Tag: Ryan Madson

Phils willing to go the extra mile so someone can celebrate something in Washington, DC

The Phils took the first game of their three-game set with the Mets, but lost the next two and will have to wait at least another day if they’re going to win the NL East. With the loss by the Padres yesterday, the Phillies are assured of at least winning the NL Wild Card.

Cole Hamels was ineffective for the first time since mid-August in yesterday’s game. He battled a tough strike zone, but the Mets were all over him as well. Hamels lasted just four innings, allowing five runs as Beltran and Wright both took him out of the yard. Utley hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to get the Phils back in the game, but Madson got tagged for a pair of runs in the ninth and the Phils lost 7-3.

The Phillies are 93-63 on the year after yesterday’s loss. They are in first place in the NL East with a six game lead over the Atlanta Braves and a magic number of one. The Padres are now the Wild Card leaders, a half game ahead of Atlanta.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and three walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out two. It was the first time he had allowed more than two runs in a start since August 19.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 first.

David Wright led off the second for the Mets and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left. 1-0. Joaquin Arias doubled to left with two outs and the Phillies walked Henry Blanco in the eight hole intentionally. It put men on first and second for the pitcher Pat Misch. Hamels struck him out swinging 2-2 to leave both men stranded.

Jose Reyes and Nick Evans singled back-to-back to start the third, putting men on first and second with no outs. With Carlos Beltran at the plate, Reyes was thrown out stealing third for the first out. Beltran moved Evans to second with a single, but Wright hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Hamels walked Angel Pagan to start the fourth. Ike Davis followed that with a single that moved Pagan to third. Arias was next and hit a dribbler down the third base line. Hamels got to the ball quickly and Pagan, presumably thinking he would be out at the plate, stopped between third and home. Pagan was tagged out after a rundown with Davis moving to third. With one out and men on first and third, Hamels walked Blanco and the bases were loaded. He struck out the pitcher Misch for the second out, but Reyes singled into center with everyone moving up a base and Davis scoring to extend the lead to 2-0. Evans followed that with a double into center. Arias and Blanco scored, but Victorino threw Reyes out at the plate to set New York down with a 4-0 lead.

Herndon started the fifth. Beltran led off and homered to left center. 5-0. Herndon got the next two before he walked Davis. Arias struck out to leave Davis at first.

Herndon was pitching for the second day in a row for the fourth time this season.

The lead was cut to 5-3 when Worley started the sixth. He walked pinch-hitter Chris Carter with one out, but got the next two hitters.

Worley hasn’t been charged with a run in three appearances as a reliever for the Phils this season.

Durbin pitched the seventh. Wright doubled with one out. Durbin struck Pagan out behind him for the second out and then walked the lefty Davis intentionally. Lefty Lucas Duda hit for Arias and popped to short to leave both men stranded.

Not a fan of the walk to Davis there. The Mets lose Arias, but wind up with a lefty against Durbin with two men on instead of a lefty against Durbin with one man on.

Durbin was pitching for the second straight day after allowing a run on two hits while getting two outs in Saturday’s game. He came into the game with a 7.27 ERA in September, having allowed seven runs in 8 2/3 innings.

Contreras got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Contreras hasn’t been charged with a run in his last five appearances.

Madson started the ninth with the Phils down two. Evans singled and Beltran homered again. 7-3. Wright walked on five pitches and that was it for Madson. Baez took over and got a pair of strikeouts as he set down the next three hitters.

First time in 14 appearances that Madson was charged with a run.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Pat Misch went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez.

Victorino was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the first. He moved to second out a ground out by Polanco before Utley walked. Howard flew to left for the second out and Werth grounded to third to end the inning.

Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the second.

Polanco singled to left with two outs in the third. Utley grounded to second to leave him stranded.

They were down 4-0 when they hit in the fourth. Werth and Ibanez singled back-to-back with one out. It put men on first and third for Ruiz, but Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Valdez started the fifth with a single with the Phils down 5-0. Mayberry hit for Hamels and reached on an infield single that moved Valdez to second. Victorino flew to right for the first out, with Valdez tagging and taking third. Polanco struck out for the second out, but Utley hit a 3-1 pitch just out to right for a three-run homer that got the Phils back in the game at 5-3. Howard followed that with a double, but Werth struck out swinging to leave him there.

No RBI for Polanco with one out and a man on third.

Ibanez started the bottom of the sixth with a double and moved to third when Ruiz followed and grounded out. Valdez grounded back to the pitcher for the second out. With righty Manny Acosta on the mound for New York, Gload hit for Worley and flew to center for the third out.

Again no RBI for the Phils with less than two outs and a man on third. This time Valdez grounds to the pitcher.

Polanco walked with one out in the seventh, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

Werth started the eighth with a walk. A ground out by Ibanez moved him to second before Ruiz flew to center. With righty Elmer Dessens on the mound for New York, Rollins hit for Valdez and grounded to first.

First at-bat for Rollins since September 8. He stayed in the game to play short in the ninth.

The Phils were down 7-3 when they hit in the ninth. Victorino singled to right with one out, but Polanco and Utley both flew to center and the game was over.

Victorino was 1-for-4. 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and a walk in the series. He’s hitting 262/330/436 for the year.

Polanco 1-for-4 with a walk. 3-for-12 with a walk and three singles in the series. 265/321/312 in 238 plate appearances since the start of August.

Utley 1-for-4 with a walk and a three-run homer. 3-for-11 with two walks and a home run in the series. He has at least one hit in eight games in a row and is at 279/391/454 for the season.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double. 3-for-11 with a walk, a double and a home run in the series. 278/353/515 on the year.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-10 with two walks in the series. 292/385/518 on the year.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a double. 3-for-12 with a double in the series. 273/350/442 for the year. 391/440/667 over his last 75 plate appearances.

