Tag: michael martinez

Less than zero

There were several players from the 2013 Phils that didn’t make the cut in the most recent post of non-pitchers with a WAR greater than zero as calculated by both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. A bunch of them seem to have a good chance to play on the 2014 Phils. Here are some of them:

bWAR fWAR
Frandsen 0.5 0.0
Kratz -0.3 0.7
Galvis -0.0 0.1
Ruf -0.1 0.1
Asche -0.2 0.0
Hernandez -0.4 -0.4
Mayberry -1.1 -0.4

Kevin Frandsen comes the closest to having a positive WAR as calculated by both sites. He only played 33 innings of defense at third base in 2013 and appeared at first in 40 games for the Phils. Frandsen at first in 40 games isn’t a good sign things are running smoothly for your squad, even if you don’t have a $20 million first baseman. 2012 was the best year of his career and his on-base percentage last year dropped from .383 to .296 as he posted a 202/243/292 line against righties. He’s hammered left-handed pitching in each of the last two years, but he’s really not the answer at first and if he’s not going to play third it’s hard to see what there is for him to do other than pinch hit against lefties. Regardless of what they should do, I think it’s likely we see some of Frandsen at first early in the year if Howard isn’t ready to start the season. It seems like Ruf would be better off getting those at-bats. Presumably the addition of Byrd makes it less likely Ruf will be spending time in the outfield. Of the 26 non-pitchers on the ’13 Phils, only two had a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR greater than 0.1. Ruiz was 0.9 and Frandsen was 0.3.

Erik Kratz hit .213 and on-based .280, but with nice power. Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs seem to disagree about how much that was worth, but he seems like a lock to deliver low average and good power again in 2014. Baseball-Reference had him as a good defensive player in 2012 with a dWAR of 0.9, but that dropped to -0.1 in 2013.

Freddy Galvis is still just 24-years-old, but he has a career .269 on-base percentage in the majors to go with his .296 career on-base percentage in the minors. He excelled defensively in 2012, getting 45 starts at second base and tying with Utley for the team lead in Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR at 1.1. That dropped to -0.6 in 2013. He got about the same number of plate appearances in 2012 and 2013 and played about the same number of defensive innings. However, in 2012, he played about 92% of his defensive innings at second, where he was fantastic, posting a FanGraphs calculated UZR/150 at second of 16.3, which was fifth among the 42 players across both leagues that played at least 300 innings at second. In 2013, he played about 37% of his defensive innings at second, 30% at third, 17% in the outfield and 15% at short and his dWAR took a tumble. UZR/150 suggests he was good everywhere defensively in 2013 other than at second base. At second base his mark for UZR/150 in 2013 plunged to -20.2 in his 167 1/3 innings there. It’s a real bad sign for the Phillies when you see him at third or in the outfield as anything other than a defensive replacement.

Darin Ruf had the best isolated power on ’13 Phils for anyone other than Domonic Brown, hitting 14 home runs in 293 plate appearances. He also had the second-best wOBA on the team at .354, second only to Utley’s .356. Thanks to a much better walk rate, Ruf out on-based Brown by .024 despite an average twenty-five points lower. Ruf walked in 11.3% of his plate appearances in 2013, by far the best rate of any Phillie. It wasn’t close. Jimmy Rollins was the unlikely second-place finisher among those with 50 or more plate appearances. Rollins walked in just 8.9% of his chances. The slugging righty Ruf oddly didn’t hit lefties, though, posting a 188/309/348 line against left-handed pitching while pounding away at righties to the tune of 269/363/500. Not hitting lefties is a problem, but not as big a problem as being unusable defensively. Ruf put up a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of -1.8, which is remarkable for a lot of reasons, one of which is that he played far from a full season of defense. There were only seven NL players to tally a worse dWAR in 2013 (two of them, John Mayberry and Michael Young, played for the Phillies). Ruf appeared in just 47 games in the outfield and 37 at first base, but it’s pretty much unanimous he wasn’t good anywhere. FanGraphs has him bad at first (UZR/150 of -6.3), worse in left (-12.6) and terrible in right (-34.9). There were 59 players across both leagues who played at least 200 innings in right field in 2013 — Ruf’s -34.9 was 58th, better only than Scott Hairston. It seems likely that Ruf will hit lefties going forward. If he does and continues to hit righties like he has and draw walks like he has, he could be a very good offensive player. Just how bad he’s going to be defensively is the big question, though, and last year’s results weren’t good. The question may still be open, but part of the answer is that he doesn’t have much of a chance if he’s going to be both a butcher defensively and not hit lefties. If Howard is out to start the year and the choices at first for the Phillies are Frandsen, Mayberry and Ruf, I think the best choice for the Phils is to play Ruf everyday. When Howard is available, it may be the case that it’s in the best interests of the Phillies to platoon Ruf and Howard at first base. If you were to look solely at the numbers from the last two seasons, you might conclude that Frandsen is a better platoon partner for Howard. Frandsen is the better defensively of the two and has been way better against left-handed pitching, but I think that would be a mistake.

Not hitting lefties was a fluke, being terrible defensively wasn’t, but it’s too early to give up on Ruf. Second-best isolated power on the team, best walk rate on the team by a wide margin. Hit righties well enough and wound up with solid numbers overall despite not hitting lefties and hitting 216/314/407 over his last 188 plate appearances. He either needs to improve enormously defensively or the Phillies need to find a way to prevent him from hurting them with his glove. I think there are only two ways for the Phillies to prevent him from hurting them enormously with his glove — one is not playing him at all defensively and the other is playing him at first base.

