Tag: Ubaldo Jimenez

Howard serves notice to anyone out there going by The-Bigger-Piece-than-Ryan-Howard that it is time to start looking for a new nickname

Cliff Lee dazzled last night and, for much of the game, the Phillies offense frustrated. Not all of it, though. The Phils found their magic with one out in the top of the ninth, Jimmy Rollins reminded them how it goes, and over the course of five batters they turned one out, nobody on, down two runs and on the way back to Philly for game five into a one-run lead.

It was something to see. It has been for a while now.

Ryan Howard had the biggest hit of the series and the biggest hit of the year for the Phils so far. Dubbed “The Big Piece” by Charlie Manuel, Howard started the ninth inning exhorting his teammates, the best hitting team in the league, “Get me to the plate, boys.” They did. With two outs, two men on and the Phils down by two, the Phillies got him to the plate and he delivered a two-run double to right.

Lee had shut the Rockies out early as solo homers from Victorino and Werth put the Phils on top 2-0. Colorado finally got to Lee in the bottom of the sixth as Troy Tulowitzki delivered an RBI double to cut the lead to 2-1. A defensive misplay by the Phils in the eighth helped the Rockies tie the game at 2-2 before a double by Yorvit Torrealba cleared the bases and put the Rockies on top 4-2. Howard tied the game at 4-4 with his two-run double in the ninth and Werth followed that by singling Howard home. Eyre and Lidge set the Rockies down in the ninth.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 5-4 to take the best-of-five NLDS three games to one.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies. He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. Two of the runs were unearned. Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double by Tulowitzki. He struck out five.

Two starts in the series for Lee. He pitched 16 1/3 innings over four games. No other Phillies pitcher threw more than five. He had a 1.10 ERA and an 0.86 ratio in the series.

He faced a Rockies lineup that went (1) Gonzalez (RF/L) (2) Fowler (CF/S) (3) Helton (1B/L) (4) Tulowitzki (SS/R) (5) Atkins (3B/R) (6) Torrealba (C/R)(7) Smith (LF/L) (8) Barmes (2B/R). Gonzalez moves to right field with the lefty Seth Smith starting and playing left. Hawpe, a lefty, and Spilborghs, a righty, are both on the bench for Colorado. Atkins and Torrealba were flipped again, after Torrealba hit fifth in game three.

The Rockies had lefties Jason Giambi, Ian Stewart and Brad Hawpe on the bench to start the game, along with righties Ryan Spilborghs and Chris Iannetta and switch-hitter Eric Young.

Lee started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez led off with a hit, of course, singling just over Utley’s head. Fowler was next and he singled to right, moving Gonzalez to second. Helton followed and hit a ball back to the mound. Lee bobbled, then threw to second. Very close play at second, but Fowler was called out for the first out of the inning. Tracy came out to argue for the second time in the inning after Howard had been called safe at first in the top of the frame. It put men on first and third for Tulowitzki with one out. Lee’s 2-2 pitch to him was in the dirt and blocked by Ruiz. Helton took off for second and would have been out with a perfect throw, but Ruiz’s was off the mark and Helton was safe. Lee struck Tulo out swinging 3-2 for the second out and then got Atkins to hit a 3-1 ground ball to short for the third out, leaving both runners stranded.

Tulowitzki can’t bring the runner in from third with one out.

Lee struck out Torrealba swinging 2-2 for the first out of the second. Smith was next and Lee struck him out swinging 2-2 as well. Barmes flew softly to center on an 0-2 pitch for the third out..

Lee had thrown 33 pitches through the first two innings.

The pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez grounded to short for the first out of the third. Gonzalez was next and he walked on four pitches. Fowler was next and he grounded a 2-2 pitch to Utley. Utley made a nice play, tagging Gonzalez and then flipping to first to complete the double-play.

Lee had thrown 46 pitches through three innings.

He was still up 1-0 when he started the fourth. Helton led off and grounded to Feliz on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Tulowitzki followed and flew to Utley in short right field on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Atkins grounded to Feliz for the third out.

Fifty-eight pitches for Lee through four innings.

Torrealba led off the fifth and singled to right. Smith got in an 0-2 hole and flew softly to left for the first out. Lee struck Barmes out waving at a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Jimenez was swinging first pitch and dropped a single in front of Werth in right, moving Torrealba to second. Big spot for the white-hot Gonzalez, but Lee got him to fly softly to right on a 1-0 pitch to end the inning.

Seventy-eight pitches through five innings for Lee.

He was up 2-0 when he started the sixth. Fowler led off and flew to right for the first out, but Helton was next and drew a walk on four pitches. Tulowitzki smashed a 1-1 pitch into the gap in left-center for a double. Helton scored all the way from first, sliding in just ahead of the throw from Rollins to cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. Atkins hit the first pitch of his at-bat hard, but right at Feliz who caught the ball and threw to second to double-off Tulowitzki and end the inning.

