Tag: Hunter Pence

JA carries the da as Phils look like they don’t want to pla

It was ugly take two last night as the Phils fell to the Astros 5-2. The Phils made two errors in the game and got all their offense on two swings of the bat, solo home runs by Pence and Ruiz.

In the first two games of the series, Brett Myers and JA Happ, two pitchers who have struggled this season, have held the Phils to two runs over 14 innings. The Phillies, meanwhile, have been awful. Looking sloppy and tired they have slogged through the first two games against one of the worst teams in baseball and lost them both.

The game was also notable because Cole Hamels was again hurt by the long ball. Clint Barmes delivered the biggest swing of the game, a three-run homer off of Hamels in the fourth. The homer was preceded by a Howard error, but the fact that Hamels gave up another big home run seems like a bigger deal than the Phils presumably temporary sloppy play in the field. From the beginning of the season to the end of July, Hamels allowed eight home runs in 152 innings (0.47 home runs per nine innings). Over his last seven starts he has allowed seven in 47 innings (1.34 home runs per nine). Over his last three starts he’s allowed five home runs in 21 innings.

The Phillies are 94-51 on the year after losing 5-2 to the Houston Astros last night. The Phils have lost three in a row, but still lead the NL East by 11 games. They have 17 games left to play and a magic number of one to reach the post-season and a magic number of five to win the division.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Hamels got Jason Bourgeois to ground to Rollins for the first out of the bottom of the first. Clint Barmes was next and he doubled to left. JD Martinez followed that with another double to left, scoring Barmes to put the Astros up 1-0. Carlos Lee followed with a single to right that pushed Martinez to third before Hamels hit Matt Downs with a pitch to load the bases. Hamel struck Chris Johnson out swinging at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Jason Michaels was next and he hit a ground ball to third with Polanco going to Martinez to force Downs and end the inning.

Big strikeout for Hamels for the second out with the bases loaded, which helps limit the damage to a single run.

He got Humberto Quintero on a fly ball to left for the first out in the second and struck pitcher JA Happ out for the second. Bourgeois singled to center and stole second before Hamels struck Barmes out swinging to end the inning.

Matt Downs singled to center with two outs in the third, where the ball went through Mayberry legs for an error that left Downs at third. Johnson grounded to Hamels to leave him there.

JB Shuck singled to right to start the fourth with the score tied at 1-1. Shuck stole second before Hamels struck Quintero out for the first out. Happ was next and he hit a ground ball to first that Howard didn’t handle. The Phils still might have gotten Happ at first, but Hamels was late to cover and the Astros had men on first and third with one out. Bourgeois singled to left, Shuck scored (2-1) and Happ took second. That brought Barmes to the plate and he delivered the swing of the game, hitting the first pitch he saw from Hamels out to left-center. 5-1. Hamels got Martinez and Lee behind Barmes to end the inning.

Second error in two innings for the Phils, but the real problem is the three-run homer that Hamels allowed to Barmes. The error did cost the Phils a run ahead of the homer, but even with the out Barmes would still have hit a two-run homer if everything else went the same way.

Hamels walked Downs to start the fifth. Johnson flew to center for the first out before Shuck moved Downs to second with a single to right. Hamels struck Quintero out again for the second out and Happ flew to Mayberry to leave both runners stranded.

Herndon set the Astros down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Great outing for Herndon, who now has made two appearances in which he has thrown three scoreless innings since his 69-pitch outing on September 4.

Schwimer pitched the eighth. Shuck led off with a single and Quintero followed that with a single that moved Shuck up to second. Right Angel Sanchez hit for the pitcher Fernando Rodriguez and bunted. Polanco fielded the bunt and went to third, where Shuck was forced for the first out. Bourgeois flew to right for the second out before Schwimer hit Barmes with a pitch, loading the bases. Martinez flew to right to leave them loaded.

Two hits and a hit batter in the inning for Schwimer. That’s also two scoreless appearances in a row for him.

Schwimer threw 21 pitches in the game and Herndon threw 17. Neither has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty JA Happ went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Victorino finally gets a much-needed day off with Mayberry in center. Francisco plays left with Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Martinez at second with Utley sidelined — Orr is the other choice, but he’s not a great option against a lefty.

The Phils went in order in the first.

They were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Mayberry doubled to left with one out. Francisco popped to third for the second out. Ruiz got ahead 2-0, but grounded to short 3-1 to leave Mayberry at second.

The Phils went in order in the third.

With one out in the fourth, Pence hit an 0-1 pitch out to left-center, tying the game at 1-1. Howard walked behind him. Mayberry struck out swinging for the second out before Francisco moved Howard to second with a single. Ruiz grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

The Phils were down 5-1 when they hit in the fifth. Martinez and Hamels went down to start the inning before Rollins singled to right. Happ walked Polanco and Pence on ten total pitches, loading the bases for Howard. Howard hit a 3-2 pitch well to left, but a jumping Martinez caught it at the wall to turn the Phillies away.

Almost a big swing for Howard against a lefty. He’s hitting 230/291/358 against lefties for the season.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the sixth, but Martinez grounded to short behind him.

Right Fernando Rodriguez struck out Victorino and Rollins as he set the Phils down in order in the seventh.

Victorino was double-switched into the game in the bottom of the sixth. Would like to see him get more rest. I’d guess Manuel is thinking that he’ll get it after the Phillies lock up the division, but I kind of wish he would get it now.

Rodriguez was back to strike out Pence and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Righty David Carpenter started the ninth for Houston. Bowker hit for Schwimer and struck out looking for the first out. Ruiz followed and hit a 2-2 pitch just out to right, cutting the lead to 5-2. Orr hit for Martinez and popped to short for the second out. Victorino struck out swinging to end the game.

