Tag: Tom Gordon

Drop off location

Earlier this week I wrote that after leading the NL in runs allowed per nine innings by relievers in 2008, the Phils dropped to ninth in that category in 2009. Despite the big drop in 2009, opponents posted very similar batting lines against the Phillies relief pitchers in 2009 and 2008:


Year

AVG

OBP

SLG

2009

246

335

373

2008

251

333

371

Again, the ’08 pen was a lot better than the ’09 pen, but those numbers look very similar.

Curiously, you were more likely to get a hit or a walk against the ’08 guys than you were the ’09 guys.

In 2009, the Phillies pen faced 2,143 batters and allowed 457 hits (21.3% of batters) and 223 walks (10.4%). So about 31.7% of hitters got a hit or a walk. In 2008 the pen faced 2,071 hitters and allowed 456 hits (22.0%) and 211 walks (10.2%). About 32.2% of hitters got a hit or a walk against the ’08 pen.

That’s a little perplexing because opponents posted a better on-base percentage in 2009 than they did in 2008. A big part of the explanation is that Phillies relievers hit a lot more batters in 2009 than they did in 2008 — they plunked 32 in ’09 after hitting just 16 in ’08.

You were also more likely to get an extra-base hit against the ’08 pen than you were against the ’09 pen.

The ’09 pen allowed 134 extra-base hits to 2,143 hitters (6.25%) and the ’08 pen allowed 136 extra-base hits to 2,071 hitters (6.57%).

It sure seems like you should get better if you improve the rate at which you allow hits or walks while you improve the rate at which you allow extra-bases. But the Phillies bullpen got worse.

A big part of this was how bad the extra-base hits that the Phillies gave up were in 2009. Despite the fact that they allowed fewer extra-base hits overall in 2009, the extra-base hits they allowed in 2009 did more damage.

In 2008, the Phillies pen allowed 136 extra-base hits — 92 doubles, seven triples and 37 home runs. That’s 353 total bases or 2.6 bases per extra-base hit.

In 2009 they allowed 134 extra-base hits — just 79 doubles, nine triples and 46 home runs. That’s a total of 369 total bases or 2.75 bases per extra-base hit. So a better rate of preventing extra-base hits in 2009, but the extra-base hits they allowed were worse.

The most important difference between the bullpen of 2008 and the bullpen of ’09 was that the ’08 pen was outstanding at preventing home runs compared to the rest of the league while the ’09 pen was not. The ’08 pen allowed 37 home runs, which was the fewest in the NL. In ’09, only six NL teams allowed more home runs than the 46 that the Phils’ relievers gave up.

In ’08, the Phillies had seven relief pitchers who threw 20 or more innings for the team. Of those seven, Tom Gordon allowed the most home runs per nine innings. He allowed three in 29 2/3 innings or about 0.91 per nine innings.

In 2009 there were nine Phillies pitchers who threw 20 or more innings in relief. Of those nine, four, Walker, Durbin, Taschner and Lidge, all allowed more than 0.91 home runs per nine innings while pitching in relief. Eyre was almost a fifth — he allowed 0.90 homers per nine innings.

The home run problem would have been a whole lot worse for the relievers were it not for Chan Ho Park. Park pitched 50 innings in relief for the Phillies in 2009 without allowing a home run. In 33 1/3 innings as a starter he gave up five. The Braves’ Peter Moylan was the only reliever in either league besides Park to throw 35 or more innings in relief in ’09 without allowing a home run.

The charts below show the four Phillies pitchers that threw at least 20 innings in relief in each of the last two seasons and had the worst rates of allowing runs per nine innings pitched as a reliever on the team. For each of the pitchers it shows the number of innings the player threw in relief that year, the runs they allowed per nine innings and the home runs they allowed per nine innings:


2008
       
Player IP Runs/9 HR/9
Durbin 87 2/3 3.4 0.51
Condrey 69 3.4 0.78
Seanez 43 1/3 5.0 0.42
Gordon 29 2/3 5.8 0.91
       

2009
       
Player IP Runs/9 HR/9
Condrey 42 3.6 0.86
Durbin 69 2/3 4.9 1.03
Taschner 29 1/3 5.5 0.92
Lidge 58 2/3 7.8 1.69

The biggest thing about that list is that the guys at the top who were the worst among the 2008 pen in terms of runs allowed per nine innings were pretty good. Durbin was great in ’08, throwing to 2.87 ERA with a 1.32 ratio and allowing just five home runs in nearly 90 innings. Condrey wasn’t quite as good, but threw to a 3.26 ERA with a 1.51 ratio. He also was pretty good at keeping the ball in the yard, allowing 0.78 homers per nine in a season when the average NL reliever allowed about 0.96.

