Results tagged ‘ Lined Out ’

Opening Night falls flat for the world champs as they lose to the Braves, 4-1.

First, the answer to last week’s trivia question, which no one even attempted to answer. First, the question: Name the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? And the answer is: Nap Lajoie is the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hal of Fame, as he was elected as a member of the 1937 class, receiving 168 votes or 83.58% of the vote in the second Hall of Fame election, being that year’s highest vote getter. Nap was a member of the Phils for four years, 1896-1900. A new weekly trivia question will be asked at the bottom of this post.

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The 2009 regular season started last night as the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies faced one of their oldest rivals, the Atlanta Braves, in a night game at Citizens Bank Park, which included the raising of the 2008 banner and fireworks, as the Phils wore their special opening night uniforms with gold trim and the 2008 World Series patch.

Sadly, during the game itself, all of the fireworks were on the Atlanta Braves’ side as they torched Phils’ starter Brett Myers for four runs, via three home runs, in the first two innings. Things looked very promising for Myers as he easily got out the first two batters that he faced, via a fly out to center and a 6-3 ground out. Then Chipper Jones, with the count 3-2, hit a single to left, getting the first hit of the 2009 season. The next batter, Brian McCann then hit a 2-0 pitch into deep right field for a two-run home run, the first home run of the new season, as the Braves took a quick 2-0 lead. In the second, the Braves added to their lead as Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run of the year, a rocket into the left field seats, making it 3-0 Atlanta. One batter later, Jordan Schafer, in his first major league at-bat, made it 4-0 Braves as he slugged a 3-1 fastball into center field. Myers would settle down after that, giving up only five more hits as he pitched a total of six innings. While the Braves were raining on Myers’ parade, Derek Lowe was expertly handcuffing the Phils, giving up only two hits in his eight strong innings of work, a one-out ground-rule double to Carlos Ruiz in the third inning, the first Phillies’ hit of the season, who was then left stranded on second, and a two-out single to Jimmy Rollins in the sixth, who was then left on first as Jayson Werth lined out right to Lowe to end the inning. The Phils would finally score a run in the ninth inning, getting it off of reliever Mike Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett started the inning off with a pinch hit double. Rollins then flied out to right, sending Bruntlett over to third with one out. The next batter, Werth, then singled sharply to left, scoring Bruntlett, collecting the first Phillies RBI of the season, making it a 4-1 Braves’ lead. Chase Utley followed with a walk, sending Werth over to second, and bringing up the tying run to the plate in the person of Ryan Howard. Howard, who had been given a steady diet of off-speed pitches all night by Lowe, saw five straight sliders from Gonzalez, working the count full. Thus, Howard was caught off-guard when pitch no. six from Gonzalez was a fast ball, the first one he had seen all night, which was sent right down the pike, for a call third strike. Howard was followed by Raul Ibanez, who, like Howard, was looking for his first hit of the year, and seeing if he could help his new team out early in the season. Sadly, it was not to be, as he struck out, swinging, on a 3-2 fastball, ending the ballgame as a 4-1 Braves’ victory.

Brett Myers, in his six innings of work, gave up four runs on eight hits, including three home runs, and a walk while striking out six. His regular season record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jack Taschner, pitching in his first official game as a Phil, pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed him for two-thirds of an inning, recording a strikeout. Chad Durbin then pitched the final third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for the Phils, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. Derek Lowe pitched eight strong innings for the Braves, staying out of trouble all night, as he gave up only two hits to the Phils as he struck out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Mike Gonzalez pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while getting two very important strike outs to end the game.

At this point, Eric Bruntlett is leading the team in batting with a 1.000 batting average, as he went 1 for 1 with a double. Carlos Ruiz follows at .333, as he went 1 for 3 on the night with a ground-rule double.  Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth follow with both men going 1 for 4 for a .250 batting average, with Werth having the Phils’, at the moment, only RBI of the season.

The short series will continued tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, who record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens, who’s record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA.

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Now, here is this week’s trivia question: Name the first ten Phillies’ Opening Day Pitchers? You all know where to find the answer. The answer will be posted on Thursday.

2008 World Series: Game 5.5: The Phillies are the 2008 World Champions of the Baseball World.

The Phillies have won the 2008 World Series, winning the series four games to one, as they would outscore the Rays in the final three and a half innings of this past Monday’s suspended game five, 4-3. As play resumed, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon would decide to leave Grant Balfour in the game. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would be the first batter to face him in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, and he would greet him with a hard hit double to center. Jimmy Rollins would follow with an excellent sacrifice bunt, that would go 5-3 for the inning’s first out, as he would move Jenkins over to third base. Then, with the Rays’ infield pulled in to prevent a run, Jayson Werth would hit a pop up into shallow center field. Ray’s second baseman Akinori Iwamura would be unable to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch of the ball, as it would drop in for a RBI single, scoring Jenkins, and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Balfour is then taken out of the ballgame by Maddon and is replaced on the mound by J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by first getting Utley to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out, and after Werth would steal second, he would get Ryan Howard to pop out to third for the final out of the inning. Charlie Manuel would then put out in place of Cole Hamels, who is now in line to be the game’s winning pitching, Ryan Madson. Madson would proceed to strike out Dioner Navarro looking for the inning’s first out. But then he would give up a solo home run to Rocco Baldelli to left, tying the game up at three apiece, and thus denying Hamels his chance to make World Series history by winning all five of his starts. Jason Bartlett would then follow with a single. The next batter, Howell, would sacrifice the runner over to second, 1-4, for the inning’s second out, as he put a runner in scoring position. Madson is then replaced by J.C. Romero. Iwamura would then hit a ground ball towards second base, that Utley would be able to grab, but would then have no play to make at first, as Iwamura would get an infield single. But, Utley would then throw a strike towards home plate as he would see Bartlett trying to score from second on the play. His throw would beat Bartlett to home plate and then Carlos Ruiz would tag out a sliding Bartlett to keep the game tied at three all. In the Phillies’ half of the seventh, Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a double to left center field. As he would be replaced on second base by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett, the Rays would replace Howell on the mound with Chad Bradford. Shane Victorino would then hit the ball to the right side of the infield, after being unable to put down a bunt, for the inning’s first out, 4-3, while Bruntlett would move on over to third base. This move would once again force the Rays to bring in their infield. Pedro Feliz would take advantage of this move as he would hit a RBI single to center, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies’ a 4-3 lead. Ruiz would then follow Feliz by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Feliz at second for the second out. Romero would then bat for himself and proceed to hit into a force out, 4-6, for the inning’s final out. Romero would then stay in to pitch the eighth. Chris Crawford would start the inning off with a single. B.J. Upton would then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, doubling up Crawford at second base, putting no one on base with two men out. Romero would then end the inning by getting Carlos Pena to fly out to left for the final out. In the Phillies’ eighth, the Rays would send out David Price to keep the game close. Prince would proceed to get Rollins to fly out to left for the inning’s first out and then would strike out Werth for out number two. Utley would then get on base with a walk. After Utley would steal second, Howard would end the inning by striking out. In the Rays’ ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to end the game. Lidge would get Evan Longorio to pop out to Utley for the first out of the inning. Navarro would then get on base with a single. Navarro would be replaced at first by pinch runner Fernando Perez, while pinch hitter Ben Zobrist would come to the plate. After Perez would steal second base, Lidge would get Zobrist out as he lines out directly to the right fielder for the second out of the inning. Maddon would then send out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to try and take the lead with one swing of the bat. Instead, Lidge would strike Hinske out for the game’s final out, as he would record his forty-eighth straight save in forty-eight attempts and his seventh save of the post-season, and lead to the start of a celebration among the Phillies, as they would win their second World Championship in the team’s 126 years of existance.

