Tag: Jayson Werth

Miller time

The Phils have had found some success against Florida lefty Andrew Miller of late. Miller has started against them twice in their last five games, going nine innings and allowing 14 runs.

Werth, Utley and Ruiz all homered off of him last night as the Phils pounded the Fish 11-4. Joe Blanton pitched very well for the Phils, holding the Marlins to a run over six innings. He has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six starts, throwing to a 2.75 ERA in those games as the Phils have gone 5-1.

The Phillies are 84-61 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 11-4 last night. They lead the NL East by a game over the Braves. Atlanta is a game and a half ahead of the Giants.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out eight and lowered his ERA on the season to 5.00.

Hanley Ramirez singled to left with two outs in the bottom of the first. He took second on a wild pitch before Dan Uggla drew a walk. Blanton struck Gaby Sanchez out looking to leave both runners stranded.

He had a 1-0 lead when he started the second. Brad Davis singled with two outs, but Blanton got the pitcher Andrew Miller to line to first for the third out.

He started the third up 2-0. Logan Morrison walked with one out, but Blanton struck Ramirez and Uggla out behind him to leave him stranded.

He was up 4-0 when he started the fourth. He struck out Stanton and Chad Tracy while setting the Marlins down in order.

It was 7-0 when he threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

10-0 when he started the sixth. Morrison led off and hit a 2-1 pitch out to right center. 10-1. Ramirez followed that with a double to left. Uggla followed that and hit a ball to Valdez at short. Ramirez was caught between second and third and tagged out for the first out. Sanchez moved Uggla to second with a single before Stanton flew to right with Uggla tagging and taking third. Blanton struck Tracy out to leave both runners stranded.

Contreras started the seventh with the Phillies leading 11-1 and set the Marlins down in order.

For Contreras it was the first time in three outings that he was not charged with runs.

Herndon started the eighth and hit Morrison with a pitch. He struck Ramirez out for the first out before Uggla homered to left center, cutting the lead to 11-3. Sanchez flew to Victorino for the second out before Stanton and Tracy doubled back-to-back. Tracy’s double scored Stanton and it was 11-4. Davis grounded to third for the third out.

Opponents are hitting .327 against Herndon for the season.

Baez pitched the ninth, seeing his first action since August 24. Emilio Bonifacio walked with one out and was forced at second for the second out when Morrison followed with a ground ball to first. Ramirez grounded to third for the third out.

Herndon threw 31 pitches in the game, Baez 15 and Contreras 14.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andrew Miller went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Victorino continues to leadoff with Valdez at short in the eight hole.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Werth homered to right with one out in the second, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz and Valdez singled back-to-back with two outs, putting men on first and second for Blanton, but Blanton lined softly back to the mound for the third out.

Victorino singled to left with one out in the third, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Utley homered to right to make it 2-0 before Howard grounded out for the third out.

Ibanez walked with one out in the fourth and Ruiz followed him with a homer to left-center. 4-0. Valdez followed that with a double, but Blanton and Victorino struck out to leave him stranded.

Utley walked with one out in the fifth and was moved to second when Howard followed that with a walk. Werth singled into left and Morrison didn’t field the ball cleanly. Utley scored to make it 5-0 before Morrison threw wildly to third for an error that allowed Howard to score. 6-0 with Werth on second and one out. Ibanez struck out for the second out before Ruiz singled into left. Werth scored to make it 7-0. Valdez grounded to short to finally set the Phillies down.

Blanton and Victorino singled back-to-back to start the sixth. It put men on first and third for Polanco and Polanco singled into center. Blanton scored and it was 8-0 with men on first and second. Utley flew to left for the first out before Howard singled to left, scoring Victorino with Polanco taking third as the throw came home. 9-0. Werth popped to second for the second out before Ibanez drew a walk that loaded the bases. Ruiz followed that with a walk that forced in Polanco. 10-0. Valdez grounded to third for the third out.

No RBI for Werth with less than two outs and a runner on third. Three runs in the inning for the Phils without an extra-base hit. Four singles and a walk.

Dobbs hit for Blanton to start the seventh with the lead at 10-1 and homered to right. 11-1. Utley drew a two-out walk before Howard struck out for the third out.

Francisco, hitting for Ibanez, singled to center with one out in the eighth. Ruiz popped to second for the second out and Valdez flew to left for the third.

Gload, Victorino and Bocock went in order in the ninth.

Victorino was 2-for-6 with two singles. 14-for-his-last-33 (.424). 283/345/480 in 330 plate appearances in the leadoff spot for the season.

Polanco 1-for-5 with an RBI. 222/283/287 over his last 121 plate appearances. He hasn’t homered since July 22 and is slugging .341 in 229 plate appearances since then.

Utley 1-for-3 with a home run and two walks. 365/469/596 over his last 14 games.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-12 with three singles over his last three games after homering for three games in a row.

Werth 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 231/310/449 over his last 87 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-2 and walked twice. First game without a hit for him in his last seven. He’s 11-for-his-last-26 with four walks and six extra-base hits (423/500/846). Hitting just 233/281/377 against lefties for the season.

