Results tagged ‘ Johan Santana ’

The Phillies come out on top in a slugfest with the Cardinals, take control of first place in the NL East.

The Phillies’ offensive help the team outlast a determined Cardinals’ offense as the Phils defeat the Redbirds, 10-7. The Phils take over control of first place in the National League East as they head to New York City for their first meeting with their rivals, the Mets, in the Mets’ new home of Citi Field.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with one out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his fourth home run of the season. In the third, the Phillies increased their lead, as, with runners on second and third, and nobody out, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Phils’ starter Brett Myers, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Jimmy Rollins’ double, and Rollins, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. Later, with the bases loaded, via a single to Raul Ibanez, which had sent Victorino over to third base, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which would move Ibanez up to second, and still nobody out, the Phils would make it 4-0 Phils as Jayson Werth hits into a sacrifice-double play, which would score Victorino from third base, while Ibanez was thrown out at second base, 8-4, as he midjudged the play, thinking that the ball would fall in for a base hit, instead of being caught by centerfielder Colby Rasmus, for the inning’s second out. A rare baserunning mistake by Ibanez since becoming a Phil. The Cards would get a run back in their half of the third, as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Joe Thurston hits into an RBI ground out, 6-1, for the inning’s second out, knocking in Tyler Greene, who had earlier doubled, and had gone over to third on Skip Schumaker’s single, making it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead, while sending Schumaker, who had gone up to second base on Victorino’s throw home, as the ball goes past the cut off man, would move on to third. In the fourth, the Cardinals made it 4-2 Phils as Rudy Ludwick hits a lead-off solo home run, his seventh home run of the season. Two batters later, with one man out, Yadier Molina made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as he hits a solo home run of his own, his third home run of the year. The Phillies then increased their lead in the fifth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Werth hits a three-run home run, his fourth home run of the year, and his second home run of the series, scoring Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third on Victorino’s single, who would later be picked off first, trying to steal second base, 1-3, for the inning’s first out, and Howard, who had earlier walked, giving the Phillies a 7-3 lead. The Cardinals got a run back in their half of the fifth, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Ludwick hits an RBI single, knocking in Thurston, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-4. In the sixth, with the bases loaded, via a single to Molina, Rasmus being hit by a pitch, and a single to Cardinals’ starter Adam Wainwright, with one man out, pinch hitter Khalil Greene would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Molina from third, making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead, while sending Rasmus over to third base. In the seventh, the Phillies would make it 8-5 Phils, as, with two men on, and one man out, Howard would hit an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second after Ibanez was hit by a pitch, while sending Ibanez over to third base. Two batters later, after Werth was hit by a pitch to load the bases, sending Howard up to second base, Pedro Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, giving the Phils a 9-5 lead, while moving both Howard and Werth up a base, leaving the bases loaded. The Cardinals would get a run back, as, with two men on, and two outs, Rasmus hits an RBI double, scoring Chris Duncan, who had earlier walked and had gone on to second on Molina’s walk, making it 9-6 Phils, while sending Molina, who had earlier walked, over to third. In the ninth, the Phils added an insurance run, making it a 10-6 lead, as with a runner on first, and two men out, Feliz hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth, who was earlier safe at first on a fielder’s choice ground ball, as Ibanez, who had earlier hit a ground rule double and had reached third base on Howard’s ground out, 3-1, was cut down at home plate on a ball hit to the pitcher, Brad Thompson, who threw home to the catcher, Molina, who blocked home plate and then tagged out Ibanez, who had taken off on the crack of the bat. The Cardinals make it a 10-7 game in the bottom of the ninth, as Albert Pujols hits a lead-off home run, his tenth home run of the year, and his only hit in the series. But, that would be it, as Brad Lidge would end the game by getting out the next three batters.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitched five and a third innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and two hit batters, while striking out one. His record is now 2-2 with a 5.35 ERA. Scott Eyre pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he recorded his third hold of the year, giving up no runs or hits. Clay Condrey pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his fourth hold of the season, as he went an inning and a third, giving up no runs. Brad Lidge pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out a batter. Adam Wainwright took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record is now 3-1 with an ERA of 4.08. Denny Reyes pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out a batter. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and hitting a batter. Jason Motte pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Brad Thompson pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits.

