Tag: Phillies

Cubs caught up in a Worleywind

Vance Worley continued his awesome and almost completely unexpected run yesterday, allowing a run over eight innings as the Phils pounded the Cubs 9-1.

The Phillies are now 8-2 in the games Worley has started this year. He hasn’t allowed more than one run in any of his last six starts. In those outings he’s gone 4-0 with an 0.98 ERA and an 0.97 ratio and opponents have hit .163 against him.

Jimmy Rollins also had a monster day, too, doubling and hitting two home runs, one from each side of the plate. Rollins, Martinez and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 in the game at the top of the order, driving in six runs and scoring seven. The three guys behind them, Howard, Victorino and Ibanez, combined to go 2-for-12 yesterday and 2-for-31 with two singles in the series.

The Phillies are 61-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-1 yesterday. The Phils take the series two games to one and are 25 games above .500 for the first time on the year. The second-place Braves have lost two in a row and fallen 4 1/2 games behind the Phils in the NL East.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.02 in his 62 1/3 innings.

He walked Starlin Castro with one out in the first, but got Aramis Ramirez to line to a leading Rollins for the second out and struck Carlos Pena out looking to end the inning.

Up 5-0, Worley hit Geovany Soto with a pitch on the hand with one out. Alfonso Soriano was next and he smashed a line drive that Worley caught. Worley went to first and Soto was doubled-off to end the inning.

Nice play by Worley. Three outs on hard hit line drives for Worley in the first two innings after Rollins retired Ramirez on a line drive to short in the first.

Up 6-0, Worley set the Cubs down in order in the third.

Up 7-0, he struck out Ramirez and Pena in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Soto singled to right with one out in the fifth for the first Chicago hit of the day. Soriano was next and hit a ground ball to short with Soto forced at second for the second out. Darwin Barney grounded out behind him to end the inning.

Up 8-0, Worley struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Baker and Castro in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Ramirez doubled to center to start the seventh and Pena walked behind him. Marlon Byrd was next and singled to left, loading the bases with nobody out. Soto hit a ball deflected by Martinez that Rollins got to and threw to second to force Soto for the first out. Ramirez scored on the play to make it 8-1, but it was a very nice play by Rollins to get an out anywhere. It put men on first and third for Soriano and Soriano hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with a 9-1 lead. Worley had thrown 111 pitches. Madson set the Cubs down in order.

Madson threw eight pitches in the game and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.14. In his three outings since his return, he’s allowed a run on two hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings. I think we’re going to see him start to pitch less often in 9-1 games soon.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ryan Dempster went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Schneider. Martinez stays at third and in the two-hole with Polanco still sidelined. The lefty Schneider catches the day game against a righty with Ruiz on the bench.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and struck out for the first out. Martinez was next and hit a high popup that was lost in the sun, deflected by Castro for a single. Martinez stole second before Utley walked, bringing Howard to the plate with men on first and second. With the runners on the move, Howard hit a ground ball to short that went through for a single, scoring Martinez to make it 1-0 and moving Utley to third. Victorino was next and hit a soft ground ball to third. Ramirez could only take the out at first, Utley scored and the Phils led 2-0. Ibanez flew to right for the third out.

Way to make the most of popup with nobody on base. Another stolen base by Martinez, whose steal in game two should have led to a run in the sixth inning of game two for the Phils. Good no-strikeout by Victorino to bring home the second run of the frame. He was striking out in about 10.1% of his plate appearances for the year coming into the game, which is the lowest mark of his career (11.5% for his career).

Brown and Schneider both struck out to start the second before Worley and Rollins doubled back-to-back, with the double by Rollins plating Worley to make it 3-0. Martinez was next and he singled into center, scoring Rollins. 4-0. Martinez stole second again and there was a brief delay in the game to allow everyone to run and try to claim him in their fantasy leagues. Except literally. Utley followed that with the third double of the inning, scoring Martinez. 5-0. Dempster struck Howard out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.