In 2008, the Phillies had just two relievers who threw more than 20 innings for the season and allowed more than 3.4 runs per nine innings for the season. Those two, Seanez and Gordon, combined to throw 73 innings. In 2009 the Phils had four relievers who threw more than 20 innings and allowed more than 3.4 runs per inning and those four combined to throw 199 2/3 innings.

This says that the Phillies talks with Polanco are getting serious. I think it would be pretty bad news if the Phillies signed Polanco to be their third baseman.

This suggests the Phillies could have interest in John Smoltz. Please no.

The Phillies did not offer arbitration to Park or Eyre. I think both of those guys still have a chance to be back next year.

Billy Wagner is a Brave.

The Phillies signed Brian Schneider to be Ruiz’s backup.


The sophomore stay-about-the-same-as-you-were-while-the-other-stuff-around-you-changes

The Phillies bullpen was hugely improved in 2008 compared to 2007. There was some overlap of guys who pitched in both seasons. Four pitchers threw at least 25 innings in relief in each of the two seasons, Romero, Condrey, Madson and Gordon. Here’s what they did in 2007:

  IP H BB SO ER ERA RATIO
Romero 36.3 15 25 31 5 1.24 1.10
Gordon 40 40 13 32 21 4.73 1.33
Madson 56 48 23 43 19 3.05 1.27
Condrey 50 61 16 27 28 5.04 1.54
Total 182.3 164 77 133 73 3.60 1.32

They contributed more innings, but as a group they were about the same in 2008:


2008
  IP H BB SO ER ERA RATIO
Romero 59 41 38 52 18 2.75 1.34
Gordon 29.7 31 17 26 17 5.16 1.62
Madson 82.7 79 23 67 28 3.05 1.23
Condrey 69 85 19 34 25 3.26 1.51
Total 240.3 236 97 179 88 3.30 1.39

Romero didn’t reproduce his silly numbers from ’07, but may have helped the team more by pitching more. Gordon was worse and pitched less. Condrey was better and pitched more and Madson was just about the same but pitched a lot more.

For both 2007 and 2008, here’s what the guys in the Phillies pen that weren’t Romero, Condrey, Madson or Gordon combined to do for each year:


PHI pen without Romero, Madson, Condrey and Gordon
  IP H BB SO ER ERA Ratio
2007 337.7 366 172 253 187 4.98 1.59
2008 242.7 220 114 232 85 3.15 1.38

So while the group of four didn’t combine to be hugely better in 2008, the rest of the Phillies relievers were far better than the other guys on the ’07 team.

Of those 242 2/3 innings the Phillies got in relief from pitchers other than Condrey, Madson, Gordon and Romero in 2008, a large percentage (64.7%) came from Lidge and Durbin:

  IP H BB SO ER ERA Ratio
Durbin 87.7 81 35 63 28 2.87 1.32
Lidge 69.3 50 35 92 15 1.95 1.23
Others 85.7 89 44 77 42 4.41 1.55
Total 242.7 220 114 232 85 3.15 1.38

Notably, those guys in the “others” category, the relievers from 2008 who weren’t Condrey, Madson, Gordon, Romero, Lidge or Durbin, combined to throw to a 4.41 ERA with a 1.55 ratio. Those numbers are pretty similar to what the Phillies pen overall pitched to in 2007. In 2007, Phillies relievers as a group threw to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.50 ratio.

Yesterday the Phils played Team USA and lost 9-6.

Kendrick got the start and put up zeroes in the first two frames but couldn’t make it out of the third. Chipper Jones connected for a three-run homer and Team USA scored four runs in the inning, all charged to Kendrick. Antonio Bastardo followed and he was charged with five runs in 2 1/3 innings, yielding three home runs. Condrey went two scoreless innings after that, holding Team USA to a single single. Madson walked two in a scoreless eighth.