The Phillies collected fifteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the way with four hits, just one hit short of the cycle, as he had two singles, a double and a home run, knocking in three runs, and scoring three, as he raised his batting average to .308. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz all followed with two hits apiece. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Miguel Cairo, Carlos Ruiz and Brett Myers got the Phils’ other five hits. Besides the Victorino’s three RBIs, Werth lead the team with four RBIs, Feliz knocked in two runs and Howard knocked in one.

The Phillies (14-10, 1st) continue their four-games road trip with a short two-games series with their main rival in the NL East, the Mets (12-13, 3rd). The first game will be played at the Mets new home, Citi Field, with a start time of 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Chan Ho Park (0-1, 8.57), who is coming off an earlier beating at the hands of these same Mets on May 1, where he was only able to pitch four and two-thirds innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and six walks, while striking out only one batter, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. Park is still looking for his first win as a Phil, while folks are wondering how many more chances the Phils will give him before putting him into the bullpen. The Mets will counter with their ace Johan Santana (3-1, 1.10), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on April 29, as the Mets’ bullpen once again let him down. Santana went seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Mets’ 4-3 lost. He will be looking for his fourth win of the year as he hopes to once again dominate the Phils. The Phillies will be looking to come out of New York with at least a split, before coming home for a three-games set with the Braves.

Brad Lidge finishes fourth in NL Cy Young Award Balloting.

Brad Lidge finishes fourth in the NL Cy Young Award Balloting, getting recognition for being perfect in save situations for the Phillies during the 2008 regular season. During the regular season, Lidge would go forty-one for forty-one in save opportunities, before adding seven more saves during the post-season, including saving the fourth and final victory in the Phillies’ 2008 World Series triumph. In the ballotting, Lidge would receive one second place ballot and seven third place ballots, giving him a total of ten votes, placing him behind Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum of the Giants (137), Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks (73) and Johan Santana of the Mets (55).

2008 NL Cy Young Award Voting
Pitcher, Club  1st 2nd 3rd Points
Tim Lincecum, SF  23    7   1  137
Brandon Webb, ARI       4  15   8   73
Johan Santana, NYM    4    8 11      55
Brad Lidge, PHI              1       7   10
CC Sabathia, MIL    1    1   1     9
Ryan Dempster, CHC       4      4

(Ballot: H/T Phillies.com)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoping to sweep the Mets and increase their lead in the East.

The once again first place Phillies (73-59), who are now for the first time fourteen games over .500, will faced the once more second place Mets (73-60), looking to see if they can sweep the now stunned New Yorkers and end the so far very successful home stand at 8-1. The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm  Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (11-7, 4.87), who is coming off a win over the Dodgers on August 22, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits, in the Phillies’ 8-1 win. In his last start against the Mets on July 6, he received a no-decision, as he gave up only one earned run on eight scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 lost. Careerwise, he is 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA in three starts against the Mets. His mission tonight will be two fold, to get through as many innings as he can to give the bullpen a sorely needed rest after last night’s thirteen innings game and to keep the Mets’ offense as silent as possible so that the resurgent Phillies’ offense can go to work on the Mets’ pitching staff. The Mets will counter with their ace Johan Santana (12-7, 2.64), who is coming off a win over the Astros on August 22, where he went seven innings, giving up no runs on eight hits, in the Mets’ 3-0 win. He has won his last three starts. In his previous two starts against the Phillies, he has thrown two no-decisions, as the Mets’ bullpen would lose both games, as he would go a combine sixteen innings, giving up only four earned runs on fourteen hits. Santana’s mission will be trying to keep the Phillies’ bats quiet while hoping that the Mets’ offense will score enough runs so that the bullpen won’t be able to blow it this time.

The Phillies’ offense mission tonight will be simple, get to Johan Santana so that he won’t keep them down for eight innings as he has done in his previous two starts against them. They will need to get him to throw deep counts, and for that to happen they will have to keep from going after the first few pitches he throws at them, no matter how tempting they are, unless they are sure that they can hit them for hits. Pat Burrell’s mission tonight will be to get out of his sudden funk and knock in some runs. And Phillies’ starter Kyle Kendrick will have to improve on his last start, going after hitters, trying to get first pitch strikes and gets Mets’ batters to hit ground balls at people.

