Tag: Mets

Mets can’t get Brett

Just about everyone thinks that this weekend’s series between the Phillies and the Mets is more important to the Phils than it is to the Mets. And I agree with them. But maybe not by quite as much as you might think. The Mets came into the series with a chance to bury the Phils, and if they don’t do it the ghosts of last season are going to start to stir even more than they have already.

Last night the Phils took game one behind a fantastic pitching performance from Brett Myers. Myers went eight shutout innings and struck out ten while allowing the Mets just three hits. The Phils squeaked out a run in the first and got two more on a home run from Dobbs in the seventh.

Despite the win, the story is still much the same for the Phils. They can’t score runs and anything that has to do with the bullpen is terrifying. Lidge was the only guy to make an appearance for the Phils in relief last night. He kept the Mets off the board but looked shaky, allowing two hits and needing 26 pitches to get through his inning.

The Phillies beat the New York Mets last night, winning 3-0 to improve to 77-64 on the season. The Phils trail the Mets by two games in the NL East.

Not to be forgotten is that the last couple of the series between the Phils and Mets have started well for the Phils. In each of the last three series the teams have played, the Phils won the first game of the set and the Mets have won every other game.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks. All three of the hits that he allowed were doubles. He struck out ten.

He started the first up 1-0. With one out, David Murphy hit a ball into left that Burrell dove for, didn’t catch and then kicked. Murphy wound up with a double. David Wright followed with a walk, but Myers got Carlos Delgado to hit into a double-play.

Carlos Beltran started the second with a double. Myers struck Ryan Church and Luis Castillo out back-to-back. It brought the lefty Brian Schneider to the plate with a runner in scoring position and Myers walked him intentionally to face the pitch Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Hate walking Schneider intentionally to pitch to the pitcher. Would much rather see the Phillies get Schneider out and let Pelfrey lead off the third. Worked out great for the Phils, though.

Jose Reyes led off the third and smoked a ball that Howard jumped for and speared for the first out. Fantastic play by Howard. Would have been at least a double and maybe a triple for Reyes. Myers struck out Murphy and Wright to finish the inning.

The play that Howard made on the ball hit by Reyes was enormous. Hard to say a defensive play in the third inning where no run would have scored changed the game, but that play was critical.

Myers struck out Beltran and Church in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He got two ground balls and another strikeout in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Murphy hit a ball off the wall in left for another double with one out in the sixth. Rich Dubee was ejected by the home plate umpire for arguing balls and strikes before Myers got Wright to pop to second and Delgado to fly to center.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 seventh with a 3-0 lead. He had thrown 107 pitches through seven.

In the eighth, he got Schneider on a ground ball to first, pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson on a fly ball to left. He struck Jose Reyes out to end the inning.

Lidge started the ninth with a 3-0 lead. Murphy led off with a ten-pitch at-bat that ended with a fly out to center field. He got ahead of Wright before Wright hit an 0-2 pitch over Victorino’s head. The ball bounced once and cleared the fence for a ground-rule double. Delgado lined a 3-1 pitch into center for a single, bringing Beltran to the plate as the tying run with men on first and third. Beltran got ahead 3-1 and swung at ball four, hitting a lazy fly ball into left field. Sounds pretty routine, but Bruntlett, who came in to play left in the eighth, was playing way deep and had to sprint in before making a basket catch for the second out. Church drove an 0-2 pitch to center, but Victorino tracked it down to end the game.

Nothing about Lidge’s outing that should make you feel at all comfortable. Lidge lowered his ERA since the All-Star break to 4.42. He threw 26 pitches.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Mike Pelfrey went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Dobbs at third against the righty with Feliz on the bench. Coste catches.

Victorino singled to right with one out in the first. He stole second and went to third when Schneider’s throw to second wasn’t handled. Utley hit a ground ball to first and Victorino scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard flew to left for the third out.

Dobbs singled with two outs in the second. Coste grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.

1-2-3 in the third.

Howard walked with one out in the fourth, but Burrell popped to second and Werth grounded back to the pitcher.

1-2-3 in the fifth.

Rollins led off the sixth with a single, but Pelfrey picked him off of first. Victorino flew to center and Utley grounded to second.

Howard led off the seventh with a single. Burrell flew softly to left for the first out and Werth struck out swinging for the second. Dobbs was next and drove a 2-2 pitch just over the glove of Church in right and out for a two-run homer that put the Phils up 3-0. Church timed the ball perfectly, it may have gone off the tip of his glove. Coste flew to left for the third out.

1-2-3 in the eighth. Up 3-0, Myers hit for himself having thrown 107 pitches and grounded out. I would have hit for him, but it worked out for the Phils.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Church made a sliding catch in right to take a hit away from Utley for the first out.

Rollins 1-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a stolen base.

Utley 0-for-4 with a big RBI groundout in the first. Church took a hit away from him in the ninth.

Howard 0-for-2 with two walks. Big defensive play to retire Reyes to start the third.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 21-for-his-last-117.

