Results tagged ‘ Double Plays ’

National League Championship Series: Game 4: Two eighth inning home runs by Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers, giving them a three games to one lead in the NLCS.

Two two-run home runs by Shane Victorino and pinch hitter Matt Stairs in the eighth inning would help lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers as the Phillies take a commanding three games to one lead over the Bums in the National League Championship Series. The Phillies jumped quickly on Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe in the first inning, as, with runners on first and second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled and has moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Werth on to third. Ryan Howard, as he would make the inning’s first out, would make it 2-0 Phillies, as he would hit a RBI ground out to the right side, 4-3, scoring Werth, while sending Utley over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting runners on the corners. Lowe would finally get out of the inning as he would get Shane Victorino to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Burrell at second. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, as, with runners on first and second and two men out, James Loney would hit a RBI double, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier singled, and has moved on to second on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, to make it 2-1 Phils, while sending Manny Ramirez, who has earlier been intentionally walked by Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton, to third. Blanton would then get out of the inning as Blake DeWitt would line out to Howard. That would remain the score until the bottom of the fifth as Lowe would calm down, while Blanton would constantly pitch himself out of jams. In the Dodgers’ fifth, the Dodgers would tie the game as, with two men on and no one out, Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Furcal, who has earlier walked and has gone on to second on an Ethier’s single, while Ethier’s would reach third on Burrell’s late throw to the plate as Furcal is able to push his way through catcher’s Carlos Ruiz’s right leg. Ramirez would meanwhile move up to second on the throw, putting two men in scoring position. Blanton would then get Russell Martin to ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, scoring Ethier on the play, to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, while Ramirez would go back to second base. Blanton would then intentionally walk Loney to put runners on first and second with still one out. The strategy behind the move would work for the Phils, as the next batter, DeWitt, would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the inning. After Lowe is taken out of the game by the Dodgers, the Phillies would then tie up the game in the sixth, as, with men on second and third, and with two men out, Howard, who has earlier walked, moved on to second on Burrell’s single and would move over to third on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, would score on a Chan Ho Park’s wild pitch, while Burrell would move up to third. Park would then walk Ruiz to put runners on the corners. Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would then come out of the Dodgers’ dugout and replace Park with Joe Beimel, after Geoff Jenkins is sent out as a pitch hitter. Jenkins is then replaced by So Taguchi, who would promptly end the inning by flying out to right. The Dodgers would retake the lead in their half of the sixth as Casey Blake would hit a lead-off home run off of Phillies’ reliever Chad Durbin, making it 4-3 Dodgers. Juan Pierre would then follow with a double. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Matt Kemp, putting two men on base, still with no one out. Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel would then replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Furcal would then attempt a sacrifice bunt. Howard would get the ball but would then commit a throwing error, throwing it past Utley, allowing Pierre to score, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead, while allowing Kent to go to third and Furcal to move up to second, with still no body out. Ethier would then line out to first for the inning’s first out. Then, on the key turning point of the game, Ramirez is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. After Eyre is replaced on the mound by Ryan Madson, he would help get the Phils out of the inning with no more damage as Martin would hit a line drive that is caught by Utley, who would then quickly tag second base with his glove, beating Furcal back to the bag, for an unassisted double play, leaving the score still 5-3 Dodgers. After turning back the Dodgers in the seventh, the Phillies would go to work on the Dodgers’ bullpen in the eighth, finally scoring some runs. Howard would start the inning off with a single. After Burrell pops up to second for the inning’s first out, Victorino would follow with a two-run bomb to right, scoring Howard, and tying the game up at five all. After Pedro Feliz would line out to left for the inning’s second out, Ruiz would get on base with a single. Torre would then come out and replace Cory Wade, who had given up the two-run shot to Victorino, with Joe Broxton, to face pitch hitter Matt Stairs. Stairs would work the count to 3-1 before he would hit a monster two-run home run of his own to right field, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead. Rollins would then walk and steal second with Werth batting, before Werth would end the inning by striking out. In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would send out J.C. Romero. After giving up a walk to Furcal, Romero would get Ethier to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Furcal at second. Romero would then be replaced with Brad Lidge for a four-out save. It didn’t start out that way as Ramirez would get on base with a double. Martin would then follow with a strike out, which should’ve ended the inning, but didn’t, as it would get away from Ruiz, allowing Martin to reach first base while sending Ramirez over to third, putting runners on the corners. But Lidge would finally get out of the inning by getting Loney to fly out to left. In the ninth, Lidge would pitch an easy 1-2-3 inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra to fly out to center for the first out, get Blake to strike out swinging for the second out and then end the game by getting Jeff Kent to fly out to Feliz for the final out, as he records his fifth save of the post-season.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. Chad Durbin would face only three batters, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Ryan Madson would get the win as he would pitch an inning and two-thirds, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out one. His record in the series is now 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out two, as he would records his forty-sixth straight save in forty-six tries. Derek Lowe would also get a no-decision as he also goes only five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Clayton Kershaw would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Chan Ho Park would get a blown save as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs on a walk and a wild pitch. Joe Beimel would also go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would go an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on a hit, while striking out two. Cory Wade would get a blown save and the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jonathan Broxton would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one.

