September 2009

Almost back into the playoffs!!!

The Phils’ magic number is now down to one as their offense wakes up long enough to defeat the Astros, 7-4, while the Marlins hold on to defeat the Braves. The Phils will be looking to clinch their third straight NL Eastern Division title tonight behind veteran pitcher Pedro Martinez.

The Astros took an early 1-0 lead in the third as, with two men out, Lance Berkman hits a solo home run, his twenty-fifth home run of the season. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the third as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Paul Bako, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Phils’ starter J.A. Happ’s sacrifice bunt. The Phils then took the lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, and a walk to Jayson Werth, which sent Howard to third and Ibanez to second, with nobody out, Pedro Feliz hits a grand slam home run, his twelfth home run of the season, his seventh career grand slam, and the eleventh grand slam hit by the Phils this season, making it a 5-1 Phils’ lead. The Astros would get a run back in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Carlos Lee hits an RBI single, knocking in Miguel Tejada, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second when Berkman reached base on catcher’s interference, cutting the Phils’ lead to 5-2, while sending Berkman, who had went to first on catcher’s interference, moved up to second. The Phils increased their lead in their half of the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run home run, his thirty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier walked, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. In the sixth, the Astros would get those two runs back as, with a man on, and with two outs, Kazuo Matsui hits a two-run home run, his ninth home run of the season, scoring J.R. Towles, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-4 Phils’ lead. But that would be the final score, as Jamie Moyer would come in to hold down the fort for an inning and a third, and then Ryan Madson would come in to pitch for two innings, recording his tenth save of the season, as he struck out Hunter Pence to end the game.

J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 12-4 with a 2.85 ERA. Jamie Moyer recorded his first hold as he pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief, giving up only a walk, while he struck out one. Ryan Madson collected his tenth save of the year as he pitched two innings of shut out ball, giving up just two hits, as he struck out two. Wilton Lopez took the lost as he pitched three and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks, as he struck out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 9.42 ERA. Wesley Wright pitched one and a third innings, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk, while he struck out two. Chad Paronto, Jeff Fulchino and Samuel Gervacio combined to keep the Phils off the board for three innings, giving up only one hit (Paronto), while striking out two batters (Fulchino (1), Gervacio (1)).

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with both Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits each, with one of Rollins’ hits being an RBI double, while one of Werth’s hits was a two-run home run. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz and Paul Bako had the other four Phils’ hits, with Feliz’s hit being a grand slam home run, which put the Phils ahead for good. The Phils’ offense will be trying to break the game open early tonight to finally end the pennant race.

The Phils (91-66, 1st East) continue their four-game set with the Astros (73-84, 5th Central) with a night game. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.32), who is coming off a neck injury. His last start was a lost against the Braves on September 19, when he went only three innings because of tightness in his neck, as he gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out one, in the Phils’ 6-4 lost. Martinez will be trying to pitch the Phils into the playoffs tonight. The Astros will counter with Brian Moehler (8-11, 5.21), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on September 25, as he pitched two and a third innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out only two, in the Astros’ 10-4 lost. He will try to hold off the clinching party for at least one more night. The Phils will be trying to clinch their third straight NL Eastern Division crown tonight, so that they can use the final four games to set things up for the Divisional Series.

The Phils barely held on to defeat the Brewers, 6-5, dropping their magic number down to 3.

The Phils hold on to defeat the Brewers, 6-5, in the process eliminating the Marlins from divisional contrntion while dropping their magic number over the Braves to 3. With the victory, they have tied their franchise road win record with 48 wins, first set in 1976, as they head home for their final seven games of the season.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as Jimmy Rollins hits a lead-off home run to right field on a 2-1 fast ball, his twenty-first home run of the season. Three batters later, with a runner on third, and with one out, Ryan Howard would make it 2-0 Phils with an RBI double, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier tripled. The Phils added to their lead in the second as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Raul Ibanez and Paul Bako, and Phils’ starter Joe Blanton being hit by the pitch, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits a two-run double, scoring both Ibanez and Bako, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead, while sending Blanton over to third base. The Brewers got a run back in their half of the second as Mike Cameron hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-third home run of the season, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils would make it 6-1 in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one out, Pedro Feliz hits a two-run single, knocking in Howard, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on a wild pitch, and Ibanez, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on the wild pitch. The Brewers would cut down the Phils’ lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with one out, Mat Gamel hits a three-run home run, knocking in Cameron, who had been hit by the pitch, and then went to third on Alcides Escobar’s single, and Escobar, who had earlier singled, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead. Three batters later, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Ryan Braun hits an RBI single, knocking in Corey Hart, who had earlier walked, and then stole second base, making it 6-5 Phils. But that would be the final score, as the Phils’ bullpen would then hold off the Brewers for the next three and a half innings, with Ryan Madson pitching a four outs save, his ninth save of the year, ending the Phils’ last road trip of the year at 5-5.

