Tag: Joe Blanton

Complete surprise

Vance Worley threw his the first complete game of his career last night, holding the Giants to two runs on three hits and a walk as the Phils pounded San Francisco for a 7-2 win.

The Phils are now 9-2 on the year in the 11 starts that Worley has made — that .818 winning percentage is the best for any of their starting pitchers. They are 17-4 (.810) when Halladay starts.

Worley hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven starts. In those outings the Phils have gone 7-0 while Worley has thrown to a 1.14 ERA and opponents have hit .151 against him.

The bats have come alive for the Phillies in July. After scoring 3.69 runs a game in May and 3.78 runs a game in June, the Phils have scored 113 runs while going 14-6 so far in July. That’s about 5.65 runs per game.

The Phillies are 65-37 after beating the San Francisco Giants 7-2 last night.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five.

Andres Torres was the first batter of the game and hit a ball over Mayberry’s head and off the wall in right. Torres moved to third on a ground out by Jeff Keppinger and came home to score on Pablo Sandoval’s fly ball to left, putting the Giants up 1-0. Aubrey Huff flew to right for the third out.

Up 4-1, Worley set the Giants down in order in the second and again in the third.

Keppinger led off the fourth with a single. Sandoval popped to short for the first out and Huff flew to right for the second. Nate Schierholtz grounded to Utley to leave Keppinger stranded.

Worley had a 5-1 lead when he started the fifth. Cody Ross led off and hit a ground ball to third. Martinez fielded, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Worley left him stranded by striking out the next three hitters, getting Mike Fontenot, Eli Whiteside and pitcher Barry Zito all looking.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Up 6-1, he set the Giants down in order in the seventh.

He got the first two in the eighth before righty Aaron Rowand hit for the pitcher Zito. Rowand hit Worley’s first pitch out to left, cutting the Phillies lead to 6-2. Worley got Andres Torres on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Keppinger flew to center to start the ninth. Sandoval was next and drove a ball to left, but Ibanez made a nifty catch, timing his jump and crashing into the wall, for the second out. Worley walked Huff, then got Schierholtz to fly to right to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Barry Zito went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Mayberry (8) Schneider. Tim Lincecum was supposed to start the game for the Giants, but was scratched due to the flu. Mayberry played right instead of Brown, who was in the lineup before Lincecum was scratched.

Rollins and Martinez both flew out to start the bottom of the first with the Phils down 1-0. Utley followed with a single and came in to score when Howard doubled into the right field corner, tying the game at 1-1. Victorino walked after that and Ibanez hit the first pitch he saw from Zito out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Mayberry struck out to end the inning.

Ibanez stays in the lineup against the lefty with Francisco on the bench and delivers early. He came into the game hitting 221/250/379 against lefties.

The Phils went in order in the second and again in the third.

Victorino and Ibanez went down to start the fourth. Mayberry was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left center, extending the lead to 5-1. Schneider struck out for the third out.

Score another for Manuel’s lineup against the lefty Zito.

They went in order in the fifth.

Utley led off the sixth and drove a ball to center. It hit off the wall and rolled and rolled towards right. Schierholtz finally got to it and threw it into the infield, but Utley raced all the way around and slid in just ahead of (or at about the same time as) the tag. He was called safe and the Phils were up 6-1. The Phils went in order behind him.

Very close play at the plate. Whiteside’s tag was high cause the relay came in on the third base side of home plate, but Utley might have been out.

Mayberry started the seventh with a double to left. He took off trying to steal third, but left too early. Zito stepped off and threw to second where he was picked off for the first out. Schneider walked behind him. Worley tried to bunt him to second, but struck out fouling off strike two. Rollins flew to center to end the inning.

Up 6-2, Martinez and Utley went down to start the eighth before Howard pounded a 1-0 pitch out to center. 7-2. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-20.

Martinez 0-for-4. 2-for-his-last-16.

Utley 2-for-4 with a home run. 11-for-24 with four doubles and three home runs over his last nine games.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. 6-for-his-last-14. Twenty home runs on the year for Howard, all 20 of which have come against righties. He’s slugging .320 against lefties.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk. 6-for-his-last-16 with three walks.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a three-run homer. 5-for-his-last-11. 279/309/498 over his last 285 plate appearances since May 3.

Mayberry 2-for-3 with a double and a home run. 353/353/647 in his last 34 plate appearances (12-for-34 with seven doubles and a home run).

