Tag: Mike Pelfrey

Vance to give it a Worley

The Phillies have put Joe Blanton on the DL with a problem with his right elbow.

Righty Vance Worley will start tonight’s game against righty Mike Pelfrey (1-2, 7.23) and the Mets.

Worley, who will turn 24 in September, made five appearances, two of which were starts, for the Phillies in 2010. He pitched very well, throwing to a 1.38 ERA and an 0.92 ratio over 13 innings. In each of his starts he went five innings, allowing two run in ten innings combined. He has made four starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley so far in 2011, throwing to a 2.78 ERA with a 1.10 ratio while striking out 25 in 22 innings. His last start came on Sunday, so he’ll be pitching on regular rest. He went five innings and threw 89 pitches in that start.

Pelfrey has been awful this year, but the best of the five starts he’s made came his last time out when he held the Diamondbacks to a run on five hits and two walks over seven innings. Opponents are hitting 333/405/529 against him for the season. He hasn’t fared well against lefties in his career — they’ve put up a 295/367/442 line against him over 1,620 plate appearances. He started against the Phils on April 6 and was pounded, charged with seven runs in two innings. Blanton had trouble holding a 7-0 lead in that game, but after the Mets tied the game at 7-7 in the fifth the Phils put three more runs on the board to win 10-7.

The article linked in the top paragraph says that Ruiz will be rest for a few days. This says that Dane Sardinha is headed to Philadelphia, but Blanton to the DL and Worley activated is the only transaction showing on the Phillies web site so far.


Bats and the Pelfrey

The Phillies sent one of the best offensive teams in baseball to New York for a three-game set and scored exactly as many runs as they would have if they had sent the Peanuts Gang. And those guys are fictional. There’s simply no good news for the offense these days as last night Mike Pelfrey became the latest pitcher to baffle the bats. The Phils have been shut out three games in a row and in four of their last five. They’ve scored 15 runs in their last nine games.

I would say that it’s about as bad as it can get, but that’s what I was thinking yesterday.

On the good news front, Cole Hamels made another nice start. He started the bottom of the seventh down 1-0 before the Mets pushed a pair of runs across with the help of a fielding error by Polanco. Allowing three runs in seven innings isn’t going to be enough, though, if the Phillies never score again.

The Phillies 26-20 after losing 3-0 to the Mets last night. The Mets sweep the three-game set.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three. He’s 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA over his last five starts.

Jose Reyes reached on an infield single to third to start the bottom of the first. He moved to second when Luis Castillo grounded to first for the first out. Jason Bay was next and he doubled to center, scoring Reyes to put New York up 1-0. Hamels struck out Ike Davis and got David Wright to ground back to the mound to end the inning.

Angel Pagan singled to start the second. Jeff Francoeur popped to Utley for the first out before Ruiz threw Pagan out trying to steal second. Henry Blanco grounded to short for the third out.

The Phillies finally throw someone out on the bases. The Mets stole seven bases in the first two games of the series without being thrown out.

The pitcher Mike Pelfrey singled to center to start the third. Reyes was next and he singled again on a ball deflected by Utley. Castillo bunted the runners to second and third and Bay walked to load the bases. Hamels got Davis to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Pagan singled with one out in the fourth. Francoeur popped out for the first out before Pagan stole second. Hamels struck out Blanco to leave him stranded.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Davis singled with one out in the sixth, but Hamels struck Davis out behind him and got Pagan to ground to short to end the inning.

Francoeur led off the seventh with a single. Blanco tried to bunt him to second, but Ruiz fielded the ball and threw to second to force Francoeur. Righty Fernado Tatis was next and hit a ball to third that Polanco didn’t handle for an error. It put men on first and second with one down for Reyes and Reyes cleared the bases with a double to put New York up 3-0. Durbin took over for Hamels and walked Castillo, putting men on first and second with one out. He struck out Bay for the second out and Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Davis. Davis walked and Baez came in to pitch to the righty Wright and got him on ground ball to third for the third out.

Both Durbin and Bastardo walk the first guy they face. The error by Polanco helps the Mets score a run.

Baez threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He dropped his ERA on the year to 4.35 with the outing. He’s been charged with one earned run over 11 2/3 innings in his last 12 appearances.

Bastardo and Durbin were both pitching for the second day in a row. Baez threw 13 pitches, Durbin eight and Bastardo six.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Pelfrey went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Manuel stays with the same group of slumpers. Valdez plays short and Ruiz catches after sitting out Wednesday’s game with a sore shoulder. Given that they’ve already tried the Manuel speech and it didn’t work, I think they have to try changing the lineup around now.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez walked with two outs in the second and the Phils down 1-0, but Ruiz grounded to third behind him.

