October 2010

Things have been a bit busy here in Philly…

Although the Phils have been knocked out of the playoffs last Saturday, things have been busy during the last week or so since the 2010 National League Champions San Francisco Giants celebrated their victory at Citizens Bank Park. Saturday night, Sunday and Monday the Phils cleared out their lockers before heading off to their respective homes.

On Monday, General Manager Reuben Amaro, Jr. held a press conference announcing that while he was happy that 2010 was a successful year, the fact that they had failed to get into the World Series, as everyone was expecting, have left a bitter taste in his mouth, and he was planning to make some changes as far as the offense was concerned.

During the week, the Phils bought out J.C. Romero’s contract, paying him $2500,000 for the last year of his contract, while letting go both Greg Dobbs and Jamie Moyer, allowing the three to become free agents, although willing to take Romero back if nobody else comes knocking at his doorstep, with a minor league contract. (Sorry to see you go, guys. Wish you luck.) Paul Hoover have also opted for free agency after being assigned to Lehigh Valley.

The Phils have finally contacted Jayson Werth, via his agent Scott Boras, to see if there was any way that they can keep him here. (I’m not holding my breath. Boras equals large amount of money, and I do not think that the Phils are in that particular neighborhood.)

Placido Polanco will be having surgery to fix up his left elbow at some point today, and should be ready for spring training next year.

Roy Halladay, who plans to give his hurt groin a rest, for now, have been named the National League Clutch Performer of the Year and the Players Choice for NL Outstanding Pitcher.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: On-Based Percentage Champions.

In its 128-year history as a member of the National League, the Phillies have won twenty-one on-base percentage titles. Thirteen Phils have won the title, with five of them winning it more than once.

The first Phil to win the title was Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who did in it 1891 with a .453 percentage. He would win the second and third title to be won by a Phil player by winning it two years in a row, in 1893 and again in 1894, with on-base percentages of .490 and .521, respectively. Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty would become the second Phil to win the team’s fourth title, the fourth in five years, by winning it in 1895 with an on-base percentage of .500. The next Phil to win the title would be Roy Thomas, who would win the Phil’s fifth and sixth titles in 1902 and 1903, with marks of .414 and .453. The fourth Phil to win the title, the team’s seventh, would be Sherry Magee, who would win it in 1910, with a .445 percentage. The fifth Phil to win the title would be Gavvy Cravath, who won the title in 1915, the year that the Phils won their first National League title and in 1916, with marks of .393 and .379. It would be fourteen years before another Phil would win the team’s tenth title, which would be done by Lefty O’Doul in 1929 with a mark of .465. The seventh Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who would win the team’s eleventh title in 1933, the year that he won the batting triple crown, by posting an on-base percentage of .422. The eighth Phil to win the title would be Dolph Camilli, who would win the title in 1937 with a .446 percentage. The next Phil to secure the title would be Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who would win the title in 1954, 1955 and 1958, with percentages of .441, .449 and .440. The tenth Phil to become the on-base percentage leader would be Dick Allen, who would win the title in 1967 with a .404 mark. Pete Rose would become the eleventh Phil to win it, winning the team’s seventeenth title in 1979 with a .418 mark. The twelfth Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who would it in the strike-shortened year of 1981, 1982 and 1983 with marks of .435, .403 and .399. The thirteenth, and at the moment last, Phil to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra, who won the team’s twenty-first title in 1990 with a .418 mark. No Phil has won the title since then.

Of the twenty-one titles won by the Phils, eleven of them, or almost half of them, have been won by Hall of Famers, with Billy Hamilton, Richie Ashburn and Mike Schmidt each winning three titles, while Ed Delahanty and Chick Klein would win the other two titles. Roy Thomas and Gavvy Cravath, other than the three Hall of Famers, have won more than one title, with each man winning two titles. The Phil with the highest on-base percentage when he won the title was Hamilton with his .521 mark in 1894, while the Phil with the lowest percentage was Cravath with his .379 mark in 1916. Phils have won the title four times in the 19th Century, seventeen times in the 20th, and so far have not won it in the 21st Century.

Who will be the next Phil to win the title? I have really no idea.

Saturday: 2010 National League Championship Series, Game # 6: The Phils are eliminated from the post-season as the offense once again fail the pitching as they lose, 3-2.