The victory places the Phillies just one game away from getting into the World Series, as the offense is finally able to torch the Dodgers’ bullpen, getting five runs off of it thanks to a wild pitch and two two-run home runs. The bats would end up getting twelve hits over all, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit, with Chase Utley being the team leader, as he went three for five, knocking in a run on a double and two singles. Next was Carlos Ruiz, who went two for three, with two singles and a walk, scoring a run. Meanwhile, Joe Blanton would pitch five good innings, getting out of trouble constantly before finally being taken out for a pinch hitter. Although giving up two runs, the Phillies’ bullpen would hold firm for four innings, helped along by two double plays with Utley’s unassisted gem in the seventh being the more important of the two as it would get the Phillies out of a bases-loaded, one out jam. The Phillies now need just one more win to get into the World Series, with three chances within which to do it.

Game Five of the National League Championship Series will be played tomorrow night. It will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a good start against the Dodgers in game one of the NLCS on October 9, where he would go six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to pitch the Phillies into their first World Series appearance since 1993 with a victory. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (0-1, 27.00), who is coming off a very awful start in game two of the NLCS against the Phillies on October 10, as he would last only two and one third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to pitch a better game tomorrow night while trying to keep the Dodgers in the playoff.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 4: Brett Myers has second straight bad outing as the Phillies lose to the Braves, 10-4. Mets lost drops Phillies’ magic number to 3.

For his second straight start, Brett Myers will be unable to get through the fifth inning as the Braves would bust the game wide open on a Chipper Jones’ pinch hit three-run home run in a six run fifth, as the Phillies fall to the Braves, 10-4. A Mets lost to the Cubs in extra-innings still leaves the Phillies ahead in the East by a game and a half while the magic number to clinch the East drops down to three. The Braves would score first in the first inning as, with two men on and no one out, Martin Prado would hit a RBI single, scoring Josh Anderson, who has earlier doubled, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead, while sending Kelly Johnson, who has earlier singled, to move on to second base. One out later, after Johnson has stolen third, as Brain McCann strikes out, to put runners on the corners, Casey Kotchman would make it 2-0 Braves, as he would hit a RBI single, scoring Johnson, and sending Prado to third. Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would finally get out of the inning by getting Omar Infante to hit into a double play, 1-6-3, cutting down Kotchman at second. The Phillies would get a run back in the second as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier doubled and has went to third on Shane Victorino’s ground ball to Braves’ second baseman Johnson, who would then commit a fielding error that would allow Victorino to reach base, making it 2-1 Braves, while Victorino would go to second. Chris Coste would then end the inning by hitting into a 6-4-3 double play, cutting down Feliz at second. The Braves would make it 3-1 in the third, as, with a runner on third and one out, Kotchman would hit into an out to Ryan Howard, for the second out of the inning, scoring McCann, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third as Jayson Werth threw out Prado, who has earlier singled, when he tried to score on McCann’s double, with Coste supplying the tag, for the inning’s first out. The Phillies would get it back in their half of the third, when, with two outs, Chase Utley would hit a solo home run, his thirty-third home run of the year, cutting the lead to 3-2 Braves. The Phillies would tie it up in the fourth as Howard would hit a lead off home run, his forty-seventh home run of the year. Burrell would then follow with a double. After a Victorino fly out to right would move Burrell to third, Braves’ manager Bobby Cox would come out and relieve Braves’ starter Jo-Jo Reyes and replace him with Buddy Carlyle. Carlyle would then proceed to strand Burrell at third as he first get Feliz to strike out for the inning’s second out and then get Coste to end the inning by grounding out, 6-3. The Braves would then retake the lead in the fifth. After getting the lead-off batter to fly out, Myers would give up a walk to Prado. McCann would follow with a RBI double, scoring Prado, and giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. After Myers intentionally walk Kotchman, Charlie Manuel would take out Myers and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would get the next batter, Infante, to hit a grounder to Howard. Instead of getting the sure out at first, Howard would throw to second, trying to force out Kotchman. Sadly, the plan backfired as the ball hit Kotchman and would go into right field, allowing McCann to score, making it a 5-3 Braves’ lead, with Kotchman safe at second and Infante on first thanks to Howard’s throwing error. This would become important as Durbin would strike out Jeff Francoeur for the inning’s second out, as it could’ve been the inning’s final out if Howard had gone to first and not second, leaving the Phillies’ trailing by one run. The next batter, Brandon Jones would then hit a RBI single, scoring Kotchman, giving the Braves a 6-3 lead and putting Infante on second. Chipper Jones is then sent out to pitch hit for Carlyle. Durbin is then replaced with Scott Eyre, whom the Phillies hope would be able to handle C. Jones. Sadly, he would not as C. Jones would hit a 2-1 fastball into the left field seats for a three-run home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, knocking in both Infante and B. Jones, and giving the Braves a 9-3 lead. Eyre would then end the inning by striking out Anderson. That six run fifth inning would seem to take the fight out of the Phillies, as they would be unable to mount anything against the Braves’ relievers. The Braves, in the meantime, would tack on an extra run in the eighth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Prado would hit a RBI single, scoring Anderson, who has earlier walked, and has stolen second, to give the Braves a 10-3 lead, The Phillies would get a run back in their half of the eighth, as, with runners on second and third, and one out, Burrell, who has earlier walked, would score on McCann’s pass ball, making it a 10-4 Braves’ lead, and sending Victorino, who has earlier double, to move to third. But that was where he would stay as Braves’ reliever Julian Taveraz would strike out pinch hitter Greg Dobbs for the inning’s second out and then strikes out pinch hitter Matt Stairs to end the inning. The Phillies would then go down 1-2-3 in the ninth to end the ballgame.

