Tag: Rockies

Home field advantager

You’ve gotta be worried about the back of the pen and whether Rollins can get the offense rolling, but if you had a chance to pick a pair of Phillies you would like to play well against the Rockies I think you have to go with Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

The Rockies aren’t fantastic when they’re facing lefties or playing on the road. They’ll be doing both in games one and two.

They sure can hit at Coors Fields, though. The Rockies hit 287/367/482 at home this season. They posted an .850 OPS for the year at home, which was the best mark in the National League. The Phillies were second in home OPS, but they were way back at .796. Colorado’s .850 home OPS was better than the OPS posted at home by every American League team except for the Yankees and Red Sox. If you’re not familiar with the American League, it’s like baseball but instead of Wandy Rodriguez grounding back to the mound they have Adam Lind hit a three-run homer.

Colorado scored 464 runs in their 81 games at home, which is more than any team in either league except for the Red Sox. Again, 14 of the teams play in the AL.

And they don’t just score runs at home, they win. Colorado went 51-30 at home this year. Only one other NL team had 51 or more wins at home. The Giants went 52-29.

They are, however, a whole lot worse on the road. 41-40 this season. Here’s how the runs the Phils and Rockies scored per game at home and on the road and the differences between the two compare for the season:

  Runs
scored per game
Runs
allowed per game
Diff
COL at Home 5.73 4.68 1.05
COL Away 4.20 4.15 .05
       
PHI at Home 5.03 4.53 .50
PHI Away 5.09 4.22 .87

The Rockies just weren’t very good on the road, scoring about the same number of runs per game that they allowed. At home their offense was silly good. Also notable is that the average number of runs they allowed at home per game was not up nearly as sharply as the number of runs they scored at home.

The Phillies, of course, unlike the Rockies, are very good on the road. The 48 games that the Phils won on the road was the most in the NL. No team in either league won more games on the road than the Phils. The Angels had an identical 48-33 record in road games for the season. Still, I don’t think the Phillies want to be heading to Colorado with their backs to the wall.

Cliff Lee will start game one for the Phillies.

Update: Here’s the roster for the NLDS. No Condrey, Walker or Bruntlett. Cairo, Bastardo, Myers and Kendrick are all on the team. I would rather have Condrey or Walker than Bastardo. I’m also going to be surprised if Myers is able to contribute.


And down the stretch they come

The Phillies still have forty games left to play, almost a quarter of the season, but it sure looks like they’re going to the playoffs again in 2009. A look at the standings shows there are eight teams in the National League within eight games of a spot in the playoffs. The Phils, Cardinals and Dodgers lead the three divisions. The Rockies would be the Wild Card team if the season ended today and Atlanta, Florida, Chicago and San Francisco are all less than eight games behind in the chase for the playoffs.

The table below shows what those eight teams did in the first half of the season. Their record, winning percentage, the number of runs they scored per game, the number of runs they allowed per game and the difference between the number of runs they scored per game and the number of runs they allowed per game.

Team W L PCT R/G RA/G RD/G
PHI 48 38 .558 5.35 4.79 0.56
ATL 43 45 .489 4.24 4.31 -0.07
FLA 46 44 .511 4.61 4.76 -0.14
             
STL 49 42 .538 4.43 4.12 0.31
CHI 43 43 .500 4.13 4.10 0.02
             
LAD 56 32 .636 5.03 3.84 1.19
COL 47 41 .534 5.02 4.60 0.42
SF 49 39 .557 4.18 3.68 0.50

The Dodgers were the best team in the NL in the first half of the season by a wide margin. Their pitching was almost as good as the Giants and their offense was better than any team except for the Phillies. They scored 1.19 runs more per game on average than they allowed. The Phillies were second-best in the NL in that differential and the Dodgers were more than twice as good as the Phillies.

Atlanta, Florida and Chicago all had weak first halves of the season compared to the rest of the group. The Giants had fantastic pitching, the best in the league, but a weak offense. The Cards were in the middle of the pack in both scoring and preventing runs while the Rockies put a lot of runs on the board but allowed more per game than any teams other than the Phils and Marlins. The Phils scored the most runs per game of the eight teams but also allowed the most.

