Tag: Ryan Howard

Would the real bullpen please, please, please stop standing up?

The Phillie bullpen started the year looking miserable against the Rangers before a shockingly fantastic set of games in Chicago. They’re back looking not so hot against the Brewers and have allowed nine runs in eight innings over the first two games of the set.

Last night Bastardo started the eighth with the score tied at 4-4 and allowed three runs in the frame, two of which were unearned due to a big error by Ryan Howard at first. De Fratus followed that up by allowing a two-run homer in the ninth.

Overall, the Phillies have allowed 27 runs in their last three games and lost three straight.

The Phillies are 3-5 on the year after losing 9-4 to the Milwaukee Brewers last night. The Brewers lead the series two games to none.

Roberto Hernandez got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out nine.

Nine is the most strikeouts Hernandez has recorded in a game since September 15, 2007. He has a 4.35 ERA and a 1.16 ratio after two starts in 2014. Lefties are 0-for-12 against him on the season. 293/361/449 against him for his career.

He allowed two runs in the bottom of the first on singles by Jean Segura and Aramis Ramirez, a Segura stolen base and a Rollins error at short.

He started the second with a 3-2 lead, but allowed a run on back-to-back doubles by Carlos Gomez and Segura with two outs. He got a lot of help from Revere in the frame — Revere made a nice diving catch in right center after a long run to turn a double by Scooter Gennett into the first out of the inning.

Aramis Ramirez led off the third with a single, but Hernandez retired the next three.

Gomez hit an 0-2 pitch out to left with two outs in the fourth, extending the Milwaukee lead to 4-3.

We should be afraid of Hernandez’s home run rate. So far he’s allowed two in 10 1/3 innings, the solo shot to the righty Gomez last night and a solo shot to Welington Castillo in his first start against the Cubs.

Hernandez allowed a two-out single to Khris Davis in the fifth, but retired Mark Reynolds on a ground ball he handled himself for the third out.

Jeff Manship pitched the sixth, keeping the Brewers off the board and allowing a two-out single to Gomez.

Another impressive outing for Manship, who has allowed a hit and a walk over 3 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out three.

Jake Diekman allowed a single in a scoreless seventh, striking out the other three hitters he faced. After allowing three runs over two innings in his first time out, Diekman has tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings over his last three appearances. He’s allowed one hit and one walk to the last ten batters he’s faced while striking out four.

Antonio Bastardo started the eighth with the score tied at 4-4. He walked Reynolds to start the inning. Reynolds, amazingly, stole second and Scooter Gennett bunted him to third with the first out. Logan Schafer was next and grounded a ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Reynolds scored (5-4) and Schafer wound up at second. Gomez was next and flew to Brown for the second out, but Bastardo hit Segura and Ryan Braun followed that with a bases-clearing triple. 7-4. Ramirez flew to right to end the inning.

Bastardo allows three runs in the frame on a walk and one big hit. Only one of the runs is earned due to the big error by Howard. The triple he allowed to Braun is the only hit he’s allowed on the season, but he’s walked four in 4 1/3 innings.

Justin De Fratus pitched the ninth. Jonathan Lucroy led off with a single and scored on a one-out homer by Reynolds. 9-4.

Second appearance of the year for De Fratus. Threw a scoreless inning against the Cubs his first time out and allowed two runs in an inning last night. He’s allowed just four home runs in 63 1/3 innings for his career.

Four innings in the game for the pen in which they allow five runs, three of which are earned, on five hits and a walk. Bastardo threw 23 pitches in the game.

The Phillie lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Carlos Ruiz (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Cesar Hernandez (8) Jayson Nix. Utley still out with the flu, Hernandez starts at second. Nix plays third with the lefty Asche on the bench against a righty with a hamstring issue.

Down 2-0 when they came to hit in the bottom of the first, the Phillies plated three. Revere led off with a single and was forced at second for the first out with Rollins safe at first on a ground ball to the pitcher Garza. Ruiz moved Rollins up to third with a double. Ruiz scored on a balk (2-1) and Rollins took third before Howard walked. Byrd reached on an error by Gennett with everyone moving up a base. 2-2 with the bases still loaded. Brown grounded to second with Howard scoring and Byrd taking third. 3-2. Hernandez struck out to end the inning.

It was 3-3 when they hit in the second. Nix led off with a single and was bunted to second by Hernandez with the first out. Revere flew to left for the second out before Rollins walked. Ruiz grounded to short to end the inning.

The Phillies didn’t score in the third despite a two-out double by Brown.

They were down 4-3 when they hit in the fourth. Revere bunted for a single with two outs, but was left at first when Rollins grounded to second.

Ruiz doubled again to start the fifth and took third on a wild pitch after Howard struck out swinging for the first out. Byrd singled into center, scoring Ruiz to tie the game at 4-4. Brown grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

Tony Gwynn hit for Manship and singled off of Garza with two outs in the sixth. Revere grounded to short to end the inning.

Righty Tyler Thornberg set Rollins, Ruiz and Howard down in order in the seventh and Byrd, Brown and Hernandez in the eighth.

Down 9-4, Asche doubled off of righty Jim Henderson with one out in the ninth. Revere walked behind him, but Rollins flew to right for the second out and Ruiz struck out swinging to end the game.

No walk by Ben Revere should go unappreciated, including that one. Two walks in 40 plate appearances for the season is 5.0%, which is about the same as his career walk rate of 5.2%. He was 2-for-4 with a walk in the game to up his line to 324/359/378. Made a very nice catch for the first out in the second.

Rollins 0-for-4 with a walk. He’s on-basing .276 so far.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with two doubles. Hitting just .231, but with a .394 on-base percentage thanks to six walks in 33 PA.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. Made a big error in the eighth. 1-for-13 in the last three games.

