Tag: Vance Worley

As Jimmy goes, so go whoever these guys are

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.


Drama kings

The Phillies are apparently willing to do whatever it takes to deliver dramatic wins. Start Wigginton at third against righties no matter how bad he is at hitting righties or playing third. Let their lefties with ERAs up near five pitch to Ryan Braun as the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. The Phillies did it all yesterday and still came out with a win, scoring twice in the bottom of the tenth to beat the Brewers 7-6.

Worley cruised into the sixth inning with a 5-1 lead and after three straight nail biters it looked like the Phils were on their way to an easy win. Didn’t happen. Worley allowed two runs in the sixth on a Rickie Weeks homer and an RBI-double by Carlos Gomez, cutting the lead to 5-3. Manuel tried to use Bastardo to pitch the eighth despite a mountain of evidence going into the game that that isn’t going to work. There’s more now. Bastardo stayed in to face the righty Ryan Braun with two outs and Braun took him out of the yard for a two-run homer that tied the game at 5-5. A two-base error by Wigginton led to an unearned run off of Schwimer in the top of the tenth, putting the Phils behind 6-5. A walk to Mayberry and a double by Kratz put runners on second and third with one out in the tenth. Ruiz hit a sac fly to tie things up at 6-6 before a two-out walkoff single by Rollins gave the Phils a 7-6 win.

Manuel had a miserable game, starting Wigginton at third against a righty with Fontenot on the bench and leaving Bastardo in to face Braun. Wigginton made two errors and has made three in the last two games. His second yesterday to start the tenth looked like the biggest play of the game before the Phils rallied for two in the bottom of the frame. Bastardo has a 5.23 ERA for the year. He can’t be allowed to pitch to Ryan Braun as the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.

The Phillies are 45-54 on the year after beating the Milwaukee Brewers by a 7-6 score for the third straight game. The Phils sweep the series, but remain in last place in the NL East, 14 games behind the Nationals. They have won four in a row.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on ten hits and a walk. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and a home run. He struck out six.

The Phillies didn’t have a quality start in the series. In the three games, the starters combined to throw to a 7.36 ERA and allowed 30 hits in 18 1/3 innings. The pen threw 9 2/3 innings in the three games, pitching to a 1.86 ERA with an 0.93 ratio. Remember this? In two of the three games, the Phillies won despite the fact that their starting pitcher put up a worse game score than the Milwaukee starter.

Worley got the first two hitters in the top of the first before Ryan Braun doubled to center. Aramis Ramirez popped to first to leave Braun stranded.

Braun was 5-for-9 in the series with a double and a home run through two games and one at-bat.

Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks singled back-to-back to start the top of the second, putting men on first and second for Martin Maldonado. Maldonado lined a single to right, scoring Hart to put Milwaukee up 1-0 with men on first and third. Cody Ransom bunted Maldonado up to second with the first out. Worley struck the pitcher Marco Estrada out swinging for the second out. Carlos Gomez grounded to short to leave the runners stranded.

The bunt ahead of the pitcher with nobody out and men on first and third was a gift. That’s a really bad idea. Worley hadn’t gotten an out in the inning.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Worley started the third. Nyjer Morgan led off with a single to center. Braun was next and hit a ball to third that Wigginton didn’t handle, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Ramirez grounded into a double-play and Hart flew to center to keep the Brewers off the board.

Second error in two games for Wigginton at third.

The Phillies led 3-1 when Worley hit Weeks with the first pitch of the fourth inning. Weeks stole second as Maldonado struck out looking for the first out. Worley walked Ransom, putting two men on for Estrada again. Estrada again struck out looking. Gomez flew to left to leave both runners stranded.

Estrada 0-for-2 with four men left on base through four innings.

The Phils were up 5-1 when Worley started the fifth. Braun doubled with one out, but Ramirez went down on a pop to Utley and Hart flew to center to leave him stranded.

Weeks led off the sixth and hit a 2-1 pitch from Worley out to left. 5-2. Worley struck out Maldonado for the first out before Ransom doubled to left. Lefty Travis Ishikawa hit for the pitcher Tyler Thornberg and Ishikawa moved Ransom up to third with a single. Gomez was next and he doubled to left, off the glove of a diving Pierre near the third base line. Ransom scored and Ishikawa moved up to third with the lead cut to 5-3. Manuel called on Kendrick to pitch to the lefty Morgan with one out and men on second and third. Morgan flew to right with the runners holding for the second out. Braun was next and Kendrick threw him three straight balls before walking him intentionally to load the bases. He got Ramirez on a fly ball to left to end the frame.

That worked out really well. For the record, I was not a fan of bringing Kendrick in to face the lefty Morgan with one out and men on second and third, especially given the four lefties in the pen, but whatever. Whoever came up with the don’t-throw-the-ball-anywhere-near-the-plate strategy for Braun’s at-bat did a nice job.

Weeks reached on an infield single off of Kendrick with one out in the seventh. Maldonado was next and hit a ground ball to third with Wigginton throwing to first for the second out as Weeks moved up to second. Kendrick got Ransom swinging 2-2 for the third out.

Kendrick great again, throwing another 1 2/3 innings without being charged with a run. He has now thrown 14 1/3 innings in July without being charged with a run, allowing eight hits and four walks (0.84 ratio).

Bastardo started the eighth and lefty Norichika Aoki hit for Livan Hernandez. Aoki went down swinging 2-2 for the first out. Gomez was next and lined a single to center. Righty Jeff Bianchi hit for the lefty Nyjer Morgan and hit a ball caught by a sliding Pence for the second out. It brought the righty Braun to the plate as the tying run and Bastardo stayed in to pitch to him. Braun hit a 2-1 pitch out to left, tying the game at 5-5. Bastardo got Ramirez on a ground ball to third to end the frame.

