Results tagged ‘ Jair Jurrjens ’

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 11: Sending rookie J.A. Happ to the mound to help keep the Phillies in first place in the Eastern Division.

The first place Phillies (84-67) will play the second of 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 starter will be 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, when he would pitch three and a third innings in relief of Kyle 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, hoping that this will be to his advantage. The Braves’ starter will be 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 this year, 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.

The Phillies will be sending out J.A. Happ, in place of the slumping Kyle Kendrick, who has lately been pitching rather ineffectively. In his last ten starts, he has gone 3-6 with a no-decision, sporting a 7.63 ERA, as he pitched a combined total of only forty-six innings, giving up thirty-nine earned runs on sixty-eight hits, walking twenty-five batters while striking out only twenty. Kendrick’s major problem appears to be that he is not going after hitters, like he once did, making them hit ground balls towards his fielders for outs, and concentrating on only two pitches. Frankly, that is a receipe for trouble and the opposition has caught up with him because of it. Kendrick, if the Phillies want him to help them out next year, will need to put him to work during the winter months to work on regaining his confidence, going after hitters and developing another pitch to go along with the ones that he have now, while also making himself less reliant on the two pitches that the batters are now waiting on. Meanwhile, the red hot offense needs to remain hot, hopefully scoring several runs off of Jurrjens, like they did during his first start against them, so that Happ won’t have to worry too much while he is on the mound. Speaking about the offense, Pat Burrell continues to struggles at the plate, as he went 0 for five last night, all five of them being strike outs. The best thing that Charlie Manuel may need to do for Burrell is to rest him for a day or two and allow him to find out for himself why he is suddenly unable to hit the pitches that he was hitting without any problems before last month. But, with Burrell presently cold, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino are all smoking hot, with Howard especially being a danger to National League pitching, which should be more than able to compensate for Burrell’s coldness.

The Phillies now lead the East by a half game ahead of the Mets as they prepare to play against the Nationals. They are five and a half games ahead of the Marlins as they continue their series with the Astros. In the Wild Card race, the Mets are now a half game in front of the freefalling Brewers who continue their series with the soon to be National League Central Division Champion Cubs, whose magic number is now four. With eleven games left in the season, the Phillies are planning to extend not only their present winning streak to six games, but also their winning streak at Turner Field, their present home away from home, to eight games, while also hoping to extend their lead over the Mets in the East, with a little help from the Nationals.

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’ 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.

The Phillies will try to regain first place as they get a visit from an old enemy, the Braves.

The second place Phillies (54-48) will start a three games weekend series with the Braves (48-53). The first game of the three game set will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their number four man Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87), who is unfortunately coming off of an awful performance against the Marlins on July 19, where he would only last four and one-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 9-5 lost. In that performance, he would pitch inside on right handed hitters which would seem to confound the young Marlins’ righthanders, but he in turn would get hurt by their left handed batters, who would knock in all but two of the runs that he would give up in the game. This seems to be Kendrick’s major weakness, as over 62% of the hits that he has given up so far in his young career has been to lefthanders. Maybe a bit more studying under Jamie Moyer to learn how to get around lefties, and the continuing ability to work inside on righties might get him moved up into the number three spot in the rotation. He will be facing the Braves for the fourth time this year, with a 2-0 record plus a no-decision, which the Phillies would also win, as he pitched a combine total of seventeen and one-third innings against the Braves, giving up only eight earned runs on seventeen hits. Lifetime against the Braves, he is 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts. He will be trying to record his ninth win, while trying to help get the Phillies back on the winning track. The Braves’ will counter with Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22), who is coming off a lost against the Nationals, also on July 19, where he would go six and a third inning, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 lost. The young hurler from the Netherlands has already pitched one game against the Phillies so far this year, losing to them back on July 3, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 4-1 lost. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season while seeing if he will have better luck this time against the presently potentless Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies’ batters can’t seem to do anything right at the moment, as they return from New York losing the last game of their most recent three games series with them without so much as a fight. The batters appear to still be in a general slump, in spite of some players having good individual batting performances. But, in general, the batters don’t seem to be using their heads when they are at the plate. They don’t seem to take their time, or not swing at balls that are, quite frankly, not in the strike zone, or even close to it. They don’t seem to be willing to sacrifice themselves, making a strategic out, if it will result in either getting a runner over to third, from second, or getting them home with less than two outs, by hitting the ball to the left side of the infield. They don’t seem to be doing too much hit and run with the players on the team that have some speed, that could open up a hole between second and first, thereby getting the runner over to third. They don’t seem to be staying patient enough at the plate with they are ahead of the count at either 2-0, 2-1 or 3-0, thereby forcing the pitcher to throw them their pitch, and not his slop, which opposing pitchers are at the moment quite sure that they will go after since they are all playing really lousy right now. Quite frankly, they need to play so much smarter baseball in general, getting away from the long ball, which at the moment seems to be bringing in just one run at a time, and start doing some small ball, which I  believe that I have already mentioned here several times in the past. Yes, it’ll bring in one or two runs at a time, but at least it should keep the defense on, well, the defensive, wondering what these guys are going to do next. I think it’s time that they start taking it to the other team, and stop hoping that something is going to happen. News flash guys, the only way things are going to happen is if you guys start making it happen offensively, especially as the starters have kept you in most of the last dozen or so games that you have lost. Your opponents are not blowing you guys out of games. Quite frankly, you guys are playing yourselves out of games. Hopefully, since you’ll be facing weak teams for the next several series, you might be able to correct this. But, if you guys start losing series to the Nationals and the Padres of the world, that’s it, this season is officially over, end of story.