Ruiz 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI to raise his line on the year to 300/399/437. 371/488/514 in 13 games so far in September.

Valdez was 2-for-5 with a double. 6-for-his-last-20 with two doubles.

Cole Hamels (10-10, 3.06) faces righty Adalberto Mendez (1-0, 0.00) tonight. Hamels hasn’t been charged with a run over his last 25 innings. Over his last three starts he’s thrown 22 scoreless innings, allowing 11 hits and four walks. Opponents have hit .147 against him in those starts. Mendez baffled the Phils in his only career start, holding them to a Brian Schneider single and two walks over six shutout innings. The 28-year-old isn’t Superman, though, as evidenced by his 3.98 ERA and 1.40 ratio in the minors this season when he walked 41 in 86 innings.

Note: This post is also available at philliesflow.wordpress.com. I will copy posts there until the issues with the site are resolved.


Half and half and half

The Phils won half of the games they played yesterday, which was good enough to cut Atlanta’s lead in the division in half to a half game. After getting hammered 7-1 in the day game of a day-night double-header, the Phils came back strong in the night game and rolled to a 7-4 win.

Oswalt didn’t pitch especially well last night, he allowed three home runs for the first time this season, but he did manage to go seven innings. With Werth getting the game off, the Phils went to an odd lineup that worked out very nicely as Victorino, Polanco and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 with five RBI out of the top three spots in the order.

Madson and Lidge combined to deliver two more shutout innings for the Phils in game. Since the start of August, the pair has now combined to make 39 appearances in which they’ve allowed three earned runs, throwing to an 0.70 ERA and the same 0.70 ratio. Opponents have hit .154 against the pair in those outings and they’ve struck out 48 in 38 1/3 innings.

The Phillies are 79-60 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 7-4 last night and are just a half game behind the Braves in the NL East. They are a game and a half ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He struck out seven. It was the first time he had allowed three home runs in a game since 4/22/09 against the Dodgers.

Logan Morrison singled to right with one out in the first. Oswalt got Hanley Ramirez on a fly ball to center field for the second out before Dan Uggla popped to Utley at second to leave Morrison stranded.

Oswalt got the first two in the second before Mike Stanton blasted a 3-2 pitch way out to left, putting Florida up 1-0. Mike Rivera struck out looking for the third out.

Oswalt started the third up 5-1 and got the first two batters before walking Morrison on a 3-2 pitch. Ramirez was next and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 5-3. Oswalt struck Uggla out swinging for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Maybin hit a 1-1 pitch out to left with two outs in the fifth, cutting the lead to 5-4. Oswalt struck Morrison out behind him for the third out.

Uggla singled with one out in the sixth and the Phils up 7-4, but Oswalt got the next two hitters behind him.

Oswalt allowed a double to pinch-hitter Scott Cousins with two outs in the seventh. Cameron Maybin popped to Utley for the third out.

Romero started the eighth and walked the lefty Morrison. Madson took over for Romero and set Ramirez, Uggla and Tracy down in order.

After a nifty run in which he didn’t allow a walk over eight appearances, Romero has walked two of the last four batters he has faced.

Madson hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last nine appearances. Over his last 23 appearances he has thrown 23 innings with an 0.78 ERA and opponents have hit 169/216/193 against him. He has struck out 32 in 23 innings.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a three-run lead. He allowed a two-out single to pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio, but struck Cousins out to end the game.

Over his last 17 games, Lidge has thrown to an 0.55 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit 123/183/143 against him and he has struck out 18.

Lidge threw 21 pitches in the game. Romero and Madson were both under ten. None of the group has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rollins (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Werth on the bench with the lefty Brown in right — Werth started the day 2-for-19 with 13 strikeouts against Sanchez for his career. Victorino hits leadoff with Rollins dropped to fifth in the order. Ruiz behind the plate after Schneider caught the day game.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the first. Ryan Howard struck out swinging for the third out.

In the day game of the double-header, Mike Zagurski drilled Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in the back in the ninth inning.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Rollins and Ibanez got things started with back-to-back singles that put runners on first and second with nobody out. Brown drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch that was probably a strike. Ruiz followed Brown and he walked on four pitches, forcing Rollins in to tie the game at 1-1. Oswalt flew to right for the first out with the runners holding. Victorino hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single. Ibanez scored and Brown tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate for the second out. It brought Polanco to the plate with two outs and men on first and third and the Phils up 2-1. Victorino stole second before Polanco ripped a ball down the left field line. A fan reached out and touched the ball, so Polanco had a ground-rule double with both runners scoring to put the Phils up 4-1. Utley followed that with a single into left, scoring Polanco. 5-1. Howard flew to center for the third out.

Stanton made a very nice, strong throw to get Brown at the plate for the second out, but it would have been a lot better not to get the runner thrown out trying to score from second. Before the Utley single it looked like the stolen base by Victorino got the Phils an extra-run on the Polanco ground-rule double, but Victorino would have scored anyway even without the stolen base on the single by Utley.

