Tag: Greg Dobbs

Phillies rotation doing their best to improve the reputation of the team’s hitters

Citizens Bank Park might always have a reputation as a great place to hit, but the Phillies starters sure made it look like a good place to pitch against the Nationals. The Phils starters combined to allow one run in 23 innings in the series, continuing a string of outstanding performances from the rotation.

Over the last seven games for the Phillies, their starting pitchers have allowed nine runs. In 52 innings they’ve thrown to a 1.56 ERA with a 1.08 ratio and the Phils have gone 6-1. Five of the nine runs that the starters have allowed were surrendered by Moyer in the September 12 game the Phillies lost to the Mets 10-9 on David Wright’s second-two run homer in two innings. In the other six starts, five different starting pitchers, Hamels, Kendrick, Martinez, Lee and Blanton, have combined to allow four runs in 45 innings, pitching to an 0.80 ERA with a 1.07 ratio.

The Phillies are 85-60 on the season after sweeping the Washington Nationals in a three-game set in Philadelphia. They have won five games in a row and are 25 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. After they won game two of the series they were 24 games above .500 for the first time since the 1993 season. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the NL East by 7 1/2 games.

Cliff Lee threw a complete game shutout and the Phillies won game one 5-0. Rollins started the bottom of the first with a double and came around to score on a single by Utley to put the Phils up 1-0. The Phils jumped out to a 5-0 lead with four runs in a second inning that featured a three-run double by Ruiz. Lee was fantastic, allowing five singles and a double in the game while walking three and striking out nine.

Jayson Werth delivered the big blow in game two, a grand slam in the seventh, and the Phillies won 6-1. Blanton threw six shutout innings and was replaced by Park in the seventh with the Phils leading 2-0. Park injured his right hamstring as Ryan Zimmerman lined into a double-play to end the top of the seventh. The Phils had nobody on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Utley was hit by a pitch and stole second. Howard was walked intentionally and Ibanez unintentionally. It loaded the bases for Werth and Jason Bergmann got ahead of Werth 1-2 before Werth smashed a ball out to left to put the Phillies up 6-0. Walker allowed a run on a pair of hits in the top of the ninth.

The starting pitching was great again last night. Hamels went eight strong innings and the Phils won 4-2. Rollins doubled Feliz in to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the fifth. The Phils extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the sixth — Ruiz walked with the bases loaded to force in the first and Hamels followed with an RBI-single. The Nats managed a run on three singles in the seventh to get on the board at 3-1. A walk to Utley and two wild pitches helped the Phils score another run in the bottom of the seventh. Lidge came on in the ninth with a 4-1 lead and allowed a one-out triple to Elijah Dukes. Dukes would score but Lidge held on for the save.

The Phillies pitching was silly good in the series. They allowed three runs in the series. Hamels allowed one in his start last night, Lidge allowed another in relief last night and Walker was charged with a run in game two. Overall they threw to a 1.00 ERA with a 1.07 ratio in 27 innings. In 27 innings they allowed 20 hits and no home runs while striking out 27.

If the pitching overall was silly good we’re going to need new words for the starters. Lee, Blanton and Hamels combined to allow one run over 23 innings in the three games. They threw to an 0.39 ERA with a 1.04 ratio and struck out 26.

Lee threw a complete game shutout in game one of the series, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out nine. He has now thrown nine innings in three of his nine starts with the Phils. He’s 7-2 with the Phils with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.06 ratio.

Blanton went six shutout innings in game two, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out seven.

Hamels allowed a run in eight innings in game three. He gave up three singles, a double and a triple and walked one while striking out ten. Over his last five starts Hamels has thrown 37 2/3 innings with a 1.43 ERA and an 0.96 ratio. He’s dropped his ERA on the year from 4.78 to 4.07 in those five starts. In all five of the starts he’s allowed less than three walks and has not allowed a home run.

The relievers weren’t quite as good as the starters, but they didn’t have much to do. They tossed just four innings in the set and were charged with two runs. As a group they pitched to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.25 ratio. The worst news for the relief corps coming out of the series is that Park looks lost for the season.