Cole Hamels would get a no-decision, as he would pitch six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thrids of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up only two hits. His series’ record is now 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would record his second save of the series, pitching a scoreless inning, as he would give up just a hit, while striking out one, as he records his forty-eighth straight save, and his seventh in the post-season. Scott Kazmir would also get a no-decision, as he would go only four innings plus two batters, giving up two earned runs on four hits, six walks and a hit batsman, while striking out five. Grant Balfour would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would pitch two-thirds of an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. His series’ record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 7.71. Chad Bradford would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. David Price would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out two.

During the celebration, which would include Bud Selig giving David Montgomery, Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel the World Series Trophy, Cole Hamels would be announced as being the 2008 World Series MVP. It would later be announced that the city of Philadelphia plans to hold its World Series parade on Friday. And it would appear that the parade wouldl be shown on at least one of the local networks. I can’t wait. :)

Now that the Phillies have won the series, I would like to first apologize for the number of times that I’ve shown a lack faith in the guys actually being able to get into the World Series. Next, I would like to laugh in the face of the so-called experts who during the post-season have never given the Phillies the chance to win the Series, including FOX. Ha-HA, in your face, experts. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays for doing as well as they did this season to get into the World Series as well. I am sure that they’ll be back in the series at some point during the next few years.

Next stop, the victory parade. I love a parade, etc. etc. :)

2008 World Series: Game 4: A 10-runs offensive barrage and six plus strong innings from Joe Blanton would lead the Phillies to a 10-2 rout of the Rays. The Phillies now have a commanding three games to one lead and are ready to clinch on Monday night.

Supporting Joe Blanton’s six plus strong innings of work, the Phillies’ offense would finally wake up to score ten runs as the Phillies would rout the Rays, 10-2. The win would give the Phillies a very commanding three games to one lead in the series, and a chance to clinch the World Series crown at home behind their ace Cole Hamels. The Phillies would score first in the first inning once again as, with the bases loaded, and one out, Pat Burrell would take a walk, forcing in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, would move up to third base on Jayson Werth’s fly out to right, and would be safe on a fielder’s choice ground ball hit by Ryan Howard to the pitcher, as Rays’ starter Andy Sonnanstine would catch Rollins between third and home as he tried to score and would try to throw him out as he headed back to third, but the third base umpire Tim Welke would call Rollins safe, although the instant replay would show that Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria had actually tagged Rollins out on his *** before he has gotten back to the base, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Phillies would make it 2-0 in the third, as, with runners on second and third and two men out, Pedro Feliz would single in Chase Utley, who has reached first base earlier on an Akinori Iwamura fielding error and would move on to third on Howard’s single, while Howard would move on to second. After a Carlos Ruiz single would load the bases, moving both Howard and Feliz up a base, Joe Blanton would end the inning by poping up to the first baseman in foul territory.The Rays would cut the lead in half in the fourth as, with no one on base and two outs, Carl Crawford would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the series, to make it a 2-1 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies would get the run back, with interest, in their half of the fourth, as, with two men on, and one out, Howard woud hit a three-run blast to left, his second home run of the series, scoring Rollins, who would reach base on a second Iwamura’s fielding error and would move on up to second on Werth’s walk, to make it 5-1 Phillies. The Rays would then get one of the runs back in the fifth as, with no one on and two men outs, Blanton would give up a solo home run to pitch hitter Eric Hinske, to make it 5-2 Phillies. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, with no one on and two men outs, Blanton would hit a solo home run of his own, his first career home run, to give the Phils a 6-2 lead. The Rays would try to come back in the sixth as they would put runners on second and first via a walk (Carlos Pena) and a hit batter (Crawford) with two men out. Blanton would end the threat by striking out Dioner Navarro swinging. The Ray would try again in the seventh. They would start the inning off with Bob Zobrist getting on base with a walk. That would be it for Blanton, as Charlie Manuel would take him out of the game to a standing ovation and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would proceed to get Jason Bartlett to fly out to center for the inning’s first out. He would then give up a single to pinch hitter Willy Aybar, which would send Zobrist up to second base. Manuel would then come back out, and replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Eyre would get Iwamura to line out to left for the inning’s second out. Manuel would then replace Eyre with Ryan Madson. Madson would strike out B.J. Upton swinging for the inning’s final out. After Madson pitches a 1-2-3 eighth inning, the Phillies would proceed to bust the game wide open in their half of the inning. After pinch hitter Matt Stairs would strike out for the inning’s first out, Rollins would get on base with a double that would just miss being a home run by a few inches. Jayson Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, that would score Rollins and give the Phillies an 8-2 lead. Two batters later, Howard would hit a two-run shot of his own, his third home run of the series, scoring Utley, who was earlier intentionally walked to get to Howard, a move which would this time backfire on the Rays, to make it a 10-2 Phillies’ lead. The inning would then end as Eric Bruntlett would ground out, 6-3, and Shane Victorino would fly out to center. J.C. Romero would then be sent out to end the game. Navarro would start the inning off by getting on base on a Romero’s fielding error as he made a bad throw to Howard on a ground ball hit to him. Zobrist would then follow by hitting into a force out, 4-6, being safe on first as Navarro is wiped out at second. Madson would then end the game by striking out first Bartlett on a call third strike and then striking out pinch hitter Rocco Baldelli for the final out.

Joe Blanton would get the win as he would pitch a strong six innings plus one batter, as he would give up only two earned runs on four hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out seven Rays. His series’ record is now 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch one-third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning and a third of scoreless ball, giving up no hits, while striking out three. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits, while striking out two. Andy Sonnanstine would pitch only four innings, giving up five runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, while striking out only two. His series record is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. Edwin Jackson would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Dan Wheeler would pitch an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out one. Trever Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, all giving up two earned runs on one hit and a walk.

Joe Blanton would proceed to dominate the young Rays, being able to mix his pitches so that they would be unable to do much damage against him. While Blanton was keeping the Rays quiet, the Phillies’ bats would finally wake up as they would knock in 10 runs, with eight of them coming via the long ball, which would include the surprising home run by starter Blanton. The offense would not only knock out the Rays’ starter, but they would this time hit the killer blow against the Rays’ bullpen in the eighth inning.

The 2008 World Series will continue later tonight in Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern time. The Phillies will be sending to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a brilliant win in Game 1 of the series against the Rays on October 22, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. Hamels will be trying to clinch the World Series crown for the Phillies while trying to set a new post-season record by going 5-0 as a starter. The Rays will counter with Scott Kazmir (0-1, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Phillies on October 22, as he was the losing pitcher of Game 1, as he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Rays’ 3-2 lost. Kazmir will be trying to win game five to send the series back to Tampa Bay as he hope to put the Phillies’ offense back to sleep.

The keys to the game will be for Cole Hamels to just continue pitching the way he has been pitching in his previous four starts while the offense will just need to continue what they did in last night’s game, and the Phillies should win their second World Championship in the oganization’s 126 years of existance. At the same time, they will need to keep an eye out for any tricks that the Rays might try to pull to help get the series back to Tampa Bay for games six and seven.

2008 World Series: Game 2: Inability to knock in men in scoring position do in the Phillies as they fall to the Rays, 4-2. Series come to Philadelphia tied at a game apiece.

