Tag: Joey Votto

Madson and Lidge cross their fingers the Phils don’t decide to go with 22 hitters for the NLCS

Cole Hamels was fantastic last night, throwing a complete game shutout as the Phils topped the Reds 2-0 in Cincinnati to finish off the sweep in the NLDS.

The Phils plated a run in the top of the first with the help of yet another Cincinnati error. With two outs and men on first and third, Werth hit a ground ball to short. Orlando Cabrera fielded, but his throw pulled Joey Votto off of first base and Polanco came in to score to put the Phils up 1-0. Utley hit a fifth inning home run to end the scoring for the game.

The Phils scored just 13 runs in the three game series, but thanks to the no-hitter by Halladay in game one, the shutout by Hamels in game three and four scoreless frames from the bullpen in game two, it was enough.

Cincinnati couldn’t score, but they couldn’t field either. The Reds made seven errors in three games and only seven of the 13 runs that the Phillies scored in the series were earned.

The Phillies have won their best-of-five series with the Cincinnati Reds, taking game three 2-0 to complete a three-game sweep. They will play either the Giants or the Braves in the NLCS, which starts on Saturday in Philadelphia.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing four singles and a double. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. That might not even be the best post-season start of his career — in game one of the 2008 NLDS, Hamels held the Brewers to two singles and a walk over eight shutout innings and struck out nine as the Phils won 3-1.

He faced a Cincinnati lineup that went (1) Drew Stubbs (CF/R) (2) Brandon Phillips (2B/R) (3) Joey Votto (1B/L) (4) Scott Rolen (3B/R) (5) Jonny Gomes (LF/R) (6) Ramon Hernandez (C/R) (7) Jay Bruce (RF/L) (8) Orlando Cabrera (SS/R). That’s the same eight players the Reds started in game one against the righty Halladay, but in a different order. Stubbs moves into the leadoff spot with Philips hitting second. Cabrera, who left game two with a side injury, starts but hits eighth. Hernandez moves up to sixth in the order with Bruce dropped from sixth to seventh.

Cincinnati started the game with six players on their bench, lefties Juan Francisco and Laynce Nix and righties Ryan Hanigan, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo.

Stubbs led off the bottom of the first with the Phils up 1-0 and hit a ball in the hole between third and short. Rollins fielded and made a long, strong throw to firs that was in the first. Howard scooped it, but Stubbs beat it out for an infield single. Phillips was next and he smoked a 1-0 pitch into left center. Victorino got a great jump on the ball and caught it on a full run for the first out. Stubbs was running on the 3-2 pitch that Votto hit back to the mound. Hamels turned and looked at second, but there was no play there. He took the out at first and Rolen came to the plate with two down and Stubbs on second. Hamels struck Rolen out looking at a 96 miles per hour fastball on the inside corner for the third out.

Huge play by Victorino on the ball hit by Phillips. That sure looked like a double. The 3-4-5 hitters in the Reds lineup were 1-for-21 with a Votto single in the series at that point.

Hamels threw 15 pitches in the inning.

Gomes chopped an 0-2 pitch to third for the first out of the second inning. Hernandez was next and flew to Werth in shallow right. Votto followed him and hit a 1-1 pitch hard between first and second. Utley made a diving effort, but the ball went off his glove and Bruce had a single. Hamels struck Cabrera out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.

Two hits through two innings for Hamels, both on plays that should have been made defensively by the Phils. Hamels had thrown 31 pitches in the game after a 16-pitch second.

Hamels through quick third. The pitcher Cueto led off and bunted an 0-1 pitch, popping it up in foul territory. Ruiz took it for the first out. Stubbs flew to left on an 0-1 pitch and Phillips flew to right on an 0-1 pitch.

Just six pitches in the inning for Hamels, who was at 37 for the game.

Votto grounded hard to Utley on a 2-2 pitch to start the fourth. Rolen was next and bounced a 1-1 pitch up the middle and into center for a single Gomes got ahead 2-0 and Hamels delivered a pitch that looked high to me but was called a strike. Hamels struck him out swinging at a low changeup 3-2 for the second out. Hernandez swung at the first pitch and grounded to Utley to end the inning.

When Hamels got behind Gomes 2-0 it was the only time I had been even a little worried about him all night. He was fortunate to get the 2-0 call on a ball out of the zone, but the at-bat ended nicely at Hamels got him with a pretty pitch. He had thrown 52 pitches in the game after a 15-pitch inning.

The Phils were up 2-0 when he started the fifth. Bruce fouled out to Ruiz on a 1-0 pitch for the first out. Cabrera grounded to first for the second. That brought up the pitcher’s spot, and righty Miguel Cairo hit for Cueto. Hamels struck him out swinging 0-2 for the third out.

Nine pitches in the inning had Hamels at 61.

He struck Stubbs out swinging 3-2 for the first out of the sixth. Phillips grounded to short on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. He got ahead of Votto 0-2, then struck him out swinging at a 3-2 changeup to end the inning.

Fifteen pitches in the inning for Hamels had him at 76. He had set down eight in a row.

He struck Rolen out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the seventh. Gomes was next and Hamels threw him a 2-2 changeup that was up and over the plate. Gomes hit it hard, but not hard enough. Ibanez took it on the warning track for the second out. Hernandez was next and he ripped a 1-0 pitch into left for a double. Arroyo ran for him at second, but Hamels got Bruce to line to Werth 1-1 to end the inning.

