August 2008

Brett Myers throws seven innings of shutout ball as the Phillies sweep the Dodgers, 5-0. Bring on the Mets!!!

Brett Myers and the bullpen would combine to shutout the Dodgers on thirteen hits as the Phillies would complete their four games sweep of the Dodgers, their first four games sweep of the Bums in Philly since 1929. After Brett Myers and Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley are both able to get out of first inning jams, the Phillies would score their first runs in the second inning, as, with two men on and two outs, Jimmy Rollins would hit a two-run single, scoring Jayson Werth, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, and Pedro Feliz, who has earlier singled, and who would both move up a base on Myers’ sacrifice bunt, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fifth, as Pat Burrell would hit into a double play, doubling up Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, as Rollins scored on the play, having gotten on base with a double, and moving over to third on Utley’s single, to make it 3-0 Phillies. They would then threathen to score some more runs in the inning by loading up the bases via a walk to Ryan Howard, a single to Shane Victorino and another walk to Werth. But Billingsley would finally end the inning by getting Feliz to ground out. The Dodgers would then threathen to score in the top of the seventh as they loaded up the bases via two singles (Mark Sweeney and Andre Ethier) and a walk (Matt Kemp), with one out. But Myers would get out of the inning by first striking out Jeff Kent, and then getting Manny Ramirez to fly out deep to right. The Phillies would then score their final runs in their half of the seventh, as, with a man on third with one out, Werth would hit a RBI single, scoring Howard, who has earlier doubled and then move to third on Burrell’s ground out to first, to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. After moving to second base on Feliz’s single, Werth would score all the way from second on Chris Coste’s ground out, second to first, as he kept on running off of the crack of the bat, to make it 5-0 Phillies. That would be the ballgame as J.C. Romero and Clay Condrey would both come in to pitch a pair of scoreless innings, although the Dodgers would threathen to score in both innings.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches seven innings of shut out ball, giving up nine scattered hits, as he struck out eight batters while walking three. His record is now at 7-10, 4-1 since coming back from the minors, with his ERA dropping to 4.49. J.C. Romero and Clay Condrey would both pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up two hits apiece while striking out one man each. Chad Billingsley would get the lost as he goes six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 10-8 with a 3.15 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Tanyon Sturtze would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

For the third time in the four games series, the offense would end up getting ten hits, with Jimmy Rollins leading the way this time as he is just a hit short of getting the cycle, as he goes 3 for 3 with a single, a double and a triple, along with a walk and also being hit by the pitch, as he also knocks in two runs while scoring one more, as he has his first multi-hit game since the August 9 game against the Pirates. He was followed by Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz who each had two hits, as all of the starters, except for Pat Burrell and Chris Coste, who both took the collar, would have at least one hit. If the Phillies’ offense continues like this in their series with the Mets, the team from New York might soon find themselves once again trailing the Phillies.

The Phillies (72-59) will now face the first place Mets (73-59) in an important two games series for first place in the National League East. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.54), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on August 21, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up just an earned run on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. His last two starts against the Mets were a pair of no-decisions, both of which would eventually be lost by the Phils, as he would go a combined thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits. He will be looking to pitch his fifteenth straight good start, as he goes for his second straight win, while trying to pitch the Phillies back into first place. The Mets will counter with Pedro Martinez (4-3, 3.97), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 21, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 5-4 win. In his last start against the Phillies on July 7, he would get the win as he pitches five and one thirds inning, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 10-9 win. He will be trying to keep the Mets in first place in the East against a resurgent Phillies’ offense.

The Phillies trail the Mets by a half game as they prepare for a very important two games series with the Mets. The Marlins trail the Phillies by five games as they took the day off last night as they prepare for a three games series with the once mighty Braves. The Phillies will be trying to regain first place from the Mets before they head off to Chicago to play a three games series with the Major League leading Cubs.

Ending their series with the Dodgers, going for a revenge sweep.

The Phillies (71-59) will finish their four games series with the Dodgers (65-65, 2nd National League West) with a night game tonight, being nationally televised on ESPN2, as they look to sweep the Bums. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (6-10, 4.71), who is coming off a nine hit shut out of the Nationals on August 20, in the Phillies’ 4-0 victory, his fifth straight quality start since his return from the minors. His previous start against the Dodgers was a hard luck lost on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 3-1 lost. He will be trying for his fourth win since coming back from the minors and his sixth straight quality start while trying to get even for his only lost since coming back to the majors. The Dodgers will send to the mound Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.10), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rockies on August 20, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-3 lost. He did not face the Phillies during the last series. He will be trying to stop the slide and thereby avoid the sweep.