The Phils lose their National League crown as the offense once again this series fail to support their pitching staff as they lose a close game to the Giants, 3-2.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI double, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second on Jonathan Sanchez’s wild pitch, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then made it a 2-0 lead as, now with runners on the corners, and with still one man out, Jayson Werth hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Utley, who had moved up to third on Ryan Howard’s single. The Giants cut the Phils’ lead in half in the third as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Aubrey Huff hits an RBI single, knocking in J. Sanchez, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Andre Torres’ singled, then went to third on Freddy Sanchez’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, before Torres, who had earlier singled, and moved up to second base on F. Sanchez’s sacrifice bunt, is thrown out at the plate, 8-2, for the inning’s second out, while Huff would move up to second base on the throw. The Giants then tied up the score at two-all as Huff scores on a fielding error by Polanco on Buster Posey’s grounder to third, as he hit the runner with the ball. The score would stay tie for the next few half innings as neither side would be able to get a run across, especially the Phils, whose offense is constantly unable to get a key hit. The Giants then took the lead in the eighth as, with two men out, Juan Uribe hits a solo home run, his first home run of the series, giving the Giants a 3-2 lead. That would end up being the final score as Brian Wilson would collect his third save of the series by striking out Howard looking, with two men on base, for the final out of the series, making the Giants the 2010 National League Champions.

Roy Oswalt receives a no-decision as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on nine hits, while he strikes out five. Ryan Madson took the lost as he pitches two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out three. His series record is 0-1 with 1.35 ERA. Brad Lidge pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Jonathan Sanchez also receives a no-decision as he pitches only two innings, plus two batters, as he gives up two runs on three hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter. Jeremy Affeldt pitches two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two batters. Madison Bumgarner pitches two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Javier Lopez gets the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. His series record is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA. Tim Lincecum collects his first hold of the series as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter. Brian Wilson collects his third save of the series as he pitches a scoreless inning and two-thirds, giving up two walks, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez all leading the team with two hits each, with Howard and Ibanez’s two hits being a single and a double, while Victorino’s two hits were both singles. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley had the other two Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ hit being a single, and Utley’s hit being an RBI double. Jayson Werth knocked in the other Phil run with a sac fly. The Phils’ offense spent the entire series unable to get any sustain offensive attack going against Giants’ pitching, thus leading to their lost in the series.

The Phils will now be spending the winter trying to recover from the lost, seeing what needs to be corrected and who needs to be resigned or let go, before making another run in 2011.

2010 National League Championship Series, Game # 5: True grit shown by a wounded Doc Halladay, a weird top of the third and a Jayson Werth homer gives the Phils a 4-2 win, sending the series back to Philly.

True grit shown by their ace Roy Halladay, who was pitching through a mild groin injury, a wierd-o top of the third inning where the Phils took the lead, and a solo blast by Jayson Werth in the top of the ninth gives the Phils a 4-2 win, as they cut the Giants’ lead in the series, 3-2. The game will now return to Philadelphia for game six on Saturday.

The Giants took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Buster Posey hits into an RBI force out, 4-6, on a possible doubleplay grounder that was botched by second baseman Chase Utley before he threw to second base to force out Freddy Sanchez, who had earlier singled, allowing Andres Torres, who had started the inning off with a walk, and then went to third on Sanchez’s single, to score, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead, as Posey beats shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ throw to first. The Phils then came back in the third. Raul Ibanez started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base as Carlos Ruiz is hit by the pitch. Roy Halladay then bunted the ball in front of the plate, although possibly a foul ball, it was called fair by the home plate umpire, as Posey grabbed the ball and threw it to third, trying to get out Ibanez, as Halladay stood in the batter’s box, thinking it was foul, but, Pablo Sandoval was unable to get back to the third base bag, as Ibanez is called safe, while Ruiz reach second base. But, Sandoval then recovers and threw to first base for the out, 2-5-4, as the throw beats Halladay to the bag, as Halladay is credited with a sacrifice bunt. The next batter, Shane Victorino, then hits a grounder towards first baseman Aubrey Huff, who committed a fielding error as the ball hit against his right leg, and bounce into left center field, allowing both Ibanez and Ruiz to score, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while allowing Victorino to move up to second base. Placido Polanco then followed with an RBI single, scoring Victorinio, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Giants got a run back in the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Cody Ross hits an RBI double, knocking in Pat Burrell, who had earlier doubled, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. Halladay would then keep the Giants down, squashing a pair of rallies in the fifth and the sixth innings. The Phils then tried to add to their lead in the seventh as they placed runners on the corners, with Rollins on third, who had started the inning off with a single, before stealing first second, and then third, and Ruiz on first, who had walked, with one man out, before pinch hitter Ross Gload ended the inning by hitting into a line out-doubleplay, three-unassisted. The Phils would finally increase their lead in the ninth as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the series, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead. That would end up being the final score as Brad Lidge would receive his first save of the series as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, getting pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa to end the game by striking out on a foul tip caught by Ruiz.

Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out five. His series record is now 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA. Jose Contreras receives his first hold of the series as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. J.C. Romero also gets his first hold of the series as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madison receives his first hold of the series as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side. Brad Lidge receives his first save of the series as he also pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Tim Lincecum took the lost as he pitches seven innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits and a walk, while striking out seven. His series record is now 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA. Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez combine for a scoreless inning, giving up a walk (Romo), while striking out a batter (Lopez) between them. Ramon Ramirez pitches two thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Jeremy Affeldt pitches a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face.

The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez leading the team with two hits, both singles. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Jimmy Rollins had the other four Phils hits, with Polanco, Utley and Rollins’ hits being singles, with Polanco knocking in a run, while Werth’s hit was a solo home run. The other two Phil’s runs came in on an error hit by Shane Victorino, with him receiving an RBI. The offense still have not had a breakout inning, but it has once again taken advantage of the opponent’s mistake(s), this time to get the game taken back to Philadelphia.

The Phils (2-3) are still alive in the series, as they take a day off before coming back to Philadelphia to face the Giants (3-2) in game six of the series on Saturday.

2010 National League Championship Series, Game # 4: The Phils lose a heartbreaker as the pitching staff fail a resurgent offense as they fall to the Giants in the bottom of the ninth, 6-5. They now trail the Giants 3-1, with their backs to the wall.

The pitching staff allows one to get away as the Phils lose to the Giants in the bottom of the ninth, 6-5, after the offense had finally decided to come out and fight. The Phils now trail the Giants in the series, 3-1.

The Giants took the lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Buster Posey hits an RBI single, scoring Freddy Sanchez, who had earlier singled, then went first to second, and then to third on a pair of wild pitches, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. The Giants then increased their lead in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Posey hits an RBI double, knocking in Aubrey Huff, who had earlier singled, making it a 2-0 Giants’ lead. The Phils’ offense then exploded in the fifth. After Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz started off the inning with back-to-back singles, with Francisco stopping at second base, Joe Blanton moved both man over with a sacrifice bunt, 1-4, sending Francisco over to third base, and Ruiz up to second base. The next batter, Shane Victorino, then followed with an RBI single, scoring Francisco, cutting the Giants’ lead to 2-1, before Ruiz is cut down at home plate on a one-hop strike by Giants’ center fielder Aaron Rowand, with Posey supplying the tag, for the inning’s second out. Two batters later, after Chase Utley has reached base with a single, moving Victorino up to second base, the Phils took the lead as Placido Polanco hits a two-run double, scoring both Victorino and Utley, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. Three batters later, after the Phils had loaded the bases via an intentional walk to Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth being hit by the pitch, moving up a base both Polanco and Howard, and with Jimmy Rollins batting, Giants’ reliever Santiago Casilla threw a wild pitch which went into the stands, scoring Polanco, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead, while moving Howard to third base, and Werth to second. The Giants came back in their half of the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Huff hits an RBI single, knocking in Andres Torres, who had earlier walked, and then moved up to second on a Edgar Renteria ground out, 5-3, making it a 4-3 Phils’ lead. The Giants then regain the lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Pablo Sandoval hits a two-run double, knocking in Pat Burrell, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Cody Ross’ double, and Ross, who had just doubled, giving the Giants a 5-4 lead. The Phils would then tie the game up at five-all in the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Werth hits an RBI double, knocking in Howard, who had just doubled. In the bottom of the ninth, the Giants won the game as, with runners on the corners and with one man out, Juan Uribe hits a sacrifice fly to left field, knocking in Huff, who had earlier singled, and then went to third on Posey’s single, giving the Giants a 6-5 walk-off win, and a 3-1 lead in the series.

