Results tagged ‘ Gregor Blanco ’

A pair of two-run shots help the Phils end their eight-game losing streak as they defeat the World Champions Giants, 7-3.

Philadelphia_PhilliesA pair of two-run home runs, plus seven well pitched innings by starter John Lannan, put a stop to the Phils eight-game losing streak as they beat the World Champions Giants, 7-3.

The Giants took the lead in the top of the first as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Pablo Sandoval hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Andres Torres, who had started the game off with a double, then moved up to third base on Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with runners on second and third, and with two men out, Delmon Young came through with an RBI single, knocking in Michael Young, who had earlier singled, then went to third base on Chase Utley’s single, while sending Utley, who had earlier singled, on to third base. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, after Kevin Frandsen had been hit by a pitch, moving D. Young up to second base, and with still two men out, the Phils took a 2-1 lead as John Mayberry, Jr. forces in a run with an RBI walk, bringing in Utley, while sending D. Young on to third base, and Frandsen up to second base. The Giants tied the game up at two-all in the top of the third as, with two men on, thanks to John Lannan walking first Torres, and then Scutaro, moving Torres up to second base, and with two men out, Sandoval hits an RBI single, knocking in Torres, while sending Scutaro on to third base. The Phils retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the season, knocking in Mayberry, who had started the inning off with a single, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Phils increased their lead in the bottom of the sixth as, with one man on, and with one man out, M. Young hits a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Lannan, who had started the inning off with a walk, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. The Giants would get a run back in the top of the seventh as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Joaquin Arias hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, knocking in Guillermo Quiroz, who had started the inning off with a double, then went to third base on pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco’s ground out, 1-3, making it a 6-3 Phils’  lead. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the seventh as, with a man on second, and with one man out, Mayberry hits a RBI double, knocking in Michael Martinez, who was pinch-running for D. Young, who had started the inning off with a single, before he moved up to second base on Frandsen’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead. That would be the final score as Justin De Fratus threw a scoreless ninth.

John Lannan (3-4, 4.10) got the win as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out three. Antonio Bastardo and Justin De Fratus combined for two scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one each) between them, while striking out a batter (Bastardo). Barry Zito (4-8, 5.09) took the lost as he went only three and a third innings, giving up four runs on five hits, two walks, and a hit batter, while striking out two. Guillermo Moscoso pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batter, striking out three. Jean Machi pitched two innings, giving up a run on three hits, striking out a batter.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Michael Young, (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs), Chase Utley (Singles), Delmon Young (Singles, RBI) and John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Double, 2 RBIs) all leading the team with two hits each. Jimmy Rollins (Single) and Carlos Ruiz (Home Run, 2 RBIs) had the other two Phils’ hits. The Phils also had four walks (M. Young, Utley, Mayberry, John Lannan) and two hit batters (Kevin Frandsen, Darin Ruf) in the game.

The Phils (50-56, 3rd NL East) continue their series with the Giants (46-59, 5th NL West) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (9-7, 3.96), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on July 25, as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out one, in the Phils’ 3-1 lost. He will be looking to bounce back, and collect his tenth win of the season. The Giants will counter with Chad Gaudin (4-2, 2.77), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on July 24, as he threw only three and two-thirds innings, getting lit up for six runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out only one, in the Giants’ 8-3 lost. He will be looking to come back from his lost. The Phils will be looking for their second straight win, after having suffered eight losses in a roll.

The Phils’ bullpen let one get away in extra-innings, as they lost to the Giants, 4-3.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils’ bullpen allows one to get away in extra-innings, after the offense tied it up in the ninth, as the Phils lose to the Giants, 4-3.

