Tag: pete orr

Backwards night at the park not a big hit with the Phils

Everything was a little upside down last night in Houston. Former Astro Roy Oswalt pitched for the Phillies with former Astro Hunter Pence playing right field. Former Phil Brett Myers started for the Astros. Joe Blanton pitched in relief.

Oh, and the Phils looked awful. And lost. 5-1. They didn’t do much of anything with Myers, who dropped his ERA on the year to 4.52 by holding them to a run over eight innings. The Phils weren’t charged with an error in the game, but looked pretty bad in the field. During one three-batter stretch in the fourth, the Phils had a ball go off of Ibanez’s glove in left for a hit, Jimmy Rollins and Pete Orr knocked each other down trying to field a ground ball behind second and Oswalt couldn’t handle a relay from second on a would-be double-play. Again, no errors, but you want to make some of those plays if you’re only going to score one run.

Oswalt again didn’t pitch well for the Phils. In his last five starts he’s had two really good outings, but the other three times out he’s allowed 14 runs in 19 innings. Since the end of May, Oswalt has made 13 appearances with the Phils (12 starts) in which he has thrown to a 4.66 ERA and opponents have hit .314 against him.

The Phillies are 94-50 on the year after falling 5-1 to the Houston Astros last night. The Phils have lost two in a row, but won six of their last eight. Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one. They lead the NL East by 12 games over the second-place Braves. The Braves have 14 games left to play and lead the Cardinals by 4 1/2 games in the Wild Card hunt.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on 11 hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out five.

He set the Astros down in order in the bottom of the first, getting Jordan Schafer on a fly ball to left, Angel Sanchez on a fly ball to center and striking JD Martinez out swinging.

Carlos Lee singled to left to start the second with the Phils up 1-0, but Oswalt got Brian Bogusevic to ground into a double-play behind him. Jimmy Paredes popped to Rollins for the third out.

Oswalt got Jose Altuve on a fly ball to center for the first out of the third. Humberto Quintero grounded to short for the second before pitcher Brett Myers singled to right. Schafer followed that with a walk, but Oswalt got Sanchez on a fly ball to right to leave both runners stranded.

Martinez doubled to right to start the fourth. Lee grounded to third for the first out with Martinez holding second. Bogusevic was next and he hit a ball to left that went off of Ibanez’s glove for a single that moved Martinez up to third. With men on first and third, Paredes hit a ground ball up the middle that Rollins and Orr both tried to field at the same time just to the right of second base. They ran into each other and both fell to the ground. Paredes was safe with a single, Martinez scored to tie the game at 1-1 and Bogusevic took second. Altuve was next and hit a ball to first. Howard went to second to force Paredes for the second out. Oswalt covered first but the relay from Rollins went off of Oswalt’s glove and Altuve was safe. Bogusevic moved up to third on the play. Quintero was the next batter, with two men down and men on first and third, and he doubled into the right field corner. Bogusevic scored to put Houston up 2-1 and Altuve took third. Myers grounded to second for the third out.

Oswalt got the first two to start the fifth before Martinez singled to right. Lee was next and he hammered an 0-2 pitch out to left for a two-run homer that put the Astros on top 4-1. Oswalt struck out Bogusevic for the third out.

Quintero and Myers singled back-to-back with two outs in the sixth, putting men on first and second for Schafer. Schafer lined to short for the third out.

Martinez singled yet again with one out in the seventh. Lee was next and Oswalt hit him on the hand with a pitch. Martinez moved up to third on a wild pitch before Bogusevic hit a ground ball to second. Lee was forced at second for the second out and Martinez scored from third to make it 5-1. Paredes followed with a walk, putting men on first and second, but Oswalt got Altuve on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Martinez made a great play for the first out of the seventh. Sanchez chopped a ball to third and Martinez leaped high to snare it and made a strong throw to first in time for the first out.

Blanton, Joe Blanton, pitched the eighth, making his first appearance for the Phils since May 14. Quintero led off with a single to left. Righty Jason Michaels hit for Myers and popped to third for the first out. Blanton struck Schafer out swinging for the second out and got Sanchez to ground to Rollins for the third.

Blanton dropped his ERA on the year to 5.35 with the scoreless inning.

The Phillies lineup against righty Brett Myers went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Orr (8) Martinez. Rollins returns to the starting lineup for the Phils with Polanco on the bench and Martinez at third. Orr plays second with Utley still sidelined.

Pence doubled to right with two outs in the first, but Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave him at second.

Ibanez doubled to left to start the second. Ruiz grounded to short for the first out before Orr singled into center, scoring Ibanez to put the Phils up 1-0. Orr stole second and moved up to third when Martinez grounded to first for the second out. Oswalt grounded to first as well, leaving Orr at third.

Pence singled with two outs in the third and stole second, but Howard flew to left to leave him stranded.

Ruiz singled to right with one out in the fourth. Orr flew to center for the second out and Martinez grounded back to the mound.

Down 2-1, the Phils went in order in the fifth.

They were down 4-1 when they hit in the sixth. Ibanez walked with two outs, but Ruiz flew to center behind him.

They went in order again in the seventh.

Down 5-1, Rollins singled to start the eighth. Victorino flew to left for the first out, Pence grounded to second with Rollins moving up to second for the second. Howard grounded out to Altuve to end the frame.

Righty Mark Melancon took over for Myers in the ninth. Ibanez led off with a walk. Ruiz flew to right for the first out and Orr flew to center for the second. Polanco hit for Martinez and walked, putting men on first and second. Gload hit for Blanton and grounded to second.

