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Kyle Kendrick and the bullpen combine for a five-hit shut out as the Phils defeat the Braves, 3-0.

Emergency starter Kyle Kendrick and the bullpen combine for a five-hitter as the Phils threw their sixth shut out of the season as they defeat the Braves, 3-0.

The Phils took the lead in the second as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Pete Orr hits an RBI ground out, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Brian Schneider’s single, as Schneider was out at second base on the force out, 4-6, for the inning’s second out, while Orr beat out shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s throw to first. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the year, and the 260th of his career, putting him into second place on the Phils’ all-time list, ahead of Del Ennis. The Phils then took a 3-0 lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, then stole second base. That would be the final score, as Kyle Kendrick and the Phils’ bullpen would combine for a five-hit shut out, the sixth so far pitched by the Phils this year, with Ryan Madson ending the game by getting Gonzalez to ground out, 5-3, for his third save in three tries.

Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 1.50) gets the win as he pitched five innings, giving up just two hits and a walk, while striking out three. J.C. Romero collected his second hold of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, as he got out of a jam. Michael Stutes received his first hold of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Antonio Bastardo collected his second hold of the season as he also pitched a scoreless inning, walking a batter. Ryan Madson received his third save in three tries, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Julio Teheran (0-1, 5.79) took the lost as he went four and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out just one batter. Scott Linebrink pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. George Sherrill and Cory Gearrin combine for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Gearrin) and a walk (Gearrin), while striking out two (one each) between them.

The Phils had only five hits in the game, a single by Jimmy Rollins, a triple by Shane Victorino, knocking in a run, a solo home run by Ryan Howard, a single by Brian Schneider and a pinch hit single by Ross Gload. The other Phil run came in on Pete Orr’s force out, as he beat the throw to first base.

The Phils (22-10, 1st) will conclude their series with the Braves (19-16, 3rd) tomorrow night in a nationally televised game that will be shown on ESPN. The game will be played at Citizen Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (4-1, 2.66), who is coming off a win against the Nats on May 3, as he went all nine innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 4-1 win. He will be going for his fifth straight victory. The Braves will try to counter with Jair Jurrjens (3-0, 1.62), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on May 2, as he pitched seven and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on seven hits, while striking out four, in the Braves’ 6-2 win. He will be trying to give the Braves a series win over the Phils. The Phils will be trying for their latest series win before going on the road.

Coming from behind, the Phils support a strong effort from Roy Halladay as they defeat the Mets, 2-1.

A strong effort by Roy Halladay is supported by a two-run seventh, as the Phils come from behind to defeat the Mets, 2-1.

The Mets took the lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Carlos Beltran hits an RBI single, knocking in Daniel Murphy, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on David Wright’s infield single, beating out Placido Polanco’s throw to second base, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead, while sending Wright, who had just singled, up to second base. Roy Halladay would then get out of trouble by getting Jason Bay to fly out to center field for the first out, as Wright would move up to third, then get Ike Davis to foul out to the third baseman for the inning’s second out, before ending the inning by getting Josh Thole to ground out, 6-3. The game would then be a pitcher’s duel, with Halladay giving up just one run for seven innings on six hits, as he struck out seven, helped along by a double play, while Mets’ starter Jon Niese kept the Phils off-balance for six innings, scattering four hits and one walk, while striking out two. The Phils would then tie the game up at one-all in the seventh as John Mayberry, Jr. hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the year. The Phils then took the lead five batters later as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Wilson Valdez, a walk by Dane Sardinha, sending Valdez to second base, and a single by Shane Victorino, sending Valdez on to third, and Sardinha to second, and with one man out, Polanco hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Valdez, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while sending Sardinha on to third. That would be more than enough for Roy Halladay, as he would give up only one more hit, and a walk, being helped by a double play in the eighth and his eighth strikeout in the ninth, before ending the game by getting Davis to ground out, 3-1.

Roy Halladay (4-1, 2.14) gets the win as he pitched a complete game, giving up a run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out eight. He started the game with eighteeen straight strikes, and would end up with a strike/walk ratio of 80/27. Jon Niese (1-4, 4.71) took the lost as he went six and one-third innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out three. Taylor Buchholz pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. Tim Byrdak pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Jason Isringhausen pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk.

