Tag: Rodrigo Lopez

Go West, young men, but don’t stay too long

The Phillies fantastic run was sure to come to an end sooner or later. And now it has. The Phils looked tired this weekend and yesterday they played for the fifteenth straight day. The Giants beat them three times in four games and the Phils have now lost four of five.

Despite the number of days in a row the Phillies have had to play without a break, it hasn’t been the pen that’s let them down in their recent funk. The bullpen wasn’t charged with a single run in San Francisco. The Phils got to start their three best starters in the four games against the Giants and still managed just one win. Two of them, Lee and Blanton, pitched great. But Blanton simply outgreatended by Tim Lincecum and Hamels got hit hard yesterday. Instead of the pen it has been the offense and fielding that both look tired. The Phils have scored just 14 runs over their last six games. They made three errors in the first game against the Giants, which makes it hard to win. Ryan Howard added a key miscue on a flip to Hamels in yesterday’s game.

The Phillies are 59-44 on the season after losing three of four to the Giants in San Francisco. They are in first place in the NL East, five games ahead of the second-place Marlins and seven ahead of the third-place Braves.

The Phillies lost the first game 7-2. Lopez didn’t pitch well and three errors from the Phillies didn’t help at all. Howard put the Phillies up 1-0 with an RBI-double in the first, but the Giants jumped on top 2-1 in the bottom of the inning. Pablo Sandoval made it 3-1 with a homer off of Lopez in the third. San Francisco blew it open with four more in the fourth, an inning that featured a two-run double from Sandoval. Kendrick and Walker both pitched well in relief for the Phils, combing to go four scoreless innings. Utley hit a solo homer in the sixth to get the Phils to within 7-2, but the Phillies couldn’t get any closer.

Cliff Lee made a brilliant debut as a Phillie in game two. He allowed a run on four hits while throwing a complete game. The Phillies won 5-1. Werth put the Phils up 1-0 with a solo homer in the second, which was how it stayed still the top of the seventh. The Phils scored three in the seventh on three walks, a hit batter and a single by Werth to pull ahead 4-0. Lee himself led off the eighth with a double and came in to score on a sac fly from Francisco to make it 5-0. Aaron Rowand led off the bottom of the eighth with a double that led to the Giants only run of the game.

Blanton was great in game three, but not quite as great as Tim Lincecum. Lincecum held the Phillies down over eight shutout innings and the Giants won 2-0 thanks to two sac flies from Juan Uribe.

Hamels took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth yesterday, but the Giants scored three in the fifth and three more in the sixth on their way to a 7-3 win. An RBI-triple by Aaron Rowand put San Francisco up 1-0 in the bottom of the second. The Phils jumped on top 2-1 in the fourth and extended the lead to 3-1 with another run in the top of the fifth. Hamels got the first two outs in the fifth without a problem before it all fell apart for him. Pitcher Barry Zito started a two-out rally for the Giants that went single-single-double-single and had the Giants pulling ahead 4-3. Hamels came back to start the bottom of the sixth and faced four more batters, all who reached base. Park did a pretty nice job coming into the inning with the bases loaded and nobody out, but did allow a single which plated two more runs charged to Hamels and made it 7-3.

The Phillies pitched pretty well in the series overall. In 33 innings they threw to a 3.27 ERA with a 1.30 ratio. They allowed 17 runs in 33 innings — all 17 were charged to a starting pitcher and five of the 17 were unearned. They allowed just one home run in four games.

The starters weren’t as good as the pen. Lee and Blanton were fantastic in the middle two games while Lopez and Hamels struggled in games one and four. Overall the starters tossed 25 innings with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.40 ratio. They allowed five unearned runs — if those runs had been earned their ERA would have been 6.12 instead of 4.32. Sandoval homered off of Lopez in game one, which was the only home run they allowed.

Lopez struggled in game one. He went just four innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks. Only four of the runs were earned. He has a 3.62 ERA on his five starts for the season but with an ugly 1.54 ratio. He has allowed 34 hits in 27 1/3 innings.

Lee was awesome in game two. He threw a complete game, allowing a run on four hits and a walk while striking out two. It made a nice break for the bullpen, too, as the Phillies were playing for the thirteenth straight day and were scheduled to play two more days in a row before getting a day off.

Blanton went seven innings in game three, allowing two runs on six singles and a double. He lowered his ERA on the year to 4.02.

Hamels was great for 5 2/3 innings yesterday, but then eight of the last nine men he faced reached base and it helped the Giants scored six runs. He allowed seven runs on ten hits and two walks in the game. Only six of the runs were earned. It was one of four starts for Hamels on the year in which he had allowed more than five earned runs.

The bullpen went eight innings in the series. They weren’t charged with a run, pitching to a 0.00 ERA with a 1.00 ratio. They struck out six in eight innings.

Eyre pitched the eighth inning of game four with the Phillies down 7-3. He allowed an infield single to start the inning but got the next hitter and then got a double-play.

Park pitched the eighth inning of game three with the Phillies down 2-0. He allowed a hit and a walk but kept the Giants off the board.

He also pitched yesterday in game four. He entered in the sixth inning with nobody out, the bases loaded and the Phillies down 5-3. He got a fly ball to left with the runners holding for the first out, but Eugenio Velez followed with a two-run single into right that made it 7-3 with the two runs charged to Hamels. Park got the next two to leave the runners stranded at first and third.

It was just the second time that Park had pitched on back-to-back days on the season (June 20 and June was the other).

Since the end of June Park has an 0.59 ERA with an 0.78 ratio. He has struck out 18 in 15 1/3 innings.

Kendrick pitched in game one of the series, entering to start the fifth inning of game one with the Phillies down 7-1. He allowed a two-out single in the fifth but got the next hitter. In the sixth he allowed a one out walk but got the next batter on a double-play.

