Tag: Yovani Gallardo

Worleywind tour comes to an end in Milwaukee

The Phils completed their series with the Brewers this weekend, taking two of the final three games to take three of four in the series. The series concludes a stretch of seven games against two of the National League’s best teams in which the Phils went 6-1.

On Friday the Phils won game two of the series 5-3. Howard hit a three-run homer in the top of the first to put the Phils up 3-0, which is how it stayed until the seventh. In the seventh, RBI-singles by Ibanez and Ruiz extended the lead to 5-0. Howard didn’t allow a run until the bottom of the seventh, when a leadoff double by Casey McGehee led to a run on a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt, cutting the lead to 5-1. Bastardo started the ninth and allowed the only two batters he faced to reach on single and a walk. Both came in to score after Madson took over for Bastardo, but the Phils held on for the win.

Over his last three appearances, Bastardo has now faced eight batters. Six of them have reached base on two hits and four walks.

Saturday the Phils won 3-2 in ten innings. Pence put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run in the top of the first, but the Brewers tied it up in the bottom of the second on an RBI-single by Betancourt. Lee gave up a second run in the fourth when Ryan Braun led off with a single, Prince Fielder followed with a double and Braun came in on a ground out by Casey McGehee to put the Brewers up 2-1. Polanco tied things up at 2-2 with a two-out homer to center in the fifth. Ibanez led off the tenth with a double and Ruiz tried to bunt him to third, but LaTroy Hawkins threw the ball away and Ibanez scored to put the Phils up to stay at 3-2. Lidge, Stutes and Madson combined to throw three scoreless innings in the game after Lee held the Brewers to two runs over seven innings.

The Phils lost yesterday’s game 3-2, dropping a game started by Worley for the first time in 15 outings.

The Phillies are 94-49 on the year after falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take two of the last three games in the series and three of four in the set overall. After a win on Saturday the Phillies were 46 games over .500 for the first time in the history of the organization. They are in first place in the NL East, 12 games ahead of the second-place Braves.

Worley got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out seven.

Corey Hart led off the bottom of the first with a single and Nyjer Morgan bunted him to second with the first out. Braun grounded to second for the second out with Hart moving up to third. Worley struck Fielder out looking 3-2 to leave Hart at third.

Worley walked Rickie Weeks to start the second, but struck Taylor Green out behind him for the first out. Betancourt moved Weeks to second with a single to left and a wild pitch by Worley allowed the runners to take second and third. Jonathan Lucroy grounded to second, with Orr going to Howard for the second out as Weeks scored (1-0) and Betancourt moved up to third. The pitcher Yovani Gallardo grounded to short to end the inning.

Morgan doubled to right with one out in the third and moved up to third on a ground out by Braun. Fielder popped to Martinez at short for the third out.

Worley hit Weeks with his first pitch in the bottom of the fourth, but got Green, Betancourt and Lucroy in order behind Weeks.

Gallardo doubled to right on a ball that Pence either didn’t see well or didn’t play well. Worley struck out Hart before Gallardo took third on a balk. Morgan flew to right with Gallardo holding for the second out and Braun flew to Pence deep in right for the third out.

Worley started the sixth up 2-1. He allowed a leadoff single to Fielder, but got the next three hitters in order.

Hart doubled to left with two outs in the seventh. Morgan followed that with a double to right, plating Hart and tying the game at 2-2. Braun was next and singled into right. Morgan scored and Milwaukee led 3-2. Schwimer took over for Worley and struck Fielder out swinging 2-2 to leave Braun at first.

Just the second of five appearances for Schwimer on the year in which he isn’t charged with at least one run.

Herndon pitched the eighth. He walked Craig Counsell with one out, but got the next two hitters behind him.

First appearance for Herndon since his 69-pitch outing on September 4.

Herndon threw 19 pitches and Schwimer five. Nobody in the pen has pitched more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Yovani Gallardo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Orr (7) Schneider (8) Martinez. Orr at second and Martinez at short with Rollins active but on the bench and Valdez sidelined after hurting his left hamstring stealing a base on Saturday. Schneider catches the day game with Ruiz on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard led off the second with a single, but Ibanez, Orr and Schneider all struck out behind him.

Down 1-0, Worley walked with one out in the third. Victorino was next and he grounded to second with Worley forced at second for the second out. Victorino stole second before Polanco grounded to short to set the Phils down.

Howard and Ibanez struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.

Orr struck out swinging on a wild pitch to start the fifth and made it safely to first. Orr stole second as Schneider struck out again for the first out. Martinez moved Orr to third with a ground out, but Worley struck out to leave Orr at third.

Phils waste the leadoff strikeout by Orr.

Victorino led off the sixth and homered to right center to tie the game at 1-1. Polanco and Pence went down behind him before Howard hit a 3-2 pitch out to right-center to put the Phils up 2-1. Ibanez struck out for the third out.

The Phillies went in order in the seventh.