Joe Blanton receives a no-decision as he pitches four and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits, a walk and two wild pitches, while striking out three. Jose Contreras pitches a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face. Chad Durbin receives his first blown save of the series as he pitches an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo pitches a third of an inning, gives up a hit. Ryan Madson pitches one and two-thirds scoreless innings, as he giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Roy Oswalt took the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits. His series record is now 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA. Madison Bumgarner also receives a no-decision as he pitches four and two-third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out six. Santiago Casilla pitches an inning and a third, giving up a run on one hit, a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch, while striking out two. Javier Lopez records his third hold of the series as he pitches an inning plus one batter, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Sergio Romo collects his first blown save of the series as he pitches an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Brian Wilson collects the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. His series record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Placido Polanco leading the team with two hits, a single and a double, knocking in two runs. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz had the other seven Phils’ hits, with Victorino, Utley, Rollins, Francisco and Ruiz’s hits being singles, with Victorino knocking in a run, while Howard and Werth’s hits were both doubles, with Werth knocking in a run. The other Phil run came in on a bases loaded wild pitch. The offense finally appeared. Sadly, parts of the relief corps decided to lose its touch, before Oswalt took the mound in relief to lose the game.

The Phils (1-3), with their backs to the wall, will continue the series with the Giants (3-1), trying to send it back to Philadelphia. The game is to be played at AT&T Park and is to start at 7:30 pm Eastern (4:30 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (0-1, 5.14), who lost game one of the series to the Giants on October 16, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to get the series back to Philadelphia. The Giants will counter with Tim Lincecum (1-0, 3.86), who is coming off a win against the Phils in game one of the series on October 16, as he also went seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out eight, in the Giants’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to cinch the series for the Giants. The Phils will be trying to come back after a very heartbreaking lost, so that they can bring the series back to Philadelphia.

2010 National League Championship Series, Game # 3: No offensive punch place the Phils in a 2-1 series hole as they lose to the equally punchless Giants, 3-0.

Lack of offense punch puts the Phils in a 2-1 hole against an equally punchless Giants crew as the Phils lose, 3-0.

The Giants took the lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Cody Ross hits an RBI single, knocking in Edgar Renteria, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Freddy Sanchez’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead, while sending Pat Burrell, who had earlier walked, on to third base. The Giants then took a 2-0 lead as Aubrey Huff hits an RBI single, scoring Burrell, while sending Ross on to third. The Giants increased their lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Sanchez hits an RBI infield single on a grounder that ate up second baseman Chase Utley, and was originally called an error before being changed by the official scorer, scoring Aaron Rowand, who had earlier doubled, making it a 3-0 Giants’ lead. That would end up being the final score, as the Phils’ offense would be unable to get the key hit it needed to open up the scoring floodgates, before Brian Wilson would record his second save of the series by getting Raul Ibanez to hit into a 4-6-3 doubleplay, wiping Jimmy Rollins, who had just singled, out at second base.

Cole Hamels took the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out eight. His series record is now 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Jose Contreras pitches two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter. Matt Cain gets the win as he pitches seven scoreless innings, giving up two hits and three walks, while striking out five. His series record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Javier Lopez receives his second hold of the series as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Brian Wilson get his second save of the series as he pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit, while also striking out a batter.

The Phils had only three hits in the game, singles by Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, as they were constantly unable to get rallies going all game long, making outs at the worst possible times. The offense is being offensive for the wrong reason, seemingly unable to get that key hit to score runs. Seems the regulars may need to stop putting pressure on themselves, while Raul Ibanez may need to be sat down for at least one game as he is not getting anything done at the plate.

The Phils (1-2) will continue the NLCS series with the Giants (2-1) with a late afternoon game. The game will be played at AT&T Park and will start at 7:30 pm Eastern (4:30 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (9-6, 4.82) who hasn’t pitched in a game since he had pitched an inning of relief against the Braves on October 3, when he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He will be trying to keep the Giants off-balance while giving the offense a change to break out of its present funk. The Giants will in turn send to the mound Madison Bumgarner, who is coming off a win against the Braves on October 11 in game four of the NLDS, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Giants’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to put the Phils into a deeper hole. The Phils’ offense will be trying to snap out of the doldrums so that they can even up the series before tomorrow night’s game five.

