Tag: Ryan Howard

Repeat performance

The Phillies got six runs and good starting pitching for the second straight night last night. For the second straight night it was enough and they topped the Giants 6-2.

Lee led the way with his start in game one. Last night was Kyle Kendrick’s turn. Kendrick tossed seven strong innings to get the win and is 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.00 ratio in 42 innings over his last six starts. Opponents have hit .219 against him.

The Phillies have scored 12 runs in the first two games of their set in San Francisco. Utley and Howard both homered last night, with Howard’s blast coming off of a lefty in the top of the ninth.

The Phillies are 16-18 on the year after beating the San Francisco Giants 6-2 last night. They have won two in a row and are 7-4 in their last 11 games. They are 10-8 since the end of the day on April 18, which is the best mark in the NL East. That says a lot about how the teams in the NL East are playing these days — the Phils are 11-12 since the end of the day on April 13, which is also the best mark in the division.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Up 1-0, he set the Giants down in order in the bottom of the first.

Up 3-0, he set them down in order in the second, making an outstanding play on a Gregor Blanco bunt for the third out. Blanco bunted down the first base line, but Kendrick got to the ball and flipped to first while falling down in time to retire Blanco and end the inning.

Brandon Belt singled to shallow left to start the third and moved to third when Brandon Crawford doubled down the left field line. Kendrick struck the pitcher Tim Lincecum out for the first out before Angel Pagan flew to center for the second. Belt tagged and scored from third, cutting the lead to 3-1. Marco Scutaro was next and he ripped the first pitch he saw from Kendrick passed a diving Young and into the third base corner. Crawford scored from second and it was 3-2. Pablo Sandoval flew to right for the third out.

Buster Posey singled to center to start the fourth. Hunter Pence was next and hit a double-play ball to Young at third, but Young booted it for an error that left men on first and second with nobody out. Kendrick struck Blanco out looking for the first out and Belt out looking for the second before Crawford grounded to third to set the Giants down.

Just a fantastic job by Kendrick to get back-to-back strikeouts after the error by Young changes the inning from two outs and nobody on to two on and nobody out. Young had a shaky start to the year defensively at third, but has been much better than I expected there since.

Up 4-1, Kendrick allowed a two-out single to Scutaro in the fifth. Sandoval went down on a ball handled by Kendrick to end the inning.

Kendrick set the Giants down in order in the sixth.

The Phillies led 5-2 when he started the seventh. Crawford singled with one out and lefty Nick Noonan hit for the pitcher Lincecum. Noonan flew to center for the second out and Pagan flew to left for the third.

Adams started the eighth with the Phils still up by three. He allowed a one-out single to Sandoval, but struck Posey and Pence out behind Sandoval to keep the Giants off the board.

Adams has allowed two hits and a walk over four scoreless innings in his last four appearances.

Up 6-2, Papelbon set the Giants down in order in the ninth.

The Phillies scored a run in the top of the ninth, so Papelbon was pitching in a non-save situation for the fifth time in his last seven appearances. Pitching him in a non-save situation is fine. Pitching him with a huge less is less fine. The Phillies have won the last five games he has pitched in by an average of four runs.

He allowed two runs in an inning in his first outing of the year. Since then, Papelbon has thrown 12 scoreless innings in 12 appearances, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Two scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow a hit, no walks and strike out three. Papelbon has thrown two days in a row and threw 14 pitches in the game.

The Phillie lineup against righty Tim Lincecum went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Michael Young (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Nix (8) Revere. Nix in right against the righty with righties Mayberry and Delmon Young on the bench. Revere plays center against the righty.

With one out in the first, Utley hit a ball that Lincecum fielded and threw away for an error, leaving Utley at second with nobody out. Michael Young followed with a walk before Howard singled on a ball deflected by Scutaro, scoring Utley to put the Phils up 1-0 with one down and men on first and second. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out and Brown went down swinging to leave both runners stranded.

The Phillies get a run with some help, then can’t get more after putting two men on with one out. Utley’s ball was back up the middle and hit Lincecum on one hop. Lincecum slid for it near the first base line and made a bad throw to first. Howard hit his ball hard, but right at Scutaro. Scutaro had a good chance to make the play.

Nix and Revere singled back-to-back to start the second and Kendrick bunted them up to second and third with the first out. Rollins was next and grounded to second for the second out. Both runners moved up with Nix scoring to put the Phils on top 2-0. Utley was next and singled into center, scoring Revere. 3-0. Michael Young flew to right to end the frame.

Howard started the third with a walk, but Ruiz grounded into a double-play behind him. Brown grounded to second for the third out.

Nix singled to left to start the fourth with the lead cut to 3-2. He stole second, but Revere and Kendrick both struck out and Rollins grounded to first to leave him stranded.

Utley hit Lincecum’s first pitch of the fifth out to right-center, putting the Phillies up 4-2. They went in order behind him.

They went 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Rollins singled with one out in the seventh and scored on a two-out double by Michael Young. 5-2. Lincecum walked Howard intentionally to pitch to Ruiz and got Ruiz on a ground ball handled by Lincecum to leave Young stranded.

