Tag: Jimmy Rollins

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There are several different ways to calculate WAR, but no matter which language you choose, the non-pitchers for the Phillies were cause for concern in 2012.

The table below shows the WAR by position for the Phillies over the past five seasons as calculated by FanGraphs. Next to each WAR is the NL Rank for the team that year at the position.

Please note: WAR as calculated by FanGraphs differs, often dramatically, from WAR as calculated by Baseball-Reference. The WAR values in the table below are from FanGraphs, but the WAR values discussed below the table come primarily from Baseball-Reference. Links to recent interesting articles on the differences between WAR as calculated by the two sites are at the bottom of the post.

Position ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
C 7.1 (2) 2.6 (9) 5.3 (3) 3.3 (3) 2.2 (10)
SS 4.9 (2) 3.9 (4) 2.3 (10) 3.2 (6) 5.7 (4)
2B 3.7 (4) 3.4 (3) 6.7 (2) 7.5 (1) 8.2 (1)
CF 2.7 (10) 8.4 (2) 3.9 (12) 4.3 (8) 4.4 (7)
LF 2.8 (11) 1.2 (15) 2.4 (10) 4.6 (5) 2.8 (10)
3B 2.4 (11) 2.5 (10) 3.3 (7) 1.5 (11) 2.6 (11)
RF 1.2 (15) 2.2 (14) 6.2 (3) 5.9 (1) 5.7 (4)
1B -0.8 (16) 1.1 (13) 2.0 (10) 4.7 (5) 3.0 (7)

So there were three of the eight positions at which the Phillies were better than tenth in the 16-team National League.

Four seasons ago, in 2009, the Phillies were in the top half of the league at every position other than third base.

First the good:

At catcher, the Buster Posey-led Giants are the only team to put up a better overall WAR than the Phillies in 2012. The Phillies have been in the top three at the position in three of the last four years. In 2011, Ruiz recorded his worst dWAR of the five seasons (as calculated by Baseball-Reference) at 0.8. It was also his worst offensive season of the past three as he slugged just .383. In 2008, Ruiz was terrible offensively, hitting .219 in his 373 plate appearances as the Phils were tenth in the league at WAR at the position.

The Phils were also second in the league at FanGraphs-calculated WAR at short in 2012, topped only by the Nationals. There’s really only been one bad year for the team at the position over the last five seasons. In 2010, Rollins got less than 400 plate appearances for the only time in the last 12 seasons. Wilson Valdez fared okay trying to pick up the slack, but Juan Castro was a lot less impressive as he on-based .250 in his 101 plate appearances as a shortstop for the year. FanGraphs calculated WAR for Rollins for 2012 is much higher than Baseball-Reference’s. FanGraphs has him at 4.9, which ties him for 27th among non-pitchers across both leagues. Baseball-Reference calculates his WAR at 2.3, which ties him for 106th. The chart above reflects the FanGraph numbers, which suggest he was an elite player in 2012. Again, this is one of the three positions at which the Phillies were non-terrible in 2012 and there is disagreement about how good their primary player at the position actually was.

At second base, the Phillies have been in the top four for each of the past five years. Utley’s WAR as calculated by Baseball-Reference topped out at 8.8 in 2008. He’s likely never going back up there again, but his work at the position has been enough to keep the Phils in the top quarter of the NL over the last several years. Also, as a side note — in 2008, Utley and his 8.8 WAR (second-best in baseball) finished 14th in NL MVP voting. Howard’s WAR that year was 1.5 and he finished second. Pujols won it, and should have, but Utley should have been a lot higher than 14th.

After catcher, second and short, things get real ugly, real fast.

Center field was the next best position for the Phils in 2012 and they were tenth in the league there. Victorino was a monster in 2011, putting up a (Baseball-Reference) overall WAR of 5.2 in the best year of his career. He was way off that pace in 2012, though, and Mayberry was pretty bad after he left. The Phillies seem to have no in-house solution to what is now a big problem in center field.

Eleventh in left. Tenth or worse for the third straight year. 2009 is the only year of the last five that the Phillies have been non-terrible overall at the position. In ’09, Ibanez put up the best WAR (Baseball-Reference) of his last six seasons at 2.7. It was the only year of the last six where his dWAR has been better than -1 (it was -0.8). In 2010 he was bad for the Phillies and in 2011 he was terrible — a dWAR of -3.1 and an oWAR of just 0.1. Juan Pierre was the guy who got most of the time in left in 2012, the first year after Ibanez left. His overall WAR for the year was 1.9, good enough for fourth-best on the team among the non-pitchers, but not enough to lead the Phils anywhere better than eleventh.

They were also eleventh at third base, the fourth year of the last five in which they have been tenth or worse. Polanco was very solid in 2010, putting up a (Baseball-Reference) WAR of 3.1. In 2011, his dWAR stayed about the same as 2010 (1.2 in ’11, 1.4 in ’10), but his oWAR dropped from 1.9 to 0.7 as he hit 277/335/339 with just 19 extra-base hits in 523 plate appearances. Polanco got significant time at third in ’12, putting up an oWAR of 0, a dWAR of 0.4 and losing significant time to Kevin Frandsen. Frandsen’s WAR of 1.5 (in just 210 plate appearances) was good enough for fifth-best among the team’s non-pitchers, but not good enough to get the Phillies any higher than eleventh relative to the rest of the NL for the season at the position. Feliz got most of the time at third in ’08 and ’09, with some help from Greg Dobbs. Neither did a whole lot and the Phillies were eleventh at the position both years, although Feliz had a good year defensively in ’09, putting up a dWAR of 1.2. Feliz on-based .306 over 1,088 plate appearances for the Phils between 2008 and ’09.

You don’t have to study the right field numbers too carefully to see that the Phillies have struggled to replace Jayson Werth. Led by Werth, the Phils topped the NL in WAR at the position in 2009 and were third in 2010. He signed with the Nationals for the 2011 season and the numbers took a dive. Francisco got the gig to start ’11 and bombed in spectacular fashion, putting up an oWAR of 0.0 and a dWAR of -1.3 and losing the job. Hunter Pence played part of ’11 with the Phils and part of ’12. He posted negative dWARs in both years with better luck offensively. 2.2 (oWAR)/-0.3 (dWAR) in 2011 and 1.2/-1.1 in 2012. Domonic Brown hasn’t inspired a lot of confidence yet he can get the job done in right, either. So far for his career he has an UZR/150 of -21.7 in 871 innings in right to go with his overall batting line of 236/315/388.