Walker pitched the seventh and eighth innings of game one. He started the seventh with the Phillies down 7-2. He got the first two in the seventh before hitting a batter. Fred Lewis was next and he reached on an error by Utley, but Walker got Edgar Renteria on a fly ball to right to end the inning. He allowed a one-out walk in the eighth before striking out the next two hitters. The second, Eugenio Velez, struck out on a wild pitch and took first. Sandoval lined to short for the third out.

Madson pitched the seventh inning yesterday with the Phillies down 7-3. He allowed a two-out walk but got the next batter.

Great to see Madson get some rest lately. He has thrown just two innings since July 24.

Lidge did not pitch in the series.

With the off-day today, everyone in the pen should be ready for the Rockies.

The Phillies scored just ten runs in the four-game series.

Rollins was 5-for-16 with a double and a home run in the series. He also stole four bases. He’s hitting 239/290/389 on the season.

Victorino was mostly on the bench for the series with a bruised knee. He went 0-for-2 to drop his line on the year to 315/382/470.

Utley hit a home run in game one after Jonathan Sanchez threw a ball near his head early in the at-bat. He was 3-for-14 with a homer in the series. 301/420/546 on the year.

Howard made an error that cost the Phillies a run in yesterday’s game when he made a toss to Hamels covering first that went over the pitcher’s head. He was 2-for-15 with a double in the set. 263/347/529.

Ibanez got yesterday off with Bruntlett starting in left field. He was 1-for-10 with three walks in the series. 301/366/627 for the year. In honor of passing the 100-game mark I will no longer be mentioning that he is on-pace for a career high in slugging. He is, though. Before this season his high was .537.

Werth was in center for the last two games of the series after playing right with Francisco in center for the first two. 6-for-16 with a home run in the set. 270/381/503 for the year.

Feliz was 3-for-16 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 289/337/395 for the year.

Ruiz started the first and last games of the series. He went 1-for-7 with a single. He’s hitting .177 (23-for-130) since the end of May.

Francisco started three games of the series with Victorino out with a bruised knee. He started games one and two in center and game four in right. 4-for-12 with two doubles.

Bruntlett started yesterday’s game in left field. He went 1-for-3 with a double in the series. 133/202/205 on the series. At least his slugging is back higher than his on-base percentage now, though.

Bako started games two and three of the series. He went 0-for-7 with three strikeouts to drop his line on the year to 167/231/208. I guess everyone can’t have a slugging percentage that’s higher than their on-base percentage.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the series to drop his line on the year to 256/299/424. He’s walked three times in his last 88 at-bats.

Stairs started in right in game three. 0-for-4 in the set to drop his line on the year to 230/380/419.


Welcome Matt

Even Matt Holliday wasn’t enough to slow down the Phils. The Phillies continued their marvelous July run by taking two of three against the St Louis Cardinals this weekend. With the wins the Phils are 17-5 in July.

The Cards added Holliday to their roster in time for the series in a move that may be enough to push St Louis into the group with the Phils and Dodgers of the front-runners to win the National League. The Redbirds hit JA Happ and the Phils hard in the first game as they cruised to a win, but the Phillies bats exploded in games two and three as they outscored St Louis 23-8.

The Phillies are 56-40 on the season after taking two of three from the St Louis Cardinals. They are in first place in the NL East and 16 games above .500 for the first time this season. The Braves and Marlins are tied for second, both teams are 6 1/2 games back. The Mets are in fourth place and trail the Phils by 10 1/2 games.

The Phillies lost game one 8-1. Happ took his first loss of the year, allowing five runs over six innings. He held the Cards to a run over the first five innings before allowing four runs in the sixth. St Louis scored a pair off of Walker in the seventh and another run was charged to Carpenter in the eighth.

Rollins and Victorino went a combined 6-for-9 with eight RBI in game two as the Phils rolled to a 14-6 win. The Phils jumped out with three runs in the bottom of the first, but the Cards pecked away at Lopez and led 4-3 when the Phils hit in the bottom of the sixth. Rollins delivered a two-out grand slam in the sixth and the Phillies scored five times in the inning. The Phils added six more in the bottom of the seventh to run away with it.

The Phillies got four two-run homers and a great start from Blanton in game three. The Phils won 9-2. Utley, Rollins, Ibanez and Howard all homered for the Phils. Blanton allowed two runs over eight strong innings.

The Phils didn’t pitch well in the series. Overall they threw to a 4.67 ERA with a 1.59 ratio. They gave up 38 hits in 27 innings.

Happ had a weak start in game one of the series. Blanton was fantastic in game three and Lopez good enough in game two. As a group they threw to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.45 ratio in 20 innings. All three of them went at least six innings and they walked just two in 20 frames but allowed 27 hits and three home runs.

Happ allowed five runs in six innings on ten hits in game one. After throwing two innings the game was delayed 48 minutes in the bottom of the second and Happ came back to pitch the top of the third. Put an asterisk next to the game in your mind — hope I’m wrong but I worry it may be the start of tough times for Happ.

Lopez improved to 3-0 with a win in game two. Worst start of his four on the year for Lopez. He allowed four runs on ten hits and a walk over six innings. Only three of the runs were earned — it was just the fourth time on the season that a Phillies starter was charged with a run that was not earned. He allowed two home runs in the game after not allowing any in his first three starts. He has a 3.09 ERA on the year and has made a big contribution to the rotation in July.

Blanton went eight in game two, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. He started June with a 6.14 ERA. He threw to a 3.62 ERA with a 1.31 ratio in June. In four starts so far in July he’s 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA and an 0.84 ratio. He’s gone at least seven innings in five of his last six starts.

The pen didn’t have a good series. They went just seven innings and pitched to a 5.14 ERA with a 2.00 ratio. They also allowed an unearned run that didn’t hurt their ERA. Walker and Carpenter were both charged with runs in game one. Register allowed a run over two innings in game two.

Eyre did not pitch in the series.

Walker started the seventh inning of game one with the Phillies down 5-0. He went one inning and allowed two runs on a triple, a double, a single and two walks.

