Results tagged ‘ Cristian Guzman ’

Spring Training: Phillies lose their final Grapefruit League game in a 12-10 shoot out with the Nationals.

In their final Grapefruit League game, the Phillies lose a wild shoot out with the Washington Nationals, 12-10.

Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phils and, in four innings of work, got torched by the Nats for nine runs on eleven hits, including two home runs to Ryan Zimmerman, a solo shot in the third and two-run home run in the fourth, and a two-run home run to Austin Kearns, also in the fourth inning, and two walks while striking out three. Not a typical Moyer game, but hopefully he now has it out of his system before he goes on to face the Atlanta Braves this upcoming Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Clay Condrey followed for two scoreless innings, giving up only a hit and a walk as he struck out one. Chad Durbin then pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits while striking out one. Jack Taschner took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, a pair of solo home runs to Cristian Guzman and Alex Cintron, and two walks as he struck out one batter. Gary Majewski ended the game for the Phillies, pitching a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Taschner spring training record with the Phils is now 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.

Among the batters, the Phils collected twelve hits. Pedro Feliz led the team with four hits, including a double and a solo home run in the second, as he knocked in three runs while scoring two. Ryan Howard and Matt Stairs both followed him with two hits apiece, with each man hitting a home run, with Howard’s being a two-run shot in the first, his tenth home run of the spring, while Stairs hit a three-run home run in the sixth. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phillies’ hits, with Ruiz knocking in a run. Greg Dobbs had the Phils’ final RBI.

After the game, the Phillies took a chartered plane back home to Philadelphia, where they will play two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park against the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays. The first of the two games is to be played tonight at 7:05 pm.

In other sports new, as the Villanova Wildcats prepare to meet the North Carolina Tar Heels in Detroit, Michigan, to get into the NCAA Championship Game, one of my three alma maters, the Penn State Nittany Lions Basketball Team yesterday defeated the Baylor Bears, 69-63, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, to win the 2009 NIT Tournament. To say that I’m right now a very happy puma (not lion as the Nittany Lion is actually a Mountain Lion or Puma) is an understatement.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 2: Repeat! Repeat! The Phillies defeat the Nationals, 4-3, winning their second straight divisional title.

The Phillies held on to defeat the Nationals, 4-3, to win their second straight Eastern Division Championship. The Phillies would take the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a foul ball sacrifice fly, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and still one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Howard, who would go to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and would then move up to third on Pedro Feliz’s walk, while Victorino would move up to second on the walk, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down to 2-1 in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Anderson Hernandez would hit a RBI double, scoring Roger Bernadina, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Nationals’ starter John Lannan’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the fifth as Jayson Werth would hit a lead-off solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the sixth, the Nats would threaten to score as they would get their first two hitters, Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge, on base with singles, with Milledge’s being a bunt single that succeeded because Moyer has broken originally towards third base at the end of his delivery, before he was unable to grab the ball, putting Nats runners on first and second. But Moyer would then get out of the inning by getting first Elijah Dukes and then Aaron Boone to fly out to center and then getting Wil Nieves to strike out swinging. In the eighth inning, the Nats would make it close as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Milledge would hit a sacrifice fly on a great play made by Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s first out, as Cristian Guzman, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Zimmerman’s double, would score during the collision between Rollins and a sliding Victorino, in which they would hit their right shins together, making it 3-2 Phils. As Rollins walk back to his position, walking it off, Victorino would lie on his back for a while, before he finally got back up and then walked it off as well, before the game resumed. Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who, in turn, had pitched the seventh in relief of Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, would end the inning by first getting Dukes to ground out, 6-4, and then getting Boone to strike out swinging. The Phillies would get that run back as, with a runner on first and two outs, Feliz would hit a RBI double, scoring Victorino, who has earlier singled and would run all the way home, making it 4-2 Phillies. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge to close it out. After striking out Emilio Bonifacio, he would give up a single to Bernadina. Pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans would than get on base with a walk, moving Bernadina up to second. Hernandez would follow with a RBI single, scoring Bernadina and sending Langerhans to second, making it 4-3 Phillies. Guzman would then single, moving Langerhans and Hernandez both up a base, as the bases are now loaded. The next batter, Zimmerman, would then hit a ground ball that tried to go into right center field for a hit. Rollins would stop the ball, and then threw it perfectly to Utley for the inning’s second out, wiping out Hernandez. Utley then threw a high throw that was brought down by Howard, beating out a slow running Zimmerman for the game’s final out on a double play and would lead to the start of the Phillies’ celebration of their second straight National League Eastern Division Championship, won at home for only the second time in the Phillies’ history.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, in the process tying Nolan Ryan’s record for the most games won by a 45 years old pitcher, as he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. His record is now 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he gave up an earned run on three hits as he recorded his forty-first save in forty-one attempts. John Lannan would get the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-15 with a 3.91 ERA. Steven Shell would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.

