Tag: Vance Worley

Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves

The Phils added Hunter Pence to the mix this weekend and kept right on winning, sweeping the Pirates to end July 17-8. The offense roared to life in July for the Phils, scoring more than five and a half runs a game after scoring about 3.73 runs per game in May and June combined.

On Friday the Phils scored eight runs in the first two innings on their way to a 10-3 win. Utley delivered a home run, a triple and four RBI in his first two at-bats of the game. Halladay threw seven shutout innings and Carpenter allowed three runs in the eighth on three hits and a walk, pushing his ERA on the year to 7.71.

Pence made his debut with the Phillies in game two, which the Phils won 7-4. Homers by Howard and Rollins and an RBI-double by Howard had the Phils up 3-0 after three innings. Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer off of Lee in the fourth, cutting the lead to 3-2, but singles by Lee, Rollins, Utley and Howard got the Phils two more runs in the bottom of the frame and extended the lead to 5-2. Ruiz doubled Polanco home in the seventh to make it 6-2, but Lee yielded a pair of runs in the top of the eighth on three singles and a walk before Bastardo came on to strike out Alvarez with the score 6-4. Victorino started the ninth with a triple and Pence singled him home to make it 7-4. Madson struck out the side in the ninth for his 18th save.

Yesterday the Phillies won 6-5 on a tenth inning walkoff double by Ibanez to complete the sweep.

The Phillies are 68-39 on the year after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 yesterday afternoon. The Phils sweep the three-game series and remain in first place in the NL East, six games ahead of the Pirates.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

He got the first two batters in the first before Andrew McCutchen doubled to right. Worley struck Neil Walker out to leave McCutchen at second.

He struck out the side in the second, getting Pedro Alvarez and Brandon Wood swinging and Lyle Overbay looking.

He started the third with a 1-0 led and got the first two batters before Xavier Paul singled into center. Worley got Garrett Jones on a fly ball to right to leave Paul at first.

He set the Pirates down in order in the fourth.

Wood singled to center with one out in the fifth and moved to second when Eric Fryer singled to left behind him. The pitcher Jeff Karstens bunted the runners to second and third with the second out. Paul was next and he singled to left, scoring Wood and Fryer and putting the Pirates up 2-1. Worley got Jones to fly to left to set the Pirates down.

The Phils were ahead again when Worley started the sixth, this time with a 3-2 lead. Walker singled with one out, but Worley struck Alvarez out behind him for the second out. It brought Overbay to the plate. Worley got ahead of him 0-2, but the lefty hit a 1-2 pitch out to right for a two-run homer, putting the Pirates up 4-3. Worley got Wood to line to third on a nice play by Martinez for the third out.

Lidge started the seventh and walked the leadoff man Fryer on five pitches. Karstens bunted him to second with the first out before Paul flew to center for the second. Jones lined a double to center and Fryer scored, extending the Pittsburgh lead to 5-3. Lidge got behind McCutchen 3-0, but struck him out swinging 3-2 to leave the runner at second.

Manuel continues to put Lidge into close games, which suggests he has a lot more confidence in him than I do at this point. Walking the leadoff man often doesn’t work out for the pitcher, but nice to see Lidge come back and get McCutchen.

Perez started the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Walker, but got Alvarez on a fly ball to right for the first out struck Overbay out for the second. Herndon came in to pitch to the righty Wood and struck him out looking to leave Walker stranded.

Madson started the ninth with the score tied at 5-5. He allowed a one-out single to pinch-hitter Matt Diaz and Pedro Ciriaco ran for Diaz at first. Madson struck Paul out swinging for the second out before Ciriaco stole second. Madson got the lefty Jones on a ground ball to first for the third out.

Bastardo started the tenth with the score still tied and set the Pirates down in order.

Four innings for the pen in which they allow a run on three hits and a walk. Lidge threw 23 pitches in the game and Herndon 11. Everyone else was under ten. Bastardo and Madson have both pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jeff Karstens went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Polanco on the bench with Martinez at third and Victorino hitting second. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the bench.

Rollins bunted to start the bottom of the first, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Ibanez hit a 1-0 pitch out to center with one out in the first, putting the Phils up 1-0. Schneider and Martinez went down behind him.

Worley started the third with a single, but Rollins, Victorino and Utley went down behind him.

Pence and Ibanez struck out as the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

The Phils trailed 2-1 when Schneider started the fifth with a double to right. Martinez was next and he singled to left, moving Schneider to third. Worley bunted Martinez to second with the first out before Rollins singled to right, scoring both runners and putting the Phils up 3-2. Rollins was thrown out trying to steal second before Victorino walked. Utley followed that with a single that sent Victorino to second. Howard flew to right to leave both men stranded.

The caught stealing by Rollins probably cost the Phils a run. Worley singles in the third then gets the bunt down in the fifth.

