Tag: Pedro Feliz

Phils starting to regret not trading for Halladay less and less with each passing day

Quite a show for the Phils and Cliff Lee last night as a relaxed-looking Phillies team jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the Yankees in the World Series. How good was Lee? Well, Utley hit two home runs before the end of the sixth and that inning ended with the Phils up 2-0 and there’s nobody out there who thinks he was the most important player of the game for the Phillies.

In four starts this post-season, Lee has now pitched 33 1/3 innings. That’s pretty amazing itself, but he has also thrown to an 0.54 ERA and an 0.69 ratio. He has struck out 30, walked three and has not allowed a home run.

Ibanez had a big chance against Yankees’ starter CC Sabathia early in the game, but grounded to second with two outs and the bases loaded in the first to turn the Phils away. Utley connected for a third inning home run to put the Phils up 1-0. In the sixth he hit another off of Sabathia to make it 2-0. Ibanez got another chance with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth and this time he delivered a two-run single that put the Phils up 4-0. Victorino and Howard drove in runs in the ninth to extend the lead to 6-0. Lee was in control the whole game, but did allow back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the ninth. It led to a Yankees run, which scored with the help of a throwing error by Rollins on a double-play that wasn’t meant to be, but the game ended 6-1.

The Phils lead the Yankees one game to none in the World Series after taking the opener 6-1.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing an unearned run on six hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out ten.

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) Matsui (DH/L) (7) Cano (2B/L) (8) Swisher (RF/S) (9) Cabrera (CF/S).

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

Jeter led off for the Yankees in the bottom of the first and struck out swinging 0-2 for the first out. Damon bunted a 1-1 pitch right back to the mound for the second. Lee struck Teixeira out swinging 2-2 to set New York down.

Eleven pitches for Lee in the inning. Eight were strikes.

He struck A-Rod out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the second. Posada was next and he got ahead 3-1 and singled to right. Matsui got ahead 2-0, but Lee threw three strikes in a row to get him swinging for the second out. Cano swung at the first pitch and flew to center.

Lee battled back after getting behind Mastui down 2-0 with a man on base. He threw 16 pitches in the inning and had thrown 27 for the game.

He started the third with a 1-0 lead. Swisher popped to first. Cabrera popped to second. Jeter was swinging first pitch and doubled down the first base line. Damon hit a 1-2 pitch softly to third. Feliz made the play and a strong throw to first, just nipping Damon to end the inning.

Nice play from Feliz ends the inning and keeps Teixeira from coming to the plate with two men on. After throwing 13 pitches in the inning Lee had thrown 40 in the game.

It might not have mattered anyway. Lee struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth and he got some good hitters doing it. Teixeira struck out swinging 2-2. A-Rod struck out swinging 3-2. Posada struck out swinging 2-2.

Lee had struck out seven through four innings. After 16 pitches in the inning he was at 56.

He got ahead of Matsui to start the fifth. He didn’t get the call on a close 1-2 pitch. Or a close 2-2 pitch. Matsui singled into center with the count full. Cano was next and he hit a soft popup right to Rollins. Rollins looked like he was going to let it drop to get the double-play, but instead caught the ball, just barely getting his glove under it. He touched second and threw to first. It didn’t matter since he had caught it, but that wasn’t the call on the field. The call on the field was that it had bounced and Cano beat the relay from second. The umps huddled and got it right — double-play for the Phils. Swisher popped to Werth in shallow right field for the third out.

Lee was up to 69 after 13 pitches in the inning.

He was up 2-0 when he started the sixth. Cabrera flew to right 1-2 for the first out. Jeter got ahead 2-0 and singled into center. Damon got ahead 2-0, too, and he hit a popup to Lee that Lee looked about as bored as you can look flipping out his glove to catch the ball near his waist for the second out. Teixeira hit a 2-0 pitch back up the middle, but Utley took it near second and beat Jeter to the bag to end the inning.

Jeter, Damon and Teixeira all get way ahead of Lee, but Lee gets out of the inning. Seventeen pitches in the inning had him at 86. The way he caught the Damon popup was just weird.

A-Rod grounded to third 1-0 for the first out of the seventh. Posada got ahead 2-0 but grounded softly back to the mound 2-1. Matsui grounded softly to third on a 1-0 pitch to end the inning.

Nine and 95 for Lee.

He started the eighth up 4-0. Cano led off and hit an 0-1 pitch hard back up the middle. Lee caught it behind his back on one hop and threw to first for the first out. Swisher struck out looking 2-2 for the second out. Cabrera flew to center 0-1 to end the inning.

Pretty amazing play by Lee on a ball hit hard. Eleven pitches in the inning. 106. Swisher had good swings in his at-bat, twice fouling the ball off.

Lee started the ninth up 6-0. Jeter led off and dropped a 1-2 pitch in front of Victorino for a single. Damon was next and he lined a single to right, moving Jeter to second. Teixeira hit a ground ball back up the middle. Utley took it near the bag and flipped to Rollins. Rollins didn’t have a chance to get Teixeira at first, but threw off his wrong foot anyway and the ball went into the dugout. Jeter scored to make it 6-1 with Teixeira at second on the error with one out. Lee struck A-Rod out swinging 1-2 and Posada out swinging 0-2 to end the game.

Lee threw 16 pitches in the ninth inning and 122 in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty CC Sabathia 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) Francisco (LF/R) (8) Feliz (3B/R) (9) Ruiz (C/R). The righty Francisco is added to the lineup, hitting in-between Ibanez and Feliz. Ibanez is the DH. I bet Francisco is a little surprised to be starting in the World Series. Feliz should probably be hitting behind Ruiz against a lefty, but I’m pretty sure that Manuel isn’t going to start doing that now.

The Phillies started the game with four players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righty Eric Bruntlett. That’s really not that imposing a bench from the right side of the plate, given that Bruntlett hit 171/224/238 for the season.

Rollins started the World Series by bunting Sabathia’s first pitch too hard to first. Teixeira took it for the first out. Victorino popped to second 1-2 for the second out. Utley got behind 1-2, but came back to work a walk. Howard doubled into right field on an 0-1 pitch, moving Utley to third. Werth walked to load the bases. Ibanez got ahead in the count but was swinging 3-1 and grounded out to second to leave the runners stranded.

Sabathia didn’t look very good in the first. He almost had the Phils down in order, but Utley came back from 1-2 to work a walk. Utley doesn’t score from first with two outs on the double by Howard. Sabathia threw 24 pitches in the inning.

It got better for him in the second. Francisco got ahead 3-0 but grounded to third 3-2 for the first out. Feliz grounded to short 0-1 and Ruiz grounded to second 0-1.

Ten pitches in the inning had him at 34 for the game.

Rollins started the third and drove a ball into left-center, but Cabrera tracked it down on the warning track for the first out. Victorino grounded to short 2-2 for the second. Utley was next and got behind 1-2 before he hit a 3-2 pitch just out to right to put the Phillies up 1-0. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to set the Phils down.

First strikeout of the game for Sabathia. Best at-bat for the game for him against Howard right after the home run. Again he gets way ahead of Utley and can’t put him away. After throwing 24 pitches in the inning he was at 58 for the game.

He set the Phils down in order in the fourth. Werth struck out swinging 2-2. Ibanez struck out looking 2-2. Francisco got ahead and flew to center on a 2-0 pitch.

Thirteen pitches in the inning had Sabathia at 71.

Three up, three down again in the fifth. Feliz struck out looking 0-2. Ruiz grounded softly to short on a 1-2 pitch. Rollins popped to third.

Sabathia had set down seven in a row since the Utley home run. Ten pitches in the inning, 81 in the game.

Victorino got ahead 3-0 to start the sixth but flew to center 3-1 for the first out. Utley was next and again got behind in the count, but hit an 0-2 pitch further out to right this time to make it 2-0. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Werth dribbled a 3-1 pitch into right field for a single, but was left stranded when Ibanez followed and struck out swinging 0-2.

So Utley homers, Sabathia sets down eight in a row and then Utley homers again. Third time in three at-bats that Sabathia got way ahead of Utley and didn’t put him away. Twenty-three pitches for Sabathia put him at 104.

Francisco started the seventh and got ahead 3-1 before walking on a 3-2 pitch. Feliz swung at the first pitch and grounded hard to third. Rodriguez started the double-play to clear the bases. Ruiz grounded to third 0-1 to set the Phillies down.

Francisco gets ahead again and finally gets on base. Big no bunt with Feliz, who doesn’t have much chance to get a hit. Nine pitches for Sabathia in the inning, 113 for the game.

Righty Phil Hughes started the eighth for New York. Rollins got ahead 2-0 and hit a ball way out but foul down the right field line before he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Victorino got ahead 3-0 and Rollins stole second as the count went 3-1. Victorino swung at a bad 3-1 pitch and missed, but walked 3-2 to put men on first and second for Utley. Lefty Damaso Marte came in to pitch to Utley. Utley got ahead 2-0 but struck out looking 2-2. Howard flew to right for the second out, Rollins tagged and took third. It brought Werth up with men on first and third and righty David Robertson came in to pitch to him. Werth walked on four pitches to load the bases. The righty Robertson stayed in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez got behind 1-2 but hit a 2-2 pitch through the right side and into the outfield. Rollins and Victorino both scored to put the Phils up 4-0 with men on first and second. Francisco hit a 1-1 pitch hard, but A-Rod made a nice play at third to throw him out and end the inning.

I have no idea why you would not bring lefty Phil Coke in to pitch to Ibanez. Maybe you have to face the big lefties in the ninth, but maybe not, too. Huge hit for Ibanez after he came up empty with the bases loaded in the first.

