Tag: Jay Bruce

A series of fortunate events

Possible exception: Bruce homering every day. Things went well other than that.

Roy Halladay mowed the Reds down yesterday afternoon as the Phils topped the Reds 6-2 to take the series two games to one.

The Phillies pounded Cincinnati starter Mike Leake for the second time since mid-August in the game, scoring six runs and knocking him out of the contest in the top of the third. In his last two starts against the Phils, Leake has been charged with 13 runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Kratz hit a three-run homer as part of a four run top of the second to give the Phillies an early lead. Utley hit a two-run homer off of Leake in the top of the third to extend the lead to 6-0. Halladay allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the fourth. Bruce delivered his daily homer in the ninth, which came against Papelbon this time.

Bruce was 7-for-11 with a walk, two doubles and three home runs in the three-game set and drove in all six runs the Reds scored. He has homered four straight games. Mercifully, that’s someone else’s problem now (best of luck, Houston).

The Phillies are now 21-14 since trading away Victorino and Pence. They have lost just one of the last eight series they have played, going 16-10 in those games. Of the eight series, they’ve won five, lost one (the Mets) and split two four-game sets. They’ve been playing good teams, too, going 11-5 in that stretch against the Reds, Braves, Nats and Cardinals.

The Phillies are 66-71 on the year after beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing a run on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out five.

Joey Votto singled with two outs in the bottom of the first. Halladay got Ryan Ludwick to pop to Utley to end the inning.

The Phillies led 4-0 when Halladay set the Reds down in order in the second.

It was 6-0 when Halladay threw a 1-2-3 third.

Chris Heisey singled to left to start the fourth and Halladay walked Votto behind him. Ludwick was next and grounded into a double-play that left Heisey at third with two down for Jay Bruce. Halladay really wanted a close 2-2 pitch that was called a ball and probably wanted it more after Bruce doubled to right 3-2, scoring Heisey to make it 6-1. It brought Todd Frazier to the plate and Frazier flew to Mayberry to end the inning.

Bruce is a monster. 4-for-7 in the series with a walk and two homers coming into the game and 435/480/957 in 25 plate appearances against the Phillies for the year.

Dioner Navarro started the bottom of the fifth and reached on a ground-rule double to right-center. Didi Gregorius, a 22-year-old, left-handed hitting shortstop from the Netherlands appearing in his first big league game, was next and moved Navarro up to third with a ground out to Utley. Infielder Henry Rodriguez, a switch-hitter, hit for the pitcher Alfredo Simon and Halladay struck him out for the second out. Brandon Phillips flew to center to leave Navarro at third.

Halladay pitches around the leadoff double. Rodriguez can’t bring the runner home from third with one out as Halladay gets the big strikeout.

Names don’t get a lot better than Didi Gregorius, do they?

Votto singled to center with one out in the sixth. Halladay struck Ludwick out swinging 0-2 for the second out before Bruce doubled again, sending Votto to third. Frazier was next and Martinez made a very nice play at third, fielding the ball and then throwing to first. Howard made a nice play to handle the throw, retiring the side and ending the inning.

Martinez and Howard make a pair of nice plays to get Halladay an out that probably saves two runs.

Navarro singled to right to start the seventh. Halladay got Gregorius on a fly ball to center for the first out and lefty Xavier Paul hit for the pitcher Sam LeCure. Paul grounded into a double-play to set the Reds down.

Halladay started the eighth having thrown 93 pitches and struck Phillips out swinging 0-2 for the first out. Heisey was next and singled softly to center on the eighth pitch of his at-bat. Bastardo came on to face the lefty Votto and struck Votto out looking for the second out. Ludwick was next and Bastardo got the righty on a fly ball to right-center to end the inning.

The eighth inning and Bastardo have been miserable this year, but he came through against two good hitters that time including the righty Ludwick.

Over his last six appearances, Bastardo has thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings in which he has struck out 12.

Papelbon started the ninth with a five-run lead, pitching for the first time since Sunday’s disaster in Atlanta. Bruce led off and hit an 0-2 pitch out to left. 6-2. Frazier followed that with a single to left. Papelbon struck Navarro out for the first out. Gregorius followed and grounded to second with Frazier forced at second for the second out. Righty Denis Phipps hit for the pitcher Pedro Villareal. Gregorius took second without a throw before Papelbon struck Phipps out to end the game.

Second straight bad outing in a row for Papelbon, although this one wasn’t nearly as bad as Sunday. In his last two appearances he has been charged with four runs on four hits (including two home runs) and a walk over 1 1/3 innings.

Overall the pen goes 1 2/3 innings in the game, allowing a run on two hits. Papelbon threw 18 pitches and Bastardo 15.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Leake went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Kratz catches the day game after catching the night game. Frandsen on the bench with Martinez playing third. Pierre in left with Brown in right and Schierholtz on the bench. Nix on the bench, too — not clear to me why Pierre gets to play so often against righties with Nix on the bench. Pierre can’t hit enough singles to make him a good offensive corner outfielder.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Howard and Mayberry singled back-to-back to start the second, putting runners on first and second for Brown. Brown singled into center, scoring Howard (1-0) and moving Mayberry up to second. Kratz was next and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left for a three-run homer, putting the Phillies up 4-0. Martinez, Halladay and Rollins went in order behind Kratz.

Home run number nine on the year for Kratz. He came into the game 8-for-his-last-35 (.229) with no walks.

Pierre led off the third with a walk and Utley followed him with a home run to center. 6-0. Howard struck out for the first out before Mayberry doubled high off the wall in left. That was it for Leake and righty Alfredo Simon came in to pitch to Brown. Brown was hit by a pitch, putting two men on again for Kratz. Kratz fouled out to Votto for the second out with the runners holding. Martinez grounded to first to end the frame.

Utley came into the game hitting .236 over his last 105 plate appearances with one home run. Home run number ten on the season for Utley.

Halladay started the fourth with a single to right, but Rollins hit into a double-play behind him and Pierre lined to short for the third out.

The lead was cut to 6-1 when Utley struck out to start the fifth. Howard was next and hit the ball well to left, but Ludwick took it for the second out. Mayberry flew to right to end the frame.

Righty Sam LeCure set the Phillies down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh. Halladay hit for himself and struck out to start the seventh having thrown 82 pitches.

Sean Marshall struck out Utley and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Righty Pedro Villareal started the ninth for the Reds and struck Brown out swinging for the first out. Kratz flew to right for the second out and Martinez to left for the third.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 2-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 246/305/417 for the year. He’s shown remarkable power since a rough start to the season. Through May 28 he was hitting 224/282/276 with eight extra-base hits (seven doubles) in 211 plate appearances. Since May 28 he’s hitting 258/317/493 in 385 plate appearances with 46 extra-base hits, including 16 home runs. His isolated power in those 385 plate appearances is .235. There are eight NL players with 425 or more plate appearances for the season and an isolated power that’s better than .235 (Rollins’s isolated power for the whole year is .171).

