Results tagged ‘ National League Central ’

Preview: Phillies v. Cardinals at Busch Stadium III – 8:15 pm Eastern.

The Phillies (12-10, 2nd) goes on the road for the first of two two-games series, facing the St. Louis Cardinals (17-8, 1st National League Central) in St. Louis. The game will be played tonight at Busch Stadium (III), with a start time of 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (0-2, 8.41), who is still looking for his first win of the 2009 season, as he had received a no-decision in his last start, April 27, against the Nationals, where he pitched only four and a third innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 13-11 come-from-behind win. He hopes to improve his ERA while trying to pitch his way to his first win of the year. The Cardinals will counter with Kyle Lohse (3-0, 1.97), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Braves on April 28, in which he went six innings, giving up no runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Cardinals’ 2-1 lost. Last season, he was 2-0 against the Phils in two starts, giving up only one run in twelve innings of work. He hopes to continue his previous season’s success against the World Champs. The Phils hope to continue their winning ways on the road, while seeing if they can end the night being in first place for the first time this season.

Moyer wins second straight start as the bats pound the Brewers, 11-4.

Jamie Moyer pitched six plus strong innings while Phillies’ batters batted around twice as the Phillies defeated the struggling Brewers, 11-4.

Milwaukee took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as Ryan Braun hits a two-out, solo home run, his second home run of the season. The Phillies then went to work on Manny Parra in their half of the first. With the bases loaded via a walk (Shane Victorino), a single (Chase Utley) and a second walk (Ryan Howard), the Phillies took a 2-1 lead as Jayson Werth’s hits an RBI double, scoring both Victorino and Utley, as Howard stopped at third. The Phillies made it 3-1 as Raul Ibanez knocked in Howard with an RBI single, while sending Werth on to third. Pedro Feliz made it 4-1 Phils with an RBI single, scoring Werth, while Ibanez stopped at second base. The Phils made it 5-1 in the third as Feliz hits a two-out, solo home run, his first home run of the year. The Brewers cut the Phils lead to 5-3 in the fifth as Braun hits a two-out, two-run home run, his second home run of the game and his third home run of the year, knocking in Casey McGehee, who had earlier singled. The Phillies came back in their half of the fifth, scoring five runs. With runners on first and third and one man out, Chris Coste hits an RBI ground out on a slow grounder to third base, 5-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Ibanez, who had earlier walked, stole second and had gone to third on a wild pitch, making it 6-3 Phillies, and sending Feliz, who had also walked, over to second base. After Jamie Moyer had gotten on base with a walk, and Jimmy Rollins has singled to right to load the bases, sending the runners over to third and second, respectively, Victorino made it 7-3 Phils with an RBI single, scoring Feliz, while sending Moyer over to third and Rollins to second, leaving the bases loaded. Utley made it 8-3 Phillies with a bases-loaded walk, scoring Moyer and moving up a base both Rollins and Victorino. With Howard batting, the Phillies made it 10-3, as R.J. Swindle threw a wild pitch, scoring Rollins from third, as catcher Jason Kendall threw the ball past Swindle, who was covering home plate, for a throwing error, allowing Victorino to score and for Utley to reach third base. Swindle finally ended the inning by striking out Howard. Feliz made it 11-3 Phillies in the sixth as he hits an infield single to the second baseman, which was deflected off of Swindle, scoring Werth, who had earlier doubled and had move over to third base on Ibanez’s ground out, 4-3. The Brewers made it 11-4 Phillies as Braun hits a two-out, RBI single, scoring Kendall, who had gotten on base earlier with a walk, had moved over to second base on pinch hitter Mike Rivera’s single and had gone on to third on Corey Hart’s ground out, 4-3. That would be the final score as the Phillies’ bullpen kept the Brewers from scoring in the last two innings.

