July 2008

The Phillies play situational ball as they come from behind to defeat the Braves, 10-9.

The Phillies used situational baseball to come from behind to defeat the Braves after it looked like they had finally imploded in the top of the fourth inning. The Phillies would score the game’s first runs in the second inning. Ryan Howard would start the inning off by getting on first base with a walk. He would be followed by a double from Pat Burrell, which would put runners on second and third with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then follow with a ground out, third to first, for the first out of the inning, doing what the Phillies’ batters have been doing too much of lately, hitting a ball to an opposing player with less than two outs, unable to score the runner(s) on base. Eric Bruntlett is then intentionally walked to load the bases. Chris Coste would follow him with a two-run double, scoring Howard and Burrell, making it 2-0 Phillies, while sending Bruntlett to second. Cole Hamels would then bunt the runners over to third and second base respectively, while making the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, Jimmy Rollins would then end the inning with a ground ball to the pitcher. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third, as Chase Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier tripled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. But then the roof would appear to fall in on the Phillies and Cole Hamels in the fourth. The inning would begin with Hamels giving up a walk to Yunel Escobar. Mark Teixeira would follow with a single, sending Escobar to second. Hamels would then walk Brian McCann to load the bases with Braves. The next batter, Omar Infante, would then hit a two-run RBI double into left field, scoring both Escobar and Teixeira, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-2, while sending McCann to third. Jeff Francoeur would then hit a sacrifice fly for the first out of the inning, sending home McCann with the tying run, while Infante stayed at second. Martin Prado would then hit a grounder to second that was stopped by Utley. But instead of getting back up, picking up the ball and throwing out Prado, Utley would look at Prado and tried to pick up the ball at the same time, and dropped the ball, committing the first error of the inning, and leaving runners on the corners as Infante moved up to third. The next batter, Mark Kotsay would then hit a RBI single, scoring Infante and sending Prado to second, giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. Mike Hampton then followed with a ground ball right to Hamels. Instead of taking his time and throwing the ball straight to Rollins at second base to start a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning, he would throw the ball away as he throws it to where Rollins had originally started out, allowing Prado to score, Kotsay to reach third, and Hampton to be safe at first, on the second error of the inning, making it 5-3 Braves. Gregor Blanco would then follow with a single, scoring Kotsay and sending Hampton to second, as the Braves increased their lead to 6-3. Escobar, who has originally started the inning, would come up for the second time, but this time he would fly out to right for the second out of the inning. Teixeira would then come up for the second time and cap off the disastrous inning by hitting a three-run home run off of Hamels, his twentieth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 9-3 lead, and what looks to be the final knockout blow to the Phillies’ season. Charlie Manuel would after that finally come out and take a very snake bitten Hamels out of the game, replacing him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would then end the inning with one pitch as he gets McCann to pop up to Utley, although that almost became a disaster in itself as the ball almost got away from him as it came back down. After Adam Eaton have come into his first game since being sent down to the bullpen after the Joe Blanton trade and put down the Braves in the top of the fifth, the Phillies’ batter would go after Braves’ starter Mike Hampton as they used something that they have not done for a while, playing situational baseball. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Victorino would then hit a grounder towards deep shortstop that would be picked up by Braves’ shortstop Escobar, who would end up having no play, thus becoming an infield single as Rollins’ speed would allow him to get to second. Utley would then follow them with a single that would load the bases with Phillies. Hampton would then be taken out of the game at this point, replaced by Royce Ring. Howard would greet Ring with a two-run RBI single, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, cutting the Braves’ lead to 9-5, while sending Utley to third. Bobby Cox would then come out for the second time in the inning, and replace Ring with Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Utley, making it 9-6 Braves. Werth would follow with a single, sending Howard to second. Bruntlett would then hit a deep fly ball to center, but Howard would stay at second, instead of going to third. It at first look like a base running blunder, but the next batter, Coste would hit a RBI single in the hole between first and second, allowing Howard to score, making it now a 9-7 Braves’ lead. Greg Dobbs would then come up to pinch hit for Eaton. On a 1-2 pitch, he would crush the ball into the second deck in right field for a three-run home run, his third home run of the year, and his team record tying twentieth pinch hit of the season, scoring both Werth and Coste, giving the Phillies a 10-9 lead. Rollins would then come up for the second time and tried to bunt himself back on. He would instead be thrown out by Boyer. The Phillies would then hold on, as Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for three shut out innings in which they would keep the Braves at bay, before the ball is finally handed over to Brad Lidge in the ninth, who would redeem himself for his previous night’s implosion by getting the Braves to go 1-2-3 for his twenty-third straight save without blowing it, breaking the team record that was originally set by Billy Wagner.

Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he pitches three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, four of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, two of whom would later score. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting one man out on one pitch. Adam Eaton would get the win, as he pitched one inning, giving up no runs on one hits. Eaton’s record is now 4-8 with a 5.66 ERA. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch a scoreless inning, although Durbin would also pitch to one batter in the eighth, giving up only two hits (Durbin), while walking four. Brad Lidge would get a 1-2-3 inning, recording his twenty-third straight save without blowing one. Mike Hampton would also get a no-decision as he pitches four innings plus three batters, giving up six earned runs on six hits. Royce Ring would only pitch to one batter, giving up a single. Blaine Boyer would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.18 ERA. Will Ohman, Rafael Soriano and Julian Tavarez would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits to the Phillies.

I don’t know which one I am more shocked by, the implosion in the fourth inning, or the comeback in the fifth, using situational hitting. Seeing the Phillies collapse the way they did in the top of the fourth seems to show the way the Phillies have been screwing up so far this season, especially with Hamels throwing away the double play ground ball because he have been feeling frustrated up to that point in the inning, when he needed to just take his time and throw to Rollins at second for the second out of the inning, to lead to the end of the inning with a double play, and then to follow that up a few batters later by throwing up a home run pitch to Mark Teixeira in what, to me at least, seems to be the final collapse of the Phillies’ season. But then, to watch the team come back the way they did in the fifth inning, and doing it by using some situational hitting, something that they finally seems to be able to do, appear to show that the team isn’t dead yet. But, I’m going to wait to see if they can continue doing this for a while before thinking that the run machine is finally back and is now running once again on all cylinders.

The Phillies (55-49) will finish their three games weekend series with the Braves (49-54) this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (5-12, 5.00), who is coming off a so-so start against the Mets on July 22, where he would go six innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic come from behind 8-6 win. This will be his first ever start against the Braves as he try to continue adjusting to pitching to National League batters while trying to help the Phillies get their first series win of the second half. The Braves will counter with Jorge Campillo (5-4, 2.83), who is coming off a win against the Marlins, where he went seven innings, giving up no earned runs on two hits. He has pitched four time against the Phillies, twice in relief and twice as a starter, being 0-1 with a no-decision against them as a starter, and 0-0 as a reliever, pitching a combine total of thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on twenty-one hits. He will be trying to do better than he did in his last start against them, while trying to help the Braves will the series.

The Phillies stayed tied with the Marlins in second place, both now traling the Mets by a game, as the Mets have lost their game with the Cardinals in extra-innings. The Braves still trail the two second place teams by five and a half games. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win of the second half.

The weekend series with the Braves continues as they look to avoid falling into third place.

The weekend series continues this afternoon as the Phillies (54-49) hosts the Braves (49-53) at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, being shown nationally on Fox Sports Saturday Baseball. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on July 20, where he went eight innings, unleasing his nasty new curveball which helped to keep the young Marlins off-balanced all day, giving up only two earned runs on four hits. Hamels has faced the Braves two times already this year, having a 2-0 record against them, going a combined total of seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on nine hits. Hamels will for the fourth straight week try to notch his tenth win of the year while pondering if the Phillies’ batters will finally give him some runs support, after having already pitched three straight quality starts with little to no run support. The Braves will be sending to the mound Mike Hampton (0-0, _.__), who will be making his first start at the major league level since 2005. He will be looking for his first win of the year, while hoping to continue the Phillies present offensive woes.

It was reported that the team had a meeting behind closed doors yesterday afternoon for 15 minutes to try and address the problems that they are presently having. You know, to try and clear the air. Oh, I hate to tell you, Charlie, but I think these guys needs more than 15 mins. to correct this mess. They need a good old fashion Dallas Green/Larry Bowa-style kick in the pants tirade, telling them what they should be doing, and not what they’re doing, and I do believe that target number 1 of the tirade should be Jimmy Rollins. Sorry Jimmy, but that laid back attitude of yours need to be thrown out the window, along with the swinging at the first pitch(s) thrown at you that you are presently doing too much of. Honestly, dude, you are suppose to be the leader of this team. As long as you keep doing your imitation of Alfred E. Neuman’s “What, Me. Worry?”, this team is not going anywhere. You want to regain the pennent and get into the World Series, start acting like you want it bad!!!! Of course, this goes all the way to the top, with the idiots owners who own this club, who keep wanting to do things on the cheap, and it keeps showing with the kind of people who they keep giving contracts to, who end up being busts. Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Phillies’ fan, we need to revolt against these cheapskates who runs the team, and get our boys out of their cheapo hands and into the hands of a George Steinbrenner-type who will be willing to put out the money for the necessary talents for both the farm system and the main team that will be in the pennant race year after year as a constant threat. Until that happens, what we are seeing now is just going to be constantly repeated again and again until they are finally removed from the helm.

The Phillies are presently tied for second place with the Marlins, both trailing the Mets by two games. The fourth place Braves are trailing the Phillies and Marlins by four and a half games, and poised to get back into the race. The Phillies need to step it up, get out of their present funk and show to the rest of the league that they are not dead yet!!!!

