Tag: Roy Oswalt

Good riddance, Irene

Hurricane Irene tore through the region over the weekend, leaving a path of destruction a wiping out two of the three games the Phillies were scheduled to play with the Marlins. The Phils and Florida will play a makeup double-header on September 15.

The Phils lost the one game the teams did play, getting a weak start from Oswalt and falling 6-5. Oswalt was coming off of a fantastic start against Washington in which he had struck out nine in eight shutout innings, but looked a lot worse on Friday, allowing six runs on 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings.

The Phillies are 83-46 on the year after losing to the Marlins 6-5 on Friday. They are in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the Braves.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on 12 hits and a walk. Only five of the runs was earned. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a grand slam by John Buck. Oswalt struck out two.

Emilio Bonifacio led off the game with a single to right and stole second. Infante was next and hit a ball that Valdez fielded at short, but Valdez threw the ball away for an error that put runners on the corners with nobody out. Logan Morrison was next and he grounded into a double-play, with Bonifacio scoring to put the Marlins up 1-0. Oswalt struck Mike Stanton out swinging to end the frame.

Greg Dobbs started the second with a single. Oswalt got the next two batters before Buck moved Dobbs to third with a single to right. Oswalt got the pitcher Clay Hensley to pop to Utley in foul territory to leave the runners stranded at the corners.

Oswalt set the Marlins down in order in the third.

He started the fourth with the score tied at 1-1. Stanton led off with a double and Dobbs followed with a ball past a diving Howard and down the first base line for another double, scoring Stanton to put Florida up 2-1. Oswalt retired Gaby Sanchez on a popup to Valdez for the first out and got Mike Cameron to fly to left for the second. He walked Buck intentionally to pitch to Hensley and the runners moved up to second and third on a passed ball before Hensley grounded to third to set the Marlins down.

Not a fan of the intentional walk to Buck there, but the grand slam off of Oswalt two innings later is a compelling argument.

Bonifacio singled to center to start the fifth, but Oswalt got Infante to ground into a double-play behind him. Morrison followed that with a double to right, but Oswalt got Stanton to ground to third to leave Morrison stranded.

The Marlins loaded the bases to start the sixth on singles by Dobbs, Sanchez and Cameron. It brought Buck to the plate and he hit a 1-0 pitch just out to right for a grand slam that put the Fish up 6-1. Oswalt got Hensley and Bonifacio on a pair of fly balls before Infante doubled to left. Herndon took over to pitch to Morrison and got him to fly to right to leave Infante stranded.

Herndon was back for the seventh with the lead cut to 6-4. He struck Stanton out swinging for the first out before Dobbs doubled again to right. Herndon got Sanchez on a fly ball to left and struck Cameron out looking to leave Dobbs at second.

Herndon has not allowed a run in 13 innings over his last 11 appearances.

Stutes started the eighth and struck Buck out looking for the first out. Lefty Bryan Petersen hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and doubled to right, but Stutes struck out Infante and Bonifacio both swinging to leave Petersen at second.

Nice outing for Stutes, who has had a rough August in which he has thrown to a 5.56 ERA and had four bad outings in nine appearances.

Madson pitched the ninth and set the Marlins down in order on two ground balls and a fly ball to left.

Madson has now thrown two scoreless innings in two appearances since allowing six runs in 2/3 of an inning against the Nats on August 19.

The bullpen will be well-rested after not playing any games on Saturday or Sunday.

The Phillies lineup against righty Clay Hensley went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at short with Rollins on the DL. Mayberry starts in left against a righty with Ibanez sidelined by his sore groin.

The Phillies were losing 1-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Polanco walked with one out, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Valdez led off the bottom of the third and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left for his first home run of the year, tying the game at 1-1. The Phillies went in order behind him.

Down 2-1, Utley, Howard and Pence went in order in the fourth.

Mayberry, Ruiz and Valdez went in order in the fifth.

They were losing 6-1 when Martinez, double-switched into the game in the top of the inning, flew to center for the first out of the sixth. Victorino grounded to second for the second out before Polanco singled to center and moved to third when Utley followed with a double to left. It put men on second and third for Howard and lefty Michael Dunn took over for Hensley to pitch to Howard. Howard hit a 1-0 pitch out right center for a three-run homer that got the Phils back in the game at 6-4. Righty Ryan Webb took over for Dunn and Pence reached on an infield single. Mayberry followed that with a double to center, moving Pence to third. Ruiz flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

Third home run of the year for Howard against a left-handed pitcher.

