Tag: Grant Balfour

One for the aged

Jamie Moyer waited 22 years to get to pitch in the World Series, so when he had to wait another hour and a half he apparently was unfazed. The Phillies won game three of the World Series last night not in spite of Moyer, but in large part because of him. Years from now when you look back at his line for the game it won’t look like anything special. So we’ll just have to remember.

Moyer allowed a run in the second inning when Carl Crawford led off with a bloop double down the left field line off the glove of a sliding Burrell. Crawford stole third and came in to score on a sac fly to tie the game at 1-1. Ruiz gave the Phils another lead with a home run in the bottom of the second. Utley and Howard went back-to-back in the bottom of the sixth off of Matt Garza and Moyer took a 4-1 lead into the seventh. Crawford again got him, leading off with a pretty bunt down the first base line. Moyer made an even prettier play, though, diving for the ball, gloving and flipping to Howard at first who bare-handed, just nipping Crawford for the first out of the inning. One problem, though: Crawford was called safe and the Rays went on to score two runs in the inning they almost surely wouldn’t have had without the call.

BJ Upton used his speed in the top of the eighth to create a run off of Madson where there was none, tying the game at 4-4. The Phils won it in the bottom of a wild ninth. The inning featured a hit batter, a wild pitch, two intentional walks and finally Ruiz dribbling a ball down the third base line with five infielders playing for the Rays. None of them could do anything about the swinging bunt and the Phils had won game three.

The weak-hitting Ruiz is suddenly not so weak-hitting. After going 2-for-3 with a walk last night, Ruiz is hitting .500 in the series with three runs batted in. The Phillies have nine RBI in the first three games of the series — seven of them have been driven in by either Utley or Ruiz.

The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the World Series last night, winning 5-4. They lead the series two games to one.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

He faced a Tampa Bay lineup that went (1) Akinori Iwamura (2B/L) (2) BJ Upton (CF/R) (3) Carlos Pena (1B/L) (4) Evan Longoria (3B/R) (5) Carl Crawford (LF/L) (6) Dioner Navarro (C/S) (7) Gabe Gross (RF/L) (8) Jason Bartlett (SS/R). The lefty Gross starts in right for Tampa Bay with the righty Baldelli and Ben Zobrist, who started game one against Hamels, on the bench.

The Rays started the game with six players on their bench: Michael Hernandez (R), Rocco Baldelli (R), Fernando Perez (S), Cliff Floyd (L), Ben Zobrist (S) and Willy Aybar (S).

The start of the game came about five minutes after ten after a rain delay of about an hour and a half.

Iwamura led off the first for the Rays and popped an 0-1 pitch into center for the first out. Moyer got two called strikes out the outside part of the plate before Upton grounded a 1-2 pitch to Rollins for the second out. Pena checked his swing at a low 1-2 pitch before walking on a 3-2 pitch that was low and outside. Longoria went down swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

Crawford started the second and popped a ball into shallow left field, near the foul line. Burrell slid for it after a long run and the ball went off his glove. Burrell picked it up and threw to second, but Crawford had a double. Navarro was next and he hit a bloop to second that Utley took for the first out. Crawford stole third on the first pitch to Gross, and Gross delivered a long fly ball to right center that Victorino took on the warning track for the second out. It was more than deep enough for Crawford, though, and he tagged and scored to tie the game at 1-1. Bartlett flew to center for the third out.

Garza led off the third and grounded to third for the first out. Iwamura was next and he popped to right for the second. Upton went down looking 1-2 and didn’t care much for the call.

Pena flew to right on a 2-2 pitch to start the fourth. Moyer got ahead of Longoria 0-2 before striking him out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Crawford flew softly to left on a 3-1 pitch to end the frame.

Navarro led off the fifth with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins tried to backhand, but the ball went off his glove. Navarro was given a single – Rollins may not have been able to throw him out even if he had fielded the ball cleanly. Gross popped a 1-2 pitch to left for the first out. Bartlett was next and he popped to short. Garza grounded to Utley to set the Rays down.

Moyer got Iwamura flailing 2-2 to start the sixth. Upton was next and he lined a 2-1 pitch into left where it fell for a single. Moyer threw over to first enough times that Upton was headed back to the base consistently as Moyer delivered to Pena, and Moyer got Pena looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Before Moyer delivered a pitch to Longoria, Upton took off for second. Moyer threw to first and Howard made an accurate throw to Utley at second, but Upton just beat the throw and was safe at second with a stolen base. Longoria absolutely hammered a ball to left, but a strong wind blowing in knocked it down and Burrell took it on the warning track right in front of the wall.

Huge break for Moyer, cause they ball is well out of the yard on most days.

