Tag: Phillies

The top of the Phillies’ order apparently wants to be sure that whoever Billy Joel is talking to knows they didn’t start the fire either

At least we don’t have to look at the standings and wonder how the Phillies manage to stay in first place any longer. The offense that has been picking up a miserable rotation has gone into a mini-slump and the Phils have lost three of their last five. They’ve scored 18 runs in their last five games, which isn’t going to be enough given how bad their starting pitching is.

The Phillies have a .265 on-base percentage for their first hitter in the lineup for the season. As you would probably guess, that’s the worst mark for #1 hitters for any team in either league. Their #2 hitters have a .333 on-base percentage, which is better but still just 11th-best in the National League.

The struggles of Rollins atop the order have certainly been a big problem for the Phillies. But he’s not the only guy who isn’t hitting. Rollins, Utley, Ibanez and Werth combined to go 6-for-45 (.133) with one RBI in the three-game set against the Marlins. Rollins is 2-for-his-last-22. Werth 2-for-his-last-21 and Utley 2-for-his-last-12. Those guys will surely come around. Let’s hope it’s not too long, though, cause the Raul-Ibanez-puts-up-an-1.100-OPS formula for success isn’t really the one you want to rely on for much more than a quarter of your season.

The Phillies are 25-20 on the year after losing two of three to the Marlins. They are second in the NL East, trailing the Mets by a half game.

Florida took game one 5-3. Howard hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the first to give Moyer a 2-0 lead. Former Phil Wes Helms hit a three-run homer off of Moyer in the top of the fourth to put the Fish up 3-2 and the Marlins extended the lead to 4-2 with another run in the top of the sixth. Howard hit another homer in the bottom of the sixth to get the Phils within one, which was as close as they would get. Park followed Moyer and allowed a run over three innings.

The Phillies rode a magnificent start by Blanton to a 5-3 win in game two of the set. Blanton gave the Phils their best start of the season, striking out 11 over seven shutout innings. The Phils jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and had extended it to 5-0 by the time Madson relieved Blanton in the top of the eighth. Durbin had a shaky outing in the top of the ninth and was charged with three runs, only one of which was earned due to a throwing error by Howard, but Lidge came on to get the last two outs.

It will be good news for the Phillies if it turns out the game is all they lost in game three. Myers exited in the sixth inning with an injury to his right hip. The Phillies lost the game 6-2. Myers allowed one base-runner through the first three innings before a Dan Uggla home run put Florida up 1-0. The Fish put up another run in the top of the fourth to make it 2-0. They extended the lead to 5-1 with two doubles and a two-run homer from Cody Ross off of Myers in the sixth. Taschner allowed the sixth run in the top of the ninth. Solo home runs by Stairs and Ruiz accounted for the Phillies offense in the game.

In 27 innings in the series the Phillies threw to a 4.37 ERA and a 1.37 ratio.

The starting pitchers combined to throw to a 4.34 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. A fantastic start by Blanton in game two masks the numbers for the group. Moyer and Myers both struggled. Moyer and Myers combined to allow three home runs in 11 2/3 innings.

Moyer went six innings in game one, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. He continues to struggle. He still hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning this season and has had five tries to get win number 250 for his career. His ERA for May is 9.62.

Blanton was fantastic in game two. He allowed five hits, four singles and a double, and two walks over seven shutout innings. He’s had five starts in May, two of which have been good and three of which have been bad. He has been better at preventing home runs — he’s allowed just one in 17 innings over his last three starts.

Myers was very good early in his start but ended the day with an ugly line. He allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. Over his last three starts he has given up seven home runs in 20 2/3 innings (that rate would have him giving up 68 over 200 innings).

As a group, the relief pitchers threw eight innings in the series. They pitched to a 3.24 ERA and a 1.56 ratio, walking five in the eight innings. Durbin had a bad outing in game two, but two of the three runs he allowed were unearned due to a throwing error by Howard. The relievers did not allow a home run.

Eyre entered game two in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded and the Phils up 5-0. He relieved Durbin to pitch to lefty Ross Gload. Gload hit a ground ball to first. Howard fielded, but his throw to second was wild for an error. Two runs scored and Eyre was relieved by Lidge.

Taschner started the ninth inning of game three with the Phillies down 5-2 and allowed a run on two hits and a walk. He has a 3.92 ERA for the year, but a 1.69 ratio.

