Tag: Mets

Thousands mistake last night’s game for something they tivoed in 2007

Just about everyone associated with the New York Mets would have you believe that the collapse of 2007 is all but forgotten as the team presses forward with a new attitude and a new manager. And maybe it was. But I’m pretty sure they remember it now, cause in last night’s game the Mets and Phils looked a whole lot like the guys from last year.

The Phillies picked a perfect time to snap out of their offensive slump. Down 5-2 in the ninth, the Phils sent 11 men to the plate and scored six times. So Taguchi, slumping through a miserable season, tied the game with a two-run double. One batter latter Jimmy Rollins gave the Phils all the runs they would need with a two-run double of his own.

It was just about as pretty as a six-run rally in the ninth can be — but if the Mets take the next two games of the set it’s not going to mean a lot.

Joe Blanton’s debut with the Phillies was expected to be the story of the game, but proved to be something of a non-event. Blanton pitched poorly, allowing a pair of two-run homers as he yielded five runs in six innings.

The Phillies beat the New York Mets last night, winning 8-6 to improve to 54-46 on the season. The Phils reclaim sole ownership of the lead in the NL East, a game ahead of both the Mets and the Marlins.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies went six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out one.

Endy Chavez singled to right with one out in the first, but Blanton got the next two behind him.

He hit Damion Easley with one out in the second. Marlon Anderson flew to left for the second out before Ramon Castro dribbled a ball to third that went for an infield single. Blanton struck out Johan Santana to end the inning.

Jose Reyes led off the third and walked on four pitches. Chavez was next and he hit a ground ball to the right of Utley. Utley knocked it down, sliding, but couldn’t make the play and Chavez was safe with an infield single that moved Reyes to second. He should have made the play. David Wright was next and ripped a 2-2 pitch into left and off the wall. Reyes scored to tie the game at 1-1, but Burrell fielded it cleanly off the wall and Rollins made a nice relay to the plate when Chavez was tagged out for the first out. With Wright on second, Carlos Beltran grounded hard to first and Wright went to third. Blanton got ahead of Delgado 0-2 but threw two of his next three pitches in the dirt before Delgado clubbed a 3-2 pitch out to right to put New York up 3-1. Easley grounded to short for the third out.

Between innings Manuel was ejected for arguing that Delgado should have been out on a check swing on a ball that was in the dirt. Didn’t look so clear on replay — Delgado probably crossed the plate, but the call wasn’t awful.

Marlon Anderson led off the fourth with an infield single. Castro hit into a double-play behind him before Santana singled to center. Reyes popped to Rollins for the third out.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He got the first two in the sixth before he walked Anderson on four pitches. Castro was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to left to put the Mets up 5-1. Santana followed with a walk before Reyes flew to right for the third out.

Seanez started the seventh down 5-2. Chavez led off with a double just out of the reach of Werth in right. Wright followed with a single to right and this time it was Werth who threw Chavez out at the plate. Second time in the game that Chavez made the first out of the inning at the plate — this time it only took one good throw. Wright went to second on the play at the plate. Beltran was walked intentionally and Romero came in to pitch to Delgado and got Delgado to fly to shallow center on one pitch. Romero stayed in to pitch to the righty Easley and hit him in the middle of his back to load the bases. Fernando Tatis hit for lefty Marlon Anderson and hit a soft liner to second that Utley caught on a dive to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Chad Durbin threw a 1-2-3 eighth, setting down Castro, pinch-hitter Argenis Reyes and Jose Reyes.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils on top 8-5. Chavez led off with a walk and took second without a throw before Wright struck out for the first out. A wild pitch moved Chavez to third before Beltran hit a hard ground ball to first that Howard took for the second out. Nice play by Howard and a huge second out as Chavez scored to make it 8-6. Delgado grounded to third to end the game.

Three innings for the pen in which they allow a run on two hits and a walk. Durbin’s 1-2-3 eighth against the bottom of the order and Reyes was big. The Phils used four relievers — of the pitchers they used, Seanez ended the day with the highest ERA for the season: 2.87. Lidge threw 21 pitches, Durbin 16, Seanez 11 and Romero 10.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Ruiz. Victorino drops to seventh in the lineup against the lefty. Burrell up to third, splitting the lefties Utley and Howard. Werth in right and hitting fifth instead of sixth. Ruiz catches. Glad Rollins didn’t drop to third this time.

Burrell and Howard singled back-to-back with two outs in the first. Werth followed with a single up the middle and Burrell scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Howard holding second. Feliz went down swinging on four pitches to leave the runners stranded.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and Blanton bunted him to second. Rollins grounded to second for the third out.

1-2-3 in the third and fourth.

Blanton singled to right with one out in the fifth. Rollins hit into a double-play behind him.

1-2-3 in the sixth.