Ruiz 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 1-for-11 in the set. 293/392/434 on the year.

Valdez 1-for-3. 3-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series. 259/302/361 for the year. 339/403/429 over 63 plate appearances in his last 16 games.

Roy Halladay (20-10, 2.53) faces lefty John Lannan (8-7, 4.58) tonight. Halladay has allowed at least three earned runs in each of his last six starts, pitching to a 4.32 ERA and a 1.27 ratio. After going 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA in the first half of the season, Lannan has gone 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA in his ten starts since the break.


The wizard of 0′s

The Phils came up with a 1-0 win last night, beating Atlanta to complete the three-game sweep and tighten their grip on the division.

The Braves didn’t come up with many big hits in the series and the Phillies did. The Braves didn’t catch or throw the ball very well and the Phillies did. The biggest difference between the teams, though, is that Atlanta started Tommy Hanson and two guys that may be really good someday while the Phillies started three guys that are great already. Atlanta’s starters in the series have combined for 24 career wins. The starting pitchers the Phillies sent to the mound have 378 career wins, 11 All-Star appearances, a Cy Young and have been the MVP of the NLCS and World Series.

Last night it was Oswalt who shined. He held the Braves to a double and a walk over seven shutout innings. The game was locked in a scoreless tie until Ibanez delivered a two-out RBI-double in the bottom of the eighth. Once again, Madson and Lidge held at the back of the bullpen. Since the start of August, that duo has combined to strike out 61 in 52 2/3 innings while throwing to an 0.68 ERA and an 0.82 ratio.

The Phils have three huge hits in the last two games and Ibanez has two of them. In each of the last two games he has delivered a double against a lefty that put the Phils ahead to stay. He has driven in all the runs the team has scored that didn’t come on Werth’s third inning homer off of Mike Minor.

The Phillies are 92-61 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 1-0 last night. The Phils sweep the three-game series and extend their lead in the division to six games. They have won ten in a row. The Braves are a half game ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and allowed one hit, a double by Martin Prado in the fourth, over seven shutout innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

He got two ground outs and a line out in a 1-2-3 first.

He struck out Brian McCann and Derrek Lee as he set Atlanta down in order in the second.

He struck out Alex Gonzalez and Rick Ankiel in a 1-2-3 third.

He got the first two in the fourth before Prado doubled to the gap in right center. Oswalt got McCann on a ground ball to first to leave Prado at second.

He got three fly balls in a 1-2-3 fifth.

He struck out Ankiel and the pitcher Tommy Hanson as the Braves went in order in the sixth.

He walked Brian McCann on five pitches with two outs in the seventh. Lee struck out swinging 3-2 to leave McCann at first.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the game still scoreless. He was pitching for the second straight day and threw 11 pitches in the game. He has made 31 appearances for the Phillies since the start of August and allowed two earned runs.

I don’t think there is any question that Madson has been overused. The Phils have clearly benefited from the way he has been used in the short term. The thing that’s left to see is if it’s going to cost them if they make the post-season.

Lidge started the ninth with a 1-0 lead. Lefty Freddie Freeman hit for the pitcher Jonny Venters and flew to right for the first out. Lidge got Omar Infante to fly to center for the second before he walked Jason Heyward on five pitches. Heyward stole second, putting the tying run in scoring position for Prado, but Prado flew to Werth in right to end the game.

Lidge was also throwing for the second straight day. He threw 19 pitches in the game. That’s 23 appearances for him since the start of August with an 0.83 ERA.

The Phillies lineup against righty Tommy Hanson went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Nothing new there with Valdez playing short for the sidelined Rollins, Ruiz seventh and Victorino in the leadoff spot.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Werth walked with one out in the second. Ibanez flew to center for the second out. With Ruiz at the plate, Werth stole second and took third when McCann threw the ball into center field for an error. Ruiz flew softly to right field for the third out.

Second time in the series that McCann made an awful throw. This time it didn’t cost Atlanta like it did when Prado didn’t handle the throw on Utley’s steal in game one.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Hanson hit Utley with a pitch with one out in the fourth. Howard flew to left and Werth struck out to leave him stranded.

Ibanez grounded to second to start the fifth. Ruiz was next and hit a ball into the gap in left center. McLouth made a floundering slide of an effort and didn’t come up with the ball. Ruiz had a double. Valdez followed that with a walk and Oswalt bunted the runners to second and third with the second out. Victorino quickly got behind 0-2 and struck out looking 2-2 to leave both men stranded.

Big at-bat for Victorino after going 0-for-5 and leaving seven men on base the day before.

Utley singled to right with one out in the sixth and stole second as Howard struck out for the second out. Werth walked, putting two men on for Ibanez, but Ibanez grounded to second to end the inning.

Ruiz started the seventh with a single and Valdez bunted him to second. With the righty Peter Moylan on the mound for the Braves, Dobbs hit for Oswalt. Righty Craig Kimbrel took over for Moylan and struck Dobbs out looking 2-2 for the second out. With Victorino at the plate, Kimbrel delivered a pitch in the dirt that went through McCann’s legs. Ruiz took off for third, but the ball bounced off the backstop and right back to McCann. McCann threw to third and Ruiz would have been out, but Prado dropped the ball. Victorino went on to walk, putting men on first and third with two down for Polanco. Polanco got ahead 2-0 and lofted a high foul ball down the first base line. Infante made a long run and a sliding effort, catching the ball against the fence of the stands for the third out.

