The new look Phils are 2-for-2 after getting past the Nats 3-2 last night as Schierholtz debuted and Brown made his first start of the season.
Jimmy Rollins had a game to remember. He hammered Edwin Jackson’s first pitch of the contest in the top of the first. The ball looked out off the bat, but fell just short and Bryce Harper hauled it in in right for the first out of the game. Rollins finished it off in his next at-bat, though, crushing a 3-1 pitch way out and into the second level in right to cut the Washington lead to 2-1. Rollins did it again in the fifth, homering off of Jackson again to tie the game at 2-2. Nate Schierholtz was the next batter and he hit the very next pitch from Jackson out to right as well, putting the Phils on top to stay at 3-2.
Schierholtz would have another big moment in the game. With nobody out in the top of the eighth and the Phils clinging to a one-run lead, Harper popped a 3-1 pitch into shallow right. Schierholtz made a long run and a sliding catch to keep the Washington rally from getting started.
The other memorable defensive play of the game came from Domonic Brown, who was notably not atrocious defensively in his first start of the year for the Phils. Brown made a strong throw to the plate to cut down Jackson trying to score to end the second.
It wasn’t all good for the Phils defensively in the game. Worley gave them seven strong innings, allowing two runs, both of which were unearned and came in the first when the Phils got a total of one out on two double-play balls that should have ended the inning.
The Phillies are 47-57 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 3-2 last night. The Phils remain in last place in the NL East, 14 1/2 games behind the Nats.
Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs, both of which were unearned, on six hits and a walk. He didn’t strike out any batters.
Bryce Harper singled to center with one out in the bottom of the first. Chad Tracy was next and walked on five pitches, putting runners on first and second for Michael Morse. Morse hit a double-play ball to third that should have ended the inning. Didn’t happen. Frandsen booted it and the bases were loaded. Adam LaRoche was the next hitter and he smashed a single into center, moving everyone up a base. Harper scored and the Nats led 1-0 with the bases still loaded. Danny Espinosa was next and he hit another double-play ball, this one to Utley. Utley fielded it fine, but lost it as he tried to flip to Rollins to start the double-play. The ball rolled to Rollins and Rollins was lucky to force LaRoche at second for the second out. Tracy scored to put the Nats up 2-0. Roger Bernadina grounded to Utley to end the inning.
Two big misplays in the frame for the Phils. Frandsen can’t get an out on the first double-play ball and Utley only gets one out on the second.
The pitcher Edwin Jackson reached on an infield single with one out in the second. Steve Lombardozzi was next and grounded to third with Jackson moving up to second with two outs. Harper was the next hitter and he singled to left. Brown charged, gloved and made a strong and accurate throw home. Jackson was tagged out on a close play at the plate.
Very good throw by Brown keeps the Nats off the board. He did something weird with his feet as he charged the ball, trying to get his body into position to make the throw. It seemed like it took him a long time to get to the ball. When he did throw, though, it was just about perfect — strong and on line.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when Worley started the third. Tracy led off with a single to right, but Worley got the next three behind him.
Worley threw a 1-2-3 fourth. Kratz made a nice play on a foul ball he was trouble finding for the third out.
The Phils led 3-2 when Worley set Washington down in order in the fifth.
Morse singled to start the sixth, but Worley got LaRoche to hit into a double-play behind him. He hit Espinosa with a 1-2 pitch before getting Bernadina on a fly ball to right to end the inning.
Worley threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Righty Mark DeRosa hit for the pitcher Mike Gonzalez and popped to Utley for the second out.
Bastardo started the eighth with the Phils still up a run. He got behind Harper 3-0 before Harper popped a 3-1 pitch up to shallow right. Schierholtz made a long run and a sliding catch for the first out. Righty Ryan Zimmerman hit for the lefty Tracy and Lindblom came in to pitch to him, making his debut with the Phillies. Zimmerman singled past a diving Rollins and into center. Lindblom struck Morse out swinging for the second out and Manuel called on Horst to face LaRoche. Horst only threw one pitch to LaRoche. Zimmerman took off for second as LaRoche took strike one, but Kratz threw him out to set the Nats down.
