Tag: Pedro Feliz

Singles function

Continuing with the numbers from the last post, for the eight Phillies regulars, here’s how often they got hits or walks, singles or walks or extra-base hits or walks per 100 plate appearances in 2009:

  H or BB 1B or BB XBH or BB
Howard 35.1 22.9 22.9
Utley 36.2 27.1 22.0
Feliz 30.2 23.2 12.6
Rollins 29.2 19.7 15.6
Ibanez 34.0 21.8 22.1
Victorino 34.7 25.8 17.6
Werth 36.1 26.8 22.8
Ruiz 34.0 24.5 21.9

If you order them by their chance to get any kind of hit or a walk, the list looks like this:

  1. Utley
  2. Werth
  3. Howard
  4. Victorino
  5. Ruiz
  6. Ibanez
  7. Feliz
  8. Rollins

That order is the same as it would be if you ordered the players by their ’09 on-base percentage.

Leadoff man Jimmy Rollins didn’t have much of a chance to get a hit or a walk compared to the other players on his team last year. Victorino would clearly have been the better choice to lead off, but arguably any player, including Feliz, would have done a better job of getting on base.

The list changes if you order the players by their chances to get a single or a walk — the group below is order by the numbers of singles plus walks per 100 plate appearances:

  1. Utley
  2. Werth
  3. Victorino
  4. Ruiz
  5. Feliz
  6. Howard
  7. Ibanez
  8. Rollins

Victorino, Ruiz and Feliz bounce up in that group while Howard and Ibanez fall and Rollins stays at the bottom.

You know who hit a lot of singles last year? Pedro Feliz. Feliz had 110 of his 154 hits this season go for singles. That’s 71.4%, which is the highest percentage of singles for this group of Phillies. Of the 103 NL players who got at least 400 plate appearances last season, just 28 of them had more than 71.4% go as singles. Highest percentage of singles goes to the Mets’ Luis Castillo, who had 89.1% of his 147 hits go for singles.

You know who didn’t hit a lot of singles last year? Raul Ibanez. Just 49.3% of his hits went for singles, which was second-fewest of the 103 NLers with 400 plate appearances. The Diamondbacks’ Chris Young was the only player of that group with a lower percentage of hits going for singles (48.9%).

If you order the list by the player’s chance to walk or deliver an extra-base hit last year, the list goes like this:

  1. Howard
  2. Werth
  3. Ibanez
  4. Utley
  5. Ruiz
  6. Victorino
  7. Rollins
  8. Feliz

Rollins finally gets out of the basement, passing up Feliz. Feliz really isn’t going to do well in any categories you can think of that have a lot to do with walks or extra-base hits. Feliz got 246 more plate appearances than Carlos Ruiz this year and had eight more extra-base hits.

While we’re on the subject of guys who hit lots of singles, JA Happ finished second in the voting for NL Rookie of the Year behind Chris Coghlan. Coghlan hit .321 this year for the Fish, but was one of the 28 NLers with more than 400 plate appearances who had a higher percentage of their hits go for singles than Feliz. 71.6% of Coghlan’s hits went for singles this season.

Bruntlett, Walker, Hoover, Ennis and Tracy are all off of the Phillies 40-man roster. The linked article suggests that this means it’s likely that Bruntlett and Walker will not be back in 2010. It says the other three could return.

I don’t quite understand what it is with the Phillies and Tyler Walker. He pitched well in 2009 for a team that had a lot of problems in the pen at the end of the year and made under a million dollars. He wasn’t part of the Phillies post-season plans and it looks like he isn’t part of their plans for 2010.

The Phillies added outfielder Quintin Berry, left-handed pitcher Yohan Flande and right-handed pitcher Jesus Sanchez to their 40-man roster.

Free agent Chan Ho Park is looking for a team that would give him a chance to start. 7.29 ERA and a 1.74 ratio in seven starts in 2009 and a 2.52 ERA and a 1.18 ratio as a reliever.

The Phillies apparently see keeping a guy who can’t play defense and hits 194/357/379 on your team all year as not in the best interests of the team.

The Manager of the Year will be announced today.


Annual reviews

Quick — when Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth came to the plate in 2009, who was the most likely to get a hit?

Wrong. Okay, I’m guessing. But if you answered Pedro Feliz you’re way better at this than I am. Feliz got hits in a higher percentage of his plate appearances than anyone in that group. Chase Utley, I hear you cry? Nope. Utley hit .282 and on-based .397 in 2009, but got hits in 161 of 687 (or 23.4%) of his plate appearances. Feliz hit .266 and on-based .308, but got hits in 154 of 625 plate appearances (24.6%). Utley has a way higher batting average because of what happened in the pair’s plate appearances that weren’t a hit and how many of them counted as at-bats and were used to calculate batting average.

For the eight Phillies regulars, here’s the rate at which they had hits, walks, doubles and triples, extra-base hits and home runs per 100 plate appearances this season:

  H/100 BB/100 (2B+3B)/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Howard 24.5 10.7 5.8 6.4 12.2
Utley 23.4 12.8 4.7 4.5 9.2
Feliz 24.6 5.6 5.1 1.9 7.0
Rollins 23.2 6.1 6.6 2.9 9.5
Ibanez 24.1 9.9 6.2 6.0 12.2
Victorino 26.1 8.6 7.5 1.4 8.9
Werth 22.6 13.5 4.0 5.3 9.3
Ruiz 21.6 12.4 7.1 2.4 9.5

Victorino is the only guy of the group who got hits more regularly than Feliz. Utley, Werth and Ruiz all had monster walk rates. Howard, Utley, Ibanez and Werth all delivered more than 30 home runs, but it was Howard and Ibanez who had the best home run rate of that group. It doesn’t seem like it should be possible that Ruiz had a better rate of getting extra-base hits than Utley or Werth, but he did. Ruiz had 36 extra-base hits in 379 plate appearances (one every 10.52 plate appearances) while Utley had 63 in 687 (one every 10.90) and Werth 63 in 676 (one every 10.73).

Had Ruiz gotten the 703 plate appearances that Howard got and continued to deliver extra-base hits at the same rate he had over his 379 plate appearances for the season, he would have hit 48 doubles, two triples and 17 home runs. Houston’s Miguel Tejada led the NL in doubles in 2009 with 46 (Rollins was fourth with 43).