First base may be the single biggest problem for the Phillies, where they have committed an enormous amount of money to Ryan Howard. They were 16th of 16 in the NL in 2012 and FanGraphs has them no better than tenth over the last three seasons. Howard was hurt in 2012, but he got 644 plate appearances in 2011 and 620 in 2010 and the Phils didn’t do better than tenth in either year. He has always been terrible at defense, over the last seven seasons his dWARs have ranged from -1 to -2.8, and thanks largely to that he has put an overall WAR better than three just twice in his career. In 2006 he hit 58 home runs with a WAR of 5.0. In 2009 he hit 45 with a WAR of 3.5. In 2012, his oWAR joined his dWAR in negative territory at -0.6. Wigginton was also miserable trying to pick up the slack at the position with Howard missing much of the season, hitting just 235/314/375 for the year with a UZR/150 at first of -8.5 (which is 30th among the 36 players across both leagues who played at least 450 innings at first in 2012).

This article talks about differences in the calculation of WAR by Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. More on that subject here, as Jimmy Rollins appears on a list of the players whose WAR as calculated by FanGraphs differs dramatically from their WAR as calculated by Baseball-Reference.


At least one surprise left

It’s been a mostly miserable year for Ryan Howard, but he got one last night. Down 2-1 with two outs in the ninth, Howard connected for a two-run homer off of lefty Josh Edgin and the Phils topped the Mets 3-2.

The Phillies had just three hits in the game, one of which was a bloop into shallow right-center. Jimmy Rollins was the first batter of the game and lined a homer to right off of Met starter Matt Harvey. The Phils didn’t have another hit in the game until Mayberry blooped his way aboard in the eighth. Hamels pitched very well, allowing a run on a single, a stolen base and a bloop single in the third and another on a solo home run in the sixth. The Phils were down 2-1 with two outs and nobody on in the ninth when Utley drew a walk off of Edgin and Howard followed Utley with a two-run homer.

The home run upped Howard’s line against lefties for the year to 173/218/346.

The Phillies are 75-74 on the year after beating the New York Mets 3-2 last night. The Phils are in third place in the NL East, 15 1/2 games behind the first-place Nats. Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds Report has them at 0.4%.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out ten.

He has a 2.50 ERA and a 1.04 ratio over his last eight starts and has struck out 55 in 57 2/3 innings. The Phillies are 7-1 in those games.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Ruben Tejada led off with a single, but Hamels set the Mets down in order behind him.

He struck out Ike Davis and Lucas Duda in a 1-2-3 second.

He struck out Andres Torres and pitcher Matt Harvey to start the third before Tejada singled to left. Tejada stole second before Daniel Murphy blooped a ball into left that fell in front of Pierre. Pierre charged and threw home as Tejada tried to score — his throw was on line but weak. Ruiz took it in front of the plate and threw to second to try to get Murphy, but Murphy was safe there too and the game was tied at 1-1. Hamels struck David Wright out looking 0-2 to end the inning.

Really not a good throw from Pierre, who is not a good thrower.

Scott Hairston doubled to center to start the fourth. Davis was next and lined a ball off of Hamels’s glove for a single with Hairston holding second. Hamels struck Kelly Shoppach out for the first out and Duda for the second. Torres flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

You wind up scoring a lot when you leadoff with a double and the next batter singles, but Hamels keeps the Mets off the board in the frame with two big strikeouts for the first two outs.

Hamels struck out Harvey and Murphy in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Wright led off the sixth and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right-center, putting the Mets up 2-1. Hairston was next and Hamels drilled him in the back, up near the shoulders. Davis flew to center for the first out before Hairston stole second. Hamels struck Shoppach out again for the second out before Duda walked 3-2. Torres lined to second to leave the runners stranded.

Hairston gets drilled right after the Wright homer. Hamels got ahead of the lefty Duda 0-2 but wound up walking him.

Bastardo started the seventh. Righty Ronny Cedeno hit for the pitcher Harvey and Bastardo struck him out swinging for the first out. Tejada struck out swinging for the second out before Murphy drew a walk. De Fratus came in to pitch to the righty Wright and struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the inning with Murphy at first.

Bastardo faces three hitters, strikes the first two out and walks the other. He has 25 strikeouts in his last 11 2/3 innings over 15 appearances. He’s allowed one earned run in 9 1/3 innings over is last 12 outings (0.96 ERA, 0.75 ratio and 20 strikeouts).

De Fratus faces just one hitter, getting a big strikeout of Wright to end the inning a man on base. He’s allowed just two hit and three walks over six innings in his first seven appearances. The one run he’s allowed is unearned. Righties are 0-for-14 against him so far.

Aumont started the eighth. Hairston and Davis led off with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corner for Shoppach. Aumont struck him out swinging 1-2, Shoppach’s third strikeout of the game. Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Duda and righty Justin Turner hit for Duda. Horst walked Turner on five pitches, loading the bases for Torres. Torres grounded a ball to Utley and the Phils turned two to set the Mets down.

No run for New York after putting runners on first and third with nobody out. Huge strikeout for Aumont to get Shoppach for the first out.

Aumont continues to be a cause for worry. He faces three hitters, allowing back-to-back singles before getting a huge strikeout of Shoppach. Over his last five appearances, he’s allowed four runs on five hits and five walks over three innings.

Horst faces two batters, walking the righty Turner before getting the switchy Torres to ground into a double-play. After walking seven in 19 2/3 over his first 20 appearances for the season, Horst has walked five in 5 4/3 innings over his last five.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils up 3-2. Lefty Jordany Valdespin hit for the pitcher Jon Rauch and Papelbon struck him out looking 1-2 for the first out. Valdespin didn’t care for the call and was ejected. Tejada was next and singled to center. It brought Murphy to the plate and Murphy lined a ball towards the corner in left, but a diving Brown took it in at the edge of the warning track for the second out. Wright grounded to Utley to end the game.

Strike three to Valdespin looked outside to me. Nice catch by Brown at a big time.

Papelbon faces four hitters, allowing one single and getting the other three. Wright hit his ball to Utley pretty well. Papelbon hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven appearances, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out ten over seven innings.

Overall the pen goes two scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks. Tuesday’s rainout means that nobody has thrown more than one day in a row. Bastardo threw 18 pitches last night, everyone else was at 11 or fewer.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Harvey went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Frandsen. Pierre in left against the righty with Brown in right. The hottish Brown hits ahead of Mayberry.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and lined a 3-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phillies up 1-0. The Phils went in order behind him.

Ruiz walked to start the second. Brown struck out looking for the first out and Mayberry grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.

The Phillies went in order in the third.

The game was tied 1-1 when they went in order in the fourth.

They went in order again in the fifth. Brown struck out for the second time in the game for the second out.

Frandsen walked to start the sixth. Hamels tried to bunt him to second, but struck out for the first out. Rollins was next and walked, putting runners on first and second for Pierre. Pierre grounded into a double-play to end the frame.