Joe Blanton got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, four walks and a hit batter, while striking out four. His record is now 12-7 with an ERA of 3.95. Clay Condrey pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Sergio Escalona pitched a third of an inning, recording his second hold, as he got out the man he would face. Chad Durbin pitched an inning and a third of shut out ball as he recorded his eighth hold, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his ninth save of the season as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up only a hit, while striking out one. Dave Bush took the lost as he pitched four and one third innings, giving up five runs on nine hits, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out five. His record is now 5-9 with a 6.38 ERA. Josh Butler pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits and four walks, while striking out a batter. Chris Smith, David Weathers and Mitch Stetter combined for three and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up only two hits (Weathers (1), Stetter (1)) and a walk (Weathers), while together striking out three batters (one batter each).

The Phils had fourteen hits in the game, with all of their starters, including Joe Blanton, getting at least a hit. Jimmy Rollins led the way with three hits, including a solo home run and a double, knocking in a run, as he raised his batting average to .247. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Paul Bako each followed with two hits, with one of Utley’s hits being a triple, with both of Howard’s hits being doubles, as he knocked in a run, and one of Bako’s hits being a double. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz and Joe Blanton had the other five Phils’ hits, with Victorino’s being a double, knocking in two runs, and Feliz’s being a two-run single. The Phils’ bats once again were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities, leaving fourteen men on base, with most of it occurring during the middle innings. 

The Phillies (90-65, 1st East) will start their final home stand of the season with a four-games series against the Astros (72-83, 5th Central), starting tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (10-9, 4.11), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on September 23, when he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to rebound from that start and his earlier start against the Astros on September 6, in his other bad start this month, as well as try to further lower the Phils’ magic number. He will be opposed by Yorman Bazard (0-2, 9.55), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on September 22, as he went only three and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out two in the Astros’ 11-2 lost. He will be trying for his first win of the season. The Phils will be trying to being a hot streak at home so that they won’t have to worry about clinching the East at home against the Marlins,  

The Phils cut their magic number to four as they defeat the Brew Crew, 9-4.

J.A. Happ pitched a strong five and two-thirds innings, as the Phils’ offense unloaded in a six-run fifth, as the Phils defeated the Brewers, 9-4. Their magic number over the Braves is now at four.

The Phils took the lead in the first inning as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who was safe on a force out, 4-6, as Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, was wiped out at second, to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Brewers tied the game at one-all in the third as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Felipe Lopez hits an RBI infield single off of J.A. Happ’s leg, as Howard was unable to handle Utley’s throw, scoring Jason Kendall, who had earlier tripled on a ball that Ben Francisco was unable to catch. The Phils regained the lead in the fourth as, with a man on base, and with nobody out, Pedro Feliz hits an RBI double, knocking in Francisco, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Phils then blew the game wide open in the fifth. With two men on, and with one out, Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier reached base on a throwing error, and then went to second on Francisco’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while Francisco, who had earlier singled, would move up to second. The next batter, Paul Bako, would give the Phils a 4-1 lead with an RBI single, knocking in Francisco, while sending Feliz to third. Happ then helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, scoring Feliz, while sending Bako to second base, giving the Phils a 5-1 lead. Jimmy Rollins then finished the scoring by hitting a three-run home run, his twentieth home run of the season,  knocking in both Bako and Happ, making it an 8-1 Phils’ lead. In the sixth, the Brewers threathen to score as, with one man on base, and with one out, Prince Fielder hits a fly ball off of the wall in center field, that was played off the bounce by Victorino, as Corey Hart, who had earlier singled, rounded second and was then sent home. Victorino threw a strike to Utley, who in turned threw a strike to Bako, who was covering the plate, before he tagged Hart out for the inning’s second out, 8-4-2, as Fielder stopped at second with a double. The next batter, Casey McGehee then followed with an RBI double, making it 8-2 Phils. The Phils would get the run back in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one out, Howard knocked in Rollins, who had earlier singled, had gone to second base on Victorino’s single and then went to third on Utley’s force out, 3-6, as Victorino was wiped out at second, as he was safe on a fielding error by Brewers’ second baseman Lopez, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. The Brewers got one run back in the ninth as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Fielder hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, knocking in Lopez, who had earlier singled, moved to second on Howard’s missed catch error on Hart’s ground ball to Feliz, and reached third on Ryan Braun’s force out, 6-4, as Hart was wiped out at second base, making it a 9-3 Phils’ lead, while Braun who was safe on the force out and then would move up to second on defensive indifference, would move up to third. McGehee then made it a 9-4 Phils’ lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Braun. Clay Condrey would finally end the game by getting Mike Cameron to fly out to right.

