Tag: Russell Martin

Peer review

Last week I wrote that the Phillies allowed about 91.1% of the runs per plate appearance when Carlos Ruiz was catching that they did when some other player was catching. The table below shows how that compares to other teams in the NL for 2009. For each team, the table shows the player who caught the most (by batters faced) in 2009, the percentage of batters that the team faced that the catcher was behind the plate for and how the rate of runs per plate appearance with that catcher behind the plate compares to the rate of runs per plate appearance with all other catchers for the team behind the plate.

Team C % of batters
rate R per PA
vs rate for all other C on team as %
STL Y Molina 81.0 74.0
SD N Hundley 44.2 84.0
ARI M Montero 63.2 85.6
PHI C Ruiz 60.5 91.1
LAD R Martin 81.1 96.3
COL C Iannetta 52.8 97.9
HOU I Rodriguez 52.1 98.3
NYM O Santos 48.0 98.7
WAS J Bard 43.9 99.1
PIT R Doumit 43.3 99.6
ATL B McCann 74.2 103.5
CIN R Hannigan 45.4 106.4
FLA J Baker 60.1 106.7
CHC G Soto 56.3 109.2
MIL J Kendall 81.1 110.7
SF B Molina 72.5 121.6

Cards backstop Yadier Molina is on the top row of the table. During 2009, he was the catcher for 81% of the batters faced by St Louis pitching. By runs per plate appearance, the team’s result was much better when he was catching than when someone else was catching. St Louis opponents scored 486 runs in their 4,931 plate appearances with Molina catching, or about .0986 runs per PA. In the 1,156 plate appearances when someone besides Molina was catching, St Louis opponents scored 154 runs or about .1332 runs per PA. Overall, St Louis opponents scored about 74.0% of the runs per plate appearance when Molina was catching as they did when someone else was catching for St Louis.

At the other end of the table, Giants opponents had much better results in terms of runs per plate appearance when Bengie Molina was catching than when some other San Francisco catcher was behind the plate — with Molina behind the plate they scored 121.6% of the runs per plate appearance that they scored when someone else was catching.

The Dodgers and Brewers were the teams that had a single catcher behind the plate for the highest percentage of plate appearances. For the Dodgers it was Russell Martin and for Milwaukee it was Jason Kendall. Each of those teams faced about 1,200 batters with other catchers behind the plate — 1,168 for LA and 1,198 for the Brewers.

This says that the Phillies have signed two left-handed pitchers, Shigetoshi Yamakita and Naoyo Okamoto, to minor league contracts.

This says that they haven’t and reports that they have are not accurate.

Sherrill? You can’t be serious

I am serious and don’t call me Sherrill.

The Phillies came out on top of game one of the NLCS last night. It was a game filled with huge moments and big swings, but none bigger than the three-run homer Raul Ibanez hit off of George Sherrill in the top of the eighth inning. Sherrill came into the game having not allowed a home run to a left-handed batter all season long.

James Loney put the Dodgers up 1-0 when he lined a solo shot out to right off of Hamels in the second. Clayton Kershaw, LA’s 21-year-old starter, was in complete control until the bottom of the fifth when he most clearly was not. Kershaw started the frame with a shutout, but only got two outs in the inning, uncorked three wild pitches and walked two including the pitcher on four pitches. With nobody out and two men on, Ruiz blasted a three-run homer to left to put the Phillies up 3-1. Five batters later Howard delivered a two-run double that extended the lead to 5-1 before LA got out of the frame. Hamels got into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. He got Ethier to hit a double-play ball that should have ended the inning, but the Phils didn’t turn it. A run scored on the play to make it 5-2 and kept the inning alive long enough for Manny Ramirez to hit a two-run homer and cut the lead to 5-4. Sherrill walked the first two in the eighth before Ibanez homered to make it 8-4. Madson was awful in the bottom of the eighth and LA got within two at 8-6, but Lidge kept them off the board in the ninth to get the Phillies the win.

The game featured dramatic matchups between Phillies relievers and big hitters for the Dodgers. The Phils didn’t win them all, but they won enough. The sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth all included huge situations for Phillies relievers with danger lurking.

With the Phils up 5-4 in the sixth, Happ got Furcal to ground to second on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end the inning

Chan Ho Park pitched in a game for the first time since September 16 in the seventh with the Phils still up by one. After Bastardo allowed a leadoff double, Park came in and sat down Manny, Matt Kemp and Casey Blake in order to leave the runner stranded. He looked real, real good doing it, too. They told us he was a hundred percent. They didn’t say a hundred percent of what, though.

Madson got blasted in the eighth. But it ended with him facing Ramirez with two outs, men on first and third and the Phils up 8-6. He got Manny to ground to third.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a two-run lead and gave up a leadoff single. Most of the drama in that inning came on the second batter, when Casey Blake smashed a ball, but right at Utley and into a double-play.

The Phillies lead the best-of-seven NLCS with the Los Angeles Dodgers after winning game one 8-6 last night.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out four. His line would have looked a lot better if the Phillies had turned an inning-ending double-play in the fifth. When Ramirez followed the non-double-play with a two-run homer it wound up costing the Phillies three runs.