Howard gave the Phils a three-run homer and Jason Donald went 1-for-3 with a home run of his own, a solo shot in the sixth off of Matt Thornton. Mayberry 1-for-5 with a single. Ozuna 0-for-3 after an 0-for-2 against Canada the day before. Marcus Giles played third base and went 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Phils made three errors in the game, two by Howard and one by Kendrick.

Kendrick’s reactions to events in the game were unimpressive to some people, notably Rich Dubee.

Rollins went 1-for-2 for Team USA. Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

The Phillies play the Blue Jays tonight and a B-game this afternoon.

Jimmy Rollins says his health problem was with his rib and not his back. The linked article also says that Feliz took live batting practice yesterday and the Phillies signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract.

Adam Eaton thinks he needs to prove himself as an elite pitcher in the league. I’m holding out hope he proves himself to be a selkie, just because if he was pitching in seal form the 6.06 ERA in 49 starts as a Phillie would be a lot easier to understand. Trying to get major league hitters out with flippers couldn’t be easy for anyone.


Race pace

In 2008, the NL East came down to a battle between the Phils and the Mets. There are a lot of reasons to think it will again in 2009. The chart below tracks the wins for each team as the season progressed:

Wins by Date, 2008

And here’s a review of how things looked on some key dates:

April 30: The Phillies end April at 15-13, tied with the 14-12 Mets for second place in the division. Both teams trail the 15-12 Marlins by half a game.

May 31: The Marlins still lead the NL East with a 31-23 mark. The Phils remain a half game back at 32-25, but the 27-27 Mets trail by four games.

June 17: Willie Randolph is fired by the 34-35 Mets. The Phils lead the division with the Fish in second, three games back. The Mets and the Braves are tied for third place, trailing by 6 1/2 games.

June 30: The Phils lead the NL with a 44-39 record, a half game ahead of the Marlins. After beating the Marlins on June 1 to go a half game up in the division, the Phils stay in first place the whole month. Their lead tops out at four games in the middle of the month. The Fish are back within half a game by the end of the month, but the Mets are under .500 at 40-42 in third place. New York trails the Phils by 3 1/2 games.

July 17: The Mets beat the Reds 10-8 to win their tenth straight game. The Mets and Phils end the day in a tie atop the NL East with identical 52-44 records.

July 31: The 59-49 Phils hold a one-game lead in the division. The Marlins have faded and are now in third place at 58-51, a game and a half back. The Mets, meanwhile, have surged past them and trail the Phils by a single game at 58-50.

The Mets and Phils came into a three-game set in New York July 22-24 tied for the division lead. The Phillies scored six times in the ninth to get a win in the opener, but the Mets won the next two games.

The Mets extended their lead in the division to two games with a win in St Louis, but dropped three of five to end the month while the Phils ran off five straight wins against the Braves and the Nats.

August 31: The back-and-forth month ends with the Mets atop the NL East by a game at 76-61. The Phils are a game off pace at 75-62. The Marlins are seven games out of first place.

The Phils controlled the early part of August, holding the lead in the division till the Mets tied it up on August 13. The Mets led every day but one until the end of the month, maxing out their lead at 2 1/2 games on August 21 and August 22.

September 1-3: The Phillies lost two of three to Washington start September. The Mets, meanwhile, swept a three-game set in Milwaukee and were suddenly three games ahead of the Phils.

September 10: After falling to the Marlins 7-3, the Phils drop to 79-67 on the year. They have 16 games left to play and trail the Mets by 3 1/2 games.

September 18: The Phillies beat the Braves 4-3 to win their seventh straight game. With the win they complete a three-game sweep of Atlanta, coming off the sweep of the Brewers in a four-game set. The Mets, meanwhile, dropped two of three to the Braves in New York on September 13 and 14 before splitting a four-game set with the Nats September 15-18.

The Phillies end the day a half game up in the NL East at 86-67. The have nine games left to play. The 85-67 Mets have ten games left.

September 19: The Phils fall to the Marlins in Florida, losing 14-8 behind a miserable start by Brett Myers. The Mets, meanwhile, take a half game lead in the division when they rally for four runs in the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie in Atlanta.

