Tag: JC Romero

Top 25

Here’s today’s guess at the post-season roster for the Phillies:

These 12 hitters seem sure things: Ruiz, Bako, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Francisco, Stairs, Dobbs.

Either or both of Bruntlett and Cairo seem possible. My guess is both, which puts them at 14 hitters.

That leaves 11 slots for pitchers.

These seven are the guys I feel sure about it terms of pitchers on the roster: Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Madson, Eyre, Lidge.

That leaves four slots for Condrey, Durbin, Kendrick, Walker, Escalona, Myers and Pedro.

Walker, Pedro, Kendrick and Condrey are my guesses from that group.

So here’s my final guess:

Hitters (14): Ruiz, Bako, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Francisco, Stairs, Dobbs, Bruntlett, Cairo

Pitchers (11): Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Madson, Eyre, Lidge, Walker, Pedro, Kendrick and Condrey.

The Phillies end the regular season at 93-69 after dropping two of three to the Marlins. They won yesterday’s game on a walkoff single by Paul Hoover.

They will have home field advantage against the Rockies in the five-game NLDS. Games one and two are Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

The Phils went 4-2 against Colorado this season. They took two of three against them in Colorado April 10, 11 and 12. Harry Kalas died on April 13. The Phils also played the Rockies in early August in Philadelphia and again took two of three.

The Phillies also played the Rockies in the NLDS in 2007. The Phillies also had home field advantage in that series, but were swept in three games.

In game one the Phillies couldn’t touch Rockies starter Jeff Francis and the Rocks won 4-2. The Rockies scored three off of Hamels in the second inning. Rowand and Burrell hit solo homers off of Francis in the fifth to make it 3-2. Matt Holliday hit a solo shot off of Flash in the eighth to extend the Colorado lead to 4-2, which was how it ended.

Kendrick started game two and got hit hard as the Phillies lost 10-5. The Phils took a 3-2 lead into the fourth inning, but Kendrick wouldn’t make it through the frame. Kaz Mastui blasted two-out grand slam off of Lohse. Miserable work from Mesa and Condrey late helped the Rockies score four runs in the eighth inning.

Moyer pitched great in game three in Colorado, but Ubaldo Jimenez was a little better. A Matsui line drive to left that Burrell misplayed into a triple helped the Rockies go up 1-0 in the fifth. Victorino hit an 0-2 pitch from Jimenez out in the seventh to tie the game at 1-1. With two outs and nobody on in the eighth, Atkins singled off of Romero. Hawpe was next and he singled off the glove of a diving Utley, moving Atkins to third. Romero stayed in to pitch to the right-handed pinch-hitter Baker and Baker singled to right, scoring Atkins to make it 2-1. Myers got the last out of the inning, but Manny Corpas set the Phillies down in order in the ninth.

After winning three in a row from the Phils, the Rockies had won 17 of their last 18 games.

Do you know there’s a start log for the Phillies for 2007and 2008? There is.


All sides decry the lack of decency as magic number campaign goes negative

The Phillies are heading to the playoffs as division champs once again. A grand slam from Pedro Feliz in game two helped get things going in the right direction and the Phils clinched the NL East with a decisive 10-3 win in game three of a four-game set with the Astros.

A few guys clearly need some rest for the Phils, but the team is plugging along offensively. The pitching, on the other hand, is a mess. The bullpen pitched well in the series, but the ninth inning has been an adventure and seems guaranteed to be for some time to come. The starting pitching is suddenly awful. The Phillies don’t have a quality start in their last nine games. Over those games their starters have combined to throw to a 6.26 ERA and a 1.61 ratio. In five of their last six and six of their last eight games their starting pitcher has thrown less than six innings.

The Phillies are 92-67 on the season after splitting a four-game series with the Houston Astros. The Phils have won the division and currently are second among the four NL playoff teams with 92 wins. All four of the Phils, Cards, Dodgers and Rockies have three games to play. LA has 93 wins and the Rockies and Cards each have 91. The Phils will play the Dodgers or the Rockies in the first round of the playoffs. The Dodgers lead the Rockies by two games with the teams set to play a three-game series this weekend.