Pierre 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-7 in the series with a walk in the series. 299/342/360 for the season. His numbers for the year took a tumble in August when he hit 241/302/293 in 68 plate appearances. He’s 6-for-his-last-33 with six singles.

Utley 1-for-4 with a two-run homer and struck out twice.

Howard 1-for-4. 2-for-11 with two singles in the series. 239/324/446 for the year. 7-for-his-last-40 (.175). 200/254/369 against lefties for the year with 33 strikeouts in 71 plate appearances.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double. 3-for-10 with a double, two walks and a home run in the series. 256/301/430. Yesterday was the first time he has ended the day with an on-base percentage better than .300 for the year since he went 2-for-4 with a double on opening day. 308/364/521 in 129 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 1-for-3 with a hit by pitch. 1-for-9 with a walk in the series. 240/319/337 for the year in 116 plate appearances. 1-for-his-last-20.

Kratz 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. 2-for-7 with a home run in the series. 287/333/611 for the year. There are 429 players across both leagues with at least 100 plate appearances for the season. Of those, his isolated power of .324 for the year is the best.

Martinez 0-for-4 in his only action of the series to drop his average on the year to .115. He made a nice defensive play at a big time to end the sixth. He’s 0-for-his-last-19 with a walk and hitting 115/169/192 for the season.

The Phillies are off today and face the Rockies at home tomorrow.


Catch of the day

The Phillies managed just four hits last night, wasting another strong performance from Kendrick and falling to the Reds 2-1.

The Phils pulled ahead 1-0 in the top of the fourth on a double, a hit by pitch and two walks, the second of which forced in Utley to put the Phillies ahead. Jay Bruce, who homers every day, hit a two-run homer off of Kendrick in the bottom of the sixth for the only other scoring of the game.

The Phillies had two huge chances to add more runs, one in fourth and another in the fifth.

In the fourth they led 1-0 with the bases loaded and one out. Schierholtz hit a ball into center that Drew Stubbs charged and gloved on a hop. He was credited with a catch, but the ball clearly hit the ground. Chaos reigned on the bases and Mayberry was doubled off of second to end the frame.

Kratz led off the fifth with a single, but Kendrick could not bunt him to second with the first out. The no-bunt proved to be critical when Rollins followed with a double that only moved Kratz up to third. Frandsen couldn’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs and Utley grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.

The Phillies are 65-71 on the year after losing to the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 last night. They are in third place in the NL East, 18 1/2 games behind the first-place Nationals.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a two-run homer by Jay Bruce. Kendrick struck out three.

Kendrick has a 2.78 ERA in 57 2/3 innings over 15 appearances (eight starts) since the start of July. Six of his last seven starts have been good and he’s thrown to a 2.95 ERA with a ratio in those seven outings. He’s dropped his walk rate since the start of July, but mostly this is about hits. From the start of the season through the end of June, opponents hit .298 against him with a BABIP of .332. From the start of July through last night, they have hit .212 against him with a BABIP of .235.

Drew Stubbs was the first batter for the Reds in the bottom of the first. Kendrick got ahead of him 1-2, but walked him 3-2. Wilson Valdez was next and grounded to short with Stubbs forced at second for the first out. Valdez stole second and then moved up to third when Brandon Phillips grounded softly to Frandsen on a nice barehanded play for the second out. Ryan Ludwick flew to left to leave Valdez at third.

Kendrick set the Reds down in order in the second. Utley made a diving play to take a hit away from Scott Rolen and threw to first for the third out.

Ryan Hanigan singled to left to start the third. The pitcher Mat Latos was next and bunted, but Kratz fielded the ball and threw to second to force Hanigan for the first out. Stubbs was next and singled to left, putting runners on first and second for Valdez. Valdez grounded to Rollins with Stubbs forced at second for the second out, dropping his average on the year to .199. With Phillips at the plate, Kratz picked Latos off of third to end the inning.

Horst for Valdez was a good trade for the Phillies (in case you were wondering).

The Phillies were up 1-0 when Kendrick started the fourth. Bruce reached on an infield single with two outs, but Kendrick got Frazier on a ground ball to third for the third out.

Hanigan singled to left with one out in the fifth and Latos bunted him to second with the second out. Kendrick struck Stubbs out swinging 2-2 to leave him there.

Ludwick singled to right with two outs in the sixth. That brought Bruce to the plate and Bruce hit a 2-1 pitch from Kendrick out to right, putting the Reds up 2-1. Kendrick struck Frazier out swinging to end the inning.

Third game in a row that Bruce has homered. He hit one in the last game of the Reds’s series with the Astros and in each of the first two games so far against the Phils.

Lindblom pitched the seventh. He got the first two before lefty Xavier Paul hit for the pitcher Latos. Paul doubled to left. Lindblom struck Stubbs out swinging to leave Paul at second.

Lindblom has allowed a run on two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings over his last seven appearances, which has dropped his ERA with the Phillies from 7.88 to 5.02. Opponents have hit just .176 against him with the Phils, but with 11 walks in 14 1/3 innings.

Rosenberg started the eighth. He got the first two before walking Ludwick. Denis Phipps ran for Ludwick. Diekman came in to pitch to the lefty Bruce and walked him, too, putting runners on first and second for righty Todd Frazier . Righty Justin De Fratus came in to pitch to him and Frazier walked as well, loading the bases for Rolen. Rolen flew to right to leave them loaded.

Three straight walks for the pen after getting the first two hitters to start the inning.

Rosenberg faces three hitters, getting the first two out before walking Ludwick. He’s been charged with five runs in two innings over his last three appearances. Lefties are 3-for-10 against him for the year with seven walks.

Diekman faced one batter in the game and walked him. First action for Diekman since July 29. He has walked 16 in 21 1/3 innings for the year.

De Fratus faces two hitters, walking one and getting Rolen on a fly ball with the bases loaded. He was pitching for the second straight day and has now gone 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the year, allowing no hits and two walks.

The number of walks that the bullpen is allowing is getting a little out of hand. Coming into the game, Phillie relievers had walked 36 batters in 78 1/3 innings over the last 31 games. That’s about 4.14 batters per nine, which is too high.

Overall the bullpen went two scoreless innings last night, allowing a hit and three walks.

De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day and threw 13 pitches. Lindblom 17, Rosenberg 17 and Diekman five.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mat Latos went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Schierholtz (8) Kratz. Schierholtz in right with Brown in left. With Pierre on the bench, Frandsen hits second.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Howard started the second with a single to left. Mayberry and Brown went down on a pair of fly balls for the first two outs. Schierholtz was next and hit a 3-2 pitch well down the first base line, but Bruce made a nice play running into the wall in the right field corner for the third out.

