Tag: Rodrigo Lopez

Late, close and watching

Question of the day is why doesn’t Tyler Walker pitch to more batters when the game is close. Answer of the day is “I don’t know” — given that’s the answer at least I can demonstrate that he doesn’t pitch to a lot of batters when the game is close.

First things first: Walker has been fantastic for the Phillies this season. He came into yesterday’s games with a 2.35 ERA for the year and a 0.98 ratio. Opponents were hitting .204 against him for the season and on-basing .258.

Still, as the back of the bullpen implodes Walker virtually never is pitching in situations when the game is close. The chart below lists all of the Phillies pitchers who have faced at least one batter this year, how many total batters they have faced, how many batters they have faced when the score was tied or one of the teams was winning by one run and the percent of batters faced when the score was tied or with the Phils up or down one. It is divided into three sections — pitchers who have worked only as starters are at the top, pitchers who have worked only as relievers are at the bottom and pitchers who have pitched both as starters and as relievers are in a group in the middle (the chart does not include yesterday’s games).

  Total PA PA tie or
within one
% tie or
within one
171 115 67.3
Cole Hamels 740 483 65.3
Joe Blanton 753 488 64.8
Cliff Lee 275 128 46.5
102 46 45.1
Brett Myers 294 159 54.1
Kyle Kendrick 66 32 48.5
JA Happ 623 300 48.2
Jamie Moyer 648 277 42.7
Chan Ho Park 362 161 44.5
32 13 40.6
Rodrigo Lopez 137 52 38.0
JC Romero 68 40 58.8
Ryan Madson 298 126 42.3
Clay Condrey 156 64 41.0
Brad Lidge 263 107 40.7
Scott Eyre 119 39 32.8
Chad Durbin 285 93 32.6
Jack Taschner 138 24 17.4
34 4 11.8
Tyler Walker 125 14 11.2
11 0 0.0

So the only player who has pitched for the Phillies this season and thrown to a lower percentage of the batters he’s faced with the score tied or the Phils up or down one run is Steven Register, who appeared in one game and faced 11 hitters.

As I mentioned above, if you’re looking for the answer to why questions you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t know. If I had to guess my guess would be that Manuel is terrified of the prospect of Walker facing a left-handed hitter with the game close. Walker has been great against lefties in 2009 — they’ve hit 209/271/302 against him, which is actually better than the 200/250/343 that righties have hit against Walker. In 2008, however, lefties smoked Walker to the tune of 319/372/597. Over his career lefties have hit an ugly 281/352/459 against Walker.

Aside from Walker, I think that the chart shows some other interesting things. First and most obvious is that starting pitchers generally face more batters with the game close and a higher percentage of their batters than relief pitchers do.

I think the difference in the percentage of the hitters that Romero and Eyre faced in tight games is telling. Both would like be used primarily as situational lefties in the post-season if available, but Manuel has given Romero a lot more of his chances in tight games. Eyre has been better.

Condrey has faced a higher percentage of hitters in one run or closer games than Lidge. His percentage is also higher than Durbin. Durbin has a low percentage of hitters faced in tight games compared to other regulars in the group. It’s also down from last year. In 2008, Durbin faced 364 batters and faced 174 of them (47.8%) with the score tied or the Phils up or down a run. I don’t think any of that bodes well for Durbin.

Myers has a strained back. The Phillies hope he will return before the end of the regular season.

The article linked above says that Happ will start on Thursday, Lee on Friday and (hopefully) Pedro on Saturday.

It also says that Dobbs was not ready to play third yesterday with his calf. I still find starting Cairo to be very odd. Even if Dobbs does not go I don’t understand why it would be Cairo and not Bruntlett. I’ve been saying for a while that I think Bruntlett is on the post-season roster because he’s the only choice to back up the middle infield. That’s not literally true, of course. It’s also notable that Bruntlett does not have an at-bat this month. We’ll see.

The same article says that Eyre needs surgery but is cleared to pitch, pitched yesterday and felt good. It also says that Romero threw 50 pitches yesterday and will throw again tomorrow and that Park could pitch next week.

