Nix Delivers, Phils Pile On, Preserve Great Hamels Outing

Cole Hamels looked great as Phils cruise late. Photo: AP

The Phils were on the doorstep all day. The Fightins put together 8 hits and 2 walks through 6 before a little bit of luck and some good hitting put them ahead for the first time in 24.2 innings. Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence singled back to back and advanced to third and second respectively on a Ramon Ramirez wild pitch. A Ty Wigginton sac fly tied it before Laynce Nix put them ahead for good with a 2-out double in the 7th.  The Phils blew the barn doors off in the 8th with a Wigginton bases-clearing double and closed out a laugher 8-2.


Cole Hamels delivers: Hamels routinely made the Mets look silly today, going 7 strong, striking out 10, 7 swinging. Hamels had a nice curve ball early but did a lot of damage with a cut fastball late. Nix’s double sealed the win for what was an excellent outing from Hamels, who threw 7 solid innings, registering double-digit Ks (10) for the 19th time in his career (tying Chris Short for fourth in Phils’ history). Hamels’ only misstep was a 2-run first inning HR to Ike Davis, who entered the game 2-26 and 0-10 against lefties. Hamels ties Felix Hernandez and Aaron Harang for the MLB lead in strikeouts with 19.

Hits, hits, hits: One of the early storylines has been the Phillies inability to rack up extra-base hits. While many, myself included, laughed or snickered on Twitter before the game about a line-up that included Wigginton, Nix, and Pete Orr, this line-up delivered. The Phils put together 14 hits, 8 against Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, and finally connected with extra base hits: the go-ahead Nix double, an eighth inning double from Orr, and an eighth inning double by Wigginton. Unlike yesterday, where the Phillies were only able to string two hits together at a time, the Phils connected 4 times with pairs of singles.

Two out hits: The Phillies line-up delivered four two out hits today, including the go-ahead double by Nix and Wigginton’s 3-run double. The Phils drove home 6 runs with two outs.

Top of the line-up delivers: Jimmy Rollins  is seeing the ball and hitting the ball. Rollins added two more hits and a walk, raising his average to .351. Rollins has been one of the unsung bright spots in the line-up, getting on base at a lead-off clip out of the three hole. The actual lead-off hitter, Juan Pierre went 3-4 with 3 singles. Hunter Pence was the third Phillie to have a multi-hit game, going 2-4 with 2 singles and a walk.

Line-up delivers against opposite handed pitching: For those calling for the use of lefties against righties and vice versa, today was your day of vindication. Against righties, lefties Pierre, Nix, and Orr went a combined 6-13. There may be some merit to platooning these fellas afterall.

Qualls still perfect: Chad Qualls pitched an inning and gave up one hit. Still has an ERA of 0.

Runners left on base: While Nix delivered in the clutch, many of the Phils did not. The Phils left 11 runners on base and could have made this a laugher earlier against Pelfrey.

The Phillies finished their 6 game homestand 3-3. The Phils resume play tomorrow at 10:15 EST against the San Francisco Giants for what kicks off a ten-game, three-team West Coast road trip. Joe Savery has been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for the returning Jose Contreras. Contreras will be available to pitch tomorrow.

Click to comment



    April 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Hamels was very good, only the first inning prevented a “great” performance. Hats off to Juan Pierre for a solid three-hit day, and to Ty Wigginton for a bases-clearing double. It was nice to see Pete Orr deliver as well as Lance Nix. Hopefully we will continue hitting. Nice win.

  2. Brooks

    April 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Watching the game, they flashed JRolls average and then his OPS – .351. He has exactly 1 walk in 38 atbats this year and that was today. Not that it means anything but extrapolating that number through an average of 711 plate appearances and you’d be looking at perhaps 18 walks this season – what?

    This has to change, Jimmy tied his career best of 58 walks last year and he needs to best that if at all possible. His OPS needs to be over .360 to be effective.

    • schmenkman

      April 16, 2012 at 8:53 am

      You know what you mean, and we know what you mean, but “OPS” means On-base plus Slugging. “OBP” is On-base Percentage.