The Phils went in order in the seventh. With the righty Webb still pitching for Florida, Orr hit for Herndon and lined to right for the first out.

Righty Edward Mujica started the eighth and Polanco hit a ground ball to third. Dobbs fielded it, but his throw to first was high and Polanco was safe on the error. Utley popped to short for the first out and Mujica struck Howard out looking for the second. Pence moved Polanco to third with a single, but Mayberry struck out looking to leave both runners stranded.

Utley and Howard both get to hit against the righty as they tying run after Polanco reaches on an error, but can’t do anything against Mujica.

Righty Steve Cishek struck Ruiz out swinging for the first out of the ninth. Ibanez hit for Madson and singled to right. Lee ran for Ibanez at first and Martinez doubled to the gap in left center, scoring Lee to make it 6-5. Victorino got to hit with the tying run in scoring position, but flew to left for the second out. Polanco grounded to short to end the game.

First at-bat for Ibanez since August 21 against the Nationals.

Victorino was 0-for-5 in the game. He’s 1-for-his-last-10.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a walk and a single. 233/294/271 in his last 266 plate appearances.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double.

Howard 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. 240/296/380 against lefties for the year.

Pence 2-for-4 with two singles. He’s hitting .330 with the Phillies.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-8 in his last two starts.

Ruiz 0-for-4. 12-for-his-last-31 (.387).

Valdez 1-for-2 with a home run. Six career home runs in 978 plate appearances, four of which came last year with the Phillies.

Hamels (13-7, 2.62) faces righty Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.44) tonight. Bailey faced the Phils on May 26, allowing four runs in four innings in a game the Phils won 10-4. Ibanez hit a three-run homer off of Bailey that day. Hamels comes off the DL with inflammation in his left shoulder to make the start. He’s been outstanding against righties this year, holding them to a 202/244/288 line. Righties have hit 238/286/389 against him for his career. Hamels has allowed just six home runs to right-handed batters in 2011 — in 2010 he allowed 21 to righties and in 2009 he allowed 17.


Dog days of summer bring down days for relievers

The Phillies bullpen was outstanding early in the year, but they’ve been a little less outstanding lately. The numbers for the season overall are still good, the 3.49 ERA the pen has thrown to this year is sixth-best in the NL, but the pen has fallen off overall.

Here’s what the relievers for the Phils did in April and May and what they have done since:

IP/G ERA Ratio K/9
April and May 2.75 2.80 1.28 6.9
June, July & August 2.35 4.09 1.27 8.4
Total 2.54 3.49 1.27 7.7

Since the end of May, the pen has been throwing fewer innings per game and striking out more batters when they do pitch, but with worse results overall. In their appearances in April and May, Phillie relievers allowed about 0.34 runs per inning pitched. In their appearances since the end of May they have allowed about 0.47 runs per inning pitched.

The bullpen is still throwing a tiny number of innings compared to the rest of the league. No NL team has thrown fewer frames than the 322 2/3 innings the Phils have tossed this year — the Dodgers are 15th in the NL in relief innings pitched and LA relievers have thrown 18 more innings than the relievers for the Phillies have.

In this post from January, I pointed out that in 2010 the Phillies relievers threw not just the fewest number of innings in the NL, but the fewest number of innings that any NL team had thrown for five years. At this point in the 2011 season, the Phillies have played 128 games and thrown 322 2/3 innings, which puts them on a pace to throw about 408 1/3 innings for the year. That would be fewer than the 421 innings they threw during the 2010 season, but still more than the 397 2/3 innings that the St Louis bullpen tossed during the 2005 season.

The strong start to the year makes the numbers for the Phillies pen look pretty good overall compared to the rest of the league. But the relievers have thrown to a 4.09 ERA since the end of May and that’s a whole lot less exciting than the 2.80 ERA for the first two months of the year. Only two NL teams, the Mets and the Astros, have seen their relievers throw to an ERA worse than 4.09 for this season overall.