Up 5-3, the Phils went in order in the third. Brown hammered a ball to center, but Maybin took it on the warning track for the third out.

They went in order again in the fourth.

Their lead was cut to 5-4 when they hit in the fifth. Polanco led off and hit a ball high off the wall in left center. It rolled away from Maybin towards right field and Polanco had a triple. Utley followed with a single that scored Polanco to make it 6-4. Utley took second on a wild pitch before Howard walked. Rollins popped out before Ibanez doubled to center, scoring Utley (7-4) and sending Howard to third. Brown was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Ruiz flew to center with Howard holding third for the second out. Oswalt swung out swinging to leave the bases loaded.

Six men left on base for Oswalt through five innings. No RBI for Ruiz with one out and a man on third.

Victorino led off the sixth with a single and took second on a wild pitch by Jorge Sosa with two outs. Howard struck out swinging to leave him there.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Victorino singled with two outs in the eighth and Polanco walked behind him. Utley grounded to first to leave both men stranded.

Victorino was 3-for-5 with an RBI in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-10 with three walks.

Polanco was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s hitting 259/318/310 over his last 130 plate appearances.

Utley 2-for-4 with two RBI. 387/444/581 over his last 36 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He’s 11-for-65 (.169) with 24 strikeouts since returning from the DL.

Rollins was 1-for-4. 172/232/281 over his last 69 plate appearances. He’s on-basing .303 over his last 1,093 plate appearances.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with an RBI. 159/178/205 over his last 45 plate appearances.

Brown was 0-for-2 with two walks in a game for the first time in his career. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-11 with two walks.

Vance Worley made his first career start in the first game of the double-header and the Phillies got pounded, losing 7-1. The 22-year-old righty Worley went 10-7 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.30 ratio in 28 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley this season. He pitched pretty well, holding the Fish to a pair of runs on six hits and a walk over five innings. The bigger problem was that the Phils couldn’t hit 28-year-old righty Adalberto Mendez. Mendez was making his Major League debut and held the Phils to a single and two walks over six shutout innings.

Worley allowed a run in the first on a walk, a wild pitch and a single. Chad Tracy homered off of him in the second to extend the lead to 2-0. Mike Stanton hit a two-run homer off of Durbin in the eighth and Mike Zagurski got knocked around in the ninth as he gave up three runs and Florida extended the lead to 7-0. A single by Werth in the bottom of the ninth, just the third hit of the day for the Phils, knocked Howard in for the team’s only run.

Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.25) faces righty Chris Volstad (9-9, 4.82) tonight. Blanton gave up three home runs in 4 1/3 innings as he was charged with six runs against the Rockies. Prior to that start he had been pitching very well. He was 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.29 ratio over his last nine starts. Volstad was ejected from his last start after Nyjer Morgan charged the mound after Volstad threw behind him. He has a 5.79 ERA and a 1.58 ratio in his 12 starts away from home this season.

You may have noticed we’ve been afflicted by many a technical problem lately. I’d say that we’re back for good now, but, well, we both know that’s not the case.


LA x’d

The Phils capped their 20-game run with a fantastic win last night, scoring eight times in the last two frames to top the Dodgers 10-9. The Phils got five hits and a walk in the bottom of the eighth to cut the LA lead to 9-6. In the ninth they loaded the bases and Ben Francisco hit a double-play ball that went through Casey Blake’s legs for a critical error that helped the Phils plate two runs. Ruiz ended the game three pitches later when he blasted a bases clearing double off of the top of the wall in center field.

The Phillies have won 16 of their last 20 and are 64-50 on the season after beating the LA Dodgers 10-9 last night. The Phils take two of three in the series and are 14 games above .500 for the first time on the season. They remain in second place in the NL East and are two games behind the first place Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks. All eight of the hits were singles and he struck out three.

Scott Podsednik singled to left to start the game and moved to second on a ground out by Ryan Theriot. Andre Ethier grounded to second and Podsednik went to third with two down. James Loney walked and Ronnie Belliard followed that with a single into center. Podsednik scored (1-0) and Loney took second. Matt Kemp was next and he singled to left, scoring Loney to make it 2-0 and sending Belliard to second. Jamey Carroll followed that and blooped a ball into center that fell in front of Werth. Belliard came in to score to put LA up 3-0 with the runners winding up at second and third when the throw came into third. Blanton walked Brad Ausmus intentionally to load the bases so he could pitch to the pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw grounded to second for the third out.

Blanton gets two of the first three batters to start the game, then allows three runs thanks to three singles and a pair of walks.

Podsednik started the second with a single, but Blanton got the next three behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 third with the lead cut to 3-1 and a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Theriot and Ethier started the inning with back-to-back singles, which put runners on first and third with nobody out. Blanton struck Loney out for the first out before Belliard hit a fly ball to left for the second. It was deep enough for Theriot to tag and score from third, extending the LA lead to 4-2. Kemp lined softly to second for the third out.