Brett Myers would take the lost as he would only be able to go four and one third innings, giving up six run, four of which were earned, on ten hits. His record is now 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two runs, neither of which were earned, on one hit while striking out a batter. Scott Eyre would pitch and inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jo-Jo Reyes would get a no decision, as he pitches three and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Buddy Carlyle would get the win as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 2-0 with a 3.77 ERA. Vladimir Nunez would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Jorge Julio would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Julian Taveraz would pitch an inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit and a walk. Manny Acosta would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The Phillies’ offense has once again gone silent for most of the night, being unable to do any real damage on Jo-Jo Reyes before he got yanked in the bottom of the fourth inning, and then being kept quiet for most of the night by the Braves’ bullpen. Of course, Brett Myers being unable to put down the Braves earlier in the night didn’t help matters and Ryan Howard’s fielding blunder of throwing to second base for the force instead of going to first for the sure out would open up the flood gates that would turn the game into a blow out in the fifth inning thanks to Chipper Jones’ pinch hit three-run home run. Sigh, I hate reruns like this. I wonder why this team never make pennant winning easy or fast. Luckily, a Mets’ lost to the Cubs in extra-innings has dropped the Phillies magic number down to three. Anyway, with the day off today they should be able to regroup and forget this series before they meet the Nationals for the final three games of the season, starting tomorrow, weather permitting, as a big storm is heading in the direction of both Philadelphia and New York, which could play a factor in both the Phillies-Nationals and the Mets-Marlins series. I guess we’ll see what develops by friday night.

The Phillies are still a game and a half ahead of the Mets as they lost to the Cubs in extra-innings, with one more game to play in their four games series tonight. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets and the Brewers are now tied for the lead as the Brew Crew defeated the Pirates, with one more game left in their series. This bring up several interesting scenarios for the start of tomorrow night’s series (Phillies-Nationals, Mets-Marlins, Brewers-Cubs): 1) A Mets lost to the Cubs and a Brewers lost to the Pirates would place the Mets two games behind the Phillies and leaving both teams two games behind the Phillies in the wild card (the best of the four scenarios); 2) A Mets lost and a Brewers victory would put the Mets two games behind the Phillies and a game behind the Brewers in the wild card (the preferred scenario as it would force the Mets to get past two teams); 3) A Mets win and a Brewers lost would put the Mets a game behind the Phillies and a game ahead of the Brewers (bad, as it will put the pressure back on the Phillies to try to win two against the pesky Nationals); and 4) both the Mets and the Brewers win, putting the Mets a game behind in the East and both teams a game behind the Phillies in the wild card (very bad as the Phllies will have to worry about both teams). While I prefer scenario number two, I would rather the Phillies would just go out and cream the Nationals and let everything else just sort itself out.

