Results tagged ‘ National League East ’

Jason Giambi’s three home runs lead the Rox over the Phils, 7-1.

Three home runs by Jason Giambi doom the Phils as they lose to the Rockies, 7-1.

The Rox took a quick 3-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men out, Jason Giambi hits a three-run home run, his second home run of the season, knocking in Dexter Fowler, who had started the game off with a single, then went to third base on Troy Tulowitzki’s single, and Tulowitzki, who had just singled. The Rockies then increased their lead to 5-0 in the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Giambi hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the season, and his second home run of the game, scoring Carlos Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would get on the board in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI ground-rule double, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then went to second base on Jhoulys Chacin’s wild pitch when he struck out Ross Gload, allowing Gload to reach first base, making it a 5-1 Rox’s lead, while sending Gload, who had reached first base on a strikeout-wild pitch, to stop at third base. The Rox then added to their lead in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Giambi hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the night and his fourth home run of the season, knocking in Tulowitzki, who had reached first base on Polanco’s fielding error, making it a 7-1 Rockies’ lead. That would end up being the final score as Felipe Paulino pitched a scoreless ninth.

Kyle Kendrick (3-3, 3.28), who was pitching in place of scheduled starter Joe Blanton, who was taken out for an injury while warming up, took the lost as he went three innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two. Danys Baez pitched two innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits, as he struck out one. Scott Mathieson, Michael Stutes and J.C. Romero combine for four scoreless innings, giving up five hits (Mathieson (3), Stutes (1), Romero (1)), while striking out seven (Mathieson (3), Stutes (2), Romero (2)) between them. A Phil starter threw a bad game for the first time in several starts, thanks to the Phils needing to put in an emergency starter because of Blanton’s injury while warming up. Jhoulys Chacin (5-2, 2.70) got the win as he went seven strong innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out nine. Matt Lindstrom and Felipe Paulino would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) between them.

The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Placido Polanco (Singles) and Raul Ibanez (Single, Ground-Rule Double, RBI), both having two hits. Ross Gload (Single) and Carlos Ruiz (Single) had the other two Phils’ hits. The Phils’ offense continue to be enemic as they now face their first American League team during a preview of Interleague Play.

The Phils (26-17, 1st NL East) will begin a three-game set with the Rangers (23-21, 1st AL West) in their first Interleague Play series. The game will start at 7:05 pm EDT and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (5-3, 2.21) as he is coming off a lost to the Braves on May 15, as he pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to end his two-game losing streak. The Rangers will counter with C.J. Wilson (4-2, 3.38), who is coming off a no-decision against the Angels on May 15, as he pitched five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks, as he struck out two, in the Rangers’ 5-4 win. He will be going for his fifth win of the season. The Phils will be trying to get the offense going, as Dom Brown and Scott Herndon (What? Are they kidding bringing back that stiff?!?) are both called up from the Iron Pigs to replace Shane Victorino, who was placed on the disabled list, while Joe Blanton will stay with the team, for now, as Mathieson is sent back to Lehigh Valley.

The Phils produce enough offense to defeat the Rockies, 2-1, ending a four-game losing streak.

The Phils’ offense produce enough runs to finally reward a good pitching performance as they defeat the Rockies, 2-1, ending a four-game losing streak.

The first four and a half innings of the game was a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels who, in the first five innings, gave up only two hits and a walks to the Rox, while striking out four, while Rockies’ starter Jorge De La Rosa would, in his four innings, give up just a hit, while striking out two. The Phils would score first in the bottom of the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, would move up to second base when Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch, then stopped at third on a Chris Iannetta passed ball, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Ruiz, who had been hit by a pitch, then moved up to second base on Iannetta’s passed ball, would stop at third.  The Rockies then tied the game up at one-all in the seventh as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Todd Helton hits an RBI double, knocking in Carlos Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled. The Phils retook the lead in the eighth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Valdez, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on pinch hitter Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, then stopped at third on a De Le Rosa’s wild pitch, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead. That would end up being the final score as Ryan Madson collected his seventh save in seven attempts as he pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out the side, in between a single and an intentional walk.

Cole Hamels (5-2, 2.92) gets the win as he pitched eight innings, giving up just one run on five hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Ryan Madson recorded his seventh save of the season as he gave up a hit and a walk, while striking out three. Jorge De La Rosa took the lost (5-2, 3.34) as he pitched eight innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits, while striking out four.