The Phils were losing 4-3 when Pence started the sixth with a walk. Ibanez flew to right for the first out before Schneider grounded to second with Pence moving up to second. Martinez grounded to second to leave Pence stranded.

Down 5-3, the Phils went in order in the seventh. With the righty Karstens still on the mound for Pittsburgh, Francisco hit for Lidge and was called out looking at a ball out of the zone for the first out.

Howard doubled off of lefty Joe Beimel with one out in the eighth. Righty Jose Veras came in to pitch to Pence and Pence hit a ground ball to short with Wood fielding and throwing to Alvarez at third when Howard was tagged out for the second out. The righty Veras stayed in to pitch to Ibanez and Ibanez hit his first pitch to him out to left for his second home run of the day, tying the game at 5-5. Schneider flew to right for the third out.

Pence hitting after Howard and means Veras comes in to pitch to Pence, but the Pirates leave the righty in to face Ibanez and Ibanez makes them pay.

Martinez flew to left for the first out in the ninth. With righty Chris Resop pitching for Pittsburgh, Gload hit for Madson and flew to right for the second out. Rollins drew a walk and stole second before Victorino walked. It put men on first and second and lefty Tony Watson took over for Resop. Rollins and Victorino pulled off a double-steal before Watson got Utley to fly to center, leaving both runners stranded and sending the game to extra innings.

Watson struck Howard out to start the tenth, but Pence followed that with a double to left. Ibanez ripped a 1-0 pitch into right for a double. Pence scored easily to give the Phils a 6-5 win.

Turns out the lefty didn’t fare much better against Ibanez after all.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game with a walk and two stolen bases. 6-for-13 with two walks, two home runs and five RBI in the series. He is hitting 269/339/408 for the year after hitting 312/375/523 in July.

Victorino 0-for-3 with two walks and a steal. 5-for-13 with a double and two triples in the set. He also walked twice. 302/378/521 for the year.

Utley 1-for-5. 5-for-14 with a triple and a home run in the series. 381/447/810 over his last 47 plate appearances. 286/376/493 on the year.

Howard 1-for-5 and struck out twice. 6-for-13 with four doubles, home run and a walk in the series. 253/343/476 for the season.

Pence 1-for-4 with a walk and a double. He’s 2-for-9 with a double and a walk in his first two games with the Phils. 306/355/468 for the year.

Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs and four RBI. 4-for-12 with three walks, a double and two home runs in the series. 247/293/434 for the year. 306/344/600 over his last 90 plate appearances.

Schneider 1-for-4 with a double in his only action of the series. 179/247/308 for the year.

Martinez 1-for-4 in the game and in the series. 219/264/314 for the year. He’s 2-for-his-last-19.

Hamels (12-6, 2.61) faces righty Jhoulys Chacin (8-8, 3.50) tonight in Colorado. The 23-year-old Chacin has been great all year, but slightly less great over his last three starts, throwing to a 5.82 ERA in 17 innings. He does give up a lot of home runs — in 133 2/3 innings for the year so far, he’s allowed 18. Hamels has had one bad start in his last 12, when he allowed seven runs to the Mets on July 16. In each of the other 11 starts he’s allowed two runs or less.

The Phils sent Domonic Brown back to Triple-A. Valdez and Martinez is a lot of guys like Valdez and Martinez to have on the roster at the same time. Valdez has gotten 556 plate appearances with the Phils over the last two seasons in which he has on-based .295.


Complete surprise

Vance Worley threw his the first complete game of his career last night, holding the Giants to two runs on three hits and a walk as the Phils pounded San Francisco for a 7-2 win.

The Phils are now 9-2 on the year in the 11 starts that Worley has made — that .818 winning percentage is the best for any of their starting pitchers. They are 17-4 (.810) when Halladay starts.

Worley hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven starts. In those outings the Phils have gone 7-0 while Worley has thrown to a 1.14 ERA and opponents have hit .151 against him.

The bats have come alive for the Phillies in July. After scoring 3.69 runs a game in May and 3.78 runs a game in June, the Phils have scored 113 runs while going 14-6 so far in July. That’s about 5.65 runs per game.

The Phillies are 65-37 after beating the San Francisco Giants 7-2 last night.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five.

Andres Torres was the first batter of the game and hit a ball over Mayberry’s head and off the wall in right. Torres moved to third on a ground out by Jeff Keppinger and came home to score on Pablo Sandoval’s fly ball to left, putting the Giants up 1-0. Aubrey Huff flew to right for the third out.

Up 4-1, Worley set the Giants down in order in the second and again in the third.

Keppinger led off the fourth with a single. Sandoval popped to short for the first out and Huff flew to right for the second. Nate Schierholtz grounded to Utley to leave Keppinger stranded.

