Tag: JA Happ


The Phillies have started the 2010 season doing just about everything well. They’ve scored seven runs a game, but it was the pitching that was on display in Houston as they swept the Astros in a three-game set.

Happ threw five solid innings in game one of the series. Halladay threw a complete game yesterday as the Phils won 2-1. Just as impressive was the performance of a much-maligned bullpen, which gave the Phils four scoreless innings in the first game of the set and helped overcome a weak start by Moyer in game two by holding the Astros to a run over three innings in a tight game.

The Phillies are 5-1 on the season after winning three against the Astros.

The Phils rolled to an 8-0 win in game one. Happ threw five scoreless innings and was backed up by four scoreless innings thrown by the group of Herndon, Baez and Contreras. Ibanez’s bat sprang to life in the game — he was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Polanco was 4-for-5 in the game, driving in a pair of runs.

In game two the Phils gave Moyer an early 4-0 lead, but the Astros put up five against him in the bottom of the third. With two outs and nobody on in the seventh, Utley drew a walk and Howard followed with his third home run of the year, putting the Phils up 6-5. Werth, Ibanez and Victorino followed that up with back-to-back singles, with Victorino’s bringing in Werth to make it 7-5. Victorino hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to put the Phils up 9-5. Madson gave up a leadoff double to Michael Bourn to start the ninth and he came around to score, but that’s as close as the game got. It ended 9-6.

Halladay was awesome yesterday, throwing a complete game as the Phils won 2-1. Rollins led off the game with his first home run of the season and the Phils extended the lead to 2-0 in the second thanks to a leadoff double by Ibanez. Halladay had some trouble fielding bunts in the sixth inning and his error on one put down by Jeff Keppinger helped the Astros score an unearned run in the frame to get them within one. Halladay continued to roll after that, shutting them down the rest of the way. Halladay allowed six singles in the game and didn’t walk a batter, improving his mark as a Phillie to 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA after two starts.

The Phillies got great pitching in the series overall. In 27 innings, their pitchers allowed seven runs on 26 hits and just three walks. One of the runs was unearned. That’s a 2.00 ERA and 1.07 ratio.

The starters went 20 innings, pitching to a 2.25 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. All five of the earned runs that they allowed were charged to Moyer, who also gave up both of the home runs they surrendered.

Happ got the start in game one and threw five scoreless innings, allowing six hits and a pair of walks while striking out five. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double.

Moyer’s weak start in game two was one of the few things that went wrong for the Phils in the set. Moyer went six innings in game two, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a pair of two-run homers. He didn’t strike out a batter.

Halladay was fantastic yesterday. He threw a complete game, allowing one unearned run on six hits and no walks. He struck out eight.

The relievers were even better than the starters, allowing one earned run over seven innings on four hits and no walks while striking out eight. That’s a 1.29 ERA and an 0.57 ratio.

Bastardo didn’t pitch in the series.

Herndon threw two innings in game one of the series and was very good. He entered in the sixth with the Phillies up 7-0, nobody out and men on first and second. He got out of the inning with the help of a big double-play ball he induced from JR Towles. He came back to throw a scoreless seventh — he allowed back-to-back singles with one out, but struck out Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee with men on first and third.

Durbin threw a 1-2-3 seventh in game two with the Phils up 7-5.

Contreras pitched the ninth inning of game one with an 8-0 lead and set the Astros down in order.

Figueroa didn’t pitch in the series.

Baez pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phils up by eight runs. He had a 1-2-3 frame, getting two strikeouts and a ground out. He also pitched in game two, entering in the bottom of the eighth with the Phillies up 7-5. Again he threw a 1-2-3 inning, getting two ground balls and a strikeout.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game two with the Phillies leading 9-5. He gave up a leadoff double to Bourn and Bourn came in to score on a one-out single by Jason Michaels. Madson got the next two to end the game.

Everyone in the pen should be ready to go this afternoon, thanks to the complete game from Halladay on Sunday.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 4-for-12 with a double, a home run and three walks in the series. He’s scored eight runs in six games, putting him on pace to score 216 for the season. He’s 9-for-23 on the year.

