Results tagged ‘ Fly Outs ’

National League Championship Series: Game 1: Two bombs in the sixth propel the Phillies past the Dodgers, 3-2. Phils take 1-0 Series lead.

Two home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell in the sixth inning would propel the Phillies past the Dodgers to take a one game to none lead in the National League Championship Series, 3-2. The Dodgers would score first, taking a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, as, with a runner on second and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has earlier doubled. The Dodgers would make it 2-0 in the fourth, as, with a runner on third, and one out, Blake DeWitt would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier hit a ground-rule double and has gone to third on Casey Blake’s ground out, 6-3. By the bottom of the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe was in complete control of the Phillies, making most of the Phillies’ batters hit into ground outs, although a fly out by Jimmy Rollins would end a two on, two out, Phillies’ threat in the fifth, while Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels was keeping the Dodgers under control, dispite giving up two runs thanks to three doubles and a sac fly. But things would suddenly change in the Phillies’ half of the sixth. Shane Victorino would start the inning off by hitting a grounder to Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would make a quick, high throw, to Dodgers’ first baseman James Loney, which would tip off the end of his glove and rolled into foul territory behind first base. After slowing down to make sure that he has touched first base, Victorino would move on to second base on Furcal’s throwing error. The next batter, Chase Utley, would then follow by guessing correctly on a first pitch fastball, sending it into the right field seats for a two-run home run, scoring Victorino before him, to tie the game up at 2-2. After Ryan Howard would ground out to Loney, for the inning’s first out, Pat Burrell would get the count up to 3-1 before he would hit a fastball into the left field seats for a solo home run, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. That would be the game for Lowe as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would come out and replace him with Chan Ho Park, who would then proceed to end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out to center and Pedro Feliz to ground out, 6-3. Hamels, in the seventh, would have a 1-2-3 inning, as he would get first DeWitt and then Jeff Kent to strike out swinging, and then end the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 1-6-3, as the ball glance off of Hamels right to Rollins, before he would easily throw Furcal out at first. In the eighth, Ryan Madson would replace Hamels on the mound. Madson would begin the inning off by getting Ethier to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout to tell Madson how he was to pitch to Ramirez. I have no idea if Madson actually followed Manuel’s orders or not, as Ramirez would swing at the first pitch thrown to him, a changeup, which he would line directly to third baseman Feliz for the second out. The next batter, Russell Martin, would get on base on a hard ground ball that would glance off of Feliz’s shin, which would slow it down enough for Burrell to get to it and throw it quickly to second base, holding Martin to a single. Loney would follow by hitting into a ground out, 4-3, ending the inning. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge in the ninth to close out the game. Lidge would start the inning by getting Kemp to fly out to right center, which was caught by Victorino for out number one. Blake would follow by flying out to deep center field for the inning’s second out. Lidge would then end the game by getting DeWitt to strike out swinging, getting his third save of the post-season.

Cole Hamel would get the win, his second win of the post-season, as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his first save of the series and his forty-fourth save in forty-four tries. Derek Lowe would take the lost, as he went five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out only two. His series’ record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Greg Maddux would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no runs.

Until the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe had everything going his way, having the Phillies’ bats under his control as he got most of his first fifteen outs on ground balls, including one that would lead into a double play. But, everything would change thanks to a lead-off two-base error by Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Shane Victorino ground ball. After that, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell would guess right on a couple of Lowe’s fastballs, sending them into the right and left field seats, respectively, to give the Phillies the lead, a lead that they would never surrender. Meanwhile, Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels, although giving up runs in the first and fourth innings, was only in trouble once, and that was after giving up the RBI double to Manny Ramirez in the first, as he would, after striking out Russell Martin for the inning’s second out, walk James Loney, then watch Carlos Ruiz allow an 1-0 pitch to Matt Kemp to get pass him for a pass ball, which would allow Ramirez to move up to third and Loney to second. But he would finally end the threat by getting Kemp to fly out to right. The Dodgers would not put together another major threat against Hamels, outside of scoring another run off of him in the fourth, over the next six innings, before he would hand the ball over to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

The National League Championship Series will continue in Philadelphia this afternoon, with the second game being played at Citizens Bank Park, starting at 4:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers, who is coming off a good start against the Brewers on October 2, where he pitched seven inning, giving up just two earned runs on just two hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. His record in the National League Divisional Series was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. His regular season record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA in 190 innings of work, as he struck out 163 batters, while walking only 65. But, his record after coming back from a minor league assignment to help clear his head is 7-4, with two no-decisions, in thirteen starts. In two starts this year against the Dodgers, he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, as he went a combined total of fourteen innings, giving up only three earned runs on fourteen hits and five walks, while striking out sixteen batters. He hopes to do as well against the Dodgers this afternoon as he did against the Brewers. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley, who is coming off his brilliant start against the Cubs on October 2, where he went six and one third innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Dodgers’ 10-3 win. During the regular season, his record was 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA in 200 and two-thirds innings of work, as he struck out 201 batters, while walking just 80. In one start against the Phillies, back on August 25, he is 0-1, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out only three, in the Dodgers’ 5-0 lost. He will be seeing if he can improve on his Divisional Series start and avoid being hit as he was in his previous start against the Phillies. The Phillies will be trying to take a two games to none lead into Los Angeles while the Dodgers will be trying to leave Philadelphia with a spilt.

National League Divisional Series: Game 2: The Phillies show that C.C. is just as human as anyone else as they ride Shane Victorino’s Grand Slam to a 5-2 win over the Brewers. They now head to Milwaukee with a 2-0 lead.

