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Two-Run Eighth Lifts Phils Past Reds

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, May 17, 2013 10:02 PM | Comments: 26
2013 Game Recaps, Posts

Richie Ashburn Award: CLIFF LEE
PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Cliff Lee pitched a good game, but a home run given up by Antonio Bastardo in the top of the eighth inning not only stripped Lee of a win, but in my opinion severely lowered the Phillies chance at a win. Fangraphs had the win probability at 50/50 after Joey Votto‘s home run, but the game looked like it was headed for extras, and with a diminished bullpen, the Phils would’ve been in a tough spot.

But an eighth inning rally by the Phils propelled them past the Reds, 5-3. The win is a big one, considering the Reds were 25-16 coming into tonight’s game and had already smacked around the Phillies this year. Additionally, at the time of the last out, the Phillies were three game back in the NL East.

LEE SOLID AT THE PLATE AND ON THE MOUND

Cliff Lee pitched well–a line of 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K–but he also hit well. He got on base twice via a fielder’s choice and a double, and scored both times. Sometimes, you get the feeling that Lee is seeing the ball better than some of the full-time hitters in the lineup. Or that he’d be a viable option to pinch hit at times. The man is a treat to watch.

His opposition, Tony Cingrani, pitched just OK. He tossed five innings while giving up three runs and scattering five hits. The 23 year old lefty held the Phillies hitless in the first two innings, and, aside from J-Roll’s home run, actually threw the ball well.

J-ROLL HEATING UP

Jimmy Rollins extended his hitting streak to six games with a two run home run in the third inning. He’s hitting .375 over that span (24 AB) with 8 RBI. A significant improvement over his previous 40 at-bats where he hit .150 with just two RBI.

He also scored his 1200th run of his career with the home run.

Michael Young, arguable the Phillies best hitter so far this year, was 1-1 with a double and three walks. If J-Roll, Young, and Chase Utley can all get (and stay) hot at the same time, the top of the order will actually be something to fear again.

BROXTON HELPS THE PHILS AGAIN

We remember 2008. We also remember 2009. And Friday night, Jonathan Broxton again came up short in a big situation against the Phillies. With one out and runners on first and second, in a tie game Broxton came in to try and get out of the jam created by Sean Marshall. He then plunked Delmon Young, and gave up a ground ball up the middle that resulted in no outs when the play at second was bobbled.

Then he gave up a sac fly to Carlos Ruiz (that was admittedly a blown call at the plate). Thanks, buddy. :)

Avatar of Jonathan Nisula

About Jonathan Nisula

Jonathan Nisula has written 239 articles on Phillies Nation.

Just a regular guy writing his thoughts for Phillies Nation. Grew up in Yardley, PA and current student.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 DaveP

    It was a bang-bang play at the plate, looked like Howard got his hand in…until I saw it from the 15th angle in slow motion. At least it wasn’t a blatantly bad call.

    Regardless, scrawl another tally in the W column. 8-7 in May? Maybe this team will be alright.

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Good effort by Lee in all areas. I’m really enjoying the way DeFratus is pitching. Hopefully, we can bring up Stutes soon and nix Durbin. I also agree if JRoll, the Man, and Young,M all get hot they will be a formidable triumvirate. Go Phils! Only three out, boys.

     
    • Posts: 0 brooks

      Right Eddy.. cannot say enough about how well DeFratus is pitching as well as Papelbon – what more could we ask?
      Valdes down, Durby next, please….

       
  • Posts: 0 DavidE

    Hate the sacrifice bunt play with Rollins up. The only time I would consider a sacrifice with Rollins up is if it was the 9th inning and the run would win the game You are giving up the possible home run or extra base hit when you have Rollins sacrifice. It’s just not a good move.

     
  • Posts: 5189 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I think Howard got his hand in there, but there was so much dirt flying I think we just have to trust the ump, he was closest. We didn’t know it at the time, but it didn’t matter anyway, Papelbon didn’t give up any runs, so 4-3 would have been as good as 5-3.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Rube will always go with the veteran. Even if said Veteran sucks. I think for now RAJ is taking a wait and see approach before calling up Stutes. To add to the matter we have to wait to see whats up with Adams. We need Howard to step up. If he can or is still able to get “hot” then we might be talking. Its nice to see to see J-Roll get going.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mark

    3rd place team..period

     
  • Posts: 0 teejvee

    Watching Howard, we all know he has trouble with slow stuff and his pitch recognition skills are almost non-existent. But I’ve noticed he cannot catch up to the big fastball any more.The d-backs abused him with fastballs high and in. I don’t know if that’s because of his injury or because he is constantly wary of the slow stuff.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    He’s just not seeing the ball for whatever reason. It has to be in his head – how do you look so good during ST and so bad when the season starts?

