The Phillies’ bullpen lose their second straight game as Chad Durbin gives up a two-run home run to Fernando Tatis in extra-innings, as the Mets beat the Phillies, 4-2. The game would be a pitchers’ duel for most of the day, as both Phillies’ starter Kyle Kendrick and Mets’ starter Oliver Perez would constantly pitch themselves out of trouble. The only run that would be scored off of either pitcher would be a solo home run off of Kendrick in the third inning by Carlos Beltran, his thirteen home run of the year, that would give the Mets a 1-0 lead. That would be the score until the top of the ninth, when, with Jose Reyes on third, after getting on base with a single, steal second and then move on to third on Endy Chavez’s sacrifice bunt, would score on Beltran’s RBI single off of Brad Lidge, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, with Mets’ closer Billy Wagner on the mound, Jayson Werth, with a runner on first, and two outs, would tie the ballgame with his twelfth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a single. The game would go into extra-innings. In the twelfth inning, with Carlos Delgado on second, via a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Tatis would hit a two-run home run off of Durbin for his second home run of the year, and give the Mets a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the twelfth, the Phils would be unable to get anything going after an single by Jimmy Rollins, as Mets’ reliever, Joe Smith would put down the next three hitters, preserving the win.
Kyle Kendrick will get a no-decision, as he pitched a good game, giving up only one earned on eight hits, as he would go six innings. Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero would then follow with a pair of scoreless innings, giving up one hit between them. Brad Lidge would go an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Ryan Madson would follow with a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Chad Durbin would take the lost, as he goes two innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 2-2 with a 1.80 ERA. Oliver Perez would get a no-decision, as he pitches seven innings, giving up no runs on four hits. Duaner Sanchez, Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Heilman would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Billy Wagner would received his sixth blown save of the year, as his gives up two runs on three hits in one inning of work. Scott Schoeneweis pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Joe Smith would get the win, pitching two and a third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA.
The Phillies’ offense once again stranded a large number of runners on base, although only doing so rather late in the ballgame as they were unable to do anything with Perez early in the game. Being unable to get a clutch hit hurt them, especially after the three hours plus rain delay help to ruin an attempt to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. Meanwhile the bullpen will be reorganized for a while as Tom Gordon is placed on the fifteen-days disabled list because of a sore shoulder. They will have to find someone to perform the eighth inning set-up role with him out.
The Phillies (48-41) will tonight conclude their four games series with the Mets (44-44), trying for a series split. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Adam Eaton (3-6, 4.79), who is coming off a win against the Braves on July 2, where he went five plus innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. He will be trying for his second straight victory while trying to end the Phillies’ present two games losing streak. His opponent will be Pedro Martinez (2-2, 7.39), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on July 2, as he would go only five innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 8-7 lost. He has lost his two starts before that one, giving up twelve earned runs on fifteen hits. He will be trying to win his third game of the year, while trying to help the Mets defeat the Phillies for the third straight time in this series.
The Phillies’ lead against the Marlins is now two and a half games as they’d won their game with the Rockies. The Mets, with the win, now trails the Phillies by three and a half games. The Braves trail by six games after their win over the Astros. As the Phillies and the Mets prepare to end their series, the Marlins prepare to start a three games series with the Pardes in San Diego, while the Braves prepare to start a three games series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Phillies will be trying to regroup and attempt to rebuild their lead against their opponents in the East with tonight’s game.
He signed the largest contract of his life in the morning — one that will pay him $37.5 million for the next three years — and by mid-afternoon, he learned his brilliant first half as the Phillies’ closer earned him a second All-Star appearance.
And his wife, Lindsay, is 4 1/2 months pregnant with the couple’s second child. Not too shabby.
“I didn’t put any goals on what I wanted to do this year, but I felt this was going to be a good year for me,” Lidge said. “I felt that coming in. I hope to keep pitching this way through the season and the postseason.”
But first the All-Star Game. Lidge and second baseman Chase Utley earned their respective spots for the July 15 All-Star Game in different ways. Utley blazed through the fan voting as the NL’s leading vote-getter, making his participation a formality.
