Tag: juan pierre

Second time’s the charm

Vance Worley gave the Phils their second fantastic start in two games last night and this time the Phils got the win, beating the Padres 2-0 in the first game of their set in San Diego. Worley struck out 11 in seven innings and was backed by scoreless frames from Qualls and Papelbon.

Over their last two games, the Phillies have gotten 17 scoreless innings from their starting pitchers in which they have struck out 18. Phillies starting pitchers for the year have combined to throw to a 2.32 ERA with a 1.00 ratio and averaged 6.87 innings per start.

Juan Pierre did his very best to jump start the offense for the Phils in the game, walking, singling and tripling in his first three plate appearances, but the Phillies still had a whole bunch of problems scoring runs. They got one in the first on a walk, three hits and an error. The other run came in the ninth and wouldn’t have scored without the help of a passed ball, thanks to back-to-back strikeouts followed by a ground out after the Phils put a runner on third with nobody out.

Six wins on the year for the Phillies, who still haven’t won a game in which they’ve allowed more than two runs. They’ve allowed a total of six runs in the games that they’ve won (zero twice, one twice and two twice). In the seven games they’ve lost, they’ve allowed a total of 28 runs, or four runs per game.

The Phillies are 6-7 on the season after beating the San Diego Padres 2-0 last night. They lead the series one game to none.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple. He struck out 11.

His game score for the start was 77, a mark he equaled in two of his starts in 2011. July 4 against the Marlins and July 26 against the Giants.

He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead and struck out the side. Will Venable went down swinging. Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley both struck out looking.

Lefty Jeremy Hermida led off the second with a triple to center. Lefty Yonder Alonso lined to third for the first out. Worley struck lefty John Baker out looking 1-2 for the second. Righty Jason Bartlett grounded to second to end the inning.

No run for the Padres despite the leadoff triple.

Worley struck out pitcher Joe Wieland in a 1-2-3 third.

He struck Maybin out to start the fourth before walking Headley on five pitches. Hermida was next and he grounded to third, with Headley forced at second for the second out. Alonso was next and he walked on five pitches as well, but Worley got Baker on a ground ball to second to set the Padres down.

Two walks in the inning for Worley, but he works around them. It’s obviously very early, but Worley’s walk rate is up for the year so far. Through three starts he’s walked 12% of the left-handed hitters he’s faced compared to 8.7% in 2011.

Worley struck out Bartlett and Hudson in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Venable lined a single to center to start the sixth. Maybin bunted him to second with the first out before Headley singled in to left, moving Venable up to third. Hermida struck out swinging 3-2 as Headley took off for second. Ruiz threw to second. Rollins took the throw with Venable coming home. Rollins made a strong throw home and Ruiz applied the tag to get Venable and end the inning.

No run for the Padres after putting men on first and third with one out.

Worley got the first two to start the seventh before walking Bartlett on a 3-2 pitch. Hudson moved Bartlett to third with a single to center. Kotsay struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch and was infuriated because the ball was so far outside.

Worley got a call on the 3-2 pitch to Kotsay, but it’s still a great job and a huge at-bat for him after the Padres put the go-ahead run on base.

Qualls pitched the eighth with the Phils still up a run. He walked Headley on a 3-2 pitch with two outs and Headley stole second with Hermida at the plate. Hermida grounded to second to leave Headley stranded.

Fifth outing of the year for Qualls, who still has not been charged with a run in five scoreless innings. Opponents are hitting .167 against him.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 2-0 lead and walked Alonso on a 3-2 pitch. Baker was next, though, and Papelbon got him to ground into a double-play that cleared the bases. He struck Bartlett out looking 2-2 to end the game.

Sixth outing and fourth save for Papelbon. He’s allowed one run over six innings on the homer he allowed to Kearns.

Qualls threw 19 pitches in the game and Papelbon 14. They combined to throw two scoreless innings, allowing two walks and no hits.

The Phillies lineup against righty Joe Wieland went (1) Pierre (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Victorino (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Polanco and Mayberry back in the lineup against the righty. Lefties Nix and Thome on the bench as well as the righty Wigginton. Polanco continues to hit second, even against the righty. Too high.