The Phils had only seven hits in the game, with Placido Polanco, with a single and a double, while knocking in a run with a sac fly, and John Mayberry, Jr. with a single and a home run, with an RBI, both leading the team with two hits apiece. Shane Victorino (Single), Jimmy Rollins (Single) and Wilson Valdez (Single) had the other three Phils’ hits, with Valdez ending a hitless streak. With his two hits, Polanco now has 41 hits in April, establishing a new team hits record for the month, while the team won their eighteenth game, establishing a new team wins record for the month.

The Phils (18-8, 1st) will conclude their three-game series with the Mets (11-16, 5th) tomorrow, with a night game that will be televised by ESPN. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.18), who is coming off a bad start against the D-backs on April 25, as he would go seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out twelve, in the Phils’ 4-0 lost. He will be looking to lead the Phils to a sweep over the Mets, while improving on his last start. The Mets will counter with Chris Young (1-0, 2.65), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on April 26, as he went four and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out three, in the Mets’ 6-4 win. He will be trying to keep the Mets from being swept. The Phils will be trying to start the home stand with a sweep.

Memo to National League: The Doc is operating with a hot hand right now, as Phils defeat the Mets, 4-0.

The Phils finally breaks out some runs at Citi Field, partly thanks to some Mets mistakes, while Halladay shuts down the Mets’ bats, as the Phils defeat the Mets, 4-0.

The Phils took the lead in the third as, with two men on base, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Roy Halladay, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while Rollins, who had earlier singled, stopped at third. The Mets tried to tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, as Jose Reyes hits a lead-off triple. But the Doc went to work as he got Angel Pagan to hit a grounder towards third, which Polanco scooped up, and after looking Reyes back to third, threw out Pagan, 5-3. Halladay then struck out the next two batters, David Wright and Carlos Beltran, both swinging, to end the threat. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a grounder to second baseman Ruben Tejada, who then threw the ball pass Reyes at second base for a throwing error, allowing Rollins, who had earlier walked, and then went to second base on Polanco’s single, to score, making it a 2-0 Phils’ lead, while Polanco, who had earlier singled, was safe at second on the error. The Phils would increase their lead in the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino, who then moved up a base on Carlos Ruiz’s ground out, 1-3, for the inning’s first out, and then an intentional walk to Wilson Valdez, and with two men out, as Halladay strikes out, Rollins hits a grounder to third baseman Wright, who then missed the ball, as it goes between his legs, allowing both Werth and Victorino to score on the fielding error, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead, while Valdez would stop at third and Rollins at second. In the ninth, the Mets tried to come back against Ryan Madson as they loaded up the bases via singles to Wright and Beltran, and Fernando Martinez being hit by a pitch, and with two men out, before Madson finally ended the game by striking out Josh Thole swinging.

Roy Halladay get the win as he pitches eight inning, giving up just four hits, while striking out seven. His record is now 15-8 with a 2.24 ERA. Ryan Madson pitches a scoreless inning, giving up just two hits and a hit batter, while striking out the side. Pat Misch took the lost, as he pitches six innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on eight hits and two walks, while striking out two. His record is now 0-1 with an ERA of 1.50. Bobby Parnell, Elmer Dessens and Francisco Rodriguez combine for three scoreless innings, giving up just one hit (Rodriguez) between them, while striking out one (Dressens).

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino both leading the team with two hits each, all singles, with Polanco having the only Phil RBI of the night, as the other three runs came in on two Mets’ errors. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz, Roy Halladay and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs had the other five Phils’ hit, with Dobbs’ hit being the Phils’ only extra-base hit, a double. The offense finally scored some runs in Citi Field, helped along by the Mets’ defense.

