June 2008

The Phillies continue with their visit north of the Bay.

The Phillies (42-36) continue their three games interleague series with the Oakland Athletics (42-34, 2nd American League West) with a night game at McAfee Coliseum. The game will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06), who is coming off a bad start against the BoSox on June 18, where he would only go three innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to get back to his winning ways while trying to pitch the Phils into a win. His opponent will be Greg Smith (4-5, 3.51), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on June 19, where he would pitch five innings, giving up an earned run on three hits, in the A’s 2-1 defeat. He will be looking to improve his record while trying to see if he can continue the Phils’ present offensive woes.

Speaking of the offense, it is sucking on all four cylinders, and they are presently wasting a bunch of generally good performances by their starters. As mentioned the other day, the batters have really got to start acting more patiently while in the batter box, as well as acting  a bit smarter. They really need to stop with the first ball swinging, swinging at pitches way out of the strike zone and swinging at stuff in the dirt. As long as they keep doing the above, they are going to make good pitchers look better and make very bad pitchers look like they’re Cy Young Award candidates. If nothing esle, they need to start thinking when they are starting rallies.

While they continue their series in Oakland, the Marlins will be playing their second game with the Tampa Bay Rays in Miami, the Mets will be finishing up their series at Shea against the Marniers and the Braves will be finishing their home stand with the Brewers. The Phillies will be trying to once again increase their lead in the National League East, not expecting their opponents to once again all lose on the same night.

The offense is still sluggish as the Phillies have now lost six in a row.

The Phillies wasted a good effort by Jamie Moyer as the offense once again let the team down as they lost their sixth straight game. For the first six innings of the game, Moyer and A’s starter Joe Blanton would be involved in a pitchers’ duel, with Moyer only giving up one hit during that time, a lead-off single in the first inning to Kurt Suzuki, who would later by wiped out in a 3-6-3 double play by Ryan Sweeney, and striking out nine A’s, striking out the side twice, while Blanton would give up only two hits, one of which was Pat Burrell’s nineteenth home run of the year, a solo shot in the fourth inning, which gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Things would change in the seventh when the Phillies would get their first two men on base, Burrell via a walk and Jayson Werth via a single. But, things would then go flat as Geoff Jenkins would fly out to left, swinging on the first pitch, for the first out of the inning. Pedro Feliz would then single to right, but the third base coach, not taking a chance on getting Burrell thrown out at the plate, holds him up at third base to load the bases. This move would soon come back to haunt the Phillies as Carlos Ruiz, with a 2-1 count, would hit into a twin killing, third to first, with the third baseman touching third base first before throwing to first. The Phillies being unable to capitalize in their half of the inning would turn out to be a momentum changer, as, with Moyer still pitching, Sweeney would start off the A’s half of the seventh with a single. One out later, Bobby Crosby would get a pop single, on a ball that was misplayed by Shane Victorino and would drop in front of him, moving Sweeney to second. After Charlie Manuel decides to leave Moyer in the game, despite the fact that Chad Durbin was ready to go, Moyer would give up a three-run home run to Emil Brown, his sixth home run of the year, scoring both Sweeney and Crosby, and giving the A’s the lead, 3-1. After getting the second out and then giving up a ground rule double, which might have ended up being worst if it has not bounced into the stands, to Carlos Gonzalez, Manuel would come out and finally replace an out of gas Moyer with Durbin, who would then strike out Donnie Murphy to end the inning. In the eighth, the Phils would come back to cut the lead to 3-2, as, with Victorino on second, after getting on base with a single and then stealing second, he would score on a RBI single by Ryan Howard. Although Howard would later get to second base on a pass ball charged to Suzuki, Burrell would leave him there as he strikes out. The A’s would then deliver the coup de grace in the bottom of the inning, as with two out, J.C. Romero would walk Sweeney and then give up a two-run home run to Jack Cust, Cust’s twelfth home run of the year, to make it 5-2 A’s. That would be it as Huston Street would come in to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to record his fourteenth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would take the lost, although pitching a very good game until the disasterous seventh. He would go six and two-thirds inning, giving up only three runs on five hits, while striking out nine A’s. His record is now 7-5 with a 4.09 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning in relief, striking out the only man he would face. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up two earned runs on only one hit, while walking one and striking out one. Ryan Madson would go a third of an inning, striking out the only A that he would face. Joe Blanton would get the win, as he pitches seven innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits. His record is now 4-10 with an ERA of 4.58. Alan Embree would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Huston Street would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth as he get his fourteenth save of the season.