The Phillies lost the first game of the series 8-2. Rollins put the Phils up 1-0 in the bottom of the first as he singled, stole second and came in to score on a sac fly by Utley. Hamels kept Houston off the board until the fourth, when the Astros tied the game at 1-1 on three singles and walk. Three of the first four Houston batters reached in the sixth and the Astros scored two more to extend their lead to 3-1. Victorino doubled with one out in the bottom of the sixth, moving to third on a ground out and came in to score on a balk to make it 3-2. Houston blew it open in the seventh. Hamels got the first two batters in the frame before allowing two singles, a stolen base and walking the next hitter intentionally. Walker took over for Hamels and was awful again, allowing a two-run double, a walk and a single before Condrey took over. Condrey allowed a two-run single before striking out JR Towles to end the five-run inning with the Phillies down 8-2. With two outs and nobody on, seven straight Astros reached in the frame.

The Phils got a huge win in game two, topping Houston 7-4. With the help of a loss by the Braves the win helped reduce their magic number to one. Lance Berkman homered off of Happ with two outs in the third to put the Astros up 1-0. Bako led off the bottom of the third with a walk and came in to score on a double by Rollins, tying the game at 1-1. Howard, Ibanez and Werth got on board to start the fourth before Feliz delivered an enormous blow, hitting the first pitch of his at-bat from Wilton Lopez out to left for a grand slam that put the Phils up 5-1. Houston got another run off of Happ in the top of the fifth on two singles and a catcher’s interference to make it 5-2. Werth hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth and it was 7-2. Kaz Matsui got Happ for a two-run shot as well in the top of the sixth. 7-4. Moyer came on in relief of Happ in the top of the sixth. He got the last out and returned for the seventh, injuring his groin as Jeff Keppinger flew to center for the third out. Madson worked the final two innings to earn the save.

The Phils clinched the NL East with a 10-3 win in game three. The Astros loaded the bases in the first on three singles before Pedro walked Pence with two outs to force in a run an put Houston up 1-0. Rollins started the bottom of the first with a double and came in to score on a ground out by Utley to tie the game at 1-1. JR Towles hit a solo shot off of Martinez in the top of the second, putting Houston on top again at 2-1. Towles did it again in the top of the fourth to make it 3-1. Martinez left after four innings, but Kendrick came on next and was fantastic in relief. He struck out four in three scoreless innings while the Phillies broke the game open. Two singles, a walk, a double by Feliz and a costly throwing error by Astros starter Brian Moehler helped the Phils score four runs in the bottom of the fourth, putting them on top at 5-3. Back-to-back triples by Rollins and Victorino to start the fifth helped the Phillies score two more. 7-3. An RBI-double by Ruiz in the sixth brought in Feliz and made it 8-3. Ibanez hit a two-run shot in the seventh and it was 10-3. Eyre got the first two outs in the ninth before Brad Lidge came in and got Berkman to ground to first to end the game.

The Phillies lost last night’s game 5-3. Berkman put the Astros up 2-0 with a two-run double off of Lee in the top of the first. Francisco doubled in the fifth and came in to score on a single by Rollins to cut the lead to 2-1. The Phils couldn’t get any more in the inning, though, as Werth grounded to short with the bases loaded to leave all three runners stranded. Tejada hit a two-run shot off of Lee in the top of the sixth to make it 4-1 and Houston added a run on three singles off of Myers in the seventh. Down 5-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies got a two-out double from Feliz. 5-3. Tracy followed with a single that moved Feliz to third and put the tying run on base, but Cairo flew to center to end the game.

The Phillies threw 36 innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.47 ratio.

The starting pitching was bad. 6.14 ERA and a 1.68 ratio over 22 innings. Five home runs allowed — two against Happ, two off of Martinez and one off of Lee.

Hamels got the start in game one. He was strong early but ended up with an ugly line, allowing six runs over 6 2/3 innings on nine hits and three walks while striking out five. Six starts in September for Hamels — three were good and three were bad. Two bad ones in a row have him allowing ten runs on 17 hits and three walks over 13 2/3 innings in his last two starts (6.59 ERA and a 1.46 ratio). His line would have look a whole lot better if he had gotten Bourn with two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh. He’s keeping people in the yard these days, which is a good sign. In six of his last seven starts he hasn’t allowed a home run.

