Tag: nelson figueroa

New life of Brian

Brian Schneider returned to the starting lineup with a bang last night. After going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his first four at-bats, one of which came with a man on third and nobody out, Schneider popped an 0-1 pitch from Jordan Smith out to right in the bottom of the twelfth to give the Phils a walkoff win.

Other than the late drama provided by Schneider, though, it wasn’t a great game for the Phils. Kendrick pitched very well and Contreras and Figueroa threw three shutdown innings at the end of the game. But the offensive continued to scuffle as Rollins, Howard, Ibanez and Werth combined to go 2-for-17.

The Phillies are 44-40 on the year after being the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 in twelve innings last night.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and allowed a run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings. All three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.49.

Joey Votto homered to right center with two outs in the first, putting the Reds up 1-0.

The Phillies tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Kendrick set the Reds down in order in the second, third and fourth.

The Phils were up 2-1 when Cincinnati hit in the top of the fifth. Jay Bruce led off with a double to right. Laynce Nix was next and flew to center, with Bruce tagging and moving up to third. It brought Drew Stubbs to the plate and the Reds tried to pull off the squeeze, but Stubbs popped the bunt up. Kendrick caught it and Bruce was easily doubled-off of third to end the frame.

Corky Miller doubled to start the sixth and the pitcher Johnny Cueto bunted him to third. Brandon Phillips was next and he hit a ball to third that Dobbs handled. Dobbs looked the runner back and threw to first for the second out. Orlando Cabrera popped to Valdez to keep the Reds off the board.

Second time in two innings that Kendrick works out of a man no third with one out.

Kendrick got the first two in the seventh. With the Phils still up by just a run, Manuel brought in Romero to pitch to the lefty Bruce. Romero struck him out for the third out.

Kendrick had thrown 73 pitches in the game and allowed three hits and no walks.

Madson, activated for the game taking Zagurski’s spot in the pen, started the eighth. Stubbs and Miller singled back-to-back with one out. Righty Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Cueto and struck out swinging for the second out. It brought Phillips to the plate. Madson got ahead of him and threw a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Phillips swung and missed, but the ball bounced way away from Schneider. Schneider stood up and looked around wildly but couldn’t find the ball. Madson pointed and then ran after the ball, which bounced off the wall and back behind home plate. Schneider saw it then, too, and both of them took off after it while Stubbs raced around the bases. Schneider finally got to the ball, but there was nobody covering home and Stubbs scored to tie the game at 2-2. Orlando Cabrera grounded out to leave the runners stranded.

Lidge started the ninth with a 3-2 lead. Votto led off with a single and Scott Rolen walked behind him. It put men on first and second for Bruce, but Lidge got Bruce to ground into a double-play with Votto winding up at third with two down. Righty Miguel Cairo hit for the pitcher Arthur Rhodes and doubled to left, scoring Votto to tie the game again at 3-3. Stubbs flew to center for the third out.

Contreras, pitching for the third day in a row, threw a 1-2-3 tenth.

Figueroa, who had thrown 22 pitches the day before, struck out Cabrera and Votto in a 1-2-3 eleventh.

He was back for the twelfth and again set the Reds down in order. Jordan Smith smoked a ball to right in the frame, but Werth made a nice play to catch it up against the wall for the second out.

No runs charged to Contreras as he throws for the third straight day. He threw 19 pitches on July 4, didn’t pitch on the fifth and then threw three days in a row. Figueroa has made four appearances since rejoining the team on June 24 and has allowed a hit and a walk over 7 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out seven.

Baez needs to pitch if he’s on the team.

Figueroa threw 26 pitches, Madson 20, Lidge 15, Contreras 12, Romero five.

You would have to guess the Contreras and Figueroa are unlikely to pitch tonight.

The Phillies lineup against righty Johnny Cueto went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Valdez (8) Schneider. Schneider returns to the lineup after missing time with his thumb. Dobbs at third against the righty. Valdez plays second.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Victorino homered with one out to tie the game at 1-1. Ibanez and Howard went down behind him.

1-2-3 in the second.

Schneider and Kendrick both struck out to start the third before Rollins walked. Victorino followed that and hit a ball hard to first. Votto didn’t handle it and it rolled away from him. He got it and flipped to Cueto covering, but the ball and Victorino arrived at the same time and got away from Cueto. Votto fetched it and Victorino took a big turn around first and went back to the base. Votto threw to Cueto at first to try to get Victorino coming back to the bag, but Cueto didn’t handle the throw. Rollins stormed in from third and slid in safely, just ahead of the throw from Votto after he retrieved the ball yet again. Cueto then picked Victorino off of first to end the inning.

Wild play. Great hustle by Rollins to score from third when Cueto didn’t handle the throw from Votto for the second time.

Ibanez started the fourth with a single. He moved to second on a ground out by Howard and to third on another by Werth. Dobbs popped to Rolen at third to leave him stranded.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth.

Victorino walked with one out in the sixth, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him.

Werth singled with one out in the seventh. Dobbs was next and hit a soft liner towards second. Phillips let it drop intentionally and started a double-play to end the inning.

The game was tied at 2-2 when Valdez tripled to start the bottom of the eighth. Schneider struck out for the first out. With righty Nick Masset on the mound, Gload hit for Madson. Arthur Rhodes took over for Masset and Francisco hit for Gload. Francisco drew a walk and Rollins delivered a fly ball to left deep enough for Valdez to score and put the Phillies up 3-2. Francisco stole second before Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Stranding that runner at third after the leadoff triple would have been too much. Big sac fly for Rollins. Also a nice job by Francisco not to make an out and to get into scoring position with the stolen base.

The game was tied at 3-3 when the Phillies went in order in the ninth.