 With the victory, the Phillies have captured their seventh National League Eastern Division pennant in the team’s 126 years history, and their first two consecutive divisional crowns since they have won three Eastern Division pennants back in 1976-1978. This is the first time that they have entered the postseason for two straight seasons since the 1980-1981 seasons. Jamie Moyer, for the second straight season, has pitched the Phillies into the playoffs with his strong six innings outing. Every regular, except for Carlos Ruiz, would get at least one hit, while Shane Victorino would go 3 for 4, all singles, and scoring what would turn out to be the game winning run.

The 2008 Eastern Divisional Champion Phillies (91-70) will be playing their last regular season game tomorrow afternon, Fan Appreciation Day, against the Nationals (59-101). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter, thank to the clinching, will be J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 21, as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win, instead of their ace Cole Hamels, who will now be given the day off. He has faced the Nationals once before, pitching an inning in relief against them on September 1, as he gave up no runs on one hit, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. In four starts, he is 1-0 with three no-decisions, all of which would be won by the Phillies, with an ERA of 2.28. He will be trying for his second major league win tomorrow afternoon. His opponent will be Odalis Perez (7-11, 4.27), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 21, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 6-2 lost. In his last appearance against the Phillies on September 3, he pitched a no-decision, going five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 9-7 win. He will be trying to improve his record and end the Nationals’ season on a high note.

The Phillies are still ahead of the Mets by two games, as they defeated the Marlins. In the Wild Card race, the Mets and the Brewers are once again tied for the wild card lead as the Brewers lost to the Cubs. The Wild Card race will now go down to the wire between the Mets and the Brewers with the magic number for both being at 2. The Phillies will more than likely be resting most of their regulars tomorrow, while waiting to see who their opponent will be in the National League Divisional Series.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 3: The Phillies’ bat and Blanton’s pitching would help the Phillies defeat the Nats, 8-4. The Marlins’ defeat of the Mets would help shrink the Phils’ magic number down to 1.

The Phillies’ offense early innings offensive, and Blanton’s excellent pitching, would lead the Phillies to easily defeat the Nationals, 8-4. A Mets’ lost to the Marlins would help drop the Phillies’ magic number to win the Eastern Division down to one. The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Ryan Howard would hit a three-run home run, his forty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled and has moved to third on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who has singled earlier, to give the Phillies a quick 3-0 lead. The Nationals would get a run back in the second, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Luke Montz would hit a RBI single, knocking in Elijah Dukes who has earlier walked, went to second on a pass ball, moved to third on Kory Casto’s ground out, 4-3, to make it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies would blow the game wide open in their half of the second, as, with the bases loaded via a double (Greg Dobbs), a walk (Jimmy Rollins) and an infield single (Werth) and two outs, Utley would clear the bases by hitting a three-run RBI double, scoring Dobbs, Rollins and Werth, giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead. Howard would then follow with a RBI double, knocking in Utley, making it 7-1 Phils. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down in the fifth, as, with two men on and one out, Emilio Bonifacio would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Pete Orr, who would reach first on Howard’s fielding error and would move to third on Roger Bernadina’s double, to make it a 7-2 Phillies’ lead. One batter later, Bernadina would score on a Cristian Guzman’s single, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 7-3. In the sixth, the Nationals would cut the lead down further to 7-4 Phillies as, with two outs, Casto would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the year, after the umpires have reviewed the play and dismissed Charlie Manuel’s argument that a fan has pulled the ball into the right field stands. The Phillies would get that run back in the seventh as, with runners on second and third and two men outs, Utley, who has earlier singled, stole second and would reached third on Shane Victorino’s force out, which would wipe out Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked, would crossed the plate on a pass ball, while Victorino, who has earlier stole second, would move on to third, making it 8-4 Phillies. Brad Lidge would then be given the ball in the ninth and would pitch a 1-2-3 inning.

Joe Blanton would get the win as he pitches six very strong innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. His record is now 9-12, 4-0 as a Phil, with an ERA of 4.69. Scott Eyre would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two. Collin Balester would take the lost, as he only went an inning and a third, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits. Jason Bergmann would pitch two and one third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. Charlie Manning would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Garrett Mock would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit. Jesus Colome would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies’ offense would bust the game open early in the first two innings, via a three-run home run by Ryan Howard and a three-run double by Chase Utley. With this big runs support, Joe Blanton would be able to mow down the Nationals, getting most of them out via a large number of ground ball outs. The score is closer than it actually should have been, as one National run would come in thanks in part to a Carlos Ruiz pass ball on a Blanton pitch, and their second and third runs would cross the plate because of Ryan Howard’s fielding error on a ball that was hit straight to him. Whatever Charlie Manuel has told his men during their afternoon meeting must’ve worked as they would score several very early runs.

