October 2009

Phils starts off the playoffs with a masterpiece by Cliff Lee as the Phils defeat the Rockies, 5-1, taking a 1-0 lead in the NLDS.

Behind the strong pitching of Cliff Lee, the Phils begin the defense of their 2008 World Series Championship by defeating the Rockies in game one of the National League Divisional Series, 5-1.

For the first four and and half innings, the game was a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cliff Lee and Rockies’ starter Ubaldo Jimenez. For the first five innings, Lee game up only three hits, while striking out three, as he survives a two on, two men out threat in the first, and then got out of a runner on second, with only one out, situation in the second as Clint Barmes hits into a fly out-doubleplay, 9-5, as Jayson Werth’s throw from right beats Yorvit Torrealba, who had earlier doubled, to the third base bag. Meanwhile, Jimenez was handling the Phils in the first four innings, as he struck out four batters, although also giving up three hits. But, things would change in the Phils’ half of the fifth. With a runner on first, and with nobody out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, who had moved up to third on Pedro Feliz’s ground out, 4-3, making it a 2-0 Phils’ lead, while Ruiz would end up on second as right fielder Brad Hawpe misplayed the ball for a fielding error. The Phils would add to their lead in the sixth. With a runner on second and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and then stole second, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The next batter, Werth, then followed with an RBI triple, scoring Howard, making it a 4-0 Phils’ lead. That would be it for Jimenez, as Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy took him out of the game, and replaced him with Joe Beimel. Ibanez would greet Beimel with an RBI single, knocking in Werth, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead. Lee would take it from there, shutting the Rockies down until the ninth. In the ninth, the Rockies would finally get on the scoreboard as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Troy Tulowitzki hits an RBI single, knocking in Carlos Gonzalez, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on a wild pitch. But that would be the final score as Lee would strike out Garrett Atkins swinging for the final out.

Cliff Lee pitched a complete game, giving up a run on six hits and a wild pitch, as he struck out five. His divisional series record is now 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA. Ubaldo Jimenez took the lost as he pitched five innings plus three batters, giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk, as he struck out four. His series record is now 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA. Joe Beimel pitched to only one batter, giving up a hit. Matt Daley pitched an inning plus one batter, giving up just a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Franklin Morales pitched a scoreless inning, as he got out both man that he would face. Jason Marquis also pitched a scoreless innings, as he gave up a hit.

The Phillies’ offense had twelve hits in the game, with all of the starters, including Cliff Lee, getting at least one hit. The middle part of the Phils’  lineup, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez, led the attack with two hits each, as they went a combined six for eleven with a walk, collecting three singles, two walks and a triple (Werth), as they knocked in four of the Phils’ run (Howard (1), Werth (1), Ibanez (2)) and scored four runs. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz and Cliff Lee had the other six Phils’ hits, with Victorino’s hit being a double, while Ruiz knocked in the other Phil run. The Phils also had three stolen bases, with, surprise, Lee having one of them, as the Phils went about making an early statement.

The Phils (1-0) will continue the divisional series against the Rockies (0-1), this afternoon. The game is to be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to start at 2:37 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (10-11, 4.32), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on October 3, as he pitched only three innings, after the Phils had clinched home field advantage for the divisional series as the Cardinals lost, as he went only three innings, giving up three runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out two, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to regain his 2008 post-season form, and put the Rockies in a 2-0 hole. The Rcokies will counter with Aaron Cook (11-6, 4.16), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on October 1, as he pitched eight innings, giving up just a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Rockies’ 9-2 win. He will be trying to even up the series before it moves on to Denver for the weekend. The Phils will be trying to take a commanding 2-0 lead before the series moves to Colorado.

The Phils end the 2009 regular season on a high note as they defeat the Marlins in 10-innings, 7-6.

The Phils constantly came from behind before finally defeating the Marlins in extra-innings, 7-6, thus ending the 2008 regular season on a high note. They will now face the Rockies in the best of five Divisional Series starting on Wednesday.