The Phillies’ offense continues to do nothing than waste good efforts by the starters as they lose to the Braves, 8-2.

The Phillies would end up wasting another good effort by one of their starters, this time by Kyle Kendrick, before the Braves would finally explode for seven runs in the ninth off of the Phillies’ relief corps. Kendrick and Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens would be involved in a six innings long pitchers’ duel, with the only run scored during this time being on a solo home run off of Kendrick by Brian McCann, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead, while Kendrick constantly got himself out of trouble, keeping the Braves from scoring any more runs during his time on the mound. In the meantime, the Phillies’ offense would be unable to do anything against Jurrjens, constantly going down 1-2-3. The Braves would break the game wide open in the ninth as they become the first team to score more than a run off of Phillies’ closer Brad Lidge as he came in to pitch the ninth to try and keep the Phillies within striking distance of the Braves. Pinch hitter Greg Norton would greet Lidge with a pinch hit double off of the wall in center. Gregor Blanco would then get on base as he would beat out the throw from third basemen Greg Dobbs on a bunt attempt to move Norton up to third, which would instead be recorded as a single. Yunel Escobar would then walk, loading the bases. Mark Teixeira would follow with a RBI single, scoring Norton to make it 2-0 Braves, while leaving the bases loaded. The next batter, McCann, would then hit a grand slam home run, his twentieth home run of the year, scoring Blanco, Escobar and Teixeira, giving the Braves a 6-0 lead. Charlie Manuel would then come out and remove Lidge, replacing him with Clay Condrey. After Condrey gets Mark Kotsay to pop up for the first out of the inning, he would give up a double to Jeff Francoeur. He would then give up a RBI double to Kelly Johnson, scoring Kotsay, to make it a 7-0 Braves’ lead. Omar Infante would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Johnson and giving the Braves a 8-0 lead. in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would score their only runs of the game as Ryan Howard would, with two outs, hit a two-run home run, his thirtieth home run of year, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to make it 8-2 Braves. That would end up being the final score as Will Ohman would get Pat Burrell to fly out for the final out.

Kyle Kendrick would pitch a good game, even if he had to constantly pitch himself out of trouble, but still takes the lost because of lack of offensive support, as he goes six innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits. His record is now 8-5 with a 4.70 ERA. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin would both pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up no hits. Brad Lidge would get rocked by the Braves as he faced five batters, getting no one out as he gives up five earned runs on four hits and a walk. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk. Jair Jurrjens would get the win, as he pitched an excellent game against the Phillies, pitching eight innings, giving up no runs on three hits. Will Ohman would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits.

Man, this is getting to be a broken record. The Phillies’ starter pitches a quality start, going six or more innings, and leaves the game either trailing by a few runs, or just barely leading, as the Phillies’ offense can’t seem to get anything started. And to make matters worst, one of the reliever would then come in and get tagged for several runs late in the game, with closer Brad Lidge this time being the victim as he gets lighted up for five runs, followed by Clay Condrey, who gets tagged for two more. I am not going to say anything more about the witless Phillies’ offense except for this: THEY STINK!!!!! THEY ROT!!! THEY REEK!!! THEY MAKE GARBAGE LOOK GOOD BY COMPARISION!!! End of story! GRUMBLE!!!!

The weekend series continues tomorrow as the Phillies (54-49) play the Braves (49-53) in an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on July 20, going eight innings as he gives up only two earned runs on four hits. Hamels has faced the Braves two times already this year, having a 2-0 record against them, going a combined total of seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on nine hits. Hamels will for the fourth straight week try to notch his tenth win of the year while pondering if the Phillies’ batters will finally give him some runs support, after pitching three straight quality starts with little support. The Braves will be sending to the mound Mike Hampton (0-0, _.__), who will be making his first start at the major league level since 2005. He will be looking for his first win of the year, while hoping to continue the Phillies present offensive woes.

The Phillies are now tied for second place with the Marlins, both teams now trailing the Mets by two games, as the Mets have won their game with the Cardinals. The Phillies now lead the Braves by four and a half games after the lost. The Phillies continue in free fall, as they have just lost their fifth game in the second half, wondering when they are going to start breaking out the bats and score runs.

The Phillies will try to regain first place as they get a visit from an old enemy, the Braves.

