Tag: Steven Register

Late, close and watching

Question of the day is why doesn’t Tyler Walker pitch to more batters when the game is close. Answer of the day is “I don’t know” — given that’s the answer at least I can demonstrate that he doesn’t pitch to a lot of batters when the game is close.

First things first: Walker has been fantastic for the Phillies this season. He came into yesterday’s games with a 2.35 ERA for the year and a 0.98 ratio. Opponents were hitting .204 against him for the season and on-basing .258.

Still, as the back of the bullpen implodes Walker virtually never is pitching in situations when the game is close. The chart below lists all of the Phillies pitchers who have faced at least one batter this year, how many total batters they have faced, how many batters they have faced when the score was tied or one of the teams was winning by one run and the percent of batters faced when the score was tied or with the Phils up or down one. It is divided into three sections — pitchers who have worked only as starters are at the top, pitchers who have worked only as relievers are at the bottom and pitchers who have pitched both as starters and as relievers are in a group in the middle (the chart does not include yesterday’s games).

  Total PA PA tie or
within one
% tie or
within one
171 115 67.3
Cole Hamels 740 483 65.3
Joe Blanton 753 488 64.8
Cliff Lee 275 128 46.5
102 46 45.1
Brett Myers 294 159 54.1
Kyle Kendrick 66 32 48.5
JA Happ 623 300 48.2
Jamie Moyer 648 277 42.7
Chan Ho Park 362 161 44.5
32 13 40.6
Rodrigo Lopez 137 52 38.0
JC Romero 68 40 58.8
Ryan Madson 298 126 42.3
Clay Condrey 156 64 41.0
Brad Lidge 263 107 40.7
Scott Eyre 119 39 32.8
Chad Durbin 285 93 32.6
Jack Taschner 138 24 17.4
34 4 11.8
Tyler Walker 125 14 11.2
11 0 0.0

So the only player who has pitched for the Phillies this season and thrown to a lower percentage of the batters he’s faced with the score tied or the Phils up or down one run is Steven Register, who appeared in one game and faced 11 hitters.

As I mentioned above, if you’re looking for the answer to why questions you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t know. If I had to guess my guess would be that Manuel is terrified of the prospect of Walker facing a left-handed hitter with the game close. Walker has been great against lefties in 2009 — they’ve hit 209/271/302 against him, which is actually better than the 200/250/343 that righties have hit against Walker. In 2008, however, lefties smoked Walker to the tune of 319/372/597. Over his career lefties have hit an ugly 281/352/459 against Walker.

Aside from Walker, I think that the chart shows some other interesting things. First and most obvious is that starting pitchers generally face more batters with the game close and a higher percentage of their batters than relief pitchers do.

I think the difference in the percentage of the hitters that Romero and Eyre faced in tight games is telling. Both would like be used primarily as situational lefties in the post-season if available, but Manuel has given Romero a lot more of his chances in tight games. Eyre has been better.

Condrey has faced a higher percentage of hitters in one run or closer games than Lidge. His percentage is also higher than Durbin. Durbin has a low percentage of hitters faced in tight games compared to other regulars in the group. It’s also down from last year. In 2008, Durbin faced 364 batters and faced 174 of them (47.8%) with the score tied or the Phils up or down a run. I don’t think any of that bodes well for Durbin.

Myers has a strained back. The Phillies hope he will return before the end of the regular season.

The article linked above says that Happ will start on Thursday, Lee on Friday and (hopefully) Pedro on Saturday.

It also says that Dobbs was not ready to play third yesterday with his calf. I still find starting Cairo to be very odd. Even if Dobbs does not go I don’t understand why it would be Cairo and not Bruntlett. I’ve been saying for a while that I think Bruntlett is on the post-season roster because he’s the only choice to back up the middle infield. That’s not literally true, of course. It’s also notable that Bruntlett does not have an at-bat this month. We’ll see.

The same article says that Eyre needs surgery but is cleared to pitch, pitched yesterday and felt good. It also says that Romero threw 50 pitches yesterday and will throw again tomorrow and that Park could pitch next week.

It’s not the heat it’s that the Phillies can’t be stopped

Possible exception: Yusmeiro Petit.

In case you’ve been so occupied following trade rumors you missed the games, the Phillies are still playing pretty well. 19-4 in their last 23 games. Two out of three against the Diamondbacks in Arizona most recently.

