Four in a Row: Buchanan Tosses A Gem, Phils Win 4-1 – Phillies Nation
2014 Game Recaps

Four in a Row: Buchanan Tosses A Gem, Phils Win 4-1

In each of his last starts, David Buchanan had allowed seven, four, and three earned runs. Last night, he allowed just one through a career-high 7 2/3 as the Phillies spotted him an early 4-0 lead and he never looked back. Buchanan would surrender an RBI single to Matt Carpenter in the eighth to make it a 4-1 game but the suddenly lock-down Phillies bullpen put the game away, retiring all four remaining St. Louis hitters for the 4-1 victory.

Buchanan’s Big Day

The 25-year old righty from Fayetteville, GA had the best game of his young Major League career, going 7 2/3 IP, striking out four, surrendering just four hits, one walk, and one earned run in an economical 105 pitches. While it assumed that Buchanan will be optioned back to Lehigh Valley when Cliff Lee is return to return in a few weeks, Buchanan has wedged himself in an interesting spot against veteran Roberto Hernandez (3-5, 4.52 ERA, 1.548). With Hernadez’s high WHIP and propensity for long pitch counts, it is only a matter of time before he runs into more outings like he did against at Atlanta whereas Buchanan has fared better at keeping runners off base.

Howard Stays Hot

Howard went 2-4 with a homer and a single, driving in three runs. Howard is now hitting .281/.361/.484 in June with 4 HR and 24 Ks in 17 games. We certainly shouldn’t expect this level of production to remain at this high a level for Howard but he is absolutely seeing the ball better now than he has in what feels like years. In a smaller sample, since June 6, Howard is hitting .318/.412/.545 with 3 HR in 51 PA – that’s a pace that wins an MVP award and it is no surprise the Phils have suddenly woke from their slumber during this stretch.

Brignac Out

Reid Brignac injured his left ankle last night in a nasty looking play. Early reports indicate Brignac has a sprained left ankle and no additional roster move is anticipated even if Brignac is placed on the 15-day DL as Cody Asche is set to return tonight.

This was the Phils fourth win in a row and pulled them to within four games of the NL East lead. Last night’s win pulled them a game closer to the third place Marlins, as well as pulling them within 5 of the NL Wild Card. The Phillies look to extend their season-high four game winning streak to five tonight at 8:15 when the Fightins send A.J. Burnett to the hill to face Jaime Garcia. In three days, the Phils playoff odds, per ESPN’s calculations have improved from 3% to 11.4%.



  1. betasigmadeltashag

    June 20, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Could the Phillies possibly send Hernandez down and see if he could become a long man spot starter from the pen ala KK a few years back. Buchanan to me seems he has the stuff and mentality to be a true #4 starter and maybe a #3 down the road. So instead of worrying about buying or selling. Why not stand pat and let the guys like Buchanan and Ashce when he comes back show what they may have in a possible pennant race.

    • TimC

      June 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

      I would hope the Phillies, in building for the future, don’t stay committed to a journeyman pitcher who is posting average numbers. Buchanan may not beat Hernandez’s numbers over the rest of the season, but if he has a chance to match them, you have to go with him to see what you might have. Even if he is a #4 starter, that is young, cheap, and controllable, that helps build certainty in what the organization has.

  2. Ken Bland

    June 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I thought that if you measured the effectiveness of Buchannan combined with whatever impatience the Cards exerted (I don’t know that it was a lot, but he threw a fair amount of pitches out of the zone, his efficiency rating would be darned close to 100%. He actually had 11 swings and misses, which is pretty good. Be nice if his fastball was more of a factor in that total, but his change looked like it worked well, and at least that’s something. Other than for confidence building purposes, I don’t know that the word gem fits, but considering what at least one of us expected (not a failure, but not as good as was), why quibble.

    GOT to build on it.