The Giants took the lead in the bottom of the second as Hunter Pence hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the season. The Phils tied it up at one-all in the top of the fourth as Kevin Frandsen hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season. The Giants retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Marco Scutaro hits an RBI single, scoring Gregor Blanco, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead. The Giants increased their lead in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Barry Zito hits an RBI single, knocking in Brandon Belt, who had started the inning off with a walk, moved up to second base on Francisco Peguero’s ground out, 5-3, and then went to third on Brandon Crawford’s ground out, 3-unassisted, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead, while sending Guillermo Quiroz, who had just been intentionally walked, up to second base. The Phils cut the Giants’ lead to 3-2 in the top of the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had started the inning off with a double, then stopped at third base on Frandsen’s fly out, while sending Michael Young, who had just walked, over to third base, while Utley would move up to second base on the throw to third. The Phils then tied the score up at three-all as Delmon Young hits a sacrifice fly to right, knocking in M. Young, while sending Utley over to third base. The Giants would win the game in the bottom of the tenth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Andres Torres hits a walk-off single, knocking in pinch-hitter Buster Posey, who had started the inning off with a single, moved up to second base on Joaquin Arias’ sacrifice bunt, 2-3, then moved up to third base on Antonio Bastardo’s wild pitch, giving the Giants a 4-3 walk-off win.

Jonathan Pettipone received a no-decision as he threw five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out a batter. Jeremy Horst pitched a third of an inning, walking a batter. Phillippe Aumont, Chad Durbin and Mike Adams combined for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Adams) and a walk (Horst) between them, while striking out three (Aumont (1), Durbin (2)). Antonio Bastardo (1-1, 1.69) took the lost as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch, while striking out one. Barry Zito also received a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings plus one batter, as he gave up a run on four hits, striking out three. Santiago Casilla collected his sixth hold of the season by pitching two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men whom he would face, striking out one. Jeremy Affeldt received his fifth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the one man who he would face.  Sergio Romo received his second blow save of the season as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. Javier Lopez (1-0, 3.24) picked up the win by pitching a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins (Doubles) and Ben Revere (Single, Double) both leading the team with two hits each. Kevin Frandsen (Home Run, RBI), Chase Utley (Single, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Single) had the other three Phils’ hits. Delmon Young knocked in the final Phil run with a sac fly. The Phils also had a walk (Michael Young) in the game.

The Phils (16-19, 3rd NL East) will start a four-games series with the D-backs (19-15, 3rd NL West) starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Chase Field and will start at 9:40 pm EDT (6:40 PDT). The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (1-4, 4.34), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on May 4, as he went eight innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 2-0 lost. He will be trying to win his second game of the season. The D-backs will counter with Patrick Corbin (4-0, 1.80), who is coming off a win against the Padres on May 4, as he went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the D-backs’ 8-1 rout. He will be going for his fifth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to start off their second series out west with a win.

Saturday: The Phils lose an extra-innings home run derby with the Giants, as they lose in ten innings, 6-5.

An expected pitchers’ duel end up being a home run derby, with both team’s starters hitting a home run, before the Phils finally lose to the Giants in ten innings, 6-5.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men out, Chase Utley hits a solo home run, his third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Giants tied it up at one-all in the third as Matt Cain hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the season. The Giants took the lead four batters later as, with a man on first, and with two men out, Buster Posey hits a two-run home run, his twelfth home run of the season, knocking in Melky Cabrera, who has just walked, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the third as, with one man out, Cole Hamels returned the favor by hitting a solo home run of his own, his first home run of the season, and the first home run of his career, making it a 3-2 Giants’ lead. The Giants added a run in the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Posey hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Theriot, who had earlier walked, then stole second base, giving the Giants a 4-2 lead. The Phils took the lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, and his second in two days, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, then stopped at second base on Shane Victorino’s single, his 1000th hit of his career, and Victorino, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 5-4 lead. The Giants would tie the game up at five-all in the eighth as Cabrera hits a lead-off home run, his tenth home run of the year. The Giants would take the lead in the tenth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Cabrera, who had started the inning off with a walk, then stopped at third base on Posey’s single, would score on Gregor Blanco’s bunt single near the first base foul line, giving the Giants a 6-5 lead, while sending Posey, who had just singled, up to second base. That would end up being the final score as Santiago Casilla recorded his twenty-fourth save of the year with a scoreless inning, getting Rollins to line out to the second baseman for the final out.

Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he pitched seven and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and three walks, while striking out six. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, as he got out the only man that he would face. Jonathan Papelbon (2-4, 3.46) took the lost as he pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Matt Cain also received a no-decision as he threw eight innings, giving up five runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out four. Javier Lopez pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Sergio Romo (3-1, 0.64) got the win as went two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Santiago Casilla recorded his twenty-fourth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had just five hits in the ballgame, a single by Shane Victorino, his 1000th career hit, a home run by Chase Utley (RBI), a home run by Ryan Howard (3 RBIs), a single by Carlos Ruiz and a home run by Cole Hamels (RBI), his first career home run. The Phils also had three walks in the game, as the offense stayed mainly in neutral, despite the home run display.

The Phils continues their troubles into July as they lose badly to the Braves, 11-1.

After losing a close one, the Phils lose badly while avoiding the added embarrassment of also being no-hitted, as they lose to the Braves, 11-1.

The Braves took the lead in the third as, with two men on, and one man out, Martin Prado hits a two-run double, scoring Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Gregor Blanco’s single off of Phils’ starter Cole Hamels’ leg, and Blanco, who had just singled, giving Atlanta a 2-0 lead. One batter later, Chipper Jones hits an RBI single, scoring Prado, making it 3-0 Braves. The Phils got a run back in the fourth, where, with a runner on third and two men out, Greg Dobbs hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and then went all the way to third on Jurrjens’ throwing error when he tried to pick him off, making it a 3-1 Braves’ lead. From there, it would be all Atlanta. In the fifth, with two men on, and nobody out, Jones hits another two-run double, sending home Blanco, who had earlier walked and had gone to second on Prado’s single, making it a 5-1 Braves’ lead. Brain McCann then made it 6-1 with a RBI single, knocking in Jones. That would be it for Cole Hamels, as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and replace him with Tyler Walker. Matt Diaz proceeded to greet Walker with a two-run home run, his fourth home run of the game, scoring McCann, and giving Atlanta a commanding 8-1 lead. Three batters later, now with two men out, Diory Hernandez hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season, and of his career, making it 9-1 Braves. Meanwhile, Jurrjens was going through the Phils’ line-up, not giving up a hit until the seventh when, with two men out, Paul Bako broke up the no-hitter attempt with a single. In the eighth, the Braves would increase their lead as, with two men on, and two men out, pinch hitter Yunel Escobar hits an RBI single, scoring Hernandez, who had earlier reached base on a Pedro Feliz’s fielding error, and then moved up to second on a Blanco’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Braves a 10-1 lead, while sending Prado, who had earlier walked, over to third. McCann then followed with an RBI single, scoring Prado, giving Atlanta an 11-1 lead, while sending Escobar to second. That would be the final score as the Phils would go down 1-2-3  in the ninth.

Cole Hamels took the lost, as he went only four innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while he struck out only one. His record is now 4-5 with an ERA of 4.98. Tyler Walker pitched two innings, giving up two runs on two hits, as he struck out a batter. Sergio Escalona pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit, as he struck out one. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Jair Jurrgens picked up the win as he pitched a strong game, giving up only a run on a hit and four walks, while he struck out six. His record is now 6-6 with an ERA of 2.73. Kris Medlen and Manny Acosta each pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit (Medlen), while striking out one (Acosta) between them.

The Phillies only had two hits in the game, both singles. One was by Paul Bako, who broke up Jurrjens’ no-hitter attempt, and the other was by Shane Victorino. Greg Dobbs knocked in the Phils’ only run, bringing in Jayson Werth via a sacrifice fly, without a hit, thanks to a two-base throwing error by Jurrjens when he tried to pick-off Werth at first base after walking him. The Phillies’ offense seems to have hit the skids, while starting pitching isn’t pitching very deep into games, with the bullpen it hurting as a result. Something have got to give soon, although I have to agree with one of the announcers during last night’s game saying that dropping out of first place might be the best thing for the Phils at the moment, as it would give them something to shoot for again.