The Braves played miserable defense in the series, but that was a huge play by Infante at a huge time. The Braves need to do what they can to take McCann-throws-to-Prado out of their playbook.

Venters started the eighth and hit Utley with a pitch, but Howard hit into a double-play behind Utley. Werth drew a walk and it brought Ibanez to the plate. Ibanez lofted a 2-0 pitch down the left field line that landed (maybe) on the chalk in the corner. McLouth fielded it cleanly and quickly, but his throw was a lollipop over the head of his cutoff man Gonzalez. Prado had to take the throw and relayed home, but it was too late. Werth slid in ahead of the tag and the Phils were up 1-0. Ruiz was hit by a pitch before Valdez grounded to third to end the inning.

There’s that miserable defense from the Braves again. Ibanez again does it and again against a lefty. This double off of Venters last night after he ripped a double into the right field corner off of Mike Dunn to put the Phils ahead to stay in game two. Ibanez had also doubled off of the lefty Minor earlier in game two. He’s hitting 360/407/640 against lefties in September in 25 at-bats.

Second time in the game that Utley was hit by a pitch.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk last night. 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 262/328/432. He was due to slow down, it’s just a question of how much and for how long.

Polanco 0-for-4 in the game. 2-for-11 with two walks in the series. 293/337/388 for the year. No extra-base hits in his last seven games. He’s hitting 219/286/272 over his last 127 plate appearances.

The Phillies sweep the series despite having their one and two hitters combine to go 3-for-23 (.130) with three singles and three walks.

Utley was 1-for-2 and was twice hit by a pitch. 4-for-11 in the series with four singles. 279/392/452 on the year. 346/460/543 over his last 22 games and 100 plate appearances. 311/425/500 at home for the season and 245/354/399 on the road. He has better numbers at home than on the road for his career, but not that much better.

Howard was 0-for-4, struck out twice and hit into a double-play after Utley was hit by a pitch in the eighth. He didn’t draw a walk in the game for the first time since September 12. September 12 was a long time ago. He was 2-for-10 with a double and three walks in the series. 278/353/512 on the year. 228/343/456 over 134 plate appearances since returning from the DL. .228?

Werth 0-for-1 with three walks. 3-for-8 with a home run and five walks in the series. 293/386/524 for the year. 12-for-his-last-33 with five home runs and seven walks.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double. 3-for-12 with three doubles in the series. 274/352/445 for the season.

Ruiz 2-for-3 with a double. 3-for-10 with a walk and two doubles in the set. 299/400/444 for the year. Among the 22 NL players who have at least 200 plate appearances as a catcher, Ruiz has the best on-base percentage and third-best OPS.

Valdez was 0-for-2 with a walk. 2-for-8 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 302/362/362 over his last 128 plate appearances.

The Phils are off today and play the Mets tomorrow night.

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Twenty, no questions

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about which of the three outstanding starting pitchers might get the call for the team in game one of a critical series? I don’t. If all three are healthy and on normal rest and the Phillies give the ball to anyone other than Roy Halladay, I will be stunned.

Last night, Halladay became the first right-handed pitcher to win twenty games for the Phillies since Robin Roberts did it in 1955. Halladay wasn’t great, but he went seven innings and held Atlanta to three runs. The Phils squandered a ton of opportunities and left an army on base, but they got two big swings in the game, the back of the bullpen held and they came out with a 5-3 win. Werth put them up 3-0 with a three-run shot in the third and Ibanez delivered a two-out, two-run double into the right field corner in the sixth. Halladay, Madson and Lidge did the rest.

The Phillies are 91-61 on the season after beating the Atlanta Braves 5-3 last night. They have won nine in a row and lead the NL East by five games. The second-place Braves are a game ahead of the Padres for the Wild Card.

Halladay got the start for the Phils and went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out three. It’s his sixth start in a row in which he has allowed three earned runs or more. Over those starts he’s thrown to a 4.32 ERA and allowed ten home runs in 41 2/3 innings. Opponents have hit .294 against him

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Derrek Lee singled to right with one out in the second, but Halladay struck Nate McLouth out swinging for the second out and got Alex Gonzalez to ground to short.

Rick Ankiel started the third with a single, but the pitcher Mike Minor hit into a double-play behind him with Valdez taking the feed from Utley and 360-ing before throwing to first. Omar Infante lined an 0-2 pitch into right for a single before Jason Heyward flew to right for the third out.

The Phils were up 3-0 when Halladay started the fourth. Martin Prado led off with a walk, but Halladay got the next three batters to keep Atlanta off the board.

Gonzalez lofted a ball near the right field foul line that Werth couldn’t reach to start the fifth. The ball got away from Werth and Utley had to track it down and Gonzalez had a double. Ankiel was next and he moved Gonzalez to third with a single to right. Lefty Eric Hinkse hit for the pitcher and he hit a ground ball near second. Utley fielded and flipped with the glove hand to second for the first out as Ankiel slid hard into Valdez. Valdez’s throw to first hit Ankiel in the left hand, so the Phils only got one out. Gonzalez scored on the play to cut the lead to 3-1 and Infante came to the plate with one out and Hinske on first. Halladay got Infante to fly to right for the second out and struck Heyward out looking to end the frame.

The Phils thought Ankiel went too far out of the base path to slide into Valdez. Looked okay to me.

Prado led off the sixth with a single and came around to score when Brian McCann followed with a double to center. 3-2. Lee hit a fly ball to center for the first out. McCann tried to tag and go to third, but Victorino made a nice throw that beat him easily for the second out. McLouth grounded to Halladay for the third out.