Park started the seventh inning of game two with a 2-0 lead. Pete Orr led off with a single and moved to second when Willie Harris followed and reached on an error. Cristian Guzman bunted back to Park and Orr was forced at third base for the first out of the inning. Zimmerman was next and Howard made a nice play to catch the ball and double Guzman off of first to end the inning.

Park injured his right hamstring on the play and looks likely to miss a lot of time and perhaps the rest of the season.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff walk but kept the Nats off the board with the help of a double-play he induced from Ian Desmond.

Walker started the ninth inning of game two with a 6-0 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Justin Maxwell before retiring the next two hitters. Maxwell took second without a throw and came in to score on a Willie Harris single to make it 6-1. Walker got Guzman on a popup to end the game.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning last night, entering the game with a 4-1 lead. Dukes tripled with one out and scored when Ian Desmond followed with ground out to first. Willie Harris was next and flew to center to end the game.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Lidge threw 16 pitches last night.

The Phillies scored 15 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-13 with two doubles in the series and is hitting 247/291/412 for the year. He has on-based .285 hitting in the first spot in the order. There are 40 players between the two leagues who have at least 150 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter — Rollins’s .285 on-base percentage is 39th (Kaz Matsui has on-based .279 in the #1 spot).

Victorino was 1-for-10 in the series. 296/362/453 on the season. He’s hitting 231/265/369 in September. Rollins is on-basing .299 in September, so there’s not a lot going on at the top of the order these days.

Utley was 3-for-10 with a walk in the series. 296/414/537 on the season. He’s hitting just .228 in September.

Howard was 1-for-8 with a single and three walks in the set. 269/351/550 on the year. He has one home run in September in 2009 after hitting 11 in September in 2008.

Ibanez was on the bench last night with Francisco in left against the lefty Ross Detwiler. He was 2-for-5 with a double and four walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/350/566 for the season and a snazzy 296/367/593 in September to come out of a long slump.

Werth was 6-for-11 with a walk and a home run. 272/374/525 on the year with 34 home runs and 88 RBI.

Feliz was 0-for-10 with two walks in the series to drop his line on the year to 264/312/385. He’s hitting 198/245/337 over his last 185 plate appearances.

Ruiz started all three games and went 3-for-11 with two doubles and a walk. 256/354/427.

Francisco started in left field last night in game three a lefty on the mound. 1-for-4 in the series and hitting 246/277/508 in 61 at-bats with the Phils. It would be nice to see him getting some more at-bats, cause the Phils are going to need him in the playoffs. Not sure how, though, especially if you never need to hit for your pitcher.

Dobbs returned to action with a pinch-hit at-bat in game two. 0-for-1 in the series and 255/305/409 on the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the set and is hitting 200/356/389 on the year. It would be snazzy if Dobbs and Stairs were playing well for the post-season. For Stairs it sure seems like he’s dangerous at any time regardless of what he’s done recently. For Dobbs I’d be a lot happier to see him get into a groove in the last handful of games.

This says that Park will not start to rehab for two to three weeks.

The article linked above also says that Shane Victorino, who came out of last night’s game with gastrointestinal complications, expects to play to night.

This article suggests that Manuel thinks Myers is not yet ready to be a closer.


Getting the order in order

Two big items on the to-do list for the Phillies before the post-season starts. The biggest is getting some stability at the back of the bullpen, but also critical for the team will be getting the offense looking like the offense again. The Phils led the NL in runs scored in the first half of the season, scoring about 5.35 runs per game, but have slipped to the middle of the pack in the league in the second half, scoring about 4.56 runs per game since the break.

