Results tagged ‘ Matt Kemp ’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Brett Myers throws seven innings of shutout ball as the Phillies sweep the Dodgers, 5-0. Bring on the Mets!!!

Brett Myers and the bullpen would combine to shutout the Dodgers on thirteen hits as the Phillies would complete their four games sweep of the Dodgers, their first four games sweep of the Bums in Philly since 1929. After Brett Myers and Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley are both able to get out of first inning jams, the Phillies would score their first runs in the second inning, as, with two men on and two outs, Jimmy Rollins would hit a two-run single, scoring Jayson Werth, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, and Pedro Feliz, who has earlier singled, and who would both move up a base on Myers’ sacrifice bunt, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fifth, as Pat Burrell would hit into a double play, doubling up Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, as Rollins scored on the play, having gotten on base with a double, and moving over to third on Utley’s single, to make it 3-0 Phillies. They would then threathen to score some more runs in the inning by loading up the bases via a walk to Ryan Howard, a single to Shane Victorino and another walk to Werth. But Billingsley would finally end the inning by getting Feliz to ground out. The Dodgers would then threathen to score in the top of the seventh as they loaded up the bases via two singles (Mark Sweeney and Andre Ethier) and a walk (Matt Kemp), with one out. But Myers would get out of the inning by first striking out Jeff Kent, and then getting Manny Ramirez to fly out deep to right. The Phillies would then score their final runs in their half of the seventh, as, with a man on third with one out, Werth would hit a RBI single, scoring Howard, who has earlier doubled and then move to third on Burrell’s ground out to first, to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. After moving to second base on Feliz’s single, Werth would score all the way from second on Chris Coste’s ground out, second to first, as he kept on running off of the crack of the bat, to make it 5-0 Phillies. That would be the ballgame as J.C. Romero and Clay Condrey would both come in to pitch a pair of scoreless innings, although the Dodgers would threathen to score in both innings.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitches seven innings of shut out ball, giving up nine scattered hits, as he struck out eight batters while walking three. His record is now at 7-10, 4-1 since coming back from the minors, with his ERA dropping to 4.49. J.C. Romero and Clay Condrey would both pitch a scoreless inning, with both giving up two hits apiece while striking out one man each. Chad Billingsley would get the lost as he goes six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 10-8 with a 3.15 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Tanyon Sturtze would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

For the third time in the four games series, the offense would end up getting ten hits, with Jimmy Rollins leading the way this time as he is just a hit short of getting the cycle, as he goes 3 for 3 with a single, a double and a triple, along with a walk and also being hit by the pitch, as he also knocks in two runs while scoring one more, as he has his first multi-hit game since the August 9 game against the Pirates. He was followed by Chase Utley and Pedro Feliz who each had two hits, as all of the starters, except for Pat Burrell and Chris Coste, who both took the collar, would have at least one hit. If the Phillies’ offense continues like this in their series with the Mets, the team from New York might soon find themselves once again trailing the Phillies.

The Phillies (72-59) will now face the first place Mets (73-59) in an important two games series for first place in the National League East. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.54), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on August 21, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up just an earned run on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. His last two starts against the Mets were a pair of no-decisions, both of which would eventually be lost by the Phils, as he would go a combined thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits. He will be looking to pitch his fifteenth straight good start, as he goes for his second straight win, while trying to pitch the Phillies back into first place. The Mets will counter with Pedro Martinez (4-3, 3.97), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on August 21, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 5-4 win. In his last start against the Phillies on July 7, he would get the win as he pitches five and one thirds inning, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 10-9 win. He will be trying to keep the Mets in first place in the East against a resurgent Phillies’ offense.

The Phillies trail the Mets by a half game as they prepare for a very important two games series with the Mets. The Marlins trail the Phillies by five games as they took the day off last night as they prepare for a three games series with the once mighty Braves. The Phillies will be trying to regain first place from the Mets before they head off to Chicago to play a three games series with the Major League leading Cubs.

The Phillies’ offense erupt for the second straight game while Cole Hamels pitched another gem as the Phillies beat the Dodgers again, 9-2.

