Results tagged ‘ Fly Out ’

National League Championship Series: Game 3: Dodgers knock out Jamie Moyer early on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Phillies. Phillies now own a two games to one lead in the series.

The Dodgers came out smoking against Jamie Moyer, batting around in the first inning and scoring six runs off of him before he is finally removed in the second, as the Dodgers defeated the Fightins’, 7-2.

The Phillies lead in the National League Championship Series is now two games to one. The Dodgers attack Moyer early in the bottom of the first as Rafael Furcal would get on base with a single. Andre Ethier would follow with a single, moving Furcal to second base. Manny Ramirez would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Furcal and giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Ethier and Ramirez would both move up to third and second respectively on Pat Burrell’s throw to home, which would get past Phillies’ catcher Carlos Ruiz, which was a mistake as Burrell should’ve thrown to third, keeping the runners at second and third. Moyer, after getting ahead in the count, would hit Russell Martin on the right knee, loading the bases, with still nobody out. Nomar Garciaparra would strike out looking for the first out of the inning. Casey Blake would then follow with a single, scoring Ethier to make it 2-0 Dodgers, while Ramirez and Martin would both move up a base, leaving the bases loaded. Moyer would then strike out Matt Kemp looking, for the inning’s second out. He would then get ahead of Blake DeWitt with two quick strikes, before the count evens out at 2-2. DeWitt would then hit the ball down the right field foul line for a three-run triple, knocking in Ramirez, Russell and Blake, giving the Dodgers a 5-0 lead. Moyer would finally get out of the inning by getting Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda to ground out, 5-3. The Phillies would get a run back in the top of the second as, with a runner on third and two outs, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier doubled and would move to third on Jayson Werth’s fly out to center, making it 5-1 Dodgers. The Dodgers would get that run back as Furcal would hit a lead-off home run off of Moyer, giving the Dodgers a 6-1 lead. In the top of the third inning, with no one on and two men out, Kuroda would throw the first pitch behind Shane Victorino’s head for ball one. This would lead to an exchange between first Victorino and Martin and then Victorino and Kuroda, with Victorino constantly pointing at his head and ribs, indictating that if he was going to hit him, Kuroda should be aiming for his ribs and not his head, while the home plate umpire would give Kuroda (and every pitcher who would later enter the game) a warning that if he believes that he was intentionally aiming at a batter, he would be thrown out of the game. Two pitches later, Victorino would ground out to the first baseman, Garciaparra, with Kuroda covering. Victorino would continue the argument about the ball being thrown at his head while both benches would clear out. Thankfully no blows were thrown, although Ramirez ended up being restrained by several of his teammates as he still believes that Brett Myers had tried to hit him with a pitch in game two although Myers has denied it. In the fourth, the Dodgers would make it 7-1 as, with two men on, and two outs, Garciaparra would hit an RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who has earlier walked and has moved to second on Martin’s walk. But the inning would end as Burrell would throw to third, catching Martin in front of third base, who is then caught in a run down, before being tagged out by Jimmy Rollins, 7-5-6. The Phillies would get a run back in the seventh, as, with runners on the corners and no outs, Pat Burrell would get a RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who has earlier doubled, and would move to third on Howard’s single, making the score 7-2 Dodgers, while moving Howard up to second. But, that would be the best that the Phillies would be able to do as the Dodgers’ bullpen would then shut them down for the last three innings, with Jonathan Broxton ending the game with a Feliz’s pop up to second, with Werth on first base, and two men out.

Jamie Moyer took the lost, his second straight bad start in the post-season, as he is only able to go one and a third innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits and a hit batter, while striking out two. His series record is presently 0-1 with a rather high 40.50 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and walking one. J.A. Happ would pitch three innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits and a two walks, while striking out two. Steve Eyre, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch an inning of scoreless ball, giving up between them no hits, two walks (Durbin (1), Romero (1)), and a hit batter (Durbin) and four strikeouts (Durbin (2), Romero (2)). Hiroki Kuroda would get the win as he would pitch six strongs innings plus three batters, as he gave up only two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Cory Wade would pitch two shut out innings, giving up only one hit, while striking out two. Jonathan Broxton would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit, while striking out one.

The lost would cut the Phillies’ lead in the series to 2-1 as the Dodgers went to work early on Jamie Moyer, batting around in the first as they scored five runs, with DeWitt’s three-run triple being the major blow. But the Phillies’ bullpen, after Moyer’s removal in the second after giving up a solo home run to Rafael Furcal, would shut down the Dodgers, only giving up one more run in six and two-thirds innings of work. Meantime, the Phillies’ batters would be once again unable to do anything against Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda before the seventh inning, when three straight hits by Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell would finally chase him out of the game. Sadly, it would a case of too little, too late. If there is any silver lining in all this, it is that it looks like Howard is finally coming out of his post-season slump, as he had a double and a single, scoring a run, and helping to set up the other Phils’ run. Now, if Jimmy Rollins’ bat would finally wake up, and if Shane Victorino would use last night’s incident as a motivator for the rest of the series, the Dodgers will be in a lot of trouble.

