Tag: Ryan Madson

Peak peek

There have been some low moments in Phillies history, but yesterday marks one of the high ones. With a 6-4 win over the Reds, the Phils completed a four-game sweep and moved to 41 games above .500, which ties them for the best mark in the history of the organization.

For the only time in the series, the Phillies didn’t get outstanding starting pitching in yesterday’s game. Worley pitched well early, but gave up a three-run homer in the seventh before leaving charged with four runs. The bullpen was very good, though, throwing three shutout frames after he left in which they held the Reds to just one walk and struck out five. The pitching overall held the Reds to six runs in the four-game set, three of which came on one swing — a pinch-hit three-run homer by Chris Heisey off of Worley yesterday.

The Phils outscored the Reds 21-6 in the four game series. Howard and Martinez both homered yesterday. The Phils hit eight long balls in the series — three for Howard and two for Pence with Ibanez, Martinez and Victorino all hitting one.

The Phillies are 87-46 after beating the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 yesterday afternoon. With the win the Phils complete a sweep of the four-game series. They are in first place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games of the second-place Braves. The Phils were also 41 games over .500 in August of 1976.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a homer. He struck out seven. Worley allowed two home runs in 62 1/3 innings to start the season. Since then he has allowed five in 42 innings.

Brandon Phillips singled to right to start the bottom of the first. Worley got Edgar Renteria and Joey Votto on a pair of fly balls before Jay Bruce flew to center to leave Phillips at first.

Worley started the second with a 3-0 lead. He walked Juan Francisco on four pitches and Yonder Alonso moved Francisco up to second with a single into center. Worley got out of it, though, striking Drew Stubbs out looking 0-2 for the first out, Ryan Hanigan looking 2-2 and getting the pitcher Mike Leake on a ground ball to third to leave both runners stranded.

Phillips doubled to start the third. Renteria was next and hit a ball to short, which Valdez made a fantastic diving play on, fielding and throwing to first for the first out with Phillips moving up to third. Votto followed with a fly ball to center, deep enough for Phillips to tag and score, cutting the lead to 3-1. Bruce singled to right before Worley struck Francisco out looking to end the inning.

First run allowed by a Phillies’s starting pitcher in the series.

Worley set the Reds down in order in the fourth.

First 1-2-3 inning for Worley and the first time that the leadoff hitter had not reached based. He had thrown 53 pitches through four innings.

Worley got Leake and Phillips to start the fifth before Renteria hit a ball that Ibanez may have misread. It landed for a double. Worley got ahead of Votto 2-0 and struck him out looking 2-2 to end the inning with Renteria at second.

Up 4-1, Worley set the Reds down in order in the sixth.

He started the seventh with a 6-1 lead. Stubbs led off and doubled over Victorino’s head in center. Hanigan moved Stubbs to third with a single. Righty Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Jeremy Horst and Heisey lined an 0-1 pitch out to right for a three-run homer that made it 6-4. Lidge took over for Worley and struck Phillips out for the first out before walking Renteria. Bastardo took over to face the lefty Votto and got Votto to hit into an inning-ending double-play.

Heisey makes it a game again with the pinch-hit three-run homer. Lidge continues to walk way too many hitters, walking one of the two guys he faces. He has a 1.74 ERA for the year, but has walked ten in 10 1/3 innings.

Bastardo was back for the eighth and struck out the side, getting Bruce , Francisco and Alonso all swinging.

Golly. Bastardo dropped his ERA on the year to 1.38 with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He has struck out 65 in 52 1/3 innings. This says that the .112 average opponents have hit against him is the best in history for any pitcher who has thrown more than 50 innings.

Madson pitched the ninth. He got Stubbs swinging 1-2 for the first out and Hanigan on a ground ball to third for the second. Righty Ramon Hernandez hit for the pitcher Francisco Cordero and Madson got him on a ground ball to short to end the game.

Madson has thrown two days in a row and threw 14 pitches in the game. Bastardo 18 and Lidge nine.