Cody Asche arrived on the Phillie scene in 2013, hitting 235/302/389 in 179 plate appearances and 255/328/428 in his last 161 after going 1-for-17 to start his career. The Phillies seem likely to rely on him heavily at third this year — the other choices at this point look like Galvis, Cesar Hernandez or Frandsen. Frandsen can’t be both at third and at first against a lefty and the Phils sure seemed unwilling to use him defensively at third in 2013. Galvis isn’t a third baseman, although his offensive numbers have been a little better against lefties than righties early in his career. Hernandez on-based .292 against lefties in 2013 with one extra-base hit, a double, in 44 plate appearances. I think the Phils are better off giving Asche a chance if those are the choices. He didn’t overwhelm with the bat during 2013, but a lot of his negative bWAR and 0.0 fWAR can be chalked up to less than stellar defense at third. Baseball-Reference calculated his dWAR at -0.7 while FanGraphs had his UZR/150 at third at -10.6.

23-year-old Cesar Hernandez was used in an unexpected way in 2013, thrust into role of starting center fielder for 22 games, an odd choice for someone you’d think was trying to carve out a role as a backup infielder. Offensively it’s a little tough to feel like the switch-hitter Hernandez has a chance to be more of a high average guy who draws an average amount of walks given his 11 home runs in 2,385 career minor league plate appearances. He did fare well against righties in limited time, putting up a 308/372/372 line with the expected lack of power. dWAR killed his overall bWAR, though. -0.4 dWAR by Baseball-Reference despite just 257 1/3 innings for the year, about 74% of which were in center. FanGraphs has him miserable at both positions as well, although it was in limited time. -19.2 UZR/150 at second and -25.8 in center. Hernandez, Roger Bernadina, Michael Martinez and Mayberry all put up a UZR/150 worse than -25 in center for the Phils in 2013. That should be on the to-do list somewhere, even if all the list says is not to use Hernandez, Mayberry or Martinez in center.

Mayberry is the final name on the list, coming off of a year in which he was bad offensively and terrible defensively. He posted a 227/286/391 line overall and didn’t even hit lefties. He showed solid power against left-handed pitching, but without hits or walks and a 240/296/460 line. The Phillies continue to use him in center, he started 41 games there in 2013, despite the fact that he’s miserable there. Only four NL players had a dWAR worse than his -2.1 in 2013. FanGraphs gives him a negative UZR/150 in center for the fourth consecutive year. In 2013, he was at -28.8 in his 344 innings in center field, which is 42nd of the 43 NL players to play at least 300 innings at the position this season. He was good defensively in right and in left in 2013 and his best chance to be a positive contributor seems to be as a corner outfielder who hits primarily against left-handed pitching.

The Phillies signed 37-year-old right-handed reliever Shawn Camp to a minor league deal. It seems like he should have a chance to make the team out of spring training and pitch in middle relief. He was terrible for the Cubs in 26 appearances in 2013, throwing to a 7.04 ERA, but had been pretty solid in each of the five previous seasons. From 2008 to 2012, Camp threw to a 3.62 ERA and a 1.32 ratio over 335 1/3 innings in 316 appearances with the Cubs and Blue Jays.


It’s almost enough to make you feel nostalgic for Mike Zagurski

Almost.

The combined WAR for Phillie pitchers as calculated by Baseball-Reference was 10.8 in 2012, way down from the NL-leading WARs the team posted in 2011 and 2010.

The Phillies had a long, long way to fall, though. In 2011, Baseball-Reference calculated the combined WAR for all Phillie pitchers at 35.2. That is enormously high. How high? Well, here is the list of all teams whose pitchers have posted a combined Baseball-Reference WAR of 30 or better since 1900:

Team Year WAR for Pitchers
PHI 2012 35.2
NYY 1997 31.0
CIN 1967 30.8

Not a long list and the ’11 Phillies are at the top.

Looking back to the previous post, the Phillies led the NL in combined WAR for pitchers in 2010 (21.2) and again in 2011 (35.2). 2010 and 2011 are the only two years of the last ten in which the Phillie pitchers have been over 14.8.

The average for the team for the eight of the last ten years that were not 2010 or 2011 is about 8.8. The average for 2010 and 2011 was 28.2.

The point here is that the pitchers for the Phillies aren’t going to post a WAR of 35.2 again any time soon. Or ever. So the Phils are going to need to figure out another way to win (and hopefully one that involves Freddy Galvis never, ever being allowed near third base).

In 2011, Halladay posted a WAR of 8.5 and Cliff Lee put up an 8.3. By comparison, in 2012, there were four pitchers across both leagues with a WAR better than 5.8 — Verlander (7.6), Price (6.4), Harrison (6.2) and Kershaw (6.2).

So having two guys in your rotation at 8.3 or better is a big deal.

