Tag: Hunter Pence

One and just getting started

Roy Halladay faces Kyle Lohse tomorrow at 5:07 in game one of the NLDS.

Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.04 ratio this season, striking out 220 in 233 innings. He was second in the NL in ERA, second in innings pitched, first in WAR for pitchers and fourth in ratio. For the third straight season, he led his league in fewest walks per nine innings pitched. It wasn’t real close. Halladay walked 35 in 233 2/3 innings or 1.348 per nine innings. Lee was second-best in the NL and he walked 1.625 per nine.

Lefties had a lot more luck against Halladay than righties, hitting 273/305/354 against him compared to 206/236/275 for righties.

Halladay has allowed more than two runs in a start once in his last seven outings. Over those seven appearances he’s thrown to a 1.65 ERA with a 1.02 ratio.

Over his last 12 starts he’s allowed one home run in 86 1/3 innings (Lance Berkman hisownself on September 19, causing Halladay to unleash a fury of intentional walks the likes of which haven’t been seen before or since).

Halladay was third-best in the NL in terms of fewest HR per nine innings, behind Charlie Morton (six HR in 171 innings) and Matt Cain (9 in 221). That group of three was way better than the rest of the league. Halladay was third with 0.385 HR per nine and Madison Bumgarner was fourth at 0.528.

Halladay made two starts against St Louis this year, throwing to a 3.21 ERA with a 1.14 ratio and striking out 11 in 14 innings. On June 21, Halladay allowed a run over six innings as the Phils topped the Cards 10-2 in St Louis. The Cards scratched out a run in the fifth with the help of a bloop hit and a double-play that wasn’t. Halladay left down 1-0 and the Phils came to bat in the eighth down 2-1. In the eighth they scored nine runs without an extra-base hit.

In that game St Louis brought righty Jason Motte into the game to face Howard in the eighth inning and Motte hit Howard. Just saying.

The other start came September 19 in St Louis. Halladay gave up the home run to Berkman in the first and spent the rest of the day intentionally walking him (okay twice, but still). Halladay allowed four runs over eight innings in the game, his only start since August 16 in which he has allowed more than two runs. Down 4-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Phils scored two runs charged to Motte but lost 4-3.

Pujols is 2-for-11 against Halladay for his career. Berkman 2-for-5 with two walks. Molina 1-for-5. Punto 4-for-14. Jay 1-for-8. Craig 0-for-4. Schumaker 3-for-8.

Halladay has made three career post-season starts and threw a one-walk no-hitter against the Reds in game one of the ’10 NLDS.

The Phils lost game one of the ’10 NLCS against the Giants with Halladay on the mound and won game five with Halladay looking sick and off.

Overall, Halladay has made three career post-season starts and gone 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA and an 0.77 ratio. He has a 4.15 ERA over his last two playoff starts.

Righty Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.39) goes for St Louis.

Coming off two ugly years in 2009 and 2010 where Lohse threw to a 5.54 ERA over 41 appearances and 40 starts, Lohse has been good for St Louis this season. He was tenth in the NL in ratio with a 1.168 and sixth in the league in best walk rate with 2.007 per nine innings.

Lohse had very similar numbers against righties and lefties for the season. Righties hit 248/284/384. Lefties fared a tiny bit better, but with a very similar 249/299/397 line.

Lohse started the season pitching great. In his 11 starts before the end of May, he threw to a 2.13 ERA with an 0.92 ratio over 80 1/3 innings. June, July and August didn’t go as well, though, as Lohse made 15 starts in which he threw to a 5.29 ERA and allowed 94 hits in 81 2/3 innings as opponents hit .288 and slugged .506 against him. He was very good in his four starts in September, throwing to a 1.37 ERA without allowing a home run in 26 1/3 innings.

He made two starts against the Phils on the year and had good numbers, throwing to a 1.76 ERA with an 0.98 ratio over 15 1/3 innings. On June 22 in St Louis, he held the Phils to three runs over eight innings and the Phils won 4-0 behind a complete-game from Cliff Lee. Rollins and Howard both homered off of Lohse in the fourth inning of that game. Rollins hit a solo shot and Howard’s was a two-run homer.

Lohse also started the September 19 game against Halladay and pitched very well, allowing an unearned run over 7 1/3 innings. The Phils scored their only run of the game in the second that day with the help of two bad plays by Nick Punto, one of which was called an error and one of which wasn’t.

Hunter Pence is the Phillie who has faced Lohse the most over his career. In 41 at-bats, Pence has hit 317/349/415 against him (13-for-41 with two doubles and a triple). Howard 8-for-16 with four walks and two home runs. Utley 4-for-24 (.167). Rollins 5-for-27 with a home run (.185). Polanco 10-for-28 (.357) with ten singles. Ibanez 9-for-39 with three home runs (.273 with a .545 slugging percentage). Victorino 5-for-24 with two doubles.