Hamels faced a lineup that went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Ethier (RF/L) (3)Ramirez (LF/R) (4) Kemp (CF/R) (5) Blake (3B/R) (6) Loney (1B/L) (7) Belliard (2B/R) (8) Martin (C/R). That’s pretty different than the lineup I expect we’ll see against a righty in the series, which I guess will likely go (1) Furcal (2) Kemp (3) Ethier (4) Ramirez (5) Loney (6) Blake (7) Belliard (8) Martin. Furcal is always at the top, I expect, and Belliard and Martin at the bottom, but two through six changes up a lot. Ethier hitting second doesn’t make a lot of sense to me against a lefty, but he sure fared well last night. The 3-4-5 of Ramirez, Kemp and Blake all bash lefties.

The Dodgers had six players on the bench to start the game, lefties Jim Thome and Juan Pierre, righties Mark Loretta, Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus and switch-hitter Orlando Hudson.

Furcal led off the first and flew to left on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. Ethier was next and he singled to left. Manny followed and he had a long at-bat, but struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out after fouling off five pitches. Kemp singled into left 1-0, moving Ethier to second, but Hamels got Blake to pop to Utley to end the inning.

Nineteen pitching the first for Hamels, fifteen of which were strikes.

Loney led off the second and lined a 2-1 pitch out to right. 1-0. Hamels got Belliard on a line drive that Victorino took in front of the warning track for the first out and Martin on a ground ball to third for the second. The pitcher Clayton Kershaw was next, but Hamels walked him on a high 3-1 pitch. Hamels didn’t like the call as the count went 3-1, but the ball looked clearly low. Furcal was next and hit a dribbler up the first base line. Ruiz made a nice play, pouncing on it and throwing Furcal out to set the Dodgers down.

Hamels had thrown 37 pitches.

He started throwing a lot more changeups in the bottom of the third and things went well. Ethier looked awful striking out swinging after getting behind 0-2. Manny popped to Utley for the second out. Kemp dribbled back to the mound for the third.

Hamels had thrown 54 pitches through three innings.

He set ‘em down in order again in the fourth. Blake struck out swinging at a high fastball. Loney and Belliard both popped to second.

Seven in a row for Hamels, who had thrown 67 pitches.

He started the fifth with a 5-1 lead and gave up a leadoff double to Martin. Orlando Hudson hit for the pitcher Ramon Troncoso and Hamels struck him out for the first out. Furcal was next and Hamels got ahead of him, too, but Furcal singled to right on an 0-2 pitch, sending Martin to third. Ethier got ahead 3-1 and hit a double-play ball to short. But. Rollins got the ball struck in his glove, then tossed to Utley late and Utley threw with his footing badly messed up and threw the ball into the dugout. Martin scored on the error to make it 5-2 with Ethier going to second. Hamels flailed his arms around dramatically on the mound in the universal gesture for darn-I-wish-that-hadn’t-happened. It was a sure sign that Manny Ramirez was about to homer and homer he did, pounding a 2-0 pitch out to left-center. 5-4. Kemp grounded to Utley for the third out.

If the Phillies turn Ethier’s double-play ball it’s 5-1, inning over. They didn’t. Utley never should have thrown the ball, but the fact that he did throw it into the dugout didn’t change anything. Rollins being unable to get the ball out of his glove clean doomed the play. Hamels shouldn’t be flailing about on the mound. Pretty sure everyone associated with the Phillies knew they would have been better off turning that one and it was unfortunate that they had a lefty against Ramirez with a runner on base now.

Hamels had through 92 pitches through five innings.

He got Blake on a foul ball to Howard for the first out in the bottom of the sixth. Loney followed with an opposite field single to left. Belliard was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch into left for another single, moving Loney to second. That was it for Hamels, who was due to lead off the seventh, and Manuel brought in Durbin to pitch to the righty Martin. Martin smoked the ball to right, but Werth took it for the second out and would have had a chance to double Loney off of second if he made a good throw. His throw wasn’t close, but was backed up nicely by Feliz and neither runner could advance. Lefty Jim Thome hit for the pitcher Ronald Belisario and Happ came in to pitch to him. Happ didn’t get a close call on a 2-1 pitch and Thome walked to load the bases. Randy Wolf ran for Thome at first. Furcal was next, who really needs a right-hander in a big situation like this if you can, but Manuel left Happ in to pitch to him. Furcal worked the count full and grounded hard but right at Utley to leave the bases loaded.

Huge out for Happ to get Furcal.

Second appearance in the post-season for Durbin. He hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk in 1 1/3 innings.

Bastardo started the seventh to try to get Ethier with the Phils up 5-4. Nope. Ethier doubled into right. Chan Ho Park came on to face Ramirez, pitching for the first time since September 16. Ramirez grounded a 1-2 pitch to third for the first out. Ethier held second. Park struck Kemp out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Blake grounded to second to leave Ethier stranded.