The Phils (39-36, 1st) will conclude their losing road trip with one final game with the Braves (37-40, 4th). The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:00 pm Eastern time. The Phillies will send to the mound J.A. Happ (5-0, 3.00) who is coming off a complete game shut out win against the Blue Jays on June 27, where he gave up only 5 hits while striking out four, in the Phils’ 10-0 blow out win. He will be going for his sixth win of the year, his fourth since being put into the rotation, while trying to avoid a series sweep for the Phils. The Braves will counter with Javier Vazquez (5-7, 3.04), who is coming off a lost against the Red Sox, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only a run on six hits and three walks, as he struck out eight, in the Braves’ 1-0 lost. He will be hoping to get some runs support from the Braves, while hoping to add to the Phils’ offensive woes. The Phils’ lead in the National League East is now down to a half-game over the Marlins.

The Phils’ bullpen allows another one to slip away as the Phils fall to the Braves in 10 innings, 5-4.

The Phillies lose in extra-innings as the bullpen blows yet another lead in the late innings, as the Phils lose their first game in a year to the Braves in Atlanta, 5-4.

The Phils took an early lead in the third as, with two men on base, and two men out, Ryan Howard hits a ground-rule double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled and had gone to third on Chase Utley’s single, making it 1-0 Phils, while sending Utley over to third. The Braves would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the third as, with a runner on third and nobody out, Martin Prado hits an RBI single, scoring Gregor Blanco, who had earlier tripled. The Phils regain the lead in the fifth as, with two men out, Utley hits a solo home run, his seventeenth home run of the year, to give the Phils a 2-1 lead. The Braves would tie the game up with one swing of the bat in their half of the inning as Prado hits a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the season. Five batters later, with the bases loaded, via singles to Chipper Jones and Garret Anderson and a walk to Casey Kotchman, and with one man out, Jeff Francoeur hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Jones and giving the Braves a 3-2 lead, while moving both Anderson and Kotchman up a base. The Phils tied it in the eighth as, with two men out, John Mayberry, Jr., hit a pinch hit home run, his fourth home run of the season. The Phils then retook the lead as Pedro Feliz followed Mayberry with a solo home run of his own, his fifth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. The Braves would tie the game up yet again in their half of the inning, as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Prado hits an RBI double, scoring Blanco, who had earlier reached base with a walk, and had then gone to second on Ryan Madson’s throwing error when he tried to pick off Blanco at first, while Prado would go on to third when Jayson Werth misplayed the ball for a fielding error. The Braves won the game in the tenth inning as, with runners on second and third, with one out, and with both the infield and outfield in to stop the winning run from scoring, Prado hits an RBI single over Mayberry’s head in left, scoring Matt Diaz, who had earlier singled and then went to third on Blanco’s single, beating Mayberry’s throw to third, giving the Braves a 5-4 extra-innings, walk-off win. 

Joe Blanton got a no-decision, as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three. Chad Durbin pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only one hit. Ryan Madson committed his fourth blown save, giving up a run on one hit and two walks, while striking out one. J.C. Romero pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Chan Ho Park took the lost as he gave up a run on three hits, as he struck out one, in one-third innings. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.04 ERA. Derek Lowe also received a no-decision as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out four. Eric O’Flaherty pitched an inning, getting his eighth hold, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Mike Gonzalez recorded his fourth blown save, as he gave up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. Rafael Soriano pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Boone Logan pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Peter Moylan got the win, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out the two men that he would face. His record is now 2-2 with an ERA of 4.15. 

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Pedro Feliz leading the way with three hits, including a solo home run, knocking in a run, as he raised his average to .295. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both followed with two hits each, with both men knocking in a run, Utley via a solo home run and Howard with a ground-rule double. Shane Victorino, Greg Dobbs and John Mayberry, Jr. had the other three Phils’ hits, with Mayberry’s being a pinch hit home run. The Phils offense is still somewhat in neutral as they wait for Raul Ibanez to return from the disabled list and their lead-off man, Jimmy Rollins to get it in gear as his batting average continue to go low.

The Phillies (39-35, 1st) continue their three-games series with the Braves (36-40, 4th) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and it will start at 7:00 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamel (4-4, 4.44), who is cioming off one of his worst starts this season, as he lost to the Blue Jays on June 26, as he went only four and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 6-1 lost. He will be going out to prove that he is indeed the Phils’ ace starter. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (5-6, 2.93), who is coming off a lost to the Red Sox on June 26, as he went eight innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Braves’ 4-1 lost. He wil be trying to rebound from that lost. The Phils as a team now need to forget about June and try to put together a winning streak before the All-Star break, trying to put some serious distance between themselves and the rest of the division. But, they need to start it with a win tonight, and Hamels will have to lead the way by shutting the Braves down, no ifs, ands, or buts about it!!!!