The Phillies show to the rest of the league that C.C. Sabathia is as human as the rest of us by scoring five runs off of him in the second inning before running him out of the game in the fourth as the Phillies’ ride Brett Myers’ two-hit pitching and Shane Victorino’s grand slam to a 5-1 victory over the Brew Crew. Things didn’t start out so brightly in the first inning, as the Brewers, after Mike Cameron started the game off by striking out on three pitches, would load the bases on Phillies’ starter Brett Myers via a walk to Ray Durham on four pitches, a double to Ryan Braun, which would send Durham to third, and an intentional walk to Prince Fielder. J.J. Hardy would then follow with a walk of his own, forcing in Durham with the game’s first run, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead. But Myers would then get out of the inning as the next batter, Corey Hart, would hit the first pitch thrown to him directly to Myers. Myers would throw home for the second out of the inning as Carlos Ruiz would touch home plate before Braun can cross it. Ruiz would then throw over to first, beating out Hart, for the inning’s final out. That would turn out to be the first key moment of the game, as Myers would then settle down after the first inning. Meanwhile, the Phillies would try to strike back in their half of the first, as they would have a runner on third, via a Shane Victorino double and a stolen base, and one man out, when Brewers’ starter Sabathia would end the inning by striking out both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard swinging, and doing it by throwing only seventeen pitches. But, after Myers pitches a 1-2-3 second, the Phillies would go back to work on Sabathia. After Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a fly out to left, Jayson Werth would get on base with a double. Pedro Feliz would follow him with a RBI double, knocking in Werth, and tying the game at 1-1. After a Ruiz ground out to first would put Feliz on third, Myers would come up to bat. Myers would battle with Sabathia until on the ninth pitch thrown to him, he would get a walk, putting runners on the corners. That would be the second key moment of the game, as Sabathia’s pitch count starts to rise and he is beginning to miss the plate. Jimmy Rollins would follow Myers with a four pitch walk, loading the bases, as Myers would move up to second, bringing up to the plate Victorino. Trailing in the count, 1-2, Victorino would belt a slider into the left field seats for a grand slam home run, the first one ever hit by a Phillie in the playoffs, scoring Feliz, Myers and Rollins, and giving the Phils a 5-1 lead. Sabathia would finally end the inning by getting Utley to once again strike out swinging, but by then the damage has already been done, as Sabathia’s pitch count was now up to fifty-one pitches. In the third, Myers would pitch another 1-2-3 inning, while Sabathia would only let one batter get on base, Werth via his second double of the game, but Sabathia’s pitch count was still rising as he has now thrown seventy-two pitches in three innings. In the fourth, after Myers would breeze through another inning, even though he would hit Hart with a pitch with two men out, Sabathia would finally get knocked out of the box by the Phils. They would start their half of the fourth off with a one pitch ground out, 1-3, by Ruiz. Myers would then battle Sabathia again, getting him mad in the process, as he would get the count up to 3-2 on nine pitches, before finally flying out to center on pitch number 10. Rollins would then follow with a double, the fifth double, and the sixth extra-base hit, that the Phillies would get off of Sabathia. After intentionally walking Victorino, the Phils would get a double steal as Rollins and Victorino would both move up a base, with Utley batting. These would be the third and fourth stolen bases that the Phils would get off of Sabathia. Utley would then get a walk, loading up the bases, and leading to the removal of Sabathia by Brewers’ manager Dale Sveum. At that point, Sabathia’s pitch count has risen to ninety-eight pitches. Sveum would then bring in reliever Mitch Stetter to face Howard. Stetter would get the Brewers out of the inning by striking out Howard, leaving the bases loaded. In the fifth, the Phillies would reload the bases, with two outs, via two walks (Burrell and Ruiz) and a single (Myers), but the Brewers would get out of that jam as Rollins would line out to Fielder who made a great catch on a ball that would have broken the game wide open if it has gotten through. The Phillies would threaten again in the sixth as they would put runners on second and first, with one out, via a double (Victorino) and an intentional walk (Howard), but the Brewers would get out of the inning as Seth McClung, pitching in his second inning in relief of Stetter, would strike out Burrell for the second out of the inning and then get Werth to fly out. In the seventh, the Brewers would get a run back as Craig Counsell would ground out, 4-3, scoring Hardy, who has reached base earlier with a double, only the second hit given up by Myers, and would then move to third on Hart’s fly out to right, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies half of the seventh would see the Phils go down 1-2-3 for the only time yesterday. In the Brewers’ eighth, Myers would be taken out of the game and replaced by Ryan Madson. The inning would start with a fielding error by Rollins of pinch hitter Rickie Weeks’ grounder. Madson would then get Cameron to pop (foul) out to the third baseman for the inning’s first out. Durham would then hit into a force out, 1-6, forcing out Weeks, while Durham would beat out Rollins’ throw to first. Braun would then follow with a single, moving Durham up to second base with still two men out. Madson is then taken out of the game by Charlie Manuel and replaced by J.C. Romero, to face Fielder. On Romero’s first pitch, Fielder would hit a slow grounder towards Utley, who would shovel the ball over to Howard for the inning’s final out, ending the short-lived Brewers’ threat. In the ninth, Lidge would be given the ball for the save. Unlike Tuesday’s game, Lidge would have an easy 1-2-3 inning, ending the game with a fly out to center, giving the Phillies a 5-2 win and a 2-0 lead in the series, as the two teams now head for Milwaukee for the third game of the series.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out four. His post-season record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face on one pitch. Brad Lidge would get his second post season save and his forty-third save in forty three tries, as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning. C.C. Sabathia would get the lost as he is only able to go three and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits, walking four batters, while striking out five. His post-season record is now 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA. Mitch Stetter, Seth McClung, Eric Gagne and Salomon Torres would pitch a combined total of four and one-thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up just three hits (McClung (2), Torres (1)) and walking three (McClung), with each one striking out a batter for a total of four strike outs.

The victory gives the Phillies a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they show that C.C. Sabathia is indeed human. This is mainly because most of the batters remained patient, with Brett Myers’ two at-bats against Sabathia being the key at-bats, especially the first one, as Sabathia would lose his composure after each one, leading to Shane Victorino’s grand slam in the second and Sabathia’s removal with the bases loaded, after throwing 98 pitches, in the fourth. It would seem that pitching Sabathia with only three days rest for the fourth straight game has come back to haunt the Brewers as they are now backed into a corner with the wily veteran Jamie Moyer up next to attempt to seal the deal for the Phillies. The Brewers’ ace was hit hard by the Phillies as all six of the hits off of him would be for extra-bases (5 (2B), 1 (HR)) while they also ran wild on him, stealing four bases, with Victorino leading the way with two steals. Meanwhile, Myers, after starting out a little wild and maybe being a little pinched by the home plate umpire, would gain control of the game after Corey Hart’s 1-2-3 double play ball ending the first inning, ending the Brewers best, and as it would turn out, only chance to get control of this game.  After that inning, the Brewers would not be able to handle Myers’ pitches, especially after he starts to throw at them more than just his fastball. It would appear that the Myers of the second half is back, and if he is, thank god for that.

