Results tagged ‘ National League ’

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Rookie of the Year.

During the sixty-three years that the Rookie of the Year has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Associations of America (BBWAA), only four Phils have won the NL version of the award.

The first Phil to win the award was pitcher Jack Sanford in 1957 who in 33 starts complied a win-lost record of 19-8 with a 3.08 ERA, as he struck out 188 batters. The second Phil to win the award was third baseman Dick Allen in 1964, who in that year batted .318, hitting 29 home runs, 19 triples, leading the league in that category, and knocking in 91 RBIs, while scoring 125, the league leader in that category. It would be thirty-three years before another Phil would be voted the NL Rookie of the Year. Third baseman Scott Rolen would win the award in 1997, with a .283 batting average, as he hit 21 home runs, while knocking in 92 RBIs. The fourth, and presently final, Phil to win the award would be first baseman Ryan Howard in 2005, who that year batted .288, as he hit 22 home runs, while knocking in 63 RBIs.

Of the four awards won by a Phil, three were won in the 20th Century and one, so far, in the 21st. Three have been won by position players and one by a pitcher. So far, none of the award has been won by a member of the Hall of Fame, since both Rolen and Howard are still active players, although Allen is presently under consideration by the Hall of Fame Veterans’ Committee.

Who will be the next Phil to win the Award? Considering the Phils’ farm system, that is a good question, since the Phils just missed having a fifth award as J.A. Happ ended up second place in 2009.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Most Valuable Player Award.

During the almost 70 years that the award has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), five Phils have won the award a total of seven times.

The first Phil to win the just reformed title (1931) was Hall of Famer Chuck Klein in 1933, the year that he won the batting Triple Crown, by posting a batting average of .368, hitting 28 home runs and knocking in 120 RBIs. The next Phil to win the award would be relief pitcher Jim Konstanty in 1950, as he would appear in 74 regular season games, all in relief, as he had a 16-7 record with a 2.66 ERA, while saving 22 more games, as he help lead the Whiz Kids to the team’s first NL pennant since 1915. The next Phil to be voted MVP by the writers would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in 1980, as he help lead the team to their third NL pennant and their first World Series Championship by batting .286 with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs. He would receive his second MVP, and the team’s fourth, in the strike shortened year of 1981, as he batted .316, hitting 31 home runs, while knocking in 91 RBIs. Schmidt would win his third and final MVP award in 1986, as he batted .290, hitting 37 home runs and knocking in 119 RBIs. The sixth Phil to be elected the NL MVP would be Ryan Howard in 2006, as he hit 58 home runs and knocked in 149 RBIs, while batting .313. The fifth and, at the moment, final Phil to win the award was Jimmy Rollins, who did it in 2007, the year that the Phils made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. In that year, Rollins batted .296, hitting 30 home runs, as he knocked in 94 runs.

Of the seven titles, five were won in the 20th century and two in the 21st. One title was won in the 1930s, one in the 1950s, three in the 1980s and two in the 2000s. Mike Schmidt has won the most MVPs awards won by a Phil player by winning three, with two of them in consecutive seasons. Of the title winners, two are presently in the Hall of Fame. Six of the awards were won by position players, all but one by an infielder, and one by a relief pitcher.

Which Phil will next win the award? Depending on how 2011 shapes up, Ryan Howard could regain the title or Chase Utley could gain his first, if either player can regain their form during the off-season.

Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: On-Based Percentage Champions.

In its 128-year history as a member of the National League, the Phillies have won twenty-one on-base percentage titles. Thirteen Phils have won the title, with five of them winning it more than once.

The first Phil to win the title was Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who did in it 1891 with a .453 percentage. He would win the second and third title to be won by a Phil player by winning it two years in a row, in 1893 and again in 1894, with on-base percentages of .490 and .521, respectively. Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty would become the second Phil to win the team’s fourth title, the fourth in five years, by winning it in 1895 with an on-base percentage of .500. The next Phil to win the title would be Roy Thomas, who would win the Phil’s fifth and sixth titles in 1902 and 1903, with marks of .414 and .453. The fourth Phil to win the title, the team’s seventh, would be Sherry Magee, who would win it in 1910, with a .445 percentage. The fifth Phil to win the title would be Gavvy Cravath, who won the title in 1915, the year that the Phils won their first National League title and in 1916, with marks of .393 and .379. It would be fourteen years before another Phil would win the team’s tenth title, which would be done by Lefty O’Doul in 1929 with a mark of .465. The seventh Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who would win the team’s eleventh title in 1933, the year that he won the batting triple crown, by posting an on-base percentage of .422. The eighth Phil to win the title would be Dolph Camilli, who would win the title in 1937 with a .446 percentage. The next Phil to secure the title would be Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who would win the title in 1954, 1955 and 1958, with percentages of .441, .449 and .440. The tenth Phil to become the on-base percentage leader would be Dick Allen, who would win the title in 1967 with a .404 mark. Pete Rose would become the eleventh Phil to win it, winning the team’s seventeenth title in 1979 with a .418 mark. The twelfth Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who would it in the strike-shortened year of 1981, 1982 and 1983 with marks of .435, .403 and .399. The thirteenth, and at the moment last, Phil to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra, who won the team’s twenty-first title in 1990 with a .418 mark. No Phil has won the title since then.

