Tag: Jack Taschner

Homing out

It’s been a rough year all around for Phillies pitchers at home in 2009. Rougher for some than others, though. The chart below shows, for each Phillies pitcher who has faced at least 30 batters at home this season, the percentage of all opposing hitters who have batted at Citizens Bank Park the pitcher has faced, the percentage of the team’s runs at home he has allowed, the difference between those two and the number of batters he has faced at home per run he has allowed (none of the numbers in the chart below include results from yesterday, which has a lot to do with why Clay Condrey looks untouchable at home when there is now evidence to indicate otherwise):

P BF R % BF % R BF – R BF per R
Condrey 68 4 5.7 2.5 3.2 17.0
Madson 63 4 5.3 2.5 2.8 15.8
Durbin 68 9 5.7 5.6 0.1 7.6
Taschner 76 8 6.4 5.0 1.4 9.5
Hamels 136 17 11.4 10.6 0.8 8.0
Happ 103 13 8.6 8.1 0.5 7.9
Blanton 160 24 13.4 14.9 -1.5 6.7
Myers 135 16 11.3 9.9 1.3 8.4
Park 103 15 8.6 9.3 -0.7 6.9
Moyer 151 25 12.6 15.5 -2.9 6.0
Lidge 63 11 5.3 6.8 -1.6 5.7

Kendrick, Escalona, Eyre and Bastardo were not included on the list because they have faced less than 30 batters at home this season, but all four of them have allowed a percentage of the team’s runs at home that’s higher than the percentage of the home batters they’ve faced. Antonio has faced nine hitters at home and five of them have scored, the poor Bastardo.

While those guys may not have pitched enough to hurt the team’s numbers at home a whole lot, Blanton and Moyer have and so have Park and Lidge. Here’s what the four have done at home this year:

  IP ERA Ratio
Moyer 33.0 6.82 1.52
Blanton 36.3 5.94 1.49
Park 22.7 5.56 1.72
Lidge 13.3 7.42 1.73

Blanton and Moyer have especially been hurt by the long ball at home. They have combined to allow 18 in their 69 1/3 innings. That would have them allowing about 52 over 200 innings.

Durbin had a nifty 3.45 ERA at home for the year before last night, but three of the nine runs he has allowed are unearned. Taschner has a 4.50 ERA at home, but has walked 12 in 16 innings, contributing to a 1.94 ratio. Condrey, on the other hand, had been outstanding at home before last night. He had thrown to a 1.93 ERA and an 0.80 ratio over 18 2/3 innings, striking out 16 while walking just three. After allowing five runs last night while getting one out, he now has a 4.26 ERA and a 1.05 ratio.

Lidge threw without pain yesterday and hopes he will be able to return not long after June 22.


Home schooled

The Phillies have a whole lot of things going for them in 2009, but they oddly can’t get going at home. Their 23-9 mark on the road this season is the best mark in baseball, but they are a meager 13-16 at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phils didn’t pitch well at all against Boston this weekend in Philadelphia. Bastardo and Happ both made miserable starts. A rain delay in the middle game didn’t help matters much at all, forcing Bastardo from the contest after just one awful inning. Coming into the series having played back-to-back extra-inning games, the pen had to throw 17 1/3 innings over the three games. Their defense also abandoned them as they have now made five errors in their last two games.

The offense, however, keeps plugging along. The Phils scored 19 runs in the series and got two dramatic home runs. Howard sent the game to extra-innings with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth in game one, but the Phils fell in the thirteenth. The slumping Jimmy Rollins homered off of Josh Beckett in the bottom of the seventh yesterday to start a six-run rally that helped get the Phils their only win of the set.

The Phillies are 36-25 on the season after dropping two of three to the Red Sox. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Mets by four games.

Game one was a fantastic game that didn’t end well as the Phils played their third straight extra-inning contest. Blanton got the start and was very good, allowing two runs on two solo homers over seven innings. The Phils got a run in the second on hits by Victorino and Ibanez and a ground out by Feliz, but went into the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-1 without a hit since the second inning. Howard tied the game at 2-2 with a home run off of Ramon Ramirez to send it to extra-innings. Boston scored three runs off of Kyle Kendrick in the top of the thirteenth and won the game 5-2.

The Phillies made three errors in the top of the first in game two and Bastardo allowed five runs. A rain delay before the second inning forced Bastardo from the game and Durbin came on to pitch three innings in relief. The Phils had gotten to within 5-4 when the Red Sox hit in the top of the fifth, but Taschner gave up five hits and a walk in the frame and Boston pulled ahead 8-4. Sergio Escalona allowed another two runs in the seventh and the game ended 11-6.

Game three had the same 11-6 score, but the Phillies coming out on top. Happ’s start wasn’t good — Boston hit two home runs off of him in the fourth and pulled out to a 4-1 lead. Four runs for the Phils put them ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Happ gave up another homer in the top of the sixth, this one to pitcher Josh Beckett, tying the game at 5-5. The Phils pulled ahead to stay with a six-run seventh that started with a Rollins homer and featured a two-run double by Feliz.

Overall, Phillies pitchers threw 31 innings in the series. They posted a 5.81 ERA and a 1.84 ratio.