2010 National League Championship Series, Game # 2: Phils tie up the series at one game apiece as the Vice-Roy handles the Giants while the bats erupt for a four-run seventh, as the Phils defeat the Giants, 6-1.

Behind the three-hit pitching of Roy Oswalt and a four-run eruption by the offense in the seventh inning, the Phils tie up the championship series at a game apiece, as the Phils defeat the Giants, 6-1. The series now head west to San Francisco for the next three games.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Chase Utley, who then stole second base, before moving up to third base on a Placido Polanco grounder to third, while Polanco would be safe at first as Giants’ third baseman Mike Fontenot commits a throwing error, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which moved Polanco up to second base and with two men out, Jimmy Rollins receives a bases loaded walk, forcing in Utley, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while moving both Polanco and Howard up a base. The Giants would tie the game up at one-all in the fifth as, with one man out, Cody Ross hits a solo home run, his third home run of the series. The Phils regained the lead in their half of the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Polanco hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Utley’s fly out to right, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Roy Oswalt, who had earlier singled to center, and then moved up to second base on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead, while sending Utley, who had earlier been intentionally walked, up to second base. Three batters later, with the bases now loaded, after a double steal moved Utley to third base, and Polanco to second base, and after Jayson Werth is intentionally walked, and with two men out, Rollins hits a bases clearing double, scoring Utley, Polanco and Werth, making it a 6-1 Phils’ lead. That would end up being the final score as Ryan Madson came in to pitched a scoreless ninth, as he gets Edgar Renteria to end the game by grounding out, 6-3.

Roy Oswalt gets the win as he pitches eight innings, giving up a run on three hits and three walks, while striking out nine. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. Ryan Madson pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jonathan Sanchez took the lost as he pitches six innings plus a batter, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven. His record is now 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. Ramon Ramirez pitches a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Jeremy Affeldt pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on a walk, while striking out a batter. Santiago Casilla pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Sergio Romo pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins each leading the team with two hits, with all three batters each having a single and a double, with Rollins knocking in four runs, one via a bases loaded walk, and three via a bases clearing double. Placido Polanco and Roy Oswalt had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles, with Polanco knocking in two runs, one by sac fly and one via a single. The Phils’ offense once again won a game via timely hitting.

The Phils (1-1) and the Giants (1-1) have the day-off today, as they travel to San Francisco for the next three games. Game three of the NLCS will start tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm Eastern (1 pm Pacific) from AT&T Park. Cole Hamels will start the game for the Phils, as he is coming off a complete game shut out win against the Reds in game three of the divisional series on October 10, as he gave up just five hits, while striking out nine, in the Phils’ 2-0 win. He will be trying to continue his 2010 resurgence while trying to give the Phils a 2-1 lead in the series. The Giants will counter with Matt Cain, who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves in game two of the divisional series on October 12, as he pitched six and two-third innings, giving up a run on seven hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Giants’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to put the Giants back in the series lead. The Phils will be looking for another good start from Hamels, while hoping that the eruption in the seventh inning of last night’s game means that the offense is truly back.

2010 National League Championship Series, Game # 1: The Phils start off on the wrong foot as they lose to the Giants in a tight game, 4-3. They trail the series 0-1.

With the Doc not at his dominant best, the Phils fall behind and are unable to defeat the Giants, as they lose 4-3. They trail the Giants in the championship series, 0-1.

The Giants took the lead in the third as, with one man out, Cody Ross hits a solo home run, his first home run of the series, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. The Phils would tie the score up at one-all in their half of the third as Carlos Ruiz hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the series. The Giants retook the lead in the fifth as, with one man out, Ross hits his second solo home run of the night, and of the series, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead. The Giants then added to their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Pat Burrell hits an RBI double, knocking in Buster Posey, who had earlier singled, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead. One batter later, after Burrell is replaced on second base by pinch runner Nate Schierholtz, Juan Uribe knocks him in with an RBI single up the middle, making it a 4-1 Giants’ lead, before he went up to second base on Shane Victorino’s offline throw to home plate. The Phils then cut the Giants’ lead down to 4-3 in their half of the sixth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled. But that would end up being the final score as the Phils are unable to mount a rally in the last three innings, as Brian Wilson picks up his first save of the series by getting a four-out save, striking out Shane Victorino swinging to end the game.

