Tag: Matt Stairs

Canadian awaken

The Phillies won a game ugly yesterday, but given how badly they’ve been playing this is no time to quibble. Madson and Lidge were both a little shaky at the back of the pen, but good enough to hold on and get the Phils a much-needed series win as the team finally gets a break from interleague play.

They could use it. They are 6-12 against the AL this year after going 4-11 against them in 2008. In Toronto, though, they managed to take two games with the help of a monster series from Werth, who went 6-for-8 and walked five times, and an impressive complete-game shutout from Happ in the middle game that helped the bullpen get some needed rest.

The Phillies are 39-34 on the year after taking two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto over the weekend. They are in first place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games above the second-place Mets. The Mets are now at .500. The Phils have won two in a row for the first time since June 10-11. They are 4-11 in their last 15 games.

The Phillies lost game one of the series 6-1. Hamels didn’t pitch well and didn’t make it through the fifth. The Phils didn’t get a hit off of Toronto starter Ricky Romero till the seventh and managed just three singles and two walks in the game. A sac fly from Werth scored Victorino in the ninth for the only Phillies run.

Happ threw a complete game shutout in game two and the Phils rolled to a 10-0 win. The Phils jumped out to a big lead early with four runs in the first. Werth had a huge day, going 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. Happ was fantastic, throwing the first complete game of his career and holding the Blue Jays to four singles and a double without walking a batter.

The Phils pulled out a 5-4 yesterday in the final game of the set. Moyer gave up two homers early to put the Phillies down 3-0 before they scored a run in the top of the third. Moyer allowed another homer in the bottom of the third, the second of the game by Aaron Hill. A two-run triple by Utley keyed a four-run fourth that put the Phils up 5-4. Moyer only went five, but the pen gave the Phils four innings of scoreless relief including a shaky one from Lidge to earn his first save since returning from the DL.

The Phillies pitched well in the series. In 26 innings they threw to a 3.46 ERA and a 1.19 ratio. The only home runs they allowed were the three that Moyer gave up yesterday.

Hamels and Moyer didn’t have good starts, but Happ made the numbers for the starting pitchers good overall. As a group the three pitched to a 3.86 ERA and a 1.18 ratio over 18 2/3 innings.

Hamels started game one and allowed four runs over 4 2/3 innings on eight hits and two walks. He was ejected from the game as he walked off the mound with two outs in the fifth and men on first and third.

Happ was fantastic in the second game. Complete game, five hits, no walks, four strikeouts and needed just 100 pitches to do it. Just a great outing, but it’s especially nice to see him not walking anyone after issuing ten walks over 11 2/3 innings in his two previous starts.

Moyer allowed four runs over five innings in game three. All four of the runs scored on the three homers he gave up in the game. He has a 6.05 ERA after 15 starts.

The relievers threw 7 1/3 innings in the series, throwing to a 2.45 ERA and a 1.23 ratio. They didn’t allow a home run. They gave up just four hits but walked five, which is too many. Both of the runs they allowed were charged to Lidge in game one.

Romero came into the bottom of the eighth in game one with the bases loaded, the Phils down 5-0 and one out. He walked the first man he faced, forcing in a run, but got Aaron Hill to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Taschner did not pitch in the series.

Durbin did not pitch in the series.

Park came into game one in the bottom of the fifth with two outs, men on first and third and the Phils down 4-0. Alex Rios was the first man he faced and Rios smashed a ball back and off the knee of Park. Park threw the ball to first to end the inning, but then collapsed in pain. Walker started the sixth.

He was able to go again in game three. He entered to start the bottom of the sixth with a 5-4 lead and threw two perfect innings.

He has allowed just one home run since the end of April and none on the season while pitching in relief (14 appearances).

Walker started the sixth inning of game one with the Phillies down 4-0. He pitched a perfect sixth and a perfect seventh.

Madson started the eighth inning yesterday with a 5-4 lead. He allowed a one-out single that was followed by a Bruntlett error that put men on first and second. He got the next hitter on a ground out that moved the runners to second and third, then walked Lyle Overbay intentionally to load the bases. He got Russ Adams to pop out to the infield to end the inning.

Lidge started the eighth inning of game one with the Phils down 4-0, making his first appearance since June 6. The first four men he faced reached base on a double, two walks and a single. He left with one out and the bases loaded, the Phillies down 5-0.

He got the save yesterday with a little help from some terrible base-running by Toronto. He started the bottom of the ninth with a 5-4 lead and gave up a single and a walk to start the inning. He got a popup for the first out. With one out and men on first and second, John McDonald was then picked off of second and throw out at third for the second out. Wells grounded to short for the third out.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row, thanks to Happ’s outing in game two, and the Phils don’t play today. So the pen should be well-rested for Atlanta.

The Phillies scored 16 runs in the three-game set.

Victorino was 2-for-11 with two singles in the series. He walked twice and struck out five times. He’s hitting 296/363/446 on the season. Just two home runs in his 210 at-bats since the end of April.

Utley was 4-for-11 with a double, a triple and three walks in the series. 302/433/558 for the season.