Moyer started the seventh having thrown 86 pitches with a 4-1 lead and Eric Bruntlett playing left. Crawford bunted the first pitch down the first base line. Beautiful bunt, but Moyer dove for it and made a glove-flip to Howard. Howard caught the ball with his bare hand and Crawford was called safe (replays show he was out). Fantastic play by Moyer and by Howard. Navarro ripped a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double, sending Crawford to third. Moyer stayed in to pitch to the lefty Gross. Gross hit a ground ball to first that Howard took to the bag for the first out as Crawford came in to score and cut the Phillies lead to 4-2 with Navarro at third and one out. Durbin came in to pitch to Bartlett. Bartlett grounded Durbin’s first pitch to short for the second out, scoring Navarro to make it 4-3. Switch-hitter Willy Aybar hit for the pitcher Matt Garza. Durbin walked Aybar on a 3-1 pitch outside. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Iwamura and quickly got ahead 0-2 before striking Iwamura out swinging 3-2.

The missed call at first base on the Crawford bunt costs the Phillies two runs — Navarro would have doubled with one out and probably gone to third on the Gross ground out, but Bartlett’s ground out would have ended the inning without any damage. The Rays do get back the two runs they lost when the wind took away Longoria’s homer in the sixth.

Crawford came into the game with great numbers against Moyer and hurt him in this game, scoring two of the three runs charged to Moyer.

Madson started the eighth with a 4-3 lead. He quickly got behind Upton 2-0, but came back with two strikes to even the count before Upton chopped a 3-2 pitch back up the middle. Rollins fielded, but didn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly and Upton beat his throw easily for an infield single. Pena swung at a 2-0 pitch out of the strike zone and fouled it off. Madson struck him out with a ball down and in — Pena tried to check his swing but couldn’t. Upton stole second without a throw as Madson delivered ball one to Longoria. Upton took off for third on the next pitch. Ruiz’s throw to third was in the dirt, then off the body of Upton and toward the Rays’ dugout. Upton scored easily on the throwing error to tie the game at 4-4. Longoria hit a ball back up the middle that Utley made a nice play on for the second out. Romero came in to pitch to Crawford with the bases empty and two outs. Crawford swung at Romero’s first pitch and flew softly to right.

Romero came back to start the ninth and struck Navarro out with a pitch that bounced in front of the plate. He got the lefty Gross to ground softly to Utley for the second out. Romero stayed in to pitch to the righty Bartlett and Bartlett bounced a 3-2 pitch to Rollins for the third out.

I would have had Lidge start the inning, but that worked out great for the Phillies. Bartlett probably can’t hit a home run, but he hit 379/411/508 against lefties this season. I think you have to bring a righty in to pitch to him, even with two outs and nobody on. Manuel may have been thinking that the Phils were not in a great position to score in the bottom of the ninth with Bruntlett, Victorino and Feliz scheduled to hit.

The Phillies pen went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run. Upton’s speed and a bad throw by Ruiz helps Madson cough up a run — Upton needed his wheels to beat out the hit and then stole two bases. He stole three in the game. The bullpen has allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings in the series. Madson and Romero each threw 15 pitches in the game. Durbin and Eyre each threw six.

The Tampa Bay bullpen allowed a run over two innings. They walked three batters, hit another and uncorked a wild pitch. Two of the walks were intentional. As a group they have now allowed three runs in 8 1/3 innings. After an off-day on Friday, nobody in the Rays pen threw more than 16 pitches.

Pena and Longoria are a combined 0-for-22 with ten strikeouts and two walks in the first three games of the series.

The Rays scored four runs in game three and at least three of them wouldn’t have scored without their speed. Crawford stole third in the second, allowing him to score on the fly ball by Gross. He put down a beautiful bunt to start the seventh. He was out, but it wouldn’t have been close without his speed. Upton made a run out where there was none off of Madson in the eighth.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz stays at third against the righty. Ruiz has been hitting well, but has made 12 straight playoff starts (with some time off in-between series) for the Phils and made his second error in three games last night.

The Phillies started the game with six players on their bench: Bruntlett (R), Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins led off the first for the Phils and lined a single into center for his first hit of the World Series. Werth was next and he walked on five pitches. Garza’s 0-1 pitch to Utley was in the dirt and blocked by Navarro, but the wild pitch allowed the runners to move to second and third with nobody out. Utley grounded a 3-1 pitch to first for the first out, scoring Rollins to make it 1-0 and moving Werth to third with one out. Howard got ahead 2-0, but then fouled off two pitches and struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Burrell swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Phils get one run out of second and third with one out. Utley brings in a run with a ground out, but Howard strikes out with one down and a man on third. Again. The Phillies really had Garza on the ropes in the first, but he gets out with the help of the huge strikeout of Howard.