The National League Championship Series will continue tonight with Game 4. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton, who is coming off an excellent start against the Brewers on October 5, as he pitched the Phils into the championship series by pitching six innings of strong ball, giving up only an earned run on five scattered hits, while striking out seven, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. During the regular season, his record was 9-12 (4-0 as a Phil) with a 4.69 ERA (4.20 as a Phil) in 197 and two-thirds innings, striking out 111 batters while walking only 66. He has faced the Dodgers twice already this year, getting a no-decision in both starts, as he pitched a combined total of eleven innings, giving up just five earned runs on fifteen hits and six walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying for his fourth straight win and his second win in the post-season, while trying to give the Phillies their first win this year in Los Angeles as well as a three games to one lead in the series. He will be opposed by first game starter Derek Lowe, who lost game one as the Phillies ended up knocking him out of the game in the sixth inning, after having them under control for the first five, as he gave up two home runs to Chase Utley and Pat Burrell after Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal’s two-base error on Shane Victorino’s ground ball shifted the game’s momentum over to the Phillies. In five and a third innings of work, Lowe would give up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Dodgers 2-1 lost. His series record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He will be trying to rebound from the lost, as he tries to tie the series up at two games apiece.

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

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

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

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

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

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 8: Phillies defeated the Marlins, 3-2, in another heart stopper. Regain the lead in the East as the Mets lose to the Braves.

The Phillies, behind Joe Blanton and the bullpen, would hold on in a heart stopper to defeat the Marlins, 3-2. The win and the Mets’ lost to the Braves would put the Phillies back into first place in the Eastern Division pennant race. The Phillies would take the lead in the third as, with two men on and one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has gotten on base earlier on Marlins’ third baseman Jorge Cantu’s throwing error, and would then go to second on Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton’s sacrifice bunt, who would in turn be safe on first on Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez’s own throwing error, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Marlins would then strike back in their half of the third, when, with two men on and one out, John Baker would hit a two-run double, scoring Alfredo Amezaga, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Cameron Maybin’s single, and Maybin, who has singled, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would tie the game up in the fourth as, with one out, Shane Victorino would hit a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would then retake the lead in the sixth, as with two men on and two out, Greg Dobbs would hit a bloop single to left, scoring Ryan Howard, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead, and sending Pat Burrell, who has also walked, to second. After throwing two balls to Ruiz, Sanchez would be taken out of the game because of cramps to his right leg. The Marlins’ relief pitcher, Logan Kensing, would then throw two balls to Ruiz, walking him and loading the bases, although the walk would be charged to Sanchez. Kensing would then be taken out for Mark Hendrickson, who would get pinch hitter Tadahito Iguchi, who was pinch hitting for the originally announced pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins, who was pinch hitting for Blanton, to fly out to end the inning. The Phillies bullpen would then spend the next four innings turning back the Marlins. Sixth: Chad Durbin would get the first two batters out but would then give up a walk to Josh Willingham. But with the count 2-1 on Cody Ross, Ruiz would pick Willingham off first base, with Howard applying the tag, to end the inning. Seventh: After getting out the first batter, Durbin would give up a single to Amegaza. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout, and replace Durbin with J.C. Romero. Romero would then walk pinch hitter Paul Lo Duca, sending Amegaza to second. After Brett Carroll goes to first base to pinch run for Lo Duca, Romero would proceed to strike out Maybin for the inning’s second out, and then strike out Baker to end the inning. Eighth: With Ryan Madson on the mound, he would give up a single to Cantu and then a double to Mike Jacobs, putting runners on second and third, with no one out, thanks to Jayson Werth’s playing of the ball after it drops in. After Jacobs is replaced by pinch runner Robert Andino, Dan Uggla would hit a slow roller to third. After getting the ball, Phillies’ third baseman Greg Dobbs would throw home, cutting down Andino, who would be tagged out by Ruiz, although instant replay would show that he might have beaten the tag, for the inning’s first out, while Jacobs would stay at second as Uggla would reach first on the fielder’s choice. Willingham would then hit into a force out, 6-4, cutting down Uggla at second, while Jacobs would go on to third, putting runners on the corners with two out. Madson would then end the inning by striking out Ross. Ninth: The ball is then handed over to Phillies’ closer Brad Liddge. Lidge would start the inning off by walking the pesky Amegaza. He would then strike out pinch hitter Dallas McPherson swinging for the inning’s first out, while Amegaza would steal second on the third strike. Lidge would then strike out Maybin swinging for the inning’s second out before he finally ends the ball game by striking out Baker, also swinging, for his thirty-ninth save in thirty-nine tries.

Joe Blanton would get the win, his third win as a Phil, as he would pitch five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 8-12, 3-0 as a Phil, while his ERA is now 4.79. Chad Durbin would pitch one and a third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no hits while striking out two. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, as he gives up two hits and strikes out one as he pitched his way out of a two on, no outs jam. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth as he struck out the side swinging while also walking one, as he recorded his thirty-ninth save of the year. Anibal Sanchez would get the lost, as he goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits, as he struck out eight while also walking three. His record is now 2-5 with a 5.57 ERA. Logan Kensing would pitch to one batter, walking him, but having it charged to Sanchez, because of the 2-0 count thanks to Sanchez’s injury. Mark Hendrickson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg and Joe Nelson would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit (Nelson) while striking out three batters between them (Gregg (2) and Nelson (1)).