Righty Brian Bruney started the ninth for New York and got Feliz to pop to second for the first out. Ruiz was next and he ripped a 2-1 pitch into left-center for a double. Rollins followed and hit an inside out dribbler that seeped down the third base line for a single that moved Ruiz to third. Victorino ripped a single to right, scoring Ruiz to make it 5-0 and moving Rollins to second. Lefty Phil Coke came in to pitch to Utley. Utley flew to center 3-2 for the second out, with Rollins moving to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Howard hit a 1-1 pitch into right that rolled to the wall. Rollins scored easily to make it 6-0, but Victorino was thrown out trying to score to end the inning.

Second time in the game something odd happened with a ball hit to right field. In the first, Utley didn’t score from first on a double with two outs and in the ninth the Phillies ran into an out at the plate. The Phillies don’t really do either of those things. They don’t make outs on the bases and Utley is a fantastic base-runner who scores from first on a double with two outs. So maybe right field is a little smaller than they thought?

Twice in the last two innings the lefties in the New York pen got Utley with two men on base. Marte struck him out with two on in the eighth and Coke got him with two men on in the ninth.

Still think not bringing in Coke to pitch to Ibanez in the eighth was the critical mistake in the game for New York.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base in the game. He hit the ball very well in the third, though, and nearly hit one out against Hughes in the eighth but the ball was just foul. Not a fan of stealing when Victorino is ahead 3-0 and the pitcher can’t throw a strike, though.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and an RBI.

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

Howard 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

Werth was 1-for-2 and walked twice.

Ibanez was 1-for-4 with an enormous two-run single in the eighth.

Francisco was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Feliz looks awful. 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 5-for-37 in the post-season.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 with a double that started a two-run rally in the ninth for the Phils.

Pedro Martinez faces AJ Burnett tonight in game two.


Over and out

The transmission from Citizens Bank Park was loud and clear and now it’s ended. The Phillies have made a compelling case that they are the class of the National League and are headed back to the World Series after topping the Dodgers 10-4 in game five of the NLCS.

Vicente Padilla simply didn’t bring his game two magic to game five and it didn’t take long to tell. He walked Utley in the first and then pitched around the big lefty Howard behind him. It brought Werth to the plate and Werth set the tone for the night, blasting a three-run homer out to right. Werth and Victorino would be the driving force for the Phils’ offense in the game. The pair combined to go 5-for-8 with three home runs and seven RBI last night while the other six regulars for the Phils went 3-for-20.

Charlie Manuel deserves his share of the credit for the win as well. Manuel managed like a man who thought he had a chance to go to the World Series, pulling his starting pitcher with one out in the fifth and a three-run lead. It meant he was going to have to walk a tightrope with his shaky pen the rest of the way. He did. LA put the tying run on deck in the bottom of the eighth, but the bullpen came through for Manuel and the Phils.

Andre Ethier put LA up 1-0 with a homer off of Hamels in the first. Werth put the Phils up 3-1 with his first homer of the day in the bottom of the inning. James Loney hit yet another homer off of Hamels in the second. 3-2. A homer from Feliz in the bottom of the second made it 4-2. An Ibanez double got the Phillies rolling in the fourth and they added two more to make it 6-2. A pinch-hit homer from Orlando Hudson off of Hamels to start the fifth made it 6-3 and Manuel went to his pen. Victorino hit a two-run homer off of Clayton Kershaw in the sixth. 8-3. Werth hit a solo shot off of Hong-Chih Kuo in the seventh. 9-3. The Dodgers made rallied in the eighth, putting their first four men on base to make it 9-4 with nobody out and the bases loaded. Madson snapped back to life just in time, though, getting the next three batters and leaving the runners stranded. A single by Rollins that was followed by a double by Victorino helped the Phils add another run in the bottom of the eighth and end the scoring at 10-4.

The Phillies have won the NLCS, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to one in the best-of-seven NLCS. They will play either the Yankees or the Angels in the World Series, which starts on Wednesday.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and didn’t pitch well. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He struck out three. Hamels simply doesn’t have it these days, and it’s hard not to wonder what the Phils can do about that for the World Series. Over his last six starts he’s allowed 40 hits in 31 1/3 innings, throwing to a 6.89 ERA with a 1.50 ratio. He’s allowed six home runs in 14 2/3 innings in three starts this post-season.

The Dodger lineup facing Hamels went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Belliard (2B/R) (3) Ethier (RF/L) (4) Ramirez (LF/R) (5) Kemp (CF/R) (6) Loney (1B/L) (7) Martin (C/R) (8) Blake (3B/R That’s the same lineup they used the last time the Phillies started a lefty, which was Lee in game three, except that Blake and Martin are switched in the 7-8 spots at the bottom of the lineup. Blake was a miserable 2-for-15 in the series coming into the game, but I still think he should hit higher against a lefty. He was fifth in the order when Hamels started game one.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Furcal led off the game and got ahead 3-0 on a couple of close pitches, but struck out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Belliard flew to right on a 2-1 pitch. Hamels got ahead of Ethier 1-2, but couldn’t put him away. Ethier fouled off four pitches in a row and Ruiz came out to the mound. Whatever they talked about didn’t work, cause Ethier hit Hamels’ next pitch out to right to put LA up 1-0. Manny followed and singled to right on the first pitch of his at-bat. Kemp struck out looking 1-2 to leave him stranded.

Tiny strike zone in the first for Hamels. He threw 23 pitches in the inning. Another big hit against him for a lefty. Loney homered off of him in the opener.

He started the second up 3-1. Loney led off and hit a 1-2 pitch way out to right, cutting the lead to 3-2. Martin grounded to short on a 3-1 pitch. Blake grounded to third 0-2. Padilla flew softly to left 1-2 to set LA down.

Eighteen pitches in the inning had Hamels at 41 for the game. Again with the lefties. Third home run off of Hamels this year for Loney.

Phils were up 4-2 when Hamels started the third. Furcal got behind 0-2 and grounded to second. Belliard popped to Rollins 1-1 for the second out. Ethier struck out swinging 3-2 to set LA down.

Not a single homer off of Hamels in that inning. Thirteen pitches had him at 54.

Manny grounded to short 1-2 for the first out of the fourth. Kemp was next and he grounded to short too. Loney drew a two-out walk, but Martin popped to second to leave him stranded.

The walk to Loney broke a string of eight in a row set down by Hamels. Hamels had thrown 76 pitches after throwing 22 in the inning.

He started the fifth with a 6-2 lead after a bottom of the fourth that took about half an hour. Blake led off and popped to Utley 3-2 for the first out. The switch-hitter Hudson hit for pitcher George Sherrill and hit a long home run down the left field line. 6-3. Belliard was next and he lined a double to left, which was enough to chase Hamels. Happ came in to pitch to Belliard and walked him on a 3-2 pitch that was nowhere near the plate. Happ did get the lefty Ethier, though. Ethier flew to left on the first pitch of his at-bat for the second out. It brought up Manny with two outs and two on and Manuel called on Durbin to pitch to him. Durbin got ahead of Manny 0-2. Ramirez tried to check his swing 2-2, but hit a dribbler down the third base line. He was slow getting out of the box, giving Durbin plenty of time to throw him out and leave the runners stranded.

Third home run in the game allowed by Hamels. Hudson isn’t even left-handed. I was very surprised to see Happ gone after facing just two hitters — I was assuming he was in for a while after the early exit by Hamels. Great job by Durbin to get Manny in a big spot. It did leave me wondering what the plan was for the rest of the game. I was guessing it was Park-Madson-Lidge in the seventh, eighth and ninth, but had little clue what Manuel was thinking for the top of the sixth and had no idea what might be Plan B if Park, Madson or Lidge struggled. Not sure Manuel did, either.

Turns out he was thinking Durbin for the sixth and Durbin was fantastic. Kemp struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. The lefty Loney grounded to short 0-1 for the second. Martin swung at the first pitch and grounded back to the mound to set LA down.

Fantastic work from Durbin who has had an outstanding post-season. He made four appearances in the series, throwing three innings without allowing a hit or a walk.

Speaking of fantastic, Park pitched the seventh with an 8-3 lead. He struck Blake out looking 2-2. Juan Pierre hit for the pitcher Clayton Kershaw and he grounded to first 0-2 for the second out. Furcal flew to center 0-2 to set LA down.

Eleven pitches in the seventh for Park after Durbin threw just eight in the sixth.

Park came back to start the eighth with a 9-3 lead. Things got interesting quickly, as Belliard and Ethier started the inning with back-to-back singles that put men on first and third with nobody out for Ramirez. Madson came in to pitch to Ramirez and walked him on five pitches to load the bases. Kemp lined an 0-1 pitch into center that dropped in front of Victorino for a single and moved everyone up a base, brought in Belliard and made the score 9-4 with the bases still loaded and nobody out. Dubee came out to talk to Madson. Don’t know what he said, but whatever it was, things got better quick. Loney swung at the first pitch and fouled out to Feliz. Martin struck out swinging 2-2. Madson got ahead of Blake 1-2 and delivered what looked for sure like strike three. Madson walked off the mound towards the dugout, but didn’t get the call. Ruiz slammed his glove on the plate, but the at-bat continued. Blake grounded to second 2-2 to leave the runners stranded.

Park ends the series having thrown to an 8.10 ERA, charged with three runs in 3 1/3 innings. He pitched way better than that, though. He looked great in the first inning he pitched. Less great in game two pitching on back-to-back days and less great last night trying to come back for a second inning.

Madson allowed six hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings in the series. That’s a 2.70 ratio, which isn’t what you’re looking for.

Lidge started the ninth with a 10-4 lead. Mark Loretta hit for the pitcher Ronald Belisario and struck out swinging 2-2. Furcal fouled out to Ruiz on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Belliard hit a soft fly ball to center field on a 2-1 pitch. Victorino took it and the Phils had won the National League and were headed to the World Series.

Three appearances for Lidge in the series in which he threw 2 2/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three.

Still wonder what Manuel would have done if Park, Madson or Lidge hadn’t been able to get the job done in their inning. I assume Eyre was next in line, but things would have gotten pretty dicey after that.

