Tag: Jayson Werth


It doesn’t happen very often, hardly ever, actually, but someone in the front office for the Phils has said something so surprising it requires immediate attention. Take it away, Ruben Amaro, from today’s Inquirer:

Though Amaro never spoke specifically about negotiations with Jayson Werth’s agent Scott Boras, he did send another signal that the Phillies are ready to move on without their free-agent rightfielder, even talking about him in the past tense at times.

“I’m not going to discuss Jayson Werth,” Amaro said. “I talked to Scott about a bunch of his free agents.”

Amaro, however, did bring Werth into the discussion when asked about leftfielder Raul Ibanez’ 2010 season.

Ibanez “was still a pretty productive player and . . . his numbers are not all that different from Jayson’s last year,” he said. “What did [Ibanez] have, 83 RBIs? Jayson had 85. [Ibanez] didn’t have as many opportunities as Jayson did to drive in runs.

“Clearly, Jayson had more runs scored [106 for Werth and 75 for Ibanez] and his on-base percentage and stuff were better, but [Ibanez] had 37 doubles and five triples. . . . The difference in their production was not all that great.”

Yes it was. And if Ruben Amaro doesn’t know that, the Phillies are in a whole lot of trouble.

I’m of the opinion that Werth was probably the fifth-best offensive outfielder in all of baseball last season. Ibanez really definitely wasn’t. It’s pretty hard to argue that Ibanez is a better defensive player than Werth.

Also, “on-base percentage and stuff”? Please? No, seriously, please? Can we get some kind of a do-over where we all get to pretend that never, ever happened? I’m holding out hope that he misspoke and what he meant by “on-base percentage and stuff” was actually “everything measurable in the world except for RBI.” It leaves me with this horrid vision of a round table discussion in the front office where they have the offensive production for players divided into two categories: RBI and “on-base percentage and stuff.”

For the record, on-base percentage and stuff is more important.

Among other things, Werth out produced Ibanez in 2010 in doubles, home runs, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. He stole more bases, scored more runs, hit into fewer double-plays and made fewer outs. The offensive production of the two players wasn’t close:

Ibanez 636 37 16 275/349/444
Werth 652 46 27 296/388/532

Werth’s OPS was 128 points higher than Ibanez’s. He out on-based him .388 to .349. Among the 183 NL players with 200 plate appearances, Werth’s .532 slugging percentage was 17th-best in the league. Ibanez’s .444 was 59th.

Here’s their runs created per 27 outs for 2010 and their NL rank among the 160 NL players with 250 plate appearances for the season:

created per 27 outs
NL Rank
Werth 7.51 4
Ibanez 5.37 55

On the plus side, I find it pretty hard to believe that Amaro feels Ibanez and Werth had similar offensive seasons in 2010. But while I don’t know what he’s trying to do, I don’t think telling people that there wasn’t a lot of difference between what Werth and Ibanez did last year offensively isn’t likely to help him do it.

The Phils signed lefty Dan Meyer to a minor league deal, which is a great move. A former first-round pick of the Braves, Meyer is 29-years-old and threw to a 3.09 ERA and a 1.17 ratio for the Fish in 2009. That’s the only year of his career in which he’s thrown more than 30 innings in a season. He’s been hit hard in his non-’09 action, throwing to a 7.97 ERA with a 1.95 ratio over 55 1/3 innings.

Jayson versus Jason

Over the last few weeks we’ve heard that Jayson Werth should or will get a contract that compares well to recent contracts signed by Matt Holliday and Jason Bay. All three of those guys are about the same age — Werth and Bay will be entering their 32-year-old season while Holliday will be entering his 31-year-old season. Here’s how some of their offensive numbers for the past three seasons compare:

Holliday 1968 122 77 315/397/528 925
Werth 1810 88 87 279/376/513 889
Bay 1709 84 73 273/371/499 870

The first thing is that it’s almost impossible to deny that, as good as Werth is, Holliday is a better offensive player. By OPS+, Holliday was better than Werth in 2008 (138 to 121), 2009 (139 to 129) and 2010 (149 to 145).

