Tag: Jose Contreras

Phils work their oft questioned keep-it-close-and-try-to-get-Luna-to-the-plate-late playbook to perfection

The Phillies scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning last night, blowing a close game open on their way to a 9-2 win over the Cubs.

Kyle Kendrick made a strong start in the game, holding the Cubs to two runs on three hits over six innings. Only one of the runs was earned, thanks to an error on a dropped fly ball by Pierre in front of an Alfonso Soriano home run.

The bullpen, still miserable, didn’t blink in a close game. Jose Contreras, who came into the game with a 9.00 ERA for the season, threw a scoreless seventh with the game tied at 2-2. Bastardo, who has allowed one hit in nine appearances so far in May, struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils up a run. Raul Valdes made his debut with the Phillies in the ninth, striking out two more in another perfect frame after a two-run single by Wigginton and a grand slam from Hector Luna had broken the game open in the top of the inning.

By ERA, the Phillies bullpen is no longer the worst in all of baseball. At 5.02 they have passed the Tigers and the Mets.

The Phillies are 19-19 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-2 last night. They have won five of their last six games and four in a row for the first time this season.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Only one of the runs was earned. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter, dropping his ERA to 5.94 with the outing.

Over his last three starts, Kendrick has thrown to a 2.12 ERA with a 1.06 ratio.

David DeJesus doubled to right to start the bottom of the first. Tony Campana bunted him to third with the first out. Kendrick struck Starlin Castro out swinging 0-2 for the second out and got lefty Bryan LaHair on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Big strikeout of Castro for the second out with a runner on third helps Kendrick keep Chicago off the board.

Up 1-0, Kendrick set the Cubs down in order in the second.

Darwin Barney led off the third with a single and pitcher Matt Garza bunted him to second with the first out. DeJesus flew to left for the second out with Barney moving up to third. Kendrick struck Campana out to leave Barney stranded.

With one out in the fourth, LaHair hit a fly ball to left that Pierre dropped for an error that left LaHair on second. Alfonso Soriano was next and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, putting the Cubs on top 2-1. Kendrick got Ian Stewart and Geovany Soto on a pair of ground balls to end the inning.

Would have been a nifty time to catch the really routine fly ball to left in front of Soriano’s homer.

With the score tied at 2-2, Kendrick set the Cubs down in order in the fifth.

He struck out Campana in a 1-2-3 sixth. Mayberry made a nice diving play at first to rob LaHair of a hit, flipping to Kendrick covering first to end the inning.

Contreras started the seventh with the game still tied and got Soriano, Stewart and Soto in order.

Seems nutty to me to put Contreras into a tie game, but it worked out well for the Phils. Contreras is not charged with a run in his appearance for the first time in three outings, dropping his ERA on the season to 8.00.

Bastardo started the eighth with a 3-2 lead. He struck Barney out swinging for the first out. Righty Jeff Baker hit for the pitcher Shawn Camp and Bastardo got him swinging for the second out. DeJesus grounded to short for the third out.

I like Bastardo pitching the eighth in a tight game a whole lot better than Contreras pitching the seventh. Bastardo hasn’t allowed a run in nine appearances in May, giving up just one hit and three walks in 8 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out nine. He has pitched three of the last four days, but got Tuesday off.

Raul Valdes pitched the ninth with a 9-2 lead, making his Phillies debut. He set the Cubs down in order, striking out pinch-hitter Joe Mather and LaHair.

Three shutdown innings from the pen in which they do not allow a hit or a walk while striking out five.

Bastardo threw 21 pitches in the game, Valdes 20 and Contreras 13. None of that group has pitched more than one day in a row, but Bastardo has thrown three of the last four days.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Ruiz (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis.

With one out in the top of the first, Pierre bunted down the first base line. Garza fielded, but made an awful throw to first for an error. Pierre stole second and Victorino bunted him to third with the second out. Pence grounded to third to leave Pierre stranded.

Really, really not a fan of bunting with your three-hitter in the top of the first inning even if it works.

Pierre was almost surely out at first on his bunt attempt, but got the call.

Ruiz started the second with a single into center. Polanco flew to center for the first out before Mayberry moved Ruiz up to second with a dribbler out in front of the plate for the second. Galvis was next and ripped a double down the first base line, scoring Ruiz to put the Phils up 1-0. Kendrick struck out looking to leave Galvis at second.