Halladay started the seventh up 5-2. He got the first two before lefty Freddie Freeman hit for the pitcher Peter Moylan. Freeman absolutely crushed the first pitch he saw from Halladay out to right center, cutting the lead to 5-3. Halladay struck Infante out to end the frame.

I think chances are good you’ll be seeing that Freeman guy again at some point. That’s career home run number one, but there are a lot more coming.

Madson pitched the eighth. Heyward walked to start the inning, but Madson struck out Prado and got McCann to hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Madson hasn’t been charged with a run in 10 2/3 innings over his last 11 appearances. Since July 29 he has thrown 31 innings with an 0.58 ERA and an 0.87 ratio and 41 strikeouts. Going back to April 24 he has a 1.49 ERA and has allowed one home run to the 170 batters he has faced.

Lidge pitched the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Lee. It brought McLouth to the plate as the tying run. Lidge struck out McLouth and got Gonzalez on a fly ball to center. Ankiel popped to short to end the game.

Lidge has an 0.87 ERA and an 0.73 ratio since the start of August. In 20 2/3 innings he has struck out 22. He was throwing for the second day in a row and threw 17 pitches in the game. Madson threw 12 on two days rest.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Mike Minor went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. That’s the same lineup they used in game one of the series.

Utley and Howard singled back-to-back with two outs in the first, putting men on first and second for Werth. Werth popped to third to leave both men stranded.

Valdez and Halladay singled back-to-back with two outs in the second, putting men on first and second. Valdez stole third before Victorino grounded to short for the third out.

Polanco led off the third with a walk and moved to second when Utley followed with a single to right. Howard flew to right for the first out before Werth blasted a 2-1 pitch out to left center, putting the Phils up 3-0. Ibanez followed with a double and the righty Christhian Martinez walked Ruiz intentionally. Valdez hit a ball to third that Prado didn’t handle, loading the bases with one down. Halladay struck out on three pitches and Victorino struck out swinging 1-2 to leave the runners stranded.

Second error in two games for Prado after he failed to handle the ball at second base on Utley’s steal in game one.

Polanco started the fourth with a single. Utley and Howard went down behind him before Werth moved him to second with a walk. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.

It was 3-1 when the Phils hit in the fifth. Ruiz flew to center for the first out before Valdez hit a ball that the pitcher Kyle Farnsworth fielded. Farnsworth’s throw was bad, though, and Valdez was safe on an error for the second time in two at-bats. Halladay struck out and Victorino grounded to second to end the inning.

Howard walked with two outs in the sixth and the lead cut to 3-2. He moved to third when Werth singled off the wall in left. Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner and both runners scored, putting the Phils up 5-2. Ruiz grounded to second to leave Ruiz stranded.

Huge two out hit for Ibanez. Howard continues to walk and walk.

Valdez singled to start the seventh with the lead cut to 5-3. With righty Craig Kimbrel on the mound for the Braves, Gload hit for Halladay. Valdez took second on a passed ball before Gload struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino was next and lined a ball to second. Valdez was caught off base and doubled-up to end the inning.

Polanco singled to start the eighth. Utley and Howard struck out behind him before Werth grounded to second.

Victorino was 0-for-5 and left seven men on base. He’s 1-for-13 without a walk in his last three games. Rut roh.

Polanco 2-for-4 with a walk. 4-for-his-last-11 with two walks. He is slugging .331 over his last 264 plate appearances with 13 extra-base hits (12 doubles and a triple).

Utley 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.

Howard 1-for-4 with a walk. He has at least one walk in eight straight games. In four of those games he walked more than once and on-based .541.

Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and a three-run homer. Over his last eight games he’s 12-for-36 with five home runs and four walks. Get it? The thing where Howard always walks before Werth homers is good for everyone. You get more points that way.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. His two-out double in the sixth was huge. 434/492/755 over his last 59 plate appearances has raised his line on the year from 256/337/409 at the end of the first game of the September 1 double-header to 274/352/444. He hit 213/267/350 against lefties in the first half of the season and has hit 264/319/443 against them so far in the second. In September he’s 8-for-24 against them with three doubles and a home run (333/385/583).

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk. 359/479/590 over his last 12 games.

Valdez 2-for-4 with a nifty little twirly thing in the third and a less nifty throw-it-off-of-Rick-Ankiel’s-arm-and-into-the-dugout thing in the fifth. 348/400/485 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Roy Oswalt (13-13, 2.90) faces righty Tommy Hanson (10-11, 3.62) tonight. The Phillies have won nine games that Oswalt has started in a row. In those outings he’s gone 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA and opponents have hit .187 against him. Hanson has made two starts against the Phils this season, but both came early in the year. On April 20 he allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings and on May 31 he allowed a run on three hits over 6 2/3.

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Fevered pitchers

The Phils didn’t get a whole lot of offense last night, but they don’t need much to win these days. Cole Hamels gave the team its third fantastic start in a row as the Phils won for the sixth time in seven games.

Hamels struck out 13 while holding the Fish to a run over 6 2/3 innings and throwing 127 pitches. Since the start of August, the Phillies have gone 26-7 in the games started by their top four starters (Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels and Blanton). In those 33 games the four have combined to throw to a 2.42 ERA and 1.05 ratio while striking out 217 in 226 2/3 innings.

The back of the pen is faring rather well itself. Madson and Lidge combined to throw two more scoreless innings last night. Since the start of August they have combined to appear in 45 games, allowing three earned runs in 44 1/3 innings (0.61 ERA).