That’s atrocious. Schwimer had pitched two days in a row and the pitcher spot was due to lead off the bottom of the eighth, but you really don’t want Bastardo pitching to Braun there. Was nice of the Brewers to hit with a lefty against Bastardo for the first out.

Braun was 7-for-12 in the series with two walks, two doubles and two home runs.

Bastardo has a 12.15 ERA with a 1.50 ratio in July. He didn’t allow a home run in 14 2/3 innings in his first 20 appearances of the year through May 30. Since the start of June he’s thrown 18 innings and allowed six home runs.

Papelbon started the ninth. Hart led off with a single and stole second before Weeks singled into left, moving Hart up to third. Maldonado was next and bunted. Papelbon fielded and Hart was caught up between third and home. Papelbon threw to third and Hart was run down and tagged for the first out. It left one down and men on first and second for Ransom. Papelbon struck him out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Aoki grounded to Utley for the third out.

Huge play on the bunt and Papelbon escapes after Milwaukee puts men on the corners with nobody out. He pitched two scoreless frames in the last two games of the set.

Schwimer started the tenth. Gomez was the first batter and reached on a two-base error by Wigginton. Switch-hitter Cesar Izturis hit for the pitcher John Axford and bunted Gomez to third with the first out. Braun was walked intentionally to put runners on the corners. Ramirez was next and popped a ball up — Utley made a running basket catch with his back to the infield, but Gomez tagged from third and scored ahead of the throw from Utley. 6-5 Milwaukee. Kratz threw Braun out trying to steal second to end the frame.

Good idea walking Braun intentionally. Bad idea playing Wigginton at third.

The two-base error by Wigginton was just a high popup to third that Wigginton dropped. Nice job by Gomez getting to second, cause that ball is caught a huge percentage of the time at the major league level and it was questionable fair/foul as well.

Schwimer pitches all three games in the series, allowing an unearned run on no hits and two walks. He got the wins in games two and three. He had a 7.56 ERA over his first nine appearances of the year. Since then he’s had 18 appearances in which he’s thrown to a 2.08 ERA over 17 1/3 innings.

The pen goes 4 2/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs, two of which were earned. Bastardo allows a two-run homer and Schwimer charged with the unearned run on the Wigginton misplay.

Schwimer has thrown three days in a row and Papelbon two. Kendrick threw 40 pitches on Sunday and 33 on Wednesday. Today’s off-day can’t hurt.

The Phillies lineup against righty Marco Estrada went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Wigginton (7) Pierre (8) Kratz. Ruiz on the bench for the day game. Pierre in left against the righty. Wigginton at third against the righty despite being terrible at third and against righties. 247/294/359 against righties for the season in 187 plate appearances. Fontenot on the bench despite being able to play third and hitting 342/388/405 against righties for the season coming into the game. Also, Wigginton was hitting .163 over his last 89 plate appearances. So that one doesn’t make a lot of sense to me even if Wigginton doesn’t have an awful game.

Utley walked with two outs and stole second. He was left there when Howard struck out swinging to end the inning.

Pierre doubled to right with two outs in the second and the Phillies down 1-0. Kratz was next and singled to left, scoring Pierre to tie the game at 1-1. Worley was next and moved Kratz up to second with a single. Rollins flew to center to leave both runners stranded.

Three RBI in his last two at-bats for Kratz.

Victorino singled to center to start the third and scored when Utley followed with a double. 2-1. Howard moved Utley up to third when he grounded softly to the pitcher for the first out. Pence was next and blooped a single to right, scoring Utley to make it 3-1. Wigginton struck out and Pierre flew to left to leave Pence stranded.

Kratz doubled to left to start the fourth and Worley bunted him to third with the first out. Rollins grounded to second for the first out with Kratz holding. Victorino followed with a walk, putting runners on the corners for Utley. Utley cleared the bases with a double to right center, putting the Phils up 5-1. Howard followed with a walk, but Pence struck out to leave runners on first and second.

No RBI for Rollins with one out and a runner on third.

Wigginton singled to left off of righty Tyler Thornberg to start the fourth. Pierre moved him to second with a single, but Kratz was next and grounded into a double-play. It left Wigginton on third with two outs for Worley. Worley flew to left to leave Wigginton stranded.

No runs for the Phils after putting runners on first and second with nobody out.

The lead was cut to 5-3 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Rollins and Victorino both went down before Utley hit a ball that went off of first base and into foul territory for a single. Howard moved Utley to third with another single, but Pence flew to right to leave them both stranded.

The Phils went in order in the seventh.

It was 5-5 when the Phils hit against righty John Axford in the eighth. Nix hit for Bastardo and grounded to first for the first out. Rollins popped to Ransom for the second and Victorino grounded out for the third.

Axford struck out Utley, Howard and Pence in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phils were down 6-5 when they faced righty Francisco Rodriguez in the tenth. Wigginton led off and flew to center on the first pitch of his at-bat. Mayberry was next and drew walk. Kratz followed and doubled to left, putting men on second and third. Ruiz hit for Schwimer and Fontenot ran for Kratz at second. Ruiz hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Mayberry to tag and score, trying the game at 6-6. Rollins was next and he lined a single into center. Gomez took it moving to his right, but his throw home wasn’t close to getting Fontenot at the plate. Fontenot scored to give the Phils a 7-6 win.

Rodriguez came into the game having walked six batters over 1 2/3 innings in his last two outings. Not sure you want to be swinging first pitch.

Just another one of those rallies started by a walk by Mayberry and a double by Kratz. Ruiz gets the job done with a sac fly with the second out and Rollins delivers a key two-out hit.

Best game of the set for the Milwaukee bullpen, but they still allow two runs in 5 2/3 innings and lose the game. Rodriguez allowed six earned runs on five hits and four walks over 1 1/3 innings in the series.