Castro started the tenth with a walk. Valdez tried to bunt him to second, but fouled off two pitches. Something went wrong after that, cause Valdez took a two strike pitch and Castro was thrown out stealing. Valdez blooped a single to right before Schneider flew to center for the second out. With righty Logan Ondrusek on the mound, righty Cody Ransom hit for Contreras and walked. Rollins grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Victorino reached on an infield single to start the eleventh. Ibanez grounded to second with Victorino forced at second for the first out. Howard followed that with a ground ball to short — he was thrown out at first with Ibanez moving to second. Werth was walked intentionally with Castro hitting behind him. Castro grounded to short to end the inning.

I would walk Werth a whole lot when Castro is hitting behind him.

Valdez grounded to third for the first out in the twelfth before Schneider hit an 0-1 pitch out to right to win the game for the Phils.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk, but did well to score from first base on a grounder to first in the third inning.

Victorino was 3-for-4 with a walk and a home run. Two homers in two days for Victorino.

Ibanez 1-for-5.

Howard 0-for-5.

Werth 1-for-4 with a walk.

Ibanez, Howard and Werth combine to go 2-for-14 with a single and a walk in the game.

Dobbs 0-for-3.

Valdez 2-for-5 with a triple. He now is outslugging Ibanez for the season. He’s at .402 and Ibanez is .394. The list of players outslugging Ibanez also includes Schneider, Sardinha and Gload (and Nelson Figueroa, but he’s outslugging everyone else on the team as well with his 2-for-4 with a double on the season).

Schneider was 1-for-5 and won the game with his third homer.

Blanton (5-3, 6.27) faces righty Mike Leake (6-1, 3.38) tonight. Blanton had made three pretty good starts in a row before allowing five runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Pirates in his last start. He has allowed 14 home runs in 74 1/3 innings this season. Leake faced the Phils on June 29 and was charged with six runs in six innings. Valdez and Schneider both homered off of him in that game. Over his last five starts he’s allowed five or more runs three times and thrown to a 6.35 ERA with a 1.91 ratio.


Imperfect, and looking more imperfecter every day, team throws perfect game

The Phillies miserable skid may not be over, but at least May finally is. The Phils went 2-7 to end the month and scored ten runs in those nine games while being shut out five times.

The nosedive has now cost them the lead in the division to good Atlanta team. Not as good as the Phillies, but good and more than good enough to take the division if the Phils continue to play like they don’t belong.

What does it take for the Phillies to win these days? Well, Roy Halladay showed us all Saturday as he threw the 20th perfect game in major league history. The Phils won 1-0 with a lot of help from a three-base error by Cameron Maybin. The Phils somehow managed to win that three-game set with the Marlins despite scoring four runs in the series. They jumped right back into the swing of things after that, though, getting shut out on Sunday before Tommy Hanson took a shutout into the seventh inning against them yesterday.

Charlie Manuel has tried just about everything now. Meetings, benchings, changing the lineup and getting ejected. None of it is working and slump isn’t the right word for what’s happening to the Phillies anymore.

The Phillies are 28-22 on the year after a 9-3 loss to Atlanta yesterday afternoon. They are in second place in the NL East, a half game behind the Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Chipper Jones. He struck out two. Blanton has been awful this year. He has now thrown to the same 1.32 ratio in 2010 as he did in 2009, but with a 5.68 ERA in ’10 compared to a 4.05 for 2009. He’s giving up more hits and more home runs and his strikeouts are way down — in 2009 he struck out 7.5 batters per nine innings and so far in 2010 he’s struck out 4.5 batters per nine innings.

Martin Prado singled to center to start the bottom of the first. Jason Heyward flew to Victorino for the first out before Chipper hit a 3-2 pitch out to right to put Atlanta up 2-0. Brain McCann flew to center for the second out before Troy Glaus hit a ball to right that Gload butchered for a two-base error. Eric Hinske singled to right and Glaus scored to make it 3-0. Yunel Escobar flew to right to end the inning.

Gload’s error proves costly to the Phils.

The pitcher Tommy Hanson singled to right with one out in the second, but Blanton got Prado on a ball hit out in front of the plate that Ruiz handled and struck Heyward out looking to leave him stranded.

McCann walked with one out in the third and moved to third when Glaus followed with a single. Hinske hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for another Phillies error. McCann scored, 4-0, and Glaus went to third with Hinske safe at second. Escobar singled into center and both runners scored, but Victorino threw Escobar out trying to stretch it into a double. Blanton got Nate McLouth to pop to short to end the inning with the Phils down 6-0.

Two errors in three innings lead to two unearned runs for Atlanta.

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

Escobar singled with one out in the sixth. Blanton got McLouth to pop to short for the second out before a Hanson single sent Escobar to third. Prado grounded to second to leave both men stranded.

The Atlanta lead was cut to 6-3 when Bastardo started the seventh. Chipper singled with one out and Omar Infante ran for him at first. A walk to McCann put men on first and second and Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Glaus. Glaus hit his first pitch out to center to extend the lead to 9-3. Gregor Blanco followed that with a double, but Durbin got the next two to leave him at second.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 eighth, getting a strikeout and two ground balls to lower his ERA to 2.08 on the year.

Bastardo threw 22 pitches in the game. Lidge 13 and Durbin seven.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tommy Hanson went (1) Gload (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Well that’s different. Gload in right. Dobbs at third. Victorino dropped to fifth. The Phils go four lefties, switch, lefty at the top of their order.

Dobbs walked with one out in the first and moved to third when Utley followed with a single. Howard hit into a double-play to turn them away.

Down 3-0, Victorino walked to start the second. He stole second before Ibanez walked. Ruiz flew to center and Valdez hit into a double-play.

Blanton started the third with a single. Gload popped to third before Blanton took second on a passed ball. Dobbs flew to left and Utley flew to left. Manuel was ejected during the Dobbs at-bat. The home plate ump ruled Dobbs had been hit by a pitch. Bobby Cox argued that he hadn’t and the call was overturned with Dobbs not getting to take his base. Manuel argued that decision and got tossed. Dobbs wasn’t hit by the pitch.

