Tag: Ross Gload

Away improvement

The Phils posted a miserable 9-23 record on the road between the middle of May and the end of July, raising questions about how they would ever find a way into the post-season with such miserable results away from home. The bad news is they probably won’t make the post-season without showing dramatic improvement on the road. The good news is that shouldn’t be too hard to do. It looks like they’ve started already, opening August by going 3-0 away from Citizens Bank Park.

Kyle Kendrick delivered yet another solid start last night and the Phils have now won all three games he’s pitched since returning from Triple-A. In those starts he’s 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. In his 20 appearances before being sent to the minors, Kendrick struck out about 4.24 batters per nine innings. In his three starts since he has struck out 6.05 per nine.

Domonic Brown flashed some more of his glove and his bat as well. Brown drove in three runs and made a fantastic throw in the bottom of the third inning to nail Gaby Sanchez at the plate.

The Phillies are 59-48 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 7-2 last night. They have won three in a row and remain two games behind the Braves in the NL East.

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

The start of the game was delayed for 58 minutes by rain. When it started, the Phils scored two in the top of the first and Kendrick started the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead. Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and third for Dan Uggla. Uggla hit a ball to right that Brown handled for the second out and Morrison held third. Cody Ross grounded to third for the third out.

Mike Stanton led off the second and blasted a 1-2 pitch way out to left center, cutting the lead to 2-1. Kendrick came way up and in with his first pitch to the next batter, Wes Helms, and set the next three hitters down in order.

Sanchez doubled softly to left with two outs in the third. Uggla was next and singled to right, but Brown made a very strong throw to the plate and Sanchez was tagged out to end the inning.

Great throw by Brown, who also made a strong throw in the first on a ball that Uggla hit to keep Morrison at third.

Kendrick struck out two in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He had a 4-1 lead when he started the fifth. He got the first two before Ramirez and Morrison singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Sanchez and Sanchez singled into right. Brown should have thrown to third, but threw home instead. His throw was bad a got away from Ruiz, allowing the runners to go to second and third with the lead cut to 4-2. Uggla was next and Rollins made a fantastic diving play to snare his line drive and end the inning.

Rollins saved the Phils two runs.

Up 5-2, Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Contreras pitched the seventh. He allowed a two-out single to Ramirez, but got Morrison to ground to second to leave the runner stranded.

Madson pitched the eighth. Sanchez led off with a double and Uggla walked behind him. Ross hit a fly ball to center for the first out, deep enough for the runners to move to second and third. Madson struck Stanton and Helms both out swinging to end the inning.

Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with a 7-2 lead to drop his ERA on the year to 5.09.

Madson threw 27 pitches in the game, Contreras 15 and Lidge 14.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Werth (5) Gload (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first against the righty. Valdez at second with Polanco at third and Dobbs on the bench. Brown plays right against the righty.

Polanco singled with one out in the first and took second on a wild pitch before Ibanez walked. It put men on first and second for Werth and Werth struck out for the second out. Gload singled into center and Polanco scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. With two down and men on first and second, Brown singled into center. Ibanez scored and the Phils were up 2-0. Ruiz struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins reached on an infield single with two outs in the second, but Polanco popped to short behind him.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phils hit in the third. Gload walked with two outs and took second on another wild pitch, but Brown hit a ball that the pitcher handled for the third out.

They went in order in the fourth.

Rollins and Polanco singled back-to-back to start the fifth. It put men on first and second for Ibanez and Ibanez singled into right. Rollins came in to score (3-1) with the runners winding up at second and third after the throw came home. Werth struck out for the first out and the righty Sanchez walked the lefty Gload intentionally to load the bases. Lefty Taylor Tankersley came in to pitch to Brown and Brown hit a fly ball to right deep enough for Polanco to tag and score, putting the Phils up 4-1. Ruiz grounded to third for the third out.

Another strikeout for Werth, this time with nobody out and men on second and third.

The lead was cut to 4-2 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Kendrick doubled with one out and Rollins walked behind him. Polanco was next and he walked, loading the bases. Ibanez hit a fly ball to right. Kendrick tagged and scored (5-2) and Rollins went to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Werth flew to center to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

With righty Clay Hensley on the mound for Florida, Dobbs hit for Contreras with one out in the eighth and grounded to third. Rollins walked behind him, but Polanco flew to center for the third out.

Ibanez and Werth singled back-to-back to start the ninth. Gload was next and flew to left. Ibanez tagged and took third, putting men on first and third with one down. Brown was next and hit a ball to Uggla at second. Uggla flipped to second to try to start the double-play, but the flip was awful and Ramirez didn’t have a chance. Ibanez scored to make it 6-2 with men on first and third. Ruiz followed that with a single to left that brought Werth in and it was 7-2. With men on first and second with one out, Valdez hit a ground ball to third and Ruiz was forced at second for the second out. With righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Fish, Francisco hit for Madson and walked to load the bases. Rollins flew to left to leave the runners stranded.