Victorino led off the third with a walk. Ibanez flew to right before Victorino was thrown out trying to steal second. Brown followed that with a walk and he came around to score when Schneider doubled to center. 6-0. Worley struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Schneider at second.

Fourth extra-base hit for the Phils in the first three innings of the game. The caught stealing by Victorino costs the Phils a run.

Rollins led off the fourth and hit a ball to Pena that Pena first didn’t handle and then threw away. Two errors for Pena on the play left Rollins at second with nobody out. Martinez grounded back to the pitcher with Rollins holding for the first out before Utley doubled again, scoring Rollins to make it 7-0. Utley moved to third on a Howard ground out to first, but was left there when Victorino flew to right.

Brown and Schneider both struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Rollins homered to right off of righty Ramon Ortiz with one out in the sixth. 8-0. Martinez and Utley both grounded out behind him.

Ibanez and Brown singled back-to-back with two outs in the seventh. Schneider followed that with a walk that loaded the bases for Worley. Worley grounded to first to end the frame.

Mayberry hit for Howard with lefty John Grabow pitching for the Cubs and struck out for the first out. That might have as much to do with trying to get Mayberry at-bats with the return of Victorino as it does with Howard never, ever getting a hit.

Rollins led off the eighth with a home run to left off the lefty Grabow, putting the Phils up 9-1. The Phils went in order behind him, with Valdez hitting for Utley and striking out for the second out.

Second home run of the year against a lefty for Rollins. He came into the game hitting 240/275/302 against lefties for the year.

Brown walked with two outs in the ninth. Schneider hit the ball hard, but grounded to first to end the frame.

Rollins was 3-for-5 in the game with a double, two home runs and four runs scored. 6-for-14 with a double and three home runs in the three-game set. 316/368/511 over his last 144 plate appearances. 277/344/410 for the year. 22-for-his-last-51 (431/463/706 over his last 54 plate appearances).

Martinez 2-for-5 with an RBI. 5-for-13 in the series with a walk, a double and three RBI. 236/278/321 for the year. 310/362/452 in 47 plate appearances in July.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk, two doubles and two RBI. 3-for-10 with a walk, three doubles and four RBI in the series. After going 0-for-3 in game one of the set, he was 1-for-his-last-14. In the last two games of the series he was 3-for-7 with three doubles. 270/367/433 for the year. He’s hitting just 200/321/356 against lefties for the year.

Howard 1-for-3 with an RBI. 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series. 2-for-22 with two singles since the All-Star break. 247/342/452. Mayberry went 0-for-2 yesterday and 2-for-7 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 238/310/420 for the year.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-8 with a walk since being activated for game two of the series. He’s hitting 295/368/509 for the season.

Ibanez 1-for-5 yesterday and 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 243/288/414 on the year.

Brown 1-for-3 with two walks yesterday. 3-for-8 with a double and four walks in the series. 247/339/395 for the year. He’s 3-for-his-last-15 with six walks, giving him a .200 batting average but a .429 on-base percentage over those 15 plate appearances.

Schneider 1-for-4 with a walk, a double and an RBI in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 188/253/319 for the year.

No game today. The Phils play the Padres in Philadelphia tomorrow night.

I will be surprised if the Phillies trade Domonic Brown in a deal to get Carlos Beltran.

Polanco will be getting an injection in his lower back today.

Stadium Journey has recently written about Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA, which is home to the Williamsport Crosscutters. The Crosscutters are the Phillies affiliate in the NY-Penn League.


Blame it on the wane

Everything was great early for the Phils last night. Jimmy Rollins returned to the starting lineup and blasted a three-run homer in the second and Kendrick went three shutout innings to start the game. Then it rained and when the game resumed, the Phillies did not.

Up 3-0 at the delay, the offense didn’t manage a run or an extra-base hit in the last 8 2/3 innings of the game. They had four singles. The Phils are now tenth in the NL in runs scored per game. They’re still ahead of the Pirates, but not by a whole lot (3.95 for the Phils and 3.90 for Pittsburgh). The Phils have lost six of their last nine and scored more than three runs in just one of those games.

