Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Broxton ’

Back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth leads to a dramatic come from behind win, as the Phils defeat the Reds, 3-2.

Philadelphia_PhilliesA pair of unexpected back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth leads to the Phils coming from behind to defeat the Reds, 3-2.

The Reds took the lead in the top of the second as Jay Bruce hits a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the season, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. The Reds added to their lead in the top of the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Todd Frazier hits an RBI double, knocking in Joey Votto, who had started the inning off with a single, then reached second base after Dom Brown, who had made a sliding catch of Bruce’s fly ball to left field for the inning’s second out, attempted to double him off first base to end the inning, but instead committed a throwing error as the ball hit Votto and then rolled away from first baseman Michael Young, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead. Meantime, the Phils were frustrated for seven innings by Reds’ starter Homer Bailey, who only gave up five hits and a walk, while striking out three, as the Phils’ scoreless streak, which had started the previous night, increased to sixteen innings. The Phils would finally score in the bottom of the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Chase Utley hits an RBI single to left, scoring Ben Revere, who had earlier got on base with an infield single, sliding head first across the first base bag beating pitcher Jonathan Broxton to the bag, then stole second base, making it a 2-1 Reds’ lead, while sending M. Young, who had just walked, up to second base. Then in bottom of the ninth, the Phils started a rally as pinch-hitter Delmon Young started the inning off with a walk, before he was replaced at first base by pinch-runner Cliff Lee. But, it would look like the Phils’ rally would be killed by another base running blunder, as Lee would be caught leaning too much off of first base by Reds’ reliever Aroldis Chapman, and then caught in a rundown before he is finally tagged out, 1-4-6-1, for the inning’s first out. After an upset at himself Lee goes back into the dugout and sits down, the batter, Erik Kratz, who was in the game because the original starting catcher, Carlos Ruiz, had been hurt while running the bases earlier in the game, crushed a three-two fastball into left field for a home run, his third home run of the season, tying the game up at two-all, making Lee even more upset as that would have led to a walk-off win. But, Lee would then be taken fully off the hook as the next batter, Freddy Galvis, followed with a solo home run of his own to left, his third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 3-2 walk-off win.

Jonathan Pettibone received a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and three hits, while striking out four. Justin De Fratus pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Antonio Bastardo (2-1, 2.51) got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Homer Bailey also received a no-decision as he pitched seven shutout innings, giving up five scattered hits and a walk, while he struck out three. Jonathan Broxton collected his sixth hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Sean Marshall collected his sixth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Aroldis Chapman blew his second save attempt of the year before taking the lost (3-2, 3.32) as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Ben Revere (2 Singles, Double) leading the team with three hits, followed by Chase Utley (Singles, RBI) and Freddy Galvis (Single, Home Run, RBI) following with two hits apiece. Lanyce Nix (Single) and Eric Kratz (Home Run, RBI) had the other two Phils’ hits. The Phils also had three walks (Michael Young, Utley, pinch-hitter Delmon Young) in the game.

The Phils (21-23, 3rd) begin a three-game series with the Marlins (12-32, 5th), starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Marlins Park and is supposed to start at 7:10 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (1-6, 4.61), who is coming off a lose to the Indians on May 15, as he went five innings, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks, while he struck out four, in the Phils’ 10-4 lost. He will once again be looking for his second win of the season, while trying to regain command of his pitches, while hoping that the bats will give him some badly needed runs support. The Marlins will counter with Alex Sanabia (2-6, 5.00), who is coming off a loss against the Reds on May 15, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Marlins’ 4-0 lost. He’ll be looking to for his third win of the season. The Phils hope to once again take advantage of the weak Marlins, while trying to get themselves over .500.

The Phils leave L.A. after two straight drubbings of the Dodgers, winning by scores of 8-4 and 5-1.

The Phils leave L.A. with the bats seeming to be back, as they pound the Dodgers by the scores of 8-4 and 5-1.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers took the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via a double to Scott Podsednik, Jamey Carroll being hit by the pitch, and a single by Matt Kemp, moving both Podsednik and Carroll up a base, and with one man out, James Loney had an RBI walk, scoring Podsednik, while moving both Carroll and Kemp up a base. The Phils took the lead in the second as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Brian Schneider hits a three-run home run, his fourth home run of the season, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier doubled, and Shane Victorino, who has just walked, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits a three-run home run of his own, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, and then went to third on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who had just singled, making it a 6-1 Phils’ lead. The Dodgers cut the Phils’ lead to 6-2 in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Carroll hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Rod Barajas, who had earlier singled, went to second on Kenley Jansen’s single, and then went to third on Podsednik’s force out, 4-6, wiping out Jansen’s at second base for the inning’s first out, to make it a 6-2 Phils’ lead, while sending Podsednik, who was safe at first on the force out, up to second base. The Dodgers then cut the Phils’ lead down to 6-4 in the sixth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Loney hits a two-run home run, his ninth home run of the season, knocking in Kemp, who had earlier singled. The Phils regain the two runs in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Howard and Werth, the two moving up to third and second respectively on Raul Ibanez’s ground out, 4-3, and a intentional walk to Victorino, and with two men out, pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run single, scoring both Howard and Werth, making it an 8-4 Phils’ lead, while sending Victorino up to second base. That would be the final score as Brad Lidge pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, getting pinch hitter Jay Gibbons to end the game by grounding out, 4-3. 