Plan B

The Phillies tried Ryan Madson as a starter in 2006 and things didn’t go very well. Madson made 17 starts in which he threw to a 6.28 ERA and wound up doing most of his work for the year pitching in relief. He finished the season with a 5.69 ERA.

Since then he’s had three years as a full-time reliever and in each of the three seasons he’s pitched to an ERA in the 3.05 to 3.10 range with a ratio in the 1.22 to 1.27 range. Here’s a look at how his numbers for this year for striking batters out and allowing runs, hits, walks, doubles and triples and home runs per 100 plate appearances compare to his numbers for the last two seasons:

  ERA Ratio R/100 H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 SO/100
2007 3.05 1.27 8.02 20.25 9.70 4.22 2.11 18.14
2008 3.05 1.23 8.53 23.24 6.76 5.00 1.76 19.71
2009 3.10 1.22 8.66 22.02 7.22 3.25 2.17 24.19

Despite the very similar ERAs for the three year, Madson has his walk rate down significantly in the past two seasons compared to 2007. He is striking out a lot more hitters this year, but allowing home runs at his highest rate for the three seasons. While his home run rate is up, his rate for allowing extra-base hits that aren’t home runs is down a lot. In 2008 he was allowing about 1.54 times the doubles and triples per 100 plate appearances that he has in 2009.

The thing that’s a little worrisome about Madson’s year in 2009 is that if you divide what he’s done this season nearly in half, the first half was a lot better than the second. Madson didn’t allow a home run in his first 34 appearances on the year before June 18. On that day the Phils and Jays went into the top of the ninth tied at 7-7 and Rod Barajas hit a solo homer off of Madson. The Phils lost 8-7. Those first 34 appearances are just about half of his work for the year — he’s faced 138 batters before June 18 and 139 on June 18 or after. The numbers before that date are a whole lot better:

  ERA Ratio R/100 H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 SO/100
4/8/09 to
2.16 1.11 5.80 18.84 7.97 2.90 0.00 26.81
6/18/09 to
4.05 1.32 11.51 25.18 6.47 3.60 4.32 21.58

With the exception of walks, pretty much everything has been going in the wrong direction for Madson since the day he allowed his first home run of the season. His rates for allowing hits and doubles and triples are way up, and his strikeouts down, but by far the biggest factor for him is that after not allowing a home run in his first 33 1/3 innings of the season he has allowed six in his last 33 1/3.

Not to be forgotten in all of this is that Madson was outstanding in the post-season last season, throwing to a 2.13 ERA and an 0.87 ratio in 11 appearances. He’s also on pace to throw a few less innings this season, about 79 after throwing 82 2/3 in ’08. The thing about ’08, though, was that Madson was fantastic at the end of the regular season as well as in the post-season. In his last 14 appearances in the regular season in ’08 he was charged with one earned run, throwing to an 0.64 ERA with an 0.93 ratio and striking out 17 in 14 innings.

Andy Tracy and Sergio Escalona are up. Rodrigo Lopez has been released.

The article linked above says that Moyer will take Happ’s start on Saturday. It also says that Kendrick will likely start one of the double-header games on Sunday, which would go a long way towards removing #DIV/0! from the Start Log.

Slow motion eleven

The Phillies have lost eight of their last eleven games. Who’s to blame? If you’ve been watching it’s not hard to guess it’s the offense:

  Runs per
allowed per game
First 98
5.48 4.63
Last 11 games 2.91 4.64

If the Phillies scored 2.91 runs per game over 162 games they would score about 471 in a season. The Padres have the worst offense in the NL this season. They are on pace to scored about 605 runs.

A starting pitcher has to pitch pretty well for your team to win when you hit like that. In the three games in the slump the Phils have won they got two complete games (one from Happ and one from Lee). Lee allowed a run over seven innings in the other game they won.

The rate at which the Phillies have allowed runs overall in the streak is almost identical to their rate of allowing runs for the year. That’s a little curious given that the starters have pitched deeper into games with a better ERA, a better ratio and the relievers are allowing significantly fewer runs per game:

First 98 4.63 1.36 5.87 3.06 1.57
Last 11 3.91 1.35 6.27 3.27 1.36

That chart shows that the ERA for the starting pitchers is better in the 11 games than it was in the first 98, but the starting pitchers have allowed more runs per game. That’s because the defense has been atrocious in the slump. In the last 11 games the starting pitchers have been charged with six unearned runs. In the first 98 games of the year they were charged with four.

