There wasn’t a whole to jump up and down about last night as the Phils didn’t pitch, hit or throw very well, falling to the Dodgers 6-2. They struggled to take advantage of early wildness by Rubby De La Rosa, scoring just two runs in the game despite walking five times in the first two innings.
After scoring two runs last night, the Phils now scored 17 in six games in June. Seven of the runs came on Sunday against the Pirates, so they’ve scored ten runs in the other five games.
Oswalt didn’t pitch very well, but the defense and pen didn’t exactly shine, either. Utley threw two balls away, but was charged with one error. Oswalt himself had the most memorable play of the night, throwing a pickoff throw to first when the Phillies weren’t holding the runner. Stutes allowed a two-run homer to Matt Kemp in the eighth that broke the game open for the Dodgers.
On the plus side, Chase Utley delivered a big extra-base hit, driving in a run with a triple in the seventh. It wasn’t exactly a blast to the gap or a bomb over the wall, but Utley has three extra-base hits on the season to this point. So it’s not the time to quibble.
The Phillies are 36-25 on the year after losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 last night. They lead the NL East, three games ahead of the second-place Braves.
Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out one.
Dee Gordon was the first batter of the game and singled to left for his first major league hit. Casey Blake hit into a double-play behind him before Oswalt struck Andre Ethier out swinging 1-2.
Matt Kemp led off the second with a double to center. Juan Uribe was and hit a line drive that Utley caught at second. James Loney was next and he walked. It brought Dioner Navarro to the plate with men on first and second and one out. He singled to left, scoring Kemp to put the Dodgers up 1-0 and moving Loney to second. Jerry Sands was next and he hit into a double-play to end the frame.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Oswalt started the third. He walked the pitcher Rubby De La Rosa on five pitches, which isn’t the way to start the inning. Gordon was next and singled again, this time to right, moving De La Rosa to third. Blake singled to left, scoring De La Rosa (2-1) and moving Gordon to second. With Ethier at the plate, Oswalt made a baffling mistake, throwing to first base. Howard wasn’t covering first base, so nobody caught it and the ball rolled and rolled. Gordon scored all the way from second to make it 3-1 with Blake going to third. Ethier singled to center, scoring Blake to make it 4-1. It brought Kemp to the plate with a runner on first and still nobody out. He hit a ground ball to short. Valdez went to Utley for the first out, but his throw to first was wild for an error that allowed Kemp to take second. Uribe flew to center for the second out, with Kemp tagging and moving up to third. Loney popped to Utley to finally end the frame.
First four batters of the inning reach on a walk and three singles. Walking the pitcher to start the inning often doesn’t work out that well. Awful for Oswalt to throw to first when there was nobody covering first.
Oswalt came back to throw a 1-2-3 fourth.
Gordon chopped a ball over Oswalt’s head for a single to start the fifth. He stole second before Blake bunted him to third with the first out. Ethier hit a ground ball to Utley, who looked Gordon back and threw to first for the second out. Kemp grounded to Utley to turn the Dodgers away.
Oswalt wins that duel with Ethier as LA can’t score with a runner on third and one out.
Uribe started the sixth with a double to left. Loney moved him to third with a ground out to second for the first out. Oswalt got Navarro to pop to Howard for the second with Uribe holding third. Sands grounded to second leave Uribe at
Again Oswalt wiggles away as the Dodgers can’t score with a man on third and one out.
Romero started the seventh and got the first two before walking Blake. With Ethier at the plate, Romero picked Blake off of first with Howard making the throw to second where Valdez applied the tag for the third out.
Stutes started the eighth after the Phils hit for Romero in the seventh. He walked the lefty Ethier before Kemp belted a 1-0 pitch out the opposite way to right, extending the Los Angeles lead to 6-2. Stutes got the next three.
Picking off Blake in the seventh means the righty Stutes faces the lefty Ethier to start the seventh. Bastardo had thrown for two straight days.
Romero has now walked 11 batters in 15 innings, giving him a walk rate of 6.6 batters per nine innings. That’s really high, but actually lower than it’s been over the past two seasons. In 2009 and 2010, Romero walked 42 in 53 1/3 innings, which is about 7.1 batters per nine innings.
Herndon started the ninth and got Sands on a ground out to third for the first out. Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitcher Scott Elbert and singled to right. Gordon was next and hit a ball to third. Polanco charged, gloved and threw to first for the out. Gwynn rounded second and took off for third, but Valdez moved over to cover third, took the throw from Howard and made a nifty sliding tag to tag out Gwynn and set the Dodgers down.