Blanton would pitch five strong innings, being able to keep the fish off-balanced enough that they would only get four hits off of him while getting nine of the Marlins to strike out. The bullpen would then take over and pitch four shut out innings, refusing to give the Marlins’ batters that clutch hit, especially in the eighth inning, when they had runners on second and third with no outs, thus ending the Marlins’ winning streak at nine games, and bringing a little bit closer the ending of the Marlins’ hopes for a playoff berth.

The once again first place Phillies (87-68) will play the final game of their series with the third place Marlins (81-73) tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start at 4:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the Marlins’ nemesis Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.86), who will be coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 16, where he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 win. His last start against the Marlins on August 5 was a lost as he was only able to go five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. Lifeteime, his record against the Marlins is 10-1. He will be trying to regain his dominance over the young Marlins’ batters while gunning for his fifteenth win of the year. The Marlins will counter with rookie Chris Volstad (5-3, 3.07), who is coming off a win against the Astros on September 16, where he went eight innings, giving up an earned run on four hits, in the Marlins’ 5-1 win. He has faced the Phillies twice already this year, being 1-0 with a no-decision, as he would pitch a combine total of nine innings, giving up an earned run on five hits. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to hurt the Phillies’ pennant chances.

The Phillies are once again leading the Mets by half a game as they lost to the Braves. Their lead over the Marlins is now back to five and a half games thanks to their win over the fish. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets lead the Brewers by two and a half games as the Brewers lost to the Reds. The Mets lead both the Marlins and the Astros by five games, as the Astros lost to the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying for a series win while also hoping to increase their lead over the Mets in the Eastern Division.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 9: Phillies lose to the Marlins, 14-8. Drops to Second in the East, Lead in the Wild Card by 2 games.

The Phillies seven games winning streak is snapped as they dropped a wild one to the presently hot Marlins, 14-8. With the Mets’ win over the Braves, the Phils are now a half game out of first in the National League East. Their lead in the Wild Card is now two games as the Brewers lose to the Reds.

The Phillies took a quick one run lead in the first as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard would hit a sharp ground ball towards first that Marlins’ first baseman Mike Jacobs would be unable to play, becoming a fielding error, which would allow Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk and then went to second on Jayson Werth’s single, to score all the way from second, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, and for Werth to go on to third. Werth would then make it a 2-0 Phillies’ lead as he would score on Marlins’ starter Josh Johnson’s wild pitch. The Marlins would then strike back on Phillies’ starter Brett Myers in their half of the first. Cameron Maybin, starting in place of the injured Hanley Ramirez, would start the inning off with an infield single. After Maybin steals second, John Baker would knock him with a RBI single, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Jorge Cantu would follow with a single, sending Baker to second. Jacobs would then follow with a two-run double, scoring both Baker and Cantu, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead. Dan Uggla would then hit a two-run home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, scoring Jacobs, making it 5-2 Marlins. Myers would then get out of the inning by striking out Luis Gonzalez, getting Cody Ross to fly out to left and then getting Alfredo Amezaga to ground out, 4-3. The Phillies would cut the Marlins’ lead in the second as Greg Dobbs would start off the inning by hitting a solo home run, his ninth home run of the year, to make it 5-3 Marlins. Later, with two men on, and one out, Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Chris Coste, who has earlier singled, went to second on Myers’ sacrifice bunt and then would go the third on Jimmy Rollins’ single, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 5-4. Then in the fifth, the Phillies would retake the lead as Howard would hit a two-run slam to right, his major league leading forty-sixth home run of the year, scoring Utley, who has earlier singled, making it 6-5 Phillies. Myers would try to put down the Marlins in the bottom of the fifth. Sadly, he would be unable to. After getting ahead of Maybin, 0-2, Howard would be unable to make the put out on a foul ball. The next pitch, a fastball, which the announcers thought was the wrong pitch to throw at the kid since he has a hard time with off-speed stuff, like the ball that he’d just pop up, would be hit into right for a single. Maybin would then steal second for his second steal of the night. Baker would then follow with a walk, putting runners on first and second. Cantu would follow him with a RBI double, scoring Maybin to tie the game at 6-6 and sending Baker to third. Myers would then intentionally walk Jacobs to load the bases. The next batter, Uggla, would then single to left, scoring Baker, to give the Marlins a 7-6 lead, while moving both Cantu and Jacobs up a base, as the bases remain loaded. That would be it for Myers as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would get Gonzalez to hit into a force out, cutting down Uggla at second, while allowing Cantu to score, making it 8-6 Marlins, while Jacobs would move up to third. Ross would then pop up to Howard for the inning’s second out. It would seem that the Phillies would get out of the inning with manageable damage, but it was not to be as Amezaga would hit a surprising three-run home run to right, his third home run of the year, scoring both Jacobs and Gonzalez to give the Marlins an 11-6 lead. The inning would finally end when pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez, batting for Johnson, would ground out, 6-3. The Marlins would add to their lead in the sixth as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Jacobs would hit a two-run single to right, scoring Maybin, who has earlier singled, his fourth hit of the night, moved to second on Baker’s walk and then moved to third on Les Walrond’s wild pitch, and Baker, who has walked and has moved up to second on the wild pitch, making it 13-6 Marlins. But Jacobs would then be thrown out by Werth when he tried to make it a double, being tagged by Rollins for the inning’s second out. The Phillies would get a run back in the seventh as, with two men on and one out, Howard would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Rollins who has earlier singled, would move to second on Utley’s single and was the lead runner on a double steal with Utley as Werth strke out for the inning’s first out, making it 13-7 Marlins. The Phillies would cut it down further in the eighth as Shane Victronio would hit a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, cutting the Marlins’ lead down to 13-8. But the Marlins would get that run back as, with two men out, Cantu would hit a solo home run, his twenty-ninth home run of the year, making it 14-8 Marlins. That would end up being the final score as Joe Nelson would put the Phillies down in the ninth.