Byrd 1-for-4 with a single and two RBI. Went 5-for-13 to start the season and is 3-for-his-last-21.

Brown 1-for-4 with a double. 8-for-his-last-18 with four walks and hitting .357 for the year.

Hernandez 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He’s 3-for-12 on the year with a double and a walk.

Nix 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-17 on the year.

Cliff Lee (2-0, 6.00) faces righty Marco Estrada (0-0, 1.59) tonight. Lee was awful against the Rangers on Opening Day and threw seven shutout innings against the Cubs his second time out. He’s allowed 21 hits in 12 innings for the year. Estrada’s only appearance is a start against the Red Sox in which he allowed two runs, one earned, over 5 2/3 innings.


Third time not quite so charming

The Phils fell 8-3 to the Cubs yesterday, dropping a game in which A.J. Burnett walked six in 5 2/3 innings and a huge error by Ben Revere in the sixth inning led to four unearned runs for Chicago.

It was far from all bad for the Phils in the series, though, as they took two out of three. Revere, Utley and Brown combined to go 17-for-36 in the set (.472) and the bullpen, which had been miserable against the Rangers in the year’s first series, was fantastic. Phillie relievers combined to throw eight scoreless innings over the three games, allowing a single and four walks while striking out seven.

The Phillies are 3-3 on the season after losing 8-3 to the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon. The Phils win the three-games series two games to one.

A.J. Burnett got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on five hits and six walks. Only four of the runs were earned. Three hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple. He struck out three.

Two starts for Burnett so far, one good and this one, which was awful. Last time he walked six or more in a game was July 18, 2011.

He allowed four runs in the bottom of the first on three walks, a triple to lefty Ryan Kalish, a double to righty Starlin Castro and two sac flies.

Burnett walks three in the frame and all three score to put the Phis in an early 4-0 hole.

He walked Kalish with two outs in the second, but picked him off of first to end the inning.

Burnett set the Cubs down in order in the third and again in the fourth.

It was 4-1 when he started the fifth. He walked Kalish again, this time with two outs, and Kalish moved up to third when Anthony Rizzo followed with a single. Nate Schierholtz was next and he walked as well, loading the bases for Luis Valbuena. Valbuena flew to right to end the inning.

With one out in the sixth, Ryan Sweeney lined a ball into center that went off of Revere’s glove for a three-base error. Burnett hit John Baker 1-1 and righty Mike Olt hit for the pitcher Brian Schlitter. Burnett struck Olt out swinging for the second out, but Emilio Bonifacio was next and reached on an infield single. Sweeney scored from third (5-1) and the Cubs had men on first and second with two down for Kalish. Kalish cleared the bases with a double to center. 7-1 with Kalish on second. The righty Brad Lincoln came in to face the lefty Rizzo and Rizzo singled to left. 8-1. Lincoln retired Schierholtz on a fly ball to left for the third out.

All four runs in the frame are unearned thanks to the Revere error. Revere got to the ball, just didn’t catch it. Burnett didn’t pitch well in the frame, though, allowing a single and a double after hitting Baker. Don’t know why Lincoln debuted facing a lefty with a runner in scoring position, but it didn’t work. Down 7-1, it probably didn’t matter a lot, either.

Two batters for Lincoln in the game in his first appearance as a Phillie. He allows a single and gets the the other out.

Jeff Manship threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He came back for the eighth and walked Junior Lake with one out, but got the next two behind Lake.

Manship has made two appearances for the Phils, allowing the walk to Lake over 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

The pen goes 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the game, allowing a single and a walk. Lincoln allows a run charged to Burnett. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row and the Phils are off today. Manship threw 29 pitches and Lincoln 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Carlos Villanueva went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Carlos Ruiz (8) Cody Asche. Rollins returns to the lineup and the two-spot off of paternity leave. Phils have three lefties three through six in what I presume will be their regular lineup against righties until someone gets hurt.

Rollins singled to right with one out in the top of the first and Utley was hit by a pitch behind him. Howard flew to center for the second out with Rollins moving up to third. Byrd grounded back to the mound to set the Phillies down.

They trailed 4-0 when they hit in the second. Brown led off with a single to right, but the Phils went in order behind him with Asche and Burnett both striking out.

They went in order in the third.

Byrd and Brown singled back-to-back with one out in the fourth, putting runners on first and second for Ruiz with one out. Ruiz reached on an error by Castro at short, loading the bases for Asche. Asche hit a ball back to the mound with Villanueva coming home to force Byrd for the second out. With the bases loaded and two outs, Burnett flew to center to end the frame.

No run for the Phils after they load the bases with one out.

Revere led off the fifth with a single, stole second and moved up to third on a single to center by Rollins. Rollins stole second, putting men on second and third with nobody out for Utley. Utley hit a ball that went off of Villanueva’s glove to Castro at short. Castro threw to first in time to nip Utley on a close play. Revere scored (4-1) and Rollins held second. Howard was next and lined a ball to right, but Bonicfacio, playing in shallow right, caught it and doubled Rollins off of second to set the Phillies down.

One run for the Phils after they put men on second and third with nobody out. Close play at first on the ball hit by Utley. Howard looked like he had a hit, but the second baseman Bonifacio caught it in shallow right.

Righty Brian Schlitter set the Phillies down in order in the sixth.

They were down 8-1 when they faced righty Hector Rondon in the seventh. Asche led off with a single, but Hernandez, hitting for Lincoln, Revere and Rollins went down behind him.

Rondon pitched the eighth as well. Utley led off with a double and moved up to third on a ground out by Howard, but Byrd struck out for the second out and Brown grounded to the pitcher to turn the Phils away.

No run for the Phillies after putting a man on third with one out. Byrd strikes out swinging against the righty for the second out.