J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, as he struck out seven, making a strong statement as a candidate for the NL Rookie of the Year. His record is now 11-4 with an ERA of 2.79. Chad Durbin and Tyler Walker would combine for two and one-third scoreless innings, giving up only two hits (Walker) and two walks (Durbin), while striking out two batters (Durbin (1), Walker (1)). Clay Condrey pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. Jeff Suppan took the lost as he pitched four and one-third innings, giving up eight runs, seven of which were earned, on twelve hits and two walk, while striking out two. His record is now 7-11 with a 5.04 ERA. Chris Smith and Carlos Villanueva pitched a combined two and two-thirds scoreless innings, striking out four batters between them (all by Villanueva). Josh Butler pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out one. John Axford pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.

The Phillies had fourteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz leading the team with three hits apiece, with one of Feliz’s hits being a double as he knocked in two runs. Jimmy Rollins, Ben Francisco and Paul Bako all followed with two hits each, with one of Rollins’ hits being a three-run home run, while one of Francisco’s hits was a double. Ryan Howard and J.A. Happ had the other two Phils’ hits, with Howard knocking in two runs, and Happ bringing home one. Bako knocked in the other Phil’s run. The Phils’ offense ended up hurting Jeff Suppan once again before the Brew Crew was finally able to stop them.

The Phils (89-63, 1st East) continue their four-games series with the Brewers (75-78, 3rd Central) with another night game. The game will be played at Miller Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (14-11 (7-2), 2.99 (2.65)), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 20, when he pitched four innings in a rain-delayed game, giving up only a run on five hits, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 4-2 win. He will be taking out his frustrations of not being able to pitch the fifth inning in Atlanta for the win out on the Brewers, while trying to help lower the Phils’ magic number even more. He will be oppose by Manny Parra (10-10, 6.42), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Cardinals on September 8, where he pitched only an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, in the Brewers’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to see if his neck is okay since being taken out of the Cardinal game on the 8th. The Phils will be trying to lower their magic numbers against both the Braves and the Marlins even more.

Brad Lidge’s eleventh blown save of the year leaves the Phils’ magic number at five as the Phils lose a heartbreaker to the Marlins in the ninth, 7-6.

The Phils lose a heartbreaker in the bottom of the ninth to the Marlins, 7-6, as Brad Lidge blows his major league leading eleventh save of the season. The lost leaves the Phils’ magic number at five.

The Phils took the lead in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and moved up to third on Chase Utley’s fielder’s choice’s grounder, and Utley, who had reached first base on a fielder’s choice, as Marlins’ first baseman Cody Ross threw home to nail Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Rollins’ double, out at home plate, 3-2, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Marlins cut the Phils lead in half in the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one out, Jorge Cantu hits an RBI single, knocking in Cameron Maybin, who had earlier doubled and had moved to third on Hanley Ramirez’s ground out, 4-3, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Marlins then tied it up at two-all in the fifth as Ross hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year. Three batters later, with a runner on second, and with one out, Chris Coghlan hits an RBI single, knocking in Ronny Paulino, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Rick VandenHurk’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead. The Phils would re-tie the game in the sixth as, with one out, Raul Ibanez hits a solo home rome, his thirty-third home run of the year. Three batters later, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Hamels would help his own cause by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Pedro Feliz, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with one out, Howard hits a two-run home run, his forty-second home run of the season, knocking in Utley, who had earlier walked, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead. The Marlins got a run back in their half of the seventh as, with one out, pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez hits a solo home run, his second home run of the season, to make it 6-4 Phils. The Marlins made it 6-5 in the eighth as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Ross hits an RBI single, knocking in Cantu, who had earlier singled, moved to second when pinch hitter Nick Johnson was hit by the pitch, and then moved to third as Dan Uggla hits into a 6-3 double play, wiping out pinch runner Emilio Bonifacio at second, who was running for Johnson. The Marlins would then tie it up at six-all in the ninth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Cantu hits an RBI single, scoring Ross Gload who had earlier doubled, while sending Ramirez, who had just walked, over to third. After Cantu took second on defensive indifference, pinch hitter Brett Carroll hits an RBI single, scoring Ramirez and giving the Marlins a 7-6 walk-off win.

Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a hit batter, while striking out four. Ryan Madson recorded his twenty-sixth hold of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter, while he struck out one. Brad Lidge blew his eleventh save while on his way to taking the lost, as he gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. His record is now 0-8 with a 7.48 ERA. Rick VandenHurk also got a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. Reynel Pinto pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. Kino Calero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while he struck out a batter. Dan Meyer picked up the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk. His record is now 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Cole Hamels leading the way with two hits each, with Ryan’s hits being a double and a home run, knocking in four runs, and with one of Ibanez’s hits being a solo home run. Jimmy Rollins, Pedro Feliz and Paul Bako each had one hit, with Rollins and Feliz’s hits being doubles. Hamels knocked in the Phils’ other run. The offense, in spite of its offensive display, wasn’t able to add an insurance run in the last two innings of the game.

The Phils (88-63, 1st East) conclude their last road trip of the season with a four-games series against the Brewers (75-77, 3rd Central), starting tonight. The game will be played at Miller Park and will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phils will send to the mound J.A. Happ (10-4, 2.77), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 18, as he only pitched three innings, giving up just one run on five hits, as he struck out five, in the Phils’ 9-4 win. He will be trying to show that he is okay, while hoping to help cut down the Phils’ magic number. The Brew crew will counter with Jeff Suppan (7-10, 4.76), who is coming off a win against the Astros on September 19, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while striking out seven in the Brewers’ 7-2 win. He will be trying to give the Phils trouble. The Phils will be trying to tie their team road wins record while at the same time trying to bring the magic number down further before coming back home to Citizens Bank Park.

Phils spilt the doubleheader as they are shut out in the nightcap, losing to the Marlins, 3-0.

The Phils lose the second game of the doubleheader as they are two-hit by the Marlins, as they lose to the fish, 3-0. Their magic number to win the division remains at five.

The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the second as Dan Uggla hits a lead-off home run, his thirtieth home run of the season. The Marlins would make it 2-0 in the fourth as, with two men out, Cody Ross hits a solo home run, his twenty-third home run of the year. The Marlins added to their lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one out, Hanley Ramirez hits an RBI double, knocking in Cameron Maybin, who was earlier safe on a force out, 6-4, as Chris Coghlan, who had earlier singled, was out at second base, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead. That would be all the runs that the fish would need as their starter, Anibal Sanchez, two-hit the Phils for eight innings, allowing only four Phils to reach base, before Leo Nunez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, collecting his twenty-fourth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out five. His record is now 12-10 with a 5.00 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Anibal Sanchez got the win as he pitched eight shut out innings, giving up just two hits and two walks, while striking out seven. His record is now 3-7 with a 4.01 ERA. Leo Nunez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, collecting his twenty-four save of the season.

The Phils had only two hits in the ballgame, a single and a double by Chase Utley, who raised his batting average to .295. Jimmy Rollins and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs were the only other Phils to reach base, both by walks, as the Phils’ offense was muzzle in the second game by Marlins’ pitching.

The Phillies (88-62, 1st) will conclude their three-games series with the Marlins (81-71, 3rd) tonight with a night game. The game will be played at Land Shark Park and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (10-9, 4.07), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 17, as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up just a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out ten, in the Phils’ 4-2 win. He will be trying to continue his hot month. The Marlins will oppose him with Rick VandenHurk (2-2, 4.24), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds on September 18, as he went six innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, while striking out three, in the Marlins’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to keep the Marlins’ playoff hopes alive a little bit longer. The Phils will be trying to win the series while at the same time putting another nail imto the coffin of the Marlins’ playoff hopes.

