August 2008

The bullpen blows another lead as the offense once again goes awol after scoring some runs as the Phillies fall to the Dodgers, 7-6.

Chad Durbin for the second straight night allows the Dodgers to tie the score in the eighth inning, before the bullpen finally loses the game in the ninth, this time to a Nomar Garciaparra walk-off home run, as the Phillies’ offense is for the second straight night put to sleep by the Dodgers’ bullpen in the middle innings, after taking what should’ve been an early commanding lead. The Phillies would score four runs in the first on a pair of two-run home runs. After Jayson Werth is rubbed of a home run to right by Andre Ethier for the second out of the inning, Chase Utley would get on base as he is hit by the pitch. Ryan Howard would follow with his league leading thirty-second home run of the year, scoring Utley, for a quick 2-0 lead. Pat Burrell would then get on base with a walk. Greg Dobbs would then follow with his fifth home run of the year, scoring Burrell, to make it 4-0 Phils. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, when, with the bases loaded, and one out, Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would give up a walk to James Loney, scoring Ethier, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, would move to second on Jeff Kent’s single and move to third on the walk to Manny Ramirez, making it 4-1 Phillies. Blanton would finally get out of the inning by striking out Casey Blake and getting Garciaparra to fly out to right. The Phillies would add to their lead in the second when, with a man on and two outs, Werth would hit his sixteenth home run of the year, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 6-1 lead. That would be all the damage the Phillies would be able to do as the Dodgers’ bullpen, starting in the fourth inning, would give them only one more hit, four walks and a hit batter, while squashing threats in the fifth and sixth innings. In the meantime, the Dodgers would chip away at the Phillies’ lead. It would start in the third as Ramirez, who owns Blanton, would hit his twenty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Kent, who has earlier singled, to reduce the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. Then in the fourth, Blanton would give up another home run, this time a solo shot to Ethier, his twelfth home run of the year, cutting the lead down to 6-4. After Blanton gets out of the fifth inning without any further damage, he hands the ball over to Ryan Madson, who would proceed to get out six of the seven batters he would face in two innings of relief. Chad Durbin is then given the ball so that he can hand it over to Brad Lidge for a save opportunity in the ninth. Sadly, it didn’t happen as Durbin would end up blowing his fourth save of the year. The inning would start with a single by Russell Martin. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Juan Pierre, putting runners on first and second with nobody outs. Matt Kemp would then line out to Werth for the first out of the inning. The next batter, Ethier, would then hit the ball to Ryan Howard. Instead of throwing to Jimmy Rollins at second to force out Pierre, Howard would instead go to first, not confident that his throw would actually get to Rollins. That lack of confidence would prove costly as Durbin would then give up a two-run double to Kent, tying the score at six all. Durbin would then intentionally walk Ramirez, after getting behind in the count 3-0. That would be it for Durbin, as he is replaced by J.C. Romero. Romero would finally end the inning by getting Loney to ground into a force out, shortstop to third base. In the ninth, with one man out, Clay Condrey would throw a walk-off home run to Garciaparra, his sixth home run of the year, to give the Dodgers a 7-6 walk-off victory.

Joe Blanton gets a no-decision as he pitches five rough innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out six. Ryan Madson would pitch two strong innings of relief, as he gives up no runs on no hits, and strike out three, while one man reached base on a fielding error. Chad Durbin would blow his fourth save of the year and his second in this series, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only hitter he would face. Clay Condrey would take the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, Garciaparra’s walk-off home run. His record is now 3-3 with a 3.71 ERA. Brad Penny would also receive a no-decision as he only last three innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, a hit batter and two walks, while striking out four. Jason Johnson would pitch two and two-thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up one hit and walking two, while striking out five. Joe Beimel would face only two batters, giving up a walk and hitting a batter. Chan Ho Park would pitch two and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, with two strikeouts. His record is now 3-3 with an ERA of 3.58.

