Tag: Roy Oswalt

Goliath looking a little peaked after David knocks in four runs in his last two at-bats

The Phillies are built to win with dominant starting pitching, but for the second game in the four they’ve played this post-season they didn’t get it last night. Oswalt allowed five runs in six innings in front of an offense that has plated six runs in their last 25 times at-bat and the Phils fell 5-3 to even the series with the Cards heading into game five.

David Freese had a monster game for St Louis. Coming into his at-bat in the bottom of the fourth inning, Freese was 2-for-13 in the series with seven strikeouts. He knocked in four runs in his last two at-bats, going 2-for-2 with a two-run double and a two-run homer.

Rollins doubled to start the game and scored when Utley followed and ripped a triple down the first base line. Pence knocked Utley in with a single to put the Phils on top 2-0, but was caught stealing on a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out-double-play with Howard at the plate that seemed to kill the early momentum for the Phils. Lance Berkman ripped a double to the gap in right-center in the bottom of the first, plating Skip Schumaker to cut the lead to 2-1. Oswalt walked Berkman to start the fourth and hit Matt Holliday behind him, putting two men on base for Freese. Freese doubled into the left field corner, clearing the bases and put the Cards on top 3-2. In his next at-bat, which came in the sixth, Freese pounded an Oswalt pitch way out to center for a long home run that extended the St Louis lead to 5-2. Singles by Gload and Utley and a wild pitch by Fernando Salas helped the Phils get a run in the top of the eighth to cut the lead to 5-3. Marc Rzepczynski struck Howard out with a man on second to end the eighth and Jason Motte set the Phils down in order in the ninth.

With the strikeout, Howard is 2-for-15 in the series. That’s part of a big problem for the Phils that has seen Rollins and Utley pound the ball at the top of the order while most of the rest of the lineup goes quiet. Rollins and Utley are 15-for-29 with seven extra-base hits and four walks in the series so far. Pence, Howard, Victorino, Ibanez, Mayberry, Polanco and Ruiz have combined to go 16-for-92 (.174) in the series with 14 singles.

If I never see Jason Motte on the mound for Cards again it would be okay with me. The Phils have one hit against him in 3 1/3 scoreless innings in the set. Octavio Dotel got two more outs for the St Louis pen as well, he has now thrown 2 2/3 scoreless innings in the series over three appearances without allowing a hit or a walk.

The NLDS between the Phillies and the St Louis Cardinals is tied at two games all after the Cards topped the Phils 5-3 last night.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a walk. He struck out five.

He faced a St Louis lineup that went (1) Rafael Furcal (SS/S) (2) Skip Schumaker (2B/L) (3) Albert Pujols (1B/R) (4) Lance Berkman (LF/S) (5) Matt Holliday (LF/R) (6) Yadier Molina (C/R) (7) David Freese (3B/R) (8) Jon Jay (CF/L). Holliday makes his first start of the series in left, moving Craig to the bench. Schumaker at second against the righty and moves up to second in the order with the hot righty Theriot on the bench. Freese dropped to seventh in the order with Holliday in the lineup.

St Louis had six hitters on the bench to start the game, righties Matt Theriot, Allen Craig and Gerald Laird, lefties Adron Chambers and Daniel Descalso and switch-hitter Nick Punto.

Oswalt started the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead. He struck Furcal out swinging 0-2 for the first out, but Schumaker was next and the lefty lined a single the other way into left. Pujols popped to Polanco for the second out before Berkman drove a ball off the wall in right-center. Victorino seemed to be having trouble with the sun and slipped when he got to the ball as he tried to throw. The ball dribbled away and he picked it up as Berkman went to third. Schumaker scored to cut the lead to 2-1 and Victorino was charged with an error that allowed Berkman to take third on his double. Holliday grounded to second on a 2-1 pitch to leave Berkman stranded.

Victorino wasn’t charged with an error in 1,150 2/3 innings in center during the regular season.

Oswalt struck Molina and Freese both out swinging 0-2 for the first two outs of the second. Jay grounded to second for the third out.

The pitcher Edwin Jackson struck out looking 1-2 for the first out of the third. Furcal grounded to short for the second out before Schumaker singled to right. It brought Pujols to the plate with a man on first. Oswalt struck him out swinging 2-2 to leave Schumaker at first.

Five strikeouts for Oswalt through three innings. He had thrown 39 pitches.

Oswalt walked Berkman on five pitches to start the fourth. Holliday was next and Oswalt hit him on the right arm with the first pitch of his at-bat, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Molina drove a ball to right-center, but Pence tracked it down for the first out making a nice running grab. Freese was the next hitter and he doubled into the left-field corner. Berkman scored easily and Holliday slid in just ahead of the relay from Rollins for the second run, putting the Cards on top 3-2. Jay moved Freese up to third with a ground out to second. Oswalt got Jackson on a fly ball to right to end the inning.

Furcal tried to bunt for a hit to start the bottom of the fifth, but popped it up to Polanco in foul territory for the first out. Oswalt’s 1-1 pitch to Schumaker was a ball inside as a squirrel ran right past Schumaker. Discussion ensued. It was still a ball. Schumaker flew to center for the second out and Pujols flew to right.

