Tag: Ryan Madson

Half and half and half

The Phils won half of the games they played yesterday, which was good enough to cut Atlanta’s lead in the division in half to a half game. After getting hammered 7-1 in the day game of a day-night double-header, the Phils came back strong in the night game and rolled to a 7-4 win.

Oswalt didn’t pitch especially well last night, he allowed three home runs for the first time this season, but he did manage to go seven innings. With Werth getting the game off, the Phils went to an odd lineup that worked out very nicely as Victorino, Polanco and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 with five RBI out of the top three spots in the order.

Madson and Lidge combined to deliver two more shutout innings for the Phils in game. Since the start of August, the pair has now combined to make 39 appearances in which they’ve allowed three earned runs, throwing to an 0.70 ERA and the same 0.70 ratio. Opponents have hit .154 against the pair in those outings and they’ve struck out 48 in 38 1/3 innings.

The Phillies are 79-60 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 7-4 last night and are just a half game behind the Braves in the NL East. They are a game and a half ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He struck out seven. It was the first time he had allowed three home runs in a game since 4/22/09 against the Dodgers.

Logan Morrison singled to right with one out in the first. Oswalt got Hanley Ramirez on a fly ball to center field for the second out before Dan Uggla popped to Utley at second to leave Morrison stranded.

Oswalt got the first two in the second before Mike Stanton blasted a 3-2 pitch way out to left, putting Florida up 1-0. Mike Rivera struck out looking for the third out.

Oswalt started the third up 5-1 and got the first two batters before walking Morrison on a 3-2 pitch. Ramirez was next and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 5-3. Oswalt struck Uggla out swinging for the third out.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Maybin hit a 1-1 pitch out to left with two outs in the fifth, cutting the lead to 5-4. Oswalt struck Morrison out behind him for the third out.

Uggla singled with one out in the sixth and the Phils up 7-4, but Oswalt got the next two hitters behind him.

Oswalt allowed a double to pinch-hitter Scott Cousins with two outs in the seventh. Cameron Maybin popped to Utley for the third out.

Romero started the eighth and walked the lefty Morrison. Madson took over for Romero and set Ramirez, Uggla and Tracy down in order.

After a nifty run in which he didn’t allow a walk over eight appearances, Romero has walked two of the last four batters he has faced.

Madson hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last nine appearances. Over his last 23 appearances he has thrown 23 innings with an 0.78 ERA and opponents have hit 169/216/193 against him. He has struck out 32 in 23 innings.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a three-run lead. He allowed a two-out single to pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio, but struck Cousins out to end the game.

Over his last 17 games, Lidge has thrown to an 0.55 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit 123/183/143 against him and he has struck out 18.

Lidge threw 21 pitches in the game. Romero and Madson were both under ten. None of the group has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rollins (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Werth on the bench with the lefty Brown in right — Werth started the day 2-for-19 with 13 strikeouts against Sanchez for his career. Victorino hits leadoff with Rollins dropped to fifth in the order. Ruiz behind the plate after Schneider caught the day game.

Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the first. Ryan Howard struck out swinging for the third out.

In the day game of the double-header, Mike Zagurski drilled Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in the back in the ninth inning.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Rollins and Ibanez got things started with back-to-back singles that put runners on first and second with nobody out. Brown drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch that was probably a strike. Ruiz followed Brown and he walked on four pitches, forcing Rollins in to tie the game at 1-1. Oswalt flew to right for the first out with the runners holding. Victorino hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single. Ibanez scored and Brown tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate for the second out. It brought Polanco to the plate with two outs and men on first and third and the Phils up 2-1. Victorino stole second before Polanco ripped a ball down the left field line. A fan reached out and touched the ball, so Polanco had a ground-rule double with both runners scoring to put the Phils up 4-1. Utley followed that with a single into left, scoring Polanco. 5-1. Howard flew to center for the third out.

Stanton made a very nice, strong throw to get Brown at the plate for the second out, but it would have been a lot better not to get the runner thrown out trying to score from second. Before the Utley single it looked like the stolen base by Victorino got the Phils an extra-run on the Polanco ground-rule double, but Victorino would have scored anyway even without the stolen base on the single by Utley.

Up 5-3, the Phils went in order in the third. Brown hammered a ball to center, but Maybin took it on the warning track for the third out.

They went in order again in the fourth.

