Results tagged ‘ Elijah Dukes ’

Cole Hamels appear to have returned to form as he help pitch the Phils to a sweep of the Nationals, 4-2.

Cole Hamels pitched eight strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits as he help led the Phils to a three-game sweep of the Nationals, 4-2. The Phils now have a seven and a half games lead over the now second place Braves, while their magic number have now dropped to 10.

The game started as a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who was working on a perfect game through the first five innings, striking out four, and Nationals’ starters Ross Detwiler, who was able to keep the Phils’ off the board for four innings, while giving up three hits and hitting a batter, while striking out four. The Phils then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two outs, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Pedro Feliz, who had earlier walked, and then moved up to second on a Carlos Ruiz ground out, 1-3, to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then added to their lead in the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, and a single to Ben Francisco, moving both Howard and Werth up a base, and with two man out, Ruiz received an RBI walk, forcing in Howard, and making it a 2-0 Phils’ lead, while moving Werth on to third and Francisco to second. The next batter, Hamels, then helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Werth, making it 3-0 Phils, while sending Francisco to third and Ruiz to second. The Nats’ would end the shut out in the seventh, an inning after Mike Morse had broken up Hamels’ no-hit bid with a lead-off single, as, with two men on, and with one man out, Elijah Dukes hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Zimmerman, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Josh Willingham’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Willingham, who had earlier singled, to second base. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the seventh as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, as Werth batted, Chase Utley, who had earlier walked, had moved up to second on a wild pitch, and then moved over to third on a Howard ground out, 4-3, would score on the second wild pitch of the inning, making it 4-1 Phils. The Nats would make it 4-2 Phils in the ninth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ian Desmond hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, knocking in Dukes, who had earlier tripled. But, that would be it as Brad Lidge would record his thirtieth save of the year by getting pinch hitter Willie Harris to fly out to center for the game’s final out.

Cole Hamels got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits and a walk, while striking out ten. His record is now 10-9 with a 4.07 ERA. Brad Lidge recorded his thirtieth save of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Ross Detwiler took the lost, as he went five innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while he struck out six. Tyler Clippard pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and three walks. Saul Rivera pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Ron Villone pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on a walk and a wild pitch, while he struck out a batter. Logan Kensing pitched two-thirds of an inning, throwing a wild pitch. Marco Estrado pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phillies had just six hits in the game, but getting them when they counted. Jimmy Rollins lead the way with two hits, including an RBI double, raising his average back up to .247. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco and Cole Hamels had the other four Phils’ hits, all singles, with Hamels’ single knocking in a run. Carlos Ruiz scored a Phil run with a bases loaded walk, while the other run (Utley) scored on a wild pitch. The Phils are now riding a five game winning streak, with starting pitching giving up very few, if any runs, while the Phils’ offense has been able to be a bit more productive at the plate with runners in scoring position.

The Phillies (85-60, 1st) begin a ten-games road trip with a three-games series with the Braves (78-68, 2nd), starting tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:30 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be J.A. Happ (10-4, 2.77), who will be making his first start since September 2, when he lost to the Giants, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 4-0 lost. He will be trying to make his start since he had strained his intercostal muscle while taking batting practice in Houston. The Braves will send to the mound Tim Hudson (1-0, 3.63), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on September 12, when he went five innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and a walk, as he struck out one, in the Braves’ 7-6 win. He will be trying to keep the Braves’ slim pennant hopes alive. The Phils are entering their final road trip of the season, with a chance to all but kill the pennant chances of both the Braves this weekend and the Marlins early next week.

Phils hang on last night to defeat the Nationals, 6-5. Lead in the East stays at six games.

The Phils continue the adventure that is the 2009 season, as Ryan Madson complete his second straight save opportunity by getting Adam Dunn to hit into a 4-6 line out double play with a runner on second and one man out, as the Phils finally defeat the pesty Nats, 6-5. Their lead over the Marlins remain at six games while their magic number drop down to nineteen.