Kyle Kendrick gets the win as he pitches five innings plus two batters, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk. His record is now 9-7 with a 4.72 ERA. Chad Durbin records his twelfth hold of the year as he pitches an inning, giving up a hit. J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combine for three 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter (Madson) between them. Carlos Monasterios took the lost as he pitches two innings plus two batters, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. His record is now 3-5 with a 4.02 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitches three innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Jeff Weaver pitches a scoreless inning, walking a batter. George Sherrill pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three walks. Jonathan Broxton pitches an inning and a third, giving up two hits, while striking out three. Octavio Dotel pitches a scoreless inning, walking two batters.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Placido Polanco and Chase Utley both leading the team with two hits each, all singles, with both man scoring a run. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Brian Schneider and pitch hitter Carlos Ruiz had the other seven Phils’ hits, with Howard and Schneider’s hits being three-run home runs, Werth and Ibanez’s hits being doubles, and Ruiz’s hit being a pinch hit two-run single.

On Wednesday, the Phils a quick 1-0 lead as, on a 1-0 fastball, Jimmy Rollins hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the season. The Phils then made it 2-0 in the second as Victorino hits a lead-off home run of his own, his sixteenth home run of the year. That would be more than enough for Phils’ starter Roy Oswalt to work with, as he would have a no-hitter going for five and two-third innings, until it was broken up in the sixth by Casey Blake with a single, who moved to second Loney, who had earlier walked. Oswalt would end the threat by getting Ronnie Belliard to pop out to the second baseman. The Phils then added to their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with two men out, Utley hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, who had earlier walked, and then stole second base, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Dodgers got a run back in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Loney hits an RBI single, scoring Carroll, who had earlier singled, then moved to second on Rollins’ fielding error of Kemp’s grounder, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Kemp, who was safe at first on Rollins’ error, to second base. The Phils got the runs back in the ninth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring pinch hitter Dom Brown, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead, before he went to second base on the late throw to home plate. One batter later, the Phils took a 5-1 lead as UItley hit a ground-rule double, scoring Rollins. That would be the final score as Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out Podsednik swinging to end the game.

Roy Oswalt gets the win as he pitches six and one-third scoreless innings, giving up a hit and six walks, while striking out six. His record is now 10-13 (4-1) with a 3.01 (1.89) ERA. J.C. Romero records his seventh hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out the two men that he would face. Ryan Madson gets his ninth hold of the season as he pitches an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits. Brad Lidge pitches an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out two. Clayton Kershaw gets the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out eleven. His record is now 11-9 with a 3.01 ERA. Kenley Jansen pitches an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks, while striking out two. Ronald Belisario pitches an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits, striking out a batter. Hong-Chih Huo pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the team with three hits, all doubles, knocking in two runs. He was followed by Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, who both had two hits, both having a single and a solo home run, with Rollins knocking in two runs and Victorino one. Placido Polanco, Ryan Howard and pinch hitter Dom Brown had the other three Phils’ hits, with Polanco’s hit being a single and Howard and Brown’s hits being doubles. The offense appears to be coming alive.

The Phils (75-58, 4th East) with conclude their road trip with a one game stop in Denver against the Rockies (69-63, 3rd West) to play a make up game for an earlier rain out. The game will be played at Coors Field and will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern (5:10 pm Mountain). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.15), who is coming off a win against the Padres on August 28, as he pitched six innings, giving up a run on six hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 3-1 win. In his last three stars, he is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he pitched nineteen and a third innings, giving up four runs on twenty hits and a walk, while striking out nineteen. He will be shooting for his seventh win of the season, while trying to keep the Rockies under control. The Rockies will counter with Jhoulys Chacin (7-9, 3.79), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on August 28, as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on four hits and four walks, while striking out seven. In his last three starts, his record is 2-1, as he pitched nineteen and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on twelve hits and ten walks, while striking out twenty. He will be trying to end the Phils’ trip on a low note. The Phils plan to end the road trip on a high note, with the bats finally coming out to play.

Memo to Joe: Phillies own Broxton!!! Phils come from behind to defeat the Dodgers, 10-9.

In a dramatic turn of events, the Phils come back to defeat the Dodgers by scoring eight runs in the last two innings, with the last four coming off of Jonathan Broxton in a wild ninth inning, winning the game with a Carlos Ruiz walk-off double, 10-9.