Gomes, Hernandez and Bruce all hit the ball hard right in a row, but Hamels got away with it. He was up to 95 pitches after 19 in the frame.

Cabrera swung at the first pitch of the eighth and flew to left. Ryan Hanigan was next, he had been double-switched into the game in the top of the inning with the new pitcher Bailey moving into Hernandez’s spot. Hanigan popped a 2-0 pitch up between third and the plate in foul territory. Polanco and Ruiz couldn’t figure out who was going to catch it. Eventually Polanco tried and dropped the ball and was charged with an error. Hamels got him to ground to second for the second out and then struck Stubbs out swinging at a high fastball.

106 pitches in the game for Hamels after throwing 11 in the inning.

Phillips started the ninth and quickly got ahead 2-0. Hamels evened the count at 2-2 and then ripped a ball past a diving Polanco and into left field for a single. He threw strike one and then strike two past Votto and then got MVP to hit a 1-2 pitch to Utley and the Phils turned and easy-looking double-play. Golly. It brought Rolen to the plate as the last hope for the Reds and Hamels struck him out swinging to end the series.

The Reds scored four runs in the three-game series.

Gomes, Cairo, Hanigan, Nix, Heisey, Francisco and Janish combined to go 0-for-20.

Votto was 1-for-10 with a single and no walks.

Bruce 2-for-8 with a home run and two walks. He and Phillips were the only two Cincinnati players who on-based at least .300 in the series. Phillips was 4-for-12 with a home run and no walks.

Stubbs 1-for-9, Rolen 1-for-11. Cabrera 1-for-8 and Hernandez 1-for-7 with a double.

The Phillies lineup against righty Johnny Cueto went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. That’s the same lineup they used against Arroyo in game two. Rollins still shouldn’t be hitting ahead of Ibanez and Ibanez shouldn’t be hitting seventh.

The Phillies bench had seven offensive players to start the game, lefties Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, Domonic Brown and Greg Dobbs and righties Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney and Wilson Valdez.

Victorino started the game and flew to right on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Polanco followed him and lined an 0-1 pitch into left for a single. Utley hit an 0-1 pitch well, but Stubbs took it on the warning track for the second out. Howard got ahead 3-0 and flared a 3-2 pitch into left. Gomes was playing extremely deep, nearly on the warning track, and the ball fell in front of him near the foul line for a single that sent Polanco to third. Werth reached out and tapped a 3-2 pitch to short. Cabrera fielded the ball, but his throw to first was bad, on the home plate side of first, and Votto had to come off the bag to get it. Werth was safe on the error and Polanco scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Rollins swung at the first pitch and flew to center to leave the runners at first and second.

More bad defense from the Reds gives the Phils an early 1-0 lead. Cueto threw 21 pitches in the inning.

Ibanez started the second and hit a 2-0 pitch well to right, but Bruce took it for the first out. Ruiz bounced a single up the middle and Hamels bunted him to second with the second out. Victorino got ahead 2-0 and then lined a 2-1 pitch to Cabrera at short for the third out.

Ibanez and Victorino both hit the ball well in the inning, The other out that Cueto got the Phillies gave him. He was at 32 pitches for the game after throwing 11 in the inning.

Polanco grounded to second to start the third. Utley struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Howard chopped a 2-2 pitch to where you might expect the third baseman to be, but the big shift had Rolen near short. He fielded the ball after a long run and threw to first, but Howard beat it out and was 2-for-2. Werth got behind 0-2 and struck out swinging 2-2 to leave Howard at first.

Cueto had thrown 54 pitches.

Rollins had a nice at-bat to start the fourth, working a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Ibanez flew to center 1-2 for the first out. Ruiz was next and hit a 1-0 pitch to third. Rolen made an odd play, moving backwards and then throwing awkwardly to second to force Rollins for the second out. Hamels flew to shallow center to leave Ruiz at first.

Cueto’s pitch count was up to 69.

Victorino grounded to first on a 2-2 pitch to start the fifth. Polanco was next and flew to Bruce near the foul line in right for the second out. Utley followed and Cueto hung an 0-1 slider in the middle of the plate, which Utley hammered over the wall in right-center just out of the reach of Stubbs to put the Phils up 2-0. Howard swung at the first pitch and grounded to Phillips, who was playing second in shallow right field.

First home run of the series for the Phils. Cueto had thrown 83 pitches through five innings.

Righty Homer Bailey was on the mound for the Reds to start the sixth after Cincy hit for Cueto in the bottom of the fifth. He struck Werth out looking 0-2 for the first out. Rollins was next and singled into right on a 3-1 pitch. Ruiz struck out swinging at a high fastball 1-2 for the second out. Ruiz hit a 1-1 pitch between third and short. Rolen slid fielding the ball, then popped up and dropped the ball trying to get it out of his glove. It put men on first and second for Hamels and he flew to shallow right on an 0-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Second error in the series for Rolen plus a bad throw to second in game one in which he wasn’t charged with an error. Rollins was 1-for-10 in the series and had been on base in each of his last two times to the plate.

Bailey was back for the seventh. Victorino led off with a single to left. Polanco was next and grounded into a double-play on a 1-2 pitch. Utley hit a 1-0 pitch well to left, but Gomes took it right in front of the warning track for the third out.

