Results tagged ‘ Julian Tavarez ’

Ryan Howard’s two-homer night help rocket the Phils into a 9-6 victory over the Nats, back into first place in the NL East.

Ryan Howard’s two massive home runs, a solo shot and a team record setting grand-slam home run, help leads the Phils to a 9-6 win over the lowly Nationals. The Phils, meanwhile, regain first place from the Mets.

The Nationals took the lead in the second as, with two men on, and one man out, Wil Nieves hits a two run double, knocking in Josh Willingham, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Alberto Gonzalez’s single, and Gonzalez, who had just singled, giving the Nats a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, with Nieves still on second, and now with two men out, Anderson Hernandez hits an RBI single, knocking in Nieves, who beat the throw to the plate, giving the Nats a 3-0 lead, while Hernandez would move up to second on the throw. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, cutting the Nats’ lead to 3-1. In the third, with a runner on second, and one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Cole Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, making it a 3-2 Nats’ lead. After Rollins stole second base, the Phils loaded the bases on a Shane Victorino walk and a Chase Utley infield single. Ryan Howard then clears them with a 475-ft monster to right for a grand-slam home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, his third grand-salm of the season, and the eighth grand-slam of his career, setting a new franchise record, as he scored Rollins, Victorino and Utley before him, giving the Phils a 6-3 lead. In the fourth, the Nats would get one of the runs back, as, with one man on, and nobody out, Gonzalez hits an RBI triple, knocking in Austin Kearns, who had earlier walked, making it a 6-4 Phils lead. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the inning as, with a runner on second, and one man out, Hamels hits an RBI double, knocking in Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead. In the sixth, with a man on, and two men out, pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard hits a pinch hit two-run home run, scoring Kearns, who had earlier singled, had gone to second when Gonzalez was hit by the pitch, and had gone over to third on Nieves’ double play, 5-4-3, wiping out Gonzalez at second, making it 7-6 Phils. The Phils would get those two runs back in their half of the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, a double by Victorino, which sent Dobbs to third, and a walk to Utley, with two men out, Howard would reach base on a fielding error by second baseman Hernandez, allowing both Dobbs and Victorino to score, and Utley to reach third, as the Phils take a 9-6 lead. That would be the final score as the Phillies’ bullpen shut down the Nats for the final three innings, with Brad Lidge notching his eleventh save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth.

Cole Hamels got the victory as he pitched six innings, giving up six runs on eight hits, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out seven. His record is now 3-2 with a 5.21 ERA. Scott Eyre recorded his ninth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two hits. Clay Condrey pitched two-thirds of an inning, recording his fourth hold of the season, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his eleventh hold of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Brad Lidge recorded his eleventh save of the season as he gave up only a hit, while striking out a batter. Shairon Martis took the lost as he pitched only four innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only one. His record is now 5-1 with a 5.62 ERA. Jason Bergmann pitched a scoreless inning. Mike MacDougal pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Ron Villone, Julian Taverez, Kip Wells and Jesus Colome combined for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), a walk (Villone) and two hit batters (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), while striking out four (Tavarez (1), Colome (3)) between them.

The Phillies had ten hits, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard leading the way with two hits each, with both of Howard’s hits being home runs. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels had the Phils’ other four hits. Besides Howard’s five RBIs, Hamels and Rollins both knocked in a run. The Phils had six extra-base hits, four doubles and two home runs. The Phils also stole five bases, with Utley, Rollins, Victorino, Ruiz and Werth each stealing a base. The win gives the Phils a series win, as they now go for the series sweep against the Nationals.

The Phillies (27-20, 1st) will conclude their three-games home stand with an afternoon game against the Nationals (13-35, 5th) that will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (3-5, 7.42), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on May 25, where he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-3 lost. He is still looking for his 250th career win, and for his first victory in over a month. The Nationals will counter with John Lannan (2-4, 4.11), who is coming off a lost on May 25 to the Mets, as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks, in the Nats’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the Phils from sweeping the Nats. The Phillies will be trying to leave home with a winning home stand before going back onto the road, where they have the best record in baseball.

A sixteen-hit attack and a strong effort by J.A. Happ leads to a Phillies win over the hapless Nationals, 5-4.

A strong start by J.A. Happ and a sixteen-hit attack by the Phillies’ offense would lead to a Phils’ victory over the last place Nationals, 5-4.

The Nats took a quick 1-0 lead in the second, as Josh Willingham hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the season. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with two men on, and one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Pedro Feliz’s single, while sending Feliz, who had earlier singled, over to third. The Phils would take the lead in the third as, with two men on, and one man out, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run single, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, and had moved on to third on Chase Utley’s double, and Utley, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. Two batters later, with Ibanez still on first and now with two men out, Feliz hits an RBI triple, knocking in Ibanez, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils would increase their lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and no one out, Utley hits into a 4-6 force out, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled and had gone over to third on Victorino’s single, while Victorino, who had earlier singled, was forced out at second base for the inning’s first out, while Utley was safe at first on the play, giving the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Nats would come back in the sixth as, with two men on, and one man out, Josh Bard hits a two-run double, scoring Willingham, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second when Ryan Zimmerman was hit by the pitch, while sending Zimmerman, who had earlier been hit by a pitch, over to third, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 5-2. One batter later, the Nats would cut the lead down further to 5-3 Phils, as Anderson Hernandez hits an RBI single, scoring Zimmerman from third, before a Werth fielding error on the play allows Bard to score as well, turning it into a 5-4 Phils’ lead, while Hernandez would move up to second base on the error. But that would be the game, as the Phillies’ bullpen would shut the Nats down for the last three innings, with Brad Lidge nailing down his tenth save in the ninth.

J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched five and a third strong innings, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out five. His record is now 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he recorded his fourth hold, as he gave up an unearned run on two hits, while he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre pitched a 1-2-3 inning, as he recorded his eighth hold. Ryan Madson recorded his tenth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out one. Brad Lidge recorded his tenth save as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two batters. Ross Detwiler took the lost as he went four innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and a walk, as he struck out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA. Jason Bergmann, Ron Villone, Mike MacDougal, Joe Beimel and Julian Tavarez combined for four scoreless innings, giving up six hits (Bergmann (1), Villone (2), MacDougal (1), Beimel (2)) and a walk (Beimel), while striking out three Phils (Bergamman, MacDougal and Beimel with a stikeout each).