The Phillies, behind Brett Myers, have finished their impossible sweep of the Brewers. They are now tied for first place in the wild card race and are a game behind the Mets in the East.

Behind the two-hit pitching of Brett Myers, the Phillies have completed the destruction of the slumping Brewers, getting a share of the lead in the NL Wild Card race while putting themselves a game behind the Mets in the East. The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first when, with runners on first and third, and no one out, Chase Utley would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Jayson Werth at second, who has earlier singled, while scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled and would go to third on Werth’s single. The Phillies would break the game open in the second as, with runners on the corners and two men out, Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would get a RBI single, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked, went to second on Shane Victorino’s single and then moved to third on Pedro Feliz’s 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Victorino at second, to increase the Phillies’ lead to 2-0, while sending Chris Coste, who has been intentionally walked to get to Myers, to second. After a wild pitch by Brewers’ starter Jeff Suppan would place Coste and Myers on third and second respectively, Rollins would follow with a two-run single, scoring both Coste and Myers, who would just beat Jason Kendall’s tag at home plate, to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fourth as Burrell lead-off the inning with a solo home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, making it 5-0 Phillies. Six batters later, with the bases loaded via a double (Victorino), a hit batsman (Coste) and an intentional walk (Rollins, after Myers would sacrifice both Victorino and Coste over to third and second respectively), and with two men out, Werth would bring in the Phils’ final run with a walk, forcing in Victorino, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead. That would be it for Suppan as Brewers’ manager Ned Yost would take him out for Tim Dillard, who would end the inning by getting Utley to pop out. Meantime, Myers would breeze along, getting the Brewers out almost with ease, while keeping his pitch count low, allowing only two men on base, via a walk (Craig Counsell, who would later be wiped out on a 6-4-3 double play by Kendall) in the third, and a single (Ray Durham) in the fourth. He would only make one mistake as he would give up a solo home run to Prince Fielder in the seventh on a 3-2 slider, Fielder’s thirtieth home run of the year, with two men out, which would make it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead. But that would be the best that the Brewers would be able to do against Myers as he would get out the next seven batters with ease, pitching a complete game.

Myers would pick up the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up just one earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record is now 10-11 with his ERA dropping to 4.05. Jeff Suppan would receive the lost, giving up all six runs, all earned, on eight hits and four walks as he is only able to last three and two-thirds innings. Suppan’s record is now 10-9 with a 4.85 ERA. Tim Dillard, Seth McClung and Todd Coffey would all combine to pitch four and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up just three hits (Dillard (1), Coffey (2)).

The Phillies have done what would’ve been impossible a few weeks earlier. They have beaten the ever dangerous Brewers, putting themselves in a tie with them for first place in the NL Wild Card while placing themselves just a game behind the Mets in the pennant race for the Eastern Division, and doing it with a couple of starters who would both be pitching with only three days rest (Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers), a third who was not pitching as advertised (Joe Blanton), while the team’s ace would be recovering from a beating in his previous start against their main rival in the East (Cole Hamels), while the team’s fifth starter have finally fallen apart in his last start (Kyle Kendrick), forcing the three days rest situations for both Moyer and Myers. Now, with the sweep completed and with the day off, the Phillies’ starting rotation and the bull pen looks to be in a lot stronger position for the final twelve games of the season then they did when Kendrick was getting spanked by the Marlins on September 9. Everything now depends on the offense not reverting back to the old inconsistencies if they want to get into the playoffs as either the NL Eastern Division Champ for the second straight season, or as the NL Wild Card entrance. We will all know the answer on September 28.