Sigh. It’s becoming a broken record. Offense strikes early, gets nothing going in the middle innings and is unable to get a clutch hit when they do threathen to score. Now the bullpen is getting into the act, as it, or rather Chad Durbin, has now blown two straight save opportunities. Although the main culprit, as always, is the Phillies’ offense, we now add Ryan Howard’s sad defense as well, as his fear of maybe not throwing the ball straight to Jimmy Rollins for a force out causes him to instead go for the sure out at first. Listening to the broadcast crew, it would appear that Jay-Ro did not agree with Howard’s decision. And to be honest, neither do I, since if Ryan had thrown the ball to second and had gotten Juan Pierre out, then the next batter, Jeff Kent, would probably have knocked in only one run with his double. But we will never know for sure since that was not the actual result. It would seem that the offense needs someone or something to break them out of their collective funk, like the Dodgers getting Manny Ramirez have gotten them going. Too bad our cheapskate managment isn’t thinking like that. Double sigh.

The Phillies (64-56, T-1st) will play the final game of their four game set with the Dodgers (61-59, T-1st National League West) tonight. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (5-9, 5.09), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on August 9, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. He has pitched rather well since coming back from his stint in the minors, going 2-0 in four starts, with a 2.10 ERA, while the Phils have gone 1-1 in his other two starts. Against the Dodgers in nine starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. He will be looking to make it four good starts in a row while trying to salvage a win in the series for the Phils and keep them in at least a tie for first place in the East. His opponent will be Hiroki Kuroda (6-8, 4.02), who is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on August 9, where he pitched eight innings, giving up only one earned run on eight hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to help the Dodgers sweep the Phillies, while keeping them at least tied for first in the West.

The Phillies are now tied for first with the Mets as they defeated the Nationals for the second game in a row, while the two teams both lead the Marlins by a game and a half after the Marlins’ lost to the Cardinals. Their lead over the Braves is at nine games as the Braves were swept by the Cubs in a day/night doubleheader. The Phillies will be trying to salvage a win tonight in LA before they head on to San Diego where they will be facing some more tough pitching, hoping against hope that the offense will finally break out of its year long funk. Otherwise, they will be looking up to see themselves trailing the Mets and being just ahead of the fish in the standings.

The Phillies continue their visit to lala land, wondering if Blanton will be able to put an end to the Manny Ramirez show.

The Phillies (64-55) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (60-59, 2nd National League West) as they are now looking to play for a split in their series. The game will be played tonight at Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 8, where he threw seven shutout innings, giving up only one hit, in the Phillies’ 2-0 extra-innings lost. Blanton will be looking to continue his present string of quality starts while hoping to give the Phillies their first win on the present road trip while trying to muzzle Manny Ramirez’s hot bat. The Dodgers will counter with Brad Penny (6-9, 5.66), who is coming off a victory over the Giants on August 8, after coming off the disabled list, where he went five innings, giving up just an earned run on one hit and walking three, in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win. He hopes to get his second straight win after returning from the dl which hoping that the Phillies’ bat will continue being inconsistent.

The Phillies hope that the offense will finally come alive, after teasing their fans all season with flashes of how destructive this team can be against other National League teams. Sadly, because of a lack of contact hitters within the bottom part of the line-up, and a seeming refusal, or rather, inability, to play situational/small ball style of baseball when the long ball approach doesn’t work against even the most mediocre of pitchers, seems to hurt the team when the starters, for the most part, have been able to consistantly keep opponents from scoring more than three to four runs a game. For most teams that would easily translate into a win, but with the Phils it usually translate into a lost as the offense is unable to string together several innings in which they can put men across the plate thanks to clutch hitting. That is bad enough when it happens to a pitcher like Adam Eaton, who doesn’t seem to be able to help himself with his pitching, its worth when it occurs when the team’s ace, Cole Hamels, is on the mound, who has now gone seven straight starts without being able to get win number 10. Something has got to give, and soon, else the Phillies will be looking at another post-season looking at the wrong side of the playoff picture.

The Phillies have a game lead on the Mets as they prepare to continue their visit with the Nationals in Washington, and a game and a half lead over the Marlins as the fish continue playing host to the Cardinals. The Phillies’ lead over the once mighty Braves is now at nine games as they have just lost the first game of a day/night doubleheader to the Cubs. The Phillies will be trying to get their first win on their road trip to California while hoping that their opponent won’t do any better themselves.

