Tag: pete orr

Orr Pete could homer and everyone could go home

The Phillies got great pitching yesterday and a late home run from Pete Orr, beating the Pirates 2-1.

Cook and Lopez combined to throw five scoreless innings for the Phils to start the game. Neither of them have much of a chance to start the year in the rotation for the Phils, but both of them have better results in official spring training games than anyone who actually is in the rotation with the exception of Hamels. Hamels got hammered in a game against the Dominican Republic that didn’t count towards official spring statistics.

Orr homered in the bottom of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. It was his only at-bat of the game. He’s 3-for-11 with two home runs so far this spring.

Utley had two hits. He was 2-for-4 with a double. 206/357/353.

Inciarte was 1-for-3 with a double. He also threw Brad Hawpe out trying to score from second on a single to end the top of the second. The double was the first extra-base hit of the spring for Inciarte. He’s 5-for-17 with a double and three walks (294/429/353).

Ruf and Howard both 1-for-3 with a single. Ruf’s line is up to 211/318/368, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to matter a ton if he’s not usable defensively.

Brown and Nix 0-for-3. Nix is hitting 219/265/313 in 32 official spring at-bats. Galvis 0-for-4 to drop his line to 283/313/500.

Aaron Cook got the start for the Phillies and went three shutout innings, allowing a single and a walk. After 11 innings, he has a 2.45 ERA with a 1.27 ratio.

Rodrigo Lopez followed Cook and threw two scoreless frames in which he allowed three hits and no walks. Lopez didn’t fare as well in the World Baseball Classic, but his numbers in official spring action are fantastic. Seven scoreless innings in which he’s allowed six hits and a walk (0.00 ERA with a 1.00 ratio).

Papelbon struck out Andrew McCutchen and Hawpe in a 1-2-3 sixth. That drops his ERA to 19.64. He has struck out seven in 3 2/3 innings, so we all might just want to try and calm down a little.

Aumont pitched the seventh and was charged with a run on one hit. He allowed a single to Neil Walker to start the frame and hit the next batter. Walker moved up to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch.

Aumont has a 3.00 ERA but an impressive 0.67 ratio in three spring appearances.

Diekman pitched a scoreless eighth. He allowed back-to-back singles to the first two hitters he faced, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a double-play.

Diekman has struck out 14 in nine innings over his seven appearances, but thrown to a 5.00 ERA with a 1.44 ratio. Opponents are hitting .314 against him.

Cesar Jimenez started the ninth with a one-run lead and got the save. He got the first two hitters before allowing a single and a double, which put men on second third for Felix Pie. Jimenez struck Pie out looking 0-2 to end the game.

Jimenez has allowed five hits in 2 2/3 innings over his three appearances, but has not been charged with a run. Opponents are hitting .385 against him.

Lannan is expected to start this afternoon as the Phils play the Rays.

The Phillies announced the Cole Hamels will start on Opening Day.

The Dominican Republic scored two runs in the top of the ninth to beat the US in the World Baseball Classic 3-1. Rollins was 0-for-4 and struck out twice. The US team faces Puerto Rico tonight in an elimination game.


Never tell me the odds!

Oh, but I will, Han.

Cliff Lee and Jimmy Rollins led the way last night as the Phils topped the Marlins 3-1 to win their seventh straight.

The game was scoreless in the top of the sixth when Rollins and Lee made errors on back-to-back plays, leading to an unearned run for the Marlins on a two-out single by Carlos Lee. Rollins didn’t wait long to atone for his error, leading off the bottom of the sixth with a single to right that broke up Johnson’s no-hitter. He was still at second with two outs, though, before Mayberry’s single to center brought him home and tied the game at 1-1. Pete Orr came up big in the bottom of the seventh, delivering a two-out pinch-hit single with the bases empty to give Rollins a chance with a man on. Rollins came through again, lining a two-run homer to right to put the Phils up 3-1. Aumont again shut the Marlins down in the eighth and Papelbon again shut them down in the ninth.

The bullpen was charged with two unearned runs in the second game of the set with the Marlins, but has not been charged with an earned run in their last six games. Over those six games the pen has thrown to a 0.00 ERA and an 0.86 ratio over 16 1/3 innings.

Going back to the start of August, the Phillies are 9-0 in their games in which they have scored three runs (including two of the three games against the Marlins).

That’s a whole lot of things. Really, really unlikely is one of them. They were 4-9 on the year in games in which they scored three runs before the start of August.

For the year, NL teams have a winning percentage of .415 in games in which they score three runs. Someone please check my math, but if a team had a 41.5% chance to win any game in which they score three runs, I think that would mean they have a 0.04% chance to go 9-0 in a given set of nine games in which they score three runs, yes?

The Phillies are 72-71 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1. The Phils sweep the three-game series and have won seven in a row for the first time this season. They are in third place in the NL East, 17 games behind the first-place Nats. They are three games out for the Wild Card and over .500 for the first time since June 3.

Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds Report says 2.7% today, up from 1.0% yesterday. Only thing I know for sure is that if the odds triple every day, that’s good for the Phillies.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing one run, which was unearned, on four hits and a walk. All four of the hits were singles and he struck out six.

Lee hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts. He’s 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA and a 1.09 ratio over those five outings and the Phillies have gone 4-1. He’s allowed three walks in 56 2/3 innings in his eight starts since the beginning of August.

He set the Marlins down in order in the top of the first, getting Gorkys Hernandez on a fly ball to center and Donovan Solano and Jose Reyes on ground balls to short.

Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Lee singled back-to-back to start the second, putting runners on first and second for Justin Ruggiano. Lee struck Ruggiano out looking 2-2 and Ruggiano was ejected for arguing with the home plate ump. John Buck was the next hitter for the Marlins and he grounded to second. Utley made a diving play to field the ball, but had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. He finally did and Lee was forced at second for the second out. It left Miami with two down and runners on first and third for Donnie Murphy. Lee struck Murphy out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that Murphy thought he fouled off, ending the inning with both runners stranded.

Lot of drama there for a pair of strikeouts.

The pitcher Josh Johnson started the third with a single to left and moved up to second when Hernandez grounded softly to third for the first out. Solano grounded to Rollins for the second out and Reyes popped out to Howard to leave Johnson at second.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He struck out the side in the fifth, getting Buck, Murphy and Johnson.

With one out in the sixth, Solano hit a ball back up the middle. Rollins tried to handle it moving to his left, but didn’t field it cleanly for an error that put Solano on first. Reyes was next and he chopped a 1-0 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Lee fielded the ball moving towards third base and threw to second, but his throw was bad on the shortstop side of the bag and pulled Utley off the base. No out for the Phillies on the second error in two at-bats and the Marlins had runners on first and second with one out. Lee got Stanton on a fly ball to left for the second out with the runners holding. It brought Lee to the plate and he singled to right on the first pitch he saw. Brown might have had a chance to get Solano with a perfect throw, but he didn’t come up to one. He again took a bunch of tiny steps on the way to the ball and this time his throw wasn’t that good. It was strong and up the third base line. Solano scored easily to put the Marlins up 1-0 with two down and men on first and third. Lee got Austin Kearns to ground to Martinez to end the inning.

The Phillies make two errors in the frame and it winds up costing them just one run. Brown’s throw could have been a lot better and it sure looks like he needs to do a bunch of work on his footing when charging the ball before he throws. Would have been taken a really good throw to get Solano, though.

At the time, two errors in two batters looked like too many to make given that the Phillies didn’t have a hit in the game. Rollins would redeem himself before it was over.

It was 1-1 when Lee walked Buck to start the seventh. Murphy flew to right for the first out. Johnson hit for himself and tried to bunt Buck to second, but popped up to Martinez in foul territory for the second out. Hernandez flew to right for the third out.

Aumont pitched the eighth with the Phillies up 3-1. He walked Reyes with one out, but struck Stanton out swinging 0-2 for the second. Lee grounded to short to end the frame.

Stanton was 2-for-12 in the series with a home run and seven strikeouts.

Pitching for the second straight day, Aumont dropped his ERA for the year to 1.08 in his ninth appearance. He’s pitched in four games since Sunday, pitching in both games of the double-header and in games two and three of the set with the Fish.

Papelbon started the ninth with a two-run lead and hit the first batter he faced, Austin Kearns, with a 1-1 pitch. He struck Buck out swinging 1-2 for the first out, though, and got Dobbs looking 1-2 for the second. Lefty Bryan Petersen hit for the pitcher Brandon Webb and walked on four pitches, putting the tying run on base with two down and men on first and second for the righty Hernandez. Papelbon struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Papelbon was also pitching for the second straight day. He’s throw five scoreless innings over his last five appearances, striking out eight. Like Aumont, he pitched in both games of Sunday’s double-header and then in games two and three of the series with the Marlins.

Two scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow two walks and strike out four.

Aumont and Papelbon have both pitched two days in a row. And a lot recently. Papelbon threw 19 pitches in the game and Aumont 14.

The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Johnson went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Kratz (8) Martinez. Pierre in left against the righty. Kratz catches with Ruiz on the bench. Martinez at third with Polanco on the DL and Frandsen sidelined with a stress fracture in his leg.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the first. Howard went down on a softly hit ball to the pitcher to end the inning.

Mayberry and Brown walked back-to-back to start the second, putting men on first and second for Kratz. Kratz struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Martinez was next and he grounded to first for the second, moving the runners up to second and third for Lee. Lee struck out swinging 2-2 to leave them there.

Johnson had thrown 40 pitches through the first two innings.

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

They were still looking for their first hit off of Johnson when they started the sixth down 1-0. Rollins led off an chopped a 1-0 pitch past a diving Lee and into right field for a single. Pierre bunted him to second with the first out. Utley followed and walked on four pitches, putting two men on for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. It brought Mayberry to the plate and he hit a 1-0 pitch into center for a single. Rollins scored to tie the game at 1-1. Hernandez threw to third trying to get Utley, but Utley slid in just safe, leaving the Phils with runners on the corners and two down in a tie game. Brown grounded to Lee with Lee throwing to second to force Mayberry and end the inning.

Second time in two days the Fish looked pretty comfortable pitching around Utley to get to Howard. Big strikeout for Howard for the second out, but Mayberry picks him up with a huge two-out single.

Rollins gets the inning started with a leadoff single to break up the no-hitter after making a big error in the top of the frame.

Kratz and Martinez went down to start the seventh. With Johnson still on the mound, Orr hit for Lee and singled to right. Orr stole second before Rollins lined a 2-0 pitch out to right for his second home run in two days, putting the Phils up 3-1. Pierre flew to left for the third out.

Huge two-out single for Orr gives Rollins a chance and Rollins comes through again.

Righty Ryan Webb pitched the eighth for Miami. Mayberry walked with two outs, but Brown flew to center to leave him at first.

Second walk in the game for Mayberry, who is suddenly a walking machine. He has walked 11 times in his last 54 plate appearances. Prior to those 54 plate appearances he had walked 18 times in 355 plate appearances for the year.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game with a two-run homer, which was the only extra-base hit for the Phillies. 5-for-11 with a walk and two home runs in the series. 249/307/423 on the year. 326/360/630 with four home runs in 50 plate appearances so far in September. He hit a big home run in game two of the set, broke up the no-hitter in the sixth inning last night and scored the first Phillies’s run, then hit the two-run homer that accounted for the other two runs the Phils scored.