Victorino led off the second with game tied at 1-1. He hammered a 2-2 pitch on the ground, but right at Pena, who took it for the first out. Feliz was next and hit a ground ball back up the middle, but Bartlett made a nice play to get the second out. Ruiz was next and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left to put the Phillies up 2-1. Moyer struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Rollins started the third with another single, this one into right. Werth took a strike to even the count at 2-2 as Rollins took off for second. Navarro gunned him down for the first out. Werth reached out and poked an outside pitch into right field for a single. Utley drove a 1-1 pitch to center, but Upton caught it at the warning track for the second out. Howard waived at Garza’s first pitch, a breaking ball, and missed. He hit a 2-1 pitch to Bartlett, playing where you would expect the second baseman to be, to end the inning.

Not sure if the caught stealing cost the Phils a run or not. Rollins surely would have gone to third on Utley’s deep fly ball, likely putting men on first and third with one out for Howard. Not sure if the Rays would have been able to turn a double-play on Howard’s grounder or not.

Garza struck out the side in the fourth. Burrell went down swinging at a 3-2 pitch to get things started. Victorino struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch that looked high for the second out. Feliz struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch in the dirt.

Ruiz led off the fifth and walked on a 3-2 pitch. Moyer tried to bunt, but popped the first pitch of his at-bat to the catcher for the first out. Rollins lined a 2-2 pitch to Iwamura at second for the second out. Werth flew to right on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning with Ruiz stranded.

Not a good bunt by Moyer, but the Phils still would have been turned away if Rollins and Werth had come up with the same results.

Utley led off the sixth and blasted a 2-1 pitch from Garza out to right to extend the Phillies’ lead to 3-1. Howard was next and he popped a 2-2 pitch out to right. 4-1. Burrell struck out looking at an inside fastball for the first out. Victorino popped up an 0-1 pitch in the infield. Pena took it for the second out. Feliz went down swinging to end the inning.

Chad Bradford started the seventh for the Rays and got Ruiz to chop a ball to short for the first out. Jenkins hit for Eyre against the righty Bradford and worked the count full before grounding to short. Rollins popped to short to set the Phillies down.

Bradford came back to pitch to Werth to start the eighth and walked him on four pitches. With Utley and Howard coming to the plate, the Rays called on lefty JP Howell. With the count 2-1 on Utley, Werth took off for second. The pitch was a ball and the throw down to second not in time. Utley fouled off the 3-1 pitch before Howell struck him out with a breaking ball that nearly ended up in the dirt for the first out. Howell picked Werth off of second with the count 0-1 on Howard for the second out. Howard struck out looking at a 2-2 breaking ball that swept into the strike zone.

Unbelievably awful play by Werth to get picked off.

Bruntlett led off the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at 4-4 with the lefty Howell still on the mound for Tampa Bay. Howell got behind Bruntlett 2-0 and hit him in the leg with a 2-1 pitch. Grant Balfour came in to pitch to Victorino with the Rays looking for a bunt. Victorino showed bunt and took strike one. The next pitch was wild, right at Victorino. Victorino jackknifed out of the way and the ball went to the wall as a wild pitch. It bounced off the wall and came right back to Navarro, who had no chance to get Victorino but threw to second anyway. That throw was wild as well. It went in to center field, allowing Bruntlett to go to third. Victorino was walked intentionally, putting men on first and third with nobody out for Feliz. Dobbs hit for Feliz with the righty Balfour on the mound. Tampa Bay brought the right fielder Zobrist in as a fifth infielder, playing right on top of second base. Balfour walked Dobbs intentionally, loading the bases. Balfour threw a 1-1 pitch past Ruiz to put the catcher in a 1-2 hole. Ruiz dribbled a 2-2 pitch down the third base line. Longoria charged hard and barehanded, but didn’t have a chance with his momentum taking him into foul territory. His flip went way over the head of Navarro as Bruntlett scored to give the Phillies a 5-4 win.

Yet another good no-strikeout from Ruiz.

Hugely athletic play by Victorino to get out of the way of the pitch from Balfour, which was right at his body. Changed the game.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game and is 2-for-14 (.143) in the series.

Werth 1-for-2 with two walks. 4-for-11 (.364) in the first three games with three walks.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. 3-for-12 (.250) and leads the team with four RBI in the series.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a home run last night. 3-for-13 (.231) with a double and a home run in the series. He has struck out six times, which is tied with Longoria for the most for either team.

Burrell 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-9 with two walks and five strikeouts in the series.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-11 (.364) with a walk in the series.

Feliz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 2-for-10 (.200) with a walk in the series.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. He’s 4-for-8 (.500) with two doubles, a home run and three RBI in the series.

Seven of the nine RBI for the Phillies have come from Ruiz or Utley. Howard has one and Bruntlett has one.