The Phillies (90-70) will continue their final three games home stand of the regular season with the Nationals (59-100) with a game this afternoon, which will be nationally televised by Fox Sports. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the 45 years old veteran Jamie Moyer (15-7, 3.78), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on September 21, where he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. In his last start against the Nats on August 21, he would receive a no-decision as he went six and one third innings, giving up just an earned run on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for both his team leading sixteenth victory and to clinch the Phillies into the playoffs, if the Marlins don’t defeat the Mets earlier in the day. The Nationals will send to the mound John Lannan (9-14, 3.86), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 20, when he went seven innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits, in the Nationals’ 6-1 lost. In his last two starts against the Phillies, his record is 0-2, where he pitched a combined total of eleven and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on fourteen hits. He will be trying to get his tenth victory while trying to see if he can stop the Phillies’ clinching celebration for one more day.

The Phillies are now ahead of the Mets in the East by two games after their lost to the Marlins, leaving the Phillies’ magic number to win the division at one. In the Wild Card race, the Brewers are now leading the Mets by one game as they defeated the Cubs, with their magic number to clinch the Wild Card now at two. The Phillies could clnch the East Saturday afternoon, with the clinching party being seen on national television, if the Mets haven’t already lost to the Marlins by then. Whatever happens, the Phillies need to take care of their own buisness and defeat the Nationals. GO PHILLIES!!!!

The Phillies are once again done in in the eighth inning as the Phils lose to the Nats, 9-7.

The Phillies’ bullpen would give up four runs in the bottom of the eighth which would help to do the Phillies in, 9-7, as the team now fall three games behind the first place Mets before their important weekend series with them. The Phillies would take the lead in the first, as, with a man on and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, to give the Phils a quick 2-0 lead. The Nats would come back in their half of the first, as, with a man on and one man out, Ryan Zimmerman would hit a RBI double, knocking in Cristian Guzman, who has singled earlier, to cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. The Nats would then tie the score at two all, as, with two men on and two out, Kory Castro would hit a RBI single, scoring Zimmerman and sending Elijah Dukes, who has earlier walked, to third. Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would finally end the inning by getting Wil Nieves to ground out, second to first. The Phillies would retake the lead in the third, as Utley would hit a RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, to give the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Nationals would then tie the score in the fifth, as, with the bases loaded via a walk (Emilio Bonifacio), a single (Guzman) and a second walk (Zimmerman), and with Ryan Madson now on the mound in place of Blanton, the next batter, Lastings Milledge, would hit a ground ball to Howard. Instead of going home to force out Bonifacio, Howard would instead throw to second, which would force out Zimmerman for the inning’s first out, as Bonifacio would score the tying run, while Guzman would move over to thiird as Bonifacio would be safe at first, leaving runners on the corners for the Nationals. Dukes would then come up and hit a grounder to third baseman Pedro Feliz. Instead of throwing home to cut down Zimmerman, Feliz would instead throw over to second to try and start a double play. Instead, Feliz would only force out Bonifacio for the inning’s second out as Bonifacio would take out Utley with a good slide, allowing Zimmerman to score, giving the Nats a 4-3 lead, while Dukes would be safe at first. Madson would finally end the inning by striking out Castro. The Phillies would retake the lead in the sixth as Howard would hit his second two-run home run of the night, his thirty-ninth home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, to make it 5-4 Phillies. The Nationals would then tie it five all in the seventh, as, with two outs, Zimmerman would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year. Then would come the nightmarish eighth inning. With Chad Durbin still pitching for the Phils, Castro would start off the inning with a single. After Castro is replaced by pinch runner Pete Orr, Nieves would mess up a sacrifice bunt attempt by poping up to Howard for the inning’s first out. Then everything would unravel for the Phils. Durbin would unfurl a wild pitch that would send Orr over to second base. Roger Bernadina would then get a single, sending Orr to third, putting runners on the corners. Ronnie Beliard would follow with a RBI single, knocking in Orr, to give the Nationals a 6-5 lead, while sending Bernadina to second. Durbin would then be replaced by J.C. Romero. Bernadina would proceed to steal third before Romero would walk Bonifacio to load the bases. Guzman would then hit a three-run double, scoring Bernadina, Beliard and Bonifacio, to give the Nationals a 9-5 lead. Clay Condrey would then come in to replace Romero, soon ending the inning without any more damage. The Phillies would then strike back in the ninth, as with one man on and no one out, Matt Stairs would hit a RBI double to score Shane Victorino, who has only earlier singled, to make it 9-6 Nationals. Rollins would then move Stairs over to third as he grounds out, second to first, for the inning’s first out. Utley would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Stairs, to make it 9-7 Nats. And that would be the final score as Werth would end the game by striking out swinging.