Blanton was very good in game one, but Bastardo and Happ both struggled. The three starting pitchers combined to throw to a 7.24 ERA and a 1.90 ratio in 13 2/3 innings. They allowed six home runs and walked 11 over 13 2/3.

Blanton was fantastic in game one. He allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings. Both of the runs came on solo homers, one from Drew and the other from Youkilis. He struck out seven. Hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts.

Bastardo was awful in game two. He went just one inning, allowing five runs on three hits and three walks. The Phillies were terrible behind him, making three errors, but he didn’t pitch well.

Happ allowed five runs over 5 2/3 innings in game three. He gave up seven hits, including three homers, and walked six. Ew. That’s two bad starts in a row for Happ in which he’s allowed a total of nine runs over eleven innings and walked ten. His ERA has gone from 2.48 to 3.53 over his last two starts.

The relievers will enjoy a day off today after a long series. They combined to toss 17 1/3 innings. They weren’t very good, either, pitching to a 4.67 ERA and a 1.79 ratio. Kendrick got mashed in game one. Escalona and Taschner combined to allow five runs in three innings in game two. Park and Madson were very good in yesterday’s game.

Taschner started the fifth inning of game two with the Phillies down 5-4. He got hit hard, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. He had allowed a run over 7 2/3 innings in his last five appearances coming into the game.

Romero entered game one with two outs and a man on first to pitch to lefty Mark Kotsay. Kotsay singled, but Romero got Jason Varitek to set the side down. He came back for the ninth and allowed a two-out walk but got the next hitter to turn the Red Sox away.

He pitched the top of the ninth in game two with the Phillies down 10-6. Jacoby Ellsbury lead off the inning with a home run and Romero walked two in the frame, but avoided further damage by getting Nick Green to hit into a double-play.

First run of the year charged to Romero, but he has walked six in his 7 1/3 innings.

Escalona, who took Kendrick’s spot on the roster after game one, started the sixth inning of game two with the Phillies down 8-5. He kept Boston off the board in the sixth, but allowed a pair of runs in the top of the seventh on two hits, two walks and a hit batter.

Escalona was sent back to the IronPigs yesterday and Tyler Walker called up to fill his roster spot.

Park started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies down 2-1. He got the first two men he faced before Jason Bay singled. Romero came in to pitch to the left Kotsay.

Park came into game three in relief of Happ in the sixth with two outs and the bases empty and the score tied at 5-5. He got the only hitter he faced. He came back to throw a scoreless seventh. In the eighth he allowed a leadoff double and the runner came around to score, but the run was unearned due to an error by Bruntlett in left.

He’s allowed just one run (unearned) over the last eight innings he’s pitched.

Kendrick made his first appearance of the year for the Phils in game one. Didn’t go well. He set the Red Sox down in order in the twelfth, but the thirteenth was a problem. Boston loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Ellsbury singled to right to put the Red Sox up 3-2. A sac fly and another single followed before Kendrick ended the frame with the Phils down 5-2.

Durbin was great in game two. After Bastardo left after a rain delay having throwing just one inning, Durbin threw three scoreless frames. He allowed just one single and three walks and lowered his ERA on the year to 3.86.

Condrey pitched the eleventh inning of game one with the score tied at 2-2. He set Boston down in order on three ground balls.

He pitched the eighth in game two. He walked JD Drew with two outs, but got the next hitter to ground out to turn Boston away.

Madson struck out the side in the top of the tenth in game one with the score tied at 2-2. He hit Youkilis with one out, but left him stranded by getting the next two hitters.

He pitched the ninth inning of game three with an 11-6 lead. He allowed two singles but kept Boston off the board. He hasn’t allowed a run in his eight appearances in June.

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

Rollins has just one hit in the series, the home run yesterday. 1-for-15 with a home run. He’s hitting 217/254/330 on the season. Hasn’t drawn a walk in June and is hitting .186 for the month.

Victorino made a fantastic catch to take a hit away from Drew in game one. He was 4-for-14 with two doubles in the series and is hitting 287/338/449 for the year.

Utley was 5-for-14 with a double in the series. 305/438/577 for the season.

Howard had a dramatic home run in game one to send the game to extra-innings. 5-for-16 with a double, a home run and seven strikeouts in the set. 257/330/566 for the year.

Ibanez started the first two games of the series with Dobbs starting in left yesterday. 3-for-9 with a double and a home run in the series. 322/380/678 for the year. If he slugged .678 for the whole season it would be a career high.

Werth hit third in the first game of the series with Jon Lester on the mound for the Red Sox, sixth in the second game and fifth in the third. He was 5-for-13 in the series with a double and a home run. 262/358/440 on the year. His home run in game two was his first extra-base hit of the month.

Feliz was 5-for-12 with a double, a home run and five RBI. 318/365/445 for the year.

Ruiz started the first two games and was 2-for-8 with two singles and walk in the series. 284/405/459 for the season.

Coste started game three and went 1-for-4 in the series. He’s hitting 253/359/430 for the year.

Bruntlett made an error in left in yesterday’s game that helped Boston score a run. He was 1-for-2 and hit by two pitches in the series. He’s at 167/263/250 for the year.

Dobbs hit what was nearly a critical home run in game one on a ball down the right field line and over the foul pole. The ball was called foul. He started in left field in yesterday’s game. 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in the set. 175/250/316 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-2 in the set and is hitting 289/460/553 for the year.