Park took over for Moyer in game one of the set with the Phillies down 4-3 in the top of the seventh. He finished out the game, allowing a run on four hits and a walk over three innings while striking out five.

Durbin started the ninth inning in game two with a 5-0 lead. He got the first man he faced before the Fish loaded the bases on two walks and a single. Walking two with a five-run lead is to be avoided, if possible. When the lefty Gload hit for the pitcher, Manuel called on Eyre to face Gload.

Condrey took over for Myers in game three with the Phillies down 5-1 in the sixth with a man on first and two down. He would finish out the sixth then pitch the seventh and eighth. He did not allow a run and gave up just one hit, a leadoff single to Uggla to start the eighth. Uggla was quickly erased on a double-play.

Condrey hasn’t been charged with a run in eight innings over his last six appearances.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with a 5-0 lead. He set the Marlins down in order.

Not a fan of using Madson up five runs. Taschner had made one appearance, and pitched one inning, since May 17 and hadn’t pitched in five days. Up five runs is a nifty time to mix him in, no matter what inning it is. The Phillies do have an off-day today, so Manuel knew that even if Madson pitched an inning in game two and an inning last night he would still likely be available to pitch Friday. Still would have used someone else.

Lidge came into game two with the Phils up 5-2 and men on second and third with one out. He gave up a walk that loaded the bases, but got Jeremy Hermida on a ground out that made it 5-3 and then struck Helms out to end the game.

Condrey threw 22 pitches last night and Taschner 18, but with the off-day today you would expect everyone in the pen to be available for tomorrow’s game. Neither of the guys who pitched last night had pitched in game two.

The Phillies scored ten runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 1-for-13 with a double in the set. He is hitting 223/271/332 for the season.

Utley was 2-for-11 with a walk in the series. 289/425/550 for the year. He’s hitting .237 in May.

Ibanez went 1-for-9 with four strikeouts and an RBI in the series. He’s hitting 339/402/707 for the season. If he slugged .707 for the whole year it would be a career high, but I’m getting the feeling that I’m actually going to have to look up what his career high in slugging is before too long (that’s a little humor — it’s .537).

Howard hit a pair of home runs that accounted for all of the Phillies’ offense in game one. In game two he made his first error of the season, a throw to second that got away. His defense this year has been very good.

He went 4-for-8 with a double and two home runs in the series. He drove in four of the ten runs the Phillies scored. 263/338/542 for the season. He’s hitting .242 and on-basing .315.

There’s a big question in my mind about whether Howard’s 2008 on-base percentage was an exception to the rule or the way his career is heading. After on-basing .425 and .392 in 2006 and 2007 he on-based a much worse .339 in 2008. In 2008 he on-based .339 and slugged .543. So far in ’09 he’s on-basing .338 and slugging .542.

Werth hit sixth in the lineup in games two and three of the series. The Phils put lefties Utley, Howard and Ibanez all in a row for all three games. He was 2-for-12 with a double in the series. 2-for-his-last-21 with no walks. 255/346/472 for the year.

Victorino was caught stealing in the bottom of the ninth in game one with Matt Stairs at the plate in the bottom of the ninth. He came back with a fantastic game in game two of the set, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles.

He hit sixth in the first game and second in the next two. The Marlins threw righties in games one and three, so Manuel wasn’t moving him around based on what hand the Fish starter threw with. He went 5-for-11 with two doubles and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 280/327/440 for the year.

Feliz was 5-for-11 with three doubles and two RBI in the series. He’s hitting 307/373/433 for the season.

Ruiz was 2-for-12 with a double and a home run in the set. 280/386/453.

Coste did not appear in the series. He does not have an at-bat since he played on Saturday against the Yankees. 230/319/393 for the year.

Bruntlett pinch-ran for Stairs in last night’s game, but did not have an at-bat in the series. He’s hitting 118/179/235 for the season.

Mayberry did not play in the series and is 2-for-8 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the series and is hitting a miserable 135/238/216 for the season.

Stairs was 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 300/488/633 for the year in 30 at-bats. He leads the team, including Ibanez, who has been approximately the best hitter in the NL this year, in OPS. I’d let him play more until he’s not, especially with Werth struggling.

With the exception of Stairs, the bench is awful. Awful or not, though, Bruntlett, Coste and Mayberry is too many players to not use at all during a series when you score ten runs.