Rollins was 1-for-6 in the game. Made the one count, though, giving the Phils a walkoff win with his single in the bottom of the tenth. 2-for-13 in the series with two singles and two walks. He walked in the ninth inning of game one to start that rally. Got the walkoff single in the tenth in the final game of the series against the Giants. 253/311/401 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk. 2-for-8 with a double and two walks in the set. 253/319/387 for the season.

Utley 3-for-4 in the game with a walk, two doubles and three RBI. 4-for-9 with five walks, two doubles and a home run in the series. 257/349/473 for the year in 74 at-bats.

Howard 1-for-4 with an RBI. 5-for-12 with a two walks, a double and a home run in the series. 244/370/556 on the year. 2-for-16 against lefties. 310/412/655 against righties.

Pence 1-for-5 with an RBI and three strikeouts. 2-for-13 with a walk and two RBI in the series. Got the bloop single that won game two. 267/334/447 for the year. 143/208/204 in 49 at-bats since the All-Star break. 189/259/230 in 74 at-bats in July.

Wigginton 1-for-5 with a strikeout and two errors, one of which was a huge two-base dropped popup to start the top of the tenth. 2-for-12 with a walk and an RBI in the series. He hit the sac fly that scored Kratz to win game one of the set. 234/305/373 on the year. On-basing .292 against righties.

Pierre 2-for-4 with a double. 3-for-7 with a walk, a double and two stolen bases in the series. 308/349/376 for the season. He came into yesterday’s game on-basing .302 over his last 119 plate appearances. He hit .340 in his first 167 plate appearances of the year through June 3. .265 since June 3 (30-for-113).

Kratz 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. Just a monster series for Kratz: 4-for-6 with two doubles and a home run. Ran for Howard and scored the winning run in game one of the set. Hit a two-run pinch-hit homer to start the long rally back in game two. Two doubles in game three, including a huge one in the bottom of the tenth. Fontenot ran for him in game three and scored the run that won the game on the single by Rollins. Kratz is 6-for-16 on the season with two doubles and three home runs.

Mayberry walked in is only chance yesterday and was 2-for-8 with a walk and a double in the set. 237/276/397 on the year.

The Phillies don’t play today. They are in Atlanta tomorrow night.


The five-year disengagement

First, a disclaimer. Today’s post is about Game Score. I understand Game Score isn’t a great stat for a whole lot of reasons. That said, I think we can use Game Score to help illustrate part of what’s wrong with the Phillies so far in 2012.

One day, maybe not too long from now, people are going to remember back fondly to the 2008 Phillies and how Halladay and Lee and the starting rotation led the Phils to World Series glory. That will be wrong, of course. Halladay and Lee weren’t on the 2008 Phillies and the rotation wasn’t very good at all. Myers, Kendrick and Eaton combined to make 79 starts for the Phillies in which they threw to a 5.14 ERA with a 1.51 ratio.

The relievers were the part of the 2008 team that dominated. The offense was very good, but the bullpen was great. Phillie relievers threw to a 3.22 ERA in 2008, the best mark in the league.

In 2012, the Phillies have played 81 games and won 36 of them. Looking at those 81 games, though, and using Game Score as the measure, in 46 of them the combination of the Phillies starting pitcher and the Phillies offense was better than the combination of the other team’s starting pitcher and their offense.

The Start Log tracks the Game Score of the starting pitcher for the Phillies for each game as well as the Game Score for the Phillies’s opponent. It also tracks, for each game, whether the Game Score for the Phillies starting pitcher was better or worse than the Game Score for the starting pitcher of their opponent. Here’s the team’s actual record in 2008 and in 2012 and the number of games the Game Score for their starting pitcher was better or worse than the Game Score of their opponent.

Year Actual record Game Score better/worse than opponent +/-
2008 92-70 77-85 +15
2012 36-45 46-35 -10

So, in 2008, the Phillies actually went 92-70. In those 162 games, though, the Game Score of their starting pitcher was better than the game score of their opponent just 77 times.

So far in 2012, the Game Score of the starting pitcher for the Phillies have been better than the Game Score of the opponent’s starting pitcher in 46 of 81 games.

The Phillies haven’t won 46 games this year or even come close. In 2008, they won 15 games more (92 for the year) than the number of games in which the Game Score for their starting pitcher was better than the Game Score for the other team’s starting pitcher. In 2012, they have won ten fewer games than the number of games in which the Game Score of their starting pitcher was better than the Game Score of the other team’s starting pitcher.

So if the Phillies had just won the game in which their offense and starting pitcher combined to be better than the other team’s offense and starting pitcher (at least according to Game Score), they would be 46-35 right now instead of 36-45.

They didn’t.

There have been three games this season that the Phillies won when the Game Score of their starting pitcher was better than the Game Score of the other team’s starting pitcher. There have been 13 games in which the Game Score of the Phillies starting pitcher was better than the Game Score of the other team’s pitcher and the Phillies lost.

Here are the three games that they won despite a worse game score:

  • May 1: Phillies 4, Atlanta 2. Hamels Game Score 56, Brandon Beachy’s Game Score 61. The Phils go in to the top of the eighth tied 2-2 and score two runs off of Jonny Venters.
  • May 24: Phillies 10, St Louis 9. Blanton 19, Westbrook 21. Blanton and Westbrook were both terrible in the game, but Blanton a little worse according to Game Score. The Phils scored four runs charged to the St Louis bullpen after Westbrook left while the Cardinals scored just two runs in 4 2/3 innings off of the Phillies pen after Blanton left.
  • May 30: Phillies 10, Mets 6. Lee 51, Dillon Gee 56. Lee allows three runs over six innings while Gee allows two runs over 6 2/3. Both pens are terrible in the game, but the Phillies outscore the Mets 7-3 after the end of the seventh inning.
  • That’s the complete list of games so far in 2012 when the Game Score of the other teams starting pitcher has been better than the Game Score of the pitcher for the Phillies and the Phillies have won the game anyway.