Ninety pitches for Lee.

Torrealba led off the seventh and struck out looking 2-2 for the first out. Smith lofted a fly ball to left on the first pitch of his at-bat. Ibanez came in and slid trying to catch the ball, but it went off of his glove. Smith was safe at second on the two-base error. Barmes flew to left-center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out and righty Ryan Spilborghs hit for the pitcher Jimenez with two outs and a man on second. Lee got Spilborghs to pop to Howard on a 1-2 pitch for the third out.

The error by Ibanez helps the Rockies turn the lineup over.

105 pitches for Lee.

The Phillies left the bases loaded in the top of the eighth and Lee’s first pitch of the bottom of the inning was way up and in to Gonzalez. Gonzalez flew to Ibanez on the warning track for the first out. Fowler was next and Lee walked him on four pitches. Helton followed and hit a ground ball to second. Utley, the ball and Fowler all converged at the same time and Fowler hurdled over and a little behind Utley. Utley flipped to Rollins, but Rollins did not catch the ball and Fowler was safe on the error charged to Rollins. With one out and men on first and second, Madson came in to pitch to the righty Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki lined a 1-1 pitch to left and Francisco, who entered with Madson and took over in left for Ibanez, made a fantastic diving catch for the second out. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for Atkins and lined the first pitch he saw into left for a single that scored Fowler and tied the game at 2-2. Torrealba followed and drove a 1-0 pitch into right-center that landed on the warning track and out of the reach of Victorino for a bases clearing double. 4-2. Madson walked lefty Seth Smith intentionally before getting Barmes on a ground ball to third to end the inning.

Five batters in the inning for Madson. He got a fantastic diving catch to get the first, then gave up RBI-single, two-run double, intentional walk before getting a ground out to end the inning.

Eyre started the ninth inning with a 5-4 lead after an unbelievable rally in the top of the inning put the Phils on top. Cairo was playing left field for the Phils after Dobbs hit for Francisco in the top of the inning. Switch-hitter Eric Young hit for Stewart and grounded to first on a close play for the first out of the inning. Gonzalez was next and singled into left on a 1-1 pitch. Fowler lined softly to Rollins on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Helton was next and he hit the first pitch he saw from Eyre into center for a single, moving Gonzalez to second. Lidge came on to pitch to the righty Tulowitzki. Lidge struck him out 2-2 to end the game and the series.

Carlos Gonzalez was an amazing 10-for-17 in the series for the Rockies, posting a 588/632/882 line. Torrealba was the other guy on the Rockies hitting well. He went 5-for-14 with two doubles and a home run (357/357/714). Pitcher Aaron Cook also went 1-for-2 for Colorado.

Other than Gonzalez, Torrealba and Cook, every other hitter on the Colorado team posted an OPS for the series of under .700.

Barmes 0-for-14. Helton 3-for-16 with three walks. The lefty Gonzalez hammered the lefty starting pitchers for the Phils. The lefty Helton did not.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ubaldo Jimenez went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).

The Phillies started the game with a five-man bench that included righties Francisco and Cairo and lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako.

Rollins led off the game and flew to center on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Victorino was next and he worked the count full, too, but he lined his 3-2 pitch out to right to put the Phillies up 1-0. Utley was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Howard followed and hit a ground ball to second. Utley was forced at second for the second out, but Howard just barely beat the relay and was called safe at first. Tracy came out to argue the call. Werth got ahead 3-1 and flew to right for the third out.

Jimenez struck out Ibanez and Feliz to start the second. Ruiz was next and he hit a ball in between first and second. Barmes slid to his left but didn’t field it cleanly and Ruiz was safe with an infield single. Lee grounded softly to second for the third out.

The single by Ruiz turns the lineup over for the Phils.

Jimenez had thrown 43 pitches through the first two innings.

Rollins swung at the first pitch of the third and grounded to first for the first out of the inning. Victorino followed and singled to right on a 1-1 pitch. Utley was next and he singled to right-center. Victorino tried to take third and Gonzalez made a strong throw that beat Victorino to the bag, but with the help of a slow tag from Atkins and perhaps a generous call from the third base ump, Victorino was safe. Tracy came out to argue yet again, the third time in less than 2 1/2 innings. Howard was walked intentionally to load the bases with one out. Werth was next and had about the worst at-bat you’ve ever seen from him. He struck out swinging at a terrible 1-2 pitch in the dirt for the second out. Ibanez was next and tried to check his swing 3-2 on a ball that was low, but the home plate ump said he went around to set the Phillies down.

Nothing for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Werth’s at-bat was atrocious. Not just the result, which was no run with a man on third and one out, but I think that literally may be the worst at-bat I’ve ever seen from him based on the way his swings looked and the pitches he swung at. Nice play by Utley to take second after the throw from Gonzalez went to third, but Victorino would have been out by a lot with a better tag. The ball beat him by a lot. Not a fan of Rollins swinging at the first pitch.