The Marlins jumped to a quick 1-0 lead, as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Nick Johnson hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Chris Coghlan, who had earlier singled, and then reached third on Cameron Maybin’s double. Three batters later, with two men once again on, as Dan Uggla walked, and now with two men out, Ronny Paulino hits an RBI double, scoring Maybin, giving the fish a 2-0 lead, and sending Uggla to third. The Phils would get a run back in the fourth as Miguel Cairo hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season, making it a 2-1 Marlins’ lead. The Phils would then tied the game at two-all later in the inning as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and then proceeded to steal first second, and then third base. The Marlins would retake the lead in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Marlins’ starter Josh Johnson, a single to Coghlan, sending J. Johnson up to second base, a ground out by Maybin, 5-3, which would move J. Johnson up to third and send Coghlan up to second, and a walk to N. Johnson, with two men out, Wes Helms hits an RBI single, scoring both J. Johnson and Coghlan, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead, and sending N. Johnson over to third. The next batter, Uggla, then followed with an RBI single, knocking in N. Johnson, making it 5-2 Marlins and sending Helms to third. The Phils would strike back in their half of the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Eric Bruntlett hits an RBI single, knocking in Andy Tracy, who had just tripled, making it a 5-3 Marlins’ lead. Two batters later, pinch hitter Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Bruntlett, who had earlier stolen second base, to make it a 5-4 Marlin’s lead. Two batters later, with a runner on second, and now with two men out, Greg Dobbs hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had just gone to second on a Cairo ground out, 3-unassisted, tying the game up at five-all. The Marlins regained the lead in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with one out, Coghlin hits into an RBI force out, knocking in Emilio Bonifacio, who had earlier walked, and had gone to third on pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez’s single, while Sanchez, who had just singled, was wiped out at second, 4-6. The Phils would tie it up again at six-all in the eighth as Cairo hits a lead-off triple, then went home when Marlins’ second baseman Uggla threw the ball into the dugout for a throwing error. The Phils would win the ballgame in the tenth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Paul Hoover hits an RBI infield single off of Helm’s glove, scoring John Mayberry, who had singled, then moved to second on Cairo’s sacrifce bunt, 2-3, giving the Phils a 7-6 walk-off win.

J.A. Happ received a no-decision as he pitched only two innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out one. Kyle Kendrick then followed for two and two-thirds inning, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, as he struck out three. Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brett Myers pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on just a walk, as he struck out a batter. Sergio Escalona pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Jack Taschner pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out one. Scott Eyre pitched an inning, giving up only a walk, while striking out a batter. Chad Durbin got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. His record is now 2-2 with an ERA of 4.39. Josh Johnson also recorded a no-decision as he went four and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. Tim Wood pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Burke Badenhop recorded his second hold as he pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out three. Kiko Calero blew his fifth save, as he went an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out a batter. Renyel Pinto pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out two. Dan Meyer took the lost as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA.

The Phils collected twelve hits in the game, with Miguel Cairo, Ben Francisco and Eric Bruntlett leading the team with two hits each, with Cairo’s hits being a home run and a triple, knocking in a run while scoring two. Greg Dobbs, Jayson Werth, Paul Hoover, Andy Tracy, Shane Victorino and John Mayberry Jr. collected the other six Phils’ hits, with Tracy’s hit being a triple. Besides Cairo’s home run, Dobbs, Francisco, Bruntlett, pinch hitter Victorino and Hoover each knocked in a run, with Hoover’s being the game winner. The non-regulars and the September call-ups help lead the Phils to their final win of the regular season.

The Phils finished the regular season with a 93-69 record, with one win more than they won in 2008, being their best record under Charlie Manuel’s leadership. The Phils will be off until Wednesday when they will play the first game of the NL Divisional Series against the Colorado Rockies, the wild card winner. The Phils will be trying to get even with the Rockies for 2007 when they got swept in three games.

The Phils split the four-games series as their ninth inning rally fall short as they lose to the Astros, 5-3.