Jamie Moyer got the win, as he pitched sixth innings plus two batters, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two. His record is now 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA. Chad Durbin pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Clay Condrey pitched one and two-third scoreless innings, giving up only three hits, while striking out two. Jack Taschner pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and a walk. Manny Parra took the lost for the Brewers, as he went just four innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out four. His record is now 0-3 with a high ERA of 8.16. Jorge Julio pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on two hits, three walks and a wild pitch. R.J. Swindle pitched an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits, a walk and a wild pitch, while striking out two. Seth McClung pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out two. Carlos Villanueva also pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just a hit and a walk.

The Phillies collected thirteen hits in the game, with Pedro Feliz leading the team with three hits, two singles and a home run, knocking in three runs and scoring two, as he increased his batting average to .359. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Chris Coste were next with two hits apiece, with both Werth and Coste’s two hits being doubles. Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez had the other two Phils’ hits. Besides Feliz, Werth would knock in two runs, while Victorino, Utley, Ibanez and Coste would each knock in a run. Despite the offensive display, the pitching staff is still giving up too many home runs, as Moyer was the victim of two home runs at the hands of Ryan Braun, who knocked in all four of the Brewers’ runs.

The Phillies (6-6, 2nd) continued their three games series with the Brewers (4-9, 6th National League Central) with another night game from Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (0-1, 9.00), who in his last start, on April 16 in Washington, lost his first start as a Phil, as he went six innings, giving up just three runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost to the Nationals. He will be trying for his first win in 2009, while trying to bring his ERA down even more. The Brewers will oppose him with Braden Looper (1-0, 3.27), who is coming off a win against the Cincinnati Reds on April 15, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Brewers’ 9-3 win. He will be going for his second straight win. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win at home, while trying to increase their winning streak to three games.

Preview: Phillies v. Brewers – 7:05 pm Eastern.

The Phillies (5-6, 4th) will continue their seven-games home stand by playing the first of three games at home against their 2008 National League Divisional Series opponent, the 2008 National League Wild Card Champions Milwaukee Brewers (4-8, 5th National League Central). The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound the ageless veteran Jamie Moyer (1-1, 6.55), who is coming off a win against the Nationals back on April 13, as he pitched six good innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ emotional 9-8 victory. He will be going for his second straight win, which trying to cut down on the number of runs that he has so far given up this season. The Brewers will counter with Manny Parra (0-2, 6.97), who is coming off a lost to the Cincinnati Reds on April 13, where he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on three hits and four walks, as he struck out four in the Brewers’ 6-1 lost. He will be gunning for his first win of the season. The Phillies will be trying to even up their record at 6-6 with a win tonight.

On the eve of the 2008 World Series, let us take another look at the numbers.

It is now two days before the start of the 2008 World Series, which will be played at the home ball park of the American League Champion, the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, on Wednesday, October 22, at 8:22 pm Eastern. The Tampa Bay Rays will be hosting the National League Champion, the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that has just won only its sixth pennant in its 125-years history. So, how did Charlie Manuel’s boys get here, on the verge of possibily winning the franchise’s second World Series crown? Let look at the numbers, shall we?

First, let’s see how well this team did month by month. 

March/April: 15-13

May: 17-12

June: 12-14

July: 15-10

August: 16-13

September: 17-8

Total: 92-70

As can be seen, the team has winning records in six of the seven months shown above, with their best month being September, when the team, with Ryan Howard’s resurging bat leading the way, would sprint their way to the National League Eastern Division pennant, and with their worst month being June, which coincided with their bad spell of Interleague play. More on that later.

Another thing that people have said is that you have to win series to win pennants, and the Phillies have also done that. At the end of the regular season, they have ended up with 27 series wins, 19 series loses and 6 series splits. Of their 27 series wins, they have won all of the games (sweep) in nine of them (Colorado (2), Atlanta (3), Washington (2), Los Angeles (NL) (1), Milwaukee (1)) for a total of 28 wins, while in their 19 series defeats they were swept only twice (Los Angeles (AL), Los Angeles (NL)) for a total of 7 loses. Of their 10 series wins during the last two months of the regular season, their most important ones would be the one against the Padres in San Diego as it would help to get the team back on track after having been swept by the Dodgers in Los Angeles; their home sweep of the Dodgers since it would help prove to the team that they can beat anybody at home; their win against the Mets in New York at the beginning of September as it would help the Phillies stay close to the Mets, especially after having lost the previous series in Washington; their four games sweep of the Brewers, as it would give the Phillies the option of winning either the Eastern Division or the Wild Card, putting them in the driver seat of the later as they challenged the fading Mets for the former; their final sweep of the Braves in Atlanta as it would help to build up momentum for; their series win against the Marlins in Miami, in which they would help to kill the Marlins’ own hope for the post-season; and lastly, their second sweep of the Nationals which would see them clinch their second straight divisonal crown on the last Saturday of the regular season, while the Sunday win by the rookies and the bench players would help them to maintain momentum going into the National League Divisional Series against Milwaukee.

