Tag: Mike Sweeney

LA x’d

The Phils capped their 20-game run with a fantastic win last night, scoring eight times in the last two frames to top the Dodgers 10-9. The Phils got five hits and a walk in the bottom of the eighth to cut the LA lead to 9-6. In the ninth they loaded the bases and Ben Francisco hit a double-play ball that went through Casey Blake’s legs for a critical error that helped the Phils plate two runs. Ruiz ended the game three pitches later when he blasted a bases clearing double off of the top of the wall in center field.

The Phillies have won 16 of their last 20 and are 64-50 on the season after beating the LA Dodgers 10-9 last night. The Phils take two of three in the series and are 14 games above .500 for the first time on the season. They remain in second place in the NL East and are two games behind the first place Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks. All eight of the hits were singles and he struck out three.

Scott Podsednik singled to left to start the game and moved to second on a ground out by Ryan Theriot. Andre Ethier grounded to second and Podsednik went to third with two down. James Loney walked and Ronnie Belliard followed that with a single into center. Podsednik scored (1-0) and Loney took second. Matt Kemp was next and he singled to left, scoring Loney to make it 2-0 and sending Belliard to second. Jamey Carroll followed that and blooped a ball into center that fell in front of Werth. Belliard came in to score to put LA up 3-0 with the runners winding up at second and third when the throw came into third. Blanton walked Brad Ausmus intentionally to load the bases so he could pitch to the pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw grounded to second for the third out.

Blanton gets two of the first three batters to start the game, then allows three runs thanks to three singles and a pair of walks.

Podsednik started the second with a single, but Blanton got the next three behind him.

He threw a 1-2-3 third with the lead cut to 3-1 and a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth down 3-2. Theriot and Ethier started the inning with back-to-back singles, which put runners on first and third with nobody out. Blanton struck Loney out for the first out before Belliard hit a fly ball to left for the second. It was deep enough for Theriot to tag and score from third, extending the LA lead to 4-2. Kemp lined softly to second for the third out.

Ausmus singled with one out in the sixth and Kershaw bunted him to second with the second out. Podsednik and Theriot walked back-to-back, loading the bases for Ethier. Durbin came in to pitch to Ethier and got him to ground to second on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

Durbin comes in to face the tough lefty with the Phils down to a single lefty in the pen after Bastardo is sent down. Worked out great that time, but it’s not a formula for continued success. The Phillies have a problem with left-handed relief out of the bullpen. I agree there’s a good chance that Bastardo isn’t the answer, but somebody has to be.

Durbin was back for the seventh. Loney led off with a single. Durbin got Belliard on a pop to Rollins for the first out before Kemp homered to left, putting LA up 6-2. Carroll walked and stole second, but Durbin struck out Ausmus and got Kershaw on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Kemp’s homer was the only extra-base hit of the game for LA.

Romero started the eighth. Podsednik led off and hit a ball to first that Sweeney butchered for an error. Theriot flew to right for the first out before Ethier moved Podsednik to second with a single. Romero struck the lefty Loney out swinging for the second out and Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Casey Blake. Blake singled to center, scoring Podsednik (7-2) and moving Ethier to third. Kemp followed that and blooped a ball high down the right field line that fell for another single. Ethier scored (8-2) and Blake went to third. Carroll singled to left and Blake scored. 9-2. Contreras struck out swinging for the third out.

At least Romero didn’t walk anyone. The Sweeney error was pretty big in the inning. Without the Dodgers get a single but go down without any damage. Contreras had a miserable frame, facing four batters and allowing three hits before finally striking out Ausmus. Kemp’s hit was ridiculous.

Baez pitched the ninth with the Phils down 9-6. He allowed a leadoff single to Jay Gibbons, but got Podsednik to hit into a double-play behind him and then got Theriot to ground to second.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (2) Ibanez (3) Polanco (4) Sweeney (5) Werth (6) Francisco (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. That one’s not a keeper. Francisco in right against the lefty and Sweeney at first. Ibanez hits second in the order, which is too high, especially against a lefty. Valdez at second.

The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the first. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back with two outs, putting men on first and third for Werth. Werth flew to center to leave the runners stranded.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and moved to third when Valdez followed with a double. Blanton hit a ball softly to third for the second out. Ruiz came in to score to cut the lead to 3-1 with Valdez moving to third. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Werth started the fourth with a single. Francisco struck out swinging for the first out before Werth stole second. Ruiz singled into center and Werth scored, cutting the lead to 3-2. Valdez and Blanton both grounded out to end the inning.