Here is the list of pitchers across both leagues who have posted a Baseball-Reference WAR of 8.3 or higher over the last ten years:

Pitcher Year WAR
Zack Greinke 2009 10.1
Roy Halladay 2011 8.5
Johan Santana 2004 8.4
Roy Halladay 2010 8.3
Cliff Lee 2011 8.3
Justin Verlander 2011 8.3

So that’s six seasons for pitchers with a WAR of 8.3 or better over the last ten years, three of which are Halladay or Lee (Halladay did it in 2010 and again in 2011). To compare, Cole Hamels is a great pitcher and has posted a WAR for a season once that was over 5.3 (6.2 in 2011). Roy Oswalt has finished in the top six in Cy Young voting six times, but has had a WAR for the season above 5.6 just twice (6.7 in 2002 and 6.4 in 2007).

So, again, the model for success going forward might have to a lot to do with good pitching, but it can’t rely on the pitching being as good as it was in 2011, because that is never going to happen again.

Looking for potential good news, there’s always the possibility that WAR, or at least WAR as calculated by Baseball-Reference, doesn’t matter at all. Sadly, I’m afraid it does, although it does seem worthwhile to point out enormous differences between the combined WAR for pitchers in 2011 as calculated by Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. While Baseball-Reference’s calculation of WAR suggests the 2011 Phillies had one of the most dominant pitching staffs in the history of baseball, FanGraph’s calculation of WAR suggests they weren’t even the best pitching staff in 2011. FanGraphs has them second across both leagues at 27.1 and the White Sox first at 27.3.

David Herndon is now a Blue Jay after being claimed by Toronto.

Tyson Brummett was also claimed off of waivers by the Blue Jays last week, then designated for assignment so Toronto could make room for Herndon on their 40-man roster.

Michael Martinez has been removed from the 40-man roster and sent to Triple-A.

The 40-man roster is at 36 with three players (Stutes, Contreras and Schneider) on the 60-day DL.


Can do Kendrick

The Phillies continue to win and win behind fantastic pitching. Kyle Kendrick’s amazing run continued last night as he allowed a run on two hits over seven innings while striking out eight as the Phils topped the Marlins 3-1 for their fifth-straight win.

The Phillies are 13-4 over their last 17 games. In nine of the 13 games they’ve won they’ve scored four runs or less. In four of those 13, including last night’s game, they scored three runs.

Brown hit a two-run homer off of Miami starter Wade LeBlanc in the bottom of the fifth. The Phils added a third run later in the same inning when Martinez doubled, moved to third on a ground out by Kendrick and scored on a wild pitch. Kendrick took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed just one run in the game, which came in the top of the seventh when Carlos Lee led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out and came home to score on a sac fly.

The bullpen went two scoreless frames after Kendrick left. Over the last four games the bullpen has thrown 11 2/3 scoreless innings.

Kendrick was fantastic in the game, but it was arguably just his third-best start of his last six. He threw seven shutout innings against the Marlins on August 14 and eight shutout innings against the Brewers on August 19. Since the start of July, Kendrick has now thrown to a 2.09 ERA with an 0.97 ratio over 64 2/3 innings in 16 appearances (nine starts).

The Phillies are 70-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 last night. The Phils lead the series one games to none and have won five in a row. They remain in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nationals. For the first time since July 26, Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds report gives them a chance of making the playoffs that’s greater than 0%. It’s 1%. They are five games back for the Wild Card and have 21 games left to play.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on two hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out eight.

He struck out Justin Ruggiano and Jose Reyes in a 1-2-3 top of the first.

Struck out Giancarlo Stanton and Greg Dobbs in a 1-2-3 second.

He walked Rob Brantly with one out in the third. The pitcher Wade LeBlanc was next and bunted Brantly to second with the second out. Kendrick got Bryan Petersen on ground ball to Utley to end the frame.

Kendrick struck Ruggiano out again in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He set the Marlins down in order again in the fifth.

The Phillies led 3-0 when Brantly singled to center to start the top of the sixth. Righty Gorkys Hernandez hit for the pitcher LeBlanc and walked on five pitches, putting runners on first and second for Petersen. Petersen hit a ball softly towards second and Utley made a nice play, charging and throwing to first for the first out as the runners moved up to second and third. Ruggiano was next and Kendrick struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out before walking Reyes on five pitches to load the bases for Stanton. Kendrick struck Stanton out swinging 1-2 to leave them loaded.

Biggest at-bat of the game for Kendrick and he gets Stanton swinging. Ruggiano can’t bring the runner home from third with less than two outs as Kendrick strikes him out for the third time in the game. Utley made a nice play to get the first out of the inning for the Phils.

Carlos Lee led off the seventh with a double to left. He moved up to third when Dobbs grounded to second for the second out and scored on a sac fly to deep left off the bat off Donovan Solano, cutting the lead to 3-1. Brantly flew to left for the third out.

De Fratus started the eighth with a two-run lead. Righty Austin Kearns hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and struck out looking 2-2 for the first out. Petersen singled to right before De Fratus struck Ruggiano out looking for the second out. Diekman came in to pitch to Reyes and got him on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

Not sure you need to bring a lefty in there to face the switch-hitter Reyes, but it worked out for the Phils. Reyes’s numbers are a tiny bit better against righties than lefties this year (287/348/446 vs righties and 265/337/404 against lefties). For his career he’s been better against lefties than righties — 300/355/438 against lefties and 288/337/442 against righties. So I’m not sure you need to go out of your way to bring a lefty in there.