Another thing that you need to do is to win games in your own division. And the Phillies have actually accomplished that, believe it or not. In fact, they have done pretty well against both teams in their own division and against the teams of the other two divisions within the National League:

National League East: 41-31

National League Central: 27-16

National League West: 20-12

Unfortunately, they have not done so well this year against teams from the American League, going 4-11 in Interleague play.

But, how well have they performed against the other clubs in the National League? The Phillies would end the regualr season with losing records against only two other NL teams, both of them being teams within their own division:

National League East:

Atlanta Braves: 14-4

Washington Nationals: 12-6

Florida Marlins: 8-10

New York Mets: 7-11

Total: 41-31

The Phillies’ best record in both the division and against the NL overall was their 14-4 record against the Braves, which included their three straight three games sweeps of the Braves’ in their own ball park, something that have not happened to the Braves since they were swept by the Chicago Cubs in 1909, when they were known as the Boston Doves. Their worst record in the division was their 7-11 record against the New York Mets, who won all but the last two series with the Phils, including their series spilt of late August in Philadelphia and the Phillies’ 2-1 series victory in New York in early September, including the spilt of a day/night Sunday doubleheader which would keep the Phillies close to the Mets before they would make their final move to win the Eastern Division pennant.

National League Central:

Milwaukee Brewers: 5-1

Cincinnati Reds: 5-3

St. Louis Cardinals: 5-4

Chicago Cubs: 4-3

Houston Astros: 4-3

Pittsburgh Pirates: 4-2

Total: 27-16

Against the teams of the National League Central Division, the Phillies would do rather well, winning most of their series against them. They would do best against the Brew Crew, spliting the series in Milwaukee and then sweeping them in an important August series in Philadelphia that would help propel the Phillies into the lead of the National League Wild Card race, on their way to their eventual winning of the National League Eastern Division.

National League West:

Colorado Rockies: 5-0

Los Angeles Dodgers: 4-4

Arizona Diamonbacks: 4-3

San Diego Padres: 4-2

San Francisco Giants: 3-3

Total: 20-12

Against the West, the Phillies would end the season with a 20-12 record, doing their best against the Rockies, as they would get even with the former National League Champions for losing the 2007 National League Divisional Series by sweeping them in five games, although they would do the home portion of the sweep against a wounded team, while doing their worst against both the Giants and the Dodgers, as they would spilt home series with both teams, winning the series at Citizens Bank Park (2-1 (Giants), 4-0 (Dodgers)), while losing the series on the road (1-2 (Giants), 0-4 (Dodgers)).

Last, and certainly not least, the Phillies did not do very well this year in Interleague play. Lets face facts, people, they stank, as they went 2-4 against two teams in the American League East, and 2-7 against three teams from the American League West, while going 1-5 against two of the elite teams in the American League (Boston and Los Angeles Angels):

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 0-3

Boston Red Sox: 1-2

Oakland Athletics: 1-2

Texas Rangers: 1-2

Toronto Blue Jays: 1-2

Total: 4-11

With their record against American League teams in Interleague play, it should means that this team might have a hard time with the American League Champion Tampa Bay Ray. But the team that got creamed by the American League in May and June is not the same team that have finished crushing first the Milwaukee Brewers in the Divisional Series and then the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Championship Series, and with little help from either their set up man (Jimmy Rollins) or their biggest offensive threat (Ryan Howard) until the end of both series. This team appears to be a lot more confident now then they did when they faced the American League elite teams the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels at home back in June. That might make all the difference by the time the World Series is over.