The Phils had just five hits in the game, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with two hits, both singles, while knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins (Single, RBI), Raul Ibanez (Single) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other three Phils’ hits, as the offense’s batting struggles continue. Although they were able to score enough runs to win the game, it was only because of a passed ball and a wild pitch that they were able to win last night’s game. That is not going to continue. They need to help themselves to keep winning.

The Phils (26-16, 1st East) will conclude this short series with the Rockies (22-19, 2nd West) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and it will begin at 7:05 pm EDT.  The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.50), who is coming off a lost against the Braves on May 14, as he pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-3 lost. Blanton will be going for his second win of the season, while trying to improve on his previous outing. The Rox will counter with Jhoulys Chacin (4-2, 2.89), who is coming off a no-decision against the Padres on May 14, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Rockies’ 9-7 lost. He will be trying to improve his record. The Phils will be trying to sweep the short series, while hoping that the bats will finally explode and knock in some runs in support of a bunch of good pitching performances. Show the pitching some love guys!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday: Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 7: The Mets prevent the Phils from clinching the Eastern Divison flag at home, as the Phils lose, 7-3.

Cole Hamels was not at his best, while also getting no help from the umpire, as the Mets prevent the Phils from clinching the division title at home, as the Phils lose to the Mets, 7-3, while the Braves lose again to the Nationals, cutting the Phils’ magic number down to one game.

The Mets took the lead in the second as David Wright hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Mets added to their lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Angel Pagan and Ike Davis, with Davis’ single sending Pagan to third base, Joaquin Arias being safe at first on a fielder’s choice grounder as Pagan is caught between third and home by Cole Hamels on Arias’ grounder, before being caught in a rundown, and then being tagged out, 1-2-5, while Davis went to third on the play, and a Henry Blanco walk, sending Arias to second, and with two men out, after Mets’ starter Pat Misch struck out swinging, Jose Reyes hits an RBI infield single, which Wilson Valdez threw to second late, after being slow to get it out of his glove, allowing Davis to score, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead, while moving Arias to third base and Blanco to second, with the bases still loaded. The next batter, Nick Evans then hits a two-run double on a ball that Jayson Werth in right was unable to catch and then let get behind him, allowing both Arias and Blanco to score, making it a 4-0 Mets’ lead, before Reyes, who also tried to score on the play, is thrown out at the plate by a strong throw from Shane Victorino, who was backing up the play, 8-2, to finally end the inning. The Mets then made it a 5-0 lead in the fifth as Carlos Beltran hits a solo home run, his sixth home run of the year. The Phils then came back in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Chase Utley hits a three-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, knocking in Valdez, who had earlier singled, and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr, who had a pinch hit infield single, moving Valdez up to second base, making it a 5-3 Mets’  lead. The Mets increased their lead in the ninth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Beltran hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the ballgame and his seventh home run of the year, knocking in Evans, who had earlier singled, giving the Mets a 7-3 lead. That would be the final score as Hisanori Takahashi pitches a scoreless ninth, getting Utley to end the game by flying out to center.

Cole Hamels took the lost as he pitches just four innings, plus a batter, as he gives up five runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out two. His record is now 12-11 with a 3.09 ERA. David Herndon, Vance Worley, Chad Durbin and Jose Contreras combine for four scoreless innings, giving up one hit (Durbin) and three walks (Herndon, Worley and Durbin one each), while striking out four (Herndon (2), Worley (1), Durbin (1)) between them. Ryan Madson pitches to three batters, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, getting out none of the batters that he would face. Danys Baez pitches a scoreless inning, striking out two. Pat Misch gets a no-decision as he pitches four and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out three. Sean Green pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Manny Acosta gets the win as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA. Pedro Feliciano records his twenty-first hold as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face.  Elmer Dessens receives his tenth hold as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Hisanori Takahashi pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Wilson Valdez and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. had the other seven Phils’ hits, with Victorino, Polanco, Werth, Valdez and Mayberry’s hits being singles, Howard’s hit being a double and Utley’s hit being a three-run home run. The Phils were unable to get a key hit when they needed it.

The Phils (93-63, 1st) would go on the road for the last time during the regular season, to start a series with the Nationals (67-89, 5th) in Washington, looking to clinch the East, as they have already clinched at least a tie for both the Eastern Division and the Wild Card, as the Padres have also lost.

Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 8: Two defensive mistakes by the Phils lead to the end of their winning streak, as they lose to the Mets, 5-2. The magic number is still at two.