The Nats took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Adam Dunn hits an RBI single, knocking in Cristian Guzman, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would strike back in the second, as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier doubled, tying the score at one-all. The Phils would then take the lead as, with the bases loaded, via a Pedro Feliz single, moving Werth up to second base, and then a walk to Paul Bako, moving Werth to third and Feliz to second, and still with no one out, Cliff Lee helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, easily scoring Werth, and giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while sending Feliz up to third, and Bako to second. The Phils would then make it 3-1, as with the bases still loaded, and with still no outs, Jimmy Rollins hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, making the inning’s first out as he scores Feliz, while moving Bako to third, and sending Lee to second. The Phils made it a 4-1 lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ibanez hits an RBI double, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had just walked. The Nats would get that run back in their half of the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Guzman hits an RBI ground out on a slow roller to Lee, 1-3, scoring Alberto Gonzalez from third, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Justin Maxwell’s single, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead, while moving Maxwell up to second base. Dunn would make the score 4-3 as he hits an RBI single, scoring Maxwell, who just beat Werth’s throw to the plate, while Dunn would move up to third on the throw. The Nats tied the game up at four-all in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Guzman hits into a force out, 6-4, on a ball misplayed by Rollins, allowing Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on pinch hitter Jorge Padilla’s single, wiping out Padilla at second, to score, as Guzman beat out the throw to first. The Phils regained the lead in the eighth as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off home run, his thirty-third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead. The next batter, Feliz, followed with a home run of his own, his tenth home run of the year, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead. The Nats got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with the bases loaded, with Ryan Zimmerman reaching base on a catch error by Howard, a double by Josh Willingham, sending Zimmerman to third base, and a walk to Elijah Dukes, and with one man out, pinch hitter Pete Orr hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Zimmerman from third, making it a 6-5 Phils’ lead. That would end up being the final score, as Ryan Madson converted his sixth save of the season, by getting Dunn to hit into a line out double play, 4-6, as Justin Maxwell, is doubled off second base.

Cliff Lee got the win as he went seven innings plus two batters, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on ten hits, as he struck out four. His record is now 13-11 (6-2) with an ERA of 3.13. Chan Ho Park converted his tenth hold as he pitched an inning, giving up just a walk. Ryan Madson collected his sixth save, as he also pitched an inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter. Garrett Mock received a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out four. Jason Bergmann pitched one and a third scoreless innings, giving up just a hit and a walk. Sean Burnett pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Tyler Clippard took the lost, as he gave up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. His record is now 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, as he struck out two batters.

The Phillies had eleven hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz each leading the team with two hits, with one of Victorino’s hits and one of Ibanez’s hits being for doubles, while Werth and Feliz both hit solo home runs, as Werth knocked in two runs, and Feliz and Ibanez each knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Cliff Lee had the other three Phils’ hits, with Lee’s hit knocking in a run, while Rollins knocked in the other Phils’ run with a ground out.

The Phils (79-58, 1st) will play their final game of the road trip with the Nationals (47-92, 5th) tonight with a night game. The game will be played at Nationals Park and it will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (9-6, 3.80),  who is coming off a no-decision against the Astros on September 5, where he pitched six strong innings, giving up just three runs on six hits and a walk, while he struck out five, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth win of the season. The Nats will counter with Livan Hernandez (7-10, 5.44), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on September 5, as he went five innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Nats’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to keep the Nats from being once again swept by the Phils. The Phils will be going for a sweep before coming home for seven games with the Mets and the Nats, as they hope to keep the Marlins at bay in the pennant race.

Thanks to a Nats throwing error in the eighth, the Phils finish the sweep, 8-6.

A throwing error by Nats’ reliever Jesus Colome to first on a Pedro Feliz’s bunt leads to a three-runs Phils’ eighth, giving the Phils a series sweep of the Nationals in Washington, as the Phils defeat the hapless Nationals, 8-6.

