Tag: Shane Victorino

Center fielder of attention

If you take a look at Shane Victorino’s splits for 2012, the first thing that’s sure to grab you is that he’s hitting a miserable 224/287/302 against right-handed pitching. There’s more, though. Victorino’s numbers away from home are about as bad as his numbers against righties if not worse. For the year, Victorino is hitting 218/281/351 on the road.

In 2012, his numbers against lefties are better than they’ve been over his career and his numbers at home are pretty similar:

2012 Career
vs left 316/391/592 298/372/513
Home 274/345/389 280/353/438

Victorino only has 87 plate appearances against lefties so far in 2012, but in those 87 he has delivered hits, walks and extra-bases hits all way above his career levels. Against both righties and lefties at home, he’s walked at a better rate than his career marks and gotten hits at about the same rate, but with less power.

Against righties and away from home, it’s been a different story. And that’s a problem given that about three quarters of his plate appearances (76.4%) have come against righties and more than half (52.3%) have come on the road.

2012 Career
vs right 224/287/302 267/329/401
Away 218/281/351 271/330/426

Victorino’s career numbers aren’t very good either on the road or against right-handed pitching, but both splits are way down in 2012. Over his career he’s been a lot better against lefties than righties and that trend has been magnified dramatically in 2012. His road and home splits are about the same in terms of hit rate and power, but he has walked more in his home games over his career, about 8.9% of his home plate appearances and about 6.7% of his plate appearances away from home.

Victorino has has good years against right-handed pitching, but not for a while. His first solid year against righties came in 2006 (292/345/409) and he followed that up with a 2007 in which he hit 276/339/394 against righties. 2008 was probably his best year against righties as he on-based .355 against them, putting up a 298/355/407 line. His hits and walks were off in a little against them in ’09, but he hit for more power: 283/347/440. After 2009 his numbers against righties took a huge dive. In 2010 he on-based .305 against them. 2011 he came back a little, on-basing just .335 but posting a career-high .455 slugging percentage against them. 2012 has been the worst year so far.

Here’s how his career numbers against right-handed pitching look broken up into groups of pre-2006, 2007-2009 and 2010-2012:

PA Vs RHP
Before 2006 83 176/232/243
2006-2009 1599 288/348/415
2010-2012 1190 245/311/392

If you compare the 2010-2012 numbers to the 2006-2009, Victorino has been more likely to get a walk against a righty since 2010 (8.0% of plate appearances vs righties since 2010 compared to 7.3% ’06-’09). He’s also hit for more power (isolated power of .147 since 2010 compared to .127 ’06 to ’09). His numbers are way, way down overall, though, and much of that is due to the fact that he has hit so many fewer singles. From 2006 through 2009, Victorino singled in about 26.0% of his plate appearances against right-handed pitching. Since the start of 2010 he has singled in about 22.4% of them.

Update: I noted in the comments section that Victorino’s batting average for balls in play for ’06 to ’09 was .312. From 2010 to 2012 it is .276. That could be bad luck or could be not as fast as he used to be. Or some of both. Either way, it seems important if his recent downturn is not about walking or hitting for power but getting as many singles.


Break, way down

The Phillies finished out their miserable first half yesterday, falling to Atlanta as the Braves completed a three-game sweep.

Jason Pridie, a late addition to the lineup after Victorino was scratched, provided all the offense the Phils would get in the game, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Raul Valdes surrendered a solo shot to Brian McCann in the top of the seventh, breaking a 3-3 tie in a game the Braves went on to win 4-3.

It was McCann’s third home run in the series and the second time in the three games the bullpen failed the Phils. In game one of the set the teams went into the eighth in a scoreless tie and Bastardo was charged with five runs.

Any hope that the return of Utley and Howard would spark the Phils to better play is all but vanished. The team is 1-9 in the games in which Utley has played and 0-2 in the games where Howard has played.

The Phillies are 37-50 on the year after losing to the Atlanta Braves 4-3 yesterday afternoon. The Braves sweep the three-game series. The Phillies go into the All-Star break in last place in the NL East, 14 games behind the first-place Nats. They’ve lost ten of 11 and are 9-25 over their last 34 games.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out five.

He walked Martin Prado and Jason Heyward back-to-back with one out in the top of the first, but got Brian McCann to hit into a double-play to turn Atlanta away.

He threw a 1-2-3 second. Up 2-0, Worley allowed a two-out single to Michael Bourn in the third, but got Martin Prado on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Freddie Freeman doubled with two outs in the fourth. Dan Uggla was next and homered to center, tying the game at 2-2. Andrelton Simmons followed that with another double and Worley walked Juan Francisco ahead of the pitcher Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens grounded to first to leave Simmons stranded.

Three straight extra-base hits, the only three he allowed in the game.

The Phillies were back ahead at 3-2 when Worley started the fifth. Prado and Heyward reached on back-to-back singles with one out. Brian McCann was next and singled into center, scoring Prado (3-3) and moving Heyward up to second. Freeman flew to left before a walk to Uggla loaded the bases for Simmons. Lefty Eric Hinske hit for Simmons and struck out to leave the runners stranded.