De Fratus was pitching for the second straight day. He faced three hitters, struck out two and allowed a single to Petersen, which is the only hit he’s allowed in his first four appearances.

Diekman faced one batter in the game and got him out, dropping his ERA on the year to 4.43. He was also pitching for the second day in a row.

Bastardo started the ninth and struck Stanton out on a wild pitch that allowed Stanton to take first. Lee was next and Bastardo got him to ground to Martinez at third. Martinez went to second to start the double-play that cleared the bases. Bastardo struck the lefty Dobbs out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Bastardo gets the ninth after Papelbon pitches in both games of the double-header on Sunday. Bastardo was pitching for the second day in a row. Over his last 11 appearances, he’s allowed one run in nine innings on six hits and a walk while striking out 20. 20?

Overall the pen goes two scoreless innings in the game, allowing one single and striking out four.

All three of the pitchers that appeared have thrown two days in a row. De Fratus threw 13 pitches in the game, Bastardo seven and Diekman two.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Wade LeBlanc went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Wigginton (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Mayberry hits second against the lefty. Wigginton plays left the day after going 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. Kratz catches and Martinez plays third.

Rollins singled to center to start the bottom of the first, but Mayberry hit into a double-play behind him. Utley followed that with a double to left, but was left stranded when Howard struck out swinging.

Howard is hitting 183/234/338 against left-handed pitching for the year with 35 strikeouts in 77 plate appearances.

No run for the Phils despite a single and a double in the inning.

The Phillies went in order in the second, third and fourth.

Wigginton led off the fifth and walked on the ninth pitch of his plate appearance. It brought Brown to the plate and he hit a 3-1 pitch down the first base line and out for a two-run homer, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Kratz popped to Reyes for the first out of the inning before Martinez doubled to left. Kendrick moved Martinez up to third with a ground out to first for the second out. With Rollins at the plate, Martinez scored on a wild pitch, putting the Phils up 3-0 before Rollins struck out swinging to end the inning.

Wigginton gets on base by walking in a long at-bat before Brown homers off of the lefty.

Martinez gets a big hit, doubling to left. Kendrick moves him up to third with a ground ball on the right side, which allows Martinez to score on the wild pitch.

Mayberry singled off of lefty Dan Jennings to start the sixth, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Brown drew a walk off of Jennings to start the seventh with the led cut to 3-1. Righty Ryan Webb took over for Jennings and got Kratz on a fly ball to left for the first out and Martinez on a popup to first for the second. Schierholtz hit for Kendrick and popped to Reyes to leave Brown stranded.

Lefty Mike Dunn set Rollins, Mayberry and Utley down in order in the eighth.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a single. 6-for-his-last-30.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 300/374/500 in 147 plate appearances since the trades.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game. 5-for-his-last-13.

Howard 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 167/254/315 over his last 63 plate appearances.

Wigginton 0-for-2 with a big walk ahead of Brown’s home run. 2-for-13 in September with four walks.

Brown 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run in the game. 5-for-his-last-16 with a double, a home run and two walks.

Kratz 0-for-3. 0-for-his-last-10. 184/200/327 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 5-for-his-last-12.

Halladay (9-7, 3.87) faces righty Nathan Eovaldi (4-11, 4.44) tonight. Halladay’s left/right splits for 2012 are very similar to the same numbers for his career with the exception that righties have hit for more power against him this season. Eovaldi came from the Dodgers to the Fish in the Hanley Ramirez trade at the end of June. He’s thrown to a 4.85 ERA in his eight starts with the Marlins and opponents have hit .294 against him.


Rockie solid

The Phillies continued to roll this weekend, sweeping the Rockies in a three-game set to get within two games of .500.

They won Friday’s opener 3-2 on a walkoff single by Schierholtz in the bottom of the ninth. Lee pitched into the seventh and a pinch-hit double by Nix in the bottom of that inning tied the game at 2-2. Schierholtz singled Rollins home with one out in the bottom of the ninth to get the Phillies the win.

Saturday’s game was rained out and played as part of a double-header yesterday.

The Phillies won the day game of the double-header 3-2. Hamels allowed a pair of runs on four hits in the top of the second to put the Phils in an early 2-0 hole. A two-run double by Howard in the bottom of the fourth tied the game at 2-2. Mayberry singled to left with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, plating Schierholtz to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

The Phillies flipped their recent script in the night game of yesterday’s double-header as they won without good starting pitching, scoring a ton of runs in the game with the help of five errors from the Rockies. An RBI-single by Martinez in the second gave the Phillies an early 1-0 lead, but Cloyd struggled in his third career start. He lasted just four innings, allowing four runs in a top of the fourth that featured a three-run homer by Chris Nelson. The Phils roared back with the help of some miserable defense by the Rockies, though. Howard drove in two unearned runs with a long single in the fifth, cutting the lead to 4-3. They pulled ahead with two more in the sixth, getting a home run from Wigginton to start the inning and another unearned run that came home on an infield single by Frandsen. 5-4. More bad defensive play from Colorado in the seventh kept the inning alive long enough for Ruiz and Schierholtz to deliver RBI-singles as the Phils plated two more unearned runs.

The bullpen was outstanding for the Phillies in the series, throwing 9 2/3 scoreless innings as the Phils came out on top in a pair of one-run games. In the night game of yesterday’s double-header, they threw five scoreless innings in which they allowed one hit and two walks after Cloyd departed after just four innings.