Werth was 6-for-8 with a double, two home runs and five walks in the series to raise his line for the year to 271/364/494.

Howard was 4-for-13 with four singles and a walk in the series. 256/330/540 for the season. He’s hitting .237 and on-basing .312 for the month.

Mayberry started in left in all three games and went 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts. He’s at 216/256/514 for the year.

Feliz is hitting 287/331/407 on the year after going 3-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. He also drew a walk in yesterday’s game. It was his second walk in June.

Coste was the DH in all three games. 3-for-8 with two walks. 253/351/394.

Bruntlett started at short in all three games in the series. He made a big error in the eighth inning of game three, but Madson pitched around it. He went 1-for-11 with a single, dropping his line on the year to an ugly 136/211/197.

Ruiz was 3-for-11 with three RBI in the set. He’s hitting 250/357/389 for the year and will probably enjoy the day off today after catching six games in a row.

Rollins did not play in the series and is having an atrocious year. He is outhitting Bruntlett pretty significantly, though.

Stairs didn’t see much action with Toronto throwing three lefties in the series. He went 1-for-2 with a single and is hitting 296/433/500 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 and is at 230/284/419 on the season.

Bako is a pretty bad use of a roster spot if you’re going to let Ruiz catch six days in a row. He has been with the team since June 9 and has gotten three at-bats in which he’s gone 1-for-3. I’d guess he’ll lose his roster spot soon with the Phillies mercifully not needing to use Coste as their DH.

This says JC Romero was involved in an incident with a fan in Florida.

This says Carlos Carrasco may pitch Thursday in Atlanta.

Scott Eyre was eligible to come off of the DL on Saturday. Didn’t.


Really?

Seriously? He really threw that 1-2 pitch there? Swept by the Orioles? Lost six in a row? Lost eight of nine? 13-22 at home? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

If nothing else, at least the little-home-stand-that-couldn’t is finally over. Good riddance. Things have gotten just plain ugly and hard to believe as the Phillies struggle in a whole lot of different ways. The team seems stuck in a fog they can’t find there way out of. Most recently the fog featured the Baltimore Orioles pummeling them this way and that as the O’s swept a three-game set in Philadelphia.

It sure looked like Ryan Howard, struggling most of the weekend with flu-like symptoms that had him in and out of the hospital, had snapped the team out of its collective funk with a pinch-hit three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh in game two that put the Phillies up 5-3. That illusion lasted for one full inning, before Madson gave up three runs on two homers in the top of the ninth. Madson has allowed three home runs in his last two appearances after not allowing any in his first 34.

The finale yesterday was almost as bad. It featured Cole Hamels and the Phils squaring off against a guy who came into the game with a 5.42 ERA and sat atop the American League in home runs allowed. Hamels pitched great, but not great enough for a Phillies team that suddenly has a lot of problems scoring runs. Baltimore took the game 2-1 to complete the sweep.

The Phillies are 36-31 on the season after being swept by Baltimore in a three-game set. They remain in first place in the NL East and are two games ahead of the Mets. They have lost six in a row.

Baltimore won game one 7-2. Werth put the Phils up 2-0 with a two-run double in the first, but the Phillies got four more hits the rest of the game. Bastardo went deep into the game, throwing seven innings and allowing four runs on just five hits without walking a batter. Bastardo left with the Phils down 4-2, but the O’s broke the game open against Taschner with three runs in the top of the ninth.

Game two was a little tough to take. The Phils went into the bottom of the seventh down 3-0. They got it to within 3-2 when Ryan Howard, unable to start after being in the hospital the night before with a high fever, came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit three-run homer. The 5-3 lead stood in the top of the ninth when Madson came on to close. Greg Zaun hit a solo homer to cut it to 5-4. Madson had Brian Roberts down 1-2 with two outs and a man on first when Roberts hit a horrible pitch from Madson out to right-center to put Baltimore up 6-5. That was how it ended.

The Phillies lost 2-1 yesterday. Hamels pitched very well. Dobbs, starting at first again, put the Phils up 1-0 with a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth. The O’s tied it up at 1-1 in the top of the sixth with a double, a stolen base and a single. Hamels allowed another run in the top of the eighth when Robert Andino led off with a double and came around to score on a single by Roberts. The Phils should have tied the game in the bottom of the eighth, but Rollins was called out at first and Victorino followed with a two-out double that would have tied things up. Victorino was left stranded when Utley grounded back to the pitcher and the Phils went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies got good starting pitching in the series and miserable work from their bullpen. Overall they threw 27 innings in the series with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.52 ratio.

The starting pitching was not the problem. The Phils got three good starts in the set and all three pitchers went at least six innings. As a group the three went 21 innings with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.33 ratio. In 21 innings they walked just four and did not allow a home run.

Bastardo pitched well in game one. He went seven innings and allowed four runs on five hits and no walks. Three of the five hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He’s made four starts so far and just one of them is bad, the game where he walked three in the first and Boston scored five runs with the help of three errors before rain forced him from the game.

Happ allowed two runs over six innings in game two, but with a lot of base-runners. He allowed ten hits, eight singles and two doubles, and four walks.