Here’s what the same eight players did in 2008, remembering that Ibanez played for Seattle:

  H/100 BB/100 (2B+3B)/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Howard 21.9 11.6 4.3 6.9 11.1
Utley 25.0 9.1 6.4 4.7 11.0
Feliz 22.9 7.1 4.5 3.0 7.6
Rollins 24.6 9.3 7.5 1.8 9.3
Ibanez 26.3 9.1 6.5 3.3 9.8
Victorino 26.6 7.2 6.1 2.2 8.3
Werth 23.7 11.8 3.9 5.0 8.9
Ruiz 18.8 11.8 3.8 1.1 4.8

Finally, for each of the eight players the chart below compares their rate for 2009 to their rate for 2008. If the number is over one the cell is green and it means they were better in that area, if it’s under one and red it means they were worse. A “1.14″ means that they got 114% of whatever the category reported was in 2009 compared to their rate for 2008.

  H/100 BB/100 (2B+3B)/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Howard
1.12

0.92

1.36

0.93

1.10
Utley
0.94

1.42

0.73

0.97

0.83
Feliz
1.08

0.79

1.13

0.63

0.93
Rollins
0.94

0.65

0.88

1.65

1.03
Ibanez
0.91

1.09

0.95

1.85

1.25
Victorino
0.98

1.20

1.24

0.65

1.08
Werth
0.96

1.14

1.01

1.07

1.04
Ruiz
1.15

1.05

1.90

2.21

1.97

So, for example, the chart means that in 2009 Howard’s hit rate per 100 plate appearances was 112% of what it was in 2008. His walk rate was 92%, his rate of hitting doubles and triples 136%, his home run rate 93% and his rate of extra-base hits overall up 110%.

Important to note is that there are five categories and three of them, the three rightmost, all have to do with extra-base hits.

Utley’s walk rate in 2009 was way up compared to 2008, but the other categories were all down. He had 20 fewer plate appearances in 2008 than he did in 20099, but in ’08 he hit 13 more doubles, two more home runs and walked 24 fewer times.

Feliz had the worst walk rate on the team in 2008 and it got worse in 2009. In 162 more plate appearances in 2009, he hit two fewer home runs. He hit about 63% of the home runs per 100 plate appearances in ’09 that he did in 2008. That’s the worst mark for any of the players in any category (although Rollins’ walks and Victorino’s home runs are close).

Rollins was way down in walks and down in hits. He hit 21 homers after hitting just 11 in ’08.

Ibanez’s home run rate shot way up as he hit 34 in 2009 in 565 plate appearances after hitting 23 in 707 plate appearances for the Mariners in ’08. He did rip 43 doubles for Seattle in ’08, so that rate was down, and his batting average dropped twenty-one points.

Home runs were down for Victorino, but he led the NL in triples with thirteen.

Werth had a big jump in his walk rate and hit for more power.

Ruiz was the only player who was up in all five areas. He more than doubled his home run rate, the biggest increase for any player in any category in the group.

The NL Rookie of the Year will be announced today.


Non-starter

The Playoff Start Log is updated and I think it says a lot about what went wrong for the Phillies in the World Series. In 2008 the Phils won it all, getting five quality starts in five World Series games. After Lee allowed one run in nine innings in game one of the NLDS against the Rockies this year, the Phils had made seven quality starts in a row in playoff games. In the last four games of the World Series this year the Phillies didn’t have a quality start and their starters threw to a 7.59 ERA. They allowed 18 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings.

That probably has a lot to do with how much better the Yankees are at scoring runs than the Rockies or Rays. Still, you aren’t going to win a lot of games when your starters throw to a 7.59 ERA.

The Yankees won the World Series this year. The Phillies didn’t. The Yankees had Andy Pettitte and the Phillies had Joe Blanton. The pair didn’t play in the same league in 2009, but they had pretty similar numbers during the regular season:

  GS IP ERA Ratio ERA+
Blanton 31 195.1 4.05 1.32 106
Pettitte 32 194.2 4.16 1.38 107

If the two players had a similar year in the regular season, they didn’t in the post-season. The Yankees put a whole lot of their playoff eggs in the Pettitte basket, but Blanton was not a big part of the Phillies rotation in the playoffs. You didn’t have to watch the Phillies play too many playoff games this year before that became apparent. He was pitching in relief in the sixth inning of game two of the NLDS with the Phils down 4-0.

The Phils and Yankees both played 15 post-season games in 2009. Pettitte threw almost twice as many innings as Blanton. He threw 30 2/3 while Blanton threw 15 2/3. Blanton made two starts and two appearances in relief while Pettitte’s post-season legend grew. Pettitte made five post-season starts in ’09 and went 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Why would the Phillies do such a thing? Well, it wasn’t because Blanton hadn’t been good in the post-season. He helped them win the World Series in 2008 as he started three playoff games. The Phils won all three as Blanton went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio.

The why, apparently, turned out to be that the Phils thought their chances were better with Pedro Martinez. The Phils signed the free agent Martinez in mid-July to a contract that would have the Phillies paying him about a million dollars. Martinez made nine starts for the Phils in 2009 and pitched better than a lot of people were expecting, going 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. There were some warning signs, too, though. Opponents slugged .472 against him and he allowed eight home runs in 44 2/3 innings. That home run rate would have had him allowing about 36 over 200 innings. Milwaukee’s Braden Looper was the only pitcher in either league that allowed 36 or more home runs this season. Two of his early starts with the Phils were cut short by rain, but he threw less than five innings per start in his nine outings with the Phils.

He didn’t exactly end the regular season on a high note. He made a fantastic start against the Mets on September 13 in which he threw 130 pitches in eight shutout innings. His next start was against the Braves on September 19 and he allowed three runs over three innings before leaving the game with a neck problem. He made just one more start before the end of the year and he wasn’t very good. On September 30, he faced Houston and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over four innings.

It didn’t scare off the Phillies. They let him start a game in the NLCS and two games in the World Series. They lost all three games. In the first he pitched great but had to be pulled before he had thrown 90 pitches. In each of the next two the Phils left him in the game too long. He started the game in which they were eliminated from the World Series and was awful.

So Blanton was a solid pitcher this year, the Phils gave at least some of his playoff starts to Pedro, who not a lot of other teams seemed to want, and then they lost every post-season game that Pedro started. That sounds pretty bad and I think it was. It’s a little more complicated than that, though.

The Phillies scored a total of five runs in the three games Martinez started. Pedro didn’t pitch as well as his numbers would indicate, but his numbers were great overall for the playoffs. In the three playoff starts with the Phils, Pedro threw to a 3.71 ERA with an 0.88 ERA. Blanton, meanwhile, did not pitch well in his post-season chances. He made two starts and two relief appearances overall for the post-season, throwing to a 5.17 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Still, the decision to go with Martinez instead of Blanton in the post-season was critical for the Phillies. And it didn’t work.