Pence’s next playoff plate appearance will be his first.

Lohse has made six post-season appearances. Five of them, including a start, came with the Twins between 2002 and 2004. He also appeared in relief for the Phils in game two of the ’07 NLDS against the Rockies. Kendrick started that game for the Phils and took a 3-2 lead into the top of the fourth. The Rockies loaded the bases against Kendrick with two outs and Lohse took over to pitch to Kaz Matsui. Matsui hit a 1-2 pitch from Lohse out to right for a grand slam, the Rockies led 6-3 and went on to win the game 10-5.

Overall, in six post-season appearances Lohse has thrown to a 3.38 ERA with an 0.90 ratio. He’s allowed just two walks in 13 1/3 innings and struck out 15. His other start came in game three of the 2003 NLDS between the Twins and Yankees. He allowed three runs in five innings that game and New York won 3-1. Hideki Matsui hit a two-run homer off of Lohse in the second inning of that game.

Is there time to get like Polanco and Ibanez to change their last names to Matsui before five o’clock tomorrow? Just spit-balling here, but it could be the kind of thing that pushes the Phillies over the top.

It’s still not clear what’s up with Matt Holliday and his finger. If you see him on the field, you should be wondering if he can throw at all.

Rafael Furcal has a hamstring problem and his status is also murky.

The very mention of Albert Pujols should terrify us all, but Pujols comes into tomorrow’s game having gone 6-for-32 with two doubles and a home run over his last seven games (188/212/344) to end the regular season.

On the less good news side, Berkman is hitting 400/492/540 over his last 59 plate appearances. Righty Allen Craig is 12-for-his-last-32 with five home runs (375/412/938). Five is an unusual number of home runs to have hit in your last 32 at-bats. Punto hit .308 and on-based .424 in September (but in just 35 plate appearances). Yadier Molina hit .305 this season and 352/390/549 over his last 197 plate appearances.


Not-so-easy 101

The Phils got number 101 last night, tying the ’76 and ’77 teams for wins in a season. They will look to set the franchise record tonight as the Braves try desperately to beat them and get into the playoffs.

With the win, Charlie Manuel also tied Gene Mauch for most wins in franchise history as a manager with 645. Mauch managed the Phillies in parts or all of nine seasons from 1960-68 and the Phillies played to a .486 winning percentage under him. This is Manuel’s seventh year with the Phils. They have gone 645-488 under him (.569).

The Phillies are 101-60 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 last night. The Phils have won the first two games of the series and three in a row. The Braves and Cardinals have the same 89-72 record and are tied the race for the Wild Card with one game left in the regular season for each team.

Oswalt started last night’s game for the Phils and threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.69, which is sixth-best among the seven pitchers who have started at least one game for the Phils this season. Oswalt goes into the post-season having allowed six runs in 20 2/3 innings over his last three starts. In two of those starts he threw 13 shutout innings combined in which he allowed eight hits and a walk. In the other he allowed six runs in 7 2/3 innings, but pitched way better than his line, allowing four runs in the eighth inning to ruin what had been a solid start.

Utley gave him a 1-0 lead with a homer off of Derek Lowe in the top of the first. Rollins and Pence both knocked in runs in the third to extend the lead to 3-0. Polanco scored Victorino with a sac fly in the fourth. 4-0. Pence hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 6-0 and Rollins hit a solo shot in the seventh. 7-0. Martin Prado led off the ninth with a homer off of Kendrick to cut the lead to 7-1.

Savery threw a scoreless seventh for the Phils. In four appearances for the Phils he has now thrown 2 2/3 scoreless innings in which he has allowed one hit and struck out two.

Bastardo pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with a 7-0 lead, getting Brooks Conrad on a ground ball to short, Matt Diaz on a fly ball to center and Michael Bourn swinging. That’s an outstanding development for the Phils — Bastardo came into the outing having allowed nine runs on nine hits and seven walks over 3 2/3 innings over his last eight appearances. Sixteen of the last 27 batters he had faced had reached based and he had allowed at least one hit or walk in each of the eight outings.

Kendrick pitched the ninth and allowed the solo shot to Prado. Coming off of four straight starts, Kendrick has now appeared in relief his last two times out and neither appearance has gone that well. In those two appearances he has allowed three runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with a homer in the game. He’s 11-for-his-last-19 with two home runs.

Utley 2-for-4 with a homer. He came into the game 3-for-his-last-25 and hitting 214/292/313 over his last 202 plate appearances.

Pence 1-for-3 with a home run. 5-for-his-last-12 with two home runs.

Top three in the order for the Phils go 6-for-12 with three home runs and six RBI.

Howard was 0-for-4. 4-for-his-last-11.

Victorino 1-for-4. 6-for-his-last-20 with four extra-base hits.

