Tag: Sergio Escalona

All things being equal, I’d rather they not be in Philadelphia

It’s been a miserable couple of weeks for the Phillies as they’ve struggled badly at home and against teams from the American League. The runs they’ve scored as a team are down compared to the first two months of the season:

  Runs
scored
Games R/Game
April 119 20 5.95
May 148 28 5.29
June 89 19 4.68
       
Season 356 67 5.31

Compared to the rest of the season, or at least last month, the pitching has been bad but not that much worse:

  Runs
allowed
Games RA/Game
April 112 20 5.60
May 133 28 4.75
June 91 19 4.79
       
Season 336 67 5.01

Allowing 4.79 runs per game is still bad, it’s just not terrible compared to what the team had done the rest of the season. If the Phillies allowed 4.79 runs per game over 162 games they would give up 776 for the year. In 2008 they allowed 680 runs. Five NL teams allowed more than 776. Their best month of the year in terms of preventing runs so far has been May. In May they allowed 4.75 runs per game — if they allowed runs at that rate over 162 games they would allow about 770 over 162 games, which is still 90 more than they allowed in 2008.

Finally, given how awful the recent home stand was it is easy to forget that the Phillies started the month with a 7-3 road trip in which they got fantastic pitching. The hitting wasn’t real impressive in the nine games at home, but the problems the Phils have had winning at Citizens Bank Park this season still have a lot more to do with pitching than they do with hitting. Here’s how the runs the Phils have scored and allowed at home and away break down for June:

  G RS per game RA per game
Home 9 38 4.22 60 6.67
Away 10 51 5.10 31 3.10
           
Total 19 89 4.68 91 4.79

It’s real tough to win when you allow more than six runs per game. On the other hand, the Phils have scored more than five runs a game on the road and the pitching has been outstanding in the games away from Philly. In ten games the Phillies have allowed 31 runs.

Condrey was put on the DL and Escalona called up.

This says the Phillies are hopeful that Howard will be able to play today.


Home schooled

The Phillies have a whole lot of things going for them in 2009, but they oddly can’t get going at home. Their 23-9 mark on the road this season is the best mark in baseball, but they are a meager 13-16 at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phils didn’t pitch well at all against Boston this weekend in Philadelphia. Bastardo and Happ both made miserable starts. A rain delay in the middle game didn’t help matters much at all, forcing Bastardo from the contest after just one awful inning. Coming into the series having played back-to-back extra-inning games, the pen had to throw 17 1/3 innings over the three games. Their defense also abandoned them as they have now made five errors in their last two games.

The offense, however, keeps plugging along. The Phils scored 19 runs in the series and got two dramatic home runs. Howard sent the game to extra-innings with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth in game one, but the Phils fell in the thirteenth. The slumping Jimmy Rollins homered off of Josh Beckett in the bottom of the seventh yesterday to start a six-run rally that helped get the Phils their only win of the set.

The Phillies are 36-25 on the season after dropping two of three to the Red Sox. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Mets by four games.

Game one was a fantastic game that didn’t end well as the Phils played their third straight extra-inning contest. Blanton got the start and was very good, allowing two runs on two solo homers over seven innings. The Phils got a run in the second on hits by Victorino and Ibanez and a ground out by Feliz, but went into the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-1 without a hit since the second inning. Howard tied the game at 2-2 with a home run off of Ramon Ramirez to send it to extra-innings. Boston scored three runs off of Kyle Kendrick in the top of the thirteenth and won the game 5-2.

The Phillies made three errors in the top of the first in game two and Bastardo allowed five runs. A rain delay before the second inning forced Bastardo from the game and Durbin came on to pitch three innings in relief. The Phils had gotten to within 5-4 when the Red Sox hit in the top of the fifth, but Taschner gave up five hits and a walk in the frame and Boston pulled ahead 8-4. Sergio Escalona allowed another two runs in the seventh and the game ended 11-6.