The Phillies will be hoping that the top of their line-up will come back from last night’s game, where they went two for seventeen with two walks and one RBI and go back to what they did Saturday afternoon, where they went seven for sixteen with three walks and a hit batter, knocking in seven runs while scoring eight. Without the top four in their line-up producing, knocking in and scoring runs, the Phillies can’t really go anywhere.

The Phillies are trailing the Mets by half a game as they prepare to end their series with the Astros. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games as they have the day off. The Phillies will be trying to perform a sweep of the Dodgers while hoping that the Astros will defeat the Mets, thus returning to first place before they begin their two games series with the Mets, having already won three straight series since the four games sweep at the hands of the Dodgers and the first two series in the present home stand.

Pedro Feliz’s bat and glove leads Phillies to an extra-inning walk-off victory over the Dodgers, 5-2. The Phillies are now half a game behind the Mets in the East.

Pedro Feliz’s bat would knock in four late innings runs, while his glove would help stop the Dodgers in the tenth as the Phillies win a walk-off victory against the Dodgers in extra-innings, 5-2. The Dodgers would get their first run of the game in the first, when, with the bases loaded, and one out, James Lanier would hit a RBI single, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has gotten on base with a five-balls walk  (Yes, five-balls. The home plate umpire, Jerry Layne, at some point in the count, thought it was 2-2, when it was in fact 3-2, before Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton finally walked Ethier), moved to second on Jeff Kent’s single and then went to third when Manny Ramirez was hit by the pitch, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Blanton would finally get out of the inning by getting Nomar Garciaparra to fly out and Casey Blake to strike out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Blanton and Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda, with Blanton giving up only four more hits and two more walks while striking out four Dodgers’ batters before being lifted after six innings of work, while Kuroda would keep the Phillies silent for four innings, giving up no hits at that point, while only four men would get on base (Error, two walks and a hit batsman). The Phillies would tie the game in the fifth as Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, and then went to second on Blanton’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with a runner on second, and two outs, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Ethier, who has earlier walked, and then got to second base on Ryan Madson’s wild pitch, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would come back to tie it at two all in the ninth, when, with two men on, and two out, Pedro Feliz, who has come in as a defensive replacement for Greg Dobbs in the seventh during a double switch when Madson came in to replace J.C. Romero on the mound, would get a RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino, who has singled, and has gone to second on Eric Bruntlett’s sacrifice bunt. In the Dodgers’ tenth, they would try to regain the lead as they loaded the bases with two singles (Ramirez and Loney) and a walk (Mark Sweeney) with nobody out. The next batter, Blake, would then hit the ball to third. After catching the ball, Feliz would tag the bag for the first out, beating Loney to the bag, and then throw home to double up Ramirez, who would be tagged out by Chris Coste, for a 5-2 double play, as Sweeney would move up to second and Blake would be safe at first. Chad Durbin would then end the inning by getting Russell Martin to fly out to right. In the bottom of the eleventh, the Phillies would go to work against Dodgers’ reliever Joe Beimel, who was starting his second inning of work. Victorino would start off the inning with a double. After Joe Torre comes out to replace Beimel with Jason Johnson, Coste would get a walk, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then hit a grounder to the right side, to second baseman Pablo Ozuna, who would throw to first for the inning’s first out, while Victorino and Werth would move up to third and second base respectively. Cole Hamels would then come up to pinch hit with the Dodgers’ infield and most of the outfield in to try and prevent the run from scoring. Hamels would sadly pop up the first pitch thrown at him, that would be caught by Ozuna for the second out of the inning. This would bring up Feliz. On the first pitch, Feliz would hit it deep to center field for a three-run home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, scoring Victornio and Coste, as he gives the Phillies an extra-inning walk-out win, 5-2.