The relief pitching has actually been pretty good in the slump. The bullpen has allowed 15 runs in the 11 games, but nine of the runs were allowed by Lopez and Lidge in Sunday’s game. The relief pitchers have allowed fewer runs per game during the streak than in the first 98 games — they are also pitching fewer innings, though, since the starters are pitching more. The improvement in the runs per game allowed by the relievers is a little more dramatic than the difference in the number of innings pitched by the starters. The starters have thrown about 107% more innings per game, but the relievers are allowing about 87% of the runs per game they allowed in the first 98 games of the year.

The Phillies activated Chad Durbin and sent Rodrigo Lopez down.

Phils doing their best to relate to fan base by going on vacation in August too

The Phillies didn’t pitch, hit, field or avoid being ejected for arguing balls and strikes while in the outfield well this weekend and the Fish swept them in a three-game set. The Phils are 2-6 in August and have won three of their last 11 games.

They are 61-48 on the season after losing three in a row to the Florida Marlins in Philadelphia. The Phils are in first place in the NL East and the second-place Marlins by four games. The Braves are in third and trail the Phils by 4 1/2 games.

The Marlins won game one 3-2. The Fish got a home run from form Nick Johnson and a pair of doubles in the first off of Blanton to put them up 2-0. Cody Ross hit a solo shot in the second to make it 3-0, which was how it stayed until the Phillies hit in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh Francisco got the Phils on the board and within a run with a two-run homer. The Phils had a chance in the eighth when they put two men on with one out, but Howard struck out and Ibanez grounded to second. They went in order in the ninth.

Hamels had another uninspiring start in the second game and the Phillies lost 6-4. The Phillies got a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to go up 2-1, but the Marlins loaded the bases in the top of the third on a single and two walks and then tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI ground out from Hanley Ramirez. Two errors from the Fish in the bottom of the third helped put the Phils up 3-2, which was how the score stayed until Cody Ross hit a two-run homer off of Hamels in the sixth to put Florida up 4-3. Florida extended the lead to 6-3 with two runs charged to Park in the eighth. A leadoff triple from Victorino in the bottom of the ninth helped the Phils score another run, but it wasn’t enough — Werth and Ibanez both came to the plate as the tying run and both flew out.

The Marlins completed the sweep yesterday with a 12-3 win. Moyer got the start and didn’t pitch that terribly, allowing three runs over five innings. Lopez and Lidge did, though. Lopez was charged with six runs in the seventh and only managed to get two outs. Lidge allowed three runs in the ninth. Shane Victorino was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes, which is notable mostly because he was in center field at the time. Werth replaced him in center and made a big error, one of three on the day for the Phils. It didn’t cost them nine runs, though.

The Phillies got terrible pitching in the series. Overall the pitchers threw to a 6.67 ERA and a 1.85 ratio. In 27 innings they allowed five home runs, 39 hits and 11 walks.

The starting pitching was bad, but not quite as bad as the bullpen. Blanton has the best start of the trio that included himself, Hamels and Moyer. As a group the three threw to a 4.76 ERA with a 1.76 ratio. In 17 innings they allowed four home runs, two off of Blanton and two off of Hamels, 24 hits and six walks. Moyer allowed 11 hits in the five innings he pitched.

Blanton gave up three early runs in game one but pitched pretty well. He allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings. Blanton allowed two home runs in the game. He allowed more than one home run in a game in five of his first 13 starts on the season but hadn’t for seven straight outings. He still hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start in his last eight times out.

Hamels went 5 1/3 innings in game two, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks. He’s allowed 11 runs in 10 1/3 innings in his last two starts. He walked six in those two outings combined — he hasn’t walked more than six hitters in any month this season.

Moyer allowed 11 hits and a walk over five innings in game three, but was charged with just three runs. Only two of the runs were earned. Two bad starts in a row for Moyer, he’s allowed nine runs on 17 hits and five walks over ten innings in his last two starts.

