Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’

The Phils give Cliff Lee plenty of runs support as the Phils crush the Cubs, 7-1.

The Phils give Cliff  Lee plenty of runs to work with early as they defeat the Cubs, 7-1.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits a two-run double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier reached base on second baseman Dawin Barney’s fielding error, then moved up to second base on Shane Victorino’s single, and Victorino, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Cubs cut the Phils’ lead in the third as, with two men on, and with two men out, Lou Martinez hits an RBI single, scoring Starlin Castro, who had earlier walked, then went to second base on Barney’s single, cutting it down to a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Barney, who had just singled, up to second base. The Phils made it a 3-1 lead in the seventh as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Victorino, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Utley’s ground out, 4-3. The Phils then added to their lead two batters later as Raul Ibanez hits an RBI double, scoring Howard, giving the Phils a 4-1 lead. The Phils then took a 5-1 lead in the eighth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, went to second on pinch hitter Michael Martinez’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, and then stopped at third on Rollins’ ground out, 3-1. The Phils then took a 7-1 lead as Utley hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the year, knocking in Victorino. That would be the final score as Antonio Bastardo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

Cliff Lee (6-5, 3.41) got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up just one run on four hits and two walks, while he struck out seven. Antonio Bastardo pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Matt Garza (2-6, 3.84) took the lost as he went six innings, giving up two runs, only one  of which was earned, on five hits and three walks, while striking out four. Sean Marshall pitched an inning, giving up two runs on three hits. Casey Coleman pitched an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk, while he struck out one.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in a run. Chase Utley followed with two hits, a double and a home run, knocking in four runs. Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), Placido Polanco (Single), Raul Ibanez (Double, RBI), Carlos Ruiz (Single) and Cliff Lee (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits.

The Phils (39-26, 1st East) will conclude their series with the Cubs (25-38, 5th Central), with a game that is already in progress.

The Phils hold on against a late Cubs rally to make Roy Halladay the league’s first nine game winner as they defeat the Cubs, 7-5.

The Phils hold off a late inning rally by the Cubs to make their ace Roy Halladay the NL’s first nine game winner as they defeat the Cubs, 7-5.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits into an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then went all the way to third on Chase Utley’s grounder, as Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Victorino’s single, was caught between third and home on the grounder, before being tagged out at home plate, 1-5-2, for the inning’s first out, but allowing Victorino to reach third, and Utley to reach second base on the play. The Phils then took a 3-0 lead in the second as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Dom Brown hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had just walked. The Phils then took what was thought to be a commanding lead in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to Rollins, who then moved up to second on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4, then walks to both Utley and Howard, and with one man out, Placido Polanco hits a grand-slam home run, his fourth home run of the season, and his 100th career home run, scoring Rollins, Utley and Howard, making it a 7-0 Phils’ lead. The Cubs then came back in the eighth. After Kosuke Fukudome walked, he would be forced out at second base on a Darwin Barney grounder, 5-4, as Utley would be unable to complete the double play, for the inning’s first out. The next batter, Starlin Castro, would then follow with a double, with Barney stopping at third, putting runners on second and third. Carlos Pena then walks to load up the bases. Aramis Ramirez then follows with a two-run single, scoring both Barney and Castro, cutting the Phils’ lead to 7-2, while sending Pena over to third, putting runners on the corners, with still one man out. Charlie Manuel then came out and relieved Jose Contreras, replacing him with J.C. Romero. Romero then proceeded to walk Blake DeWitt, reloading the bases.  The next batter, Geovany Soto, followed with an RBI single, scoring Pena, making it a 7-3 Phils’ lead, while Ramirez would stop at third base, and DeWitt at second, leaving the bases loaded. The next batter, pinch hitter Lou Martinez, made it a 7-5 Phils’ lead with a two-run single, knocking in both Ramirez and DeWitt, while sending Soto up to second base. Manuel decided that was enough as he came back out and took the ball from Romero, replacing him with Michael Stutes. Stutes then proceeded to shut down the Cubs, as he first struck out pinch hitter Brad Snyder on a called third strike, before getting Fukudome, the tenth batter of the inning, to fly out to left on the first pitch. The Cubs then tried to erupt again in the ninth as their lead-off hitter, Barney, got on base with a walk, but the following batter, Castro, struck out swinging, for the inning’s first out, while Carlos Ruiz dropped the ball, although, with a runner on first, it’s still a strikeout, and the batter can’t go to first. But, Barney tried to move up to second, and is gunned down at second by Ruiz, who picked up the ball and threw to second, where the ball is caught by Utley, who applied the tag, for a strikeout-double play, for the inning’s second out. Antonio Bastardo then comes in to replace Stutes, before he recorded his second save of the season by striking out Pena, swinging, for the final out.