    Here’s the list of the games the Phillies have lost despite a better Game Score from their starter. This one’s longer (13). For one thing it happened in two of the first three games of the season:

  • April 7: Pittsburgh 2, Phillies 1 (ten innings). Lee 66, Jeff Karstens 59. Lee and Karstens both pitch well. The game goes to extra-innings and the Pirates win it with a run off of Blanton on a double, a hit batter and a single.
  • April 8: Pittsburgh 5, Phillies 4. Worley 62, James McDonald 57. Worley and McDonald both pitch well with Worley a little better. Both starters are gone after six innings with the Phils up 2-1. The Phillies score two off of the Pirate pen in the seventh to go up 4-1, but two runs off of Stutes in the bottom of the inning cut the lead to 4-3. Kendrick and Bastardo combine to allow a run in the bottom of the eighth, with Matt Hague singling off of Bastardo to drive in Andrew McCutchen and tie the game at 4-4. Herndon allows a leadoff double to Casey McGehee to start the bottom of the ninth and the Pirates win the game on a walkoff single by McCutchen off of Herndon.
  • After dropping two in a row over the first three games of the season, it didn’t happen again until early May.

  • May 7: Mets 5, Phillies 2. Halladay 65, Niese 52. Halladay pitches way better than Niese, allowing two runs over seven innings while Niese allows two runs over five. The teams go into the ninth inning with the score tied at 2-2 and Papelbon allows a three-run homer to Jordany Valdespin.
  • May 8: Very next day. Mets 7, Phillies 4. Blanton 52, Batista 39. Blanton leaves in the seventh with the Phils up 4-2, one out and runners on first and second. Qualls allows a two-run single with both runs charged to Blanton (4-4) and Bastardo allows another RBI-single, which puts the Mets up 5-4. Schwimer is charged with two runs in the top of the ninth.
  • May 9: Third day in a row. Mets 10, Phillies 6. Lee 59, Gee 37. Lee outpitches Gee and leaves up 4-2 after six innings. Kendrick allows three runs in the seventh (down 5-4) and comes back to start the eighth for reasons unknown. He’s charged with two more in the eighth, one of which scores on a two-run shot by Ike Davis off of Contreras. Contreras is charged with two more runs in the seventh and Sanches allows a solo homer in the ninth.
  • May 12: Padres 2, Phillies 1. Halladay 64, Edinson Volquez 59. Bullpen didn’t blow anything in this one. Halladay allowed two runs over seven innings while striking out ten, giving him a better Game Score than Volquez, who allowed a run over six innings.
  • June 5: Dodgers 2, Phillies 1. Lee 70, Chad Billingsley 63. Blame this one on Manuel, not Game Score or the pen. Lee and Billingsley are both very good. Lee starts the eighth with a 1-0 and allows hits to four of the first five men he faces, the last of which is a two-run double to Elian Herrera on his 122nd pitch of the game.
  • June 7: Dodgers 8, Phillies 3. Hamels 51, Aaron Harang 46. Dodgers lead 4-3 after six. Phillies don’t score in the last three innings. Qualls faces six men in the ninth. One reaches on an error and the other five get hits as he is charged with four runs in a third of an inning.
  • June 9: Baltimore 6, Phillies 4. Worley 62, Tommy Hunter 51. All three runs Worley allows over six innings are unearned. Thome singles home Pierre in the top of the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. BJ Rosenberg makes his major league debut in the bottom of the twelfth and faces two batters, walking Chris Davis before giving up a walkoff homer to Adam Jones.
  • June 10: Baltimore 5, Phillies 4. Lee 48, Hammel 43. Hammel and Lee both allow four runs over six innings. Savery starts the bottom of the tenth. Jones reaches on an error by Wigginton with one out before Matt Wieters’s walkoff double wins the game for Baltimore.
  • June 15: Toronto 3, Phillies 0. Worley 62, Drew Hutchison 52. Toronto starter Hutchison has to leave after two-thirds of an inning (Game Score is virtually worthless in games where a starter leaves very early due to injury). Worley goes seven innings and allows three runs, all three of which are unearned. The Toronto bullpen throws 8 1/3 scoreless innings.
  • June 21: Colorado 4, Phillies 1. Worley 61, Jeff Francis 54. Worley starts the seventh with a 1-0 lead and allows a two-run homer to Chris Nelson with two outs. Schwimer allows a two-run homer to Wilin Rosario in the ninth.
  • June 24: Tampa Bay 3, Phillies 2. Hamels 75, Price 70. Hamels throws seven shutout innings and Bastardo starts the eighth up 1-0. Bastardo walks two of the first three men he faces before giving up a three-run homer to Carlos Pena. The Phils score a run on three hits in the bottom of the eighth but lose by a run.
  • For nine of those 13 I would say the pen at least a major contributor to the loss if not the primary cause (4/7, 4/8, 5/7, 5/8, 5/9, 6/7, 6/9, 6/10 and 6/24).

    More generally, whether it is a failure by their offense or a failure by their bullpen, the Phillies are not winning when they get solid starting pitching.

    Here are the records the Phillies have put up in games where their starter recorded a Game Score of 51-70 over the last six years:

    Year Record Winning PCT % of games
    2012 22-19 .537 50.6
    2011 45-25 .643 43.2
    2010 47-20 .701 41.4
    2009 42-21 .667 38.9
    2008 47-19 .712 40.7
    2007 41-18 .695 36.4

    A higher percentage of the games in that 51-70 window for the Phillies this year with worse results. The Phils are 22-19 (.537) in 2012 in games in that window. Coming into the 2012 season they were 222-103 (.683) in games where their starter had a Game Score in that range.

    The next update to Philliesflow won’t be until Thursday.


Save yourself

The script says we’re about to see Chase Utley ride in to save the season, but the Phillies looked more than capable of saving themselves last night. They sparkled with the gloves and got home runs from Ruiz and Wigginton as they topped the Pirates 5-4.