Pierre was the first hitter of the game and walked on five pitches. Polanco was next and he singled to left with Pierre moving up to third on an error by Venable. It put runners on the corners for Rollins and Rollins hit a ball well to right for the first out. Pierre tagged and scored from third, putting the Phils on top 1-0. Pence was next and he singled into center, moving Polanco up to second. Victorino followed that with another hit, also a single to center, which loaded the bases for Mayberry with one out. Mayberry popped to second on a 3-2 pitch for the second out with all of the runners holding. Ruiz grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

First things first: Pierre walked, number one on the season, so my official guess of April 27 for his first walk proves to be a bust. Mayberry is the other thing there, popping out with the bases loaded and one out to continue a miserable start to the season for him.

The Phillies score in the frame. Given the recent history, that’s something. Still, on a walk, three hits and an error they can only come up with one run.

Pierre and Polanco get it done at the top of the order, coming through with a walk and a single to start the rally.

Galvis and Worley both struck out to start the second before Pierre reached on an infield single. Polanco grounded to short for the third out.

Pierre on base again for the second time in two innings.

Rollins and Pence struck out as the Phils went in order in the third.

They went 1-2-3 in the fourth as well.

Pierre lined a triple down the left field line with one out in the fifth. Polanco was next and he grounded hard to third for the first out, with Pierre holding third. Rollins struck out swinging to leave Pierre at third.

Pierre triples, so my official guess of the 14th of Never-everness for his first extra-base hit also proves to be a bust.

No run for the Phillies after the one-out triple by Pierre. Polanco hit the ball hard right at Headley, so Pierre had no chance to score. Kind of a tough break for Polanco, who could just a couple of breaks at this point. Three plate appearances for Pierre at this point in the game and he has a walk, a single and a triple.

Mayberry struck out as the Phils went in order in the sixth.

Righty Luke Gregerson set the Phils down in order in the seventh, striking out Ruiz for the first out.

Righty Andrew Cashner got Pierre, Polanco and Rollins in order in the eighth.

Righty Ernesto Frieri started the ninth. Pence led off the inning and walked on four pitches. Victorino moved him to third with a single to left. Victorino stole second with Mayberry at the plate, putting men on second and third. The 0-2 pitch to Mayberry was outside and off the catcher’s foot. It rolled way away, allowing Pence to score from third (2-0) and Victorino to move up to third. Mayberry struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Ruiz struck out looking 0-2 for the second. Galvis flew to left to set the Phillies down.

The Phils manage a run, but again Mayberry comes up empty, striking out with a runner on third for the first out. Ruiz couldn’t get it done, either, striking out with a runner on third for the second out.

Pierre had a monster game, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple to up his line to 333/353/394.

Polanco 1-for-4 to up his average to .186. 186/222/209 on the year.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a big sac fly and two strikeouts. He’s 1-for-his-last-15.

Pence 1-for-3 with a walk.

Victorino 2-for-4 with two singles and a stolen base. He has stolen six bases without being caught.

Mayberry was miserable, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and four men left on base. In the first he popped to second with the bases loaded and one out. In the ninth he struck out with nobody out and a runner on third. He’s 1-for-his-last-14.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He’s hitting .206 since going 4-for-6 to start the year.

Galvis 0-for-4 to drop his average to .216.

Hamels (1-1, 3.65) faces righty Edinson Volquez (0-1, 4.24) tonight. Hamels was better in his most recent start than his first, holding the Mets to two runs over seven innings. He has 19 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings for the season. Volquez struggled in his most recent start, which came against the Dodgers, allowing four runs over five innings. He has walked 12 in 17 innings for the year.


It takes two (preferably less than two, actually)

The pitching the Phillies got last night in San Francisco wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t all that awful, either. Joe Blanton had a rough start and wound up allowing four runs over five innings, but the pen was strong after that and the Phils held the Giants to just four runs in the game.

That proved to be too much for a Phillies team that has yet to win a game in which they’ve allowed more than two runs. After 11 games, there is only one member of the 2012 Phils with more than five plate appearances for the year with an OPS of .780 or better (Pence is at .915).

The Phillies are 5-6 on the year after falling to the San Francisco Giants 4-2 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the series.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two triples. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.

He has now made three appearances on the year, two starts and one relief outing, and thrown to a 4.26 ERA with a 1.34 ratio. In 12 2/3 innings, he has walked just one batter, but allowed 16 hits. Opponents are hitting .308 against him.