The Phillies are a half game ahead of the Mets as the two teams will face each other for the last time this season at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies are leading the fading Marlins by six games as they face the Braves in Atlanta. The Phils will see if they can finish the home stand with a sweep of the Mets, before they go up to Chicago to meet the Major League leading Cubs for a four games series.

It’s time to beat the Mets as New York come to Philly for the last time this season.

The Phillies (72-59) will face the first place Mets (73-59) in an important two games series for first place in the National League East. The first game of this short series will be played in Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.54), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on August 21, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up just an earned run on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. His last two starts against the Mets were a pair of no-decisions, both of which would eventually be lost by the Phils, as he would go a combined thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits. In four quality starts against the Mets this year, he is 1-1 with two no-decisions, giving up only eight earned runs on twenty hits. Lifetime against the Mets, he is 7-4 with a 2.85 ERA in eighteen starts. He will be looking to pitch his fifteenth straight good start, as he goes for his second straight win, while trying to pitch the Phillies back into first place. The Mets will counter with Pedro Martinez (4-3, 3.97), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 21, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 5-4 win. In his last start against the Phillies on July 7, he would get the win as he pitches five and one thirds inning, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 10-9 win. He will be trying to keep the Mets in first place in the East against a resurgent Phillies’ offense, hoping that they won’t be able to take advantage of his recent return from the disabled list.

The Phillies will be trying to retake the lead or stay real close to the Mets, hoping for a sweep, while being happy with a split, as they hope to end a so far very successful home stand with, hopefully, two more wins. The offense will be trying to see if it can hurt both Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana enough in the series so that it can then get at a now Billy Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen, so that they can light it up in the late innings, while hoping that its own suddenly better pitching staff will keep the Mets’ batters from getting on base and scoring runs. They will be hoping, now more than ever, for important contributions from the first four men in the line-up.

The Phillies trail the visiting Mets by a half game as they start a two games series. The Marlins are five games in back of the Phillies as they head to Atlanta to play the woeful Braves. The Phillies hope to come up well in this short series before they head off to Chicago for a four games series with the Major League leading Cubs.

Phillies rally to score six runs in the ninth off of a Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen to beat the Mets, 8-6.