The Phils took the lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to third base. Shane Victorino made it a 3-0 Phils’ lead, as he hits a two-run double, scoring both Howard and Werth. The Nationals would come back in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and one man out, Adam Dunn hits an RBI double, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Nick Johnson’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Johnson over to third. A wild pitch by Phils’ starter Chan Ho Park would make it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, scoring Johnson, while sending Dunn up to third, with still one man out. Elijah Dukes then tied up the game at three-all as he hits an RBI double, knocking in Dunn. The Nationals took the lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Guzman, Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, and one man out, Dunn received an RBI walk, forcing in Guzman, making it a 4-3 Nats’ lead, while both Johnson and Zimmerman moved up a base. That would be it for Park, as he is replaced on the mound by Jack Taschner. The Nats then took a 5-3 lead, as Willie Harris, who had come into the game in place of Dukes, who had left the game because of an injury, was hit by the pitch, scoring Johnson, while moving up both Zimmerman and Dunn. The Phillies would then get out of the inning as Josh Willingham lined into a 5-4 double play, as Dunn is thrown out while trying to get back to second base. The Phillies came back in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Pedro Feliz, who had earlier singled and had moved to second on Taschner’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 5-4 Nats’ lead. The Phils then tied it at five-all, as, with a runner on second, and still two men out, Utley hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, who had earlier stole second base. The Nats regained the lead in the sixth, as, with runners on the corners, and nobody out, Zimmerman hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had gone over to third on Johnson’s single, making it a 6-5 Nats’ lead. The Phils took back the lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and nobody out, Pedro Feliz puts down a bunt towards third base that was fielded by Jesus Colome, who then threw to first. The throw got past Nats’ first baseman Johnson for an error, which allowed both Werth, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Victorino’s walk, and Victorino, who had just walked, to score, giving the Phils a 7-6 lead, while sending Feliz all the way to third on the error. Two batters later, with Feliz still on third, and one man out, pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett hits a pinch hit double, scoring Feliz, and giving the Phils an 8-6 lead. That would end up being the final score, as Brad Lidge came on in the ninth, with one man on base, Harris, via a walk from Scott Eyre, with one out, who got Willingham to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Harris at second, for his seventh save of the season, and his second save of the series, giving the Phils a series sweep.

Chan Ho Park got a no-decision, lasting only one and a third innings, giving up five runs on five hits, four walks and a wild pitch, while striking out only two. Jack Taschner pitched two and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball, giving up a hit, two walks and hitting a batter, while striking out two. Chad Durbin pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter, as he struck out two. Sergio Escalona got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out one. His record is presently 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Scott Eyre got his sixth hold of the season as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up just a walk, while striking out two. Brad Lidge got his seventh save of the year as he pitched to only one batter, getting him to hit into a double play. Jordon Zimmermann also got a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out six. Ron Villone pitched two scoreless innings. Julian Tavarez took the lost as he pitched to two batters, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk. His record is now 0-3 with an ERA of 6.32. Jesus Colome recorded his first blown save of the year as he pitched one third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless inning and a third, giving up just a hit.

The Phillies collected ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits each. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Eric Bruntlett got the other four hits. Victorino knocked in two runs, while Rollins, Utley, Werth and Bruntlett each knocked in a run. The win gives the Phillies their third sweep of the season, with all three being done on the road. This was also the worst start for Park since joining the Phils, after having two straight quality starts, so his days in the starting rotation may be numbered.

The Phillies (20-16, 2nd) have the day off today before they start a three-games series with the Reds (21-16, 3rd National League Central) tomorrow night in Cincinnati. The Phils hope to continue there hot streak while in Cincinnati.

Phillies watch their five-game winning streak end as they fall to the Nationals, 4-1.

Well, everything must end, and sadly, in this case, it was the Phillies’ five-game winning streak as they lose to the Nationals, 4-1.

The Phillies took an early, as, with one out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his third home run of the year, making it 1-0 Phillies. The Nationals would tie it up at one-all in the third, as, with the bases loaded, via a double, to Anderson Hernandez, a walk to Nationals’ starter Scott Olsen, who was then forced out at second on a Cristian Guzman ground ball to first, 3-6, which sent Hernandez to third, while Guzman would beat out Jimmy Rollins’ throw back to first base, a Chris Coste pass ball, which sent Guzman up to second base, and a walk to Nick Johnson, with two men out, as Ryan Zimmerman walked, forcing in Hernandez with the tying run and moving Guzman and Johnson up to third and second base, respectively. The Nationals took the lead in the fifth, as, with a runner on second base, and one man out, Elijah Dukes hits an RBI single, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier doubled, making it 2-1 Nationals. The Nationals increased their lead three batters later, as, now with two men on base, and two men outs, Hernandez hits an RBI single, knocking in Dukes, who had moved up to second base on Josh Willingham’s single, making it 3-1 Nats, while sending Willingham over to third. The Nationals added an insurance run in the eighth, as, with two men on, and two outs, Hernandez hits an RBI double, scoring pinch runner Willie Harris, who had taken over first base after Adam Dunn had earlier singled and had stolen second base, making it 4-1 Nationals, while sending Jesus Flores, who had earlier been intentionally walked, over to third. That ended up being the final score, as the Phillies would be unable to mount a comeback in the bottom half of the eighth.