The Phils (65-51, 2nd) will conclude their three-game series with the Mets (58-58, 3rd) with a night game tonight, that will be televised by ESPN. The game will start at 8:05 pm, and will be played at Citi Field. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 4.60), who is coming off a lost against the Dodgers on August 10, as he pitched only three and a third innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on eight hits and two walks, while striking out a batter, in the Phils’ 15-9 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched fifteen and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on twenty hits and five walks, while striking out eleven. He will be trying to recover from last Tuesday’s bad start. The Mets will counter with Mike Pelfrey (11-6, 3.95), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on August 10, as he threw seven shut out innings, giving up just four hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Mets’ 1-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched seventeen and a third innings, giving up ten runs, eight of which were earned, on twenty hits and five walks, while striking out nine. He will be trying to give the Mets the series win. The Phils will be going for the series win, before coming back home for a series with the wild-card leading Giants.

Jose Contreras ends a Brewers threat in the bottom of the ninth as the Phils give Joe Blanton as they defeat the Brew Crew, 10-6.

Jose Contreras ends a Brewers’ bases loaded threat in the bottom of the ninth by striking out two straight batters, collecting his first career save, as he preserves Joe Blanton’s first win of the year, as the Phils defeat the Brewers, 10-6. The Phils’ lead in the East is now at three games as the Nats lose a doubleheader to the Rockies.

The Phils took the lead in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI single, knocking in Paul Hoover, who had earlier singled, and moved up to second on Phils’ starter Joe Blanton’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Blanton, who was safe at first on the sac bunt, up to second base. Two batters later, with two men on base, and now with two men out, Chase Utley hits a ground-rule double, knocking in Blanton, making it 2-0 Phils, while sending Victorino to third. The Brewers cut the Phils’ lead in the fifth as Prince Fielder hits a lead-off home run, his sixth home run of the season, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils’ increased their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with one out, Victorino hits a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, knocking in Hoover, who had earlier singled, to give the Phils a 4-1 lead. The Brewers got a run back in their half of the fifth as Alcides Escobar hits a pinch hit home run, his second home run of the year, making it a 4-2 Phils’ lead. The Phils then busted the game wide open in the seventh. With two men on, and with one man out, Hoover hits a two-run double, knocking in both Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Wilson Valdez’s single, and then moved up to third on Claudio Vargas’ wild pitch, and Valdez, who had just singled, and then went to second on Vargas’ wild pitch, making it a 6-2 Phils’ lead. Two batters later, Victorino would make it a 7-2 Phils’ lead, as he hit an RBI double, knocking in Hoover, who had gone to third on Blanton’s single, while sending Blanton on to third. Placido Polanco follows with an RBI single, scoring Blanton and giving the Phils an 8-2 lead, while sending Victorino on to third base. Utley next hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino, to give the Phils a 9-2 lead. The Brewers struck back in their half of the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, Corey Hart hit a two-run home run, his fourth home run of the year, knocking in both Fielder, who had earlier doubled, and Gregg Zaun, who had just walked, making it a 9-5 Phils’ lead. The Phils got a run back in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with no one out, Hoover hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out at second base Valdez, who had just singled, while scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked, and had gone to third on Hoover’s single, giving the Phils’ a 10-5 lead. The Brewers made it 10-6 in the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Hart hits an RBI double, knocking in Jody Gerut, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Zaun’s single, while sending Zaun, who had earlier singled, on to third. After pinch hitter George Kottaras walked to load up the bases, Jose Contreras ended the game by getting Rickie Weeks to strike out swinging, and Craig Counsell to strike out looking, to record his first save of the year.

Joe Blanton gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five. His record is now 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA. Chad Durbin pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he strikes out one. David Herndon pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Jose Contreras records his first career save, as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out two. Chris Narveson takes the lost as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out nine. His record is now 3-1 with a 5.29 ERA. Mitch Stetter pitches a third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Claudio Vargas pitches a third of an inning, giving up five runs on six hits. Jeff Suppan pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. John Axford pitches an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Carlos Villanueva pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he strikes out one.

The Phils had seventeen hits in the game, the most hits in a game so far this season. Placido Polanco led the team with four hits, all singles, knocking in a run. Shane Victorino and Paul Hoover follows with three hits each, with Victorino’s hits being a single, a double and a two-run home run, knocking in four runs, while Hoover’s hits were two singles and a double, as he knocks in two runs, while a third run scores on his doubleplay grounder. Chase Utley and Wilson Valdez then follow with two hits apiece, with Utley’s hits being a ground-rule double and a regular double, knocking in two runs, while Valdez’s hits were both singles. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Phils’ starter Joe Blanton had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles.