The relievers were okay in the first two games. Park gave up two runs in two innings in the second game. They got blasted yesterday, though, as Lidge and Lopez were charged with nine runs in three frames. As a group the pen threw to a 9.90 ERA with a 2.00 ratio over ten innings in the three games. They gave up just one home run, which Wes Helms hit off of Lidge yesterday, but gave up 15 hits and five walks over ten innings.

Eyre came into game one in the ninth inning with one out, the bases empty and the Phils down 3-2. He gave up a double to the first man he faced but got the next two hitters.

He also pitched the eighth inning yesterday. He pitched the eighth with the Phillies down 9-3 and allowed a two-out single but kept Florida off the board.

Eyre has been charged with two runs in over 20 1/3 innings in his 26 appearances since the end of April.

Park relieved Blanton in game one in the top of the seventh with two outs, men on first and second and the Phils down 3-2. He gave up a single to right by Hanley Ramirez, but Ben Francisco threw Chris Coghlan out at the plate to end the inning.

He also pitched in game two, entering in the seventh inning with the Phillies down 4-3. He hit a batter with one out, which was followed by a single. He got Jorge Cantu to hit into a double-play to end the inning. He came back for the eighth inning and got the first two hitters before Florida put together four singles in a row, plating two runs to make it 6-3. Again he got an out on the bases, ending the frame when Werth threw Jeremy Hermida out at third.

After allowing two runs in two innings in game two, Park has been charged with four runs in 17 2/3 innings since the end of June.

Lopez started the seventh yesterday with the Phils down 3-1. He had a miserable outing that allowed the Marlins to blow the game open. He faced eight hitters and was charged with six runs on three walks, two doubles and a single.

Kendrick started the ninth inning of game two with the Phillies down 6-3. He gave up a leadoff walk, but got the next hitter to hit into a double-play and Cantu to fly to left for the third out.

He also pitched in yesterday’s game, entering with two outs in the seventh, a man on second and the Phils down 8-1. He allowed an RBI-single to Cantu before getting Wes Helms on a popup to end the frame.

Walker entered game two in the top of the sixth with a man on first, one out and the Phillies down 4-3. He got the only two men he faced to end the frame and leave the runner stranded.

He took over for Moyer in the sixth inning yesterday with nobody out, men on first and second and the Phillies down 3-1. He set down the three hitters he faced to leave the runners stranded.

He has a 2.50 ERA and a 1.06 ratio in 16 games on the year. He hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk over three innings in four August appearances.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phils down 3-2. He set the Marlins down in order. He came back to get the first out of the ninth before Eyre came in to pitch to lefty John Baker.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning yesterday, starting the frame with the Phils down 9-3. He allowed three runs on a leadoff double, a one-out RBI-single and a two-run homer by Helms with two outs. He got Ross to pop to short for the third out.

His ERA for the year is up to 7.24.

The Phillies scored nine runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 3-for-13 in the series. He’s hitting 244/292/405 for the year.

Victorino was 2-for-8 with a triple and a walk in the series. 312/377/467 for the year. 5-for-his-last-25. He was ejected in game three and didn’t start game one. Werth played center in game one with Francisco in right.

Utley was 1-for-10 with three walks and five strikeouts. 294/415/529. 5-for-his-last-30 with a double. 148/273/185 in August.

Howard was 5-for-11 with a walk and three doubles. 263/344/522. He’s walked once in August.

Ibanez was 3-for-12 with three singles and a walk. 302/367/612. He’s driven in one run in his last 39 at-bats.

Werth didn’t start yesterday’s game with Dobbs in right. 0-for-9 with a walk and four strikeouts. 262/370/490. 185/241/296 in August.

Feliz was on the bench in game one with Dobbs at third. 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 286/332/405 on the year. Hasn’t drawn a walk in August.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and went 1-for-6 with a single and a walk. 230/327/374 on the year.

Bako started yesterday’s game and went 0-for-2 in the series. 189/246/283 on the season.

Bruntlett was 0-for-1 in the set to drop his line on the year to 131/200/202. There are 412 players in the NL and AL combined who have gotten at least 75 plate appearances this season — Bruntlett’s .402 OPS is 412th. He’s 412th in average, 411th in on-base percentage and 410th in slugging.