With two outs in the seventh, Victorino hit a 1-1 pitch out to left. It cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Ruiz followed with a single up the middle. Coste hit for Blanton and struck out.

With two outs in the eighth, Burrell hit a ball down the left field line and off the chalk for a double. Howard flew to Beltran in right-center for set the Phillies down.

The Phillies started the ninth down 5-2. Duaner Sanchez took over for Santana, who had thrown 105 pitches to get through eight innings. Werth singled. Dobbs hit for Feliz and singled. Victorino singled into center and the bases were loaded. Righty Joe Smith relieved Sanchez to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz chopped a ball just to the shortstop side of second base. Victorino was running hard all the way. Reyes fielded, looked at first and then tried to step on second but missed the bag. Victorino was safe, Werth scored to make it 5-3 and the Phils still had the bases loaded. Great hustle by Victorino and a bad play by Reyes. Jenkins hit for Durbin and the Mets called on lefty Pedro Feliciano. Jimy Williams called on Taguchi, still without a pinch-hit on the season, to hit for Jenkins. Taguchi got behind 0-2 before he hit a 2-2 pitch over the head of Chavez in right. Dobbs and Victorino both scored, tying the game at 5-5, with Ruiz going to third on the double. Rollins doubled down the left-field line, clearing the bases with the Phils up 7-5. Utley grounded to first for the first out, moving Rollins to third. The lefty Feliciano walked Burrell intentionally before Howard hit a ball back to the mound that may have been a double-play, but Feliciano didn’t field it cleanly and had to take the out at first. Rollins scored to make it 8-5 and Burrell went to second. Aaron Heilman came in to pitch to Werth and walked him before Dobbs popped to short for the third out.

Second huge hit of the month for Taguchi. On July 11 against the Snakes he led off the twelfth with a single and came around to score the winning run on a single by Werth three batters later.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a huge double and two RBI.

Utley was 0-for-5.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a walk and a double.

Howard 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Werth 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI and started the ninth-inning rally.

Feliz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-16 with eight strikeouts since the All-Star break.

Victorino had a big game. 2-for-4 with his sixth home run.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84) faces righty John Maine (8-7, 4.22) tonight. Maine hasn’t gone six innings in any of his last four starts. He has a 6.63 ERA in those outings. In two starts against the Phillies this season he’s thrown to a 3.09 ERA with a 1.11 ratio. Myers has been terrible this season and will be making his first start since June 27 coming off a stint in the minors. The Phils have lost nine of the last ten games he’s started and are 4-13 with him on the hill this season.


Welcome to your nightmare, welcome to my breakdown

Did you see The Big Kahuna? It’s about salesmen. At one point young salesman Bob says something like it’s time for the others to throw him and the water and see if he can swim. Kevin Spacey’s grizzled veteran Larry Mann breaks it down for him: “I think you’re missing the point here Bob, we’re about to throw you off a cliff and see if you can fly.”

And somebody cue Joe Blanton. Starting in New York against Johan Santana for a team that suddenly can’t score runs with the Mets and Phils locked in a tie for first place in the NL East.

Blanton has made two starts against the Mets in his career. Here’s what his numbers look like:


IP

R

H

BB

K
15.0 0 8 1 10

Not bad. The two starts came in 2005 and 2007, which were Blanton’s best years. On June 14, 2005 in Oakland, Blanton went seven shutout innings against the Mets, allowing three singles and striking out four without allowing a walk. Oakland won the game 5-0. He wasn’t exactly pitching great coming into the game — he came into the contest with a 6.13 ERA having allowed 17 earned runs in his last 18 innings (8.50 ERA).

On June 23, 2007 in New York he tossed eight more shutout innings, allowing five hits and a walk. Ricky Ledee hit a sixth-inning double against him in that game. The Mets won the game 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth when Wright doubled off of Santiago Casilla to plate Ramon Castro. Blanton had been pitching much better coming around that start — he came into the game with a 3.43 ERA having allowed five earned runs in 31 1/3 innings over his last four starts (1.44 ERA).

Blanton (5-12, 4.96) faces lefty Johan Santana (8-7, 3.10) tonight in New York. Santana allowed five runs in four innings in Cincinnati on Thursday, allowing home runs to Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnacion. For Santana it was the first time in 11 starts he had allowed more than one home run in a game. The Mets have lost six of the last eight games that Santana has started. He has made two starts against the Phillies this season, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA but an 0.67 ratio. He hasn’t walked a batter in 15 innings in those starts. Utley is the only current Phillie to have an extra-base hit against Santana in their career — he’s 2-for-7 with a home run. Blanton last pitched on July 9, so he’s well-rested if nothing else. He hasn’t allowed a home run in his last three starts and has walked just three in his last 17 innings.