Brett Myers would take the lost, being able to go only four innings, plus five batters, as he would give up ten earned runs on nine hits and two walks while strking out only three. His record has now dropped to 10-12, while his ERA went up to 4.46. Rudy Seanez would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Les Walrond would go two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, walking a batter while striking out one. Kyle Kendrick, pitching in his first game since his blow up against these same Marlins last week, would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Josh Johnson would get the win, as he pitched five innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits, as he struck out six. His record is now 6-1 with an ERA of 3.65. Mark Hendrickson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Andrew Miller would pitch an inning, plus one batter, giving up two earned runs on one hit, walking two while striking out one. Logan Kensing would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up just one hit. Arthur Rhodes would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a scorless ninth inning, giving up no hits, while walking a batter and striking out the side.

Brett Myers ran into the buzzsaw of the Marlins’ bat, getting hit hard in both the first and fifth inning, as he would give up hits to the first five Marlins’ batters in the first, ending with Dan Uggla’s two-run home run, and then being unable to get anyone out in the fifth, giving up two singles, a double and two walks, one of which was intentional, before being taken out. Myers didn’t seem to have it last night, although he might not have gotten bombed in the fifth if he has thrown off-speed pitches to Cameron Maybin, instead of the fastball that the rookie would hit off of him to right for a single, as the rookie seems to like hitting fastballs and not off-speed stuff. Whether it was Myers’ idea, or catcher Chris Coste’s, to throw it in that 0-2 situation, I have no idea, but it would end up leading into a lot of trouble right after the Phillies have just regained the lead. Sigh. Anyway, the team needs to forget about this game and just get back to doing what they have been doing during their seven games winning streak: scoring early, scoring often and keeping the opposition from doing the same to them. This means that both Joe Blanton and Jamie Moyer will have to do their best to make sure that the young Marlins’ bats don’t become their usual pesky selves, if for no other reason than to make Dan Uggla eat his words about the Marlins planning to take other teams with them if they don’t make the playoff. This team need to be kept from becoming the Colorado Rockies of ’08.

The now second place Phillies (86-68) will continue their three games series with the third place Marlins (81-72) with a night game tonight. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (7-12 (2-0), 4.82), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on September 14 in the day half of the day/night doubleheader, as he would go seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. This was only his third start in which he would go more than five innings, but it would come at a good time for the Phils. He has faced the Marlins once before, recording his second win as a Phil since the trade, as he would defeat them on September 8, going five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He will be going for his second straight long start while trying to improve on his previous start against the fish, while trying to snap their nine games winning streak. His opponent will be Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.87), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on September 14, as he went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Marlins’ 8-7 win. He has faced the Phillies twice before, losing both starts, as he would go a combine total of only six and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on ten hits. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to finally defeat the Phils.

The second place Phils now trail the Mets by a half game, as they defeated the Braves to regain the lead in the East. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games thanks to the lost. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are still leading the Brewers by two games as they lost to the Reds last night. They are ahead of both the Marlins and the Astros by four and a half games as the Astros defeated the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to regain the lead in the East while trying to push back the challenge of the now hot Marlins while trying to bury the still slumping Brewers.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 12: Ryan Howard’s home run is the different in a wild game in Atlanta as the Phillies defeat the Braves, 8-7. Phils once again lead in the Eastern Division.