Their lead was cut to 5-4 when they hit in the fifth. Polanco led off and hit a ball high off the wall in left center. It rolled away from Maybin towards right field and Polanco had a triple. Utley followed with a single that scored Polanco to make it 6-4. Utley took second on a wild pitch before Howard walked. Rollins popped out before Ibanez doubled to center, scoring Utley (7-4) and sending Howard to third. Brown was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Ruiz flew to center with Howard holding third for the second out. Oswalt swung out swinging to leave the bases loaded.

Six men left on base for Oswalt through five innings. No RBI for Ruiz with one out and a man on third.

Victorino led off the sixth with a single and took second on a wild pitch by Jorge Sosa with two outs. Howard struck out swinging to leave him there.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

Victorino singled with two outs in the eighth and Polanco walked behind him. Utley grounded to first to leave both men stranded.

Victorino was 3-for-5 with an RBI in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-10 with three walks.

Polanco was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s hitting 259/318/310 over his last 130 plate appearances.

Utley 2-for-4 with two RBI. 387/444/581 over his last 36 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He’s 11-for-65 (.169) with 24 strikeouts since returning from the DL.

Rollins was 1-for-4. 172/232/281 over his last 69 plate appearances. He’s on-basing .303 over his last 1,093 plate appearances.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with an RBI. 159/178/205 over his last 45 plate appearances.

Brown was 0-for-2 with two walks in a game for the first time in his career. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-11 with two walks.

Vance Worley made his first career start in the first game of the double-header and the Phillies got pounded, losing 7-1. The 22-year-old righty Worley went 10-7 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.30 ratio in 28 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley this season. He pitched pretty well, holding the Fish to a pair of runs on six hits and a walk over five innings. The bigger problem was that the Phils couldn’t hit 28-year-old righty Adalberto Mendez. Mendez was making his Major League debut and held the Phils to a single and two walks over six shutout innings.

Worley allowed a run in the first on a walk, a wild pitch and a single. Chad Tracy homered off of him in the second to extend the lead to 2-0. Mike Stanton hit a two-run homer off of Durbin in the eighth and Mike Zagurski got knocked around in the ninth as he gave up three runs and Florida extended the lead to 7-0. A single by Werth in the bottom of the ninth, just the third hit of the day for the Phils, knocked Howard in for the team’s only run.

Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.25) faces righty Chris Volstad (9-9, 4.82) tonight. Blanton gave up three home runs in 4 1/3 innings as he was charged with six runs against the Rockies. Prior to that start he had been pitching very well. He was 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.29 ratio over his last nine starts. Volstad was ejected from his last start after Nyjer Morgan charged the mound after Volstad threw behind him. He has a 5.79 ERA and a 1.58 ratio in his 12 starts away from home this season.

You may have noticed we’ve been afflicted by many a technical problem lately. I’d say that we’re back for good now, but, well, we both know that’s not the case.


No place like home for the wizardry of Oswalt

Roy Oswalt made his home debut with the Phillies last night and looked more than comfortable, tossing seven shutout innings as the Phils topped the Dodgers 2-0.

Oswalt was pinch-hit for in the seventh after throwing 109 pitches in the game, but the Phillies got great work from Madson and Lidge in the eighth and ninth to close things out. That duo has been fantastic in August. Between them they have appeared in 12 games, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out 16 over 11 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Phillies are 63-50 on the year after beating the Dodgers 2-0 last night.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and threw seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

James Loney started the second with a double down the first base line. Oswalt walked Casey Blake behind Loney, but got Gibbons to bounce into a double-play that left Loney at third with two down. Jamey Carroll grounded to third to leave Loney stranded.

Scott Podsednik reached on an infield single with two outs in the third and moved to second when Ryan Theriot followed with a single to right. Andre Ethier flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Oswalt got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He started the fifth up 1-0. Carroll led off and doubled to right. Oswalt got AJ Ellis on a fly ball to center for the first out and struck the pitcher Chad Billingsley out for the second. Podsednik reached on another infield single, sending Carroll to third. Theriot hit a ground ball to short and Podsednik was forced at second to end the frame.

Oswalt struck out Loney and Blake in a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Phils led 2-0 when he started the seventh. Carroll walked with one out and Ellis lined to right behind him for the second out. Righty Matt Kemp hit for Billingsley and struck out swinging 2-2 to leave Carroll stranded.

Madson pitched the eighth. He gave up a leadoff double to Podsednik, but struck out Theriot and Ethier behind him and then got Loney on a fly ball to left.

Madson has thrown 7 1/3 scoreless innings over his last seven appearances, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out 12. He has dropped his ERA on the year from 5.12 to 3.86.