Revere bunted for a single off of lefty Jose Mijares with two outs in the eighth and took second on a throwing error by Belt. Frandsen hit for Kendrick and walked, but Rollins struck out looking to leave both runners stranded.

Revere bunts for the hit against a lefty. His numbers are about equally bad against lefties and righties, but I think we’ll see him sit for a while against lefties so Mayberry can hit against left-handed pitching.

Howard hit an 0-1 pitch out to center off of Mijares with two outs in the ninth. 6-2. Ruiz followed with a single, but Brown went down on a fly ball to left to leave Ruiz at first.

Second home run of the year for Howard off of a lefty. His isolated power against lefties is .258 in 18 at-bats, which is better than his isolated power of .221 against righties. The problem is he’s hitting .194 against lefties with one walk in 19 plate appearances.

Rollins 1-for-5 with an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-32 with four singles.

Utley 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Six of his seven home runs on the year have come against righties and he’s hitting 133/212/300 against left-handed pitching.

Michael Young 1-for-4 with a walk and a double and an error. 4-for-his-last-8 with three doubles.

Howard 2-for-3 with two walks and a home run. 322/364/661 over his last 66 plate appearances.

Ruiz 1-for-5 and left five men on base. 3-for-25 on the year. 1-for-20 against right-handed pitching.

Brown was 0-for-5 and struck out twice. 1-for-his-last-16. He has one walk in his last 56 plate appearances.

Revere 2-for-4 to up his average to .233. We better be hoping Ben Revere can play, cause Mayberry in center field is a lock not to work. Revere is 5-for-13 with three walks so far in May (385/500/385).

Pettibone (2-0, 3.24) faces lefty Barry Zito (3-1, 3.06) this afternoon. The Phils are 3-0 in Pettibone’s three starts and all three have been pretty good. Opponents have hit .286 against him, but he’s walked just two in 16 2/3 innings. Zito has allowed 11 earned runs in his six starts, nine of which came in a single outing against the Brewers. He’s allowed two earned runs in 29 2/3 innings over the other five, which is an 0.61 ERA. For the sake of our sanity, and perhaps civilization as we know it, it does seem important to point out that he was charged with five unearned runs in those five starts. Still.


The bullpen’s creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, all together ooky

A lot went well for the Phillies last night, Halladay was outstanding for the third time in a row and Utley and Howard both homered against a lefty, but the bullpen faltered and the Phils fell 5-3 to the Pirates.

The Phillies started the seventh with a 3-1 lead. Bastardo allowed a solo homer in the seventh that cut the lead to one. Adams started the eighth and allowed all four of the men he faced to reach base, which led to two more Pirate runs. Horst allowed a run in the ninth as Pittsburgh got some help from a slightly flukey two-out triple.

Pittsburgh starter lefty Wandy Rodriguez came into the game with an 0.56 ERA, having not allowed a home run in his three starts this season. Utley and Howard have both been struggling terribly against lefties, but both hit solo home runs off of Rodriguez to help the Phils to their early lead. It wasn’t enough, though, as the Phils scored three runs or less for the eleventh time in 13 games.

The Phillies are 9-13 on the year after losing 5-3 to the Pittsburgh Pirates last night. The Pirates lead the series two games to one with game four this afternoon.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on one hit and two walks. The hit was a single and he struck out eight.

He has a 1.71 ERA and an 0.62 ratio over his last three starts. Thanks to two terrible starts to start the year, he has a 5.08 ERA for the season.

Starling Marte was the first batter of the game in the top of the first and walked. He stole second before Travis Snider struck out looking for the first out. Andrew McCutchen struck out looking for the second. Marte stole third with Garrett Jones at the plate, but Halladay got Jones looking to leave Marte stranded.

Up 1-0, Halladay set the Pirates down in order in the second.

He struck out two in a 1-2-3 third.

Jones walked with two outs in the fourth and Halladay hit the next batter Walker. Alvarez was next and singled softly into center, scoring Jones to tie the game at 1-1. Halladay struck Martin out looking to leave the runners at first and second.

Up 2-1, Halladay set the Pirates down in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

Bastardo started the seventh with a 3-1 lead and Alvarez homered to right with one out. 3-2. Martin went down on a ground out for the second out before righty Gaby Sanchez hit for the shortstop John McDonald. Sanchez grounded to Howard to end the frame.

Alvarez came in to the series hitting 125/222/232 for the year. He’s 4-for-8 with two home runs in the set so far.

First home run, or earned run of any kind, that Bastardo has allowed this season in 8 1/3 innings over nine appearances.

Adams started the eighth. Jose Tabata hit for the pitcher Vin Mazzaro and drew a walk to start the inning. Marte moved him up to second with a single. Snider was next and he showed bunt, then swung away and singled to right, scoring Tabata to tie the game at 3-3 with men on first and third. McCutchen walked to load the bases and Horst came in to pitch to the lefty Jones. Righty Brandon Inge hit for Jones and singled to left. Everyone moved up a base and Marte scored to make it 4-3. Walker was next with the bases still loaded and nobody out. He hit a ball to first. Howard came home and Quintero went to first in time to complete the double-play. Alvarez grounded to Utley to leave runners at second and third.

