The Phillies lose the battle of aces as they are unable to tie the Mets for first place.
The Phillies lose the nightcap of the day/night doubleheader as Johan Santana gets the better of Cole Hamels as the Mets defeat the Phillies, 6-3. The lost would push the Phillies back to being two games behind the Mets with 19 games left to go. The Phillies would strike first in the first inning, as with two men on and one out, Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and has gone to second on Jayson Werth’s walk, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while sending Werth to second. But Mets’ starter Johan Santana would get out of the inning by first striking out the heavily slumping Pat Burrell and then getting Shane Victorino to fly out. The Mets would strike back in their half of the first. After Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels would get the first batter out, he would give up a single to Ryan Church. David Wright would then reach base on catcher’s interference, putting runners on first and second, while leading into a long argument over the call between Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel and home plate umpire Jerry Meals, before Meals finally ejects Manuel for arguing the call. After Manuel finally leaves, Carlos Beltron would hit the first pitch thrown to him into left field for a single, scoring Church, and tying the score at one all. Wright would try to go to third on the play and would be called safe at third by the second base umpire Paul Emmel, although ESPN’s instant replay would show that not only was he tagged out before he has touched the bag with his hands, but he was also tagged out when he has slid off the bag, thus missing the play twice. In the meantime, Beltron would move up to second, putting Mets’ runners on second and third with still one out. Carlos Delgado would then follow with a RBI single, scoring both Wright and Beltran, to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. After getting Fernando Tatis to hit into a force out, 6 to 4, wiping out Delgado, for the inning’s second out, Hamels would finally get out of the inning by striking out Damion Easley. The Phillies would cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2 in the third as Ryan Howard would hit a solo home run, his fortieth home run of the year, and setting a Phillies’ record as he becomes the first Phillies to hit 40 or more home runs in three consecutive seasons. The Mets would get that run back in their half of the third as Delgado would hit a lead-off home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, to make it 4-2 Mets. Two innings later, Delgado would strike again as he would hit his thirty-third home run of the year, giving the Mets a 5-2 lead, helping to further ruin Hamels’ night. Santana, in the meantime, was ruining the Phillies’ batters’ night, as he kept them off-balance, in spite of being a bit wild in the early innings, as he got the batters once again swinging early in the pitch count, before finally being taken out in the top of the eighth inning. After keeping the Phillies off of the scoreboard in the top of the eighth, the Mets would add one more run in their half of the eighth, as, with a runner on third and no one out, Brian Schneider would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Easley, who has earlier tripled, to give the Mets a 6-2 lead. The Phillies would get a run back in the ninth, when, with runners on the corners and one out, Andy Tracy would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino who has earlier reached base on an infield single, has gone to second on Schneider’s throwing error, and has gone to third on pinch hitter Matt Stairs’ single, making it 6-3 Mets. But that would be the final score as Mets’ reliever Luis Ayala would strike out Jimmy Rollins to end the game.
Cole Hamels would take the lose, as he pitches five ineffective innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits. His record is now 12-9 with a 3.12 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Rudy Seanez would go two innings, giving up an earned run on one hit. Johan Santana would get the win as he goes seven and one third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 13-7 with a 2.70 ERA. Pedro Feliciano and Brian Stokes would both pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Luis Ayala would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.
The Phillies’ offense would do itself in once again by not being patient enough against Mets’ starter Johan Santana, as Santana, who would give up three walks in the game, was somewhat wild in the early innings. After being unable to bust the game open in the first thanks to a heavily slumping Pat Burrell, Santana would find a way to keep the Phillies under control before taking full control in the middle innings. Cole Hamels, on the other hand, would be unable to take control of the Mets’ thanks to a pair of long arguments; one between Charlie Manuel and home plate umpire Jerry Meals over whether Chris Coste’s glove actually did interfere with David Wright’s bat on what would have been strike three, which would end with Manuel being ejected from the game, and then one between third baseman Pedro Feliz and second base umpire Paul Emmel on whether Feliz has tagged out Wright at third before he has reached the bag when Wright tried to go to third on Carlos Beltron’s RBI single, which the instant replay would show that not only did Feliz tag Wright before he has reached the bag, but he has tagged him out when he has slid past the bag, both of which would be missed by Emmel. Both arguments would help to disrupt Hamels’ rhythm and lead to the Mets taking first the lead and then the ballgame. End result, Hamels would not stay calm enough to push back the Mets and allow the Phillies to sweep their way back into a first place tie.
The Phillies (78-65) will start an important three games series with the Marlins (72-71) tonight. The first games of the three game set will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.79), who is coming off yet another no-decision, this time against the Nationals on September 3, where he went only four innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 9-7 lost. Blanton has never faced the Marlins. He will once again try to win his second start as a Phil, while trying to do better than his last start. The Marlins’ starter will be Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.54), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 2, where he went only three innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Marlins’ 16-14 lost. In his previous start against the Phillies on August 6, he took the lost as he went five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 5-0 lost. He will be trying to even his record, while trying to keep the Marlins from falling any further back in the pennant race.
The Phillies trail the Mets by two games as the Mets take the day off. They are ahead of the Marlins by six games. The Phillies prepare to gain some ground on the Mets at the Marlins’ expense. In the wild card race, they are four games behind the slumping Brewers, as the Brew Crew prepare for a three games home stand with the Reds. The Phillies are a game ahead of the Cardinals, as the redbirds take the day off, while they are two games ahead of the Astros as they start a three games series with the Pirates. The Phillies hope to gain ground in both the Eastern Division and in the Wild Card chase, although at the moment they are more concerned with winning their division, although the Brewers will soon be coming into Philadelphia for four games.