Tag: Matt Stairs

Left way behind

Back to walks. To recap — the Phillies were great at walking as a team as recently as 2007, when they led the league in walk rate. In 2012 their walk rate was down to 15th in the league. If you look at the hitters position by position, the two biggest drops have been at first base and left field.

In 2012, Phillie hitters walked 187 times less than they had in 2007. Two positions, left field and first base, combined to walk 141 fewer times in 2012 than they had in 2007.

I posted about Ryan Howard and first base last week. Left field is the big one, though. In 2012, the Phillies walked 85 fewer times in 2012 than they had in 2007.

Here’s the walk rate for Phillies left fielders over the past eight years and the rank for that walk rate among NL teams:

Year BB% for LF NL Rank
2012 6.3 15
2011 6.8 13
2010 9.8 6
2009 8.6 9
2008 15.4 1
2007 17.4 2
2006 14.8 3
2005 13.9 2

So, again, Phillie left fielders used to be great at walking, in the top three in the league at drawing walks in the position from ’05 to ’08. They’re awful now, 15th in the league in walk rate for left fielders in 2012. In 2007, their left fielders were nearly three times as likely to draw a walk in a given plate appearance than they were in 2012 (okay, about 2.76 times as likely).

The answer to the question why Phillie left fielders walked 85 less times in 2012 than they had in 2007 has two parts. The first is that their left fielders used to be really great at drawing walks and the second is that their left fielders from ’12 were unusually bad at drawing walks.

They used to be great in this area because of Pat Burrell. Burrell left after 2008 and the walk rate for the team’s left fielders has gone pretty hard in the wrong direction since.

From 2000 to 2008, Pat Burrell got 5,388 plate appearances for the Phillies and walked in 14.6% of them. That seems important, so here it goes again — from 2000 to 2008, Pat Burrell got 5,388 plate appearances for the Phillies and walked in 14.6% of them. 5,388 plate appearances over nine years is an average of about 599 a season.

I’d show you the list of Phillies since the end of the 2008 who have gotten at least 150 plate appearances in a season and walked in at least 14.6% of them if I could. There is none. Nobody has done it. Ryan Howard seems like the primary candidate — he was over 14.6% in both ’06 and ’07, but his best mark since the end of 2008 is 11.7% in 2011. A 14.6% walk rate isn’t close to the best of Burrell’s career — he topped a 14.6% walk rate in five different years, ’05-’08 with the Phillies and 2011 when he was with the Giants. In 2007, Burrell walked in 114 of his 598 plate appearances for the year, which was a career high 19.1%.

For the record, here’s who has led the Phillies in walk rate in the years since Burrell left among players that got at least 150 plate appearances:

Year Player PA BB%
2012 Utley 362 11.9
2011 Brown 210 11.9
2010 Ruiz 433 12.7
2009 Werth 676 13.5

Matt Stairs got pretty close to topping 14.6% in 150 plate appearances, but didn’t quite get the PA. In 2009, Stairs walked in 23 of his 129 plate appearances, which is 17.9%.

This article from the Phillies web site suggests that Hamels could start on opening day with Halladay pitching game two of the season. Manuel seems to reinforce the notion that Rollins will hit leadoff in the same article.

More on that here. I’m going to be real surprised if Rollins isn’t hitting leadoff. I think the bigger question is where Ben Revere is going to hit. My guess is that the left-handed hitting Revere hits second against righties early in the season. Less sure where he’ll hit against lefties. Lower seems like a good guess.


Non-starter

The Playoff Start Log is updated and I think it says a lot about what went wrong for the Phillies in the World Series. In 2008 the Phils won it all, getting five quality starts in five World Series games. After Lee allowed one run in nine innings in game one of the NLDS against the Rockies this year, the Phils had made seven quality starts in a row in playoff games. In the last four games of the World Series this year the Phillies didn’t have a quality start and their starters threw to a 7.59 ERA. They allowed 18 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings.

That probably has a lot to do with how much better the Yankees are at scoring runs than the Rockies or Rays. Still, you aren’t going to win a lot of games when your starters throw to a 7.59 ERA.