The second place Phillies (54-48) will start a three games weekend series with the Braves (48-53). The first game of the three game set will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their number four man Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87), who is unfortunately coming off of an awful performance against the Marlins on July 19, where he would only last four and one-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 9-5 lost. In that performance, he would pitch inside on right handed hitters which would seem to confound the young Marlins’ righthanders, but he in turn would get hurt by their left handed batters, who would knock in all but two of the runs that he would give up in the game. This seems to be Kendrick’s major weakness, as over 62% of the hits that he has given up so far in his young career has been to lefthanders. Maybe a bit more studying under Jamie Moyer to learn how to get around lefties, and the continuing ability to work inside on righties might get him moved up into the number three spot in the rotation. He will be facing the Braves for the fourth time this year, with a 2-0 record plus a no-decision, which the Phillies would also win, as he pitched a combine total of seventeen and one-third innings against the Braves, giving up only eight earned runs on seventeen hits. Lifetime against the Braves, he is 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts. He will be trying to record his ninth win, while trying to help get the Phillies back on the winning track. The Braves’ will counter with Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22), who is coming off a lost against the Nationals, also on July 19, where he would go six and a third inning, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 lost. The young hurler from the Netherlands has already pitched one game against the Phillies so far this year, losing to them back on July 3, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 4-1 lost. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season while seeing if he will have better luck this time against the presently potentless Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies’ batters can’t seem to do anything right at the moment, as they return from New York losing the last game of their most recent three games series with them without so much as a fight. The batters appear to still be in a general slump, in spite of some players having good individual batting performances. But, in general, the batters don’t seem to be using their heads when they are at the plate. They don’t seem to take their time, or not swing at balls that are, quite frankly, not in the strike zone, or even close to it. They don’t seem to be willing to sacrifice themselves, making a strategic out, if it will result in either getting a runner over to third, from second, or getting them home with less than two outs, by hitting the ball to the left side of the infield. They don’t seem to be doing too much hit and run with the players on the team that have some speed, that could open up a hole between second and first, thereby getting the runner over to third. They don’t seem to be staying patient enough at the plate with they are ahead of the count at either 2-0, 2-1 or 3-0, thereby forcing the pitcher to throw them their pitch, and not his slop, which opposing pitchers are at the moment quite sure that they will go after since they are all playing really lousy right now. Quite frankly, they need to play so much smarter baseball in general, getting away from the long ball, which at the moment seems to be bringing in just one run at a time, and start doing some small ball, which I  believe that I have already mentioned here several times in the past. Yes, it’ll bring in one or two runs at a time, but at least it should keep the defense on, well, the defensive, wondering what these guys are going to do next. I think it’s time that they start taking it to the other team, and stop hoping that something is going to happen. News flash guys, the only way things are going to happen is if you guys start making it happen offensively, especially as the starters have kept you in most of the last dozen or so games that you have lost. Your opponents are not blowing you guys out of games. Quite frankly, you guys are playing yourselves out of games. Hopefully, since you’ll be facing weak teams for the next several series, you might be able to correct this. But, if you guys start losing series to the Nationals and the Padres of the world, that’s it, this season is officially over, end of story.

The Phillies trail the now first place Mets by a game, as the Mets prepare to face the Cardinals for a three games weekend series. The Marlins, who are now behind the Phillies by a game, thanks to a lost to the National League Central leading Cubs last night, will continue their four games series with the Cubs. The Braves are behind the Phillies by five and a half games as they come to Philadelphia for a weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to continue their present dominance of the Braves, while seeing if they can regain their winning ways.

While I was going through Phillies Phollowers’ blog, I’d discovered this…

MLBlogosphere

The official community MLBlog about MLBlogs. Post comments here with any questions, suggestions and observations about the big-league home for baseball bloggers!

Latest Leaders

Here is the ranking of the top MLBloggers age group 7 months or younger:

1. Baby Paul.

Here are the top FAN MLBlogs over the last 7 days by page views (not PRO template):

1. FutureAngels.com
2. The Rumor Mill – MLB Rumors | Spheroid
3. Ranger Trade Talk
4. Red State Blue State
5. The Hot Corner
6. Pick Me Up Some Mets! | Spheroid
7. Phillies Phollowers | Spheroid
8. The Baseball Collector – Chris Los
9. The Brewer Nation | Spheroid
10. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
11. Who’s in Right Field? My Brewers Blog
12. Yogi Brewer
13. Prince of New York
14. The Boston Red Sox Blog
15. Yankees Chick | Spheroid
16. Bleeding Pinstripes
17. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
18. I Was Born in October of 1986
19. Dean’s Baseball Blog
20. Major League Ballhawk
21. Flair For The Dramatic
22. Hook, Line Drive & Sinker
23. Rock Pile Rant…Colorado Rockies
24. Angry Fan’s Baseball Fix | Spheroid
25. Phillies Red Pinstripes

Keep it going, baseball bloggers! And be sure to leave comments with your URL on Trade Talk (51 percent of the entire community’s traffic this past week) and October Gonzo (MLB’s official 2008 postseason national TV campaign). I’m just sayin. Be where baseball fans are. (H/T MLBlogshphere) 

…that my blog is presently the 25th most watched Blog on the MLBlogsphere. Gosh, to say that I’m flattered by all this is a real understatement, since I wasn’t really expecting it to happen so soon. (Gee, did I only create this blog back in late April? And I’m already at 25 in July. My how times fly. And I must be doing something right to get all of these people to watch me.) Anyway, to all of you, especially among the obviously silent majority, thank you for watching my blog. For those of you who have just found me, I hope that you’ll like what I’m writing here enough to continue watching. For all of you, I hope that you will all continue to watch and will continue or start making comments. Don’t worry, I won’t bite. :) (A Phillies fan who won’t bite? Right, I know what you’re all are thinking out there, pull the other finger. ;p)