Their defense was outstanding in the game. In the top of the first, Worley made a nifty glove-hand flip to Ruiz to nail a runner from third for the second out. Fontenot made a fantastic diving play on a ball up the middle for the second out in the third. Mayberry made a beautiful throw from left to nail a runner at the plate and help get the Phils out of a jam in the seventh. Ruiz tracked down a bunt running up against the wall after a leadoff double by the Pirates started the eighth.

The pen was good enough in a tight game. Michael Schwimer, in particular, was excellent. Schwimer entered the top of the seventh with nobody out, runners on second and third and the Phillies up a run. After going way up and in to Jose Tabata on the first pitch of Tabata’s at-bat, Tabata grounded back to the mound with the runners holding for the first out. Neil Walker was next and flew to left, with Mayberry making the catch and a fantastic throw to the plate where Ruiz applied the tag for the third out.

The Phillies are 36-40 on the year after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 last night. The Phillies have won the first two games of the set and are in fourth place in the NL East, eight games behind the first-place Nationals. Since the end of the day on June 12, the Phillies have played 13 games and gone 7-6, which is the best mark in the NL East.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out five.

It was the worst of Worley’s last four starts and the only game of the four that the Phillies have won. He has a 2.08 ERA over his last four outings and opponents have hit .198 against him. He’s allowed one home run in 30 innings in June.

Jose Tabata was the first batter of the game and Worley hit him with an 0-1 pitch. Neil Walker was next and Worley walked him, putting runners on first and second for Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen grounded to short for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Garrett Jones was next and hit a ball fielded by Worley. Worley glove-flipped home where Tabata was tagged out by Ruiz for the second out. Casey McGehee grounded to short to leave the runners stranded.

Worley keeps the Pirates off the board after the first two hitters of the inning reach base. Very nice play to get the second out.

The Phillies were up 1-0 when Pedro Alvarez doubled to center to start the second. Clint Barmes grounded to short for the first out with Alvarez moving up to third. Michael McKenry was next and flew to left, deep enough for Alvarez to tag and score, tying the game at 1-1. Worley struck the pitcher Eric Bedard out looking to end the frame.

Up 2-1, Worley threw a 1-2-3 third. Fontenot made a nice diving play on a ball hit up the middle by Walker for the second out.

Up 4-1, he struck out Jones and Alvarez in a 1-2-3 fourth.

McKenry doubled to left with one out in the fifth and Bedard bunted him to third with the second out. Tabata grounded to second to leave him at third.

McCutchen doubled with one out in the sixth and moved up to third on a ground out by Jones. McGehee followed with a single to right that scored McCutchen, cutting the lead to 4-2. Worley struck Alvarez out swinging 2-2 to leave McGehee at first.

Worley allowed the first two batters in the top of the seventh to reach on a walk (Barmes) and a single (McKenry). It put men on first and second and switch-hitter Drew Sutton hit for the pitcher Bedard and doubled softly to left, scoring Barmes (4-3) and moving McKenry to third. Schwimer came in to pitch to the righty Tabata and got him on a ground ball Schwimer handled himself with the runners holding at second and third. Walker was next and flew to left. Mayberry took it there for the second out. McKenry tagged and tried to score from third, but Mayberry’s throw from left was fantastic and Ruiz applied the tag to end the inning.

Fantastic throw by Mayberry. Schwimer keeps the Pirates from getting more after coming into the game with nobody out, runners on second and third and the Phils up one. He got more than a little bit of luck on the ball Tabata hit after Schwimer’s first pitch to Tabata was up and in. Tabata hit the ball hard, but Schwimer was able to field it and throw to first for the first out. Big defensive play by Schwimer, but without it the Pirates might have had two runs instead of none.

Schwimer only threw five pitches in the game, but that might be the biggest outing of his career to this point. After throwing to an 8.53 ERA over his first five appearances through the end of May, Schwimer has made ten June appearances in which he has thrown to a 1.86 ERA with an 0.72 ratio, allowing four hits and three walks over 9 2/3 innings. Opponents have hit .129 against him in June. Again, the Phillies really, really need a righty in the pen other than Qualls and Papelbon. Schwimer was fantastic last night, but I don’t think you want to try to cash that check just yet.

Bastardo started the eighth and allowed a leadoff double to McCutchen. Righty Josh Harrison hit for the lefty Jones and tried to bunt McCutchen up to third. He popped up the first pitch he saw from Bastardo and Ruiz made a fantastic running basket catch near the wall for the first out. McGehee popped to Wigginton for the second out and Bastardo struck out Alvarez for the third.

Great defensive play by Ruiz helps Bastardo out of a jam after the leadoff double.

Bastardo pitches the eighth inning isn’t going to work. I think it has to be a combination of Bastardo and Qualls, with Qualls facing the righties and Bastardo the lefties. That’s tough, though, since Qualls really can’t face lefties in a tight game, but at least the Phillies have four lefties in the pen who can. It probably wasn’t a choice last night, though, with Qualls having thrown five of the last six days, including the ninth inning of game one of the series with a five-run lead. Bastardo got the righties Harrison and McGehee with a man in scoring position before striking out the lefty Alvarez.

Bastardo has thrown three of the last four days and last night’s was the only appearance of the three in which he was not charged with a run. He has a 5.84 ERA over his last 12 appearances and opponents have hit .302 against him in those outings. He’s walked ten of the 65 (15.4%) right-handed batters he’s faced on the year, which is one of the reasons he can’t be the guy against everyone in the eighth inning. See also the 5.84 ERA over his last 12 appearances.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils up 5-3. He struck Barmes out for the first out before McKenry hit a 2-2 pitch out to left-center, cutting the lead to 5-4. Lefty Alex Presley hit for the pitcher Tony Watson and flew to left for the second out. Tabata struck out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Papelbon has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances. Over those three outings, he has allowed four runs on six hits and two walks over three innings and his ERA for the year has gone from 2.02 to 3.03. If it’s 4.04 after three more days we really need to start to worry. He has a 5.00 ERA in his eight June appearances.

