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.