Bullpen allows one to slip away as Cole Hamels is once again denied win no. 10.

The Phillies’ bullpen allows a win to slip away as another good outing by Cole Hamels is wasted as the Phillies lose to the Dodgers, 4-3. The Phillies would score their first run in the first inning, as Chase Utley, batting second against Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw, would hit a solo shot, his thirtieth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Dodgers would tie the game in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and two outs, Casey Blake would hit a RBI single, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would retake the lead in the second when Cole Hamels would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, knocking in Chris Coste, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on Eric Bruntlett’s single, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third as Pat Burrell would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled and then stole third, to make it 3-1 Phillies. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Kershaw and Hamels, with Kershaw confounding Phillies’ batters, as he would end up striking out eight Phils and not giving the Phils the clutch hit they needed to increase their lead, before he is finally lifted in the sixth. The Dodgers would make it 3-2 Phillies in their half of the sixth, as, with two men on, and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Juan Pierre, who has gotten on based earlier with a bunt single and has moved to second on Kemp’s single, while Kemp moved to second. After a Blake ground out, pitcher to first, for the second out of the inning would move the runners to second and third, Hamels would intentionally walk Nomar Garciaparra to load the bases. Hamels would then get out of the inning by getting Russell Martin to line out to Utley. After getting a 1-2-3 seventh, Hamels would be lifted for a pitch hitter in the eighth, handing the ball over to the normally spot on bullpen which, before last night’s game, had only blown eight save opportunities, the best in the National League. Well, the bullpen would blow their ninth save opportunity, as Chad Durbin would, with no one out, load the bases via a single (Kemp), a walk (Jeff Kent) and a hit batman (Ramirez). He would then give up a sacrifice fly to Blake, for the inning’s first out, scoring Kemp and leaving runners on first and second, tying the ballgame. He would then end the inning by getting Garciaparra to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. In the ninth, J.C. Romero, pitching in place of Durbin, would lead the inning off by hitting Martin on the foot. James Loney would then move Martin over to second as he grounds out, first to the pitcher, for the first out of the inning. Andre Ethier would then end the game with a walk-off single to left, scoring Martin, and giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory.

Cole Hamels gets a no-decision as he is for the seventh straight start denied victory number 10. He would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out seven Dodgers. Chad Durbin receives his third blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. J.C. Romero would take the lost as he goes a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a hit batter. His record is now 4-4 with an ERA of 2.30. Clayton Kershaw would also get a no-decision as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, while striking out eight. Joe Beimel would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would get the win, as he pitches two innings, giving up no hits and no runs. His record is now 4-2 with an ERA of 1.70.

Once again the Phillies’ offense has hurt the team as it is unable to do anything after scoring its third run in the third. It didn’t do anything in the middle innings, and blew an opportunity with a runner on second and one man out in the sixth to do further damage. The lack of a pure contact hitter within in the bottom part of the line-up keep hurting them when they need such a hitter the most. Although the bullpen will be the one that folks will be pointing the finger at for the lost, the real culprit will be the still inconsistant offense.

The Phillies (64-55) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (60-59, 2nd National League West) as they now look to split the series. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 8, where he threw seven shutout innings, giving up only one hit, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. Blanton will be looking to continue his present string of quality starts while hoping to give the Phillies their first win on the road trip while trying to muzzle Manny Ramirez’s hot bat. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Brad Penny (6-9, 5.66), who is coming off a win against the Giants on August 8, after coming off the disabled list, where he went only five innings, giving up an earned run on one hit and walking three, in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win. He hopes to get his second straight win after coming off the dl which hoping the Phillies’ bat will continue being inconsistent.

With the lost, the Phillies’ lead over the Met shranked to one game, as they defeated the Nationals, and to one and a half games over the Marlins as they beat the Cardinals. The Phillies’ lead over the Braves is presently at eight and a half thanks to a rain out, but they are now playing a day/night doubleheader with the Cubs and are presently trailing them in the first game, 4-0 in the top of the fourth. The Phillies hope to come back from their second straight defeat to the Dodgers and try to salvage a series’ split while hoping that their opponents will not get any closer.