Worley had a 5-1 lead when he started the fifth. Cody Ross led off and hit a ground ball to third. Martinez fielded, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Worley left him stranded by striking out the next three hitters, getting Mike Fontenot, Eli Whiteside and pitcher Barry Zito all looking.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Up 6-1, he set the Giants down in order in the seventh.

He got the first two in the eighth before righty Aaron Rowand hit for the pitcher Zito. Rowand hit Worley’s first pitch out to left, cutting the Phillies lead to 6-2. Worley got Andres Torres on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Keppinger flew to center to start the ninth. Sandoval was next and drove a ball to left, but Ibanez made a nifty catch, timing his jump and crashing into the wall, for the second out. Worley walked Huff, then got Schierholtz to fly to right to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Barry Zito went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Mayberry (8) Schneider. Tim Lincecum was supposed to start the game for the Giants, but was scratched due to the flu. Mayberry played right instead of Brown, who was in the lineup before Lincecum was scratched.

Rollins and Martinez both flew out to start the bottom of the first with the Phils down 1-0. Utley followed with a single and came in to score when Howard doubled into the right field corner, tying the game at 1-1. Victorino walked after that and Ibanez hit the first pitch he saw from Zito out to right-center, putting the Phils up 4-1. Mayberry struck out to end the inning.

Ibanez stays in the lineup against the lefty with Francisco on the bench and delivers early. He came into the game hitting 221/250/379 against lefties.

The Phils went in order in the second and again in the third.

Victorino and Ibanez went down to start the fourth. Mayberry was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left center, extending the lead to 5-1. Schneider struck out for the third out.

Score another for Manuel’s lineup against the lefty Zito.

They went in order in the fifth.

Utley led off the sixth and drove a ball to center. It hit off the wall and rolled and rolled towards right. Schierholtz finally got to it and threw it into the infield, but Utley raced all the way around and slid in just ahead of (or at about the same time as) the tag. He was called safe and the Phils were up 6-1. The Phils went in order behind him.

Very close play at the plate. Whiteside’s tag was high cause the relay came in on the third base side of home plate, but Utley might have been out.

Mayberry started the seventh with a double to left. He took off trying to steal third, but left too early. Zito stepped off and threw to second where he was picked off for the first out. Schneider walked behind him. Worley tried to bunt him to second, but struck out fouling off strike two. Rollins flew to center to end the inning.

Up 6-2, Martinez and Utley went down to start the eighth before Howard pounded a 1-0 pitch out to center. 7-2. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Rollins was 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-20.

Martinez 0-for-4. 2-for-his-last-16.

Utley 2-for-4 with a home run. 11-for-24 with four doubles and three home runs over his last nine games.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. 6-for-his-last-14. Twenty home runs on the year for Howard, all 20 of which have come against righties. He’s slugging .320 against lefties.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk. 6-for-his-last-16 with three walks.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a three-run homer. 5-for-his-last-11. 279/309/498 over his last 285 plate appearances since May 3.

Mayberry 2-for-3 with a double and a home run. 353/353/647 in his last 34 plate appearances (12-for-34 with seven doubles and a home run).

Schneider 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s hitting .176 in 81 plate appearances for the year.

Cole Hamels (12-5, 2.62) faces righty Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) tonight. Lincecum has allowed one run or less in five or his last six starts, throwing to a 1.66 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over those six outings. Hamels has allowed more than two runs in a start once in his last 11 outings. Righties are hitting 199/246/288 against him for the year. Over his last 14 starts he’s allowed just four home runs in 96 2/3 innings. That’s about .37 home runs per nine innings compared to his career rate of about 1.07.

This suggests there is no timetable for Contreras’s return and that Blanton may not return at all this year.

Gary Finkler has combined sports blogging and sketching at 7thinningsketch.com


Cubs caught up in a Worleywind

Vance Worley continued his awesome and almost completely unexpected run yesterday, allowing a run over eight innings as the Phils pounded the Cubs 9-1.

The Phillies are now 8-2 in the games Worley has started this year. He hasn’t allowed more than one run in any of his last six starts. In those outings he’s gone 4-0 with an 0.98 ERA and an 0.97 ratio and opponents have hit .163 against him.

Jimmy Rollins also had a monster day, too, doubling and hitting two home runs, one from each side of the plate. Rollins, Martinez and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 in the game at the top of the order, driving in six runs and scoring seven. The three guys behind them, Howard, Victorino and Ibanez, combined to go 2-for-12 yesterday and 2-for-31 with two singles in the series.

The Phillies are 61-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 9-1 yesterday. The Phils take the series two games to one and are 25 games above .500 for the first time on the year. The second-place Braves have lost two in a row and fallen 4 1/2 games behind the Phils in the NL East.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.02 in his 62 1/3 innings.

