Tag: michael young

Bottom feeders

The Phillies scored five runs in the bottom of the first last night on their way to a 7-3 win. Their first six hitters of the game combined to go 4-for-6 with a single, a double, two home runs and two walks off of Mets starter Jeremy Hefner.

It was the second straight miserable start for Hefner against the Phillies going back to last season. In his last two starts against the Phils, Hefner has allowed 12 earned runs on 12 hits and four walks over three innings.

The Phils feasted on the bottom of the Mets rotation in the series, scoring 12 runs in the six innings pitched by Dillon Gee and Hefner as they won the last two games.

The Phillies scored all seven of their runs last night on home runs. Utley hit a two-run shot in the first, which was followed soon after by a three-run bomb by Brown. Nix hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the sixth.

Michael Young continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-3 with a double. He’s 9-for-his-last-16 with four extra-base hits. 455/538/773 against right-handed pitching in the early going, coming off of a 2012 season in which he hit 257/291/352 against righties.

The Phillies are 4-5 on the year after beating the New York Mets 7-3 last night. They take the series two games to one. First series win of the year for the Phils in three tries. First time they have won two games in a row on the season. They are 0-4 when Hamels or Halladay start and 4-1 when somebody else starts.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out six.

5.40 ERA and a 1.71 ratio after two starts. Lefties are hitting .480 against him — 12-for-25 with two walks, three doubles, a home run and 480/519/720 line.

Jordany Valdespin was the first hitter of the game and reached on a softly hit infield single. Daniel Murphy flew to right for the first out, bringing David Wright to the plate with Valdespin still on first. Kendrick struck Wright out swinging as Valdespin took off for second. Kratz threw him out from his knees on a bounce to end the inning.

Impressive throw by Kratz.

Kendrick started the second with a 5-0 lead. John Buck homered to left-center with one out. 5-1. Lucas Duda followed with a double to right and Mike Baxter walked behind Duda, putting men on first and second with one down for Ruben Tejada. Tejada singled softly to right, loading the bases for the pitcher Jeremy Hefner. Kendrick struck Hefner out looking for the second out and Valdespin out looking to end the frame.

Valdespin struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch that looked like a ball to me, but whatever. Still a great job by Kendrick to get out of the inning after the Mets load the bases with one out.

Tired of John Buck. He was 4-for-12 in the series with three home runs and drove in six of the 13 runs New York scored. Duda was pretty impressive as well — 3-for-4 with a double and two home runs last night. 5-for-9 with a double, two home runs and a walk in the series.

Kendrick set the Mets down in order in the third.

Duda homered to right with one out in the fourth. 5-2. Baxter followed with a double, but Kendrick got Tejada on a ground ball to Utley that moved Duda up to third for the second out. Righty Justin Turner hit for the pitcher Hefner, but Kendrick got him on a ground ball to Utley as well to set the Mets down.

The game was delayed by rain for 27 minutes in the bottom of the fourth. Kendrick returned after the delay to start the fifth. Valdespin led off and bunted for a single. Murphy was the next batter and Kendrick walked him, putting two men on for Wright. Wright struck out swinging for the first out. Ike Davis was next and he hit a blooper into left-center. Revere made a nice running catch for the second out. Murphy was way off of second and Revere threw there to double him off and end the inning.

Very nice play by Revere, both to get to the ball and to make the throw. His momentum was taking him away from second base, but he managed to get off a pretty reasonable throw to get Murphy. Not sure exactly what Murphy was thinking — best guess would be he thought Revere was going to throw home or couldn’t throw at all. Either way it was bad base-running and a nice play by Revere.

Baxter singled to right with two outs in the six. Tejada flew to Revere for the third out.

Bastardo started the seventh with a 7-2 lead. Valdespin reached on an infield single with one out, but Bastardo got the next two.

Three scoreless innings over three appearances for Bastardo. He’s allowed a single and two walks.

Adams started the eighth. He struck Buck out for the first out and Davis out for the second before Duda hit a 2-1 pitch out to right. 7-3. Lefty Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit for the pitcher Scott Rice and Adams struck him out looking to end the frame.

Adams was pitching for the second day in a row. He’s now allowed a run on two hits in 3 1/3 innings over four appearances. He has struck out seven. I assume if there was no off-day today, Manuel would have called on Aumont rather than Adams to pitch the eighth with a five-run lead. Aumont has made one appearance since April 1 and two on the year.