Wow. Park looked rather amazing. It was the kind of thing that made you feel like he might be able to contribute. Ethier seems to be doing just fine against the Phillies lefties so far. Huge outs for Park with the Phils up a run and the heart of the order at the plate for LA.

Madson started the top of the eighth for the Phillies with an 8-4 lead. Francisco was in left for the Phils. Loney singled to center and moved to second when Belliard followed with a single to left. Martin was next and he singled to left, scoring Loney just ahead of Francisco’s throw to make it 8-5 with men on first and second and nobody out. Juan Pierre hit for the pitcher George Sherrill and dribbled a ball back to the mound. Madson fielded and threw to second to force Martin for the first out with Belliard moving to third. It brought up Furcal and Furcal delivered a fly ball to right for the second out, deep enough to score Belliard and cut the lead to 8-6. Ethier was next with two outs and a man on first and Madson stayed in to pitch to the lefty. The lefty singled to right on a 3-2 pitch, moving Pierre to third. It set up Madson versus Manny Ramirez with two outs and two men on. Manny grounded to second on a 1-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Manuel does not bring Eyre in to pitch to Ethier with two outs, presumably because it creates a who-pitches-to-Manny problem if Eyre doesn’t get Ethier.

Madson has been absolutely awful twice in a row in two huge situations. Between game four of the NLDS and last night’s game he has gone 1 2/3 innings over his last two appearances, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk.

Third time in three innings a Phillies reliever came up big in a pickle to end the inning. Happ got Furcal in the sixth, Park got everyone in the seventh after the leadoff double and Madson finally got Manny to end the eighth.

Lidge started the ninth up 8-6. He got ahead of Kemp 0-2 before Kemp lined a single just over the glove of Rollins and into left. Blake was next and got ahead in the count, but swung at a high 2-1 pitch and fouled it off. He smashed the next pitch, but on one hop to Utley and the Phillies turned two. Enormous play and a little luck for the Phils there, cause that ball was hit hard but right at Utley. Lidge got ahead of Loney 0-2, but Loney came back to work a walk. It brought Belliard to the plate as the tying run. Belliard popped a 1-1 pitch to Rollins in shallow left field to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R). Werth hits fifth, breaking up the lefty string of Utley, Howard and Ibanez.

The Phillies started the game with six players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Francisco, Bruntlett and Cairo.

Rollins led off the first and fouled out to Martin on an 0-1 pitch. Victorino was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Utley got behind in the count and drove an 0-2 pitch to center field, but Kemp took it on the warning track for the second out. It brought Howard to the plate, but before Kershaw delivered a pitch he picked Victorino off of first. Victorino was tagged out after a short rundown to set the Phillies down.

Kershaw threw a first-pitch strike to all three of Rollins, Victorino and Utley. He had thrown eight pitches through one inning.

Victorino and Martin yelled at each other after the third out. Not sure who started it, but Victorino tried to run into Loney in the rundown like he always does in a rundown, looking for an interference call.

Howard led off the second and got behind 0-2 before hitting a 3-2 pitch well to left, but Ramirez took it on the track. Werth struck out looking 2-2. Ibanez struck out looking 2-2.

Again, all three hitters got behind 0-1. Howard fouled off the first pitch and Werth and Ibanez watched strike one.

Kershaw had thrown 25 pitches.

The Phils started the third down 1-0. Feliz became the first Phillies batter not to get behind 1-0 as he took ball one, but popped to Belliard on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch way outside and Hamels bunted him to second. Rollins grounded a 1-2 pitch to second for the third out.

Forty pitches for Kershaw.

Victorino led off the fourth and popped to Loney 2-2 for the first out. Utley swung at the first pitch and popped to Blake in foul territory. Howard tried to check his swing 2-2 and got the call (he swung) and then walked on a 3-2 pitch that was really a strike. Werth got ahead 2-0 and smashed a ball to left field, but Ramirez took it on the track to set the Phillies down.

Werth’s out was the third time the Phillies had really crushed the ball into an out against Kershaw. Utley hit it great in the first and Howard just missed in the second.

Fifty-six for Kershaw through four innings.

He blew up in the fifth. Ibanez led off and singled to left on a 1-1 pitch. Ibanez went to second on wild pitch before Feliz walked. Ruiz took two balls out of the strike zone and then flailed at a high 2-0 pitch. Phillies fans everywhere screamed curses at their televisions, but not for long. The 2-1 pitch was in nearly the same place, but Ruiz hit that one way out to left to put the Phillies up 3-1. Hamels was next and he walked on four pitches. Kershaw did everything in his power to walk Rollins, too, but Jimmy was having none of it. He swung at a 3-1 pitch and hit a ground ball to third. Hamels was forced at second for the first out of the inning. Victorino was next and he struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch that was wild for the second out, but Rollins took second on the wild pitch. Utley walked on a 3-2 pitch, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard blasted a double to right, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 5-1. That was finally it for Kershaw. Righty Ramon Troncoso came in and got Werth to fly to left for the third out.

Nice walk by Feliz early in the inning. Huge hits for Ruiz and Howard. Good no swing by Hamels. Rollins swinging 3-1 with Kershaw nowhere near the strike zone was not the way to go.