Carpenter was active for the first game of the series before Kendrick took his spot on the roster. He pitched the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies down 7-1. He faced four batters, got three outs and gave up home run to Julio Lugo. Three appearances for Carpenter on the year so far, a start and two games in relief. All three have been bad.

Kendrick did not pitch in the series.

Park pitched the seventh inning of game two with the Phillies up 8-4. He allowed a run that was unearned due to a Howard error on two hits.

26-year-old righty Steven Register was called up for the second game of the series. He made his first appearance with the Phillies in the eighth inning of game two, entering to start the inning with the Phils up 14-5. He allowed a leadoff double to start the eighth, but kept St Louis off the board. He came back to pitch the ninth and allowed a run on a triple, a single and a walk.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phillies down 8-1. He allowed a leadoff single but got the next hitter and then got Yadier Molina to hit into a double-play.

Lidge threw the ninth inning yesterday in game three. He entered with a 9-2 lead and allowed a one-out double but kept St Louis off the board.

The Phillies scored 24 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins went 3-for-15 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI in the series. He had a grand slam in game two. 237/290/385 on the year.

Victorino went 4-for-4 in game two and was 8-for-13 in the series with a double, a home run and three RBI. He’s at 320/388/471 for the season. 402/476/565 in July. Rollins is on-basing .411 in July, so the Phils are getting a lot of base-runners at the top of the order.

Utley was 4-for-11 with a double and a home run. 305/420/557 for the season. He has walked less regularly in July. He’s drawn at least 13 walks in every month this season except for this one — he has drawn just nine walks this month.

Howard made two errors in game one. He was 6-for-12 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 266/351/541 on the year. He didn’t walk in the series, but has been walking a lot in July. He’s walked 17 times already this month — his high for the first three months of the season was 11 walks in May.

Ibanez was 3-for-12 with a home run and three RBI in the series. He’s at 305/365/651 for the season. If he slugs .651 all season long it will be a career high.

Werth didn’t start yesterday with Stairs starting in right. He went 2-for-7 with three walks in the series and is hitting 271/384/510 for the year. 286/458/600 in July.

Feliz was 5-for-12 with five singles in the series. 298/345/410. If he ended the season with a .755 OPS it would be his highest mark since 2004.

Ruiz started the first two games of the series and went 3-for-8 to improve his line on the year to 235/333/388.

Bako started yesterday. He was 1-for-4 with a double in the series. He’s at 211/268/263 for the season.

Bruntlett didn’t bat in the series and has a 128/202/192 line for the season.

Mayberry was 0-for-1 in the series and is hitting 189/232/453 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 271/315/449 for the year.

Stairs started in right yesterday. He was 0-for-5 with a walk in the series. 246/402/449 on the year after going 1-for-15 in July.

This says that the Phillies have turned down Toronto’s request of Happ, Drabek and Dominic Brown for Halladay and that Toronto has likewise turned down the Phillies offer of Happ, Carrasco, Taylor and Donald.

This suggests that the Phillies may be interested in acquiring Cliff Lee from the Indians.

A 22-year-old man was killed in a fight near Citizens Bank Park during Saturday’s game.


Fourteenth of July

The Phils were 39-37 after losing on July 2, which was three weeks ago today. At the end of the day they were tied with the Florida Marlins for first place in the NL East, a game ahead of the Mets and two games ahead of the Braves, who had just swept them in Atlanta.

That feels like it shouldn’t be possible. But it is. The Phillies have played 16 games since then. A 14-2 run has them in commanding position in the division with the second place Braves 5 1/2 games out.

Most recently they took two out of three against the Cubs at home. The Phillies rolled to a blowout win in game one, won a dramatic game two with a walkoff homer before dropping an ugly game three yesterday.

The Phillies are have had a fantastic month. Yesterday was a bit worrisome, though, a virtual who’s-who of things to worry about on a pitching staff that has been awesome of late. Moyer, Durbin and Lidge all struggled, which was especially frustrating to see with Moyer and Durbin each coming off of outstanding performances.

Still, the Phils have enough things going right to overcome the struggles of Moyer and Lidge and, to a lesser degree, Durbin. Joe Blanton has a 2.32 ERA and a 1.11 ratio in his last ten starts. Rodrigo Lopez has made three good starts in three chances to help fortify the back of the rotation. Rollins and Victorino are both hitting at least .350 for the month at the top of the order. Chan Ho Park has just been awesome out of the pen. In his last 16 appearances he’s gone 24 2/3 innings with a 1.82 ERA and an 0.89 ratio while striking out 28. Eyre hasn’t been charged with an earned run in his last 22 appearances.

The Phillies are 53-39 on the season after taking two of three from the Cubs. After winning game two they were 15 games over .500 on the year, which was their best mark of the season. The are in first place in the NL East, 5 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Braves. The Marlins are six back and the Mets ten games out.

The Phils blew the Cubs out in game one, winning 10-1. Ibanez, Ruiz and Howard all hit home runs, which accounted for five of the ten runs. Lopez made another good start. He allowed a run over six innings. Durbin followed him and closed the game out with three scoreless innings to earn a save.

The Phillies won the second game 4-1 on a three-run homer from Werth in the bottom of the thirteenth. Rollins put the Phillies up 1-0 with a home run in the third. Blanton gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Theriot to start the fourth and Theriot came around to score on a two-out double by Kosuke Fukudome to tie the game at 1-1. Blanton departed after seven and the bullpen was brilliant after he left. They went six innings without allowing a hit or a walk. Lidge hit a batter in the ninth, but the runner was quickly erased by a double-play. Park was especially fantastic, striking out five in three perfect innings. In the bottom of the thirteenth the first two Phils went in order before Howard and Ibanez drew back-to-back walks. It put men on first and second for Werth and Werth hit a 1-1 pitch out to left.