Pierre 0-for-3. 3-for-7 with a double in the series. 9-for-22 (.409) so far in September. 306/347/368 for the year.

Utley was 0-for-2 with a walk. 4-for-9 with three walks and a double in the series. 254/362/449 for the season. 264/383/409 over his last 133 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 1-for-12 in the series. 171/261/220 in 46 plate appearances so far in September. 227/308/415 for the year.

Mayberry 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI in the game. 3-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. 255/311/426 for the season. 299/378/496 in 156 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with two walks and a home run in the series. 292/393/458 over his last 28 plate appearances. 248/329/360 for the year.

Kratz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-6 in the series. 0-for-his-last-13. 211/250/395 over his last 84 plate appearances after hitting 333/400/800 in his 50 PA previous to that. 256/306/545 for the season.

Martinez was 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-9 with two doubles in the series. 156/198/240. He’s a weird guy to start at third base every day if you’re trying to make the playoffs.

Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.24) faces righty Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.83) tonight in Houston. Cloyd will be making his fourth start of the year and it will come on short rest after Cloyd threw 76 pitches in the second game of the double-header against the Rockies on Sunday. Lefties have hit 409/480/727 against Cloyd over his first three starts. Harrell faced the Phillies on May 14, allowing three runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings. He has a 2.06 ERA in his 11 starts at home and a 5.06 ERA in his 17 starts on the road.


Wait till last year?

The ugliness continued for the Phillies last night as bad defense and awful work from their pen got together late and the Mets topped them 7-4.

Joe Blanton was charged with four runs over 6 2/3 innings in the game, but pitched a whole lot better than his line. He left with a 4-2 lead with two men on in the seventh. Qualls and Bastardo took over after that, facing three batters and getting just one out as the other two delivered RBI-singles. The Phils also put together just about the ugliest rundown you’ve ever seen in the frame.

The miserable performance of the bullpen continues as the Phils remain, by ERA, the worst bullpen in either league. The team’s bullpen ERA for the season is up to 4.95.

Over the last five games, the bullpen has been charged with more than one run in every game, allowing 13 runs (12 earned) in 13 innings and throwing to an 8.31 ERA with a 2.30 ratio. In 13 innings they’ve allowed 20 hits and ten walks. Those numbers don’t include the game they lost 15-13 on May 2 — in that game the bullpen was charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The pen has also allowed more than one run in eight of the last ten games. In one of those games they didn’t appear at all (Blanton’s complete game on May 3). There’s only one game in the last ten where the bullpen got at least one out and allowed less than two runs (May 1 against the Braves).

The Phillies are 14-17 on the year after losing to the New York Mets 7-4 last night. The Mets have won the first two games of the series. The Phillies have lost four of their last five games.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out seven.

Blanton walked Kirk Nieuwenhuis with one out in the first, but got David Wright on a fly ball to right and Lucas Duda swinging to leave him at first.

Up 2-0, he set the Mets down in order in the second.

Up 4-0, he threw a 1-2-3 third.

Nieuwenhuis doubled to center to start the fourth and moved to third when Wright flew to right for the first out. Duda followed with a walk, putting runners on first and third for Daniel Murphy. Murphy singled into left, scoring Nieuwenhuis to make it 4-1 with men on first and second. Blanton got Ike Davis and Jordany Valdespin, both on fly balls to center, to end the frame.

Blanton hit Mike Nickeas to start the fifth. Pitcher Miguel Batista bunted Nickeas to second with the first out and Nickeas took third when Andres Torres grounded to second for the second. Blanton struck out Nieuwenhuis to leave Nickeas at third.

Wright led off the sixth with a double. Blanton struck out Duda before Murphy moved Wright up to third with a ground out. He got behind Davis 2-0 before striking him out swinging 3-2 to end leave Wright at third.

Blanton walked Valdespin to start the seventh. He struck Nickeas out for the first out and righty Scott Hairston hit for the pitcher Manny Acosta. Hairston popped to second for the second out, but Torres followed and singled softly to right, moving Valdespin up to third. Nieuwenhuis followed with a single to right that scored Valdespin (4-2) and moved Torres to second. Qualls came in to pitch to Wright. Wright singled to right. Hunter fielded and threw home, but his throw wasn’t close to getting Torres, who scored to make it 4-3. Ruiz moved out in front of the plate to take the throw and Wright was caught up between first and second. Rollins threw to Orr covering first and Orr ran Wright towards second, but there was nobody covering second. Orr threw to third to try and Nieuwenhuis there, but his throw was in the dirt and got away for an error, allowing Nieuwenhuis to score and tie the game at 4-4 with two outs and Wright on third. Bastardo came in to pitch to the left Duda and Duda singled to right, scoring Wright to put New York on top 5-4. Murphy flew to center for the third out.

The Wright single play was really ugly. Don’t know why Pence threw home in the first place, cause there was no chance to get Torres. Don’t know why his throw wasn’t cut before making it home. Don’t know why nobody was covering second when Orr was running towards second. The thing that bothers me least about the play was the throw to third, which was in the dirt but could easily have been handled there to prevent the second run.

Qualls and Bastardo face three batters in the inning, allowing two singles and getting one out. Two runs score on the first single, with the help of ugly defense, and one on the second.

Qualls has with at least one run in four of his last six appearances, although the run he was charged with last night was unearned due to Orr’s throwing error. Over his last 4 1/3 innings, he has allowed nine hits and three walks.