Ausmus singled with one out in the sixth and Kershaw bunted him to second with the second out. Podsednik and Theriot walked back-to-back, loading the bases for Ethier. Durbin came in to pitch to Ethier and got him to ground to second on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

Durbin comes in to face the tough lefty with the Phils down to a single lefty in the pen after Bastardo is sent down. Worked out great that time, but it’s not a formula for continued success. The Phillies have a problem with left-handed relief out of the bullpen. I agree there’s a good chance that Bastardo isn’t the answer, but somebody has to be.

Durbin was back for the seventh. Loney led off with a single. Durbin got Belliard on a pop to Rollins for the first out before Kemp homered to left, putting LA up 6-2. Carroll walked and stole second, but Durbin struck out Ausmus and got Kershaw on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Kemp’s homer was the only extra-base hit of the game for LA.

Romero started the eighth. Podsednik led off and hit a ball to first that Sweeney butchered for an error. Theriot flew to right for the first out before Ethier moved Podsednik to second with a single. Romero struck the lefty Loney out swinging for the second out and Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Casey Blake. Blake singled to center, scoring Podsednik (7-2) and moving Ethier to third. Kemp followed that and blooped a ball high down the right field line that fell for another single. Ethier scored (8-2) and Blake went to third. Carroll singled to left and Blake scored. 9-2. Contreras struck out swinging for the third out.

At least Romero didn’t walk anyone. The Sweeney error was pretty big in the inning. Without the Dodgers get a single but go down without any damage. Contreras had a miserable frame, facing four batters and allowing three hits before finally striking out Ausmus. Kemp’s hit was ridiculous.

Baez pitched the ninth with the Phils down 9-6. He allowed a leadoff single to Jay Gibbons, but got Podsednik to hit into a double-play behind him and then got Theriot to ground to second.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (2) Ibanez (3) Polanco (4) Sweeney (5) Werth (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. That one’s not a keeper. Francisco in right against the lefty and Sweeney at first. Ibanez hits second in the order, which is too high, especially against a lefty. Valdez at second.

The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the first. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back with two outs, putting men on first and third for Werth. Werth flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and moved to third when Valdez followed with a double. Blanton hit a ball softly to third for the second out. Ruiz came in to score to cut the lead to 3-1 with Valdez moving to third. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Werth started the fourth with a single. Francisco struck out swinging for the first out before Werth stole second. Ruiz singled into center and Werth scored, cutting the lead to 3-2. Valdez and Blanton both grounded out to end the inning.

Down 4-2, the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

They went in order again in the sixth.

They were losing 6-2 when they hit in the seventh. Ruiz and Valdez went down to start the inning. With two outs and Kershaw still on the mound for LA, Victorino hit for Durbin and drew a walk. He stole second before Rollins walked, bringing Ibanez to the plate with two outs and men on first and second. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo took over for Kershaw and got Ibanez on a fly ball to left to leave both men stranded.

They were down 9-2 when they hit in the eighth. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back and moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by righty Ronald Belisario. Werth singled into center and both runners scored. 9-4. Werth took second on a balk before Francisco doubled to left, scoring Werth. 9-5. Righty Kenley Jansen took over for Belisario and got Ruiz on a ground ball to third for the first out. Valdez singled to center and Francisco scored. 9-6. Brown hit for Contreras and lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to him, getting Brown on a fly ball to left for the second out. Rollins walked, putting men on first and second for Ibanez, but Sherrill got Ibanez to ground to second and end the inning.

Jonathan Broxton started the ninth with a 9-6 lead. He hit Polanco and walked Sweeney and Werth, loading the bases for Francisco. Francisco hit a double-play ball to Blake at third, but instead of getting the double-play the ball went through Blake’s legs and into left field. Polanco and Sweeney scored, making it 9-8, with Werth on second and Francisco on first for Ruiz. Ruiz blasted a 1-1 pitch high off the wall in left-center. Werth and Francisco both scored without a throw. Phils win 10-9.

Broxton set it up by letting the first three runners reach, but the error by Blake changed the game.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game and 3-for-12 in the series. 248/344/372 for the season.

Ibanez was 0-for-5 and left four men on base. He shouldn’t be hitting second against a lefty. 3-for-12 with a double and two walks in the series.

Polanco was 2-for-4 last night. 4-for-11 with four singles in the series. 321/352/431 on the year.

Sweeney 2-for-4 in the game and 3-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 5-for-15 with the Phils.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI last night. 4-for-10 with four walks in the series. 304/397/528 for the season.

Francisco 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 1-for-6 in the set. 254/327/415 on the year. Brown was 0-for-1 last night and 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 9-for-39 for the season with a .233 on-base percentage.

Ruiz was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI last night. 3-for-11 in the series. 294/385/431 on the season.

Valdez was 2-for-4 with a double last night. 5-for-11 with a double and a triple in the series. 254/283/367 for the season. 342/375/421 in August.

