October 2009

The Phils take the first game of the 2009 World Series behind the pitching of Cliff Lee and the Chase Utley’s two home runs.

Behind the complete game pitching of Cliff Lee and an offensive attack powered by Chase Utley’s two solo home runs, the Phils defeated the Yankees, 6-1, taking a 1 games to 0 lead in the best of seven World Series.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the third as, with two men out, Chase Utley hits a solo home run to right, his first home run of the series. The Phils increased their lead to 2-0 in the top of the sixth as, with one man out, Utley hits to right field his second solo home run of the night, and of the series. The Phils would then make it 4-0 in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Jimmy Rollins, who then stole second, a walk to Shane Victorino, and then a walk to Jayson Werth, after Ryan Howard hits a fly ball which would move Rollins up to third base, while Victorino would move up to second base on Werth’s walk, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run seeing eye ball single into right field, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, while sending Werth up to second base. The Phils then made it 5-0 in the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Rollins’ single up the third base line, while Rollins would move up to second. Two batters later, with runners once again on the corners as Rollins moved up to third on an Utley fly out, the Phils would make it 6-0 as Howard hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, before Victorino is thrown out at home, 9-2, to end the inning. As the Phils build up their lead, Cliff Lee was handling the Yankees with ease, giving up only four hits by the ninth inning, with only one man reaching second base, Derek Jeter with a two-out double in the third, while striking out eight batters. The Yankees would finally score a run in the bottom of the ninth as, with two men on, via singles to Jeter and Johnny Damon, and with nobody out, Mark Teixeira hits a grounder to Utley, who threw to Rollins for a force out, for the first out of the inning, wiping out Damon at second base. But Rollins, who actually had time to make an accurate throw to first for a double play, instead threw the ball wildly past Howard and into the dugout, allowing Jeter to score, making it a 6-1 Phils’ lead, and allowing Teixeira to go to second base. But that would be it as Lee would then proceed to strike out both Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada swinging to end the ball game.

Cliff Lee pitched a complete game, giving up an unearned run on six hits, while striking out ten batters. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. CC Sabathia took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out six. His series record is now 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA. Phil Hughes pitched to two batters, walking both, giving up two runs. Damaso Marte pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. David Robertson pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Brian Bruney pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits. Phil Coke pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both leading the team with two hits a piece, with both of Utley’s hits being solo home runs, while both of Howard’s hits were doubles, knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz had the other five Phils’ hit, with Victorino’s hit being an RBI single, Ibanez’s hit being a two-run single, and Ruiz’s hit being a double. The Phils had a total of four singles and five extra-base hits (2B (3), HR (2)). The Phils did rather well with RISP last night being 4 for 9.

The Phillies (1-0) continues the 2009 World Series with the Yankees (0-1) in the new Yankees Stadium with a ballgame tonight. The game is to start at 7:57 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (0-0, 0.00), who last pitched on October 16 in game two of the NLCS against the Dodgers, where he received a no-decision as he went seven scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, while he struck out three, in the Phils’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying to keep the Yankees off-balance and give the Phils a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. The Yankees will counter with A.J. Burnett (0-0, 5.84), who is coming off a no-decision against the Angels in game five of the ALCS on October 22, where he pitched six innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while he struck out three, in the Yankees’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to even up the series at a game apiece. The Phils will be trying to leave New York with a two game to none lead, but will be happy to leave with a split before coming back home to Philadelphia with home field advantage.

Ryan Howard named 2009 NLCS Most Valuable Player

Howard’s end: Slugger NLCS MVP

Two homers, eight RBIs help Phils reach World Series

10/22/09 12:02 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA — For the first time in nine playoff games, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard did not to get a hit or an RBI on Wednesday night.

He did pick up another trophy, though. Howard was named the Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series after the Phillies wrapped up the pennant with a 10-4 victory over the Dodgers at Citizen’s Bank Park.

“It’s definitely something special,” Howard said. “To be able to go out there and just contribute, try to do my job to the best of my ability and to get recognized for it right now, it’s something special.”

Howard had a relatively quiet night on Wednesday, going 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. But he did plenty before this game, including setting a Major League record with at least one RBI in eight straight games over one postseason.

For the series, Howard was 5-for-15 with five runs scored, two home runs and eight RBIs. Only four players in League Championship Series history have driven in more than eight runs in an LCS of five games or less.

Don Baylor had 10 in five games for the Angels in 1982, Tom Brunansky had nine for the Twins in 1987 as did Graig Nettles in three for the Yankees in 1981 and Matt Williams for the Giants in 1989.

Howard also has 14 RBIs in nine games this postseason. With the World Series on the horizon, Howard has a shot at the all-time postseason record of 19, set in 1997 by Sandy Alomar Jr., for the Indians and since tied by Scott Spiezio for the Angels in 2002 and David Ortiz for the Red Sox in 2004

“It’s been a good feeling,” Howard said. “Just been up there and been relaxed and not trying to do too much, just trying to get good pitches and hit them, basically, just trying to keep everything simple.”

