July 2008

Is the old Adam Eaton back as the Phillies lose to the D-backs, 10-4.

The old Adam Eaton of late ’07 might have returned as the Phillies have lost to the Diamondbacks, 10-4. The D-backs would score first as Chad Tracy would hit a RBI single, knocking in Stephen Drew, who has earlier singled, giving the D-backs a 1-0 lead. Mark Reynolds then hit into a force out, third to second, scoring Conor Jackson, who has earlier singled, to make it 2-0 Arizona. The Phillies would tie it in the third as Shane Victorino hit his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot off of D-backs’ starter, Randy Johnson, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier walked. But then the old Adam Eaton would reappear in the top of the fourth. After easily getting out the first two batters, Eaton would give up a single to Alex Romero. Robby Hammock would follow with a walk, moving Romero to second. Johnson would then come to the plate, and after getting the count to go to 3-2, after trailing 1-2, would hit a two-run double to left, scoring both Romero and Hammock, giving the Diamondbacks a 4-2 lead. Drew then walks. Jackson would then follow with his own double to left, scoring Johnson to make it 5-2 D-backs, while moving Drew to third. Eaton then intentionally walked Orlando Hudson to load the bases. He would also be the last batter he would face, as Charlie Manuel replaces him with R.J. Swindle. Swindle is greeted by a single from Tracy, scoring both Drew and Jackson, making it 7-2 D-backs, while sending Hudson to third. The next batter, Reynolds, who has started the inning, then hit a three-run home run off of Swindle, his nineteenth home run of the year, to give the D-backs a commanding 10-2 lead. After giving up a single to Chris Young, Swindle would finally end the inning by getting Romero to fly out. In the fifth, the Phillies would shorten the lead as Swindle gets his first career RBI by grounding out to the right side of the infield, second to first, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on a Ruiz ground out, making it 10-3, D-backs. Victorino then follows with his fifth home run of the year, a solo shot, also off of Johnson, making it 10-4 D-backs. And that would be the game as both team would not be able to score any more runs, with the game ending in a D-backs’ victory as Micah Owings would get the Phillies to go down 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Adam Eaton took the lost, as it appears that the Eaton of late ’07 has returned. He would only go three and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 3-8 with an ERA of 5.71. R.J. Swindle pitches one and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. Rudy Seanez would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on one hits. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Randy Johnson would get the win as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 6-7 with a 5.23 ERA. Leo Rosales would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning while Micah Owings would pitch two shut out innings.

The Phillies’ offense was for the most part unable to handle Randy Johnson, as usual, while Adam Eaton got nailed in the fourth inning, after the Phillies were able to tie the score in the third inning. It seems that with the last two starts that the Adam Eaton who was pitching in the last few months of ’07 has returned, especially as Eaton allowed himself to not get out of the inning after giving up a hit to Alex Romero, instead of just going after the following batter. Giving up the double to Randy Johnson, after getting ahead made it worst as he appear to fool around with Johnson before he threw the pitch that Johnson drilled to left for a double, knocking in two runs. If the late ’07 Eaton has returned, the Phillies are going to be in a lot of trouble while he’s on the mound. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m starting to think that someone needs to nip this in the bud before that happens.

The Phillies (51-44) will play the final game of their three games set with the Diamondbacks (47-47, 1st National League West) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.18), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on July 8, where he would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on only three hits, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. He will for the second time be trying to get his tenth win of the year, while also trying to end the first half for the Phillies on a winning note. He will be countered by Brandon Webb (13-4, 3.27), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 8, where he went six innings, giving up no runs on six hits, in the D-backs’ 2-0 victory. This will be his second start against the Phils, having defeated them in his previous start on May 8, having gone all nine innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, in the D-backs’ 8-3 win. He will be trying to increase his major leaague lead in wins, while trying to end the Diamondbacks’ first half on a winning note.