Sixty-five pitches for Jimenez.

Feliz swung at the first pitch to start the fourth, too. He grounded to short for the first out. Ruiz got ahead 2-1 then popped to third. Lee struck out on three pitches.

Just eight pitches in the inning for Jimenez, who had thrown 73 in the game.

Rollins struck out swinging 2-2 to start the fifth. Victorino popped to short on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Utley popped to short, too, ending the inning.

Fourteen pitches in the inning. 87.

Howard led off the sixth and grounded to Tulowitzki on the right side of second base for the first out. Werth was next and hit a high 2-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Ibanez flew to left for the second out. Feliz swung at the first pitch again and grounded to second.

Just bizarreness from Werth coming off what literally may be his worst at-bat ever in the top of the third.

Jimenez was up to 103 pitches.

He came back to start the seventh anyway and got Ruiz on a line drive to second to start the inning. Lee struck out looking for the second out. Rollins ripped a 3-2 pitch down the right field line for a double. On Jimenez’s 126th pitch of the game, Victorino hit a 2-2 slider back to the mound. Jimenez fielded and threw to first for the third out, leaving Rollins stranded.

Lefty Franklin Morales came on to start the eighth for the Rockies. He walked Utley on a 3-2 pitch that was low and away. Utley stole second as the count went 2-2 on Howard, but Howard struck out looking for the first out. The lefty Morales walked Werth intentionally. Ibanez was next and he walked on a 3-1 pitch that was outside to load the bases. Feliz came to the plate and swung at the first pitch, really he did, popping to Tulowitzki in foul territory for the second out. Ruiz hit a 1-1 pitch slowly back up the middle, but Tulowitzki fielded and threw Ruiz out to end the frame.

Feliz. Just horrid. Again the Phillies don’t score with the bases loaded and one out.

Righty Huston Street started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Dobbs hit for Francisco, double-switched into the game in the top of the ninth, to start the inning and struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. It brought up Rollins and he hit a ball back through the middle. Barmes got to it, but by the time he recovered he had no chance to get Rollins. Victorino followed and hit a ground ball to second. The ball wasn’t hit hard and Colorado could get just one, forcing Rollins at second for the second out. Utley walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard got ahead in the count 2-1 and drove a ball to the warning track in right field for a double that scored both runners and tied the game at 4-4. Werth reached out and poked a 2-2 pitch into right field for a single. Howard scored and the Phillies led 5-4. That was it for Street. Lefty Joe Beimel replaced him and Manuel called on Miguel Cairo to hit for Madson. Cairo grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Just amazing. All of it. Rollins does it again, getting on base when the Phillies need it most.

The Phillies scored 20 runs in the four-game series. They allowed 15.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a double in the game. Another huge hit in the ninth inning. Twice he sparked critical ninth-inning rallies in the series. They only played four games. He was 5-for-19 in the series.

Victorino was 2-for-5 with a home run. 6-for-17 with a double and a homer in the series.

Utley was 1-for-2 with three walks, one of which was critical in the ninth inning. 6-for-14 with a home run in the series. 429/556/643 in the series.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a two-run double. He was 6-for-16 with three doubles in the series and led the team with six RBI.

Werth had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning last night and was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI in the game. 5-for-14 with a triple and a home run in the series. He also drew four walks. 357/500/929 over the four games.

Ibanez was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts last night. 4-for-13 with a double and five RBI in the series. He also drew four walks

Feliz was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4. 4-for-13 with three RBI.

Every regular except for Rollins (.263 with key hits in the last two games) and Feliz (.214) hit over .300 for the series.

Utley, Werth, Ibanez and Ruiz all on-based .400 or better.

Werth, Utley, Victorino and Howard all slugged over .550.

Dobbs was 0-for-1 last night. 0-for-3 in the series.

Cairo was 0-for-1 last night and 0-for-3 in the series.

Stairs and Francisco both did not get an at-bat last night but were 0-for-1 in the series. Stairs also had a walk. Francisco made an outstanding catch in game four.

Game one of the NLCS is on Thursday in Los Angeles.


Lee saves the best for first

The struggling Phillies rotation didn’t make a quality start in the last 12 games of the regular season, but it only took Cliff Lee 113 pitches in the first game of the irregular season to show just how little that matters. Making the first playoff start of his career, Lee threw a complete game as he led the Phillies to a 5-1 win in their NLDS opener against the Colorado Rockies.

Lee and Rockie starter Ubaldo Jimenez both put up zeroes for the first four innings of the game. In the best early scoring chance, Yorvit Torrealba led off the second with a double, but Werth gunned him down trying for third to end the inning and the threat after Clint Barmes flew to right for the second out. The Phillies finally got to Jimenez in the fifth. Werth started the inning with a walk that was followed by an Ibanez double as the Phils score twice in the inning. They followed it up with three more in the sixth as Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez blasted away and Jimenez was chased from the game. The Rockies scored a run against Lee in the ninth on a bloop single, a wild pitch and a ball laced to the gap in right-center by Tulowitzki.

