Tag: Jamie Moyer

No average Joe

The Phillies showed some life in the first two games of their four-game set with the Padres, but yet another weak start from Blanton and a big out they gave away on the bases in the bottom of the tenth cost them yesterday. Tonight they’ll look for another win as they try to take three of four in their series against the Padres.

On Friday the Phillies scored three runs or less for the twelfth game in a row, but got a win anyway thanks to nice work from Halladay and a big day for Victorino. Victorino was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run and scored two of the three runs as the Phils won 3-2.

Moyer was fantastic on Saturday and the Phils finally scored more than three runs in a game as they won 6-2. Moyer threw a complete game and the middle of the order showed some much-needed life as Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez combined to drive in all six Phillie runs.

Blanton was miserable again yesterday, allowing five runs in five innings to push his ERA over six for the year. The Phillies scored five times in the first two innings, but the Padres pulled ahead 6-5 with a run off of Baez in the tenth. Polanco walked with one out in the bottom of the tenth, but was thrown out trying to go to third when Utley followed with a single. It put him on the bench watching when Howard delivered a single that would have tied the game and Werth followed with his third strikeout on the day to end the game.

The Phillies are 30-25 on the year after losing to the San Diego Padres 6-5 in ten innings yesterday. They trail the Braves by two games in the NL East. The Mets are in third place a game behind the Phils.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on 11 hits and no walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. After seven starts he has a 6.07 ERA for the season.

Jerry Hairston singled with one out in the first. Adrian Gonzalez was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left center to put San Diego up 2-0. Chase Headley followed with a double to right before Nick Hundley popped out to Howard for the second out. The former Phil Matt Stairs was next and he singled into center, scoring Headley to make it 3-0. Stairs stole second, really he did, before Tony Gwynn grounded to first to end the frame.

At least Blanton didn’t wait till late in the game to get plastered this time.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Blanton started the second. Lance Zawadzki, San Diego’s switch-hitting second baseman, led off with a single to left. Blanton struck out the pitcher Kevin Correia for the first out before Zawadzki stole second. Blanton struck out Scott Hairston and got Jerry Hairston to ground to third to set the Padres down.

The Phillies started the third up 5-3. Gonzalez and Headley singled back-to-back to start the inning, but Blanton got Hundley, Stairs and Gwynn in order to leave them stranded.

He got the first two in the fourth before Scott Hairston doubled to center. Jerry Hairston followed with a single to right, scoring Hairston to make it 5-4. Jerry Hairston went to second when the throw came home, but Headley popped to third to leave him there.

Hundley hit Blanton’s first pitch of the fifth out to left-center to tie the game at 5-5. Blanton set down the next three Padres.

Durbin pitched the sixth. He allowed a two-out single to Jerry Hairston, but got Gonzalez to fly to right behind him.

He was back to start the seventh, too. He gave up a leadoff single to Headley, but got Hundley to hit into a double-play behind him. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Stairs and struck him out for the third out.

Gwynn singled off of Romero to start the eighth and Zawadzki bunted him to second. Righty David Eckstein hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and Contreras came in to pitch to him. Eckstein hit a ball to third. Polanco fielded and threw to first for the second out. Gwynn tried to go to third, but Howard threw to Polanco and Gwynn was tagged out to set San Diego down.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Baez started the tenth. Headley led off with a single and Hundley bunted him to second. Will Venable was next and he grounded out to Utley for the second out, with Headley taking third. Righty Oscar Salazar hit for the pitcher Mike Adams and reached on an infield single to short. Headley scored and San Diego led 6-5. Baez got Eckstein on a ground ball back to the mound for the third out.

Everyone in the pen was rested after the complete game by Moyer on Saturday. Durbin threw 20 pitches, Baez 16, Lidge 14, Romero 13 and Contreras one.

The Phillies lineup against righty Kevin Correia went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Castro. Schneider behind the plate in the day game after the night game. Castro at short with Valdez on the bench.

Victorino singled to start the bottom of the first with the Phils down 3-0 and stole second. Polanco hit a ball to second that Zawadzki didn’t handle for an error. Victorino held second, so it brought Utley up with men on first and second. Utley grounded to first with the runners moving to second and third. Howard grounded to second and everyone moved up a base again, with Victorino scoring to cut the lead to 3-1. Werth struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Phillies scored the rest of their runs for the game in the second. Ibanez led off with a walk before Schneider flew to center for the first out. Castro was next and hit a ground ball to short. Ibanez was forced at second for the second out with Castro safe at first. Blanton moved Castro to second with a two-out single and then Victorino walked, loading the bases. Polanco singled to left and everyone moved up a base. 3-2 with the bases still loaded. Utley walked. 3-3. Howard singled to right on a ball deflected by Zawadzki, putting the Phillies up 4-3. Righty Sean Gallagher came to pitch to Werth and walked him. 5-3. Ibanez grounded to short to finally set the Phillies down.