Worley set the Braves down in order in the sixth.

Valdes started the seventh. He got the first two before McCann hit a 1-2 pitch out to center, putting the Braves up 4-3. Freeman followed with a single to center. Schwimer took over for Valdes and got the righty Uggla on a ball handled by Ruiz for the third out.

Valdes has been charged with at least one run in three of his last four appearances. Schwimer has a 1.32 ERA and an 0.95 ratio over his last 15 outings

Horst threw a 1-2-3 eighth. He’s allowed one hit and two walks in five scoreless innings over five appearances with the Phils.

Papelbon started the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Bourn. He got the next two, with Bourn stealing second as he struck out Heyward for the second out. McCann struck out swinging to leave Bourn a second.

Papelbon has a 5.40 ERA in his 11 appearances since the start of June.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jair Jurrjens went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Pence (7) Pridie (8) Fontenot. Victorino was a late scratch with Pridie in center against the righty. Pierre in left against the righty and Fontenot at third.

Utley singled with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Howard struck out behind him.

Ruiz singled to start the second. Ruiz struck out for the first out, but Pridie was next and homered to right, putting the Phils up 2-0. Fontenot followed with a single and Worley bunted him to second with the second out. Rollins popped to Francisco in foul territory for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the third.

The game was tied at 2-2 when they hit in the fourth. Pence walked with one out and scored when Pridie followed with a double to right, putting the Phils up 3-2. Fontenot and Worley went down behind Pridie.

A double, a home run and three RBI for Pridie in his first two at-bats.

It was 3-3 when the Phillies went in order in the fifth.

Ruiz singled with one out in the sixth, but Pence hit into a double-play behind him.

Down 4-3, the Phils went in order in the seventh. With the righty Jurrjens still on the mound, Wigginton hit for Schwimer with two outs and the bases empty and grounded to third.

Righty Kris Medlen set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

Righty Craig Kimbrel threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Howard and Ruiz and getting Pence on a fly ball to right.

Rollins was 0-for-4 in the game and 1-for-12 in the three-game series. He’s hitting 256/310/402 for the year. 210/262/315 away from home.

Pierre was 0-for-4 yesterday and 1-for-11 with a double in the series. 307/344/378. Your team has a whole lot of problems when you give Juan Pierre 262 plate appearances in the first half of the season, virtually all of which came as a corner outfielder, and that’s not even close to the top of the list of things that are wrong with the team. He’s hitting 250/283/364 over his last 95 plate appearances.

Utley 1-for-4. 1-for-11 with four strikeouts in the set. 8-for-34 (.235) for the year with a walk and two home runs.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 2-for-8 with a double in the series in his first action of the year.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 3-for-12 with a double in the series. 350/412/584 for the year. Fourth in the NL in average, fourth in on-base percentage and fourth in slugging.

Pence 0-for-3 with a walk, which was the only walk of the game for the Phils. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series. 285/352/482 for the year. 357/438/607 over his last 64 plate appearances.

Pridie 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He’s 3-for-5 on the year. Victorino didn’t play yesterday but was 1-for-7 with a walk and the series and hits the break at a miserable 245/311/369 and 2-for-his-last-16. 223/288/304 against right-handed pitching.

Fontenot 1-for-3 in the game and 1-for-6 on the season. 325/364/386 in 88 plate appearances for the season. Polanco was 0-for-3 in the series and is hitting 266/311/342 for the year. 197/282/250 over his last 86 plate appearances. 235/295/358 against lefties.

Next game for the Phillies in Friday night in Colorado.


After eight hints

Looking for a sign of life from the Phillies? The Phillies need a spark and the last two games against the miserable Rockies make you wonder if they might have found it. After pounding Colorado in the series opener, the Phillies rallied for two late last night for a 7-6 win.

Trailing by a run with two outs and nobody on in the ninth, five straight Phillies reached base against Colorado closer Rafael Betancourt. Ty Wigginton, who came into his at-bat 3-for-his-last-31, singled to left and came around to tie the game when Pence blasted a double high off the wall in the left field corner. Ruiz was walked intentionally before Victorino hit a ground ball to short that should have sent the game to extra-innings, but a hustling Victorino beat Marco Scutaro’s throw to first to keep the frame alive. Polanco followed and hit another ground ball to short and again wound up just safe, this time on Todd Helton’s error as the Colorado first baseman’s foot couldn’t quite find the bag in time.

It was the first time this season that the Phillies had won a game they were losing after eight innings.

The bad news is that Joe Blanton was awful again, allowing five runs, all five of which scored on the three home runs he allowed in the first four innings of the game. Blanton pitched to a 2.96 ERA in his first eight starts of the year. Since then he has made seven starts in which he has thrown to a 7.44 ERA, allowing 15 home runs in 42 1/3 innings. He has allowed at least five earned runs in six of his last seven outings.