The Phillies’ offense would knock out of the box not one, but two Dodgers’ pitchers, as they would score nine runs, while Cole Hamels would pitch his second straight pitching gem in front of a national audience, as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 9-2. After Hamels put down the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the first, the Phillies would take a quick 3-0 lead in their half of the inning as Pat Burrell would hit a three-run home run off of Dodgers’ starter, Clayton Kershaw, his thirtieth home run of the year, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has been hit by the pitch, and Chase Utley, who has gotten on base with a single. The Dodgers would cut the lead down to 3-2 in the third when Russell Martin would hit a two-run home run, his twelfth home run of the year, scoring James Loney, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would add to their lead in the fifth inning. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Utley would follow with a walk, sending Rollins to second. Burrell would then hit a fly ball to center that should have been the inning’s first out. Instead, it would end up being a double as center fielder Matt Kemp would somehow lose sight of the ball, which would then drop in behind him for a hit. Rollins would score to make it 4-2 Phillies, while Utley would go on to third base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Utley and Burrell, to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead, and knocking out Kershaw, who would be replaced by Jason Johnson, who would finally end the Phillies’ threat. The Phillies would then break the game open in the sixth, as Hamels would start the inning off by being hit by the pitch. After a Rollins’ ground out, second to first, sends Hamels over to second, Utley would send him home with a RBI single, making it 7-1 Phillies. Burrell would follow with a single, sending Utley to second. Burrell’s hit would knock out Johnson, who would be replaced on the mound with Joe Beimel. Howard would greet him with a walk, loading up the bases. Victorino would then follow him with a two-run single, scoring both Utley and Burrell and sending Howard to third, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. Beimel would finally end the inning by striking out both Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz. That would be how the ball game would end as Hamels, Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would together put down the last nine Dodgers’ batters with ease.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitched his second straight gem in front of a national audience, as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five. His record is now 11-8 as his ERA drops to 3.20. Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez would each pitch a scoreless inning, with neither man giving up a hit. Clayton Kershaw would get the lost, as he lasts only four innings plus four batters, giving up six earned runs on seven hits while striking out five and hitting a batter. His record is now 2-4 with a 4.11 ERA. Jason Johnson would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up three earned runs on two hits and also hitting a batter. Joe Beimel would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up a hit. Ramon Troncoso would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

For the second straight game, the Phillies’ offense would score more than three runs in a game, while also getting ten hits for their second straight game. And they would also knock out an opposing starter for their second straight game, as well as a reliver for good measure, in their nine runs eruption. Every starter would get at least a hit, except for Chris Coste, who took the collar. Pat Burrell would lead the attack with three hits, while also driving in five runs, tying his career high, followed by Chase Utley with two. And they did it in part via situational hitting and smart baserunning. Although it would appear that the offense is back, I won’t believe it is until I see what they do against the Mets this coming week.

The Phillies (70-59) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (65-64, 2nd National League West) tomorrow night, with their second straight nationally televised game, this time to be shown on ESPN. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.87), who is coming off his second straight so-so outing, this one against the Nationals on August 19, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. He has pitched against the Dodgers the previous week, on August 13, in his previous so-so outing, only going five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to get back to the way he was pitching before his two starts slide, while hoping that the offense will continue its present attack. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Hiroki Kuroda (7-9, 3.97), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on August 19, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Dodgers’ 8-3 lost. He has faced the Phillies once already this year, a victory on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win. He will be trying to stop the Phillies’ offense while trying to improve his record.

The Phillies are once again trailing the Mets by a game and a half, as the Mets have lost to the Astros. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games, as the D-backs beat the fish. The Phillies will try to see if they can sweep the Dodgers in front of a national audience while hoping to get even closer to the Mets before their two games series next week.

Phillies get swept by Dodgers as offense waste a good effort by Myers. Lost drops Phils into second place in the East.

The Phillies get two hit by Dodgers’ pitching as a good effort by Brett Myers is wasted as the Phils get swept by the Dodgers, 3-1. The lost puts them in second place in the National League East, a game behind the Mets. The Dodgers would get their first run of the game in the second inning, as, with a runner on third, and one out, Nomar Garciaparra would hit a ground ball that would bounce out of Myers’ reach and be grabbed by Chase Utley, who would then proceed to throw out Garciaparra at first, as he knocks in James Loney, who has tripled earlier on a ball that would get past a diving Geoff Jenkins, who would try to make a diving catch instead of just grabbing it on a bounce and keeping it a single, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The Dodgers would add a second run in the sixth as Matt Kemp would hit a lead off home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, and only the second given up by Myers since coming back from the minors, to make it 2-0 LA. The Phillies would finally get a run across in the seventh as Ryan Howard would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier doubled and reach third on Utley’s ground out, pitcher to first, cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1. Werth’s double would be the Phils second and last hit of the night (the other one being Utley’s double in the fourth with two outs) as Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda would keep the bats quiet during his seven innings of work, walking none and striking out seven Phils. The Dodgers would get the run back in their half of the seventh, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Casey Blake would hit a RBI single, scoring Russell Martin, who has earlier singled and then stole second, to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. That would be it as Hong-Chih Kuo would pitch two scoreless innings in relief, letting only one man get on base, via a walk, as he would record his first save of the year.