Lefties Loney and Ethier were the two Dodgers with an OPS of .800 or better in the series. Loney was a monster, going 6-for-17 with two home runs to post a 353/421/706 line. Ethier was 5-for-19 with a double and a home run (263/333/474). Manny was 5-for-19 with a home run and two RBI. Kemp hit .250 and struck out eight times in 20 at-bats. Furcal, Blake and Martin combined to go 9-for-56 (.160).

Very good pitching for the Phils in the series. They held LA to 16 runs over five games. Overall the Phillies threw 44 innings with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.14 ratio.

Thanks to brilliant starts from Pedro and Lee in games two and three, the numbers for the starting rotation were very good. The starters threw 30 2/3 innings in the set, pitching to a 2.93 ERA and an 0.91 ratio.

Martinez and Lee were amazing in the middle of the series, combing to throw 15 shutout innings in games two and three in which they allowed five hits and did not walk a batter. Blanton allowed four runs in six innings in game four. Hamels started the other two games and didn’t pitch well in either. Over the two starts he threw 9 2/3 innings with a 6.52 ERA and a 1.55 ratio. The Phillies offense scored 18 runs in the two games he started and 17 in the three that he did not.

The starters threw 30 2/3 of the 44 innings the team pitched in the series. That’s 69.7%. They were charged with 11 of the 16 runs that LA scored — that’s 68.75%.

The rotation allowed six home runs in the series. Five off of Hamels and Kemp’s shot off of Blanton in game four.

The bullpen did not allow a home run in their 13 1/3 innings. What they did allow was a lot of walks, giving up eight to go with 14 hits. Overall the bullpen threw to a 3.38 ERA with a 1.65 ratio in the series.

Madson got hit hard in game one and was charged with two runs on four hits. Park struggled in game two, trying to pitch back-to-back days after a long time away, and was charged with two runs while getting just one out. Park was charged with another run last night in game five when he came back for a second inning and gave up back-to-back singles to start the eighth.

Happ managed to escape the series without being charged with a run, but he pitched terribly. He made three appearances, walking three batters and getting two outs. It seems like he surely would have been Manuel’s choice to give the Phils some innings in relief of Hamels last night if he had been pitching better.

The Phillies lineup against righty Vicente Padilla 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) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

The Phillies hit in the bottom of the first down 1-0. Rollins flew to Manny just in front of the track for the first out. Victorino bounced back to the mound 0-1 for the second. Utley took a 3-1 pitch high for a walk. Howard was next and Padilla looked like pitched around him, walking him on four pitches. Werth got ahead 3-0 then took two strikes to run the count full. He blasted a ball down the third base line but just foul before he smoked a ball out right to put the Phils up 3-1. Ibanez grounded to second to end the inning.

Padilla threw 23 pitches in the first inning. The pitch-around of Howard costs the Dodgers.

The lead was cut to 3-2 when they hit in the second. Feliz hit Padilla’s first pitch just out to right. 4-2. Ruiz grounded to second. Hamels struck out looking 1-2 for the second out. Rollins struck out swinging 3-2.

Fourteen pitches in the inning for Padilla, 37 for the game. The Dodgers had lots of action in their pen after Feliz led off with a homer, but Padilla got the next three hitters and got to stay in the game.

Victorino fouled out to Blake on an 0-1 pitch to start the third. Utley struck out looking 2-2. Howard grounded to Loney.

Padilla had retired six in a row since the Feliz homer. He needed just nine pitches to go through 2-3-4, which put him at 46 for the game.

Werth led off the fourth and singled into left on a 1-2 pitch. Ibanez ripped a 2-2 pitch into the right-center field gap. Ethier had a little trouble picking the ball up and Werth scored from first to put the Phils up 5-2. That was it for Padilla. Righty Ramon Troncoso came in to pitch to Feliz and Feliz grounded to third for the first out with Ibanez holding second. Ruiz was next and Troncoso walked him on four pitches to put men on first and second. Hamels bunted the runners to second and third. It brought up Rollins with two down and Troncoso nipped him with a 2-2 pitch to load the bases. Lefty George Sherrill came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino got ahead 3-0 before Sherrill hit him with a 3-2 pitch. Ibanez scored to make it 6-2. Sherrill struck Utley out looking 1-2 to end the inning.

Wasn’t expecting to see Sherrill in the fourth.

The Phils led 6-3 when they hit in the fifth. Lefty Clayton Kershaw was on the mound for LA and he walked Howard on a 3-2 pitch. Werth got ahead 2-0, but Kershaw came back to strike him out looking 3-2 for the first out. Ibanez hit a double-play ball to second, but Belliard had trouble getting the ball out of his glove for the flip to second and LA got just one out. Feliz struck out swinging to leave Ibanez stranded at first.

Kershaw snapped out of it after getting behind Werth 2-0.

He got the first two hitters to start the sixth. Ruiz flew to right on a 3-1 pitch for the first out. Cairo was next, hitting for Durbin, and he grounded to short 1-0 for the second. Rollins was next and Kershaw hit him in the foot with a 1-1 pitch, the third time in the game the Dodgers had hit a batter. Victorino was next and he blasted Kershaw’s first pitch to him well out to left, putting the Phils up 8-3. Utley struck out swinging to end the inning.

Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo pitched the seventh for LA. He struck Howard out looking 0-2, took a brief break for Werth to hit an 0-2 pitch out to center to make it 9-3, and then struck Ibanez and Feliz both out swinging.

Righty Ronald Belisario pitched the eighth with the Phils up 9-4. Ruiz led off and hit a ball to center, but Kemp made a nice diving catch for the first out. Stairs hit for Madson and popped to the catcher for the second out. Rollins was next and he singled back up the middle. Victorino followed and lined a 1-2 pitch that would have hit high off the wall in right if a fan had not reached over and tried to catch it. Victorino was given a double on fan interference and Rollins had to hold third. It cost the Phillies a run, but only for a minute. Belisario’s 1-0 pitch to Utley was inside and low and Martin couldn’t handle it. Rollins scored to make it 10-4 and Victorino took third. Utley grounded to second on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning.

Rollins was 1-for-3 in the game and was hit by two pitches. 5-for-22 in the series with two doubles. His double to end game four was the biggest hit of the series. The difference between that single at-bat to end game four was the difference between the series being tied or the Dodgers needing to win the next two games to tie the series.

Victorino had a monster game last night, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 7-for-19 in the series with a double, a triple and two home runs. 368/478/842 in the series and led the team in total bases with 16.

Utley was miserable last night, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk. 4-for-19 with four singles and four walks in the series.

Howard was 0-for-2 with two walks and did not drive in a run for the first time in his last nine post-season games. He was 5-for-15 with a double, a triple and two home runs in the series. He led the Phils with eight RBI. He also walked six times, which was the most on the team. 333/524/933, which was good enough to get him named MVP of the series.

Werth was 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. 4-for-18 with three home runs and a single in the series.

Ibanez was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 3-for-18 with a double and a home run in the series. The home run was a huge one, though, a three-run shot off of Sherrill the Phils needed to win game one. 167/211/389.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game and 2-for-17 with a triple and a home run in the series. 118/167/412.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk last night and 5-for-13 with a double, a home run and five walks in the set. 385/579/692.

Ruiz, Howard and Victorino all on-based .478 or better in the series. All three also hit .333 or better.

Howard, Victorino, Werth and Ruiz all slugged .692 or better.

Feliz, Ibanez and Utley combined to go 9-for-54 (.167).

Stairs was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-1 in the series with a big walk in game four.

Cairo was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-2 in the series.

Francisco seems sure to be a big part of the World Series. He did not play last night and was 0-for-3 in the series.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series.

Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series but made an appearance as a pinch-runner for Stairs in game four and scored a critical run.

Bako did not play.

The pitching was terrible for LA in the set as they allowed 35 runs in five games. Overall, the Dodgers’ pitchers threw to a 7.38 ERA and a 1.38 ratio over 42 2/3 innings. They allowed ten home runs. In the regular season they pitched 1,473 1/3 innings and allowed 127 homers. If they had allowed home runs at their NLCS pace over the regular season and thrown the same number of innings they would have allowed 345. The Brewers were the only NL team to allow more than 200 home runs this season — they allowed 207.

Padilla made a great start for LA in game two. That was it for the starting pitching, though. Padilla was bad last night, Kershaw bad in game one and Kuroda awful in game three. Wolf allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings in game four. Overall the starters pitched 21 2/3 innings in the series for the Dodgers, throwing to a 8.72 ERA and a 1.48 ratio. Excluding Padilla’s game two start they made four starts in which they threw a total of just 14 2/3 innings with a 12.56 ERA and a 1.88 ratio.

The starters threw just 50.7% of the team’s innings for the series and allowed 60% of the runs LA gave up.

Coming into the series a big question was whether the Phils would be able to do anything against the mighty pen of LA. They would. The LA relievers had to throw almost as many innings as their starters in the five games. In 21 innings they gave up just 14 hits, but walked 13, which is way too many, and gave up four home runs. Overall they threw to a 6.00 ERA with a 1.29 ratio in the series.

Ibanez hit a huge three-run homer off of Sherrill in game one. The LA pen pitched well in game three, but they had a lot of work to do after Kuroda didn’t make it out of the second. Belisario was charged with three runs in an inning in that game. Broxton allowed a huge two-run double to Rollins in game four. The Phils scored four runs off of Kershaw, Kuo and Belisario in the last four innings of last night’s game.

Kuo and Troncoso pitched pretty well in relief for the Dodgers in the series. Troncoso wasn’t charged with a run in three innings over three appearances. He didn’t give up a hit but walked three. Kuo struck out six in four innings and allowed one run on the homer by Werth.

No game today. The first game of the World Series is Wednesday.


Deja Voodoo

Another day, another miraculous finish for the Phillies. This time the nearly-impossible-to-believe drama came from Jimmy Rollins, who roped a two-out double to right-center with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to turn a Dodgers’ lead into a walkoff win for the Phillies.