The Phillies rally to score six runs in the top of the ninth inning off of a Billy Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen while new Phil Joe Blanton is unable to contain the Mets in his first start as a Phil as the Phillies defeat the Mets, 8-6. The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first as Jayson Werth would hit a two out RBI single off of Mets’ starter Johan Santana, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. That would remain the score until the bottom of the third when Phillies’ starter Blanton would give up a RBI double to David Wright, knocking in Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked, to tie the game at one all. But Endy Chavez, who has singled earlier, would try to score on the play, but is instead thrown out at home plate, Burrell to Jimmy Rollins to Carlos Ruiz, who would put the tag on Chavez for the first out of the inning. Two batters later, with Wright still on second base, and with two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit his nineteenth home run of the year, a two-run shot that would give the Mets a 3-1 lead. In between the third and fourth innings, Charlie Manuel would be ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes with the third base umpire as the Phillies believed that Delgado had struck out on an 0-2 pitch while the umpire claimed that he had checked his swing. The Mets would increase their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first, Marlon Anderson, via a walk, and with two outs, Ramon Castro would hit his fifth home run of the year, giving the Mets a 5-1 lead. In the meantime, Santana would keep the Phillies off the scoreboard, until the seventh, when Shane Victorino would hit his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot, that would cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. The Mets would try to break the game wide open in their half of the seventh as Rudy Seanez replaces Blanton on the mound. Seanez would give up a lead-off double to Chavez. Chavez would then attempt to score on a single to right by Wright. But, for the second time in the game, he would be thrown out at the plate, this time from Werth to Coste, who tagged him out for the first out of the inning. On the throw home, Wright would move to second. Seanez would then intentionally walk Carlos Beltran, putting runners on first and second. The Phillies would then replace Seanez with J.C. Romero. Romero would get Delgado to fly out to center for the second out. But he would then hit Damion Easley to load the bases. Romero would then get out of the inning as he would get pinch hitter Fernando Tatis to line out to Chase Utley. In the ninth inning, the Mets would replace Santana with Duaner Sanchez, thinking that the game was over. The Phillies would soon make them think otherwise. Werth would greet Sanchez with a single. Pinch hitter Greg Dobbs would follow with a single, sending Werth to second. Victorino would follow with a single, loading the bases. The Mets would then replace Sanchez with Joe Smith, as they hope that Ruiz would hit into a rally-killing double play. Ruiz would hit a ground ball  to shortstop Reyes, but Reyes would somehow miss the second base bag as a hostling Victornio would reach second on the fielder’s choice ground ball. The bases thus remain loaded as Werth scores to make it a 5-3 game. The Phils would then send out Geoff Jenkins as a pinch hitter, but he would never reach the plate as the Mets would replace Smith with Pedro Feliciano, while the Phillies would counter with So Taguchi, who was so far 0-for-16 as a pinch hitter. Taguchi would this time connect as he would hit a two-run double, scoring both Dobbs and Victorino and sending Ruiz to third, as the game was now tied at five all. Rollins would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Ruiz and Taguchi, to give the Phillies a 7-5 Phillies. Utley would then ground out to first for the first out of the inning, moving Rollins over to third. Burrell is then intentionally walked, putting runners on the corners, and setting up the double play. Ryan Howard would hit a ground ball straight to Feliciano, who would then drop the ball, before picking it up and throwing out Howard, as Rollins scores to make it 8-5 Phillies, while Burrell would go to second. Aaron Heilman is then sent into the game to replace Feliciano. Heilman would walk Werth, the man who has started the inning off, putting runners on first and second, with two outs. Heliman would then get Dobbs to pop up to Reyes to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would send out their closer Brad Lidge to end the game. He starts the inning off by walking Chavez. Chavez would then go to second on defensive indifference. Lidge would then strike out Wright for the inning’s first out. Chavez would then go to third on a Lidge’s wild pitch before finally scoring on a ground out to first by Beltran, for the second out, making the score 8-6 Phillies. That would be the final score as Lidge would get Delgado to ground out, third to first for the final out, as he records his twenty-second straight save, tying the team’s record for most consecutive saves in a row set a few years earlier by Billy Wagner.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision, as he pitches six innings in his first start as a Phil, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would get the victory as he goes an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 1.78. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-second save, as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on no hits. Johan Santana would also get a no-decision, going eight innings, giving up only two runs on eight scattered hits. The Mets bullpen would then take over and implode as the team’s closer, Billy Wagner, would be unavailable to pitch. Duaner Sanchez would face three batters, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Joe Smith would take the loss as he face only one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits. His record is now 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA. Pedro Feliciano would get his second blown save, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Aaron Heilman would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies have won the game by doing something that they haven’t been able to do too much of since May, come back from behind in the ninth inning to win a game while trailing by several runs. Of course, they did it after the Mets have taken out their starter, Johan Santana, who for the third time this season has pitched a quality start against the Phillies. The Phillies would be able to produce a rally in the ninth inning, because of the use of small ball, hustling on the part of Shane Victorino on Carlos Ruiz’s ground ball, luck (Jose Reyes missing second base on Ruiz’s grounder, and Pedro Feliciano’s bobbling of Howard’s ground ball to him with the chance for an inning ending double play), some situational hitting by Chase Utley to move Jimmy Rollins over to third, and, lastly, So Taguchi finally getting a pinch hit when the Phillies needed it the most. Whether this will be the turning point of the season, or just a temporary blip on the radar screen will be found out during the next two games of the series.

The Phillies (54-46) will continue their three games series with the Mets (53-47) tomorrow night at Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies starter will be Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84), who is coming back from a minor league stint to recover both his fast ball and his confidence. His last start was back on June 27 in a no-decision against the Rangers, where he would only pitch two innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 lost. The Phillies will be hoping that his stint in the minor league has actually brought back both his fast ball and his confidence. The Mets will send to the mound John Maine (8-7, 4.22), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on July 18, as he goes four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 5-2 lost. He will be going for his ninth win of the year while trying to help the Mets get over their previous night’s lost.

The Phillies, with their win, have regain sole control of first place, while they now lead both the Mets and the Marlins by one game and the Braves by seven, thanks to the Braves’ lost to the fish last night. The Phillies will now try to build momentum from their come from behind win as they attempt for either a series sweep or a series win before heading back home to meet the Braves at Citizens Bank Park for a three games weekend series.

Phillies enter New York, hoping to leave still in first place.