Roy Halladay took the lost as he is unable to do an encore to his no-hitter, as he pitches seven innings, giving up  four runs on eight hits, as he strikes out seven. His record in the series is now 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge pitches two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit (Lidge) and a walk (Lidge), while striking out three (Madson (1), Lidge (2)) between them. Tim Lincecum gets the win as he also pitches seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out eight. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA. Javier Lopez collects his first hold of the series as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, one by strikeout. Brian Wilson collects his first save of the series as he pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up a hit, while striking out four.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with two hits, a single and a two-run home run. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Roy Halladay had the other five Phils’ hits, with Polanco, Utley and Halladay’s hits being singles, Howard’s hit being a double, and Ruiz’s hit being a solo home run. The Phils’ offense is still being held in check, not being patient and, in some cases, swinging at junk. The bats need to come out and put together some sustain rallies, else its going to be a short series.

The Phils (0-1) will tonight face the Giants (1-0) in the second game of the 2010 National League Championship Series. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8 pm Eastern Time. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt, who is coming off a bad start against the Reds on October 8, as he received a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on five hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 7-4 win. He will be going out to improve on his divisional series start, while trying to pitch the Phils into a series tie. The Giants will counter with Jonathan Sanchez, who is also coming off a no-decision in the third game of the divisional series with the Braves on October 10, as he pitched seven and a third innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out eleven in the Giants’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to give the Giants a 2-0 series lead. The Phils will be looking for a good start from Oswalt while trying to get the lumber out against Sanchez to even up the series.

2010 National League Divisional Series, Game # 3: Sweep Revenge. The Phils sweep the Reds behind Cole Hamels.

The Phils got revenge for their 1976 lost to the Big Red Machine as they sweep the Reds behind the five-hit complete game pitching of Cole Hamels, as they defeat the Reds 2-0. They will now have to await the outcome of the Braves-Giants series to see who their opponent will be in the League Championship series.

The Phils took a 1-0 in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Ryan Howard’s single, scored on Reds’ shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s throwing error of Jayson Werth’s grounder, while Howard, who had just singled, would move up to third on the play. The Phils increased their lead to 2-0 in the fifth as, with two men out, Chase Utley hits a solo home run, his first home run of the post-season, a homer that was later upheld by the umpires after Reds’ manager Dusty Baker had asked for it to be reviewed for possible fan interference. That would be all of the offense that Phils’ starter Cole Hamels would need as he proceeded to pitch a complete game five-hit shut out, giving up a lead-off single to Drew Stubbs in the first, a two-out single to Jay Bruce in the second, a one-out single to Scott Rolen in the fourth, a two-out double to Ramon Hernandez in the seventh and a lead-off single to Brandon Phillips in the ninth, before he is wiped out at second base on a 4-6-3 doubleplay on a Joey Votto ground ball, before he ended the game by getting Rolen to strike out, swinging, Hamels’ ninth strikeout victim.

Cole Hamels gets the win as he pitches a complete game shut out, giving up five hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Johnny Cueto took the lost as he pitches five innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and a walk, while he strikes out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA. Homer Bailey, Bill Bray, Nick Masset and Aroldis Chapman combine for four scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Bailey (2), Chapman (1)), while striking out four, (Bailey (2), Bray (1), Masset (1)) between them.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz both leading the team with two hits apiece, with Howard’s hits being both singles, while Ruiz’s hits were a single and a double. Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins had the other four Phils’ hits, with Victorino, Placido and Rollins’ hits being singles and Utley’s hit being a solo home run. The Phils’ offense did not do much hitting in the series, but they took advantage of a lot of Reds’ mistakes.

The Phils (3-0) with the win advance to the 2010 National League Championship Series, doing so for the third year in a row. The win also gives them a revenge sweep for their lost back in 1976 by the Big Red Machine, when they were swept by the then world champs. The Phils will now prepare to meet the winner of the Braves-Giants series, which presently have the Giants in the lead, 2 games to 1.

2010 National League Divisional Series, Game # 2: The Phils pounce on several Reds mistakes to take a 2-0 lead in the series as they come from behind to win, 7-4.

The Phils’ offense capitalize on several Reds miscues while the bullpen shut down the Reds’ offense as the Phils come from behind to win, 7-4. The victory gives the Phils a 2-0 lead in the divisional series.

