September 2011

33 games in 31 days: Game #25: The Phils are swept in the doubleheader, as they lose the nightcap, 3-0

The Phils lose the second game of their doubleheader, as they fall to the Nats, 3-0.

The Nats took the lead in the second as, with one man out, Danny Espinosa hits a solo home run, his twentieth home run of the year, giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead. The Nats took a 2-0 lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ross Detwiler helped his own cause with an RBI single, scoring Espinsoa, who had earlier singled, then stopped at second base on Wilson Ramos’ single, while Ramos, who had earlier singled, would stop at third on the late throw to the plate. The Nats then made it a 3-0 lead in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Jayson Werth, who had earlier doubled, then stopped at third on Michael Morse’s single, would score as Carlos Ruiz’s pick-off throw hits him and gets away from third baseman Placido Polanco, allowing him to score, while Morse would move up to second base. That would end up being the final score as Drew Storen picked up his fortieth save of the year by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.

Cliff Lee (16-8, 2.38) took the lost as he went seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on eleven hits, while he struck out nine.  Justin De Fratus and David Herndon combined for two scoreless innings, giving up just a walk (Herndon), while striking out two (Herndon) between them. Ross Detwiler (3-5, 3.30) got the win as he pitched seven and one-third innings, giving up just three hits and one walk, while striking out three. Henry Rodriguez collected his ninth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, striking out one. Drew Storen received his fortieth save of the year, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.

The Phils had just three hits in the ballgame, all singles, with Ben Francisco leading the team with two hits, while Placido Polanco had the other one. With this game, the team has hit a low point during this present period of getting few hits and scoring fewer runs. Seriously guys, this is not the way to build momentum going into the playoffs. Quit fooling around, or else you won’t get past the first round. Start playing up to your game, and cream the Nats for the next couple of games.

The Phils (98-56, 1st) will continue their series with the Nats (74-79, 3rd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (11-2, 2.85), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on September 16, as he pitched six innings, giving up a run on six hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 4-2 extra-innings lost. He will be seeing if he can help end the Phils’ present four game losing streak. The Nats will counter with John Lannan (9-13, 3.68), who is coming off a lost to the Marlins on September 16, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, while he struck out one, in the Nats’ 3-0 lost. He will be trying to give the Phils their first five game losing streak. The Phils will be out to put an end to their present slide and try to start building some momentum for the playoff.

33 games in 31 days: Game #24: The Phils drop their third game in a row as they lose to the Nats in extra-innings, 4-3.

The Phils lackluster offense continues as they lose their third game in a row, this time to the Nats, in extra-innings, 4-3.

The game starts out as a six innings pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, who gives up just four hits, while striking out four, and Nats’ starter Tom Milone against the Phils C-team line-up, who also gave up only four hits, while striking out two. The Nats took the lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, Roger Bernadina hits a three-run home run, his seventh home run on the season, scoring Alex Cora, who had earlier singled, then went to second base on Ian Desmond’s grounder, as Steve Lombardozzi, who had earlier singled, then stopped at third on Cora’s single, is tagged out at home plate, tw0-unassisted, for the inning’s second out, giving the Nats a 3-0 lead. The Phils would tie the game up at three-all in their half of the seventh as, with two men on, and with nobody out, pinch hitter Raul Ibanez hits a three-run home run, his twentieth home run of the year, knocking in Pete Orr and Michael Martinez, who had both singled, with Orr stopping at second base on Martinez’s single. The Nats retook the lead in the tenth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Ryan Zimmerman hits an RBI single, scoring Michael Morse, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second base on a Erik Kratz’s passed ball, giving the Nats a 4-3 lead, while sending Danny Espinosa, who had earlier been intentionally walked, on the third base, before moving up to second base on the late throw to the plate. That would be the final score as Drew Storen would collect his thirty-ninth save by pitching a scoreless tenth.