He walked Starlin Castro with one out in the first, but got Aramis Ramirez to line to a leading Rollins for the second out and struck Carlos Pena out looking to end the inning.

Up 5-0, Worley hit Geovany Soto with a pitch on the hand with one out. Alfonso Soriano was next and he smashed a line drive that Worley caught. Worley went to first and Soto was doubled-off to end the inning.

Nice play by Worley. Three outs on hard hit line drives for Worley in the first two innings after Rollins retired Ramirez on a line drive to short in the first.

Up 6-0, Worley set the Cubs down in order in the third.

Up 7-0, he struck out Ramirez and Pena in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Soto singled to right with one out in the fifth for the first Chicago hit of the day. Soriano was next and hit a ground ball to short with Soto forced at second for the second out. Darwin Barney grounded out behind him to end the inning.

Up 8-0, Worley struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Baker and Castro in a 1-2-3 sixth.

Ramirez doubled to center to start the seventh and Pena walked behind him. Marlon Byrd was next and singled to left, loading the bases with nobody out. Soto hit a ball deflected by Martinez that Rollins got to and threw to second to force Soto for the first out. Ramirez scored on the play to make it 8-1, but it was a very nice play by Rollins to get an out anywhere. It put men on first and third for Soriano and Soriano hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Madson started the ninth with a 9-1 lead. Worley had thrown 111 pitches. Madson set the Cubs down in order.

Madson threw eight pitches in the game and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.14. In his three outings since his return, he’s allowed a run on two hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings. I think we’re going to see him start to pitch less often in 9-1 games soon.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ryan Dempster went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Schneider. Martinez stays at third and in the two-hole with Polanco still sidelined. The lefty Schneider catches the day game against a righty with Ruiz on the bench.

Rollins was the first batter of the game and struck out for the first out. Martinez was next and hit a high popup that was lost in the sun, deflected by Castro for a single. Martinez stole second before Utley walked, bringing Howard to the plate with men on first and second. With the runners on the move, Howard hit a ground ball to short that went through for a single, scoring Martinez to make it 1-0 and moving Utley to third. Victorino was next and hit a soft ground ball to third. Ramirez could only take the out at first, Utley scored and the Phils led 2-0. Ibanez flew to right for the third out.

Way to make the most of popup with nobody on base. Another stolen base by Martinez, whose steal in game two should have led to a run in the sixth inning of game two for the Phils. Good no-strikeout by Victorino to bring home the second run of the frame. He was striking out in about 10.1% of his plate appearances for the year coming into the game, which is the lowest mark of his career (11.5% for his career).

Brown and Schneider both struck out to start the second before Worley and Rollins doubled back-to-back, with the double by Rollins plating Worley to make it 3-0. Martinez was next and he singled into center, scoring Rollins. 4-0. Martinez stole second again and there was a brief delay in the game to allow everyone to run and try to claim him in their fantasy leagues. Except literally. Utley followed that with the third double of the inning, scoring Martinez. 5-0. Dempster struck Howard out swinging 3-2 to end the inning.

Victorino led off the third with a walk. Ibanez flew to right before Victorino was thrown out trying to steal second. Brown followed that with a walk and he came around to score when Schneider doubled to center. 6-0. Worley struck out swinging 1-2 to leave Schneider at second.

Fourth extra-base hit for the Phils in the first three innings of the game. The caught stealing by Victorino costs the Phils a run.

Rollins led off the fourth and hit a ball to Pena that Pena first didn’t handle and then threw away. Two errors for Pena on the play left Rollins at second with nobody out. Martinez grounded back to the pitcher with Rollins holding for the first out before Utley doubled again, scoring Rollins to make it 7-0. Utley moved to third on a Howard ground out to first, but was left there when Victorino flew to right.

Brown and Schneider both struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Rollins homered to right off of righty Ramon Ortiz with one out in the sixth. 8-0. Martinez and Utley both grounded out behind him.

Ibanez and Brown singled back-to-back with two outs in the seventh. Schneider followed that with a walk that loaded the bases for Worley. Worley grounded to first to end the frame.

Mayberry hit for Howard with lefty John Grabow pitching for the Cubs and struck out for the first out. That might have as much to do with trying to get Mayberry at-bats with the return of Victorino as it does with Howard never, ever getting a hit.

Rollins led off the eighth with a home run to left off the lefty Grabow, putting the Phils up 9-1. The Phils went in order behind him, with Valdez hitting for Utley and striking out for the second out.

Second home run of the year against a lefty for Rollins. He came into the game hitting 240/275/302 against lefties for the year.

Brown walked with two outs in the ninth. Schneider hit the ball hard, but grounded to first to end the frame.

