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July 30 2007

He gets left stranded a lot, you see. 

During yesterday's game with the Pirates, Pat Burrell led off the second inning with double and was left stranded when the three Phils hitting behind him all struck out.  I don't care a whole lot about batting order, but I have thought for a while now that Burrell probably gets on base too much to be hitting as low as he has been for the Phils.  Made me wonder.

Here's some key Phillies' batters this season ranked by the number of times they've been on base (hits plus walks plus hit-by-pitched), the number of runs they've scored, the number of times they've been on base without scoring a run and the percentages of scoring and not scoring for each of the hitters:

 

Player H BB HBP TOB Run No Run % score % not score
Utley 134 40 17 191 79 112 41 59
Rollins 136 27 6 169 90 79 53 47
Rowand 124 31 14 169 63 106 37 63
Victorino 116 35 8 159 72 87 45 55
Howard 85 69 2 156 58 98 37 63
Burrell 70 74 4 148 40 108 27 73
Ruiz 61 21 2 84 25 59 30 70
Helms 57 16 3 76 16 60 21 79
Dobbs 60 12 1 73 29 44 40 60
Nunez 46 16 0 62 19 43 31 69
Barajas 24 21 2 47 15 32 32 68
Bourn 31 13 0 44 25 19 57 43
Werth 20 13 0 33 13 20 39 61

Only Utley has been on base more times this season without scoring a run than Burrell.  He's been on base without scoring a run 112 times this year compared to Burrell's 108, but been on base 43 times more overall.  Utley has 106 more plate appearances than Burrell this season and a lower on-base percentage (.414 to .416).

Those numbers paint an incomplete picture, of course. 

Howard leads the team in home runs so he obviously has more hits that also counts as a run than anybody else on the list.  And the Burrell situation probably isn't as dire as the numbers seem to suggest.  Going back to yesterday, for example, he was hit by a pitch in the eighth and Victorino ran for him and later scored.  Burrell gets the time on base and Victorino gets the run.  Many of the runs that Burrell helps to create get scored by Bourn, who pinch-runs for him regularly late in the games.

Still, as of today Burrell leads the team in on-base percentage for players with more than 10 at-bats with the Phils this season and spends much of his time hitting in front of Helms, Ruiz and the pitcher.


July 30 2007

The Phillies swept the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend in a showcase of teams going in different directions.  The Phils won for the eighth time in their last ten games while the Pirates lost for the eighth time in their last ten.

Just about everything went right for the Phils.  Tad Iguchi joined the team and started to contribute immediately.  Chris Coste restated his case as the team's best option behind the plate, no matter what concerns there may be about his defense.  Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell both had big series with the bat and Burrell kept up his torrid pace for July.  Moyer and Kendrick both had excellent starts.

Just about everything went right, but not everything.  Ryan Madson has been put on the DL and thinks he's out for the season.  Geoff Geary has been called back from Triple-A.  In the category of less severe problems, you have to hope the seemingly minor injuries to Victorino and Rowand prove to be just that.  Dobbs' defense at third was miserable and JD Durbin gave the Phils a bad start against a bad team on Saturday.

The Phillies beat the Pirates yesterday afternoon, winning 5-1 to improve to 55-49 on the season.   Six games above .500 is the best mark for the Phillies on the year.  They are in second-place in the NL East, 3 1/2 games behind the Mets.  They are 1 1/2 out for the Wild Card and trail four teams.  They start a four-game set with one of the teams they trail, the Cubs, tonight in Chicago.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on six hits.  Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run.  He walked one and struck out four. 

Freddy Sanchez singled to left with one out in the first, but Adam LaRoche followed and flew out to left.  Ruiz picked Sanchez off with a snap throw to first to end the frame.

Jose Castillo singled with two outs in the second.  Ronny Paulino was next and was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second for Cesar Izturis.  Izturis grounded to second for the third out.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 third.

He walked LaRoche to start the fourth, but got Jason Bay on a fly ball to center and Xavier Nady hit into a double-play.

Izturis singled with two outs in the fifth, but the pitcher Snell was next and lined to right.

McLouth started the sixth with a line drive just out to right that cut the Phillies' lead to 3-1.  LaRoche singled with one out, but Kendrick got the next two.

Castillo started the seventh with a double and moved to third on a ground ball to second.  Izturis hit it hard back to the mound, but Kendrick made a nice play, held the runner and threw to first for the second out.  Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit grounded back to Kendrick for the third out.