Bastardo started the eighth. Davis led off and hit a ball to second that Orr didn’t handle for an error, his second in four batters. The lefty Valdespin flew to left for the second out. Contreras took over for Bastardo, pitching to the righty Nickeas. Ruiz threw Davis out trying to steal second before Nickeas fouled out to Mayberry to end the frame.

Bastardo allows the RBI-single to Duda in the seventh with the run charged to Qualls, then comes back to work around the Orr error in the eighth. He has allowed one hit and two walks over 4 2/3 innings without being charged with a run over his last five appearances. He has thrown two days in a row.

Schwimer started the ninth. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher Tim Byrdak and walked on six pitches. Torres moved Baxter to third with a single. Nieuwenhuis flew to left with both runners moving up a base. Baxter scored to make it 6-4 with one out and a man on second. Schwimer struck Wright out swinging for the second out. Savery came in to pitch to the lefty Duda. Duda singled to center on a ball deflected by Savery, scoring Torres to make it 7-4. Murphy grounded back to the pitcher to end the frame.

Second time in three innings that the Phillies bring in a lefty to face the lefty Duda and Duda delivers an RBI-single.

Schwimer has made five appearances on the season and been charged with runs in four of them. He has an 8.53 ERA for the year and opponents have on-based .400 against him. He’s allowed way too many hits and way too many walks in his short time with the Phillies this year. On the plus side, six of the seven hit he’s allowed have been singles.

Savery dropped his ERA to 4.50. It was the only outing of his last three in which he was not charged with a run.

Overall the pen goes 2 1/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. It was worse than that, though, cause two of the runs that scored after Blanton left were charged to Blanton.

Bastardo has thrown two days in a row and threw 18 pitches in the game. Schwimer 17 and everybody else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Miguel Batista went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Ruiz (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Orr. Mayberry starts at first against the righty with Nix on the bench with a sore calf. Pierre in left and hitting second. Ruiz hits fifth. The lefty Orr at second with the righty Galvis on the bench.

Pierre singled with one out and stole second before Victorino popped out for the second. Pence was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to center for his seventh home run of the year, putting the Phils up 2-0. Ruiz followed that with a double to center, put Polanco grounded to the pitcher to end the inning.

Mayberry led off the second and reached on a throwing error by Valdespin at short that left Mayberry on second. Mayberry took third on another error, a bad pickoff attempt by Batista. Orr singled into center and Mayberry scored, putting the Phils up 3-0. Blanton struck out trying to bunt before Orr stole second. Rollins followed that with a walk, putting men on first and second for Pierre. Pierre flew to center for the second out, but Victorino was next and lined a ball over short and into the gap in left center for a double that scored Orr (4-0) and moved Rollins to third. Pence flew to center for the third out.

Mayberry singled with two outs in the third, but Orr flew to left behind him.

Blanton started the fourth with a walk with the lead cut to 4-1. Rollins grounded into a double-play behind him. Pierre grounded to second to end the inning.

The Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Mayberry singled to center with one out in the sixth and moved to third when Orr followed with a double. Righty Manny Acosta came in to pitch to Blanton and Blanton went down on a ground ball to second with the runners holding for the second out. Rollins struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded.

No runs for the Phils after putting men on second and third with one out.

The Phillies were down 5-4 when they hit in the seventh. Righty Ramon Ramirez walked Victorino with one out. Pence was next and grounded to third with Victorino forced at second for the second out. Ruiz grounded to second to end the inning.

Polanco reached on an infield single off of Ramirez to start the eighth. He took second on a wild pitch before Mayberry lined hard to second for the first out. He took third on another wild pitch before Orr struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that was off of the plate. Nix hit for Contreras. Lefty Tim Byrdak came in to pitch to Nix. Wigginton hit for Nix and flew to center to set the Phillies down.

No run for the Phillies after putting a runner on third with one out. Awful at-bat by Orr, striking out on a pitch out of the strike zone when the Mets were looking like they might be happy to let the righty Ramirez walk the lefty Orr.

Down 7-4, Pierre singled off of righty Jon Rauch with one out in the ninth. Victorino flew to left and Pence grounded to third to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a walk in the game. 3-for-his-last-21.

Pierre 2-for-4. 337/396/361 for the season. Among the 115 NL players with 75 plate appearances, his .396 on-base percentage is 12th.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk and a double. 10-for-his-last-30 with four walks and four extra-base hits.

Pence 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. 1-for-8 so far in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double.

Polanco 1-for-4. 5-for-his-last-12.

Mayberry 2-for-4. 296/310/370 over his last 29 plate appearances.

Orr was 2-for-4 with a double, two errors and an ugly strikeout in the eighth. His .455 slugging percentage is fourth-best on the team.

Lee (0-1, 1.96) returns from the DL to face righty Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.50) tonight. Lee threw ten shutout innings against the Giants on April 18, which was his last start before hitting the DL. Gee has walked just one right-handed batter in his five starts on the season. He’s made four appearances against the Phils in his career (three starts) in which he’s thrown to a 7.85 ERA and a 1.85 ratio.


After spending most of the month looking for the offense, some wonder if it might have been in Arizona all along

Always the last place you look.

The Phillies have hit just 12 home runs this season, but three of them came last night as an offensive explosion and a solid start by Vance Worley got them past the Diamondbacks.

Laynce Nix had a fantastic game, going 3-for-3 with a long home run and hitting another ball off the wall. Pence, just off of missing a game with a shoulder problem and coming into the game 1-for-his-last-16, homered as well. Victorino hit his second home run in two days.

Over the last two games, the Phillies have scored 13 runs. Coming into the series in Arizona, the Phils had scored ten runs in their last six games combined.