In a wild game in Atlanta, a Ryan Howard home run would be the difference as the Phillies would hang on to defeat the Braves, 8-7. A Mets lost to the Nationals would put the Phils back into first place in the National League East by a half game. The Phillies would take the lead in the third as, with one man out and with a runner on second, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier with a double, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. This would be the first run to be scored off of Braves’ starter rookie James Parr in three starts. The Phillies would make it a 3-0 lead as Jayson Werth would follow with a two-run home run, his career high twenty-third home run of the year, scoring Utley. Ryan Howard would then follow with a single. After Pat Burrell strikes out for the inning’s second out, Shane Victorino would follow with a double. Unfortunaltely, Howard would be thrown out at the plate trying to score on a good throw from Braves’ right fielder Jeff Francoeur to second baseman Martin Prado to catcher Brian McCann, who would supply the tag on Howard for the final out of the inning. The Braves would come back in their half of the third as Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer would have the first of his two bad innings of the night. After striking out Parr for the inning’s first out, Moyer would hit Josh Anderson, sending him to first. Anderson would then move up to second on a Moyer’s wild pitch. Moyer would then walk Prado, putting men on first and second with one out. Chipper Jones would then follow with a single, loading up the bases. McCann would then hit a RBI single, scoring Anderson, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-1, while leaving the bases loaded as Prado and Jones would each move up only one base. Moyer would then strike out Omar Infante for the inning’s second out. Casey Kotchman would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Prado and Jones, tying up the game at three all, while moving McCann up to third. Moyer would finally get out of the inning by getting Francoeur to fly out. The Phillies would retake the lead in the fourth as, with one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a solo home run, his fourth home run of the year, making it 4-3 Phillies. The Phils would then threaten to score again in the fifth as Werth and Howard would both single with one out, putting runners on first and second. Bobby Cox would then come out to remove Parr and replace him with Buddy Carlyle. Carlyle would proceed to strike out Burrell for the inning’s second out, then get Victorino to ground out 3-1 to end the threat. In the sixth, Moyer would have the second of his bad innings. After getting Kotchman to ground out, 4 to 3, for the inning’s first out, Moyer would give up a single to Francoeur. Moyer would then walk both Brent Lillibridge and pinch hitter Greg Norton to load the bases. Anderson would then hit a sharp ball towards first that would be caught by Howard who would then beat Anderson to the bag for the inning’s second out, as Francoeur scored, tying the game at four runs apiece, while moving both Lillibridge and Norton up a base. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout and take out Moyer, replacing him with Chad Durbin to try and put out the fire. Sadly, Durbin would be unable to do so, as he would give up a single to pinch hitter Kelly Johnson, knocking in both Lillibridge and Norton, giving the Braves a 6-4 lead, while Johnson would go to second on Victorino’s throw to the plate that would bounce off the mound, allowing Johnson to move up a base. That would come back to haunt the Phillies later in the inning, as, after Durbin intentionally walks Jones, Manuel would come back out to replace him with Scott Eyre to face McCann. That move wouldn’t work as McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Johnson, making it now 7-4 Braves, while sending Jones to second. Eyre would finally end the inning by getting Infante to hit into a force out, 6-4. The Phillies would strike back in the seventh, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Howard would hit a deep fly ball to left that would be misplayed by Infante, thus becoming a RBI triple, while scoring Werth, who has earlier singled, cutting the Braves’ lead to 7-5. Cox would then come out and replace Jeff Bennett with Will Ohman. After striking out Burrell for the inning’s second out, Ohman would give up a RBI single to Victorino, scoring Howard and making it a 7-6 Braves’ lead. Pedro Feliz would then reach base on a throwing error by shortstop Lillibridge, as he threw the base past Prado on a force out attempt, allowing Victorino to reach second. But after Ohman walks pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to load the bases, he would finally end the inning by getting pinch hitter Matt Stairs to ground out, 3 to 1. The Phillies would then retake the lead for good in the eighth, as with a runner on first with two outs, Howard would hit his major league leading forty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Werth, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies an 8-7 lead. In the ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge for the save. But, it would not be easy. Lidge would start off the inning by walking Jones. Lidge would then get McCann to pop out to Utley under the Infield Fly Rule, although Utley would pretend to miss the ball, to try for a force out, but the umpire wouldn’t go for it. The next batter, Infante, would then hit a sharp ground ball to Feliz. Although hit hard enough for a double play ball, Feliz would only have one play, to first, throwing out Infante, as Jones was running on the play, reaching second safely. Lidge would then proceed to walk both Kotchman and Francoeur to load the bases, with two men out, for Gregor Blanco. Lidge would then strike out Blanco swinging on a 2-2 slider, ending the game as he finally records his thirty-seventh save in thirty-seven tries.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision, as he would goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits while walking four and striking out six, as he would have two very bad innings that would hurt him. Chad Durbin would pitch to two batters, getting neither of them out, as he gives up an earned run on a hit and walks a batter. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Ryan Madson would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while striking out three. His record is now 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, although he would give up three walks while striking out one as he records his thirty-seventh save of the year. James Parr would also get a no-decision, as he is able to last only four and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on ten hits. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief, giving up no hits while striking out two. Will Ohman would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Jeff Bennett would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on a hit. Julian Tavarez would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on no hits and a walk. Mike Gonzalez would get the lost as he receives his second blown save of the year as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up an earned run, Ryan Howard’s home run, on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 4.25 ERA. Jorge Julio would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits while walking a batter as he struck out the side. 