Valdez singled to start the third and Hamels bunted him to second. Victorino lined a single to right and Valdez moved to third. Polanco hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.

Close.

Howard walked with one out in the fourth, but Werth hit into a double-play behind him.

Ruiz walked with one out in the fifth, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

At least they were spreading it around a little.

Victorino singled and stole second with one out in the sixth. Polanco drew a walk to put men on first and second for Utley. Utley flew to center for the second out with Victorino tagging and going to third. Howard grounded to Castillo to leave both men stranded.

Ibanez singled with one out in the seventh and was caught stealing. Ruiz flew to center for the third out.

The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the eighth. Valdez grounded out for the first out. With lefty Pedro Feliciano on the mound for New York, Francisco hit for Gload, who had entered as part of a double-switch in the seventh, and struck out. Victorino singled and Polanco struck out.

Utley, Howard and Werth went in order in the ninth.

Victorino was 3-for-4 with a stolen base in the game. 4-for-11 with two walks in the series. I think a lineup shakeup is called for, but Victorino in the leadoff spot hasn’t been the problem.

Polanco 0-for-3 last night and 5-for-12 in the series with a walk.

Utley 0-for-4 yesterday and 1-for-13 with four strikeouts in the series.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk yesterday. 2-for-12 with two singles and a walk in the series.

Werth was 0-for-4 and struck out three times in the game. 1-for-11 with a walk and five strikeouts in the series.

3-4-5 in the order go 4-for-36 (.111) in the series.

Ibanez 1-for-2 with a walk yesterday and 3-for-7 with a walk in the series. Francisco played left in game two and went 2-for-6 with a double in the series.

Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday and 1-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 1-for-his-last-19. Schneider caught game two and was 0-for-3 in the series. He’s 3-for-21 on the season with three singles.

Valdez played games two and three and was 1-for-5 with a walk. Castro played game one and was 0-for-2 and walked twice.

Gload did not get an at-bat in the series. I think he needs to play tonight against the righty and guess he will.

Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.66) faces righty Chris Volstad (3-5, 4.31) tonight in Florida. Lefties are hitting 344/414/594 against Kendrick for the year. Volstad has a 3.27 ERA and a 1.21 ratio over his last five starts. He’s made six career starts against the Phils, going 2-2 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.13 ratio. He’s been better against lefties than righties so far this year. Lefties are hitting 225/281/371 against him and righties 258/333/408.


Mets can’t get Brett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1-2-3 in the third.

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

1-2-3 in the fifth.

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

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

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

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

Rollins 1-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a stolen base.

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

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

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

Werth 0-for-3 and struck out twice.

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

Coste 0-for-3.

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

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


Mets and Phillies today

I answered some questions for Mets Today.

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

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

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

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

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


Ready, set, Met

Despite what has been considered by virtually all Phillies fans a successful April, the Phils come into the last day of the first full month of the season at 15-12, percentage points behind the 14-11 Mets in the NL East. Andrew Vazzano from The ‘Ropolitans answered a few questions about the state of the Mets.

Think of it as really advanced scouting on a team the Phils don’t play again till July.

1) What do you see as the most significant developments for the Mets since the start of the season?

Well, most of the fans thought we were indestructible after we landed Johan Santana, so now that we’ve played a few games, we’ve seen that we’re just as good as everyone else and this is going to be a dogfight all season. I’m also very surprised by the back end of our bullpen (sans: Aaron Heilman). With Joe Smith, Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner closing out games, I’m very confident if the team has a lead late, they’ll hold it. (Obviously, since I said this, they’ll blow a few of the next bunch of games!)

2) There seems to be a loud, large contingent of fans that are unhappy with the direction of the team or at least some of the Mets’ players. Is this just frustration with the early results or does it go deeper than that? How do you expect the situation to play out?

It all stems from last season. As far in the past as it is, most fans are yet to get over the collapse. When guys like Carlos Delgado and Aaron Heilman got off to extremely rocky starts, fans regressed to last September, and the boo birds came out in full force. Obviously, we’re not even through a quarter of the season, so I think it’s still way too early to start driving a guy out of town. The players need to pick up the pace, but I think it will all even out in the long run. Only if the player continues to struggle do I see anything coming of this. Again, it’s all from last season, it haunts us.