Down 3-2 and with righty Francisco Rodriguez pitching for Milwaukee, Gload hit for Schwimer to start the inning and singled to right. Mayberry ran for Gload at first and Victorino flew to right for the first out. Polanco grounded to third with Mayberry forced at second for the second out. Pence moved Polanco to third with a single, but Howard grounded to second to end the frame.

Gload still has to be replaced by a pinch-runner with his hip after reaching base to start the inning. That costs the Phils a bench player and a good one in this case in Mayberry. The Phils used two pinch-hitters in the ninth and they went 0-for-2. If Rollins can hit they surely would have used him, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t have used Mayberry even against the righty Axford instead of Bowker if Mayberry had been available. He wasn’t.

Righty John Axford started the ninth for Milwaukee with a one-run lead. He struck Ibanez out for the first out before Orr singled to center. Rollins hit for Schneider and struck out swinging for the second out. Martinez was next and drew a walk, pushing Orr to second as the tying run. Bowker hit for Herndon and popped to third to end the game.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game. 3-for-19 in the four-game set with a double and a home run. He’s hitting 295/371/516 for the year but just 204/278/327 so far in September.

Polanco 0-for-4 yesterday. 5-for-18 with a home run in the series. 278/332/343 for the year. His home run in Saturday’s game was his first since June 10.

Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout yesterday. 7-for-17 in the series with two walks, a double, a triple and a home run. 320/393/551 in 147 at-bats with the Phillies.

Howard 2-for-4 with his 33rd home run of the year. 3-for-8 with two walks and two home runs in the series. 254/348/501 for the year. He has hit seven home runs in his last 59 plate appearances.

Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out four times. 3-for-11 with a double in the series. 247/293/425 for the year. He’s hitting 201/250/312 away from home this season.

Orr was 1-for-4 and struck out three times. 4-for-9 with a walk in the series. 253/317/293 in 75 at-bats with the Phils for the year.

Schneider was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 167/235/259 in 108 plate appearances for the season.

Martinez 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with two walks in the series. 209/264/304 on the year.

Oswalt (7-8, 3.72) faces righty Brett Myers (4-13, 4.66) tonight in Houston. Myers saw his ERA shoot up to 4.95 after allowing seven runs to the Rockies in five innings on August 22, but has made three appearances since in which he has allowed just three runs in 16 2/3 innings (one of the appearances was a two-inning relief outing). He has allowed 31 home runs in 189 1/3 innings for the year. Oswalt faced his former team in his first start of the season, holding the Astros to two runs over six innings on April 3. In keeping with the guys-playing-on-the-wrong-team theme, Pence homered off of Oswalt in that game. It’s like an Esher drawing.

Can I call you, Joe (if I need someone to pitch us into the NLCS)?

The Phillies needed three fantastic performances from their starting pitchers to get past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. After Hamels and Myers dazzled in games one and two, game four it was up to Blanton to pitch the Phillies into the NLCS and he delivered. Blanton took a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning before he gave up a solo home run to Prince Fielder this afternoon. It was the only extra-base hit he allowed. He didn’t walk a hitter and struck out seven.

Fielder’s home run was the only extra-base hit for the Brewers in the last two games of the series.

If Joe Blanton pitched the Phils into the NLCS, there’s little question who hit them into it. Pat Burrell sprung out of a mini-slump today, delivering a huge three-run homer in the top of the third inning that put the Phils up to stay at 4-0. He added a solo shot in the top of the eighth.

Burrell’s blasts were much-needed for a Phillies offense that largely had to get it done without Utley and Howard. The dynamic duo of lefties that makes up the three-four punch of the Phillies order combined to go just 4-for-26 in the series. Compounding the problem for the Phils, at the bottom of the order, Feliz and Ruiz combined to go 4-for-27. Between them, that’s half the lineup. The Phillies had to make do, and they did. Burrell had two big blasts in game four, Werth put together some timely contributions and Victorino gave them a grand slam in game two.

Thanks to Blanton and his cohorts in the rotation, that was enough.

The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon, winning 6-2. With the win they take the best-of-five series three games to one. They will play the Dodgers in the NLCS. Game one is Thursday.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on five hits. One of the hits he allowed went for extra-bases, a home run. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

He faced a Milwaukee lineup that went (1) Cameron (CF/R) (2) Durham (2B/S) (3) Braun (LF/R) (4) Fielder (1B/L) (5) Hardy (SS/R) (6) Hart (RF/R) (7) Counsell (3B/L) (8) Kendall (C/R). That is the same lineup that Milwaukee used against Myers in game two.

There were five position players on the bench for Milwaukee to start the game: Mike Rivera (R), Tony Gwynn, Jr (L), Brad Nelson (L), Alcides Escobar (R) and Bill Hall (R). Escobar is a 21-year-old infielder with four career at-bats who took Weeks’ spot on the roster after Weeks sprained his knee trying to beat out a base hit in game three.

