Results tagged ‘ Lance Berkman ’

2011 National League Divisional Series, Game #3: The Phils retake the series lead thanks to Ben Francisco’s pinch hit three-run home run, as they hang on to defeat the Cards, 3-2.

The Phils retake the lead in the divisional series as they ride Ben Francisco’s pinch hit three-run home run, before hanging on to defeat the Cards, 3-2.

The first six innings of the game featured a pitchers’ duel between Cards’ starter Jaime Garcia, who kept the Phils off-balance, while giving up only four hits and a walk, while striking out three, and Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who would pitch himself out of trouble in the first, fourth and sixth innings, as he gave up just five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. The Phils then put pressure on Garcia in the seventh as Shane Victorino got on base with a single, before going to second base on a Yadier Molina passed ball, before Garcia got the next two batters out with a fly out to right (John Mayberry, Jr.) and a ground out (Placido Polanco), 5-3. After Carlos Ruiz is intentionally walked, the Phils sent Ben Francisco to pinch hit for Hamels. After getting a ball, Francisco drills one into the Phils’ bullpen in left, to give the Phils a 3-0 lead on his pinch hit home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in both Victorino and Ruiz. The Cards then started a comeback in their half of the seventh. After Vance Worley started the inning off by getting Rafael Furcal to ground out, 3-unassisted, for the inning’s first out, he walks Allen Craig, before giving up a single to Albert Pujols, which would send Craig up to second base. Lance Berkman then followed by hitting into a force out, 4-6, that would wipe out Pujols at second base for the inning’s second out, while Craig would reach third base, while Berkman would be safe at first, putting runners on the corners. The Cards then got on the board as David Freese hits an RBI single to center, knocking in Craig, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1, while sending Berkman up to second base. Worley would finally end the inning by getting Molina to fly out to right. After the Phils are kept from scoring in the top of the eighth, the Cards attempted a rally in their half of the eighth as Ryan Theriot started the inning off with a single. Charlie Manuel then came out and replaced Worley with Antonio Bastardo, who then proceeded to get pinch hitter Nick Punto to fly out to center for the inning’s first out. Manuel then came back out and replaced Bastardo with Brad Lidge. That move seems to backfire as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Matt Holliday, moving Theriot up to second base, before he is replaced at first by pinch runner Adron Chambers. The next batter, Furcal, then loaded up the bases with a single to left, sending Theriot on to third base, while Chambers would stop at second base. Manuel then came back out, and took out Lidge, replacing him with his closer Ryan Madson. That move was rewarded with Craig hitting into a 4-3 doubleplay, as Furcal is wiped out at second base, to end the threat. After the Phils are unable to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Madson went back out to attempt a five-out save. He is greeted with a lead-off double by Pujols, which was his fourth hit of the ballgame, and his third double of the game. After Madson gets Berkman to fly out to center for the inning’s first out, he gets Freese to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, as Pujols moved up to third. Now, with a man on third, Madson tried to get out Molina to end the game. Molina, instead, hits the first pitch he saw into center field for an RBI single, knocking in Pujols, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. After Molina is replaced by pinch runner Kyle Lohse, Madson went after Theriot, who had already been on base with four hits, all singles. But, he wasn’t able to get hit no. five as Madson got him to ground out, 4-3, for the final out, collecting his first save of the series.

Cole Hamels (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and three walks, while striking out eight. Vance Worley received his first hold of the series as he pitched an inning plus a batter, giving up a run on three hits. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Brad Lidge pitched to two batters, giving up two hits. Ryan Madson collected his first save of the series as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a run on two hits, as he recorded a very rare five-out save. Jaime Garcia (0-1, 3.86) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out three. Fernando Salas and Jason Motte combined for two scoreless innings, as they gave up a hit (Motte), while striking out a batter (Motte), between them.

The Phils had only seven hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Chase Utley (Single), Shane Victorino (Single), Placido Polanco (Single, his first hit of the series), Carlos Ruiz (single, his first hit of the series) and pinch hitter Ben Francisco (Home Run, his first hit of the series, 3 RBIs), had the other five Phils’ hits, with Francisco becoming the surprising hero of the game with his pinch hit shot to left.

The Phils, now with a 2-1 game lead in the divisional series, will continue the series with the Cards (2-1) in St. Louis. The game will be played in Busch Stadium (III) and will begin at 6:07 pm EDT (5:07 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69), who will be trying to pitch the Phils into the NL Championship Series for the fourth straight year. The Cards will attempt to counter with Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79), who will be trying to force a fifth game back in Philly. The Phils will be trying to clinch their fourth straight appearance in the NL Championship Series, hoping that Oswalt will be at his best while the offense will do what it can to give him much needed run support, while watching out for the Cards putting out all the stops to force a game five.