I’d also discovered that back on June 24 at MLBlogsphere article “Add the Trade Talk Blog” that I’d was given a late welcome by the Blog’s writer(s). I think I’ll let the welcome speak for itself…

Welcome to Phillies Red Pinstripes, who started an MLBlog this month. We also want to thank that blog’s author for providing the link back to our All-Star coverage index area from the reposting of my colleague Ken Mandel’s article about Chase Utley’s All-Star voting update. With that AP settlement case involving The Drudge Retort in the news recently, it’s worth pointing out that common courtesy here. The MLBlogs Network has an “official affiliate/unofficial opinions” relationship to MLB.com, but please just credit and put a link back if you do reproduce one of our writers’ articles from MLB.com and the 30 club sites. (H/T MLBlogsphere)

 

I would like to once again thank MLBlogsphere’s writer for the warm welcome to MLBlog, as well as to thank him for commenting on my hat tips back to the Ken Mandal’s articles on the Chase Utley All-Star voting update. I’d already posted a thank you to him or her there as well.

Phillies fall into second place as the offense goes puff, losing to the Mets, 3-1.

The Phillies lose another series to the Mets and in the process drop out of first place as its offense seem to have vanished into thin air as it waste a very good effort by starter Jamie Moyer. Moyer, who two hit the Mets, would give up only one run, a RBI single by David Wright in the third, scoring Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked and then stole second. The Phillies would then tie it in the seventh on a solo home run by Jayson Werth, his thirteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would threathen to take the lead in the top of the eighth, when, with one out, Eric Bruntlett would hit a deep fly ball to left field that would just miss going out of the park, instead ending up on second with a double. After Mets’ starter Oliver Perez strikes out Chase Utley for the second out of the inning, he would put Pat Burrell on first with an intentional walk. Ryan Howard is then hit by the pitch, loading the bases. Perez is then taken out of the game, replaced by Aaron Heilman. Heilmann would proceed to get Werth to end the inning by flying out. In the bottom of the eight, the Mets would regain the lead as, with two men on, and two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit a two-run double, scoring Robinson Cancel, who has gotten on base earlier with a pinch hit single, and Wright, who has just been intentionally walked. But Delgado would be thrown out trying to go to third base, Burrell to Bruntlett to Chris Coste to Pedro Feliz, to finally end the inning, but after the damage has already been done. Billy Wagner would then come in the ninth to record his twenty-sixth save of the year, as the offense goes down without a fight.

Jamie Moyer would pitch seven strong innings, keeping the Mets under control as he gives up only one earned run on two hits while striking out six, as he receives a no-decision. J.C. Romero is tagged with the lost, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Oliver Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits while striking out twelve. Aaron Heilman will get the win, pitching just a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. His record is now 1-2 with a ERA of 4.75. Billy Wagner will record his twenty-six save of the season, giving up only a hit.

The Phillies have now dropped into second place as the offense has allowed another great performance by Jamie Moyer to go down the tube because of their lousy performances at the plate. To say that at this moment the batters might as well just phone in their at bats is an understatement. This is just not acceptable. Where in the world has happen to the passion, the desire, the drive to want to win the Eastern Division for the second straight year, among the players, that they had around this same time last year? I mean, its looking more and more like these guys should be getting ready to join the federal witness protection program so that they can escape the wrath of the angry mob of Phillies fans who are soon going to be booing their sorry ***** out of Citizens Bank Park if they continue with this lackluster playing, instead of being the team that is suppose to be the run producing nightmare of starters for other major league teams. This is just pathetic, just dreadfully pathetic!!! It is especially pathetic with the way that the batters seems to be making even the worst pitcher look like he’s the second coming of Cy Young as he pitched against them. Hitting season? I’m beginning to wonder if Charlie Manuel was speaking a bit too soon when he made that comment back in May. To quote the old professor, Casey Stengel, “Can’t anybody out there play this game?” AAGGGGRRRHHHHH. Will some one please pass me the Alka Seltzer?

The now second place Phillies (54-48) will come home for a three games series with the Braves (48-53). The first game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87) will get the start, coming off of an awful performance against the Marlins on July 19, where he would only last four and one-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 9-5 lost. He will be facing the Braves for the third time this year, with a 2-0 record plus a no-decision, which the Phillies also won, as he would pitch a combined total of seventeen and one-third innings, giving up only eight earned runs on seventeen hits. Lifetime against the Braves, he is 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts. He will be trying to record his ninth win, while trying to get the Phils back on track. The Braves’ starter will be Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22), who is coming off a lost against the Nationals on July 19, where he would pitch six and a third inning, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 lost. He has already pitched a game against the Phillies so far this year, losing to them on July 3, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season while seeing if he has better luck this time against the Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies now trail the first place Mets by a game. They are presently a half-game ahead of the Marlins, who are getting ready to play the Cubs later today. The Braves trails the Phillies by five and a half games, as they have the day off today, before coming into Philly for a three games weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to regroup this weekend, trying to prove that they are indeed a second half team, although their first two series of the second half would seem to say otherwise.