Here’s the rate at which the eight regulars for the Phillies registered runs, hits, doubles and triples, home runs and strikeouts per 100 plate appearances in the first half of the season:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB
Ibanez 18.3 27.7 6.9 7.6 7.6
Utley 16.6 25.7 5.1 5.3 13.9
Werth 16.3 22.0 4.3 5.4 14.1
Howard 14.0 22.5 5.8 5.8 10.8
Victorino 16.0 27.5 7.6 1.5 9.4
Feliz 10.9 26.9 5.7 1.8 6.6
Ruiz 5.7 20.2 6.2 1.6 11.9
Rollins 13.4 21.0 5.8 1.8 7.1

And here are the numbers for the second half (not including last night’s game):

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB
Ibanez 12.8 21.3 6.2 4.3 10.0
Utley 16.0 22.4 4.2 4.6 13.1
Werth 12.5 23.7 4.9 5.8 11.6
Howard 14.9 26.0 6.2 6.6 9.9
Victorino 13.4 25.5 7.8 1.7 7.8
Feliz 8.5 21.9 4.0 2.2 4.9
Ruiz 12.7 23.4 7.0 3.8 12.7
Rollins 13.2 25.2 7.0 4.3 3.9

And here’s how their rates for the second half compare to the rates for the first:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB
Ibanez 70% 77% 89% 56% 131%
Utley 97% 87% 83% 87% 94%
Werth 77% 108% 113% 107% 82%
Howard 106% 116% 106% 114% 91%
Victorino 84% 93% 102% 113% 83%
Feliz 78% 81% 70% 123% 74%
Ruiz 222% 116% 112% 244% 106%
Rollins 98% 120% 121% 232% 55%

So, for example, Ibanez is scoring about 70% of the runs per 100 plate appearances in the second half of the season that he did in the first.

Ruiz is having a monster second half.

Utley is down in all five categories in the second half. Feliz and Ibanez are down in four. Victorino is down in three.

Ibanez’s numbers for home runs are way down in since the break and Utley’s rate of long balls is down as well, but the rest of the group is hitting more home runs. The Phillies lead the NL in home runs since the All-Star break. By a lot. They’ve hit 82 — Arizona is second and they’ve hit 70.

What they’re not doing more of is walking. With the exceptions of Ibanez and Ruiz, everyone is drawing walks at a worse rate in the second half than they did in the first. Rollins’s walk rate for the year started out bad in the first half and has been atrocious in the second half. Thanks to his walk-free second-half, Rollins is now drawing walks for the season at a rate that is lower than the serial non-walker Feliz. Including last night’s game Rollins has now walked 37 times for the year in 643 plate appearances. That’s once every 17.4 plate appearances or 5.8 walks per 100 plate appearances. Feliz has walked 34 times in 599 plate appearances — once every 16.4 plate appearances or 6.1 walks per 100 plate appearances.

Condrey has been activated. The linked article also says that Happ hopes to be back in the rotation on Friday and that Eyre threw lightly without pain. Dobbs went 0-for-2 rehabbing at Lakewood.


Homer alone

The Phillies parade of solo home runs continues. The Phils lead the NL in home runs overall and also in both solo home runs and home runs with runners on base. It sure seems like all of the home runs they hit lately have been solo shots. But have a high percentage of the home runs they’ve hit this year been solo homers compared to the rest of the league? No. The chart below shows the percentage of each NL team’s homers that have been solo home runs for 2009:

Team % of HR
that are solo
Rank
San Diego
St. Louis
Colorado
Chicago Cubs
LA Dodgers
Arizona
Cincinnati
Philadelphia
Washington
San Francisco
NY Mets
Atlanta
Florida
Pittsburgh
Milwaukee
Houston
65%
64%
62%
62%
62%
61%
60%
59%
57%
56%
56%
55%
54%
53%
53%
53%
1
2
3
3
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16

The Phillies are in the middle of the pack. 116 of the 196 home runs they’ve hit have been solo homers, which is about 59.1%. What has happened is they have had a higher percentage of their home runs go for solo shots in ’09 than they did in ’08:

Year Total HR Solo Not Solo
2009 196 116 80
2008 214 114 100
       
2009 pace 233 138 95

In 2008, about 53.3% of the homers were solo homers for the Phils. That’s up to 59.1% this year. Despite the fact that the Phillies are on pace to hit about 19 more home runs overall in 2009, they are on pace to hit five fewer home runs with men on base.

Scott Eyre has pain in his left elbow. The linked article also says that Dobbs could be activated in the next ten days and the Romero got a cortisone shot on Tuesday.