The little offense the Phils did get in the game came with a big assist from Shane Victorino, who continues to impress at the top of the order. Last night he went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk and scored both of the runs the Phils plated in the game. He led off the game with a single in the first and came around to score when Polanco followed with a double. He started the fifth with a double of his own and came in to score on a Jayson Werth ground out four batters later.

The Phillies are 85-61 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 2-1 last night. They have extended their lead in the NL East to two games over the Braves. Atlanta is a game and a half ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. All five of the hits were singles and he struck out 13. Thirteen strikeouts is his high for the season. He also struck out 13 Florida batters on June 11, 2008.

He started the bottom of the first up 1-0. Emilio Bonifacio led off with a single. Logan Morrison was next and hit a ground ball to first with Howard throwing to Valdez to force Bonifacio at second for the first out. Hanley Ramirez singled into right and Bonifacio moved to third. Dan Uggla was next and he hit a ball in-between first and second that rolled slowly until Utley got to it on the grass in shallow right field. Morrison scored to tie the game at 1-1 and Ramirez took second. Gaby Sanchez flew to right for the second out and Mike Stanton struck out looking to end the inning.

Hamels allowed three singles in the inning. The ones hit by Uggla and Bonifacio were softly hit. Over the next 5 2/3 innings he would allow two singles and two walks while striking out 12.

The pitcher Adalberto Mendez singled with two outs in the second. Hamels got Bonifacio on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Uggla walked with two outs in the third and Hamels hit Morrison behind him. He struck Stanton out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

He struck out Wes Helms, Brad Davis and the pitcher Mendez in the fourth.

The Phils led 2-1 when he pitched the fifth. Morrison singled with one out, but Hamels got Ramirez on a pop to second and Uggla on a fly ball to center to leave him there.

He struck out Sanchez and Stanton to start the sixth before hitting Helms with a pitch. Davis struck out swinging to leave Helms at first.

He struck out pinch-hitter Hector Luna and Bonifacio to start the seventh before Morrison drew a walk. With the Phils still up 2-1 and Hamels having thrown 127 pitches, the Phils brought Durbin in to pitch to the right Ramirez. Durbin got Ramirez to line to short for the third out.

That’s four appearances in a row for Durbin in which he hasn’t been charged with a run, but he’s thrown just 1 2/3 innings in those appearances and faced just seven batters.

Madson started the eighth and Uggla led off with a single. Madson set Sanchez down on a pop up to second and struck Stanton out. It left Uggla on first with two down for lefty Chad Tracy, who pinch-hit for the righty Helms. Tracy drew a walk, but Madson got Davis on a ground ball to Utley to leave both men stranded.

Since July 9, Madson has appeared in 37 games for the Phils. In those games he’s thrown 36 1/3 innings with a 1.24 ERA and an 0.80 ratio and struck out 44. He has faced 141 batters and they have hit 171/230/225 against him.

Lidge was on in the ninth to protect a one-run lead. Lefty Scott Cousins hit for the pitcher and grounded back to the mound for the first out. Bonifacio fouled out to Ruiz and Morrison flew to center to end the game.

Lidge was pitching for the first time since September 6. He has allowed one earned run in 17 1/3 innings over his last 18 games (0.52 ERA) while striking out 18. Through July 31 he had faced 97 batters and allowed five home runs. Since July 31 he has not allowed a home run to the 64 batters that he has faced.

The Phillies lineup against righty Adalberto Mendez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. No changes there with Rollins sidelined, Valdez at short and Victorino hitting leadoff.

Victorino started the game with a single and came around to score when Polanco followed with a double to the gap in left-center. 1-0. Utley flew to center before Howard hit a ball that Uggla fielded in short right field. Uggla made a great play, nipping Howard to take away a hit as Polanco went to third. Werth drew a walk to put men on first and third, but Ibanez grounded to short to leave both men stranded.

Hamels singled to center with two outs in the second and the score tied at 1-1. Victorino flew to center to leave him there.

Utley and Howard walked back-to-back with one out in the third. Werth flew to right for the second out with Utley tagging and moving up to third. Ibanez flew to right to leave two more runners stranded.

Ruiz was hit by a pitch to start the fourth, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him. Hamels grounded to second for the third out.

Victorino started the fifth with a double to right. Polanco walked behind him before Utley flew to right for the first out. Victorino and Polanco pulled off a double steal, but Howard walked anyway and the bases were loaded. Werth was next and chopped a ball to third. Helms fielded and went to first for the second out with everyone else moving up a base and Victorino scoring to put the Phils up 2-1. Righty Burke Badenhop walked Ibanez intentionally to load the bases and then struck Ruiz out to end the frame.

Valdez started the sixth with a single and Hamels bunted him to second with the first out. Victorino walked before Polanco flew to right for the second out. Utley grounded back to the pitcher to leave both men stranded.

Howard, Werth and Ibanez went in order in the seventh.

Valdez walked with one out in the eighth. Gload hit for Durbin and hit into a double-play.

Valdez 14, Moyer three in the walk competition. Moyer is going to have to get hot to Valdez is on-basing .360 over his last 25 plate appearances.

Utley walked with two outs in the ninth. He stole second and Howard was walked intentionally, allowing righty Clay Hensley to face the righty Werth. Hensley struck Werth out swinging for the third out.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double in the game. He scored both of the Phillie runs. 432/488/595 over his last eight games.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-27.

Utley was 0-for-3, walked twice and left five men on base.

Howard 0-for-2 with three walks. He had a hit and an RBI stolen from him in the first. He’s 3-for-14 since homering three days in a row.

Werth was 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-16 with a walk.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk and four men left on base.

Ruiz 0-for-3.