Interesting non-use of Bowker there against the righty. Manuel must have felt Polanco was the better bet to get on base, or maybe he’d be better off waiting to use Bowker if the Phils got men on base. Polanco is on-basing .313 against righties for the season.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single in his return.

Victorino 0-for-4. 176/256/311 over his last 82 plate appearances. Really looks like a good candidate for a day off.

Pence 2-for-4 with a double. He’s hitting .408 (13-for-32 with four doubles, a triple and a home run) over his last eight games.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s 3-for-his-last-16 with eight strikeouts.

Ibanez 1-for-2 with a double and two walks. 360/418/600 in his last 55 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 389/457/472 over his last 82 plate appearances.

Martinez was 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-his-last-19 with four walks. He has started nine of the 12 games the Phils have played in September, going 5-for-29 with a double and a home run (172/314/310).

Hamels (14-7, 2.60) faces lefty JA Happ (5-15, 5.77) tonight. Happ is having a miserable year — righties (273/362/473) and lefties (295/356/457) are both hitting him hard. Hamels been very good against righties this season, holding them to a 196/244/298 line for the season, but has allowed more home runs in his recent outings. From May 13 to July 27, Hamels made 15 starts in which he faced 411 batters and hit four home runs. Over his last two starts he has allowed four home runs to the 60 batters he has faced.


Worleywind tour comes to an end in Milwaukee

The Phils completed their series with the Brewers this weekend, taking two of the final three games to take three of four in the series. The series concludes a stretch of seven games against two of the National League’s best teams in which the Phils went 6-1.

On Friday the Phils won game two of the series 5-3. Howard hit a three-run homer in the top of the first to put the Phils up 3-0, which is how it stayed until the seventh. In the seventh, RBI-singles by Ibanez and Ruiz extended the lead to 5-0. Howard didn’t allow a run until the bottom of the seventh, when a leadoff double by Casey McGehee led to a run on a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt, cutting the lead to 5-1. Bastardo started the ninth and allowed the only two batters he faced to reach on single and a walk. Both came in to score after Madson took over for Bastardo, but the Phils held on for the win.

Over his last three appearances, Bastardo has now faced eight batters. Six of them have reached base on two hits and four walks.

Saturday the Phils won 3-2 in ten innings. Pence put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run in the top of the first, but the Brewers tied it up in the bottom of the second on an RBI-single by Betancourt. Lee gave up a second run in the fourth when Ryan Braun led off with a single, Prince Fielder followed with a double and Braun came in on a ground out by Casey McGehee to put the Brewers up 2-1. Polanco tied things up at 2-2 with a two-out homer to center in the fifth. Ibanez led off the tenth with a double and Ruiz tried to bunt him to third, but LaTroy Hawkins threw the ball away and Ibanez scored to put the Phils up to stay at 3-2. Lidge, Stutes and Madson combined to throw three scoreless innings in the game after Lee held the Brewers to two runs over seven innings.

The Phils lost yesterday’s game 3-2, dropping a game started by Worley for the first time in 15 outings.

The Phillies are 94-49 on the year after falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take two of the last three games in the series and three of four in the set overall. After a win on Saturday the Phillies were 46 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization. They are in first place in the NL East, 12 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Corey Hart led off the bottom of the first with a single and Nyjer Morgan bunted him to second with the first out. Braun grounded to second for the second out with Hart moving up to third. Worley struck Fielder out looking 3-2 to leave Hart at third.

Worley walked Rickie Weeks to start the second, but struck Taylor Green out behind him for the first out. Betancourt moved Weeks to second with a single to left and a wild pitch by Worley allowed the runners to take second and third. Jonathan Lucroy grounded to second, with Orr going to Howard for the second out as Weeks scored (1-0) and Betancourt moved up to third. The pitcher Yovani Gallardo grounded to short to end the inning.

Morgan doubled to right with one out in the third and moved up to third on a ground out by Braun. Fielder popped to Martinez at short for the third out.

Worley hit Weeks with his first pitch in the bottom of the fourth, but got Green, Betancourt and Lucroy in order behind Weeks.

Gallardo doubled to right on a ball that Pence either didn’t see well or didn’t play well. Worley struck out Hart before Gallardo took third on a balk. Morgan flew to right with Gallardo holding for the second out and Braun flew to Pence deep in right for the third out.

Worley started the sixth up 2-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Fielder, but got the next three hitters in order.

Hart doubled to left with two outs in the seventh. Morgan followed that with a double to right, plating Hart and tying the game at 2-2. Braun was next and singled into right. Morgan scored and Milwaukee led 3-2. Schwimer took over for Worley and struck Fielder out swinging 2-2 to leave Braun at first.

Just the second of five appearances for Schwimer on the year in which he isn’t charged with at least one run.

Herndon pitched the eighth. He walked Craig Counsell with one out, but got the next two hitters behind him.

First appearance for Herndon since his 69-pitch outing on September 4.

Herndon threw 19 pitches and Schwimer five. Nobody in the pen has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Yovani Gallardo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Orr (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Orr at second and Martinez at short with Rollins active but on the bench and Valdez sidelined after hurting his left hamstring stealing a base on Saturday. Schneider catches the day game with Ruiz on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard led off the second with a single, but Ibanez, Orr and Schneider all struck out behind him.

Down 1-0, Worley walked with one out in the third. Victorino was next and he grounded to second with Worley forced at second for the second out. Victorino stole second before Polanco grounded to short to set the Phils down.