Bako did not play in the series and has one at-bat since the Phillies called him up from Reading on June 9.


Weekend at Washington turns out to be a little like Weekend at Bernie’s except the Nats don’t show quite as much life as Bernie did

The Washington Nationals are a really bad baseball team. The Phillies aren’t, but they came into a four-game set over the weekend playing pretty bad baseball. They took advantage of the opportunity to use the lifeless Nats to jump-start themselves.

With the exception of a much-needed great start by Myers, the rotation didn’t to much of the jump-starting. The bullpen threw almost as many innings as the rotation in the series. Blanton, Andrew Carpenter and Park combined to throw 10 1/3 innings in the three starts that they made. Park clearly beat Happ straight up for the fifth starter job out of spring training, but that’s not going to help him keep it much longer if he doesn’t turn things around soon. Four of the seven starts he has made on the year have now been very poor. Yesterday’s was probably the worst of the group, and given the fact that he allowed five runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings that fact that you have to throw “probably” in there isn’t a good sign.

Finally, Raul Ibanez, who went 9-for-18 with three home runs and nine RBI in the series, is making Ruben Amaro look like a mad genius. After 36 games, Ibanez leads the National League in OPS, slugging, total bases and extra-base hits. He’s tied for second in RBI and fifth in batting average.

The Phillies swept the miserable Washington Nationals in a four-game set over the weekend. After winning four in a row they are 20-16. Four games above .500 ties them for their high-mark on the season — they were 14-10 after being the Cards on May 5.

The Phillies won game one of the series 10-6 in 12 innings. Howard delivered a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to put the Phillies up 6-4. The Nats sent it to extra-innings with two runs off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth. Condrey and Happ were fantastic after that, keeping Washington off the board for three innings. The Phils scored four runs in the top of the twelfth with Ibanez putting them ahead to stay with a two-run single after Kip Wells walked the bases loaded.

The teams played a day-night double-header on Saturday. Myers was huge in game one, keeping the pen in the pen and holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings. Ibanez had a huge day, driving in four with a pair of home runs. The Phils took an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth where Madson gave up three runs to make it 8-5, which was how it ended.

The Phillies won the second game of the double-header, which was stopped due to rain in the bottom of the sixth and not restarted, 7-5. Andrew Carpenter made the first start of his career after Happ, who was scheduled to pitch, had to throw two innings in game one of the series on Friday night. Carpenter wasn’t good, he allowed five runs over 4 1/3, but the Phillies’ offense was. The top four hitters, Rollins, Utley, Ibanez and Howard, combined to go 9-for-12 with six RBI.

The Phils completed the sweep with an 8-6 win yesterday. Park was terrible. The Phils gave him an early lead with three runs in the top of the first, but Park gave that right back and didn’t make it out of the second inning. The bullpen was fantastic, though, holding Washington to a run over 7 2/3 innings. The Phillies tied the game at 5-5 with two runs in the top of the fourth. Down 6-5 in the eighth with men on first and second, Feliz put down a pretty bunt. The pitcher Jesus Colome fielded and threw to first, where Anderson Hernandez must not have seen the ball because he looked like he made no effort to catch it. Both runners scored and Feliz came in to score when Bruntlett delivered a pinch-hit double two batters later. Eyre started the bottom of the ninth with two lefties due to hit to start the inning, but Lidge, pitching for the fourth straight day, came in to induce a double-play to get the last two outs of the game.

The Phillies threw 35 innings in the four-game set, pitching to a 5.66 ERA and a 1.54 ratio. In 35 innings they walked 20.

Myers made a very good start in game two, but otherwise the starting pitching was terrible. The four starters combined to throw 17 2/3 innings with an 8.15 ERA and a 2.04 ratio. They walked 15 in 17 2/3 innings. Blanton, Carpenter and Park combined not to get an out in the sixth inning and the bullpen had to throw 17 1/3 innings in the set, just 1/3 of an inning less than the starters. It should have been worse — the rain that ended game three was a gift for the Phillies and their bullpen.

Blanton got the start in game one and allowed four runs over five innings on five hits and six walks. He has a 6.86 ERA for the season.

Myers started the first game on Saturday and pitched very well in a situation where the Phillies really needed him. He allowed two runs on two solo homers over seven innings while striking out eight. He gave up just three hits in the game and walked two.

Andrew Carpenter made the first start of his career in game three, the night game of Saturday’s double-header. He allowed eight hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs. One of the runs scored on a triple that Condrey allowed to Ronnie Belliard in the fifth inning after Carpenter had left the game.

Carpenter took Miguel Cairo’s spot when he was called up to start the game. Cairo was designated for assignment. Sergio Escalona took Carpenter’s roster and was active for Sunday’s game with Carpenter going back to the IronPigs.

Chan Ho Park started yesterday and was ten pounds of suck in a five-pound bag. Five runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings. His ERA is 7.08 for the season.

With the exception of Myers, the starters were terrible and the bullpen bailed them out. The pen threw 17 1/3 innings to a 3.12 ERA and a 1.04 ratio. They struck out 16 and did not allow a home run.

Happ was expected to start the second game of Saturday’s double-header, but was pressed into action in game one. He entered with the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the eleventh and got the job done, throwing two scoreless frames and getting the win with the help of a four-run top of the twelfth from the offense.