Two bad innings almost did in Jamie Moyer and the Phillies as Moyer would lose control of his stuff in both the third and the sixth innings, giving up three runs in both, as he gave up in those two innings four singles and four walks, along with a hit batsman. But this time the offense would refuse to die, thanks to Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. The game’s star, a red hot Howard, would be a double short of hitting the cycle, as he went four for five, getting two singles, a triple and a home run, knocking in three runs while scoring two. Victorino would follow by going three for five with two singles and a double, knocking in a run. Jayson Werth would be next as he went three for four, getting two singles and a home run, knocking in two runs while scoring three. Jimmy Rollins would go two for five with a single and a double, scoring a run. Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley would also contribute with a home run (Ruiz) and a RBI double (Utley). The only ones who would not contribute would be Pedro Feliz, who would get on base with a walk, and Shane Victorino would go 0 for five, striking out all five times. In a fourteen hit attack, half of the hits would be for extra-bases (2B (3), 3B (1), HR (3)), showing that the Phillies’ offense, in general, is hot at the moment, a situation that will hopefully last to the end of the year.

The once again first place Phillies (84-67) will play the second of their three games against the fourth place Braves (67-84) tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound, in place of the presently ineffective Kyle Kendrick, rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 5.71), who will be making his third start for the Phillies, still looking for his first major league win. His last appearance was in relief against the Marlins on September 9, as he would pitch three and a third innings in relief of Kendrick, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 10-8 lost. His last start was a no-decision on July 9 against the Cardinals, where he went six and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. The Phillies have won both of his starts, although he would receive no-decisions in both games. He will be trying for his first win while trying to keep the Phils in first place as he face the Braves for the first time in his short major league career. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (13-9, 3.62), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on September 11, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-4 win. He has faced the Phillies two previous times, winning his last meeting against them on July 25, as he went eight innings, giving up no runs on just three hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 win. His record this year against the Phillies is 1-1. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to put an end to the Phillies’ seven games winning streak at Turner Field.

With the win, the Phillies jump back into first place, a half game ahead of the Mets who lost last night, 1-0, to the Nationals. They are still five and a half games over the Marlins, who defeated the Astros. The Phillies’ win and the Mets lost would put the Mets back into the Wild Card race, where they now have a half game lead over the Brewers, after their lost to the Cubs, who are out to clinch the National League Central Division this week. With eleven games left in the season, the Phillies are out to extend their present winning streak to six games and their winning streak at Turner Field to eight games, while hoping to extend their lead over the Mets in the East.

Phillies gain ground in the East and in the Wild Card Race as they defeated the Brewers, 6-3.

The Phillies, behind the pitching of Jamie Moyer and the bullpen, would gain ground on both the Mets in the East and the Brewers in the Wild Card chase as they defeated the slumping Brew Crew, 6-3. The Phillies would take a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Ryan Howard hit a monster 2-run shot into center field, his forty-third home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, and has moved to second on Jayson Werth’s ground out, third to first. The Brewers would cut the Phils’ lead in the third inning as, with two outs, J.J. Hardy hit a solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, to make it 2-1 Phillies. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on third, and two out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI double, knocking in Howard, who has gone to third on Shane Victorino’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, making it 4-1 Phillies. The Brewers would shorten the Phillies’ lead again in the sixth as, with a man on third and two outs, a slumping Prince Fielder would hit a two-run home run, scoring Rickie Weeks, who has earlier doubled and has gone to third on Ryan Braun’s deep fly out to center field, to make it a 4-3 Phillies’ lead. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a RBI double, scoring Feliz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead. The Brew Crew tried to get close in the eighth. With Ryan Madson still pitching in relief of Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, Weeks would start the inning off with a single. Madson would then get the next two batters, Hardy and Braun, to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then take out Madson and bring in Scott Eyre to face the still dangerous Fielder, since Eyre has his number career-wise. But, on this occassion, Fielder woule be able to work a walk, putting two men on base with the go ahead run coming up to the plate in Corey Hart. Manuel would come back out and replace Eyre with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then, with one pitch, end the inning as Hart hit sharply to Rollins, who would throw over to Utley to force out Fielder at second for the third out. In the Phillies’ eighth, they would tack on one more run as Ruiz would use a sacrifice squeeze to force in Victorino, who has reached base on a single, went to second on relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and has gone to third on Feliz’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead. That would turn out to be the ballgame as Brad Lidge would come out and shut the door on the Brewers with a 1-2-3 ninth, as he records his thirty-sixth save in as many tries.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on four hits. His record is now 14-7, the team’s leader in wins, with a 3.68 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only two hits while striking out two. Scott Eyre would face only one batter, walking him. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, facing only one batter and retiring him on a force out. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, giving up no hits as he striked out one batter. Ben Sheets would get the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 13-8 with a 2.97 ERA. Carlos Villanueva would pitch two innings in relief, giving up an unearned run on one hit, while striking out three.

The Phillies’ offense, for once, refused to just score runs early and then just quit, as they would score their final run of the game on a suicide squeeze, a play that they would normally not use. Maybe they have finally decided to do everything that they can to manufacture runs if they can’t normally do so with the bat? I guess we’ll see during their last fifteen games. Jamie Moyer, with three games rest, wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to keep the slumping, but still very dangerous, bats of the Brew Crew silent during his five and two-thirds innings of work, giving up only four hits, although all four would be for extra-bases (2B (2), HR (2)). The Phillies’ bullpen would then come on to keep the Brewers quiet for the rest of the game, although just barely getting out of the now seemingly dangerous eighth inning by the skin of their teeth.