Frandsen does his best to get things started with a walk, which is not really his thing. He has eight walks in 162 plate appearances for the year, which is 4.9%, which is very low. The team is walking in about 7.9% of their plate appearances for the season.

Hamels can’t get the bunt down, striking out for the first out.

The Phillies were down 2-1 when they went in order in the seventh. Howard and Ruiz both struck out.

Righty Bobby Parnell started the eighth. He struck Brown out looking for the first out (Brown’s third strikeout of the game). Mayberry followed with a single, but was forced out at second for the second out when Frandsen grounded to short. Nix hit for De Fratus and struck out swinging to leave Frandsen at first.

Lefty Josh Edgin started the ninth for New York. Rollins struck out swinging for the first out. Wigginton hit for Pierre and struck out swinging for the second. Utley had an eight-pitch at-bat that ended with a walk, putting a runner on for Howard. Howard hit an 0-1 pitch out to right for his eleventh homer of the year, which put the Phillies on top 3-2. Jon Rauch took over for Edgin and struck Ruiz out to set the Phillies down.

With two outs and nobody on, Utley draws a walk off of a lefty and then Howard hits one out against a lefty to put the Phillies on top.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run in the game. He has hit 20 home runs in his last 411 plate appearances, posting a 257/326/500 line. That’s an isolated power of .243.

Pierre was 0-for-3. He’s hitting .412 so far in September. He grounded into a double-play last night, just his third for the year in 408 plate appearances.

Utley 0-for-3 with a huge walk against the lefty ahead of Howard’s homer in the ninth. He has 13 walks and an on-base percentage of .500 over his last 56 plate appearances (333/500/385). Four of the 13 walks have been intentional. We’ll see if Howard hitting the ball out to win the game against the lefty changes anything.

Howard 1-for-2 with two strikeouts and a huge two-run homer off of a lefty. 173/218/346 against lefties for the year with 38 strikeouts in 87 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. He’s 1-for-his-last-16.

Brown 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. Five strikeouts in his last seven at-bats. For the year he has struck out in 28 of 165 plate appearances — that’s about 17.0%, less than the team average of 17.9% and less than the NL average of 20.2%.

Mayberry 1-for-3. 3-for-his-last-14 with three singles.

Frandsen 0-for-2 with a walk. 9-for-36 with a double so far in September.

Cloyd (1-1, 4.95) faces righty Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 4.99) tonight. Cloyd has struggled in two straight starts, allowing seven runs on 12 hits over seven innings. Lefties are hitting 379/455/621 against him. Hefner has been in and out of the pen for the Mets this year. He has a 5.24 ERA in his ten starts and has allowed 70 hits in 55 innings.


Rebound for (modest) glory

Coming off of a miserable series in Houston, the Phils got right back in the swing of things last night, winning behind brilliant starting pitching as they topped the Mets 3-1.

Cliff Lee was fantastic, holding New York to a run over eight innings. Some shaky defense from the Mets helped the Phils score a run in the first without a hit or a walk. Rollins hit a ball just out in the fifth and Brown hit another just out in the seventh. New York scored their run in the bottom of the fifth on a bunt single, a sacrifice and a bloop single to left.

Lee continued what has been a tremendous run for him late in the season. He has a 1.63 ERA and an 0.97 ratio over his last seven starts and has struck out 54 in 49 2/3 innings in those outings. The Phillies have won the last five games he has started.

The Phillies are 74-74 on the year after beating the New York Mets 3-1 last night. They’re in third place in the NL East, 16 games behind the first-place Nationals, and 3 1/2 games out in the Wild Card hunt. The Playoff Odds report has them at 0.6%.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on seven hits and one walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out ten.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Ruben Tejada led off and singled to left. Lee struck out Daniel Murphy for the first out before David Wright singled to left, putting runners on first and second for Scott Hairston. Hairston grounded to third with Frandsen making a nice play to charge and field, then throwing to second to force Wright for the second out. Lee struck Lucas Duda out swinging 3-2 to leave the runners on the corners.

Lee struck out Jason Bay for the first out in the second before Andres Torres singled to left. Lee struck out Mike Nickeas and the pitcher RA Dickey to leave Torres at first.

Lee’s strikeout of Bay was the 1,500th of his career.

He struck Murphy out in a 1-2-3 third.

Duda doubled to right with one out in the fourth. Bay flew to right for the second out and Torres flew to center for the third.

The Phils led 2-0 when Lee started the fifth. Nickeas led off with a bunt singled and Duda bunted him to second with the first out. Tejada was next and grounded to second for the second out with Nickeas moving up to third. It brought Murphy to the plate and he blooped a single to left, scoring Nickeas to cut the lead to 2-1. Wright struck out looking to leave Murphy at first.

Lee struck out Hairston and Bay in a 1-2-3 sixth.

He started the seventh up 3-1. Torres grounded to third for the first out. Righty Ronny Cedeno hit for Nickeas and popped to Rollins for the second out. Righty Kelly Shoppach hit for the pitcher Dickey and singled to center. Tejada moved Shoppach up to second with a walk, but Lee got Murphy to line to Utley to leave both runners stranded.

Lee set Wright, Hairston and Duda down in order in the eighth.

Papelbon started the ninth, pitching for the first time since September 12. Lefty Jordany Valdespin hit for Bay and fouled out to Frandsen for the first out. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for Torres and flew to left for the second. Ike Davis hit for the pitcher Ramon Ramirez and struck out swinging 0-2 to end the game.

Nothing like Jordany Valdespin facing Papelbon to bring back ugly memories. On May 7, Valdespin hit a three-run homer off of Papelbon in the top of the ninth to break a 2-2 tie.

One scoreless inning for the pen in the game. Papelbon has an 0.73 ERA and an 0.81 ratio in 24 2/3 innings over his last 25 appearances. He’s allowed five runs in that period, three of which were unearned. He’s struck out 33.

He threw 12 pitches in the game. Looked great.

Again, Papelbon did not pitch in the four-game set with the Astros as the bullpen collapsed.

The Phillies lineup against righty RA Dickey went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Schierholtz (7) Brown (8) Frandsen. Pierre on the bench with Schierholtz in right and Brown in left. Mayberry moves up to second in the order, which is really high given that he can’t hit right-handed pitching. Frandsen plays third.

Rollins led off and struck out swinging on a ball not handled by Nickeas, allowing Rollins to take first. He moved up to second on a bad pickoff throw by Dickey that went for an error. Mayberry grounded softly to Dickey for the first out and Rollins moved up to third. Utley hit a ball to shallow center that was taken by Torres took for the second out. Rollins tagged and came home. Torres’s throw was terrible, Rollins was safe and the Phils led 1-0. Howard went down on a ball handled by Dickey to end the frame.