The Phillies will continue their visit to Los Angeles, hoping to do better with their ace on the mound.

The Phillies (64-54) will continue their four games visit with the Dodgers (59-59, 2nd National League West) with another night game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35), who is still looking for his tenth win, after six previous attempts where he went 0-3 with three no-decisions, which the Phils would go 2-1. He is coming off a lost to the Marlins on August 7, where he went six and a third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 lost, which was an approvement over his previous start against the Cardinals on August 1, which was also a lost as he got hurt for four earned run on eight hits, as he pitched six innings, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. This will be his first career start against the Dodgers. He will be hoping that the Phillies’ offense will finally give him some early runs support, something that they have not been able to do for him lately. The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on August 7, where he pitched seven innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win. He has never faced the Phillies. He will be trying to even his record while hoping that the Phillies’ offense isn’t preparing for a big outburst.

The Phillies’ offense will be trying to rebound from last night’s lost, where they saw their first three batters get seven hits between them (Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino with two each and Chase Utley with three) in fourteen at bats, showing that the team might finally be coming out of its season long funk. If Pat Burrell can get out of his present one for twenty-two funk, and if Ryan Howard can continue hitting, the Phillies should be scoring a lot of runs again, as long as the six to eight hole batters decide to start making contact with the ball and not continue to be automatic outs. But, I will only believe it when I see them put together several games where they can not only score more than three-four runs in a game, but they can score that many runs early without forcing their starters to be perfect. That means scoring some runs early guys, as well as putting together some big innings.

The Phillies lead the Mets by two games as they start a three games series with the Nationals in Washington. The Marlins trail the Phils by two and a half games as they continue their four games series with the Cardinals. The Braves trail the Phillies by nine game, as they get ready to plays the Cubs at home. The Phillies hope to win the series against the much more potent Dodgers while hoping to gain some ground against their rivals in the East.

Kendrick unable to escape the Dodgers’ offense as the Phillies lose the series opener, 8-6.

Kyle Kendrick’s Houdini act gets panned in  L.A. as the Dodgers would score seven runs off of him before they are able to hold off a Phillies’ offensive revival as the Phillies drop the series’ opener, 8-6. The Dodgers would erupt for six runs in the third off of Kendrick, who was no longer in command of his pitches. After Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe would lead off the inning with a ground out, short to first, Matt Kemp would get on base with an infield single that almost took out Jimmy Rollins. After Kemp steals second, Andre Ethier would get on base with a walk. Kendrick would then hit Jeff Kent, loading the bases for Manny Ramirez. Ramirez would hit a two-run double, scoring Kemp and Ethier, and putting Kent on third, giving the Dodgers a quick 2-0 lead. James Loney would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Kent and Ramirez, making it 4-0 Dodgers, while Loney would go to second on the throw to the plate. Russell Martin would follow him with a single to right, but Jayson Werth would then proceed to cut down Loney at home, tagged out by Carlos Ruiz, as he successfully blocks the plate, for the inning’s second out. Casey Blake would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, scoring Martin, increasing the Dodgers’ lead to 6-0. The inning would finally end with Angela Berroa flying out to center. The Phillies would make the score 6-1 in the fourth as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI ground out, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, and got to third on Chase Utley’s double. The Dodgers would get the run back in their half of the fourth, making it 7-1, when, with two men on, and one out, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Kemp, who has earlier singled, ran to second base as Ethier was being walked for the second time by Kendrick, and then went to third on Ruiz’s needless throwing error to second. After Kendrick walks Ramirez, Charlie Manuel would replace him with Les Walrond, who would then Houdini his way out of the inning by striking out both Loney and Martin. The Phils would make it 7-2 in the sixth as Howard would hit his second RBI ground out, this time scoring Rollins, who has singled, moved to second on Victorino’s walk and went to third on Utley’s ground out, second to first. After Walrond Houdini’s his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the six by striking out Blake and getting Berroa to hit into a force out, short to second, the Phillies would get closer in the top of the seventh. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, who has earlier doubled and stole third, to make it 7-3 Dodgers. Rollins would then follow with a RBI triple, on a ball that right fielder Ethier would somehow missed in the lights, scoring Jenkins, to make it a 7-4 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers would increase their lead to 8-4 in the eighth, as, with two men on, and no one out, Loney would hit a RBI double off of Rollins’ glove, scoring Pablo Ozuna, who has singled, and sending Ramirez to third. Then Clay Condrey would perform his own Houdini stunt after intentionally walking Martin. He would get Blake to hit the ball to Rollins, who would throw home for the force out, as Ruiz would tag the plate to force out Ramirez for the inning’s first out. Condrey would then get Berroa to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with no further damage. The Phillies would then try to attempt a rally in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Utley would hit a two-runs single on a pop up that drops behind the shortstop Berroa, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has singled, and Ruiz, who has walked, and moving Victorino, who has also singled off of Berroa’s glove, to second, making it 8-6 Dodgers. But Howard would then end the game with a ground out, his fifth ground out of the game, second to first.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost, as he did not have good command of his pitches in either the third or fourth innings, as he pitched three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, three walks and a hit batman. His record is now 10-6 with a ERA of 4.74. Les Walrond would pitch two and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits and three strike outs, as he pitched his way out of jams in both the fourth and sixth innings. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on fifth hits. Derek Lowe would get the win as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. His record is now 9-10 with a 4.74 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would also pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get his sixth save of the year as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits.