The Phillies are 33-37 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 7-6 last night. They have won two in a row, but remain in last place in the NL East, eight games behind the first-place Nationals.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all home runs. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.

Carlos Gonzalez singled to center with two outs in the top of the first, but Blanton got Michael Cuddyer on a ground ball to second to end the frame.

The Phillies were up 1-0 when Blanton started the second. Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on first and second for Wilin Rosario. Rosario hit an 0-1 pitch out to center, putting Colorado up 3-1. Blanton struck pitcher Alex White out swinging for the second out and Tyler Colvin out swinging for the third.

Blanton started the third up 4-3. He got the first before Cuddyer hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, tying the game at 4-4. Todd Helton grounded to first for the third out.

Second time in two innings Blanton gave away the lead by allowing a home run.

With one out in the fourth and the game still tied, Chris Nelson homered to center. 5-4 Colorado. Blanton got the next two.

First time in one inning Blanton gave away the tie by allowing a home run.

With the score tied at 5-5, Blanton set the Rockies down in order in the fifth.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth and struck out Rosario and pitcher Jeremy Guthrie in the seventh.

Bastardo started the eighth. Switch-hitter Dexter Fowler hit for the lefty Tyler Colvin and walked. Scutaro lined to third before Gonzalez moved Fowler up to third with a single to right. Bastardo struck Cuddyer out swinging 1-2 for the second out before Gonzalez stole second. Helton fouled out to Polanco to leave the runners at second and third.

Huge strikeout for Bastardo to get the righty Cuddyer with one out and runners on first and third. He was pitching for the first time since June 13 and has allowed one run on five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings over his last seven appearances.

Papelbon started the ninth with the game still tied. He got the first two batters before Rosario doubled to right. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for the pitcher Matt Belisle and was walked intentionally. Pitcher Josh Outman ran for Giambi at first. Fowler was the next hitter for Colorado and he singled to right, scoring Rosario to put Colorado up 6-5 with men on first and third. Fowler stole second before Papelbon struck Scutaro out to leave runners on second and third.

Great job by Manuel to bring Papelbon into a non-save situation, but again Papelbon doesn’t pitch well. In 17 innings in save situations this year, Papelbon has yet to allow a run, pitching to an 0.00 ERA and an 0.58 ratio. In 10 1/3 innings in non-save situations, he has thrown to a 6.10 ERA with a 1.65 ratio.

Bastardo threw 31 pitches in the game and Papelbon 23.

The Phillies lineup against righty Alex White went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Pierre in left and Mayberry at first. Ruiz hits cleanup. Martinez at second with the lefty Fontenot on the bench.

Pierre tripled to left with one out in the bottom of the first and came in to score on a ground out by Pence, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz lined to right for the third out.

Polanco singled to center with one out in the second and the Phillies down 3-1. Mayberry followed that with a walk, bringing Martinez to the plate with two men on. Martinez hit a 1-0 pitch out to center, putting the Phils up 4-3. Blanton and Rollins both grounded out behind him to end the inning.

Martinez is a really bad hitter, don’t let the homer fool you, but a big swing there puts the Phils back on top after Rosario’s three-run shot in the top of the second puts them behind.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the bottom of the third and the game tied at 4-4. Victorino bunted for a hit, putting men on first and second for Polanco. Polanco grounded to the pitcher for the third out.

Mayberry doubled to right to start the fourth with the Phillies down 5-4. White got Martinez and Blanton on a pair of ground balls before lefty Matt Reynolds took over for White. Rollins blooped a double to right, scoring Mayberry to tie the game at 5-5. Pierre grounded to second for the third out.

Rollins’s double didn’t look like much, dropping just in front of a changing Cuddyer in right, but it got things even again. Mayberry delivers another extra-base hit that helps get the Phillies a run.

Righty Jeremy Guthrie set the Phillies down in order in the fifth.

Polanco led off the sixth and reached on an error by Scutaro at short, but Mayberry, Martinez and Blanton went in order behind him.

Scutaro was awful in the game and his defense would be a big factor on two plays in the ninth-inning rally. Polanco’s ball was hit in the hole between short and third and he didn’t backhand it cleanly.

Guthrie set the Phillies down in order in the seventh.

Righty Matt Belisle hit Ruiz to start the eighth. Victorino bunted him to second with the first out and Polanco was walked intentionally. Mayberry struck out swinging for the second out and Martinez grounded to first to leave the runners stranded.

Walking Polanco intentionally is a poor idea. The hot Mayberry can’t come through that time, striking out for the second out in a tie game with two men on.