The Phillies collected sixteen hits in the game, with all of the regulars getting at least one hit. Shane Victorino led the way with four hits as he raised his batting average to .293. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz then followed with two hits each. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard got the other two Phils’ hits. Ibanez knocked in two of the Phils’ runs, while Utley, Feliz and Ruiz each knocked in a run. The Phils had seven extra-base hits in the game, six doubles and a triple.

The Phillies (26-20, 2nd) continue their weekend series with the Nationals (13-34). The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.68), who is coming off his best start of the season on May 24 against the Yankees, as he went six strong innings, giving up just two runs, on eight hits, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-4 extra-inning win. He will be going after his third win of the season. The Nats will counter with Shairon Martis (5-0, 4.86), who is coming off a no-decision against the Orioles on May 24, as he went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks, as he struck out two, in the Nats’ 8-5 win , He will be going for his sixth win of the year. The Phillies will be trying to win their first series at home since their earlier home series win against these same Nationals.

Thanks to a Nats throwing error in the eighth, the Phils finish the sweep, 8-6.

A throwing error by Nats’ reliever Jesus Colome to first on a Pedro Feliz’s bunt leads to a three-runs Phils’ eighth, giving the Phils a series sweep of the Nationals in Washington, as the Phils defeat the hapless Nationals, 8-6.

The Phils took the lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to third base. Shane Victorino made it a 3-0 Phils’ lead, as he hits a two-run double, scoring both Howard and Werth. The Nationals would come back in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and one man out, Adam Dunn hits an RBI double, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Nick Johnson’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Johnson over to third. A wild pitch by Phils’ starter Chan Ho Park would make it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, scoring Johnson, while sending Dunn up to third, with still one man out. Elijah Dukes then tied up the game at three-all as he hits an RBI double, knocking in Dunn. The Nationals took the lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Guzman, Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, and one man out, Dunn received an RBI walk, forcing in Guzman, making it a 4-3 Nats’ lead, while both Johnson and Zimmerman moved up a base. That would be it for Park, as he is replaced on the mound by Jack Taschner. The Nats then took a 5-3 lead, as Willie Harris, who had come into the game in place of Dukes, who had left the game because of an injury, was hit by the pitch, scoring Johnson, while moving up both Zimmerman and Dunn. The Phillies would then get out of the inning as Josh Willingham lined into a 5-4 double play, as Dunn is thrown out while trying to get back to second base. The Phillies came back in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Pedro Feliz, who had earlier singled and had moved to second on Taschner’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 5-4 Nats’ lead. The Phils then tied it at five-all, as, with a runner on second, and still two men out, Utley hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, who had earlier stole second base. The Nats regained the lead in the sixth, as, with runners on the corners, and nobody out, Zimmerman hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had gone over to third on Johnson’s single, making it a 6-5 Nats’ lead. The Phils took back the lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and nobody out, Pedro Feliz puts down a bunt towards third base that was fielded by Jesus Colome, who then threw to first. The throw got past Nats’ first baseman Johnson for an error, which allowed both Werth, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Victorino’s walk, and Victorino, who had just walked, to score, giving the Phils a 7-6 lead, while sending Feliz all the way to third on the error. Two batters later, with Feliz still on third, and one man out, pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett hits a pinch hit double, scoring Feliz, and giving the Phils an 8-6 lead. That would end up being the final score, as Brad Lidge came on in the ninth, with one man on base, Harris, via a walk from Scott Eyre, with one out, who got Willingham to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Harris at second, for his seventh save of the season, and his second save of the series, giving the Phils a series sweep.

Chan Ho Park got a no-decision, lasting only one and a third innings, giving up five runs on five hits, four walks and a wild pitch, while striking out only two. Jack Taschner pitched two and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball, giving up a hit, two walks and hitting a batter, while striking out two. Chad Durbin pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter, as he struck out two. Sergio Escalona got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out one. His record is presently 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Scott Eyre got his sixth hold of the season as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up just a walk, while striking out two. Brad Lidge got his seventh save of the year as he pitched to only one batter, getting him to hit into a double play. Jordon Zimmermann also got a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out six. Ron Villone pitched two scoreless innings. Julian Tavarez took the lost as he pitched to two batters, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk. His record is now 0-3 with an ERA of 6.32. Jesus Colome recorded his first blown save of the year as he pitched one third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless inning and a third, giving up just a hit.

The Phillies collected ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits each. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Eric Bruntlett got the other four hits. Victorino knocked in two runs, while Rollins, Utley, Werth and Bruntlett each knocked in a run. The win gives the Phillies their third sweep of the season, with all three being done on the road. This was also the worst start for Park since joining the Phils, after having two straight quality starts, so his days in the starting rotation may be numbered.

The Phillies (20-16, 2nd) have the day off today before they start a three-games series with the Reds (21-16, 3rd National League Central) tomorrow night in Cincinnati. The Phils hope to continue there hot streak while in Cincinnati.

Phillies win an extra-innings thriller in Washington as they defeat the Nationals, 10-6.

Thanks to a bunch of walks from Nats pitching and some timely hitting, the Phils are finally able to defeat the Nationals in extra-innings, 10-6, hours after meeting the President inside the White House and hours before a day-night doubleheader.