Kratz and Kendrick struck out as the Phillies went in order in the third.

Utley doubled to center with one out in the fourth. Howard was hit by a pitch behind him and Mayberry walked, loading the bases for Brown. Brown walked on four pitches, forcing Utley in to put the Phillies up 1-0 with one down and the bases still loaded for Schierholtz. Schierholtz lined a ball into center. Stubbs charged and trapped the ball, but nobody on the bases knew what was going on. Stubbs threw to second to double-up Mayberry for the second out and end the inning. Howard had stayed at third thinking the ball was caught, so the Reds threw home anyway.

Stubbs clearly didn’t catch the ball in center. Think it’s safe to say there was some confusion on the base paths on the part of the Phillie runners.

Bad call to give Stubbs the catch when he didn’t make one, but I think the Phillies are doubled-up either way. Mayberry ran from second to third while Howard held third. If it’s a catch, Mayberry is easily doubled off of second. If it’s not, Brown is forced at second and Howard is out at home (or Mayberry is out at third, but they can’t both be there). Would have been nice to get one clear call, but I think the result winds up the same either way.

Kratz singled to center to start the fifth. Kendrick struck out trying to bunt him to second for the first out before Rollins chopped a double over Frazier and into right for a double, moving Kratz up to third. Frandsen grounded to third for the second out with the runners holding. Utley grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.

Kendrick can’t bunt the runner to second with the first out and it costs the Phils a run when Kratz doesn’t score from first on the double. After that, the Phillies don’t score after putting runners on second and third with one out. Frandsen grounds out to third for the second out with the runners holding.

The double was career hit number 2,000 for Rollins.

Latos got the Phillies in order in the sixth.

The Reds were up 2-1 when he did it again in the seventh. Nix hit for Kendrick and flew to left for the third out.

Righty Jonathan Broxton set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

Lefty Aroldis Chapman, who is sadly unhittable, started the ninth for the Reds with a one-run lead. Howard led off and struck out. Mayberry drew a walk and Wigginton hit for the lefty Brown. Wigginton hit a 1-2 pitch well to left, but Heisey took it in front of the warning track for the second out. Polanco hit for Schierholtz and struck out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Mayberry is now a walking machine against left-handed pitching. He’s up to two now in 144 plate appearances.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double. 7-for-17 with two doubles and two home runs to start September. 261/320/499 with 16 home runs over his last 381 plate appearances.

Frandsen 0-for-4. Couldn’t bring Kratz home from third with the second out in the fifth. 3-for-his-last-16 with three singles and a walk.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double. 4-for-his-last-27 (.148).

Howard 1-for-3 with a strikeout. 6-for-his-last-36 (.167).

Mayberry 0-for-2 with two walks. 287/343/484 in 172 plate appearances since the start of July.

Brown 0-for-2 with a walk, a strikeout and the RBI for the Phils. 0-for-his-last-17 with a walk.

Schierholtz 0-for-3. 0-for-his-last-15 going back to before he went on the DL. 189/244/297 in 42 plate appearances with the Phillies.

Kratz 1-for-3 with a single. He’s 6-for-his-last-16.

Halladay (8-7, 4.02) faces righty Mike Leake (7-8, 4.45) this afternoon in a rematch of the game the teams played on August 20. Halladay didn’t make it out of the fifth inning in his most recent start, allowing four runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings against the Braves. Coming into that game, Halladay had walked ten in 88 1/3 innings over his last 14 starts. Opponents are hitting .338 against him over his last three starts. The Phillies faced Leake on August 20 and pounded him, plating seven runs on ten hits over 4 1/3 innings. He’s had two starts since then and both of them have been good.


Madson and Lidge cross their fingers the Phils don’t decide to go with 22 hitters for the NLCS

Cole Hamels was fantastic last night, throwing a complete game shutout as the Phils topped the Reds 2-0 in Cincinnati to finish off the sweep in the NLDS.

The Phils plated a run in the top of the first with the help of yet another Cincinnati error. With two outs and men on first and third, Werth hit a ground ball to short. Orlando Cabrera fielded, but his throw pulled Joey Votto off of first base and Polanco came in to score to put the Phils up 1-0. Utley hit a fifth inning home run to end the scoring for the game.

The Phils scored just 13 runs in the three game series, but thanks to the no-hitter by Halladay in game one, the shutout by Hamels in game three and four scoreless frames from the bullpen in game two, it was enough.

Cincinnati couldn’t score, but they couldn’t field either. The Reds made seven errors in three games and only seven of the 13 runs that the Phillies scored in the series were earned.

The Phillies have won their best-of-five series with the Cincinnati Reds, taking game three 2-0 to complete a three-game sweep. They will play either the Giants or the Braves in the NLCS, which starts on Saturday in Philadelphia.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing four singles and a double. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. That might not even be the best post-season start of his career — in game one of the 2008 NLDS, Hamels held the Brewers to two singles and a walk over eight shutout innings and struck out nine as the Phils won 3-1.

He faced a Cincinnati lineup that went (1) Drew Stubbs (CF/R) (2) Brandon Phillips (2B/R) (3) Joey Votto (1B/L) (4) Scott Rolen (3B/R) (5) Jonny Gomes (LF/R) (6) Ramon Hernandez (C/R) (7) Jay Bruce (RF/L) (8) Orlando Cabrera (SS/R). That’s the same eight players the Reds started in game one against the righty Halladay, but in a different order. Stubbs moves into the leadoff spot with Philips hitting second. Cabrera, who left game two with a side injury, starts but hits eighth. Hernandez moves up to sixth in the order with Bruce dropped from sixth to seventh.

Cincinnati started the game with six players on their bench, lefties Juan Francisco and Laynce Nix and righties Ryan Hanigan, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo.

Stubbs led off the bottom of the first with the Phils up 1-0 and hit a ball in the hole between third and short. Rollins fielded and made a long, strong throw to firs that was in the first. Howard scooped it, but Stubbs beat it out for an infield single. Phillips was next and he smoked a 1-0 pitch into left center. Victorino got a great jump on the ball and caught it on a full run for the first out. Stubbs was running on the 3-2 pitch that Votto hit back to the mound. Hamels turned and looked at second, but there was no play there. He took the out at first and Rolen came to the plate with two down and Stubbs on second. Hamels struck Rolen out looking at a 96 miles per hour fastball on the inside corner for the third out.

Huge play by Victorino on the ball hit by Phillips. That sure looked like a double. The 3-4-5 hitters in the Reds lineup were 1-for-21 with a Votto single in the series at that point.

Hamels threw 15 pitches in the inning.