Oswalt had thrown 62 pitches. He came up with a pretty funny line after the game about wondering how big an animal it would have had to have been for the pitch not to have counted. It makes it kinda hard for me not to picture a herd of bison or something. So at least we’ve got that if not a baseball team to follow that can score without the help of a wild pitch or an intentional walk from planet Wackadoo.

Berkman grounded to third on a 3-2 pitch for the first out of the sixth. Holliday was next and singled up the middle before Molina flew to left for the second out. Freese followed and hit a 1-0 pitch out to straight away center for a two-run homer, extending the St Louis lead to 5-2. Jay grounded to second for the third out.

Double and a home run for Freese in his last two at-bats.

Blanton pitched the seventh, making his first appearance of the series, and set St Louis down in order. Descalso, double-switched into the game in the top of the inning, flew to right for the first out. Furcal grounded to first for the second and Theriot grounded to short for the third.

Lidge started the eighth with the St Louis lead cut to 5-3. Pujols flew to right, Berkman flew to left and Holliday struck out swinging 1-2.

Two perfect innings for the pen as Lidge and Blanton don’t allow a hit or a walk. Lidge threw ten pitches in the game and Blanton eight. Everyone should be available on Friday.

Freese is hitting .267 in the series after going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Schumaker also had two hits for the Cards, going 2-for-3. He’s 5-for-8 in the set.

Furcal 0-for-4 in the game and 4-for-18 so far.

Pujols 0-for-4 with a strikeout last night. 7-for-17 with three doubles in the series.

Berkman 1-for-3 with a walk and a double. 3-for-15 with a double, a homer and two walks in the series.

Holliday was 1-for-3 and scored two of the St Louis runs. 2-for-5 in the set.

Molina 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He’s 3-for-15 in the series with three singles.

Jay was 0-for-2. 2-for-11 with three walks in the series.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edwin Jackson went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Utley (2B/L) (3) Pence (RF/R) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Victorino (CF/S) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Polanco (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R). Mayberry back on the bench against the righty with Ibanez in left.

The Phils started the game with six players on their bench, righties John Mayberry, Wilson Valdez and Ben Francisco, lefties Brian Schneider and Ross Gload and switch-hitter Michael Martinez.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and hit a ball hard to center and over Jay’s head that bounced over the wall. Jay looked like he had some trouble finding the ball in the sun, but he might not have caught it even if he hadn’t. Utley was next and he ripped a ball passed Pujols and down the first base line. The ball kicked off the stands and Utley had a triple. Rollins scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Pence singled into center on the first pitch of his at-bat with Utley scoring from third to put the Phillies up 2-0. Howard was next and took a 3-2 pitch for called strike three as Pence took off for second and was thrown out on a close play to complete the double-play. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

I know it’s 3-2 and all, but I still think you want to avoid a caught stealing ahead of your five-hitter when every player you’ve sent to the plate in the game has gotten a hit. In his defense, Pence was probably safe.

Jackson struck out Ibanez and Ruiz in the second, both swinging. Polanco popped to Pujols in foul territory in-between.

Oswalt grounded to short for the first out in the third. Rollins was next and hit a ball back up the middle that Schumaker got to, but not in time to throw Rollins out at first. Utley was next and grounded out with Rollins forced at second for the second out. Pence grounded to third to leave Utley at first.

Howard struck out swinging 0-2 to start the fourth. Victorino was next and grounded to short for the second out. Ibanez flew to left for the third.

Jackson had thrown 44 pitches through four innings. He had been perfect since the first except for the infield single by Rollins.

The Phillies were trailing 3-2 when they hit in the fifth. Polanco led off and singled to left on a 2-2 pitch. Ruiz swung at the first pitch and flew to left for the first out. Oswalt bunted Polanco to second with the second. Rollins got ahead but grounded to first on a 2-1 pitch to set the Phillies down.

Utley led off the sixth with Theriot at second after Schumaker had grabbed at his leg during his at-bat in the fifth. He drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Utley was running 3-2 when Pence hit a ground ball to short. Furcal fielded and threw to first. Pujols saw Utley round second, came off of first and threw to third where Utley was tagged out for the first out of the inning. It brought Howard to the plate with one down and Pence on first. Howard got ahead 3-0, but flew to center on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Victorino grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

That’s not so much a good play by Utley. We might want to cut him a little slack what with being the only guy who ever gets a hit and whatnot, though.

Lefty Arthur Rhodes took over for Jackson to start the seventh and struck Ibanez out swinging for the first out. Righty Octavio Dotel got Polanco on a ground ball to third for the second out. Ruiz flew to center to end the frame.

Righty Fernando Salas started the eighth for St Louis. Gload hit for Blanton and singled to right. Salas balked Gload to second and Martinez ran for Gload at second. Rollins smashed a 2-1 pitch, but Theriot took it on a short hop and threw to first for the first out with Martinez moving up to third. Utley chopped a 1-1 pitch up the first base line that hit first base and popped up in the air too high for Pujols to get it in time to get Utley. Utley had a single and Martinez moved up to third. Salas’s 1-2 pitch to Pence was outside and in the dirt. Molina couldn’t block it and Martinez scored from third to make it 5-3 with Utley moving up to second. Pence grounded to short for the second out with Utley holding second. Lefty Marc Rzepczynski took over for Salas and struck Howard out swinging 0-2 to leave Utley stranded.