Joe Blanton would get his third straight no-decision as he goes six innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out four. J.C. Romero, would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Chad Durbin would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk. His record is now 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA. Hiroki Kuroda would also get a no-decision as he also goes six innings, giving up an earned run on two hits as he struck out five. Chan Ho Park would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jonathan Broxton would pick up his fifth blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would get the lost as he pitches one inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit and a walk. His record is now 4-1 with a ERA of 1.95. Jason Johnson pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on a hit and a walk.

After two straight games of getting ten hits, the offense would be limited to seven hits in the third game of the four games series with the Dodgers, but they would count the most when they came, as the bottom of the order would once again cause the damage as Shane Victorino would be involved in the rallies that would score the tying and winning runs, while Carlos Ruiz would score the Phillies’ first run and Pedro Feliz, coming in as a late innings’ replacement, would knock in the tying and winning runs as he batted in the ninth spot. The bottom part of the line-up have ended up being responsible for three of the last five Phillies’ win, and have done most of the scoring in their last lost. If the bottom half of the line-up continues to score runs after Victornio’s placement into the fifth hole, the Phillies should continue to be a team no longer to be taken lightly. Once the first five batters have decided to once again hit, this team should be tough to beat down the stretch. But, we probably won’t know which way the team will be going until after the end of the series with the Mets.

The Phillies (71-59) will end their four games series with the Dodgers (65-65, 2nd National League West) with a night game tonight, nationally televised on ESPN2, as they look for a sweep of the Bums. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (6-10, 4.71), who is coming off a nine hit shut out of the Nationals on August 20, in the Phillies’ 4-0 victory, his fifth straight quality start since his return from the minors. His only start against the Dodgers was a hard luck lost on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 3-1 lost. He will be trying for his four win since coming back from the minors and his sixth straight quality start. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.10), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rockies on August 20, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-3 lost. He did not face the Phillies during the last series. He will be trying to stop the slide and thereby avoid the sweep.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by half a game as the Mets lost to the Astros last night. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games as the fish defeated the D-backs last night. The Phillies will be trying to perform a sweep of the Dodgers, in revenge for the Dodgers’ sweep last week, while hoping that the Astros will defeat the Mets, putting them back into first place, before their two games series with the Mets, starting tomorrow night.

The Phillies’ offense erupt for the second straight game while Cole Hamels pitched another gem as the Phillies beat the Dodgers again, 9-2.

The Phillies’ offense would knock out of the box not one, but two Dodgers’ pitchers, as they would score nine runs, while Cole Hamels would pitch his second straight pitching gem in front of a national audience, as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 9-2. After Hamels put down the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the first, the Phillies would take a quick 3-0 lead in their half of the inning as Pat Burrell would hit a three-run home run off of Dodgers’ starter, Clayton Kershaw, his thirtieth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has been hit by the pitch, and Chase Utley, who has gotten on base with a single. The Dodgers would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the third when Russell Martin would hit a two-run home run, his twelfth home run of the year, scoring James Loney, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth inning. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Utley would follow with a walk, sending Rollins to second. Burrell would then hit a fly ball to center that should have been the inning’s first out. Instead, it would end up being a double as center fielder Matt Kemp would somehow lose sight of the ball, which would then drop in behind him for a hit. Rollins would score to make it 4-2 Phillies, while Utley would go on to third base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Utley and Burrell, to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead, and knocking out Kershaw, who would be replaced by Jason Johnson, who would finally end the Phillies’ threat. The Phillies would then break the game open in the sixth, as Hamels would start the inning off by being hit by the pitch. After a Rollins’ ground out, second to first, sends Hamels over to second, Utley would send him home with a RBI single, making it 7-1 Phillies. Burrell would follow with a single, sending Utley to second. Burrell’s hit would knock out Johnson, who would be replaced on the mound with Joe Beimel. Howard would greet him with a walk, loading up the bases. Victorino would then follow him with a two-run single, scoring both Utley and Burrell and sending Howard to third, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. Beimel would finally end the inning by striking out both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz. That would be how the ball game would end as Hamels, Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would together put down the last nine Dodgers’ batters with ease.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitched his second straight gem in front of a national audience, as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five. His record is now 11-8 as his ERA drops to 3.20. Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would each pitch a scoreless inning, with neither man giving up a hit. Clayton Kershaw would get the lost, as he lasts only four innings plus four batters, giving up six earned runs on seven hits while striking out five and hitting a batter. His record is now 2-4 with a 4.11 ERA. Jason Johnson would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up three earned runs on two hits and also hitting a batter. Joe Beimel would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up a hit. Ramon Troncoso would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

For the second straight game, the Phillies’ offense would score more than three runs in a game, while also getting ten hits for their second straight game. And they would also knock out an opposing starter for their second straight game, as well as a reliver for good measure, in their nine runs eruption. Every starter would get at least a hit, except for Chris Coste, who took the collar. Pat Burrell would lead the attack with three hits, while also driving in five runs, tying his career high, followed by Chase Utley with two. And they did it in part via situational hitting and smart baserunning. Although it would appear that the offense is back, I won’t believe it is until I see what they do against the Mets this coming week.