The Phillies’ lead, thanks to the lost, has now shrunk to half a game as the Mets has won their eighth game in a row while the Phillies were losing to the D-backs. The Marlins are now trailing by a game, as they prepare for their game with the Dodgers, while the Phillies’ lead against the Braves is now seven games as they prepare to meet the Padres. The Phillies hope to end the first half of the season on a high note while keeping their lead in the National League East before they begin the second half with a three games series against the Marlins in Miami.

Phillies win the game in the twelfth inning on Jason Werth’s walk-off single.

Thanks to a Jayson Werth single in the bottom of the twelfth, the Phillies have now won their third straight game as they defeat the D-backs in extra-innings, 6-5.

The Phillies would take a quick 1-0 lead in the second inning as Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-eighth home run of the year, a solo shot off of the D-backs’ starter, Doug Davis. The score would remain 1-0 for the next several innings, as Davis, and Phillies’ starter, Kyle Kendrick, would be involved in a pitchers’ duel until the top of the sixth, when, with two outs and a runner on third, Chad Tracy would hit a RBI single, scoring Orlando Hudson, who has earlier singled, stole second and has went to third on a ground out, tying the score at one all. The Phillies would retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth, when, with two men out, Pedro Feliz, who has earlier reached base with a walk, and has gone to third on Shane Victorino’s double, would score on a wild pitch by Davis, making it 2-1 Phillies, while Victornio would go to third. After Carlos Ruiz is intentionally walked, he would attempt to steal second with Kendrick batting. While Ruiz is caught off second, Victornio would break for home, and would score during the rundown, to make it 3-1 Phillies, before Ruiz is finally tagged out, Miguel Montero (catcher) to Stephen Drew (shortstop) to Tracy (first baseman), for the final out of the inning. In the seventh, Kendrick would get knocked out of the box as he is unable to keep the Diamondbacks from scoring, as the first three men that he would face in the inning would get on base: Montero would start the inning off with a single, then go to third on a Alex Romero double, putting runners on second and third. Pinch hitter Emilio Bonifacio would then double, scoring both Montero and Romero, making it three all. Augie Ojeda would then move Bonifacio over to third with a sacrifice bunt, for the first out. Charlie Manuel would then take out Kendrick, replacing him with R.J. Swindle. Drew would greet Swindle with a RBI single, scoring Bonifacio, making it 4-3 D-backs. Swindle is then replaced by Chad Durbin, who would get out the two men that he would face via a swinging strike out (Hudson) and a pop out to the catcher (Conor Jackson). The D-backs would make it 5-3 in the eighth, when Romero would hit a RBI double, while being robbed of a possible home run by an almost great catch by Victorino, which would score Montero, but Romero would be thrown out at third base when he tried to turn it into a triple, Victorino to Jimmy Rollins to Feliz. In the Phillies’ half of the eighth, Howard would start the inning off with a walk. He would then move to second on a single by Pat Burrell. After Eric Bruntlett comes in to pinch run for Burrell, Feliz would then bunt both him and Howard over a base. Victornio would then follow with a two-run triple, scoring both Howard and Bruntlett, tying the score at five all. The Phillies would then threaten to score the winning run from the ninth inning on, but would be unable to score until the twelfth, while the bullpen would shut down the Diamondbacks. So Taguchi would start the inning off with a single. He would be moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Coste, for the first out. Rollins would then be intentionally walk. Jayson Werth would then follow with a single, that would score Taguchi, giving the Phillies the win.

Kyle Kendrick would receive a no-decision, pitching six and a third innings before finally being knocked out of the box by the D-backs, giving up four earned runs on nine hits. R.J. Swindle would face only one batter, giving up one hit. Chad Durbin would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up an earned run on two hits. Brad Lidge, Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero would combine to pitch three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit between them. Rudy Seanez would get the victory as he pitches an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 4-3 with a 2.63 ERA. Doug Davis would also get a no-decision as he would go six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Chad Qualls would go an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Doug Slaten would face just one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits. Tony Pena would get a blown save, his third of the year, as he would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Leo Rosales would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up only two hits. Connor Robertson would take the lost, going one and a third inning, giving up one earned runs on four hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA.