Last night’s game was the first time this season that the Phillies have won a game in which they allowed more than two runs.

The Phillies are 8-10 on the year after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the series, with the Snakes outscoring the Phils 14-13.

Worley started the game for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out six and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.16 after four starts. He has struck out 27 in 25 innings for the year. Over his last two starts he has allowed one run over 13 innings while striking out 17.

Justin Upton singled to center with two outs in the first, but Worley got Miguel Montero to fly to left for the third out.

Cody Ransom singled to center with two outs in the second, but Worley got Willie Bloomquist on a ball Worley handled himself to end the inning.

Worley walked Aaron Hill with two outs in the third. Upton hit a ball hard, but Worley again took it himself for the third out.

Third straight inning that Worley had gotten the first two batters in the inning before allowing the third to reach base.

He started the fourth up 4-0 and set the Snakes down in order.

Ransom led off the bottom of the fifth and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left, cutting the Phillies lead to 4-1. Worley got the next two before Parra doubled to left. Hill was next and Worley hit him, putting runners on first and second with two down for Upton. Upton grounded to second to end the inning.

Montero led off the sixth with a single to right, but Worley struck Jason Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt out behind him. Ransom grounded to third to end the inning.

Contreras started the seventh with a 7-1 lead. Bloomquist led off with a double to right on a ball deflected by Victorino. Ryan Roberts hit for the pitcher Bryan Shaw and he doubled, scoring Bloomquist. 7-2. Parra was next and grounded a ball past a diving Orr and into right center for another double. Roberts scored and it was 7-3. Contreras struck out Hill for the first out before Parra stole third. Upton grounded to short for the second out, with Parra coming in to score and cut the lead to 7-4. Bastardo came in to face the lefty Montero and got him to pop to short to end the inning.

Contreras faces five batters in the inning, allowing three runs on three doubles and a stolen base. After three outings, he’s allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings for the season.

Bastardo still hasn’t gotten more than two outs in any of his five appearances, but has struck out five in 2 2/3 innings and been charged with just one run.

Qualls started the eighth with the Phils up 8-4. Kubel led off and hit a 2-0 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 8-5. Qualls struck out Goldschmidt, Ransom and Bloomquist behind Kubel.

That’s the first run that Qualls has been charged with for the season. In seven innings he’s allowed one run on four hits and two walks. He hasn’t allowed a lot of homers over his career, so let’s hope he doesn’t start now.

Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a three-run lead to get his sixth save of the year.

Papelbon has allowed one run on six hits and two walks over eight innings so far.

Overall, the bullpen went three innings in the game, allowing four runs on four hits and no walks while striking out five.

Contreras has thrown two days in a row, with less than fantastic results. He threw 15 pitches in the game. Qualls threw 15 and Papelbon and Bastardo were both under ten.

Michael Stutes has been put on the DL with right shoulder inflammation and Michael Schwimmer called up.

The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Collmenter went (1) Pierre (2) Orr (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Nix (8) Schneider. Pence returns after taking a day off with a shoulder problem. Galvis and Ruiz on the bench with Orr at second and Schneider catching. Wigginton at third with Polanco on the bench. Mayberry on the bench with Pierre in right despite going 2-for-4 with a double and an outfield assist in game one of the set.

Pierre led off the bottom of the first with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal second for the first out. Orr and Rollins went down behind him.

Three stolen bases for the year for Pierre and two caught stealings. He’s also been picked off once.

Pence and Wigginton struck out in a 1-2-3 second.

Nix hit a ball off the middle of the wall in right for a long single to start the third. Schneider flew to right for the first out. Worley was next and bunted, but Collmenter threw to second to force Nix for the second out. Pierre grounded to Collmenter to set the Phillies down.

Worley can’t move Nix up to second with the bunt, which might have cost the Phils a run given that Orr singled to start the fourth.

Orr singled to right to start the fourth. Rollins was next and grounded to second with Orr forced at second for the first out. Pence was next and hit the first pitch of his at-bat just out to right for a two-run homer, putting the Phils on top 2-0. Victorino popped to second for the second out before Wigginton doubled to left. Nix was next and he blasted the first pitch of his at-bat way out to right for his first homer with the Phils. 4-0. Schneider singled before Worley struck out to leave him at first.

Three extra-base hits in the inning for the Phillies. Pence and Nix both hit their homers off of Collmenter on the first pitch of their at-bat.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

With the lead cut to 4-1, they went in order again in the sixth.

Nix and Schneider singled back-to-back to start the seventh, putting runners on first and second for Worley. Polanco hit for Worley with the righty Collmenter still on the mound for Arizona. Righty Bryan Shaw came in to pitch to Polanco and Polanco bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Pierre was next and he hit a ball into left that appeared to have been caught by a sliding Kubel. The Phillies, however, got the call and Pierre had a single that loaded the bases for Orr. Orr lined a triple into the right-field corner, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 7-1. Rollins struck out swinging for the second out. Pence flew to center for the third.

Pierre was out, but the Phils get the call an extra run. Rollins strikes out with a man on third base and one out after the Orr triple.

Victorino led off the eighth with the lead cut to 7-4 and homered to left, extending the lead to 8-4. Wigginton flew to left for the first out. Ruiz hit for Bastardo and flew to left for the second. Mayberry hit for Schneider and popped to first for the third.

Second homer in two games for Victorino. Third home run in the game for the Phillies.

Polanco, Thome (hitting for Qualls) and Galvis went in order in the ninth with the lead cut to 8-5.

Thome struck out swinging for the second out. He’s now 2-for-17 on the season (.118) with two singles and ten strikeouts in 19 plate appearances.

The Phillies scored eight runs in the game without a walk.