Game three had the same 11-6 score, but the Phillies coming out on top. Happ’s start wasn’t good — Boston hit two home runs off of him in the fourth and pulled out to a 4-1 lead. Four runs for the Phils put them ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Happ gave up another homer in the top of the sixth, this one to pitcher Josh Beckett, tying the game at 5-5. The Phils pulled ahead to stay with a six-run seventh that started with a Rollins homer and featured a two-run double by Feliz.

Overall, Phillies pitchers threw 31 innings in the series. They posted a 5.81 ERA and a 1.84 ratio.

Blanton was very good in game one, but Bastardo and Happ both struggled. The three starting pitchers combined to throw to a 7.24 ERA and a 1.90 ratio in 13 2/3 innings. They allowed six home runs and walked 11 over 13 2/3.

Blanton was fantastic in game one. He allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings. Both of the runs came on solo homers, one from Drew and the other from Youkilis. He struck out seven. Hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last four starts.

Bastardo was awful in game two. He went just one inning, allowing five runs on three hits and three walks. The Phillies were terrible behind him, making three errors, but he didn’t pitch well.

Happ allowed five runs over 5 2/3 innings in game three. He gave up seven hits, including three homers, and walked six. Ew. That’s two bad starts in a row for Happ in which he’s allowed a total of nine runs over eleven innings and walked ten. His ERA has gone from 2.48 to 3.53 over his last two starts.

The relievers will enjoy a day off today after a long series. They combined to toss 17 1/3 innings. They weren’t very good, either, pitching to a 4.67 ERA and a 1.79 ratio. Kendrick got mashed in game one. Escalona and Taschner combined to allow five runs in three innings in game two. Park and Madson were very good in yesterday’s game.

Taschner started the fifth inning of game two with the Phillies down 5-4. He got hit hard, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. He had allowed a run over 7 2/3 innings in his last five appearances coming into the game.

Romero entered game one with two outs and a man on first to pitch to lefty Mark Kotsay. Kotsay singled, but Romero got Jason Varitek to set the side down. He came back for the ninth and allowed a two-out walk but got the next hitter to turn the Red Sox away.

He pitched the top of the ninth in game two with the Phillies down 10-6. Jacoby Ellsbury lead off the inning with a home run and Romero walked two in the frame, but avoided further damage by getting Nick Green to hit into a double-play.

First run of the year charged to Romero, but he has walked six in his 7 1/3 innings.

Escalona, who took Kendrick’s spot on the roster after game one, started the sixth inning of game two with the Phillies down 8-5. He kept Boston off the board in the sixth, but allowed a pair of runs in the top of the seventh on two hits, two walks and a hit batter.

Escalona was sent back to the IronPigs yesterday and Tyler Walker called up to fill his roster spot.

Park started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies down 2-1. He got the first two men he faced before Jason Bay singled. Romero came in to pitch to the left Kotsay.

Park came into game three in relief of Happ in the sixth with two outs and the bases empty and the score tied at 5-5. He got the only hitter he faced. He came back to throw a scoreless seventh. In the eighth he allowed a leadoff double and the runner came around to score, but the run was unearned due to an error by Bruntlett in left.

He’s allowed just one run (unearned) over the last eight innings he’s pitched.

Kendrick made his first appearance of the year for the Phils in game one. Didn’t go well. He set the Red Sox down in order in the twelfth, but the thirteenth was a problem. Boston loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Ellsbury singled to right to put the Red Sox up 3-2. A sac fly and another single followed before Kendrick ended the frame with the Phils down 5-2.

Durbin was great in game two. After Bastardo left after a rain delay having throwing just one inning, Durbin threw three scoreless frames. He allowed just one single and three walks and lowered his ERA on the year to 3.86.

Condrey pitched the eleventh inning of game one with the score tied at 2-2. He set Boston down in order on three ground balls.

He pitched the eighth in game two. He walked JD Drew with two outs, but got the next hitter to ground out to turn Boston away.