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 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.

The Phillies use the long ball to win their first series of the second half as they defeat the Braves, 12-10.

The Phillies would use a combination of the long ball and situational hitting to come from behind again to defeat the Braves as they win their first series of the second half, 12-10. It didn’t look that way at the start as the Braves would score two runs in the top of the first off of Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton. With two men on and one out, Brian McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Yunel Escobar, who has earlier singled, making it 1-0 Braves. Mark Kotsay would follow with a RBI double, scoring Mark Teixeira, who has earlier walked, to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, with Eric Bruntlett batting, the rain would come down, delaying the game for over two hours. The long rain delay would force the removal of both teams’ starters, Blanton and Jorge Campillo. The Braves would increase their lead in the top of the fourth off of Adam Eaton. With a runner on second and one out, Eaton would give up a two-run home run to Kelly Johnson, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Kotsay, who has earlier singled, to make it 4-0 Braves. Omar Infante would follow with a solo shot, his second home run of the year, to give the Braves a 5-0 lead. The Phillies would then come back in their half of the fourth. With two men out, and a runner on first, Chris Coste would hit a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, cutting the Braves’ lead to 5-2. The next batter, pinch hitter So Taguchi would then get on base with a pinch single. Jimmy Rollins would follow by working a walk. Shane Victorino would then hit a three-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Taguchi and Rollins, tying the game at five all. In the fifth, the Phillies will take the lead as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year, making it 6-5 Phillies. The Phils would then break the game wide open in the sixth. With Royce Ring now on the mound, he would be greeted by pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz with a pinch double. Ruiz would then go to third on a single by Rollins. Victorino would follow with a RBI single, scoring Ruiz, and sending Rollins to second to make the score 7-5 Phillies. Chase Utley would then strike out, making the first out of the inning. With Ryan Howard at the plate, Rollins and Victorino would perform a double steal, with Victorino just beating McCann’s throw from behind home plate. Howard would then hit a RBI single with the infield pulled in, scoring Rollins easily, and then scoring Victorino, as he knocks over McCann, as McCann tries to catch left fielder Jeff Francoeur’s throw from left on one hop, and then tries to turn around quickly to tag out Victorino, making it 9-5 Phillies. McCann would then lay on the ground for the next several minutes, with Victorino and Rollins, among others, looking to see if he was alright, before he is finally taken out of the game, and replaced by Corky Miller. Meanwhile, Royce is replaced on the mound by Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then fly out for the second out of the inning. Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run, to give the Phillies an 11-5 lead. Bruntlett would then end the inning by flying out. In the seventh, Rollins would increase the Phillies’ lead by hitting a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Phils a 12-5 lead. The Braves would then make it close in the eighth. With Rudy Seanez on the mound, Kotsay would start the inning off with a single. After Francoeur pops up for the first out of the inning, Johnson would get on base with a walk, sending Kotsay to second. Infante would follow with a RBI double, scoring Kotsay and sending Johnson to third, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 12-6. Greg Norton would then load the bases as Seanez commits an error on his ground ball. Ryan Madson is then brought in to relieve Seanez. Gregor Blanco would then walk, scoring Johnson, while leaving the bases loaded as the Phillies now lead 12-7. Escobar would then pop out to Bruntlett in foul territory for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter Martin Prado would then hit a double that a diving Werth would be unable to catch, scoring Infante, Norton and Blanco after it gets past Werth, making it a 12-10 Phillies’ lead. Madson would finally end the inning by getting Miller to ground out, third to first. In the ninth, Brad Lidge would proceed to nail down his twenty-fourth save of the year to finally end the ballgame.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision thanks to the rain delay, as he pitches two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Adam Eaton would also pitch two innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. J.C. Romero would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Rudy Seanez would go one-third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on two hits. Ryan Madson would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he records his twenty-fourth save of the year, giving up no runs on no hits. Jorge Campillo would also pitch a no-decision because of the rain delay, going one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on two hits. Jo-Jo Reyes would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits. Julian Tavarez would take the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA.Royce Ring would pitch a third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up a run on one hit. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning, giving up one run on one hit. Will Ohman would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