The Phillies lineup against righty Mike Leake went (1) Victorino (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Schneider catches the day game after a night game. Valdez plays short with Rollins on the DL. Martinez plays third with Polanco on the bench. Ibanez in left against the righty with Mayberry on the bench. Martinez doesn’t really belong hitting second, no matter how many games you’ve won or who is hurt. I assume Manuel does it that way to keep the other players hitting in the same spot in the order, but I think I’d just go with something other than the who can’t hit hitting second.

The Phillies went in order in the first.

Pence doubled to left with one out in the second and Ibanez walked behind him. Schneider was next and he singled to left, scoring Pence to put the Phils up 1-0 with one out and men on first and second. Valdez reached on an infield single to load the bases before Worley singled into center. Ibanez scored from third (2-0) and Schneider tried to score from second but was thrown out by Stubbs for the second out. With men on first and second, Victorino singled into left, scoring Valdez (3-0) and pushing Worley to second. Martinez flew to right to leave both runners stranded.

RBI-single for Worley after Halladay knocked in three runs with a double in game two.

Utley, Howard and Pence went in order in the third.

With the lead cut to 3-1, the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Victorino singled to right with one out in the fifth. Martinez was next and hit the ball hard, but Votto took the line drive and stepped on first to double-off Victorino and set the Phillies down.

Martinez hit that ball well, just into bad luck.

With one out in the sixth, Howard hit a 1-0 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Pence flew to center for the second out before Ibanez hit a ball to first that went under the glove of Votto for a two-base error. Schneider struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Ibanez at second.

Valdez singled off of righty Jared Burton to start the seventh. Worley bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino grounded to second with Valdez moving up to third. Martinez was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for a two-run homer, putting the Phils up 6-1. Utley and Howard singled back-to-back before Pence grounded to short to leave them on the bases.

Again Martinez hits the ball hard, this time out of the yard.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. With lefty Bill Bray on the mound for the Reds, Ruiz hit for Schneider and flew to left for the second out.

With righty Francisco Cordero pitching for Cincy, Gload hit for Bastardo and singled to left to start the ninth. Mayberry ran for Gload at first, but Victorino, Martinez and Utley all grounded out to keep the Phils off the board.

With Bowker available on the bench, Manuel gives the at-bat to Gload. Gload still being run for on the bases with his hip problem. Gload starts September with a hit after going 1-for-15 in August and coming into the game 3-for-his-last-29.

Victorino 2-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-16 with three walks, a double and a home run in the four-game series. He’s hitting 307/382/538 for the year.

Martinez 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. He’s 8-for-his-last-52 (154/170/250) and hitting 212/249/312 for the season.

Utley 1-for-5 in the game and 3-for-18 with three singles and a walk in the series. 241/309/330 over his last 123 plate appearances. 272/355/444 for the season.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a home run yesterday and 4-for-18 with three home runs and five RBI in the series. 250/337/490.

Pence 1-for-4 with a double. 5-for-16 with a walk, a double and two home runs in the set. He’s hitting 312/366/492 for the year and 327/398/570 in 123 plate appearances with the Phils.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-8 with a walk and a home run in the series. 240/280/416 for the year. Mayberry pinch ran yesterday and was 1-for-7 with a walk in the series to drop his line on the year to 264/329/514.

Schneider 1-for-3 with an RBI in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 176/248/275 for the year.

Valdez 2-for-4 in the game and 5-for-15 in the series. He’s hitting 247/292/335 for the year. 293/333/483 in 63 plate appearances since the beginning of August.

Oswalt (6-8, 3.77) faces lefty Brad Hand (1-4, 4.08) tonight in Florida. Hand had good numbers for the season before his most recent start, August 8 against the Braves, in which he allowed seven runs in five innings. He was sent back to the minors after that and returns to the Marlins for tonight’s start. He’s walked too many this year, giving up 25 walks in 39 2/3 innings. He’s especially walked a ton of right-handed batters — righties are hitting .211 against him for the year but on-basing .351 (he’s walked 24 of the 136 righties he has faced). Oswalt didn’t look good in his most recent start, which came against Florida a week ago today. He allowed six runs on 12 hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. John Buck hit a grand slam off of him in the sixth.