     
    • Posts: 5189 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Well of course it’s in his head. Where are your eyes? :-)

       
      • Posts: 0 G7

        Streak hitter..he will get hot again.

         
    • Posts: 0 George

      It’s actually pretty easy to look good in ST when the pitchers are still working on location, trying to gain velocity, attempting new pitches, and many of them are just minor leaguers. The regular season can be a big change for a hitter because the pitching by then has improved greatly. Howard isn’t the only one who’s ever had a great spring and a bad April and May.

       
  • Posts: 0 Jeff Max

    Where are the complaints about Utley who had two of the worst at bats you will ever see last night.

     
    • Posts: 5189 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I said this the other day, he is doing himself no favor at all looking at every single first pitch. If I could find someone in Vegas to give me odds, I could be a multimillionaire betting on Utley watching first pitch strikes. He puts himself in his own hole, giving the pitcher an immediate advantage.

      That said, he’s had a lot of success in his career doing it his way, and no one can argue that.

      I do not recall if this is something new that I never noticed before, or maybe they didn’t used to throw him so many first pitch strikes. But certainly, SF, AZ, and the Reds have been repeating this latest trend. The book is out – he’s going to take the first one no matter what, so you might as well throw him a strike.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Utley actually has been swinging at the 1st pitch more often vs. LHPs than vs. RHPs:

        vs. LHPs: 8 for 46 = 17% (although less frequent recently)
        vs. RHPs: 12 for 119 = 10%
        overall: 20 for 165 = 12%

        He swung at the first pitch in two straight at bats a couple of weeks ago and the sports talk shows were apopleptic about his lack of discipline.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        about this “un-Utley-like” behavior, to be more precise.

         
      • Posts: 5189 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        88% overall that he won’t swing? I’d take those odds in a hot second if I was a betting man. I don’t think I know anyone who’d be dumb enough to take the other side. Wait a minute, Hey AFW, you around? Kidding, kidding just kidding.

        Seriously, why throw him anything but a FB strike? Screw sports talk, great pitchers like to get ahead in the count. I maintain that sometimes- not all the time- sometimes- conventional wisdom is BS.

        Swing away. 0-1 is 0-1 whether you look at it, or swing through it, or foul it off. It’s still 0-1 and maybe just maybe you might square it up and hit it hard somewhere, because it could be the best pitch you will see in that AB.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Except that the two alternatives (swing/not swing) are not equivalent.

        88% chance he doesn’t swing, and you have an 0-1 count.
        12% chance that he does swing, and he has a .545/.500/.1.273 line (1.773 OPS)

         
      • Posts: 5189 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Well those fabulous numbers support what I’m saying then right? Swing away, Chase!

         
      • Posts: 0 G7

        Swinging at 1st pitches lends itself to more pop ups..

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Huh? I don’t know if that’s a Rollins joke, but either way, taking Rollins as an example,

        first pitch: .331 avg, .847 OPS
        all others: .261 avg, .745 OPS

        Even so, he only swings at the first pitch about 20% of the time: 22% this year, 15% last year. Maybe he should also swing at the first pitch more often.

         
  • Posts: 0 G7

    Good hitters know the strike zone (Ted Williams The Science of Hitting), and having this knowledge are successful even with 2 strikes..

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Ok, sure. The average MLB hitter hit .178 with two strikes last year. The Phils as a team hit .177.

       
      • Posts: 0 G7

        Yup..very few good hitters in the game today.lack of discipline.nobody will challenge .400.

         
      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        “Yup..very few good hitters in the game today.lack of discipline.nobody will challenge .400.”

        That’s way too definitive a statement. Even if somebody flatly said nobody will hit .400, let alone challenge it, it’s way too definitive. While it’s true that 1980 and 1994 saw George Brett and Tony Gwynn probably aided by missed at bats because of injury and a strike, I wouldn’t go that far. You’re probably covering several decades of the future in that period, and all it takes is one guy to challenge a high percentage improbability. It’d be a helluva boost for The Game, since it would probably be more authentic than The Homer Chase. But even that’s assumptive.

         
      • Posts: 0 G7

        Give me a name..Miguel Cabrera, Robby Cano are probably best hitters today and I don’t think they get to .350. Boggs was another great hitter, took a lot of pitches.. .328 career avg

         
 
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