The Phillies, with the sweep, are now trailing the Mets by only a game in the East, as the Mets lost to the Braves. The Mets will now start a four games series against the Nationals in Washington. The Phillies now lead the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish defeated the Nationals. The Marlins will now have the day off, before they start a three games series with the Astros in Miami. In the wild card race, the reeling Brewers will also have the day off before they start an important three games series with the Cubs in Chicago, trying to regain their composure after getting swept by the Phillies. The Phillies, along with the Brewers, are now two games ahead of the Astros, who lost last night to the Cubs, as they got caught in the wrong end of a no hitter. They are presently playing the second of the two games with the Cubs that was rained out by Hurricane Ivan, and are presently trailing. The Phillies and Brewers are now four and a half games ahead of the Cardinals after their lost to the Pirates. The redbirds will have the day off today before they face the Reds for three in Cincinnati starting tomorrow. The Phillies have today off before they start a three games series in Atlanta, hoping that they can sweep their third straight series in Atlanta against the Braves.

Moyer is unable to defeat the Marlins, as Phillies lose to Florida, 8-2.

It was bound to happen. The fish were finally able to defeat their nemesis, Jamie Moyer, as the Phils lose to the Marlins, 8-2. The Marlins would score their first run of the game in the second innings, when, with the bases loaded, and two out, Jeremy Hermida would get a RBI walk, forcing in Dan Uggla, who has earlier doubled, to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, the Marlins would increase their lead to 2-0, when, with runners on first and third, Josh Willingham would hit into a force out, third to second, beating out the throw to first, allowing Hanley Ramirez, who has singled, moved to second when Hermida was hit by the pitch, and stole third, to score on the play. The Marlins would make it a 4-0 game in the seventh, when, once again with the bases loaded, and with two outs, Alfedo Amezaga would hit a two-run single that would drop in behind third baseman Greg Dobbs, scoring Jorge Cantu, who has gotten on base with a single, and Uggla, who has walked. In the bottom half of the inning, the Phillies would get on the board, on a two-run home run by Shane Victorino, his twenty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has singled, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead. The play is considered controversial, as instant reply would show that the ball was actually a foul ball, but the umpires refused to change the call after holding a conference. In the eighth, the Marlins would get one of the runs back, as Hermida would hit a RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who has walked and reached second on a wild pitch, giving the Marlins a 5-2 lead. The fish would put the game out of reach in the ninth inning, as, once again with the bases loaded and this time with one out, Ramirez would hit a sacrifice fly for the second out, scoring John Baker, who has earlier walked, to make it a 6-2 lead, while the runners would each move up to second and third. The next batter, Hermida, would follow with a two-run single, scoring Amezaga and Cody Ross, who have both singled earlier, to make it 8-2 Marlins. That would end up being the final score, as Matt Lindstrom would put down the Phillies in the bottom half of the ninth.

Jamie Moyer would take the lost as he loses for the first time to the fish, as he goes five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and three walks. His record is now 10-7 with a ERA of 3.78. Clay Condrey would go one and a third innings, giving up an earned run on two hits. Les Walrond, making his first appearance as a Phil, would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and two walks. Ryan Madson would pitch a third of an inning, giving up neither a run or a hit. J.A. Happ would make his first relief appearance as a Phil, going two innings as he gives up four earned runs on four hits and two walks. Walks would especially hurt Phillies’ pitching in last night’s game. Josh Johnson would get the win, as he went six innings, giving up no runs on five scattered hits. His record is now 2-0 with a ERA of 3.34. Justin Miller would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Renyel Pinto would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Arthur Rhodes would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Lindstrom would pitching a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits while walking the lead off man.

The Phillies’ offense hurt itself in last night’s game by hitting into several double plays, thus preventing the possibility of any kind of an inning being developed, especially late in the game, when they did had a change to rally from behind when it was still a close game. Also, the Phillies’ bullpen had another ineffective night, although it would be because a pair of newcomers could not get the job done. Les Walrond, as he makes his first start as a Phil, would strike out the first man he’d faced, but would then walk the next two batters, to load the bases, followed by a two-run single. His performance would force the Phils to bring in Ryan Madson in the seventh. It’s even worst when you factor in that he started out ahead of the first batter he would walk. And then there’s J.A. Happ. According to the Phillies’ broadcastors, it would seem that the local press has been calling for him to be used out of the bullpen, although the consensus from some of my fellow bloggers has been to not use him out of the ‘pen, since he doesn’t have the mentality to be coming out of the ‘pen. Well, we all know now that Charlies Manuel have seem to have given in to the local sports press and have finally used Happ out of the ‘pen last night, and we have all seen the final results. To which I say to the local sports media, ARE YOU GUYS HAPP-Y NOW??? Now, let Charlie decides when to actually use him again, and hopefully not in an important spot like last night when the Phillies needed to be close to their opponent to try and win the game, although the bats weren’t able to get anything going last night.