Three wild pitches in the inning for Kershaw. The Dodgers sure did stay with him a long time. I was pretty sure walking Hamels on four pitches was a sign of bad things to come for him. He was due to hit second in the bottom of the inning.

The Phillies lead had been cut to 5-4 by the time they came to bat in the top of the sixth and face righty Ronald Belisario. Belisario set the Phillies down in order, getting Ibanez on a ground ball to short and Feliz and Ruiz on ground balls to second.

Unhittable lefty Hong-Chih Kuo started the seventh for LA. Cairo hit for Happ to start the inning and struck out. Rollins got ahead 3-1 and singled into center, but Victorino followed with a ground ball to third. The Dodgers could only get one, forcing Rollins at second for the second out and bringing Utley to the plate with two outs and a man on first. Utley struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Lefty George Sherrill started the eighth with the Phils still up 5-4 and walked Howard. He walked Werth, too, putting two men on for Ibanez. Ibanez was swinging first pitch and popped one just out to right for a three-run homer. 8-4. Feliz flew to right for the first out before Ruiz snuck a single through to left. Francisco hit for Park and hit a fly ball to center. Ruiz thought it was going to drop, but it was a long way from being something that might drop. Kemp took it for the second out and Ruiz was doubled-off of first on a close play to end the frame.

Not good base-running by Ruiz.

Lefties hit 128/188/154 against Sherrill this season. He faced two Phillies lefties in the inning. Howard walked and Ibanez hit a three-run homer. Left-handed hitters were 10-for-78 against him with two doubles for the year.

Righty Jonathan Broxton was on for LA in the ninth with the Phils up 8-6. Rollins flew to left for the first out, but Victorino followed with a single. Utley flew to left before Howard went down swinging to end the frame.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game. Grounding out 3-1 when Kershaw couldn’t throw a strike and had just walked Hamels on four pitches was the worst at-bat of the game.

Victorino was 2-for-5 and was picked off of first in the first.

Utley was 0-for-4 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-3 with a big two-run double and two walks.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Ibanez now has eight RBI in five post-season games with the Phillies.

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk. Didn’t do much against the lefty starter, but he almost did, just missing a two-run homer in the fourth.

Feliz was 0-for-3 with a walk. I sure feel better about the seven and eight spots in the order against a lefty, but Feliz hit a miserable 208/278/385 against lefties this year so I should probably try to calm down a little.

Ruiz, on the other hand, had a monster game. 2-for-3 with a three-run homer. He hit 293/370/524 against left-handed pitching this season.

Francisco and Cairo both had pinch-hit at-bats in the game and went 0-for-1. Francisco seems like he could be the critical bench player for the Phils in the series against Kuo and Sherrill. The other two right-handed options for the Phils off the bench, Cairo and Bruntlett, are not big offensive threats.

Pedro Martinez faces righty Vicente Padilla today in game two.

Padilla pitched for both the Rangers and the Dodgers this season. He made 18 starts for Texas to start the season, going 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. The Rangers released him in mid-August and he was signed by the Dodgers. He made eight appearances for LA, seven on them starts, and threw to a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

He was much better against righties than lefties on the season. Righties hit just 246/301/363 against him for the year, lefties 303/384/453.

Padilla pitched for the Phils between 2000 and 2005. His best year was 2002 when he went 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.22 ratio.

He started game three of the NLDS against the Cards and was fantastic. He allowed four hits and a walk over seven shutout innings as the Dodgers won 5-1. It was the only playoff appearance of his career.

Raul Ibanez saw him a ton in the AL. 9-for-28 with two home runs (321/394/536). Feliz is the only other Phillies regular with more than five career at-bats against him. He’s 2-for-9 with two singles.

The 37-year-old Martinez made nine starts for the Phillies this season, pitching to a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio over 44 2/3 innings. He gave up seven home runs — that rate would have him giving up about 31 over 200 innings. Opponents slugged .472 against Pedro for the season.

He didn’t walk much of anyone. His walk rate of 1.61 batters per nine innings was the best of any Phillies pitcher other than Lee.

He has a ton of post-season experience. He has appeared in thirteen post-season games and started eleven, overall throwing to a 3.40 ERA with a 1.12 ratio over 79 1/3 innings. He last appeared in the post-season in 2004.

Pedro started his career with the Dodgers, pitching for them in 1992 and ’93 before they traded him to the Expos for Delino DeShields in November of 1993.

Belliard, Kemp, Blake, Martin, Loney and Ethier all have five or fewer career at-bats against Martinez. Furcal 6-for-25 with two doubles (240/240/320). Manny 5-for-30 with two doubles (167/194/233). Orlando Hudson 7-for-25 with three extra-base hits, a double, a triple and a home run (280/308/520).

This helps explain why Bruntlett was added to the roster for the NLCS. Apparently Dobbs’ problems in playing defense coming off his calf injury were a primary factor. Still a lot of Carios and Bruntletts to have on the roster and I think it speaks to the lack of organizational depth hitting right-handed.