Righty Jason Motte started the ninth for St Louis. He got behind Victorino 3-2, but threw two strikes in a row before Victorino grounded to Pujols for the first out. Ibanez didn’t come close to hitting Motte’s 0-2 pitch, a high fastball he waved at for the second out. Polanco got behind 0-2 and blooped a ball into right-center, but Jay made a nice sliding catch to end the game.

The Phils finally do something against Salas, who is charged with a run in two-thirds of an inning. The other four guys who pitched in relief for the Cards in the game combined to not allow a hit or a walk in 2 1/3 innings.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double. He’s 9-for-16 with a walk and four doubles in the series.

Utley 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk. 6-for-13 with two doubles, a triple and three walks.

If you had told me that Rollins and Utley were going to go 15-for-29 with seven extra-base hits and four walks in the set I wouldn’t have guessed the Phillies were going to win half the games.

Pence 1-for-4 with an RBI. 4-for-15 with two walks and four RBI in the series.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 2-for-15 in the series with a walk, a home run and six RBI.

Victorino 0-for-4. 4-for-16 with four singles and two RBI.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 3-for-12 with a home run and four RBI in the series. 1-for-8 since going 2-for-4 in game one.

Polanco 1-for-4. 2-for-16 with no walks in the series.

Ruiz 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-14 in the series.

Roy Halladay will face righty Chris Carpenter tomorrow night in game five. Not really what we were hoping for, but it will at least give people a rare opportunity to use the phrase “must win” without hyperbole. Almost worth it.

But not quite.


Not-so-easy 101

The Phils got number 101 last night, tying the ’76 and ’77 teams for wins in a season. They will look to set the franchise record tonight as the Braves try desperately to beat them and get into the playoffs.

With the win, Charlie Manuel also tied Gene Mauch for most wins in franchise history as a manager with 645. Mauch managed the Phillies in parts or all of nine seasons from 1960-68 and the Phillies played to a .486 winning percentage under him. This is Manuel’s seventh year with the Phils. They have gone 645-488 under him (.569).

The Phillies are 101-60 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 last night. The Phils have won the first two games of the series and three in a row. The Braves and Cardinals have the same 89-72 record and are tied the race for the Wild Card with one game left in the regular season for each team.

Oswalt started last night’s game for the Phils and threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.69, which is sixth-best among the seven pitchers who have started at least one game for the Phils this season. Oswalt goes into the post-season having allowed six runs in 20 2/3 innings over his last three starts. In two of those starts he threw 13 shutout innings combined in which he allowed eight hits and a walk. In the other he allowed six runs in 7 2/3 innings, but pitched way better than his line, allowing four runs in the eighth inning to ruin what had been a solid start.

Utley gave him a 1-0 lead with a homer off of Derek Lowe in the top of the first. Rollins and Pence both knocked in runs in the third to extend the lead to 3-0. Polanco scored Victorino with a sac fly in the fourth. 4-0. Pence hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 6-0 and Rollins hit a solo shot in the seventh. 7-0. Martin Prado led off the ninth with a homer off of Kendrick to cut the lead to 7-1.

Savery threw a scoreless seventh for the Phils. In four appearances for the Phils he has now thrown 2 2/3 scoreless innings in which he has allowed one hit and struck out two.

Bastardo pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with a 7-0 lead, getting Brooks Conrad on a ground ball to short, Matt Diaz on a fly ball to center and Michael Bourn swinging. That’s an outstanding development for the Phils — Bastardo came into the outing having allowed nine runs on nine hits and seven walks over 3 2/3 innings over his last eight appearances. Sixteen of the last 27 batters he had faced had reached based and he had allowed at least one hit or walk in each of the eight outings.

Kendrick pitched the ninth and allowed the solo shot to Prado. Coming off of four straight starts, Kendrick has now appeared in relief his last two times out and neither appearance has gone that well. In those two appearances he has allowed three runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with a homer in the game. He’s 11-for-his-last-19 with two home runs.

Utley 2-for-4 with a homer. He came into the game 3-for-his-last-25 and hitting 214/292/313 over his last 202 plate appearances.

Pence 1-for-3 with a home run. 5-for-his-last-12 with two home runs.

Top three in the order for the Phils go 6-for-12 with three home runs and six RBI.

Howard was 0-for-4. 4-for-his-last-11.

Victorino 1-for-4. 6-for-his-last-20 with four extra-base hits.

Ibanez 1-for-4. 8-for-his-last-24 with eight singles.

Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-20. From August 5 to September 20 he hit 308/390/355 over 123 plate appearances. 2-for-20 since.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. 5-for-his-last-12.