The Phillies (51-43) will continue their three games series with the Diamondbacks (46-47, 1st Natiomal League West) tomorrow afternoon with the second of their three games from Citizens Bank Park. The game would start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Adam Eaton (3-7, 5.20), who is coming off an awful start against the Mets on July 7, where he would only go two and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 10-9 lost. Lifetime against the D-backs he is 3-5 in 14 startes with a 4.23 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to keep the Phillies ahead of the other teams in the East. The D-backs will counter with Randy Johnson, (5-7, 5.18), who is coming off a win against the Padres on July 6, as he would go six and one third innings, giving up only one run on three hits, in the Diamondbacks’ 3-2 win. Johnson will be trying for his second straight victory while hoping to be able to dominate the Phillies as he has done in the past.

The Phillies’ lead over both the Marlins and the Mets is still a game and a half as they have both won their games while their lead over the Braves have increased to seven and a half games with their lost to the Padres. The Phillies will try to continue their present winning streak while hoping to put some distance between themselves and their nearest rivals.

The Phillies prepare to host the D-backs in their last home games before the All-Star break.

The Phillies (50-43) will conclude their ten games home stand with a three games series against the Diamondbacks (46-46, 1st National League West) that begins tonight at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.39), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 6, as he pitched six innings, giving up only one earned run on eight scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 lost. He’ll be trying once again for his ninth win of the season, and for his fourth straight quality start, while hoping to be able to throw another quality start against the D-backs as he did back on May 7, where he went six innings, giving up only three earned runs on ten hits as he received a no-decision, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. The D-backs will counter with Doug Davis (3-4, 3.74), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on July 5, where he went eight innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Diamonbacks’ 4-2 lost. Lifetime against the Phillies he is 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA in six starts. He will be trying to even his record, while trying to keep the D-backs in first place in the weak Western Division.

The Phillies’ offense is still trying to regain its strength while starting pitching has been pitching rather well during the last several games in spite of getting almost no help from the offense. During this time, Ryan Howard’s bat seem to have come alive, as he has hit safely in his last thirteen games, and in the last ten, he has gone 15 for 40 for a .375 average, getting in that span seven extra-base hits, all of them home runs, and knocking in fifteen RBIs, as he has taken the National League lead in both home runs (27) and RBIs (83). Howard is presently riding on a hot bat, as he has raised his batting average to .234. The Phillies will be looking towards riding on his hot bat for a while. Another hot bat is Pat Burrell, who, during the same ten games span, has gone 12 for 35 for a .343 average, although taking the collar (0 for 3) in last night’s game. Burrell will be trying to see if he can remain hot. A third hot bat, believe it or not, is Pedro Feliz, who has hit 11 for 35 in his last ten games for a .314 average, lifting his average up to .266. Another player who has been swinging the bat better lately is Jimmy Rollins who has gone 12 for 41 in the last ten games for a .293 average, along with five stolen bases. Jimmy could probably improve on his average by not swinging at the first three pitches thrown at him by pitchers, becoming more selective at the plate as he was last year. The Phillies’ offense hope that Chase Utley and Shane Victorino will also get hot during the last series of their present home stand, before they go out on their next road trip which will take them to Miami and New York, before coming back home for a short home stand with the Braves.

The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins and the Mets is still a game and a half, as both teams won their games yesterday, while their lead over the Braves has increased to six and a half games as the Braves has the day off. As the Phillies prepare to host the D-backs, the fish will continue their four games series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles, while the Mets will start a three games series at home with the Rockies, and the Braves will begin a three games series with the Padres in San Diego. The Phillies will be trying to win the third of their last four series while trying to increase their lead in the East before the All-Star break.

Phillies win series with the Cardinals as Ryan Howard hits two home runs to defeat the redbirds, 4-1.