California, here we come

Here’s the runs scored and allowed per game and the difference between the two for the Phillies and Dodgers this season:

Regular Season
PHI 162 5.06 4.38 0.69
LA 162 4.81 3.77 1.04

LA won 95 games this year while the Phils won 93.

The Phillies had the better offense, but LA was a lot better at preventing runs. Overall, the difference between the average number of runs scored and allowed per game is a lot bigger for the Dodgers.

Here’s what they did after the All-Star break:

Second Half
PHI 76 4.74 3.91 0.83
LA 74 4.55 3.69 0.86

The Phillies were 45-31 (.592) in the second-half while LA went 39-35 (.527), coming off of a brilliant first half when they were 56-32 (.636). The Dodgers had a seven game lead in the NL West going into the break. The Phils still scored more runs in the second half, but also closed the gap between the teams in terms of average difference between runs scored and allowed by improving their pitching significantly.

The Phillies offense was down a little in September, and their pitching got a little worse. The Dodgers widened the gap:

PHI 30 4.67 4.13 0.53
LA 27 4.89 3.81 1.07

Here’s what they’ve done over the past ten games, including games in the post-season:

Last ten games (including post-season)
PHI 10 5.20 4.40 0.80
LA 10 3.30 3.80 -0.50

The LA offense has been slowed a little, perhaps in part by the Cardinals pitching staff. They went just 2-5 in their seven games before they swept the Cards, scoring just 20 runs in those seven games. Despite outscoring the Cards 13-6 in the NLDS, LA has allowed 38 runs over their last ten games and scored just 33.

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games against each other this year:

Vs opponent in 2009
PHI 7 3.57 3.71 -0.14
LA 7 3.71 3.57 0.14

The Phils and Dodgers played seven games this year during the regular season. The Dodgers won four, outscoring the Phils 26-25.

Ruiz, Ibanez and Stairs were the only three Phillies that had an OPS for the year against the Dodgers that was better than .750.

Ruiz was 8-for-14 with three doubles, seven walks and a homer (571/714/1.000).

Ibanez 8-for-26, also with three doubles and a home run (308/400/538).

Stairs was 2-for-3 with two singles.

At the less good end of the pool, Victorino was 3-for-24 without a walk (125/125/250). Howard 3-for-28 with a double and a home run (107/156/250). Rollins 5-for-28 with a double and a home run (179/207/321).

Loney, Ethier and Blake all hit the Phillies well this season. Loney 11-for-28 with two home runs (393/433/607), Ethier 8-for-29 with three doubles and two home runs (276/323/586) and Blake 8-for-24 with two doubles and a home run (333/308/542). Curious about that to me is that two of those guys (Loney and Ethier) are lefties and one of them, Ethier, was absolutely atrocious against left-handed pitching this year. By absolutely atrocious I mean 194/283/345 over 187 plate appearances in this case. So maybe the lefty-heavy rotation will have more luck with them in the NLCS.

Lefty-killer Kemp was pretty good against the Phils, but not as good as Loney, Ethier and Blake by OPS. He was 9-for-27 with a double and a triple against the Phils (333/379/444).

Not to be forgotten when you consider what the Phillies did against the Dodgers this season is that Manny Ramirez did not have a single plate appearance against them this season. Seemingly less important is that Belliard didn’t as a Dodger, either, although Ron did slug .714 against the Phils as a Nat in ’09, going 4-for-14 with a double, a triple and a home run (286/286/714).

Furcal (222/250/407) and Martin (227/346/273) both hit under .230 against the Phils in ’09.

West obsessed

Still a few games left to play, but it looks almost just about sure the Phillies will be playing the Rockies of the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs. Here’s how the offenses for the three teams compare for the year, since the All-Star break and for the month that just ended:

Team G R R/G
COL 158 788 4.99
LA 159 767 4.82
PHI 158 805 5.09

Second Half
COL 70 346 4.94
LA 71 324 4.56
PHI 72 345 4.79

COL 27 134 4.96
LA 27 132 4.89
PHI 30 140 4.67

The Rockies have been a little better than the Dodgers offensively.

Ignoring the Phillies offense thinking only about which offense the Phils’ pitchers would fare best against, I still like the Phillies chances against the Rockies a little better than the Dodgers given the Phils seem sure to start lefties Lee and Hamels in the first two games of a short set.

Here’s what the Rockies and Dodgers have done against lefties this season — their average, on-base percentage and slugging against them as a team as well as their rate of getting hits, walks, doubles and triples and hitting home runs per 100 plate appearances:
























The Rockies did hit for a little more power against lefties this season, but the Dodgers got hits and walks at a higher rate. LA’s .358 on-base percentage against lefties is particularly impressive.

Here are the Rockies hitters that have at least 50 plate appearances this year with an OPS of .850 or better against lefties:





Iannetta 299 407 597 1.004
Tulowitzki 268 379 530 .909
Fowler 326 379 492 .872
Smith 259 368 500 .868
Gonzalez 294 356 510 .866

Iannetta hasn’t played nearly as much as Torrealba recently. Smith is a left-handed batter who has only had about 18% of his plate appearances against lefties this season. Fowler and Gonzalez can’t both play center field at the same time — Fowler has appeared only as a center fielder this season while Gonzalez has appeared at all three outfield positions, but mostly center and left.