Kyle Kendrick received a no-decision, as he pitched six shutout innings, giving up four hits, while striking out four. Michael Schwimer pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out two. Joe Savery made his major league debut as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Brad Lidge pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Michael Stutes (6-2, 3.86) took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks. Tom Milone also received a no-decision, as he also pitched six shutout inning, giving up just four hits, while striking out two. Doug Slaton pitched to two batters, with both men reaching base, as he gave up two runs on two hits. Tyler Clippard committed his seven blown save of the year as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while he struck out a batter. Sean Burnett pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Tom Gorzelanny (4-6, 4.09) got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Drew Storen collected his thirty-ninth save of the season as he pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one.

The Phils had ten hits in the ballgame, with John Mayberry, Jr. and Hunter Pence leading the team with two hits each, all singles. Wilson Valdez (Single), Erik Kratz (Double), Pete Orr (Single), Michael Martinez (Single), pinch hitter Raul Ibanez (Home Run, 3 RBIs) and pinch hitter Placido Polanco (Single), had the other six Phils’ hits, as the offense continue to struggle stringing together hits and scoring runs.

The Phils (98-55, 1st) will continue their doubleheader with the Nationals (73-79, 3rd), with a night game. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.38), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on September 15, as he went nine innings, giving up a run on five hits, while striking out twelve, in the Phils’ 2-1 extra-inning win. He will once again go for win no. seventeen, while trying to put a stop to the Phils’ present slide. The Nats plan to counter with Ross Detwiler (2-5, 4.42), who is coming off a no-decision against Mets on September 12, as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out two, in the Nats’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to give the Nats a sweep, while hoping the Phils don’t decide to wake up from their offensive sleepwalking and take it out on him.  The Phils will be out to end their present offensive ineptitude.

33 games in 31 days: Game #23: The Phils’ offense rally too late as they lose to the Cardinals, 4-3.

The Phils’ rally in the ninth comes up a run short as they lose to the Cardinals, 4-3.

The Cardinals took the lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Nick Punto hits an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, knocking in Rufael Furcal, who had started the game off with a double, then went to third on Carlos Ruiz’s passed ball, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, the Cardinals, now with two men out, took a 2-0 lead as Lance Berkman hits a solo home run, his thirty-first home run of the year. The Phils got a run back in the second as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then was safe at second on a force attempt fielding error on a Ross Gload grounder committed by second baseman Punto, cutting the Cards’ lead down to 2-1, while sending Gload, who was safe at first on the error, up to second base. The Cards got the run back in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Berkman hits an RBI single, scoring Kyle Lohse, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Furcal’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4, giving the Cards a 3-1 lead, while sending Punto, who had just walked, on to second base. The Cards then added to their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with two men out, Albert Pujols hits an RBI double, scoring Punto, who had just walked, giving the Cards a 4-1 lead. The Phils tried to come back in the ninth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI triple, scoring Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-2 Cards’ lead. Shane Victorino then knocked Rollins in with an RBI ground out, 6-3, making it a 4-3 Cardinals’ lead. But that would end up being the final score as Octavio Dotel recorded his third save of the year by getting Hunter Pence to ground out, 5-3, for the final out.

Roy Halladay (18-6, 2.41) took the lost as he went eight innings, giving up four runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six. David Herndon pitched a scoreless inning, as he gave up a hit, while striking out two. Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.47) got the win as he pitched seven and a third innings, giving up an unearned run on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out five. Marc Rzepczynski recorded his eighteenth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Jason Motte also recorded his eighteenth hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. Arthur Rhodes pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Octavio Dotel recorded his third save of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face.

The Phils had ten hits in the ballgame, with Hunter Pence (Singles), Ross Gload (Single, Double) and Carlos Ruiz (Single, Double, RBI) all leading the team with two hits each. Jimmy Rollins (Triple, RBI), Shane Victorino (Single, RBI), Chase Utley (Single), and Placido Polanco (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits.