Cliff Lee will be back with the Phils in 2010 after the Phillies picked up his $9 million option.

Brett Myers will not be back.

Feliz may or may not be back, but it’s a little less likely now that the Phillies have declined his $5.5 million option.

I think the Phils went 3-for-3 in that flurry. I think it was the right decision not to pick up Feliz’s option, but I was surprised to see them do it. Beltre, Figgins and DeRosa seem to be the names that most people are talking about as improvements at third. If he’s healthy, I think Troy Glaus would be a huge help for the Phillies offensively as well. You might notice some defensive dropoff, though. The list of free agent third basemen that would help the Phils more than Feliz isn’t that long, so hopefully they have something in mind.

Ibanez (sports hernia) and Eyre (loose bodies in his elbow) were scheduled for surgeries yesterday and Lidge will have surgery on Wednesday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow.

Park, Feliz, Bako, Stairs, Martinez, Myers and Cairo have all filed to become free agents.


Controversial decision not to start Mecha-King Ghidorah dooms Phils

In their defense, it would have been tough to start him after he said he couldn’t wait for the season to be over after game three.

The. Yankees. Win. They beat a great Phillies team that fought to the end and still has a fantastic core with a lot of games left to play. But not this year. If the Phils came into this series full of swagger, they have to come out of it knowing that if they want to beat the best in baseball they will have to get better.

You get the feeling that the Phillies might get another chance against this group of Yankees before it’s over.

With that in mind, let’s hope they bring some better pitching next time. I would also like to say that if I ever see Pedro Martinez wearing a Phillies uniform to face Hideki Matsui as a Yankee again it may be more than I can bear. That’s pretty unlikely given that neither player is likely to play another game for the Yanks or Phils, but I still think we need to get somebody working on an early warning system of some kind right away.

Charlie Manuel takes a lot of criticism that he doesn’t deserve. He is a fantastic manager, perhaps the best in Phillies history. There may not be another person on the planet that could get more out of the Phillies teams of the past two seasons than he has. He made the worst decision I’ve seen in a long time last night, though. With two outs in the third inning of a must-win game, Hideki Matsui came to the plate with the bases loaded and the Yanks up 2-1. Pedro had nothing. Given enough time we’re going to forget how bad Pedro looked, but he had nothing. He was slinging 84 mile-an-hour fastballs over the plate. Matsui had homered off of him in each of his last two at-bats and reached base the two before that. Happ was ready to come into the game. And Manuel still let Martinez pitch to him. The Phillies were lucky that all Matsui did was smoke a two-run single.

I truly do not understand how you can look at that situation and believe that letting Pedro pitch to Matsui gives the Phillies their best chance to win that game. Yes, I know the Yankees outscored the Phillies 3-2 the rest of the way. Yes, I saw Matsui’s at-bat against Happ later in the game. Yes, I know it was the third inning. Yes, I saw him strike out A-Rod before Matsui came to the plate. No, it didn’t cost the Phillies the game. No, it’s not indefensible or unforgivable. It was still really, really a bad idea. The Phillies needed Manuel’s best move right then, not some sonnet to something Pedro did for the Boston Red Sox half a decade ago. How many at-bats in a row would Matsui have had to have homered against Pedro for Manuel to take him out of the game? I don’t know the answer, but I know that it’s more than two.

Matsui had an epic game, driving in six runs and hitting his third home run of the series.

Pedro started the bottom of the second by walking A-Rod. Matsui followed with a home run that put New York up 2-0. A one-out triple by Ruiz in the top of the third helped the Phillies get on the board at 2-1. In the bottom of the third the Yankees loaded the bases with one out on a single, a walk and it hit batter. Martinez struck out A-Rod for the second out, but Matsui followed with a two-run single that extended the New York lead to 4-1. Jeter started the fifth with a double off of Happ and came in to score on a single by Teixeira. 5-1. Rodriguez followed with a walk and Matsui delivered a two-run double to make it 7-1. Howard hit a two-run homer off of Pettitte in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 7-3, but that was how it ended.

The New York Yankees have won the World Series, beating the Phils 7-3 in game six last night to take the set four games to two.

Pedro Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Matsui. Martinez struck out five.

He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Matsui (DH/L) (6) Posada (C/S) (7) Cano (2B/L) (8) Swisher (RF/S) (9) Gardner (CF/L). Matsui up to fifth and Posada sixth.

The Yankees had four players on their bench to start the game, righties Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston, switch-hitter Ramiro Pena and lefty Eric Hinske.

He came out throwing slop. It worked in the first, though. Jeter got ahead 1-0 and flew to left for the first out. Damon struck out swinging 2-2 for the second. Teixeira flew to Werth in deep right on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Martinez was really not throwing the ball hard. He threw 13 pitches in the inning.

A-Rod started the second and walked on four pitches. Matsui was next and first he hit one way out but foul, then he just missed a double down the first-base line, then hit a 3-2 pitch out to right. 2-0. Pedro struck out Posada 2-2 for the first out. Cano swung at the first pitch and lined to Utley. Swisher flew to shallow left on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

It didn’t look like Pedro was long for the game. After 24 pitches in the inning he was at 37.

He started the third down 2-1. He struck Gardner out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Jeter was next and lined a 1-1 pitch to center that was misjudged by Victorino. It fell just in front of him for a single. Damon waked on a 3-2 pitch to put men on first and second and Happ started to warm in the bullpen. Pedro’s first pitch to Teixeira hit him in the leg to load the bases. Martinez struck A-Rod out looking 1-2 for the second out. Matsui was next and Pedro stayed in to pitch to him. Pedro got ahead of him, but Matsui lined an 0-2 pitch into center for a two-run single. 4-1 with men on first and second. Posada flew to left 1-1 to set the Yankees down.

Simply an atrocious inning for Manuel. You just can’t let Pedro stay in to pitch to Matsui. After Matsui drives in two more runs you shouldn’t let him stay in to pitch to Posada. Victorino should have caught the ball Jeter hit and it would have changed the inning, although the Phillies may have been lucky as it was that Martinez just gave up four runs. Martinez was at 62 pitches after throwing 25 in the inning.

Pedro threw a 1-2-3 fourth. Cano flew to left. Swisher struck out swinging 3-2. Gardner smoked a line drive on a 1-1 pitch, but Utley snared it to end the inning.

15 and 77 for Pedro.

Durbin started the fifth. Jeter led off and drove a ball to left-center just out of the reach of Francisco. It bounced on the track and went over the fence for a ground-rule double. Hairston, who had taken over for Damon in left, bunted him to second with the first out. Teixeira singled to center and Jeter scored. 5-1. Durbin walked A-Rod on a 3-2 pitch that was way inside. It put two men on and Happ came in to pitch to Matsui. Matsui hit a 3-1 pitch off the wall in right for a two-run double. 7-1. Happ struck out Posada and Cano to leave Matsui stranded.