Bad defense in the inning helps the Phils score a run without a hit or a walk. Rollins reaches on passed ball, takes second on the error by Dickey and scores on a miserable throw from Torres in center.

Ruiz started the second with a single. Schierholtz struck out swinging for the first out before Ruiz took second on a balk. Brown struck out swinging for the second out. Dickey walked Frandsen intentionally to get to Lee. Lee grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

Nutty to walk Frandsen intentionally there. The Phils get another free base on the balk.

Rollins and Mayberry struck out to start the third before Utley singled to right. Howard flew to left to leave Utley at first.

Brown tripled to center with two outs in the fourth. Frandsen grounded to short to leave him at third.

First triple of the year for Brown and the second of his career.

With one out in the fifth, Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch to right center that was ruled a home run after review, putting the Phils up 2-0. Mayberry and Utley went down behind him.

Rollins’s home run was originally ruled a triple. Replays show the ball went off the roof of the New York pen and back onto the field and not off the top of the wall.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Howard and Ruiz struck out as the Phils went in order.

Brown led off the seventh and hit an 0-1 pitch off the top of the wall in right and just out for a home run. 3-1. Frandsen and Lee went down before Rollins drew a walk. Mayberry flew to left to leave Rollins at first.

Fourth home run of the year for Brown and his second extra-base hit in two at-bats. Tejada made a nice sliding play to take a hit away from Frandsen for the first out.

Lefty Robert Carson pitched the eighth for the Mets. Utley led off with a single, but Howard grounded into a double-play behind him. Ruiz grounded to third to set the Phillies down.

Lefty Josh Edgin struck out Schierholtz and Brown to start the ninth. Righty Ramon Ramirez came in to pitch to Frandsen. Frandsen popped to the catcher for the third out.

The Phillies didn’t use a pinch-hitter or a defensive substitution in the game — the only change for the game was Papelbon replacing Lee to pitch the ninth. Don’t know how often that happens. Not very.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run. The Phillies scored three runs in the game. Rollins hit a home run to account for one of them. He scored another in the first as the Phillies scored without a hit or a walk. He’s 11-for-his-last-27 with six walks and four home runs (407/500/889). He has hit 19 home runs since June 6 (256/324/493 over 407 plate appearances).

Mayberry 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 2-for-his-last-11. He now has the same number of plate appearances on the year as a Phillie that Victorino does. Mayberry 258/313/422 in 413 plate appearances, Victorino 261/324/401. Victorino was a lot better defensively in center. Neither of them hit right-handed pitching at all, but Mayberry was a little worse awful. Victorino on-based .375 against lefties while Mayberry on-based .327, but with enormous power (although Victorino had very good power numbers against lefties as well).

Utley 2-for-3 with an RBI. 414/548/483 over his last 42 plate appearances with nine walks.

Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout and grounded into a double-play. 180/261/246 so far in September.

Ruiz 1-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-13.

Schierholtz 0-for-4. 3-for-19 since returning from the DL.

Brown 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and two strikeouts. 286/405/657 over his last 42 plate appearances. He suggests in this article that his success last night might have had something to do with letting it eat.

Frandsen 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s hitting .341 over his last 47 plate appearances.

Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.95) faces righty Matt Harvey (3-5, 2.92) tonight. Cloyd has struggled in two straight starts, allowing seven runs on 12 hits over seven innings. In each of his last two starts he has allowed a three-run homer. Lefties are hitting 379/455/621 against him so far. Harvey struck out ten Nationals in five innings in his most recent start. Cloyd and Harvey faced each other on August 29, which was Cloyd’s first start of the season. The Mets won that game 3-2.


Spoiler alert

The Phillies came crashing down from their recent high this weekend, losing three of four to the lowly Astros as Houston put an enormous dent in the already slender playoff hopes of the Phils.

Houston scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to win game one 6-4. Rollins and Brown hit two-run homers in game two as the Phils won 12-6 to even the series at a game apiece. Kendrick allowed four runs in five innings in game three and the Phillies didn’t score, falling 5-0. Yesterday the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth and were outscored 5-2 the rest of the way as Houston won 7-6.

The pitching had been outstanding coming into the series, but the Phils allowed 24 runs in the four-game set.

The starting pitching was bad, throwing to a 6.00 ERA and allowing 14 runs (13 earned) over 21 innings. Cloyd was awful in game one, going just three innings. Hamels had the best start of the series for the Phils in game two, allowing four runs (three earned) over seven innings. Kendrick and Halladay were both unimpressive in their starts, combining to allow seven runs in 12 innings.

The bullpen was worse, allowing ten runs in 12 innings, throwing to a 5.25 ERA with a 1.58 ratio and walking seven in 12 frames. Only seven of the ten runs the bullpen allowed were earned. Aumont and Diekman floundered in game one as the Astros scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The Phils won game two, but Horst and De Fratus still combined to allow two runs (both unearned) over two innings. Bastardo, Aumont and De Fratus combined to allow four runs (three earned) in two innings yesterday.

The Phillies are 73-74 on the year after losing to the Houston Astros 7-6 yesterday. The Astros take the series three games to one. The Phils are in third place in the NL East, 16 1/2 games behind the first place Nationals. They’re four games out in the Wild Card hunt and Baseball Prospectus has their playoff odds at 0.4%.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and two home runs. He struck out seven. His ERA for the year is up to 4.03. He’s thrown to a 4.80 ERA over his last five starts and opponents have hit .308 against him.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Scott Moore singled to center with two outs, but Halladay struck out Justin Maxwell behind him for the third out.

JD Martinez tripled to center with two outs in the second. Halladay walked Tyler Greene behind him, putting two men on for the pitcher Jordan Lyles. Lyles grounded to short for the third out.

Jimmy Paredes reached on an infield single with one out in the third. Moore was next and hit a 1-2 pitch just out to left, putting the Astros up 2-1. Halladay struck Maxwell out again for the second out and got Matt Dominguez on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Halladay struck out Carlos Corporan and Martinez in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He was up 4-2 when he started the fifth. He walked Paredes with two outs, but got Moore on a ground ball he handled himself to set Houston down.

Halladay got a pair of ground outs to start the sixth before Corporan hammered the first pitch he saw from Halladay out to right, cutting the lead to 4-3. Martinez followed that with a double to left, but Halladay struck Greene out looking to leave Martinez at second.

Second home run that Halladay had allowed in the game. Both had come against batters hitting left-handed.