Blanton started the first up 1-0. He struck Cameron out looking at 2-2 fastball at the knees. Durham popped to Dobbs at third on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. He got ahead of Braun 0-2, but Braun laced a 2-2 pitch into left field for a single. Fielder worked the count full before he hit a fly ball well to the opposite field, but Burrell took it a couple of steps in front of the warning track for the third out.

Long inning for Blanton. He threw 29 pitches, which would be the most he would throw in an inning on the day.

He threw a 1-2-3 second, getting Hardy to pop a 1-1 pitch to Dobbs, Hardy to ground his first pitch to short and Counsell to pop a 2-0 pitch up to short. Seven more pitches had him at 36.

He threw a 1-2-3 third with the Phils up 5-0. Kendall worked the count full and flew to right. Sabathia hit for the pitcher Suppan and went down swinging on three pitches. Cameron flew to center on an 0-1 pitch.

Nice, quick inning against the bottom of the order for Blanton after the Phils gave him a big lead. Eleven pitches. 47 for the game.

He got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 fourth. Durham struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Braun struck of swinging 2-2. Fielder flew to right. Sixteen pitches had him at 63.

Hardy led off the fifth and lined a single into left on a 1-1 pitch. First base-runner that Blanton had allowed since Braun’s single in the first. Blanton struck out the next two, getting Hart swinging after Hart got ahead 0-2 and Counsell on four pitches. Kendall grounded a 2-2 pitch to short for the third out. Eighteen pitches. 81.

Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for pitcher Yovani Gallardo to start the sixth and hit a 2-2 pitch into right for a single. Again Blaton got the next three men he faced. Cameron popped to second. Durham flew to right. Braun stuck out looking at a low 1-2 fastball. Eighteen more pitches put him at 99 for the game.

He still had a 5-0 lead when he started the seventh. Fielder led off and worked the count full and then blasted a monster shot way, way out to right-center. 5-1. Hardy was next and he lined an 0-1 pitch into right for a single. That was it for Blanton after 107 pitches. Manuel called on Madson to pitch to Hart. Hart grounded a 1-1 pitch to second, but not hard enough for the Phils to get two. Hart was out at first for the first out with Hardy moving to second. Counsell was next and he chopped a 1-1 pitch between first and second. Howard made a diving play to stab the ball and threw to Madson covering first for the second out as Hardy went to third. Kendall flew to right on an 0-1 pitch for the third out.

Very surprised, and pleased, to see Manuel bring in Madson and not Durbin in the seventh. Both had pitched on Saturday, with Madson throwing 13 pitches to get four outs and Durbin throwing 20 pitches to get two. But under normal circumstances I think Manuel would tend to go to Durbin in that situation. Durbin has really struggled lately, so I was thrilled to see Manuel change things up and go with Madson for more than an inning. Worked great for the Phils.

Madson returned to start the eighth with the Phils now up 6-1 and got Bill Hall, who had entered in the top of the inning as part of a double-switch, to ground an 0-2 pitch to short for the first out. Cameron was next and he singled up the middle on the first pitch of his at-bat. Cameron took second on defensive indifference before Durham grounded a 1-2 pitch to second for the second out with Cameron going to third. Braun lined a 2-2 pitch into left field for another single and Cameron scored, cutting the Phillies lead to 6-2. It brought up Fielder with two outs and a man on first and Fielder crushed a 1-1 pitch, hitting a line drive that would have been a single into right except the shift had Utley playing in shallow right. Utley speared the ball to end the inning.

I do not understand at all why Romero did not come on to pitch to Fielder. Does not make any sense to me if he is healthy. Especially after Fielder had hit it to the moon an inning earlier. Fielder got a good pitch to hit (and hit it good), so if they were pitching around him to get to the righty Hardy they didn’t do a good job of it.

Lidge started the ninth up 6-2. Hardy led of and grounded to Feliz at third for the first out. Hart was next and hit a 2-2 pitch hard to third and under the glove of Feliz and into left for a single. Lefty Brad Nelson hit for the pitcher Guillermo Mota and Lidge struck the rookie out on a 2-2 slider away for the second out. Kendall grounded a 1-2 pitch to short and the series was over.

Very muted celebration for the Phils, which was nice to see. They have accomplished a lot, but they don’t look like they think they’re done.

Madson and Lidge combined to go three innings, allowing a run on three singles. Madson threw 24 pitches, Lidge 16. They have a long time to rest before Thursday. As a group, the Phillies pen threw ten innings in the series, allowing four runs, all of them earned (3.60 ERA), on 13 hits and three walks.

The Milwaukee pen had to throw six innings in the game and was charged with one run, the homer by Burrell off of Mota. As a group they allowed one run in 17 2/3 innings in the series, clearly outpitching the Phillies pen. Notably, the Brewers used several starting pitchers in relief in the set (Gallardo, Villanueva, McClung, Parra), while the Phils stuck to their relief corps.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jeff Suppan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs gets his first playoff start against the righty with Feliz on the bench. Ruiz continues to catch, he started all four games of the series. Ruiz was behind the plate for about 66% of the hitters that Blanton faced while with the Phillies this season.

