Tag: Raul Ibanez

Feeling hot, hot, hot

It’s been hot in Philadelphia for the past few days, but the Phils are pretty hot themselves. After taking the first three games of a four-game set with the Padres, the Phils have won five in a row to extend their lead in the NL East to six games over the second-place Braves.

The Phils won the series opener 3-1 on Friday. Hamels started the game and pitched very well, holding San Diego to a run on three hits and a walk over eight innings. Ruiz doubled Victorino home in the second to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. A single by Victorino, a walk by Ruiz, a balk and a double by Martinez helped the Phils score two more in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-0. In the fifth, Cameron Maybin singled, stole second and scored on a ground out to get San Diego on the board at 3-1. Mason set them down in order in the ninth for his 16th save.

The Phillies scored five run in the seventh inning to get an 8-6 win in game two. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a three-run homer by Utley, who was 3-for-3 with a pair of homers and four RBI in the game. Kendrick kept the Padres off the board until the sixth when they tied the game at 3-3 on a two-run homer by Maybin and a solo shot by Chase Headley. Logan Forsythe started the seventh with a triple and scored on a two-out single by Maybin, putting San Diego up 4-3. The Phils got five in the bottom of the seventh on a pinch-hit homer from Howard (Mayberry started the game at first), a three-run shot from Martinez and a solo blast by Utley. They led 8-4, but San Diego came back with two more in the eighth with the runs changed to Bastardo, who allowed two singles, two walks and a wild pitch in the frame before being pulled for Herndon. Madson pitched the ninth again with an 8-6 lead and again got the save. He allowed a two-out double to Ryan Ludwick off the glove of Ibanez, but struck out Kyle Blanks as the tying run to end the game.

The Phils won yesterday’s game 5-3 behind eight strong innings from Halladay.

The Phillies are 64-36 on the year after taking the first three from the Padres in the four-game set. They’re 28 games over .500 for the first time on the season and in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the Braves. Since pulling to within 2 1/2 games of the Phils, the Braves have lost four of six.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Only two of the runs were earned. All eight hits he allowed were singles and he struck out eight.

Maybin was the first batter of the game and singled to center. He stole second before Will Venable struck out swinging, but came around to score when Headley singled to right, putting San Diego up 1-0. Brown’s throw home was terrible, way up the third base line, and Headley took second. Headley went to third when Ludwick flew to center for the second out and was left stranded when Halladay struck Blanks out swinging to end the frame.

Terrible throw by Brown, but it doesn’t cost the Phils this time.

Halladay pitched the second up 2-1. Alberto Gonzalez singled with two outs, but Halladay struck pitcher Tim Stauffer out swinging to leave Gonzalez stranded

Venable singled with one out in the third, but Halladay got the next two to leave him stranded.

Halladay was up 5-1 when he started the fourth. Blanks led off with a single before Forsythe struck out for the first out. Kyle Phillips was next and hit a ball to Howard, who threw it away for his fifth error of the season. It put men on first and second for Gonzalez and he singled to right, scoring Blanks (5-2) and moving Phillips to third. Stauffer got down a bunt and Phillips scored, making it 5-3, as Howard fielded and went to first for the second out. Maybin reached on an infield single that sent Gonzalez from second to third, but Venable grounded to first to leave both runners stranded.

Big error by Howard helps the Padres score an unearned run.

Blanks walked with two outs in the fifth. Forsythe followed that with a single that moved Blanks to third, with Forsythe taking second on the throw to third. Halladay struck Phillips out looking 3-2 to leave both men stranded.

Halladay didn’t allow a runner to reach base after that. He set the Padres down in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth.

Bastardo took over in the ninth after Madson got saves in the first two games of the set. Bastardo was coming off a weak outing in game two of the series in which he had allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning. He set San Diego down in order, getting Gonzalez on a fly ball to left, pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson on a fly ball to right before striking Chris Denorfia out looking 2-2 to end the game.

Eighth save on the year for Bastardo. He threw 17 pitches in the game and has thrown two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Stauffer went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Ruiz catches the day game against the righty after Schneider started the night before against the righty Latos.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the first. Utley walked with two outs and moved to third when Howard followed with a single. Victorino was next and he singled into center, scoring Utley (1-1) and moving Howard to second. Ibanez got behind 0-2, but doubled off the wall in right. Howard scored to put the Phils up 2-1 with men on second and third. Brown flew to left to leave them there.