Gomes chopped an 0-2 pitch to third for the first out of the second inning. Hernandez was next and flew to Werth in shallow right. Votto followed him and hit a 1-1 pitch hard between first and second. Utley made a diving effort, but the ball went off his glove and Bruce had a single. Hamels struck Cabrera out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.

Two hits through two innings for Hamels, both on plays that should have been made defensively by the Phils. Hamels had thrown 31 pitches in the game after a 16-pitch second.

Hamels through quick third. The pitcher Cueto led off and bunted an 0-1 pitch, popping it up in foul territory. Ruiz took it for the first out. Stubbs flew to left on an 0-1 pitch and Phillips flew to right on an 0-1 pitch.

Just six pitches in the inning for Hamels, who was at 37 for the game.

Votto grounded hard to Utley on a 2-2 pitch to start the fourth. Rolen was next and bounced a 1-1 pitch up the middle and into center for a single Gomes got ahead 2-0 and Hamels delivered a pitch that looked high to me but was called a strike. Hamels struck him out swinging at a low changeup 3-2 for the second out. Hernandez swung at the first pitch and grounded to Utley to end the inning.

When Hamels got behind Gomes 2-0 it was the only time I had been even a little worried about him all night. He was fortunate to get the 2-0 call on a ball out of the zone, but the at-bat ended nicely at Hamels got him with a pretty pitch. He had thrown 52 pitches in the game after a 15-pitch inning.

The Phils were up 2-0 when he started the fifth. Bruce fouled out to Ruiz on a 1-0 pitch for the first out. Cabrera grounded to first for the second. That brought up the pitcher’s spot, and righty Miguel Cairo hit for Cueto. Hamels struck him out swinging 0-2 for the third out.

Nine pitches in the inning had Hamels at 61.

He struck Stubbs out swinging 3-2 for the first out of the sixth. Phillips grounded to short on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. He got ahead of Votto 0-2, then struck him out swinging at a 3-2 changeup to end the inning.

Fifteen pitches in the inning for Hamels had him at 76. He had set down eight in a row.

He struck Rolen out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the seventh. Gomes was next and Hamels threw him a 2-2 changeup that was up and over the plate. Gomes hit it hard, but not hard enough. Ibanez took it on the warning track for the second out. Hernandez was next and he ripped a 1-0 pitch into left for a double. Arroyo ran for him at second, but Hamels got Bruce to line to Werth 1-1 to end the inning.

Gomes, Hernandez and Bruce all hit the ball hard right in a row, but Hamels got away with it. He was up to 95 pitches after 19 in the frame.

Cabrera swung at the first pitch of the eighth and flew to left. Ryan Hanigan was next, he had been double-switched into the game in the top of the inning with the new pitcher Bailey moving into Hernandez’s spot. Hanigan popped a 2-0 pitch up between third and the plate in foul territory. Polanco and Ruiz couldn’t figure out who was going to catch it. Eventually Polanco tried and dropped the ball and was charged with an error. Hamels got him to ground to second for the second out and then struck Stubbs out swinging at a high fastball.

106 pitches in the game for Hamels after throwing 11 in the inning.

Phillips started the ninth and quickly got ahead 2-0. Hamels evened the count at 2-2 and then ripped a ball past a diving Polanco and into left field for a single. He threw strike one and then strike two past Votto and then got MVP to hit a 1-2 pitch to Utley and the Phils turned and easy-looking double-play. Golly. It brought Rolen to the plate as the last hope for the Reds and Hamels struck him out swinging to end the series.

The Reds scored four runs in the three-game series.

Gomes, Cairo, Hanigan, Nix, Heisey, Francisco and Janish combined to go 0-for-20.

Votto was 1-for-10 with a single and no walks.

Bruce 2-for-8 with a home run and two walks. He and Phillips were the only two Cincinnati players who on-based at least .300 in the series. Phillips was 4-for-12 with a home run and no walks.

Stubbs 1-for-9, Rolen 1-for-11. Cabrera 1-for-8 and Hernandez 1-for-7 with a double.

The Phillies lineup against righty Johnny Cueto went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. That’s the same lineup they used against Arroyo in game two. Rollins still shouldn’t be hitting ahead of Ibanez and Ibanez shouldn’t be hitting seventh.

The Phillies bench had seven offensive players to start the game, lefties Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, Domonic Brown and Greg Dobbs and righties Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney and Wilson Valdez.

Victorino started the game and flew to right on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Polanco followed him and lined an 0-1 pitch into left for a single. Utley hit an 0-1 pitch well, but Stubbs took it on the warning track for the second out. Howard got ahead 3-0 and flared a 3-2 pitch into left. Gomes was playing extremely deep, nearly on the warning track, and the ball fell in front of him near the foul line for a single that sent Polanco to third. Werth reached out and tapped a 3-2 pitch to short. Cabrera fielded the ball, but his throw to first was bad, on the home plate side of first, and Votto had to come off the bag to get it. Werth was safe on the error and Polanco scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Rollins swung at the first pitch and flew to center to leave the runners at first and second.

More bad defense from the Reds gives the Phils an early 1-0 lead. Cueto threw 21 pitches in the inning.

Ibanez started the second and hit a 2-0 pitch well to right, but Bruce took it for the first out. Ruiz bounced a single up the middle and Hamels bunted him to second with the second out. Victorino got ahead 2-0 and then lined a 2-1 pitch to Cabrera at short for the third out.

Ibanez and Victorino both hit the ball well in the inning, The other out that Cueto got the Phillies gave him. He was at 32 pitches for the game after throwing 11 in the inning.

Polanco grounded to second to start the third. Utley struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Howard chopped a 2-2 pitch to where you might expect the third baseman to be, but the big shift had Rolen near short. He fielded the ball after a long run and threw to first, but Howard beat it out and was 2-for-2. Werth got behind 0-2 and struck out swinging 2-2 to leave Howard at first.

Cueto had thrown 54 pitches.

Rollins had a nice at-bat to start the fourth, working a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Ibanez flew to center 1-2 for the first out. Ruiz was next and hit a 1-0 pitch to third. Rolen made an odd play, moving backwards and then throwing awkwardly to second to force Rollins for the second out. Hamels flew to shallow center to leave Ruiz at first.

Cueto’s pitch count was up to 69.

Victorino grounded to first on a 2-2 pitch to start the fifth. Polanco was next and flew to Bruce near the foul line in right for the second out. Utley followed and Cueto hung an 0-1 slider in the middle of the plate, which Utley hammered over the wall in right-center just out of the reach of Stubbs to put the Phils up 2-0. Howard swung at the first pitch and grounded to Phillips, who was playing second in shallow right field.

First home run of the series for the Phils. Cueto had thrown 83 pitches through five innings.