2008, 2009 and 2010 and the only years that Werth has been a full time player. Prior to 2008, Werth had never gotten 400 plate appearances in a season. Here’s how the numbers for the trio’s careers prior to 2008 compare:

Holliday 2345 150 103 319/380/556 935
Werth 1129 50 131 259/352/430 782
Bay 2589 129 118 281/375/515 890

Werth isn’t close to either Bay or Holliday when you compare what the three players did offensively before 2008.

Finally, there’s no question that Werth was a whole lot better than Jason Bay in 2010. That wasn’t the case in 2008 and 2009, though. Here’s some of the numbers for those two for ’08 and ’09 combined:

Werth 1158 42 60 270/369/503 871
Bay 1308 64 67 277/378/529 907

Again, Werth was way better than Bay in 2010. But there’s no case he was better than Bay prior to 2008 and no case he was better than Bay 2008-2009.

The other thing you need to consider is simply that the fact that Holliday and Bay got the contracts they did doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good contracts. Just about nobody, for example, can feeling real good about the four year, $66 million deal that Bay got before his miserable 2010 season. St Louis is probably feeling a little better about the seven years, $120 million for Holliday, but there’s a chance they might be feeling differently by the time 2015 rolls around.

Roy Halladay won the NL Cy Young award.

The Marlins traded Dan Uggla to the Braves for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn. Really they did.

It looks like the Fish will sign catcher John Buck.

Charlie Manuel fifth for Manager of the Year.

In the company of men who can hit

Fun for today is trying to find the outfielders in either league that were better than Jayson Werth offensively in 2010. Your mileage may vary.

Here’s the outfield guys that finished ahead of Werth in runs created and runs created per 27 outs as calculated by ESPN and in offensive war (as calculated by Baseball-Reference) in 2010:

Runs Created Runs Created per 27 outs Offensive WAR
Jose Bautista Josh Hamilton Jose Bautista
Carlos Gonzalez Carlos Gonzalez Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton Jose Bautista Shin-Soo Choo
Matt Holliday Nelson Cruz Matt Holliday

Toronto’s Jose Bautista and Texas’s Josh Hamilton are ahead of Werth in all three of those categories. Bautista hit 54 home runs and on-based .378 for the year. Hamilton hit 359/411/633 for the year. Both of those guys need to be on any list of outfielders who were better than Werth offensively in 2010.

After that things get a little less clear. There are four players that are better than Werth in at least one of the three categories in the table above, but worse in at least one other. They are Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, Nelson Cruz and Shin-Soo Choo.

Carlos Gonzalez finished ahead of Werth in runs created and runs created per 27 outs, but behind him in offensive war. Werth got 16 more plate appearances than Gonzalez and hit seven fewer home runs while batting .296 to Gonzalez’s .336. He hit 12 more doubles, but seven fewer triples. He walked more than twice as many times as Gonzalez and put up the better on-base percentage, .388 to .376. Gonzalez hit 289/322/453 away from home while Werth hit 270/365/463. Gonzalez drove in 117 runs and Werth drove in 85. Werth had an OPS+ for the year of 145, Gonzalez 143.

Holliday topped Werth in each of the three slash categories except slugging, where they tied. He outhit him .312 to .296 and on-based .390 to Werth’s .388. In 23 more plate appearances, Holliday struck out 54 fewer times than Werth. Holliday’s OPS+ of 149 tops Werth’s 145.

Cruz got just 445 plate appearances on the season, but outhit Werth .318 to .296 and out-slugged him .576 to .532 with an OPS+ of 150. Werth drew walks more regularly, so despite the fact that Cruz’s batting average was twenty-two points higher, he posted the better on-base percentage (.388 for Werth and .374 for Cruz).