Rollins was 2-for-4 and walked twice. Over his last four games he’s 5-for-17 with five walks. Prior to those four games he had on-based .273 in his 132 previous plate appearances.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. He’s hitting 393/486/590 over his last 74 plate appearances. Over his last 12 games he’s 18-for-43 (.419) with three home runs and ten walks. If you’re wondering how the Phillies are getting offense with so many players injured, I’d start there.

Top three in the order go 6-for-11 with four walks.

Werth was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and six men left on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 with seven strikeouts. If you’re wondering how the Phillies offense can get better, I’d start there.

Gload was 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. He’s 8-for-his-last-17 with a double, a home run and five walks, raising his line on the year from 239/270/408 to 284/344/466. I’m hoping he and Sweeney become a left/right platoon instead of Sweeney becoming the regular first baseman with Howard out.

Brown was 1-for-4 with three RBI and showed off a fantastic arm in the third inning. Made a bad decision and a bad throw in the fifth, though.

Ruiz was 1-for-5 with an RBI. He’s 15-for-his-last-36 with four doubles and two home runs.

Valdez was 0-for-5 with a strikeout to drop his on-base percentage for the year to .270.

Roy Oswalt (6-13, 3.53) faces righty Chris Volstad (5-8, 4.71) tonight as the Phils go for the sweep. Oswalt allowed five runs in six innings in his first start as a Phillie. Volstad has a 5.87 ERA over his last six starts. He’s walked too many batters this season, about 3.6 per nine innings.

The Phillies acquired right-handed first baseman Mike Sweeney from Seattle. My guess is he will take Mayberry’s roster spot and platoon at first with Gload until Howard returns.

Imperfect, and looking more imperfecter every day, team throws perfect game

The Phillies miserable skid may not be over, but at least May finally is. The Phils went 2-7 to end the month and scored ten runs in those nine games while being shut out five times.

The nosedive has now cost them the lead in the division to good Atlanta team. Not as good as the Phillies, but good and more than good enough to take the division if the Phils continue to play like they don’t belong.

What does it take for the Phillies to win these days? Well, Roy Halladay showed us all Saturday as he threw the 20th perfect game in major league history. The Phils won 1-0 with a lot of help from a three-base error by Cameron Maybin. The Phils somehow managed to win that three-game set with the Marlins despite scoring four runs in the series. They jumped right back into the swing of things after that, though, getting shut out on Sunday before Tommy Hanson took a shutout into the seventh inning against them yesterday.

Charlie Manuel has tried just about everything now. Meetings, benchings, changing the lineup and getting ejected. None of it is working and slump isn’t the right word for what’s happening to the Phillies anymore.

The Phillies are 28-22 on the year after a 9-3 loss to Atlanta yesterday afternoon. They are in second place in the NL East, a half game behind the Braves.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Chipper Jones. He struck out two. Blanton has been awful this year. He has now thrown to the same 1.32 ratio in 2010 as he did in 2009, but with a 5.68 ERA in ’10 compared to a 4.05 for 2009. He’s giving up more hits and more home runs and his strikeouts are way down — in 2009 he struck out 7.5 batters per nine innings and so far in 2010 he’s struck out 4.5 batters per nine innings.

Martin Prado singled to center to start the bottom of the first. Jason Heyward flew to Victorino for the first out before Chipper hit a 3-2 pitch out to right to put Atlanta up 2-0. Brain McCann flew to center for the second out before Troy Glaus hit a ball to right that Gload butchered for a two-base error. Eric Hinske singled to right and Glaus scored to make it 3-0. Yunel Escobar flew to right to end the inning.

Gload’s error proves costly to the Phils.

The pitcher Tommy Hanson singled to right with one out in the second, but Blanton got Prado on a ball hit out in front of the plate that Ruiz handled and struck Heyward out looking to leave him stranded.

McCann walked with one out in the third and moved to third when Glaus followed with a single. Hinske hit a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for another Phillies error. McCann scored, 4-0, and Glaus went to third with Hinske safe at second. Escobar singled into center and both runners scored, but Victorino threw Escobar out trying to stretch it into a double. Blanton got Nate McLouth to pop to short to end the inning with the Phils down 6-0.

Two errors in three innings lead to two unearned runs for Atlanta.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

Escobar singled with one out in the sixth. Blanton got McLouth to pop to short for the second out before a Hanson single sent Escobar to third. Prado grounded to second to leave both men stranded.

The Atlanta lead was cut to 6-3 when Bastardo started the seventh. Chipper singled with one out and Omar Infante ran for him at first. A walk to McCann put men on first and second and Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Glaus. Glaus hit his first pitch out to center to extend the lead to 9-3. Gregor Blanco followed that with a double, but Durbin got the next two to leave him at second.

Lidge threw a 1-2-3 eighth, getting a strikeout and two ground balls to lower his ERA to 2.08 on the year.

Bastardo threw 22 pitches in the game. Lidge 13 and Durbin seven.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tommy Hanson went (1) Gload (2) Dobbs (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Well that’s different. Gload in right. Dobbs at third. Victorino dropped to fifth. The Phils go four lefties, switch, lefty at the top of their order.