Returns from Mayberry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

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

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wait ’til this year

Remember this? In 2010, the Phillies walked just 416 batters for the season, which was the fewest number of walks issued by an NL team since the Mets walked 401 in 1995. So far in 2011, the Phils have walked 226 batters in 91 games — that puts them on a pace to better their 2010 mark with just 402 walks.

The bullpen hasn’t been good at preventing walks at all. The pen has walked about 4.06 batters per nine innings pitched. Only two NL teams are allowing walks at a higher rate — the Chicago pen has walked 4.35 hitters per nine innings and the Reds relievers have walked 4.29. The NL average for relievers this year is 3.63.

So the relievers aren’t good at preventing walks. You know who have been, though? Halladay, Hamels and Lee.

IP BB BB/9
Halladay,
Hamels and Lee
412 2/3 70 1.53
Rest of team 418 2/3 156 3.35

Two things are important there. One is that Halladay, Hamels and Lee don’t walk anyone, but the other is that they have thrown a huge number of innings for the Phils this year, about 49.6% of the innings that the team has pitched.

The rest of the team hasn’t been particularly outstanding at preventing walks, allowing 3.35 walks per nine. That’s higher than the average rate for the NL overall, which is 3.16 for the year so far in 2011. That’s misleading in this case, though, cause the walk rate is much better for starters overall than it is for relievers and most of the starting inning for the Phils in this example are taken up by Halladay, Hamels and Lee. So far in 2011, the average starter is walking 2.93 batters per nine. As mentioned above, the average reliever is walking 3.63 batters per nine.

Halladay has been the star of the team in both years in terms of preventing walks, leading the NL in fewest walks per nine innings in 2010 and so far in 2011. Hamels had a much higher walk rate in 2010 than he did in 2010, so he wasn’t a whole lot of help. Moyer was, however, walking just 20 batters in 111 2/3 innings in 2010.

IP BB BB/9
Halladay and Hamels ’10 459 1/3 91 1.78
Not Halladay/Hamels ’10 997 325 2.93
Halladay and Moyer ’10 362 1/3 50 1.24
Not Halladay/Moyer ’10 1094 366 3.01

The Phillies have added another elite non-walker in 2011 in Lee — he’s seventh so far in the NL in BB/9 behind Halladay (1st) and Hamels (3rd). That’s why the Phils are on pace to walk even fewer in 2011 than they did in 2010, but they are not getting the kind of support up and down the pitching staff that they did in 2010 in terms of preventing walks in 2011.

Madson pitched a scoreless inning for Clearwater last night.


Blame it on the wane

Everything was great early for the Phils last night. Jimmy Rollins returned to the starting lineup and blasted a three-run homer in the second and Kendrick went three shutout innings to start the game. Then it rained and when the game resumed, the Phillies did not.

Up 3-0 at the delay, the offense didn’t manage a run or an extra-base hit in the last 8 2/3 innings of the game. They had four singles. The Phils are now tenth in the NL in runs scored per game. They’re still ahead of the Pirates, but not by a whole lot (3.95 for the Phils and 3.90 for Pittsburgh). The Phils have lost six of their last nine and scored more than three runs in just one of those games.

Madson, scuffling of late and pitching for the fourth time in five days, entered the game in the ninth to protect a 3-2 lead and gave up a game-tying homer. He nearly gave up another homer to the next hitter, which would have given the Cubs the lead, but that call was reversed on a fan interference call and Tyler Colvin had to settle for a double. Herndon allowed an unearned run in the eleventh to put the Cubs ahead to stay at 4-3.

The defense was rather miserable for the Phils. Up 3-0 in the sixth, Starlin Castro lined a single to right and Darwin Barney stormed home trying to score from second. Brown’s throw from left was in time, but Sardinha didn’t handle it cleanly and the run scored. In the eleventh, Colvin led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball, which allowed him to score on a throwing error by Polanco and put the Cubs ahead to stay.

The Phillies are 37-26 on the year after falling 4-3 to the Cubs last night.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went three shutout innings before being forced from the game by a long delay. He allowed two singles and two walks and struck out two.

He threw a 1-2-3 first. Kosuke Fukudome flew to center for the first out. Kendrick struck Darwin Barney out looking 2-2 for the second. Starlin Castro flew to center for the third.