Schwimer was fantastic in the game, wriggling out of the seventh inning jam with the help of a great throw from Mayberry. But we don’t need to go nuts about how fantastic the bullpen was in the game. Overall they went three innings, allowing a run on two hits, a double and a home run. Schwimer needed a nice play on Tabata’s ball and a great throw by Mayberry to keep the Pirates off the board. Had Ruiz not homered in the eighth to put the Phils up another run, nobody would have a whole lot to say about the excellence of the pen this morning.

Papelbon threw 20 pitches in the game, Bastardo ten and Schwimer five. Everyone in the bullpen should be available for tonight’s game — their availability might wind up mattering a lot given that the Phils look likely to start Valdes or Savery.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Eric Bedard went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Mayberry (8) Fontenot. Fontenot starts at second against the lefty with the switch-hitter Martinez on the bench. Wigginton at first and Mayberry in left with Pierre on the bench.

Pence tripled to right with two outs in the first and came in to score when Ruiz followed with a single to left. 1-0. Victorino moved Ruiz to second with a single into center, but Wigginton grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Fontenot singled to center with one out in the second and the score tied at 1-1. Worley bunted him to second with the second out and Rollins walked behind Worley. Polanco was next with two outs and men on first and second. He singled to left. Fontenot scored from second, putting the Phils up 2-1. Rollins was caught between second and third and tagged out to end the inning.

Worley gets the bunt down and Polanco delivers a two-out single. Fontenot starts the rally with a single off of a lefty. Looked like they had a chance to get Fontenot at the plate, but the throw was cut to get Rollins headed for third.

Ruiz singled to right with one out in the third. Victorino flew out behind him, but Wigginton was next and he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 4-1. Mayberry grounded to second for the third out.

Big blow for Wigginton, who was 9-for-his-last-52 (.173) coming into the game.

The Phillies went in order in the fourth.

Polanco singled to start the fifth and Pence walked behind him, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Ruiz flew to right, Victorino struck out and Wigginton grounded to third.

Polanco on-base again, but nothing for the Phils after putting runners on first and second with no outs. Polanco is 6-for-his-last-10 with two walks.

The lead was cut to 4-2 when the Phils went in order in the sixth.

It was 4-3 when righty Juan Cruz set them down in order in the seventh.

Ruiz homered to left on an 0-2 pitch from Cruz to start the eighth, putting the Phils up 5-3. Victorino followed with a walk and moved up to second when Wigginton followed with a single. Lefty Tony Watson came in to pitch to Mayberry and struck him out swinging for the first out as Victorino stole third. With men on first and third, the righty Luna hit for the lefty Fontenot. Watson got him to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Home run by Ruiz is the difference in the game with Papelbon allowing a solo shot to McKenry in the ninth. Again the Phils can’t add on despite putting men on first and second with nobody out. Mayberry gets a gift as the Pirates bring in a lefty to pitch to him, but strikes out for the first out with two men on and nobody out.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 2-for-his-last-11 with two walks, a double and a home coming off of an 11-game stretch where he hit .417.

Polanco 2-for-4 with an RBI. 6-for-his-last-10 with two walks and two doubles. He’s driven in at least one run in three straight games.

Pence 1-for-3 with a walk and a triple. 9-for-his-last-40 (.225).

Ruiz 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, raising his average to a league-high .361. 6-for-his-last-9. .419 over his last nine games (419/528/674 in 53 plate appearances).

Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk. .224 over his last 67 plate appearances. He’s walked four times in his last four games, giving him a .412 on-base percentage in those games despite hitting .231 (3-for-13).

Wigginton 2-for-4 with a huge home run. The only thing we should be expecting Wigginton to do is hit against lefties and he delivered a big blow against Bedard last night. Against left-handed pitching, he’s hitting an ugly .238 for the year, but five home runs in 65 at-bats against southpaws have helped him to slug .477 against them.

Mayberry 0-for-4. The spark he was showing a week or so ago seems to have faded. He’s 1-for-his-last-16 with six strikeouts. Like Wigginton, Mayberry needs to hit lefties and has hit for power against them despite weak numbers overall. Mayberry is hitting 268/274/537 against left-handed pitching for the year and 206/267/280 against righties. 206/267/280 means you can’t be on the field against righties as a corner outfielder or a first baseman. If you’re going to on-base .274 against lefties, slugging .537 isn’t enough.

Fontenot 1-for-3 in the game to drop his average on the year to .344. Fantastic diving play in the top of the third might have helped his cause significantly given his defensive struggles in his first few appearances with the team. He’s hitting 408/442/490 in 52 plate appearances against righties. The team needs guys who can hit righties — again, take a look at what Mayberry and Wigginton have done against righties from positions that should be supplying the offense (not suggestion we should or will see Fontenot at first or left, although I honestly don’t think Fontenot at first against a righty if Wigginton and Mayberry are both struggling badly is impossible).

TBD faces righty James McDonald (6-3, 2.19) tonight. No game on Friday night due to rain messed up the rotation for the Phils. It’s Kendrick’s turn, but he would be on short rest and so would everyone behind him until the next off-day (July 2) if the Phils don’t give a start to somebody not in the rotation. We’ll see what happens. McDonald has been great this year. Opponents have hit .195 against him and he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his starts. Righties are hitting 184/245/286 against him for the season.

Update: Looks like Valdes (2-0, 1.84) starts tonight. He has one other career start, which came with the Mets in 2010. He allowed a run on three hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings and the Mets beat the Nats 7-2.

Chase Utley went 2-for-5 with a home run for the Triple-A IronPigs and is coming soon to a theater near you.