Oswalt (6-7, 3.51) faces righty Clay Hensley (1-5, 5.47) tonight as the Phils start a series with the Marlins. Right-handed hitters have hammered the righty Hensley this year, hitting .337 against him. Hensley was a reliever in the first half of the season and threw to a 3.60 ERA over 15 appearances. Since the All-Star break he has appeared only as a starter, starting seven games and throwing to a 6.29 ERA. His first three starts after the break were good — he threw to a 2.65 ERA and opponents hit .165 against him. Over his last four starts he has allowed 19 runs in 17 1/3 innings. Oswalt was fantastic his last time out, throwing eight shutout innings against the Nats and striking out nine. He has been hit hard by righties this year, they have posted a 305/346/447 line against him, which is way better than their 247/295/384 line against him over his career.

Sunday’s game has been moved and will be played as part of a double-header on Saturday.


Concern grows that batters may refuse to face Lee unless agreement can be reached to hold July more regularly

After an unbelievable June in which he allowed one run in 42 innings over six starts, Cliff Lee was a little off in July. Last night he made his first start of August and it looked like June all over again. Lee threw a complete game shutout, striking out eight as the Phils topped the Giants 3-0.

Pence went 3-for-4 in last night’s game, homering early and adding an RBI-single in the ninth. He drove in two of the three runs the Phils scored in the game.

The Phillies are 72-39 on the year after beating the San Francisco Giants 3-0 last night in San Francisco. They have won seven in a row and lead the NL East by 8 1/2 games.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing six singles and a double. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.

Aaron Rowand led off the bottom of the first with a single, but Lee got Jeff Keppinger to ground into a double-play behind him. Pablo Sandoval grounded to third for the third out.

Up 2-0, Lee set the Giants down in order in the second.

Chris Stewart singled to center with one out in the third. The pitcher Madison Bumgarner bunted him to second with the second out, but Lee got Rowand to ground to short to leave Stewart stranded.

Sandoval singled with one out in the fourth. Lee struck Carlos Beltran out behind him before Orlando Cabrera moved Sandoval to second with a single. Lee struck Cody Ross out swinging 2-2 to the inning with both men stranded.

Lee set the Giants down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh. In the fifth inning, Howard made a very nice over-the-shoulder sliding catch in foul territory to retire Stewart for the second out. In the sixth, Keppinger hit a ball down the third base line, but Polanco made a diving stop and threw to first in time for the second out. Cabrera ripped a line drive ticketed for left field in the seventh, but Polanco snared it for the second out.

Aubrey Huff singled to start the eighth with the Phils still up 2-0. Stewart flew to left for the first out and switch-hitter Andres Torres hit for the pitcher Bumgarner. Torres reached on an infield single that moved Huff up to second, but Lee struck Rowand out looking and got Keppinger on a ground ball to third to keep the Giants off the board.

Lee was up 3-0 when he started the ninth. Beltran doubled to left with one out. Cabrera popped to short for the second out and Lee struck Ross out looking 2-2 to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Madison Bumgarner went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Victorino (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Utley and Ibanez sit against the lefty with Mayberry in lefty and Valdez at second. Victorino hits third for Utley with Polanco hitting second.

Rollins and Polanco both singled to start the game, putting men on first and second. Rollins was thrown out trying to steal second for the first out, with Polanco moving up to second. Victorino walked, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard hit an inside-out liner to third, which was caught by Sandoval. Sandoval threw to second to double-off Polanco and end the frame.

No run for the Phils on two hits, a walk and a stolen base.

Pence led off the second and homered to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Mayberry was next and he homered to left, too. 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second for the first out before Valdez walked. Lee tried to bunt him to second, but struck out for the second out. With Rollins at the plate, Valdez was picked off of third and then thrown out at second to set the Phillies down.

The Giants had gotten six outs in the game, two of which they had gotten on the bases.

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

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

Ruiz and Lee struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Victorino singled to right with two outs in the sixth, but Howard struck out behind him.

Pence singled to center to start the seventh. Mayberry was next and he grounded to third, with Pence forced at second for the first out. Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Victorino singled to left with one out in the ninth and moved up to second on a ground out by Howard. Pence chopped a ball up the middle for a single and Victorino raced around to score, putting the Phils up 3-0. Mayberry struck out swinging to leave Pence at first.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single and a caught stealing. He’s stolen 24 bases on the year and been caught six times.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a couple of nice plays at third.

Victorino 2-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Pence 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 360/393/600 in 25 at-bats with the Phillies so far. The Phils are 6-0 since he arrived.

Mayberry 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts. He has three home runs in his last 11 at-bats.