Carlos Pena led off the second and grounded to first for the first out. Aramis Ramirez was next and singled to left, but was thrown out, Ibanez to Rollins to Utley, going for second. Blake DeWitt flew to left for the third out.

The Phils were up 3-0 when Kendrick started the third. Geovany Soto struck out looking for the first out and Tyler Colvin grounded to second for the second. Pitcher Randy Wells singled to right, but was left stranded when Fukudome grounded to second to end the frame.

A delay of about an hour and twenty minutes forced Kendrick from the game after the third. Baez started the fourth. He walked Castro with one out, but got Pena on a fly ball to left behind him for the second out. Castro stole second before Ramirez grounded to short for the third out.

Baez threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

He got the first two batters in the sixth before hitting Barney with a pitch. Barney stole second before Castro lined a single to left. Barney rounded third and Brown made a strong throw home that would have been in time to get Barney, but Sardinha didn’t handle the throw on the hop and Barney was safe. 3-1. Romero came in to pitch to Pena and Pena fouled out to Sardinha for the third out.

Nice throw by Brown — it would have been nice to get an out there.

Stutes started the seventh and got the first two before Soto doubled to left. Stutes walked Colvin on a 3-2 pitch, putting men on first and second with two down. Lefty Brad Snyder hit for pitcher James Russell and Manuel called on Bastardo to pitch to him. Righty Lou Montanez hit for Snyder and Bastardo got him to foul out to Polanco in foul territory to leave both runners stranded.

Bastardo got the lefty Fukudome to start the eighth and then Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Barney. Barney grounded to short for the second out, but Castro and Pena followed that with back-to-back doubles, with Pena’s plating Castro to cut the lead to 3-2. Ramirez grounded to short for the third out.

Contreras was not charged with a run in any of his first 12 appearances of the year, but has allowed a run in each of his last two.

Madson started the ninth and got DeWitt on a ground ball to second for the first out. Soto was next and he hit a 2-2 pitch out to left-center, tying the game at 3-3. Colvin was next and lined an 0-1 pitch out to right for what was originally ruled a home run. Umpires review the play and changed the call to a double, ruling that a fan had reached out and interfered with the ball. So Colvin was on second with one out and the game tied. Righty DJ LeMahieu hit for the pitcher John Grabow and struck out swinging 2-2. Madson walked the lefty Fukudome intentionally and then got Barney on a ground ball to short to leave both runners stranded.

Madson continues to scuffle. Last night he was pitching for the second day in a row and fourth time in five days. In his last nine appearances he’s thrown to a 6.00 ERA and allowed at least one run four times.

Herndon pitched the tenth. Pena and Ramirez singled back-to-back with one out, putting men on first and second for DeWitt. DeWitt grounded to Utley with Ramirez forced at second and runners safe on the corners. Herndon struck Soto out looking to leave both men stranded.

Colvin led off the eleventh with a single off of Herndon. Pitcher Ryan Dempster hit for pitcher Sean Marshall and Colvin took second on a passed ball by Ruiz, who had taken over Sardinha, before Dempster struck out fouling off a bunt attempt. Fukudome was next and Herndon struck him out, too. It brought Barney to the plate and he chopped a ground ball to third. Polanco fielded, but his throw to first was in the dirt and not handled cleanly by Howard. The ball went off of Howard’s body and right in front of him, but Colvin rounded third and stormed home to score and put the Cubs up 4-3. Polanco was charged with an error. Castro grounded to third for the third out.

Herndon’s having an ugly year, but you can’t blame that one on him. Cubs need the passed ball by Ruiz and the error by Polanco to score the go-ahead run.

The bullpen wasn’t awful at all, allowing four runs in eight innings, only three of which were earned. Herndon threw 43 pitches and Baez 41, so don’t expect them tonight. Madson 19, Contreras 12, Bastardo ten and Romero two.

Madson has pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Randy Wells went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Sardinha. Rollins returns to the lineup and the leadoff spot. Victorino hits fifth behind Howard, with back-to-back lefties in Ibanez and Brown behind him. Third start of the year for Victorino hitting third. Sardinha catches with Ruiz on the bench on a very hot night after another very hot night.