Righty Homer Bailey was on the mound for the Reds to start the sixth after Cincy hit for Cueto in the bottom of the fifth. He struck Werth out looking 0-2 for the first out. Rollins was next and singled into right on a 3-1 pitch. Ruiz struck out swinging at a high fastball 1-2 for the second out. Ruiz hit a 1-1 pitch between third and short. Rolen slid fielding the ball, then popped up and dropped the ball trying to get it out of his glove. It put men on first and second for Hamels and he flew to shallow right on an 0-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Second error in the series for Rolen plus a bad throw to second in game one in which he wasn’t charged with an error. Rollins was 1-for-10 in the series and had been on base in each of his last two times to the plate.

Bailey was back for the seventh. Victorino led off with a single to left. Polanco was next and grounded into a double-play on a 1-2 pitch. Utley hit a 1-0 pitch well to left, but Gomes took it right in front of the warning track for the third out.

Lefty Bill Bray started the eighth to pitch to Howard and got him with a high 3-2 fastball for the first out. Righty Nick Masset took over to pitch to Werth and Werth struck out swinging at a 2-2 breaking ball that was outside. Masset got Rollins to fly to center for the third out.

Lefty Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for the Reds. Ibanez lined a 3-2 pitch hard to right to start the inning, but Bruce handled it for the first out. Ruiz quickly got behind in the count but lined an 0-2 pitch down the right field line for a double. Hamels hit for himself and drove a ball to left-center, but Stubbs tracked it down for the second out. Victorino flew to center to leave Ruiz stranded at second.

Great job by Hamels not to get injured facing Chapman. He also crushed the ball.

Victorino was 1-for-5 in the game. He also made a very nice play on the ball Phillips hit hard to left center in the first. 3-for-13 with a double and a walk in the series.

Polanco 1-for-4. 1-for-9 with no walks in the set. Going back to the regular season, he has one extra-base hit, a double, in his last 78 plate appearances.

Utley 1-for-4 with a homer. 3-for-11 with a home run in the series.

Howard 2-for-4 with a pair of strange singles. 3-for-11 with three singles and two walks.

Werth 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. 2-for-12 with five strikeouts.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-11 with two walks.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with a strikeout, but hit the ball better than that. 3-for-12 with a double and a walk.

Ruiz 2-for-4. 2-for-8 with three walks in the set.

Valdez 1-for-3. Brown 0-for-1. Sweeney 0-for-1.

Utley would be the offensive MVP in the series for the Phils if you had to pick one. He didn’t play especially well offensively.

Rollins, Polanco and Werth combined to go 4-for-32 with four singles and three walks in the series.

The Phils scored less than 4 1/2 runs per game in the set with the Reds making an average of more than two runs per game.


Halladay cleverly walks one so nobody will suspect he’s figured out how to see through the Matrix and everything looks like 3-D black and green graph paper to him now

After a perfect game and a season worthy of a Cy Young, it was hard to imagine that even Roy Halladay had anything left that could shock the baseball world in 2010. Turns out it took making history. Last night Halladay had an outing for the ages, throwing the second no-hitter in 106 years of post-season play.

It was a performance to savor and Phillies fans won’t be the only ones who remember it for a long time. Halladay was nearly perfect, holding the NL’s best offense to a single walk over nine innings as the Phils topped the Reds 4-0. He didn’t need a ton of help from his defense to become the first pitcher since 1956 to throw a no-hitter in the post-season. Rollins made two nice plays in the game, one in the third base hole and one moving to his left, and Werth made a sliding catch in the fourth inning on a ball hit by pitcher Travis Wood. Halladay did the rest, striking out eight. He threw 104 pitches in the game, 79 for strikes.

The Phils got to Cincy’s starter early, chasing Edinson Volquez in the second inning. Victorino created a run almost on his own in the first, doubling the opposite way with one out, stealing third and coming home on a sac fly to put the Phils up 1-0. They added three more in the second. The first two hitters went down without a peep, but Ruiz drew a walk and moved to second on an infield single by Valdez. Halladay lined an RBI-single to left, scoring Ruiz and it was 2-0. A walk to Rollins loaded the bases for Victorino and Victorino delivered again, singling into center to plate two more runs as the Phils extended the lead to 4-0.

That was all the scoring the Phils would get in the game. Thanks to Halladay, it was all they would need. Halladay walked Jay Bruce in the fifth inning to allow the Reds their only base-runner.

After Volquez left the game, the Phillies offense went to sleep. Ibanez smoked a double off of Travis Wood in the third, but that was literally just about it. The Phillies had one base-runner after the third inning and he reached on an error. They had five hits in the game: an infield single by Valdez where a play could have been made, a single to left by Halladay where a play could have been made, Ibanez’s double and two hits from Victorino, both of which were critical in the game, but neither of which were exactly hammered. Rollins, Utley, Howard and Werth combined to go 0-for-14 in the game. It’s probably nothing, but for a team that has inexplicably disappeared offensively for long stretches at a time this season, it may be enough to make you nervous.

I think it’s also important to note how well the Cincinnati pen performed after Volquez’s early exit. Wood, Logan Ondrusek and Bill Bray all looked very good and combined to allow just a hit and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. Happily for Phillies fans, Wood threw 47 pitches in the game, which means we’re almost surely not going to see him in game two. Sounds good to me.

The Reds didn’t play well defensively in the game and the Phillies did. Three plays stick out in the game and two of them came in the second inning when the Phils scored three of their four runs. Cabrera couldn’t get an out on a ball he handled behind second base hit by Valdez with two outs. It would have taken a nice play to get an out, but the Reds didn’t get it. Later in the inning, still with two outs, Halladay lined a ball to left. Gomes couldn’t come up with it and it dropped for an RBI-single. It would have taken a very nice play to get an out there, but Gomes looked bad not making it. Later in the game, Ondrusek air-mailed a throw to first base for the game’s only error.

Two plays in the third, neither of them awful for the Reds, but neither of them made. If you think that Cincinnati’s defense is going to give them a boost in the series, it didn’t in game one.

Even if it had, there wasn’t much of anything that was going to defend them against Halladay. At least not last night. That guy knows there is no spoon.

The Phillies lead the best-of-five NLDS with the Reds one game to none after winning game one 4-0 last night.

Halladay got the start for the Phils and went nine innings, allowing a fifth-inning walk. He struck out eight. He threw a complete-game shutout of the Nationals in his final start in the regular season. Over his last two outings he has gone 18 innings, allowing two singles and a walk while striking out 14.