Rollins was 3-for-5 in the game with a double, two home runs and four runs scored. 6-for-14 with a double and three home runs in the three-game set. 316/368/511 over his last 144 plate appearances. 277/344/410 for the year. 22-for-his-last-51 (431/463/706 over his last 54 plate appearances).

Martinez 2-for-5 with an RBI. 5-for-13 in the series with a walk, a double and three RBI. 236/278/321 for the year. 310/362/452 in 47 plate appearances in July.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk, two doubles and two RBI. 3-for-10 with a walk, three doubles and four RBI in the series. After going 0-for-3 in game one of the set, he was 1-for-his-last-14. In the last two games of the series he was 3-for-7 with three doubles. 270/367/433 for the year. He’s hitting just 200/321/356 against lefties for the year.

Howard 1-for-3 with an RBI. 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series. 2-for-22 with two singles since the All-Star break. 247/342/452. Mayberry went 0-for-2 yesterday and 2-for-7 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 238/310/420 for the year.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-8 with a walk since being activated for game two of the series. He’s hitting 295/368/509 for the season.

Ibanez 1-for-5 yesterday and 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 243/288/414 on the year.

Brown 1-for-3 with two walks yesterday. 3-for-8 with a double and four walks in the series. 247/339/395 for the year. He’s 3-for-his-last-15 with six walks, giving him a .200 batting average but a .429 on-base percentage over those 15 plate appearances.

Schneider 1-for-4 with a walk, a double and an RBI in his only action of the series. He’s hitting 188/253/319 for the year.

No game today. The Phils play the Padres in Philadelphia tomorrow night.

I will be surprised if the Phillies trade Domonic Brown in a deal to get Carlos Beltran.

Polanco will be getting an injection in his lower back today.

Stadium Journey has recently written about Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA, which is home to the Williamsport Crosscutters. The Crosscutters are the Phillies affiliate in the NY-Penn League.


Rule V mash

Things looked bad early for the Phils last night, but Cliff Lee made it through a shaky start to his start and Michael Martinez delivered another big hit. Down 2-0, Utley doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. The Phils rallied for two more in the ninth, getting two-out singles from Francisco and Rollins before Martinez cleared the bases with a two-out double.

For Martinez it was his second huge offense game in the last three the Phils have played. He’s hitting 297/357/459 in 37 at-bats in July. In the five games since the All-Star break, he’s driven in more runs than Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Brown and Ruiz combined. The day before the All-Star break, he went 4-for-5 against the Braves.

The Phillies are 60-36 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 last night. They lead the NL East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, three doubles and a home run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Reed Johnson led off the bottom of the first and doubled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Starlin Castro was next and he hit Lee’s first pitch out to left, putting the Cubs up 2-0. Aramis Ramirez was next he doubled to center. Jeff Baker lined to short for the first out before Marlon Byrd hit a ball hard towards third that Martinez snared. Martinez went for first for the second out with Ramirez holding second. Lee struck Alfonso Soriano out looking 1-2 to end the inning with Ramirez at second.

Not a great start for Lee. First three batters he faces deliver extra-base hits, followed by a line drive out and a ball hit hard to third.

Carlos Pena started the second with a double and moved to third when Geovany Soto followed with a single. The pitcher Matt Garza tried to bunt Soto to second but couldn’t and struck out for the first out. Lee struck Johnson and Castro out back-to-back to leave runners on the corners.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.

Johnson doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Castro was next and he hit a ball that was deflected by Rollins and went into left for a single that moved Johnson to third. Lee got Ramirez on a popup to short and struck out Baker to keep the Cubs from extending their lead.

No run for Chicago after putting men on first and third with one out.

Carlos Pena singled to right with two outs in the sixth. Lee got Soto on a ground ball to third to leave him at first.

Stutes took over for Lee in the seventh. Johnson singled to left with one out and Castro flew to right behind him for the second. Ramirez moved Johnson to second with a single into center and lefty Blake DeWitt hit for the righty Baker. Stutes got DeWitt on a fly ball to center to leave both runners stranded.

Stutes was back to pitch the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. He got the first two batters before getting behind the lefty Pena 2-0. Pena was walked intentionally and Stutes struck Soto out to leave him at first.

Not a fan of walking Pena or much of anyone with two outs and nobody on base.

Bastardo started the ninth with a 4-2 lead. Lefty Kosuke Fukudome hit for the pitcher Sean Marshall and the lefty Bastardo struck him out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Johnson struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. Castro fouled off fives pitches before striking out looking 1-2 to end the game.

Three scoreless innings for the pen. Stutes threw 37 pitches in the game, Bastardo 18. Neither of them have thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Victorino returns to the lineup and Mayberry goes back to the bench. Martinez continues to play third and hit second for Polanco. Second is too high for Martinez.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Ibanez and Brown walked back-to-back with two outs in the second and the Phils down 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Brown doubled to left with one out in the fifth, but was left stranded at second when Ruiz fouled out to Pena and Lee struck out swinging.