The Phillies trail the now first place Mets by a game, as the Mets prepare to face the Cardinals for a three games weekend series. The Marlins, who are now behind the Phillies by a game, thanks to a lost to the National League Central leading Cubs last night, will continue their four games series with the Cubs. The Braves are behind the Phillies by five and a half games as they come to Philadelphia for a weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to continue their present dominance of the Braves, while seeing if they can regain their winning ways.

Phillies fall into second place as the offense goes puff, losing to the Mets, 3-1.

The Phillies lose another series to the Mets and in the process drop out of first place as its offense seem to have vanished into thin air as it waste a very good effort by starter Jamie Moyer. Moyer, who two hit the Mets, would give up only one run, a RBI single by David Wright in the third, scoring Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked and then stole second. The Phillies would then tie it in the seventh on a solo home run by Jayson Werth, his thirteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would threathen to take the lead in the top of the eighth, when, with one out, Eric Bruntlett would hit a deep fly ball to left field that would just miss going out of the park, instead ending up on second with a double. After Mets’ starter Oliver Perez strikes out Chase Utley for the second out of the inning, he would put Pat Burrell on first with an intentional walk. Ryan Howard is then hit by the pitch, loading the bases. Perez is then taken out of the game, replaced by Aaron Heilman. Heilmann would proceed to get Werth to end the inning by flying out. In the bottom of the eight, the Mets would regain the lead as, with two men on, and two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit a two-run double, scoring Robinson Cancel, who has gotten on base earlier with a pinch hit single, and Wright, who has just been intentionally walked. But Delgado would be thrown out trying to go to third base, Burrell to Bruntlett to Chris Coste to Pedro Feliz, to finally end the inning, but after the damage has already been done. Billy Wagner would then come in the ninth to record his twenty-sixth save of the year, as the offense goes down without a fight.

Jamie Moyer would pitch seven strong innings, keeping the Mets under control as he gives up only one earned run on two hits while striking out six, as he receives a no-decision. J.C. Romero is tagged with the lost, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Oliver Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits while striking out twelve. Aaron Heilman will get the win, pitching just a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. His record is now 1-2 with a ERA of 4.75. Billy Wagner will record his twenty-six save of the season, giving up only a hit.

The Phillies have now dropped into second place as the offense has allowed another great performance by Jamie Moyer to go down the tube because of their lousy performances at the plate. To say that at this moment the batters might as well just phone in their at bats is an understatement. This is just not acceptable. Where in the world has happen to the passion, the desire, the drive to want to win the Eastern Division for the second straight year, among the players, that they had around this same time last year? I mean, its looking more and more like these guys should be getting ready to join the federal witness protection program so that they can escape the wrath of the angry mob of Phillies fans who are soon going to be booing their sorry ***** out of Citizens Bank Park if they continue with this lackluster playing, instead of being the team that is suppose to be the run producing nightmare of starters for other major league teams. This is just pathetic, just dreadfully pathetic!!! It is especially pathetic with the way that the batters seems to be making even the worst pitcher look like he’s the second coming of Cy Young as he pitched against them. Hitting season? I’m beginning to wonder if Charlie Manuel was speaking a bit too soon when he made that comment back in May. To quote the old professor, Casey Stengel, “Can’t anybody out there play this game?” AAGGGGRRRHHHHH. Will some one please pass me the Alka Seltzer?