Valdez was 1-for-3 with a walk. Rollins left the game on September 8 and Valdez took over at short. Since then he has gone 7-for-23 with two doubles and a walk (304/360/391).

Roy Halladay (18-10, 2.44) faces righty Jorge Sosa (2-2, 5.82) tonight. Halladay has gone at least seven innings in ten straight starts and the Phils are 8-2 in those games. He has waked 28 batters in 228 2/3 innings on the season. Sosa will be making his first start since 2007. Lefties have hit 286/372/571 against him for the season.

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Hamels and Howard soar, Rollins leaves sore and Madson pitches more

There are a whole lot of story lines from last night’s 10-6 win over the Marlins — Jimmy Rollins got hurt, Ryan Howard drove in six runs, Cole Hamels threw his 25th consecutive scoreless inning and the Phils let Ryan Madson pitch yet again despite taking a 10-0 lead into the eighth inning.

Hamels was spectacular, spinning seven shutout frames. He has a 1.99 ERA over his last 13 starts. The Phils didn’t need him to be quite that spectacular, though, cause they were all over Florida starter Andrew Miller. Led by Howard’s big day with the bat, the Phillies had a 9-0 lead after five innings. Howard isn’t doing it alone for the offense these days — the Phils have plated 25 runs in their last three games. Victorino has gone 8-for-16 in the leadoff spot in those games, scoring six runs. Ibanez was 7-for-12 with two doubles, a triple and a home run.

There was bad news for the Phils in the game as well as Rollins left after injuring his hamstring in the third. This says he’s day-to-day.

The Phillies are 81-60 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 10-6 last night. They have won three in a row and remain in first place in the NL East, a half game ahead of the Braves. Atlanta leads the Giants by two games in the Wild Card hunt.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.06.

He threw a 1-2-3 first, getting a nice play by Werth near the wall in foul territory to retire Gaby Sanchez for the third out.

He was up 2-0 when he started the second. Wes Helms and Cameron Maybin singled back-to-back with two outs, putting men on first and second for Ben Davis. Davis grounded out to Hamels to leave both men stranded.

Up 3-0, he got the first two hitters to start the third before Logan Morrison doubled to right. Sanchez flew to center to leave Morrison at third.

The Phils were up 4-0 when Hamels started the fourth with Valdez at short. He walked Helms with two outs, but struck Maybin out behind him to leave Helms at first.

He threw a 1-2-3 fifth with a 7-0 lead.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth with a 9-0 lead.

Mike Stanton doubled to start the seventh, but Hamels got the next three hitters to leave him stranded at second.

Nate Robertson started the eighth with a 10-0 lead. Things did not go well. Emilio Bonifacio singled with one out and took second on a wild pitch before Morrison walked. Sanchez homered to left. 10-3. Uggla walked before Stanton struck out for the second out. Helms moved Uggla to second with a single and Maybin cleared the bases with a double. 10-5 with two outs and Maybin, who advanced on the throw home, at third. Herndon took over for Robertson and pinch-hitter Scott Cousins doubled. 10-6. Mike Rivera grounded to Utley to end the frame.

Herndon was back to start the ninth. He walked Morrison with one out and Madson came in to pitch to Sanchez. Really he did. Madson got Sanchez to pop to short and then struck out Uggla to end the game.

Are you kidding me? Seriously? Madson has pitched three days in a row. He made 18 appearances in August and now has made six in September, pitching in 24 of the last 37 games in which the Phillies have played. That’s about 64.9% of the games the Phillies have played. If you pitched that regularly over a 162-game season you would appear 105 times and be the second pitcher in the history of baseball to appear in more than 94 games in a season. Mike Marshall appeared in 106 games for the Dodgers in 1974. You need Madson pitching for the third day in a row with a four-run lead with expanded rosters? You really don’t. You need to find a way to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Madson has an 0.72 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 25 innings over his last 25 appearances. In Manuel’s defense, I don’t think he would have used Madson if the Phils weren’t off today. Still.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andrew Miller went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Rollins continues to hit down in the order with Victorino and Polanco at the top. Werth moves up to fifth after hitting seventh on Tuesday.

Victorino started the bottom of the first with a double to center. Polanco flew to right for the first out before Utley walked. Victorino and Utley pulled off the double steal before Howard singled to right. Both runners scored, putting the Phils up 2-0, and Howard took second when Stanton didn’t handle the ball cleanly in right and was charged with an error. Werth popped out for the second out before Rollins singled to left, but Morrison threw Howard out at the plate to end the inning.

Ibanez started the second and hit a ball to right that Stanton nearly caught as he battled the wall. Would have been a great play, but Ibanez had another extra-base hit and was safe at second with a double. Ruiz drew a walk and Hamels put down a nice bunt. Helms fielded the bunt and threw wide to first for an error that loaded the bases. Victorino grounded to third for the first out with Ibanez scoring to make it 3-0 as Ruiz and Hamels moved up to second and third. Polanco struck out and Utley flew to left.

One run for the Phils after loading the bases with nobody out. Big strikeout for Polanco with a man on third and one out.

Rollins doubled down the third base line with two outs in third and pulled into second a little limpier than one would hope. He stayed in the game. Ibanez walked on four pitches to put men on first and second. Ruiz dumped the first pitch of his at-bat into left for a single. Rollins was slow coming around the third but slid into home just ahead of the throw from Morrison to put the Phils up 4-0. Hamels struck out swinging 2-2 to leave the runners stranded at first and second.

Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the fourth before Howard homered to left. 7-0. Werth struck out before Valdez and Ibanez singled back-to-back. Ruiz struck out to leave the runners stranded on first and second.