Roy Halladay (9-3, 2.39) got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up six hits, while striking out nine. Jose Contreras pitched a third of an inning, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks. J.C. Romero pitched to three batters, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Michael Stutes received his third hold of the year as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up a walk, while striking out two. Antonio Bastardo collected his second save of the season, as he went a third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Carlos Zambrano (5-3, 4.40) took the lost as he went six and a third innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and seven walks, while he struck out five. James Russell and Jeff Samardzija combine for one and two-thirds scoreless inning, giving up a hit (Russell), while striking out four (two batters each) between them.

The Phis had eight hits between them, with Shane Victorino (Singles) and Raul Ibanez (Single, Double), both leading the team with two hits apiece. Chase Utley (Single), Placido Polanco (Home Run, 4 RBIs), Dom Brown (Home Run, 2 RBIs) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard knocked in the other Phil run with a ground out.

The Phils (38-26, 1st East) will continue their series with the Cubs (25-37, 5th Central) with an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 4:10 pm EDT and will be televised nationally on Fox Sports. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (5-5, 3.62) who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on June 6, as he went seven strong innings, giving up just seven hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-1 win. He will be going for his sixth win of the season. The Cubs plan to counter with Matt Garza (2-5, 4.07), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on June 6, as he went only four innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Cubs’ 8-2 lost. He will be trying to give the Cubs the lead in the four game series. The Phils will be out to give Lee some offensive support this afternoon.

The Phils are unable to support Joe Blanton’s stellar performance before being blown away in the 8th inning, as they lose to the Rays, 7-1.

The Phils’ bat waste a good effort by Joe Blanton, before watching the Rays bust the game wide open in the eighth inning, losing 7-1. The lost means that the Phils have now participated in another losing season of Interleague Play. GGGRRRR!!!!!

The Rays took the lead in the second as, with one man on, and one man out, Pat Burrell hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, scoring Carlos Pena, who had earlier singled, making it 2-0 Rays. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who would end up giving up only six hits and two walks, as he struck out ten Rays in seven plus innings of work, and Rays’ starter Matt Garza, who was one hitting the Phils, striking out six batters (seven overall) by the seventh inning. In the seventh, the Phils cut the Rays lead to 2-1 as, with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Rays would then break the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, and two men out, Burrell hits a ball to Phils’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins which should had ended the inning, if he had thrown it over to first for the sure out. Instead, he threw over to second base, where it was beaten out by Ben Zobrist, who had earlier walked, allowing Carl Crawford, who had earlier singled, moved on to second when Pena was hit by the pitch, and then moved over to third on Zobrist’s walk, to score, while Pena, who had been hit by the pitch, and had moved up to second on Zobrist’s walk, to move to third, as the Rays increaded their lead to 3-1, as the bases remained loaded. The Rays would then make it a 5-1 game as Jason Bartlett hits a two-run single, knocking in both Pena and Zobrist, while sending Burrell, who had been safe at first on the fielder’s choice ground ball, to third base, putting runners on the corners. Gabe Gross then followed with a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Bartlett, making it a 7-1 Rays’ lead. That would be the final score as the Phils went down in the ninth.

Joe Blanton took the lost in spite of pitching a very good game, as he went seven innings plus one batter, giving up only two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out ten. His record is now 4-4, with an ERA of 5.06. J.C. Romero pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. Chan Ho Park pitched a third of an inning in relief, giving up a run on two hits. Matt Garza got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up only a run on three hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out seven. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA. Randy Choate pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit and a walk.

The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with two hits, including a solo home run, accounting for the Phils only run, and one hit each by Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs. The Phils’ batters were kept off-balanced for most of last night by Garza as they fail to support a good effort by Blanton,

The Phillies (37-32, 1st National League East) will conclude their interleague game series with the Rays (38-35, 4th American League East) tonight. The game will start at 7:08 pm Eastern and will be played at Tropicana Field. The Phils’ starter will be Rookie Antonio Bastardo (2-2, 5.21), who is coming off a lost against the Orioles on June 19, where he went seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits, as he struck out five, in the Phils’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying for his third win of the season, while trying to give the Phils the chance to win another road series. The Rays will counter with Andy Sonnanstine (5-7, 6.60), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on June 19, where he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Rays’ 5-3 lost. He will be trying to give the Rays a series win, while trying to improve his record. The Phillies will be trying for another road series win, only their second series win in Interleague Play.