Schneider 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s hitting .176 in 81 plate appearances for the year.

Cole Hamels (12-5, 2.62) faces righty Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) tonight. Lincecum has allowed one run or less in five or his last six starts, throwing to a 1.66 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over those six outings. Hamels has allowed more than two runs in a start once in his last 11 outings. Righties are hitting 199/246/288 against him for the year. Over his last 14 starts he’s allowed just four home runs in 96 2/3 innings. That’s about .37 home runs per nine innings compared to his career rate of about 1.07.

This suggests there is no timetable for Contreras’s return and that Blanton may not return at all this year.

Gary Finkler has combined sports blogging and sketching at 7thinningsketch.com


Nobody versus Jason

A lot of folks didn’t show up for the Phillies last night, and in some cases the no-shows were more literal than others. The starting pitcher Blanton was a late scratch, forcing Kendrick, who has been pitching out of the pen, into an unexpected start. Jason Giambi went nuts in the game, homering three times in the first five innings and driving in seven runs. The Phils, meanwhile, could muster nearly nothing offensively and fell 7-1, getting the one run they did score with the help of a four-out inning.

The Phils have now scored seven runs in their last five games.

The Phillies are 26-17 on the year after losing to the Colorado Rockies 2-1 last night. The team’s split the two-game series, but the Phils have lost five of their last six.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out two.

Dexter Fowler led off the game with a single to center. Jonathan Herrera tried to bunt him to second, but popped it up to Ruiz for the first out. Carlos Gonzalez fouled out to Rollins for the second out before Tulowitzki singled into center, sending Fowler to third. That brought Giambi to the plate and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to right, putting Colorado on top 3-0. Seth Smith followed that with a walk before Jose Lopez grounded to second for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second, striking out Chris Iannetta, getting the pitcher Jhoulys Chacin on a ground ball to third and Dexter Fowler on a ball hit out in front of the plate.

Gonzalez doubled with one out in the third, but Kendrick got Tulowitzki on a fly ball to left behind him. Giambi was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to right. 5-0. Smith and Lopez followed with back-to-back singles, but Kendrick struck out Iannetta to leave them both stranded.

Baez pitched a 1-2-3 fourth.

He was back for the fifth with the lead cut to 5-1 and got Ryan Spilborghs on a ground ball to short for the first out. Tulowitzki was next and he hit a ground ball to third that Polanco didn’t handle for an error. It brought Giambi to the plate again and again he homered, this time hitting a 1-1 pitch out to right. 7-1. Smith singled behind him and went to third on a double by Lopez, but Baez struck Iannetta out swinging for the second out and got the pitcher Chacin to pop to Howard.

Mathieson pitched the sixth. Herrera singled with one out and moved up to second when Spilborghs followed and was hit by a pitch, but Tulowitzki flew to center for the second out and they finally got Giambi out, striking him out to leave both men stranded.

Smith singled to start the seventh with Mathieson still on the hill, but was thrown out by Gload trying to stretch it into a double. Lopez reached on an infield single, but Iannetta struck out again for the second and Chacin popped to Orr at second.

Mathieson allows three hits, but goes two scoreless innings. Smith trying to stretch his single and the throw by Gload helped him out a lot.

Stutes pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out single to Herrera, but struck Spilborghs out behind him and got Tulowitzki on a fly ball to right for the third out.

Romero struck out Giambi and Smith to start the ninth before Lopez doubled. Iannetta flew to right for the third out.

Six innings for the pen in which they allow two runs, only one of which is earned, on eight hits and no walks. Plus they started Kendrick in the game, a guy who was in the pen to begin with. That’s not what the Phillies needed given they don’t have an off-day till June 2.

Kendrick threw 73 pitches in the game. Baez 40, Mathieson 40. Romero 19 and Stutes 18.

That’s all bad. Don’t know what the Phillies are going to do. But they’re going to have to do something. Halladay tonight helps, but they’ll need more. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row, but you shouldn’t be looking for Kendrick, Baez or Mathieson in relief soon.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jhoulys Chacin went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Gload (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Orr. Gload starts in right against the righty with Mayberry and Francisco on the bench. He’s not an outfielder, but why not? Orr at second with the righty Valdez on the bench. Martinez in center again. For entertainment purposes, I really think they should have considered a third non-outfielder in left. Maybe Oswalt again.