Choo hit 300/401/484 in his 646 plate appearances with an OPS+ of 148. Werth had six more plate appearances and hit five more homers and 15 more doubles. Choo drew 83 walks to Werth’s 82 and struck out 29 fewer times.

In my mind, Gonzalez and Holliday were both better than Werth. I think it’s very close between Werth and Choo, but I would give the slight nod to Werth. I think Cruz has the weakest case of those four players, just because he had so many fewer chances to hit in 2010.

So that’s four on my list: Hamilton, Bautista, Gonzalez and Holliday.

The next question needs to be if there are outfielders that didn’t appear on the table above that could have been better than Werth offensively in 2010. My nominations for the four most productive outfielders not on the table above are Carl Crawford, Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen and Vernon Wells.

Crawford may be the guy with the best case there, but I think that Werth has him beat. Five more plate appearances for Werth in which he hit eight more home runs, 16 more doubles and drew 36 more walks. Crawford outhit him .307 to .298 and delivered 11 more triples and stole 34 more bases while striking out 43 fewer times. Better power numbers and the better on-base percentage gives Werth an OPS that’s 70 points better than Crawford’s for the season.

Braun got 32 more plate appearances than Werth and hit fewer home runs and fewer doubles and walked 26 fewer times. He had a nice season, but he wasn’t better than Werth.

So did Andrew McCutchen. But, in one more plate appearance than Werth had fewer doubles, fewer homers and fewer walks. Werth out-OPSed him by more than a hundred points.

Wells hit 44 doubles and 31 homers, but on-based just .331 for the season. Corey Hart had a similar year in the NL with not quite as many doubles and a little bit better average, but again I think his .340 on-base percentage keeps him out of the better-than-Werth picture.

That leaves the list at four. Bautista, Hamilton, Gonzalez and Holliday. I think Choo and Crawford are right behind them, with Werth having had a slightly better year offensively than both of those players.

This article compares Werth and Crawford. It also says that Werth’s agent says Werth is worth more than Jason Bay, who got four years, $66 million from the Mets last winter. Bay had a miserable year for New York in which he hit 259/347/402 with six home runs and struck out at a higher rate than Werth (22.7% of PA for Bay and 22.5% for Werth).

Elbow gloom

Placido Polanco started 2010 on a roll. He went 3-for-5 with a home run and six RBI on opening day and was hitting 397/403/586 for the year at the start of the day on April 21 . He didn’t make it through that game, though. He was drilled on the elbow by a Tim Hudson pitch and suffered an injury that would impact the rest of his season.

Polanco was able to stay on the field through most of the year and contributed several key hits in the post-season before off-season surgery at the end of last month. He wasn’t hitting .397 or slugging .586 anymore by the time the year came to an end, though. The Phils put him on the DL on June 26 and he returned on July 17. From July 21 to the end of the season, Polanco hit 280/331/345 over 321 plate appearances. Things seemed to get worse as the season progressed and any power he had was all but drained. From August 18 to the end of the regular season, Polanco got 181 plate appearances in which he hit 241/306/290.

That’s all about the injury, though, and we should expect him back pounding the ball again in 2011. Right?

Maybe so. But my problem with that is this: Polanco’s numbers from 2010 and his numbers from 2009 look awfully similar:

’09 DET 675 285 331 396 727
’10 PHI 602 298 339 386 726

Tim Hudson might have ruined his 2010 season by hitting him with a pitch, but it’s harder to see how that ruined his 2009 season. Polanco walked at nearly identical rates in ’09 and ’10 — 5.33% in ’09 and 5.32% in ’10. He hit more singles in 2010 than in 2009, but delivered fewer extra-base hits and the ones he did deliver went for fewer bases. The 2010 season continued a downward trend for Polanco in terms of how regularly he’s delivered extra-base hits and how good they are when they come:

Year PA per XBH TB per XBH
2007 13.4 2.44
2008 14.0 2.42
2009 15.0 2.53
2010 17.2 2.40

Polanco hit ten home runs for the Tigers in 2009, which is the most he has hit since hitting 17 in 2004. That helped him shoot his total bases per extra-base hit up in 2009. Everything else on that list is bad, though, as the extra-base hits are definitely getting less and less frequent.

