September 2008

The Phillies begins a series with the Mets, hoping to stay close to first place in the East.

The second place Phillies (76-64) prepare to face the first place Mets (79-61) for the last time this season, with first place on the line, for a three games series in New York. The game will be played at Shea Stadium and will start at 7:10 pm tonight. The Phillies’ starter will be their hottest pitcher, Brett Meyer (8-10, 4.40), who is 5-1 with a ERA of 1.78 along with two no-decisions in which the Phillies are 1-1, in his last eight starts. He is coming off a victory against the Cubs on August 30, where he pitched seven plus innings, giving up two earned runs on eleven hits (all singles) and eight strikeouts, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. His last start against the Mets on July 23, he went five innings, giving up three earned runs on three hits and five walks, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. He will be looking for his sixth win since coming back from his minor league stint while bringing the Phillies closer to first place. His opponent will be Mike Pelfrey (13-8, 3.66), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on August 30, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while also trying to put some more distance between the Mets and the Phillies.

The Phillies will be coming to New York, trying to sweep their first series from the Mets since last September, as they make their last visit to Shea Stadium, which will be replaced by a new stadium next season. The Phillies will be sending against the Mets their present hot starter (Brett Myers), the 45-years old veteran (Jamie Moyer) and their ace (Cole Hamels), praying that they can shut down the Mets’ offense while their own offense attempts to run up the pitch count of the Mets’ starters and get at the Billy Wagner-less bullpen. The offense has been showing signs that it could bust loose at any time. Now would be the most appropriate time for it to bust out. Otherwise, the team will be seeing itself in a bigger hole than it did last year at this time as it doesn’t appear that this year’s Mets team will have as dramatic a collapse as it did last year. The Phillies need to take care of business NOW if they don’t want the Mets to give them the buisness this weekend.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets as they prepare to meet them for a three games series. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five games as they prepare for a three games weekend series with the Cardinals.

Tad Iguchi rejoins the Phillies after playing with San Diego during most of the season.

Infielder Iguchi rejoins Phillies
Second baseman played for Padres for most of season

The Phillies are once again done in in the eighth inning as the Phils lose to the Nats, 9-7.

The Phillies’ bullpen would give up four runs in the bottom of the eighth which would help to do the Phillies in, 9-7, as the team now fall three games behind the first place Mets before their important weekend series with them. The Phillies would take the lead in the first, as, with a man on and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, to give the Phils a quick 2-0 lead. The Nats would come back in their half of the first, as, with a man on and one man out, Ryan Zimmerman would hit a RBI double, knocking in Cristian Guzman, who has singled earlier, to cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. The Nats would then tie the score at two all, as, with two men on and two out, Kory Castro would hit a RBI single, scoring Zimmerman and sending Elijah Dukes, who has earlier walked, to third. Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would finally end the inning by getting Wil Nieves to ground out, second to first. The Phillies would retake the lead in the third, as Utley would hit a RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, to give the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Nationals would then tie the score in the fifth, as, with the bases loaded via a walk (Emilio Bonifacio), a single (Guzman) and a second walk (Zimmerman), and with Ryan Madson now on the mound in place of Blanton, the next batter, Lastings Milledge, would hit a ground ball to Howard. Instead of going home to force out Bonifacio, Howard would instead throw to second, which would force out Zimmerman for the inning’s first out, as Bonifacio would score the tying run, while Guzman would move over to thiird as Bonifacio would be safe at first, leaving runners on the corners for the Nationals. Dukes would then come up and hit a grounder to third baseman Pedro Feliz. Instead of throwing home to cut down Zimmerman, Feliz would instead throw over to second to try and start a double play. Instead, Feliz would only force out Bonifacio for the inning’s second out as Bonifacio would take out Utley with a good slide, allowing Zimmerman to score, giving the Nats a 4-3 lead, while Dukes would be safe at first. Madson would finally end the inning by striking out Castro. The Phillies would retake the lead in the sixth as Howard would hit his second two-run home run of the night, his thirty-ninth home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, to make it 5-4 Phillies. The Nationals would then tie it five all in the seventh, as, with two outs, Zimmerman would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year. Then would come the nightmarish eighth inning. With Chad Durbin still pitching for the Phils, Castro would start off the inning with a single. After Castro is replaced by pinch runner Pete Orr, Nieves would mess up a sacrifice bunt attempt by poping up to Howard for the inning’s first out. Then everything would unravel for the Phils. Durbin would unfurl a wild pitch that would send Orr over to second base. Roger Bernadina would then get a single, sending Orr to third, putting runners on the corners. Ronnie Beliard would follow with a RBI single, knocking in Orr, to give the Nationals a 6-5 lead, while sending Bernadina to second. Durbin would then be replaced by J.C. Romero. Bernadina would proceed to steal third before Romero would walk Bonifacio to load the bases. Guzman would then hit a three-run double, scoring Bernadina, Beliard and Bonifacio, to give the Nationals a 9-5 lead. Clay Condrey would then come in to replace Romero, soon ending the inning without any more damage. The Phillies would then strike back in the ninth, as with one man on and no one out, Matt Stairs would hit a RBI double to score Shane Victorino, who has only earlier singled, to make it 9-6 Nationals. Rollins would then move Stairs over to third as he grounds out, second to first, for the inning’s first out. Utley would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Stairs, to make it 9-7 Nats. And that would be the final score as Werth would end the game by striking out swinging.