The Phillies (53-46) goes to New York to meet the Mets (53-46) for an important three games series for first place in the National League East. The first game of the series will be played tonight in Shea Stadium and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their new acquistion, Joe Blanton (5-12, 4.96), who is pitching for the first time since his start as an Oakland Athletics against the Mariners back on July 9. That would end up being his twelfth lost of the season, as he would pitch six innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits, in the A’s 4-6 lost. This will be both Blanton’s first start as a Phillie, and his first start as a National League pitcher. But this will not be the first time that he has faced the Mets. In two previous starts, for the A’s, he has shut them down for fifteen innings, giving up no runs. This will be Blanton’s first start in thirteen days and the Phillies hope that he will be well rested and ready to continue his success against the Mets, as the Phillies will try to win their first series of the second half and regain control of first place. The Mets’ starter will be Johan Santana (8-7, 3.10), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds on July 17, as he would last only four innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 10-8 come from behind victory. Santana has lost four of his last seven starts, during which his record would be 1-4 with two no-decisions, both of which were lost by the Mets, where he would pitch a combine total of forty-five innings, giving up eleven earned runs on thirty-eight hits. His last start against the Phillies was on July 4, one of his two no-decisions, during which he would go eight innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits, in the Mets’ 3-2 lost. This year, his record against the Phils is 1-0, with a no-decision, where he has given up five earned runs in fifteen innings of work. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year while trying to set up the tone for the Mets’ series with the presently floundering Phils.

The Phillies’ offense will be once again trying to regain the potent offense that they had in late May and early June, which seems to have vanished after their twenty run outburst in St. Louis on June 13. The Phillies have not done too well this season against divisional opponents, outside of the Atlanta Braves, presently being only 3-7 against the Mets. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win against the Mets, as well as of the second half, as they hope to take advantage of Mets’ closer Billy Wagner’s present day-to-day status because of a bad shoulder. But, in order to do that, they will need to start playing more situational baseball, the lack of which manager Charlie Manuel has blasted them about after losing Sunday’s game with the fish. If they don’t, they will definately be saying hello to the Nationals before the end of August.

The Phillies are presently tied with the Mets’ for first place in the National League East, both leading the Marlins by a full game, and the Braves by six, after the Braves’ defeat of the fish last night in Miami in the first game of a three games set between the two teams.

Phillies win their fourth game in a row as Shane Victorino knocks in the winning run in the ninth, defeating the Mets, 3-2.

The Phillies defeated the Mets in the ninth on a Shane Victorino’s single, with two men outs and a runner on second, winning the ballgame, 3-2. The first four innings of the ballgame would involve a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter J.A. Happ and Mets’ starter Johan Santana, as both would refuse to allow any of the other team’s batters to get on base. This would change in the top of the fifth. Damion Easley would begin the inning with a single to left. Ramon Castro would then follow with a ground rule double, putting runners on second and third. Chris Aguila would then load the bases with a walk, after Happ had gotten ahead of him, 0-2. Santana would then strike out for the inning’s first out. Jose Reyes would then come up and hit a ground ball to the second baseman Chase Utley, beating the throw to first from the shortstop Jimmy Rollins, as Aguila is thrown out at second, allowing Easley to score and Castro to go to third, and giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The next batter, Endy Chavez, then walks, reloading the bases as Reyes goes to second. David Wright then gets the walk, after Happ has just missed getting a called third strike, forcing in Castro, and giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Charlie Manuel would then take out Happ, and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then end the inning as he strikes out Carlos Beltran. Durbin would stay in the game, and would proceed to strike out five of the six Mets’ batters whom he would face in the next two innings, for a total of six strike outs. Meanwhile, the Phillies would finally score against Santana in the bottom of the sixth. After Chad Durbin starts the inning off by striking out, Jayson Werth would get on base with a single. Utley would follow with a single, sending Werth to second. Rollins would then fly out for the second out. Ryan Howard would then follow with a RBI single to left, scoring Werth and sending Utley to second, as the Phillies cut the Mets’ lead to 2-1. Pat Burrell would then hit a RBI single, also to left, scoring Utley and sending Howard to second, as the Phillies would tie the game at two all. Santana would finally get out of the inning by getting Pedro Feliz to ground out, second to first. The game would stay tied until the bottom of the ninth. After Brad Lidge would get an easy 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth, Mets’ reliever, Duaner Sanchez, would strike out the first two men that he would face, Howard and Burrell, both of them swinging. He would then give up a double to Feliz. After getting ahead of the count on Victorino, 1-2, Sanchez would throw a fastball, which Victorino would line to right field for a single, scoring Feliz with the winning run, as the Phillies would win the first game of the four games series, 3-2.