This suggests that Werth could be looking for seven years, $120 million. I don’t think he’s going to get that, but I’m close to 100% sure he’s not going to get it from the Phillies.

This article suggests the Phils, Nationals, Angels, Tigers and Red Sox may be the teams most interested in trying to land Werth. The Nationals? That would be surprising to me.

Jamie Moyer hurt his elbow again and talks about his time with the Phillies in the past tense. Moyer is a free agent and hoped to pitch in 2011.

John Mayberry strained his calf after just one game in the AFL. The same article says that Domonic Brown and David Herndon will report for winter ball next week.

Things are tough almost all over

The Phillies were second in the NL in runs scored in 2010. That’s great news, but the bad news is that their offensive production fell off compared to the rest of the league at an alarming number of positions. Here is the NL rank by OPS for the Phils at the eight positions over the past three years:

Position 2010 2009 2008
C 2 5 10
1B 6 5 4
2B 5 1 1
3B 14 12 15
SS 11 10 6
LF 5 4 5
CF 4 2 4
RF 1 1 12

Or, to put it another way, relative to the rest of the league and using OPS as the measure, the Phils got worse at six of the eight offensive positions in 2010 compared to 2009:

Position 2009 to 2010
C Better
1B Worse
2B Worse
3B Worse
SS Worse
LF Worse
CF Worse
RF Same

One of the positions where they didn’t get worse was right field, where they seem sure to see a drop off in 2011. Given that Jayson Werth is coming off the best year of his career and probably won’t be on the team anymore, it seems like a good bet they will be worse in right in ’11 than they were in 2010.

Right field, catcher and third base have been the positions where the Phillies had the most opportunities to improve since 2008. And improve they did, at least at catcher, where Ruiz has led the charge from tenth-best by OPS in the NL in ’08 to second-best in 2010, and in right.

No such luck at third base, where the Phils have been in the bottom five in the NL for six straight seasons and probably will be again next year. The last time the Phils were better than twelfth in the league in OPS at third base was 2004, when David Bell hit 291/363/458 with 18 home runs.

If they’ve been bad and stayed bad for a while at third, the bigger area of worry may be the places where they’ve been good recently and weren’t in 2010. From 2008 to 2010 they’ve dropped from first to fifth at second base and from sixth to eleventh at short. Ryan Howard hit 58 home runs while batting .313 in his MVP season in 2006. The Phils led the NL in OPS at first base in that year. Since then their rank has fallen every year — third in 2007, fourth in 2008, fifth in 2009 and sixth in 2010.

The Giants win the World Series. The Giants win the World Series. The Giants win the World Series. And they’re going crazy. Heey-ohh.

I didn’t hear no bell

Neither, apparently, did the Phillies. Led by Roy Halladay and the bullpen, the Phils gutted out a 4-2 win last night to stay alive in the NLCS. The Phillies still aren’t firing on all cylinders, but they’re getting closer. The cylinders that keep them giving everything they’ve got are the most important ones and they seem to be firing just fine.

If the Giants came into last night’s game not knowing they have work to do if they’re going to win the series, they know now.

We’ve seen Halladay nearly perfect this year, but he was far from it last night. I’m not sure we’re ever going to know exactly what was going on with him, but we’ll know part of it. From the opening batter when he didn’t get two close pitches to start the game, Halladay looked off. He looked like he was physically ill and we know he was injured. He made it through six innings, though, and he took the Phillies with him.