Lidge struck out Gibbons and Carroll in a 1-2-3 ninth. He hasn’t been charged with a run in his six appearances in August, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out six over 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Phillies lineup against righty Chad Billingsley went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Gload (4) Ibanez (5) Werth (6) Brown (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Gload at first and Brown in right against the righty. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Werth singled to left with one out in the second. Brown struck out behind him for the second out and Ruiz fouled out to Theriot behind first base to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Polanco started the fourth with a single to right. Gload was next and lined a ball into left, but Gibbons made a very nice diving play to take away the hit and record the first out. Ibanez and Werth both walked behind Gload, loading the bases for Brown. Brown hit a ground ball to second, but it wasn’t hit hard enough to get the double-play. The Dodgers forced Werth at second for the second out as Polanco scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz flew to center to leave the runners stranded at first and third.

Valdez started the fifth with a triple to left center, just out of the reach of a diving Podsednik. Oswalt grounded to short with the runner holding and Rollins grounded to second with the runner holding. Polanco flew to left for the third out.

No run for the Phils after the leadoff triple by Valdez. Remember when Valdez was outslugging Ibanez? It wasn’t that long ago, but he’s not anymore. He’s getting pretty close to Rollins, though. Valdez at .361, Rollins .377.

Gload doubled to right to start the sixth, but came into second limping. He left the game with a strained right groin and Sweeney ran for him at second. Ibanez was next and he doubled to the gap in left-center, scoring Sweeney to put the Phils up 2-0. Werth moved Ibanez to third with a ground out to first for the first out. Brown was next and walked for the first time in his career, putting men on first and third with one out for Ruiz. Ruiz flew to left with the runners holding and Valdez grounded to third.

Again the Phillies don’t score with a man on third and less than two outs. The Ruiz fly out to left was the big at-bat this time.

With righty Kenley Jansen on the mound for the Dodgers, Dobbs hit for Oswalt and struck out for the first out of the seventh. Rollins singled to left before Polanco flew to left for the second out. Rollins stole second, but was left there when Sweeney struck out to end the inning.

Ibanez started the eighth with a single, but Werth, Brown and Ruiz went down in order behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-4. 302/400/349 over his last 50 plate appearances. He’s slugging .311 with seven doubles, a triple and a home run over his last 182 plate appearances.

Polanco 1-for-4. He’s hitting .359 in August.

Gload 1-for-3 with a double and was also robbed of a hit by a nice diving catch by Gibbons. It seems like we might not be seeing him for a while, while is a shame cause he was on a tear. 394/487/727 over his last 50 plate appearances.

Ibanez was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. He has an 18-game hitting streak in which he’s hit 409/506/667.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk. 391/500/621 over his last 108 plate appearances.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two strikeouts. Career walk number one helps raise his on-base percentage to .238.

Ruiz was 0-for-4 and left six men on base. He’s 0-for-his-last-11.

Valdez 1-for-3 with a triple. He’s 15-for-his-last-44 and hitting 341/370/386 over those 46 plate appearances.

Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.65) faces lefty Clayton Kershaw tonight (10-7, 3.19). Blanton has a 3.82 ERA and a 1.27 ratio over his last five starts. In those outings he allowed two home runs in the 33 innings. In his 13 previous starts he allowed 15 home runs in 80 innings. Opponents are hitting just .222 against Kershaw. He’s allowed just 117 hits in 143 2/3 innings while striking out 153. He walks a lot of batters, though, 62 for the season so far. He had made three strong starts in a row before allowing six runs to the Nationals in six innings his last time out.


Roy’d rage

Given that there are approximately two people on the planet named Roy who can pitch better than Cole Hamels, you have to wonder what Cole thinks of having both of them on the Phillies and pushing him to the third slot in the rotation. Maybe he doesn’t care at all. Whether he does or not, though, he sure was fantastic yesterday. Hamels allowed a single and a walk over eight shutout innings. It almost wasn’t good enough for a Phillies team struggling to score runs, but Polanco delivered a solo home run in the top of the eleventh and Werth came through with an RBI-double four batters later to get the Phils out with a 2-0 win.

Hamels wasn’t the only pitcher to have a good day. The Phils are counting on Madson and Durbin to bring some stability to the bullpen coming off of injuries. They did just that yesterday as they combined to throw an inning and two-thirds of perfect relief late in the game.

The Phillies are 49-46 on the season after beating the St Louis Cardinals 2-0 in eleven innings yesterday afternoon. The Cards take the series three games to one. The Phils end their eight game road trip at 2-6. They are back in second place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went eight shutout innings, allowing a single and a walk. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.40.