The Dodgers took the lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Ronnie Belliard hits an RBI single, scoring Scott Podsednik, who had earlier singled, moved to second on Ryan Theriot’s ground out, 4-3, then went to third on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, while sending James Loney, who had just walked, on to second base. Matt Kemp then gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with an RBI single, knocking in Loney, while sending Belliard to second. James Carroll then made it a 3-0 Dodgers’ lead with an RBI single of his own, scoring Belliard, while sending Kemp to third, before moving up to second on the late throw to third. The Phils got a run back in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Joe Blanton hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Wilson Valdez’s double, making it a 3-1 Dodgers’ lead, while sending Valdez, who had just doubled, over to third base. The Phils then cut the Dodgers’ lead down to 3-2 in the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Ruiz hit an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and then stole second base. The Dodgers would get one of those runs back in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Belliard hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Theriot, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third on Ethier’s single, making it a 4-2 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers then made it 6-2 in the seventh as, with one man on, and with one out, Kemp hits a two-run bomb, his nineteenth home run of the year, knocking in Loney, who had earlier singled. The Dodgers added to their lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Casey Blake hits an RBI single, scoring Podsendik, who was earlier safe at first on first baseman Mike Sweeney’s fielding error, then moved up to second on Ethier’s single, making it a 7-2 Dodgers’ lead, while sending Ethier, who had earlier singled, over to third base. Kemp then made it an 8-2 Dodgers’ lead with an RBI single, knocking in Ethier, while sending Blake up to second base. Carroll then gave the Dodgers a 9-2 lead with an RBI single of his own, scoring Blake, while sending Kemp over to third, before moving up to second on the throw. The Phils, after falling behind by seven runs, then started to chip away at the Dodgers’ lead. In their half of the eighth, Placido Polanco started the inning off with a single. Sweeney followed him with a single of his own, sending Polanco to second base. With Werth batting, Ronald Bellsario threw a wild pitch, sending Polanco to third base, and Sweeney up to second base. Werth then hits a two-run single, scoring both Polanco and Sweeney, cutting the Dodgers’ lead down to 9-4. With Ben Francisco batting, Bellsario committed a balk, sending Werth up to second base, although it took the home plate umpire a long time before finally saying that Bellsario’s fake to third and then to first move was a balk, since there was no body on third at the time, as he needed to be prompted first by Phils’ manager, Charlies Manuel, and then by the rest of the umpiring crew. Francisco then hits an RBI double, bringing in Werth, cutting the Dodgers lead down even further to 9-5. After Ruiz hits a bullet to third, that was grabbed by third baseman Blake, for a 5-3 ground out, the inning’s first out, Valdez hits an RBI single, knocking in Francisco, making it a 9-6 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers would then get out of the inning as pinch hitter Ben Francisco flies out to left, and then, after Jimmy Rollins walks, Raul Ibanez ended the inning by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Rollins at second base. After Danys Baez shut down the Dodgers in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers brought in Jonathan Broxton to nail down the game for them. He did not do so. After falling behind Polanco 2-0, he hit him with his third pitch, as Polanco turned his body so that the ball would not hit his right elbow, sending Polanco to first. The next two batters, Sweeney and Werth, then walked, loading up the bases, with nobody out. Ben Francisco then followed by hitting what should have been a doubleplay grounder to third, but was misplayed by Blake who pulled up his glove too soon, becoming a fielding error, allowing both Polanco and Sweeney to score, cutting the Dodgers lead down to 9-7, while sending Werth up to second base. Now, with two men on, and with still nobody out, Ruiz hits a 1-1 slider towards left center field, where it would hit against the wall and bounce in for a double, knocking in first Werth, and then Francisco, who was on Werth’s heels, with the winning run, as the Phils had a 10-9 walk-off win.

Joe Blanton gets a no-decision as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. Chad Durbin pitches an innings and a third, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. J.C. Romero pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two unearned run on a hit, while striking out a batter. Jose Contreras pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Danys Baez gets the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. His record is now 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA. Clayton Kershaw also receives a no-decision, as he pitches six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out four. Hong-Chih Kuo records his seventeenth hold of the year as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ronald Belisaro pitches to four batters, giving up four runs on four hits, a wild pitch and a balk. Kenley Jansen pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit. George Sherrill records his third hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk. Jonathan Broxton blew his fifth save of the season, before taking the lost, as he faces five batters, giving up four runs on just one hit, two walks and a hit batter. His record is now 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA.

The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in three runs, including the game winner, as he raised his batting average to .294. He was followed by Placido Polanco, Mike Sweeney, Jayson Werth and Wilson Valdez, who all had two hits apiece, with Polanco, Sweeney and Werth’s hits all being singles, with Werth knocking in two runs, while Valdez’s hits were a single and a double, as he knocks in a run. Ben Francisco had the other Phil hit, a double, as he knocks in two runs. Joe Blanton knocks in the other Phil RBI with a ground out, while the other run came in on an error. The offense this time was able to come back, in spite of the bullpen, although helped by a Broxton melt down in the ninth. Seriously, either the Phils are deep in his head (Thank you Matt Stairs), or the Phils got some supernatural assistant from a young male fan in the ninth. Either way, I think Joe Torre might think twice and maybe a third time before using him with such a small lead in the ninth against the Phils. Not so good things seems to happen to him. ;-)

The Phils (64-50, 2nd) will now go to New York for a three-game set with the Mets (57-57, 4th). The game will be played at Citi Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (7-8, 3.45), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 7, where he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only one run on six hits, while he struck out eleven, in the Phils’ 1-0 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 0-1 with two no-decisions, as he pitched nineteen innings, giving up eight runs on eighteen hits and four waks, while striking out twenty-nine. He will be trying to get even with the Mets for his last lost. The Mets will counter with R.A. Dickey (7-5, 2.65), who is coming off a lost against the Phils on August 8, as he went only three innings, giving up four runs, on eight hits and a walk, in the Phils’ 6-5 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched seventeen and a third innings, giving up six runs on nineteen hits and seven walks, while striking out four. He hopes that the Phils won’t be able to handle him again. The Phils will be trying to take the momentum from their ninth-inning win last night into New York City for the weekend.

The National League win their first All-Star game since 1996, as the Senior Circuit defeats the American League in Anaheim, 3-1.

For the first time in fourteen years, the National League All-Stars defeated the American League All-Stars, securing home field advantage during the World Series (I personally think that is a really rotten idea), 3-1.

Thanks in part to the shadows around home plate, as well as some good pitching and defense by both squads, the game remains a 0-0 tie until the bottom of the fifth, when the American League took a 1-0 lead as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees hits a sacrifice fly, scoring from third base Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, who had earlier walked, and had reached third on Los Angeles Dodgers Hong-Chih Kuo’s throwing error to first on a grounder hit to the third-base side of the mound by Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, who would end up on second on the play. The National League would take the lead in the seventh as, with the bases loaded via singles by Scott Rolen of the Cincinnati Reds and Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals, sending Rolen to third base, and a walk to Marlon Byrd of the Chicago Cubs, and with two men out, Brain McCann of the Atlanta Braves hits a bases clearing double, scoring Rolen, Holliday and Byrd, giving the National League a 3-1 lead. The National League would hold on to win as Jonathan Broxton of the Dodgers, after giving up a lead-off single to David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, struck out swinging Adrian Beltre of the Red Sox for out number one, then on a spectacular play by right fielder Byrd, who threw out Ortiz at second, 9-6 on a ball hit into right field by John Buck of the Toronto Blue Jays, turning a base hit into a force out for the inning’s second out, leaving Buck at first base, and then ended the game by getting Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers to fly out to center on one pitch.