With two outs and a man on first, the Phils score four runs by going single-walk-single-walk-single-walk.

Blanton walked with two outs in the third. Victorino was hit by a pitch behind him and Polanco singled to center to load the bases. Utley struck out swinging to leave them loaded.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Schneider singled to center to start the fifth with the game tied at 5-5. Castro bunted him to second with the first out. With the righty Gallagher still on the mound for San Diego, Dobbs hit for Blanton and struck out swinging. Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Righty Ryan Webb set them down in order in the sixth.

Schneider doubled off of Webb with two outs in the seventh, but Castro struck out behind him.

Manuel didn’t use Gload to hit for Castro there with Valdez and Gload both available. Both players would get a chance later in the game.

Right Mike Adams was pitching for the Padres when the Phils hit in the eighth. Gload hit for Contreras to start the inning and grounded to short. Victorino grounded to first before Polanco singled. Utley hit a ball to first that Gonzalez didn’t handle and was safe on the second San Diego error of the day. With two outs and men on first and second, Howard struck out swinging 0-2 to end the inning.

Gload hits with nobody on in the eighth instead of with a man on in the seventh.

Adams walked Schneider with two outs in the ninth. The righty Francisco pinch-hit for the righty Castro with the righty Adams on the mound and moved Schneider to third with a single to right. Ruiz hit for Lidge and Valdez ran for Schneider at third. Francisco took second without a throw, but Ruiz grounded back to Adams to end the inning.

Odd inning. Francisco against the righty works out, but the Phils come up empty.

Heath Bell was on to protect a 6-5 lead in the ninth for San Diego. Polanco walked with one out. Utley was next and he singled softly into center. Polanco went for third, but Gwynn made an excellent throw to nail him at third for the second out. Howard moved Utley to third with a single, but Bell struck Werth out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

It took a nearly perfect throw from Gwynn to get Polanco, but it would have been a really fantastic time not to make an out on the bases.

The Phillies scored five runs in the first two innings then none in the next eight. This whole thing is really unusual.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs. He’s 5-for-his-last-12 with a double, a triple and a walk.

Polanco was 3-for-5 with two RBI. 6-for-his-last-13 with six singles.

Utley was 1-for-5 yesterday with a walk and five men left on base. He’s 3-for-19 with a double in June. 130/231/152 with one extra-base hit, a double, over his last 46 at-bats.

Howard 2-for-6 with three RBI yesterday. 5-for-his-last-13 with a double, a walk and seven strikeouts.

Werth was 0-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-34.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a walk. He’s 0-for-his-last-10 and 1-for-17 in June.

Schneider was 2-for-4 with a walk and double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. He’s 7-for-29 on the season. Ruiz was 0-for-1 yesterday and is 2-for-his-last-8.

Castro 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop his line on the year to 227/252/278 in 97 at-bats. Ninety-seven is too many at-bats to give a guy who isn’t going to surprise you by hitting 227/252/278. He’s 0-for-his-last-13.

Cole Hamels (5-4, 4.20) faces lefty Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 3.67) tonight in game four of the series. Hamels threw just 24 pitches in his last start before rain forced him from the game. He got two outs and was charged with three runs. LeBlanc has some strange numbers. Overall, they aren’t as good as his 3.67 ERA, opponents are hitting 296/365/446 against him for the year, but he has allowed two runs or less in seven of his nine starts.


Mets refuse to let the Phillies score and are kind of a Dickey about it

New York’s RA Dickey is the latest hurler to stump the Phils. Dickey tossed six shutout innings last night as the Mets pounded the Phils 8-0. In their last three games the Phillies have been shut out twice and nearly no-hit once. In the other game they were shut out through eight innings before scoring three in the bottom of the ninth to turn a blowout into a five-run loss.

Moyer didn’t pitch well in last night’s game, failing to go six innings for the first time this year. The bullpen allowed four runs in three innings. The Phils had plenty of chances to score, but let them all slip away. Most notably, they loaded the bases with nobody out in the second and came away empty. In the seventh, Utley and Howard struck out back-to-back with a man on third and less than two outs.

The Phils have lost five of seven and scored 15 runs over those seven games. In four of the seven they scored one run or zero runs. They’re 26-18 on the season with the loss. They are three games ahead of the second-place Marlins in the division, but just four ahead of the Nats and Mets, who have the same record at the bottom of the division.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He didn’t strike out a batter.