The Phillies (80-67) continue their four games series with the Brewers (83-64, 2nd National League Central, 1st NL Wild Card) with a night game tonight. It will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12), who is coming off a disastrous start against the Mets on September 7, where he only went five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Brew Crew, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his thirteenth win, while trying to see if he can keep the slumping Brewers’ bats quiet and put the Brewers into panic mode with a win against them. The Brewers will counter with Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on September 7, as he goes five innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits, in the Brewers’ 10-1 lost. He will be trying to see if he can stop the Brewers present slide while trying to stop the Phillies from getting any closer them in the wild card race.

With the victory, the Philles are now three games behind the Mets, as the Mets prepare to face the Braves for a three games weekend series. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish prepare to meet the Nationals for three games. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by three games as they continue their series, while they are still tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card as they’d defeated the Pirates, before they go to wait out Hurricane Ivan for the next two days before facing the Cubs on the 14th, while they are both ahead of the Cardinals by a game and a half after losing to the Cubs before they begin a series against the Pirates this weekend. The Phillies hope to be able to gain ground in both the East and in the wild card race.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Phillies are finally able to win one in Wrigley Field, thanks mainly to Myers and the offense.

The Phillies finally get past the eighth inning as J.C. Romero comes in and squashed a Cubs’ rally with three strikeouts, while Myers would pitch another seven strong innings as the Phillies defeated the Cubs, 5-2. The Cubs would score the game’s first run, as, with two men on and one out, Geovany Soto would hit a RBI single, scoring Mark DeRosa, who has earlier singled and then went to second on Kosuke Fukudome’s single, to give the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Fukudome to third. Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would then get out of the inning by striking out Cubs’ starter Ted Lilly and then getting Alfonso Soriano to fly out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel in the third and fourth innings, with Lilly breezing through the Phillies’ line-up, while Myers would get out of trouble in both the third (two on, one out-double play) and the fourth (two on, two out-ground out). Then in the top of the fifth, Jayson Werth, with one swing of the bat, would tie the ballgame with a solo home run, his nineteenth home run of the year. Then in the sixth, after the Phillies have loaded up the bases via two singles (Chase Utley and Ryan Howard) and a hit batter (Shane Victorino), with two men out, Werth would give the Phillies a 3-1 lead with a two-run single, scoring Utley, who has gone to third on Ryan’s single, and Howard, who has gone to second when Victorino was hit by the pitch, with a slide that would keep him from being tagged by Cubs’ catcher Soto. In the eighth, the Phillies would increase their lead as Howard hit a solo home run to deep center field, for his thirty-seventh home run of the year, making it 4-1 Phillies. Two batters later, Werth would hit his second solo home run of the game, his twentieth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Which was a good thing, as the Cubs would try to come back in their half of the inning. Ryan Theriot, Derrick Lee and Aramis Ramirez would each single, with Ramirez scoring Theriot, who has gone to third on Lee’s single, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead, while sending Lee to second. That would be it for Myers, as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace Myers with J.C. Romero. With two men on and no one out, Romero would proceed to strike out first pinch hitter Reed Johnson, and then pinch hitter Ronny Cedeno, using their youthful aggressiveness against them as they would both strike out swinging. The next batter, Fukudome, would then get a four-pitch walk to load up the bases. After being calmed down by Rich Dubee, since he didn’t get a called strike on what would be ball number three, Romero would then bear down and strike out Soto looking to finally end the inning. Romero would then leave the mound, all enthusiastic. Hey, Charlie, I think you’d just found your eighth inning bridge to Brad Lidge. Speaking of Lidge, he would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his thirty-second save of the year.

 

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches another seven strong innings, plus three batters, as he gives up only two earned runs on eleven hits, while striking out eight. His record is now 8-10, 5-1 since coming back from the minors, with a 4.40 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, striking out three and walking one batter. Brad Lidge would also pitch a scoreless inning, as he records his thirty-second save in thirty-two tries, as he struck out two. Ted Lilly would take the lost as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. His record is now 13-8 with an ERA of 4.23. Neal Cotts would pitch an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Bob Howry would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

 

The Phillies’ bullpen would finally get past the eighth inning as J.C. Romero would come into the game, and strike out three of the four batters that he would face, getting two of them out by having the hitters swinging at strike three while the third batter would stand at the plate for a called third strike, and showing some enthusiasm after doing it. Myers would pitch himself out of trouble in the first four innings before getting three straight 1-2-3 innings, as he gives up only singles to the Cubbies. Meanwhile, the offense would get another ten hits, although they would not be as evenly spread out as they have been earlier in the week. Jayson Werth would lead the attack, going three for four, with two home runs and a single, knocking in four of the Phillies’ runs. Jimmy Rollins would follow with four hits, three singles and a double, along with a stolen base. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard would both follow with two hits apiece, three singles and a home run (for Howard), as they would score the other three Phillies’ run (Utley (1), Howard (2)). Now if they can just leave Chicago Sunday with a series split.