Righty Jose Veras walked Asche with one out in the ninth. Gwynn hit for Manship and he walked as well, putting men on first and second with one down for Revere. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before Revere walked to load the bases for Rollins. Rollins grounded to third with Gwynn forced at third for the second out. Asche scored to make it 8-2 with two down and men on first and second. Utley walked to load the bases again for Howard and righty Pedro Strop took over to face Howard. Everyone moved up another base on another wild pitch with Revere scoring to make it 8-3 before Howard flew to left to end the game.

Revere was 1-for-4 in the game with a walk, a stolen base and a huge error that led to four unearned runs. 5-for-14 with a walk in the series. 286/310/286 after 30 plate appearances for the year (8-for-28 with eight singles and a walk).

Rollins 2-for-5 with an RBI yesterday. 2-for-9 with two singles in the set. 211/211/368 so far.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk and a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phillies. 6-for-11 with two walks, two doubles and two home runs in the series. Drove in five runs. 458/536/833 for the year in 28 plate appearances. 5-for-13 with a walk, a double and a home run against lefties (385/429/692).

Howard 0-for-5 and left six men on base. Hit the ball way better than that, flying out to deep center and lining into a double-play. 2-for-12 with two walks in the series. Struck out just twice after seven strikeouts in 14 PA against the Rangers to start the year. 240/321/400 to start the year. Hitting .273 against righties with no extra-base hits. Hitting .214 against lefties with a double, a home run and a .500 slugging percentage. Just two strikeouts in 14 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.

Byrd 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. Struck out four times. 240/296/360 so far. Great series against the Rangers in which he went 5-for-13 with a walk and a home run and then goes 1-for-12 against the Cubs. Has looked great defensively in right field. 2-for-14 (.143) against righties so far with two singles. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run against lefties.

Brown 2-for-4 with two singles yesterday and 6-for-11 with two walks and a double in the set. 381/435/429 for the year. Just one extra-base hit in 23 plate appearances, a double, but just about everything else is going great for him at the plate so far. 3-for-9 with three singles against lefties and hitting .417 against righties.

Ruiz 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-6 with two walks in the series. 235/435/294 so far with five walks in 23 PA. 0-for-11 against right-handed pitching and 4-for-6 with a double against lefties. 3-for-6 hitting second in the order and 1-for-11 hitting anywhere else.

Asche 1-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-11 with a walk and five strikeouts in the set. 263/333/474 so far. 1-for-6 (.167) against lefties and 308/357/615 against righties. 2-for-15 with a walk and two singles since going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run on Opening Day.

The Phillies don’t play today and will face the Brewers tomorrow afternoon.


At least he wasn’t making his Major League debut

Baby steps. Maybe soon they can get down to two errors a game and go from there.

The Phillies got fantastic starting pitching for the second straight game last night, but Jonathan Papelbon allowed three in the bottom of the ninth and Texas topped the Phils 4-3.

Kendrick and Burnett combined to allowed two runs in 13 innings over the last two games (1.38 ERA with a 1.15 ratio) and the Phillies lost both games. They led each of the games after six innings.

In those games, the bullpen allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings (12.27 ERA and a 3.27 ratio). For the year, Phillie relievers have allowed eight walks in 7 2/3 innings. Five of the guys in their pen (Papelbon, Hollands, Diekman, Bastardo and Rosenberg) have each appeared twice. All of them except for Bastardo have been awful. The other two, Brad Lincoln and Justin De Fratus, have yet to appear.

The Phillies made three errors in last night’s game. In game two of the set, they made three major base-running mistakes.

After scoring 14 runs on Opening Day, they’ve scored five in the last two days, losing both games by one run in walkoff fashion.

The Phillies are 1-2 on the year after losing 4-3 to the Texas Rangers last night. Texas takes the three-game set two games to one.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a triple. He struck out four.

He allowed back-to-back singles to Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus to start the bottom of the first with the Phillies up 1-0. A throwing error by Brown allowed Andrus to take second, leaving Texas with nobody out and men on second and third. Kendrick miraculously kept them off the board, however. He struck lefty Prince Fielder out swinging for the first out. Adrian Beltre was next and hit a ball that Kendrick didn’t handle for another error. Choo tried to score from third, but was tagged out after a long rundown. Two outs and Andrus on third for Alex Rios. Rios flew to center to set the Rangers down.

Ugly inning for the Phils. They allow two hits and make two errors. Lucky to keep the Rangers from scoring. Brown fails to excel defensively in the early going of his first start in left.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second, striking out J.P. Arencibia for the second out. Up 3-0, he stuck Choo out swinging in a 1-2-3 third.

Kendrick walked Fielder to start the fourth and gave up a one-out single to Rios, putting men on first and second for Mitch Moreland. Moreland grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

Kendrick set the Rangers down in order in the fifth. Choo reached on a Jayson Nix error to start the sixth, but Kendrick got the next three.

Moreland tripled to center with one out in the seventh and scored on a two-out single by Leonys Martin. Righty Michael Choice hit for righty Josh Wilson and Kendrick got Choice on a fly ball to right for the third out.

Just a fantastic outing for Kendrick. He goes seven innings and allows one run, working around three errors against a strong Texas offense. From the second through the sixth he allowed one single and one walk.

Mario Hollands looked great throwing a 1-2-3 eighth, getting Choo, Andrus and Fielder on a popup and two ground balls.

Hollands was working for the second straight day after an ugly outing in his debut in game two of the set.

Papelbon started the ninth up 3-1. Beltre led off with a single and took third on a Moreland double with one out. Lefty Jim Adduci hit for the righty Arencibia and singled softly to third. Beltre scored. 3-2 with men on first and third and one down. Martin was next and singled up the middle. 3-3 with men on the corners. Martin took second on defensive indifference before Donnie Murphy walked to load the bases for Choo. Papelbon got ahead of Choo 1-2, but walked him on a 3-2 pitch that wasn’t very close, forcing Adduci in to give Texas a 4-3 win.