Howard and Ibanez struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Orr struck out swinging on a wild pitch to start the fifth and made it safely to first. Orr stole second as Schneider struck out again for the first out. Martinez moved Orr to third with a ground out, but Worley struck out to leave Orr at third.

Phils waste the leadoff strikeout by Orr.

Victorino led off the sixth and homered to right center to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco and Pence went down behind him before Howard hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center to put the Phils up 2-1. Ibanez struck out for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh.

Down 3-2 and with righty Francisco Rodriguez pitching for Milwaukee, Gload hit for Schwimer to start the inning and singled to right. Mayberry ran for Gload at first and Victorino flew to right for the first out. Polanco grounded to third with Mayberry forced at second for the second out. Pence moved Polanco to third with a single, but Howard grounded to second to end the frame.

Gload still has to be replaced by a pinch-runner with his hip after reaching base to start the inning. That costs the Phils a bench player and a good one in this case in Mayberry. The Phils used two pinch-hitters in the ninth and they went 0-for-2. If Rollins can hit they surely would have used him, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t have used Mayberry even against the righty Axford instead of Bowker if Mayberry had been available. He wasn’t.

Righty John Axford started the ninth for Milwaukee with a one-run lead. He struck Ibanez out for the first out before Orr singled to center. Rollins hit for Schneider and struck out swinging for the second out. Martinez was next and drew a walk, pushing Orr to second as the tying run. Bowker hit for Herndon and popped to third to end the game.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game. 3-for-19 in the four-game set with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 295/371/516 for the year but just 204/278/327 so far in September.

Polanco 0-for-4 yesterday. 5-for-18 with a home run in the series. 278/332/343 for the year. His home run in Saturday’s game was his first since June 10.

Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 7-for-17 in the series with two walks, a double, a triple and a home run. 320/393/551 in 147 at-bats with the Phillies.

Howard 2-for-4 with his 33rd home run of the year. 3-for-8 with two walks and two home runs in the series. 254/348/501 for the year. He has hit seven home runs in his last 59 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out four times. 3-for-11 with a double in the series. 247/293/425 for the year. He’s hitting 201/250/312 away from home this season.

Orr was 1-for-4 and struck out three times. 4-for-9 with a walk in the series. 253/317/293 in 75 at-bats with the Phils for the year.

Schneider was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 167/235/259 in 108 plate appearances for the season.

Martinez 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series. 209/264/304 on the year.

Oswalt (7-8, 3.72) faces righty Brett Myers (4-13, 4.66) tonight in Houston. Myers saw his ERA shoot up to 4.95 after allowing seven runs to the Rockies in five innings on August 22, but has made three appearances since in which he has allowed just three runs in 16 2/3 innings (one of the appearances was a two-inning relief outing). He has allowed 31 home runs in 189 1/3 innings for the year. Oswalt faced his former team in his first start of the season, holding the Astros to two runs over six innings on April 3. In keeping with the guys-playing-on-the-wrong-team theme, Pence homered off of Oswalt in that game. It’s like an Esher drawing.


It’s not the heat, it’s . . . okay, let’s hope it’s the heat

The Phils got pounded by the Cubs last night, losing 6-1 in a game that was most remarkable for the circumstances surrounding the departure of Roy Halladay. Halladay left in the fifth inning looking very hot and not at all well. Word is that Halladay expects to make his next start.

The bullpen also scuffled in the game. Coming off of a series in which the relievers combined to allow nine runs in 9 1/3 innings, Carpenter and Herndon combined to surrender three runs in four innings in relief of Halladay. Going back to June 23 (when the pen allowed eight runs in six innings to the Cardinals), the bullpen has thrown to a 6.46 ERA and a 1.54 ratio over the last 20 games for the Phillies. In four of those 20 games the pen has allowed at least four runs in a game and in two others they allowed three. In the 75 games before the June 23 game, the bullpen threw to a 2.80 ERA and a 1.29 ratio.

The Phillies are 59-36 on the year after losing to the Chicago Cubs 6-1 last night. They are in first place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Braves. Atlanta is 44-24 since the end of April while the Phils have gone 41-28.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out one.

He got the first two batters to start the bottom of the first before Aramis Ramirez hit the first pitch he saw out to left center, putting the Cubs on top 1-0. Carlos Pena followed that with a single to center, but Halladay got Marlon Bryd to fly to center to end the inning.

He got three ground balls as he set Chicago down in order in the second.

The pitcher Rodrigo Lopez led off the third with a single to right and Kosuke Fukudome walked behind him. Starlin Castro followed that with a single to left, which loaded the bases for Ramirez. Ramirez flew to right for the first out, deep enough for Lopez to tag and score and Fukudome to take third. 2-0 with men on first and third. Pena singled to right and Fukudome scored. 3-0 with men on first and second. Halladay got Byrd and Alfonso Soriano on a pair of fly balls to prevent further damage.

It was 3-1 when Halladay started the fourth. Darwin Barney singled with one out and Lopez bunted him to second, but Halladay got Fukudome to fly to Brown in right to leave Barney stranded.

Castro started the fifth with a single to center and Halladay didn’t look real good after the at-bat, bent over with his hands on his knees. He left the game and Carpenter took over to pitch to Ramirez. Ramirez flew to center for the first out before Castro stole second. Carpenter walked Pena, putting men on first and second. Castro tried to steal third and thrown out for the second out. Byrd followed that with a ball off the glove of Martinez and into left for a single that moved Castro up to second. Soriano grounded to second to end the inning.