Glad to see Manuel knows that Bowker is on the team. Bowker is now 0-for-5 with four strikeouts with the Phils.

Rollins 1-for-4. 2-for-8 since returning to the starting lineup.

Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-his-last-7.

Pence 1-for-3 with a walk and his 20th home run of the year. 400/462/743 (14-for-35 with four walks, four doubles, a triple and two home runs) over his last 39 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and a long fly ball. He’s 3-for-his-last-19 with two home runs.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and an error. 200/293/343 over his last 41 plate appearances.

Francisco 1-for-3. 7-for-his-last-13 with two walks. He only has 26 plate appearances since July 23 but is hitting 364/423/455 in those plate appearances. 277/367/361 n his last 99 plate appearances since May 28.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run. 13-for-his-last-37 with seven walks, a double and a home run (351/455/459 over 45 plate appearances).

Martinez was 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-his-last-22 with two singles. I feel like I’m kind of out of words on this one.

Roy Halladay (17-5, 2.44) faces righty Bud Norris (6-9, 3.78) this afternoon. Norris has been very effective against righties this year, but lefties have had more success. Righties have hit just 208/281/346 against him while lefties have put up a 287/357/478 line. He’s tailed off a little towards the end of the year, throwing to a 4.86 ERA over his last eight starts. Over his last 11 starts he’s given up 12 home runs in 64 1/3 innings, which is too many (at that rate he’d allow about 37 over 200 innings). Halladay faced Houston on opening day, holding them to a run over six innings.

IronPigs up 1-0 over Columbus after winning game one of the five-game series 5-2. Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer in the first and Mathieson got the start and the win for the Pigs.

Matt Gelb tweets that Domonic Brown, 1-for-4 in game one of the series, may be back with the Phils when it’s over.

Kendrick looking forward to returning to start on Thursday.


Worleywind tour comes to an end in Milwaukee

The Phils completed their series with the Brewers this weekend, taking two of the final three games to take three of four in the series. The series concludes a stretch of seven games against two of the National League’s best teams in which the Phils went 6-1.

On Friday the Phils won game two of the series 5-3. Howard hit a three-run homer in the top of the first to put the Phils up 3-0, which is how it stayed until the seventh. In the seventh, RBI-singles by Ibanez and Ruiz extended the lead to 5-0. Howard didn’t allow a run until the bottom of the seventh, when a leadoff double by Casey McGehee led to a run on a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt, cutting the lead to 5-1. Bastardo started the ninth and allowed the only two batters he faced to reach on single and a walk. Both came in to score after Madson took over for Bastardo, but the Phils held on for the win.

Over his last three appearances, Bastardo has now faced eight batters. Six of them have reached base on two hits and four walks.

Saturday the Phils won 3-2 in ten innings. Pence put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run in the top of the first, but the Brewers tied it up in the bottom of the second on an RBI-single by Betancourt. Lee gave up a second run in the fourth when Ryan Braun led off with a single, Prince Fielder followed with a double and Braun came in on a ground out by Casey McGehee to put the Brewers up 2-1. Polanco tied things up at 2-2 with a two-out homer to center in the fifth. Ibanez led off the tenth with a double and Ruiz tried to bunt him to third, but LaTroy Hawkins threw the ball away and Ibanez scored to put the Phils up to stay at 3-2. Lidge, Stutes and Madson combined to throw three scoreless innings in the game after Lee held the Brewers to two runs over seven innings.

The Phils lost yesterday’s game 3-2, dropping a game started by Worley for the first time in 15 outings.

The Phillies are 94-49 on the year after falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take two of the last three games in the series and three of four in the set overall. After a win on Saturday the Phillies were 46 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization. They are in first place in the NL East, 12 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Corey Hart led off the bottom of the first with a single and Nyjer Morgan bunted him to second with the first out. Braun grounded to second for the second out with Hart moving up to third. Worley struck Fielder out looking 3-2 to leave Hart at third.

Worley walked Rickie Weeks to start the second, but struck Taylor Green out behind him for the first out. Betancourt moved Weeks to second with a single to left and a wild pitch by Worley allowed the runners to take second and third. Jonathan Lucroy grounded to second, with Orr going to Howard for the second out as Weeks scored (1-0) and Betancourt moved up to third. The pitcher Yovani Gallardo grounded to short to end the inning.

Morgan doubled to right with one out in the third and moved up to third on a ground out by Braun. Fielder popped to Martinez at short for the third out.

Worley hit Weeks with his first pitch in the bottom of the fourth, but got Green, Betancourt and Lucroy in order behind Weeks.

Gallardo doubled to right on a ball that Pence either didn’t see well or didn’t play well. Worley struck out Hart before Gallardo took third on a balk. Morgan flew to right with Gallardo holding for the second out and Braun flew to Pence deep in right for the third out.

Worley started the sixth up 2-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Fielder, but got the next three hitters in order.

Hart doubled to left with two outs in the seventh. Morgan followed that with a double to right, plating Hart and tying the game at 2-2. Braun was next and singled into right. Morgan scored and Milwaukee led 3-2. Schwimer took over for Worley and struck Fielder out swinging 2-2 to leave Braun at first.

Just the second of five appearances for Schwimer on the year in which he isn’t charged with at least one run.

Herndon pitched the eighth. He walked Craig Counsell with one out, but got the next two hitters behind him.

First appearance for Herndon since his 69-pitch outing on September 4.

Herndon threw 19 pitches and Schwimer five. Nobody in the pen has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Yovani Gallardo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Orr (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Orr at second and Martinez at short with Rollins active but on the bench and Valdez sidelined after hurting his left hamstring stealing a base on Saturday. Schneider catches the day game with Ruiz on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard led off the second with a single, but Ibanez, Orr and Schneider all struck out behind him.