Ryan Howard put the Phils up 2-0 in the first with yet another home run, this one off of LA starter and former Phil Randy Wolf. Blanton was perfect through three innings, but the Dodgers got to him in the fourth when LA scored twice on RBI-singles by James Loney and Russell Martin to tie game at 2-2. A Matt Kemp homer off of Blanton in the fifth put LA up 3-2 and a throwing error by Feliz helped open the door in the sixth as LA tacked on an unearned run to extend the lead to 4-2. Wolf had lulled the Phils offense to sleep since the Howard homer — between the first inning homer from Howard and the start of the sixth inning the Phils managed just one two-out walk by Ruiz in the fifth. Victorino snapped the team out of it with a one-out triple down the left field line. Utley followed with a single to right that cut the lead to 4-3. Wolf left after 5 1/3 and the mighty LA pen shut the Phils down after that, for a while at least. Jonathan Broxton came on in the ninth to protect the one-run lead. Stairs drew a pinch-hit walk with one out and Ruiz followed and was hit by a pitch. With two outs and men on first and second, Dobbs popped a ball to third for the second out. It brought up Rollins and Rollins delivered, splitting the gap in right-center to clear the bases and give the Phils a 5-4 win.

It was hard not to think of what had happened in game four of the NLCS between the same two teams the year before. In that game the Phillies got to Broxton, too, as a two-run homer by Stairs in the eighth broke a 5-5 tie.

The Phillies lead the best-of-seven NLCS with the Dodgers three games to one after winning game four last night 5-4.

The Dodgers lineup against Blanton went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Kemp (CF/R) (3) Ethier (RF/L) (4) Ramirez (LF/R) (5) Loney (1B/L) (6) Belliard (2B/R) (7) Martin (C/R (8) Blake (3B/R). That’s similar to the lineup that Pedro faced in game two until you get to 6-7-8. In game two it went Blake-Belliard-Martin, but Blake was dropped to eighth for this game. It sure doesn’t seem like Loney, who hit 13 home runs, should be your five-hitter protecting Manny against righties if you want to go to the World Series. He slugged .396 against righties. Loney is having a good series for LA, though.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Furcal led off the game and flew to center on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. Kemp grounded to third 2-2 for the second. Ethier hit a ground ball to first 1-2 and Howard took it to the bag for the third.

Eleven pitches in the inning for Blanton, eight of which were strikes.

He set LA down in order again in the second, pitching with a 2-0 lead. Manny grounded to short on a 1-0 pitch for the first out. Loney struck out looking 0-2 for the second. Belliard flew to left on a 1-2 pitch to set LA down.

Ten pitches in the inning for Blanton. 21 for the game.

Martin started the third and lined a 1-1 pitch to right-center, but Werth took it on a run for the first out. Blake grounded to short 2-1 for the second out. Wolf got behind 1-2 and hit the ball hard, but Howard took it at first and beat Wolf to the bag to end the frame.

Blanton was perfect through three. Eleven pitches in the inning, 32 for the game. Twenty-three strikes.

Furcal started the fourth and grounded to Howard on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Blanton got ahead of Kemp 1-2 but lost him, walking him on a pitch outside to give LA their first runner of the game. Ethier was next and he crushed a 2-2 pitch to center, but Victorino tracked it down just in front of the wall for the second out. Ramirez was next and he ripped a 1-2 pitch down the third base line. Kemp would have scored easily if it had gotten to the corner, but it didn’t. It bounced off of the stands in left field and Kemp held third with Ramirez safe at first with a long single. Loney was next and Blanton got ahead of him 1-2 before Loney laced a single to right. Kemp scored to cut the lead to 2-1 with Ramirez taking second. It brought up Belliard with two outs and two men on. Blanton walked him on a 3-2 pitch that was low and outside to load the bases. Martin lined a single to left and everyone moved up a base. Ramirez scored and it was 2-2. Blanton got Blake to ground to second on a 3-2 pitch to leave the runners stranded. Utley made a strong and accurate throw, but there were some nervous Phillies fans as he did.

Long inning for Blanton. Thirty-seven pitches. Nineteen strikes and 18 balls. He had thrown 69 pitches in the game.

Wolf flew to left for the first out of the fifth. Furcal followed and he grounded to Utley. Kemp hit a 2-0 pitch just out to center, putting LA up 3-2. Ethier hit a 1-2 pitch hard, too, but Utley snared the line drive that looked ticketed for center field for the third out.

Blanton was up to 84 pitches after throwing 15 in the inning. Kemp, who got things going with a walk in the fourth, is the guy who got him again.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a ground ball to deep third. Feliz fielded and threw in the dirt to Howard. Howard tried to scoop the ball but didn’t come up with it and Ramirez was safe on the error by Feliz. Loney flew to left on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. Belliard was next and he blooped a ball into shallow left-center field. Rollins went back and tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch but couldn’t come up with it. Belliard had a single and Ramirez went to second. Martin struck out looking 1-2 for the second out, but Blake followed and he singled into right. Ramirez scored to make it 4-2 with Belliard going to third. Blake stole second with Wolf at the plate, but Wolf flew to center 2-2 to leave both men stranded.

Twenty-one and 105 for Blanton. Third straight inning that Blanton had been charged with runs. Two plays that could have been made hurt him in the inning, but the catch by Rollins would have been a fantastic play. The Phils let Blanton hit for himself in the bottom of the fifth.

Park started the seventh with the Phils down 4-3. Furcal hit a ball back to the mound for the first out. Kemp struck out swinging 2-2 for the second. Ethier walked on a 3-2 pitch that was in the strike zone, putting a man on for Ramirez. Park got ahead of Manny 1-2 and Ruiz gunned Ethier down to end the frame as the count went 2-2 on Manny.

Great throw by Ruiz, but it meant that Manny would lead off the eighth.

That wasn’t a problem for Madson, who pitched the eighth for the Phils still down a run at 4-3. Madson struck Ramirez out on three pitches to start the inning. Loney was next and Madson got ahead of him. He struck him out 1-2 and didn’t get the call, struck him out 2-2 and didn’t get the call before Loney reached on an infield single back up the middle. Belliard got behind 0-2 and hit a ground ball to short with Loney forced at second for the second out. No chance for a double play as Rollins had to come in on the ball. Belliard stole second as the count went 3-0 on Martin. He was actually out, too, as his leg was caught on Utley’s foot and Utley put the tag on in time despite an offline throw from Ruiz, but LA got the call. Martin walked to put two men on, but Madson struck Blake out swinging 1-2 to leave them both stranded.

Eyre started the ninth, facing switch-hitter Orlando Hudson who had been double-switched into the game in the bottom of the eighth. Hudson lofted a high fly ball to right that Werth took at the foul line for the first out. Furcal was next and he singled into center. Lidge came in to pitch to Kemp and Furcal stole second as Kemp struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Lidge’s 1-2 pitch to Ethier was in the dirt and blocked by Ruiz, allowing Furcal to take third. Ethier struck out looking 2-2 to leave Furcal stranded.

Fantastic day for the pen in relief of Blanton. They went three shutout innings, allowing two singles and two walks.

Loney and Martin are the only regulars for LA who have an OPS of .800 or better for the series so far. Loney is 5-for-14 with a homer and a walk. Martin is 4-for-12 with a double and a walk. Blake and Furcal are a combined 4-for-31 with four singles. Manny is 4-for-16 without a walk in the series. Ethier is the only player on LA with more than one walk — he has two. LA has outhit the Phils in the series, getting 30 hits so far to 28 for the Phils. The Phillies have six home runs to the Dodgers’ three, though, and 19 walks to nine for LA.

Kemp’s home run is the only extra-base hit the Dodgers have against Phillies pitching in the last three games.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Randy Wolf 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) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

Rollins swung at Wolf’s first pitch in the first and singled to left. He was running on the 1-1 pitch to Victorino, but Victorino popped it up to second. Ethier took it right behind second base for the first out and Rollins had to hurry back to the bag. Utley swung at the first pitch and popped to first for the second out. Howard was next. Wolf didn’t get the call on a 2-1 pitch that had a lot of the plate and Howard hit the 3-1 offering out to right for a two-run homer that put the Phils up 2-0. Werth flew to right on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Wolf threw 18 pitches in the first.

He set the Phils down in order in the second. Ibanez flew to left 2-2 for the first out. Feliz popped to right on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Furcal made a very nice play for the third. Ruiz broke his bat hitting a ball that Furcal bare-handed behind second base on a big hop. Furcal made a strong throw to get Ruiz at first and set the Phillies down.

Seventeen pitches in the game had Wolf at 35.

Blanton led off the third and lined a 1-1 pitch to right for the first out. Rollins got ahead 3-0 on three pitches that all could have been called strikes before he flew softly to right on a 3-1 pitch for the second out. Victorino got ahead 3-0 and popped out to Blake in foul territory on a 3-1 pitch.

13 and 48 for Wolf through three.

Utley led off the fourth with the score tied at 2-2 and flew to right on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Howard struck out looking 1-2. Werth struck out swinging 0-2.

After throwing 12 pitches in the inning, Wolf had thrown 60 for the game.

Ibanez flew to center for the first out of the fifth with the Phils down 3-2. Feliz swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and fouled out to Loney. Ruiz was next and he drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch that probably was a strike. Despite two weak innings in a row, with Happ warming in the pen, Blanton hit for himself and grounded softly to short with Furcal fielding and tagging second to force Ruiz and end the inning.

After throwing 13 pitches in the inning, Wolf had thrown 73 for the game. Ruiz’s walk broke a string of twelve in a row set down by Wolf.