Pierre was 2-for-4 with a caught stealing, upping his line on the year to 333/357/370.

Orr was 2-for-4 with a three-run triple. He’s 4-for-11 on the season with three extra-base hits and leads the team in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a strikeout with Orr on third and one out in the seventh. He’s hitting .229 for the year after going 2-for-his-last-25.

Pence 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. He was 1-for-his-last-16 coming into the game.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a home run. He’s homered two days in a row, but is 2-for-his-last-16 with two home runs.

Wigginton 1-for-4 with a double. 353/410/529 in his last 39 plate appearances since going 1-for-9 to start the season.

Nix was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, upping his line to 333/391/619 for the year after 23 plate appearances. He went 0-for-5 to start the season and has gone 7-for-16 with a walk, three doubles and a home run since (438/471/813).

Schneider 2-for-3 to up his average to .267. He’s 4-for-his-last-9.

Cole Hamels (2-1, 2.95) faces righty Trevor Cahill (1-1, 2.84) this afternoon. Hamels has allowed three runs over 13 innings in his last two starts and has 23 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings for the year. Cahill allowed seven runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings in his most recent outing. He has allowed just 13 hits in 19 innings, but walked ten.


News bittersweet as Phils win, but pleas to extend Spring Training by like 120 games or so fall on deaf ears

Phils topped the Pirates 7-2 last night in their final game before opening the regular season on Thursday. They end their official Spring Training games with a 14-16-4 mark.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was fantastic, throwing four shutout innings in which he allowed three hits, no walks and struck out five. In seven Spring Training starts, Hamels threw to a 2.93 ERA with a 1.19 ratio.

Bastardo started the fifth, throwing on back-to-back days. He faced three batters, got two of them and allowed a single to the other. Herndon took over with two outs and a man on first and allowed a double and a single to the first two men he faced before getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Bastardo ends Spring Training with an 0.81 ratio, but a 4.15 ERA. I feel pretty sure that if he keeps throwing to an 0.81 ratio, his ERA is going to be a whole lot better than 4.15. Last year, for example, his ratio was 0.93 and his ERA 2.64.

Herndon finishes with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. Opponents hit .288 against him, but in 16 1/3 innings he struck out 14 and walked just two.

Valdes threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Qualls threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Valdes will not make the team despite a 1.32 ERA and an 0.88 ratio and 14 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

Qualls 4.22 ERA and 1.03 ratio. Opponents hit just .179 against him, but he walked four in 10 2/3 innings.

Papelbon finishes with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. He held opponents to a .229 average, but walked five in 11 2/3 innings.

Polanco was 1-for-3 in the game and hit a three-run homer in the fifth. He ends Spring Training at 429/478/571.

Galvis had another extra-base hit, doubling in his only at-bat. 280/295/476 in 82 at-bats. He led the team with 14 RBI.

Nix also doubled in what was an awful spring for him. He was 1-for-4 with a double in the game and winds up at 208/300/264.

Ruiz was 1-for-2 with a double. 479/500/771 in 48 at-bats. .771? Yup. 23-for-48 with eight doubles and two home runs.

Mayberry ends his ugly spring with a good day, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 203/259/304. He gets a big do-over starting on Thursday — he and the Phils could both use it, cause they’re going to need him to not hit .203 with no power.

We’ll probably be seeing a lot of Wigginton in the early going, too. He was 0-for-1 last night to drop his line to 185/260/246.

Roy Halladay faces lefty Erik Bedard on Thursday.

Joe Savery made the team and so did Pete Orr. Podsednik (309/377/455) and Luna (302/351/528) did not. Neither did Raul Valdes.

Valdes was significantly better than his fellow lefty Savery this Spring Training. Valdes threw 13 2/3 innings with a 1.32 ERA and an 0.88 ratio while striking out 14. Savery threw to a 3.48 ERA with a 1.45 ratio and struck out nine in 10 1/3 innings.

Pierre winds up outhitting Podsednik. 377/433/426 in 61 at-bats for Pierre and 309/377/455 in 55 at-bats for Podsednik.

This says Stutes and Herndon will start the year with the Phils.

That makes 25.

Hitters (13): Ruiz, Schneider, Thome, Mayberry, Wigginton, Galvis, Orr, Rollins, Polanco, Nix, Pierre, Victorino, Pence.

Pitchers (12): Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Worley, Kendrick, Papelbon, Savery, Bastardo, Qualls, Stutes, Herndon.


Half and better half

The Phillies played 82 games from the start of the season to the end of June, going 51-31. In those 82 games, they were eighth in the NL in runs scored. After June, the Phils played 80 games, going 51-29. They led the league in runs scored in those 80 games.

Here’s a look back at what the offense did by position, breaking the season down into two halves — the 82 games through the end of June and the 80 games after the start of July.

Catcher:

Ruiz served as the primary catcher for the Phils in both the first and second half of the season. He was simply much better during the second half (after the end of June) than he was in the first.

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 221 3 16 243 348 333
July to End 251 3 24 317 391 425

Ruiz played a little more in the second half and showed more power, but mostly just got a lot more hits, hitting .317 in the second half after hitting .243 in the first. He actually walked a little less regularly in the second half, about 9.2% of his plate appearances compared to about 11.3% in the first half, but his on-base percentage was a whole lot better thanks to the much better batting average.

First base:

At first, Howard fared about as well after the end of June as he had in the first 82 games of the year:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 353 17 64 254 354 488
July to End 291 16 52 252 337 488

Very similar numbers for Howard in both halves. He walked more regularly in the first half, but hit for nearly the same average with about the same power.