Two defensive mistakes by the Phils in the seventh inning allowed the Mets to score five runs in that inning, as the Phils’ winning streak ends at eleven games, as they lose to the Mets, 5-2. The magic number stays at two as the Braves have earlier defeated the Nationals.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his thirty-first home run of the year, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, who, in the first six innings, would give up only three hits, while striking out four, while the Mets’ starter Dillon Gee kept the Phils off-balanced for the next five innings, giving up only three more hits and two walks, while striking out five Phils. Kendrick’s good fortune would come to an end in the seventh. Carlos Beltran started the inning off with a single. The next batter, David Wright followed by hitting a grounder that went to the left of Kendrick. After getting the ball, Kendrick threw it to second to start a possible double play with Utley, but Wilson Valdez steps in front of Utley, and then touched second base, forcing out Beltran. But, because of his momentum, he is not able to throw to first, allowing Wright to reach first safely. Ike Davis then followed with a single, sending Wright up to second base. Angel Pagan then got on base on a fielding error by Howard as he allowed the ball to eat him up, before going into right field, loading the bases as Wright stops at third, and Davis stops at second. The next batter, Josh Thole, followed with an RBI single, knocking in Wright, cutting the Phils’ lead to 2-1, while moving up a base both Davis and Pagan, leaving the bases loaded. Charlie Manuel would then come out and take the ball from Kendrick, replacing him with Chad Durbin. Pinch hitter Lucas Duda welcomes Durbin with a bases clearing double, scoring Davis, Pagan and Thole, giving the Mets a 4-2 lead, with still only one man out. After Durbin strikes out Gee for the inning’s second out, Jose Reyes makes it a 5-2 Mets’ lead with an RBI double, knocking in Joaquin Arias, who was pinch running for Duda. That would be the final score as the Mets would shut down the Phils for the final three innings, with Hisanori Takahashi recording his eighth save of the season by getting Carlos Ruiz to fly out to center for the final out.

Kyle Kendrick took the lost as he pitches six and one-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits, while striking out four. His record is now 10-10 with a 4.76 ERA. Chad Davis collects his first blown save of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out two batters. J.C. Romero and David Herndon pitches two scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Romero (1), Herndon (2)) and a walk (Romero). Dillon Gee gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record is now 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA. Elmer Dessens receives his ninth hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both man that he would face. Pedro Feliciano records his twentieth hold of the year as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Hisanori Takahashi records his eighth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had only five hits in the game, singles by Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Kyle Kendrick, a double by Wilson Valdez and a two-run home run by Ryan Howard, knocking in the Phils only runs. The Phils offense got shut down after scoring in the first innings.

The Phils (93-62, 1st) will conclude their regular season home schedule with a day game against the Mets (75-79, 4th), with the Phils presently trailing late in the game.

Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 9: Phils hold on to beat the Mets, 3-2, increasing their winning streak to eleven games while dropping their magic number down to 2.

Behind the pitching of Joe Blanton and the back end of the bullpen (Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge), the Phils beat the Mets, 3-2, increasing their winning streak to eleven games, while reducing their magic number to winning their fourth straight Eastern Division title to two games as the Braves lose to the Nationals in Washington.

The Phils took the lead in the first as Shane Victorino hits a lead-off home run, his eighteenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the second as, with one man on, and with two men out, Victorino hits an RBI double, knocking in Wilson Valdez, who had earlier singled, and then went up to second on Joe Blanton’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. The Mets tied the game up at two-all in the fourth as, with a runner on first, and with two men out, Angel Pagan hit a two-run home run, knocking in Ike Davis, who had earlier singled. The Phils retook the lead in their half of the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second on Josh Thole’s passed ball, giving the Phils’ a 3-2 lead. This would turn out to be the final score, as first Blanton, then Ryan Madson and finally Brad Lidge would hold off the Mets, with Lidge getting pinch hitter Jesus Feliciano to strike out, swinging, with runners on the corners, to end the game.

Joe Blanton gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out six. His record is now 8-6 with a 4.94 ERA. Ryan Madson collects his fifteenth hold of the season as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Brad Lidge collects his twenty-seventh save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. R.A. Dickey took the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out four. His record is now 11-8 with a 2.92 ERA. Elmer Dessens, Pedro Feliciano and Manny Acosta combine for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Feliciano), while striking out two (Feliciano and Acosta one each) between them.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco both leading the team with two hits apiece, with Victorino’s hits being a solo home run and a RBI double, knocking in two runs, while Polanco’s hits were both singles. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez had the other five Phils’ hits, all singles, with Ruiz knocking in the other Phil run. The offense once again had enough hits to beat their opponent, increasing their winning streak, while at the same time lowering their magic number.