The inability to knock in runs with men in scoring position in the first seven innings would waste a good effort by Brett Myers as the Phillies would lose to the Rays, 4-3. The lost would tie the series up at a win apiece as the series will now come to Philadelphia for three games. The Rays would score first in the first, as Carlos Pena would hit a RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Akinori Iwamura, who has earlier walked and would go to third on B.J. Upton’s single, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. An Evan Longoria ground out, also 6-3, would make it 2-0 Rays, as it would score Upton, who has singled, would go to second on Jayson Werth’s fielding error as he would take his eye off the ball as he looked to see what Iwamura was going to do on the single, and has moved up to third on Pena’s earlier ground out. The Phillies would threaten to come back in the second as they would put runners on third and second via a double (Ryan Howard), a walk (Pat Burrell) and a wild pitch, with only one out, but Rays’ starter James Shields would get out of the inning by first striking out Greg Dobbs looking and then getting Pedro Feliz out on a liner to center field. The Rays would add to their lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded via a single (Dioner Navarro), a walk (Rocco Baldelli (on what should have been strike three swinging since he had swung through the pitch and was originally called out by the home plate umpire Kerwin Danley, but who would then reverse his call after calling for help from the first base umpire Fieldin Culbreth, who would claim that there was actually no swing by Baldelli)) and a second single (Jason Bartlett), and two men out, Upton would hit a RBI single to right, scoring Navarro, making it 3-0 Rays. But, the following runner, Baldelli, would then be tagged out at home plate as Werth would throw a strike to Carlos Ruiz, who would then block the plate and successfully tag out Baldelli to end the inning. The Phillies would threaten again in the third as they would put a runner on third (Ruiz) via a double and a Jimmy Rollins’ ground out, 4-3. But, they would once again be left empty handed as Shields would get out of the inning by first striking out Werth swinging and then getting Utley to ground out, 4-3. The Phillies would try once again to score a run in the fourth, as they would put runners on the corners via a single to Howard and a single to Shane Victorino, which would send Howard on to third base, as it would go off of Rays’ first baseman Pena’s glove, saving a run for the moment. But once again the Phillies would be unable to score as Shields would strike out Dobbs again, this time swinging, for the inning’s second out, and then get Feliz to this time ground out, 5-3, ending the inning. The Rays would add a fourth run in their half of the fourth, as with runners on the corners and one out, Bartlett would knock in Cliff Floyd, who has earlier singled, moved to second on Navarro’s single and then moved on to third on Baldelli’s force out, cutting down Navarro at second, using a safety squeeze for out number two, 1-3. Brett Myers would then end the inning by getting Iwamura to ground out, 4-3. After that Myers would then gain control of the Rays during his last three innings of work, only giving up a walk and a single. Meanwhile, the Phillies would continue to threaten to score. They would get runners on first and second in the fifth, via a walk (Ruiz, who would then be forced out at second on a grounder by Rollins, 3-6) and a single (Werth), with one man out. But the inning would end as Werth would commit a base running blunder by straying too far off of first base on a Chase Utley fly out to right field, as he is quickly doubled up on a throw from Rays’ right fielder Baldelli to Pena. The Philles would try once more in the sixth, getting two men on via singles to Victornio and Dobbs, with the later’s hit sending Victornio to third, with two men out. But the inning would end as Rays’ reliever Dan Wheeler, pitching in relief of Shields, would get Feliz to once more ground out, this time a 5-4 force out as Dobbs is wiped out at second base. The Phillies would go at it again as they would put runners on second (Ruiz (walk and stolen base)) and first (Utley (walk)) with two men out. But Rays’ closer David Price would end the inning by striking out Howard looking. The Phillies would finally score a run in the eighth, as, with two men out, Eric Bruntlett would hit a pinch hit solo home run, cutting the Rays’ lead down to 4-1. After J.C. Romero would come in and pitch a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, the Phillies would make one more attempt to get back into the game in the top of the ninth. Ruiz would start off the inning with a double. Rollins, on a 0-1 pitch from Price, would get part of his uniform hit by Price’s pitch. But, home plate umpire Kerwin Danley would instead claim that Rollins wasn’t touched by the pitch. Rollins, after getting the count full, would then pop up to second for the inning’s first out. Werth would then follow with a sharp grounder to Rays’ third baseman Longoria, who would be unable to play the ball, as it would bounce off of his glove and head towards center field, allowing Ruiz to score, making it 4-2 Ray, and Werth to reach first on the error. But, Price would then end the Phillies’ hopes as he would strike out Utley swinging and then get Howard to ground out to first base to end the game.

Brett Myers would get the lost as he would pitch seven innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits and three walks, while strking out two. His series’ record is now 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. James Shields would get the win as he would pitch a superb five and two-thirds inning, giving up no earned runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. His series’ record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Dan Wheeler would pitch a scoreless inning of relief, giving up no hits and a walk, while striking out two. David Price would pitch two and a third innings of relief, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a walk, while striking out two.

The Phillies’ season long achillies’ heel, being unable to knock in runners in scoring position, would hurt the Phils with avengence last night, as they would end up leaving eleven men on base, being unable to knock in runners in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, especially with less than two outs, because of the batters’ inability to either get a key hit, hit the ball to the right side, or to just hit the ball deep into the outfield for a sacrifice fly. This would end up ruining a somewhat good performance by Brett Myers who, despite giving up four runs, might not have given up that many runs if not for Jayson Werth’s fielding error in the first inning, allowing B.J. Upton to reach second, and the yes it’s a swing, wait a minute it wasn’t a swing call by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley, in the second. If not for that boot and that bad call by the umpire, the game might have been a lot closer, even with the Phillies’ offense inability to score a run in the first seven innings. If there is any silver lining in this lost, it is that Ryan Howard might have finally gotten out of his slump, as he would go 2 for 5 with a double and a single, although he would also strike out in one at-bat with men in scoring position. At least he was able to hit the ball last night, unlike the first game. Anyway, the Phillies will now head for home, having left Tampa Bay with a spilt, and now preparing to defeat the Rays in three straight games at home in what will obviously be a very noisy Citizens Bank Park.

The third game of the 2008 World Series will be played tomorrow night in Citizens Bank Park. The game is scheduled to start at 8:22 pm Easten time. The Phillies starter with be Jamie Moyer (0-0, -.–), who will be coming off a bad start against the Dodgers on October 12 in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, where he was only able to pitch an inning and a third, as he gave up six earned runs on six hits, while striking out two, in the Phillies’ 7-2 lost. In the post-season, he has a record of 0-2 with an ERA of 13.50, as he pitched only five and one-third innings, giving up eight earned runs on ten hits and three walks, while striking only five. His regular season record was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in thirty-three starts, as he would give up 85 runs, 81 of which were earned on 199 hits and 62 walks, while striking out 123 batters in 196 and one-third innings of work. Moyer will be trying to regain his late season form, going through a large number of innings while giving up very few runs, hoping to give the Phillies a 2-1 series lead over the much younger Rays, planning to use his experience against their youth. The Rays will counter with Matt Garza (0-0, -.–), who will be coming off a victory against the Red Sox on October 19, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits and three walks, while striking out nine, in the Rays’ 3-1 win over the Red Sox, clinching the pennant and winning himself the American League Championship Series MVP. In the post-season, Garza’s record is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.32, as he would pitch nineteen innings, giving up seven earned runs on fifteen hits and ten walks, while striking out eighteen. During the regular season, his record was 11-9 with an ERA of 3.70 in thirty starts, as he gave up 83 runs, 76 of which were earned on 170 hits and 59 walks, while he struck out 128 batters in 184 and two-thirds innings. He will try to be as dominant against the Phillies’ batters as he was in his two starts against the Red Sox.

The key for the Phillies tomorrow will be for Jamie Moyer to regain his regular form, using his experience and his wit against a bunch of young guns who will probably be expecting to feast on his slow stuff. If he does, the Rays’ batters will be in for a long night. At the same time, the Phillies’ offense needs to rebound and starts knocking in runners in key situations by using both patient and strategic hitting. They may be force to have to use plays like the suicide and safety squeeze, like the Rays did in the fourth inning last night, to push runs across the plate when they have less than two men outs and a runner on third. It might look cheap, but if it’ll help to jump start the offense, then they should use it. Another key is once again for Jimmy Rollins to get on base in anyway he can, and for him to stop swinging at high fastballs. If that would require him to change his stance, then change his stance. At the moment, he is not catching up with those pitches. And lastly, Ryan Howard needs to continue what he did last night, as he is way over due for an offensive break out. He can only be held down for so long before he start to make someone pay for it. Hopefully, it’ll be the Rays and the payback will start tomorrow night.