Hamels went eight innings in game two, allowing two runs on nine hits (seven singles and two doubles). He struck out ten and did not walk a batter. He’s allowed one home run over 28 innings in four June starts.

The bullpen was terrible in the series. Taschner gave up three runs in the first game to make a close game not close anymore. Durbin allowed a run in game two before Madson got hammered in the ninth. As a group the relievers threw six innings in the series, pitching to a 10.50 ERA with a 2.17 ratio. They allowed three home runs in six innings.

Romero did not pitch in the series.

Taschner pitched the eighth and ninth innings of game one. He kept Baltimore off the board in the top of the eighth, but in the ninth he allowed three runs as the O’s extended their lead from 4-2 to 7-2.

He has a 5.26 ERA and a 1.87 ratio for the season. Six runs on ten hits and three walks over four innings in his last three appearances.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game two, taking over for Happ with the Phils down 2-0. The first three hitters he faced all reached on singles. Durbin got the next two, but then walked Roberts to force in a run and make it 3-0 Baltimore. He struck out the next hitter to leave the bases loaded.

Park pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phillies up 5-3. He set the O’s down in order, striking out two.

He also pitched the ninth inning yesterday with the Phillies down 2-1. He faced four hitters. He got three out and the other reached on an error by Dobbs.

Over his last seven appearances Park has been charged with one earned run over eleven innings. Eight hits, two walks, thirteen strikeouts.

Condrey did not pitch in the series.

Madson started the ninth inning of game two with the Phillies up 5-3. Zaun homered with one out to make it 5-4. Oscar Salazar bounced a two-out single into right. Madson got ahead of Roberts 1-2 and Roberts homered to right-center to put Baltimore up to stay at 6-5. Terrible pitch by Madson, who left the ball in a terrible place given the count.

Walker didn’t pitch in the series.

Park is the only guy in the pen who has pitched two days in a row. The Phillies don’t play today, so you would assume he will be available for tomorrow’s game.

The Phillies scored eight runs in the three-game set.

Rollins went 0-for-10 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 217/261/338 for the year. .217?

Victorino was 5-for-9 with three doubles and three walks in the set. 304/365/465 for the season. He’s hitting 338/430/515 in June.

Utley was 1-for-12 with a double. 297/428/547. He’s 2-for-his-last-19.

Howard started game one and was out after that with flu-like symptoms with the exception of the monster pinch-hit home run in game two. 1-for-4 with a walk and a homer. 257/332/558.

Werth was 2-for-12 with a double and two RBI. He’s hitting 256/343/456 for the year. 247/320/408 against righties, which is a problem if you’re going to play every day as a corner outfielder. The Phillies actually have some bigger problems that Werth’s splits against righties, though.

Feliz was 0-for-11. He’s hitting 294/339/409 after going 2-for-his-last-24 with two singles. He has walked once in his last 101 at-bats. That sounds like something that would have to be made up, but that’s sadly not the case.

Mayberry started in left in game one. He was 2-for-6 with a double in the series. 6-for-20 with the Phils on the year with two doubles and two home runs.

Ruiz started games one and three was 1-for-8 with a single in the series. 260/377/415.

Coste was 0-for-3 in the series and is hitting 244/343/407 for the year.

Bruntlett was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. 157/250/235 for the season.

Dobbs started at first in games two and three. He was 3-for-6 with a home run in the series. 215/278/431 for the year, but 4-for-his-last-7 with two home runs.

Stairs started in left in game two. 2-for-8 in the set and at 277/424/489 for the year.

Bako started at catcher in game two. He was 1-for-2 in the series and is 1-for-3 with the Phils on the year.

Finally, I would like to note that I almost titled today’s post I-guess-I-picked-the-wrong-week-to-quit-sniffing-glue (in homage to Airplane!), but had the feeling I had used that headline before. Turns out I had, almost exactly one year ago today. The Phillies had just been swept by the Angels and had lost five in a row.


Perfect storm of suck proves to be too much for Phils to handle

The Phils can’t win at home and can’t beat the AL, so we probably should have guessed there would be some hide-your-eyes-ugly moments when the Blue Jays came to town. There were. Maybe even a few more than expected.

There are a whole lot of things going wrong for the Phillies even besides their problems at home and against the AL. Ibanez is on the DL. Condrey can’t get anyone out, almost literally. Madson, who the Phils are counting on to close with Lidge on the DL, has faltered late in the game in two straight appearances. Three of the five starting pitchers in the rotation have very little chance to pitch deep into games. The bullpen pitches badly and way too much — over the last 11 games the starting pitchers have gotten an out in the seventh inning once.

The Phillies are 36-28 after being swept by the Blue Jays. They are in first place in the NL East and three games ahead of the second-place Mets. The Phils are 13-19 at home on the year and 7-17 against the AL in the regular season since the start of 2008.

The bullpen imploded late in game one and Toronto won 8-3 in ten innings. Hamels left after six with a 3-2 lead thanks to a two-run homer from Werth in the bottom of the inning. The lead held till the ninth when Madson came on to try and nail down the save, but the Blue Jays quickly loaded the bases on two singles and an intentional walk before Madson walked Lyle Overbay to force in the tying run. Madson managed to get the next two hitters to leave the bases loaded, but Condrey was charged with five runs in the top of the tenth with some help from Tyler Walker.