The Phils were far from flawless in the game. They threw the ball away early and didn’t catch it early. They didn’t run the bases well, either, getting caught stealing, doubled off of third, and caught in rundowns. They wound up on third when they should have been home. They hit well enough, though, and Lee pitched well enough, to get them a win in the opener.

The Phillies lead the Rockies one game to none in the best-of-five series. Game two is this afternoon.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing a run on six hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

He faced a Rockies lineup that went (1) Fowler (CF/S) (2) Gonzalez (LF/L) (3) Helton (1B/L) (4) Tulowitzki (SS/R) (5) Atkins (3B/R) (6) Torrealba (C/R) (7) Hawpe (RF/L) (8) Barmes (2B/R). Lefties Hawpe and Gonzalez play the corner outfield positions. Righty Garrett Atkins starts at third with the lefty Stewart on the bench for the Rocks.

In addition to Stewart, the Rockies had lefties Jason Giambi and Seth Smith on the bench to start the game, along with righties Ryan Spilborghs and Chris Iannetta and switch-hitter Eric Young. Phils get a break from Phillie-killer Spilborghs and lefty-killer Iannetta.

Lee faced Fowler to start the first and Fowler swung at the first pitch of the game and popped it into right. The wind took the ball, but Werth took it for the first out. Gonzalez was next and he lined a 1-2 pitch from Lee into left for a single. Helton was next and Lee got ahead of him 1-2 as well before Helton hit a ground ball to first. Howard stepped on first for the second out and threw to second. Rollins couldn’t handle his throw to second, but it was backed up by Ibanez in left and Gonzalez held second. It brought up monster righty Troy Tulowitzki with first base open. Tulowitzki dribbled a 2-1 pitch past the mound for a single. Utley fielded and didn’t have a play at first, but threw to third where he might have had Gonzalez except that Feliz dropped the ball. Atkins was next and got ahead 2-0 before lofting a fly ball to shallow center. The wind took it and pushed it back, turning it into an adventure for Victorino, but the center fielder took it to end the inning and leave both men stranded.

Two misplays in the inning for the Phils without an error. Howard’s throw to second and Feliz dropping Utley’s throw. Also two balls hit in the air that were badly blown by the wind.

Seventeen pitches in the first for Lee.

Torrealba led off the second and ripped a 1-1 pitch down the line in left for a double off the glove of Feliz. Hawpe was next and Lee got ahead of him 0-2 before Hawpe flew to center on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Barmes followed and lofted a fly ball to right. Werth took it for the second out. With the pitcher due to hit next, Torrealba tagged and tried to go to third, but Werth threw him out on a close play to end the inning. Torrealba was safe and the Phillies just got the call, but it was a strong throw from Werth who caught the ball with awkward footing.

No run for the Rockies after the leadoff double.

Eight pitches for Lee had him at 25 through two innings.

Thanks to the out at third ending the top of the second, Lee got to face the pitcher Jimenez to start the third. Lee struck him out on four pitches for the first out. Fowler followed and worked the count full before lofting a ball down the third base line. Rollins took it after a long run for the second out. Gonzalez grounded an 0-1 pitch to Utley for the third out.

Fourteen pitches in the inning for Lee. Thirty-nine for the game.

Helton led off the fourth and grounded an 0-1 pitch to Utley for the first out. Tulo was swinging first pitch and skied a ball to center. Victorino had to dance around a little with the wind blowing hard, but took it for the second out. Lee struck Atkins out looking 3-2 to end the inning.

Eight in a row for Lee, who had thrown 48 pitches through four innings after a nine-pitch fourth.

Torrealba lined the first pitch of the fifth to center for the first out of the inning. Hawpe struck out trying to check his swing on a 1-2 curveball. Two down. Barmes flew softly to left to set the Rockies down.

Eleven in a row for Lee. Ten pitches in the inning and 58 for the game.

Lee started the sixth with a 2-0 lead and again set the Rockies down in order. Jimenez struck out, Fowler grounded an 0-2 pitch to short and Gonzalez flew softly to left on another 0-2 pitch.

Fourteen in a row. Eleven pitches in the inning and 69 in the game.

Lee led 5-0 when he started the seventh. Helton got ahead 3-0 to start the inning, but popped out to Rollins in foul territory on a 3-1 pitch for the first out. Tulowitzki popped to Howard in foul territory on a 2-1 pitch. Atkins got ahead in the count, too, but instead of fouling out he doubled the opposite way to break up Lee’s string of 16 set down in a row. Torrealba broke his bat grounding softly to second to set the Rockies down.

Big inning for Lee against the heart of the Colorado order.

Sixteen pitches in the inning for Lee. 85.