GO PHILLIES!!!

National League Championship Series: Game 2: Brett Myers’ surprising bat help lead the Phillies’ offense as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 8-5, to take a two games to none lead in the NLCS.

Brett Myers’ surprising three hits would help lead the Phillies’ offensive attack as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 8-5. The Phillies now lead the National League Championship Series, two game to none, as it heads for Los Angeles. After a quiet first inning, the Dodgers would take the lead in the second, as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Blake DeWitt would hit a RBI ground out, 3-1, scoring Andre Ethier, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on James Loney’s double, while Loney would move over to third, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. After Phillies’ starter Brett Myers intentionally walks Casey Blake to put runners on the corner, Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley would end the inning by lining out to right. The Phillies would then go to work on Billingsley in their half of the second. After two quick outs, Greg Dobbs would start things off with a single to short. Carlos Ruiz would then follow with a RBI double, scoring Dobbs, and tying the game up at one run apiece. Myers would then help his own cause with a RBI single, scoring Ruiz, and giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. Jimmy Rollins would then follow with a single to center, which would send Myers to third base. Rollins would move up to second on the play thanks to Dodgers’ center fielder Matt Kemp’s fielding error, which would put both runners in scoring position. Shane Victorino would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Myers and Rollins, making it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead. After Chase Utley reaches base with a walk, moving Victorino over to second, Billingsley would finally get out of the inning by striking out Ryan Howard. The Dodgers would get a run back in the third, as, with runners on first and second and two outs, Loney would hit a RBI single, scoring Russell Martin, who has earlier walked, and has moved to second on Ethier’s walk, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 4-2, while moving Ethier to second. After Kemp reaches base on Dobbs’ fielding error, loading up the bases as Ethier and Loney would both move up a base, Myers would finally end the threat by striking out DeWitt. In the Phillies’ half of the third, they would go back to work on Billingsley. Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a single. Jayson Werth would follow with a double, sending Burrell to third. Billingsley would then intentionally walk Dobbs to load the bases. The Dodgers’ plan to not allow any more runs to score would work with Ruiz at the plate, as he would hit a ground ball to Loney, who would then throw to home plate, forcing out Burrell for the inning’s first out, while leaving the bases still loaded. But, it would fail with Myers, as he would slap a single past Loney into right field, scoring both Werth and Dobbs, while sending Ruiz over to third, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. That would be it for Billingsley, as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would take him out and replace him with Chan Ho Park. Rollins would make the inning’s second out as he would strike out, looking. But Victorino would follow with a two-run triple, scoring both Ruiz and Myers, making it 8-2 Phillies. Torre would then come back out and replace Park with Joe Beimel. Beimel would then proceed to walk both Utley and Howard to load the bases as the Phillies have now batted around. Beimel is then taken out of the game and is replaced by James McDonald. McDonald would finally end the inning by striking out Burrell. The Dodgers would then cut the lead in the fourth, as with two men on and two out, Manny Ramirez would hit a three run home run, scoring Rafael Furcal, who has earlier reached base on a strikeout-pass ball, and would then move on to second on Martin’s single, making it an 8-5 Phillies’ lead. But that would be it as the Dodgers’ bullpen would keep the Phillies’ offense scoreless for the next five innings, while Myers would keep the Dodgers scoreless in the fifth, before handing it over to the Phillies’ bullpen, which would allow only two singles and a walk in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, before handing the ball over to Brad Lidge in the ninth. Lidge would start the inning off by walking Ramirez. He would then strike out Ethier on three pitches for out number one. He would then give up a walk to Loney, which would move Ramirez up to second, and put the tying run at the plate. But Lidge would then end the game by striking out both Kemp and Nomar Garciaparra, recording his second save of the series and his fourth save in the post-season.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches five somewhat strong innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six. His series record is now 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson would all combine for three shut out innings, giving up only two hits, (one apiece for both Durbin and Madson) and one walk (Romero), while striking out three (Romero (1), Madson (2)). Brad Lidge would get the save as he pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits and walking two, while striking out the side, as he records his second save of the series and his forty-fifth straight save in forty-five tries. Chad Billingsley would get the lost as he would only last two and a third innings, giving up eight runs, only seven of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five. Chan Ho Park would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no earned runs on one hit, while striking out one. Joe Beimel would face only two batters, whom he both walked. James McDonald would pitch three and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits and walking one, while striking out five. Clayton Kershaw and Cory Wade would combine for two scoreless innings of work, giving up no hits and one walk (Kershaw), while striking out one (also Kershaw).

The Phillies’ offense would beat up on Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley, tagging him for eight runs, doing it mostly with singles, as they had only two extra-base hits against him (doubles by Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth), while their other extra-base hit was hit off of Chan Ho Park (Shane Victorino’s two-run triple). The surprising offensive star was Phillies’ starter Brett Myers as he went three for three, all singles, knocking in three runs, while scoring two. The Phillies other offensive stars were Greg Dobbs, who started the rally in the second inning, who went two for three with an intentional walk, scoring two runs, and Shane Victorino, who went two for five, knocking in four runs. The Phillies had a total of eleven hits, as each of the starters had at least one hit, except for Chase Utley, who went 0 for 1 with four walks, and Ryan Howard, who went 0 for 4 with a walk. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ pitching would limit the Dodgers’ offense to only eight hits, although one of them was a Manny Ramirez three-run home run on a good fastball in on him by Myers, that he was able to fist out of the ballpark. Otherwise, the Dodgers couldn’t do anything against either Myers or the bullpen as they struck out twelve times in the game.

The National League Championship Series will continue tomorrow night in Los Angeles. The game will be played in Dodgers Stadium and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern (5:22 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be the veteran Jamie Moyer who is coming off a lost against the Brewers on October 4 in the National  League Divisional Series, where he was only able to pitch four inning, while giving up only two earned runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Phillies’ 4-1 lost. His record in the series was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. His regular season record was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 196 and a third innings of work, as he struck out 123 batters while walking only 62. He has not faced the Dodgers this year. He will be trying to do better than he did in his last start, hoping that he can make it three victories in a row against the Dodgers in the series. The Dodgers will counter with Hiroki Kuroda who is coming off his victory over the Cubs on October 4, where he pitched six and one third shut out innings, giving up only six hits and two walks, while striking out four, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win, which clinched the National League Divisional Series for the Dodgers. His series record was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. During the regular season, his record was 9-10 with a 3.73 ERA in 183 and one third innings of work, striking out 116 batters while walking 42. He has faced the Phillies twice this year, with an 1-0 record, with a no-decision, as he would pitch a combined total of thirteen innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out twelve. He will be trying to stop the Dodgers’ present post-season slide, while hoping that the Phillies’ dangerous offense hasn’t finally awaken.

The series will now move to Los Angeles, where the Phillies will hope to win two of the next three games so that they can clinch the series early, before being forced to do so in Philadelphia.

National League Championship Series: Game 1: Two bombs in the sixth propel the Phillies past the Dodgers, 3-2. Phils take 1-0 Series lead.