The Phillies (70-59) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (65-64, 2nd National League West) tomorrow night, with their second straight nationally televised game, this time to be shown on ESPN. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.87), who is coming off his second straight so-so outing, this one against the Nationals on August 19, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. He has pitched against the Dodgers the previous week, on August 13, in his previous so-so outing, only going five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to get back to the way he was pitching before his two starts slide, while hoping that the offense will continue its present attack. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Hiroki Kuroda (7-9, 3.97), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on August 19, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Dodgers’ 8-3 lost. He has faced the Phillies once already this year, a victory on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to stop the Phillies’ offense while trying to improve his record.

The Phillies are once again trailing the Mets by a game and a half, as the Mets have lost to the Astros. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games, as the D-backs beat the fish. The Phillies will try to see if they can sweep the Dodgers in front of a national audience while hoping to get even closer to the Mets before their two games series next week.

The Phillies’ bats decide to come out and play as they knock out Greg Maddux and the Dodgers, 8-1.

The Phillies’ offense has finally done something that it hasn”t done in a long time: knock a starter out of a ball game that they’d turned into a laugher, as they defeated Greg Maddux for the third time this year, while defeating the Dodgers, 8-1. The Dodgers wuld score their only run of the game in the first inning as Andre Ethier would give the Dodgers a quick 1-0 lead with a solo home run, his sixteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would take the lead in the fourth, when, with a man on first and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit his thirty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Pat Burrell, who has gotten on base with a walk, to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. They would increase their lead in the fifth as Chris Coste would hit a RBI single, knocking in Greg Dobbs, who has earlier singled, went to second on Russell Martin’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and would go to third on Jayson Werth’s single, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the meantime, Kyle Kendrick would settle down against the Dodgers, after throwing up a large number of pitches in the first two innings, ending up giving up only three hits, two walks and a hit batter, before being lifted in the sixth with runners on first and second and two outs. Chad Durbin would then end the inning by getting Martin to fly out. The Phillies would then break the game wide open in their half of the sixth. Burrell would start the inning off with a single. One out later, he would go to second on Shane Victorino’s single. Dobbs would follow with the third single of the inning, loading up the bases. Normally, that would be it for the Phils, as the next batter or two would make outs, ending the inning with no runs scored. But not last night as Werth would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Burrell, to make it 4-1 Phillies, leaving runners on the corners with two outs as Victorino would move up to third on the late throw home. Coste would then break the game wide open as he would hit a three-run shot off of Dodgers’ starter Greg Maddux, who has originally coasted along in the first three and two-thirds innings, his ninth home run of the year, scoring both Victorino and Dobbs, to give the Phillies a 7-1 lead. And that would be it for Maddux, as he would be taken out of the game by Joe Torre for Tanyon Sturtze, who would end the inning by getting a pop out. The Phils would then add one more run in the seventh as Chase Utley would hit his thirty-first home run of the year, a solo shot, to make it an 8-1 Phillies’ lead. That would be the ball game, as Durbin, Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre would together shut the Dodgers down for the last three innings, giving up only two hits (Durbin and Eyre one hit each.) between them.

Kyle Kendrick would get the win as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits, two walks and a hit batter. His record is now 11-7 with a 4.87 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch one and a third innings of scoreless ball, giving up only one hit. Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit between them (Eyre). Greg Maddux would take the lost as he also pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 6-10, with three of those loses coming at the hand of the Phillies, with a 4.25 ERA. Tanyon Sturtze would pitch one third of an inning, getting out the only batter that he would face. Ramon Troncoso would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on one hit, Chase Utley’s home run.