Brett Myers took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, as he struck out three. His record is now 1-2 with a 4.83 ERA. Although he gave up no home runs in this game, his pitch count is getting too high as he is getting into too many 3-2 counts. Jack Taschner pitched two innings in relief, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. J.A. Happ pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out a batter. Scott Olsen got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on six hits and two walks, while striking out six. His record is now 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA. Garrett Mock pitched a scoreless inning and a third as he held back the Phillies, giving up no hits and a walk, while striking out one. Kip Wells also pitched a scoreless inning as he held, giving up only two walks. Julian Tavarez recorded his first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit, as he struck out a batter.

The Phillies were only able to record seven hits in the game. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard both led the way with two hits each, all singles, as Rollins raised his batting average to .207, seeming to be ready to hit over .400 for the month of May as he’d predicted a few days ago. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez had the other three hits, with Victorino’s hit, a home run, knocking in the Phils only run of the game. The lost gives the Phils an 11-9 record for the month of April, their second straight winning April. It would seems that the starters are starting to get their act together, which would be great news for the Phillies’ offense, as it would give them less reasons to be trying to come from behind to win games.

The Phillies (11-9, 2nd) have the day off today. Their next game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. 

Two grand-slams powered the Phils over the Nationals, as they once again come from behind to win, 13-11.

The Phillies, thanks to grand slams by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, were able to defeat the Washington Nationals, 13-11, as starting pitching once again failed them.

Washington took a quick 1-0 lead, as, with the bases loaded via singles to Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns and a walk to Jesus Flores, and with one man out, Alberto Gonzalez knocked in Dunn with a sacrifice fly, while sending Kearns over to third. The next batter, Nationals’ starter Shairon Martis, helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Kearns, while sending Flores over to second base. The Phillies would quickly tie the game up in their half of the second. With runners on second and third, with no one out, Greg Dobbs hits an RBI single, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and had move to third on Raul Ibanez’s double, while sending Ibanez, who had earlier doubled, over to third. The score was then tied up at two-all as Lou Marson hits into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Dobbs at second, as Ibanez scored. The Nats retook the lead in the third, as, with a runner on first, and no one out, Ryan Zimmerman hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, scoring Nick Johnson, who had earlier walked, making it 4-2 Nationals. Two batters later, Elijah Dukes made it a 5-2 Nationals’ lead as he hits a solo home run, his third home run of the season. It became 6-2 Nationals in the fifth, as Zimmerman hits a lead-off solo home run, his fourth home run of the season, and his second of the ball game. But the Phils would come back to tie it up at six all in their half of the fifth, as with the bases loaded via singles by Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley, with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a grand slam home run to center field, his fourth home run of the season and the sixth grand slam home run of his career, scoring Rollins, Victorino and Utley. But, the Nats regained the lead in the sixth, as with the bases loaded via a double to Anderson Hernandez, an intentional walk to Zimmerman, and a walk to Dunn, with two men out, Dukes walked, bringing in Hernandez, making it 7-6 Nationals. The Phils would tie it up at seven-all in the bottom of the sixth, as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Rollins hits an RBI double on a ball that was misplayed in foul territiory by third baseman Zimmerman that landed fair, scoring Marson, who had earlier walked, and had moved to third base on pinch hitter Pedro Feliz’s double, while Feliz would only end up on third. Sadly, the Phils would be unable to do more damage as Victorino grounded out back to the pitcher, 1-3 for the inning’s first out, and after Utley was hit by the pitch, loading the bases, Howard this time lined out into a double play, 3-unassisted, as Johnson beat Utley back to the bag. The Nationals retook the lead in the top of the eighth, as with a runner on first, and no one out, Johnson hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the year, scoring Hernandez, who had earlier walked, making it 9-7 Nats. Two batters later, with a man on first, and still nobody out, Dunn hits a two-run home run, his fifth home run of the season, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier walked, to give the Nationals an 11-7 lead. But, the Phils would come right back in their half of the eighth. With runners on second and third, and one out, Victorino hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third base on Rollins’ second double of the night, making it 11-8 Nationals. Utley then hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, and cutting the Nats’ lead down to 11-9. Howard and Werth followed with a pair of walks, loading the bases for Ibanez, with still two men out. On the first swing of the bat, Ibanez hits a fast ball into right field for a grand slam home run, his sixth home run of the year, his eighth career grand slam home run, and the Phils’ second grand slam of the night, as they took the lead 13-11, their first lead of the ball game. Ryan Madson then came into the game to record his first save of the season, as he shut down the Nats, giving up only a single.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he lasted only four and a thirds innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three. Jack Taschner pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on on one hit and two walks. Clay Condrey pitched one and one-thirds scoreless innings, giving up a walk, as he struck out two batters. Scott Eyre faced only four batters, giving up four runs on two hits, both home runs, and three walks. J.A. Happ picked up the win as he pitched an inning, giving up no runs, while giving up only a walk. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA. Ryan Madson recorded his first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit, as he struck out two. Shairon Martis also received a no decision, as he went five innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. Julian Tavarez recorded his first blown save of the year, as he allowed a run to score, while pitching one-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits. Mike Hinckley pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs. Kip Wells pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two. Garrett Mock pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan took the lost as he blew the save for the third time this year, as he gave up three runs on one hit and two walks, as he struck out a batter in a third of an inning. His record is now 0-1 with a 8.64 ERA.