Polanco reached on an error by the pitcher Wells with one out in the bottom of the third and moved to second when Utley followed with a single to right. Howard and Victorino both flew to left to leave the runners stranded.

Ibanez started the bottom of the second with a single to center, but Brown fouled out to the second baseman Barney behind him. Sardinha walked and Kendrick struck out trying to bunt the runners up to second and third. It didn’t matter, though, cause Rollins was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 3-0. Polanco flew to right for the third out.

Utley flew to right for the first out in the third. With the count 3-0 on Howard, the game was delayed due to ominous winds and impending storms. Righty Rodrigo Lopez was on the hill for Chicago when the game resumed about an hour and twenty minutes later. Howard walked and moved to second on a single by Victorino before Ibanez flew to center for the second out. Brown drew a walk to load the bases for Sardinha. Sardinha hit a ground ball in the hole between short and third, but Ramirez made a diving play to field the ball and threw to first to end the inning.

Great play by Ramirez at a huge time for the Cubs.

Polanco singled on a ball deflected by Ramirez with two outs in the fourth. Utley grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

With the lead cut to 3-1, the went in order in the sixth. Martinez hit for Romero and flew to center for the third out.

Utley walked with two outs in the seventh. He took second on a balk before Howard walked. Victorino struck out swinging to leave both runners stranded.

Up 3-2, the Phils went in order in the eighth. Francisco hit for Sardinha against lefty John Grabow and flew to center for the third out.

The game was tied when they hit in the ninth. Ruiz, Rollins and Polanco went in order. Rollins absolutely smashed his ball, which was a line drive that pitcher Sean Marshall speared.

Utley and Howard struck out to start the tenth before Victorino walked. Ibanez moved Victorino to third with a single and Brown was walked intentionally to load the bases. Herndon was the last reliever, so with Gload and Valdez still available, he hit for himself and looked bad striking out to leave the bases loaded.

Romero faced one batter in the game. Bastardo two.

The Phils were losing 4-3 when they hit in the eleventh. Ruiz led off with a single. Rollins flew to right, Polanco flew to right and Utley flew to left.

I’m fine with not bunting with Rollins after the leadoff single. Manuel says he didn’t bunt because Herndon had already thrown 43 pitches as the last reliever available and he thought he needed to try to win, not tie, the game.

Rollins was 1-for-6 with a three-run homer. He’s on-basing .289 over his last 83 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-6 with a huge error. He’s slugging .280 in his 138 plate appearances since May 7.

Utley 1-for-5 with a walk. He only has 67 plate appearances for the year, but has walked in 13.4% of them, which is a career high. On the down side, he has gotten an extra-base hit in 4.5% of his early plate appearances, which is a low mark and way below the 10.1% rate for his career.

Howard 0-for-3 with two walks. He’s 1-for-his-last-11.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk. 185/333/259 in 33 plate appearances since returning from the DL.

Ibanez 2-for-5. 233/273/300 in June through eight games.

Brown 0-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout. 0-for-his-last-10 and 4-for-his-last-27.

Sardinha 0-for-2 with a walk. Ramirez made a great play to take what would have been a huge hit away from him with the bases loaded in the third. He’s on-basing .436 for the season, but hitting just .241 and slugging just .276 through 39 plate appearances.

Halladay (8-3, 2.56) faces righty Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 3.98) tonight. Zambrano has made three good starts in a row, throwing to a 1.29 ERA in his last three outings with a 1.05 ratio. Halladay has thrown at least 101 pitches in each of his 13 starts on the season. He leads the NL in pitches thrown and nobody besides Lincecum is close. Opponents hit .220 against him in his first eight starts, but have hit .287 against him over his last five.


Hooray for Hollywood

Cole Hamels was fantastic last night, which is what it’s going to take to get a win for the Phils these days. The Phillies took two of three in their series against the Dodgers, but scored just seven runs in the set. In the two games they won, Lee and Hamels combined to throw 15 shutout innings and strike out 19.