Lefty Bill Bray started the eighth to pitch to Howard and got him with a high 3-2 fastball for the first out. Righty Nick Masset took over to pitch to Werth and Werth struck out swinging at a 2-2 breaking ball that was outside. Masset got Rollins to fly to center for the third out.

Lefty Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for the Reds. Ibanez lined a 3-2 pitch hard to right to start the inning, but Bruce handled it for the first out. Ruiz quickly got behind in the count but lined an 0-2 pitch down the right field line for a double. Hamels hit for himself and drove a ball to left-center, but Stubbs tracked it down for the second out. Victorino flew to center to leave Ruiz stranded at second.

Great job by Hamels not to get injured facing Chapman. He also crushed the ball.

Victorino was 1-for-5 in the game. He also made a very nice play on the ball Phillips hit hard to left center in the first. 3-for-13 with a double and a walk in the series.

Polanco 1-for-4. 1-for-9 with no walks in the set. Going back to the regular season, he has one extra-base hit, a double, in his last 78 plate appearances.

Utley 1-for-4 with a homer. 3-for-11 with a home run in the series.

Howard 2-for-4 with a pair of strange singles. 3-for-11 with three singles and two walks.

Werth 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. 2-for-12 with five strikeouts.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-11 with two walks.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with a strikeout, but hit the ball better than that. 3-for-12 with a double and a walk.

Ruiz 2-for-4. 2-for-8 with three walks in the set.

Valdez 1-for-3. Brown 0-for-1. Sweeney 0-for-1.

Utley would be the offensive MVP in the series for the Phils if you had to pick one. He didn’t play especially well offensively.

Rollins, Polanco and Werth combined to go 4-for-32 with four singles and three walks in the series.

The Phils scored less than 4 1/2 runs per game in the set with the Reds making an average of more than two runs per game.


Halladay cleverly walks one so nobody will suspect he’s figured out how to see through the Matrix and everything looks like 3-D black and green graph paper to him now

After a perfect game and a season worthy of a Cy Young, it was hard to imagine that even Roy Halladay had anything left that could shock the baseball world in 2010. Turns out it took making history. Last night Halladay had an outing for the ages, throwing the second no-hitter in 106 years of post-season play.

It was a performance to savor and Phillies fans won’t be the only ones who remember it for a long time. Halladay was nearly perfect, holding the NL’s best offense to a single walk over nine innings as the Phils topped the Reds 4-0. He didn’t need a ton of help from his defense to become the first pitcher since 1956 to throw a no-hitter in the post-season. Rollins made two nice plays in the game, one in the third base hole and one moving to his left, and Werth made a sliding catch in the fourth inning on a ball hit by pitcher Travis Wood. Halladay did the rest, striking out eight. He threw 104 pitches in the game, 79 for strikes.

The Phils got to Cincy’s starter early, chasing Edinson Volquez in the second inning. Victorino created a run almost on his own in the first, doubling the opposite way with one out, stealing third and coming home on a sac fly to put the Phils up 1-0. They added three more in the second. The first two hitters went down without a peep, but Ruiz drew a walk and moved to second on an infield single by Valdez. Halladay lined an RBI-single to left, scoring Ruiz and it was 2-0. A walk to Rollins loaded the bases for Victorino and Victorino delivered again, singling into center to plate two more runs as the Phils extended the lead to 4-0.

That was all the scoring the Phils would get in the game. Thanks to Halladay, it was all they would need. Halladay walked Jay Bruce in the fifth inning to allow the Reds their only base-runner.

After Volquez left the game, the Phillies offense went to sleep. Ibanez smoked a double off of Travis Wood in the third, but that was literally just about it. The Phillies had one base-runner after the third inning and he reached on an error. They had five hits in the game: an infield single by Valdez where a play could have been made, a single to left by Halladay where a play could have been made, Ibanez’s double and two hits from Victorino, both of which were critical in the game, but neither of which were exactly hammered. Rollins, Utley, Howard and Werth combined to go 0-for-14 in the game. It’s probably nothing, but for a team that has inexplicably disappeared offensively for long stretches at a time this season, it may be enough to make you nervous.

I think it’s also important to note how well the Cincinnati pen performed after Volquez’s early exit. Wood, Logan Ondrusek and Bill Bray all looked very good and combined to allow just a hit and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. Happily for Phillies fans, Wood threw 47 pitches in the game, which means we’re almost surely not going to see him in game two. Sounds good to me.

The Reds didn’t play well defensively in the game and the Phillies did. Three plays stick out in the game and two of them came in the second inning when the Phils scored three of their four runs. Cabrera couldn’t get an out on a ball he handled behind second base hit by Valdez with two outs. It would have taken a nice play to get an out, but the Reds didn’t get it. Later in the inning, still with two outs, Halladay lined a ball to left. Gomes couldn’t come up with it and it dropped for an RBI-single. It would have taken a very nice play to get an out there, but Gomes looked bad not making it. Later in the game, Ondrusek air-mailed a throw to first base for the game’s only error.

Two plays in the third, neither of them awful for the Reds, but neither of them made. If you think that Cincinnati’s defense is going to give them a boost in the series, it didn’t in game one.