Taschner took over for Park with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second in game four after Park walked in a run to put the Phillies down 4-3. He hit the first man he faced, forcing in another run to make it 5-3, but got Josh Willingham to hit into a huge double-play to get out of the jam. He came back and threw a scoreless third and a scoreless fourth.

Eyre started the seventh in game one after Howard gave the Phils a 6-4 lead with a three-run shot in the top of the inning. He got the only two men he faced before Madson took over to face the righty Austin Kearns.

He threw a 1-2-3 eighth in game four with the Phils up 8-6. With two lefties due to leadoff the bottom of the ninth and Lidge having pitched three days in a row, Eyre started the bottom of the ninth. He got Adam Dunn before walking Willie Harris before Lidge relieved him to pitch to the righty Willingham.

Sergio Escalona made his major-league debut yesterday in the bottom of the seventh with the Phillies down 6-5. He allowed a one-out single to Anderson Hernandez, but got the next two hitters.

Fantastic job by Escalona to keep the Phillies in the game.

Durbin came on for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth in game one with the Phils down 4-3. He hit Nick Johnson with two outs, but got the next hitter.

Yesterday he took over for Taschner in game four in the bottom of the fifth with the score tied at 5-5. He threw a scoreless fifth and came back to start the sixth. In the sixth he allowed back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced before Ryan Zimmerman delivered a sac fly that put the Nats up 6-5. Durbin got the next two to avoid further damage.

Durbin hasn’t allowed a home run in May after giving up three in April.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 tenth in game one with the score tied at 6-6. Impressive showing for Condrey, pitching on one day’s rest after throwing 40 pitches on Wednesday against the Dodgers.

He entered in the bottom of the fifth in game three, relieving Carpenter in the second game of Saturday’s double-header. He came into the game with one out and a man on first with the Phillies up 7-4. The first man he faced, Belliard, delivered an RBI-triple, but Condrey struck out the next hitters.

Madson entered game one with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the Phils up by two with the bases empty. He got Austin Kearns to end the inning. He came back to throw a scoreless eighth.

After going more than an inning on Friday, Madson entered in the bottom of the eighth in game two with an 8-2 lead. He gave up three runs on four hits. Madson shouldn’t have been in the game with a six-run lead in the first place. Taschner, who had thrown 38 pitches on Wednesday, seems like he was the obvious choice.

Lidge came on to try and save game one with a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth in game one. The Nats tied the game against him on a walk, a single and a two-run double by Willie Harris.

He got another chance to close in game two of the series. He entered with an 8-5 lead and kept Washington off the board, allowing one hit, a single.

Yesterday, in game four, he entered the bottom of the ninth with an 8-6 lead with one down and a man on first. He was pitching for the fourth day in a row. On his second pitch, Willingham hit into a double-play to end the game.

The Phillies scored 33 runs in four games in the series.

Rollins was 7-for-18 with a triple and two walks in the series. 222/268/320 for the year. His on-base and slugging percentages are highs for the season. He went 1-for-4 on opening day, but that was the only day of the year he ended the day with an average better than .222.

Victorino was dropped to sixth in the order for games three and four. 5-for-17 with a double in the series. 256/304/417 for the season.

Utley hit second in the order in games three and four when Victorino dropped to sixth. He didn’t start game two of the series against the lefty Olsen. Bruntlett played second. He went 4-for-9 with five walks and three doubles in the series. 291/443/590 for the year.

Howard had an enormous at-bat in game one. With the Phils down a run in the top of the seventh, the slumping Utley and slumping Howard were due to hit. Utley struck out, but Howard delivered a three-run blast to center. 5-for-17 with a double and two home runs in the series. 266/346/517.

Werth didn’t start gave three with Stairs in right against the righty Daniel Cabrera. 5-for-15 with two walks and a homer in the series. 294/396/540 for the year. He’s hitting .340 in May.

Ibanez hit sixth in the first game of the series, but third in every other game. 9-for-18 with three home runs, two walks and nine RBI in the series. 357/425/714 for the year. If he slugs .714 for the whole season it would be a career-high.

Feliz did not start game three with Cabrera on the mound for Washington. 7-for-14 with two doubles in the set. 308/380/425 for the season.

Ruiz went 3-for-12 with three singles and three RBI in the set. 255/397/340. Coste started game two against Olsen.

Coste started game two. He went 3-for-6 with a double in the series. 236/333/400 for the year.

Bruntlett made another appearance as the Phillies’ top right-handed bat against a lefty in game one. Again it did not work. With two outs and runners on first and second, Dobbs hit for Blanton with righty Garrett Mock on the mound. The Nats brought in lefty Ron Villone, Bruntlett hit for Dobbs and Villone got Bruntlett to pop to shallow center. Bruntlett may be the Phillies’ best option off the bench against a left-handed hitter, but he’s not good enough to consistently burn Dobbs’ bat as teams have done time and again.

He started at second in game two of the series against the lefty Olsen with Utley on the bench. 1-for-6 with a double in the series. 138/206/276. His double yesterday is his only hit in May.

Dobbs started game three with Cabrera on the mound. 0-for-3 in the series. 125/200/125 for the year. 4-for-32 with four singles.