Cole Hamels (7-8, 3.45) faces righty RA Dickey (7-5, 2.65) tonight. Hamels has a 2.43 ERA and a 1.08 ratio over his last starts and has struck out 61 in 55 2/3 innings in those games. Dickey’s most recent start came against the Phillies on Sunday and he was charged with six runs in three innings. Prior to that start he had posted a 1.70 ERA in his last seven outings. He’s thrown 102 innings this season and walked nine right-handed batters.

The next update to Philliesflow will be around August 24.


Fish and foul

The Phillies got an enormous break last night and Carlos Ruiz helped them turn it into another win. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, a runner on second and the scored tied at 4-4, Gaby Sanchez ripped a game-winning hit down the left field line that never happened. The ball was called foul and the game continued. Carlos Ruiz popped one out to left to start the tenth and the Phils came out on top 5-4 for their fourth straight win.

As far as breaks go, they don’t get a lot bigger than the one where the other team wins the game and the umps decide it didn’t count.

The Phillies are 60-48 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 5-4 in ten innings last night. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep of the Fish. They have won four in a row and remain two games behind the Braves in the NL East.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and allowed two runs on three hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, and he struck out five.

He set the Marlins down in order in the first.

Cody Ross singled to center with one out in the second and Mike Stanton walked behind him. Wes Helms was next and hit a ground ball to second. Valdez fielded and threw to third to force the lead runner for the second out. Oswalt walked Ronny Paulino to load the bases with two outs, but struck the pitcher Chris Volstad out swinging to leave them loaded.

Logan Morrison doubled to left with one out in the third and moved to third when Gaby Sanchez flew to right for the second out. Uggla walked to put men on first and third, but Oswalt struck out Ross to end the inning.

Oswalt threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth up 2-0 and again set Florida down in order.

Stanton led off the seventh with a single and Helms walked behind him. Paulino was next and he bunted. Oswalt fielded the bunt and threw to third to force Stanton for the first out. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Jose Veras and the Phils brought Romero in to pitch to him. Righty Donnie Murphy hit for Tracy and lined a ground-rule double to left. It cut the lead to 2-1 with one out and men on second and third. Brett Hayes ran for Paulino at third and Romero walked Hanley Ramirez intentionally to load the bases. Morrison was next and Romero walked him unintentionally on four pitches, tying the game at 2-2 with the bases still loaded and one out. Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Sanchez and Sanchez flared a single to right. Murphy and Ramirez scored to make it 4-2 with men on first and third. Sanchez stole second, but Contreras struck out Uggla and Ross to leave the runners stranded.

Huge strikeouts for Contreras after the Marlins put men on second and third with one out. Oswalt pulled in the seventh having thrown 109 pitches.

Romero has now walked 22 batters in 24 1/3 innings on the year. Righties are on-basing .471 against him despite having just seven hits in 34 at-bats (.206).

Baez pitched the eighth. He allowed a two-out double to Hayes. The pitcher Clay Hensley was due to hit next and Hector Luna pinch-hit for him. Baez got Luna on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with the game tied at 4-4. He hit Ramirez to start the inning and Ramirez stole second as Madson struck out Morrison for the first out. Sanchez was next and ripped a ball down the third base line for what should have been a game-winning hit. It was called foul, however, and Madson went on to strike Sanchez out for the second out. Uggla was walked intentionally so Madson could pitch to Ross and Madson struck him out swinging 0-2 to leave Ramirez stranded.

Sanchez’s ball looked fair and should have ended the game.

Lidge pitched the tenth with a 5-4 lead. Stanton led off with a single and stole second as Helms struck out swinging. Lidge struck Hayes out swinging for the second out and switch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio hit for the pitcher Will Ohman. Lidge got him on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Madson, Contreras and Lidge were all throwing for the second straight day. Madson threw 19 pitches last night after throwing 27 in game two. Contreras threw 13 last night and Lidge 15. Baez 14 and Romero 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Gload (4) Ibanez (5) Werth (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first against the righty and Brown in right. Valdez plays second with Polanco at third and Dobbs on the bench. I really feel strongly that 73 starts in 108 games is too many for Valdez.

Rollins and Polanco started the games with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Gload and Gload flew to left for the first out before a balk moved the runners to second and third. Ibanez walked to load the bases with one out. Werth flew to center for the second and Brown struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

No run for the Phils on two singles, a walk and a balk. No RBI for Werth with men on second and third and one out.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Polanco singled with one out in the third. Gload lined to second behind him for the second. Ibanez was next and singled on a ball deflected by Ramirez at short, moving Polanco to third. Werth grounded to short to end the frame.

Ruiz doubled with one out in the fourth and was thrown out trying for third. Valdez grounded to Ramirez to leave him stranded at third.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Ibanez singled with one out in the sixth and Werth flew out behind him. Brown was next and moved Ibanez to second with a single into center. Ruiz blasted a double over the head of Ross in center, scoring both runners to put the Phils on top 2-0. Valdez was walked intentionally and Oswalt unintentionally, loading the bases for Rollins. Rollins flew to center for the third out.

I really don’t think I would walk Valdez intentionally that much.