Francisco started game one in right and hit a two-run homer and threw a runner out at the plate. 1-for-6 with a home run in the series. 278/333/556 in 18 at-bats with the Phillies.

Dobbs started both of the game in which the Fish threw a righty. He started at third in game one and in right in game three. I think that’s a pretty good idea. Dobbs was 2-for-7 in the series and is hitting 256/306/414 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-2 in the series and is at 221/368/403 on the season. Since April 24 he’s hit 209/369/328 in 67 at-bats.

Romero will have an MRI today. Sounds like we shouldn’t expect him for a while.

Roy void enjoyed

The Phillies didn’t get Roy Halladay, but the contributions they are getting from the guy they didn’t trade for him and the guy they traded for instead sure make it look like they made the right decision. Superb starts from JA Happ and Cliff Lee led the way in Philadelphia as the Phils took two of three from the Rockies. In the last two games of the set Lee and Happ combined to throw 16 innings in which they allowed one run and struck out 19.

Joining Lee and Happ in leading the Phillies is the suddenly surging Jimmy Rollins. Rollins has sprung to life after a miserable start to the season. He is hitting 336/392/619 in 148 plate appearances since July 2 and led the offense against Colorado.

The Phils are 61-45 on the year after taking two of three from the Colorado Rockies in Philadelphia. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Marlins by seven games and the third-place Braves by 7 1/2. They have the second-best winning percentage in the NL behind the Dodgers. LA is 67-42 with a .615 winning percentage, which is better than the Phillies’ .575. In the American League the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels have played to a better winning percentage than the Phillies.

The Phillies lost the first game of the series 8-3. Garrett Atkins put the Rocks up 2-0 with a two-run homer off of Moyer in the second. Colorado added another pair of runs in the fourth before a two-run shot from Rollins in the bottom of the fifth got the Phils on the board at 4-2. Things blew up in the sixth, though, as Moyer and Lopez, a new addition to the pen with the arrival of Cliff Lee, were touched up for four runs that extended the Rockies lead to 8-2.

JA Happ was brilliant in game two and the Phillies rode his complete-game shutout to a 7-0 win. Feliz, Rollins and Werth all homered before the end of the fifth inning and the blasts drove in six of the Phillies runs. Happ was in control the whole game, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out a career-high ten.

It was Cliff Lee being brilliant yesterday for the Phils. Lee struck out nine while holding the Rockies to a single run over seven innings and the Phillies won 3-1. Dexter Fowler led off the game with a double in and came around to score to give Colorado an early 1-0, but Colorado wouldn’t get any more. Rollins went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple and scored two runs to lead the Phillies offense. Bako hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot off of Aaron Cook in the bottom of the fifth.

The Phillies got outstanding pitching in the series. They allowed nine runs over three games, six of which were charged to Moyer in game one. Overall they threw to a 3.00 ERA with a 1.11 ratio. They allowed just one home run, which Atkins hit off of Moyer. They allowed just 23 hits in 27 innings while striking out 27.

They got two fantastic starts in the set from Happ and Lee. Moyer struggled in his outing. As a group the starters went 21 innings with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 ratio.

Moyer was hit hard in game one. He went five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and four walks. He has had a miserable season and it’s hurting the Phillies. He didn’t get much help from Lopez in this game — Moyer walked the only two men he faced in the sixth before leaving the game and both of them would come around to score. He’s coming off of his best month of the year, a July in which he went 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.27 ratio. His first start of August was an ugly one, though, and he’s now thrown to a 5.55 ERA for the season with a 1.47 ratio. He’s also not going deep into games. Despite the fact that he’s coming off of his best month of the year he still hasn’t gotten an out in the sixth inning in four of his last seven starts.

Happ was awesome in game two. He threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles, two doubles and a pair of walks. He struck out ten, but also threw a career-high 127 pitches in the game. He has a 2.80 ERA and a 1.14 ratio in 14 starts with the Phillies this year.

Lee was almost as good in game two. He allowed one run over seven innings on five singles, a double and a walk. He struck out nine. Each of his first two starts have been fantastic. He’s 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and an 0.81 ratio in two outings with the Phillies. He got seven wins in 22 starts with the Indians this season, but it hasn’t been the Phillies offense powering him to victories. The Phillies have scored eight runs in his two starts.