The Phillies were down 6-5 when they started the ninth against righty Rafael Betancourt. Thome hit for Papelbon and grounded out hard to Helton at first for the first out. Rollins grounded to third for the second before Wigginton, who entered the game at first in the top of the eighth, singled to left. Pence was next and he ripped a 1-1 pitch down the line and off the top of the wall in left for a double. Wigginton scored to tie the game at 6-6. Ruiz was walked intentionally to pitch to Victorino. Victorino hit a ground ball to first, but beat Scutaro’s throw for an infield single that loaded the bases. Polanco was next and he hit a ball to short. Scutaro fielded moving towards second and threw to first. The throw was a little high and when Helton tried to get his foot down he missed first base. Polanco was safe, Pence scored and the game was over.

Big two-out hit for Wigginton, who has been struggling terribly. Pence hits a rocket off the wall to tie the game. Victorino’s ball wasn’t hit hard, but Scutaro stayed back on it a little bit. Great job by Victorino to run hard and beat it out. Scutaro’s throw on the ball Polanco hit to end the game was good enough, Helton should have made the play to send the game to extra-innings.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 14-for-his-last-35 (.400).

Pierre 1-for-4 with a triple. 9-for-his-last-25 (.360).

Pence was 1-for-5 with a game-tying double with two outs in the ninth and two RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-25.

Ruiz went 0-for-2 and walked twice.

Victorino 2-for-4. Big infield single in the ninth-inning rally. 8-for-his-last-36 (.222).

Mayberry 1-for-3 with a walk, a double and two strikeouts. 9-for-his-last-24 with seven extra-base hits.

Martinez 1-for-4 with a three-run homer to raise his average on the year to .182 after 33 at-bats.

Worley (3-3, 2.80) faces lefty Jeff Francis (0-1, 12.46) tonight. Worley has allowed one earned run in 13 innings over his last two starts. Francis has made just two appearances on the season, both starts and both of which didn’t go well. He’s allowed 18 hits in 8 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting .439 against him.


Phils work their oft questioned keep-it-close-and-try-to-get-Luna-to-the-plate-late playbook to perfection

The Phillies scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning last night, blowing a close game open on their way to a 9-2 win over the Cubs.

Kyle Kendrick made a strong start in the game, holding the Cubs to two runs on three hits over six innings. Only one of the runs was earned, thanks to an error on a dropped fly ball by Pierre in front of an Alfonso Soriano home run.

The bullpen, still miserable, didn’t blink in a close game. Jose Contreras, who came into the game with a 9.00 ERA for the season, threw a scoreless seventh with the game tied at 2-2. Bastardo, who has allowed one hit in nine appearances so far in May, struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils up a run. Raul Valdes made his debut with the Phillies in the ninth, striking out two more in another perfect frame after a two-run single by Wigginton and a grand slam from Hector Luna had broken the game open in the top of the inning.

By ERA, the Phillies bullpen is no longer the worst in all of baseball. At 5.02 they have passed the Tigers and the Mets.

The Phillies are 19-19 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-2 last night. They have won five of their last six games and four in a row for the first time this season.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Only one of the runs was earned. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter, dropping his ERA to 5.94 with the outing.

Over his last three starts, Kendrick has thrown to a 2.12 ERA with a 1.06 ratio.

David DeJesus doubled to right to start the bottom of the first. Tony Campana bunted him to third with the first out. Kendrick struck Starlin Castro out swinging 0-2 for the second out and got lefty Bryan LaHair on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

Big strikeout of Castro for the second out with a runner on third helps Kendrick keep Chicago off the board.

Up 1-0, Kendrick set the Cubs down in order in the second.

Darwin Barney led off the third with a single and pitcher Matt Garza bunted him to second with the first out. DeJesus flew to left for the second out with Barney moving up to third. Kendrick struck Campana out to leave Barney stranded.

With one out in the fourth, LaHair hit a fly ball to left that Pierre dropped for an error that left LaHair on second. Alfonso Soriano was next and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, putting the Cubs on top 2-1. Kendrick got Ian Stewart and Geovany Soto on a pair of ground balls to end the inning.

Would have been a nifty time to catch the really routine fly ball to left in front of Soriano’s homer.

With the score tied at 2-2, Kendrick set the Cubs down in order in the fifth.

He struck out Campana in a 1-2-3 sixth. Mayberry made a nice diving play at first to rob LaHair of a hit, flipping to Kendrick covering first to end the inning.

Contreras started the seventh with the game still tied and got Soriano, Stewart and Soto in order.

Seems nutty to me to put Contreras into a tie game, but it worked out well for the Phils. Contreras is not charged with a run in his appearance for the first time in three outings, dropping his ERA on the season to 8.00.

Bastardo started the eighth with a 3-2 lead. He struck Barney out swinging for the first out. Righty Jeff Baker hit for the pitcher Shawn Camp and Bastardo got him swinging for the second out. DeJesus grounded to short for the third out.

I like Bastardo pitching the eighth in a tight game a whole lot better than Contreras pitching the seventh. Bastardo hasn’t allowed a run in nine appearances in May, giving up just one hit and three walks in 8 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out nine. He has pitched three of the last four days, but got Tuesday off.