The Phils took the lead in the second, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Pedro Feliz’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Feliz, who had earlier singled, on to third. The Nats tied the game up at one-all in the third, as, with a runner on second, and one man out, Ryan Zimmerman hits an RBI single off of Chase Utley’s glove, scoring Nick Johnson, who had earlier walked, and had gone to second on Phils’ starter Joe Blanton’s wild pitch, and beat a surprised Utley throw to the plate, while Zimmerman would move up to second on the throw. Later, with the bases loaded, thanks to walks to Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, and now with two men out, the Nationals took a 2-1 lead as Anderson Hernandez walked, plating Zimmerman, while moving both Dunn and Kearns up a base, leaving the bases loaded. Wil Neaves then made it a 4-1 Nats lead as he hits a two-run single, scoring both Dunn and Kearnes, while sending Hernandez on to third. The Phils would come back in the sixth, as, with two men on, and two men out, Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Utley, who had earlier been hit by the pitch, and had gone up to second when Ibanez was also hit by a pitch, making it a 4-2 Nats’ lead, while sending Ibanez, who was also hit by a pitch, to third. Ruiz would make it a 4-3 Nats’ lead, as he hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, while sending Feliz up to second. The Phils then took the lead in the seventh, as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard hits a three-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, stole second, and then moved to third on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had just singled. Then in the ninth, the Phils gave the ball to Brad Lidge to close out the game. Sadly, it did not happen, as, with two on, and two men out, Willie Harris hits a two-run double, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to second on Dunn’s grounder to third, which lead to a force out of Johnson, who had earlier singled, as Feliz touched third base for the inning’s second out, but beating the throw to first, making it a six-all tie. The two teams would be unable to do anything in either the tenth or the eleventh, but the Phils would retake the lead in the twelfth, as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Utley, Howard and Jayson Werth, and one man out, Ibanez hits a two-run single, knocking in Utley and Howard, while moving Werth up to second base, giving the Phils an 8-6 lead. Then, with Feliz batting, Werth and Ibanez performed a double steal, which lead to Werth scoring, making it a 9-6 Phils’ lead, as Nats’ catcher Nieves committed a throwing error to center field while trying to throw out Ibanez at second. Feliz then made it a 10-6 Phils’ lead, as Feliz hits an RBI double, scoring Ibanez. That would end up being the final score, as J.A. Happ would get the win, in spite of having some trouble in the inning.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he was only able to pitch five innings, giving up four runs on five hits, six walks and a wild pitch, while striking out five. Chad Durbin followed with a scoreless inning, hitting one batter, while also striking out one. Scott Eyre then recorded his fifth hold, as he pitched two-thirds of an inning. Ryan Madson followed for an inning and a third, recording his sixth hold, striking out one. Brad Lidge recorded his second blown save of the year, as he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Clay Condrey then pitched a scoreless inning. J.A. Happ picked up the win as he pitched two scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, one walk and hitting a batter, while striking out three. His record is now 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA. John Lannan also recorded a no-decision, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on six hits, a walk and two hit batters, as he struck out only two. Garrett Mock pitched to only one batter, giving up a hit. Ron Villone recorded his second hold as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up no hits or walks. Jesus Colome pitched to two batters, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk. Joe Beimel blew his second save of the season, giving up a run on three hits and a balk, while striking out one. Julian Tavarez pitched an inning and a third, giving up only one hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only a hit and a walk, while striking out three. Kip Wells took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA.

The Phils had sixteen hits in the game, as the offense came awake late. Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz lead the team with four hits each, with both me knocking in a pair of runs. Carlos Ruiz followed with three hits, as he also knocked in two runs. Shane Victorino then followed with two hits, breaking out of his slump. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chris Coste got the other three Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a three-run home run, while Coste’s was a pinch hit single. The Phils’ bat seems to wake up after Chad Durbin’s hitting of the Nats’ Nick Johnson in the sixth. If so, hopefully the bats will stay awake beyond their series with Washington.

The Phils (17-16, T-2nd) continue there four-games series in Washington with a day-night doubleheader against the Nationals (11-22, 5th). The first game will be played at Nationals Park with a 1:05 pm Eastern start. The Phils’ starter will be Brett Myers (2-2, 4.81), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on May 10, where he went six innings, allowing only one run on five runs and two walks, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost. He will be trying for his third win of the year. The Nats will counter with Scott Olsen (1-3, 7.00), who is coming off a no-decision against the D-backs, on May 10, giving up five runs on ten hits and three walks, while he struck out two, in the Nationals’ 10-8 lost. The Phils will be looking for their second straight win, while improving on their road record.

Two grand-slams powered the Phils over the Nationals, as they once again come from behind to win, 13-11.

The Phillies, thanks to grand slams by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, were able to defeat the Washington Nationals, 13-11, as starting pitching once again failed them.

Washington took a quick 1-0 lead, as, with the bases loaded via singles to Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns and a walk to Jesus Flores, and with one man out, Alberto Gonzalez knocked in Dunn with a sacrifice fly, while sending Kearns over to third. The next batter, Nationals’ starter Shairon Martis, helped his own cause by hitting an RBI single, knocking in Kearns, while sending Flores over to second base. The Phillies would quickly tie the game up in their half of the second. With runners on second and third, with no one out, Greg Dobbs hits an RBI single, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, and had move to third on Raul Ibanez’s double, while sending Ibanez, who had earlier doubled, over to third. The score was then tied up at two-all as Lou Marson hits into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Dobbs at second, as Ibanez scored. The Nats retook the lead in the third, as, with a runner on first, and no one out, Ryan Zimmerman hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, scoring Nick Johnson, who had earlier walked, making it 4-2 Nationals. Two batters later, Elijah Dukes made it a 5-2 Nationals’ lead as he hits a solo home run, his third home run of the season. It became 6-2 Nationals in the fifth, as Zimmerman hits a lead-off solo home run, his fourth home run of the season, and his second of the ball game. But the Phils would come back to tie it up at six all in their half of the fifth, as with the bases loaded via singles by Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley, with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a grand slam home run to center field, his fourth home run of the season and the sixth grand slam home run of his career, scoring Rollins, Victorino and Utley. But, the Nats regained the lead in the sixth, as with the bases loaded via a double to Anderson Hernandez, an intentional walk to Zimmerman, and a walk to Dunn, with two men out, Dukes walked, bringing in Hernandez, making it 7-6 Nationals. The Phils would tie it up at seven-all in the bottom of the sixth, as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Rollins hits an RBI double on a ball that was misplayed in foul territiory by third baseman Zimmerman that landed fair, scoring Marson, who had earlier walked, and had moved to third base on pinch hitter Pedro Feliz’s double, while Feliz would only end up on third. Sadly, the Phils would be unable to do more damage as Victorino grounded out back to the pitcher, 1-3 for the inning’s first out, and after Utley was hit by the pitch, loading the bases, Howard this time lined out into a double play, 3-unassisted, as Johnson beat Utley back to the bag. The Nationals retook the lead in the top of the eighth, as with a runner on first, and no one out, Johnson hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the year, scoring Hernandez, who had earlier walked, making it 9-7 Nats. Two batters later, with a man on first, and still nobody out, Dunn hits a two-run home run, his fifth home run of the season, scoring Zimmerman, who had earlier walked, to give the Nationals an 11-7 lead. But, the Phils would come right back in their half of the eighth. With runners on second and third, and one out, Victorino hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Feliz, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third base on Rollins’ second double of the night, making it 11-8 Nationals. Utley then hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, and cutting the Nats’ lead down to 11-9. Howard and Werth followed with a pair of walks, loading the bases for Ibanez, with still two men out. On the first swing of the bat, Ibanez hits a fast ball into right field for a grand slam home run, his sixth home run of the year, his eighth career grand slam home run, and the Phils’ second grand slam of the night, as they took the lead 13-11, their first lead of the ball game. Ryan Madson then came into the game to record his first save of the season, as he shut down the Nats, giving up only a single.

Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he lasted only four and a thirds innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three. Jack Taschner pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on on one hit and two walks. Clay Condrey pitched one and one-thirds scoreless innings, giving up a walk, as he struck out two batters. Scott Eyre faced only four batters, giving up four runs on two hits, both home runs, and three walks. J.A. Happ picked up the win as he pitched an inning, giving up no runs, while giving up only a walk. His record is now 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA. Ryan Madson recorded his first save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit, as he struck out two. Shairon Martis also received a no decision, as he went five innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. Julian Tavarez recorded his first blown save of the year, as he allowed a run to score, while pitching one-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits. Mike Hinckley pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs. Kip Wells pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two. Garrett Mock pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out a batter. Joel Hanrahan took the lost as he blew the save for the third time this year, as he gave up three runs on one hit and two walks, as he struck out a batter in a third of an inning. His record is now 0-1 with a 8.64 ERA.

The Phillies had fourteen hits in the game, with both Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez leading the way with three hits apiece. Rollins had a single and two doubles, knocking in a run, while scoring two, as he raised his average up to .192, as he may be showing signs of coming out of his slump. Ibanez had a single, a double and a grand slam home run, the eighth one in his career, as he knocked in four runs, while scoring twice, raising his average to .342. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz each had two hits, with both Victorino and Feliz recording a double. Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs recorded the other two hits, with Howard’s hit being a grand slam home run, his sixth career grand slam, leaving him just one short of the Phillies’ record of seven career grand slams, set by Mike Schmidt. The two grand slams in one game was last done by the Phils on September 9, 2003, when Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels hit grand slams against the Braves. Besides Rollins’ RBI, and the four RBIs posted by both Howard and Ibanez, Victorino, Utley, and Dobbs would record the other three. The Phillies’ pitching staff, after giving up none on Sunday, gave up five home runs last night, three by Blanton, and two by Eyre, which leaves Ryan Madson as the only Phils’ pitcher who has so far not given up a gopher ball. Madson’s stint in the ninth inning occurred because Brad Lidge is presently listed as day-to-day, thanks to inflammation of his right knee. Hopefully this will be a temporary situation as the knee will be checked on today. With the victory, the Phils have now won four games in a row, and are just half a game behind the slumping Marlins, who had lost their seventh straight game to the New York Mets.

The Phillies (10-8, 2nd) will continue their three-games series with the Nationals (4-14, 5th). The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (0-2, 9.69), who is still looking for his first win, as he came off a lost against the Brewers on April 23, where he pitched only three and a thirds innings, after being taken out of the game after being hit by a line drive off his left shoulder off the bat of Prince Fielder. He had at that point given up two runs on four hits and no walks, while striking out six, looking like he was getting back his old form, in the Phils’ 6-1 lost. He will be going for his first win while really lowering his ERA. His opponent will be John Lannan (0-2, 4.43), who is also looking for his first win, as he comes off his second straight no-decision, this time against the Braves on April 22, as he went seven innings, giving up no runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Nationals’ 1-0 lost. He will try to record his first win. The Phillies will try to make it five wins in a row, while hoping that they’ll be ending up in first place for the first time this season.

The Phillies have now won three games in a row as they defeat the Nats in a wild one, 9-8.

Hours after their beloved voice had died in a local Washington hospital, the Phillies hung on to win a wild one in the nation’s capital as they defeat the Nationals, 9-8. The victory gave them their first three games winning streak of the season.

The Nationals took an early lead in the first, as Elijah Dukes hit a two-out RBI double, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled and had stolen second base, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Phillies came back in the second, tying the game up at one apiece on a bases loaded walk to Chris Coste, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, moved to second on a force out attempt, fielding error at second base by second baseman Anderson Hernandez on a Raul Ibanez grounder and a walk to Pedro Feliz. The Phils then took a 2-1 lead as starter Jamie Moyer hit a sacrifice fly to left, as Ibanez crossed the plate ahead of left fielder’s Adam Dunn’s throw to the plate. Washington tied it up at two all in their half of the second as Guzman hit a two-out RBI single, scoring Hernandez who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Nats’ starter Daniel Carbrera’s sacifice bunt. The Phils retook the lead in the top of the third on Shane Victorino’s lead-off home run, his first home run of the year, making it 3-2 Phils. The Phillies made it 4-2 in the fourth as Jimmy Rollins hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Feliz, who had earlier singled to left and had gone to second on Dunn’s fielding error and then moved on to third on Moyer’s ground out, 6-3. The Nationals got one of those runs back in their half of the fourth on a two-out single by Guzman, scoring Lastings Milledge, who had earlier single and stole second, making it a 4-3 Phillies’ lead. The Nats then tied the game up at four all in the fifth as Dukes hit a one-out solo home run, his first home run of the year. The Phils retook the lead for good in the seventh, as Ryan Howard hit a three-run home, his first home run of the year, scoring both Victorino and Chase Utley, who had both reached base after being hit by the pitch, with nobody out, making it 7-4 Phils. Two batters later, with one man out, Ibanez hit a solo shot, his third home run of the season, to make the score 8-4 Phils. In the bottom half of the inning, the Nats got two of the runs back on an one-out, two-run home run by Dunn, his second home run of the season, scoring Guzman, who had earlier singled, making it an 8-6 Phils’ lead. The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth, as Victorino hit a sacrifice fly, scoring pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett, who had earlier doubled and moved to third on a Rollins’ ground out, 4-3. In the ninth inning, the Nats made the game close as Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run home run, with no one out, his second home run of the season, off of closer Brad Lidge, knocking in pinch runner Alberto Gonzalez, who was pinch running for Guzman, who had earlier singled, making it a 9-8 Phillies’ lead. But that would be the final score as Lidge went on to strike out Dunn on five pitches, get Dukes to strike out on four pitches and then get Nick Johnson to ground out to Howard for the final out, to record his third save of the season.

Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched a good game for the Phillies, going six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 1-1 with a too high ERA of 6.55. Clay Condrey pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits. Scott Eyre went a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson then pitched a scoreless eighth inning, holding the lead as he struck out two. Brad Lidge recorded his third save of the year as he went one inning, giving up two runs on two hits, as he struck out two men. Daniel Carbera got a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and two walks, while striking out only two batters. Julian Tavarez then pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, as he struck out two. Mike Hinckley then pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Saul Rivera took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up four runs on two hits and two hit batters, as he struck out one Phil. His record is now 0-1 with a 8.44 ERA. Wilfredo Ledezma would pitch an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only one hit.

The Phils collected ten hits in the game, with Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez leading the way with two hits each. Howard and Ibanez both hit home runs, with Howard’s being a three-run blast and Ibanez’s a solo shot, while Ibanez also hit a double. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Pedro Feliz and Eric Bruntlett had the Phils’ other four hits, with Victorino’s hit being a solo home run, while Rollins and Bruntlett’s hits were doubles. Besides Howard’s three RBI’s and Ibanez’s one, Victorino knocked in two, the second one on a sac fly, Rollins knocked in a run, Jamie Moyer plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Coste brought in one on a bases loaded walk. Howard raised his batting average to .345 and Werth increased his to .357 with their two hits, while Feliz is now hitting .364 thanks to his lone hit. Utley’s batting average dropped down to .400 as he went 0 for 4 in the game. 

The Phillies (4-3) have the day off tomorrow. Although they were originally schedule to go to the White House to meet the President, that function has been cancelled because of Harry Kalas’ death earlier this afternoon. The next Phillies’ game will be played against the Nationals (0-7) Wednesday night from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (0-1, 15.75), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on April 9, when he went only four innings, giving up nine runs on eleven hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Phils 12-11 come from behind win. Blanton will be looking to improve upon his previous start. The Nationals’ starter is yet to be announced. The Phils will be looking to make it four wins in a row on Wednesday.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 4: Brett Myers has second straight bad outing as the Phillies lose to the Braves, 10-4. Mets lost drops Phillies’ magic number to 3.

For his second straight start, Brett Myers will be unable to get through the fifth inning as the Braves would bust the game wide open on a Chipper Jones’ pinch hit three-run home run in a six run fifth, as the Phillies fall to the Braves, 10-4. A Mets lost to the Cubs in extra-innings still leaves the Phillies ahead in the East by a game and a half while the magic number to clinch the East drops down to three. The Braves would score first in the first inning as, with two men on and no one out, Martin Prado would hit a RBI single, scoring Josh Anderson, who has earlier doubled, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead, while sending Kelly Johnson, who has earlier singled, to move on to second base. One out later, after Johnson has stolen third, as Brain McCann strikes out, to put runners on the corners, Casey Kotchman would make it 2-0 Braves, as he would hit a RBI single, scoring Johnson, and sending Prado to third. Phillies’ starter Brett Myers would finally get out of the inning by getting Omar Infante to hit into a double play, 1-6-3, cutting down Kotchman at second. The Phillies would get a run back in the second as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier doubled and has went to third on Shane Victorino’s ground ball to Braves’ second baseman Johnson, who would then commit a fielding error that would allow Victorino to reach base, making it 2-1 Braves, while Victorino would go to second. Chris Coste would then end the inning by hitting into a 6-4-3 double play, cutting down Feliz at second. The Braves would make it 3-1 in the third, as, with a runner on third and one out, Kotchman would hit into an out to Ryan Howard, for the second out of the inning, scoring McCann, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third as Jayson Werth threw out Prado, who has earlier singled, when he tried to score on McCann’s double, with Coste supplying the tag, for the inning’s first out. The Phillies would get it back in their half of the third, when, with two outs, Chase Utley would hit a solo home run, his thirty-third home run of the year, cutting the lead to 3-2 Braves. The Phillies would tie it up in the fourth as Howard would hit a lead off home run, his forty-seventh home run of the year. Burrell would then follow with a double. After a Victorino fly out to right would move Burrell to third, Braves’ manager Bobby Cox would come out and relieve Braves’ starter Jo-Jo Reyes and replace him with Buddy Carlyle. Carlyle would then proceed to strand Burrell at third as he first get Feliz to strike out for the inning’s second out and then get Coste to end the inning by grounding out, 6-3. The Braves would then retake the lead in the fifth. After getting the lead-off batter to fly out, Myers would give up a walk to Prado. McCann would follow with a RBI double, scoring Prado, and giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. After Myers intentionally walk Kotchman, Charlie Manuel would take out Myers and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would get the next batter, Infante, to hit a grounder to Howard. Instead of getting the sure out at first, Howard would throw to second, trying to force out Kotchman. Sadly, the plan backfired as the ball hit Kotchman and would go into right field, allowing McCann to score, making it a 5-3 Braves’ lead, with Kotchman safe at second and Infante on first thanks to Howard’s throwing error. This would become important as Durbin would strike out Jeff Francoeur for the inning’s second out, as it could’ve been the inning’s final out if Howard had gone to first and not second, leaving the Phillies’ trailing by one run. The next batter, Brandon Jones would then hit a RBI single, scoring Kotchman, giving the Braves a 6-3 lead and putting Infante on second. Chipper Jones is then sent out to pitch hit for Carlyle. Durbin is then replaced with Scott Eyre, whom the Phillies hope would be able to handle C. Jones. Sadly, he would not as C. Jones would hit a 2-1 fastball into the left field seats for a three-run home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, knocking in both Infante and B. Jones, and giving the Braves a 9-3 lead. Eyre would then end the inning by striking out Anderson. That six run fifth inning would seem to take the fight out of the Phillies, as they would be unable to mount anything against the Braves’ relievers. The Braves, in the meantime, would tack on an extra run in the eighth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Prado would hit a RBI single, scoring Anderson, who has earlier walked, and has stolen second, to give the Braves a 10-3 lead, The Phillies would get a run back in their half of the eighth, as, with runners on second and third, and one out, Burrell, who has earlier walked, would score on McCann’s pass ball, making it a 10-4 Braves’ lead, and sending Victorino, who has earlier double, to move to third. But that was where he would stay as Braves’ reliever Julian Taveraz would strike out pinch hitter Greg Dobbs for the inning’s second out and then strikes out pinch hitter Matt Stairs to end the inning. The Phillies would then go down 1-2-3 in the ninth to end the ballgame.