The Phillies also had a very good home-road split. At Citizens Bank Park, they had a record of 48-33, where they were in a four way tie for the second best record for the National League, while they were 44-37 on the road, the best record in the National League. Overall, their 92-70 record was the second best in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (97-64) and the fifth best in the Majors. Those two records of success at both home and on the road should help the Phillies when they face the Rays starting on Wednesday.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 1: Sweeping the Nationals and ending the regular season on a high note.

The Phillies, behind a bunch of rookies and bench players, defeated the Nationals, 8-3, ending the 2008 regular season on a high note. They will now be facing the Brewers in the National League Divisional Series starting this coming Wednesday afternoon.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on base and one out, Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier singled and then moved to third on Tadahito Iguchi’s double, would cross the plate on Nationals’ starter Odalis Perez’s wild pitch, while Iguchi would move up to third. The Nationals would tie the game in the third, as the Phillies’ surprise starter Kyle Kendrick would give up a lead-off home run to Luke Montz, his first career home run. The Nationals would then take the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second and no one out, Kory Casto would hit a RBI double, scoring Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier doubled, to make it 2-1 Nationals. Two batters later, with Casto now on third, after moving up on Ryan Langerhans’ ground out, 4-3, he would score on Alberto Gonzalez’s RBI single, making it 3-1 Nationals. The Phillies would strike back in their half of the fourth, as, with runners on second and third and two outs, So Taguchi would hit a two-run single, scoring Lou Marson, who has earlier singled, his first hit in the majors, and would move up to third on pinch hitter Jayson Werth’s single, who would later steal second, tying the game up at three all. Eric Bruntlett would then follow with a RBI double, knocking in Taguchi and giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead. The Phillies would add to their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Taguchi would hit a RBI triple, knocking in pinch hitter Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled to the left of the shift that most major league teams would put up against him, making it 5-3 Phillies. Then in the eighth, the Phillies would put the game away, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Marson would hit a monster two-run home run to left, his first career home run, scoring Greg Golson, who was earlier safe at first on a force play, which has wiped out Mike Cervenak, who has earlier reached base on a fielding error by Nationals’ shortstop Hernandez, giving the Phillies a 7-3 lead. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a solo home run to right, his thirteen home run of the year, to give the Phillies an 8-3 lead. That would be the ballgame as Clay Condrey would come in to pitch a scoreless ninth, although he would give up a walk and then a single before recording the final out of the Phillies’ 2008 regular season by getting Emilio Bonifacio to ground out, 3-1.

Kyle Kendrick, the surprise starter, would get a no-decision as he pitches four innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Kendrick, who is not on the Phils’ post-season roster, will now be sent down to the Florida Instructional League to rebuild his confidence in his pitches as well as being taught two more pitches to help compliment his slider, before he comes back to join the team for spring training 2009. Les Walrond would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up two hits as he struck out four. His record is now 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA. J.A. Happ would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up two hits as he struck out three. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and a walk. Odalis Perez would get the lost, as he is only able to pitch three and two-thirds inning, leaving the game early because of a possible injury and with the Nats not taking any chances with his career, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits while striking out five. His record is now 7-12 with an ERA of 4.34. Shairon Martis would pitch two innings and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits while striking out three. Marco Estrada would pitch two innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on three hits.

The Phillies (92-70) would end the year with a sweep of the Nationals, winning the third game of the series with rookies and bench players, although two of the regulars, Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard would both come up to bat as pinch hitters, both getting singles and both scoring. Among the bench players, So Taguchi would lead the way by going 3 for 5, getting a triple, knocking in three runs while scoring one. Eric Bruntlett and Tadahito Iguchi would be next as they each went two for five, with Bruntlett knocking in a run and scoring one. Geoff Jenkins would be the other bench player who would get a hit. The only one among the rookies with a good day would be Lou Marson, who would go 2 for 4, getting his first major league career hit, a single, score his first run, knock in his first RBI and hit his first home run of his career, all in the same game. He also threw out his first base stealer of his career, as he caught the Nationals’ Emilio Bonifacio when he overslid second base on a steal attempt, tagged out by Iguchi when he tried to put his foot back on the bag. Also, all three pinch hitters that the Phillies would send up to the plate would hit safely as Matt Stairs would add a solo home run to Werth and Ryan’s singles. The victory gives the Phillies the second best record in the National League, beind the Central Division Champions Chicago Cubs, and the fifth in the majors, behind the American League Western Division Chmpions Los Angeles Angles, the American League Eastern Division Champions Tampa Bay Rays and the American League Wild Card Winner and Current World Champions Boston Red Sox.