The Cubs won 10-5 yesterday. Moyer gave up four in the fourth and another run in the top of the fifth. The Phils had gotten it to 5-3 by the time the seventh started, but Durbin had a miserable outing. He allowed two hits and walked three without getting an out, leading to three more runs that put Chicago up 8-3. The Phils scored two more in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-5. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but Howard grounded out to leave the runners stranded. Lidge had another weak outing in the ninth and the Cubs tacked on two more runs — Lidge couldn’t make it out of the frame and Madson had to come in and get the last out.

The Phillies pitchers went 31 innings in the series, throwing to a 3.19 ERA and a 1.16 ratio. They allowed two runs in 22 innings in the first two games and then allowed ten runs yesterday. They didn’t allow a home run in the three games.

They got two great starts, one from Lopez and one from Blanton, and a weak outing from Moyer. The starters combined to go 18 innings with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.33 ratio. They allowed seven runs over three games, five of which were allowed by Moyer.

Lopez went six innings in game one, allowing a run on five hits and three walks. He has a 2.60 ERA and a 1.21 ratio in three starts for the Phillies.

Blanton was also great in game two. He went seven innings and allowed a run on five hits and didn’t walk a batter. He started June with a 6.86 ERA. It’s now down to 4.24. He’s allowed two runs in 21 2/3 innings over his last three starts and given up just 13 hits.

Moyer made a weak start yesterday. He allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Two of his last three starts have been real bad with a brilliant start against the Marlins in the middle.

Like the starters, the pen was great in the first two games and not in the third. Overall they threw 13 innings with a 3.46 ERA and an 0.92 ratio. They allowed five runs that were charged to Lidge and Durbin in game three. As a group they gave up just six hits in 13 innings but walked six.

Romero did not pitch in the series. He’s gotten one out since July 16.

Eyre entered game three with the bases loaded, nobody out and the Phils down 7-3. He got Jake Fox to hit a sac fly for the first out, then got Koylie Hill on a line drive to third and struck out the pitcher Carlos Zambrano to end the frame. He came back to pitch the eighth and allowed a single and a walk but kept the Cubs off the board.

Eyre still has allowed runs in just two of 30 appearances on the season. He’s given up one run in 22 appearances since the end of April.

Durbin went three innings in game one and was fantastic. He allowed one single and didn’t walk a batter.

After throwing 33 pitches in game one, Durbin came back in game three and was not fantastic. He started the seventh with the Phillies down 5-3. He faced five batters: walk, walk, double, walk, single. He left with the bases loaded, nobody out and the Phils down 7-3. Thanks to a nice job by Eyre Durbin was only charged with three runs in the inning.

Park pitched a 1-2-3 tenth in game two with the score tied at 1-1. Ibanez made a great diving catch for the third out to take a double away from Koylie Hill. He came back to pitch the eleventh and struck out two as he set the Cubs down in order. He struck out two more in the twelfth.

Just an outstanding outing for Park. He went three innings and struck out five without allowing a hit or a walk. Over his last eight appearances he’s allowed two runs in 13 1/3 innings (1.35 ERA and a an 0.75 ratio).

Condrey got the win in game two. He threw three ground balls in a 1-2-3 thirteenth before Werth’s homer won it in the bottom of the inning.

He also pitched the sixth inning yesterday in game three. He entered with the Phils down 5-1 and set the Cubs down in order.

He’s allowed one hit and no walks in three scoreless innings this month.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with the score tied at 1-1 and set Chicago down in order.

He also got the final out in the top of the ninth yesterday. He took over for Lidge with two outs, the bases loaded and the Phils down 10-5 and got Aramis Ramirez on a popup.

He hasn’t been charged with a run in nine of his last ten appearances.

Lidge started the ninth inning in game two with the score knotted at 1-1. He hit Aramis Ramirez with one out. Fukudome was next and he hit a ball hard back through the middle, but it hit Lidge’s foot and went right to Rollins who was covering second with Ramirez running. Rollins turned the double-play to end the frame.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phillies down 8-5. With one out the Cubs loaded the bases on a hit batter, a walk and a single before a single by Reed Johnson moved everyone up a base and made it 9-5. Lidge got a strikeout for the second out before walking Derrek Lee to force in another run. Madson took over with two down and the bases loaded.

July has been the best month of the year for Lidge by ERA this season. He has a 5.87 ERA in nine July appearances.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the three-game set.

Rollins was 3-for-13 with a home run in the series. He’s hitting 235/290/370 on the year. 351/437/568 in July.

Victorino went 5-for-14 with a double to improve his line to 307/375/455. He’s hitting .360 this month.

Utley was 1-for-13 with a walk. 302/417/554.

Howard went 2-for-12 with seven strikeouts, a home run and three walks. 259/347/531.

Ibanez made a great diving catch with two outs in the top of the tenth in game two, taking a double away from Koylie Hill. Dobbs started in left yesterday in game three. Ibanez was 1-for-9 with a home run and two walks in the set. 309/372/662. If he slugs .662 all season long it will be a career high.

Werth won game two with a three-run homer in the bottom of the thirteenth. 4-for-10 with a home run and five walks. 266/378/508. He’s hitting just .266 this month, but with a .444 on-base percentage and a .603 slugging percentage.

Feliz was 4-for-12 with a walk and two RBI. 289/337/407.

Ruiz caught the first two games of the series and was 2-for-7 with a double and a home run. 228/330/375 on the year.

Bako started yesterday. He was 1-for-6 in the series and is hitting just 206/270/235 for the year. One extra-base hit, a double, in 34 at-bats.

Bruntlett was 0-for-2 in the series to drop his line on the year to 128/202/192.

Mayberry was 1-for-1 with a single. 192/236/462 on the year. He’s one of three players on the Phillies bench with an on-base percentage for the year of .270 or worse. I’m just saying.