The Yankees won the World Series this year. The Phillies didn’t. The Yankees had Andy Pettitte and the Phillies had Joe Blanton. The pair didn’t play in the same league in 2009, but they had pretty similar numbers during the regular season:

  GS IP ERA Ratio ERA+
Blanton 31 195.1 4.05 1.32 106
Pettitte 32 194.2 4.16 1.38 107

If the two players had a similar year in the regular season, they didn’t in the post-season. The Yankees put a whole lot of their playoff eggs in the Pettitte basket, but Blanton was not a big part of the Phillies rotation in the playoffs. You didn’t have to watch the Phillies play too many playoff games this year before that became apparent. He was pitching in relief in the sixth inning of game two of the NLDS with the Phils down 4-0.

The Phils and Yankees both played 15 post-season games in 2009. Pettitte threw almost twice as many innings as Blanton. He threw 30 2/3 while Blanton threw 15 2/3. Blanton made two starts and two appearances in relief while Pettitte’s post-season legend grew. Pettitte made five post-season starts in ’09 and went 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Why would the Phillies do such a thing? Well, it wasn’t because Blanton hadn’t been good in the post-season. He helped them win the World Series in 2008 as he started three playoff games. The Phils won all three as Blanton went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio.

The why, apparently, turned out to be that the Phils thought their chances were better with Pedro Martinez. The Phils signed the free agent Martinez in mid-July to a contract that would have the Phillies paying him about a million dollars. Martinez made nine starts for the Phils in 2009 and pitched better than a lot of people were expecting, going 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. There were some warning signs, too, though. Opponents slugged .472 against him and he allowed eight home runs in 44 2/3 innings. That home run rate would have had him allowing about 36 over 200 innings. Milwaukee’s Braden Looper was the only pitcher in either league that allowed 36 or more home runs this season. Two of his early starts with the Phils were cut short by rain, but he threw less than five innings per start in his nine outings with the Phils.

He didn’t exactly end the regular season on a high note. He made a fantastic start against the Mets on September 13 in which he threw 130 pitches in eight shutout innings. His next start was against the Braves on September 19 and he allowed three runs over three innings before leaving the game with a neck problem. He made just one more start before the end of the year and he wasn’t very good. On September 30, he faced Houston and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over four innings.

It didn’t scare off the Phillies. They let him start a game in the NLCS and two games in the World Series. They lost all three games. In the first he pitched great but had to be pulled before he had thrown 90 pitches. In each of the next two the Phils left him in the game too long. He started the game in which they were eliminated from the World Series and was awful.

So Blanton was a solid pitcher this year, the Phils gave at least some of his playoff starts to Pedro, who not a lot of other teams seemed to want, and then they lost every post-season game that Pedro started. That sounds pretty bad and I think it was. It’s a little more complicated than that, though.

The Phillies scored a total of five runs in the three games Martinez started. Pedro didn’t pitch as well as his numbers would indicate, but his numbers were great overall for the playoffs. In the three playoff starts with the Phils, Pedro threw to a 3.71 ERA with an 0.88 ERA. Blanton, meanwhile, did not pitch well in his post-season chances. He made two starts and two relief appearances overall for the post-season, throwing to a 5.17 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Still, the decision to go with Martinez instead of Blanton in the post-season was critical for the Phillies. And it didn’t work.

Cliff Lee will be back with the Phils in 2010 after the Phillies picked up his $9 million option.

Brett Myers will not be back.

Feliz may or may not be back, but it’s a little less likely now that the Phillies have declined his $5.5 million option.

I think the Phils went 3-for-3 in that flurry. I think it was the right decision not to pick up Feliz’s option, but I was surprised to see them do it. Beltre, Figgins and DeRosa seem to be the names that most people are talking about as improvements at third. If he’s healthy, I think Troy Glaus would be a huge help for the Phillies offensively as well. You might notice some defensive dropoff, though. The list of free agent third basemen that would help the Phils more than Feliz isn’t that long, so hopefully they have something in mind.

Ibanez (sports hernia) and Eyre (loose bodies in his elbow) were scheduled for surgeries yesterday and Lidge will have surgery on Wednesday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow.

Park, Feliz, Bako, Stairs, Martinez, Myers and Cairo have all filed to become free agents.


Take two

Pedro Martinez faces righty AJ Burnett tonight in game two of the World Series.

Burnett went 13-9 with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.40 ratio in 33 starts for the Yankees this season. The righty was much better against lefties than he was against righties. Lefties hit just 217/310/343 against him while righties hit a much better 282/366/450. Lefties did walk a little more often against him. He walked about 11% of the lefties he faced and about 10.6% of the righties. The on-base percentage is so much better for righties cause they got so many more hits.