He faced a Cincinnati lineup that went (1) Brandon Phillips (2B/R) (2) Orlando Cabrera (SS/R) (3) Joey Votto (1B/L) (4) Rolen (3B/R) (5) Gomes (LF/R) (6) Bruce (RF/L) (7) Stubbs (CF/R) (8) Hernandez (C/R). The Reds did lead the league in runs this season, so there’s a good chance they know what they’re doing with their order. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to hit Cabrera, an awful offensive player who on-based .303 this year, ahead of Votto and second in the order. Phillips hit 18 home runs that seem like they might be better off moved down in the order, too.

Cincinnati started the game with six players on their bench, lefties Juan Francisco and Laynce Nix and righties Ryan Hanigan, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo.

Phillips swung at the first pitch of the game and grounded to short. Cabrera fouled off a 3-2 pitch before he flew to Victorino for the second out. Votto grounded to Utley on an 0-1 pitch to set the Reds down. Votto hit the ball hard, but Utley took it on one hop for the out.

Ten pitches in the inning for Halladay.

He had a 1-0 lead when he started the second. He struck Rolen out looking 1-2 for the first out. Gomes grounded to Valdez at third for the second. He hit the ball hard, but Valdez handled it nicely. Bruce grounded to second on an 0-1 pitch to end the frame.

Twelve pitches in the inning, 22 for the game.

It was 4-0 when he started the third. He got ahead of Stubbs 0-2 and Stubbs popped up to Howard near the mound. He got ahead of Hernandez 0-2 and Hernandez hit a dribbler out in front of the plate. Ruiz pounced on it and threw him out for the second out. Pitcher Travis Wood was next and hit a 1-1 pitch hard to right, but Werth made a nice sliding catch for the third out.

Nine pitches in the inning had Halladay at 31 for the game. Of the 31 pitches, six had been balls. Three in the first (all to Cabrera), two in the second (one to Rolen and one to Gomes) and one in the third (to Wood).

Phillips struck out looking 2-2 for the first out of the fourth. Cabrera struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. Votto got behind and hit an 0-2 pitch in the hole between short and third. Rollins backhanded and made a strong throw to retire the side.

Twelve pitches in inning and 43 for the game.

Rolen struck out looking 2-2 for the first out of the fifth. He didn’t like the call, probably because the ball was off the plate. Gomes struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Bruce was next and swung and missed at the first pitch from Halladay. Halladay threw two balls before Bruce swung and missed again to even the count at 2-2. The 2-2 pitch was close, but called ball three and Halladay delivered ball four inside to give the Reds their only base-runner of the game. Stubbs was next and grounded to Rollins on a 1-2 pitch, with Rollins going to Utley at second for the third out.

After 18 pitches in the frame, Halladay was at 61. Great to see Halladay contain Votto and Bruce in the game, but Stubbs also came into the series super-hot and didn’t do anything with the bat.

Hernandez flew to right on an 0-1 pitch to start the sixth. Lefty Juan Francisco hit for Wood and hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. The mound slowed the ball down and Rollins tracked it down behind second, then threw to first to beat Francisco. Phillips flew to Werth in shallow right on a 1-1 pitch for the third out.

8 and 69. I still don’t know exactly what happened on the ball that Francisco hit to slow it down. Sure looked like it was going to be a hit to me.

Cabrera grounded to Utley on a 3-2 pitch for the first out of the seventh. Votto grounded to third 1-2 for the second out. Rolen struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Another long at-bat for Cabrera, working a 3-2 count for the second time in the game. Seven pitches in his at-bat before he flew to center. In the seventh he grounded to Utley on the eighth pitch.

Eighteen pitches for the game had Halladay at 87.

Halladay struck Gomes out swinging 0-2 for the first out of the eighth. Bruce chopped the first pitch of his at-bat back to the mound. Halladay fielded and threw to first for the second out. Stubbs struck out looking 0-2 for the third out.

Just seven pitches in the inning, all of which were strikes. 94 for the game.

Even as well as Halladay was pitching, I didn’t think there was much of a chance we were going to see a no-hitter until the eighth. That inning was silly. It went swingandamiss-foul-swingandamiss. One out. Soft ground ball to the mound. Two outs. Called strike, swingandamiss, called strike. Three outs.

Hernandez popped to Utley on an 0-1 pitch to start the ninth. The righty Cairo hit for the pitcher Bill Bray and fouled out to Valdez in foul territory on a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Phillips got behind 0-2 and dribbled a ball out in front of the plate. He dropped his bat at he tore down the first base line and Ruiz jumped out to field the ball. The ball rolled into the bat that Phillips had dropped. Ruiz had to reach back to pick it up and went to his knees. He threw high to first base, but in time to get Phillips and end the game.

Great play by Ruiz as he tangled with the bat on the ground. Ten pitches in the inning for the Halladay. 104 for the game.

Not a very good day for much of anyone offensively for the Reds. A little worse for some than others. Rolen was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the game and Gomes 0-for-3 and whiffed twice.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edinson Volquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Polanco is out of the lineup, unable to play with a sore back. Rollins moves into the leadoff spot with Victorino hitting second and Valdez eighth. Dobbs, the left-handed choice to play third, stays on the bench with Valdez in the lineup. Presumably that’s cause fielding isn’t his thing so much.

The Phillies bench had seven offensive players to start the game, lefties Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, Domonic Brown and Greg Dobbs and righties Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney and Placido Polanco.

Rollins flew to center on a 1-0 pitch to start the bottom of the first. Victorino was next and sliced a 1-2 pitch the opposite way down the left field line for a double. Victorino stole third as the count went 2-0 on Utley. Hernandez threw from his knees on the steal and his throw was off line. Rolen made a nice play to pick it on a hop and keep the ball from going into left field. Utley flew to right on a 3-1 pitch for the second out. Victorino tagged and it shouldn’t have been close at the plate, but Bruce uncorked a strong and accurate throw and Victorino slid in just safe to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard flew to left on a 2-1 pitch for the third out.

Victorino did just about everything with a little help from Utley to put the Phils on top early. The stolen base allows him to score on the sac fly. Most guys wouldn’t have been able to score on the ball that Utley hit given the throw from Bruce in right.

Volquez threw 17 pitches in the inning.

Volquez got ahead of Werth 1-2 to start the second, but couldn’t put him away. Werth fouled off four of the next five pitches before hitting the ball hard to third. Rolen made another nice play, moving a step to his left and fielding before he threw to first for the first out. Ibanez flew to right on a 3-1 pitch for the second out. Ruiz walked on four pitches. Valdez was next and hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. Cabrera gloved the ball behind the second and tried to flip to Phillips as his momentum carried him towards right field. The flip was terrible, Valdez had an infield single and the Phils had men on first and second with two down. Halladay swung at the first pitch and lined a ball into left in front of a sliding Gomes for a single. Ruiz scored to make it 2-0 and Valdez moved to third. Rollins walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases for Victorino. Victorino was next and swung at ball four with the count full, but then dumped a single in front of Stubbs, scoring Valdez and Halladay to put the Phils ahead 4-0. Lefty Travis Wood took over for Volquez and got Utley to ground to second to end the inning.