The caught stealing by Castro costs the Cubs a run. Close play at third, but I think he was out. Nice throw by Ruiz.

Carpenter walked Koyie Hill to start the sixth and Hill stole second before Barney doubled off the wall in left. Hill scored and Chicago led 4-1. Lopez bunted Barney to third before Fukudome doubled down the right field line, scoring Barney to make it 5-1. Carpenter got Castro on a line drive to Rollins for the second out and struck out Ramirez to end the inning with Fukudome stranded.

Carpenter goes two innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks to raise his ERA on the year to 7.11. He has been charged with at least one run in three of his four appearances on the year.

Herndon started the seventh and Pena homered on a 3-1 pitch to put Chicago up 6-1. Byrd followed that with a double on a ball that was deflected by Brown in right, but Herndon struck out Soriano and Hill and got Barney on a fly ball to center to leave Byrd stranded.

Herndon set the Cubs down in order in the eighth.

Two innings for Herndon, allowing a run on two hits and no walks. He’s had four bad outings in a row going back to June 30. Over those four appearances, he’s gone 6 1/3 innings and been charged with six runs on 13 hits. True to form he hasn’t walked anyone. In three of the four outings he’s allowed a home run and opponents are slugging .781 against him.

Carpenter and Herndon both threw 31 pitches.

The Phillies lineup against righty Rodrigo Lopez went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Mayberry. Martinez plays third with Polanco on the DL and Mayberry continues to handle center for Victorino.

The Phils went in order in the top of the first.

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

It was 3-0 when Rollins led off the fourth and hit a 1-0 pitch from Lopez out to right for his ninth home run of the year, cutting the lead to 3-1. Martinez and Utley went down behind him before Howard hit a ball that Barney didn’t handle for an error. Ibanez went down on a popup that Barney handled in foul territory to leave Howard at first.

Mayberry doubled to center with two outs in the fifth, but Halladay struck out behind him.

Martinez singled with one out in the sixth and moved to second when Utley was hit by a pitch. Howard got an extra chance when Soriano dropped a foul ball in left for an error, but flew to Byrd for the second out. Ibanez struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Ruiz singled to start the seventh with the Phils down 5-1, but Brown grounded into a double-play behind him. Mayberry followed that with a single into center, putting a man on first for Carpenter with two outs. With the righty Lopez still pitching for the Cubs, Orr hit for Carpenter and Chicago brought lefty James Russell in to pitch to him. Francisco hit for Orr and grounded to second to set the Phils down.

Francisco is 4-for-his-last-14 with three doubles. He’s still doing nothing against lefties for the season, having hit 198/301/309 against them so far. His numbers against right-handed pitching aren’t so far off his career levels — he’s hitting 242/351/395 against righties compare to a career mark of 259/327/434.

Down 6-1, the Phils went in order in the eighth.

Ruiz and Brown walked back-to-back with two outs in the ninth, but Mayberry struck out swinging 3-2 to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a home run. He’s hitting 362/413/500 in 63 plate appearances in July so far. It wasn’t a factor last night, but he’s been miserable against left-handed pitching this year, hitting 232/267/295.

Martinez was 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 2-for-his-last-14.

Utley 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch. He’s 1-for-his-last-14 and 4-for-his-last-28. 250/337/341 over his last 102 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-4 to drop his average to .249. 1-for-his-last-15. 5-for-his-last-33 with five singles. 203/306/297 over his last 85 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and left three men on base. 357/372/667 in 43 plate appearances over his last nine games, raising his line on the year from 231/279/386 to 246/290/421.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 8-for-his-last-19 with a double, a home run and four walks.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 0-for-his-last-10.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double. He’s played eight full games since July 6, hitting 286/306/629 (10-for-35 with six doubles, two home runs, a walk and 12 RBI).

Cliff Lee (9-6, 2.82) faces righty Matt Garza (4-7, 3.97) tonight. Two of Garza’s last three starts have been very good. On July 2 he threw a complete game against the White Sox, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. In his most recent start he threw seven shutout innings against the Marlins. In between he was hammered by the Nats, charged with seven runs in two innings. In nine starts at home this year he’s 3-3 with a 2.88 ERA. Lee has had one bad start since the beginning of June, which came on July 3 when he allowed seven runs to the Blue Jays in 7 1/3 innings. In his other six starts since the end of May, Lee has gone 5-0 and allowed two earned runs in 50 innings (0.36 ERA with an 0.68 ratio).

The Phils are expected to activate Victorino for tonight’s game. Orr was sent to Triple-A.


Texas two-of-three step

The Phils scored five runs in their three-game series with Texas, but thanks to some outstanding pitching from Halladay and Lee it was enough to take two of the three games. Oswalt was fantastic in game three, but nobody is good enough to help you win when you don’t score. The Phils fell 2-0 in game three of the set, which featured Ryan Howard trying to bunt for a hit in the ninth inning with the Phils down a pair of runs.

Domonic Brown joined the Phils for the series, but didn’t get a lot of chances as the Rangers started lefties in games one and three. He started the second game of the series and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, leaving five men on base.

The Phils won the series opener 3-2. Texas pulled ahead 1-0 when Elvis Andrus stole home in the top of the first, but Francisco hit a two-run homer in the second and Ibanez added a solo shot in the fourth. Halladay went eight strong innings, but allowed a second run in the top of the eighth on a leadoff double that was followed by a pair of ground outs. Madson kept Texas off the board in the ninth to earn his eighth save.