The Phillies are 69-71 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 7-4 in the second game of a double-header last night. The Phils sweep the series and are 8-2 over their last ten games. They are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nationals. 24-14 since trading away Victorino and Pence. The Nationals are the only team in the NL with a better record since the end of the day on July 29 (the Nats are 25-14).

Cloyd got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a three-run homer. He struck out two.

After three starts, Cloyd has thrown to a 4.24 ERA with a 1.29 ratio. He’s walked just three batters in 17 innings, but opponents are hitting .279 against him. He has struck out 16.

Dexter Fowler was the first hitter of the game and he doubled to right. Cloyd got the next three to leave him at second, though, getting Charlie Blackmon on a fly ball to center for the first out, Jordan Pacheco on a fly ball to left for the second and Tyler Colvin on a popup to Utley for the third.

Chris Nelson singled off of Cloyd with one out in the second. DJ LeMahieu flew to right for the second out before Jonathan Herrera moved Nelson to second with a single to left. Cloyd struck the pitcher Drew Pomeranz out looking to leave the runners stranded.

The Phils led 1-0 when Cloyd started the third. Fowler led off with another hit, a single this time. Blackmon was next and grounded back to Cloyd. Cloyd went to Rollins to start a double-play that cleared the bases. Pacheco and Colvin followed that with back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and third for Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez singled to center, scoring Pacheco to tie the game at 1-1 with men on first and second for Nelson. Nelson hit the first pitch from Cloyd out to left, putting Colorado ahead 4-1. LeMahieu lined to Utley for the third out.

Third home run Cloyd had allowed in 15 2/3 innings. That one didn’t come at a good time. He allows four hits, three singles and a home run, in a row with two outs.

Cloyd walked Fowler with two outs in the fourth. Blackmon flew to left to leave Fowler at first.

De Fratus took over for Cloyd in the fifth and set the Rockies down in order.

Solid inning for De Fratus. He has now made three appearances for the Phillies on the year in which he has allowed no hits and two walks over 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

It was 4-3 when BJ Rosenberg struck Nelson and Herrera in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Rosenberg drops his ERA on the year to 11.37 with his 16th appearance. Lefties are on-basing .579 against him for the year, which should go near the top of his list of stuff to work on.

Lindblom started the seventh with the Phillies up 5-4. Righty Matt McBride hit for the pitcher Edgmer Escalona and flew to center for the first out. Lindblom walked Fowler and Fowler took second on a wild pitch before Lindblom walked Blackmon on four pitches. Lindblom got Pacheco to fly to center for the second out and Diekman came on to face the lefty Colvin. Righty Josh Rutledge hit for Colvin and grounded to short to end the frame.

Lindblom faces four batters and walks two of them before Diekman comes and has to get the righty Rutledge to get the Phils out of the jam.

Opponents are hitting just .167 against Lindblom in his 15 1/3 innings since he joined the Phils, but he has walked 13.

Huge out for Diekman to get the righty after the Rockies hit for Colvin. Like Lindblom, he’s walked way too many hitters in his time with the Phillies in 2012. He’s allowed 16 walks in 22 innings.

Up 7-4, Aumont threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He struck Nelson out swinging for the second out.

Aumont pitched in both games of the double-header, going 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the games combined to drop his ERA to 1.42 after seven appearances. He’s the guy whose walks we should really be worried about, but he hasn’t walked a batter in 4 1/3 innings over his last five appearances.

Papelbon was on for the ninth. He struck out the first two batters he faced before Fowler doubled to left. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for the lefty Blackmon and Papelbon got him on a fly ball to left to end the game.

Papelbon also pitched in both games of the double-header, getting the win in the afternoon and the save in the night game. Two scoreless innings on the day combined drops his ERA to 2.52 for the season. He’s allowed two earned runs in 21 2/3 innings over his last 22 outings.

Overall the pen went five scoreless innings in the game, allowing one hit (Fowler’s double off of Papelbon) and two walks while striking out six.

Aumont and Papelbon both pitched in two games yesterday. Papelbon threw 12 pitches in game two and Aumont threw nine. De Fratus threw 17 pitches in the game. Lindblom and Rosenberg each threw 16. Diekman threw eight.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Drew Pomeranz went (1) Rollins (2) Mayberry (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Wigginton (6) Brown (7) Martinez (8) Lerud. Martinez at third with Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture in his leg. Mayberry moves up to second in the order. Lerud catches the second game of the double-header with a lefty on the mound for Colorado.

Utley singled with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Howard struck out to leave him at first.

Wigginton doubled to left to start the bottom of the second. Brown struck out for the first out before Martinez singled to center, scoring Wigginton to put the Phils up 1-0. Lerud grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.

The Phils were down 4-1 when they hit in the third. Mayberry walked with two outs and moved up to second on a single by Utley. Howard flew to the left fielder Blackmon in foul territory to leave them both stranded.

With two outs in the fourth, Martinez reached on an error by Nelson at third. Lerud grounded to first behind him.

Righty Josh Roenicke started the fifth for Colorado. Pierre hit for De Fratus and grounded to short for the first out. Rollins fouled out to Nelson for the second. Mayberry was next and hit a ball to third that Nelson didn’t handle for an error. He moved up to second when Utley followed and blooped a single to left. Mayberry probably would have been picked off at second if Roenicke’s pickoff throw was handled. It wasn’t. It went into center and the runners moved up to second and third before Howard hit a ball off the wall in right. Both runners scored, cutting the lead to 4-3, but Howard was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.