The bullpen threw just six innings in the three-game set. Lopez had a weak outing in relief of Moyer in game two and was charged with the only two runs that they allowed. As a group they threw to a 3.00 ERA with a 1.17 ratio in the three games. They didn’t walk a batter in the series. Besides Lopez, the only three relievers to pitch were Walker, Madson and Lidge and all three fared well.

Eyre did not pitch in the series.

Lopez entered game one in the sixth inning, making his first relief appearance of the year. He came in with nobody out and men on first and second, the Phillies down 4-2. He got a ground out for the first out of the inning before Atkins cleared the bases with a two-run double that made it 6-2. Chris Ianetta followed with an RBI-single. 7-2. The pitcher Jason Hammel followed with a single of his own before Dexter Fowler delivered an RBI-double that made it 8-2. Lopez got a fly ball to end the inning. He came back to pitch the seventh and allowed a one-out single but got the next two.

Lopez has been effective pitching in relief over his career. In 27 relief appearances he has a 3.14 ERA and a 1.24 ratio over 63 innings (4.88 ERA with a 1.42 ratio in 166 career starts). Not a ton of appearances, but I don’t think the idea of pitching him out of the pen is ridiculous. Having all three of him, Kendrick and Park in the pen at the same time is getting a little close to ridiculous, though.

Kendrick did not pitch in the series.

Park did not pitch in the series.

Walker pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies down 8-3. He set Colorado down in order.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game three yesterday with the Phillies up 3-1. He gave up a leadoff single but struck the next batter out and then got a double-play.

Again, it’s great to see Madson pitching less regularly recently. The Phillies are obviously going to need him before it’s over, but they don’t need him pitching every day now. He’s made two appearances this week after making one last week.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phillies losing 8-3. He got two ground outs and a popup in a perfect frame.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering in the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead. He gave up a two-out single to Brad Hawpe, which brought pinch-hitter Ian Stewart to the plate as they tying run. Lidge struck Stewart out on three pitches to end the game and earn his 21st save on the year.

Encouraging developments from Lidge. He has been charged with one or more runs in just one of his last five appearances. In the outing that he did give up runs he was pitching for the third straight day. 3.60 ERA with an 0.80 ratio over five innings in his last five appearances.

Seven guys in the bullpen for the Phils. Three of them, Kendrick, Park and Lopez, can start and two of them are pitchers who have primarily been starters over their career.

Nobody in the pen has appeared more than one day in a row and neither Madson or Lidge threw more than 20 pitches yesterday.

The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 6-for-14 with a double, a triple and two home runs in the series to raise his line on the year to 245/294/410. After going 1-for-5 with a home run in game two he was slugging .400 — it was the first time on the year that his slugging had been at .400 or better. He had 24 total bases in all of April and 28 in all of June. So far in August he has 21.

Victorino was 3-for-12 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 313/378/467 on the season.

Utley was 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 299/418/541 on the year. He’s 4-for-his-last-20 with a double.

Howard was 1-for-12 in the set. 2-for-20 with two singles in August. 258/341/516 on the year.

Ibanez was 4-for-10 with two doubles and a walk in the series. 304/369/626 for the year. Since May 30 he has hit just 257/321/534, but most of that is due to struggles June. He went on the DL in the middle of June, but before he did he had hit 254/299/571 for the month. He came back and appeared in his first game back on July 11. From July 11 to now he has hit 276/360/526.

Werth was 2-for-11 with a home run. Not a great series for Werth, but the home run was a big one. The three-run blast in game two opened up a big lead for the Phils. 268/376/501 on the year. He’s off walks apparently. He has walked once in his last 37 plate appearances. In his 132 plate appearances prior he had walked 32 times.

Feliz was 2-for-10 with a home run. 287/333/397 for the season. He’s 5-for-his-last-30.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and went 3-for-7 with two doubles. 231/328/380 on the year.

Bako started yesterday and went 2-for-3 with a home run. His line is at 196/255/294 for the year. Bako hit six home runs in 299 at-bats for the Reds last year. Six is his career-high.

Francisco walked in both of his plate appearances in the series. He’s 4-for-12 with two walks since joining the Phillies.