Raul Valdes pitched the ninth with a 9-2 lead, making his Phillies debut. He set the Cubs down in order, striking out pinch-hitter Joe Mather and LaHair.

Three shutdown innings from the pen in which they do not allow a hit or a walk while striking out five.

Bastardo threw 21 pitches in the game, Valdes 20 and Contreras 13. None of that group has pitched more than one day in a row, but Bastardo has thrown three of the last four days.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Ruiz (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis.

With one out in the top of the first, Pierre bunted down the first base line. Garza fielded, but made an awful throw to first for an error. Pierre stole second and Victorino bunted him to third with the second out. Pence grounded to third to leave Pierre stranded.

Really, really not a fan of bunting with your three-hitter in the top of the first inning even if it works.

Pierre was almost surely out at first on his bunt attempt, but got the call.

Ruiz started the second with a single into center. Polanco flew to center for the first out before Mayberry moved Ruiz up to second with a dribbler out in front of the plate for the second. Galvis was next and ripped a double down the first base line, scoring Ruiz to put the Phils up 1-0. Kendrick struck out looking to leave Galvis at second.

Rollins and Pierre singled back-to-back to start the third, putting runners on first and second for Victorino. Victorino popped to second for the first out before Pence walked to load the bases. Ruiz grounded into a double-play to end the frame.

Can’t believe they didn’t bunt with Victorino. Just kidding. No run for the Phils after putting runners on first and second with nobody out.

Pierre’s single was another bunt. Again Garza made an absurd throw to first. This time it was called a single instead of an error.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

They started the fifth down 2-1. Kendrick led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out double by Pierre. Victorino was next and reached on an infield single on another close play at first. Kendrick scored to tie the game at 2-2 and Pierre moved up to third. Pence hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Garza walked off the mound remarking to the umpires that it was the second time they had missed the call at first. The first was on Pierre’s bunt in the first and this time Victorino looked out at first.

The Phils went in order in the sixth.

Galvis fouled out trying to bunt for a hit to start the seventh. With Garza still on the mound for Chicago, Fontenot hit for Kendrick and singled softly to right. Rollins lined to left for the second out. Lefty James Russell came in to pitch to Pierre. Wigginton hit for Pierre and walked, putting runners on first and second. Victorino struck out to leave them both there.

Glad to see Wigginton hit for Pierre against the lefty. Fontenot has one pinch-hit on the season. There are only two players on the team with more than one pinch-hit on the season. Mayberry has three and Pierre has two. 185/267/259 for the pinch-hitters this year for the Phils. They have struck out 24 times in 61 plate appearances.

Righty Shawn Camp got Pence on a fly ball to left for the first out in the eighth before Ruiz hit a 1-1 pitch out to left for his seventh homer of the year, putting the Phils up 3-2. Orr hit for Contreras and struck out for the second out. Mayberry struck out for the third.

Galvis doubled to left off of lefty Scott Maine to start the ninth. Fontenot was hit by a pitch behind him and Rollins walked, loading the bases with nobody out. Righty Michael Bowden came on to pitch to Wigginton and Wigginton singled into right. Galvis and Fontenot scored, putting the Phils up 5-2 with nobody out and runners on first and second. Victorino popped to short for the first out before Rollins and Wigginton pulled off a double-steal. Pence popped to second for the second out. With first base open, the righty Bowden walked the righty Ruiz, loading the bases for Bastardo’s slot. Luna hit for Bastardo and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left for a grand slam, putting the Phils on top 9-2. Mayberry struck out looking to end the frame.

Big swings for Luna and for Wigginton. Galvis is tied for fourth in the NL in doubles.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. The Phillies are tenth in the NL in on-base percentage in the #1 spot in the order at .303. Rollins has on-based .310 in 85 PA as the #1 hitter, Pierre .333 in 60 PA and Victorino .259 in 27 PA.

Pierre was 2-for-3 with a double. Twice he bunted and got on base, one of the attempts was called an error. He dropped a fly ball in left field that cost the Phils one of the two runs they allowed in the game.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with an RBI on his infield single on a very close play at first (and by that I mean he was out). He left seven men on base. He’s 2-for-his-last-14. 235/278/390 over his last 144 plate appearances. For the year, Phillies hitting out of the #3 spot in the order have put up a .601 OPS, which is 15th-best of the 16 NL teams. Victorino has been bad (254/293/394 in 75 PA) and Rollins worse (216/253/243 in 80 PA).

Pence 0-for-4 with a walk and left five men on base. The Phillies score nine runs in the game and their three and four hitters combine to go 1-for-9 with an infield single and 12 men left on base.

Ruiz 2-for-4 with a walk and a home run. He’s on pace to hit 30 home runs, which would be more than his career high of nine. He’s 8-for-his-last-17 with two walks and two homers. He’s tied for eleventh in the NL in RBI with 24.

Polanco 0-for-3. He came into the game hitting .362 over his last 74 plate appearances.