The Phils (93-61, 1st) continued their final home stand of the regular season with the Mets (74-79, 4th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (10-9, 4.78), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 18, as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 5-2 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-2, as he had pitched fifteen innings, giving up nine runs on eighteen hits and four walks, while striking out six. He will be trying to either help shrink the Phils’ magic number to one, or to help them clinch, depending on what the Braves do against the Nationals this afternoon. The Mets will counter with Dillon Gee (1-1, 1.80), who is coming off a lost to the Braves on September 18, as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Mets’ 4-2 lost. In his previous three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched twenty innings, giving up four runs on thirteen hits and ten walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying to spoil the Phils’ night, and put the clinching party, if it is to occur, on hold for one more day. The Phils will be trying to either bring their magic number down to one game, or clinch their fourth straight NL East title, depending on what the Braves do against the Nationals this afternoon. 

Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 10: Oswalt and the bullpen throws a one-hitter at the Braves as the Phils sweep the series, winning 1-0. The magic number is now down to four.

Roy Oswalt, winning pitcher Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combine to throw a one-hitter at the Braves, as the Phils score the winning run with two outs in the eighth, to defeat the Braves, 1-0, as they sweep the three-game series. The Phils now own a six games lead over the Braves in the NL East, as the magic number drops to four games.

The game was a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Roy Oswalt, who threw seven scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, a two-out double to Martin Prado in the fourth, and a two-out walk to Brian McCann in the seventh, while striking out eight and Braves starter Tommy Hanson who pitched six scoreless innings, giving up a one-out double to Carlos Ruiz in the fifth and a one-out single by Chase Utley in the sixth, before pitching himself out of jams in both innings and three walks, while striking out four. After Ryan Madson came in to pitch a scoreless eighth, the Phils tried to start a rally in their half of the eighth as Utley was hit by the pitch for the second time that night, leading off the inning. But Ryan Howard then followed by hitting into a 6-5-3 doubleplay, hitting into the shift, as Utley is wiped out at second, for outs number one and two. Jayson Werth then gets on base with a walk. The next batter, Raul Ibanez, then followed by hitting a 2-0 sinker down the left field line, just barely dropping fair, for an RBI double, knocking in Werth, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then gave the ball to Brad Lidge for the save. Lidge proceeded to shut down the Braves, getting his twenty-sixth save of the year, although giving up a walk to Jason Heyward with two outs, who then stole second base. But, Lidge would then end the game by getting Prado to fly out to right.

Roy Oswalt receives a no-decision as he pitches seven strong innings, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out eight. Ryan Madson gets the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning. His record is now 6-2 with a 2.32 ERA. Brad Lidge receives his twenty-sixth save of the year, as he gives up a walk. Tommy Hanson also gets a no-decision as he pitches six shut out innings, giving up just two hits and three walks, while striking out four. Peter Moylan and Craig Kimbrel combine for a scoreless inning, giving up a hit (Moylan) and a walk (Kimbrel), while striking out a batter (Kimbrel) between them. Jonny Venters took the lost as he gives up a run on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. His record is now 4-3 with a 1.83 ERA.

The Phils only had four hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez had the other two Phils’ hits, with Utley’s hit being a single and Ibanez’s hit being an RBI double, knocking in the only run of the game. The offense was once again handcuffed by the Braves’ pitching, but thanks to Oswalt, they were able to hang in there until someone was finally able to knock in the winning run.

The Phils (92-61, 1st) have the day-off today, before starting the final series of the regular season at Citizens Bank Park, a three-game weekend series with the Mets (74-78, 4th).

Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 11: Roy Halladay gets his twentieth victory of the year, as the Phils decrease their magic number to 6, as they defeat the Braves, 5-3.

Roy Halladay becomes the first Phils starter, since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton won 23 in 1982, to win 20 games in a season, as the Phils defeat the Braves, 5-3. The Phils’ lead in the NL East increases to five games, while their magic number falls to six games.