Two home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell in the sixth inning would propel the Phillies past the Dodgers to take a one game to none lead in the National League Championship Series, 3-2. The Dodgers would score first, taking a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, as, with a runner on second and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has earlier doubled. The Dodgers would make it 2-0 in the fourth, as, with a runner on third, and one out, Blake DeWitt would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier hit a ground-rule double and has gone to third on Casey Blake’s ground out, 6-3. By the bottom of the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe was in complete control of the Phillies, making most of the Phillies’ batters hit into ground outs, although a fly out by Jimmy Rollins would end a two on, two out, Phillies’ threat in the fifth, while Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels was keeping the Dodgers under control, dispite giving up two runs thanks to three doubles and a sac fly. But things would suddenly change in the Phillies’ half of the sixth. Shane Victorino would start the inning off by hitting a grounder to Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal, who would make a quick, high throw, to Dodgers’ first baseman James Loney, which would tip off the end of his glove and rolled into foul territory behind first base. After slowing down to make sure that he has touched first base, Victorino would move on to second base on Furcal’s throwing error. The next batter, Chase Utley, would then follow by guessing correctly on a first pitch fastball, sending it into the right field seats for a two-run home run, scoring Victorino before him, to tie the game up at 2-2. After Ryan Howard would ground out to Loney, for the inning’s first out, Pat Burrell would get the count up to 3-1 before he would hit a fastball into the left field seats for a solo home run, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. That would be the game for Lowe as Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre would come out and replace him with Chan Ho Park, who would then proceed to end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out to center and Pedro Feliz to ground out, 6-3. Hamels, in the seventh, would have a 1-2-3 inning, as he would get first DeWitt and then Jeff Kent to strike out swinging, and then end the inning by getting Furcal to ground out, 1-6-3, as the ball glance off of Hamels right to Rollins, before he would easily throw Furcal out at first. In the eighth, Ryan Madson would replace Hamels on the mound. Madson would begin the inning off by getting Ethier to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then come out of the dugout to tell Madson how he was to pitch to Ramirez. I have no idea if Madson actually followed Manuel’s orders or not, as Ramirez would swing at the first pitch thrown to him, a changeup, which he would line directly to third baseman Feliz for the second out. The next batter, Russell Martin, would get on base on a hard ground ball that would glance off of Feliz’s shin, which would slow it down enough for Burrell to get to it and throw it quickly to second base, holding Martin to a single. Loney would follow by hitting into a ground out, 4-3, ending the inning. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge in the ninth to close out the game. Lidge would start the inning by getting Kemp to fly out to right center, which was caught by Victorino for out number one. Blake would follow by flying out to deep center field for the inning’s second out. Lidge would then end the game by getting DeWitt to strike out swinging, getting his third save of the post-season.

Cole Hamel would get the win, his second win of the post-season, as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his first save of the series and his forty-fourth save in forty-four tries. Derek Lowe would take the lost, as he went five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out only two. His series’ record is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Greg Maddux would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no runs.

Until the sixth inning, Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe had everything going his way, having the Phillies’ bats under his control as he got most of his first fifteen outs on ground balls, including one that would lead into a double play. But, everything would change thanks to a lead-off two-base error by Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Shane Victorino ground ball. After that, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell would guess right on a couple of Lowe’s fastballs, sending them into the right and left field seats, respectively, to give the Phillies the lead, a lead that they would never surrender. Meanwhile, Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels, although giving up runs in the first and fourth innings, was only in trouble once, and that was after giving up the RBI double to Manny Ramirez in the first, as he would, after striking out Russell Martin for the inning’s second out, walk James Loney, then watch Carlos Ruiz allow an 1-0 pitch to Matt Kemp to get pass him for a pass ball, which would allow Ramirez to move up to third and Loney to second. But he would finally end the threat by getting Kemp to fly out to right. The Dodgers would not put together another major threat against Hamels, outside of scoring another run off of him in the fourth, over the next six innings, before he would hand the ball over to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

The National League Championship Series will continue in Philadelphia this afternoon, with the second game being played at Citizens Bank Park, starting at 4:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers, who is coming off a good start against the Brewers on October 2, where he pitched seven inning, giving up just two earned runs on just two hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 5-2 win. His record in the National League Divisional Series was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. His regular season record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA in 190 innings of work, as he struck out 163 batters, while walking only 65. But, his record after coming back from a minor league assignment to help clear his head is 7-4, with two no-decisions, in thirteen starts. In two starts this year against the Dodgers, he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, as he went a combined total of fourteen innings, giving up only three earned runs on fourteen hits and five walks, while striking out sixteen batters. He hopes to do as well against the Dodgers this afternoon as he did against the Brewers. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley, who is coming off his brilliant start against the Cubs on October 2, where he went six and one third innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Dodgers’ 10-3 win. During the regular season, his record was 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA in 200 and two-thirds innings of work, as he struck out 201 batters, while walking just 80. In one start against the Phillies, back on August 25, he is 0-1, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out only three, in the Dodgers’ 5-0 lost. He will be seeing if he can improve on his Divisional Series start and avoid being hit as he was in his previous start against the Phillies. The Phillies will be trying to take a two games to none lead into Los Angeles while the Dodgers will be trying to leave Philadelphia with a spilt.

National League Divisional Series: Game 2: The Phillies show that C.C. is just as human as anyone else as they ride Shane Victorino’s Grand Slam to a 5-2 win over the Brewers. They now head to Milwaukee with a 2-0 lead.