Madson started the eighth and got the first man before Sanchez reached on a throwing error by Dobbs that left Sanchez safe at second.  LaRoche moved Sanchez to third with a ground ball back to Madson.  Madson got ahead of Bay 0-2 and his third pitch of the at-bat was way outside.  Madson was injured on the play and had to leave the game.  He was put on the DL after the game with a strained right shoulder.  Alfonseca came in and threw one pitch to Bay, striking him out to end the frame.

Mesa pitched the ninth with the Phils up 5-1.  He gave up a leadoff double to Nady but got he next three to leave Nady stranded.

More solid relief from the Phils' pen as they toss two scoreless frames.  In the three-game set they went six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks.  Including the starters, Phils' hurlers allowed just six earned runs in 25 innings (2.16 ERA) in the series.  Five of the earned runs they allowed were allowed by Durbin on Saturday.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Ian Snell went (1) Bourn (2) Iguchi (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Burrell (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz.  Rowand returns to the lineup and the five-spot.  Bourn plays right with Victorino perhaps a bit sore after the collision at the plate on Saturday.  Iguchi hits second against the righty with the lefty Dobbs at third and hitting seventh.

Iguchi doubled with one out in the first and moved to third on a single by Rollins.  Rollins took second when the throw went to third.  Howard flew out to shallow left for the second out, Iguchi had to hold third.  With Rowand at the plate, a wild pitch went through the legs of the catcher Paulino, allowing Iguchi to score and Rollins to move to third with the Phils up 1-0.  Rowand struck out to end the inning.

Burrell started the second with a double and Dobbs followed with a walk.  Ruiz, Kendrick and Bourn all struck out.

With one out in the third, Rollins singled and Howard walked.  It put men on first and second for Rowand, and he doubled off the wall in left.  Rollins scored to put the Phils up 2-0 and Howard went to third.  Burrell walked to put men on first and third, but Dobbs struck out and Ruiz grounded to short.  Not a good at-bat for Dobbs, who can't bring in the run with a man on third and one out.

Kendrick was hit by a pitch to start the fourth, but Bourn hit into a double-play and Iguchi flew to right.

Rollins started the fifth with a triple down the line in right and scored on a sac fly by Howard to put the Phils up 3-1.   Rowand and Burrell went down to end the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Iguchi singled with one out in the seventh but Rollins followed and hit into a double-play.

With two outs in the eighth, Burrell was hit by a pitch.  Victorino ran for him at first and Dobbs was walked intentionally and Ruiz unintentionally, loading the bases.  Coste pinch-hit for Alfonseca and stroked a two-run single to left that put the Phils up 5-1.  Bourn struck out for the third out.  Second huge hit in two days for Coste.

Bourn was 0-for-5 and struck out twice.  5-for-14 in the series.  284/361/394.

Iguchi was 2-for-4 with a double.  3-for-7 in the series.  250/358/420 on the season.

Rollins was 3-for-4 with a triple.  7-for-12 with a double and two triples in the series.  295/339/538 on the season.

Howard was 0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.  1-for-8 with four walks and an RBI in the series.  273/402/605 on the year.   It's great news for the Phils they can win the series with Utley out and Howard not contributing much with the bat.

Rowand was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  1-for-4 in the series.  327/395/525.

Burrell was 1-for-2 with a walk.  4-for-9 with two doubles and a home run in the series.  255/416/456 on the year and 435/570/758 in July.

Dobbs was 0-for-2 with two walks and another error.   One of the walks was intentional, but it was the first time this season he's walked twice in a game.  1-for-5 in the series.  291/330/490.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 with a walk.  1-for-6 with a double and an RBI in the series.  255/319/381.  Barajas was 0-for-1 in the series and is hitting 207/338/371 on the year.

Coste was 1-for-1 yesterday with two RBI.  3-for-4 with a double, a home run and six RBI in the series.  349/378/512.

Victorino was 3-for-7 with a double in the series and is at 286/353/433 on the season. 

Big series with the Cubs starts tonight in Chicago with a great pitching matchup as Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.63) faces lefty Ted Lilly (11-4, 3.46).  Hamels has allowed just three earned runs in 14 innings over his last three starts, holding opponents to eight hits and two walks.  He faced the Cubs on May 11 in Philadelphia and held them to two runs on seven hits over seven innings.  Soriano and Ramirez both hit solo shots against Hamels that game for the only runs he allowed.  Lilly was awesome against the Phils on May 13, holding them to a run on three hits over eight innings while striking out six.  Righties are hitting just .229 against him on the year and he's allowed just one home run to a left-handed batter.

Joe Thurston was designated for assignment, making room for Iguchi on the 25-man roster. 

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