Halladay walked Andres Torres to start the bottom of the first. Torres moved to third on a single by Freddy Sanchez and came home on a grounder by Buster Posey to put the Giants up 1-0. The Phils jumped ahead in the third. Ibanez led off with a single and moved to second when Ruiz was hit by a pitch. Halladay bunted them to second and third on a ball that should have been called foul before Victorino smashed a ball to first. It went off of Aubrey Huff’s glove for a two-base error that allowed both runners to score and put the Phils up 2-1. Polanco followed that with an RBI-single that scored Victorino and made it 3-1. The Giants got another run in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Pat Burrell and Cody Ross, but Halladay held them to two runs over six innings and Contreras, Romero, Madson and Lidge backed him up with three shutdown frames.

Madson in particular looked like the rest of the world didn’t belong on the same field as he was. And he had thrown 32 pitches the day before.

The Phils trail the Giants three games to two in the NLCS after a 4-2 win last night.

Roy Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

That guy is unbelievable. They ought to charge people money just to watch him pitch.

He faced a Giants lineup that went (1) Andre Torres (CF/S) (2) Freddy Sanchez (2B/R) (3) Aubrey Huff (1B/L) (4) Buster Posey (C/R) (5) Pat Burrell (LF/R) (6) Cody Ross (RF/R) (7) Pablo Sandoval (3B/S) (8) Uribe (SS/R). Torres back in the starting lineup and leading off with Rowand on the bench. Uribe plays short with Renteria back on the bench. Sandoval at third with Fontenot out of the starting lineup.

The Giants had six players on the bench to start the game. Lefties Travis Ishikawa, Mike Fontenot and Nate Schierholtz and righties Eli Whiteside, Edgar Renteria and Aaron Rowand.

Torres led off the bottom of the first and walked on a 3-2 pitch after Halladay didn’t get a call on two close pitches to start the at-bat. Sanchez showed bunt and took strike one. Torres was running on the next pitch and Sanchez singled into center. It brought Huff to the plate with nobody out and men on first and third. Huff smoked a ball, but Howard made a diving play at first for the first out. Posey hit a 1-1 pitch slowly to second. Utley charged and looked like he was going to field, tag Sanchez and throw to first for the double-play, but didn’t handle the ball cleanly. He picked it up in time to get one out at second as Torres scored to make it 1-0. Burrell struck out looking 1-2 to end the inning.

The play that Howard made on the ball smashed by Huff might be about as big a defensive play you can make in the first inning. Starting Torres helps the Giants get a run. The Utley miscue wasn’t a sure double-play, but it would have been nice to have.

Halladay threw 18 pitches in the inning.

He struck Ross out swinging at a high fastball 1-2 for the first out in the second. Sandoval was next and had a long at-bat, grounding to short 3-2 on the tenth pitch. Uribe hit a 3-2 pitch hard, lining to short on the ninth pitch of his at-bat.

Long inning for Halladay. He had thrown 43 pitches through two innings.

He started the third with a 3-1 lead and got Lincecum on a ground ball to short for the first out. Torres was next and hit a ball to first that went off the glove of Howard and to Utley. Utley threw to Halladay covering first, but the throw was wild and backup up nicely by Ruiz. Torres was given a single. Sanchez lined to right for the second out and Huff swung at the first pitch and grounded to Utley to end the inning.

Short inning for Halladay that time. He was at 55 pitches after three.

Posey grounded to short to start the fourth. Burrell was next and he lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a double. Ross followed him and inside-outed an inside pitch down the right field line an into the right field corner for another double. Burrell scored to cut the lead to 3-2. Sandoval flew to right for the second out and Ross tagged and tried to go to third. Werth made a fantastic throw and Polanco tagged Ross out on a close play to end the inning.

Great throw by Werth. Halladay was up to 66.

Uribe swung at Halladay’s first pitch of the fifth and flew to center. Lincecum struck out looking 0-2 for the second out. Torres was next and smashed a ball to first that went off the glove of Howard for an error. Sanchez followed and singled to left on a 2-2 pitch with Torres moving to third. Huff dribbled a 1-2 pitch out in front of the plate. Ruiz got to it quickly and threw him out to set the Giants down.