Mayberry walked in his only chance last night. 2-for-his-last-10 with three walks. 302/355/590 since the All-Star break. 306/353/595 against lefties for the year. Ibanez has hit 212/234/356 against lefties for the year. I’m going to be surprised if Ibanez doesn’t start in left against lefties in the post-season, but I don’t think it will be the right decision.

Bowker struck out pinch-hitting for Oswalt in the seventh last night. He’s 0-for-13 with seven strikeouts with the Phils.

Blanton (1-2, 5.03) faces righty Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23) tonight.


Phils not much for fan appreciation night, but definitely appreciating the math skills of whoever it is that says they’ve clinched

Hope those folks have a computer or double-checked their work or something.

The Phillies are 98-58 on the year after losing 6-1 to the Washington Nationals last night. The Nats sweep the four-game series. The Phillies have lost six in a row for the first time this season.

Oswalt pitched into the eighth inning in the game and was better than his line. In 7 2/3 innings he was charged with six runs on seven hits and two walks. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a three-run homer in the eighth. He struck out four.

Better than his line last night or not, Oswalt has thrown to a 4.65 ERA over his last six starts while opponents have hit .287 against him.

He allowed a pair of runs in the third as the Nats jumped out to an early lead. With two outs and a man on third, Ian Desmond popped a ball up that fell in right field between Utley and Bowker for an RBI-double. Roger Bernadina followed that with a single into right that scored Desmond and put Washington up 2-0.

Oswalt kept Washington off the board after that until the eighth, starting that frame with Washington still holding on to a 2-0 lead. Desmond singled with two outs in the eighth and came in to score when Bernadina followed with a double. 3-0. Oswalt walked the next batter, Ryan Zimmerman, before Michael Morse hit a ball out to center for a three-run homer that put the Nats up 6-0.

The three-run homer by Morse turned Oswalt’s line around and was the big swing of the game. Oswalt hasn’t really had a problem with home runs this year — his issues are more around giving up too many hits. For the season he has now allowed 150 hits in 133 innings, which is about 10.2 hits per nine innings. Opponents have hit .286 against him. Over his career he’s allowed 8.7 hits per nine and opponents have hit .254 against him. Righties are hitting .293 against him and have hit .247 against him for his career. His batting average for balls in play for the year is .326, which is the highest mark for any pitcher on the team who has faced at least 175 batters. .292 for the team for the year.

The Phils had just four hits in the game, two of which came in the bottom of the ninth when they scored their lone run. Mayberry doubled with two outs and came in to score when Ruiz followed with a single to right.

Joe Savery threw a 1-2-3 ninth in his second career appearance.

Lidge got the final out of the eighth, striking out Laynce Nix after Morse’s homer chased Oswalt from the game. He dropped his ERA on the year to 1.10 with the one-out appearance. In 16 1/3 innings he has struck out 21. He hasn’t been charged with a run in 8 1/3 innings over his last 11 appearances. He hasn’t walked anybody in 2 1/3 inning over his last four outings — he hasn’t pitched much this year, but walks have been the problem when he has. He’s walked 12 in 16 1/3 innings for the year.

The offense continues to struggle. Rollins, Victorino and Utley combined to go 0-for-10 in the game. They were 0-for-36 in the series.

Rollins 0-for-13 with a walk in the series. 2-for-his-last-21. 224/307/333 over his last 176 plate appearances.

Victorino 0-for-15 with a walk in the series. 159/246/283 over his last 127 plate appearances.

Utley 0-for-8 in the series. 217/290/319 over his last 183 plate appearances.

Polanco didn’t play yesterday, but was 2-for-8 in the series.

Ibanez was 0-for-4 yesterday and 3-for-12 with a home run in the four-game set.

Ruiz had three of the four hits for the Phils in yesterday’s game, going 3-for-4. 3-for-7 in the series.

Mayberry had the other hit, a ninth-inning double. 1-for-2 in the game. 6-for-13 with a double and a home run in the series.

Francisco went 0-for-2 in the game but was 5-for-14 in the series with five singles.

Hamels (14-9, 2.80) faces righty RA Dickey (8-13, 3.35) tonight.


Backwards night at the park not a big hit with the Phils

Everything was a little upside down last night in Houston. Former Astro Roy Oswalt pitched for the Phillies with former Astro Hunter Pence playing right field. Former Phil Brett Myers started for the Astros. Joe Blanton pitched in relief.

Oh, and the Phils looked awful. And lost. 5-1. They didn’t do much of anything with Myers, who dropped his ERA on the year to 4.52 by holding them to a run over eight innings. The Phils weren’t charged with an error in the game, but looked pretty bad in the field. During one three-batter stretch in the fourth, the Phils had a ball go off of Ibanez’s glove in left for a hit, Jimmy Rollins and Pete Orr knocked each other down trying to field a ground ball behind second and Oswalt couldn’t handle a relay from second on a would-be double-play. Again, no errors, but you want to make some of those plays if you’re only going to score one run.

Oswalt again didn’t pitch well for the Phils. In his last five starts he’s had two really good outings, but the other three times out he’s allowed 14 runs in 19 innings. Since the end of May, Oswalt has made 13 appearances with the Phils (12 starts) in which he has thrown to a 4.66 ERA and opponents have hit .314 against him.