Ibanez 1-for-4. 8-for-his-last-24 with eight singles.

Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-20. From August 5 to September 20 he hit 308/390/355 over 123 plate appearances. 2-for-20 since.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. 5-for-his-last-12.

Mayberry walked in his only chance last night. 2-for-his-last-10 with three walks. 302/355/590 since the All-Star break. 306/353/595 against lefties for the year. Ibanez has hit 212/234/356 against lefties for the year. I’m going to be surprised if Ibanez doesn’t start in left against lefties in the post-season, but I don’t think it will be the right decision.

Bowker struck out pinch-hitting for Oswalt in the seventh last night. He’s 0-for-13 with seven strikeouts with the Phils.

Blanton (1-2, 5.03) faces righty Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23) tonight.


Hefty lefties

When the post-season arrives, the Phils will be starting left-handed pitchers in two of the first three games and feature a bullpen with a single lefty who came into yesterday’s game having allowed nine of the last 15 batters he had faced to reach base.

So it seems important to know how their potential playoff opponents in the NL fare against lefties. For the four NL teams other than the Phillies who look like they have the best chance to make the playoffs, here’s what the teams have done overall against left-handed pitching for the year (none of the numbers in this post include yesterday’s games):

Team AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
STL 259 333 417 158 750 (2)
ARI 239 314 417 178 731 (5)
MIL 252 314 413 161 727 (7)
ATL 229 292 352 123 644 (16)

So, by OPS, the Cards have been the best of those four teams against left-handed pitching and the Braves have been the worst. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Atlanta has been absolutely atrocious against lefties this year, hitting just 229/292/352 against them, which gives them the NL-worst .644 OPS against left-handed pitchers.

Here’s the list of St Louis’s best hitters against lefties who got at least 100 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season. They are ordered by OPS:

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
STL Pujols 295 342 590 295 932 (16)
STL Holliday 241 411 446 205 857 (27)
STL Molina 278 364 464 186 828 (36)
STL Rasmus 256 374 451 195 825 (37)

That’s kind of a scary list because of its length, but with a couple of problems for the Cards. Holliday is hurt and Rasmus isn’t on the team anymore, traded to the Blue Jays in July. Oh, and the other problem is that they’re almost surely not going to make the post-season.

If they do, they do have some guys without 100 plate appearances against lefties who have good numbers against left-handed pitching. Allen Craig was hitting 306/338/613 against lefties in 63 plate appearances coming into yesterday and David Freese had hit 348/390/522 against southpaws over 77 plate appearances.

And here’s a lot at the top left-bashers on the other three teams, starting with the Snakes:

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
ARI Upton 274 385 563 289 948 (12)
ARI Young 282 387 556 274 943 (13)
ARI Roberts 280 400 504 224 904 (22)

Three guys there who have had monster years against left-handed pitching. Notably, two of them, Young and Roberts, have been miserable against righties. Young has hit 216/306/375 against righties and Roberts has hit 238/321/399 against them. Upton has hammered everyone, putting up a 301/372/535 line against righties. As good as he has been against both sides, he has shown a lot more power against lefties with an isolated power of .234 against righties and .289 against lefties.

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
MIL Braun 362 445 638 276 1.083 (2)
MIL Hart 323 422 586 263 1.008 (7)
MIL Weeks 270 380 472 192 852 (28)
MIL Fielder 279 358 455 176 813 (40)

Two monster bats against lefties for the Brewers in Braun and Hart. Weeks has been struggling with an ankle problem, but is getting stronger and playing again. Fielder, of course, is a lefty, but has still done his share of damage against left-handed pitchers.

Despite the two huge bats against lefties in Braun and Hart, the Brewers have had their share of guys who have brought down their numbers. Righty Casey McGehee has played regularly this year and hit 171/230/187 in his 135 plate appearances against lefties. His fellow righty Yuniesky Betancourt has also gotten a ton of chances and hit 239/256/345 against lefties.

Then there’s Atlanta. And they can’t hit lefties at all — their best hitter by OPS who got at least 100 plate appearances against lefties is their left-handed hitting catcher Brian McCann:

Team Player AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS (NL Rank)
ATL McCann 264 312 486 222 798 (43)

That’s a little misleading because of the miserable year righty Dan Uggla has had with the bat. After hitting 173/241/327 through the first 86 games of the season, Uggla has hit 312/396/620 over his last 288 plate appearances. His numbers against lefties for the year are still atrocious, 197/284/338, but he hit 306/409/575 against lefties in 2010 and you have to think that he’s going to be more formidable against lefties in the post-season than he has during the regular season.

The Braves have had other problems against lefties this year, though. Righty Alex Gonzalez has on-based .284 against them. Lefties Freddie Freeman and Jayson Heyward have both struggled as well. Freeman has hit 256/314/420 against them in 194 plate appearances while Heyward has hit a hide-your-eyes 184/263/301 against them in 114.