Mayberry was 0-for-5 and struck out three times. He’s 3-for-his-last-16. The Phillies need to try someone else at first base against right-handed pitching and I’m guessing they will — Mayberry is hitting 207/246/241 for the year against right-handed pitching. Ty Wigginton obviously isn’t the ideal guy at first against righties, but he may be a better choice than Mayberry in the short term with Thome, Nix and Howard out. Wigginton was 1-for-1 with a walk and two RBI last night. He’s 3-for-his-last-26 overall and hitting 262/324/311 against righties for the year.

Galvis 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s 5-for-his-last-11 with a walk and two doubles. Hitting 298/340/489 in 50 plate appearances so far in May.

Halladay (3-3, 3.20) faces righty Chris Volstad (0-5, 6.92) tonight. Halladay has had two starts of his seven on the season in which he has allowed more than two runs. One of them, May 2 against the Braves, blew up his numbers for the season badly as he allowed eight runs over 5 1/3 innings and was unable to hold a 6-0 lead. Since that start he’s had two outings in which he has allowed four runs over 14 innings (2.57 ERA, 1.00 ratio while striking out 17). Volstad has allowed four or more runs in five straight starts, one of which came against the Phillies. On April 30, he allowed four runs over six innings against the Phils. The Phillies rallied late to win that game 6-4. The righty Volstad has been better against lefties than righties so far this season. Righties have hit 307/354/466 against him and lefties 261/311/391.


After spending most of the month looking for the offense, some wonder if it might have been in Arizona all along

Always the last place you look.

The Phillies have hit just 12 home runs this season, but three of them came last night as an offensive explosion and a solid start by Vance Worley got them past the Diamondbacks.

Laynce Nix had a fantastic game, going 3-for-3 with a long home run and hitting another ball off the wall. Pence, just off of missing a game with a shoulder problem and coming into the game 1-for-his-last-16, homered as well. Victorino hit his second home run in two days.

Over the last two games, the Phillies have scored 13 runs. Coming into the series in Arizona, the Phils had scored ten runs in their last six games combined.

Last night’s game was the first time this season that the Phillies have won a game in which they allowed more than two runs.

The Phillies are 8-10 on the year after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the series, with the Snakes outscoring the Phils 14-13.

Worley started the game for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out six and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.16 after four starts. He has struck out 27 in 25 innings for the year. Over his last two starts he has allowed one run over 13 innings while striking out 17.

Justin Upton singled to center with two outs in the first, but Worley got Miguel Montero to fly to left for the third out.

Cody Ransom singled to center with two outs in the second, but Worley got Willie Bloomquist on a ball Worley handled himself to end the inning.

Worley walked Aaron Hill with two outs in the third. Upton hit a ball hard, but Worley again took it himself for the third out.

Third straight inning that Worley had gotten the first two batters in the inning before allowing the third to reach base.

He started the fourth up 4-0 and set the Snakes down in order.

Ransom led off the bottom of the fifth and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left, cutting the Phillies lead to 4-1. Worley got the next two before Parra doubled to left. Hill was next and Worley hit him, putting runners on first and second with two down for Upton. Upton grounded to second to end the inning.

Montero led off the sixth with a single to right, but Worley struck Jason Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt out behind him. Ransom grounded to third to end the inning.

Contreras started the seventh with a 7-1 lead. Bloomquist led off with a double to right on a ball deflected by Victorino. Ryan Roberts hit for the pitcher Bryan Shaw and he doubled, scoring Bloomquist. 7-2. Parra was next and grounded a ball past a diving Orr and into right center for another double. Roberts scored and it was 7-3. Contreras struck out Hill for the first out before Parra stole third. Upton grounded to short for the second out, with Parra coming in to score and cut the lead to 7-4. Bastardo came in to face the lefty Montero and got him to pop to short to end the inning.

Contreras faces five batters in the inning, allowing three runs on three doubles and a stolen base. After three outings, he’s allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings for the season.

Bastardo still hasn’t gotten more than two outs in any of his five appearances, but has struck out five in 2 2/3 innings and been charged with just one run.

Qualls started the eighth with the Phils up 8-4. Kubel led off and hit a 2-0 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 8-5. Qualls struck out Goldschmidt, Ransom and Bloomquist behind Kubel.

That’s the first run that Qualls has been charged with for the season. In seven innings he’s allowed one run on four hits and two walks. He hasn’t allowed a lot of homers over his career, so let’s hope he doesn’t start now.

Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a three-run lead to get his sixth save of the year.

Papelbon has allowed one run on six hits and two walks over eight innings so far.

Overall, the bullpen went three innings in the game, allowing four runs on four hits and no walks while striking out five.

Contreras has thrown two days in a row, with less than fantastic results. He threw 15 pitches in the game. Qualls threw 15 and Papelbon and Bastardo were both under ten.

Michael Stutes has been put on the DL with right shoulder inflammation and Michael Schwimmer called up.