Happ went 5 2/3 innings in game two, allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned and he struck out six. He has a 3.77 ERA over his last three starts, but hasn’t pitched nearly that well. He’s allowed 20 hits and three walks over 14 1/3 innings (1.60 ratio). After walking lots of hitters for most of the season, he hasn’t walked two or more in a start any of his last six times out. He’s allowed too many hits in those six starts, though, 35 in 28 1/3 innings. Seven of the hits have been home runs. That’s too many, too. Seven home runs over 28 1/3 innings would have him on a pace to give up about 49 homers over 200 innings.

Pedro started game three and went four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. He gave up a pair of home runs to Towles. He’s allowed more than three runs in a start just once as a Phillie, he allowed four against the Mets on August 23, but has gone five innings or less in five of his nine starts.

Lee went 5 2/3 in game four, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk. One of the runs was unearned. He’s allowed 11 runs in 11 2/3 innings over his last two starts. He’s also given up three home runs — he’s allowed just 17 home runs in 231 2/3 innings on the year. The 231 2/3 innings he’s thrown on the year is fourth in all of baseball. That’s not good.

The pen pitched well. They threw 14 innings with a 1.93 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. Walker was awful in game one, but came back to throw a 1-2-3 inning last night. Madson had a nifty two inning save in game two. Kendrick sparkled in relief of Martinez in game three. Myers had a worrisome outing last night.

Eyre started the ninth inning of game three with the Phillies up 10-3. Making his first appearance since September 7, he faced two batters and retired them both. He has been charged with two runs in 32 appearances since the end of April.

Romero pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phils down 8-2. He allowed back-to-back singles with one out before getting the next two hitters to leave the runners stranded.

Escalona pitched the ninth inning last night with the Phils down 5-1 and set the Astros down in order. He’s been charged with runs in two of his 12 appearances on the season, but appears to have little chance to be on the post-season roster.

Moyer took over for Happ in the sixth inning of game two with two outs, nobody on and the Phillies up 7-4. He got Miguel Tejada on a fly ball to center to end the frame. He came back for the seventh, too. He walked Hunter Pence with two outs before getting Jeff Keppinger on a fly ball to deep center field. Moyer fell to the ground after delivering the pitch to Keppinger and left the game with a strained groin.

Kendrick was awesome in game three. Pitching in relief of Pedro, he went three scoreless innings in which he allowed two hits and struck out four. He has a 2.66 ERA and a 1.27 ratio in 23 2/3 innings for the Phillies this season. He allowed three runs in two innings to the Red Sox in his first appearance of the year — since then he’s thrown to a 1.66 ERA.

Walker took over for Hamels in the seventh inning of game one with two outs, men on first and second and the Phils down 4-2. He gave up a two-run double to Carlos Lee and then walked Hunter Pence. It put men on first and second with two down for Jeff Keppinger and Keppinger reached on an infield single to load the bases. Condrey took over for Walker to pitch to Kaz Matsui.

Second straight terrible outing in a row for Walker — over his last two appearances he had allowed four runs on four hits and a walk without getting an out. It’s raised his ERA on the year from 2.23 to 3.34. His ratio went from 1.05 to 1.21.

He got another chance in game four and pitched better. He started the eighth with the Phillies down 5-1 and set the Astros down in order.

Durbin pitched the eighth inning of game three with the Phillies up 10-3. He walked Matsui with one out but got the next two. He has a 1.98 ERA in nine appearances in September, but hasn’t pitched nearly that well. In 13 2/3 innings he has walked eleven.

Condrey entered game one in the top of the seventh with two outs, the bases loaded, the Phils down 6-2 and Matsui at the plate. Matsui delivered a two-run single before Condrey struck out JR Towles to end the frame.

Condrey also pitched last night, entering the game in the sixth inning with two outs, men on second and third and the Phillies down 4-1. He hit Humberto Quintero with a pitch before pinch-hitter Aaron Boone flew to center to end the frame.

Condrey hasn’t been charged with an earned run in any of his last ten appearances. In seven innings he’s allowed five hits without walking a batter.

Myers started the seventh inning of game four with the Phillies down 4-1. Bourn led off with a bunt single, went to second on a passed ball and was bunted to third. Tejada followed with a single that scored Bourn and made it 5-1. Berkman was next and he singled as well, putting me on first and second with one out. Pence hit into a double-play to end set Houston down.