Third straight inning the Phils put a runner on second without scoring.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

They were down 6-0 when they faced Hanson in the seventh. Ibanez doubled with two outs and righty Peter Moylan came in to pitch to Ruiz. Ruiz doubled to right and Ibanez scored. 6-1. Valdez doubled to left and Ruiz scored. 6-2. Francisco hit for Blanton and he doubled to left-center. 6-3. Lefty Jonny Venters came in to pitch to Gload and hit him, putting men on first and second with two down. The righty Castro hit for the lefty Dobbs and grounded to second for the third out.

Down 9-3, the Phils went in order in the eighth.

Ruiz walked with one out in the ninth. Valdez struck out and Francisco flew to right to end the game.

Gload was 0-for-3 in the game and has proved not to be the magic bullet that pulls the Phils out of their slump. He’s 1-for-his-last-7 and hitting 222/243/389 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 2-for-27 in May and hitting 125/208/250 for the year. That’s really bad.

Utley was 1-for-4 yesterday. He’s 3-for-his-last-27 with three singles.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-20.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk hitting out of the five-hole. He’s been really good this month, hitting 284/357/509 in 116 at-bats.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 2-for-his-last-12.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-10 with a double and two walks.

Valdez was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-15 with two doubles and hitting 250/260/375 for the year. Castro was 0-for-1 yesterday. He’s 2-for-his-last-9 and hitting 250/277/307 for the year. Castro and Valdez have combined to get 160 at-bats for the Phils this season.

Werth didn’t play yesterday and is 0-for-his-last-19 with 11 strikeouts.

Polanco has not played since Thursday due to problems with his left elbow. This says the Phillies should know when he will be able to return today.

The linked article also says that Nelson Figueroa was designated for assignment when Lidge was activated.

Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.82) faces righty Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.24) tonight. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last five starts. Hudson has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in ten outings this year. Opponents are hitting 212/299/301 against him for the year.


Freese pop

Joe Blanton was back on the field for the Phils last night. The good news is that he looked good. The bad news is the Phillies lost. Blanton pitched better than his line and started the seventh with the game tied at 1-1. Things fell apart for him in the seventh as he allowed a leadoff home run and a couple of singles. David Freese broke the game open later in the inning off of Figueroa when he blasted a three-run double off the wall in right to put the Cards ahead to stay at 5-1.

Despite the loss, Blanton’s outing was encouraging and there’s every reason to hope that he can bring some stability to a rotation that has seen Kendrick, Moyer and Hamels struggle in the early season. He may want to work on his bunting, though. In last night’s game he had bunted into rally-killing double-plays twice before the end of the fifth inning.

The Phillies are 14-11 on the season after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 6-3 last night.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on ten hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out four. He threw 94 pitches in the game.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Matt Holliday doubled to center to start the second. He went to third on a ground out by David Freese and came in to score when Colby Rasmus flew to center, putting the Cards up 1-0. Yadier Molina followed with a single on a ball deflected by Blanton before the pitcher Jamie Garcia grounded to Utley for the third out.

Brendan Ryan started the third with a single, but was left stranded when the next three hitters went in order behind him.

Rasmus doubled to right with two outs in the fourth. Blanton walked Molina intentionally, putting two men on and letting Blanton face the pitcher Garcia. Garcia grounded to second again.

Ryan started the fifth with a double, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple, Werth-to-Utley-to-Polanco. Blanton got the next two hitters behind him.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Blanton started the sixth. Freese and Rasmus singled back-to-back with two outs, putting men on first and third. Molina grounded out on a by Ruiz handled out in front of the plate to leave both men stranded and the game tied.

Things went bad for Blanton in the seventh. Nick Stavinoha hit for the pitcher Garcia to start the inning and homered to left to put St Louis ahead 2-1. Blanton got Ryan on a fly ball to center for the first out before Skip Schumaker singled to center. Ryan Ludwick flew to center for the second out. Albert Pujols was next and he singled to center, putting men on first and second. Figueroa came in to pitch to the righty Matt Holliday and uncorked a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third. With Halladay ahead in the count 3-1 the Phils put him on intentionally to load the bases for Freese. Freese blasted Figueroa’s 0-1 pitch off the wall in right for a double, clearing the bases and putting St Louis up 5-1. Rasmus followed and blooped a single to left, scoring Blanton. 6-1. Ruiz threw Rasmus out trying to steal second.

Ugly. Blanton leaves with two outs and two on and Figueroa gives up the big blow to Freese.

Figueroa was back for the eighth with the St Louis lead cut to 6-2. He gave up a leadoff single to Molina, but got the next three.

Lidge pitched the top of the ninth with the Phils down 6-2. Holliday doubled into the left field corner with two outs, but Lidge struck Freese out swinging to leave him stranded.

Figueroa threw 23 pitches in the game. Lidge 17.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jamie Garcia went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Castro at short with Rollins on the DL. Victorino continues to leadoff.

Victorino led off the first with a single, but was caught stealing second and Polanco and Utley went down behind him. There was a six minute delay to figure out whether or not Utley’s drive down the right field line was fair or foul. They came up with foul and Utley flew to right to end the inning.

Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the second.

Ruiz walked with one out in the third. Blanton tried to move him to second, but bunted into a double-play.

Utley walked with two outs in the fourth. Howard grounded to second behind him.

Werth doubled to start the fifth and Ibanez followed with a single that moved him to third. Castro was next and hit a fly ball to right. Werth tagged and scored, tying the game at 1-1. Ruiz followed with a walk, putting men on first and second with one out. Blanton again bunted into a double-play, ending the inning.

Twice is a lot of times to bunt into a double-play in five innings.