      Agree though that he needs to get more walks. On the bright side, his pitches per PA are back up close to his career average (3.50 vs. 3.67), and are 4.00 if exclude the first two games.

  3. Jay Floyd

    April 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Mets hadn’t swept Phils in 3 games at CBP since 2006…great to keep that streak going.

    I am stunned that Qualls is doing so well. His #’s at CBP in his career before this season were as bad as one could have. He’s been a pleasant surprise.

  4. David

    April 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Interesting that Wigginton subbed for Polanco today. I think the big problem with Polanco is that while hitting .200, he has no extra base hits. Unless Polanco starts to pick up his offense, Charlie is going to have to make a switch.

  5. jiudd

    April 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm


  6. jiudd

    April 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

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  7. Bruce

    April 16, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Trying to log into this site was a tedious effort tonite. It was s-l-o-w going. and pushed my patience to the limit. It must be all the spam, ads, videos, etc to the right of this page…too much.

    I thought after six innings that this was going to be a typical start for Hamels where he pitched well enough to win but has no run support. Odd thing happened. Phillies bats woke up after sleepwalking for most of the game. The RISP left on base stat kept accumulating in this game as has been doing for the other games during early start of the season. However, the utility players came through in the late innings today (especially Ty Wiggington). Nice to see Orr having a chance to play and contributed an extra base hit. I would like to see Orr play more simply because the team have a better chance of getting some offense from him than you would with Galvis.

    Now comes an early test for the team as they will begin a 10 game road trip on the west coast. It certainly won’t get any easier for the Phillies.

  8. Bruce

    April 16, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Nit picking here but can’t resist taking issue with Mr. Ian Riccaboni’s column and his use of the descriptive word “laughter” for the Phillies win. Using it is a bit misleading in describing this game. As I see it, the game was very much in doubt UNTIL the 8th inning when Wiggington’s clutch extra base hit cleared the bases as all three runners scored. Then you can say the game was over for all intent and purpose. Although Palbelbon made it interesting in giving a Brad Lidge type of effort in the 9th inning putting three runners on base before finally getting the last out. 🙂

  9. bacardipr05

    April 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I bet Polanco is hurt or was never fully recovered….

  10. Lefty

    April 16, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Good point Bacardi. How does a guy recover from a double hernia surgery that quickly? Two surgeries in 3 months and he completely recovered, hard to imagine.

    One way or the other, he (among many others) is slowing this offense down right now. IMO- they’re better off while Howard and Utley are out using Wigginton at third to make up for the lack of power. And although 5th is Victorino’s best spot in the order, he’s better batting second than Pollly for now. There is no one I trust fielding 3rd more than Polanco, but right now I think we need a little more punch.

  11. Chuck A.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Well, this is that dreaded third year of that contract that Polly signed….the third year that NOBODY, it seemed, wanted him to get. So now Charlie is gonna have to platoon him or at least liberally rest him so he can heal and get healthier as the season moves on. Wiggy has some pop even despite the defensive downgrade at the hot corner.

    • Teen Wolf Blitzer

      April 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Since May 1, 2011 (a span of 460 PAs) Polanco has batted .233 with 3 HR and 31 RBIs. That includes his horrendous 2011 post season.

  12. schmenkman

    April 16, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Polanco was a better player than Wiggy overall last year, and is a better player now. Makes no sense to add offense but give it back (and more) in the field.

  13. Chuck A.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

    schmenkman, I hear ya. I really do. But, right now this offense basically sucks. Wiggy has some pop and, until Howard and Utley return, it’s necessary to get that pop into the lineup as much as possible.

    • schmenkman

      April 16, 2012 at 9:17 am

      I agree — the offense is bad. But a run is a run is a run. And if the two players’ track record (even since May 1) is any indication, the Phillies have a better chance of winning the game with Polanco in the lineup than Wigginton, because Polanco is simply the better overall player.

      Now, is it possible that Polly IS hurt, or even that at age 36, the combination of nagging injuries and slowing bat speed has made him a .412 OPS (or thereabouts) hitter? It’s possible. I just think it’s a little early to make that switch.