The Phils did see a benefit at the position in the second half of the year thanks to John Mayberry. Mayberry started just ten games at first the whole year, but nine of those starts came after the end of June. Mayberry crushed the ball in 2011 while playing first for the Phillies — in his 45 plate appearances while playing first he put up a monster 409/422/682 line.

Second:

Second base was an offensive disaster for the Phils in the early part of the season. Chase Utley returned at the end of May and hit .222 in 27 May at-bats, but followed that up with a fantastic June in which he hit 297/387/470. He was even better in July as he hit 293/369/550. From August 1 to the end of the regular season he hit a meager 227/305/343. Here’s what his numbers first and second half look like:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 140 3 16 280 381 449
July to End 314 8 28 250 328 414

Utley was simply not good after the end of June, hitting just .250 and on-basing .328. As uninspired as those numbers are, they still were a significant improvement for a team that struggled to find offense from the position while Utley was out.

Here’s the numbers of games started at second base for the Phils in the first and second halves of the year:

1st Half (April-June) 2nd half (July-end)
Utley 31 (37.8%) 69 (86.3%)
Valdez 31 (37.8%) 2 (2.5%)
Orr 16 (19.5%) 4 (7.5%)
Martinez 4 (4.9%) 3 (3.7%)

So Utley started about 38% of the games at second through the end of June and about 86% of the games after June. And even though he wasn’t hitting particularly Utley-like, that’s still important. Cause even a sluggish Utley is a whole lot better offensively than those other guys. Here’s what the four guys who started games for the Phillies at second did offensively while playing that position in 2011:

PA AVG OBP SLG
Utley 451 257 340 423
Valdez 126 246 289 307
Orr 82 213 280 240
Martinez 30 241 267 379

Even an Utley way off his game was way better than the rest of those guys, most notably out on-basing the second-best on-base percentage in the group (Valdez) by more than fifty points.

After Utley returned to the Phillies on May 23, the Phils led the NL in runs scored the rest of the way. That was despite the fact that the offense wasn’t good at all in June, though, as the Phils finished eleventh in the NL that month. Because the offense was so terrible in June (despite a monster 297/387/470 line for Utley for the month) it’s hard for me to see his return as the turnaround point for the offense. The offense was best in the NL after that date because 1) they were fantastic in July, better than any other NL team, and very strong in August and September and 2) in the nine games from May 23 to the end of May, the Phils played nine games and scored 51 runs or 5.67 runs per game.

Third base:

Polanco, you may have noticed, was atrocious in 2011. He didn’t start out that way, though. He hit nearly .400 in April, putting up a 398/447/524 line over 114 plate appearances. After that he hit 243/304/287 the rest of the way.

He played a lot less in the second half of the season, and without the huge April his numbers were a lot worse:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 340 4 39 288 339 363
July to End 183 1 11 258 328 294

When he did play in the second half, Polanco’s walk rate rose a little (8.7% of plate appearances compared to 7.6% in the first half), but his average was way off and his power nearly gone altogether. He had four extra-base hits from July 1 to the end of the year.

Here’s who started at third for the Phils through the end of June and after the start of July:

1st Half (April-June) 2nd half (July-end)
Polanco 76 (92.7%) 39 (48.8%)
Valdez 6 (7.3%) 15 (18.7%)
Martinez 0 (0%) 24 (30.0%)
Orr 0 (0%) 2 (2.5%)

Polanco got more than 90% of the starts in the first 82 games of the year for the Phils. After the start of July, Valdez, Martinez and Orr combined to start more often at third than he did.

Here’s what the guys did offensively while playing third for the Phils this year:

PA AVG OBP SLG
Polanco 513 280 337 343
Martinez 104 231 304 352
Valdez 84 253 286 354
Orr 7 000 000 000

Unlike second base, there was not a huge improvement at the position when the Phils got their starter on the field. For the year, Valdez and Martinez both offered significantly more power from the position while getting on base a little less. Not to be forgotten is that Polanco hit 243/304/287 for the year after the end of April — both Martinez and Valdez gave the Phils more offense at third when they played than Polanco did after his strong April.

Short:

At shortstop, Jimmy Rollins was a much better offensive player in the second half of the year than he was in the first.

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 352 7 31 254 327 368
July to End 279 9 32 286 351 437

More hits and more power for Rollins in the second half of the season than the first. His walk rate was down, but just a tiny bit, and thanks to all the hits his on-base percentage was up to .351. From June 26 through August 20, Rollins hit 298/372/461 over 215 plate appearances.

He didn’t play nearly as much in the second half as he did the first. Valdez made 20 starts at short on the season and 15 of them came after the start of July. Valdez had solid numbers while playing short for the Phils in 2011, though, posting a 278/338/414 line over 81 plate appearances. That’s very similar to the 272/340/417 line that Rollins put up while playing short in 2011.

While playing short for the Phils in 2011, Valdez posted a 278/338/414 line over 81 plate appearances. He got 219 plate appearances as something other than a shortstop. In those plate appearances he hit 239/277/313.

Left field:

Ibanez didn’t play as much in left field in the second half of the season, but when he did he was a little better:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 309 9 34 235 285 393
July to End 266 11 50 256 293 448

He was still terrible at getting on base, but Ibanez did show a bit more power in the second half of the year.

Ibanez started in left in 72 of the first 82 (87.8%) games of the season for the Phils. After the start of July the Phils played 80 games and he started just 59 (73.7%). The other 21 second-half starts were made by Mayberry (12) and Francisco (nine).

Both of those guys were fantastic in the second half. Here’s what the two did after the start of July (at all positions, not just left field):

PA AVG OBP SLG
Mayberry 179 301 358 607
Francisco 65 322 354 407

Mayberry was absolutely fantastic in the second half, hitting 12 home runs in 179 plate appearances while on-basing .358. That’s a lot of home runs — at that pace he would hit about 37 over a season of 550 plate appearances. For the season, he actually hit 15 over 296 plate appearances, which would have him at about 25 over 550 plate appearances.