Polanco walked with one out in the sixth. Utley and Howard struck out behind him.

Any inning in which Polanco walks has to be considered a success, no matter how many people strike out behind him.

The Phillies were down 6-1 when they hit in the seventh. Werth led off with a home run to center, cutting the lead to 6-2. Ibanez, Castro and Ruiz went in order behind him.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. With righty Kyle McClellan on the mound for St Louis, Gload hit for Figueroa and flew to right for the first out.

Utley homered off of lefty Trever Miller to start the ninth, cutting the St Louis lead to 6-3. Howard, Werth and Ibanez all struck out behind him to end the game.

Victorino was 1-for-4 in the game. He’s 5-for-his-last-14.

Polanco 0-for-3 with walk. He’s on pace for 19 this season.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run, his eighth of the year. He’s on pace to hit 52 but drive in just 117 runs. Victorino’s .274 on-base percentage and Polanco’s .324 ahead of him aren’t helping the Phillies score runs. He’s 6-for-his-last-13 with five extra-base hits.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. He’s on-basing .313 for the year and on pace to walk 32 times.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. He’s 8-for-his-last-15. He’s still on pace for 84 doubles, which would shatter the single season record of 67.

Ibanez was 1-for-4. After walking a lot to start the season he now has walked once in his last 30 at-bats.

Castro 0-for-2 with an RBI. He’s 3-for-his-last-20.

Ruiz was 0-for-1 and walked twice. He’s on pace for 117 walks.

Cole Hamels (2-2, 5.28) faces righty Adam Wainwright (4-1, 2.13) tonight in game two of the four game set. Wainwright has an 0.90 ratio for the season. Opponents are hitting .203 against him for the year. Hamels has had one good start in five outings. Righties are hitting 341/376/602 against him and lefties 128/244/308.

A 17-year-old fan was tasered after running on to the field last night.

This suggests that we should not expect to see Madson in the near future. That is a big problem.


Rolling old school

The fantastic run of starting pitching continued for the Phils last night. This time it was Jamie Moyer making his first good start of the season. Moyer held the Braves to two unearned runs on four hits and two walks over six strong innings to earn his second win of the season and the 260th of his career. The Phillies have five quality starts in their last six games.

What they also got last night was some runs. Eight, to be exact. They came into last night’s game having scored six runs over their past four games. The battered left side of the infield proved not to be the problem, but a big part of the solution. With Rollins and Polanco both out of the lineup, their replacements, Juan Castro and Greg Dobbs, combined to go 5-for-8 and scored four of the team’s eight runs.

The Phillies are 10-5 on the season after beating the Braves 8-3 last night. The Phils take the series two games to one.

Moyer got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Both of the runs were unearned, thanks for some defensive floundering by Utley in the fifth. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out four and dropped his ERA for the season to 5.00.

Matt Diaz lined to right for the first out of the first with the Phillies up 2-0. Martin Prado was next and he hit it hard, too, but Dobbs snared his line drive for the second out. Chipper Jones followed with a single to left, but Moyer got Brian McCann on a soft ground ball to first to end the inning.

He struck out Troy Glaus and Yunel Escobar to start the second before he hit Jason Heyward with a pitch. Melky Cabrera lined to short to end the inning.

That’s a lot of line outs in two innings.

He was up 5-0 when he started the third. The pitcher Derek Lowe and Diaz both grounded out to start the inning, but Prado doubled to left. Chipper grounded to third to leave him stranded.

He set the Braves down in order in the fourth.

Cabrera walked with one out in the fifth. Righty Omar Infante hit for Lowe and walked, putting men on first and second with one down. Diaz was next and hit a ball to short. Castro fielded and threw to second, but Utley didn’t handle his throw. Cabrera scored to make it 5-1. Utley was charged with an error and it was still first and second with one out. Prado was next and he hit a ball to Castro as well. This time Utley caught the throw at second for the second out, but then threw the ball away from another error. Infante scored and it was 5-2 with two outs and a man on first. Jones hit yet another line drive, but Dobbs caught it at third for the third out.

Miserable inning defensively for Utley. Two walks issued by Moyer made it possible.

The Phillies were up 6-2 when Moyer started the sixth. McCann led off with a single. Moyer struck out Glaus for the first out before Escobar doubled to center, sending McCann to third. Moyer struck out Heyward for the second out and got Cabrera on a pop up to short to end the inning.

Huge strikeout by Moyer to get Heyward with one out and men on second and third.

Durbin started the seventh with an 8-2 lead. McLouth led off and doubled to right. Durbin struck Diaz out for the first out, but Prado singled to right. It put men on first and third with one out for Chipper and Chipper walked on four pitches to load the bases. McCann got ahead 3-0 and then hit a fly ball deep to left that Ibanez took in front of the warning track for the second out. McLouth tagged and scored. 8-3 with men on first and second. Durbin struck Glaus out swinging at a 3-2 slider.

Nice job to come back by Durbin and hold them to one run. Things looked a little worrisome when he walked Chipper on four pitches and then got way behind McCann.

Baez threw a 1-2-3 eighth with an 8-3 lead.

Herndon entered in the bottom of the ninth. Eric Hinske led off with a single, but Diaz grounded into a double-play behind him to clear the bases. Prado reached on an infield single and moved to third when Chipper followed that with a double. Herndon got McCann to fly to left to end the game.

Herndon keeps Atlanta off the board, but has allowed eight hits over 1 1/3 innings in his last two appearances.

Durbin threw 33 pitches in the game and seems unlikely for tonight. Herndon 12 and Baez nine.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Victorino (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Dobbs plays third with Polanco on the bench after getting hit on the elbow with a pitch on Wednesday. Castro plays short with Rollins on the DL. Second is a little high for Dobbs. Seven is a little high for Castro. Three lefties in a row 2-3-4 for the Phils.