Two-out error by Nelson opens the door to a pair of runs for the Phils on back-to-back singles. Mayberry was picked off at second, the Rockies just didn’t the ball and it kept the inning alive.

Wigginton homered off of Roenicke to start the sixth. 4-4. Brown flew to center for the first out before Martinez singled to center. Ruiz hit for Lerud and moved Martinez up to third with a single to left. Nix hit for Rosenberg and the lefty Matt Reynolds came in to pitch for him. Frandsen hit for Nix and reached on a dribbler towards third that went as an infield single. Martinez scored (5-4) and Ruiz moved up to second. Rollins loaded the bases with a single to left. Righty Edgmer Escalona came in to pitch for Mayberry. Lee ran for Frandsen at second and Mayberry struck out swinging for the second out. Utley grounded to third to leave the bases loaded.

Phils can’t get more after loading the bases with one out. Mayberry strikes out swinging 2-2 for the second out.

Righty Will Harris got Howard and Wigginton to start the seventh before Brown doubled to right. Martinez hit a ground ball to short that Herrera didn’t handle for an error that left men on first and third for Ruiz. Ruiz singled to right, scoring Brown (6-4) and moving Martinez to third. Schierholtz hit for Diekman and singled to right, scoring Martinez (7-4) and moving Ruiz to second. Rollins hit a ball to first that Pacheco didn’t handle for another error, loading the bases for Mayberry. Mayberry grounded to the pitcher to end the inning.

Two more errors from Colorado with two outs lead to two more unearned runs.

Righty Rafael Betancourt set the Phillies down in order in the eighth. Orr hit for Aumont and struck out swinging for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and 3-for-14 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 245/304/411 for the year. 5-for-his-last-26.

Mayberry was 0-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-9 in the series with five walks. He had the game-winning hit in game two of the set. 255/308/427 for the year. 302/378/508 in 143 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded. He’s walked 15 times in those 143 plate appearances. Prior to the trades of Victorino and Pence he had walked 12 times in 253 plate appearances with a .269 on-base percentage.

Utley 3-for-5 in the game and 4-for-12 in the series with three walks and four singles. 247/350/445 on the year. He came into yesterday’s game 6-for-his-last-38 (.158).

Howard 1-for-5 with two RBI. 2-for-11 with a walk and a double in the series. 236/320/436 on the year.

Wigginton 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. 2-for-8 with a double, a home run and four strikeouts in the series. 235/308/381 on the year. 189/264/326 in 148 plate appearances since June 8.

Brown 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. 3-for-11 with a walk and a double in the series. 243/320/339 for the year. 179/281/250 in 32 plate appearances against lefties.

Martinez 2-for-4 with an RBI. He started all three games of the series and went 4-for-9 with an RBI. 149/196/218 for the season in 93 plate appearances. 182/240/264 in 327 puzzling career plate appearances, all with the Phillies.

Lerud 0-for-2 in the game and 2-for-10 on the season.

Kendrick (8-10, 3.96) faces lefty Wade LeBlanc (2-3, 2.72) tonight as the Phils play the Marlins. Kendrick has a 2.18 ERA in his 15 appearances since the start of July. His last seven appearances have been starts and he has gone 4-2 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.03 ratio. LeBlanc spent much of the year at Triple-A and joined the Marlins early July. He pitched out of the pen at first, throwing to a 1.15 ERA in 11 appearances before joining the rotation. He’s made six starts on the year, throwing to a 3.51 ERA with a 1.35 ratio. In his 14 relief appearances for the year he’s thrown to a 1.37 ERA with an 0.97 ratio.


Looking for the Phillies to do something against a lefty? Get comfortable — it may be a Detwiler

The Phillies weren’t very good against lefties before they traded away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. They’re worse now and had no answer to lefty Ross Detwiler and the Nats last night. Detwiler and two relievers stymied the Phils, holding them to three singles as the Nats topped the Phillies 3-0.

Adam LaRoche hit a long home run off of Hamels in the second to give the Nats an early 1-0 lead. The Phillie defense was terrible in the third and the Nats scored two more times thanks to a trio of misplays, none of which was called an error. The Phillies had three hits in the game, all singles. They didn’t get a hit after the third inning.

The Phillies simply don’t have a lot of firepower to put in their lineup against left-handed pitching these days. Last night they started Ruiz, a right-handed hitter who has been great this year. Beyond that, though, things get ugly. Switch-hitter Jimmy Rollins led off — he’s on-basing .261 against lefties for the year. Kevin Frandsen hit second, he has a career on-base percentage against lefties of .281. Wigginton and his 200/317/388 line against lefties for the year hit fifth. Another righty who should hit lefties was next in Mayberry. He’s shown a lot of power against lefties this season and hit for average, but on-based just .274 against them. Michael Martinez curiously played center and hit eighth — his career line against lefties is 167/175/179. The other two spots in the lineup were filled by lefties Utley and Domonic Brown.

The Phillies are 47-58 on the year after losing to the Washington Nationals 3-0 last night. The Phillies take two of three in the series, but remain in last place in the NL East, 15 1/2 games out of first.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out nine. All three runs were earned, but Hamels was victimized by terrible defense in the third that led to two earned runs.

