Tag: JC Romero

Don’t be a stranger

After four whirlwind games, the Florida Marlins are finally leaving town. They’ll be welcome back whenever they want to come, though. The Phils dismantled the Fish in the series, outscoring them 25-6 and winning all four games.

Yesterday it was Cliff Lee who dominated. Lee threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles and two walks. The Marlins didn’t put a runner on second base in the game.

The Phillies are 44-26 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 3-0 yesterday afternoon. They sweep the four-game series and have won seven in a row and are 18 games above .500 for the first time on the season.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles and two walks. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.12. Over his last three starts, he’s allowed one run in 24 innings on 13 hits and five walks.

He got Emilio Bonifacio, Omar Infante and Logan Morrison on three ground balls in the first.

Gaby Sanchez walked on five pitches to start the second. Jose Lopez was next and he flew to center for the first out. Mike Stanton struck out looking for the second. With John Buck at the plate, Sanchez was picked off of first and Howard threw to second where Rollins applied the tag to end the frame.

Lee got Buck on a ground ball he handled himself for the first out in the third. Chris Coghlan flew to center for the second out. Pitcher Javier Vazquez grounded to Lee for the third.

Lee had faced the minimum through three innings and thrown 33 pitches.

In the fourth he got Bonifacio on a popup to Martinez and Infante and Morrison on a pair of ground outs.

Sanchez flew to right and Lopez struck out swinging to start the fifth with the Phils up 1-0. It brought Stanton to the plate and he singled into center, the first hit of the game for the Marlins. Buck flew to right behind him for the third out.

Lee had a 2-0 lead when he started the sixth. He walked Bonifacio with two outs, but got Infante to fly to left to leave him at first.

The Phils led 3-0 when Morrison started the seventh with a single to center. Sanchez flew to left for the first out and Lee got Lopez to hit into a double-play behind him.

Lee struck Stanton and Coghlan out while setting the Marlins down in order in the eighth.

Hanley Ramirez hit for pitcher Ryan Webb to start the ninth and grounded to short for the first out. Bonifacio grounded to third for the second out and Infante popped to Howard in foul territory to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Javier Vazquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Martinez plays second with Utley on the bench after the Phils played a day/night double-header on Wednesday and a day game yesterday. Ibanez hits fifth with Polanco out of the five-hole and hitting third.

Rollins lined to first for the first out in the bottom of the first, but Victorino and Polanco both singled behind him. It put runners on first and third with one down for Howard and Howard struck out swinging. Ibanez walked to load the bases, but Ruiz popped up to Sanchez in foul territory to leave the bases loaded.

Howard strikes out with a runner on third and less than two outs after failing to bring a runner in from third with less than two outs twice in the night game of the double-header the day before.

Lee singled with two outs in the second, but Rollins popped to short behind him.

Victorino led off the third with a single, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Howard drew a two-out walk, but was left at first when Ibanez followed and grounded to second.

Martinez singled with two outs in the fourth. Lee was next and he roped a ball into the gap in right center. Martinez scored from first and the Phils led 1-0. Rollins popped to second for the third out.

Just another of those Martinez/Lee rallies to plate a run for the Phils.

Victorino struck out and Polanco flew to right for the first two outs in the fifth. It brought Howard to the plate and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center, extending the lead to 2-0. Ibanez followed that with a double to left, but Ruiz flew to right to leave him at second.

That’s home run number 15 on the year for Howard, all 15 of which have come against right-handed pitching. He came into the game hitting for a higher average against left-handed pitching for the year (.256 against lefties and .247 against righties), but slugging .547 against righties and .360 against lefties.

Brown started the sixth with a single off of lefty Michael Dunn. He moved to second on a ground out by Martinez and third on a ground out by Lee. Rollins was next and he lined a double to right. Brown scored and the Phils led 3-0. Victorino struck out swinging to leave Rollins at second.

Brown starts a rally with a single off of a lefty. He came in to the game 2-for-14 against lefties for the year. It was his first hit that wasn’t a home run since June 6 against the Dodgers. In 35 plate appearances June 7 to June 15, Brown went 3-for-29 with three homers and six walks.

Ryan Webb set Polanco, Howard and Ibanez down on three ground balls in the seventh.

Webb was back for the eighth and got Ruiz and Brown on ground outs before Martinez flew to left to end the inning.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game. 5-for-18 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI in the four-game series. He’s hitting 257/330/377 for the year.

Victorino 2-for-4 with two singles and two strikeouts. 8-for-19 with two doubles in the series. 292/359/476 for the year.