Madson struck out the side in the top of the tenth in game one with the score tied at 2-2. He hit Youkilis with one out, but left him stranded by getting the next two hitters.

He pitched the ninth inning of game three with an 11-6 lead. He allowed two singles but kept Boston off the board. He hasn’t allowed a run in his eight appearances in June.

The Phillies scored 19 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins has just one hit in the series, the home run yesterday. 1-for-15 with a home run. He’s hitting 217/254/330 on the season. Hasn’t drawn a walk in June and is hitting .186 for the month.

Victorino made a fantastic catch to take a hit away from Drew in game one. He was 4-for-14 with two doubles in the series and is hitting 287/338/449 for the year.

Utley was 5-for-14 with a double in the series. 305/438/577 for the season.

Howard had a dramatic home run in game one to send the game to extra-innings. 5-for-16 with a double, a home run and seven strikeouts in the set. 257/330/566 for the year.

Ibanez started the first two games of the series with Dobbs starting in left yesterday. 3-for-9 with a double and a home run in the series. 322/380/678 for the year. If he slugged .678 for the whole season it would be a career high.

Werth hit third in the first game of the series with Jon Lester on the mound for the Red Sox, sixth in the second game and fifth in the third. He was 5-for-13 in the series with a double and a home run. 262/358/440 on the year. His home run in game two was his first extra-base hit of the month.

Feliz was 5-for-12 with a double, a home run and five RBI. 318/365/445 for the year.

Ruiz started the first two games and was 2-for-8 with two singles and walk in the series. 284/405/459 for the season.

Coste started game three and went 1-for-4 in the series. He’s hitting 253/359/430 for the year.

Bruntlett made an error in left in yesterday’s game that helped Boston score a run. He was 1-for-2 and hit by two pitches in the series. He’s at 167/263/250 for the year.

Dobbs hit what was nearly a critical home run in game one on a ball down the right field line and over the foul pole. The ball was called foul. He started in left field in yesterday’s game. 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in the set. 175/250/316 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-2 in the set and is hitting 289/460/553 for the year.

Bako did not play in the series and has one at-bat since the Phillies called him up from Reading on June 9.


Glorious Bastardos

Lefty Antonio Bastardo makes his major league debut tonight as the Phils face the Padres in San Diego. The 23-year-old has been undeniably impressive this season at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Here are his numbers for the season between the two stops:

G GS IP ERA Ratio H BB SO
11 7 47.7 1.89 0.88 32 10 51

Opponents are hitting just .194 against him, he’s struck out more than a batter an inning and allowed just two home runs in 47 2/3 innings.

The Phillies signed Bastardo as a non-drafted free agent in June of 2005 and has been pitching well for them since. In 2006 he threw just 23 innings in the Gulf Coast League. In 2007 and 2008 he worked full-time as a starter. In 2009 he has made four appearances as a reliever, but the other seven have been starts. Here’s his rates for hits, walks, strikeouts and home runs for the past three seasons:

Year Level IP ERA Ratio H/9 BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
2007 A 96.7 2.14 1.17 6.3 4.2 10.2 0.3
2008 A, AA 97.7 2.95 1.26 7.0 4.3 10.0 1.4
2009 AA, AAA 47.7 1.89 0.88 6.1 1.9 9.7 0.4
                 
Career - 264.7 2.55 1.18 6.7 3.9 10.1 0.7

The strikeouts are impressive. He’s struck out 297 in his 264 2/3 career innings in the minors and so far this year he’s kept his strikeout rate up near where it had been at the lower levels. Beyond that, two things stick out. The first is that he’s walked far fewer hitters in 2009 than he has in the two previous seasons. After walking 92 in 194 1/3 innings in ’07 and ’08 combined, he’s walked just ten hitters in 47 2/3 innings in 2009. Between ’06 and ’07 Bastardo walked more than four hitters per nine innings and that’s just too many. By way of comparison, Myers has walked 3.14 batters per nine over his career, Blanton 2.57, Hamels 2.34 and Moyer 2.58. He hasn’t walked much of anybody at all so far in ’09 — let’s hope that trend continues.