The now second place Phillies (54-48) will come home for a three games series with the Braves (48-53). The first game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87) will get the start, coming off of an awful performance against the Marlins on July 19, where he would only last four and one-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 9-5 lost. He will be facing the Braves for the third time this year, with a 2-0 record plus a no-decision, which the Phillies also won, as he would pitch a combined total of seventeen and one-third innings, giving up only eight earned runs on seventeen hits. Lifetime against the Braves, he is 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts. He will be trying to record his ninth win, while trying to get the Phils back on track. The Braves’ starter will be Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22), who is coming off a lost against the Nationals on July 19, where he would pitch six and a third inning, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 lost. He has already pitched a game against the Phillies so far this year, losing to them on July 3, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season while seeing if he has better luck this time against the Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies now trail the first place Mets by a game. They are presently a half-game ahead of the Marlins, who are getting ready to play the Cubs later today. The Braves trails the Phillies by five and a half games, as they have the day off today, before coming into Philly for a three games weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to regroup this weekend, trying to prove that they are indeed a second half team, although their first two series of the second half would seem to say otherwise.

The Phillies sweep the Braves, as Hamels just missed pitching another shut out.

The Phillies leaves Atlanta with a sweep and a surprising winning road trip while Cole Hamels just missed pitching a complete game shut out as the Phillies defeated the Braves, 4-1. The Phillies would score their first run in the first inning as Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens gives up a solo home run to Chase Utley, his league leading twenty-fourth home run of the year, making it 1-0 Phillies. The Phillies would make it 2-0 in the fourth, when, with one out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Pat Burrell, who had gotten on base earlier with a double. The Phillies would increase their lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-second home of the year, a solo shot to left. The fourth and last Phillies’ run would come in in the seventh on a solo hime run by Feliz, his tenth home run of the year. While the Phillies were scoring their runs, Hamels was dominating the Braves, keeping them scoreless for eight innings, giving up only three hits during that time, while striking out six of the seven Braves that he would strike out that night. This would all change in the ninth. Chipper Jones would start the inning off with a double to center. Hamels would then get out the next two Braves, Mark Teixeira via a ground ball, short to first, that would keep Jones at second, and then striking out Omar Infante for his seventh strike out of the game. But, he would then lose the shut out as he gives up a RBI double to Brian McCann, a ball that got past a diving Howard, scoring Jones, making the score 4-1 Phillies. That would be it for Hamels, as Charlie Manuel takes him out of the game and replaces him with Tom Gordon. Gordon would end the game on one pitch as he gets the slumping Jeff Francoeur to fly out to left, as he records his second save of the year.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he goes eight and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, while striking out seven. His record is now 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch to only one batter as he records his second save of the year. Jair Jurrjens would take the lost, as he goes seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 8-4 with a 3.09 ERA. Will Ohman and Mike Gonzalez would both pitch a hitless/scoreless inning.

While the Phillies’ offense would be limited tonight to only eight hits, they would mostly be for extra-bases (1 (2B), 1 (3B), 3 (HR)). And, with Cole Hamels on the mound that would be more than enough for him to work with. With the sweep, the Phillies will end up with a winning road trip, something that was now expected with the way the Phillies were batting in both Oakland and Arlington, Texas. They will now come home to begin a four games series with the Mets.

The first place Phillies (47-39) will now come home to Citizens Bank Park for a four games Independence Weekend series with the third place Mets (42-43). The first game will be played tomorrow night, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be J.A.Happ (0-0, -.–), who has just been called up from Lehigh Valley, where he has went 5-6 with a ERA of 3.54. He will be taking Brett Myers place in the rotation, hoping to pitch well enough to stay with the main team.The Mets will send out Johan Santana (7-7, 3.01), who is coming off a loss to the Yankees on June 28, where he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, in the Mets’ 3-2 lost. He has lost his last three games in a row and four of his last five, with a no-decision in a game that the Mets would also lose. Santana will for the sixth straight time be trying for his eighth win of the season, while hoping that he can stop the Phillies just reawaken offense.