Switch-hitter Angel Pagan led off the bottom of a scoreless first and lined a single into center. Switch-hitter Melky Cabrera was next and he tripled down the first base line and into the corner. Pagan scored to put the Giants up 1-0. Switch-hitter Pablo Sandoval was next and he grounded out to second with Cabrera scoring to make it 2-0. Righty Buster Posey singled before Blanton struck lefty Aubrey Huff out looking for the second out. Lefty Nate Schierholtz was next and he singled softly into left, moving Posey up to second. Lefty Brandon Crawford grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Another rough first inning for a Phillie starter. The Phils have an 8.18 ERA in the first inning so far this season, having allowed ten earned runs in 11 innings. Opponents are hitting .400 against them in the first.

Blanton got switch-hitter Emmanuel Burriss to ground out to start the second and pitcher Madison Bumgarner on another grounder before Pagan tripled to center. Cabrera grounded out to leave Pagan at third.

Huff and Schierholtz singled back-to-back with two outs in the third, but Blanton got Crawford on a ground ball to first to leave them both stranded.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when Burriss started the bottom of the fourth with an infield single. Bumgarner bunted him to second with the first out, but Pagan popped out and Cabrera struck out swinging to leave him at second.

Sandoval doubled to center to start the fifth and moved to third on a single by Posey. Huff went down on a popup to Rollins for the first out, but Schierholtz followed with a single into right that scored Sandoval (3-1) and moved Posey up to second. Posey stole third before Crawford grounded back to the pitcher. Blanton went to second, but the Phils were unable to get more than one out. Schierholtz was forced at second, Posey scored (4-1) and Crawford was safe at first. Ruiz threw Crawford out trying to steal second to end the inning.

Kendrick started the bottom of the sixth with the Phillies down 4-2 and set Burriss, Bumgarner and Pagan down in order.

He was back for the seventh. Sandoval and Posey singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on first and second. Huff popped out to shortstop before Kendrick walked Schierholtz on four pitches, loading the bases for Crawford. Kendrick quickly got ahead of Crawford 0-2 and struck him out swinging 3-2 to leave all three runners stranded.

Kendrick dropped his ERA on the year to 1.92 with two scoreless frames. He’s has walked three in 4 2/3 innings so far, though, which is too many.

Stutes started the eighth and walked the leadoff man Burriss 3-2. Lefty Brandon Belt flew to left for the first out before Burriss stole second. Pagan flew to right for the second out before Cabrera struck out looking to leave Burriss at second.

Stutes, like Kendrick, also has a 1.93 ERA for the season, having allowed one earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He has also walked three batters in 4 2/3 innings, which is too many for him as well.

You really, really want to try to avoid walking Emmanuel Burriss to start an inning given that he has one extra-base hit since the end of 2009. His isolated power since the end of 2009 is .006. One extra-base hit, a double, in 184 plate appearances. Kudos to the Phillies, though, for fighting the impulse to snap him up and start him in left field.

Kendrick and Stutes combined to throw three scoreless innings in the game, allowing two hits and two walks. Kendrick likely will be unavailable tonight after throwing 39 pitches in the game. Stutes threw 19 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Madison Bumgarner went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Wigginton (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Victorino hits leadoff against the lefty with Wigginton at first and Mayberry in left. Victorino needs to hit lower in the order given his success against lefties. Polanco is a really bad two-hitter, but it’s not as awful against lefties as it is against righties.

Victorino was the first batter of the game and hit a ball up the middle that Crawford didn’t handle moving to his left for an error. Polanco was next and he got sawed off hitting a ball back to the mound. Bumgarner fielded it and threw to second, where again Crawford didn’t handle it. Everyone was safe and Bumgarner was charged with an error for a low throw that Crawford should have handled. Rollins was next and he grounded into a double-play, putting Victorino on third with one out. Pence popped to first to leave him there.

Five outs for the Phils and no runs, who don’t score after putting men on first and second with nobody out. Miserable start to the game for Crawford defensively, flubbing his first two touches in the game.

Down 2-0, Wigginton walked to start the second. Mayberry popped to second for the first out before Ruiz moved Wigginton up to second with a single. Galvis was next and lined to short with Wigginton doubled off of second to end the frame.

Again the Phillies hit into a double-play and again they fail to score, this time after putting runners on first and second with one out.

Victorino doubled to left with one out in the third and stole third as Polanco struck out swinging. Rollins struck out swinging to leave him there.

Again, I don’t really think you want Victorino hitting behind the pitcher all that much against lefties.

Pence led off the fourth and homered to left, cutting the San Francisco lead to 2-1. The Phils went in order behind him.