The Phillies are 94-50 on the year after falling 5-1 to the Houston Astros last night. The Phils have lost two in a row, but won six of their last eight. Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one. They lead the NL East by 12 games over the second-place Braves. The Braves have 14 games left to play and lead the Cardinals by 4 1/2 games in the Wild Card hunt.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on 11 hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out five.

He set the Astros down in order in the bottom of the first, getting Jordan Schafer on a fly ball to left, Angel Sanchez on a fly ball to center and striking JD Martinez out swinging.

Carlos Lee singled to left to start the second with the Phils up 1-0, but Oswalt got Brian Bogusevic to ground into a double-play behind him. Jimmy Paredes popped to Rollins for the third out.

Oswalt got Jose Altuve on a fly ball to center for the first out of the third. Humberto Quintero grounded to short for the second before pitcher Brett Myers singled to right. Schafer followed that with a walk, but Oswalt got Sanchez on a fly ball to right to leave both runners stranded.

Martinez doubled to right to start the fourth. Lee grounded to third for the first out with Martinez holding second. Bogusevic was next and he hit a ball to left that went off of Ibanez’s glove for a single that moved Martinez up to third. With men on first and third, Paredes hit a ground ball up the middle that Rollins and Orr both tried to field at the same time just to the right of second base. They ran into each other and both fell to the ground. Paredes was safe with a single, Martinez scored to tie the game at 1-1 and Bogusevic took second. Altuve was next and hit a ball to first. Howard went to second to force Paredes for the second out. Oswalt covered first but the relay from Rollins went off of Oswalt’s glove and Altuve was safe. Bogusevic moved up to third on the play. Quintero was the next batter, with two men down and men on first and third, and he doubled into the right field corner. Bogusevic scored to put Houston up 2-1 and Altuve took third. Myers grounded to second for the third out.

Oswalt got the first two to start the fifth before Martinez singled to right. Lee was next and he hammered an 0-2 pitch out to left for a two-run homer that put the Astros on top 4-1. Oswalt struck out Bogusevic for the third out.

Quintero and Myers singled back-to-back with two outs in the sixth, putting men on first and second for Schafer. Schafer lined to short for the third out.

Martinez singled yet again with one out in the seventh. Lee was next and Oswalt hit him on the hand with a pitch. Martinez moved up to third on a wild pitch before Bogusevic hit a ground ball to second. Lee was forced at second for the second out and Martinez scored from third to make it 5-1. Paredes followed with a walk, putting men on first and second, but Oswalt got Altuve on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Martinez made a great play for the first out of the seventh. Sanchez chopped a ball to third and Martinez leaped high to snare it and made a strong throw to first in time for the first out.

Blanton, Joe Blanton, pitched the eighth, making his first appearance for the Phils since May 14. Quintero led off with a single to left. Righty Jason Michaels hit for Myers and popped to third for the first out. Blanton struck Schafer out swinging for the second out and got Sanchez to ground to Rollins for the third.

Blanton dropped his ERA on the year to 5.35 with the scoreless inning.

The Phillies lineup against righty Brett Myers went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Orr (8) Martinez. Rollins returns to the starting lineup for the Phils with Polanco on the bench and Martinez at third. Orr plays second with Utley still sidelined.

Pence doubled to right with two outs in the first, but Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave him at second.

Ibanez doubled to left to start the second. Ruiz grounded to short for the first out before Orr singled into center, scoring Ibanez to put the Phils up 1-0. Orr stole second and moved up to third when Martinez grounded to first for the second out. Oswalt grounded to first as well, leaving Orr at third.

Pence singled with two outs in the third and stole second, but Howard flew to left to leave him stranded.

Ruiz singled to right with one out in the fourth. Orr flew to center for the second out and Martinez grounded back to the mound.

Down 2-1, the Phils went in order in the fifth.

They were down 4-1 when they hit in the sixth. Ibanez walked with two outs, but Ruiz flew to center behind him.

They went in order again in the seventh.

Down 5-1, Rollins singled to start the eighth. Victorino flew to left for the first out, Pence grounded to second with Rollins moving up to second for the second. Howard grounded out to Altuve to end the frame.

Righty Mark Melancon took over for Myers in the ninth. Ibanez led off with a walk. Ruiz flew to right for the first out and Orr flew to center for the second. Polanco hit for Martinez and walked, putting men on first and second. Gload hit for Blanton and grounded to second.

Interesting non-use of Bowker there against the righty. Manuel must have felt Polanco was the better bet to get on base, or maybe he’d be better off waiting to use Bowker if the Phils got men on base. Polanco is on-basing .313 against righties for the season.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single in his return.

Victorino 0-for-4. 176/256/311 over his last 82 plate appearances. Really looks like a good candidate for a day off.

Pence 2-for-4 with a double. He’s hitting .408 (13-for-32 with four doubles, a triple and a home run) over his last eight games.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s 3-for-his-last-16 with eight strikeouts.

Ibanez 1-for-2 with a double and two walks. 360/418/600 in his last 55 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 389/457/472 over his last 82 plate appearances.