Polanco 1-for-4. 2-for-11 with a walk and a double in the set. 303/351/386 for the year. 244/291/299 in 183 plate appearances since the end of April.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and a solo homer. 4-for-12 with a double and two homers in the series. He walked four times and drove in four runs. 251/347/494 on the year.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 1-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. 242/293/407 on the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 3-for-11 with two walks in the series. 245/362/335 on the year. He has one extra-base hit in his last 58 plate appearances. He’s hitting .209 and slugging .233 in June.

Brown 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-15 with two walks and two home runs in the series. He’s hitting 160/263/360 in 57 plate appearances in June and 229/309/434 in 94 plate appearances for the year. Francisco didn’t play yesterday, but went 0-for-3 with two walks, one of which was intentional, in the set. He’s hitting 216/340/365 for the season. 1-for-his-last-14 with seven walks. In his last 22 plate appearances, he has one hit and a .381 on-base percentage. That’s nutty. I don’t know what it means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not good. He’s striking out a lot less this year and walking a lot more, but getting way fewer hits and seeing less of his hits go for extra-bases.

Martinez 1-for-4 in the game and in the series. 203/226/254 in 64 plate appearances for the year. Utley didn’t play in the game, but was 4-for-11 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, a walk and four RBI in the series. He’s hitting 275/383/500 on the year in 94 plate appearances. In his first 47 plate appearances, which came May 23 to June 4, he hit 195/298/293. In most recent 47 plate appearances he has hit 359/468/718.

Oswalt (4-4, 3.14) faces righty Michael Pineda (6-4, 2.72) tonight in Seattle. Pineda turned 22 in January and has made 13 starts for the Mariners in his rookie season. Opponents are hitting just .208 against him and he’s struck out 80 in 82 2/3 innings. Oswalt’s strikeout numbers continue to drop compared to his career numbers, but he has done a good job of keeping lefties from delivering extra-base hits against him. Lefties are hitting 252/316/336 against him for the year so far, compared to their career mark of 261/307/385.

JC Romero was designated for assignment.

The Phils signed 33-year-old righty Tim Redding to a minor league deal. Redding has made 144 career starts with the Astros, Padres, Yankees, Nats and Mets and thrown to a career 4.95 ERA with a 1.49 ratio. He had a good year for the Astros in 2003 and pitched well for the Nats in 2007 in 15 starts. His last action in the majors came with the Mets in 2009. Lefties have hit 284/368/462 against him for his career.


Fans hopeful the Phils find a way to get Madson a break next year that doesn’t require him to kick any chairs

Most fans will remember that the bullpen in 2010 was nothing special for the Phils, and that they lost the NLCS after Juan Uribe broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning of game six with a home run off of Ryan Madson. I’m guessing that fewer remember that

  • Madson was pitching his second inning of the game after throwing a scoreless seventh
  • He threw 32 pitches in the game and Uribe’s homer came on his 28th pitch of the game
  • He had thrown in game four (32 pitches in 1 2/3 innings) and game five (one inning, 13 pitches) with an off-day between games five and six
  • He pitched in five of the six games in the NLCS, throwing 6 2/3 innings in five appearances over six games. The rest of team combined to throw 12 1/3 innings in relief in the NLCS, including Oswalt’s work in relief in game four.
  • In game two of the NLCS he started the ninth and pitched a scoreless inning with a five-run lead

So the Phils leaned hard on Madson in the NLCS. And he pitched well, allowing a run in the five appearances on the Uribe homer over 6 2/3 innings. They leaned hard on him at the end of the regular season as well. From July 15 through September 29, Madson made 43 appearances for the Phils in which he threw to a 1.54 ERA and an 0.88 ratio over 41 innings while striking out 49. From August 20 through September 15, the Phillies played 27 games and Madson appeared in 18 of them.

Only two pitchers threw more innings in relief for the Phils in 2010 than Madson did. Contreras threw 3 2/3 more innings and Durbin threw 15 2/3 more innings. But Madson missed more than two full months of the season — he didn’t pitch between April 28 and July 8.

If the question is whether the Phillies leaned too hard on Madson or not, I think the answer is yes. There’s no question that Madson was the best bullpen arm the Phillies had in 2010, but they did have four other guys that made at least 50 appearances with an ERA+ better than 100 for the year (Lidge, Durbin, Contreras and Romero).

Regardless of whether the Phillies asked too much of Madson last year or not, their NLCS loss had a lot more to do with their ability to produce runs than it did with their ability to prevent them. It did make me wonder, though, how the performance of the bullpen in the post-season over the past four years has compared to the performance of the bullpen in the regular season.

Here’s the ERA and ratio that the Phillies bullpen has thrown to over the past four years, both during the regular season and in the post-season. Also included is the team’s rank for the year in the NL in runs allowed per bullpen inning pitched.