The Phillies (56-49) have finally won their first series of the second half as well as the short home stand, while also starting a two game winning streak. For the second straight game the Phillies’ offense would score ten or more runs, this time with them doing it with a combination of the long ball and situational hitting. Does this mean that the offense is back? I’m going to wait until after the next several series before saying yes or no. The next Phillies’ game will be played on Tuesday as they meet the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

With the win, the Phillies continue to trail the Mets by a game, as they won their game against the Cardinals. The Marlins would drop to third place, a game behind the Phillies, as they lost to the Cubs. The Braves now trail the Phillies by six and a half games. As the Phillies take the day off before starting their series with the Nationals in D.C., the Mets go to Miami to start a three games series with the Marlins, while the Braves prepare for a four games series with the Cardinals.

The Phillies play situational ball as they come from behind to defeat the Braves, 10-9.

The Phillies used situational baseball to come from behind to defeat the Braves after it looked like they had finally imploded in the top of the fourth inning. The Phillies would score the game’s first runs in the second inning. Ryan Howard would start the inning off by getting on first base with a walk. He would be followed by a double from Pat Burrell, which would put runners on second and third with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then follow with a ground out, third to first, for the first out of the inning, doing what the Phillies’ batters have been doing too much of lately, hitting a ball to an opposing player with less than two outs, unable to score the runner(s) on base. Eric Bruntlett is then intentionally walked to load the bases. Chris Coste would follow him with a two-run double, scoring Howard and Burrell, making it 2-0 Phillies, while sending Bruntlett to second. Cole Hamels would then bunt the runners over to third and second base respectively, while making the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, Jimmy Rollins would then end the inning with a ground ball to the pitcher. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third, as Chase Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier tripled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. But then the roof would appear to fall in on the Phillies and Cole Hamels in the fourth. The inning would begin with Hamels giving up a walk to Yunel Escobar. Mark Teixeira would follow with a single, sending Escobar to second. Hamels would then walk Brian McCann to load the bases with Braves. The next batter, Omar Infante, would then hit a two-run RBI double into left field, scoring both Escobar and Teixeira, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-2, while sending McCann to third. Jeff Francoeur would then hit a sacrifice fly for the first out of the inning, sending home McCann with the tying run, while Infante stayed at second. Martin Prado would then hit a grounder to second that was stopped by Utley. But instead of getting back up, picking up the ball and throwing out Prado, Utley would look at Prado and tried to pick up the ball at the same time, and dropped the ball, committing the first error of the inning, and leaving runners on the corners as Infante moved up to third. The next batter, Mark Kotsay would then hit a RBI single, scoring Infante and sending Prado to second, giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. Mike Hampton then followed with a ground ball right to Hamels. Instead of taking his time and throwing the ball straight to Rollins at second base to start a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning, he would throw the ball away as he throws it to where Rollins had originally started out, allowing Prado to score, Kotsay to reach third, and Hampton to be safe at first, on the second error of the inning, making it 5-3 Braves. Gregor Blanco would then follow with a single, scoring Kotsay and sending Hampton to second, as the Braves increased their lead to 6-3. Escobar, who has originally started the inning, would come up for the second time, but this time he would fly out to right for the second out of the inning. Teixeira would then come up for the second time and cap off the disastrous inning by hitting a three-run home run off of Hamels, his twentieth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 9-3 lead, and what looks to be the final knockout blow to the Phillies’ season. Charlie Manuel would after that finally come out and take a very snake bitten Hamels out of the game, replacing him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would then end the inning with one pitch as he gets McCann to pop up to Utley, although that almost became a disaster in itself as the ball almost got away from him as it came back down. After Adam Eaton have come into his first game since being sent down to the bullpen after the Joe Blanton trade and put down the Braves in the top of the fifth, the Phillies’ batter would go after Braves’ starter Mike Hampton as they used something that they have not done for a while, playing situational baseball. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Victorino would then hit a grounder towards deep shortstop that would be picked up by Braves’ shortstop Escobar, who would end up having no play, thus becoming an infield single as Rollins’ speed would allow him to get to second. Utley would then follow them with a single that would load the bases with Phillies. Hampton would then be taken out of the game at this point, replaced by Royce Ring. Howard would greet Ring with a two-run RBI single, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, cutting the Braves’ lead to 9-5, while sending Utley to third. Bobby Cox would then come out for the second time in the inning, and replace Ring with Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Utley, making it 9-6 Braves. Werth would follow with a single, sending Howard to second. Bruntlett would then hit a deep fly ball to center, but Howard would stay at second, instead of going to third. It at first look like a base running blunder, but the next batter, Coste would hit a RBI single in the hole between first and second, allowing Howard to score, making it now a 9-7 Braves’ lead. Greg Dobbs would then come up to pinch hit for Eaton. On a 1-2 pitch, he would crush the ball into the second deck in right field for a three-run home run, his third home run of the year, and his team record tying twentieth pinch hit of the season, scoring both Werth and Coste, giving the Phillies a 10-9 lead. Rollins would then come up for the second time and tried to bunt himself back on. He would instead be thrown out by Boyer. The Phillies would then hold on, as Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for three shut out innings in which they would keep the Braves at bay, before the ball is finally handed over to Brad Lidge in the ninth, who would redeem himself for his previous night’s implosion by getting the Braves to go 1-2-3 for his twenty-third straight save without blowing it, breaking the team record that was originally set by Billy Wagner.

Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he pitches three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, four of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, two of whom would later score. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting one man out on one pitch. Adam Eaton would get the win, as he pitched one inning, giving up no runs on one hits. Eaton’s record is now 4-8 with a 5.66 ERA. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch a scoreless inning, although Durbin would also pitch to one batter in the eighth, giving up only two hits (Durbin), while walking four. Brad Lidge would get a 1-2-3 inning, recording his twenty-third straight save without blowing one. Mike Hampton would also get a no-decision as he pitches four innings plus three batters, giving up six earned runs on six hits. Royce Ring would only pitch to one batter, giving up a single. Blaine Boyer would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.18 ERA. Will Ohman, Rafael Soriano and Julian Tavarez would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits to the Phillies.

I don’t know which one I am more shocked by, the implosion in the fourth inning, or the comeback in the fifth, using situational hitting. Seeing the Phillies collapse the way they did in the top of the fourth seems to show the way the Phillies have been screwing up so far this season, especially with Hamels throwing away the double play ground ball because he have been feeling frustrated up to that point in the inning, when he needed to just take his time and throw to Rollins at second for the second out of the inning, to lead to the end of the inning with a double play, and then to follow that up a few batters later by throwing up a home run pitch to Mark Teixeira in what, to me at least, seems to be the final collapse of the Phillies’ season. But then, to watch the team come back the way they did in the fifth inning, and doing it by using some situational hitting, something that they finally seems to be able to do, appear to show that the team isn’t dead yet. But, I’m going to wait to see if they can continue doing this for a while before thinking that the run machine is finally back and is now running once again on all cylinders.

The Phillies (55-49) will finish their three games weekend series with the Braves (49-54) this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (5-12, 5.00), who is coming off a so-so start against the Mets on July 22, where he would go six innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic come from behind 8-6 win. This will be his first ever start against the Braves as he try to continue adjusting to pitching to National League batters while trying to help the Phillies get their first series win of the second half. The Braves will counter with Jorge Campillo (5-4, 2.83), who is coming off a win against the Marlins, where he went seven innings, giving up no earned runs on two hits. He has pitched four time against the Phillies, twice in relief and twice as a starter, being 0-1 with a no-decision against them as a starter, and 0-0 as a reliever, pitching a combine total of thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on twenty-one hits. He will be trying to do better than he did in his last start against them, while trying to help the Braves will the series.

The Phillies stayed tied with the Marlins in second place, both now traling the Mets by a game, as the Mets have lost their game with the Cardinals in extra-innings. The Braves still trail the two second place teams by five and a half games. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win of the second half.