He walked too many batters, both right and left-handed. That’s how his ratio is 1.40 when he allowed 193 hits in 207 innings. Overall he walked about 4.22 batters per nine innings. Among the 11 Phillies pitchers who started more than one game for the team this season the pitcher with the worst rate of walks per nine innings was Park. He walked 3.56 per nine for the year.

Burnett gave up 97 walks this year, which led the American League. He led it by a lot. Matt Garza and Ricky Romero tied for second and they each walked 79.

He has made three starts in the post-season this year, throwing to a 4.42 ERA with a 1.31 ratio. In 18 1/3 innings he has walked ten. In game two of the ALDS he held the Twins to a single run over six innings but walked five. In game two of the ALCS he held the Angels to two runs over 6 1/3. His most recent start was game five of the ALCS and he was hit hard, allowing six runs over six innings.

He made a start against the Phils on May 22 of this year and allowed five runs over six innings as the Phillies rolled to a 7-3 win in Philadelphia. Werth, Rollins and Ruiz all homered off of him in that game.

Rollins is the Phillie who has seen Burnett the most in the regular season over his career. 11-for-43 with three doubles and a home run (256/340/395). Victorino 1-for-6. Utley 6-for-21 with a triple and a homer (286/348/542). Howard 2-for-12 with two home runs. Werth 1-for-7 with a homer. Ibanez 4-for-15 with a double. Feliz 2-for-15. Ruiz 3-for-3 with a home run. Stairs is 3-for-11 with two home runs against him.

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 him 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 was fantastic in his start in game two of the NLDS against the Dodgers, allowing two singles over seven shutout innings. That is the only start he has made since September 30. He had a pitch limit of about 90 pitches in the NLCS and was pulled having thrown just 87.

He has faced some of the Yankees a lot during the regular season over his career. Jeter is 22-for-86 with three doubles and three home runs against him (256/347/395). Damon 5-for-25 with two walks (200/259/200). Teixeira 1-for-6 with a double. Rodriguez 16-for-56 with two doubles and a home run (291/350/382). Posada 11-for-60 with four home runs and a memorable post-season head-pointing incident (183/290/450). Matsui 4-for-28 with a homer (143/200/250). Cano 0-for-12. Swisher 0-for-2. Cabrera 1-for-5 with a walk.


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.


Howard serves notice to anyone out there going by The-Bigger-Piece-than-Ryan-Howard that it is time to start looking for a new nickname

Cliff Lee dazzled last night and, for much of the game, the Phillies offense frustrated. Not all of it, though. The Phils found their magic with one out in the top of the ninth, Jimmy Rollins reminded them how it goes, and over the course of five batters they turned one out, nobody on, down two runs and on the way back to Philly for game five into a one-run lead.

It was something to see. It has been for a while now.

Ryan Howard had the biggest hit of the series and the biggest hit of the year for the Phils so far. Dubbed “The Big Piece” by Charlie Manuel, Howard started the ninth inning exhorting his teammates, the best hitting team in the league, “Get me to the plate, boys.” They did. With two outs, two men on and the Phils down by two, the Phillies got him to the plate and he delivered a two-run double to right.

Lee had shut the Rockies out early as solo homers from Victorino and Werth put the Phils on top 2-0. Colorado finally got to Lee in the bottom of the sixth as Troy Tulowitzki delivered an RBI double to cut the lead to 2-1. A defensive misplay by the Phils in the eighth helped the Rockies tie the game at 2-2 before a double by Yorvit Torrealba cleared the bases and put the Rockies on top 4-2. Howard tied the game at 4-4 with his two-run double in the ninth and Werth followed that by singling Howard home. Eyre and Lidge set the Rockies down in the ninth.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 5-4 to take the best-of-five NLDS three games to one.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies. He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. Two of the runs were unearned. Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double by Tulowitzki. He struck out five.

Two starts in the series for Lee. He pitched 16 1/3 innings over four games. No other Phillies pitcher threw more than five. He had a 1.10 ERA and an 0.86 ratio in the series.

He faced a Rockies lineup that went (1) Gonzalez (RF/L) (2) Fowler (CF/S) (3) Helton (1B/L) (4) Tulowitzki (SS/R) (5) Atkins (3B/R) (6) Torrealba (C/R)(7) Smith (LF/L) (8) Barmes (2B/R). Gonzalez moves to right field with the lefty Seth Smith starting and playing left. Hawpe, a lefty, and Spilborghs, a righty, are both on the bench for Colorado. Atkins and Torrealba were flipped again, after Torrealba hit fifth in game three.