Adams faced four hitters in the game without getting an out. Two singles and two walks. 4.00 ERA and a 1.44 ratio over nine innings in 11 appearances.

Horst returned for the ninth. Barmes singled to left with one and moved up to second on a ground out by Tabata. Marte was next and blooped a ball down the first base line, which went off of Utley’s glove in right for a triple. Barmes scored and it was 5-3. Righty Michael McKenry hit for the pitcher Mark Melancon and flew to left to leave Marte at third.

It would have been a nice play, but Utley usually catches the ball hit by Marte that went for a triple. He had made a long run, but was in position to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch and didn’t come up with the ball. Cost the Phillies a run.

Horst allows a single to the first man he faces in the eighth with the run charged to Adams, but then does a great job to get out of that frame without further damage before allowing a run in the ninth with the help of Marte’s unlikely triple.

He drops his ERA to 6.52 by allowing a run over two innings. Opponents are hitting .342 against him in the early going.

Overall the pen goes three innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and two walks. Horst threw 27 pitches in the game, Adams 21 and Bastardo 16.

The Phillie lineup against lefty Wandy Rodriguez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Young (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Revere (8) Quintero. Utley moves up to second in the order with Young third against the lefty. Quintero catches Halladay again.

Rollins started the bottom of the first with a single, but was thrown out by McCutchen as he went for two. It cost the Phils a run, cause Utley was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch out to right, putting the Phils on top 1-0. Young and Howard went down behind Utley.

Brown singled to center with one out in the second. Revere was next and grounded to short with Brown moving up to second and two down. Quintero grounded to first to leave Brown stranded.

Halladay and Rollins both struck out as the Phils went in order in the third.

It was 1-1 when the Phillies hit in the fourth. Young struck out swinging for the first out, but Howard was next and he pounded a hanging 0-2 breaking ball way out to right for a home run, putting the Phils back up at 2-1. Mayberry followed with a walk and moved up to second when Brown hit a routine grounder to Walker at second that was booted for an error. Revere popped to short for the second out and Quintero was walked intentionally to pitch to Halladay with the bases loaded. Halladay struck out swinging to leave them loaded.

I wouldn’t walk Quintero intentionally very often. Howard hit the ball really far. Great to see him homer off the lefty, but that was a really bad pitch.

Rollins doubled down the third base line to start the fifth and Utley followed with a bunt single that put runners on first and third. Young was next and grounded to third. Alvarez fielded and went to second for the first out of the inning. When the throw went to second, Rollins broke for home. Walker took the throw at second and threw home. The ball beat Rollins by a wide margin and he was tagged out for the second out of the frame. Howard lined to first to leave Young at first.

Miserable base-running by Rollins as the Phils fail to score after putting runners on first and third with nobody out.

Revere singled with two outs in the sixth and moved up to third when Quintero followed with a single. With the lefty Rodriguez still on the mound for Pittsburgh, Frandsen hit for Halladay and singled to center, scoring Revere to put the Phils up 3-1 with men on first and second. Righty Vin Mazzaro took over for Rodriguez and got Rollins to ground to second to leave the runners stranded.

Halladay had thrown 95 pitches in the game.

The lead was cut to 3-2 when Mazzaro set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.

Righty Mark Melancon started the eighth with the Pirates leading 4-3. Brown singled with one out, but Revere hit into a double-play behind him.

Righty Jason Grilli started the ninth with Pittsburgh up 5-3. Nix hit for Quintero and flew to right for the first out. Carrera hit for Horst and was hit by a pitch, but Rollins fouled out behind him and Utley struck out swinging to end the game.

Carrera is 1-for-8 with the Phils, but with a .364 on-base percentage thanks to a walk and two hit by pitches.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double. He’s 7-for-his-last-17. He hasn’t drawn a walk in his last 42 plate appearances.

Utley 2-for-5 with a long home run off of a lefty. 211/286/464 against lefties for the season.

Young 0-for-4. He actually hit into yet another double-play, although it doesn’t count as an official GDP due to the unusual nature of the play and Rollins’s base-running decision. 4-for-his-last-l7 with four singles.

Howard 1-for-4 with a long home run against a lefty on an 0-2 pitch. 142/182/381 against lefties.

Mayberry 0-for-3 with a walk. 235/297/382 over his last 37 plate appearances.

Brown 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. He came into the game 2-for-his-last-21.

Revere 1-for-4 to up his average to .207. He has one extra-base hit in 93 plate appearances and has walked in about 4.3% of his plate appearances.

Quintero 1-for-2 with a walk. 3-for-his-last-5 with a double and a walk has his line for the year up to 313/353/438.

Lee (2-1, 2.83) faces righty James McDonald (2-2, 4.12) this afternoon. Lee has had one bad start in four tries this year, which came in his most recent outing as he allowed five runs in five frames against the Cards. He’s allowed just 22 hits and four walks over 28 2/3 innings while striking out 23. McDonald has walked 12 over 19 2/3 innings in his four starts. Opponents are hitting just .216 against him, but on-basing .341. Cause he walks everyone, you see.


