1-for-5 at the plate to drop his average to .320 (8-for-25 with three doubles). Pierre went 0-for-1 with a walk and is hitting .263.

Mayberry started at first and went 0-for-3, dropping his line to 192/222/269 in a team-high 26 at-bats.

Martinez left yesterday’s game after being hit on the elbow by a pickoff attempt.

The same article says that Nix was scratched from yesterday’s game, but is expected to play soon.

The Phils face the Twins this afternoon with Halladay expected to pitch.