Even if it had, there wasn’t much of anything that was going to defend them against Halladay. At least not last night. That guy knows there is no spoon.

The Phillies lead the best-of-five NLDS with the Reds one game to none after winning game one 4-0 last night.

Halladay got the start for the Phils and went nine innings, allowing a fifth-inning walk. He struck out eight. He threw a complete-game shutout of the Nationals in his final start in the regular season. Over his last two outings he has gone 18 innings, allowing two singles and a walk while striking out 14.

He faced a Cincinnati lineup that went (1) Brandon Phillips (2B/R) (2) Orlando Cabrera (SS/R) (3) Joey Votto (1B/L) (4) Rolen (3B/R) (5) Gomes (LF/R) (6) Bruce (RF/L) (7) Stubbs (CF/R) (8) Hernandez (C/R). The Reds did lead the league in runs this season, so there’s a good chance they know what they’re doing with their order. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to hit Cabrera, an awful offensive player who on-based .303 this year, ahead of Votto and second in the order. Phillips hit 18 home runs that seem like they might be better off moved down in the order, too.

Cincinnati started the game with six players on their bench, lefties Juan Francisco and Laynce Nix and righties Ryan Hanigan, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo.

Phillips swung at the first pitch of the game and grounded to short. Cabrera fouled off a 3-2 pitch before he flew to Victorino for the second out. Votto grounded to Utley on an 0-1 pitch to set the Reds down. Votto hit the ball hard, but Utley took it on one hop for the out.

Ten pitches in the inning for Halladay.

He had a 1-0 lead when he started the second. He struck Rolen out looking 1-2 for the first out. Gomes grounded to Valdez at third for the second. He hit the ball hard, but Valdez handled it nicely. Bruce grounded to second on an 0-1 pitch to end the frame.

Twelve pitches in the inning, 22 for the game.

It was 4-0 when he started the third. He got ahead of Stubbs 0-2 and Stubbs popped up to Howard near the mound. He got ahead of Hernandez 0-2 and Hernandez hit a dribbler out in front of the plate. Ruiz pounced on it and threw him out for the second out. Pitcher Travis Wood was next and hit a 1-1 pitch hard to right, but Werth made a nice sliding catch for the third out.

Nine pitches in the inning had Halladay at 31 for the game. Of the 31 pitches, six had been balls. Three in the first (all to Cabrera), two in the second (one to Rolen and one to Gomes) and one in the third (to Wood).

Phillips struck out looking 2-2 for the first out of the fourth. Cabrera struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. Votto got behind and hit an 0-2 pitch in the hole between short and third. Rollins backhanded and made a strong throw to retire the side.

Twelve pitches in inning and 43 for the game.

Rolen struck out looking 2-2 for the first out of the fifth. He didn’t like the call, probably because the ball was off the plate. Gomes struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Bruce was next and swung and missed at the first pitch from Halladay. Halladay threw two balls before Bruce swung and missed again to even the count at 2-2. The 2-2 pitch was close, but called ball three and Halladay delivered ball four inside to give the Reds their only base-runner of the game. Stubbs was next and grounded to Rollins on a 1-2 pitch, with Rollins going to Utley at second for the third out.

After 18 pitches in the frame, Halladay was at 61. Great to see Halladay contain Votto and Bruce in the game, but Stubbs also came into the series super-hot and didn’t do anything with the bat.

Hernandez flew to right on an 0-1 pitch to start the sixth. Lefty Juan Francisco hit for Wood and hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. The mound slowed the ball down and Rollins tracked it down behind second, then threw to first to beat Francisco. Phillips flew to Werth in shallow right on a 1-1 pitch for the third out.

8 and 69. I still don’t know exactly what happened on the ball that Francisco hit to slow it down. Sure looked like it was going to be a hit to me.

Cabrera grounded to Utley on a 3-2 pitch for the first out of the seventh. Votto grounded to third 1-2 for the second out. Rolen struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Another long at-bat for Cabrera, working a 3-2 count for the second time in the game. Seven pitches in his at-bat before he flew to center. In the seventh he grounded to Utley on the eighth pitch.

Eighteen pitches for the game had Halladay at 87.

Halladay struck Gomes out swinging 0-2 for the first out of the eighth. Bruce chopped the first pitch of his at-bat back to the mound. Halladay fielded and threw to first for the second out. Stubbs struck out looking 0-2 for the third out.

Just seven pitches in the inning, all of which were strikes. 94 for the game.

Even as well as Halladay was pitching, I didn’t think there was much of a chance we were going to see a no-hitter until the eighth. That inning was silly. It went swingandamiss-foul-swingandamiss. One out. Soft ground ball to the mound. Two outs. Called strike, swingandamiss, called strike. Three outs.

Hernandez popped to Utley on an 0-1 pitch to start the ninth. The righty Cairo hit for the pitcher Bill Bray and fouled out to Valdez in foul territory on a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Phillips got behind 0-2 and dribbled a ball out in front of the plate. He dropped his bat at he tore down the first base line and Ruiz jumped out to field the ball. The ball rolled into the bat that Phillips had dropped. Ruiz had to reach back to pick it up and went to his knees. He threw high to first base, but in time to get Phillips and end the game.

Great play by Ruiz as he tangled with the bat on the ground. Ten pitches in the inning for the Halladay. 104 for the game.