Here’s what the eight teams have done since the All-Star break:

Team W L PCT R/G RA/G RD/G
PHI 24 12 .667 5.19 3.56 1.64
ATL 23 13 .639 5.28 3.44 1.83
FLA 19 15 .559 5.09 4.71 0.38
             
STL 23 12 .657 4.63 3.60 1.03
CHI 19 17 .528 4.94 4.47 0.47
             
LAD 18 19 .486 4.32 3.78 0.54
COL 24 13 .649 5.30 4.00 1.30
SF 18 19 .486 3.70 3.95 -0.24

The Cards, Phillies, Braves and Rockies have all been fantastic in the second half. Each of the four teams has played to a winning percentage of .639 or higher. Of the four teams, the Braves have a 23-13 record to give them the worst winning percentage of the group. By run differential per game, though, Atlanta has been the best of the eight teams since the break. They have been the best of the eight teams at preventing runs while only the Rockies have scored more. The Braves have played 36 games since the break and won 23, scoring 190 runs and allowing 124. Pythagoras has them expecting to have won more games — 25-11 rather than their actual 23-13.

While those four teams have taken off, the Dodgers and the Giants have tanked out West with each team under .500 in the second half. The Giants still can’t score runs, but their pitching is no longer outstanding compared to the rest of the group. After being the best team at preventing runs in the first half of the year, the Phils, Braves, Cards and Dodgers have all done a better job keeping teams from scoring in the second half.

The Dodgers were second-best of the eight in preventing runs in the first half, but have been passed by the Phils, Braves and Cards in the second. They have a monster offense in the first half of the year, scoring more runs per game than any team other than the Phillies. The hitting has been meager since the break and the 4.32 runs per game the Dodgers have scored is worse than every team in the group other than the Giants.

The Cubs are just two games over .500 for the year at 62-60. The Fish have played to a .559 winning percentage in the second half, but their ability to prevent runs was seventh-best in the first half of the year and last in the group in the second. Not sure they have enough offense to make up for that.

Here’s what the numbers for the eight teams look like when you combine the first and second halves of the year:

Team W L PCT R/G RA/G RD/G
PHI 72 50 .590 5.30 4.43 0.88
ATL 66 58 .532 4.54 4.06 0.48
FLA 65 59 .524 4.74 4.74 0.00
             
STL 72 54 .571 4.48 3.98 0.51
CHI 62 60 .508 4.37 4.21 0.16
             
LAD 74 51 .592 4.82 3.82 1.00
COL 71 54 .568 5.10 4.42 0.68
SF 67 58 .536 4.04 3.76 0.28

It’s hard to argue that anyone but the Dodgers have been the best team in the NL this season. Despite their struggles since the break, LA has the best winning percentage on the season and the best differential per game in the number of runs they’ve scored and allowed. The Phils are aren’t far behind, though.

So who’s going to the playoffs in the NL this season? We’re going to have to wait and see. If I had to guess, though, the guess that things will stay the same seems like the best by a wide margin — the Phils, Cards and Dodgers win the divisions with the Rockies as the Wild Card team. I’m going to be real surprised if the Fish, Cubs or Giants make the playoffs. Neither are likely, but I think the other two scenarios that are more possible are 1) The Rockies win the West with the Dodgers as the Wild Card or, a lot less likely than that, 2) The Braves pass either the Rockies or the Dodgers to win the Wild Card.

This article makes it sound like we shouldn’t be expecting Condrey or Romero to return from the DL any day now.

Brett Myers threw a scoreless inning for Lakewood yesterday and says he is throwing 93-94 miles per hour in this article.


Eaton’s feat helps Phillies sweep the rocky Rockies

Battered by the injury bug, the Colorado Rockies look like they feel just about ready to call it a season. That’s somebody else’s problem, but for a Phillies fan the good news is that the Phils look like they’re just getting started. While the Rockies ran into out after out on the bases, walked 18 in the set and turned fly balls into new kinds of entertainment programming, the Phillies swept the series with monster bats but also by playing crisp baseball. The Phils ran their ground balls into hits, backed up third and, despite three errors in the series, showed flashes of brilliance defensively. It probably didn’t hurt that Chase Utley drove in ten runs three games, either.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Adam Eaton finally has a win. Eaton has put back-to-back solid starts together and earned his first win of the year last night.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 6-1 to improve to 31-24 on the season. They sweep the three-game series and have won four in a row. They are seven games above .500 for the first time this season.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and was very good. He went six innings, allowing a run on four hits and a walk. All four of the hits were singles. He struck out four.

He walked Todd Helton with two outs in the first, but Garrett Atkins flew to center for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 second.

With two outs in the third, Willy Taveras and Seth Smith singled back-to-back. It put men on first and third for Helton and Helton hit a ball that went over the head of Burrell in left and off the wall. Taveras scored easily to tie the game at 1-1, but the ball bounced right back to Burrell and Burrell fired the ball back to the infield. Rollins took the throw and fired to Utley at second. Helton was caught in between first and second. Utley ran towards him and Smith came home from third. Utley threw to Howard and Howard made a nice throw home. Ruiz put down a pretty sweep tag to get Smith at home to end the frame. He looked safe to me, but either way it was a nice play by all five of the Phillies in the field who were involved in the play — Burrell, Rollins, Utley, Howard and Ruiz.