Galvis started the fifth with a single to right and Blanton bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino popped to short and Polanco grounded to short to leave Galvis stranded.

Again no run for the Phils, this time after putting a man on second with one out.

Rollins started the sixth with a single to center with the Phils down 4-1. He took second on a wild pitch before Pence was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Wigginton singled to left on ball deflected by Crawford, loading the bases. Mayberry popped to first with the runners holding for the first out. Ruiz was next and flew to left for the second, with Rollins tagging from third and scoring to cut the lead to 4-2. Galvis grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

One run for the Phils after loading the bases with nobody out. Mayberry can’t come through, popping out for the first out. He ends the game hitting .219 for the season with no walks and one double.

Pierre, double-switched into the game in the bottom of the sixth, led off the seventh and singled into center. Righty Clay Hensley took over for Bumgarner and struck Victorio for the first out. Polanco flew to center for the second before Pierre stole second. Rollins struck out swinging to leave him at second.

Pierre does his job trying to get the rally started, but the Phils go quietly behind him. Three stolen bases on the year with one ugly caught stealing of third that was rather unnecessary. One of the three times he was safe he was really out, but if he’s going to be safe 75% of the time that might be the best we can hope for. I’m guessing he’s not going to be safe 75% of the time before it’s over.

Righty Sergio Romo set down Pence and Wigginton to start the eighth. Thome hit for Kendrick and flew to right for the third out.

Seems a little odd to me that Thome hits there with the Phillies down by two runs and nobody on base. Whether it’s Romo or Casilla, the Giants seem sure to be throwing a righty in the ninth and looking ahead there seems like a big chance to hit for Galvis in the ninth as the tying run if Ruiz can get on base to start the frame.

The righty Casilla got Ruiz and Galvis on ground balls to start the ninth before singled. Victorino hit a ball hard to short, but Crawford made a very nice diving play to get the ball and throw to first to end the game.

Crawford starts the game out with some awful defense and ends it with a great play.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with a double and left three men on base. That’s just his second extra-base hit of the year. The Phillies could use some more thump out of him, no matter where he hits in the order.

Polanco was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. He’s hitting .179 with one walk for the season, which isn’t what you’re looking for from either your two-hitter or your third baseman.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts. He has struck out in four of his last eight plate appearances. He has just one extra-base hit, a double, through 48 plate appearances.

Pence was 1-for-3 with his second home run of the year. He’s 5-for-his-last-11 and leads the team with seven RBI for the season.

Wigginton 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 4-for-his-last-12 with two walks, a double and a home run. So far this year, the average walk percentage for NL hitters is about 8.5% of plate appearances. The Phillies only have two players at 8.5% of PA or higher — Wigginton (12.0%) and Nix (14.3%). Wigginton’s career walk percentage is 7.3% and Nix’s is 5.7%.

Mayberry 0-for-3 with four men left on base. Pierre is hitting .346 after going 2-for-2 in the game.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Still hitting just .222 since going 4-for-6 in the first two games of the year.

Galvis 1-for-4 with a single to up his average for the year to .229.

Cliff Lee (0-1, 3.46) faces righty Matt Cain tonight (1-0, 3.00). Lee allowed a run over six innings in his first start of the year, which came against the Pirates. He had a rough first inning in his other start, allowing three runs in the top of the first to the Mets, but was solid after that as he allowed four runs over seven innings overall. Cain allowed five runs over six innings in his first start, but was brilliant in his other outing on the year. His last time out he faced the Pirates and threw a complete game one-hitter. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 11.


Nervousness grows as some fans wonder if the Phils can find a way to bunt themselves to a better bullpen

The Phils lost the last two games of the three-game set with Pittsbugh on a pair of walkoffs, losing game two 2-1 when their offense came up small. Yesterday the offense put up four runs, but the bullpen couldn’t hold a 4-1 lead, allowing four runs over 2 2/3 innings as the Phils fell 5-4.

The starting pitching has been fantastic for the Phils over the first three games. Vance Worley allowed a run over six innings in yesterday’s game. Over three starts, Halladay, Lee and Worley have combined to allow two runs in 20 innings.

With the exception of Hunter Pence, just about everything else has been pretty miserable. The Phils scored one run in the first game and one in the second, before getting four in an odd third game made memorable when righty James McDonald walked Pence intentionally to get to the lefty Jim Thome and struck Thome out to end the top of the sixth.