Better halves

No team in the National League has played to a better winning percentage than the Phillies since the All-Star break. The Phils went 23-12 in their first 35 games since the break. That .657 winning percentage is tied for the third-best in baseball and trails only two AL teams. The Yankees have gone 27-9 since the break (.790) and the Angels are 25-11 (.694). The Cardinals have matched the Phils in the second half, also playing to a 23-12 record in their 35 games since the break.

In the first half of the year the Phils went 48-38 for a .558 winning percentage. That mark was fifth-best in all of baseball. The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels all posted better marks while the Dodgers went 56-32 for a .636 winning percentage that was the best for either league. The Giants were also fantastic before the break. They put up a 49-39 record, which gave them the sixth-best winning percentage in either league just a tick behind the Phillies.

The Dodgers and the Giants have both struggled in the second half. The Dodgers are 18-19 and the Giants 18-18. LA maintains a 3 1/2 game in the NL West while the Giants are three games out in the Wild Card hunt.

The Phillies have improved overall in the second-half because their pitching has been much better. Here’s the rate at which the Phillies have scored runs before and after the All-Star break this season:

  W-L G R R/G NL Rank
R/G
First Half 48-38 86 460 5.35 1
Second Half 23-12 35 181 5.17 4

So in the 35 games after the break the Phillies have played to a .657 winning percentage and in the 86 games before the break they played to a .558 winning percentage, but they scored more runs per game before the break. In the first half there was no NL team that scored more runs per game. In the second-half the Braves, Rockies and Brewers all have scored more runs per game. That probably means they have been a lot better at preventing runs in the second half. They have.

  W-L G RA RA/G NL Rank
RA/G
First Half 48-38 86 412 4.79 13
Second Half 23-12 35 126 3.60 3

The Phillies were thirteenth-best of the 16 NL teams at preventing runs in the first half of the season. They are third-best in the second half of the year and have allowed more than a run less per game in the second-half of the year.

Only the Braves have allowed fewer runs per game in the second-half of the season. The Cardinals and the Phillies are tied behind the Braves — both St Louis and the Phillies have allowed 126 runs in their first 35 games of the second half.

Notably, the Braves have both scored more runs per game than the Phillies and allowed fewer runs per game than the Phillies in the second-half of the season. The Phils have managed the better winning percentage, though, going 23-12 (.657) while the Braves have gone 23-13 (.639).

The Phillies have gone 7-2 in nine games since the last post. They took two of three from the Braves in Atlanta, swept the Diamondbacks at home and won two of the first three games of a four-game set against the Mets in New York.

Dobbs strained his right calf in Friday’s game and was put on the DL. Cairo was called up to take his roster spot and Bastardo was put on the DL to make room for Cairo on the 40-man roster.

Brett Myers was supposed to pitch for the Single-A BlueClaws yesterday but the game was rained out. This suggests that Myers may be ready to return to the Phillies by early September.


Chicago an even windier city after the Phils blow through town

The Phillies aren’t going to have to show a whole lot of life to win the NL East this year. They are going to have to show some, though, and they came into Chicago a listless 3-8 over their last 11 games.

As the Marlins pulled to within 3 1/2 games in the division, the Phillies roared to life and swept the Cubs in a three-game set. They found a way to win with three hits in game one. By games two and three the offense was finally back and the Phillies scored 18 runs in the last two games. Utley and Howard came into the series hitting a combined .190 in August (11-for-58). The duo went 8-for-14 and drove in six runs in the last two games against the Cubs.

The Phillies are 64-48 on the season after sweeping the Cubs in a three-game set in Chicago. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by 4 1/2 games. The Braves are in third place, five games behind the Phils.

The Phillies got three hits in game one, but managed a 4-3 win thanks to Happ and big home runs from Rollins and Francisco. The Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs off of Happ. The Phillies got just two hits in seven innings off of Rich Harden, but one of them came in the sixth inning when Rollins homered two batters after Ruiz had drawn a walk. Rollins’ shot tied the game at 2-2. The Phillies loaded the bases off of Carlos Marmol in the top of the eighth before Howard drew a two-out walk that put the Phils up 3-2. Lidge came on in the bottom of the ninth to protect the one-run lead and couldn’t get the job done. Lidge walked the leadoff man and the Cubs bunted him to second before Milton Bradley delivered an RBI-single that tied the game at 3-3. The Phils didn’t get a hit in the tenth or eleventh. Francisco led off the twelfth with a solo shot off of Kevin Gregg that put the Phillies ahead. Durbin, just off the DL, nailed down the save in the bottom of the inning.