Polanco started the seventh with a single. Gload was next and hit a ball to first with Polanco forced at second for the first out and Gload safe at first. Ibanez struck out for the second out before Werth moved Gload to second with a single to left. Brown struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

The Phils were down 4-2 when they hit in the eighth. Ruiz grounded to short for the first out. Dobbs hit for Valdez with the righty Hensley on the mound for Florida and struck out for the second. Sweeney hit for Contreras and drew a walk, but Rollins flew to right to leave him at first.

Righty Leo Nunez was on to protect a 4-2 Florida lead in the ninth. Polanco led off and hit a ball to short, but Ramirez’s throw to first was bad for an error. Gload was next and moved Polanco to second with a single. Ibanez followed that with a double to left, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 4-3 with men on second and third and nobody out. Werth was next and dribbled a single under the glove of Ramirez. Gload scored to tie the score at 4-4 and Ibanez went to third. With men on first and third and nobody out, Brown hit a ball to first. Sanchez fielded and threw home and Ibanez was caught up between third and home and tagged out for the first out. With one out and men on first and second, Werth was picked off of second and caught going for third. Ruiz got behind in the count 0-2 and Brown was caught stealing on a pitch out to end the frame.

That was one of the uglier two-run rallies to tie the game in the ninth you’ll see. Three outs on the bases for the Phils. Brown getting caught for the third out meant that Ruiz got to lead off the tenth with a homer, though.

Ruiz led off the tenth and hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phillies up 5-4. Dobbs struck out for the first out before Francisco hit for Madson. Francisco homered just foul. The call was review and the outcome was a foul ball, which was correct. Francisco flew to center for the second out and Rollins struck out swinging for the third.

Rollins was 1-for-6 in the game. 4-for-14 in the series with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 214/299/305 over his last 174 plate appearances.

Polanco was 3-for-5 in the game 6-for-14 with a walk in the series. He’s 10-for-his-last-23.

Gload 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-9 with three walks in the series.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI in the game. He was 6-for-11 with a double and three walks in the series. 447/542/723 over his last 59 plate appearances. He was hitting 243/326/397 for the year after going 0-for-4 against the Reds on July 11. In his 18 games since he has hit 415/506/615 to get his line on the year up to 275/361/437.

Werth was 2-for-5 with an RBI and left six men on base. 3-for-15 with three singles and seven strikeouts in the series.

Brown was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-9 in the series with four strikeouts. After 27 at-bats with the Phils he has no walks and a 259/241/296 line.

Ruiz was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. 8-for-15 with three doubles and two home runs in the series. 18-for-his-last-41 (.439) with nine extra-base hits.

Valdez was 0-for-2 with a walk (intentional, let’s not be silly here). 2-for-11 with two walks in the series.

Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.86) faces lefty Jon Niese (7-5, 3.78) tonight. Blanton has a 4.15 ERA and a 1.35 ratio over his last four starts after throwing to a 6.41 ERA and a 1.47 ratio in his first 13 appearances. He allowed 15 home runs in 80 innings over his first 13 starts and just two over 26 innings over his last four. Niese has allowed 120 hits in 112 1/3 innings, but doesn’t walk many righties. He’s walked just 27 of the 365 right-handed batters he’s faced this season.

It was Cody Ransom and not John Mayberry who lost his roster spot to Mike Sweeney.


Away improvement

The Phils posted a miserable 9-23 record on the road between the middle of May and the end of July, raising questions about how they would ever find a way into the post-season with such miserable results away from home. The bad news is they probably won’t make the post-season without showing dramatic improvement on the road. The good news is that shouldn’t be too hard to do. It looks like they’ve started already, opening August by going 3-0 away from Citizens Bank Park.

Kyle Kendrick delivered yet another solid start last night and the Phils have now won all three games he’s pitched since returning from Triple-A. In those starts he’s 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. In his 20 appearances before being sent to the minors, Kendrick struck out about 4.24 batters per nine innings. In his three starts since he has struck out 6.05 per nine.

Domonic Brown flashed some more of his glove and his bat as well. Brown drove in three runs and made a fantastic throw in the bottom of the third inning to nail Gaby Sanchez at the plate.

The Phillies are 59-48 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 7-2 last night. They have won three in a row and remain two games behind the Braves in the NL East.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

The start of the game was delayed for 58 minutes by rain. When it started, the Phils scored two in the top of the first and Kendrick started the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead. Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and third for Dan Uggla. Uggla hit a ball to right that Brown handled for the second out and Morrison held third. Cody Ross grounded to third for the third out.

Mike Stanton led off the second and blasted a 1-2 pitch way out to left center, cutting the lead to 2-1. Kendrick came way up and in with his first pitch to the next batter, Wes Helms, and set the next three hitters down in order.

Sanchez doubled softly to left with two outs in the third. Uggla was next and singled to right, but Brown made a very strong throw to the plate and Sanchez was tagged out to end the inning.

Great throw by Brown, who also made a strong throw in the first on a ball that Uggla hit to keep Morrison at third.