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Valdez 0-for-2 with a walk.

Vance Worley (7-1, 2.33) faces lefty Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81) tonight. Sanchez has been sidelined with biceps tendinitis and will be making his first start since June 24. He’s walked 52 of the 297 right-handed batters he’s faced this season. Righties are hitting just .224 against him for the year, but on-basing .367. Worley didn’t pitch great in his last start, allowing four runs in six innings to the Pirates. His seven starts before that were fantastic, though. In those outings he was 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA and opponents hit .151 against him over 47 1/3 innings.

Manuel is doing his best to explain why he called Lincecum and Cain “good but not great.” It’s kind of a tough task.

The article linked above suggests that when Oswalt is activated to start Sunday’s game, Francisco or a pitcher may lose their roster spot. The Phils are currently carrying 11 pitchers. If you count Gload as an infielder, they have seven infielders.


Cheaper by the half dozen

The Phillies won again yesterday, overcoming a weak outing by Halladay to top the Rockies 8-6 for their sixth win in a row. Howard continued to pound the ball for the Phils, driving in four runs and homering against a left-handed pitcher for the first time this season. Howard is slugging .854 over the last 12 games.

After losing to the Cubs 6-1 on July 18, the Phils ended the day just 2 1/2 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East. Since then they have gone 12-3 and extended their lead in the division to eight game.

The Phillies are 71-39 after beating the Colorado Rockies 8-6 yesterday afternoon. They sweep the three-game series and have won six in a row.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out seven.

Halladay was up 1-0 when Eric Young led off the bottom of the first for the Rockies and bunted. Howard was charging and the ball went over his head for a single. Young stole second before Dexter Fowler hit a ball to Howard. Howard had it, then dropped it, then flipped to Halladay covering first, but over the head of Halladay. Young scored from second to tie the game at 1-1 and Fowler went to second. Two errors on the play for Howard, one for not catching the ball and the other for throwing it away. Todd Helton was next and he grounded to second for the first out with Young moving up to third. Troy Tulowitzki was the next batter and he flew to center for the second out, with Fowler tagging from third and scoring to put the Rockies up 2-1. Seth Smith flew to center to end the inning.

Not really such a good inning defensively for Howard, what with the bunt going over his head and making two errors and whatnot. This all came after he had struck out in the top of the first after Hammel had walked the bases loaded to start the game.

Halladay started the second with a 5-2 lead. Ian Stewart led off and doubled to right. Halladay struck Mark Ellis out for the first out, but Eliezer Alfonzo followed with a single to left that scored Stewart and cut the lead to 5-3. The pitcher Hammel bunted Alfonzo to second with the second out, but Halladay got Young on a ground ball to first to end the inning.

Halladay walked Fowler to start the third. Fowler stole second before Helton singled into center, scoring Fowler to cut the Phillie lead to 5-4. Tulowitzki bunted Helton to second with the first out and Smith moved him up to third with a ground out to second. Stewart was next and Valdez made a great play to retire him, leaning over the railing in foul territory to end the inning with Helton at third.

Halladay had thrown 47 pitches through three innings.

He was up 6-4 when he started the fourth. Ellis led off with a single, but was caught stealing when Halladay stepped off and threw to second. Halladay got Alonzo and Hammel behind Ellis.

He struck out Young to start the fifth, but Fowler followed that with a triple and came home to score when Helton grounded to second. 6-5. He struck Tulowitzki out to end the inning.

Halladay had thrown 75 pitches in five innings.

He was up 8-5 when Smith started the sixth with a single. Halladay got Stewart to hit into a double-play and struck out Ellis.

Alonzo started the seventh with a single, but Chris Nelson hit into a double-play behind him. Halladay struck Young out for the third out.

Bastardo started the eighth. He got Fowler on a fly ball to center before Helton hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 8-6. Tulowitzki followed that with a single and went to second on a wild pitch, but Bastardo struck Smith and Stewart both out swinging to end the inning.

Bastardo pitches three days in a row, gets one day off and then pitches again, allowing a home run.

Lidge pitched the ninth to earn his first save of the year, getting pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs on a ground ball to short, striking out Alonzo and getting Nelson to ground to short.

Lidge gets the ball in the ninth because Madson had left the team to be with his wife, who is expecting their fourth child.