Brett Myers would take the lost as he would only be able to go four and one third innings, giving up six run, four of which were earned, on ten hits. His record is now 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two runs, neither of which were earned, on one hit while striking out a batter. Scott Eyre would pitch and inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jo-Jo Reyes would get a no decision, as he pitches three and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Buddy Carlyle would get the win as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 2-0 with a 3.77 ERA. Vladimir Nunez would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Jorge Julio would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Julian Taveraz would pitch an inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit and a walk. Manny Acosta would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The Phillies’ offense has once again gone silent for most of the night, being unable to do any real damage on Jo-Jo Reyes before he got yanked in the bottom of the fourth inning, and then being kept quiet for most of the night by the Braves’ bullpen. Of course, Brett Myers being unable to put down the Braves earlier in the night didn’t help matters and Ryan Howard’s fielding blunder of throwing to second base for the force instead of going to first for the sure out would open up the flood gates that would turn the game into a blow out in the fifth inning thanks to Chipper Jones’ pinch hit three-run home run. Sigh, I hate reruns like this. I wonder why this team never make pennant winning easy or fast. Luckily, a Mets’ lost to the Cubs in extra-innings has dropped the Phillies magic number down to three. Anyway, with the day off today they should be able to regroup and forget this series before they meet the Nationals for the final three games of the season, starting tomorrow, weather permitting, as a big storm is heading in the direction of both Philadelphia and New York, which could play a factor in both the Phillies-Nationals and the Mets-Marlins series. I guess we’ll see what develops by friday night.

The Phillies are still a game and a half ahead of the Mets as they lost to the Cubs in extra-innings, with one more game to play in their four games series tonight. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets and the Brewers are now tied for the lead as the Brew Crew defeated the Pirates, with one more game left in their series. This bring up several interesting scenarios for the start of tomorrow night’s series (Phillies-Nationals, Mets-Marlins, Brewers-Cubs): 1) A Mets lost to the Cubs and a Brewers lost to the Pirates would place the Mets two games behind the Phillies and leaving both teams two games behind the Phillies in the wild card (the best of the four scenarios); 2) A Mets lost and a Brewers victory would put the Mets two games behind the Phillies and a game behind the Brewers in the wild card (the preferred scenario as it would force the Mets to get past two teams); 3) A Mets win and a Brewers lost would put the Mets a game behind the Phillies and a game ahead of the Brewers (bad, as it will put the pressure back on the Phillies to try to win two against the pesky Nationals); and 4) both the Mets and the Brewers win, putting the Mets a game behind in the East and both teams a game behind the Phillies in the wild card (very bad as the Phllies will have to worry about both teams). While I prefer scenario number two, I would rather the Phillies would just go out and cream the Nationals and let everything else just sort itself out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 10: Pat Burrell’s two-run blast leads to the third series sweep of the Braves at Turner Field.

A two-run blast by Pat Burrell would be the difference as the Phillies sweep the Braves for the third time at Turner Field, the first time that this has happened to the Braves since the Cubs did it to them in 1909 when they were known as the Boston Doves. The win keep the Phils a half game in front of the Mets in the East as the Mets crushed the Nationals last night. The Phillies would take the lead in the first as, with one out and a man on first, Jayson Werth would hit a RBI double, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to give the Phils a quick 1-0 lead. Werth would then go to third base on Braves’ center fielder Josh Anderson’s fielding error. Ryan Howard would then bring Werth home with a sacrifice fly, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Braves would get a run back in their half of the first as, with a runner on first and two outs, Brian McCann would hit a RBI double of his own, scoring Chipper Jones, who has earlier walked, to make it a 2-1 Phillies’ lead. The Braves would then tie it in the second as Casey Kotchman would hit a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Braves’ starter Mike Hampton and Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels, with neither pitcher bending, especially Hamels as the Braves would have man on base during all six innings that he would eventually pitch. The Phillies would take the lead for good in the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one out, Pat Burrell would hit a two-run blast into the left field seats, his thirty-second home run of the year, and his 250th of his career as a Phil, third on the team’s all-time list, knocking in Howard, who was safe on a force out, giving the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The Braves would get one run back in a very wierd seventh inning. After Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Hamels, has struck out the first two Braves’ batters on six pitches, Kelly Johnson would reach base on a grounder to Howard that was originally called an error as the ball would be deflected by Howard, since Howard should’ve been able to make the play, except that he might have gotten distracted by Johnson’s bat as it got broken by Madson’s 0-2 sinker and part of it flew in his direction, but would later be called a single by the scorer. Jones would then walk, putting Johnson on second. McCann would then hit a fly ball to left, which should’ve been handled by Burrell, but he would be called off by Jimmy Rollins who would end up dropping the ball for an error, allowing Johnson to score, making it 4-3 Phillies, and for Jones to move up to third while McCann was safe at first. After McCann is replaced at first by pinch runner Brent Lillibridge, Lillibridge would go to second on Madson’s wild pitch, putting the go ahead run in scoring position. But that would be as far as the Braves would get as Madson would get Omar Infante to pop out to third for the inning’s third out. The Phillies would fail to add an insurance run in both the eighth and ninth innings, while J.C. Romero would keep the Braves from doing any damage in the bottom of the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, Brad Lidge would be given the ball, and unlike Tuesday’s night wild ninth, he would put down the Braves 1-2-3 for his thirty-eighth save of the year in thirty-eight tries.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he would go six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five. His record is now 14-9 with an ERA of 3.10. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit and a walk, while striking out two. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Brad Lidge would get his thirty-eighth save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two. Mike Hampton would take the lost as he goes seven innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits. His record is now 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA. Julian Tavarez and Jeff Bennett would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit (Tavarez) and walking a man each.