Men on fire

In case you missed it, the Mets are playing well these days under new skipper Jerry Manuel. Manuel has been at the helm for the last 26 games and the Mets have gone 17-9 in those games.

Whatever it is that’s going on with the Mets it didn’t start in June. In the 13 games that Manuel managed the Mets in June they went 6-7. Compared to their averages for the season, they scored fewer runs per game and allowed more.

And then came July and the Mets couldn’t lose. 11-2. In 13 games in July the Mets have scored more runs (81) than any other team in either league and allowed fewer runs (35) than any other team in either league.

Here’s the runs the Mets have scored and allowed in the games that Manuel has managed in 2008 (and the runs scored and allowed per game):


Month

Games

RS

RA
June 13 48 (3.69) 64 (4.92)
July 13 81 (6.23) 35 (2.69)
       
Total 26 129 (4.96) 99 (3.81)

And here’s what they did in the 69 games that Manuel did not manage:


Games

RS

RA
69 331 (4.80) 322 (4.67)

Despite the unremarkable June, thanks to an unbelievable July the Mets are overall scoring more runs and allowing fewer per game under Manuel than they were before him.

Overall, the difference between the Manuel and non-Manuel pitching numbers is far more dramatic than the difference between the Manuel and non-Manuel hitting numbers. The Mets are scoring about 4.96 runs per game since he took over compared to about 4.80 per game before he took over, but the difference between the pitching numbers is much larger. After allowing about 4.67 runs per game before Manuel took over, the Mets have allowed about 3.81 runs per game since.

That, because of the weak offensive output in the games Manuel managed in June, hides a little that the Mets are crushing the ball in July. As mentioned above, no team in either league has scored more runs. That means they should have some hitters that are seeing the ball well and they do: Tatis, Delgado, Reyes and Wright have all posted an OPS of at least .940 during July.

But they’ve also allowed just 35 runs in 13 games. That means that there’s a big group of players pitching well also. Here’s what the guys that have gotten the 13 starts for the Mets in July have done:


Player

GS

IP

ER

ERA
Pelfrey 3 22.0 1 0.41
Martinez 3 14.1 7 4.40
Santana 2 13 2 1.38
Perez 2 13 1 0.69
Maine 2 10.1 6 5.23
Armas 1 8.1 7 7.56
         
TOTAL 13 81 24 2.67

If Johan Santana is going to be the third-best starter in the Mets’ rotation the Phillies are going to lose. Sorry. In seven July starts, Pelfrey, Perez and Santana have combined to throw 48 innings and allow four earned runs. That’s an 0.75 ERA and there’s nobody on the planet you can trade Lou Marson for that makes you better than the Mets if they keep pitching like that.

The good news is that no matter what kind of mad genius Dan Warthen is, they’re 100% guaranteed to get worse.

Finally, it would be great news for Phillies’ fans if it proved to be the case that part of the Mets’ success under Manuel is because he’s blowing out the bullpen. But he’s not. Mets’ starters are throwing about 5.88 innings per game under Manuel compared to about 5.82 innings per game before he arrived. The Mets remain in the middle of the pack (8th in the NL) in terms of innings pitched by relievers. That said, the bullpen has also been fantastic for New York in July. In 38 1/3 innings they’ve allowed 10 earned runs (2.35 ERA).

The AL beat the NL in the All-Star game last night, winning 4-3 in 15 innings. Utley was 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout. Lidge started the bottom of the 15th with the score tied at 3-3. He allowed two singles and a walk before Michael Young hit a fly ball to right that scored Justin Morneau to give the AL the win. Lidge got two outs and threw 19 pitches.


Eaton junk has Phils ill

After the bullpen threw 12 2/3 innings in the first three games of the series with the Mets, 2 2/3 innings out of Eaton’s start wasn’t exactly what the Phillies needed. It was what they got, though.

The Phillies found themselves down 8-0 in the third and 10-1 in the bottom of the sixth. They did put together a valiant comeback, bringing Howard, Burrell, Feliz and Werth to the plate in the bottom of the ninth as the tying run. Never did tie the game up, though.

The pen has now thrown 19 innings over the Phillies’ last four games.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 10-9. They lose the series three games to one and are 48-42 on the season. They have lost three in a row and have lost seven of the last eight series they have played.

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on ten hits. Only six of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He walked one and struck out one.

Jose Reyes led off the first with a single and stole second. Endy Chavez bunted for a single that moved Reyes to third. David Wright was next and looped a ground ball to second. Utley tried to tag Chavez but missed and threw Wright out at first for the first out as Reyes scored to put the Mets up 1-0. Carlos Beltran grounded to first and Chavez moved to third. Damion Easley was next and he singled into right, scoring Chavez to make it 2-0. Carlos Delgado grounded to second for the third out.