Since the day fans began casting ballots, Utley was the NL’s most clicked name, at 3,889,602 times. He edged out the Brewers’ Ryan Braun for the most NL votes, and would’ve had the most overall if not for a late surge by the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
“I never thought that would happen,” Utley said. “The fans in Philadelphia have always supported me, and I appreciate that. I’ve never been to Yankee Stadium, so I’m excited to see it. I’m going to try and enjoy it.”
Utley knew he couldn’t make alternate plans for the break after he destroyed the second-base field. The powerful second baseman has led the Phils’ offense all season, with a Major League-leading 24 homers through Sunday. He may show off his compact stroke on a national stage, should he participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. He approached catching instructor Mick Billmeyer about pitching to him, a job that will likely be accepted.
“Maybe,” Utley said, when asked whether he’d participate. “It’s a possibility, put it that way. Nothing is set in stone.”
He’s not concerned that it would mess up his swing, a popular theory of some participants.
“I don’t think there’s too much to that,” he said. “It’s just one day of batting practice. I have plenty of bad batting practice.”
Lidge topped the players’ ballot among relievers, meaning his dominance was recognized by his peers.
“I feel like I’m at the top of my game, and I’ve learned a lot,” Lidge said. “The experiences I’ve had have definitely helped me get to where I’m at. I’m not really trying to compare it to years I’ve had in Houston, but I know how I felt then and how I feel now. I feel as good as ever.”
Utley and Lidge could be joined by Pat Burrell, if he holds off four contenders to capture the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote.
The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
Utley is making his third All-Star appearance. With four at-bats, he has one hit, a single off Kenny Rogers in 2006.
Lidge returns to the Midsummer Classic for the first time since ’05, when he was with the Astros. He has a fond memory of pitching in Yankee Stadium. On July 11, 2003, he tossed the sixth and seventh innings of a six-pitcher combined no-hitter.
After arriving in a five-player November trade, the right-hander has reestablished himself as one of baseball’s elite closers. He and the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera are the only full-time stoppers to nail down all of their save opportunities. Through Sunday, Lidge is 19-for-19 with a 1.00 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 36 innings.
His first All-Star appearance in ’05 was memorable. He relieved Dontrelle Willis in the seventh and struck out Melvin Mora, Mike Sweeney and Garrett Anderson.
“That was an adrenaline-filled experience and a lot of fun,” Lidge said. “Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to pitch again, and hopefully, get the same result. That’s a memory I’ll never forget and that was a pretty awesome experience.”
Lidge’s goal is the same goal as Utley, to enjoy it more.
“The first time, your head’s on a swivel and you go through everything as fast as you can,” Lidge said. “This time, I’m really going to suck it in and appreciate the little things that you miss the first time.” (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, looks like Cole Hamels got the short end of the stick this year. Sorry to see it. Anyway, I hope Lidge and Utley will have fun in New York next week. Now to see about getting Burrrell in there as well.
Gordon had 11 days off, from June 15-26, to rest a sore right shoulder. He has appeared in four games since and threw two-thirds of an inning Saturday night, allowing the Mets to score a run on a wild pitch and tack on two more on a double by Brian Schneider.
After Saturday’s game, Gordon said that his shoulder felt fine. Still, he has not pitched well recently. He has a 13.50 ERA in six outings since June 11, giving up six earned runs on six hits and four walks in four innings during that span.
He left the Phillies’ clubhouse Sunday without speaking to reporters.
“He’s had a little tenderness,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We want to see if we can get him up, 100 percent.”
Gordon also went on the 15-day DL last season with a strained right rotator cuff.
“It’s too bad,” closer Brad Lidge said. “Hopefully, it won’t keep him out for a long time. He’s a big piece of our bullpen. Hopefully he can take care of what’s bothering him. We need him, for sure. He’s a stud, and we’re hoping for him to have a speedy recovery.”
To fill Gordon’s spot on the roster, the Phillies recalled left-hander R.J. Swindle from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. (H/T Phillies.com)
I have only one question on this: Why wasn’t this done sooner. If Gordon’s shoulder was bothering him, why didn’t they just put him on the DL when it was first discovered, giving it a chance to get better? GGGRRRRR!!!! Better he be out for 15 days now, instead of being out for who knows how long, later.