Seven hitters for Papelbon in the game. He gets one out and allows four hits, three singles and a double, and walks two. He apparently didn’t care a lot for where the middle infielders were playing on the Martin single. Isn’t going to second-guess anyone, though, obviously. Sounds like a good plan.

Papelbon was really good last year. Seems likely to be really again this year. He has a ridiculous contract, but that’s not his fault. Didn’t have a good night last night.

The pen goes 1 1/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Hollands has pitched for two days in a row and threw ten pitches in the game. Papelbon 21.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Robbie Ross went (1) Ben Revere (2) Carlos Ruiz (3) Chase Utley (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) John Mayberry (8) Cody Asche (9) Jayson Nix. The All-Star left fielder Brown finally makes a start in left. Ruiz hits second against the lefty. Mayberry at first with Howard DHing. Rollins away for the birth of a child with Nix at short. Asche at third against the lefty. Mayberry at first against the lefty with Howard DHing is my favorite part about this lineup. Brown and Asche on the field against a lefty is my second favorite part. Don’t know why you would hit Howard fourth against the lefty Perez and fifth against the lefty Ross the next day, but I’m not sure how much it matters, either.

The Phils jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a Ruiz double followed by an Utley single. Howard and Byrd both struck out looking behind Utley.

Mayberry and Asche singled back-to-back with one out in the second, but Nix grounded into a double-play.

Asche singles to left off the lefty. It looked a little like a ground ball to where you would expect the third baseman to be, but he’ll take it. Second time in three games that Asche got a hit into left field by hitting a ball where you would usually expect a third baseman.

Ruiz walked with one out in the third and took second on a wild pitch before Howard hit a 1-1 pitch out to center. 3-0. Byrd grounded to short for the third out.

Howard homers against the lefty. 2-for-9 (.222) against lefties so far with a double and a home run. Five strikeouts. OPSing .973 overall.

Mayberry walked with one out in the fourth and Nix reached on catcher’s interference with two outs. Revere grounded to third to set the Phillies down.

Ruiz singled to start the fifth and took second on a two-out single by Byrd. Brown grounded to short to end the frame.

Second straight inning the Phils put their leadoff man aboard and do not score.

Nix singled to right off of righty Shawn Tolleson with two outs in the sixth. Tolleson got Revere on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Revere went 0-for-5 with three men left on base in the game.

Lefty Pedro Figueroa walked Utley with one out in the seventh. Howard lined to first with Utley doubled-off to set the Phils down.

It was 3-1 when the Phillies hit in the eighth. Brown singled to right off of righty Seth Rosin with one out and took second on a passed ball before Mayberry grounded out to third. Asche flew to right to end the frame.

Rosin set Nix, Revere and Ruiz down in order in the ninth.

Revere 0-for-5 in the game. 3-for-14 (.214) with three singles in the three-game set.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. 3-for-11 (.273) with a double and three walks in the series.

Utley 1-for-3 with a walk last night and 5-for-13 (.385) with a double and a walk in the series.

Howard 1-for-4 with a two-run homer off the lefty Ross. Struck out twice. 4-for-13 (.308) with a double, a home run, one walk and seven strikeouts in the set. That’s a great series for Howard and he can strike out as much as he wants if he’s going to OPS .973.

Byrd 1-for-4 in the game and 5-for-13 (.385) with a walk and a home run in the series. Made a remarkable diving catch in game two to start a double-play.

Brown 1-for-4 with an error and two strikeouts. Is not yet the best defensive outfielder in the game. 2-for-10 (.200) with two singles in the set.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-8 with a double and two walks in the series. 500/600/750 in four plate appearances against lefties and 0-for-4 with a walk against righties. Hit against lefties. Don’t play center field. Repeat.

Asche 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-8 (.500) with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 500/556/1000. But can he maintain that pace over 162 games? Time will tell. Only lost one of three starts in the set to Jayson Nix.

Nix 1-for-3 with a single and an error. Has started 66.7% of the Phillie games this season. 2-for-7 (.286) with two singles.

The Phils are off today and face the Cubs in Chicago tomorrow afternoon.


Dutch treat, but not for the Phillies

Mario Hollands made his major league debut last night at what seemed like a bit of a weird time, entering in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game to face Shin-Soo Choo, Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder. Didn’t work out so well for the Phils as Choo and Fielder both walked. Choo scored from second on a walkoff single from Adrian Beltre off of B.J. Rosenberg to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.

It wasn’t the only odd choice by the Phillies in the game. Facing their first lefty of the year, they put lefties Domonic Brown and Cody Asche on the bench and Cesar Hernandez and Jayson Nix in their lineup.

Nix and Hernandez were fine in the game, better than fine, actually, going 3-for-7 with a double between them. What wasn’t fine was the Phillies base-running, which saw them picked off of second, doubled off of first and caught stealing in a game where they scored two runs and lost by one.

The bullpen has walked six in 6 2/3 innings over the first two games. The Hollands walk to Choo to start the ninth last night helped put Choo in position to score from second when Beltre singled. Papelbon and Bastardo have been good pitching in relief in the early going — the other three relievers that have appeared, Diekman, Hollands and Rosenberg, have combined to allow four runs on six hits and five walks over three innings (12.00 ERA and a 3.67 ratio).

The Phillies are 1-1 on the season after falling 3-2 to the Texas Rangers last night. The teams have split the first two games of the three-game set.

A.J. Burnett got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on seven hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three.