It was the first appearance for Myers since September 12.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phils down 8-2. He got the first two before he hit a batter and allowed a single. He got Jason Michaels to ground to third to leave both men stranded.

Lidge also pitched in game three, entering in the ninth inning with two outs, nobody on and the Phillies up 10-3. He got Berkman to ground to first to end the game and clinch the division for the Phillies.

Madson entered game two in the top of the eighth with the Phillies up 7-4. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth and came back for the ninth. Matsui led off the ninth with a single before Tejada flew to right for the first out. Berkman reached on a single just out of reach of Rollins, moving Matsui to second and bringing Lee to the plate as the tying run. Lee struck out swinging and Madson got Pence swinging to end the game.

The Phillies scored 22 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins had a fantastic series. He was 6-for-15 in the series with two doubles and a triple and is hitting 250/297/424 on the year.

Victorino was 4-for-12 with a double and two triples. He’s hitting 293/360/448 for the year. Hopefully a lot of rest is the answer for Victorino. He’s hitting 243/309/395 over his last 232 plate appearances. He was hitting 319/386/476 after going 3-for-5 on July 28.

Utley was 0-for-9 in the series and got last night off. He’s hitting 285/401/513 on the season. He hit an ugly 204/304/343 in September.

Howard was 3-for-12 with five walks in the series. 276/358/563 on the season.

Werth 5-for-13 with a home run and four walks. 268/374/506.

Ibanez 3-for-14 with two walks, a home run and four RBI. 274/348/556.

Feliz hit a huge grand slam in game two. 5-for-17 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI in the series. 268/311/390 for the year. Feliz has been awful since the end of July, hitting 230/260/376 over 224 plate appearances. He’s shown a lot of life lately, though, hitting 327/327/489 over his last 49 plate appearances. No walks in his last 53 at-bats.

Bako started games one, two and four of the series. 2-for-8 with two walks. He’s up to 230/315/345 on the season. 333/405/455 over 37 plate appearances in his last ten games.

Ruiz started game three of the series and went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 253/351/424 on the year.

Hoover appeared in game one without an at-bat.

Francisco started in center field last night in game four. 3-for-5 with two doubles in the series. 281/316/551 in 89 at-bats with the Phillies.

Cairo was 1-for-3 in the series and is hitting 235/257/294 for the year.

Bruntlett started at second base last night and went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. He’s hitting 158/214/228 for the year. He did not have a bat in all of September before starting October with a tough game. Hasn’t been such a good year for him.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the series to drop his line on the year to 255/306/400. He’s 5-for-22 with five singles since the end of July.

Tracy went 1-for-2 in the series and is 3-for-6 with the Phillies.

Victorino and Utley are the guys the Phillies really need to snap out. Rollins was a monster in the series and so was Feliz despite recent struggles.

This article breaks down tie scenarios for the best record in the NL.

Chan Ho Park left a simulated game yesterday after facing five batters due to a problem with his hamstring. It also suggests that whether Happ or Martinez is fourth starter behind Lee, Hamels and Blanton will depend on the health of Eyre and Romero.


Tying ugly

The Phillies managed an ugly split in their four-game series against the Brewers, winning and losing ugly both in a series that saw the two teams combine to make nine errors.

The Phils look sloppy and tired — in the field but also at the plate. Victorino has been in a funk with the bat since the end of July. Utley has one RBI since September 15. Werth is 2-for-his-last-28 with 14 strikeouts.

None of those problems are as worrisome as what’s happening in the bullpen, especially in the ninth inning. The starters got bounced early in the series, none of the four got an out in the seventh inning, and that was a lot of innings to pitch for a defense that wasn’t playing well. Tyler Walker got his chance to pitch in the ninth inning of a game that was close in game three. Didn’t go so well as Walker failed to retire a batter before giving up a walkoff homer. If there was a bright spot it was in what happened yesterday. With a 6-5 lead, the pen gave the Phils three scoreless frames including a four-out save from Madson.

The Phillies are 90-65 on the season after splitting a four-game series with the Brewers in Milwaukee. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by five games with seven left to play. If the Phillies went 0-7 to end the year the Braves would have to go 5-2 to tie them atop the division.