Year Regular Season ERA Regular Season Ratio NL R Pen R/IP Post-season ERA Post-season ratio
2007 4.50 1.50 13 6.52 1.76
2008 3.22 1.38 1 1.79 1.21
2009 3.91 1.38 9 4.20 1.52
2010 4.02 1.39 8 1.89 1.21

Compared to the rest of the NL, the bullpen was really bad in 2007 during the regular season. It was terrible during the post-season as well as the Phils were swept by the Rockies. Matt Holliday homered off of Gordon in game one as they Phils fell 4-2. Game two was a nightmare in which Lohse, Mesa and Condrey combined to allow five runs in 3 1/3 innings after an early exit by Kendrick and the Phils were blown out. With two outs, nobody on and the game tied at 1-1 in the eighth inning of game three, JC Romero allowed three straight singles and a run that put Colorado on top to stay at 2-1.

By runs allowed per inning pitched, the Phillies were the best pen in the NL in 2008. They were fantastic in the post-season as well as Lidge, Madson and Romero combined to thrown 29 1/3 innings over 14 games and allowed four runs while throwing to a 1.23 ERA with an 0.85 ratio. The other guys in the pen combined to throw just 11 innings. After allowing four runs in four games against the Brewers, the bullpen would allow just five runs in the ten games they played against the Dodgers and Rays. One of those runs was unearned. In game one of the NLCS, Madson and Lidge combined to throw two scoreless innings of relief as the Phils beat the Dodgers 3-2. There were five games in the 2008 World Series and the Phillies won three of them by one run. In game one, Madson and Lidge combined to strike out three in two perfect innings as the Phils won 3-2. In game three, Madson surrendered a run to BJ Upton and the Rays in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4, but Romero followed him with 1 1/3 scoreless frames and the Phils won 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth when Ruiz’s dribbler scored Bruntlett. Madson, Lidge and Romero out-pitched the Tampa Bay pen in part two of game five as the Phils won 4-3.

The bullpen was nowhere near as good in the post-season in 2009. Blanton appeared in relief in games two and three, allowing runs in both appearances.

Madson allowed two runs on four hits in the eighth inning of game one of the NLCS with the Dodgers, but the Phils held on to win 8-6. Chan Ho Park started the eighth inning of game two with a 1-0 lead and allowed a pair of runs in game two and the Phils lost 2-1. After game two the pen was great, holding the Dodgers to a run (charged Park in the eighth inning of game five with the Phils up 9-3) over 8 2/3 innings.

The ’09 World Series started well for the pen. Lee threw a complete game to start the series as the Phils took a 1-0 lead. They lost game two 3-1, with all three runs charged to Pedro Martinez. They failed in game three, though. The Phils jumped out to a 3-0 lead before New York took a 5-3 lead off of Hamels with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth. Happ, Durbin and Myers followed Hamels — all three of them allowed runs and they combined to give up three runs over 3 2/3 innings. Lidge got hammered in game four after a regular season in which he had thrown to a 7.21 ERA. The ninth started tied at 4-4. Lidge got the first two. Damon singled, stole second, stole third. Lidge hit Teixeira. A-Rod doubled. 5-4 with men on second and third. Posada hit a two-run single to make it 7-4, which was how it ended. Madson allowed a run on three hits in the ninth inning of game five, but the Phils held on for an 8-6 win. Pedro had nothing in game six, but Durbin didn’t do much to put out the fire. With the Phils down 4-1, Durbin started the fifth and was charged with three runs (with an assist to Happ, who gave up a two-run double to Matsui with both runs charged to Durbin).

The one of these things that’s not like the others for the Phils was the 2010 post-season. The Phillie bullpen was far from fantastic in the 2010 regular season, but pitched very well in the post-season. The Phils got two complete games while sweeping the Reds in the NLDS, one from Halladay and one from Hamels. In the other, Oswalt went just five innings, but was backed up by Romero, Durbin, Contreras, Madson and Lidge, who combined to allow a hit and two walks over four scoreless frames.

The bullpen didn’t allow a run in the first three games of the NLCS, either, making it the first six games of the 2010 post-season that the bullpen had not been charged with a run. Madson and Lidge combined to throw two scoreless innings in game one, but the Phils lost by a run anyway. Madson allowed a walk and a hit in the only inning thrown by the pen in game two, but the Phils rolled to a 6-1 win behind Oswalt. Contreras threw two perfect innings behind Hamels in game three as the Phils managed just three hits and fell 3-0 to fall behind two games to one.

They lost game four, too. They started the bottom of the sixth up 4-3, but Durbin allowed a pair of runs on two doubles and two walks and the Giants pulled ahead 5-4. The Phils tied the game in the top of the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Howard and Werth. Oswalt started the ninth with the game still tied, but allowed back-to-back singles with one out to put men on first and third. Uribe hit a fly ball deep enough for Aubrey Huff to tag, score and win the game for the Giants.