Stairs started game three in right with the righty Cabrera on the mound for Washington. 0-for-3 with two walks in the set. 318/500/636 in 22 at-bats for the year.

Cairo went 0-for-1 on Friday before being designated for assignment on Saturday when Carpenter came up. 118/118/118. 2-for-17 with two singles. Despite his right-handedness, he was never a good match for this team. There’s a bunch of other people in the world who are right-handed and aren’t a good match, either. Me, for example.


Start me down

Two more games, two more bad starts from a Phillies rotation that came into the series with the Mets with a 6.45 ERA for the season and saw it go up even further. The bullpen bailed the starters out, though, giving the Phils 8 2/3 innings without being charged with a run, and it helped the Phils outlast the Mets in game two. Game three of the set was rained out.

The Phillies split a two-game, rain-shortened series with the Mets this weekend. They are 12-10 on the season.

The Phillies couldn’t overcome a miserable start by Park in the opener and lost 7-4. Park didn’t make it out of the fifth, but managed to allow five extra-base hits and walk six in the game. Utley hit a solo homer and Ibanez had a two-run single, but despite four scoreless innings from the bullpen the Phils never found their way out of the big hole.

The Phillies won game two 6-5 on a tenth inning bases-loaded walk by Victorino that forced in Feliz. Moyer started the sixth up 4-2, but allowed back-to-back homers to David Murphy and Ramon Castro. Alex Cora followed that with a triple and came in to score after Eyre relieved Moyer, putting New York up 5-4. Ibanez tied the game at 5-5 with a solo homer in the sixth. Great bullpen work from Condrey, Madson, Lidge and Taschner kept the Mets off the board after the sixth. The Phils pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the tenth on an infield single, a hit batter and two walks.

Overall, Phillies pitchers threw 19 innings in the two games. They pitched to a 5.68 ERA with a 1.95 ratio.

Again the starters were very bad. They allowed 12 earned runs in 15 innings over 10 1/3 innings in two starts, walking ten and allowing 15 hits. That’s a 10.45 ERA and a 2.42 ratio. They gave up three home runs, two by Moyer and one by Park.

In 22 games this season, Phillies starters have pitched to a 6.71 ERA. That’s the worst mark of any team in baseball by nearly a run — Boston’s starters have been second-worst. The Red Sox have thrown to a 5.75 ERA.

Park was terrible in the series opener. He allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings, with the last run scoring when Mike Pelfrey blooped a single to right off of Durbin. Tatis, who had doubled off of Park earlier in the inning, scored. In 4 2/3 innings Park allowed eight hits and six walks. That is awful.

Moyer took a two-run lead into the sixth in game two, but couldn’t collect his 250th career win. Things fell apart for him after he got the first two outs in the sixth, allowing two home runs and a triple all in a row. He was charged with five runs on seven hits and four walks. The fifth run scored after Moyer had left the game, thanks to another poor outing by Eyre.

Despite Eyre’s struggles, the pen was good. They did allow a run charged to Moyer in game two, but they were not charged with any runs in 8 2/3 innings in the two games. They walked seven but gave up just five hits and didn’t allow a home run. They threw to a 0.00 ERA and a 1.38 ratio over the 8 2/3 innings overall.

Happ started the seventh inning of game one with the Phils down 7-3 and pitched very well. He went two scoreless innings, allowing a walk and working around an Utley error to keep the Mets off the board.

Taschner pitched the top of the tenth in game two with the score tied at 5-5. He allowed two singles, but got Beltran to hit into a double-play to get out of the jam.

Eyre came in to pitch to Reyes in game two with two outs in the top of the sixth with the score tied at 4-4 and a man on third. He didn’t get an out, walking Reyes, giving up an RBI-single to Castillo and hitting Beltran to load the bases before Condrey replaced him to pitch to Sheffield with the bases loaded.

It was Eyre’s second-straight outing without getting an out.

Durbin relieved Park with two outs in the fifth in game one. He allowed a bloop RBI-single to Pelfrey with the run charged to Park. Durbin came back to throw a scoreless sixth.

Condrey threw a perfect ninth in game one with the Phils down three runs. He entered game two in the sixth with the bases loaded and got Sheffield on a ground ball. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Condrey has made 14 appearances on the season and has not been charged with a run in 13 of them. He has a 1.26 ERA and an 0.77 ratio on the year and has struck out 11 in 14 1/3 innings.

Madson allowed a walk and two hits in the eighth inning of game two with the score tied, getting the third out with the help of a great throw by Werth. He allowed a hit and two walks in the inning.

Lidge started the top of the ninth in game two with the score tied at 5-5. He walked two, one intentionally after Wright walked and stole second, but kept the Mets off the board.

With the rainout on Sunday, the pen should be well-rested. Condrey has pitched for two straight games, but I would assume he’s available tonight after yesterday’s game was rained out.

The Phillies scored ten runs in the two games of the series.

Rollins was dropped to fifth in the lineup after taking an 0-for-4 in game one. 1-for-8 with two walks in the set. He’s hitting 2004/247/278 for the year.

Victorino. In game two, with one out and the bases loaded, Victorino hit a ball hard back to the pitcher Takahashi. Takahashi knocked it down and threw home for the first out, but Moyer fell down between first and second and the Mets were able to double him up. He walked in the bottom of the tenth in that game to force in the winning run. 3-for-10 with a double, a triple and a walk in the series. 287/340/489 for the year. He has hit in 12 straight games, going 18-for-his-last-53.