The Philles (61-51) continue their important three games series with the Marlins (60-53) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (9-5, 4.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 31, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-4 win. He will be trying to rebound from his last start against the Marlins on July 19, where he got rocked for seven runs on ten hits in four and one third innings, in the Philles’ 9-5 lost. Lifetime against the fish, he is 1-1 with a ERA of 5.40 in three starts. He will be trying for his tenth win, while trying to end the Phillies’ present losing streak at one game. His opponent will be Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.18), who is coming off a victory over the Rockies on July 31, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 12-2 win. He will be trying to make it two wins in a row after coming off the disabled list, while trying to get the Marlins even closer to the Phils in the East.

With the lost, the Phils now lead the fish by a game and a half, while they lead the Mets by two as they get ready to face the Padres for the second game of their series. The Braves now trail by nine and a half games after their win over the Giants last time. They will be preparing to play the last game of their three games series with the Giants tonight. The Phillies will be trying to even their series with the Marlins tonight, and then try to go for a series win tomorrow afternoon, as they hope that Kendrick will be able to finally find a way to get past the Marlins’ left handed batters tonight.

Phillies win series with the Cardinals as Ryan Howard hits two home runs to defeat the redbirds, 4-1.

Jamie Moyer pitched seven strong innings as Ryan Howard belted two home runs, taking the major league lead from Chase Utley in the process, as the Phillies defeated the Cardinals, 4-1, to take the series. The Phillies have won their first series at home since they’d took three games out of four from the Reds back on June 2-5. The Phillies took the lead in the bottom of the first as Ryan Howard hit a two-run home run off of Cardinals’ starter, Braden Looper, his now major league leading twenty-sixth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino who has earlier singled, giving the Phillies a quick 2-0 lead. They would increase their lead to 3-0 in the third as Chase Utley hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled. The Cardinals would get a run back in the fourth, as Yadier Molina singles in Troy Glaus, who has earlier doubled, making it 3-1 Phillies. The Phillies would get that run back as Howard would hit his major league leading twenty-seventh home run of the year, a solo shot, to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead. But that would turn out to be it as Jamie Moyer would pitch seven strong innings, getting the Cardinals to hit into three double plays while striking out four. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero would together pitch two scoreless frames, with Romero snuffing a threat in the ninth inning, to record his first save of the year.

Jamie Moyer will get the win, going seven innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits. His record is now 8-6 with a 3.95 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch one and a third innings of relief, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would get his first save of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Braden Looper will get the lose, as he pitches six innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-7 with a 4.25 ERA. Russ Springer would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Ron Villone woild go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chris Perez would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies’ offense was able to put up some runs on the scoreboard, thanks to Ryan Howard’s two home runs, and Chase Utley’s RBI double with a man in scoring position. Hopefully, this will mean that the bats are finally awake and are now waiting to do some damage on their next opponent, the presently not so dominating Diamondbacks. Meanwhile, the veteran Jamie Moyer continues to impress as he shuts down the Cardinals, giving up only seven scattered hits, while getting three double play balls behind him to help keep the redbirds from being able to do any damage.

The Phillies (50-43) will conclude their ten games home stand with a three games set against the Diamondbacks (45-46, 1st-T National League West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.39), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 6, as he pitched his third straight quality start as he gave up only one earned run on eight scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 lost. He’ll be for the second time trying for his ninth win of the season, and his fourth straight quality start, while hoping to throw another quality start against the D-backs as he did back on May 7, where he went six innings, giving up only three earned runs on ten hits while receiving a no-decision, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. The D-backs will send to the mound Doug Davis (3-4, 3.74), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on July 5, where he went eight innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Diamonbacks’ 4-2 lost. Lifetime against the Phillies he is 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA in six starts. He will be trying to even his record, while trying to keep the D-backs in first place with the Dodgers.

The Phillies’ lead is still one and a half games over the Mets as the Mets win their game with the Giants. The Phillies are at the moment leading the Marlins by two games, as the fish prepare to start a four games series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Phillies have increased their lead over the Braves to six and a half game, as the Braves have an off-day today. The Phillies hope to extend their winning streak while trying to increase their lead in the East before the start of the All-Star break.

The offense is still sluggish as the Phillies have now lost six in a row.