The Phillies show to the rest of the league that C.C. Sabathia is as human as the rest of us by scoring five runs off of him in the second inning before running him out of the game in the fourth as the Phillies’ ride Brett Myers’ two-hit pitching and Shane Victorino’s grand slam to a 5-1 victory over the Brew Crew. Things didn’t start out so brightly in the first inning, as the Brewers, after Mike Cameron started the game off by striking out on three pitches, would load the bases on Phillies’ starter Brett Myers via a walk to Ray Durham on four pitches, a double to Ryan Braun, which would send Durham to third, and an intentional walk to Prince Fielder. J.J. Hardy would then follow with a walk of his own, forcing in Durham with the game’s first run, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead. But Myers would then get out of the inning as the next batter, Corey Hart, would hit the first pitch thrown to him directly to Myers. Myers would throw home for the second out of the inning as Carlos Ruiz would touch home plate before Braun can cross it. Ruiz would then throw over to first, beating out Hart, for the inning’s final out. That would turn out to be the first key moment of the game, as Myers would then settle down after the first inning. Meanwhile, the Phillies would try to strike back in their half of the first, as they would have a runner on third, via a Shane Victorino double and a stolen base, and one man out, when Brewers’ starter Sabathia would end the inning by striking out both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard swinging, and doing it by throwing only seventeen pitches. But, after Myers pitches a 1-2-3 second, the Phillies would go back to work on Sabathia. After Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a fly out to left, Jayson Werth would get on base with a double. Pedro Feliz would follow him with a RBI double, knocking in Werth, and tying the game at 1-1. After a Ruiz ground out to first would put Feliz on third, Myers would come up to bat. Myers would battle with Sabathia until on the ninth pitch thrown to him, he would get a walk, putting runners on the corners. That would be the second key moment of the game, as Sabathia’s pitch count starts to rise and he is beginning to miss the plate. Jimmy Rollins would follow Myers with a four pitch walk, loading the bases, as Myers would move up to second, bringing up to the plate Victorino. Trailing in the count, 1-2, Victorino would belt a slider into the left field seats for a grand slam home run, the first one ever hit by a Phillie in the playoffs, scoring Feliz, Myers and Rollins, and giving the Phils a 5-1 lead. Sabathia would finally end the inning by getting Utley to once again strike out swinging, but by then the damage has already been done, as Sabathia’s pitch count was now up to fifty-one pitches. In the third, Myers would pitch another 1-2-3 inning, while Sabathia would only let one batter get on base, Werth via his second double of the game, but Sabathia’s pitch count was still rising as he has now thrown seventy-two pitches in three innings. In the fourth, after Myers would breeze through another inning, even though he would hit Hart with a pitch with two men out, Sabathia would finally get knocked out of the box by the Phils. They would start their half of the fourth off with a one pitch ground out, 1-3, by Ruiz. Myers would then battle Sabathia again, getting him mad in the process, as he would get the count up to 3-2 on nine pitches, before finally flying out to center on pitch number 10. Rollins would then follow with a double, the fifth double, and the sixth extra-base hit, that the Phillies would get off of Sabathia. After intentionally walking Victorino, the Phils would get a double steal as Rollins and Victorino would both move up a base, with Utley batting. These would be the third and fourth stolen bases that the Phils would get off of Sabathia. Utley would then get a walk, loading up the bases, and leading to the removal of Sabathia by Brewers’ manager Dale Sveum. At that point, Sabathia’s pitch count has risen to ninety-eight pitches. Sveum would then bring in reliever Mitch Stetter to face Howard. Stetter would get the Brewers out of the inning by striking out Howard, leaving the bases loaded. In the fifth, the Phillies would reload the bases, with two outs, via two walks (Burrell and Ruiz) and a single (Myers), but the Brewers would get out of that jam as Rollins would line out to Fielder who made a great catch on a ball that would have broken the game wide open if it has gotten through. The Phillies would threaten again in the sixth as they would put runners on second and first, with one out, via a double (Victorino) and an intentional walk (Howard), but the Brewers would get out of the inning as Seth McClung, pitching in his second inning in relief of Stetter, would strike out Burrell for the second out of the inning and then get Werth to fly out. In the seventh, the Brewers would get a run back as Craig Counsell would ground out, 4-3, scoring Hardy, who has reached base earlier with a double, only the second hit given up by Myers, and would then move to third on Hart’s fly out to right, making it a 5-2 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies half of the seventh would see the Phils go down 1-2-3 for the only time yesterday. In the Brewers’ eighth, Myers would be taken out of the game and replaced by Ryan Madson. The inning would start with a fielding error by Rollins of pinch hitter Rickie Weeks’ grounder. Madson would then get Cameron to pop (foul) out to the third baseman for the inning’s first out. Durham would then hit into a force out, 1-6, forcing out Weeks, while Durham would beat out Rollins’ throw to first. Braun would then follow with a single, moving Durham up to second base with still two men out. Madson is then taken out of the game by Charlie Manuel and replaced by J.C. Romero, to face Fielder. On Romero’s first pitch, Fielder would hit a slow grounder towards Utley, who would shovel the ball over to Howard for the inning’s final out, ending the short-lived Brewers’ threat. In the ninth, Lidge would be given the ball for the save. Unlike Tuesday’s game, Lidge would have an easy 1-2-3 inning, ending the game with a fly out to center, giving the Phillies a 5-2 win and a 2-0 lead in the series, as the two teams now head for Milwaukee for the third game of the series.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out four. His post-season record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face on one pitch. Brad Lidge would get his second post season save and his forty-third save in forty three tries, as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning. C.C. Sabathia would get the lost as he is only able to go three and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits, walking four batters, while striking out five. His post-season record is now 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA. Mitch Stetter, Seth McClung, Eric Gagne and Salomon Torres would pitch a combined total of four and one-thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up just three hits (McClung (2), Torres (1)) and walking three (McClung), with each one striking out a batter for a total of four strike outs.

The victory gives the Phillies a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they show that C.C. Sabathia is indeed human. This is mainly because most of the batters remained patient, with Brett Myers’ two at-bats against Sabathia being the key at-bats, especially the first one, as Sabathia would lose his composure after each one, leading to Shane Victorino’s grand slam in the second and Sabathia’s removal with the bases loaded, after throwing 98 pitches, in the fourth. It would seem that pitching Sabathia with only three days rest for the fourth straight game has come back to haunt the Brewers as they are now backed into a corner with the wily veteran Jamie Moyer up next to attempt to seal the deal for the Phillies. The Brewers’ ace was hit hard by the Phillies as all six of the hits off of him would be for extra-bases (5 (2B), 1 (HR)) while they also ran wild on him, stealing four bases, with Victorino leading the way with two steals. Meanwhile, Myers, after starting out a little wild and maybe being a little pinched by the home plate umpire, would gain control of the game after Corey Hart’s 1-2-3 double play ball ending the first inning, ending the Brewers best, and as it would turn out, only chance to get control of this game.  After that inning, the Brewers would not be able to handle Myers’ pitches, especially after he starts to throw at them more than just his fastball. It would appear that the Myers of the second half is back, and if he is, thank god for that.

The five games National League Divisional Series will now move to Milwaukee. The third game of the series will be played in Miller Park on Saturday and will start at 6:30 pm Eastern (5:30 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be veteran Jamie Moyer (16-7, 3.71), who is coming off a victory against the Nationals on September 27, as he went six innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 win. He has last faced the Brewers on September 11, defeating them in the game that would lead to a four game swept of the Brew Crew, as he would pitch five and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. Moyer will be trying to, like he did last Saturday, pitch the Phillies deeper into the playoff with a win. His opponent will be Dave Bush (9-10, 4.18), who is coming off his fifth straight no-decision, this time against the Cubs on September 27, as he would pitch three innings in relief, giving up no runs on no hits, while walking a batter and striking out one, in the Brewers’ 7-3 lost. His last start would be on September 23 against the Pirates, also a no-decision, as he went five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Brewers’ 7-5 win. His last start against the Phillies would be on September 14, as he pitched a no-decision, going six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Brewers’ 7-3 lost in the first game of a day/night doubleheader. Bush will be trying to prevent a sweep of the Brewers.

The Phillies will be trying to end the series early, handing the ball over to Jamie Moyer to do it. And, with the Brewers now trying to keep from getting swept, Moyer should be the right person for the job, as he’ll be trying to use the Brewers’ aggressiveness against them.

Brett Myers stayed in one inning too long as the Phillies lose again to the Marlins, 7-3.

Brett Myers talked himself into pitching the eighth inning, and this time he was unable to get through the danger zone inning as the Phillies lose another game to the pesky Marlins, 7-3. The Phillies would take the lead in the second inning as Ryan Howard lead-off the inning hitting a solo home run, his forty-second home run of the year, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Marlins would take the lead in the third, as, with a man on first and one out, Luis Gonzalez would hit a two-run home run, knocking in Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier walked, to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. The Marlins would add to their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on third and two outs, Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, scoring Dallas McPherson, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on Alfredo Amezaga’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, to make it 3-1 Marlins. The Phillies would come back in the fifth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Chris Coste would hit a RBI double, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has earlier singled, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-2. Two outs later, Coste, after being moved to third by a Brett Myers’ sacrifice bunt, would score on a Jayson Werth single, tying the ballgame. Neither team would score in both the sixth and seventh innings, as Nolasco and Myers would take control of the game. Myers, although having already thrown 104 pitches by the start of the eighth inning, would talk Charlie Manuel into letting him start the inning. Manuel would give him the ball, obviously hoping that he could get the team through the presently nightmarish inning. Sadly, it was not to be as Gonzalez would start the inning off with a single. After Brett Carroll would come in to pitch run for Gonzalez, Myers would proceed to strike out Dan Uggla for the first out of the inning. Mike Jacobs would then follow with a single, sending Carroll to third. As the Marlins sent out Robert Andino to pinch run for Jacobs, Manuel would come out and replace Myers with Chad Durbin to try and put out the fire. Sadly, that didn’t work as Durbin would give up a ground rule double to Josh Willingham, scoring Carroll, making it a 4-3 Marlins’ lead, while sending Andino to third, because of fan’s interference with the ball, that didn’t seem to have occurred according to instant replay. Durbin would then intentionally walk McPherson to load the bases. That move would work as the next batter, Paul Lo Duca, would hit into a 5-4-3 double play, ending the inning. After the Phillies go 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth, the Marlins would break the game wide open in the ninth. Amezaga would start the inning off with a single. After Matt Treanor moves Amezaga to second with a sacrifice bunt for the inning’s first out, Durbin would intentionally walk Ramirez. After Durbin is replaced by J.C. Romero, he would get pinch hitter Cody Ross to fly out for the second out of the inning. But Romero would be unable to get out of the inning as Uggla would follow with a RBI double, scoring both Amezaga and Ramirez, giving the Marlins a 6-3 lead. Romero is then replaced by Clay Condrey. Wes Helm would greet Condrey with a single, scoring Uggla, making it a 7-3 Marlins’ lead. Condrey would finally end the disaster by getting Willingham to line out to left. Matt Lindstrom would then come in the pitch an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to end the game.