Ruiz walked to start the second and Halladay bunted him to second with the first out. Rollins moved him to third with a ground out before Martinez walked, putting men first and third for Utley. Utley struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

Howard doubled to start the third and Victorino bunted him to third with the first out. Ibanez followed with a single to right that scored Howard, putting the Phils up 3-1. Brown singled to right and Ibanez took second before Ruiz cleared the bases with a double. 5-1. Halladay struck out and Rollins grounded to second to leave Brown at second.

Up 5-3, the Phils went in order in the fourth and again in the fifth.

Halladay walked on five pitches with one out in the sixth. Rollins flew to center before Martinez moved Halladay to second with a single. Lefty Josh Spence took over for Stauffer and got Utley to fly to center to leave both runners stranded.

Halladay draws a walk after getting the bunt down in the second.

Victorino walked with one out in the seventh, but Ibanez and Brown went down behind him to leave him at first. Ibanez was robbed of a two-run homer by Denorfia, blasting a ball that Denorfia went over the center field wall running hard to catch for the second out.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. Gload hit for Halladay and struck out for the second out.

Gload got a hit in game two of the set, but is now 2-for-his-last-16.

Rollins was 0-for-5 in the game. He’s 1-for-12 in the series so far.

Martinez 1-for-3 with a walk and a single. 296/350/463 in 54 at-bats in July.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-10 with a double and two homers in the series so far.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an error. 5-for-31 (.161) since the All-Star break.

Victorino 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-9 with two weeks in the series.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Denorfia took a two-run homer away from him with a fantastic catch in the seventh.

Brown 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 5-for-his-last-13.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBI. 353/459/529 in 51 at-bats in July.

Lee (9-6, 2.83) faces righty Aaron Harang (8-2, 3.29) this afternoon. Harang had a 5.05 ERA for the year after his first eight starts on the season. Over his last eight starts he’s thrown to a 1.73 ERA with a 1.17 ratio and has allowed more than two runs in a start once. Lee has been even better in his last eight starts, throwing to a 1.42 ERA with an 0.82 ratio.


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.


Rule V mash

Things looked bad early for the Phils last night, but Cliff Lee made it through a shaky start to his start and Michael Martinez delivered another big hit. Down 2-0, Utley doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. The Phils rallied for two more in the ninth, getting two-out singles from Francisco and Rollins before Martinez cleared the bases with a two-out double.

For Martinez it was his second huge offense game in the last three the Phils have played. He’s hitting 297/357/459 in 37 at-bats in July. In the five games since the All-Star break, he’s driven in more runs than Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Brown and Ruiz combined. The day before the All-Star break, he went 4-for-5 against the Braves.

The Phillies are 60-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 last night. They lead the NL East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

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

Reed Johnson led off the bottom of the first and doubled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Starlin Castro was next and he hit Lee’s first pitch out to left, putting the Cubs up 2-0. Aramis Ramirez was next he doubled to center. Jeff Baker lined to short for the first out before Marlon Byrd hit a ball hard towards third that Martinez snared. Martinez went for first for the second out with Ramirez holding second. Lee struck Alfonso Soriano out looking 1-2 to end the inning with Ramirez at second.

Not a great start for Lee. First three batters he faces deliver extra-base hits, followed by a line drive out and a ball hit hard to third.

Carlos Pena started the second with a double and moved to third when Geovany Soto followed with a single. The pitcher Matt Garza tried to bunt Soto to second but couldn’t and struck out for the first out. Lee struck Johnson and Castro out back-to-back to leave runners on the corners.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.

Johnson doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Castro was next and he hit a ball that was deflected by Rollins and went into left for a single that moved Johnson to third. Lee got Ramirez on a popup to short and struck out Baker to keep the Cubs from extending their lead.

No run for Chicago after putting men on first and third with one out.

Carlos Pena singled to right with two outs in the sixth. Lee got Soto on a ground ball to third to leave him at first.

Stutes took over for Lee in the seventh. Johnson singled to left with one out and Castro flew to right behind him for the second. Ramirez moved Johnson to second with a single into center and lefty Blake DeWitt hit for the righty Baker. Stutes got DeWitt on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Stutes was back to pitch the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He got the first two batters before getting behind the lefty Pena 2-0. Pena was walked intentionally and Stutes struck Soto out to leave him at first.