J.A. Happ would get a no-decision as he pitches four and two-thirds innings, pitching well until the fifth inning, giving up only two earned runs on just three hits, striking out three and walking four. Chad Durbin would pitch two and a third innings, giving up no runs on no hits, and striking out six of the seven Mets whom he would face. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Brad Lidge would get the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning. He is now 2-0 with a ERA of 0.77. Johan Santana would also get a no-decision as he pitches eight strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits, while striking out six. Duaner Sanchez would get the lost as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.

The Phillies’ offense stay in against Santana, although at time swinging at his pitches, until they were finally able to get to him in the sixth to tie the game. They were able to get only eight hits tonight, all but one of them being singles (1 (2B)), but the Phillies’ pitchers would only allow four hits to Mets’ batters. J.A. Happ would pitch a good game until the fifth, going after the hitters, and getting a large number of pop and fly outs. In the fifth, he probably got a bit high on the excitement when he got into trouble for the first time in the fifth inning, which might explain two of his walks, first to Aguila and then to Chavez, but with Wright, a pitch that should have been called a strike was instead called a ball. One of the Phillies’ broadcasters, commenting on it, believed that he didn’t get the call because he’s a rookie. If that’s the case, it’s a real shame, since it would’ve ended the inning, and with the Mets only scoring one run in the inning. Anyway, during the next two inning, Happ would be seen talking with the veteran Jamie Moyer. Oh oh, looks like someone else is trying to learn at the feet of the veteran. I think the rest of the league might be in trouble if the young bloods continue to listen to the vet. :)

The four games series with the Mets will continue tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies (48-39) will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.13), who is coming off a lost against the Rangers on June 29, where he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 5-1 lost. He has lost his last three starts, although pitching well in each game. He will once again be trying for his eighth victory, while seeing if he can increase the present Phillies’ winning streak to five games. The Mets (42-44) will counter with John Maine (8-6, 3.86), who is coming off a lost to the Cardinals on June 30, as he was only able to go four innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 7-1 lost. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year, while trying to stop the Phillies’ offense.

The Phillies’ victory now put them three games ahead of the Marlins, although the fish are presently leading their game with the Rockies, which is turning into a shootout in Denver. The Mets’ lost put them five and a half games behind the Phillies. The Braves are still trailing the Phillies by seven games as they have won their game with the Astros. The Phillies hope to continue playing good baseball while trying to put some distance between them and the rest of the National League East before the All-Star break.

Edit: The Marlins now trail the Phillies by three and a half games, as they have just lost a shoot out with the Rockies in the bottom of the ninth, as the Rockies have scored two runs to win the game, 18-17. I’m surprised that the Rockies were able to come back after trailing at one point 13-4. I wonder if the Marlins’ players are in shock right now, wondering what have just happened, cause I know that at least one Marlins’ fan is going to be real ticked off the moment he finds out about this.

The Phillies prepare to beat the Mets this weekend.

The first place Phillies (47-39) are now home at Citizens Bank Park for a four games Independence Weekend series with the third place Mets (42-43). The first game of the four games series is in fact being played now. The Phillies’ starter is J.A.Happ (0-0, -.–), who has just been called up from Lehigh Valley, where he went 5-6 with a ERA of 3.54. This is his second career start. His first start, which was last year, was also against the Mets, and ended in a disaster as he got kicked around by the Mets. He is taking Brett Myers place in the rotation, hoping to pitch well enough to stay with the main team. The Mets’ are countering with 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 to record his eighth win of the year, while hoping that he can stop the Phillies just reawaken offense.

The recently restarted Phillies’ offense will be seeing if it can sink the still disorganized Mets, just like it did with the Braves, while hoping to be supported by both good starting pitching and the NL leading bullpen.

The Phillies’ lead over the second place Marlins is two and a half games. The Phillies are leading the visiting Mets by four and a half games. The Braves are trailing them by seven games. The Phillies hope that they can add to their present lead during their ten games home stand before heading into the All-Star break.

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