The Phils trailed 4-2 when they hit in the sixth. Rollins grounded to third for the first out. Victorino was next and he tripled down the left field line. Manny missed the cutoff man, but I don’t think they would have had Victorino at third anyway. Utley followed with a single into right, scoring Victorino to cut the LA lead to 4-3. Howard drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch to put men on first and second. That was it for Wolf and righty Ronald Belisario came in to pitch to Werth after throwing 28 pitches the night before in game three. Werth shattered his bat grounding an 0-1 pitch to third. Blake threw to second for one but Belliard dropped the ball and the Dodgers were unable to turn the double-play. With two outs and men on first and third, lefty Hong-Chih Kuo came in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez swung at the first pitch and lined a ball to left, but Ramirez took it at his shoestrings to leave the runners stranded.

Kuo was back to pitch the seventh and set the Phillies down in order. Feliz struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Ruiz hit a ground ball to short for the second out. Francisco hit for Park and got ahead 3-1 but flew to left field for the third out.

Lefty George Sherrill started the eighth for LA with a 4-3 lead. Rollins worked the count full but grounded out on a nice play by Blake at third for the first out. Victorino was hit in the back foot by a 2-2 pitch. Utley got ahead and swung at a terrible 3-1 pitch that was outside and in the dirt. He missed, but Victorino took second on the pitch. Utley walked and it put two men on for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 1-2. Righty Jonathan Broxton came in to pitch to Werth and Werth flew to right on a 1-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Broxton was back for the ninth with a 4-3 lead. Ibanez got ahead 1-0 and grounded out to second for the first out. Stairs hit for Feliz, setting up a rematch of last season’s confrontation with Broxton, and walked on four pitches. Bruntlett ran for Stairs at first. Ruiz was next and Broxton’s first pitch to him drilled him, putting men on first and second for the pitcher’s spot and Dobbs hit for Lidge. Dobbs fisted an 0-1 pitch softly to third for the second out. It brought up Rollins and he lined a 1-1 pitch into right-center. The ball rolled all the way to the way as Ethier chased. Bruntlett and Ruiz roared around the bases and each of them scored without a throw. 5-4.

Wow. Great inning for Manuel among other things. Stairs for Feliz and letting Ruiz hit was a great move. Again Stairs gets it done against Broxton, starting the rally with a walk. He’s been on the team all year long for a very tiny number of big at-bats. That was one of them and it worked out pretty well.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a game-winning double and two RBI. He’s 4-for-19 with two doubles in the series.

Victorino was 1-for-3 with a triple in the series. He’s 5-for-15 with a triple and a home run in the series. Big hit for him in the sixth to break Wolf’s spell over the Phils.

Utley was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 4-for-15 with four singles and three walks in the series. Good throws from him all night long.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer. 5-for-13 with a double, a triple and two home runs in the set. Eight RBI for the Phils in the series. Nobody else on the team has more than four.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 in the game and is 2-for-14 with a home run in the series.

Werth 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-14 with a home run and two walks in the series. The Phils have scored 16 runs in the last two games and Ibanez and Werth have combined to go 1-for-14, although the one was a big homer from Werth off of Kuroda in the first inning of game three.

Feliz was 0-for-3 in the game and is 1-for-13 in the series. Werth, Ibanez and Feliz are a combined 4-for-41 in the series.

Ruiz 0-for-2 with a walk and a hit by pitch in the game. 5-for-10 with a double, a home run, four walks and a .667 on-base percentage in the series.

Stairs had a huge at-bat in the ninth, drawing a walk off of Broxton.

Francisco got a pinch-hit at-bat in the game and flew to left against Kuo. He’s 0-for-3 in the series.

Dobbs 0-for-1 in the game and the series.

No game today. Game five is tomorrow.

Here is a post from the end of last year that has the Phillies post-season pitching stats for 2008.

And here’s a post with the post-season hitting stats from 2008.


Third time’s the replica

Cliff Lee came into game three with the Dodgers having made two post-season starts for the year and for his career. In those starts he had thrown 16 1/3 innings with a 1.10 ERA and an 0.86 ratio. He improved on both of those impressive numbers last night, holding the Dodgers to three singles over eight innings as the Phils blew LA out 11-0.

The Phils were all over Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda, who would only get four outs in the game. A two-run triple by Howard put the Phils up 2-0 after they had sent four batters to the plate. Werth followed with a two-run homer and it was 4-0. Ruiz started the second with a double as the Phils scored two more to make it 6-0. Chad Billingsley took over for Kuroda in the second and kept the Phils quiet until the fifth, when a two-out walk by Ibanez was followed by a triple by Feliz and another hit from Ruiz, this one a single that put the Phils up 8-0. Lee was masterful all the while, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing just two singles to Manny Ramirez and another to Ronnie Belliard while striking out ten. The Phils took an eight-run lead into the bottom of the eighth when Victorino pounded a three-run homer out to right to make it 11-0. Durbin finished off the Dodgers with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Over the last two games, Phillies starting pitchers have thrown 15 innings, allowing five singles without walking a batter. The last extra-base hit of the series for the Dodgers was the double that Ethier hit off of Bastardo to start the seventh inning of game one.

The Phillies won game three of the NLCS last night, topping the Dodgers 11-0. They lead the best-of-seven series two games to one.

Lee faced a lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Belliard (2B/R) (3) Ethier (RF/L) (4) Ramirez (LF/R) (5) Kemp (CF/R) (6) Loney (1B/L) (7) Blake (3B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). That was a change from the lineup Hamels faced in game one. Belliard is up to second in the lineup with everyone else moving down a spot. Loney and Blake are switched in the order after Blake hit fifth in game one. Blake came into the series 1-for-8 with a single.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Furcal led off the game for the Dodgers and got behind 0-2 before flying to left. Belliard was next and he lined a 2-1 pitch to left where a sliding Ibanez took it for the second out. Ethier struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Lee threw 13 pitches in the inning.

He started the second with a 4-0 lead. Manny led off and singled into center on a 3-2 pitch. Kemp was next and he lined softly to Utley for the first out. Loney grounded a 2-2 pitch to Howard and the Phillies turned the double-play nicely, with Howard going to Rollins and then back to Howard to set the Dodgers down.

Sixteen pitches had Lee at 29.

The Phils were up 6-0 when Lee started the third. He struck Blake out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Martin hit a ground ball back to the mound for the second. The pitcher Chad Billingsley was next and he swung out swinging 1-2.

Thanks to the double-play, Lee had faced the minimum through three innings. After throwing 14 pitches in the inning he had thrown 43 in the game.

Furcal started the fourth and worked the count full, then fouled off three pitches in a row before striking out looking for the first out. Belliard grounded to Howard and Howard tossed to Lee covering for the second out. Ethier hit a ground ball to Utley on a 2-2 pitch and Utley made another bad throw to first, but Howard dug it out to set the Dodgers down.

Lee threw 18 pitches in the inning and was up to 61 for the game.

Manny led off the fifth and swung at the first pitch, hitting a ball to right that dropped in front of Werth for a single. Lee struck Kemp out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Loney hit a 1-1 pitch to second. Utley fielded and made a nice throw to Rollins to force Ramirez for the second out with Loney safe at first. Blake grounded to short for the third out.

Just 11 pitches in the inning for Lee, who was up to 72.

Lee was up 8-0 when he started the sixth. Martin got ahead 2-0 but popped to Werth in short right for the first out. Orlando Hudson hit for Billingsley and he got ahead 2-0, too, but also flew to right. Werth took that one just in front of the track for the second out. Furcal struck out swinging 0-2 for the third out.

12 and 84.

Belliard started the seventh and singled to right on a 1-0 pitch. Ethier got behind 1-2 and hit a ground ball to second. Utley fielded and threw to first for the first out with Belliard safe at second. Manny struck out swinging 3-2. Kemp struck out swinging 3-2.

Nineteen pitches in the inning for Lee had him at 103 for the game.

He threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Loney struck out looking. Blake flew to right on an 0-1 pitch. Martin struck out swinging 1-2.

114 pitches in the game for Lee.

Durbin started the ninth with an 11-0 lead and set the Dodgers down in order. Mark Loretta lined to left for the first out. Furcal grounded to second for the second. Belliard fouled out to Ruiz to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Hiroki Kuroda 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) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first and flew to right on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Victorino was next and singled to right 1-0. He stole second as the count went 2-1 on Utley. Utley singled into right on a 3-1 pitch, sending Victorino to third. It brought up Howard with two men on and Howard lined a 3-1 pitch into right field for a bases clearing triple that put the Phils up 2-0. Werth was next and blasted a 2-1 pitch out to center. 4-0 with Chad Billingsley warming in the LA pen. Ibanez got ahead 3-0 but struck out swinging. Feliz grounded to third to end the inning.

Kuroda threw 29 pitches in the inning.

Ruiz started the second and hammered a 1-1 pitch from Kuroda into the gap in left-center for a double. Lee bunted him to third for the first out. Rollins was next and he grounded a 3-1 pitch past a diving Loney and down the first base line for a double. Ruiz scored and it was 5-0. That was it for Kuroda and lefty Scott Elbert came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino walked on five pitches, putting men on first and second for Utley. Elbert’s 1-0 offering to Utley was in the dirt and Martin couldn’t handle it, allowing the runners to move to second and third. Utley went on to walk on a 3-1 pitch, loading the bases for Howard. Howard swung at the first pitch and hit a dribbler to first. Loney took it and tagged Howard out for the second out as Rollins scored to make it 6-0. Righty Chad Billingsley came in to pitch to Werth and struck Werth out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.

Billingsley was back to pitch the third and set the Phillies down in order. Ibanez got ahead 2-0 and hit a ball hard, but on the ground to Belliard at second for the first out. Feliz grounded softly to short and Ruiz flew to right.

Lee flew to center to start the fourth. Rollins was next and he did the same, making it six in a row for Billingsley. Victorino was next and broke the string, walking on a 3-1 pitch that was outside. Utley laced a ball down the right field line but just foul before he grounded softly to second to end the inning.

Billingsley had thrown 30 pitches in the game.