The Phillies’ offense, although rallying late in the game, would be the main contributor to Kyle Kendrick’s lost, as it would not give him any runs support early on, forcing him to try to be almost perfect in his approach, which he would proceed to lose in the third inning as the Dodgers would then proceed to hit his bad pitches, ending up with six runs in the third and a seventh run in the fourth before he would finally be mercifully taken out by Charlie Manuel. It would seems that the Phillies’ batter are starting to realize that they are not producing at the plate as they should be. But, instead of trying to relax and take the pressure off themselves, they are now trying to do too much and thereby pressing themselves to produce. Fellows, do yourselves a favor. Now that you know that things are not working out the way they should be, try to relax and not make things even worst by trying to force things to happen. The remedy that you guys need is already there, but you just won’t use it. Play some small ball for a while. Maybe just trying to make contact and moving runners along might help to get the pressure off of all of you for a while. At least I hope it will. It can’t make things any worst than it is now.

The Phillies (64-54) will continue their four games visit with their old rivals the Dodgers (59-59, 2nd National League West) with another night game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35), who is still looking for his tenth win. He is coming off a lost to the Marlins on August 7, where he went six and a third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 lost. This will be his first start against the Dodgers. He will be hoping that the Phillies will finally give him some runs support, something they have not been doing for him lately. The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on August 7, where he pitched seven innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win. He has never faced the Phillies. He will be trying to even his record while hoping that the Phillies’ offense isn’t preparing for a big outburst.

The Phillies are still leading the Mets by two games as they’d lost a make-up game to the Pirates, and two and a half games over the Marlins as the fish lost to the Cardinals, as the Phils failed to take advantage of both teams’ loses. They now lead the Braves by nine games as the Braves had yesterday off. As the Phils continue their series with the Dodgers, the Mets will start a three games series with the Nationals in Washington, while the Cardinals will continue their three games series with the Redbirds in Miami and the Braves will start a three games series with the Cubs in Atlanta. The Phillies will be trying to regroup and try to win the series while once again hoping to either gain or hold their ground against their nearest opponents in the Eastern Division.

Visiting Los Angeles to meet up with the Dodgers.

The Phillies (64-53) will face the Dodgers (58-59, 2nd National League West) for the first time this season for a four games series in Los Angeles. The first game of this four games set will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will begin tonight at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies will sent to the mound Kyle Kendrick (10-5, 4.37), who is coming off a victory against the Marlins on August 6, where he threw six scoreless innings, giving up only four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. His lifetime record against the Dodgers is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts. He will be trying for his eleventh win of the year while hoping that the Phillies’ offense will stick around long enough to give him some runs support. The Dodgers’ starter will be Derek Lowe (8-10, 4.10), who is coming off a hard lost against the Cardinals on August 6, where he would only go three and a third innings, as he got bombed by the Redbirds for eight earned runs on thirteen hits, in the Dodgers’ 9-6 lost. Career wise, he is 3-1 against the Phillies with a 2.84 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while hoping to muzzle the Phillies’ offense.