The five games National League Divisional Series will now move to Milwaukee. The third game of the series will be played in Miller Park on Saturday and will start at 6:30 pm Eastern (5:30 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be veteran Jamie Moyer (16-7, 3.71), who is coming off a victory against the Nationals on September 27, as he went six innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 win. He has last faced the Brewers on September 11, defeating them in the game that would lead to a four game swept of the Brew Crew, as he would pitch five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. Moyer will be trying to, like he did last Saturday, pitch the Phillies deeper into the playoff with a win. His opponent will be Dave Bush (9-10, 4.18), who is coming off his fifth straight no-decision, this time against the Cubs on September 27, as he would pitch three innings in relief, giving up no runs on no hits, while walking a batter and striking out one, in the Brewers’ 7-3 lost. His last start would be on September 23 against the Pirates, also a no-decision, as he went five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Brewers’ 7-5 win. His last start against the Phillies would be on September 14, as he pitched a no-decision, going six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Brewers’ 7-3 lost in the first game of a day/night doubleheader. Bush will be trying to prevent a sweep of the Brewers.

The Phillies will be trying to end the series early, handing the ball over to Jamie Moyer to do it. And, with the Brewers now trying to keep from getting swept, Moyer should be the right person for the job, as he’ll be trying to use the Brewers’ aggressiveness against them.

National League Divisional Series: Game 1: Behind the two-hit pitching of Cole Hamels, the Phillies take game one of the series, 3-1.

Behind Cole Hamels’ eight innings of shut out ball, the Phillies would take a 1-0 lead over the Brewers in their National League Divisional Series. After Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels and Brewers’ starter Yovani Gallardo would both pitch two straight shut out innings, Hamels would pitch a 1-2-3 third, striking out four of the first nine men that he would face. Gallardo wouldn’t be so lucky, as he would give up a lead-off single to Carlos Ruiz, the first hit of the ballgame. Hamels would then come to bat and laid down a sacrifice bunt that would become a catch error by the Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks. Both men would then be safe on the play, with Ruiz reaching second and Hamels being safe on first. Jimmy Rollins would then fly out to left for the inning’s first out. Jayson Werth would then follow by striking out swinging, for the second out of the inning. Chase Utley would then come up, and on a 2-2 pitch, hit a double to center that would not be caught by Brewers’ center fielder Mike Cameron, scoring both Ruiz and Hamels and giving the Phillies a quick 2-0 lead. The Phillies would then load up the bases via an intentional walk to Ryan Howard and a walk to Pat Burrell. The next batter, Shane Victorino would also get a walk, forcing in Utley and giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead, and leaving the bases loaded as Howard and Burrell would both move up a base. With a chance to break the game wide open early, Pedro Feliz, the ninth batter of the inning, would instead end it by flying out to center. Now with a lead, Cole Hamels would then proceed to breeze through the Brewers’ lineup, giving up only two hits, while striking out nine Brewers. He had only one troublesome inning, the sixth. After striking out Jason Kendall, he would give up a single to Craig Counsell and then would walk Cameron, which would put Counsell on second. But Hamels would get out of the inning by first getting Bill Hall to strike out swinging for the second out of the inning, and then, on one pitch, he would get Ryan Braun to pop up to Jimmy Rollins, for the inning’s final out. Meanwhile, the Brewers’ bullpen would keep the Phillies’ bats pretty much muzzled until the bottom of the eight, when they would threaten to add on to their lead. After Utley would ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out, Howard would reach base with a walk. Eric Bruntlett, a defensive replacement for Burrell, would get a single off of Brewers’ shortstop J.J. Hardy, putting runners on first and second, as Howard would reach second base, with one out. The next batter, Victornio would then hit into a force out, 4-6, as Bruntlett is wiped out at second, while he would beat the throw to first base. In the meantime, Howard would reach third, putting runners on the corner. After Guillermo Mota is sent to the mound in place of Manny Parra, Victorino would steal second, putting both runners in scoring position. Sadly, Feliz would be unable to knock them in as he pops up on a ball that Counsell would just be able to catch in the outfield, ending the inning. Brad Lidge would then be given the ball to nail it down for the Phillies. After getting Cameron out on a called third strike, Lidge would give up a single to pinch hitter Ray Durham. Braun would follow him with a double to right, scoring Cameron, thanks in part to a catch error by Utley, preventing him from making a possible play at the plate, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Lidge would then get Prince Fielder to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out. Hardy would then get on base with a walk, putting runners on first and second. With Corey Hart batting, Lidge would uncork a wild pitch, putting Braun on third and Hardy on second with the tying run and two outs. Lidge would then, on a 2-2 pitch, strike out Hart swinging on a high fastball, to end the game, striking out the side, and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the series.

Cole Hamels will get the win, as he pitch eight shut out innings, giving up only two hits and a walk, while striking out nine. He is now 1-0 in the post-season with a 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would get the save, his forty-second save in forty two tries, and his first for the post season, as he gives up an earned run on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Yovani Gallardo would get the lost as he pitches only four innings, giving up three runs, all unearned, on three hits and five walks, while striking out three. He is now 0-1 in the post-season with an ERA of 0.00. Mitch Stetter, Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra and Guillermo Moto would combine for four shut innings, giving up only one hit (Parra) and a walk (also by Parra), while striking out four (Stetter (1), Villanueva (3)).

With the win, the Phillies has started the series off on a good foot as they have won their first post season game since they have won game five in the 1993 World Series. They will now try for a sweep at home, but they will have to bat better than they did in today’s game against the hard to hit C.C. Sabathia. If they don’t, they’ll be heading to Milwaukee with a spilt. They will also need a good start from Brett Myers, who has gotten bombed in his last two starts after being almost unhittable since his return from his minor league assignement.

Game 2 of the NLDS will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 6 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send out Brett Myers (10-13, 4.55), who is coming off his second straight bad performance, after going 7-2 in his previous eleven starts. In his last two starts, he would only go a combined total of eight and a third innings, giving up fourteen earned runs on ninteen hits. He will be trying to recover from those two starts and prove that he can help the Phillies get further along in the playoffs. His opponent will be the Brewers’ ace of the second half, C.C. Sabathia (17-10, 1.65), who is coming off his third straight game of pitching with three days rest, and winning his second straight start, as he pitched nine inning against the Cubs on September 28, giving up an unearned run on four hits, in the Brewers’ 3-1, which would help get them into the post season. He will once again be pitching with three days rest. The Phillies should be able to defeat him if he start to show any fatigue from pitching so many games with less rest than he would normally get, and if the Phillies’ batters show some patient while batting against him. Sabathia will be trying to even the series.