Down 3-0, the Phillies went in order in the first and again in the second.

Ruiz blooped a single to left to start the third with the Phils down 5-0. Carlos Gonzalez strained his groin chasing after the ball and had to leave the game. He was replaced by Spilborghs. Orr followed that with a ground ball to first with Ruiz forced at second for the first out. Lee hit for Kendrick and struck out swinging for the second out. Rollins struck out to leave Orr at first.

No problem for me using Lee to pinch-hit there.

Polanco singled on a ball deflected by Chacin with one out in the fourth. Howard struck out swinging for the second out. Gload was next and he struck out swinging, too, but on a wild pitch from Chacin that allowed him to take first. Ibanez was next and delivered a ground-rule double to right-center with Polanco scoring from second to put the Phils on the board at 5-1 and Gload taking third. Ruiz popped to second to leave both runners stranded.

Again the Phils need help from the defense to put a run on the board.

Orr flew to center to start the fifth with the Phils down 7-1. Gload hit for Baez and grounded to first for the second out. Rollins followed with a walk and Martinez struck out swinging.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Ibanez started the seventh with a single to right. Ruiz followed with a ground out to first that moved Ibanez to second. Orr struck out swinging for the second out and, with Chacin still on the mound for Colorado, Mayberry hit for Mathieson and struck out to leave Ruiz at second.

Polanco singled with two outs in the eighth and took second without a throw. Howard grounded out to leave him there.

Gload started the ninth with a single to right, but Ibanez flew out behind him and Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the game.

One extra-base hit in the game for the Phils, the double by Ibanez. One walk (Rollins in the fifth).

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game and 1-for-6 in the two-game set. He’s hitting 266/344/358 on the season. 184/200/263 over the last eight games.

Martinez was 0-for-4 in the game and 0-for-7 in the series. He’s hitting 194/237/194 for the year.

Polanco 2-for-4 in the game and 2-for-7 in the series. 335/337/427 for the year.

Howard was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 0-for-7 in the series, dropping his line on the year to 241/319/475. 132/233/340 over his last 60 plate appearances.

Gload was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-10 and hitting 313/313/313 for the year (10-for-32 with ten singles and no walks).

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a double in the game and 3-for-7 in the series. 339/350/542 in May and 233/287/349 on the season.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 and left four men on base. 2-for-6 in the series and 218/319/333 for the season. He was hitting 351/415/568 after going 2-for-4 against the Nats on April 14. He has hit 098/240/122 in 50 plate appearances since.

Orr 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his only action of the series. 230/299/279 on the season. 9-for-his-last-50. Valdez was 2-for-3 with a double in the series and is hitting 244/277/309 on the year.

Roy Halladay (5-2, 2.21) faces lefty CJ Wilson (4-2, 3.38) tonight as the Phils host the Rangers. Lefties are hitting just .212 against Wilson with two extra-base hits, both doubles, for the year. The Phillies are 0-2 in the last two games that Halladay has started. He has thrown a complete game in both of them. Righties are hitting .190 against him for the year.

The Phils put both Blanton and Victorino on the DL. The linked article suggests that Worley will likely replace Blanton but that Domonic Brown is not likely to replace Victorino.

Update: Brown was called up to replace Victorino.


Phils put a double-play whammy on Fish in Blanton’s return to the rotation

The Phils turned four double-plays in the first five innings last night in support of Joe Blanton’s return to the rotation. With the help of a nice game offensively and some weak defense from the Marlins, the Phils topped Florida 6-4 in the opener of a three-game set.

The top six hitters in the Phillies order combined for ten hits in the game. Ross Gload made his second start of the year in the outfield with a slumping Francisco on the bench and went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.

Blanton was credited with the win, but it wasn’t just the defense that helped him out. Worley gave the Phils three solid innings in relief and Madson nailed down his fourth save in a quiet ninth.

The Phillies are 23-11 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 6-4 last night.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out two and has a 5.83 ERA after five starts this season.

He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Chris Coghlan led off with a single and moved to second when Emilio Bonifacio grounded out on a ball hit out in front of the plate that Blanton handled and went to first on. Hanley Ramirez moved Coghlan to third with a single before Gaby Sanchez cleared the bases with a double, putting Florida up 2-1. Blanton walked Mike Stanton behind Sanchez, but got Greg Dobbs to hit into a double-play, with Howard fielding, throwing to second and Blanton taking the throw from Rollins at first, to end the inning.