Brian McCann of the Braves was named the All-Star Game MVP because of his three-run double, giving the NL all of their runs.

Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlons also pitched two scoreless innings, striking out two batters. Hong-Chih Huo pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an unearned run on a hit and a walk. Heath Bell of the San Diego Padres pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter. Matt Capps of the Washington Nationals would get the win as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter that he would face. His All-Star Game record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals collected his first hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants also collected his first hold, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Jonathan Broxton receives his first All-Star Game save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers (nee Seattle Mariners) pitched 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox received a hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Phil Hughes, also of the Yankees, also received a hold before taking the lost as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. His All-Star Game record is now 0-1 with a 54.00 ERA. Matt Thornton of the Chicago White Sox committed his first All-Star Game blown save as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk. Andrew Bailey of the Oakland A’s pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one. Rafael Soriano, also of the Rays, pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Jose Valverde, also of the Tigers, also pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side.

The winning National League team had seven hits in the game, with David Wright of the New York Mets leading with two hits, both singles. Scott Rolen of the Reds, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals, Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Yadier Molina, also of the Cardinals, and Brian McCann of the Braves, had the other five NL hits, with Rolen, Holliday, Ethier and Molina’s hits being singles, and McCann’s hit being a three-run double. The American League team had six hits in the game, with Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Evan Longoria of the Rays and John Buck of the Blue Jays each having a hit, with Jeter, Cabrera, Hamilton and Ortiz hits being singles, while Longoria and Buck’s hits were doubles. The American League’s run came in on a Robinson Cano of the Yankees sacrifice fly. Ryan Howard, who represented the Phils, along with Halladay, went 0 for 2, with a strikeout.

With the win, the National League ends a thirteen-game losing streak, having not won the summer classic since 1996, where it was played in Philadelphia at the now demolished Veterans Stadium (0-12-1). With the win, the National League winner will host the World Series first for the first time since 2002.

A pair of three-run bombs help propel the Phils past the Dodgers, 8-6, to take a 1-0 lead in the 2009 NLCS.

Two three-run home runs by Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez and a two-run double by Ryan Howard help lead the Phils to an 8-6 victory in the first game of the 2009 National League Championship Series. The Phils lead the seven-games series with the Dodgers, 1-0.

The Dodgers struck first in the bottom of the second as James Loney hits a solo home run, his first in the series, over the right field fence to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The game then developed into a pitchers’ duel for the first four innings between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels and Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw. During those four innings, Kershaw had the Phils’ bats quieted, giving up only one hit and two walks, while striking out two batters. Meanwhile, Hamels, besides Loney’s home run, gave up three hits and a walk, pitching himself out of a two on, two out jam in the first inning, while striking out three Dodgers. The Phils then struck in the fifth as, with two men on, via a single to Raul Ibanez, who then moved up to second on a wild pitch, and then a walk to Pedro Feliz, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits a three-run shot to left, his first home run of the series, scoring both Ibanez and Feliz, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. Five batters later, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who got on base on a force out, wiping out Hamels at second, who had earlier walked, then moved up to second on a wild pitch as Shane Victorino struck out, swinging, and then moved to third on the third wild pitch in the inning, and Chase Utley, who had just walked, to give the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Dodgers then came back in their half of the inning as, with runners on the corners, and with one out, Andre Ethier hits into a force out, 6-4, knocking in Russell Martin, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double, and then went to third on Rafael Furcal’s single, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead, as Furcal, who had just singled, was forced out at second base, before Ethier would move up to second as Utley’s throw to first went into the Phils’ dugout. The next batter, Manny Ramirez, then made it a 5-4 Phils’ lead, as he hits a two-run home run into left center field, his first home run of the series, scoring Ethier. The Dodgers would threathen to score in the sixth, as they loaded up the bases on singles by Loney and Ronnie Belliard and a walk to pinch hitter Jim Thome, who was then pinch run for by Randy Wolf, with two men out. But, J.A. Happ, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who had earlier come in in relief of Hamels, ended the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 4-3. The Dodgers then threathen again in the seventh as Ethier lead off the inning with a double. But, Chan Ho Park, pitching in relief of Antonio Bastardo, turned back the Dodgers by getting Ramirez to ground out, 5-3, then struck out Matt Kemp, swinging, before ending the inning by getting Casey Blake to also ground out, 4-3. The Phils then increased their lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Ibanez hits a three-run bomb to right, knocking in Howard and Jayson Werth, who had both walked, giving the Phils an 8-4 lead. The Dodgers then tried to come back in their half of the eighth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Martin hits an RBI single, knocking in Loney, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on Belliard’s single, cutting the Phils’ lead to 8-5, while sending Belliard, who had just singled, over to second. Two batters later, after pinch hitter Juan Pierre hits into a force out, 1-4, as a low throw to second from reliever Ryan Madson killed a possible double play attempt, wiping out Martin at second, while Belliard moved up to third, Furcal hits a sacrifice fly for the inning’s second out, knocking in Belliard, to make it an 8-6 Phils’ lead. Madson would then get out of the inning by getting Ramirez to ground out 5-3, with runners on first and third. Brad Lidge was then given the ball in the ninth to save it. Lidge was greeted with a lead-off single by Kemp. But, he then got Blake to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Kemp at second base, for outs number one and two. Loney then worked a walk, after falling behind 0-2, to keep the game alive. After Loney took second on defensive indifference, Lidge finally recorded the save, his first for the series, by getting Belliard to pop up to Rollins for the final out.