The Phillies will be trying to go to Milwaukee with a 2-0 lead in this short series, if they can get past Sabathia. Otherwise, they will be trying to win both games in Milwaukee. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 6: The magic number into the playoffs is now one as the Phillies defeat the Braves, 6-2.

Behind Pat Burrell’s three-run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning and the solid pitching of rookie J.A. Happ and the bullpen, the Phillies have defeated the Braves, 6-2, cutting their magic number to get into the post-season down to one and to win the National League East down to four. Their lead in the East has increased to two and a half games as the Mets are unable to stop the Cubs. The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as Chase Utley, with a runner on second and no one out, would hit a RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins who has earlier doubled. The RBI would be the 100th of the season for Utley, the only Phil, other than Ryan Howard, to knock in so many runs. The Phillies would increase their lead to 2-0 in the second, as, with a runner on third and one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit into a ground out, second to first, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, would move up to second on Pedro Feliz’s ground out, 6-3, and would go to third on Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens’ wild pitch. The score would remain 2-0 for the next three innings as a pitchers’ duel developed between Jurrjens, who was able to slow down the Phillies’ offernse after the second inning and Phils’ starter  J.A. Happ, who would be almost unhitable to the Braves’ offense, who would only be able to get two hits and a walk off of him through the first five innings. Sadly, that would come to an end in the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Kelly Johnson, would tie up the ballgame at 2-2 as he would slug an 0-1 slider, that was high in the strike zone, into the right field seats, scoring Matin Prado, who has earlier walked. One inning later, the Braves would threaten to take the lead, as with one out, Brent Lillibridge would get on base with a single to left. Jurrjens would then move him over to second with a sacrifice bunt, for the inning’s second out. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout and take out Happ and replace him with Rudy Seanez, to face pinch hitter Greg Norton, who was pinch hitting for the originally announced pinch hitter, Yunel Escobar, who in turned was to pinch hit for Josh Anderson. Seanez would proceed to intentionally walk Norton, putting runners on first and second. Seanez would then get the next batter, Prado, to hit into a force out, 6-4, putting out Norton at second, for the final out of the inning. The Braves would then try again in the eighth, as Johnson would lead off the inning with a double, and then would go to third on Victorino’s fielding error. Seanez would then get Omar Infante to line out to Rollins for the inning’s first out. The next batter, Jeff Francoeur, would then hit a fielder’s choice ground ball to Rollins, who would quickly throw home, cutting down Johnson, as Ruiz blocks the plate and tags him out, for the second out of the inning, while Francoeur would be safe on first. After Manuel takes out Seanez and replaces him with Scott Eyre, Eyre would get Casey Kotchman to fly out to left for the inning’s final out. The Phillies would then retake the lead in their half of the eighth, as pinch hitter Greg Dobbs would get a pinch single off of Braves’ reliever Jeff Bennett. After Dobbs is replaced at first base by pinch runner Greg Golson, the Braves would try to pick Golson off at first. It didn’t work as Bennett would commit a throwing error, as the ball would get past Braves’ first baseman Kotchman, which would allow Golson to go from first to third. After Rollins would ground out for the inning’s first out, Utley would be intentionally walked, bringing up Jayson Werth. Werth would hit a sharp grounder to Braves’ third baseman Prado, who would then throw home in an attempt to cut down Golson. It wouldn’t work, as Golson was off on the crack of the bat, beating Braves’ catcher Clint Sammons’ tag, and scoring the go ahead run as the Phillies took a 3-2 lead, while Utley would go on to second and Werth would reach first on the fielder’s choice. Bobby Cox would then come to the mound and replace Bennett with Will Ohman. After Howard flies out for the second out of the inning, Ohman would be replaced by Julian Tavarez to pitch to Pat Burrell. With the count going to 3-1, Burrell would hit a Tavarez’s fastball into the left field seats for a three-run home run, his thirty-third home run of the year, scoring both Utley and Werth, and giving the Phillies a 6-2 lead. After Victorino follows with a triple, Tavarez would finally end the inning by getting Feliz to fly out to left. The Phillies would then hand the ball over to Ryan Madson. After Madson gets pinch hitter Ruben Gotay to fly out for the inning’s first out, he would give up a pinch single to pinch hitter Chipper Jones. Pinch hitter Brian McCann would then follow him with a deep fly ball to left that would go out of the park, but would be declared a double by the third base umpire Chad Fairchild who would claim that the ball has landed under the yellow line, making it a double and not a home run. A later umpires’ conference would uphold Fairchild’s call, as does instant reply, thus leaving the Braves with runners on second and third with one out and not a two-run homer for McCann. Madson would then buckle down and get Gregor Blanco to fly out to left for the second out of the inning, and then get Prado to ground out, 4-3, to end the game and preserve the win.

J.A. Happ would get a no-decision as he pitches a strong six and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, striking out five while walking only two. Rudy Seanez would pitch a scoreless inning of relief, giving up only one hit and walking a batter. Scott Eyre would get the win as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits. His record is now 5-0 (3-0 with the Phils) with an ERA of 4.30. Ryan Madson would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only two hits. Jair Jurrjens would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk. Jeff Bennett would get the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up three earned runs on a hit and a walk. His record is now 3-7 with an ERA of 3.86. Will Ohman would also pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Julian Tavarez would also go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.  

The Phillies would score two early runs, which J.A. Happ would hold onto brillantly until he gives up the two-run home run to Kelly Johnson in the sixth. The Phillies offense would then go back to work in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four unanswered runs, with the big blow being Pat Burrell’s three-run shot. The go ahead run that Greg Golson would score on the crack of the bat, would be his first run scored in a major league game. The bullpen would then come in and pitch two and a third innings of shut out ball, although Madson almost gave up a two-run home run to pinch hitter Brian McCann, except that the ball would drop into the seats below the yellow line under the railing in left, as confirmed later by instant replay. The Phillies are now on a roll, having won ten of their last eleven games, as they reached a season high twenty-one games over .500, the highest since their pennant winning year of 1993. The Phillies are now one game away from 90 wins, and need just one more game to guarantee a return to the playoffs.

The Phillies (89-68) will continue their series with the fourth place Braves (69-86) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (14-9, 3.10), who is coming off a win against the Braves on September 18, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 win. Hamel will be trying for his fifteenth win of the year while trying to secure the playoff spot for the Phillies with a good outing tonight. The Braves’ starter will be Mike Hampton (2-3, 5.05), who is coming off a lost to the Phillies on September 18, as he would go seven innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, in the Braves’ 4-3 lost. This is his third start against the Phillies, sporting an 0-1 record, with a no-decision. He will be trying to hold off the Phillies running into the playoff for one more night.