Eaton hit Atkins to start the fourth, but Ryan Spilborghs lined into a double-play behind him. Ian Stewart struck out for the third out.

Eaton started the fifth with a 6-1 lead. Omar Quintanilla singled with one out and the pitcher Greg Reynolds bunted, but Ruiz threw Quintanilla out at second for the second out. Taveras flew to left for the third out.

He set the Rockies down 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Madson started the seventh with a 6-1 lead. Spilborghs led off and chopped a ball over Madson. The ball hit the cutout between the grass and the infield grass and Rollins couldn’t handle it cleanly. Spilborghs was safe with an infield single. Stewart was next and singled to right. Jenkins threw to third, but the bouncing ball got passed Feliz. Spilborghs tried to score, but Madson had backed up third well and threw Spilborghs out at home. Great job by Madson to cover third. The throw from Jenkins was fine — Feliz should have handled it. Stewart went to second so Jenkins was charged with a tough error. Madson struck out Chris Iannetta for the second out. Quintanilla flew to right for the third.

Terrible base-running again from the Rockies after Smith gave away an out at home the game before. I realize they can’t score, but that’s just not the way to go.

Madson started the eighth and walked Taveras with one out. Romero came in and got the lefties Smith and Helton to end the frame.

Durbin started the ninth with a five run lead. Spilborghs singled to right with one out before Stewart flew to center for the second out. Spilborghs took second on defensive indifference and went to third when Iannetta singled to left. Quintanilla flew to left for the third out.

Three scoreless innings for the bullpen, although they allowed four hits and a walk. Madson threw 28 pitches, so he’ll probably get a day or two of rest. Ditto Durbin after 22 pitches. Romero threw nine.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Greg Reynolds went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Burrell returns to the lineup after being scratched late on Tuesday with a stiff neck. Ruiz catches against the righty.

With one out in the first, Victorino singled on a dribbler between first and second and stole second. Utley walked before Howard hit a ball back to the pitcher. Reynolds juggled briefly or he might have had a double-play. Howard was thrown out at first and Victorino went to third with Utley at second and two down. Burrell walked to load the bases and Jenkins followed with a walk of his own. Victorino scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Feliz flew to center for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second and again in the third.

Burrell doubled to start the fourth with the score tied at 1-1. Jenkins popped to third and Feliz lined to third for the first two outs before Ruiz was walked intentionally to pitch to Eaton. Eaton popped to second to end the inning.

Phillies can’t score after the leadoff double. Jenkins fails to move the runner to third with the first out. I really wouldn’t walk Carlos Ruiz intentionally very often — he’s probably not going to get an extra-base hit and there’s a good chance Burrell can’t score from second on a single even with two outs.

Rollins and Victorino walked back-to-back to start the fifth. Utley pounded an 0-1 pitch into the second deck in right, putting the Phillies up 4-1. Howard walked before Burrell flew to center for the first out. Jenkins followed and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 6-1. Feliz and Ruiz went down behind him.

Victorino reached on another infield single, this one deflected by the pitcher, with two outs in the sixth. Again he stole second. Utley followed with a walk, but Howard struck out for the third out.

With one out in the seventh, Jenkins hit a high fly ball to left-center. Spilborghs looked like he had it lined up, but Taveras cut in front of him and had it go off his glove for a two-base error. Feliz and Ruiz both grounded out to leave Jenkins stranded.

With two outs in the eighth, Victorino reached on yet another infield single. This one was just a ground ball to third. Fantastic hustle for Victorino and he got three hits out of it in the game. Utley flew to right for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-13 in the three game set. He is hitting 312/363/496. Yesterday was just one of two days this season where he has ended a game with a slugging percentage under .500 for the year.

Victorino was 3-for-4 in the game and 6-for-10 with three walks and four stolen bases in the series. He’s hitting 291/360/392 for the season.

Utley was 1-for-3 with his 17th home run of the year. 5-for-12 with a double, two home runs and ten RBI in the series. He’s hitting 310/394/638 for the season.

Howard was 0-for-3 and left four men on base. 2-for-8 in the series. 206/315/462 for the year.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 1-for-7 in the series. 277/417/590 for the year. He’s hitting .222 in May.

Jenkins was 1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. 3-for-7 with a double and a home run in the series. 290/327/421 for the year. 323/353/516 in May.

Feliz was 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 5-for-14 with two doubles in the series. 265/305/439 for the year. 316/343/510 in May.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. 0-for-7 in the series. 232/299/296. Coste was 3-for-6 in the series with a double and a home run. 341/402/568 for the season.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the game and 3-for-7 with a double in the series. 361/390/542 for the year.