The Phils come out swinging in the first game of a twi-light double-bill, defeating the fish 9-3. Magic number is now five.

The Phils’ offense came out swinging and using small ball until finally breaking the game wide open in the eighth as they defeated the Marlins, 9-3. Their magic number is now down to five (Braves) while they shrink their magic number against the Marlins down to four.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Miguel Cairo hits into an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Ryan Howard who had earlier singled, went to second on Jayson Werth’s walk and moved over to third on Raul Ibanez’s ground out, 3-unassisted. The Phils would increase their lead in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Howard hit into a force out, 4-6, bringing home Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, and would move on to third on Shane Victorino’s single, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, as Victorino was thrown out at second for the inning’s second out. The Phils then made it 4-0 in the fifth as, with runners on second and third, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Chase Utley’s single, then stole third, and Utley, who had earlier singled, and stole second as part of a double steal. The Phils then held on to their lead as Joe Blanton kept the Marlins off the board, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out nine. The Phils then broke the game wide open in the eighth inning. Ibanez made it a 5-0 Phils’ lead with a solo home run, his thirty-second home run of the season, with one man out. The next two batters, Cairo and Paul Bako, then followed with singles, with Cairo going on to third base, while Bako would go to second on the throw. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs then loaded the bases by taking an intentional walk. Rollins then hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Cairo and making it a 6-0 Phils’ lead. After Victorino walked, reloading the bases, as Bako moved up to third, and pinch runner Eric Bruntlett moved over to second, before Bako scored and Bruntlett continued on to third as ball four to Victorino ended up being a wild pitch, giving the Phils a 7-0 lead. After Utley walked to load up the bases yet again, as Victorino moved up to second, Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in both Bruntlett and Victorino, making it 9-0 Phils, while sending Utley over to third, as the Phils batted around. The Marlins would then score in their half of the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Hanley Ramirez hits an RBI double, knocking in Chris Coghlan, who had earlier singled and had gone up to second on Nick Johnson’s walk, making it a 9-1 Phils’ lead, while moving Johnson over to second base. Two batters later, now with two men out, Dan Uggla hits a two-run single, knocking in both Johnson and Ramirez, cutting the Phils’ lead to 9-3. But, that would be it as Clay Condrey would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.

Joe Blanton took the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out nine. His record is now 11-7 with a 3.82 ERA. Sergio Escalona pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk. Tyler Walker pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Clay Condrey pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Josh Johnson took the lost as he went just five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out ten. His record is now 15-5 with a 3.12 ERA. Burke Badenhop pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out five. Andrew Miller pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, three walks and a wild pitch, while striking out one. Cristhian Martinez pitched a scoreless inning.

The Phils had eleven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard and Miguel Cairo each leading the team with two hits each, with one of Cairo’s hits being a double. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Paul Bako had the other five Phils’ hit, with Ibanez’s hit being a solo home run. Besides Ibanez’s RBI, Howard knocked in three of the Phils’ runs, Rollins knocked in one with a sac fly, Cairo brought one home with a ground out and Werth knocked home two with a single. The Phils’ offense used small ball to their advantage in the first game of the twin-bill.

The Phils (88-61, 1st) will continue their three-games series with the Marlins (80-71, 3rd) with the second game of their doubleheader. The second game is already in progress. The Phils will send to the mound the Marlins killer Jamie Moyer (12-9, 5.05), who last pitched on September 12 against the Mets, receiving a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 10-9 lost. He will be trying to lead the Phils to a doubleheader sweep. The Marlins will oppose him with Anibal Sanchez (2-7, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on September 17, as he pitched only five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Marlins’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the fish from being swept in the doubleheader. The Phils will be trying to sweep the twin-bill, to place the Marlins on the brink of elimination.

The Phils lower their magic number to six as they defeat the Braves, 4-2.

In spite of an hour plus long rain delay, the Phils’ bullpen pitched brillantly to help the Phils’ defeat the Braves, 4-2. Their magic number over both the Braves and the Marlins have now dropped to six.