Howard flew to right for the first out of the fifth. Werth got ahead 2-0 but went down swinging for the second out. Ibanez drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch and Feliz followed with the first hit off of Billingsley for the Phils as he blasted a triple off of the right field scoreboard for a triple. Ibanez scored to put the Phils up 7-0. Ruiz was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch into right-center for a single. Feliz scored and it was 8-0. Lee struck out for the third out.

Righty Ramon Troncoso pitched the sixth for LA. He struck Rollins out looking 2-2 and then Victorino swinging 1-2. Utley crushed a 1-0 pitch to center, but Kemp took it at the wall to set the Phillies down.

Troncoso was back for the seventh. He walked Howard on four pitches. Werth was next and he draw a walk as well. Ibanez struck out swinging 3-2, though, and Feliz chopped a double-play ball to third to end the inning.

Righty Ronald Belisario started the eighth for LA with the Phils up 8-0. Ruiz led off with a walk and moved to second when Lee followed with a single to center. Rollins grounded out to first for the first out, moving the runners to second and third. Victorino was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch from Belisario way out to right, putting the Phils up 11-0. Utley followed with a single and went to second on a passed ball with Howard at the plate. Howard grounded to first for the second out, with Utley moving to third. Werth grounded out to third to end the inning.

Thanks to some nice work by Billingsley, the Dodgers pen didn’t suffer too terribly from Kuroda getting just four outs. Billingsley threw 57 pitches in the game, Troncoso 36 and Belisario 28. Billingsley seems sure not to pitch tonight, but that could help the Phils out if we see Troncoso or Belisario in game four.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 2-for-14 in the series.

Victorino 2-for-3 with two walks and a three-run homer. 4-for-12 with two walks in the series.

Utley 2-for-4 with a walk and no throwing errors. 3-for-12 with two walks so far.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk, a triple and three RBI. 4-for-10 with a double, a triple, a home run, three walks and six RBI in the series.

Werth 1-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer. 1-for-10 with two walks and five strikeouts.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk in the game and 2-for-10 with a big home run in the series.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI last night and is 1-for-10 with a walk in the series.

Ruiz 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI. 5-for-8 with a double, a home run and three walks in the series to put his line at 625/727/1.125. Howard’s amazing post-season may be blocking out what Ruiz has been doing with the bat, but Ruiz has been outstanding as well.

Rollins, Utley, Feliz and Werth are a combined 7-for-46 (.152) in the series with four RBI. Victorino, Howard, Ibanez and Ruiz are a combined 15-for-40 (.375) with 16 RBI.

Game four is tonight with Joe Blanton facing Randy Wolf.


Phils split with the Dodgers, ability to hit, pitch in relief and throw the ball from second base

Nobody had much of an idea what to expect from Pedro Martinez in game two of the NLCS. Pedro has always seemed like a bit of an outsider on this squad, a guy focused on proving to the baseball world he’s still got it on a team full of players with a history of putting the team first. Whether that’s fair or not, it was the Phillies who let Martinez down in this game, not the other way around. Martinez was brilliant, spinning a two-hit shutout over seven innings. The Phillies, meanwhile, couldn’t hit Vicente Padilla, couldn’t get an out on a bunt, couldn’t turn a key double-play and walked in the winning run in a disastrous eighth inning that cost them the game.

Martinez exited after seven innings having thrown 87 pitches and allowing two singles and no walks. The Phils hit for him in the top of the eighth and things fell apart in the bottom of the inning. They hit for him cause the plan on the day was to limit Pedro to 90 pitches. If that was the plan they executed it brilliantly. What they didn’t do was win the game, which makes you wonder where the plan and the 90-pitch number came from in the first place.

Howard put the Phillies up 1-0 with a solo shot off of Padilla in the top of the fourth. Taking over for Pedro, Park started the eighth and gave up a single off the glove of Feliz. Ronnie Belliard bunted and the Phils couldn’t get an out. Russell Martin hit a throw-it-in-the-dugout ball and the Phils executed beautifully for the second straight day, getting one at second before Utley threw the ball into the first base dugout. Juan Pierre scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1. A single and a walk loaded the bases before JA Happ walked Andre Ethier, forcing in the run that put LA on top to stay at 2-1.

The Phils and Dodgers are tied at a game apiece after splitting the first two games of the NLCS. They head now to Philadelphia for game three on Sunday.

Pedro Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two singles, no walks and striking out three. He also hit a batter.

Pedro faced a lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Kemp (CF/R) (3) Ethier (RF/L) (4) Ramirez (LF/R) (5) Loney (1B/L) (6) Blake (3B/R) (7) Belliard (2B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). Kemp moves to two after hitting fourth against the lefty in game one. Ethier to three from two. Ramirez three to four. Blake and Loney switch spots in the order. Like Ruiz, Martin starts in the day game after a night game.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Pedro threw a 1-2-3 first. Furcal flew to left on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Kemp hit a 2-2 pitch softly to Rollins. Ethier got ahead 2-0, but popped a 2-2 pitch to Utley in short center for the second out.

Ramirez, Loney and Blake went down in the second. Manny got ahead 2-0 before popping to Howard in foul territory 2-1. Loney grounded an 0-1 pitch to first with Martinez covering. Blake got ahead in the count and then flew softly to right 3-1.

Belliard led off the third and flew to Ibanez in right-center for the first out. Martin was next and he blooped a 2-2 pitch in center for a single, the first runner of the game for LA. Padilla tried to bunt and fouled two off before getting it down. It moved Martin to second with two outs. Furcal grounded to second on a 2-0 pitch to leave him stranded.

He started the fourth with a 1-0 lead. Kemp led off with an infield single on a ball that Martinez deflected, but Ruiz gunned Kemp down stealing with Ethier at the plate for the first out before Ethier flew to center on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Manny popped to Howard to end the inning.

Loney popped to third to start the fifth before Martinez struck Blake and Belliard both out swinging.

In the sixth, Martinez got ahead of the leadoff batter Martin 2-0 before hitting him with a 2-2 pitch. Padilla bunted Martin to second, but Furcal flew to center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out and Kemp flew to left to leave Martin stranded.

Ethier grounded to second 1-2 to start the seventh. Ramirez struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Loney hit the ball well to center, but Victorino took it for the third out.

Exit Pedro, enter the bullpen and the nightmare.

Park started the eighth with the Phils still up 1-0. Blake led off with a ground ball deflected off the glove of Feliz and into left field for a single. Juan Pierre ran for Blake at first. Belliard was next and bunted on the first base side of the mound, but nobody could make the play and he was safe with a single that moved Martin to second. Martin was next and he got ahead 3-0 before hitting a double-play ball to third. Feliz threw to second for the first out, but Utley’s relay to first was way off target. Pierre scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1. Martin held first with one out and Jim Thome hit for the pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo. Thome singled to right, putting men on first and third. Juan Castro ran for Thome and Madson came in to pitch to Furcal. Furcal walked to load the bases. Madson got a big strikeout next, getting Kemp swinging 1-2 for the second out. Happ came in to pitch to the lefty Ethier. He got ahead 1-2 before delivering three straight balls to walk Ethier, forcing in Martin to make it 2-1. Ball four was very close and may have been a strike. Durbin replaced Happ and got Manny on a popup to third on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Awful inning for the Phils. Very close pitch by Happ 3-2. At least they had a righty pitching to Furcal in a big spot late this time. Good job again by Durbin, getting Ramirez for the last out with the bases still loaded.

The Phillies lineup against righty Vicente Padilla 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) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

Rollins led off the game and took ball one before flying to left for the first out. Victorino flew to right on an 0-1 pitch, but Utley hit a 2-1 pitch into right for a single. Howard swung at the first pitch and popped to Furcal near the foul line in short left field.

He set the Phils down in order in the second. Werth went down looking 1-2. Ibanez grounded 1-2 pitch to first. Feliz struck out swinging 0-2.

Ruiz led off the third and hit a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Martinez was next and popped up the bunt for the first out. Loney tried dropping it on purpose, but the umps didn’t go for it. Rollins got behind 0-2 and Padilla came way up and in. Rollins hit the 1-2 pitch into right, which Ethier took running in for the second out. Ruiz stole second before Victorino popped to Furcal to end the frame.

Utley grounded a 1-1 pitch to first for the first out of the fourth. Howard was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Werth struck out swinging 1-2 and Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2.

In the fifth, Feliz grounded to short, Ruiz flew to right and Pedro lined to second.

Rollins struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out of the sixth. Victorino swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and hit the ball hard, but Loney took it for the second out. Utley also swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Howard singled to right to start the seventh with the Phillies still up 1-0. Werth got behind in the count and hit into a double-play to short on a 1-2 pitch, clearing the bases. Ibanez swung and missed three straight pitches to set the Phillies down.

Feliz grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz was next and he got behind 1-2, but came back to work a walk. Pedro was due to hit next, having thrown a two-hit shutout through seven innings and needing on 87 pitches to do so, but the Phils called on Dobbs to hit for him. The lefty Kuo came in to pitch to Dobbs and Francisco hit for Dobbs. Kuo got Francisco to ground into a double-play on a 1-1 pitch.

The Phils started the ninth down 2-1 with righty Jonathan Broxton on the mound for the Dodgers. Rollins took the first pitch for a strike and then grounded to second. Victorino grounded a 2-2 pitch to short. Utley was the last hope and he flew to right on a 2-2 pitch to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and is 1-for-9 in the series.

Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game. 2-for-9 in the series.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game, 1-for-8 with a walk in the series. He’s having huge problems throwing the ball to first base.

Howard 2-for-3 with a home run in the game. 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and two walks.

Werth 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. In the at-bat when he didn’t strike out he hit into a double-play. 0-for-6 with a walk and three strikeouts so far.

Ibanez was 0-for-3 and struck out twice, too. 2-for-7 with a home run.