Jamie Moyer pitched seven strong innings as Ryan Howard belted two home runs, taking the major league lead from Chase Utley in the process, as the Phillies defeated the Cardinals, 4-1, to take the series. The Phillies have won their first series at home since they’d took three games out of four from the Reds back on June 2-5. The Phillies took the lead in the bottom of the first as Ryan Howard hit a two-run home run off of Cardinals’ starter, Braden Looper, his now major league leading twenty-sixth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino who has earlier singled, giving the Phillies a quick 2-0 lead. They would increase their lead to 3-0 in the third as Chase Utley hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled. The Cardinals would get a run back in the fourth, as Yadier Molina singles in Troy Glaus, who has earlier doubled, making it 3-1 Phillies. The Phillies would get that run back as Howard would hit his major league leading twenty-seventh home run of the year, a solo shot, to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead. But that would turn out to be it as Jamie Moyer would pitch seven strong innings, getting the Cardinals to hit into three double plays while striking out four. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero would together pitch two scoreless frames, with Romero snuffing a threat in the ninth inning, to record his first save of the year.

Jamie Moyer will get the win, going seven innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits. His record is now 8-6 with a 3.95 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch one and a third innings of relief, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would get his first save of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Braden Looper will get the lose, as he pitches six innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-7 with a 4.25 ERA. Russ Springer would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Ron Villone woild go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chris Perez would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies’ offense was able to put up some runs on the scoreboard, thanks to Ryan Howard’s two home runs, and Chase Utley’s RBI double with a man in scoring position. Hopefully, this will mean that the bats are finally awake and are now waiting to do some damage on their next opponent, the presently not so dominating Diamondbacks. Meanwhile, the veteran Jamie Moyer continues to impress as he shuts down the Cardinals, giving up only seven scattered hits, while getting three double play balls behind him to help keep the redbirds from being able to do any damage.

The Phillies (50-43) will conclude their ten games home stand with a three games set against the Diamondbacks (45-46, 1st-T National League West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.39), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 6, as he pitched his third straight quality start as he gave up only one earned run on eight scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 lost. He’ll be for the second time trying for his ninth win of the season, and his fourth straight quality start, while hoping to throw another quality start against the D-backs as he did back on May 7, where he went six innings, giving up only three earned runs on ten hits while receiving a no-decision, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. The D-backs will send to the mound Doug Davis (3-4, 3.74), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on July 5, where he went eight innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Diamonbacks’ 4-2 lost. Lifetime against the Phillies he is 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA in six starts. He will be trying to even his record, while trying to keep the D-backs in first place with the Dodgers.

The Phillies’ lead is still one and a half games over the Mets as the Mets win their game with the Giants. The Phillies are at the moment leading the Marlins by two games, as the fish prepare to start a four games series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Phillies have increased their lead over the Braves to six and a half game, as the Braves have an off-day today. The Phillies hope to extend their winning streak while trying to increase their lead in the East before the start of the All-Star break.

Happ optioned to Lehigh Valley, Mike Cervenak called up for short assignment.

Phillies option Happ to Triple-A
Club impressed with young lefty’s effort in two starts

Phillies end slide, defeating the Cardinals, 4-2.