The Phillies’ bat would come out to play, busting loose on Greg Maddux, after spending the first three and two-thirds innings swinging at either the first or second pitch that he would throw at each batter. Except for the returning Pedro Feliz and Jimmy Rollins, each of the starters would collect at least one hit, with Greg Dobbs and Chris Coste leading the way with two hits each. The offense would get ten hits total, including three home runs, their first ten hit game since early in the month. Is the offense finally here? I’m going to wait before saying yes or no. Meanwhile, Kyle Kendrick, after throwing long pitch counts in the first two innings, would finally settle down to pitch five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three hits to the Dodgers, before being lifted in the sixth inning. The bullpen would then come in to shut the Dodgers down, giving up only two hits in the last three and a third innings. And, ironically, the person to thank for this isn’t Jamie Moyer, its the man that he defeated last night, Greg Maddux, who Moyer suggested that he talk to after his fiasco last Saturday night, which he did before last Sunday’s game. Hey, Maddux, if you did give the kid a lot of advice on how to pitch, thank you for doing so, even if it did come back to bite you. :)

The Phillies (69-59) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (65-63, 2nd National League West) this afternoon, in a game being televised on Fox Sports. The game will be played in Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Cole Hamels (10-8, 3.22), who is coming off a brilliant win against the Padres on August 17, where he went eight innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 win. He has already faced the Dodgers this year, on August 12, as he received a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for win number eleven, while hoping that the bats are indeed back and that the bullpen won’t blow the save this time. The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.59), who is coming off his second straight no-decision, this one against the Brewers, on August 17, as he went six innings, giving up just an earned run on eight hits, in the Dodgers’ 7-5 win. He faced the Phillies once already this season, getting a no-decision on August 12, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win. He hopes to even his record while trying to put the Phillies’ bats back to sleep.

The Phillies are still two and a half games behind the Mets as they defeated the Astros last night. They are still three and a half games ahead of the Marlins as the fish beat the D-backs last night. The Phillies will be trying to stay even with the Mets, hoping to gain some ground this weekend before their visit during the week.

Hosting the Dodgers, hoping to avenge last week’s sweep.

The Phillies (68-59) will begin a four games series tonight with the Dodgers (65-62, 2nd National League West). The first game of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-7, 5.01), who is coming off his second straight bad start against the Padres on August 16, where he is only able to go three and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 lost. His only start against the Dodgers this year, on August 11, would be an equally rough outing as he would only go three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. He will be looking to rebound from those two loses, trying to regain his agressiveness and trying to knot his eleventh win of the season. His opponent, returning like a horror film nightmare, is Phillies’ killer Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99), who has just been acquired by the Dodgers to take the place of injured starter Brad Penny. His last start before being traded was against the Phillies for the Padres on August 15, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, in the Padres’ 1-0 lost. This would be his first start as a Dodgers, but he has already faced the Phillies in two starts for the Padres, going 0-2 as he would pitch thirteen and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on thirteen hits. He will be trying for his first win this year against the Philles while trying to make it five straight wins against the Phillies for the Dodgers.

The Phillies will be trying to even up the season series with the Dodgers while trying to keep pace with the now streaking Mets, hoping that the offense will finally click in, while hoping that neither the defense or the bullpen is starting to show the strain of the 162 games grind. At the moment, the only ones among the Phillies’ bats who are still hitting are Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs, Chris Coste, and as a surprise, Carlos Ruiz, who has started to contribute. And it would appears that Chase Utley’s bat might be waking up as well after a 2 for 3 performance, including a RBI single. But as long as Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell’s bats remains silent, the Phillies are going to continue having a tough time scoring runs.

The Phillies trails the Mets by two and a half games, as they host the Astros for four games, while the Phils are ahead of the now fading Marlins, who will be going to Phoenix to face the Diamondbacks for three games. The Phillies hope to put together a string of victories to put some pressure on the Mets like they did this time last year, but time for the offense to start busting out is slowly running out as the Phils have only 35 games left to play in the season, and twenty of their next twenty-three games will be against teams who are either divisional leaders or are involved in either pennant races or the race for the wild card. Time seems to be not on their side.

The bullpen is unable to hold the lead as the Phillies lose to the Nationals, 4-3.

