Tag: JA Happ

The votes aren’t all counted yet, but I think we can agree that Adam Eaton was not the answer

Here’s the Baseball-Reference calculated combined WAR for pitchers who have made at least ten starts for the team over the past five seasons:

Pitcher GS # Relief appearances WAR WAR/GS
Halladay 90 0 17.6 .196
Lee 74 0 13.5 .182
Happ 30 16 5.0 .167
Oswalt 35 1 5.2 .149
Hamels 160 1 21.4 .134
Worley 46 7 4.4 .096
Moyer 77 5 2.7 .035
Blanton 100 5 2.5 .025
Myers 40 8 0.8 .020
Kendrick 103 41 1.7 .017
Eaton 19 2 -1.2 -.063

Important to remember is that the WAR calculation includes games pitched in relief. So, for example, the WAR for Kendrick over the last five seasons includes his 41 appearances out of the bullpen. His .017 for WAR/GS is his total WAR in all appearances divided by the number of games he started (not the total number of games in which he pitched).

The 11 pitchers above combined to make 774 of the 810 starts for the Phillies over the last five seasons. Not appearing on the list are guys who made fewer than ten starts, including Pedro Martinez (9), Chan Ho Park (7), Tyler Cloyd (6), Rodrigo Lopez (5), Antonio Bastardo (5), Raul Valdes (1), Andrew Carpenter (1), Nelson Figueroa (1) and BJ Rosenberg (1). Those 36 total starts plus the 774 for the 11 guys above gets you to 810.

Hamels is the guy who has made the most starts for the Phillies over the past five years with 160. And he’s been very good. After that, though, there are two guys in Blanton and Kendrick who have gotten a ton of starts over the past five seasons without being very good.

Kendrick is second in starts over the last five seasons with 103. His best year for WAR was 2007 (which doesn’t count for the table above as it was more than five years ago). In 2007, Kendrick made 20 appearances for the Phillies, all starts, going 10-4 with a 3.87 and putting up a WAR of 2.1. Kendrick was terrible in 2008 and finished the year with a -1.7 WAR. In the four years since his combined WAR has been just 3.4 — 3.4 + (-1.7) = 1.7, his mark for the past five years combined.

Blanton has made 105 appearances over the last five years for the Phillies, including 100 starts (more than anyone but Kendrick or Hamels). In the five seasons that Blanton pitched all or part of the year with the Phillies, he had a Baseball-Reference calculated WAR better than 0.1 only once. His best year with the Phillies was 2009 — he made 31 starts that year with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 ratio, posting a 2.4 WAR for the season. He had a -0.2 WAR in 29 appearances with the Phillies in 2010 and a -0.1 WAR in 21 appearances with them in 2012. He threw just 41 1/3 innings in 2011, all with the Phils, and put up a 0.0 WAR for that season.

The point here is that Blanton and Kendrick have pitched a lot for the Phillies over the past five years, making about as many starts (203) as Halladay, Lee and Worley (210). Overall, they’ve made about 25.1% of the starts for the Phillies over the past five seasons. And they haven’t been very good.

And while Blanton doesn’t have much of a chance to be not very good for the Phillies again in 2013, Kendrick does.

Gone also from the mix of the last five years are Happ and Oswalt. Both of those pitchers didn’t pitch a ton for the Phillies over the past five years, but put up good numbers overall in their time with the team.

Happ’s 4.83 ERA since he left the Phillies makes it easy to forget that he was great for the Phillies in 2009, going 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.23 ratio in his 35 appearances (23 starts). He led the team in WAR for pitchers that year at 4.0. Hamels made 32 starts for the Phillies in ’09, finishing the year with a WAR of 1.7.

Oswalt threw to a 2.96 ERA in 36 appearances (35 starts) with the Phils between 2010 and 2011. He appeared in just 13 games for the Phillies in 2010 (12 starts), but managed to post a WAR of 3.2, third best on the staff behind Halladay and Hamels.

This suggests Josh Hamilton wants seven years, $175 million.

Amaro mentions Adam Morgan favorably in this article. Morgan is a 22-year-old lefty the Phillies took in the third round of the 2011 draft. He made 27 appearances between Clearwater and Reading in 2012, 26 of which were starts, throwing to a 3.35 ERA with a 1.11 ratio and striking out 169 in 158 2/3 innings.


Sandy, the pitching angels have lost their desire for us

Bruce Springsteen. Sort of.