Brett Myers took the hard lost as he goes seven and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out nine. His record is now 9-11 with a 4.22 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning of relief, giving up two earned runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Clay Condrey would also pitch a third of an inning, giving up only a hit. Ricky Nolasco would get the win as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out eight. His record is now 14-7 with a 3.56 ERA. Arthur Rhodes would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Matt Lindstrom would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.

Brett Myers gave it a good try, but he would simply run out of gas thanks to a high pitch count, while the offense would decide to quit hitting after tying up the game in the fifth inning,  getting only one man on base, on a walk to Pat Burrell in the sixth, after Jayson Werth’s RBI single. Myers might not have been sent out to pitch the eighth if the Phillies’ bullpen has been doing well, but of late it has been having a hard time getting through the eight inning. Charlie Manuel’s decision to let Myers go back up out, even with his high count, could have been a good move if Myers had gotten through the inning quickly. Sadly, he would throw thirteen pitches to the three men that he would face in the inning, getting out only one of them. And, of the two that would get on, one would eventually score the game winning run. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense went back to it old trick of stopping everything after a certain point, in this case after they have scored the tying run. You folks already know what I think about the offense, so I won’t say much more about it other than this: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Somebody please wake me up from this recurring nightmare!!!!!

The Phillies (79-67) will now start an important four games series with the Brewers (83-63, 2nd National League Central, 1st N.L. Wild Card). The first games of the series will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (13-7,  3.64), who is coming off a victory against the Mets on September 7, where he threw seven innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Moyer is coming off of just three days rest, something he hasn’t done in over two seasons with the Phillies, as the Phils hope that he will give them another quality start while putting them back on the winning track. The Brewers will start Ben Sheets (13-7, 2.82), who is coming off a victory against the Padres on September 6, as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up only five hits, in the Brewers’ 1-0 win. He will be trying for his fourteenth win of the year while trying to put a nail into the coffin of the Phils’ chances to reach the playoffs.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by three and a half games in the East as they defeated the Nationals last night. The Mets have the day off today. The Marlins now trail the Phillies by five games as they also take the day off. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by four games, as the two teams face off at Citizens Bank Park, while they are tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as the Astros defeated the Pirates yesterday, who they will be facing tonight, while the two teams are a half-game ahead of the Cardinals who lost to the Cubs last night, who they will be facing tonight. The Phillies will be doing whatever they can to get back into the Eastern Division pennant race, as well as putting as much pressure as they can on the Brew Crew in the wild card chase with sixteen games left in the season.

Kyle Kendrick gets bombed as the Phillies are unable to come back from a 9-1 defecit as they lose to the Marlins, 10-8.

Kyle Kendrick is knocked out of the box in the second inning, after giving up seven runs, as the Phillies lose to the Marlins, 10-8. The Marlins would take the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded thanks to two singles (John Baker and Mike Jacobs) and a walk (Jorge Cantu) and with one man out, Dan Uggla would hit a two-run single, scoring Baker and Cantu, giving the Marlins a quick 2-0 lead, while sending Jacobs to third. Josh Willingham would follow with a sacrifice fly, scoring Jacobs, to make it 3-0 Marlins. The Phillies would get a run back in their half of the first as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a soft grounder to the shortstop for the inning’s second out, 6-3, scoring Jayson Werth, who would get on base with a single, and then steal first second and then third, to cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-1. But the Marlins would go back to work on Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick in the second, as, with a runner on second and one out, Hanley Ramirez would hit a RBI double, knocking in Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad, who has doubled earlier, to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, after Baker walks, Cantu would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Ramirez and Baker, giving the Marlins a 7-1 lead. That would be it for Kendrick as Charlie Manuel would take him out of the game for J.A. Happ, who would get out of the inning with no further damage. The Marlins would then add to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on first and one out, Jacobs would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-second home run of the year, knocking in Cantu, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-1 Marlins. The Phillies would then start their comeback in their half of the fourth, as, after Volstad is taken out of the game, because of a ball hitting off his leg, and replaced with reliever Eulogio De La Cruz, with one man on base and no one out, Ryan Howard would hit a two-run home run, his forty-first home run of the year, scoring  Utley, who has earlier singled, to make it 9-3 Marlins. Two batters later, Shane Victorino would ground out, first to the pitcher, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier tripled, to cut the Marlins’ lead down to 9-4. The Marlins would get a run back in the fifth as Cody Ross would hit a lead-off home run, his twenty-first home run of the year, to give the Marlins a 10-4 lead. The Phillies would then explode in the sixth. Howard would start the inning off with a double. Burrell would then follow with a walk, putting two men on base. Victorino would follow with a single, scoring Howard, making it a 10-5 Marlins’ lead, and sending Burrell over to third. De La Cruz is then taken out of the game and replaced with Doug Waechter. After Victorino steals second to put runners on second and third, Greg Dobbs would hit a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Victorino, cutting the Marlins’ lead down to 10-7. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Dobbs, making it 10-8 Marlins, with still no one out. After Chris Coste flies out for the inning’s first out, Jimmy Rollins would hit a single, sending Stairs to third, putting runners on the corners, with still one man out. Rollins would then steal second, to put both runners in scoring position. Werth would then fly out to right for the inning’s second out, which would unfortunatley not be deep enough to score Stairs from third. Waechter is then taken out and replaced by Andrew Miller, who would end the inning by getting Utley to pop up. The Phillies would mount one last threat in the eighth as they put runners on the corners with two singles (pinch hitter Pedro Feliz, later replaced by pinch runner So Taguchi, and Rollins) with two men out. But the threat would end as Werth lines out to right. The Phillies would then go down 1-2-3 in the ninth, as the Marlins would use two different pitchers in that inning to record the final three outs, with Matt Lindstrom recording his second save of the year.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost as he is knocked out of the ballgame early, as he goes only an inning and a third, giving up seven earned runs on six hits and two walks. His record is now 11-9 with a 5.44 ERA. J.A. Happ would go three and one third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, while striking out five, all three runs coming on two home runs. Clay Condrey would pitch one and a third innings of scoreless ball, giving up only one hit. Rudy Seanez would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out a batter. Brad Lidge would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and strking out a batter. Chris Volstad would get a no-decision, as he is taken out of the game because of a ball hitting one of his legs, going three innings, giving up one earned run on two hits. Eulogio De La Cruz would pitch two innings plus three batters, as he gives up six earned runs on five hits and two walks, Doug Waechter would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on three hits. Andrew Miller would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Kevin Gregg would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. His record is now 7-8 with a 3.73 ERA. Joe Nelson would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up two hits. Arthur Rhodes would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Lindstrom would record his second save of the year as he goes a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits.