Joe Blanton would receive a no-decision as he pitches only four innings plus three batters, giving up four earned runs on six hits. Ryan Madson would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. Scott Eyre would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Chad Durbin would receive his sixth blown save of the year, as well as the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA. J.C. Romero would face only two batters, getting out neither of them as he gives up a hit and walks one. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Odalis Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Marco Estrada would have his first blown save of the year as he faces three batters, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Jesus Colome would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Mike Hinckley would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit. Steven Shell would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no hits or runs. Saul Rivera would get the win as he pitch a scoreless inning, giving up jut one hit. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.52 ERA. Joel Hanrahan would pitch an inning, giving up two runs on two hits.

The lost put the Phillies in a bind as they now head to New York, needing to either sweep or win the series if they don’t want to fall any further behind the Mets. It would seems that Charlie Manuel’s strategic thinking in this game would backfire on him in the seventh as he would take out Scott Eyre, after he has gotten out the two batters that he would face, to have Chad Durbin handle the right handers in the Nationals’ line-up. The move would blow up in his face instead as Durbin would give up a solo home run to Ryan Zimmerman to tie the score The less said about the eighth inning nightmare that he started the better, as the Phillies would lose another recent game in that inning. Something needs to be done about this, and quickly, before that inning becomes a real major problem for the Phillies’ bullpen’s egos during the last twenty-two games of the season.

The lost puts the Phillies’ three games behind the Mets as the Mets would sweep the Brew Crew in Milwaukee, while they are now five games ahead of the now fading Marlins as they lost to the Braves. The Phillies, who have tomorrow off, now heads into New York with a series that will either see them get closer to the Mets or see them fall further behind them.

Ugh, Kyle Kendrick is once again unable to get through the fourth inning as the Phillies lose to the presently hot Nats, 7-4. Will someone PLEASE past me the TUMS?

Kyle Kendrick once again can not get past the fourth inning as he would give up four runs in that inning to a presently red-hot Nationals squad as the Phillies lose once more to Tim Redding, 7-4. The Phillies’ batters, who acted a bit more patiently at the plate than they normally would with Redding, would start the game off by putting two men on base (Jimmy Rollins (Walk) and Chase Utley (Hit by the Pitch)) with one man out in the first inning, before the pair would both move up a base on a Redding’s throwing error, as he tried to pick off Rollins at second. Sadly, that would be as far as they would get as Redding would get out of the inning by striking out Ryan Howard and then getting Jayson Werth to fly out. The same can not be said of Kyle Kendrick, as, with runners on second and third and one out, he would give up a two-run single to Lastings Milledge, scoring Cristian Guzman, who was safe at first on a force out, and Ryan Zimmerman, who has walked, and have both moved up a base on a Kendrick’s wild pitch, to make it 2-0 Nationals. As the Phillies’ batters continue to be patient, thus raising Redding’s pitch count, but be unable to get a hit off of him, Kendrick would continue to have control problems, until finally, in the bottom of the third, he would throw two piches to the inside of Zimmerman, the first Nats’ batter of the inning, which would both almost hit him, especially with the second one, as it would almost hit him in the head. This would cause the home plate umpire to give him a warning that the next man he would throw out would lead to an ejection. That would later hurt Kendrick as he would now no longer throw to the inside of right handed batters. Kendrick would then get hurt in the fourth. He would start the inning off by giving up singles to both Jesus Flores and Emilio Bonifacio, giving the Nationals runners on first and second. Redding would then attempt to bunt the pair over, but Kendrick would throw out Flores at third for the inning’s first out, as Greg Dobbs would beat him to the bag, while Bonifacio would be safe at second as Redding would be safe at first on the force out. Kendrick would then pick off Bonifacio, throwing to third base where he is tagged out by Dobbs for the second out of the inning. Now seeing a chance to get out of the inning, Kendrick would instead get bombed by the next three batters. First, Willie Harris would hit a long, high, fly ball to right that new Phil Matt Stairs would lose sight of for a while so that when the ball finally hit off of the wall, it would bounce over his head, allowing Harris to reach third with a triple as Redding scored to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead. Guzman would then follow with a double, knocking in Harris, to make it 4-0 Nats. Zimmerman would come up next and hit a two-run home run, his tenth home run of the year, scoring Guzman, to make it 6-0 Nationals. The Phillies would finally get to Redding in the sixth, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Shane Victorino, who has hit an infield single, the Phillies’ first hit of the game, would steal second and then go to third on Nationals’ catcher’s Flores’ throwing error, to make it 6-1 Nationals. After walking Werth to put two men on base, Redding would be taken out of the game and replaced by Charlie Manning. Manning would proceed to walk pinch hitter Pedro Feliz to load the bases. Manning is then taken out of the game and is replaced by Marco Estrada. Estrada would then walk pinch hitter Pat Burrell, scoring Howard, to make the score 6-2 Nats. Chris Coste would then get hit by the pitch, forcing in Feliz, to make it 6-3 Nats. Estrada would finally get out of the inning as pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz would ground out, third to first. The Nats would get one of the runs back in the seventh, as, with a runner on second and two men outs, Flores would hit a RBI double, scoring Elijah Dukes, would has earlier reached base with an infield single and would go to second on Rollins’ throwing error, to make it 7-3 Nationals. Then in the ninth, with two men out, Rollins would hit a solo home run, his tenth home run of the year, to make it 7-4 Nats. But, that would be it as Victorino would follow with a grounder to the first baseman for the game’s final out.