The Phillies wasted a good effort by Jamie Moyer as the offense once again let the team down as they lost their sixth straight game. For the first six innings of the game, Moyer and A’s starter Joe Blanton would be involved in a pitchers’ duel, with Moyer only giving up one hit during that time, a lead-off single in the first inning to Kurt Suzuki, who would later by wiped out in a 3-6-3 double play by Ryan Sweeney, and striking out nine A’s, striking out the side twice, while Blanton would give up only two hits, one of which was Pat Burrell’s nineteenth home run of the year, a solo shot in the fourth inning, which gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Things would change in the seventh when the Phillies would get their first two men on base, Burrell via a walk and Jayson Werth via a single. But, things would then go flat as Geoff Jenkins would fly out to left, swinging on the first pitch, for the first out of the inning. Pedro Feliz would then single to right, but the third base coach, not taking a chance on getting Burrell thrown out at the plate, holds him up at third base to load the bases. This move would soon come back to haunt the Phillies as Carlos Ruiz, with a 2-1 count, would hit into a twin killing, third to first, with the third baseman touching third base first before throwing to first. The Phillies being unable to capitalize in their half of the inning would turn out to be a momentum changer, as, with Moyer still pitching, Sweeney would start off the A’s half of the seventh with a single. One out later, Bobby Crosby would get a pop single, on a ball that was misplayed by Shane Victorino and would drop in front of him, moving Sweeney to second. After Charlie Manuel decides to leave Moyer in the game, despite the fact that Chad Durbin was ready to go, Moyer would give up a three-run home run to Emil Brown, his sixth home run of the year, scoring both Sweeney and Crosby, and giving the A’s the lead, 3-1. After getting the second out and then giving up a ground rule double, which might have ended up being worst if it has not bounced into the stands, to Carlos Gonzalez, Manuel would come out and finally replace an out of gas Moyer with Durbin, who would then strike out Donnie Murphy to end the inning. In the eighth, the Phils would come back to cut the lead to 3-2, as, with Victorino on second, after getting on base with a single and then stealing second, he would score on a RBI single by Ryan Howard. Although Howard would later get to second base on a pass ball charged to Suzuki, Burrell would leave him there as he strikes out. The A’s would then deliver the coup de grace in the bottom of the inning, as with two out, J.C. Romero would walk Sweeney and then give up a two-run home run to Jack Cust, Cust’s twelfth home run of the year, to make it 5-2 A’s. That would be it as Huston Street would come in to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to record his fourteenth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would take the lost, although pitching a very good game until the disasterous seventh. He would go six and two-thirds inning, giving up only three runs on five hits, while striking out nine A’s. His record is now 7-5 with a 4.09 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning in relief, striking out the only man he would face. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up two earned runs on only one hit, while walking one and striking out one. Ryan Madson would go a third of an inning, striking out the only A that he would face. Joe Blanton would get the win, as he pitches seven innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits. His record is now 4-10 with an ERA of 4.58. Alan Embree would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Huston Street would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth as he get his fourteenth save of the season.

It is now official, the offense presently stinks, and even they are starting to realize it, as they would acknowledge in an article posted on Phillies.com about the game. Even the manager seems to be noticing that the guys are right now doing everything wrong at the plate, and those things includes, “…guys not hitting, swinging bad, swinging at balls in the dirt, chasing balls over their heads, it looks like they’ve never seen a baseball….” and those things are going to keep hurting this team until the batters finally get it into their thick skulls that they should be trying to meet the ball, and not trying to hit home runs everytime they get up to the plate, with the situations that occurred in the first and seventh innings being perfect examples of what is presently wrong with this team. Especially the seventh, when Jenkins, who should have been up there trying to move the runners over into scoring position, which might have required him taking a pitch or two until he saw something which he was sure he could hit towards the right side of the infield and get Burrell and Werth over to third and second, instead swings at the first pitch and flies out, moving no one. This would come back to hurt the Phils, as I am sure that Feliz’s single would’ve scored both Burrell and Werth from second and third, and would instead load the bases, as the Phils’ third base coach refuses to send Burrell home, afraid that he might have been cut down at home by a throw from Sweeney. Me, I’d made the attempt. Why? To shake things up a bit. There’s a difference between being aggressive and being passive. Stopping Burrell at third was being passive, and is part of the reason that the Phils are mired in their present slide. If the third base coach had been aggressive, it would have taken a real good throw to home to get Burrell thrown out. Sure, Burrell isn’t as fast as Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino, his running towards home would’ve still forced Sweeney to have to throw an almost perfect strike to get him out at home, and who know what would’ve happened if the throw was anything but a perfect strike. But, since he didn’t send Burrell home, it’s all a very moot point. Hopefully, the players’ own realization that they are stinking up the place might just get them to do something to reverse it before the situation can get any worst.