Joe Blanton would receive a no-decision as he pitches only four innings plus three batters, giving up four earned runs on six hits. Ryan Madson would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. Scott Eyre would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Chad Durbin would receive his sixth blown save of the year, as well as the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA. J.C. Romero would face only two batters, getting out neither of them as he gives up a hit and walks one. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Odalis Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Marco Estrada would have his first blown save of the year as he faces three batters, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Jesus Colome would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Mike Hinckley would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit. Steven Shell would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no hits or runs. Saul Rivera would get the win as he pitch a scoreless inning, giving up jut one hit. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.52 ERA. Joel Hanrahan would pitch an inning, giving up two runs on two hits.

The lost put the Phillies in a bind as they now head to New York, needing to either sweep or win the series if they don’t want to fall any further behind the Mets. It would seems that Charlie Manuel’s strategic thinking in this game would backfire on him in the seventh as he would take out Scott Eyre, after he has gotten out the two batters that he would face, to have Chad Durbin handle the right handers in the Nationals’ line-up. The move would blow up in his face instead as Durbin would give up a solo home run to Ryan Zimmerman to tie the score The less said about the eighth inning nightmare that he started the better, as the Phillies would lose another recent game in that inning. Something needs to be done about this, and quickly, before that inning becomes a real major problem for the Phillies’ bullpen’s egos during the last twenty-two games of the season.

The lost puts the Phillies’ three games behind the Mets as the Mets would sweep the Brew Crew in Milwaukee, while they are now five games ahead of the now fading Marlins as they lost to the Braves. The Phillies, who have tomorrow off, now heads into New York with a series that will either see them get closer to the Mets or see them fall further behind them.

Cole Hamels throws a seven innings plus five-hitter at the Nats as the Phillies defeated the Nationals, 4-0.