Ryan Madison blows a save opportunity in the eight inning as he runs into some buzzard luck as the Phillies are denied a sweep of the Nationals, losing 4-3. The first five innings of the game would involve a pitchers’ duel between veteran Jamie Moyer and the Nationals’ starter Tim Redding. Moyer would only give up a single and two walks in the first five innings, while Redding would give up just a single and a walk, while at one point getting out twelve Phils in a row. The Nationals would finally break the scoreless tie in the sixth, when, with two men on, and one out, Lastings Milledge would hit a grounder to third. Pedro Feliz, who was reactived last night, would throw to second base, forcing out Cristian Guzman, who has gotten on base with a single, for the innings’ second out, but Guzman’s take out slide would cause Chase Utley to throw widely of first for a throwing error, an error that Ryan Howard could have prevented by getting off the bag to block the ball, which would allow Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier singled and has moved to second on Guzman’s single, to score, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead, as Milledge would be safe on the error, moving up to second on the errant throw. Moyer would end the inning by getting Ronnie Belliard to ground out, short to first. The Phillies would tie it in their half of the inning, when, with a runner on second and two out Chase Utley would single in Jayson Werth, who has earlier doubled. The Nats would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with runners on second and third, and two outs, Moyer would give up a RBI single to Hernandez off of Jimmy Rollins’ glove, scoring Austin Kearns, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Willie Harris’ single, to give the Nats a 2-1 lead. That would be it for Moyer, as he would be taken out for Chad Durbin, while being given a standing ovation by the fans for his effort. Durbin would quickly end the inning by geting Guzman to ground out to first base. The Phillies would then strike back in their half of the inning, as, with one out, Shane Victorino would get an infield single and then go to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s two-base throwing error. Victorino would then score on pitch hitter Greg Dobbs’ ground out on the drawn in infied, second to first, to tie the score at two. The Phillies would then take the lead on Carlos Ruiz’s solo home run, his third home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. The lead would then vanish in the eighth inning, as Ryan Madson would run into some buzzard luck while on the mound. It would start when Zimmerman hit a ground ball to third, which would hit the third base bag and then bounce high into the air, before it finally came down to be caught by Feliz, who by then would have no play at first as Zimmerman would get an infield single. The next batter, Milledge, would then pop a fly ball into right field that would fall in for a hit, putting runners on first and second with no body out. After Belliard bunts the runners over to second and third for the inning’s first out, Jesus Flores would get an infield single off of Utley’s glove, tying the game at three all, and putting runners on the corners. Kearns would then hit a hard ball up the middle for a single, scoring Milledge, giving the Nationals a 4-3 lead, and moving Flores to second. Madson is then replaced with J.C. Romero. Romero would proceed to end the inning by striking out Harris and pinch hitter Wil Nieves. The Phillies would threaten to tie the game in both the eighth and the ninth, but would be unable to get a key hit as Nats’ closer Joel Hanrahan would come in to pitch two innings of shut out ball, recording his fourth save of the year and ending the Nats’ twelve games losing streak.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would get the lost as he blew his second save, going a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits, only one of which was actually a clean hit ball. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 3.38. J.C. Romero would go two-thirds of an inning, striking out both man that he would face. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Tim Redding would also get a no-decision, as he pitched six innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits. Saul Rivera would get the win while also receiving his fifth blown save of the year, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Joel Hanrahan would record his fourth save as he pitched two innings of shut out ball, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out one as he kept the Phillies from being able to tie the game.

The Phillies’ bullpen would be as much of a culprit in last night’s lost as was the Phillies’ offense, which did not do anything until the bottom of the sixth inning, and would once again be unable to get the key hit in the eighth and ninth innings. But in Madson’s defense, he got hit by what I tend to call buzzard luck. What I mean by that is that things happen that at any other time would not happen, and seems to happen to the Phillies once too many times. The ground ball that would hit the third base bag and go up into the air for an infield hit, the pop up that would drop in between Chase Utley and Jayson Werth before either of them could reach the ball and the infield single off of Utley’s glove that would allow the tying run to score in the eighth, along with the single off of Rollins’ glove in the previous seventh inning, are all examples of buzzard luck. It drives me nuts when that happens, since I know that I have no one to blame for those situations other than dame luck, and even then, you can’t blame her when the situation is just plain goofy. So, while Madson blew the save and got the loss, it was mainly because he got hit with buzzard luck.