The hitters on the bench to start the game for the Phils were Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Bruntlett (R), Feliz (R), Jenkins (L) and Stairs (L).

Rollins got ahead 3-1 to start the first. He checked his swing 3-1 on a pitch that looked inside, but Suppan got the called strike to run the count full. Rollins hit a laser out to right on the next pitch to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino popped to short for the first out before Utley drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch low. Howard hit the first pitch of his at-bat to short, where third baseman Counsell was playing thanks to the shift, and the Brewers turned the double-play to end the frame.

Burrell got behind 1-2 to start the second before he singled down the right field line. Werth had a long at-bat, but struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that was outside for the first out. Dobbs followed and hit an 0-1 pitch into right-center for a single, with Burrell going to third. Dobbs took second on a wild pitch before Ruiz went down looking at a 1-2 pitch on the outside corner. Blanton struck out swinging on three pitches to end the inning.

Phils get nothing out of second and third with one out. Bad at-bat for Ruiz, who swung at bad 1-1 pitch low and away before going down looking.

Rollins flew to right on a 1-2 pitch to start the third. Victorino was next and hit a flair down the left field line that dropped. Victorino had a double. Utley grounded to second on a 1-1 pitch for the second out and Victorino went to third. Howard was walked intentionally, bringing up Burrell with two down and men on first and third. The first four pitches of Burrell’s at-bat went ball-strike-ball-strike, evening the count at 2-2. Both of the strikes were called, low and on the outside part of the plate. Burrell simply cannot hit that pitch. Don’t know if it was the single down the right field line in the first that got in his head or it was just a mistake, but Suppan threw a 2-2 pitch on the inside part of the plate and Burrell just hammered it out to left. Terrible idea (or just missed his spot) for Suppan. Burrell’s three-run shot put the Phils up 4-0. Werth was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center. 5-0. Dobbs flew to center for the third out.

Burrell came into the game 9-for-21 (429/571/952) with three home runs in his career against Suppan. I think you have to question the intentional walk to Howard. Second time in the series that the intentional walk to Howard hurt Milwaukee. In game one it was followed by back-to-back walks that forced in a run.

Yovani Gallardo came in to pitch the fourth and set the Phils down in order. Ruiz grounded to third, Blanton struck out and Rollins grounded to second.

Gallardo threw a 1-2-3 fifth as well. Victorino grounded to first, Utley grounded to second and Howard flew to left.

Burrell flew to right on an 0-2 pitch to start the sixth. Werth was next and hit a towering popup to left on a 3-2 pitch. The ball hit a cable at the top of the stadium and was redirected back to the infield, where Counsell made an amazing diving play to record the second out. Dobbs blooped a single down the left-field line before Ruiz popped to third to set the Phillies down.

Blanton hit for himself to start the seventh with the Phillies up 5-0. He had thrown 99 pitches. He struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Rollins followed with a single to left, but Victorino followed and swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Lefty Manny Parra struck out Utley and Howard to start the eighth. Guillermo Mota came in to pitch to Burrell with the Phils up 5-1. Mota hung an 0-2 slider to Burrell and Burrell popped that one out to left too, putting the Phils up 6-1. Werth followed and chopped an 0-2 pitch back up the middle, Hardy’s throw just nipped him at first (looked safe to me).

Feliz, who had entered to play third in the sixth, led off the ninth with a hundred-hopper into right for a single. Ruiz tried to bunt and popped it up to Fielder for the first out. Stairs hit for Madson and grounded into a double-play on a 2-1 pitch to end the frame. Again Manuel chooses Stairs over Jenkins in a hitting situation where it looks like he’s only going to get to use one of them in the game.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a home run in the game. 6-for-16 (.375) with two doubles, a home run and a walk in the series.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a double in the game. 5-for-14 (.357) with three doubles, three walks and a grand slam in the series. Led the team with five RBI. He also stole three bases.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. 2-for-15 (.133) with a double, two walks and two RBI in the series.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. 2-for-11 (.182) with a double and five walks in the series. Utley and Howard combine to go 4-for-26 (.154) with two doubles.

Burrell 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI in the game. 3-for-12 (.250) with two walks in the series. Was having a miserable series before today’s game, but made up for it in a big way. He struck out just once in the series.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a home run today. 5-for-16 (.313) with three doubles, a triple and a home run in the series. Didn’t draw a walk and struck out six times, which led the team.

Dobbs 2-for-3 in the game and 3-for-5 (.600) in the series. I would guess we might see him get some more starts against righties in the NLCS. Feliz was 1-for-1 today and 3-for-13 (.231) with a double and an RBI in the set.

Ruiz was 0-for-4 and left four men on base. 1-for-14 (.071) in the series. Coste did not play in the series.

Stairs was 0-for-1 today and 0-for-2 in the series. Jenkins 0-for-1 in the series. Bruntlett 1-for-1 with a single.

Phils/Playoff Victory Reunion Show finally comes together

That playoff victory was just making some unreasonable demands. Glad they got it worked out, though. It was a little tough to watch, but the ending was good.