“The playoffs are a whole different animal. I mean, you’re one of eight teams that are left, and you’re going for the gold. It’s a completely different animal from the regular season, and you just know that in order to get to where you want to be, you’ve got to step your game up and you’ve got to be on your ‘A’ game and just go out there and get things done.”

VALUABLE PHILLIES
Ryan Howard became the fifth Phillies player to be named Most Valuable Player of a National League Championship Series.
Player Position Year
Manny Trillo 2B 1980
Gary Matthews LF 1983
Curt Schilling RHP 1993
Cole Hamels LHP 2008
Ryan Howard 1B 2009

Howard did just that in crucial moments for the Phillies. He had a two-run double in Game 1, a solo home run for the Phillies only run in Game 2, a two-run triple that was the first big blow in an 11-0 win in Game 3 plus an RBI on a grounder and a two-run home run in the first inning in Game 4.

All this is coming from a guy who has led the National League in RBIs in three of the past four seasons. All he needs now is a big World Series to finish off what has been a fabulous season. Howard hit .279 with 105 runs scored, 45 home runs and 141 RBIs during the regular season.

The Phillies won the World Series in 2008 but Howard certainly didn’t sit around all winter basking in the glory. He remains the biggest bat in a lineup that led the National League in runs scored and home runs.

“Ryan Howard just from start of the season until now has gotten much better in the way … his approach at the plate,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

“My focus was, hey, we just won, and I want to do it again,” Howard said. “I just wanted to make sure I got myself in good shape coming into this year and being ready for this year and not being complacent. So I went and took the initiative and started working out with Sammy [Perlozzo] on my defense and started working out, changed my diet, tried to drop some weight and just be in good shape.”

He has stayed in good shape. Now he has another trophy and a second straight trip to the World Series coming his way. H/T Phillies.com

Congrats on winning the honor this year, big guy.

Repeat!!!! The Phils’ bats buried the Dodgers as the Phils win game five of the NLCS, 10-4, to return to the World Series to defend their championship.

Four home runs, with two of them by Jayson Werth, help rocket the Phils past the Dodgers, 10-4, to win the 2009 National League Championship Series, 4 games to 1, to become the first National League squad, since the 1995-96 Atlanta Braves, to win back-to-back National League pennants. The Phillies will now try to become the first NL team, since the Big Red Machine of Cincinnati, to win back-to-back World Series (1975-76).

The Dodgers took the early lead in the first as, with two men out, Andre Ethier hits a solo home run, his first home run iof the series, to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The Phils then struck back in their half of the first as, with two men on base, and with two men out, Jayson Werth hits a three-run bomb into the right field seats, his second home run of the series, knocking in Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, who had both been walked, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Dodgers got a run back in the second as James Loney hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the series, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-2. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the second as Pedro Feliz hits the first pitch into right field for a solo home run of his own, his first of both the series and of the post-season, to give the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Phillies then increased their lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, thanks to a Carlos Ruiz walk, then Phils’ starter Cole Hamels moving both Ibanez and Ruiz up a base with a sacrifice bunt, and Jimmy Rollins then being hit by the pitch, and with two men out, Shane Victorino brought in another run as he in turn was hit by the pitch, forcing in Ibanez, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead, as both Ruiz and Rollins moved up a base. The Dodgers got a run back in the fifth as, with one man out, pinch hitter Orlando Hudson hits a pinch hit solo home run, his first of the series, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 6-3. The Phils then added to their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Victorino hits a two-run shot into left field, his second home run of the series, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier been hit by the pitch for the second straight time, to make it an 8-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second home run of the game, his third home run of the series and his fifth of the post-season, to give the Phils a 9-3 lead. The Dodgers then made one last attempt in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Ronnie Belliard and Ethier, who sent Belliard to third with his single, and a walk to Manny Ramirez, and with nobody out, Matt Kemp hits an RBI single, scoring Belliard, and moving both Either and Ramirez up a base, making it a 9-4 Phils’ lead, with the bases still loaded. But the Phils then got out of the inning, as Ryan Madson then got Loney to foul out to the third baseman, then struck out Russell Martin, swinging, then got Casey Blake to hit into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Kemp at second. The Phils then got that run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on second and third, thanks to a single by Rollins and a ground-rule double, thanks to Fan Interference, by Victorino, and with two men out, with Utley batting, Rollins would score on a wild pitch by Dodgers’ reliever Ronald Belisario, giving the Phils a 10-4 lead, while sending Victorino over to third. The Phils then send out Brad Lidge to end the game. He first struck out pinch hitter Mark Loretta swinging for the first out. He then got Rafael Furcal to foul out to the catcher for the second out. He then got Belliard to fly out to center to end the game, and give the Phils their second straight NL pennant, and the seventh NL pennant in the francishe’s long history.

Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he lasted only four and a third innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. J.A. Happ pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched one and a third scoreless innings, as he struck out a batter. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched an inning plus two batters, giving up a run on two hits, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up a hit. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Vicente Padilla took the lost as he lasted four innings plus two batters, giving up six runs on four hits and two walks, as he struck out three. His series record is now 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking a batter and hitting a batter. George Sherrill pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run, as he hit a batter, as he struck out one. Clayton Kershaw pitched two innings, giving up two runs on a hit, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out three. Hong-Chih Kuo pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, as he struck out three batters. Ronald Belisario pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a wild pitch.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with three hits, including two home runs, as he knocked in four runs. Shane Victorino followed with two hits, a two-run double and a ground-rule double, knocking in three runs. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz followed with one hit each, with Ibanez’s hit being an RBI double and Feliz’s hit being a solo home run. The Phils had six extra-base hits in the game, two doubles and four home runs, as the offense, once again, got the hits when they needed them.

The Phillies (4-1) now wait to find out who their American League opponent will be in the 2009 World Series, as the 2009 ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continues tonight in Anaheim.

Jimmy Rollins’ walk-off two-run double in the ninth gives the Phils a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. The Phils now have a commanding 3-1 games lead in the NLCS.

Jimmy Rollins’ walk-off two-out two-run double into the right center field gap in the ninth inning gives the Phils a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Dodgers. The win gives the Phils a commanding three games to one lead in the National League Championship Series.

The Phils took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as, with a runner on first, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the series, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled. With his two RBIs, Howard has tied Lou Gehrig’s major league record for the most consecutive games in which at least one RBI had been recorded in the post-season at eight, while at the same time establishing the major league record for the most consecutive games in a single post-season. The game then became a pitchers’ duel as Dodgers’ starter Randy Wolf calm down, keeping the Phils’ bats in check, while Phils’ starter Joe Blanton breezed through the Dodgers’ line-up for the first three innings. The Dodgers then cut the Phils’ lead in half in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, James Loney hits an RBI single, scoring Matt Kemp, who had earlier walked, and then went to third on Manny Ramirez’s single, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while moving Ramirez, who had earlier singled, to second base. Two batters later, with the bases loaded thanks to a walk to Ronnie Belliard, moving both Ramirez and Kemp up a base, Russell Martin tied the game up at two-all with an RBI single, scoring Ramirez from third, while sending Kemp to third, and Belliard to second. The Dodgers then took the lead in the fifth as, with two men out, Kemp hits a solo home run, his first home run of the series, making it a 3-2 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers increased their lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Casey Blake hits an RBI single, knocking in Ramirez, who had earlier reached first base on a throwing error by Pedro Feliz, then moved up to second on an infield single by Belliard on a pop up that bounced off of Rollins’ glove, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead, while Belliard would move up to third base. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the sixth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI single, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier tripled. Both teams’ bullpens then kept it close until the bottom of the ninth, when, with two men on, and with two men out, Rollins hits a 1-1 fastball into the gap in right center field, knocking in Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for pinch hitter Matt Stairs, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second as Carlos Ruiz was hit by the pitch, and Carlos Ruiz, who had been hit by the pitch, to give the Phils a come-from-behind walk-off 5-4 win, and a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the series.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on six hits and two walks, while he struck out two. Chan Ho Park, Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre combined for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up only two hits (Madson and Eyre one hit each), and two walks (Park and Madson one walk each), while they struck out a total of three batters (Park (1), Madson (2)). Brad Lidge would get the win as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out both batters whom he would face. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Randy Wolf also received a no-decision as he went five and one-third innings, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks, while he struck out two. Ronald Belisario recorded his first hold as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man whom he would face. Hong-Chih Kuo also recorded his first hold as he pitched a scoreless inning and a third, striking out a batter. George Sherrill recorded his first hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking a batter, while also striking out one. Jonathan Broxton recorded his first blown save of the series as he took the lost, as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on a hit, a walk and a hit batter. His series record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA.

The Phils had only five hits in the game, after their eleven hits outburst of the previous night. Jimmy Rollins led the team with two hits, a single and a two-run double, which knocked in the tying and winning runs in the ninth, as he raised his series’ batting average to .211. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard had the other three Phils’ hits, with Victorino’s hit being a triple, while Howard’s hit was a two-run home run. Utley’s hit brought in the Phil’s other run. Although most of the team is not being as productive in this series as they were in the Rockies’ series, they are knocking in runs when they need to.

The Phillies (3-1), will continue their NLCS with the Dodgers (1-3), tomorrow night with Game 5 of the best-of-seven series. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:07 pm Eastern. The Phils will sent to the mound first game starter Cole Hamels (1-0, 6.75), who pitched five and one-third innings on October 15, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, as he struck out four, in the Phils’ 8-6 win. He will be trying to send the Phils back into the World Series with a victory. The Dodgers will counter with their game two starter Vicente Padilla (0-0, 1.23), who stymied the Phils on October 16, as he gave up just one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Dodgers’ 2-1 come-from-behind win. He will be trying to get the series back to Los Angeles. The Phillies’ bats will be trying to get a handle on ex-Phil Padilla so that they can get themselves back into the World Series.