Werth 0-for-3 and struck out twice.

Dobbs 2-for-3 with his seventh home run and two RBI.

Coste 0-for-3.

Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80) faces righty Pedro Martinez (5-3, 5.07) this afternoon. Martinez faced the Phils on August 26 and was strong early, but wound up allowing five runs over five innings. Rollins and Howard both homered off of him in that game. He faced Moyer and Moyer left early, surrendering six runs in three innings. Easley and Tatis both hit home runs against Moyer in that game. Those home runs are the only ones that Moyer has allowed over in his last six starts.

Update: Today’s game has been postponed. They will play a day-night double-header on Sunday.


Mets and Phillies today

I answered some questions for Mets Today.

Brett Myers (8-10, 4.40) faces righty Mike Pelfrey (13-8, 3.66) tonight in New York. Pelfrey has been fantastic over his last four starts, going 3-0 while throwing to a 1.88 ERA (six earned runs in 28 2/3 innings). He’s pitched into the seventh inning in each of those games and went nine in two of them. He hasn’t allowed a home run over 33 1/3 innings in his last five starts. Lefties have hit him hard this season, though, they’re hitting .315 against him with a 1.74 ratio. Righties haven’t fared as well, they’re hitting .239 with a 1.04 ratio. He has been way better at home than away, going 8-5 with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.13 ratio at home and 5-3 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.68 ratio away. Utley is 3-for-8 with two home runs against him in his career.

Pelfrey has made two starts against the Phils this season, going 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.90 ratio. Both of the starts came early in the season. On April 9 the Phils made four errors, including two by shortstop Eric Bruntlett, and the Mets scored seven runs, six of which were unearned, against Kendrick in 2 1/3 innings. The Mets rolled to an 8-2 win. Pelfrey allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over five innings.

On April 20 the Phils hit him harder. Pelfrey again went five innings, but was charged with four runs on ten hits and two walks. Utley hit a pair of home runs off of Pelfrey, one in the first and on in the fourth, driving in four runs. The Phils won the game 5-4. Feliz hit a seventh-inning homer off of Feliciano to break a 4-4 tie.

Myers has been a different pitcher since his trip to the minors. Since his return he has made eight starts, going 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA and a 1.13 ratio. The Phillies have won six of the last seven games that he has started.

Myers has made one start against the Mets, which came on July 23. He allowed three runs on three hits and five walks over five innings. The Mets scored three in the sixth on a homer by a finger-waving Jose Reyes and went on to win 6-3.


Close, but no Santana

The task facing the Phillies last night was a bit daunting — try to beat the Mets with Kyle Kendrick facing Johan Santana coming off a game where the Phils had called on their pen to thrown ten innings. They almost pulled it off. They led 3-2 with two outs and nobody on in the eighth, but after Eyre had already pitched two innings in the game and Romero had thrown three days straight, Manuel left Seanez in to face the lefty Delgado. Delgado ripped a ball out the opposite way and the floodgates opened after that as the Mets scored four runs in the frame and held on for the win.

It was a tough loss for a Phillies’ fan and it’s hard not to play what-if. Couldn’t Romero have come in just to face one batter (Delgado)? But the core of the pen for the Phils, Madson, Durbin, Romero and Lidge, are going to be key down the stretch. You need those guys rested and you can’t have it both ways — they can’t both rested and pitching every day. Durbin and Madson are both in the top ten in all of baseball in innings pitched as a reliever. It’s hard to know how tired and hurting any of that group are and nobody who knows is going to tell you. Lidge did make an appearance last night and his results were a bit worrisome. He faced four hitters and allowed a double, a single and a walk and needed a nice play from Utley to get the one out he recorded.

The Phillies got two big swings against Santana, a home run from Howard and one from Werth. But, overall, the offense missed some opportunities as the Phils put their leadoff man on base four innings in a row in the middle of the game and failed to score in any of them.

The Phillies fell to the New York Mets last night, losing 6-3 to drop to 73-60 on the year. They fall into second place in the NL East, a half game behind New York. The Phils have won eight of their last ten.

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

Kendrick pitched okay last night, but the Phils need more from him. He hasn’t gone six innings in any of his last four starts.

Jose Reyes led off the first with a single to right. Luis Castillo flew to left for the first out before David Wright grounded out to third with Reyes moving to second. Carlos Delgado singled into right and Reyes scored, putting the Mets up 1-0. Carlos Beltran grounded to short to end the frame.

Ryan Church dumped a single into left-center to start the second with the Phils up 2-1. Kendrick got behind Daniel Murphy 3-0, but came back to strike him out in the ninth pitch of the at-bat for the first out. Brian Schneider grounded to second for the second out with Church moving to third. The pitcher Johan Santana went down on a ground ball to Utley to leave Church at third.

Kendrick had thrown 42 pitches through two innings.

Reyes led off the third with a single. Castillo looped a ball into shallow left-center that Victorino caught after a long run. Reyes was way around second and was doubled off easily. Wright popped to Howard for the third out. Seventeen more pitches for Kendrick, though. He got behind Reyes 2-0, Castillo 2-0 and Wright 3-0.