The Phils took game two of the set 2-0 behind eight shutout innings from Cliff Lee. Howard put the Phillies ahead 1-0 with a solo homer in the second. Ibanez and Ruiz walked back-to-back with two outs in the sixth and Ibanez came in to score on a single by Mayberry, putting the Phils up 2-0. Madson again shut the Rangers down in the ninth.

Yesterday the Phils lost to Texas Rangers, falling 2-0 to drop to 28-18 on the year. They remain in first place in the NL East, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Marlins.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies in yesterday’s game and went seven innings, allowing a run on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three.

Elvis Andrus led off the game and ground out to second. David Murphy followed with a double to left and Oswalt hit Ian Kinsler with a pitch behind him, putting men on first and second for Michael Young. Young hit a ground ball back to Oswalt and Oswalt started the double-play to set Texas down.

Adrian Beltre started the second with a single, but Oswalt got Mitch Moreland on a fly ball to left for the first out and Mike Napoli lined to Rollins for the second. Craig Gentry moved Beltre to second with a single, but Oswalt got the pitcher Matt Harrison looking to leave both men stranded.

Murphy singled to center with one out in the third. Oswalt got Kinsler looking for the second out and Young on a ground ball to third with Polanco going to Valdez at second for the third.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth. Ibanez made a nice sliding catch on a ball hit by Napoli for the third out.

He got Gentry and Harrison on ground balls to start the fifth before Andrus reached on an infield single. Andrus stole second and took third on a passed ball before Murphy walked, putting men on first and third for Kinsler. Kinsler grounded to short to turn Texas away.

Young started the sixth with a single and moved up to second when Beltre hit a ball out in front of the plate that Ruiz handled for the first out. Moreland was next and he doubled off the wall in left, scoring Young to put the Rangers ahead 1-0. Oswalt struck out Napoli for the second out and then walked the righty Gentry intentionally to get to the pitcher Harrison behind him. Harrison grounded to short on a great play by Rollins in the hole. Rollins made a strong throw to leave both men stranded.

Really not a fan of walking Gentry, who came into the game having hit .175 in 89 career plate appearances, intentionally. Worked out okay, but I think you need to try to get him out and have the pitcher lead off the next inning.

Andrus started the seventh with a single and moved to second on a ground out by Murphy. Kinsler was hit by a pitch behind him, but Oswalt got Young to hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Romero started the eighth with the Phils still down a run and gave up a leadoff double to Beltre. Moreland moved Beltre to third with a ground out to second. Herndon took over for Romero and hit Napoli with a pitch, putting men on first and third. Gentry was next and put down an amazing bunt with the squeeze play on. With Beltre breaking for home, Herndon’s pitch was right at Gentry, who somehow got the bunt down. Beltre scored to make it 2-0, Gentry was out at first for the second out and Napoli took second. Herndon struck Harrison out to leave Napoli at second.

Herndon threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Impressive outing for Herndon in his first appearance since being recalled in which he threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings, hitting a batter but not allowing a hit or a walk. He took Mathieson’s roster spot on Friday.

Herndon threw 23 pitches in the game and Romero six. Neither has appeared more than one day in a row.

Madson was not available in the game after being hit with a ball on his right hand in Friday’s game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Matt Harrison went (1) Rollins (2) Valdez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Mayberry (8) Sardinha. Valdez at second with the lefty Orr on the bench. Mayberry in center with Martinez on the bench. Brown on the bench against the lefty with Francisco in right. Sardinha catches the day game.

Polanco singled with two outs in the first and took second on an error when Gentry mishandled the ball in center. Howard popped to Andrus for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Sardinha walked to start the bottom of the third and Oswalt bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins popped to first for the second out, but Valdez singled into right. Sardinha held third, though, and didn’t score on the wild pitch that allowed Valdez to move up to second, either. Polanco went down on a ground ball handled by Harrison to leave both men stranded.

Ibanez singled to left with two outs in the fourth, but was left there when Mayberry followed and flew to right.

Sardinha singled to start the fifth and again Oswalt bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins flew to right for the second out on a nice sliding play by Moreland in right before Sardinha took third on another wild pitch. Valdez grounded to second to leave him there.

Second time in three innings that Sardinha led off an inning by getting on base and Oswalt bunted him along. Second time the Phillies didn’t score in the inning. Rollins didn’t do much either time.

Howard singled with one out in the sixth and the Phils down 1-0. Francisco hit into a double-play behind him.

Sardinha walked with two outs in the seventh. Ruiz hit for Oswalt and flew to right to leave him stranded.

Third time Sardinha had been on base in the game.

Down 2-0, Rollins, Valdez and Polanco went in order in the eighth.

Francisco walked with one out in the ninth after Howard attempted to bunt for a hit then struck out swinging 0-2. Ibanez followed and grounded to first with Francisco forced at second for the second out. With righty Neftali Feliz on the mound for Texas, Gload hit for Mayberry and flew to left to end the game.

Manuel picks Gload over Brown to hit for Mayberry as the tying run.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 2-for-10 in the series. He’s hitting 262/343/350 for the season.

Valdez was 1-for-4 in the game and 1-for-10 in the series. 234/261/290.

Polanco 1-for-4 in the game and 4-for-12 with four singles in the series. He’s on-basing .272 in May and hitting 335/374/420 on the season.