So, purely for the standpoint of guys who can hit lefties, who should the Phillies be hoping to face in the post-season? It looks like the answer is clearly the Braves, with the caveat that Uggla is a whole lot better than his numbers so far this year. That can’t happen in the first round, of course. For me, the scariest team against lefties is Milwaukee — despite the miserable numbers for a couple of their regulars, Braun and Hart have just demolished left-handed pitching this season.

Finally, it seems important to point out the NL player who came into action yesterday with the best OPS against left-handed pitching for the season (among players with at least 100 plate appearances against lefties). Shane Victorino is the answer with a 327/444/645 line (1.089 OPS).

Yesterday the Phils played a double-header with the Washington Nationals, dropping both games to fall to 98-56 on the year. The Phillies have lost four in a row and scored three runs or less in 12 of their last 13 games.

The Phils lost the day game 4-3 in ten innings. Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and was fantastic again, tossing six shutout innings before being Schwimer took over in the seventh. Schwimer allowed a pair of singles before Roger Bernadina hit one out to right, putting the Nats up 3-0. The Phils tied it up in the bottom of the inning when Ibanez, 1-for-his-last-18, hit a three-run pinch-hit homer off of Tyler Clippard. Stutes started the tenth and got the first two before walking Michael Morse. Morse took second on a passed ball by Erik Kratz and came in to score on a pinch-hit single by Ryan Zimmerman, putting Washington up 4-3. Kratz doubled to start the bottom of the tenth, his first career extra-base hit, but was left at second when Orr lined to short, Schneider struck out and Gload grounded to short.

Kendrick has a 1.91 ERA in his 33 innings since the end of July. Those innings have come over seven appearances, five of which have been starts.

Not a good day for Schwimer, who saw his ERA on the year rise to 6.97 on the three-run homer. He’s allowed five runs in two innings over his last two appearances.

Joe Savery made his debut for the Phillies in the game. He started the eighth and allowed a single on a ball deflected by Orr. The next batter bunted the runner to second and Savery was pulled.

The Phils lost the night game 3-0. Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on 11 hits. Only two of the runs were earned and the Phillies made three errors in the game (Rollins, Utley and Ruiz). The offense had just three hits, two singles by Francisco and one by Polanco, as Ross Detwiler threw 7 1/3 scoreless frames for the Nats.

Danny Espinosa homered off of Lee in the second to put Washington up 1-0. Washington got another run on three singles in the sixth to push the lead to 2-0. Jayson Werth started the seventh with a double for Washington and went to third on a one-out single by Michael Morse. Werth came in to score on a bad pickoff throw by Ruiz, upping the lead to 3-0.

Justin De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 eighth after Lee left and has now thrown two scoreless innings in two appearances.

Herndon threw the ninth, allowing a two-out walks but striking out two and keeping Washington off the board. In his 20 appearances since the All-Star break he has thrown to a 1.65 ERA with a 1.21 ratio.

Vance Worley (11-2, 2.85) faces lefty John Lannan (9-13, 3.68) tonight in leave-your-lefties-on-the-bench night at the yard.

On the please-move-along-there’s-nothing-to-see-here front, Hunter Pence tweaked his left knee in game one yesterday and says it’s going to be fine.

Jimmy Rollins and his wife will host their first annual Havana Nights to benefit the Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation and Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Monday, November 14. Read all about it.


Phils still not scoring runs, but making great strides towards getting their intentional walking ship in order for the post-season

The Phils lost again last night, but clinched home field advantage throughout the post-season with a loss by the Brewers. The offense struggled again for the Phillies in the game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the late but falling 4-3 as the rally fell short.

The Phils have scored three runs or less in ten of their last 11 games.

Halladay surprised a bit in the game by not being lights-out. Coming into the outing having allowed one run over 17 innings over his last two starts, Halladay gave up a pair of runs in the first on his way to allowing four runs over eight innings in the game. It was the fifth time in 31 starts this season that Halladay was charged with more than three runs in a start. He also curiously walked Lance Berkman intentionally twice in the game after Berkman homered off of him in the first. Both times it worked out for Halladay, who came into the start have issued just two intentional walks for the season.

If we’re voting, I think having Halladay walk two batters intentionally in a start is a pretty poor idea. My argument is as follows: He’s Roy flippin’ Halladay. In 67 starts as a Phillie, last night’s is the only one in which Halladay has walked more than three batters in a game. It’s the first time since June 25, 2008 that he has walked more than three batters in a game pitching for any team. He walked more batters intentionally last night than he did in 489 2/3 innings between 2009 and 2010 combined (one IBB in those two seasons).