The Phillies’ offense vanishes again as they lose to the Mets, 6-3.

The Phillies’ offense would perform its usual vanishing act as they fall to the Mets, 6-3, once again ending up being tied with the Mets for first place in the East. The Phillies’ returning starter Brett Myers would start out with his familiar first inning problems. After getting Jose Reyes to ground out, second to first, Myers would give up three straight walks to Endy Chavez, David Wright and Carlos Delgado to load the bases. He would then give up his fourth straight pass to Carlos Beltran, forcing in Chavez, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, while leaving the bases still loaded. Marlon Anderson would then make it 2-0 Mets, as he would hit a ground ball that would get pass Ryan Howard, but would be grabbed by Chase Utley, who would throw it over to Myers for the second out, while Wright scores and Delgado and Beltran both move up a base. Myers would finally get out of the inning on a ground out by Damion Easley, third to first. The Phillies would then tie the game in the second when Shane Victorino and Geoff Jenkins would hit back-to-back home runs off of Mets’ starter John Maine. Victornio’s home run would be his seventh home run of the year while Jenkins’ would be his ninth home run of the year. The Mets would retake the lead in the third as another walk would get Myers into trouble. After getting Chavez to ground out, second to first, Myers would give up his fifth and final walk to Wright. He would then hit Delgado, after getting ahead of him, to put two men on base. Beltran would then get a single, the first Mets’ hit of the game, to load the bases. Myers would then get Anderson to strike out for the inning’s second out. But he would then give up a single to Easley, which would knock in Wright to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Brian Schneider would then ground out, second to first, to end the inning. The Phillies would retie the game in the fifth, as Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI double, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled. The Mets would then take the lead for good in the sixth inning as Reyes would hit a three-run home run off of Ryan Madson, his eleventh home run of the year, scoring Easley and Schneider, who have both gotten on base with singles, to give the Mets a 6-3 lead. That would end up being the final score as Billy Wagner would come in the ninth to record his twenty-fifth save of the year.

Brett Myers would get a no-decision as he pitches a somewhat awful five innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, while walking five batters and hitting another, three of whom would later score. Ryan Madson would take the lost, as he pitches an inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits. His record is now 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on three hits. John Maine would get the win, going seven innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. His record is now 9-7 with a 4.20 ERA. Scott Schoeneweis would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Joe Smith would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Billy Wagner would come in in the ninth and record his twenty-fifth save of the year as he would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

Once again the inconsistent Phillies’ offense, after performing a spectular come from behind victory on Tuesday night, would do almost nothing on Wednesday night, as they lose to the Mets. Once again, someone need to come out and act like a team leader and start telling the others what they need to do if they are going to win the division again. Otherwise, they are going to go nowhere when the post-season comes around.

The three games series between the Phillies (54-47) and the Mets (54-47) will conclude this afternoon from Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 12:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (9-6, 3.90), who is coming off an excellent start against the Marlins on July 18, going six innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. Moyer has won his last two starts, giving up two earned runs or less in both starts. He will be trying for his tenth win of the year while trying to put the Phillies back into sole possession of first place. The Mets will counter with Oliver Perez (6-6, 4.36), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on July 19, going six innings as well, while giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, in the Mets’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying to record his seventh win of the year while trying to give the Mets the lead in the East.

The Phillies are once again tied for first place with the Mets while they prepare to face the Mets in the rubber game of their three games series. The Marlins continue to trail by a game as they’d lost to the Braves. They will now start a four games series against the National League Central leading Chicago Cubs at Chicago. The Braves are now traling the Phils and the Mets by six games as they take the day off, before they meet the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park for a three games weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to gain their first series win of the second half while trying to regain sole control of first place in the East before going back home to meet the Braves.

Continuing their series in New York, still battling for first place.

The Phillies (54-46) will continue their three games series with the Mets (53-47) tonight at Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will be sending to the mound Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84), who is coming back from a month-long minor league stint to recover both his fast ball and his confidence. His last start was back on June 27, involved in a no-decision against the Rangers, where he would only pitch two innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 lost. The Phillies will be hoping that his stint in the minor league has actually brought back both his fast ball and his confidence. The Mets will be countering with John Maine (8-7, 4.22), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on July 18, as he would go four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 5-2 lost. He will be going for his ninth win of the year while trying to help the Mets forget about the previous night’s shocking lost.