Hamels started the fifth with a single and Victorino moved him to third with a double. Polanco walked to load the bases and Utley delivered a two-run single into center. 9-0. Howard, Werth and Valdez went down to leave the runners at first and second.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Victorino singled to start the seventh and went to second when Utley was hit by a pitch with one out. Howard singled to right and Victorino scored. 10-0 with men on first and second. Werth singled to right to load the bases, but Valdez struck out and Ibanez struck out to leave them that way.

No RBI for Valdez with one out and the bases loaded.

The lead was cut to 10-6 when the Phillies hit in the eighth. Gload led off with a double, but Mayberry, Victorino and Polanco went down behind him.

Victorino was 3-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI in the game. He scored three runs. 8-for-18 in the series with two doubles, two walks and a homer. He’s hitting 260/323/441 for the season. He was on-basing .312 for the year at the end of the day on August 29 and has hit 357/438/571 over his last 48 plate appearances.

Polanco was 1-for-5 with a walk in the game. 6-for-17 with three walks in the series. 308/346/406 for the year.

Utley 2-for-3 with two RBI last night. 4-for-14 with two walks and four RBI in the series. 274/382/439 for the year. He’s being out-slugged by Victorino for the season.

Howard 3-for-5 with a home run and six RBI. 6-for-16 with two doubles, two walks and two home runs in the series. 281/344/518 on the year. He has homered for two days in a row and has five in his last ten games. 1.159 OPS in September.

Werth was 1-for-5 with a strikeout. 2-for-13 with two singles and no walks in the series. He’s hitting 292/385/514 for the year. He hasn’t drawn a walk in his last seven games.

Rollins was 2-for-2 with a double. 5-for-11 in the series. 245/324/372 on the year. Valdez was 1-for-3 and left five men on base in the game.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. 7-for-15 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the series. He walked twice and drove in four runs. 264/344/428 for the season (Victorino is out-slugging him, too). He came into the second game of the series 5-for-his-last-40 with ten strikeouts.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 2-for-11 with a double and three walks in the set. He’s at 289/389/422 for the year.

No game today. Mets tomorrow in New York.


Nobody said it had to be pretty

It wasn’t, but the Phils are back in first place and look like they’ve found the just-figure-out-how-to-win gear again. Glad to see it, but the actual games sure are ugly. Last night, for example, the Marlins tied the game up in the eighth when Emilio Bonifacio singled, took second with the help of a miserable decision and throwing error by Werth, was balked to third and scored on a wild pitch.

It was kind like a how-to guide on scoring runs without any actual offensive production. Bonifacio can’t explain how he did if for fear of being kicked out of the magician’s guild for revealing his tricks.

The Phils were charged with a pair of costly errors in the game. Durbin also had to pitch around another miscue in the seventh when Utley threw home when he shouldn’t have, allowing a runner to take third with less than two outs.

The part of the team charged with preventing people from scoring a run on a single isn’t the only area where the Phils have left room for improvement. The starting pitching is suddenly not so hot. The Phils have two quality starts in their last seven games, one of which came from Joe Blanton last night and he didn’t pitch very well. The bullpen didn’t either, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings to let the Fish back into the game.

What the Phils are doing it hitting. They’ve revamped their lineup for the last two games and scored 15 runs. Victorino and Polanco combined to go 5-for-10 at the top of the order and produced the winning run out for nothing in the bottom of the eighth last night. With two outs and nobody on, the score knotted at 7-7, Victorino singled, stole second and put the Phils ahead when Polanco singled to right. Over the last two games the pair has combined to go 10-for-19 with six runs scored. They aren’t the only ones hitting, either. Howard suddenly has three home runs in his last seven games while Ibanez has gone 5-for-his-last-8 with three extra-base hits and four RBI.

The Phillies are 80-60 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins last night. They have taken over the lead in the NL East and are a half game ahead of the Braves in the division. The Braves are the Wild Card leaders and are a half game ahead of the Giants.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two triples. He struck out five.

Logan Morrison doubled to right with one out in the first. Hanley Ramirez was next and grounded out to short with Morrison holding second for the second out. Blanton struck Dan Uggla out looking 1-2 to end the frame.

Mike Stanton lined a double to center with one out in the second. He moved to third when Maybin hit a ball back to the mound for the second out. Blanton walked Brad Davis intentionally to pitch to the pitcher Chris Volstad and got Volstad to ground to third to leave both runners stranded.

Emilio Bonifacio led off the third and bunted for a single. Morrison was next and hit a ball between first and second. Howard fielded it moving to his right, but looked like he couldn’t decide whether to go to first or second. He finally flipped to Blanton covering first, but Blanton and Morrison arrived at the same time and the collision knocked the ball loose. Blanton was charged with an error. It brought Ramirez to the plate with nobody out and men on first and second and Ramirez moved the runners to second an third with a ground out. Uggla followed that with a ground ball to short and Bonifacio scored to tie the game at 1-1 as Morrison held second. Gaby Sanchez lined a single into center and Morrison scored to put Florida up 2-1. Blanton struck Stanton out for the third out.

Maybin started the fourth and blasted a triple off the wall in center field. He came in to score when Davis followed with a ground out to third, putting the Fish up 3-1. Blanton struck out Volstad before Bonifacio tripled to right. Morrison flew to center to leave the runner at third.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 fifth with Florida’s lead cut to 3-2.