It’s the last time that New York will lead the division in 2008, though. The Phils come back and take the next two from the Marlins while the Mets drop a pair of tight games to the Braves. The September 21 game in Atlanta features the Mets taking a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth only to yield four runs. A two-run blast by Delgado in the top of the ninth gets New York to within a run, but they can’t tie the game.

The loss in combination with the Phillies win puts the Phils 1 1/2 games up after the day’s action on September 21 is over. New York has seven games to play and the 88-68 Phillies have six.

September 22: The Phils extend their lead to 2 1/2 games with the help of a 6-2 win over a decimated Braves team. JA Happ gave the Phils his second straight excellent start down the stretch and the Phils broke open a 2-2 tie with a four-run eighth inning that featured a three-run bomb from Burrell. The Mets, meanwhile, fall to the Cubs to drop their third straight.

The Phils had a chance to put it away then. But they didn’t. They dropped the next two with Atlanta.

Santana, Reyes and Wright led New York to a win over the Cubs on September 23 in New York, and the Mets trailed by just a game and a half as play started on the 24th. The Mets couldn’t capitalize on the Phils’ loss, though. They led Chicago 5-1 going into the top of the fifth, but Chicago tied the game with a four-run frame. Chicago took a 6-5 lead in the seventh before a bases loaded walk to Ramon Martinez in the bottom of the eighth forced in a run to tie the game at 6-6. It went to extra innings and a two-run homer by Aramis Ramirez off of Luis Ayala in the top of the tenth helped the Cubs put three on the board. Chicago won the game 9-6 and the Phils held a game and a half lead.

September 25: The Phils were idle while the Mets played the game that was accounting for all the half games in the standings. Trailing 6-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Mets scored four times in their last three times at the plate to earn a 7-6 win.

The 89-70 Phillies led the 88-71 Mets by just a game. Each team had three games left to play. The Phils hosted the Nationals and the Mets hosted the Marlins.

September 26: It was pretty much over after September 26. Utley and Howard combined to drive in seven runs in the first two innings and the Phils rolled to an 8-4 win. The Mets, meanwhile, couldn’t find an answer for Chris Volstad. Volstad held New York to an unearned run over six innings and the Fish took the game 6-1.

The Phillies led by two games with two games left to play.

Brilliant defense by Jimmy Rollins and a solid outing by Moyer led the Phils to a 4-3 on September 27. And then it was completely over. The Mets won on the 27th, but lost on the final day of the season while the Phillies won, capping the season with the Phils three games ahead.

Ryan Howard and the Phillies agreed to a three-year, $54 million contract.

This says the Giants have offered Rich Aurilia a minor league contract.

Tom Gordon signed with Arizona.


Still high on leverage

Last week I looked at how some Phillies hitters performed in situations tagged as high leverage by Baseball-Reference. Today I wanted to look at how the pitchers fared in high leverage situations.

First of all, not all the members of the staff appeared in high leverage situations with the same regularity. Here’s the percentage of batters that each pitcher who threw for the Phils in ’08 faced in high leverage situations:


Player

Batters faced

High leverage

Percent

Gordon

139

83

59.7

Lidge

292

140

47.9

Romero

255

108

42.4

Durbin

365

128

35.1

Madson

340

93

27.4

Blanton

305

67

22.0

Eyre

53

10

18.9

Walrond

49
9
18.4

Moyer

841

139

16.5

Seanez

189

31

16.4

Myers

817

117

14.3

Eaton

478

67

14.0

Hamels

914

123

13.5

Happ

138

18

13.0

Kendrick

722

92

12.7

Swindle

24
2
8.3

Condrey

303

25

8.3

Carpenter
5 0
0.0

So Gordon was the Phillie who had the highest percentage of his batter’s faced come in high leverage situations, while Andrew Carpenter didn’t face anyone in a high leverage situation all year long (he faced just five hitters in ’08). Important to notice is while the bullpen guys at the top face a higher percentage of batters in high leverage situations, the actual number of hitters faced in high leverage situations compared to the starters is not all that different. Moyer, for example, faced 139 hitters in high leverage situations while Lidge faced 140 despite the fact that Lidge was pitching in high leverage (and presumably, higher leverage) situations more regularly.