It is now official, the offense presently stinks, and even they are starting to realize it, as they would acknowledge in an article posted on Phillies.com about the game. Even the manager seems to be noticing that the guys are right now doing everything wrong at the plate, and those things includes, “…guys not hitting, swinging bad, swinging at balls in the dirt, chasing balls over their heads, it looks like they’ve never seen a baseball….” and those things are going to keep hurting this team until the batters finally get it into their thick skulls that they should be trying to meet the ball, and not trying to hit home runs everytime they get up to the plate, with the situations that occurred in the first and seventh innings being perfect examples of what is presently wrong with this team. Especially the seventh, when Jenkins, who should have been up there trying to move the runners over into scoring position, which might have required him taking a pitch or two until he saw something which he was sure he could hit towards the right side of the infield and get Burrell and Werth over to third and second, instead swings at the first pitch and flies out, moving no one. This would come back to hurt the Phils, as I am sure that Feliz’s single would’ve scored both Burrell and Werth from second and third, and would instead load the bases, as the Phils’ third base coach refuses to send Burrell home, afraid that he might have been cut down at home by a throw from Sweeney. Me, I’d made the attempt. Why? To shake things up a bit. There’s a difference between being aggressive and being passive. Stopping Burrell at third was being passive, and is part of the reason that the Phils are mired in their present slide. If the third base coach had been aggressive, it would have taken a real good throw to home to get Burrell thrown out. Sure, Burrell isn’t as fast as Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino, his running towards home would’ve still forced Sweeney to have to throw an almost perfect strike to get him out at home, and who know what would’ve happened if the throw was anything but a perfect strike. But, since he didn’t send Burrell home, it’s all a very moot point. Hopefully, the players’ own realization that they are stinking up the place might just get them to do something to reverse it before the situation can get any worst.

The series between the Phillies (42-36) and the Athletics (42-34, 2nd American League West) continues with a night game at McAfee Coliseum. The game will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send up Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06) to see if he can stop their slide before it can get any worst. He is coming off an awful start against the BoSox on June 18, where he would only pitch three innings, as he gave up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phils’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to return to his winning ways, while, as mentioned earlier, trying to put a stop to the Phils’ swoon. The A’s will counter with Greg Smith (4-5, 3.51), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on June 19, where he would only go five innings, giving up an earned run on three hits, in the A’s 2-1 lost. He will be trying to improve his record, while at the same time seeing if he can adds to the Phillies’ present offensive woes.

The Phillies are still leading by one, four and four and a half games over the Marlins, Mets and Braves respectively, as all three teams lost their games while the Phils were unable to take advantage of it. The Phillies will be trying to end their present slump, which is a team effort, and stop wasting some good efforts that they have recently been getting from their starters.

Utley continues to be the leading vote getter in spite of recent slump.

Utley unstoppable in NL All-Star voting
Second baseman’s slump hasn’t affected his popularity
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — Chase Utley’s recent slump hasn’t made a dent in his popularity with All-Star Game voters.

Another week of voting has widened Utley’s already-sizable lead on Chicago’s Mark DeRosa, and he remains the National League’s leading vote-getter, period. All other second basemen will have to be named by NL manager Clint Hurdle to attend the Midsummer Classic.

Utley has more votes than the Astros’ Lance Berkman, the Yankees’ Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, the Red Sox’s David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez and the Braves’ Chipper Jones.

Utley has been stuck on 22 home runs since victimizing St. Louis’ Todd Wellemeyer on June 13. Still, he’s had two stretches in which he’s homered in five straight games. Utley started the 2007 All-Star Game, going 0-for-2 in San Francisco at AT&T Park, and he played in the 2006 contest, going 1-for-2 in Pittsburgh at PNC Park.

His slump notwithstanding, the Phillies superstar is in line to make his second straight All-Star start. This would be Utley’s first career appearance at Yankee Stadium, and it would come in the final season of the historic ballpark.