The Phillies (68-59) will start a four games series tonight with the Dodgers (65-62, 2nd National League West). The first game of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-7, 5.01), who is coming off his second straight bad start against the Padres on August 16, where he is only able to go three and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 lost. His only start against the Dodgers this year, on August 11, would be an equally rough start, as he would go only three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. He will be looking to rebound from those two loses, trying to regain his agressiveness and trying to get his eleventh win of the season. His opponent, returning like a horror film nightmare, is Phillies’ killer Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99), who has just been acquired by the Dodgers to take the place of injured starter Brad Penny. His last start was against the Phillies for the Padres on August 15, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, in the Padres’ 1-0 lost. This would be his first start as a Dodgers, but he would have faced the Phillies in two starts for the Padres, going 0-2 as he would pitch thirteen and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on thirteen hits. He will be trying for his first win this year against the Philles while trying to make it five straight wins against the Phillies for the Dodgers.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by two and a half games, thanks to last night’s lost, while the Mets prepare for a four games series with the Astros in New York. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by three and a half games, as the fish prepare for a three games series with the D-backs in Phoenix. The Phillies hope to regain some ground in the East while trying to get even with the Dodgers for last week’s sweep.

Preparing for a sweep of the Nationals.

The Phillies (68-58) will conclude their three games home stand with the luckless Nationals (44-83) as they look to sweep the Nats. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.64), who is coming off a gem of a start against the Padres on August 15 as he outduel fellow 1984 Draftie Greg Maddux. Moyer would pitch seven shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 1-0 win. In his last start against the Nationals on July 30, he would pick up the win as he pitched six innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win. He will be going for his twelfth win of the year, while also going for his fourteenth straight start where he has given up three runs or less. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (8-8, 4.66), who is coming off a hard luck lost to the Rockies on August 15, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Nats’ 4-3 lost. In his last start against the Phillies on July 30, the Phillies would finally get to him, as they knocked in seven earned runs on ten hits as he would only be able to go four innings plus five batters, in the Nationals’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to stop a personal two games losing streak while trying to stop the Nationals’ team losing streak at twelve games.

The Phillies are still waiting for the offense to wake up and get hot to go along with their much more solid looking starting pitching and their stellar bullpen. Although it got more hits in last night’s game than it did during most of the road trip to the West Coast, and the hits were spread around between both the top and bottom part of the line-up, the fact remains that the bats haven’t busted a game wide open in quite a while. Meanwhile, the starting pitching is coming along, as Brett Myers has rediscovered his grove, Jamie Moyer continue to confound hitters and Cole Hamels, in spite of two bad outings in July, remains the team’s ace, eating up the innings while striking out batters. Once Kyle Kendrick has decided to stop being timid and make hitters hit ground balls again and Joe Blanton goes back to eating up innings, the rotation will hopefully become one of the best in the league, something that is going to be needed in what is presently a three teams pennant race in the East, which could end up being a two teams race if the Marlins continue to go southward.

The Phillies enter tonight’s game still a game and a half behind the Mets, who are looking to sweep the fading Braves. They are ahead of the Marlins by three and a half games, although the Marlins are presently tied with the Giants in an afternoon game on the coast. The Phillies will be looking to either stay close or get closer to the Mets after tonight’s game, while preparing to get even with the Dodgers for last week’s fiasco in LA.

Brett Myers pitches his first complete game shutout since 2004 as he nine hit the Nats, 4-0.