Kyle Kendrick would take the lost as he would once more be unable to pitch past the fourth inning, as he goes four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits and three walks. His record is now 11-8 with a 5.06 ERA. J.A. Happ would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit while striking out two. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits, while also striking out two. Rudy Seanez would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Tim Redding would get the win, as he would go five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits. His record is now 10-8 with an ERA of 4.55. Charlie Manning would face only one batter, walking him. Marco Estrada would pitch a third of an inning, walking a batter. Saul Rivera would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Steven Shell would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Jesus Colome would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit while striking out two hitters.

And once again, Kyle Kendrick’s recent fears of getting hit by the opposing batters has done him in, as he once again doesn’t challenge the hitters. It would appear that whatever advice that he has gotten from Greg Maddux several days back has been quickly forgotten. Maybe having Kendrick miss a start and having Rich Dubee and Jamie Moyer both talk to him in the meantime might be in order if he is going to help the team recapture the pennant. Otherwise, the Phillies are in trouble.

The Phillies (75-63) will continue their three games series with the Nationals (53-85) tomorrow night. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.13), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cubs on August 28 as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 6-4 lost. Lifetime against the Nats, he is 4-3 with a 2.25 ERA in eleven starts. He will be trying for his third straight win and his fourth straight quality start while trying to stop the Nats’ present winning streak at seven. The Nationals’ starter will be John Lannan (8-12, 3.92), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 28, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Nationals’ 11-2 win. He will be trying to improve his record while continuing the Nationals’ winning streak.

With the lost, the Phillies now trail the Mets by two games as they came from behind to defeat the Brewers. The Phllies are ahead of the Marlins by five games as they defeated the Braves. The Phillies will be trying to recover from this afternoon’s lost and try to stop the Nationals’ attempt to be a spolier.

The bullpen is unable to hold the lead as the Phillies lose to the Nationals, 4-3.

Ryan Madison blows a save opportunity in the eight inning as he runs into some buzzard luck as the Phillies are denied a sweep of the Nationals, losing 4-3. The first five innings of the game would involve a pitchers’ duel between veteran Jamie Moyer and the Nationals’ starter Tim Redding. Moyer would only give up a single and two walks in the first five innings, while Redding would give up just a single and a walk, while at one point getting out twelve Phils in a row. The Nationals would finally break the scoreless tie in the sixth, when, with two men on, and one out, Lastings Milledge would hit a grounder to third. Pedro Feliz, who was reactived last night, would throw to second base, forcing out Cristian Guzman, who has gotten on base with a single, for the innings’ second out, but Guzman’s take out slide would cause Chase Utley to throw widely of first for a throwing error, an error that Ryan Howard could have prevented by getting off the bag to block the ball, which would allow Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier singled and has moved to second on Guzman’s single, to score, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead, as Milledge would be safe on the error, moving up to second on the errant throw. Moyer would end the inning by getting Ronnie Belliard to ground out, short to first. The Phillies would tie it in their half of the inning, when, with a runner on second and two out Chase Utley would single in Jayson Werth, who has earlier doubled. The Nats would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with runners on second and third, and two outs, Moyer would give up a RBI single to Hernandez off of Jimmy Rollins’ glove, scoring Austin Kearns, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Willie Harris’ single, to give the Nats a 2-1 lead. That would be it for Moyer, as he would be taken out for Chad Durbin, while being given a standing ovation by the fans for his effort. Durbin would quickly end the inning by geting Guzman to ground out to first base. The Phillies would then strike back in their half of the inning, as, with one out, Shane Victorino would get an infield single and then go to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s two-base throwing error. Victorino would then score on pitch hitter Greg Dobbs’ ground out on the drawn in infied, second to first, to tie the score at two. The Phillies would then take the lead on Carlos Ruiz’s solo home run, his third home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. The lead would then vanish in the eighth inning, as Ryan Madson would run into some buzzard luck while on the mound. It would start when Zimmerman hit a ground ball to third, which would hit the third base bag and then bounce high into the air, before it finally came down to be caught by Feliz, who by then would have no play at first as Zimmerman would get an infield single. The next batter, Milledge, would then pop a fly ball into right field that would fall in for a hit, putting runners on first and second with no body out. After Belliard bunts the runners over to second and third for the inning’s first out, Jesus Flores would get an infield single off of Utley’s glove, tying the game at three all, and putting runners on the corners. Kearns would then hit a hard ball up the middle for a single, scoring Milledge, giving the Nationals a 4-3 lead, and moving Flores to second. Madson is then replaced with J.C. Romero. Romero would proceed to end the inning by striking out Harris and pinch hitter Wil Nieves. The Phillies would threaten to tie the game in both the eighth and the ninth, but would be unable to get a key hit as Nats’ closer Joel Hanrahan would come in to pitch two innings of shut out ball, recording his fourth save of the year and ending the Nats’ twelve games losing streak.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would get the lost as he blew his second save, going a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on four hits, only one of which was actually a clean hit ball. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 3.38. J.C. Romero would go two-thirds of an inning, striking out both man that he would face. Clay Condrey pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Tim Redding would also get a no-decision, as he pitched six innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits. Saul Rivera would get the win while also receiving his fifth blown save of the year, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Joel Hanrahan would record his fourth save as he pitched two innings of shut out ball, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out one as he kept the Phillies from being able to tie the game.