The Phils (22-13, 1st East) will conclude their road trip with a night game against the Brewers (15-21, 4th Central). The game will be played at Miller Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern, that will be nationally televised by ESPN. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (3-2, 4.53), who is coming off a win against the Braves on May 9, as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-3 win. He will be trying to lead the Phils to a series sweep while trying for his second strong start in three tries. The Brewers will counter with Doug Davis (1-4, 7.56), who is coming off a lost against the Braves on May 10, as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on three hits and six walks, while striking out four, in the Brewers’ 8-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the Brewers from being swept. The Phils will be trying to end the trip on a high note, with a series sweep.

Roy Halladay throws a complete game shutout at the Mets as the Phils’ bat wake up to pound on their NL East rival, 10-0.

As the Phils’ bats pound out thirteen hits against Mets’ pitching, Roy Halladay pitches his third complete game start and his second shutout of the season as the Phils defeat the Mets, 10-0, putting them half a game behind the first place Mets as they head into the rubber match of the series.

The game started as a three and a half innings pitchers’ duel between Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey, who gave up only one hit, a lead-off double to Shane Victorino in the first, while Phils’ starter Roy Halladay gave up three hits, getting out of jams in the second, third and fourth innings, leaving it a 0-0 ballgame. The Phils then took the lead in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single on a pop up that Mets’ second baseman Alex Cora is unable to catch, scoring Chase Utley, who had earlier singled on a pop up that Mets’ shortstop Jose Reyes was unable to catch, and then moved up to second on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had already singled, up to second base. Two batters later, with two men still on base, and with one man out, Juan Castro hit a two-run double, scoring both Howard and Werth, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. After Castro is thrown out at home by Mets’ centerfielder Angel Pagan, 8-2, on a Carlos Ruiz’s single for the second out of the inning, and then a single by Halladay, which sent Ruiz up to second, the Phils made it 6-0 as Victorino hits a three-run home run, his fourth home run of the season. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run triple, knocking in Utley, who had earlier doubled, and went to third on Howard’s fly out, and Werth, who had earlier walked, giving the Phils an 8-0 lead. The Phils made it 9-0 in the seventh as, with a runner on second, and with one out, Werth hits an RBI single, scoring Utley, who had earlier doubled. Three batters later, with two men on base, and with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, knocking in Werth, who was safe on a throwing error by Mets’ first baseman Ike Davis on an Ibanez’s grounder, making it 10-0 Phils, while sending Ibanez, who was safe on Davis’ error, on to third. That would be the final score as Halladay would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the shut out win.

Roy Halladay threw a complete game shut out, giving up only three hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA. Mike Pelfrey took the lost as he goes only four innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and a walk, as he strikes out only two. His record is now 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA. Raul Valdes pitches three innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on five hits and a walk, as he strikes out six batters. Manny Acosta pitches a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phils’ bats break out for thirteen hits, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, for two doubles and a single, as he scores three runs. Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz follows with two hits each. Victorino hits were a double and a three-run home run, knocking in three RBIs. Werth had two singles, knocking in two runs, while scroing three. Ruiz also had two singles, knocking in a run, while scoring a run. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Juan Castro and Roy Halladay each recorded a hit, with Howard and Halladay’s hits being singles, with both man scoring a run, Ibanez’s hit being a triple, knocking in two runs, while Castro’s hit was a double, also knocking in two runs.

The Phils (13-10, 2nd?) will conclude their series with the Mets (14-10, 1st) tomorrow night. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. The Phils will send to the mound the ageless Jamie Moyer (2-2, 5.25), who is coming off a lost against the Giants on April 27, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and a walk, while he struck out two, in the Phils’ 6-2 lost. Moyer will be going for his third victory of the season, while trying to help the Phils regain first place. The Mets will counter by sending to the mound the Phils’ nemesis Johan Santana (3-1, 2.08), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on April 27, as he pitched six innings, giving up no runs on four hits and three walks, which striking out six, in the Mets’ 4-0 win. He will be trying to continue his dominance of the Phils while trying to keep the Mets in first place. The Phils will be trying for both a series win and regaining first place in the NL East.