Most fans expected the offense to struggle in the early going. Fewer thought we were going to see them bunt and bunt and bunt the way they have in the early going.

Yesterday’s late game breakdown had a lot to do with the bullpen, but also a big defensive misplay when an error by Wigginton on a would-be strikeout led to a pair of unearned runs. It’s the kind of thing you want to avoid if you have an offense built around bunting with your three-hitter.

The Phillies are 1-2 on the year after losing 5-4 to the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday afternoon. The Pirates take the series two games to one.

Worley started the game for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-base hits, a double and a home run. He struck out five.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Jose Tabata singled to right with one out and stole second. Worley walked Andrew McCutchen, putting men on first and second for switch-hitter Neil Walker. Walker hit the ball hard to third, but Wigginton took it for the second out. Garrett Jones grounded to Galvis to leave the runners stranded.

Michael McKendry singled with two outs in the second, but Worley struck the pitcher James McDonald out looking behind him for the third out.

Worley set the Pirates down in order in the third.

Walker led off the fourth and lined a single into center, but Jones was next and hit a ball to first. Thome fielded, threw nicely to second and took the relay from Rollins to complete the double-play and clear the bases. Clint Barmes grounded to third for the third out.

If Thome really wants us to forget Howard at first, he needs to figure out a way to throw that ball into left field.

The Phils were up 2-0 when Worley started the fifth. Lefty Pedro Alvarez led off Pittsburgh and hit a 2-1 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 2-1. Worley retired the next three Pirates behind Alvarez.

McCutchen doubled to center with one out in the sixth. Walker was next and this time he lined to Rollins for the second out. Worley got ahead of Jones 0-2 and struck him out swinging 1-2 to leave McCutchen at second.

The Phillies hit for Worley in the top of the seventh and Stutes, pitching for the second straight day, started the bottom of the inning. Things started well enough. Stutes struck Barmes out for the first out. Alvarez was next and Stutes struck him out too, swinging at a 1-2 pitch that Schneider didn’t handle. Wigginton had taken over at first for Thome and couldn’t handle the throw from Schneider. Alvarez wound up on second with one out and Wigginton charged with an error. Stutes got McKendry to fly to right for the second out, but righty Casey McGehee was next and he doubled to center, scoring Alvarez to cut the lead to 4-2. Lefty Alex Presley was next and he lined a single to right. McGehee scored from second. 4-3. Presley stole second before Tabata flew to center to leave him there.

Would have been a great time to get an out on the Alvarez strikeout. Wigginton just didn’t catch the ball and it went off his glove. The righty Stutes stays in to pitch to the lefty Presley with two lefties available in the pen for the Phils and Presley drives in a run. Not saying a have a whole lot of confidence in Savery, either, but I’m just saying.

Stutes threw 27 pitches in the game.

Kendrick started the eighth, also pitching for the second straight day. McCutchen led off and singled to left. The switch-hitter Walker was next and he flew to left for the first out. Lefty Nate McLouth hit for the pitcher Evan Meek and Bastardo, also pitching for the second straight day, came in to pitch to him. Righty Yamaico Navarro hit for McLouth and McCutchen stole second before Bastardo walked Navarro on a 3-2 pitch. It put men on first and second for Barmes and Bastardo struck him out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Righty Matt Hague hit for the lefty Alvarez and singled into left, scoring McCutchen to tie the game at 4-4 and moving Navarro up to second. Bastardo struck McKendry out swinging 2-2 to leave the runners at first and second.

Both Kendrick and Bastardo had thrown a small number of pitches in game two of the series, 13 for Kendrick and six for Bastardo, but still Manuel lets Kendrick start the eighth inning against a righty when many assumed the eighth would belong to Bastardo. Kendrick also stays in to face the switchy Walker after McCutchen singled, despite the fact that Walker has been better against righties for his career (282/342/437 vs right and 274/327/388 against lefties).

Herndon started the ninth, making his first appearance of the year. McGehee led off with a double to left and Josh Harrison ran for him at second. Presley bunted Harrison to third with the first out. Herndon struck Tabata out swinging 3-2, which looked huge at the time, but McCutchen followed Tabata and hit a ball over Victorino’s head in center, bringing home Harrison and ending the game.

Herndon got ahead of McCutchen 0-2, but couldn’t put him away. With a runner on third and two down, Herndon had a base open and space to pitch around McCutchen and allow the Phils to try and get Walker. Didn’t happen.