2011 National League Divisional Series, Game #1: The Phils offense romp behind their ace, as they rout the Cards, 11-6.

After trailing early, the Phils’ offense roar for eleven runs in support of the team’s ace, Roy Halladay, as they rout the Cards, 11-6.

The Cards took a quick 3-0 lead as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lance Berkman hits the first pitch he saw into the right field seats for a three-run home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in Rafael Furcal, who had started the game off with a single, before stealing second base, and Albert Pujols, who had just walked on four pitches. The Phils got a run back in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino, after being given an extra life as third baseman David Freese committed a pop foul error, hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier doubled, the Phils’ first hit of the game, after being put down 1-2-3 in the first three innings by Cards’ starter Kyle Lohse, cutting the Cards’ lead down to 3-1, while sending Ryan Howard, who had just been walked, up to second base. The Phils then took the lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Howard hits a three-run bomb to right, his first home run of the series, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Hunter Pence’s single, and Pence, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. Two batters later, after Victorino had reached base with his second single of the ballgame, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run bomb of his own, his first home run of the series, knocking in Victorino, giving the Phils a 6-3 lead. The Phils then added to their lead in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Roy Halladay, Rollins, his second of the game, sending Halladay up to second base, and Utley, his second hit of the ballgame, moving both Halladay and Rollins up a base, and with one man out, as Pence hits into a force out, 1-2, as Halladay is thrown out at the plate, while Rollins and Utley both moved up a base, Howard hits a sacrifice fly, which had sounded like it would leave the ballpark, scoring Rollins, giving the Phils a 7-3 lead. The Phils then made it an 8-3 lead as Victorino hits an RBI single, his third hit of the ballgame, scoring Utley, while sending Pence up to second base. The Phils then took a 9-3 lead as Ibanez hits an RBI single, his second hit of the game, knocking in Pence, while sending Victorino on to third base. The Phils then made it an 11-3 lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Pence hits a two-run single, his second hit of the game, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Utley’s double, and Utley, who had just doubled, his second double of the ballgame, and his third hit. The Phils in the ninth then gave the ball to Michael Stutes, his first post-season appearance, after Halladay had put down twenty-one straight Cards, after giving up a lead-off single in the second to Skip Schumaker, starting with a fantastic play by Howard on a grounder hit to him by Jon Jay for a 1-3 put out, to close out the game. But it wasn’t to be as, four batters latter, with runners on the corners, thanks to a walk to Allen Craig, a single by Pujols, as he moved Craig up to second base, before he is then replaced by pinch runner Gerald Laird, and then a force out on a grounder hit by Berkman, 4-6, as Laird is wiped out at second base, as Craig reached third, and with two men out, the Cards made it an 11-4 Phils’ lead as pinch hitter Adron Chambers hits an RBI single, knocking in Craig, while sending Berkman up to second base. After the Cards had loaded up the bases on a single by Yadier Molina, moving up a base both Berkman and Chambers, and still with one man out, Phils manager Charlie Manuel decided to replace Stutes with his closer Ryan Madson. Schumaker greets Madson with a two-run double, on a ball that glances off of John Mayberry, Jr’s glove in left, then went all the way to the fence, knocking in both Berkman and Chambers, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 11-6, while sending Molina on to third. But that would be it as Madson buckled down and proceeded to strike out, swinging, both Jay and pinch hitter Matt Holliday, for the final outs.

Roy Halladay (1-0, 3.38) gets the win as he pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Michael Stutes pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk. Ryan Madson pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Kyle Lohse (0-1, 8.44) took the lost as he went five and one-third innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four. Octavio Dotel pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out both men that he would face. Marc Rzepczynski pitched to three batters, getting out none, as he gave up three runs on three hits. Mitchell Boggs pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Arthur Rhodes pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face.

The Phils’ offense, after a slow start, pounded out fourteen hits, with Shane Victorino (Singles, 2 RBIs) and Chase Utley (Single, 2 Doubles) both leading the team with three hits each. Jimmy Rollins (Singles), Hunter Pence (Singles, 2 RBIs), and Raul Ibanez (Home Run, Single, 3 RBIs) all followed with two hits apiece. Ryan Howard (Home Run,  4 RBIs) and Roy Halladay (Single), had the other two Phils’ hits, as Howard had his first post-season RBIs since 2009.