The Phillies’ closer concluded, then, that he had no reason to hasten for the exits.
“Where better than Philadelphia?” Lidge asked.
Lidge will have three more seasons to pursue that goal with the Phillies. The pitcher agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract extension that will run through the 2011 season, the team announced Sunday.
The deal includes a 2012 club option, as well as performance incentives.
“This was an easy decision,” Lidge said.
Working for $6.35 million in the final year of his current contract before looming free agency, Lidge has gotten off to the best start of his career, with a 0.77 ERA through his first 35 appearances. Coming into Sunday, he’s one of two full-time closers in the Major Leagues, along with Mariano Rivera of the Yankees, to have not blown a save this season.
Lidge has been the anchor in the Phillies’ bullpen, which has a National League-best 2.74 ERA. His devastating slider/fastball combination has produced 47 strikeouts in 35 innings.
Talk of a long-term agreement seemed to begin Nov. 7, 2007, the day Lidge was acquired by Philadelphia from Houston with Eric Bruntlett for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Michael Costanzo. Talk continued through Spring Training and accelerated with each save Lidge recorded this season.
Adding to his resolve, Lidge said, was his feeling comfortable and being welcomed by his teammates, coaches and front-office personnel.
“I knew right away that this would be a good opportunity for me to play for a team that’s competing every single year to go to the playoffs, to win a World Series,” Lidge said.
Francisco Cordero signed a four-year, $46 million deal with Cincinnati during the winter, a contract believed to have set the market rate for elite closers like Lidge and potential free agent Francisco Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Philadelphia got ahead of the curve by signing Lidge before he could test free agency.
“There’s a marketplace that’s been put in place,” assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “With the Cordero signing, and other signings that have been out there, they’ve helped build a framework for it.”
Lidge underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee last October. He also had to have arthroscopic surgery Feb. 25 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee suffered during Spring Training.
Still, Lidge looks back at those hurdles as a blessing in disguise.
“The path that got me here wasn’t exactly perfectly straight,” Lidge said. “There were some ups and downs along the way. But I think that experience is going to make me better, even from here on out.” (H/T Phillies.com)
So, the silent morons have finally done something right for a change. It’s about time, I think. Now that they have Lidge locked in for a few years, how’s about doing the same with Howard, Hamels and Burrell? It’s only fair, people, especially with Howard and Hamels!!!!
For the first time in a long while, the Phillies’ bullpen have collectively let a ballgame get away as J.C. Romero and Tom Gordon would combine to blow a save as the Phillies lose to the Mets, 9-4. The Mets would score first in the first inning, as Jose Reyes, who has earlier singled, and then reached third on Ryan Church’s single, would score on a David Wright double play ball, 6-4-3, wiping out Church at second, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Met would then increase their lead in the fourth, when, with runners on first and third, and one out, Jamie Moyer would pick off first base Carlos Beltran, who has just walked. But a Ryan Howard’s throwing error towards second would allow Wright, who has earlier doubled, and has reached third on a stolen base, to score, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead, while Beltran would be safe at second. Beltran would then score on a RBI single by Damion Easley, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. The Phillies would come back in their half of the fourth, as Howard would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-third home run of the year, scoring Shane Victornio, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, and Chase Utley, who has just walked, to even the score at three. It would remain tied until the bottom of the seventh, when pinch hitter Jayson Werth would hit a RBI single to score Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Pat Burrell. who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies the lead at 4-3. But, Werth would then be thrown out at second, catcher Ramon Castro to second baseman Easley, when he tried to move up to second on the throw to home, ending the inning. The Phillies then gave it to the bullpen to try and close the door. Unfortunately, the bullpen would be unable to do so. With one out, J.C. Romero would give up singles to Easley and Carlos Delgado, which would put runners on the corners. Charlie Manuel would then quickly replace Romero with Tom Gordon. While pitching to Marlon Anderson, Gordon would uncork a wild pitch, which would score Easley, tying the game at four all, and send Delgado to second. After Anderson walks, Endy Chavez would ground out to Howard, moving the runners to second and third base with two outs. Pinch hitter Brian Schneider would then hit a pinch hit double, scoring both Delgado and Anderson, and giving the Mets a 6-4 lead. Then in the ninth, with Rudy Seanez on the mound, pinch hitter Fernando