Jose Reyes led off the bottom of the first with a single and Luis Castillo bunted him to second. Reyes stole third and came in to score on a ground out by Jason Bay, putting the Mets up 1-0. Ike Davis flew to center for the third out.

Moyer got David Wright to start the second, but Angel Pagan and Rod Barajas singled back-to-back behind him. It put men on first and third for Jeff Francoeur and Francoeur singled to left, scoring Pagan to put the Mets up 2-0. The pitcher RA Dickey was next and bunted the runners to second and third with two outs. Reyes grounded to third for the third out.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 third.

Wright led off the fourth and hit a ball into shallow center that Victorino didn’t see. It dropped and Wright had a double. Pagan walked to put men on first and second for Barajas. Barajas flew to center deep enough for Wright to go to third. Francoeur was next and he delivered a sac fly too, this one to left. Wright scored and it was 3-0. Dickey flew to right for the third out.

Reyes started the fifth with a pretty bunt single and stole second. Castillo moved him to third with a ground out before Bay singled to left to bring him in and put the Mets up 4-0. Bay stole second and Davis walked. It put men on first and second with one out, but Moyer got Wright on a fly ball to left and Pagan on a fly to center.

Herndon started the sixth after the Phils hit for Moyer in the top of the inning. He allowed a one-out double to Francoeur. Lefty Chris Carter hit for the pitcher Dickey and singled into center, scoring Francoeur to making it 5-0. Herndon got Reyes and Castillo to end the inning.

Herndon came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh. Opponents are hitting .373 against him for the year.

Figueroa started the eighth with the Phils down 5-0. Barajas singled with one out before Francoeur lined to left for the second out. The pitcher Raul Valdes was next and he doubled just out of the reach of Werth. Barajas scored and it was 6-0. Reyes was next and tripled just out of the reach of Werth. 7-0. Castillo singled to left. 8-0. Bay grounded to third to finally end the inning.

Werth was playing really shallow with Valdes at the plate. A little too shallow apparently. That would have been a nice out to have. Figueroa’s ERA for the year is up to 5.09 for the year. He’s allowed runs in two of his last three appearances, giving up five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Herndon threw 30 pitches in the game, Figueroa 29.

The Phillies lineup against righty RA Dickey went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Castro. Castro plays short with Rollins on the DL, hitting eighth with Ruiz seventh.

The Phils went in order in the first.

They hit in the top of the second down 1-0. Howard led off and smashed a ball off the arm of Dickey for a single. Dickey stayed in the game and Werth singled as well, sending Howard to second. Ibanez singled to left and the bases were loaded for Ruiz. Ruiz hit a ball back to the mound. Dickey fielded and threw home to start the double-play with Barajas going to first for the second out. Castro walked to load the bases again, but Moyer struck out swinging to turn the Phillies away.

No run in the inning on three hits and a walk. That’s tough to do.

Victorino started the third with a walk with the Phillies down 2-0. Polanco hit a ground ball to second and Victorino was forced for the first out. Utley struck out before Howard sent Polanco to second with a single. Werth walked to load the bases yet again, but Ibanez lined to short to leave them all stranded.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

They were losing 3-0 when they hit in the fifth. Polanco singled with one out. Utley followed and grounded to second with Polanco forced for the second out. Howard flew to center to set the Phillies down.

It was 4-0 in the sixth. Ibanez and Ruiz singled back-to-back with one out. It put men on first and second for Castro and he lined to Davis at first for the second out. With the righty Dickey still pitching for the Mets, Dobbs hit for Moyer and struck out swinging 1-2.

Lefty Raul Valdes started the seventh with a 5-0 lead. Victorino led off with a walk and moved to third when Polanco followed with a double. Utley struck out and Howard struck out. Werth got to hit against the lefty and hit a ground ball in the hole between third and short. Wright made a nice play to field the ball diving to his left and threw Werth out at first to end the frame.

That’s awful. No run for the Phils when Utley and Howard both strike out with a man on third and less than two outs.

Castro walked with two outs in the eighth. With the lefty Valdes still on the mound for the Mets, Francisco hit for Herndon and popped to Reyes to leave Castro stranded.

Polanco singled off of Valdes with one out in the ninth, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game. It’s tempting to blame the offensive woes on the .310 on-base percentage in the leadoff spot, but Victorino is hitting 280/356/548 so far in May.

Polanco was 3-for-5 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit for the Phils in the game.

Utley 0-for-5.

Howard 2-for-5.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk.

Ibanez 2-for-4. He’s hitting 214/283/357 against lefties this season.

Ruiz 1-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-17.

Castro was 0-for-2 with two walks, giving him four for the season.

Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.06) faces lefty Hisanori Takahashi (3-1, 2.53) tonight in game two of the series. Blanton has been very good early in the game this year and very bad late. So far the results are bad overall. Takahashi has made 15 relief appearances and one start on the season. The start came on Saturday against the Yankees and he threw six shutout innings. He does walk a lot of righties, though. They are hitting 241/347/373 against him for the season.

Some words about Brad Lidge and how good he feels here. The article suggests he could be activated next week.


Phils extend their Halladay from good baseball

It looks like ugly has gone and flipped on us again.

With the exception of a really nice start from Cole Hamels, not much went well for the Phillies this weekend against the Boston Red Sox. Kendrick and Halladay both had ugly outings, with Halladay’s start particularly worrisome given his recent pitch counts. The Phils were shut out and nearly no-hit in game two of the series. They were nearly shut out again in yesterday’s game before they put three runs on the board in the bottom of the ninth.

They also lost Jimmy Rollins again. Rollins pulled up lame after singling in the sixth inning of game one and left with a right calf strain. His most recent trip to the DL ensures we’ll be seeing more of Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez manning short in the next few weeks.

The Phillies are 26-17 after dropping two of three to the Red Sox this weekend. They have lost four of six and scored 15 runs in their last six games. They still have a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL East, but we should all keep an eye on the Braves who are now in second place and have won seven of their last ten.

The Phils won game one 5-1 behind a great start by Hamels, but lost Rollins. Rollins pulled up with an injury to his right calf after singling in the sixth inning and is back on the DL. Hamels was fantastic in the game, holding the Red Sox to a run on three hits and a walk over seven innings. Howard and Werth homered early for the Phils and Herndon, Baez and Contreras combined to keep Boston off the board after Hamels left the game.

Almost getting no-hit by Daisuke Matsuzaka was the story of game two. Castro’s looping single just out of the reach of Marco Scutaro was the only hit of the game for the Phils. Kendrick got the start for the Phils and didn’t pitch well, allowing five runs and exiting before the end of the fifth.

Halladay didn’t pitch well in game three and the Phils lost 8-3. They were nearly shut out again, too, but avoided that with three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Dobbs made a big error at third with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, turning an inning-ending double-play into an inning extender and helping the Red Sox plate a pair of runs. Halladay just wasn’t good, though, allowing seven runs over 5 2/3 innings coming off a 132-pitch outing. Gload delivered another pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth, driving in two of the three runs in the game for the Phils.

Hamels got the start in game one and went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out eight. In four starts in May he’s 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA.

Kendrick started game two. He went 4 2/3 innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He has a 5.66 ERA for the year. Lefties are hitting 344/414/594 against him.

Halladay started game three and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks. Only six of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out just one. The Phillies are 0-3 in the last three games Halladay has started and continue to play miserable defense behind him.

Manuel and Halladay both seem sure that 132-pitches in his previous start and 121 the start before that weren’t a factor. I’m not.

Bastardo entered game two in the fifth inning with two outs, a man on second and the Phils down 5-0. He struck out Jeremy Hermida to end the frame. He came back and got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 sixth to set down the bottom of the Boston order.

Romero entered in the ninth inning of game one with one out, men on first and second and the Phillies up 5-1. He got JD Drew on a ground out to first that moved the runners to second and third for the first out. He then hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch. It brought the tying run to the plate. With the lefty Romero on the mound, the lefty David Oritz hit for the righty Bill Hall. Romero got Ortiz on a fly ball to center to end the game.

Romero also pitched the eighth inning of game three. He allowed a single to Adrian Beltre to start the inning before getting Jeremy Hermida on a ground out for the first out. Marco Scutaro drew a walk to put men on first and second, but the pitcher Tim Wakefield couldn’t bunt and struck out for the second out and Romero got Jacoby Ellsbury looking to leave both men stranded.

Righties are now hitting .181 and slugging .181 against Romero for the year but on-basing .400.

Herndon pitched the eighth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead and set the Red Sox down in order. He also pitched the ninth inning of game two with the Phils down 5-0. He walked Mike Lowell with one out but got the two hitters behind him. He has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 ratio in five appearances in May. Opponents are still hitting .390 against him for the season.

Durbin pitched in game three. He entered in the sixth with two outs and a man on first and the Phillies down 7-0. He got Dustin Pedroia to pop to first for the third out. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Durbin has made nine appearances this month and nine of them has been good. Overall he’s thrown to a 2.61 ERA in May while allowing four hits and four walks over 10 1/3 innings.

Figueroa threw a 1-2-3 seventh in game two with the Phillies down 5-0. He came back for the eighth and allowed a two-out single to Hermida before getting Jason Varitek on a hard hit ground ball to first for the third out.