He was perfect through the first four innings, striking out the first five batters he faced.

Matt Holliday singled to left to start the fifth with the game still tied. Allen Craig was next and he popped a ball behind short. Rollins and Victorino converged and Victorino made a nifty sliding catch to record the out. Holliday was way off base and doubled-up easily. Yadier Molina was next and hit a ball to right. Werth came up with the second dazzling defensive play in two batters for the Phils, sliding to catch the ball and holding on with his bare hand to record the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth. He got another nice defensive play in the inning as Howard made a nifty play on a foul ball hit by Wainwright for the second out.

He set St Louis down in order again in the seventh.

He got the first two in the eight before Molina drew a five-pitch walk. Brendan Ryan was next and Hamels struck him out swinging to end the inning.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Hamels had thrown 97 pitches.

Romero started the tenth with Ransom at second after Dobbs hit for Valdez in the top of the inning. He got Rasmus on a ground ball to first and Durbin came in to pitch to righty Albert Pujols. Pujols blasted a ball foul before Durbin struck him out swinging 3-2. Durbin got Holliday on a check-swing roller back to the mound.

Lidge pitched the eleventh with a 2-0 lead. Jay walked and stole second before Molina grounded to first for the first out with Jay holding second. Lefty Skip Schumaker hit for Ryan and hit a ball that Lidge handled for the second out as Jay moved to third. Winn flew to left to end the game.

Romero was pitching for the second day in a row and has thrown four of the last five days. Lidge threw 14 pitches in the game. Everyone else was under ten.

The Phillies lineup against righty Adam Wainwright went (1) Polanco (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Rollins hits sixth again with Polanco and Victorino at the top of the lineup. Ibanez back in left against the righty after a day off. Schneider catches the day game after the night game. Valdez at second against the righty with Dobbs not at second. Start number 50 on the year for Valdez. This time last year, if you had set the over/under for number of games that Wilson Valdez would start for the Phils in 2010 at 0.5, I would have taken the under. Ditto for November 26, a day after they signed him this winter.

Polanco led off the game with a single. Victorino popped the first pitch of his at-bat up to third for the first out before Ibanez singled into center and Polanco moved to second. Howard grounded out on a ball handled by Miles and the runners took second and third with two down. Werth struck out swinging 3-2 to leave both men stranded.

Schneider doubled to right with one out in the second. Valdez followed with a ground out to second and Schneider moved to third. Hamels grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Howard started the fourth with a single. Werth followed with a ground ball to third and Howard was forced at second for the first out. Rollins was next and singled to right, putting men on first and second for Schneider. Schneider struck out swinging before Werth took third on a wild pitch by Wainwright. Valdez grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.

Polanco singled with one out in the fifth, but Molina picked him off for the second out. Victorino grounded to second to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Schneider singled with one out in the seventh. Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.

Shawon Dunston, look out. Valdez may have lulled Dunston into a false sense of security with his blazing walk rate to start the second half (he has two), but he’s back on the move (15/6) now. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably point out that there’s no way Valdez catches Dunston now that he has six walks. If he didn’t walk again this season he would need to hit into ten more double-plays.

Victorino lined a ball into left with two outs in the eighth. Holliday had troubling picking it up and the error allowed Victorino to take third. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 as tradition dictates.

Howard singled off of lefty Denys Reyes to start the ninth. The Cards brought in righty Jason Motte to pitch to Werth. Werth quickly got behind 0-2 and struck out swinging 1-2. Rollins chopped a ball to first. Pujols fielded, stepped on first and threw to second where Howard was tagged out to complete the double-play.

Motte got Schneider to pop to third for the first out of the tenth. Dobbs hit for Valdez and struck out for the second. Gload hit for Madson and flew to center to end the frame.

Polanco led off the tenth and hit a 1-1 pitch from Kyle McClellan out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino grounded to short for the first out and lefty Trever Miller came in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez walked and moved to second when Howard followed with a single. Righty Fernando Salas came in to pitch to Werth and Werth delivered a double to left, scoring Ibanez to make it 2-0 with men on second and third. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Schneider. Schneider hit a ball back to Salas and Howard was forced at home for the second out. Ransom flew to center to leave the bases loaded.