Feliz has been just terrible with the bat. 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the game. 0-for-6 with a walk in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-2 with a walk in the game. 3-for-5 with a home run and two walks.

Francisco was 0-for-1 in the game.

Lefty Cliff Lee faces righty Hiroki Kuroda in game three.

The 34-year-old Kuroda threw 117 1/3 innings for the Dodgers this year, pitching to a 3.76 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. He was the Dodger’s opening day starter, but missed a lot of the early part of the season with an oblique problem and some time recently with a neck issue.

Kuroda doesn’t walk anyone. Just 24 in 117 1/3 innings for the season. He walked just six of the 250 right-handed batters he faced for the year. Overall, he was almost as good against lefties as he was righties this year. Lefties hit 233/294/419 against him and righties 253/272/371.

He made one start against the Phils this year, which came on June 6. He threw six shutouts innings that day, holding the Phils to two hits and three walks. Ethier homered off of Blanton in the fourth to put LA up 1-0. Stairs had a two-run single off of Belisario in the seventh to put the Phils up 2-1. Furcal homered off of Lidge with one out in the ninth. 2-2. Ethier homered off of Durbin with two outs in the twelfth. LA wins 3-2.

Kuroda started game three of the NLCS against the Phillies last year and pitched very well, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. Howard and Utley doubled against him in that game and LA won 7-2 as they lit up Moyer. Kuroda threw a ball near Victorino’s head in that game, setting of a bench-clearing incident.

None of the Phillies have big numbers of at-bats against him over their careers in the regular season. Howard 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. Rollins 0-for-6. Victorino 0-for-5. Utley’s had some luck, 2-for-7 with two walks. Werth 2-for-7 with a double.

Lee went 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio in 34 starts for the Indians and Phillies in 2009. He doesn’t walk anyone, almost literally when it comes to lefties. He walked six left-handed batters all season. Lefties hit just 241/263/320 against Lee with eleven extra-base hits for the season. Righties had a lot more luck, hitting 283/321/414.

Lee was brilliant in July and August, making 11 starts between the Indians and Phils in which he threw to a 2.06 ERA with an 0.98 ratio. Opponents posted a .590 OPS against him over those 11 starts. Things have been ugly since the end of August. In his last six starts of the season Lee had a 5.45 ERA and a 1.38 ratio. Opponents hit .317 against him.

He started games one and four against the Rockies in the NLDS and was fantastic twice. In 16 1/3 innings he pitched to a 1.10 ERA with an 0.86 ratio.

He didn’t face the Dodgers this year.

Manny has some scary career numbers against him: 6-for-14 with three doubles, two home runs and six walks (429/571/1.071). Kemp 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Furcal 2-for-3 with a homer. Ethier and Loney are both 0-for-3.


Sherrill? You can’t be serious

I am serious and don’t call me Sherrill.

The Phillies came out on top of game one of the NLCS last night. It was a game filled with huge moments and big swings, but none bigger than the three-run homer Raul Ibanez hit off of George Sherrill in the top of the eighth inning. Sherrill came into the game having not allowed a home run to a left-handed batter all season long.

James Loney put the Dodgers up 1-0 when he lined a solo shot out to right off of Hamels in the second. Clayton Kershaw, LA’s 21-year-old starter, was in complete control until the bottom of the fifth when he most clearly was not. Kershaw started the frame with a shutout, but only got two outs in the inning, uncorked three wild pitches and walked two including the pitcher on four pitches. With nobody out and two men on, Ruiz blasted a three-run homer to left to put the Phillies up 3-1. Five batters later Howard delivered a two-run double that extended the lead to 5-1 before LA got out of the frame. Hamels got into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. He got Ethier to hit a double-play ball that should have ended the inning, but the Phils didn’t turn it. A run scored on the play to make it 5-2 and kept the inning alive long enough for Manny Ramirez to hit a two-run homer and cut the lead to 5-4. Sherrill walked the first two in the eighth before Ibanez homered to make it 8-4. Madson was awful in the bottom of the eighth and LA got within two at 8-6, but Lidge kept them off the board in the ninth to get the Phillies the win.

The game featured dramatic matchups between Phillies relievers and big hitters for the Dodgers. The Phils didn’t win them all, but they won enough. The sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth all included huge situations for Phillies relievers with danger lurking.

With the Phils up 5-4 in the sixth, Happ got Furcal to ground to second on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end the inning

Chan Ho Park pitched in a game for the first time since September 16 in the seventh with the Phils still up by one. After Bastardo allowed a leadoff double, Park came in and sat down Manny, Matt Kemp and Casey Blake in order to leave the runner stranded. He looked real, real good doing it, too. They told us he was a hundred percent. They didn’t say a hundred percent of what, though.

Madson got blasted in the eighth. But it ended with him facing Ramirez with two outs, men on first and third and the Phils up 8-6. He got Manny to ground to third.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a two-run lead and gave up a leadoff single. Most of the drama in that inning came on the second batter, when Casey Blake smashed a ball, but right at Utley and into a double-play.

The Phillies lead the best-of-seven NLCS with the Los Angeles Dodgers after winning game one 8-6 last night.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out four. His line would have looked a lot better if the Phillies had turned an inning-ending double-play in the fifth. When Ramirez followed the non-double-play with a two-run homer it wound up costing the Phillies three runs.

Hamels faced a lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Ethier (RF/L) (3)Ramirez (LF/R) (4) Kemp (CF/R) (5) Blake (3B/R) (6) Loney (1B/L) (7) Belliard (2B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). That’s pretty different than the lineup I expect we’ll see against a righty in the series, which I guess will likely go (1) Furcal (2) Kemp (3) Ethier (4) Ramirez (5) Loney (6) Blake (7) Belliard (8) Martin. Furcal is always at the top, I expect, and Belliard and Martin at the bottom, but two through six changes up a lot. Ethier hitting second doesn’t make a lot of sense to me against a lefty, but he sure fared well last night. The 3-4-5 of Ramirez, Kemp and Blake all bash lefties.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Furcal led off the first and flew to left on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. Ethier was next and he singled to left. Manny followed and he had a long at-bat, but struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out after fouling off five pitches. Kemp singled into left 1-0, moving Ethier to second, but Hamels got Blake to pop to Utley to end the inning.

Nineteen pitching the first for Hamels, fifteen of which were strikes.

Loney led off the second and lined a 2-1 pitch out to right. 1-0. Hamels got Belliard on a line drive that Victorino took in front of the warning track for the first out and Martin on a ground ball to third for the second. The pitcher Clayton Kershaw was next, but Hamels walked him on a high 3-1 pitch. Hamels didn’t like the call as the count went 3-1, but the ball looked clearly low. Furcal was next and hit a dribbler up the first base line. Ruiz made a nice play, pouncing on it and throwing Furcal out to set the Dodgers down.

Hamels had thrown 37 pitches.

He started throwing a lot more changeups in the bottom of the third and things went well. Ethier looked awful striking out swinging after getting behind 0-2. Manny popped to Utley for the second out. Kemp dribbled back to the mound for the third.

Hamels had thrown 54 pitches through three innings.

He set ‘em down in order again in the fourth. Blake struck out swinging at a high fastball. Loney and Belliard both popped to second.

Seven in a row for Hamels, who had thrown 67 pitches.

He started the fifth with a 5-1 lead and gave up a leadoff double to Martin. Orlando Hudson hit for the pitcher Ramon Troncoso and Hamels struck him out for the first out. Furcal was next and Hamels got ahead of him, too, but Furcal singled to right on an 0-2 pitch, sending Martin to third. Ethier got ahead 3-1 and hit a double-play ball to short. But. Rollins got the ball struck in his glove, then tossed to Utley late and Utley threw with his footing badly messed up and threw the ball into the dugout. Martin scored on the error to make it 5-2 with Ethier going to second. Hamels flailed his arms around dramatically on the mound in the universal gesture for darn-I-wish-that-hadn’t-happened. It was a sure sign that Manny Ramirez was about to homer and homer he did, pounding a 2-0 pitch out to left-center. 5-4. Kemp grounded to Utley for the third out.

If the Phillies turn Ethier’s double-play ball it’s 5-1, inning over. They didn’t. Utley never should have thrown the ball, but the fact that he did throw it into the dugout didn’t change anything. Rollins being unable to get the ball out of his glove clean doomed the play. Hamels shouldn’t be flailing about on the mound. Pretty sure everyone associated with the Phillies knew they would have been better off turning that one and it was unfortunate that they had a lefty against Ramirez with a runner on base now.

Hamels had through 92 pitches through five innings.

He got Blake on a foul ball to Howard for the first out in the bottom of the sixth. Loney followed with an opposite field single to left. Belliard was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch into left for another single, moving Loney to second. That was it for Hamels, who was due to lead off the seventh, and Manuel brought in Durbin to pitch to the righty Martin. Martin smoked the ball to right, but Werth took it for the second out and would have had a chance to double Loney off of second if he made a good throw. His throw wasn’t close, but was backed up nicely by Feliz and neither runner could advance. Lefty Jim Thome hit for the pitcher Ronald Belisario and Happ came in to pitch to him. Happ didn’t get a close call on a 2-1 pitch and Thome walked to load the bases. Randy Wolf ran for Thome at first. Furcal was next, who really needs a right-hander in a big situation like this if you can, but Manuel left Happ in to pitch to him. Furcal worked the count full and grounded hard but right at Utley to leave the bases loaded.

Huge out for Happ to get Furcal.

Second appearance in the post-season for Durbin. He hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk in 1 1/3 innings.

Bastardo started the seventh to try to get Ethier with the Phils up 5-4. Nope. Ethier doubled into right. Chan Ho Park came on to face Ramirez, pitching for the first time since September 16. Ramirez grounded a 1-2 pitch to third for the first out. Ethier held second. Park struck Kemp out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Blake grounded to second to leave Ethier stranded.