Fernando Tatis singled off the glove of Dobbs to start the second. Brian Schneider followed with a ground ball to second. Utley made a nice diving play to force Tatis at second. The pitcher Pedro Martinez tried to bunt Schneider to second but struck out for the second out. Eaton walked Reyes to put men on first and second. Chavez was next and singled into right center, scoring Schneider to make it 3-0 with Reyes going to third. Wright blasted a 2-2 pitch down the left field line for a bases clearing double. 5-0. Eaton got Beltran to pop to third to end the inning.

Delgado doubled with one out in the third and moved to third when Tatis followed with a single. Schneider hit a slow ground ball to short and Rollins threw him out at first as Delgado scored to make it 6-0. Pedro hit a hard ground ball to third through Dobbs for an error. Tatis scored from second and it was 7-0. Reyes moved Pedro to second with a single. Chavez hit a 3-2 pitch back through the middle and Pedro scored. 8-0. Condrey relieved Eaton and got Wright to fly to center for the third out.

Eaton needed 68 pitches to get eight outs.

Condrey pitched the fourth, throwing for the third straight day. With one out he allowed back-to-back singles to Easley and Delgado, but got Tatis and Schneider on ground outs to end the frame.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth to drop his ERA on the season to 3.93.

RJ Swindle made his major league debut in the sixth. Wright was the first man to face him and hit a 3-2 pitch just out down the left field line to put New York up 9-1. Beltran and Easley followed with singles that put men on first and second before Swindle struck out Delgado to get his very own ERA. He walked Tatis to load the bases before Schneider popped to short for the second out. Pedro ripped a single back through the middle. Beltran scored to make it 10-1 but Victorino threw Easley out at the plate for the third out.

Swindle came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh and a 1-2-3 eighth.

Romero started the ninth, pitching for the third straight day, and gave up a leadoff single to Tatis. Tatis went for two and Burrell threw him out for the first out. Tatis was safe, but the ball beat him by a lot and the Phillies got the call. Romero got the next two.

The pen goes 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Condrey and Romero were both really good. Swindle was solid after a shaky start. Condrey threw 37 pitches, pitching for the third day in a row. Swindle 53 pitches, Romero nine.

Romero and Condrey should not be allowed to pitch four days in a row. I would say there’s close to zero chance Condrey pitches after throwing 37 last night, but Manuel may be tempted to use Romero. Swindle is no doubt unavailable after 53 and Romero is the only other lefty in the pen. On the plus side, Hamels is the one guy in the rotation who can give you a long outing. That issue is complicated as Hamels threw 125 pitches his last time out.

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

1-2-3 in the first.

Howard started the second with a single. Burrell and Dobbs struck out behind him before Werth walked. Coste grounded to first.

1-2-3 third.

Utley led off the fourth and hit a 1-2 pitch out to right to cut the New York lead to 8-1. Howard drew a walk but Burrell and Dobbs both grounded out before Werth drew another walk. With men on first and second and two down, Coste struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

Taguchi hit for Condrey to start the fifth and struck out. Rollins singled to center before Victorino flew to center for the second out. Rollins stole second, but was left there when Utley struck out looking to end the inning.

Burrell homered with one out in the sixth. 10-2. Dobbs followed with a double, but Werth and Coste both struck out to leave Dobbs stranded.

With one out in the seventh, Rollins singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Victorino doubled to right and Rollins scored to make it 10-3. Bruntlett, who replaced Utley in the top of the inning, moved Victorino to third with a ground out. Howard was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat deep to right where it was touched by a fan who reached over the railing. Howard was given a home run that made it 10-5. Should have been a double. Jerry Manuel was ejected arguing. Burrell struck out for the third out.

Werth singled with one out in the eighth. Coste struck out for the second out. Jenkins hit for Swindle with the righty Aaron Heilman on the mound and hit the first pitch he saw way out for a home run that made it 10-7. First home run since June 7 for Jenkins. Rollins struck out looking to end the inning.

With the Phils still down 10-7, Victorino led off the ninth against Billy Wagner and doubled down the third base line. Bruntlett drew a walk and it brought Howard up as the tying run. Howard struck out swinging for the first out before Burrell flew to right. Feliz was next, hitting for Dobbs against the lefty, and got behind 0-2 before he singled into center. Victorino scored to make it 10-8 and Beltran’s throw went to third base and got away from Wright. Bruntlett scored to make it 10-9 and Feliz went to second. It brought up Werth with the tying run on second. He got ahead 1-0 but flew to right to end the game.

Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game. 4-for-18 with a walk and one run scored in the four-game set. 272/337/437 for the season.

Victorino 2-for-5 with two doubles. 6-for-17 in the series. 270/341/375 for the year. He had five extra-base hits in June and two last night.

Utley was 1-for-3 with his 25th home run. 3-for-16 with a walk in the series. 294/378/601. He has three walks in his last 52 at-bats.