Bastardo threw 23 pitches and Hamels nine. Neither has pitched more than one day in a row, but Bastardo has pitched too much of late.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Hammel went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez plays third with Polanco on the bench. Ruiz catches the day game after Schneider started the night game on Tuesday.

Hammel walked Rollins, Victorino and Utley on a total of 15 pitches to start the game, which loaded the bases for Howard. Howard took strike one, fouled off a 1-1 pitch and struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Pence was next and he hit a fly ball to center for the second, deep enough for Rollins and Victorino to both move up a base with Rollins scoring to make it 1-0. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 to leave runners at the corners.

Yuck.

The Phillies were down 2-1 when they hit in the second. Ruiz led off and singled to right. Valdez flew to center for the first out before Halladay bunted Ruiz to second with the second. Rollins was next and singled to right. Smith made a bad decision, throwing home despite not having much chance to get Ruiz, which allowed Rollins to move up to second as Ruiz scored to tie the game at 2-2 Victorino followed that with another single to right, scoring Rollins to put the Phillies up 3-2. Utley was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with two down for Howard. Howard cleared the bases with a double to center, putting the Phils up 5-2. Pence struck out looking 2-2 to leave Howard at second.

After an awful first inning in which he struck out with the bases loaded, made two errors and had a bunt go over his head, Howard comes up with a big swing there.

5-3 when the Phils came to bat in the top of the third. Ibanez, Ruiz and Valdez went in order.

It was 5-4 when Halladay started the fourth with a single to right. Rollins was next and hit a ball passed Helton that looked like it would make it to right, but Ellis made a very nice play to get to the ball and throw to Hammel covering to get Rollins for the first out. Halladay moved up to second on the play. Victorino flew to center for the second out before Utley singled to right, which moved Halladay to third. The righty Hammel walked Howard on four pitches, putting runners on the corners. Hammel uncorked a wild pitch with Pence at the plate, allowing everyone to move up a base and Halladay to score, putting the Phils up 6-4 with men on second and third. Pence flew to center for the third out.

Halladay starts the rally with a single after getting the bunt down in the second.

Ibanez started the fifth with a single to left, but Ruiz hit into a double-play behind him. Valdez was next and hit a triple to center, but Halladay struck out to leave him at third.

If you want to not score in an inning where you get a triple and a single, you should try to work in a double-play or getting someone picked off.

Utley singled to right with two outs in the sixth and the lead cut to 6-5. It brought Howard to the plate against lefty Rex Brothers and Howard hit a 2-0 pitch well out to center, putting the Phils up 8-5. Pence singled to left, but was left stranded when Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

First home run of the year for Howard against a left-handed pitcher. Third homer overall in two games.

Valdez singled with one out in the seventh, but was caught stealing for the second out. Halladay hit for himself and struck out looking.

Rollins, Victorino and Utley went in order in the eighth.

The Phils went in order again in the ninth with their lead cut to 8-6.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 1-for-12 with two walks in the three-game set. He’s hitting 264/337/399 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 4-for-13 with two walks and a home run in the series. 302/379/522 on the year. 342/427/591 over his last 173 plate appearances.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-11 with two walks and a double in the series. 289/383/491 for the year. 307/396/542 over his last 208 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run. 4-for-13 with a double and three home runs in the series. 255/343/495 on the season. 333/360/854 over his last 50 plate appearances. .854? Yup. 16-for-his-last-48 with seven doubles and six home runs.

Pence 1-for-4 with an RBI. The Phillies are 5-0 since he joined the team. 4-for-12 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 286/333/429 in 24 plate appearances with the Phils so far.

Ibanez 1-for-5. 3-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. 247/294/431 for the year. 276/312/498 over his last 321 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 3-for-8 with two doubles in the series. 268/371/381 for the season. 338/440/521 over his last 86 plate appearances.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a triple in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 238/283/303 on the season. Polanco was 2-for-8 in the series and is hitting 275/330/344 for the year. 4-for-13 with four singles since returning from the DL.

Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) faces lefty Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80) late tonight in San Francisco. Bumgarner threw to a 7.79 ERA in his first four starts of the year. He’s thrown to a 3.19 ERA with a 1.19 ratio over his last 18 starts and struck out 106 in 113 innings. He’s allowed just five home runs on the year and only three in his last 115 2/3 innings. After an amazing June in which he allowed one run in 42 innings, Lee was less successful in July. Three of the five starts he made weren’t very good and he threw to a 4.91 ERA for the month while opponents hit .287 against him. Tonight will be his first start in August.