Dobbs and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first. It put men on first and third for Howard and Howard singled to center. 1-0 with men on first and third. Werth flew to center deep enough for Utley to score and put the Phils up 2-0. Ibanez lined to second for the third out.

Ruiz singled with one out in the second and Moyer bunted him to second. Victorino grounded to second to leave him stranded.

Dobbs banged a double off the wall in right to start the third. Utley walked. Howard flew to left for the first out before Werth walked to load the bases. Ibanez hit a double-play ball, but the Braves didn’t get a double-play. They didn’t even get a single play. Prado fielded, but his throw wasn’t handled by Escobar. Dobbs and Utley both scored with Werth moving to third with the Phils up 4-0. Castro singled to right. Werth scored and Ibanez went to second. 5-0. Ruiz struck out and Moyer grounded back to the pitcher to leave both men stranded.

Not turning the double-play to end the inning costs the Braves three runs.

The Phils went in order in the fourth and the fifth.

Castro started the sixth with a single off of righty Kris Medlan. Ruiz moved him to second with a single. Moyer would have bunted, but Medlan couldn’t find the strike zone and Moyer walked to load the bases with nobody out. Victorino flew to left for the first out. Castro tagged and scored to put the Phils up 6-2. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty came in to pitch to Dobbs and Wilson Valdez hit for Dobbs. Valdez hit a ground ball to short and Ruiz was forced at second for the second out. Utley walked and the bases were loaded for Howard. Howard struck out.

So the Phillies get one run after loading the bases with nobody out. The righty Valdez hits for Dobbs against the lefty. I think you have to let Francisco hit there because there are two men on base even though Valdez is going to come into the game and play third. Assuming Francisco isn’t hurt I think Manuel thinks the sixth is too early to use the best hitter on your bench. I don’t agree.

The single by Castro got the sixth started after he delivered a big two-out hit in the third.

Ibanez walked with one out in the seventh and moved to second when Castro followed with another single. Ruiz flew to right for the second out, sending Ibanez to third. With righty Peter Moylan on the mound, Gload hit for Moyer and singled to center. Ibanez scored to make it 7-2 and Castro went to third. Victorino was next and he singled to right. 8-2 with men on first and second. Valdez struck out swinging to leave them stranded.

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

Ibanez singled to start the ninth, but Castro struck out behind him for the first out. Ruiz grounded to short for the first out with Ibanez moving to second. With righty Jesse Chavez on the mound for the Braves, Francisco hit for Baez and flew to center.

Francisco winds up getting an at-bat in the game, but against a righty with one man on base instead of two.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with two RBI in the game. He was 2-for-14 with two singles and no walks in the three-game set. He’s hitting 212/254/379 for the season. He’s 3-for-his-last-21 and doesn’t have an extra-base hit in the last six games.

Polanco started games one and two and did not play yesterday after being hit on the elbow with a pitch in game two. 2-for-7 with a double in the series. 383/400/567 for the season. He’s walked once for the year, putting him on pace to walk 11 times. That’s not going to matter if he hits .383, but he’s not. On the other hand, he’s not going to walk 11 times either.

Utley was 1-for-3 with two walks and two errors last night. 4-for-12 with two doubles and two walks in the series. 339/479/739 on the year.

Howard was 1-for-5 with an RBI and five men left on base. 3-for-13 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 294/324/529. He hasn’t homered in ten games and isn’t walking either. He’s on pace to walk 32 times this season.

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-11 with three doubles and a walk. 327/413/558.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI yesterday. 3-for-9 with a double and four walks in the series. 200/344/280 for the year.

Castro was 3-for-5 with an RBI yesterday and 5-for-13 in the set. He’s hitting 353/361/382 in 34 at-bats for the year.

Ruiz was 2-for-5 and left five men on base yesterday. 3-for-13 with a double in the series. 275/420/325.

Dobbs started at third last night. He was 2-for-3 with a double in the game and 2-for-4 in the series. His double last night was the only extra-base hit for the Phils in the game. He’s 3-for-12 with two walks for the season.

Valdez was 0-for-2 last night and 0-for-3 in the series.

Cole Hamels (2-1, 3.86) faces righty Kris Benson (0-1, 3.00) tonight in Arizona as the Phils play the first of three against the 6-9 Snakes. Hamels was brilliant against the Marlins in his last start after a rocky start to the season. Benson has made one start for Arizona, allowing two runs over six innings against the Padres last Saturday.

JA Happ was put on the DL. JC Romero took his spot on the roster. Nelson Figueroa will start on Saturday against Ian Kennedy.

The article linked above says Polanco thinks he should be back in the lineup tonight.


How many runs do the Nats need to score to beat the Phillies? The world may never know

Whatever the answer is there’s a good chance that Kendrick will be on the mound when it happens (in the interest of full disclosure, the Nats actually did beat the Phils as recently as April 8 — and yes, Kendrick started that game).

The Phillies keep scoring and scoring and scoring. The Nationals do, too, just not enough. Washington led last night’s game 3-0, 6-4 and 7-6, but each time the Phillies came storming back. Victorino and Utley combined to go 6-for-9 with three home runs and nine RBI in the game.

As amazing as the offense has been, it’s almost as hard to ignore how fantastic the bullpen has been. After Kendrick couldn’t make it out of the second inning last night, the pen, led by Nelson Figueroa and Durbin, held Washington to a run over 7 1/3 innings.

The Phillies are 7-1 on the season after beating the Nationals 14-7.

Kendrick got the start and went 1 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. After two bad starts in two times out, Kendrick has a 17.47 ERA.

Nyjer Morgan was the first batter of the game and Kendrick hit him with an 0-1 pitch. Willie Harris was next and Kendrick got him to hit into a double-play, Utley to Castro to Howard. Cristian Guzman followed with a single, though, and then Kendrick threw eight balls with his next nine pitches. Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham both walked, loading the bases for Adam Kennedy. Kennedy lined a 1-2 pitch into center for a bases clearing double and the Nats led 3-0. Ivan Rodriguez grounded to third to end the frame.