The Braves took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Matt Diaz hits an RBI single, scoring Martin Prado, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in the third as, with a runner on first, and with two men out, Ben Francisco, who was in the game after Shane Victorino had been ejected for arguing a call by the second base umpire when he was thrown out trying to steal second, hits an RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, and had been attempting to steal second. The Phils took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second and with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and then stole second, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. One batter later, Pedro Feliz knocked in Ibanez with an RBI single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead. In the fourth, the Phils would increase their lead as, with one man on, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI triple, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Francisco’s ground out off of the pitcher’s leg, 1-4-3, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. Then the game was stopped as the rain that had been falling all weekend in Atlanta had finally started to come down hard enough to have the tarp put on the field. The rain would stop almost two hours later, leading to the exit of both team’s starters, especially Phils’ starter Cliff Lee, who had been five hitting the Braves, keeping them off-balance since giving up the run in the first. The Phils’ bullpen then took over, shutting down the Braves for the next four innings, giving up no runs and only one hit and a walk before handing the ball over to Brad Lidge in the ninth. After taking care of the first two batters, Lidge gave up a walk to Brooks Conrad. After Conrad took second base on defensive indifference, pinch hitter Brian McCann knocked him in with an RBI single, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead. But that would be it, as Lidge would then nailed down his thirty-first save of the year by striking out Nate McLouth.

Cliff Lee received a no-decision thanks to the rain delay, as he pitched four innings, giving up just one run on five hits, while striking out two. Tyler Walker picked up the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 2.35. Sergio Escalona received his first hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face, collecting his seventh hold. Ryan Madson got his twenty-fifth hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out all three. Brad Lidge would record his thirty-first save of the season as he gave up a run on a hit and a walk, as he struck out two. Tommy Hanson took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks, while he struck out seven. His record is now 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA. Kris Medlen, Boone Logan and Eric O’Flaherty combined for four shut out innings, giving up just three hits (one hit each) and a walk (Logan), while striking out two (O’Flaherty).

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits, knocking in a run, as he raised his batting average to .264. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Ben Francisco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Paul Bako and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr., had the other eight Phils’ hits, with Rollins, Francisco, Ibanez, Howard and Mayberry’s hits all being doubles. Besides Pedro, Utley, Francisco and Ibanez had the Phils’ other three RBIs. With the win, the Phils have won ten of their last thirteen games since being swept by the Astros.

The Phils (87-61, 1st) have the day off today, with their next game being tomorrow afternoon as the first past of a twi-night doubleheader with the Marlins at Land Shark Stadium. The magic number to winning their third straight NL Eastern Division pennant is now at six.

Four home runs help lead to the Phils victory over the Braves, 9-4. Magic number drops down to eight.

Two home run blasts by Ryan Howard and a pair of homers by Jimmy Rollins and Ben Francisco help lead the Phils to a 9-4 victory over the Braves. The Phils’ magic number over both the Braves and the Marlins is now at eight.

The Braves tried to take an early lead in the second with a runner on second and with two men out, as Tim Hudson hits a single to left field. Matt Diaz, who had earlier doubled, rounded third, attempting to score, as Raul Ibanez threw a strike to home plate. Carlos Ruiz, who was blocking home plate, grabbed the ball and held on to it as he tagged out Diaz, keeping the score at 0-0. Ruiz would leave the game later with a sprained wrist. The Braves then took a 1-0 lead in the third as, with one man out, Martin Prado hits a solo home run, his tenth home run of the season. The Phils then took the lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run bomb, his thirty-ninth home run of the year, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier singled, making it 2-1 Phils. The Phils then increased their lead in the sixth as, with two men out, Howard hits a solo shot, his fortieth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Jimmy Rollins, a single by Chase Utley, which sent Rollins to third, a steal of second base by Utley, and then Howard being hit by the pitch, and with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a two-run single, knocking in both Rollins and Utley, making it 5-1 Phils, while sending Howard on to second. The Braves cut the Phils’ lead in their half of the eighth as, with a man on base and with two men out, Brian McCann hits a two-run home run of his own, his twentieth home run of the year, knocking in Prado, who had earlier singled, making it a 5-3 Phils lead. The Phils then broke the game wide open in the ninth as, with two men on, and with one out, Rollins hits a three-run home run, his nineteenth home run of the year, knocking in Paul Bako and pinch hitter Matt Stairs, who had both walked, giving the Phils an 8-3 lead. The next batter, Francisco, then hits a home run of his own, his fifteenth home run of the season, making it 9-3 Phils. In the Braves’ half of the ninth, with a runner on second and with one man out, Adam LaRoche hits an RBI single, knocking in Garret Anderson, who had earlier doubled, making it a 9-4 Phils’ lead. But that would be the final score as Chad Durbin got Nate McLouth to fly out to left for the final out.