The Phillies won the first game 9-4. Howard drove in Utley to give them a 1-0 lead in the first, but a one-out triple by Jason Kendall in the bottom of the third off of Happ helped the Brewers tie up the game. Feliz doubled in Francisco in the fourth to put the Phils up 2-1 before they got six runs in a fifth inning that featured a three-run homer by Rollins to make it 8-1. Milwaukee scored another run charged to Happ in the sixth to make it 8-2. The Phils extended the lead to 9-2 in the top of the eighth before Milwaukee scored two off of Condrey in the bottom of the ninth.

Lee got hit hard in game two as the Brewers won 8-4. A three-run homer by Mike Cameron off of Lee helped put Milwaukee up 4-0 after one inning. The Phils managed just nine singles and a walk in the game, but put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 4-2. Lee gave up another three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, this one to Prince Fielder, and the Brewers led 7-2. Milwaukee extended the lead to 8-2 with a run off of Lidge in the seventh. The Phils got RBIs from Howard and Werth in the top of the eighth to get within four.

Tyler Walker gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Braun in the ninth inning of game three, which the Brewers won 7-5. Bako put the Phils up 2-0 with a two-run shot in the second and RBIs from Feliz and Werth in the third made the lead 4-0. Milwaukee scored two off of Kendrick in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 4-2 and a walk, a hit batter and a sacrifice bunt helped them score another in the fourth to make it 4-3. Howard put the Phillies up 5-3 with a solo homer in the fifth. Pitching in relief of Kendrick, Moyer got the first two hitters to start the sixth before giving up a walk and a ground-rule double that was followed by a two-run single Craig Counsell blooped into center field and off of Rollins’s glove that tied the game at 5-5. Walker came into the game to start the ninth and faced two batters, allowing a leadoff single to Counsell before Braun popped an 0-1 pitch out to right-center.

The Phils almost blew a five-run lead yesterday, but held on for a 6-5 win. Rollins led off the game with a home run and a one-out triple by Utley helped put the Phils up 2-0 after half an inning. Victorino delivered a two-run double in the second to make it 4-0 before Cameron hit a solo shot in the bottom of the inning. A two-run single by Feliz in the sixth gave Blanton a 6-1 lead to work with, but Mat Gamel hit a three-run homer in the bottom of a four-run sixth and the Phils lead was cut to 6-5. Escalona got Fielder to end the sixth with the tying run on base. Durbin threw a scoreless seventh and got the first two outs of the eighth before Madson picked Corey Hart off of first to end the inning. Madson came back for the ninth and gave up a one-out double to Fielder, but got the next two to end the game and earn his ninth save.

The Phillies threw 34 innings overall in the series with a 5.56 ERA and a 1.65 ratio.

The starting pitching in the series wasn’t good. Happ made the best start of the four and he allowed two runs and went just 5 2/3 innings. None of the four starters went more than six innings. As a group they threw to a 5.51 ERA with a 1.78 ratio over 16 1/3 innings.

Happ got the start in game one and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Happ’s results of late haven’t been great, but he does have his walks down. Over his last five starts he’s walked just seven in 29 2/3 innings.

Lee got blasted in game two. Two three-run homers were the big blasts of the game as he allowed seven runs on nine hits over six innings. Lee hasn’t walked a batter in seven of his last eight starts.

Kendrick went four innings in game three, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Kendrick has allowed just one home run over 20 2/3 innings on the season after giving up 23 in 155 2/3 innings last year.

Blanton got the start yesterday and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks. Four of the five runs he allowed came on the two homers he gave up. Bad start for Blanton coming off of two in which he was fantastic.

The relievers were called on to throw a ton of innings in the series and didn’t fare well. They pitched more innings than the starters in the series, throwing 17 2/3 innings with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.53 ratio. Condrey gave up two unearned runs in game one. Walker surrendered a critical homer in game three.

Escalona started the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies down 8-4. He struck out the first two men he faced before allowing a single and a walk. He then struck out Corey Hart to leave both men stranded.

Escalona got a huge out yesterday, entering in the bottom of the sixth with one out, Fielder at the plate and the Phils up 6-5. Fielder grounded to second to end the inning.