With one out in the fourth, Beltran singled to center and Church followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Murphy and Murphy flew to center for the second out. Schneider grounded to first for the third out.

Castillo singled to right with two outs in the fifth. Wright popped to second for the third out.

Delgado led off the sixth and lined a 2-2 pitch out to right, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-2. Beltran followed with a single and Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Church. Eyre struck out Church and got Murphy to hit into a double-play behind him.

Eyre returned for the seventh and struck out Schneider and Nick Evans, hitting for Santana, as he set the Mets down in order.

Seanez started the eighth. He got Castillo and Wright. Romero had thrown three days in a row, so Seanez stayed in to pitch to Delgado and Delgado smoked a 1-0 pitch out to left. 3-3. Beltran hit a soft ground ball to third that Feliz charged and tried to barehand, but he dropped the ball and Beltran was safe with an infield single. With the lefty Church at the plate, Lidge came into the game. Beltran stole second without a throw and Lidge put Church on intentionally. Murphy pounded a double into right and Beltran scored from second, putting the Mets up 4-3 with two outs and men on second and third. Schneider was next and he blooped a ball over Feliz’s head and just fair. Both runners scored and it was 6-3. Damion Easley hit for pitcher Brian Stokes and hit a ball back up the middle. Utley made a diving play to knock it down and flip to Rollins for the third out.

Four runs after the Phils had two outs and the bases empty. Murphy and Delgado smoked the ball. Beltran and Schneider didn’t. Still, Lidge wasn’t exactly lights out. Murphy smoked a double, Schneider singled and Easley would have had a hit without the nice play by Utley.

23-year-old righty Andrew Carpenter made his major league debut in the ninth. Carpenter was called up before the game with Andy Tracy designated for assignment. Reyes led off with a single to left and Castillo bunted him to second. Wright struck out on a ball in the dirt that Coste blocked. Coste threw to first to get Wright for the second out as Reyes moved to third. Beltran flew to left for the third out.

Tough night for the pen. They went four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks. Seanez was given a tough job, trying to go through Castillo, Wright and especially Delgado. Eyre was fantastic again. Carpenter threw 19 pitches, Eyre 18, Seanez and Lidge 12 each.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. I think you need to hit Werth fifth against a lefty with those guys in the lineup and Rollins-Utley-Burrell-Howard hitting one through four. Werth is a better hitter than Victorino against lefties and would break up three righties in a row six-seven-eight. Coste catches.

The Phillies’ bench, last night consisting of Taguchi, Bruntlett, Ruiz and Dobbs, probably isn’t inspiring a lot of fear in much of anyone these days. The Phillies could show ‘em the tape of Bruntlett from Tuesday night, but I don’t think that’s going to work as a long-term solution.

Rollins reached on an infield single to start the first with the Phils down 1-0. Utley flew to right and Burrell struck out before Rollins stole second. Howard got behind 1-2 before he hit the eighth pitch of his at-bat out to left, putting the Phils up 2-1. Victorino struck out for the third out.

Werth led off the second and got behind 0-2, but Santana threw a 1-2 fastball over the middle of the plate and Werth hammered it out to left. 3-1 Phils. Feliz grounded to short, Coste grounded to first and Kendrick struck out to end the inning.

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

Howard led off the fourth with a walk, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him and Werth flew to left.

Feliz singled to start the fifth. Coste flew to left. Kendrick hit for himself and tried to bunt and struck out for the second out. A walk to Rollins put men on first and second, but Utley grounded to second to leave both men stranded.

After hitting for himself in the bottom of the fifth, Kendrick faced two batters in the top of the sixth. Delgado homered and Beltran singled. The Phils had a short bench for the game after replacing Tracy with Carpenter on the roster.

Burrell doubled to left to start the sixth and Howard walked behind him. Victorino struck out, Werth popped to first and Feliz struck out.

Coste started the seventh with a single. With righty Brian Stokes on the mound for the Mets, Dobbs hit for Eyre and hit into a double-play. Rollins walked and stole second, leaving first base open for Stokes to walk the lefty Utley intentionally to pitch to Burrell. Burrell grounded to third to end the inning.

For the Phillies it was the fourth straight inning they had gotten their leadoff man on base but failed to score.

Down 6-3, they went 1-2-3 in the eighth.

And 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Rollins was 1-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases in the game. 6-for-9 with a double and a home run in the series. He stole five bases in the two-game set. 269/337/436 for the year. 9-for-his-last-12 with four extra-base hits.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-7 with three walks in the set. 287/376/552.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series. 261/381/539. 184/294/379 for August.

Howard was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer and two walks. 2-for-8 with two home runs and three walks in the series. 228/320/483 for the year.

Victorino 0-for-4 and struck out twice last night. 1-for-11 with a triple in the series. 286/350/443. He’s hitting 231/259/346 in 26 at-bats as a five-hitter.