The Phils (98-54, 1st) begin their final home stand of the regular season with the first of two games with the Nationals (72-79, 4th), that’s already in progress.

33 games in 31 days: Game #22: The Phils are shutout as they lose to the Cardinals, 5-0.

After clinching the East, the Phils are shutout by the Cardinals as they lose, 5-0.

The Cards took a 2-0 lead in the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Albert Pujols hits a two-run home run, his thirty-sixth home run of the year, knocking in Allen Craig, who had earlier doubled. The Cards added to their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Craig hits a two-run home run of his own, his seventh home run of the season, scoring Ryan Theriot, who had led off the inning with a double, giving the Cards a 4-0 lead. The Cards made it a 5-0 lead in the eighth as, with one man out, Craig hits a solo home run, his eighth home run of the season, and his second of the night. That would be the final score as the Phils went silently in the ninth.

Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.80) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, while he struck out nine. Joe Blanton pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, as he struck out two.  Justin De Fratus pitched a scoreless inning as he made his major league debut, giving up a walk. Chris  Carpenter (10-9, 3.66) got the win as he pitched eight shutout innings, giving up eight hits and a walk, while striking out five. Fernando Salas pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one.

The Phils had only eight hits in the game, all singles, with Chase Utley leading the team with three hits. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Placido Polanco and Cole Hamels had the other five Phils’ hits, as the offense was muzzled by Chris Carpenter, who got himself out of trouble with three doubleplay balls.

The Phils (98-53, 1st East) will conclude their series with the Cardinals (83-69, 2nd Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (18-5, 2.34), who is coming off a win against the Astros on September 14, as he pitched a complete game shutout, giving up six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils 1-0 win. Roy will be going for win no. nineteen, while trying to tie up the series with the redbirds. The Cards will counter with Kyle Lohse (13-8, 3.62), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on September 12, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Cards’ 6-5 lost. He will be trying to give the Cards the series win. The Phils will be trying to tie up the series, while going for win no. 99.

33 games in 31 days: Game #21: The Phils offense exploded late on their way to clinching their fifth straight NL Eastern Division pennant, as they crush the Cardinals, 9-2.

A late offensive surge, including a grand-slam home run by Raul Ibanez, leads the Phils to their fifth straight NL Eastern Division crown, as they crush the Cardinals, 9-2.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men, Hunter Pence hits an RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Shane Victorino’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Ryan Howard, who had just walked, on to third base.  The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk by Placido Polanco, who then reached second base on a force attempt missed catch error by shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Roy Oswalt grounder to pitcher Jake Westbrook, with Oswalt reaching first, and a single by Rollins, sending Polanco to third base, and Oswalt to second base, and with one man out, Victorino forced in a run with a walk, scoring Polanco, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending both runners up a base. The Phils added to their lead in the sixth as, with one man out, Victorino hits a solo home run, his seventeenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals got a run back in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Lance Berkman hits an RBI single, knocking in Jon Jay, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Albert Pujols’ single, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1, while Pujols, who had earlier singled, would stop at second base. The Cards then cut the Phils’ lead down to 3-2 as David Freese hits an RBI single, scoring Pujols, while sending Berkman up to second base. The Phils got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier reached base on third baseman Daniel Descalsco’s fielding error, ending up on second base, then went to third on Rollins’ single, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead, which Rollins, who had just singled, would stop at second base. Three batters later, after Chase Utley had been hit by a pitch, loading up the bases, as both Rollins and Victorino moved up a base, and Howard had struck out, and now with two men out, Pence hits an RBI infield single, beating shortstop Furcal’s throw to first base, as Rollins scored, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead, while both runners would move up a base, leaving the bases still loaded. The Phils then busted the game wide open as Raul Ibanez hits a grand-slam home run, his nineteenth home run of the year, knocking in Victorino, Utley and Pence, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. That would be the final score, as Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth as he got Furcal to hit into a ground out, 4-3, for the final out, leading to the Phils clinching their fifth straight National League Eastern Division title.