The Phils (1-0) will continue their divisional series with the Cards (0-1) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to begin at 8:37 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (17-8, 2.40), who will be out to lead the Phils to a sweep at home. The Cards will counter with Chris Carpenter (11-9, 3.45), who will be pitching on three days rest, trying to send the Cards back to St. Louis with a split. The Phils will be going out to put themselves in the driver seat, planning to beat up on Carpenter, when the series heads for St. Louis.

33 games in 31 days: Game #23: The Phils’ offense rally too late as they lose to the Cardinals, 4-3.

The Phils’ rally in the ninth comes up a run short as they lose to the Cardinals, 4-3.

The Cardinals took the lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Nick Punto hits an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, knocking in Rufael Furcal, who had started the game off with a double, then went to third on Carlos Ruiz’s passed ball, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, the Cardinals, now with two men out, took a 2-0 lead as Lance Berkman hits a solo home run, his thirty-first home run of the year. The Phils got a run back in the second as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then was safe at second on a force attempt fielding error on a Ross Gload grounder committed by second baseman Punto, cutting the Cards’ lead down to 2-1, while sending Gload, who was safe at first on the error, up to second base. The Cards got the run back in the third as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Berkman hits an RBI single, scoring Kyle Lohse, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Furcal’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4, giving the Cards a 3-1 lead, while sending Punto, who had just walked, on to second base. The Cards then added to their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with two men out, Albert Pujols hits an RBI double, scoring Punto, who had just walked, giving the Cards a 4-1 lead. The Phils tried to come back in the ninth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI triple, scoring Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-2 Cards’ lead. Shane Victorino then knocked Rollins in with an RBI ground out, 6-3, making it a 4-3 Cardinals’ lead. But that would end up being the final score as Octavio Dotel recorded his third save of the year by getting Hunter Pence to ground out, 5-3, for the final out.

Roy Halladay (18-6, 2.41) took the lost as he went eight innings, giving up four runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six. David Herndon pitched a scoreless inning, as he gave up a hit, while striking out two. Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.47) got the win as he pitched seven and a third innings, giving up an unearned run on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out five. Marc Rzepczynski recorded his eighteenth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Jason Motte also recorded his eighteenth hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter. Arthur Rhodes pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Octavio Dotel recorded his third save of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face.

The Phils had ten hits in the ballgame, with Hunter Pence (Singles), Ross Gload (Single, Double) and Carlos Ruiz (Single, Double, RBI) all leading the team with two hits each. Jimmy Rollins (Triple, RBI), Shane Victorino (Single, RBI), Chase Utley (Single), and Placido Polanco (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits.

The Phils (98-54, 1st) begin their final home stand of the regular season with the first of two games with the Nationals (72-79, 4th), that’s already in progress.

33 games in 31 days: Game #21: The Phils offense exploded late on their way to clinching their fifth straight NL Eastern Division pennant, as they crush the Cardinals, 9-2.

A late offensive surge, including a grand-slam home run by Raul Ibanez, leads the Phils to their fifth straight NL Eastern Division crown, as they crush the Cardinals, 9-2.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men, Hunter Pence hits an RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Shane Victorino’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Ryan Howard, who had just walked, on to third base.  The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk by Placido Polanco, who then reached second base on a force attempt missed catch error by shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Roy Oswalt grounder to pitcher Jake Westbrook, with Oswalt reaching first, and a single by Rollins, sending Polanco to third base, and Oswalt to second base, and with one man out, Victorino forced in a run with a walk, scoring Polanco, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending both runners up a base. The Phils added to their lead in the sixth as, with one man out, Victorino hits a solo home run, his seventeenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals got a run back in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Lance Berkman hits an RBI single, knocking in Jon Jay, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Albert Pujols’ single, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1, while Pujols, who had earlier singled, would stop at second base. The Cards then cut the Phils’ lead down to 3-2 as David Freese hits an RBI single, scoring Pujols, while sending Berkman up to second base. The Phils got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier reached base on third baseman Daniel Descalsco’s fielding error, ending up on second base, then went to third on Rollins’ single, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead, which Rollins, who had just singled, would stop at second base. Three batters later, after Chase Utley had been hit by a pitch, loading up the bases, as both Rollins and Victorino moved up a base, and Howard had struck out, and now with two men out, Pence hits an RBI infield single, beating shortstop Furcal’s throw to first base, as Rollins scored, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead, while both runners would move up a base, leaving the bases still loaded. The Phils then busted the game wide open as Raul Ibanez hits a grand-slam home run, his nineteenth home run of the year, knocking in Victorino, Utley and Pence, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. That would be the final score, as Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth as he got Furcal to hit into a ground out, 4-3, for the final out, leading to the Phils clinching their fifth straight National League Eastern Division title.