The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins is presently at two and a half games, as the Marlins have just lost to the Rockies in extra-innings. Their lead over the Mets is presently at four and a half games, as the Mets have just defeated the Cardinals in St.Louis. The Phillies, with the win, are now leading the Braves by seven games. As the Phillies come home for Independence Day, they hope to celebrate it by producing some fireworks of their own against the Mets.

The Phillies will end their visit to Atlanta, while looking to sweep the Braves for the second straight series.

The Phillies (46-39) will finish their three games visit with the Braves (40-45) tonight, with a chance for a sweep and, surprises of surprises, a winning road trip. The game will be played at Turner Field, with a start time of 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starting pitcher will be their ace, Cole Hamels (8-5, 3.38), who is coming off a good start against the Rangers on June 28, where he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He has already faced the Braves once this season, pitching a four-hit shut out against them on May 15, going all nine innings, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. He will be shooting for his ninth win of the year and to complete the Phillies’ second straight sweep of the Braves in their own home ballpark, as well as give the Phillies a commanding 8-1 lead in the season series. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (8-3, 2.94), who will be looking to prevent the sweep. He is coming off a victory against the Blue Jays on June 27, where he would pitch eight innings, giving up no earned runs on three hits, in the Braves’ 4-0 win. In his last four starts, he has won three of them, with a no-decision in the fourth, which was also won by the Braves. In those four starts, he would give up only five earned runs in twenty-seven and two-thirds innings of work, while giving up no earned runs in his last twenty-three and two-thirds innings, while also giving up only twenty-five hits. He will also be shooting for his ninth victory of the year, while seeing if he can stop the Phillies’ just reawaken bats and keep the Braves from being swept for the second straight time by the Phillies.

The Phillies’ offense appear to have reawaken after being put to sleep by interleague play against some very good American League teams (and the Rangers). They are once again getting extra-base hits, having gotten nine (4 (2B), 1 (3B), 4 (HR)) of them among their twenty-seven hits. If the offense can continue to hit through their upcoming four games series with the Mets, then they will be tough to beat for the rest of the season. They can right now establish a stranglehood on the division, if their starting pitching can continue to pitch as well as they are right now, in spite of the Brett Myers situation, and the bullpen can stay in its league leading form. The resurgence of the Phillies’ hot bats can only mean trouble for the other teams in a very weak division.

The Phillies are presently leading the Marlins by a game and a half, as they begin a four games series with the Rockies in Denver. Their lead over the Mets is now at four and a half games as they prepare to conclude their four games series with the Cardinals. The Braves are now trailing the Phillies by six games, as they prepare for the last games of their series with the first place Phillies, before getting ready for a three games home stand with the Astros. The Phillies will now be trying to create some breathing space between them and their nearest opponents as they get closer to the All-Star break.

Phillies finally win a series as they defeat the Braves once again in Atlanta, 7-3.

Adam Eaton finally gets his third win of the year as the Phillies defeat the Braves once again in their home ballpark, 7-3. The Phillies would score their first run of the game in the second inning, as Pedro Feliz (ground rule) and Chris Coste would hit back to back doubles to score Feliz and give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would try to make 2-0 when Coste would be sent home in an attempt to score on an Eaton single to left. Unfortunately, a strike to home from left fielder Gregor Blanco, and a tag by catcher Brain McCann, would instead end the inning and leave it 1-0 Phillies. The Phillies would add to their lead in the third as Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-first home run of the year, a three-run shot, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, and Chase Utley, who has walked, to make it 4-0 Phillies. They would increase their lead to 5-0 in the top of the fifth as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run into left field, his twenty-first home of the year. The Braves would cut the lead down to 5-1 in their half of the fifth when pinch hitter Ruben Gotay would hit his second home run of the season. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Braves would try to get back into the ballgame, loading the bases with a double by Mark Teixeira, a walk to McCann and a single to Kelly Johnson, with nobody out. That would be it for Adam Eaton, who had pitched a good game up to that point. Charlie Manuel would replace him on the mound with Chad Durbin. This would turn out to be a brilliant move as Durbin would get the first batter that he would face, the badly slumping Jeff Francoeur, to hit into a 6-4-3 twin killing, wiping out Johnson at second, while bringing home Teixeira, making it 5-2 Phillies. Durbin would then end the threat by striking out Mark Kotsay. The Braves would get another run in the eighth inning, as Chipper Jones hits his seventeenth home run of the year, a solo shot to center, making it a 5-3 game. The Phillies would then put the game away in the ninth, as they increased their lead. Eric Bruntlett would starts things off with a walk. After Bobby Cox sends out Royce Ring in place of Blaine Boyer, Rollins would greet him with a RBI triple, scoring Bruntlett, and increasing the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. Two batters later, with Rollins still on third and one out, Utley would knock him in with a single, making it 7-3 Phils. That would turn out to be the ballgame, as Brad Lidge would come in and pitch a scoreless ninth, in spite of the Braves loading up the bases, thanks in part to two fielding errors committed by Howard, as Lidge would end the game by striking out Teixeira.