The Phillies ended the season in first place in the National League Eastern Division, with a record of 92-70 for a winning percentage of .568, ending twelve wins over .500. They ended up being three games ahead of the Mets, who ended up with a record of 89-73 .559, seven and a half games ahead of the Marlins, who ended up with a record of 84-77 .522, twenty games ahead of the Braves, who ended up with a record of 72-90 .444 and thirty-two and a half games ahead of the Nationals, who ended up with a record of 59-102 .366.

The Phillies will now have today and tomorrow to rest up before they get ready to face the Wild Card Winner Milwaukee Brewers for a five games National League Divisional Series, which will start in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 11: Sending rookie J.A. Happ to the mound to help keep the Phillies in first place in the Eastern Division.

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

The Phillies will be sending out J.A. Happ, in place of the slumping Kyle Kendrick, who has lately been pitching rather ineffectively. In his last ten starts, he has gone 3-6 with a no-decision, sporting a 7.63 ERA, as he pitched a combined total of only forty-six innings, giving up thirty-nine earned runs on sixty-eight hits, walking twenty-five batters while striking out only twenty. Kendrick’s major problem appears to be that he is not going after hitters, like he once did, making them hit ground balls towards his fielders for outs, and concentrating on only two pitches. Frankly, that is a receipe for trouble and the opposition has caught up with him because of it. Kendrick, if the Phillies want him to help them out next year, will need to put him to work during the winter months to work on regaining his confidence, going after hitters and developing another pitch to go along with the ones that he have now, while also making himself less reliant on the two pitches that the batters are now waiting on. Meanwhile, the red hot offense needs to remain hot, hopefully scoring several runs off of Jurrjens, like they did during his first start against them, so that Happ won’t have to worry too much while he is on the mound. Speaking about the offense, Pat Burrell continues to struggles at the plate, as he went 0 for five last night, all five of them being strike outs. The best thing that Charlie Manuel may need to do for Burrell is to rest him for a day or two and allow him to find out for himself why he is suddenly unable to hit the pitches that he was hitting without any problems before last month. But, with Burrell presently cold, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino are all smoking hot, with Howard especially being a danger to National League pitching, which should be more than able to compensate for Burrell’s coldness.

The Phillies now lead the East by a half game ahead of the Mets as they prepare to play against the Nationals. They are five and a half games ahead of the Marlins as they continue their series with the Astros. In the Wild Card race, the Mets are now a half game in front of the freefalling Brewers who continue their series with the soon to be National League Central Division Champion Cubs, whose magic number is now four. With eleven games left in the season, the Phillies are planning to extend not only their present winning streak to six games, but also their winning streak at Turner Field, their present home away from home, to eight games, while also hoping to extend their lead over the Mets in the East, with a little help from the Nationals.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 12: Going to Atlanta, looking at both the East and the Wild Card.

