Phillies-Nationals Game Thread 5/5/12

The Phillies have played in four games that reached extra innings and they have lost all four of them, each time without using “closer” Jonathan Papelbon. The Nationals rallied in the 11th inning last night against Michael Schwimer in his third inning of work. With two outs and the bases loaded, Wilson Ramos hit a single to drive in the winning run. It wasn’t all bad, though. The Phillies were not completely dominated by Stephen Strasburg as both Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz hit home runs, accounting for the Phillies’ three runs. The Nationals’ bullpen shut them down for five innings after Strasburg left the game, however, holding the Phillies to three hits, striking out six and walking one.

Since the end of April, the Phillies have been straddling .500, reaching but never quite surpassing the barrier. With a win this afternoon against the Nationals, the Phillies can get back to .500 and move to within 3.5 games of first place. They will be relying on Vance Worley to outduel former Phillies farmhand Gio Gonzalez this afternoon. Manager Charlie Manuel has made one notable change to the lineup: Carlos Ruiz, who currently has the team HR and RBI lead and is 13 for his last 28, is hitting fifth in the lineup, something he has done only twice in his career (2006, 2008).

Lineups

Phillies

Natinals

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24 comments

  1. sixerfan1220

    May 05, 2012 11:49 AM

    harper had 3 walks yesterday, does anyone know how many phillies have more than 3 walks?

  2. LTG

    May 05, 2012 01:10 PM

    How many of the current Phils will have their numbers retired?

  3. Colin

    May 05, 2012 01:11 PM

    Maybe 2 or 3? Rollins/Utley/Howard are the ones I’d think.

  4. Colin

    May 05, 2012 01:14 PM

    I’m ready to send Galvis back to LHV.

  5. LTG

    May 05, 2012 01:18 PM

    I’m wondering whether Chooch gets it. And Hamels will if he spends his career here.

  6. LTG

    May 05, 2012 01:19 PM

    He’ll go back when Utley returns. Cholly clearly is not a big fan anymore and would prefer Orr as the back up

  7. Colin

    May 05, 2012 01:25 PM

    I thought about Hamels. If he resigns, he’s definitely got a good shot. I’m going to enjoy when nearly every starter from this run makes the Wall of Fame.

  8. LTG

    May 05, 2012 01:27 PM

    I also wonder about Howard. If he tanks these next 5 years, he’ll end on such a sour note that he probably won’t have his number retired.

  9. LTG

    May 05, 2012 01:29 PM

    Is it just me or is Worley’s curveball especially 12 to 6 today?

  10. Allen

    May 05, 2012 01:31 PM

    argh #fujaysonwerth

  11. Bonerton

    May 05, 2012 01:35 PM

    And Ruiz hang on to the ball!

  12. Allen

    May 05, 2012 01:47 PM

    is the MLB.tv feed crappy for anyone else?

  13. LTG

    May 05, 2012 01:48 PM

    You mean beside the content of the feed?

  14. x39

    May 05, 2012 02:22 PM

    Outhit, outhustled, and outmanaged EVERY game….the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies…if they were any older, theyd be preserved in a museum.

  15. Ken

    May 05, 2012 03:30 PM

    Use of a closer on the road in a non save situation is probably never quite as cut and dried as it seems. One must remember that the manager is managing a staff, and a season, not black and white a pitcher and a game. If you use Papelbon to squelch a rally, you have to have someone behind him that can pitch potentially 2-3 innings. Brian Sanches threw 41 pitches in the Wednesday debacle, so who was left to back up Paelbon? It was frustrating to watch Schwimer run out of gas by his 3rd inning, but while I think being married to not using the closer on the road in a tie is ridiculous, you have to be somewhat selective with where you use him.

    On the subject of numbers being retired, LTG wonders about Howard playing poorly the next 5 years, and whether he’ll lose that likely honor. Discussable point, but that question seems even more applicable to Jimmy. So far, he’s in his 3rd straight year of what can’t be considered more than fair offensive play, and continuing to step further from his early years. He’ll score well in club records off accumulation, but he could use some improved results to take away the semi embarrassing feeling of a John Kruk being given that honor. That might sound harsh about a seemingly good guy like Kruk, but that’s a special honor, and Kruk wasn’t a special player. Time continues to separate Jimmy from that point. Chooch? Bob Boone is in, so Chooch would be a credible choice. If Boone wasn’t, I’d think he’d have a hard (er) time.

  16. LTG

    May 05, 2012 05:51 PM

    Jimmy’s offensive production might be less than Howard’s, but he has been more valuable to the team thanks to his defense and baserunning. Moreover, Jimmy has proved to hold decent value in his mid 30s but Howard’s value is sinking toward replacement level even before he gets there. (Not to mention the perception that Jimmy’s personality pushed the Phillies to make the leap from playoff outsiders to champions.) So, no, the question is not better applied to Jimmy than Howard.

    Also, the question is about retired numbers not wall of fame membership.

    Kruk was a lifetime .300/397/.446 (.372 wOBA, 132 wRC+). Compare that to Howard’s 134 wRC+, which will undoubtedly fall further as he keeps playing. If not for that cancer Kruk might have lasted a bit longer and accumulated better counting stats. He was certainly a special hitter and not as bad in the field as people (mis)remember.

  17. hk

    May 05, 2012 05:59 PM

    Ken,

    You may think that using a closer on the road in a tie game is up for debate, but using a closer for 4 or 5 outs with the lead on the road should not be. In three of the five walk-off losses, the Phils led with five or fewer outs to go.

  18. Shawn

    May 06, 2012 06:58 AM

    What team has ever succeeded with a leadoff hitter batting .229????

  19. hk

    May 06, 2012 09:44 AM

    Shawn,

    So far this year, the player who has led off the game for the Phillies is hitting .282 (33 for 117). In that role, Rollins is hitting .257 (9 for 35). I suspect that many teams have won when getting a .282 BA from their lead-off hitter, especially if those lead-off hitters (unlike the Phillies so far) have worked enough walks to have OBP’s of .340 or more.

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