Dobbs started in left yesterday in game three. 2-for-7 with two RBI in the series. 274/313/453 on the year. He’s hitting .341 in July after hitting .342 in June. One of four players on the Phillies bench with and on-base percentage of .313 or worse.

Stairs was 0-for-2 in the series. 270/425/492. 1-for-9 with five strikeouts and four walks in July.


The pitch for relief from pitching in relief

The Phillies open the second half of the season with a big series against the second-place Marlins. The Phils came in to the set knowing they could come out tied atop the division with the Fish or as many as eight games ahead of them. So far, so good. The Phils rolled in game one as Jamie Moyer threw a one-hit shutout with help from Madson and Romero.

The Phils are on a roll and look like they have a chance to put serious distance between themselves and the rest of the NL East. That would be good for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that it would allow them to rest key members of the bullpen down the stretch.

You’ll remember that the Phillies pen was fantastic last year. Durbin and Madson both finished in the top five in the league in innings pitched as a reliever, though. Durbin led the league with 87 2/3 innings pitched in relief and Madson was fifth with 82 2/3 innings pitched in relief. Down the stretch and through the post-season one of them was fantastic and the other faded badly. Durbin ended July last season with a 1.67 ERA and a 1.15 ratio. In his 27 regular season appearances to end the season he threw to a 5.40 ERA and a 1.70 ratio. In seven appearances in the post-season he was charged with just one earned run, but allowed seven hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings (2.70 ERA with a 3.00 ratio). Madson, on the other hand, ended July with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.31 ERA and was fantastic the rest of the way. In his last 28 regular season appearances he threw to a 2.22 ERA and a 1.09 ratio. He followed that up with an awesome run through the playoffs in which he pitched 12 2/3 innings with a 2.13 ERA and an 0.87 ratio.

Durbin and Madson both find themselves in the top ten in the NL in innings pitched in relief again in 2009. Madson has again been fantastic early in the season this year while Durbin has struggled a bit. I think there’s an added element this season as well — for Durbin, his struggles have meant that in addition to all of the innings he’s thrown he’s also had to throw more pitches to get through innings. In 2008 Durbin used 1,417 pitches to get through 87 2/3 innings. So far this year he’s needed 836 pitches to get through 44 1/3 innings. At his ’08 rate of pitches per inning he would have needed just 717 pitches to get through 44 1/3 frames. In 2009, Durbin is throwing about 1.17 times as many pitches per inning as he did last year.

For the 16 pitches who have thrown at least ten innings for the Phillies this season, here are the rates for pitches per batter, batters per inning and pitches per inning for each of them this year (does not include last night’s game):


Pitchers per batter

Batters per inning

Pitches per inning
T Walker
R Lopez
R Madson
B Myers
C Condrey
C Hamels
J Happ
J Moyer
J Blanton
J Taschner
C Park
C Durbin
B Lidge
A Bastardo
J Romero
S Eyre
3.52
3.67
3.69
3.73
3.76
3.82
3.86
3.87
3.91
4.06
4.12
4.14
4.24
4.25
4.33
4.38
T Walker
R Lopez
J Happ
C Condrey
R Madson
C Hamels
B Myers
J Blanton
J Romero
S Eyre
J Moyer
C Park
A Bastardo
C Durbin
B Lidge
J Taschner
3.82
3.97
4.08
4.21
4.21
4.24
4.30
4.35
4.40
4.44
4.46
4.47
4.50
4.56
4.75
4.88
T Walker
R Lopez
R Madson
J Happ
C Condrey
B Myers
C Hamels
J Blanton
J Moyer
C Park
C Durbin
J Romero
A Bastardo
S Eyre
J Taschner
B Lidge
13.45
14.56
15.54
15.75
15.79
16.07
16.22
16.97
17.25
18.42
18.86
19.05
19.10
19.44
19.81
20.16

A lot of pitches per inning isn’t ideal, but the combination of a guy who throws a lot of innings plus needs a lot of pitches to get through an inning is worse. So I don’t think we should be worried about Romero and Eyre needing a lot of pitches to go through a frame since they don’t throw a huge number of innings. I do think we should be worried about Durbin and Lidge.

Durbin and Madson threw about the same number of innings in the first half of the season. Madson threw 44 2/3 and Durbin threw 43 1/3. Madson threw a lot less pitches, though. He threw just 694 while Durbin threw 836, which is 142 more. Madson has thrown 15.54 pitches per inning this season — if he threw at that rate he could have thrown about 54 innings with the 836 pitches Durbin has thrown compared to the 43 1/3 Durbin has.

In addition to the increasing number of pitches that Durbin has to throw to get through an inning, I think for both he and Madson you have to worry about the number of innings they are both pitching. You don’t really want to see both of those guys in the top five for innings pitched in relief for the league every season.

Lidge is the other guy I think you have to worry about in terms of the number of pitches he’s throwing. He’s throwing about 20.2 pitches per inning this year after throwing 17.18 per inning last season. His pitches per innings is at the highest rate for his career with the exception of 2002 when he threw under ten innings. 2006 with the Astros was the other year where he really struggled — in ’06 he needed just 18.01 pitches per inning.

Whether it’s a physical problem or not, Lidge is either going to work through his struggles this year or he isn’t. The worry, though, is that even if he does, by the time he does it he will have thrown so many pitches that he’s worn out.

Clay Condrey could be activated for tonight’s game.

Kyle Kendrick is engaged to marry a former Survivor contestant, which means that five percent of the Phillies 40-man roster is now engaged to or married to someone who has been on the show. Don’t know for sure, but I would guess that leads the league.

With his home run last night, Ryan Howard became the player to hit 200 home runs in the fewest number of games in Major League history.

Philliesflow has a Twitter page.

Update: The Phillies activated Condrey and designated Tyler Walker for assignment.


The house that roared

After struggling at home for most of the year the Phillies have roared to life at Citizens Bank Park in early July. Coming off of a three-game sweep of the rival Mets at home, the Phillies pounded the Reds in a four-game set and now look to finish the first half of the season strong as the Pirates come to town.