Roy Oswalt (8-9, 3.66) got the win as he pitched seven shutout innings, giving up five hits while striking out seven. Michael Stutes collected his twelfth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he gave up two runs on four hits. Brad Lidge received his seventh hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jake Westbrook (12-9, 4.58) took the lost as he went three and one-third innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and five walks, as he struck out one. Arthur Rhodes pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Mitchell Boggs pitched a scoreless inning, walking two batters. Kyle McClellan pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, as he struck out one. Fernando Salas pitched an inning plus one batter, giving up an unearned run, as he struck out a batter.  Marc Rzepczynski pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits, as he struck out one.  Octavio Dotel pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits.

The Phils’ had ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with four hits, all singles. Shane Victorino (Single, Home Run, 3 RBIs) and Hunter Pence (Single, Double, 2 RBIs) then followed with two hits each. Raul Ibanez (Home Run, 4 RBIs) and Placido Polanco (Single) had the other two Phils’ hits.

The Phils (98-52, 1st East) will continue their series with the Cardinals (82-69, 2nd Central) with a night game later today. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will begin at 8:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (14-8, 2.71), who is coming off a lost against the Astros on September 13, as he went five innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 5-2 lost. He will be going out to help lower the magic number for home field advantage during the playoffs. The Cardinals will counter with Chris Carpenter (9-9, 3.80), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on September 13, as he went seven innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Cards’ 6-4 win. He will be trying to help his club stay in the wild card race. The Phils will now be going out to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The National League wins the All-Star Game for the second straight year as they defeat the American League, 5-1.

For the second straight year, the National League All-Stars win the All-Star Game, as they defeat the American League’s best, 5-1.

The American League took the lead in the All-Star Game in the fourth as, with two men out, Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox hits a solo home run off of the Phils’ Cliff Lee, giving the AL a 1-0 lead. The AL tried to make it a 2-0 lead three batters later as, with runners on first and second, via singles by Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, as first baseman Prince Fielder of the Brewers was unable to catch his pop fly, and Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, sending Bautista up to second base, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers hits a single to left. Bautista tried to score on the hit, but is gun down at home plate by a strong throw from left fielder Hunter Pence, as catcher Brian McCann of the Braves applied the tag, 7-2, for the inning’s final out. The National League then took the lead in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, via singles by Carlos Beltran of the Mets and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, with Beltran stopping at second base, and with no one out, Fielder crushed a 2-2 cutter into center field for a three-run home run, scoring both Beltran and Kemp, giving the NL a 3-1 lead. The NL added to their lead in the fifth as, with a man on second, and with two men out, pinch hitter Andre Ethier of the Dodgers hits an RBI single, knocking in Rickie Weeks of the Brewers, who had earlier reached first base on a fielder’s choice force out, as pitcher Jordon Walden of the Angels threw home to beat out Starlin Castro of the Cubs, who was pinch running for Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies who had earlier singled, after he had first stolen second base, and then third, as he was tagged out at the plate by catcher Alex Avila of the Tigers for the inning’s second out, 1-2, before Weeks stole second base, giving the NL a 4-1 lead, before he was thrown out at second base as right fielder Bautista’s throw towards home was cut off by first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, who then threw to shortstop Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers, who then tagged Ethier out at second base for the inning’s final out, 9-3-6. The NL then made it a 5-1 lead in the seventh as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Pablo Sandoval of the Giants hits a RBI ground-rule double to left, knocking in Pence, who head earlier singled, then went all the way to third on catcher Matt Wieters of the Orioles passed ball. That would be the final score as Brian Wilson of the Giants would record a save as he got out the last two batters, Michael Cuddyer of the Twins vis a fly out to right and then Paul Konerko of the White Sox via a ground out, 6-3, after the AL had put runners on second and third, via Carlos Quentin of the White Sox reaching base on shortstop Castro’s throwing error and a single by Matt Joyce of the Rays, which sent Quentin to third base, before he went on to second base on right fielder Jay Bruce of the Reds throwing error.