Nix sticks it to the Marlins

The Philies got a fantastic start from Roy Halladay and a ninth inning home run from Laynce Nix yesterday as they topped the Marlins 2-1.

With the win the Phils take the series two games to one. Each of the three games were tied at 1-1 after eight innings. The Phils won the opener with the help of a two-run tenth inning that featured an RBI-triple from Utley. They lost the middle game after Phillippe Aumont walked the leadoff hitter for the Marlins in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game. Yesterday they won behind Halladay’s excellent start and the late pinch-hit blast from Nix.

After two atrocious starts to begin the season, Halladay allowed a run over eight innings yesterday. He came into the game having thrown to a 5.83 ERA over his last 22 starts. He faced a Miami lineup that featured Placido Polanco hitting third and Greg Dobbs batting cleanup.

The Phillies have offensive problems of their own as they take the series despite scoring just six runs in three games. They have been notably miserable against left-handed pitching, posting a 141/193/205 against lefties for the season. Howard and Utley have led the way in that department by going a combined 2-for-26. Revere has contributed an 0-for-8 against lefties to start the year. Rollins and Young are a combined 4-for-22 (both 2-for-11).

The Phillies are 6-6 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 2-1 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the series two games to one and have won four of their last five.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits and one walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out two. The win was the 200th for his career.

That’s probably the best start for Halladay since August 10, 2012, when he held the Cardinals to a run on two hits over eight innings. 7.63 ERA and a 1.57 ratio for the year.

Halladay set the Marlins down in order in the bottom of the first.

Greg Dobbs doubled to right to start the second. Justin Ruggiano bunted him to third with the first out, but Halladay got Rob Brantly to pop to Galvis at short for the second out and Chris Valaika on a fly ball to center to leave Dobbs at third.

No run for Miami after putting a runner on third with one out.

Adeiny Hechavarria started the third with a single to right and the pitcher Kevin Slowey bunted him to second with the first out. Juan Pierre went down on a foul ball handled by Quintero for the second out. Chris Coghlan hit a ball in the hole between first and second, but Utley made a nice sliding play to field the ball and throw to first in time to end the inning.

One of two nice defensive plays by Utley in the game. He made a similar play to end the eighth.

Placido Polanco started the fourth with a single, but Halladay got the next three Fish in order to keep them off the board.

He set the bottom of the order down 1-2-3 in the fifth.

Up 1-0, he set the Marlins down in order in the sixth.

Ruggiano singled with one out in the seventh and Brantly walked behind him. Valaika was next and singled to left with Ruggiano scoring just ahead of the throw from Brown to tie the game at 1-1 with men on first and second for Hechavarria. Hechavarria flew to center and Revere doubled Brantly off of second to end the inning.

Brantly’s walk was the only one issued by Halladay in the game.

Halladay set the Marlins down in order in the eighth. Utley made a nice sliding play on a ball hit by Coghlan for the third out.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 2-1 lead. Polanco led off and Papelbon walked him on four pitches. Dobbs lined to center on a nice running catch by Revere for the first out. Ruggiano flew to right for the second. Righty Donovan Solano hit for the pitcher Jon Rauch and fouled out to Kratz to end the game.

Nice running catch by Revere after the leadoff walk to Polanco changes the inning.

Fifth appearance of the year for Papelbon. He allowed two runs in an inning in his first outing of the season. Since then he’s allowed one hit and one walk over four scoreless innings in four appearances. He threw 22 pitches in the game.

The Phillie lineup against righty Kevin Slowey went (1) Revere (2) Galvis (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Quintero. Galvis starts at short with Rollins on the bench. Quintero again catches Halladay, but this time it’s a day game after a night game. Galvis can’t hit second. Revere and Galvis at the top of the order isn’t the way to go.

Galvis singled to left with one out in the top of the first and moved up to third on a two-out single by Howard. Young flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

Mayberry singled with one out in the second, but was caught stealing as Quintero struck out to set the Phillies down.

Revere and Galvis singled back-to-back with one out in the third. It put runners on the corners for Utley, but Utley grounded into a double-play to turn the Phils away.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Quintero doubled to center with one out in the fifth. Halladay struck out behind him for the second out before Revere reached on an infield single that moved Quintero up to third. Revere stole second before Galvis walked, loading the bases for Utley. Utley grounded to second to leave them loaded.

Utley grounds into a double-play with runners on the corners to end the third, then grounds out to second with the bases loaded to end the fifth.

Howard doubled to left to start the sixth. Young was next and hit a ball back up the middle, off the glove of Hechavarria and into center for a single. Howard scored and the Phils led 1-0 with Young taking second as the throw came home. Brown lined softly to second for the first out before Mayberry walked. Righty Chad Qualls came in to pitch to Quintero and Quintero grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

Halladay, Revere and Galvis went in order in the seventh.

It was 1-1 when Utley and Howard singled back-to-back to start the eighth. It put runners on first and second with nobody out for Young and Young grounded into a double-play that left Utley at third with two down. The righty Qualls walked Brown intentionally, putting runners on the corners for Mayberry. Rollins hit for Mayberry and righty Jon Rauch came in to pitch to him. Rollins flew to left to set the Phillies down.