The Rockies had lefties Jason Giambi, Ian Stewart and Brad Hawpe on the bench to start the game, along with righties Ryan Spilborghs and Chris Iannetta and switch-hitter Eric Young.

Lee started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez led off with a hit, of course, singling just over Utley’s head. Fowler was next and he singled to right, moving Gonzalez to second. Helton followed and hit a ball back to the mound. Lee bobbled, then threw to second. Very close play at second, but Fowler was called out for the first out of the inning. Tracy came out to argue for the second time in the inning after Howard had been called safe at first in the top of the frame. It put men on first and third for Tulowitzki with one out. Lee’s 2-2 pitch to him was in the dirt and blocked by Ruiz. Helton took off for second and would have been out with a perfect throw, but Ruiz’s was off the mark and Helton was safe. Lee struck Tulo out swinging 3-2 for the second out and then got Atkins to hit a 3-1 ground ball to short for the third out, leaving both runners stranded.

Tulowitzki can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.

Lee struck out Torrealba swinging 2-2 for the first out of the second. Smith was next and Lee struck him out swinging 2-2 as well. Barmes flew softly to center on an 0-2 pitch for the third out..

Lee had thrown 33 pitches through the first two innings.

The pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez grounded to short for the first out of the third. Gonzalez was next and he walked on four pitches. Fowler was next and he grounded a 2-2 pitch to Utley. Utley made a nice play, tagging Gonzalez and then flipping to first to complete the double-play.

Lee had thrown 46 pitches through three innings.

He was still up 1-0 when he started the fourth. Helton led off and grounded to Feliz on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Tulowitzki followed and flew to Utley in short right field on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Atkins grounded to Feliz for the third out.

Fifty-eight pitches for Lee through four innings.

Torrealba led off the fifth and singled to right. Smith got in an 0-2 hole and flew softly to left for the first out. Lee struck Barmes out waving at a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Jimenez was swinging first pitch and dropped a single in front of Werth in right, moving Torrealba to second. Big spot for the white-hot Gonzalez, but Lee got him to fly softly to right on a 1-0 pitch to end the inning.

Seventy-eight pitches through five innings for Lee.

He was up 2-0 when he started the sixth. Fowler led off and flew to right for the first out, but Helton was next and drew a walk on four pitches. Tulowitzki smashed a 1-1 pitch into the gap in left-center for a double. Helton scored all the way from first, sliding in just ahead of the throw from Rollins to cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. Atkins hit the first pitch of his at-bat hard, but right at Feliz who caught the ball and threw to second to double-off Tulowitzki and end the inning.

Ninety pitches for Lee.

Torrealba led off the seventh and struck out looking 2-2 for the first out. Smith lofted a fly ball to left on the first pitch of his at-bat. Ibanez came in and slid trying to catch the ball, but it went off of his glove. Smith was safe at second on the two-base error. Barmes flew to left-center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out and righty Ryan Spilborghs hit for the pitcher Jimenez with two outs and a man on second. Lee got Spilborghs to pop to Howard on a 1-2 pitch for the third out.

The error by Ibanez helps the Rockies turn the lineup over.

105 pitches for Lee.

The Phillies left the bases loaded in the top of the eighth and Lee’s first pitch of the bottom of the inning was way up and in to Gonzalez. Gonzalez flew to Ibanez on the warning track for the first out. Fowler was next and Lee walked him on four pitches. Helton followed and hit a ground ball to second. Utley, the ball and Fowler all converged at the same time and Fowler hurdled over and a little behind Utley. Utley flipped to Rollins, but Rollins did not catch the ball and Fowler was safe on the error charged to Rollins. With one out and men on first and second, Madson came in to pitch to the righty Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki lined a 1-1 pitch to left and Francisco, who entered with Madson and took over in left for Ibanez, made a fantastic diving catch for the second out. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for Atkins and lined the first pitch he saw into left for a single that scored Fowler and tied the game at 2-2. Torrealba followed and drove a 1-0 pitch into right-center that landed on the warning track and out of the reach of Victorino for a bases clearing double. 4-2. Madson walked lefty Seth Smith intentionally before getting Barmes on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Five batters in the inning for Madson. He got a fantastic diving catch to get the first, then gave up RBI-single, two-run double, intentional walk before getting a ground out to end the inning.