The Phillies are now leading the Mets by two and a half games, thanks to the Mets lost to the Cubs. The magic number to win the National League East is now at four. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets’ lead over the Brewers is now at a game, as the Brewers were idle last night, while it is at three and a half games over Houston, who were also idle last night. The Phillies will be trying to win tonight’s game to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, while trying to see if they can get Cole Hamels his fifteenth win of the season.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 11: Happ-ily staying in first place as the Phils defeat Atlanta behind Happ’s six innings of shut out pitching.

Phillies’ starter rookie J.A. Happ records his first major league victory as he shuts down Atlanta for six innings as the Phillies defeated the Braves, 6-1. The victory keeps them in first place in the East as the Mets finally defeated the Nationals. The Phillies’ bat would take the pressure off of Happ by batting around in the first inning. After Jimmy Rollins would ground out, 3-1, for the first out of the inning, Chase Utley would get on base with a walk. Jayson Werth would follow with a walk, moving Utley to second. Ryan Howard would then hit a RBI single, scoring Utley and sending Werth to second for a quick 1-0 lead. It would become 2-0 as Werth would steal third and then go home on Braves’ catcher’s Brian McCann’s throwing error, while Howard would move up to second on the error. After Pat Burrell flies out to right for the inning’s second out, Shane Victorino would get on base with a single, sending Howard to third, putting runners on the corners. After Victornio steals second, putting two men in scoring position, Pedro Feliz would get on base with a walk, loading the bases. Carlos Ruiz would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Howard and Victorino, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead, and sending Feliz to second. Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens would finally end the inning by striking out Happ. With the four run cushion, Happ would go to work against the Braves, giving them very few base runners in the early innings. The Braves would put up a threat in the fifth, as Casey Kotchman would lead off the inning with a double, the Braves’ first extra-base hit, and the first Brave to get into scoring position. But Happ would then get out the next two batters via fly outs, Jeff Francoeur to left and Josh Anderson to center. The next batter, pinch hitter Yunel Escobar would then get on base with a walk, putting two men on. After Escobar is replaced by pinch runner Brandon Jones, Happ would end the inning by getting Martin Prado to ground out, 6-3. Happ would stay in for one more inning, putting the Braves down easily in the sixth, before handing the ball over to the bullpen. The Phillies would finally add a run in the eighth, as, with runners on first and third and one out, Feliz would hit a ground ball to Braves’ second baseman Kelly Johnson. Instead of throwing to second to start an inning ending double play, Johnson would throw to first to get out Feliz for the second out of the inning, allowing Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Burrell, who has earlier reached base with a single, and then would move to third on Victorino’s single, to score, making it 5-0 Phillies, while sending Victorino to second. The Phils would tack on one more run in the ninth as pinch hitter Matt Stairs would hit a pinch hit home run, his twelfth home run of the year and his first as a Phil, to give the Phils a 6-0 lead. In the bottom half of the ninth, the Braves would finally score a run as, with a runner on second and two out, Greg Norton would get a RBI single, scoring Francoeur, who has earlier singled and has moved to second on defensive indifference, making it a 6-1 Phillies’ lead. But Clay Condrey would end the game by getting Gregor Blanco to fly out for the game’s final out.

J.A. Happ would get the win, the first in his major league career, as he pitches six shut out innings, giving up only three hits and one walk, while striking out two. His record is now 1-0 with an ERA of 4.24. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning and two-thirds of relief, giving up two hits and a walk. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Jair Jurrjens would get the lost, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs, all in the first, on five hits and five walks. His record is now 13-10 with an ERA of 3.72. Vladimir Nunez would pitch two and a third innings, giving up an earned run on three hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch one and two-thirds innings, giving up an earned run on two hits.

The Phillies’ offense, although it got ten hits, would not deliver the knock out blow to Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens after he has escaped the first inning, wtihin which he threw over 40 pitches and gave up all four runs that he would give up that night, as he walked three batters along with three singles. Jurrjens would then calm down enough to get through five innings. But, it wouldn’t matter as the four run cushion would help to relax J.A. Happ enough to allow him to go six innings, with the fifth being the only inning that the Braves would actually make a threat and come away with nothing for their efforts, as he went after the Braves’ hitters. The offense would later add two insurance runs in the late innings to guarantee the win. The victory put the Phillies eighteen games over .500 as the team rides a six games winning streak, their highest this season, while they won their eighth straight game at Turner Field.

The Phillies (85-67) will play the last game of their three game road trip with the Braves (67-85) tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (13-9, 3.11), who is coming off a good start against the Brewers on September 13, where he’d pitched six and a third innings of good ball, giving up only two earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. In his last start against the Braves on July 26, Hamels would receive a no-decision as he went only three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, only four of which were earned, on six hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic 10-9 come from behind win. In three starts this year, including the disaster of July 26, Hamels’ record against the Braves is 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA. He will be going for his fourteenth win of the year while trying to complete the third sweep of the Braves at their own home park. The Braves will counter with Mike Hampton (2-2, 5.34), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on September 13, as he would go six innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, in the Braves’ 3-2 win. His last start against the Phillies was on July 26, where he would also receive a no-decision as he pitched only four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 10-9 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to stop the suddenly revised Phillies’ offensive juggernault.

The Phillies are still a half game ahead of the Mets as they defeated the Nationals last night. They are still five and a half games in front of the Marlins, as they defeated the Astros once again. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets still have a half game lead over the Brewers as they defeated the Cubs, for the moment putting on hold the Cubs’ clinching party. The Astros now trail the Mets by three and a half game after their lost to the Marlins. The Phillies will be looking to extend their winning streak to seven games as they plan to do something that is always hard to do: Sweep their opponent in their home ball park, for the third time this season. If this happens, if would serve notice that the Braves’ reign as a divisional leader is over. GO PHILLIES!!!!

Kyle Kendrick gets bombed as the Phillies are unable to come back from a 9-1 defecit as they lose to the Marlins, 10-8.