Martinez was 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-his-last-19 with four walks. He has started nine of the 12 games the Phils have played in September, going 5-for-29 with a double and a home run (172/314/310).

Hamels (14-7, 2.60) faces lefty JA Happ (5-15, 5.77) tonight. Happ is having a miserable year — righties (273/362/473) and lefties (295/356/457) are both hitting him hard. Hamels been very good against righties this season, holding them to a 196/244/298 line for the season, but has allowed more home runs in his recent outings. From May 13 to July 27, Hamels made 15 starts in which he faced 411 batters and hit four home runs. Over his last two starts he has allowed four home runs to the 60 batters he has faced.


Worleywind tour comes to an end in Milwaukee

The Phils completed their series with the Brewers this weekend, taking two of the final three games to take three of four in the series. The series concludes a stretch of seven games against two of the National League’s best teams in which the Phils went 6-1.

On Friday the Phils won game two of the series 5-3. Howard hit a three-run homer in the top of the first to put the Phils up 3-0, which is how it stayed until the seventh. In the seventh, RBI-singles by Ibanez and Ruiz extended the lead to 5-0. Howard didn’t allow a run until the bottom of the seventh, when a leadoff double by Casey McGehee led to a run on a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt, cutting the lead to 5-1. Bastardo started the ninth and allowed the only two batters he faced to reach on single and a walk. Both came in to score after Madson took over for Bastardo, but the Phils held on for the win.

Over his last three appearances, Bastardo has now faced eight batters. Six of them have reached base on two hits and four walks.

Saturday the Phils won 3-2 in ten innings. Pence put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run in the top of the first, but the Brewers tied it up in the bottom of the second on an RBI-single by Betancourt. Lee gave up a second run in the fourth when Ryan Braun led off with a single, Prince Fielder followed with a double and Braun came in on a ground out by Casey McGehee to put the Brewers up 2-1. Polanco tied things up at 2-2 with a two-out homer to center in the fifth. Ibanez led off the tenth with a double and Ruiz tried to bunt him to third, but LaTroy Hawkins threw the ball away and Ibanez scored to put the Phils up to stay at 3-2. Lidge, Stutes and Madson combined to throw three scoreless innings in the game after Lee held the Brewers to two runs over seven innings.

The Phils lost yesterday’s game 3-2, dropping a game started by Worley for the first time in 15 outings.

The Phillies are 94-49 on the year after falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take two of the last three games in the series and three of four in the set overall. After a win on Saturday the Phillies were 46 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization. They are in first place in the NL East, 12 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Corey Hart led off the bottom of the first with a single and Nyjer Morgan bunted him to second with the first out. Braun grounded to second for the second out with Hart moving up to third. Worley struck Fielder out looking 3-2 to leave Hart at third.

Worley walked Rickie Weeks to start the second, but struck Taylor Green out behind him for the first out. Betancourt moved Weeks to second with a single to left and a wild pitch by Worley allowed the runners to take second and third. Jonathan Lucroy grounded to second, with Orr going to Howard for the second out as Weeks scored (1-0) and Betancourt moved up to third. The pitcher Yovani Gallardo grounded to short to end the inning.

Morgan doubled to right with one out in the third and moved up to third on a ground out by Braun. Fielder popped to Martinez at short for the third out.

Worley hit Weeks with his first pitch in the bottom of the fourth, but got Green, Betancourt and Lucroy in order behind Weeks.

Gallardo doubled to right on a ball that Pence either didn’t see well or didn’t play well. Worley struck out Hart before Gallardo took third on a balk. Morgan flew to right with Gallardo holding for the second out and Braun flew to Pence deep in right for the third out.

Worley started the sixth up 2-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Fielder, but got the next three hitters in order.

Hart doubled to left with two outs in the seventh. Morgan followed that with a double to right, plating Hart and tying the game at 2-2. Braun was next and singled into right. Morgan scored and Milwaukee led 3-2. Schwimer took over for Worley and struck Fielder out swinging 2-2 to leave Braun at first.

Just the second of five appearances for Schwimer on the year in which he isn’t charged with at least one run.

Herndon pitched the eighth. He walked Craig Counsell with one out, but got the next two hitters behind him.

First appearance for Herndon since his 69-pitch outing on September 4.

Herndon threw 19 pitches and Schwimer five. Nobody in the pen has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Yovani Gallardo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Orr (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Orr at second and Martinez at short with Rollins active but on the bench and Valdez sidelined after hurting his left hamstring stealing a base on Saturday. Schneider catches the day game with Ruiz on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard led off the second with a single, but Ibanez, Orr and Schneider all struck out behind him.

Down 1-0, Worley walked with one out in the third. Victorino was next and he grounded to second with Worley forced at second for the second out. Victorino stole second before Polanco grounded to short to set the Phils down.

Howard and Ibanez struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Orr struck out swinging on a wild pitch to start the fifth and made it safely to first. Orr stole second as Schneider struck out again for the first out. Martinez moved Orr to third with a ground out, but Worley struck out to leave Orr at third.

Phils waste the leadoff strikeout by Orr.