Not a very good day for much of anyone offensively for the Reds. A little worse for some than others. Rolen was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the game and Gomes 0-for-3 and whiffed twice.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edinson Volquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Polanco is out of the lineup, unable to play with a sore back. Rollins moves into the leadoff spot with Victorino hitting second and Valdez eighth. Dobbs, the left-handed choice to play third, stays on the bench with Valdez in the lineup. Presumably that’s cause fielding isn’t his thing so much.

The Phillies bench had seven offensive players to start the game, lefties Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, Domonic Brown and Greg Dobbs and righties Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney and Placido Polanco.

Rollins flew to center on a 1-0 pitch to start the bottom of the first. Victorino was next and sliced a 1-2 pitch the opposite way down the left field line for a double. Victorino stole third as the count went 2-0 on Utley. Hernandez threw from his knees on the steal and his throw was off line. Rolen made a nice play to pick it on a hop and keep the ball from going into left field. Utley flew to right on a 3-1 pitch for the second out. Victorino tagged and it shouldn’t have been close at the plate, but Bruce uncorked a strong and accurate throw and Victorino slid in just safe to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard flew to left on a 2-1 pitch for the third out.

Victorino did just about everything with a little help from Utley to put the Phils on top early. The stolen base allows him to score on the sac fly. Most guys wouldn’t have been able to score on the ball that Utley hit given the throw from Bruce in right.

Volquez threw 17 pitches in the inning.

Volquez got ahead of Werth 1-2 to start the second, but couldn’t put him away. Werth fouled off four of the next five pitches before hitting the ball hard to third. Rolen made another nice play, moving a step to his left and fielding before he threw to first for the first out. Ibanez flew to right on a 3-1 pitch for the second out. Ruiz walked on four pitches. Valdez was next and hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. Cabrera gloved the ball behind the second and tried to flip to Phillips as his momentum carried him towards right field. The flip was terrible, Valdez had an infield single and the Phils had men on first and second with two down. Halladay swung at the first pitch and lined a ball into left in front of a sliding Gomes for a single. Ruiz scored to make it 2-0 and Valdez moved to third. Rollins walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases for Victorino. Victorino was next and swung at ball four with the count full, but then dumped a single in front of Stubbs, scoring Valdez and Halladay to put the Phils ahead 4-0. Lefty Travis Wood took over for Volquez and got Utley to ground to second to end the inning.

Huge hit for Victorino. Big walk by Rollins give him a chance. It would have taken a nice play from Gomes to make the play on the line drive by Halladay.

Wood was back to pitch the third. He struck out Howard on three pitches for the first out. Werth struck out looking 0-2 for the second. Ibanez hit a 2-1 pitch over Bruce’s head in right. The ball landed on the warning track for a double. Valdez flew to Stubbs in right center on a 1-0 pitch for the third out.

Wood set the Phils down in order in the fourth. Halladay flew to right for the first out. Rollins hit the ball hard, but Stubbs took it right in front of the wall for the second out. Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Wood threw a 1-2-3 fifth, getting Utley on a fly ball to right, Howard on a fly ball to left and striking Werth out looking 1-2.

Second time in three innings that Wood had struck Werth out looking. It took eight pitches total.

Righty Logan Ondrusek started the sixth for the Reds. Ibanez led off and hit a ball that Ondrusek fielded, but his throw to first was way too high for an error that allowed Ibanez to take second. Ruiz grounded to third on a 1-1 pitch for the first out with Ibanez holding second. Valdez moved Ibanez to third with a ground out to short, but Ibanez was left there when Halladay grounded back to Ondrusek for the third out.

Ruiz can’t move the runner up to third with the first out after Ondrusek air mails the Phils a gift on Ibanez’s ball.

Ondrusek got Rollins to line softly to short for the first out. Victorino was next and he popped to Votto for the second out. Lefty Bill Bray came in to pitch to Utley. Utley hit the ball well, but Bray handled it flipped to first for the third out.

Bray was back to set the Phillies down in order in the eighth. Howard struck out looking, Werth flew to right and Ibanez popped to Cabrera in shallow center.

Wood threw 47 pitches in the game, so you won’t be seeing him tomorrow, which works for me. Ondrusek 22 and Bray 15.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. He hit the ball well in the fourth, but Stubbs took it at the wall.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBI. He made a run virtually by himself in the first and followed that up with a big single in the second.

Utley 0-for-3 with an RBI.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Werth 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double.

Ruiz 0-for-1 with a pair of walks. Halladay can’t stop talking about what an amazing guy he is to pitch to. I’m starting to believe him.

Valdez was 1-for-3 with a single.

Game two is tomorrow night.

This suggests that Polanco expects to be able to play.


Who are these %$#@! guys?

I don’t think we’re going to know for sure who’s on the NLDS roster for the Reds until Wednesday, but I’m going to guess the offensively they will have their eight regulars plus Hanigan, Janish, Heisey, Cairo, Francisco and Nix.

If that guess is right, they would have ten right-handed hitters for the series with the Phils. Regulars Ramon Hernandez, Brandon Phillips, Orlando Cabrera, Scott Rolen, Jonny Gomes and Drew Stubbs and reserves Ryan Hanigan, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo.