Kyle Kendrick is knocked out of the box in the second inning, after giving up seven runs, as the Phillies lose to the Marlins, 10-8. The Marlins would take the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded thanks to two singles (John Baker and Mike Jacobs) and a walk (Jorge Cantu) and with one man out, Dan Uggla would hit a two-run single, scoring Baker and Cantu, giving the Marlins a quick 2-0 lead, while sending Jacobs to third. Josh Willingham would follow with a sacrifice fly, scoring Jacobs, to make it 3-0 Marlins. The Phillies would get a run back in their half of the first as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a soft grounder to the shortstop for the inning’s second out, 6-3, scoring Jayson Werth, who would get on base with a single, and then steal first second and then third, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-1. But the Marlins would go back to work on Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick in the second, as, with a runner on second and one out, Hanley Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad, who has doubled earlier, to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, after Baker walks, Cantu would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Ramirez and Baker, giving the Marlins a 7-1 lead. That would be it for Kendrick as Charlie Manuel would take him out of the game for J.A. Happ, who would get out of the inning with no further damage. The Marlins would then add to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on first and one out, Jacobs would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, knocking in Cantu, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-1 Marlins. The Phillies would then start their comeback in their half of the fourth, as, after Volstad is taken out of the game, because of a ball hitting off his leg, and replaced with reliever Eulogio De La Cruz, with one man on base and no one out, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his forty-first home run of the year, scoring  Utley, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-3 Marlins. Two batters later, Shane Victorino would ground out, first to the pitcher, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier tripled, to cut the Marlins’ lead down to 9-4. The Marlins would get a run back in the fifth as Cody Ross would hit a lead-off home run, his twenty-first home run of the year, to give the Marlins a 10-4 lead. The Phillies would then explode in the sixth. Howard would start the inning off with a double. Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting two men on base. Victorino would follow with a single, scoring Howard, making it a 10-5 Marlins’ lead, and sending Burrell over to third. De La Cruz is then taken out of the game and replaced with Doug Waechter. After Victorino steals second to put runners on second and third, Greg Dobbs would hit a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Victorino, cutting the Marlins’ lead down to 10-7. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Dobbs, making it 10-8 Marlins, with still no one out. After Chris Coste flies out for the inning’s first out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a single, sending Stairs to third, putting runners on the corners, with still one man out. Rollins would then steal second, to put both runners in scoring position. Werth would then fly out to right for the inning’s second out, which would unfortunatley not be deep enough to score Stairs from third. Waechter is then taken out and replaced by Andrew Miller, who would end the inning by getting Utley to pop up. The Phillies would mount one last threat in the eighth as they put runners on the corners with two singles (pinch hitter Pedro Feliz, later replaced by pinch runner So Taguchi, and Rollins) with two men out. But the threat would end as Werth lines out to right. The Phillies would then go down 1-2-3 in the ninth, as the Marlins would use two different pitchers in that inning to record the final three outs, with Matt Lindstrom recording his second save of the year.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost as he is knocked out of the ballgame early, as he goes only an inning and a third, giving up seven earned runs on six hits and two walks. His record is now 11-9 with a 5.44 ERA. J.A. Happ would go three and one third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, while striking out five, all three runs coming on two home runs. Clay Condrey would pitch one and a third innings of scoreless ball, giving up only one hit. Rudy Seanez would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out a batter. Brad Lidge would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and strking out a batter. Chris Volstad would get a no-decision, as he is taken out of the game because of a ball hitting one of his legs, going three innings, giving up one earned run on two hits. Eulogio De La Cruz would pitch two innings plus three batters, as he gives up six earned runs on five hits and two walks, Doug Waechter would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on three hits. Andrew Miller would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. His record is now 7-8 with a 3.73 ERA. Joe Nelson would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Arthur Rhodes would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Lindstrom would record his second save of the year as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits.

Kyle Kendrick would get knocked around by the Marlins, not lasting two innings, thus showing that his stint in the bullpen last weekend didn’t seem to do anything for him. Because of the seven runs that he gave up, along with the three that J.A. Happ would give up later on a pair of home runs, the Phillies’ offense would be put in an early hole that they could not fully climb out of. I hate to say it, but Kendrick needs to be seated on the bench for a while, until he can find out what his problem is and correct it. If this means some time back in the minors at the start of ’09, then so be it, he just need to get back into attacking batters and not worry about what they are going to do with his pitches. He might also develop an out pitch while he’s at it.

The Phllies (79-66) are right now playing the final game of their three games series with the Marlins (73-72) at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter is Brett Myers (9-10, 4.19), who is coming off a recent win against the Mets on September 5, where he threw eight shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 win. Since coming back from the minors, Myers has posted a 6-1 record with two no-decisions, which the Phillies have split. He will be looking to even his record while keeping the Phillies paced with the Mets. The Marlins will send to the mound Ricky Nolasco (13-7, 3.56), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on September 5, as he would go seven innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits, in the Marlins’ 4-1 win. His previous start against the Phillies on July 18 was a lost, as he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits in the Marlins’ 4-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to do better against the Phillies then he did in his previous start.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by two and a half games in the East as they face the Nationals later today. They lead the Marlins by six games going into this afternoon’s game. In the wild card chase, they are now three and a half games behind Milwaukee, as they have just defeated the Reds, while they are presently a half game ahead of the Cardinals who will play the Cubs tonight and a game ahead of the Astros who will play the Pirates tonight. The Phillies will need to win today to keep pace in both the division and the wild card.

Joe Blanton finally gets his second win as a Phil as the Phillies hold on to defeat the Marlins, 8-6.