Madson, scuffling of late and pitching for the fourth time in five days, entered the game in the ninth to protect a 3-2 lead and gave up a game-tying homer. He nearly gave up another homer to the next hitter, which would have given the Cubs the lead, but that call was reversed on a fan interference call and Tyler Colvin had to settle for a double. Herndon allowed an unearned run in the eleventh to put the Cubs ahead to stay at 4-3.

The defense was rather miserable for the Phils. Up 3-0 in the sixth, Starlin Castro lined a single to right and Darwin Barney stormed home trying to score from second. Brown’s throw from left was in time, but Sardinha didn’t handle it cleanly and the run scored. In the eleventh, Colvin led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball, which allowed him to score on a throwing error by Polanco and put the Cubs ahead to stay.

The Phillies are 37-26 on the year after falling 4-3 to the Cubs last night.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went three shutout innings before being forced from the game by a long delay. He allowed two singles and two walks and struck out two.

He threw a 1-2-3 first. Kosuke Fukudome flew to center for the first out. Kendrick struck Darwin Barney out looking 2-2 for the second. Starlin Castro flew to center for the third.

Carlos Pena led off the second and grounded to first for the first out. Aramis Ramirez was next and singled to left, but was thrown out, Ibanez to Rollins to Utley, going for second. Blake DeWitt flew to left for the third out.

The Phils were up 3-0 when Kendrick started the third. Geovany Soto struck out looking for the first out and Tyler Colvin grounded to second for the second. Pitcher Randy Wells singled to right, but was left stranded when Fukudome grounded to second to end the frame.

A delay of about an hour and twenty minutes forced Kendrick from the game after the third. Baez started the fourth. He walked Castro with one out, but got Pena on a fly ball to left behind him for the second out. Castro stole second before Ramirez grounded to short for the third out.

Baez threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He got the first two batters in the sixth before hitting Barney with a pitch. Barney stole second before Castro lined a single to left. Barney rounded third and Brown made a strong throw home that would have been in time to get Barney, but Sardinha didn’t handle the throw on the hop and Barney was safe. 3-1. Romero came in to pitch to Pena and Pena fouled out to Sardinha for the third out.

Nice throw by Brown — it would have been nice to get an out there.

Stutes started the seventh and got the first two before Soto doubled to left. Stutes walked Colvin on a 3-2 pitch, putting men on first and second with two down. Lefty Brad Snyder hit for pitcher James Russell and Manuel called on Bastardo to pitch to him. Righty Lou Montanez hit for Snyder and Bastardo got him to foul out to Polanco in foul territory to leave both runners stranded.

Bastardo got the lefty Fukudome to start the eighth and then Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Barney. Barney grounded to short for the second out, but Castro and Pena followed that with back-to-back doubles, with Pena’s plating Castro to cut the lead to 3-2. Ramirez grounded to short for the third out.

Contreras was not charged with a run in any of his first 12 appearances of the year, but has allowed a run in each of his last two.

Madson started the ninth and got DeWitt on a ground ball to second for the first out. Soto was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to left-center, tying the game at 3-3. Colvin was next and lined an 0-1 pitch out to right for what was originally ruled a home run. Umpires review the play and changed the call to a double, ruling that a fan had reached out and interfered with the ball. So Colvin was on second with one out and the game tied. Righty DJ LeMahieu hit for the pitcher John Grabow and struck out swinging 2-2. Madson walked the lefty Fukudome intentionally and then got Barney on a ground ball to short to leave both runners stranded.

Madson continues to scuffle. Last night he was pitching for the second day in a row and fourth time in five days. In his last nine appearances he’s thrown to a 6.00 ERA and allowed at least one run four times.

Herndon pitched the tenth. Pena and Ramirez singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and second for DeWitt. DeWitt grounded to Utley with Ramirez forced at second and runners safe on the corners. Herndon struck Soto out looking to leave both men stranded.