Vance’s trance over the Rockies not enough to advance the cause of the Phillies

The Phils got the pitching performance they needed from Vance Worley last night, but the bats went silent as the Rockies topped the Phillies 4-1.

Jimmy Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a home run for the Phils, but that was all the offense they would get in the game. They were unable to score despite leadoff doubles in the second and again in the eighth.

Worley kept the Rockies off the board until the seventh, when a two-run homer by Chris Nelson put Colorado on top to stay. Wilin Rosario hit a two-run homer off of Michael Schwimer in the top of the ninth to account for the rest of the Colorado scoring.

Worley has thrown to a 1.35 ERA over his last three starts, allowing three earned runs over 20 innings. The Phils have lost all three games.

The Phillies are 33-38 on the year after losing to the Colorado Rockies 4-1 last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. They are in last place in the NL East, nine games behind the first place Nationals.

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

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second up 1-0. Tyler Colvin walked with one out. Jordan Pacheco was next and moved Colvin to third with a single to right. Worley got Chris Nelson to ground back to the mound into a double-play to turn the Rockies away.

Worley struck out pitcher Jeff Francis and Dexter Fowler in a 1-2-3 third.

Marco Scutaro walked to start the fourth. Carlos Gonzalez was next and grounded to second with Scutaro forced at second for the first out. Cuddyer popped to short for the second out before Colvin reached on catcher’s interference, putting men on first and second. Gonzalez was thrown out trying to steal third to end the frame.

Worley threw a 1-2-3 fifth. Pence made a nice sliding catch in right on a ball hit by Nelson for the second out.

Switch-hitter Eric Young hit for Francis to start the sixth and flew to center for the first out. Worley got Fowler to pop to short behind him for the second out before Scutaro singled to right. Gonzalez grounded to second for the third out.

Colvin doubled to left with one out in the seventh. Pacheco grounded to short for the second out, but Nelson followed and hit a 2-1 pitch out to left center, putting the Rockies up 2-1. Wilin Rosario grounded to third to set Colorado down.

Qualls started the eighth with the Phillies still down a run. Fowler and Scutaro singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on the corners. Diekman came in to pitch to the lefty Gonzalez and a wild pitch moved Scutaro up to second before Gonzalez hit a ground ball to short. With the infield in, Rollins took the grounder and threw home where Fowler was tagged out by Ruiz for the second out. Diekman struck the righty Cuddyer out swinging to leave the runners on first and second.

Great job by Manuel to get Qualls out of the game and let Diekman pitch to the lefty Gonzalez. After he gets the lefty Gonzalez, Diekman stays in the game to face the righty Cuddyer and strikes him out to leave two men on base. Would have been nice to put a righty on Cuddyer there, but the Phils have three righties in the pen. Papelbon is probably not an option behind in the eighth, Qualls had already pitched and Schwimer doesn’t make you feel a whole lot better than letting the lefty Diekman face Cuddyer. Worked out well for the Phils.

Qualls allows hits to two of the three batters he faces, but no runs thanks to Diekman and Rollins’s play to nail Fowler at the plate. He hasn’t been charged with a run in six innings over his last six appearances, dropping his ERA on the season from 5.32 to 4.18.

Diekman got the lefty Colvin to pop to third for the first out. Lefty Todd Helton hit for the pitcher Matt Belisle and Diekman walked him after getting ahead 0-2. Schwimer came in to pitch to the righty Nelson and got him on a fly ball to right for the second out. Rosario was next, though, and he hit the first pitch from Schwimer out to left, extending the Colorado lead to 4-1. Schwimer struck out DJ LeMahieu for the third out.

Diekman goes one inning in the game and is charged with a run on one walk as Helton scores on the Rosario homer allowed by Schwimer. He has a 1.86 ERA over his last 12 appearances but has allowed 11 hits and six walks over 9 2/3 innings (that’s a 1.76 ratio).

Three righties in pen, one of which is the closer and one of which can’t face lefties ever means that right number three is going to have to pitch. Righty number three is Schwimer and he has a 5.14 ERA for the year after allowing a run on one hit over two-thirds of an inning last night.

Overall the pen went two innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. Diekman threw 17 pitches, Schwimer 12 and Qualls eight. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jeff Francis went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Polanco (7) Mayberry (8) Martinez. Pierre in left against the lefty. Mayberry at first after Wigginton delivers a big two-out hit to start the rally in the ninth in game two. Martinez at second.

Rollins was the first batter of the bottom of the first and hit a 2-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Pence singled to left with one out, but Ruiz struck out behind him for the second before Victorino reached on an infield single that moved Pence up to second. Polanco struck out looking to leave both runners stranded.

Mayberry doubled to center to start the second. Martinez popped to Nelson for the first out. Worley was next and reached on a throwing error by Pacheco at third, leaving the Phils with runners on the corners with one down. Rollins fouled out to Cuddyer for the second out with the runners holding. Pierre flew to center to leave them stranded.

No run for the Phils after the leadoff double. Martinez can’t move the runner out. Rollins can’t bring the runner home from third with one out.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Mayberry singled with one out in the fourth. Martinez struck out behind him and Worley popped to short.

Pierre bunted for a single with one out in the fifth and moved up to second on a ground out by Pence. Ruiz grounded to second to leave Pierre at second.

Righty Josh Roenicke set the Phillies down in order in the sixth. Mayberry hit the ball well, but Scutaro made a nice diving play to field the ball and throw to first in time to get Mayberry for the third out.

Roenicke struck Martinez out for the first out in the seventh with the Phillies down 2-1. Fontenot hit for Worley and singled to left, but lefty Rex Brothers came in to pitch to Rollins and got him to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

Wigginton doubled off of righty Matt Belisle to start the eighth. Pence struck out for the first out and Ruiz flew to center for the second with Wigginton tagging and moving up to third. Victorino popped to Scutaro to leave him at third.