I never knew how slow Francisco was until watching him try to get to Jeter’s ball. That was in the air for a while. Finally get to see Happ versus Matsui and it doesn’t turn out that well.

Happ came back to start the sixth with the Phils down 7-3. He walked Swisher on a 3-2 pitch. Gardner tried to bunt but struck out looking 2-2. Park came in to pitch to Jeter. Jeter hit a ground ball in between first and second. Howard fielded and threw to second to get Jeter, but the Phillies didn’t have a chance to turn two. Hairston flew to right on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

Park was back to start the seventh. He struck Teixeira out swinging 2-2 for the first out. He got ahead of A-Rod, but Rodriguez hit a 1-2 pitch that dribbled through Rollins and Feliz and into left field for a single. Eyre came in to pitch to Matsui and struck him out trying to check his swing 1-2 as A-Rod stole second. Eyre walked Posada intentionally to pitch to Cano and struck Cano out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.

Not a fan of walking Posada intentionally with two outs no matter how bad Cano is hitting. It worked out great, though.

Eyre was back to start the eighth. Swisher hit a slow ground ball to third that Feliz bare-handed. He made a nice throw to first to get Swisher for the first out. Gardner grounded to second for the second out and Madson came in to pitch to Jeter. Jeter singled to right. Hairston popped to short to end the inning.

Great play by Feliz.

Lee was the only pitcher who made a start for the Phillies who threw to an ERA under six for the series.

Jeter was 11-for-27 with three doubles and a walk in the series. 407/429/519.

Damon 8-for-22 with two doubles. 364/440/455. You’re going to be okay offensively if the top two hitters in your lineup on-base .429 and .440.

Teixeira 3-for-22 with a double and a homer. 136/296/318.

Rodriguez 5-for-20 with three doubles and a home run. Three walks and was hit by pitches three times. 250/423/550.

Posada 5-for-19 with a double. 263/318/316.

Swisher 2-for-15 with a double and a home run. 133/316/400.

Cabrera 2-for-13. 154/154/154.

Matsui 8-for-13 with a double, three home runs and eight RBI. 615/643/1.385. He led the team with eight RBI.

Gardner 0-for-10 with four strikeouts.

Molina 0-for-2.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andy Pettitte went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (DH/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Francisco (LF/R) (9) Ruiz (C/R). Victorino stays in center despite being hit on the right hand by a pitch trying to bunt in game five. Ibanez is the DH with Francisco in left. Against the lefty Sabathia in the first DH-game of the series, Francisco hit seventh and Feliz hit eighth.

The Phillies started the game with four players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righty Eric Bruntlett.

Rollins led off the game and took ball one before hitting a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Jeter made a nice play to throw him out. Victorino chopped an 0-2 pitch slowly down the third base line. Pettitte fielded but didn’t have a play. Utley grounded into a double-play on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

Just eight pitches in the inning for Pettitte.

Howard got ahead 2-0 to start the second, but grounded to first. Werth drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Ibanez swung at the first pitch and popped up to shallow right. Werth went to second when Pettitte delivered a 2-1 pitch to Feliz that was in the dirt and got away from Posada. Ahead in the count 3-1, Feliz fouled out to the catcher.

Of the five Phillies hitters who had made an out in the game, four of them were ahead in the count when they did it. Ibanez swung at the first pitch for his out. Sixteen pitches in the inning had Pettitte at 24 after two innings.

Francisco led off the third with the Phillies down 2-0. He grounded to third on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he drove a 3-1 pitch into left-center and off the wall. The ball took an odd bounce off the ball and away from Gardner, allowing Ruiz to go to third with a triple. Rollins lined a 2-0 pitch to right for the second out. Ruiz tagged and scored to cut the New York lead to 2-1. Victorino swung at the first pitch and flew to right.

Thirteen pitches in the inning had Pettitte at 37.

The Phillies were down 4-1 when they hit in the top of the fourth. Jerry Hariston was in left for Damon, who had left with a leg problem. Utley struck out swinging 2-2. Howard lined to second on an 0-1 pitch. Werth walked on a 3-1 pitch. Ibanez swung and missed 2-0, but Posada just didn’t catch the ball and it let Werth go to second. Ibanez drew a walk to put men on first and second. Feliz got ahead 2-0, then took a 2-1 pitch that had a ton of the plate before grounding to third 3-2 to end the frame.

After 25 pitches in the inning, Pettitte was at 62.

Francisco started the fifth and struck out looking 0-2. Ruiz walked on a 3-1 pitch. Rollins was next and he grounded a 2-2 pitch to third. The Yankees turned two to set the Phils down.

Pettitte was at 75 pitches for the game after throwing 13 in the game.

The Phillies were losing 7-1 when they hit in the sixth. Victorino grounded to short for the first out, but Utley followed with a walk. Howard was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat just out to left. It cut the New York lead to 7-3. Werth was next and struck out looking 1-2. Ibanez hit an 0-1 pitch into the right-field corner for a double. Righty Joba Chamberlain came in to pitch to Feliz and got Feliz on a ground ball to third to leave Ibanez stranded.

Chamberlain started the seventh still up 7-3. Francisco struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Ruiz was next and he singled into center on a 2-2 pitch. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch to second and Cano threw to Jeter to force Ruiz for the second out with Rollins safe at first. Rollins stole second as the count went 2-0 on Victorino, just barely beating the throw by Posada. Victorino walked on four pitches and lefty Damaso Marte came in to pitch to Utley with two outs and two on. Marte threw strike one and strike two. Utley tried to check his swing 0-2 but didn’t and Marte was out of the inning.

Marte looked fantastic, getting ahead with a pitch on the outside corner that was probably a ball and then throwing a pretty breaking pitch to get ahead 0-2. Not a good time to steal a base.

Marte was back to start the eighth and struck Howard out on three pitches for the first out. The righty Rivera came in to pitch to Werth and struck him out 2-2 for the second. Ibanez was next and got behind 0-2, but had a great at-bat that ended when he hit a 2-2 pitch over the head of Gardner for a double. Feliz fouled out to Posada to leave Ibanez stranded.

Great outing for Marte, striking out Utley and Howard back-to-back.

Mariano in the ninth with a four-run lead. Stairs hit for Francisco and lined to third. Ruiz drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was inside. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch deep to right, but Swisher took it at the track for the second out. Ruiz took second as the count went 1-2 on Victorino. Victorino grounded to second 3-2 to end the season.