Werth was 1-for-4 with his 18th home run. 4-for-9 with two walks in the series. 271/367/490.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-6 in the series. 258/303/425.

Coste 1-for-4. 5-for-8 with a double in the series. 9-for-his-last-23. 283/333/463. Ruiz was 1-for-5 in the series but did not play last night. He’s hitting 221/319/291 for the year.

Bruntlett didn’t play last night but helped the Phils win the first game of the series. He was 2-for-2 with a double in the set and is hitting 222/306/303 for the season.

Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.20) faces righty Ryan Dempster (15-5, 2.85) tonight in Chicago. Dempster has allowed two runs or fewer in seven straight starts. In seven starts since the All-Star break he’s 5-1 with a 1.76 ERA and a 1.13 ratio. He’s allowed just three home runs to right-handed hitters this year. Hamels has allowed two runs or fewer in his last three starts. He has walked just four batters in 34 1/3 innings over his last five starts.


Seriously, though, if I mentioned the third baseman’s name, who did I say is playing third?

Another unbelievable game between the Phillies and Mets last night and again the Phils figure out a way to come out the winners. Down 7-0 in the fourth, the Phils scored eight unanswered runs to win in thirteen innings. After Jamie Moyer was hit hard and left early, the bullpen held New York to a run on five hits over ten innings.

Down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth and trailing by a run, pinch-hitter Eric Bruntlett lined a double to right-center that scored Jayson Werth from second. Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the thirteenth with a triple. Four batters later Chris Coste hit the ball over Carlos Beltran’s head in center, making Coste’s fourth hit of the day the game-winner for the Phils.

Just a fantastic effort for the Phillies. Charlie Manuel deserves credit as well — he took a huge chance and it turned out great. Manuel put catcher Carlos Ruiz at third base in the ninth inning. The move saved the weak bat of Bruntlett for the bottom of the ninth inning when the pitcher’s spot came up — Bruntlett delivered and the Phils went on to win.

The Phillies beat the New York Mets last night, winning 8-7 in thirteen innings to improve to 73-59 on the year. The Phillies have won five in a row. With the win the Phils lead the Mets by a half game in the NL East.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went three innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out three and didn’t walk a hitter.

Jose Reyes tripled on Myers’ second pitch of the game. Damion Easley was next and ripped a 2-2 pitch into left field. Reyes scored to put the Mets up 1-0. David Wright moved Easley to second with a single before Carlos Beltran flew to left for the first out. Moyer hit Carlos Delgado with a 1-1 pitch to load the bases for Fernando Tatis. Tatis singled into center and everyone moved up a base. 2-0. Moyer got out of the inning without further damage, getting Ryan Church on a popup in the infield and Ramon Castro to ground to first.

With two outs in the second, Easley hit a ball out to center to put New York up 3-0. Moyer struck David Wright out for the third out.

Beltran and Delgado led off the third with back-to-back singles. Beltran stole third, but it didn’t matter cause Tatis blasted a 2-2 pitch out to left to make it 6-0. Moyer got the next two before pitcher Pedro Martinez singled to left. Reyes grounded to second for the third out.

Condrey started the fourth after the Phils hit for Moyer in the bottom of the third. Damion Easley greeted him with a triple to center. Wright was next and hit a ground ball to second. Easley was running on contact and scored to make it 7-0. Beltran and Delgado went down to end the frame.

Condrey returned for the fifth and got the first two before Castro hit a ground ball to third. Feliz’s throw to first was fine, but Howard didn’t catch it and was charged with his 15th error of the season. Castro pulled up limping on the play and Brian Schneider ran for him at first. Condrey struck out Pedro for the third out.

With the Phils up 7-5, Reyes and Easley started the sixth with back-to-back infield singles. Wright flew to right for the first out before Eyre relieved Condrey to pitch to Beltran. Reyes stole third as Ruiz dropped the ball, putting men on first and third with one out. Eyre hit Beltran with a pitch to load the bases, but Delgado was next and hit a slow ground ball to short that Rollins and Utley did a fantastic job on to turn a double-play and end the frame.

Eyre threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He maintains his 0.00 ERA with the Phils. In six appearances he’s allowed two hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings while striking out six.

Durbin started the eighth. Reyes walked with one out and stole second. Easley walked to put men on first and second for Wright, but Durbin got Wright to hit into a double-play.

Lidge struck out Delgado and Tatis in a 1-2-3 ninth with the Phillies down 7-6.

Madson started the tenth. Schneider singled to left with one out. Argenis Reyes hit for the pitcher Ayala and hit into another double-play. It was the third time in five innings the Mets had their at-bat end by hitting into a double-play.

He came back for the eleventh. Wright singled to right with two down, but Werth threw him out as he tried to stretch it into a double.

Romero pitched the twelfth. Tatis walked with two outs. Church was next and hit it hard, but Howard took it for the third out.

Seanez threw a 1-2-3 thirteenth.

Just an amazing job by the bullpen. Ten innings in which they allow a run on five hits, four singles and a double, and three walks. They got big double-plays in the sixth, eighth and tenth.