The Latest Leaders List has been uploaded and…

…for the entire regular season, from April 4 to October 4, this blog finished 48th out of the top 60. This is very interesting since the blog disappeared when MLBlogs’ Latest Leaders Lists went to a montly format. I’m guessing that folks were still following the blog, it just wasn’t being noticed in the new format. Oh well, guess I’ll never know for sure, folks. Anyway, a very big thank to those who have helped keep this blog in the top fifty, at least for the present regular season.

Now, here’s the top sixty fan blogs, as listed at MLBlogs.com. Give them all a look, okay, folks:

FANS
1. Confessions of a She-Fan
2. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
3. Red State Blue State
4. Julia’s Rants
5. Rockpile Rant
6. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
7. I Live for This
8. Phillies Phollowers
9. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
10. FutureAngels.com
11. Counting Baseballs
12. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
13. Rays Renegade
14. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
15. Yankees Chick
16. A Diatribe from a Journalism Student: Baseball Edition
17. Life and Indians Baseball through the Eyes of a Clemson Girl
18. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
19. Unfinished Business
20. The 1 Constant
21. The ‘Burgh Blues
22. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
23. LA NACION MEDIAS ROJAS
24. Eat, Sleep, Baseball
25. Hook, Line Drive, & Sinker
26. Plunking Gomez
27. Bruce Markusen’s Cooperstown Confidential
28. Cambios y Curvas
29. The Diamond Diva
30. The NYC Autograph Collector
31. The Pittsburgh Peas
32. King of Cali
33. Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees
34. A Misplaced Astros Fan
35. Passion & Pride Collide
36. The Watercooler
37. Statistician Magician
38. Flair For The Dramatic
39. Everything Baseball
40. Baseball Cleats & Shoes
41. Rocky Mountain Way…Outside Coors looking in
42. More Cowbell
43. Cook & Son Bats’ Blog
44. sittingstill
45. Cardinal Girl
46. cat loves the dodgers
47. The Yankees Baseball Whisperer
48. Phillies Red Pinstripes
49. The Season Experience
50. Linea de Primera
51. All Baseball All The Time
52. Crzblue’s World
53. Baseball Canadiana
54. The Brewer Nation
55. Twins Limey
56. When it Rains it Pours
57. Hello Halos! My View of the Big A
58. Perennial Pinstriper
59. Made in San Diego
60. Yogi Brewer

The Phils put on a hitting display while Cliff Lee muzzles the Dodgers’ bats as the Phils take a 2 games to 1 lead in the NLCS.

An eleven hits, eleven runs offensive attack and an eight inning pitching performance by Cliff Lee gives the Phils a two games to one lead in the National League Championship Series, as the Phils crushed the Dodgers, 11-0.

The Phils took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run triple, knocking in Shane Victornio, who had earlier singled, stole second base, and then moved up to third on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who had just singled. The next batter, Jayson Werth, increased the Phils’ lead to 4-0 by hitting a two-run home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in Howard. The Phils then made it 5-0 in the second as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI double, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Cliff Lee’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Victorino, both Rollins and Victorino then moving up a base on a wild pitch, and then a walk to Utley, Howard hits an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, bringing in Rollins, to give the Phils a 6-0 lead, while sending Victorino to third and moving Utley up to second base. The Phils would make it 7-0 in the fifth as, with a runner on first, and with two men out, Pedro Feliz hits an RBI triple, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had just walked. Ruiz then made it an 8-0 Phils’ lead with an RBI single, scoring Feliz. Meanwhile, Lee was throwing a three-hitter against the Dodgers, giving up a pair of lead-off singles to Manny Ramirez, one in the second inning, and the other in the fifth, and a lead-off single to Ronnie Belliard in the seventh, with Belliard being the only Dodgers to reach second base, doing so on a Andre Ethier ground out, 4-3, with nobody out, for the inning’s first out, before Lee would end the inning by striking out both Ramirez and Matt Kemp, swinging, as two of his ten strike outs victims. The Phils added their last runs in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Victorino hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in Ruiz, who had earlier walked, moved up to second base on Lee’s single, then went to third on Rollins’ ground out, 3-unassisted, and Lee, who had earlier singled, then went to second on Rollins’ ground out, giving the Phils an 11-0 lead. Chad Durbin then came in to pitched the ninth, recording a 1-2-3 inning.

Cliff Lee picked up the win as he pitched eight shut out innings, giving up only three hits as he struck out ten. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Hiroki Kuroda took the lost as he lasted only an inning and a third, giving up six runs on six hits, while striking out only one batter. His series record is now 0-1 with a 40.50 ERA. Scott Elbert pitched a third of an inning, walking two batters. Chad Billingsley pitched three and a third innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out three batters. Ramon Troncoso pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two walks, while he struck out three. Ronaldo Belisario pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk.

The Phils had eleven hits in the game, after being muzzled for four hits in game two of the championship series, with all of their starters, except for Raul Ibanez, getting at least one hit in the ballgame. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz lead the team with two hits a piece, with one of Victorino’s hits being a three-run home run, while one of Ruiz’s hits was a double. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Pedro Feliz and Cliff Lee had the other five Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ hit being an RBI double, Howard’s being an two-run triple, Werth’s being a two-run home run, and Feliz’s being an RBI triple. Howard knocked in three runs in the game, with his third RBI coming on a ground out, while Ruiz knocked in a run with a single.