Howard 2-for-4 with his 24th home run. 6-for-17 with two home runs in the series. 226/317/484. There are a lot of people who will tell you that Howard is having a good season, but most of them turn out to work for the Phillies. His .317 on-base percentage is 114th of the 155 NL players with 150 plate appearances this year.

Burrell was 1-for-5 with his 22nd home run. 4-for-15 in the series. 277/409/586 for the year.

Dobbs 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-5 in the series. 322/358/443 for the year.

Werth 1-for-3 with two walks in the game. 3-for-8 with a home run and four walks in the series. 277/369/503. Jenkins was 1-for-1 with a home run in the game and 1-for-6 with three strikeouts in the series. The Phils need his bat. 237/287/384 in a miserable season so far.

Coste was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left six men on base. That’s not so much what you’re looking for in a game you lose by a run. 0-for-12 in the series. 292/349/506. Ruiz was 1-for-6 in the series and is 1-for-his-last-23 overall. 207/298/277 overall. That is really bad. Among the 155 NL players with 150 or more plate appearances, Ruiz’s .277 slugging percentage is 152nd.

Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22) faces righty Joel Pinero (2-4, 4.52) tonight. Pinero has walked just 17 in 75 2/3 innings this season. He’s been hit hard his last two times out, allowing 11 runs on 21 hits over 12 2/3 innings. The Cards have lost six of the last seven games he has started. Hamels has gone at least seven innings in six straight starts and the Phils have won three of the last four he’s started. Hamels threw 125 pitches against the Braves in his last start, which is too many and his high for the season.

The exercise to determine whether more people live in New York or Philadelphia continues. You can still vote for Burrell until 5 PM on Thursday.


If I had to do the same again, I wouldn’t, my friend, Fernando

The Phillies apparently get one extra-base hit a game these days. At least they’re making the most out of them. On Friday Pedro Feliz doubled in the ninth and came in to score the winning run on a single by Victorino. On Saturday the lone extra-base hit was a three-run shot by Howard that tied the game at 3-3 early before the pen imploded late. Yesterday the Phils were down 4-2 and down to their last strike before Werth’s shot tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Phils lost in 12.

The bullpen is still the story for the Phils. They came into the game dragging and left even more so. With his choices limited, Manuel called on Chad Durbin to throw two innings after a long outing on Friday. It didn’t work. Fernando Tatis connected for a two-run shot in the 12th that won it for the Mets.

The bullpen hasn’t been great against the Mets, but the Phils need more out of their offense. The Phillies have scored nine runs in the first three games of the series.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets yesterday, falling 4-2 in 12 innings to drop to 48-41 on the season. The Mets lead the four-game set two games to one.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing one run on eight hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.39.

Endy Chavez singled with one out in the first, but Kendrick got the next two behind him.

With one out in the second Damion Easley singled. Marlon Anderson followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Brian Schneider and Schneider loaded the bases with a single to center. Kendrick got the pitcher Oliver Perez on a popup fisted to third for the second out. Jose Reyes flew to center to end the frame.

With two outs in the third Carlos Beltran lined a 3-2 pitch out to right to put the Mets up 1-0. Carlos Delgado followed with a single but Easley went down on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Schneider walked with one out in the fourth and Perez bunted him to second for the second out. Reyes singled to left and Schneider went to third. Reyes stole second before Kendrick got Chavez on a ground ball back to the mound to leave both runners stranded.

David Wright led off the fifth with a single and was forced at second for the first out of the inning when Beltran followed with a ground ball to short. Beltran stole second as Delgado struck out for the second out. He stole third without a throw before Easley walked. Kendrick got Anderson to ground to second to leave both men stranded.

Reyes doubled to left with two outs in the sixth. Kendrick got Chavez to ground to first for the third out.

Condrey started the seventh after Kendrick had needed 112 pitches to get through six. Beltran singled with one out. Delgado popped to short for the second out. With Easley at the plate Ruiz made a snap throw to first that got passed Howard and into right for an error on Ruiz that allowed Beltran to got to second. Easley grounded to second for the third out.

Romero started the eighth with the Phils still down 1-0, coming off a weak outing the night before. He got the first two before pinch-hitter Chris Aguila drew a walk. Romero picked him off to end the frame.

Nice bounce back outing for Romero.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils down 1-0. Reyes led off with a single to right and stole second. Chavez bunted him to third for the first out. Lidge got behind Wright 3-0 but came back to strike him out for the second out. Beltran was next and he lined the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. Reyes scored to give Beltran his second RBI of the day and the Mets were up 2-0. Lidge struck out Delgado for the third out.

Madson pitched the tenth, coming off a four-pitch outing the night before. He got the first two before Schneider singled. Switch-hitter Argenis Reyes hit for the pitcher Billy Wagner. Madson got behind him 3-1 but came back to strike him out to set the Mets down.