A ninth-inning rally falls short as the Phils lose to the Astros, 5-3. They will now play the Marlins for three games as they try to get past the Dodgers for the best record in the National League for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Astros took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lance Berkman hits a two-run double, scoring Kazuo Matsui, who had earlier singled, and then went to second as Miguel Tejada reached base on catcher’s interference, and Tejada, who had gotten on base on Paul Bako’s catcher’s interference-error. The Phils would cut the lead in half in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Ben Francisco, an infield single by Jimmy Rollins, which sent Francisco to third, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which moved Rollins to second, and with two men out, when Raul Ibanez hit an infield single, scoring Francisco, making it a 2-1 Astros’ lead, while moving Rollins to third, and Howard up to second. The Astros increased their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Tejada hits a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the season, scoring Matsui, who had just walked. The Phils tried to rally in the ninth. With two men on, and with two out, Pedro Feliz hits a two-run double, scoring Matt Stairs, who had earlier received a pinch hit walk, and then went to third on Jayson Werth’s single, and Werth, who had just singled, and then moved up to second on defensive indifference, making it a 5-3 Astros’ lead. Pinch hitter Andy Tracy then followed with a pinch single, sending Feliz to third, bringing up the winning run to the plate. But, that would be it as pinch hitter Miguel Cairo hits the first pitch deep into center field for the final out.   

Cliff Lee took the lost as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, as he struck out four. His record is 14-13 (7-4) with an ERA of 3.22 (3.39). Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brett Myers pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona together pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter between them (Walker). Felipe Paulino got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up just one run on six hits and three walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 3-11 with an ERA of 6.27. Jeff Fulchino recorded his twelfth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Wesley Wright and LaTroy Hawkins combined for two scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Wright (1), Hawkins (2)), while striking out 2 batters (Hawkins). Jose Valverde pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.

The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with three hits, with two of them being doubles, as he raised his average to .257 (.281). He was followed by Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz, who had two hits each, with one of Feliz’s hits being a two-run double. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo and pinch hitter Andy Tracy had the other six Phils’ hit, with Ibanez’s hit knocking in the Phils’ other run. The Phils were once again unable to knock in runs, mainly because they could not string together their hits.

The Phils (92-67, 1st) will play their final home stand of the regular season with a three-games series with the pesky Marlins (85-74, 3rd). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (12-7, 3.95), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on September 27, where he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 6-5 win. He will be trying to win his thirteenth start, which would place him as the team leader in that category. The Marlins will counter with Rick VandenHurk (2-2, 4.44), who is coming off a no-decision against the Phils on September 23, when he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Marlins’ 7-6 win. He will be trying for his third win of the season. The Phils will once again try to add another win as they now try to get the best record in the NL to have home field advantage during the playoffs.  

Threepeat!!!!: The Phils win their third straight Eastern Division title.

For the second time in the franchise’s long history, the Phils have won their third straight NL Eastern Division title, thanks to the Marlins’ 5-4 defeat of the Braves in Atlanta, while the Phils crushed the Astros in Citizens Bank Park, 10-3.