Rollins and Pierre singled back-to-back to start the third, putting runners on first and second for Victorino. Victorino popped to second for the first out before Pence walked to load the bases. Ruiz grounded into a double-play to end the frame.

Can’t believe they didn’t bunt with Victorino. Just kidding. No run for the Phils after putting runners on first and second with nobody out.

Pierre’s single was another bunt. Again Garza made an absurd throw to first. This time it was called a single instead of an error.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

They started the fifth down 2-1. Kendrick led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out double by Pierre. Victorino was next and reached on an infield single on another close play at first. Kendrick scored to tie the game at 2-2 and Pierre moved up to third. Pence hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Garza walked off the mound remarking to the umpires that it was the second time they had missed the call at first. The first was on Pierre’s bunt in the first and this time Victorino looked out at first.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Galvis fouled out trying to bunt for a hit to start the seventh. With Garza still on the mound for Chicago, Fontenot hit for Kendrick and singled softly to right. Rollins lined to left for the second out. Lefty James Russell came in to pitch to Pierre. Wigginton hit for Pierre and walked, putting runners on first and second. Victorino struck out to leave them both there.

Glad to see Wigginton hit for Pierre against the lefty. Fontenot has one pinch-hit on the season. There are only two players on the team with more than one pinch-hit on the season. Mayberry has three and Pierre has two. 185/267/259 for the pinch-hitters this year for the Phils. They have struck out 24 times in 61 plate appearances.

Righty Shawn Camp got Pence on a fly ball to left for the first out in the eighth before Ruiz hit a 1-1 pitch out to left for his seventh homer of the year, putting the Phils up 3-2. Orr hit for Contreras and struck out for the second out. Mayberry struck out for the third.

Galvis doubled to left off of lefty Scott Maine to start the ninth. Fontenot was hit by a pitch behind him and Rollins walked, loading the bases with nobody out. Righty Michael Bowden came on to pitch to Wigginton and Wigginton singled into right. Galvis and Fontenot scored, putting the Phils up 5-2 with nobody out and runners on first and second. Victorino popped to short for the first out before Rollins and Wigginton pulled off a double-steal. Pence popped to second for the second out. With first base open, the righty Bowden walked the righty Ruiz, loading the bases for Bastardo’s slot. Luna hit for Bastardo and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left for a grand slam, putting the Phils on top 9-2. Mayberry struck out looking to end the frame.

Big swings for Luna and for Wigginton. Galvis is tied for fourth in the NL in doubles.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. The Phillies are tenth in the NL in on-base percentage in the #1 spot in the order at .303. Rollins has on-based .310 in 85 PA as the #1 hitter, Pierre .333 in 60 PA and Victorino .259 in 27 PA.

Pierre was 2-for-3 with a double. Twice he bunted and got on base, one of the attempts was called an error. He dropped a fly ball in left field that cost the Phils one of the two runs they allowed in the game.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with an RBI on his infield single on a very close play at first (and by that I mean he was out). He left seven men on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-14. 235/278/390 over his last 144 plate appearances. For the year, Phillies hitting out of the #3 spot in the order have put up a .601 OPS, which is 15th-best of the 16 NL teams. Victorino has been bad (254/293/394 in 75 PA) and Rollins worse (216/253/243 in 80 PA).

Pence 0-for-4 with a walk and left five men on base. The Phillies score nine runs in the game and their three and four hitters combine to go 1-for-9 with an infield single and 12 men left on base.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run. He’s on pace to hit 30 home runs, which would be more than his career high of nine. He’s 8-for-his-last-17 with two walks and two homers. He’s tied for eleventh in the NL in RBI with 24.

Polanco 0-for-3. He came into the game hitting .362 over his last 74 plate appearances.

Mayberry was 0-for-5 and struck out three times. He’s 3-for-his-last-16. The Phillies need to try someone else at first base against right-handed pitching and I’m guessing they will — Mayberry is hitting 207/246/241 for the year against right-handed pitching. Ty Wigginton obviously isn’t the ideal guy at first against righties, but he may be a better choice than Mayberry in the short term with Thome, Nix and Howard out. Wigginton was 1-for-1 with a walk and two RBI last night. He’s 3-for-his-last-26 overall and hitting 262/324/311 against righties for the year.

Galvis 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-11 with a walk and two doubles. Hitting 298/340/489 in 50 plate appearances so far in May.