Tulowitzki is just great.

Lefty Brad Hawpe plays right field just about all the time and has hit 252/348/453 against left-handed pitching this year.

Here’s how the list for the Dodgers looks:





Kemp 365 431 620 1.052
Blake 317 441 564 1.005
Ramirez 274 384 521 .904
Hudson 295 363 496 .859

Kemp, Blake and Ramirez are all terrors against lefties. Blake has been out with a sore hamstring, but he should be back this weekend.

Furcal and Pierre have both also been good against lefties this season, but don’t quite have their OPS against them up to .850. Furcal is hitting 298/363/454 against them and Pierre 316/412/398.

Loney and Martin both did a great job of getting on base against lefties this year, but with little power. Loney on-based .373 against them and Martin .411.

On the plus side, Andre Ethier had a fantastic year in which he hit 31 home runs and drove in 105 but was terrible against lefties. In 186 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season he hit 189/280/341.

Jamie Moyer is out for the season. That is very disappointing — both because it would have been nice to see him help the team in the post-season and because there was a very good chance he was going to be able to given how well he had been pitching. Moyer looking up from his knees, badly injured, to see if Victorino had caught the ball in center wasn’t really the last memory of his season I was hoping for. It is, however, a good reminder of what he has given this team. After a terrible first two months this year he had thrown to a 4.06 ERA with a 1.22 ratio over his last 108 2/3 innings.

This article says that Myers was available last night, that Park will be back “very quickly” and seems to suggest that Myers may be on the post-season roster.

Maybe it’s always sunny in Philadelphia, but we’re not in Philadelphia any more

Last night’s broadcast of game three of the NLCS in Los Angeles started out with Danny DeVito explaining that he was a Dodgers fan while he read the Phillies lineup. Things got stranger from there. Jamie Moyer got mauled, giving up five runs in the first inning. The Phils never bounced back and the Dodgers went on to win the game 7-2.

The game will most be remembered for a bench-clearing incident after the top of the third inning. After Brett Myers had come way up and in on Russell Martin and thrown a pitch behind Manny Ramirez in game two in Philadelphia, Martin was infuriated when Clay Condrey knocked him to the ground with another knockdown pitch last night in the bottom of the second. When Shane Victorino came to the plate with two outs in top of the third, Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda delivered a fastball just over the head of the center fielder. When Victorino grounded to first to end the frame, he and Kuroda exchanged words and the benches cleared for further discussion.

Pretty ugly game all around for the Phils. Not much offense — the Phillies have now been outscored 14-13 in the series. Moyer’s start, his second weak outing in two post-season appearances, certainly raises some questions about what the Phillies would do if the series went to a game seven in Philadelphia. The one thing they probably wouldn’t do is feel confident about sending Moyer to the mound.

As a bright spot, the bullpen shined again for the Phillies. JA Happ showed why he is on the roster, giving the Phils three innings and holding the Dodgers to a run. Romero and Durbin, core components of the pen that have been shaky or just plain absent recently, both pitched well in the blowout. The Phillies bullpen has allowed one run in 12 2/3 innings in the series.

The Phillies lost game three of the NLCS last night, falling 7-2. They lead the Dodgers two games to one in the best-of-seven series. The Phillies are 5-2 in the post-season after going 13-3 to end the regular season. The last time they lost a game that wasn’t started by Moyer was September 24.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 1 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple and a home run. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. He’s been hit hard in both of his post-season starts this season, allowing eight runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The Dodger lineup against Moyer went (1) Furcal (SS/S) (2) Ethier (RF/L) (3) Ramirez (LF/R) (4) Martin (C/R) (5) Garciaparra (1B/R) (6) Blake (3B/R) (7) Kemp (CF/R) (8) DeWitt (2B/L). Garciaparra starts at first after Loney played first against the lefty Hamels in game one. Blake moves up to sixth and Kemp down to seventh after Blake hit sixth and Kemp seventh in game one. Nomar came into the game 15-for-36 (417/432/722) against Moyer in his career.

The Dodgers started the game with six hitters on their bench: Kent (R), Berroa (R), Ardoin (R), Ozuna (R), Loney (L) and Pierre (L).

Furcal started the first with a single into left. Ethier singled past a diving Utley and into right, moving Furcal to second. Manny ripped the first pitch of his at-bat into left for a single. Burrell had no chance to get Furcal, but threw home. Furcal was safe, the ball bounced before the plate and over Ruiz’s head where it was backed up nicely by Moyer. The throw home allowed Manny to wind up at second with Ethier at third. Burrell also threw to the wrong base in game three of the NLDS. Moyer hit Martin in the knee with a 1-2 pitch, loading the bases with nobody out. Garciaparra struck out for the first out, looking at a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner. Moyer got ahead of Blake, but Blake hit a soft liner into right on an 0-2 pitch for another single. Everyone moved up a base and it was 2-0 with the bases still loaded and one out for Kemp. Kemp got ahead 3-0 but went down looking at a 3-2 pitch on the inside of the plate. Moyer got ahead of DeWitt 2-0 before DeWitt hit a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner for a triple that cleared the bases and put the Dodgers up 5-0. Kuroda chopped to third to end the inning.