Victorino led off the sixth and homered to right center to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco and Pence went down behind him before Howard hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center to put the Phils up 2-1. Ibanez struck out for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh.

Down 3-2 and with righty Francisco Rodriguez pitching for Milwaukee, Gload hit for Schwimer to start the inning and singled to right. Mayberry ran for Gload at first and Victorino flew to right for the first out. Polanco grounded to third with Mayberry forced at second for the second out. Pence moved Polanco to third with a single, but Howard grounded to second to end the frame.

Gload still has to be replaced by a pinch-runner with his hip after reaching base to start the inning. That costs the Phils a bench player and a good one in this case in Mayberry. The Phils used two pinch-hitters in the ninth and they went 0-for-2. If Rollins can hit they surely would have used him, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t have used Mayberry even against the righty Axford instead of Bowker if Mayberry had been available. He wasn’t.

Righty John Axford started the ninth for Milwaukee with a one-run lead. He struck Ibanez out for the first out before Orr singled to center. Rollins hit for Schneider and struck out swinging for the second out. Martinez was next and drew a walk, pushing Orr to second as the tying run. Bowker hit for Herndon and popped to third to end the game.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game. 3-for-19 in the four-game set with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 295/371/516 for the year but just 204/278/327 so far in September.

Polanco 0-for-4 yesterday. 5-for-18 with a home run in the series. 278/332/343 for the year. His home run in Saturday’s game was his first since June 10.

Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 7-for-17 in the series with two walks, a double, a triple and a home run. 320/393/551 in 147 at-bats with the Phillies.

Howard 2-for-4 with his 33rd home run of the year. 3-for-8 with two walks and two home runs in the series. 254/348/501 for the year. He has hit seven home runs in his last 59 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out four times. 3-for-11 with a double in the series. 247/293/425 for the year. He’s hitting 201/250/312 away from home this season.

Orr was 1-for-4 and struck out three times. 4-for-9 with a walk in the series. 253/317/293 in 75 at-bats with the Phils for the year.

Schneider was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 167/235/259 in 108 plate appearances for the season.

Martinez 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series. 209/264/304 on the year.

Oswalt (7-8, 3.72) faces righty Brett Myers (4-13, 4.66) tonight in Houston. Myers saw his ERA shoot up to 4.95 after allowing seven runs to the Rockies in five innings on August 22, but has made three appearances since in which he has allowed just three runs in 16 2/3 innings (one of the appearances was a two-inning relief outing). He has allowed 31 home runs in 189 1/3 innings for the year. Oswalt faced his former team in his first start of the season, holding the Astros to two runs over six innings on April 3. In keeping with the guys-playing-on-the-wrong-team theme, Pence homered off of Oswalt in that game. It’s like an Esher drawing.


Ross takes a Gload off of everyone’s mind

It has been a magical season for the Phillies so far in 2011. But not for everyone. Several key players have struggled overall despite the amazing success of the team. Last night two of the guys who have struggled made enormous contributions as the Phils topped the Braves 3-2 on a walkoff single by Gload to complete a three-game sweep.

Oswalt threw seven strong innings in the game for the Phils, throwing in the low 90′s coming off of two worrisome starts in a row. Coming into the outing, Oswalt had thrown to a 4.79 ERA over his last seven outings. He looked great last night, though, especially early as he started the game tossing five shutout innings in which he struck out six.

The Phils hit in the bottom of the ninth with the game knotted at 2-2. With one man out and men on first and second, Manuel called on Gload to hit against righty Peter Moylan and Gload delivered in a big way, ripping a ball down the right field line for a game-winner. It was a huge hit for Gload in a season where he has been slowed by a hip injury — he came into last night’s game just 5-for-his-last-39.

The Phillies are 91-48 after beating the Atlanta Braves 3-2 last night. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep of Atlanta and extend their lead over the Braves in the NL East to 10 1/2 games. They are 43 games above .500 for the first time in the history of the organization.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven. Two of his last four starts have been very good.

Oswalt got Michael Bourn on a ground ball to second for the first out of the game. Martin Prado was next and hit a ball to short that Martinez muffed for an error. It put a man on first for Chipper Jones, but Chipper hit a ball back to the mound and Oswalt went to second as the Phils turned two.

Oswalt walked Brian McCann on a 3-2 pitch to start the second. He struck Dan Uggla out swinging for the first out and got Eric Hinske to fly to left for the second. Jason Heyward walked 3-2, though, and the Braves had runners on first and second for Alex Gonzalez. Oswalt struck him out on three pitches, getting him swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Oswalt started the third with a 1-0 lead. He struck out the pitcher Brandon Beachy for the first out and Michael Bourn for the second. Prado grounded to short to end the frame.

Oswalt struck Uggla and McCann both out swinging in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He walked Heyward with one out in the fifth. Gonzalez flew to right for the second out. Beachy hit a ground ball to short. Martinez fielded and looked to flip to Utley for the force, but Utley was already headed for the dugout. Martinez beat Heyward to second for the force to end the frame.