Polanco was 2-for-5 with a home run in the game. 6-for-18 with a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 319/350/441 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-5 with a double yesterday and a big defensive play in the fifth to turn a double-play. 4-for-17 with two doubles in the series. He has one walk in July in 82 at-bats. He’s hitting 253/314/448 for the year and on-basing .265 this month.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-13 with two walks in the series. 248/331/392 on the year.

Howard was 3-for-5 with three singles in yesterday’s game and 7-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run in the series. 303/360/545 on the season.

Werth 1-for-5 with an RBI double yesterday. 5-for-15 with two doubles and a walk on the year. 279/369/498 on the year.

Rollins 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-17 with a walk in the series. 184/267/276 in July. 227/326/373 for the year. He’s hitting .183 in 123 plate appearances since coming off the DL.

Schneider was 2-for-5 with a double yesterday. Ruiz caught the other three games and went 2-for-9 with a double and a walk.

Valdez was 0-for-3 yesterday and 0-for-8 with a walk in the series. 239/267/367 on the year. Ransom was 1-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series and is 5-for-25 with the Phillies this season.

Roy Halladay (10-8, 2.40) faces Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.56) tonight in Philadelphia as the Phils and Rockies start a four-game set. Coming off of two excellent starts in a row, Halladay was hit hard his last time out as he allowed six runs in six innings to the Cubs. Cook threw seven shutout innings against the Reds in his last start, but has a 5.83 ERA in his ten starts away from home this season.

This article suggests that Moyer’s injury could end his career.

Happ and Kendrick will fill out the rotation this weekend against the Rockies.

The Phillies fired Milt Thompson as their hitting coach and replaced him with Greg Gross.


Phils still hoping someone on the pitching staff might meet them in St Louis

The Phillies have started the second half with three awful starts in five games by the stating rotation. Throw in a late home run by Aramis Ramirez in a close game in Chicago and you’ve got 1-4 to start the second half for the Phils when they were looking for a whole lot more.

Last night the Phils gave Kendrick an early 3-0 lead and things looked good through the first out of the fifth inning. After the first out in the fifth, though, the next eight St Louis batters went walk, double, home run, ground out, home run, home run, ground out, home run. Things didn’t look so good anymore.

In the five games since the All-Star break the Phillies have pitched to a 7.46 ERA and a 1.61 ratio. Opponents are hitting .317 against them and they’ve allowed more than two home runs per game (11 in five games).

The Phillies are 48-44 on the season after losing to the St Louis Cardinals 8-4 last night. They have lost four of five and are in third place in the NL East. They trail the first place Braves by six games and the second place Mets by a half game.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and three walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and three home runs. He struck out two.

He had a 3-0 lead when he started the bottom of the first. Felipe Lopez led off with a single and moved to third when Jon Jay followed with a ground-rule double. Albert Pujols hit a ground ball to short for the first out. Lopez scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with Jay holding second. Colby Rasmus was next and hit the ball hard, but Valdez made the play at second for the second out as Jay went to third. Kendrick struck Allen Craig out swinging to end the inning.

Kendrick walked Skip Schumaker on four pitches to start the second. Schumaker stole second before Kendrick walked Yadier Molina on five pitches. It brought the pitcher Blake Hawksworth to the plate and he bunted the runners to second and third with the first out. Nine-hitter Brendan Ryan followed and hit a ground ball to short. Rollins went to first for the second out with Schumaker scoring to cut the lead to 3-2. Lopez grounded to second to leave Molina stranded.

Eight balls in nine pitches to start the inning isn’t the way to go. Kendrick got off easy.

Pujols doubled with one out in the third and moved to third when Rasmus followed with a fly ball to center. Kendrick got Craig on a fly ball to left for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fourth with the Phillies up 4-2.

Ryan flew to center for the first out in the fifth before Lopez walked. Jay doubled to center and Lopez scored to make it 4-3. Pujols pounded a 1-0 pitch out to left and the Cards were on top 5-4. Kendrick got Rasmus on a ground ball to first before Craig and Schumaker hit back-to-back home runs. 7-4. Molina grounded to short to finally end the inning.

Just the three home runs in the frame for St Louis. First career homer for Craig.

Durbin started the sixth with the Phils still down three. Switch-hitter Randy Winn hit for the pitcher Hawksworth and hit a 2-0 pitch out to right to put the Cards up 8-4. Jay walked with two outs, but Durbin got Pujols on a ground ball to third for to leave him stranded.

Romero got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth to drop his ERA on the year to 6.08.

The Phillies didn’t even have to pitch the ninth, what with having already lost and all.