Moyer took over for Kendrick in the fifth inning of game three with the Phils up 5-3. He threw a 1-2-3 fifth. In the sixth he got the first two before allowing a walk and a ground rule double. It put men on second and third for Counsell and Counsell popped a ball into shallow center. Rollins had a long run to get to the ball, but got there in time and didn’t make the difficult catch. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 5-5. Moyer got Braun on a ground ball to end the inning. Moyer allowed a two-out single in the seventh that was followed with a ground out and threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Over his last 16 appearances Moyer has thrown 88 1/3 innings with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

Durbin took over for Happ in the sixth inning of game two with two outs, men on first and second and the Phillies up 8-2. He got a ground out to end the inning. Durbin came back to pitch the seventh and got the first two before issuing back-to-back walks. He struck out Ryan Braun to end the inning.

Yesterday he started the seventh inning with the Phils up 6-5. He gave up a two-out double but kept the Brewers off the board. He came back to start the eighth and again got the first two before walking Hart. Madson came in to pitch to Braun.

Walker pitched the eighth inning of game one with an 8-2 lead. He hit a batter and gave up two singles, but kept Milwaukee off the board.

He also started the ninth inning in game three with the score tied at 5-5. Counsell led off with a single and Braun followed with a two-run homer to right-center that won the game for Milwaukee.

Condrey started the ninth inning of game one with a 9-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Felipe Lopez before Corey Hart reached on an error by Howard. The next two men grounded out, with the second ground out scoring Lopez to make it 9-3. Casey McGehee delivered an RBI-single to plate another unearned run before Condrey got Mike Cameron on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Condrey also pitched yesterday in game four. He took over for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Hart on first and Ryan Braun at the plate with the Phils up 6-4. Hart stole second before Braun singled, cutting the lead to one at 6-5. Escalona came in to pitch to Fielder.

Madson entered game four with two outs in the eighth and Hart on first with the Phils up 6-5. He picked Hart off of first to end the inning. He came back to pitch the ninth. Fielder doubled with one out, but Madson got Felipe Lopez on a ball chopped back to the mound and struck Cameron out looking to end the game.

Lidge started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 7-2. He gave up a leadoff single to Corey Hart, but got the next two hitters before Hart stole second. McGehee delivered an RBI-single before Lidge struck out Cameron to end the inning.

For Lidge it was his fifth outing in a row in which he had been charged with at least one run. Over his last five appearances he had been charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings on ten hits and two walks.

The Phillies scored 24 runs in the four-game series.

Rollins was 6-for-19 with a double, two walks and two home runs in the series. He’s hitting 247/292/419 for the season.

Victorino was 4-for-19 with a double and two walks. 292/360/442 for the year. He came into yesterday’s game hitting 242/311/379 in 210 plate appearances since the end of July.

Utley was 3-for-18 with a triple in the series. 290/405/522. He has one RBI since September 15.

Howard was 8-for-18 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI in the series. 277/355/569. Fielder was 5-for-16 with two doubles, a walk, a home run and six RBI in the series.

Werth was 1-for-15 with two walks in the series. 266/370/504 for the year. He’s 2-for-his-last-28 with 14 strikeouts, which could be a sign it’s time for a day off or four.

Ibanez started games one and two on the bench with Francisco in left. 1-for-6 with four walks in the series. He’s hitting 276/350/560 on the year.

Feliz was 7-for-17 in the series with a double. 267/311/384 on the year. He’s on-basing .257 in September after on-basing .257 in August.

Bako started games one, three and four of the series and went 6-for-14 with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 229/308/352.

Hoover caught game two of the series. 2-for-3 with two singles in the first action of the season for the 33-year-old.

Bruntlett appeared as a pinch-runner and still does not have an at-bat since August 25.

Francisco started the first two games of the series in left. 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 262/292/524 in 84 at-bats with the Phils. He walked 33 times in 308 at-bats this year with the Indians and has walked three times since joining the Phillies.

Mayberry was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 196/237/464 in 56 at-bats for the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-3 in the series and is hitting 261/312/408.

Stairs 0-for-2. 202/363/394.

Tracy was 1-for-1 and is 2-for-4 on the season.

This says that Romero could be activated today.