The Phils took the lead in the third as, with two men on, and with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a three-run home run, his twenty-fifth home run of the year, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Braves got a run back in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Eric Hinske hits an RBI force out, 4-6, knocking in Alex Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Rick Ankiel’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while Ankiel, who had earlier singled, was wiped out at second base. The Braves scored again in the sixth as, with runners on second and third and with nobody out, Derrek Lee hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Martin Prado, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Brian McCann’s double, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, before McCann, who has earlier doubled, is thrown out at third, 8-5, trying to move up to third, on a sacrifice fly-double play, for the second out of the inning. The Phils got the runs back in their half of the sixth as, with two men on base, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run double, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier walked, and moved up to second on Werth’s single, and Werth, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead. The Braves got a run back in the seventh as, with two men out, pinch hitter Freddie Freeman hits a pinch hit solo home run, the first of his major league career, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead. That would be the final score as the bullpen would hold down the Braves in the eighth and in the ninth, with Brad Lidge collecting his twenty- fifth save of the year, as he got Ankiel to end the game by poping up to the shortstop for the final out.

Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out three. His record is now 20-10 with an ERA of 2.53. Ryan Madson collects his fourteenth hold as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge gets his twenty-fifth save of the season as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Mike Minor took the lost as he pitches only two and one-third innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.18 ERA. Cristhian Martinez and Kyle Farnsworth combines for two and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up  a hit (Martinez) and two walks (Martinez), while striking out four (Martinez (3), Farnsworth (1)) between them. Michael Dunn pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Peter Moylan, Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters combine for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Kimbrel (1), Venters (1)), while striking out three (Kimbrel (1), Venters (2)) between them.

 The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Jason Werth, Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez leading the team with two hits each, with Polanco, Utley and Valdez’s hits being all singles, with Werth’s hits being a single and a three-run home run, knocking in three runs, and Ibanez’s hits being a pair of doubles, knocking in two runs. Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay had the other two Phil hits, both singles. The Phils’ offense left twelve men on base, failing to cash in on several scoring opportunities, but scoring enough runs to win once again.

The Phils (91-61, 1st) will conclude their series with the Braves (86-66, 2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (13-13 (7-1), 2.90 (1.94)), who is coming off a win against the Nats on September 17, as he went six innings, giving up a run on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 9-1 rout. In his last three starts, his record is 3-0 as he had pitched twenty-two innings, giving up five runs on sixteen hits and three walks, while striking out twenty. He will be trying to lead the Phils to a sweep of the Braves. The Braves will counter with Tommy Hanson (10-11, 3.62), who is coming off a win against the Mets on September 17, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Braves’ 6-4 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he had pitched nineteen innings, giving up twelve runs, nine of which were earned, on fourteen hits and three walks, while striking out thirteen. He will be trying to help the Braves avoid the sweep. The Phils will be trying to sweep the Braves, to extend their lead in the NL East to six games and set things up for an early clinching.

Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 12: Cole Hamels shut down the Braves as the Phils take a four-game lead in the East, as they defeat the Braves, 3-1.

A brilliant eight innings pitching performance by Cole Hamels leads the Phils to a 3-1 win over the Braves, as they increase their lead in the NL East to four games, while their magic number to winning the division drops down to eight.

The Braves took the lead in the second as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Brian McCann hits an RBI double, knocking in Derrek Lee, who had earlier singled, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. The Braves threaten to add to their lead as they put runners on the corners after Matt Diaz hits a single, sending McCann over to third base, with still nobody out, but Phils starter Cole Hamels got out of further trouble by first striking out Alex Gonzalez, swinging, for the inning’s first out, then getting Melky Cabrera to hit into a 4-6-3 doubleplay, wiping out Diaz at second base. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, scoring Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled, then moved up to third on Raul Ibanez’s ground out, 1-3. The Phils would take the lead in the fifth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier reached third on a three-base fielding error by Jason Heyward, as the ball glance off of his glove, to give the Phils a 2-1 lead. Four batters later, the Phils made it a 3-1 lead as, with the bases loaded, via a Chase Utley single, who later stole second base, and then walks to first Howard, and then to Jayson Werth, moving both Utley and Howard up a base, and with still one man out, Ibanez hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Utley, while moving both Howard and Werth up a base. That would be all that Hamels would need as he would pitch eight strong innings, giving up only a run on just six hits and a walk, while he would strike out six Braves, before handing the ball over to Brad Lidge, who would pitch a strong 1-2-3 ninth to collect his twenty-fourth save of the season, ending the game by striking out Lee, swinging.