Hawpe grounded softly to the mound for the first out of the eighth. Barmes was next and grounded an 0-1 pitch softly to short for the second out. The righty Spilborghs hit for the pitcher Franklin Morales. He hit a 2-1 pitch down the third base line, but Feliz took it and made the long throw across the infield to end the frame.

Eleven pitches had Lee at 96 for the day.

Fowler flew to right on Lee’s first pitch of the ninth. Gonzalez was next and he fisted an 0-1 pitch into left for a single. Helton got behind 0-2 and then flew to left for the second out. With Tulowitzki at the plate, Gonzalez took second on a wild pitch by Lee. Tulowitzki lined a 3-2 pitch into right-center. Werth didn’t see the ball until late, but Gonzalez would have scored anyway. His run made it 5-1 with two outs and Tulowitzki on second. Lee struck Atkins out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ubaldo Jimenez went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R). Werth hits fifth to break up the lefties Utley, Howard and Ibanez.

The Phillies started the game with a five-man bench that included righties Francisco and Cairo and lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako.

Rollins led off the first for the Phils and grounded a 1-0 pitch to Barmes at second for the first out. Victorino followed and flew to right on a 1-1 pitch for the second. Utley looked at a 2-2 pitch at the knees to set the Phillies down.

Howard started the second with the game still scoreless and went down looking at an 0-2 pitch for the first out. Werth was next and he became the Phillies first base-runner of the game, lining a single to left. Ibanez followed with the first post-season at-bat of his career, grounding a 1-2 pitch from Jimenez into a double-play.

Jimenez had thrown 20 pitches through two innings.

Feliz led off the bottom of the third and grounded a 2-1 pitch to third for the first out. Ruiz was swinging first pitch and grounded to short for the second out. Lee followed and hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for a single. With the count 0-2 on Rollins, Lee stole second as Jimenez delivered ball one. The Rockies picked Lee off of second then, but the Phillies got another call and gave Rollins one more chance. He struck out swinging at the next pitch.

The Lee single at least makes Jimenez throw some pitches after he needed just five pitches to get the first two outs of the inning.

Victorino lined an 0-1 pitch to right for the first out in the bottom of the fourth. Utley was next and he struck out looking 3-2 for the second out. Howard followed and lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Werth got behind in the count and Howard was caught trying to steal second to end the inning.

Jimenez had thrown 46 pitches through four innings.

Werth led off the fifth and walked on a 3-2 pitch. Ibanez got ahead 2-0 before he ripped a 3-1 pitch into the right field corner for a double. Werth scored from first and the Phils led 1-0. Feliz was next and he also got ahead 2-0 before chopping a soft ground ball to second. Barmes took it for the first out, but Ibanez went to third. Ruiz worked the count full and then dumped a ball into right field for a single. The ball got passed Hawpe, allowing Ruiz to take second on the error. Ibanez scored from third to make it 2-0. Lee was next and he didn’t bunt. Instead he hit a ball back to the mound and Jimenez caught Ruiz off of second, throwing first to Tulowitzki who threw to Atkins who tagged out Ruiz. It cost the Phils, cause Rollins followed with a single to right that moved Lee to second. Victorino got ahead 3-1 before flying to left to end the inning.

I would have liked to see Feliz do more with his at-bat. His out did move the runner to third, but the Phils had Jimenez on the ropes. Awful job by Ruiz on the bases and it cost the Phillies a run.

Long inning for Jimenez. Thirty-five pitches put him at 81 for the game.

Utley lined a single to right to start the sixth. Howard followed and blasted a 1-0 pitch to left. Gonzalez had a long run and probably should have made the play, but got turned around the wrong way and the ball went off his glove on the warning track as Gonzalez crashed into the wall. It went as a double and scored Utley to make it 3-0. Werth followed and blasted a 3-1 pitch high off the wall in left-center. It’s a home run on just about any other day, but this one went high off the wall and rolled a long way towards right field. Werth should have had an inside-the-park home run, but wasn’t running out of the box and had to settle for an RBI-triple. Howard scored and it was 4-0 with nobody out and a man on third. That was it for Jimenez, and lefty Joe Beimel came in to try to get the lefty Ibanez. Ibanez hit a 1-0 pitch into right for a single, driving in his second run in two at-bats as Werth scored from third. 5-0. Righty Matt Daley came in to pitch to Feliz and got Feliz on a fly ball to left for the first out of the inning. Ibanez moved to second on a wild pitch as the count went 1-2 on Ruiz. Ruiz came back to work a walk, putting men on first and second with one down for Lee. Lee was bunting this time, and he got down a good one on the first offering from Daley. It put men on second and third with two outs for Rollins. Rollins got ahead 2-0 and then hit a grounded to second. Barmes didn’t handle it cleanly, but recovered in time to get Rollins on a close play at first and end the inning with both runners stranded.