No game today. First of three with the Fish tomorrow night.


The Brave Little Rockie

Ubaldo Jimenez did muster the courage to show up last night, but that’s pretty much where the heartwarming part of the story ended from a Colorado perspective. Jimenez wasn’t through the second inning before he found himself down 7-0. The Phils’ bats cooled a little after that, but seven runs proved to be enough as the Phils rolled to their third straight win.

The Phillies continue to hit up and down their order. After going 11-for-35 at the plate as a team last night they are 48-for-113 (.425) as a team over their past three games.

They start the day six games above .500 for the first time this season.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 7-4 to improve to 30-24 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

Seth Smith singled with one out in the first and stole second as Todd Helton struck out for the second out. Garrett Atkins grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second.

Willy Taveras reached on an infield single with two outs in the third and the Phillies up 7-0, but Smith flew to left for the third out.

Atkins singled to center with one out in the fourth, but Ryan Spilborghs followed with a ground ball to short and Atkins was forced at second for the second out. Kendrick hit Ian Stewart with a pitch, but Yorvit Torrealba struck out swinging to end the frame.

Omar Quintanilla doubled to start the fifth. Cory Sullivan hit for the pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and flew to right. Jenkins’ throw back into the infield was bad and the error allowed Quintanilla to go to third. Taveras grounded to third and Quintanilla scored, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-1. Smith singled and Helton followed with a walk, but Atkins flew to center to leave them both stranded.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth and a 1-2-3 seventh.

Smith doubled to left to start the eighth. Helton followed with a single into left and Bohn, who had just entered the game, threw Smith out at the plate with a nice throw. Terrible base-running by Smith to get thrown out down six runs for the first out of the inning. Gordon came in to pitch to the righty Atkins and got him on a ground ball to second. Helton, who had gone to second on the throw home to get Smith, went to third. Spilborghs got ahead 1-0 and hit a ball out to left-center, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-3. Stewart doubled to left and Torrealba moved him to third with a single, but Flash got Quintanilla on a ground ball back up the middle that Rollins made a nice play on to end the inning.

In 27 career plate appearances against the Phillies, Spilborghs is hitting 478/519/913 with three home runs and a double.

Terrible outing for Gordon. Three of the five hitters he faced got hits including a double and a home run. The throw by Bohn and the bad base-running by Smith looked irrelevant when it happened, but turned out to be important. Gordon needed a nice play from Rollins to end the frame.

Lidge started the ninth. Taveras walked with one out and took second on defensive indifference. Lidge struck out Smith for the second out before Helton singled to right, scoring Taveras to cut the Phillies’ lead to 7-4. Atkins flew to right to end the game.

Gordon threw 20 pitches, Lidge 23. Gordon has pitched on back-to-back days four times this season, but never after he threw more than 15 pitches in the first game. I would guess the Phils would try not to use him tonight.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Ubaldo Jimenez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Burrell was a late scratch with a stiff neck. Dobbs played left, putting lefties three through six in the Phillies’ lineup. Ruiz catches with a righty on the mound despite a big game from Coste with the bat the night before.

Rollins and Victorino singled back-to-back to start the first, putting men on first and third for Utley. Victorino stole second as Utley struck out for the first out. Howard walked to load the bases and Dobbs dumped a single into right. Rollins scored easily and Victorino and the ball arrived at the plate at about the same time. Victorino plowed over Torrealba, who had already failed to catch the ball by the time Victorino arrived. Torrealba was given an error on the play and the Phillies’ runners went to second and third with the Phils up 2-0. Jenkins grounded to first and Helton threw home. Howard was called out, although it appeared he slid in safely head first before the tag was applied. Feliz doubled into right field and Dobbs and Jenkins both scored, putting the Phils up 4-0. Ruiz struck out for the third out.

With one out in the second, Rollins singled and stole second. Victorino grounded to second for the second out and Rollins went to third. Utley doubled into right and Rollins scored. 5-0. Howard hit a ground ball right to where the shortstop would be were it not for the shift. Single, Utley scored, 6-0. Dobbs moved Howard to second with a single before Jenkins doubled. Howard scored to make it 7-0 with men on second and third for Feliz. Feliz struck out looking to end the inning.

1-2-3 in the third.

Victorino led off the fourth with a single and Utley followed with a walk. Howard, Jenkins and Dobbs went down behind them.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fifth and again in the sixth.

Jenkins singled with two outs in the seventh, but Feliz grounded to short behind him.

With the count 0-1 on Ruiz in the eighth, the game was delayed by rain for about an hour and a half. When it resumed the Phils went 1-2-3. Taguchi hit for Gordon and flew to center for the second out.