Brett Myers would take the lost in spite of a quality start in which he would go seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, as he struck out eight Dodgers, one of whom being Manny Ramierz, whom he would muzzle by having him go 0 for 3 with a walk, the only walk Myers would allow during the game. His record is now 5-10 with a 5.02 ERA. Scott Eyre would pitch a scorless inning, giving up one hit, walking one batter while striking out one. Hideki Kuroda would get the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up only one earned run on two hits while striking out seven. His record is now 7-8 with a 3.88 ERA. Hong-Chih Kuo would get his first save of the year, as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up no hits.

The Phillies’ offense has just hit a new low as it was able to get only two hits last night in their lack of support of another excellent outing by one of their starters, this one provided by Brett Myers, his fourth quality start since his return from the minors to get his head straighten out. I am not going to state the obvious as it looks like this team is just plain lifeless. It is obvious that they need a spark to get them going, but they just don’t seem to know where to find it. If anyone is able to find a spark, please send it to Citizens Bank Park. PLEASE!!!!

The now second place Phillies (64-57) now head down to San Diego for a three games series with the Padres (47-74, 5th National League West). The game will be played tonight in PETCO Park, and will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send to the mound the 45 years old veteran Jamie Moyer (10-7, 3.81), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 10, where he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. Lifetime against the Padres, he is 7-7 with a 4.53 ERA in 17 starts, including a start this year on April 30, a lost, in which he would pitch five and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 lost. He will be looking to pitch his thirteenth consecutive quality start while trying to end the Phillies’ four game slide and keep them close to the Mets. His opponent will be veteran pitcher and Phillies’ killer Greg Maddux (6-8, 4.12), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on August 9, where he went six innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits, in the Padres’ 8-3 win. He has faced the Phillies once already this year, on April 29, when they would at the time deny him his 350th win, as he would pitch six and a third innings in a losing effort, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, in the Padres’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to revenge his earlier season lost while seeing if he can continue the Phillies’ present offensive struggles.

The now second place Phillies trail the Mets by a game, as New York prepares to play the Pirates in Pittsburgh for a weekend series. They are ahead of the Marlins by a game and a half as the Marlins get ready to visit the red hot Cubs in Miami. The Braves are nine games behind the Phillies, as they get ready to host the Giants. The Phillies hope that they can get some wins in San Diego, to stay close to the Mets, before coming back home for a nine games series that will begin this coming Tuesday with the Nationals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bullpen allows one to slip away as Cole Hamels is once again denied win no. 10.

The Phillies’ bullpen allows a win to slip away as another good outing by Cole Hamels is wasted as the Phillies lose to the Dodgers, 4-3. The Phillies would score their first run in the first inning, as Chase Utley, batting second against Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw, would hit a solo shot, his thirtieth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Dodgers would tie the game in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and two outs, Casey Blake would hit a RBI single, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would retake the lead in the second when Cole Hamels would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, knocking in Chris Coste, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on Eric Bruntlett’s single, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third as Pat Burrell would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled and then stole third, to make it 3-1 Phillies. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Kershaw and Hamels, with Kershaw confounding Phillies’ batters, as he would end up striking out eight Phils and not giving the Phils the clutch hit they needed to increase their lead, before he is finally lifted in the sixth. The Dodgers would make it 3-2 Phillies in their half of the sixth, as, with two men on, and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Juan Pierre, who has gotten on based earlier with a bunt single and has moved to second on Kemp’s single, while Kemp moved to second. After a Blake ground out, pitcher to first, for the second out of the inning would move the runners to second and third, Hamels would intentionally walk Nomar Garciaparra to load the bases. Hamels would then get out of the inning by getting Russell Martin to line out to Utley. After getting a 1-2-3 seventh, Hamels would be lifted for a pitch hitter in the eighth, handing the ball over to the normally spot on bullpen which, before last night’s game, had only blown eight save opportunities, the best in the National League. Well, the bullpen would blow their ninth save opportunity, as Chad Durbin would, with no one out, load the bases via a single (Kemp), a walk (Jeff Kent) and a hit batman (Ramirez). He would then give up a sacrifice fly to Blake, for the inning’s first out, scoring Kemp and leaving runners on first and second, tying the ballgame. He would then end the inning by getting Garciaparra to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. In the ninth, J.C. Romero, pitching in place of Durbin, would lead the inning off by hitting Martin on the foot. James Loney would then move Martin over to second as he grounds out, first to the pitcher, for the first out of the inning. Andre Ethier would then end the game with a walk-off single to left, scoring Martin, and giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory.