The Phils (2-1) will continue the National League Championship Series with the Dodgers (1-2), with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 8:07 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Joe Blanton (12-8, 4.05), who will be making his first start in the post-season. His last appearance was as a reliever against the Rockies in the Divisional Series on October 11, as he went two and two-thirds innings, giving up just a run on three hits, in the Phils’ 6-5 win. He will be trying to give the Phils a 3-1 lead in the series. The Dodgers will counter with Randy Wolf (11-7, 3.23), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on October 7, where he went only three and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits and five walks, while striking out two, in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win. He will be trying to even the series at two-games each. The Phils will try to carry over the momentum from last night’s game to take a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the championship series.

A pair of three-run bombs help propel the Phils past the Dodgers, 8-6, to take a 1-0 lead in the 2009 NLCS.

Two three-run home runs by Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez and a two-run double by Ryan Howard help lead the Phils to an 8-6 victory in the first game of the 2009 National League Championship Series. The Phils lead the seven-games series with the Dodgers, 1-0.

The Dodgers struck first in the bottom of the second as James Loney hits a solo home run, his first in the series, over the right field fence to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The game then developed into a pitchers’ duel for the first four innings between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels and Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw. During those four innings, Kershaw had the Phils’ bats quieted, giving up only one hit and two walks, while striking out two batters. Meanwhile, Hamels, besides Loney’s home run, gave up three hits and a walk, pitching himself out of a two on, two out jam in the first inning, while striking out three Dodgers. The Phils then struck in the fifth as, with two men on, via a single to Raul Ibanez, who then moved up to second on a wild pitch, and then a walk to Pedro Feliz, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits a three-run shot to left, his first home run of the series, scoring both Ibanez and Feliz, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. Five batters later, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who got on base on a force out, wiping out Hamels at second, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second on a wild pitch as Shane Victorino struck out, swinging, and then moved to third on the third wild pitch in the inning, and Chase Utley, who had just walked, to give the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Dodgers then came back in their half of the inning as, with runners on the corners, and with one out, Andre Ethier hits into a force out, 6-4, knocking in Russell Martin, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double, and then went to third on Rafael Furcal’s single, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead, as Furcal, who had just singled, was forced out at second base, before Ethier would move up to second as Utley’s throw to first went into the Phils’ dugout. The next batter, Manny Ramirez, then made it a 5-4 Phils’ lead, as he hits a two-run home run into left center field, his first home run of the series, scoring Ethier. The Dodgers would threathen to score in the sixth, as they loaded up the bases on singles by Loney and Ronnie Belliard and a walk to pinch hitter Jim Thome, who was then pinch run for by Randy Wolf, with two men out. But, J.A. Happ, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who had earlier come in in relief of Hamels, ended the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 4-3. The Dodgers then threathen again in the seventh as Ethier lead off the inning with a double. But, Chan Ho Park, pitching in relief of Antonio Bastardo, turned back the Dodgers by getting Ramirez to ground out, 5-3, then struck out Matt Kemp, swinging, before ending the inning by getting Casey Blake to also ground out, 4-3. The Phils then increased their lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Ibanez hits a three-run bomb to right, knocking in Howard and Jayson Werth, who had both walked, giving the Phils an 8-4 lead. The Dodgers then tried to come back in their half of the eighth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Martin hits an RBI single, knocking in Loney, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on Belliard’s single, cutting the Phils’ lead to 8-5, while sending Belliard, who had just singled, over to second. Two batters later, after pinch hitter Juan Pierre hits into a force out, 1-4, as a low throw to second from reliever Ryan Madson killed a possible double play attempt, wiping out Martin at second, while Belliard moved up to third, Furcal hits a sacrifice fly for the inning’s second out, knocking in Belliard, to make it an 8-6 Phils’ lead. Madson would then get out of the inning by getting Ramirez to ground out 5-3, with runners on first and third. Brad Lidge was then given the ball in the ninth to save it. Lidge was greeted with a lead-off single by Kemp. But, he then got Blake to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Kemp at second base, for outs number one and two. Loney then worked a walk, after falling behind 0-2, to keep the game alive. After Loney took second on defensive indifference, Lidge finally recorded the save, his first for the series, by getting Belliard to pop up to Rollins for the final out.

Cole Hamels got the win, as he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA. Chad Durbin picked up his first hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. J.A. Happ also picked up his first series hold as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Antonio Bastardo pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Chan Ho Park got his first hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, as he gave up two runs on four hits. Brad Lidge got the save, his first in the series, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Clayton Kershaw took the lost as he went just four and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on four hits, five walks and three wild pitches, while he struck out three. His series record is now 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Ronald Belisario and Hong-Chih Kuo combined for two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit (Kuo), while striking out two (Kuo). George Sherrill pitched an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out a batter.

