The Phillies ended the day yesterday out of first place in the NL East for the first time since May 31. It’s about time. The way they’ve been playing, hitting particularly, lately, they don’t look like they belong anywhere near first place.
Speaking of stuff you worked hard to earn and then let slip away, Jimmy Rollins worked just about his whole life to become one of the elite players in baseball and somebody that his home town fans at least, almost without exception, have tremendous respect for. And all of the sudden he’s neither. Rollins hasn’t shown up for most of this year and yesterday he got literal with it, arriving late to the park and then criticizing his manager publicly for putting him on the bench. That’s atrocious.
Regardless of the effort he gives it’s not reasonable to expect Rollins to be the best player in baseball, or anything near that, year-after-year. Everyone has the right expect that he’s going to show up and play hard.
Yesterday’s game was pretty miserable. Jamie Moyer was fantastic, holding the Mets to a run on two hits over seven innings. Oliver Perez stymied the Phils all day long, though, striking out 12 and keeping the ball in the strike zone well enough to walk just one. The 2-3-4-5 hitters in the Phillies order combined to go 2-for-14 with ten strikeouts. Werth did connect for a seventh-inning home run that tied the game at 1-1, but Romero gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run double by Delgado.
The bullpen has joined the hitters for the time being as what’s wrong with the Phils. The Phillies have lost four of their last five games. Over those five games the bullpen has thrown to a 6.40 ERA. Each of the four losses has featured a different anti-hero from the pen — Seanez, Condrey, Madson and now Romero.
Long season, though, and it’s not over yet. As bad as yesterday was across the board it’s over now. Today brings a new chance and it will keep doing just that until it doesn’t anymore. There’s a whole bunch of guys on the Phils who could use it.
The Phillies lost to the New York Mets yesterday afternoon, falling 3-1. With the loss the Phils drop to 54-48 on the year. The Mets take the series two games to one.
Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on two hits and three walks. All three of the hits were singles and he struck out six. His ERA for the season is 3.76.
He threw a 1-2-3 first.
In the second, Fernando Tatis singled with two outs. Damion Easley flew to center for the third out.
Jose Reyes walked with two outs in the third and stole second. Nick Evans followed with another walk before David Wright singled into left. Burrell threw home but his throw was terrible and way up the first base line. Reyes scored to put the Mets up 1-0. Evans took third and Burrell was charged with his first error on the season. The call was later changed to take the error away — either way it was a pretty bad throw. Carlos Delgado grounded to second for the third out.
Moyer set the Mets down 1-2-3 in the fourth, fifth and sixth.
Tatis walked with one out in the seventh before Easley popped to second for the second out. Ramon Castro lined a 2-1 pitch into right that a sliding Werth took for the third out.
Romero started the eighth with the game tied at 1-1. Moyer had only thrown 91 pitches but was due to lead off the top of the eighth with the game tied. You have to hit for him. Righty Robinson Cancel hit for Aaron Heilman and singled to left. Reyes bunted Cancel to second before Chavez lined back to Romero for the second out. Romero walked the righty Wright intentionally to put men on first and second for the lefty Delgado. Delgado hit a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double that scored both runners and put the Mets up 3-1. As the throw came to the plate, Delgado tried to advance to third and was thrown out to end the inning.
With Romero the only lefty in the Phillies pen you have to leave him in to pitch to Delgado, even if it means putting Wright on intentionally.
Romero threw 18 pitches.
The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Oliver Perez went (1) Bruntlett (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Rollins was a late scratch, so Bruntlett played short and hit leadoff. Again Utley second, Burrell third and Howard fourth. Werth in right against the lefty and hitting fifth. Coste catches with Victorino again dropped in the order but ahead of Feliz. I like Utley, Burrell, Howard 2-3-4 a lot (even though they aren’t doing anything). Bruntlett had a great game but shouldn’t hit leadoff — I think it’s got to be Werth and if not Werth Victorino.
Burrell singled to left with two outs in the first but Howard struck out behind him.
Victorino reached on an infield single with one out in the second. Feliz popped to short and Coste struck out swinging.
Bruntlett singled to left with one out in the third. Utley struck out and Burrell flew to center.
Perez struck out Howard and Werth in a 1-2-3 fourth.
And Coste and Moyer in a 1-2-3 fifth.
Bruntlett led off the sixth with a double to left and Utley moved him to third with a ground out. Burrell flew to left and Bruntlett had to hold. Howard struck out to leave Bruntlett stranded.
Burrell fails to bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.
Werth led off the seventh and got ahead 2-0 before he hit one out to center, tying the game at 1-1. It was the first run that the Phillies had scored against Oliver Perez in 24 1/3 innings this season. Victorino, Feliz and Coste went in order behind him.
With the game still tied at 1-1 in the eighth, Moyer was due to lead off. Taguchi hit for him and grounded to short. Glad they hit for Moyer despite the results. Bruntlett was next and blasted a ball off the wall in left for another double. Utley struck out and the lefty Perez walked Burrell intentionally. Howard was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Righty Aaron Heilman came in to pitch to Werth and Werth stayed in with Dobbs and Jenkins on the bench. Werth got behind 0-2 before he flew to center for the third out.
Jenkins 4-for-12 with a home run against Heilman in his career. Dobbs 1-for-4. Werth 3-for-8 and had driven in the Phillies’ only run in the game with a home run. Coming into the game righties hitting 197/295/254 against Heilman on the season, lefties 312/413/610. Think you gotta have a lefty there.
Billy Wagner came on in the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead. He got the first two before Coste singled to left. Ruiz ran for Coste at first and Rollins hit for Romero and grounded to third to end the game.
Bruntlett was 3-for-4 with two doubles in the game and 3-for-5 in the series. He’s hitting 243/321/338 for the season. Rollins was 0-for-1 in the game and 2-for-10 with two doubles in the series. 269/332/430.
Fantastic job by Bruntlett.
Utley was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left three men on base. 0-for-12 with a walk in the set. 287/370/566 for the year. 243/309/378 in July.
Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with a double and three walks in the series. 281/408/588 for the year.
Howard was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. 2-for-12 in the series. No walks in his last 22 at-bats. 234/322/501 for the year.
Werth was 1-for-4 with his 13th home run. 3-for-8 with a walk in the series. 272/355/478. Jenkins was 1-for-3 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 240/292/401 for the year. 242/306/545 in July — it’s not time for the Phils to give up on Jenkins.
Victorino 1-for-4. 4-for-12 with two home runs in the series. 278/345/417 for the year.
Feliz was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series. 256/304/424 for the year. 1-for-21 with nine strikeouts since the All-Star break. Kinda hoping he starts catching a ride to the yard with J-Roll.
Coste was 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 in the series. 274/326/469 for the year. He’s hitting 135/135/189 in July. He doesn’t have a walk in his last 49 at-bats. Ruiz was 3-for-7 with three singles and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 212/311/274 for the year.
Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22) tonight. Coming off a string of three starts where he did not allow an earned run, Jurrjens has allowed ten earned runs in his last 19 1/3 innings (4.66). Over his last six starts he’s thrown 41 innings and allowed just three home runs, all of which were hit by the Phillies on July 3 in Atlanta. Utley, Howard and Feliz all homered off of him in that game. Kendrick got hammered by the Fish on Saturday, allowing seven runs on ten hits, including a career-high three home runs, in 4 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .326 against him for the year and have hit nine of the 15 home runs he has allowed. He’s made three starts against the Braves this year and is 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.62 ratio. In 17 1/3 innings against the Braves he’s walked 11.