Jamie Moyer was hit hard in game two, which was unfortunate given that the Phillies scored one run. Werth hit a solo shot in the fourth to get the Phils within 4-1, but Moyer left down 6-1 with nobody out in the seventh. Toronto added a run off of Durbin in the seventh and won the game 7-1.

The Phillies lost game three 8-7. Mayberry, Rollins and Werth all hit early home runs to help give the Phils a 5-3 lead when Blanton started the sixth. But Blanton didn’t pitch well, allowing his second home run of the game and getting just one out in the sixth. Blanton left with the Phils still on top at 5-4, but Toronto got a run off of Park in the top of the seventh to tie things up. Condrey was miserable in the eighth with the help of a big error from Feliz. Condrey didn’t get an out and was charged with two runs that put the Blue Jays up 7-5. The Phillies tied it up at 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth with the help of a pinch-hit home run from Dobbs, but Rod Barajas started the ninth with a home run off of Madson that would prove to be the game-winner.

The Phillies got miserable pitching in the series. The team threw 28 innings and posted a 7.07 ERA and a 2.14 ratio. They allowed seven home runs, walked 19 and gave up 41 hits. They didn’t hit well, but even if they had they would have had a lot of trouble winning with pitching like that.

Their starting pitching was a little better than the relief pitching, but still very bad. The worse news is that the Phillies started their three pitchers that they need to be able to rely on with the two young guys, Happ and Bastardo, not throwing. In the three starts, Hamels, Moyer and Blanton combined to put up a 6.23 ERA and a 1.79 ratio. None of the group got an out in the seventh inning. In the 17 1/3 innings they allowed five home runs and 26 hits but walked just five.

Hamels allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings in game one. Back-to-back uninspiring starts from the Phils’ ace. He hasn’t walked more than two hitters in a game this season.

Moyer was hit hard in game two, allowing six runs over six innings on ten hits and two walks. He has a 6.35 ERA for the season. He allowed two home runs and two walks in the start after allowing one homer and no walks in his previous three starts combined.

Blanton went just 5 1/3 in game three and was charged with four runs on nine hits and a walk. He had made four straight starts without being charged with more than three runs in a start. His ERA for the year is up to 5.28.

The overworked bullpen was atrocious in the series. 8.44 ERA. 2.72 ratio. In 10 2/3 innings they allowed 15 hits and 14 walks. 14 walks in 10 2/3 innings is more than you should allow. Romero walked four in 1 2/3 innings. Madson three in two innings. Condrey walked three and got just one out in his two appearances.

Taschner pitched the eighth inning of game two with the Phils down 7-1. He allowed a one-out walk but got the next two hitters. He’s pitched just three innings in June, which is not enough given the circumstances.

Romero started the eighth inning of game one with the Phils up 3-2. He walked the bases loaded but got Scutaro and Hill to leave all three men stranded.

He came into game three in the top of the seventh with the Phils up 5-4 with one out and a man on second. The first three men he faced reached on two singles and a walk. The first single scored the runner from second and tied the game. With the bases loaded and one out, Romero got the next two to keep the game tied.

Lots of walks for Romero, who has now walked ten in nine innings.

Walker made his first appearance for the Phillies in game one, He entered in the tenth with one out, the bases loaded and the Phils down 5-3. The first man he faced hit a sac fly. 6-3. Rod Barajas was next and he cleared the bases with a double to make it 8-3. Walker got the pitcher to set Toronto down. Walker’s line for the game — 2/3 inning, one hit, no runs — looks a lot better than his actual contribution.

He also pitched in game two. He entered in the top of the ninth with the Phils down 7-1. He gave up a leadoff single but got the next three.

Pitched in game three, too. He entered in the top of the eighth with nobody out, the bases loaded and the Phils down 7-5. The first batter he faced flew to right and Mayberry made a fantastic throw to nail Vernon Wells at home as he tagged and tried to score. He walked the next batter to load the bases again, but got Raul Chavez on a ground ball back to the mound to leave the runners stranded.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game one with a 3-2 lead. He allowed a two-out walk before striking out Adam Lind to end the frame.

He also pitched in game two, coming in for Moyer in the top of the seventh with the Phils down 6-1 and nobody out. He faced four hitters in the inning and allowed a run on a solo homer to Rolen.

Park took over for Blanton in game three, entering with one out in the sixth, the Phillies up 5-4 and men on first and second. He struck out the first man he faced, walked the second to load the bases and then struck out Hill to end the frame.

Park came back to start the seventh. He got the first man he faced before Scott Rolen doubled to right. Romero relieved him to pitch to Lind.

Condrey started the tenth inning of game one with the score knotted at 3-3 and got mauled. He got the first hitter before allowing back-to-back singles. Rolen was next and put Toronto up 4-3 with a single to right. Condrey walked Lind to load the bases and then walked Rios to force in a run and make it 5-3. Tyler Walker took over for Condrey with the bases loaded and one down — all three runners would come around to score.