The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Collmenter went (1) Pierre (2) Orr (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Nix (8) Schneider. Pence returns after taking a day off with a shoulder problem. Galvis and Ruiz on the bench with Orr at second and Schneider catching. Wigginton at third with Polanco on the bench. Mayberry on the bench with Pierre in right despite going 2-for-4 with a double and an outfield assist in game one of the set.

Pierre led off the bottom of the first with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal second for the first out. Orr and Rollins went down behind him.

Three stolen bases for the year for Pierre and two caught stealings. He’s also been picked off once.

Pence and Wigginton struck out in a 1-2-3 second.

Nix hit a ball off the middle of the wall in right for a long single to start the third. Schneider flew to right for the first out. Worley was next and bunted, but Collmenter threw to second to force Nix for the second out. Pierre grounded to Collmenter to set the Phillies down.

Worley can’t move Nix up to second with the bunt, which might have cost the Phils a run given that Orr singled to start the fourth.

Orr singled to right to start the fourth. Rollins was next and grounded to second with Orr forced at second for the first out. Pence was next and hit the first pitch of his at-bat just out to right for a two-run homer, putting the Phils on top 2-0. Victorino popped to second for the second out before Wigginton doubled to left. Nix was next and he blasted the first pitch of his at-bat way out to right for his first homer with the Phils. 4-0. Schneider singled before Worley struck out to leave him at first.

Three extra-base hits in the inning for the Phillies. Pence and Nix both hit their homers off of Collmenter on the first pitch of their at-bat.

The Phils went in order in the fifth.

With the lead cut to 4-1, they went in order again in the sixth.

Nix and Schneider singled back-to-back to start the seventh, putting runners on first and second for Worley. Polanco hit for Worley with the righty Collmenter still on the mound for Arizona. Righty Bryan Shaw came in to pitch to Polanco and Polanco bunted the runners up to second and third with the first out. Pierre was next and he hit a ball into left that appeared to have been caught by a sliding Kubel. The Phillies, however, got the call and Pierre had a single that loaded the bases for Orr. Orr lined a triple into the right-field corner, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 7-1. Rollins struck out swinging for the second out. Pence flew to center for the third.

Pierre was out, but the Phils get the call an extra run. Rollins strikes out with a man on third base and one out after the Orr triple.

Victorino led off the eighth with the lead cut to 7-4 and homered to left, extending the lead to 8-4. Wigginton flew to left for the first out. Ruiz hit for Bastardo and flew to left for the second. Mayberry hit for Schneider and popped to first for the third.

Second homer in two games for Victorino. Third home run in the game for the Phillies.

Polanco, Thome (hitting for Qualls) and Galvis went in order in the ninth with the lead cut to 8-5.

Thome struck out swinging for the second out. He’s now 2-for-17 on the season (.118) with two singles and ten strikeouts in 19 plate appearances.

The Phillies scored eight runs in the game without a walk.

Pierre was 2-for-4 with a caught stealing, upping his line on the year to 333/357/370.

Orr was 2-for-4 with a three-run triple. He’s 4-for-11 on the season with three extra-base hits and leads the team in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Rollins was 0-for-4 with a strikeout with Orr on third and one out in the seventh. He’s hitting .229 for the year after going 2-for-his-last-25.

Pence 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. He was 1-for-his-last-16 coming into the game.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a home run. He’s homered two days in a row, but is 2-for-his-last-16 with two home runs.

Wigginton 1-for-4 with a double. 353/410/529 in his last 39 plate appearances since going 1-for-9 to start the season.

Nix was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, upping his line to 333/391/619 for the year after 23 plate appearances. He went 0-for-5 to start the season and has gone 7-for-16 with a walk, three doubles and a home run since (438/471/813).

Schneider 2-for-3 to up his average to .267. He’s 4-for-his-last-9.

Cole Hamels (2-1, 2.95) faces righty Trevor Cahill (1-1, 2.84) this afternoon. Hamels has allowed three runs over 13 innings in his last two starts and has 23 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings for the year. Cahill allowed seven runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings in his most recent outing. He has allowed just 13 hits in 19 innings, but walked ten.


Your Miley may vary

The Phillies scored some runs late last night, but didn’t do much of anything early as Wade Miley held them to two hits and a walk over six shutout innings. Kyle Kendrick, on the other hand, had a miserable outing in his first start of the year, allowing seven runs over three innings.

Down 9-0 going into the ninth, the Phils finally got some offense going, getting a three-run homer from Victorino and a solo shot from Ruiz. Their rally fell four runs short, though, and they lost their third straight.

The Phillies are 7-10 on the year after losing 9-5 to the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. They have lost three in a row for the second time this year.

Kendrick got the start for the Phils and went three innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits and a walk. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a home run. He struck out one and his ERA rose to 9.39.