Bastardo started the seventh with the Phils still up a run. Righty Matt Downs hit for the lefty Brian Bogusevic and Bastardo struck him out swinging for the first out. Altuve was next and hit a ball to third. Martinez handled it, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Altuve stole second before Bastardo walked the switch-hitter Paredes on five pitches, putting two men on for the lefty Moore. Righty Brandon Laird hit for Moore and Aumont came on to pitch to him. Laird walked on five pitches and the bases were loaded. Maxwell was next and he blooped a ball down the first base line, which dropped on the chalk for a double that scored Altuve and Paredes and sent Laird to third with the Astros up 5-4. Dominguez was next and he chopped a ball over the head of Martinez and into left for a single, scoring both runners. 7-4. De Fratus came in to pitch to Corporan. Dominguez took second on a passed ball before De Fratus got Corporan on a ground ball to Utley for the second out with Dominguez moving up to third. Lefty Jason Castro hit for the pitcher Wesley Wright and De Fratus walked him intentionally, putting runners on the corners with two down for Greene. Greene grounded to third to end the inning.

A little bit of less than fantastic luck for the Phillies in the inning as Maxwell’s bloop goes for a double and Dominguez bounces a single over Martinez’s head. That doesn’t get you to four runs, though. The throwing error by Martinez gets things started and is followed up by back-to-back walks issues by Bastardo and Aumont.

Bastardo faces three batters. He struck the first one out, the second reached on the Martinez error and the third walked. He’s charged with two runs in the game (one earned). It’s the first time he had been charged with a run since August 21.

Aumont comes in with one out and runners on first and second. He faces three batters and they go walk, double, single (although both hits were a little fluky). He came into the series with a 1.08 ERA and an 0.96 ratio in nine appearances for the season. He appeared twice in the set, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning on two hits and three walks.

De Fratus pitched the bottom of the eighth with the lead cut to 7-6, setting the Astros down in order.

Very nice day for De Fratus, going 1 2/3 scoreless innings in which he allows one walk, which was intentional. He still hasn’t been charged with an earned run this season over 5 2/3 innings in six appearances.

Overall the pen goes two innings in the game, allowing four runs (three earned) on two hits and three walks. The bullpen has walked 4.26 batters per nine over their last 160 2/3 innings and 4.91 per nine over their last 44 innings.

Bastardo and De Fratus each threw 18 pitches in the game. Aumont threw 14.

Papelbon did not appear in the series for the Phils as the bullpen collapsed. The Phillies put a ton of pressure on Aumont in the set, a 23-year-old rookie with five career appearances coming into the series.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jordan Lyles went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Mayberry (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Ruiz catches with Pierre in left. Martinez plays third.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and hit a ball off the wall in center for a double. Pierre bunted him to third with the first out and Utley brought him home with a sac fly to right, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard struck out swinging to end the frame.

Not a fan of bunting with Pierre when the other team’s pitcher has faced one batter in the game and that batter hit the ball of the wall for a double.

Brown walked with two outs in the second and moved up to second when Martinez followed with a single to left. Halladay struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins walked to start the third and moved up to second when Pierre grounded out for the first out. Lyles got behind Utley 2-0 and then walked him intentionally, putting two men on for Howard. Howard grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.

I think walking Utley so a righty can pitch to Howard with a double-play in order is a pretty bad idea. Working out for the Astros that time, though.

Down 2-1, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Martinez and Halladay both struck out to start the fifth before Rollins drew a walk. Rollins stole second and moved up to third on a throwing error by the catcher Corporan. Pierre was next and doubled to left, scoring Rollins to tie the game at 2-2. Houston didn’t even start to pitch to Utley this time, walking him intentionally to put two men on for Howard. Howard pounded a ball off the wall in left, scoring both runners to make it 4-2. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple for the third out.

Putting extra men on so a righty can face Howard when there’s no double-play in order is an even worse idea. Howard delivers that time.

Righty Hector Ambriz struck out Ruiz and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The lead was cut to 4-3 when Martinez doubled off Ambriz to start the seventh. Orr hit for Halladay and lefty Wesley Wright came in to pitch to Orr. Ruf hit for Orr and grounded to third for the first out with Martinez holding. Rollins struck out swinging for the second out. Wigginton hit for Pierre with the lefty on the mound and was hit by an 0-1 pitch, putting runners on first and second for Utley. Utley blasted an 0-1 pitch to right, but Paredes made a jumping catch on the warning track as he fell to the ground to end the frame.

Nice catch at a big time for Paredes. Cost the Phillies two runs.

Ruf can’t move the runner up to third with the first out in career at-bat number two. No run for the Phils after the leadoff double.

The Phillies were down 7-4 when they hit in the eighth. Lefty Xavier Cedeno struck Howard out for the first out. Righty Mickey Storey came on to pitch to Ruiz and hit him with a pitch. Ruiz moved up to second when Mayberry followed with a single, putting two men on for Brown. Brown cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right-center, cutting the lead to 7-6. Nix hit for Martinez and righty Wilton Lopez came in to pitch to him. Nix struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Schierholtz, who had entered in the bottom of the seventh, grounded to second to leave Brown stranded.

Big hit for Brown, but the Phils can’t move him up from second as Nix and Schierholtz get set down back-to-back by the righty.

Rollins singled to center off of Lopez to start the ninth. Kratz hit for De Fratus and flew to deep right for the first out with Rollins tagging and moving up to second. Utley flew to left for the second out. Ruiz grounded to first to end the game.

Rollins was 3-for-4 with a walk and a double in the game. 6-for-17 with four walks, a double and a home run in the four-game set. 252/313/428 for the year. 333/394/619 so far in 71 plate appearances in September.

Pierre 1-for-2 with a double. 5-for-9 with a double and two walks in the series. 312/355/375 for the season. 452/500/516 in 37 plate appearances this month.

Utley 0-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. 3-for-12 with a double and six walks in the series. Two of the walks were intentional. 254/371/444 on the year.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-16 with two walks and two doubles in the set. 229/308/413 for the season. 189/276/311 over his last 105 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-10 with a walk in the series. 332/401/549 for the year.

Mayberry 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 6-for-16 with two walks and a double in the series. 260/316/426 on the year. 307/385/490 in 174 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run double. 2-for-13 with five walks, a double and a home run in the series. 239/335/370 for the season. 258/395/516 over his last 38 plate appearances.

Martinez 2-for-3 with a double in his only action of the series. Made a throwing error in the bottom of the seventh to get the Houston rally started. 172/212/263 for the year.

Lee (5-7, 3.36) faces righty RA Dickey (18-5, 2.68) tonight. The Phillies have won four straight games that Lee has started. He’s thrown to an 0.99 ERA with an 0.95 ratio in those four outings. Since the start of August he has walked three batters in 56 2/3 innings. Dickey has a 1.72 ERA over his last five starts. Righties are on-basing .250 against him for the year.


Never tell me the odds!

Oh, but I will, Han.