Kendrick struck out two in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He had a 4-1 lead when he started the fifth. He got the first two before Ramirez and Morrison singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Sanchez and Sanchez singled into right. Brown should have thrown to third, but threw home instead. His throw was bad a got away from Ruiz, allowing the runners to go to second and third with the lead cut to 4-2. Uggla was next and Rollins made a fantastic diving play to snare his line drive and end the inning.

Rollins saved the Phils two runs.

Up 5-2, Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Contreras pitched the seventh. He allowed a two-out single to Ramirez, but got Morrison to ground to second to leave the runner stranded.

Madson pitched the eighth. Sanchez led off with a double and Uggla walked behind him. Ross hit a fly ball to center for the first out, deep enough for the runners to move to second and third. Madson struck Stanton and Helms both out swinging to end the inning.

Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with a 7-2 lead to drop his ERA on the year to 5.09.

Madson threw 27 pitches in the game, Contreras 15 and Lidge 14.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Werth (5) Gload (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first against the righty. Valdez at second with Polanco at third and Dobbs on the bench. Brown plays right against the righty.

Polanco singled with one out in the first and took second on a wild pitch before Ibanez walked. It put men on first and second for Werth and Werth struck out for the second out. Gload singled into center and Polanco scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. With two down and men on first and second, Brown singled into center. Ibanez scored and the Phils were up 2-0. Ruiz struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins reached on an infield single with two outs in the second, but Polanco popped to short behind him.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phils hit in the third. Gload walked with two outs and took second on another wild pitch, but Brown hit a ball that the pitcher handled for the third out.

They went in order in the fourth.

Rollins and Polanco singled back-to-back to start the fifth. It put men on first and second for Ibanez and Ibanez singled into right. Rollins came in to score (3-1) with the runners winding up at second and third after the throw came home. Werth struck out for the first out and the righty Sanchez walked the lefty Gload intentionally to load the bases. Lefty Taylor Tankersley came in to pitch to Brown and Brown hit a fly ball to right deep enough for Polanco to tag and score, putting the Phils up 4-1. Ruiz grounded to third for the third out.

Another strikeout for Werth, this time with nobody out and men on second and third.

The lead was cut to 4-2 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Kendrick doubled with one out and Rollins walked behind him. Polanco was next and he walked, loading the bases. Ibanez hit a fly ball to right. Kendrick tagged and scored (5-2) and Rollins went to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Werth flew to center to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

With righty Clay Hensley on the mound for Florida, Dobbs hit for Contreras with one out in the eighth and grounded to third. Rollins walked behind him, but Polanco flew to center for the third out.

Ibanez and Werth singled back-to-back to start the ninth. Gload was next and flew to left. Ibanez tagged and took third, putting men on first and third with one down. Brown was next and hit a ball to Uggla at second. Uggla flipped to second to try to start the double-play, but the flip was awful and Ramirez didn’t have a chance. Ibanez scored to make it 6-2 with men on first and third. Ruiz followed that with a single to left that brought Werth in and it was 7-2. With men on first and second with one out, Valdez hit a ground ball to third and Ruiz was forced at second for the second out. With righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Fish, Francisco hit for Madson and walked to load the bases. Rollins flew to left to leave the runners stranded.

Rollins was 2-for-4 and walked twice. Over his last four games he’s 5-for-17 with five walks. Prior to those four games he had on-based .273 in his 132 previous plate appearances.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. He’s hitting 393/486/590 over his last 74 plate appearances. Over his last 12 games he’s 18-for-43 (.419) with three home runs and ten walks. If you’re wondering how the Phillies are getting offense with so many players injured, I’d start there.

Top three in the order go 6-for-11 with four walks.

Werth was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and six men left on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 with seven strikeouts. If you’re wondering how the Phillies offense can get better, I’d start there.

Gload was 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-17 with a double, a home run and five walks, raising his line on the year from 239/270/408 to 284/344/466. I’m hoping he and Sweeney become a left/right platoon instead of Sweeney becoming the regular first baseman with Howard out.

Brown was 1-for-4 with three RBI and showed off a fantastic arm in the third inning. Made a bad decision and a bad throw in the fifth, though.

Ruiz was 1-for-5 with an RBI. He’s 15-for-his-last-36 with four doubles and two home runs.

Valdez was 0-for-5 with a strikeout to drop his on-base percentage for the year to .270.

Roy Oswalt (6-13, 3.53) faces righty Chris Volstad (5-8, 4.71) tonight as the Phils go for the sweep. Oswalt allowed five runs in six innings in his first start as a Phillie. Volstad has a 5.87 ERA over his last six starts. He’s walked too many batters this season, about 3.6 per nine innings.

The Phillies acquired right-handed first baseman Mike Sweeney from Seattle. My guess is he will take Mayberry’s roster spot and platoon at first with Gload until Howard returns.


Not saying this is all a dream, but whoever sees Leonardo first might want to ask if we can borrow his little magic top

It’s the only way to be sure.