Tough decision to bring Jimenez back to start the top of the sixth against two lefties after he struggled badly in a long bottom of the fifth. Jimenez also led off the top of the sixth for Colorado. First round of the Ibanez, Utley and Howard against the lefties in the Colorado pen goes to the Phils.

Daley was back to start the seventh for the Rockies. Victorino led off and doubled to left. The other lefty in the Colorado pen, Franklin Morales, came in to pitch to Utley. Morales got Utley on a 2-2 popup that Atkins took in foul territory while fighting with the railing for the first out. Victorino stole third as Howard swung through strike one. Howard held up his check swing at 1-2 and then hammered the next pitch, but right at Helton. Helton caught it for the second out and threw to first where Victorino was doubled-off to end the inning.

There’s some more bad base-running for the Phils. Howard crushed the ball, but Victorino still can’t get doubled-off and needs to be close to the base since he’ll score without a problem if the ball makes it to the outfield.

Jason Marquis started the ninth inning for the Rockies. He got Werth and Ibanez on a pair of ground outs to start the inning before Feliz reached on an infield single. Ruiz again swung at the first pitch and grounded to second.

Rollins was 1-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a double.

Utley 1-for-4 and struck out twice.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Werth had a great game. 2-for-3 with a triple that should have been a home run, a big walk to start a rally and an RBI.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Feliz 1-for-4.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. In both of his plate appearances that he made outs he swung at the first pitch. In his other two he saw eight pitches in each — he walked and singled.

Lefty Cole Hamels faces righty Aaron Cook this afternoon in game two.

The 30-year-old Cook made 27 starts for the Rockies this season, throwing to a 4.16 ERA and a 1.41 ratio over 158 innings. He doesn’t walk righties, he walked just seven of them all season long. He does give up a lot of hits, though, 175 in 158 innings on the season. Opponents hit .284 against him and lefties and righties hit for about the same average — .285 for righties and .282 for lefties.

He comes into the post-season off of two good starts in which he combined to allow one run over 13 innings on eight hits and a walk (that’s an 0.69 ERA and an 0.69 ratio).

He made two starts against the Phils this year. On April 12 the Rockies gave him a four-run lead in the bottom of the first inning, but the Phillies came back to win the game 7-5 thanks to four late runs. Cook went six innings in the game, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. He also faced the Phils on August 6 in Philadelphia. This time he allowed three runs over five innings and the Phils won 3-1. Paul Bako hit a solo home run off of Cook in that game.

He has faced the Phillies a ton over his career. Feliz 7-for-30 (233/258/267), Howard 6-for-17 with a home run (353/389/706), Utley 8-for-21 (381/391/619), Rollins 11-for-29 (379/379/517). The Phils have generally hit him hard over his career, posting a 333/363/490 line against him. He’s appeared against them nine times, making eight starts. 5.85 ERA and a 1.59 ratio over 47 2/3 innings.

Hamels went 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.29 ratio over 32 starts in 2009. He went into the All-Star break with an ugly 4.87 ERA, but threw to a 3.76 ERA and a 1.19 ratio in 15 starts after the break. He was also much better at home this year than away from Citizens Bank Park. 3.76 ERA and a 1.12 ratio at home and a 4.99 ERA and a 1.48 ratio away. Over his career he’s been way better at night than during the day. In ’09 he was 0-6 with a 5.44 ERA and a 1.56 ratio in nine day starts and 10-5 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.19 ratio in his 23 night starts. For his career he has a 3.27 ERA and 1.09 ratio at night and a 4.66 ERA and a 1.39 ratio during the day.

Hamels started game one of the 2007 NLDS against the Rockies, which the Phillies lost 4-2. We’ll have to keep an eye on his shirt this time. The 25-year-old Hamels already has an outstanding post-season resume. In six playoff starts he’s 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA and an 0.94 ratio. He’s allowed 26 hits in 41 2/3 innings.

He faced the Rockies on April 10 of this year and got hammered. He was charged with seven runs on 11 hits and a walk and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Garrett Atkins connected for a two-run homer off of him in the game. The April 10 start was the only time in his career he’s faced the Rockies in the regular season.

He comes into the post-season not pitching well. Over his last three starts he’s gone 16 2/3 innings with a 7.02 ERA and a 1.51 ratio. All three of the starts have been bad.

Phillies win today. Hamels pitches well and the Phils hit Cook. Let’s hope I’m right, though, cause if they don’t it’s a big problem. The Rockies will have the momentum headed to Coors, where they are tough to beat.

The playoff start log is up to date. The Phillies have made quality starts in seven straight post-season games. All six of the starts that Hamels has made in the post-season for his career have been quality starts.

This suggests that Pedro, Happ and Blanton are all available to pitch today. I would be pretty surprised to see Blanton pitch, however.