The Phillies won their first playoff game in 15 years yesterday, but the way Cole Hamels threw makes you think they may not need to wait 15 days before he pitches them to another. Hamels looked exactly like one of the elite pitchers in baseball in the first game of the series against the Brewers, holding Milwaukee to a pair of singles and a walk over eight shutout innings as the Phils pulled out a 3-1 win.

Hamels was arguably the only Phillie that played well. The Phils had four hits in the game and managed to score in just one inning. They needed a whole lot of help from the Brewers to do that — three defensive misplays and three walks back-to-back-to-back helped the Phils put up the only three runs they would score in the contest in the bottom of the third.

Brad Lidge made the ninth inning memorable. Coming in to game with a three-run lead, Lidge struggled yet again and needed 35 pitches to get through a frame that turned out to be a lot more exciting than one might hope. Despite the struggles, he made it through to extend his streak to 42 saves in 42 tries for the Phils. Still, it’s a little worrisome to see him bend but not break so often these days after we didn’t see him even bend at all for most of the season.

The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday, winning 3-1 in the first game of the best-of-five series.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing two singles and a walk. He struck out nine.

He faced a Milwaukee lineup that went (1) Cameron (CF/R) (2) Hall (3B/R) (3) Braun (LF/R) (4) Fielder (1B/L) (5) Hardy (SS/R) (6) Hart (RF/R) (7) Weeks (2B/R) (8) Kendall (C/R).

There were five position players on the bench for Milwaukee to start the game: Mike Rivera (R), Tony Gwynn, Jr (L), Brad Nelson (L), Craig Counsell (L) and Ray Durham (Switch).

Cameron led off the first. Hamels didn’t get the call on a close 2-1 pitch, running the count to 3-1. Cameron watched strike two and then went down swinging 3-2 for the first out. Hall was next and popped up an 0-1 pitch into shallow center, where Rollins took it for the second out. Hamels struck Braun out swinging 1-2 to end the frame.

Fourteen pitches in the first inning for Hamels.

He struck Fielder out swinging 1-2 to start the second. Hardy hit a 2-1 pitch into right-center field that Victorino took for the second out. Hart hit an 0-1 pitch back up the middle, but Utley moved to his right, back-handed and threw to first to set the Brewers down.

Hamels had thrown 25 pitches through two innings.

Rickie Weeks went down swinging at a 2-2 pitch to start the third. Kendall started his at-bat and hit a long foul ball to left before hitting a lazy fly ball into right-center that Victorino took for the second out. Gallardo flew to Burrell on a 1-0 pitch for the third out. Gallardo hit the ball well and Burrell had to make a run towards to corner to get to it — he looked like he was running about the way that he usually does despite the back issue. Hamels had thrown 36 pitches through three.

Hamels started the fourth up 3-0. Cameron grounded to second on a 1-0 pitch for the first out. Hall got behind 1-2 and then grounded to Howard. Braun hit a lazy fly ball to left on an 0-1 pitch to end the frame.

Perfect through four, having thrown 44 pitches and struck out four.

Fielder struck out swinging 3-2 to start the fifth. Hardy grounded to short on a 2-2 pitch. Hart hit a foul ball hard 0-1 and then singled into right on an 0-2 pitch for the first Milwaukee base-runner of the game. Hamels struck Weeks out looking 1-2 to leave Hart stranded.

60 pitches.

Kendall started the sixth and struck out swinging 3-2. Craig Counsell was next, he had entered with Carlos Villanueva as part of a double-switch. Counsell lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Hamels got behind Cameron 3-0 before walking him 3-1. It put men on first and second with one down for Hall. Hamels struck Hall out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Braun swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and popped to short to leave both men stranded.

Twenty-one pitches in the sixth for Hamels, putting him at 85 for the game.

Fielder hit Hamels’ first pitch of the seventh down the first base line. Howard played it oddly — the ball wasn’t hit exceptionally hard, but Howard didn’t get in front of it and then made a backhand stab. It worked and Fielder was down for the first out. Hardy was next and hit a 1-1 pitch to third. Feliz did a weird half-dive thing, going to the ground too early, but recovered in time to make the play and throw Hardy out for the second out. Hart flew to center on the first pitch of his at-bat.

It was a five-pitch inning for Hamels. He had thrown 90 through seven.

Hamels hit for himself to start the seventh and returned for the eighth still up 3-0. Lefty Tony Gwynn hit for the pitcher Carlos Villanueva and put down a beautiful bunt on the first pitch he saw. The ball made it passed the mound on the first base side, but Utley made a fantastic play, charging, gloving and making a glove-hand flip to first to beat Gwynn for the first out. Hamels struck Kendall out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Counsell grounded an 0-1 pitch to third to set the Brewers down.

Eleven pitches in the inning, seven of which Hamels threw to strike out Kendall, put him at 101 for the day.

Lidge started the ninth with a three-run lead. He got ahead of Cameron 0-2, but had trouble putting him away. He finally threw a 3-2 slider past him. Cameron must have been looking for something else, cause it hung right where you wouldn’t want it to hang. Switch-hitter Ray Durham hit for the righty Hall. Lidge got ahead of him as well, but Durham lined a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Braun was next and Lidge got up on him 1-2 as well, but couldn’t put him away. Braun lined a high 3-2 pitch down the right-field line and into the corner for a double. Utley went out to catch the relay and slipped, failing to catch the ball, which allowed Durham to score from first and cut the lead to 3-1 with Braun on second and one out. Utley was charged with an error. Fielder was next and Lidge got ahead of him 1-2, too. Fielder worked the count full before Lidge got him with a fastball outside of the zone for a huge second out. Fielder swung at ball four. Hardy walked on five pitches, bringing Hart and a terrible slump to the plate as the go-ahead run with two down. Lidge looked comfortable against him, throwing a 2-2 fastball past him to end the game.

Fielder was the big at-bat of the inning, and he helped Lidge by swinging at ball four.

Tough inning for Lidge, who needed 35 pitches to get through. Interesting decision by Manuel not to bring Hamels back for the ninth. Righties Cameron and Hall scheduled to start the inning may have contributed to the decision. I would have brought him in, too. It’s pretty hard to feel real good about Lidge right now despite the 42-for-42.

I think the approach to using relievers and pitch counts needs to be dramatically altered in the post-season, moving away from what’s in the best long-term interests of the team and the player to how do we win this game today. So if the Phils think Brad Lidge gives them the best chance to win tonight’s game, they should use him. I’d be surprised, though, if they don’t think someone else (like Madson) can help them more a day after Lidge threw 35 pitches.

While the Phillies pen largely got another day off, Milwaukee’s was called on to throw four innings, which they did without allowing a run. They allowed just one hit and one walk, both of which were surrendered by Parra. Villanueva threw 25 pitches, Parra 15, Stetter 12 and Mota 7.

The Phillies lineup against righty Yovani Gallardo went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth moves up to second in the order with Utley dropped to third. Burrell in the lineup after having problems with his back the day before. The righty Feliz plays third with the lefty Dobbs on the bench against the righty Gallardo. Coste on the bench with Ruiz catching. Ruiz was behind the plate for 722 of the 914 batters that Hamels faced this season, about 79%.

The hitters on the bench to start the game for the Phils were Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Bruntlett (R), Dobbs (L), Jenkins (L) and Stairs (L).

Rollins led off the first and hit a 2-2 pitch well to second, but Weeks made a nifty play to backhand the ball and throw to first for the first out. Gallardo struck Werth out swinging at a 1-2 fastball for the second. Like Rollins, Utley hit the ball hard as well, but his line drive was caught by Fielder at first to end the inning.

The Phillies started to hit in the second in a light rain with the wind blowing wildly. Howard drew a five-pitch walk to start the inning. Burrell hit the first pitch of his at-bat to short, where Hardy took it, stepped on second and threw to first to complete the double-play. Gallardo threw four straight balls to Victorino, putting him on first with two down for Feliz. Feliz hit a 2-1 pitch hard to short, but it was taken on one hop and Feliz was thrown out to leave Victorino stranded.

Tough to see Burrell hitting into a double-play first pitch when Gallardo couldn’t throw a strike.

Ruiz started the third and hit a 2-1 pitch back up the middle for a single, the first hit of the game. Hamels bunted the first pitch of his at-bat to third. Hall fielded, looked to second where he would have had Ruiz, but bobbled the ball, picked it up and threw to Weeks covering first. Weeks dropped the ball for an error. Ruiz moved to second with Hamels safe at first. Rollins swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and flew to shallow left for the first out. Werth was next and swung at a bad pitch to start his at-bat, then took two balls before taking strike two and finally going down swinging at a bad pitch for his second strikeout of the game. Bad at-bat for Werth. Utley and Cameron picked him up, though. After a loud foul ball, Utley lined a 2-2 pitch into center that Cameron misplayed. He came in on the ball, then had to go back and finally had the ball go off his glove. Utley had a bases-clearing double and the Phils were up 2-0. The righty Gallardo intentionally walked Howard, putting men on first and second with two down for Burrell. Second time in less than three innings that Gallardo appeared to want no part of Howard. Gallardo walked Burrell on a low 3-2 curveball, loading the bases for Victorino. Victorino took two balls before Gallardo got strike one over. He checked his swing at a 2-1 pitch in the dirt and got the call on the appeal at third. Close. Ball four was close, but ball four nonetheless. Utley came in to score and it was 3-0. Feliz hit a 1-1 pitch to center for the third out, leaving the bases loaded.

Three bad defensive plays in the frame by the Brewers, including the error by Weeks and Cameron’s misplay of Utley’s double. Hall would have had Ruiz at second without the bobble. The intentional walk to Howard with Gallardo struggling to find Dana DeMuth’s strike zone hurt as well when Burrell and Victorino followed with walks.

Gallardo had thrown 57 pitches through three innings.