The Phillies have lost six of the last seven games that Hamels has started. Over those seven outings he has thrown to a 3.51 ERA with a 1.29 ratio and struck out 48 in 48 2/3 innings.

He walked Zimmerman with two outs in the first, but struck Michael Morse out swinging to leave Zimmerman at first.

Coming off an outing where he walked six, Hamels walks another in the first. Looked worrisome at the time, but Hamels wouldn’t walk another hitter in the game.

Adam LaRoche hit Hamels’s first pitch of the second way out to right. 1-0. Jayson Werth and Sandy Leon followed with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second for Steve Lombardozzi. Hamels struck Lombardozzi out for the second out, struck the pitcher Ross Detwiler out trying to bunt for the second and Danny Espinosa swinging to leave both runners stranded.

With one out in the third, Zimmerman hit a grounder to second that bounced high off the mound and to Utley. Utley tried to glove it but didn’t handle the ball cleanly. Zimmerman was safe and given a hit, but Utley should have made the play. Morse was next and he hit a ball hard to short, off the glove of Rollins for another single. Again the play should have been made and Rollins could have been charged with an error. Instead of the double-play, the Nats had men on first and second with one out. LaRoche was the next hitter and he lined a single into center. Zimmerman scored (2-0) and, for reasons unknown, Martinez threw the ball to third where he had no chance to get Morse. This allowed LaRoche to move up to second and meant there was no double-play when Werth followed with a ground ball to second. Instead, Morse scored to make it 3-0 and LaRoche moved up to third as Utley went to first for the second out. Hamels struck Leon out to leave LaRoche at third.

Utley’s mishandle should have been an error. The Rollins play was harder, but would have been an inning-ending double-play if he handled it cleanly. Martinez made a big mental mistake and took away the double-play on Werth’s ball.

Both runs charged to Hamels in the inning were earned.

Hamels struck out Detwiler and Espinosa in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He got Zimmerman in a 1-2-3 fifth.

LaRoche singled to center to start the sixth. Werth popped to Rollins before Leon doubled to left, moving LaRoche to third. Lombardozzi was next and lined a ball to right. Mayberry handled it for the second out. LaRoche tagged and tried to score, but Mayberry made a fantastic throw to the plate. Ruiz took it on one hop and applied the tag as LaRoche slid in to end the inning.

Nice throw. Mayberry’s defense has been really good.

Hamels set the Nationals down in order in the seventh. Righty Tyler Moore hit for Detwiler and struck out swinging for the first out.

Schwimer started the eighth and walked the leadoff man Zimmerman. He got the next two before walking Werth, putting two men on for Leon. Schwimer struck the switch-hitter Leon out swinging 2-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Frandsen made a nice diving play to snare a line drive hit by Morse for the first out.

Schwimer has walked 15 in 27 1/3 innings for the season, which is too many. He got away with it last night, though, and has a 2.14 ERA over his last 23 appearances after throwing to an 8.10 ERA in his first six outings. Over his last nine appearances he has walked seven in 7 2/3 innings.

He threw 28 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Ross Detwiler went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Wigginton (6) Mayberry (7) Brown (8) Martinez. Martinez in center, Mayberry in right, Brown in left and lefties Schierholtz, Pierre and Nix on the bench. Ruiz returns to the lineup to catch. Howard gets the day off against the lefty with Wigginton at first. Detwiler has ugly left-right splits and has been tough on lefties, but you don’t want to see Martinez starting too often against anyone.

Utley singled with two outs in the first, but Ruiz grounded to second behind him to set the Phillies down.

Wigginton started the top of the second with a ground ball to third. Zimmerman bobbled twice and didn’t throw to first — Wigginton was safe on the error. Mayberry was next and grounded to third with Zimmerman going to second to force Wigginton for the first out. Brown was next and walked on five pitches, putting two men on for Martinez. Martinez singled into right and Mayberry tried to score from second, but Harper’s throw from right was good and beat Mayberry by a lot. Leon applied the tag for the second out. Hamels struck out looking to leave the runners on first and second.

Harper made a good throw, but Mayberry was out by a lot. Have to wonder how big a factor the fact that Hamels was due to hit next was in sending Mayberry.

The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the third. Frandsen reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Detwiler with one out. Utley walked behind him, putting two men on for Ruiz. Ruiz flew to right and Wigginton grounded to third to turn the Phillies away.

Down 3-0, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Detwiler set them down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

Lefty Sean Burnett threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Kratz hit for Hamels and grounded to short for the first out.

Kratz was the only righty on the bench for the Phils at the start of the game. They also had five lefties in Nix, Pierre, Howard, Schneider and Schierholtz. One isn’t an ideal number of righties to have on the bench.

Righty Tyler Clippard started the ninth with a three-run lead and walked Utley. Ruiz flew to center for the first out. Nix hit for Wigginton and popped out to Zimmerman for the second out. Schierholtz hit for Mayberry and walked as well, bringing Brown to the plate as the tying run. Howard hit for Brown. Clippard threw an 0-1 fastball past Howard and then struck him out looking at an 0-2 fastball on the inside of the plate.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. 3-for-13 in the series with a walk and three home runs. 250/308/413 for the season. 211/261/361 against left-handed pitchers for the year.