Baez started the ninth inning of game one with a 5-1 lead. He got the leadoff man before allowing a single to Victor Martinez and a walk to Kevin Youkilis. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Drew.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering to pitch the ninth with the Phillies down 7-0. Pedroia walked to start the inning and moved to third when Victor Martinez followed with a double. Youkilis flew to right for the first out. Darnell McDonald hit for JD Drew and reached with the help of a Hoover error on a rundown to load the bases. Beltre delivered a sac fly to make it 8-0 before Baez got Hermida on a ground ball to end the inning.

The run was unearned thanks to the error. Baez has a 1.23 ERA over his last eight appearances, but opponents are hitting .345 against him in those games.

Contreras did not pitch in the series.

Nobody in the bullpen has pitched more than one day in a row and the Phillies don’t play today. Baez threw 20 pitches yesterday and Romero and Durbin each threw 18.

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

Victorino was 2-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 257/308/475 for the year.

Polanco didn’t start yesterday and went 0-for-7 with two walks in the series. 298/333/444 for the year.

Utley was 3-for-10 with a triple and two walks in the set. 307/429/587 for the year and 343/427/629 so far in May.

Howard was 2-for-9 with a home run and two walks in the series. 299/351/486 on the year. He’s on pace to hit 30 home runs.

Werth was 4-for-11 with two doubles and a home run. 327/401/647 for the season. He’s walked once in his last 29 at-bats. Still on pace to hit 83 doubles, which would be a lot compared to other people who have played baseball in the past.

Ibanez was 2-for-9 with two doubles and two walks. 245/349/403 for the year. 220/289/366 against lefties for the year.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with a walk in game one before hitting the DL again. He is at 341/462/634 in 41 at-bats for the season. Castro took over for Rollins at short and was 2-for-8 with a double in the set. He’s hitting 260/272/312 for the year.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and was 0-for-8 in the series with three strikeouts. 297/429/406 on the year. He’s 0-for-his-last-13.

Hoover started yesterday’s game. He was 0-for-3 in the series and is 5-for-18 for the year. He made a throwing error in a rundown in yesterday’s game.

Dobbs started at third yesterday and made a key error. He was 0-for-6 with a strikeout in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-21 and hitting 154/233/308. He’s hitting 228/283/368 since the end of 2008.

Gload was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI in the series. He’s 7-for-29 on the year.

Francisco was 0-for-1 in the series and is just 1-for-8 in May.

No game today.

Jamie Moyer (5-3, 4.30) faces righty RA Dickey (0-0, 3.00) tomorrow in New York as the Phils start a three-game set with the Mets. Moyer has been great in two of his last three starts and has gone at least six innings in every start this year. Dickey has made one start on the year and held the Nats to two runs over six innings.

Wilson Valdez is back on the roster, taking the spot left when Rollins went on the DL.

Brian Schneider should be back for tomorrow’s game.


Ancient art

Jamie Moyer has been a treat to watch over this last couple of starts, tossing two gems in three outings. After allowing 11 hits over 22 1/3 innings in those games, Moyer’s got some nifty numbers for the year as well. His ERA for the season is down to 4.30 and he’s sporting a sparkling 1.05 ratio. Compared to the last couple of years, his walk rate is down and his hit rate is down. Opponents are hitting .231 against him for the season. Righties are slugging .375 against him after slugging .496 against him in 2009.

It didn’t help the Phils much last night. For the second game in a row, the Phillies couldn’t get their offense going and wasted a great performance from a starting pitcher. The Phillies have scored two runs in their last two games and have one extra-base hit.

Charlie Manuel didn’t have a particularly good game, either, and that’s two in a row. With a bullpen full of rested righties, Manuel let Chad Durbin pitch too long and then let Romero pitch to a righty with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth in a 2-1 game. Xavier Nady delivered a two-run single into center off of Romero that turned a 2-1 game into a 4-1 game. The lineup is also funky. Manuel had Ibanez hitting seventh last night with a lefty on the mound for the Cubs, with Rollins sixth. On a team that has four regulars on-basing over .400, the lineup featured a leadoff man with a .315 on-base percentage for the season and a two-hitter who ended the day on-basing .335.

The Phillies are 24-15 after losing to the Chicago Cubs 4-1 last night.

Moyer got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven.

He walked Derrek Lee with two outs in the first, but got Marlon Byrd to ground out behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 second.

He struck out Geovany Soto and pitcher Tom Gorzelanny to start the third before Ryan Theriot singled to left. Theriot stole second with Starlin Castro at the plate and came in to score when Castro singled to left on a ball deflected by Polanco. His run put the Cubs up 1-0. Lee grounded to third to leave Castro stranded.

Moyer struck out Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth and a 1-2-3 sixth.