Martinez walked with one out in the sixth, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Soto. Utley struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Howard struck out swinging 3-2 to leave Martinez at third.

Utley and Howard can’t put the ball in play against the righty Garza and the Phils don’t score with one out and a man on third. Martinez turned out to be the hero in the ninth, but did his best to make a run for the Phils out of almost nothing in the sixth.

Brown singled to center with two outs in the seventh and moved to second when Ruiz followed with a single to right. With the righty Garza still pitching for Chicago, Gload hit for Lee and flew to center to leave both men stranded.

Gload is 1-for-his-last-14.

Rollins led off the eighth and singled to right off of Garza. Lefty Sean Marshall took over for Garza and Martinez singled softly to center, moving Rollins to second. Utley was next he hammered a 1-1 pitch to the gap in left-center. The ball landed on the track and bounced off the wall. Both runners scored and the game was tied at 2-2 with nobody out and Utley on second. Utley stole third as Howard struck out swinging for the first out. Victorino was next and chopped a ball to short. Castro fielded and threw home, where Soto tagged out a sliding Utley on a close play for the second out. Ibanez struck out swinging to leave Victorino at first.

Third strikeout of the game for Howard.

With the lefty Marshall on the mound, Mayberry hit for brown and grounded to short to start the eighth. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Francisco hit for Stutes and singled to center. Rollins was next and he reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Ramirez at third, putting men on first and second for Martinez. Martinez flared an 0-1 pitch into right that dropped inside the line. Both runners scored, putting the Phils up 4-2. Martinez was caught be between second and third and was tagged out sliding into third for the third out.

Manuel takes Brown out of the game with the score tied, letting Mayberry hit for him against the lefty. Francisco delivers a big pinch-hit single that keeps the frame alive for Rollins to single and Martinez to double and put the Phils ahead.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with two singles. He’s 8-for-his-last-18 and hitting 365/412/492 in July.

Martinez was 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a stolen base and two RBI.

Utley 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-18.

Howard 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 1-for-his-last-19.

Victorino 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup.

Ibanez 0-for-3 with a walk.

Brown 2-for-2 with a double and a walk and removed for a pinch-hitter against a lefty in a tie game. He’s 2-for-his-last-12. I think the Phils should be considering both Mayberry and Francisco as potential platoon partners for Brown in right with Victorino back.

Ruiz was 1-for-4. He’s hitting 341/442/477 so far in July.

Worley (5-1, 2.15) faces righty Ryan Dempster (7-6, 4.68) this afternoon. Dempster threw to a 6.32 ERA in his first 13 starts of the year, but has gone 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.10 ratio over his last seven outings. Worley has allowed one run or less in seven of the nine starts he has made for the Phillies this season.

This suggests that Oswalt could return in early August if things continue to go well.


Worley may be wondering if the majors are a lot like baseball except that nobody on either team can hit at all

The Phillies are 3-0 in the last three games that Vance Worley has started — that’s pretty impressive in itself, but it’s even more impressive given that they’ve scored a total of four runs in those games.

In last night’s game, Worley allowed two singles and two walks over seven shutout innings and Michael Martinez drove in the only run of the contest, scoring Brown from second with a seventh-inning single.

Over his last four starts, Worley has thrown to an 0.72 ERA and an 0.92 ratio over 25 innings.

The Phillies are 54-32 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 1-0 last night. They have won six of their last eight and three of four to start July.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two singles and two walks. He struck out six and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.20. The Phils are 6-2 in the eight games he’s started this season.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

Hanley Ramirez singled to start the second and Logan Morrison popped to third behind him for the first out . Mike Stanton was next and hit a ground ball to third. Polanco went to Utley to force Ramirez for the second out. Utley didn’t have much of a chance to double-up Stanton, but threw to first anyway and his throw was bad. Howard didn’t handle it, but luckily it did not get far enough away from him to allow Stanton to take second. Stanton stole second before Bryan Petersen flew to left to leave him stranded.

Emilio Bonifacio singled with two outs in the third and stole second before Omar Infante grounded to third to end the inning.

Worley had thrown 46 pitches through three innings.

He walked Gaby Sanchez on a 3-2 pitch to start the bottom of the fourth, but struck Ramirez and Morrison both out looking for the first two outs. Stanton flew to center to leave Sanchez at first.

John Buck walked with one out in the fifth and the pitcher Ricky Nolasco bunted him to second with the second out. Bonifacio was next and hit a ground ball to first. Howard flipped to Worley covering first and Bonifacio was called out to end the inning. Bonifacio was ejected after pointing out that Worley didn’t really tag him and throwing his helmet.

Worley set Florida down in order in the sixth.

He had thrown 89 pitches through six innings.