In spite of himself, Joe Blanton records his second victory in a Phillie uniform as the Phillies hold on to beat the slowly fading Marlins, 8-6. The Phillies would score first in the first inning, as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, stole second and has gone to third on Marlins’ catcher John Baker’s throwing error, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. It would become 2-0 Phils as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Utley. The Marlins would come back in the second inning, as, with the bases loaded via two straight walks (Mike Jacobs and Dan Uggla) and a single (Josh Willingham) and nobody out, Baker would hit a sacrifice fly for the inning’s first out, scoring Jacobs and moving Uggla to third, cutting the Phillies lead to 2-1. The Marlins would then tie the game on Alfredo Amezaga ground out to first, which would score Uggla with the tying run and move Willingham to second. Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would finally get out of the inning by getting Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez to line out to right. The Phillies would regain the lead in their half of the second as, with runners on second and third and no one out, Blanton would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Stairs, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Carlos Ruiz’s double, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, while sending Ruiz over to third. Ruiz would then score on a RBI single by Rollins, giving the Phillies a 4-2 load. Three batters later, with runners on first and second and two outs, and after Sanchez was replaced by Marlins’ reliever Mark Hendrickson, Howard would hit a RBI single off of Hendrickson’s leg, scoring Rollins, who has stolen second, for his second (of three) stolen bases for the evening, to make it 5-2 Phillies, while Utley, who has walked, would go over to third. Hendrickson would then end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out. The Marlins would make it 5-4 Phillies in the third, as, with a runner on first and two outs, Jacobs would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, scoring Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier walked, the third man whom Blanton would walk that evening, all of whom would later score. The Marlins would not be able to cause any more damage for the next several innings as Blanton would finally settle down, although being removed after performing five innings of so-so work, and then would be shut down for two superb innings of work by Chad Durbin. In the meantime, Hendrickson would keep the Phillies’ bats quiet for three innings, giving up only one more hit. The Phillies would then strike in the bottom of the seventh, as, with two men on and two outs, Werth would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who has walked, went to second when Utley was hit by the pitch, and move to third on Howard’s force out, and Howard, who has reached first on a force out, to give the Phillies an 8-4 lead. The Marlins then tried to come back in the eighth. After J.C. Romero would get the lead-off hitter, he would walk Jorge Cantu. Pinch hitter Cody Ross would then follow with a two-run pinch hit home run, his twentieth home run of the year, scoring Cantu, making it 8-6 Phillies. Charlie Manuel would then come out and take out Romero, and replace him with Ryan Madson. Madson would then proceed to strike out Uggla for the second out of the inning. After Madson gives up a double to Willingham, Manuel would come back to the mound and replace Madson with Scott Eyre. Eyre would then end the inning by getting Baker to fly out. In the top of the ninth, Brad Lidge is handed the ball. After getting out the lead-off man, Lidge would give up a double to pinch hitter Dallas McPherson and then a single to Ramirez, putting runners on the corner. But that would be it as Lidge would then strike out both Wes Helm and Cantu to end the ballgame, as he records his thirty-fifth save in as many tries.

Joe Blanton, would get the win, his second as a Phil since the trade, as he only goes five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits and three walks, all of whom would score. His record is now 7-12 (2-0) with an ERA of 4.86. Chad Durbin would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on one hit and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre would both pitch a third of an inning, giving up only one hit (Madson) while striking out one (also Madson). Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits while striking out two as he records his thirty-fifth save of the year. Anibel Sanchez would get the lost as he would only last one and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, and two walks. His record is now 2-4 with a 6.46 ERA. Mark Hendrickson would pitch three and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits. Logan Kensing would also pitch a scoreless innging, giving up no hits. Andrew Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on no hits, a walk and a hit batter. Joe Nelson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on one hit.

In spite of his so-so pitching, Joe Blanton has finally won his second start as a Phil. Frankly, people I am not impressed. Why? Because the press release on this guy says that he can go deep into games and thus help to save the bullpen. For me, late means at least the seventh inning. And how many times has this guy reached at least the seventh? Two times. That’s right, people, just two times. He has not reached the eight or ninth inning since putting on the red pinstripes, and in his nine starts against National League clubs (once his rain shorten appearence has been removed) this is as far as he has gotten: 4 innings: 1; 5 innings: 3; 5 plus innings: 1; 6 innings: 2; 7 innings: 2. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a guy who can go deep into games? Folks, I think the front office, once again, has been outsmarted!!! (Gee, what a surprise, that’s a tradition with the Phillies front office.) Hey Blanton, want to prove me wrong? STOP GETTING INTO LONG PITCH COUNTS IN THE FIRST FEW INNINGS, YOU TWIT!!!!! You’ll get deeper into games.

The Phillies (79-65) will continue their three games home stand with the Marlins (72-72) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (11-8, 5.06), who is coming off a very bad start against the Nationals on September 1, where he only went four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. The Phils have skipped his previous start in the rotation, which would’ve been last Sunday against the Mets and have put him instead against the fish. During the Mets series he would work out in the bullpen, trying to regain his composure as well as get over his sudden fear of pitching against opposing batters. Rich Dubee has claimed that the change of pace has done Kendrick some good. I for one hope so, although we all know who is waiting in the wings if he continues to mess up. *Cough HAPP Cough* Kendrick will be trying for his twelfth win while hoping to help the Phillies keep pace with the Mets. The Marlins will counter with Chris Volstad (4-3, 3.32), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 3, where he went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 5-3 win. His previous start against the Phillies on August 7 was a victory as he pitched sixth innings, giving up no earned runs on three scattered hits, in the Marlins’ 3-0 win. He will be looking to improve his record while seeing if he can continue to bug the Phillies’ offense.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by a game and a half, as they begin a two games series with the Nationals in New York. They now lead the Marlins by seven games as they continue their series. In the wild card chase, they trail the Brewers by three games as the Brew Crew lost to the Reds, while they are a game and a half ahead of the Cardinals as they prepare to meet the Cubs for three games and are two games ahead of the Astros, who has defeated the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to gain some ground on both the Mets in the East and the Brewers in the wild card chase. 

The Phillies cut the Mets’ lead to two games behind Brett Myers’ eight innings of shut out ball as they defeated the Mets, 3-0.

Behind Brett Myers’ eight innings of three-hit, shut out, ball, the Phillies would take the opening game of their three games series with the Mets, 3-0. The Phillies would strike first in the first inning, as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a ground ball to first, for the inning’s second out, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, stole second, and has gone to third on Mets’ catcher Brian Schneider throwing error into center field, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Mets would try to tie the game in their half of the first as they would put two men on base, Daniel Murphy on second via a double and David Wright on first via a walk, with only one out. But Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would get out of the inning as he would get Carlos Delgado to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Wright at second, to end the inning. The Mets would threaten again in the second inning, as Carlos Beltran would start off the inning with a lead-off double. Myers would then proceed to strike out the next two batters, Ryan Church (swinging) and Luis Castillo (called), for out numbers one and two of the inning. After he intentionally walks Schneider, Myers would proceed to strike out Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey to end the inning and keep the Phils’ leading 1-0. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Pelfrey and Myers, with neither offense being able to do anything against the other team’s starter, especially the Mets with Myers as he would mow them down with little trouble in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The Mets would then try to rally in the sixth, when, with one out, Murphy would get on base with a double, his second double of the game. After a conference on the mound with Rich Dubee and the infielders, Dubee would head back to the dugout. As he does, he appears to have said some words to home plate umpire Paul Emmel, who would then eject Dubee from the ballgame. But, despite this excitement, Myers would refuse to break as he gets Wright to pop up to the second baseman for the inning’s second out, before getting Delgado to fly out to center to end the inning, still 1-0 Phils. The Phillies would then get some breathing room in the seventh, as, with a runner on first and two outs, Greg Dobbs would hit a two-run home run that barely got past the glove of right fielder Church, his seventh home of the year, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Myers would then proceed to mow down the next six men that he would face, before handing the ball over to Brad Lidge to handle the ninth. After getting the first batter to fly out, Lidge would give up a ground-rule double to Wright, followed by a single to Delgado, putting runners on the corners, as Wright would stop at third. Lidge would then get Beltran to fly out to left fielder Eric Bruntlett, which would force Wright to go back to third, for the inning’s second out. Lidge would then get Church to fly out deep to center field for the final out of the game, as he records his thirty-fourth save in as many tries.