Cole Hamels threw seven and one third innings of shut out ball, as the Phillies rebound to defeat the Nationals, 4-0. After a scoreless first, and after the Phillies have gone 1-2-3 in the top of the second, the Natonals would threaten to take the lead in their half of the second. After Ronnie Belliard started the inning off with a single, Elijah Dukes would follow with a ground-rule double, sending Belliard to third, and putting runners on second and third with no one out. But the next batter would then lined out into a double play, 8 to 4, doubling up Dukes at second. Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels would then get Alberto Gonzalez to ground out, 4 to 3, to end the inning, with the score still nothing to nothing. The Phillies would then break the tied in the third inning as, with a runner on second and two outs, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who was safe at first on a force out and then have gone to second on Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, beating left fielder Willie Harris’ throw to the plate, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while Rollins would go on to second on the throw. Chase Utley would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Rollins, and giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Jayson Werth would then follow with the third straight single of the inning, sending Utley to third. With the count 1-0 to Ryan Howard, Nationals’ starter John Lannard would throw to first, trying to pick off Werth. On the play, Utley broke for home. Nationals’ first baseman Belliard would then throw home, where the ball is caught by Jesus Flores. Flores is then bowl over by Utley, but held onto the ball as he tags Utley out for the third out of the inning. Flores would then lie on the ground for a while, as him appear to have gotten injured on the play, as his spiked right shoe would not let go of the ground during the collision at the plate. He would eventually be taken off the field in a cart. The Phillies would then add to their lead in the seventh, as the Nats replaced Lannard with Levale Speigner. Pedro Feliz would greet him with a single, followed by a single by Ruiz, which would place Feliz on second base, with no one out. Hamels would then move the runners as he grounded out, third to first, putting runners on second and third with one man out. Rollins would folow with a RBI single, scoring Feliz, making it 3-0 Phillies, and sending Ruiz to third. The Nats then replace Speigner with Mike Hinckley. Utley would greet him by hitting a grounder to second baseman Anderson Hernandez who would throw out Utley for out number two. Belliard would then throw to the Nats’ shortstop Gonzalez, trapping Rollins between first and second. Rollins would stay in the basepath long enough for Ruiz to score the Phils’ fourth run before he is finally tagged out by Hinckley for out number three. In the meantime, Hamels would keep the Nats’ under control, striking out six batters, before an one out single by Hernandez would lead to Hamels being replaced by J.C. Romero. Romero would then proceed to strike out Harris for the inning’s second out. Romero is then taken out and is replaced by Chad Durbin. He would end the inning by getting Ryan Zimmerman to hit into a force out for the inning’s final out. Brad Lidge would then come out to pitch the ninth. After giving up a lead off triple to Lastings Milledge, he would get the next three hitters out to end the game.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitches seven and one third shut out innings, giving up only five hits and strking out six batters. His record is now 12-8 with a 3.01 ERA. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up no hits between them. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. John Lannan would take the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 8-13 with a 3.88 ERA. Levale Speigner would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Mike Hinckley  would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

Although getting very few hits in the ballgame, the Phillies’ offense would get enough of them to knock in enough runs to win the game. With last night’s game, Hamels would reach two hundred innings’ pitched for the first time in his young career, with more to come before the season is over.  J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin, in the meantime, would come in to help get the Phils through the eighth inning after Hamels is unable to get the second out of the inning.

The Phillies (76-63) will end their three games series with the Nationals (53-86) with a night game. The game will be played at Nationals Park and wil start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.69), who is coming off another no-decision, this time against the Cubs on August 29, going five and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on two hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 lost. Blanton will be trying to get his second win as a Phil while trying to go deeper into the ballgame. The Nationals’ starter will be Odalis Perez (6-10, 4.14), who is coming off a win against the Braves on August 29, as he went six and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Nationals’ 7-3 win. He will be trying to improve his record while also trying to win the seres for the Nats.

The Phillies remain two games behind the Mets as they once again defeated the Brewers, while they stay six games ahead of the now fading Marlins as they lost to the Braves. The Phillies will try to win the present series with the Nationals before heading to New York to face the Mets for the last time this season. 

Ugh, Kyle Kendrick is once again unable to get through the fourth inning as the Phillies lose to the presently hot Nats, 7-4. Will someone PLEASE past me the TUMS?