Papelbon threw the ninth in heavy rain. Tejada led off with a single, but Marlon Byrd was next and Papelbon got him to ground into a double-play. Valdespin struck out looking to end the game.

Glad to see Papelbon used in a non-save situation there. After allowing two runs in an inning in his first appearance of the year, he’s allowed one single in two scoreless frames his last two times out.

Overall the pen goes three innings, allowing a run on the Duda homer off of Adams. Three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Adams has pitched two days in a row, but will surely be available Friday in Miami given the off-day today.

The Phillie lineup against righty Jeremy Hefner went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Mayberry in right again against the righty after a big day against righty starter Dillon Gee in game two of the set.

Revere led off the bottom of the first and walked on five pitches. With Rollins at the plate he stole second, but slid through the base and was tagged out for the first out. It cost the Phils a run, cause Rollins doubled to right and Utley followed that with a home run to center. 2-0. Howard singled and Young walked before Brown blasted a 2-1 pitch down the right field line and well out for another homer. 5-0. Mayberry struck out looking for the second out and Kratz flew to center.

Really not a fan of the Revere stolen base, even if it works and it doesn’t cost the Phillies a run. If the only batter the pitcher has faced in the game is Ben Revere and he walked him on five pitches, it’s a good sign he hasn’t settled in yet. Make him get an out first.

The lead was cut to 5-1 when the Phils went in order in the second.

Howard singled to right with one out in the third on a ball that hit the wall after a bounce or two. Young was next and ripped a line drive in to left-center for a double, sending Howard to third. Hefner got behind Brown 3-0 after Brown had hit a moon shot in his previous at-bat, then put him on intentionally to lead the bases for Mayberry. Mayberry popped to short with the runners holding for the second out. Kratz was next and blooped a ball into right-center, but Valdespin made a nice shoestring catch after a long run to retire the side.

Big play by Valdespin takes runs away from the Phillies.

Howard can’t run. Young can, at least a lot better than I thought he could. I had no idea. The hustle double was the third time in two games he made an aggressive play on the bases and was safe.

Mayberry can’t bring the runner home from the third with one out, popping out to short with the bases loaded and one down. He also struck out in the bottom of the first as the first batter retired by Hefner.

The lead was cut to 5-2 when lefty Josh Edgin struck out Kendrick, Revere and Rollins in the fourth.

Young singled to center with two outs in the fifth. Brown flew to center on a sliding catch by Valdespin to end the inning.

Second nice play of the game by Valdespin in center after he took a hit away from Kratz with the bases loaded to end the third.

Kratz singled off of righty Latroy Hawkins with one out in the sixth. Nix hit for Kendrick and hit a 3-1 pitch out to right-center, extending the Phillie lead to 7-2. Revere grounded to third for the second out before Rollins singled to left. Lefty Scott Rice came in to pitch to Utley and retired him on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Rice set Howard, Young and Brown down in order in the seventh.

Righty Bobby Parnell threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the lead cut to 7-3. Galvis hit for Adams and flew to left for the third out.

Revere was 0-for-3 with a walk and a caught stealing in the game. 1-for-11 with two walk in the series drops his line to 211/268/211 after 41 plate appearances. Made a nice play to double Murphy off of second base. The Phillies are averaging about 4.67 runs per game, which is remarkable given that their leadoff man is on-basing .268. Revere is 0-for-8 against lefties on the year.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a double. 4-for-12 with three doubles in the game. 316/350/526 for the year. 357/400/607 against right-handed pitching. I think Rollins will lead off and Revere will be dropped to seven or eight soon if Revere does not start hitting.

Utley 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the game. 2-for-10 with two walks and a home run in the series. 333/395/636 for the year.

Howard 2-for-4 with two singles. 3-for-11 with a home run in the series. 200/237/286 for the year. If you’re team is scoring 4.67 runs per game, your leadoff man is on-basing .268 and your cleanup hitter is on-basing .237 and slugging .286, something is going pretty well somewhere else.

Michael Young is one of the things going very right offensively. 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in the game. 5-for-11 with a walk, a double, a triple and a home run in the series. He seemed to run the bases unusually well in the series, aggressively successful in taking an extra-base on three occasions. 375/459/594 on the year.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer. 2-for-11 with a walk and a homer in the set. 242/286/424 for the year. Hitting .231 against right-handed pitching.

Mayberry 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 263/391/579 for the year.

Kratz 1-for-4 in the game and made a nice throw to nail Valdespin in the top of the first. 3-for-9 with a double in the series. 207/200/379 for the year. Hasn’t drawn a walk in 30 plate appearances.