Four men reach in a row after two outs and nobody on.

Kendrick started the second with a 4-3 lead. Alberto Gonzalez got ahead 2-0 and doubled to left. The pitcher Craig Stammen tried to bunt him to third but couldn’t, bunting strike three foul for the first out. Morgan was next and he moved Gonzalez to third with a single to left. Morgan stole second before Kendrick walked Harris. When he did the bases were loaded again, this time with one out. Guzman singled into center, scoring Gonzalez and Morgan. 5-4 with the Nationals on top and men on first and second. Kendrick got Dunn on a pop up for the second out. Willingham was next and he got ahead 3-0 before hitting a ball down the left field line that a fan touched for a ground rule double. 6-4 with men on second and third and two outs. Figueroa came in to pitch to Kennedy and got him on a ground ball to first to leave both runners stranded.

Figueroa was back for the third with the Phils up 7-6. Rodriguez led off the inning with a single and stole second before Gonzalez singled to right, sending Rodriguez to third. The pitcher Jesse English bunted Gonzalez to second for the first out. Morgan was next and he grounded to first. Both runners moved up a base, with Rodriguez scoring to tie the game at 7-7. Figueroa struck out Harris to leave Gonzalez stranded at third.

Figueroa set the Nats down in order in the fourth.

He walked Kennedy to start the fifth. Rodriguez flew to center for the first out and Kennedy stole second with Gonzalez batting. Gonzalez grounded to third for the second out with Kennedy holding second. Pitcher Jason Marquis hit for the pitcher Jesse English and lined to short to leave Kennedy stranded.

Figueroa went 3 1/3 innings in the game, allowing a run on two hits and a walk. After two appearances in long relief he has a 3.38 ERA and a 1.31. Despite the fact that they wound up winning by seven runs, the game was tight early and the Phils needed Figueroa’s contribution last night.

Durbin started the sixth with a 9-7 lead. Morgan led off the inning with a single, but Durbin picked him off for the first out. Harris struck out for the second and Guzman flew to center.

Durbin was back to start the seventh with a 10-7 lead. Dunn led off with a double off the wall in right. New right fielder Francisco played it well and nearly threw Dunn out at second, but Castro couldn’t hold on to the ball as Dunn slid in to second. He may have been safe anyway. Willingham grounded to third for the first out with Dunn holding second. Kennedy dribbled back to the mound for the second out as Dunn held second. Rodriguez chopped a ball to third that Polanco fielded behind the bag near the line. He made a strong throw to get Rodriguez and end the inning.

Fantastic long throw by Polanco to end the frame.

Bastardo pitched the eighth with a 14-7 lead. He walked Gonzalez to start the inning. Roger Bernadina flew to right for the first out, but Morgan followed him and walked as well. It put men on first and second with one down. Righty Ian Desmond hit for lefty Willie Harris and Bastardo struck him out for the second out. Guzman flew to right to leave the runners stranded.

Bastardo hasn’t been charged with a run on the season, allowing a hit and three walks over 2 2/3 innings.

Herndon set the Nats down 1-2-3 in the ninth. He has a 0.00 ERA for the season, too, having allowing five hits over 4 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out three.

Long day for the pen. Figueroa threw 54 pitches and Durbin 24. Bastardo threw 19 and Herndon seven.

The Phillies lineup against righty Craig Stammen went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Castro plays short with Rollins on the DL. Victorino moves up to the leadoff spot. Dobbs in right against the righty Stammen and not Francisco. Glad but surprised to see that move from Manuel — I was expecting Francisco in right. Castro doesn’t lead off. Four lefties in a row 3-4-5-6 for the Phils.

The Phillies were down 3-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Victorino led off and hit a ball off the body of the pitcher Stammen for a single. Polanco moved him to second with a single. Utley walked, loading the bases for Howard. Howard singled into center, scoring Victorino and Polanco. 3-2. Dobbs was next and he doubled down the right field line on a ball that went just under Dunn’s glove at first. Utley scored to tie the game at 3-3 and Howard went to third. It brought up Ibanez with nobody out and men on second and third. Ibanez delivered a fly ball to left. Howard scored to make it 4-3, but Dobbs held second. Castro lined to right for the second out, Dobbs tagged and went to third. Ruiz grounded to third to end the inning.

Great inning for the Phils, but they did only manage to get one more run after putting men on second and third with nobody out. Dunn should have made the play on the double by Dobbs.

They were down again when they came to bat in the second, this time 6-4. Figueroa led off and lined a single into center. Victorino flew to right for the first out, but Polanco was next and he doubled to left. It brought Utley up with men on second and third and he homered to right, putting the Phils up 7-6. Lefty Jesse English came in to pitch to Howard and Howard singled to center. Dobbs struck out swinging for the second out before Ibanez moved Howard to second with a single. Castro grounded to third to leave both men stranded.

Rare at-bat for Dobbs against a lefty — he had just 17 plate appearances against lefties in ’08 and ’09 combined.

They started the bottom of the third tied 7-7. Ruiz led off and grounded hard to third for the first out. Figueroa followed and delivered another hit, this one a double into the left field corner. Victorino lined a single into center and Figueroa went to third. Polanco struck out and Utley fouled out to end the inning with both runners stranded.

Polanco can’t get it done that time with one out and men on first and third. Figueroa probably should have scored from second on the Victorino single, but must have thought there was a chance it was going to hang up long enough for Morgan to catch it.

English was back for the fourth and got three lefties, Howard, Dobbs and Ibanez, in order.

No righty breaking up the lefties for the Phils and English mowed ‘em down in the fourth after getting Utley with two outs and two on in the third.