Down 1-0, Worley walked with one out in the third. Victorino was next and he grounded to second with Worley forced at second for the second out. Victorino stole second before Polanco grounded to short to set the Phils down.

Howard and Ibanez struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Orr struck out swinging on a wild pitch to start the fifth and made it safely to first. Orr stole second as Schneider struck out again for the first out. Martinez moved Orr to third with a ground out, but Worley struck out to leave Orr at third.

Phils waste the leadoff strikeout by Orr.

Victorino led off the sixth and homered to right center to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco and Pence went down behind him before Howard hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center to put the Phils up 2-1. Ibanez struck out for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh.

Down 3-2 and with righty Francisco Rodriguez pitching for Milwaukee, Gload hit for Schwimer to start the inning and singled to right. Mayberry ran for Gload at first and Victorino flew to right for the first out. Polanco grounded to third with Mayberry forced at second for the second out. Pence moved Polanco to third with a single, but Howard grounded to second to end the frame.

Gload still has to be replaced by a pinch-runner with his hip after reaching base to start the inning. That costs the Phils a bench player and a good one in this case in Mayberry. The Phils used two pinch-hitters in the ninth and they went 0-for-2. If Rollins can hit they surely would have used him, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t have used Mayberry even against the righty Axford instead of Bowker if Mayberry had been available. He wasn’t.

Righty John Axford started the ninth for Milwaukee with a one-run lead. He struck Ibanez out for the first out before Orr singled to center. Rollins hit for Schneider and struck out swinging for the second out. Martinez was next and drew a walk, pushing Orr to second as the tying run. Bowker hit for Herndon and popped to third to end the game.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game. 3-for-19 in the four-game set with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 295/371/516 for the year but just 204/278/327 so far in September.

Polanco 0-for-4 yesterday. 5-for-18 with a home run in the series. 278/332/343 for the year. His home run in Saturday’s game was his first since June 10.

Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 7-for-17 in the series with two walks, a double, a triple and a home run. 320/393/551 in 147 at-bats with the Phillies.

Howard 2-for-4 with his 33rd home run of the year. 3-for-8 with two walks and two home runs in the series. 254/348/501 for the year. He has hit seven home runs in his last 59 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out four times. 3-for-11 with a double in the series. 247/293/425 for the year. He’s hitting 201/250/312 away from home this season.

Orr was 1-for-4 and struck out three times. 4-for-9 with a walk in the series. 253/317/293 in 75 at-bats with the Phils for the year.

Schneider was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 167/235/259 in 108 plate appearances for the season.

Martinez 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series. 209/264/304 on the year.

Oswalt (7-8, 3.72) faces righty Brett Myers (4-13, 4.66) tonight in Houston. Myers saw his ERA shoot up to 4.95 after allowing seven runs to the Rockies in five innings on August 22, but has made three appearances since in which he has allowed just three runs in 16 2/3 innings (one of the appearances was a two-inning relief outing). He has allowed 31 home runs in 189 1/3 innings for the year. Oswalt faced his former team in his first start of the season, holding the Astros to two runs over six innings on April 3. In keeping with the guys-playing-on-the-wrong-team theme, Pence homered off of Oswalt in that game. It’s like an Esher drawing.


Phils apparently looking to make up for what they missed with roster expansion with lineup expansion

The Phils continued to roll last night, beating the Brewers 7-2 to win for the ninth time in their last 11 games, winning the game with a wackadoo starting lineup that didn’t include Rollins, Utley, Howard or Ibanez. They did just fine without those guys as Valdez, Pence, Mayberry and Francisco combined to go 8-for-18 in the game and drive in six runs.

Hamels gave the Phils another fantastic start, throwing a complete game and holding the Brewers to a pair of runs on two solo homers. If you’re looking for something to worry about in the complete game effort, I’d go with the rising home run rate for Hamels — he was great at preventing the home run early in the season, but has been a lot less great recently. In his first 17 starts he allowed six in 116 innings (about 0.47 HR per nine innings). Over his last 11 starts he has now allowed eight in 78 innings (about 0.92 HR per nine innings).

The Phillies are 92-48 on the year after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 last night. They are 44 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization and lead the NL East by ten games over the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both solo home runs. He struck out two.

He set the Brewers down in order in the first, getting Corey Hart on a fly ball to right, Jerry Hairston on a ground ball to short and Ryan Braun on a popup that Martinez handled.

Prince Fielder grounded to second for the first out of the second. Casey McGehee was next and he singled to left, but Hamels got Yuniesky Betancourt to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Hamels struck Jonathan Lucroy out swinging for the first out in the third. Carlos Gomez tried to bunt for a hit, but Mayberry retired him for the second. The pitcher Chris Narveson grounded to second.

Hamels walked Hairston with one out in the fourth, but got Braun and Fielder to leave him stranded.

McGehee grounded to third for the first out of the fifth. Betancourt was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to left center to put the Brewers up 1-0. Hamels got Lucroy and Gomez behind Betancourt.

He started the sixth with a 6-1 lead. Nyjer Morgan flew to center for the first out, but Hart was next and he lined a 3-1 pitch out to right center, cutting the lead to 6-2. Hamels got Hairston and Braun behind Hart.

Fielder singled to right to start the seventh. McGehee popped to Martinez for the first out. Betancourt was next and he went down on a soft ground ball handled by Hamels, with Fielder moving up to second with two down. Lucroy walked on five pitches and righty Josh Wilson hit for the pitcher Tim Dillard. Wilson grounded to third to end the inning.

Hamels set Morgan, Hart and Hairston down in order in the eighth.