Rollins was 2-for-5.

Victorino 2-for-4.

Utley 1-for-3 with a double.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk. No strikeouts in his last two games.

Dobbs was 2-for-4 with two RBI. He’s hitting .400 in May.

Jenkins was 2-for-4 with a double. 322/345/475 in May.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-4. He has six extra-base hits on the season. 300/357/532 in May.

Adam Eaton (0-3, 5.37) faces righty Greg Reynolds (0-1, 4.08) tonight. Reynolds has made three appearances on the season, all of them starts. Opponents are hitting .197 against him, but he has allowed four home runs and seven walks in just 17 2/3 innings. Eaton has taken three losses in his last four starts, but pitched well against the Astros on Friday, holding them to three runs over seven innings.


Seriously, though, if Ubaldo Jimenez even shows up they should at least write a children’s book about his courage or something

Apparently the only group of people more frustrated than the fans with the Phillies’ back-to-back one-run losses to the Astros this weekend was the Phillies themselves. The Colorado Rockies, or at least what’s left of them, rolled into Philadelphia last night and for the second time in two days the Phils’ offense put on a show. A day after scoring 15 runs against the Astros, the Phillies scored 20 to pound the Rockies.

Chase Utley drove in six runs in the game. After struggling through most of May he’s 4-for-his-last-10 with two home runs and nine RBI.

The Phillies crushed the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 20-5 to improve to 29-24 on the season. In their past two games they have scored 35 runs. They have another chance to go six games over .500 for the first time this season tonight.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out a season-high seven. He faced a decimated Rockies’ lineup that did not include Holliday, Atkins, Tulowitski or Hawpe.

Willy Taveras singled to start the first. Moyer struck out Jonathan Herrera for the first out before Todd Helton moved Taveras to second with a walk. Taveras stole third before Ryan Spilborghs hit one just out to center, tying the game at 3-3. Jeff Baker hit a ground ball to short, but Howard didn’t handle the throw at first and was charged with an error. Seth Smith and Yorvit Torrealba went down behind Baker to end the frame.

More horrid defense from Howard.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 second.

With the game still tied, Helton singled with one out in the third. Spilborghs doubled to left and Helton went to third. Baker hit a fly ball to left-center and Burrell threw to third. Helton scored to put Colorado up 4-3. Smith flew to left to end the frame.

Torrealba singled to start the fourth with the score tied at 4-4. Omar Quintanilla popped to short for the first out before the pitcher Jorge De La Rosa bunted Torrealba to second. Moyer struck out Taveras to leave Torrealba stranded.

Moyer started the fifth up 10-4 and set Colorado down 1-2-3.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Moyer had thrown 79 pitches through six.

Taveras singled with two outs in the seventh, but Moyer got Herrera on a ground ball to short to end the frame.

Condrey got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 eighth.

He returned for the ninth and got the first two before Quintanilla doubled and pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan followed with a single. Quintanilla scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 20-5. Taveras grounded to short to end the game.

Condrey threw 24 pitches in the game. He has his ERA down to 4.76 for the season and has been good in May. In nine appearances this month Condrey has thrown 14 innings with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 ratio. He has walked just one batter this month.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jorge De La Rosa went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Coste (8) Taguchi. With Werth on the DL, Taguchi plays righty against the lefty. Coste catches against the lefty. Feliz and the catcher’s spot move up in the lineup with Taguchi hitting eighth.

Rollins and Victorino started the bottom of the first with back-to-back walks with the Phils down 3-0. A balk moved them to second and third before Utley hit a 2-2 pitch out to right-center. 3-3. Howard, Burrell and Feliz went down behind Utley.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Victorino walked with one out in the third and stole second before Utley hit a ground ball to second that Herrera didn’t handle. Victorino went to third with Utley safe at first on the error. Howard hit a ball hard to right, but Smith took it just in front of the warning track for the second out. Victorino scored to tie the game at 4-4. Utley stole second before Burrell flew to left to end the inning.

Feliz led off the fourth with a double. Coste followed and squirted a ball down the first base line that a fan reached out and grabbed. Feliz scored on the ground rule double to put the Phils up 5-4. Taguchi ripped a double into the corner in left and Coste scored. 6-4. First hit of the month for Taguchi. Moyer bunted Taguchi to third. With the infield in Rollins singled into center and Taguchi scored to make it 7-4. Victorino moved Rollins to third with a single. Utley grounded to first for the second out. Rollins scored and Victorino went to second with the Phils up 8-4. Howard and Burrell both walked, loading the bases for Feliz. Feliz singled to center and Victorino and Howard both scored. 10-4 with men on first and second. Coste flew to right for the third out.