Cole Hamels gets a no-decision as he is for the seventh straight start denied victory number 10. He would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out seven Dodgers. Chad Durbin receives his third blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. J.C. Romero would take the lost as he goes a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a hit batter. His record is now 4-4 with an ERA of 2.30. Clayton Kershaw would also get a no-decision as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, while striking out eight. Joe Beimel would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would get the win, as he pitches two innings, giving up no hits and no runs. His record is now 4-2 with an ERA of 1.70.

Once again the Phillies’ offense has hurt the team as it is unable to do anything after scoring its third run in the third. It didn’t do anything in the middle innings, and blew an opportunity with a runner on second and one man out in the sixth to do further damage. The lack of a pure contact hitter within in the bottom part of the line-up keep hurting them when they need such a hitter the most. Although the bullpen will be the one that folks will be pointing the finger at for the lost, the real culprit will be the still inconsistant offense.

The Phillies (64-55) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (60-59, 2nd National League West) as they now look to split the series. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 8, where he threw seven shutout innings, giving up only one hit, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. Blanton will be looking to continue his present string of quality starts while hoping to give the Phillies their first win on the road trip while trying to muzzle Manny Ramirez’s hot bat. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Brad Penny (6-9, 5.66), who is coming off a win against the Giants on August 8, after coming off the disabled list, where he went only five innings, giving up an earned run on one hit and walking three, in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win. He hopes to get his second straight win after coming off the dl which hoping the Phillies’ bat will continue being inconsistent.

With the lost, the Phillies’ lead over the Met shranked to one game, as they defeated the Nationals, and to one and a half games over the Marlins as they beat the Cardinals. The Phillies’ lead over the Braves is presently at eight and a half thanks to a rain out, but they are now playing a day/night doubleheader with the Cubs and are presently trailing them in the first game, 4-0 in the top of the fourth. The Phillies hope to come back from their second straight defeat to the Dodgers and try to salvage a series’ split while hoping that their opponents will not get any closer.

Kendrick unable to escape the Dodgers’ offense as the Phillies lose the series opener, 8-6.