Tatis would start the inning off with a pinch hit double. After moving up to third on a Wright ground out to third, he would score on a ball hit back to Seanez, which he would be unable to field for an error, allowing Beltran to reach first safely, and giving the Mets a 7-4 lead. Easley would then follow with a single, moving Beltran to second. Delgado would then follow with a single, loading the bases. Anderson would then hit a ground ball to second, that would lead to Delgado being thrown out at second for the second out of the inning, as Beltran scores, and Easley moves up to third on the fielder’s choice, making it 8-4 Mets. Easley would then score the Mets’ final run on a RBI single by Chavez. That would be it, as Tony Armas would come in to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision, as he pitches a quality start, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits. Ryan Madson would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter that he would face. J.C. Romero, would take the lost, going one-third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. He record is now 4-2 with an ERA of 2.43. Tom Gordon will receive a blown save, his first of the year, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Rudy Seanez would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Clay Condrey would pitch a third of an inning, retiring the only man that he would face. John Maine would also get a no-decision, as he leaves the game after having pitched five and two-thirds inning, and with the count 2-2 on Ryan Howard, because of an injury to his non-pitching elbow. He has given up three earned runs on just one hit, Howard’s home run, when he was replaced by Aaron Heilman, who would then strike out Howard on one pitch, who would turn out to be the only man that he would face. Joe Smith would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Pedro Feliciano would get the win, as he would pitch only a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 2.91. Duaner Sanchez would pitch an inning of scoreless ball, giving up just one hit. Tony Armas would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.
The Phillies’ offense was only able to get four hits tonight, even if one of them, Howard’s three-run home run, did bring in a few runs. Moyer had another quality start, but the bullpen did something that it has not done at all this year, be unable to protect a lead late in the ballgame. Unfortunately, it was bound to happen, and hopefully there will not be a repeat performance during the rest of the series.
The four games series between the two rivals will continue tomorrow afternoon from Citizens Bank Park with the third game of their series. The game will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern, The Phillies (48-40) will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.58), who is coming off a victory over the Braves on July 1, where he went six plus innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 win. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year, hoping to make it three straight wins in a row, while trying to get even with the Mets for his early season defeat at their hands. The Mets (43-44) will counter with Oliver Perez (6-5, 4.98), who is coming off a win against the Yankess on June 29, where he went seven innings, giving up just an earned run on three hits, in the Mets’ 3-1 win. He will be gunning for his seventh win of the year whle trying to get the Mets back into the pennant race.
In spite of the lost, the Phillies’ lead is still three and a half games over the Marlins as the fish have once again lost to the Rockies. The Mets now trail the Phillies by four and a half games with tonight’s win. The Braves still trail by seven games as they have lost their game to the Astros. The Phillies will be trying to regroup, so that they can do some more damage and add on to their lead in the Eastern Division.
The four games series with the Mets will continue tonight with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ (48-39) starter will be Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.13), who is coming off a lost against the Rangers on June 29, where he would go five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 5-1 lost. He has lost his last three starts, although pitching well in each start. He will be trying for his eighth win, while seeing if he can increase the present Phillies’ winning streak to five games. The Mets (42-44) will counter with John Maine (8-6, 3.86), who will be coming off a lost to the Cardinals on June 30, where he went only four innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 7-1 lost. He will be trying once more for his ninth win of the year, while trying to stop the Phillies’ offense.
The Phillies offense will see if they can give Moyer some runs support, while Moyer will be trying to show the young bloods whom he had taken under his wings how to handle big league hitters, although he doesn’t have too good a record against the Mets.
The Phillies goes into tonight’s game with a three and a half game lead over the Marlins after the fish’s late game lost to the Rockies. The Phillies now lead the third place Mets by five and a half games. The Braves are still trailing the Phillies by seven games, as they have won their game last night with the Astros. The Phillies will be trying to increase their divisional lead over the rest of the division tonight.