The Phillies are off today and play the Marlins in Florida tomorrow night.


Just what the doctor ordered

Their season is only eight games old, but twice already the Phillies have needed a big start from Cliff Lee and twice he has delivered. Last night he gave the overworked middle relievers a break as he went 8 2/3 innings in an 8-3 win over the Mets.

After two starts, Lee is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA and an 0.60 ratio. He has thrown 16 2/3 innings, striking out 14 and walking none. Righties are hitting .133 against him.

The offense delivered seven early runs, scoring four in the second before Howard, Young and Mayberry all hit solo home runs in the third. Mayberry started in right against a right-handed pitcher and had a big day, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. He’s 4-for-12 with three doubles, a home run and three walks against righties in the early going (333/467/833). Young tripled and homered, going 3-for-4 in the game and driving in a pair of runs.

The Phillies are 3-5 on the year after beating the New York Mets 8-3 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the three-game series.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went 8 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. Only two of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Daniel Murphy and John Buck both singled in the top of the first, but Lee got Marlon Byrd on a fly ball to center to leave two men stranded.

Lucas Duda singled to start the second, but Lee got Justin Turner to ground into a double-play behind him. Ruben Tejada flew to right for the third out.

Lee started the third up 4-0 and set the Mets down in order.

It was 7-0 when he started the fourth. David Wright led off and reached on a throwing error by Rollins, putting a man on for Buck. Buck hit the first pitch he saw from Lee out to right, cutting the lead to 7-2. Lee got the next three.

Second home run the opposite way for Buck in two games in the set. The error by Rollins ahead of the home run costs the Phils a run.

It was 8-2 when Jordany Valdespin tripled to center with one out in the fifth. Valdespin scored on a passed ball (8-3) before Lee struck out Collin Cowgill for the second out. Murphy doubled to right, but was left at second when Wright grounded to short.

Second miscue by the Phils on the passed ball by Kratz, although Valdespin would have scored from third on Murphy’s double anyway.

Lee set the Mets down in order in the sixth. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher and struck out looking for the third out.

Lee needed seven pitches to set New York down in order in the seventh.

He struck out Murphy in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Byrd singled to right with one out in the ninth. Righty Anthony Recker hit for the pitcher Brandon Lyon and Lee struck him out looking for the second out. Turner was next and moved Byrd up to second with a single. Lee had thrown 106 pitches in the game and Manuel called on Adams to pitch to the righty Ruben Tejada. Tejada struck out looking 0-2 to end the game.

I thought it was a very good decision by Manuel to pull Lee when he did. The middle of the pen has been overused, but the guys at the back, Adams, Papelbon, Aumont and Bastardo, haven’t had a ton to do.

It was the third appearance of the year for Adams. He has struck out four in 2 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing one hit.

The Phillie lineup against righty Dillon Gee went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Kratz behind the plate after Quintero caught Halladay in game one of the set. Revere continues to lead off despite his slow start in combination with Rollins hitting well. Mayberry starts in right against the righty with Nix on the bench.

The Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.

Young and Brown singled back-to-back with one out in the second. Brown’s ball was hit softly to left. The throw went to third and hit Young, allowing Brown to move up to second. Mayberry cleared the bases with a double down the third base line. 2-0. Kratz grounded to third for the second out before Lee singled into center, scoring Mayberry to put the Phils up 3-0. Revere moved Lee up to second with a single before Rollins doubled into the right field corner. Lee scored (4-0) and Revere moved up to third. Utley flew to left to leave the runners at second and third.

Very nice hustle on the bases by both Young and Brown on Brown’s single. Young took third on the single and Brown ran hard to take the extra-base when Duda’s throw hit Young.

Revere doesn’t score from first on the two-out double by Rollins.

Howard led off the third and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center. 5-0. Young was next and hit the first pitch he saw out the opposite way. 6-0. Brown flew to left for the first out before Mayberry lined a 1-0 pitch out to left. 7-0. Kratz singled, but Lee and Revere went down to leave him stranded.

Quite an inning as Howard, Young and Mayberry all put home run number one for the season on the board. All three go after Gee early in the count. Howard and Young hit the ball out the opposite way and Mayberry pulls his down the line.

Righty Glen Burke was on the mound for the Mets when the Phils hit in the fourth with their lead cut to 7-1. Utley walked with one out. Howard lined to Tejada for the second out before Utley stole second. It brought Young to the plate and he tripled to center, scoring Utley to make it 8-1. Brown grounded to short for the third out.