Polanco made his first error of the season in game one. 6-for-13 in the set with a double and a walk. 13-for-27 on the year. He’s one of three Phillies, Howard, Rollins and Polanco, who have an OPS above 1.200 for the season.

Utley was 3-for-11 in the series with a double, a home run and two RBI. He also walked three times, giving him seven in six games. 8-for-23 on the year.

Howard was 4-for-13 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the series. He drove in four runs. 10-for-28 after six games. He’s on pace to hit 81 home runs with 270 RBI.

Werth 5-for-12 with a double and three RBI. 9-for-25 on the year.

Ibanez bounced back nicely from an ugly start against the Nationals, going 5-for-13 with three doubles and three RBI in the series. 6-for-24 on the year.

Victorino is one of two regulars for the Phils that is on-basing under .400 for the year. He’s at .241 and Ibanez is at .345. He was 3-for-14 with a home run in the series. 5-for-27 on the season.

Ruiz caught the first and third games of the series, going 1-for-8. He’s 4-for-14 on the year.

Schneider caught game two and went 0-for-3 with two walks. He’s 0-for-6 on the season.

Cole Hamels (1-0, 3.60) and righty Jason Marquis (0-1, 13.50) go this afternoon in the Phillies home opener. It will be a rematch of game two of the season, which the Phillies won 8-4.

Game oner

The Phillies have been shut out twice in their last three games, which was the story of the weekend until Moyer pitched yesterday against Baltimore. Moyer pitched very well, holding the O’s to a run over five innings, and may be back in control in his competition with Kyle Kendrick to be the team’s fifth starter.

Whoever the fifth starter is, and it sure seems Moyer has a big edge, having both Moyer and Kendrick pitching well to start the season would be a big boost for the Phils.

Moyer is the sixth player to start a game for the Phils this spring. In 15 official spring games, Phillies starters (Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Kendrick and Moyer) have combined to throw to a 1.74 ERA with an 0.88 ratio.

Friday the Phillies got one hit, a single by Mayberry, as they fell to Baltimore 2-0. Kendrick allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over five innings, raising his spring ERA to 1.29. Baez and Bastardo each threw scoreless innings in the game, but combined to allow five hits and a walk over two innings. Madson struck out two in a scoreless inning.

On Saturday it was the Tigers shutting the Phils out, this time 3-0. Halladay got the start for the Phils and allowed three runs over five innings. His ERA is up to 2.40. Contreras allowed two hits in a scoreless inning and Durbin and Herndon also each threw a scoreless frame. The Phillies didn’t walk in the game.

Yesterday the Phils lost to Baltimore again, this time 5-4. Moyer made his first official start of the spring and was fantastic, holding the O’s to a run on five hits and no walks while striking out six. Baez followed Moyer with two scoreless innings before Zagurski got hit hard in the eighth. Zagurski got two outs and was charged with three runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Phils scored three runs with the help of a two-run homer from Dobbs. Polanco was back in the lineup for the Phils and went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to raise his spring average to .379. Rollins was 2-for-3 with a double. He’s hitting .293.

A tale of two in new cities

Polanco isn’t the only veteran to come to Philadelphia in recent years. Pedro Feliz and Raul Ibanez both became regulars for the Phillies after long careers playing for other teams with dramatically different results.

Feliz was miserable, hitting 259/306/393 as a full-time player over more than a thousand at-bats in 2008 and 2009 combined. His .699 OPS as a Phillie was worse than the .721 career OPS he had when he came to Philadelphia.

Ibanez, on the other hand, had the best year of his career in 2009. He hit 272/347/552, setting career highs in home runs and slugging percentage.

Here’s how the percentage of plate appearances each of those players has gotten hits, walks, extra-base hits, doubles and triples and home runs at and away from Citizens Bank Park for their careers:

  % H % BB % XBH % 2B or 3B % HR
Ibanez CBP 22.4 11.9 10.8 6.0 4.9
Everywhere else
25.8 8.4 9.5 5.9 3.6
Feliz CBP 25.1 4.9 7.8 4.9 2.9
Everywhere else
23.5 5.3 8.8 5.4 3.3

For Ibanez, his rate of getting hits is way down at Citizens Bank Park, but his walks are up, his extra-base hits are up a little and his home runs are up a lot.