Down 4-2, the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

They went in order again in the sixth.

They were losing 6-2 when they hit in the seventh. Ruiz and Valdez went down to start the inning. With two outs and Kershaw still on the mound for LA, Victorino hit for Durbin and drew a walk. He stole second before Rollins walked, bringing Ibanez to the plate with two outs and men on first and second. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo took over for Kershaw and got Ibanez on a fly ball to left to leave both men stranded.

They were down 9-2 when they hit in the eighth. Polanco and Sweeney singled back-to-back and moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by righty Ronald Belisario. Werth singled into center and both runners scored. 9-4. Werth took second on a balk before Francisco doubled to left, scoring Werth. 9-5. Righty Kenley Jansen took over for Belisario and got Ruiz on a ground ball to third for the first out. Valdez singled to center and Francisco scored. 9-6. Brown hit for Contreras and lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to him, getting Brown on a fly ball to left for the second out. Rollins walked, putting men on first and second for Ibanez, but Sherrill got Ibanez to ground to second and end the inning.

Jonathan Broxton started the ninth with a 9-6 lead. He hit Polanco and walked Sweeney and Werth, loading the bases for Francisco. Francisco hit a double-play ball to Blake at third, but instead of getting the double-play the ball went through Blake’s legs and into left field. Polanco and Sweeney scored, making it 9-8, with Werth on second and Francisco on first for Ruiz. Ruiz blasted a 1-1 pitch high off the wall in left-center. Werth and Francisco both scored without a throw. Phils win 10-9.

Broxton set it up by letting the first three runners reach, but the error by Blake changed the game.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with two walks in the game and 3-for-12 in the series. 248/344/372 for the season.

Ibanez was 0-for-5 and left four men on base. He shouldn’t be hitting second against a lefty. 3-for-12 with a double and two walks in the series.

Polanco was 2-for-4 last night. 4-for-11 with four singles in the series. 321/352/431 on the year.

Sweeney 2-for-4 in the game and 3-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 5-for-15 with the Phils.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI last night. 4-for-10 with four walks in the series. 304/397/528 for the season.

Francisco 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 1-for-6 in the set. 254/327/415 on the year. Brown was 0-for-1 last night and 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 9-for-39 for the season with a .233 on-base percentage.

Ruiz was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI last night. 3-for-11 in the series. 294/385/431 on the season.

Valdez was 2-for-4 with a double last night. 5-for-11 with a double and a triple in the series. 254/283/367 for the season. 342/375/421 in August.

Cole Hamels (7-8, 3.45) faces righty RA Dickey (7-5, 2.65) tonight. Hamels has a 2.43 ERA and a 1.08 ratio over his last starts and has struck out 61 in 55 2/3 innings in those games. Dickey’s most recent start came against the Phillies on Sunday and he was charged with six runs in three innings. Prior to that start he had posted a 1.70 ERA in his last seven outings. He’s thrown 102 innings this season and walked nine right-handed batters.

The next update to Philliesflow will be around August 24.


Fish and foul

The Phillies got an enormous break last night and Carlos Ruiz helped them turn it into another win. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, a runner on second and the scored tied at 4-4, Gaby Sanchez ripped a game-winning hit down the left field line that never happened. The ball was called foul and the game continued. Carlos Ruiz popped one out to left to start the tenth and the Phils came out on top 5-4 for their fourth straight win.

As far as breaks go, they don’t get a lot bigger than the one where the other team wins the game and the umps decide it didn’t count.

The Phillies are 60-48 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 5-4 in ten innings last night. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep of the Fish. They have won four in a row and remain two games behind the Braves in the NL East.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and allowed two runs on three hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, and he struck out five.

He set the Marlins down in order in the first.

Cody Ross singled to center with one out in the second and Mike Stanton walked behind him. Wes Helms was next and hit a ground ball to second. Valdez fielded and threw to third to force the lead runner for the second out. Oswalt walked Ronny Paulino to load the bases with two outs, but struck the pitcher Chris Volstad out swinging to leave them loaded.

Logan Morrison doubled to left with one out in the third and moved to third when Gaby Sanchez flew to right for the second out. Uggla walked to put men on first and third, but Oswalt struck out Ross to end the inning.

Oswalt threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth up 2-0 and again set Florida down in order.