Eyre started the ninth inning with a 5-4 lead after an unbelievable rally in the top of the inning put the Phils on top. Cairo was playing left field for the Phils after Dobbs hit for Francisco in the top of the inning. Switch-hitter Eric Young hit for Stewart and grounded to first on a close play for the first out of the inning. Gonzalez was next and singled into left on a 1-1 pitch. Fowler lined softly to Rollins on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Helton was next and he hit the first pitch he saw from Eyre into center for a single, moving Gonzalez to second. Lidge came on to pitch to the righty Tulowitzki. Lidge struck him out 2-2 to end the game and the series.

Carlos Gonzalez was an amazing 10-for-17 in the series for the Rockies, posting a 588/632/882 line. Torrealba was the other guy on the Rockies hitting well. He went 5-for-14 with two doubles and a home run (357/357/714). Pitcher Aaron Cook also went 1-for-2 for Colorado.

Other than Gonzalez, Torrealba and Cook, every other hitter on the Colorado team posted an OPS for the series of under .700.

Barmes 0-for-14. Helton 3-for-16 with three walks. The lefty Gonzalez hammered the lefty starting pitchers for the Phils. The lefty Helton did not.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ubaldo Jimenez 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 a five-man bench that included righties Francisco and Cairo and lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako.

Rollins led off the game and flew to center on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Victorino was next and he worked the count full, too, but he lined his 3-2 pitch out to right to put the Phillies up 1-0. Utley was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Howard followed and hit a ground ball to second. Utley was forced at second for the second out, but Howard just barely beat the relay and was called safe at first. Tracy came out to argue the call. Werth got ahead 3-1 and flew to right for the third out.

Jimenez struck out Ibanez and Feliz to start the second. Ruiz was next and he hit a ball in between first and second. Barmes slid to his left but didn’t field it cleanly and Ruiz was safe with an infield single. Lee grounded softly to second for the third out.

The single by Ruiz turns the lineup over for the Phils.

Jimenez had thrown 43 pitches through the first two innings.

Rollins swung at the first pitch of the third and grounded to first for the first out of the inning. Victorino followed and singled to right on a 1-1 pitch. Utley was next and he singled to right-center. Victorino tried to take third and Gonzalez made a strong throw that beat Victorino to the bag, but with the help of a slow tag from Atkins and perhaps a generous call from the third base ump, Victorino was safe. Tracy came out to argue yet again, the third time in less than 2 1/2 innings. Howard was walked intentionally to load the bases with one out. Werth was next and had about the worst at-bat you’ve ever seen from him. He struck out swinging at a terrible 1-2 pitch in the dirt for the second out. Ibanez was next and tried to check his swing 3-2 on a ball that was low, but the home plate ump said he went around to set the Phillies down.

Nothing for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Werth’s at-bat was atrocious. Not just the result, which was no run with a man on third and one out, but I think that literally may be the worst at-bat I’ve ever seen from him based on the way his swings looked and the pitches he swung at. Nice play by Utley to take second after the throw from Gonzalez went to third, but Victorino would have been out by a lot with a better tag. The ball beat him by a lot. Not a fan of Rollins swinging at the first pitch.

Sixty-five pitches for Jimenez.

Feliz swung at the first pitch to start the fourth, too. He grounded to short for the first out. Ruiz got ahead 2-1 then popped to third. Lee struck out on three pitches.

Just eight pitches in the inning for Jimenez, who had thrown 73 in the game.

Rollins struck out swinging 2-2 to start the fifth. Victorino popped to short on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Utley popped to short, too, ending the inning.

Fourteen pitches in the inning. 87.

Howard led off the sixth and grounded to Tulowitzki on the right side of second base for the first out. Werth was next and hit a high 2-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Ibanez flew to left for the second out. Feliz swung at the first pitch again and grounded to second.

Just bizarreness from Werth coming off what literally may be his worst at-bat ever in the top of the third.

Jimenez was up to 103 pitches.

He came back to start the seventh anyway and got Ruiz on a line drive to second to start the inning. Lee struck out looking for the second out. Rollins ripped a 3-2 pitch down the right field line for a double. On Jimenez’s 126th pitch of the game, Victorino hit a 2-2 slider back to the mound. Jimenez fielded and threw to first for the third out, leaving Rollins stranded.