Taguchi doubled to start the fifth and Moyer bunted him to third. Second time Moyer moved the runner along with the bunt in the game. Rollins struck out and Victorino was hit by a pitch to put men on first and third, but Utley popped to short to end the inning.

Howard walked to start the sixth. Burrell was next and was called out on a pitch that was low for the first out. Feliz moved Howard to second with a single before Coste popped an 0-1 pitch out to left to put the Phils up 13-4. Taguchi singled and a walk to Moyer moved him to second. Rollins flew to left for the second out. Victorino was again him by a pitch, loading the bases. Utley singled to right and everyone moved up a base with Taguchi scoring to make it 14-4. Howard singled to center and Moyer and Victorino scored. 16-4 with men on first and third for Burrell, who grounded to third to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Dobbs doubled to start the eighth and moved to third on a single by Bruntlett. Victorino popped to short for the first out. He’d have like 80 RBI this season if he could bring in runners with a man on third and less than two outs. Eighty might be a little strong. 75? Utley singled and Dobbs scored with Bruntlett going to second. 17-5. Howard walked to load the bases. Bohn hit a dribbler passed the mound and right to where Herrera would have been if Herrera and Quintanilla hadn’t both been covering second thinking the pitcher would field the ball. Everyone moved up a base. 18-5. Feliz followed with a real single down the line into left. Utley and Howard scored and it was 20-5 with Feliz on first and Bohn on second. Coste singled to load the bases, but Condrey hit for himself and struck out. Dobbs struck out for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single and a walk.

Victorino 1-for-2 with two walks and scored four runs.

Utley 3-for-6 with a home run and six RBI.

Howard 1-for-2 with three walks and three RBI.

Burrell 0-for-4 with a walk.

Feliz 4-for-6 with a double and four RBI. His single in the ninth should have been a double as well.

Coste 3-for-6 with a double, a home run and four RBI.

Taguchi 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

6-7-8 in the order combined to go 10-for-17 with nine RBI.

Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 5.19) faces righty Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4, 4.61) tonight. In nine of Jimenez’s ten starts he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer. Jimenez shut the Phillies down in the playoffs last season. Lefites are hitting .344 against Kendrick this season.


Blast from the Pat

Maybe the Phillies have a bitter taste left in their mouth from getting swept out of the playoffs last season by the Rockies and maybe they don’t. Either way, they came to Colorado to play and twice in two games went hard all nine innings and twice got a dramatic win. On Monday they scored five runs in the last two innings after starting the eighth down 5-4. Last night they started the eighth down 6-4, added a run in the top of the eighth and got three more in the top of the ninth on a three-run double from Pat Burrell.

The bats of Burrell, Utley and suddenly Werth are carrying the Phils these days as the muddle by without Rollins or Victorino at the top of the order. They have won three in a row for the first time this season. Feliz added three hits yesterday, if the Phils could get his bat going it would be a huge help. But even with the torrid pace of Utley and Burrell, none of it would be possible without the contribution of the bullpen, who gave the Phils six shutout innings in the two-game sweep of the Rockies.

Charlie Manuel’s contribution can’t be ignored either. In addition to keeping his team playing at a high level through a ton of early adversity, Manuel rolled the dice and came up lucky last night. In the eighth inning he used the lefties on his bench to try to break through with a righty on the mound, pinch-hitting for his starting catcher and his starting shortstop in a close game. Not especially noteworthy except for the fact that he doesn’t have a backup shortstop. And it worked.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 8-6 to improve to 11-10 on the season. The Phils sweep the two-game set and have won three in a row. They are finally above .500 for the first time on the season.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits and two walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles, a triple and a home run. His ERA is at 4.78 after five starts.

Clint Barmes singled with one out in the first, but Myers got Todd Helton and Matt Holliday to ground out behind him to end the inning. Utley made another good defensive play on the ball that Helton hit, diving to his right to snare the hard hit ground ball.

Garrett Atkins started the second with a single. Brad Hawpe flew to left for the first out before Jeff Baker hit a ground ball to short. Atkins was forced at second for the second out with Baker safe at first. Yorvit Torrealba moved Baker to second with a single before the pitcher Jeff Francis grounded to second for the third out.

Myers started the third up 2-0 and got the first two before Helton came to the plate. Helton smashed his first pitch into right-center for a double. Holliday followed and hit a ball that landed on the warning track in right for another double. Helton scored to cut the lead to 2-1. Atkins flew to center for the third out.