Halladay (3-3, 3.20) faces righty Chris Volstad (0-5, 6.92) tonight. Halladay has had two starts of his seven on the season in which he has allowed more than two runs. One of them, May 2 against the Braves, blew up his numbers for the season badly as he allowed eight runs over 5 1/3 innings and was unable to hold a 6-0 lead. Since that start he’s had two outings in which he has allowed four runs over 14 innings (2.57 ERA, 1.00 ratio while striking out 17). Volstad has allowed four or more runs in five straight starts, one of which came against the Phillies. On April 30, he allowed four runs over six innings against the Phils. The Phillies rallied late to win that game 6-4. The righty Volstad has been better against lefties than righties so far this season. Righties have hit 307/354/466 against him and lefties 261/311/391.


Fans unsure if they can get their ticket money back, but some willing to consider more pleasant alternatives to actually watching the games like maybe root canal or doing their taxes over again or something

Things were ugly for the Phils going into last night’s game, but they took it up to another level not many believed existed last night. In a string of games marked by spectacular failures by the bullpen, the Phillies saved their ugliest effort for last night as they fell to the Mets 10-6.

The Phillies again got a good effort from their starter, Cliff Lee this time, and started the top of the seventh with a 4-2 lead. Over the final three innings of the game, Kendrick, Contreras and Sanches allowed eight runs over three innings.

The game seemed to mark the turn of a major corner with the fans. There was a whole lot more booing and a whole lot more empty seats than you had seen at a home game in Philadelphia for a long time.

The Phillies are 14-18 on the year after losing to the Mets 10-6 last night. The Mets sweep the three-game series. The Phillies are four games under .500 for the first time since 2007. They have lost five of six.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out six and his ERA rose to 2.17.

He set the Mets down in order in the first and again in the second.

He started the third up 1-0. Rob Johnson singled with one out. The pitcher Dillon Gee was next and he bunted, but Lee handled the bunt and threw to second to force Johnson for the second out. Lee walked Andres Torres on five pitches, putting men on first and second for Daniel Murphy. Murphy doubled to left, scoring Gee to tie the game at 1-1 and moving Torres up to third. David Wright hit the ball hard, but Polanco took it at third and threw to first to end the frame.

Scott Hairston singled off of Lee to start the fourth, but Lee struck Vinnie Rottino out looking for the first out and got Justin Turner to ground into a double-play behind him.

Lee started the fifth up 2-1 and struck out Johnson and Gee while setting the Mets down in order.

Torres led off the sixth and lined a ball into center field. Victorino made a sliding effort, but didn’t catch the ball as it got passed him and rolled for a while. Torres wound up with a triple. Lee struck Murphy out for the first out before Wright singled, scoring Torres to tie the game at 2-2. Lee got Hairston to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Kendrick started the seventh with the Phils up 4-2. Lefty Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit for the righty Rottino and Kendrick walked him. Turner was next and doubled him home. 4-3. Davis followed that with another double, sending Turner to third. Kendrick walked Johnson on four pitches, loading the bases. Lefty Lucas Duda hit for the pitcher Tim Byrdak and Kendrick hit him, forcing Turner home to tie the game at 4-4. Torres hit a ground ball to second. Duda was forced at second for the first out, but Davis scored and the Mets led 5-4. With men on first and third, Kendrick got Murphy to hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Moral victory alert — Phils don’t bring in a lefty to give up an RBI-single to Duda, hitting him with a righty instead. It’s the little things.

I’m also grateful for this series for the opportunity to learn how to spell Nieuwenhuis. That can’t be a real name, can it? Someone just thought that up in a lab in an underground bunker somewhere, right? Right?

Manuel was so impressed with Kendrick’s work in the seventh that he let him start the eighth. Wright and Hairston doubled back-to-back with Hairston plating Wright to make it 6-4. Sensing there was nothing wrong with this situation that couldn’t be made worse by Jose Contreras, Manuel went with his gut and brought him on. Contreras struck out Nieuwenhuis (thank you people working overtime in the underground bunker!) for the first out before Turner had the devious foresight to hit a routine fly ball to right. Pence dropped it. No, really. He just was about to catch it and then, instead, didn’t. Like you or I might do in the same situation. Anyhow, Hairston was too stunned to move up to third, so it put men on first and second for Ike Davis to crush a ball way, way, really far out to right field, raising his average for the year to .179 and putting the Mets up 9-4. Johnson flew to right for the second out. Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher Manny Acosta and grounded to short.