Four great at-bats from the Phillies in the ninth. Just like you would expect. Stairs hit a moon shot to the upper deck but foul before he smoked a line drive right at Jeter. Ruiz worked a walk. Rollins just missed. Victorino got in an early 1-2 hole, but battled all the way and ran hard to first when he grounded out on the tenth pitch of his at-bat.

Rollins was 1-for-4 in the game and went 5-for-23 with five walks and two RBI in the series. 217/345/217. The Phillies did not win in either five or six games.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk last night and 4-for-22 with a double and three walks in the series.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 6-for-21 with a double, five home runs and four walks. 286/400/1.048. He led the team with eight RBI. Just a monster series for Utley.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer last night. 4-for-23 with two doubles, a home run and two walks in the series. He struck out 13 times in 23 at-bats. 174/240/391.

Werth 0-for-2 with two walks in game six. 5-for-19 with five walks and two home runs in the series. 263/417/579.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. 7-for-23 with four doubles and a homer in the series. 304/333/609. His seven hits led the Phillies. He also struck out nine times in 23 at-bats.

Feliz was 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 4-for-23 with a double and a home run. 174/174/348.

Francisco was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-7 with a walk in the series. 000/125/000. I still think it was a great acquisition for the Phils, but he had a miserable post-season.

Ruiz was 2-for-2 with a triple and two walks. 6-for-18 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs in the series. He also walked five times. 333/478/722.

Stairs was 0-for-1 last night and 1-for-8 with an RBI in the series.

Bruntlett did not play last night but was 0-for-1 in the series.

No game today. Aprilish.


Hamels comes up petite

Things looked really good for the Phillies for the first two innings of game three last night. The Phils were up 3-0 after two and pounding away at Yankees starter Andy Pettitte. Pettitte had thrown 51 pitches for a Yankee team that had three games in three days and a bullpen just about everyone agreed needed to be avoided. Hamels had allowed one base-runner on a hit batter. The game changed in the middle innings, though. Pettitte snapped to life and started mowing down the Phillies hitters. Hamels didn’t make it out of the top of the fifth, which ended with New York up to stay at 5-3.

Werth put the Phillies up 1-0 with a homer off of Pettitte in the second. After Ibanez struck out, four straight Phillies reached and it helped the Phils score two more runs to go up 3-0. A-Rod hit a two-run homer off of Hamels in the fourth and Hamels didn’t make it out of the fifth as New York added three more to go up 5-3. A Nick Swisher home run in the sixth off of Happ made it 6-3 before Werth homered again to get the Phils within two at 6-4. In the seventh, Johnny Damon walked, stole a base and scored on a single by Posada off of Durbin to make it 7-4. Hideki Matsui delivered a pinch-hit homer off of Myers in the eighth to make it 8-4. Ruiz hit a home run off of Phil Hughes in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-5, which is how it ended.

Hamels was not the only left-handed player who struggled for the Phillies last night. Far from it. Utley, Howard and Ibanez combined to go 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts. In the last two games Howard is 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts and Utley is 0-for-7 with a walk.

The Phils trail the Yankees two games to one in the World Series after dropping game three 8-5.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out three. It was his second straight start in the post-season in which he was unable to complete five innings.

He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Posada (C/S) (6) Cano (2B/L) (7) Swisher (RF/S) (8) Cabrera (CF/S). Matsui on the bench as the teams play the first non-DH game of the series.

The Yankees had five players on their bench to start the game, righties Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston and lefties Brett Gardner, Hideki Matsui and Eric Hinske.

Jeter led off the game, which started around 9:15 after a delay of about an hour and twenty minutes. Hamels got him to ground back to the mound on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Damon grounded to short 1-2 for the second out. Teixeira struck out looking 1-2 to end the inning.

Impressive start for Hamels, who threw 13 pitches and 11 strikes in the inning.

He hit A-Rod with the first pitch of the second. Posada was next and hit what probably should have been a double-play ball to Feliz, but Feliz juggled and the Phillies could only get one out at second base. Cano struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Swisher flew to Werth in shallow right-center to set the Yankees down.

After throwing nine pitches in the inning, Hamels had thrown 22 in the game. Seventeen strikes.

He started the third with a 3-0 lead and set the Yankees down in order. Cabrera grounded to third, Pettitte grounded to second and Jeter flew to right.

Thirteen pitches had Hamels at 35.

Damon started the fourth and flew to right 0-1 for the first out. Hamels got ahead of Teixeira 1-2, but Teixeira walked on a 3-2 pitch that looked like it was a strike. It put a man on first for Rodriguez. A-Rod drove an 0-1 pitch to right that hit off of a camera on the top of the right field fence that hung over a little onto the field. He looked like he had a double that moved Teixeira to third, but the umps looked at the replay and ruled it was a home run. 3-2. Very close, but they probably got it right. Posada grounded to short and Cano fouled out to the catcher to end the frame.

The walk of Teixeira on what was probably strike three costs the Phillies a run. Fourteen pitches had Hamels at 49.

He didn’t make it out of the fifth. Swisher got behind 0-2 before he hit a 2-2 pitch down the left-field line for a double. Cabrera struck out swinging 0-2 for the first out, but Pettitte swung at the first pitch and dumped a ball in front of Victorino for a single. Swisher scored and it was 3-3. Jeter was next and he hit a ball into center to almost the same place. Victorino made a sliding effort but didn’t come up with the ball and Jeter had a single that put men on first and second with one out. Damon was next and he split the gap in right-center for a double that cleared the bases and made it 5-3. Teixeira walked on a 3-2 pitch that was way outside and that was it for Hamels. Happ came in and got A-Rod to line to center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Posada got ahead 3-0 but popped to Utley to set New York down.

Nice job by Happ. Posada may have done him a favor, cause Happ looked like he would have been happy to walk Posada and go after the lefty Cano behind him.

Happ came back for the sixth. Cano grounded to second for the first out. Swisher was next and Happ got ahead of him 1-2, but Swisher hit the 2-2 pitch out to left to make it 6-3. Cabrera flew to left for the second out and Happ struck Pettitte out swinging 2-2 for the third.

A double and a home run in the last two innings for Swisher. Second time the Phillies pitcher got way ahead of him and didn’t put him away.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils down 6-4. Jeter flew to right for the first out, but Damon followed and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch after getting behind 1-2. Damon was running on the 3-2 pitch to Teixeira. Teixeira struck out swinging for the second out, but Damon was safe a second. Durbin hit A-Rod with a 2-2 pitch, putting men on first and second. Posada singled into left on a 3-2 pitch, scoring Damon to make it 7-4. Durbin stayed in to pitch to the lefty Cano and struck him out swinging 1-2 to set New York down.