Condrey is likely unavailable tonight after throwing 46 pitches. The 2 1/3 innings he gave the Phils were particularly impressive coming off of 22 pitches on Monday against the Dodgers. Romero threw 25 pitches on Monday before throwing 22 last night and has thrown for three straight days. Madson threw 27 pitches last night after going an inning and a third on Sunday. Durbin (19 pitches last night) went two innings on Sunday. Eyre (23) and Seanez (13) are a little better rested.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Pedro Martinez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth in right against the righty with Jenkins on the DL. Victorino still hitting fifth with the big bats one through four in the order.

Rollins led off the first with a double to right. Utley was next and was hit on the foot. Burrell flew out for the second out. Rollins and Utley pulled off a double-steal as Howard went down swinging. Victorino got ahead 3-0 but Pedro came back to strike him out swinging.

1-2-3 in the second.

Taguchi hit for Moyer to start the third with the Phils down 6-0 and struck out. Rollins singled to center and stole second, but Utley flew to center and Burrell struck out looking. Pedro made Burrell look bad all night. Burrell is 1-for-26 with 11 strikeouts against Martinez in his career.

Howard walked to start the fourth. Victorino followed with a ground ball to second. Howard was forced at second with Victorino safe at first. Victorino stole second and went to third on a single by Werth. Feliz hit a fly ball to center for the second out. Victorino scored from third to but the New York lead to 7-1. Ruiz grounded to third to end the inning.

Condrey hit for himself to start the fifth and squirted a double down the third base line past Wright. Rollins was next and lined a 2-1 pitch out to right to make it 7-3. Utley walked before Martinez struck Burrell out again, but Howard hit one out to left. 7-5. Victorino struck out for the second out before Werth singled and stole second. Feliz struck out to leave him stranded.

The Phillies stole six bases in the game without being caught. Five of the bases they stole came in the five innings that Martinez was in the game. I think they thought they could run on him.

Rollins and Utley singled back-to-back with two outs in the sixth. It put men on first and third for Burrell, and this time it was righty Brian Stokes who struck him out.

Still down 7-5, the Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

With righty Duaner Sanchez on the bump, Andy Tracy hit for Durbin to start the eighth and flew to left. Ruiz singled into left, bringing up Dobbs, who had entered as part of a double-switch in the sixth, as the tying run. Lefty Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch to him and Manuel called on Coste to hit for Dobbs. Coste delivered a single to left and Ruiz moved to second. Rollins was next and he singled to right, scoring Ruiz to make it 7-6 as Coste went to third. With one out and men on first and third, Feliciano struck Utley out swinging for the second out. Righty Joe Smith came in to pitch to Burrell. Rollins stole second to put men on second and third before Burrell flew to left for the third out.

At the time, Utley’s strikeout with a man on third and one out looked huge.

Something nearly unbelievable happened after the eighth. Manuel moved Ruiz, who had never played third base in majors or in the minors, from catcher to third base. In the ninth inning of a one run game. And he did it, you have to believe, so that Eric Bruntlett, who was hitting 214/297/291 at the time, could pinch-hit for the pitcher’s spot in the bottom of the inning if a runner got on base.

Manuel did know he had Beltran and Delgado facing Lidge to start the ninth and that both of them would be hitting left-handed. The righty Tatis wouldn’t be, though.

The whole thing is curious to me, but one thing that seems odd is that Ruiz played third and Coste caught despite the fact that Coste has significant minor league experience playing third. May just have been that Ruiz was worn out after catching eight innings.

Howard and Victorino went down to start the ninth, but Werth singled into center. Bruntlett hit for Lidge and lined a double into the gap in right. Werth scored to tie the game at 7-7. The third baseman Ruiz grounded out to send the game to extra-innings.

Coste led off the tenth with a double. Rollins flew out for the first out before the righty Heilman walked Utley intentionally. Burrell struck out and Howard hit the ball hard, but Delgado made the play at first to end the inning.

With one out in the eleventh, Werth walked and moved to second when Bruntlett followed with a single to left. Hamels hit for Madson and struck out. Coste was next and he reached on an infield single to third, loading the bases for Rollins. Rollins fouled out to Wright to leave the runners stranded.

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

Scott Schoeneweis got ahead of Victorino 0-1 to start the thirteenth before Victorino lined a triple down the right field line. Werth and Bruntlett were both walked intentionally to load the bases for Seanez. Myers was called on to pinch-hit for Seanez with strict instructions not to swing. And swing he didn’t, bailing out on most pitches before striking out looking 3-2 for the first out. Coste was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch to center, over the head of the playing-in Beltran for a single that scored Victorino and gave the Phils an 8-7 win.

Rollins was 5-for-7 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-10 with a walk and four extra-base hits.

Utley was 1-for-4 with two walks. Bad result in the eighth.

Burrell. Goodness. 0-for-7 with four strikeouts and ten men left on base. Over the last two games he’s 0-for-12 with 18 men left on base.