Feliz is just the opposite — his rate of getting hits went up at Citizens Bank Park, but everything else is down compared to his career numbers everywhere else.

The thing that’s critical to remember about Ibanez’s 2009 year is that his numbers away from Citizens Bank Park were much better than his numbers at it. He hit 260/351/511 at home and 283/343/587 away from home. He blasted 21 home runs and 19 doubles away from home while hitting 13 doubles and 13 homers at home.

In case you were wondering, Lidge won’t be ready for opening day. The article suggests he is trying to be ready for the series with the Astros that starts April 9 in Houston.

The article linked above also says that Happ allowed two runs in five innings in a minor league game yesterday.

This says Polanco may play tonight or, if not, maybe Saturday or Sunday.

I-really-wish-it-were-so effect

Is Placido Polanco going to get more extra-base hits playing in Citizens Bank? Well, over the past three years the Phillies overall haven’t gotten that many more extra-base hits at Citizens Bank Park than they have hitting away from it. Here’s the percentage of plate appearances that Phillies hitters have gotten extra-base hits at home and away from home since the 2007 season:

  XBH PA % of PA
2009 Home 286 3096 9.2
2009 Away 285 3242 8.8
2008 Home 266 3091 8.6
2008 Away 275 3182 8.6
2007 Home 283 3159 9.0
2007 Away 297 3377 8.8

So in 2009, Phillies batters got extra-base hits in about 0.4% more of their plate appearances at home than on the road. In 2008 the rate of getting extra-base hits per plate appearance was actually a tiny bit better on the road and in 2007 it was about 0.2% better at home.

Let’s say that averages out to about 0.2% better overall. That’s one more extra-base hit every 500 plate appearances.

For his career, Polanco has 399 extra-base hits in 6,017 plate appearances (6.63%). He got 675 plate appearances last year — based on his career rate of getting extra-base hits we would have expected 45 extra-base hits. That’s exactly what he had, hitting 31 doubles, four triples and ten home runs. If he had gotten extra-base hits in 0.2 percent more of his plate appearances we would have expected him to have 46 extra-base hits instead of 45. That’s not really a huge difference.

The curious thing, though, is that Polanco has monster numbers at Citizens Bank park in a pretty large number of at-bats. In 381 plate appearances he has hit 334/386/485 with 12 home runs. He only has 90 home runs in his career, so 12 is a lot. He’s gotten 6.3% of his career plate appearances at Citizens Bank Park and he has hit 13.3% of his career homers.

For his career, he has extra-base hits in 7.3% of his PA at Citizens Bank Park — that would be 49 extra-base hits over 675 at-bats instead of 45.

Polanco hit a career-high 17 home runs playing for the Phillies in 2004 — ten of them at Citizens Bank Park and seven on the road. He has hit 40 home runs in five seasons and 2,991 plate appearances since.

So what’s it all mean? Well, we’ll see. My guess is that what you see is what you get with Polanco and we shouldn’t expect big things from the move to Citizens Bank Park. If you know a magic park that makes him walk more, though, now’s the time to speak up.

The Phils topped the Yankees 6-2 in spring training action yesterday. Blanton got the start and allowed two runs over five innings. Contreras followed with two scoreless frames and Escalona and Durbin each pitched a scoreless inning. After walking two in his inning, Escalona now has an 11.25 ERA and a 2.75 ratio in four spring training appearances. Werth provided the big blow of the game, a three-run homer in the fifth. Rollins and Howard each had two hits.

This says that Romero hopes to pitch in the series against the Nationals that starts April 12. It also says that Polanco may play tomorrow and Utley has not played since Monday with an upper respiratory infection.

Phils are off today. Happ will pitch in a minor league game.

Sports betting odds and lines available at Bodog.com.