The Phillies’ bullpen would be as much of a culprit in last night’s lost as was the Phillies’ offense, which did not do anything until the bottom of the sixth inning, and would once again be unable to get the key hit in the eighth and ninth innings. But in Madson’s defense, he got hit by what I tend to call buzzard luck. What I mean by that is that things happen that at any other time would not happen, and seems to happen to the Phillies once too many times. The ground ball that would hit the third base bag and go up into the air for an infield hit, the pop up that would drop in between Chase Utley and Jayson Werth before either of them could reach the ball and the infield single off of Utley’s glove that would allow the tying run to score in the eighth, along with the single off of Rollins’ glove in the previous seventh inning, are all examples of buzzard luck. It drives me nuts when that happens, since I know that I have no one to blame for those situations other than dame luck, and even then, you can’t blame her when the situation is just plain goofy. So, while Madson blew the save and got the loss, it was mainly because he got hit with buzzard luck.

The Phillies (68-59) will start a four games series tonight with the Dodgers (65-62, 2nd National League West). The first game of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-7, 5.01), who is coming off his second straight bad start against the Padres on August 16, where he is only able to go three and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 lost. His only start against the Dodgers this year, on August 11, would be an equally rough start, as he would go only three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. He will be looking to rebound from those two loses, trying to regain his agressiveness and trying to get his eleventh win of the season. His opponent, returning like a horror film nightmare, is Phillies’ killer Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99), who has just been acquired by the Dodgers to take the place of injured starter Brad Penny. His last start was against the Phillies for the Padres on August 15, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, in the Padres’ 1-0 lost. This would be his first start as a Dodgers, but he would have faced the Phillies in two starts for the Padres, going 0-2 as he would pitch thirteen and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on thirteen hits. He will be trying for his first win this year against the Philles while trying to make it five straight wins against the Phillies for the Dodgers.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by two and a half games, thanks to last night’s lost, while the Mets prepare for a four games series with the Astros in New York. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by three and a half games, as the fish prepare for a three games series with the D-backs in Phoenix. The Phillies hope to regain some ground in the East while trying to get even with the Dodgers for last week’s sweep.

Brett Myers pitches seven shut out innings as the Phillies defeat the Nationals, 2-1.

Brett Myers would pitch seven strong scoreless innings before being lifted in the eighth inning, while Utley would hit his first home run since July 7, as the Phillies defeated the luckless Nationals, 2-1. In the third, Utley would knock in the only Phillies’ runs of the game as he would hit his twenty-sixth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. They would turn out to be the only runs that the Phillies would need as Myers dominated the Nationals for seven scoreless innings, giving up only three hits in those seven innings, although he would hit two batters, both of whom would later be wiped out by double plays. Then in the eighth, the Nationals would score their first run in twenty-six innings, since Friday night. The inning would start with Paul Lo Duca getting on base with a single. Felipe Lopez would follow by hitting a sharp grounder to Utley, a double play ball that Utley would be unable to catch, committing an error, putting runners on first and second. Charlie Manuel would then come out and replace Myers with J.C. Romero. He would then get the first out as pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans move over both pinch runner Cristian Guzman, running for Lo Duca, and Lopez, to third and second, although Langerhans almost beat the throw to Utley at first. Willie Harris would then hit a RBI ground out, third to first, scoring Guzman, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1, while Lopez would move over to third base on the throw. Romero would then be replaced by Chad Durbin, who would get Ronnie Belliard to ground out, second to first, for the final out of the inning. That would turn out to be the final score as Brad Lidge would come in to pitch the ninth and record his twenty-fifth save in twenty-five tries with a 1-2-3 inning.

Brett Myers would get the win, his first since May 30, by pitching a surprisingly strong seven innings plus two batters, giving up only an unearned run on four hits, with two hit batters, a walk and two strikeouts. His record is now 4-9 with a 5.46 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-fifth save of the year as he pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning. Collin Balester would get the lost as he gives up two earned runs on six hits, while striking out five. His record is now 1-3 with an ERA of 5.13. Garrett Mock, would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Charlie Manning and Joel Hanrahan would each pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up a hit.