Teammate Jimmy Rollins, the reigning NL Most Valuable Player, climbed to fourth among shortstops, behind Florida’s Hanley Ramirez, Houston’s Miguel Tejada and Chicago’s Ryan Theriot.

The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, being held at Yankee Stadium in its final season, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD, and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.

The Midsummer Classic will be the fourth held at Yankee Stadium and the eighth in New York City. The Yankees previously hosted the All-Star Game in 1939, ’60 and ’77; the Polo Grounds held the game in ’34 and ’42; Ebbets Field was the site in ’49; and Shea Stadium hosted the ’64 tilt.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Wednesday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2008 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 6. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote at MLB.com.

The voting doesn’t end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster 2008 All-Star Game MVP vote at MLB.com.

Ryan Howard, who has struggled this season, has slipped to fifth place among first baseman, behind Berkman, Chicago’s Derrek Lee, St. Louis’ Albert Pujols and Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder.

2008 MLB All-Star Balloting : National League
First Base
RANK PLAYER NAME NL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Berkman, L. Astros 1,682,362
2. Lee, D. Cubs 1,153,519
3. Pujols, A. Cardinals 1,116,626
4. Fielder, P. Brewers 816,507
5. Howard, R. Phillies 654,962
Second Base
RANK PLAYER NAME NL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Utley, C. Philles 2,179,006
2. DeRosa, M. Cubs 940,404
3. Matsui, K. Astros 742,425
4. Uggla, D. Marlins 675,358
5. Weeks, R. Brewers 589,455
Third base
RANK PLAYER NAME NL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Jones, C. Braves 1,916,829
2. Ramirez, A. Cubs 1,111,901
3. Wright, D. Mets 958,490
4. Hall, B. Brewers 559,581
5. Reynolds, M. D-backs 483,688
Shortstop
RANK PLAYER NAME NL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Ramirez, H. Marlins 1,123,516
2. Tejada, M. Astros 1,052,852
3. Theriot, R. Cubs 915,954
4. Rollins, J. Phillies 777,570
5. Reyes, J. Mets 734,636
Catcher
RANK PLAYER NAME NL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Soto, G. Cubs 1,497,579
2. McCann, B. Braves 917,607
3. Kendall, J. Brewers 773,694
4. Molina, Y. Cardinals 768,685
5. Molina, B. Giants 578,357
Outfield
RANK PLAYER NAME NL TEAM TOTAL VOTES
1. Soriano, A. Cubs 1,736,434
2. Fukudome, K. Cubs 1,454,257
3. Griffey, K. Reds 1,417,019
4. Braun, R. Brewers 1,241,843
5. Lee, C. Astros 824,776
6. Burrell, P. Phillies 811,356
7. Holliday, M. Rockies 810,397
8. Beltran, C. Mets 776,107
9. Ankiel, R. Cardinals 774,585
10. Upton, J. D-backs 689,666
11. Ludwick, R. Cardinals 689,074
12 Pence, H. Astros 686,790
13. Hart, C. Brewers 682,493
14. Cameron, M. Brewers 609,761
15. McLouth, N. Pirates 601,261
Results updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2008

(H/T Phillies.com)

Looks like it’ll only be Utley who’ll be representing the Phillies as a starter. Now the question is, who else might be representing the Phillies? Looks like Brad Lidge is at least a lock with what he has done so far as the team’s closer.

On the north side of the Bay, the Phillies visit the A’s as they try to end their losing streak.

Presently mired in a five game losing streak, the first place Phillies (42-35) travels to Oakland to play  the Athletics (41-34, 2nd American League West) for a three games interleague play series. The first game of the series will be played tonight in McAfee Coliseum at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies will be sending Jamie Moyer (7-4, 4.09) to the mound, as he comes off a long start against the BoSox on June 17, where he would go only five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 lost. Lifetime against the A’s, he is 17-15, including two shutouts, with an ERA of 4.46. He is looking to regain the team’s lead in victory while trying to see if he can help pitch the Phillies out of their present swoon. His opponent will be Joe Blanton (3-10, 4.81), who is coming off his fourth straight lost, this time at the hands of the Diamondbacks on June 18, where he would only go three innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits, in the Athletics’ 11-1 lost. In sixteen starts for the A’s, they are 4-12 behind him. He will be trying to end his personal losing streak while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies’ offense from being able to restart its engine.