Halladay was up to 82 pitches. The Howard error made him throw ten more than he should have, but Torres really crushed the ball.

Posey walked on a close 3-2 pitch that might have been low to start the sixth. Burrell was next and popped to Rollins 0-2. Ross struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Sandoval moved Posey to second with a single to right, but Halladay struck Uribe out swinging 3-2 to end the inning and leave both men stranded.

Halladay threw 26 pitches in the inning and was at 108 for the game.

Contreras started the seventh. Lefty Mike Fontenot hit for Lincecum and Contreras struck him out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Torres was next and chopped a 2-2 pitch back through the middle and into center for a single. Sanchez lined a 1-0 pitch to third for the second out and Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Huff. Huff got ahead 2-0 and hit a soft liner near second. Utley made a jumping ice cream cone catch for the third out.

Super catch by Utley at a big time. I’m still not exactly sure how he brought the ball down after he caught it, cause about half of it was hanging out of the end of his glove.

Contreras has allowed one hit, the single by Torres, over three innings in three appearances in the series.

Madson pitched the eighth having thrown 32 pitches in game four and was just silly good. He struck Posey out swinging 2-2, Burrell out swinging 0-2 and Ross out swinging 1-2.

Madson has allowed two hits and two walks over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in the series, striking out seven.

Lidge started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. He got Sandoval on a fly ball to right for the first out. Uribe was next and grounded to short for the second. The lefty Ishikawa hit for the pitcher Affeldt and Lidge struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Everyone in the pen gets an off day today and should be available on Saturday. Madson threw 13 pitches in the game, Contreras 11, Lidge ten and Romero three. Oswalt didn’t even pitch this game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Lincecum went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Utley drops to third with Polanco moved up to second. Ibanez back in the lineup after Francisco played left against the lefty in game four.

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

Victorino started the game grounded to first on a 2-1 pitch. Polanco got ahead 3-1 and flew to center for the second out. Utley grounded to second 1-1 to set the Phillies down.

Lincecum threw 12 pitches in the first inning.

The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Werth was next and struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner for the second. Rollins grounded to Huff at first on an 0-1 pitch for the third.

Lincecum had thrown 22 pitches.

Ibanez led off the third and flared a 1-0 pitch into right center for a single. Ruiz got behind in the count, but Lincecum hit him on the arm with an 0-2 changeup. It put men on first and second for Halladay and Halladay bunted the first pitch from Lincecum near the plate. Posey picked the ball up next to the plate and threw to third. Sandoval wasn’t at the bag and Ibanez slid in safely, but Halladay hadn’t run to first because he thought the ball was foul (it was). Sandoval threw to first to force Halladay for the first out. Victorino was next and hit a ball hard to first. Huff got in front of it, but it went off his glove, then off his leg and bounced into shallow right center. Both runners scored on the error and Victorino took second with the Phils up 2-1. Lincecum’s first pitch to Polanco was way up and in and Polanco stared back out at him before singling into left on a 1-1 pitch, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 3-1. Polanco was running on the 3-2 pitch to Utley and Utley singled into center, sending Polanco to third. Howard struck out swinging as Utley stole second. Werth came to the plate with men on second and third and flew to left on an 0-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

No RBI for Howard with one out and a man on third. The Halladay bunt was clearly foul. Would have been nice to have run anyway. Victorino taking second on the error by Huff when the ball got away helped him score on the single by Polanco, but he would have scored on the single by Utley if he hadn’t.

Lincecum was up to 53 pitches.

Rollins struck out swinging 3-2 for the first out of the fourth. Ibanez broke his bat lining a 2-1 pitch to third for the second. Ruiz grounded to second 0-2 to set the Phils down.

Lincecum at 67 pitches after four innings.

It was 3-2 when Halladay led off the fifth. Halladay struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Victorino flew to right for the second. Polanco hit a 1-1 pitch hard, but Uribe made the play moving to his left and threw him out for the third out.