Utley made an error on a ground ball hit by Church to start the seventh inning in game one. He started game two on the bench with Bruntlett playing second. 1-for-3 with two walks and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 342/474/671 for the year.

Howard didn’t field a ground ball Oliver Perez hit down the first base line with two outs in the top of the second in game two cleanly. Perez was safe with a single, keeping the inning alive for the Mets. It didn’t matter, though, cause Reyes followed and popped out on the infield. 2-for-9 with two singles and four strikeouts in the series. 281/360/494.

Werth made a strong throw to nail Omir Santos trying to score from score on a single by Beltran to end the top of the eighth in game two with the score tied at 5-5. He was 1-for-7 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 250/368/425 after going 2-for-his-last-18.

Ibanez made a nice sliding catch in left-center in the fifth inning of game one. Park needed all the help he could get. He moved up to second in the lineup in game two of the series, with Rollins hitting fifth. 3-for-8 with a double, a home run and four RBI in the series. 360/424/733.

Feliz. In game two, with one out in the third, Sheffield hit a ball down the third base line past Feliz and into left for a double. It’s a play that Feliz usually makes, and it cost Moyer and the Phils a run cause it moved Castillo to third and Wright followed with a sac fly that Howard took moving backwards into right. Later in game two, Feliz started the bottom of the tenth with an infield single. He came in to score the winning run on a two-out walk by Victorino. 4-for-9 with four singles and an RBI in the series. 338/400/473.

Coste started game one and threw Wright out stealing second in the fifth inning, giving Park some much-needed help in the frame. In game two he hit for Taschner with two outs in the tenth and drew a critical walk. It loaded the bases for Victorino and Victorino’s walk forced in Feliz to get the Phillies the win. He was 1-for-4 with a walk in the series. 182/280/273.

Ruiz was activated for the second game of the series. He put down a pretty tag on Santos on Werth’s throw in the top of the eighth in game two. 0-for-2 with two walks. He’s 3-for-13 with a double on the year.

Bruntlett started at second in game two with Utley on the bench. Also 0-for-2 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 158/250/316 for the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-2 in the series. He’s 3-for-20 with three singles on the year.

Stairs was hit by a pitch in game two. He’s 4-for-13 with two homers on the season.

Cairo was 0-for-1 in the series and is 0-for-8 this year.

Park stays in the rotation for now and Hamels’ next start will be pushed back to Friday.


The old man and the C-minus

Two games, two bad starts for the Phillies. Last night Kelly Johnson hit Jamie Moyer’s very first pitch of the season out to right. Things got better from there, they would have to, but not by a whole lot.

While Myers and Moyer didn’t impress in the first two games, it’s nothing compared to the struggles of the offense to put runs on the board. After scoring one run in the opener, the Phils were shutout last night. Manuel did make a change to the lineup, dropping Werth down to split up three big left-handed bats in a row. If nobody is going to hit, though, it doesn’t matter a lot where they do it.

The news isn’t all bad for the Phils. The bullpen has been absolutely outstanding in the first two games. In seven innings they haven’t allowed a hit or a walk. Jack Taschner has pitched three perfect frames. Clay Condrey, coming off a great spring, made his ’09 debut last night and looked fantastic.

The Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves last night, falling 4-0 to drop to 0-2 on the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out two.

Kelly Johnson led off for Atlanta and hit Moyer’s first pitch of the game out to right to put Atlanta up 1-0. Moyer got Yunel Escobar to ground to short for the first out, but Chipper Jones was next and he doubled high off the wall in center. Brian McCann followed and hit a 1-2 pitch to second where it went under the glove of Utley for an error. Jones scored from second and it was 2-0. Garret Anderson moved McCann to second with a single to left, but Moyer got Jeff Francoeur to pop to Howard at first and Casey Kotchman on a ground ball to first to leave both men stranded.

Moyer walked Jordan Schafer to start the second and the pitcher Jair Jurrjens bunted him to second for the first out. Johnson fouled out to Feliz for the first out and Escobar flew to center for the third.

The Braves went in order in the third. Chipper went down swinging, McCann hit a hard ground ball to first that Howard handled and Anderson grounded to first less dramatically.

Francoeur led off the fourth with a bloop single to right. Kotchman was next and hit a 3-2 pitch back through the middle. The ball wasn’t hit especially hard and Rollins had a chance to field, but the ball went off Rollins’ glove. Francoeur went to third and Kotchman, who was given a hit, was safe at first. The hit call was right, but it’s a play that Rollins makes often. Moyer got Schafer to pop to short for the first out and struck Jurrjens out on three pitches for the second. Johnson was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch slowly to short. Rollins charged, fielded and threw to first but didn’t have a chance to get Johnson on a ball hit so slowly. Francoeur scored and Kotchman went to second with Atlanta up 3-0. Escobar slammed a 1-0 pitch into left field for a single. Kotchman came around second and tried to score, but Ibanez made a strong throw home that was online. Ruiz picked it on an in-between hop and put the tag on to end the inning. Nice throw by Ibanez and a nice catch and tag from Ruiz to record the out.