The Phillies had fourteen hits in the game, with both Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez leading the way with three hits apiece. Rollins had a single and two doubles, knocking in a run, while scoring two, as he raised his average up to .192, as he may be showing signs of coming out of his slump. Ibanez had a single, a double and a grand slam home run, the eighth one in his career, as he knocked in four runs, while scoring twice, raising his average to .342. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz each had two hits, with both Victorino and Feliz recording a double. Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs recorded the other two hits, with Howard’s hit being a grand slam home run, his sixth career grand slam, leaving him just one short of the Phillies’ record of seven career grand slams, set by Mike Schmidt. The two grand slams in one game was last done by the Phils on September 9, 2003, when Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels hit grand slams against the Braves. Besides Rollins’ RBI, and the four RBIs posted by both Howard and Ibanez, Victorino, Utley, and Dobbs would record the other three. The Phillies’ pitching staff, after giving up none on Sunday, gave up five home runs last night, three by Blanton, and two by Eyre, which leaves Ryan Madson as the only Phils’ pitcher who has so far not given up a gopher ball. Madson’s stint in the ninth inning occurred because Brad Lidge is presently listed as day-to-day, thanks to inflammation of his right knee. Hopefully this will be a temporary situation as the knee will be checked on today. With the victory, the Phils have now won four games in a row, and are just half a game behind the slumping Marlins, who had lost their seventh straight game to the New York Mets.

The Phillies (10-8, 2nd) will continue their three-games series with the Nationals (4-14, 5th). The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (0-2, 9.69), who is still looking for his first win, as he came off a lost against the Brewers on April 23, where he pitched only three and a thirds innings, after being taken out of the game after being hit by a line drive off his left shoulder off the bat of Prince Fielder. He had at that point given up two runs on four hits and no walks, while striking out six, looking like he was getting back his old form, in the Phils’ 6-1 lost. He will be going for his first win while really lowering his ERA. His opponent will be John Lannan (0-2, 4.43), who is also looking for his first win, as he comes off his second straight no-decision, this time against the Braves on April 22, as he went seven innings, giving up no runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Nationals’ 1-0 lost. He will try to record his first win. The Phillies will try to make it five wins in a row, while hoping that they’ll be ending up in first place for the first time this season.

Joe Blanton loses his first game as a Phil as the Nationals gain their first win of the year as they defeat the Phils, 8-2.

The Phillies’ Joe Blanton loses his first start since being traded to the Phils, as he and the relief corps were the victims of several home runs launched by the Nationals as the Phils fall to the Nationals, 8-2.