Brett Myers has done what very few people, including myself, were expecting him to do after coming back from his minor league stint, put together several scoreless innings, never mnd seven innings, as he used his pitches effectively, especially his fast ball. Of course, he did it against the woeful Nationals, who had not scored a run since last Friday. The next question is will he be able to continue his sudden effectiveness against his next opponent? We’ll find out in five-six days. Maybe having J.A. Happ now waiting in the wings have gotten Myers to put his head on straight. Maybe, maybe not. As I’d said, we’ll know soon.

The Phillies (57-49) three games series with the last place Nationals (38-68) continues tomorrow night at Nationals Park. The game will began at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (9-6, 3.76), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 24, as he pitched his ninth straight quality start, going seven inning, giving up only one earned runs on two hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth victory of the year while trying for his tenth straight quality start. Moyer has met the Nationals already twice this year, with a 1-0 record and a no-decision that the Phillies would win in extra-innings, as he would pitch nine and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs, three of which were earned, on sixteen hits. The Nationals will send to the mound Tim Redding (7-5, 3.98), who is coming off a lost against the Giants on July 24, where he went eight innings, giving up an earned run on seven hits, in the Nationals’ 1-0 lost. He has faced the Phillies already twice this year, with a 2-0 record, as he has kept the Phils scoreless in thirteen and a third innings on eight hits. He will be aiming for his third win against the Phillies, trying to keep them scoreless.

The Phillies still trail the Mets by half a games as they have defedted the Marlins. They now lead the Marlins by a game. The Braves are now seven and a half games behind the Phillies, as they’d lost to the Cardinals. The Phillies will be trying for their fourth straight win and their second straight series win of the second half, while trying to light up Tim Redding for the first time this year. 

Pitching, a little small ball win game as the Phils’ bats continue to stay silent.

For the second straight game, the Phillies were involved in a shut out. Only this time, they were the ones to come out on top, but just barely, as they defeated the Nationals 1-0. Cole Hamels would pitch seven strong innings, as he gives up no runs to the Nats, on four hits, while striking out eleven batters. Hamels has now pitched nineteen straight scoreless innings, going back to the last three innings of his May 9 start against the Giants. The Phils’ offense has been kept from scoring for just as many innings, not scoring a run for seventeen and two-thirds innings, as it continues, until the top of the ninth, to leave men on base, in this case nine runners, with four of them in scoring position, in the first eight innings, as Tom Bergmann and Saul Rivera would both find ways to keep them from scoring. The Phillies would finally get a run across in the ninth inning, when, with the Nats’ closer Jon Rauch pitching, Pedro Feliz would start the inning off with a double. After Eric Bruntlett comes in to pinch run for Feliz, Carlos Ruiz would sacrifice him over to third, putting the winning run on third base with one out. Greg Dobbs would then come out to pitch hit for Tom Gordon, who has kept the Nationals from scoring in their half of the eighth, keeping the game scoreless. With the count 2-0, Dobbs would hit a blooping single to center field, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. After Jimmy Rollins flies out, Shane Victorino would hit a double to center field. But, Dobbs would be tagged out at home plate, thanks to a strong throw from Lastings Milledge to shortstop Cristian Guzman to catcher Jesus Flores, who would block the plate, thus keeping Dobbs from scoring. This would keep the score 1-0 Phils. Brad Lidge would pitch the bottom of the ninth in relief of Gordon. After striking out the first two batters he faced, he would walk Elijah Dukes with the count full. Dukes would then proceed to steal second and third, before Lidge would walk pitch hitter Rob Mackowiak, also on a full count, giving the Nationals runners on the corners, with the winning run on first. Then on the first pitch to Felipe Lopez, Lopez would hit a grounder to Chase Utley. Utley would bobble the ball before finally throwing out a slow moving Lopez to end the game and preserve the victory for the Phillies as Lidge records his eleventh save in as many tries.

Cole Hamels, with his seven innings of shut out ball, would get a no-decision while dropping his ERA to 2.61. Tom Gordon, pitching an inning of relief, would get the win as he gives up no runs on one hit. His record is now 4-2, with an ERA of 4.26. Brad Lidge records his eleventh save of the year as he goes one full innings, giving up no runs on no hits, striking out two while also walking two. Tom Bergmann would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up no runs while scattering five hits. Saul Rivera would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jon Rauch would take the lost, giving up an earned run on three hits. His record is now 2-1, with a 2.78 ERA.

The Phils’ offense, expected to be the best run producer in the National League this year, is scoring less runs than expected, while the batters have suddenly stopped getting the key hit. Maybe having the offense play some small ball for a few games might be what the doctor ordered, else the starters will soon find themselves in for a lot of long games without offensive support. And, considering how some of them are pitching right now (I’m talking to you Myers and Eaton), that might end up meaning a bullpen weaken from overwork by September.

