Saturday: Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 2: Phils broke open a scoreless game in the late innings as they defeat the Braves again, 7-0.
The Phils score seven runs in the last three innings, en route to a shut out over the Braves, as they once again delay the Braves entrance into the playoffs, as they spoil Bobby Cox’s day, 7-0. The victory help the Phils clinch the best record in baseball, doing it for the first time in the team’s long history.
The first six innings would involve a pitchers’ duel between the Phils and Braves’ pitching staff before the Phils finally scored in the seventh inning. The Phils took the lead in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits an RBI single, knocking in pinch runner Brian Bocock, who had replaced Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, before heading to third on Braves third baseman Brooks Conrad’s force attempt throwing error to second on a Placido Polanco grounder, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending pinch runner Wilson Valdez, who was running in place of Polanco, who was safe at first on the error, up to third base. Two batters later, after Utley had stolen second base, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Valdez, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while Utley would stop at third base. The Phils then made it 3-0 as Shane Victorino followed with an RBI single, knocking in Utley, while moving Ibanez up to second base. Three batters later, with the bases now loaded, thanks to a Brian Schneider walk, moving both Ibanez and Victorino up a base, and now with two men out, a Craig Kimbrel wild pitch allowed Ibanez to score, making it a 4-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Victorino up to third and Schneider to second base. The Phils added to their lead in the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley, who had earlier singled, stole second, and then went to third on Braves catcher Brian McCann’s throwing error, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead. The Phils then increased their lead in the ninth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Valdez hits an RBI double, knocking in Schneider, who had earlier walked, then went to second on Ross Gload’s single, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead, while Gload, who had earlier singled, would stop at third base. After Chase Utley is intentionally walked to load up the bases, with still one man out, pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. is walked, forcing in Gload, giving the Phils a 7-0 lead, while moving up a base both Valdez and Utley. That would be the final score as Jose Contreras pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, getting Conrad to end the game by striking out, swinging.
Vance Worley receives a no-decision as he pitches five strong innings, giving up just one hit and two walks, while striking out three. Antonio Bastardo gets the win as he pitches a shut out inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. His record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 4.34. Danys Baez, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras combine for three scoreless innings, giving up just a hit (Madson), while striking out three (Baez (1), Contreras (2)), between them. Tommy Hanson also receives a no-decision as he pitches five shut out innings, giving up six hits and two walks, while striking out six. Jonny Venters took the lost as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 4-4 with a 1.97 ERA. Craig Kimbrel pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two walks and a wild pitch, while striking out two. Michael Dunn also pitches two-thirds of an innings, giving up a run on two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch, while striking out two. Kyle Farnsworth pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Takashi Saito pitches a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks. Scott Proctor pitches two-thirds of an innings, striking out both men that he would face.
The Phils had fourteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in a run. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Brian Schneider all followed with two hits each, all singles, as Utley knocked in a run, and Ibanez brought in two. Jimmy Rollins, Wilson Valdez and Ross Gload had the other three Phils’ hit, with Rollins and Valdez’s hits being doubles, with Valdez knocking in a run, and Gload’s hit being a single. John Mayberry, Jr. had the Phil other RBI via a bases loaded walk. The other Phil run came in on a wild pitch. The Phils’ offense missed a lot of early scoring opportunities before finally cashing in in the last three innings.
The Phils (97-64, 1st) clinched the best record in baseball as the Yankees lose the second game of a day-night double header to the Red Sox, the first time that it has happen in the team’s history. They have only one more game to play in the regular season.