The table below shows, for each of the past five years, the four pitchers who have gotten the most starts for the Phillies that season and their WAR for the year as calculated by Baseball-Reference:

Year Pitcher Starts WAR
2012 Hamels 31 4.2
2012 Lee 30 4.2
2012 Kendrick 25 1.3
2012 Halladay 25 0.7
2012 Total for group 101 10.4
2011 Halladay 32 8.5
2011 Lee 32 8.3
2011 Hamels 31 6.2
2011 Oswalt 23 2.0
2011 Total for group 118 25.0
2010 Halladay 33 8.3
2010 Hamels 33 5.3
2010 Kendrick 31 0.2
2010 Blanton 28 -0.2
2010 Total for group 125 13.6
2009 Hamels 32 1.7
2009 Blanton 31 2.4
2009 Moyer 25 0.1
2009 Happ 23 4.0
2009 Total for group 111 8.2
2008 Hamels 33 4.0
2008 Moyer 33 2.5
2008 Myers 30 0.4
2008 Kendrick 30 -1.7
2008 Total for group 126 5.2

Important to note is that the WAR for the pitcher includes all of his appearances for the season, not just his starts. So, for example, Kendrick made 37 appearances in 2012 and only 25 of them were starts. His WAR for the year was 1.3 and that includes all 37 appearances, not just the 25 starts.

Again, the Phillies went to the World Series in 2008 and again in 2009 and they did it without outstanding starting pitching. This message will repeat. Happ (in 2009) and Hamels (in 2008) were the only two pitchers, starter or relievers, to post a WAR for the season better than 2.5 in either year.

Led by Hamels and Halladay, the top four was a lot better in 2010. Halladay, Hamels and Lee all had superb years in 2011.

Halladay was, as you may have noticed, way off in 2012. Hamels wasn’t as good as he had been in 2011 or 2010. Lee wasn’t as good as he had been in 2011, but the top for of the rotation were still better than they been in 2009 and a lot better than they had been in 2008.

It’s easy for some of us (by which I mean me) to forget that Lee didn’t throw a pitch for the Phillies in 2010. They Phillies have only had two years where Halladay, Hamels and Lee comprised the core of the rotation. One of those years was great for the Phillies until they were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round. The other was 2012, which is best forgotten if at all possible.

Halladay came into 2012 having not put up a WAR worse than 5.9 since 2008 — in ’08 he was an All-Star, finished second in Cy Young voting in the AL (losing to Indian and 22-game winner Cliff Lee) and seventh in WAR for pitchers across both leagues. Last year his WAR was 0.7, which is the worst mark of his career since he threw to a 10.64 ERA as a 23-year-old with the Blue Jays in 2000.

Rollins won his fourth Gold Glove.

The Phillies picked up the $5 million option on Ruiz and declined the $5.5 million option on Polanco. They will pay Polanco a $1 million buyout. The same article suggests that free agent Juan Pierre is not likely to be back with the Phillies.

This article suggests that Worley will stay in Philadelphia to rehab his elbow coming off of surgery.

This article suggests the Phillies have $135.35 million committed to ten players for next season, including Lee ($25 million), Halladay ($20 million), Howard ($20 million), Hamels ($19.5 million), Utley ($15 million), Papelbon ($13 million), Rollins ($11 million), Ruiz ($5 million), Kyle Kendrick ($4.5 million) and Laynce Nix ($1.35 million).

That’s $40 million committed to Halladay and Howard. In 2012, Howard’s Baseball-Reference calculated WAR was -1.2 and Halladay’s was 0.7.

This article quotes Amaro suggesting that that center field will have to be addressed externally. The writer goes on to list possible candidates, including Bourn, Pagan, Upton, Victorino, Hamilton, Cabrera, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dexter Fowler.

This article looks at potential corner outfielders, including free agent Juan Pierre, Nick Swisher, Cody Ross, Torii Hunter, Ryan Ludwick, Jonny Gomes, Rual Ibanez, Ichiro Suzuki, Delmon Young, Josh Willingham and Alfonso Soriano.


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.


JA, don’t go awa mad (just go awa)

JA Happ is the most recent former Phil to shut the team down. Last night he got the win as he held the Phillies to a pair of runs over 6 1/3 innings. For the Phillies it’s the sixth time in seven games that they have scored two runs or less.

Hunter Pence homered off of Halladay in the fourth to put the Astros up 1-0, but Werth tied things up with a solo shot of his own in the fifth. A Michael Bourn homer gave Houston a 2-1 lead in the sixth, but the Phils got even again in the bottom of the inning on an RBI-double by Polanco. The Phils missed big chances to add more runs in both the sixth and seventh — in the sixth Utley popped to second with one out and a man on third and Francisco was picked off of third base to end the seventh. It cost them, too, because the Astros managed to pull ahead 3-2 with a run in the seventh on a double and a single and the Phils didn’t manage to plate another run in the game.