Moyer threw 35 pitches in the first inning.

He started the second down 5-1. Furcal swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and hit the ball out to left-center, putting LA up 6-1. Ethier swung at the first pitch as well, popping it into shallow center for the first out. Manny was next and Clay Condrey came in to pitch to him. Condrey walked Ramirez on a 3-2 pitch, putting him on first for Martin with one out. Condrey’s first pitch to Martin was up and in, knocking him to the ground. Martin was not pleased, glaring out at the mound. He swung really hard at the next pitch and grounded it to short. Rollins took it there and started the double-play to end the inning.

Happ started the third after a bench-clearing incident between the top and bottom of the inning. Nomar hit his first pitch into center for a single. Blake also swung at the first pitch and flew into shallow center for the first out. Kemp got ahead 2-0 and singled into right field past a diving Utley, moving Nomar to second. Happ struck the lefty DeWitt out swinging 2-2 for the second out. The pitcher Kuroda went down swinging for the third out.

Furcal popped a 2-2 pitch to second for the first out of the fourth. Ethier flew to center on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Ramirez walked on four pitches and Martin walked on four pitches behind him. Nomar lined an 0-1 pitch into left for a single. Burrell threw home, but Feliz wisely cut his throw and the Phils got Martin in-between second and third to end the inning. Ramirez scored before Rollins tagged out Martin, extending the lead to 7-1.

Happ walked two righties and gave up a hit to another and it cost him a run. He had thrown 37 pitches in the game.

Blake grounded to third for the first out in the fifth. Kemp was next and he singled into center. With DeWitt at the plate and the count 1-1, Kemp took off for second but left too early. Happ threw to first and Howard made an accurate throw to second where Rollins tagged Kemp out for the second out (he looked safe to me). DeWitt grounded to short for the third out.

The Phils hit for Happ in the top of the sixth. Happ allowed four hits and two walks in three innings in the game, with all of the damage done by righties. Two hits for Kemp, two for Garciaparra and walks to Ramirez and Martin. Nice job to pitch well enough to give the pen a break, though.

Eyre started the sixth. He got the pitcher Kuroda to ground to second for the first out. Furcal hit a ball between short and third and Feliz made a nice play, moving to his left to glove the ball and making a strong throw to first to get Furcal for the second out. Ethier flew to left for the third out.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phillies down 7-2. He got Ramirez to fly to right before he hit Martin with a first pitch breaking ball that didn’t break enough. The lefty Loney hit for the righty Garciaparra and struck out swinging on three pitches for the second out. Martin stole second with Blake at the plate, Coste made a miserable throw from his knees that nearly hit Durbin in the head before bouncing feet in front of second base. Blake walked to put men on first and second with two down, but Condrey got Kemp looking at a 1-2 pitch to leave both men stranded.

Romero pitched the eighth. Berroa, who replaced DeWitt at second in the top of the inning, led off and grounded to third for the first out. Jeff Kent hit for the pitcher Cory Wade and struck out swinging. Furcal walked on four pitches before Romero got the lefty Ethier looking at an 0-2 pitch to end the inning.

Nice to see both Durbin and Romero have nice outings. The Phils are going to need both of them.

The Phillies pen went 6 2/3 innings in the game, allowing a run on four hits and five walks. Happ allowed all four of the hits in his three innings, and two of the walks. Happ threw 44 pitches and is surely unavailable tonight. Durbin threw 21, Romero 16, Eyre 9 and Condrey eight.

Overall, the Phils have allowed 14 runs in the first three games of the series, six of which were allowed my Moyer. They have walked way too many over the past two games, though. After walking seven in game two they walked five last night.

The LA pen went two more scoreless innings. Wade needed 33 pitches to throw two innings, which is good news for the Phillies. Dodgers’ relievers have not been charged with a run in the series — they have thrown 11 1/3 innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Hiroki Kuroda went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz back at third after Dobbs started against Billingsley and made an error in game two. Ruiz continues to catch with Victorino hitting second and Werth sixth. Ruiz caught about 60% of the batters that Moyer faced this season, with Coste catching for the other 40%.

The Phils started the game with six players on their bench: Coste (R), Taguchi (R), Bruntlett (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins got behind 0-2 and then grounded to second for the first out. Victorino popped to short on an 0-1 pitch for the second out. Kuroda got ahead of Utley 1-0 before he finally delivered his first ball of the game. The 1-1 pitch was way high. Not close to hitting Utley, but up near his head and perhaps not an accident after Myers threw way up and in on Martin and then behind Ramirez in the first inning of game two. Utley took two more ball and drew a walk. Howard got behind 1-2 and Utley took off for second as Kuroda threw ball three. Martin’s throw to second bounced before it got to the bag, but Furcal made a nice play to pick it and block Utley’s slide with his left foot as he tagged Utley out to end the frame.

I’d try hard not to get caught stealing with Howard at the plate.