Hawpe led off the fourth with the Phils up 3-1 and lined a ball into left. Burrell dove for it and missed. He was in the right place to dive and almost made the catch, but mistimed the dive. Hawpe had a triple. I don’t think Burrell made a bad decision to dive, but the execution of the dive left some room for improvement. Baker was next and singled up the middle. Utley knocked it down before it got to the outfield, but Hawpe scored easily to make the score 3-2. Torrealba struck out looking for the first out before Francis bunted Baker to second. Willy Tavares split the gap with a drive to left-center and Baker scored easily to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs Baker probably would have scored from first without the bunt. Barmes flew to right for the third out.

Holliday homered to center with one out in the fifth to put Colorado up 4-3. Myers got Atkins on a popup to second for the second out before he walked the lefty Hawpe on four pitches. The righty Baker behind him moved Hawpe to second with a single. Torrealba popped up near the mound to end the inning.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

With the game tied at 4-4 in the seventh, Myers got the leadoff man before Holliday drew a one out walk. Atkins followed with a home run to left that put Colorado up 6-4. Hawpe and Tulowitski went down behind Atkins to end the inning. Utley, whose defense is suddenly sparkling after a miserable start to the year, snared a hard hit line drive by Hawpe for the second out.

Ryan Madson started the eighth with the Phils trailing 6-5 and Pedro Feliz playing shortstop. Torrealba led off the inning with a single, but Coste, who had just entered after pinch-hitting for Myers in the top of the inning, threw him out on a close play. Scott Podsednik hit for the pitcher and flew to left for the second out. Taveras grounded to second to end the inning.

The Phils scored three times in the top of the ninth and Lidge came on in the bottom of the inning with an 8-6 lead. Lidge was pitching for the third day in a row after throwing on Monday in a non-save situation. If it was a problem for him the symptoms are hard to find. He struck out Barmes and Helton and got Holliday on a ground ball to second to end the game and keep his ERA at 0.00 for the season.

Two more shutout innings for the amazing pen. By contrast, the Rockies pen went two innings and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk. In the series the Phils’ pen went six shutout innings, allowing two singles and a walk. Phillies’ starters went 12 innings, allowing 11 earned runs on 19 hits and four walks. Lidge is almost certainly unavailable tonight after going three days in a row — if he’s not he should be. The appearance with a four-run lead in the first game against Colorado still wasn’t fantastic. Madson threw 17 pitches and I would guess he’s available tonight.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Jeff Francis went (1) Taguchi (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Ruiz (8) Bruntlett. Taguchi in right against the lefty, Werth in center. Counting Myers in the nine spot, spots four through nine in the order the Phils come into the game with one player, Burrell, hitting above .212 on the season.

Werth singled with one out in the first, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Bruntlett led off the third and lined a double down the line in left. Myers tried to bunt and fouled two off before grounding to short for the first out with Bruntlett holding. Taguchi flew to center and Bruntlett moved to third with two down. Werth walked, putting men on first and third for Utley. Utley hammered a double into left-center, scoring both runners and putting the Phils up 2-0. Howard struck out to end the frame. Nice to see Bruntlett get things going with the double after so many struggles at the plate. Myers almost hurt the Phils with the problems getting the bunt down, but Utley bailed him out.

Burrell walked to start the fourth and moved to second when Feliz dribbled a single up the middle and through. Ruiz hit a ground ball to short, which would have been a double-play but the umpire ruled that Baker did not touch the bag at second base. He didn’t, but they never do. Odd call. It put men on second and third with one out for Bruntlett. Bruntlett hit it hard, but right at Helton for the second out. Myers walked to load the bases. Taguchi was taking 2-2 and took a close pitch that was called a ball. Francis’ next pitch was way up and away and Taguchi had a walk, forcing in Burrell to put the Phils up 3-1. Werth grounded out to second for the third out. You can’t walk Myers there, that’s pretty bad. Nice to see Bruntlett hit the ball hard again, even though it was right at Helton.

Utley, Howard and Burrell went 1-2-3 in the fifth with the scored tied at 3-3.

Feliz started the sixth with a single with the Phils down 4-3. Ruiz fouled out to the catcher for the first out before Bruntlett hit a ground ball to third. Atkins threw to second to force Feliz for the first out, but Baker’s relay to first was way high and Bruntlett went to second on the error. Second time in two innings that Baker had trouble at second with a shoulda-been double-play. Myers hit for himself and struck out swinging to leave Bruntlett stranded at second.

With one out in the seventh, Werth hit a monster shot way out to left, tying the game at 4-4. Utley and Howard grounded out behind him.

The Phils found themselves down again in the eighth after two runs from the Rockies in the bottom of the seventh made the score 6-4. Feliz doubled with one out and, with the righty Matt Herges on the mound, Jenkins hit for Ruiz and struck out for the second out. Dobbs hit for Bruntlett and singled into right. Feliz scored and it was 6-5. Coste hit for Myers and grounded to third to end the frame.