Pedro Martinez’s debut was the story in game two, but it was the offense that stole the show. After looking sleepy for a couple of weeks, the Phils scored twelve runs in the game and rolled to a 12-5 win. The Phils jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and extended it to 4-1 when Victorino homered in the third. They blew it open with eight runs in a fourth inning that featured a pair of three-run homers, one from Rollins and one from Ibanez. The eight-run fourth put the Phils up 12-1. The Cubs nipped away at the lead with two more runs off of Pedro in the fifth and got a little closer with two off of Durbin in the ninth.

Cliff Lee gave the Phillies his third strong start in three outings yesterday and the Phillies won 6-1. A three-run homer from Howard and a solo shot from Feliz broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth. The Cubs got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Jeff Baker led off with a double and scored on a single by Ryan Theriot. The Phils extended their lead to 5-1 with a run in the sixth and to 6-1 with another in the seventh. Lee went eight innings and threw 122 pitches in the game. Madson kept the Cubs off the board in the ninth.

The Phillies pitched very well in the series. Overall they threw 30 innings with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.23 ratio. They allowed just 25 hits but walked too many (12). The Cubs didn’t hit a home run in the set.

Lee’s start was fantastic. Happ allowed two runs over six innings but on eleven hits plus walks. Martinez allowed three runs over five innings. As a group the starters went 19 innings with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.47 ratio. They walked eight in 19 innings — Happ walked four in six innings in his start.

Happ went six innings in game one, allowing two runs on six singles, a double and four walks. He has a 2.81 ERA and a 1.17 ratio in 15 starts for the Phillies this year.

Pedro Martinez made his debut with the Phillies in game two and allowed three runs over five innings on seven hits and a walk. He struck out five. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles.

Lee was fantastic again in game three. He allowed a run on six hits and three walks over eight innings while striking out eight. I think it’s a poor idea to let him start the eighth inning after he had thrown 112 pitches through seven. Walker or Eyre seem like better choices given they did not pitch in game two. Or Madson in the eighth and Lidge in the ninth. Given that he did pitch the eighth it was impressive that he shut the Cubs down 1-2-3 on ten pitches. For Lee it was the third time on the season that he had thrown more than 120 pitches in a game. Too many. He has thrown more than 110 pitches in seven of his last eight starts and in one of the two he didn’t he threw 108. I’d be pretty careful with that. He’s 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA and an 0.92 ratio in three starts with the Phillies.

The bullpen pitched well in the series. They allowed three runs, two of which were unearned. Lidge gave up a huge run in game one as the Cubs tied the game, but it was nice work from Park, Madson, Walker, Eyre and Durbin that helped the Phillies win the game with just three hits. Park was great in game two and Madson pitched a scoreless inning in game three. Overall the pen threw 11 innings in the series with an 0.82 ERA and an 0.82 ratio. They allowed just five hits in 11 innings and struck out 12.

Eyre entered game one in the bottom of the tenth with two outs and a man on first to pitch to Aaron Miles. Miles grounded to short for the third out. Eyre came back for the eleventh and set the Cubs down 1-2-3.

He didn’t pitch in game three with Lee throwing 122 pitches.

Moyer did not pitch in game two on Wednesday coming off of a start Sunday. You have to wonder if having Moyer in the pen and unable to pitch hurt the Phils in the series in terms of who pitched and how much. Instead Park pitched for the second day and threw three innings and Durbin also pitched for the second straight day. Lee threw a lot of pitches yesterday.

Park started the seventh inning of game one with the score tied at 2-2. He struck out the first two men he faced before walking Derrek Lee. Park got Jake Fox to ground to third for the third out.

He came back a day later and was awesome pitching with a big lead. He started the sixth with the Phillies up 12-3 and pitched the sixth, seventh and eighth without allowing a base-runner.