Nice to see the bullpen pitch a little better. Durbin did give up the solo shot to Winn, but it was the only hit or walk the relievers surrendered over three innings.

Romero was pitching for the second day in a row. Durbin threw 23 pitches in the game. Romero and Madson both threw 12.

The Phillies lineup against righty Blake Hawksworth went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Victorino (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Valdez at second with Utley on the DL. Ibanez and his .399 slugging percentage for the season hit third.

Polanco reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Pujols with one out in the first. He moved to second on a single by Ibanez. It brought Howard to the plate with two men on and he doubled into right. Polanco scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Ibanez moving to third. Werth popped out to first for the second out, but Victorino picked him up with a single into center that scored both runners and made it 3-0. Ruiz singled to right before Valdez flew to left for the third out.

No RBI for Werth with one out and men on second and third.

The lead was cut to 3-1 when Kendrick walked to start the second. Rollins was next and hit a ball to second with Kendrick forced at second for the second out. Polanco hit into a double-play.

Werth reached on an infield single on a ball hit out in front of the plate with two outs in the third and the lead at 3-2. He was picked off of first to end the frame.

Ruiz doubled with one out in the fourth. Valdez lined to short for the second out before Kendrick walked again. Rollins singled into center and Ruiz scored, putting the Phillies up 4-2. Polanco popped to second to leave both runners stranded.

Ibanez started the fifth with a single, but Howard hit into a double-play behind him. Werth walked before Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

The Cardinals were winning 7-4 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Hawksworth got Ruiz and Valdez to start the inning and Dobbs hit for Kendrick. Dobbs singled softly to left, but Rollins grounded to second to turn the Phillies away.

Howard and Werth singled back-to-back in the seventh with two outs and the Phils down 8-4. It put men on first and third for Victorino, but Victorino fouled out to the catcher to leave both men stranded.

Righty Jason Motte got the first two in the eighth before Gload hit for Romero. Gload singled, but Rollins grounded to second to end the frame.

Two hits in two at-bats for the two lefties on the Phillies bench.

Ibanez walked with one out in the ninth and Howard hit into a double-play behind him.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game. He’s 2-for-his-last-20 with two singles.

Polanco was 1-for-5. 4-for-14 with four singles since his return.

Ibanez 2-for-4 in the game. 6-for-his-last-13.

Howard was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. He’s 8-for-20 with a double and two home runs since the break.

Werth 2-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-17 with a double and six walks since the break.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with two RBI. 7-for-23 with a double and a homer over the last five games. He’s walked once in his last 74 at-bats. On-basing .271 in July.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double. 4-for-16 since the break.

Valdez was 0-for-4. 3-for-16 since the break. Among the 265 NL players with 175 plate appearances for the season, his .268 on-base percentage is 258th.

Jamie Moyer (9-9, 4.88) faces righty Chris Carpenter (10-3, 3.16) tonight. Moyer has a 1.09 ratio to go with his 4.88 ERA. He’s walked just 20 in 110 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting just .238 against him. Things would be better if he hadn’t given up 20 home runs on the year. He’s been hit hard in each of his last two starts, allowing 13 runs in 8 1/3 innings in the outings combined. Carpenter has been great again this year, but had two weak outings in a row before holding the Dodgers to a run over eight innings his last time out.


It only feels like they’ve already played 18 days in a row

The second half of the season got off to an ugly start for the Phils as the Cubs took three of four in Chicago. In a season where the offense has been a big part of the problem, the losses had a lot more to do with the number of runs the Phillies allowed than the number they scored. The Phils scored 19 runs in four games and didn’t manage to win either of the games in which they scored six runs.

The pitching, on the other hand, was awful. The Phils gave up 28 runs and twice yielded more than ten. Halladay and Moyer combined to allow 12 runs in nine innings in games one and four of the series. The pitching staff gave up 45 hits in 35 innings in the set and seven of the hits were home runs.

It was the bullpen, though, that I think we need to be the most worried about. Contreras and Baez combined to allow six runs in 1 2/3 innings in game one. Madson gave up a critical homer to Aramis Ramirez in game two and Romero, Herndon and Baez combined to allow five runs on seven hits over two innings in last night’s game.

Here’s what the relievers did overall in the series:

IP H BB R ER ERA Ratio
10 20 4 12 11 9.90 2.40

The Phils don’t have an off-day until August 2. That means game one of the series in Chicago was the first of 18 games in 18 days. That would be a problem if the bullpen was pitching well. They aren’t.