He got the first two in the seventh before Soriano lined a double to left. Jeff Baker was next and he singled into left on another ball deflected by Polanco. Soriano scored to put Chicago up 2-0. Soto grounded to short for the third out.

Durbin pitched the eighth and allowed an infield single to Castro with two outs, but picked him off of first to end the frame.

He was back to start the ninth with the lead cut to 2-1. He walked Lee to start the inning and hit Byrd on the leg with a pitch. It put men on first and second with nobody out and he struck out Ramirez for the first out. Soriano walked, though, and it loaded the bases for lefty Tyler Colvin. Romero came in to pitch to him and struck him out for the second out. Righty Xavier Nady hit for the pitcher Carlos Zambrano and Romero stayed in to pitch to him. Nady singled into center, scoring two runs to make it 4-1 with men on first and second. Romero struck out Koylie Hill to leave both runners stranded.

Nice to see Romero get the strikeout of the lefty with one out and the bases loaded. It sure would have been a swell time to bring a righty in to pitch to the right-handed Nady, though. Baez, Contreras, Figueroa and Herndon were presumably all available in the pen. Given all those righties in the pen, it sure seems like Manuel let Durbin pitch for a while.

Durbin threw 28 pitches in the game, Moyer 12.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Tom Gorzelanny went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Utley returns to the lineup and the three-hole after battling the flu. With the lefty on the mound, Manuel drops Ibanez to seventh in the order and hits Rollins sixth. I think Rollins will be back hitting leadoff soon against both righties and lefties.

The Phillies went in order in the first.

Howard single to start the second. Werth struck out behind him for the first out before Rollins moved him to second with a single. Ibanez flew to center for the second out with Howard tagging and going to third. Ruiz was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Moyer, but Moyer struck out swinging to end the inning.

They went in order in the third, with Theriot making a nice play on an Utley ground ball to rob him of a hit for the third out.

The didn’t have a base runner in the fourth or fifth.

Victorino walked to start the sixth and stole second after Polanco flew to right for the first out. Utley drew a walk, too, and it put men on first and second for Howard. Howard struck out and Werth flew to right.

Ibanez singled with the one out in the seventh and the Phillies down 2-0. Ruiz was next and he smashed a line drive off the body of Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny made a remarkable play to get the ball and flip to first to get Ruiz as Ibanez went to second, but the pitcher had to leave the game. Lefty John Grabow came in to pitch and Francisco hit for Moyer. Francisco struck out swinging to leave Ibanez stranded at second.

Polanco doubled to left with one out in the eighth. Utley followed and blooped a ball over the first baseman’s head and into right for a single that sent Polanco to third. With one out and men on first and third, Grabow was still on the mound to pitch to Howard. Howard hit a ball slowly down the third base line and Grabow made a great play to get to the ball and throw a laser to first to nip Howard for the second out. Polanco scored to cut the lead to 2-1 with Utley going to first. Righty Carlos Zambrano came in and got Werth to ground to short to end the inning.

Righty Carlos Marmol was on the mound to start the ninth with a 4-1 lead. Ibanez walked with one out and Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind him. Gload hit for Romero, coming to the plate as they tying run, but struck out for the second out. Marmol struck Victorino out swinging to end the game.

Victorino was 0-for-4 with a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-12 with three singles and a walk.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a double, which is the only extra-base hit for the Phillies in the last two games. He’s 2-for-his-last-12 with a walk.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a single.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI. He was almost safe on his dribbler off of Grabow in the seventh.

Werth was 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Rollins 1-for-4.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-15 with three singles.

Ruiz was 0-for-2. He’s got just one walk in his last five games, which has his pace for the year down to 91.

Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.49) faces righty Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.49) this afternoon. Blanton has pitched very well early in the game in his three starts and gotten into trouble late in the game. On May 3 he allowed four runs, all of which came in the seventh. On May 8, he allowed three runs, all of which came in the sixth. On May 13 he allowed five — one in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the seventh. Dempster has walked 19 in 56 2/3 innings, but he’s struck out 55 and opponents are hitting .210 against him.


May day after day after day

What the Phillies have done so far in May has been impressive, but what Jamie Moyer did in the first game of the three-game set against the Braves was historic. Moyer chopped Atlanta up, holding them to a pair of singles over nine innings as the Phillies rolled to a 7-0 win. With the effort he became the oldest player in major league history to throw a shutout.

The Phils got a win this afternoon with the help of a fantastic effort from their pen to take the series.

The Phillies are 19-12 after taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves. They are 7-2 in May and have won five of their last six.

On Friday the Phillies won game one of the set 7-0 as Jamie Moyer became the oldest player in major league history to throw a shutout. Werth put the Phils up 3-0 with a three-run homer in the third. Ibanez and Valdez each drove in a pair of runs in a four-run fifth.