Chad Durbin pitched the eleventh having thrown 35 pitches on Friday night. Chavez singled with one out, but he struck Wright out swinging for the second out got Beltran to pop to Feliz to end the frame.

Durbin came back for the twelfth. He got ahead of the leadoff man Delgado 0-2 but lost him and gave up the walk. Easley bunted him to second. He got behind Fernando Tatis 2-0 before Tatis drove a 2-2 pitch out to left-center, putting the Mets up 4-2. Durbin struck out Schneider and pitcher Joe Smith.

Six innings for the pen. They allow three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. In the first three games of the four-game set they have thrown 12 1/3 innings. That’s too many.

The guys in the pen that Manuel didn’t use instead of bringing Durbin back after 35 pitches on Friday to thrown two innings were Seanez and Gordon. Both pitched on Saturday. Seanez threw 23 pitches on Saturday, but before that had not pitched since June 27. Gordon threw 16 pitches on Saturday and had thrown a single pitch to get the final out in Thursday’s game. Asking Durbin to come back for a second inning was asking a lot.

After the game the Phillies put Tom Gordon on the DL and called lefty RJ Swindle back up.

Big problems in the pen for the Phils with the amount of usage they’ve been getting. They don’t have an off day till July 14, so somebody’s going to probably need to take one for the team before it’s over.

Madson threw 20 pitches in the game, Lidge 19, Romero 16 and Condrey 14. Durbin threw 37 more. Too many.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Oliver Perez went (1) Werth (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Ruiz. Rollins dropped to third again against the lefty for the second time in three games. Victorino down to seventh with Utley hitting second. Werth plays right and leads off against the lefty. Ruiz catches. Just hit Rollins leadoff, please. Coming into the game he was a career 241/286/353 in 126 plate appearances as a three hitter. The Phils have scored five runs in the two games in this series they’ve hit Rollins third against a lefty.

Werth started the first with a walk. Utley popped out for the first out before Werth was picked off but beat the throw to second for a stolen base. Rollins moved Werth to third with a single. With Howard at the plate Schneider tried to pick Werth off third and Rollins made a nice play on the bases to steal second. With men on second and third and one down, Howard struck out for the second out. Burrell fouled out to Delgado to end the inning.

Bad strikeout for Howard with one out and men on second and third.

Feliz drove a ball to left center that Anderson dropped for a two base error to start the second. The Phils went in order to leave Feliz stranded.

Werth started the third with another walk, but Utley flew to center and Rollins hit into a double-play.

Burrell singled to left with one out in the fourth. He moved to second on a wild pitch, but Feliz struck out and Victorino popped to Delgado.

Ruiz started the fifth with a single but the Phils went in order behind him.

Howard singled to right with one out in the sixth. Burrell flew to center and Feliz flew to right.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. With the lefty Perez still on the mound, Coste hit for Condrey and flew to center for the third out.

With one out in the eighth Utley reached on an error by pitcher Duaner Sanchez and stole second. Rollins followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Howard and lefty Pedro Feliciano came into the game and struck him out swinging for the second out. Aaron Heilman walked Burrell with the Phillies down 1-0 and Jenkins ran for Burrell at first. Feliz grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Running for Burrell, who would be the run that puts you up 3-1, is just a miserable play. It’s especially bad with lefties Scott Schoeneweis and Billy Wagner looming in the Mets pen and no possibility of the double-play with two outs.

Second big strikeout of the game for Howard.

With the Phils down 2-0, Victorino led off the ninth with a single off of Billy Wagner. Ruiz flew to center for the first out. Bruntlett hit for Lidge and was called out looking at a 2-2 pitch that was outside. Werth got behind in the count but blasted a 1-2 pitch out to left center to tie the game at 2-2. Utley followed with a single but Rollins grounded to short for the third out.

Schoeneweis started the tenth and struck out Howard and Jenkins, in Burrell’s spot, to start the inning. Feliz and Victorino singled back-to-back to put men on first and second, but righty Joe Smith came in and got Ruiz to ground to third for the third out.

Smith set the Phillies down in order in the eleventh.

With the Phils down 4-2, Rollins started the twelfth with a single and stole second. Howard flew to left, Jenkins grounded to short and Feliz dribbled a ball down the third base line that Smith fielded and threw to first to end the game. Jenkins at least got to hit against a righty this time.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a home run and two walks. He’s 10-for-his-last-25.

Utley 1-for-6 and left three men on base.

Rollins 2-for-5 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-6 with four strikeouts and five men left on base.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk.

Feliz 1-for-6 with six men left on base.

Victorino 2-for-5.

Ruiz 1-for-5. He’s 1-for-his-last-23.