Blanton struck John Buck out swinging to start the second before Omar Infante singled to left. Pitcher Javier Vazquez bunted Infante to second with the second out before Coghlan singled into left, scoring Infante to make it 3-1. Coghlan stole second before Bonifacio lined to center to leave him there.

He started the third with a 4-3 lead. Ramirez led off with a single, but Sanchez hit into a double-play behind him. Stanton singled to left before Dobbs flew to Victorino for the third out.

Buck started the fourth with a walk and Infante hit into a double-play behind him. Vazquez grounded to third for the third out.

Third double-play turned by the Phillies in three innings.

Coghlan reached on an infield single to start the fifth with the Phils up 6-3. Blanton struck out Bonifacio for the first out and got Ramirez to hit into a double-play behind him.

Worley started the sixth. Sanchez led off with a single to right and moved to second when Stanton grounded to Polanco for the first out. Dobbs hit a ball that Worley handled Sanchez was hung up, Worley threw to Rollins and Rollins threw to Polanco who tagged Sanchez out for the second out. Worley walked Buck in a nine-pitch at-bat, putting men on first and second for Infante. Infante flew to left to end the inning.

Worley walked Coghlan with one out in the seventh, but got the next two hitters behind him.

Worley got ahead of Sanchez to start the eighth, but Sanchez hit an 0-2 pitch out to left to cut the Phillie lead to 6-4. Worley struck out Stanton behind him, got Dobbs to pop to Valdez and struck out Buck looking for the third out.

Madson started the ninth with a two-run lead. Lefty Scott Cousins hit for the pitcher Randy Choate and reached on an infield single. Bryan Petersen followed with a ground ball to short. Cousins was forced at second for the first out with Petersen safe at first. Madson struck Coghlan out swinging 2-2 for the second out and got Bonifacio on a ground ball to second to end the game and earn his fourth save.

Four innings for the pen in which they allow one run on three hits and two walks. Worley threw 61 pitches (Blanton only threw 66), so don’t look for him anytime soon. Madson threw 13.

The Phillies lineup against righty Javier Vazquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Gload (7) Orr (8) Schneider. The lefty Gload in right with Francisco, 1-for-his-last-20, on the bench. Ibanez hits fifth. The lefties Orr and Schneider in the lineup with righties Valdez and Sardinha on the bench.

Rollins led off the game and homered to center on a 3-1 pitch, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino and Polanco went down behind him before Howard doubled to right. Ibanez was next and lined a single into left, but Howard tried to score and was thrown out at home plate by a wide margin to set the Phils down.

Not a close play at the plate as the ball arrived well before Howard, who was tagged standing up.

Down 2-1, the Phils went in order in the second.

Blanton and Rollins singled back-to-back to start the third, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino flew to center before Polanco singled to load the bases. Howard lined a single to right, moving everyone up a base and scoring Blanton to cut the lead to 3-2. Ibanez popped near the catcher on the infield fly rule for the second out. Gload was next and he singled between second and third. Rollins scored easily to put tie the game at 3-3 and Polanco held up about half way between third and home. Bonifacio in left threw the ball home and way over the head of the catcher Buck. Polanco took off for home, the ball bounced back to Buck and he tossed to Vazquez covering home plate. Polanco would have been out, but Vazquez dropped the ball, Polanco was safe and the Phils led 4-3. Orr grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Two misplays allow Polanco to score — first the throw goes over Buck’s head and than Vazquez drops the ball. Gload’s single should have been a routine ground ball to second, but Ramirez was playing close to second base on a weird shift. Rollins again is in the middle of the scoring for the Phils.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Victorino led off the fifth with a triple and came in to score when Polanco followed and flew to center, extending the lead to 5-3. Howard followed that with a walk and moved to third on a single by Ibanez. Gload was next and he singled to left, scoring Howard (6-3) and moving Ibanez to second. Orr struck out swinging for the second out and Schneider grounded to second.

The Phils went in order in the sixth. Martinez hit for Blanton and flew to center for the first out of the inning.

Polanco, Howard and Ibanez went in order in the seventh.

Mayberry, who had taken over for Gload in right in the bottom of the seventh, led off the eighth with a single to center. Orr struck out swinging for the first out before Mayberry stole second. He took third on a ground out to first by Schneider, but was left there when Worley hit for himself and struck out swinging.