He started the eighth inning of game three with the score tied at 5-5. He was charged with two runs in the inning and didn’t get an out. He allowed two singles and a double, walked one batter and another reached on an error by Feliz. He left with nobody out and the bases loaded, the Phils down 7-5.

You’ve got to be worried about Condrey. The Feliz error hurt a lot, but that doesn’t account for six hits and three walks over 1/3 of an inning. He hasn’t made a ton of appearances in June, just seven, but pitched three days in a row June 11, 12 and 13 including multiple innings on June 11 and you have to wonder just how sore his sore back is.

Madson started the ninth inning of game one with a 3-2 lead. He gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning and, with men on second and third, walked Lind intentionally to load the bases. He struck Alex Rios out for the first out before walking Overbay to force in the run that tied the game at 3-3. He got the next two hitters with the bases loaded to get out of the frame.

He came into game three in the top of the ninth with the game scored at 7-7. Barajas led off with a home run to put Toronto up 8-7. Madson walked the next hit before getting a strikeout and a double-play.

First home run of the year allowed by Madson.

Despite all the use of the pen, Walker is the only reliever who has pitched more than one day in a row. He has pitched three days in a row and is almost surely not available tonight.

The Phillies scored 11 runs in the three-game series, seven of which were scored yesterday.

Rollins was 5-for-13 with two doubles and a home run in the series. He draw walk yesterday, which was his first walk in June. He’s hitting 225/263/350 for the season.

Utley was 4-for-11 with three walks an RBI in the series. Three of the hits came in game one. 308/441/567 for the year. He’s hitting 344/468/609 in June but with just one extra-base hit, a double, in his last 25 at-bats.

Werth hit third in game one with lefty Ricky Romero on the mound, then sixth in game two and fifth in game three after Ibanez went on the DL. He hit a home run in every game of the series, going 3-for-13 with three homers and five RBI. He’s hitting 261/350/466 for the year.

Howard was 3-for-12 with two walks and seven strikeouts in the set. 257/331/552. After on-basing .320 in May he’s on-basing .308 in June. His strikeout rate has gone up every month of the season so far — he struck out in about 22.2% of his plate appearances in March and April, about 30.4% of his plate appearances in May and about 34.6% of his plate appearances so far in June.

Ibanez went on the DL after the second game of the series and Mayberry took his roster spot. He was 0-for-8 with a walk in the series. 312/371/656 for the season. If he slugs .656 for the whole year it would be a career high. He has hit just .254 in June with a .299 on-base percentage, but thanks to five doubles and five home runs he’s slugging .571.

Victorino hit sixth in game one and second in the other two games. He was 5-for-10 with five singles and three walks in the set. 295/351/451 for the year.

Feliz was 2-for-13 with two singles in the series. He has walked once in his last 90 at-bats. 308/354/419 for the year.

Ruiz caught games one and three of the series. 0-for-6 with a walk in the series. 270/391/435 for the year. He’s hitting .194 with one extra-base hit in June.

Coste started game two and was 1-for-4 in the series. 253/354/422 for the year.

Bruntlett was 0-for-1 in the series and is hitting 163/259/245 for the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-2 with a home run in the series. 186/258/373 for the season.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the set and is at 282/451/538 for the year.

Bako did not play. He never plays. 0-for-1 since joining the Phils.

Mayberry was on the roster for game three and started in right. He made a great throw to nail a runner at the plate and hit a home run. 2-for-5 with a homer in the game. 4-for-14 with a double and two home runs with the Phils this season.


And one out of three ain’t bad

To the degree a team can have a whole lot of problems when they sit comfortably in first place coming off a year in which they won the World Series, the Phillies have had three big ones so far this season. The starting pitchers have been awful, Brad Lidge of 2009 doesn’t look much like Brad Lidge of 2008 and Jimmy Rollins hasn’t looked like much of anything.

One of those problems appears, for the moment at least, to have been solved. The starting pitching is suddenly fantastic. Antonio Bastardo didn’t make it through the sixth inning last night, but did hold LA to two runs over five frames. For the Phils it was the first time in eight games that they did not get a quality start. On May 30, Hamels allowed six runs over six innings against the Nationals. Since then the Phillies have played eight games in which their starters have thrown to a 1.70 ERA with an 0.83 ratio. In 53 innings they’ve walked six and struck out 35.

One down, two to go. The other two problems certainly didn’t get any better in Los Angeles. Lidge blew two saves, one with the help of a huge error by Feliz. Rollins went 0-for-10 in the first two games of the set, didn’t start the third and hit sixth in the fourth. As if on a mission to remind us all of how important Rollins is to the team, the Phillies scored eight runs in the first three games.

The Phillies are 33-22 on the season after splitting a four-game series with the Dodgers in LA. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Mets by three games. The Dodgers are the only team in either league that has a better winning percentage than the Phillies. After the Phillies took game one of the series they had won seven games in a row.

The Phils took game one 3-0 behind a complete came shutout from Hamels. Hamels allowed four singles and a double in the game. Werth, Howard and Ibanez drove in the Phillies runs.