The Phils had only eight hits in the game, making the most of them, along with the seven walks that they received. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz led the team with two hits apiece, with both Ibanez and Ruiz each hitting a three-run home run. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard had the other two Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a two-run double. The Phils did very well with runners in scoring position as they went 3 for 5.

The Phils (1-0) continues their NL Championship Series with the Dodgers (0-1) with an afternoon game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 4:07 pm Eastern (1:07 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.63), who last pitched on September 30 against the Astros, as he went only four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out two as he received a no-decision in the Phils’ 10-3 win, as they clinched the NL East pennant. This will be his first start of the 2009 post-season, as he hope to give the Phils a chance to take a 2-0 lead back to Philadelphia. The Dodgers will counter with Vicente Padilla (12-6 (4-0), 4.46 (3.20)), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on October 4, as he pitched five innings, giving up just a run on four hits, as he struck out ten, in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win. He will be trying to even up the series before the two teams head for Philadelphia. The Phillies hope to continue their road success before they head back home to continue the series with home field advantage.

The Phils come from behind in the ninth to clinch the divisional series, beating the Rockies, 5-4.

The Phils, with two outs in the top of the ninth, scored three runs to come from behind to defeat the Rockies, 5-4. They win the NL Divisional Series, 3 games to 1, and now go on to Los Angeles for a rematch with the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with one out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his first home run of the series. The Phils would make it 2-0 in the sixth as, once again with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a solo home run of his own, his second home run of the post-season. The Rockies would get a run back in their half of the sixth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Troy Tulowitzki hits an RBI double, knocking in Todd Helton, who had earlier reached base on a walk, making it a 2-1 Phils lead. The game would, in the meantime, become a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cliff Lee and Rockies’ starter Ubaldo Jimenez for seven innings. Lee would pitch almost flawlessly, giving up just a run on five hits and two walks, while he struck out five. Jimenez, in the meantime, in spite of a high pitch count, would only give up two runs, both on home runs, on six hits and two walks, as he struck out seven batters, with two of them coming in the third as he got out of a bases loaded jam, via singles to Victorino and Chase Utley, which would send Victorino to third, with Utley going to second on the throw to third and an intentional walk to Ryan Howard, with one man out, as he struck out both Werth and Raul Ibanez swinging. In the eighth, the Phils threaten to add to their lead as they once again loaded the bases via a walk to Utley, an intentional walk to Werth, after Utley had stolen second base, and a walk to Ibanez, with one man out, but they would be turned back as Pedro Feliz popped up the first pitch to the shortstop, 6-unassisted, for the second out, and then Carlos Ruiz grounded out, 6-3, to end the inning, leaving it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Rockies would tie the game up at two-all in their half of the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Jason Giambi hits an RBI single, scoring Dexter Fowler, who had earlier walked, and was safe on second on a missed catch error by Jimmy Rollins on a ground ball hit by Helton, after Fowler had leaped around Utley without touching him when he went to field the grounder, while Helton would move up to second. The Rockies then took the lead as, with two men on, and still two men out, Yorvit Torrealba hits a two-run double, knocking in both Helton and Giambi, making it 4-2 Rockies. The Phils then struck back in the ninth as, with two men on base, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, scoring Victorino, who was earlier safe on a force out, 4-6, wiping out Rollins, who had earlier singled, at second base, and then went to second base on defensive indifference, and Utley, who had just walked, tying the game up at four-all. Werth then followed with an RBI single, scoring Howard and giving the Phils a 5-4 lead. The Rockies would make one last attempt in their half of the ninth, as they got two men on base, via singles to Carlos Gonzalez and Helton, with two men out, before it was stopped by closer Brad Lidge as he collected his second save of the series by striking out Tulowitzki swinging, as he could not hold up his swing, for the final out.

Cliff Lee got the no-decision as he pitched seven and one-third innings, giving up three runs, only one of which were earned, on five hits and three walks, while he struck out five. Ryan Madson blew his second save of the post-season, before picking up the win, as he went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. His record in the series is now 2-0 with an ERA of 3.38. Scott Eyre picked up his second hold of the series, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits. Brad Lidge picked up his second save of the series as he struck out the only batter he would face. Ubaldo Jimenez also received a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up just two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out seven. Franklin Morales pitched a third of an inning, giving up three walks, as he struck out one. Rafael Betancourt pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Huston Street blew his second save of the series, as he also received his second lost in the series, as he gave up three runs on three hits and a walk, in two-thirds of an inning, while he struck out one. His series record is now 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA. Joe Beimel pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face.

The Phillies collected nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth leading the team with two hits apiece, with one of Victorino’s hits being a solo home run, and one of Werth’s hits being a solo home, his second of the series, as he knocked in two runs in the game. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz had the other three Phils hits, with Howard’s hit being a two-run double, which helped fueled the Phils’ comeback in the ninth. Phils’ batters 2-6 went a combine twenty-seven for seventy-four in the series, collecting a combine total of seventeen singles, five doubles (Victorino (1), Howard (3), Ibanez (1)), a triple (Werth), and four home runs (Victorino (1), Utley (1), Werth (2)), along with fourteen walks, as they knocked in a total of seventeen runs (Victorino (1), Utley (1), Howard (6), Werth (4), Ibanez (5)), while scoring nineteen of the Phils’ twenty runs. Carlos Ruiz also did well in the series, as he went four for thirteen with two walks, knocking in the other three Phils’ runs.