Bastardo faces one batter and gets one out, thanks to a nice play after a long run by Schierholtz. He was pitching for the second day in a row. He’s been charged with a run in just one of his last nine appearances.
Lindblom faces two batters, allowing a single to the first and striking the other out. His previous outing was one inning on Monday, so he was throwing on one day of rest. He can surely help the Phillies. If you’re looking for things to worry about, I’d go with 1) walks against left-handed hitters and 2) his ERA away from Dodger Stadium this year is 5.24.
Horst threw one pitch in the game and got an out on the caught stealing by Zimmerman. He has an 0.87 ERA and an 0.97 ratio in 11 appearances with the Phillies. In 10 1/3 innings he has struck out 12.
Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils still up 3-2. LaRoche popped to Rollins for the first out. Espinosa flew to Brown at the wall in left for the second. Bernadina struck out swinging to end the game.
Espinosa just missed a game-tying home run. Papelbon has made four scoreless appearances in a row.
Two scoreless innings for the pen in which four pitchers combine to allow one hit while striking out two. Nobody threw more than 12 pitches in the game. Bastardo was pitching for the second straight day.
The Phillies lineup against righty Edwin Jackson went (1) Rollins (2) Schierholtz (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Brown (7) Frandsen (8) Kratz. Wow, that’s really ugly. Schierholtz and Brown make their first starts of the year with the Phils with Brown in left and Schierholtz in right. Kratz catches with Ruiz on the bench. Mayberry hits fifth against a right-handed pitcher is probably the worst of it. Frandsen starts against a righty again after homering off of Strasburg in game one of the set. Three lefties in a row for the Phils 2-3-4. Three of the hitters in the lineup, Brown, Frandsen and Schierholtz, come into the game having combined to get a total of eight at-bats with the Phillies this season. If you add Kratz it’s four players with a total of 27 at-bats.
Rollins flew to Harper at the wall in right for the first out in the top of the first. Schierholtz was next and squibbed a ground ball to short for the second out. Utley drew a walk but was left stranded when Howard struck out.
Down 2-0, the Phillies went in order in the second.
Kratz led off the third with a single to right. Worley was next and bunted, but the first baseman LaRoche fielded and threw to second to start a double-play that cleared the bases. It cost the Phils a run, cause Rollins was next and he hammered a 3-1 pitch out to right, cutting the lead to 2-1. Schierholtz and Utley followed with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners for Howard. Howard struck out leave them there.
Rollins just missed a home run in the first. The Phillies get three singles and a home run in the inning and score just one run.
Mayberry led off the fourth and hit a ball back up the middle. It went off the glove of the pitcher Jackson and rolled to short. Espinosa fielded and threw to first even though he had no chance to get Mayberry. The throw went into the stands for an error that allowed Mayberry to take second. Brown moved Mayberry up to third with a ground out to first for the first out. Frandsen was next and hit a ground ball to third. Mayberry must have been running on contact and was caught up between third and home and eventually tagged out with Frandsen winding up on second. Kratz was walked intentionally and Jackson struck out Worley to leave both runners stranded.
Another hit for Mayberry off of a righty. Unfortunate not to get a run after putting a man on third with one out, but Mayberry did a nice job to keep the rundown going long enough for Frandsen to get to second.
Rollins led off the fifth and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right for his second home run of the day, tying the game at 2-2. Schierholtz was next and he hit the first pitch from Jackson out to right. 3-2. Utley followed that with a double. Then Howard walked. Mayberry struck out trying to check his swing 1-2 for the first out. Brown was next and grounded to second for the first out with Howard forced at second and Utley moving up to third. Frandsen grounded to short to end the frame.
Less impressive result for Mayberry against the righty that time, but things went well besides that. Rollins and Schierholtz both get Jackson early in the count.
Jackson walked Rollins with two outs in the sixth. Lefty Mike Gonzalez took over and struck Schierholtz out to leave Rollins at first.
Gonzalez struck out Howard and Mayberry in a 1-2-3 seventh.