    Yesterday, in the Post Dispatch, a column on what’s old (VERY old) news to Phillie watchers. The difference in the 2 franchises fates off the decisions of signing and not signing RyHo and Albert. Very good piece to the Cardinal follower not quite as entrenched in Howard’s ventures over the last few years. And it’s not so much the irony of RyHo being smack dab in the middle of the win last night, and there’s no arguing with letting Albert go being smart in many ways, but I do wonder if the result last night would have been similar if they didn’t 1-2 punch letting stars walk and Beltran had played. While he’s only 4 at bats, and who knows when Carlos will play or be injured, the Cards didn’t look as patient at the plate as a year ago, and that’s a Beltran specialty. And probably WAY overstated, but it was an impression formed during the game.

    • schmenkman

      June 20, 2014 at 11:37 am

      To me, the real irony is that the Cardinals offered Pujols 10 years and $210 million. They were very very lucky that he rejected it.

  3. Bob in Bucks

    June 20, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Despite a nice game I am not sold on Buchanan. He has no overpowering stuff and has a long way to go. Not that I am a fan of Roberto. Either can be the #5 pitcher. I think we all are getting a reminder that while the Howard deal was too much, he is not exactly a worthless player – especially in hot weather.
    Career OPS by month:
    April – 800
    May – 833
    June – 892
    July – 934
    Aug – 889
    Sep – 1.010
    Oct 1.206

    While I doubt he will match these numbers in the future the monthly trend will probably stay true. He has always been a slow starter. As Charlie said – “it’s hittin weather”.

  4. Hogey's Role

    June 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I actually do like both Buchanan and Hernandez, if buchanan can keep this quality pitching going then i would stick with him, and the couple times I’ve seen Hernandez out of the bullpen this year I have liked what he’s been able to do… Maybe if he can let it loose for 1-2 innings out of the pen, he would be more valuable

  5. Lefty

    June 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I didn’t get to see the home feed last night, they showed the St. Louis feed here. Did they show the Brignac play in slow motion? He really shouldn’t have slid, but what happened looked really painful. I hope he’s alright.

  6. Ken Bland

    June 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm


    I try not to overdue discussions around here as a general ruleat least, but to clear my own conscience, I have to go back to our recent exchange of intimidating hitters. I suggested McCovey as the most so that I ever saw, and push to shove, I guess I’d stand by that, but I had a name escape me that dome folks might laugh at because he wasn’t a truly great hitter for an extended period, but by the time Jack Clark wound up preceding the Cardinal rabbits in the 80s, he would warrant high consideration on my list.

    My conscience is clear.

    Til I come up with some other sumbitch who could smackthe cahoots out of the horsehide.

    • photoFred

      June 20, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Ken—Like you, I am sure there is someone I overlooked. And—not to prolong this— there’s the related question: when you looked in the paper and saw who was pitching against us (dating myself here), which pitcher’s name caused your heart to sink. I remember when it was Koufax I just chalked it up as a loss.

      Glad your conscience is clear!

      • Ken Bland

        June 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        I guess a better question would be which pitcher that was human would I have felt like this game is over before it starts because as hopeless as the Phils were for many years Koufax, Marichal, Gibson all brought that out.

        That’d be a great question. Nobody comes to mind. But for clarity’s sake, I’m talking about the level of a Ray Sadecki type, a pretty good pitcher. Actually, back then, BAD as the Phils were, maybe the answer would be all of them.

        Maybe Bob Veale would be a decent answer. I mean for all I remember, they might have had success against him, but I remember him being a tough pitcher. I don’t remember feeling too good in anticipation of Randy Jones.

        Maybe there’s a right answer that I can’t think of. Like if you were a Yankee fan, you dreaded facing Frank Lary who I guess had a pretty good career on the whole, but he might as well have been Koufax when he faced NY.

        Good question. Dick Ellsworth is in my mind. Not sure if he fits the topic.

  7. G7

    June 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Nothing like a good winning streak to keep the naysayers away…btw, I hear Monty is still backing RAJ..woohoo Mutts in last George Jefferson “moving on up”..

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    October 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm

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