Roy Oswalt (8-9, 3.66) got the win as he pitched seven shutout innings, giving up five hits while striking out seven. Michael Stutes collected his twelfth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he gave up two runs on four hits. Brad Lidge received his seventh hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jake Westbrook (12-9, 4.58) took the lost as he went three and one-third innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and five walks, as he struck out one. Arthur Rhodes pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Mitchell Boggs pitched a scoreless inning, walking two batters. Kyle McClellan pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, as he struck out one. Fernando Salas pitched an inning plus one batter, giving up an unearned run, as he struck out a batter.  Marc Rzepczynski pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits, as he struck out one.  Octavio Dotel pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits.

The Phils’ had ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with four hits, all singles. Shane Victorino (Single, Home Run, 3 RBIs) and Hunter Pence (Single, Double, 2 RBIs) then followed with two hits each. Raul Ibanez (Home Run, 4 RBIs) and Placido Polanco (Single) had the other two Phils’ hits.

The Phils (98-52, 1st East) will continue their series with the Cardinals (82-69, 2nd Central) with a night game later today. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will begin at 8:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (14-8, 2.71), who is coming off a lost against the Astros on September 13, as he went five innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 5-2 lost. He will be going out to help lower the magic number for home field advantage during the playoffs. The Cardinals will counter with Chris Carpenter (9-9, 3.80), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on September 13, as he went seven innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Cards’ 6-4 win. He will be trying to help his club stay in the wild card race. The Phils will now be going out to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

33 games in 31 days: Game #20: The Phils missed an opportunity to clinch the NL East, as they fall in extra-innings to the Cardinals, 4-2.

As the Braves get crushed by the Mets, the Phils missed a chance to clinch their fifth straight Eastern Division title as they fall in extra-innings to the Cardinals, 4-2.

The Cardinals took the lead in the second as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to David Freese, a single by Yadier Molina, sending Freese up to second base, and a walk to Skip Schumaker, moving both runners up a base, and with two men out, Rafael Furcal forced in a run with a walk, scoring Freese, giving the Cards a 1-0 lead, while moving up a base both Molina and Schumaker. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with one man on, and with one man out, John Mayberry, Jr. hits an RBI double, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had just doubled. The Cardinals retook the lead in the eighth as, with two men out, Molina hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season, giving the Cards a 2-1 lead. The Phils would retie the game up at two-all in the ninth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch runner Michael Martinez, who was running for pinch hitter Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled, would score on a Corey Patterson fielding error of a fly ball hit by Carlos Ruiz, allowing Ruiz to reach second base on the miscue. The Cards then regain the lead in the eleventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Adron Chambers hits an RBI single, scoring Furcal, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Patterson’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Cards a 3-2 lead, while sending Albert Pujols, who had just been intentionally walked, up to second base. The Cards then added to their lead as Tyler Greene hits an RBI double, knocking in Pujols, giving the Cards a 4-2 lead, before Chambers, who was following Pujols, was tagged out at the plate on a strong throw by Martinez, via Jimmy Rollins, for a 7-6-2 second out. But that would end up being the final score as the Phils go down in their half of the eleventh.

Vance Worley received a no-decision as he went only six innings, giving up a run on six hits and three walks, while striking out five. David Herndon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out one. Antonio Bastardo pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Michael Schwimer (1-1, 4.82) took the lost, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks. Jaime Garcia also received a no-decision as he went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out four. Marc Rzepczynski collected his seventeenth hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Octavio Dotel received his ninth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face. Jason Motte blew his fourth save attempt of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit, striking out a batter. Arthur Rhodes pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face. Kyle McClellan (12-8, 4.01) got the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Fernando Salas collected his twenty-fourth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had seven hits in the ballgame, with Placido Polanco (Single, Double) and John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Double, RBI) both leading the team with two hits each. Ben Francisco (Single), Brian Schneider (Single) and pinch hitter Ryan Howard (Double), had the other three Phils’ hits, as the offense continue to sputter, in spite of continuing to win.

