Phillies Notes: Fielding falls apart with three errors in loss

Posted: June 09, 2012

During this six-game exercise in the art of losing, the Phillies have shown a creative side.

After a homestand filled with late-inning breakdowns and hollow bats, the Phillies dropped Thursday's game because of a porous infield. They entered the contest first in the National League with a .987 fielding percentage but lost, 8-3, to the Dodgers after committing three errors, tying a season high.

Of Los Angeles' eight runs, six were earned. And fielding miscues forced Cole Hamels to run his pitch count high early in the game.

"That creates a big problem," manager Charlie Manuel said of the errors. "That opens up a whole new ball game. You're going to have runners on base with mistakes, and you're going to give up runs."

The Phillies are desperate for a healthy lineup. Playing third base in place of the injured Placido Polanco, Ty Wigginton misplayed a pair of ground balls.

Mike Fontenot started at second base in place of injured defensive stalwart Freddy Galvis (who, of course, had been playing for the injured Chase Utley), and committed the other error. And though he was not saddled with an error of his own, first baseman John Mayberry Jr. failed to corral a sharp ground ball in the ninth that turned into a two-run double.

Wigginton committed his errors on back-to-back plays in the fourth inning. On the first one, he said, the ball ricocheted off the infield grass differently than he had expected. Then, with Juan Rivera hitting, Wigginton misplayed a grounder and let the ball slip into left field.

Elian Herrera advanced to third on the second error, and Jerry Hairston Jr. followed with a sacrifice fly to left. Hamels escaped further damage, but he threw 13 more pitches than he should have.

Wigginton said the second error was not a product of the first one. He didn't lose focus. He was still ready for the ball to come his way, even wishing it would, but - "the next one I just flat-out booted."

"We all understand errors are part of the game," Wigginton said. "You can't feel like every play is do or die. You play the game the right way, [and] over the course of the season, good things are going to happen."

In the top of the ninth, with the bases loaded and nobody out, Herrera slapped a grounder up the middle. Fontenot charged the ball, but it bounced off his glove and one run scored.

Andre Ethier followed with a sharp grounder down the first-base line. Mayberry reached to his left, but he couldn't snag the ball and it rolled into foul territory. Two more runs scored (giving Los Angeles a 7-3 lead) and Ethier reached third on the play. He later scored.

"We make a mistake, we're kind of pressing," centerfielder Shane Victorino said. "It kind of becomes a snowball; it keeps rolling away."

Polanco held out

Polanco sat out for the second straight game. Playing third base, Polanco got hurt Tuesday night when Los Angeles catcher Matt Treanor slid into the bag.

Treanor's spikes sliced Polanco's left index finger on the play, and he also suffered a wrist injury.

Polanco said after Thursday's game that the outside of his wrist has been sore since Treanor's slide, and he feels uncomfortable swinging a bat. Team doctors ordered an MRI on Thursday, but Polanco did not know the results after the game.

He is hitting .289 in 51 games this year.

Martinez recalled

With Galvis going on the 15-day disabled list (lower- back strain), the Phillies recalled infielder Michael Martinez from triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Martinez started the season on the DL after suffering a broken foot when he was hit by a pitch during spring training. After he recovered from the injury, the organization optioned Martinez to Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. In his only game with the IronPigs, Martinez was 2 for 3.

He played in 88 games with the Phillies last season, hitting .196.

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