Castro hit a dribbler down the third base line off of righty Jason Bergmann to start the bottom of the fifth. Gonzalez made a nice play to bare hand and throw him out at first. Ruiz followed with a walk and Gload hit for Figueroa. Gload popped to third on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Victorino got ahead 3-0 and hit a 3-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 9-7. Polanco popped to second for the third out.

Utley started the sixth with a homer off of lefty Sean Burnett. 10-7. Howard struck out looking for the first out. Francisco hit for Dobbs with the lefty on the mound and the Nats called on righty Brian Bruney to pitch to him. Francisco grounded to third for the second out. Ibanez struck out to end the inning.

Castro and Ruiz walked back-to-back to start the seventh. With the righty Bruney still pitching for Washington, Werth hit for Durbin and Bruney walked him, too. It loaded the bases for Victorino and righty Tyler Clippard came in to pitch to him. Victorino split the gap in right center with a triple that cleared the bases. The Phillies led 13-7. Polanco was next and flew to center deep enough for Victorino to score. 14-7. Utley flew to center for the second out and Howard hit a ball well to center that Morgan took for the third out.

Francisco, Ibanez and Castro went in order in the eighth.

Victorino fared well in the lead off spot, going 4-for-5 with a triple, a home run and five RBI.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s hitting .486.

Utley was 2-for-4 with a walk, two home runs and four RBI.

Howard was 2-for-5 with two RBI.

Dobbs 1-for-3 with a double. Glad to see him getting a start in the outfield with a righty on the mound.

Ibanez was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Castro 0-for-4 with a walk.

Ruiz 0-for-2 with two walks. He’s on-basing .462 and on pace to walk 142 times this season.

Wilson Valdez has been added to the roster with Rollins on the DL. Rollins says he hopes to be back in two weeks.

JA Happ (1-0, 0.00) makes his second start of the season this afternoon against lefty Scott Olsen (NR). Happ threw five scoreless innings against the Astros on Friday, but needed 103 pitches to do it. Olsen will be making his first start of the season coming off of shoulder surgery this past summer.


Luckless Kendrick draws the start on Hammer the Ball to All Fields Day at Nationals Park

Much like his fellow starter Cole Hamels, the 2010 season didn’t start the way that Kyle Kendrick was hoping. After an impressive showing in 2009 and an awesome spring training, Kendrick came out flat to start 2010 and the Washington Nationals jumped all over him. Kendrick allowed one extra-base hit in 26 1/3 innings for the Phils in 2009. In 2010 he had allowed more than that before he got an out.

Kendrick bounced back a bit after the miserable start, setting down nine in a row before giving up another pair of runs in the fourth. He didn’t pitch in the fifth, though, and that’s a big problem given the unproven pitchers manning the bullpen and the injuries to key relievers. It was the second day in a row that the Phillies starter didn’t get an out in the sixth inning. That’s not going to work.

Despite getting behind early, the Phils battled back and made a game of it. What they didn’t do was hit when they needed to most, going 1-for-14 in the game with runners in scoring position. Raul Ibanez, who was so fantastic at the start of 2009, has started 2010 cold. Down a run with a runner on third and one out in the ninth, Ibanez couldn’t bring the run in as his average dipped to .091 on the very early season.

Despite yesterday’s frustrations, the offense is looking quite healthy. They lead all teams in either league in runs scored and have five regulars (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz and Polanco) with an OPS for the season that’s over 1.000 after three games.

The Phillies are 2-1 on the season after losing to the Washington Nationals 6-5 yesterday.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. It’s going to be a long year for him if he allows an extra-base hit an inning.

Nyjer Morgan led off the bottom of the first for Washington and drove a ball to the wall in right field that went for a triple. Cristian Guzman followed and singled into center, scoring Morgan to put the Nats up 1-0. Ryan Zimmerman was next and he doubled to left, sending Guzman to third. Adam Dunn was next and he hit a ground ball to first. Howard took it for the out, but both runners moved up a base with Guzman scoring to make it 2-0. It brought Josh Willingham to the plate with one down and Zimmerman on third. Willingham hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Zimmerman to tag and score. 3-0. Willie Harris lined to first to end the inning.

Ew.

It got better after that. For a while anyway.

Adam Kennedy, Wil Nieves and the pitcher Craig Stammen went down in order in the second with the Washington lead cut to 3-1.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 third, too, getting two ground balls and striking out Zimmerman.

The bottom of the fourth started with the Phils down 3-2. Dunn led off and singled to right. Willingham lined to Polanco at third for the first out, but Harris was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to right center to put Washington ahead 5-2. Kennedy followed with a double, but Kendrick got the next two hitters to leave him stranded.

Jose Contreras pitched the fifth with the lead cut to 5-4. He got Morgan to start the inning, but Guzman followed doubled to right. A ground out by Zimmerman moved Guzman to third with two down, but Contreras got Dunn to ground out to Utley to end the inning.

Just added to the roster today, Nelson Figueroa started the bottom of the sixth with the game knotted at 5-5. He got the leadoff man Willingham before Harris drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Kennedy popped to short for the second out and Harris stole second with Nieves at the plate. Nieves grounded to short for the third out.

Right Alberto Gonzalez pinch hit for the pitcher Tyler Clippard to start the seventh. Figueroa, also a righty, walked him on five pitches. That’s not the way to start the inning. Figueroa almost got away with it, but not quite. Morgan bunted Gonzalez to second and a ground out by Guzman put him on third with two down. It sure looked like Figueroa had struck Zimmerman out on a 1-2 pitch, but it must have been low cause Figueroa didn’t get the call. Zimmerman popped a ball down the right field line that landed just fair for a double. Gonzalez scored and the Nats led 6-5. The lefty Dunn was walked intentionally and Figueroa got the righty Willingham to foul out to Polanco.