As the Phillies prepare to meet the Dodgers for the first of two four games, the offense will be trying to finally shake off their almost season long funk as they hope to increase their lead in the Eastern Division. At the moment, the starters has rung up a decent set of quality starts, going back to Joe Blanton shutting down the Cardinals back on August 2. Starting with that game, the starters have given up a total of eleven runs, only ten of which were earned, in fifty-one innings. If this keeps up, the starters as a whole might become tough to beat, once the Phillies’ offense decides to stop going for the long ball, and start looking to make contact.

The Phillies presently lead both the Mets and the Marlins by two and a half games as the Mets have just lost a make-up game with the Pirates in New York, while the fish prepare to start a four games series with the Cardinals in Miami, starting tonight. The Braves trail the Phillies by nine and a half games as they prepare to take the day off. The Phillies will try to have another winning road trip while they hope to increase their lead in their division.

Phillies outlast rain delay, usual lack of offense, to defeat the Pirates, 6-3.

The Phillies defeated the Pirates today, 6-3, after outlasting both an one hour and forty-seven minutes rain delay, and the usual lack of offense. The Pirates would score the game’s first run in the second when Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer would give up a RBI double to Doug Mientkiewicz, who knocked in Brandon Moss, who had doubled earlier, making it 1-0 Pirates. The Phillies would tie the score in the third in one of the wierdest plays that I have ever seen in my life. With no one out, and with Carlos Ruiz on first via a walk, Moyer would push a sacrifice bunt towards first that would be fielded by Pirates’ starter Jason Davis. But, when Davis attempted to throw to first for the out, he would get bumped by Ryan Doumit, the Pirates’ catcher, which would cause Davis to throw the ball wildly past first base for the play’s first error. Ruiz, after going to second on the bunt, would go to third on the error and then go home to tie the game at one all, while Moyer would head for second. He would then go on to third as Pirates’ right fielder Jason Michaels would threw the ball past second into left center field for the play’s second error, allowing Moyer to reach third. Moyer would then score on a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Rollins to center field, to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The Phils would then try to take a commanding lead in the fifth, as they load the bases with only one out, via a single (Ruiz), error (left fielder Moss dropping Rollins’ fly ball onto the left field foul line) and a walk (Shane Victorino). But Davis would get out of the inning when Chase Utley would hit a ground ball to the second basemen that would end up being a 6-4-3 double play. Then in the sixth, the Pirates would take the lead when, with two men on and two outs, Michaels would hit a two-run double off of Moyer, who threw a pitch that stayed in the strike zone, scoring Nate McLouth and Doumit, both of whom have singled earlier, to give the Pirates the lead at 3-2. The Phillies would tie the game up in the seventh, as Greg Dobbs hits a pinch hit RBI double, his record setting twenty-first pinch hit, scoring Ruiz, who has doubled earlier. Then two batters later, with Dobbs on third via a wild pitch by Pirates’ reliever Tyler Yates, Chase Utley would give the Phillies the lead as he would hit a two-run home run, his twenty-ninth home run of the year, and his only hit in the weekend series, to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead. The Phillies would then add their final run in the eighth inning in as wierd a manner as when they had scored the first run. After Jayson Werth have received a lead off walk, he would move on to second as he ran on a ground out by Geoff Jenkins on a three-two pitch for the inning’s first out. He would then move to third on a Craig Hansen’s wild pitch to Eric Bruntlett. After Bruntlett would ground out, third to first, for the second out, Jenkins would score on a pass ball committed by Doumit, to make it 6-3 Phillies. Ryan Madson would then come in to pitch the ninth, in place of Brad Lidge, who has an ailing shoulder, and proceeded to pitch a 1-2-3 inning, to record his first save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would receive a no-decision as he went six strong innings, throwing a large number of first pitch strikes, giving up three earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit and a walk. Scott Eyre would get the win, as he gets out the only batter he would face. His record is now 3-0, with his first win as a Phil, with a ERA of 6.94. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, with no hits and a strikeout. Ryan Madson would get his first save of the year as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth. Jason Davis would also get a no-decision as he went sixth inning, giving up two runs, both unearned, on four hits. Tyler Yates, would get the lost as he also receive his fourth blown save, as he went an inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 4-3 with a 5.27 ERA. Craig Hansen would pitch an inning, giving up a run, which was unearned, on no hits.