2008 World Series: Game 3: The Phillies win Game 3 on a Walk-Off Single by Carlos Ruiz with the Bases Loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies take a two games to one lead in the series.

The Phillies have now taken a two games to one lead in the 2008 World Series on a bases loaded, no one out, walk-off single down the third base line by Carlos Ruiz, as the Phillies would defeat the Rays, 5-4.

After a long rain delay, the game would start around 10 pm Eastern time. The Phillies would take a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI ground out to first, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s walk, and would both move up to third and second on Rays’ starter Matt Garza’s wild pitch, and send Werth on to third. The Rays would tie the game up in the second when, with a runner on third and one out, Gabe Gross would hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Carl Crawford, who has earlier doubled and would then steal third. The Phillies would retake the lead in their half of the second when, with two outs and no one on, Carlos Ruiz would hit a home run to left, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Garza and Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, who would both refuse to give up another run for the next three innings. The Rays, in the top of the sixth, would come close to taking the lead, as, with a runner on second (B.J. Upton (single and stolen base)), and two men out, Evan Longoria would hit a deep fly ball to left that would be caught by Pat Burrell in front of the left field wall for the inning’s final out, as the winds would help keep the ball in the field of play. Then, in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, they would increase their lead as Utley would hit a lead-off home run, his second home run of the series, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. Ryan Howard would then follow with a solo home run of his own, his first of the post-season, to make it 4-1 Phillies. But the Rays would come back in the seventh. The inning would start with a bunt single by Crawford, who was actually out, as shown in various instant replays, as Moyer, after catching the ball in the air, would throw it over to Howard, who would catch the ball barehanded before Crawford would actually touch the base, but an out of position first base umpire Tom Hallion would instead call him safe. Dioner Navarro would then follow with a double to left, sending Crawford over to third. Gross would follow with a sharp grounder to first that Howard would make a spectacular catch on and would then beat Gross to first base for the inning’s first out, as Crawford would score, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 4-2, while Navarro would move on over to third. That would be the ballgame for Moyer as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and take him out to the cheers of the crowd, and then replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then give up a RBI ground out to Jason Bartlett, 4-3, which would knock in Navarro, making it a 4-3 Phils’ lead. After pinch hitter Willy Aybar walks, Manuel would come back out and take out Durbin and replace him with Scott Eyre to face Akinori Iwamura. Eyre would proceed to strike out Iwamura swinging on a 3-2 fastball. The Rays would then tie the game in the eighth, as, with a runner on second and one man out, Upton, who has earlier singled and then stole second, would try to steal third. He would reach third with the stolen base, and then head for home with the tying run, as Ruiz’s throw would hit him and bounce towards the Phils’s third base dug out for an error. Ryan Madson, who was on the mound at the time, would then get Longoria to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out. Manuel would then replace him with J.C. Romero, who would end the inning by getting Crawford to fly out to right on one pitch. The Phillies would attempt to retake the lead in their half of the eighth, as Werth would start the inning off with a walk, and would then steal second. After Utley would strike out swinging, Werth would be picked off second by Rays’ reliever J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by striking out Howard looking. Madson would then proceed to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, as he woukd first strike out Navarro, get Gross to ground out, 4-3, and then get Bartlett to also ground out, 6-3. In the Phillies’ ninth, Eric Bruntlett, a late inning replacement for Burrell, would bd hit by a pitch from Howell, taking first base. The Rays would then proceed to replace Howell with Grant Balfour. Balfour would then throw a wild pitch, which would quickly come back to Rays’ catcher Navarro. But, Navarro, as he tried to throw out Bruntlett at second, would instead throw the ball into right center field for an error, allowing Bruntlett to reach third base with nobody out. The Rays would then intentionally walk both Shane Victornio and pitch hitter Greg Dobbs to load the bases, while the Rays would bring in right fielder Gross to set up a five men infield, while leaving only two men in the outfield, with both of them playing shallow, to face Ruiz. On a 2-2 fastball, Ruiz would hit a slow roller down the third base line. The Rays’ third baseman Longoria, after grabbing the ball, would try to flip to Navarro to force out Bruntlett at home plate. But Longoria’s throw would fly past Novarro, allowing Bruntlett to score the winning run for the Phillies’ 5-4 walk-off win.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision as he would pitch six and one-third strong innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would also pitch a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would get a blown save as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs or hits, while striking out one. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Matt Garza would also get a no-decision as he would pitch six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out seven. Chad Bradford would pitch an inning plus one batter, giving up no runs and no hits and a walk. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would also pitch an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits and a hit batsman, while striking out two. His series record is now 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Grant Balfour would face three batters, getting none of them out, as he would give up no runs on one hit and two intentional walks.