Worley hits for himself with two outs, a man on third and the Phils up 6-3. He had thrown 49 pitches in the game.

Victorino walked with one out in the ninth and the Phils up 6-4. Polanco flew to right for the second out on a ball that Stanton caught, then mishandled for an error that allowed Victorino to take third. Lefty Randy Choate took over for righty Brian Sanches and Choate struck out Howard to leave Mayberry at third.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with his second home run of the year.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk and a triple. He’s on pace to hit 20 triples.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with an RBI. He has hit 250/270/281 in 32 at-bats in May so far.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-11 with a double and a home run.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with two singles to raise his average on the year to .222.

Gload was 2-for-3 with two RBI. He’s hitting 364/364/364 on the year — 8-for-22 with eight singles and no walks.

Orr was 0-for-4, struck out twice and left five men on base.

Schneider was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. He’s hitting .160 after 50 at-bats for the year.

Halladay (5-1, 2.19) faces righty Josh Johnson (3-1, 1.68) tonight. Johnson has allowed 26 hits in 48 1/3 innings on the season so far this year. He’s allowed more than one earned run in just two of his seven starts. He’s coming off his only bad outing of the year — he allowed five runs in 7 1/3 innings against the Cardinals in his most recent start. Halladay has only had one start on the season in which he allowed more than two runs, earned or unearned. He’s allowed four runs in 24 2/3 innings over his last three starts, throwing to a 1.46 ERA and an 0.81 ratio while striking out 32.

This suggests that Oswalt could rejoin the rotation on May 17.

The linked article also says that the off-day this Thursday will allow the Phils to skip their fifth starter on Friday and that Utley went 1-for-7 in extended spring training action on Monday.


Vance to give it a Worley

The Phillies have put Joe Blanton on the DL with a problem with his right elbow.

Righty Vance Worley will start tonight’s game against righty Mike Pelfrey (1-2, 7.23) and the Mets.

Worley, who will turn 24 in September, made five appearances, two of which were starts, for the Phillies in 2010. He pitched very well, throwing to a 1.38 ERA and an 0.92 ratio over 13 innings. In each of his starts he went five innings, allowing two run in ten innings combined. He has made four starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley so far in 2011, throwing to a 2.78 ERA with a 1.10 ratio while striking out 25 in 22 innings. His last start came on Sunday, so he’ll be pitching on regular rest. He went five innings and threw 89 pitches in that start.

Pelfrey has been awful this year, but the best of the five starts he’s made came his last time out when he held the Diamondbacks to a run on five hits and two walks over seven innings. Opponents are hitting 333/405/529 against him for the season. He hasn’t fared well against lefties in his career — they’ve put up a 295/367/442 line against him over 1,620 plate appearances. He started against the Phils on April 6 and was pounded, charged with seven runs in two innings. Blanton had trouble holding a 7-0 lead in that game, but after the Mets tied the game at 7-7 in the fifth the Phils put three more runs on the board to win 10-7.

The article linked in the top paragraph says that Ruiz will be rest for a few days. This says that Dane Sardinha is headed to Philadelphia, but Blanton to the DL and Worley activated is the only transaction showing on the Phillies web site so far.


Conscientious decision not to schedule a double-header saves Halladay from throwing 340 pitches

Let’s play one. Please.

Roy Halladay gave the Phils his third good start in three tries for the season last night, throwing a complete game as the Phils topped the Nats 3-2 to even the series at a game apiece.

The game was memorable for just how long Halladay pitched. He started the bottom of the ninth up 3-0 and we’ll probably never know how long Manuel would have let him go. We do know the answer was a long, long time. We know he didn’t pull him when the first two Nationals batters of the ninth got hits, bringing the tying run to the plate. Not when the Nats scored. Not on the third hit of the inning or the fourth. Not when Washington put the tying run on second or brought the winning run to the plate with just one out. Not when Halladay’s pitch count topped 120.

So it went on and on and got a little nutty. Ended well, though, cause whether you think Manuel made the right decision or not, Halladay added his own exclamation point, striking out the last two batters he faced on six pitches to finish things off.