Cole Hamels gets the win as he pitches eight strong innings, giving up only one run on six hits and a walk, while he strikes out six. His record is now 12-10 with a 2.93 ERA. Brad Lidge records his twenty-fourth save of the year as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two batters. Brandon Beachy took the lost in his major league debut, as he pitches four and a third innings, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits and three walks, while he strikes out only one. His record is now 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA. Eric O’Flaherty, Peter Moylan, Michael Dunn and Kyle Farnsworth combine for four and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up just one hit (Dunn) and three walks (O’Flaherty (2), Moylan (1)), while striking out four (Moylan (1), Dunn (1), Farnsworth (2)) between them.

The Phils had just five hits in the game, singles by Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Jayson Werth and double by Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz, with Ruiz knocking in one run, while Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez knocked in the other two Phils’ runs with ground outs. The offense, although hitting the ball hard, especially against the rookie Brandon Beachy, have little to show for it, although a Braves error allowed them to get the runs they would need to win, with Cole Hamels pitching strongly last night

The Phils (90-61, 1st) will continue their three-games series with the Braves (86-65, 2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (19-10, 2.49), who is coming off a win against the Marlins on September 15, as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on ten hits, as he struck out nine, in the Phils’ 10-5 win. In his last three starts, his record is 3-0, as he pitched twenty and two-thirds innings, giving up eleven runs on twenty-five hits and two walks, while striking out twenty. Doc will be going for his fourth win in a row, while trying to pitch his first strong outing in over a month, while planning to make it 3-0 against the Braves this season. The Braves will counter with Mike Minor (3-1, 5.84), another rookie, who is coming off a lost against the Nationals on September 15, as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Braves’ 4-2 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 0-1 with two no-decisions, as he had pitched fourteen innings, giving up fourteen runs on twenty hits and two walks, while striking out fifteen. He will be trying to get the Braves back into the pennant race by hoping to regain what he was doing during his first four starts in the majors. The Phils, the first NL team to reach 90 wins, will be going for the series win tonight, hoping to put themselves firmly into the driver’s seat for the final ten games of the season.

Countdown to the Playoffs, 15 games left: The Phils have three at home with the Nats.

With a three-game lead in the NL East, and having the best record in the National League, the Phils come back home to Philadelphia for their final home stand of the season. For the nine-game home stand, the Phils get to face the last place Nationals, the second place Braves and the fourth place Mets, with the Mets series being the last time that they’ll meet their rival to the North this year.

First up will be the Nationals, who presently have the third-worst record in the National League (with the D-backs and the Pirates sporting the second worst and the worst record in the NL respectively). This year, the Phils have a 7-5 record against the Nationals, with six games left to play. The Phils will be trying to win both remaining series between the two clubs, trying to go at least 4-2, with a best of 6-0, the later of which will not be easy as the Nats have been known to play tough with the Phils, although with it never being reflected in the season records between the two teams.

The first game of the three-game series, to be played at Citizens Bank Park, will start at 7:05 pm tonight. The Phils (86-61, 1st) will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (6-1 (12-13) 1.98 (2.94)), who is coming off a win against the Mets on September 12, as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up just four hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 3-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 3-0, as he had pitched twenty-two and a third innings, giving up four runs on eleven hits and eight walks, while striking out nineteen. Against the Nationals, since being traded to the Phils by the Astros, his record is 1-1, as he had pitched thirteen innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on twelve hits and three walks, while striking out twelve. He has pitched one game against the Nats as an Astros, going 0-1, as he pitched just two and one third innings, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out three. Thus, in three previous starts against the Nationals, his overall record is 1-2, as he had pitched fifteen and a third innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on sixteen hits and six walks, while striking out fifteen. He will be pitching on normal rest, as his position in the rotation was switched with Kyle Kendrick, so that he would be facing the Braves next Wednesday night, as part of the three aces against the Braves in the middle series of the home stand. Oswalt will be going for his seventh win as a Phil, his thirteenth win of the season, to even up his season record, and his fourth win in a row. The Nats (62-84, 5th) will counter with Jason Marquis (2-8, 6.60), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on September 11, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Nats’  4-1 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 2-1, as he had pitched seventeen and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on eighteen hits and four walks, while striking out eleven. In three previous starts against the Phils, his record is 0-3, as he has pitched thirteen and a third innings, giving up fourteen runs, thirteen of which were earned, on eighteen hits and nine walks, while striking out just four. He will be trying to not become the Phils punching bag, as he was back in April. The Phils will be trying to not look past the Nats before they face the Braves to lock in their control of the NL East.

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