Howard 1-for-6 with a walk and a two-run homer.

Victorino 1-for-7 with a huge triple.

Werth 3-for-5 with two walks. 4-for-his-last-7 with four walks.

Feliz 0-for-2 with an RBI.

Ruiz 1-for-5.

Bruntlett 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Coste 4-for-4 with a double and the game winning single.

Kyle Kendrick (11-7, 4.87) faces lefty Johan Santana (12-7, 2.64) tonight. Santana hasn’t allowed a run in either of his last two starts. In 16 innings he’s allowed 11 hits and walked one. He’s made three starts against the Phils this year and gone 1-0 with a 2.74 ERA and an 0.78 ratio. In 23 innings he hasn’t walked a Phillies’ hitter. Kendrick had been pounded two straight starts before he held the Dodgers to a run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings on Friday. In his two starts against the Mets this season he’s allowed eight runs in 8 1/3 innings (only two of the runs were earned). In 8 1/3 innings against New York he’s allowed 12 hits and nine walks.

I updated the Start Log to include the Phillies’ record by runs scored and runs allowed.


Mets light the Phils up again and, well, you can’t change lights and stuff

The Phillies ended the day yesterday out of first place in the NL East for the first time since May 31. It’s about time. The way they’ve been playing, hitting particularly, lately, they don’t look like they belong anywhere near first place.

Speaking of stuff you worked hard to earn and then let slip away, Jimmy Rollins worked just about his whole life to become one of the elite players in baseball and somebody that his home town fans at least, almost without exception, have tremendous respect for. And all of the sudden he’s neither. Rollins hasn’t shown up for most of this year and yesterday he got literal with it, arriving late to the park and then criticizing his manager publicly for putting him on the bench. That’s atrocious.

Regardless of the effort he gives it’s not reasonable to expect Rollins to be the best player in baseball, or anything near that, year-after-year. Everyone has the right expect that he’s going to show up and play hard.

Yesterday’s game was pretty miserable. Jamie Moyer was fantastic, holding the Mets to a run on two hits over seven innings. Oliver Perez stymied the Phils all day long, though, striking out 12 and keeping the ball in the strike zone well enough to walk just one. The 2-3-4-5 hitters in the Phillies order combined to go 2-for-14 with ten strikeouts. Werth did connect for a seventh-inning home run that tied the game at 1-1, but Romero gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run double by Delgado.

The bullpen has joined the hitters for the time being as what’s wrong with the Phils. The Phillies have lost four of their last five games. Over those five games the bullpen has thrown to a 6.40 ERA. Each of the four losses has featured a different anti-hero from the pen — Seanez, Condrey, Madson and now Romero.

Long season, though, and it’s not over yet. As bad as yesterday was across the board it’s over now. Today brings a new chance and it will keep doing just that until it doesn’t anymore. There’s a whole bunch of guys on the Phils who could use it.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets yesterday afternoon, falling 3-1. With the loss the Phils drop to 54-48 on the year. The Mets take the series two games to one.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on two hits and three walks. All three of the hits were singles and he struck out six. His ERA for the season is 3.76.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

In the second, Fernando Tatis singled with two outs. Damion Easley flew to center for the third out.

Jose Reyes walked with two outs in the third and stole second. Nick Evans followed with another walk before David Wright singled into left. Burrell threw home but his throw was terrible and way up the first base line. Reyes scored to put the Mets up 1-0. Evans took third and Burrell was charged with his first error on the season. The call was later changed to take the error away — either way it was a pretty bad throw. Carlos Delgado grounded to second for the third out.

Moyer set the Mets down 1-2-3 in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

Tatis walked with one out in the seventh before Easley popped to second for the second out. Ramon Castro lined a 2-1 pitch into right that a sliding Werth took for the third out.

Romero started the eighth with the game tied at 1-1. Moyer had only thrown 91 pitches but was due to lead off the top of the eighth with the game tied. You have to hit for him. Righty Robinson Cancel hit for Aaron Heilman and singled to left. Reyes bunted Cancel to second before Chavez lined back to Romero for the second out. Romero walked the righty Wright intentionally to put men on first and second for the lefty Delgado. Delgado hit a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double that scored both runners and put the Mets up 3-1. As the throw came to the plate, Delgado tried to advance to third and was thrown out to end the inning.

With Romero the only lefty in the Phillies pen you have to leave him in to pitch to Delgado, even if it means putting Wright on intentionally.

Romero threw 18 pitches.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Oliver Perez went (1) Bruntlett (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Rollins was a late scratch, so Bruntlett played short and hit leadoff. Again Utley second, Burrell third and Howard fourth. Werth in right against the lefty and hitting fifth. Coste catches with Victorino again dropped in the order but ahead of Feliz. I like Utley, Burrell, Howard 2-3-4 a lot (even though they aren’t doing anything). Bruntlett had a great game but shouldn’t hit leadoff — I think it’s got to be Werth and if not Werth Victorino.

Burrell singled to left with two outs in the first but Howard struck out behind him.