Brett Myers would get the win, as he pitches eight innings of shut out ball, giving up only three hits and striking out ten Mets’ batters. His record is now 9-10, 6-1 since coming back from the minors, as his ERA drops to 4.19. Brad Lidges pitches a scoreless ninth, as he gives up two hits while recording his thirty-fourth save. Mike Pelfrey would get the lost, as he goes seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits. His record is now 13-9 with an ERA of 3.62. Brian Stokes, Ricardo Rincon and Duaner Sanchez would combine to pitch two innings of scoreless ball, giving up no hits between them.

Brett Myers has come through once again, as he pitches eighth strong innings, giving up only three hits and two walks to the Mets, although all three Mets’ hits would be doubles, while striking out ten Mets’ batters, doing it against a team that would normally be hard to strike out. Now it will be Jamie Moyer’s turn to come through for the Phillies

The Phillies (77-64) will continue their three games series with the Mets (79-62). The game will be played at Shea Stadium and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, to be televised nationally by Fox Sports, depending on the weather. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on August 31, where he went five and one third innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 5-3 win. Moyer will be trying for his thirteenth win while trying to win the Phillies second straight victory over the Mets and decrease the Mets’ lead to one game in the East. The Mets’ starter will be 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. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to put the Phillies once again three games behind.

The Phillies are now two games behind the Mets after their win, while they are ahead of the Marlins by five games as the fish defeated the redbirds in St. Louis. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win against the Mets this year while hoping that the game won’t be rained out.

The Phillies leave Chicago with a split as they defeat the Cubs, 5-3.

Behind the pitching of Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin and Brad Lidge, and the Phillies’ offense, the Phillies would be able to leave Chicago with a split, 5-3. The Phillies would take the lead in the first inning as they went to work on Cubs’ starter Sean Marshall, who was pitching in place of the original starter, Carlos Zambrano, who would claim that he has a ‘dead’ arm. With a runner on second and two outs, Ryan Howard would hit a RBI single, scoring Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, and then stole second, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Two batters latter, Jayson Werth would hit a two-run double, scoring Howard, who has gone to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who has singled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. The Cubs would cut the Phillies’ lead in the second, when, with runners on the corners and one man out, Ronny Cedeno would hit a RBI single, scoring Mark DeRosa, who has earlier singled, would go to second on Geovany Soto’s single and then went to third on Kosuke Fukudome’s force out that would wipe out Soto at second, to make it 3-1 Phillies, while Fukudome would move over to second. The ball should’ve been caught by Victorino in left center field for the inning’s second out, but because there were no clouds overhead, Victorino would have a hard time trying to see the ball, before it would finally bounce off of his right thigh towards Pat Burrell, who would in turn be unable to catch it, as it dropped in for the RBI single. Marshall would then follow with an RBI single of his own, getting it past Utley, who has headed towards first because Marshall made it look like that he was going to put down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Fukudome, and sending Cedeno to second, making it 3-2 Phillies. Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer would finally end the threat by getting both Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson to fly out. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth, as, with two men out, Werth would hit his twenty-first home run of the year to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The Phils would add their final run in the sixth, as, with a runner on third and one out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier reached base with a double and then went to third on Moyer’s sacrifice bunt, making it 5-2 Phils. The Cubs would threaten to rally in their half of the sixth as they put runners on first (Cedeno-walk) and second (Fukudome-single), with one out. Charlie Manuel would take out Moyer and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then proceed to get out of the inning by first striking out pinch hitter Ryan Theriot and then getting Soriano to pop out to second. In the eighth, after getting the inning’s first out, Durbin would give up a single to Soto. Manuel would come out and replace Durbin with the previous day’s hero, J.C. Romero. Romero would throw a wild pitch that would send Soto over to second. He would then get Fukudome to ground out, second to first, for the inning’s second out, while Soto would go on to third. Pinch hitter Henry Blanco would then get a pinch single, scoring Soto, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 5-3. Manuel would then come out again and replace Romero with Ryan Madson. Madson would then give up a pinch single to pinch hitter Daryle Ward to put runners on first and second. After Ward is replaced on first by pinch runner Mike Fontenot, Madson would end the inning by striking out Soriano. Brad Lidge would then come in to pitch the ninth, and would records his thirty-third save by pitching a 1-2-3 inning.

Jamie Moyer would get the win as he pitches five and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 12-7 with a 3.80 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on one hit. J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up one hit each. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth inning as he recorded his thirty-third save in thirty-three tries. Sean Marshall would get the lost as he pitches five and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA. Jeff Samardzija, Bob Howry and Neal Cotts would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Howry (1) and Cott (2)).

The Phillies’ offense would this time score enough runs to win, as they split the four games series and win the season series with the Cubs, while getting twelve hits that would this time be more evenly spread around among the starting eight, with only Pedro Feliz getting the collar. Ryan Howard would lead the offense with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in a run, while scoring one run. Shane Victornio, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth would follow with two hits each, each scoring a run, while Werth would knock in three of the Phillies’ other runs. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would all combine to get the Phillies through the eighth inning this time, giving up only one run to the Cubs before Brad Lidge would come in to shut the Cubs down in the ninth.

The Phillies (75-62) will now go on to Washington to start a three games series with the presently hot Nationals (52-85). The game will be played in Nationals Park and will begin at 3:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (11-7, 4.83), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on August 27, where he went five plus innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Nationals, he is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his twelfth win, while seeing if he can cool down the presently hot Nationals. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (9-8, 4.54), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 27, where he went six innings, giving up only three earned runs on eight hits, in the Nats’ 5-4 win. He will be trying for his tenth win while seeing if he can defeat the Phillies once again this season.

The Phillies are still a game behind the Mets and five games ahead of the Mets as the Mets defeated the fish. The Phillies will be seeing if they can win the series in Washington and tie for the divisional lead in the East before their weekend series with the Mets in their last trip to Shea Stadium.

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