In game five, Contreras, Romero, Madson and Lidge combined to throw three scoreless frames in relief of Halladay and the Phils took the game 4-2 to stay alive. Madson, for the record, looked fantastic as he struck out the side on 13 pitches in a perfect eighth.

Not so much in game six, though. In Madson’s second inning of work, Uribe homered off of him to put the Giants on top to stay at 3-2.


Much ado about how much there is to do

One thing to remember when you consider how many innings the new rotation might save the pen in 2011 is that in 2010 the bullpen threw less innings than any other team in the National League. Phillie relievers tossed just 421 innings last year, the fewest in the league by a fairly wide margin. The Arizona Diamondbacks were 15th in the NL in bullpen innings pitched with 439. The Giants were 14th, and they threw 461 innings in relief — 40 more than the Phillies. Only one team in the DH-loving AL threw fewer innings in relief. The Mariners called on their pen to throw 419 1/3 innings, which was 1 2/3 less than the Phillies.

So even before adding Cliff Lee to the rotation, and even without a full year of Oswalt, the Phillies were already calling on their bullpen to throw fewer innings than any team in their league and almost any other team in baseball.

For the last three seasons, the Phils have been in the bottom half in the NL in terms of innings pitched in relief. In two of the three years they have been among the three teams that threw the fewest innings in relief.

Here’s the number of innings the Phillies bullpen has thrown per season over the past five years and their rank in innings pitched in relief in the NL for that year:

Year IP in relief NL rank innings pitched in relief
2010 421 16
2009 492 9
2008 483 14
2007 520 8
2006 539 4

In 2006, the Phillies threw 539 innings in relief. Only three teams in the NL threw more innings in relief that year, the Mets, Nationals and Cubs. By 2008, only two NL teams (the Brewers and the Diamondbacks) threw fewer innings in relief than the Phils. In 2010, the Phils were 16th in the 16-team league in innings pitched by their relievers (no NL team threw fewer).

There is bad news, though, and that’s that the bullpens, with one notable exception, have generally not gotten better at preventing runs as the number of innings they throw relative to the rest of the league goes down. The table below has the same three columns as the table above, but adds the NL rank for runs allowed per inning in relief for each year.

Year IP in relief NL rank innings pitched in relief NL Rank R/IP in relief
2010 421 16 8
2009 492 9 9
2008 483 14 1
2007 520 8 13
2006 539 4 3

In 2006, the bullpen was throwing a ton of innings, but they were also allowing fewer runs per inning pitched in relief than every bullpen in the league except for the Mets and the Padres. Last year the bullpen threw fewer innings than any other team in the league, but their effectiveness in terms of runs allowed per innings pitched was in the middle of the pack. 2008 is the only year in the last four in which the bullpen excelled at preventing runs. In that year the Phils were near the bottom of the league in bullpen innings pitched and at the very top in terms of runs allowed per inning pitched. You may recall that things turned out well for the team that year.

JC Romero appears to be headed back to the Phils. Five guys in the pen at this point: Romero, Baez, Contreras, Madson and Lidge. Many articles, including this post, suggest that the addition of Romero makes it less likely the Phils would bring back Durbin.


Deeper still

Quick — who allowed fewer runs per start in 2010, Cole Hamels or Roy Halladay?

I’m guessing Halladay is your answer. Or at least it would have been mine before I looked it up. But it’s a trick question. Both Halladay and Hamels made 33 starts for the Phils last season and each of them allowed 74 runs, which is 2.24 runs per game.

They didn’t have the same ERA, of course. It wasn’t close. Hamels 3.06 and Halladay 2.44. Hamels had a higher percentage of the runs he allowed go as earned runs (if all of the runs that both pitchers allowed were earned, Hamels would have thrown to a 3.19 ERA and Halladay a 2.65 ERA) but that’s not the biggest factor in accounting for the difference. As you surely know, the reason that Halladay’s ERA was so much better and Halladay’s year was so much better was that Halladay pitched way more innings. Halladay threw 250 2/3 innings in his 33 starts compared to 208 2/3 innings for Hamels in his 33 starts.

The 208 2/3 innings that Hamels threw is still a lot — only 13 pitches in the NL threw more than that in 2010. But it’s not 250 2/3. Nobody in the NL threw more than that in 2010. Nobody was close. Chris Carpenter finished second in the NL in innings pitched behind Halladay with 235.

There were 39 NL pitchers that made at least 30 starts in 2010. Of those 30, four of them (Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Kendrick) pitched at least part of the year for the Phillies. Of those four, Halladay and Oswalt threw an unusual high number of innings per start, Kendrick threw an unusually low number of innings per start and Hamels was in the middle.