Park made his last start on May 17. Since then he has made 28 appearances. In 41 innings he’s thrown to a 2.63 ERA with a 1.15 ratio and 47 strikeouts. His contribution to the team is hidden by his miserable results as a starter, a 7.29 ERA with a 1.74 ratio in seven starts, which have his numbers for the year overall looking ugly.

Durbin started the twelfth inning in game one. Francisco had just given the Phils a 4-3 lead with a homer in the top of the frame. Durbin walked Fox with one out, but struck out Geovany Soto and then got Alfonso Soriano on a fly ball to right to end the game and earn his second save of the season.

Durbin also pitched in game two, entering to pitch the ninth with a 12-3 lead. He allowed two runs in the frame on two singles and an error by Bruntlett. Both of the runs were unearned thanks to the error.

Walker pitched the tenth in game one. He allowed a two-out single to not-Phillie Jeff Baker and Eyre came in to pitch to the switch-hitter Miles.

Madson pitched the bottom of the eighth in game one with a 3-2 lead. He gave up a two-out single to Baker, but struck out Sam Fuld to end the frame.

He also pitched the ninth inning in yesterday’s game with a 6-1 lead. He walked Baker with two outs by got Mike Fontenot looking to end the game. I was a little surprised to see Madson in the game with a five-run lead instead of Walker, Eyre or Lidge.

Lidge started the bottom of the ninth in game one with a 3-2 lead. He walked Kosuke Fukudome on five pitches to start the inning. Fukudome was bunted to second before Milton Bradley tied the game with a single to right. Lidge got the next two.

The Phils sure are being patient with Lidge.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Park threw three innings in game two, but needed just 26 pitches to do so.

The Phillies scored 22 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 3-for-13 with two walks, a double and two home runs in the series. He’s hitting 244/294/415 on the year. After hitting .313 in July he’s hitting .313 (15-for-48) in August.

Victorino was 4-for-14 with a double, a triple and a home run. He’s at 311/376/475 for the year. He has drawn one walk in August while hitting 250/289/500 in 36 at-bats.

Utley was 5-for-10 with a double and three walks in the series. 299/420/531 on the year.

Howard was 4-for-11 with three walks, a triple and a home run. 266/348/529.

Ibanez did not start yesterday with Francisco in left. He was 1-for-10 with a home run in the series. 296/360/606 for the year. He’s hitting 250/289/389 in August. After hitting .359 in April and .312 in May he hasn’t hit .260 or better in any month since.

Werth was on the bench for game one with Francisco starting in right field. I think Manuel has done a good job of getting Francisco in the lineup and rest for the outfielders since Francisco joined the team. Werth was 2-for-10 with a double in the series and is at 260/366/485 for the year. He has two walks in August after walking 24 times in July. After June 28 Werth has hit just .237, but with a .370 on-base percentage and a .466 slugging percentage. Hitting .237 becomes a bigger problem if you stop walking all of the time.

Feliz was 5-for-14 with a home run. 289/333/410 on the year. He hasn’t walked in August. His .743 OPS for the season puts him in danger of not posting and OPS for the year between .705 and .710 for the first time in four seasons.

Ruiz started games one and two of the series against righties. The lefty Bako started game three against another righty. Ruiz was 1-for-7 with three walks and an RBI in the series. 227/330/367 on the year. He drew a critical walk in game one ahead of Rollins’ homer.

Bako started game three and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 175/230/263 in 57 at-bats for the Phillies this year, which is rather awful.

Francisco started game one in right and game three in left even with the Cubs using three right-handed starters in the series. He was 1-for-9 with a home run in the top of the twelfth in game one. He’s hitting 222/267/519 in 27 at-bats with the Phillies.

Bruntlett got one at-bat in the series and made the only error charged to the Phillies. 0-for-1 in the series. I won’t be reporting his line any more until there is dramatic improvement out of respect for the fact that he scored the run that won the World Series last year. Suffice it to say that his line lacks many of the elements you’ve come to associate with baseball goodness (including, but not limited to, an on-base percentage that’s over .200).

Dobbs and Stairs combined to get no starts in the series with the Cubs throwing three righties while the righty Francisco started twice. Dobbs was 0-for-1 to drop his line on the season to 254/304/410.