The Phillies are 70-56 on the season after losing to the Astros 3-2 last night. They have lost three in a row and five of their last seven. The division-leading Braves have been just as bad — they’ve also lost three in a row and five of their last seven and allowed the Phils to stay 2 1/2 games behind in the division. In the same way, the Giants and Cardinals haven’t taken control of the Wild Card race despite the slump for the Phils. The Phillies remain tied with the Giants in the chase for the Wild Card with St Louis a game back. San Francisco is 4-6 over their last ten games and the Cardinals are 3-7.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out six and the Phillies lost a game he started for the first time in seven outings.

Halladay was perfect through three and started the fourth with the game still scoreless. He got the first two hitters to start the fourth before Hunter Pence hit a 2-0 pitch out to left center field, putting the Astros up 1-0. Halladay struck Carlos Lee out behind Pence for the third out.

Chris Johnson started the fifth with a single, but Halladay got Brett Wallace to hit into a double-play behind him. Humberto Quintero followed that with a single before Tommy Manzella grounded to third for the third out.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Halladay started the sixth. He got Happ to pop to third before Michael Bourn homered to right to put Houston up 2-1. Halladay struck out Anderson Hernandez and Pence behind Bourn to set the Astros down.

The Phils tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth. Halladay got Lee on a fly ball to center for the first out in the seventh before Johnson doubled to right. Wallace popped to Sweeney at first for the second out. Quintero was next and he singled to left, scoring Johnson to put Houston up 3-2. Halladay struck Manzella out for the third out.

Contreras threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He was pitching for the second straight day after throwing 15 pitches in Tuesday’s game. He has allowed one run in 11 2/3 innings over his last 13 appearances.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 ninth, also pitching for the second straight day. He threw 21 pitches on Tuesday.

Sixteen pitches last night for Durbin and 14 for Contreras. If either of them pitched this afternoon it would be for the third straight day. Herndon is almost surely unavailable today after throwing 50 pitches on Tuesday.

The Phillies lineup against lefty JA Happ went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Utley (5) Werth (6) Sweeney (7) Francisco (8) Ruiz. Sweeney and Francisco in the lineup against the lefty with Howard and Ibanez on the bench. Victorino moves up to second in the order with Polanco and Utley dropped down.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Utley walked to start the second. Werth struck out behind him for the first out before Sweeney hit into a double-play.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Down 1-0 in the fourth, Victorino drew a one-out walk. Polanco struck out and Utley lined to right to leave him stranded at first.

Werth lined a 1-0 pitch out to left to start the bottom of the fifth, tying the game at 1-1. The Phils went in order behind him.

The Phillies trailed 2-1 when Halladay started the sixth with a single into center. Rollins flew to left for the first out before Victorino moved Halladay to second with a single. Polanco was next and lined a 2-1 pitch into left and over the head of Lee for a double. Halladay scored from second, tying the game at 2-2, and Victorino went to third. Utley popped to second for the second out and Werth grounded out to leave the runners stranded at second and third.

No RBI for Utley with one out and a man on third.

The Phils were losing 3-2 when Sweeney started the seventh with a single into center. Francisco was next and grounded to third, with Sweeney forced at second for the first out. Ruiz moved Francisco to second with a single to left before Ibanez flew out to center. Francisco tagged and took third on the ball hit by Ibanez, but Quintero picked him off of third after pitcher Mark Melancon delivered a 2-2 pitch to Rollins.

That would have been a fantastic time not to get picked off of third.

Brandon Lyon set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

He was back for the ninth and struck out Utley and Werth to start the inning. Howard hit for Sweeney against the righty and delivered a two-out single into center. Francisco was due to hit for the Phils and Manuel called on Brown to hit for him. Lyon struck Brown out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk. He had a big at-bat in the sixth with a runner on third and less than two outs and he flew to the second baseman in short right field with the runner holding third. He’s 7-for-31 since his return with six singles and a double.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a walk and his 17th home runs of the year. He has hit 359/447/558 over his last 150 plate appearances.

Sweeney was 1-for-3 with a single. He’s hitting 243/270/317 in 37 at-bats for the Phils for the year.

Francisco 0-for-3 and was picked off of third in a big play in the seventh. He’s 2-for-his-last-17 (118/167/235).

Ruiz 1-for-3.