The Phillies are 98-54 on the year after losing 4-3 to the St Louis Cardinals. St Louis takes the series three games to one.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Rafael Furcal was the first batter of the game and he doubled to right. Nick Punto was next and Furcal moved up to third on a passed ball by Ruiz before Punto grounded to first with Furcal scoring from third to put St Louis up 1-0. Albert Pujols grounded to Halladay for the second out before Lance Berkman hit a 1-0 pitch out to right. 2-0. Allen Craig lined to Utley for the third out.

Halladay set the Cards down in order in the second, getting Jon Jay on a ball handled by Ruiz, Gerald Laird on a ground ball to short and Daniel Descalso on a popup to Utley.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when pitcher Kyle Lohse led off the third with a double to center. Furcal bunted him to third with the first out before Halladay walked Punto. With men on first and third, Halladay struck Pujols out looking 2-2 for the second out. Berkman was next, though, and lined a single into center, scoring Lohse (3-1) and moving Punto to second. Craig popped to Utley for the third out.

With two outs in the fourth, Descalso hit a ground ball to first that Gload didn’t handle for an error. Halladay struck Lohse out swinging to leave Descalso at first.

Furcal reached on an infield single to start the fifth and Punto bunted him to second with the first out. Pujols flew to right for the second out and Halladay walked the switch-hitter Berkman intentionally, putting men on first and second with two outs for Craig. Halladay struck Craig out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.

Not a fan of that one, although it’s harder to argue with if Halladay is going to blow Craig away.

Halladay set St Louis down in order in the sixth.

He walked Punto with two outs in the seventh. Pujols was next and doubled to left, plating Punto to extend the St Louis lead to 4-1. Halladay again walked Berkman intentionally, putting men on first and second, and got Craig on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Again with the intentional walk to Berkman. Enough to make one suspect it has more to do with lack of fear of Craig than it does with fear of Berkman. Worked twice for the Phils, but I’m still not a fan.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Herndon started the ninth. Furcal doubled to left with one out. Punto was next and Herndon struck him out swinging for the second out. Pujols struck out swinging 0-2 to end the frame.

Five scoreless innings in his last four appearances for Herndon. He has a 1.71 ERA in 19 appearances since the All-Star break. He threw 17 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Kyle Lohse went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Pence (5) Ibanez (6) Polanco (7) Gload (8) Ruiz. Gload at first for Howard.

Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.

Polanco singled with two outs in the second and Gload reached on an error by Punto at second behind him. It brought Ruiz to the plate with men on first and second and Ruiz singled into right just under the glove of a diving Punto, scoring Polanco and cutting the lead to 2-1. Halladay struck out swinging to leave the runners at first and second.

Punto’s error keeps the inning alive for Ruiz to knock into Polanco. Not a good inning defensively for the Cards at second, with Punto just missing on Ruiz’s single.

Victorino singled with one out in the third and the Phils down 3-1. Utley hit a ball to second. Punto fielded and went to second where Furcal didn’t handle it for an error that left the Phils with one down and men on first and second. Pence loaded the bases with a single to left, but Ibanez struck out swinging 2-2 and Polanco struck out swinging 1-2.

It’s almost like Howard were still in the lineup. No RBI, no contact for Ibanez with one out and the bases loaded and the Phils can’t take advantage of the extra out on the error by Furcal.

Gload singled to start the fourth. Ruiz flew to center for the first out and Halladay bunted Gload up to second with the second. Rollins walked to put two men on base, but Victorino grounded to first to leave them both stranded.

Can Gload score from second on a single with two outs? We may never know. I’m guessing it depends on what kind of a single it is. Not sure I would bunt him to second with the second out unless I was pretty sure.

Pence singled with one out in the fifth. Ibanez was next and smashed a ball back up the middle, but Lohse caught the low line drive and threw to first where Pence was doubled-off to end the inning.

Gload doubled to center with one out in the sixth. Ruiz grounded to short for the second out with Gload holding second. Halladay grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Down 4-1, the Phils went in order in the seventh.

Polanco walked with two outs in the eighth. With lefty Marc Rzepczynski on the mound for the Cards, Mayberry hit for Gload and grounded to first to end the inning.

Ruiz doubled to left to start the ninth. With righty Jason Motte pitching for St Louis, Moss hit for Herndon and struck out swinging. Rollins was next and he ripped a triple into the gap in right-center, scoring Ruiz to cut the lead to 4-2. Victorino grounded to short for the second out with Rollins scoring. 4-3. Lefty Arthur Rhodes came in to pitch to Utley and Utley singled to right. Righty Octavio Dotel took over for Rhodes and got Pence to ground to third to end the game.

Moss instead of Brown gets the at-bat against Moss. First at-bat of the year for Moss. Rollins looked good running the bases on his triple. Looked like a double when he hit it to me.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a triple and a walk. 6-for-18 with a triple in the four-game series. That’s his first walk since August 20 (although he missed about 20 days from August 22 to September 9). 278/339/397 for the year. He hit 20 triples in 2007 and has hit 19 since.