Howard 1-for-4 and struck out twice. 3-for-11 with a home run and a walk in the set. 243/320/480 for the year. 178/277/370 for the year.

Francisco was 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping his average on the year to .216. 1-for-5 with a home run and two walks in the series. 216/329/360 on the year. 5-for-45 in May. Brown didn’t play yesterday, but was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the series in his first action on the season.

Ibanez 1-for-4. 2-for-9 with a home run and two walks in the set. 232/292/361 for the year.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .231. 1-for-9 in the series. 231/333/369 for the season. Martinez didn’t play in the series and is hitting 194/237/194.

Sardinha 1-for-1 with two walks in the game. He’s 4-for-18 with four walks on the season. Ruiz was 0-for-1, dropping his average on the year to .214. 1-for-6 with a walk in the set. 214/316/321 on the year.

Hamels (5-2, 2.92) faces righty Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 4.11) tonight. Arroyo was hit hard in his last start, allowing five runs to the Pirates over seven innings. Lefties are hitting 316/383/568 against him for the season, righties 238/259/438. Hamels had been fantastic since his first start of the season, throwing to a 2.19 ERA and averaging more than seven runs a start.

The Phillies activated Utley and sent Pete Orr to Triple-A. The linked article suggests that Utley will hit third tonight.


Phils whip up a little something for the how-are-they-ever-going-to-go-on-a-losing-streak-with-that-rotation crowd

Seven runs in four games should do it. Four runs in three games is even better.

Still no sign of the offense as the Phils dropped their fourth straight last night. Oswalt made his return to the rotation and looked pretty good in the five innings he was able to go. The Phils went into the eighth down 1-0 and got a gift run with the help of a dropped popup to tie things up, but Baez started the ninth and allowed hits to the first three men he faced and St Louis pushed a run across on a walkoff single to win 2-1.

The Phils are 25-16 on the year after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 2-1 last night. They have lost four games in a row for the first time on the season and are 7-8 in May.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing a run on seven hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

He got Ryan Theriot to line to Rollins for the first out in the bottom of the first. Then he struck Jon Jay out swinging 2-2 for the second out and Albert Pujols out looking 3-2 to end the inning.

Matt Holliday fouled out to Howard for the first out in the second. Lance Berkman was next and he singled to center but was forced at second for the second out when Allen Craig followed and grounded to short. Yadier Molina moved Craig to second with a single to right, but Oswalt got Daniel Descalso to pop to Rollins in foul territory to leave both men stranded.

Pitcher Jaime Garcia led off the St Louis third and grounded to Oswalt. Theriot and Jay followed with back-to-back singles, with Jay’s sending Theriot to third. Oswalt got Pujols to hit a double-play ball to Rollins to keep St Louis off the board.

Oswalt walked Berkman with one out in the fourth and Craig moved him to second with a single to center. Molina was next and he singled to left. Berkman tried to score and looked like he didn’t have much of a chance, but the throw from Mayberry came in on a hop and a little up the third base line. The ball and Berkman arrived about the same time with Berkman sliding in to avoid Sardinha’s tag and the Cards led 1-0. It brought Descalso to the plate with men on first and second and he grounded to Valdez with Molina forced at second for the second out. Oswalt struck Garcia out for the third out, leaving runners at the corners.

Mayberry didn’t make a great throw, but Sardinha still had a chance to get Berkman and missed the tag.

Pujols doubled to right with two outs in the fifth, but Oswalt got Holliday on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Stutes started the sixth and made just three pitches before hurting his back and exited for Kendrick. Kendrick walked Berkman and Berkman moved up to second on a ground out by Craig and then third when Molina was retired on a ball handled by Kendrick. Kendrick walked Descalso intentionally, putting men on first and third for the pitcher Garcia. Garcia grounded to third to end the inning.

Another intentional walk for Kendrick, who has walked five intentionally in 21 2/3 innings.

Kendrick allowed a two-out single to Pujols in the seventh, but Holliday lined to Francisco to leave Pujols stranded.

Two scoreless frames in the game for Kendrick. He has a 1.15 ERA and a 1.09 ratio over 15 2/3 innings in his last eight appearances (one of which was a start).

Bastardo started the eighth with the game tied at 1-1. He got Berkman and Tyler Greene to start the inning before Molina doubled. Bastardo walked Descalso behind Molina and switch-hitter Nick Punto hit for the pitcher Garcia with two men on base. Bastardo struck him out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Baez started the ninth. Theriot led off with an infield single. Jay moved him to second with a real single and Pujols blooped a ball that fell in right for another single, loading the bases. Holliday was next and he hit a ground ball to short. Rollins fielded and threw home to force Theriot for the first out. Berkman was next and Romero came in to face him, forcing the switch-hitter Berkman to hit right-handed. Berkman hit the ball over the head of Martinez, who was playing shallow in center, to plate Jay and give St Louis a 2-1 win.

Berkman is hammering both lefties and righties this season. Over his career he’s been better against righties (308/424/590 against righties and 261/365/418 against lefties). So no argument with Romero.

I think you can have an argument about no Madson in the ninth. Baez’s line looks awful, but one of the singles he allowed was an infield hit and another a softly hit ball by Pujols.

Over his last four appearances, Baez has allowed six runs on ten hits and two walks over four innings (13.50 ERA and a 3.00 ratio). Last year with the Phils he threw to a 5.48 ERA and a 1.64 ratio.