Chipper led off the fifth and blasted Moyer’s first pitch out to left. 4-0. McCann followed with a walk before Anderson popped to first for the first out. Francoeur was next and he his a soft fly ball to left. Ibanez charged and took it easily. Not a hard play and Ibanez made it look easy — Burrell probably would have gotten there, too, but it surely wouldn’t have looked easy. Kotchman flew to right to leave McCann stranded.

Second time in the game the Braves took Moyer deep on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Park, who won’t make his first start until Sunday against the Rockies, started the sixth inning with the Phils down four. He set the Braves down in order without much help from Feliz. Schafer hit a grounded to third that Feliz didn’t handle cleanly and then threw in the dirt. Howard made a nice scoop to record the first out. With two outs, Johnson popped a foul down the third base line that Feliz should have caught but didn’t as he shied away from the railing. Johnson flew to center to set Atlanta down.

Taschner pitched the seventh after throwing 17 pitches Sunday night and had an easy 1-2-3 inning, setting down Escobar, Jones and McCann on three ground balls.

He came back for the eighth, too, and again set Atlanta down in order. Francoeur hammered a ball out but foul and Utley made a nice sliding stop on a ground ball by Kotchman before throwing to first for the third out, but it was impressive nonetheless.

Condrey started the ninth, making his first appearance of the year coming off a very solid spring training. He struck Schafer out on four pitches for the first out. Greg Norton hit for the pitcher Rafael Soriano and Condrey struck him out as well. Johnson was next and hit a line drive to the left of Rollins. Rollins made a great play to knock the ball down and throw to first where Howard made another nice scoop to set Atlanta down.

More fantastic work from a Phillies bullpen that has not allowed a hit or a walk in seven innings to start the season. In this game they combined to throw four perfect innings. Taschner threw 26 pitches and Park 21, so we likely won’t see either of them this afternoon. Just 11 pitches for Condrey.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jair Jurrjens went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Manuel splits up the lefties for game two, dropping Werth to the five-hold and moving Victorino up to hit second. That’s the way to go with those players in the lineup. Feliz starts against a righty for the second straight day, so if you were holding out hope that this was the year Dobbs and Feliz platoon, so far no good.

Utley and Howard singled back-to-back with two outs in the first, but Werth grounded to second to leave the runners stranded at first and third.

Ibanez led off the second and drove a ball into the gap in left-center. Anderson went after it and got to it, but the ball went off his glove. Ibanez was given a double. Didn’t help the Phils any, though. Feliz flew to right for the first out. Ruiz was next and he hit a ground ball to short. Escobar fielded and threw to third, where Ibanez was tagged out for the second out. Sounds like bad base-running by Ibanez, but it wasn’t. The ball was to his left, Escobar made an odd choice to go to third but it worked out for Atlanta. Moyer drew a walk to put men on first and second, but Rollins grounded back to the mound for the third out.

Phillies can’t score after the leadoff double.

Victorino and Utley struck out to start the third. Howard delivered a two-out single, but was left stranded when Werth flew to left. Werth looked like he had hit the ball very well, but Anderson took it in front of the track.

Down 3-0, the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Miguel Cairo hit for Moyer to start the fifth with the Phillies losing by four runs and hit a ball to second that Johnson didn’t handle for an error. Rollins flew to right for the first out before Victorino drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one down for Utley. Utley flew to center for the second out. Howard was next and hit the ball hard back up the middle, but that’s right where the Braves were playing him with the shift. Escobar took the ball behind second base and threw to second to force Victorino and end the inning.

Werth and Ibanez flew out to start the sixth before Feliz drew a walk. Righty Jeff Bennett came in to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz smoked a single into left that sent Feliz to second. Stairs hit for Park and Atlanta called on lefty Eric O’Flaherty to pitch to him. He worked the count full and drove a ball into left-center, but Schafer tracked it down to leave both men stranded.

Utley singled to left-center with two down in the seventh, but O’Flaherty got Howard on another ground ball to Escobar for the third out.

Righty Rafael Soriano came in to pitch the eighth with Werth due to lead off. Werth struck out swinging for the first out. Ibanez was next and got to hit against the righty with the Phils down four. He hit a ball hard back to the mound and off of Soriano’s glove, but the pitcher was on it quickly and tossed to first to get Ibanez for the second out. Feliz drew a walk on four pitches, putting a man on for Ruiz. Ruiz hit it hard to left, but Anderson took it at the warning track to end the inning.

Lefty Mike Gonzalez started the ninth for Atlanta. Bruntlett hit for Condrey and lined to left for the first out. Rollins flew to Anderson on the warning track for the second out and Victorino flew to left-center to end the game.

Bruntlett as the best right-handed pinch-hitting option isn’t good. He really isn’t the guy you want as either your backup corner outfielder or your best right-handed pinch-hitter.

The second, when Ibanez led off with a double, and the fifth, when Cairo led off and reached on an error, were the best chances for the Phils to score. Maybe today.

Rollins was 0-for-5 and left three men on base.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk. Still looking for his first hit after a bad spring training.

Utley 2-for-4 with two singles and an error.

Howard 2-for-4. Made several nice plays at first base, digging out throws in the dirt from Rollins and Feliz.

Werth 0-for-4.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double.