Quite an inning for Manuel, who pulls his starting catcher and his starting shortstop to give the two lefties on his bench a chance against the righty. He takes Bruntlett out of the game and puts Feliz to shortstop in the bottom of the eighth in a one-run game. Wow. He would have been absolutely obliterated if Feliz had booted a ball in a close game in the eighth or ninth and the move didn’t work. It did. Dobbs got a clutch two-out hit and Feliz didn’t have to do much in the two innings he played short, his action primarily consisted of taking the throw from Coste to nail Torrealba stealing. I like the moves by Manuel even if they hadn’t worked, but whether you do or not you have to admit it was gutsy.

Feliz had played 23 games at shortstop over his career coming into last night’s game, including 14 starts there for the Giants in 2004.

Righty Manny Corpas came on to throw the ninth for Colorado with the Rockies up 6-5. Taguchi had to hit for himself after Manuel used the lefties on the bench in the eighth, and led off with a single. Werth struck out for the first out before Utley singled to center. Taguchi went to third and so did the throw from Tavares in center, which allowed Utley to go to second. The righty Corpas walked the lefty Howard, which is a no-brainer cause of lefty-righty and setting up the double-play, and it brought up Burrell with one out and the bases loaded. Burrell got behind 0-2 before he laced a 2-2 pitch into left-center, just out of the reach of a diving Tavares. It cleared the bases and put the Phils up 8-6 with one out. Burrell went to third on the throw home. Howard, who was right on the heels of Utley, slid in just safely. Feliz grounded back to the pitcher for the second out before Brad Harman made his major league debut, pinch-hitting for Ryan Madson. He got ahead 3-1 but popped up to Tulowitski at short to end the frame.

Harman did not play short in the bottom of the ninth — I think you have to interpret that as meaning that Manuel thinks Feliz is a better defensive shortstop than Harman. I don’t know if it means we’ll never see Harman at short or not — he was just about exclusively a second baseman in the minors in 2007 and so far in 2008.

Taguchi was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in the game. 1-for-8 in the two-game series. 241/267/310 on the season. Less lefties in Milwaukee is going to mean less Taguchi and more Jenkins in right for the Phils.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and a long home run. 4-for-9 with a double and two home runs in the series. It’s going to be over-shadowed by what Utley and Burrell have been doing, but Werth surged to life against Colorado and the Phils really needed his bat. 300/407/540.

Utley was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. 4-for-9 with two doubles and a home run in the set. Preposterously, 357/429/810 on the year. His glove is suddenly back as well, after a weak start to the season.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-9 with two singles in the series. 190/316/367. He’s 3-for-his-last-22 with three singles and nine strikeouts. Utley, Burrell, Werth and the bullpen deserve tremendous credit that the Phils are keeping their heads above water with Rollins and Victorino out and Howard struggling so badly.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a walk and a three-run double. 4-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 357/471/729 on the year.

Feliz 3-for-5 with a double. 3-for-9 with a double in the series. 232/303/406.

Ruiz was 0-for-3. 1-for-7 with a double in the set. 200/241/255 on the year. Coste was 0-for-1 and 0-for-1 with a hit by pitch in the series. 370/469/704. How much better defensively does the guy hitting 200/241/255 have to be than the guy hitting 370/469/704?

Bruntlett 1-for-3 with a double. 1-for-7 with a double in the series. 180/241/260.

Jenkins mostly sat this one out against the lefties. 0-for-1 with a strikeout yesterday and 1-for-3 in the series. 250/294/359.

Cole Hamels (2-2, 1.86) faces righty Dave Bush (0-3, 7.02) tonight in Milwaukee. Bush has made three starts this season and opponents are hitting .290 against him. None of his starts have been especially good. The best was him most recent. Last Tuesday he held the Cardinals to three runs over six innings. His control hasn’t been good this season, he’s walked ten in 16 2/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .385 against him so far, but he’s been much tougher on right-handed hitters, holding them to a .222 average. He faced the Phils twice in 2007, those starts came on May 14 and August 4. Hamels allowed more than one earned run in a start his last time out, he was charged with four runs against the Mets over seven innings on Friday. Opponents are hitting just .181 against him on the season and he’s allowed just one run in 29 innings. He made two starts against the Brewers last season, which came on May 16 and August 4. In the May 16 start he took a perfect game into the seventh inning before he walked Rickie Weeks and JJ Hardy followed with a two-run home run.

The Start Log has been modified to include the number of pitches by the starting pitcher, his high for the season, total pitches and average number of pitches per start.


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