Not a fan of walking Pena or much of anyone with two outs and nobody on base.

Bastardo started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Lefty Kosuke Fukudome hit for the pitcher Sean Marshall and the lefty Bastardo struck him out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Johnson struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. Castro fouled off fives pitches before striking out looking 1-2 to end the game.

Three scoreless innings for the pen. Stutes threw 37 pitches in the game, Bastardo 18. Neither of them have thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Victorino returns to the lineup and Mayberry goes back to the bench. Martinez continues to play third and hit second for Polanco. Second is too high for Martinez.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez and Brown walked back-to-back with two outs in the second and the Phils down 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second to end the frame.

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

Brown doubled to left with one out in the fifth, but was left stranded at second when Ruiz fouled out to Pena and Lee struck out swinging.

Martinez walked with one out in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Soto. Utley struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Martinez at third.

Utley and Howard can’t put the ball in play against the righty Garza and the Phils don’t score with one out and a man on third. Martinez turned out to be the hero in the ninth, but did his best to make a run for the Phils out of almost nothing in the sixth.

Brown singled to center with two outs in the seventh and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single to right. With the righty Garza still pitching for Chicago, Gload hit for Lee and flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Gload is 1-for-his-last-14.

Rollins led off the eighth and singled to right off of Garza. Lefty Sean Marshall took over for Garza and Martinez singled softly to center, moving Rollins to second. Utley was next he hammered a 1-1 pitch to the gap in left-center. The ball landed on the track and bounced off the wall. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 2-2 with nobody out and Utley on second. Utley stole third as Howard struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino was next and chopped a ball to short. Castro fielded and threw home, where Soto tagged out a sliding Utley on a close play for the second out. Ibanez struck out swinging to leave Victorino at first.

Third strikeout of the game for Howard.

With the lefty Marshall on the mound, Mayberry hit for brown and grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Francisco hit for Stutes and singled to center. Rollins was next and he reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Ramirez at third, putting men on first and second for Martinez. Martinez flared an 0-1 pitch into right that dropped inside the line. Both runners scored, putting the Phils up 4-2. Martinez was caught be between second and third and was tagged out sliding into third for the third out.

Manuel takes Brown out of the game with the score tied, letting Mayberry hit for him against the lefty. Francisco delivers a big pinch-hit single that keeps the frame alive for Rollins to single and Martinez to double and put the Phils ahead.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with two singles. He’s 8-for-his-last-18 and hitting 365/412/492 in July.

Martinez was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a stolen base and two RBI.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-18.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 1-for-his-last-19.

Victorino 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk.

Brown 2-for-2 with a double and a walk and removed for a pinch-hitter against a lefty in a tie game. He’s 2-for-his-last-12. I think the Phils should be considering both Mayberry and Francisco as potential platoon partners for Brown in right with Victorino back.

Ruiz was 1-for-4. He’s hitting 341/442/477 so far in July.

Worley (5-1, 2.15) faces righty Ryan Dempster (7-6, 4.68) this afternoon. Dempster threw to a 6.32 ERA in his first 13 starts of the year, but has gone 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.10 ratio over his last seven outings. Worley has allowed one run or less in seven of the nine starts he has made for the Phillies this season.

This suggests that Oswalt could return in early August if things continue to go well.


Phils so good the front office decides to give ‘em the next four days off

The Phils put an exclamation point on the first half of their season, hammering the Braves 14-1 behind another dominant start by Hamels and a 20-hit performance from the offense.

With the win, the Phils take two of three in the series. They go into the All-Star break with the best record in baseball, on pace to win 101 games.

They won the opener of the series 3-2 on a walkoff homer by Ibanez in the tenth. Halladay started for the Phils and gave up a run in the second when Chipper Jones singled, took second and then came in to score on a single by Freddie Freeman, putting Atlanta up 1-0. The Phils tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on singles by Ibanez and Ruiz and a sac fly by Valdez. Halladay gave up three hits in the fourth, the third of which was a single by Dan Uggla that plated Brian McCann to put the Braves up 2-1. Again the Phils tied the game right back up on a homer by Ruiz in the bottom of the fourth. The Phils didn’t allow a run in the game after that. Halladay pitched scoreless frames in the fifth, sixth and seventh and was followed by Stutes, Bastardo and Perez, who combined to throw three innings without allowing a hit or a walk. Ibanez homered off of righty Scott Proctor with one out in the tenth to give the Phils the win.

Atlanta took game two 4-1 in eleven innings. Cliff Lee started the game for the Phils and pitched great. He gave the Phils a 1-0 lead himself in the third, hitting his first career home run. Dan Uggla tied the game with a homer of his own off of Lee in the fifth. It was the only run that Lee would allow in the game. He went eight scoreless innings and was followed by Bastardo, who threw a scoreless ninth, and Perez, who threw a scoreless tenth. Stutes walked Eric Hinkse to start the eleventh and Hinkse was bunted to second. Alex Gonzalez hit a popup in foul territory that Howard couldn’t make a play on, allow the at-bat to continue. Gonzalez singled Hinkse home to make it 2-1 and McCann followed that with a two-run homer.

Yesterday Hamels was fantastic and the offense pounded out 14 runs as the Phils rolled to a 14-1 win.

The Phillies go into the All-Star break at 57-34 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 14-1 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one and are in first place in the NL East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out six and goes into the break at 11-4 with a 2.32 ERA and an 0.93 ratio. Right-handed batters have hit 198/242/282 against him for the year.

He walked McCann with two outs in the first, but got Freeman to fly to left behind him for the third out.

Uggla led off the second with a double and moved to third on a ground out by Jason Heyward. Julio Lugo was next and hit a ground ball to third, which was fielded by Rollins. Rollins threw to first in time to get Lugo, but Howard didn’t catch it for an error and Atlanta led 1-0. Nate McLouth was next and grounded to second with Lugo forced at second for the second out. Jordan Schaefer went down trying to bunt for a hit to end the frame.

More bad defense from Howard in the series, even though it didn’t cost the Phils a run.

Hamels set Atlanta down in order in the third with the score tied at 1-1. Martinez made a fantastic playing leaning over the third base railing to retire Freeman for the third out.

Heyward doubled to right with one out in the fourth and the Phils up 3-1. Hamels struck Lugo out behind him for the second out before walking McLouth. The pitcher Derek Lowe flew to center for the third out.

Up 4-1, Hamels set Atlanta down in order in the fifth.

He got them in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Up 10-1, Hamels threw a 1-2-3 eighth. David Ross hit for McCann with two outs and hit a long fly ball to left, but Ibanez made a great catch, timing his jump perfectly and catching the ball at the top of the wall to set Atlanta down.

Kendrick pitched the ninth up 14-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Freeman, but got the next three hitters behind him.

Seven pitches in the game for Kendrick. The pen should be really well rested for the next game, which isn’t till Friday.

The Phillies lineup against righty Derek Lowe went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Mayberry. Martinez at third for Polanco and Mayberry in center for Victorino.

Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a single and moved to second when Martinez followed with a single to right. Utley grounded to short with Martinez forced at second for the first out before Howard hit into a double-play.

Rollins probably could have gone to third on Martinez’s single to right. Not doing so keeps the Phils off the board.

Down 1-0, Brown singled to center with one out in the second. He came around to score when Mayberry followed with a double to left, tying the game at 1-1. Hamels grounded to short for the third out.

Martinez and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the third, putting men on first and third. Utley stole second before Howard singled to center, scoring Martinez to put the Phils up 2-1 with men on first and third. Ibanez was next and hit a ball hard to second that Uggla didn’t handle for an error. Utley scored (3-1) and Howard took second. Ruiz and Brown both grounded out to keep the Phils from getting more.

Mayberry started the fourth with another double to left and Hamels bunted him to third with the first out. Rollins singled into center, scoring Mayberry to make it 4-1. Martinez moved Rollins to second with another single, but Utley hit into a double-play to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

They scored six times in the seventh. Rollins singled and went to third on a one-out single by Utley. Utley stole second again and Howard was walked intentionally to load the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled to right, scoring Rollins and Utley (6-1) and moving Howard to second. The runners took second and third on a wild pitch before Ruiz walked, loading the bases again. Brown singled to left, scoring Howard and Ibanez. 8-1 with men on first and second. Mayberry doubled to left yet again, scoring both runners and making it 10-1 with a man on second and one out. Hamels struck out and Rollins flew to center to leave Mayberry at second.

Martinez started the eighth with a single and moved up to second on a one-out single by Howard before Ibanez homered to right. 13-1. Ruiz doubled and moved to third on a single by Brown. Mayberry grounded to third for the second out with Brown forced at second and Ruiz scoring. 14-1. Gload hit for Hamels and flew to right to end the inning.

Rollins was 3-for-5 in the game. He was 5-for-14 in the three-game series and goes into the break hitting 268/340/383 for the year.

Martinez was 4-for-5 in the game and 5-for-6 in the series to raise his line on the year to 229/270/289.

Utley was 2-for-5 yesterday with five men left on base. 3-for-14 with a walk in the set. 280/370/439.

Howard 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3-for-14 with a walk and an RBI in the series. 257/353/475 for the year. 238/333/349 over his last 72 plate appearances.

Ibanez 2-for-5 with a home run and six RBI yesterday. 5-for-15 with two home runs and seven RBI in the series. Hit the walkoff homer that won game one in the tenth. 241/287/416 for the year. Over his last five games he’s gone 9-for-25 with three home runs and 13 RBI. 275/307/498 over his last 244 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. 4-for-10 with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 255/360/359 for the year. 279/388/382 in his last 161 plate appearances.

Brown 3-for-5 with two RBI. 5-for-13 with five singles and two RBI in the series. 252/327/408 on the year. He came into July hitting 214/294/411 for the year and has hit 371/436/400 so far in 35 July plate appearances.

Mayberry 3-for-5 with three doubles and four RBI. 4-for-14 with a walk, four doubles and four RBI in the series. 244/326/439 for the year so far.

No game today. The next game for the Phils is against the Mets in New York on Friday.

Polanco will join Victorino in not playing in the All-Star game. The linked article also suggests Madson may be back shortly after the break.


Bullpen conflicted about whether they’re better off trying to improve or just convince the front office they’re all Rule V picks

The Phils were unable to finish off the sweep of the Marlins last night, getting miserable pitching as they failed to hold leads of 4-0 and 6-3. They made three errors in the game and Domonic Brown had two big miscues, having a ball go through his legs in the outfield to help Florida score two runs in the third and missing second base on a would-be triple ahead of a home run by Mayberry in the sixth.

As bad as that was, it was hard not to notice the bullpen. The Phils used four relievers in the game and three of them ended the day with an ERA over five for the year. Danys Baez gave up a walkoff homer to Mike Stanton with one out in the bottom of the tenth. That pushes his ERA on the year to 5.40. In his two seasons with the Phils he’s now thrown to a 5.44 ERA with a 1.56 ratio in 82 2/3 innings.

For the Phils, it’s the fourth time in the last 13 games the bullpen has had a bad day. In three of those games they’ve been terrible. Through the end of May, the bullpen threw to a 2.80 ERA and a 1.28 ratio in 151 innings. Since June 9 they’ve thrown to a 4.40 ERA with a 1.41 ratio in 57 1/3 innings. Over the last 13 games they’ve thrown 27 innings with a 6.33 ERA and a 1.59 ratio.

The Phillies are 55-33 on the year after losing to the Florida Marlins 7-6 in ten innings last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. They remain in first place in the NL East, but are just three games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. Only one of the runs was earned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out two and his ERA on the year actually dropped to 3.64. But he didn’t pitch very well.

Emilio Bonifacio bunted for a single to start the bottom of the first. Omar Infante moved him to second with a single and it brought Gaby Sanchez to the plate with nobody out and men on first and second. Sanchez tried to bunt, of course, and popped it up to Ruiz in foul territory for the first out. Hanley Ramirez hit into a double-play behind him.

Not sure why you would bunt with your three hitter when every batter you’ve sent to the plate in the game has reached base, but it sure helped the Phils.

Up 2-0, Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second.

The pitcher Anibal Sanchez singled to right with one out in the third and the Phils up 4-0. Kendrick walked Bonifacio before getting Infante on a fly ball to center for the second out. Sanchez was next and singled to right, but the ball went through Brown’s legs and rolled to the wall. Both runners scored, Brown was charged with an error and the lead was cut to 4-2 with Sanchez at third. Ramirez followed that and hit a ball slowly to short. Rollins charged and threw wildly to first. Ramirez had a single, but held first, and Sanchez scored. 4-3. Morrison grounded to second to end the inning.

I guess it was too much to hope for Sanchez to bunt with two outs.

Up 5-3, Kendrick allowed a one-out double to Bryan Petersen in the fourth, but got the next two hitters behind him.

Bonifacio walked to start the fifth, but Ruiz threw him out trying to steal second for the first out. Infante singled to left, but Kendrick got Sanchez to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Herndon started the sixth up 6-3 after the Phils hit for Kendrick in the top of the inning. Ramirez led off with a single before Logan Morrison hit a 3-1 pitch out to center, cutting the lead to 6-5. Herndon struck out Mike Stanton for the first out before Petersen singled to right. John Buck flew to center for the second out and lefty Dewayne Wise hit for the pitcher Michael Dunn. The righty Carpenter came in to pitch to Wise and got him on a ground ball to second to end the inning.

Carpenter struck Bonifacio out to start the seventh before Infante tripled down the first base line. Sanchez walked before Ramirez singled into center, scoring Infante to tie the game at 6-6 with one out and men on first and second. Morrison was next and he hit a fly ball right at Mayberry. Mayberry didn’t play it right, then dove forward and had it go off of his glove for an error that loaded the bases. It brought Stanton to the plate and he shattered his bat hitting a grounder to third. Martinez made a great play as the head of the bat whizzed past, throwing to second for the first out. Utley made a hop and a strong enough throw to first to double-up Stanton and end the inning.

Great play by Martinez and Utley to get the double-play. The ball wasn’t hit hard. I bet the play where you ignore the huge shards of wood flying past is hard to practice. Two is too many errors for your outfielders to make in one game.

Stutes pitched the eighth with the game still tied at 6-6. Buck singled with one out and Brett Hayes ran for him at first. Mike Cameron hit for the pitcher and Stutes threw wildly to first trying to pick off Hayes for an error that allowed Hayes to take second before Cameron popped up to Howard for the second out of the inning. Stutes struck Bonifacio out swinging 2-2 to leave Hayes at third.

Third error of the game for the Phillies.

Baez set the Marlins down in order in the ninth.

He was back to start the tenth and got Morrison on a ground ball to second for the first out. Stanton was next and he rocketed a 2-1 pitch out to left to give Florida a 7-6 win.

Not a good day for the pen in long relief of Kendrick. They went 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk.

Carpenter threw 26 pitches in the game, Stutes 23 and Baez 22. Herndon 16. Off day today, so those guys should be available for the Braves.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Mayberry. Martinez makes his first appearance of the year at third. Mayberry plays center with Victorino still sidelined with thumb problems. Martinez shouldn’t be hitting second in any lineup, regardless of injuries.

Rollins led off the game with a single. Martinez struck out behind him for the first out before Utley singled to right. Rollins rounded second for third and Stanton’s throw went to third, but was cut off by Ramirez and Utley was caught up between first and second and tagged out for the second out. Howard struck out to leave Rollins at third.

Brown walked with two outs in the second. Mayberry was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 2-0. Kendrick struck out swinging for the third out.

Utley doubled with two outs in the third and Howard was walked intentionally behind him. Ibanez was next and he laced a double to left-center, just out of the reach of Petersen. It cleared the bases and the Phils led 4-0. Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind him before Brown struck out swinging to end the frame.

It was 4-3 when the Phillies hit in the fourth. Mayberry and Kendrick both struck out swinging before Rollins laced a 3-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 5-3. Martinez walked behind him before Utley flew to center.

Rollins continues to show power against righties with the home run off of Sanchez. He’s slugging .292 against lefties for the year compared to .417 against righties. Nice to see Martinez draw a walk.

Howard singled to start the fifth, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him. Ruiz was next and hit the ball hard, but Ramirez handled it at short and threw to first for the third out.

Brown led off the sixth and lined a ball to left-center just past a sliding and flailing Petersen. He raced all the way around to third, but it was ruled that he failed to touch second and was the first out of the inning. Mayberry was next and homered again to left, putting the Phils up 6-3. Valdez hit for Kendrick, who had thrown just 81 pitches and allowed one earned run in five innings, and lined to left. Rollins popped to second for the third out.

Early hook for Kendrick. He wasn’t pitching well, but that was early. I’d feel better about it if the Phils had a better hitter to stick up there than Valdez. Brown costs the Phils a run with the base-running mistake ahead of the home run.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

In the eighth they went in order with the score tied at 6-6.

Mayberry grounded to second for the first out in the ninth. With righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Fish, Gload hit for Stutes and popped to short for the second. Rollins walked and stole second on a pitchout (with help of a terrible throw from Hayes) before Martinez walked. It put men on first and second for Utley and Utley flew to left to leave them both stranded.

The Phils went in order in the tenth.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a walk and a homer in the series. 7-for-13 with two walks, a double, a home run and two stolen bases in the three-game series. 264/338/384 for the year.

Martinez was 0-for-3 and walked twice. He made a great play to avoid a flying bat and start a double-play in the seventh. He also made a very nice catch in center early in game two of the series. If only he could hit. 2-for-13 with a triple, two walks and four RBI in the set. 182/229/247 for the year.

Utley 2-for-5 with a double. 4-for-13 with a double and two strikeouts in the series. 287/380/462 for the year. 324/412/529 in his last 120 plate appearances.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk. 5-for-13 with a double, a home run and two walks in the series, both of which were intentional. 258/356/486 for the year.

Ibanez 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and six RBI in the series. 236/285/400 for the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4. 1-for-9 in the series and he was twice hit by pitch.

Brown 1-for-3 in the game with two big mistakes — missing second the would-be triple and having the ball go through his legs in the third. 5-for-10 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 239/322/410 for the year.

Mayberry was 2-for-4 with three RBI in the first multi-homer game of his career. 2-for-5 with a walk in the series in his first action with the team since June. 239/325/422 in 123 plate appearances for the season. He and Brown have very similar lines for the year.

No game today. Atlanta tomorrow night.


Something special

On August 7, 2008, Chris Volstad made his first career start against the Phils and threw six shutout innings, prompting Jimmy Rollins to proclaim him “nothing special.” That seemed a little ridiculous at the time, but seems a lot less so today as the Phils have had a whole lot of success against Volstad since.

They certainly did last night, pounding Volstad and the Marlins as they won 14-2. Rollins had four hits in the game, which wasn’t close to the best offensive performance of the game for the Phils. Howard and Ibanez combined to go 7-for-10 with two walks and eight RBI.

Volstad came into the game having thrown to a 1.31 ERA over his last three starts. After allowing seven runs in four innings last night, he has a career 5.88 ERA and a 1.59 ratio in 12 starts against the Phils.

The Phillies are 55-32 on the year after hammering the Florida Marlins 14-2 last night. They are 7-2 in their last nine and lead the NL East by four games over the second-place Braves. Fourteen run is a season-high for the Phils are they are 23 games over .500 for the first time this year.

The Marlins are 7-26 since the end of May.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.40. Hamels now has a better ERA, ERA+ and ratio for the season than Halladay. Halladay has struck hitters out at a higher rate and gone deeper into games, but Hamels has thrown an average of 6.89 innings per start. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start in any of his last eight outings.

Gaby Sanchez doubled to right on a ball deflected by Brown with two outs in the first. Hamels walked Hanley Ramirez on a 3-2 pitch behind him, putting men on first and second for Logan Morrison. Morrison hit the ball hard, but Howard took it at first and flipped to Hamels to end the inning.

Mike Stanton started the bottom of the second with a single, but Hamels got the next three to leave him stranded. Martinez made a nice diving play in center on a line drive hit by Bryan Petersen for the second out.

Hamels pitched the third with a 5-0 lead. Omar Infante singled to left with one out, but Hamels got Gaby Sanchez on a fly ball to left for the second out and Ramirez looking for the third.

It was 7-0 when he started the fourth. Stanton tripled to center with one out. Catcher John Buck was next and Buck hit a 2-0 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 7-2. Petersen followed that with a single into center, but Hamels got the next two hitters to prevent further damage.

That’s just the seventh home run of the year allowed by Hamels and the second since May 23. Righties came into the game slugging .263 against him for the season.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He struck out Buck and Morrison in a 1-2-3 sixth with an 8-2 lead.

With two outs in the seventh, Emilio Bonifacio hit a slow ground ball to third. Valdez wasn’t going to get Bonifacio anyway, but threw to first and his throw was bad for an error that allowed Bonifacio to take second. Infante grounded to second to leave Bonifacio stranded.

Ramirez doubled to right with one out in the eighth. Morrison followed that and hit a foul ball that Martinez, playing second, took after a run. Ramirez tagged up and took third with two outs. Stanton struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Ramirez at third.

Mathieson started the ninth with a 14-2 lead. Greg Dobbs led off with a single and move to third when Petersen doubled behind him. Mathieson struck out Brett Hayes and Bonifacio, though, before hitting Infante to load the bases. Sanchez popped to Rollins to leave them loaded and end the game.

Five innings for Mathieson on the year now without being charged with a run. He’s allowed nine hits and three walks in five innings for a 2.40 ratio. Opponents are hitting .409 against him. He threw 22 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. Martinez in center again with Victorino sidelined with thumb issues. Polanco on the bench with a sore back. Valdez starts at third. Ruiz hits sixth, breaking up the lefties Ibanez and Brown.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez singled to center with one out in the second and moved up to second when Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind him. Brown was next and grounded to second with Ruiz forced at second for the second out. With men on first and third, Valdez grounded to second to end the frame.

Rollins singled to center with one out in the third. Martinez struck out swinging behind him for the second out, but Utley moved Rollins to third with a single to right. Volstad walked Howard intentionally, loading the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled to center. Rollins and Utley both scored, making it 2-0 with two down and men on first and second. Ruiz singled to left and the bases were loaded. Brown singled to left and everyone moved up a base. 3-0 with the bases loaded. Valdez singled to center and Ibanez and Ruiz scored. 5-0 with men on first and second. Hamels struck out looking 3-2 for the third out.

Lots of hits for the Phils there, but Ibanez makes Volstad pay for walking Howard intentionally.

Rollins started the fourth with a single. Martinez and Utley went down on ground balls behind him, leaving Martinez on second with two down for Howard. Howard hit an 0-1 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 7-0. Ibanez grounded to third for the third out.

Howard has absurd numbers against Volstad for his career — 13-for-26 with five walks and eight homers for a 500/581/1.462 line. It was home run number 18 on the year for Howard. All 18 have come against right-handed pitchers.

Up 7-2, Brown walked with one out in the fifth. Valdez and Hamels went down behind him.

Rollins led off the sixth with a double and scored on a two-out single by Howard to make it 8-2. Ibanez followed Howard with a walk, but Ruiz struck out swinging to leave both men stranded.

Hamels walked with two outs in the seventh and moved to second on a single by Rollins. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch, but Martinez grounded to first to leave them both stranded.

Mayberry, who just took Worley’s spot on the roster, started the eighth with a walk. He moved to second when Howard followed with a single on a ball that was originally called a catch in right field but clearly was not. Ibanez was next and hit into a double-play, leaving Mayberry to third with two down. Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.

Brown started the ninth with a single and went to third on a one-out, pinch-hit double by Francisco. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Martinez, who delivered a bases clearing triple to center that put the Phils up 11-2. Mayberry struck out for the second out before Howard brought Martinez home with a double. 12-2. Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch out to right. 14-2. Ruiz grounded to third to end the frame.

Francisco is 4-for-8 with three doubles in July.

Rollins was 4-for-5 with a double in the game. It was his second four-hit game of the last nine.

Martinez was 1-for-6 with a three-run triple. He also made a nice diving catch in center in the second. He’s hitting .189 and on-basing .218 for the year. In 25 plate appearances against lefties for the year he has a .250 OPS (3-for-24 with three singles and no walks).

Utley 1-for-4. 340/407/468 over his last 55 plate appearances.

Howard was 4-for-5 with a walk, a double, a home run and four RBI. That’s probably his best offensive day of the season with the possible exception of his April 29 game against the Mets where he went 2-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a walk, a home run and four RBI in what’s probably the best offense day of the season for him so far as well. From May 31 to June 28, Ibanez drove in just three runs in 94 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-5 and struck out twice. Despite the two strikeouts, his strikeout rate for the season isn’t bad compared to his career numbers. His power is way down, though. Using slugging percentage minus batting average to calculate isolated power, he was at .145 last year is at .131 for his career and just .093 this season.

Brown 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 7-for-19 with three walks and a double so far in July.

Valdez 1-for-5 with two RBI. He’s 1-for-his-last-17. Among 131 NL players with 175 plate appearances, his .277 on-base percentage is 120th. He also made his sixth error of the season — coming into the year he had made six errors in his career.

Kyle Kendrick (4-4, 3.81) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (6-2, 3.30) tonight. Sanchez has been very good this year, but was hit hard by the Rangers in his most recent start, allowing seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. He’s allowing both walks and hits at well being his career levels so far in 2011. Kendrick didn’t fare well in his last start, either, allowing six runs to the Blue Jays over seven innings on Friday. He’s thrown to a 4.80 ERA in his six starts on the season.


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