Bruntlett didn’t play in the series. 133/202/205 for the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line on the year to 254/297/421. I think the Phillies should be looking for chances to play Dobbs more regularly — it looks to me like the way to do that would be at third against some right-handed pitchers. Ibanez didn’t get an at-bat for the Phils between June 18 and July 10. During that time period Dobbs got 51 plate appearances in which he hit 396/412/667 with three home runs. He hit 172/246/310 in 65 plate appearances before June 18 and has hit 150/182/150 in 22 plate appearances since July 11.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line on the year to 227/376/413. He’s appeared in 13 games defensively for the Phils and been on the roster all season. That’s a big investment in Stairs, presumably for a small number of critical at-bats down the stretch and in the playoffs.

This suggests that Happ will not lose his spot in the rotation to Pedro Martinez. It also considers the possibility that the Phillies could go with a six-man rotation. I would be surprised if that happened and even more surprised if it happened with Kendrick, Lopez and Park still on the roster. Maybe the Phils could go with nine starters in a 12-man pitching staff. Perhaps Hamels or Moyer will develop a blister.

Encouraging news about Durbin, Myers and Romero in this article. Durbin appears to be the player of the group whose return will come first with Romero not too far behind.

Start chart

The Phillies have gone 59-45 in their first 104 games of the season. As you could no doubt guess, their starting pitchers have pitched much better in the games that they’ve won than in the games that they’ve lost. Here are the ERA, ratio and average Game Score for the Phillies starting pitchers for this year in games they won and in games they’ve lost (nothing in this post includes results from last night’s games):

  G IP ERA Ratio Avg GS
Wins 59 359.7 3.78 1.22 53.4
Losses 45 251.7 5.90 1.57 43.5

So in the 59 games that the Phillies have won their starting pitchers have thrown to a 3.78 ERA with a 1.22 ratio and an average Game Score of 53.4.

For each of the ten Phillies pitchers who have made at least one start this season, here’s how many starts they have made and how many of those starts they have thrown to an ERA of 3.78 or better, a ratio of 1.22 or better or a Game Score of 53.4 or better:

  GS ERA Rat GS All 3 % ERA % Rat % GS % all 3
Hamels 21 10 11 11 7 47.6 52.4 52.4 33.3
Moyer 21 7 4 7 4 33.3 19.0 33.3 19.0
Blanton 20 10 12 11 10 50.0 60.0 55.0 50.0
Happ 13 8 8 8 6 61.5 61.5 61.5 46.2
Myers 10 3 4 4 3 30.0 40.0 40.0 30.0
Park 7 2 3 2 1 28.6 42.9 28.6 14.3
Bastardo 5 2 2 2 1 40.0 40.0 40.0 20.0
Lopez 5 3 2 2 1 60.0 40.0 40.0 20.0
Lee 1 1 1 1 1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Carpenter 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 104 46 47 48 34 44.2 45.2 46.2 32.7

Even before Happ made his best start of the season last night, he and Blanton had accounted for a large number of the team’s starts when the pitcher threw to all three of an ERA of 3.78 or better, a ratio of 1.22 or better and a Game Score of 53.4 or better. Happ and Blanton had combined to do it 16 times in 33 starts, which is about 48.5% of the time. The other starters on the team combined to make 71 starts and do it 18 times (25.3% of the time).

Finally, it’s a good a time as any to remind that the starting pitching was absolutely atrocious early in the season. As you can see in the table above the Phillies have had a starting pitcher throw to an ERA of 3.78 or better in 46 of their 104 starts and that’s 44.2% of the games. They did it twice in their first 22 games on the year (9.1% of the time). They didn’t have a single start on the year in which the starting pitcher both threw to an ERA that was better than 3.78 and a ratio that was 1.22 or better until the 23rd game of the season. On that day Blanton wasn’t fantastic, but he allowed a run on four hits and a walk over six innings as the Phils beat the Cardinals 6-1. After that day, May 4, they did it four times in the next seven games.

Pedro Martinez struck out 11 in six innings in a start from Double-A Reading yesterday.

Durbin pitched well for Clearwater last night. Romero and Durbin are both expected to make rehab appearances tomorrow.

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