Joe Blanton (9-12, 4.69) faces righty Andy Sonnanstine (13-9, 4.38) tonight in game four. Sonnanstine was better in the second half of the season than the first, throwing to a 4.58 ERA with a 1.37 ratio before the All-Star break and a 4.08 ERA and a 1.17 ratio after. He’s made two starts in the post-season, going 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA and an 0.85 ratio.

He walked just 37 hitters in the regular season and has walked just two in two playoff starts.

He’s been tough on lefties this season, handling them a little better than righties. Righties hit 289/319/464 against him and lefties 265/303/426.

Stairs is the only Phillie to have faced Sonnanstine, he’s 4-for-12 with a double and a home run.

Blanton still hasn’t been charged with a loss since joining the Phils. After going 4-0 in the regular season, Blanton is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.45 ratio in two post-season starts.

He has an ugly history against the Rays. In eight starts against Tampa Bay, Blanton has gone 2-3 with a 6.05 ERA and a 1.73 ratio. Carlos Pena is 4-for-7 against him. Crawford 7-for-22 (.318). Upton 3-for-11 with a home run.

Ad: TicketCity has Phillies World Series tickets.


Howell do you do to the Rays relief corps

Tampa Bay has an excellent bullpen, third best in the AL using ERA as the measure. Even playing without a DH, only two NL teams, the Phillies and the Dodgers, threw to a lower ERA than the 3.55 posted by Rays relievers.

The Tampa Bay bullpen was not overused. They threw just 484 1/3 innings, which was ninth of the 14 AL teams. Lefty JP Howell was tied with Texas’s Josh Rupe for innings pitched as a reliever in the AL, throwing 89 1/3. Nobody else on the Rays was in the top 20.

Four righties and three lefties out of the Tampa Bay bullpen look likely to impact in the World Series. Here’s a look at what the four righties did during the regular season this year:

 
2008 Regular Season

Pitcher

IP ERA Ratio K vs L vs R
Dan Wheeler 66.1 3.12 0.99 53 215/282/387 163/230/340
Chad Bradford 59.1 2.12 1.25 17 313/380/418 255/289/295
Grant Balfour 58.1 1.54 0.89 82 120/196/169 159/260/274
Edwin Jackson 183.1 4.42 1.51 108 295/379/415 268/326/471

Wheeler and Balfour were just outstanding. Eighty-two strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings for Balfour is particularly impressive. Both were good against lefties as well. Bradford split his year between the Orioles and the Rays, throwing to a 1.42 ERA with Tampa Bay. He was not as effective as Balfour and Wheeler against righties and doesn’t strike anyone out.

Jackson started 31 of the 32 games that he appeared in this season. It appears there again will be no room for him in the rotation with Kazmir, Shields, Garza and Sonnanstine taking the starts for the Rays.

Here’s what those righties have done in the post-season:

  IP ERA Ratio K
Wheeler 6.0 6.00 1.50 6
Bradford 6.0 1.50 1.17 3
Balfour 5.2 7.94 2.12 5
Jackson 2.1 0.00 0.86 4
         
Total 20 4.50 1.50 18

Balfour and Wheeler both got hammered in game five of the ALCS. They combined to allowed seven runs in two innings. Excluding those two innings, the group has been charged with three earned runs in 18 innings this post-season (1.50 ERA). The Balfour/Wheeler duo got combined to get just two outs in games six and seven of the ALCS.

Here are the three left-handed relievers:

 
2008 Regular Season

Pitcher

IP ERA Ratio K vs L vs R
JP Howell 89.1 2.22 1.13 92 188/286/248 197/290/315
David Price 14.0 1.93 0.93 12 158/200/158 188/270/313
Trever Miller 43.1 4.15 1.36 44 209/305/308 286/383/400

The Rays relied heavily on JP Howell this season and he was fantastic. Howell faced 138 left-handed batters this season and allowed five extra-base hits against them. Price is an elite prospect that Tampa Bay took with the first pick overall in the 2007 draft. They seem pretty comfortable with him in the game, as evidenced by his presence on the mound in the ninth inning of a 3-1 contest in game seven of the ALCS. The 35-year-old Miller serves up some walks and gets hit hard by righties. Miller hasn’t seen much action this post-season — here’s what the lefties out of the pen have done for Tampa Bay:

  IP ERA Ratio K
Howell 9.2 1.86 1.03 12
Price 2.1 0.00 0.86 4
Miller 0.2 0.00 4.50 1
         
Total 12.2 1.42 1.18 17

They’ve been really good. Howell, especially, although they have called on him to throw a huge number of innings, 9 2/3, in nine appearances. I think it’s safe to say we will see Price’s role expand in the World Series.

Ad: Latest prices on Phillies World Series tickets at TicketCity.


  • Calender

    September 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Apr    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  
  • Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.



    Web Directory

    Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Philliesflow.com. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress