Phils Rally in 9th, Not Enough as Pitching Continues to Struggle – Phillies Nation
2013 Game Recaps

Phils Rally in 9th, Not Enough as Pitching Continues to Struggle

Billy Butler finishes the night with a grand slam and 7 RBIs (Photo: AP)

The game looked to be over as the Phillies trailed the Royals 9-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Could there be more ninth inning magic left over from Saturday?

Ezequiel Carrerra lead off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk.  Two batters later, Ben Revere singled.  With two on and one out, it still didn’t appear that anything spectacular would happen.  Maybe the Phillies would get one run.  But Jimmy Rollins changed the momentum with one swing of the bat.  Rollins smashed his first home run of the year, a three-run shot.  The Phillies were now trailing 9-7.  The crowd, who had lost enthusiasm earlier, was now back into the game and fully behind the home team.  Maybe there was some magic left after all.

The hits kept coming, and there was hope again.  Ryan Howard and Michael Young singled with two outs.  Laynce Nix followed with an RBI single to put the Phillies within one.  With Erik Kratz up, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third.  A single would win the game!

The intense, ninth-inning, heart-pounding adrenaline was rushing through the bodies of anxious Phillies fans — a feeling that drives fans crazy, but is needed at the same time.  Could Kratz be the hero?  Could the Phillies have another miracle comeback?

It was too good to be true.  Kratz had a solid at-bat fouling off pitch after pitch, but ultimately struck out swinging.

The problem was not Kratz striking out and failing to come up in the “clutch.”  The problem was the pitching… again!

The Phillies jumped to an early 4-0 lead, but Cole Hamels had another bad outing.  He gave up eight earned runs on nine hits and four walks.  He only struck out two.  He surrendered a grand slam in the fifth inning to Billy Butler, who finished the game with seven RBIs.

Don’t put all the blame on Hamels though.  Chad Durbin struggled again, as he has yet to find his groove.  Durbin relieved Hamels in the sixth inning with two men on and two outs.  He allowed a walk, then Billy Butler struck again with a two-run single.

It was great to see that the Phillies weren’t going to go down without a fight, but they really need to step up their pitching.  As of now, the Phillies have the worst ERA in baseball, which is somewhat surprising.  Hamels had high expectations entering 2013, so seeing him struggle is shocking.

The Phillies lost to the Royals by a final score of 9-8, losing the series 1-2.  The Phillies will face the New York Mets next.



  1. DaveP

    April 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Scoring 8 runs will win you a lot of games. Once this pitching gets it together we have a real chance of being in it.

    • Dave P

      April 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      To be exact, scoring 8 runs would have won 146 out of the 162 games last year. Only 16 times last year did the Phillies opponents score 8 runs or more. Only 10 times did the Phillies opponents score 9 runs or more, so the other six times the game would have gone to extra innings.

    • Ken Bland

      April 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Charlie said that same thing…you score 8 runs, you ex[ect to win a lot of games.

      I found the statement pretty humourous actually.

      The problem with that logic is they scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th. Which means they had an extra turn at bat to get it done. Fact is, they did score 8, but if we’re talking winning baseball on 8 runs per game, a fairer read might be how many home games where they won, and only batted 8 times did they score 8.

      Sign me,

      Picky but Some Level of Truism

    • Righteous Robert

      April 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      I was there but the Over-Paid Cole Hamels didn’t show.
      I heard that Cole gave up a Grand-Slam for the first time ever
      and thew first time a team scored 8 runs on him in his career.

      Too much Money brings Too much Pressure.
      Can he handle it ?

      Reparations for Vietnam Vets
      Baltimore Bob

  2. glutenous

    April 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Cole was the first pitcher I took in my fantasy draft. So far, it’s proving to be a disastrous move.

    • G7

      April 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Don’t worry glut..look at Dickey, Strasburg, Verlander, Cain, Haren and on and on..

  3. glutenous

    April 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Of course there is more than plenty of time for him to turn things around but two ugly ones so far. He will bounce back…I hope.

  4. Andrew From Waldorf

    April 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    For Ken Bland

    Yes I played Butler

    The outburst didnt counteract Chris Davis.

    For everyone else.
    You have a really bad team.

    Ruben GMed them just as you would.


  5. Ken Bland

    April 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Regarding the performances, or lack of, that have inspired quick anger toward Horst and Durbin, I would say this.

    We’re not talking Hall of Famers, and their situations aren’t identical, but in some ways, they warrant similar defense.

    Six games into a season, it’s hard to write a player off. Perhaps if you’re a critic of both, you are hypocritical by placing premium value on spring stats. Horst had an unimpressive spring, but was very good last year. Off being very good last year, although he’s not a long term veteran he should have some leeway, ESPECIALLY when you consider just who is it down on the farm that is so screaming of performance that warrants replacing him on the roster at this time?

    For Durbin, it’s really getting a little silly. Buys pitched about 10 years in the bigs, and has by and large been an effective pitcher the last half of that time. And he was pretty good last year.
    And ironically, he was very good AFTER April.

    When a player fails to perform, as in both cases Friday, the best thing to do is throw them right back out there to get the ship righted. At a certain point, if it’s not working, or there’s a better replacement, THEN it’s a different story. Are the Phils too patient in this vein? Seemingly so. Lidge for quite a while, Herndon, Qualls, and maybe even several more. But a week into the season is NOT the appropriate time to blame decisionmakers for two guys who pitched well last year for being on the roster, and thrown right back out there. And particularly since those making a living off Durbin and Horst’s perfprmances are likely more concerned than the trigger happy tempers that wanna bounce them before their pitches connect with the bats or catcher’s mitt.

    • Lefty

      April 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      I agree KB, well stated.

      So how long is long enough? How long is “it still early”? I sure don’t know the answers, but I know it’s more than a week.

      Is it only when you have a suitable replacement for those deemed under-performers? Or do you cut bait and pray for someone else to step up?

      These are nagging questions for patient folks and their quick triggered brethren alike.

    • wbramh

      April 8, 2013 at 9:55 am

      If you’re going to give the fast hook to Horst and Durbin then you have to write off Hamels too, and I don’t think anybody is ready to do that.

      Obviously Hamels has a history of being a stud pitcher in this league and the other guys do not but they deserve some time to try to settle down and contribute – and I say that not being particularly comfortable with anyone in the pen other than Adams and I’m sure he’ll have his share of bad outings.

      Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this team (IMO) is that they don’t stink (think Astros) but they’re not great – think Mets plus but going in the opposite direction). Too often, mediocrity outlives awful. It perpetuates itself in all walks of life. When you outright stink, changes are likely coming whether you like it or not. At this point, I don’t know whether to root for a .500 season or Astros-like disaster. I believe upper management cares too much not to make the changes necessary if the team bottoms out. If they continue to produce at..500, I’m not so sure management will give up the ghost.

  6. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    April 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Ken and Lefty,
    Good points and questions raised. Honestly, I always thought Durbin was mediocre when we had him the first time, felt he was above average with the Braves, and cringed when the Phil’s signed him. Was he the best we could do? If so, then it is what it is. However, I am unimpressed so far, first weeks or not. It is a bad sign when a veteran reliever is letting 10 out of 11 inherited runners score. So when do we pull him? Do we wait till he pills a Qualls? Or do we hope he finds his groove in line with his history (April being his worst month historically). It seems Stutes and Diekman are not ready yet.

    I was a big proponent of Horst last year and thought he pitched excellent. However, disappointed in his start, but I feel he will recover and come close to what he did last season.

    This leads to a thought: What does everyone think of Dubee? I don’t even know how we would rate him due to the fact that he “coaches” three of the best pitchers in the league: Doc, Lee, and Colebert.

    Do we rate him on how all the pitchers adjust from $hi!!y outings?

    Any thoughts, gentlemen?
    -Curious Ed

    • Devin

      April 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      If you think Durbin was mediocre with the Phils your idea of what a middle relief pitcher should be is radically inflated. Good pitchers do not pitch middle relief. That should be obvious. As far as pitchers bad enough to be stuck in a middle relief role go, Durbin has been one of the better ones for some time, including his first tenure in Philly.

      • "Big Ed" Delahanty

        April 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        I know that middle relievers are not the best and that is why they are in that position, but for a team that is built on pitching, I do expect a better ratio with inherited runners, even if it is early in the season. Those inherited runners scoring on almost every opportunity killed us. As for Durbin, I might not have been clear in my previous post, but u was comparing his time with the Phillies originally to his time with the Braves, upon which, I feel that his time with the Braves made his time with the Phils mediocre.
        Ken and Lefty,
        As always I appreciate the responses. Ken, you find the best avatars!
        Let’s crush the Mutts tonight, with the return of Doc to some semblance of his old self!

      • Devin

        April 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

        Oh. Well then we actually agree, thanks for the clarification.

    • Ken Bland

      April 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

      All I know about Dubee is he’s regarded well around The League. Not necessarily unanimously. Maybe 2-3 years ago, I think it was ran a poll of personnel in the game, he finished a distant second to Duncan in The League. I mean as to what kind of coach he is on personal observation. His job’s about communication with the pitchers, and I have no visibility of that. That he’s been known to avoid the truth with the media at times doesn’t really bother me.

      I’d guess when Charlie goes, he’s not far behind, and more by choice than not.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Savery sees time with the Phils ahead of Jake. I can’t give you a time frame on Durbin. I can only observe the here and now, and the catcalls for his ass at this point don’t seem right and proper. The Durbinator needs to get his act together pronto, and frankly, I love Cole, but as he knows better than me, he needs to take pressure off both Chad and Jeremy (what a freaking pun as it works out) by getting results el rapido.

    • Lefty

      April 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Big Ed- Sorry, I don’t know enough to speak with authority about assistant coaches. All I know is Dubee speaks for Charlie on National broadcasts. He sounds pretty sharp when he does, if that helps?

  7. glutenous

    April 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Weaver’s line tonight:
    5IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 2K, 2HR

    Today seems to be a day that several aces underperformed. Cole really needs to have a good performance his next time out though before it gets out of hand.

  8. Phillies fan from Germany

    April 8, 2013 at 3:44 am

    That one on top of the weak Opening Day start vs.the Braves was shocking. Just to put into perspective: Cole would have to have an ERA of 2.57 over his next 189.1 Innings to get to a total ERA of 3.02 in 200 Innings, something I would have expected at the start of the season. So these two horrible starts really make it an uphill climb for him…

    Go get the Mets tonight!

  9. Dave

    April 8, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I see Howard struck out 3 times again. Sarge said over the weekend that Howard is a feared hitter and pitchers don’t want to face him. That made me laugh really hard. Clearly, Sarge is either clueless or ignorant. Not only do pitchers not mind facing him, they will pitch around other guys to face him. All Howard does is guess at the plate. I’ve never seen more check swings in my life than when he’s at bat.

    • schmenkman

      April 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

      I still fully expect that by the end of the year the battle for best Phillies hitter will come down to Howard or Utley.

      • Dave

        April 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

        I hope you’re right. Because if Howard struggles, the Phillies offense is in BIG trouble. They don’t have much power as it is…

      • wbramh

        April 8, 2013 at 10:34 am

        Chase Utley is BASEBALL player with a capital everything.
        You can’t find a player with a higher baseball IQ.
        If he had to run on his hands he would figure out a way to adjust his timing and still be a great baserunner.
        Still, I thought it was too hopeful to believe Utley could come back from his knee problems.
        Even I underestimated him.
        Whether he hits .330 or .230 Utley s the MVP of this team, if only by example.

        The Phillies would never have won two pennants without Ryan Howard. He’ll likely and deservedly have his number retired some day (along with Utley) and when he’s been productive he’s been a pleasure to watch. Having said that, I think he’s becoming more and more a one-dimensional player. He’s never been a great fielder, always a below-average base-runner, never a guy who could hit lefties – except (I believe)t for a brief one-off spike in 2010, seldom a batter who can make simple contact to move base-runners, etc.

        I’m not about to write off Ryan as a contributor this year assuming he stays healthy. I do believe he can still bounce back and should remain at or near the RBI leadership, but this is not the 2008-09 team so it’s not saying much. Still, if his productivity in a full season can still reach 90 RBIs it’s hard to complain. That would almost certainly lead the team. Most power hitters strike out a lot and that’s hard to watch. It was tough watching with Schmidt and just as frustrating with Howard. Still, I’d be happy to have them hitting 4-5 in the lineup (with a younger Michael Jack, of course).

  10. The Original Chuck P

    April 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Still early… I think Cole will be fine. He’s leaving the ball up a little bit and maybe he’s not 100% dialed in but I don’t think it’s a mechanical issue or anything like that. Maybe he’s a little distracted.