Phillies win their fourth game in a row as Shane Victorino knocks in the winning run in the ninth, defeating the Mets, 3-2.
The Phillies defeated the Mets in the ninth on a Shane Victorino’s single, with two men outs and a runner on second, winning the ballgame, 3-2. The first four innings of the ballgame would involve a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter J.A. Happ and Mets’ starter Johan Santana, as both would refuse to allow any of the other team’s batters to get on base. This would change in the top of the fifth. Damion Easley would begin the inning with a single to left. Ramon Castro would then follow with a ground rule double, putting runners on second and third. Chris Aguila would then load the bases with a walk, after Happ had gotten ahead of him, 0-2. Santana would then strike out for the inning’s first out. Jose Reyes would then come up and hit a ground ball to the second baseman Chase Utley, beating the throw to first from the shortstop Jimmy Rollins, as Aguila is thrown out at second, allowing Easley to score and Castro to go to third, and giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The next batter, Endy Chavez, then walks, reloading the bases as Reyes goes to second. David Wright then gets the walk, after Happ has just missed getting a called third strike, forcing in Castro, and giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Charlie Manuel would then take out Happ, and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then end the inning as he strikes out Carlos Beltran. Durbin would stay in the game, and would proceed to strike out five of the six Mets’ batters whom he would face in the next two innings, for a total of six strike outs. Meanwhile, the Phillies would finally score against Santana in the bottom of the sixth. After Chad Durbin starts the inning off by striking out, Jayson Werth would get on base with a single. Utley would follow with a single, sending Werth to second. Rollins would then fly out for the second out. Ryan Howard would then follow with a RBI single to left, scoring Werth and sending Utley to second, as the Phillies cut the Mets’ lead to 2-1. Pat Burrell would then hit a RBI single, also to left, scoring Utley and sending Howard to second, as the Phillies would tie the game at two all. Santana would finally get out of the inning by getting Pedro Feliz to ground out, second to first. The game would stay tied until the bottom of the ninth. After Brad Lidge would get an easy 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth, Mets’ reliever, Duaner Sanchez, would strike out the first two men that he would face, Howard and Burrell, both of them swinging. He would then give up a double to Feliz. After getting ahead of the count on Victorino, 1-2, Sanchez would throw a fastball, which Victorino would line to right field for a single, scoring Feliz with the winning run, as the Phillies would win the first game of the four games series, 3-2.
J.A. Happ would get a no-decision as he pitches four and two-thirds innings, pitching well until the fifth inning, giving up only two earned runs on just three hits, striking out three and walking four. Chad Durbin would pitch two and a third innings, giving up no runs on no hits, and striking out six of the seven Mets whom he would face. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Brad Lidge would get the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning. He is now 2-0 with a ERA of 0.77. Johan Santana would also get a no-decision as he pitches eight strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits, while striking out six. Duaner Sanchez would get the lost as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.
The Phillies’ offense stay in against Santana, although at time swinging at his pitches, until they were finally able to get to him in the sixth to tie the game. They were able to get only eight hits tonight, all but one of them being singles (1 (2B)), but the Phillies’ pitchers would only allow four hits to Mets’ batters. J.A. Happ would pitch a good game until the fifth, going after the hitters, and getting a large number of pop and fly outs. In the fifth, he probably got a bit high on the excitement when he got into trouble for the first time in the fifth inning, which might explain two of his walks, first to Aguila and then to Chavez, but with Wright, a pitch that should have been called a strike was instead called a ball. One of the Phillies’ broadcasters, commenting on it, believed that he didn’t get the call because he’s a rookie. If that’s the case, it’s a real shame, since it would’ve ended the inning, and with the Mets only scoring one run in the inning. Anyway, during the next two inning, Happ would be seen talking with the veteran Jamie Moyer. Oh oh, looks like someone else is trying to learn at the feet of the veteran. I think the rest of the league might be in trouble if the young bloods continue to listen to the vet.