Wow. Park looked rather amazing. It was the kind of thing that made you feel like he might be able to contribute. Ethier seems to be doing just fine against the Phillies lefties so far. Huge outs for Park with the Phils up a run and the heart of the order at the plate for LA.

Madson started the top of the eighth for the Phillies with an 8-4 lead. Francisco was in left for the Phils. Loney singled to center and moved to second when Belliard followed with a single to left. Martin was next and he singled to left, scoring Loney just ahead of Francisco’s throw to make it 8-5 with men on first and second and nobody out. Juan Pierre hit for the pitcher George Sherrill and dribbled a ball back to the mound. Madson fielded and threw to second to force Martin for the first out with Belliard moving to third. It brought up Furcal and Furcal delivered a fly ball to right for the second out, deep enough to score Belliard and cut the lead to 8-6. Ethier was next with two outs and a man on first and Madson stayed in to pitch to the lefty. The lefty singled to right on a 3-2 pitch, moving Pierre to third. It set up Madson versus Manny Ramirez with two outs and two men on. Manny grounded to second on a 1-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Manuel does not bring Eyre in to pitch to Ethier with two outs, presumably because it creates a who-pitches-to-Manny problem if Eyre doesn’t get Ethier.

Madson has been absolutely awful twice in a row in two huge situations. Between game four of the NLDS and last night’s game he has gone 1 2/3 innings over his last two appearances, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk.

Third time in three innings a Phillies reliever came up big in a pickle to end the inning. Happ got Furcal in the sixth, Park got everyone in the seventh after the leadoff double and Madson finally got Manny to end the eighth.

Lidge started the ninth up 8-6. He got ahead of Kemp 0-2 before Kemp lined a single just over the glove of Rollins and into left. Blake was next and got ahead in the count, but swung at a high 2-1 pitch and fouled it off. He smashed the next pitch, but on one hop to Utley and the Phillies turned two. Enormous play and a little luck for the Phils there, cause that ball was hit hard but right at Utley. Lidge got ahead of Loney 0-2, but Loney came back to work a walk. It brought Belliard to the plate as the tying run. Belliard popped a 1-1 pitch to Rollins in shallow left field to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw 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) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R). Werth hits fifth, breaking up the lefty string of Utley, Howard and Ibanez.

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

Rollins led off the first and fouled out to Martin on an 0-1 pitch. Victorino was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Utley got behind in the count and drove an 0-2 pitch to center field, but Kemp took it on the warning track for the second out. It brought Howard to the plate, but before Kershaw delivered a pitch he picked Victorino off of first. Victorino was tagged out after a short rundown to set the Phillies down.

Kershaw threw a first-pitch strike to all three of Rollins, Victorino and Utley. He had thrown eight pitches through one inning.

Victorino and Martin yelled at each other after the third out. Not sure who started it, but Victorino tried to run into Loney in the rundown like he always does in a rundown, looking for an interference call.

Howard led off the second and got behind 0-2 before hitting a 3-2 pitch well to left, but Ramirez took it on the track. Werth struck out looking 2-2. Ibanez struck out looking 2-2.

Again, all three hitters got behind 0-1. Howard fouled off the first pitch and Werth and Ibanez watched strike one.

Kershaw had thrown 25 pitches.

The Phils started the third down 1-0. Feliz became the first Phillies batter not to get behind 1-0 as he took ball one, but popped to Belliard on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch way outside and Hamels bunted him to second. Rollins grounded a 1-2 pitch to second for the third out.

Forty pitches for Kershaw.

Victorino led off the fourth and popped to Loney 2-2 for the first out. Utley swung at the first pitch and popped to Blake in foul territory. Howard tried to check his swing 2-2 and got the call (he swung) and then walked on a 3-2 pitch that was really a strike. Werth got ahead 2-0 and smashed a ball to left field, but Ramirez took it on the track to set the Phillies down.

Werth’s out was the third time the Phillies had really crushed the ball into an out against Kershaw. Utley hit it great in the first and Howard just missed in the second.

Fifty-six for Kershaw through four innings.

He blew up in the fifth. Ibanez led off and singled to left on a 1-1 pitch. Ibanez went to second on wild pitch before Feliz walked. Ruiz took two balls out of the strike zone and then flailed at a high 2-0 pitch. Phillies fans everywhere screamed curses at their televisions, but not for long. The 2-1 pitch was in nearly the same place, but Ruiz hit that one way out to left to put the Phillies up 3-1. Hamels was next and he walked on four pitches. Kershaw did everything in his power to walk Rollins, too, but Jimmy was having none of it. He swung at a 3-1 pitch and hit a ground ball to third. Hamels was forced at second for the first out of the inning. Victorino was next and he struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch that was wild for the second out, but Rollins took second on the wild pitch. Utley walked on a 3-2 pitch, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard blasted a double to right, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 5-1. That was finally it for Kershaw. Righty Ramon Troncoso came in and got Werth to fly to left for the third out.

Nice walk by Feliz early in the inning. Huge hits for Ruiz and Howard. Good no swing by Hamels. Rollins swinging 3-1 with Kershaw nowhere near the strike zone was not the way to go.

Three wild pitches in the inning for Kershaw. The Dodgers sure did stay with him a long time. I was pretty sure walking Hamels on four pitches was a sign of bad things to come for him. He was due to hit second in the bottom of the inning.

The Phillies lead had been cut to 5-4 by the time they came to bat in the top of the sixth and face righty Ronald Belisario. Belisario set the Phillies down in order, getting Ibanez on a ground ball to short and Feliz and Ruiz on ground balls to second.

Unhittable lefty Hong-Chih Kuo started the seventh for LA. Cairo hit for Happ to start the inning and struck out. Rollins got ahead 3-1 and singled into center, but Victorino followed with a ground ball to third. The Dodgers could only get one, forcing Rollins at second for the second out and bringing Utley to the plate with two outs and a man on first. Utley struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Lefty George Sherrill started the eighth with the Phils still up 5-4 and walked Howard. He walked Werth, too, putting two men on for Ibanez. Ibanez was swinging first pitch and popped one just out to right for a three-run homer. 8-4. Feliz flew to right for the first out before Ruiz snuck a single through to left. Francisco hit for Park and hit a fly ball to center. Ruiz thought it was going to drop, but it was a long way from being something that might drop. Kemp took it for the second out and Ruiz was doubled-off of first on a close play to end the frame.

Not good base-running by Ruiz.

Lefties hit 128/188/154 against Sherrill this season. He faced two Phillies lefties in the inning. Howard walked and Ibanez hit a three-run homer. Left-handed hitters were 10-for-78 against him with two doubles for the year.

Righty Jonathan Broxton was on for LA in the ninth with the Phils up 8-6. Rollins flew to left for the first out, but Victorino followed with a single. Utley flew to left before Howard went down swinging to end the frame.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game. Grounding out 3-1 when Kershaw couldn’t throw a strike and had just walked Hamels on four pitches was the worst at-bat of the game.

Victorino was 2-for-5 and was picked off of first in the first.

Utley was 0-for-4 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-3 with a big two-run double and two walks.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Ibanez now has eight RBI in five post-season games with the Phillies.

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk. Didn’t do much against the lefty starter, but he almost did, just missing a two-run homer in the fourth.

Feliz was 0-for-3 with a walk. I sure feel better about the seven and eight spots in the order against a lefty, but Feliz hit a miserable 208/278/385 against lefties this year so I should probably try to calm down a little.

Ruiz, on the other hand, had a monster game. 2-for-3 with a three-run homer. He hit 293/370/524 against left-handed pitching this season.

Francisco and Cairo both had pinch-hit at-bats in the game and went 0-for-1. Francisco seems like he could be the critical bench player for the Phils in the series against Kuo and Sherrill. The other two right-handed options for the Phils off the bench, Cairo and Bruntlett, are not big offensive threats.

Pedro Martinez faces righty Vicente Padilla today in game two.

Padilla pitched for both the Rangers and the Dodgers this season. He made 18 starts for Texas to start the season, going 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. The Rangers released him in mid-August and he was signed by the Dodgers. He made eight appearances for LA, seven on them starts, and threw to a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

He was much better against righties than lefties on the season. Righties hit just 246/301/363 against him for the year, lefties 303/384/453.

Padilla pitched for the Phils between 2000 and 2005. His best year was 2002 when he went 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

He started game three of the NLDS against the Cards and was fantastic. He allowed four hits and a walk over seven shutout innings as the Dodgers won 5-1. It was the only playoff appearance of his career.

Raul Ibanez saw him a ton in the AL. 9-for-28 with two home runs (321/394/536). Feliz is the only other Phillies regular with more than five career at-bats against him. He’s 2-for-9 with two singles.

The 37-year-old Martinez made nine starts for the Phillies this season, pitching to a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio over 44 2/3 innings. He gave up seven home runs — that rate would have him giving up about 31 over 200 innings. Opponents slugged .472 against Pedro for the season.

He didn’t walk much of anyone. His walk rate of 1.61 batters per nine innings was the best of any Phillies pitcher other than Lee.

He has a ton of post-season experience. He has appeared in thirteen post-season games and started eleven, overall throwing to a 3.40 ERA with a 1.12 ratio over 79 1/3 innings. He last appeared in the post-season in 2004.

Pedro started his career with the Dodgers, pitching for them in 1992 and ’93 before they traded him to the Expos for Delino DeShields in November of 1993.

Belliard, Kemp, Blake, Martin, Loney and Ethier all have five or fewer career at-bats against Martinez. Furcal 6-for-25 with two doubles (240/240/320). Manny 5-for-30 with two doubles (167/194/233). Orlando Hudson 7-for-25 with three extra-base hits, a double, a triple and a home run (280/308/520).

This helps explain why Bruntlett was added to the roster for the NLCS. Apparently Dobbs’ problems in playing defense coming off his calf injury were a primary factor. Still a lot of Carios and Bruntletts to have on the roster and I think it speaks to the lack of organizational depth hitting right-handed.


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