The Phils are 8-3 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 3-2 last night.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. Four of the hits he allowed came in the bottom of the ninth inning. He struck out nine and has a 1.23 ERA after three starts. He threw 123 pitches in the game. In 2010, Halladay threw 120 or more pitches in a start twice, throwing 121 on May 12 and 132 in his next start, which came on May 18. On the May 12 game he went just 6 1/3 innings. He’s averaged 112 pitches per start through his first three of 2011.

He got Ian Desmond on a ground ball to third for the first out of the first. Rick Ankiel was next and he flew to center. Jayson Werth struck out looking to end the inning.

Adam LaRoche was the first batter in the bottom of the second and he singled into right. Laynce Nix followed with a ground ball to first. Howard went to Halladay covering and Nix took second with one down. Danny Espinosa bunted Nix to third with the second out and Halladay struck out Jerry Hairston to leave Nix stranded.

Halladay struck Ivan Rodriguez out for the first out in the third. Pitcher John Lannan grounded to short for the second, but Halladay walked Desmond and Desmond stole second before Ankiel walked as well. Werth grounded to first to leave both men stranded.

Halladay had a 1-0 lead when LaRoche started the fourth with another single. Nix fouled out to Ruiz and Espinosa hit into a double-play to turn Washington away.

Up 3-0, Halladay threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He needed nine pitches to throw a 1-2-3 sixth.

LaRoche popped to first to start the seventh. Halladay got ahead of Nix 0-2, but hit him in the foot with a pitch. Espinosa popped a ball up in foul territory between third base and home plate and Halladay made a nice running play to get the second out. Hairston struck out swinging.

Washington went in order again in the eighth. Alex Cora hit for the pitcher Doug Slaten and grounded to short for the second out.

Halladay had thrown 101 pitches through eight innings and started the ninth with the Phils still up by three runs. Ankiel led off and doubled into the gap in right-center. Werth was next and singled to left, moving Ankiel to third. Halladay struck LaRoche out swinging 3-2 for the first out, but Nix lined a single into right that scored Ankiel and moved Werth to third. 3-1. Espinosa was next and he hit a ball in the hole between third and short. Rollins made a diving play to field the ball, but didn’t have a play anywhere. Espinosa had an infield single, Werth scored and it was 3-2 with one out and men on first and second. Manuel left Halladay in to pitch to the lefty Stairs and Halladay struck him out on three pitches. Halladay struck Rodriguez out looking at an 0-2 pitch that was pretty, but outside, to end the game.

Glad it worked out, but that was crazy. For the record, I was hoping they would take him out after Ankiel and Werth both reached on hits to get things started.

The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez.

Victorino started the game with a double to left. Polanco was next and reached on an infield single with Victorino holding second. Rollins hit a ball to third and the Nats turned the double-play. Howard struck out to leave Victorino stranded at third.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Valdez led off the third and reached on an infield single. Halladay bunted him to second and Victorino followed that with a walk. It put men on first and second with one out for Polanco, but Polanco hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.

Rollins started the fourth and hit a ball to short that Desmond didn’t handle for an error. Howard was next and grounded out to third, but Desmond ran into Rollins as Rollins took second and Rollins was given third on defensive interference. With one out and Rollins on third, Francisco hit a 3-0 pitch hard to short. Rollins was running on contact and scored as the play went to first for the second out, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez flew to center for the third out.

Washington has been terrible defensively in the series.

Ruiz started the fifth with a single and Valdez walked behind him. Halladay bunted and the pitcher Lannan threw to third to force Ruiz for the first out. Victorino flew to right for the second out, deep enough for Valdez to take third. With men on first and third and two down, Polanco singled into center, scoring Valdez to make it 2-0 with men on first and second. Rollins was next and he singled with a soft liner into right, loading the bases. Howard was hit by a pitch, forcing Halladay home. 3-0. Francisco flew to center for the third out.

Lannan’s pitch hit Howard on the right wrist. He stayed in the game and X-rays after the game were negative. It’s not clear if he can play today or not. Lannan broke Chase Utley’s right hand in his major league debut, which came on July 26, 2007. He was ejected from that game when he hit the next batter (Howard) after breaking Utley’s hand.

Ruiz walked with one out in the sixth, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

Valdez hits into a lot of double-plays. He’s on pace to hit into 44 this year, which might not even happen.

Polanco walked with two outs in the seventh. Rollins flew to center for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the eighth.

They went in order in the ninth, too. With two outs and nobody on, Halladay hit for himself and popped to first. He had thrown 101 pitches in the game.