Not a great start to the year for Herndon, who faced four men and allowed two hits, both which would have been for extra-bases if the second hadn’t ended the game. The strikeout of Tabata was big, but the other out he got was given to the Phils by Pittsburgh.

Bastardo, Stutes and Kendrick have all pitched two days in a row. Bastardo threw 20 pitches in the game and Stutes 27. Kendrick eight and Herndon 20.

Overall the pen went 2 2/3 innings in the game, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Only two of the runs were earned.

Qualls was not available to pitch in the game because of a problem with his right heel.

The Phillies lineup against righty James McDonald went (1) Pierre (2) Victorino (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Thome (6) Wigginton (7) Galvis (8) Schneider. Pierre in left, Thome at first and Schneider catching, all making their first starts of the season. Wigginton starts at third, although he’s not a great hitter against righties and can’t offer the defense that Polanco does. Victorino drops to second in the order with Pierre leading off. Galvis hits ahead of Schneider, which seems odd to me given that Galvis doesn’t seem to have much chance to get on base.

Victorino singled with one out in the top of the first and moved to second on a ground out by Rollins. Pence was next and he doubled into the left field corner, scoring Victorino easily to put the Phils up 1-0. Thome flew to left to leave Pence at second.

Just the second extra-base hit of the year for the Phils.

Galvis walked with one out in the second, but Schneider hit into a double-play behind him.

The Phils went in order in the third.

With one out in the fourth, Pence hit a 2-1 pitch out to left-center, putting the Phillies on top 2-0. Thome and Wigginton both grounded out behind him.

Third extra-base hit of the year for the Phils and the first home run.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

The lead had been cut to 2-1 when they hit in the sixth. Pierre led off with a bunt single and took second on a throwing error by Alvarez. Victorino bunted him to third with the first out. Rollins struck out swinging for the second out. The righty McDonald walked the righty Pence intentionally, putting men on first and third with two down. McDonald then struck Thome out looking 2-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Wow. Pence was 2-for-2 in the game with a double, a home run and seemingly the only hitter in the game with a pulse for the Phils, but still that was rather gutsy. It worked out pretty well for the Pirates, though.

Please, please, please it’s enough with bunting with the good hitters. The number of hitters in the lineup who can hit a double, much less a home run, is pretty limited. If you want to bunt all the time, what say you do it with Galvis, Polanco and Pierre and not Rollins, Victorino and Nix.

With a runner in scoring position and nobody out, Victorino bunts the runner to third. Then the Phillies fail to score with one out and a man on third. Rollins strikes out and Thome strikes out with a nutty IBB in-between.

Righty Jared Hughes started the seventh for Pittsburgh and walked Wigginton to start the inning. Galvis bunted. Hughes fielded and threw to first, where Walker, covering first, didn’t come up with the ball for an error. Wigginton wound up at third and Galvis at second with nobody out. Schneider lined hard to first for the first out. Nix hit for Worley and grounded to second for the second out with the runners holding. Pierre was next, though, and he lined a two-run single to right, putting the Phils on top 4-1. Victorino walked and the Phils pulled off a double-steal before Rollins struck out to leave the runners stranded at second and third.

That’s a bunt I can get behind — not because it worked out so great, but because Galvis isn’t Shane Victorino. Or Jimmy Rollins or Laynce Nix.

Speaking of Nix, that’s the second time in two games Nix came up empty in a big situation with a runner on third and less than two outs. In the top of the first in Saturday’s game, the Phils put men on first and third with one out for Nix and Nix struck out swinging for the second out before Mayberry flew to center to set the Phillies down.

Huge hit for Pierre, who had a fantastic game in his first start of the year.

Righty Evan Meek set Pence, Polanco and Wigginton down in order in the eighth with the lead cut to 4-3.

Righty Joel Hanrahan struck out Mayberry and Schneider in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Pierre was great in his first start of the year. 2-for-4 with a stolen base and two RBI. 2-for-5 in the three-game set. Mayberry was 0-for-1 with a strikeout in the game. 2-for-8 with a double and three strikeouts in the set.

Victorino was 1-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base in the game. 3-for-10 with two walks and two stolen bases in the series.

Rollins was miserable. 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and four men left on base. Huge strikeout in the sixth with one out and Pierre on third. 2-for-12 with two strikeouts in the set. Needs to stop bunting out of the three-hole really, really soon.

Pence 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a home run. 3-for-11 with two walks in the series.