A little down on Manuel’s game. I don’t know that Seanez was a much better option than Durbin, but I’m not a fan of the lineup with Rollins hitting third and don’t like Jenkins running for Burrell at all.

Adam Eaton (3-6, 4.79) faces righty Pedro Martinez (2-2, 7.39) tonight. Over his last three starts Pedro has allowed 17 earned runs in 15 innings. Lefties are hitting .370 against him for the season. The Phils have lost three of the last four games that Eaton has started, but he’s pitched pretty well. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in three of his last four starts.

Pat Burrell, who is in the top six in the league in on-base percentage and slugging, is one of five NL players who will be voted into the All-Star game. Despite the best efforts of Manuel, Taguchi and Bruntlett, Burrell is tied for seventh in the league in home runs. Voting ends on Thursday at 5 PM.


Phils relievers have promises to keep and miles to go before they sleep

The Phillies split the first two games of their set with the New York Mets, winning one game thanks to a tremendous performance by their bullpen and losing the second due to its dismal failure.

Last night’s game was blown open late by the Mets as New York’s left-handed hitters pounded away at a Phils’ pen that featured a single, and last night at least, ineffective lefty. The first game of the set served as a reminder to all of one of the big differences between Brett Myers and JA Happ — even when Happ pitches well it’s reasonable to expect that he’s only going to go 4 2/3 innings. That leaves a lot of innings for the pen to throw.

After two long days, the Phillies’ relievers could sure use a break. The sad fact of the matter is the new Phillies’ rotation looks like it has only one guy who should be counted on to give it to them — and he’s not pitching today.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 9-4 to fall to 48-40 on the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four.

In the first he gave up singles to Jose Reyes and Ryan Church that put men on first and third for David Wright. Moyer got Wright to hit into the double-play, but Reyes scored to make it 1-0. Carlos Beltran popped to Coste for the third out.

With one out in the fourth Wright doubled and stole third. Beltran walked to put men on first and third. Moyer picked Beltran off of first, but Howard’s throw to second went into left field for an error. Wright scored to put New York up 2-0. Damion Easley followed with a single into center that scored Beltran from second and made it 3-0. Moyer got the next two to leave him stranded.

The game was tied at 3-3 when Moyer started the seventh. Chris Aguila singled with one out and moved to third when Reyes hit a two-out double. Ryan Church was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Madson came in to pitch to the righty Wright and got him on a ground ball to short to end the frame.

The bullpen blew up in the eighth. Romero started the inning and gave up one out singles to Easley and Carlos Delgado. It put men on first and third for righty Ramon Castro and Gordon came in to pitch to him. Lefty Marlon Anderson hit for Castro and Gordon walked him to load the bases, but not before a wild pitch from Gordon scored Easley to tie the game at 4-4 and sent Delgado to second. Lefty Endy Chavez hit for Aguila and moved the runners to second and third with a ground ball for the second out. Lefty Brian Schneider hit for Feliciano and ripped a double to right center, clearing the bases and putting the Mets up 6-4. Reyes flew to left for the third out.

Yuck. The Phillies only lefty in the pen leaves the game so Gordon has to face three lefties in a row. Anderson walked, Chavez grounded out and Schneider killed him with the double. Swindle, who is at least a second lefty in the pen if not the one the Phillies need, was sent down on Thursday so Happ could be called up.

The Mets blew the game open with three more runs against Seanez in the ninth. Fernando Tatis led off with a double and moved to third on a ground out by Wright. Beltran hit a ball pretty hard back to the mound that Seanez didn’t handle for a tough error. Tatis scored and it was 7-4. Easley moved Beltran to second with a single and Delgado followed with another single that loaded the bases. Anderson grounded to second and Beltran scored as Delgado was forced at second for the second out. 8-4. Chavez singled to right and Easley scored to make it 9-4. Condrey came in and got Schneider on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Again the Phillies can’t get the lefties out as hits by Delgado and Chavez help the Mets score three.

Long, bad day for the pen after Happ went just 4 2/3 the day before. They go 2 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk. Seanez and Gordon were the only two of the five Phillies relievers to throw more than ten pitches. Seanez threw 23 and Gordon 16. Phils could use a long outing by Kendrick this afternoon.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty John Maine went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Jenkins (8) Coste. Coste starts again. Jenkins in the lineup against the righty but dropped to seventh below Feliz. Rollins and Victorino back at the top of the order.

The Phillies didn’t have a man on base in the first three innings.

They started the fourth down 3-0. Victorino was hit by a pitch with one out and stole second before Utley walked. Howard was next and he smoked a 2-1 pitch out the opposite way to tie the game at 3-3. Burrell struck out and Feliz grounded to short to end the inning.