He allowed a leadoff single to Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom of the first. Choo was on the move when Elvis Andrus grounded to third, which allowed Choo to move up to second. Prince Fielder flew to center for the second out before Choo took third on a wild pitch. Adrian Beltre drew a walk, putting men on the corners with two down, but Burnett got Rios on a fly ball to center to leave both men stranded.

Wild pitch for Burnett in the frame. He’s been in the top ten in his league for six straight seasons and is the active MLB leader in wild pitches. Led the AL in wild pitches in 2011 with 25 and also in 2009 with 17.

Burnett walked Leonys Martin with two outs in the second. Robinson Chirinos grounded to third to end the inning.

He hit Choo with his first pitch in the third. Choo moved up to second when Andrus followed with a single to center, but Burnett got the next three to keep Texas off the board. Hernandez made a nice sliding play on a line drive hit by Rios of the third out.

Burnett has been in the top ten in his league in hit batters in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. He hit 19 batters in 2010, which lead the AL that year.

Donnie Murphy reached on a softly hit infield single to third with one out in the fourth. Burnett got Martin and Chirinos behind him to set Texas down.

Fielder doubled to right with two outs in the fifth. Burnett got Beltre on a ball hit hard to center for the third out.

The Phillies led 2-0 when Burnett started the sixth. Rios led off with a double to right and scored when Mitch Moreland followed with a single to right. 2-1. Murphy was next and lined a ball to right, but Byrd made a nice diving catch and doubled Moreland off of first. Martin followed with a single and stole second before Chirinos grounded to third for the third out.

Fantastic play by Byrd helps hold the Rangers to a run. Big difference between two outs and nobody on and nobody out and men on first and third.

Diekman started the seventh having thrown 23 pitches the day before. Choo led off with a single and Andrus bunted him to second with the first out. Fielder was next and grounded to short for the second out with Choo moving up to third. Beltre was next and lined an 0-1 pitch into the right-field corner, scoring Choo. 2-2. Diekman walked Rios intentionally and righty Michael Choice hit for the lefty Moreland. Choice struck out looking to end the inning.

Two appearances, two bad results for Diekman. Pitched a brilliant sixth in game one, but came back for the seventh and faced righties Beltre and Rios, both of who reached base and later scored. The righty Beltre delivered the big blow against him in last night’s game.

Bastardo struck out Murphy and Chirinos in a 1-2-3 eighth. He was also pitching for the second straight day after 24 pitches on Monday.

25-year-old lefty Mario Hollands made his debut in the ninth. Choo led off and walked on four pitches. Andrus bunted him to second again with the first out. Fielder was next and the lefty drew a walk. Rosenberg came in to pitch to the righty Beltre lined a 1-1 pitch into right-center for a single, scoring Choo to give the Rangers a 3-2 win.

You probably would prefer to have a lefty there, but pitching to Choo, Elvis Andrus, and Prince Fielder isn’t really where Hollands would ideally make his first appearance. Came in to pitch to lefties and allowed both of them, Choo and Fielder, to walk. Got one guy out, the righty Andrus, who was trying to make an out.

Second awful outing for Rosenberg in two days as he faces one hitter and gives up the game-winner. Still hasn’t been charged with a run, but has allowed three hits and a walk so far while getting two outs.

The pen went 2 1/3 innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks. They’ve walked six batters in 6 2/3 innings so far for the year. That’s too many and will make you lose.

Diekman, Bastardo and Rosenberg have all pitched two days in a row. Diekman threw 16 pitches last night, Bastardo 14 and Rosenberg three. Hollands has pitched one day in a row and threw 14 pitches last night.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Martin Perez went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Marlon Byrd (5) Ryan Howard (6) Carlos Ruiz (7) John Mayberry (8) Jayson Nix (9) Cesar Hernandez. That’s just terrible. Utley at DH with Hernandez at second. Nix at third with the lefty Asche on the bench and Nix at third. Mayberry in left with Brown on the bench against the lefty — glad to see Mayberry in the lineup, but that’s not the answer. Howard again plays defense in a DH game and hit fifth with Byrd cleanup.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Byrd started the second with a single, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Nix singled to start the third, but was caught stealing by a wide margin when Hernandez swung through a pitch on a hit-and-run. Hernandez singled, but Revere and Rollins both struck out behind him.

The caught stealing ahead of the Hernandez single costs the Phils in the frame.

The Phils went in order in the fourth. Ruiz led off the fifth and reached on an error by Beltre at third. Mayberry followed and lined to Murphy at second with Ruiz doubled off of first. Nix struck out looking for the third out.

Not good base-running by Ruiz. Second time in three innings the Phils give away an out on the bases. They can’t afford to do that given that they had four base-runners on three singles and an error through five innings.

Hernandez led of the sixth with a double. Revere followed and bunted, safely reaching first as Hernandez moved up to third. Rollins followed with a single into center, scoring Hernandez (1-0), and moving Revere up to second. Utley flew to center for the first out before Revere was picked off of second for the second. Byrd followed with a single to center, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard doubled to right, scoring Rollins (2-0) and moving Byrd up to third. Righty Jason Frasor came in to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz grounded to short to end the frame.

Revere getting picked off of second in a close, reply aided play is the third out the Phillies gave away on the bases in four innings. Cost them at least one run in a game where they scored two. Byrd also fails to score from first on the two-out double by Howard.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when Frasor set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.

It was 2-2 when the Phillies faced lefty Neal Cotts in the eighth. Utley singled to right with two outs and took second on a wild pitch. The lefty Cotts walked the righty Byrd intentionally, but Howard struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Big at-bat for Howard against a lefty late in a tie game. Didn’t end well. Byrd walked intentionally in front of Howard.

Righty Joakim Soria set the Phillies down in order in the top of the ninth. Brown hit for Mayberry and popped to short for the second out.

Revere 0-for-3 and struck out twice. Got picked off of second ahead of what would have been an RBI-single by Byrd. 3-for-9 with three singles so far.