It has been a good couple of days for the Phillies, but last night may have been the best of all. Domonic Brown made his highly anticipated debut with the team and made just about everyone feel he has been worth the wait. Brown drove in a pair of runs and scored two more in support of another fantastic effort by Halladay as the Phils won their seventh straight.

Ibanez and Werth continue to pound the ball, giving hope their recent struggles are in the rear view mirror for good. They combined to go 5-for-7 with two walks and three doubles in the game. They were joined by Carlos Ruiz, who came into the series with Arizona hitting .214 since the beginning of June. After going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a walk in the first game of the set, Ruiz was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI last night.

Oh, and the Phils look like they’re about to get Roy Oswalt.

The Phillies are 55-46 on the year after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1 last night. They have won seven in a row.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing a run on six hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.

He didn’t allow a base-runner in the first two innings. He threw a 1-2-3 third with a 2-0 lead.

Stephen Drew started the fourth with a single. Halladay struck out Kelly Johnson behind him for the first out before Drew was thrown out trying to steal second. Chris Young followed that with a single. It brought Adam LaRoche to the plate and hit a ball hard that went off of Halladay and to third. Dobbs fielded and threw LaRoche out at first to end the frame.

Big caught stealing of Drew in the inning. The Phils get a break that Dobbs can handle the ball hit hard by LaRoche and off of Halladay.

Halladay hit Rusty Ryal with a pitch with two outs in the fifth. He got Gerardo Parra on a ground ball to second behind Ryal for the third out.

He struck out two in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Phils were up 5-0 when he started the seventh. He struck out the first two hitters in the inning before Miguel Montero and Mark Reynolds singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third for Ryal, but Ryal flew to Werth in center to leave both men stranded.

Halladay threw a 1-2-3 eighth with a 7-0 lead.

He started the ninth still up by seven runs and having thrown 104 pitches in the game. Kelly Johnson led off with a single to right before Young flew to center for the first out. LaRoche lined to Brown in right for the second out. Montero was next and he doubled into right, scoring Johnson to cut the lead to 7-1. Reynolds flew to left to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edwin Jackson went (1) Polanco (2) Dobbs (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez plays short with Rollins sidelined after fouling a ball off his foot. Polanco at second and leading off. Dobbs at third against the righty. Werth plays center with Brown making his debut in right field.

Ibanez walked with two outs in the first and took second on a passed ball before Howard struck out to leave him stranded.

Werth doubled to right to start the second. Brown’s first at-bat as a Phillie was next and he smoked a 1-1 pitch off the wall in right for an RBI-double that put the Phillies up 1-0. Ruiz followed that with a single that sent Brown to third. Valdez grounded to first for the first out, with Brown scoring to make it 2-0 and Ruiz moving up to second. Ruiz moved to third on a ground out by Halladay, but was left stranded when Polanco grounded to third.

Ibanez doubled with one out in the third and Howard walked behind him. Howard was next and hit a ground ball to third. Ibanez stopped in the middle of the bases before Reynolds could tag him and Reynolds tagged third for the force out. With two outs and men on first and second, Brown grounded to first to end the inning.

Halladay singled with two outs in the fourth. Polanco struck out swinging behind him.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Werth and Brown singled back-to-back to start the sixth. Ruiz was next and doubled into the left field corner, scoring both runners to put the Phils up 4-0. Valdez moved Ruiz to third with a ground out. Halladay was next and he grounded to third for the second out, but Polanco followed that with a single into center. Ruiz scored and it was 5-0. Dobbs grounded to first for the third out.

Ibanez singled to start the seventh. Howard struck out behind him before Werth doubled to right, sending Ibanez to third. Brown hit a fly ball to right deep enough to score Ibanez (6-0) and move Werth to third with two outs. Ruiz doubled again, this time to center, and Werth scored to make it 7-0. Valdez was walked intentionally and Halladay struck out to end the inning.

Ibanez walked with two outs in the eighth. Howard struck out looking behind him.

Polanco was 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Dobbs 0-for-4 to drop his average on the year to .203.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with a double and two walks. He’s 10-for-his-last-20 with five walks, three doubles and a home run.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a walk and struck out four times.

Werth 3-for-4 and doubled twice. 436/549/692 over his last 51 plate appearances. He’s up to 34 doubles and on pace for 55.

Brown 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.

Ruiz 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.

Valdez 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. The walk was intentional, but whatever. 2-for-his-last-28.

Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 4.60) faces lefty Joe Saunders (6-10, 4.62) tonight. Kendrick allowed seven runs in five innings to the Cards on July 19 and was sent to Triple-A. The injury to Moyer forced him back into the rotation, though, and he has made one start since and pitched very well against the Rockies, holding them to a run over seven innings his last time out. Lefties are hitting 320/378/592 against him for the year. .592? Saunders will be making his debut with the Snakes after being acquired in the Dan Haren deal. His last start was very good as he held Texas to a run over seven innings. He’s allowed 135 hits in 120 2/3 innings on the season — opponents are hitting .290 against him.


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