A nine-pitch inning had Lincecum at 76 for the game.

Utley grounded to first for the first out in the sixth. Howard was next and struck out swinging 2-2. Werth flew to center 0-2 for the third out.

Lincecum had set down 11 in a row and thrown 89 pitches for the game. Howard was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.

Rollins led off the seventh and hit a 1-0 pitch hard to second. Sanchez didn’t handle it and Rollins was given a single. He stole second as Ruiz took strike two and the count went 1-2. He stole third as the count went full on Ruiz. Lincecum’s 3-2 pitch to Ruiz was inside and the Phils had men on first and third. Gload hit for Halladay and smashed the first pitch he saw, but Huff caught the line drive and Ruiz was doubled off of first to end the frame.

Whacha gonna do? Gload hammered the ball. His second good at-bat in two days with nothing to show for it. This series is hard for me to watch as a fan — I can’t imagine what it must be like to wait eight hours to get your chance and hit into that. The Phils got lucky that Gload got to hit against Lincecum and the Giants got lucky that he hit it right at someone.

Righty Sergio Romo started the eighth for the Giants. Victorino led off and hit a 1-2 pitch to first. Romo fell down on the mound trying to cover first, so Huff took it to the bag himself. Romo was shaken up, but stayed in the game and walked Polanco on a 3-1 pitch that was inside. Lefty Javier Lopez came into the game and struck Utley out looking 2-2 for the second out. Howard flew to left of a 2-1 pitch for the third.

Manuel hits Utley third in the lineup with Polanco second and it allows the Giants to use Lopez against Utley and Howard without a right in-between. First non-strikeout of the game for Howard.

Righty Ramon Ramirez started the ninth for the Giants. Werth led off and hit a 2-1 pitch out down the right field line for a home run, putting the Phils up 4-2. Rollins flew to center for the first out and San Francisco left Ramirez in to face the lefty Ibanez. Ibanez singled to center, but Ruiz flew to center behind him for the second out. The righty Francisco hit for Madson and chopped the first pitch from Ramirez to third. Sandoval charged and fielded, but his throw to first pulled Huff off the bag for an error. It put men on first and second with two down and lefty Jeremy Affeldt came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino struck out swinging 3-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Francisco against the righty is a strange choice. Manuel had the lefty Brown and could hit Sweeney for Brown if the Giants brought Affeldt in to pitch to Brown. He also let Ibanez play left in the ninth. I don’t understand the thinking on using Francisco against the righty.

Victorino was 0-for-5 in the game with an RBI. He hit the ball to Huff that Huff didn’t handle, which would have gotten the Phillies a run even if it had been fielded cleanly. He’s 3-for-20 in the series with a double and two walks.

Polanco was 1-for-3 with his second huge hit in two games and an RBI. 5-for-17 with two doubles and a walk in the series.

Utley continues to struggle both offensively and defensively in the series. He was 1-for-4 with a stolen base last night and is 3-for-19 with three walks in the series. He didn’t field a potential double-play ball cleanly early and threw a ball to first away that was backed up nicely by Ruiz. He did make a huge play to end the seventh.

Howard was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, the worst of which came in the third with a man on third and one out. 5-for-17 with three doubles, three walks and nine strikeouts.

Werth 1-for-4 with a home run. He also made a fantastic throw in the fourth inning to get Ross trying to go to third. 4-for-16 with a double, three walks and two home runs. The win means you get to see Jayson Werth play in a Phillies uniform at least one more time.

Rollins was 1-for-4 and stole two bases. 5-for-19 with a double and a walk in the set.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 in the game and is 2-for-15 with a walk in the series. He also lined to third in the fourth inning last night on a well-hit ball. We’ll see who plays left on Saturday against the lefty. I’m guessing Ibanez.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk. 3-for-15 with a home run and a walk in the series.

Oswalt and lefty Jonathan Sanchez tomorrow in game six. It will be a rematch of game two, which the Phillies won 6-1.

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