Stutes and Romero were both pitching for the second day in a row, but I’m going to be surprised if we see Stutes any time soon. Kendrick threw 24 pitches in the game, Bastardo 21, Baez 13, Stutes three and Romero one.

Stutes will see a doctor today.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jaime Garcia went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Francisco (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Polanco returns to the lineup and the three-hole. Martinez in center with Mayberry in left, Francisco in right and Ibanez on the bench against the lefty. Valdez plays second against the lefty with the lefty Orr on the bench. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the bench.

Martinez singled to center with one out in the first and moved to second on a ground out by Polanco. Howard flew to center to leave him at second.

Descalso made a very nice play at third and a strong throw to first on a ball hit down the line by Polanco for the second out.

Mayberry led off the second with a single and stole second, but was left there when Francisco flew to center, Valdez popped to Theriot and Sardinha lined to third.

The Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.

With the Phils down 1-0, Valdez hit a ball just over Descalso and down the line for a double with one out in the fifth. Sardinha followed that with a walk and Oswalt bunted the runners to second and third with the second out. Rollins flew to Jay in left-center to leave both runners stranded.

Polanco singled with one out in the sixth. Howard struck out behind him and Mayberry grounded to third.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh.

With one out in the eighth, Rollins popped a ball up on the infield that Tyler Greene just dropped for an error. Martinez moved him to third with a single before Polanco flew to center for the second out, deep enough for Rollins to tag and score, tying the game at 1-1 with two outs and Martinez at first. Howard struck out swinging to leave Martinez stranded.

The Phillies went in order in the ninth. With righty Fernando Salas on the mound for St Louis, Orr hit for Valdez and struck out looking for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Martinez had a nice game, going 2-for-4 with a big single in the eighth to help the Phils score their run. He’s 7-for-29 on the year with seven singles and two walks. Glad to see him have a nice game, but it seems pretty hard to argue that he’s a good use of a roster spot.

Polanco was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 222/258/259 in May.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. If you want to make a ranked list of the problems with the Phillies offense, you need to put the fact that Howard has hit 208/300/431 over his last 150 plate appearances way higher than who the offensive players filling out the roster are.

Mayberry was 1-for-4. He’s 4-for-his-last-23.

Francisco 0-for-4. 218/327/346 for the season. Having a starting right fielder who has hit 218/327/346 on the year should go pretty high on the list, too.

Valdez was 1-for-3 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phillies. The Phils are slugging .345 as a team in May. Valdez is on-basing .265 this season and .297 over the 463 plate appearances the Phillies have given him over the last two years.

Sardinha 0-for-2 with a walk. Unfortunate he wasn’t able to tag Berkman out and prevent the first St Louis run of the game. 3-for-17 on the year.

Ibanez didn’t play in the game, but it feels like he needs to be included in order to help fill out the list of things that are more important to the offense than the players filling out the roster. He’s hitting 223/280/338 for the year.

Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.19) faces lefty Jorge De La Rosa (5-1, 3.70) tonight. De la Rosa had his worst start of the year his last time out, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Padres. In his eight starts, lefties have hit .107 against him with no extra-base hits. Hamels has thrown to a 2.29 ERA and an 0.92 ratio since his first start of the season.


Seventh wonder

The Phils came into last night’s game having scored a total of one run in the last three games Cliff Lee had started, so there was reason for concern when they rolled into the seventh trailing 3-0. The offense did show up, though, as the Phils mounted a nifty rally, scoring five times after the sixth inning to get a 5-3 win and take the series two games to one.

Doubles by Ibanez and Orr and an error by the Fish helped the Phils get two runs in the seventh, Victorino tied the game at 3-3 with a home run in the seventh and J-Roll delivered a two-out single in the ninth that plated two runs and put the Phils ahead to stay.

The Phils aren’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball these days, they’ve gone 3-3 in their last six games and scored 17 runs, which is about 2.8 runs per game. The are fifth in the NL in runs scored per game and second in runs allowed behind the Braves.

The Phillies are 24-12 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 5-3 last night. They have the best record in baseball and lead the second-place Marlins by three games in the NL East.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

He got Chris Coghlan to ground to second for the first out in the bottom of the first. Emilio Bonifacio struck out looking for the second out, but Hanley Ramirez was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left center, putting Florida up 1-0. Gaby Sanchez grounded to second for the third out.

John Buck flew to right for the first out of the second and Mike Stanton flew to center behind him. Wes Helms singled to right before Omar Infante flew to right to leave him at first.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 third, striking out pitcher Ricky Nolasco for the first out and getting Coghlan and Bonifacio on ground balls behind him.

He got Ramirez, Sanchez and Buck in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Stanton singled to start the fifth. Helms struck out swinging behind him for the first out before Infante grounded to third. Stanton was forced at second for the second out with Infante safe at first. Nolasco struck out swinging to leave Infante at first.

Coghlan grounded out to start the sixth, but Bonifacio reached on an infield single behind him and Ramirez followed that with a single into center on a ball that was deflected by Valdez. It put men on first and second for Sanchez and he singled to center, loading the bases for Buck. Buck lined a single into left, moving everyone up a base and extending the lead to 2-0. Stanton was next and he lined a ball to center for the second out, deep enough for Ramirez to tag and score. 3-0. Helms grounded to third and Buck was forced at second to end the inning.

The lead was cut to 3-2 when Romero started the seventh. Infante flew to right for the first out. Righty Osvaldo Martinez hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and smoked a ball into right-center, but Francisco made a nice play, tracking the ball down on a run just in front of the track for the second out. Coghlan grounded to first for the third out.