The Phillies end their four game losing streak, thanks to a good pitching effort by J.A. Happ, and two solo home runs in the eighth inning from Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz as the Phillies defeat the Cardinals, 4-2. The game started out as a pitchers’ duel between Happ and Cardinals’ reliever Brad Thompson, who was pitching in relief of Mark Mulder, who had left the game in the first inning after hurting his elbow. This would end in the fifth, when, with one out and a runner on first, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI triple, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. But Rollins would then be thrown out at the plate on a Shane Victorino fielder’s choice ground ball, shortstop Cesar Izturis to catcher Jason LaRue. Chase Utley would then hit a single, sending Victorino to second base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a single, scoring Victorino, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. In the seventh, as Happ stayed in the game to try and give the bullpen a rest, started the inning by getting Brendan Ryan to fly out for the first out. Itzuris would then get on base with a single. The next batter, Skip Schumaker, would follow with a ground-rule double, after Victorino tells the umpires that the ball had gotten stuck in the panneling, forcing Itzuris to go back to third. That would be it for Happ, as he is taken out of the ballgame by Charlie Manuel, to a standing ovation from the fans. Manuel replaces Happ with Chad Durbin. Durbin would walk Ryan Ludwick to load the bases. Albert Pujols would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Itzuris, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Troy Glaus would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Schumaker, making it two all, while Ludwick and Glaus would both move up a base on the throw to the place. After intenionally walking Rick Ankiel, Durbin would finally end the inning by striking out Joe Mather for the third out. In the eighth, Howard would give the lead back to the Phillies as he would hit his twenty-fifth home run of the year, tying Chase Utley for the major league lead in home runs, a solo shot off of Cardinals’ reliever Kyle McClellan, making it 3-2 Phillies. Three batters later, with two men out, and Chris Perez now pitching for the Cardinals, Pedro Feliz would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year, to make it 4-2 Phillies. In the ninth inning, Brad Lidge would be sent out to save the game, which he would do, in spite of a attempt to tie the game by the Cardinals, as he would strike out Ankiel with two men on and two outs, to record his twentieth save of the year in twenty tires.

J.A. Happ would pitch an excellent game, although only receiving a no-decision as he goes six and one-third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out five. Chad Durbin would receive his second blown of the season, as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches a scoreless, hitless inning as he strikes out the side. His record is now 2-1 with a ERA of 3.82. Brad Lidge would also go one inning, as he gives up no runs on no hits, walking two and striking out two. Mark Mulder would pitch only one third of an inning, walking two hitters and striking out one, before being taken out because of a bad elbow. Brad Thmpson would pitch four and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, getting a no-decision. Russ Springer would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Jason Isringhausen would pitch an inning, also giving up no runs or hits. Kyle McClellan would take the lost, pitching an inning plus one batter, while giving up only one earned run on one hit, Ryan Howard’s solo shot. His record is now 1-4 with a 2.74 ERA. Chris Perez would also pitch an inning, also giving up an earned run on one hit, Pedro Feliz’s solo home run.

J.A. Happ has obviously been taking advice from Jamie Moyer, otherwise how else do you explain how he well he was able to keep the redbirds off-balanced until the seventh inning. It’s too bad that Durbin was unable to shut down the Cardinals after being called in to relieve Happ, especially since the Phillies plan to send him back to Lehigh Valley after the All-Star break to bring back Brett Myers. I for one will not be looking forward to that if the youngster continues pitching like a stud. Anyone out there have an idea on how to persuade the powers that be that it would be better for the team to keep the kid in the bigs after this performance? Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense is still not scoring runs, even if Ryan Howard has just broke a team record of the most RBIs knocked in by a team player before the All-Star break, breaking Greg Luzinski’s old record with his eightieth RBI of the year. The offense really needs to knock in runs with man in scoring positions. Seriously.

The three games series between the Phillies (49-43) and the Cardinals (51-41, 2nd National League Central) will conclude tomorrow afternoon with a Business Person’s Special. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.12), who is coming off a good start against the Mets on July 5, getting a no-decision as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 9-4 lost. He will once again be trying for his eighth victory of the year, while hoping to help the Phillies win their first series at home since the series against the Reds. Braden Looper (9-6, 4.15), who is coming off a lost against the Cubs on July 4, where he would go seven innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Cardinals’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth win of the season, while trying to stop the Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies’ victory will keep their lead over both the Marlins and the Mets at a game and a half as they both won their game. The Braves trail the Phillies by six games, as they lost their game to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope to keep their lead over the rest of the Eastern division, while trying to win the last two series on their home stand.

Still hosting the Cards, trying to end a slide.

The Phillies (48-43) continue their three games series with the Cardinals (51-40, 2nd National League Central), with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will by rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.86), who is coming off a recent no-decision against the Mets on July 4, where he would pitch four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 victory. He will be trying for his first major league victory while seeing if he will be able to pitch good enough to stay in the majors. The Cardinals will counter with their rookie Mark Mulder (0-0, 13.50), who is making his first start of the year, after spending some time in the bullpen. In his last appearace in the bullpen, on July 2 against the Mets, he would only go a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. He will be seeing if he can do well as a starter, while trying to keep the Phillies’ bats quiet.