The Phillies are, by a wide margin, the best road team in all of baseball. There are just six teams in either league who are over .500 on the road. The Phillies are 31-16. In the AL the teams above .500 are the Yankees (27-22) and Angels (28-20), in the NL it’s the Phils, Marlins (26-24), Dodgers (28-22) and Rockies (27-25).

As well as the Phillies are playing they can’t quite shake the Marlins out of the picture. The Marlins have managed to keep themselves within striking distance in the NL East as both the Fish and the Phils have gone 7-3 over their last ten games.

The Phillies are 58-41 on the season after taking two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks. After winning game two of the series they were 18 games above .500 for the first time on the year. They are in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the second place Marlins and eight ahead of the Braves.

Jamie Moyer worked in and out of trouble in the first game of the set and wound up throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings as the Phillies won 6-2. Howard put the Phils on top 2-0 with a homer in the fourth and the Phillies added one in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Moyer allowed six hits and four walks in the game but started the seventh with the Phils up 6-0. He got the first two in the seventh before allowing two base-runners. Park came on to get the last out. Madson got hit hard in the eighth and allowed two runs, but the Diamondbacks couldn’t get any closer.

Hamels was fantastic in game two as he bettered Dan Haren in a great pitching matchup and the Phils won 4-3. Ryan Roberts hit a first-inning homer off of Hamels to put Arizona up 1-0. Victorino answered with a solo shot of his own in the third. The Phils pulled ahead with two runs in the fifth and made it 4-1 in the seventh. Lidge got the save but allowed a two-run homer to Mark Reynolds in the ninth.

The Phils couldn’t crack Yusmeiro Petit in game three and fell 4-0. Petit came into the game with a 7.68 ERA on the year and tossed six shutout innings. Happ pitched well. He allowed a two-run homer to Justin Upton in the bottom of the first but allowed just two runs over six frames. Eyre allowed a run in the seventh and Walker another in the eighth.

The Phils got great pitching from their starters in the series and awful work from the bullpen. Overall the pitchers threw to a 3.12 ERA with a 1.12 ratio over 26 innings. They gave up five home runs, three of which were allowed by the pen.

The starters were fantastic. They went 20 2/3 innings in three games and pitched to a 1.31 ERA and an 0.92 ratio. They allowed just 13 hits and struck out 19. Happ allowed two runs, Hamels one and Moyer none.

Moyer went 6 2/3 innings shutout innings in game one, allowing six hits and four walks while striking out five. He has a 3.30 ERA and a 1.27 ratio in five starts in July. In four of the starts he did not allow a home run.

Hamels allowed a run on three singles and a home run over eight innings in game two. He struck out nine. He’s 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA, an 0.75 ratio and 20 strikeouts in 20 innings over his last three starts. He’s also allowed at least one home run in five straight starts. In his last three outings he’s allowed one run that didn’t score on a home run.

Happ went six innings in game three, allowing two runs on two singles, a home run and two walks. Nice to see him come back strong after his previous start in which he continued after an early 48-minute rain delay. He hasn’t allowed more than two walks in any of his six starts this month. Five of the six have been very. Overall for the month he’s gone 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.05 ratio.

The relief pitching was terrible. Madson got hit hard in game one. Lidge in game two. Eyre and Walker each allowed a run in an inning in game three. As a group they threw just 5 1/3 innings, but with a 10.13 ERA and a 1.88 ratio. In 5 1/3 innings they allowed eight hits, including three home runs.

Eyre started the seventh inning last night in game three with the Phillies down 2-0. He allowed a home run to Chris Snyder to start the inning, which was followed by a single. Eyre got the next three. It was the first home run Eyre had allowed since April. It was also the first earned run he has allowed since April. Since the end of April Eyre has thrown 18 innings with an 0.50 ERA and a 1.33 ratio.

Park entered game one with two outs in the seventh inning, the Phils up 6-0 and men on first and second. He got Justin Upton to ground to short for the third out.

Kendrick did not pitch in the series and has not pitched since being called up on July 25.

Register also did not pitch in the set.

Walker pitched the eighth inning of game three with the Phils down 3-0. He allowed a leadoff double that was followed by an RBI-single that made it 4-0 before setting down the next three hitters. He has a 7.50 ERA and a 1.67 ratio in five appearances in July. He’s been hit hard his last two times out, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks over two innings.