The Dodgers won game two 4-3. The Phils took an early 3-0 lead thanks to an RBI groundout by Ibanez and a two-run double by Utley. Moyer pitched very well, allowing two runs over seven innings. Lidge started the ninth with a 3-2 lead and got the first two hitters before a single by Casey Blake and a walk to Rafael Furcal put men on first and second. Russell Martin hit a ground ball to third that Feliz booted, keeping the game alive with the bases loaded. Andre Ethier delivered a double to right to score two runs and give LA the win.

The Phils got more good starting pitching in game three, but another blown save from Lidge as LA took the game 3-2. An Ethier home run off of Blanton gave LA a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Stairs put the Phils up 2-1 with a pinch-hit two-run single in the top of the seventh. Furcal hit a solo shot off of Lidge with one out in the ninth to tie it up. Eyre and Durbin kept the Dodgers off the board in extra-innings until Ethier connected for the game-winning home run off of Durbin with two outs in the bottom of the twelfth.

Last night Bastardo got his second win in two starts as the Phils rolled to a 7-2 win. The Phils scored twice in the top of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead, but the Dodgers got a run in the bottom of the sixth to get within one. Home runs from Victorino and Ruiz in the seventh put the Phillies on top to stay. Park pitched very well in the game in relief of Bastardo — he came on with nobody out in the sixth and went three scoreless innings.

The Phillies got fantastic pitching in the series. Over 38 1/3 innings their pitchers threw to a 1.64 ERA and an 0.97 ratio.

The four starters allowed just five runs over 27 innings, throwing to a 1.67 ERA and an 0.85 ratio. Blanton gave up a home run to Ethier, which was the only homer the starters allowed in the set. The starters struck out 17 and walked just two.

Hamels got the start in game one and allowed five hits over nine shutout innings. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

Moyer allowed two runs on three singles and a double in game two. He struck out three and didn’t walk a hitter. He has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.04 ratio in his last four starts. His ERA for the year is down to 6.27. He’s allowed just three walks in his last 25 innings.

Blanton held LA to a run over six innings in game three, allowing five hits and just one walk. That’s three very good starts in a row for Blanton, who has his ERA for the year down to 5.46. Over his last three outings he has a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 ratio.

Bastardo got his second start in game four and was impressive again. He allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. He need 107 pitches to get through five innings. He came out to start the top of the sixth and faced two hitters, but both got hits and Park came on in relief.

11 1/3 innings of relief in the set for the Phils. The relievers allowed four runs, only two of which were earned (the two runs Lidge allowed in the Feliz error game were unearned). Lidge allowed three runs in the series and Durbin one. 1.59 ERA and a 1.29 ratio overall for the pen in the four games. They did allow two critical home runs — Furcal off of Lidge in game three and Ethier off of Durbin later in the same contest.

Eyre started the tenth inning of game three with the score tied at 2-2. He allowed singles to the first two men he faced. It pen men on first and second with nobody out, but Eyre got the next two before Durbin relieved him to pitch to the righty Matt Kemp.

Taschner did not pitch in the series and has thrown one inning since May 20. That’s a terrible use of a roster spot.

Romero pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 3-2 lead. He allowed a walk and a stolen base, but no runs.

He came in for Condrey in the bottom of game three with one out and men on first and second. He picked Juan Castro out at second for the second out of the inning and it saved him a run, cause Juan Pierre followed with a single. Romero got Orlando Hudson on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Park entered game four with a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, nobody out and men on first and third. He pitched very well. He got Matt Kemp to hit into a double-play, allowing a run to score that was charged to Bastardo, then got the next hitter to get out of the sixth. He came back and pitched the seventh and the eighth, allowing one hit and one hit batter.

Great outing for Park. The score of the game didn’t make the score look close, but Park got some critical outs when it was.

Durbin entered game three with two outs in the bottom of the tenth and men on first and second. He struck Kemp out to end the inning.

He returned for the bottom of the eleventh and set LA down in order. With Park and Taschner well-rested, he came back for the bottom of the twelfth. He got the first two before Ethier hit a 3-2 pitch out to center to give LA the win.

The Phils lost game three on Durbin’s 36th pitch of the game, which came to a lefty who had already homered in that game. Durbin was pitching well, but the Phillies had better options. Even if Taschner isn’t going to come into the game, with the slumping righty Russell Martin due to hit next it was a good time not to groove one to the not-slumping Ethier.

Condrey started the seventh inning of game three with a 2-1 lead. He faced three hitters and got one out while allowing two singles.

Madson interestingly did not pitch the eighth inning of game two with a one-run lead. He did pitch the eighth inning of game three with a 2-1 lead. He allowed a leadoff walk but got the next three.

He pitched the ninth inning of game four with a 7-2 lead and allowed a leadoff single but got the next three. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring in Madson in with a five-run lead, off-day today or not. Taschner never, ever pitches and you don’t need to let Madson’s innings continue to pile up.

Lidge came into the ninth inning of game two with a 3-2 lead. He got the first two men he faced before allowing a hit and a walk. The game should have been over when Martin followed with a grounder to third, but Feliz did not handle it. Ethier followed with a two-run double to give LA the win.