Speaking of the Phillies’ offense, someone among the players needs to lit into the rest of the team to get them out of their present funk. The offense has been acting like a sleepwalker for almost a whole month, and quite frankly, it needs to stop, and the only way it is going to stop is for one of the players to start acting like a team leader and get on the collective tails of the other batters. If this will ruffle some feathers, tough. This team is suppose to be better than this, and if they are waiting for someone to get a big hit, then they have been waiting too long. Someone needs to take command and tell the rest of them to get off their collective ***** and prove to themselves and everyone else in the league that they are the fourth best team in the National League and are a potent runs producer, instead of appearing to be a weak team that is playing a lot higher than they should be. Otherwise, they might as well start looking forward to another year of not being in the playoffs and a lot of really ticked off Phillies’ fans.

The Phillies lead is presently a game over the Marlins as they have just defeated the Padres. They are a game and a half ahead of the Mets as they prepare to greet the Giants. They lead the Braves by five games, as they plan to play the Dodgers later tonight. The Phillies hope to get the offense restared while trying to stave off both the Marlins and the Mets, two teams who they have allowed back into the pennant race because of their inconsistant play.

Phillies lose their fourth straight game as the offense vanishes, losing to the Cardinals, 2-0.

Cole Hamels pitches a very good game as he only gives up three hits in seven innings of work. Unfortunately, two of those hits would be solo home runs. And even worst, the Phillies’ offense disappeared completely, as they got only six hits, as they lose their fourth straight game, falling to the Cardinals, 2-0. The game would be a pitchers’ duel between Hamels and Cardinals’ starter, Joel Pineiro, as the Phillies would squander a chance to take the lead in the second, while Hamels would keep the redbirds off-balanced. That is until the fifth, when Hamels gives up a solo home run to Rick Ankiel, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. One inning later, with two men out, he would give up another solo home run, this one to Ryan Ludwick, his eighteenth home run of the year, to make it 2-0 Cardinals. That would be it, as the Phillies would be unable to mount much of an offense, as the batters would blow a rally in the seventh. Ryan Franklin would pitch the ninth, recording his twelfth save of the year.

Cole Hamels would take the lost, in spite of pitching seven innings of three hit ball as he gives up two earned runs. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit each. Joel Pineiro would pitch six and one thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up only five hits. Ron Villone would pitch two-thirds innings of scoreless, hitless pitching. Kyle McClellan would pitch a hitless, scoreless inning. Ryan Franklin would pitch a scoreless night as he gives up only one hit while recording his twelfth save of the year.

Once again, the offense vanishes after showing a sign of life the previous day. This is getting to be a real annoyance. The Phillies are suppose to be one of the best runs producing teams in baseball, but I sometimes wonder if its really is, considering how much they seem to prefer letting their big men do all of their scoring and not even show a willingness to do some small ball. What is it with this team and creating runs when the big men can’t seem to get going? Are they afraid of looking like an ordinary team? If they are, then shame on them. They need to get off their individual high horses and start playing some small ball, and in that way put some pressure on the defense. Otherwise, start saying hello to the Nationals if they keep playing like this.

The Phillies (48-43) continue their three games series with the Cardinals (51-40, 2nd National League Central), with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will by rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.86), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 4, where he pitched four and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 victory. He will be trying for his first major league victory while seeing if he will be able to pitch good enough to stay in the majors. The Cardinals will counter with rookie Mark Mulder (0-0, 13.50), who is making his first start of the year, after spending time in the bullpen. His last appearace, on July 2 against the Mets, he would only go a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. He will be seeing if he can do well as a starter, while trying to keep the Phillies’ bats quiet.

The lost leave the Phillies with a one game lead over the Marlins, who are presently losing to the Padres. Their lead over the Mets is now at a game and a half as the Mets crushed the Giants. The Phillies lead the Braves by five and a half games, as they are presently involved in a scoreless game with the Dodgers. The Phillies will once again try to find out where their defense have disappeared to so that they can get back to winning and leading their division.