This says Oswalt will start on Sunday against the Giants.


Returns from Mayberry

The Phils did it again last night, winning in extra-innings for the second straight day to take their fourth in a row. Down to their last strike with two outs in the ninth, pinch-hitter John Mayberry launched a two-run homer off of right-handed closer Huston Street that sent the game into extra-innings. Victorino led off the tenth with a solo home run that proved to be the game-winner as the Phils took the first of three in Colorado, 4-3.

Madson and Bastardo continue to shine at the back of the pen for the Phils, throwing two shutout innings in last night’s game. They have each now pitched three days in a row — over those three games they have combined to allow two hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings and the Phils have won two one-run games. For the year, Bastardo and Madson have combined to throw 80 innings in which they’ve pitched to a 1.58 ERA with an 0.93 ratio and struck out 90.

The Phillies are 69-39 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 4-3 in ten innings last night. They have won four games in a row and are 30 games over .500 for the first time on the year. They are in first place in the NL East, seven games ahead of the Braves. Seven games is their biggest lead in the division on the year.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a two-run homer. He struck out five.

He set the Rockies down in order in the bottom of the first.

Ty Wigginton singled with one out in the second and stole second before Chris Nelson struck out for the second out. It brought Seth Smith to the plate and the lefty hit a 2-1 pitch out to center, putting the Rockies up 2-0. Chris Iannetta grounded to third for the third out.

Hamels has been fantastic at preventing home runs this year, cutting his home run rate about in half compared to his career numbers. Lefties have fared better against him than righties for the season — they came into the game hitting 237/272/381 against Hamels while righties had hit 200/248/292.

He threw a 1-2-3 third. Rollins made a very nice play on a ball hit up the middle by Eric Young for the second out, fielding deep near second base, spinning and throwing to first in time to get the speedy Young.

Wigginton and Nelson singled back-to-back with two outs in the fourth, putting men on first and third for Smith. Hamels got him this time, getting Smith on a ground ball to first to leave both runners stranded.

The pitcher Jhoulys Chacin singled with one out in the fifth and moved to second when Young singled behind him. Hamels walked Dexter Fowler on five pitches and the bases were loaded. He got out of it, though, striking Mark Ellis out on three pitches and Troy Tulowitzki swinging 3-2.

Five men left on base for the Rockies in the fourth and fifth. Two big strikeouts for Hamels in the fifth keeps Colorado off the board after loading the bases with one out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Colorado lead was cut to 2-1 when Stutes started the seventh. Iannetta led off and the righty hit a 1-0 pitch out to left center, making it 3-1. Stutes got the next two before walking Fowler, but Ruiz threw Fowler out trying to steal second to end the inning.

Stutes was back to pitch the eighth. He walked Tulowitzki with one out, but got Wigginton and Nelson on a pair of fly balls to leave him at first.

Stutes has allowed at least one run in four of his last seven appearances, throwing to a 5.23 ERA with a 1.35 ratio.

Bastardo started the ninth with the game tied at 3-3. Smith led off with a single to left and Iannetta bunted him to second with the first out. Switch-hitter Jonathan Herrera hit for the pitcher Huston Street and grounded to short with Smith moving to third and two down. Ryan Spilborghs grounded to short to leave Smith at third.

The single by Smith is the only hit or walk that Bastardo has allowed in his last five appearances.

Madson started the tenth with a 4-3 lead. He set Colorado down in order, getting Fowler on a fly ball to center, Ellis on a ground ball to short and Tulowitzki on a popup to second.

Madson has now made eight appearances since returning from the DL in mid-July, allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings on four hits and a walk.

Stutes threw 39 pitches in the game. Bastardo 18 and Madson eight. Madson and Bastardo have each thrown three days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jhoulys Chacin went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Polanco (8) Ruiz. Victorino continues to hit second with Pence fifth. Polanco back in the lineup and hitting seventh.

Utley walked with two outs in the top of the first, but Howard flew to left to leave him stranded.

Ibanez walked with one out in the second and moved to second when Polanco followed with a single to left center. Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the threat.