Here’s what the seven guys currently in the pen have done since June 15:

Pitcher IP ERA Ratio
Herndon 9 2/3 3.72 1.66
Contreras 9 11.00 1.78
Lidge 8 2/3 7.27 1.73
Baez 8 1/3 4.32 2.06
Romero 8 3.38 1.50
Durbin 6 3.00 1.50
Madson 3 1/3 5.40 0.90
       
Total 53 5.60 1.66

First of all, David Herndon has been pitching pretty well of late, but he shouldn’t be the guy on the team throwing the most innings. In general, with the exceptions of Contreras and Lidge, the ERAs for the group aren’t that terrible. The ratios are, though, with Madson the only guy in the group with a ratio under 1.50. He’s only thrown 3 1/3 innings since June 15.

The biggest worry is the guys at the top of the list, the pitchers who have been throwing the most, are the guys that are getting blasted. If you combine the numbers for the four guys who have thrown the most innings in relief since June 15 (Lidge, Baez, Contreras and Herndon), they have a 6.21 ERA and a 1.79 ratio in those appearances. Hopefully the return of Durbin and of Madson will mean some relief for those guys. Despite the big home run that Madson allowed to Ramirez in game three of the set, the duo combined to allow just that one run over 3 1/3 innings in the four-game set with the Cubs.


New life of Brian

Brian Schneider returned to the starting lineup with a bang last night. After going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his first four at-bats, one of which came with a man on third and nobody out, Schneider popped an 0-1 pitch from Jordan Smith out to right in the bottom of the twelfth to give the Phils a walkoff win.

Other than the late drama provided by Schneider, though, it wasn’t a great game for the Phils. Kendrick pitched very well and Contreras and Figueroa threw three shutdown innings at the end of the game. But the offensive continued to scuffle as Rollins, Howard, Ibanez and Werth combined to go 2-for-17.

The Phillies are 44-40 on the year after being the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 in twelve innings last night.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and allowed a run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings. All three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.49.

Joey Votto homered to right center with two outs in the first, putting the Reds up 1-0.

The Phillies tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Kendrick set the Reds down in order in the second, third and fourth.

The Phils were up 2-1 when Cincinnati hit in the top of the fifth. Jay Bruce led off with a double to right. Laynce Nix was next and flew to center, with Bruce tagging and moving up to third. It brought Drew Stubbs to the plate and the Reds tried to pull off the squeeze, but Stubbs popped the bunt up. Kendrick caught it and Bruce was easily doubled-off of third to end the frame.

Corky Miller doubled to start the sixth and the pitcher Johnny Cueto bunted him to third. Brandon Phillips was next and he hit a ball to third that Dobbs handled. Dobbs looked the runner back and threw to first for the second out. Orlando Cabrera popped to Valdez to keep the Reds off the board.

Second time in two innings that Kendrick works out of a man no third with one out.

Kendrick got the first two in the seventh. With the Phils still up by just a run, Manuel brought in Romero to pitch to the lefty Bruce. Romero struck him out for the third out.

Kendrick had thrown 73 pitches in the game and allowed three hits and no walks.

Madson, activated for the game taking Zagurski’s spot in the pen, started the eighth. Stubbs and Miller singled back-to-back with one out. Righty Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Cueto and struck out swinging for the second out. It brought Phillips to the plate. Madson got ahead of him and threw a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Phillips swung and missed, but the ball bounced way away from Schneider. Schneider stood up and looked around wildly but couldn’t find the ball. Madson pointed and then ran after the ball, which bounced off the wall and back behind home plate. Schneider saw it then, too, and both of them took off after it while Stubbs raced around the bases. Schneider finally got to the ball, but there was nobody covering home and Stubbs scored to tie the game at 2-2. Orlando Cabrera grounded out to leave the runners stranded.

Lidge started the ninth with a 3-2 lead. Votto led off with a single and Scott Rolen walked behind him. It put men on first and second for Bruce, but Lidge got Bruce to ground into a double-play with Votto winding up at third with two down. Righty Miguel Cairo hit for the pitcher Arthur Rhodes and doubled to left, scoring Votto to tie the game again at 3-3. Stubbs flew to center for the third out.

Contreras, pitching for the third day in a row, threw a 1-2-3 tenth.

Figueroa, who had thrown 22 pitches the day before, struck out Cabrera and Votto in a 1-2-3 eleventh.

He was back for the twelfth and again set the Reds down in order. Jordan Smith smoked a ball to right in the frame, but Werth made a nice play to catch it up against the wall for the second out.