Kyle Kendrick (8-6, 4.58) faces lefty Wandy Rodriguez (9-12, 4.00) this afternoon. Kendrick has been hit hard in two of his last three starts, pitching to a 6.32 ERA in those outings while opponents hit .348 against him. He still can’t get lefties out — they are hitting 321/380/566 against him for the season. On the plus side, the Phillies have scored about 5.75 runs per game in the games he’s started this season. That’s a big part of the reason they’re 14-10 in his games and just 13-13 when Hamels starts. Rodriguez has allowed two earned runs or less in six starts in a row, throwing to a 1.09 ERA and an 0.92 ratio in those outings while striking out 48 in 41 1/3 innings.


Phils hopeful the offense can overcome losing Happ

Roy Oswalt’s first start as a Phillie turned out to be more memorable for the number of runs that the Phillies allowed than for the number they scored. Oswalt struggled and the Phils fell 8-1. Still, it’s been a pattern this season that the Phils have trouble scoring runs when they send their best pitchers to the mound.

The chart below shows the number of games started by each pitcher for the Phils this year, the average number of runs the Phils have scored in those games, the average number of runs the Phils have scored in the games when that pitcher wasn’t starting and the difference between the two:

Pitcher Starts Runs/Start Runs/Not
Started
Started
minus Not Started
Halladay 22 4.14 4.84 -0.71
Hamels 22 4.05 4.87 -0.82
Kendrick 20 5.90 4.41 1.49
Moyer 19 4.58 4.72 -0.14
Blanton 17 5.12 4.61 0.50
Happ 3 5.67 4.67 1.00
Figueroa 1 3.00 4.71 -1.71
Oswalt 1 1.00 4.73 -3.73
         
Total 105 4.70    

For example, Halladay has made 22 starts for the Phillies this season. In those starts the Phils have scored about 4.14 runs per game. In the games the Phillies have played when Halladay did not start they scored about 4.84 runs per game. 4.14 minus 4.84 is -0.71.

As has been pointed out before, Halladay and Hamels get little support. Each have made 22 starts this season. The Phillies have scored two more runs in the starts by Halladay than they have in the starts by Hamels. They’ve averaged 4.09 runs in the games the pair has started and 5.13 runs in the games they haven’t.

On the other hand, the bats show up in force with Kendrick on the mound. The Phils have scored nearly six runs per game in his 20 starts. They have also scored more than five runs a game for Blanton and Happ. In the 40 games that Kendrick, Blanton or Happ have started for the Phils the team has scored 5.55 runs per game. In the 65 games they haven’t started the Phils have scored 4.17 runs per game.


Roy’d rage

Given that there are approximately two people on the planet named Roy who can pitch better than Cole Hamels, you have to wonder what Cole thinks of having both of them on the Phillies and pushing him to the third slot in the rotation. Maybe he doesn’t care at all. Whether he does or not, though, he sure was fantastic yesterday. Hamels allowed a single and a walk over eight shutout innings. It almost wasn’t good enough for a Phillies team struggling to score runs, but Polanco delivered a solo home run in the top of the eleventh and Werth came through with an RBI-double four batters later to get the Phils out with a 2-0 win.

Hamels wasn’t the only pitcher to have a good day. The Phils are counting on Madson and Durbin to bring some stability to the bullpen coming off of injuries. They did just that yesterday as they combined to throw an inning and two-thirds of perfect relief late in the game.

The Phillies are 49-46 on the season after beating the St Louis Cardinals 2-0 in eleven innings yesterday afternoon. The Cards take the series three games to one. The Phils end their eight game road trip at 2-6. They are back in second place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went eight shutout innings, allowing a single and a walk. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.40.

He was perfect through the first four innings, striking out the first five batters he faced.

Matt Holliday singled to left to start the fifth with the game still tied. Allen Craig was next and he popped a ball behind short. Rollins and Victorino converged and Victorino made a nifty sliding catch to record the out. Holliday was way off base and doubled-up easily. Yadier Molina was next and hit a ball to right. Werth came up with the second dazzling defensive play in two batters for the Phils, sliding to catch the ball and holding on with his bare hand to record the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth. He got another nice defensive play in the inning as Howard made a nifty play on a foul ball hit by Wainwright for the second out.

He set St Louis down in order again in the seventh.

He got the first two in the eight before Molina drew a five-pitch walk. Brendan Ryan was next and Hamels struck him out swinging to end the inning.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Hamels had thrown 97 pitches.

Romero started the tenth with Ransom at second after Dobbs hit for Valdez in the top of the inning. He got Rasmus on a ground ball to first and Durbin came in to pitch to righty Albert Pujols. Pujols blasted a ball foul before Durbin struck him out swinging 3-2. Durbin got Holliday on a check-swing roller back to the mound.