Cliff Lee and Jimmy Rollins led the way last night as the Phils topped the Marlins 3-1 to win their seventh straight.

The game was scoreless in the top of the sixth when Rollins and Lee made errors on back-to-back plays, leading to an unearned run for the Marlins on a two-out single by Carlos Lee. Rollins didn’t wait long to atone for his error, leading off the bottom of the sixth with a single to right that broke up Johnson’s no-hitter. He was still at second with two outs, though, before Mayberry’s single to center brought him home and tied the game at 1-1. Pete Orr came up big in the bottom of the seventh, delivering a two-out pinch-hit single with the bases empty to give Rollins a chance with a man on. Rollins came through again, lining a two-run homer to right to put the Phils up 3-1. Aumont again shut the Marlins down in the eighth and Papelbon again shut them down in the ninth.

The bullpen was charged with two unearned runs in the second game of the set with the Marlins, but has not been charged with an earned run in their last six games. Over those six games the pen has thrown to a 0.00 ERA and an 0.86 ratio over 16 1/3 innings.

Going back to the start of August, the Phillies are 9-0 in their games in which they have scored three runs (including two of the three games against the Marlins).

That’s a whole lot of things. Really, really unlikely is one of them. They were 4-9 on the year in games in which they scored three runs before the start of August.

For the year, NL teams have a winning percentage of .415 in games in which they score three runs. Someone please check my math, but if a team had a 41.5% chance to win any game in which they score three runs, I think that would mean they have a 0.04% chance to go 9-0 in a given set of nine games in which they score three runs, yes?

The Phillies are 72-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1. The Phils sweep the three-game series and have won seven in a row for the first time this season. They are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nats. They are three games out for the Wild Card and over .500 for the first time since June 3.

Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds Report says 2.7% today, up from 1.0% yesterday. Only thing I know for sure is that if the odds triple every day, that’s good for the Phillies.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing one run, which was unearned, on four hits and a walk. All four of the hits were singles and he struck out six.

Lee hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts. He’s 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA and a 1.09 ratio over those five outings and the Phillies have gone 4-1. He’s allowed three walks in 56 2/3 innings in his eight starts since the beginning of August.

He set the Marlins down in order in the top of the first, getting Gorkys Hernandez on a fly ball to center and Donovan Solano and Jose Reyes on ground balls to short.

Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Lee singled back-to-back to start the second, putting runners on first and second for Justin Ruggiano. Lee struck Ruggiano out looking 2-2 and Ruggiano was ejected for arguing with the home plate ump. John Buck was the next hitter for the Marlins and he grounded to second. Utley made a diving play to field the ball, but had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. He finally did and Lee was forced at second for the second out. It left Miami with two down and runners on first and third for Donnie Murphy. Lee struck Murphy out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that Murphy thought he fouled off, ending the inning with both runners stranded.

Lot of drama there for a pair of strikeouts.

The pitcher Josh Johnson started the third with a single to left and moved up to second when Hernandez grounded softly to third for the first out. Solano grounded to Rollins for the second out and Reyes popped out to Howard to leave Johnson at second.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He struck out the side in the fifth, getting Buck, Murphy and Johnson.

With one out in the sixth, Solano hit a ball back up the middle. Rollins tried to handle it moving to his left, but didn’t field it cleanly for an error that put Solano on first. Reyes was next and he chopped a 1-0 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Lee fielded the ball moving towards third base and threw to second, but his throw was bad on the shortstop side of the bag and pulled Utley off the base. No out for the Phillies on the second error in two at-bats and the Marlins had runners on first and second with one out. Lee got Stanton on a fly ball to left for the second out with the runners holding. It brought Lee to the plate and he singled to right on the first pitch he saw. Brown might have had a chance to get Solano with a perfect throw, but he didn’t come up to one. He again took a bunch of tiny steps on the way to the ball and this time his throw wasn’t that good. It was strong and up the third base line. Solano scored easily to put the Marlins up 1-0 with two down and men on first and third. Lee got Austin Kearns to ground to Martinez to end the inning.

The Phillies make two errors in the frame and it winds up costing them just one run. Brown’s throw could have been a lot better and it sure looks like he needs to do a bunch of work on his footing when charging the ball before he throws. Would have been taken a really good throw to get Solano, though.

At the time, two errors in two batters looked like too many to make given that the Phillies didn’t have a hit in the game. Rollins would redeem himself before it was over.

It was 1-1 when Lee walked Buck to start the seventh. Murphy flew to right for the first out. Johnson hit for himself and tried to bunt Buck to second, but popped up to Martinez in foul territory for the second out. Hernandez flew to right for the third out.

Aumont pitched the eighth with the Phillies up 3-1. He walked Reyes with one out, but struck Stanton out swinging 0-2 for the second. Lee grounded to short to end the frame.

Stanton was 2-for-12 in the series with a home run and seven strikeouts.

Pitching for the second straight day, Aumont dropped his ERA for the year to 1.08 in his ninth appearance. He’s pitched in four games since Sunday, pitching in both games of the double-header and in games two and three of the set with the Fish.

Papelbon started the ninth with a two-run lead and hit the first batter he faced, Austin Kearns, with a 1-1 pitch. He struck Buck out swinging 1-2 for the first out, though, and got Dobbs looking 1-2 for the second. Lefty Bryan Petersen hit for the pitcher Brandon Webb and walked on four pitches, putting the tying run on base with two down and men on first and second for the righty Hernandez. Papelbon struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Papelbon was also pitching for the second straight day. He’s throw five scoreless innings over his last five appearances, striking out eight. Like Aumont, he pitched in both games of Sunday’s double-header and then in games two and three of the series with the Marlins.

Two scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow two walks and strike out four.

Aumont and Papelbon have both pitched two days in a row. And a lot recently. Papelbon threw 19 pitches in the game and Aumont 14.

The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Johnson went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Pierre in left against the righty. Kratz catches with Ruiz on the bench. Martinez at third with Polanco on the DL and Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture in his leg.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the first. Howard went down on a softly hit ball to the pitcher to end the inning.

Mayberry and Brown walked back-to-back to start the second, putting men on first and second for Kratz. Kratz struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Martinez was next and he grounded to first for the second, moving the runners up to second and third for Lee. Lee struck out swinging 2-2 to leave them there.

Johnson had thrown 40 pitches through the first two innings.

The Phillies went in order in the third, fourth and fifth.

They were still looking for their first hit off of Johnson when they started the sixth down 1-0. Rollins led off an chopped a 1-0 pitch past a diving Lee and into right field for a single. Pierre bunted him to second with the first out. Utley followed and walked on four pitches, putting two men on for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. It brought Mayberry to the plate and he hit a 1-0 pitch into center for a single. Rollins scored to tie the game at 1-1. Hernandez threw to third trying to get Utley, but Utley slid in just safe, leaving the Phils with runners on the corners and two down in a tie game. Brown grounded to Lee with Lee throwing to second to force Mayberry and end the inning.