Lefty Franklin Morales came on to start the eighth for the Rockies. He walked Utley on a 3-2 pitch that was low and away. Utley stole second as the count went 2-2 on Howard, but Howard struck out looking for the first out. The lefty Morales walked Werth intentionally. Ibanez was next and he walked on a 3-1 pitch that was outside to load the bases. Feliz came to the plate and swung at the first pitch, really he did, popping to Tulowitzki in foul territory for the second out. Ruiz hit a 1-1 pitch slowly back up the middle, but Tulowitzki fielded and threw Ruiz out to end the frame.

Feliz. Just horrid. Again the Phillies don’t score with the bases loaded and one out.

Righty Huston Street started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Dobbs hit for Francisco, double-switched into the game in the top of the ninth, to start the inning and struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. It brought up Rollins and he hit a ball back through the middle. Barmes got to it, but by the time he recovered he had no chance to get Rollins. Victorino followed and hit a ground ball to second. The ball wasn’t hit hard and Colorado could get just one, forcing Rollins at second for the second out. Utley walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard got ahead in the count 2-1 and drove a ball to the warning track in right field for a double that scored both runners and tied the game at 4-4. Werth reached out and poked a 2-2 pitch into right field for a single. Howard scored and the Phillies led 5-4. That was it for Street. Lefty Joe Beimel replaced him and Manuel called on Miguel Cairo to hit for Madson. Cairo grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Just amazing. All of it. Rollins does it again, getting on base when the Phillies need it most.

The Phillies scored 20 runs in the four-game series. They allowed 15.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double in the game. Another huge hit in the ninth inning. Twice he sparked critical ninth-inning rallies in the series. They only played four games. He was 5-for-19 in the series.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a home run. 6-for-17 with a double and a homer in the series.

Utley was 1-for-2 with three walks, one of which was critical in the ninth inning. 6-for-14 with a home run in the series. 429/556/643 in the series.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a two-run double. He was 6-for-16 with three doubles in the series and led the team with six RBI.

Werth had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning last night and was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI in the game. 5-for-14 with a triple and a home run in the series. He also drew four walks. 357/500/929 over the four games.

Ibanez was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts last night. 4-for-13 with a double and five RBI in the series. He also drew four walks

Feliz was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 4-for-13 with three RBI.

Every regular except for Rollins (.263 with key hits in the last two games) and Feliz (.214) hit over .300 for the series.

Utley, Werth, Ibanez and Ruiz all on-based .400 or better.

Werth, Utley, Victorino and Howard all slugged over .550.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 last night. 0-for-3 in the series.

Cairo was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-3 in the series.

Stairs and Francisco both did not get an at-bat last night but were 0-for-1 in the series. Stairs also had a walk. Francisco made an outstanding catch in game four.

Game one of the NLCS is on Thursday in Los Angeles.


Suggestion that the wife of one of the Rockies pitchers level the playing field by going into labor during game three seems to fall largely on deaf ears

Righty Pedro Martinez faces 27-year-old righty Jason Hammel tomorrow in Colorado as the Phils and the Rockies play game three of the NLDS.

Hammel appeared in 34 games this season for Colorado, making 30 starts. In 176 2/3 innings he threw to a 4.33 ERA with a 1.39 ratio. He was brutal at Coors Field — in 81 2/3 innings at home in 2009 he pitched to a 5.73 ERA and a 1.62 ratio. Lefties and righties posted very similar lines against him. Lefties hit 289/344/441 while righties hit 290/322/441. Hammel made two starts and a two-inning relief appearance to end the season, throwing to a 4.05 ERA and a 1.20 ratio over 13 1/3 innings.

Two appearances against the Phillies this season. On April 11 he pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief of Jorge De La Rosa, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. Ibanez homered off of him in that game. He also started a game against the Phils in Philadelphia on August 4. He went 6 2/3 innings in that game, allowing three runs on nine hits. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter as the Rockies pounded Moyer and won 8-3. Rollins hit a home run off of Hammel in that game and Ibanez had a double.

Hammel spent three seasons with Tampa Bay before pitching for Colorado this season, so Ibanez and his fellow American Leaguer Matt Stairs are the Phillies who have seen him the most. Ibanez is 4-for-8 with a double and a home run, Stairs 5-for-8 with a double and two home runs.

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.

Fellow veteran Jason Giambi has seen Martinez a ton over the years, going 8-for-50 with a double and a home run against him in his career (160/276/240). No other Rockie has more than four at-bats against Martinez.


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