Kendrick making sure everyone knows that Halladay’s beard looks like his and not the other way around

After eight more scoreless innings from the starters, the five guys who have started for the Phillies in official spring training games have a 1.41 ERA and an 0.81 ratio. Kyle Kendrick has surprisingly been the best of the bunch, allowing just four hits over nine scoreless innings without walking a batter. It may be enough to make him wish he pitched for a team that was considering spring training when choosing its starting rotation.

Blanton, Halladay and Kendrick have combined to not walk a batter in twenty innings. Happ, Halladay and Kendrick have combined not to allow a run in 20 1/3 innings.

Yesterday Kendrick shut out Baltimore for four innings but the Phils lost 4-3. Kendrick left with a 1-0 lead, but Escalona got hit hard again after Kendrick left the game. Escalona was charged with three runs in the fifth inning, raising his spring ERA to 13.50. Drew Carpenter followed Escalona and allowed a run over three innings to drop his spring ERA to 1.13 over eight innings.

Polanco went 2-for-3 in the game to raise his average to .375 (9-for-24 with nine singles).

Saturday Happ threw four strong innings as the Phils topped the Twins 5-4. Happ held Minnesota to a single single and struck out three before Bastardo got hit hard in the sixth inning. Bastardo allowed four runs on five hits — only three of the runs were earned. Durbin, Madson, Contreras and Baez all threw a scoreless inning in the game. Francisco hit a solo shot in the game and Cody Ransom had a three-run homer. Clay Condrey pitched the sixth for the Twins and allowed a run on a pair of singles.

This suggests that Madson will close if Lidge can’t start the year.

Scott Eyre may be open to the idea of pitching again.

First cuts of camp for the Phillies included Scott Mathieson, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Jesus Sanchez, Joe Savery and Drew Naylor.

Amaro says it’s probably unlikely that Romero will be available to start the season in the article linked above. I think it’s definitely unlikely.

Not many people have been blown away by what Bastardo, Zagurski or Escalona are doing in spring training.

Second inning wretch

The second, fifth and ninth were pretty clearly the problem innings for the Phils in 2009. When your closer puts up a 7.21 ERA for the season you don’t have to look real hard to figure out what went wrong in the ninth, but it surely means there were some guys pitching a lot and getting hit real hard in the second and the fifth, too.

So who were they? Well, opponents put up an .802 OPS against the Phils in the second inning in 2009. There were three pitchers who faced at least 100 batters in the second and allowed an OPS worse than .802 — Moyer, Blanton and Happ. Opponents hit to a .786 OPS against the Phils in the fifth. Two Phillies pitchers faced a hundred or more batters with an OPS worse than that — Blanton and Moyer.

Blanton and Moyer are on both lists. Moyer just had a rough year all around and his numbers for the second and fifth weren’t remarkable compared to the other innings in ’09, but here’s what batters did against Blanton in the second and fifth innings compared to what they did against him in all other innings in 2009:

Second and Fifth Innings

Other innings
306 351 532 883 240 306 392 698

Nine of the 128 batters that Blanton faced in the fifth inning in 2009 homered (7%), but just four of the 266 (1.5%) he faced in the third and fourth innings.

Happ notably got hit real hard in the second and the sixth and pretty much not at all any other time in the game. Overall, the sixth wasn’t a big problem for the Phils. It was for Happ, though. Here’s his second and sixth versus all the other innings he pitched in 2009:

Second and Sixth innings

Other innings
344 395 586 981 200 273 318 592

Happ was pretty much untouchable when he pitched in the fourth or fifth innings last year. The 190 batters he faced combined to go 35-for-171 against him (205/271/304). Apparently the batters were resting up for the sixth, though, when they pounded him to the tune of 362/402/649. So there was some drop off.

Happ starts tonight against Florida State. Phillippe Aumont is also scheduled to pitch. Victorino will not play with a sore shoulder.

The article linked above also suggests that Amaro is not currently pursuing any trades or signings.

Interesting stuff on Happ in this article.

Phillies opening day payrolls 1986-2010 here.

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