The Phillies didn’t win pretty last night, but they did win, topping the Marlins 9-7 for their sixth straight victory. With the win the Phils are at .500 for the year for the first time since they were 28-28 after losing to the Dodgers 4-3 on June 4.
The game wound up having a little more drama than you would hope given that Roy Halladay started to top of the seventh with an 8-3 lead.
Four hits and a walk off of Fish starter Nathan Eovaldi put the Phils up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Halladay allowed a pair of runs in the top of the third to cut the lead to 3-2, but Pierre led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on an Utley single to extend the lead to 4-2. The Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth, but managed just one run in the frame as Brown bounced into a big double-play to end the inning. Stanton homered off of Halladay in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-3. Martinez doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on a single by Halladay. Later in the same inning, Rollins hit a two-run homer one pitch after Miami catcher Rob Brantly dropped the foul ball that should have ended Rollins’s at-bat. Halladay started the seventh up 8-3, but allowed hits to two of the first three men he faced and was pulled. The Phils would use three relievers and have to work around an Utley error in the frame, getting out of the inning still up 8-7. A leadoff double by Mayberry led to an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Aumont pitched himself out of a huge jam in the eighth and Papelbon set the Fish down in order in the ninth to earn his 33rd save.
The Phillies are 71-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 9-7 last night. They have won six games in a row and are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nats. 14-4 over their last 18 games has them four games out for the Wild Card.
The team’s playoff odds as calculated by Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds Report have jumped from 0.6% yesterday to 1.0% today.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out six.
Opponents have hit .320 against Halladay over his last five starts and he’s thrown to 4.73 ERA with a 1.52 ratio. His walk rate for the season is up to 1.8 per nine innings, which is the highest it has been since 2007.
He struck out Bryan Petersen and Justin Ruggiano in a 1-2-3 first.
He started the top of the second up 3-0. Giancarlo Stanton led off with a walk, but Halladay got Carlos Lee to hit into a double-play behind him. Greg Dobbs lined to Martinez at third to end the frame.
Donovan Solano and Rob Brantly singled back-to-back to start the third, putting runners on the corners for the pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi bunted Brantly to second with the first out and Halladay walked Petersen behind him, loading the bases. Ruggiano was next and reached on an infield single. Everyone moved up a base with Solano scoring to cut the lead to 3-1 with the bases still loaded for Jose Reyes. Reyes flew to left for the second out. Brantly tagged from third and scored. 3-2. Halladay struck Stanton out swinging to leave the runners on first and second.
It was 4-2 when Halladay pitched the fourth. Dobbs doubled to right with one out, but Halladay got the next two hitters to leave him at second.
Ruggiano walked with two outs in the fifth and stole second. Reyes flew to center to leave him there.
Three walks in five innings for Halladay.
It was 5-2 when Stanton hit Halladay’s first pitch of the sixth out to left. 5-3. Halladay got the next three.
If Stanton was going to homer he picked a nice time to do it. He’s 1-for-8 with a home run and six strikeouts so far in the series.
Halladay started the seventh up 8-3. Brantly led off and reached on an infield single. Righty Gorkys Hernandez hit for the pitcher and flew to right for the first out, but Petersen followed with a double to center that scored Brantly and cut the lead to 8-4. Lindblom came in to pitch to the righty Ruggiano and Ruggiano singled to center, scoring Petersen. 8-5. Reyes was next and reached on an error by Utley, putting runners on the corners for Stanton. Lindblom got Stanton swinging for the second out, but Lee followed with a single to left that scored Ruggiano (8-6) and moved Reyes to second. Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Dobbs and Dobbs singled to center. Reyes scored (8-7) and Lee moved up to second. Rosenberg got the righty Solano to ground to Martinez to finally set the Marlins down.
Ugly inning for everyone, but again the Phillies strike Stanton out at a big time.
Lindblom entered the game with one out and a man on second. He faced four batters — single, error on Utley, big strikeout of Stanton and single. He was charged with two runs, both of which were unearned. He hasn’t been charged with an earned run over five innings in his last seven appearances. In his last two outings he has allowed two hits and two walks in one inning.
Horst faced one batter and allowed an RBI-single to the lefty Dobbs. In his first ten appearances of the year through the end of July, Horst walked three in ten innings. Since the start of August, he has appeared 13 times, walking eight in 12 2/3 innings. He’s allowed three hits and four walks over his last three innings. The Phillies seem to think he could use some rest and I think they’re right — he was pitching for the first time since September 2.
Rosenberg entered with two outs and runners on first and second, faced one right-handed hitter and got Solano on a much-needed ground out to finally end the frame. He’s allowed one walk in two scoreless innings over his last three appearances.
Aumont stared the eighth with the Phils up 9-7. Brantly led off and walked on four pitches as Aumont couldn’t find the tiny strike zone. Two of the four pitches looked really good to me. Donnie Murphy was next and singled to right, putting runners on first and second. Petersen was next and bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Aumont wiggled out of it, though, striking Ruggiano out swinging 3-2 for the second out and Reyes swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.
Wow. Huge moment in the game and Aumont strikes out two in a row with runners on second and third.
He allowed a hit and a walk in his frame, but struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 1.23 after eight appearances. He’s allowed four hits and three walks in 7 1/3 innings (0.95 ratio). Manuel has yet to put him into a game before the eighth inning and the Phils are 7-1 so far in the games he’s appeared. Six of the eight games he’s appeared in were eventually decided by one run or two runs.