Kratz hit for Quintero to start the ninth and Rauch got him on a fly ball to center for the first out. Nix hit for Halladay and blasted a 1-1 pitch way out to right, putting the Phils up 2-1. Revere grounded to short for the second out. Galvis was next and Rauch threw a 1-2 pitch at his head. Galvis managed to get out of the way, but the ball hit him in his right hand up near his head. Galvis stayed in the game and Utley fouled out to third to set the Phillies down.

Rollins was already out of the game, having pinch-hit for Mayberry in the eighth, so it would have been a big problem if Galvis had been unable to play defense in the bottom of the ninth.

Revere was 2-for-5 with a stolen base in the game. 4-for-12 with a walk and a steal in the series. 240/296/240 on the season. The Phillies’s team OPS of .536 out of the #1 spot in the order is 28th of the 30 MLB teams.

Galvis 2-for-3 with a walk in the game and 3-for-6 with two walks in the series. He started at third in game two of the series and at short in game three. 3-for-9 with two walks so far. Rollins was 0-for-1 yesterday and 0-for-8 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 261/320/435 for the season.

Utley 1-for-5 yesterday and left seven men on base. Made two nice defensive plays at second to end the inning, once in the third and again in the eighth. 2-for-14 with a triple and an RBI in the series — the triple in the top of the tenth in game one put the Phils on top to stay. 277/327/532 for the year. 1-for-12 against lefties.

Howard 3-for-4 with a double. 6-for-12 with a walk and four doubles in the set. 277/314/426 for the season. 1-for-14 against lefties.

Young 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game and 3-for-10 with two RBI in the series. He didn’t start on game two due to illness. 419/486/645 against right-handed pitching in 35 plate appearances.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk, which was intentional. 3-for-12 with a walk and a double in the series. 244/292/400 for the year. 6-for-his-last-30. He has three walks on the season, two of which have been intentional.

Mayberry 1-for-2 with a walk in the game and in the series. 286/423/571 for the year.

Quintero 1-for-3 with a double in the game and in the series. He’s 2-for-9 with a double on the season. Kratz is hitting 184/179/316 for the year after going 1-for-9 in the set.

Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.86) faces righty Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 5.25) tonight in Cincinnati. Lee has gone at least eight innings in each of his fantastic starts. Opponents are hitting .167 against him for the year and he hasn’t walked a batter in 16 2/3 innings. Arroyo has gone six innings in both of his starts. Lefties are 10-for-25 (.400) against him in the early going.


Just what the doctor ordered

Their season is only eight games old, but twice already the Phillies have needed a big start from Cliff Lee and twice he has delivered. Last night he gave the overworked middle relievers a break as he went 8 2/3 innings in an 8-3 win over the Mets.

After two starts, Lee is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA and an 0.60 ratio. He has thrown 16 2/3 innings, striking out 14 and walking none. Righties are hitting .133 against him.

The offense delivered seven early runs, scoring four in the second before Howard, Young and Mayberry all hit solo home runs in the third. Mayberry started in right against a right-handed pitcher and had a big day, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. He’s 4-for-12 with three doubles, a home run and three walks against righties in the early going (333/467/833). Young tripled and homered, going 3-for-4 in the game and driving in a pair of runs.

The Phillies are 3-5 on the year after beating the New York Mets 8-3 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the three-game series.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went 8 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. Only two of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Daniel Murphy and John Buck both singled in the top of the first, but Lee got Marlon Byrd on a fly ball to center to leave two men stranded.

Lucas Duda singled to start the second, but Lee got Justin Turner to ground into a double-play behind him. Ruben Tejada flew to right for the third out.

Lee started the third up 4-0 and set the Mets down in order.

It was 7-0 when he started the fourth. David Wright led off and reached on a throwing error by Rollins, putting a man on for Buck. Buck hit the first pitch he saw from Lee out to right, cutting the lead to 7-2. Lee got the next three.

Second home run the opposite way for Buck in two games in the set. The error by Rollins ahead of the home run costs the Phils a run.

It was 8-2 when Jordany Valdespin tripled to center with one out in the fifth. Valdespin scored on a passed ball (8-3) before Lee struck out Collin Cowgill for the second out. Murphy doubled to right, but was left at second when Wright grounded to short.

Second miscue by the Phils on the passed ball by Kratz, although Valdespin would have scored from third on Murphy’s double anyway.

Lee set the Mets down in order in the sixth. Lefty Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher and struck out looking for the third out.

Lee needed seven pitches to set New York down in order in the seventh.

He struck out Murphy in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Byrd singled to right with one out in the ninth. Righty Anthony Recker hit for the pitcher Brandon Lyon and Lee struck him out looking for the second out. Turner was next and moved Byrd up to second with a single. Lee had thrown 106 pitches in the game and Manuel called on Adams to pitch to the righty Ruben Tejada. Tejada struck out looking 0-2 to end the game.

I thought it was a very good decision by Manuel to pull Lee when he did. The middle of the pen has been overused, but the guys at the back, Adams, Papelbon, Aumont and Bastardo, haven’t had a ton to do.