Rollins 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. 2-for-10 with five RBI.

Utley 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-10 with a double so far.

Byrd 2-for-3 with a walk. Made a fantastic diving catch to start a double-play in the sixth that allowed the Phils to hold Texas to a single run in the frame. Should have had an RBI with the single after Revere was picked off. 4-for-9 with a walk and a home run on the year. Looks really irritated and a little shocked on the field when things don’t go well for the Phillies. I assume he’ll get used to it.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Struck out twice. Five strikeouts in nine at-bats, but a big hit last night and a 333/400/444 line so far.

Ruiz 0-for-4 and left three men on base. Got doubled-off of first in one of several base-running blunders for the Phils. 1-for-7 with two walks so far.

Mayberry 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 with a double and a walk. Excellent job by the Phillies of not playing him in center field.

Nix 1-for-4 and struck out twice. Got caught stealing on the missed hit-and-run by Hernandez. He’s a career .219 hitter with a 245/321/408 line against lefties.

Hernandez 2-for-3 with a double. Made a nice play on a Rios line drive to end the third. Excellent job by the Phillies of not playing him in center field.

Kendrick faces lefty Robbie Ross tonight. We’ll see who plays — let’s hope it doesn’t involve Nix and Hernandez.


The highway is alive tonight, but nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes

Sittin’ down here in the campfire light, searchin’ for the ghost of like six different people, including, surprisingly, Cliff Lee.

The Phillies exploded for 14 Opening Day runs yesterday afternoon, topping the Rangers 14-10. The Phils jumped out to an early 6-0 lead with the help of a second-inning grand slam from Jimmy Rollins, but Texas stormed back with eight runs charged to Lee over his five innings.

The Phillie offense kept pounding away, though, bashing out 17 hits, including six for extra-bases. Rollins, Byrd and Asche all hit home runs in the game. Utley, Asche and Revere all had three hits. John Mayberry came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit, two-run double in the fifth.

The Phils hit 13 home runs in their final 26 games in 2013.

The bullpen was actually a little better than you might think for a team that allowed ten runs. Lee obviously wasn’t at his best, allowing eight runs, but Bastardo and Papelbon were very solid at the back of the pen in the game, combining to throw 2 1/3 scoreless frames in which they allowed one base-runner. Diekman was fantastic in the sixth, but came back to start the seventh and allowed both of the hitters he faced to reach base. Rosenberg tried to bail him out, but didn’t have much success, allowing three of the four hitters he faced to reach as Texas scored twice.

The Phillies are 1-0 on the year after beating the Texas Rangers 14-10 yesterday afternoon.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing eight runs on 11 hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a three-run homer. After striking out 26 in 24 2/3 innings in Spring Training, he struck out just one.

Opponents are hitting .423 against Lee after one start. He didn’t allow 11 or more hits in any of his 31 starts in 2013 and allowed more than nine once (April 25 he allowed ten hits to the Pirates).

Lee set the Rangers down in order in the bottom of the first.

He started the second up 6-0. Adrian Beltre led off with a double to left and held second when Alex Rios reached on an infield single. Mitch Moreland flew to center for the first out before J.P. Arencibia drew a walk that loaded the bases for Leonys Martin. Martin singled to right and everyone moved up a base. 6-1 with the bases still loaded for Josh Wilson. Wilson doubled to left, clearing the bases. 6-4. Shin-Soo Choo grounded to second for the second out with Wilson moving up to third. Elvis Andrus flew to right to leave Wilson stranded.

Four runs in the frame for the Rangers on two doubles, two singles and a walk. All to righties except the single by the lefty Martin. Righty Josh Wilson delivers the big hit of the frame, a two-run double. The righty Beltre doubles off of Lee to get things started. Lee was ahead of Arencibia 0-2 but couldn’t put him away as Arencibia worked a seven-pitch walk ahead of the Martin single.

Prince Fielder and Beltre singled back-to-back to start the third, putting men on first and second for Rios. Rios hit a 1-0 pitch out to left-center, putting Texas up 7-6. Lee got the next three hitters in order with the help of a nice diving play by Revere in center on a ball hit by Arencibia for the second out.

The righty Rios delivers the second three-run swing in two innings for the Rangers.

It was 7-7 when Lee started the fourth. He allowed singles to Wilson and Andrus in the frame, but kept the Rangers off the board, getting Beltre on a ground ball to third to end the inning with two men on.

He started the fifth up 9-7. Arencibia doubled with two outs and scored when Martin followed with a single to center. 9-8. Wilson flew to center for the third out.

The Phillies led 13-8 when Diekman threw a 1-2-3 sixth, striking out Choo and Fielder.

The lefty Diekman impresses against the big Texas lefties, striking out Choo (left) looking and Fielder (left) swinging. Nice time for Sandberg to use Diekman and like the Mayberry move it worked out well for him.

Diekman came back for the seventh and things didn’t go as well. He faced Beltre and Rios, both righties, and they both reached on a Beltre walk and a Rios single. It left men on first and second with nobody out and Rosenberg came in to pitch to the right-handed pinch-hitter Michael Choice. Choice singled to center, loading the bases for Arencibia. Rosenberg got Arencibia to ground into a double-play, scoring Beltre from third (13-9) and leaving Rios at third with two down for Martin. Rosenberg walked Martin and the left-handed Jim Adduci hit for the righty Wilson. Adduci singled to left, scoring Rios (13-10) and moving Martin up to second. Bastardo took over to pitch to the lefty Choo and walked him, putting two men on for Andrus. Andrus grounded to Utley to end the inning.

After a fantastic sixth, Diekman faces two hitters in the frame and both reach base.

Rosenberg faces four hitters in the game, allowing two singles and a walk and getting the other, Arencibia, to ground into a double-play.