Stanton led off the seventh with a single and Helms walked behind him. Paulino was next and he bunted. Oswalt fielded the bunt and threw to third to force Stanton for the first out. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Jose Veras and the Phils brought Romero in to pitch to him. Righty Donnie Murphy hit for Tracy and lined a ground-rule double to left. It cut the lead to 2-1 with one out and men on second and third. Brett Hayes ran for Paulino at third and Romero walked Hanley Ramirez intentionally to load the bases. Morrison was next and Romero walked him unintentionally on four pitches, tying the game at 2-2 with the bases still loaded and one out. Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Sanchez and Sanchez flared a single to right. Murphy and Ramirez scored to make it 4-2 with men on first and third. Sanchez stole second, but Contreras struck out Uggla and Ross to leave the runners stranded.

Huge strikeouts for Contreras after the Marlins put men on second and third with one out. Oswalt pulled in the seventh having thrown 109 pitches.

Romero has now walked 22 batters in 24 1/3 innings on the year. Righties are on-basing .471 against him despite having just seven hits in 34 at-bats (.206).

Baez pitched the eighth. He allowed a two-out double to Hayes. The pitcher Clay Hensley was due to hit next and Hector Luna pinch-hit for him. Baez got Luna on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with the game tied at 4-4. He hit Ramirez to start the inning and Ramirez stole second as Madson struck out Morrison for the first out. Sanchez was next and ripped a ball down the third base line for what should have been a game-winning hit. It was called foul, however, and Madson went on to strike Sanchez out for the second out. Uggla was walked intentionally so Madson could pitch to Ross and Madson struck him out swinging 0-2 to leave Ramirez stranded.

Sanchez’s ball looked fair and should have ended the game.

Lidge pitched the tenth with a 5-4 lead. Stanton led off with a single and stole second as Helms struck out swinging. Lidge struck Hayes out swinging for the second out and switch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio hit for the pitcher Will Ohman. Lidge got him on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Madson, Contreras and Lidge were all throwing for the second straight day. Madson threw 19 pitches last night after throwing 27 in game two. Contreras threw 13 last night and Lidge 15. Baez 14 and Romero 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Gload (4) Ibanez (5) Werth (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first against the righty and Brown in right. Valdez plays second with Polanco at third and Dobbs on the bench. I really feel strongly that 73 starts in 108 games is too many for Valdez.

Rollins and Polanco started the games with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Gload and Gload flew to left for the first out before a balk moved the runners to second and third. Ibanez walked to load the bases with one out. Werth flew to center for the second and Brown struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

No run for the Phils on two singles, a walk and a balk. No RBI for Werth with men on second and third and one out.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Polanco singled with one out in the third. Gload lined to second behind him for the second. Ibanez was next and singled on a ball deflected by Ramirez at short, moving Polanco to third. Werth grounded to short to end the frame.

Ruiz doubled with one out in the fourth and was thrown out trying for third. Valdez grounded to Ramirez to leave him stranded at third.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

Ibanez singled with one out in the sixth and Werth flew out behind him. Brown was next and moved Ibanez to second with a single into center. Ruiz blasted a double over the head of Ross in center, scoring both runners to put the Phils on top 2-0. Valdez was walked intentionally and Oswalt unintentionally, loading the bases for Rollins. Rollins flew to center for the third out.

I really don’t think I would walk Valdez intentionally that much.

Polanco started the seventh with a single. Gload was next and hit a ball to first with Polanco forced at second for the first out and Gload safe at first. Ibanez struck out for the second out before Werth moved Gload to second with a single to left. Brown struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

The Phils were down 4-2 when they hit in the eighth. Ruiz grounded to short for the first out. Dobbs hit for Valdez with the righty Hensley on the mound for Florida and struck out for the second. Sweeney hit for Contreras and drew a walk, but Rollins flew to right to leave him at first.

Righty Leo Nunez was on to protect a 4-2 Florida lead in the ninth. Polanco led off and hit a ball to short, but Ramirez’s throw to first was bad for an error. Gload was next and moved Polanco to second with a single. Ibanez followed that with a double to left, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 4-3 with men on second and third and nobody out. Werth was next and dribbled a single under the glove of Ramirez. Gload scored to tie the score at 4-4 and Ibanez went to third. With men on first and third and nobody out, Brown hit a ball to first. Sanchez fielded and threw home and Ibanez was caught up between third and home and tagged out for the first out. With one out and men on first and second, Werth was picked off of second and caught going for third. Ruiz got behind in the count 0-2 and Brown was caught stealing on a pitch out to end the frame.