Of the 18 pitchers above, 13 faced at least 25 batters in high leverage situations in 2008. Of those 13, going by the OPS that opposing hitters put up against them, eight had better results in high leverage situations and five had worse results. Here they are, ordered by the difference in the OPS that hitters put up against them overall and in high leverage situations:


Player

OPS against season

Not High Leverage

High Leverage

Difference

Gordon

.783

.989

.632

.357

Lidge

.565

.679

.437

.242

Seanez

.682

.718

.497

.220

Romero

.647

.729

.538

.190

Madson

.675

.689

.638

.052

Blanton

.747

.754

.715

.038

Myers

.791

.795

.767

.028

Moyer

.731

.733

.719

.014

Hamels

.657

.649

.710

-.061

Kendrick

.855

.840

.951

-.110

Durbin

.675

.631

.761

-.131

Eaton

.868

.838

1.046

-.207

Condrey

.792

.769

1.052

-.283

Those numbers are based on the results against a very small number of batters. Still, the list is divided almost evenly among starters and relievers (six starters and seven relievers) and yet the five guys of the 13 whose OPS against improved the most in high leverage situations were all relievers. That may reflect that since relievers tend to face a higher percentage of batters in high leverage situations, it may be difficult to survive as a reliever without being effective when they occur.

Here are the Phillies 2008 pitching splits in high leverage situations.

This says Kevin Millar is close to signing with Toronto.

This says that Moises Alou is not healthy, doesn’t want to be a backup player, would prefer to be in the AL and hasn’t decided if he will play this year. I don’t want to imply some kind of Jedi Mind trick knowledge of the situation that does not exist, but my guess is his signing with the Phillies isn’t imminent.


If I had to do the same again, I wouldn’t, my friend, Fernando

The Phillies apparently get one extra-base hit a game these days. At least they’re making the most out of them. On Friday Pedro Feliz doubled in the ninth and came in to score the winning run on a single by Victorino. On Saturday the lone extra-base hit was a three-run shot by Howard that tied the game at 3-3 early before the pen imploded late. Yesterday the Phils were down 4-2 and down to their last strike before Werth’s shot tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Phils lost in 12.

The bullpen is still the story for the Phils. They came into the game dragging and left even more so. With his choices limited, Manuel called on Chad Durbin to throw two innings after a long outing on Friday. It didn’t work. Fernando Tatis connected for a two-run shot in the 12th that won it for the Mets.

The bullpen hasn’t been great against the Mets, but the Phils need more out of their offense. The Phillies have scored nine runs in the first three games of the series.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets yesterday, falling 4-2 in 12 innings to drop to 48-41 on the season. The Mets lead the four-game set two games to one.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing one run on eight hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two and dropped his ERA on the year to 4.39.

Endy Chavez singled with one out in the first, but Kendrick got the next two behind him.

With one out in the second Damion Easley singled. Marlon Anderson followed with a walk that put men on first and second for Brian Schneider and Schneider loaded the bases with a single to center. Kendrick got the pitcher Oliver Perez on a popup fisted to third for the second out. Jose Reyes flew to center to end the frame.

With two outs in the third Carlos Beltran lined a 3-2 pitch out to right to put the Mets up 1-0. Carlos Delgado followed with a single but Easley went down on a ground ball to short for the third out.

Schneider walked with one out in the fourth and Perez bunted him to second for the second out. Reyes singled to left and Schneider went to third. Reyes stole second before Kendrick got Chavez on a ground ball back to the mound to leave both runners stranded.

David Wright led off the fifth with a single and was forced at second for the first out of the inning when Beltran followed with a ground ball to short. Beltran stole second as Delgado struck out for the second out. He stole third without a throw before Easley walked. Kendrick got Anderson to ground to second to leave both men stranded.

Reyes doubled to left with two outs in the sixth. Kendrick got Chavez to ground to first for the third out.

Condrey started the seventh after Kendrick had needed 112 pitches to get through six. Beltran singled with one out. Delgado popped to short for the second out. With Easley at the plate Ruiz made a snap throw to first that got passed Howard and into right for an error on Ruiz that allowed Beltran to got to second. Easley grounded to second for the third out.