During their last five games, the Phillies’ offense has been placed in neutral while starting pitching has allowed the opposing team to score first. In fact, in all of their last nine loses, the Phillies have trailed their opponent right from the start, and, for the most part, had been unable to catch up, or when they do catch up, their pitching will sadly give the lead back. The Phils’ sputtering offense may have to resort to playing small ball for a while, getting away from their homering always and often style, if they intend to win games again. And the offense will also have to start acting a whole lot smarter while they are each standing inside the batter’s box. No more swinging at the first pitch, whether its a fastball or not, no more swinging at pitches that are either high or low, or out of the strike zone altogether (I mean especially you Howard), try to stay patient inside the batter box, start doing some hit and run when either Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino is on base, steal more bases, find ways to move the runners into scoring position, be willing to sacrifice themselves so that the team can win ballgames. But most of all, try to relax and just be patient while in the batter’s box. They will also have to stop worrying about whether they can stack up with the American League elite; Guys, just go out there, stay within your own comfort zone, and prove to yourselves that you are able to stay up with the best by just doing it. Once you do, I’m sure things will turn around.

The Phillies have a one game lead over the Marlins who also had yesterday off. Their lead over the Mets had increased to four games as the Mets lost their game last night to the Mariners, while the Braves find themselves behind the Phillies by four and a half games after their lost to the Brew crew. As the Phillies begin the first game of their three cities nine games road trip, the Marlins will start their series with the Tampa Bay Rays in Miami for three games, the Mets will continue their three games series with the Mariners in New York and the Braves will continue their three games series with the Brewers. The Phillies will be trying to recapture their winning ways as they travel to Oakland, Texas, and Atlanta, while hoping that they can increase their divisional lead over the pesky fish.

The Phillies lose their fifth game in a row as even their ace can not end their present slide.

The Phillies lose their fifth game in a row in spite of a good start by Cole Hamels as the Phillies’ bats are unable to get just one clutch hit as they fall again to the Angels, 3-2. Hamels would give up all of the Angels’ runs in the top of the second inning as he first gives up a RBI single to Gary Matthews Jr., scoring Vladimir Guerrero, who has earlier singled, and then moved to second on Torii Hunter’s ground out to first, giving the Angels a 1-0 lead. Hamels would then give up a two-run home run to Casey Kotchman, his eighth home run of the year, off of the Bud Light sign in right field, to make it 3-0 Angels. That would be all of the runs that the Angels would need, as Jered Weaver pitched well enough to keep himself out of any major trouble, although giving up a RBI single to Ryan Howard in the third, knocking in Chase Utley, who has earlier doubled, as he breaks an 0-24 slump, to make it a 3-1 Angels’ lead. The Phils would later cut the Angels’ lead down to 3-2 in the seventh, when with Carlos Ruiz on second, after getting on base with a walk and then moving to second on Pedro Feliz’s ground out, Jimmy Rollins would knock him in with a RBI double. But that would be it, as first Scot Shields and then Francisco Rodriguez would keep the Phils scoreless from that point, although the Phils would threaten to tie the score in the ninth, as Rodriguez records his thirtieth save of the year.

Cole Hamels takes the hard lost as he has a quality start, going seven innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. His record is now 7-5 with a 3.27 ERA. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would each pitch an inning, giving up no runs apiece on three hits. Jered Weaver would get the victory, evening his record as he goes five and one third innings, giving up an earned run on four hits. His record is now 7-7 with a 4.56 ERA. Darren Oliver would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Scot Shields would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on no hits. Francisco Rodriguez would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit as he records his thirtieth save of the season.

The Phillies’ offense would waste another good performance by one of their starters as they would get only six hits off of Angels’ pitching, as they are once again unable to get a clutch hit, inspite of Charlie Manuel actually shaking up the lineup to try and get something going. The Phillies were 1-5 on the home stand, battling from behind in all three of their games with the Angels. They will have the day off tomorrow as they get ready to head for the west coast to play the Athletics in Oakland for three games. The Phillies will be trying to figure out what they are doing wrong right now before they get ready to meet another good American League team on Tuesday.