The Astros took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, and with two men out, Hunter Pence received an RBI walk, forcing in Tejada, while moving up a base both Berkman and Lee. The Phillies would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3. The Astros retook the lead in the second as J.R. Towles hits a lead-off home run, after the umpires had corrected their earlier ruling that the ball had stayed in the park via instant replay, his first home run of the season, giving the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Astros added to their lead in the fourth as Towles hits another lead-off home run, his second home run of the night, and of the season, making it a 3-1 Astros’ lead. The Phils then struck back in their half of the fourth. With two men on, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, and then stole second base, making it a 3-2 Astros’ lead, while sending Utley, who had just walked, to third base. The next batter, Raul Ibanez, then hits a grounder to the Astros’ starter Brian Moehler. Moehler immediately threw to second base, hoping to start a double play. Unfortunately, there was no one covering second, as the ball sails into center field, allowing Utley to score, tying the game at three-all, and sending Howard to third, while Ibanez would end up being safe at second on the fielder’s choice-throwing error. Jayson Werth then followed with a ground out RBI, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, as Howard scored, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead, while sending Ibanez on to third. Pedro Feliz then followed with an RBI double, knocking in Ibanez, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Victorino hits an RBI triple, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead. Three batters later, now with two men on, as Howard was intentionally walked, and with one out, Ibanez hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino, making it a 7-3 Phils’ lead. The Phillies would make it 8-3 in the sixth as, with a runner on base, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Feliz, who had earlier singled, before being thrown at third trying to stretched his double into a triple, 9-6-5. The Phils then scored one last time in the seventh as, with a man on base, and with two men out, Ibanez hits a two-run home run, his thirty-fourth home run of the season, scoring Howard, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 10-3 lead. In the ninth, after Kyle Kendrick, the game winner, had pitched three shut out innings in relief of Phils’ starter Pedro Martinez, and Chad Durbin had pitched one scoreless inning, the Phils sent Scott Eyre to the mound to pitch his first game in several weeks. Eyre started the inning off by getting Michael Bourn to fly out to center for the first out. He then got Tejada to fly out to center for the inning’s second out. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, the Marlins were holding on to a 5-4 lead, with the bases loaded. After Brendan Donnelly was brought into the game to face Martin Prado, he threw a first pitch ball that got past Marlins’ catcher Ronny Paulino. But, the ball hit the backstop and came back to Paulino, catching Matt Diaz off third base. Paulino threw a strike to the Marlins’ third baseman Wes Helms, who applied the tag on a diving Diaz for the final out, giving the Marlins’ the win, and the Phils’ the pennant. Back in Philly, Charlie Manuel had come to the mound, taking out Eyre and bringing in Brad Lidge to record the final out. Which Lidge would do with one pitch as Berkman grounded out to Howard, three-unassisted, for the final out.

Pedro Martinez received a no-decision as he went four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, as he struck out two. Kyle Kendrick got the win as he pitched three scoreless innings, giving up only two hits, while striking out three batters. His record is now 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a walk. Scott Eyre pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting two fly outs. Brad Lidge pitched a third of an inning, getting the final out. Brian Moehler took the lost as he went four and a third innings, giving up seven runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out one. His record is now 8-12 with a 5.47 ERA. Wesley Wright pitched two-thirds of an inning. Samuel Gervacio pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out one. Tim Byrdak pitched an inning, giving up two runs on one hit and two walks. Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless inning, walking a batter.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz leading the team with two hits each, with both of Rollins’ hits being for extra bases, a double and a triple, scoring two runs, while one of Victorino’s hits was a triple, as he knocked in a run, while one of Feliz’s hits was a double, as he also knocked in a run. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz had the other three Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hits being a two-run home run, as he knocked in three runs, while Ruiz’s hit was a double, knocking in a run. Chase Utley, Howard and Jayson Werth knocked in the other three Phils’ RBIs. The Phils’ offense came out swinging, finally knocking around Moehler in the fourth. With the clinching, Charlie Manuel will be giving some of his regulars a well needed rest, while trying to see if he can lead the Phils to the best record in the National League so that they can get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Phils (92-66, 1st East) will conclude their four-games home stand with the Astros (73-85, 5th Central) with a night game. The game will start tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils expected starter will be Cliff Lee (14-12 (7-3),  3.19 (3.28)), who is coming off a lost against the Brewers on September 25, where he went six innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 8-4 lost. He will be trying to recapture his form when he first came to the Phils before the July trade deadline. The Astros will counter with Felipe Paulino (2-11, 6.51), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on September 26, as he went five innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits and four walks, while striking out three, in the Astros’ 10-4 lost. He will be trying to keep from being hit hard by the Phils. The Phils will be trying to balance resting some of their starters while at the same time trying to see if they can establish their post-season form.

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