Cole Hamels got the win, as he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out four. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA. Chad Durbin picked up his first hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. J.A. Happ also picked up his first series hold as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Antonio Bastardo pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Chan Ho Park got his first hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, as he gave up two runs on four hits. Brad Lidge got the save, his first in the series, as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Clayton Kershaw took the lost as he went just four and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on four hits, five walks and three wild pitches, while he struck out three. His series record is now 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA. Ramon Troncoso pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Ronald Belisario and Hong-Chih Kuo combined for two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit (Kuo), while striking out two (Kuo). George Sherrill pitched an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out a batter.

The Phils had only eight hits in the game, making the most of them, along with the seven walks that they received. Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz led the team with two hits apiece, with both Ibanez and Ruiz each hitting a three-run home run. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard had the other two Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a two-run double. The Phils did very well with runners in scoring position as they went 3 for 5.

The Phils (1-0) continues their NL Championship Series with the Dodgers (0-1) with an afternoon game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 4:07 pm Eastern (1:07 pm Pacific). The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.63), who last pitched on September 30 against the Astros, as he went only four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out two as he received a no-decision in the Phils’ 10-3 win, as they clinched the NL East pennant. This will be his first start of the 2009 post-season, as he hope to give the Phils a chance to take a 2-0 lead back to Philadelphia. The Dodgers will counter with Vicente Padilla (12-6 (4-0), 4.46 (3.20)), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on October 4, as he pitched five innings, giving up just a run on four hits, as he struck out ten, in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win. He will be trying to even up the series before the two teams head for Philadelphia. The Phillies hope to continue their road success before they head back home to continue the series with home field advantage.

Phils waste a good performance by their ace as they lose to the Dodgers in extra-innings, 5-3.

The Phillies waste a good performance from the ace, Cole Hamels, as the bullpen is unable to keep the Dodgers down as the Phils lose in extra-innings, 5-3.

The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners, and one man out, Ryan Howard hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and had gone to third on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers then tied it up at one-all in the third, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Casey Blake, who had earlier hit a ground-rule double, would score on Rollins’ fielding error of a Rafael Furcal grounder. The game then developed into a pitchers’ duel between Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels and Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley. The Dodgers then took the lead in the seventh as James Loney hits a lead-off home run, his second home run of the season, to make it a 2-1 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers added an insurance run in the ninth, as, with a runner on third, and one man out, Blake hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Kemp, who had earlier tripled on a play in which Raul Ibanez tried to catch the ball by slding under it, instead of letting it drop in for a single, making it 3-1 Dodgers. The Phils tied it up at three-all in their half of the ninth, as, with two men on, and two outs, Carlos Ruiz hits a two-run double, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on defensive indifference, and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, who had just walked. The Dodgers would regain the lead in the tenth, as, with a man on, and two outs, Russell Martin hits an RBI double, scoring Andre Ethier, who had earlier walked, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. Two batters later, with two men on base, after an intentional walk to Loney, Kemp hits an RBI double, scoring Martin, while sending Loney to third, for a 5-3 lead. That would be the final score as the Phils would be unable to rally in the tenth.

Coel Hamels pitched a no-decision, as he pitched seven good innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out nine. Ryan Madson pitched a scorless inning, giving up only two hits. Brad Lidge also pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Chad Durbin took the lost, as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. His record is now 1-1 with a 4.19 ERA. Chad Billingsley also received a no-decision, as he pitched seven good inning, giving up just one run on three hits and four walks, while he struck out nine. Cory Wade received his four hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up no runs or hits. Jonathan Broxton had his second blown save of the season before collecting the win, as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, as he struck out the side. His record is now 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Ramon Troncoso recorded his second save as he pitched a scoreless ninth, hitting one batter, while striking out one.

The Phillies’ offense collected only five hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez having two hits and Carlos Ruiz also having two, with one of them being a double. Jimmy Rollins had the other Phil hit, a double. Ruiz knocked in two Phils runs, while Ryan Howard knocked in the other run with a sacrifice fly. The Phils’ bats are presently still in the middle of a team slump.

The Phillies (16-16, T-2nd) will be involved in a four-game series with the Nationals (11-21, 5th) in Washington, D.C. The first game of the series will be played tonight at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Joe Blanton (1-3, 6.82) , who is coming off a so-so start against the Braves on May 9, where he went eight innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 6-2 lost. Blanton will be trying for his second win, while hoping to improve on his last start. The Nats will counter with John Lannan (2-3, 3.89), who is coming off a win against the D-backs on May 9, where he pitched six shut out innings, giving up only three hits, while walking six and striking out two, in the Nationals’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to even his record. The Phillies will be trying to see if they can get out of their present slump at Washington’s expense. 

National League Championship Series: Game 4: Two eighth inning home runs by Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers, giving them a three games to one lead in the NLCS.