The Phillies will be going for a series win tonight, trying to build momentum from last night’s surprising come from behind while also trying to win their second straight games in a series. Although it is only July, this series could be end up being the turning point of the entire season, especially with the way they game back to win against a Mets’ bullpen that did not have the services of the team closer Billy Wagner, who presently have shoulders problem. Although listed as day-to-day, he claimed that he be willing to pitch if needed. Well, the Mets certainly needed him last night to help stop the Phillies’ late eruption. The fact that he did not appear last night makes me curious as to how bad his shoulder actually is, in spite of the MRI that was taken of his shoulder turning negative. Guess we’ll all find out if he will be able to pitch for the Mets tonight if a save opportunity looms.

The Phillies have a one game lead over both the second place Mets and Marlins, while their lead over the Braves is now at seven. The Marlins and the Braves will conclude their three games series in Miami, before the Marlins go on to start a four games series with the National League best Chicago Cubs (Can you say posiible fish food for bears? :)) and the Braves have a day off before they come to Philadelphia to start a three games weekend series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies will be looking to increase their lead against the Mets during the rest of the series, and stay in first place, before seeing if they can bury the Braves real deep in fourth place in the NL East this upcoming weekend. 

Phillies rally to score six runs in the ninth off of a Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen to beat the Mets, 8-6.

The Phillies rally to score six runs in the top of the ninth inning off of a Billy Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen while new Phil Joe Blanton is unable to contain the Mets in his first start as a Phil as the Phillies defeat the Mets, 8-6. The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first as Jayson Werth would hit a two out RBI single off of Mets’ starter Johan Santana, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. That would remain the score until the bottom of the third when Phillies’ starter Blanton would give up a RBI double to David Wright, knocking in Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked, to tie the game at one all. But Endy Chavez, who has singled earlier, would try to score on the play, but is instead thrown out at home plate, Burrell to Jimmy Rollins to Carlos Ruiz, who would put the tag on Chavez for the first out of the inning. Two batters later, with Wright still on second base, and with two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit his nineteenth home run of the year, a two-run shot that would give the Mets a 3-1 lead. In between the third and fourth innings, Charlie Manuel would be ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes with the third base umpire as the Phillies believed that Delgado had struck out on an 0-2 pitch while the umpire claimed that he had checked his swing. The Mets would increase their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first, Marlon Anderson, via a walk, and with two outs, Ramon Castro would hit his fifth home run of the year, giving the Mets a 5-1 lead. In the meantime, Santana would keep the Phillies off the scoreboard, until the seventh, when Shane Victorino would hit his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot, that would cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. The Mets would try to break the game wide open in their half of the seventh as Rudy Seanez replaces Blanton on the mound. Seanez would give up a lead-off double to Chavez. Chavez would then attempt to score on a single to right by Wright. But, for the second time in the game, he would be thrown out at the plate, this time from Werth to Coste, who tagged him out for the first out of the inning. On the throw home, Wright would move to second. Seanez would then intentionally walk Carlos Beltran, putting runners on first and second. The Phillies would then replace Seanez with J.C. Romero. Romero would get Delgado to fly out to center for the second out. But he would then hit Damion Easley to load the bases. Romero would then get out of the inning as he would get pinch hitter Fernando Tatis to line out to Chase Utley. In the ninth inning, the Mets would replace Santana with Duaner Sanchez, thinking that the game was over. The Phillies would soon make them think otherwise. Werth would greet Sanchez with a single. Pinch hitter Greg Dobbs would follow with a single, sending Werth to second. Victorino would follow with a single, loading the bases. The Mets would then replace Sanchez with Joe Smith, as they hope that Ruiz would hit into a rally-killing double play. Ruiz would hit a ground ball  to shortstop Reyes, but Reyes would somehow miss the second base bag as a hostling Victornio would reach second on the fielder’s choice ground ball. The bases thus remain loaded as Werth scores to make it a 5-3 game. The Phils would then send out Geoff Jenkins as a pinch hitter, but he would never reach the plate as the Mets would replace Smith with Pedro Feliciano, while the Phillies would counter with So Taguchi, who was so far 0-for-16 as a pinch hitter. Taguchi would this time connect as he would hit a two-run double, scoring both Dobbs and Victorino and sending Ruiz to third, as the game was now tied at five all. Rollins would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Ruiz and Taguchi, to give the Phillies a 7-5 Phillies. Utley would then ground out to first for the first out of the inning, moving Rollins over to third. Burrell is then intentionally walked, putting runners on the corners, and setting up the double play. Ryan Howard would hit a ground ball straight to Feliciano, who would then drop the ball, before picking it up and throwing out Howard, as Rollins scores to make it 8-5 Phillies, while Burrell would go to second. Aaron Heilman is then sent into the game to replace Feliciano. Heilman would walk Werth, the man who has started the inning off, putting runners on first and second, with two outs. Heliman would then get Dobbs to pop up to Reyes to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would send out their closer Brad Lidge to end the game. He starts the inning off by walking Chavez. Chavez would then go to second on defensive indifference. Lidge would then strike out Wright for the inning’s first out. Chavez would then go to third on a Lidge’s wild pitch before finally scoring on a ground out to first by Beltran, for the second out, making the score 8-6 Phillies. That would be the final score as Lidge would get Delgado to ground out, third to first for the final out, as he records his twenty-second straight save, tying the team’s record for most consecutive saves in a row set a few years earlier by Billy Wagner.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision, as he pitches six innings in his first start as a Phil, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would get the victory as he goes an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 1.78. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-second save, as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on no hits. Johan Santana would also get a no-decision, going eight innings, giving up only two runs on eight scattered hits. The Mets bullpen would then take over and implode as the team’s closer, Billy Wagner, would be unavailable to pitch. Duaner Sanchez would face three batters, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Joe Smith would take the loss as he face only one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits. His record is now 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA. Pedro Feliciano would get his second blown save, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Aaron Heilman would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies have won the game by doing something that they haven’t been able to do too much of since May, come back from behind in the ninth inning to win a game while trailing by several runs. Of course, they did it after the Mets have taken out their starter, Johan Santana, who for the third time this season has pitched a quality start against the Phillies. The Phillies would be able to produce a rally in the ninth inning, because of the use of small ball, hustling on the part of Shane Victorino on Carlos Ruiz’s ground ball, luck (Jose Reyes missing second base on Ruiz’s grounder, and Pedro Feliciano’s bobbling of Howard’s ground ball to him with the chance for an inning ending double play), some situational hitting by Chase Utley to move Jimmy Rollins over to third, and, lastly, So Taguchi finally getting a pinch hit when the Phillies needed it the most. Whether this will be the turning point of the season, or just a temporary blip on the radar screen will be found out during the next two games of the series.