The Phillies have won six of their last seven. In those games they’ve thrown 63 innings with a 2.29 ERA. The bullpen has been charged with one run in 19 innings (0.47 ERA) while throwing to an 0.63 ratio with 26 strikeouts. Jimmy Rollins has gone 12-for-28 with five extra-base hits and seven walks and sparkled defensively. The team never makes an error. They scored ten runs in an inning and 22 runs in a game. Jayson Werth homers every day. Victorino has played himself into the All-Star game. Rollins, Victorino and Utley combined to go 22-for-51 atop the lineup in the last four games.

The Phils are 45-38 on the year after taking three of four from the Cincinnati Reds. The Phils are in first place in the NL East, two games ahead of the Florida Marlins. The Mets and Braves are tied for third place, both teams are five games back.

The Phillies blasted the Reds in game one, winning 22-1. They scored ten runs in the bottom of the first, getting two-run homers from Victorino and Dobbs and a three-run shot from Utley. Hamels was fantastic. He allowed a solo homer to Johnny Gomes in the top of the second, but went seven innings and allowed just three hits without walking a batter. The Phils were up 16-1 by the fourth inning and Werth hit a grand slam in the bottom of a six-run eighth.

The Phils lost a close one in game two, falling 4-3. Happ gave them another impressive start, but the Phillies had a lot of trouble with situational hitting and failed several times the bring a runner home. They got a run in the third but couldn’t get any more after putting men on first and second with nobody out. They got a leadoff triple from Ruiz in the fourth but left him stranded. In the eighth they put men on first and third with one out but didn’t score. Home runs from Werth and Howard helped put the Phils up 3-0 by the end of the third. Brandon Phillips connected for a two-run homer off of Happ in the fourth, though, and Phillips tied the game at three with another home run in the sixth. Lidge entered the ninth with the score still tied. He gave up a leadoff double to Joey Votto and Votto came around to score on a Ramon Hernandez single to put Cincy up 4-3. The Phils went quietly in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies took game three 3-2 thanks to solid pitching and a show-stealing performance from Victorino. Lopez made his second start for the Phils and gave up a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Victorino made a run out of almost nothing in the bottom of the inning. He led off and reached on an infield single, stole second, went to third on a sac fly by Utley and scored on a two-out single from Howard to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1. Lopez had to leave with a strained shoulder after five innings after throwing 82-mph fastballs in the top of the fifth. Werth blasted a home run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2. Durbin, Romero and Madson combined to throw four scoreless innings and the game went to the bottom of the ninth still tied at 2-2. Feliz led off with a single, moved to second on a two-out walk from Rollins and came in to score the game-winner on a single to center from Victorino.

The Phils won an ugly 9-6 game yesterday. Moyer didn’t have a good start and the Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. The Phils came back with two in the bottom of the third, thanks to an inside-the-park home run from Utley that was followed by back-to-back doubles by Howard and Werth. Edwin Encarnacion put the Reds up 4-2 with a solo homer in the fourth, but a two-run single from Victorino in the bottom of the inning tied the game at 4-4. Another home run off of Moyer, this one a two-run shot from Brandon Phillips, made it 6-4 in the fifth. The Phillies got four walks and two singles in the bottom of the fifth to go up 8-6 and a solo homer by Werth in the sixth put them up 9-6. Park was awesome in relief of Moyer, entering in the sixth with an 8-6 lead and going three scoreless innings. Lidge got the save in the ninth.

Outstanding pitching for the Phillies in the series. They threw 36 innings to a 3.25 ERA and an 0.89 ratio. This comes off a series against the Mets where the Phils threw to a 1.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio over three games. So they’ve been pitching rather well.

Three great starts in the series for the Phils and one bad one yesterday. 24 innings with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.00 ratio for the starting pitchers combined. The starters allowed five home runs — one by Hamels, two by Happ and two by Moyer. They walked just two in 24 innings. Lopez and Moyer both walked one and Hamels and Happ didn’t walk any.

Hamels was awesome in game one. He allowed two singles and a solo homer over seven innings.

Happ went seven innings in game two and allowed three runs, all of which scored on a pair of homers by Phillips. Aside from the two homers Happ allowed four singles without walking a batter and struck out seven. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts.

Lopez went five innings in game three, allowing two runs on five singles and a walk. The Phillies have won both of his starts and he’s pitched to a 3.18 ERA with a 1.15 ratio, walking just two in 11 1/3 innings.

Moyer allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings yesterday, raising his ERA on the year to 5.99. He’s allowed five home runs in 16 1/3 innings over his last three starts.

The bullpen allowed one run in 12 innings, the run the Lidge gave up in the ninth inning of game two. 0.75 ERA and an 0.67 ratio coming off of seven scoreless innings against the Mets with an 0.57 ratio. The pen didn’t allow a home run against the Reds and gave up just five hits and three walks in 12 innings. The trio of Durbin, Romero and Madson were particularly impressive in game three. Park was fantastic last night, going three scoreless innings in relief of Moyer.

Romero entered game three with two outs in the seventh, men on first and second and the score tied at 2-2 to pitch to Chris Dickerson. Romero struck him out looking to end the frame.

Eyre made his first appearance for the Phils since June 11 in the ninth inning of game one. He entered the game with a 22-1 lead and allowed a single and a double to the first two men he faced, but kept the Reds off the board by getting the next three hitters on a fly ball and two strikeouts.

The outing will surely help his splits for career ERA when pitching with a 21-run lead.

Durbin started the sixth inning of game three with the Phillies down 2-1. He got the first two men he faced before hitting Phillips. He got Laynce Nix on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

He came back to start the seventh in game three. Hernandez led off with a single and moved to second on a ground out by the pitcher Homer Bailey before Durbin hit Edwin Encarnacion. It put men on first and second with nobody out. Durbin struck Johnny Gomes out looking for the second out and Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Dickerson.