Francisco hardly played at all after the start of July, but when he did he hit .322. That’s more than a hundred points higher than the .220 he hit in 228 plate appearances in the first 82 games of the season when he had a chance to cement his status as an everyday player. Just a tiny number of chances for Francisco in the second half, but I do think it’s curious that he seemingly forgot all about try to walk and hit .322. In the first 82 games of the season he walked in 12.7% of his plate appearances and in the last 80 he got just 65 plate appearances but walked in only 6.2% of them.

As bad as Francisco was with the Phils in 2011, he on-based .340 for the season, which was a career high. I think there’s a good chance that the Phils are going to regret having given him away.

Center Field:

Victorino played about as much in center the first and second halves of the season with about the same results.

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 288 9 31 289 359 504
July to End 298 8 30 270 351 479

More hits in the first half, more walks in the second with about the same power all season long. Victorino started 63 of the 82 first half games (76.8%) and 63 of the 80 second-half games (78.5%). He really only had one month of the season where he wasn’t an outstanding offensive player in 2011 and that was September. After going 2-for-4 with a walk against the Fish on September 2, Victorino was hitting a silly 308/384/542 for the season. He would hit 163/237/288 in 115 plate appearances the rest of the way. Curiously the Phils kept playing him and playing him down the stretch, even after they clinched and he continued to slump. Victorino got 125 plate appearances in September, which led the team and was also the most he had in any month in 2011.

There were 34 games for the Phils in 2011 when Victorino didn’t start at center. Mayberry started 26 of them and Martinez eight. Martinez was predictably terrible, going 5-for-39 with five singles and no walks (128/128/128).

Overall for the year, Mayberry didn’t get on base a whole lot in his 115 plate appearances as a center fielder, but he did show a ton of power. He posted a 236/296/472 line in center for the season.

In his 13 starts in center field in the first half of the year, Mayberry was wretched. In those 13 games he hit 191/255/277. In the second half he started 13 games as well, but with much different results, posting a 291/328/673. In 13 second-half starts in center, Mayberry went 16-for-55 with 12 of the 16 hits going for extra-bases — seven doubles, a triple and four home runs. Four home over 13 starts is impressive, but so is seven doubles. At that pace, over 162 starts you would tally about 50 home runs and 87 doubles.

Right field:

Hunter Pence was traded from the Astros in late July and played his first game with the Phils on July 30. He was great in August (340/413/600) and almost as great in September (317/385/550).

For the 2011 season, Pence hit 325/396/563 in 235 plate appearances as the right field fielder for the Phillies.

This is what the guys for the Phils other than Pence who played right field for the Phils did in 2011 while playing right field:

PA AVG OBP SLG
Francisco 208 232 335 367
Brown 205 240 332 391
Mayberry 26 318 423 727
Gload 10 300 300 300
Bowker 2 000 000 000
Moss 2 000 000 000

Mayberry had some nifty numbers in 26 plate appearances and Gload went 3-for-10, but those guys were bad overall. Most notably, Brown and Francisco combined to get 413 plate appearances in which they hit a meager 236/333/379 combined.

To summarize:

  • In right, Pence arrived at the end of July and was not just good but great, hitting 324/394/560 over 236 plate appearances with the Phils.
  • At second, the first half production was miserable. Utley returned on May 23 and gave the Phils an enormous boost, replacing at-bats by Valdez, Orr and Martinez with Utley at-bats. He didn’t have a Chase Utley-like performance after the start of July, hitting just 250/328/414 from the start July to the end of the season, but it was still enough to give the Phils a huge boost at the position.
  • At catcher, Ruiz was a better hitter after the start of July. Getting about the same playing time in both halves, Ruiz hit 243/348/333 before the start of July and 317/391/425 from the start of July to the end of the regular season.
  • At short, Rollins, like Ruiz, was just better at offensively during the second half, hitting 286/351/437 after the start of July having ended June with a 254/327/368 line.
  • In left, Ibanez was bad both halves, but did get better in the second half and showed more power. He also played less in the second half as Francisco and Mayberry combined to make 21 starts in left. Francisco was good in limited time in the second half and Mayberry was great, hitting 301/358/607.
  • In center, Victorino had similar numbers both halves with a little drop off after July. Mayberry started the same number of games in center in the first and second halves (13), but had much better numbers in his 13 starts in center after July than before it. In 13 starts in center before the end of June he hit 191/255/277. In his 13 starts in center after the start of July he hit 291/328/673.
  • At first base, Ryan Howard had similar numbers in both halves. The Phils got a small bump at the position from Mayberry at the second half when Mayberry started nine of the ten games he started at first for the season. For the year, Mayberry hit a silly 409/422/682 as a 1B.
  • At third, Polanco, awful with the bat in 2011, did see less time at third during the second half of the year, but his fantastic April plus the fact that the guys who replaced him at third when he didn’t play in the second half didn’t do much of anything to help the Phillies.

Again, the Phils got a huge boost from Mayberry in the last 80 games, helping out in left, center and at first base.

A big question about the second-half surge seems to be whether Utley’s return or Pence’s arrival was a bigger factor. My thinking is that Pence was a bigger factor from July to the end of the year, but Utley’s return was likely a bigger factor for the year. More on that soon.

The comments close two weeks after a post is published, which is why we could not continue the discussion from the previous about whether or not David Wright is coming to the Phils. He’s not. Or at least a lot of people are going to be real surprised if he is.


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