Late and closer

Not including yesterday’s games, here are the standings in the NL East since July 28:

  W L GB PCT
ATL 31 21 - .596
FLA 30 23 1.5 .566
PHI 30 23 1.5 .566
WAS 20 31 10.5 .392
NYM 17 37 15 .315

Given that’s the case, thank goodness for the standings through July 28:

  W L GB PCT
PHI 58 40 - .592
FLA 52 48 7.0 .520
ATL 51 49 8.0 .510
NYM 48 51 10.5 .485
WAS 32 68 27.0 .320

The Phillies haven’t played badly in the second half. They should, however, be glad that the Marlins and Braves combined to go four and two games above .500 respectively in their first hundred games of the season.

And while the Marlins and Braves got better in the recent stretch of games, it’s also important to realize that the Phillies got worse.

In the 98 games to start the season the Phils went 58-40, but the starting pitching and the runs they allowed overall were both terrible compared to the next 53 games in which they went 30-23. Over the first 98 games they allowed about 4.63 runs per game and their starters threw to a 4.63 ERA with a 1.40 ratio. Over the next 53 games they were worse overall, but their starters were much better. The starters pitched to a 3.28 ERA and a 1.22 ratio, helping the Phillies cut their runs allowed per game to about 3.66 — almost a full run lower than they had allowed per game in the first 98 games of the season.

They made up for it in the first 98 with a monster offense, of course. Over the first 98 they scored about 5.48 runs per game. That was down to about 4.25 runs per game over the next 53.

Despite the improvement in the pitching recently, it hasn’t been enough to make up for the fact the Phillies are scoring so many fewer runs. Over the first 98 games the difference between the average number of runs the Phillies scored and allowed per game was about 0.85 (5.48 minus 4.63) For the next 53 games it was a lot lower — 4.25 minus 3.66 is 0.59.

Todd Zolecki’s blog has quotes from Manuel talking about using Happ out of the pen or even in the ninth inning.

And Manuel talks about the possibility of using Walker to close in this article.

The Phils are still hoping to get Myers, Park and Romero back before the end of the regular season.

College football fans might want to check out Sunday Morning Quarterbacks, a newish blog from a couple of guys who literally wrote the book on college football.


Late, close and watching

Question of the day is why doesn’t Tyler Walker pitch to more batters when the game is close. Answer of the day is “I don’t know” — given that’s the answer at least I can demonstrate that he doesn’t pitch to a lot of batters when the game is close.

First things first: Walker has been fantastic for the Phillies this season. He came into yesterday’s games with a 2.35 ERA for the year and a 0.98 ratio. Opponents were hitting .204 against him for the season and on-basing .258.

Still, as the back of the bullpen implodes Walker virtually never is pitching in situations when the game is close. The chart below lists all of the Phillies pitchers who have faced at least one batter this year, how many total batters they have faced, how many batters they have faced when the score was tied or one of the teams was winning by one run and the percent of batters faced when the score was tied or with the Phils up or down one. It is divided into three sections — pitchers who have worked only as starters are at the top, pitchers who have worked only as relievers are at the bottom and pitchers who have pitched both as starters and as relievers are in a group in the middle (the chart does not include yesterday’s games).

  Total PA PA tie or
within one
% tie or
within one
Pedro
Martinez
171 115 67.3
Cole Hamels 740 483 65.3
Joe Blanton 753 488 64.8
Cliff Lee 275 128 46.5
Antonio
Bastardo
102 46 45.1
       
Brett Myers 294 159 54.1
Kyle Kendrick 66 32 48.5
JA Happ 623 300 48.2
Jamie Moyer 648 277 42.7
Chan Ho Park 362 161 44.5
Andrew
Carpenter
32 13 40.6
Rodrigo Lopez 137 52 38.0
       
JC Romero 68 40 58.8
Ryan Madson 298 126 42.3
Clay Condrey 156 64 41.0
Brad Lidge 263 107 40.7
Scott Eyre 119 39 32.8
Chad Durbin 285 93 32.6
Jack Taschner 138 24 17.4
Sergio
Escalona
34 4 11.8
Tyler Walker 125 14 11.2
Steven
Register
11 0 0.0

So the only player who has pitched for the Phillies this season and thrown to a lower percentage of the batters he’s faced with the score tied or the Phils up or down one run is Steven Register, who appeared in one game and faced 11 hitters.