Young was again aggressive on the bases as he went for three. The Mets probably would have had him with a good relay to third. They didn’t get one.

It was 8-3 when Burke set the Phillies down in order in the fifth.

Utley walked off of lefty Scott Rice with two outs in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error. Howard struck out swinging to leave him at third.

Righty Latroy Hawkins set Young, Brown and Mayberry down in order in the seventh.

Brown is 5-for-25 against righties on the season.

Righty Brandon Lyon set Kratz, Lee and Revere down in order in the eighth. Lee hit for himself having thrown 96 pitches in the game.

Revere was 1-for-5 in the game. He’s hitting .229 without an extra-base hit.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He made a throwing error in front of the Buck home run that cost the Phils a run. 8-for-25 with two walks and four extra-base hits against righties (320/370/560).

Utley 0-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases.

Howard 1-for-4 with a strikeout and his first home run. 161/206/258 on the year in 34 plate appearances.

Young 3-for-4 with a triple and a home run. 7-for-his-last-13 with three extra-base hits.

Brown 1-for-4 with a bloop single and a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-15 with two singles and no walks.

Mayberry gets the start against the righty Gee and delivers two extra-base hits off of him, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI in the game.

Kratz 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a passed ball. He’s on-basing .192 with eight strikeouts in 26 plate appearances.

Kendrick (0-1, 7.94) faces righty Jeremy Hefner (0-1, 1.50) tonight. Kendrick pitched better than his line against the Royals in his first start, throwing four scoreless innings to start the game before allowing a two-run single in the fifth. With two outs in the fifth and two men on he was asked to walk Billy Butler intentionally and was then pulled from the game. Horst took over and allowed a three-run triple to Alex Gordon with all three runs charged to Kendrick. Hefner allowed a run to the Marlins over six innings in his first outing of the year.


Braves celebrate Opening Day by announcing Open Season on pitches thrown by Cole Hamels

The 2013 season started for the Phillies last night and it didn’t start well. Cole Hamels made his first Opening Day start and came up with a klunker, allowing three home runs as the Braves scored five runs charged to him in five innings.

Michael Young didn’t play very well at third and Chad Durbin’s first outing of the year was a dud. Durbin faced three hitters and all three reached base as he was charged with two runs without getting an out.

What did go well was the offense, which plated five runs, and especially Chase Utley. Utley was fantastic at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three RBI. He homered off of righty Tim Hudson in the fourth and tripled off of lefty Eric O’ Flaherty in the seventh.

The Phillies are 0-1 on the season after losing to the Braves 7-5 last night.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and three home runs. He struck out five.

He walked Jason Heyward with one out in the bottom of the first. Justin Upton was next and Hamels struck him out swinging 3-2, but Freddie Freeman followed and blasted a 2-1 pitch out to right, putting Atlanta up 2-0. BJ Upton went down on a ball hit hard back to Hamels to end the inning.

The lefty Freeman had some success against Hamels in the game.

Dan Uggla led off the bottom of the second. Uggla got ahead 3-0 and then hit the fourth pitch of his at-bat out to left. 3-0. Hamels got the next three.

Two of the first six batters that Hamels faces on the year homer. Uggla’s was the only one of the three long balls that Hamels actually turned to look at to see if it would leave the yard. On the other two he just hung his head on the mound when the pitch was hit.

Andrelton Simmons doubled to left to start the third. Hamels got the next two hitters before Freeman lined a single to right, scoring Simmons to put Atlanta up 4-0. Upton flew to center for the third out.

Again the lefty Freeman gets the lefty Hamels. Three RBI in two at-bats for Freeman for the season at that point.

Chris Johnson singled with one out in the fourth and the Atlanta lead cut to 4-1. It brought Gerald Laird to the plate and Laird hit a ball hard down the third base line and off the glove of a diving Young. The ball rolled into foul territory and Young chased — Johnson wound up on third and Laird was at second with a double. The pitcher Tim Hudson was next and grounded to Rollins with the runners holding for the second out. Simmons was next and grounded to third to end the inning.

Generous of the home town scorer to call Laird’s ball on the misplay by Young a double. Hamels puts up his first zero of the year after Atlanta scores in each of the first three innings. The Phils get lucky that it’s the pitcher coming to the plate with one out and men on second and third after the Laird double.

The Atlanta lead was cut to 4-3 when Hamels started the fifth. He got Heyward on a fly ball to right before Justin Upton hit a 1-2 pitch out to left center. Hamels got ahead of him 0-2, but Upton just crushed his 1-2 offering to make it 5-3. Hamels got the next two to set the Braves down.