Huge hit for Victorino. Big walk by Rollins give him a chance. It would have taken a nice play from Gomes to make the play on the line drive by Halladay.

Wood was back to pitch the third. He struck out Howard on three pitches for the first out. Werth struck out looking 0-2 for the second. Ibanez hit a 2-1 pitch over Bruce’s head in right. The ball landed on the warning track for a double. Valdez flew to Stubbs in right center on a 1-0 pitch for the third out.

Wood set the Phils down in order in the fourth. Halladay flew to right for the first out. Rollins hit the ball hard, but Stubbs took it right in front of the wall for the second out. Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Wood threw a 1-2-3 fifth, getting Utley on a fly ball to right, Howard on a fly ball to left and striking Werth out looking 1-2.

Second time in three innings that Wood had struck Werth out looking. It took eight pitches total.

Righty Logan Ondrusek started the sixth for the Reds. Ibanez led off and hit a ball that Ondrusek fielded, but his throw to first was way too high for an error that allowed Ibanez to take second. Ruiz grounded to third on a 1-1 pitch for the first out with Ibanez holding second. Valdez moved Ibanez to third with a ground out to short, but Ibanez was left there when Halladay grounded back to Ondrusek for the third out.

Ruiz can’t move the runner up to third with the first out after Ondrusek air mails the Phils a gift on Ibanez’s ball.

Ondrusek got Rollins to line softly to short for the first out. Victorino was next and he popped to Votto for the second out. Lefty Bill Bray came in to pitch to Utley. Utley hit the ball well, but Bray handled it flipped to first for the third out.

Bray was back to set the Phillies down in order in the eighth. Howard struck out looking, Werth flew to right and Ibanez popped to Cabrera in shallow center.

Wood threw 47 pitches in the game, so you won’t be seeing him tomorrow, which works for me. Ondrusek 22 and Bray 15.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. He hit the ball well in the fourth, but Stubbs took it at the wall.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBI. He made a run virtually by himself in the first and followed that up with a big single in the second.

Utley 0-for-3 with an RBI.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Werth 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double.

Ruiz 0-for-1 with a pair of walks. Halladay can’t stop talking about what an amazing guy he is to pitch to. I’m starting to believe him.

Valdez was 1-for-3 with a single.

Game two is tomorrow night.

This suggests that Polanco expects to be able to play.


Jay Zsss the Phils

The Phils dropped game three of the set with the Reds yesterday. Cincinnati takes the series two games to one.

Halladay started the eighth with a 3-2 lead, but allowed a leadoff single to Johnny Gomes and stayed in the game to face lefty Jay Bruce. Bruce hammered his first pitch out to right for a two-run homer that put the Reds on top to stay.

With Utley, Ruiz and Polanco all sidelined, the problem with the offense in the last two games of the set proved to be the regulars who usually play alongside them and not the guys who have replaced them. Yesterday all of the offense for the Phils came on a three-run shot by Dane Sardinha. In the last two games, Victorino, Rollins, Howard, Werth and Ibanez have combined to go 9-for-42 (.214) with one RBI. Wilson Valdez, Dane Sardinha and Brian Schneider, meanwhile, have carried the offense, going 8-for-16 with three home runs and ten RBI.

The Phillies are 41-35 on the year after a 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds yesterday afternoon.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing four runs on 13 hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out ten and didn’t walk a batter.

After allowing three home runs in 101 innings over his first 13 starts, Halladay has allowed seven home runs in 29 innings over his last four starts. The Phillies drop to 9-8 on the year in the games that he has started. They’ve lost four of the last five times he’s started and seven of the last ten. In those ten games he’s thrown to a 3.16 ERA with a 1.04 ratio.

Brandon Phillips started the bottom of the first with a single, but Halladay got the next three Reds behind him.

Drew Stubbs and Ramon Hernandez singled back-to-back with two outs in the second. It brought the pitcher Aaron Harang to the plate with two outs and men on first and second. Harang grounded out to second to leave both men stranded.

Halladay struck out Orlando Cabrera and Joey Votto in a 1-2-3 third.

He started the fourth up 3-0. Johnny Gomes doubled on a ball off Howard’s glove with one out and moved to third when Jay Bruce followed with a single. Halladay struck Stubbs out swinging for the second out and got Hernandez to pop to second to leave both runners stranded.

Big strikeout for Halladay with one out and men on third keeps the Reds off the board.

Halladay set Cincinnati down in order in the fifth.

Votto started the sixth with a home run to right to cut the lead to 3-1. Scott Rolen was next and lined a single to right, but Halladay struck out Gomes, Bruce and Stubbs all in a row to leave him stranded.

Hernandez led off the seventh with a single. Lefty Laynce Nix hit for the pitcher Logan Ondrusek and Halladay got him on a fly ball to Victorino for the first out. A double by Phillips moved Hernandez to third before Cabrera lined a single into center, scoring Hernandez to make it 3-2 with one out and men on first and third. Halladay struck Votto out looking at a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner for the second out and Rolen flew to right to end the inning.

Another big strikeout for Halladay with a man on third and less than two outs.

He was back to start the eighth with a 3-2 lead having thrown 96 pitches. Gomes led off and lined a 1-2 pitch into left for a single. Halladay stayed in to pitch to the lefty Bruce and Bruce hit the first pitch he saw out to right, putting the Reds on top 4-3. Halladay struck out Stubbs for the first out before Hernandez singled. Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Arthur Rhodes and struck out for the second out. Halladay got Phillips on a ground ball back to the mound for the third out.

Phils lose on Halladay’s 100th pitch of the day, delivered to a lefty with a one-run lead in the eighth.

The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Harang went (1) Victorino (2) Dobbs (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Dobbs at third and Valdez at second. Sardinha catches the day game after a night game. Victorino leads off again with Rollins dropped to Utley’s spot in the order.

Victorino and Dobbs singled back-to-back to start the game. It put men on first and second with nobody out, but Rollins struck out, Howard grounded to Phillips with the runners moving to second and third and Werth struck out to leave them stranded.

They went in order in the second.

Dobbs walked with two outs in the third, but Rollins followed and fouled out to Rolen.

Dobbs on base twice in three innings.

Werth singled with one out in fourth and Ibanez flew to left behind him. Valdez was next and lined a single to right that moved Werth to second. Sardinha was next and he jumped on the first pitch from Harang, hitting it out to left to put the Phillies up 3-0. Halladay grounded to third for the third out.