As I mentioned above, if you’re looking for the answer to why questions you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t know. If I had to guess my guess would be that Manuel is terrified of the prospect of Walker facing a left-handed hitter with the game close. Walker has been great against lefties in 2009 — they’ve hit 209/271/302 against him, which is actually better than the 200/250/343 that righties have hit against Walker. In 2008, however, lefties smoked Walker to the tune of 319/372/597. Over his career lefties have hit an ugly 281/352/459 against Walker.

Aside from Walker, I think that the chart shows some other interesting things. First and most obvious is that starting pitchers generally face more batters with the game close and a higher percentage of their batters than relief pitchers do.

I think the difference in the percentage of the hitters that Romero and Eyre faced in tight games is telling. Both would like be used primarily as situational lefties in the post-season if available, but Manuel has given Romero a lot more of his chances in tight games. Eyre has been better.

Condrey has faced a higher percentage of hitters in one run or closer games than Lidge. His percentage is also higher than Durbin. Durbin has a low percentage of hitters faced in tight games compared to other regulars in the group. It’s also down from last year. In 2008, Durbin faced 364 batters and faced 174 of them (47.8%) with the score tied or the Phils up or down a run. I don’t think any of that bodes well for Durbin.

Myers has a strained back. The Phillies hope he will return before the end of the regular season.

The article linked above says that Happ will start on Thursday, Lee on Friday and (hopefully) Pedro on Saturday.

It also says that Dobbs was not ready to play third yesterday with his calf. I still find starting Cairo to be very odd. Even if Dobbs does not go I don’t understand why it would be Cairo and not Bruntlett. I’ve been saying for a while that I think Bruntlett is on the post-season roster because he’s the only choice to back up the middle infield. That’s not literally true, of course. It’s also notable that Bruntlett does not have an at-bat this month. We’ll see.

The same article says that Eyre needs surgery but is cleared to pitch, pitched yesterday and felt good. It also says that Romero threw 50 pitches yesterday and will throw again tomorrow and that Park could pitch next week.


Durbin definitely either getting worse, improving or staying about the same

Chad Durbin was a huge part of the Phillies bullpen in 2008. In 2009 he has struggled, but a lot of his numbers make it look like ’09 has been a better year for Durbin than ’08. Opponents are hitting .230 against him this season after hitting .254 against him last year. He’s struck out a whole lot more hitters this year than he did in ’09 than he did in ’08, too, striking out about 8.2 batters per nine in ’09 after striking out about 6.5 batters per nine in ’08. He’s faring better against lefties this year as well — lefties have hit 240/370/394 against him in ’09 after hitting 311/401/394 against him in 2008.

Something’s wrong, though, maybe more than one something. Here’s the rates he has allowed runs, hits, doubles and triples, home runs, walks and struck batters out per 100 plate appearances over the past two seasons:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB SO
2009 13.3 18.6 4.2 2.8 14.7 20.0
2008 9.1 22.3 3.3 1.4 9.6 17.3

The extra-base hits and the walks are both way up. He’s allowing home runs at about twice the rate he did last year and walks at about 1 1/2 times the ’08 pace.

As I mentioned above, Durbin has actually been a little better against lefties in ’09 than he was in ’08. Righties have been hitting him a little harder this year, connecting for more extra-base hits, but the bigger problem is that despite the fact that righties are hitting just .222 against Durbin in ’09 they are on-basing .355. A year ago he held them to a .214 average but they on-based just .284 for the year.

When you look at Durbin’s numbers for the year, the thing that’s more worrisome than comparing his numbers for the season to last year’s numbers is comparing his numbers for the season to his career numbers. Durbin has put up a 4.88 ERA and a 1.52 ratio for the season, but both of those numbers are better than his numbers for his career. Over his career Durbin has a 5.25 ERA and a 1.53 ratio. Even given that he spent most of his career in the American League that still shouldn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Here’s how his numbers for the year compare to his career numbers for the categories in the chart above:

  Runs Hits 2B+3B HR BB SO
2009 13.3 18.6 4.2 2.8 14.7 20.0
Career 14.4 24.4 4.8 3.3 9.8 14.0

Again, Durbin was in the AL for most of his career, but still in 2009 he has been better at preventing runs, hits, doubles and triples, home runs and at striking batters out than he has been over his career. The only thing that’s worse for him is the walks.

This article suggests that Myers and Park may pitch again this season, that Romero may face hitters this week and that the Phils hope Romero and Eyre will both return soon.


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