Two two-run home runs by Shane Victorino and pinch hitter Matt Stairs in the eighth inning would help lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers as the Phillies take a commanding three games to one lead over the Bums in the National League Championship Series. The Phillies jumped quickly on Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe in the first inning, as, with runners on first and second and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled and has moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead, while sending Werth on to third. Ryan Howard, as he would make the inning’s first out, would make it 2-0 Phillies, as he would hit a RBI ground out to the right side, 4-3, scoring Werth, while sending Utley over to third. Pat Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting runners on the corners. Lowe would finally get out of the inning as he would get Shane Victorino to hit into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Burrell at second. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, as, with runners on first and second and two men out, James Loney would hit a RBI double, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier singled, and has moved on to second on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, to make it 2-1 Phils, while sending Manny Ramirez, who has earlier been intentionally walked by Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton, to third. Blanton would then get out of the inning as Blake DeWitt would line out to Howard. That would remain the score until the bottom of the fifth as Lowe would calm down, while Blanton would constantly pitch himself out of jams. In the Dodgers’ fifth, the Dodgers would tie the game as, with two men on and no one out, Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Furcal, who has earlier walked and has gone on to second on an Ethier’s single, while Ethier’s would reach third on Burrell’s late throw to the plate as Furcal is able to push his way through catcher’s Carlos Ruiz’s right leg. Ramirez would meanwhile move up to second on the throw, putting two men in scoring position. Blanton would then get Russell Martin to ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, scoring Ethier on the play, to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, while Ramirez would go back to second base. Blanton would then intentionally walk Loney to put runners on first and second with still one out. The strategy behind the move would work for the Phils, as the next batter, DeWitt, would hit into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the inning. After Lowe is taken out of the game by the Dodgers, the Phillies would then tie up the game in the sixth, as, with men on second and third, and with two men out, Howard, who has earlier walked, moved on to second on Burrell’s single and would move over to third on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, would score on a Chan Ho Park’s wild pitch, while Burrell would move up to third. Park would then walk Ruiz to put runners on the corners. Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would then come out of the Dodgers’ dugout and replace Park with Joe Beimel, after Geoff Jenkins is sent out as a pitch hitter. Jenkins is then replaced by So Taguchi, who would promptly end the inning by flying out to right. The Dodgers would retake the lead in their half of the sixth as Casey Blake would hit a lead-off home run off of Phillies’ reliever Chad Durbin, making it 4-3 Dodgers. Juan Pierre would then follow with a double. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Matt Kemp, putting two men on base, still with no one out. Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel would then replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Furcal would then attempt a sacrifice bunt. Howard would get the ball but would then commit a throwing error, throwing it past Utley, allowing Pierre to score, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead, while allowing Kent to go to third and Furcal to move up to second, with still no body out. Ethier would then line out to first for the inning’s first out. Then, on the key turning point of the game, Ramirez is then intentionally walked to load up the bases. After Eyre is replaced on the mound by Ryan Madson, he would help get the Phils out of the inning with no more damage as Martin would hit a line drive that is caught by Utley, who would then quickly tag second base with his glove, beating Furcal back to the bag, for an unassisted double play, leaving the score still 5-3 Dodgers. After turning back the Dodgers in the seventh, the Phillies would go to work on the Dodgers’ bullpen in the eighth, finally scoring some runs. Howard would start the inning off with a single. After Burrell pops up to second for the inning’s first out, Victorino would follow with a two-run bomb to right, scoring Howard, and tying the game up at five all. After Pedro Feliz would line out to left for the inning’s second out, Ruiz would get on base with a single. Torre would then come out and replace Cory Wade, who had given up the two-run shot to Victorino, with Joe Broxton, to face pitch hitter Matt Stairs. Stairs would work the count to 3-1 before he would hit a monster two-run home run of his own to right field, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead. Rollins would then walk and steal second with Werth batting, before Werth would end the inning by striking out. In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would send out J.C. Romero. After giving up a walk to Furcal, Romero would get Ethier to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Furcal at second. Romero would then be replaced with Brad Lidge for a four-out save. It didn’t start out that way as Ramirez would get on base with a double. Martin would then follow with a strike out, which should’ve ended the inning, but didn’t, as it would get away from Ruiz, allowing Martin to reach first base while sending Ramirez over to third, putting runners on the corners. But Lidge would finally get out of the inning by getting Loney to fly out to left. In the ninth, Lidge would pitch an easy 1-2-3 inning, as he would first get pinch hitter Nomar Garciaparra to fly out to center for the first out, get Blake to strike out swinging for the second out and then end the game by getting Jeff Kent to fly out to Feliz for the final out, as he records his fifth save of the post-season.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. Chad Durbin would face only three batters, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Ryan Madson would get the win as he would pitch an inning and two-thirds, giving up no runs on one hit and a walk, while striking out one. His record in the series is now 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out two, as he would records his forty-sixth straight save in forty-six tries. Derek Lowe would also get a no-decision as he also goes only five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Clayton Kershaw would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Chan Ho Park would get a blown save as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs on a walk and a wild pitch. Joe Beimel would also go a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would go an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on a hit, while striking out two. Cory Wade would get a blown save and the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jonathan Broxton would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one.

The victory places the Phillies just one game away from getting into the World Series, as the offense is finally able to torch the Dodgers’ bullpen, getting five runs off of it thanks to a wild pitch and two two-run home runs. The bats would end up getting twelve hits over all, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit, with Chase Utley being the team leader, as he went three for five, knocking in a run on a double and two singles. Next was Carlos Ruiz, who went two for three, with two singles and a walk, scoring a run. Meanwhile, Joe Blanton would pitch five good innings, getting out of trouble constantly before finally being taken out for a pinch hitter. Although giving up two runs, the Phillies’ bullpen would hold firm for four innings, helped along by two double plays with Utley’s unassisted gem in the seventh being the more important of the two as it would get the Phillies out of a bases-loaded, one out jam. The Phillies now need just one more win to get into the World Series, with three chances within which to do it.

Game Five of the National League Championship Series will be played tomorrow night. It will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a good start against the Dodgers in game one of the NLCS on October 9, where he would go six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to pitch the Phillies into their first World Series appearance since 1993 with a victory. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (0-1, 27.00), who is coming off a very awful start in game two of the NLCS against the Phillies on October 10, as he would last only two and one third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to pitch a better game tomorrow night while trying to keep the Dodgers in the playoff.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pedro Feliz’s bat and glove leads Phillies to an extra-inning walk-off victory over the Dodgers, 5-2. The Phillies are now half a game behind the Mets in the East.