3) How do you expect the situations in left field and at first base will be resolved? Right now it looks like Pagan may be seeing a lot of time in left — do you think he can make it through a whole season there? What are the other options for the Mets at first base if Delgado doesn’t come around?

Well, Moises Alou just had his ankle checked out, and he should rejoin he team in Arizona. Obviously, there is no way he’s going to make it through a whole season without getting injured again, so time will be split between Angel Pagan and Endy Chavez. There’s no way Pagan can last a whole season, as we’ve already seen him hit a cold snap. Chavez and Pagan are decent in left, a big upgrade defensively over Alou, but Alou can absolutely rake at the plate. On Delgado at first, I think the team needs to wait it out until he *really* starts to tank. The two home run day against the Braves was huge, and with or without a curtain call, it should be a big boost to his confidence. A lot of people have been calling for AA player Mike Carp to get called up. Through 4/29, Carp is batting .376 with 6 home runs, 20 RBI, and 16 runs scored. People seem to think he’s the first baseman of the future, and with Delgado taking a downturn at first, Carp might be called up sooner rather than later. I’d rather see Marlon Anderson or Damion Easley fill in at first, with the majority of the time still going to Delgado. Carp may be called up in September, but I don’t think it will happen before that.

4) What is your expectation about how the rotation is going to shape up behind Santana/Maine/Perez the rest of the way? Do you think it’s likely that most of the other starts will come from Pedro, El Duque, Pelfrey and Figueroa? Do you feel comfortable with that group at the bottom of the rotation? Is there anybody else in the mix?

Stick a fork in El Duque, he’s done. I don’t expect him to come back, ever. I see the rest of the season being split between Nelson Figueroa and Mike Pelfrey, with Pedro Martinez getting the bulk if/when he gets back and if he stays healthy. With Jorge Sosa struggling so far, when Figueroa or Pelfrey gets bumped by Martinez returning to the rotation, one of those two might find themselves as the long man out of the bullpen. Figueroa would probably be the best guy out of the pen, so I think that’s what might happen.

5) Is Willie Randolph the right person to manage the Mets? How safe is his job?

No. He’s good, but not for this team. These players need a leader and with David Wright being so young, and probably the most outspoken player on he team, he doesn’t really fit the bill. I think the Mets need someone like Jim Leyland who isn’t afraid to yell after a lazy loss or poor play. If the Mets don’t make the postseason this year, I doubt Willie returns.

Thanks a lot to Andrew. Remember to check out his blog, The ‘Ropolitans.


Utley invites some friends to his latest run-the-bases event

Watching Chase Utley hit home runs might never get old if you’re a Phillies fan, but all those bombs do get a little less effective when they are solo shots. With the top of the order decimated by injury, Utley has been hitting blast after blast out to right field in recent days. He came into last night’s game with three home runs in three days, all of them solo shots. He added yet another solo home run in the first inning last night, but when he hit a towering drive out down the right field line in the fifth, something was different and it changed the game. Two runners were aboard.

Utley is simply on fire, doing his very best to carry the team with Rollins out and Howard struggling terribly. Not much he can do if all his home runs are solo. The Phils rode his bombs to a win last night, with the help of some good relief pitching and a brilliant play by Bruntlett to end the game. Pedro Feliz won it with a pinch-hit home run in the seventh, but if you’re going to overshadow what Utley has done for the Phils over the past few days it’s going to take a little more than a game-winning home run or a game-saving defensive play.

The Phillies beat the Mets last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 9-10 on the year. The Mets take the series two games to one, but it was a big win for the Phils. In addition to breaking the Mets four-game win streak against them, the win was the difference between being 8-11 or 9-10 after the first 19 games. 9-10 sure looks a lot better.

Adam Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out four. He pitched very well early and it fell apart quickly for him in the sixth.

He struck out Jose Reyes swinging at a pretty 1-2 breaking pitch to start the first. Luis Castillo grounded back to the pitcher before David Wright drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Carlos Beltran grounded to second for the third out.

With two outs in the second, catcher Raul Casanova hit a ground ball deep in the hole between short and third. Bruntlett slid and knocked it down but Casanova had an infield single. Endy Chavez grounded to first for the third out.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 third.