J.A. Happ received a no-decision as he pitched just three innings, taken out as an injury precaution, giving up only a run on five hits, while striking out one. Kyle Kendrick got the win as he pitched four scoreless innings, giving up three hits. His record is now 2-1 with an ERA of 2.70. Tyler Walker pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson collected his twenty-fourth hold as he got out the only batter he would face. Chad Durbin pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Tim Hudson took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 1-1 with a 3.70 ERA. Kris Medlen pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Boone Logan pitched to one batter, hitting him. Manny Acosta pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. Vladimir Nunez pitched an inning, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Ben Francisco and Jayson Werth both leading the way with three hits each, with Francisco hitting a double and a solo home run, while one of Werth’s hits knocked in two runs. Ryan Howard followed with two hits, both home runs, which knocked in three runs. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley had the other two Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ being a three-run home run. The Phils’ offense appear to be now out of its slump, as the end of the regular season comes closer.

The Phils (86-60, 1st) continue their three-games visit with the Braves (78-69, 3rd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played tonight at Turner Field and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-0, 2.87), who is coming off a win against the Mets in the second game of a doubleheader sweep on September 13, as he pitched eight shut out innings, giving up six hits and two walks, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 1-0 win. The Braves will counter with Javier Vazquez (13-9, 3.01), who is coming off a complete game win against the Cardinals on September 13, as he gave up only two runs on seven hits, while striking out eight, in the Braves’ 9-2 win. The Phils will be trying for the series win tonight, while at the same time trying to lower their winning number even more.

Cole Hamels appear to have returned to form as he help pitch the Phils to a sweep of the Nationals, 4-2.

Cole Hamels pitched eight strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits as he help led the Phils to a three-game sweep of the Nationals, 4-2. The Phils now have a seven and a half games lead over the now second place Braves, while their magic number have now dropped to 10.

The game started as a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who was working on a perfect game through the first five innings, striking out four, and Nationals’ starters Ross Detwiler, who was able to keep the Phils’ off the board for four innings, while giving up three hits and hitting a batter, while striking out four. The Phils then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two outs, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Pedro Feliz, who had earlier walked, and then moved up to second on a Carlos Ruiz ground out, 1-3, to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then added to their lead in the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, and a single to Ben Francisco, moving both Howard and Werth up a base, and with two man out, Ruiz received an RBI walk, forcing in Howard, and making it a 2-0 Phils’ lead, while moving Werth on to third and Francisco to second. The next batter, Hamels, then helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Werth, making it 3-0 Phils, while sending Francisco to third and Ruiz to second. The Nats’ would end the shut out in the seventh, an inning after Mike Morse had broken up Hamels’ no-hit bid with a lead-off single, as, with two men on, and with one man out, Elijah Dukes hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Zimmerman, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Josh Willingham’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Willingham, who had earlier singled, to second base. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the seventh as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, as Werth batted, Chase Utley, who had earlier walked, had moved up to second on a wild pitch, and then moved over to third on a Howard ground out, 4-3, would score on the second wild pitch of the inning, making it 4-1 Phils. The Nats would make it 4-2 Phils in the ninth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ian Desmond hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, knocking in Dukes, who had earlier tripled. But, that would be it as Brad Lidge would record his thirtieth save of the year by getting pinch hitter Willie Harris to fly out to center for the game’s final out.

Cole Hamels got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits and a walk, while striking out ten. His record is now 10-9 with a 4.07 ERA. Brad Lidge recorded his thirtieth save of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Ross Detwiler took the lost, as he went five innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while he struck out six. Tyler Clippard pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and three walks. Saul Rivera pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Ron Villone pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on a walk and a wild pitch, while he struck out a batter. Logan Kensing pitched two-thirds of an inning, throwing a wild pitch. Marco Estrado pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phillies had just six hits in the game, but getting them when they counted. Jimmy Rollins lead the way with two hits, including an RBI double, raising his average back up to .247. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco and Cole Hamels had the other four Phils’ hits, all singles, with Hamels’ single knocking in a run. Carlos Ruiz scored a Phil run with a bases loaded walk, while the other run (Utley) scored on a wild pitch. The Phils are now riding a five game winning streak, with starting pitching giving up very few, if any runs, while the Phils’ offense has been able to be a bit more productive at the plate with runners in scoring position.