Second time the Phillies hit A-Rod in the game. I was surprised it was Durbin and not Park in the seventh. I was expecting Park-Madson-Lidge seven-eight-nine. I thought the Phillies should have brought Eyre in to pitch to Cano, but it worked out well.

It wasn’t Madson in the eighth, either. Myers started the eighth and got Swisher to fly to left on a 2-0 pitch for the first out. Cabrera struck out swinging for the second. Lefty Hideki Matsui hit for the pitcher Joba Chamberlain and homered to left 2-2 to make it 8-4. Jeter struck out swinging to end the frame.

Again I was surprised not to see the Phillies bring in a lefty to pitch to Matsui. Not sure what they were saving them for, but apparently it wasn’t Matsui pinch-hitting.

Madson pitched the ninth. Damon grounded to short for the first out and Teixeira flew to center for the second. A-Rod walked on a 3-1 pitch to put a man on for Posada, but Posada flew to center 3-2 to set New York down.

Happ, Durbin, Myers and Madson combined to allow three runs in 4 2/3 innings on three hits and two walks. The Phillies didn’t use Eyre or Bastardo in the game and let Durbin pitch to Cano and Myers pitch to Matsui. It seems like Manuel must have gone with Durbin and Myers in the seventh and eighth because of three games in three days. Down by just two runs in the seventh seems like a strange time to go to something other than your primary options, though.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andy Pettitte went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (DH/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phillies started the game with five players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco.

Rollins swung at the first pitch to start the bottom of the first and hit a ball that went off the glove of Rodriguez at third and into left field for a single. Victorino was next and he popped a 1-2 pitch to third for the first out. Rollins stole second as the count went 3-1 on Utley, but Utley struck out swinging for the second out. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 to leave Rollins stranded.

Like Burnett, Pettitte walks a lot of hitters. In a change from game two, however, the Phillies were very aggressive early in the count against Pettitte after taking time after time against Burnett. Rollins, Victorino and Utley all swung at the first pitch. Pettitte threw twenty pitches in the inning.

Werth started the second and got ahead 3-0 before he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left to put the Phillies up 1-0. Feliz was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch high off the wall in right for a double. Ruiz walked 3-1. Hamels bunted the first pitch from Pettitte and his bunt was beautiful on the third base side of the mound. The Yankees couldn’t get an out and Hamels had a single that loaded the bases. Rollins walked 3-1 and Feliz scored to make it 2-0. Victorino swung at two bad pitches to get down 0-2, but hit Pettitte’s next pitch to left deep enough for Ruiz to tag and score and make it 3-0 with two down and men on first and second. Utley struck out looking 2-2 to leave both men stranded.

Great to see Feliz pound a double high off the wall. Pettitte made a bad pitch to Victorino 0-2 after Victorino looked awful trying to be aggressive early in the count. Nice job by Ruiz and Rollins to take the walks when the plan was clearly to go after Pettitte early in the count. Long inning for Pettitte. Thirty-one pitches had him at 51 after just two innings.

Big strikeout for Utley with two men on to end the inning. The Phillies lefties, Utley, Howard and Ibanez, were a combined 0-for-4 with four strikeouts at this point. Rollins, Victorino, Werth, Feliz and Ruiz were 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two walks and three RBI.

Pettitte set the Phils down in order in the third. Howard struck out swinging 0-2. Werth got ahead 3-1 but flew to right for the second out. Ibanez flew to center on the first pitch of his at-bat.

A nine-pitch inning had Pettitte at 60.

Feliz started the fourth with the Phils up 3-2. He hit a ground ball to third, but A-Rod’s throw pulled Teixeira off bag for an error. Ruiz hit a 2-0 pitch in the hole between short and third. Jeter threw to second to force Feliz for the first out. Hamels bunted Ruiz to second for the second out. Rollins got ahead 2-1 but flew to right to leave Ruiz stranded.

Twelve pitches had Pettitte at 72.

Down 5-3 in the fifth the Phils went in order again. Victorino flew to Cabrera. Utley grounded to first with Pettitte covering. Howard popped to short 1-0 to end the inning.

Eleven pitches for Pettitte and 83 for the game. He threw 51 in innings one and two and 32 in innings three, four and five. The only batter to reach for the Phillies in innings three, four and five was Feliz. He reached on A-Rod’s error.

It was 6-3 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Werth led off and homered again, smashing a 1-1 pitch out to left to make it 6-4. Ibanez struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch that wasn’t in the strike zone. Feliz struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that wasn’t in the strike zone. Ruiz drew a walk and Bruntlett hit for Happ and flew to right.

Bruntlett is a miserable second-best option as a righty off the bench, but I agree with Manuel it was too early for Francisco. With Ibanez’s strikeout Utley, Ibanez and Howard were 0-for-9 with six strikeouts in the game.

21 and 104 for Pettitte.

The Phils were down 7-4 when they hit in the seventh. Righty Joba Chamberlain was on in relief of Pettitte and set them down in order. Rollins flew to left-center on a 1-0 pitch. Victorino got ahead 2-1 and grounded to second. Utley lined a 1-1 pitch to center to end the inning.

Lefty Damaso Marte came on to start the eighth with an 8-4 lead. Gardner was in center with Cabrera in right and Swisher out of the game. The Phillies went in order. Howard struck out again, swinging 0-2. Werth got to face the lefty but struck out looking 2-2. Ibanez lined an 0-2 pitch to third.

Righty Phil Hughes started the ninth with an 8-4 lead. Feliz grounded to third on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch from Hughes out to left-center to make it 8-5. Stairs hit for Madson. Righty Mariano Rivera took over for Hughes and got Stairs to ground to second 0-2. Rollins popped a 1-0 pitch to third to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Victorino 0-for-3 with an RBI.

Utley 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Howard 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. 2-3-4 in the lineup were 0-for-11 in the game.

Werth was 2-for-4 with two home runs. Sure would be nifty to get someone on base for one of those, but this was not the game for that.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double.

Ruiz 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run.

Stairs 0-for-1.

Bruntlett 0-for-1.

Game four is tonight with Joe Blanton scheduled to meet lefty CC Sabathia.


Most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium makes his case for a new addition to Vizzini’s list

Vizzini is the guy in The Princess Bride who is best known for his list of classic blunders that’s headed up by never getting involved in a land war in Asia. With an assist to Grady Little, it may be time for him to add never letting Pedro Martinez stay in a playoff game to pitch to Hideki Matsui. In game six of the 2003 ALCS, Little left Martinez in to pitch to Matsui in the bottom of the eighth and the Red Sox were never able to recover. Last night, after being pulled from his previous start after 87 pitches with a two-hit shutout, Martinez’s 97th pitch of the game was delivered to Matsui and Matsui hit it out to right to put New York on top to stay at 2-1.