GS IP/S Rank IP/S
among the 39 NL pitchers with at least 30 starts
Halladay 33 7.60 1
Oswalt 32 6.61 8
Hamels 33 6.32 17
Kendrick 33 5.83 36

Again, among the NL pitchers making at least 30 starts, Halladay and Oswalt had unusually high numbers in terms of innings per start, Hamels was in the middle of the pack and Kendrick was near the bottom.

In 2011, the Phils will presumably go into the season with Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels and Lee as their first four starters. How many innings might that save their bullpen is that group stays in the rotation for a full season?

Last year the Phillies threw a total of 1,456 1/3 innings. The starters combined to throw 1,035 1/3 innings and the pen threw 421 innings. The starters on the 2010 Phillies that weren’t Halladay, Oswalt or Hamels threw an average of 5.88 innings per game.

The table below looks at how many innings the rotation and pen might throw in 2011 if

  1. The Phillies overall (starters and relievers combined) threw the same 1,456 1/3 innings in 2011 as they did in 2010.

  2. Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt all threw the same number of innings per start in 2011 as they did in 2010.
  3. Lee threw the same 6.44 innings per start in 2011 as he has over his career (206 of his 218 career starts have come in the AL — in his 12 career NL starts he has thrown 6.64 innings per start).
  4. The Phillies starting pitchers who aren’t Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Lee will throw the same 5.88 innings per start in 2011 that they did in 2010.

IP/S IP 25 Starts IP 30 Starts IP 32 Starts IP 35 Starts
Halladay 7.60 190 228 243.2 266
Oswalt 6.61 165.3 198.3 211.5 231.4
Hamels 6.32 158 189.6 202.2 221.2
Lee 6.44 161 193.2 206.1 225.4
Total for
four
674.3 809.1 863 944
Starts by
other SP
62 42 34 22
IP by other
SP
364.6 247 199.9 129.4
Total IP by
SP
1038.8 1056.1 1063 1073.3
Total IP by
pen
417.5 400.3 393.4 383

So, for example, the table above suggests that if each of Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Lee made 32 starts in 2011 at the rates defined above, they would combine to throw 863 innings over those 128 starts. The other 34 starts would be made by other pitchers, who would throw 200 innings. That would give the rotation 1,063 total innings pitched and would leave about 393 1/3 innings to be pitched by the bullpen if the staff overall was going to throw the same 1,456 1/3 innings in 2011 they threw in 2010.

Last year, the Phillies starters overall threw 6.39 innings per start. That means Hamels was below the team average at 6.32 and Lee, had he actually made starts for the Phils in 2010 and thrown 6.44 innings per start, would have been very close to the team average. While Lee may have thrown 6.44 innings per start over his career, his numbers over the past three years are way up from that. Over the past three seasons, Lee has made 93 starts in which he has thrown about 7.18 innings per start. In 2010, he made 13 starts for Seattle and threw 103 2/3 innings on a team that would wind up going 61-101 . That’s a ridiculous 7.97 innings per start. It sounds like the kind of thing that might not even be that good for you.

The difference between 7.18 innings per start and 6.44 innings per start is a lot of innings (a little more than 22 over 30 starts). Even the difference between Lee’s 6.64 innings per start (what he threw in his 12 starts with the Phillies in ’09) and his career mark of 6.44 innings per start adds up. If you replace the 6.44 innings per start for Lee with 6.64 , the TOTAL IP BY PEN numbers at the bottom of the table would switch from 417.5, 400.3, 393.4, 383 to 412.5, 394.3, 387 and 376.

Also important to consider is that while it’s true that the non-Halladay/Hamels/Oswalt starters for the Phils in 2010 combined to throw 5.88 innings per start in 2010, they could easily throw fewer than that in 2011. Blanton was the guy outside of the big three who made the most starts and he went pretty deep into games, throwing 174 2/3 innings over 28 starts or 6.24 innings per game. That inflates the number for the group. By comparison, the group of Kendrick, Happ, Figueroa and Worley combined to make 37 starts in which they threw an average of 5.62 innings per game.

The deal with Dennys Reyes fell through and this article says that JC Romero is still hoping to come back to the Phillies.


Committee working on Kendrick’s Hall of Fame induction speech disbands abruptly and without notice

Ditto for the committees working on the speeches for Bastardo, Herndon, Baez and Romero.

Kyle Kendrick was on a nifty little run coming into last night’s game. He had strung together three very nice starts in a row, throwing to a 1.86 ERA in those games as the Phils won all three. It ended with a thud last night, though, as he didn’t make it out of the fourth and was charged with six runs over 3 1/3 innings against the Dodgers.