The Phillies (85-60, 1st) begin a ten-games road trip with a three-games series with the Braves (78-68, 2nd), starting tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:30 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be J.A. Happ (10-4, 2.77), who will be making his first start since September 2, when he lost to the Giants, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 4-0 lost. He will be trying to make his start since he had strained his intercostal muscle while taking batting practice in Houston. The Braves will send to the mound Tim Hudson (1-0, 3.63), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on September 12, when he went five innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and a walk, as he struck out one, in the Braves’ 7-6 win. He will be trying to keep the Braves’ slim pennant hopes alive. The Phils are entering their final road trip of the season, with a chance to all but kill the pennant chances of both the Braves this weekend and the Marlins early next week.

A Jayson Werth grand slam and a stellar pitching performance by Joe Blanton leads the Phils to a 6-1 victory over the Nats.

A stellar pitching performance for six innings by Joe Blanton, helped by a late innings grand slam by Jayson Werth, led the Phils to a 6-1 win over the last place Nationals, 6-1. The win reduced the Phils’ magic number over both the Marlins and the Braves to 11.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with runner on the corners, and with Raul Ibanez at the plate, with two men out, Chase Utley, who had earlier singled and then went to third on Ryan Howard’s single, stole home plate at the back end of a double steal as Howard first stole second. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who in six innings would give up only five hits and four walks, but no runs, and Nationals’ starter Livan Hernandez, who in his first five innings would give up a run on five hits. The Phils would then increase their lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with one out, Pedro Feliz would hit a grounder to Nats’ shortstop Cristian Guzman. Guzman threw the ball to second baseman Ian Desmond to force out Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, for the inning’s second out. But, Desmond then threw the ball away at first when he tried to double up Feliz. The throwing error would allow Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Werth’s walk, to head for home, after having reached third at the start of the play, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, as Feliz was safe on the error. The Phils then broke the game wide open in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via Utley being hit by the pitch, Howard being intentionally walked after Utley had stolen second base, his second steal of the night, and then a walk to Ibanez, which would move both Utley and Howard up a base, with two men out, Werth hits a grand-slam home run, his thirty-fourth home run of the season, scoring Utley, Howard and Ibanez. In the ninth, the Nats would finally score a run as, with a runner on second, and with two men out. Willie Harris hits an RBI single, knocking in Justin Maxwell, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on defensive indifference, making it a 6-1 Phils’ lead, ending the Phils’ pitching staff’s 26 straight innings scoreless streak. That would be the final score as Tyler Walker would get the next batter, Guzman, to pop out to Utley to end the game.

Joe Blanton gets the win as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just five hits and four walks, while striking out seven. His record is now 10-7 with a 3.97 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched a scoreless inning as he recorded his thirteenth hold, giving up a hit. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning as well, as he walked a batter, while striking out one. Tyler Walker pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Livan Hernandez took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. His record is now 8-11 with a 5.22 ERA. Tyler Clippard pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on no hits and a hit batter. Sean Burnett pitched to two batters, getting neither of them out as he walked both of them, giving up two runs. Jason Bergmann pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Zack Segovia pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits, including his grand-slam home run, knocking in four of the Phils’ run, while he raised his batting average to .272. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz and Joe Blanton had the Phils other six hits, all singles. During the game, the Phils lost Chan Ho Park, as he injured his right hamstring while throwing a pitch to the mound. It is not, as of yet, known how long he may be out.

The Phils (84-60, 1st) will continue their home stand tonight with a night game against the Nats (50-95, 5th). The game will be played tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies starter will be Cole Hamel (9-9, 4.21), who is coming off a victory against the Mets on September 11, as he pitched a sharp six and two-thirds innings, giving up only a run on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 4-2 win. He will be shooting for his tenth win, while trying to continue his recent string of good starts to get back to his playoff form. The Nats will counter with Ross Detwiler (0-5, 6.17), who last pitched in relief on September 12 against the Marlins, pitching two shut out innings, giving up only two walks, in the Nats’ 11-3 win. He will be trying to help the Nats avoid the sweep. The Phils hope to make it five wins in a row, with a series sweep, while trying to both increase their lead in the East and reduce their magic number even further.

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