Although the Phillies’ bat weren’t as damaging as they were in the first two games, they were able to outscore the Braves as they accomplish something that has not been done to the Braves for 99 years, since the Cubs beat them in eleven home games when they were known as the Boston Doves in 1909: sweep the Braves in their home ball park in three straight home series. Also, this is the first time since 1943, when the Braves were still playing in Boston, that the Braves have lost nine home games to another franchise. This was mainly because the Phillies’ pitchers were able to keep the Braves from being able to score after getting a runner on base, since they had at least one man get on base in the first eight innings before Lidge would come in and get a 1-2-3 inning on thirteen pitches. The offensive star of the night was Pat Burrell as he was the only man in the line up to get two hits, as he went 2 for 3 with a single and a home run, his 250th as a Phil, putting him in third place on the team’s all time list and 9 home runs behind Del Ennis. The rest of the starters would get at least a hit, except for Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, who would both take the collar, although they both would reach base with a walk, while Howard would knock in a run with a sacrifice fly. The presently hot Phillies will need to stay hot, taking their seven games winning streak as they face an equally hot Marlins team who have won their last eight games, as they see their pennant hopes slowly slipping away.

The Phillies (86-67) will played their last three games set on the road as they face the third place Marlins (80-72). The first game of the series will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (10-11, 4.06), who is coming off a complete game victory against the Brewers on September 14, as he gave up an earned run on two hits, in the Phillies’ 6-1 win in the nightcap of a day/night doubleheader. Since coming back from his minor league assignment, Myers has been red hot, going 7-2 and two no-decisions in eleven starts, with an ERA of 1.80. One of those two losts, sadly, came at the hands of the Marlins on September 10, as he went seven and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 lost. The numbers are deceptive, though, as Myers controlled the fish for the first six innings, giving up just three runs in those innings, but getting almost no support from the Phillies’ bat, especially after they had tied the game in the fifth. Myers will be looking to even his overall record and for his eighth win since his return, while hoping that the Phillies will this time give him some runs support against the fish. The Marlins will counter with Josh Johnson (5-1, 3.30), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 13, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 4-2 win. In his previous start against the Phillies on August 5 he picked up a win as he went six innings, giving up no runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 8-2 win. He will be trying to extend the Marlins’ eight games winning streak while snapping the Phillies’ seven games winning streak.

The Phillies are still a half game ahead of the Mets, as the Mets, after defeating the Nationals last night, head on to Atlanta for a three games series. They are still five and a half games ahead of the Marlins, who have finished sweeping the Astros and will now host the Phils. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets lead over the Brewers is now a game and a half as the Brewers lost to the Cubs in extra-innings. The Brewers will now face the Reds in Cincinnati for three games. The Mets now lead the hot Marlins and the fading Astros by five games, as the fish host the Phillies while the Astros will play the Pirates for three games. The Phillies will be looking to continue their winning streak and to increase their lead in the Eastern Division while trying to end the Marlins’ pennant hopes in both the division and the wild card.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 12: Ryan Howard’s home run is the different in a wild game in Atlanta as the Phillies defeat the Braves, 8-7. Phils once again lead in the Eastern Division.