Victorino went 1-for-3 in the game with a double and a walk. The double was the only extra-base hit for the Phils.

Polanco 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

Rollins 1-for-4. Top three in the order go 4-for-10 with a pair of walks.

Howard 0-for-3 with an RBI and a strikeout. He has struck out just three times in his last 31 plate appearances and doesn’t have more than one strikeout in a game in any of the last seven.

Francisco 0-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-15. 200/294/333 since the end of the opening series of the year against the Astros.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out three times. So much for his early season splits against lefties and his monster numbers against Lannan.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.

Valdez 1-for-3 with another walk. Two on the year.

Ex-Phil Jayson Werth was 1-for-4 in the game and struck out twice. 3-for-7 with a double, a home run and a walk in the series so far.

Cliff Lee (1-1, 7.84) faces righty Jordan Zimmerman (1-1, 3.18) tonight in game three of the series. Lee has made two starts on the year, pitching pretty well against the Astros in the second game of the year but getting hit hard by the Braves in his last start. Zimmerman has allowed two earned runs in each of his two outings. He went six innings against the Braves in his first start of the year and 5 1/3 against the Mets in his most recent.

Rich Dubee sounds less convinced than Blanton that Blanton’s troubles are all about pitching out of the stretch.


Joe my goodness

The second game of the series with the Mets looked like the first in a couple of ways and completely different in a third. Again the Phillie starter was awful and again the bullpen was great, but this time the offense hit and hit, plating ten runs to pace the Phils to a win.

Joe Blanton took a 7-0 lead into the fourth inning and couldn’t hold it. He was out of the game and the score was 7-7 before the top of the fifth ended. The bullpen was fantastic. After a solid performance in game one after Hamels left early, they have been called on to throw 11 innings in the first two games of the set and have been charged with one run.

Polanco drove in three runs in the game and Francisco finally got a ball to go out to left, but it was Howard who really drove the offense for the Phils in the game. He went 4-for-4 with a home run and pair of doubles after a frustrating night in the first game of the series.

The Phillies are 4-1 on the year after beating the New York Mets 10-7 last night.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

Jose Reyes was the first batter of the game and bunted for a single. With Willie Harris at the plate, Reyes stole second and took third on a throwing error by Schneider. Blanton struck Harris out swinging, though, and followed that up by getting David Wright looking. Carlos Beltran flew to left to turn the Mets away.

Up 2-0 when he started the second, Blanton got Angel Pagan and Ike Davis on a pair of ground outs before Brad Emaus reached base on a ball hit out in front of the plate. Josh Thole grounded to second for the third out.

It was 3-0 when he started the third. He struck the pitcher Mike Pelfrey out for the first out and got Reyes to fly to left for the second. Harris singled to right, but Blanton struck Wright out for the second time in three innings to leave Harris at first.

Blanton started the fourth with a 7-0 lead. He hit Beltran to start the inning. Pagan was next and hit an 0-1 pitch just out to left-center, cutting the lead to 7-2. Blanton struck out Davis for the first out before Emaus reached on another infield single. Thole hit into a double-play behind him.

Blanton struck Daniel Murphy, pinch-hitting for the pitcher Taylor Buchholz, out to start the fifth. Reyes was next and hit a ball that landed on the warning track in left for a double. Harris followed that with a walk before Wright singled into center, scoring Reyes to make it 7-3 and moving Harris to second. Beltran was next and he hit the first pitch he saw into center for another single. Harris scored and it was 7-4 with men on first and second for Pagan. Pagan lined a single just passed a diving Rollins and into left, moving everyone up a base to load them for Davis. Davis hit a ball into right that rolled all the way to wall. Wright scored and Beltran scored, bringing Emaus to the plate with men on second and third and the lead cut to 7-6. Blanton walked Emaus on four pitches, loading the bases for the lefty Thole. Bastardo took over for Blanton with Valdez double-switched in at second as well and struck Thole out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Another lefty, Murphy, was next and he swung at the first pitch and singled into left. Everyone moved up another base and Pagan scored to tie the game at 7-7. Reyes lined to Ibanez in left to finally end the frame.

Big strikeout for Bastardo with one out and a man on third, but Murphy follows it up with a single.

Bastardo came back to pitch the sixth with a 9-7 lead and set the Mets down in order.