Roy Halladay of the Phils pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter. Cliff Lee of the Phils pitcher one and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on three hits. Tyler Clippard (1-0, 0.00) of the Nationals gets the win as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit. Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers received a hold as he pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Jair Jurrjens of the Braves also received a hold as he pitched a scoreless inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Craig Kimbrel of the Braves also got a hold as he pitched a scoreless third of an inning, as he walked a batter. Jonny Venters of the Braves pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out one. Heath Bell of the Padres pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates would pitch a third of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brian Wilson of the Giants would receive a save as he pitched two-thirds of an inning. Jered Weaver of the Angels pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. David Robertson of the Yankees also pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Michael Pineda of the Mariners pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. C.J. Wilson of the Rangers blew the save before taking the lost (0-1, 27.00) as he pitched an inning, giving up three runs on three hits, while striking out a batter. Jordon Walden of the Angels pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out one. Chris Perez of the Indians pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brandon League of the Mariners pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Alexi Ogando of the Rangers pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Gio Gonzalez of the A’s pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face.

The American League All-Stars had six hits in the game, a solo home run by Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox, and singles by Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox and Matt Joyce of the Rays. The National League All-Stars had nine hits in the game, a single by Lance Berkman of the Cardinals, a single by Carlos Beltran of the Mets, a single by Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, a three run home run by Prince Fielder of the Brewers, a single by Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, an RBI single by pinch hitter Andre Ethier of the Dodgers, a double by Yadier Molina of the Cardinals, a single by Hunter Pence of the Astros and an RBI ground-rule double by Pablo Sandoval of the Giants.

The victory gives the National League a 42-38-2 lead over the American League, while it will also give the National League pennant winner home field advantage during the upcoming World Series.

The offense waste another good pitching performance, as they Phils lose to the Cards in the ninth, 2-1.

The lack of offense has allowed another good starting performance to go to waste as the Phils lose in the bottom of the ninth to the Cards, 2-1.

The Cards took the lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Yadier Molina hits an RBI single, scoring Lance Berkman, who had earlier walked, then stopped at second base on Allen Craig’s single, beating Dane Sardinha’s bad tag, giving the Cards a 1-0 lead. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Placido Polanco hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who was safe at first on second baseman Tyler Greene’s fielding error as he dropped Rollins’ pop up, and then stopped at third on Michael Martinez’s single. The Cards then won the game in the bottom of the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Ryan Theriot, Jon Jay and Albert Pujols, and with one man out, as Matt Holliday hits into a forced out at the plate on a grounder to short, 6-1, forcing out Theriot, while moving up a base both Jay and Pujols, Berkman hits an RBI single, scoring Jay, giving the Cards a 2-1 walk-off win.

Roy Oswalt received a no-decision as he pitched five strong innings, giving up a run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out three, in his return from the disabled list. Michael Stutes pitched to one batter, throwing three balls, before being taken out of the game because of an injury to his right side. Kyle Kendrick pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk. Antonio Bastardo threw a scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Danys Baez (1-2, 4.41) took the lost as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on three hits. J.C. Romero pitched to a batter, giving up a hit. Jaime Garcia also received a no-decision as he pitched eight innings, giving up an unearned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Fernando Salas (2-0, 1.02) got the win as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.

The Phils had just five hits in the game, with Michael Martinez leading the team with two hits, both singles. Placido Polanco (Single, RBI), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single) and Wilson Valdez (Double), had the other three Phils’ hits, as the offense was once again easily handled by an opposing team’s pitching staff, as they keep being impatient at the plate and swinging at the pitcher’s pitches, not their pitches. What is it going to take to get this bunch to stop making easy outs?!?

The Phils (25-16, 1st East) will start a two-game series with the Rockies (22-18, 1st West), starting with a night game tonight, weather permitting. The game is to be played at Citizens Bank Park, and is suppose to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will be sending to the mound Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.19), who will be coming off a no-decision against the Braves on May 13, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 5-4 come from behind win. Hamels will be trying to end the Phils’ present losing streak at four game, if the offense would just cooperate and HELP!!! The Rockies will counter with Jorge De Le Rosa (5-1, 3.70), who will be coming off a win against the Padres on May 13, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Rockies’ 12-7 win. He will be going for his sixth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to snap a four game losing streak, if the offense would just concentrate and STOP BEING WILD SWINGERS!!!

The Phils lose their third straight game as they lose to the Cards, 3-1.

The Phils dropped their third straight game as the offense continues to act clueless, as the Phils lose to the Cards, 3-1.