Up 7-2, he got Braun, Fielder and McGehee in the ninth. He threw 111 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Chris Narveson went (1) Victorino (2) Valdez (3) Polanco (4) Pence (5) Mayberry (6) Ruiz (7) Francisco (8) Martinez. Valdez at short with Rollins, who was activated before the game, on the bench. Martinez at second with Utley having his head checked and rested. Mayberry at first against the lefty with Howard resting. Ibanez resting with Francisco in left. Francisco starts just his third game since July 22. July 22 was the 98th game of the year for the Phils — last night’s game was number 140. Polanco drops to three in the order with Valdez hitting second.

The Phils didn’t have a base-runner until Hamels walked with two outs in the third. Victorino flew to center to leave him at first.

They went in order in the fourth.

Mayberry started the fifth with a single. Ruiz fouled out to the catcher and Francisco hit into a double-play behind him.

This might not even be Francisco’s favorite year in professional baseball.

The Phils were down 1-0 when Martinez and Hamels both struck out to start the sixth. Victorino was next and hit a ball to left that almost left the yard, hitting high off the very top of the wall and bouncing back onto the field for a double. Valdez was next and doubled just over the head of Gomez in center, scoring Victorino to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Pence. Pence hit a ball to the gap in right-center that Gomez misplayed badly. Pence should have had a double, but wound up at third with Valdez and Polanco both scoring to put the Phils up 3-1. Mayberry was next and reached on an infield single with Pence scoring. 4-1. Mayberry stole second before Ruiz brought him home with a double to left. 5-1. Francisco singled to left and Ruiz scored. 6-1. Righty Tim Dillard came in to pitch to Martinez and Martinez singled to right where the ball was mishandled by Hart for an error, allowing Francisco to go to third. Hamels struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Looked like the misplay of Pence’s ball that gave him an extra-base was going to cost Milwaukee a run when Mayberry followed with an infield single that brought Pence home from third, but he would have scored on Ruiz’s double anyway. Gomez didn’t have a good inning in center either way.

The lead was cut to 6-2 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Polanco singled with two outs, but Pence grounded to the pitcher behind him.

Francisco singled with two outs in the eighth and stole second before Martinez drew a walk. It put men on first and second for Hamels. Hamels hit for himself and struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Valdez singled with one out in the ninth and Polanco went down on a fly ball to right behind him. Pence was next, though, and he doubled to right with Valdez scoring to extend the lead to 7-2. Mayberry walked before Ruiz grounded to third for the third out.

Victorino went 1-for-5 with a double, dropping his average on the year to .299. That’s the first time he’s ended the day with an average under .300 this year since July 28.

Valdez 2-for-5 with a double. He’s 7-for-19 with three extra-base hits to start September.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a walk. He has one extra-base hit, a double, in his last 155 plate appearances over 36 games.

Pence 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI to raise his line with the Phillies to 311/383/541.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-his-last-8 with three walks.

Ruiz 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI. 321/390/420 since the All-Star break.

Francisco 2-for-4 with an RBI. 5-for-7 with a double and two walks in his last two starts.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a walk. Five walks in 26 plate appearances in September.

Roy Halladay (16-5, 2.49) faces righty Shawn Marcum (12-5, 3.11) tonight. Righties have hit just 181/230/301 against Marcum for the year. Lefties have fared better at 257/313/390. He made one start against the Phils this year, allowing an unearned run on April 18. Halladay hasn’t allowed a home run in his last eight starts. Halladay has made one start against Milwaukee this year and it was pretty much his worst outing of the season. On April 19 he was charged with six runs in 6 2/3 innings in Philadelphia and the Phils lost 9-0. Halladay’s line was bad for the night anyway, but got worse when Herndon took over for him with two outs and two on in the seventh and gave up a three-run shot to Casey McGehee.


Phils deliver their most impressive bullpen management in days as Lee shuts down the Braves

Coming off a bizarre weekend in which the Phils suffered from a lack of depth in their pen, Cliff Lee was fantastic last night as the Phils hammered the Braves on their way to a 9-0 win. Lee threw a complete game shutout without allowing a walk or an extra-base hit.

Over his last six starts, Lee has allowed two runs in 48 2/3 innings. In those six starts he has surrendered just 28 hits in 48 2/3 innings.

It was a real nice break for the bullpen, which curiously seemed not to have enough bodies against the Marlins this weekend despite the expanded September rosters. With Kendrick away for the birth of a child, the weirdness started on Saturday. Pitching for the third straight day, Bastardo started the eighth with a 4-3 lead and walked the first two batters he faced. Herndon took over for him and allowed home runs to three of the six batters he faced. The Phils lost that game 8-4. The next day, Herndon threw 69 pitches over 3 2/3 innings and the Phils lost in 14. It’s a little tough to understand why the Phillies simply didn’t have more relievers available for those games. Herndon shouldn’t be throwing 69 pitches in a game, he shouldn’t be doing it the day after he throws 20 pitches and he especially shouldn’t be doing it in September.

The Phillies are 89-48 on the year after pounding the Atlanta Braves 9-0 last night. The Phils remain in first place in the NL East, 8 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, holding the Braves to five singles. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six. He threw 100 pitches in the game.

He got Michael Bourn on a ground ball to second to start the game. Martin Prado was next and he grounded to short for the second out before Brian McCann singled to right. Lee struck Dan Uggla out swinging 1-2 to set the Braves down.

Matt Diaz led off the second with an infield single with the Phils up 2-0. Lee got the next three, striking Freddie Freeman out swinging, getting Alex Gonzalez on a fly ball to left and left-handed hitting left fielder Jose Constanza on a grounder to second.

The strikeout of Freeman for the first out of the inning was Lee’s 200th for the season.

Lee struck pitcher Derek Lowe out to start the third and got Bourn and Prado behind him. Bourn hit a hard ground ball to first off the body of Howard, but Howard picked it up and tagged Bourn as he flew past for the second out.