I think it was at this point the Mets offered to play 16 innings this one time, just as a special treat to the fans, but the offer was rejected to allow us all a little more time to reflect fondly on the Danys Baez years and wonder if someway, somehow we could ever get him back.

Sanches started the ninth with the lead cut, temporarily, to 9-5. Cause why not? Torres homered (10-5), Murphy singled and Sanches got the next three.

Swear I’m not making this up: That was the best performance of any of the three relievers for the Phillies in the game.

Kendrick threw 30 pitches in the game, Contreras 20 and Sanches 13.

Overall, the pen went three innings in the game, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks. Of the three pitchers that appeared in relief for the Phils in the game, Kendrick has the best ERA for the season of the trio at 7.32.

The Phillies lineup against righty Dillon Gee went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Polanco (6) Mayberry (7) Schneider (8) Galvis. Nix, Ruiz and Wigginton all on the bench. Mayberry at first against the righty and Pierre in left. Schneider catches. Galvis plays second with the lefty Orr on the bench off a two-error night.

Pierre singled with out in the first, but Victorino and Polanco both went down behind him.

Schneider and Galvis singled back-to-back with two outs in the bottom of the second, putting runners on first and third for Lee. Lee reached on an infield single with everyone moving up a base. Schneider scored to make it 1-0. Rollins flew to center to leave Galvis at second.

The Phils went in order in the third with the score tied at 1-1.

Polanco and Mayberry singled back-to-back to start the fourth. Schneider grounded softly to first for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Galvis grounded softly to second for the second out with everyone moving up again. Polanco scored and the Phils led 2-1. Lee grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins singled to start the fifth, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

The game was tied at 2-2 when the Phils hit in the bottom of the sixth. Schneider singled with one out and came around to score when Galvis blasted a double off the wall in left. 3-2. Nix hit for Lee and singled into center, scoring Galvis and putting the Phils on top 4-2. Lefty Tim Byrdak took over for Gee. Ruiz ran for Nix at first. Rollins popped to second to end the inning.

Down 5-4, Pierre singled off of righty Manny Acosta to start the seventh. Victorino hit into a double-play behind him and Pence struck out swinging.

Down 9-4, Polanco singled off of righty Jon Rauch to start the eighth. Mayberry flew to right for the first out before Schneider moved Polanco up to second with a ground out. Galvis was next and tripled to right, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 9-5. Orr hit for Contreras and struck out swinging to leave Galvis at third.

Down 10-5, Rollins singled off of righty DJ Carrasco to start the ninth. He moved up to second as Pierre struck out on a wild pitch. Victorino popped to short for the second out before Pence blasted a triple off the wall in right center, scoring Rollins to make it 10-6. Polanco grounded to short to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 4-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series. 230/279/270 for the season.

Pierre 2-for-5 with three strikeouts in the game. 4-for-10 with a walk in the series. 341/396/364 for the year.

Victorino 0-for-5 and left four men on base. 3-for-13 with two walks and a double in the set. 244/298/405 on the year.

Pence 1-for-5 with a triple last night. 2-for-13 with a walk, a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 262/299/492 for the year. He leads the group of Pence, Victorino, Rollins, Thome, Galvis and Mayberry with a .299 on-base percentage for the year. The Phillies have 69 walks for the year, which is 29th of the 30 MLB teams (the Pirates have 66).

Polanco 2-for-5 yesterday and 4-for-12 with a double in the series. 275/307/321 on the year.

Mayberry 1-for-4 yesterday and 4-for-12 in the series. 225/233/268 on the year.

Schneider was 2-for-4. He’s hitting 231/259/231 for the year. 210/294/312 over the last three seasons with the Phils.

Galvis was 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI. The Phillies had three extra-base hits in the game and he had two of them. 3-for-8 in the series. 213/237/340 for the year. His isolated power for the season is now better than Wiggington’s. Galvis has nine extra-base hits in 99 plate appearances and is tied with Ruiz for the team lead in doubles with seven. Wigginton has five extra-base hits in 91 plate appearances.

Mercifully, the Phillies don’t play today. Vance Worley (2-2, 2.84) faces lefty Clayton Richard (1-4, 4.89) tomorrow night. Worley was hit hard by the Nats in his last outing, which was his worst start of the year. He allowed five runs over six innings. Richard has been tough against lefties this year (192/276/241), but righties have already hit five home runs against him while posting a 276/333/482 line.

Next post won’t be until Tuesday, 5/15.