Third homer of the game for Atlanta. Two to righties (Uggla and Justin Upton) and the other to the lefty Freeman.

Durbin started the sixth for the Phillies and walked the leadoff man Uggla on six pitches. Johnson was next and doubled into left on the first pitch of his at-bat, sending Uggla to third. It brought Laird to the plate with nobody out and men on second and third. He was swinging at the first pitch as well and blooped a single into left-center. Brown charged and mishandled the ball, but Revere was right there to pick it up and get it into the infield. Uggla scored on the play to make it 6-3 with one out and runners on the corners. Lefty Juan Francisco hit for the pitcher Luis Avilan and Horst came in to pitch to him. Righty Reed Johnson hit for Francisco and hit a ball back up the middle, off the edge of Horst’s glove to Rollins. Rollins went to second for the first out and Utley relayed to first for the second. As the throw went to first to complete the double-play, Johnson came home from third. Howard took the throw at first and threw home, but his throw was not handled and Johnson would have been safe anyway. 7-3. Simmons popped out to first to end the inning.

Much confusion about whether or not Manual made an error around bringing in Horst before the lefty Juan Francisco was announced as the pinch-hitter or not. Francisco was definitely in the on-deck circle when Horst came in, but announcers on the TV broadcast indicated the he had not been announced and therefore the righty Reed Johnson was hitting for the pitcher Avilan and not the left-handed pinch-hitter Francisco. The box score on the MLB.com web site shows that Francisco actually hit for Avilan. I don’t know. Either way, Horst faced the righty Reed Johnson and got him to hit into a double-play.

Not a good start for Durbin. He faces three batters in the game, allowing a walk, a single and a double without getting an out. Durbin pitched for the Braves last year, which makes it a little more interesting that both Johnson and Laird were swinging first pitch on their hits.

Nice job by Revere to be right on the ball and prevent Johnson from scoring when Brown mishandled the bloop by Laird. Didn’t wind up mattering as Johnson scored on the double-play, but it was a nice play.

Horst was back for the seventh. Freeman blooped a single to left with two outs, but Horst struck out BJ Upton to leave Freeman at first.

Freeman’s bloop was a little odd. It stayed in the air for a long, long time and Brown wasn’t close to getting there. Looked like he was playing really deep in left given the left-handedness of the hitter.

Horst goes two scoreless innings in the game, striking out two and allowing a bloop single on a ball that might have been handled.

Aumont pitched the eighth. He walked Johnson with one out. Laird was next and hit a ball hard to third. It probably would have been a double-play ball if Young had handled it cleanly. He didn’t, but picked it up and threw to first. The throw was in the dirt, but Howard did a nice job to scoop it for the second out as Johnson moved up to second. Switch-hitter Ramiro Pena hit for the pitcher Jordan Walden and grounded to first to end the inning.

Aumont goes one scoreless inning in the game, striking out one and allowing a walk. Last year he walked nine for the Phillies in 14 2/3 innings and walked 34 in 44 1/3 innings in the minors. That’s too many walks. The Phillies should have turned a double-play on the ball hit by Laird.

Overall the pen goes three innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three. Horst pitched great. Durbin did not. Aumont threw a scoreless innings but needs to walk fewer hitters. Horst threw 17 pitches, Aumont 14 and Durbin eight. All three seem likely to be available for game two of the set given the off-day today.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Hudson went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) M Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Two of the nine players the Phillies start were also in the lineup for game one in 2012 (Rollins and Mayberry). Kratz starts behind the plate with Ruiz suspended. Brown in left with the righty Mayberry in right and the lefty Nix on the bench. Mayberry comes into the game with good numbers against Hudson — 4-for-13 with two home runs. Revere leads off against the righty with Rollins hitting second. One of the things that does is prevents three lefties two through four in the lineup from Revere to Howard (if Revere were hitting second). Revere and Michael Young make their Phillie debuts. Erik Kratz enters the game with zero career plate appearances in April and seven career plate appearances in March, April, May or June.

The Phillies went in order in the first.

They were down 2-0 when they hit in the top of the second. Young walked with one out and moved up to second when Brown followed with a single to right. It put two men on for Mayberry and Mayberry grounded into a double-play to set the Phillies down.

Mayberry hits into a lot of double-plays. So far, this year is no exception.

Revere singled to left with two outs in the second and the Phils down 3-0. He stole second before Rollins grounded to second to leave him stranded.