Bastardo faces two hitters in the frame, walking the lefty he was called on to get out before retiring the righty Andrus on a ground ball.

Bastrado set Fielder, Beltre and Rios down in order in the eighth with the Phils up 14-10.

Impressive frame for Bastardo against some good hitters. He gets four outs in the game. He got more than three outs in just five of his 48 appearances in 2013.

Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a four-run lead in the ninth.

Diekman and Bastardo both appear in two innings in the game. Diekman threw 23 pitches and didn’t have success coming back for the second frame. Bastardo threw 24 pitches and was great coming back for a second inning. Rosenberg wasn’t charged with a run in the game, but didn’t pitch well, throwing 12 pitches. Twelve pitches for Paplebon in his 1-2-3 frame.

Overall the pen went four innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks. Three is too many to walk in four innings. Four is too many innings for the pen to pitch regularly. Diekman tries to go more than one inning after a great sixth and it doesn’t work. Rosenberg comes into the game with a 5.44 career ERA and struggles. Bastardo and Papelbon both pitch really well. You probably don’t want to see Papelbon pitching with a four-run lead too often, even with Thursday’s scheduled off-day. Ditto Bastardo going more than one inning.

The Phillie lineup against righty Tanner Scheppers went (1) Ben Revere (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Carlos Ruiz (8) Cody Asche (9) Tony Gwynn, Jr. Brown at DH with Gwynn in left. The righty Byrd breaks up lefties Utley, Howard and Brown. Revere leads off with Rollins hitting second. Rollins last led off for the Phils on August 22, 2013. He hit somewhere other than leadoff for his last 140 PA in ’13. Revere was hitting leadoff for 192 of his 332 plate appearances in 2013, about 57.8%. He was in the leadoff spot on July 7, 2013, when he injured his ankle to end his season and had been for seven straight games. He entered the game with a career .313 on-base percentage while hitting first in the order over 773 plate appearances.

Brown at DH on Opening Day sure isn’t a sign the Phillies have a lot of confidence he has achieved his goal of being the best defensive outfielder in the game yet. Ryan Howard played defense for the Phils in the game — playing Howard defensively in a DH game is a poor idea.

Do you remember that the Phillies started John Mayberry and Erik Kratz on Opening Day in 2013? They did. Michael Young, too.

Revere, Rollins and Utley went in order in the top of the first.

The Phillies scored six times in the top of the second. Howard and Ruiz both drew walks while Brown and Byrd when down on a line out and a ground out. It left the Phils with two down and runners on first and second for Asche. Asche doubled to left on a 1-0 pitch, putting the Phils up 1-0 with men on second and third. Gwynn walked to load the bases for Revere. Revere singled into center with everyone moving up a base. 2-0 with the bases still loaded for Rollins. Rollins hit a 1-0 pitch out to right for a grand slam. 6-0. Utley grounded to second to end the frame.

Three walks in the frame. Howard, Ruiz and Gwynn. Rollins delivers the big blow on Opening Day after a ridiculous Spring Training in which he hit .173. Howard manages to score from second on a two-out double.

The lead was cut to 6-4 when the Phillies hit in the third. Howard and Bryd started the inning with back-to-back singles and moved up to second and third with Brown at the plate. Brown popped out to Beltre at third for the first out. Ruiz was next and hit a ground ball to short with Andrus coming home to get Howard for the second out. Asche grounded back to Scheppers to turn the Phils away.

No run for the Phils after putting men on second and third with nobody out. Brown pops out for the first out and Howard is thrown out at the plate on the ground out.

The Phillies trailed 7-6 when they hit in the fourth. Revere singled to left with one out and stole second before Rollins went down looking for the second out. Utley was next and singled to right on a ball deflected by Wilson at second, scoring Revere. 7-7. Howard moved Utley up to third with another single before Byrd popped to first to set the Phillies down.

Ruiz singled off of lefty Pedro Figueroa with one out in the fifth. Asche followed with a walk and Mayberry hit for the lefty Gwynn, lining a two-run double to center that put the Phils up 9-7. Revere and Rollins both flew out to leave Mayberry at second.

The lefty Asche draws a walk off of the lefty Figueroa. Great to see Mayberry hitting against lefties and he delivers the two-run double.

The lead was cut to 9-8 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Utley and Howard went down to start the frame before Byrd hit the first pitch he saw from Figueroa out to left, putting the Phils up 10-8. Brown followed and singled into center. He stole second before righty Alexi Ogando took over for Figueroa and walked Ruiz, putting men on first and second for Asche. Asche singled on a ball deflected by Ogando, allowing Brown to score (11-8) and moving Ruiz up to second. Mayberry followed with a walk that loaded the bases for Revere and Revere singled to center, scoring Ruiz and Asche (13-8) and leaving runners on the corners. Rolilns grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Mayberry gets on base again, this time walking against the rigthy Ogando. Byrd’s first homer with the Phils. Revere delivers a two-run single on a three-hit day.

Utley singled off of Ogando to start the seventh, but Howard, Byrd and Brown all struck out behind him.

It was 13-10 when the Phils hit in the top of the eighth. With one out, Asche homered to right off of righty Scott Tolleson. 14-10. Mayberry and Revere went down behind him.

Monster day for Asche as he goes 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and a home run.

Utley doubled to left off of righty Seth Rosin with one out in the ninth, but Howard and Byrd went down to leave him stranded.

Rangers giving a ton of room off the third base line to lefties and Asche and Utley both deliver doubles to left in the game.

Revere 3-for-6 with three singles, a stolen base and three RBI. Made a very nice diving catch in center to take a double away from Arencibia in the third.

Rollins 1-for-6 with a grand slam.

Utley 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI.