Post No. 500: Spring Training: Phillies lose final Spring Training game to the Rays, 9-7. Are ready for Opening Night.

Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies faced the Tampa Bay Rays in their final spring training game. Despite their best efforts, they lost the game to the Rays, 9-7.

The Phils’ ace, Cole Hamels, started the game for the World Champs. In five innings of work, he gets rocked by the 2008 American League Champs, giving up six runs on six hits, including two home runs, a solo shot in the first inning to former teammate Pat Burrell and a three-run home run to Carlos Pena, also in the first, and a walk while striking out seven. Gary Majewski followed him, pitching a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit. J.C. Romero then took the mound for an inning, being hit for two runs on three hits and a walk. Cedrick Bowers followed Romero, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Mike Koplove took the mound in the ninth, giving up a run on one hit and three walks while striking out a batter. Hamels took the lost, with his spring record now at 0-1 with a 9.39 ERA. In spite of the bad outing, the fact that Hamels was striking out a large number of batters in the ballgame should be an indication that he will be tough to face during the regular season.

Among the batters, the Phils had eleven hits against Rays’ pitching. Matt Stairs led the way with three hits, two singles and a double, as he knocked in a run and scored a run, ending the spring with a .288 batting average. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez both followed with two hits each, with Ibanez hitting a home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, along with a double, while Howard had two singles and scored a run. Howard ended the spring with a .333 batting average while Ibanez ended his with a .310 batting average. Hopefully, Howard will be able to translate his hot spring hitting into the regular season. If so, opposing pitchers are in for a long season while facing him. Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs and Jason Donald had the other four Phillies’ hits, with Dobbs’ hit being a two-run home run in the fourth, while Donald’s was a solo shot in the sixth. Werth’s hit, a double, help knocked in a run. Werth ended the spring with a .333 average, after a slow start thanks to injury problems. Rollins ended his spring with a .351 batting average, after coming back from being hot while playing for Team USA in the WBC. Prospect Jason Donald will be headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a .310 batting average.

The defending 2008 World Champions are now ready to begin their title defense, ready to become the first National League team to repeat as World Series Champs since the Pete Rose-Johnny Bench-Joe Morgan-led Big Red Machine of 1975-76.

The Phillies will play the first game of their title defense tonight at home against the Atlanta Braves, the first game of a three-game series with the Braves. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, with the game starting at 8:00 pm Eastern time. The game will be televisied nationally on ESPN. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers while the Braves will counter with Derek Lowe. Both starters’ records will be 0-0 with a -.– ERA.

PLAY BALL!!! and GO PHILLIES!!!!!

The Phillies lose the battle of aces as they are unable to tie the Mets for first place.