The worse news is that the bullpen wasn’t any better. They allowed nine runs on ten hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. Thanks to the combo of bad starting pitching and bad relief pitching, the Phils managed to lose a game in which they scored nine runs. That’s tough to do. Since the start of the 2005 season the Phils are 132-4 in games where they’ve scored more than eight runs and 37-3 when scoring nine.

The game was also notable for the construction of the Phillies roster. The Phils gave John Mayberry’s roster to spot to Bastardo, which means they have 12 hitters and 13 pitchers active. They started last night’s game with four hitters (Schneider, Sweeney, Dobbs and Francisco) on the bench. Things didn’t work out well as Polanco and Ruiz both left early, Schneider had to stay in for a big at-bat late against a lefty and Hamels pinch-hit with two men on base for the final out of the game.

The Phillies are 62-50 on the year after losing to the Dodgers 15-9 last night. They are in second place in the NL East and 2 1/2 games behind the Braves.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks. Only five of the runs were earned and seven of the eight hits were singles. The other was a double. He struck out one and saw his ERA puff to 4.60.

Scott Podsednik started the game with a single and was running on the pitch when Ryan Theriot grounded out to short. It put a man on second with one out for Andre Ethier and Ethier singled into center, scoring Podsednik to put LA up 1-0. James Loney flew to center and Casey Blake popped to Ruiz to end the frame.

Jay Gibbons started the second with a single and moved to second when Jamey Carroll walked behind him. Brad Ausmus hit into a double-play and Kendrick struck the pitcher Vicente Padilla out to leave Gibbons stranded at third.

Theriot singled with one out in the third. Ethier followed that with an RBI-double that make it 2-0. Loney walked to put men on first and second. Blake hit a ground ball to third. Polanco fielded and threw to second to force Loney for the second out. With two down and men on first and third, Gibbons lined a single to right and Ethier scored. 3-0. Carroll grounded to short for the third out.

Kendrick continues to struggle against lefties. Ethier 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI through the first three innings. Werth made a really nice play on a line drive by Podsednik for the first out or the inning would have been worse.

Ausmus singled to center to start the fourth. Padilla was next and put down a bunt that was fielded by Kendrick. Kendrick threw to second, but Rollins didn’t handle the throw and was charged with an error. With nobody out and men on first and second, Podsednik singled to right to load the bases. Theriot hit a fly ball to right for the first out. It was deep enough for Ausmus to tag and score (4-0) and Padilla to take third. Bastardo came in to pitch to Ethier and Ethier singled to right. Padilla scored (5-0) and LA had men on first and second. Loney singled. Podsednik scored to make it 6-0 with Ethier taking second. Blake singled. Ethier scored (7-0) and Podsednik took third. Bastardo struck out the lefty Gibbons for the second out and got Carroll on a line drive to third to finally end the frame.

Not exactly a triumphant return for Bastardo in his first action since the middle of June. He faced five hitters and allowed single, single, single before getting a big strike out and a line out.

The lead was cut to 7-1 when Herndon threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Perhaps still in shock at seeing a 1-2-3 frame, Manuel brought Herndon back to pitch the sixth with the LA lead cut to 7-4. Theriot singled and stole second before Ethier walked. Loney doubled to right, Theriot scored (8-4) and Ethier went to third. Blake hit a fly ball to right. Ethier tagged and scored (9-4) and Loney took third. Gibbons hit a 1-1 pitch out to right for a two-run homer. 11-4. Carroll grounded out for the second out before Ausmus hit a ball to short that Rollins didn’t handle for his second error of the game. Reed Johnson hit for the pitcher and popped to second for the third out.

Herndon has now allowed 52 hits in 37 1/3 innings on the year. Opponents are hitting .342 against him for the season.

Baez started the seventh with the Phillies losing 11-5. With one out, Theriot reached on an infield single on a ball that was deflected by Polanco. Ethier moved him to second with a single and the game was delayed for a brief ceremony celebrating his 1,000th hit of the game. Loney was next and hit a ground ball back to the mound. Baez fielded and threw to second for the second out. He walked Blake to load the bases. Righty Matt Kemp hit for the pitcher and singled to right. Theriot and Loney scored to make it 13-5. Baez got Carroll on a ground ball to third to set the Dodgers down.

Baez has a 7.88 ERA and a 2.19 ratio over his last 18 appearances.

Contreras pitched the eighth with the Phils down 13-7. He gave up a leadoff walk to Ausmus and then got the next three hitters.

Romero started the ninth. He hit Ethier with his first pitch, which at least spared us all another ceremony. Struck out Loney for the first out before Blake hit a two-run homer to left. 15-7. Then pitcher George Sherrill hit for himself and walked. Durbin entered the game and struck out Carroll and Ausmus to leave Sherrill at first.