That was one of the uglier two-run rallies to tie the game in the ninth you’ll see. Three outs on the bases for the Phils. Brown getting caught for the third out meant that Ruiz got to lead off the tenth with a homer, though.

Ruiz led off the tenth and hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phillies up 5-4. Dobbs struck out for the first out before Francisco hit for Madson. Francisco homered just foul. The call was review and the outcome was a foul ball, which was correct. Francisco flew to center for the second out and Rollins struck out swinging for the third.

Rollins was 1-for-6 in the game. 4-for-14 in the series with a double and three walks in the series. He’s hitting 214/299/305 over his last 174 plate appearances.

Polanco was 3-for-5 in the game 6-for-14 with a walk in the series. He’s 10-for-his-last-23.

Gload 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-9 with three walks in the series.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI in the game. He was 6-for-11 with a double and three walks in the series. 447/542/723 over his last 59 plate appearances. He was hitting 243/326/397 for the year after going 0-for-4 against the Reds on July 11. In his 18 games since he has hit 415/506/615 to get his line on the year up to 275/361/437.

Werth was 2-for-5 with an RBI and left six men on base. 3-for-15 with three singles and seven strikeouts in the series.

Brown was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-9 in the series with four strikeouts. After 27 at-bats with the Phils he has no walks and a 259/241/296 line.

Ruiz was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. 8-for-15 with three doubles and two home runs in the series. 18-for-his-last-41 (.439) with nine extra-base hits.

Valdez was 0-for-2 with a walk (intentional, let’s not be silly here). 2-for-11 with two walks in the series.

Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.86) faces lefty Jon Niese (7-5, 3.78) tonight. Blanton has a 4.15 ERA and a 1.35 ratio over his last four starts after throwing to a 6.41 ERA and a 1.47 ratio in his first 13 appearances. He allowed 15 home runs in 80 innings over his first 13 starts and just two over 26 innings over his last four. Niese has allowed 120 hits in 112 1/3 innings, but doesn’t walk many righties. He’s walked just 27 of the 365 right-handed batters he’s faced this season.

It was Cody Ransom and not John Mayberry who lost his roster spot to Mike Sweeney.


Away improvement

The Phils posted a miserable 9-23 record on the road between the middle of May and the end of July, raising questions about how they would ever find a way into the post-season with such miserable results away from home. The bad news is they probably won’t make the post-season without showing dramatic improvement on the road. The good news is that shouldn’t be too hard to do. It looks like they’ve started already, opening August by going 3-0 away from Citizens Bank Park.

Kyle Kendrick delivered yet another solid start last night and the Phils have now won all three games he’s pitched since returning from Triple-A. In those starts he’s 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. In his 20 appearances before being sent to the minors, Kendrick struck out about 4.24 batters per nine innings. In his three starts since he has struck out 6.05 per nine.

Domonic Brown flashed some more of his glove and his bat as well. Brown drove in three runs and made a fantastic throw in the bottom of the third inning to nail Gaby Sanchez at the plate.

The Phillies are 59-48 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 7-2 last night. They have won three in a row and remain two games behind the Braves in the NL East.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

The start of the game was delayed for 58 minutes by rain. When it started, the Phils scored two in the top of the first and Kendrick started the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead. Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and third for Dan Uggla. Uggla hit a ball to right that Brown handled for the second out and Morrison held third. Cody Ross grounded to third for the third out.

Mike Stanton led off the second and blasted a 1-2 pitch way out to left center, cutting the lead to 2-1. Kendrick came way up and in with his first pitch to the next batter, Wes Helms, and set the next three hitters down in order.

Sanchez doubled softly to left with two outs in the third. Uggla was next and singled to right, but Brown made a very strong throw to the plate and Sanchez was tagged out to end the inning.

Great throw by Brown, who also made a strong throw in the first on a ball that Uggla hit to keep Morrison at third.

Kendrick struck out two in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He had a 4-1 lead when he started the fifth. He got the first two before Ramirez and Morrison singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Sanchez and Sanchez singled into right. Brown should have thrown to third, but threw home instead. His throw was bad a got away from Ruiz, allowing the runners to go to second and third with the lead cut to 4-2. Uggla was next and Rollins made a fantastic diving play to snare his line drive and end the inning.

Rollins saved the Phils two runs.