Colvin led off the eleventh with a single off of Herndon. Pitcher Ryan Dempster hit for pitcher Sean Marshall and Colvin took second on a passed ball by Ruiz, who had taken over Sardinha, before Dempster struck out fouling off a bunt attempt. Fukudome was next and Herndon struck him out, too. It brought Barney to the plate and he chopped a ground ball to third. Polanco fielded, but his throw to first was in the dirt and not handled cleanly by Howard. The ball went off of Howard’s body and right in front of him, but Colvin rounded third and stormed home to score and put the Cubs up 4-3. Polanco was charged with an error. Castro grounded to third for the third out.

Herndon’s having an ugly year, but you can’t blame that one on him. Cubs need the passed ball by Ruiz and the error by Polanco to score the go-ahead run.

The bullpen wasn’t awful at all, allowing four runs in eight innings, only three of which were earned. Herndon threw 43 pitches and Baez 41, so don’t expect them tonight. Madson 19, Contreras 12, Bastardo ten and Romero two.

Madson has pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Randy Wells went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Sardinha. Rollins returns to the lineup and the leadoff spot. Victorino hits fifth behind Howard, with back-to-back lefties in Ibanez and Brown behind him. Third start of the year for Victorino hitting third. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the bench on a very hot night after another very hot night.

Polanco reached on an error by the pitcher Wells with one out in the bottom of the third and moved to second when Utley followed with a single to right. Howard and Victorino both flew to left to leave the runners stranded.

Ibanez started the bottom of the second with a single to center, but Brown fouled out to the second baseman Barney behind him. Sardinha walked and Kendrick struck out trying to bunt the runners up to second and third. It didn’t matter, though, cause Rollins was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 3-0. Polanco flew to right for the third out.

Utley flew to right for the first out in the third. With the count 3-0 on Howard, the game was delayed due to ominous winds and impending storms. Righty Rodrigo Lopez was on the hill for Chicago when the game resumed about an hour and twenty minutes later. Howard walked and moved to second on a single by Victorino before Ibanez flew to center for the second out. Brown drew a walk to load the bases for Sardinha. Sardinha hit a ground ball in the hole between short and third, but Ramirez made a diving play to field the ball and threw to first to end the inning.

Great play by Ramirez at a huge time for the Cubs.

Polanco singled on a ball deflected by Ramirez with two outs in the fourth. Utley grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

With the lead cut to 3-1, the went in order in the sixth. Martinez hit for Romero and flew to center for the third out.

Utley walked with two outs in the seventh. He took second on a balk before Howard walked. Victorino struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Up 3-2, the Phils went in order in the eighth. Francisco hit for Sardinha against lefty John Grabow and flew to center for the third out.

The game was tied when they hit in the ninth. Ruiz, Rollins and Polanco went in order. Rollins absolutely smashed his ball, which was a line drive that pitcher Sean Marshall speared.

Utley and Howard struck out to start the tenth before Victorino walked. Ibanez moved Victorino to third with a single and Brown was walked intentionally to load the bases. Herndon was the last reliever, so with Gload and Valdez still available, he hit for himself and looked bad striking out to leave the bases loaded.

Romero faced one batter in the game. Bastardo two.

The Phils were losing 4-3 when they hit in the eleventh. Ruiz led off with a single. Rollins flew to right, Polanco flew to right and Utley flew to left.

I’m fine with not bunting with Rollins after the leadoff single. Manuel says he didn’t bunt because Herndon had already thrown 43 pitches as the last reliever available and he thought he needed to try to win, not tie, the game.

Rollins was 1-for-6 with a three-run homer. He’s on-basing .289 over his last 83 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-6 with a huge error. He’s slugging .280 in his 138 plate appearances since May 7.

Utley 1-for-5 with a walk. He only has 67 plate appearances for the year, but has walked in 13.4% of them, which is a career high. On the down side, he has gotten an extra-base hit in 4.5% of his early plate appearances, which is a low mark and way below the 10.1% rate for his career.

Howard 0-for-3 with two walks. He’s 1-for-his-last-11.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk. 185/333/259 in 33 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Ibanez 2-for-5. 233/273/300 in June through eight games.

Brown 0-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout. 0-for-his-last-10 and 4-for-his-last-27.

