Tag: Lastings Milledge

Balester can’t deter Phils

Coming off back-to-back losses, Phillies fans were hoping to see the team come out strong last night. They got their wish. The Phils jumped all over Collin Balester as Utley and Howard combined to drive in seven runs in the first two innings. Joe Blanton pitched well and the pen was even better as the Phils rolled to an 8-4 win.

With the Marlins beating the Mets last night, the Phils lead the division by two games with two games left to play.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 8-4 to improve to 90-70 on the season. They will clinch the division today if they beat the Nats or the Mets lose.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. He got some terrible defense behind him, hurt most by plays by Ruiz and Howard, and only one of the runs was earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out two.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second with a 3-0 lead. Elijah Dukes led off and Blanton walked him. Willie Harris flew to center for the first out. With Kory Castro at the plate, Dukes went to second on a passed ball. Ruiz just didn’t catch the ball, which wasn’t even in the dirt. It cost the Phils a run, cause Castro grounded to second for the second out with Dukes going to third and Luke Montz singled into left to bring Dukes in and cut the lead to 3-1. Orr grounded to Utley to end the frame.

The Phils probably would have had a double-play on the ball that Casto hit if Dukes had been on first instead of second.

Blanton started the third up 7-1. Emilio Bonifacio doubled with one out, but Blanton got the next two to leave him stranded.

He got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 fourth.

With one out in the fifth, Orr hit a ground ball to Howard that Howard booted for his 19th error of the season. Robert Bernandina hit for the pitcher Jason Bergmann and doubled to left, moving Orr to third. Bonifacio was next and he hit a fly ball to center for the second out. It was deep enough to score Orr and cut the lead to 7-2. Cristian Guzman was next and he singled into right, scoring Bernandina to make it 7-3. Lastings Milledge flew to center for the third out.

More bad defense costs the Phillies runs.

With two outs in the sixth, Casto hit a 1-0 pitch to deep right. A fan reached over the fence and tried to catch the ball but dropped it. Casto was given a home run and the play was reviewed. The play stood. 7-4. Looked like the right call to me. Blanton struck out Montz for the third out.

Eyre started the seventh after the Phils hit for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth. Righty Alberto Gonzalez hit for the lefty Pete Orr and Eyre struck him out for the first out. Switch-hitter Anderson Hernandez hit for the pitcher hit for the pitcher Garrett Mock and Eyre struck him out too. Bonifacio was next and he hit a ball slowly to short. Rollins charged, bare-handed and made a strong throw to first to nip Bonifacio.

Nice inning for Eyre and a great play by Rollins.

Madson started the eighth up 8-4. Cristian Guzman led off with a single to right. Madson struck out Milledge and got Dukes on a pop to third before Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Harris. Righty Aaron Boone hit for Harris and grounded to Rollins on a 3-2 pitch to end the frame.

Lidge started the ninth up 8-4. Casto swung at a 1-2 pitch and the home plate umpire called him out, but Casto argued that he had fouled the pitch off. The home plate ump checked with the third base ump who said Casto had fouled the ball off. Manuel came out to argue and was ejected. I don’t think that Casto actually fouled the ball off. Lidge struck him out swinging on the next pitch for the first out. Montz was next and Lidge struck him out swinging 1-2. Gonzalez was next and grounded to short to end the game.

I was surprised that nobody on the Phillies’ bench came out to get Manuel before he finally walked away. He was about as mad as Phillies fans have seen him.

The bullpen goes three scoreless innings for the Phils, allowing one base-runner on Guzman’s single off of Madson. They struck out five. Nobody threw more than 13 pitches. After the off-day on Thursday, everyone likely seems available for this afternoon’s game as the Phillies try to clinch the division.

The Phillies lineup against righty Collin Balester went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. The slumping Werth stays in the lineup and moves up to second in the order with Utley dropped to third. Dobbs plays third against the righty with Feliz on the bench. Ruiz catches.

Werth lined a single into center with one out in the first and went to third when Utley followed and singled into right. Howard was next and blasted an 0-1 pitch out to right-center to put the Phils up 3-0. Burrell and Victorino both popped out to end the inning.

Dobbs started the second with an opposite field double with the Phils up 3-1. Ruiz flew to right and Blanton struck out, but Rollins drew a walk to put men on first and second. Werth reached on an infield single to third that loaded the bases. It brought Utley up and he hit a 3-1 pitch off the top of the wall in left. It cleared the bases and put the Phils up 6-1. Howard followed with a double of his own. 7-1. Burrell grounded to third for the third out.

Rollins, Werth, Utley and Howard all get aboard with two outs and it gets the Phils four runs.

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

With one out in the fourth, Rollins blooped a 1-0 pitch in between second and center. It dropped in and good hustle by Rollins got him to second. Werth flew to left and Utley flew to center to leave Rollins stranded.

The Phils started the fifth up 7-3. Victorino doubled with two outs and stole third, but Dobbs grounded to second to leave him stranded.

They were leading 7-4 when they started the sixth. Ruiz flew to center for the first out. With the righty Garrett Mock on the mound, Jenkins hit for Blanton and popped to short. Rollins drew a walk, but Werth struck out for the third out.

If you hadn’t already, I think you have to conclude that Manuel has more confidence in Stairs than Jenkins as a left-handed hitter off the bench. In that case he chose to save Stairs for later in the game.

Utley started the seventh with a single. Howard struck out before Utley stole second. Burrell drew a walk and Bruntlett ran for him at first. Victorino was next and hit a ground ball to short. Bruntlett was forced at second for the second out. With two outs and men on first and third, Feliz hit for Dobbs with lefty Mike Hinckley on the mound. Jesus Colome came in to pitch for Feliz. Victorino stole second before a passed ball brought in Utley and moved Victorino to third with the Phils up 8-4. Feliz flew to center for the third out.

Wouldn’t have run for Burrell there.

Ruiz led off the eighth with a walk. Stairs hit for Romero and Ruiz was caught stealing as the count went 2-2 on Stairs. The Phils ran all over the Washington catcher Montz, who was making his fifth career start, but that’s a terrible time to run with Stairs hitting towering foul balls off of the righty Jesus Colome. Ruiz was safe and didn’t get the call, but it’s terrible anyway. Stairs struck out for the second out. Rollins drew a walk, his third of the game, and stole second. Werth struck out looking at a 2-2 pitch.

Rollins was 1-for-2 with a double, three walks and his 47th stolen base.

Werth was 2-for-5. Nice to see him have a good game.

Utley 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBI.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a double.

Dobbs 1-for-3 with a double.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk and a bad miscue on the passed ball. Shouldn’t have been allowed to be caught stealing in the eighth.

Jamie Moyer (15-7, 3.78) faces lefty John Lannan (9-14, 3.86) this afternoon. Lannan has faced the Phillies twice this season, allowing ten runs in 11 2/3 innings. The Phillies’ lefties have hit him pretty well over their careers. Howard is 3-for-8 with a double and a home run. Utley 4-for-8 with a walk in the plate appearances where Lannan didn’t break his hand. Moyer has been just fantastic for the Phils in big starts over the past two years. Here comes one now. The Phillies have won six games in a row that Moyer has started. He’s 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA in four starts against the Nats this season.

If you care about the music that players use for their at-bats, you might find this thing kinda cool.

Are you Redding for some shutout?

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
WAS 19-26 177 3.93 14 665 (15) 10 9
PHI 24-21 219 4.87 T-4 773 (6) 28 6

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
WAS 19-26 218 4.84 T-12 4.71 (10) 4.19 (11)
PHI 24-21 202 4.49 7 4.71 (9) 2.87 (1)

After grumbling about their luck in seeing five lefties in a row, the Phillies finally got a string of righties and celebrated with their first three game losing streak of the season. Last night it was Tim Redding they couldn’t figure out. In two starts against the Phils this season, Redding is 2-0 and has allowed eight hits and five walks in 13 1/3 shutout innings.

The Phils have scored eight runs in their last three games.

There’s something about waiting for Pedro Feliz to turn into a great hitter that reminds me a little of Linus sitting in the pumpkin patch he believes to be most sincere while he waits for the Great Pumpkin. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Last night Jenkins led off the second with a double and Feliz was unable to move him to third. Just because the world is a funny place, Jenkins led off the fourth with a double as well and again failed to score with an assist to Feliz’s inability to move the runner along. Among the 25 players in either league with at least 100 plate appearances while playing third base, Feliz’s .629 OPS is 24th best.

Feliz is far from the Phillies’ only problem. Just like the fourth inning was something of a hide-your-eyes-do-over of the second, in both the first and third innings last night Victorino and Utley were on first and second with one out. Both times Howard and Burrell failed to bring either of them home.

The Phillies lost to the Washington Nationals last night, falling 4-0. They are 24-22 on the season and have lost three games in a row for the first time this year.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out two.

The Phillies have played 46 games this year. Using Game Score as the measure, in 28 of them their opponents’ starting pitcher pitched better than the Phillies’ starting pitcher.

With one out in the first, Christian Guzman reached on an infield single and went to third when Zimmerman hit a ball into left that bounced once and went off the wall for a double. Dmitri Young hit a fly ball to center for the second out. It was deep enough for Guzman to tag and score, putting the Nats up 1-0. Lastings Milledge flew to center to end the inning.

Jesus Flores doubled to left with one out in the second and moved to third when Willie Harris grounded to second. The pitcher Tim Redding grounded back to Myers to leave Flores stranded at third.

Felipe Lopez doubled to left-center to start the third. Guzman followed with a single to right and Lopez went to third. Zimmerman followed with a walk to load the bases, but Myers struck out Young for the first out. Milledge blooped a ball in front of Jenkins in right. Guzman and Lopez both scored to put Washington up 3-0. Rob Mackowiak lined to third for the second out and Flores grounded to short to end the inning.

Harris walked to start the fourth and Redding bunted him to second. Myers got the next two to leave him stranded.

Milledge doubled with two outs in the fifth and Mackowiak followed and hit a ball of the leg of Myers for a single that moved Milledge to third. Myers struck out Flores to leave both runners stranded.