The Nationals took a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Adam Dunn hit a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, knocking in both Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, who had both earlier singled, while the two had moved up to third and second base respectively on Zimmerman’s single, as Pedro Feliz committed a catch error on the play. Those would turn out to be the only runs that Joe Blanton would give up as he proceeded to pitch the Phillies’ starters first quality start as he kept the Nationals scoreless for the next five innings. The Phillies, meantime, proceeded to cut down the Nats’ lead. They first made it 3-1 in the fourth as Raul Ibanez, with two men outs, singled in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled and had moved over to second base on Ryan Howard’s ground out to first. The Phils then cut the lead down to 3-2 in the fifth as Jimmy Rollins hit a sacrifice fly, knocking in Lou Marson, who had earlier doubled and had moved over to third on Blanton’s sacrifice bunt. But, the bullpen, this time, would be unable to keep the game close. In the seventh, Chad Durbin gave up a lead-off, solo home run to Josh Willingham, Willingham’s first home run of the year, making it 4-2 Nats. Then in the eighth, Jack Taschner would give up four runs to the Natonals. Elijah Dukes started things off by hitting a lead-off, solo home run, his second hme run of the season, increasing the Nationals’ lead to 5-2. Three batters later, Alberto Gonzalez made it 6-2 Nationals by hitting a solo home run with two outs, his first home run of the year. Two batters later, Anderson Hernandez made it 7-2 Nats with an RBI single, knocking in Roger Bernadina, who had earlier walked and then stole second base. Zimmerman increased the Nationals’ lead to 8-2 by bringing home Hernandez, who had moved up to second base on Johnson’s walk, while Johnson would move up to second. That would end up being the final score as Joel Hanrahan came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Nationals, giving them their first win of the season.

Joe Blanton took the lost, his first since his trade last year to the Phils from the Oakland A’s, as he pitched six solid innings, giving up just three runs on eight hits and one walk, while he struck out five. His record is now 0-1 with a still high ERA of 9.00. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, getting smoked for four runs on four hits and two walks as he struck out two. J.A. Happ pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Shairon Martis picked up the win for the Nationals, as he went six and one-thirds innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out one. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA. Mike Hinckley pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Joe Beimel pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan also pitched a 1-2-3 inning, with a strike out, ending the game for the Nationals.

The Phillies had only five hits in the game, with both Raul Ibanez and Lou Marson collecting two hits. Ibanez, who raised his average to .303, went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Marson, catching in his first game since being called up because of Carlos Ruiz’s injury, went two for three, including a double, as he scored a run. Chase Utley had the other Phils’ hit, a single, as he went 1 for 3 with a walk, scoring a run, as his average dropped to .393. Jimmy Rollins knocked in the other Phils’ run with a sacrifice fly. The Phils other .300 hitters at the moment, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz saw their batting averages drop as they all took the collar (.313, .313 and .308 respectively).

The Phillies (4-4, 3rd) now come home for a seven-games home stand, starting with a four-games series with the San Diego Padres (7-3, T-1st National League West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin after 7 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (0-1, 17.18), who is coming off a rocky start against the Colorado Rockies last friday night. He gave up seven runs on eleven hits and a walk, while striking out only one batter in three and two-thirds innings of work, in the Phils’ 10-3 lost. He will be trying to recover from that poor start. The Padres will counter with Chris Young (2-0, 1.38), who is coming off a win against the San Francisco Giants on April 12, where he pitched seven strong innings, giving up no runs on four hits, while striking out seven, in the Padres’ 6-1 win. He will be looking to increase his record to 3-0 at the Phillies’ expense. The Phillies will come home, preparing several tributes in the memory of the late Harry Kalas, while trying to see if they can get back onto the winning track.

The Phillies have now won three games in a row as they defeat the Nats in a wild one, 9-8.

Hours after their beloved voice had died in a local Washington hospital, the Phillies hung on to win a wild one in the nation’s capital as they defeat the Nationals, 9-8. The victory gave them their first three games winning streak of the season.