Up 1-0, Worley set Florida down in order in the seventh.

Stutes threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils still up a run. Lefty Dewayne Wise hit for Choate and grounded to second for the second out.

Bastardo started the ninth. Infante led off and hit a foul ball down the first base line. Utley, Brown and Howard all converged and Utley and Brown both tried to catch the ball. It was knocked out of Utley’s glove and Infante got another chance, but flew to right for the first out. Bastardo walked Sanchez on a 3-2 pitch that bounced, but got Ramirez swinging 0-2 for the second out and Morrison on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Bastardo threw 19 pitches in the game and Stutes nine. Stutes has pitched two days in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ricky Nolasco went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Brown (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Martinez plays center with Victorino sidelined with a sore thumb. Schneider catches with Ruiz on the bench.

Utley singled with two outs in the first, but Howard grounded to first behind him.

Brown reached on an infield single with one out in the second, but Schneider and Martinez went down behind him.

Worley led off the third and hit a ball that was deflected by a diving Ramirez and right to Infante — Infante threw to first in time to get Worley for the first out. Rollins singled and stole second on a pitchout before Polanco walked. It put men on first and second with one out for Utley. Utley grounded to third with Polanco forced at second for the second out. Howard struck out looking to leave men stranded on the corners.

Schneider singled with two outs in the fourth. Martinez grounded to the pitcher behind him for the third out, dropping his average on the year to .182.

The Phils went in order in the fifth and again in the sixth.

Brown singled to start the seventh and moved to second when Schneider followed with a walk. It brought Martinez to the plate and he singled into center on the first pitch of his at-bat. Peterson charged and made a nice throw home, but Brown slid in and was called safe as Buck applied a high tag. It looked like Brown might have missed the plate with his lead foot, but the Phils got the call and led 1-0 with nobody out and men on first and second. Worley struck out trying to bunt for the first out. Rollins grounded out for the second with Martinez forced at second. Polanco grounded to second to leave the runners stranded at the corners.

The Phils went in order in the eighth.

Brown walked to start the ninth on a close 3-2 pitch. The catcher Buck didn’t like the call and was ejected. Ruiz, who had taken over for Schneider behind the plate in the eighth, bunted Brown to second with the first out. Martinez flew to right for the second. With lefty Michael Dunn on the mound, Francisco hit for Stutes. Righty Edward Mujica came in to pitch and Gload hit for Francisco and flew to the warning track in left to set the Phillies down.

Couple of close calls in the game that the Marlins didn’t get, but the pitch Brown walked on looked like a ball to me.

Rollins was 1-for-4. He’s 5-for-his-last-28.

Polanco 0-for-3 with a walk. 0-for-his-last-15.

Utley 1-for-4. After hitting 222/364/370 in May, Utley hit 297/387/473 in June and is hitting 313/389/563 in the first four games of July.

Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 3-for-his-last-17.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-14.

Brown 2-for-3. 9-for-his-last-27.

Schneider 1-for-2 to raise his average to .164 on the year after 61 at-bats.

Martinez 1-for-4 with the game’s only RBI. He’s hitting 191/222/235 on the year in 68 at-bats.

Cole Hamels (9-4, 2.41) faces righty Chris Volstad (4-7, 5.01) tonight. Volstad has had three good starts in a row, throwing to a 1.31 ERA in 20 2/3 innings over his last three outings. Lefties have pounded him this year, 311/381/592, while righties have hit just 256/271/351. Hamels left his last start after four innings after Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez smashed a line drive off of the palm of his non-pitching hand. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven starts, throwing to a 1.49 ERA over 48 1/3 innings.


Ibanez leaves the Phils hopeful he’s willing to meet them halfway

Raul Ibanez celebrated the halfway point of what’s been a miserable season for him by driving in all the Phillie runs last night. Ibanez knocked Victorino in from second with a single early and broke a 1-1 tie with a solo homer in the seventh as the Phils topped Boston 2-1.

Vance Worley handled the pitching for the Phils, with a big assist to the new back of the bullpen. Worley went seven strong frames before the Phils got a perfect eighth from Stutes and a perfect ninth from Bastardo.

The Phillies are 4-1 in their last five and have allowed a total of six runs in those five games. Four of those runs were allowed in Saturday’s game against Oakland. In eight of their last ten games they have allowed less than three runs.

The Phillies are 51-30 on the year after beating the Boston Red Sox 2-1 last night. They still haven’t buried the Braves, who keep on winning as well. Atlanta is 8-2 in their last ten and remain 4 1/2 games behind the Phils in second place in the NL East. The Mets are in third place, two games over .500 and 9 1/2 games behind the Phillies.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.57. The Phils are now 5-2 in the games Worley has started for the year — that’s a better winning percentage than they have with any other starter except Halladay (14-3 in Halladay’s starts).