With the lost, the Phillies (42-35) still have a full game lead over the Marlins, as they have just lost to the A’s in Oakland. Their lead over the Mets is presently three and a half games, as they have just defeated the Rockies in Denver. The Braves are now trailing them by four games as they’d defeated the Mariners at home. The Phillies will be heading to Oakland and try to figure out what they will now have to do to once again increase their lead in the National League East.

The Phils have lost four in a row as Myers’ nemesis sinks him again.

The Phillies have now lost their fourth game in a row, as well as their fourth straight series, as Brett Myers loses once again as he gives up three more home runs for his league leading twenty-first through -third home run as the Phils’ lose, 6-2. Two of the home runs that were given up by Myers went to Phillies’ killer Vladimir Guerrero. The first one was hit in the fourth inning, for his twelfth home run of the year to give the Angels a quick 1-0 lead. The second one would be hit in the seventh, for his thirteenth home run of the year, to make it 2-0 Angels. In between, Myers and Angels’ starter Joe Saunders would be involved in a pitchers’ duel, with Myers keeping the Angels’ bats off-balance with his curveball and change up, while Saunders would keep the Phils’ off the basepath. The Phillies would then tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, when, with two outs, Jayson Werth would hit his tenth home run of the season to make the score 2-1 Angels. After Chris Coste gets on base with a walk, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI double, scoring Coste, tying the game at two all. Eric Bruntlett would follow with a single to center, but Feliz is held up at third by the third base coach, not realizing that Gary Matthews Jr. would bobble the ball in center field, nor that his throw towards home would be offline and then be cut off by the first baseman. Casey Kotchman would then throw the ball to second to cut down Bruntlett, who has been running towards second, believing that the ball has gone to home plate, who would then be tagged out by shortstop Erick Aybar. But, Myers would be unable to keep it tied in the eighth, as, with two men out, and a runner on first, would give up his third home run of the night, a two-run shot to Aybar, his second home run of the year, scoring Chone Figgins, who has earlier got on base with a single, making it 4-2 Angels. The Angels would then add a couple of insurance runs in the ninth, as with one out, Matthews Jr., who has reached base after being hit by the pitch, would score on a Juan Rivera fielder’s choice ground out, giving the Angels a 5-2 lead. Figgins would then hit a RBI single, scoring Jeff Mathis, making it 6-2 Angels. The Phillies would then attempt a comback in their half of the ninth as their first two men would get on base via walks. But the Angels would then send in Francisco Rodriquez, who would get the final three outs via a double play ground ball and a pop out, to record his twenty-ninth save of the season.

Brett Myers would take the lost as he goes seven and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits while striking out seven, as he pitches a good game until he ran into trouble in the eighth. His record is now 3-9 with a ERA of 5.51. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning in relief, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on one hit. Joe Saunders would get the victory as he pitches seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits. Scot Shields would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jose Arredondo would only face two batters, walking both. Francisco Rodriguez would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, as he records his twenty-ninth save of the season

The Phillies have now lost their fourth straight game and their fourth straight series as their lead in the National League shrinks down to one game. The offense seems to have been put on hold while Myers is still giving up gopher balls in the games that he starts which is killing him, despite him pitching a whole lot better than he has in his last few games. It seems to me that Charlie Manuel needs to call a team meeting and read these guys the riot act, just do something to get the bat smoking once again, else they are soon going to be seeing the young Marlins running in front of them and not following them in their rear view mirror.

The Phillies’ (42-34) weekend series with the Angels (45-30, 1st American League West) will end tomorrow afternoon. The game will start at 1:35 pm at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils will be sending to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (7-4, 3.23), who is coming off of his excellent outing against the BoSox on June 16, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits in the Phillies’ 8-2 victory. He will be trying to end the Phils’ present four game losing streak as he goes for a team leading eighth victory of the year. The Angels will send to the mound Jered Weaver (6-7, 4.73), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on June 16, as he would pitch six and one-third innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Angels’ 9-6 lost. He will be trying to even his record while hoping to keep the anxious Phillies’ bats quiet.