The Phillies’ offense almost did itself in today by not being able to get a clutch hit when they needed it until Utley’s home run. But I’d noticed something today. It would seems that the players are starting to realize when they are messing up. I’d noticed it originally when Moyer was mad at himself when he was unable to get a bunt down. I didn’t think much about it when the broadcast team said it has probably occurred because Moyer was such a perfectionist. But, I then noticed Utley being mad at himself when he hit into the twin-killing in the fifth. But I’d only really noticed it when Rollins was unable to score Dobbs from third when he hit a sharp ground ball to first base. I saw Rollins inside the Phillies’ dugout being mad at himself for not getting the runner home. After seeing that, I began to think that maybe the players are finally starting to notice that they are not getting the job done when they are trying to perform some situational hitting. Maybe, just maybe, the fire is starting to be lit under this team’s behind after all and maybe the players are finally trying to get it done. Well, if it is, is couldn’t be occurring at a better time, since they’re going out to the West Coast to face the Dodgers and the Padres before they come back home for a home stand against the Nationals, the Dodgers and the Mets.

The Phillies (64-53) will meet the Dodgers (58-59, 2nd National League West) for the first time this season for a four games series. The first game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-5, 4.37), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on August 6, where he went six scoreless innings, giving up only four hits in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. His lifetime record against the Dodgers is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts. He will be trying for his eleventh victory of the year while hoping that the offense will continue to support him. The Dodgers will oppose him with Derek Lowe (8-10, 4.10), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on August 6, where he would only go three and a third innings as he got bombed for eight earned runs on thirteen hits, in the Dodgers’ 9-6 lost. Career wise, he is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA against the Phillies. He will be trying to improve his record while hoping to muzzle the Phillies’ offense.

The Phillie are now leading the Mets by two games and the Marlins by two and a half as the Marlins were finally able to defeat the Mets. The Braves now trail the Phillies by nine and a half games as they lost to the Diamondbacks. The Phillies will now be traveling to the west coast, hoping to be able to increase their lead in the East.

Brett Myers pitches a strong seven and two-thirds innings as the offense finally scores some runs as the Phillies defeat the Pirates, 4-2.

Brett Myers pitches his third straight strong start as the Phillies’ offense finally end its scoring drought as the Phils defeated the Pirates, 4-2. The Phillies would end their inability to score runs in the bottom of the first as Shane Victorino hits a RBI double off of Pirates’ starter Ian Snell, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier tripled, to give the Phils a quick 1-0 lead. After Chase Utley strikes out for the first out of the inning, Ryan Howard would give the Phils a 2-0 lead as he hits a RBI single, scoring Victorino. After Pat Burrell strikes out for the second out, Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs would both walk, loading the bases. After getting the count to 3-1, Chris Coste would hit a deep fly ball to left that would die and be caught by the left fielder near the fence for the third out of the inning, leaving the score 2-0 Phils. Brett Myers would keep the Pirates off-balanced for most of the game, throwing a large number of first strike pitches, while staying out of any major trouble until the fourth inning when, with one out, and a runner on first, he would give up a RBI double to Nate McLouth, scoring Doug Mientkiewicz, who has earlier singled, to make it 2-1 Phillies. Myers would then get out of the inning by getting Ryan Doumit to ground out, and then striking out Brandon Moss, one of six Pirates he would strike out in the game. The Phillies would try to increase their lead in their half of the inning when they loaded up the bases again, with two men outs, when Snell would get Utley to strike out again, to end the threat. The Phillies would finally get another run off of Snell in the seventh when Rollins would lead off the inning by hitting his second triple, his fourth hit of the ballgame. Victorino would then follow with a RBI single, punching it through the drawn in Pirates’ infield, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Phillies would add one more run in the eighth as Dobbs would hit a RBI single, also doing it against a drawn in infield, scoring Werth, who has earlier tripled, to make it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead. In the ninth, the Pirates would score their second run, as Moss would hit a RBI single off of Chad Durbin, as Brad Lidge was given the night off by Charlie Manuel, scoring McLouth, who has earlier singled, moved to second on defensive indifference and went to third on a wild pitch. But that would be it, as Durbin would get a fly out and then a pop out to finally end the game.