Better late than ever

With all these Phils hitting relief pitching so well, you would probably guess that the team overall has impressive numbers in the late innings. And they do.

Here’s what the Phillies did last year in the seventh inning or earlier and after the eighth inning:

  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Innings 1 thru
7
4924 .259 .332 .446 .778
8th inning and
later
1349 .243 .334 .408 .742
           
Total 6273 .255 .332 .438 .770

Their offensive numbers from the eighth inning on are pretty similar to their numbers in innings one through seven.

Here’s what they look like for this season, not including last night’s game:

  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Innings 1 thru
7
1137 .250 .337 .426 .764
8th inning and
later
331 .295 .374 .530 .904
           
Total 1468 .260 .346 .450 .795

Not very similar. The Phils have been fantastic in the late innings, and it has helped them win games early in the season. While it’s great they’ve been pounding the ball late, the problem is that at the end of the season their OPS after the seventh inning is going to be a lot closer to .764 than it is to .904. There’s a good chance the whole team won’t slug .530 after the seventh inning all season long. So let’s hope the Phils have a solution to their starting pitching woes, because while all the late lumber is pretty fun to watch it’s not exactly an ideal formula for long-term success.

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And if they would just let Bruntlett pitch it could be like pinch-hitting for the pitcher three times in every game

The Phillies have gone to their bullpen a lot this season. Often they’ve had to because their starting pitcher was miserably ineffective. Other times Cole Hamels has been injured in the fourth inning. Yet other times they let Eric Bruntlett hit in the top of the seventh for the guy throwing a one-hit shutout. Whatever the cause, the Phillies relief corps has been tested early and the innings are piling up.

This is partly disguised by the fact that the Phillies have played fewer games than many of the teams in the National League — if you look at the innings pitched by bullpens the Phillies aren’t at the top of the list.

In 2008, Phils’ relievers threw 483 innings. Only two NL teams, the Brewers and the Diamondbacks, threw fewer. Almost inarguably, their bullpen was the best in the league. Including last night’s game, they are on pace to throw 574 2/3 innings in 2009 (last year, Pittsburgh’s relievers threw the most innings in the NL at 567 2/3). And if you compare the number of innings the Phillies are throwing in relief to the other teams in the NL, they are on pace to lead the league in innings pitched by the pen (the chart below does not include last night’s games):

Team G IP IP/Game Pace Rank
HOU 27 96.3 3.57 578.0 3
LAD 28 92.0 3.29 532.3 6
FLA 26 89.7 3.45 558.7 4
SD 27 88.7 3.28 532.0 7
PHI 24 86.7 3.61 585.0 1
WAS 24 85.7 3.57 578.3 2
NYM 25 83.7 3.35 542.2 5
STL 26 82.7 3.18 515.1 9
MIL 26 80.0 3.08 498.5 10
ARI 26 79.3 3.05 494.3 12
COL 24 78.3 3.26 528.7 8
ATL 26 76.7 2.95 477.7 13
SF 25 76.7 3.07 496.8 11
CHI 26 76.3 2.94 475.6 14
CIN 25 71.0 2.84 460.1 15
PIT 25 68.7 2.75 445.0 16

Happ is on a pace to throw 99 1/3 innings in relief. Condrey 97. Durbin 106. Madson about 86 1/3. Madson and Durbin have both been starters in the past, so those numbers wouldn’t be career highs for them. Still, it’s a lot of innings to pitch in relief — in 2008, Durbin led the NL in relief innings pitched and he threw 87 2/3. Madson was fifth at 82 2/3.

There’s no way that all four of those guys are going to throw the number of innings the projections above suggest. What the projections do show, though, is that there has been a cost to the miserable start to the year by the rotation even if you don’t see it in wins and losses.

At the same time, it may be a little too early for projections. Condrey, for example, is on pace to win about 19 games, which is 13 more than the six that Hamels, Blanton and Park are on pace to win combined. Durbin and Lidge are on pace to allow 45 home runs a year after they combined to allow seven (they’ve already allowed seven this season). I’d guess that at least one of those things doesn’t even happen.