Despite the high pitch count, Pedro was throwing well at the time. He had just struck out the big bats of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez back-to-back. Starting with the at-bat against Matsui, though, he faced four more hitters in the game. Matsui homered, he got one out to end the sixth and the only two men he faced in the seventh got hits. Keeping Martinez in to face those four hitters cost the Phillies two runs in a game when they scored one. They got off that easy because of a missed call that gave them two outs on a play where they earned none.

AJ Burnett was fantastic in the game. The Phillies managed a run off of him in the second thanks to a two-out bloop double that was followed by a ground ball to third that should have been handled by A-Rod but went into left to put the Phils up 1-0. Martinez pitched well early as well, but Mark Teixeira connected for a solo home run in the fourth that tied the game at 1-1. With his pitch count near 100, Martinez stayed in to pitch to Matsui with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Matsui hit a 1-2 pitch just out to right. 2-1. Pedro came back to start the seventh against the miserable bottom of the Yankees order and couldn’t get anybody out. He faced two men in the inning and both singled, putting men on first and third with nobody out. Park came in to face Jorge Posada and Posada delivered an RBI-single that made it 3-1 with men on first and second and nobody out. Jeter tried to bunt and fouled out before the Phillies got out of the inning without any more damage, getting a double-play on a ball hit hard to Howard that the umps said he caught that he didn’t. Mariano Rivera came in and kept the Phils off the board for the last two innings of the game.

The Phillies took a ton of pitches in the game and got behind Burnett time after time. Some people seem to think it was the wrong approach. I don’t agree. I’m pretty sure it was the perfect approach — not because you want Burnett to throw a lot of pitches and you get to take a chance against the pen, but because Burnett will walk the whole world. He didn’t last night. He was great. But the approach was right for the Phillies, at least to start the game. I think you can argue that they should have started swinging earlier in the count in the middle innings when it was clear that Burnett was getting ahead time after time. I think they want to do it the same way the next time they see him, at least early in the game.

So the Phils leave New York with a split but also with a bad taste in the mouth. The things that stick out most in my mind from the two games aren’t Utley’s home runs or the clutch hit from Ibanez or even Lee’s heroics. It’s Pedro walking off the mound and pointing at the sky and the little smile on his face after he didn’t pitch well and the Phillies were losing. It’s the way that Lee caught Damon’s popup as if he playing in the World Series wasn’t quite enough for him and he needed to manufacture a little excitement. It especially bothers me because I haven’t seen either of those guys win the World Series wearing a Phillies’ uniform. The Phils have put together a fantastic run in the post-season over the past two seasons because they have elevated their play. They’ve played with an intensity that’s been pretty awesome to watch, but it’s just about the exact opposite of flipping out your glove to catch a popup. They have simply been better in the playoffs than they are in the regular season. It feels like this is the place where I should be saying that it’s not that I don’t want to see them having fun. The problem with that is it’s not true. I don’t want to see them having fun. Not during the game. Have fun after the game or before it on in August when you’re up by 8 1/2 games in the division. Right now you need to go back to work.

The Phillies and Yankees are tied at one game apiece in the World Series after the Yankees took game three in New York last night.

Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out eight.

He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Matsui (DH/L) (6) Cano (2B/L) (7) Hairston (RF/R) (8) Cabrera (CF/S) (9) Molina (C/R). Molina catches Burnett with Posada on the bench. Hairston plays right with Swisher on the bench. Matsui and Cano move up a spot in the order. That lineup is a gift to the Phillies. Sure was nice of New York to take their good players out of the lineup and put their bad ones in instead. Taking Posada, who was among the best hitters in baseball against righties this year, out against a righty is particularly nice. Hairston had nice numbers against Martinez coming into the game, but it sure seems like the Yankees would have been better off with the lefty Hinske in right if Swisher wasn’t going to play.

The Yankees had four players on their bench to start the game, lefties Brett Gardner and Eric Hinske and the switch-hitters Posada and Swisher.

Pedro threw a 1-2-3 first, striking Jeter out swinging 3-2 for the first out, Damon swinging 1-2 for the second and getting Teixeira to pop to Rollins behind the mound to end the inning.

Big strike zone for Martinez in the first. Silliest call was a 1-1 pitch to Jeter that was pretty far outside and called a strike. Pedro threw 17 pitches in the inning.

Pedro started the second with a 1-0 lead. A-Rod struck out looking 1-2 for the first out. Matsui was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch past a diving Utley and into right for a single. Cano hit a ball into left-center on a 2-2 pitch, but Ibanez made a very nice diving play to take a hit away from him. Hairston flew to right to end the inning.

Great catch by Ibanez changed the inning. After a long 26-pitch inning Martinez was at 43 for the game after just two innings.

Cabrera flew to center to start the third. Molina followed and walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Jeter struck out looking 2-2 for the second out and Damon swung at the first pitch and flew to center.

Sixteen pitches in the inning, 59 for the game.

Teixeira led off of the fourth and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right-center to tie the game at 1-1. A-Rod flew to left 0-2 for the first out. Matsui drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch, but Cano flew to center and Hairston struck out looking 1-2.

After 16 pitches in the inning Martinez was at 75 for the game.

He struck Cabrera out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the inning. Molina grounded to short on an 0-1 pitch for the second out before Jeter came to the plate and lined his first pitch from Martinez into left for a double. Damon swung at the first pitch he saw, too, and popped to Howard to leave Jeter stranded.

Lots of action in the pen for the Phils as Martinez’s pitch count neared ninety. After throwing eight pitches in the inning he was at 83 for the game. Just two pitches for the Jeter and Damon at-bats.

Pedro struck out Teixeira swinging 2-2 for the first out in the sixth. A-Rod was next and he struck out swinging 1-2. Martinez stayed in to pitch to the lefty Matsui. He got ahead of him 0-2, but Matsui hit a low 1-2 pitch out to right to put New York up 2-1. Cano flew to left on an 0-1 pitch for the third out.

Another big hit for Matsui off of Pedro in the post-season. Martinez stays in to pitch to the lefty and it costs the Phils. A-Rod was 0-for-7 in the series with five strikeouts and a bad defensive play at this point. Sixteen pitches in the inning had Pedro at 99.