Up 5-2, Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Contreras pitched the seventh. He allowed a two-out single to Ramirez, but got Morrison to ground to second to leave the runner stranded.

Madson pitched the eighth. Sanchez led off with a double and Uggla walked behind him. Ross hit a fly ball to center for the first out, deep enough for the runners to move to second and third. Madson struck Stanton and Helms both out swinging to end the inning.

Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with a 7-2 lead to drop his ERA on the year to 5.09.

Madson threw 27 pitches in the game, Contreras 15 and Lidge 14.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Werth (5) Gload (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first against the righty. Valdez at second with Polanco at third and Dobbs on the bench. Brown plays right against the righty.

Polanco singled with one out in the first and took second on a wild pitch before Ibanez walked. It put men on first and second for Werth and Werth struck out for the second out. Gload singled into center and Polanco scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. With two down and men on first and second, Brown singled into center. Ibanez scored and the Phils were up 2-0. Ruiz struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins reached on an infield single with two outs in the second, but Polanco popped to short behind him.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phils hit in the third. Gload walked with two outs and took second on another wild pitch, but Brown hit a ball that the pitcher handled for the third out.

They went in order in the fourth.

Rollins and Polanco singled back-to-back to start the fifth. It put men on first and second for Ibanez and Ibanez singled into right. Rollins came in to score (3-1) with the runners winding up at second and third after the throw came home. Werth struck out for the first out and the righty Sanchez walked the lefty Gload intentionally to load the bases. Lefty Taylor Tankersley came in to pitch to Brown and Brown hit a fly ball to right deep enough for Polanco to tag and score, putting the Phils up 4-1. Ruiz grounded to third for the third out.

Another strikeout for Werth, this time with nobody out and men on second and third.

The lead was cut to 4-2 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Kendrick doubled with one out and Rollins walked behind him. Polanco was next and he walked, loading the bases. Ibanez hit a fly ball to right. Kendrick tagged and scored (5-2) and Rollins went to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Werth flew to center to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

With righty Clay Hensley on the mound for Florida, Dobbs hit for Contreras with one out in the eighth and grounded to third. Rollins walked behind him, but Polanco flew to center for the third out.

Ibanez and Werth singled back-to-back to start the ninth. Gload was next and flew to left. Ibanez tagged and took third, putting men on first and third with one down. Brown was next and hit a ball to Uggla at second. Uggla flipped to second to try to start the double-play, but the flip was awful and Ramirez didn’t have a chance. Ibanez scored to make it 6-2 with men on first and third. Ruiz followed that with a single to left that brought Werth in and it was 7-2. With men on first and second with one out, Valdez hit a ground ball to third and Ruiz was forced at second for the second out. With righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Fish, Francisco hit for Madson and walked to load the bases. Rollins flew to left to leave the runners stranded.

Rollins was 2-for-4 and walked twice. Over his last four games he’s 5-for-17 with five walks. Prior to those four games he had on-based .273 in his 132 previous plate appearances.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. He’s hitting 393/486/590 over his last 74 plate appearances. Over his last 12 games he’s 18-for-43 (.419) with three home runs and ten walks. If you’re wondering how the Phillies are getting offense with so many players injured, I’d start there.

Top three in the order go 6-for-11 with four walks.

Werth was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and six men left on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 with seven strikeouts. If you’re wondering how the Phillies offense can get better, I’d start there.

Gload was 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-17 with a double, a home run and five walks, raising his line on the year from 239/270/408 to 284/344/466. I’m hoping he and Sweeney become a left/right platoon instead of Sweeney becoming the regular first baseman with Howard out.

Brown was 1-for-4 with three RBI and showed off a fantastic arm in the third inning. Made a bad decision and a bad throw in the fifth, though.

Ruiz was 1-for-5 with an RBI. He’s 15-for-his-last-36 with four doubles and two home runs.

Valdez was 0-for-5 with a strikeout to drop his on-base percentage for the year to .270.

Roy Oswalt (6-13, 3.53) faces righty Chris Volstad (5-8, 4.71) tonight as the Phils go for the sweep. Oswalt allowed five runs in six innings in his first start as a Phillie. Volstad has a 5.87 ERA over his last six starts. He’s walked too many batters this season, about 3.6 per nine innings.

The Phillies acquired right-handed first baseman Mike Sweeney from Seattle. My guess is he will take Mayberry’s roster spot and platoon at first with Gload until Howard returns.


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