First things first

Coming off a sweep of the Cards in a two-game set, the Phils wake up this morning in first place in the NL East. As has been the story all season long, the success in St Louis had a lot more to do with outstanding work by the offense than it did with the team’s starting pitching. Blanton was very good in game one, by Myers scuffled again in game two. The Phillies took the series in large part thanks to good bullpen work and the trio of Victorino, Werth and Howard, who combined to go 11-for-23 with 14 RBI in the series.

The Phillies swept a two-game set with the Cardinals and are now 14-10 on the season. They have won three games in a row and are four games above .500 for the first time this year.

The Phillies took the first game of the series 6-1. Blanton was fantastic, holding the Cards to a run on four hits over six innings. Werth put the Phillies up 2-1 with a two-run homer off of Kyle Lohse in the fourth. Howard hit a grand slam off of Lohse in the top of the fifth. Madson, Eyre and Durbin finished it off with three scoreless innings in which they allowed one hit.

The pitching wasn’t nearly as good last night, but the offense was better. A day after pointing out that the Phillies rarely put up a lot of runs in games started by Myers they did just that. They needed them, too, as they topped the Cards 10-7. Myers took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth before allowing a pair of home runs to make it a 4-3 game. A three-run homer by Werth in the top of the fifth put the Phils up 7-3. St Louis cut the lead to two by the top of the seventh, when the Phils pushed across two more runs on three singles and two hit batters to make it 9-5. Condrey yielded a run in the bottom of the seventh and Pujols hit a solo shot off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth.

Overall, Phillies pitching threw 18 innings in the series and allowed eight runs. They threw to a 4.00 ERA with a 1.11 ratio.

Two starts, one great one by Blanton and a bad one by Myers. Combined they went 11 1/3 innings with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.32 ratio. Blanton didn’t allow a home run and Myers allowed two.

Blanton allowed four hits and two walks in game one. One of the hits was a ball that is usually fielded by Rollins. He got his first win of the year and lowered his ERA to 6.84. Best start of the year for Blanton. Also the first start in which he has not allowed a home run.

Myers allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings in game two. He allowed nine hits, including two home runs, and didn’t walk a batter. He only struck out one.

The relief pitching was very good for the Phillies. In the series they allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings, throwing to a 2.70 ERA with an 0.75 ratio. They allowed just three hits and two walks over 6 2/3 frames. Pujols homered off of Lidge last night, which was the only longball they gave up.

Happ did not pitch in the series. If nothing else it should mean he will be well-rested if he needs to bail out Park.

Taschner did not pitch in the series. Needs to pitch if he’s on the team.

Eyre pitched the seventh inning of game one with a 6-1 lead. He allowed a one-out double to Joe Thurston, but got the next two to keep the Cards off the board. He came into game two in the bottom of the sixth, relieving Myers with the bases loaded and one out. He got Khalil Greene on a ball driven to right-center that Victorino took for the second out as the runner from third tagged and scored, then got Joe Thurston on a popup to the mound. Could have been much worse.

Durbin pitched the ninth inning of game one with a five-run lead. He hit Tyler Greene to start the inning, but got the next three.

Condrey started the seventh inning of game two with a 7-5 lead. He got two outs and was charged with a run on a double and two walks. It was just the second of his 15 appearances on the year that he’s been charged with a run. He has a 1.80 ERA for the year.

Madson threw a perfect eighth in game one with a 6-1 lead. In game two, he got the final out for Condrey in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, men on second and third and the Phillies up 9-6 (Tyler Greene flew to right). He came back and threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Fantastic series for Madson. Last night’s game was the first that he went more than an inning in a game for the season. Over his last seven appearances he’s gone 7 1/3 innings without allowing a run. He’s allowed four hits and four walks.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a 10-6 lead in game two. Pujols led off the inning with a home run before Lidge got the next three. He has a 6.75 ERA for the year and has allowed four home runs in 10 2/3 innings. In 2008 he allowed two home runs in 69 1/3 innings.

I was surprised that Manuel did not use Taschner with a five-run lead in game one, instead throwing Durbin, Madson and Eyre.

Madson and Eyre each pitched in both games of the series. Madson did not throw more than ten pitches in either outing, but he did get more than three outs in a game for the first time on the year. Eyre did not throw more than 11 pitches in either game.

The Phillies scored 16 runs in the two-game set.

Rollins probably should have made a play in the bottom of the second in game one on a ground ball by Ludwick. It was a hard play, but one he usually makes. He went 3-for-10 with a double in the series and is hitting 210/252/290 for the year. He’s hitting .222 in May so far, which is less than .400.

Victorino made a great catch in the bottom of the sixth in game two. With the bases loaded and one out, Khalil Greene drove an Eyre pitch in the gap in right-center. Victorino tracked it down on the warning track. The runner tagged from third, but the play probably saved the Phils two runs. He had a monster game in game two, going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 308/353/529 for the year after going 5-for-10 in the series.

Oddly, after striking out five times in all of April he struck out four times against the Cardinals.

Also oddly, he’s outslugged Howard for the year. That might not even last.

Utley did not start game two of the series with a problem with his foot. He was 1-for-2 with a walk in the series and is hitting 346/485/667 on the season.

Howard’s grand slam in game one was the big blow of the game. 3-for-6 with three walks and five RBI for the series. He’s hitting 295/385/526 for the season.

Werth hit a two-run homer in game one and a three-run shot in game two. 3-for-7 with a double, two homers and six RBI in the series. 264/375/506 for the season.

Ibanez made a base-running mistake in the top of the third in game two. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Werth lined out to center. Ibanez thought it was going to drop for a hit and was double-off of second. 2-for-8 with a double in the series. 351/417/702 for the year. If he slugs .702 for the whole season, it would be a career high.

With Utley out of the lineup in game two, Ibanez hit third.

Feliz was 2-for-9 with a double. 325/383/458.

Ruiz caught both games and went 2-for-8 with two singles. 238/333/286.

Coste did not play in the series and is hitting 182/280/273 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series. 3-for-21 with three singles on the season.

Stairs 0-for-1 in the series and 4-for-14 with two home runs on the year.

Bruntlett 0-for-1 in the series and 150/240/300 for the season.

Cairo started game two at second base and went 1-for-4 with a single. 083/083/083 (1-for-12 with a single) on the year.


Start me down

Two more games, two more bad starts from a Phillies rotation that came into the series with the Mets with a 6.45 ERA for the season and saw it go up even further. The bullpen bailed the starters out, though, giving the Phils 8 2/3 innings without being charged with a run, and it helped the Phils outlast the Mets in game two. Game three of the set was rained out.

The Phillies split a two-game, rain-shortened series with the Mets this weekend. They are 12-10 on the season.

The Phillies couldn’t overcome a miserable start by Park in the opener and lost 7-4. Park didn’t make it out of the fifth, but managed to allow five extra-base hits and walk six in the game. Utley hit a solo homer and Ibanez had a two-run single, but despite four scoreless innings from the bullpen the Phils never found their way out of the big hole.

The Phillies won game two 6-5 on a tenth inning bases-loaded walk by Victorino that forced in Feliz. Moyer started the sixth up 4-2, but allowed back-to-back homers to David Murphy and Ramon Castro. Alex Cora followed that with a triple and came in to score after Eyre relieved Moyer, putting New York up 5-4. Ibanez tied the game at 5-5 with a solo homer in the sixth. Great bullpen work from Condrey, Madson, Lidge and Taschner kept the Mets off the board after the sixth. The Phils pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the tenth on an infield single, a hit batter and two walks.

Overall, Phillies pitchers threw 19 innings in the two games. They pitched to a 5.68 ERA with a 1.95 ratio.

Again the starters were very bad. They allowed 12 earned runs in 15 innings over 10 1/3 innings in two starts, walking ten and allowing 15 hits. That’s a 10.45 ERA and a 2.42 ratio. They gave up three home runs, two by Moyer and one by Park.

In 22 games this season, Phillies starters have pitched to a 6.71 ERA. That’s the worst mark of any team in baseball by nearly a run — Boston’s starters have been second-worst. The Red Sox have thrown to a 5.75 ERA.

Park was terrible in the series opener. He allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings, with the last run scoring when Mike Pelfrey blooped a single to right off of Durbin. Tatis, who had doubled off of Park earlier in the inning, scored. In 4 2/3 innings Park allowed eight hits and six walks. That is awful.

Moyer took a two-run lead into the sixth in game two, but couldn’t collect his 250th career win. Things fell apart for him after he got the first two outs in the sixth, allowing two home runs and a triple all in a row. He was charged with five runs on seven hits and four walks. The fifth run scored after Moyer had left the game, thanks to another poor outing by Eyre.

Despite Eyre’s struggles, the pen was good. They did allow a run charged to Moyer in game two, but they were not charged with any runs in 8 2/3 innings in the two games. They walked seven but gave up just five hits and didn’t allow a home run. They threw to a 0.00 ERA and a 1.38 ratio over the 8 2/3 innings overall.

Happ started the seventh inning of game one with the Phils down 7-3 and pitched very well. He went two scoreless innings, allowing a walk and working around an Utley error to keep the Mets off the board.

Taschner pitched the top of the tenth in game two with the score tied at 5-5. He allowed two singles, but got Beltran to hit into a double-play to get out of the jam.

Eyre came in to pitch to Reyes in game two with two outs in the top of the sixth with the score tied at 4-4 and a man on third. He didn’t get an out, walking Reyes, giving up an RBI-single to Castillo and hitting Beltran to load the bases before Condrey replaced him to pitch to Sheffield with the bases loaded.

It was Eyre’s second-straight outing without getting an out.

Durbin relieved Park with two outs in the fifth in game one. He allowed a bloop RBI-single to Pelfrey with the run charged to Park. Durbin came back to throw a scoreless sixth.

Condrey threw a perfect ninth in game one with the Phils down three runs. He entered game two in the sixth with the bases loaded and got Sheffield on a ground ball. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Condrey has made 14 appearances on the season and has not been charged with a run in 13 of them. He has a 1.26 ERA and an 0.77 ratio on the year and has struck out 11 in 14 1/3 innings.

Madson allowed a walk and two hits in the eighth inning of game two with the score tied, getting the third out with the help of a great throw by Werth. He allowed a hit and two walks in the inning.

Lidge started the top of the ninth in game two with the score tied at 5-5. He walked two, one intentionally after Wright walked and stole second, but kept the Mets off the board.

With the rainout on Sunday, the pen should be well-rested. Condrey has pitched for two straight games, but I would assume he’s available tonight after yesterday’s game was rained out.

The Phillies scored ten runs in the two games of the series.

Rollins was dropped to fifth in the lineup after taking an 0-for-4 in game one. 1-for-8 with two walks in the set. He’s hitting 2004/247/278 for the year.

Victorino. In game two, with one out and the bases loaded, Victorino hit a ball hard back to the pitcher Takahashi. Takahashi knocked it down and threw home for the first out, but Moyer fell down between first and second and the Mets were able to double him up. He walked in the bottom of the tenth in that game to force in the winning run. 3-for-10 with a double, a triple and a walk in the series. 287/340/489 for the year. He has hit in 12 straight games, going 18-for-his-last-53.

Utley made an error on a ground ball hit by Church to start the seventh inning in game one. He started game two on the bench with Bruntlett playing second. 1-for-3 with two walks and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 342/474/671 for the year.

Howard didn’t field a ground ball Oliver Perez hit down the first base line with two outs in the top of the second in game two cleanly. Perez was safe with a single, keeping the inning alive for the Mets. It didn’t matter, though, cause Reyes followed and popped out on the infield. 2-for-9 with two singles and four strikeouts in the series. 281/360/494.

Werth made a strong throw to nail Omir Santos trying to score from score on a single by Beltran to end the top of the eighth in game two with the score tied at 5-5. He was 1-for-7 with a double and two walks in the series. He’s hitting 250/368/425 after going 2-for-his-last-18.

Ibanez made a nice sliding catch in left-center in the fifth inning of game one. Park needed all the help he could get. He moved up to second in the lineup in game two of the series, with Rollins hitting fifth. 3-for-8 with a double, a home run and four RBI in the series. 360/424/733.

Feliz. In game two, with one out in the third, Sheffield hit a ball down the third base line past Feliz and into left for a double. It’s a play that Feliz usually makes, and it cost Moyer and the Phils a run cause it moved Castillo to third and Wright followed with a sac fly that Howard took moving backwards into right. Later in game two, Feliz started the bottom of the tenth with an infield single. He came in to score the winning run on a two-out walk by Victorino. 4-for-9 with four singles and an RBI in the series. 338/400/473.

Coste started game one and threw Wright out stealing second in the fifth inning, giving Park some much-needed help in the frame. In game two he hit for Taschner with two outs in the tenth and drew a critical walk. It loaded the bases for Victorino and Victorino’s walk forced in Feliz to get the Phillies the win. He was 1-for-4 with a walk in the series. 182/280/273.

Ruiz was activated for the second game of the series. He put down a pretty tag on Santos on Werth’s throw in the top of the eighth in game two. 0-for-2 with two walks. He’s 3-for-13 with a double on the year.

Bruntlett started at second in game two with Utley on the bench. Also 0-for-2 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 158/250/316 for the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-2 in the series. He’s 3-for-20 with three singles on the year.

Stairs was hit by a pitch in game two. He’s 4-for-13 with two homers on the season.

Cairo was 0-for-1 in the series and is 0-for-8 this year.

Park stays in the rotation for now and Hamels’ next start will be pushed back to Friday.


Never be closing

The Florida Marlins quickly jumped on top of the NL East to start 2009, but there’s a couple of things they might want to iron out before anybody writes them into the World Series. Twice in the first two games of the three-game set the Marlins took a lead into the ninth inning. Twice they couldn’t get anyone to sign on the line which is dotted. With the Phillies down to their last out on Friday night, Victorino blasted a grand slam out to right to put the Phils on top. A day later the Phils again came from behind late, scoring one in the top of the ninth to tie the game and getting two more in the top of the tenth.

They won game three in a laugher, scoring four in the seventh and five in the eighth to bust it open.

The Phillies swept a three-game series with the Marlins in Florida over the weekend. They are 9-8 and have won three in a row.

Friday the Phillies beat the Marlins 7-3.

Coming off a long game for the bullpen that saw Hamels leave in the fourth inning, Myers had a rough first inning in which the Marlins jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a three-run homer by Dan Uggla. Myers needed 40 pitches to get out of the first inning.

Despite the long first inning, Myers managed to keep the Phillies in the game. He kept Florida off the board for the next five innings. He got some a whole lot of help from his defense in the fifth. Ibanez made a long run to track down a ball Ross Gload drove to the gap in left-center with nobody out and a man on first. Marson caught Hanley Ramirez stealing for the second out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Cameron Maybin smashed a ball to the right of Rollins. Rollins made a fantastic sliding play to field the ball and a quick throw to second to force the runner and end the inning.

Down 3-0 to start the ninth, the Phillies scored seven runs. After they cut the lead to 3-2 with two outs and the bases loaded, Victorino hit a grand slam off Matt Lindstrom and Utley followed with a solo homer of his own.

Saturday, in game two, the Phillies got one in the ninth and two in the tenth to win 6-4.

Park took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth, but gave up a three-run homer to Jorge Cantu. Uggla followed that with a solo shot.

Down 4-3 in the top of the ninth, the Phillies put men on first and third with nobody out. Dobbs struck out, but Bruntlett was at least able to make contract, dribbling to third for the second out to tie the game. In the top of the tenth, Victorino, Utley, Werth and Howard all singled in a row with one out. Utley drove in Victorino (who had stolen second) and Werth’s single scored Utley.

Lidge needed 34 pitches to do it, but held on for a shaky save in the bottom of the tenth. He struck Cody Ross out with the bases loaded to end the game.

Yesterday the Phillies won in a rout, topping Florida 13-2.

Moyer went six strong innings and held Florida to one run to earn his 249th career win. The Phillies took a 4-1 lead into the top of the seventh, but put up four in the seventh and five in the eighth.

The Phillies got good pitching in the series. Overall, Phillies pitchers allowed nine runs in 28 innings, throwing to a 2.89 ERA and a 1.36 ratio.

The starters allowed three home runs (two by Park and one by Myers) in 19 innings, but pitched to a 3.79 ERA and a 1.47 ratio.

Myers had a miserable first inning in game one and ended up with an ugly line, having allowed eight hits and six walks over six innings while throwing 119 pitches. He did a fantastic job to keep the Fish off the board after the first. He needed a lot of help in the fifth, getting two great defensive plays and a caught stealing.

Despite just going six innings, Myers threw 119 pitches in the game (which is a high for a starter for the season). Again he was hurt by the home run. Myers has thrown 25 2/3 innings on the year and allowed eight home runs.

Like Myers, Park gave up one big inning in his start, a four-run fourth. Park allowed just five hits and a walk in his seven innings — three hits and a walk came in the fourth. He also hit Cameron Maybin ahead of the pitcher with two outs and nobody on in the inning, presumably knowing that he would bat third in the top of the fifth. Chris Volstad threw a pitch behind him and both benches were warned.

Moyer became the first Phillies starting pitcher not to allow a home run. The one run he did allow scored with the help of a poor decision from Coste, who should have taken an out at first on a bunt but instead threw to second to try and force a runner. He didn’t and the runner, Ross, would come around to score the only run that Moyer allowed in the game.

For Moyer it was his first outing of the season in which he did not allow four runs.

The Phillies used six relievers in the series (not Taschner). As a group, Phillies relief pitchers combined to strike out 13 in nine innings while throwing to a 1.00 ERA with a 1.11 ratio. The bullpen did not give up a home run.

Madson and Lidge combined to throw three scoreless innings in which they struck out eight.

In game one, Condrey and Madson combined to throw three scoreless innings to keep the Phils in the game. They allowed a hit and two walks.

In game two, the pen again was not charged with a run in three innings. They allowed three hits and walked two. Lidge had a long bottom of the tenth. With a two-run lead he got the first two before allowing a double and two walks to load the bases. He struck out Cody Ross to end the game.

With two outs in the eighth in game two and the Phils down 4-3, Manuel brought in Eyre to pitch to lefty Jeremy Hermida. The Fish hit righty Wes Helms for Hermida, but Eyre struck him out with two men on to end the inning.

Eyre still has not allowed a hit or a walk in seven appearances this season.

Up 8-1 in the bottom of the seventh in game three, Manuel called on Durbin to pitch for the second straight day rather than use Taschner. Happ finished off the last two frames with the Phils up big. He struck out three but allowed the only run the pen would yield in the series.

In his last two appearances Happ has allowed four runs over 3 2/3 innings on four hits and three walks.

Everyone should be available tonight. Durbin has appeared in two straight games, but threw just 14 pitches yesterday.

The Phillies scored 26 runs in three games.

Rollins got the day off yesterday with Bruntlett starting at short. He went 1-for-9 with a walk and an RBI in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-16 and hitting 162/205/235 for the season. He made a fantastic defensive play in the fifth inning of game one to help Myers keep Florida off the board.

Victorino had a monster series. 5-for-15 with a double, a triple, a grand slam and eight RBI. He’s hitting 268/333/437 for the year. He played a huge part in each of the ninth-inning rallies. He had a two-out grand slam in the first game to put the Phillies ahead. In the second game he started the rally with a single and a stolen base.

Utley 3-for-12 with a home run and four RBI in the series. 317/434/571. He was charged with an error on a bad-hop grounder with one out in the fifth in game two, but Park got the next two hitters so it didn’t cost the Phillies.

Howard was 5-for-15 with a double and a home run in the series, coming off an 0-for-10 against the Brewers. He’s hitting 290/364/522 for the season.

Werth was 3-for-10 with a double, six walks and five strikeouts. 290/397/500.

Ibanez 3-for-13 with two walks. 324/390/632. He made several notable defensive plays in the series. He made a fantastic diving play for the third out of the first inning yesterday. In game one of the series he tracked down a ball in the gap in right-center to help Myers keep Florida off the board in the fifth.

Feliz started all three games at third and went 3-for-11. He came into yesterday’s game 0-for-his-last-13 and went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

Coste started yesterday’s game with Marson starting the first two. Coste was 0-for-5 in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-15 and hitting 182/270/303 for the year. He made an awful decision in the fifth inning yesterday, throwing to second to try and force Ross after the bunt by the pitcher. It helped Florida score the only run they would get against Moyer.

Marson was 1-for-5 in the series and is hitting 286/375/357 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. He had a terrible at-bat in game two, striking out with nobody out in the ninth and men on first and third and the Phillies down a run. He’s 1-for-15 on the season.

Bruntlett picked Dobbs up in game two, dribbling into an out to tie the game in the ninth. He had a big strikeout in game one. With one out in the ninth, the bases loaded and the Phillies down 3-1, Bruntlett struck out. Rollins followed with a walk and then Victorino put the Phillies ahead to stay with a grand slam. Bruntlett was 1-for-6 with a double in the series. 1-for-his-last-10 and hitting 188/211/375.

Stairs was 1-for-1 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 364/462/909 for the season.

Cairo 0-for-2 in the series and 0-for-7 as a Phillie.

The Phillies are home to play the first of three against the Nationals tonight.


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