Of those ten righties, five have been pretty good against right-handed pitching this season:


PA

BA OBP SLG OPS
Chris Heisey 126 0.321 0.389 0.536 0.925
Scott Rolen 359 0.295 0.343 0.517 0.860
Miguel Cairo 152 0.304 0.353 0.459 0.813
Ramon Hernandez 266 0.295 0.360 0.426 0.786
Ryan Hanigan 170 0.304 0.379 0.392 0.771

So the bad news is that’s five righties who hit right-handed pitching pretty well. The good news is that Hanigan and Hernandez can’t catch at the same time and Cairo and Heisey will likely be coming off the bench.

The other five righties have been less impressive against right-handed pitching this year:


PA BA OPB SLG OPS
Drew Stubbs 398 0.262 0.338 0.427 0.765
Brandon Phillips 496 0.268 0.336 0.405 0.741
Jonny Gomes 375 0.257 0.301 0.408 0.709
Paul Janish 153 0.237 0.311 0.356 0.667
Orlando Cabrera 388 0.240 0.275 0.326 0.601

I think we should expect to see a lot of Cabrera, Gomes, Phillips and Stubbs in the series. All four of them have had some problems with righties this season and gotten a lot of opportunities.

If the roster guess is right, there will be four lefty hitters for the Reds. Starters Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and bench players Juan Francisco and Laynce Nix. Francisco only got 55 at-bats all season and didn’t fare exceptionally well against anyone. He hit 283/340/413 in 46 at-bats against righties and went 2-for-9 against lefties.

Votto, as you probably know, hammered right-handed pitching this year. Bruce and Nix were also good, but not quite as terrifying:


PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Joey Votto 414 0.347 0.442 0.673 1.115
Jay Bruce 394 0.283 0.353 0.469 0.821
Laynce Nix 163 0.289 0.346 0.45 0.795

Here’s what those lefties did against left-handed pitching this year:


PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Jay Bruce 179 0.277 0.352 0.547 0.899
Laynce Nix 19 0.313 0.389 0.5 0.889
Joey Votto 234 0.283 0.393 0.47 0.863

If you’ve been losing sleep wondering what lefty on the Phils is going to get out Votto and Bruce, you might want to take a break. The numbers above suggest you might not need a lefty to go after Bruce. He has actually been better against left-handed pitching than right this season. He has hit for about the same average, but walked at a higher rate and delivered extra-base hits at a better rate. That’s a little curious given that in 2009 he was awful against lefties, hitting 210/313/330 against them while he blasted 20 home runs in 245 at-bats against righties.

Still, given what he’s done this year I feel okay using a righty against him. Votto is good against lefties, but has been significantly better against righties over his career.

Here’s what the 14 players, both lefties and righties, did over the last 14 days of the regular season:


PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Hanigan 16 0.571 0.625 0.714 1.339
Jay Bruce 31 0.370 0.452 0.815 1.266
Joey Votto 28 0.333 0.464 0.667 1.131
Drew Stubbs 37 0.333 0.459 0.633 1.093
Brandon Phillips 35 0.345 0.429 0.586 1.015
Chris Heisey 16 0.313 0.313 0.563 0.875
Miguel Cairo 14 0.333 0.429 0.417 0.845
Laynce Nix 9 0.286 0.444 0.286 0.730
Jonny Gomes 35 0.294 0.314 0.412 0.726
Juan Francisco 12 0.273 0.333 0.364 0.697
Ramon Hernandez 21 0.222 0.333 0.222 0.556
Paul Janish 21 0.167 0.250 0.222 0.472
Orlando Cabrera 25 0.182 0.208 0.227 0.436
Scott Rolen 26 0.160 0.192 0.160 0.352

The bad news there is that Votto and Bruce come into the series hot. Bruce is 10-for-his-last-25 with four home runs. Votto 8-for-his-last-25 with three home runs.

Stubbs was hitting 237/307/401 for the year at the end of the day on September 6. He has hit 350/442/675 over his last 95 plate appearances.

Phillips tore things up over the last two weeks, but that’s a recent development. Between September 3 and September 24 he went 12-for-83 with a double and a home run, posting a 145/220/181 line. He finished the regular season going 6-for-13.

Gomes hit .364 in May and .246 in all the other months combined. He put up a 301/320/438 line over 19 games to end the season.

Hernandez is hitting 257/341/338 over 85 plate appearances since August 23.

Cabrera and Rolen both coming into the series in a funk. Cabrera went 2-for-5 with a double to end the season, but had been 6-for-his-last-39 with a double before that (154/195/179). The difference between Rolen and Cabrera is that Cabrera is a bad offensive player playing badly while Rolen has been a great offensive player but is playing badly. Rolen was hitting 303/374/542 at the end of the day on August 17. He has gotten 144 plate appearances since in which he has hit 234/313/375.

This is no time for him to wake up.

Did you know there is a Start Log for playoff starts since 2007? There is.


Worth watching

Not running out popups isn’t what made Jimmy Rollins the MVP of the National League, but yesterday it’s what made him a spectator. Rollins failed to show the hustle fans have come to expect from him after hitting an easy fly ball into shallow left field in the third inning. He found himself on the bench a couple of innings later.

Cole Hamels made sure he saw a good show.