The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins is now down to one game as they won their game with the Athletics. The Phillies are still leading the Mets by four and a half games, as they lost to the Rockies. Their lead over the Braves is now down to five games, thanks to the Braves’ victory over the Mariners. The Phillies will be trying to regain their winning way while trying to leave for Oakland on a positive note.

Continuing series with the Angels.

The Phillies (42-33) will continue their weekend series of interleague play against the Angels (44-30, 1st American League West) with two more games at Citizens Bank Park, with one to be played tonight and the other to be played tomorrow afternoon. Tonight game’s will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (3-8, 5.58), who is coming off a no-decision which was a very bad start against the Cardinals on June 15, where he would only go six innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. Career wise, he has meet the Angels only once before, being 0-1. He will be trying to win his fourth start, while his fellow Phils hope that he will be able to regain his old pitching form. The Angels will oppose him with Joe Saunders (10-3, 3.06), who is coming off of a win against the Braves on June 15, where he would pitch seven and a third innings, giving up no runs on five scattered hits and striking out five, in the Angels’ 2-0 win. He will be trying to become an eleven game winner while attempting to keep the Phillies’ bat quiet.

The final game of the three games set will be played tomorrow afternoon, starting at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ will send to the mound their ace, Cole Hamels (7-4, 3.23), who is coming off an excellent start against the BoSox on June 16, winning the only game in that series, as he went seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-2 win. That was his third straight quality start, while the Phillies are playing 10-5 baseball with him on the mound. He will be facing his second straight American League team that he has never faced before. He will be trying for his eighth victory of the season while trying to help his team leave Citizens Bank Park on a high note before their trip to Oakland to meet the Athletics. The Angels will counter with Jered Weaver (6-7, 4.73), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on June 16, where he would go only six and a third innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Angels’ 9-6 lost. This will be his first start against the Phils. He hopes to even his record while trying to keep from being hammered for the second straight time by a National League team.

The Phillies’ inconsistent offense will be trying to get back to it winning form before the recent series with the Marlins’ as it tried to avoid losing its fourth straight series, while the Phillies hope that their starters will improve themselves by the All-Star Game in the middle of July.

The Phillies’ lead over the rest of the National League East is still two games after the Marlins’ lost last night to the Athletics. Their lead over the Mets is now four and a half games thanks to the Mets’ victory over the Rockies. Their lead over the Braves is still six games thanks to the Braves losing to the Mariners. The Phillies will be once again trying to increase their lead over the rest of the National League East, while they try to avoid having heir first four games losing streak, as well as avoid losing their fourth straight series.

The Phillies lose third game in a row for the second time this season as the Angels beat up on Eaton, 7-1.

For the second time this season the Phillies have lost their third game in a row as they are beaten up by the Angels, 7-1. The Angels would take a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Adam Eaton, after getting two quick outs, would give up a two-run home run to Vladimir Guerrero, his eleventh home run of the season, knocking in Garret Anderson, who has earlier doubled. The Angels would increase their lead to 3-0 in the second when Anderson hit a RBI single, scoring Chone Figgins, who has singled earlier. The game would then settle down until the top of the sixth, when the Angels would finally knock out Eaton. After giving up singles to both Maicer Izturis and Anderson, Guerrero would hit a RBI single, scoring Izturis, to make it 4-0 Angels. Eaton was then be taken out for Ryan Madson. After getting one out, Madson would give up a RBI single to Casy Kotchman, scoring Anderson and sending Guerrero to third, as the Angels now leads it 5-0. Madson then gives up a RBI ground rule double to Howie Kendrick, as the ball gets stuck beneath the fence in center field, allowing only Guerrero to score, as Kotchman is sent back to third, to make the score 6-0 Angels. All three runs would be charged to Eaton. The Phillies would finally score in the bottom of the sixth when Jimmy Rollins, who got on first on a fielding error by first baseman Kotchman, and then stole second and went to third on catcher’s Jeff Mathis’ throwing error, would score on Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly, making it 6-1 Angels. The Angels would add their final run in the eighth, when Mathis would hit a RBI double, scoring Kotchman, who has earlier doubled. That would be it as the Phillies’ offense was for the most part handcuffed tonight by Angels’ starter Erwin Santana and relievers Jose Arredondo and Justin Speier, getting only two hits the whole night.