Lee got McCann, Uggla and Diaz in order in the fourth. Diaz hammered a ball to right center, but Victorino took it on the warning track after a long run for the third out.

Up 5-0, Lee struck out Freeman and Constanza in a 1-2-3 fifth. Howard made a long run and a sliding basket catch near the fence in foul territory to retire Gonzalez for the second out.

Up 7-0, he set the Braves down in order in the sixth.

Uggla reached on an infield single with one out in the seventh, but Lee got Diaz to ground into a double-play behind him.

Freeman started the eighth with a single into center, but Gonzalez grounded back to Lee behind him and Lee threw to Martinez at second to start the double-play. Constanza was next and he reached on an infield single. Righty Jack Wilson hit for the pitcher Peter Moylan and Lee got Wilson to ground to third for the third out.

Up 9-0, Lee set the Braves down in order in the ninth. He struck out Bourn, got Prado on a ground ball to short and McCann on a ground ball to second.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Martinez plays short with Rollins on the DL and Valdez on the bench. Mayberry in left against the righty with the lefty Ibanez on the bench. Ibanez was 6-for-45 (.133) against Lowe for his career around the time Manuel was figuring out his lineup.

Polanco singled off the glove of Bourn in center with one out in the first and moved to third when Utley followed with a single to right. Howard walked on four pitches and the bases were loaded for Pence. Pence singled to left, scoring Polanco and Utley to put the Phils up 2-0 with men on first and second with one out. Mayberry struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out and Ruiz grounded to third to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Howard singled with two outs in the third. Pence grounded to second behind him.

Mayberry walked to start the fourth. Ruiz was next and hit a ball to short that Gonzalez didn’t handle for an error, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Martinez bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Lee grounded to first with the runners holding for the second, but Victorino picked him up, singling to left to bring both runners in (4-0). Victorino took second as the throw came to the plate and Ruiz slid in safely on a close play. With Polanco at the plate, Victorino stole third and tried to come home when the ball wasn’t handled by McCann, but McCann threw to Lowe covering and Ruiz was tagged out to end the inning.

With one out in the fifth, Utley hit a popup that went unhandled for a triple. Lowe walked Howard intentionally, putting men on first and third for Pence. Pence doubled to right, scoring Utley (5-0) and sending Howard to third. Mayberry walked to load the bases. Ruiz hit the first pitch of his at-bat into center, scoring Howard and Pence (7-0) and moving Mayberry to second. Martinez grounded to first for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Lee struck out swinging 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Second walk for Mayberry in two plate appearances.

Polanco was hit by a Scott Linebrink pitch with one out in the sixth. He took second on one wild pitch by Linebrink and third on another before Utley flew to center. Polanco tagged and tried to score, but Bourn threw him out to end the inning.

Howard led off the seventh and got ahead of Linebrink 3-0 before hitting a 3-1 pitch out to right center. 8-0. Righty Peter Moylan took over for Linebrink and got Pence, Mayberry and Ruiz in order. Pence hit the ball well to left, but was retired on a leaping catch by Constanza for the first out.

Lee singled off of righty Arodys Vizcaino with one out in the eighth and Victorino walked behind him. Polanco followed with a single to left that scored Lee and put the Phils up 9-0 with one out and men on first and second. Utley flew to center for the second out, with Victorino tagging and moving up to third. Howard flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBI in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-14 and hitting 205/300/341 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Polanco 2-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-28 (.214). Of the 83 NL players with 400 plate appearances for the season, his .335 slugging percentage is 81st.

Utley 2-for-5 with a triple. He’s 4-for-his-last-30 (.133).

Howard 2-for-3 with two walks and a home run. He’s 7-for-16 with seven walks and two home runs in the first five games of September.

Pence 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Constanza made a nice play in left to take another hit away from him. Pence was 2-for-his-last-16 coming into the game.

Mayberry 0-for-2 with two walks. 3-for-his-last-21. He’s on-basing .329 for the year and .322 against righties.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with two RBI. 5-for-his-last-14 and 302/392/403 over his last 299 plate appearances.

Martinez was 0-for-3. Of the 181 NL players with 175 plate appearances for the season, his .257 on-base percentage is 179th.

Worley (10-1, 2.87) faces righty Tim Hudson (14-8, 3.05) tonight. Hudson has a 2.27 ERA over his last 16 starts. In two starts against the Phils this year he’s 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA. The Phillies have won 13 games that Worley has started in a row. He’s been a little less impressive his last few times out, throwing to a 4.64 ERA over his last six starts.

Over the weekend, the Phils lost two of three to the Marlins.

On Friday the Phils won the series opener 5-3 to improve to 42 games over .500 for the first time in team history. Oswalt pitched into the seventh inning, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing three runs while striking out seven. Victorino led off the game with a triple and game in to score when Polanco followed with a sac fly, putting the Phils up 1-0. The Fish got the run back in the bottom of the first thanks to a leadoff double by Emilio Bonifacio, tying the game at 1-1. Omar Infante led off the third with a double and came around to score, too, putting Florida up 2-1. The Phils pulled ahead to stay in the fifth. Pence led off and reached on error by Bonifacio and Mayberry followed that with a two-run shot. 3-2 Phils. The Phils loaded the bases without a hit in the top of the sixth before Mayberry’s sac fly plated Utley to make it 4-2. Oswalt gave up a solo homer to Jose Lopez in the bottom of the inning, cutting the lead to 4-3. Victorino led off the seventh with a single and took second on a misplay by Mike Stanton in right, moved to third on a ground out and came in to score on a wild pitch. 5-3. Oswalt left with one out in the seventh. After his exit, Stutes, Bastardo and Madson closed out the game, combining to allow one hit over 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Phils lost the second game of the series 8-4 on Saturday. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second on a two-run triple by Valdez, which was followed by an infield single by a hustling Hamels. Hamels allowed a two-run homer to Mike Cameron in the bottom of the second, though, and a solo shot to Stanton in the third that tied the game at 3-3. Hamels drove in another run in the fourth when his two-out single brought Ruiz home from second, putting the Phils back on top 4-3. Bastardo took over for Hamels in the eighth and walked the first two men he faced. Herndon took over for him and gave up a long three-run homer to Gaby Sanchez, which was followed by a solo homer by Cameron and another solo homer by Dobbs and put the Marlins up to stay at 8-4. The Phils allowed five home runs in the game. In the eighth, Bastardo faced two batters and walked them both. Herndon faced six batters and allowed a three-run homer and two solo shots.