Victorino reached on an infield single with one out in the second. Feliz popped to short and Coste struck out swinging.

Bruntlett singled to left with one out in the third. Utley struck out and Burrell flew to center.

Perez struck out Howard and Werth in a 1-2-3 fourth.

And Coste and Moyer in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Bruntlett led off the sixth with a double to left and Utley moved him to third with a ground out. Burrell flew to left and Bruntlett had to hold. Howard struck out to leave Bruntlett stranded.

Burrell fails to bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.

Werth led off the seventh and got ahead 2-0 before he hit one out to center, tying the game at 1-1. It was the first run that the Phillies had scored against Oliver Perez in 24 1/3 innings this season. Victorino, Feliz and Coste went in order behind him.

With the game still tied at 1-1 in the eighth, Moyer was due to lead off. Taguchi hit for him and grounded to short. Glad they hit for Moyer despite the results. Bruntlett was next and blasted a ball off the wall in left for another double. Utley struck out and the lefty Perez walked Burrell intentionally. Howard was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Righty Aaron Heilman came in to pitch to Werth and Werth stayed in with Dobbs and Jenkins on the bench. Werth got behind 0-2 before he flew to center for the third out.

Jenkins 4-for-12 with a home run against Heilman in his career. Dobbs 1-for-4. Werth 3-for-8 and had driven in the Phillies’ only run in the game with a home run. Coming into the game righties hitting 197/295/254 against Heilman on the season, lefties 312/413/610. Think you gotta have a lefty there.

Billy Wagner came on in the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead. He got the first two before Coste singled to left. Ruiz ran for Coste at first and Rollins hit for Romero and grounded to third to end the game.

Bruntlett was 3-for-4 with two doubles in the game and 3-for-5 in the series. He’s hitting 243/321/338 for the season. Rollins was 0-for-1 in the game and 2-for-10 with two doubles in the series. 269/332/430.

Fantastic job by Bruntlett.

Utley was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left three men on base. 0-for-12 with a walk in the set. 287/370/566 for the year. 243/309/378 in July.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with a double and three walks in the series. 281/408/588 for the year.

Howard was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. 2-for-12 in the series. No walks in his last 22 at-bats. 234/322/501 for the year.

Werth was 1-for-4 with his 13th home run. 3-for-8 with a walk in the series. 272/355/478. Jenkins was 1-for-3 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 240/292/401 for the year. 242/306/545 in July — it’s not time for the Phils to give up on Jenkins.

Victorino 1-for-4. 4-for-12 with two home runs in the series. 278/345/417 for the year.

Feliz was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series. 256/304/424 for the year. 1-for-21 with nine strikeouts since the All-Star break. Kinda hoping he starts catching a ride to the yard with J-Roll.

Coste was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 in the series. 274/326/469 for the year. He’s hitting 135/135/189 in July. He doesn’t have a walk in his last 49 at-bats. Ruiz was 3-for-7 with three singles and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 212/311/274 for the year.

Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22) tonight. Coming off a string of three starts where he did not allow an earned run, Jurrjens has allowed ten earned runs in his last 19 1/3 innings (4.66). Over his last six starts he’s thrown 41 innings and allowed just three home runs, all of which were hit by the Phillies on July 3 in Atlanta. Utley, Howard and Feliz all homered off of him in that game. Kendrick got hammered by the Fish on Saturday, allowing seven runs on ten hits, including a career-high three home runs, in 4 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .326 against him for the year and have hit nine of the 15 home runs he has allowed. He’s made three starts against the Braves this year and is 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.62 ratio. In 17 1/3 innings against the Braves he’s walked 11.


Phils desperate to find Myers a travel guide to New York that includes the strike zone

It was reasonable to expect that the return of Brett Myers was going to be a wild ride for the Phils and it was. Just not the wild ride the Phils were looking for. Myers walked four Mets in a miserable first inning. He pitched okay after that, but the Phils’ hitters didn’t do much. The Phils and Mets went into the bottom of the sixth tied at 3-3 before Jose Reyes broke the game open with a three-run homer off of Ryan Madson.

It wasn’t a good start for Myers, but the Phillies’ sleepy offense continues to be a big part of the story in July. In the last eight games that the Phillies’ starting pitcher has allowed three runs the Phils are 1-7. In 2007 the Phils went 21-11 in games where their starters allowed three runs in a start. 28-15 in 2006. After last night’s game they are 10-11 in 2008 and that’s with a hugely improved bullpen.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 6-3 to drop to 54-47 on the season. Game three of the set is this afternoon after the teams split the first two of the series.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on three hits and five walks. All three of the hits went for singles and he struck out two. His ERA is 5.82 and the Phils are now 4-14 in games he’s started this season. Using game score as the measure, in 15 of his 18 starts on the season the other team’s starting pitcher pitched better than Myers did.