Lidge pitched the eleventh with a 2-0 lead. Jay walked and stole second before Molina grounded to first for the first out with Jay holding second. Lefty Skip Schumaker hit for Ryan and hit a ball that Lidge handled for the second out as Jay moved to third. Winn flew to left to end the game.

Romero was pitching for the second day in a row and has thrown four of the last five days. Lidge threw 14 pitches in the game. Everyone else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Adam Wainwright went (1) Polanco (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Rollins hits sixth again with Polanco and Victorino at the top of the lineup. Ibanez back in left against the righty after a day off. Schneider catches the day game after the night game. Valdez at second against the righty with Dobbs not at second. Start number 50 on the year for Valdez. This time last year, if you had set the over/under for number of games that Wilson Valdez would start for the Phils in 2010 at 0.5, I would have taken the under. Ditto for November 26, a day after they signed him this winter.

Polanco led off the game with a single. Victorino popped the first pitch of his at-bat up to third for the first out before Ibanez singled into center and Polanco moved to second. Howard grounded out on a ball handled by Miles and the runners took second and third with two down. Werth struck out swinging 3-2 to leave both men stranded.

Schneider doubled to right with one out in the second. Valdez followed with a ground out to second and Schneider moved to third. Hamels grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Howard started the fourth with a single. Werth followed with a ground ball to third and Howard was forced at second for the first out. Rollins was next and singled to right, putting men on first and second for Schneider. Schneider struck out swinging before Werth took third on a wild pitch by Wainwright. Valdez grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.

Polanco singled with one out in the fifth, but Molina picked him off for the second out. Victorino grounded to second to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Schneider singled with one out in the seventh. Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

Shawon Dunston, look out. Valdez may have lulled Dunston into a false sense of security with his blazing walk rate to start the second half (he has two), but he’s back on the move (15/6) now. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably point out that there’s no way Valdez catches Dunston now that he has six walks. If he didn’t walk again this season he would need to hit into ten more double-plays.

Victorino lined a ball into left with two outs in the eighth. Holliday had troubling picking it up and the error allowed Victorino to take third. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 as tradition dictates.

Howard singled off of lefty Denys Reyes to start the ninth. The Cards brought in righty Jason Motte to pitch to Werth. Werth quickly got behind 0-2 and struck out swinging 1-2. Rollins chopped a ball to first. Pujols fielded, stepped on first and threw to second where Howard was tagged out to complete the double-play.

Motte got Schneider to pop to third for the first out of the tenth. Dobbs hit for Valdez and struck out for the second. Gload hit for Madson and flew to center to end the frame.

Polanco led off the tenth and hit a 1-1 pitch from Kyle McClellan out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino grounded to short for the first out and lefty Trever Miller came in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez walked and moved to second when Howard followed with a single. Righty Fernando Salas came in to pitch to Werth and Werth delivered a double to left, scoring Ibanez to make it 2-0 with men on second and third. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Schneider. Schneider hit a ball back to Salas and Howard was forced at home for the second out. Ransom flew to center to leave the bases loaded.

Polanco was 2-for-5 with a home run in the game. 6-for-18 with a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 319/350/441 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a double yesterday and a big defensive play in the fifth to turn a double-play. 4-for-17 with two doubles in the series. He has one walk in July in 82 at-bats. He’s hitting 253/314/448 for the year and on-basing .265 this month.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-13 with two walks in the series. 248/331/392 on the year.

Howard was 3-for-5 with three singles in yesterday’s game and 7-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run in the series. 303/360/545 on the season.

Werth 1-for-5 with an RBI double yesterday. 5-for-15 with two doubles and a walk on the year. 279/369/498 on the year.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-17 with a walk in the series. 184/267/276 in July. 227/326/373 for the year. He’s hitting .183 in 123 plate appearances since coming off the DL.

Schneider was 2-for-5 with a double yesterday. Ruiz caught the other three games and went 2-for-9 with a double and a walk.

Valdez was 0-for-3 yesterday and 0-for-8 with a walk in the series. 239/267/367 on the year. Ransom was 1-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series and is 5-for-25 with the Phillies this season.

Roy Halladay (10-8, 2.40) faces Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.56) tonight in Philadelphia as the Phils and Rockies start a four-game set. Coming off of two excellent starts in a row, Halladay was hit hard his last time out as he allowed six runs in six innings to the Cubs. Cook threw seven shutout innings against the Reds in his last start, but has a 5.83 ERA in his ten starts away from home this season.

This article suggests that Moyer’s injury could end his career.

Happ and Kendrick will fill out the rotation this weekend against the Rockies.

The Phillies fired Milt Thompson as their hitting coach and replaced him with Greg Gross.


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