Romero pitched the seventh up 10-7. He allowed a one-out single to Davis, but Emaus followed Davis and hit into a double-play.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Contreras started the ninth with the Phils still up three. He struck Harris out for the first out got Wright on a popup that Valdez took near the foul line behind first base. Beltran drew a walk, but Contreras got Pagan to line to short to end the game.

Second night in a row that the bullpen pitches great to bail out the starting pitcher. They went 4 2/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk. Romero and Bastardo were both throwing for the second straight day. Contreras threw 21 pitches in the game, Bastardo 20, Madson ten and Romero eight.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Pelfrey went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Francisco (7) Orr (8) Schneider. With lefty Jon Niese scheduled to pitch today’s game, Manuel starts lefties Orr and Schneider against the righty and will surely start Ruiz against the lefty today. Wily.

Victorino started the bottom of the first and lined a triple into center. Polanco was next and hit a ball that Emaus handled at second, but Victorino came in to score and put the Phillies up 1-0. Howard was next and lined a double into center. Rollins flew to center for the second out before Ibanez lined a single to left that scored Howard, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Francisco flew to left for the third out.

Orr reached on an infield single to start the second. Schneider was next and flew to left for the first out. Blanton got the bunt down. Pelfrey got to the ball, but his throw wasn’t handled for an error that left the Phils with men on second and third with one out. Victorino was next and hit a ground ball to short. Orr was running on contact and scored from third, extending the lead to 3-0 for the Phils. Polanco was next and lined a single into center, moving Blanton to third. With two down and men on the corners, Rollins struck out to end the inning.

Howard hit Pelfrey’s first pitch of the third out to center for his second home run of the year. It put the Phils up 4-0. Ibanez followed that with another single and Francisco drew a walk. It put men on first and second for Orr and Orr popped a ball into shallow left field that stayed in the air a long, long time, but managed to drop between Reyes and Harris for a single that loaded the bases. That was all for Pelfrey and the Mets brought righty Taylor Buchholz in to pitch to Schneider. Schneider struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out, but Blanton chopped a single down the left field line and Ibanez and Francisco both scored. 6-0 with men on first and third. Victorino struck out looking for the second out before Polanco dropped a flair into right-center field for a single that scored Orr from third and moved Blanton to second with the Phils up 7-0. Rollins struck out swinging 2-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Schneider and Victorino both can’t put the ball in play with less than two outs and a man on third. Monster shot for Howard and a big hit for Blanton.

The lead was cut to 7-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Howard led off and lined a double off the wall in left. Ibanez moved Howard to third with a ground out and Francisco got ahead 3-0 before striking out swinging. Buchholz struck Orr out on three pitches to leave Howard at third.

Francisco can’t bring Howard in from third with one out.

The game was tied at 7-7 when the Phils hit in the bottom of the fifth. Schneider and Valdez went down to start the inning before Victorino doubled to left. Polanco was next and singled to right, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 8-7. Rollins was next and walk, moving Polanco to second. Howard followed and hit a ball that went off of the pitcher Blaine Boyer. Emaus finally tracked it down, but Polanco raced all the way around to score and put the Phils up 9-7. Ibanez grounded to short for the third out.

Great hustle by Polanco to score on the ball hit by Howard.

Francisco started the sixth and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left for his second homer of the year, extending the lead to 10-7. With righty Blaine Boyer pitching for the Mets, Mayberry hit for Bastardo and singled to left. Schneider hit into a double-play and Valdez struck out swinging.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Howard walked to start the eighth. Ibanez was next and hit a ground ball to first. Howard was forced at second, but Ibanez beat the relay. Ibanez stole second as Francisco struck out for the second out. With righty Francisco Rodriguez on the mound for New York, Gload hit for Madson and struck out swinging.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.

Polanco 3-for-5 with three RBI.

Rollins 0-for-4 with a walk.

Howard was 4-for-4 with a walk, two doubles and a home run. Two RBI.

Ibanez 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Francisco 1-for-4 with a walk, a home run and two RBI.

Orr was 2-for-3.

Schneider 0-for-4 with a throwing error and five men left on base.

Halladay (0-0, 1.50) faces lefty Jon Niese (0-0, 2.57) this afternoon. He went six innings against the Astros on opening day, allowing a run on five hits and no walks while striking out six. Niese has also made one start on the year, which came against the Marlins. He allowed two runs over seven innings on four hits and a walk.


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