It was the third appearance of the year for Adams. He has struck out four in 2 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing one hit.

The Phillie lineup against righty Dillon Gee went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Kratz behind the plate after Quintero caught Halladay in game one of the set. Revere continues to lead off despite his slow start in combination with Rollins hitting well. Mayberry starts in right against the righty with Nix on the bench.

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

Young and Brown singled back-to-back with one out in the second. Brown’s ball was hit softly to left. The throw went to third and hit Young, allowing Brown to move up to second. Mayberry cleared the bases with a double down the third base line. 2-0. Kratz grounded to third for the second out before Lee singled into center, scoring Mayberry to put the Phils up 3-0. Revere moved Lee up to second with a single before Rollins doubled into the right field corner. Lee scored (4-0) and Revere moved up to third. Utley flew to left to leave the runners at second and third.

Very nice hustle on the bases by both Young and Brown on Brown’s single. Young took third on the single and Brown ran hard to take the extra-base when Duda’s throw hit Young.

Revere doesn’t score from first on the two-out double by Rollins.

Howard led off the third and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center. 5-0. Young was next and hit the first pitch he saw out the opposite way. 6-0. Brown flew to left for the first out before Mayberry lined a 1-0 pitch out to left. 7-0. Kratz singled, but Lee and Revere went down to leave him stranded.

Quite an inning as Howard, Young and Mayberry all put home run number one for the season on the board. All three go after Gee early in the count. Howard and Young hit the ball out the opposite way and Mayberry pulls his down the line.

Righty Glen Burke was on the mound for the Mets when the Phils hit in the fourth with their lead cut to 7-1. Utley walked with one out. Howard lined to Tejada for the second out before Utley stole second. It brought Young to the plate and he tripled to center, scoring Utley to make it 8-1. Brown grounded to short for the third out.

Young was again aggressive on the bases as he went for three. The Mets probably would have had him with a good relay to third. They didn’t get one.

It was 8-3 when Burke set the Phillies down in order in the fifth.

Utley walked off of lefty Scott Rice with two outs in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error. Howard struck out swinging to leave him at third.

Righty Latroy Hawkins set Young, Brown and Mayberry down in order in the seventh.

Brown is 5-for-25 against righties on the season.

Righty Brandon Lyon set Kratz, Lee and Revere down in order in the eighth. Lee hit for himself having thrown 96 pitches in the game.

Revere was 1-for-5 in the game. He’s hitting .229 without an extra-base hit.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He made a throwing error in front of the Buck home run that cost the Phils a run. 8-for-25 with two walks and four extra-base hits against righties (320/370/560).

Utley 0-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases.

Howard 1-for-4 with a strikeout and his first home run. 161/206/258 on the year in 34 plate appearances.

Young 3-for-4 with a triple and a home run. 7-for-his-last-13 with three extra-base hits.

Brown 1-for-4 with a bloop single and a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-15 with two singles and no walks.

Mayberry gets the start against the righty Gee and delivers two extra-base hits off of him, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI in the game.

Kratz 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a passed ball. He’s on-basing .192 with eight strikeouts in 26 plate appearances.

Kendrick (0-1, 7.94) faces righty Jeremy Hefner (0-1, 1.50) tonight. Kendrick pitched better than his line against the Royals in his first start, throwing four scoreless innings to start the game before allowing a two-run single in the fifth. With two outs in the fifth and two men on he was asked to walk Billy Butler intentionally and was then pulled from the game. Horst took over and allowed a three-run triple to Alex Gordon with all three runs charged to Kendrick. Hefner allowed a run to the Marlins over six innings in his first outing of the year.


Feels like the first time

We didn’t learn anything new last night, but seeing Cliff Lee pitch lights out one more time was more than enough for Phillie fans looking for signs of life. Lee was fantastic, allowing two singles over eight shutout innings, and Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth as the Phils topped Atlanta 2-0.

The pitching was outstanding last night, but the Phils have scored four runs over their last two games. More would be better, especially if 60% of the rotation is going to be Kendrick, Lannan and a version of Roy Halladay who can’t get people out. Michael Young and Ryan Howard were quiet in the opening set, combining to go 2-for-21 out of the four and five spots in the order.

The Phillies are 1-2 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 2-0 last night. The Braves take the series two games to one.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing two singles, no walks and striking out eight.

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

He started the second up 2-0 and struck out Freddie Freeman and BJ Upton to start the frame before Dan Uggla singled to left. Chris Johnson grounded to first to end the inning.

Lee struck out Gerald Laird and pitcher Kris Medlen in 1-2-3 third.

Justin Upton singled to left with one out in the fourth. Lee got Freeman to ground into a double-play behind Upton.

Freeman 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a GDP through two at-bats after hammering the Phils in games one and two of the set.

Lee struck out Uggla in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Laird led off the sixth and reached on an error by Utley, but Lee got the next three. Righty Reed Johnson hit for the pitcher Cory Gearrin and flew to center for the first out.

Lee struck out both Uptons in a 1-2-3 seventh. Freeman absolutely crushed a ball in-between, but Nix took it on the warning track for the second out.