The Phillies were trailing 4-0 when Utley started the fourth with a home run to center. 4-1. Howard grounded out to Uggla in shallow right field for the first out and Young struck out swinging for the second before Brown drew a walk. Mayberry struck out looking to leave Brown at first.

With one out in the fifth, the Phillies loaded the bases for Utley on singles by Hamels and Rollins and a walk to Revere. Utley singled to right, scoring Hamels and Revere to cut the lead to 4-3 and taking second as the throw came in to third. It put men on second and third with one down for Howard and lefty Luis Avilan came in to pitch to him. Avilan quickly got ahead of Howard 0-2 and struck him out swinging for the second out. The righty Young was walked intentionally to load the bases for Brown. Brown grounded to second to leave them loaded.

Second big hit for Utley in two innings after the homer in the fourth. Howard comes up empty in a big spot, striking out with one out and men on second and third. Intentionally walking Michael Young so your lefty can pitch to Domonic Brown in the fifth inning is a poor idea, but it worked out well for the Braves in this case. I don’t think that’s in the best interest of your team in the long run, however.

The Phils trailed 5-3 when they hit in the sixth. Mayberry and Kratz went down for the first two outs. With the lefty Avilan still on the mound for the Braves, Frandsen hit for Hamels and singled into center. Revere grounded to short to end the frame.

Avilan pitched well in the game for Atlanta, holding the Phils to a single (by the righty Frandsen) and an intentional walk (to the righty Young) over 1 2/3 innings.

Atlanta led 7-3 when lefty Eric O’ Flaherty started the seventh for the Braves. Utley tripled with one out and scored on a Howard ground out, cutting the lead to 7-4. Young grounded to third to set the Phillies down.

Utley triples off of the lefty after homering off the righty Hudson earlier in the game.

Mayberry doubled to left off of righty Jordan Walden with one out in the eighth. He took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a Kratz single to cut the lead to 7-5. Nix hit for Horst and Kratz took second on another wild pitch before Nix flew to left for the second out. Revere struck out swinging to leave Kratz stranded.

Righty Craig Kimbrel set Rollins, Utley and Howard down in order in the ninth.

Revere was 1-for-4 in the game with a walk and a stolen base. Made a nice defensive play to be in the area when Brown mishandled the single in the sixth.

Rollins 1-for-5.

Utley 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run and three RBI.

Howard 0-for-5 with an RBI. Struck out with one out and men on second and third at a big moment in the fifth.

Young didn’t look good defensively at third. He was 0-for-2 and walked twice (once intentionally).

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk. Less than outstanding in left. Mishandled one ball while charging but was backed-up nicely by Revere. Queerly was nowhere close to catching Freeman’s bloop single in the seventh.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a strikeout and grounded into a double-play. He hit 229/291/335 against right-handed pitching in 2012. So it’s not a good sign if you’re starting him in one of your corner outfield positions against a righty on Opening Day.

Kratz 1-for-4 with an RBI.

The Phillies don’t play today. Game two of the season and the series is tomorrow night.


I’m okay and you’re okay and not just that — we both look like we have about the same chance as winning the NL Cy Young Award this season

Just about any scenario that envisions a return to glory for the Phillies in 2013 requires us to imagine Roy Halladay returning to his dominant self. That hasn’t happened this spring and it sure didn’t happen yesterday. Throwing in the mid-80s, Halladay was rocked by the Tigers, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings as the Phils fell 10-6.

Halladay says he’s okay, but none of the quotes anyone’s come up with since the outing inspire a lot of confidence.

Lost in the Halladay hammering yesterday was that Horst and Valdes both pitched great for the Phillies. Horst struck out one in 1 1/3 scoreless frames in which he did not allow a hit or a walk. Valdes was even better, striking out four in three scoreless innings.

Revere was 3-for-3 with two doubles and scored three runs, upping his spring line to an impressive 372/400/465. Even an isolated power of .093, which is where he is now, would be a fantastic development for Revere. I think we should assume he’s not going to keep hitting .372. It probably is safe to assume he might walk in about 4.3% of his plate appearances, though.

Betancourt also had two hits, going 2-for-4. He’s hitting .379. Not sure what the Phillies are going to do with Betancourt, but also not sure why they would have brought him in if they were just going to let him go if he lit things up in spring training.

Utley hit his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot off of righty Luis Marte. 179/343/321 in 28 at-bats for the spring.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a double. 333/356/714. Leads the team in home runs (4), RBI (12) and strikeouts (12).