The Phillies’ offense continues to do nothing than waste good efforts by the starters as they lose to the Braves, 8-2.

The Phillies would end up wasting another good effort by one of their starters, this time by Kyle Kendrick, before the Braves would finally explode for seven runs in the ninth off of the Phillies’ relief corps. Kendrick and Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens would be involved in a six innings long pitchers’ duel, with the only run scored during this time being on a solo home run off of Kendrick by Brian McCann, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead, while Kendrick constantly got himself out of trouble, keeping the Braves from scoring any more runs during his time on the mound. In the meantime, the Phillies’ offense would be unable to do anything against Jurrjens, constantly going down 1-2-3. The Braves would break the game wide open in the ninth as they become the first team to score more than a run off of Phillies’ closer Brad Lidge as he came in to pitch the ninth to try and keep the Phillies within striking distance of the Braves. Pinch hitter Greg Norton would greet Lidge with a pinch hit double off of the wall in center. Gregor Blanco would then get on base as he would beat out the throw from third basemen Greg Dobbs on a bunt attempt to move Norton up to third, which would instead be recorded as a single. Yunel Escobar would then walk, loading the bases. Mark Teixeira would follow with a RBI single, scoring Norton to make it 2-0 Braves, while leaving the bases loaded. The next batter, McCann, would then hit a grand slam home run, his twentieth home run of the year, scoring Blanco, Escobar and Teixeira, giving the Braves a 6-0 lead. Charlie Manuel would then come out and remove Lidge, replacing him with Clay Condrey. After Condrey gets Mark Kotsay to pop up for the first out of the inning, he would give up a double to Jeff Francoeur. He would then give up a RBI double to Kelly Johnson, scoring Kotsay, to make it a 7-0 Braves’ lead. Omar Infante would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Johnson and giving the Braves a 8-0 lead. in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would score their only runs of the game as Ryan Howard would, with two outs, hit a two-run home run, his thirtieth home run of year, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to make it 8-2 Braves. That would end up being the final score as Will Ohman would get Pat Burrell to fly out for the final out.

Kyle Kendrick would pitch a good game, even if he had to constantly pitch himself out of trouble, but still takes the lost because of lack of offensive support, as he goes six innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits. His record is now 8-5 with a 4.70 ERA. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin would both pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up no hits. Brad Lidge would get rocked by the Braves as he faced five batters, getting no one out as he gives up five earned runs on four hits and a walk. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk. Jair Jurrjens would get the win, as he pitched an excellent game against the Phillies, pitching eight innings, giving up no runs on three hits. Will Ohman would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits.

Man, this is getting to be a broken record. The Phillies’ starter pitches a quality start, going six or more innings, and leaves the game either trailing by a few runs, or just barely leading, as the Phillies’ offense can’t seem to get anything started. And to make matters worst, one of the reliever would then come in and get tagged for several runs late in the game, with closer Brad Lidge this time being the victim as he gets lighted up for five runs, followed by Clay Condrey, who gets tagged for two more. I am not going to say anything more about the witless Phillies’ offense except for this: THEY STINK!!!!! THEY ROT!!! THEY REEK!!! THEY MAKE GARBAGE LOOK GOOD BY COMPARISION!!! End of story! GRUMBLE!!!!

The weekend series continues tomorrow as the Phillies (54-49) play the Braves (49-53) in an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 3:55 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.11), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on July 20, going eight innings as he gives up only two earned runs on four hits. Hamels has faced the Braves two times already this year, having a 2-0 record against them, going a combined total of seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on nine hits. Hamels will for the fourth straight week try to notch his tenth win of the year while pondering if the Phillies’ batters will finally give him some runs support, after pitching three straight quality starts with little support. The Braves will be sending to the mound Mike Hampton (0-0, _.__), who will be making his first start at the major league level since 2005. He will be looking for his first win of the year, while hoping to continue the Phillies present offensive woes.

The Phillies are now tied for second place with the Marlins, both teams now trailing the Mets by two games, as the Mets have won their game with the Cardinals. The Phillies now lead the Braves by four and a half games after the lost. The Phillies continue in free fall, as they have just lost their fifth game in the second half, wondering when they are going to start breaking out the bats and score runs.

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