No runs charged to Contreras as he throws for the third straight day. He threw 19 pitches on July 4, didn’t pitch on the fifth and then threw three days in a row. Figueroa has made four appearances since rejoining the team on June 24 and has allowed a hit and a walk over 7 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out seven.

Baez needs to pitch if he’s on the team.

Figueroa threw 26 pitches, Madson 20, Lidge 15, Contreras 12, Romero five.

You would have to guess the Contreras and Figueroa are unlikely to pitch tonight.

The Phillies lineup against righty Johnny Cueto went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Valdez (8) Schneider. Schneider returns to the lineup after missing time with his thumb. Dobbs at third against the righty. Valdez plays second.

The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Victorino homered with one out to tie the game at 1-1. Ibanez and Howard went down behind him.

1-2-3 in the second.

Schneider and Kendrick both struck out to start the third before Rollins walked. Victorino followed that and hit a ball hard to first. Votto didn’t handle it and it rolled away from him. He got it and flipped to Cueto covering, but the ball and Victorino arrived at the same time and got away from Cueto. Votto fetched it and Victorino took a big turn around first and went back to the base. Votto threw to Cueto at first to try to get Victorino coming back to the bag, but Cueto didn’t handle the throw. Rollins stormed in from third and slid in safely, just ahead of the throw from Votto after he retrieved the ball yet again. Cueto then picked Victorino off of first to end the inning.

Wild play. Great hustle by Rollins to score from third when Cueto didn’t handle the throw from Votto for the second time.

Ibanez started the fourth with a single. He moved to second on a ground out by Howard and to third on another by Werth. Dobbs popped to Rolen at third to leave him stranded.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth.

Victorino walked with one out in the sixth, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him.

Werth singled with one out in the seventh. Dobbs was next and hit a soft liner towards second. Phillips let it drop intentionally and started a double-play to end the inning.

The game was tied at 2-2 when Valdez tripled to start the bottom of the eighth. Schneider struck out for the first out. With righty Nick Masset on the mound, Gload hit for Madson. Arthur Rhodes took over for Masset and Francisco hit for Gload. Francisco drew a walk and Rollins delivered a fly ball to left deep enough for Valdez to score and put the Phillies up 3-2. Francisco stole second before Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Stranding that runner at third after the leadoff triple would have been too much. Big sac fly for Rollins. Also a nice job by Francisco not to make an out and to get into scoring position with the stolen base.

The game was tied at 3-3 when the Phillies went in order in the ninth.

Castro started the tenth with a walk. Valdez tried to bunt him to second, but fouled off two pitches. Something went wrong after that, cause Valdez took a two strike pitch and Castro was thrown out stealing. Valdez blooped a single to right before Schneider flew to center for the second out. With righty Logan Ondrusek on the mound, righty Cody Ransom hit for Contreras and walked. Rollins grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Victorino reached on an infield single to start the eleventh. Ibanez grounded to second with Victorino forced at second for the first out. Howard followed that with a ground ball to short — he was thrown out at first with Ibanez moving to second. Werth was walked intentionally with Castro hitting behind him. Castro grounded to short to end the inning.

I would walk Werth a whole lot when Castro is hitting behind him.

Valdez grounded to third for the first out in the twelfth before Schneider hit an 0-1 pitch out to right to win the game for the Phils.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk, but did well to score from first base on a grounder to first in the third inning.

Victorino was 3-for-4 with a walk and a home run. Two homers in two days for Victorino.

Ibanez 1-for-5.

Howard 0-for-5.

Werth 1-for-4 with a walk.

Ibanez, Howard and Werth combine to go 2-for-14 with a single and a walk in the game.

Dobbs 0-for-3.

Valdez 2-for-5 with a triple. He now is outslugging Ibanez for the season. He’s at .402 and Ibanez is .394. The list of players outslugging Ibanez also includes Schneider, Sardinha and Gload (and Nelson Figueroa, but he’s outslugging everyone else on the team as well with his 2-for-4 with a double on the season).

Schneider was 1-for-5 and won the game with his third homer.

Blanton (5-3, 6.27) faces righty Mike Leake (6-1, 3.38) tonight. Blanton had made three pretty good starts in a row before allowing five runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Pirates in his last start. He has allowed 14 home runs in 74 1/3 innings this season. Leake faced the Phils on June 29 and was charged with six runs in six innings. Valdez and Schneider both homered off of him in that game. Over his last five starts he’s allowed five or more runs three times and thrown to a 6.35 ERA with a 1.91 ratio.


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