Bourn doubled to center to start the sixth. Prado tried to bunt him to third, but popped it up to Oswalt for the first out. Chipper was next and he singled into center, scoring Bourn to tie the game at 1-1. Oswalt struck McCann out for the second out before walking Uggla. Hinske popped out to Polanco in foul territory to leave both runners stranded.

Heyward started the seventh with a single to center and Gonzalez bunted him to second with the first out. Freeman was next and he singled into center, scoring Heyward to put Atlanta up 2-1. Bourn and Prado both flew to right to leave Freeman at first.

Bastardo started the eighth and Chipper singled to center to start the inning. McCann walked behind Jones, putting men on first and second for Uggla. Uggla hit a ground ball to third. Polanco fielded, stepped on third and threw to second to complete a double-play that left the Braves with two down and a man on first. Righty Matt Diaz hit for the pitcher Eric O’Flaherty and flew to right on a ball that Pence took in foul territory for the third out.

Bastardo keeps the Braves off the board with the help of the big double-play by Polanco, but doesn’t look fantastic. This comes off of his most recent outing on Saturday in which he walked the only two hitters he faced, so four of the last six batters he has faced in his last two outings have reached on three walks and a single. On the plus side, he does have a 1.66 ERA for the year and opponents are hitting .114 against him.

Madson pitched the ninth with the game tied at 2-2. Heyward led off with an infield single and Gonzalez bunted him to second with the first out. Freeman popped to short for the second and Bourn grounded to short to end the frame.

Madson has thrown 7 1/3 shutout innings over his last eight appearances. He was pitching for the second straight day and threw 11 pitches in the game. Bastardo threw 16 pitches.

The Phillies lineup against righty Brandon Beachy went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Martinez. Martinez at short with Rollins sidelined.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard and Pence both struck out to start the second, but Ibanez was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Martinez and Victorino struck out as the Phils went in order in the third.

Beachy set them down 1-2-3 again in the fourth.

Pence struck out for the first out as the Phils went in order again in the fifth.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Victorino walked on four pitches with two outs and moved to third when Polanco followed with a single to right. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty took over for Beachy and hit Utley on the helmet with a pitch, loading the bases. Howard struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

The original ruling was that Heyward had caught Polanco’s sinking line drive to right, but that was overruled and Fredi Gonzalez was ejected arguing. Looked like the ball was trapped by Heyward.

Down 2-1, the Phils went in order in the seventh.

With lefty Jonny Venters on the mound for the Braves, Mayberry hit for Martinez to start the eighth and singled to right. Valdez hit for Bastardo and bunted Mayberry to second with the first out. Victorino struck out swinging for the second out, but Polanco lined a single to right. Mayberry raced around third and came in to score as Heyward’s throw was way up the third base line, tying the game at 2-2. Francisco hit for Utley, who had been hit in the head with a pitch in the sixth, and drew a walk. Howard struck out swinging to leave the runners at first and second.

Big strikeout for Victorino after Mayberry gets bunted to second, but Polanco picks him up with the RBI-single.

Ibanez walked with one out in the ninth and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single. With righty Peter Moylan on the mound for the Braves, Gload hit for Madson. He got behind 0-2, but hit a 1-2 pitch past Freeman and down the right field line. Would have been a double, but Ibanez scored to give the Phils a 3-2 win.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 2-for-11 with three walks in the three-game series. 300/379/523 for the year. 196/305/314 over his last 59 plate appearances. He’s high on the list of Phillies who look to me like they could use some rest.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a huge RBI. 5-for-12 in the series and twice hit by a pitch. 278/333/336 on the year. 236/293/270 in 329 plate appearances since the end of April.

Utley 0-for-2 and hit by a pitch. This says that Utley will not fly to Milwaukee. 3-for-12 with a triple and a home run in the series. 262/344/441 for the year. 206/264/363 over his last 110 plate appearances.

Howard was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left five men on base. 3-for-10 with three walks and a home run in the series. 262/368/570 over his last 125 plate appearances with ten home runs. He’s hitting 252/345/491 for the season.

Pence 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 4-for-11 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 308/363/484 for the year. 308/383/523 in 149 plate appearances with the Phillies. He’s now hit to the same .308 average with the Astros and the Phillies, but gotten on base more and hit with more power while with the Phils.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a walk and a home run, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils (Gload was denied a double by winning the thing). 4-for-7 with a double, a walk, a home run and four RBI in the series after sitting against a righty in game one. He’s at 247/293/426 for the year. He’s walking in about 6.2% of his plate appearances this season, which is his worst rate since 1998.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 2-for-8 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 280/373/382 for the year. He’s hitting .250 at home and .309 on the road. He’s on-based .377 over his last 1,214 plate appearances.

Martinez 0-for-2 with a strikeout and an error. 0-for-7 with two walks in the series. 209/259/308 for the year.

Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.63) faces lefty Chris Narveson (10-6, 4.26) tonight in Milwaukee. Narveson has pitched well over his last seven outings, throwing to a 2.70 ERA. He hasn’t gone more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his last three starts. Hamels hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last seven starts. His home runs are up a little of late — he allowed two in his last start and has given up four over his past 33 innings. He only allowed eight in 152 innings to start the season.


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