Quick — who’s been the best starting pitcher for the Phillies this year? Okay, you said Halladay and you’re right. But it’s closer than you might think. In their first 13 starts on the year, Halladay and Hamels have almost the same ERA, 2.58 for Hamels and 2.56 for Halladay, while Hamels has thrown to an 0.95 ratio compared to Halladay’s 1.07. Hamels is second in the NL in innings pitched, but Halladay has gone deeper in his starts, averaging more than 7 1/2 innings per start while Hamels is just under seven.

Since an ugly outing his first start of the year, Hamels has thrown to a 2.05 ERA with an 0.88 ratio over his last 12 outings.

The Phillies are 37-25 on the year after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. They are in first place in the NL East, three games ahead of the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing six five singles and a double. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine.

Dee Gordon was the first batter of the game and he flew to left for the first out. Hamels struck Casey Blake out swinging 2-2 for the second before Andre Ethier reached on an infield single. Hamels struck Matt Kemp out swinging 2-2 to leave Ethier at first.

He threw a 1-2-3 second, getting Juan Uribe to pop to Howard in foul territory for the first out, Marcus Thames on a ground ball to third for the second and striking Rod Barajas out swinging for the third.

In the third he struck Jamey Carroll out swinging for the first out and got pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on a ground ball he handled himself for the second. Gordon flew to center to end the frame.

He struck out Blake and got two ground outs in the fourth.

Barajas singled to center with two outs in the fifth, but Hamels got Carroll on a ball that Howard handled in foul territory to leave him stranded.

Hamels struck out Kuroda and Gordon as he set the Dodgers down in order in the sixth.

He started the seventh up 1-0. Ethier led off with a double to right and moved to third when Kemp followed with a single to right. Hamels got out of it, though, getting Uribe on a pop that Martinez handled in shallow right, striking Thames out swinging 1-2 and then getting Barajas to pop to short.

It was 2-0 when he started the eighth. Carroll flew to right for the first out and switch-hitter Aaron Miles hit for the pitcher Matt Guerrier. Miles singled to center. Gordon was due to hit next and James Loney hit for him, flying to left for the second out. Blake was next and hit a ball to short. Valdez fielded and threw to first, but his throw was wide on the home plate side. Howard came off the bag and looked like he could have handled it, but didn’t. Blake had a single and Valdez was charged with an error that let Miles move up to third. With two outs and men on first and third, Hamels got Ethier on a ground ball to first base with Howard flipping to Hamels covering.

Twice in two innings Hamels gets out of a jam to keep the shutout intact. Howard could have handled the throw from Valdez.

Madson started the ninth. Kemp thought he had walked on a close 3-1 pitch that might have been low, but then singled to right. Uribe was next and hit a ball back up the middle, but it went off the tip of Madson’s glove and right to Martinez. Martinez tagged second and threw to first to complete the double-play. Switch-hitter Dioner Navarro hit for Thames and flew to Victorino to end the game.

Madson has pitched just one day in a row, but three of the last four days. He threw 16 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Hiroki Kuroda went (1) Victorino (2) Brown (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Valdez (8) Martinez. Utley on the bench with a righty on the mound after an ugly game with the glove the night before. Martinez at second. Valdez plays short with Rollins sidelined with the bruised knee. Brown moves up to second in the order with Polanco dropping to third. Martinez and Valdez is a really bad middle infield.

Victorino, Brown and Polanco all hit the ball well in the bottom of the first, but all three flew to right.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the second. Valdez struck out looking behind him to leave him stranded.

Kuroda struck out Martinez, Hamels and Victorino, all swinging, in the third.

Polanco singled with one out in the fourth and stole second as Howard struck out for the second out. Ibanez flew to left to leave him there.

Martinez ripped a triple into right field with two outs in the fifth and Hamels walked behind him. Kuroda’s 2-1 pitch to Victorino was behind the batter and went all the way to the wall. Martinez started to go home, then returned to third base. He probably would have scored, because Barajas’s throw to the covering Kuroda hit Victorino. Hamels took second on the wild pitch, so the Dodgers walked Victorino intentionally, loading the bases. Brown flew to Ethier in right-center to leave the bases loaded.