Three good outings in a row from Durbin have lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 4.09. He allowed three home runs in 12 2/3 innings in April to start the year. He’s given up just three in 21 1/3 innings over 26 appearances since.

Park entered yesterday’s game in relief of Moyer in the top of the sixth with an 8-6 lead. He allowed a one-out walk in the sixth, but got the next two men he faced. He came back to strike out the side in the seventh and throw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Huge outing for Park in a tight game. Over his last six appearances he’s allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks over 8 1/3 innings. That’s a 1.08 ERA and an 0.84 ratio. Park made six appearances in May, four starts and two in relief. He walked 15 in 22 innings (and 12 in his 18 innings as a starter). So far in June and July he has walked six in 20 2/3 innings.

Walker threw the seventh inning of game one with the Phillies up 16-1 and set the Reds down in order.

Madson pitched the eighth inning of game two with the score tied at 3-3. He set the Reds down 1-2-3.

He also pitched in game three, entering in the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He threw a 1-2-3 eighth and a 1-2-3 ninth.

Fantastic series for Madson, pitching three shutdown frames at critical times.

Lidge entered game two in the top of the ninth with the score tied at 3-3. Joey Votto led off with a double to right, was bunted to third and scored on a single by Hernandez before Lidge got out of the inning with a double-play ball.

He also pitched last night in game four, entering in the ninth with a 9-6 lead. He walked Willy Tavares with two outs, but struck Chris Dickerson out to end the game and earn his 17th save.

Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Park threw 43 pitches last night, so I wouldn’t be expecting to see him in tonight’s game.

The Phillies scored 37 runs in the four-game series (22 in game one).

Rollins was fantastic in the series, both with his glove and with the bat. 7-for-17 with a double and four walks. He is hitting 227/281/351 on the season. He’s 14-for-his-last-32 and hitting .400 in July.

Victorino was pretty fantastic hisownself. He won game three with a walkoff single that scored Feliz and had a monster game one in which he drove in four runs. 8-for-17 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI. 309/375/463 on the year.

Utley hit an inside-the-park home run yesterday. With two outs and nobody on he hit the ball high off the wall in center. It came off the wall and rolled along the track while Utley hustled around the bases and scored without a close play at the plate. 7-for-17 with two doubles and two homers and six RBI in the series. 307/427/578, so Victorino has a higher batting average on the season, which probably won’t last long.

Howard went 4-for-14 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He’s at 253/332/522 on the year. Everyone in front of him is on fire these days, so there are a ton of RBI chances for Howard. He’s hitting just 200/333/333 in July, though.

Werth homered in every game in the series. 6-for-15 with a double, four walks, four homers and nine RBI. 268/373/522 on the year. He’s slugging .885 in July. He hits a lot of home runs with Ryan Howard not on base.

Dobbs starting left field for all four games and went 7-for-16 with a double and a home run. 274/319/472. He was hitting 172/246/310 after 0-for-1 against the Blue Jays on June 17. He even drew a walk in last night’s game, which gives him two since the end of May.

Feliz was 5-for-18 with five singles and is at 292/339/407 for the year.

Ruiz started games one, two and four of the series and went 3-for-9 with a triple and a walk. He’s hitting 239/340/374 for the year. 3-for-his-last-19.

Coste was 0-for-1 in the series to drop his line for the year to 245/342/382. He has two at-bats in July.

Bako started game three. He was 1-for-6 in the series and is hitting 200/273/250 in 20 at-bats on the year. In the last three games that Bako has started the team the Phillies were playing has scored two runs twice and one run once. Coincidence? Probably.

Bruntlett was 1-for-5 with a double in the series. 139/207/208.

Mayberry was on the bench to start all four games with the Reds starting four righties. He was 0-for-2 with a walk in the series. 200/250/511 for the year in 36 at-bats. He’s 1-for-his-last-20 with 11 strikeouts.

There’s a whole lot of things going right for the Phillies. One of the things that isn’t and that has been a problem for a long time is right-handed hitting off the bench. Bruntlett, Coste and Mayberry aren’t in a groove. Need some help.

Stairs was 0-for-1 with three walks in the series. His line is at 271/427/458 for the year. Just one extra-base hit, a double, since he homered against the Fish on May 27.

Shane Victorino won the vote and made the All-Star team.

Things are heating up with Pedro Martinez. Martinez will throw for the Phillies again this afternoon. Todd Zolecki seems to think there’s a good chance the Phils will get Pedro.

Lopez says he should be able to make his next start, which could be on July 20.

Update: Jayson Werth has also made the NL All-Star team, taking the place of the injured Carlos Beltran. The addition means that all three of the Phillies starting outfielders will join Utley and Howard on the team.

More update:
The Phillies activated Ibanez from the DL and designated Chris Coste for assignment. Coste was claimed by the Astros.


Apparently if you want to meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and greet the Mets you’ve come to the wrong place

Try the DL.

The Phillies did just about everything right this weekend against the Mets. They got brilliant pitching, got Jimmy Rollins back sparking their offense at the top of the order and played error-free baseball. And when it was over it was hard to have any reaction at all except man-the-Mets-sure-are-looking-awful.

The Phils came into the series with New York 4-14 over their last 18 games. There’s no question that they’re going to snap out of it — the only question is when. They have played badly enough for long enough, though, that one great weekend against the Mets, a team missing three of its four best hitters, isn’t going to get the confidence ball rolling again with a whole lot of steam. Their problems, mostly the fact that there is no reason the rest of the division should be nearly as close to them as they are, took more than one weekend to make and they’re going to take more than one weekend to put behind them.

The Phillies are 42-37 on the year after sweeping the Mets in a three-game series in Philadelphia. They’re a game ahead of the second-place Marlins. The Mets and Braves are tied for third place in the division four games behind the Phils.