  14. brooks

    April 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Schmenk, you have to concur that Poly will be spending a stretch of time on the DL at some point and frankly it looks like it should be sooner than later (or, it could be both). So, do you deal with Wiggington at third (my thoughts from preseason) or do you perhaps give Luna a call and see what might happen?

    • schmenkman

      April 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Well, there are only 9 players who have logged more innings at third than Polanco the last two years. And more importantly, there are only about that many who have added more total value, between their bat and glove.

      Even so, I would say sure — there is a good chance he’ll miss at least 20 games or so, and when that happens, I would stay with Wigginton. Luna seems like a “Wiggy-lite”, so I don’t think I would ever choose him over Wigginton.

      • Teen Wolf Blitzer

        April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

        It’s great that he’s logged so many innings, but he’s averaging about 5 RBIs a month over the last calendar year while hitting .230.

      • schmenkman

        April 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

        Below average hitter, excellent fielder. Overall, quite solid.

  15. Chuck A.

    April 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I wonder if Luna would be better with the glove than Wiggy…

  16. Lefty

    April 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    My opinion is not based on whether Polanco is a plus player or not. That’s not the point at all. My take is that because we don’t have Howard and Utley, that Polanco is not the best fit for the team right now. With a full healthy squad, there is no debate that Polanco brings more value, but right now we need more pop.

    In the National League the Phillies are:
    3rd in Batting average
    13th in OBP
    11th in SLG
    13th in OPS
    15th in Runs scored (28).

    Meanwhile they are 3rd in ERA and WHIP and have allowed only 27 runs.

    My point is they may have to consider giving up some defense at third, to get some offense. In an normal lineup situation, I would never promote this, I just think it’s worth a try right now. As Charlie said yesterday, scoring runs gives the pitchers and the team as a whole a lot more confidence. So while “gettin Wiggy with it” may not look like the right move by the numbers, this might be one of those intangible moves that could spark the team.

  17. TheDipsy

    April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Wait a second – sitting Polanco is not a good idea IMO. Whatever extra offense you might, but probably won’t, get does not justify taking his glove off of third base. Moving around the pieces that we already have won’t do crap. The offense that we need is on the DL and/or on another team right now. Wigginton is a sieve a at third base. Can’t play him there.

    There is no move to make. These are the players. Just read the posts above: Luna on third? Wiggy on third? Poly on third? I mean come on. Does it really matter?

    The Dipsy

    • Lefty

      April 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      13th,11th,13th, and 15th. And you want Charlie to just sit on his hands? I’m not suggesting a permanent move, just give it a try for a few games. Use Polanco like LaRussa used to use Descalso as a defensive replacement at third late in games. He’ll can still help on D if we have a lead. If it doesn’t work, you can always go back.

      • Teen Wolf Blitzer

        April 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

        Speaking of the Cardinals, their backup thirdbaseman (Matt Carpenter) has twice as many RBIs (10) as the Phillies’ team leader.

    • Bruce

      April 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      I agree with Dipsy. It seems that some fans here are still in the mentality mode of “power” offense for the team. Charlie Manuel has stressed and drilled his team into thinking “smallball”. Polanco (when healthy and based on past performances) is ideally suited for Charlie’s theme of playing fundamental baseball. Plus Polanco’s gold glove fielding is vital and an asset to the team’s stellar pitching to go along with a smallball offense that features one run at a time. With Utley and Howard on the DL, there is no thinking of the 3-run HR that some fans here find difficult to let go of it.

      • Lefty

        April 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm

        13th, 11th, 13th, and 15th.

        9 games is a very small sample, those places will improve slightly without tinkering. But right now the numbers are indisputable. “Some fans” understand what that means. And oh by the way, they’re also trying to convince “some fantastic left handed pitcher” to stay with the team instead of entering free agency where he can likely earn more money and get better run support. And all I’m asking is for a small bit of adjustment to the lineup that may help. If you want to play small ball then you don’t bat a guy second that can never steal a base or go first to third on a single. Think about it.