Ruiz tried to bunt for a hit to start the fourth. He popped a 1-0 pitch back to Gallardo for the first out. Hamels struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Rollins lined a 3-2 pitch into right for a single. Werth was next, bringing his 0-for-2 with two strikeouts with him to the plate. He hit a high popout that Fielder took in foul territory to end the inning.

Lefty Mitch Stetter started the fifth with Utley and Howard due to hit and the Phils up 3-0. Utley grounded a 2-2 pitch to third for the first out. Howard struck out swinging at a 3-2 breaking pitch that was low and away for the second out. Round one of Utley and Howard versus the Brewer’s lefties goes to the Brewers. Villanueva came in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell flew to left on a 1-1 pitch for the third out.

Villanueva came back for the sixth. Victorino led off and tried to bunt, but missed, before flying to right on an 0-2 pitch. Feliz flew to center before Ruiz swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and grounded to third. Eight pitch inning for Villanueva.

Villanueva came back for the seventh and struck out Hamels, Rollins and Werth in order.

Lefty Manny Parra came in to pitch the eighth. Utley grounded a 3-2 pitch to second for the first out before Howard walked on five pitches. Bruntlett was next, having entered defensively for Burrell in the top of the inning. Bruntlett hit the first pitch he saw from Parra back up the middle. Hardy made a diving stop to keep it in the infield, but Howard was safe at second. Victorino grounded an 0-1 pitch to second and Bruntlett was forced at second for the second out, but the ball was hit too slowly for Victorino to be doubled-up. It brought up Feliz with one out and men on first and third and Guillermo Mota came in to pitch to him. Manuel did not to hit Dobbs for Feliz, choosing to keep Feliz’s glove in the game with a three-run lead. Victorino stole second without a throw before Feliz popped a 2-2 pitch into shallow right-center field. Counsell made a nice play to catch the ball, chasing it and making an inning-ending catch with glove extended to set the Phils down.

Don’t quite understand why the lefty Parra stayed in to face both Bruntlett and Victorino. Bruntlett probably doesn’t scare you, but Victorino was better against lefties this year and the Phils did have a man on base with just one out.

Feliz was not involved in a play defensively in the top of the ninth.

Rollins was 1-for-4. Weeks robbed him of a hit in the first.

Werth had a terrible game. 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and three men left on base.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. The double was well-hit, but Cameron should have made the play. He made two very nice defensive plays in the game, one on a ground ball up the middle and one on a drag bunt past the mound.

Howard was 0-for-1 with three walks. The Brewers seemed happy to pitch around him with the righty Burrell and his bad back behind Howard.

Burrell 0-for-2 with a walk. It’s possible that today could be the last day we see him in a Phillies uniform at home.

Victorino 0-for-2 with a stolen base and two walks.

Feliz 0-for-4 and left six men on base. That hardly seems possible given the Phils had four hits in the game. Here goes: grounded to short to end the second with Victorino on first (one), flew to center with the bases loaded to end the third (three more, four total), popped out to Counsell with men on second and third and two down in the eighth (six).

Ruiz 1-for-3. The way Lidge was pitching, I felt a lot more comfortable with him behind the plate in the ninth than I would have with Coste back there. Would be nice to get Coste’s bat in, but I think we may see a lot of Ruiz in the post-season.

Brett Myers (10-13, 4.55) faces lefty CC Sabathia (17-10, 2.70) tonight. The Brewers acquired the 28-year-old Sabathia from Cleveland on July 7. The 2007 AL Cy Young winner had made 18 starts for the Indians and thrown to a 3.83 ERA with a 1.23 ratio. He made 17 starts for the Brewers since — 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.00 ratio. Lefties have hit just .205 against him this season. Righties .247. He’s allowed just 19 home runs in 253 innings. Sabathia led all of baseball in innings pitched this season — there were only three players in either league who threw more than 230. The 35 starts he made are also the high for either league. His last three starts have all come on three days rest and he’s been brilliant — in those three starts he went 21 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs (0.84 ERA) on 15 hits and four walks without giving up a home run.

Sabathia has pitched in the post-season for the Indians in 2001 and 2007. In four post-season starts he’s 1-2 with a 7.17 ERA and a 2.13 ratio.

He’s made two career starts against the Phillies. On June 10, 2002, he pitched into the seventh inning and held the Phils to three runs over seven innings. Terry Adams was a little better and the Phils won 3-1. On June 20, 2007, he allowed four runs over six innings in Cleveland, but the Indians scored eight runs in the sixth inning and rolled to a 10-6 win. The Phillies hitters don’t have a lot of at-bats against him. Rollins is 3-for-7 with a double and a triple. Utley and Howard a combined 1-for-6 with a double by Howard. You would think Stairs would have faced him in the AL, but he hasn’t, no doubt cause of lefty-lefty. Stairs is 0-for-1 against him. Victorino, Jenkins and Feliz are all 0-for-3 against him. The Phils may be able to get some info out of Tad Iguchi — Iguchi isn’t on the roster but has 29 career at-bats against Sabathia (7-for-29 (.241) with a double and a home run).