Madson started the eighth inning of game one with the Phillies up 6-0. Mark Reynolds led off with a homer to make it 6-1. Madson got the next two hitters before allowing a single and a walk. Chad Tracy delivered an RBI-single to make it 6-2 before Madson struck out Stephen Drew to end the inning.

Nice to see Madson get two days off in the series. He’s had his worst month of the season in July, throwing to a 5.11 ERA but with just 1.14 ratio. After not allowing a home run in 25 1/3 innings in April and May he has allowed five in 25 innings in June and July.

Lidge pitched the ninth inning of game one with the Phillies up 6-2 and set the Snakes down in order.

He also came back to pitch the ninth inning of game two with the Phillies winning 4-1. He walked the leadoff man and Reynolds followed with a two-run homer. He stayed in and got the next three hitters to get the save.

For Lidge it was the third straight day pitching. He pitched on July 4 and 5 and didn’t allow a run either time. He pitched on July 9 and 10 and allowed a run on July 10. He pitched on July 21 and 22 and allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning on July 22. He then pitched on July 26, 27 and 28 and didnt’ allow a run in either of the first two games but allowed two runs in the third.

In his seven appearances this month in which Lidge hadn’t thrown the day before he has a 2.84 ERA and a 1.11 ratio in 6 1/3 innings. In the five appearances on the month in which he did pitch the day before he has a 10.38 ERA and a 1.85 ratio in 4 1/3 innings. He allowed runs in two of seven appearances when he had not pitched the day before and in three of five when he had.

Nobody in the pen has pitched more than one day in a row. Eyre threw 21 pitches last night and Walker 23.

The Phillies scored 10 runs in the three-game series.

Rollins was 3-for-14 with a double and an RBI in the series. He is hitting 236/288/382 for the year. After walking 13 times in his first 78 at-bats in July, Rollins hasn’t walked over 29 at-bats in the last six games.

Victorino went 3-for-13 with a double and a home run. 317/383/473 on the year. He’s hitting a monster 381/449/562 in July.

Utley was 3-for-10 with three singles and three walks in the series. 304/423/550 on the year.

Howard was 4-for-12 with a home run. 268/352/542. 302/415/547 in July. He’s walked 18 times in July — 11 walks in May is his high for any other month this year. In 2007 he walked more than 20 times in a month in April, July and August.

Ibanez was 4-for-11 with a double. 307/368/644. If he slugs .644 for the entire season it would be a career high. He was hitting 343/407/702 after going 2-for-4 with a walk against the Nationals on May 29. He missed about half of June, but has hit 258/312/563 since May 29.

Werth was 1-for-11 with a double and a walk. 266/379/500 on the year. He’s hitting 259/431/543 in July. He has walked 24 times in July after never drawing 20 or more walks in a single month over the rest of his career.

Feliz started at third in the first two games of the series. He went 1-for-8 with a walk and an RBI in the series to drop his line on the year to 294/342/404. Just three extra-base hits in July.

Bako started the first game of the series with Ruiz starting the other two. He was 0-for-3 in the series. He’s hitting 195/267/244 on the year. Just one start for Bako in the series despite three righties from the Snakes. Sure seems you would want to platoon Ruiz and Bako, but Bako is hitting just 222/282/278 against righties on the season (and 240/316/320 against them for his career).

Ruiz started the last two games of the series and was 0-for-6 in the series. He’s hitting 228/330/376 on the year. 273/355/491 against lefties and 211/322/333 against righties for the season, 222/318/378 against lefties for his career and 245/333/358 against righties. In 2007 Ruiz was very good (282/363/423) against righties and not good 189/265/311 in 90 at-bats against lefties. His career splits aren’t what you would expect. I’d still go with Ruiz all the time against lefties and split the starts between Bako and Ruiz against righties. I think the Phillies would too.

Bruntlett was 0-for-2 in the series and is at 125/198/188 for the year.

Mayberry didn’t have an at-bat in the series and is at 189/232/453 for the year.

Dobbs started at third last night with the righty Petit on the mound. He was 0-for-4 in the set and is hitting 262/306/434 for the year.

Stairs was 0-for-1 in the series. He’s gone 1-for-16 in July, which has dropped his line on the year to 243/398/443.

Update: Lee and Francisco added to the roster, Mayberry and Register sent down. That leaves the Phils with six relievers for tonight’s game. Eyre and Walker both threw more than 20 pitches last night.

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