Victorino 1-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-15 with three walks and a homer in the set. He’s hitting .195 in September and 288/365/505 for the year.

Utley 1-for-5. 4-for-18 in the series. He doesn’t have a walk in his last 63 plate appearances and is on-basing .241 in September. 262/341/430 for the season.

Pence 2-for-5 yesterday and 5-for-17 with two walks and a double in the series. 317/386/541 with the Phillies for the year. He’s tops on the team in all three categories with the exception of on-base percentage — Dane Sardinha has on-based .419 for the Phils this year in his 43 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-14 with a grand slam in the series. 4-for-his-last-32 and hitting 242/288/419 for the season.

Polanco 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-14 with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 308/395/385 in September. 281/341/345 for the season. He was hitting .273 after going 0-for-4 against the Fish on September 3. He’s 19-for-his-last-57 (.333) with eight walks. 301/381/350 in his 118 plate appearances since August 5.

Gload 2-for-3 with a double. 2-for-7 in the series with a walk and a double. 257/278/314 for the year.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 2-for-9 with a walk and a double in the set. 280/371/385 for the season.

The Phils play a double-header with the Nats today. Kendrick (8-6, 3.22) faces lefty Ross Detwiler (2-5, 3.76) in the afternoon game. Righties are hitting .295 against Detwiler for the season and have hit six of the seven home runs he has allowed. Kendrick has a 2.60 ERA over 52 innings in his last 11 appearances since July 6, but seven of the 22 runs he allowed in that time have been unearned. He’s allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his last ten starts. Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.38) faces rookie lefty Tom Milone (1-0, 4.60) in the night game.


Offense continues to sleep, but Phils reap a sweep

The Phils scored just five runs in their double-header with the Marlins yesterday, but thanks to some outstanding work from their starting pitchers it was enough to get a sweep. Kendrick threw five strong innings in the day game in his first start since August 24. Lee was brilliant in the night game, but lost his complete-game shutout when Jose Lopez tied the game with a homer on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth. The Phils won it in the tenth.

The Phils also got four shutout innings from the pen in Kendrick’s game, although the relievers didn’t pitch particularly well, allowing six hits and three walks over four frames.

It’s going to take some good pitching to get the Phils some wins these days — they have scored a total of 14 runs over their last seven games.

The night game of the double-header saw the return of Chase Utley to the starting lineup. He and Rollins started the same game for the first time since August 21.

The Phils won the day game of the double-header 3-1. RBI-doubles by Pence and Ibanez put them up 2-0 in the bottom of the first. Kendrick gave up a solo homer to Logan Morrison in the top of the fifth, the first hit he had allowed, cutting the lead to 2-1. Polanco walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to extend the lead to 3-1. The Fish loaded the bases in the eighth and put their first two runners on in the ninth, but Lidge and Madson kept them off the board.

Bastardo had yet another worrisome outing in the game. He started the eighth and faced three batters, getting one out and allowing a double and a walk. Over his last four appearances, eight of the 11 batters that Bastardo has faced have reached base on three hits and five walks. That’s a problem for a Phillies team with no other left-handed relief options and only one lefty in the pen when Bastardo is pitching well.

The Phils won the night game 2-1 on a walkoff double to the gap in left-center by Howard in the bottom of the tenth.

The Phillies are 97-51 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 2-1 last night in the second game of a day/night double-header. The Phils sweep the double-header and are in first place in the NL East, 12 games ahead of the Braves. The Phils won 97 games in 2010, but only two teams in the history of the organization (’76 and ’77) have won more than 97.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies in the night game and allowed a run over nine innings on five hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out 12 and didn’t walk a batter.

In the first he got Emilio Bonifacio on a ground ball to second for the first out before Bryan Petersen doubled to right. Mike Stanton was next and Lee hit him with a pitch, putting men on first and second. Jose Lopez flew to left for the second out and Omar Infante struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Donnie Murphy singled to start the second. Lee struck Matt Dominguez out for the first out and got Brett Hayes to ground into a double-play behind him.

Pitcher Alex Sanabia led off the third and struck out looking. Bonifacio flew to center for the second out and Petersen lined softly to short.

Lee got the first two in the fourth before Infante singled to center. He struck Murphy out swinging 0-2 to leave Infante at first.

Dominguez started the fifth with a single, but Lee struck out Hayes trying to hit and Sanabia trying to bunt for the first two outs. Bonifacio grounded to second for the third out.

Lee struck out Stanton and Lopez in the sixth.

Up 1-0, he set the Marlins down in order in the seventh.

Righty Gaby Sanchez hit for Hayes and grounded to second for the first out in the eighth. John Buck hit for the pitcher Steve Cishek and struck out for the second. Bonifacio struck out looking 0-2 for the third.