The Nationals took an early lead in the first, as Elijah Dukes hit a two-out RBI double, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled and had stolen second base, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Phillies came back in the second, tying the game up at one apiece on a bases loaded walk to Chris Coste, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, moved to second on a force out attempt, fielding error at second base by second baseman Anderson Hernandez on a Raul Ibanez grounder and a walk to Pedro Feliz. The Phils then took a 2-1 lead as starter Jamie Moyer hit a sacrifice fly to left, as Ibanez crossed the plate ahead of left fielder’s Adam Dunn’s throw to the plate. Washington tied it up at two all in their half of the second as Guzman hit a two-out RBI single, scoring Hernandez who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Nats’ starter Daniel Carbrera’s sacifice bunt. The Phils retook the lead in the top of the third on Shane Victorino’s lead-off home run, his first home run of the year, making it 3-2 Phils. The Phillies made it 4-2 in the fourth as Jimmy Rollins hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Feliz, who had earlier singled to left and had gone to second on Dunn’s fielding error and then moved on to third on Moyer’s ground out, 6-3. The Nationals got one of those runs back in their half of the fourth on a two-out single by Guzman, scoring Lastings Milledge, who had earlier single and stole second, making it a 4-3 Phillies’ lead. The Nats then tied the game up at four all in the fifth as Dukes hit a one-out solo home run, his first home run of the year. The Phils retook the lead for good in the seventh, as Ryan Howard hit a three-run home, his first home run of the year, scoring both Victorino and Chase Utley, who had both reached base after being hit by the pitch, with nobody out, making it 7-4 Phils. Two batters later, with one man out, Ibanez hit a solo shot, his third home run of the season, to make the score 8-4 Phils. In the bottom half of the inning, the Nats got two of the runs back on an one-out, two-run home run by Dunn, his second home run of the season, scoring Guzman, who had earlier singled, making it an 8-6 Phils’ lead. The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth, as Victorino hit a sacrifice fly, scoring pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett, who had earlier doubled and moved to third on a Rollins’ ground out, 4-3. In the ninth inning, the Nats made the game close as Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run home run, with no one out, his second home run of the season, off of closer Brad Lidge, knocking in pinch runner Alberto Gonzalez, who was pinch running for Guzman, who had earlier singled, making it a 9-8 Phillies’ lead. But that would be the final score as Lidge went on to strike out Dunn on five pitches, get Dukes to strike out on four pitches and then get Nick Johnson to ground out to Howard for the final out, to record his third save of the season.

Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched a good game for the Phillies, going six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 1-1 with a too high ERA of 6.55. Clay Condrey pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. Scott Eyre went a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson then pitched a scoreless eighth inning, holding the lead as he struck out two. Brad Lidge recorded his third save of the year as he went one inning, giving up two runs on two hits, as he struck out two men. Daniel Carbera got a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and two walks, while striking out only two batters. Julian Tavarez then pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, as he struck out two. Mike Hinckley then pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Saul Rivera took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up four runs on two hits and two hit batters, as he struck out one Phil. His record is now 0-1 with a 8.44 ERA. Wilfredo Ledezma would pitch an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit.

The Phils collected ten hits in the game, with Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez leading the way with two hits each. Howard and Ibanez both hit home runs, with Howard’s being a three-run blast and Ibanez’s a solo shot, while Ibanez also hit a double. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Pedro Feliz and Eric Bruntlett had the Phils’ other four hits, with Victorino’s hit being a solo home run, while Rollins and Bruntlett’s hits were doubles. Besides Howard’s three RBI’s and Ibanez’s one, Victorino knocked in two, the second one on a sac fly, Rollins knocked in a run, Jamie Moyer plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Coste brought in one on a bases loaded walk. Howard raised his batting average to .345 and Werth increased his to .357 with their two hits, while Feliz is now hitting .364 thanks to his lone hit. Utley’s batting average dropped down to .400 as he went 0 for 4 in the game. 

The Phillies (4-3) have the day off tomorrow. Although they were originally schedule to go to the White House to meet the President, that function has been cancelled because of Harry Kalas’ death earlier this afternoon. The next Phillies’ game will be played against the Nationals (0-7) Wednesday night from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (0-1, 15.75), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on April 9, when he went only four innings, giving up nine runs on eleven hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Phils 12-11 come from behind win. Blanton will be looking to improve upon his previous start. The Nationals’ starter is yet to be announced. The Phils will be looking to make it four wins in a row on Wednesday.

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.

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