Thome 0-for-3 with a strikeout and three men left on base. Pence was memorably walked intentionally in front of him in the game. 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the series. Started a nice double-play defensively in the fourth. Nix was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the game and 0-for-4 with a walk in the set.

Wigginton 0-for-3 with a walk. Playing him at third against a lefty makes a lot more sense to me than playing him at third against a righty, just cause he’s gotta have a big offensive advantage over Polanco to make up for Polanco’s defense. He made a big error in the seventh on Alvarez’s strikeout that led to two unearned runs the Phillies couldn’t afford to allow. 1-for-8 with a walk in the series. Polanco 0-for-1 in the game and 2-for-9 in the series.

Galvis 0-for-2 with a walk in the game. 0-for-10 with a walk in the series.

Schneider was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and left three men on base. He also hit into a double-play in the second. Big at-bat in the seventh with nobody out and men on second and third, but Schneider lined to first. Ruiz was 4-for-6 with a walk in the series.

Cole Hamels faces righty Anibal Sanchez today in the home opener.


A bloop and a fast

Juan Pierre was at it again last night, going 1-for-2 with a double and a stolen base to lead the Phils to a 4-3 win over the Pirates. Pierre led off the bottom of the first with a bloop double off the glove of the left fielder and came around to score the first run of the game with the help of a pair of fly ball outs. In the third he was hit by a pitch, stolen second and came in to score on a double by Rollins.

Pierre is now hitting 373/431/424 in official Spring Training action and appears to have solidified a spot in the lineup for himself, at least against right-handed pitching.

Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils and allowed a pair of runs over 4 2/3 innings on two singles and a double. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three. After five starts, Blanton has a 4.58 ERA and 1.07 ratio. In 19 2/3 innings he has walked just one batter while striking out 16.

Bastardo followed Blanton, facing one batter in the bottom of the fifth with the bases empty and striking him out to end the frame. Pat Misch went three innings after that, allowing a run on a solo homer to Andrew McCutchen in the sixth. Kyle Kendrick set McCutchen, Neil Walker and Garrett Jones down in order in the ninth with a one-run lead to get the save.

Kendrick dropped his ERA to a 1.54 with the outing. He and Valdes are the pitchers on the team who have pitched the most innings this spring without allowing a home run. They have combined to throw 24 1/3 innings without giving up a long ball (12 2/3 for Valdes and 11 2/3 for Kendrick). By a wide margin, Halladay is the pitcher on the team who has had the most trouble with allowing home runs in Spring Training. He has allowed seven in 22 innings — that rate of allowing home runs would have him giving about 64 over 200 innings. That might not even happen.

Victorino was 1-for-3 with a triple in the game and Galvis 2-for-3 with a seventh-inning triple that put the Phils on top to stay. Galvis is at 272/287/457 for the spring over 81 at-bats. Rollins was 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI out of the three-hole. He’s hitting 250/338/367.

The teams play again tonight with Hamels expected to pitch for the Phils.

In this article, Manuel suggests that Mayberry will still get a lot of chances despite the emergence of Pierre.

This article says Manuel won’t use Thome in the field a whole lot and suggests 20 games might be a realistic guess.


Order in the order

The Phils and Braves played to a 7-7 tie yesterday.

Lee started the game for the Phils and allowed a run on five hits and a walk over four innings. After six starts he has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.17 ratio.

Savery started the fifth for the Phils with a 7-1 lead. The first three men he faced reached base on a single and two walks, loading the bases. Savery got out of it, though, getting two popups and a ground out to keep Atlanta off the board. He came back for the sixth and allowed a run on a pair of doubles.

Not a good day for Savery, who was charged with a run on three hits and two walks over two frames. 3.48 ERA with a 1.45 ratio. He’s now walked five in 10 1/3 innings.

Horst allowed a walk in a scoreless seventh. Sanches pitched the eighth and allowed a leadoff double with the runner coming around to score on a pair of ground outs.

Frank Gailey started the ninth with a 7-3 lead. Walk, two-run homer, walk, error on Galvis made it 7-5 with a men on first and second. The next batter bunted, but the Phils failed to get an out on another error, this one by Gailey, that loaded the bases. Gailey got the next batter to hit into a double play. One run scored, 7-6, two outs and a man on third. Eric Hinske was next and he doubled, tying the game. Ryan Duke took over for Gailey, walked the first two men he faced to load the bases again, then got a popup to end the inning.

Overall, not a pretty bottom of the ninth for the Phils.