The series between the Phillies (42-36) and the Athletics (42-34, 2nd American League West) continues with a night game at McAfee Coliseum. The game will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send up Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 5.06) to see if he can stop their slide before it can get any worst. He is coming off an awful start against the BoSox on June 18, where he would only pitch three innings, as he gave up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phils’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to return to his winning ways, while, as mentioned earlier, trying to put a stop to the Phils’ swoon. The A’s will counter with Greg Smith (4-5, 3.51), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on June 19, where he would only go five innings, giving up an earned run on three hits, in the A’s 2-1 lost. He will be trying to improve his record, while at the same time seeing if he can adds to the Phillies’ present offensive woes.

The Phillies are still leading by one, four and four and a half games over the Marlins, Mets and Braves respectively, as all three teams lost their games while the Phils were unable to take advantage of it. The Phillies will be trying to end their present slump, which is a team effort, and stop wasting some good efforts that they have recently been getting from their starters.

Road trip ends on a low note as the Phillies’ bullpen let one get away.

The Phillies leave San Francisco on a low note as they lose to the Giants, 4-3, as the bullpen is unable to hold the lead. The Giants score first in the second inning as Phils’ starter Adam Eaton gives up a RBI single to John Bowker, knocking in Bengie Molina, who has singled earlier. The Phillies would tie it in the top of the fourth on a bases loaded walk to Eaton by Giants’ starter Jonathan Sanchez, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier walked. The Giants would regain the lead on a double play ground ball by Jose Castillo, scoring Molina, who has earlier doubled. The Phils would then tie the game in the top of the fifth on a Ryan Howard RBI triple, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier walked. The Giants would then take out Sanchez and replace him with Billy Sadler. Burrell would hit a sacrifice fly off of Sadler, scoring Howard and giving the Fightin’ a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the sixth the Giants would threathen with two hit batmens, and a double, before Chad Durbin, who has replaced Eaton, would get out of the inning with a line drive double play ball, and after an intentional walk, striking out Ray Durham. Then in the seventh, the Giants would retake the lead for good as J.C. Romero, with two outs, gives up a two-run home run to Steve Holm, his first of the year, knocking in Randy Winn, who has earlier reached base on a single. That would be how the game ends, as Giants’ closer Brian Wilson would get a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording save number eleven.

Phils’ starter Adam Eaton would receive yet another no-decision, his seventh of the year, as he goes five innings and two batters, giving up two earned runs on five hits, while hitting a batter. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, giving up no runs and no hits, while also hitting a batter. J.C. Romero, the losing pitcher, would go one inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 3-1, as his ERA goes up to 1.76. Tom Gordon would also pitched an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Giants’ starter Jonathan Sanchez would only go four and one-third inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Billy Sadler would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on no hit. Jack Taschner is the Giants’ winning pitcher, as he goes one inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 2-0, with a 3.86 ERA. Tyler Walker would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hit. Brian Wilson would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, giving up no runs or hits, as he records his eleventh save of the year.

The Phils comes back home, with a 3-4 road trip and once again in third place in the National League East, three games behind the Marlins, who earlier had defeated the Nationals, and trailing the New York Mets by .005 percentage points, as they had also won. The Phils are a game ahead of the Braves, as their game with the Pirates was postponed because of rain.

The now third place Phillies (21-18) will have the day off tomorrow as they prepare to face for the first time this season the fourth place Atlanta Braves (18-17) at Citizens Bank Park for a three game set. The first game of the series will be played Tuesday night at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 4.93), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on May 7, where he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on ten hits in the Phils’ 5-4 come from behind win. Kendrick will be looking to improve his record. He will be opposed by Jo-Jo Reyes (1-0, 2.25). Reyes was taken out of his last game against the Padres on May 8, with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand. He had pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits, in the Braves’ 5-4 win. In his previous start, he defeated the Cincinnati Reds on May 3, giving up one earned run on four hits in five and one-third innings of work in the Braves’ 9-1 win. He will be looking for his second win of the season. The Phils will be looking to regain their winning ways against the once streaking Braves.

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