He entered game three with a 2-1 lead in the ninth. He retired three of the four men he faced, but Furcal hit a pinch-hit home run off of him to tie the game.

The Phillies scored just 15 runs in the series — eight in the first three games and seven yesterday.

Rollins went 0-for-10 in the first two games of the series, didn’t start the third batted sixth last night. He was 2-for-16 in the series and is hitting 222/261/322 for the season. No walks in June and three in his last 91 at-bats.

Utley was 4-for-15 with three doubles and five walks in the set. 296/438/548.

Werth hit second in game three of the series and third in the other three games. He was 5-for-16 with five singles and four walks. 256/355/437. One extra-base hit, a double, in his last 42 at-bats. He played center field in games one and two with Victorino out of the lineup.

Howard was 3-for-17 with a double and a home run in the series. 259/337/577.

Ibanez was 4-for-17 with two doubles. 329/386/676 for the year. If he slugs .676 for the whole season it would be a career high.

Victorino was out of the lineup for games one and two. In games one and three he was in the leadoff spot. 2-for-10 with a home run and three strikeouts in the series. He’s hitting 295/343/467 for the season.

Feliz made a critical error in game two. He’s made three errors on the season, but two of them have been critical ones late in games that were big factors in a loss. He was 6-for-15 with a double in the set and is hitting 306/361/425 for the year.

Ruiz was 4-for-8 with a home run in the series. 309/435/511. Coste started game two with Ruiz starting the other three.

Coste started game two with Moyer pitching. 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in the set. 229/341/414 for the year.

Bruntlett started game three at shortstop with Rollins on the bench. He also started games one and two in right field with the Dodgers throwing lefties. 2-for-9 with a walk in the series. 152/212/239. He’s really not the guy you want starting back-to-back games in right field.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the series to drop his line to 188/273/354 for the season.

Stairs was 1-for-1 with a big two-run single in game three. He’s hitting 324/500/618 for the season.


Been caught stealing

Nothing like a caught stealing in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run at the plate to get you thinking about how effective the Phillies have been at stealing bases this season. Turns out the answer is less.

  SB CS
2008 136 25
2009 30 9
2009 Pace 113 34

The Phils are on pace to steal 23 fewer bases in 2009 than they did in 2008 and be caught nine more times. Newcomer Raul Ibanez isn’t the problem, he’s been safe in all four of his steal attempts.

The problem is that Rollins and Victorino have been awful trying to steal bases. Here’s what they’ve combined to do this year compared to what they did last year:


Rollins and Victorino
  SB CS
2008 83 14
2009 12 7
2009 Pace 45 26

Rollins and Victorino are on pace to steal 38 fewer bases and be caught 12 more times. That’s not going to happen, but we already know that at least once in 2009 Victorino is going to get caught stealing with Stairs at the plate as the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.

The good news is that the other guys continue to swipe bags with tremendous efficiency. The players on the team other than Rollins and Victorino have combined to steal 18 bases and been caught just twice. Werth, with eight steals and just one caught stealing, is on pace to steal 30 for the first time in his career. His twenty steals in ’08 was a career high and the first time he ever had more than 11 in a season.

Mayberry will stay with the team as a bench player.


Two out of three ain’t bad (and six out of seven is even more ain’t badder)

The Phillies don’t look like a hot team. They win ugly games where their starting pitcher gives up five runs in an inning. 12-5 games, 10-6 games. Their starters don’t just look terrible in spots, they’ve been terrible consistently.

What they do manage to do, though, is win. They’ve won six of their last seven thanks in large part to an offense that has put up 49 runs in those six wins. Until they get their starting pitching straightened out they’re going to need all those runs — in five of the last six games they’ve won they’ve allowed at least five runs. They don’t win any pitcher’s duels because they don’t play in any — they’ve won one game so far this season in which they’ve scored less than five runs.

The Phillies are 22-17 after taking two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati. Five games above .500 matches their best mark of the season. They are in first place in the NL East, 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Mets.

The Phillies won game one of the set 4-3. The Phils scored three times against Johnny Cueto in the top of the fifth to pull ahead 4-1. Hamels gave up two in the bottom of the sixth, but Condrey, Madson and Lidge combined to toss three shutout innings to make the one-run lead stand up.

Cincinnati took game two 5-1 as Moyer’s fourth try for his 250th career win came up short. Moyer had his best outing of his four May starts, but it wasn’t especially good and the Phillies didn’t do much of anything with the bats against Aaron Harang. Ibanez hit a solo homer in the fourth to get the Phillies on the board at 3-1. Moyer made it through six innings, but the Reds opened up a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh with two runs off of Durbin and held on to win.

The Phils won game three 12-5. Blanton kept the Reds off the board for the first four innings and the Phils jumped out to a early 6-0 lead. Cincinnati scored five times off of Blanton in the bottom of the fifth, getting a three-run homer from Brandon Phillips, but the Phils put up six more unanswered runs. Rollins, Utley and Ibanez, the top three hitters in the Phillies lineup, combined to go 9-for-15 with eight RBI in the game.

Overall, the Phils threw 26 innings in the series with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio.