Great Scott

Scott Podsednik had another big day yesterday, going 2-for-2 with a home run to raise his spring line to 362/423/532. This article points out the Phillies need to let Podsednik’s fellow left-handed outfield candidate Juan Pierre know Friday whether he’ll start the year on the 25-man roster or not. Pierre’s Spring Training line is at 289/360/311.

Yesterday the Phils topped the Pirates 5-4 on a walkoff homer by Podsednik in the bottom of the ninth.

Lee started the game for the Phils and was great. He threw six shutout innings, allowing two singles, a double and a walk while striking out three. He dropped his spring ERA to 2.49. Kendrick followed Lee, striking out two in a scoreless seven to keep his ERA at 0.00.

Bastardo started the eighth but couldn’t finish it. He walked the leadoff man and got the next two before an RBI-single by Nick Evans. Eric Fryer was next and he doubled home Evans. Stutes took over for Bastardo, but he gave up a double to the first man he faced. Fryer scored and Bastardo was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning, raising his ERA to 4.26. Papelbon threw a perfect ninth to drop his ERA to 1.00.

Podsednik was 2-for-2 with a walkoff home run, his first homer of the spring. Thome played six innings at first base, going 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Orr started the game at short and played five innings there. He was 2-for-4 in the game and his average is up to .311. Pierre is hitting .289 after going 0-for-1.

Polanco played third and went 1-for-3. He’s hitting 440/481/480 so far (11-for-25 with a double and no walks).

This article suggests there is mild concern about Bastardo’s velocity.

This says Jose Contreras will only pitch in minor league games the rest of Spring Training, which seems to suggest he many not be with the team to start the season.


Past weekend edition

The Phillies played two games with the Blue Jays this weekend, winning one and losing one.

Toronto hammered the Phils 10-2 yesterday in a game memorable because Hamels and Contreras combined to allow nine runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Hamels got the start and didn’t fare well, allowing five runs on eight hits and no walks over 3 1/3 innings. Only four of the runs were earned thanks to a fourth-inning throwing error by Mayberry at first. Eight hits is a lot to allow in 3 1/3 innings — opponents are now hitting .322 against Hamels in official Spring Training action. His ERA is 3.86. Qualls followed Hamels and he pitched very well, facing six hitters and retiring five of them (the other reached on an error by Frandsen, his fourth). Contreras started the sixth and things didn’t go well. He faced five hitters, striking out one and allowing two singles, two doubles and a stolen base. After he left, Herndon promptly allowed a two-run homer to Jose Bautista, with one of the runs charged to Contreras and leaving Contreras with a 108.00 ERA after one official appearance. Herdon went 1 2/3 frames, allowing a run on two hits and upping his ERA to 2.57. Opponents have hit .310 against Herndon so far. Bastardo threw a scoreless eighth, allowing a single and a walk to the first two men he faced but keeping the Blue Jays off the board.

Montanez started in left and went 3-for-4 with a double, raising his line to a monster 448/452/655. Pierre was 1-for-1 to raise his average to .267. Podsednik 1-for-1 and has a 371/450/514 line.

Mayberry started at first, went 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 195/250/268.

Saturday the Phils beat the Blue Jays 4-3 in ten innings.

Worley got the start and threw four scoreless innings, dropping his Spring Training ERA to 1.80. Papelbon was next and allowed two hits, but kept Toronto off the board in his inning, also dropping his ERA to 1.80. Aumont pitched the sixth and was charged with a run on two hits and three stolen bases. Sanches threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Purcey pitched the eighth, allowing a leadoff homer to JP Arencibia before retiring the next three batters. His ERA is up to 3.00 with the run. Stutes surrendered a single and a home run in the ninth, pushing his ERA to 4.50. Raul Valdes set Toronto down in order in the top of the tenth, keeping his ERA at 0.00.

Luna was 2-for-2 and drove in two runs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the tenth when he singled home Podsednik. Podsednik was 1-for-1 with a walk and a double, raising his line to 353/436/500 with a team-high five extra-base hits (all doubles). Polanco was 1-for-1 to up his average to .529.

Polanco hurt the ring finger on his left hand on Saturday. The linked article suggests he will miss a few days. This says it is not broken.

Ryan Madson still seems to think the Phillies made an offer that may not have been made. Whatever happened, the Phillies would be a whole lot better off with Madson for one-year, $8.5 million than they are having signed Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal.

Jim Thome played first base in minor league games over the weekend. The linked article also says that Nix hopes to play today against Detroit. Scott Elarton will start that game.