Romero started the eighth with the Phils still down 1-0, coming off a weak outing the night before. He got the first two before pinch-hitter Chris Aguila drew a walk. Romero picked him off to end the frame.

Nice bounce back outing for Romero.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils down 1-0. Reyes led off with a single to right and stole second. Chavez bunted him to third for the first out. Lidge got behind Wright 3-0 but came back to strike him out for the second out. Beltran was next and he lined the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. Reyes scored to give Beltran his second RBI of the day and the Mets were up 2-0. Lidge struck out Delgado for the third out.

Madson pitched the tenth, coming off a four-pitch outing the night before. He got the first two before Schneider singled. Switch-hitter Argenis Reyes hit for the pitcher Billy Wagner. Madson got behind him 3-1 but came back to strike him out to set the Mets down.

Chad Durbin pitched the eleventh having thrown 35 pitches on Friday night. Chavez singled with one out, but he struck Wright out swinging for the second out got Beltran to pop to Feliz to end the frame.

Durbin came back for the twelfth. He got ahead of the leadoff man Delgado 0-2 but lost him and gave up the walk. Easley bunted him to second. He got behind Fernando Tatis 2-0 before Tatis drove a 2-2 pitch out to left-center, putting the Mets up 4-2. Durbin struck out Schneider and pitcher Joe Smith.

Six innings for the pen. They allow three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. In the first three games of the four-game set they have thrown 12 1/3 innings. That’s too many.

The guys in the pen that Manuel didn’t use instead of bringing Durbin back after 35 pitches on Friday to thrown two innings were Seanez and Gordon. Both pitched on Saturday. Seanez threw 23 pitches on Saturday, but before that had not pitched since June 27. Gordon threw 16 pitches on Saturday and had thrown a single pitch to get the final out in Thursday’s game. Asking Durbin to come back for a second inning was asking a lot.

After the game the Phillies put Tom Gordon on the DL and called lefty RJ Swindle back up.

Big problems in the pen for the Phils with the amount of usage they’ve been getting. They don’t have an off day till July 14, so somebody’s going to probably need to take one for the team before it’s over.

Madson threw 20 pitches in the game, Lidge 19, Romero 16 and Condrey 14. Durbin threw 37 more. Too many.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Oliver Perez went (1) Werth (2) Utley (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Feliz (7) Victorino (8) Ruiz. Rollins dropped to third again against the lefty for the second time in three games. Victorino down to seventh with Utley hitting second. Werth plays right and leads off against the lefty. Ruiz catches. Just hit Rollins leadoff, please. Coming into the game he was a career 241/286/353 in 126 plate appearances as a three hitter. The Phils have scored five runs in the two games in this series they’ve hit Rollins third against a lefty.

Werth started the first with a walk. Utley popped out for the first out before Werth was picked off but beat the throw to second for a stolen base. Rollins moved Werth to third with a single. With Howard at the plate Schneider tried to pick Werth off third and Rollins made a nice play on the bases to steal second. With men on second and third and one down, Howard struck out for the second out. Burrell fouled out to Delgado to end the inning.

Bad strikeout for Howard with one out and men on second and third.

Feliz drove a ball to left center that Anderson dropped for a two base error to start the second. The Phils went in order to leave Feliz stranded.

Werth started the third with another walk, but Utley flew to center and Rollins hit into a double-play.

Burrell singled to left with one out in the fourth. He moved to second on a wild pitch, but Feliz struck out and Victorino popped to Delgado.

Ruiz started the fifth with a single but the Phils went in order behind him.

Howard singled to right with one out in the sixth. Burrell flew to center and Feliz flew to right.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. With the lefty Perez still on the mound, Coste hit for Condrey and flew to center for the third out.

With one out in the eighth Utley reached on an error by pitcher Duaner Sanchez and stole second. Rollins followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Howard and lefty Pedro Feliciano came into the game and struck him out swinging for the second out. Aaron Heilman walked Burrell with the Phillies down 1-0 and Jenkins ran for Burrell at first. Feliz grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Running for Burrell, who would be the run that puts you up 3-1, is just a miserable play. It’s especially bad with lefties Scott Schoeneweis and Billy Wagner looming in the Mets pen and no possibility of the double-play with two outs.

Second big strikeout of the game for Howard.