Again, like in the second, the Phillies don’t score after the leadoff double. Pence can’t move Wigginton up to third with the first out.

Trailing 4-1, Polanco and Mayberry went down against righty Rafael Betancourt to start the ninth. Thome hit for Martinez and struck out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Thome now 0-for-12 as a pinch-hitter with eight strikeouts.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game. 4-for-11 with two walks, two doubles and a home run in the three-game series. He’s hitting 260/309/382 for the year. 294/344/483 over his last 154 plate appearances. 15-for-his-last-39 (.385) with eight extra-base hits.

Pierre starts against the lefty and goes 1-for-3. He was 2-for-7 with a triple in the series. 323/360/379 for the year.

Pence 1-for-4 last night and 2-for-13 with a double in the series. Two home runs so far in June after hitting eight in May. 275/339/464 for the year.

Ruiz 0-for-4 last night and 2-for-10 with a double and a home run in the series. 347/414/568 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-4. 4-for-12 with four singles in the series. 252/319/399 for the season.

Polanco 0-for-4. 2-for-10 with two walks and a double in the series. 274/309/356.

Mayberry 2-for-4 with a double. 5-for-11 with a walk, three doubles and a home run in the series. 11-for-his-last-28 with two walks and eight extra-base hits. 249/284/422 for the year.

Martinez was 0-for-3 and struck out twice in the game. 1-for-11 with a three-run homer in the series. He’s on the field way, way too much for the Phillies after being on the field way, way too much for the Phillies in 2011. 6-for-36 on the year with five singles and a home run.

Cliff Lee (0-3, 3.48) faces righty James Shields (7-4, 3.72) tonight. The Phillies really need Lee to help them stabilize the rotation with Halladay out. He hasn’t done it so far, winless for the year and having thrown to a 4.79 ERA in his three June starts and a 4.87 ERA over his last six. The Phillies are 3-8 in his starts for the year and have lost three games in a row. Shields has allowed one earned run in 14 innings over his last two starts (four runs if you count the three unearned runs he surrendered). He started game two of the 2008 World Series against the Phils, throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings as the Rays won 4-2.


Last 22 a bust for the Phils

On May 18, the Phillies scored four runs off of Boston starter Daniel Bard in the bottom of the first inning on their way to a 6-4 win. The win was the sixth in a row for the Phils and they were two games above .500 for the year at 21-19.

Since May 18, the Phillies have played 22 games in which they’ve won eight and lost 14. If you compare the first 40 games to the last 22, you’ll find these things are true:

  • Over their last 22 games, in which they Phils went 8-14, they scored more runs per game than they had in the first 40 games of the season during which they went 21-19.
  • Over the last 22 games, the bullpen was dramatically better than it was during the first 40. The relievers pitched more innings with much better results.

Here are the numbers on the runs scored per game and on the bullpen performance through May 18 and after May 18:

W L Runs R/G Pen IP/Game Pen ERA Pen Ratio
Thru 5/18/12 21 19 165 4.13 2.3 5.34 1.49
After 5/18/12 8 14 96 4.36 3.0 2.74 1.04

Over the last 22 games, the Phillies have scored more runs (4.36) than they did over the first 40 (4.13). More dramatic than that, though, is that the bullpen has seen a remarkable turnaround while the Phillies have gone 8-14. After throwing to an ERA over five through the first 40 games, the bullpen has been very good over the last 22 games.

But while the Phillies have scored about a quarter of a run more over the last 22 games (.23 more runs per game), the problem is that they’ve allowed a whole lot more than that. In games through May 18, the Phillies allowed 3.88 runs per game. Since May 18, they’ve allowed almost a full run more at 4.86 runs per game. If you score a quarter of a run more per game and allow nearly a full run more per game and play enough games, you’re results are going to get worse.

The table above shows the problem is not the bullpen. The defense has been awful over the last few games, but not awful enough to be the primary source of the problem. The Phillies allowed about .325 unearned runs per game in games 1-40 and about .318 unearned runs per game in games 41-62. That leaves the starting pitchers. And they have been absolutely terrible.

Here’s what starters have done as a group through May 18 and after May 18 as well as the won-loss record for the team:

W L SP IP SP IP/G ERA Ratio
Thru 5/18 21 19 267.7 6.69 2.93 1.09
After 5/18 8 14 133.7 6.08 5.39 1.41
Total 29 33 401.3 6.47 3.75 1.20

Over the last 22 games, the Phillies have made eight quality starts and their rotation has thrown to a 5.39 ERA.

Here are some numbers on the starters through and after May 18:

Games 1-40 Games 41-62
GS IP ERA Ratio GS IP ERA Ratio
Lee 5 33.7 4.54 1.37 5 37 1.95 0.76
Blanton 5 26.3 9.91 1.86 7 48 2.81 1.04
Kendrick 4 27 3.00 1.26 4 20 4.95 1.50
Hamels 4 28.7 3.77 1.08 8 54.3 2.48 1.03
Halladay 2 8 10.13 1.88 9 64.3 3.22 1.06
Worley 2 10 3.60 1.40 7 44 3.07 1.34
Total 22 133.7 5.39 1.41 40 267.7 2.93 1.09

Lee and Blanton were dramatically better in their starts in games 1-40. Hamels and Worley were better, but not as dramatically. Kendrick has been better in his last four starts than he was in his first four. A major issue, of course, is Halladay. During the first 40 games of the season, Halladay threw 64 1/3 innings. That was about 18% of the total innings thrown by Phillies pitchers in those games. Over the last 22 games, he threw about 4% of the total innings pitched by the Phils, making two starts, both of which were awful. He’s not coming back any time soon, either, so if the Phils are going to stay alive in 2012 they’re going to need to figure out how to stabilize the rotation without him and fast. Now would be good.


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