The other thing is the home runs. In 2007 and 2009 he allowed just five in 144 1/3 innings, but last year he allowed 15 in 97 2/3 innings. Of the 15, 13 came in the 67 innings he pitched at Double-A Reading. He’s been great at keeping the ball in the yard so far in ’09. Like the walks, let’s hope it’s a trend that continues.

John Mayberry will be sent down to AAA to make room for Bastardo on the roster. Sergio Escalona was called up into Myers’ roster spot.

JC Romero can be activated after tonight’s game.


Weekend at Washington turns out to be a little like Weekend at Bernie’s except the Nats don’t show quite as much life as Bernie did

The Washington Nationals are a really bad baseball team. The Phillies aren’t, but they came into a four-game set over the weekend playing pretty bad baseball. They took advantage of the opportunity to use the lifeless Nats to jump-start themselves.

With the exception of a much-needed great start by Myers, the rotation didn’t to much of the jump-starting. The bullpen threw almost as many innings as the rotation in the series. Blanton, Andrew Carpenter and Park combined to throw 10 1/3 innings in the three starts that they made. Park clearly beat Happ straight up for the fifth starter job out of spring training, but that’s not going to help him keep it much longer if he doesn’t turn things around soon. Four of the seven starts he has made on the year have now been very poor. Yesterday’s was probably the worst of the group, and given the fact that he allowed five runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings that fact that you have to throw “probably” in there isn’t a good sign.

Finally, Raul Ibanez, who went 9-for-18 with three home runs and nine RBI in the series, is making Ruben Amaro look like a mad genius. After 36 games, Ibanez leads the National League in OPS, slugging, total bases and extra-base hits. He’s tied for second in RBI and fifth in batting average.

The Phillies swept the miserable Washington Nationals in a four-game set over the weekend. After winning four in a row they are 20-16. Four games above .500 ties them for their high-mark on the season — they were 14-10 after being the Cards on May 5.

The Phillies won game one of the series 10-6 in 12 innings. Howard delivered a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to put the Phillies up 6-4. The Nats sent it to extra-innings with two runs off of Lidge in the bottom of the ninth. Condrey and Happ were fantastic after that, keeping Washington off the board for three innings. The Phils scored four runs in the top of the twelfth with Ibanez putting them ahead to stay with a two-run single after Kip Wells walked the bases loaded.

The teams played a day-night double-header on Saturday. Myers was huge in game one, keeping the pen in the pen and holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings. Ibanez had a huge day, driving in four with a pair of home runs. The Phils took an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth where Madson gave up three runs to make it 8-5, which was how it ended.

The Phillies won the second game of the double-header, which was stopped due to rain in the bottom of the sixth and not restarted, 7-5. Andrew Carpenter made the first start of his career after Happ, who was scheduled to pitch, had to throw two innings in game one of the series on Friday night. Carpenter wasn’t good, he allowed five runs over 4 1/3, but the Phillies’ offense was. The top four hitters, Rollins, Utley, Ibanez and Howard, combined to go 9-for-12 with six RBI.

The Phils completed the sweep with an 8-6 win yesterday. Park was terrible. The Phils gave him an early lead with three runs in the top of the first, but Park gave that right back and didn’t make it out of the second inning. The bullpen was fantastic, though, holding Washington to a run over 7 2/3 innings. The Phillies tied the game at 5-5 with two runs in the top of the fourth. Down 6-5 in the eighth with men on first and second, Feliz put down a pretty bunt. The pitcher Jesus Colome fielded and threw to first, where Anderson Hernandez must not have seen the ball because he looked like he made no effort to catch it. Both runners scored and Feliz came in to score when Bruntlett delivered a pinch-hit double two batters later. Eyre started the bottom of the ninth with two lefties due to hit to start the inning, but Lidge, pitching for the fourth straight day, came in to induce a double-play to get the last two outs of the game.