Pierre led off for the Phils with Rollins hitting third, which may be a sign of things to come against right-handed starters.

Pierre was 1-for-3 with a double in the game to up his line to a monster 368/419/404. The double was Pierre’s second extra-base hit of the spring — if he slugs .404 for the year the Phils are in great shape. The last time he slugged .404 or better over a full season was 2004. It’s a little tough to argue with anyone who’s hitting .368. If you want to try, I’d go with the isolated power of .036.

Rollins is hitting .241 after going 0-for-2 with a walk.

I don’t care where much where Rollins hits in the order. But leading off Juan Pierre is a mistake.

Polanco went 2-for-4 with a double. He’s hitting 444/500/528.

Wigginton 0-for-1 and hitting 180/261/246. Mayberry 1-for-2 to raise his average to .200 — he’s at 200/250/293.

Thome started at first and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Thome at first against some righties in regular season games would help the Phillies enormously.

The Phils play exhibition games against the Pirates tonight and tomorrow before opening the regular season on Thursday.

Andres Blanco signed a minor league deal with the Phils. The switch-hitting Blanco turns 28 later this month and has a career 255/301/333 line in 654 plate appearances with the Royals, Cubs and Rangers.

This article suggests that Contreras and Stutes might start the year on the DL with Luna and Orr both making the team and the Phils taking one of Valdes and Savery.


And then there were Juan

This article suggests that Juan Pierre will start the year with the Phillies, Lou Montanez definitely will not and Scott Podsednik very likely will not.

Pierre had two hits yesterday, raising his line to 313/377/333 in 48 at-bats, as the Phils topped the Rays 2-1.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was very good, holding the Rays to a run over 5 2/3 innings on three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Evan Longoria homered off of him in the fourth. Hamels dropped his ERA to 3.42 with the effort.

Chad Qualls struck out Carlos Pena to end the sixth. Savery followed Qualls and threw two shutout innings in which he faced just seven batters, allowing a leadoff double to Elliot Johnson but getting the next three Rays to keep them from scoring. Savery has made six official Spring Training appearances and thrown to a 3.24 ERA with a 1.20 ratio and struck out nine in 8 1/3 innings.

Papelbon threw a scoreless ninth, dropping his ERA to 0.90.

Brian Schneider had quite a day, going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. His solo shot in the fifth got the Phils their first run. He doubled with one out in the ninth and Tuffy Gosewisch ran for him. Gosewisch would score the game-winning run on Hector Luna’s single to right three batters later.

It was Luna’s only at-bat of the day and the hit raised his line to 302/362/558.

Pierre was 2-for-2 in the game with two singles and a stolen base. Podsednik 0-for-1 with a strikeout — he’s hitting .347.

Orr started at shortstop and went 0-for-4. 294/351/431. Orr has appeared in 393 games in his career and made nine appearances at shortstop. Eight of the nine came with Washington in 2008.

Nix was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .186. Mayberry is hitting .188 after going 0-for-1.

The Phillies play the Yankees tonight with Bastardo expected to pitch.

Michael Stutes was scheduled to pitch in that game, but this article explains that he has stiffness in his right shoulder and it’s unclear if he will be ready for Opening Day.

If we’re guessing, my guess is he won’t.

So let’s review who might be on the pitching staff when the season starts. I think we can count on these guys: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Worley, Kendrick, Papelbon, Bastardo, Qualls. That’s nine.

My guess is that Contreras and Stutes won’t be on the active roster for Opening Day. The Phillies need at least two and maybe three more pitchers. Herndon seems like a very good bet to be one and I still think Raul Valdes with be a second. That makes 11, including two lefties in Valdes and Bastardo. Savery would be my guess for the 12th if the Phils start the year with 13 hitters.

On the hitters side, I think we should now be counting on these guys: Ruiz, Schneider, Mayberry, Wigginton, Galvis, Rollins, Polanco, Nix, Victorino, Pence, Thome, Pierre. That’s 12, leaving one or two openings. My guess is Orr is one of them and Luna would be my second guess if the Phils carry 14 hitters.

So I think there are nine pitching near locks and 12 hitting near locks. Herndon seems like just about a certainty. Valdes and Orr seem highly likely. That’s 24 and I think it leaves one slot for Savery or Luna, assuming that Contreras and Stutes are both not on the active roster to start the season.


  • Calender

    August 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Apr    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.



    Web Directory

    Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Philliesflow.com. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress