Tag: Matt Kemp

Third time not lucky

The Phillies scored three runs in a game for the third straight time yesterday afternoon and this time the pitching wasn’t good enough to make it stand up. Cliff Lee was fantastic, but the bullpen wasn’t and the Dodgers topped the Phils 5-3 in 12 innings.

Lee allowed a solo homer to Juan Rivera, just one of two hits he would allow over eight innings, in the second. The Phils came back with a run in the fourth to tie things up at 1-1 on a single and a stolen base by Victorino and an RBI-single by Ruiz. Nobody scored again until the tenth, when Pence delivered another clutch two-run single, putting the Phils up 3-1. Papelbon, pitching for the third straight day, couldn’t nail down the save, though, as the Dodgers scored a pair of runs on four hits in the bottom of the tenth to tie things up again at 3-3. Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer off of Diekman in the bottom of the twelfth.

You shouldn’t count on winning too many games when you score three runs, but the bullpen is still the biggest problem for the Phillies. Six relievers for the Phils combined to allow four runs over 3 1/3 innings in the game. Manuel appears to have confidence in just about nobody in the bullpen, doing everything he can to make sure the guys he does have to use get favorable left-right match-ups. It makes for a lot of pitching changes — four of the six guys the Phillies used in relief in the game got one out or no outs. Kendrick, probably the second safest option in the pen after Papelbon, faced one hitter in the game.

And Papelbon looks like he’s wearing down himself. He was pitching for the third straight day in yesterday’s game and threw 32 pitches in the game. He got Sunday off after getting five outs on Saturday. He’s allowed at least one run in five of his last ten appearances, throwing to a 6.97 ERA with a 1.74 ratio in those outings. After hitting .200 against him in his 22 appearances through the end of May, opponents have hit .284 against him in his 15 outings since the start of June.

The Phillies are 41-52 on the year after losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 in 12 innings yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one. They’re still in last place in the NL East, 14 games behind the Nationals.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on two hits and one walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run. He struck out four.

The Phillies have lost seven of the last eight games Lee has started. He’s been very good over his last three starts, allowing two earned runs or fewer in each of the three while throwing to a 2.05 ERA with an 0.95 ratio.

He threw a 1-2-3 first, getting Tony Gwynn and Mark Ellis on ground outs and Matt Kemp swinging.

Juan Rivera led off the second and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left, putting the Dodgers up 1-0. Lee got Jerry Hairston, Juan Uribe and Luis Cruz in order behind Rivera.

LA went in order again in the third. Lee got AJ Ellis to fly to center, pitcher Clayton Kershaw on a grounder to short and Tony Gwynn on a ground ball deflected by Lee to Rollins for the third.

The game was tied 1-1 when Lee threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

LA went in order again in the fifth.

AJ Ellis singled to left to start the sixth and Kershaw bunted him to second with the first out. Gwynn flew to Mayberry for the second out before Lee walked Mark Ellis, putting two Ellisi aboard for Kemp. Lee struck Kemp out swinging 0-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Huge strikeout for Lee to get the righty Kemp with two men on in a tie game.

Rivera, Hairston and Uribe went in order in the seventh.

Lee had thrown 84 pitches through seven innings. He had allowed one hit and one walk since Rivera’s homer to start the bottom of the second.

He threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Lefty Adam Kennedy hit for Kershaw with two outs and grounded to short to end the inning.

Kershaw threw 120 pitches in the game.

Bastardo started the ninth. Mark Ellis singled with one out. Kendrick came in to pitch to Kemp and struck him out for the second out. Lefty Andre Ethier hit for Rivera and Horst came in to pitch to Ethier. Ethier singled to right, moving Ellis up to third. Schwimer came in to pitch to the righty Hairston. Ethier moved up to second on defensive indifference and Schwimer walked Hairston, loading the bases for Uribe. Lefty James Loney hit for Uribe and Schwimer struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

Huge strikeout for Schwimer to get Loney and keep the game alive. The Phillies use four pitchers in the inning, which is a lot for a game that ended with a righty homering off of a lefty in the twelfth. Kendrick faces just one batter in the game, which hurts a lot (although striking out Kemp in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game with a man on is a good out to get if you’re just going to get one).

Papelbon started the tenth with a 3-1 lead. Cruz led off and lined a double to left. Papelbon struck out AJ Ellis for the first out. Lefty Bobby Abreu hit for the pitcher Scott Elbert. Papelbon got ahead of Abreu 0-2, but Abreu blooped a 2-2 pitch down the third base line and the ball fell in shallow left field for a single. Cruz scored and the lead was cut to 3-2. With Gwynn at the plate, Abreu stole second. Gwynn hit a swinging bunt on a 3-1 pitch that dribbled off the third base side of the mound for another single, moving Abreu up to third. Papelbon struck Mark Ellis out swinging 0-2, which brought Kemp to the plate with two down, men on the corners and the Phils still up a run. Kemp hit Papelbon’s first pitch in the hole between short and third. Rollins made a fantastic effort, backhanding and making a strong throw to first, but Kemp just beat it out for another infield single. Abreu scored to tie the game at 3-3 with men on first and second for Ethier. Ethier flew to left to leave both runners stranded.

Four hits in the inning for the Dodgers. Cruz’s double was hit hard. Abreu’s single to left was a bloop, Gwynn reached on a swinging bunt dribbler and Kemp just beat out an infield single.

Big stolen base for the 38-year-old Abreu allows him to move up to third on one infield single and score on another.

Diekman started the eleventh. Cruz doubled to left with two outs and Diekman walked the righty AJ Ellis intentionally to pitch to the pitcher Josh Lindbloom. Righty Matt Treanor hit for the pitcher Lindbloom and grounded to Rollins to end the inning.

Diekman was back to start the twelfth. He walked righty Mark Ellis with one out, bringing Kemp to the plate. The righty hit a 1-0 pitch from Diekman well out to center, giving LA a 5-3 win.

Second time Kemp delivers, tying the game with the infield single in the tenth and winning it in the twelfth.

The pen goes 3 1/3 innings in the game, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. Four of the six pitchers who pitched for the Phillies after Lee left got one out or no outs.

Papelbon has a 5.52 ERA over his last 14 appearances going back to June 4.

Off day today, so everyone should be available on Friday. Papelbon threw 32 pitches and Diekman 30.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Pence (6) Wigginton (7) Polanco (8) Mayberry. Utley plays against the lefty with the off-day tomorrow. Howard and Pierre on the bench. Wigginton at first and Mayberry in left. Mayberry is slugging .505 against lefties for the year, so I’d hit him ahead of Polanco (who’s on-basing .283 against left-handed pitching this season).

The Phillies went in order in the first and again in the second.

They started the third down 1-0. Polanco lined softly to second for the first out. Mayberry was next and hit a ball to Uribe at third. Uribe fielded, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Lee bunted Mayberry to second with the second out, but Rollins struck out swinging to leave him there.

Victorino singled to left to start the fourth and stole second after Utley flew to center for the first out. Ruiz was next and singled into center, scoring Victorino to tie the game at 1-1. Pence struck out and Wigginton flew to right to leave Ruiz at first.

Polanco, Mayberry and Lee went in order in the fifth.

Utley and Ruiz singled back-to-back with two outs in the sixth, putting runners on first and second for Pence. Pence grounded to second to leave both men stranded.

Wigginton, Polanco and Mayberry went in order in the seventh.

Kershaw had thrown 101 pitches through seven innings.

Lee hit for himself to start the eighth and struck out. Rollins grounded to short for the second out before Victorino doubled to left. Utley grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Lee had thrown 84 pitches in the game when he hit for himself to start the eighth.

Righty Kenley Jansen started the ninth and got the first two hitters. Howard hit for Wigginton and singled to right. Polanco walked behind him and Pierre ran for Howard at second. Mayberry walked on five pitches to load the bases and Pridie hit for Lee. Pridie flew to left on a 1-2 pitch to leave them loaded.

Righty Javy Guerra walked Rollins to start the tenth and Victorino bunted Rollins to second with the first out. Guerra walked the lefty Utley intentionally, putting two men on for Ruiz. Ruiz walked and the bases were loaded. Pence chopped a single into left, scoring Rollins and Utley to put the Phils up 3-1. Lefty Scott Elbert came in to pitch to Pierre and got Pierre to hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Second time in two games that Pence comes up with a clutch two-run single. Didn’t win the game this time.

Mayberry singled off of righty Josh Lindbloom with one out in the eleventh and the game tied at 3-3. Fontenot hit for Papelbon and struck out for the second out. Rollins struck out to leave Mayberry stranded.

Victorino singled off of righty Jamey Wright to start the twelfth. Victorino stole second and the righty Wright walked Utley intentionally. Ruiz flew to left for the first out. Pence was next and grounded to third with Utley forced at second for the second. Pierre grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Nothing for the Phils after putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Ruiz can’t move anybody up with the first out. Pierre leaves two men on to end the tenth and the twelfth.

Rollins was 0-for-5 with a walk in the game. 2-for-12 with two walks, a double and a home run in the series. 258/314/417 for the year.

Victorino 3-for-5 with a double and two stolen bases in the game. 6-for-12 with a double and a triple in the series. 254/317/392 on the year.

Utley 1-for-4 with two walks. 1-for-11 with three walks in the series. 226/288/340 in 59 plate appearances for the year.

Ruiz 2-for-5 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-11 with two walks and a double in the set. 350/413/586 on the season.

Pence 1-for-6 with two RBI. 3-for-12 with two walks and four RBI in the series. He’s had huge hits in three of the last four games — two run singles in each of the last two and a three-run homer on Sunday. 277/344/470 for the season.

Wigginton 0-for-3. 0-for-4 in the series. 239/312/387 for the year. 171/241/303 over his last 83 plate appearances. He’s hitting .216 against lefties for the season, but with a lot of walks and power (216/344/432).

Polanco 0-for-4 with a walk. 1-for-11 in the series. 256/300/327 on the year. 4-for-his-last-40.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a walk. 1-for-5 with a walk in the set. 233/272/370 for the season. The Phillies need him to at least hit lefties and he’s on-basing .265 against them (260/265/490).

The Phillies don’t play today. Giants at home on Friday.


There’s no place like road

The Phils won for the tenth time in 11 games last night, scoring three early runs and holding on for a 5-3 win. The bullpen was a bit shaky in the eighth in relief of Halladay as Stutes and Lidge combined to allow a pair of runs that got the Dodgers within one. But Victorino homered in the top of the ninth to give the Phils a two-run cushion and Madson kept the Dodgers off the board in the bottom of the inning for his twentieth save.

Victorino had a big game for the Phils, pounding out a pair of doubles and a home run and scoring three of the five runs plated by the Phils.

It’s been a remarkable road trip that has seen the Phils go 7-1 with two games left to go. The Phils have outscored their opponents 37-18 so far on the trip and have allowed more than three runs just once in the eight games. The Phillies have also played for 18 straight days without an off-day, going 14-4 in those games.

The Phillies are 75-40 on the year after beating the LA Dodgers 5-3 last night. The Phils have won ten of their last eleven and lead the NL East by 8 1/2 games.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing a run on nine hits and two walks. All nine of the hits were singles and he struck out four.

He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Casey Blake and Andre Ethier singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and second for Matt Kemp. Halladay got Kemp to hit into a double-play to keep LA off the board.

James Loney singled to center with one out in the second and the Phils up 3-0. Halladay got Rod Barajas to pop to Utley for the second out and Jamey Carroll on a ground ball to short to end the inning.

Halladay walked Blake on five pitches with two outs in the third. Ethier followed with a single on a ball deflected by Howard, putting men on first and second with two down. Halladay got Kemp on a popup to Utley for the third out.

Second time in three innings Halladay comes up big against Kemp with men on base.

Halladay set LA down in order in the fourth.

Carroll and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda started the fifth with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second. Tony Gwynn bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Blake followed with a ground ball to short, with Rollins throwing to first for the second out and Carroll scoring from third to cut the Phillies lead to 3-1. Halladay struck Andre Ethier out swinging 3-2 to leave Kuroda at second.

Kemp and Miles singled back-to-back to start the sixth, putting men on first and second for Loney. Loney lined a ball to right, but Pence charged and made a diving catch for the first out with the runners holding. Barajas flew to left for the second out and Halladay struck Carroll out looking to leave both men stranded.

Halladay started the seventh up 4-1. Gwynn singled with one out and moved to second when Blake followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for the lefty Ethier. Halladay had thrown 111 pitches in the game. Manuel called on Bastardo to pitch to Ethier and Ethier got ahead 3-0 but grounded into a double-play on a 3-1 pitch to turn LA away.

Stutes started the eighth. Kemp led off with a single and stole second. Miles followed that with a single to left that scored Kemp and cut the Phillie lead to 4-2. Stutes threw the ball away trying to pick Miles off of first, allowing Miles to move up to second. Loney flew to center for the first out with Miles moving up to third. Lidge took over to face the righty Barajas and walked him on five pitches, putting men on first and third with one down. Righty Juan Rivera hit for the pitcher Matt Guerrier and Eugenio Velez ran for Barajas at first. Rivera singled to left, scoring Miles (4-3) and sending Velez to second. Dee Gordon was the next hitter and he hit a ball slowly to second. Utley charged and waited for it in the basepath, where Rivera plowed him over. Rivera was called out for the second out, Velez went back to second and Gordon was safe at first. Velez and Gordon moved up to second and third on a passed ball with Gwynn at the plate. Gwynn tried to bunt for a base hit and put down a nice bunt on the first base side. Lidge made a nice play to end the inning, though, getting to the ball, gloving and flipping with his glove hand to get Gwynn and end the inning.

Miserable inning for Stutes, who allowed two singles, a steal and made a throwing error while getting one out. After throwing to a 2.08 ERA over his first 23 appearances on the year, Stutes has now pitched to a 4.87 ERA over his last 18 appearances. Lidge fared a little better, allowing a walk, a single and a wild pitch while getting two outs. In his seven appearances for the year he has allowed just two hits in 5 1/3 innings, but walked five.

Madson pitched the ninth with a two-run lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Blake, but got Ethier on a foul ball to Martinez for the first out and struck Kemp out swinging 0-2 for the second. Miles chopped a ball out in front of the plate, but Ruiz jumped on it and threw to first in time to end the game.

Nice job by Madson setting down Ethier and Kemp without a peep as the tying runs. He has allowed one run in 11 2/3 innings over his last 12 appearances.

Lidge and Stutes have both pitched two days in a row. Lidge threw 14 pitches in the game and Stutes 12. Bastardo five and Madson 17.

The Phillies lineup against righty Hiroki Kuroda went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Martinez starts again at third with Polanco getting MRIed in Philadelphia.

Victorino doubled to center with one out in the first. Utley followed with a ground out to second that moved him up to third with one out. Howard was next and he squibbed a ball that went over the pitcher’s head and spun towards third. Blake threw to first, but not in time to get Howard. Howard had a single, Victorino scored and the Phils led 1-0. Pence moved Howard to second with a single, but Ibanez fouled out to Loney at first to leave both men stranded.

Ruiz led off the second with a single and moved to third when Martinez reached on a throwing error by Loney. Halladay bunted Martinez to second with the first out. Rollins was next and cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right-center, putting the Phils on top 3-0. Victorino moved Rollins to third with a ground out, but Utley flew to right to leave him there.

Pence singled with one out in the third, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him.

Martinez singled with one out in the fourth and Halladay bunted him to second with the second out. Rollins followed with a walk, but Victorino struck out looking to leave both men stranded.

Utley led off the fifth with a single and stole second, but Howard and Pence both struck out and Ibanez grounded to second.

The lead was cut to 3-0 when the Phils went in order in the sixth.

Victorino doubled to right with one out in the seventh. Lefty Scott Elbert took over for Kuroda and got Utley on a fly ball to center for the second out. Howard ripped a 3-2 pitch into right center and the ball rolled to the wall for a double. Victorino scored and the Phils led 4-1. The lefty Elbert walked Pence intentionally, putting men on first and second for Ibanez, but Elbert struck Ibanez out swinging 1-2 to leave the runners stranded.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. With two outs, nobody on and righty Matt Guerrier pitching for the Dodgers, Gload hit for Bastardo and lined to second.

Gload is 3-for-his-last-24.

The Phils were up 4-2 when they hit in the ninth. Rollins flew to left for the first out, but Victorino was next and he lined a 1-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 5-2. Utley and Howard went down behind him.

For Victorino, it was his fifth home run of the year with two strikes. That ties him for the team lead with Rollins and Mayberry.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI in the game. 6-for-32 (.188) so far in August.

Victorino 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run. 333/425/600 in 88 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Utley 1-for-5. 343/418/614 over his last 79 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-17 with ten strikeouts. He did deliver a big double against the lefty Elbert in the seventh, helping him raise his line against lefties on the year to 246/303/358.

Pence 2-for-3 with a walk. 444/467/741 in 30 plate appearances over his last seven games.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 and left six men on base. He’s 0-for-his-last-12 and hitting 143/200/214 so far in August.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 3-for-his-last-8 and 3-for-his-last-14. 318/408/471 over his last 100 plate appearances.

Cliff Lee (11-7, 2.96) faces lefty Ted Lilly (7-1, 4.86) tonight. Righties are hitting 275/322/504 against Lilly for the year with 21 home runs. If you’re wondering if 21 is a lot of home runs to have allowed to right-handed batters at this point in the season, it really, really is. Lee threw a complete game shutout against the Giants in his last start. He faced the Dodgers on June 6 in Philadelphia and struck out ten in seven shutout innings.

Polanco has a sports hernia and may need surgery that could sideline him for a month. Of the 176 NL players with at least 150 plate appearances this season, Martinez’s .265 on-base percentage is 169th and Valdez’s .284 on-base percentage is 157th.

The article linked above says that Mathieson was sent back to Triple-A after clearing waivers.


Too ugly for LA

There wasn’t a whole to jump up and down about last night as the Phils didn’t pitch, hit or throw very well, falling to the Dodgers 6-2. They struggled to take advantage of early wildness by Rubby De La Rosa, scoring just two runs in the game despite walking five times in the first two innings.

After scoring two runs last night, the Phils now scored 17 in six games in June. Seven of the runs came on Sunday against the Pirates, so they’ve scored ten runs in the other five games.

Oswalt didn’t pitch very well, but the defense and pen didn’t exactly shine, either. Utley threw two balls away, but was charged with one error. Oswalt himself had the most memorable play of the night, throwing a pickoff throw to first when the Phillies weren’t holding the runner. Stutes allowed a two-run homer to Matt Kemp in the eighth that broke the game open for the Dodgers.

On the plus side, Chase Utley delivered a big extra-base hit, driving in a run with a triple in the seventh. It wasn’t exactly a blast to the gap or a bomb over the wall, but Utley has three extra-base hits on the season to this point. So it’s not the time to quibble.

The Phillies are 36-25 on the year after losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 last night. They lead the NL East, three games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out one.

Dee Gordon was the first batter of the game and singled to left for his first major league hit. Casey Blake hit into a double-play behind him before Oswalt struck Andre Ethier out swinging 1-2.

Matt Kemp led off the second with a double to center. Juan Uribe was and hit a line drive that Utley caught at second. James Loney was next and he walked. It brought Dioner Navarro to the plate with men on first and second and one out. He singled to left, scoring Kemp to put the Dodgers up 1-0 and moving Loney to second. Jerry Sands was next and he hit into a double-play to end the frame.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Oswalt started the third. He walked the pitcher Rubby De La Rosa on five pitches, which isn’t the way to start the inning. Gordon was next and singled again, this time to right, moving De La Rosa to third. Blake singled to left, scoring De La Rosa (2-1) and moving Gordon to second. With Ethier at the plate, Oswalt made a baffling mistake, throwing to first base. Howard wasn’t covering first base, so nobody caught it and the ball rolled and rolled. Gordon scored all the way from second to make it 3-1 with Blake going to third. Ethier singled to center, scoring Blake to make it 4-1. It brought Kemp to the plate with a runner on first and still nobody out. He hit a ground ball to short. Valdez went to Utley for the first out, but his throw to first was wild for an error that allowed Kemp to take second. Uribe flew to center for the second out, with Kemp tagging and moving up to third. Loney popped to Utley to finally end the frame.

First four batters of the inning reach on a walk and three singles. Walking the pitcher to start the inning often doesn’t work out that well. Awful for Oswalt to throw to first when there was nobody covering first.

Oswalt came back to throw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Gordon chopped a ball over Oswalt’s head for a single to start the fifth. He stole second before Blake bunted him to third with the first out. Ethier hit a ground ball to Utley, who looked Gordon back and threw to first for the second out. Kemp grounded to Utley to turn the Dodgers away.

Oswalt wins that duel with Ethier as LA can’t score with a runner on third and one out.

Uribe started the sixth with a double to left. Loney moved him to third with a ground out to second for the first out. Oswalt got Navarro to pop to Howard for the second with Uribe holding third. Sands grounded to second leave Uribe at
third.

Again Oswalt wiggles away as the Dodgers can’t score with a man on third and one out.

Romero started the seventh and got the first two before walking Blake. With Ethier at the plate, Romero picked Blake off of first with Howard making the throw to second where Valdez applied the tag for the third out.

Stutes started the eighth after the Phils hit for Romero in the seventh. He walked the lefty Ethier before Kemp belted a 1-0 pitch out the opposite way to right, extending the Los Angeles lead to 6-2. Stutes got the next three.

Picking off Blake in the seventh means the righty Stutes faces the lefty Ethier to start the seventh. Bastardo had thrown for two straight days.

Romero has now walked 11 batters in 15 innings, giving him a walk rate of 6.6 batters per nine innings. That’s really high, but actually lower than it’s been over the past two seasons. In 2009 and 2010, Romero walked 42 in 53 1/3 innings, which is about 7.1 batters per nine innings.

Herndon started the ninth and got Sands on a ground out to third for the first out. Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitcher Scott Elbert and singled to right. Gordon was next and hit a ball to third. Polanco charged, gloved and threw to first for the out. Gwynn rounded second and took off for third, but Valdez moved over to cover third, took the throw from Howard and made a nifty sliding tag to tag out Gwynn and set the Dodgers down.

Herndon was making his first appearance with the team since being called back up on June 6. He threw to a 9.28 ERA in 11 appearances in April, but has appeared four times for the Phils since the end of April and thrown six shutout innings.

Stutes and Romero both threw 15 pitches in the game. Herndon 11. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Rubby De La Rosa went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. Valdez plays short with Rollins sidelined. Ibanez back in left against the righty. Ruiz again hits sixth with Brown still seventh against the righty.

Victorino led off the bottom of the first with a walk and stole second. Polanco hit a ball back to the pitcher and De La Rosa threw back to Uribe, who had Victorino between second and third. Victorino was tagged out at third with Polanco safe at first. Utley moved him to second with a walk before Howard hit a ground ball to second. Utley was forced at second for the second out with Howard and Polanco safe at the corners. Ibanez grounded back to the mound to end the inning.

The Phils were down 1-0 when the hit in the bottom of the second. Ruiz and Brown both walked before Valdez singled into center, loading the bases. Oswalt struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino hit a ball back to the pitcher that would have been a double-play if De La Rosa had fielded it cleanly, but he didn’t. He knocked it down and threw home to force Ruiz for the second out. Polanco walked on four pitches, forcing in Brown to tie the game at 1-1. Utley flew to center to leave the bases loaded.

One run for the Phils. They walked three times in the frame and loaded the bases with nobody out. Oswalt can’t put the ball in play with nobody out and the bases loaded.

De La Rosa had walked five in the first two innings.

Down 4-1 in the third, Ibanez and Ruiz singled back-to-back with one out. It put men on first and second for Brown, who struck out swinging for the second out. Valdez lined a single to right, but Ethier made a fantastic throw to nail the sliding Ibanez at the plate and end the inning.

Oswalt, Victorino and Polanco went in order in the fourth.

De La Rosa had thrown 81 pitches through four innings.

The Phils went in order again in the fifth.

Righty Blake Hawksworth set Ruiz, Brown and Valdez down in order in the sixth.

Romero was due to lead off the seventh with righty Matt Guerrier on the mound for LA and the Phils still down 4-2. Gload hit for Romero and walked. Victorino grounded to second with Gload forced at second for the first out and Polanco flew to right for the second. Lefty Scott Elbert came in to pitch to Utley and Utley ripped a ball down the first base line and into the right field corner for a triple. Victorino scored to make it 4-2. Howard lined to Uribe to end the inning.

Update: It escaped me at the time, but the walk ruins Gload’s no walks, no extra-base hits thing for the season. I’m feeling kind of nostalgic. So whoever had June 7 in the pool is the big winner.

Down 6-2, Ibanez, Ruiz and Brown went in order in the eighth.

The Phils went in order in the ninth, too. Rollins hit for Herndon with righty Javy Guerra on the mound and flew to right for the second out.

Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game with a walk. He’s 3-for-20 with three walks since returning from the DL.

Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He has no extra-base hits in his last 65 plate appearances and one over his last 106.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and two bad throws, only one of which was an error. Nice to see him deliver and extra-base hit, even if it was ripped on the ground down the line rather than something he drove out of the park. He now has three extra-base hits in 61 plate appearances for the year.

Howard was 0-for-4, struck out twice and looked terrible at the plate. He made two nice throws defensively, one to second and another to third. He’s hitting 243/326/470 for the year. All three of those would be career lows if he ended the season with that line. He’s 5-for-his-last-28 with a double.

Ibanez 1-for-4. He’s 3-for-his-last-17 with two walks.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 4-for-his-last-19 with five strikeouts.

Valdez was 2-for-4. He’s 5-for-his-last-13 with two walks and a double.

Cole Hamels (7-2, 2.83) faces righty Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 3.46) tonight. Kuroda has been hit hard in two of his last three starts, throwing to a 5.82 ERA as opponents have hit .352 against him. His last outing was the best of the three as he held the Reds to two runs over six innings. Hamels has lowered his walk rate a bit this year, but mostly he’s not allowing hits and not allowing home runs. He’s allowing 6.8 hits per nine innings this year compared to a career rate of 8.1 per nine and just 0.5 home runs per nine. Over his career he’s allowed about 1.1 home runs per nine innings. After 12 starts he’s allowed five home runs, which would put him on a pace to allow about 14 home runs over 33 starts. Over the last three years, Hamels has made an average of about 32.7 starts per year and allowed an average of 26 home runs.

Chase Utley and his wife dedicated a “Kindness to Animals” mural in partnership with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program.


Phils split with the Dodgers, ability to hit, pitch in relief and throw the ball from second base

Nobody had much of an idea what to expect from Pedro Martinez in game two of the NLCS. Pedro has always seemed like a bit of an outsider on this squad, a guy focused on proving to the baseball world he’s still got it on a team full of players with a history of putting the team first. Whether that’s fair or not, it was the Phillies who let Martinez down in this game, not the other way around. Martinez was brilliant, spinning a two-hit shutout over seven innings. The Phillies, meanwhile, couldn’t hit Vicente Padilla, couldn’t get an out on a bunt, couldn’t turn a key double-play and walked in the winning run in a disastrous eighth inning that cost them the game.

Martinez exited after seven innings having thrown 87 pitches and allowing two singles and no walks. The Phils hit for him in the top of the eighth and things fell apart in the bottom of the inning. They hit for him cause the plan on the day was to limit Pedro to 90 pitches. If that was the plan they executed it brilliantly. What they didn’t do was win the game, which makes you wonder where the plan and the 90-pitch number came from in the first place.

Howard put the Phillies up 1-0 with a solo shot off of Padilla in the top of the fourth. Taking over for Pedro, Park started the eighth and gave up a single off the glove of Feliz. Ronnie Belliard bunted and the Phils couldn’t get an out. Russell Martin hit a throw-it-in-the-dugout ball and the Phils executed beautifully for the second straight day, getting one at second before Utley threw the ball into the first base dugout. Juan Pierre scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1. A single and a walk loaded the bases before JA Happ walked Andre Ethier, forcing in the run that put LA on top to stay at 2-1.

The Phils and Dodgers are tied at a game apiece after splitting the first two games of the NLCS. They head now to Philadelphia for game three on Sunday.

Pedro Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two singles, no walks and striking out three. He also hit a batter.

Pedro faced a lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Kemp (CF/R) (3) Ethier (RF/L) (4) Ramirez (LF/R) (5) Loney (1B/L) (6) Blake (3B/R) (7) Belliard (2B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). Kemp moves to two after hitting fourth against the lefty in game one. Ethier to three from two. Ramirez three to four. Blake and Loney switch spots in the order. Like Ruiz, Martin starts in the day game after a night game.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Pedro threw a 1-2-3 first. Furcal flew to left on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Kemp hit a 2-2 pitch softly to Rollins. Ethier got ahead 2-0, but popped a 2-2 pitch to Utley in short center for the second out.

Ramirez, Loney and Blake went down in the second. Manny got ahead 2-0 before popping to Howard in foul territory 2-1. Loney grounded an 0-1 pitch to first with Martinez covering. Blake got ahead in the count and then flew softly to right 3-1.

Belliard led off the third and flew to Ibanez in right-center for the first out. Martin was next and he blooped a 2-2 pitch in center for a single, the first runner of the game for LA. Padilla tried to bunt and fouled two off before getting it down. It moved Martin to second with two outs. Furcal grounded to second on a 2-0 pitch to leave him stranded.

He started the fourth with a 1-0 lead. Kemp led off with an infield single on a ball that Martinez deflected, but Ruiz gunned Kemp down stealing with Ethier at the plate for the first out before Ethier flew to center on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Manny popped to Howard to end the inning.

Loney popped to third to start the fifth before Martinez struck Blake and Belliard both out swinging.

In the sixth, Martinez got ahead of the leadoff batter Martin 2-0 before hitting him with a 2-2 pitch. Padilla bunted Martin to second, but Furcal flew to center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out and Kemp flew to left to leave Martin stranded.

Ethier grounded to second 1-2 to start the seventh. Ramirez struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Loney hit the ball well to center, but Victorino took it for the third out.

Exit Pedro, enter the bullpen and the nightmare.

Park started the eighth with the Phils still up 1-0. Blake led off with a ground ball deflected off the glove of Feliz and into left field for a single. Juan Pierre ran for Blake at first. Belliard was next and bunted on the first base side of the mound, but nobody could make the play and he was safe with a single that moved Martin to second. Martin was next and he got ahead 3-0 before hitting a double-play ball to third. Feliz threw to second for the first out, but Utley’s relay to first was way off target. Pierre scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1. Martin held first with one out and Jim Thome hit for the pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo. Thome singled to right, putting men on first and third. Juan Castro ran for Thome and Madson came in to pitch to Furcal. Furcal walked to load the bases. Madson got a big strikeout next, getting Kemp swinging 1-2 for the second out. Happ came in to pitch to the lefty Ethier. He got ahead 1-2 before delivering three straight balls to walk Ethier, forcing in Martin to make it 2-1. Ball four was very close and may have been a strike. Durbin replaced Happ and got Manny on a popup to third on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Awful inning for the Phils. Very close pitch by Happ 3-2. At least they had a righty pitching to Furcal in a big spot late this time. Good job again by Durbin, getting Ramirez for the last out with the bases still loaded.

The Phillies lineup against righty Vicente Padilla went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

Rollins led off the game and took ball one before flying to left for the first out. Victorino flew to right on an 0-1 pitch, but Utley hit a 2-1 pitch into right for a single. Howard swung at the first pitch and popped to Furcal near the foul line in short left field.

He set the Phils down in order in the second. Werth went down looking 1-2. Ibanez grounded 1-2 pitch to first. Feliz struck out swinging 0-2.

Ruiz led off the third and hit a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Martinez was next and popped up the bunt for the first out. Loney tried dropping it on purpose, but the umps didn’t go for it. Rollins got behind 0-2 and Padilla came way up and in. Rollins hit the 1-2 pitch into right, which Ethier took running in for the second out. Ruiz stole second before Victorino popped to Furcal to end the frame.

Utley grounded a 1-1 pitch to first for the first out of the fourth. Howard was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Werth struck out swinging 1-2 and Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2.

In the fifth, Feliz grounded to short, Ruiz flew to right and Pedro lined to second.

Rollins struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out of the sixth. Victorino swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and hit the ball hard, but Loney took it for the second out. Utley also swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Howard singled to right to start the seventh with the Phillies still up 1-0. Werth got behind in the count and hit into a double-play to short on a 1-2 pitch, clearing the bases. Ibanez swung and missed three straight pitches to set the Phillies down.

Feliz grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz was next and he got behind 1-2, but came back to work a walk. Pedro was due to hit next, having thrown a two-hit shutout through seven innings and needing on 87 pitches to do so, but the Phils called on Dobbs to hit for him. The lefty Kuo came in to pitch to Dobbs and Francisco hit for Dobbs. Kuo got Francisco to ground into a double-play on a 1-1 pitch.

The Phils started the ninth down 2-1 with righty Jonathan Broxton on the mound for the Dodgers. Rollins took the first pitch for a strike and then grounded to second. Victorino grounded a 2-2 pitch to short. Utley was the last hope and he flew to right on a 2-2 pitch to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and is 1-for-9 in the series.

Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game. 2-for-9 in the series.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game, 1-for-8 with a walk in the series. He’s having huge problems throwing the ball to first base.

Howard 2-for-3 with a home run in the game. 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and two walks.

Werth 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. In the at-bat when he didn’t strike out he hit into a double-play. 0-for-6 with a walk and three strikeouts so far.

Ibanez was 0-for-3 and struck out twice, too. 2-for-7 with a home run.

Feliz has been just terrible with the bat. 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the game. 0-for-6 with a walk in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-2 with a walk in the game. 3-for-5 with a home run and two walks.

Francisco was 0-for-1 in the game.

Lefty Cliff Lee faces righty Hiroki Kuroda in game three.

The 34-year-old Kuroda threw 117 1/3 innings for the Dodgers this year, pitching to a 3.76 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. He was the Dodger’s opening day starter, but missed a lot of the early part of the season with an oblique problem and some time recently with a neck issue.

Kuroda doesn’t walk anyone. Just 24 in 117 1/3 innings for the season. He walked just six of the 250 right-handed batters he faced for the year. Overall, he was almost as good against lefties as he was righties this year. Lefties hit 233/294/419 against him and righties 253/272/371.

He made one start against the Phils this year, which came on June 6. He threw six shutouts innings that day, holding the Phils to two hits and three walks. Ethier homered off of Blanton in the fourth to put LA up 1-0. Stairs had a two-run single off of Belisario in the seventh to put the Phils up 2-1. Furcal homered off of Lidge with one out in the ninth. 2-2. Ethier homered off of Durbin with two outs in the twelfth. LA wins 3-2.

Kuroda started game three of the NLCS against the Phillies last year and pitched very well, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. Howard and Utley doubled against him in that game and LA won 7-2 as they lit up Moyer. Kuroda threw a ball near Victorino’s head in that game, setting of a bench-clearing incident.

None of the Phillies have big numbers of at-bats against him over their careers in the regular season. Howard 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. Rollins 0-for-6. Victorino 0-for-5. Utley’s had some luck, 2-for-7 with two walks. Werth 2-for-7 with a double.

Lee went 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio in 34 starts for the Indians and Phillies in 2009. He doesn’t walk anyone, almost literally when it comes to lefties. He walked six left-handed batters all season. Lefties hit just 241/263/320 against Lee with eleven extra-base hits for the season. Righties had a lot more luck, hitting 283/321/414.

Lee was brilliant in July and August, making 11 starts between the Indians and Phils in which he threw to a 2.06 ERA with an 0.98 ratio. Opponents posted a .590 OPS against him over those 11 starts. Things have been ugly since the end of August. In his last six starts of the season Lee had a 5.45 ERA and a 1.38 ratio. Opponents hit .317 against him.

He started games one and four against the Rockies in the NLDS and was fantastic twice. In 16 1/3 innings he pitched to a 1.10 ERA with an 0.86 ratio.

He didn’t face the Dodgers this year.

Manny has some scary career numbers against him: 6-for-14 with three doubles, two home runs and six walks (429/571/1.071). Kemp 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Furcal 2-for-3 with a homer. Ethier and Loney are both 0-for-3.


Sherrill? You can’t be serious

I am serious and don’t call me Sherrill.

The Phillies came out on top of game one of the NLCS last night. It was a game filled with huge moments and big swings, but none bigger than the three-run homer Raul Ibanez hit off of George Sherrill in the top of the eighth inning. Sherrill came into the game having not allowed a home run to a left-handed batter all season long.

James Loney put the Dodgers up 1-0 when he lined a solo shot out to right off of Hamels in the second. Clayton Kershaw, LA’s 21-year-old starter, was in complete control until the bottom of the fifth when he most clearly was not. Kershaw started the frame with a shutout, but only got two outs in the inning, uncorked three wild pitches and walked two including the pitcher on four pitches. With nobody out and two men on, Ruiz blasted a three-run homer to left to put the Phillies up 3-1. Five batters later Howard delivered a two-run double that extended the lead to 5-1 before LA got out of the frame. Hamels got into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. He got Ethier to hit a double-play ball that should have ended the inning, but the Phils didn’t turn it. A run scored on the play to make it 5-2 and kept the inning alive long enough for Manny Ramirez to hit a two-run homer and cut the lead to 5-4. Sherrill walked the first two in the eighth before Ibanez homered to make it 8-4. Madson was awful in the bottom of the eighth and LA got within two at 8-6, but Lidge kept them off the board in the ninth to get the Phillies the win.

The game featured dramatic matchups between Phillies relievers and big hitters for the Dodgers. The Phils didn’t win them all, but they won enough. The sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth all included huge situations for Phillies relievers with danger lurking.

With the Phils up 5-4 in the sixth, Happ got Furcal to ground to second on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end the inning

Chan Ho Park pitched in a game for the first time since September 16 in the seventh with the Phils still up by one. After Bastardo allowed a leadoff double, Park came in and sat down Manny, Matt Kemp and Casey Blake in order to leave the runner stranded. He looked real, real good doing it, too. They told us he was a hundred percent. They didn’t say a hundred percent of what, though.

Madson got blasted in the eighth. But it ended with him facing Ramirez with two outs, men on first and third and the Phils up 8-6. He got Manny to ground to third.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a two-run lead and gave up a leadoff single. Most of the drama in that inning came on the second batter, when Casey Blake smashed a ball, but right at Utley and into a double-play.

The Phillies lead the best-of-seven NLCS with the Los Angeles Dodgers after winning game one 8-6 last night.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out four. His line would have looked a lot better if the Phillies had turned an inning-ending double-play in the fifth. When Ramirez followed the non-double-play with a two-run homer it wound up costing the Phillies three runs.

Hamels faced a lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Ethier (RF/L) (3)Ramirez (LF/R) (4) Kemp (CF/R) (5) Blake (3B/R) (6) Loney (1B/L) (7) Belliard (2B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). That’s pretty different than the lineup I expect we’ll see against a righty in the series, which I guess will likely go (1) Furcal (2) Kemp (3) Ethier (4) Ramirez (5) Loney (6) Blake (7) Belliard (8) Martin. Furcal is always at the top, I expect, and Belliard and Martin at the bottom, but two through six changes up a lot. Ethier hitting second doesn’t make a lot of sense to me against a lefty, but he sure fared well last night. The 3-4-5 of Ramirez, Kemp and Blake all bash lefties.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Furcal led off the first and flew to left on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. Ethier was next and he singled to left. Manny followed and he had a long at-bat, but struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out after fouling off five pitches. Kemp singled into left 1-0, moving Ethier to second, but Hamels got Blake to pop to Utley to end the inning.

Nineteen pitching the first for Hamels, fifteen of which were strikes.

Loney led off the second and lined a 2-1 pitch out to right. 1-0. Hamels got Belliard on a line drive that Victorino took in front of the warning track for the first out and Martin on a ground ball to third for the second. The pitcher Clayton Kershaw was next, but Hamels walked him on a high 3-1 pitch. Hamels didn’t like the call as the count went 3-1, but the ball looked clearly low. Furcal was next and hit a dribbler up the first base line. Ruiz made a nice play, pouncing on it and throwing Furcal out to set the Dodgers down.

Hamels had thrown 37 pitches.

He started throwing a lot more changeups in the bottom of the third and things went well. Ethier looked awful striking out swinging after getting behind 0-2. Manny popped to Utley for the second out. Kemp dribbled back to the mound for the third.

Hamels had thrown 54 pitches through three innings.

He set ‘em down in order again in the fourth. Blake struck out swinging at a high fastball. Loney and Belliard both popped to second.

Seven in a row for Hamels, who had thrown 67 pitches.

He started the fifth with a 5-1 lead and gave up a leadoff double to Martin. Orlando Hudson hit for the pitcher Ramon Troncoso and Hamels struck him out for the first out. Furcal was next and Hamels got ahead of him, too, but Furcal singled to right on an 0-2 pitch, sending Martin to third. Ethier got ahead 3-1 and hit a double-play ball to short. But. Rollins got the ball struck in his glove, then tossed to Utley late and Utley threw with his footing badly messed up and threw the ball into the dugout. Martin scored on the error to make it 5-2 with Ethier going to second. Hamels flailed his arms around dramatically on the mound in the universal gesture for darn-I-wish-that-hadn’t-happened. It was a sure sign that Manny Ramirez was about to homer and homer he did, pounding a 2-0 pitch out to left-center. 5-4. Kemp grounded to Utley for the third out.

If the Phillies turn Ethier’s double-play ball it’s 5-1, inning over. They didn’t. Utley never should have thrown the ball, but the fact that he did throw it into the dugout didn’t change anything. Rollins being unable to get the ball out of his glove clean doomed the play. Hamels shouldn’t be flailing about on the mound. Pretty sure everyone associated with the Phillies knew they would have been better off turning that one and it was unfortunate that they had a lefty against Ramirez with a runner on base now.

Hamels had through 92 pitches through five innings.

He got Blake on a foul ball to Howard for the first out in the bottom of the sixth. Loney followed with an opposite field single to left. Belliard was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch into left for another single, moving Loney to second. That was it for Hamels, who was due to lead off the seventh, and Manuel brought in Durbin to pitch to the righty Martin. Martin smoked the ball to right, but Werth took it for the second out and would have had a chance to double Loney off of second if he made a good throw. His throw wasn’t close, but was backed up nicely by Feliz and neither runner could advance. Lefty Jim Thome hit for the pitcher Ronald Belisario and Happ came in to pitch to him. Happ didn’t get a close call on a 2-1 pitch and Thome walked to load the bases. Randy Wolf ran for Thome at first. Furcal was next, who really needs a right-hander in a big situation like this if you can, but Manuel left Happ in to pitch to him. Furcal worked the count full and grounded hard but right at Utley to leave the bases loaded.

Huge out for Happ to get Furcal.

Second appearance in the post-season for Durbin. He hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk in 1 1/3 innings.

Bastardo started the seventh to try to get Ethier with the Phils up 5-4. Nope. Ethier doubled into right. Chan Ho Park came on to face Ramirez, pitching for the first time since September 16. Ramirez grounded a 1-2 pitch to third for the first out. Ethier held second. Park struck Kemp out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Blake grounded to second to leave Ethier stranded.

Wow. Park looked rather amazing. It was the kind of thing that made you feel like he might be able to contribute. Ethier seems to be doing just fine against the Phillies lefties so far. Huge outs for Park with the Phils up a run and the heart of the order at the plate for LA.

Madson started the top of the eighth for the Phillies with an 8-4 lead. Francisco was in left for the Phils. Loney singled to center and moved to second when Belliard followed with a single to left. Martin was next and he singled to left, scoring Loney just ahead of Francisco’s throw to make it 8-5 with men on first and second and nobody out. Juan Pierre hit for the pitcher George Sherrill and dribbled a ball back to the mound. Madson fielded and threw to second to force Martin for the first out with Belliard moving to third. It brought up Furcal and Furcal delivered a fly ball to right for the second out, deep enough to score Belliard and cut the lead to 8-6. Ethier was next with two outs and a man on first and Madson stayed in to pitch to the lefty. The lefty singled to right on a 3-2 pitch, moving Pierre to third. It set up Madson versus Manny Ramirez with two outs and two men on. Manny grounded to second on a 1-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Manuel does not bring Eyre in to pitch to Ethier with two outs, presumably because it creates a who-pitches-to-Manny problem if Eyre doesn’t get Ethier.

Madson has been absolutely awful twice in a row in two huge situations. Between game four of the NLDS and last night’s game he has gone 1 2/3 innings over his last two appearances, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk.

Third time in three innings a Phillies reliever came up big in a pickle to end the inning. Happ got Furcal in the sixth, Park got everyone in the seventh after the leadoff double and Madson finally got Manny to end the eighth.

Lidge started the ninth up 8-6. He got ahead of Kemp 0-2 before Kemp lined a single just over the glove of Rollins and into left. Blake was next and got ahead in the count, but swung at a high 2-1 pitch and fouled it off. He smashed the next pitch, but on one hop to Utley and the Phillies turned two. Enormous play and a little luck for the Phils there, cause that ball was hit hard but right at Utley. Lidge got ahead of Loney 0-2, but Loney came back to work a walk. It brought Belliard to the plate as the tying run. Belliard popped a 1-1 pitch to Rollins in shallow left field to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R). Werth hits fifth, breaking up the lefty string of Utley, Howard and Ibanez.

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

Rollins led off the first and fouled out to Martin on an 0-1 pitch. Victorino was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Utley got behind in the count and drove an 0-2 pitch to center field, but Kemp took it on the warning track for the second out. It brought Howard to the plate, but before Kershaw delivered a pitch he picked Victorino off of first. Victorino was tagged out after a short rundown to set the Phillies down.

Kershaw threw a first-pitch strike to all three of Rollins, Victorino and Utley. He had thrown eight pitches through one inning.

Victorino and Martin yelled at each other after the third out. Not sure who started it, but Victorino tried to run into Loney in the rundown like he always does in a rundown, looking for an interference call.

Howard led off the second and got behind 0-2 before hitting a 3-2 pitch well to left, but Ramirez took it on the track. Werth struck out looking 2-2. Ibanez struck out looking 2-2.

Again, all three hitters got behind 0-1. Howard fouled off the first pitch and Werth and Ibanez watched strike one.

Kershaw had thrown 25 pitches.

The Phils started the third down 1-0. Feliz became the first Phillies batter not to get behind 1-0 as he took ball one, but popped to Belliard on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch way outside and Hamels bunted him to second. Rollins grounded a 1-2 pitch to second for the third out.

Forty pitches for Kershaw.

Victorino led off the fourth and popped to Loney 2-2 for the first out. Utley swung at the first pitch and popped to Blake in foul territory. Howard tried to check his swing 2-2 and got the call (he swung) and then walked on a 3-2 pitch that was really a strike. Werth got ahead 2-0 and smashed a ball to left field, but Ramirez took it on the track to set the Phillies down.

Werth’s out was the third time the Phillies had really crushed the ball into an out against Kershaw. Utley hit it great in the first and Howard just missed in the second.

Fifty-six for Kershaw through four innings.

He blew up in the fifth. Ibanez led off and singled to left on a 1-1 pitch. Ibanez went to second on wild pitch before Feliz walked. Ruiz took two balls out of the strike zone and then flailed at a high 2-0 pitch. Phillies fans everywhere screamed curses at their televisions, but not for long. The 2-1 pitch was in nearly the same place, but Ruiz hit that one way out to left to put the Phillies up 3-1. Hamels was next and he walked on four pitches. Kershaw did everything in his power to walk Rollins, too, but Jimmy was having none of it. He swung at a 3-1 pitch and hit a ground ball to third. Hamels was forced at second for the first out of the inning. Victorino was next and he struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch that was wild for the second out, but Rollins took second on the wild pitch. Utley walked on a 3-2 pitch, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard blasted a double to right, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 5-1. That was finally it for Kershaw. Righty Ramon Troncoso came in and got Werth to fly to left for the third out.

Nice walk by Feliz early in the inning. Huge hits for Ruiz and Howard. Good no swing by Hamels. Rollins swinging 3-1 with Kershaw nowhere near the strike zone was not the way to go.

Three wild pitches in the inning for Kershaw. The Dodgers sure did stay with him a long time. I was pretty sure walking Hamels on four pitches was a sign of bad things to come for him. He was due to hit second in the bottom of the inning.

The Phillies lead had been cut to 5-4 by the time they came to bat in the top of the sixth and face righty Ronald Belisario. Belisario set the Phillies down in order, getting Ibanez on a ground ball to short and Feliz and Ruiz on ground balls to second.

Unhittable lefty Hong-Chih Kuo started the seventh for LA. Cairo hit for Happ to start the inning and struck out. Rollins got ahead 3-1 and singled into center, but Victorino followed with a ground ball to third. The Dodgers could only get one, forcing Rollins at second for the second out and bringing Utley to the plate with two outs and a man on first. Utley struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Lefty George Sherrill started the eighth with the Phils still up 5-4 and walked Howard. He walked Werth, too, putting two men on for Ibanez. Ibanez was swinging first pitch and popped one just out to right for a three-run homer. 8-4. Feliz flew to right for the first out before Ruiz snuck a single through to left. Francisco hit for Park and hit a fly ball to center. Ruiz thought it was going to drop, but it was a long way from being something that might drop. Kemp took it for the second out and Ruiz was doubled-off of first on a close play to end the frame.

Not good base-running by Ruiz.

Lefties hit 128/188/154 against Sherrill this season. He faced two Phillies lefties in the inning. Howard walked and Ibanez hit a three-run homer. Left-handed hitters were 10-for-78 against him with two doubles for the year.

Righty Jonathan Broxton was on for LA in the ninth with the Phils up 8-6. Rollins flew to left for the first out, but Victorino followed with a single. Utley flew to left before Howard went down swinging to end the frame.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game. Grounding out 3-1 when Kershaw couldn’t throw a strike and had just walked Hamels on four pitches was the worst at-bat of the game.

Victorino was 2-for-5 and was picked off of first in the first.

Utley was 0-for-4 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-3 with a big two-run double and two walks.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Ibanez now has eight RBI in five post-season games with the Phillies.

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk. Didn’t do much against the lefty starter, but he almost did, just missing a two-run homer in the fourth.

Feliz was 0-for-3 with a walk. I sure feel better about the seven and eight spots in the order against a lefty, but Feliz hit a miserable 208/278/385 against lefties this year so I should probably try to calm down a little.

Ruiz, on the other hand, had a monster game. 2-for-3 with a three-run homer. He hit 293/370/524 against left-handed pitching this season.

Francisco and Cairo both had pinch-hit at-bats in the game and went 0-for-1. Francisco seems like he could be the critical bench player for the Phils in the series against Kuo and Sherrill. The other two right-handed options for the Phils off the bench, Cairo and Bruntlett, are not big offensive threats.

Pedro Martinez faces righty Vicente Padilla today in game two.

Padilla pitched for both the Rangers and the Dodgers this season. He made 18 starts for Texas to start the season, going 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. The Rangers released him in mid-August and he was signed by the Dodgers. He made eight appearances for LA, seven on them starts, and threw to a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

He was much better against righties than lefties on the season. Righties hit just 246/301/363 against him for the year, lefties 303/384/453.

Padilla pitched for the Phils between 2000 and 2005. His best year was 2002 when he went 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

He started game three of the NLDS against the Cards and was fantastic. He allowed four hits and a walk over seven shutout innings as the Dodgers won 5-1. It was the only playoff appearance of his career.

Raul Ibanez saw him a ton in the AL. 9-for-28 with two home runs (321/394/536). Feliz is the only other Phillies regular with more than five career at-bats against him. He’s 2-for-9 with two singles.

The 37-year-old Martinez made nine starts for the Phillies this season, pitching to a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio over 44 2/3 innings. He gave up seven home runs — that rate would have him giving up about 31 over 200 innings. Opponents slugged .472 against Pedro for the season.

He didn’t walk much of anyone. His walk rate of 1.61 batters per nine innings was the best of any Phillies pitcher other than Lee.

He has a ton of post-season experience. He has appeared in thirteen post-season games and started eleven, overall throwing to a 3.40 ERA with a 1.12 ratio over 79 1/3 innings. He last appeared in the post-season in 2004.

Pedro started his career with the Dodgers, pitching for them in 1992 and ’93 before they traded him to the Expos for Delino DeShields in November of 1993.

Belliard, Kemp, Blake, Martin, Loney and Ethier all have five or fewer career at-bats against Martinez. Furcal 6-for-25 with two doubles (240/240/320). Manny 5-for-30 with two doubles (167/194/233). Orlando Hudson 7-for-25 with three extra-base hits, a double, a triple and a home run (280/308/520).

This helps explain why Bruntlett was added to the roster for the NLCS. Apparently Dobbs’ problems in playing defense coming off his calf injury were a primary factor. Still a lot of Carios and Bruntletts to have on the roster and I think it speaks to the lack of organizational depth hitting right-handed.


California, here we come

Here’s the runs scored and allowed per game and the difference between the two for the Phillies and Dodgers this season:


Regular Season
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 162 5.06 4.38 0.69
LA 162 4.81 3.77 1.04

LA won 95 games this year while the Phils won 93.

The Phillies had the better offense, but LA was a lot better at preventing runs. Overall, the difference between the average number of runs scored and allowed per game is a lot bigger for the Dodgers.

Here’s what they did after the All-Star break:


Second Half
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 76 4.74 3.91 0.83
LA 74 4.55 3.69 0.86

The Phillies were 45-31 (.592) in the second-half while LA went 39-35 (.527), coming off of a brilliant first half when they were 56-32 (.636). The Dodgers had a seven game lead in the NL West going into the break. The Phils still scored more runs in the second half, but also closed the gap between the teams in terms of average difference between runs scored and allowed by improving their pitching significantly.

The Phillies offense was down a little in September, and their pitching got a little worse. The Dodgers widened the gap:


September
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 30 4.67 4.13 0.53
LA 27 4.89 3.81 1.07

Here’s what they’ve done over the past ten games, including games in the post-season:


Last ten games (including post-season)
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 10 5.20 4.40 0.80
LA 10 3.30 3.80 -0.50

The LA offense has been slowed a little, perhaps in part by the Cardinals pitching staff. They went just 2-5 in their seven games before they swept the Cards, scoring just 20 runs in those seven games. Despite outscoring the Cards 13-6 in the NLDS, LA has allowed 38 runs over their last ten games and scored just 33.

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games against each other this year:


Vs opponent in 2009
  G R/G RA/G DIFF
PHI 7 3.57 3.71 -0.14
LA 7 3.71 3.57 0.14

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games this year during the regular season. The Dodgers won four, outscoring the Phils 26-25.

Ruiz, Ibanez and Stairs were the only three Phillies that had an OPS for the year against the Dodgers that was better than .750.

Ruiz was 8-for-14 with three doubles, seven walks and a homer (571/714/1.000).

Ibanez 8-for-26, also with three doubles and a home run (308/400/538).

Stairs was 2-for-3 with two singles.

At the less good end of the pool, Victorino was 3-for-24 without a walk (125/125/250). Howard 3-for-28 with a double and a home run (107/156/250). Rollins 5-for-28 with a double and a home run (179/207/321).

Loney, Ethier and Blake all hit the Phillies well this season. Loney 11-for-28 with two home runs (393/433/607), Ethier 8-for-29 with three doubles and two home runs (276/323/586) and Blake 8-for-24 with two doubles and a home run (333/308/542). Curious about that to me is that two of those guys (Loney and Ethier) are lefties and one of them, Ethier, was absolutely atrocious against left-handed pitching this year. By absolutely atrocious I mean 194/283/345 over 187 plate appearances in this case. So maybe the lefty-heavy rotation will have more luck with them in the NLCS.

Lefty-killer Kemp was pretty good against the Phils, but not as good as Loney, Ethier and Blake by OPS. He was 9-for-27 with a double and a triple against the Phils (333/379/444).

Not to be forgotten when you consider what the Phillies did against the Dodgers this season is that Manny Ramirez did not have a single plate appearance against them this season. Seemingly less important is that Belliard didn’t as a Dodger, either, although Ron did slug .714 against the Phils as a Nat in ’09, going 4-for-14 with a double, a triple and a home run (286/286/714).

Furcal (222/250/407) and Martin (227/346/273) both hit under .230 against the Phils in ’09.


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