Kyle Kendrick once again can not get past the fourth inning as he would give up four runs in that inning to a presently red-hot Nationals squad as the Phillies lose once more to Tim Redding, 7-4. The Phillies’ batters, who acted a bit more patiently at the plate than they normally would with Redding, would start the game off by putting two men on base (Jimmy Rollins (Walk) and Chase Utley (Hit by the Pitch)) with one man out in the first inning, before the pair would both move up a base on a Redding’s throwing error, as he tried to pick off Rollins at second. Sadly, that would be as far as they would get as Redding would get out of the inning by striking out Ryan Howard and then getting Jayson Werth to fly out. The same can not be said of Kyle Kendrick, as, with runners on second and third and one out, he would give up a two-run single to Lastings Milledge, scoring Cristian Guzman, who was safe at first on a force out, and Ryan Zimmerman, who has walked, and have both moved up a base on a Kendrick’s wild pitch, to make it 2-0 Nationals. As the Phillies’ batters continue to be patient, thus raising Redding’s pitch count, but be unable to get a hit off of him, Kendrick would continue to have control problems, until finally, in the bottom of the third, he would throw two piches to the inside of Zimmerman, the first Nats’ batter of the inning, which would both almost hit him, especially with the second one, as it would almost hit him in the head. This would cause the home plate umpire to give him a warning that the next man he would throw out would lead to an ejection. That would later hurt Kendrick as he would now no longer throw to the inside of right handed batters. Kendrick would then get hurt in the fourth. He would start the inning off by giving up singles to both Jesus Flores and Emilio Bonifacio, giving the Nationals runners on first and second. Redding would then attempt to bunt the pair over, but Kendrick would throw out Flores at third for the inning’s first out, as Greg Dobbs would beat him to the bag, while Bonifacio would be safe at second as Redding would be safe at first on the force out. Kendrick would then pick off Bonifacio, throwing to third base where he is tagged out by Dobbs for the second out of the inning. Now seeing a chance to get out of the inning, Kendrick would instead get bombed by the next three batters. First, Willie Harris would hit a long, high, fly ball to right that new Phil Matt Stairs would lose sight of for a while so that when the ball finally hit off of the wall, it would bounce over his head, allowing Harris to reach third with a triple as Redding scored to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead. Guzman would then follow with a double, knocking in Harris, to make it 4-0 Nats. Zimmerman would come up next and hit a two-run home run, his tenth home run of the year, scoring Guzman, to make it 6-0 Nationals. The Phillies would finally get to Redding in the sixth, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Shane Victorino, who has hit an infield single, the Phillies’ first hit of the game, would steal second and then go to third on Nationals’ catcher’s Flores’ throwing error, to make it 6-1 Nationals. After walking Werth to put two men on base, Redding would be taken out of the game and replaced by Charlie Manning. Manning would proceed to walk pinch hitter Pedro Feliz to load the bases. Manning is then taken out of the game and is replaced by Marco Estrada. Estrada would then walk pinch hitter Pat Burrell, scoring Howard, to make the score 6-2 Nats. Chris Coste would then get hit by the pitch, forcing in Feliz, to make it 6-3 Nats. Estrada would finally get out of the inning as pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz would ground out, third to first. The Nats would get one of the runs back in the seventh, as, with a runner on second and two men outs, Flores would hit a RBI double, scoring Elijah Dukes, would has earlier reached base with an infield single and would go to second on Rollins’ throwing error, to make it 7-3 Nationals. Then in the ninth, with two men out, Rollins would hit a solo home run, his tenth home run of the year, to make it 7-4 Nats. But, that would be it as Victorino would follow with a grounder to the first baseman for the game’s final out.

Kyle Kendrick would take the lost as he would once more be unable to pitch past the fourth inning, as he goes four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits and three walks. His record is now 11-8 with a 5.06 ERA. J.A. Happ would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit while striking out two. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits, while also striking out two. Rudy Seanez would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Tim Redding would get the win, as he would go five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits. His record is now 10-8 with an ERA of 4.55. Charlie Manning would face only one batter, walking him. Marco Estrada would pitch a third of an inning, walking a batter. Saul Rivera would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Steven Shell would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Jesus Colome would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit while striking out two hitters.

And once again, Kyle Kendrick’s recent fears of getting hit by the opposing batters has done him in, as he once again doesn’t challenge the hitters. It would appear that whatever advice that he has gotten from Greg Maddux several days back has been quickly forgotten. Maybe having Kendrick miss a start and having Rich Dubee and Jamie Moyer both talk to him in the meantime might be in order if he is going to help the team recapture the pennant. Otherwise, the Phillies are in trouble.

The Phillies (75-63) will continue their three games series with the Nationals (53-85) tomorrow night. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.13), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cubs on August 28 as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 6-4 lost. Lifetime against the Nats, he is 4-3 with a 2.25 ERA in eleven starts. He will be trying for his third straight win and his fourth straight quality start while trying to stop the Nats’ present winning streak at seven. The Nationals’ starter will be John Lannan (8-12, 3.92), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 28, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Nationals’ 11-2 win. He will be trying to improve his record while continuing the Nationals’ winning streak.

With the lost, the Phillies now trail the Mets by two games as they came from behind to defeat the Brewers. The Phllies are ahead of the Marlins by five games as they defeated the Braves. The Phillies will be trying to recover from this afternoon’s lost and try to stop the Nationals’ attempt to be a spolier.

Several Phillies announcers are up for the Ford C. Frick Award for Broadcasting.

Phillies voices vying for Frick Award
Ashburn, Wheeler among candidates for broadcasting honor
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