He came back to start the seventh and it cost the Phils. Hairston led off and got behind 0-2 but singled to right on a 1-2 pitch. Brett Gardner ran for him at first. Cabrera lined a single to right and Cabrera went to third. Posada hit for Molina and Park came in to pitch to him. Park got ahead of Posada, but Posada lined a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Gardner scored to make it 3-1. Jeter was next and he tried to bunt but got behind 0-2. He bunted the next pitch foul for the first out. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Damon. Damon hit it hard to first. Howard threw wildly to second and wouldn’t have gotten any out on the play, but the ump at first ruled that Howard had caught the ball. He hadn’t, but Rollins tagged out Posada on second base to complete a double-play to end the inning.

Bottom of the order gets it done for the Yankees against Pedro as Manuel lets him start the seventh. Park flailed his arms about after the Posada hit, but I’m not sure if he was mad at someone or just the hit. Jeter trying to bunt is a poor idea, especially with two strikes. It helped the Phillies out a lot. They got three outs in the inning. Jeter gave them one he shouldn’t have and the other two came on a play where they wouldn’t have gotten any with the right call.

Madson started the eighth with the Phils still down 3-1. He hit Teixeira on the leg, but struck A-Rod out looking at pitch out of the strike zone 1-2 for the first out. Matsui got ahead 2-0 but struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Cano hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single, moving Teixeira to second. Gardner was next and he struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning and leave both runners stranded.

Jeter is 4-for-8 with two doubles so far. Matsui 3-for-6 with a homer. Posada 2-for-5. A-Rod 0-for-8 with six strikeouts. Cabrera, Cano, Teixeira and Damon are a combined 4-for-28 with the big home run by Teixeira. The Yankees have two walks in the first two games, one by Matsui and one by Molina.

The Phillies lineup against righty AJ Burnett went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Stairs (DH/L) (8) Feliz (3B/R) (9) Ruiz (C/R). Stairs at DH against the righty with Ibanez back in left field and Francisco on the bench. Four lefties between the 3-4-5-6 spots in the order.

The Phillies started the game with four players on the bench, lefties Dobbs and Bako and righties Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco. Dobbs was on the roster but not available. He has the flu.

Burnett looked very good in the first. Rollins flew to left on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Victorino struck out looking 1-2. Utley got ahead 3-1 and flew to left.

Burnett threw strike one to all three hitters in the inning. All three took. He threw 12 pitches in the inning.

Howard started the second and struck out trying to check his swing 1-2. Werth grounded to third on a 3-2 pitch. Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch down the left field line. It dropped on the line and went into the stands for a ground-rule double. Stairs was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch hard to third. It went under A-Rod’s glove for a single. Ibanez scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Feliz struck out swinging 1-2 to end the frame.

Burnett had gotten ahead of all eight Phillies hitters 0-1. Two lefties in a row hit with hits to the left side of the infield. You won’t see Matt Stairs with a lot of hits to left. A-Rod should have made the play on his ball. Burnett threw 25 pitches in the inning and was up to 37 for the game.

He didn’t get ahead of Ruiz to start the third, cause Ruiz swung at the first pitch and grounded out to short. Rollins was next and he drew a walk. He was running as Victorino dribbled a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Burnett threw to first for the second out. Utley was next and took three straight balls before the Yankees put him on intentionally. With two outs and men on first and second, Howard took ball one too but struck out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Utley was the first Phillies hitter to get ahead in the count on the first pitch. Twenty-four pitches for Burnett in the inning and 61 for the game.

Werth led off the fourth and singled to right. Ibanez got behind 0-2 and checked his swing as the count went 1-2. Molina threw to first and Werth was picked off for the second out. Ibanez struck out swinging for the second out. Stairs swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Huge play by Molina helps the Yankees work around the leadoff single. If you’re going to get four hits and two walks in seven innings off of Burnett you don’t want to give away outs on the bases. It got the crowd, which had been sleepy all night, back in the game, too. The Yankees scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the inning when Teixeira led off with a home run. Twelve pitches had Burnett up to 73.

Feliz started the fifth with the score tied at 1-1. He swung at the first pitch and flew to right. Ruiz was next and he ripped a 1-2 pitch into left and off the wall for a double. Rollins struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Victorino swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and popped to third, leaving Ruiz stranded.

Burnett was up to 86 pitches for the game after throwing 13 in the inning. Two outs in the frame on the first pitch.

Utley led off the sixth and grounded softly to first 2-1 for the first out. Howard struck out looking 2-2 for the second out. Werth flew to center on an 0-1 pitch for the third out.

Third strikeout in three at-bats for Howard. Burnett threw 11 pitches in the inning and had thrown 97 in the game.

The Phils started the seventh down 2-1. Ibanez struck out looking 1-2. Stairs struck out looking 0-2. Burnett got ahead of Feliz and Feliz hit a 1-2 pitch softly to short for the third out.

Eight in a row for Burnett. After 11 pitches in the inning he was at 108 for the game.

Righty Mariano Rivera started the eighth inning with a 3-1 lead. Ruiz grounded to third on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Rollins was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Victorino dribbled an 0-1 pitch into right field for a single, sending Rollins to second. With the count full on Utley the runners were not running with the pitch. Utley hit a hard ground ball to second and the Yankees turned the double-play with the help of a strong throw from Jeter that just nipped Utley.

Utley was safe at first, but the Phils got their share of calls in the game. Not sending the runners on the 3-2 count cost the Phillies the chance to bring Howard to the plate as the go-ahead run. I’m okay with not running, cause I think you want to stay out of the strike-out-throw-out double-play that ends the inning, too.

Rivera was back for the ninth and struck Howard out looking 0-2 on a ball that wasn’t in the strike zone for the first out. Werth hit a soft liner to second 2-2 for the second out. Ibanez doubled to left-center on a 1-1 pitch, bringing Stairs to the plate as the tying run. Rivera struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-2 with two walks in the game. 1-for-6 with three walks in the series.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-8 with a walk so far.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk last night and 2-for-7 with two walks and two home runs in the series.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out four times. He’s 2-for-9 with two doubles in the first two games.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with two doubles in the game. The Phils had just three extra-base hits last night — two doubles by Ibanez and one by Ruiz. He also made a very nice diving catch in left. Ibanez is 3-for-8 in the series.

Werth was 1-for-4 last night and is 2-for-6 with two walks in the series. He made an awful mistake in last night’s game, getting picked off of first base.

Stairs was 1-for-4 with an RBI in his only action in the series.

Feliz was 0-for-3 in the game and is 0-for-7 so far.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double in the game and 2-for-7 with two doubles in the series.

Mariano threw 39 pitches in the game, but there’s an off day today with game three on Saturday.


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