Dobbs walked with one out in the first and moved to third when Utley followed with a single. Howard hit into a double-play to turn them away.

Down 3-0, Victorino walked to start the second. He stole second before Ibanez walked. Ruiz flew to center and Valdez hit into a double-play.

Blanton started the third with a single. Gload popped to third before Blanton took second on a passed ball. Dobbs flew to left and Utley flew to left. Manuel was ejected during the Dobbs at-bat. The home plate ump ruled Dobbs had been hit by a pitch. Bobby Cox argued that he hadn’t and the call was overturned with Dobbs not getting to take his base. Manuel argued that decision and got tossed. Dobbs wasn’t hit by the pitch.

Third straight inning the Phils put a runner on second without scoring.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

They were down 6-0 when they faced Hanson in the seventh. Ibanez doubled with two outs and righty Peter Moylan came in to pitch to Ruiz. Ruiz doubled to right and Ibanez scored. 6-1. Valdez doubled to left and Ruiz scored. 6-2. Francisco hit for Blanton and he doubled to left-center. 6-3. Lefty Jonny Venters came in to pitch to Gload and hit him, putting men on first and second with two down. The righty Castro hit for the lefty Dobbs and grounded to second for the third out.

Down 9-3, the Phils went in order in the eighth.

Ruiz walked with one out in the ninth. Valdez struck out and Francisco flew to right to end the game.

Gload was 0-for-3 in the game and has proved not to be the magic bullet that pulls the Phils out of their slump. He’s 1-for-his-last-7 and hitting 222/243/389 on the year.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s 2-for-27 in May and hitting 125/208/250 for the year. That’s really bad.

Utley was 1-for-4 yesterday. He’s 3-for-his-last-27 with three singles.

Howard was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-20.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk hitting out of the five-hole. He’s been really good this month, hitting 284/357/509 in 116 at-bats.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a double. He’s 2-for-his-last-12.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-10 with a double and two walks.

Valdez was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-15 with two doubles and hitting 250/260/375 for the year. Castro was 0-for-1 yesterday. He’s 2-for-his-last-9 and hitting 250/277/307 for the year. Castro and Valdez have combined to get 160 at-bats for the Phils this season.

Werth didn’t play yesterday and is 0-for-his-last-19 with 11 strikeouts.

Polanco has not played since Thursday due to problems with his left elbow. This says the Phillies should know when he will be able to return today.

The linked article also says that Nelson Figueroa was designated for assignment when Lidge was activated.

Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.82) faces righty Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.24) tonight. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last five starts. Hudson has allowed more than two runs in a start just once in ten outings this year. Opponents are hitting 212/299/301 against him for the year.

Last man sitting

This suggests that the Phillies have signed Ross Gload to a two-year contract.

Gload is a 33-year-old left-handed batter who can play first base and maybe the corner outfield positions. He’s made between five and 20 appearances in the outfield in each of the last four seasons.

Assuming that Dobbs is on the team, the move seems to complete the Phillies offensive roster. Eight regulars: Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez, Victorino and Werth. Five bench guys: Dobbs, Castro, Schneider, Gload and Francisco. That’s three lefties in Schneider, Dobbs and Gload. Dobbs and Gload seem like very similar players — left-handed hitters that don’t do much defensively.

I like this move because I think Gload is a solid hitter, but it’s a little unclear to me if the Phils see Gload as someone who can do anything besides be a left-handed pinch-hitter. It seems like they had that role covered with Dobbs, who saw his defensive use drop dramatically for the Phils in 2009. After appearing in 52 games at third for the Phils in ’08, Dobbs made just 16 there in ’09. Dobbs did miss a lot of time at the end of August and in the first half of September, but the Phillies seemed less interested in playing him at third base in 2009 than they had been the year before. It also seems possible that Dobbs’s injury problems last year made it harder for the Phillies to use him at third — basically I think that the Phillies should keep Dobbs on the team and let him play third more often than they did in 2009. If they aren’t going to let him play third I think that roster spot could be used better, especially with Gload around.

If those are the five guys on the bench when the season starts it leaves the Phils a little thin from the right side. I think there’s a chance there may be more activity around the bench before the season starts because there is so much overlap between what Gload and Dobbs can do.

Gload hit 261/329/400 in 259 plate appearances for the Marlins last season, but a much more impressive 271/345/432 against righties. He has been pretty good against lefties over his career, though, hitting 298/321/382 against left-handed pitching over his career compared to 278/330/414 against righties.

Gload had two really good seasons as a part-time player, both with the White Sox. In 2004 he hit 321/375/479 in 260 plate appearances and in 2006 he hit 327/354/462 in 167 plate appearances. He doesn’t walk or hit for a lot of power, but he is a career .283 hitter.

This suggests that the Phils may still be in the running for Halladay. It also speculates they might have to trade Blanton if they trade for Halladay.

This says the Phils are likely to offer arbitration to Condrey and Durbin. It also says that Mathieson, Escalona and Bastardo could be in the bullpen mix this year.

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