Jose Reyes grounded to second for the first out in the first. Myers then walked four batters in a row. The fourth walk was to Carlos Beltran and forced in Endy Chavez to put the Mets up 1-0. Marlon Anderson was next and hit a double-play ball to first that Howard didn’t handle. It fortunately went off his glove and right to Utley. Utley threw to Myers covering first to get the second out. David Wright scored from third to put New York up 2-0. Damion Easley grounded to third for the third out, leaving two men stranded.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 second with the score tied at 2-2.

With one out in the third the Mets again loaded the bases when Wright singled, Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch and Beltran singled into center. Myers struck Anderson out for the second out, Damion Easley was next hit a ball in the hole between third and short that went off the glove of Rollins for a single. Rollins may not have had a play anywhere even if he had fielded it cleanly. Wright scored and the run put the Mets up 3-2. Brian Schneider hit the first pitch of his at-bat to first for a ground out that ended the inning.

In the fourth, Myers thought he had leadoff hitter pitcher John Maine struck out on an 0-2 curveball but didn’t get the call. Maine singled into left, but Myers got the next three behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Madson started the sixth with the game tied at 3-3. Easley led off with a slowly hit ground ball up the middle. Rollins tried to barehand it in front of second base but didn’t handle it and Easley had an infield single. Schneider followed with a single that moved Easley to second. Maine tried to bunt but fouled off strike three for the first out. Reyes was next and he blasted Madson’s first pitch out to right-center for a three-run homer that changed the game and put the Mets up 6-3. Reyes circled the bases with a fist and then a single finger in the air, a gesture that was apparently an expression of exuberance about the possibility the Mets might be tied for first with 61 games to go if the pen didn’t blow it again or perhaps a reference to either the Mets winning the NL East in 2006 or something he had done as a small child while growing up in the Dominican Republic. Madson struck out Chavez for the second out before Wright singled and stole second. Delgado followed with a walk before Beltran grounded to second for the third out.

Terrible inning for Madson.

Condrey pitched the seventh. Easley singled with one out and moved to third when Schneider followed with a double. Fernando Tatis hit for the pitcher Maine and grounded to third for the second out with the runners holding. Reyes was walked intentionally to load the bases and Chavez grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Condrey returned for the eighth. Wright led off with a ground ball to third that new third baseman Feliz didn’t handle for an error. Delgado singled to left and Wright moved to second. Beltran bunted the runners to second and third for the first out. Righty Robinson Cancel hit for the pitcher Joe Smith and grounded to short with the runners holding. Easley grounded to second to leave them both stranded.

The Mets hit the pen hard. In three innings Madson and Condrey combined to allow three runs on seven hits and two walks. Condrey threw 31 pitches and Madson 24.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty John Maine went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Victorino (7) Jenkins (8) Ruiz. That’s a new one. I like it. Burrell hits third, breaking up Utley and Howard as the Phils put four lefties in their lineup. Victorino drops down to sixth even against the righty with Jenkins hitting seventh to split Dobbs and Jenkins. I like Utley hitting two instead of Victorino.

1-2-3 in the first.

Down 2-0 in the second, Victorino and Jenkins homered back-to-back with two outs, tying the game at 2-2. Ruiz drew a walk before Myers struck out to end the frame.

Utley walked with one out in the third, but Howard and Burrell went down behind him.

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

Ruiz led off the fifth with a single and Myers bunted him to second. Rollins doubled into right center and Ruiz scored, tying the game at 3-3. Utley popped to second and Burrell struck out to set the Phillies down.

Howard led off the sixth with a single. Dobbs flew to left for the first out before Victorino hit a slow ground ball to second. Easley tagged Howard as he went by and threw to first to complete the double-play. Replays showed that Easley missed the tag on Howard.

With two outs in the seventh, Taguchi hit for Madson and singled. Rollins flew to right for the third out.

Down 6-3 in the eighth, Burrell drew a one out walk. Howard lined to Reyes for the second out and with lefty Scott Schoeneweis on the mound Feliz hit for Dobbs. Righty Joe Smith entered the game for the Mets and got Feliz to ground back to the mound for the third out.

Feliz is now 1-for-17 since the All-Star break.

Billy Wagner threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Bruntlett hit for Jenkins and grounded to third for the second out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-16.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-4. He’s hitting 320/378/693 in July.

Dobbs 0-for-3. He’s 1-for-his-last-10.

Victorino 1-for-4 with his second home run in two days. He’s slugging .592 in July with 11 extra-base hits, including five home runs.

Jenkins 1-for-3 with a home run and two strikeouts.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-his-last-15 with two walks.

Jamie Moyer (9-6, 3.90) faces lefty Oliver Perez (6-6, 4.36) this afternoon. Perez hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last four starts. In those outings he has struck out 27 in 26 innings. Opponents are hitting just .233 against him, but he’s walked 63 in 109 1/3 innings (that’s too many). He’s made three starts against the Phillies this season and hasn’t been charged with a run in 18 1/3 innings. Moyer has allowed three or fewer runs in eight straight starts and hasn’t allowed a home run in 19 2/3 innings over his last three. He has a 3.12 ERA in his ten starts away from Citizens Bank Park.


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