The Phillies (83-67) go to Atlanta for the start of their last road trip to the South as they face the fourth place Braves (67-83), who are now in a role they have not been in since the late ’80s, that of spolier. The Phillies, thank to the Nationals’ defeat of the Mets last night, are now just a half game out of first in the East as well as tied for the Wild Card lead with the Brewers, who yesterday have fired their manager Ned Yost and have replaced him with third base coach Dale Sveum. The three games series will be played at Turner Field and the first game of the series will start there tonight at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will start this important series with their ageless veteran Jamie Moyer (14-7, 3.68) on the mound, who is coming off a win against Milwaukee on September 11, where he would pitch five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on four scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. Moyer has won four of his last six starts, with the Phils going 1-1 in his two no-decisions. He has given up three runs or less in seventeen of his last eighteen starts. He will be going for his team leading fifteenth victory while trying to put the Phillies on the winning track for the last leg of the pennant race. The Braves will counter with the rookie James Parr (1-0, 0.00), who is coming off a no-decision in his second career start against the Rockies on September 10, going six innings, giving up no earned runs on five hits, in the Braves’ 9-5 win. He will be trying for his second career win in three starts and hoping that the Phillies’ bat will be unable to score on him, since this will be the first time that he will face them.

The Phillies’ offense seems to have come alive this past weekend, with Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard seeming to have returned to their September 2007 forms to lead the offensive attack. Pat Burrell also appears to finally be breaking out of his slump. If the offense can stay hot during the next twelve games and the starters can continue to pitch the way they have pitched for the last several weeks, the Phillies should have no problem grabbing either the Eastern Division or the Wild Card at the end of the month. Everything just now depends on the Phillies taking care of business.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets by a half game in the East as they continue their four games series with the Nationals. The Phillies are now ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish prepare for their three games series with the Astros. In the Wild Card chase, the Phillies are tied with the slumping Brewers for the lead in the wild card as the Brewers prepare for an important three games series with the Central Division leading Cubs. Both the Phillies and the Brewers are now two and a half games ahead of the Astros as they prepare to visit the Marlins, and are now four and a half games ahead of the Cardinals, who are preparing to play a three games series with the Reds. The Phillies are right now in the driver seat, determing whether they will be the winner in the Eastern Division or the winner of the Wild Card. Either way, Go PHILLIES!!!!

Phillies’ bats sting the Brewers as they tighten up things in both the Wild Card and in the East.

The Phillies’ bats would hurt the Brew Crew yesterday afternoon as they force the races to tighten up in both the Wild Card chase (2 games) and in the Eastern Division (2 and 1/2 games) as they defeated the Brewers, 7-3. The Phillies took a quick lead in the first, as, with a runner on first and with no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead, while Utley would go on to third on Rickie Weeks’  throwing error. Jayson Werth would make it 2-0 Phillies as he would hit a RBI single, scoring Utley from third. After Werth goes to second on Brewers’ starter Manny Parra’s wild pitch, Ryan Howard would reach base with a walk, putting runners on first and second with still no outs. After Pat Burrell strikes out for the inning’s first out, Shane Victorino would hit a RBI single, scoring Werth, making it 3-0 Phillies. The Phillies would increase their lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded via a double (Rollins), a single (Utley) and a walk (Werth) and with no one out, Howard would hit a two-run double, scoring both Rollins and Utley, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead. The Brewers would cut the Phillies’ lead to 5-2 in the fourth, as, with two men on and with two outs, Jason Kendall would hit a two-run double on a ball that was misplayed by Burrell, scoring both Mike Cameron, who has earlier walked and would then move to second on Bill Hall’s single, and Hall. The Phillies would then add to their lead in the sixth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Rollins would hit a two-run home run, his elevnth home run of the year, scoring Pedro Feliz, who has earlier singled, and has gone to second on Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, making it 7-2 Phillies. The Brewers would shorten the Phillies’ lead in the eighth inning, as Ryan Braun hit a lead-off home run, his thirty-fifth home run of the year, making it 7-3 Phils. That would end up being the final score as Brad Lidge would put down the Brewers easily in the ninth.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on six hits. His record is now 13-9 with a 3.11 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking one. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Manny Parra would get the lost as he lasts only an inning and a third, as he gives up five earned runs on seven hits while walking three. His record is now 10-8 with an ERA of 4.28. Tim Dillard would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Seth McClung would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Carlos Villanueva would pitch three innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits while striking out four. Mark DeFelice and Todd Coffey would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

The Phillies (81-67) will conclude their four games series with the Brewers (83-65, 2nd National League Central, 1st Wild Card) by playing a makeup day/night doubleheader. Both games will be played later today at Citizens Bank Park. The first game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (7-12 (2-0), 4.86), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on September 8, where he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 win. He has never pitched against the Brewers in his career. He will be going for his third win since putting on the red pinstripes while trying to get the Phillies closer to the wild card lead while also trying to eat up some more innings to help out the bullpen. His opponent will be Dave Bush (9-10, 4.23), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds on September 8, where he went eight innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Brewers’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to even his record while trying to stop the Brewers’ present slide.