The four games series with the Mets will continue tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies (48-39) will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.13), who is coming off a lost against the Rangers on June 29, where he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 5-1 lost. He has lost his last three starts, although pitching well in each game. He will once again be trying for his eighth victory, while seeing if he can increase the present Phillies’ winning streak to five games. The Mets (42-44) will counter with John Maine (8-6, 3.86), who is coming off a lost to the Cardinals on June 30, as he was only able to go four innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 7-1 lost. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year, while trying to stop the Phillies’ offense.
The Phillies’ victory now put them three games ahead of the Marlins, although the fish are presently leading their game with the Rockies, which is turning into a shootout in Denver. The Mets’ lost put them five and a half games behind the Phillies. The Braves are still trailing the Phillies by seven games as they have won their game with the Astros. The Phillies hope to continue playing good baseball while trying to put some distance between them and the rest of the National League East before the All-Star break.
Edit: The Marlins now trail the Phillies by three and a half games, as they have just lost a shoot out with the Rockies in the bottom of the ninth, as the Rockies have scored two runs to win the game, 18-17. I’m surprised that the Rockies were able to come back after trailing at one point 13-4. I wonder if the Marlins’ players are in shock right now, wondering what have just happened, cause I know that at least one Marlins’ fan is going to be real ticked off the moment he finds out about this.
The first place Phillies (47-39) are now home at Citizens Bank Park for a four games Independence Weekend series with the third place Mets (42-43). The first game of the four games series is in fact being played now. The Phillies’ starter is J.A.Happ (0-0, -.–), who has just been called up from Lehigh Valley, where he went 5-6 with a ERA of 3.54. This is his second career start. His first start, which was last year, was also against the Mets, and ended in a disaster as he got kicked around by the Mets. He is taking Brett Myers place in the rotation, hoping to pitch well enough to stay with the main team. The Mets’ are countering with Johan Santana (7-7, 3.01), who is coming off a loss to the Yankees on June 28, where he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, in the Mets’ 3-2 lost. He has lost his last three games in a row and four of his last five, with a no-decision in a game that the Mets would also lose. Santana will for the sixth straight time be trying to record his eighth win of the year, while hoping that he can stop the Phillies just reawaken offense.
The recently restarted Phillies’ offense will be seeing if it can sink the still disorganized Mets, just like it did with the Braves, while hoping to be supported by both good starting pitching and the NL leading bullpen.
The Phillies’ lead over the second place Marlins is two and a half games. The Phillies are leading the visiting Mets by four and a half games. The Braves are trailing them by seven games. The Phillies hope that they can add to their present lead during their ten games home stand before heading into the All-Star break.
The Phillies leaves Atlanta with a sweep and a surprising winning road trip while Cole Hamels just missed pitching a complete game shut out as the Phillies defeated the Braves, 4-1. The Phillies would score their first run in the first inning as Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens gives up a solo home run to Chase Utley, his league leading twenty-fourth home run of the year, making it 1-0 Phillies. The Phillies would make it 2-0 in the fourth, when, with one out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Pat Burrell, who had gotten on base earlier with a double. The Phillies would increase their lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-second home of the year, a solo shot to left. The fourth and last Phillies’ run would come in in the seventh on a solo hime run by Feliz, his tenth home run of the year. While the Phillies were scoring their runs, Hamels was dominating the Braves, keeping them scoreless for eight innings, giving up only three hits during that time, while striking out six of the seven Braves that he would strike out that night. This would all change in the ninth. Chipper Jones would start the inning off with a double to center. Hamels would then get out the next two Braves, Mark Teixeira via a ground ball, short to first, that would keep Jones at second, and then striking out Omar Infante for his seventh strike out of the game. But, he would then lose the shut out as he gives up a RBI double to Brian McCann, a ball that got past a diving Howard, scoring Jones, making the score 4-1 Phillies. That would be it for Hamels, as Charlie Manuel takes him out of the game and replaces him with Tom Gordon. Gordon would end the game on one pitch as he gets the slumping Jeff Francoeur to fly out to left, as he records his second save of the year.