That’s pretty awful. Romero has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances. In those games he has been charged with five runs on three hits (including two home runs), three walks and a hit batter. His ERA for the season has gone from 2.59 to 4.38. He has walked 23 batters in 24 2/3 innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Vicente Padilla 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 Utley on the DL, making his 63rd start of the year.

Down 1-0, Gload singled with two outs in the first. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

Werth started the second with a single, but Brown hit into a double-play behind him. Ruiz flew to center for the third out.

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

Polanco singled to start the fourth with the Phillies down 7-0. Gload flew to left for the first out before Ibanez walked. Werth walked as well and the bases were loaded for Brown. Brown flew to right for the second out. Polanco tagged and scored to cut the lead to 7-1. Ruiz struck out looking to leave the runners stranded on first and second.

Valdez singled to start the fifth. Schneider, who had taken over defensively for Ruiz in the top of the inning, flew to left for the first out before Rollins moved Valdez to third with a single. Polanco grounded to third with Valdez scoring to make it 7-2 and Rollins moving to second. Gload hit a 1-0 pitch out to right. 7-4. Ibanez grounded to first for the third out.

They were losing 11-4 when they hit in the sixth. Brown hit his first career homer with one out, connecting on an 0-1 pitch from Ronald Belisario to cut the lead to 11-5. Francisco hit for Herndon and grounded to first for the second out. Valdez grounded to short for the third.

They were down 13-5 when they hit in the seventh. With two outs and righty Carlos Monasterios on the mound, Dobbs hit for Polanco and singled to left. Gload followed that with his second homer of the game and the lead was cut to 13-7. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

This says that Polanco left the game because of left triceps tendinitis.

With two outs in the eighth and Monasterios still pitching, Sweeney hit for Contreras and reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by the pitcher. Valdez moved him to second with a single and lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to Schneider. Schneider flew to center for the third out.

With Ruiz out of the game, the Phillies couldn’t hit for Schneider. They had used all of their hitters on the bench already anyway.

The Phils were down 15-7 when they hit in the ninth. Rollins led off with a single and Dobbs flew out behind him. Gload hit a ground ball to second and Rollins was forced at second for the second out. Ibanez singled and Werth walked and the bases were loaded for Brown. Brown doubled to left, scoring Gload and Ibanez to make it 15-9. Out of hitters, Hamels hit for Contreras and flew to left to end the game with runners stranded at second and third.

Ibanez gets a single off the lefty Sherrill in the inning for his only hit of the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 and made two errors. 333/429/400 over his last seven games.

Polanco 1-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 13-for-35 (.371) in August.

Gload was 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI. 406/500/719 over 39 plate appearances since the end of the day on July 18.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk. 360/446/550 over his last 111 plate appearances.

Werth was 1-for-3 with a single and two walks in the game. He’s hitting 393/500/631 over his last 104 plate appearances. After going 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts in the first two games against the Marlins he has gone 9-for-his-last-18 with two doubles, a homer and five walks.

Brown 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Still looking for his first walk after 38 plate appearances and on-basing .237.

Ruiz was 0-for-2. He’s 0-for-his-last-7 with four strikeouts.

Valdez 2-for-4.

Roy Oswalt (6-13, 3.50) faces righty Chad Billingsley (9-6, 3.82) tonight. Oswalt has a 4.38 ERA and a 1.46 ratio in his two starts with the Phils this season. Billingsley has allowed three runs in 27 2/3 innings over his last four starts, throwing to an 0.98 ERA and an 0.94 ratio.


Phils still hoping someone on the pitching staff might meet them in St Louis

The Phillies have started the second half with three awful starts in five games by the stating rotation. Throw in a late home run by Aramis Ramirez in a close game in Chicago and you’ve got 1-4 to start the second half for the Phils when they were looking for a whole lot more.

Last night the Phils gave Kendrick an early 3-0 lead and things looked good through the first out of the fifth inning. After the first out in the fifth, though, the next eight St Louis batters went walk, double, home run, ground out, home run, home run, ground out, home run. Things didn’t look so good anymore.

In the five games since the All-Star break the Phillies have pitched to a 7.46 ERA and a 1.61 ratio. Opponents are hitting .317 against them and they’ve allowed more than two home runs per game (11 in five games).

The Phillies are 48-44 on the season after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 8-4 last night. They have lost four of five and are in third place in the NL East. They trail the first place Braves by six games and the second place Mets by a half game.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and three walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and three home runs. He struck out two.

He had a 3-0 lead when he started the bottom of the first. Felipe Lopez led off with a single and moved to third when Jon Jay followed with a ground-rule double. Albert Pujols hit a ground ball to short for the first out. Lopez scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with Jay holding second. Colby Rasmus was next and hit the ball hard, but Valdez made the play at second for the second out as Jay went to third. Kendrick struck Allen Craig out swinging to end the inning.