Who is righter?

One other thing about Podsednik and Pierre. Given that either would be a part-time player who would play (hopefully) far more often against righties than lefties, the answer as to who would be the better match for the Phillies seems to have a lot to do with what the lefties do against right-handed pitching.

For their careers, their numbers are similar. Pierre has a 293/339/369 line against right-handed pitching while Podsednik is at 283/344/391. Pierre has hit for the slightly higher average, but Podsednik has offered more power and walked more. Against righties, Podsednik has walked in about 8.1% of his plate appearances while Pierre has walked about 5.7% of the time. Podsednik’s isolated power of .108 is considerably better than Pierre’s .076 against righties.

Pierre was absolutely terrible against righties in 2011, hitting just 264/296/325 against them over 536 plate appearances. A .296 on-base percentage with no power isn’t really what you’re looking for a left-handed corner outfielder against right-handed pitching. Pierre hit just .264 and walked in just 4.1% of his plate appearances against righties. Advantage Podsednik, there, who didn’t appear in the majors in 2011. In 2010, though, he hit them hard, putting up a 300/349/406 line against them over 445 plate appearances. 2009 he was good, too — 297/352/429 over 426 plate appearances.

The Phils played twice yesterday in split-squad action, beating the Braves and playing to a tie against the Rays.

The Phils beat the Braves 6-4.

Blanton started the game, allowing three runs over five innings. He allowed a solo home run to Matt Diaz in the second and a pair of runs on three singles in the third. That’s the first time Blanton has been charged with a run in official Spring Training action. In three starts he’s now thrown to a 2.70 ERA with a 1.10 ratio over ten innings in three starts. Herndon was next, facing four batters, retiring three and allowing a two-out homer to Uggla, upping his ERA to 1.69. Willis and Bastardo followed with scoreless innings. Qualls allowed a single and struck out two in a scoreless ninth.

Nice to see Willis put up a zero. He walked the first man he faced on four pitches, but got a fly ball and double-play behind that. Got his ERA down to 16.88. Bastardo has allowed one hit and no walks in four scoreless frames.

Rollins, Polanco and Thome (DH), all went 2-for-4 in the game for the Phils. Mayberry continued his hot hitting, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and getting his average up to .226. He’s 2-for-5 with two doubles and two walks over the last two days after a slow start. Podsednik had two more hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and upping his average to .333. He leads the team with four doubles.

The Phillies lost a late lead in the other game, allowing two runs in the last two innings as they tied the Rays 6-6.

Piniero started that one and allowed a run on two hits and a walk over two innings. He’s got a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio through three appearances. Purcey followed that with two scoreless frames, dropping his ERA to 1.80 in five innings. Elarton gave up three runs in the fifth on a double, two singles and a walk before coming back to throw a scoreless sixth. Coming off an awful outing, Horst allowed two hits in a scoreless inning in the seventh to drop his ERA to 6.75. Schwimer started the bottom of the eighth with a 6-4 lead, but allowed a run in the eighth and another in the ninth that allowed the Rays to tie the game at 6-6. Jordan Whatcott, probably not coming soon to a theater near you, took over for Schwimer with two outs in the ninth and a man on second and got a ground out to end the ninth.

Elarton came into the game having allowed just one run on one hit over six innings, but has now allowed four earned runs over eight innings (4.50 ERA).

Pierre played center field and hit leadoff, going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs. Frandsen went 0-for-3 at short and dropped his average to .174. Montanez went 1-for-3 in right and is now hitting .450 (9-for-20). Pete Orr was 2-for-4 with a double and is at .280.

The Phils play the Pirates this afternoon with Cliff Lee expected to pitch.

Halladay does not sound worried about his Spring Training results to this point. I’m not either. Halladay has thrown to a 10.57 ERA so far, but has also struck out ten in 7 2/3 innings.

Contreras threw a scoreless innings in a minor league game, allowing a single and getting three ground outs.

In this article, Manuel says there’s “a good chance” Utley will play April 5 against Pittsburgh. The article also suggests that Manuel thinks that Galvis can play second base in the majors. Let’s hope he doesn’t start against Pittsburgh on April 5. Galvis has a .639 OPS in 30 at-bats this Spring Training. In 2011, Wilson Valdez put up a .634 OPS for the Phils over 300 plate appearances.