Coming off two straight miserable starts, Hamels was simply brilliant. He needed just 103 pitches to throw a three-hit shutout. Rollins’ replacement at short Eric Bruntlett made a brilliant defensive play in the top of the eighth to end the inning and rob the Reds of a run.

The Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, winning 5-0 to improve to 36-26 on the season. They take the four-game set three games to one.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing three hits, all doubles, and walking three. He struck out four.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Edwin Encarnacion walked with two outs in the second. Paul Janish was next and doubled to center, moving Encarnacion to third. Hamels walked David Ross to load the bases and got the pitcher Homer Bailey to pop to first for the third out.

Ken Griffey Jr doubled off the wall in left-center with two outs in the third, but Hamels struck out Brandon Phillips to end the frame.

Joey Votto walked to start the fourth with the Phils up 1-0, but Encarnacion hit into a double-play behind him. Janish flew to left for the third out.

Hamels didn’t allow a base runner in the fifth, sixth or seventh.

He started the eighth up 5-0. Jerry Hairston doubled with two outs and it brought up Jay Bruce. Bruce hit a ball hard in between short and third, but Bruntlett made a diving play to the third base side of short to field the ball. His throw to first was very strong and, with the help of a great stretch from Howard, nipped Bruce for the third out.

With one out in the ninth Phillips grounded to third. Howard was pulled of the bag by Feliz’s throw and Feliz was charged with an error. Votto flew to left for the second out and pinch-hitter Corey Patterson fouled out to first to end the game.

Second complete game shutout in five starts for Hamels.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Homer Bailey went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in right against the righty. Ruiz catches.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the first and again in the second.

Ruiz singled with one out in the third and Hamels bunted him to second. Rollins hit a high fly ball into shallow left field. The shortstop Janish backed up and got under it but didn’t catch it. Ruiz scored on the error and the Phils led 1-0. Rollins should have been on second, but didn’t run hard out of the box and had to hold first. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth.

With one out in the fifth, Feliz hit a ball that Bailey fielded and then threw away. Feliz got a single and Bailey was charged with an error that let him go to second. Ruiz walked to put men on first and second with one out. Hamels flew to center for the second out before Bruntlett, who entered the game at short in the top of the inning, hit a ball to right that Griffey dropped for another Reds error. Feliz scored to put the Phils up 2-0 and Ruiz went to third. Victorino followed with a single into center that scored Ruiz and put the Phils up 3-0. Utley flew to center for the third out.

Jenkins homered to right with two outs in the sixth to put the Phillies up 4-0. Feliz followed with a walk but Ruiz grounded out for the third out.

With one out in the seventh, Bruntlett and Victorino walked back-to-back. Utley flew to center for the second out before Howard hit a ground ball to where the shortstop would have been if not for the crazy shift. Howard had a single and Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 5-0 with Victorino going to second. Burrell grounded to short for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Rollins was 0-for-2 in the game and 4-for-15 with a double in the four-game set. He’s hitting 289/333/447 for the season.

Victorino was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 2-for-13 in the series. 283/353/386 on the year.

Utley was 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 5-for-14 with a double and a home run in the series. 315/400/664 for the year.

Howard was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-16 with a double in the series. 206/316/453 for the year.

Burrell was 0-for-4. 3-for-13 with a home run in the series. 277/419/574 for the year.

Jenkins was 1-for-4 with a home run. 4-for-14 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 285/326/448 for the year.

Feliz was 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-14 with a home run in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-22 and hitting 251/294/419 for the season.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a walk and 1-for-7 in the series. 224/297/284 for the year. Two extra-base hits since April 29 and six for the season. Coste was 1-for-7 with a home run in the series is hitting 317/383/567 for the year.

Jamie Moyer (6-3, 4.65) faces righty Tim Hudson (7-4, 3.01) tonight in Atlanta. Hudson has allowed seven earned runs in 22 innings over his last three starts (2.86 ERA). On the season opponents are hitting .244 against him, righties just .224. He has not allowed a home run to a right-handed batter this season. Lefties have hit all seven home runs he has allowed and are slugging .458 against him for the season. Moyer is 4-0 with a 4.05 ERA in his last four starts. Righties are hitting .340 against him for the season, lefties .229.

The Phillies drafted some people.


All that and invented the light bulb, too

Edinson Volquez pitched so well last night that when Joey Votto broke up Brett Myers’ no-hitter in the seven inning with an RBI double it would be the only run the Reds would need. Volquez baffled the Phils, striking out eight while allowing just two singles and two walks over seven shutout innings.

In two starts against the Phils this season, Volquez is 2-0 and has allowed one run in 12 1/3 innings while striking out 16.

Brett Myers was almost as good as Volquez in last night’s game, holding the Reds to a run over 7 1/3 innings on a single hit while striking out eight. Since a bad first inning in his previous start, Myers has now allowed one run on four hits while striking out 19 over his past 14 1/3 innings.

The Phillies lost to the Cincinnati Reds last night, falling 2-0 to drop to 35-26 on the season. They lead the four-game set two games to one.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing a run on a double and six walks. He struck out eight and has his ERA for the year down to 5.13.