Sardinha 0-for-2 with a walk. Ramirez made a great play to take what would have been a huge hit away from him with the bases loaded in the third. He’s on-basing .436 for the season, but hitting just .241 and slugging just .276 through 39 plate appearances.

Halladay (8-3, 2.56) faces righty Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 3.98) tonight. Zambrano has made three good starts in a row, throwing to a 1.29 ERA in his last three outings with a 1.05 ratio. Halladay has thrown at least 101 pitches in each of his 13 starts on the season. He leads the NL in pitches thrown and nobody besides Lincecum is close. Opponents hit .220 against him in his first eight starts, but have hit .287 against him over his last five.


Controversial decision not to start Mecha-King Ghidorah dooms Phils

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 and 77 for Pedro.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great play by Feliz.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gardner 0-for-10 with four strikeouts.

Molina 0-for-2.

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

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

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

Just eight pitches in the inning for Pettitte.

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

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

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

Thirteen pitches in the inning had Pettitte at 37.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No game today. Aprilish.


Rate changes

Through five games of the World Series, the Yankees have outscored the Phillies by a run, 25-24.

Here’s how the Yankees pitching for the World Series so far compares to their pitching in the regular season:


NYY, All pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.91 1.30 7.77 3.89 8.80 2.05
Reg Season 4.26 1.35 8.60 3.56 7.82 1.12

New York overall has allowed 24 runs in five games in the World Series, or 4.8 runs per game. During the regular season they allowed about 4.65 run per game.

Overall they are allowing fewer hits and striking out batters more regularly, but walking more and allowing a lot more home runs. They’ve allowed about 90% of their hits per nine innings in the World Series that they did in the regular season and gotten 112% of the strikeouts. 109% of the walks, though, and the Phillies have hit ten home runs in five games. The rate of home runs allowed by the Yankees pitchers overall has been nearly twice what it was in the regular season (182%).

Here’s what the Yankees starters have done compared to the regular season:


NYY, Starting pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 5.02 1.36 7.53 4.71 9.42 1.88
Reg Season 4.48 1.41 9.06 3.62 7.48 1.05

The Yankees got a good start from Sabathia in game one, a great start from Burnett in game two and a pretty good start from Sabathia in game four. Burnett got bombed in game five and Sabathia allowed three runs over 6 2/3 in game four.

The hits are way down for the group and the strikeouts up, but they are allowing more walks and have given up six home runs in 28 2/3 innings. That puts their rate of allowing home runs well above their rate for the year.

Here’s the New York relievers:


NYY, Relief pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.70 1.17 8.22 2.35 7.63 2.35
Reg Season 3.91 1.25 7.78 3.46 8.44 1.26

More hits, fewer strikeouts and a lot more home runs for the New York bullpen in the World Series. Their walk rate is way down. New York relievers have thrown 11 1/3 innings in the past three games without walking a Phillies batter.

The Phillies have allowed 25 runs in five games of the World Series, or five runs per game. During the regular season they allowed 709 runs in 162 games, or about 4.38 runs per game.

Here’s what their pitchers overall have done in the series:


PHI, all pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.91 1.23 8.39 2.66 9.20 1.02
Reg Season 4.16 1.35 9.14 3.02 7.13 1.17

The Phillies have allowed more runs per game in the World Series than in the regular season, but oddly their pitchers have allowed fewer hits, walks and home runs per nine innings and struck out more batters. That either means they’ve been real unlucky or there’s a whole lot of stuff going on that’s not reflected in those numbers.

There are definitely some things going on that aren’t reflected in those numbers. One is that the Phillies, who led all teams in both leagues in hitting batters, have turned things up in the post-season. They’ve hit five batters in five games, hitting A-Rod three times and Teixeira twice. Maybe that’s a coincidence and maybe it isn’t — either way their rate of hitting batters per nine innings is at 1.02 per nine innings for the World Series and was at .46 per nine in the regular season. Again, no team in either league hit more batters during the regular season than the Phillies.