Edit: The Phils lead is still at a game and a half as the Marlins are defeated by the Padres. The defeat now placed the Marlins in a tied for second with the Mets. Wheee I say in sarcastically. Come on offense, wake up, blast it!!!!

Trying to regroup as they prepare to host the Redbirds.

The Phillies (48-42) will start a three games series with the Cardinals (50-40, 2nd National League Central) at Citizens Bank Park. The first game of the series will be played tonight, beginning at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace, Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22), who has won his last start against the Braves on July 3, just missing his third complete game shut out. Hamels would instead pitch eight and two-thirds innings, as he gives up only one earned run on five scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has won his last two starts, giving up five earned runs on eleven hits as he pitched a combined total of fifteen and two-thirds innings. He will be gunning for his tenth win of the season, while hoping to end the Phillies’ present slide, as well as trying to give a tired, presently depleted bullpen a well needed rest. The Cardinals will counter with Joel Pineiro (2-4, 4.52), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 2, where he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on eleven hits, in the Cardinals’ 8-7 win. Pineiro will be looking for his first victory since April 29, while the Cardinals’ hope that he will be able to keep them in the game against a probably angry Phillies team.

The Phillies’ offense last night seem to have recovered their hitting stroke, but they will need to start scoring runs in the early innings, while the starters will need to stop giving up runs in those same early innings so that their batters won’t have to be chasing after their opponents after falling behind. Hopefully, Hamels will give the Phillies a very well needed shot in the arm.

The Phillies’ lead against the Marlins has now shrunk down to a game and a half, as the fish prepare for the second of their three games with the Padres. The Mets will now start a three games series with the Giants in New York, as they now trail the Phillies by two and a half games. The Braves still trail the Phils by six games as they continue their three games series with the Dodgers. The Phillies will now be trying to win the last two series of their home stand before the All-Star break, hoping that they will get some help from the teams in the National League West who are now playing against their divisional opponents, while at the same time hoping to improve their lead in their division while becoming more consistant team. 

Phillies’ comeback falls short, as Eaton gets crushed by the Mets.

The Phillies lose their third straight game to the Mets as a late inning rally would fall short as they could not overcome an early deficit, losing 10-9. The Phillies’ starter, Adam Eaton, would only be able to go two and two-thirds innings as he is roughed up by the Mets’ batters, who were coming off a high left over from their win on Sunday. The damage would begin in the very first inning, as Jose Reyes, who has gotten on base earlier with a single and have moved to third on Endy Chavez’s single, would score the first Mets’ run on a David Wright ground out, second to first, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, while Chavez would go to second on the play. Two batters later, with Chavez on third and with two outs, a Damion Easley would score Chavez, making it 2-0 Mets. The Mets would increase their lead in the second, when, with two men on and two outs, Chavez would hit a RBI single, scoring Brian Schneider, who has gotten on base earlier during a force out, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. A Wright double would make it 5-0, as he knocks in Reyes, who has earlier walked and Easley. The Mets would then chase Adam Eaton out of the game in the third inning. With one out, and with runners on the corners, Schneider would ground out short to first for out number two, while scoring Carlos Delgado, who has earlier doubled, to make it a 6-0 Mets’ lead. Pedro Martinez would then reach base on a Greg Dobbs’ fielding error, allowing Fernando Tatis, who has earlier singled, to score, making it 7-0 Mets. Two batters later, Chavez would single in Martinez, making it 8-0. Clay Condrey would relieve Eaton and would finally end the inning by getting Wright to fly out. The Phillies would get a run back in the fourth as Chase Utley would hit his major league leading twenty-fifth home run of the year off of Mets’ starter Martinez, a solo shot, which would make it 8-1 Mets. The Mets would then increase their lead in the sixth, as they knocked in two runs off of R.J. Swindle, who was pitching his first game after being recalled from Lehigh Valley to replace Tom Gordon in the bullpen. The first run would come in on a solo home run by Wright, his seventeenth home run of the year, to make it 9-1 Mets. Later, with the bases loaded, and two outs, Martinez would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Beltran, who has earlier singled, making it 10-1 Mets. But, that would be the last run that the Mets would score last night, as Shane Victorino throws out Easley at home plate, with Chris Coste supplying the tag, for the final out of the inning. From that point on, the Phillies would attempt a comeback. It would begin in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, to make it 10-2 Mets. The Phillies would continue in the seventh, as Victorino would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins who has earlier singled, to cut the Mets’ lead to 10-3. Two batters later, Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Victorino, on a ball that was originally called a ground rule double because of possible fan’s interference. But, after an agrument from Charlie Manuel, and a conversation among the umpires, the ruling was changed into a home run. This would in turn lead to an argument from Mets’ manager, Jerry Manuel, who would then be ejected from the game, as the Mets now lead the game 10-5. In the eighth, the Phillies would continue their comeback, as Geoff Jenkins would hit a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, making it 10-7 Mets. Then in the ninth, with Billy Wagner on the mound, the Phils tried to send it into extra-innings. Victornio would start the inning off with a double, followed by a walk to Eric Bruntlett, with nobody out. After Howard strikes out and Burrell flies out to right, Pedro Feliz would hit a pinch single, scoring Victornio and sending Bruntlett to third, making it 10-8 Mets. On the play, Beltran would throw the ball away, as he tries to cut down Bruntlett at third, for an error, allowing Bruntlett to score and sending Feliz over to second base, as the Phillies now trail the Mets 10-9. But, that would be as close as the Phillies would get, as Wagner would get Werth to fly out to right to end the game, recording his twentieth save of the year.