Rodrigo Lopez made his debut as a Phillie in game one, which the Phillies won 7-2. Coming off of three straight losses in Atlanta, the Phillies exploded for seven runs in the first three innings as they jumped out to a big early lead. Lopez cruised into the seventh, when the Mets finally got to him for a pair of runs. Park and Madson came on to offer 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Phillies pitching held the Mets down again in game two as Moyer led the way to a 4-1 win. Moyer held New York to a single run and pitched into the seventh. Rollins drove in a pair of runs and four Phillies relievers combined to throw 2 1/3 innings of nearly perfect relief to protect a three-run lead. Lidge struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his fifteenth save on the year.

Blanton dueled Johan Santana in game three and the Phils came out with a 2-0 win. Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a home run and Utley put the Phils ahead 2-0 with another homer in the bottom of the sixth. Blanton was fantastic, pitching into the eighth and allowing just four singles and three walks without giving up a run. Park got a huge double-play in the eighth and Lidge earned his second save in two days by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies got outstanding pitching in the series, allowing just three runs in three games. Their pitchers posted a 1.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio. They didn’t allow a home run and struck out 20 in 27 innings.

The starting pitchers combined to throw 20 innings with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.00 ratio. Lopez, Moyer and Blanton all made good starts.

Lopez was very good in game one, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 innings in his first start since 2007. He allowed six hits, three singles and three doubles, and walked one.

Moyer also went 6 1/3 in game two. He allowed one run on five singles and a walk. He allowed at least one home run in nine of his first ten starts on the season. After not allowing one in game two he has now not allowed one in four of his last six starts.

Blanton threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings in game three, allowing four singles and three walks. He left with one out and a man on first in the eighth. He’s allowed more than three runs in a start once in his last eight outings — he allowed four runs against the Blue Jays on June 18. His ERA has dropped from 7.11 to 4.69.

The relievers were also outstanding in the series. They allowed three hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings over the three games. They struck out ten.

Romero entered game two in the seventh with two outs, a man on first and the Phillies up 4-1. He struck Daniel Murphy out to end the inning. He came back to start the eighth and got the leadoff man before Alex Cora singled to left. Madson came on to face righty David Wright.

He also pitched in game three, entering in the top of the eighth with one out, a man on first and the Phillies up 2-0 to pitch to lefty Alex Cora. He hit Cora with a pitch to put the tying run on base and Park came in to pitch to the righty Tatis.

Escalona didn’t pitch in the series. Eyre took his roster spot yesterday.

Walker did not pitch in the series.

Park entered game one in the bottom of the seventh with one out, a man on second and the Phils up 7-2. He struck out the two men he faced to end the inning. He returned for the eighth. He allowed a leadoff single to Gary Sheffield, but got Wright to hit into a double-play behind him. A single and a walk followed, but Park got out of it by getting Tatis on a fly ball to Werth to set New York down.

He also pitched yesterday in game three, entering in the eighth with one out, men on first and second and the Phils up 2-0. He got the only man he faced, Tatis, to hit into a big double-play.

Durbin relieved Moyer in game two with one out, nobody on and the Phils up 4-1 in the seventh. He got the first man he faced before hitting Omir Santos with a pitch. Romero came on to face lefty Daniel Murphy.

Madson pitched the ninth inning of game one with a 7-2 lead. He set the Mets down in order. Madson isn’t the guy to use to start an inning up by five runs.

He entered game two in the eighth with the Phils up 4-1, one out and Wright at the plate. He got Wright to pop to Utley for the second out and Gary Sheffield on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Lidge struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth in game two with the Phils up 4-1. It was the first time he had thrown a perfect inning since June 1.

He also pitched yesterday. He entered in the ninth with a 2-0 lead and struck out the side.

Romero and Lidge have both pitched two days in a row. Romero threw just two pitches yesterday. Lidge 14 yesterday after throwing 13 in game two.

The Phillies scored 13 runs in the three game series.

Rollins was 5-for-11 with three doubles, three walks and a home run in the three-game set. He’s hitting 217/266/345 on the season. He was also 2-for-4 in the last game in Atlanta, so he’s 7-for-his-last-15.

Victorino was 6-for-14 with a triple in the series. 300/363/447 on the year.

Utley was 3-for-9 with two walks, a home run and three RBI. 301/426/559 on the season.

Howard was 1-for-9 in the series but made two nice defensive plays yesterday. 252/326/519.

Werth went 1-for-7 with three walks and a home run. 261/365/482.

Dobbs started in left in games one and two. He went 2-for-8 with two singles and two RBI. He’s at 244/293/433 for the season. He still has walked just once since May 30 (53 at-bats).

Feliz was 4-for-9 with four singles. 292/340/415 on the year.

Bako got the start behind the plate in each of the first two games and went 1-for-6 with a double and two walks. He’s 3-for-14 with the Phillies. I don’t think it makes sense to have Ruiz, Coste and Bako all on the team at the same time, but if they are going to all be on the team at the same time it’s nice to see Bako play.

Ruiz started yesterday’s game and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He’s hitting 234/337/364 for the season. He was hitting 304/427/529 at the end of May.

Coste was 0-for-1 in the series. 248/345/386.

Bruntlett did not play in the series. One at-bat in the last six games. 134/208/194 for the year.

Mayberry started in left yesterday. 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the series. 209/244/535 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series and is at 276/408/466 for the year.

On Thursday the Phillies lost their third straight, falling to the Braves 5-2. Happ pitched very well in the game, holding Atlanta to two runs over seven innings and the teams went into the bottom of the eighth tied at 2-2. Madson got hit hard in the inning, allowing three runs on three hits including a two-run homer by Garret Anderson.

Shane Victorino is one of six vote-in candidates to make the All-Star team.

Eyre up, Escalona down. Jack Taschner was designated for assignment when Lopez was activated to start on Friday.

Ibanez will play for Reading today and may be back before the All-Star break.

Rodrigo Lopez’s starts are purple in the Start Log.


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