Nice outing for Figueroa. He sure look like he got Zimmerman and the fact that he didn’t had a big impact on the game. A lot of bad stuff can happen when you walk the leadoff man.

Bastardo pitched the eighth, having thrown one pitch in an appearance the day before. He got Harris swinging and Kennedy on a fly ball to right. Herndon came in to pitch to the righty Nieves and Nieves reached on an infield single. Righty Ian Desmond hit for the pitcher and hit a ball back up the middle, but Rollins made a great diving play and threw to second to force Nieves and end the inning.

Bastardo does the job against two lefties. Herndon emerges unscathed against a pair of righties despite allowing the infield hit. Bastardo can’t pitch to the righty Nieves with two outs and nobody on? Nieves is 32-years-old and has two career home runs.

Figueroa threw 41 pitches in the game, so don’t expect to see him any time soon. Everyone else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Craig Stammen went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Victorino (8) Schneider. Schneider gets his first start of the year. Everything else is the same as it was for the first two games.

Rollins swung at the first pitch of the game and flew to left. Polanco grounded to third for the second out before Utley singled into right. Howard grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Down 3-0, Werth started the second with a double and moved to third when Ibanez followed with a ground out to second. Victorino grounded to second, too, scoring Werth to make it 3-1. Schneider grounded to short to set the Phillies down.

Kendrick went down to start the third, but Rollins followed with a single and Polanco moved him to third with a double. Utley hit a ground ball to first and both runners moved up with Rollins scoring to cut the Washington lead to 3-2. Howard grounded to second to end the frame.

Werth doubled to start the fourth and Ibanez struck out behind him. Victorino moved Werth to third with a ground out to second base, but Schneider grounded back to the pitcher to leave Werth stranded.

Tough day for Ibanez. His strikeout after the leadoff double hurt the Phils in that at-bat.

Down 5-2, Gload hit for Kendrick to start the fifth and delivered a single off of Stammen. Rollins flew to right for the first out, but Polanco was next and hit a ball into center that Morgan misplayed badly, letting it get by him. Polanco wound up at third and Gload scored to make it 5-3. Polanco was given a single and an error was charged to Morgan. Utley grounded back to the pitcher for the second out with Polanco holding third, but Howard picked him up with an RBI-single to center. Polanco scored and it was 5-4. Werth was next and he doubled to left. Howard should have held third, but he went too far around the base and the throw came in behind him. Howard was tagged out to end the inning and the threat.

Not good base-running from Howard. Unusual to see the Phillies give away outs on the basepaths. Utley didn’t deliver that time with one out and a man on third.

Ibanez and Victorino walked back-to-back to start the sixth. Schneider bunted, moving them to second and third. With lefty Sean Burnett on the mound, Francisco hit for Contreras. Righty Tyler Clippard came on to pitch for the Nats and Manuel let Francisco hit. Clippard hit him with a pitch to load the bases with one out. Rollins delivered a fly ball to right deep enough to score Ibanez and move Victorino to third with the score tied at 5-5. Polanco grounded to short to leave the runners stranded.

Manuel had already used Gload, but he didn’t hit Dobbs for Francisco. He no doubt thought it was too early, but even though Francisco got on base I still would have rather seen Dobbs hit there. Phils get a run after putting men on first and second with no outs and loading the bases with one out, but scoring just one run there was huge in the game.

Howard singled with one out in the seventh, but Werth grounded out behind him and Ibanez struck out.

The Nats were up 6-5 when the Phillies hit in the eighth. Righty Brian Bruney got Victorino and Schneider to start the inning before Dobbs hit for Figueroa and drew a walk. Rollins lined a double to right, but Dobbs had to hold third. With two outs and men on second and third, Polanco grounded to third to set the Phillies down.

Big at-bat for Polanco with two outs. Dobbs can’t score from first on the two-out double. It sure seems like Dobbs should be to blame, but I don’t think so. Rollins ripped the ball into the right field corner, but Harris was playing really deep and got to the ball quick. When it came off the wall it went right to him. Dobbs isn’t fast, but not many runners would have scored there.

Still down a run, Utley started the top of the ninth with a double off of Washington closer Matt Capps. Howard was walked intentionally and Werth hit a fly ball to center deep enough to move Utley to third. It brought up Ibanez with one out and men on first and third. Ibanez flew to left and the runners had to hold. Victorino popped to short and the game was over.

Ibanez can’t tie the game with a runner on third and one out. He also didn’t bring the runner home in the ninth inning of game two of the series with one out and a man on third in a much less critical situation.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double and another run scored. Still on pace for more than 150, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. He was 5-for-11 in the series with two doubles, a triple and four walks. His 1.381 OPS leads the team.

Polanco had a great series. 2-for-5 with a double yesterday. 7-for-14 with two doubles and a home run in the set.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI yesterday. 5-for-12 with a double and four walks in the series.

Howard didn’t homer yesterday for the first time this season. 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 6-for-15 with a walk, a double and two home runs in the series.

Werth was 3-for-5 with three doubles yesterday after going 1-for-9 in the first two games. 4-for-13 with two walks and three doubles in the series.

Ibanez had a miserable start to the season. 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts yesterday. 1-for-11 with three walks in the series.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI yesterday. 2-for-13 with two walks and two RBI in the series.

Ruiz did not play yesterday but was 3-for-6 with four walks in the series.

Schneider was 0-for-3 yesterday in his only action of the series.

JA Happ makes his first start of the season tonight as the Phils face righty Bud Norris and the Astros in Houston. Norris, a 25-year-old righty, pitching in 11 games for the Astros in ’09, throwing to a 4.53 ERA and a 1.51 ratio.

Andrew Carpenter was sent down to make room on the roster for Figueroa.

Next post to Philliesflow will be after the weekend. Monday probably.

The Start Log for 2010 is up. You can access it using the START LOG and START LOG HISTORY links at the top of the page.


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