Second time in two days the Fish looked pretty comfortable pitching around Utley to get to Howard. Big strikeout for Howard for the second out, but Mayberry picks him up with a huge two-out single.

Rollins gets the inning started with a leadoff single to break up the no-hitter after making a big error in the top of the frame.

Kratz and Martinez went down to start the seventh. With Johnson still on the mound, Orr hit for Lee and singled to right. Orr stole second before Rollins lined a 2-0 pitch out to right for his second home run in two days, putting the Phils up 3-1. Pierre flew to left for the third out.

Huge two-out single for Orr gives Rollins a chance and Rollins comes through again.

Righty Ryan Webb pitched the eighth for Miami. Mayberry walked with two outs, but Brown flew to center to leave him at first.

Second walk in the game for Mayberry, who is suddenly a walking machine. He has walked 11 times in his last 54 plate appearances. Prior to those 54 plate appearances he had walked 18 times in 355 plate appearances for the year.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game with a two-run homer, which was the only extra-base hit for the Phillies. 5-for-11 with a walk and two home runs in the series. 249/307/423 on the year. 326/360/630 with four home runs in 50 plate appearances so far in September. He hit a big home run in game two of the set, broke up the no-hitter in the sixth inning last night and scored the first Phillies’s run, then hit the two-run homer that accounted for the other two runs the Phils scored.

Pierre 0-for-3. 3-for-7 with a double in the series. 9-for-22 (.409) so far in September. 306/347/368 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-2 with a walk. 4-for-9 with three walks and a double in the series. 254/362/449 for the season. 264/383/409 over his last 133 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-12 in the series. 171/261/220 in 46 plate appearances so far in September. 227/308/415 for the year.

Mayberry 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI in the game. 3-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. 255/311/426 for the season. 299/378/496 in 156 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with two walks and a home run in the series. 292/393/458 over his last 28 plate appearances. 248/329/360 for the year.

Kratz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-6 in the series. 0-for-his-last-13. 211/250/395 over his last 84 plate appearances after hitting 333/400/800 in his 50 PA previous to that. 256/306/545 for the season.

Martinez was 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-9 with two doubles in the series. 156/198/240. He’s a weird guy to start at third base every day if you’re trying to make the playoffs.

Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.24) faces righty Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.83) tonight in Houston. Cloyd will be making his fourth start of the year and it will come on short rest after Cloyd threw 76 pitches in the second game of the double-header against the Rockies on Sunday. Lefties have hit 409/480/727 against Cloyd over his first three starts. Harrell faced the Phillies on May 14, allowing three runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings. He has a 2.06 ERA in his 11 starts at home and a 5.06 ERA in his 17 starts on the road.


All about even

The Phillies didn’t win pretty last night, but they did win, topping the Marlins 9-7 for their sixth straight victory. With the win the Phils are at .500 for the year for the first time since they were 28-28 after losing to the Dodgers 4-3 on June 4.

The game wound up having a little more drama than you would hope given that Roy Halladay started to top of the seventh with an 8-3 lead.

Four hits and a walk off of Fish starter Nathan Eovaldi put the Phils up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Halladay allowed a pair of runs in the top of the third to cut the lead to 3-2, but Pierre led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on an Utley single to extend the lead to 4-2. The Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth, but managed just one run in the frame as Brown bounced into a big double-play to end the inning. Stanton homered off of Halladay in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-3. Martinez doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on a single by Halladay. Later in the same inning, Rollins hit a two-run homer one pitch after Miami catcher Rob Brantly dropped the foul ball that should have ended Rollins’s at-bat. Halladay started the seventh up 8-3, but allowed hits to two of the first three men he faced and was pulled. The Phils would use three relievers and have to work around an Utley error in the frame, getting out of the inning still up 8-7. A leadoff double by Mayberry led to an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Aumont pitched himself out of a huge jam in the eighth and Papelbon set the Fish down in order in the ninth to earn his 33rd save.

The Phillies are 71-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 9-7 last night. They have won six games in a row and are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nats. 14-4 over their last 18 games has them four games out for the Wild Card.

The team’s playoff odds as calculated by Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds Report have jumped from 0.6% yesterday to 1.0% today.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Opponents have hit .320 against Halladay over his last five starts and he’s thrown to 4.73 ERA with a 1.52 ratio. His walk rate for the season is up to 1.8 per nine innings, which is the highest it has been since 2007.

He struck out Bryan Petersen and Justin Ruggiano in a 1-2-3 first.

He started the top of the second up 3-0. Giancarlo Stanton led off with a walk, but Halladay got Carlos Lee to hit into a double-play behind him. Greg Dobbs lined to Martinez at third to end the frame.

Donovan Solano and Rob Brantly singled back-to-back to start the third, putting runners on the corners for the pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi bunted Brantly to second with the first out and Halladay walked Petersen behind him, loading the bases. Ruggiano was next and reached on an infield single. Everyone moved up a base with Solano scoring to cut the lead to 3-1 with the bases still loaded for Jose Reyes. Reyes flew to left for the second out. Brantly tagged from third and scored. 3-2. Halladay struck Stanton out swinging to leave the runners on first and second.

It was 4-2 when Halladay pitched the fourth. Dobbs doubled to right with one out, but Halladay got the next two hitters to leave him at second.

Ruggiano walked with two outs in the fifth and stole second. Reyes flew to center to leave him there.

Three walks in five innings for Halladay.

It was 5-2 when Stanton hit Halladay’s first pitch of the sixth out to left. 5-3. Halladay got the next three.

If Stanton was going to homer he picked a nice time to do it. He’s 1-for-8 with a home run and six strikeouts so far in the series.

Halladay started the seventh up 8-3. Brantly led off and reached on an infield single. Righty Gorkys Hernandez hit for the pitcher and flew to right for the first out, but Petersen followed with a double to center that scored Brantly and cut the lead to 8-4. Lindblom came in to pitch to the righty Ruggiano and Ruggiano singled to center, scoring Petersen. 8-5. Reyes was next and reached on an error by Utley, putting runners on the corners for Stanton. Lindblom got Stanton swinging for the second out, but Lee followed with a single to left that scored Ruggiano (8-6) and moved Reyes to second. Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Dobbs and Dobbs singled to center. Reyes scored (8-7) and Lee moved up to second. Rosenberg got the righty Solano to ground to Martinez to finally set the Marlins down.

Ugly inning for everyone, but again the Phillies strike Stanton out at a big time.