With the Phils down 2-0, Victorino led off the ninth with a single off of Billy Wagner. Ruiz flew to center for the first out. Bruntlett hit for Lidge and was called out looking at a 2-2 pitch that was outside. Werth got behind in the count but blasted a 1-2 pitch out to left center to tie the game at 2-2. Utley followed with a single but Rollins grounded to short for the third out.

Schoeneweis started the tenth and struck out Howard and Jenkins, in Burrell’s spot, to start the inning. Feliz and Victorino singled back-to-back to put men on first and second, but righty Joe Smith came in and got Ruiz to ground to third for the third out.

Smith set the Phillies down in order in the eleventh.

With the Phils down 4-2, Rollins started the twelfth with a single and stole second. Howard flew to left, Jenkins grounded to short and Feliz dribbled a ball down the third base line that Smith fielded and threw to first to end the game. Jenkins at least got to hit against a righty this time.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a home run and two walks. He’s 10-for-his-last-25.

Utley 1-for-6 and left three men on base.

Rollins 2-for-5 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-6 with four strikeouts and five men left on base.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk.

Feliz 1-for-6 with six men left on base.

Victorino 2-for-5.

Ruiz 1-for-5. He’s 1-for-his-last-23.

A little down on Manuel’s game. I don’t know that Seanez was a much better option than Durbin, but I’m not a fan of the lineup with Rollins hitting third and don’t like Jenkins running for Burrell at all.

Adam Eaton (3-6, 4.79) faces righty Pedro Martinez (2-2, 7.39) tonight. Over his last three starts Pedro has allowed 17 earned runs in 15 innings. Lefties are hitting .370 against him for the season. The Phils have lost three of the last four games that Eaton has started, but he’s pitched pretty well. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in three of his last four starts.

Pat Burrell, who is in the top six in the league in on-base percentage and slugging, is one of five NL players who will be voted into the All-Star game. Despite the best efforts of Manuel, Taguchi and Bruntlett, Burrell is tied for seventh in the league in home runs. Voting ends on Thursday at 5 PM.


Phillies demo why they don’t quite feel comfortable if they only score 19

The Phillies outscored the Cardinals 28-12 in a three-game set this weekend yet managed to lose the series. Yesterday they lost their second straight one run game, this time with the help of two errors that came with two outs in a tie game in the bottom of the tenth. It all ended when, with two outs and men on first and second, Chris Duncan chopped a ball to second — Tom Gordon covered first and simply failed to catch Utley’s throw, allowing the winning run to score from second.

Gordon’s missed catch was the third error on the day for the Phils. They left the bases loaded four times. In the ninth, Eric Bruntlett should have scored from second on a single by Victorino to put the Phillies ahead. The biggest issue of all for the Phils, though, was Brett Myers. Myers was battered again and the Phillies lost for the ninth time in his last ten starts. Over his last two outings Myers has allowed 11 runs in 11 1/3 innings.

The Phils are 1-4 in their last five games in which they didn’t score more than 19 runs.

The Phillies lost to the St Louis Cardinals yesterday afternoon, falling 7-6 in ten innings. They lose the series two games to one and drop to 41-30 on the season.

Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing six runs on eight hits. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles, a triple and a home run. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. Righties are slugging .575 against him for the season.

Skip Schumaker led off the first with a double and moved to third when Aaron Miles followed with a ground out to second. Ryan Ludwick doubled and Schumaker scored to tie the game at 1-1. Rick Ankiel doubled and Ludwick scored, putting the Cards up 2-1. Troy Glaus and Chris Duncan both grounded out to leave Ankiel stranded.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 second.

Schumaker led off the third with a home run to right that put the Cards up 3-1. Miles followed with a single, but Myers got the next two before Glaus homered to right center. 5-1. Duncan flew to left for the third out.

Myers threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

He started the sixth down 5-4. Ankiel led off with a triple. Glaus fouled out for the first out. Duncan was next and hit a ground ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Ankiel scored and it was 6-4. Myers got Molina to pop out for the second out before Bradon Looper hit for pitcher Kyle McClellan and singled. Cesar Izturis grounded to first for the third out.

Madson struck out the side in the seventh.

Romero threw a 1-2-3 eighth.