Myers had an absolutely miserable first half of the season, going 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA and a 1.56 ratio in his first 17 starts. Opponents hit .284 against him and he allowed 24 homers in 101 2/3 innings. Baffled, the Phils sent him to the minors and he came back a new pitcher. In his first 11 starts after returning, Myers went 7-2 with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 ratio. And then, at the end of the year, in his last two starts it all few apart for him again. He comes into game two of the NLDS off of a pair of miserable starts in which he didn’t go five innings either outing and allowed 16 runs over 8 1/3 innings. The Fish blasted him for ten runs in four innings on September 19 and the Braves scored six runs against him in 4 1/3 on September 24.

In the 11 game stretch (from July 23 through his start on September 14) after his return from the minors, Myers allowed four home runs in 80 innings. Opponents hit 216/268/308 against him. In his 19 other starts he allowed 24 home runs in 110 innings.

Myers made one start against the Brewers this season. It came in the window where he was pitching great and he pitched great. On September 14, pitching on three days rest, Myers dominated the Brewers. He held them to a run on two hits and needed just 95 pitches to throw a complete game. Maybe throwing a complete game on three days rest hurt him and maybe it didn’t, but he’s been awful in his two starts since.

Fielder 1-for-5 with a home run against him in his career. Braun 0-for-3. Hardy 0-for-10, Hart 1-for-5, Kendall 1-for-6. Cameron 3-for-13 with two home runs.

Cole versus the undershirt, round two

Ding, ding.

Cole Hamels (14-10, 3.09) faces 22-year-old righty Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 1.88) this afternoon. Gallardo made just four starts for the Brewers this season, allowing three runs in one start, one run in two starts and throwing seven shutout innings against the Marlins on April 25. Three of the starts came in April or early May. On May 1 he faced the Cubs and fell at first base, injuring his right knee. He had what was thought at the time to be season-ending knee surgery for a torn ACL. He was back throwing off a mound by mid-August, though, and was activated from the DL on September 23. On September 25 he started against the Pirates and went four innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He has faced the Phillies once before. On August 3, 2007 in Milwaukee, Gallardo held the Phils to a run on four hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings. The Brewers won the game 2-1 and Gallardo got the win. Fielder singled in a run in the first off of Kendrick and Braun put Milwaukee up 2-0 with an RBI single in the fifth. Burrell homered off of Gallardo in the seventh to cut the lead to 2-1, but that was how it ended.

Gallardo is a highly-touted, highly-talented super prosepct. But if he can put up a good performance in a playoff game in Philadelphia against the Phillies’ offense after throwing four innings since May 1 he’s going to go from highly-touted to legend pretty quick.

In 2007, he threw 110 1/3 innings, pitching to a 3.67 ERA with a 1.27 ratio. He struck out 101. Righties hit just .244 against him with a 1.17 ratio. Lefties didn’t hit much better, but drew a lot more walks. They ended ’07 at .247 with a 1.42 ratio. He doesn’t allow a lot of home runs — just 11 in 134 1/3 innings for his career.

Hamels has thrown 227 1/3 innings this season, second in the NL to only Johan Santana. The 24-year-old has been very good, though, throwing to a 2.98 ERA with a 1.18 ratio in his 13 starts since the All-Star break (9-6 with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.02 ratio before the break). Manuel did a far better job limiting pitch counts for Hamels in the second half of the season. Hamels threw 115 pitches or more four times through July 3 and just once after July 3. He threw 116 pitches on Tuesday as he went seven innings against the Braves.

Over his last three starts, Hamels has allowed six earned runs in 19 1/3 innings (2.79 ERA) with a 1.34 ratio. He’s still striking people out late in the season — 16 over his last 19 1/3 innings.

Hamels hasn’t walked more than three hitters in a game this season.

He faced the Brewers twice this season, on April 23 and September 13. On April 23 he allowed a pair of two-run homers to Fielder and the Phils lost 5-4. Earlier this month the Phils gave him a 5-0 lead in the second and Hamels got the win, holding Milwaukee to two runs on six hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings. He’s made five career starts against the Brewers, going 2-1 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.10 ratio.

Fielder is 4-for-15 (.267) with two home runs against him. Hardy 4-for-11 (.364) with two doubles and a home run. Braun 3-for-10 with a double and a home run. That’s about as bad as it gets, though. Hart 1-for-13 (.077), Durham 1-for-7, Cameron 1-for-7, Hall 3-for-15 with five strikeouts.

He’s made one post-season start in his career, going 6 2/3 innings against the Rockies in game one last year. He allowed three runs on three hits and four walks. Hopefully he’s gotten everything worked out with his shirt since then (in his playoff start last year, Hamels wore a long-sleeve shirt under his jersey on a hot day and allowed three runs early in the game — there was speculation by some, including Hamels, that the shirt was a factor).

If you feel any need to relive last year’s playoff runs for the Phils, here’s game one, two and three.

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