Feliz 0-for-2 with two walks. Two walks in a game may seem like a big deal for Feliz, but it’s not unheard of. He did it three times just last year.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Joe Blanton faces righty Javier Vazquez this afternoon. Blanton had a great spring and made one start against the Braves last year. On July 27 he went just two innings before being forced out of the game by a long rain delay. Anderson and Kotchman have both seen him a lot from their days in the AL. Anderson 314/368/371 against him in 35 at-bats. Kotchman 300/333/500 in 20 at-bats. Vazquez pitched for the White Sox in 2008 and didn’t face the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins has faced him a ton from Vazquez’s time with the Expos and Diamondbacks. 186/222/349 in 43 at-bats. Ibanez 5-for-14 (.357). Stairs 2-for-24 (.083). Amaro 0-for-1 with a strikeout (on June 6, 1998).


North henceforth

Have you heard tell of the legend of Greg Maddux that had him allowing guys to hit home runs off of him during spring training so he could surprise them with a totally different approach in at-bats that count? Let’s hope that’s what Jamie Moyer was doing yesterday. With everyone. Especially with Ryan Zimmerman. Moyer got blasted yesterday as the Nats beat the Phils 12-10 in the final Florida game of the Phils’ spring training.

The Phils head north with a 12-18-2 spring training record.

Moyer went just four innings, allowing nine runs on 11 hits and two walks. Zimmerman homered off of him twice. Austin Kearns hit a solo shot in the fourth. Taschner tried to keep pace but fell short, allowing just two home runs. He only pitched an inning, though, so it’s remarkable nonetheless. Cristian Guzman and Alex Cintron both got Taschner for solo shots in the eighth. Condrey tossed two scoreless frames to drop his spring ERA to 1.46. Durbin allowed a run on two hits in the seventh.

Feliz had a huge day with the bat for the Phils, 4-for-5 with three doubles and a home run. He started the day hitting 205/220/231 for spring training and ended it with a slightly more impressive 273/283/432 line. Howard hit his tenth home run of the spring, a two-run shot off of Scott Olsen in the first. Stairs was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, raising his spring average to .255. Victorino went 1-for-4, dropping his average to .214.

The Phillies play Tampa Bay tonight in Philadelphia.

A number of Phillies have been outstanding in Florida, including:

  • Howard: 310/390/746 with ten home runs and a team high 24 RBI.
  • Bruntlett: 370/483/548. Two home runs and seven doubles. Led the Phils with 13 walks.
  • Rollins: 355/429/581 with three home runs in 31 at-bats.
  • Werth: 308/347/662 with six home runs.
  • Ruiz: 351/381/622 with a pair of home runs in 42 plate appearances.
  • Ibanez 308/372/462 in 78 at-bats.
  • Condrey: 1.46 ERA with a 1.05 ratio in ten appearances.
  • Blanton: Threw 22 innings with a 2.45 ERA and an 0.82 ratio. Walked just two batters all spring.
  • Park: 21 1/3 innings. 25 to 2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 2.53 ERA and a 1.03 ratio.
  • Myers: 23 innings with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.26 ratio.
  • Koplove: Struck out nine in 9 1/3 innings with an 0.96 ERA and an 0.96 ratio (not a typo, his ERA and ratio were the same). Looking forward to seeing him pitch for the Phillies.
  • Madson: 2.03 ERA but a 1.43 ratio. Did not walk a batter in 13 1/3 innings, but allowed 19 hits. Opponents hit .328 against him.

There were some guys who struggled, too:

  • Coste: 4-for-32 with four singles and 13 strikeouts. 125/275/125. He did draw five walks.
  • Victorino: 9-for-42. 214/267/310. Didn’t steal a base and drove in just two runs.
  • Dobbs: 13-for-50 with three doubles. 260/333/320.
  • Moyer: Made five starts in which he threw to an 8.27 ERA with a 1.94 ratio. He also struck out 17 in 20 2/3 innings, so let’s cross our fingers he was just messing around.
  • Taschner: Ten appearances between the Giants and Phils he put up a 6.75 ERA and a 2.53 ratio. He also allowed three runs that were unearned. In 10 2/3 innings he issued 14 walks. I’m writing that one again, just because it seems important: In 10 2/3 innings he issued 14 walks. I truly have my fingers crossed about Taschner, but it’s pretty hard for me to see that one working out for the Phils. I’m still holding out some hope they let him start the season in AAA, cause I would be very surprised if he makes a positive contribution in the short term.
  • Eyre: Struck out 15 in ten innings, but posted a 6.30 ERA and a 1.30 ratio. His numbers suffered from a single terrible outing against the Yankees on March 26 when he gave up five runs in an inning.

Chris Coste’s family and Fargo home are safe from flood waters. Now if he could just get Shane Victorino to stop calling him in the middle of the night.

Roster-shaping events are surely coming. I’ll try to post the links as I see them, but there are a host of sites that are better if you’re looking to get the news first, including High Cheese, The Phillies Zone and The Zo Zone.

Baseball-Reference has a new look.

Update: Jon Heyman says that Gary Sheffield will sign with the Mets.

More update: Happ and Taschner have made the opening day roster to pitch out of the bullpen. Majewski will go to the minors after the exhibition games. Ugh.

Ad: Ticketcity has tickets for tonight’s game and regular season games.


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