Adam Eaton would take the lost, as he gets rocked for eight earned runs on ten hits as he is only able to go two and two thirds inning. His record is now 3-7 with a 5.20 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two and one third innings of scoreless ball, giving up just two hits. R.J.Swindle would pitch three innings of relief, giving up two earned runs on four hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. Pedro Martinez would get the win, as he goes five and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.86 ERA. Tony Armas would go an inning and a third, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Aaron Heilman would also go an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Billy Wagner would pitch the ninth, recording his twentieth save of the season, as he gives up two earned runs on two hits.

The Phillies’ offense was once again stifled in the early going, while being put in the hole early by Adam Eaton’s bad start on the mound. But slowly it came back to life, scoring all but one of its runs in the last four innings, mostly by the long ball, as they, for the first time in a while, refused to quit, despite being buried early. It could mean the reemergence of the team that was finding ways to win games back in April and early May before the period when the team would seem to be able to score runs at will. If so, it would be coming not a moment too soon, as the Cardinals and then the Diamondbacks would be coming into town for the last two series before the All-Star break.

The Phillies (48-42) will start a three games set with the Cardinals (50-40, 2nd National League Central) at Citizens Bank Park. The first game of the series will be played tonight, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace, Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22), who has won his last start against the Braves on July 3, just missing out on his third complete game shut out. He would instead go eight and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has won his last two starts giving up five earned runs on eleven hits as he pitched a combined total of fifteen and two-thirds innings. He will be gunning for his tenth win of the season, while hoping to end the Phillies’ present slide. The Cardinals will counter with Joel Pineiro (2-4, 4.52), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 2, as he would go only five innings, giving up four earned runs on eleven hits in the Cardinals’ 8-7 win. Pineiro will be looking for his first victory since April 29, while the Cardinals’ hope that he will keep them in the game against a probably angry Phillies team.

The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins has been cut down to one and half games, as the fish were able to defeat the Padres. The Mets are now trailing the Phillies by two and a half games. The Braves still trail the Phillies by six games as they lost to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope that last night’s comeback attempt, although a failure, could be the launch pad for a very productive period, as the Phillies look to find somebody, or rather somebodies, upon whom to take out their present offensive frustrations out on, while trying to once again take complete control of the East before the All-Star break.

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