The Phillies lose the nightcap of the day/night doubleheader as Johan Santana gets the better of Cole Hamels as the Mets defeat the Phillies, 6-3. The lost would push the Phillies back to being two games behind the Mets with 19 games left to go. The Phillies would strike first in the first inning, as with two men on and one out, Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and has gone to second on Jayson Werth’s walk, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while sending Werth to second. But Mets’ starter Johan Santana would get out of the inning by first striking out the heavily slumping Pat Burrell and then getting Shane Victorino to fly out. The Mets would strike back in their half of the first. After Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels would get the first batter out, he would give up a single to Ryan Church. David Wright would then reach base on catcher’s interference, putting runners on first and second, while leading into a long argument over the call between Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel and home plate umpire Jerry Meals, before Meals finally ejects Manuel for arguing the call. After Manuel finally leaves, Carlos Beltron would hit the first pitch thrown to him into left field for a single, scoring Church, and tying the score at one all. Wright would try to go to third on the play and would be called safe at third by the second base umpire Paul Emmel, although ESPN’s instant replay would show that not only was he tagged out before he has touched the bag with his hands, but he was also tagged out when he has slid off the bag, thus missing the play twice. In the meantime, Beltron would move up to second, putting Mets’ runners on second and third with still one out. Carlos Delgado would then follow with a RBI single, scoring both Wright and Beltran, to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. After getting Fernando Tatis to hit into a force out, 6 to 4, wiping out Delgado, for the inning’s second out, Hamels would finally get out of the inning by striking out Damion Easley. The Phillies would cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2 in the third as Ryan Howard would hit a solo home run, his fortieth home run of the year, and setting a Phillies’ record as he becomes the first Phillies to hit 40 or more home runs in three consecutive seasons. The Mets would get that run back in their half of the third as Delgado would hit a lead-off home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, to make it 4-2 Mets. Two innings later, Delgado would strike again as he would hit his thirty-third home run of the year, giving the Mets a 5-2 lead, helping to further ruin Hamels’ night. Santana, in the meantime, was ruining the Phillies’ batters’ night, as he kept them off-balance, in spite of being a bit wild in the early innings, as he got the batters once again swinging early in the pitch count, before finally being taken out in the top of the eighth inning. After keeping the Phillies off of the scoreboard in the top of the eighth, the Mets would add one more run in their half of the eighth, as, with a runner on third and no one out, Brian Schneider would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Easley, who has earlier tripled, to give the Mets a 6-2 lead. The Phillies would get a run back in the ninth, when, with runners on the corners and one out, Andy Tracy would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino who has earlier reached base on an infield single, has gone to second on Schneider’s throwing error, and has gone to third on pinch hitter Matt Stairs’ single, making it 6-3 Mets. But that would be the final score as Mets’ reliever Luis Ayala would strike out Jimmy Rollins to end the game.

Cole Hamels would take the lose, as he pitches five ineffective innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits. His record is now 12-9 with a 3.12 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Rudy Seanez would go two innings, giving up an earned run on one hit. Johan Santana would get the win as he goes seven and one third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 13-7 with a 2.70 ERA. Pedro Feliciano and Brian Stokes would both pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Luis Ayala would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.

The Phillies’ offense would do itself in once again by not being patient enough against Mets’ starter Johan Santana, as Santana, who would give up three walks in the game, was somewhat wild in the early innings. After being unable to bust the game open in the first thanks to a heavily slumping Pat Burrell, Santana would find a way to keep the Phillies under control before taking full control in the middle innings. Cole Hamels, on the other hand, would be unable to take control of the Mets’ thanks to a pair of long arguments; one between Charlie Manuel and home plate umpire Jerry Meals over whether Chris Coste’s glove actually did interfere with David Wright’s bat on what would have been strike three, which would end with Manuel being ejected from the game, and then one between third baseman Pedro Feliz and second base umpire Paul Emmel on whether Feliz has tagged out Wright at third before he has reached the bag when Wright tried to go to third on Carlos Beltron’s RBI single, which the instant replay would show that not only did Feliz tag Wright before he has reached the bag, but he has tagged him out when he has slid past the bag, both of which would be missed by Emmel. Both arguments would help to disrupt Hamels’ rhythm and lead to the Mets taking first the lead and then the ballgame. End result, Hamels would not stay calm enough to push back the Mets and allow the Phillies to sweep their way back into a first place tie.

The Phillies (78-65) will start an important three games series with the Marlins (72-71) tonight. The first games of the three game set will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.79), who is coming off yet another no-decision, this time against the Nationals on September 3, where he went only four innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 9-7 lost. Blanton has never faced the Marlins. He will once again try to win his second start as a Phil, while trying to do better than his last start. The Marlins’ starter will be Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.54), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 2, where he went only three innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Marlins’ 16-14 lost. In his previous start against the Phillies on August 6, he took the lost as he went five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 5-0 lost. He will be trying to even his record, while trying to keep the Marlins from falling any further back in the pennant race.

The Phillies trail the Mets by two games as the Mets take the day off. They are ahead of the Marlins by six games. The Phillies prepare to gain some ground on the Mets at the Marlins’ expense. In the wild card race, they are four games behind the slumping Brewers, as the Brew Crew prepare for a three games home stand with the Reds. The Phillies are a game ahead of the Cardinals, as the redbirds take the day off, while they are two games ahead of the Astros as they start a three games series with the Pirates. The Phillies hope to gain ground in both the Eastern Division and in the Wild Card chase, although at the moment they are more concerned with winning their division, although the Brewers will soon be coming into Philadelphia for four games.