Stairs was 0-for-2 in the series and is hitting 215/361/392. He’s 1-for-his-last-25.

Note: The next update to Philliesflow will be around August 24.


Phils doing their best to relate to fan base by going on vacation in August too

The Phillies didn’t pitch, hit, field or avoid being ejected for arguing balls and strikes while in the outfield well this weekend and the Fish swept them in a three-game set. The Phils are 2-6 in August and have won three of their last 11 games.

They are 61-48 on the season after losing three in a row to the Florida Marlins in Philadelphia. The Phils are in first place in the NL East and the second-place Marlins by four games. The Braves are in third and trail the Phils by 4 1/2 games.

The Marlins won game one 3-2. The Fish got a home run from form Nick Johnson and a pair of doubles in the first off of Blanton to put them up 2-0. Cody Ross hit a solo shot in the second to make it 3-0, which was how it stayed until the Phillies hit in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh Francisco got the Phils on the board and within a run with a two-run homer. The Phils had a chance in the eighth when they put two men on with one out, but Howard struck out and Ibanez grounded to second. They went in order in the ninth.

Hamels had another uninspiring start in the second game and the Phillies lost 6-4. The Phillies got a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to go up 2-1, but the Marlins loaded the bases in the top of the third on a single and two walks and then tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI ground out from Hanley Ramirez. Two errors from the Fish in the bottom of the third helped put the Phils up 3-2, which was how the score stayed until Cody Ross hit a two-run homer off of Hamels in the sixth to put Florida up 4-3. Florida extended the lead to 6-3 with two runs charged to Park in the eighth. A leadoff triple from Victorino in the bottom of the ninth helped the Phils score another run, but it wasn’t enough — Werth and Ibanez both came to the plate as the tying run and both flew out.

The Marlins completed the sweep yesterday with a 12-3 win. Moyer got the start and didn’t pitch that terribly, allowing three runs over five innings. Lopez and Lidge did, though. Lopez was charged with six runs in the seventh and only managed to get two outs. Lidge allowed three runs in the ninth. Shane Victorino was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes, which is notable mostly because he was in center field at the time. Werth replaced him in center and made a big error, one of three on the day for the Phils. It didn’t cost them nine runs, though.

The Phillies got terrible pitching in the series. Overall the pitchers threw to a 6.67 ERA and a 1.85 ratio. In 27 innings they allowed five home runs, 39 hits and 11 walks.

The starting pitching was bad, but not quite as bad as the bullpen. Blanton has the best start of the trio that included himself, Hamels and Moyer. As a group the three threw to a 4.76 ERA with a 1.76 ratio. In 17 innings they allowed four home runs, two off of Blanton and two off of Hamels, 24 hits and six walks. Moyer allowed 11 hits in the five innings he pitched.

Blanton gave up three early runs in game one but pitched pretty well. He allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings. Blanton allowed two home runs in the game. He allowed more than one home run in a game in five of his first 13 starts on the season but hadn’t for seven straight outings. He still hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start in his last eight times out.

Hamels went 5 1/3 innings in game two, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks. He’s allowed 11 runs in 10 1/3 innings in his last two starts. He walked six in those two outings combined — he hasn’t walked more than six hitters in any month this season.

Moyer allowed 11 hits and a walk over five innings in game three, but was charged with just three runs. Only two of the runs were earned. Two bad starts in a row for Moyer, he’s allowed nine runs on 17 hits and five walks over ten innings in his last two starts.

The relievers were okay in the first two games. Park gave up two runs in two innings in the second game. They got blasted yesterday, though, as Lidge and Lopez were charged with nine runs in three frames. As a group the pen threw to a 9.90 ERA with a 2.00 ratio over ten innings in the three games. They gave up just one home run, which Wes Helms hit off of Lidge yesterday, but gave up 15 hits and five walks over ten innings.

Eyre came into game one in the ninth inning with one out, the bases empty and the Phils down 3-2. He gave up a double to the first man he faced but got the next two hitters.

He also pitched the eighth inning yesterday. He pitched the eighth with the Phillies down 9-3 and allowed a two-out single but kept Florida off the board.