The Phils lost game two 4-1. Blanton got the start and pitched well early in the game. He worked around errors by Dobbs and Howard in the top of the first and took a 1-0 lead into the sixth. Atlanta plated three runs on three singles and a double in the sixth, taking a 3-1 lead. Baez gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth. Victorino drove in the only run of the game for the Phils with a single in the second. The Phils had a ton of opportunities in the game, but Howard, Werth and Valdez combined to go 1-for-11 with 12 men left on base.

Outstanding work from the pen helped the Phils take game three today, 5-3. Hamels left after five innings with a 4-3 lead and Durbin, Contreras and Lidge combined to go four scoreless innings. Lidge worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the year. Polanco and Victorino each homered in the game — they are on pace to combine to hit 63 home runs this year with 219 RBI.

Moyer threw a two-hit shutout in game one. He allowed two singles, both to Troy Glaus, over nine innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. He lowered his ERA for the season from 5.70 to 4.38 with the outing.

Blanton went six innings in game two, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He allowed just one hit and two walks through the first five innings. He struck out three. He’s 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA. In his first start he also pitched very well early. He started the seventh with the game tied at 1-1 and St Louis scored five runs in the seventh.

Hamels got the start today. He went five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks. Only one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five. He was up 4-0 when he started the fifth, but allowed three runs on four singles and two walks in the frame. Melky Cabrera hit a ball hard to Utley with the bases loaded and nobody out that Utley didn’t handle. Cabrera was given a single on the play — it would have taken a nice play by Utley, but it would have been a nice one to have.

Romero started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies losing 3-1. He walked Nate McLouth to start the inning and McLouth went to second on a ground out before Romero walked Chipper Jones. It put men on first and second with one out for Brian McCann and Romero struck him out swinging. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Glaus.

Figueroa did not pitch in the series.

Durbin came in to game two with the Phillies down 3-1 with two outs and men on first and second. He struck Glaus out swinging to end the frame. He also pitched today, entering in the sixth with a 4-3 lead. He pitched great. After a 1-2-3 sixth, he was back for the seventh and set Atlanta down in order again, striking out Glaus and McCann for the last two outs.

Durbin has a 1.72 ERA and an 0.83 ratio for the year. Over his last four appearances he has allowed one walk and no hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Contreras pitched the eighth inning of game two and walked Eric Hinske to start the inning, but got the next three hitters behind him. He also pitched in game three today. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth with a 5-3 lead.

Herndon did not pitch in the series. He last pitched on April 30.

Baez pitched the ninth inning of game two, starting the inning with the Phillies losing 3-1. McLouth led off with a single and Martin Prado bunted him to second for the first out. A ground out by Chipper sent McLouth to third and Baez walked McCann. It put men on first and third with two outs for Glaus and Glaus singled to center to score McLouth and put Atlanta up 4-1. Baez got Matt Diaz to ground to short for the third out.

Lidge got his first save of the year today. He threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a 5-3 lead, but not in a way that would make you feel very comfortable. The first two batters he faced hammered the ball, but their fly balls were taken at the warning track. He then threw two nice sliders to Prado before Prado tapped back to the mound to end the game.

Contreras and Durbin have both thrown two days in a row. Durbin threw 27 pitches today.

The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three-game set.

Victorino was 2-for-13 with a walk and a home run in the series. 241/271/459 for the year. He has seven home runs on the season and a career high of 14.

Polanco was 7-for-13 with a double and a home run. 302/328/468 for the year. He started game two of the series at second with Utley on the bench and Dobbs at third.

Utley was 3-for-7 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 297/435/586 for the year.

Howard made an error on a tough play in game two, trying to field the ball with a broken bat flying at him and then making a bad flip to Blanton. He was 3-for-11 with a walk in the series. 279/321/465.

Werth delivered a three-run homer in the third inning of game one that gave Moyer an early lead. 3-for-10 with a walk, a double, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 349/417/688 for the year and 406/457/938 so far in May. Nobody besides me seems to care that he’s on pace to shatter the single-season record for doubles and it kinda hurts my feelings.

Ibanez was 4-for-11 with a double. 253/350/414.

Valdez was 1-for-11 in the series and his hitting 172/172/241 for the year.

Ruiz caught games one and three and went 3-for-7 with three walks in the series. He’s at 325/465/429 for the season. He’s on pace to walk 110 times.

Dobbs started at third in game two and made an error. He was 0-for-3 with a walk in the series and is hitting 192/276/423 for the year.

Schneider started behind the plate in game two and was replaced after the third by Ruiz after straining his left Achilles. He has been put on the DL with Paul Hoover called up to take his place on the roster. Schneider was 1-for-1 in the series and is 3-for-18 on the season.