Wright led off the fourth and lined a single into right. Eaton struck Beltran out looking at a 1-2 pitch before Delgado moved Wright to second with a ground out to first. Ryan Church struck out looking to end the frame.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth with a 4-0 lead and it all fell apart for him. Reyes led off with a high fly ball hit well to right. Jenkins jumped for it at the wall but couldn’t get it and Reyes had a triple. Castillo lined a single to left and Reyes scored. 4-1. Wright followed with a double and Castillo went to third. Beltran lined a single into center and both runners scored. Howard cut off the throw from Werth, which looks like it would have a least had a chance to get Wright. 4-3. Four hits in a row was apparently enough for Manuel, and he brought in Chad Durbin to pitch to Carlos Delgado. Delgado drove a ball to left field that Burrell caught after a long run for the first out. Church was next and Beltran stole second before Church blooped a single into right. Jenkins threw home strong but off line and Beltran slid in safely to tie the game at 4-4. Not a good throw from Jenkins, but Beltran would probably have been safe if the throw was on target. Still the second questionable play from Jenkins in the inning after he looked odd trying to get the Reyes triple. Durbin walked Casanova to put men on first and second with one out for Endy Chavez. Chavez flew to center for the second out and Marlon Anderson hit for the pitcher Pelfrey. Durbin struck him out to set the Mets down.

Durbin was fantastic after pitching in Saturday’s game as well. He is a seemingly odd choice to come in to pitch to lefties Delgado and Church. He gave up the RBI single to Church but faced five batters, four lefties and the switch-hitter Casanova. That’s just a little too much to ask of Durbin, but he managed to pull it off. Manuel could have called on Romero, but with just one lefty in the pen it’s tough when you know that Delgado and Church are still looming late in the games and you need a lefty to try to get them out.

Romero faced the top of the Mets order in the seventh. He walked Wright with two outs and Wright stole second before Beltran struck out to end the frame.

He came back for the eighth and got the lefties Delgado and Church to start the inning before Casanova doubled to left. Switch-hitter Angel Pagan hit for the lefty Chavez and Romero got him on a pop to second to end the frame.

I think that Romero going two innings and, in particular, pitching the seventh, is telling. In this game the primary thing the Phils needed Romero to do was get out Delgado and Church when they came up late in the game, the seventh or eighth cause Lidge was going to pitch the ninth if it was close. They didn’t need Romero to pitch the seventh. Top of the Mets order was Reyes and Castillo, two switch-hitters that are better against lefties than righties, a Wright, a righty who kills lefties. I think that Manuel went with Romero in the seventh instead of Madson or Seanez tells you something about either his confidence level in those guys or their availability — Seanez especially, cause Madson threw 22 pitches on Saturday.

Lidge started the ninth with a 5-4 lead and walked pinch-hitter Damion Easley to start the inning. Reyes was next and reached on an infield single that went off of Lidge, moving Easley to second. Castillo tried to bunt and then struck out swinging for the first out. Lidge got Wright to pop to Howard in foul territory for the second out. Beltran was next and he smashed a ball back up the middle. Bruntlett made a fantastic play, diving to his left behind and a little to the left of second. He got to his feet and threw to first in the dirt, but Howard scooped it to beat Beltran and end the game. Very nice play by Bruntlett and by Howard. Castillo and Wright’s at-bats really hurt the Mets in the inning, especially Castillo being unable to move the runners up with nobody out.

Four shutout innings from the pen. Durbin against all those lefties and Romero for two innings were particularly impressive. Manuel is going to have to use his whole pen, and by that I mean Condrey and Seanez, or the other guys are going to get burned out before too long. He may not have a choice about using them tonight in Colorado.

Romero is almost definitely out tonight in Colorado after 31 pitches. Durbin threw 22 and probably won’t/shouldn’t go three days in a row. Lidge threw 20 pitches.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Mike Pelfrey went (1) Werth (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Coste (8) Bruntlett. Rollins and Snelling went on the DL prior to the game and TJ Bohn and Brad Harman were called up. Bruntlett at short, Dobbs at third, Werth in center. That’s the eight best hitters that Manuel can put on the field at this point, he gives up defense at third and behind the plate to do so. I like Dobbs hitting second against a righty. I would still go Werth then Utley/Howard/Burrell given the players currently available, but I think this lineup is a lot better than some we’ve seen of late despite the three lefties in a row 2-3-4. I don’t think Coste in the second spot is a terrible idea, either, if Utley isn’t going to hit there.

Werth struck out to start the first. Dobbs was next and he hammered a 1-2 pitch deep to right. Church took it for the second out, but he had to jump to get it. Nicely timed by Church, Dobbs gave it a ride. Utley was next and he homered, of course, hitting a 2-0 pitch out to right-center to the same place he always does. If you’re looking to catch a Chase Utley home run ball I can make some suggestions about where you might want to sit.