Kendrick started the eighth with the score tied at 3-3 and walked Bonifacio on five pitches. Ramirez flew to right for the first out before Sanchez moved Bonifacio to second with a single. Buck grounded to third and the Phils turned the double-play to end the inning.

I confess to not having a lot of confidence in Kendrick there, especially after he walked Bonifacio on five pitches to get things started. Worked out well.

Madson started the ninth with a 5-3 lead. He struck Stanton out for the first out and lefty Brian Petersen, hitting for Helms, out for the second. Infante flew to left for the third out.

Three scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow a single and a walk. Madson threw 16 pitches in the game, Kendrick 12 and Romero eight. Nobody has thrown more than one day in a row and the pen will be well-rested for Friday thanks to the complete game by Halladay in game two of the set and today’s off-day.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ricky Nolasco went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Francisco (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Schneider catches against the righty with the righty Sardinha on the bench. Valdez starts against the righty with the lefty Orr on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard walked to start the second with the Phils down 1-0, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him. Francisco flew to center for the third out.

Lee walked with two outs in the third, but Rollins flew to center behind him.

Polanco doubled with one out on in the fourth on a ball deflected by Stanton. Howard and Ibanez both struck out to leave him stranded.

Schneider doubled to center with one out in the fifth. Lee was next and hit a line drive that was deflected by Infante but made it in to center field. Schneider would have scored easily, but pulled a hamstring and had to hobble back to third. Sardinha ran for him at third, Rollins grounded to second to leave Lee and Sardinha both stranded.

Victorino, Polanco and Howard went in order in the sixth.

They started the seventh down 3-0 and Ibanez doubled to right. Francisco flew to left for the first out before Sardinha hit a ball to first that Sanchez didn’t handle for an error. It put men on first and third for Valdez and with the righty Nolasco still pitching for Florida, Orr hit for Valdez and lined a double to right. Ibanez scored to cut the lead to 3-1 and Sardinha went to third. Lee was eager to hit for himself, but Manuel called on Gload to replace him and righty Ryan Webb came in to pitch to Gload. Gload hit a ground ball to first that Sanchez took and tossed to Webb covering first for the second out, but Sardinha scored from third to make the score 3-2. Rollins grounded back to the pitcher to leave Orr at third.

Gload gets to hit against the righty Webb as the Fish choose Webb to face Gload and then bring Dunn in to pitch the eighth. If Manuel wanted Orr to hit against Nolasco instead of Valdez it seems a little odd he didn’t start him. The error by Sanchez helps the Phils score an unearned run at a time they need all the help they can get.

Victorino led off the eighth and homered to left on a 2-1 pitch to tie the game at 3-3. Polanco, Howard and Ibanez went in order behind him.

Sardinha singled to left with one out in the ninth and moved to third when Orr followed and ripped a double to right. With righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Marlins, Mayberry hit for Kendrick and struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Rollins picked him up, though, lining a 1-0 pitch into right to score both runners and put the Phils up 5-3. Rollins took second as the throw came home to try to get Orr, but was left there when Victorino fouled out to third.

Again Manuel uses Gload early in the game and it means that Mayberry is forced to hit against a righty. Bad at-bat for Mayberry, striking out with one out and a huge runner on third.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game with a huge two-run single. He was 4-for-15 with a home run and three RBI in the game and is hitting 283/370/372 for the season.

Victorino 1-for-5 with his sixth home run. He’s on pace to hit 27. 3-for-14 with a walk, a triple and a home run in the series. 286/348/517 on the year. 300/364/600 over his last 67 plate appearances.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a double. 2-for-12 with a double in the series. 350/390/455 for the season, but he’s hitting just 225/244/275 in May.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out three times. 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and two walks in the series. He’s 5-for-18 with three walks and two homers in his last five games. 268/342/514 for the year. He has struck out 13 times in his last 29 plate appearances, which is too many.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double in the game and 5-for-12 with two doubles in the series. 232/289/360 for the season. 441/441/765 over his last 34 plate appearances. 395/395/684 in May without a walk.

Francisco was 0-for-4 with a strikeout last night and 1-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-26 with two singles, eight walks and three hit by pitch. 229/343/373 on the season. Mayberry was 0-for-1 with a big strikeout last night and 1-for-2 with a walk in the series. 300/404/450 on the year.

Schneider was 1-for-2 in the game and could be headed to the DL. 1-for-6 with a double in the series and 173/218/327. Sardinha was miserable in game two of the series, but in the middle of things last night. He went 1-for-2 with a single and two runs scored last night. 1-for-4 with a walk in the series. 3-for-13 with three walks on the year.

Valdez 0-for-2 with a strikeout last night and 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the game. 238/273/286 on the season. 149/184/170 over his last 50 plate appearances. Orr had a huge night, going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. 2-for-8 with a walk in the series. 265/333/327 on the year — he came into the game last night with one extra-base hit on the season.

The Phils don’t play today and will face Atlanta in Atlanta on Friday.

It’s the last scheduled off-day for the Phils in a while. Starting on Friday they will play 20 games in 20 days.

The Phillies don’t seem to be getting much offense from the second base or catching positions. Possible exception to that would be the two key doubles Orr hit last night to help them win the game, but, you know, in general.

Ruiz will catch Oswalt in Clearwater tonight with Utley expected to play as well.

PS — Comcast SportsNet wants you to know that they will air tonight’s Threshers game at 7 PM.


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