Lee struck out Petersen for the first out in the ninth. Stanton was next and ripped a line drive to left, but Ibanez made a fantastic diving catch for the second out. Lee got ahead of Lopez 0-2 and made a terrible pitch, a high fastball that Lopez hit out to left, tying the game at 1-1. Infante grounded to second for the third out.

Schwimer started the tenth for the Phils. He struck Murphy out for the first out before Dobbs hit for Dominguez. Schwimer got the lefty Dobbs on a popup to Martinez for the second out. Lefty Logan Morrison hit for the pitcher Edward Mujica and Morrison struck him out looking 1-2.

That’s the best of Schwimer’s seven career appearances and it came at a good time. He threw 15 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Alex Sanabia went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Pence (5) Ibanez (6) Gload (7) Ruiz (8) Orr. Golly. Victorino on the bench with Mayberry in center and hitting second. Utley back to play second and hit third. Gload plays first with Howard on the bench. Orr at third with Polanco watching.

Mayberry singled with one out in the bottom of the first, but Utley and Pence both flew out behind him.

Gload singled with one out in the second and took second on a wild pitch. He was left there when Ruiz flew to left and Orr struck out swinging.

The Phils went in order in the third on fly balls by Lee, Rollins and Mayberry, all to center.

Utley, Pence and Ibanez all struck out in the fourth.

Gload singled to left to start the fifth and Ruiz flew to right behind him. Orr was next and hit a ball hard that was knocked down by the pitcher Sanabia. Sanabia picked up the ball and threw to second, forcing Gload for the second out with Orr safe at first. Lee moved Orr up to second with an infield single, but Rollins popped to the third baseman Dominguez in foul territory to end the inning.

Mayberry led off the sixth and hit a 2-0 pitch out down the left field line for a homer that put the Phils up 1-0. Utley grounded to short for the first out before Pence doubled to right. Ibanez moved Pence to third with a ground out to first, but Gload struck out swinging to leave him stranded.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Utley singled with two outs in the eighth, but Pence struck out swinging behind him to leave him at first.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phillies hit in the bottom of the ninth. Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out as the Phils went in order.

Righty Burke Badenhop started the tenth for the Fish and couldn’t throw strikes. He walked Martinez on four pitches and threw three straight balls to Howard before finally getting one over. Howard hammered his 3-1 pitch to the gap in left-center and the ball landed on the warning track. Martinez raced around to score, giving the Phils a 2-1 win.

Howard breaks out of an 0-for-15 slump with a huge swing to win the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game with a strikeout. 1-for-5 in the double-header. 3-for-his-last-13 with three singles.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with his 14th home run. He has a .615 slugging percentage since the All-Star break, which is the best on the team. There are 148 NL players who have at least 100 plate appearances in the second half — Mayberry’s .615 slugging percentage is fifth-best (although he just barely makes the cut with 118 plate appearances).

Utley 1-for-4. 2-for-5 with two singles in the double-header.

Pence 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. He could probably use some rest before it’s all over, too.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 2-for-8 with a double in the double-header. 289/347/467 so far in September.

Gload 2-for-4 with a strikeout. That’s just the second time this year he has had more than one hit in a game. He’s 6-for-his-last-15 (.400). Just two walks in 100 plate appearances for the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-5 on the day. 361/430/470 over his last 94 plate appearances.

Orr 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the double-header. 2-for-his-last-19.

Vance Worley (11-2, 2.92) faces lefty Jaime Garcia (12-7, 3.68) tonight. Garcia started against the Phillies on May 17 and held them to an unearned run on five hits and walk over eight innings. The Phillies are 14-1 in the last 15 games that Worley has started. He’s thrown to a 4.34 ERA in his first three starts in September and opponents have hit .307 against him.


The doctor is in (the playoffs)

Roy Halladay pitched the Phils into the post-season with a magnificent outing yesterday afternoon, throwing a complete-game shutout as he led the Phils to a 1-0 win over Houston. With the victory, the Phils salvage a game in a three-game set in which they scored a total of four runs and failed to score more than two in any game against the lowly Astros.

Victorino and Polanco started yesterday’s game with back-to-back hits, but the Phils would get just two more hits the rest of the way, singles by Halladay and Pence in the sixth. They wouldn’t score after the first inning, notably loading the bases with one out in the sixth before being turned away on a Howard strikeout and Ibanez’s fly out to center. Howard was 0-for-11 in the series and is 3-for-his-last-23 with ten strikeouts.

The Phillies are 95-51 on the year after beating the Houston Astros 1-0 yesterday. The Astros take the series two games to one. The Phils have clinched a spot in the post-season and lead the second-place Braves by 11 games in the division.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete-game shutout, allowing six hits and a walk. All six of the hits were singles and he struck out seven.