Phils second-best in game, division

At least the division race is close. Last night’s game wasn’t.

The funk continues as the Phils fell again last night in San Francisco. They didn’t hit, pitch, field or run the bases especially well. They’ve lost four of five and it has now cost them first place in the NL East as they have fallen a half game behind the Mets in the division. They’ve scored three or fewer runs in four of their last seven games.

The Phillies are 11-9 on the year after losing to the San Francisco Giants 6-2 last night.

Moyer got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing four runs on ten hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out two. After four starts he has a 5.25 ERA and a 1.42 ratio.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second with a 1-0 lead. Aubrey Huff led off with a home run that tied the score at 1-1. He got the next two before San Francisco second baseman Matt Downs homered to left to put the Giants up 2-1. Nate Schierholtz followed that with a double to left before Moyer struck out the pitcher Todd Wellemeyer to end the inning.

Edgar Renteria singled with one out in the third, but Moyer got Pablo Sandoval to hit into a double-play behind him.

Moyer walked Mark DeRosa with one out in the fourth, but DeRosa was caught stealing for the second out. Bengie Molina followed with a single, but Moyer got Downs to fly to right for the third out.

The pitcher Wellemeyer lined a single to left with one out in the fifth and Andres Torres followed that with a double that moved him to third. Renteria singled to left and Wellemeyer scored to make it 3-1 with men on first and third with one out. Sandoval was next and he singled, too, scoring Torres and moving Renteria to second with San Fran up 4-1. Huff was next and he hit a line drive, but Castro took it at short and threw to second where Renteria was doubled-off to end the inning.

The pitcher starts a sting of four hits in a row against Moyer that only ends when Huff lines into a double-play.

Molina singled to left with one out in the sixth and Moyer hit Downs to put men on first and second. He got Schierholtz and Wellemeyer on a pair of fly balls to leave them stranded.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils still down 4-1. He walked Torres to start the frame and Torres stole second. Renteria singled to center and Torres scored to make it 5-1, with Renteria taking second as Victorino’s throw came in to the plate. Sandoval singled as well and Renteria scored to make it 6-1. Huff was next and he hit a ball to Utley, but Utley’s throw didn’t get anyone. Utley was charged with an error and the Giants had men on first and second. DeRosa fouled out to Howard for the first out and Durbin got Molina to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

The lead was cut to 6-2 when Romero pitched the eighth. He set the Giants down in order, getting his first outs of the year in his second appearance.

Durbin threw 24 pitches and Romero 17.

The Phillies lineup against righty Todd Wellemeyer went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Castro back at short and Ibanez back in left.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard led off the second and hit the ball into the right field corner. He rounded first and cruised into second, but Schierholtz’s throw from right beat him and he was tagged out for the first out. It cost the Phillies at least a run, cause Werth followed with a double. Werth stole third and Ibanez delivered a fly ball to left deep enough for him to tag and score and put the Phils up 1-0. Castro flew to center for the third out.

Just an embarrassing play by Howard, who didn’t run hard all the way to second.

Ruiz walked yet again to start the third and Moyer bunted him to second. Victorino popped to third and Polanco struck out to leave him stranded.

Howard singled with one out in the fourth and moved to second when Werth followed with a walk. Ibanez flew to left and Castro struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

The Phillies went in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

Ruiz walked to start the eighth with the Phillies losing 6-1. Gload hit for Durbin against the righty Wellemeyer. Lefty Dan Runzler came in to pitch and Francisco hit for Gload. Ruiz went to second on a wild pitch before Francisco lined a single to right that scored Ruiz and cut the lead to 6-2. Victorino struck out and Polanco hit into a double-play.

Utley started the ninth with a ball lined to right. He ran hard for two, but Schierholtz threw him out as well for the first out. Howard and Werth struck out and the game was over.

At least Utley ran hard. Down four runs isn’t the best time to get thrown out trying for two.

Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game and is hitting .226 for the year. He’s on-basing .258.

Polanco 0-for-4. He’s 2-for-his-last-20 with two singles.

Utley was 1-for-4 in the game. He made an error and was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.

Howard was 2-for-4.

Werth had the Phillies only extra-base hit in the game. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and a double.

Ibanez was 0-for-2 with an RBI, dropping his average on the year to .217.

Castro 0-for-3.

Ruiz 0-for-1 and walked twice. He’s on-basing .438 and on pace to walk 113 times this season.

Cole Hamels (2-2, 5.11) faces righty Tim Lincecum (4-0, 1.00) this afternoon. Lincecum hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start this season. Hamels has.

Blanton could start Monday’s game against St Louis.

Lidge says he’s ready to return.


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