Inciarte 1-for-2 with a single. He’s 4-for-13 with three walks and four singles. Mitchell 1-for-1 with a double. 5-for-10 with a walk, a double and two triples. The Phillies should let him play as long as it take for him to stop leading the team in OPS.

Michael Young 0-for-4 to drop his average to .333. He’s second on the team in RBI behind Howard with nine. Nine RBI over 41 plate appearances would have him on a pace to drive in about 132 runs over 600 plate appearances. That might not even happen.

Kratz and Brown both 0-for-3. Kratz is hitting .190. Brown’s line drops to 400/489/675.

Halladay started the game for the Phillies and was terrible, allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. He walked the first batter of the game, Quentin Berry, in the top of the first. Berry stole second and scored on a one-out single. Don Kelly hit a two-run homer off of Halladay in the second. Three of the first four men that Halladay faced in the fourth reached on a walk, a double and a hit by pitch (Kelly) before Ramon Santiago hit a grand slam. Halladay got the next batter after the slam and was replaced by Horst. Horst retired Berry to end the third.

Overall, Halladay went 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and four walks and hit one batter. He’s now made four starts, throwing to a 7.36 ERA and a 1.64 ratio while striking out nine in 11 innings. After four walks yesterday he’s walked six in 11 innings and opponents are hitting .279 against him. In 2010 for the Phillies, Halladay pitched 250 2/3 innings in which he walked 30. So his walk rate in yesterday’s start wasn’t as good as it had been during the 2010 season.

Horst pitched well in the game. After getting the final out of the third, he came back to throw a scoreless fourth in which he hit one batter but didn’t allow a hit or a walk. He drops his ERA to 9.82 and his ratio to 1.77 with the outing.

Diekman struck out two in the fifth, but also allowed a single and a two-run homer. He came back to pitch the sixth and allowed another run on a pair of doubles.

Overall, Diekman went two innings on the day, allowing three runs on four hits, three of which went for extra-bases, and no walks. He has now struck out 13 in eight innings for the spring, but thrown to a 5.63 ERA while opponents hit .290 against him.

Valdes followed Diekman and was fantastic, throwing three shutout innings in which he struck out four. He allowed one runner on one hit, a leadoff single to start the seventh.

Valdes has thrown 10 1/3 innings this spring and leads the team with 15 strikeouts. 5.23 ERA with an 0.97 ratio. He was hammered in his early starts, giving up four early home runs that have hurt his numbers, but I think the Phillies would be making a mistake not to start the year with him on the team. Even if it means three lefties with Bastardo, Horst and Valdes. His ratio in 31 innings with the Phillies last year was 0.74. If you throw to a ratio under one for long enough, it’s the kind of thing that can help a team.

The Phillies play the Yankees tonight in their first night game of the spring with Lee expected to pitch.

Rollins went 2-for-5 as the Phils topped Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic. USA plays the Dominican Republic on Thursday night. Insert your own Cole Hamels joke here.

Canada has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, which means Phillippe Aumont has rejoined the Phillies. Aumont offers some criticism of Sebastian Valle’s conduct during the brawl between Mexico and Canada in the linked article.


Not for Nuding the Phils would still be sadly winless

The Phillies won their first spring training game in four tries yesterday, topping the Yankees 4-3.

No Phillie had more than one hit in the game. Down 1-0 in the sixth, Rollins walked with one out and scored on a double by Frandsen to tie the game at 1-1. The Phils trailed 3-1 when they hit in the seventh. Brown hit a solo homer to cut the lead to 3-2. Cody Asche doubled with two outs and Tommy Joseph followed that with a two-run homer to left that put the Phils up to stay.

Brown’s homer was pretty and went real far. Look. Now if we can just get Zach Nuding to start 35 games or so for the Nats or Braves we should be all set.

Howard was 1-for-2 with a walk. Michael Young remains hitless after an 0-for-3, he’s 0-for-8 so far. Revere is 1-for-6 with an error on the spring after an 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Mayberry 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in the early going after going 0-for-1 with a strikeout yesterday.

Kendrick started the game for the Phils allowed a first-inning run on a double and a single. He threw a scoreless second and was followed by Aaron Cook, who tossed two scoreless frames.