The Phils took the lead in the second as, with one man on, and with one man out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, knocking in John Mayberry, Jr., who had been safe at first on a force out, 5-4, wiping out at second base Ryan Howard, who had earlier walked, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead.  The Cardinals then took the lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, sending Holliday to second base, and an infield single by Yadier Molina, moving both Holliday and Berkman up a base, and with one man out, Nick Punto hits a two-run single, knocking in both Holliday and Berkman, giving the Cards a 2-1 lead, while sending Molina up to second base. The Cards then added to their lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Jon Jay hits an RBI single, scoring Punto, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on pinch hitter Kyle Lohse’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 3-1 Cards’ lead, while sending Ryan Theriot, who had just walked, on to second base.  That would end up as the final score as Fernando Salas converted his fourth save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Cliff Lee (2-4, 3.84) took the lost as he went six and a third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and six walks, while striking out four, in what has to be one of the worst games that he has pitched in his career, based on the high number of walks, the most in his career, that he had given up.  Michael Stutes pitched two-third of an inning, as he got the one man that he would face to hit into a doubleplay. J.C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jake Westbrook (3-3, 6.07) gets the win as he went seven inning, giving up a run on four hits and three walks, while striking out one. Eduardo Sanchez collected his fifth hold of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Fernando Salas received his fourth save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.

The Phils had just five hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Ben Francisco (Single, RBI), Cliff Lee (Single) and pinch hitter Ross Gload (Single), had the other three Phils’ hits, as the offense has once more been its own worst enemy, getting themselves out against a weak pitcher. How much longer are these guys going to keep doing that until they really act like the American League team people keep claiming they are. Translation, start taking pitches and look for your pitch to hit, guys. Harumph!!!

The Phils (25-15, 1st East) will conclude their short two-game series with the Cards (23-19, 2nd Central) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Busch Stadium, and will start at 8:15 pm EDT (7:15 CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (3-1, 3.33), who is coming off a stay on the disabled list. In his last start, a lost against the Diamondbacks on April 26, he went only three innings, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk, in the Phils’ 7-5 lost. He will be trying to stop the Phils’ present three-game slide. The Cards will counter with Jaime Garcia (5-0, 1.89), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on May 12, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up just a run on nine scattered hits and a walk, as he struck out four, in the Cards’ 9-1 rout. He will be shooting for his sixth win of the year. The Phils hope to avoid the sweep and come back to Philadelphia with a .500 road trip.

The Phils split the four-games series as their ninth inning rally fall short as they lose to the Astros, 5-3.

A ninth-inning rally falls short as the Phils lose to the Astros, 5-3. They will now play the Marlins for three games as they try to get past the Dodgers for the best record in the National League for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Astros took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lance Berkman hits a two-run double, scoring Kazuo Matsui, who had earlier singled, and then went to second as Miguel Tejada reached base on catcher’s interference, and Tejada, who had gotten on base on Paul Bako’s catcher’s interference-error. The Phils would cut the lead in half in the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Ben Francisco, an infield single by Jimmy Rollins, which sent Francisco to third, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which moved Rollins to second, and with two men out, when Raul Ibanez hit an infield single, scoring Francisco, making it a 2-1 Astros’ lead, while moving Rollins to third, and Howard up to second. The Astros increased their lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Tejada hits a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the season, scoring Matsui, who had just walked. The Phils tried to rally in the ninth. With two men on, and with two out, Pedro Feliz hits a two-run double, scoring Matt Stairs, who had earlier received a pinch hit walk, and then went to third on Jayson Werth’s single, and Werth, who had just singled, and then moved up to second on defensive indifference, making it a 5-3 Astros’ lead. Pinch hitter Andy Tracy then followed with a pinch single, sending Feliz to third, bringing up the winning run to the plate. But, that would be it as pinch hitter Miguel Cairo hits the first pitch deep into center field for the final out.   

Cliff Lee took the lost as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, as he struck out four. His record is 14-13 (7-4) with an ERA of 3.22 (3.39). Clay Condrey pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. Brett Myers pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona together pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter between them (Walker). Felipe Paulino got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up just one run on six hits and three walks, as he struck out five. His record is now 3-11 with an ERA of 6.27. Jeff Fulchino recorded his twelfth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Wesley Wright and LaTroy Hawkins combined for two scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Wright (1), Hawkins (2)), while striking out 2 batters (Hawkins). Jose Valverde pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.

The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Ben Francisco leading the team with three hits, with two of them being doubles, as he raised his average to .257 (.281). He was followed by Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz, who had two hits each, with one of Feliz’s hits being a two-run double. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo and pinch hitter Andy Tracy had the other six Phils’ hit, with Ibanez’s hit knocking in the Phils’ other run. The Phils were once again unable to knock in runs, mainly because they could not string together their hits.