Polanco struck out to start the sixth. Howard was next and hit the first pitch he saw out to right, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez followed that with a double to center and that was it for Kuroda. LA brought right Mike MacDougal in to pitch to Ruiz and Ruiz walked. Valdez struck out for the second out and Martinez went down on a ball handled by the pitcher, leaving the runners stranded.

Two extra-base hits in the same inning for the Phils. I would have brought in another pitcher, too.

Victorino tripled to center with one out in the seventh. Brown was next and hit a ball to Carroll at second. Victorino came home and Carroll threw home, but the throw was on the first base side of home plate and Victorino slid in safely. 2-0. Brown stole second, went to third on a ground out by Polanco and was left at third when Howard flew to right.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Victorino was 1-for-3 with a triple in the game and 1-for-9 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 270/340/472 for the year. 4-for-23 since returning from the DL.

Brown was 0-for-4 with an RBI. 1-for-11 with a walk and an RBI in the series. He’s 4-for-his-last-24 and hitting 263/317/404 in 63 plate appearances for the season.

Polanco was 1-for-4. 2-for-11 with a walk in the series. 314/362/388 for the year. 252/299/288 since the end of April.

Howard 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts. 2-for-12 with five strikeouts in the series. 244/325/479 for the year. He’s 6-for-his-last-32.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double. 2-for-9 with a double in the series. 241/292/414 on the year. Of the 70 NL players with at least 200 plate appearances, Ibanez’s .705 OPS is 50th (Rollins’ .701 is 52nd).

Ruiz was 0-for-2 and walked twice. 3-for-9 with a double and three walks in the series. 242/361/348 for the year. 292/433/396 over his last 60 plate appearances.

Valdez was 0-for-4 with a throwing error and struck out twice. It took a nice bare-handed play by Kuroda coming off the mound to get him for the second out in the fifth. 3-for-11 with a double and three strikeouts in the series. 246/287/303 on the year.

Martinez was 1-for-3 with his first career triple in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 189/214/245 in 57 plate appearances for the season. Among the 202 NL players with at least 50 plate appearances, his .214 on-base percentage is 199th. Rollins didn’t play yesterday and was 0-for-1 in the series. He’s hitting 267/338/362 for the year and 237/276/330 over his last 105 plate appearances.

Kendrick (3-4, 3.78) faces righty Randy Wells (1-1, 5.74) and the Cubs tonight. Wells has made just three starts on the season. He pitched well against the Diamondbacks in his first start of the year on April 4, but went on the DL two days later with a strained forearm. He’s made two starts since returning from the DL and neither have been that impressive as he’s allowed nine runs in 9 2/3 innings. Kendrick has made three starts on the year and two of them have been bad. He hasn’t gotten an out in the sixth inning in any of his three starts. He has a 6.23 ERA in his three starts and a 2.21 ERA in his 13 relief appearances.


Fans starting to wonder if the Phillie brain trust might be better off spending less time wondering if Madson can close and more wondering if anyone on the team can hit

The Phils might not be able to hit in 2011, but they sure can pitch. Last night Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson made the most of the two runs the offense provided. Hamels spun eight fantastic innings and Madson shut down the Rockies in the ninth, converting his seventh save in seven tries and dropping his ERA on the year to 0.53.

Hamels lowered his ERA on the year to 2.92 with another outstanding outing. Over his last eight starts he’s pitched to a 2.19 ERA with an 0.90 ratio and thrown 59 innings — that’s an average of more than 7 1/3 innings per start.

Wilson Valdez was as close as the Phils could come to an offensive hero. Valdez went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, driving in the first run for the Phils and scoring the second.

The Phillies didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game. They are slugging .338 in May, which is 14th-best in the NL. They are 14th in batting average and 15th in on-base percentage for the month.

The Phillies are 26-16 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 2-1 last night.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out eight.

Dexter Fowler grounded to short to start the game, but Hamels walked Alfredo Amezaga on four pitches behind him. Carlos Gonzalez followed that with a single to right. Amezaga tried to take third, but Mayberry threw him out at third for the second out. Troy Tulowitzki flew to center to leave Gonzalez at first.

Nice throw by Mayberry changes the inning.