Eyre has been charged with two runs in over 20 1/3 innings in his 26 appearances since the end of April.

Park relieved Blanton in game one in the top of the seventh with two outs, men on first and second and the Phils down 3-2. He gave up a single to right by Hanley Ramirez, but Ben Francisco threw Chris Coghlan out at the plate to end the inning.

He also pitched in game two, entering in the seventh inning with the Phillies down 4-3. He hit a batter with one out, which was followed by a single. He got Jorge Cantu to hit into a double-play to end the inning. He came back for the eighth inning and got the first two hitters before Florida put together four singles in a row, plating two runs to make it 6-3. Again he got an out on the bases, ending the frame when Werth threw Jeremy Hermida out at third.

After allowing two runs in two innings in game two, Park has been charged with four runs in 17 2/3 innings since the end of June.

Lopez started the seventh yesterday with the Phils down 3-1. He had a miserable outing that allowed the Marlins to blow the game open. He faced eight hitters and was charged with six runs on three walks, two doubles and a single.

Kendrick started the ninth inning of game two with the Phillies down 6-3. He gave up a leadoff walk, but got the next hitter to hit into a double-play and Cantu to fly to left for the third out.

He also pitched in yesterday’s game, entering with two outs in the seventh, a man on second and the Phils down 8-1. He allowed an RBI-single to Cantu before getting Wes Helms on a popup to end the frame.

Walker entered game two in the top of the sixth with a man on first, one out and the Phillies down 4-3. He got the only two men he faced to end the frame and leave the runner stranded.

He took over for Moyer in the sixth inning yesterday with nobody out, men on first and second and the Phillies down 3-1. He set down the three hitters he faced to leave the runners stranded.

He has a 2.50 ERA and a 1.06 ratio in 16 games on the year. He hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk over three innings in four August appearances.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phils down 3-2. He set the Marlins down in order. He came back to get the first out of the ninth before Eyre came in to pitch to lefty John Baker.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning yesterday, starting the frame with the Phils down 9-3. He allowed three runs on a leadoff double, a one-out RBI-single and a two-run homer by Helms with two outs. He got Ross to pop to short for the third out.

His ERA for the year is up to 7.24.

The Phillies scored nine runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 3-for-13 in the series. He’s hitting 244/292/405 for the year.

Victorino was 2-for-8 with a triple and a walk in the series. 312/377/467 for the year. 5-for-his-last-25. He was ejected in game three and didn’t start game one. Werth played center in game one with Francisco in right.

Utley was 1-for-10 with three walks and five strikeouts. 294/415/529. 5-for-his-last-30 with a double. 148/273/185 in August.

Howard was 5-for-11 with a walk and three doubles. 263/344/522. He’s walked once in August.

Ibanez was 3-for-12 with three singles and a walk. 302/367/612. He’s driven in one run in his last 39 at-bats.

Werth didn’t start yesterday’s game with Dobbs in right. 0-for-9 with a walk and four strikeouts. 262/370/490. 185/241/296 in August.

Feliz was on the bench in game one with Dobbs at third. 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 286/332/405 on the year. Hasn’t drawn a walk in August.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and went 1-for-6 with a single and a walk. 230/327/374 on the year.

Bako started yesterday’s game and went 0-for-2 in the series. 189/246/283 on the season.

Bruntlett was 0-for-1 in the set to drop his line on the year to 131/200/202. There are 412 players in the NL and AL combined who have gotten at least 75 plate appearances this season — Bruntlett’s .402 OPS is 412th. He’s 412th in average, 411th in on-base percentage and 410th in slugging.

Francisco started game one in right and hit a two-run homer and threw a runner out at the plate. 1-for-6 with a home run in the series. 278/333/556 in 18 at-bats with the Phillies.

Dobbs started both of the game in which the Fish threw a righty. He started at third in game one and in right in game three. I think that’s a pretty good idea. Dobbs was 2-for-7 in the series and is hitting 256/306/414 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-2 in the series and is at 221/368/403 on the season. Since April 24 he’s hit 209/369/328 in 67 at-bats.

Romero will have an MRI today. Sounds like we shouldn’t expect him for a while.


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