Brett Myers would get the win, as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings of strong ball, giving up only one earned run on five hits and striking out six. His record is now 5-9 with a 5.09 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Chad Durbin would get his first save of the year, as he pitches an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Ian Snell would get the lost, as he pitches six innings plus two batters, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, while striking out five. His record is now 4-9 with a 6.06 ERA. Sean Burnett would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Romulo Sanchez would pitch one and a third innings, giving up an earned run on two hits. 

The Phillies’ offense would finally score some runs tonight, as Jimmy Rollins would get on base four times with two singles and two triples. Hopefully this outburst by JayRoll will mean the beginning of a long hitting streak by him, since he needs to get on base to help get this team moving.

The Phillies (63-53) will conclude their three games weekend series with the Pirates (53-63) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (10-7, 3.78), who is coming off his first career lost to the Marlins on  August 5, where he went five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. He will be trying once again to get his eleventh win of the season, while trying to pitch another quailty start for the Phils and hoping that the bats are indeed back. The Pirates will send to the mound Jason Davis (1-1, 2.57), who is coming off a lost in relief against the Diamondbacks on August 4, when he pitched three and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. He will try to give the Pirates the series win while hoping that the Phillies’ bats will go back to sleep.

The Phillies are still leading the Mets by a game and the Marlins now by two and a half games as the Mets defeated the Marlins once again tonight. Their lead over the Braves is presently at eight and a half games as the Braves defeated the Diamondbacks. The Phillies will be trying to win the series and split the home stand, while hoping that the Marlins will defeat the Mets so that they can put some distance between them and their nearest opponents in the East as they prepare for a trip to California for seven games with the Dodgers (their first series against them) and the Padres.

The Philles ‘officially’ retired Robin Robert’s number 36 while honoring him and the rest of the 1950 Whiz Kids.

Phillies offically retire No. 36
Roberts and the 1950s Whiz Kids honored before game

The Phillies continue their weekend series with their cross state rivals, the Pirates.

The Phillies (62-53) will continue their three games weekend series with the Pirates (53-62, 5th National League Central) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (4-9, 5.34), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on August 3, where he went six strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. Lifetime against the Pirates, Myers is 2-4 with a 2.92 ERA. He will be trying for his three straight quality start since coming back from the minors, as well as his second straight win, while hoping that the Phillies’ offense will finally wake up and score some runs. The Pirates will counter with Ian Snell (4-8, 6.14), who is coming off a bad start against the Cubs on August 3, where he got a no-decision as he would pitch only four innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Pirates’ 8-5 lost. Lifetime against the Phillies, he is 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies off the scoreboard.

The series will conclude tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound veteran Jamie Moyer (10-7, 3.78), who is coming off his first career lost against the Marlins on August 5, as he went five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. This would end not only his ten games winning streak against the fish, but would also end his most recent string of quality starts at five straight games. He will be trying to rebound from the lost, while also hoping that the offense will not only make a comeback but will also decide to stay around for the rest of the pennant race. The Pirates will counter with Jason Davis (1-1, 2.57), who is coming off a lost against the Diamondbacks on August 5, as he went three and two-thirds innings in relief, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Pirates’ 13-7 lost. This will be the first time that he will face the Phillies since joining the Pirates from the American League and the minors. He will be hoping to pitch a good game against the Phillies while hoping that the Phils will still have a hard time scoring runs.

The Phillies lead in the East is now at one game over the Mets and a game and a half over the Marlins as the two teams switch positions in the standings, as they continue their series in New York. The Braves trail by eight and a half games as they continue their series with the Diamondbacks. The Phillies will be trying to rebound from being shut out in their last two games, and hopefully finally explode against an opponent, while hoping that one of their two nearest opponent will hurt the other.

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