Lee got a little help from the weather on a cold night in Atlanta on Freeman’s ball. It was well struck.

Lee needed just eight pitches to set Uggla, Johnson and Laird down in order in the eighth.

Papelbon started the ninth with a 2-0 lead. Switch-hitter Ramiro Pena hit for the pitcher Anthony Varvaro and Palelbon struck him out swinging for the first out. Simmons grounded to Utley for the second out and Papelbon got Heyward swinging at a ball way outside to end the game.

Second appearance of the year for Papelbon after allowing two runs in an inning in game two of the set. He threw 11 pitches in the game and has pitched for two days in a row.

The season is only three days old, but last night was the first game of the three in which the pen has been non-terrible. The bullpen threw to a 6.23 ERA in the set and walked five in 8 2/3 innings.

The Phillie lineup against righty Kris Medlen went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Nix (8) Kratz. Nix in right against the lefty with Mayberry on the bench. Manuel did it the other way with righty Tim Hudson on the mound for Atlanta in game one of the series. Mayberry on the bench against a righty appeals a lot, though.

Rollins singled to center with one out in the top of the first. Utley flew out to left before Howard moved Rollins up to second with a single. Rollins stole third on a soft throw back to the mound by Laird before Young walked to load the bases for Brown. Brown grounded to second to leave them loaded.

Howard’s single was a ground ball to where the shortstop would be if the Braves weren’t in their Howard shift.

Nix started the second with a single and moved to third when Kratz followed with a double to left. Lee was next and walked to load the bases for Revere. Revere grounded to short with Lee forced at second for the first out. Nix scored and the Phils led 1-0 with one out and runners on the corner. Revere quickly stole second and Rollins went on to walk, loading the bases for Utley. Utley flew to right, deep enough for Kratz to tag and score from third, putting the Phils up 2-0. Howard lined to Simmons to end the frame.

Glad to see Kratz deliver the double after an awful night at the plate in game two.

Brown singled with one out in the third, but Nix and Kratz went down behind him. Nix hit his ball well, but Heyward took it in right for the second out.

Rollins doubled to right with two outs in the fourth and Utley drew a walk behind him. It put men on first and second for Howard, but Howard grounded out to Uggla in shallow right field to set the Phillies down.

Young and Nix struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth. Brown smoked a line drive, but Uggla handled it for the second out.

Righty Cory Gearrin set the Phillies down in order in the sixth. Revere hit a ball well into the gap in right-center, but Heyward made a diving catch to take extra-bases away from him for the third out.

Righty Jordan Walden started the seventh. He got Rollins on a fly ball to left for the first out before Utley singled to left. Howard was next and he hammered a ball to center, but BJ Upton took it at the wall after a long run for the second out. Young flew to BJ Upton in right-center to set the Phils down.

Howard hit the ball really well. Not quite well enough on a cold night (41 degrees) in Atlanta.

Anthony Varvaro started the eighth for Atlanta and set Brown, Nix and Kratz down in order.

Varvaro was back for the ninth. Galvis hit for Lee and grounded out to start the inning. Revere singled into center, but was doubled off of first to set the Phillies down when Rollins lined to Uggla.

Revere was 1-for-5 with a stolen base in the game. 3-for-14 with a walk and two steals in the series. 0-for-4 against lefties. I don’t think he’s going to lead off against lefties for too long — not because he’s 0-for-4 against them, but because leading him off against lefties is a poor idea.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and a stolen base in the game. 5-for-14 with a walk, two doubles and two stolen bases in the set.

Utley 1-for-2 with a walk, an error and an RBI. 5-for-11 with a double, a triple, a home run and a walk in the series. He has six RBI for the year — the rest of the team has three (Kratz 1, Revere 1, Howard 1).

Howard was 1-for-4 and left five men on base. He got chances to hit with runners on base in the second, fourth and seventh. Pretty bad start to the season for Howard, he was 1-for-12 with a walk and an RBI. Just three strikeouts, but one came in game one with one out and runners on second and third.

Young 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-9 with three walks in the series. He’s obviously not going to walk in 25% of his plate appearances, but I would be thrilled to see him up his walk rate this season. Looked a little shaky defensively at third in game one of the series, but was largely unnoticed defensively after that, which is a good sign.

Brown 1-for-4 with a single and left three men on base. 4-for-11 with four singles and a walk in the series. No strikeouts yet, but no extra-base hits either. He went 2-for-4 in his chances against lefties in the series.

Nix 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. 2-for-6 in the series. Mayberry took over for Nix defensively in right in the bottom of the eighth, but did not have an at-bat in the game. He was 2-for-7 with a double and a walk in the series. No quite sure I understand using Mayberry as a defensive replacement for Nix — Nix is a pretty good defensive outfielder and there’s not a lot of data on Mayberry in right (although his numbers are great in limited time).

Kratz 1-for-4 with a double, which was nice to see after a miserable day at the plate in game two of the set. 2-for-12 with a double and an RBI in the series. Curious comments from Halladay after game two in the set suggesting that he and Kratz may not have been on the same page should be monitored carefully. Quintero is going to get a chance to start a game soon anyway, given that the Phillies play in each of the next six days. Sunday afternoon against the Royals seems likely.