On Sunday the Phils lost 5-4 in 14 innings. Bonifacio tripled off of Halladay to start the bottom of the first and came in to score on a single by Infante to put Florida up 1-0. The Phils pulled ahead 2-1 in the top of the second with two runs on three hits and a big throwing error by Dobbs. Florida tied the game up again in the bottom of the third when Sanchez doubled ahead of a Logan Morrison ground ball to first in which Halladay couldn’t handle the toss from Howard when covering first. The Marlins took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth on singles by Bryan Petersen, Buck and Lopez, but the Phils jumped back ahead 4-3 on a two-run single by Howard in the seventh. Schwimer took over for Halladay in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a walk and a double to the first to men he faced. Schwimer managed to limit the damage to one run, with a ground out by Sanchez plating Infante to tie the game at 4-4. It stayed scoreless until the bottom of the 14th, when Herndon walked Cameron with the bases loaded to force in Bonifacio as the winning run.

Herndon threw 69 pitches in relief for the Phillies in the game, walking seven in 3 2/3 innings. The Phillies played the game under protest after a play in the sixth inning in which Pence hit a ball to right field that was originally ruled a double. It appeared a fan reached out to interfere with the ball, the play was reviewed and the call changed to an out. I’d guess the Phils have close to no chance of a successful protest. The Florida fielder (Petersen) was interfered with — the ball wasn’t going to be a home run so they play shouldn’t have been reviewed to start with, but it was close enough to being a home run that it’s reasonable to suggest that was the focus of the review.


Peak peek

There have been some low moments in Phillies history, but yesterday marks one of the high ones. With a 6-4 win over the Reds, the Phils completed a four-game sweep and moved to 41 games above .500, which ties them for the best mark in the history of the organization.

For the only time in the series, the Phillies didn’t get outstanding starting pitching in yesterday’s game. Worley pitched well early, but gave up a three-run homer in the seventh before leaving charged with four runs. The bullpen was very good, though, throwing three shutout frames after he left in which they held the Reds to just one walk and struck out five. The pitching overall held the Reds to six runs in the four-game set, three of which came on one swing — a pinch-hit three-run homer by Chris Heisey off of Worley yesterday.

The Phils outscored the Reds 21-6 in the four game series. Howard and Martinez both homered yesterday. The Phils hit eight long balls in the series — three for Howard and two for Pence with Ibanez, Martinez and Victorino all hitting one.

The Phillies are 87-46 after beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 yesterday afternoon. With the win the Phils complete a sweep of the four-game series. They are in first place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games of the second-place Braves. The Phils were also 41 games over .500 in August of 1976.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a homer. He struck out seven. Worley allowed two home runs in 62 1/3 innings to start the season. Since then he has allowed five in 42 innings.

Brandon Phillips singled to right to start the bottom of the first. Worley got Edgar Renteria and Joey Votto on a pair of fly balls before Jay Bruce flew to center to leave Phillips at first.

Worley started the second with a 3-0 lead. He walked Juan Francisco on four pitches and Yonder Alonso moved Francisco up to second with a single into center. Worley got out of it, though, striking Drew Stubbs out looking 0-2 for the first out, Ryan Hanigan looking 2-2 and getting the pitcher Mike Leake on a ground ball to third to leave both runners stranded.

Phillips doubled to start the third. Renteria was next and hit a ball to short, which Valdez made a fantastic diving play on, fielding and throwing to first for the first out with Phillips moving up to third. Votto followed with a fly ball to center, deep enough for Phillips to tag and score, cutting the lead to 3-1. Bruce singled to right before Worley struck Francisco out looking to end the inning.

First run allowed by a Phillies’s starting pitcher in the series.

Worley set the Reds down in order in the fourth.

First 1-2-3 inning for Worley and the first time that the leadoff hitter had not reached based. He had thrown 53 pitches through four innings.

Worley got Leake and Phillips to start the fifth before Renteria hit a ball that Ibanez may have misread. It landed for a double. Worley got ahead of Votto 2-0 and struck him out looking 2-2 to end the inning with Renteria at second.

Up 4-1, Worley set the Reds down in order in the sixth.

He started the seventh with a 6-1 lead. Stubbs led off and doubled over Victorino’s head in center. Hanigan moved Stubbs to third with a single. Righty Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Jeremy Horst and Heisey lined an 0-1 pitch out to right for a three-run homer that made it 6-4. Lidge took over for Worley and struck Phillips out for the first out before walking Renteria. Bastardo took over to face the lefty Votto and got Votto to hit into an inning-ending double-play.

Heisey makes it a game again with the pinch-hit three-run homer. Lidge continues to walk way too many hitters, walking one of the two guys he faces. He has a 1.74 ERA for the year, but has walked ten in 10 1/3 innings.

Bastardo was back for the eighth and struck out the side, getting Bruce , Francisco and Alonso all swinging.

Golly. Bastardo dropped his ERA on the year to 1.38 with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He has struck out 65 in 52 1/3 innings. This says that the .112 average opponents have hit against him is the best in history for any pitcher who has thrown more than 50 innings.