The Phils will not play again until Thursday when they will start the NL Championship Series against the Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium. Game time and starters have yet to be announced.

Phils fight cold night, Rockies, to win game three of the NLDS, 6-5, to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

The Phils braved both the cold Denver night and the pesky Rockies to win the third game of the NL Divisional Series, 6-5, to take a two games to one lead.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men out, Chase Utley hits a solo home run, his first home run of the post-season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Rockies would tie the game up at one-one in their half of the first as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Todd Helton hits into a force out, as Carlos Gonzalez, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Dexter Fowler’s single, scored, while Fowler would be forced out at second, 4-6, for the inning’s first out. Three batters later, with two men on base, and now with two men out, Garrett Atkins hits an RBI single, scoring Helton, who had earlier moved up to second on Troy Tulowitzki’s single, giving the Rockies a 2-1 lead, while Tulowitzki, who had earlier singled, would move up to third. The Rockies would add to their lead in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Atkins hits an RBI double, knocking in Helton, who had earlier walked, making it 3-1 Rockies. The Phils would strike back in the fourth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier walked, and then moved to second on Utley’s single, making it a 3-2 Rockies’ lead, while sending Utley over to third. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, thanks to a walk to Jayson Werth, with still nobody out, Raul Ibanez got on base with a walk, forcing in Utley, tying the game up at three-all, while moving both Howard and Werth up a base. The next batter, Pedro Feliz, would then hit into a double play, 1-2-3, forcing out Howard at home before being thrown out at first, for outs number one and two, while Werth would move up to third and Ibanez to second. Carlos Ruiz would then followed with an RBI single, knocking in Werth, giving the Phils back the lead at 4-3, while Ibanez would stop at third. The Rockies would tie the game up at four-all in their half of the fourth as, with two men out, Gonzalez would hit a solo home run, his first home run of the post-season. The Phils would retake the lead in sixth as, with two men on, and with one out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier walked, and then moved up to second on Feliz’s walk. giving the Phils a 5-4 lead, while sending Feliz up to second base. The Rockies would tie the game up at five-all in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one out, Tulowitzki hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled, and would go to third on Fowler’s bunt attempt which became a bunt single as Scott Eyre sprained his ankle trying to make the play. The Phils would regain the lead in the ninth as, with runners on the corners and with one man out, Howard would hit a sacrifice fly, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, would move to second on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, and then go to third on an infield single by Utley, who had hit a ball at the plate that should had been called dead as it had hit him, giving the Phils a 6-5 lead, while sending Utley up to second. The Rockies made one last attempt to tie the game in their half of the ninth, as they got two men on, both via walks to Gonzalez, who then stole second, and to Helton as he was pitched around, with two men out. But, the threat would end as Tulowitzki hit a fly ball to left for the final out.

J.A. Happ got a no-decision as he pitched just three innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while he struck out four. Joe Blanton pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on three hits. Scott Eyre picked up a hold, his first for the post-season, as he pitched a third of an inning, plus two batters, giving up a run on two hits. Ryan Madson picked up a blown save, as he pitched an inning, striking out two batters. Chad Durbin picked up the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. His record for the series is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge picked up his first save of the post-season as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just two walks. Jason Hammel also pitched a no-decision as he went only three and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks, and striking out five. Matt Belisle pitched a scoreless inning, walking a batter. Joe Beimel pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Jose Contreras pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks, as he struck out two. Franklin Morales pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Rafael Betancourt also pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, as he struck out the side. Huston Street took the lost as he gave up a run on two hits. His series record is now 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, which they made count in this game. Chase Utley led the team with three hits, which included a solo home run, knocking in a run, as he raised his series average to .417. Carlos Ruiz followed with two hits, both singles, as he knocked in two runs, raising his series average to .333. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz had the other three Phils’ hit, with Feliz’s hit being a double. Besides Utley and Ruiz, Howard brought in two of the Phils’ runs, with one of them coming in on a sac fly, while Raul Ibanez brought home the other Phil run via a walk. The middle of the Phils line-up is now a combined twelve for thirty-four with seven singles, three doubles (Howard (2), Ibanez (1)), a triple (Werth) and a home run (Werth) and six walks (Werth and Ibanez with three apiece) and knocking in eleven RBIs (Howard (4), Werth (2), Ibanez (5)), while scoring eight runs. At this point, Utley has finally joined the bats, while Ruiz has continued being a post-season threat. Now, Rollins needs to step up, as he is the only one among the regulars who is batting under .300 in the series.