Brett Myers gives up nine hits and no runs to the Nationals as he pitches his first complete game shutout since May 20, 2004, as the Phils defeat the Nationals, 4-0. Myers got saved in the first inning, when, with two men on and two outs, Ryan Zimmerman, who has reached base on a Greg Dobbs’ throwing error and have gone to second on a walk to Lastings Milledge, would try to score on a Ronnie Belliard single to left. He would be cut down at the plate by a good throw by Pat Burrell, as Chris Coste supplies the tag, which would end the inning. The Phillies would take a 1-0 lead in the third, when, with two men on and one out, Coste, who has been hit by the pitch, and would reach second on a fielder’s choice ground out on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Myers, would score on a throwing error by rookie shortstop Anderson Hernandez, when he tried to double up Jimmy Rollins, and instead threw the ball past the glove of first baseman Belliard. The Nationals would threaten to tie the score in the fifth as they get Emilio Bonifacio to third on an infield single, a stolen base and a ground out, second to first. Myers would end the threat by striking out Zimmerman, one of nine strike out victims. The Phillies would then increase their lead in the bottom half of the inning, as Dobbs would hit a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, to make it a 3-0 Phillies’ lead. Later in the inning, with a runner on third, and two outs, Jayson Werth would hit a RBI double, scoring Coste, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. That would be the final score as Myers would dominate the Nats for the final four innings, giving up four singles, one in each of the last four innings, but refusing to give in as only one runner would even reach second base.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitched nine innings of shut out ball, giving up nine scattered hits and striking out nine and walking only one batter. His record is now 6-10 with a 4.71 ERA. Since his return from the minors, in six starts, Myers has given up three earned runs or less in all six starts, while pitching six innings or more in all but one of his starts. His record since his return is 3-1, with two no-decisions, in which the Phillies are 1-1, with an ERA of 1.94. He has gone a total of forty-one and two-thirds innings, giving up only ten runs, nine of which were earned, on thirty hits. Myers is back and it is about time in my opinion. Collin Balester would get the lost as he goes six innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.99 ERA. The rookie Marco Estrada would pitch two scoreless innings in relief, giving up only two hits.

The Phillies’ offense did better last night, as they got nine hits, although they wouldn’t get their first hit until the fourth inning on a single by Chase Utley. The hits would be spread more evenly between the top and bottom of the order, with Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell being the only starters without a hit. Is the offense getting ready to bust out? You guess is as good as mines, but I’m praying that it finally is getting ready to burst open, and I hate to be the first ballclub that they’ll take out their frustrations on.

The Phillies (68-58) will conclude their three games home stand with the luckless Nationals (44-83) as they look to sweep the Nats. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Their starter will be 45 years old veteran Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.64), who is coming off a gem of a start against the Padres on August 15 as he outduel fellow 1984 Draftie Greg Maddux, as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 1-0 win. In his last start against the Nationals on July 30, he would get the win as he pitched six innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win. He will be going for his twelfth win, while also going for his fourteenth straight start where he has given up three runs or less. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (8-8, 4.66), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on August 15, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Nats’ 4-3 lost. In his last start against the Phillies on July 30, the Phillies would finally get to him, as they knocked in seven earned runs on ten hits as he would only be able to go four innings plus five batters. He will be trying to stop a personal two games losing streak while trying to stop the Nationals’ team losing streak at twelve games.

The Phillies still trail the Mets by one and a half games as they defeated the fastly fading Braves. The Phillies are now ahead of the equally fading Marlins by three and a half games as they lost a squeaker to the Giants. The Phillies will be looking for a sweep of the Nationals so that they can stay close to the Mets, before preparing for a four games weekend series with the Dodgers, and a bit of revenge for their previous week fiasco in LA.

Continuing the home stand, trying for a series win against the hapless Nationals.

The Phillies (67-58) continue their three games series with the Nationals (44-82) tonight with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (5-10, 5.02), who is coming off a hard lost to the Dodgers on August 14 as he would pitch his fourth straight quality start, going seven innings as he gave up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 3-1 lost. In his last start against the Nationals, back on July 29, he would get the win as he pitched seven innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to dominate the Nationals once again. The Nats will counter with Collin Balester (2-5, 5.06), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 14, where he would pitch five innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits, in the Nationals’ 9-3 lost. His previous start against the Phillies was a defeat on July 29, as he gave up two earned runs on six hits in six innings of work, in the Nationals’ 2-1 lost. He will also be looking to improve his record while trying to stop the Nationals’ present losing streak at eleven games.

The Phillies will once more be trying to jump start their offense, this time trying to get their first five hitters as much involved in their runs support as was the bottom part of the line-up last night, which was an interesting surprise, considering how much the bottom part of the line-up has been involved during the last few weeks. Maybe having Shane Victorino batting down there might have been part of the reason for that. Now if only the entire offense would just hit at the same time and bring in some runs via timely hitting the Phillies might actually get somewhere.

The Phillies will start still a game and a half behind the Mets who will be playing the second game of their three games series with the Braves. They are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games as the fish prepare to continue their three games series with the Giants in San Francisco. The Phillies will be looking for their second straight win over the Nationals while hoping to stay close to the Mets.

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