The starting pitching continues not to impress. 5.82 ERA and a 1.47 ratio over 17 innings. The starters gave up four homers in their 17 innings.

Hamels got the start in game on and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out seven.

Moyer has a 7.62 ERA after eight starts. He allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk in game two. He has a 2.13 ratio in May.

Blanton cruised through the first four innings of game three before the Reds scored five runs against him in the bottom of the fifth. He’s been awful this season, throwing to a 7.11 ERA and a 1.67 ratio over eight starts.

The bullpen threw nine innings in the series and allowed two runs, both of which were charged to Durbin in game two. 2.00 ERA and a 1.56 ratio. They walked seven in nine innings, which is too many, but didn’t allow a home run (which means you might be able to get away with it).

Eyre started the bottom of the seventh in game three with the Phils up 11-5. The first two men he faced reached on a walk and a single, but he got Phillips to hit into a double-play and struck Lance Nix out to end the frame.

Eyre hasn’t been charged with an earned run in his nine appearances in May. He has allowed one run, which was unearned, over 6 2/3 innings.

Taschner pitched the bottom of the eighth in game two with the Phils down 5-1. He hit a batter and allowed one hit, a single, but kept the Reds off the board.

Escalona entered the bottom of the seventh in game two with two outs, a man on third and the Phillies down 5-1. He struck Jay Bruce out to end the inning.

He also pitched the bottom of the ninth in game three. He entered with a 12-5 lead and set the Reds down in order.

He’s allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief on the season.

Durbin started the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies down 3-1. The Reds scored twice against him on a single, a walk and a two-run triple. Durbin got just two outs in the inning before Escalona relieved him to pitch to the lefty Bruce with two outs and a man on third.

Durbin has allowed five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings over his last four appearances.

Condrey started the bottom of the seventh in game one with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a walk and a stolen base, but kept the Reds off the board.

In game three he took over for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth with a 7-5 lead. He allowed a walk and a single in the frame, but did not allow Cincy to score. He hasn’t been charged with a run in any of his last four appearances. Opponents are hitting .198 against him for the year.

Park made his second relief appearance of the year in the bottom of the eighth in game three. Pitching with a 12-5 lead, he allowed two walks but did not give up a run.

Madson started the eighth inning of game one with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a leadoff single to Phillips, but got the next three.

Lidge came on for the save in game one, entering in the ninth with a 4-3 lead. He allowed a one-out single to Alex Gonzalez, which was followed by a walk to pinch-hitter Lance Nix. He got the save, though, striking out Willy Tavares and getting Jerry Hairston on a fly ball to center.

Sadly enough, despite getting 12 runs yesterday and winning by five it was still a long day for the pen due to Blanton’s early exit. Condrey threw 22 pitches yesterday and Park 25. Escalona has pitched on back-to-back days, but threw just three pitches in game two and just 13 yesterday. Madson and Lidge both pitched in game one for the Phils, but not in games two or three.

The Phillies scored 17 runs in the three-game set.

In terms of the lineup, Utley is now regularly hitting second with Ibanez behind him. Victorino has been dropped to sixth.

Rollins went 4-for-6 yesterday and was 5-for-14 with a double and two RBI in the series. He’s hitting 234/275/329 for the season.

Utley was 1-for-8 in the first two games before going 3-for-4 with four RBI yesterday. 4-for-12 with a double and a home run in the series. 295/432/597.

Ibanez went 3-for-12 with a double and two home runs in the series. 349/410/724 for the season. If he slugs .724 for the whole year it would be a career-high. His 1.134 OPS is the best of all players in either league. He’s on pace to hit 62 home runs with 166 RBI.

Howard went 3-for-11 with two walks, a double and two home runs in the set. 266/349/545.

Werth did not start yesterday with Stairs in the lineup against righty Micah Owings. He went 0-for-10 with four strikeouts in the series and is hitting 272/371/500 for the year.

Victorino was 3-for-11 with two doubles. 257/306/419 for the season. 229/273/361 in May.

Feliz started the first two games of the series with Dobbs playing third yesterday against the righty. 3-for-9 with two doubles in the series. He’s hitting 310/370/434 for the year.

Ruiz caught games one and three of the series with Coste behind the plate for Moyer’s start. 1-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series. 236/373/327 for the season.

Coste started the middle game. He’s hitting 241/333/414 after going 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 6-for-his-last-14 with three doubles and a home run.

Bruntlett was 0-for-2 in the series. 129/194/258 for the season. 1-for-15 since April 26.

Dobbs started at third yesterday in game three against the righty Owings and went 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run. The homer was his first extra-base hit of the season. He’s hitting 143/250/229 for the year after going 1-for-3 with a homer and two walks in the series.

Stairs got a start in right yesterday. He went 0-for-1 with a walk in his only action of the set. He’s hitting 304/515/609. He would be the obvious choice to DH against the Yankees this weekend except that New York will start lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in two of the three games. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the Phillies are carrying an extra reliever, giving them a short bench. My guess is that if the Phillies don’t make a roster move that Bruntlett will DH against the lefties, which isn’t really what you’re looking for.


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