  18. TheDipsy

    April 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Yeah, but the guy you’re putting in is gonna be no better. Its 9 games.

    The Dipsy

  19. Lefty

    April 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Dipsy, It is slight, but in terms of SLG, Wigginton already is better. He’s certainly not Mike Schmidt, and I can see I’m not going to make a believer out of you, but just ask yourself these questions my friend, and we’ll be done with this.

    Would Doc, Cliff, and Cole after working their asses off for 7 or 8 innings rather have a 6-3 lead and a chance at a CG, or a 0-1 deficit and be pulled for a PH to try to gain a tie?

    Does Justin Verlander care that his ERA is going to go up this year because he’s got Miguel Cabrera at third, but at the same time he gets to have Prince Fielder on his side?

    And lastly, how many great defensive plays did Polanco make in either of Halladay’s no-hitters? Take a peek at the box scores, you may be in for a surprise.

    • George

      April 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      There is absolutely no basis for assuming that with Wigginton instead of Polanco, that Doc or anyone else would have a 6-3 lead after seven innings. Wiggy isn’t going to have very many games like last night’s. Once in a while, it might happen, but with his glove at third, it could be the other way around. Even when an opponent doesn’t score because of an error, Doc, Lee, and Hamels would all be making extra pitches because the out wasn’t gotten. And they’d be making them with men on base. Trying to hold a runner at third who’s only there because some clown threw the ball down the right field line has to be at least as stressful as pitching in a one-run ballgame, and probably more frustrating than poor run support. Five or six extra pitches early on can ruin any chance of a complete game.

      • Lefty

        April 17, 2012 at 12:24 am

        Yes it could be the other way around, which is why I’d suggest you read the whole thread please. You don’t get the whole context when you don’t.
        TO Make this easier for you- I will cut and paste-

        “My point is they may have to consider giving up some defense at third, to get some offense. In an normal lineup situation, I would never promote this, I just think it’s worth aTRY RIGHT NOW. As Charlie said yesterday, scoring runs gives the pitchers and the team as a whole a lot more confidence. So while “gettin Wiggy with it” may not look like the right move by the numbers, this might be one of those intangible moves that could spark the team.”

        “13th,11th,13th, and 15th. And you want Charlie to just sit on his hands? I”M NOT SUGGESTING A PERMANENT MOVE, just give it a TRY for a few games. Use Polanco like LaRussa used to use Descalso as a defensive replacement at third late in games. He’ll can still help on D if we have a lead. IF IT DOESN”T WORK YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK”

        This is the most closed minded board I’ve ever seen, it’s no wonder no one comments anymore, we no longer have an exchange of ideas and creative thinking. We’re all supposed to be robots because “there is absolutely no basis” Sheesh! We used to get 300-600 comments on gamedays, now they’re all on other sites, it’s a real shame.

      • George

        April 17, 2012 at 7:25 am

        I’m not as ignorant as you’d like me to be: I read your stupid post in its entirety and still disagree with it’s assumptions. If you really read mine, you’d realize that MY point was that adding an iffy bat (Wigginton) to an already iffy offense is not worth the extra strain it could put on the pitching staff. I should, perhaps, have added that you can’t always go back when too much damage has already been done with your changes. It might prove more difficult than raising the Titanic.

        I’ll add, too, that your comment about the site being “closed minded” is a pretty closed minded statement itself. It’s more likely that you’re just griped because so few people liked your idea. Sure, you may be trying to think creatively, and I applaud that, but what in hell is wrong with people who just happen to be pointing out the potential problems with what you might be advocating? I’d say that’s an “exchange of ideas” and it’s also the commenting which you claim is only occurring on other sites.

  20. Brooks

    April 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    We are talking about a career .303 hitter. There is something wrong physically with him and he will probably be out of the lineup within a week if this continues.

    So, when he is out of the lineup, who replaces him? Do you start Wiggy and consider Luna as well?

    • schmenkman

      April 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      I think there’s still a good chance it’s just a slump.

      • Lefty

        April 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

        I hope you are right.

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