Valdez, Schneider and Sardinha all hit three-run homers in the last two games of the three-game set. All three of them came on the first pitch of their at-bat. Sardinha cane to the Phillies with no career home runs in 88 plate appearances and has now hit two in a week.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Howard started the sixth with a single. Werth flew out behind him before Ibanez popped to second. Valdez moved Howard to second with a single, but Sardinha flew to center to leave both men stranded.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when the Phillies hit in the seventh. Victorino singled with one out and righty Logan Ondrusek came in to pitch to the lefty Dobbs. Dobbs flew to center and so did Rollins behind him, leaving Victorino stranded.

Lefty Arthur Rhodes struck out Howard and Werth in a 1-2-3 eighth.

The Phils were down 4-3 when they hit in the ninth against righty Francisco Cordero. Valdez led off and grounded to second. Gload hit for Sardinha and delivered a single to center. Francisco hit for Halladay and struck out as Gload stole second. Victorino grounded softly to second to end the game.

Gutsy and important stolen base for Gload, putting the tying run in scoring position for Victorino.

Victorino was 2-for-5 in the game and 4-for-13 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 252/326/448 for the season.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 with a walk yesterday. 1-for-6 in the series and 153/228/236 for the year.

Rollins was 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-13 in the series. 270/382/473 for the season. He’s 6-for-33 (.182) since coming back from the DL.

Howard was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. He was 4-for-12 with a walk, two doubles and a triple in the series without an RBI. 295/352/513 on the season after hitting 320/373/650 in June.

Werth was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 4-for-10 in the series with three walks. 292/378/549 for the year. He wound up hitting 286/396/488 in June despite going 3-for-24 to start the month.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series. After hitting 229/292/375 in June he’s at 240/328/394 for the year.

Valdez was 2-for-4 yesterday and 4-for-10 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 259/275/393 on the year.

Sardinha was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer. He’s 3-for-15 with a double and two homers for the Phils.

Cole Hamels (6-6, 4.08) faces righty Daniel McCutchen (0-3, 11.00) tonight in Pittsburgh. Hamels allowed five runs in four innings against the Blue Jays in his last outing, which was the only start of his last ten in which he was charged with more than three earned runs. McCutchen is filling in for Zach Duke in the Pirates rotation and has made four starts on the season, throwing to an 11.65 ERA in those appearances. Lefties have hit .406 against him for the season.


Worth watching

Not running out popups isn’t what made Jimmy Rollins the MVP of the National League, but yesterday it’s what made him a spectator. Rollins failed to show the hustle fans have come to expect from him after hitting an easy fly ball into shallow left field in the third inning. He found himself on the bench a couple of innings later.

Cole Hamels made sure he saw a good show.

Coming off two straight miserable starts, Hamels was simply brilliant. He needed just 103 pitches to throw a three-hit shutout. Rollins’ replacement at short Eric Bruntlett made a brilliant defensive play in the top of the eighth to end the inning and rob the Reds of a run.

The Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, winning 5-0 to improve to 36-26 on the season. They take the four-game set three games to one.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing three hits, all doubles, and walking three. He struck out four.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Edwin Encarnacion walked with two outs in the second. Paul Janish was next and doubled to center, moving Encarnacion to third. Hamels walked David Ross to load the bases and got the pitcher Homer Bailey to pop to first for the third out.

Ken Griffey Jr doubled off the wall in left-center with two outs in the third, but Hamels struck out Brandon Phillips to end the frame.

Joey Votto walked to start the fourth with the Phils up 1-0, but Encarnacion hit into a double-play behind him. Janish flew to left for the third out.

Hamels didn’t allow a base runner in the fifth, sixth or seventh.

He started the eighth up 5-0. Jerry Hairston doubled with two outs and it brought up Jay Bruce. Bruce hit a ball hard in between short and third, but Bruntlett made a diving play to the third base side of short to field the ball. His throw to first was very strong and, with the help of a great stretch from Howard, nipped Bruce for the third out.

With one out in the ninth Phillips grounded to third. Howard was pulled of the bag by Feliz’s throw and Feliz was charged with an error. Votto flew to left for the second out and pinch-hitter Corey Patterson fouled out to first to end the game.

Second complete game shutout in five starts for Hamels.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Homer Bailey went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right against the righty. Ruiz catches.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the first and again in the second.

Ruiz singled with one out in the third and Hamels bunted him to second. Rollins hit a high fly ball into shallow left field. The shortstop Janish backed up and got under it but didn’t catch it. Ruiz scored on the error and the Phils led 1-0. Rollins should have been on second, but didn’t run hard out of the box and had to hold first. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth.

With one out in the fifth, Feliz hit a ball that Bailey fielded and then threw away. Feliz got a single and Bailey was charged with an error that let him go to second. Ruiz walked to put men on first and second with one out. Hamels flew to center for the second out before Bruntlett, who entered the game at short in the top of the inning, hit a ball to right that Griffey dropped for another Reds error. Feliz scored to put the Phils up 2-0 and Ruiz went to third. Victorino followed with a single into center that scored Ruiz and put the Phils up 3-0. Utley flew to center for the third out.

Jenkins homered to right with two outs in the sixth to put the Phillies up 4-0. Feliz followed with a walk but Ruiz grounded out for the third out.

With one out in the seventh, Bruntlett and Victorino walked back-to-back. Utley flew to center for the second out before Howard hit a ground ball to where the shortstop would have been if not for the crazy shift. Howard had a single and Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 5-0 with Victorino going to second. Burrell grounded to short for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Rollins was 0-for-2 in the game and 4-for-15 with a double in the four-game set. He’s hitting 289/333/447 for the season.

Victorino was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 2-for-13 in the series. 283/353/386 on the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 5-for-14 with a double and a home run in the series. 315/400/664 for the year.

Howard was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-16 with a double in the series. 206/316/453 for the year.

Burrell was 0-for-4. 3-for-13 with a home run in the series. 277/419/574 for the year.

Jenkins was 1-for-4 with a home run. 4-for-14 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 285/326/448 for the year.

Feliz was 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-14 with a home run in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-22 and hitting 251/294/419 for the season.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a walk and 1-for-7 in the series. 224/297/284 for the year. Two extra-base hits since April 29 and six for the season. Coste was 1-for-7 with a home run in the series is hitting 317/383/567 for the year.

Jamie Moyer (6-3, 4.65) faces righty Tim Hudson (7-4, 3.01) tonight in Atlanta. Hudson has allowed seven earned runs in 22 innings over his last three starts (2.86 ERA). On the season opponents are hitting .244 against him, righties just .224. He has not allowed a home run to a right-handed batter this season. Lefties have hit all seven home runs he has allowed and are slugging .458 against him for the season. Moyer is 4-0 with a 4.05 ERA in his last four starts. Righties are hitting .340 against him for the season, lefties .229.

The Phillies drafted some people.


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