Worley set Boston down in order in the first. He knocked Dustin Pedroia down before striking him out on a pitch on the outside part of the plate for the second out.

Pitching with a 1-0 lead, he struck out David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a 1-2-3 second.

Josh Reddick started the third with a single to left, but Worley got the next three behind him to leave Reddick at first. Pitcher John Lackey tried to bunt him to second with the second out, but got behind 0-2 and struck out looking.

Pedroia started the fourth with a single, but Worley got Adrian Gonzalez to hit into a double-play behind him. Worley walked Kevin Youkilis in an eleven-pitch at-bat, but got Ortiz on a fly ball to right to leave Youkilis at first.

Reddick singled again with one out in the fifth. Worley got Marco Scutaro to fly to center for the second out. He got ahead of Lackey 0-2, but Lackey doubled to left-center on a 3-2 pitch, scoring Scutaro to tie the game at 1-1. Jacoby Ellsbury flew to center to leave Lackey at second.

Lackey came into the game 3-for-35 (.086) at the plate for his career. He smashed that ball, though.

Gonzalez singled to center with one out in the sixth. Youkilis was next and hit a ground ball to third, which Polanco fielded and went to second with to force Gonzalez for the second out. Ortiz flew to left to end the frame.

Worley walked Salty to start the seventh, but got the next three hitters behind him. With two outs and Reddick on first, Lackey hit for himself and grounded to third for the third out.

Stutes pitched the eighth with the Phils up 2-1 and set Boston down in order. He got Ellsbury on a fly ball to right, Pedroia on popup that Polanco handled in foul territory and Gonzalez on a ground ball to second.

Golly. Stutes bounces back nicely against some good hitters after being charged with a pair of runs in an inning against the A’s in his last time out on Saturday.

Bastardo came on for the save in the ninth. Youkilis led off with a popup into shallow right-center, which turned into an adventure with Brown and Victorino both playing very deep. Utley handled it for the first out, though. Ortiz popped to Rollins in shallow left for the second out and Salty fouled out to Polanco to end the game.

For Bastardo it was his 13th straight appearance in which he was not charged with a run. In those outings he’s thrown 11 innings, allowing one hit and five walks.

Stutes threw 12 pitches and Bastardo ten. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty John Lackey went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Schneider. The Phils play a day game against a lefty today. The lefty Schneider hits against the righty in this game and Ruiz, I assume, will start today against the lefty.

Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back with one out in the first, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.

Eighth double-play that Howard has hit into for the season. Last year he hit into a career-high 14.

Victorino led off the second with a double the opposite way into left and came in to score when Ibanez followed with a single, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez stole second as Brown struck out looking for the first out. Schneider fouled out to Youkilis at third for the second out and Worley grounded to third to leave Ibanez stranded.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Ibanez doubled with two outs in the fourth, but was left stranded at second when Brown grounded to first.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phils went in order in the fifth.

Utley walked with one out in the sixth and stole second. Howard struck out for the second out and Victorino grounded to second.

Ibanez led off the seventh and hit an 0-1 pitch from Lackey out to right, putting the Phils up 2-1. Brown and Schneider went down behind him before Ruiz hit for Worley and flew to center to end the inning.

Rollins started the eighth with a single, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him. Utley hit Lackey’s first pitch high off the wall in right for a triple. Lefty Franklin Morales took over for Lackey and got Howard on a fly ball to center to leave Utley at third.

Fourth man left on base in the game for Howard.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the game. He’s 1-for-7 in the series so far.

Polanco 1-for-4. He’s 4-for-his-last-15.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple. Third triple for Utley in the season in just 136 plate appearances. His career high is six, but that came in 2005 when he got 628 plate appearances.

Howard 0-for-4, struck out twice and left four men on base. He’s 1-for-his-last-16.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a double. His .508 slugging percentage leads the team. The Phillies only have four players slugging .400 or better for the year — Howard at .476, Utley .456 and Brown .411. Their .375 slugging percentage for the team is tenth-best in the NL.

Ibanez 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and drove in both of the runs that the Phillies scored. First home run in June for Ibanez.

Brown was 0-for-3 and struck out twice, dropping his line on the year to 214/294/411.

Schneider 0-for-3 in his second start since returning from the DL. He’s gone 0-for-7 in those games and is hitting 153/194/288 for the season.

Cole Hamels (9-4, 2.49) faces lefty Jon Lester (9-4, 3.66) this afternoon. Lester has thrown to a 2.45 ERA over his last three starts. He’s been tough on lefties, who are hitting 218/277/299 against him, but righties have fared better with a 255/342/437 line. Hamels has a 2.06 ERA in his last 15 outings.

This says that Lidge could start a rehab assignment at Double-A or Triple-A next week.


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