Herndon was making his first appearance with the team since being called back up on June 6. He threw to a 9.28 ERA in 11 appearances in April, but has appeared four times for the Phils since the end of April and thrown six shutout innings.
Stutes and Romero both threw 15 pitches in the game. Herndon 11. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Rubby De La Rosa went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Valdez. Valdez plays short with Rollins sidelined. Ibanez back in left against the righty. Ruiz again hits sixth with Brown still seventh against the righty.
Victorino led off the bottom of the first with a walk and stole second. Polanco hit a ball back to the pitcher and De La Rosa threw back to Uribe, who had Victorino between second and third. Victorino was tagged out at third with Polanco safe at first. Utley moved him to second with a walk before Howard hit a ground ball to second. Utley was forced at second for the second out with Howard and Polanco safe at the corners. Ibanez grounded back to the mound to end the inning.
The Phils were down 1-0 when the hit in the bottom of the second. Ruiz and Brown both walked before Valdez singled into center, loading the bases. Oswalt struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino hit a ball back to the pitcher that would have been a double-play if De La Rosa had fielded it cleanly, but he didn’t. He knocked it down and threw home to force Ruiz for the second out. Polanco walked on four pitches, forcing in Brown to tie the game at 1-1. Utley flew to center to leave the bases loaded.
One run for the Phils. They walked three times in the frame and loaded the bases with nobody out. Oswalt can’t put the ball in play with nobody out and the bases loaded.
De La Rosa had walked five in the first two innings.
Down 4-1 in the third, Ibanez and Ruiz singled back-to-back with one out. It put men on first and second for Brown, who struck out swinging for the second out. Valdez lined a single to right, but Ethier made a fantastic throw to nail the sliding Ibanez at the plate and end the inning.
Oswalt, Victorino and Polanco went in order in the fourth.
De La Rosa had thrown 81 pitches through four innings.
The Phils went in order again in the fifth.
Righty Blake Hawksworth set Ruiz, Brown and Valdez down in order in the sixth.
Romero was due to lead off the seventh with righty Matt Guerrier on the mound for LA and the Phils still down 4-2. Gload hit for Romero and walked. Victorino grounded to second with Gload forced at second for the first out and Polanco flew to right for the second. Lefty Scott Elbert came in to pitch to Utley and Utley ripped a ball down the first base line and into the right field corner for a triple. Victorino scored to make it 4-2. Howard lined to Uribe to end the inning.
Update: It escaped me at the time, but the walk ruins Gload’s no walks, no extra-base hits thing for the season. I’m feeling kind of nostalgic. So whoever had June 7 in the pool is the big winner.
Down 6-2, Ibanez, Ruiz and Brown went in order in the eighth.
The Phils went in order in the ninth, too. Rollins hit for Herndon with righty Javy Guerra on the mound and flew to right for the second out.
Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game with a walk. He’s 3-for-20 with three walks since returning from the DL.
Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He has no extra-base hits in his last 65 plate appearances and one over his last 106.
Utley was 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and two bad throws, only one of which was an error. Nice to see him deliver and extra-base hit, even if it was ripped on the ground down the line rather than something he drove out of the park. He now has three extra-base hits in 61 plate appearances for the year.
Howard was 0-for-4, struck out twice and looked terrible at the plate. He made two nice throws defensively, one to second and another to third. He’s hitting 243/326/470 for the year. All three of those would be career lows if he ended the season with that line. He’s 5-for-his-last-28 with a double.
Ibanez 1-for-4. He’s 3-for-his-last-17 with two walks.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.
Brown 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 4-for-his-last-19 with five strikeouts.
Valdez was 2-for-4. He’s 5-for-his-last-13 with two walks and a double.
Cole Hamels (7-2, 2.83) faces righty Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 3.46) tonight. Kuroda has been hit hard in two of his last three starts, throwing to a 5.82 ERA as opponents have hit .352 against him. His last outing was the best of the three as he held the Reds to two runs over six innings. Hamels has lowered his walk rate a bit this year, but mostly he’s not allowing hits and not allowing home runs. He’s allowing 6.8 hits per nine innings this year compared to a career rate of 8.1 per nine and just 0.5 home runs per nine. Over his career he’s allowed about 1.1 home runs per nine innings. After 12 starts he’s allowed five home runs, which would put him on a pace to allow about 14 home runs over 33 starts. Over the last three years, Hamels has made an average of about 32.7 starts per year and allowed an average of 26 home runs.
Chase Utley and his wife dedicated a “Kindness to Animals” mural in partnership with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program.