The Phillies threw 35 innings in the four-game set, pitching to a 5.66 ERA and a 1.54 ratio. In 35 innings they walked 20.

Myers made a very good start in game two, but otherwise the starting pitching was terrible. The four starters combined to throw 17 2/3 innings with an 8.15 ERA and a 2.04 ratio. They walked 15 in 17 2/3 innings. Blanton, Carpenter and Park combined not to get an out in the sixth inning and the bullpen had to throw 17 1/3 innings in the set, just 1/3 of an inning less than the starters. It should have been worse — the rain that ended game three was a gift for the Phillies and their bullpen.

Blanton got the start in game one and allowed four runs over five innings on five hits and six walks. He has a 6.86 ERA for the season.

Myers started the first game on Saturday and pitched very well in a situation where the Phillies really needed him. He allowed two runs on two solo homers over seven innings while striking out eight. He gave up just three hits in the game and walked two.

Andrew Carpenter made the first start of his career in game three, the night game of Saturday’s double-header. He allowed eight hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs. One of the runs scored on a triple that Condrey allowed to Ronnie Belliard in the fifth inning after Carpenter had left the game.

Carpenter took Miguel Cairo’s spot when he was called up to start the game. Cairo was designated for assignment. Sergio Escalona took Carpenter’s roster and was active for Sunday’s game with Carpenter going back to the IronPigs.

Chan Ho Park started yesterday and was ten pounds of suck in a five-pound bag. Five runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings. His ERA is 7.08 for the season.

With the exception of Myers, the starters were terrible and the bullpen bailed them out. The pen threw 17 1/3 innings to a 3.12 ERA and a 1.04 ratio. They struck out 16 and did not allow a home run.

Happ was expected to start the second game of Saturday’s double-header, but was pressed into action in game one. He entered with the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the eleventh and got the job done, throwing two scoreless frames and getting the win with the help of a four-run top of the twelfth from the offense.

Taschner took over for Park with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second in game four after Park walked in a run to put the Phillies down 4-3. He hit the first man he faced, forcing in another run to make it 5-3, but got Josh Willingham to hit into a huge double-play to get out of the jam. He came back and threw a scoreless third and a scoreless fourth.

Eyre started the seventh in game one after Howard gave the Phils a 6-4 lead with a three-run shot in the top of the inning. He got the only two men he faced before Madson took over to face the righty Austin Kearns.

He threw a 1-2-3 eighth in game four with the Phils up 8-6. With two lefties due to leadoff the bottom of the ninth and Lidge having pitched three days in a row, Eyre started the bottom of the ninth. He got Adam Dunn before walking Willie Harris before Lidge relieved him to pitch to the righty Willingham.

Sergio Escalona made his major-league debut yesterday in the bottom of the seventh with the Phillies down 6-5. He allowed a one-out single to Anderson Hernandez, but got the next two hitters.

Fantastic job by Escalona to keep the Phillies in the game.

Durbin came on for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth in game one with the Phils down 4-3. He hit Nick Johnson with two outs, but got the next hitter.

Yesterday he took over for Taschner in game four in the bottom of the fifth with the score tied at 5-5. He threw a scoreless fifth and came back to start the sixth. In the sixth he allowed back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced before Ryan Zimmerman delivered a sac fly that put the Nats up 6-5. Durbin got the next two to avoid further damage.

Durbin hasn’t allowed a home run in May after giving up three in April.

Condrey threw a 1-2-3 tenth in game one with the score tied at 6-6. Impressive showing for Condrey, pitching on one day’s rest after throwing 40 pitches on Wednesday against the Dodgers.