The Phillies (54-46) will continue their three games series with the Mets (53-47) tomorrow night at Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies starter will be Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84), who is coming back from a minor league stint to recover both his fast ball and his confidence. His last start was back on June 27 in a no-decision against the Rangers, where he would only pitch two innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 lost. The Phillies will be hoping that his stint in the minor league has actually brought back both his fast ball and his confidence. The Mets will send to the mound John Maine (8-7, 4.22), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on July 18, as he goes four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 5-2 lost. He will be going for his ninth win of the year while trying to help the Mets get over their previous night’s lost.

The Phillies, with their win, have regain sole control of first place, while they now lead both the Mets and the Marlins by one game and the Braves by seven, thanks to the Braves’ lost to the fish last night. The Phillies will now try to build momentum from their come from behind win as they attempt for either a series sweep or a series win before heading back home to meet the Braves at Citizens Bank Park for a three games weekend series.

Phillies enter New York, hoping to leave still in first place.

The Phillies (53-46) goes to New York to meet the Mets (53-46) for an important three games series for first place in the National League East. The first game of the series will be played tonight in Shea Stadium and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their new acquistion, Joe Blanton (5-12, 4.96), who is pitching for the first time since his start as an Oakland Athletics against the Mariners back on July 9. That would end up being his twelfth lost of the season, as he would pitch six innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits, in the A’s 4-6 lost. This will be both Blanton’s first start as a Phillie, and his first start as a National League pitcher. But this will not be the first time that he has faced the Mets. In two previous starts, for the A’s, he has shut them down for fifteen innings, giving up no runs. This will be Blanton’s first start in thirteen days and the Phillies hope that he will be well rested and ready to continue his success against the Mets, as the Phillies will try to win their first series of the second half and regain control of first place. The Mets’ starter will be Johan Santana (8-7, 3.10), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds on July 17, as he would last only four innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 10-8 come from behind victory. Santana has lost four of his last seven starts, during which his record would be 1-4 with two no-decisions, both of which were lost by the Mets, where he would pitch a combine total of forty-five innings, giving up eleven earned runs on thirty-eight hits. His last start against the Phillies was on July 4, one of his two no-decisions, during which he would go eight innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 3-2 lost. This year, his record against the Phils is 1-0, with a no-decision, where he has given up five earned runs in fifteen innings of work. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year while trying to set up the tone for the Mets’ series with the presently floundering Phils.

The Phillies’ offense will be once again trying to regain the potent offense that they had in late May and early June, which seems to have vanished after their twenty run outburst in St. Louis on June 13. The Phillies have not done too well this season against divisional opponents, outside of the Atlanta Braves, presently being only 3-7 against the Mets. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win against the Mets, as well as of the second half, as they hope to take advantage of Mets’ closer Billy Wagner’s present day-to-day status because of a bad shoulder. But, in order to do that, they will need to start playing more situational baseball, the lack of which manager Charlie Manuel has blasted them about after losing Sunday’s game with the fish. If they don’t, they will definately be saying hello to the Nationals before the end of August.

The Phillies are presently tied with the Mets’ for first place in the National League East, both leading the Marlins by a full game, and the Braves by six, after the Braves’ defeat of the fish last night in Miami in the first game of a three games set between the two teams.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.