Adam Eaton took the lost as he would only pitch five innings plus three batters, giving up six earned runs on twelve hits. His record is now 2-5 with a 4.94 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two innings, giving up no runs, although all three runners that he would inherit would score, on two hits. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on three hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Ervin Santana would get the win, pitching seven innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and nine strikeouts. His record is now 9-3 with a 3.17 ERA. Jose Arredondo and Justin Speier would both pitch a scoreless, hitless inning in relief.

Adam Eaton’s string of quality starts ends at five while the Phillies’ batters were only able to get two hits, both off of Angels’ starter Ervin Santana. Chase Utley is now 0-23, although he would knock in the Phils only run with a sacrifice fly. The Phillies have now lost three games in a row, doing so for only the second time this season. Hopefully the offense will solve their present problems during tomorrow night’s game.

The weekend series between the Phillies (42-33) and the Angels (44-30, 1st American League West) will continue tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (3-8, 5.58), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on June 15, where he would only go six innings, while giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Phils’ 7-6 lost. Myers has been mostly ineffective this year, being unable to keep the Phils in games that he would start. The Phillies are hoping that he can solve whatever problems he is having so that they can have a chance to avoid losing their fourth game in a row. The Angels will counter with Joe Saunders (10-3, 3.06), who is coming off a victory against the Braves on June 15, where he would go seven and one third scoreless innings, giving up only six hits in the Angels’ 2-0 win. He will be looking to keep the normally explosive Phillies’ bats quiet for another game.

The lost would keep the Phillies two games ahead of the Marlins, who have just lost their game with the Athletics in extra-innings. The Mets are presently trailing the Phillies by four and a half games as they have defeated the Rockies. The Braves are still trailing by six games as they have lost their game with the Mariners. The Phillies will be trying to win their weekend series while hoping to increase their lead over the rest of the division.

Versatile Durbin a key to Phils’ early success.

Durbin adds versatility to Philly ‘pen
Right-hander has important experience relieving and starting

Sarge Jr. comes to Citizens Bank Park: The Phillies face the best in the American League West.

The first place Phillies (42-32) will be facing Gary Matthews, Jr and the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim (43-30, 1st American League West) at Citizens Bank Park for a three games weekend series. The first game of the home stand will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will be sending to the mound Adam Eaton (2-4, 4.57), who is coming off his fifth straight quality start, although losing to the Cardinals on June 14, as he would pitch six and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 lost. In those five starts, he is 2-1 with a no-decision, which the Phils won, pitching a combined total of thirty-two and a third innings, giving up eleven earned runs on thirty-two hits. Eaton will be trying for his sixth straight quality start while trying to get his third win of the season to help the Phillies to once again put some distance between them and their opponents in the National League East. The Angels will counter with Ervin Santana (8-3, 3.40), who is coming off a lost to the Braves on June 14, where would only go five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits, in the Angels’ 9-4 lost. He will once again be looking for his ninth win while trying to dominate the Phils’ bats.

This will be the first time that Sarge’s son will make an appearance at Citizens Bank Park, where he will be watched by his father from the broadcast booth. The Phillies’ offense will be trying to get back on the winning track, hopefully with the batters being a bit more patient at the plate and being a lot more consistant in runs production. Also, Chase Utley will be trying to break out of his present 0-20 slump which has caused his batting average to dip under .300 (.294), twenty-fourth best in the NL. Although he is still leading the league in home runs with twenty-two, he is now third in RBIs with sixty-two, fourth in runs scored with fifty-six, eleventh in hits with eighty-three and sixth in slugging percentage (.606). The Phils will need him to get back to being able to get hits and knock in runs for the offense to get going again.

The Phillies’ lead in the National League East is now at two games as the second place Marlins head to Oakland for a three games series with the Athletics. They are presently leading the now third place Mets by five and a half games as they go to Denver for a three games weekend series with the Rockies. The now fourth place Braves, thanks to their lost to the Angels yesterday afternoon, trail the Phillies by six games as they get ready to play host to the Seattle Mariners for a three game series. The Phillies, as they try to win their first series since their sweep of the Braves, hope that the rest of their division will do poorly against their opponents this weekend.

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