Tropical Storm Hannah forces postponement; Phillies to face the Mets tomorrow in a day-night doubleheader, hoping for a sweep of the final series between the two teams at Shea Stadium.

Thanks to the appearance of Tropical Storn Hannah on the East Coast of the U.S., the Saturday afternoon game between the Phillies (77-64) and the Mets (79-62) has been postponed. Instead, the two contenders for the National League East will be playing a day-night doubleheader in Shea Stadium tomorrow. These will be the final games to be played between these two rivals in Shea Stadium.

The first game of the twinbill will start at 2:15 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the 45-years old veteran Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on August 31, where he went five and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits (all singles), in the Phillies’ 5-3 win. Moyer has given up three runs or less in fifteen of his last sixteen starts, and plans to make it sixteen in his last seventeen, while planning to improve on his 1-1, 4.40 ERA in five starts record against the Mets. Moyer will be trying for his team leading thirtenth victory while hoping to shut down the Mets’ bats, redeeming himself for being roughed up by the Mets on August 26, only going three innings as he gave up six earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 dramatic, come from behind, extra-innings win. The Mets will be sending to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-3, 5.07), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on August 31, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 6-2 win. In his last start against the Phillies, also on August 26, Martinez would get a no-decision as he is forced out of the game early, as he goes only five innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 8-7 extra-innings lost. Martinez is 3-2 against the Phils since joining the Mets in 2005. His will be trying to improve his record while trying to last a bit longer than he did a week ago.

The second game of the doubleheader will be a battle between team aces that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The game will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Cole Hamels (12-8, 3.01), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 2, as he went seven and one-third shut out innings, giving up five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-0 win. Hamels has won three of his last four starts, all of them quality starts, while being dominating in the two starts that were shown before a national audience. Like Moyer, he plans to win his thirteenth start, while trying to win his third straight start in the national spotlight. The Mets will counter with Johan Santana (12-7, 2.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 1, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 4-2 win. In his last start against the Phillies on August 27 he, like Martinez, would leave the game early, receiving a no-decision as he went only six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 6-3 come from behind win. His record against the Phillies in four previous starts is 1-0 with three no-decisions. He will be trying for his second win against the Phillies while trying to keep the Phillies’ offense quiet.

The Phillies’ batters will once again try to remain patient against both Martinez and Santana, forcing them into enough deep counts so that both men will have to leave their games early and will then try to dismantle the Mets’ bullpen. At the same time, the Phillies’ starters will try to pitch long enough into the game so that they will give the bullpen a much needed rest, while hoping that the deep end of the pen won’t create another eighth inning fiasco.

The Phillies trail the Mets by two games as they go into the double header tomorrow while they presently lead the Marlins by five games as the fish prepares to meet the Cardinals later tonight. In the wild card race, the Phillies now trail the slumping Brewers by four games, while they are ahead of the Cardinals by two, the Astros by three and the Marlins by five games. The Phillies hope to come back home trailing the Mets by no worst than two games, if not in fact tied for first place, before they face the Marlins for three games and the Brewers for four.

The Phillies’ offense erupt for the second straight game while Cole Hamels pitched another gem as the Phillies beat the Dodgers again, 9-2.