 

The Phillies (74-62) will conclude their four games series with the Cubs (85-51, 1st National League Central) this afternoon. The game will be played at Wrigley Field and will begin at 2:20 pm Eastern (1:20 pm Central). The Phillies will send to the mound the veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.81), who is coming off a recent bad outing against the Mets on August 26, as he is only able to go three innings, as he gets creamed for six earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic 8-7 win. He will be trying for his fifteenth good start in his last sixteen starts while trying for his twelfth win of the year. The Cubs’ stater will be Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.53), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 26, as he would pitch only four and a third innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Cubs’ 14-9 win. He will be trying to get his fourteenth win while trying to stop the Phillies’ offense.

 

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a game while they are five games ahead of the Marlins, as the fish defeated the Mets last night. The Phillies will be trying to leave Chicago with a series split while hoping that they will be heading to Washington to meet the Nationals, tied for first place.

Overworked bullpen allows another good start to disappear in another disastrous eighth inning as the Phillies lose to the Cubs, 6-4.

The Phillies’ bullpen would blow yet another game in the eighth inning as Chad Durbin gives up a grand slam home run to Aramis Ramirez, as the Phillies lose the opener of their four games series with the Major League leading Cubs, 6-4. The Phillies would take the lead in the first inning, as, with runners on the corners and two outs, Shane Victorino would hit a RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, and sending Ryan Howard, who has walked, to third. After Jayson Werth worked a walk off of Cubs’ starter Ryan Dempster to load the bases, Dempster would end the inning by getting Pedro Feliz to strike out swinging. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels and Dempster, as Hamels would refuse to give up hits to the Cubs while Dempster would get out of trouble in the fourth and fifth innings. In the Cubs’ half of the fifth, they would tie the game at one all, as, with one out, Mark DeRosa would hit a RBI triple, scoring Kosuke Fukudome, who has gotten on base with an infield single. Hamels would then end the threat by first striking out Dempster for out number two, and then getting Alfonso Soriano to pop up to the shortstop for the inning’s final out. The Phillies would then regain the lead in the sixth. Werth would start the inning off with a double. Feliz would then walk, putting runners on first and second. Carlos Ruiz would then hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead, while sending Feliz to second. Hamels would then sacrifice the runners over to third and second, respectively, for the inning’s first out. Jimmy Rollins would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz, to make it a 3-1 Phillies’ lead, while sending Ruiz to third. The Cubs then decided to pitch to Utley, instead of going after a slumping Pat Burrell, and Utley would make them pay for it as he would hit a RBI single, knocking in Ruiz, to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead. Burrell would end the inning by flying out to left. Hamels would then proceed to keep the Cubs silent in both the sixth and seventh innings, before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Unfortunatley, the bullpen would not be able to preserve the win in the eighth. Ryan Madson would give up a lead-off pinch hit home run to pinch hitter Mike Fontenot, his ninth home run of the year, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 4-2. Soriano would follow with a double. Ryan Theriot would then single, sending Soriano to third, with no one out. Charlie Manuel would immediately take out Madson and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then walk Derrick Lee, loading up the bases. Then, on a 1-0 fastball, Aramis Ramirez would hit a grand slam home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Soriano, Theriot and Lee, giving the Cubs a 6-4 lead. That would end up being the final score as the Phillies would be turned back in the ninth, with Kerry Wood recording his twenty-eight save of the year.

Cole Hamels would get another no-decision, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits and striking out six. Ryan Madson would face only three batters, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Chad Durbin would get the lost as he received his fifth blown save of the year, as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits and a walk. His record is now 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. Ryan Dempster would also get a no-decision as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out seven. Sean Marshall would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Bob Howry would get the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. His record is now 6-4 with a 5.31 ERA. Kerry Wood would get the save, his twenty-eighth of the year, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit.

For the second straight night, the Phillies’ bullpen would blow a lead in the eighth inning, now showing itself to maybe getting overworked. It would seem that one or two of the starter(s) might have to go eight full innings if they want to avoid any more eight innings blow ups like in the last two games. Either that, or Charlie Manuel is going to have to find someone who is fresh enough to act as the eighth inning bridge to Brad Lidge. Scott Eyre maybe? Just a suggestion, Chuck.

The Phillies (73-61) will continue their four games series with the Cubs (84-50, 1st National League Central). The game will be played in Wrigley Field and will start at 2:20 pm Eastern (1:20 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.75), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 24, as he went six innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits, in the Phillies’ 5-2 extra-inning win. He has never pitched against the Cubs and will be trying to pitched his fourth quality start since his trade to the Phils and his second win, while trying to end the Phillies’ present two games slide. The Cubs will counter with Rich Harden (9-2 (4-1), 2.00), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on August 24, as he went seven innings, giving up only an earned run on two hits and striking out eleven, in the Cubs’ 6-1 win. He has faced the Phillies once before on June 26 as a member of the A’s, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out eleven in eight innings of work, in the A’s 5-0 win. He will be trying for his tenth win, while hoping to once again defeat the Phils.

With the lost, the Phillies trail the Mets by a full game, and are ahead of the Marlins by five games, as the Mets prepare to meet the Marlins for three games in Miami. The Phillies will be trying to recover from their last two loses while trying to see if they can regain first place during the series between the Mets and the Marlins.

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