Lindblom entered the game with one out and a man on second. He faced four batters — single, error on Utley, big strikeout of Stanton and single. He was charged with two runs, both of which were unearned. He hasn’t been charged with an earned run over five innings in his last seven appearances. In his last two outings he has allowed two hits and two walks in one inning.

Horst faced one batter and allowed an RBI-single to the lefty Dobbs. In his first ten appearances of the year through the end of July, Horst walked three in ten innings. Since the start of August, he has appeared 13 times, walking eight in 12 2/3 innings. He’s allowed three hits and four walks over his last three innings. The Phillies seem to think he could use some rest and I think they’re right — he was pitching for the first time since September 2.

Rosenberg entered with two outs and runners on first and second, faced one right-handed hitter and got Solano on a much-needed ground out to finally end the frame. He’s allowed one walk in two scoreless innings over his last three appearances.

Aumont stared the eighth with the Phils up 9-7. Brantly led off and walked on four pitches as Aumont couldn’t find the tiny strike zone. Two of the four pitches looked really good to me. Donnie Murphy was next and singled to right, putting runners on first and second. Petersen was next and bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Aumont wiggled out of it, though, striking Ruggiano out swinging 3-2 for the second out and Reyes swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Wow. Huge moment in the game and Aumont strikes out two in a row with runners on second and third.

He allowed a hit and a walk in his frame, but struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.23 after eight appearances. He’s allowed four hits and three walks in 7 1/3 innings (0.95 ratio). Manuel has yet to put him into a game before the eighth inning and the Phils are 7-1 so far in the games he’s appeared. Six of the eight games he’s appeared in were eventually decided by one run or two runs.

Papelbon struck out Stanton and Dobbs in a 1-2-3 ninth.

He’s struck out five in four scoreless innings over his last four appearances.

Overall the pen goes three innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Aumont threw 18 pitches in the game and Lindblom 13. Everyone else was ten or less. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.

The bullpen came into the game having thrown 11 2/3 scoreless innings over the past four games. They didn’t pitch as well last night, but Aumont looked fantastic working out of his own jam in the eighth and Papelbon set the Marlins down without a peep in the ninth.

The Phillies lineup against righty Nathan Eovaldi went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Ruiz returns to the starting lineup for the first time since August 2. Pierre in left against the righty and hitting second. Mayberry dropped to seventh against the righty with Ruiz in the lineup. Martinez plays third with Polanco on the DL and Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture.

Singles by Rollins and Pierre and a walk to Utley loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first. Howard grounded into a double-play and Rollins scored, leaving the Phils up 1-0 with two down and Pierre on third. Ruiz doubled into the right field corner to score Utley and put the Phillies ahead 2-0, then scored on a single to center by Brown. 3-0. Mayberry struck out to leave Brown at first.

The Phillies went in order in the second.

It was 3-2 when the Phillies hit in the third. Pierre led off with a double to left and scored when Utley followed with a single. 4-2. Howard hit into another double-play and Ruiz grounded out to end the inning.

Two at-bats, two double-plays for Howard.

Brown started the fourth with a single to right, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Rollins walked to start the fifth, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Pierre, putting the Phils up 5-2. Lefty Dan Jennings came in to face Utley and Utley singled to right, moving Pierre up to second. Howard flew to center for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Jennings walked the righty Ruiz to load the bases and got Brown to ground into a double-play to keep the Phillies from getting more.

It was 5-3 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Martinez doubled to right off of righty Chris Hatcher with one out. Halladay followed that with a single into center, scoring Martinez to make it 6-3. Rollins was next and popped a 1-1 pitch up near the plate in foul territory, but Brantly just dropped it. Rollins hit the next pitch out to right for a two-run homer. 8-3. Pierre flew to left for the second out before Utley singled. Howard moved Utley to third with a single and Ruiz was hit by a pitch, loading the bases again for Brown. Brown struck out swinging 2-2 to leave them loaded.

Mayberry doubled to right off of righty Chad Gaudin to start the seventh and Martinez bunted him to third with the first out. Nix hit for Rosenberg and lefty Mike Dunn came in to pitch to Nix. Wigginton hit for Nix and drew a walk, putting runners on first and third. Rollins was next and flew to right for the second out. The ball wasn’t hit that deep, but Mayberry tagged and tried to score anyway. He probably would have been out with a good throw from Stanton, but Stanton’s throw was awful, way up the third base line. Mayberry scored and the run extended the lead to 9-7. Wigginton moved up to second when the throw came home. Frandsen hit for Pierre and was walked intentionally. Utley hit for himself and was walked unintentionally, which loaded the bases for Howard. Howard flew to center to end the inning.

Righty Heath Bell set Ruiz, Brown and Mayberry down in order in the eighth.

Rollins was 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, a stolen base and three RBI. He came into the game 4-for-his-last-22. Rollins had two home runs in his first 242 plate appearances for the year. At the end of the day on June 5 he was hitting 247/296/332 for the season. Since June 6 he’s hitting 248/312/472 with 16 home runs in 378 plate appearances. It was really nice of Brantly to drop the popup one pitch before his bomb last night.

Pierre was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-9.

Utley 3-for-3 with two walks and an error. 7-for-his-last-12 with two walks. He has walked in about 11.3% of his plate appearances, which is better than 8.6% for 2011 and better than his career mark of 9.8%. He topped out in ’09 and ’10, walking in 12.8% of his plate appearances in 2009 and 12.3% in 2010.

Howard 1-for-5, grounded into two double-plays and left eight men on base. Grounded into a double-play in the bottom of the first with nobody out and the bases loaded. Grounded into another in the third with nobody out and Utley on first. Flew to center with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh. 171/216/229 over his last 37 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 3-for-5 with a walk and a double since returning from the DL.

Brown 2-for-5 with an RBI, two strikeouts and six men left on base. Hit into a double-play with the bases loaded to end the fifth. Struck out swinging 2-2 with the bases loaded to end the sixth. He’s 6-for-his-last-15 with a walk.

Mayberry 1-for-5 with a double and a strikeout. 289/400/474 so far in September in 45 plate appearances after hitting 290/343/495 in August.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a double. Bunted Mayberry to third with the first out in the bottom of the seventh, which allowed Mayberry to score on the sac fly by Rollins. He’s 6-for-his-last-15 with two doubles.

Lee (4-7, 3.50) faces righty Josh Johnson (8-11, 3.81) this afternoon. Lee hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last five outings and he’s thrown to a 2.08 ERA in those starts. The Phillies have won three games he’s started in a row. They were 4-12 in his first 16 starts on the year. Johnson has had one bad start in his last nine outings, throwing to a 2.76 ERA in those appearances. He has a 5.22 ERA in his 12 starts away from home and a 2.87 ERA in his 16 starts at home for the year.


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