Of the twenty-one titles won by the Phils, eleven of them, or almost half of them, have been won by Hall of Famers, with Billy Hamilton, Richie Ashburn and Mike Schmidt each winning three titles, while Ed Delahanty and Chick Klein would win the other two titles. Roy Thomas and Gavvy Cravath, other than the three Hall of Famers, have won more than one title, with each man winning two titles. The Phil with the highest on-base percentage when he won the title was Hamilton with his .521 mark in 1894, while the Phil with the lowest percentage was Cravath with his .379 mark in 1916. Phils have won the title four times in the 19th Century, seventeen times in the 20th, and so far have not won it in the 21st Century.

Who will be the next Phil to win the title? I have really no idea.

Coundown to the Playoffs, Game # 6: The Phils win their fourth straight National League Eastern Division Title behind the two-hit complete game pitching of Roy Halladay, as they defeat the Nats, 8-0.

Behind the two-hit complete game shut out pitching of their ace Roy Halladay, the Phils have clinched their fourth straight National League Eastern Division title as they defeat the Nats, 8-0.

The Phils took the lead in the second as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils increased their lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Werth hits a two-run double, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier singled, then went to second base when Chase Utley was hit by the pitch, and Utley, who had just been hit by the pitch, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Phils then made it a 4-0 lead two batters latter as, with runners on the corners, as Raul Ibanez got on base with an infield single, sending Werth to third, and still with two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, scoring Werth, while sending Ibanez over to third. The Phils then busted the game wide open in the ninth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Wilson Valdez, who had reached first earlier on a strikeout that got away from Wilson Ramos before he threw to third base to nail Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, and then tried to move up to third on the play, who then stole second as Halladay struck out, then stole third base, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead, while sending Shane Victorino, who had just walked, on to third base. The Phils then took a 7-0 lead as Utley hits a two-run double, scoring both Victorino and Polanco. The Phils then made it an 8-0 lead as, after Ryan Howard had walked, Werth hits an RBI infield single to the first baseman, as Utley ran all the way from second base to score, while Howard would move up to second base. That would be more than enough for Halladay as he pitched a complete game shut out, giving up only two hits, a lead-off single to Ramos in the third, before he was wiped out in a 4-6-3 double play by Alberto Gonzalez, and then a lead-off single in the eighth by Adam Dunn, who was then stranded at first, before he ended the game by getting Danny Espinosa to strike out, swinging, his sixth strike out victim.

Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches a complete game shut out, giving up only two hits, while striking out six. His record is now 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA. John Lannan took the lost as he pitches only five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out three. His record is now 8-8 with a 4.65 ERA. Craig Stammen and Collin Balester combine for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Stammen) and a walk (Stammen), while striking out two (Balester) between them. Joe Bisenius pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out two. Miguel Batista pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit.

The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Placido Polanco, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz all leading the team with three hits each, with Polanco’s hits being all singles, knocking in a run, Werth’s three hits being a single, a double and a solo home run, knocking in four runs and Ruiz’s hits being a single, and two doubles, knocking in a run. Raul Ibanez followed with two hits, a single and a double. Chase Utley had the final Phil hit, a double, knocking in two runs. The Phils’ offense exploded late in the game, after being kept quiet for the early part of the evening.

The Phils (94-63, 1st) continues their three-game series with the Nationals (67-90, 5th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Roy Oswalt (13-13 (7-1), 2.80 (1.76)), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 22, when he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only a hit and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Phils 1-0 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he had pitched twenty-two innings, giving up just a run on eleven hits and three walks, while striking out twenty-one. He will be going for his eighth win since joining the Phils, and his third straight win against the Nats. The Nats will counter with Jason Marquis (2-9, 7.18), who is coming off a no-decision against the Astros, as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Nats’ 4-3 win. In his last three starts, his record is 0-2 with a no-decision, as he had pitched twelve and one-third innings, giving up ten runs on eighteen hits and three walks, while striking out ten. He will be trying to not be rough up again by the Phils. The Phils will be trying to make sure that they’ll have the best record in the National League no matter what happens during the rest of the season.

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, 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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