Kyle Kendrick’s Houdini act gets panned in  L.A. as the Dodgers would score seven runs off of him before they are able to hold off a Phillies’ offensive revival as the Phillies drop the series’ opener, 8-6. The Dodgers would erupt for six runs in the third off of Kendrick, who was no longer in command of his pitches. After Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe would lead off the inning with a ground out, short to first, Matt Kemp would get on base with an infield single that almost took out Jimmy Rollins. After Kemp steals second, Andre Ethier would get on base with a walk. Kendrick would then hit Jeff Kent, loading the bases for Manny Ramirez. Ramirez would hit a two-run double, scoring Kemp and Ethier, and putting Kent on third, giving the Dodgers a quick 2-0 lead. James Loney would then follow with a two-run single, scoring both Kent and Ramirez, making it 4-0 Dodgers, while Loney would go to second on the throw to the plate. Russell Martin would follow him with a single to right, but Jayson Werth would then proceed to cut down Loney at home, tagged out by Carlos Ruiz, as he successfully blocks the plate, for the inning’s second out. Casey Blake would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, scoring Martin, increasing the Dodgers’ lead to 6-0. The inning would finally end with Angela Berroa flying out to center. The Phillies would make the score 6-1 in the fourth as Ryan Howard would hit a RBI ground out, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier singled, and got to third on Chase Utley’s double. The Dodgers would get the run back in their half of the fourth, making it 7-1, when, with two men on, and one out, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Kemp, who has earlier singled, ran to second base as Ethier was being walked for the second time by Kendrick, and then went to third on Ruiz’s needless throwing error to second. After Kendrick walks Ramirez, Charlie Manuel would replace him with Les Walrond, who would then Houdini his way out of the inning by striking out both Loney and Martin. The Phils would make it 7-2 in the sixth as Howard would hit his second RBI ground out, this time scoring Rollins, who has singled, moved to second on Victorino’s walk and went to third on Utley’s ground out, second to first. After Walrond Houdini’s his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the six by striking out Blake and getting Berroa to hit into a force out, short to second, the Phillies would get closer in the top of the seventh. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, who has earlier doubled and stole third, to make it 7-3 Dodgers. Rollins would then follow with a RBI triple, on a ball that right fielder Ethier would somehow missed in the lights, scoring Jenkins, to make it a 7-4 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers would increase their lead to 8-4 in the eighth, as, with two men on, and no one out, Loney would hit a RBI double off of Rollins’ glove, scoring Pablo Ozuna, who has singled, and sending Ramirez to third. Then Clay Condrey would perform his own Houdini stunt after intentionally walking Martin. He would get Blake to hit the ball to Rollins, who would throw home for the force out, as Ruiz would tag the plate to force out Ramirez for the inning’s first out. Condrey would then get Berroa to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with no further damage. The Phillies would then try to attempt a rally in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Utley would hit a two-runs single on a pop up that drops behind the shortstop Berroa, scoring Greg Dobbs, who has singled, and Ruiz, who has walked, and moving Victorino, who has also singled off of Berroa’s glove, to second, making it 8-6 Dodgers. But Howard would then end the game with a ground out, his fifth ground out of the game, second to first.

Kyle Kendrick would get the lost, as he did not have good command of his pitches in either the third or fourth innings, as he pitched three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, three walks and a hit batman. His record is now 10-6 with a ERA of 4.74. Les Walrond would pitch two and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on two hits and three strike outs, as he pitched his way out of jams in both the fourth and sixth innings. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on fifth hits. Derek Lowe would get the win as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. His record is now 9-10 with a 4.74 ERA. Chan Ho Park would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would also pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get his sixth save of the year as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits.

The Phillies’ offense, although rallying late in the game, would be the main contributor to Kyle Kendrick’s lost, as it would not give him any runs support early on, forcing him to try to be almost perfect in his approach, which he would proceed to lose in the third inning as the Dodgers would then proceed to hit his bad pitches, ending up with six runs in the third and a seventh run in the fourth before he would finally be mercifully taken out by Charlie Manuel. It would seems that the Phillies’ batter are starting to realize that they are not producing at the plate as they should be. But, instead of trying to relax and take the pressure off themselves, they are now trying to do too much and thereby pressing themselves to produce. Fellows, do yourselves a favor. Now that you know that things are not working out the way they should be, try to relax and not make things even worst by trying to force things to happen. The remedy that you guys need is already there, but you just won’t use it. Play some small ball for a while. Maybe just trying to make contact and moving runners along might help to get the pressure off of all of you for a while. At least I hope it will. It can’t make things any worst than it is now.

The Phillies (64-54) will continue their four games visit with their old rivals the Dodgers (59-59, 2nd National League West) with another night game at Dodgers Stadium. The game will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35), who is still looking for his tenth win. He is coming off a lost to the Marlins on August 7, where he went six and a third innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 3-0 lost. This will be his first start against the Dodgers. He will be hoping that the Phillies will finally give him some runs support, something they have not been doing for him lately. The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71), who is coming off a win against the Cardinals on August 7, where he pitched seven innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win. He has never faced the Phillies. He will be trying to even his record while hoping that the Phillies’ offense isn’t preparing for a big outburst.

The Phillies are still leading the Mets by two games as they’d lost a make-up game to the Pirates, and two and a half games over the Marlins as the fish lost to the Cardinals, as the Phils failed to take advantage of both teams’ loses. They now lead the Braves by nine games as the Braves had yesterday off. As the Phils continue their series with the Dodgers, the Mets will start a three games series with the Nationals in Washington, while the Cardinals will continue their three games series with the Redbirds in Miami and the Braves will start a three games series with the Cubs in Atlanta. The Phillies will be trying to regroup and try to win the series while once again hoping to either gain or hold their ground against their nearest opponents in the Eastern Division.

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