Madson pitched the ninth. He got Stubbs swinging 1-2 for the first out and Hanigan on a ground ball to third for the second. Righty Ramon Hernandez hit for the pitcher Francisco Cordero and Madson got him on a ground ball to short to end the game.

Madson has thrown two days in a row and threw 14 pitches in the game. Bastardo 18 and Lidge nine.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Leake went (1) Victorino (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Schneider catches the day game after a night game. Valdez plays short with Rollins on the DL. Martinez plays third with Polanco on the bench. Ibanez in left against the righty with Mayberry on the bench. Martinez doesn’t really belong hitting second, no matter how many games you’ve won or who is hurt. I assume Manuel does it that way to keep the other players hitting in the same spot in the order, but I think I’d just go with something other than the who can’t hit hitting second.

The Phillies went in order in the first.

Pence doubled to left with one out in the second and Ibanez walked behind him. Schneider was next and he singled to left, scoring Pence to put the Phils up 1-0 with one out and men on first and second. Valdez reached on an infield single to load the bases before Worley singled into center. Ibanez scored from third (2-0) and Schneider tried to score from second but was thrown out by Stubbs for the second out. With men on first and second, Victorino singled into left, scoring Valdez (3-0) and pushing Worley to second. Martinez flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

RBI-single for Worley after Halladay knocked in three runs with a double in game two.

Utley, Howard and Pence went in order in the third.

With the lead cut to 3-1, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Victorino singled to right with one out in the fifth. Martinez was next and hit the ball hard, but Votto took the line drive and stepped on first to double-off Victorino and set the Phillies down.

Martinez hit that ball well, just into bad luck.

With one out in the sixth, Howard hit a 1-0 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Pence flew to center for the second out before Ibanez hit a ball to first that went under the glove of Votto for a two-base error. Schneider struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Ibanez at second.

Valdez singled off of righty Jared Burton to start the seventh. Worley bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino grounded to second with Valdez moving up to third. Martinez was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for a two-run homer, putting the Phils up 6-1. Utley and Howard singled back-to-back before Pence grounded to short to leave them on the bases.

Again Martinez hits the ball hard, this time out of the yard.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. With lefty Bill Bray on the mound for the Reds, Ruiz hit for Schneider and flew to left for the second out.

With righty Francisco Cordero pitching for Cincy, Gload hit for Bastardo and singled to left to start the ninth. Mayberry ran for Gload at first, but Victorino, Martinez and Utley all grounded out to keep the Phils off the board.

With Bowker available on the bench, Manuel gives the at-bat to Gload. Gload still being run for on the bases with his hip problem. Gload starts September with a hit after going 1-for-15 in August and coming into the game 3-for-his-last-29.

Victorino 2-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-16 with three walks, a double and a home run in the four-game series. He’s hitting 307/382/538 for the year.

Martinez 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. He’s 8-for-his-last-52 (154/170/250) and hitting 212/249/312 for the season.

Utley 1-for-5 in the game and 3-for-18 with three singles and a walk in the series. 241/309/330 over his last 123 plate appearances. 272/355/444 for the season.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a home run yesterday and 4-for-18 with three home runs and five RBI in the series. 250/337/490.

Pence 1-for-4 with a double. 5-for-16 with a walk, a double and two home runs in the set. He’s hitting 312/366/492 for the year and 327/398/570 in 123 plate appearances with the Phils.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-8 with a walk and a home run in the series. 240/280/416 for the year. Mayberry pinch ran yesterday and was 1-for-7 with a walk in the series to drop his line on the year to 264/329/514.

Schneider 1-for-3 with an RBI in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 176/248/275 for the year.

Valdez 2-for-4 in the game and 5-for-15 in the series. He’s hitting 247/292/335 for the year. 293/333/483 in 63 plate appearances since the beginning of August.

Oswalt (6-8, 3.77) faces lefty Brad Hand (1-4, 4.08) tonight in Florida. Hand had good numbers for the season before his most recent start, August 8 against the Braves, in which he allowed seven runs in five innings. He was sent back to the minors after that and returns to the Marlins for tonight’s start. He’s walked too many this year, giving up 25 walks in 39 2/3 innings. He’s especially walked a ton of right-handed batters — righties are hitting .211 against him for the year but on-basing .351 (he’s walked 24 of the 136 righties he has faced). Oswalt didn’t look good in his most recent start, which came against Florida a week ago today. He allowed six runs on 12 hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. John Buck hit a grand slam off of him in the sixth.


Curiosity grows about where Lee is getting the month-to-month lease on unhittable

Wherever it is, here’s hoping he renews for another couple of months.

The Phils got more outstanding starting pitching last night as Cliff Lee threw 8 2/3 shutout innings and the Phils topped the Reds 3-0. For Lee it ends an August in which he allowed two runs in 39 2/3 innings over five starts.

In June, Lee allowed a run over 42 innings in five starts. In June and August combined, Lee threw to an 0.33 ERA with an 0.73 ratio and struck out 68 in 81 2/3 innings. In the months of the season other than June or August, Lee has thrown to a 4.22 ERA with a 1.28 ratio and struck out 130 in 113 innings.

In the first three games of the four-game set, the Phils have now outscored the Reds 15-2. The starting pitchers for the Phils have thrown 21 2/3 scoreless innings in the set, allowing ten hits and three walks while striking out 23. By runs scored per game, the Reds have the second-best offense in the NL behind St Louis.

The Phillies are 86-46 on the year after beating the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 last night. They are 40 games over .500 for the first time since 1977 and in first place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

Lee started the game for the Phillies and went 8 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven.