Jamie Moyer would pitch a strong game, returning to his second half form, as he constantly outpitched the Rays’ batters, before finally being taken out of the game in the seventh, thanks in part to first base umpire Tom Hallion’s blown call at first base that would help lead to two runs scoring later in the inning. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ bat, while they would still do very little scoring, would produce three solo shots by Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard off of the Rays’ starter Matt Garza, who would get very upset after Howard’s solo shot, while they would also score a run via a ground out in the first, before Ruiz’s slow single down the third base line would bring in the final run. Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollin would finally get on base with two singles, scoring a run shortly after getting his first hit of the series, while Howard would finally do some post-season damage with the long ball.

The 2008 World Series will continued later tonight with the fourth game of the series from Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:29 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers in the NLCS on October 13, as he would go just five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 7-5 win. In the post-season, his record is 1-0 with an ERA of 3.27, as he would pitch eleven innings, giving up four earned runs on twelve hits and four walks, while striking out eleven. His regular season record is 9-12 (4-0) with a 4.69 (4.20) ERA in thirty-three starts, where he would give up 110 runs, 103 of which were earned, on 211 hits and 66 walks, while striking out 111 batters in 197 and two-thirds innings. He will be trying for his second post-season win and to put the Phillies in position for clinching the crown at home. The Rays’ starter will be Andy Sonnanstine (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a win against the Red Sox in the ALCS on October 14, as he would pitch seven and one-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Rays’ 13-4 win. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA, as he would pitch thirteen innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks, while striking out six. His regular season record is 13-9 with a 4.28 ERA in thirty-two starts, where he would give up 105 runs, 94 of which would be earned, on 212 hits and 37 walks, while striking out 124 in 193 and one-third innings. He will be trying for his third post-season win while trying to even the series up at two games apiece.

The keys in this game will be for the Phillies to find some way to get to Sonnanstine with their bats, especially since he seems to give up very few walks. At the same time, Joe Blanton will need to use whatever knowledge he will have from pitching against the Rays’ batters in the past to his best advantage. The Phillies have a chance to take a commanding three games to one lead and giving the ball back to Cole Hamels to possibily clinch the crown on Monday with a win in game four.

2008 World Series: Game 3: As Jamie Moyer prepares to pitch for his first win in the post-season, the Phillies’ offense prepares to start knocking in runs.

The third game of the 2008 World Series will be played tonight in Citizens Bank Park. The game is scheduled to start at 8:22 pm Easten time, after the rain finally ends. The Phillies starter will be Jamie Moyer (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a bad start, his second in the post-season, against the Dodgers on October 12 in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, where he would only pitch an inning and a third, giving up six earned runs on six hits, while striking out only two, in the Phillies’ 7-2 lost. In the post-season, his record is 0-2 with a rather high ERA of 13.50, as he would only go 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 a 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 longer experience and his wits against their youth and aggressiveness. The Rays’s starter will be Matt Garza (0-0, -.–), who will be coming off a victory against the Red Sox on October 19, as he pitched 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 pitched 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 be trying to be as dominant against the Phillies’ batters as he was in his two starts against the Red Sox, hoping that the Phillies’ bat won’t take coming back to Philadelphia as a good reason to break loose.

The key for the Phillies tonight will be first for Jamie Moyer to regain his regular form, using his past experience and his wits against a bunch of young guns who will probably be expecting to feast on his slow stuff. If he does, the Rays’ batters will find themselves in for a long night. At the same time, the Phillies’ offense needs to rebound from its dismal start and start knocking in runners in key situations by using both patient and strategic hitting. They may be forced 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 they’ll help to jump start the Phils’ offense, then they should use it. Just plain old fundemental baseball. Among which wil be to stop trying to swing for the fences when being willing to give up an out for a run will do the trick. Another key will be, once again, for Jimmy Rollins to get on base, and for him to stop swinging at high fastballs. If that would require him to change his batting stance, then change his stance. At the moment, he is not catching up with those pitches. And lastly, Ryan Howard will need to continue what he did last night, as he is way over due for an offensive break out. The big man 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!!!

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!!!

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