More doubles is another thing that isn’t reflected in the numbers above. The Phils allowed 1.83 doubles per nine innings in the regular season and have allowed 2.05 doubles per nine in the World Series despite the fact that their rate of allowing hits is way down overall. Ten of the Yankees’ 41 hits in the World Series have been doubles. That’s about 24.4%. During the regular season, about 20.0% of hits allowed by the Phillies went for doubles.

Here’s the starters:


PHI, Starting pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.73 1.18 8.07 2.51 8.63 0.84
Reg Season 4.29 1.34 9.54 2.48 6.87 1.34

Fewer hits, more strikeouts and fewer home runs allowed by the starters for the Phillies in the series. The walks are about the same. Keeping the Yankees in the yard may be the biggest accomplishment — they’ve allowed three home runs in 32 1/3 innings. Martinez allowed two of those in game two and A-Rod homered off of Hamels in game three.

Lee was amazing for the Phils in game one. In the other four starts for the series, the starters have combined to throw to a 6.57 ERA with a 1.37 ratio.

And the relievers:


PHI, Relief pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 5.40 1.37 9.26 3.09 10.80 1.54
Reg Season 3.91 1.38 8.36 4.08 7.63 0.84

That’s just ugly. Hits way up and the rate of allowing home runs has nearly doubled. Walks are down a little and strikeouts are up.

The Phillies won two games. They didn’t need the pen in game one as Lee threw a complete game. Park and Madson got the job done in game five. They lost game two mostly because they couldn’t hit Burnett and maybe a little cause Pedro wasn’t great. Hamels made it hard to win in game three. Game four, when Lidge got hit hard in the ninth, was the only game where the pen really cost the Phils.

I would be stunned if Shane Victorino does not start tonight. The injury to his hand seems likely to be a factor. We’ll see how well he can hit and throw, but I’m guessing the answer is not as well as he could before he got his hand smashed.

This says that Blanton is available to pitch in relief tonight. I assume both Blanton and Happ could give the Phillies several innings tonight and Pedro will get a quick hook if he’s not pitching well.


The best offense that money can rent

The Yankees can hit. The Phillies can hit too, but there’s little question that the Bronx Bombers were the better offense of the two this year and the best-hitting team in baseball during the regular season.

Here’s the runs scored for the Phillies and Yankees for the season and how that ranked compared to the other teams in their leagues and in both leagues:

  Runs R/G League
Rank
MLB Rank
NYY 915 5.65 1 1
PHI 820 5.06 1 4

New York was one of three AL teams to score more runs than the Phillies this year, along with the Red Sox and Angels.

The American and National Leagues don’t play by the same rules, of course, and the more DH means more runs. While the Yankees and Phils led their respective leagues in runs scored, the Yankees outscored the average AL team by a little more than the Phillies outscored the average team in the NL. The average AL team scored 781 runs this year. New York scored 915, which is 117.2% of 781. The Phillies scored 820 runs compared to 718 for the average NL team. 820 is 114.2% of 718.

The Yankees have eight players who played regularly in 2009 (400 PA or more) with an OPS+ of 120 or better. Posada, Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Damon, Swisher and Matsui. The only player on their team with 400 of more plate appearances with an OPS+ for the season under 100 is Melky Cabrera (Cabrera hit 274/336/416 with an OPS+ of 97). The Phillies had four players with 400 plate appearances or more with an OPS+ of 120 or better — Howard, Utley, Ibanez and Werth. Their two least productive offensive players who played regularly, Rollins and Feliz, were both worse than Cabrera offensively. Rollins’ OPS+ for the year was 85 and Feliz’s was 80.

By OPS, the Yankees were the best-hitting team in baseball against both right and left-handed pitchers in ’09:

  OPS v R League MLB OPS v L League MLB
NYY .837 1 1 .846 1 1
PHI .779 2 5 .787 2 7

The Phillies were really good theirownselves. The Rockies were better against right-handed pitching by OPS and the Brewers were better against lefties. But the Phils were very good.

The Yankees were better than very good. They hit 282/360/476 against right-handed pitching. By OPS, the second-best team in baseball against right-handed pitching was the Red Sox and they hit 268/349/454. Among the 342 players in either league who got 150 plate appearances against righties, Rodriguez, Teixeira and Posada were all in the top 30 by OPS.

The margin was similar against lefties. New York hit 286/365/480 against lefties. Again Boston was second, this time with a 274/359/453 line. Jeter and Teixeira were in the top 30 by OPS of the 132 players with 150 plate appearances against lefties.

This article says that Raul Ibanez will continue to play despite a small muscle tear near his abdomen.

Todd Zolecki suggests that Hamels or Martinez will probably start game two. I am hoping for Blanton in game two.


Shift happens

I’m not sure you want to spend a whole lot of time looking for evidence from this season that the Phillies are better than the New York Yankees. The Yankees won 103 games in a league widely believed to have a higher level of play than the National League. Beyond that, even during their brilliant run of the past two seasons the Phillies have been pulverized by the AL in interleague play — after going 6-11 this year they are 10-23 in regular season action since the start of 2008.

I do think there’s a good case to be made for the Phillies in the World Series, however. The Phils are unique among the teams in either league in that the last time they lost a game they couldn’t afford to lose was in 2007. Just about everyone will roll their eyes when you say there’s something special about the Phillies and the way they shift into a higher gear for the playoffs. And with good reason. I would roll my eyes, too. It’s there, though. You can see it by watching them play. I can, at least. If you can’t, you can see it in the numbers. Over the past two years, the Phillies have simply been a better team in the post-season than they have in the regular season. They are 18-5 in 23 playoff games since the start of 2008.

Here’s how the runs the Phillies have scored and allowed over the past two years compare for the post-season and the regular season:

  G R RA R/G RA/G Diff
Post 23 119 75 5.17 3.26 1.91
Regular 324 1619 1389 5.00 4.29 0.71

Facing better teams, the Phillies have scored more runs per game and allowed a lot fewer.

The margin by which they are winning playoff games also has increased this year compared to 2008:

  G R/G RA/G Diff
’09 post-season 9 6.11 3.44 2.67
’08 post-season 14 4.57 3.14 1.43

The Phillies are on a tear with the bats. They’ve scored 55 runs in nine games. Their pitching hasn’t been as good as it was last year, but it’s been good and the offensive boost has been enough to get their difference between the average number of runs they’re scoring and allowing way up in 2009.

Runs allowed per game up or not, the Phillies are still pitching rather well this post-season. If you allowed 3.44 runs per game over a complete season you would give up about 557 runs. This year the Giants and the Dodgers were the best NL teams at preventing runs and they each allowed 611.

It may seem like the Phillies haven’t had the dominating pitching they had in the ’08 post-season this year. And they haven’t, in the bullpen especially. But the starting pitching has been a little better:

    ERA Ratio
2009 Starters 3.11 1.02
2009 Relievers 3.24 1.44
       
2008 Starters 3.70 1.19
2008 Relievers 1.79 1.21

If you’re looking for stuff to worry about you may want to go with hoping that Cliff Lee stays healthy and keeps pitching well. The Phillies have four great starts in their nine post-season games so far. Lee has made three of them and Pedro made the other. In those four games the Phillies starters allowed two earned runs in 31 1/3 innings. They allowed 16 hits and three walks, throwing to an 0.57 ERA and an 0.61 ratio. That will do some nifty things for your team numbers for starting pitchers.

In the other five starts, Phillies starters have thrown to a 6.46 ERA and a 1.56 ratio.

The bullpen hasn’t been the same in the playoffs in ’09 as it was in ’08. It was pretty spectacular in ’08, though. The relievers have kept their ERA down in the playoffs in ’09, but they have allowed a lot of base-runners. In 25 innings they’ve allowed 25 hits and 11 walks. Sure wish they would get that walk rate down, but it’s been bad all year and it might be bad all post-season, too. The Phillies bullpen walked about 4.08 batters per nine innings in the regular season and have walked about 3.96 batters per nine innings in the post-season.


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