Coste singled with one out in the second. Bruntlett followed and hit into an inning-ending double-play.

Eaton led off the third with a walk. Werth followed with a ground ball to second and Eaton was forced for the first out with Werth safe at first. Dobbs flew to right for the second out before Utley moved Werth to second with a walk. Howard flew to left to leave them both stranded.

Burrell started the fourth with a ball smashed into left and off the wall on a hop. He went for two and was thrown out easily at second. Jenkins followed and smashed a single back up the middle. Coste hit a ground ball to second and Jenkins was forced at second for the second out before Bruntlett moved Coste to second with a single. Eaton popped out to Delgado to end the inning.

Burrell getting thrown out at second killed the Phils in that inning. They can’t score on three hits.

The Phils continued to hit Pelfrey hard in the fifth and this time they got through. Werth led off and blooped a single into right. Dobbs followed with a single of his own and it put men on first and second for Utley. Utley got ahead 3-1 before he hit a monstrous towering drive down the right field line and off the foul pole for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 4-0. Howard and Burrell went down behind him before Jenkins singled off the first base bag, but Coste grounded to third to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the sixth. Just called up TJ Bohn made his Phillies debut. He hit for Durbin and struck out for the second out.

Pedro Feliciano came on to pitch the seventh with lefties Dobbs, Utley and Howard due to hit. Feliz hit for Dobbs and got ahead 2-0 before he hit one out to the opposite field to put the Phils up 5-4. Utley followed with a single into right before Howard went down looking for the first out. Feliciano stayed in to pitch to Burrell and walked him, but Jenkins flew to left and Joe Smith came in and struck out Coste to end the inning. No way Feliciano faces Burrell without Jenkins hitting behind him. I didn’t know if Shoeneweis was available after throwing 21 pitches on Saturday or not, but even if both he and Wagner were both available I think the Mets have to save Shoeneweis in case he has to pitch to Utley and Howard in the eighth.

As it turns out, he didn’t. The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Ruiz hit for Romero and grounded to short for the second out.

Werth was 1-for-5 in the game. 1-for-14 with a single in the three-game series. 268/388/390 on the year. The Phils need him badly right now.

Dobbs was 1-for-3. 3-for-5 with a home run in the series. 320/346/480. It’s tough to get his bat in the lineup with Feliz and Jenkins on the team, but he’s been hitting well of late.

Utley was 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI. 6-for-11 with four home runs in the set. 351/432/797 (really!).

Howard was 1-for-4. 1-for-13 with a single, six strikeouts and no walks in the series. 186/318/386. Wish you were here.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-11 with two singles and two walks in the series. 339/462/694.

Jenkins was 2-for-4 with two hard-hit singles. 2-for-6 in the series. 246/292/361.

Coste was 1-for-4 and left four men on base. 2-for-6 with a walk in the set. 385/467/731. Ruiz was 0-for-1 in the game and 2-for-5 in the series. 208/255/250 on the year with two extra-base hits, both doubles.

Bruntlett was 1-for-4 with a great defensive play to end the game. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series and 186/255/256 on the year with one extra-base hit, a home run, on the season. If the question is how much better is Bruntlett than Brad Harman at this point in Harman’s career, I’m afraid the answer is probably a lot.

Feliz homered in his only at-bat, his third on the year. 1-for-7 in the series and 1-for-his-last-11 overall. It may seem like he’s struggling, but he’s hitting 217/288/400 on the season and his career line is 251/288/432. So he is, just not as much as you might hope.

Kyle Kendrick (1-2, 4.40) faces lefty Mark Redman (2-1, 4.60) tonight as the Phils play the first of two against the Rockies. Redman has made three starts this season and had been pretty good, although he didn’t go six innings in any of them. Opponents are hitting .288 against him, but he’s kept them in the yard. He’s only allowed one home run on the season. He made two appearances against the Phils in 2007, including a start on May 1 when he was with the Braves. He threw five scoreless innings of relief against the Phils on September 12 when he was with the Rockies. Kendrick has been worse than his numbers on the year. Of his three starts, just one has been good. Lefties are hitting .367 against him. Kendrick started the second game of the NLDS in 2007 and got the early hook before Kaz Matsui hit a grand slam off of Kyle Lohse.

Brutal travel schedule for the Phils with the ESPN game starting late last night before they have to travel to Colorado.

Everyone seems to agree that the handling of Jimmy Rollins was a mistake. Me too.


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