Howard 2-for-5 with a walk and two singles. Struck out three times. If he’s going to on-base .500, he can strike out as much as he wants. He’s not going to.

Byrd 2-for-6 with a home run. Left five men on base.

Brown 1-for-5 with a single and a stolen base.

Ruiz 1-for-3 and walked twice.

Asche 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and a walk. Two RBI. I’d watch what he does against left-handed pitching pretty closely in the early going — so far he’s 0-for-0 with a walk. He went 7-for-32 with a .265 on-base percentage against lefties last year.

Gwynn 0-for-1 with a walk. Hoping for the best, but he’s not really a guy you should be thrilled starting in left field for you on Opening Day. Came into the game having on-based .297 over his last 956 plate appearances.

Mayberry didn’t start, but had a big day. 1-for-2 with a walk, a double and two RBI. Sandberg picked a fantastic time to use him as a pinch-hitter, whether it worked or not. It worked.

A..J Burnett makes his first start as a Phillie tonight against lefty Martin Perez. Burnett has had two good years in a row and comes into the outing with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.23 ratio over his last 61 starts. The 22-year-old Perez made 20 starts for the Rangers in 2013, throwing to a 3.62 ERA and a 1.34 ratio. Lefties actually fared a little better than righties against the lefty Perez in 2013, posting a 282/349/410 line compared to 262/312/406 for righties.


J-Roll’s lack of energy and positive influence force Rosenberg to allow five of the six men he faces in the eighth to reach base as Phils fall again

His lack of energy and positive influence is a powerful force not to be trifled with. If only the Phils had found a way to work Freddy Galvis in to the mix. The Pirates probably would have just quit before the game even started and everyone could have just gone out for some pie.

Pittsburgh 6, Philadelphia 5. Manship, De Fratus and Diekman combined to allow two runs over the first six innings and the Phils took a 4-2 lead into the eighth, but B.J. Rosenberg struggled in that frame and the Pirates plated four runs to go up 6-4. The Phils loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth, but managed to score just once.

So what’s the matter with the Phillies? Maybe they’re distracted. Maybe Jimmy Rollins is spending too much time on the bench telling Ryne Sandberg what it’s like to play in the World Series. Maybe the team just can’t get enough of Sandberg’s story about the time he told the world that his band of loveable losers that hadn’t been to the playoffs in 13 years was the team to beat in their division, then made sure it happened, hitting .286 with 16 homers before the All-Star break on his way to being named league MVP.

Maybe they just can’t figure out whether to start Cliff Lee or Miguel Gonzalez on opening day.

I don’t think it’s any of that, though. I think what’s wrong with the Phillies is that they’re about four good players away from being a good team. That’s not Ryne Sandberg’s fault, but it’s not Jimmy Rollins’s, either. Suggesting it is is a mistake.

Jeff Manship got the start for the Phillies. He entered with a 1.29 ERA and an 0.71 ratio over three appearances and went four innings, allowing two runs on six hits and no walks. Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run off of him in the first. He allowed a run on a double and two singles in the third.

2.45 ERA and a 1.00 ratio for Manship after 11 innings.

Justin De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 fifth. He came back to start the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to McCutchen before being pulled. Dropped his ERA to 1.80 on the day and his ratio stays at 1.00.

Jake Diekman took over for De Fratus. He struck Pedro Alvarez out swinging for the first out and got Travis Snider to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Two batters, three outs for Diekman. 7.50 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. Opponents were hitting .348 against him for the spring coming into the game.

B.J. Rosenberg allowed a single in a scoreless seventh. He came back to start the eighth with the Phils up 4-2 and faced six hitters, allowing four singles and a walk. The Pirates would score four runs charged to him in the frame.

Rosenberg goes 1 1/3 innings in the game, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. They sure stuck with him a long time. 6.14 ERA and a 1.23 ratio for him for the spring. He came into the game having pitched really well, with a 1.50 ERA and an 0.50 ratio over three appearances and six innings.

Mario Hollands took over for Rosenberg with one out in the eighth and Willy Garcia on first. He faced two men in the game and retired them both, dropping his ERA to 1.29 and his ratio to 1.00 after five outings.

The Phillies scored five runs in the game on eight hits.

Ryan Howard hit a solo homer in the sixth, his first home run of the spring. He was 1-for-4 in the game with two strikeouts to up his average to .206.

Darin Ruf was the only Phillie with more than one hit. He’s hitting .270 after going 2-for-4 with a double.

Brown 1-for-2 with a single and walked twice. He’s walked eight times but is just 6-for-32 (.188) with a triple.

Utley was 1-for-4 and drove in two runs. He’s hitting .207.

Rollins started and hit second with Tony Gwynn, Jr leading off. Rollins 0-for-4 to drop his average to .105. Gwynn is hitting .222 after going 1-for-4.

Mayberry 1-for-3 with with a walk to drop his average to .348.

Asche is up to .148 after going 1-for-3 with a walk. First single of the spring for Asche — he’s 4-for-27 with a single, two doubles and a home run.

Galvis DNP.

For the record, Ryne Sandberg never making it to the World Series has a lot more to do with some awful Cubs teams than it did with Ryne Sandberg. His Cubs made the post-season twice in his career. In 1984, Sandberg hit .368 in the NLCS, but the Padres beat Chicago three games to two in the last five-game NLCS. Up 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth in the deciding game five, the Cubs allowed two in the bottom of the sixth and four in the bottom of the seventh. In 1989 the Giants beat the Cubs four games to one with Sandberg hitting .400 in the set. Overall he hit 385/457/641 in 47 post-season plate appearances for his career. He was the MVP of the National League in ’84, hitting 314/367/520 in 700 plate appearances that season and winning a Gold Glove.

Lee is expected to pitch tomorrow night as the Phils face the Red Sox.


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