Myers walked Redding with one out in the sixth. Lopez followed with a ground ball to second and Redding was forced at second for the second out. Lopez tried to steal second and Ruiz threw him out to end the inning.

Madson started the seventh and gave up a leadoff double to Guzman. Zimmerman singled to right and Guzman went to third. Young hit into a double-play, but Guzman scored from third to put the Nationals up 4-0. Milledge grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.

Madson returned and threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

For Madson it was the third time in six days that he had gone more than an inning for the Phils. He threw 27 pitches last night to put him at 87 pitches over those three appearances, including 37 against the Braves on Wednesday.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Tim Redding went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth on the bench with Jenkins in right against the righty and Victorino back in center. Ruiz catches.

With one out in the first, Victorino and Utley singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Howard, but Howard struck out swinging for the second out. Burrell hit a ground ball down the third base line, but Zimmerman made a nice play and threw him out to end the frame.

Jenkins led off the second with a double high off the wall in right-center field. Feliz was next and couldn’t move Jenkins along. He grounded to third for the first out. Jenkins moved to third when Ruiz followed with a ground out to short, but Myers grounded to second to leave him stranded.

Bad at-bat for Feliz helps keep the Phils off the board.

Victorino and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the third. It again put men on first and second for Howard. Howard flew to the warning track in left. Burrell flew to left not quite as deep for the third out.

Jenkins doubled again to start the fourth. Feliz again couldn’t move him over, but at least he hit it to the right side of the infield this time. He popped to first. Ruiz grounded out and moved Jenkins to third for the second out. Myers grounded to short.

Very odd first four innings. Pretty much the same thing happened in the second and fourth — Jenkins doubled and Feliz didn’t move him to third and the Phils didn’t score. In the first and third Victorino and Utley were on first and second with one out and Howard and Burrell couldn’t bring them home, although Howard did crush the ball in the third and Zimmerman made a nice play on Burrell’s ball in the first.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth. Zimmerman made another nice play for the second out, barehanding Victorino’s slow ground ball and making a strong throw to first.

Jenkins walked with two outs in the sixth, but Feliz grounded out behind him.

Down 3-0 in the seventh, Ruiz singled to start the inning. Dobbs hit for Myers and popped to third for the first out. Rollins walked to put men on first and second for Victorino and righty Saul Rivera came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino hit a ground ball to first for the second out and the runners moved to second and third. Utley flew to left for the third out.

Howard, Burrell and Jenkins went 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Feliz and Ruiz went down to start the ninth. Werth hit for Madson and struck out to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk, ending a streak of five games in which he had at least two hits.

Victorino 2-for-4.

Utley 2-for-4. He is just 15-for-66 in May (.227).

Howard 0-for-4 and left four men on base. He just missed a three-run homer in the third.

Burrell 0-for-4 and left four men on base. He is 12-for-56 (.214) in May.

Jenkins was 2-for-3 with two doubles, the only extra-base hits in the game for the Phils, and a walk. He’s 5-for-his-last-10.

Feliz 0-for-4 and left three men on base.

Ruiz 1-for-4.

Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.89) faces righty Jason Bergmann (1-1, 7.45) tonight. Bergmann got hammered his first three starts of the season, throwing to an 11.68 ERA and earning himself a trip to the minor leagues. After a successful stint in the minors, Bergmann returned to the Nats and has made one start since. On Thursday he shut the Mets out on three hits over seven innings while striking out nine. He made five starts against the Phils in 2007, going 0-1 with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.10 ratio. Hamels has been fantastic, but comes off a 120-pitch complete game shutout against the Braves. Opponents are hitting .204 against him this season and he has allowed just one home run in his last 24 innings.

The Wolf man stay awayeth

This article says that Randy Wolf has agreed to a one-year deal with the Padres. That one’s a surprise to me — I either thought he’d wind up with the Phils or it would take a little longer.

The Mets traded Lastings Milledge to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. Schneider is a fantastic defensive player and has had some big games against the Phils over the last two years. Among the 21 NL players that had 200 plate appearances as a catcher, however, his OPS was 18th.

Church can hit and his numbers will benefit from leaving the Nats, but I would be surprised if the Mets use him as an everyday right fielder. He played no games in right for Washington last year after playing just 14 in 2006. He hit 229/316/339 in 136 plate appearances against lefties in 2007.

This article says that Rowand says he hasn’t heard much from the Nationals. The Twins have contacted his agent. Rotoworld points out that if the Yankees trade Melky Cabrera to get Santana, Rowand could be high on their list of replacement center fielders.

The Phillies offered Rowand arbitration. Rowand wants a five-year contract and this article suggests the Phillies may be hesitant to give him more than three.

The Rangers did not offer arbitration to Brad Wilkerson. Chris Snelling is one of a pretty small group of left-handed hitting corner outfielders who is actually more injury prone than Wilkerson. Despite his left-handed outfielderness, Wilkerson can’t be real high on any lists for the Phillies given his miserable numbers over the past two years.

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