In a wild game in Atlanta, a Ryan Howard home run would be the difference as the Phillies would hang on to defeat the Braves, 8-7. A Mets lost to the Nationals would put the Phils back into first place in the National League East by a half game. The Phillies would take the lead in the third as, with one man out and with a runner on second, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier with a double, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. This would be the first run to be scored off of Braves’ starter rookie James Parr in three starts. The Phillies would make it a 3-0 lead as Jayson Werth would follow with a two-run home run, his career high twenty-third home run of the year, scoring Utley. Ryan Howard would then follow with a single. After Pat Burrell strikes out for the inning’s second out, Shane Victorino would follow with a double. Unfortunaltely, Howard would be thrown out at the plate trying to score on a good throw from Braves’ right fielder Jeff Francoeur to second baseman Martin Prado to catcher Brian McCann, who would supply the tag on Howard for the final out of the inning. The Braves would come back in their half of the third as Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer would have the first of his two bad innings of the night. After striking out Parr for the inning’s first out, Moyer would hit Josh Anderson, sending him to first. Anderson would then move up to second on a Moyer’s wild pitch. Moyer would then walk Prado, putting men on first and second with one out. Chipper Jones would then follow with a single, loading up the bases. McCann would then hit a RBI single, scoring Anderson, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-1, while leaving the bases loaded as Prado and Jones would each move up only one base. Moyer would then strike out Omar Infante for the inning’s second out. Casey Kotchman would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Prado and Jones, tying up the game at three all, while moving McCann up to third. Moyer would finally get out of the inning by getting Francoeur to fly out. The Phillies would retake the lead in the fourth as, with one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a solo home run, his fourth home run of the year, making it 4-3 Phillies. The Phils would then threaten to score again in the fifth as Werth and Howard would both single with one out, putting runners on first and second. Bobby Cox would then come out to remove Parr and replace him with Buddy Carlyle. Carlyle would proceed to strike out Burrell for the inning’s second out, then get Victorino to ground out 3-1 to end the threat. In the sixth, Moyer would have the second of his bad innings. After getting Kotchman to ground out, 4 to 3, for the inning’s first out, Moyer would give up a single to Francoeur. Moyer would then walk both Brent Lillibridge and pinch hitter Greg Norton to load the bases. Anderson would then hit a sharp ball towards first that would be caught by Howard who would then beat Anderson to the bag for the inning’s second out, as Francoeur scored, tying the game at four runs apiece, while moving both Lillibridge and Norton up a base. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout and take out Moyer, replacing him with Chad Durbin to try and put out the fire. Sadly, Durbin would be unable to do so, as he would give up a single to pinch hitter Kelly Johnson, knocking in both Lillibridge and Norton, giving the Braves a 6-4 lead, while Johnson would go to second on Victorino’s throw to the plate that would bounce off the mound, allowing Johnson to move up a base. That would come back to haunt the Phillies later in the inning, as, after Durbin intentionally walks Jones, Manuel would come back out to replace him with Scott Eyre to face McCann. That move wouldn’t work as McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Johnson, making it now 7-4 Braves, while sending Jones to second. Eyre would finally end the inning by getting Infante to hit into a force out, 6-4. The Phillies would strike back in the seventh, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Howard would hit a deep fly ball to left that would be misplayed by Infante, thus becoming a RBI triple, while scoring Werth, who has earlier singled, cutting the Braves’ lead to 7-5. Cox would then come out and replace Jeff Bennett with Will Ohman. After striking out Burrell for the inning’s second out, Ohman would give up a RBI single to Victorino, scoring Howard and making it a 7-6 Braves’ lead. Pedro Feliz would then reach base on a throwing error by shortstop Lillibridge, as he threw the base past Prado on a force out attempt, allowing Victorino to reach second. But after Ohman walks pinch hitter Greg Dobbs to load the bases, he would finally end the inning by getting pinch hitter Matt Stairs to ground out, 3 to 1. The Phillies would then retake the lead for good in the eighth, as with a runner on first with two outs, Howard would hit his major league leading forty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Werth, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies an 8-7 lead. In the ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge for the save. But, it would not be easy. Lidge would start off the inning by walking Jones. Lidge would then get McCann to pop out to Utley under the Infield Fly Rule, although Utley would pretend to miss the ball, to try for a force out, but the umpire wouldn’t go for it. The next batter, Infante, would then hit a sharp ground ball to Feliz. Although hit hard enough for a double play ball, Feliz would only have one play, to first, throwing out Infante, as Jones was running on the play, reaching second safely. Lidge would then proceed to walk both Kotchman and Francoeur to load the bases, with two men out, for Gregor Blanco. Lidge would then strike out Blanco swinging on a 2-2 slider, ending the game as he finally records his thirty-seventh save in thirty-seven tries.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision, as he would goes five and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits while walking four and striking out six, as he would have two very bad innings that would hurt him. Chad Durbin would pitch to two batters, getting neither of them out, as he gives up an earned run on a hit and walks a batter. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Ryan Madson would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while striking out three. His record is now 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, although he would give up three walks while striking out one as he records his thirty-seventh save of the year. James Parr would also get a no-decision, as he is able to last only four and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on ten hits. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief, giving up no hits while striking out two. Will Ohman would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Jeff Bennett would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on a hit. Julian Tavarez would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on no hits and a walk. Mike Gonzalez would get the lost as he receives his second blown save of the year as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up an earned run, Ryan Howard’s home run, on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 4.25 ERA. Jorge Julio would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits while walking a batter as he struck out the side. 

Two bad innings almost did in Jamie Moyer and the Phillies as Moyer would lose control of his stuff in both the third and the sixth innings, giving up three runs in both, as he gave up in those two innings four singles and four walks, along with a hit batsman. But this time the offense would refuse to die, thanks to Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. The game’s star, a red hot Howard, would be a double short of hitting the cycle, as he went four for five, getting two singles, a triple and a home run, knocking in three runs while scoring two. Victorino would follow by going three for five with two singles and a double, knocking in a run. Jayson Werth would be next as he went three for four, getting two singles and a home run, knocking in two runs while scoring three. Jimmy Rollins would go two for five with a single and a double, scoring a run. Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley would also contribute with a home run (Ruiz) and a RBI double (Utley). The only ones who would not contribute would be Pedro Feliz, who would get on base with a walk, and Shane Victorino would go 0 for five, striking out all five times. In a fourteen hit attack, half of the hits would be for extra-bases (2B (3), 3B (1), HR (3)), showing that the Phillies’ offense, in general, is hot at the moment, a situation that will hopefully last to the end of the year.

The once again first place Phillies (84-67) will play the second of their three games against the fourth place Braves (67-84) tonight. The game will be played at Turner Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound, in place of the presently ineffective Kyle Kendrick, rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 5.71), who will be making his third start for the Phillies, still looking for his first major league win. His last appearance was in relief against the Marlins on September 9, as he would pitch three and a third innings in relief of Kendrick, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 10-8 lost. His last start was a no-decision on July 9 against the Cardinals, where he went six and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. The Phillies have won both of his starts, although he would receive no-decisions in both games. He will be trying for his first win while trying to keep the Phils in first place as he face the Braves for the first time in his short major league career. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens (13-9, 3.62), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on September 11, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-4 win. He has faced the Phillies two previous times, winning his last meeting against them on July 25, as he went eight innings, giving up no runs on just three hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 win. His record this year against the Phillies is 1-1. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to put an end to the Phillies’ seven games winning streak at Turner Field.

With the win, the Phillies jump back into first place, a half game ahead of the Mets who lost last night, 1-0, to the Nationals. They are still five and a half games over the Marlins, who defeated the Astros. The Phillies’ win and the Mets lost would put the Mets back into the Wild Card race, where they now have a half game lead over the Brewers, after their lost to the Cubs, who are out to clinch the National League Central Division this week. With eleven games left in the season, the Phillies are out to extend their present winning streak to six games and their winning streak at Turner Field to eight games, while hoping to extend their lead over the Mets in the East.

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