Up 1-0, he set the Reds down in order in the bottom of the first. He got Brandon Phillips on a line drive to right, Dave Sappelt on a line drive to left and Joey Votto on a ground ball to second.

Both Phillips and Sappelt hit the ball well against Lee in the first, but both into outs.

In the second he got Jay Bruce to ground to first, Miguel Cairo swinging and Drew Stubbs swinging.

Ramon Hernandez stated the third with a single to right. Paul Janish struck out swinging for the first out before the pitcher Dontrelle Willis bunted Hernandez to second with the second. Phillips grounded to short for the third out.

Sappelt reached on an infield single to start the fourth, but was thrown out trying to steal second as Lee struck out Votto. Bruce singled to right before Cairo flew to right to end the inning.

Stubbs reached on an infield single to start the fifth. Hernandez was next and hit a ball to the right of Valdez at short. Valdez made a nice play, fielding in the hole and throwing to second to force Stubbs. Utley sailed his throw to first to try to double-up Hernandez, but it was backed up nicely by Ruiz. Ruiz threw to second and Hernandez was tagged out to complete the double-play. Janish flew to left for the third out.

Up 2-0, Lee set the Reds down in order in the sixth.

He started the seventh up 3-0 and struck out Bruce and Cairo as he set the Reds down in order.

Stubbs singled to left to start the eighth, but Lee got Hernandez on a fly ball to center for the first out and Janish on a fly ball to right for the second. Righty Todd Frazier hit for the pitcher Jose Arredondo and Lee struck him out looking 2-2 to end the inning.

Lee got the first two to start the ninth before Votto doubled to center. Bruce was next and Lee walked him on a 3-2 pitch, bringing the righty Cairo to the plate as the tying run. Lee hit Cairo with an 0-2 pitch that Cairo didn’t try real hard to get out of the way of, loading the bases for the Reds. Madson took over for Lee and lefty Yonder Alonso hit for the righty Stubbs. Madson got Alonso to pop to Polanco in foul territory on a 1-1 pitch to end the game.

After getting Alonso to end last night’s game, lefties are hitting 213/289/267 against Madson for the year, which is worse than the 255/303/324 line for righties.

Madson threw three pitches in the game. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Dontrelle Willis went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Mayberry starts in left with the lefty on the mound. Ibanez on the bench after going 3-for-5 with a two-run homer the night before. Valdez at short with Rollins on the DL.

Victorino and Polanco walked back-to-back to start the game. Utley hit a ground ball to second with Polanco forced at second for the first out and Victorino moving up to third. Howard hit a ball that Votto handled at first, throwing to second where Utley was forced for the second out as Victorino scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Pence flew to center to leave Howard at first.

Good no strikeout for Howard to bring Victorino home from third with one out.

Ruiz and Valdez singled back-to-back with one out in the second, putting runners on first and second for Lee. Lee bunted, Willis fielded and threw to third, where Ruiz was out but called safe. Victorino popped to Phillips near the first base line for the second out. Polanco grounded back to the pitcher.

No run for the Phils after getting an extra out and loading the bases with one out.

Pence and Mayberry walked back-to-back with two outs in the third. Ruiz flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Lee grounded to second for the second out and didn’t run it out. He took a couple of steps towards first and waved his hand at the ball as Phillips fielded and threw to first.

Willis struck out Polanco, Utley and Howard in the fifth.

Pence led off the sixth and hit a 2-1 pitch out to center, putting the Phils up 2-0. Mayberry struck out behind him before Ruiz singled into center. Valdez grounded to third with Ruiz forced at second for the second out and took second on a wild

Victorino started the seventh with a walk and moved to third when Polanco followed with a single to center. Utley was next and hit a ground ball to short with Polanco forced at second for the first out and Victorino scoring to put the Phils up 3-0. Utley was running when Howard his a soft ground ball to short. Janish had moved to cover second and made a nice play, coming back to get the ball and then throwing to first to get Howard for the second out. It brought Pence to the plate with Utley at second and two. Righty Jose Arredondo came in to pitch to Pence and got him on a fly ball to left to set the Phillies down.

Mayberry and Ruiz singled back-to-back to start the eighth, putting men on first and second for Valdez. Valdez hit into a double-play, which left Mayberry at third with two down. Lee grounded to short for the third out.

Polanco singled with one out in the ninth, but Utley and Howard both flew out behind him.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-21.

Polanco 2-for-4. He’s 2-for-his-last-13.

Utley 0-for-5 with an RBI and four men left on base. 7-for-his-last-35.

Howard 0-for-5 with an RBI. 5-for-his-last-34 with 14 strikeouts.

Pence 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run. He has homered in two straight games and seven times in his last 95 plate appearances. He’s slugging .573 in his 119 plate appearances with the Phils. He hit 340/413/596 in August.

Mayberry was 1-for-3 with a walk. He goes 2-for-15 to end the month, but hit 296/356/685 in 59 plate appearances in August.

Ruiz was 3-for-4. 304/383/412 in his last 232 plate appearances.

Valdez 1-for-4. Since August 22, when Rollins went on the DL, Valdez has hit 316/333/579 in 21 plate appearances (6-for-19 with a walk, two doubles and a home run).

Worley (9-1, 2.65) faces righty Mike Leake (11-8, 4.04) this afternoon. Leake threw to a 5.70 ERA in his first nine appearances of the year, which included three relief outings. Since then he’s made 17 starts in which he’s thrown to a 3.49 ERA with a 1.18 ratio. The Phillies have gone 14-2 in the games that Worley has started this season — if that’s not the biggest surprise of the year it makes the photo. The Phils have won 12 straight games that Worley has started. Worley has been charged with more than one run in just four of those 12 and more than two runs in two of the 12.

Joe Blanton is expected to pitch for Lakewood on Friday.


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