The Reds took the lead right at the start of the game as Brandon Phillips hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the post-season, as the Reds take a 1-0 lead. The Reds added to their lead in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Laynce Nix, who was earlier safe at first on a Chase Utley throwing error, then moved up to second on Roy Oswalt’s wild pitch,  scored on Utley’s second throwing error of the inning, as he threw away the ball as he attempted to double up Ryan Hanigan at first, after forcing out Drew Stubbs, who had earlier walked, at second base, 6-4, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead, while Hanigan, who was safe at first, went to second on the errant throw. The Reds then made it a 3-0 lead in the fourth as Jay Bruce hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the post-season. The Reds then made it a 4-0 lead in the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Joey Votto hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Phillips, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Paul Janish’s sacrifice bunt. The Phils then began their comeback, while the bullpen shut down the Reds’ offense for the next four innings. In their half of the fifth, they cut the Reds’ lead in half as, with the bases loaded, and with two men out, Utley hits a two-run single, knocking in Dom Brown, who was earlier safe at first on a 6-4 force out as Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, is wiped out at second base for the inning’s first out, reached second on Phillip’s fielding error of Shane Victorino’s grounder, then stopped at third on Scott Rolen’s fielding error of Placido Polanco’s grounder, and Victorino, who was safe at first on Phillip’s error, then reached second on Rolen’s error of Polanco’s grounder, making it a 4-2 Reds’ lead, while Polanco, who was safe at first on Rolen’s error, stopped at third. The Phils then made it a 4-3 Reds’ lead in the sixth as, once again with the bases loaded, this time via a walk to Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz being hit by a pitch, sending Werth up to second base, and pinch hitter Ben Francisco also being hit by a pitch, moving up a base both Werth and Ruiz, and with two men out, Victorino forces in a run with a walk, forcing in Werth, while Ruiz and Francisco both moved up a base. The Phils then took the lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins reached base on a Bruce fielding error as he missed the ball in the right field lights (or among the rally towels), allowing Utley, who had got on base earlier as he was hit by the pitch (although it is possible that he might not had been hit by the ball) and was then safe at second on Rolen’s force out attempt on Werth’s grounder (he might have been out, but it is inconclusive), followed by Werth, who was safe at first on a force out attempt, thanks to Phillips’ missed catch error of the throw back into the infield, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead, while Rollins would stop at second base. Two batters latter, with a runner on third, as Rollins’ went to third on Ibanez’s single, Ruiz hits an RBI grounder, as he hit into a 6-4 force out, wiping out Ibanez at second for the inning’s second out, while Rollins scores, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead. The Phils would add an insurance run in the eighth as, with two men on and with one man out, Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead, while sending Ryan Howard, who had just been intentionally walked, would move up to second. That would be the final score as Brad Lidge threw a scoreless ninth, getting his first save of the post-season, as he gets Chris Heisey to end the game by grounding out, 5-3.

Roy Oswalt gets a no-decision as he pitches five innings, giving up  four runs, only three of which were earned, on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin combine for a scoreless inning, giving up a walk between them. Jose Contreras gets the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Ryan Madson get his first hold of the post-season as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he strikeouts a batter. Brad Lidge receives his first save of the post-season as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Bronson Arroyo also receives a no-decision as he pitches five and a third inning, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits and three walks. Arthur Rhodes collects his first hold of the post-season as he pitches a third of an inning, hitting a batter, while striking out one. Logan Ondrusek also collects his first hold of the post-season as he pitches a third of an inning, also hitting a batter and walking a batter. Aroldis Chapman records his first blown save of the post-season before getting the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up three unearned runs on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out a batter. His record is now 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA. Nick Masset pitches an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and two walks.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez all leading the team with two hits each, all singles, with Utley knocking in two runs, while Werth knocked in a run. Ryan Howard and pinch hitter Mike Sweeney had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles. Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz both had an RBI, Victorino’s via a bases loaded walk and Ruiz’s via a force out. The other two Phils’ runs came in on a pair of errors on the same play. The Phils’ offense took advantage, once again, of another team’s mistakes.

The Phils (2-0) have the day off today, before meeting the Reds (0-2) on Sunday in Cincinnati for the third game of the best of five divisional series, looking for a sweep.

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