Cole Hamels would get the win as he goes eight and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, while striking out seven. His record is now 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch to only one batter as he records his second save of the year. Jair Jurrjens would take the lost, as he goes seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 8-4 with a 3.09 ERA. Will Ohman and Mike Gonzalez would both pitch a hitless/scoreless inning.
While the Phillies’ offense would be limited tonight to only eight hits, they would mostly be for extra-bases (1 (2B), 1 (3B), 3 (HR)). And, with Cole Hamels on the mound that would be more than enough for him to work with. With the sweep, the Phillies will end up with a winning road trip, something that was now expected with the way the Phillies were batting in both Oakland and Arlington, Texas. They will now come home to begin a four games series with the Mets.
The first place Phillies (47-39) will now come home to Citizens Bank Park for a four games Independence Weekend series with the third place Mets (42-43). The first game will be played tomorrow night, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be J.A.Happ (0-0, -.–), who has just been called up from Lehigh Valley, where he has went 5-6 with a ERA of 3.54. He will be taking Brett Myers place in the rotation, hoping to pitch well enough to stay with the main team.The Mets will send out Johan Santana (7-7, 3.01), who is coming off a loss to the Yankees on June 28, where he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, in the Mets’ 3-2 lost. He has lost his last three games in a row and four of his last five, with a no-decision in a game that the Mets would also lose. Santana will for the sixth straight time be trying for his eighth win of the season, while hoping that he can stop the Phillies just reawaken offense.
The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins is presently at two and a half games, as the Marlins have just lost to the Rockies in extra-innings. Their lead over the Mets is presently at four and a half games, as the Mets have just defeated the Cardinals in St.Louis. The Phillies, with the win, are now leading the Braves by seven games. As the Phillies come home for Independence Day, they hope to celebrate it by producing some fireworks of their own against the Mets.
The Phillies will end their visit to Atlanta, while looking to sweep the Braves for the second straight series.
The Phillies (46-39) will finish their three games visit with the Braves (40-45) tonight, with a chance for a sweep and, surprises of surprises, a winning road trip. The game will be played at Turner Field, with a start time of 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starting pitcher will be their ace, Cole Hamels (8-5, 3.38), who is coming off a good start against the Rangers on June 28, where he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He has already faced the Braves once this season, pitching a four-hit shut out against them on May 15, going all nine innings, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. He will be shooting for his ninth win of the year and to complete the Phillies’ second straight sweep of the Braves in their own home ballpark, as well as give the Phillies a commanding 8-1 lead in the season series. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (8-3, 2.94), who will be looking to prevent the sweep. He is coming off a victory against the Blue Jays on June 27, where he would pitch eight innings, giving up no earned runs on three hits, in the Braves’ 4-0 win. In his last four starts, he has won three of them, with a no-decision in the fourth, which was also won by the Braves. In those four starts, he would give up only five earned runs in twenty-seven and two-thirds innings of work, while giving up no earned runs in his last twenty-three and two-thirds innings, while also giving up only twenty-five hits. He will also be shooting for his ninth victory of the year, while seeing if he can stop the Phillies’ just reawaken bats and keep the Braves from being swept for the second straight time by the Phillies.
The Phillies’ offense appear to have reawaken after being put to sleep by interleague play against some very good American League teams (and the Rangers). They are once again getting extra-base hits, having gotten nine (4 (2B), 1 (3B), 4 (HR)) of them among their twenty-seven hits. If the offense can continue to hit through their upcoming four games series with the Mets, then they will be tough to beat for the rest of the season. They can right now establish a stranglehood on the division, if their starting pitching can continue to pitch as well as they are right now, in spite of the Brett Myers situation, and the bullpen can stay in its league leading form. The resurgence of the Phillies’ hot bats can only mean trouble for the other teams in a very weak division.
The Phillies are presently leading the Marlins by a game and a half, as they begin a four games series with the Rockies in Denver. Their lead over the Mets is now at four and a half games as they prepare to conclude their four games series with the Cardinals. The Braves are now trailing the Phillies by six games, as they prepare for the last games of their series with the first place Phillies, before getting ready for a three games home stand with the Astros. The Phillies will now be trying to create some breathing space between them and their nearest opponents as they get closer to the All-Star break.