Durbin pitched the ninth and allowed a two-out single to Izturis. Schumaker grounded back to Durbin for the third out.

Gordon got the first two in the tenth before Ankiel hit a ground ball to second that should have ended the inning. Utley’s throw to first was bad and Ankiel was safe. Glaus moved him to second with a single before Duncan hit another ground ball to second. Utley’s throw to Gordon was much better this time, maybe a little behind the pitcher, but Gordon didn’t catch it. The error was on Gordon this time and Ankiel scored to give the Cardinals a 7-6 win.

Bizarre way to end the game. The pen allows one unearned run in 3 2/3 innings. Madson was the only reliever to throw more than 15 pitches — he threw 18. Gordon takes his second loss in two appearances.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Mitchell Boggs went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Werth plays center with Victorino on the bench. Jenkins in right against the righty and Dobbs at third. Coste catches.

Rollins led off the first with a single and stole second. Werth grounded back to the pitcher and Utley flew out before Howard doubled to right. Rollins scored and the Phils led 1-0. Burrell struck out for the third out.

Jenkins started the second with a single. Dobbs flew out before Coste moved Jenkins to second with another single. Myers tried to bunt and struck out for the second out. Rollins walked to load the bases, but Werth grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the third and again in the fourth.

Myers started the fifth with a single. Rollins grounded out and Myers was forced at second for the first out before Werth walked. Utley was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Howard singled to right and Rollins and Werth both scored to cut the St Louis lead to 5-3 with men on first and third for Burrell. Burrell smashed a single through short and Utley scored to make it 5-4 with Howard going to second. Jenkins struck out before Dobbs walked to load the bases, but Coste struck out swinging at a bad pitch that was low and outside to end the frame.

Werth singled with two outs in the sixth, but Utley struck out for the third out.

Howard walked to start the seventh and stole second after Burrell struck out for the first out. Jenkins flew to left for the second out and Dobbs struck out to leave Howard stranded.

With two outs in the eighth, Rollins tripled. Werth, Utley, Howard and Burrell all walked in a row. Howard’s walk forced in Rollins and Burrell’s forced in Werth, tying the game at 6-6. Taguchi ran for Burrell at first in a tie game and Jenkins struck out for the third out.

Poor idea to run for Burrell there.

Dobbs started the ninth with a single and Coste bunted him to second. Bruntlett ran for Dobbs and Victorino, who had hit for Madson in the eighth and stayed in to play center, moved Bruntlett to third with a single. Bruntlett should have scored on the play. Rollins hit a ground ball to first and Duncan threw home. Bruntlett crashed into Molina and was called out although it was unclear if Molina actually applied a tag on the play. Molina stayed down after the collision and was taken off the field on a stretcher. Werth was hit by a pitch to load the bases yet again, but Utley flew to left for the third out.

Fourth time in the game the Phillies left the bases loaded.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the tenth. Feliz hit for Durbin and grounded to short for the second out of the inning.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a triple and a walk in the game. 2-for-13 in the series. He’s hitting 275/338/444 for the year and .218 in June.

Werth was 1-for-3 with two walks in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 264/349/493 for the year. Victorino was 1-for-2 in the game and 4-for-13 with a double in the series. 278/346/390.

Utley 0-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-10 with a home run in the set. 309/401/636 for the year.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI. 6-for-13 with a double, two home runs and nine RBI in the series. He’s hitting 217/319/464 for the year.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. 3-for-9 with two home runs and five RBI in the series. 283/425/602 for the year.

Jenkins was 1-for-6 with two strikeouts. 2-for-15 with a double in the series. 266/312/420 for the year.

Dobbs was 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 1-for-5 in the series. 359/394/500. Feliz was 0-for-1 in the game and 3-for-8 with a double in the series. 258/311/419.

Coste was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in his only action of the series. 311/369/538. He’s hitting .231 in June. Ruiz was 4-for-9 with two doubles and four RBI in the series. 230/308/316.

Cole Hamels (6-4, 3.27) faces righty Bartolo Colon (4-1, 3.41) tonight in Boston. Colon has made five starts for Boston this season. Opponents are hitting .270 against him and he hasn’t allowed a walk or a home run to a right-handed batter this season. Hamels has allowed two runs in 17 innings over his last two starts while striking out 17.


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