The Phillies (25-22) will conclude their trip to the nation’s capitol with a night game tonight from Nationals Park. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (3-3, 4.89), who is coming off of a good outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 16, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 10-3 victory. He hopes to improve his record while trying to help the Phils win the series as he pitches in the 46th ballpark in his 22 years career. The Nationals (20-27) will counter with Matt Chico (0-5, 6.07), who they are using in place of Shawn Hill, who has an ailing right elbow. Chico is coming out of the bullpen, where he was demoted after losing five of his six starts earlier this season. Coming out of the bullpen, he would appear in three games, where he would pitch six and one third innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits, as his ERA drops from 6.87 to 6.07. He hopes to win his first start of the year while adding to the Phils’ offensive problems, while the Phils hopes to final break out the bats and start scoring runs.

The Phils’ victory keeps them a game of a half behind the Florida Marlins, who won their game against the Diamondbacks, 3-2. The Phils are technically still tied for second place, but now they are a .001 percentage point behind the Atlanta Braves, who have swept a double header from the New York Mets, by scores of 6-1 and 6-2. The losts put the Mets in fourth place, a game behind both the Phils and the Braves. The Phils hopes to get a win tonight, to keep pace with both the Marlins and the Braves and stay ahead of the Mets in the tight National League East.

Redding, Nationals’ bullpen shut down the Phillies as the offense go 0-12 with runners in scoring position.

Tim Redding shuts down the Phillies’ offense for the second time this season, as the Washington Nationals defeat the Phils, 4-0. Redding would go six and a third innings against the Fightin’s, scattering seven hits, as he and the Nationals’ bullpen would keep the Phils’ off the scoreboard, while the Phillies’ offense would go 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Phils’ starter Brett Myers would give up three runs to the last place Nationals as they hurt him mostly with hard hit doubles. The Nationals’ first run would come in the first, as Dmitri Young hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Cristian Guzman, who has earlier singled. The Nationals would increase their lead in the third, making it 3-0, on a RBI double into no man’s land in right field, with the bases loaded, by Lastings Milledge, knocking in Felipe Lopez, who has doubled earlier, and Guzman, who has singled. The National’s last run would come in the seventh inning, off of Ryan Madson, pitching in relief of Myers, as Guzman scores on a double play ground out by Young.

The lost would be only the second time this year that the Phils would not score a run in a game, both times coming at the hands of Tim Redding. So far this year, Redding has blanked the Phils for thirteen and a third innings, giving up only eight hits to the Fightin’s and no runs. And this is also the first time during the season that the Phils have lost three games in a row. Even worst, the Phillies’ offense, during all three losts, has been unable to get a key hit when they’d needed it the most. In fact, starting with their series against the San Diego Padres back on April 29-May 1, the Fightin’s have not been crushing weaker teams like they should. Their record against weak teams, starting with that series, has been 8-8, with them in fact losing two of their last three. The Phillies’ offense need to turn things around, and fast, else they are not going to be in contention for the pennant comes September.

Brett Myers was the losing pitcher, as he goes six innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA. Ryan Madson went two innings in relief, giving up an earned run on two hits. Tim Redding was the winner for the Nationals, as he would go six and one third innings, giving up no runs on seven hits. His record is now 6-3 as his ERA drops to 3.16. Saul Rivera would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Luis Ayala and Joel Hanrahan would both pitch an inning in relief, both giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phils are now in third place in the National League East, a game and a half behind the first place Marlins, a half game behind the second place Mets, and a half game ahead of the fourth place Braves, who all had the day off. As the Phillies (24-22) met the Nationals (20-26) tonight, the Braves and Mets will start a four games series in Atlanta, while the Marlins will met the best team in the National League, the Diamonbacks, for three games in Miami, Florida. The Phillies need to get back to their winning ways, and once again get close to first place, while hoping that the Diamondbacks will beat the Marlins in their series, while the Braves and Mets will hurt each other in theirs.

The next Phillies game will be played tonight in Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., starting at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ ace Cole Hamel (5-3, 2.89) will be their starter, hoping to end the bleeding. He is coming off his first complete game shut-out against the Braves on May 15, where he gave up no runs on four hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 5-0 victory. He has won three of his last four starts, giving up four runs or less in each of his starts. Lifetime against the Nationals, he is 4-3 with a 2.49 ERA in ten starts. He hopes to improve his record while giving the Phillies’ offense a chance to break loose. The Nationals will counter with Jason Bergmann (1-1, 7.45), who is coming off a win against the Mets on May 15, where he went seven innings, giving up no runs on three hits, in the Nationals’ 1-0 win. In three previous starts, he got hammered, including his first game this year against the Phils way back on April 3, where he received a no decision, as he pitched five and one third innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits to the Fightin’s, in the Nationals’ 8-7 lost. He’ll be looking to improve his record while looking to increase the Phils’ present hitting woos.

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