Durbin, Cesar Jimenez and Horst all threw a scoreless inning. Horst started the ninth with a one-run lead and got the save. He gave up back-to-back hits with two outs and nobody on, putting runners on first and third, but got someone named Cito Culver, who is 20-years-old and slugged .283 at Single-A in 2012, on a fly ball to right to end the game. Culver was a first-round pick in 2010 draft, taken by the Yankees in that round ahead of some people you may have heard more about, like Taijuan Walker, Nick Castellanos, Chance Ruffin and Mike Olt.

Look for the Phillies to take Culver in the 2019 Rule V draft and give him 587 plate appearances as their starting shortstop. You heard it here first.

After Kendrick’s run in the first inning, the only other Phillie pitcher who was scored on in the game was Zach Miner. Miner threw a scoreless sixth. He returned for the seventh with the game tied at 1-1 and yielded a pair of runs on a one-out single that was followed by a home run.

Not a great day for Zachs. Miner and Nuding combined to go three innings in the game, allowing five earned runs on six hits, three of which were home runs.

Second official appearance for Miner. He’s allowed four runs, three of which are earned, on six hits over three innings.

Chase Utley was scratched from yesterday’s lineup due to wet weather conditions.

Delmon Young suggests that his ankle problems significantly impacted his performance during the last two season. That’s discussed in this blog post.

This suggests that Mike Adams could pitch tomorrow, which would be earlier than expected.

Lannan is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phils face the Twins.


Minor details

Even with Delmon Young likely to start the year on the DL, I’m still not sure we’re going to see Darin Ruf playing a whole lot of left field in 2013, unless he demonstrates real soon he can handle the position defensively. Given that Ryan Howard plays first and will for a while, I’m not sure there’s anywhere else for him to play.

Either way, Ruf got 37 plate appearances with the Phils in 2012 and walked in just two of them, a walk rate of 5.4%. So should we be worried that he’s going to continue to drag down the Phillie walk rate in left field in 2013?

I don’t think so. First, cause I’m still not sure how much we’re going to see Ruf in left field in 2013 and second because he’s likely to walk a lot more than 5.4% if he’s given enough chances to hit.

Here’s how Ruf’s walk rates at various levels compare to fellow corner outfield candidates Domonic Brown and John Mayberry:

Darin Ruf
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2009 (22) Rk/A- 201 8.5
2010 (23) A/A+ 547 8.6
2011 (24) A+ 554 10.1
2012 (25) AA 583 11.1
All minors - 1,885 9.8
@ AAA - 0 -
Majors MAJ 37 5.4
Domonic Brown
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2006 (18) Rk 131 9.2
2007 (19) A-/A+ 328 8.8
2008 (20) A 516 12.4
2009 (21) Rk/A+/AA 454 10.8
2010 (22) AA/AAA 389 9.5
2011 (23) A+/AAA 195 15.4
2012 (24) Rk/AAA 261 7.7
All minors - 2,274 10.6
@ AAA - 531 10.0
Majors MAJ 492 10.4
John Mayberry
2005 (21) A- 302 8.6
2006 (22) A 533 11.1
2007 (23) A+/AA 548 8.8
2008 (24) AA/AAA 565 6.0
2009 (25) AAA 358 9.5
2010 (26) AAA 547 7.1
2011 (27) AAA 122 4.1
All minors - 2,975 8.2
@ AAA - 1,502 7.2
Majors MAJ 848 7.4

Couple of things. First, Darin Ruf is old. He turned 26 in July. Mayberry is really old, but we’ve had time to get used to that. The Phils took Ruf out of Creighton University and he didn’t get his first minor league plate appearance until his age 22 season. In 2011, he had a very nice year at Clearwater, hitting 308/388/506, but did it during his age 24 season. Domonic Brown, on the other hand, was taken out of high school and had already been to Double-A (for 162 plate appearances) by the end of his age 21 season. Brown reached Triple-A during his age 22 season while Mayberry and Ruf were both in A-ball or lower during their age 22 year.

Mayberry played three years at Stanford before debuting in the Northwest league in his age 21 season.

Bottom line for me when you look at the walk rates for those three guys across all levels, Brown is going to walk the most of the three. I’d guess it will be close between Ruf and Mayberry, but I’d bet that when their careers are over, Ruf will have walked in a higher percentage of his plate appearances than Mayberry. Especially in the unlikely event that he keeps hitting 50 or so home runs a year.

Mike Schmidt seems more optimistic about Michael Young’s chances of being a first ballot Hall of Famer than I am.

Laynce Nix has a bone spur in his right foot. The linked article suggests he’s not expected to miss time as a result of the bone spur.

The Phillies play an intrasquad game today. They play the Astros on Saturday and the Tigers on Sunday.


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