Frandsen 1-for-4. He played all three games of the set at third for the Phils, going 2-for-12 with a home run. 4-for-15 on the year.

Utley was 1-for-2 with two walks. 4-for-10 with four walks and a double in the series. 253/357/463 for the year. 276/417/517 over his last 76 plate appearances.

Ruiz was 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 1-for-9 with a double in the series. 335/399/559 on the year. 269/324/484 over his last 102 plate appearances.

Wigginton 0-for-3 to drop his average to .230. 1-for-4 in the series. 230/299/364 for the year. 162/222/263 over his last 108 plate appearances. We shouldn’t be counting on him to save the day against lefties — he’s hitting 200/317/388 against them for the year.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a pretty throw from the outfield. Started all three games of the series and went 3-for-11 with a double and a walk. 232/272/384 for the season.

Brown was 0-for-2 with a walk in the game and 1-for-7 in the series. So far he’s played 17 disaster-free innings in the outfield.

Not so much for Martinez, who was 1-for-3 with an unusual decision about where to throw the ball from center in the third inning. He’s hitting .146 in 51 plate appearances for the year. He’s not exactly a monster bat to add to your lineup against a left-handed pitcher given his career .175 on-base percentage against lefties with one extra-base hit (a double) and one walk in 81 plate appearances.

Blanton (8-9, 4.59) faces righty Ian Kennedy (9-8, 4.20) tonight in Philadelphia. Blanton has thrown to a 3.61 ERA over his last six starts. Kennedy has a 2.42 ERA over his last three outings. He’s seventh in the NL in fewest walks per nine innings at 1.733. Blanton leads the league in that category with 1.215.


Something old and something phew

Okay, maybe more than one thing phew.

Juan Pierre went 1-for-2 in yesterday’s game against Baltimore, raising his Spring Training batting average to .281. Thanks to five walks, which ties him for the team lead, Pierre is on-basing an impressive .378 so far.

That’s good news for Pierre, especially given that his role with the team would primarily be to try and get on base and more specifically to try and get on base against right-handed pitching.

It’s important to remember that Pierre has had years when he was a fantastic hitter against right-handed pitching. In 2001 he hit 337/383/435 against righties for the Rockies. In 2003 he played for the Fish and posted a 303/368/377 line against right-handed pitching. In 2004 it was 334/379/422.

The problem is, though, that most of his success against right-handed pitching came early in his career. Three of the last four years his numbers against righties are not good at all. In 2009, Pierre got 305 plate appearances against righties for the Dodgers and hit 304/347/389 against them. In the other three years, though, 2008, 2010 and 2011, Pierre has been pretty awful. In those three seasons combined, Pierre got 1,373 plate appearances against righties in which he hit just 264/308/318. Here’s what the numbers for Pierre against righties look like before and after the end of the 2005 season:

PA AVG OBP SLG
2005-2011 3243 279 322 354
Before 2005 2307 313 363 389

Against right-handed pitching, Pierre has hit for just about the same amount of power before and after the end of 2005. After 2005 his isolated power is .075 against righties and through the end of 2005 is was .076. His batting average is off about thirty points, though, and he has walked a lot less. Through the end of the 2005 season he had walked in about 6.7% of his plate appearances against righties. Since the end of 2005 he has walked in about 5.0%.

The Phillies beat Baltimore 4-1 yesterday.

Halladay started for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on three hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five, dropping his spring ERA to 6.59. Papelbon, Stutes and Herndon followed Halladay and each threw a scoreless inning. Herndon struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save and push his ERA down to 2.25.

Galvis, Phillies second basemen of the present, hit leadoff for the Phils and played second. He went 1-for-5 with yet another triple, his second in two days. 273/300/477. He’s been really good so far. If you’re looking for predictions, though, if they set the over-under for his slugging percentage for the regular season at .477, take the under.

Martinez was 1-for-2 with a double, raising his average to .323. Speaking of taking the under, he’s now slugging .516 and on-basing .400. All of that’s going to matter a little less to the Phils in the short term given that Martinez’s right foot was broken yesterday when he was hit by a Jim Johnson pitch in the seventh inning. The linked article mentions Orlando Hudson and Maicer Izturis as players who might make sense for the Phils were they to try to bring in an infielder from outside the organization.

Sounds good to me.

Podsednik 1-for-1 to up his line to 389/463/528 in 36 at-bats. Pierre 1-for-2 with a single and hitting 281/378/281. Montanez started in left and went 0-for-4, but is still at 394/417/576 through 33 at-bats.

Pence (.292), Ruiz (.450) and Wigginton (.257) all were 2-for-3 for the Phils in the game.

Frandsen was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .156. He was reassigned after the game.

Pete Orr was 1-for-1 with an RBI in the game, upping his line to 290/361/367 in 31 at-bats. Hector Luna is hitting .281 after an 0-for-2 day. It would seem it would be tough for the Phillies to carry either of those players unless they think one of them can play short. Then again, if things continue at their current pace, those guys might be looking pretty good in about a week or so.

Erik Kratz homered in his only at-bat of the game for the Phils, upping his spring average to .353 (6-for-17).

The Phils don’t play today. That should help some. Toronto tomorrow afternoon.

This article on Utley’s knee problems doesn’t seem to be brimming with optimism that his return is imminent.


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