The Phils (97-52, 1st East) will continue their series with the Cardinals (82-68, 2nd Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (7-9, 3.88), who is coming off a lost against the Astros on September 12, as he went seven innings, giving up five runs on eleven hits and two walks, while striking out just two, in the Phils’ 5-1 lost. Oswalt will be trying to regain his old form while trying to pitch the Phils over the finish line, if the Braves don’t fall to the Mets this afternoon. The Cardinals will counter with Jake Westbrook (12-8, 4.61), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 11, as he went five and a third innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Cards’ 6-3 win. He will be trying to keep the Phils from winning the East for one more day, while keeping his team in the race for the Wild Card. The Phils will be out prove to that they have won the East by going for the win tonight.

33 games in 31 days: Game #19: The Phils cut their magic number to win the East down to two games as Ryan Howard hits a walk-off double to defeat the fish in extra-innings, 2-1.

The Phils’ magic number to win their fifth straight Eastern Division title is now down to two games as they sweep the Marlins on Ryan Howard’s walk-off double in the bottom of the tenth of the nightcap, as they defeat the fish, 2-1.

The Phils took the lead in the sixth as John Mayberry, Jr. hits a lead-off home run, his fourteenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. That seems to be enough for Cliff Lee, as he held down the Marlins for eight and two-thirds innings, giving up just four hits up to that point, while striking out twelve batters, and had an 0-2 count on Jose Lopez, when Lopez hit Lee’s next pitch, a cutter, into the left field seats, for his eighth home run of the season, tying the game up at one-all. Lee then ended the inning by getting Omar Infante to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s final out. After the Phils went down 1-2-3 in the ninth, and then Michael Schwimer came in and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the tenth, Burke Badenhop came in to pitched the bottom of the tenth for the Marlins. Michael Martinez, the first man to face him, walked on four pitches. The next batter, pinch hitter Ryan Howard, worked the count to 3-1, before hitting a sinker into left center field for a double, which would score Martinez, giving the Phils a 2-1 walk-off win.

Cliff Lee received a no-decision as he pitched nine inning, giving up a run on five hits, while striking out twelve. Michael Schwimer (1-0, 3.24) got the win, his first in the majors, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Alex Sanabia also received a no-decision as he went six innings, giving up a run on six hits, as he struck out five. Steve Cishek and Edward Mujica combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Mujica), while striking five (Cishek (1), Mujica (4)) between them. Burke Badenhop (2-2, 4.01) took the lost as he pitched to just two batters, getting neither of them out, as he gave up a run on a hit and a walk.

The Phils had eight hits in the ballgame, with John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Home Run, RBI) and Ross Gload (Singles) both leading the team with two hits each. Chase Utley (Single), Hunter Pence (Double), Cliff Lee (Single) and pinch hitter Ryan Howard (Double, RBI), had the other four Phils’ hits.

The Phils (97-51, 1st East) will now start a four-games series with the Cardinals (81-68, 2nd Central), starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (11-2, 2.92), who is coming off a lost to the Brewers on September 11, as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-2 lost. He will be going for win number twelve, while trying to get the Phils one step closer to winning their fifth straight Eastern Division title. The Cardinals will counter with Jaime Garcia (12-7, 3.68), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 10, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, while striking out four, in the Cardinals’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to keep the Cardinals’ playoff hopes alive. The Phils will be trying to shorten their magic number in the East to at least one game.

33 games in 31 days: Game #18: The Phils lower their magic number to win the East to three games as they defeat the Marlins, 3-1.