Kendrick walked Skip Schumaker on four pitches to start the second. Schumaker stole second before Kendrick walked Yadier Molina on five pitches. It brought the pitcher Blake Hawksworth to the plate and he bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Nine-hitter Brendan Ryan followed and hit a ground ball to short. Rollins went to first for the second out with Schumaker scoring to cut the lead to 3-2. Lopez grounded to second to leave Molina stranded.

Eight balls in nine pitches to start the inning isn’t the way to go. Kendrick got off easy.

Pujols doubled with one out in the third and moved to third when Rasmus followed with a fly ball to center. Kendrick got Craig on a fly ball to left for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth with the Phillies up 4-2.

Ryan flew to center for the first out in the fifth before Lopez walked. Jay doubled to center and Lopez scored to make it 4-3. Pujols pounded a 1-0 pitch out to left and the Cards were on top 5-4. Kendrick got Rasmus on a ground ball to first before Craig and Schumaker hit back-to-back home runs. 7-4. Molina grounded to short to finally end the inning.

Just the three home runs in the frame for St Louis. First career homer for Craig.

Durbin started the sixth with the Phils still down three. Switch-hitter Randy Winn hit for the pitcher Hawksworth and hit a 2-0 pitch out to right to put the Cards up 8-4. Jay walked with two outs, but Durbin got Pujols on a ground ball to third for to leave him stranded.

Romero got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth to drop his ERA on the year to 6.08.

The Phillies didn’t even have to pitch the ninth, what with having already lost and all.

Nice to see the bullpen pitch a little better. Durbin did give up the solo shot to Winn, but it was the only hit or walk the relievers surrendered over three innings.

Romero was pitching for the second day in a row. Durbin threw 23 pitches in the game. Romero and Madson both threw 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Blake Hawksworth went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL. Ibanez and his .399 slugging percentage for the season hit third.

Polanco reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Pujols with one out in the first. He moved to second on a single by Ibanez. It brought Howard to the plate with two men on and he doubled into right. Polanco scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Ibanez moving to third. Werth popped out to first for the second out, but Victorino picked him up with a single into center that scored both runners and made it 3-0. Ruiz singled to right before Valdez flew to left for the third out.

No RBI for Werth with one out and men on second and third.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Kendrick walked to start the second. Rollins was next and hit a ball to second with Kendrick forced at second for the second out. Polanco hit into a double-play.

Werth reached on an infield single on a ball hit out in front of the plate with two outs in the third and the lead at 3-2. He was picked off of first to end the frame.

Ruiz doubled with one out in the fourth. Valdez lined to short for the second out before Kendrick walked again. Rollins singled into center and Ruiz scored, putting the Phillies up 4-2. Polanco popped to second to leave both runners stranded.

Ibanez started the fifth with a single, but Howard hit into a double-play behind him. Werth walked before Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

The Cardinals were winning 7-4 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Hawksworth got Ruiz and Valdez to start the inning and Dobbs hit for Kendrick. Dobbs singled softly to left, but Rollins grounded to second to turn the Phillies away.

Howard and Werth singled back-to-back in the seventh with two outs and the Phils down 8-4. It put men on first and third for Victorino, but Victorino fouled out to the catcher to leave both men stranded.

Righty Jason Motte got the first two in the eighth before Gload hit for Romero. Gload singled, but Rollins grounded to second to end the frame.

Two hits in two at-bats for the two lefties on the Phillies bench.

Ibanez walked with one out in the ninth and Howard hit into a double-play behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-20 with two singles.

Polanco was 1-for-5. 4-for-14 with four singles since his return.

Ibanez 2-for-4 in the game. 6-for-his-last-13.

Howard was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. He’s 8-for-20 with a double and two home runs since the break.

Werth 2-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-17 with a double and six walks since the break.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with two RBI. 7-for-23 with a double and a homer over the last five games. He’s walked once in his last 74 at-bats. On-basing .271 in July.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double. 4-for-16 since the break.

Valdez was 0-for-4. 3-for-16 since the break. Among the 265 NL players with 175 plate appearances for the season, his .268 on-base percentage is 258th.

Jamie Moyer (9-9, 4.88) faces righty Chris Carpenter (10-3, 3.16) tonight. Moyer has a 1.09 ratio to go with his 4.88 ERA. He’s walked just 20 in 110 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting just .238 against him. Things would be better if he hadn’t given up 20 home runs on the year. He’s been hit hard in each of his last two starts, allowing 13 runs in 8 1/3 innings in the outings combined. Carpenter has been great again this year, but had two weak outings in a row before holding the Dodgers to a run over eight innings his last time out.


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