The Phils (2-1) will continue their National League Divisional Series with the Rockies (1-2) with a game today. The game will be played at Coors Field and will begin at 6:07 pm Eastern (4:07 pm Mountain). The Phils will be sending out Cliff Lee (1-0, 1.00), who is coming off a complete game win on October 7, as he gave up only a run on six hits, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-1 win. He will be trying to pitch the Phils into the NL Championship Series with a win. The Rockies will counter with their game one starter Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1, 9.00), who is coming off a lost in the series’ first game, as he went only five innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out four in the Rockies’ 1-5 lost. He will be trying to send the series back to Philadelphia. The Phillies will be trying to get back into the National League Championship Series today on Lee’s arm and their bats. 

The Phils are unable to come back from an early hole as they lose to the Rockies, 5-4. The divisional series is now tied at one game apiece.

The Phils are unable to pull off a come from behind win after being put behind early as they lose to the Rockies, 5-4. The series now go to Colorado with the series tied at one to one.

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Todd Helton scored Carlos Gonzalez. who had earlier singled, stole second base after being picked off by Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, as Ryan Howard’s throw to second wasn’t in time, and then moved to third on Dexter Fowler’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, on a fielder’s choice grounder to Hamels, as Gonzalez beat Carlos Ruiz’s tag, while Helton was safe at first. The Rockies then increased their lead in the fourth as, with a man on, and with two men out, Yorvit Torrealba hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the post-season, knocking in Hilton, who had earlier singled, making it 3-0 Rockies. The Rockies then made it 4-0 in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one out, Fowler hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Rockies’ starter Aaron Cook, who had earlier singled, and then went to third on Gonzalez’s double, while Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled, would move up to third. The Phils then started to come back in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier hit an infield single and had moved up to second on second baseman’s Clint Barmes’ throwing error, and then went to third on Chase Utley’s single, making it a 4-1 Rockies’ lead, while sending Utley, who had earlier singled, up to third base. Two batters later, with runners still on second and third, and now with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run single, knocking in both Utley and Howard, making it a 4-3 Rockies’ lead. The Rockies then added a run in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a Ryan Spilborghs double, Barmes hitting a sacrifice bunt, in which Joe Blanton, who was pitching in relief of Hamels, tried to throw Spilborghs out at third, but was unsuccessful, while Barmes would be safe at first, and an infield single for pinch hitter Seth Smith, off of J.A. Happ’s knee, after he was brought in in relief of Blanton, and with one man out, Fowler hits his second sac fly of the game, scoring Spilborghs, giving the Rockies a 5-3 lead, while sending Barmes over to third. The Phils would get the run back in the eighth as, with two men out, Jayson Werth hits a solo home run, his first home run of the post-season, making it a 5-4 Rockies’ lead. The Phils made a last threat to tie the game in the ninth, with two men on base, with Cliff Lee on second, pinch running for Matt Stairs, who had earlier gotten on base with a pinch hit walk, and Jimmy Rollins on first with a single, moving Lee up to second, with two men out. But Victorino would end the game by lining out to Barmes for the final out.

Cole Hamels took the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, while he struck out five. His divisional series record is now 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA. Joe Blanton pitched an inning plus two batters, giving up a run on one hit, as he struck out one. J.A. Happ pitched to one batter, giving up a hit before taken out for an injury. Scott Eyre pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Brett Myers pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two walks and hitting a batter. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Aaron Cook got the win, as he went five innings plus three batters, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. His record in the divisional series is now 1-0 with a  5.40 ERA. Jose Contreras converted his first hold as he pitched an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter. Matt Belisle received a hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Rafael Betancourt received a hold as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Franklin Morales recieved a hold as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the one man he would face. Huston Street recorded his first save of the post-season as he gave up only a hit and a walk.

The Phillies got eleven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, all singles. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez both followed with two hits apiece, with one of Howard’s hits being a double, as between them they knocked in three of the Phils’ runs (Howard (1), Ibanez (2)). Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz had the other four Phils’ hits, with Werth’s hit being a solo home run. Between them, so far, Howard, Werth and Ibanez has been the Phils’ offense, with a combined record of eleven for twenty-three, with six singles, three doubles, a triple and a home run, with eight RBIs (Howard (2), Werth (2) Ibanez (4)) and six runs scored. The only other Phil hitting, at the moment, is Victorino, who is hitting four for nine, with three singles and a double, but with only one run scored. If Rollins and Utley can get their bats to wake up, especially Rollins, if he would become a bit more selective in his pitch count, the Phils might still have a chance to win the series, if they can get men on base for the presently hot middle part of their line-up.

The Phils (1-1) will now journey to Denver to play games three and four of the divisional series with the Rockies (1-1). The third game is to be played on Saturday, weather permitting, at Coors Field, and is suppose to start at 9:37 pm Eastern (7:37 pm Mountain). The Phils still have yet to announce their starter for game three, although it will most likely be Pedro Martinez. The Rockies’ starter will be Jason Hammel (10-8, 4.33), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on October 4, as he pitched two innings in relief, giving up just two hits, while striking out two, in the Rockies’ 5-3 lost. He will be trying to give the Rockies the lead in the series. The Phillies will be trying to come back from the lost, while coming out smoking at the start of game three.

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