He entered in the bottom of the fifth in game three, relieving Carpenter in the second game of Saturday’s double-header. He came into the game with one out and a man on first with the Phillies up 7-4. The first man he faced, Belliard, delivered an RBI-triple, but Condrey struck out the next hitters.

Madson entered game one with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the Phils up by two with the bases empty. He got Austin Kearns to end the inning. He came back to throw a scoreless eighth.

After going more than an inning on Friday, Madson entered in the bottom of the eighth in game two with an 8-2 lead. He gave up three runs on four hits. Madson shouldn’t have been in the game with a six-run lead in the first place. Taschner, who had thrown 38 pitches on Wednesday, seems like he was the obvious choice.

Lidge came on to try and save game one with a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth in game one. The Nats tied the game against him on a walk, a single and a two-run double by Willie Harris.

He got another chance to close in game two of the series. He entered with an 8-5 lead and kept Washington off the board, allowing one hit, a single.

Yesterday, in game four, he entered the bottom of the ninth with an 8-6 lead with one down and a man on first. He was pitching for the fourth day in a row. On his second pitch, Willingham hit into a double-play to end the game.

The Phillies scored 33 runs in four games in the series.

Rollins was 7-for-18 with a triple and two walks in the series. 222/268/320 for the year. His on-base and slugging percentages are highs for the season. He went 1-for-4 on opening day, but that was the only day of the year he ended the day with an average better than .222.

Victorino was dropped to sixth in the order for games three and four. 5-for-17 with a double in the series. 256/304/417 for the season.

Utley hit second in the order in games three and four when Victorino dropped to sixth. He didn’t start game two of the series against the lefty Olsen. Bruntlett played second. He went 4-for-9 with five walks and three doubles in the series. 291/443/590 for the year.

Howard had an enormous at-bat in game one. With the Phils down a run in the top of the seventh, the slumping Utley and slumping Howard were due to hit. Utley struck out, but Howard delivered a three-run blast to center. 5-for-17 with a double and two home runs in the series. 266/346/517.

Werth didn’t start gave three with Stairs in right against the righty Daniel Cabrera. 5-for-15 with two walks and a homer in the series. 294/396/540 for the year. He’s hitting .340 in May.

Ibanez hit sixth in the first game of the series, but third in every other game. 9-for-18 with three home runs, two walks and nine RBI in the series. 357/425/714 for the year. If he slugs .714 for the whole season it would be a career-high.

Feliz did not start game three with Cabrera on the mound for Washington. 7-for-14 with two doubles in the set. 308/380/425 for the season.

Ruiz went 3-for-12 with three singles and three RBI in the set. 255/397/340. Coste started game two against Olsen.

Coste started game two. He went 3-for-6 with a double in the series. 236/333/400 for the year.

Bruntlett made another appearance as the Phillies’ top right-handed bat against a lefty in game one. Again it did not work. With two outs and runners on first and second, Dobbs hit for Blanton with righty Garrett Mock on the mound. The Nats brought in lefty Ron Villone, Bruntlett hit for Dobbs and Villone got Bruntlett to pop to shallow center. Bruntlett may be the Phillies’ best option off the bench against a left-handed hitter, but he’s not good enough to consistently burn Dobbs’ bat as teams have done time and again.

He started at second in game two of the series against the lefty Olsen with Utley on the bench. 1-for-6 with a double in the series. 138/206/276. His double yesterday is his only hit in May.

Dobbs started game three with Cabrera on the mound. 0-for-3 in the series. 125/200/125 for the year. 4-for-32 with four singles.

Stairs started game three in right with the righty Cabrera on the mound for Washington. 0-for-3 with two walks in the set. 318/500/636 in 22 at-bats for the year.

Cairo went 0-for-1 on Friday before being designated for assignment on Saturday when Carpenter came up. 118/118/118. 2-for-17 with two singles. Despite his right-handedness, he was never a good match for this team. There’s a bunch of other people in the world who are right-handed and aren’t a good match, either. Me, for example.


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