Papelbon struck out Stanton and Dobbs in a 1-2-3 ninth.
He’s struck out five in four scoreless innings over his last four appearances.
Overall the pen goes three innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Aumont threw 18 pitches in the game and Lindblom 13. Everyone else was ten or less. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.
The bullpen came into the game having thrown 11 2/3 scoreless innings over the past four games. They didn’t pitch as well last night, but Aumont looked fantastic working out of his own jam in the eighth and Papelbon set the Marlins down without a peep in the ninth.
The Phillies lineup against righty Nathan Eovaldi went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Ruiz returns to the starting lineup for the first time since August 2. Pierre in left against the righty and hitting second. Mayberry dropped to seventh against the righty with Ruiz in the lineup. Martinez plays third with Polanco on the DL and Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture.
Singles by Rollins and Pierre and a walk to Utley loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first. Howard grounded into a double-play and Rollins scored, leaving the Phils up 1-0 with two down and Pierre on third. Ruiz doubled into the right field corner to score Utley and put the Phillies ahead 2-0, then scored on a single to center by Brown. 3-0. Mayberry struck out to leave Brown at first.
The Phillies went in order in the second.
It was 3-2 when the Phillies hit in the third. Pierre led off with a double to left and scored when Utley followed with a single. 4-2. Howard hit into another double-play and Ruiz grounded out to end the inning.
Two at-bats, two double-plays for Howard.
Brown started the fourth with a single to right, but the Phillies went in order behind him.
Rollins walked to start the fifth, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Pierre, putting the Phils up 5-2. Lefty Dan Jennings came in to face Utley and Utley singled to right, moving Pierre up to second. Howard flew to center for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Jennings walked the righty Ruiz to load the bases and got Brown to ground into a double-play to keep the Phillies from getting more.
It was 5-3 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Martinez doubled to right off of righty Chris Hatcher with one out. Halladay followed that with a single into center, scoring Martinez to make it 6-3. Rollins was next and popped a 1-1 pitch up near the plate in foul territory, but Brantly just dropped it. Rollins hit the next pitch out to right for a two-run homer. 8-3. Pierre flew to left for the second out before Utley singled. Howard moved Utley to third with a single and Ruiz was hit by a pitch, loading the bases again for Brown. Brown struck out swinging 2-2 to leave them loaded.
Mayberry doubled to right off of righty Chad Gaudin to start the seventh and Martinez bunted him to third with the first out. Nix hit for Rosenberg and lefty Mike Dunn came in to pitch to Nix. Wigginton hit for Nix and drew a walk, putting runners on first and third. Rollins was next and flew to right for the second out. The ball wasn’t hit that deep, but Mayberry tagged and tried to score anyway. He probably would have been out with a good throw from Stanton, but Stanton’s throw was awful, way up the third base line. Mayberry scored and the run extended the lead to 9-7. Wigginton moved up to second when the throw came home. Frandsen hit for Pierre and was walked intentionally. Utley hit for himself and was walked unintentionally, which loaded the bases for Howard. Howard flew to center to end the inning.
Righty Heath Bell set Ruiz, Brown and Mayberry down in order in the eighth.
Rollins was 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, a stolen base and three RBI. He came into the game 4-for-his-last-22. Rollins had two home runs in his first 242 plate appearances for the year. At the end of the day on June 5 he was hitting 247/296/332 for the season. Since June 6 he’s hitting 248/312/472 with 16 home runs in 378 plate appearances. It was really nice of Brantly to drop the popup one pitch before his bomb last night.
Pierre was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 6-for-his-last-9.
Utley 3-for-3 with two walks and an error. 7-for-his-last-12 with two walks. He has walked in about 11.3% of his plate appearances, which is better than 8.6% for 2011 and better than his career mark of 9.8%. He topped out in ’09 and ’10, walking in 12.8% of his plate appearances in 2009 and 12.3% in 2010.
Howard 1-for-5, grounded into two double-plays and left eight men on base. Grounded into a double-play in the bottom of the first with nobody out and the bases loaded. Grounded into another in the third with nobody out and Utley on first. Flew to center with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh. 171/216/229 over his last 37 plate appearances.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 3-for-5 with a walk and a double since returning from the DL.
Brown 2-for-5 with an RBI, two strikeouts and six men left on base. Hit into a double-play with the bases loaded to end the fifth. Struck out swinging 2-2 with the bases loaded to end the sixth. He’s 6-for-his-last-15 with a walk.
Mayberry 1-for-5 with a double and a strikeout. 289/400/474 so far in September in 45 plate appearances after hitting 290/343/495 in August.
Martinez 1-for-3 with a double. Bunted Mayberry to third with the first out in the bottom of the seventh, which allowed Mayberry to score on the sac fly by Rollins. He’s 6-for-his-last-15 with two doubles.
Lee (4-7, 3.50) faces righty Josh Johnson (8-11, 3.81) this afternoon. Lee hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last five outings and he’s thrown to a 2.08 ERA in those starts. The Phillies have won three games he’s started in a row. They were 4-12 in his first 16 starts on the year. Johnson has had one bad start in his last nine outings, throwing to a 2.76 ERA in those appearances. He has a 5.22 ERA in his 12 starts away from home and a 2.87 ERA in his 16 starts at home for the year.