The second game of the twinbill will start at 7:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (9-11, 4.22), who is coming off a hard lost to the Marlins on September 10, where he went seven and one third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out nine, in the Phillies’ 7-3 lost. After coming back from the minors, he has gone 6-2 with two no-decisions in ten starts. He will be pitching on three days rest, eager to help his team. His opponent will be Jeff Suppan (10-8, 4.63 ), who is coming off a no-decision against the Reds, as he went five and one third innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Brewers’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to keep the Phillies from getting any closer in the wild card race.

The Phillies are now trailing the Mets in the East by two and a half games as they spilt a doubleheader with the Braves. They are five games ahead of the Marlins as they defeated the Nationals. In the Wild Card chase, they now trail the Brewers by two games as they prepare to finish their series. They are ahead of the Astros by half a game as they prepare to finally play the Cubs while they are five games ahead of the Cardinals as they lost to the Pirates. The Phillies will be trying to sweep the doubleheader so that they can leave Philadelphia tied for the Wild Card lead and close to the Mets in the East.

The Phillies-Brewers game has been postponed because of rain.

The second game between the Phillies (80-67) and the Brewers (83-64, 2nd National League Central, 1st NL Wild Card) has been postponed because of rain. Although no make up game has yet been scheduled, since both teams have the day off this upcoming Monday, it’ll more than likely be made up on that date. The next game in the four games series will be played tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, and will be shown nationally on Fox Sports. The Phillies’ starter will most likely be their ace Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12), who is coming off a disastrous start against the Mets on September 7, where he only went five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Brewers, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his thirteenth win, while trying to see if he can keep the slumping Brewers’ bats quiet and put the Brewers into panic mode with a win against them. The Brewers will likely counter with Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on September 7, as he goes five innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits, in the Brewers’ 10-1 lost. He will be trying to see if he can stop the Brewers present slide while trying to stop the Phillies from getting any closer to them in the wild card race.

Because of the rain out, the Philles are presently still three games behind the Mets, as the Mets, in a rain delay in New York, prepare to play the Braves. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish play the Nationals in Miami. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by three games as they continue their series, while they are still tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card race as they now wait out Hurricane Ivan for the next two days before facing the Cubs on the 14th, while they are both ahead of the Cardinals by a game and a half as they play the Pirates, which is also in a rain delay. The Phillies hope to be able to gain ground in both the East and in the wild card race.

Updates: The rain out will be made up tomorrow as part of a day/night doubleheader. The Mets were also rained out, so the Phillies are still trailing the Mets by three games in the East, as the Mets prepared to face the Braves this afternoon. The Phillies are now ahead of the Marlins by five games as they defeated the Nationals, who they will be playing again tonight. In the wild card chase, as the Phils and Brewers prepare for this afternoon’s game, the Astros have to wait one more day before they can play the Cubs thanks to Hurricane Ivan. The Cardinals are now trailing both the Phillies and the Astros by two games as they lost to the Pirates, whom they will be playing again tonight.

Phillies gain ground in the East and in the Wild Card Race as they defeated the Brewers, 6-3.