He was perfect through four. In the fifth he walked Adam Dunn with one out. With Joey Votto at the plate the Reds tried to hit and run. Votto swung through a 1-0 pitch and Dunn was caught and tagged out between first and second. Myers walked Votto and then walked Edwin Encarnacion. It put men on first and second with two outs, but Myers struck Paul Bako out on three pitches to end the frame.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

With one out in the seventh, Brandon Phillips walked and stole second. Dunn flew to left for the second out, but Votto lined an 0-2 pitch into left-center for a double. Phillips scored on the first hit of the game for the Reds and Cincinnati led 1-0. Myers struck Encarnacion out for the third out.

Myers had thrown 99 pitches through seven innings.

He struck out Bako to start the eighth. Ken Griffey Jr, looking for career home run number 600, hit for Volquez and drew a walk. Hairston was next and Myers walked him, putting men on first and second. That was it for Myers and Romero came on to pitch to the lefty Corey Patterson. Romero struck Patterson out swinging for the second out. Bruce grounded softly to first for the third out.

Romero returned for the ninth. Phillips led off with a single to right. He tried to steal second but took off too early. Romero threw to first but Phillips beat Howard’s throw to second and was safe with another stolen base. Dunn walked and Paul Janish ran for him at first. Votto hit the first pitch of his at-bat into the left field corner for a double. Phillips scored to make it 2-0 and Janish held third. Encarnacion was walked intentionally to load the bases with nobody out. Bako hit a ground ball to second and Utley threw home to force Janish for the first out. Madson came in to pitch to the pitcher Francisco Cordero with the bases still loaded. Cordero watched strike one down the middle and then grounded into a double-play to end the frame.

Nice job by Manuel to avoid Gordon and Lidge, who had both pitched three days in a row, despite the tight game. Romero threw 24 pitches, Madson just two. By number of pitches, that was the third longest outing of the season for Romero and the longest since April 20.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Edinson Volquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Coste catches against the righty as he continues to take time away from Ruiz behind the plate. Jenkins in right.

Utley and Victorino struck out in a 1-2-3 first.

Burrell walked with one out in the second. Jenkins flew to center for the second out. Feliz blooped a 1-1 pitch into right field, but Phillips made a fantastic over the shoulder catch for the third out.

Coste started the third with a ground ball hit hard to short that Hairston didn’t handle for an error. Myers tried to bunt Coste to second, but a wild pitch moved Coste to second before Myers struck out fouling off the third strike still trying to bunt for the first out. Rollins struck out and Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

Myers inability to move Coste to third hurt the Phils, although if Rollins was going to strike out anyway it mattered less.

Howard lined a single into right with one out in the fourth. Burrell was next and he hit it hard but right at Hairston at short for the second out. Jenkins moved Howard to second with another single. It put men on first and second with two down for Feliz, but Feliz popped to second to end the inning.

Coste was hit by a pitch to start the fifth and Myers bunted him to second. Rollins hit a ground ball to second for the second out and Coste moved to third. Victorino walked, putting men on first and third. Utley got behind 0-2 before he was hit by a pitch on a ball in the dirt. If not for the hit by pitch it probably would have been a wild pitch that allowed Coste to score from third. With the bases loaded, Howard swung at the first pitch and flew to shallow left for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Down 1-0 in the seventh, Volquez set the Phils down 1-2-3. Myers hit for himself with one out and nobody on and struck out.

Victorino started the eighth and hit a high foul ball down the right field line that Votto caught over his shoulder for the first out. Utley was next and lined a ball to left right at Dunn. Dunn may have lost it in the lights — it went off the heel of his glove and Utley was safe at second. Tough two base error on Dunn. Howard got ahead 2-0 but swung at a bad pitch for strike out and went down swinging 3-2. Big at-bats for Howard in both the fifth and the eighth and nada. Righty Francisco Cordero came in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell drew a walk and Taguchi ran for him at first. Jenkins hit a ball slowly back through the middle, but the shortstop Hairston took it behind second and nipped Jenkins at first to end the inning.

Down 2-0, Feliz led off the ninth with a ground ball to short. If Dobbs is available I think you have to use him there, but Manuel double-switched him into the game in the top of the ninth. Coste flew to right for the second out. Dobbs, hitting in the pitcher’s spot, grounded to short to end the game.

Don’t love double-switching Dobbs into the nine spot in the top of the ninth. Feliz leading off against a righty isn’t what you’re looking for in the inning you need to score two runs. Would have rather seen the Phils keep Madson in the nine spot and Dobbs out of the game, hit Dobbs for Feliz and then call on Snelling in the pitcher’s spot against the righty.

The Phillies had two singles and three walks in the game.

Rollins 0-for-4.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk.

Utley 0-for-3 and struck out twice.

Howard 1-for-4 and struck out twice.

Burrell 0-for-2 with two walks.

Jenkins 1-for-4.

Feliz 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-19.

Coste 0-for-3.

Cole Hamels (5-4, 3.73) faces righty Homer Bailey (NR) this afternoon. The 22-year-old Bailey made seven starts for the Reds in 2007, going 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA, and will be making his 2008 debut today. In 2007 he walked 28 in 45 1/3 innings. The Phillies bombed him for six runs in 1 2/3 innings in his start against them last year on June 26. Over his last two starts Hamels has gone 9 2/3 innings and been charged with 13 runs while striking out just four. Despite the recent woes, opponents are still hitting just .223 against him for the season, righties .215 and lefties .254. Hamels faced the Reds on April 7 and got the win, allowing two runs, only one of which was earned, over seven innings.


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