The Phillies’ offense would knock out of the box not one, but two Dodgers’ pitchers, as they would score nine runs, while Cole Hamels would pitch his second straight pitching gem in front of a national audience, as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 9-2. After Hamels put down the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the first, the Phillies would take a quick 3-0 lead in their half of the inning as Pat Burrell would hit a three-run home run off of Dodgers’ starter, Clayton Kershaw, his thirtieth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has been hit by the pitch, and Chase Utley, who has gotten on base with a single. The Dodgers would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the third when Russell Martin would hit a two-run home run, his twelfth home run of the year, scoring James Loney, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth inning. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Utley would follow with a walk, sending Rollins to second. Burrell would then hit a fly ball to center that should have been the inning’s first out. Instead, it would end up being a double as center fielder Matt Kemp would somehow lose sight of the ball, which would then drop in behind him for a hit. Rollins would score to make it 4-2 Phillies, while Utley would go on to third base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Utley and Burrell, to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead, and knocking out Kershaw, who would be replaced by Jason Johnson, who would finally end the Phillies’ threat. The Phillies would then break the game open in the sixth, as Hamels would start the inning off by being hit by the pitch. After a Rollins’ ground out, second to first, sends Hamels over to second, Utley would send him home with a RBI single, making it 7-1 Phillies. Burrell would follow with a single, sending Utley to second. Burrell’s hit would knock out Johnson, who would be replaced on the mound with Joe Beimel. Howard would greet him with a walk, loading up the bases. Victorino would then follow him with a two-run single, scoring both Utley and Burrell and sending Howard to third, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. Beimel would finally end the inning by striking out both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz. That would be how the ball game would end as Hamels, Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would together put down the last nine Dodgers’ batters with ease.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitched his second straight gem in front of a national audience, as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five. His record is now 11-8 as his ERA drops to 3.20. Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would each pitch a scoreless inning, with neither man giving up a hit. Clayton Kershaw would get the lost, as he lasts only four innings plus four batters, giving up six earned runs on seven hits while striking out five and hitting a batter. His record is now 2-4 with a 4.11 ERA. Jason Johnson would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up three earned runs on two hits and also hitting a batter. Joe Beimel would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up a hit. Ramon Troncoso would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

For the second straight game, the Phillies’ offense would score more than three runs in a game, while also getting ten hits for their second straight game. And they would also knock out an opposing starter for their second straight game, as well as a reliver for good measure, in their nine runs eruption. Every starter would get at least a hit, except for Chris Coste, who took the collar. Pat Burrell would lead the attack with three hits, while also driving in five runs, tying his career high, followed by Chase Utley with two. And they did it in part via situational hitting and smart baserunning. Although it would appear that the offense is back, I won’t believe it is until I see what they do against the Mets this coming week.

The Phillies (70-59) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (65-64, 2nd National League West) tomorrow night, with their second straight nationally televised game, this time to be shown on ESPN. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.87), who is coming off his second straight so-so outing, this one against the Nationals on August 19, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. He has pitched against the Dodgers the previous week, on August 13, in his previous so-so outing, only going five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to get back to the way he was pitching before his two starts slide, while hoping that the offense will continue its present attack. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Hiroki Kuroda (7-9, 3.97), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on August 19, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Dodgers’ 8-3 lost. He has faced the Phillies once already this year, a victory on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to stop the Phillies’ offense while trying to improve his record.

The Phillies are once again trailing the Mets by a game and a half, as the Mets have lost to the Astros. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games, as the D-backs beat the fish. The Phillies will try to see if they can sweep the Dodgers in front of a national audience while hoping to get even closer to the Mets before their two games series next week.

The Phillies will be trying for a series win on the West Coast while Cole Hamels prepares to pitch well before a national audience.

The Phillies (65-58) will play the final game of their three games series with the Padres (48-75, 5th National League West) tonight. The game, being shown nationally on ESPN, will be played at PETCO Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (5:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.32), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 12, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. Hamels, as he plans to show his best stuff before a nation-wide audience, will for his eighth straight start be trying for his tenth win of the year, hoping that he will finally get it done this time. The Padres will counter with Cha Seung Baek (4-7, 5.20), who is coming off a lost to the Brewers on August 12, as he pitched six innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Padres’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record at the Phillies’ expense.

Cole Hamels will be trying to show his best stuff before a national audience while hoping that the Phillies’ offense will stop embarrassing itself and finally beat up on an opponent, especially when the opponent is a last place team in one of the league’s divisions.

The Phillies at the moment trail the Mets by two and a half games as they have defeated the Pirates for the third straight game. They are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games, as the Marlins have lost to the Cubs. The Phillies will be shooting for a win so that they can stay close with the Mets before coming home for a nine games home stand, starting on Tuesday night.

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