    Howard has been striking the ball pretty well… he’s had some bad at bats but he’s had some hard hit balls into the shift and I think he’s going to start mashing soon. Utley has looked pretty good and so has Domonic Brown… those were your three biggest question marks. Also, Adams, Bastardo and Papelbon have all been pretty good – we just have to get there. I think Halladay will be fine – I was worried but he’s getting more on his fastball and I think that once he gets settled in, he’ll live at 92-93 MPH which is good enough… plus, he’s only got few more starts before Chooch gets back (who would have thought that nto having Chooch would affect Doc the way that it has). It was nice to see Michael Young get some hits (and Jimmy get a big one)…

    Curious… did anyone else wonder why Michael Young didn’t go first to third on Laynce Nix’s right field in the 9th? Hindsight is always 20/20 and I know that the general rule is to never make the third out at third base (and Francoeur has a strong arm in RF) but at first glance and without the benefit of replay (I haven’t seen one), I thought, “he should be on third base.” Sure enough, a few pitches later, that feeling was worsened when the pitcher uncorked a wild pitch which would have scored the game tying run if Young had been standing on third. Again, I haven’t seen the replay…

    • Lefty

      April 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

      OCP- I didn’t see the replay either, and don’t have the greatest memory, but I think Nix’s hit was up the middle to CF. (I think I remember the pitcher doing an Ole’) I don’t think they made a play on Howard, so it probably came back in to the cut off pretty quickly. I doubt Young could have moved over on the play.

    • wbramh

      April 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Often, when a team’s not very good, they play not to lose and only end up hurting their chances to win. I’m not saying that was the case with Young pulling up at 2nd. Between Francoeur’s rifle and 2nd usually being a good scoring position it may have been the better odds-on decision by Young and/or 3rd base coach. But I’ve seen an overall sleepiness in this team’s style of play the last few years, and for a club that doesn’t score 8 runs a game very often, not being able to execute small ball can be disastrous.
      When you can hit the long ball and you’re fleet of foot, all the better.
      That’s apparently the potential the Braves saw in the Uptons that the Phillies didn’t see.

      • The Original Chuck P

        April 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

        Agree with you on the sleepiness comment, WB. For whatever reason, they’ve let off the gas at points this season and have not played with enough urgency overall. I think that Cole has sort of succumbed to the pressure of being an ace. He really always has been an ace but now there are expectations that he’s not sure if he can live up to… big contract, opening day starter. He’s always been a bit of a head case but he has matured over the past couple of years so we’ve all sort of forgotten that. He’ll be fine but I think he has to understand that he doesn’t have to do it all… trust his stuff and his teammates.

        I really want to see the replay on that play.

      • schmenkman

        April 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

        “But I’ve seen an overall sleepiness in this team’s style of play the last few years…”

        I disagree with this, I think it’s just a lack of success. When a team isn’t doing well offensively, and they keep jogging back to the dugout, it looks like there’s a lack of energy or excitement.

        “…and for a club that doesn’t score 8 runs a game very often, not being able to execute small ball can be disastrous.”

        It depends on what one means by “small ball”, I suppose.
        – if it’s using the sacrifice more, then unless the pitcher is batting it’s usually not a good strategy.
        – if it’s advancing runners with “productive outs”, or base runners taking the extra base, I think they’ve only been about average, no worse than that

  11. Lefty

    April 8, 2013 at 11:37 am

    @OCP- It was up the middle- At the 1:38 mark. He had no chance of advancing. I don’t agree with the overall sleepiness either.

  12. Chuck A.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Depressing afternoon…although I DID think they had a chance in the 9th. After Rollins homered I’m like “But it’s STILL 9-7. That HR didn’t win the game!” But then runners get on and you begin to wonder a little… And a decent enough at-bat by Kratz, too. There was one pitch that he fouled back to the screen that he JUST missed. He battled and just lost, that’s all.

    The bigger question is the pitching, specifically the bullpen or maybe Charlie’s management of it. Because Cole WILL be fine. I’m really not worried about him. I head someone on the radio say this morning that if the Phillies can score 8 runs in a game they have a great chance of winning a ton of games if the pitching can hold up.

    • Chuck A.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      And I just read Dave P’s comments at the top of this thread where he said basically the same thing about scoring 8 runs in a game. Sorry, Dave, for not responding directly to you, it’s not like the 8 run thing was my idea or anything! I just happen to completely agree with it!

  13. Don M

    April 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Tonight’s opponent – Matt Harvey reminds me a lot of Curt Schilling…

    … and tomorrow’s matchup sounds a little bit ridiculous “Gee vs Lee”

  14. Ken Bland

    April 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Tonight’s catcher is interesting. It’ll no doubt lead to questions asked.

    1. Ben Revere (L) CF

    2. Jimmy Rollins (S) SS

    3. Chase Utley (L) 2B

    4. Ryan Howard (L) 1B

    5. Michael Young (R) 3B

    6. Domonic Brown (L) LF

    7. Laynce Nix (L) RF

    8. Humberto Quintero (R) C

    9. Roy Halladay (R) P

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