Down 2-0, Rollins was hit by a pitch with one out in the third. Victorino was next and hit a ball back up the middle that was deflected by Chacin and went to Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki made a nice play, picking the ball and flipping to second for the second out. Utley was next and he doubled to right. Smith played it nicely off the wall in right, though, and Ellis cut his throw and made a strong throw home where Victorino was tagged out on a close play to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Ruiz doubled with one out in the fifth, but Hamels and Rollins both struck out behind him.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Pence led off the seventh with a single. Ibanez was next and hit a high fly ball to deep center field. Fowler seemed to lose track of it and the ball fell on the track for a double. Pence scored, cutting the lead to 2-1. Polanco grounded to short and Ruiz popped to the pitcher for the first two outs. With the righty Chacin still pitching for Colorado, Gload hit for Hamels and grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils can’t bring Ibanez home from second with nobody out. Polanco doesn’t move him to third with the first out of the inning.

Down 3-1, Victorino singled with one out in the eighth. Lefty Matt Reynolds came in to pitch to Utley and Utley singled to left, moving Victorino up to second. Howard grounded to second for the second out with the runners moving up to second and third. Righty Rafael Betancourt took over for Reynolds and struck out Pence to leave the runners at second and third.

Huston Street was on in the ninth with a two-run lead. He struck out Ibanez for the first out and got Polanco to fly to center for the second. Ruiz was next and he doubled to left. Mayberry hit for Stutes. He got behind 1-2, then worked the count full and fouled off two pitches before hitting a ball out to left center, tying the game at 3-3. Rollins flew to center for the third out.

Domonic Brown, the would-be second legitimate lefty power threat off the bench behind Gload, is in Triple-A, so Mayberry has to hit against the righty. Worked out pretty well.

Victorino led off the ninth and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left off of lefty Rex Brothers, putting the Phils up 4-3. Utley and Howard both struck out behind him before Pence popped to short.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game. 7-for-his-last-21 with three walks.

Victorino 2-for-5 with home run. His .528 slugging percentage is the best on the team. 367/457/633 in 71 plate appearances since the beginning of July.

Utley 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. 8-for-his-last-22 with four extra-base hits.

Howard 0-for-5. 1-for-10 since going 4-for-4 on Saturday.

Pence 1-for-5. 3-for-14 with a double for the Phillies so far.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a walk and a double. He’s 11-for-his-last-34 with four doubles and three home runs. 277/314/507 over his last 312 plate appearances after hitting 154/238/209 in his first 101 plate appearances on the year.

Polanco 1-for-4 and couldn’t move Ibanez to third with the first out of the seventh. He’s a Polancoish 3-for-9 with three singles and no walks since returning from the DL.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with two doubles. 343/450/537 in 82 plate appearances since July 2.

Kyle Kendrick (5-5, 3.52) faces righty Aaron Cook (2-5, 5.05) tonight. Cook didn’t pitch until June this year, recovering from a broken finger. In the nine starts he’s made he’s been hit hard, allowing 68 hits and 21 walks in 51 2/3 innings. His best start of the year came his last time out when he threw seven shutout innings against the Dodgers. Kendrick still can’t get lefties out — they’re hitting 266/372/516 against him for the year compared to 263/292/366 for righties.

Oswalt allowed two runs in six innings for the IronPigs last night. He is expected return this weekend to start against the Giants.


Rule V mash

Things looked bad early for the Phils last night, but Cliff Lee made it through a shaky start to his start and Michael Martinez delivered another big hit. Down 2-0, Utley doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. The Phils rallied for two more in the ninth, getting two-out singles from Francisco and Rollins before Martinez cleared the bases with a two-out double.

For Martinez it was his second huge offense game in the last three the Phils have played. He’s hitting 297/357/459 in 37 at-bats in July. In the five games since the All-Star break, he’s driven in more runs than Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Brown and Ruiz combined. The day before the All-Star break, he went 4-for-5 against the Braves.

The Phillies are 60-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 last night. They lead the NL East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

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

Reed Johnson led off the bottom of the first and doubled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Starlin Castro was next and he hit Lee’s first pitch out to left, putting the Cubs up 2-0. Aramis Ramirez was next he doubled to center. Jeff Baker lined to short for the first out before Marlon Byrd hit a ball hard towards third that Martinez snared. Martinez went for first for the second out with Ramirez holding second. Lee struck Alfonso Soriano out looking 1-2 to end the inning with Ramirez at second.