Up 5-3, Blanton struck out Maybin and Davis in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Bonifacio walked on a close 3-1 pitch with one out in the seventh. Bastardo came in to pitch to the lefty Morrison and Morrison ripped a ball into center field for a double. Utley took the throw from Victorino and threw home, but he didn’t have a chance to get Bonifacio. The throw allowed Morrison to go to third. Durbin took over for Bastardo and got Ramirez on a popup to Howard at first with Morrison holding third. Durbin walked Uggla on a 3-2 pitch, bringing Sanchez to the plate with two outs and men on first and third. Sanchez flew to right for the third out.

Utley never should have thrown home, but Durbin got out of it. Getting Ramirez for the second out was huge. Blanton had thrown 101 pitches in the game and Morrison had already doubled off of him. He had set down eight in a row before walking Bonifacio. I thought it was a quick hook at the time, but I think it makes sense given how many pitches he had thrown.

Contreras started the eighth with a 7-4 lead. Stanton lead off and hit a 2-0 pitch out to left. 7-5. Pinch-hitter Chad Tracy went down on a fly ball to center for the first out before Davis doubled to left. Cousins flew to center for the second out and Bonifacio came to the plate with two down and a man on second. He singled into right. Davis held up at third, but Werth made a terrible decision and a worse throw trying to get Davis at third. Davis came in to score on the error and Bonifacio wound up at second. Romero came in to pitch to Morrison and balked as he turned to throw to second to try to pick off Bonifacio. Romero walked Morrison, putting men on first and third. Madson came in to pitch to Ramirez and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Bonifacio to score (7-7) and Morrison to take second. Ramirez struck out looking 2-2 for the third out.

Not a great inning for the Phils. Contreras faced five hitters, allowing a home run, a double and a single. He came into the game charged with one run over his last 18 appearances.

Romero came in to face one batter. He balked before walking him. In his last four appearances he has faced five batters and walked three of them.

Madson was back to pitch the ninth with an 8-7 lead. He walked Stanton with two outs and Wes Helms hit for the pitcher Jose Veras. Madson struck him out swinging 0-2 to end the game.

Romero and Madson have both pitched two days in a row. That’s a bigger problem for Madson, who made 18 appearances in August and has now appeared in five of the eight games the team has played in September. He threw 19 pitches in this game. Contreras and Durbin each threw 16. Bastardo and Romero were both under five.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rollins (6) Ibanez (7) Werth (8) Ruiz. That’s the same lineup the Phils on Sunday night’s game against righty Anibal Sanchez but with Werth in right and Brown on the bench. Brown was originally in the lineup but was a late scratch with a tight quad. Not a fan of that lineup, 15 runs in the last two games or not. Victorino can’t really lead off and Werth shouldn’t be hitting seventh.

The Phils went in order in the first with Maybin making a memorable play for the third out. Utley hit a high fly ball to center field. Maybin looked like he didn’t read it correctly, breaking back before sprinting in and making a diving catch to retire the side.

Howard led off the second with a double and came in to score when Rollins followed with a single, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez flew to left for the first out before Werth hit a ground ball to short. Ramirez threw Werth out at first with Rollins moving to second. Ruiz was walked intentionally and Blanton struck out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.

The Phils were down 2-1 when they hit in the third. Polanco singled with one out, but Utley and Howard both struck out behind him.

It was 3-1 when they hit in the fourth. Ibanez homered to left with one out, cutting the lead to 3-2. Werth flew to right for the second out before Ruiz doubled down the third base line. Blanton struck out swinging to end the inning.

Victorino led off the fifth and hit a 1-2 pitch out to right to even the score at 3-3. Polanco flew to right and Utley grounded to second before Howard hit one just out to left. 4-3. Rollins singled into center and stole second before Ibanez singled into center. Rollins scored and it was 5-3. Werth grounded to third for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

The lead was cut to 5-4 when they hit in the seventh. Polanco led off on a single and took second on a passed ball. He moved to third when Utley grounded to first for the first out. Howard was walked intentionally to put men on first and third and Rollins hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Polanco to tag and score, putting the Phils up 6-4. Ibanez was next and split the gap in right center with a triple. Howard scored. 7-4. Werth flew to left for the third out.

The game was tied at 7-7 when the Phils hit in the eighth. Victorino singled with two outs and stole second. Polanco lined a single into right and Victorino scored, putting the Phillies ahead 8-7. Utley walked before Howard flew to center, leaving both runners stranded.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a stolen base and an RBI. He did a whole to make the winning run for the Phils, singling with two outs and stealing second. He’s 5-for-10 with a home run and three stolen bases out of the leadoff spot in the last two games.

Polanco 3-for-5 with the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth. He’s 5-for-9 with a walk, a double, a triple and three RBI in the last two days.

Utley 0-for-4 with a walk.

Howard 2-for-4 with a walk, a home run and three RBI. He scored three of the Phillies runs. He’s 7-for-25 with four walks and three home runs over his last seven games (280/379/720).

Rollins was 2-for-3 with two RBI. 3-for-7 out of the five-hole in the last two days.

Ibanez was 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple and three RBI. 5-for-8 with three extra-base hits in the last two days.

Werth was 0-for-4, made an awful throw and left three men on base. He didn’t really get a day off on Sunday, playing in the first game of a double-header.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.

Cole Hamels (9-10, 3.18) faces lefty Andrew Miller (1-0, 3.60 tonight). Hamels has allowed seven hits and three walks over 15 shutout innings in his last two starts. He’s allowed more than two runs in a start once in his last six outings. Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels have all been fantastic for the Phils since the All-Star break, but Hamels has the best ERA of the three (2.22) and the best ratio of the three (0.94). Miller was called up to the Marlins in late August and has made four appearances since, two of which were starts and both of which were pretty good. Miller threw to a 5.35 ERA in 21 starts in the minors this season and walked 76 in 101 innings. 76?


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