The Phils reduce their magic number to win their fifth straight Eastern Division title to three games, as they defeat the Marlins, 3-1.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with a runner on second and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits an RBI double, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then went to second base on Anibal Sanchez’s balk, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then may it a 2-0 lead as, now with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Pence. The Marlins got a run back in the fifth as Logan Morrison hits a lead-off home run, his twentieth home run of the season, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 2-1. The Phils added to their lead in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Brian Schneider, a walk by Michael Martinez, sending Schneider up to second base, and a single by pinch hitter Chase Utley, moving both men up a base, and with two men out, Placido Polanco forced in a run with an RBI walk, scoring Schneider, while moving both Martinez and Utley up a base, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Marlins threaten to score a run in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Omar Infante, who had earlier doubled, tried to score on Gaby Sanchez’s single to left, but is cut down at the plate by a strong throw from left fielder Ibanez, as Schneider tagged him out, for the inning’s second out, while pinch hitter Mike Stanton, who had just walked, would stop at second base. After Morrison loads up the bases with a walk, Brad Lodge gets out of the inning by striking out Joe Buck, swinging. The Marlins threaten again in the ninth as the first two batters, Bryan Pattersen and Donnie Murphy, both got on base via singles, with Pattersen stopping at second base, before moving up to third and second base, respectively, on pinch hitter John Baker’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. But Ryan Madson would record his thirty-first save of the season by first striking out Emilio Bonifacio, swinging, for the inning’s second out, before ending the game by getting Infante to foul out to the catcher.

Kyle Kendrick (8-6, 3.22) got the win as he pitched five strong innings, giving up a run on two hits. while he struck out six. Michael Stutes received his eleventh hold of the season as he threw two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo recorded his seventeenth hold of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Brad Lidge received his sixth hold of the year as he went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his thirty-first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter. Anibal Sanchez (8-8, 3.62) took the lost as he went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Ryan Webb pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. Chris Hatcher pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Michael Dunn and Jose Ceda combine for a scoreless inning, giving up three hits (Dunn), while striking out a batter (Dunn) between them.

The Phils had nine hits in the ballgame, with Placido Polanco (Singles, RBI) and Raul Ibanez (Single, Double, RBI) both leading the team with two hits each. Hunter Pence (Double, RBI), Jimmy Rollins (Single), Brian Schneider (Single), pinch hitter Chase Utley (Single) and pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits.

The Phils (96-51, 1st) will conclude their short make-up doubleheader with the Marlins (67-82, 5th) with the night half of the day/night doublebill. The game will be played at Citizen Bank Park and will start at 7:35 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.44), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 10, as he went seven innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and two walks, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-2 extra-innings win. He will be out to cut the magic number down to 2. The Marlins will counter with Alex Sanabia (0-0,0.00), who will be making his first start of 2011, after pitching an inning of relief against the Pirates on September 9, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out two. He hopes to be to stay even with Lee. The Phils will be out to cut down their magic number to win the East to two games.

33 games in 31 days: Game #17: The Phils clinch a playoff spot as their ace, Roy Halladay, throws a complete game shutout, as the Phils win, 1-0

Roy Halladay throws a complete game shutout at the Astros as the Phils clinched their fifth straight playoff spot, as the Phils win 1-0.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, before moving up to second base on the late throw to the plate. The Astros tried to tie the game up in the second as they loaded up the bases, via a fielding error by third baseman Polanco, allowing Carlos Lee to reach first base, a single by Brian Bogusevic, sending Lee up to second base, and a bunt single by Jimmy Paredes, moving both runners up a base, and with nobody out, before Phils’ starter Roy Halladay pitched himself out of the jam. First, he got Jose Altuve to hit into a force out, 5-2, as Polanco threw home, forcing out Lee, as Carlos Ruiz touched home plate for the inning’s first out, while Bogusevic and Paredes would both move up a base while Altuve would be safe at first. Then, he got Humberto Quintero to hit into a 5-4-3 doubleplay, as Altuve is wiped out at second base, ending the inning. The Phils tried to add to their lead in the sixth as they loaded up the bases, with Halladay starting the inning off with a single, Victorino following with a walk, sending Halladay up to second base, Polanco then bunting into a force out, 1-5, as Astros’ starter Bud Norris made a good play on the ball before throwing it to third, beating Halladay to the bag, while Victorino moved up to second base, and then a single by Hunter Pence, moving up both runners. But Norris would deny the Phils by first striking out Ryan Howard, swinging, on three pitches, and then getting Raul Ibanez to fly out to center field for the final out. The Phils’ one run would then end up being all that they would need as Halladay kept the Astros under control, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning to get the win, as the Phils clinch a playoff spot for the fifth year in a row.