He was up 1-0 when he pitched the bottom of the first. Jordan Schafer lined softly to third for the first out. Clint Barmes was next and he struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. JD Martinez grounded to short to end the inning.

Carlos Lee led off the second and hit a ball to third that Polanco didn’t handle for an error. It brought Brian Bogusevic to the plate with a man on first and Bogusevic moved Lee to second with a single to left. Jimmy Paredes bunted for a hit and the bases were loaded for Jose Altuve. Altuve hit a ground ball to third and Polanco came home, forcing Lee for the first out. Halladay got Humberto Quintero to hit into a double-play to keep Houston off the board.

No run for Houston after loading the bases with nobody out.

Halladay got pitcher Bud Norris to pop to Howard for the first out of the third. Schafer reached on an infield single and stole second before Barmes popped to Martinez for the first out. Martinez hit a ball hard, but Polanco took it at third and threw to first to end the inning.

Halladay set Houston down in order in the fourth.

Altuve led off the fifth and singled to center. Quintero flew to center for the first out. Norris tried to bunt Altuve up to second, but struck out fouling off a two-strike pitch. Altuve stole second, but was left there when Schafer grounded to third.

Halladay walked Martinez with one out in the sixth, but got Lee and Bogusevic behind him.

Paredes singled to right to start the seventh and Altuve bunted him to second with the first out. Quintero grounded to third for the second out with Paredes moving up to third. Righty Matt Downs hit for the pitcher Norris and Halladay struck him out swinging 0-2 to leave Paredes at third.

Halladay struck out Schafer and Barmes to start the eighth before Martinez singled to left. Jason Bogusevic ran for Martinez at first, but was left there when Lee flew to left.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 ninth, getting Bogusevic on a fly ball to center, Paredes on a ground out to short and striking out Altuve to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Bud Norris went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Orr (8) Martinez. Rollins on the bench with Martinez at short. Orr at second with Utley sidelined. Victorino back after not starting game two — still hope the Phils get him more rest soon.

Victorino led off the game with a double to center. Polanco was next and he singled into center. Victorino scored from second as the throw from Schafer came in high and Polanco took second with the Phils up 1-0. Pence grounded to the pitcher for the first out with Polanco holding second. Howard went down on a ground ball fielded by Altuve for the second with Polanco moving up to third. Ibanez grounded to first with Norris covering to leave Polanco at third.

And here ends the offense for the Phils. They are held to one after putting a man on second with nobody out.

They didn’t have another base-runner until the sixth inning, when Halladay led off with a single to right. Victorino walked behind him. Polanco was next and bunted, but Norris made a fantastic play, pouncing on the ball, whirling and somehow making an accurate throw to third to force Victorino for the first out. Pence followed with a single into left and the bases were loaded. Howard struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Ibanez flew to center to leave the bases loaded.

No run for the Phils after putting the first two men on and then loading the bases with one out. Big strikeout for Howard, who can’t put the ball in play with one out and the bases loaded.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

And again in the eighth. Halladay hit for himself and struck out for the first out.

Pence, Howard and Ibanez all struck out as the Phils went in order in the ninth.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in the game. His double was the only extra-base hit for the Phils. 1-for-9 with a double and a walk in the three-game series. 291/367/511 for the year. He’s hitting .190 in September. Still think he needs to rest.

Polanco 1-for-4 with an RBI. 1-for-7 with two walks in the series. 276/332/340 for the season.

Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-11 with a walk, a double and a home run against his former team. 312/368/497 for the year. He’s hitting .385 over his last ten starts.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice, including a big strikeout in the sixth with one out and the bases loaded. 0-for-11 with a walk and four strikeouts in the series. 249/343/491 for the year.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. 1-for-6 with two walks and a double in the set. 246/294/424 for the year. 268/308/474 over his last 416 plate appearances since May 3. Everything’s great in the last 416 except he still isn’t walking. He walked just 24 times in those 416 plate appearances, which is about 5.8%. That’s lower than his career mark of walking in about 8.6% of his plate appearances. Coming into 2011 he had walked in more than 9% of his plate appearances for three straight seasons.

Ruiz 0-for-3. 2-for-10 with a walk and a home run in the series. 283/375/389 for the year. His power is down this year and especially down against left-handed pitching. This year his is hitting .261 against lefties and slugging .337. For his career he has hit .261 against lefties but slugged .414.

Orr 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-8 in the series. 241/300/277 in 90 plate appearances for the season.

Martinez 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 0-for-9 with a strikeout in the series. 2-for-his-last-25 and hitting 200/253/290 for the year. The Phillies have given him 222 plate appearances.

The Phils play a double-header with the Fish today. Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.29) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.64) in the day game and Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.44) faces righty Alex Sanabia in the night game. Sanabia will be making his second appearance of the season and his first start.


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