Not a great start for Lee. First three batters he faces deliver extra-base hits, followed by a line drive out and a ball hit hard to third.

Carlos Pena started the second with a double and moved to third when Geovany Soto followed with a single. The pitcher Matt Garza tried to bunt Soto to second but couldn’t and struck out for the first out. Lee struck Johnson and Castro out back-to-back to leave runners on the corners.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.

Johnson doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Castro was next and he hit a ball that was deflected by Rollins and went into left for a single that moved Johnson to third. Lee got Ramirez on a popup to short and struck out Baker to keep the Cubs from extending their lead.

No run for Chicago after putting men on first and third with one out.

Carlos Pena singled to right with two outs in the sixth. Lee got Soto on a ground ball to third to leave him at first.

Stutes took over for Lee in the seventh. Johnson singled to left with one out and Castro flew to right behind him for the second. Ramirez moved Johnson to second with a single into center and lefty Blake DeWitt hit for the righty Baker. Stutes got DeWitt on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Stutes was back to pitch the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He got the first two batters before getting behind the lefty Pena 2-0. Pena was walked intentionally and Stutes struck Soto out to leave him at first.

Not a fan of walking Pena or much of anyone with two outs and nobody on base.

Bastardo started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Lefty Kosuke Fukudome hit for the pitcher Sean Marshall and the lefty Bastardo struck him out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Johnson struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. Castro fouled off fives pitches before striking out looking 1-2 to end the game.

Three scoreless innings for the pen. Stutes threw 37 pitches in the game, Bastardo 18. Neither of them have thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Victorino returns to the lineup and Mayberry goes back to the bench. Martinez continues to play third and hit second for Polanco. Second is too high for Martinez.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez and Brown walked back-to-back with two outs in the second and the Phils down 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Brown doubled to left with one out in the fifth, but was left stranded at second when Ruiz fouled out to Pena and Lee struck out swinging.

Martinez walked with one out in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Soto. Utley struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Martinez at third.

Utley and Howard can’t put the ball in play against the righty Garza and the Phils don’t score with one out and a man on third. Martinez turned out to be the hero in the ninth, but did his best to make a run for the Phils out of almost nothing in the sixth.

Brown singled to center with two outs in the seventh and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single to right. With the righty Garza still pitching for Chicago, Gload hit for Lee and flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Gload is 1-for-his-last-14.

Rollins led off the eighth and singled to right off of Garza. Lefty Sean Marshall took over for Garza and Martinez singled softly to center, moving Rollins to second. Utley was next he hammered a 1-1 pitch to the gap in left-center. The ball landed on the track and bounced off the wall. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 2-2 with nobody out and Utley on second. Utley stole third as Howard struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino was next and chopped a ball to short. Castro fielded and threw home, where Soto tagged out a sliding Utley on a close play for the second out. Ibanez struck out swinging to leave Victorino at first.

Third strikeout of the game for Howard.

With the lefty Marshall on the mound, Mayberry hit for brown and grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Francisco hit for Stutes and singled to center. Rollins was next and he reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Ramirez at third, putting men on first and second for Martinez. Martinez flared an 0-1 pitch into right that dropped inside the line. Both runners scored, putting the Phils up 4-2. Martinez was caught be between second and third and was tagged out sliding into third for the third out.

Manuel takes Brown out of the game with the score tied, letting Mayberry hit for him against the lefty. Francisco delivers a big pinch-hit single that keeps the frame alive for Rollins to single and Martinez to double and put the Phils ahead.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with two singles. He’s 8-for-his-last-18 and hitting 365/412/492 in July.

Martinez was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a stolen base and two RBI.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-18.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 1-for-his-last-19.

Victorino 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk.

Brown 2-for-2 with a double and a walk and removed for a pinch-hitter against a lefty in a tie game. He’s 2-for-his-last-12. I think the Phils should be considering both Mayberry and Francisco as potential platoon partners for Brown in right with Victorino back.

Ruiz was 1-for-4. He’s hitting 341/442/477 so far in July.

Worley (5-1, 2.15) faces righty Ryan Dempster (7-6, 4.68) this afternoon. Dempster threw to a 6.32 ERA in his first 13 starts of the year, but has gone 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.10 ratio over his last seven outings. Worley has allowed one run or less in seven of the nine starts he has made for the Phillies this season.

This suggests that Oswalt could return in early August if things continue to go well.


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