Roy Halladay (18-5, 2.34) gets the win as he pitched a complete game shutout, his first for the season, as he gave up six hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Bud Norris (6-10, 3.68) took the lost as he went seven innings, giving up a run on four hits. Wilton Lopez and Wesley Wright would combine for two scoreless innings, striking out four batters (two each) between them.

The Phils had just four hits in the ballgame, a double by Shane Victorino, a single by Placido Polanco, knocking in a run, a single by Hunter Pence and a single by Roy Halladay, as the Phils were put to sleep during the series. Hopefully they’ll wake up during tomorrow’s doubleheader.

The Phils (95-51, 1st) will now return home and will play a make-up doubleheader with the Marlins (67-81, 5th), with the first game starting tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 2:35 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.29), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on August 24, as he went only four innings, giving up six runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out a batter, in the Phils’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to help lower the Phils’ magic number for winning the East. The Marlins will counter with Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.64), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on September 10, as he pitched a complete game shutout, giving up just one hit and three walks, while striking out eleven, in the Marlins’ 3-0 win. He will be trying to delay the Phils’ clinching of the East. The Phils will be out to take out their frustrations in Houston out on Sanchez and the Marlins.

33 games in 31 days: Game #16: The Phils drop another game to the last place Astros, as they lose 5-2.

For the second straight night, the Phils lose to the last place Astros, 5-2.

The Astros took the lead in the first as, with a man on second, and with one man out, J.D. Martinez hits an RBI single, knocking in Clint Barmes, who had earlier doubled, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the fourth as, with one man out, Hunter Pence hits a solo home run, his twentieth home run of the year, and his ninth as a Phil. The Astros retook the lead in their half of the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Jason Bourgeois hits an RBI single, knocking in J.B. Shuck, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, before moving up to third on Ryan Howard’s fielder error of J.A. Happ’s grounder, thanks to Cole Hamels breaking off the mound late, thus making things a bit harder for Howard when he finally got the ball, giving the Astros a 2-1 lead, while Happ, who was safe at first on Howard’s error, would stop at second base. The Astros then made it a 5-1 lead as Barmes hits a three-run home run, his eleventh home run of the season, knocking in both Happ and Bourgeois. The Phils would get a run back in the ninth as, with one man out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a solo home run, his sixth home run of the season, making it a 5-2 Astros’ lead. But that would be the final score as David Carpenter would get out the next two batters to end the game.

Cole Hamels (14-8, 2.71) took the lost as he went only five innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. David Herndon and Michael Schwimer combined for three scoreless innings, giving up only two hits (Schwimer) between them. J.A. Happ (6-15, 5.59) got the win as he pitched six innings in which he stifled the bats of his old team, giving up only one run on four hits and four walks, while he struck out four. Francisco Rodriguez pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out four batters. David Carpenter pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out two.

The Phils had just five hits in the ballgame, a single by Jimmy Rollins, a solo home run by Hunter Pence, a double by John Mayberry, Jr., a single by Ben Francisco and a solo home run by Carlos Ruiz, as they were for the second straight night stifled by the slop thrown at them by a former teammate.

The Phils (94-51, 1st East) will conclude their series with the Astros (51-97, 6th Central) with an afternoon game, now in progress.

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