First time, long time

Lot of stuff you can pick to worry about today as the Phils open the post-season against the Rockies. I’m going to go with how many innings Cliff Lee has thrown this year as he makes the first playoff start of his career. Here’s a look at some of the guys on the Phillies and Rockies who are in the top 40 in MLB for innings pitched this year:


MLB leaders, Innings pitched
Rank Player Team IP
5 C Lee CLE/PHI 231 2/3
13 U Jimenez COL 218
15 J Marquis COL 216
40 J Blanton PHI 195 1/3

On the plus side, thirteenth on the list with 218 innings might not be where you want your 25-year-old stud to be either.

Looking just at the NL now, here’s pitchers in the top forty for either team in innings pitched as a reliever:


NL Leaders, Innings pitched as reliever
Rank Player Team IP
4 R Madson PHI 77 1/3
19 C Durbin PHI 69 2/3
37 H Street COL 61 2/3

And here’s NL appearances as a reliever:


NL Leaders, appearances as reliever
Rank Player Team G
4 R Madson PHI 79
22 J Beimel COL 71
37 B Lidge PHI 67

While we’re worrying about stuff, it’s a good time to remember that Madson has thrown a ton over the past two seasons. He was fourth in the NL in both innings pitched as a reliever and appearances as a reliever in ’09 after being fifth in the league in innings pitched in relief and tied for ninth in appearances in 2008.

Lefty Cliff Lee faces righty Ubaldo Jimenez this afternoon in game one of the NLDS.

Jimenez made 33 starts with the Rockies this season, going 15-12 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.23 ratio over 218 innings. He was tough on righties, who hit just 206/276/309 against him. He doesn’t give up home runs to much of anyone, he allowed just 13 on the season, but will walk lefties. He faced 482 lefties and 432 righties on the season and walked 56 lefties and 29 righties. He comes into the series with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.15 ratio over his last three starts. In those three outings he struck out 25 in 20 innings.

He started game three of the 2007 NLDS and was brilliant as the Phillies were eliminated. He allowed a run on three hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings. Shane Victorino homered off of him in the seventh for the Phillies only run of the game. He didn’t face the Phillies this year.

Feliz is 3-for-4 with a double and a home run against Jimenez in the regular season for his career. Victorino 3-for-5. Howard 2-for-5 with a homer.

31-year-old lefty Cliff Lee will be making the first post-season start of his career. He went 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio in 34 starts for the Indians and Phillies in 2009. Lee doesn’t walk anyone, almost literally when it comes to lefties. He walked six left-handed batters all season. Lefties hit just 241/263/320 against Lee with eleven extra-base hits for the season. Righties had a lot more luck, hitting 283/321/414.

Lee was brilliant in July and August, making 11 starts between the Indians and Phils in which he threw to a 2.06 ERA with an 0.98 ratio. Opponents posted a .590 OPS against him over those 11 starts. Things have been ugly since the end of August. In his last six starts of the season Lee had a 5.45 ERA and a 1.38 ratio. Opponents hit .317 against him.

He made one start against the Rockies this year and pitched well. On August 6 in Philadelphia he allowed one run over seven innings on six hits and a walk while striking out nine. The Phillies won the game 3-1. The Rockies had righties Atkins, Spilborghs, Iannetta and Barmes in their lineup against Lee that day and they combined to go 1-for-15 with a single by Spilborghs.

Jason Giambi is the Rockie who has seen Lee the most over his career from their time in the American League. Giambi is 3-for-10 with a home run against Lee.

Here’s the Phillies NLDS roster. And the Rockies. Just two lefties on the roster for Colorado, so we may be seeing a lot of Joe Beimel and Franklin Morales against Utley, Howard and Ibanez in the short series.

Not a huge fan of the Phillies post-season roster. The relief pitchers on the team who would make me real nervous in a close game include Bastardo, Durbin, Kendrick, Lidge and Myers. That’s a lot. Madson in the ninth, too. I’d feel great about Madson in the eighth, but I don’t think that’s when we’re going to be seeing him pitch. I hope the Phils don’t wind up missing Condrey and Walker too much.

Still, overall I think there’s a lot of reasons to like the Phillies in the series. They won more games in the regular season. They scored more runs than the Rockies. They allowed fewer. They have home field advantage. They won four of the six games the teams played in the regular season. The Rockies weren’t very good on the road this season, especially offensively. The Phils have Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels starting games one and two.

Not much of that is going to matter much if they don’t come out and play well in a few hours, though.


The Brave Little Rockie

Ubaldo Jimenez did muster the courage to show up last night, but that’s pretty much where the heartwarming part of the story ended from a Colorado perspective. Jimenez wasn’t through the second inning before he found himself down 7-0. The Phils’ bats cooled a little after that, but seven runs proved to be enough as the Phils rolled to their third straight win.

The Phillies continue to hit up and down their order. After going 11-for-35 at the plate as a team last night they are 48-for-113 (.425) as a team over their past three games.

They start the day six games above .500 for the first time this season.

The Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies last night, winning 7-4 to improve to 30-24 on the season.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

Seth Smith singled with one out in the first and stole second as Todd Helton struck out for the second out. Garrett Atkins grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second.

Willy Taveras reached on an infield single with two outs in the third and the Phillies up 7-0, but Smith flew to left for the third out.

Atkins singled to center with one out in the fourth, but Ryan Spilborghs followed with a ground ball to short and Atkins was forced at second for the second out. Kendrick hit Ian Stewart with a pitch, but Yorvit Torrealba struck out swinging to end the frame.

Omar Quintanilla doubled to start the fifth. Cory Sullivan hit for the pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and flew to right. Jenkins’ throw back into the infield was bad and the error allowed Quintanilla to go to third. Taveras grounded to third and Quintanilla scored, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-1. Smith singled and Helton followed with a walk, but Atkins flew to center to leave them both stranded.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 sixth and a 1-2-3 seventh.

Smith doubled to left to start the eighth. Helton followed with a single into left and Bohn, who had just entered the game, threw Smith out at the plate with a nice throw. Terrible base-running by Smith to get thrown out down six runs for the first out of the inning. Gordon came in to pitch to the righty Atkins and got him on a ground ball to second. Helton, who had gone to second on the throw home to get Smith, went to third. Spilborghs got ahead 1-0 and hit a ball out to left-center, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-3. Stewart doubled to left and Torrealba moved him to third with a single, but Flash got Quintanilla on a ground ball back up the middle that Rollins made a nice play on to end the inning.

In 27 career plate appearances against the Phillies, Spilborghs is hitting 478/519/913 with three home runs and a double.

Terrible outing for Gordon. Three of the five hitters he faced got hits including a double and a home run. The throw by Bohn and the bad base-running by Smith looked irrelevant when it happened, but turned out to be important. Gordon needed a nice play from Rollins to end the frame.

Lidge started the ninth. Taveras walked with one out and took second on defensive indifference. Lidge struck out Smith for the second out before Helton singled to right, scoring Taveras to cut the Phillies’ lead to 7-4. Atkins flew to right to end the game.

Gordon threw 20 pitches, Lidge 23. Gordon has pitched on back-to-back days four times this season, but never after he threw more than 15 pitches in the first game. I would guess the Phils would try not to use him tonight.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Ubaldo Jimenez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Burrell was a late scratch with a stiff neck. Dobbs played left, putting lefties three through six in the Phillies’ lineup. Ruiz catches with a righty on the mound despite a big game from Coste with the bat the night before.

Rollins and Victorino singled back-to-back to start the first, putting men on first and third for Utley. Victorino stole second as Utley struck out for the first out. Howard walked to load the bases and Dobbs dumped a single into right. Rollins scored easily and Victorino and the ball arrived at the plate at about the same time. Victorino plowed over Torrealba, who had already failed to catch the ball by the time Victorino arrived. Torrealba was given an error on the play and the Phillies’ runners went to second and third with the Phils up 2-0. Jenkins grounded to first and Helton threw home. Howard was called out, although it appeared he slid in safely head first before the tag was applied. Feliz doubled into right field and Dobbs and Jenkins both scored, putting the Phils up 4-0. Ruiz struck out for the third out.

With one out in the second, Rollins singled and stole second. Victorino grounded to second for the second out and Rollins went to third. Utley doubled into right and Rollins scored. 5-0. Howard hit a ground ball right to where the shortstop would be were it not for the shift. Single, Utley scored, 6-0. Dobbs moved Howard to second with a single before Jenkins doubled. Howard scored to make it 7-0 with men on second and third for Feliz. Feliz struck out looking to end the inning.

1-2-3 in the third.

Victorino led off the fourth with a single and Utley followed with a walk. Howard, Jenkins and Dobbs went down behind them.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the fifth and again in the sixth.

Jenkins singled with two outs in the seventh, but Feliz grounded to short behind him.

With the count 0-1 on Ruiz in the eighth, the game was delayed by rain for about an hour and a half. When it resumed the Phils went 1-2-3. Taguchi hit for Gordon and flew to center for the second out.

Rollins was 2-for-5.

Victorino 2-for-4.

Utley 1-for-3 with a double.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk. No strikeouts in his last two games.

Dobbs was 2-for-4 with two RBI. He’s hitting .400 in May.

Jenkins was 2-for-4 with a double. 322/345/475 in May.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Ruiz 0-for-4. He has six extra-base hits on the season. 300/357/532 in May.

Adam Eaton (0-3, 5.37) faces righty Greg Reynolds (0-1, 4.08) tonight. Reynolds has made three appearances on the season, all of them starts. Opponents are hitting .197 against him, but he has allowed four home runs and seven walks in just 17 2/3 innings. Eaton has taken three losses in his last four starts, but pitched well against the Astros on Friday, holding them to three runs over seven innings.


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