Kyle Kendrick would get knocked around by the Marlins, not lasting two innings, thus showing that his stint in the bullpen last weekend didn’t seem to do anything for him. Because of the seven runs that he gave up, along with the three that J.A. Happ would give up later on a pair of home runs, the Phillies’ offense would be put in an early hole that they could not fully climb out of. I hate to say it, but Kendrick needs to be seated on the bench for a while, until he can find out what his problem is and correct it. If this means some time back in the minors at the start of ’09, then so be it, he just need to get back into attacking batters and not worry about what they are going to do with his pitches. He might also develop an out pitch while he’s at it.

The Phllies (79-66) are right now playing the final game of their three games series with the Marlins (73-72) at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter is Brett Myers (9-10, 4.19), who is coming off a recent win against the Mets on September 5, where he threw eight shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 win. Since coming back from the minors, Myers has posted a 6-1 record with two no-decisions, which the Phillies have split. He will be looking to even his record while keeping the Phillies paced with the Mets. The Marlins will send to the mound Ricky Nolasco (13-7, 3.56), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on September 5, as he would go seven innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits, in the Marlins’ 4-1 win. His previous start against the Phillies on July 18 was a lost, as he went seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits in the Marlins’ 4-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to do better against the Phillies then he did in his previous start.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by two and a half games in the East as they face the Nationals later today. They lead the Marlins by six games going into this afternoon’s game. In the wild card chase, they are now three and a half games behind Milwaukee, as they have just defeated the Reds, while they are presently a half game ahead of the Cardinals who will play the Cubs tonight and a game ahead of the Astros who will play the Pirates tonight. The Phillies will need to win today to keep pace in both the division and the wild card.

Joe Blanton finally gets his second win as a Phil as the Phillies hold on to defeat the Marlins, 8-6.

In spite of himself, Joe Blanton records his second victory in a Phillie uniform as the Phillies hold on to beat the slowly fading Marlins, 8-6. The Phillies would score first in the first inning, as, with a runner on third and one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, stole second and has gone to third on Marlins’ catcher John Baker’s throwing error, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. It would become 2-0 Phils as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Utley. The Marlins would come back in the second inning, as, with the bases loaded via two straight walks (Mike Jacobs and Dan Uggla) and a single (Josh Willingham) and nobody out, Baker would hit a sacrifice fly for the inning’s first out, scoring Jacobs and moving Uggla to third, cutting the Phillies lead to 2-1. The Marlins would then tie the game on Alfredo Amezaga ground out to first, which would score Uggla with the tying run and move Willingham to second. Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would finally get out of the inning by getting Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez to line out to right. The Phillies would regain the lead in their half of the second as, with runners on second and third and no one out, Blanton would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Stairs, who has earlier walked and has gone to third on Carlos Ruiz’s double, to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, while sending Ruiz over to third. Ruiz would then score on a RBI single by Rollins, giving the Phillies a 4-2 load. Three batters later, with runners on first and second and two outs, and after Sanchez was replaced by Marlins’ reliever Mark Hendrickson, Howard would hit a RBI single off of Hendrickson’s leg, scoring Rollins, who has stolen second, for his second (of three) stolen bases for the evening, to make it 5-2 Phillies, while Utley, who has walked, would go over to third. Hendrickson would then end the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out. The Marlins would make it 5-4 Phillies in the third, as, with a runner on first and two outs, Jacobs would hit a two-run home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, scoring Hanley Ramirez, who has earlier walked, the third man whom Blanton would walk that evening, all of whom would later score. The Marlins would not be able to cause any more damage for the next several innings as Blanton would finally settle down, although being removed after performing five innings of so-so work, and then would be shut down for two superb innings of work by Chad Durbin. In the meantime, Hendrickson would keep the Phillies’ bats quiet for three innings, giving up only one more hit. The Phillies would then strike in the bottom of the seventh, as, with two men on and two outs, Werth would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who has walked, went to second when Utley was hit by the pitch, and move to third on Howard’s force out, and Howard, who has reached first on a force out, to give the Phillies an 8-4 lead. The Marlins then tried to come back in the eighth. After J.C. Romero would get the lead-off hitter, he would walk Jorge Cantu. Pinch hitter Cody Ross would then follow with a two-run pinch hit home run, his twentieth home run of the year, scoring Cantu, making it 8-6 Phillies. Charlie Manuel would then come out and take out Romero, and replace him with Ryan Madson. Madson would then proceed to strike out Uggla for the second out of the inning. After Madson gives up a double to Willingham, Manuel would come back to the mound and replace Madson with Scott Eyre. Eyre would then end the inning by getting Baker to fly out. In the top of the ninth, Brad Lidge is handed the ball. After getting out the lead-off man, Lidge would give up a double to pinch hitter Dallas McPherson and then a single to Ramirez, putting runners on the corner. But that would be it as Lidge would then strike out both Wes Helm and Cantu to end the ballgame, as he records his thirty-fifth save in as many tries.

Joe Blanton, would get the win, his second as a Phil since the trade, as he only goes five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits and three walks, all of whom would score. His record is now 7-12 (2-0) with an ERA of 4.86. Chad Durbin would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on one hit and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre would both pitch a third of an inning, giving up only one hit (Madson) while striking out one (also Madson). Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits while striking out two as he records his thirty-fifth save of the year. Anibel Sanchez would get the lost as he would only last one and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, and two walks. His record is now 2-4 with a 6.46 ERA. Mark Hendrickson would pitch three and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up only two hits. Logan Kensing would also pitch a scoreless innging, giving up no hits. Andrew Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on no hits, a walk and a hit batter. Joe Nelson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on one hit.

In spite of his so-so pitching, Joe Blanton has finally won his second start as a Phil. Frankly, people I am not impressed. Why? Because the press release on this guy says that he can go deep into games and thus help to save the bullpen. For me, late means at least the seventh inning. And how many times has this guy reached at least the seventh? Two times. That’s right, people, just two times. He has not reached the eight or ninth inning since putting on the red pinstripes, and in his nine starts against National League clubs (once his rain shorten appearence has been removed) this is as far as he has gotten: 4 innings: 1; 5 innings: 3; 5 plus innings: 1; 6 innings: 2; 7 innings: 2. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a guy who can go deep into games? Folks, I think the front office, once again, has been outsmarted!!! (Gee, what a surprise, that’s a tradition with the Phillies front office.) Hey Blanton, want to prove me wrong? STOP GETTING INTO LONG PITCH COUNTS IN THE FIRST FEW INNINGS, YOU TWIT!!!!! You’ll get deeper into games.

The Phillies (79-65) will continue their three games home stand with the Marlins (72-72) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (11-8, 5.06), who is coming off a very bad start against the Nationals on September 1, where he only went four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. The Phils have skipped his previous start in the rotation, which would’ve been last Sunday against the Mets and have put him instead against the fish. During the Mets series he would work out in the bullpen, trying to regain his composure as well as get over his sudden fear of pitching against opposing batters. Rich Dubee has claimed that the change of pace has done Kendrick some good. I for one hope so, although we all know who is waiting in the wings if he continues to mess up. *Cough HAPP Cough* Kendrick will be trying for his twelfth win while hoping to help the Phillies keep pace with the Mets. The Marlins will counter with Chris Volstad (4-3, 3.32), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 3, where he went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 5-3 win. His previous start against the Phillies on August 7 was a victory as he pitched sixth innings, giving up no earned runs on three scattered hits, in the Marlins’ 3-0 win. He will be looking to improve his record while seeing if he can continue to bug the Phillies’ offense.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by a game and a half, as they begin a two games series with the Nationals in New York. They now lead the Marlins by seven games as they continue their series. In the wild card chase, they trail the Brewers by three games as the Brew Crew lost to the Reds, while they are a game and a half ahead of the Cardinals as they prepare to meet the Cubs for three games and are two games ahead of the Astros, who has defeated the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to gain some ground on both the Mets in the East and the Brewers in the wild card chase. 

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