Righty Ryan Mattheus set down Brown, Frandsen and Kratz in a 1-2-3 eighth.
Lefty Sean Burnett started the ninth. Wigginton hit for Horst and singled to right. Pierre ran for Wigginton at first and stole second. He stole third as Rollins struck out swinging for the first out. Schierholtz was next and flew to shallow left for the second. Pierre had to hold third. Utley grounded to first to leave Pierre stranded.
No RBI for Schierholtz against the lefty with one out and a man on third. Schierholtz’s career numbers against lefties and righties are pretty similar with a little more power and walks against righties but more hits against lefties. 266/319/416 against righties and 285/318/398 against lefties. In 2012, he has been terrible against lefties, hitting just 146/173/229 against them while pounding righties: 295/376/508.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk and two home runs in the game. 3-for-his-last-9 with three home runs, including an inside-the-park homer in game one.
Schierholtz was 2-for-5 with a home run in his debut with the Phils. He also made a critical sliding catch after a long run for the first out in the eighth inning. He’s 3-for-his-last-13. He also couldn’t bring the runner home from third against a lefty with one out in the top of the ninth. He ends the day hitting 146/173/229 against lefties for the year. So, to recap: the Phillies replace Victorino, who didn’t hit righties this year, with a guy who’s worse against righties and replace Pence, a righty who didn’t hit lefties this year, with a lefty who’s hitting .146 against them.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. He’s on-basing .422 over his last 45 plate appearances.
Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. He’s 1-for-his-last-14 with nine strikeouts.
Mayberry 1-for-4 and struck out three times. He’s started the last two games against right-handed pitchers and gone 3-for-8 with a double and four strikeouts. For the year he’s hitting 201/270/266 against righties.
Brown was 0-for-4. Perhaps the biggest victory from last night is that we’re not talking about how terrible his defense was. Made a very strong throw in the second to get Jackson. He’s 1-for-5 on the season.
Frandsen was 0-for-4 with a big error that turned an inning-ending double-play into no outs. Also, all sources seem to agree that he’s 30, but he looks like he’s about 45 to me. Last night was the first game he’s appeared in with the Phillies without getting a hit. He’s 3-for-11 with a home run so far. I’m afraid the error last night means Michael Martinez is probably coming to a third base near you sometime soon.
Kratz was 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 6-for-his-last-12 with a walk, three doubles and a home run.
Hamels (11-5, 3.31) faces lefty Ross Detwiler (5-4, 3.24) tonight. Hamels was awful his last time out — pitching for the first time since signing a massive new deal, Hamels walked six in five innings while allowing five runs. The Phillies have lost five of the last six games that he has started. Righties are hitting 292/342/413 against Detwiler for the season while lefties have put up a 146/224/271 line.
After getting back-to-back righties, this will be the first time the new look Phillies see a righty. That should be a problem. Utley and Howard have had people saying the Phils were too left-handed for a long time. Now the Phillies have five outfielders, John Mayberry and four lefties. That’s assuming you don’t count Martinez as an outfielder, but there are very few offensive problems a team can solve with Michael Martinez.
As of today, the Phillies are hitting 231/289/402 for the year against left-handed pitching. By OPS, that’s eleventh-best in the NL. Ruiz has been their best hitter against lefties this season. Victorino was fantastic against lefties, hitting 316/393/561 against them. Pence oddly was not, but by OPS he was still the fourth-best hitter on the team with at least 15 plate appearances against lefties, posting a 245/311/436 line against them.
Mayberry can hit lefties. But he’s not going to hit 316/393/561 against them. He’s on-basing .282 against left-handed pitching for the year with no walks in 108 at-bats.
Schierholtz has hit lefties in the past, but this year he’s at 146/173/229 against them. He’s a long way from a lock at matching Pence’s 245/311/436 line against left-handed pitching.
Left-handed batters for the Phillies have hit 159/232/290 against lefties for the season.
So the Phils start the day at 231/289/402 against lefties for the year. And that’s bad. We’ll see where it goes from here, but I don’t think the answer will prove to be up.