Todd Helton grounded to second to start the second. Jose Lopez was next and he singled into center, but was forced at second when Ryan Spilborghs followed with a ground ball to short. Spilborghs was thrown out trying to steal second to set Colorado down.

Hamels had gotten six outs in the game and two of them came on the bases.

He threw a 1-2-3 third, getting Chris Iannetta on a ground ball to third, the pitcher Jorge De La Rosa swinging 0-2 and Fowler on a ground ball to third.

Hamels struck out Gonzalez and Tulowitzki in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He struck Helton out for the first out of the fifth. Lopez and Spilborghs went down on ground balls behind Helton.

Struck out Iannetta and De La Rosa in a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phils up 1-0.

Gonzalez doubled off the wall in left-center with one out in the seventh. Tulowitzki grounded to third for the second out with Gonzalez holding second, but Helton was next and he doubled to right, scoring Gonzalez to tie the game at 1-1. Lopez flew to center to leave Helton at second.

Spilborghs led off the eighth with a single. Iannetta lined to left for the first out and De La Rosa stayed in the game and bunted Spilborghs to second with the second. Hamels struck Fowler out swinging 2-2 to leave Spilborghs stranded.

Madson started the ninth with a 2-1 lead. Lefty Seth Smith hit for the pitcher Alfredo Amezaga and doubled into the left field corner. Madson struck out Gonzalez and Tulowitzki behind Smith and then put the lefty Helton on intentionally after pitching around him and getting behind 3-0. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for righty Jose Lopez. Madson got behind Giambi 2-0, but struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Gonzalez and Tulowitzki are impressive fellows to strike out with the tying run on second base. Madson threw 24 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jorge De La Rosa went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Martinez plays center for the second straight day with Victorino sidelined with a hamstring problem. Francisco on the bench against the lefty with the lefty Ibanez in left and the righty Mayberry in right. Apparently back-to-back lefties was enough to get Ibanez into the lineup. The righty Valdez plays second.

The Phils went in order in the first and the second.

Ruiz led off the third with a single and moved up to second on a ground out by Valdez, but Hamels struck out looking for the second out and Rollins grounded to third to leave him stranded.

Martinez, Polanco and Howard went in order in the fourth.

Ibanez singled to right with one out in the fifth and Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind hm. The runners moved up to second and third before Valdez singled into left, scoring Ibanez to put the Phils up 1-0 with one out and men on first and third. Hamels grounded into a double-play to keep the Phils from getting more.

Hamels swings away and it doesn’t work out for the Phils.

Rollins started the sixth with a single to left and Martinez bunted him to second. Polanco flew to right for the second out before Rollins stole third, but Howard flew to left to leave him there.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out as the Phils went in order.

Valdez led off the eighth with a single to left. Victorino hit for Hamels and bunted him to second. Valdez took third on a wild pitch before Rollins hit a fly ball to right for the second out, deep enough for Valdez to tag and score, putting the Phils up 2-1. Martinez grounded to short for the third out.

Valdez starts the rally that puts the Phils ahead after driving in the first run of the game in the fifth. In both innings the Phillies scored they get helped by a passed ball or wild pitch.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Martinez was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 7-for-32 with seven singles and a 219/265/219 line for the year.

Polanco was 0-for-3. He’s hitting 211/246/246 in May.

Howard 0-for-3. 161/268/339 over his last 71 plate appearances.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a nice throw to get Amezaga at third. 205/326/410 over his last 46 plate appearances.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a strikeout. He hasn’t been any worse against lefties than righties this year. A little better, actually. 222/282/389 against lefties and 226/281/321 against righties. As bad as he’s been, I think Francisco needs to be starting against lefties given the current roster and production of Ibanez.

Ruiz was 1-for-2. He’s 3-for-his-last-37.

Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.50) faces righty Jhoulys Chacin (4-2, 2.89) tonight. Opponents are hitting just .211 against Chacin for the year, but he’s walked 12 in 19 innings over his last three starts. Blanton’s elbow saga continues. He hasn’t gone more than five innings in either of his last two starts.

This article suggests that Utley could be back before the end of the homestand and Brown within a couple of weeks.


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