Adam Eaton would get the win, as he pitch well for six innings plus three batters, giving up only two earned runs on five scattered hits. His record is now 3-6 with a ERA of 4.79. Chad Durbin would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up an earned run on one hit, Chipper Jones’ home run. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless, hittless third of an inning, striking out the only man he’d faced. Brad Lidge would pitch a wild, but scoreless ninth inning, giving up a hit while striking out the side. Jorge Campillo took the loss, as he pitched five innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. His record is now 3-3 with a 2.99 ERA. Jeff Bennett would pitch an inning and a third of scoreless ball, giving up just two hits. Will Ohman would pitch two-thirds of an inning of scoreless ball, giving up no hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit. Royce Ring would pitch an inning, also giving up an earned run on two hits.

It would appear that the Phillies’ bats have awaken from their interleague play slumber as they got thirteen more hits last night, six of which were for extra bases (3 (2B), 1 (3B), 2 (HR)), something that was missing during the slide. If the bats have indeed come back to life, then this is going to be a long summer, for Phillies’ opponents. Also, Adam Eaton might have turned a corner, as he has finally gotten the runs support that has been missing in most of his previous start. If he has been listening to Jamie Moyer for pitching advice, like the previous night’s starter Kyle Kendrick, then the starting rotation might end up getting better as the season progress. But, even with the win, there is one present cause for concern, Ryan Howard’s fielding, as he single handedly almost got the Braves back into the ballgame because of a pair of fielding miscues, especially on the one that lead to the bases being loaded on a ball that he should’ve let Utley field for the final out. Someone may need to take Howard out and help him get the feel of playing first base before it can really hurt the Phils.

The Phillies (46-39) will conclude their three games visit with the Braves (40-45), with a chance for a sweep and, surprises of surprises, a winning road trip. The game will be played tonight at Turner Field, with a start time of 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace, Cole Hamels (8-5, 3.38), who is coming off a good start against the Rangers on June 28, where he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He has already faced the Braves this season, pitching a four-hit shut out against them on May 15, going all nine innings, in the Phillies’ 5-0 win. He will be shooting for his ninth win of the year and to complete the Phillies’ second sweep of the Braves in their own home ballpark. The Braves will be sending Jair Jurrjens (8-3, 2.94) to the mound to try and prevent the sweep. He is coming off a victory against the Blue Jays on June 27, where he would pitch eight innings, giving up no earned runs on three hits, in the Braves’ 4-0 win. In his last four starts, he has won three of them, with a no-decision in the fourth, which was also won by the Braves. In those games, he would give up only five earned runs in twenty-seven and two-thirds innings of work, while giving up no earned runs in the last twenty-three and two-thirds innings, while also giving up only twenty-five hits. He will also be shooting for his ninth victory, while seeing if he can stop the Phillies’ just reawaken bats and keep the Braves from being swept for the second straight time by the Phillies.

With the victory, the Phillies stay a game and a half ahead of the Marlins, who had earlier in the day beaten the Nationals. The Phils lead the Mets now by four and a half game as they’d lost their game to the Cardinals. The Phillies lead over the Braves is now at six games with their win. The Phillies will now try to leave Atlanta with a sweep of the Braves, before coming home to Citizens Bank Park to start a three teams, ten games in ten days, home stand before the All-Star break, during which they hope to create some breathing room between them and their nearest opponent.

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