The Phillies, behind the pitching of Jamie Moyer and the bullpen, would gain ground on both the Mets in the East and the Brewers in the Wild Card chase as they defeated the slumping Brew Crew, 6-3. The Phillies would take a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Ryan Howard hit a monster 2-run shot into center field, his forty-third home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, and has moved to second on Jayson Werth’s ground out, third to first. The Brewers would cut the Phils’ lead in the third inning as, with two outs, J.J. Hardy hit a solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, to make it 2-1 Phillies. The Phillies would increase their lead in the fourth, as, with a runner on first and no one out, Howard would hit a RBI double, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on third, and two out, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI double, knocking in Howard, who has gone to third on Shane Victorino’s ground out to first for the inning’s second out, making it 4-1 Phillies. The Brewers would shorten the Phillies’ lead again in the sixth as, with a man on third and two outs, a slumping Prince Fielder would hit a two-run home run, scoring Rickie Weeks, who has earlier doubled and has gone to third on Ryan Braun’s deep fly out to center field, to make it a 4-3 Phillies’ lead. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the sixth, as, with a runner on first and one man out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a RBI double, scoring Feliz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead. The Brew Crew tried to get close in the eighth. With Ryan Madson still pitching in relief of Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, Weeks would start the inning off with a single. Madson would then get the next two batters, Hardy and Braun, to strike out swinging. Charlie Manuel would then take out Madson and bring in Scott Eyre to face the still dangerous Fielder, since Eyre has his number career-wise. But, on this occassion, Fielder woule be able to work a walk, putting two men on base with the go ahead run coming up to the plate in Corey Hart. Manuel would come back out and replace Eyre with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then, with one pitch, end the inning as Hart hit sharply to Rollins, who would throw over to Utley to force out Fielder at second for the third out. In the Phillies’ eighth, they would tack on one more run as Ruiz would use a sacrifice squeeze to force in Victorino, who has reached base on a single, went to second on relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and has gone to third on Feliz’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead. That would turn out to be the ballgame as Brad Lidge would come out and shut the door on the Brewers with a 1-2-3 ninth, as he records his thirty-sixth save in as many tries.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on four hits. His record is now 14-7, the team’s leader in wins, with a 3.68 ERA. Ryan Madson pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only two hits while striking out two. Scott Eyre would face only one batter, walking him. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, facing only one batter and retiring him on a force out. Brad Lidge would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, giving up no hits as he striked out one batter. Ben Sheets would get the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 13-8 with a 2.97 ERA. Carlos Villanueva would pitch two innings in relief, giving up an unearned run on one hit, while striking out three.

The Phillies’ offense, for once, refused to just score runs early and then just quit, as they would score their final run of the game on a suicide squeeze, a play that they would normally not use. Maybe they have finally decided to do everything that they can to manufacture runs if they can’t normally do so with the bat? I guess we’ll see during their last fifteen games. Jamie Moyer, with three games rest, wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to keep the slumping, but still very dangerous, bats of the Brew Crew silent during his five and two-thirds innings of work, giving up only four hits, although all four would be for extra-bases (2B (2), HR (2)). The Phillies’ bullpen would then come on to keep the Brewers quiet for the rest of the game, although just barely getting out of the now seemingly dangerous eighth inning by the skin of their teeth.

The Phillies (80-67) continue their four games series with the Brewers (83-64, 2nd National League Central, 1st NL Wild Card) with a night game tonight. It will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (12-9, 3.12), who is coming off a disastrous start against the Mets on September 7, where he only went five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lifetime against the Brew Crew, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. He will be trying once again for his thirteenth win, while trying to see if he can keep the slumping Brewers’ bats quiet and put the Brewers into panic mode with a win against them. The Brewers will counter with Manny Parra (10-7, 4.03), who is coming off a lost against the Padres on September 7, as he goes five innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits, in the Brewers’ 10-1 lost. He will be trying to see if he can stop the Brewers present slide while trying to stop the Phillies from getting any closer them in the wild card race.

With the victory, the Philles are now three games behind the Mets, as the Mets prepare to face the Braves for a three games weekend series. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by five and a half games as the fish prepare to meet the Nationals for three games. In the wild card chase, the Phillies trail the Brewers by three games as they continue their series, while they are still tied with the Astros for second place in the wild card as they’d defeated the Pirates, before they go to wait out Hurricane Ivan for the next two days before facing the Cubs on the 14th, while they are both ahead of the Cardinals by a game and a half after losing to the Cubs before they begin a series against the Pirates this weekend. The Phillies hope to be able to gain ground in both the East and in the wild card race.

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