Kendrick gets the start late this afternoon in the home opener against the Royals and righty Wade Davis. Kendrick finished 2012 on a major roll pitching out of the rotation. He threw to a 3.20 ERA over 12 starts to end the year. Davis will be making his first start since 2011 after 54 appearances for the Rays last year, all in relief. He didn’t allow a home run to any of the 130 left-handed batters he faced in 2012 while throwing to a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 ratio.


Chase ups the pace

Chase Utley sprang to life offensively this weekend, hitting three home runs in two games as the Phils went 1-1. They beat Baltimore 13-4 on Saturday and lost 7-6 to the Red Sox yesterday.

Utley and Howard hit back-to-back homers in each of the game. Howard continues his fantastic spring, but Utley’s had been far less fantastic prior to this weekend’s explosion. He’s 5-for-his-last-8 with three home runs.

Boston beat the Phillies 7-6 yesterday.

Utley hit a two-run homer off of righty Noe Ramirez in the eighth inning, his third home run in two days. 3-for-4 with four RBI in the game. His line has soared to to 291/400/545.

Howard also homered, his seventh. 1-for-4 in the game. 329/364/700 for the spring. He has also homered two days in a row.

Revere was 2-for-3 with a walk, upping his line to 324/360/394.

Rollins was 0-for-2 and walked twice. 286/464/429.

Mayberry’s average dropped to .206 with an 0-for-2 day. 206/265/286.

Brown was 0-for-4 and is at 368/429/671.

Nix 0-for-3 to drop his line to 212/241/308.

Inciarte was 0-for-1 with an error. Mitchell appeared in right but did not get an at-bat in the game. 261/370/304 for Inciarte in 23 at-bats. Mitchell is hitting 269/321/577 in 26 at-bats — he was reassigned to minor league camp on Friday.

Lee started the game for the Phillies and allowed six runs on nine hits and no walks over 5 1/3 innings. Only four of the runs were earned and he struck out seven. Jackie Bradley hit a three-run homer off of him in the second. Singles by the first three Boston batters in the third led to three more runs, two of which were unearned due to an error by Rollins.

Opponents have hit .324 against Lee for the spring. He has a 5.94 ERA with a 1.68 ratio. Twenty-four hits, including four home runs, over 16 2/3 innings.

Papelbon got the last two outs of the sixth inning on a double-play, dropping his spring ERA to 11.37. He has been good after a miserable start.

Stutes allowed a walk and a single in a scoreless seventh. He got the first batter in the eighth and was replaced by Horst.

Stutes has walked eight in ten innings, which is too many. 8.10 ERA with a 1.80 ratio.

Horst got the last two outs in the eighth. He returned to pitch the ninth in a 6-6 game. He allowed singles to the first three men he faced in the ninth with the third, by Shannon Wilkerson, scoring Xander Boegarts, to put Boston up to stay at 7-6. The run was unearned due to an Inciarte error on the second single of the inning.

5.54 ERA and a 1.38 ratio for Horst. Fifteen hits, including four home runs, allowing in ten innings.

On Saturday they beat Baltimore 13-4.

Utley hit two home runs, both two-run shots off of Bruce Chen. 2-for-4 with four RBI on the day.

Howard 1-for-2 with a walk and his sixth home run.

Brown 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventh.

Betancourt was 1-for-1 with a three-run homer, his first of the spring.

Eleven of the 13 runs scored on home runs.

Cook started the game for the Phillies and allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings on four hits and no walks. The Phils jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game before Cook allowed a two-run double to JJ Hardy in the bottom of the fourth to get Baltimore on the board.

Cook has a 3.38 ERA and a 1.23 ratio in official spring action. He leads team in innings pitched.

Aumont took over for Cook in the fifth, getting the final out in that frame. He came back for the sixth and allowed a run on a leadoff double and a walk, which upped his spring ERA to 3.38 as well. Opponents have hit just .158 against him in official spring action, but he has walked three in 5 1/3 innings.

Bastardo pitched a scoreless seventh to drop his ERA to 4.70.

Adams pitched the eighth and allowed a run on a single and a double, which plated the first run he’s been charged with the spring. 1.50 ERA and an 0.67 ratio in six innings.

JC Ramirez allowed three singles in the ninth, but kept the O’s off the board. 7.36 ERA with a 2.18 ratio in 3 2/3 innings. Opponents have hit .375 against him.

The Phillies released Yuniesky Betancourt, which makes it likely that Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen will both make the team as bench players.

Roy Halladay was hit hard in a minor league start on Saturday, allowing 11 of 18 batters he faced to reach base.

The Phillies traded 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Julio Rodriguez to Baltimore for 25-year-old outfielder Ronnie Welty. Rodriguez made 29 appearances for Reading last year, 22 of which were starts, in which he threw to a 4.23 ERA with a 1.47 ratio, walking 76 in 134 innings. Wielty hits right-handed and has played primarily right field in the minors, posting a 284/359/468 line over 2,113 plate appearances.


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