Pedro Feliz’s bat would knock in four late innings runs, while his glove would help stop the Dodgers in the tenth as the Phillies win a walk-off victory against the Dodgers in extra-innings, 5-2. The Dodgers would get their first run of the game in the first, when, with the bases loaded, and one out, James Lanier would hit a RBI single, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has gotten on base with a five-balls walk  (Yes, five-balls. The home plate umpire, Jerry Layne, at some point in the count, thought it was 2-2, when it was in fact 3-2, before Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton finally walked Ethier), moved to second on Jeff Kent’s single and then went to third when Manny Ramirez was hit by the pitch, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Blanton would finally get out of the inning by getting Nomar Garciaparra to fly out and Casey Blake to strike out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Blanton and Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda, with Blanton giving up only four more hits and two more walks while striking out four Dodgers’ batters before being lifted after six innings of work, while Kuroda would keep the Phillies silent for four innings, giving up no hits at that point, while only four men would get on base (Error, two walks and a hit batsman). The Phillies would tie the game in the fifth as Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, and then went to second on Blanton’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with a runner on second, and two outs, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Ethier, who has earlier walked, and then got to second base on Ryan Madson’s wild pitch, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would come back to tie it at two all in the ninth, when, with two men on, and two out, Pedro Feliz, who has come in as a defensive replacement for Greg Dobbs in the seventh during a double switch when Madson came in to replace J.C. Romero on the mound, would get a RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino, who has singled, and has gone to second on Eric Bruntlett’s sacrifice bunt. In the Dodgers’ tenth, they would try to regain the lead as they loaded the bases with two singles (Ramirez and Loney) and a walk (Mark Sweeney) with nobody out. The next batter, Blake, would then hit the ball to third. After catching the ball, Feliz would tag the bag for the first out, beating Loney to the bag, and then throw home to double up Ramirez, who would be tagged out by Chris Coste, for a 5-2 double play, as Sweeney would move up to second and Blake would be safe at first. Chad Durbin would then end the inning by getting Russell Martin to fly out to right. In the bottom of the eleventh, the Phillies would go to work against Dodgers’ reliever Joe Beimel, who was starting his second inning of work. Victorino would start off the inning with a double. After Joe Torre comes out to replace Beimel with Jason Johnson, Coste would get a walk, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then hit a grounder to the right side, to second baseman Pablo Ozuna, who would throw to first for the inning’s first out, while Victorino and Werth would move up to third and second base respectively. Cole Hamels would then come up to pinch hit with the Dodgers’ infield and most of the outfield in to try and prevent the run from scoring. Hamels would sadly pop up the first pitch thrown at him, that would be caught by Ozuna for the second out of the inning. This would bring up Feliz. On the first pitch, Feliz would hit it deep to center field for a three-run home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, scoring Victornio and Coste, as he gives the Phillies an extra-inning walk-out win, 5-2.

Joe Blanton would get his third straight no-decision as he goes six innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out four. J.C. Romero, would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Chad Durbin would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk. His record is now 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA. Hiroki Kuroda would also get a no-decision as he also goes six innings, giving up an earned run on two hits as he struck out five. Chan Ho Park would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jonathan Broxton would pick up his fifth blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would get the lost as he pitches one inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit and a walk. His record is now 4-1 with a ERA of 1.95. Jason Johnson pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on a hit and a walk.

After two straight games of getting ten hits, the offense would be limited to seven hits in the third game of the four games series with the Dodgers, but they would count the most when they came, as the bottom of the order would once again cause the damage as Shane Victorino would be involved in the rallies that would score the tying and winning runs, while Carlos Ruiz would score the Phillies’ first run and Pedro Feliz, coming in as a late innings’ replacement, would knock in the tying and winning runs as he batted in the ninth spot. The bottom part of the line-up have ended up being responsible for three of the last five Phillies’ win, and have done most of the scoring in their last lost. If the bottom half of the line-up continues to score runs after Victornio’s placement into the fifth hole, the Phillies should continue to be a team no longer to be taken lightly. Once the first five batters have decided to once again hit, this team should be tough to beat down the stretch. But, we probably won’t know which way the team will be going until after the end of the series with the Mets.

The Phillies (71-59) will end their four games series with the Dodgers (65-65, 2nd National League West) with a night game tonight, nationally televised on ESPN2, as they look for a sweep of the Bums. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (6-10, 4.71), who is coming off a nine hit shut out of the Nationals on August 20, in the Phillies’ 4-0 victory, his fifth straight quality start since his return from the minors. His only start against the Dodgers was a hard luck lost on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 3-1 lost. He will be trying for his four win since coming back from the minors and his sixth straight quality start. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.10), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rockies on August 20, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-3 lost. He did not face the Phillies during the last series. He will be trying to stop the slide and thereby avoid the sweep.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by half a game as the Mets lost to the Astros last night. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games as the fish defeated the D-backs last night. The Phillies will be trying to perform a sweep of the Dodgers, in revenge for the Dodgers’ sweep last week, while hoping that the Astros will defeat the Mets, putting them back into first place, before their two games series with the Mets, starting tomorrow night.

The bullpen blows another lead as the offense once again goes awol after scoring some runs as the Phillies fall to the Dodgers, 7-6.