The Phils (92-67, 1st) will play their final home stand of the regular season with a three-games series with the pesky Marlins (85-74, 3rd). The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (12-7, 3.95), who is coming off a win against the Brewers on September 27, where he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 6-5 win. He will be trying to win his thirteenth start, which would place him as the team leader in that category. The Marlins will counter with Rick VandenHurk (2-2, 4.44), who is coming off a no-decision against the Phils on September 23, when he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Marlins’ 7-6 win. He will be trying for his third win of the season. The Phils will once again try to add another win as they now try to get the best record in the NL to have home field advantage during the playoffs.  

Threepeat!!!!: The Phils win their third straight Eastern Division title.

For the second time in the franchise’s long history, the Phils have won their third straight NL Eastern Division title, thanks to the Marlins’ 5-4 defeat of the Braves in Atlanta, while the Phils crushed the Astros in Citizens Bank Park, 10-3.

The Astros took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, and with two men out, Hunter Pence received an RBI walk, forcing in Tejada, while moving up a base both Berkman and Lee. The Phillies would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and then went to third on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3. The Astros retook the lead in the second as J.R. Towles hits a lead-off home run, after the umpires had corrected their earlier ruling that the ball had stayed in the park via instant replay, his first home run of the season, giving the Astros a 2-1 lead. The Astros added to their lead in the fourth as Towles hits another lead-off home run, his second home run of the night, and of the season, making it a 3-1 Astros’ lead. The Phils then struck back in their half of the fourth. With two men on, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, and then stole second base, making it a 3-2 Astros’ lead, while sending Utley, who had just walked, to third base. The next batter, Raul Ibanez, then hits a grounder to the Astros’ starter Brian Moehler. Moehler immediately threw to second base, hoping to start a double play. Unfortunately, there was no one covering second, as the ball sails into center field, allowing Utley to score, tying the game at three-all, and sending Howard to third, while Ibanez would end up being safe at second on the fielder’s choice-throwing error. Jayson Werth then followed with a ground out RBI, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, as Howard scored, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead, while sending Ibanez on to third. Pedro Feliz then followed with an RBI double, knocking in Ibanez, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Victorino hits an RBI triple, knocking in Rollins, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead. Three batters later, now with two men on, as Howard was intentionally walked, and with one out, Ibanez hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Victorino, making it a 7-3 Phils’ lead. The Phillies would make it 8-3 in the sixth as, with a runner on base, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Feliz, who had earlier singled, before being thrown at third trying to stretched his double into a triple, 9-6-5. The Phils then scored one last time in the seventh as, with a man on base, and with two men out, Ibanez hits a two-run home run, his thirty-fourth home run of the season, scoring Howard, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 10-3 lead. In the ninth, after Kyle Kendrick, the game winner, had pitched three shut out innings in relief of Phils’ starter Pedro Martinez, and Chad Durbin had pitched one scoreless inning, the Phils sent Scott Eyre to the mound to pitch his first game in several weeks. Eyre started the inning off by getting Michael Bourn to fly out to center for the first out. He then got Tejada to fly out to center for the inning’s second out. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, the Marlins were holding on to a 5-4 lead, with the bases loaded. After Brendan Donnelly was brought into the game to face Martin Prado, he threw a first pitch ball that got past Marlins’ catcher Ronny Paulino. But, the ball hit the backstop and came back to Paulino, catching Matt Diaz off third base. Paulino threw a strike to the Marlins’ third baseman Wes Helms, who applied the tag on a diving Diaz for the final out, giving the Marlins’ the win, and the Phils’ the pennant. Back in Philly, Charlie Manuel had come to the mound, taking out Eyre and bringing in Brad Lidge to record the final out. Which Lidge would do with one pitch as Berkman grounded out to Howard, three-unassisted, for the final out.