Laynce Nix was scratched yesterday because of sore left ribs that continue to be thought of as not serious no matter how many times he’s scratched. Brown was scratched due to a stiff neck.


Walk-a-thon

Last week I pointed out that Phillie relievers walked a ton of hitters in 2011. While the average NL bullpen saw their pitchers walk about 9.5% of the batters they faced and about 3.64 per nine innings, the Phils’s pen walked 10.5% of the batters they faced and 3.99 per nine innings.

Here’s how the numbers break down for guys who faced batters in relief for the Phils in 2011:

IP BF BB  % BF BB BB/9
Juan Perez 
Justin De Fratus 
Mike Zagurski 
Vance Worley 
J.C. Romero 
Brad Lidge 
Jose Contreras 
Antonio Bastardo 
Michael Schwimer 
Michael Stutes 
Scott Mathieson 
David Herndon 
Kyle Kendrick 
Andrew Carpenter 
Danys Baez 
Ryan Madson 
Joe Blanton 
Cole Hamels 
Joe Savery 
Wilson Valdez 
Team Total 
5
4
3 1/3
6 2/3
16 1/3
19 1/3
14
58
14 1/3
62
5
57
31 2/3
9 1/3
36
60 2/3
3
3
2 2/3
1
412 1/3
21
17
17
30
75
86
60
225
64
259
28
243
136
44
163
246
12
12
9
4
1751
5
3
3
5
12
13
8
26
7
28
3
24
13
4
13
16
0
0
0
0
183
23.8
17.6
17.6
16.7
16.0
15.1
13.3
11.6
10.9
10.8
10.7
9.9
9.6
9.1
8.0
6.5
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
10.5
9.00
6.75
8.10
6.75
6.61
6.05
5.14
4.03
4.40
4.06
5.40
3.79
3.69
3.86
3.25
2.37
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
3.99

They are sorted by percentage of batters faced that were walked. Everyone from Kyle Kendrick and above both walked more than 9.5% of the batters they faced and walked more than 3.64 batters per nine innings.

There were four guys in the bullpen for the Phillies last year who threw more than 36 innings in relief. Stutes, Madson, Bastardo and Herndon combined to 237 innings out of the pen. That’s 57.5% of the total innings that relievers for the Phils threw for the year.

Of those four, Stutes, Herndon and Bastardo were all above the league average in terms of walks for both the percentage of hitters that they walked and their walks per nine innings. Madson was the only guy of the group who was under in either category — he was well under in both, but his ability to prevent walks doesn’t look like it’s going to help the team much in 2012.

Papelbon was great at preventing walks in 2011, walking just 10 of the 255 batters he faced. That’s 3.92% of batters and 1.40 per nine innings, both of which are better than Madson’s numbers. In 2009 and 2010 combined, though, his walk rate was much higher. In those two years combined, Papelbon walked 3.46 hitters per nine and about 9.1% of the hitters he faced.

The Phillies are 5-5 in Spring Training action after beating the Pirates 4-1 yesterday afternoon.

Worley was the story of the game. He started for the Phillies and was outstanding, striking out eight in four perfect innings. Pat Misch followed Worley and he was very good, too, retiring five in a row before walking Eric Fryer to give the Pirates their first base-runner of the game with two outs in the sixth inning. Herndon was next and he allowed an unearned run on a single, a stolen base and an error by Martinez at short. Bastardo and Schwimer followed Herndon and each threw a scoreless inning.

Herndon, Bastrado and Schwimer haven’t been charged with an earned run yet in official Spring Training action.

Hector Luna and Jimmy Rollins both homered for the Phils, the first of Spring Training for Rollins and the second for Luna.

Scott Podsednik started in right for the Phillies and went 1-for-3, dropping his average to .350 (7-for-20). Brown was 1-for-1 with an RBI-triple. Pierre 1-for-3 with a single to up his average to .278 (5-for-18 with five singles). Tyson Gillies went 0-for-3 to drop his average to .158 (3-for-19 with a double).

The Phils face the Astros this afternoon with Cole Hamels and Dave Bush expected to pitch.

Jim Thome played four innings of first base in a minor league game yesterday. Sounds kinda like it wasn’t a problem except for when someone hit the ball near him.

Contreras also played in a minor league game yesterday, getting five outs and throwing 21 pitches.

The same article linked above says that Nix left Monday’s game after just one at-bat because he didn’t feel good. Nix suffered a bruise to his left rib cage in a collision at the plate in Sunday’s game against the Tigers.


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