Chad Durbin for the second straight night allows the Dodgers to tie the score in the eighth inning, before the bullpen finally loses the game in the ninth, this time to a Nomar Garciaparra walk-off home run, as the Phillies’ offense is for the second straight night put to sleep by the Dodgers’ bullpen in the middle innings, after taking what should’ve been an early commanding lead. The Phillies would score four runs in the first on a pair of two-run home runs. After Jayson Werth is rubbed of a home run to right by Andre Ethier for the second out of the inning, Chase Utley would get on base as he is hit by the pitch. Ryan Howard would follow with his league leading thirty-second home run of the year, scoring Utley, for a quick 2-0 lead. Pat Burrell would then get on base with a walk. Greg Dobbs would then follow with his fifth home run of the year, scoring Burrell, to make it 4-0 Phils. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, when, with the bases loaded, and one out, Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would give up a walk to James Loney, scoring Ethier, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, would move to second on Jeff Kent’s single and move to third on the walk to Manny Ramirez, making it 4-1 Phillies. Blanton would finally get out of the inning by striking out Casey Blake and getting Garciaparra to fly out to right. The Phillies would add to their lead in the second when, with a man on and two outs, Werth would hit his sixteenth home run of the year, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 6-1 lead. That would be all the damage the Phillies would be able to do as the Dodgers’ bullpen, starting in the fourth inning, would give them only one more hit, four walks and a hit batter, while squashing threats in the fifth and sixth innings. In the meantime, the Dodgers would chip away at the Phillies’ lead. It would start in the third as Ramirez, who owns Blanton, would hit his twenty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Kent, who has earlier singled, to reduce the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. Then in the fourth, Blanton would give up another home run, this time a solo shot to Ethier, his twelfth home run of the year, cutting the lead down to 6-4. After Blanton gets out of the fifth inning without any further damage, he hands the ball over to Ryan Madson, who would proceed to get out six of the seven batters he would face in two innings of relief. Chad Durbin is then given the ball so that he can hand it over to Brad Lidge for a save opportunity in the ninth. Sadly, it didn’t happen as Durbin would end up blowing his fourth save of the year. The inning would start with a single by Russell Martin. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Juan Pierre, putting runners on first and second with nobody outs. Matt Kemp would then line out to Werth for the first out of the inning. The next batter, Ethier, would then hit the ball to Ryan Howard. Instead of throwing to Jimmy Rollins at second to force out Pierre, Howard would instead go to first, not confident that his throw would actually get to Rollins. That lack of confidence would prove costly as Durbin would then give up a two-run double to Kent, tying the score at six all. Durbin would then intentionally walk Ramirez, after getting behind in the count 3-0. That would be it for Durbin, as he is replaced by J.C. Romero. Romero would finally end the inning by getting Loney to ground into a force out, shortstop to third base. In the ninth, with one man out, Clay Condrey would throw a walk-off home run to Garciaparra, his sixth home run of the year, to give the Dodgers a 7-6 walk-off victory.

Joe Blanton gets a no-decision as he pitches five rough innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out six. Ryan Madson would pitch two strong innings of relief, as he gives up no runs on no hits, and strike out three, while one man reached base on a fielding error. Chad Durbin would blow his fourth save of the year and his second in this series, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only hitter he would face. Clay Condrey would take the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, Garciaparra’s walk-off home run. His record is now 3-3 with a 3.71 ERA. Brad Penny would also receive a no-decision as he only last three innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, a hit batter and two walks, while striking out four. Jason Johnson would pitch two and two-thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up one hit and walking two, while striking out five. Joe Beimel would face only two batters, giving up a walk and hitting a batter. Chan Ho Park would pitch two and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, with two strikeouts. His record is now 3-3 with an ERA of 3.58.

Sigh. It’s becoming a broken record. Offense strikes early, gets nothing going in the middle innings and is unable to get a clutch hit when they do threathen to score. Now the bullpen is getting into the act, as it, or rather Chad Durbin, has now blown two straight save opportunities. Although the main culprit, as always, is the Phillies’ offense, we now add Ryan Howard’s sad defense as well, as his fear of maybe not throwing the ball straight to Jimmy Rollins for a force out causes him to instead go for the sure out at first. Listening to the broadcast crew, it would appear that Jay-Ro did not agree with Howard’s decision. And to be honest, neither do I, since if Ryan had thrown the ball to second and had gotten Juan Pierre out, then the next batter, Jeff Kent, would probably have knocked in only one run with his double. But we will never know for sure since that was not the actual result. It would seem that the offense needs someone or something to break them out of their collective funk, like the Dodgers getting Manny Ramirez have gotten them going. Too bad our cheapskate managment isn’t thinking like that. Double sigh.

The Phillies (64-56, T-1st) will play the final game of their four game set with the Dodgers (61-59, T-1st National League West) tonight. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (5-9, 5.09), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on August 9, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. He has pitched rather well since coming back from his stint in the minors, going 2-0 in four starts, with a 2.10 ERA, while the Phils have gone 1-1 in his other two starts. Against the Dodgers in nine starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. He will be looking to make it four good starts in a row while trying to salvage a win in the series for the Phils and keep them in at least a tie for first place in the East. His opponent will be Hiroki Kuroda (6-8, 4.02), who is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on August 9, where he pitched eight innings, giving up only one earned run on eight hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to help the Dodgers sweep the Phillies, while keeping them at least tied for first in the West.

The Phillies are now tied for first with the Mets as they defeated the Nationals for the second game in a row, while the two teams both lead the Marlins by a game and a half after the Marlins’ lost to the Cardinals. Their lead over the Braves is at nine games as the Braves were swept by the Cubs in a day/night doubleheader. The Phillies will be trying to salvage a win tonight in LA before they head on to San Diego where they will be facing some more tough pitching, hoping against hope that the offense will finally break out of its year long funk. Otherwise, they will be looking up to see themselves trailing the Mets and being just ahead of the fish in the standings.

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