Gerrardo Parra doubled to left to start the bottom of the first. Aaron Hill was next and hit a 1-0 pitch down the left field line. It was originally ruled a home run, but review showed the ball clearly hit below the line and he was given a double. Parra scored and Arizona led 1-0. Hill stole third and scored on a sac fly by Justin Upton, putting Arizona up 2-0. Kendrick hit the next batter, Miguel Montero, with a pitch and Montero came around to score when Jason Kubel doubled to center. 3-0. Cody Ransom was the next batter and he grounded to first for the second out, with Kubel moving up to third. Lyle Overbay was next and walked, putting runners on first and third for John McDonald. McDonald singled into center, scoring Kubel (4-0), and moving Overbay up to second. The pitcher Wade Miley was next and he singled into right, but Mayberry made a nice throw to get Overbay at the plate and finally end the inning.

Arizona hits around in the inning, getting two singles, three doubles and a hit batter.

Singles from Hill, Upton and Montero loaded the bases with one out in the second. Kendrick got Kubel to foul out to Polanco for the second out, but Ransom was next and lined a two-run double to left. 6-0. Overbay flew to left to leave the runners at second and third.

McDonald reached on an infield single to start the third and Miley bunted him to second with the first out. Parra flew to center for the second out and Hill popped to first for the third.

Upton homered to left to start the fourth. 7-0. That was it for Kendrick as Herndon took over on the mound. He struck out Montero for the first out before Kubel homered to right. 8-0. Herndon got the next two to end the inning.

He was back to set the Diamondbacks down in order in the fifth.

He got the first two to start the sixth before Kubel followed a Montero single with a double. It put men on second and third for Ransom and Herndon got behind him 3-0 before walking him 3-2 to load the bases. Savery took over and struck out Overbay to end the inning.

Herndon gives up two hits and a walk in the inning, but the strikeout from Savery keeps the Diamondbacks off the board this time. Herndon goes 2 2/3 innings in the game, allowing a run on three hits and a walk while striking out four.

McDonald doubled off of Savery to start the seventh. He took third on a passed ball by Ruiz with one out and came in to score on Parra’s sac fly, making it 9-0.

The run charged to Savery was unearned due to the passed ball by Ruiz that allowed McDonald to move up to third. His ERA after four appearances is 1.59. The double was only the second hit allowed by Savery for the year over 5 2/3 innings.

Contreras pitched the eighth, allowing a single and a walk, but getting Henry Blanco to hit into a a double-play to keep Arizona off the board.

Second outing of the year for Contreras. He has allowed a hit and two walks over two scoreless innings so far.

Long night for the pen. They go five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. Herndon threw 51 pitches in the game, Savery 20 and Contreras 18.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Wade Miley went (1) Pierre (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Wigginton (5) Victorino (6) Ruiz (7) Mayberry (8) Galvis. Pierre again starts in left against the lefty. Mayberry in right with Pence sidelined with a sore shoulder. Mayberry hits behind Ruiz in the order.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Down 4-0, they went in order in the second.

Down 6-0, Galvis doubled to center with one out in the third. Kendrick struck out swinging and Pierre grounded to second to leave him there.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Down 8-0, Mayberry doubled to left with two outs in the fifth. Galvis popped to short to leave him there.

Polanco walked with two outs in the sixth. Rollins popped out to third behind him.

Wigginton singled off of righty Brad Ziegler to start the seventh, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Orr doubled to right off of righty Jonathan Albaladejo with two outs in the eighth and the Phillies down 9-0. Pierre was next and singled into left, but Orr was thrown out trying to score to set the Phillies down.

Polanco started the ninth with a single off of lefty Joe Paterson. Nix stayed in the game to hit against the lefty and doubled to center, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 9-1. Wigginton moved Nix to third with a single before Victorino hit a three-run homer. 9-4. Ruiz was next and he homered to right-center. 9-5. Lefty Craig Breslow came in to pitch to Mayberry and Mayberry reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by the pitcher. Gavlis hit into a double-play to clear the bases and Orr grounded to second to end the game.

Two homers in the frame for the Phils, including the first of the year that came with runners on base. Nix hits against a lefty and it doesn’t go so bad.

Pierre was 1-for-4 in the game to drop his average for the year to .320.

Polacno 1-for-3 with a walk, upping his line to 200/241/218.

Rollins 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Wigginton 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, upping his line to 308/378/436. He’s hitting 367/429/533 over his last 35 plate appearances since going 1-for-9 to start the year.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with his second homer of the year.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double and an outfield assist. He was also 2-for-4 with a double on Opening Day against the Pirates. So he’s 4-for-8 with two doubles on Opening Day and in last night’s game combined. In all other games he has gone 5-for-36 (.139) with five singles and 11 strikeouts.

Galvis 1-for-4 with a double to raise his average to .214. He’s 1-for-his-last-11.

Worley (1-1, 2.74) faces righty Josh Collmenter (0-1, 10.22) tonight. Worley was fantastic in his most recent start, striking out 11 Padres over seven shutout innings. Collmenter has allowed at least four runs in each of his three starts and has gone more than four innings in just one of them (and he only went 5 1/3 innings in that one). He’s allowed four home runs in 12 1/3 innings.


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