The game was still tied at 3-3 in the seventh. Burrell led off with a single and Bruntlett ran for him at first. Feliz bunted Bruntlett to second and righty Joe Smith walked Jenkins intentionally to put men on first and second. Coste flew to left for the second out. Dobbs hit for Madson and lefty Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch to Dobbs. Werth hit for Dobbs and hit a 3-2 pitch into left for a single. Bruntlett scored to put the Phils up 4-3. Werth went for second when the throw came home, but Castro threw him out to end the inning.

The Phils put men on first and second with two outs in the eighth. Ruiz hit for Gordon and grounded to short.

They went 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Rollins 0-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-3.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer. The home run was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phils. They have two extra-base hits in the first two games of the series.

Burrell 1-for-3.

Feliz 0-for-3.

Jenkins 0-for-3 with a walk.

Coste 0-for-4.

Friday night the Phillies beat the Mets 3-2 on a single by Victorino with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It was the fourth straight win for the Phils. They improved to 48-39 on the season.

JA Happ made his first start of the year for the Phillies. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and four walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

Happ was really good through four, allowing just a walk and a single. He got a nice diving play from Werth in left to end the second with Castro, who had singled, on first base.

He started the fifth with the game tied at 0-0. Easley led off with a single and moved to third when Castro followed with a double. Chris Aguila walked to load the bases. The pitcher Johan Santana popped to Coste for the first out before Reyes hit a ground ball to second. Utley threw to Rollins but Reyes just beat the relay to first. Easley scored to make it 1-0 Mets. Happ walked Chavez to load the bases. It looked like he had Wright struck out on an 0-2 pitch, but didn’t get the call. Wright went on to walk and Castro scored to make it 2-0. Durbin came in to pitch to Beltran and struck him out swinging at a 3-2 pitch to end the frame.

Durbin pitched a 1-2-3 sixth and a 1-2-3 seventh, striking out five of the six men he faced.

Madson threw a scoreless eighth, giving up a leadoff single to Chavez but getting the next three.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Durbin was simply brilliant after Happ fell apart quickly. Overall the pen went 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, a single, and no walks. Durbin threw 35 pitches, Madson 14 and Lidge just five.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Werth (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Coste. Werth in right hitting leadoff. Rollins moves to third. Victorino drops to seventh. Coste catches. I think I’d just hit Rollins leadoff.

Singles by Werth and Howard were the Phillies only two base runners of the first five innings.

They started the sixth down 2-0. Werth and Utley singled back-to-back after Durbin hit for himself and struck out to start the inning. It put men on first and second for Rollins and Rollins flew to center for the second out. Howard swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and hit a ground ball to where the shortstop would have been playing without the shift. Nobody was there and it went for a single that scored Werth and cut the lead to 2-1. Burrell was next with men on first and second and lined a single to left that scored Utley and made it 2-2. Feliz grounded to short for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh and the eighth.

Howard and Burrell struck out to start the ninth before Feliz doubled to left. Victorino was next and he got behind in the count before he lined a 1-2 pitch into left that scored Feliz to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

Werth was 2-for-4.

Utley 1-for-4.

Rollins 0-for-4 with three men left on base.

Howard 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Burrell 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double, the Phillies’ only extra-base hit of the game.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a game-winning single.

Coste 0-for-3.

On Thursday the Phillies beat the Braves 4-1 to improve to 47-39.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went 8 2/3 innings, coming one pitch short of a complete game. He allowed five hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Yunel Escobar doubled with one out in the first, but Hamels got the next two behind him.

In the second he gave up a leadoff single to Omar Infante. He walked the next batter, Brian McCann, but got the next three.

He only allowed one more base runner before the eighth. He walked pitcher Jair Jurrjens with two outs in the fifth, but got Gregor Blanco bunting for a hit behind him to end the inning.

Blanco doubled with two outs in the eight before Escobar popped to second.

Hamels started the ninth up 4-0. Chipper Jones doubled to start the inning and scored when McCann doubled with two outs. 4-1. Gordon came in and made one pitch to Jeff Francoeur. Franceour flew to left to end the game.

The Phillies’ lineup against Jair Jurrjens went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Jenkins in righty against the righty. Ruiz catches.

The Phillies scored all four of their runs against Jurrjens, three of which came on home runs.

Utley put the Phils up 1-0 with a solo shot in the first.

Rollins started the third with a triple, but Victorino grounded to first, Utley struck out and Howard grounded to the pitcher.

Burrell doubled to start the fourth. Feliz brought him in with a one out single to make it 2-0.

Howard homered with one out in the sixth. Feliz hit a 2-2 pitch out to left to start the seventh.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple.

Victorino 0-for-4.

Utley 1-for-4 with his 24th home run.

Howard 1-for-4 with his 22nd.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a double.

Jenkins 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Feliz 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-4.

The Phillies and Brad Lidge have agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $37.5 million.


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