Down 5-0, Howard led off the second and doubled into right field. Burrell was next and hit a 3-1 pitch well to left, but Ramirez took it at the warning track for the first out. Werth flew to center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out, with Howard moving up to third. Feliz was next and he lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Howard scored to get the Phillies on the board at 5-1. Ruiz swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and flew to center.

Jenkins hit for Condrey to start the third and grounded a 3-1 pitch to short for the first out. Rollins went down looking at a 1-2 pitch on the inside corner. Kuroda threw the first pitch to Victorino behind his head, drawing an angry reaction from Victorino, who gestured at his head and then his body. Victorino grounded a 1-1 pitch to first for the third out. Garciaparra took the ball to the base himself, but Kuroda had come over towards the bag in case he needed to cover. Victorino again gestured to Kuroda and the benches cleared. No punches or ejections. Manny looked pretty enthusiastic, but was restrained.

Utley ripped the first pitch of the fourth to first, where it was picked by Garciaparra who took it to first for the first out. Howard grounded a 2-0 pitch to second for the second out. Burrell struck out swinging 2-2 to set the Phillies down.

Werth struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the fifth. Feliz grounded to short for the second. Ruiz flew to right on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

Through five innings, Kuroda had allowed a run on two hits and a walk and thrown 67 pitches.

Iguchi hit for Happ to start the sixth and grounded to short. Rollins flew to center on a 1-0 pitch for the second out. Victorino grounded a 2-2 pitch to second for the second out.

Utley led off the seventh and hit a 2-1 pitch down the left field line for a double. Howard lined the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single that fell at the feet of Ethier. Burrell was next and he dumped a 1-1 pitch into center field for a single that scored Utley and moved Howard to second with the Phils down 7-2. Cory Wade came in to pitch to Werth and quickly got ahead 0-2. Werth tried to check his swing at a 1-2 pitch outside and in the dirt. Looked like he checked to me, but he didn’t get the call and was down on strikes for the first out. Feliz hit for himself with the righty Wade on the mound and flew to center on a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Howard tagged and took third, sliding in safely ahead of a strong throw from Kemp. Dobbs hit for Ruiz and Wade stayed in to face him with two outs and men on first and third. Dobbs hit it back up the middle, but Furcal took it just to the left of second and threw Dobbs out at first to set the Phils down.

Coste was on deck to hit for the pitcher Eyre. Phillies could have hit Stairs for Feliz (or Dobbs for Feliz and Stairs for Ruiz), but didn’t. Don’t know why if they weren’t going to hit Stairs for the pitcher’s spot.

Coste led off the eighth with a single into left with Wade still on the mound for LA. First career post-season hit for Coste. Rollins struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Victorino popped to third on a 1-0 pitch. Utley grounded to short to leave Coste stranded.

Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth for LA with a 7-2 lead. Howard grounded to first for the first out. Burrell struck out swinging on three pitches for the second. Werth got ahead 2-1 and singled to right, but was left at first when Feliz popped to second to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the game. He’s 1-for-13 with six strikeouts in the series.

Victorino 0-for-4 in the game and 2-for-13 with a triple and four RBI in the series.

Utley 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in the game. 3-for-8 with a double, a home run and five walks in the series.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double. 2-for-12 with a walk in the series.

Burrell 1-for-4 with an RBI. 4-for-11 with a home run and six strikeouts in the series.

Werth 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. 2-for-12 with a double in the series.

Feliz 1-for-4 with an RBI. 1-for-7 in the series.

Ruiz 0-for-2 in the game and 3-for-9 with a double in the series.

Joe Blanton (9-12, 4.69) faces Derek Lowe (14-11, 3.24) tonight in game four. Lowe started game one for the Dodgers and took a 2-0 shutout into the sixth inning before giving up three runs on homers to Utley and Burrell. He’ll be pitching on three days rest. He made one start on three days rest this season, on May 18 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and allowed seven runs on ten hits and a walk over five innings (12.60 ERA).

The Phillies have won the last five games that Blanton started, most notably game four of the NLDS. Blanton allowed three hit and took a shutout into the seventh before Fielder hit a monster home run to start the seventh and Hardy followed him with a single. Blanton ended the day with the win, having allowed a run on five hits and no walks over six while striking out seven.

Righties hit Blanton better than lefties this season. They hit .286 against him with a 1.56 ratio, lefties .256 with a 1.25 ratio.

Blanton made two starts against the Dodgers this season, throwing to a 4.09 ERA but a 1.91 ratio (he allowed 15 hits and six walks in 11 innings). On August 13 the Phillies gave him a 6-1 lead in the second, but allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks over five innings and the Dodgers came back to win 7-6. Blanton was much better on August 24. He held LA to a run on six hits and three walks over six innings and the Phils won the game on a game-winning three-run homer by Feliz in the eleventh.

Ramirez is an amazing 14-for-25 against Blanton in his career (560/600/720). Another former ALer, Casey Blake, is just 1-for-21. Berroa is the only other player on the roster who has more than ten at-bats against Blanton, he’s 3-for-11.

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