Pedro Martinez received a no-decision as he went four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, as he struck out two. Kyle Kendrick got the win as he pitched three scoreless innings, giving up only two hits, while striking out three batters. His record is now 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a walk. Scott Eyre pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting two fly outs. Brad Lidge pitched a third of an inning, getting the final out. Brian Moehler took the lost as he went four and a third innings, giving up seven runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out one. His record is now 8-12 with a 5.47 ERA. Wesley Wright pitched two-thirds of an inning. Samuel Gervacio pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out one. Tim Byrdak pitched an inning, giving up two runs on one hit and two walks. Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless inning, walking a batter.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz leading the team with two hits each, with both of Rollins’ hits being for extra bases, a double and a triple, scoring two runs, while one of Victorino’s hits was a triple, as he knocked in a run, while one of Feliz’s hits was a double, as he also knocked in a run. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz had the other three Phils’ hits, with Ibanez’s hits being a two-run home run, as he knocked in three runs, while Ruiz’s hit was a double, knocking in a run. Chase Utley, Howard and Jayson Werth knocked in the other three Phils’ RBIs. The Phils’ offense came out swinging, finally knocking around Moehler in the fourth. With the clinching, Charlie Manuel will be giving some of his regulars a well needed rest, while trying to see if he can lead the Phils to the best record in the National League so that they can get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Phils (92-66, 1st East) will conclude their four-games home stand with the Astros (73-85, 5th Central) with a night game. The game will start tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils expected starter will be Cliff Lee (14-12 (7-3),  3.19 (3.28)), who is coming off a lost against the Brewers on September 25, where he went six innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 8-4 lost. He will be trying to recapture his form when he first came to the Phils before the July trade deadline. The Astros will counter with Felipe Paulino (2-11, 6.51), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on September 26, as he went five innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits and four walks, while striking out three, in the Astros’ 10-4 lost. He will be trying to keep from being hit hard by the Phils. The Phils will be trying to balance resting some of their starters while at the same time trying to see if they can establish their post-season form.

Almost back into the playoffs!!!

The Phils’ magic number is now down to one as their offense wakes up long enough to defeat the Astros, 7-4, while the Marlins hold on to defeat the Braves. The Phils will be looking to clinch their third straight NL Eastern Division title tonight behind veteran pitcher Pedro Martinez.

The Astros took an early 1-0 lead in the third as, with two men out, Lance Berkman hits a solo home run, his twenty-fifth home run of the season. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the third as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI double, knocking in Paul Bako, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Phils’ starter J.A. Happ’s sacrifice bunt. The Phils then took the lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, and a walk to Jayson Werth, which sent Howard to third and Ibanez to second, with nobody out, Pedro Feliz hits a grand slam home run, his twelfth home run of the season, his seventh career grand slam, and the eleventh grand slam hit by the Phils this season, making it a 5-1 Phils’ lead. The Astros would get a run back in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Carlos Lee hits an RBI single, knocking in Miguel Tejada, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second when Berkman reached base on catcher’s interference, cutting the Phils’ lead to 5-2, while sending Berkman, who had went to first on catcher’s interference, moved up to second. The Phils increased their lead in their half of the fifth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run home run, his thirty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier walked, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. In the sixth, the Astros would get those two runs back as, with a man on, and with two outs, Kazuo Matsui hits a two-run home run, his ninth home run of the season, scoring J.R. Towles, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-4 Phils’ lead. But that would be the final score, as Jamie Moyer would come in to hold down the fort for an inning and a third, and then Ryan Madson would come in to pitch for two innings, recording his tenth save of the season, as he struck out Hunter Pence to end the game.

J.A. Happ got the win as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 12-4 with a 2.85 ERA. Jamie Moyer recorded his first hold as he pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief, giving up only a walk, while he struck out one. Ryan Madson collected his tenth save of the year as he pitched two innings of shut out ball, giving up just two hits, as he struck out two. Wilton Lopez took the lost as he pitched three and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks, as he struck out two. His record is now 0-1 with a 9.42 ERA. Wesley Wright pitched one and a third innings, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk, while he struck out two. Chad Paronto, Jeff Fulchino and Samuel Gervacio combined to keep the Phils off the board for three innings, giving up only one hit (Paronto), while striking out two batters (Fulchino (1), Gervacio (1)).

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with both Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits each, with one of Rollins’ hits being an RBI double, while one of Werth’s hits was a two-run home run. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz and Paul Bako had the other four Phils’ hits, with Feliz’s hit being a grand slam home run, which put the Phils ahead for good. The Phils’ offense will be trying to break the game open early tonight to finally end the pennant race.

The Phils (91-66, 1st East) continue their four-game set with the Astros (73-84, 5th Central) with a night game. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils will send to the mound Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.32), who is coming off a neck injury. His last start was a lost against the Braves on September 19, when he went only three innings because of tightness in his neck, as he gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out one, in the Phils’ 6-4 lost. Martinez will be trying to pitch the Phils into the playoffs tonight. The Astros will counter with Brian Moehler (8-11, 5.21), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on September 25, as he pitched two and a third innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out only two, in the Astros’ 10-4 lost. He will try to hold off the clinching party for at least one more night. The Phils will be trying to clinch their third straight NL Eastern Division crown tonight, so that they can use the final four games to set things up for the Divisional Series.

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