Results tagged ‘ Pinch Hit Walk ’

The Phils come up short as they lose to the Nats, 2-1.

The Phils come up a little short as they drop the series to the Nats as they lose, 2-1.

The Nats took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with one man on, and with one man out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Roger Bernadina, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Ian Desmond’s sacrifice bunt, 5-3, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard, who had earlier doubled, would score on a Alex Cora fielding error of a Carlos Ruiz grounder, while Ben Francisco, who had earlier walked, would stop at second base, while Ruiz would be safe at first. The Phils tried to take the lead in the third as, with John Mayberry, Jr., who was earlier hit by the pitch, and then stole second base, and with two men out, tried to score on a grounder hit into right center field by Howard against the infield shift for an infield single, but was thrown out at home plate by second baseman Danny Espinosa, 4-2, for the inning’s final out. The Nats then retook the lead in their half of the third as, with two men out, Laynce Nix hits a solo home run, his ninth home run of the season, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead. The Phils tried to retied the game in the sixth, as they loaded the bases, via a walk by Francisco, a single by Raul Ibanez, sending Francisco up to second base, and a walk by pinch hitter Jimmy Rollins, and with two men out, but ended up being denied as pinch hitter Dom Brown flied out to left for the final out. That would be the last threat the Phils would mustard before Drew Storen would come in and collect his tenth save with a scoreless ninth.

Roy Oswalt (3-3, 2.70) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out three. Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Bastardo), while striking out three (Stutes (2), Bastardo (1)) between them. John Lannan (3-5, 4.05) gets the win, his first against the Phils, as he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits, a hit batter and three walks, while striking out a batter. Todd Coffey received his first hold of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, as he walked a better. Doug Slaten also collected his first hold of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Tyler Clippard collected his twelfth hold of the year as he pitched two 1-2-3 innings. Drew Storen picked up his tenth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had only five hits in the game, with Ryan Howard leading the team with two hits, an infield single and a double. Placido Polanco (Single), Raul Ibanez (Single) and Jimmy Rollins (Bunt Single), had the other three Phils’ hits, as the offense could not get a key hit, as their only run came in on a Nats’s error.

The Phils (34-22, 1st) have the day off tomorrow, before starting a three-game series with the Pirates (25-28, 4th Central) in Pittsburgh.

A long night finally ends with a walk-off sac fly with the bases loaded, as the Phils defeat the Reds in 19 innings, 5-4.

A sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the 19th inning, give the Phils a walk-off win as they defeat the Reds in a 19 innings marathon, 5-4, as Wilson Valdez becomes the first position player to win a game since 2000.

The Phils took a quick 2-0 lead in the first as Ben Francisco hits a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the season, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled. The Phils then made it a 3-o lead in the second as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, John Mayberry, Jr. hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier doubled. The Reds got a run back in the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Joey Votto hits an RBI single, knocking in Drew Stubbs, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1. The Phils tried to make it a 4-1 lead in the sixth as Raul Ibanez led-off the inning with a triple, just missing a home run as it hit the top of the fence. But, he would be left stranded there as Reds’ starter Travis Wood got Ruiz to pop out to Votto in foul territory for the first out, then struck out Mayberry, looking, for the inning’s second out. After Wilson Valdez is intentionally walked to put runners on the corners, Wood gets out of the inning by getting Roy Halladay to ground out, 5-3. That would come back to haunt the Phils, as the Reds would tie the ballgame up at three-all in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via singles by pinch hitter Miguel Cairo and Stubbs, with Cairo stopping at second base, a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Phillips, sending Cairo to third and Stubbs to second base, and an intentional walk to Votto, and with two men out, Jay Bruce hits a two-run single, scoring Cairo and Stubbs, and sending Votto to second base. The Phils tried to win it in the ninth as they loaded the bases, via a single by Mayberry, who is then moved over to second base by a sac bunt by Valdez, 1-4, an intentional walk by pinch hitter Chase Utley, both runners then moving up a base on a Nick Masset wild pitch, and an intentional walk to Rollins, but would be denied as Masset would get pinch hitter Dom Brown to pop out to the catcher in foul territory for the inning’s second out and then get Placido Polanco to hit into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Rollins at second base, to end the inning, sending the game into extra-innings.  The Reds then took a 4-3 lead in the top of the tenth as Bruce hits a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Phils then tied it up at four-all in their half of the tenth as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his eleventh home run of the season. The Reds tried to retake the lead in the eleventh as they loaded the bases via Phillips being hit by the pitch, Votto walking, sending Phillips to second base, where he is picked off by J.C. Romero, for the inning’s second out, before Scott Rolen is walked, sending Votto up to second base, and then a walk to Bruce, before David Herndon ended the inning by getting Ramon Hernandez to ground out, 1-3. The score would stay that way until the nineteenth inning, when, as the Phils used up their last position player, Dane Sardinha, as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighteenth, they had to reorganize their defense, as they put Sardinha behind the plate, placed Ruiz at third, and moved Polanco over to second base, before sending Valdez to the mound. Valdez started his first inning as a pitcher off by getting Votto to fly out to center for the first out. After hitting Rolen, he then got Bruce to fly out to center, before finally ending the inning by getting Carlos Fisher to pop out to Polanco.  The Phils then began their half of the nineteenth with Rollins getting on base with a single. Brown followed with a walk, moving Rollins up to second base. Polanco then followed with a well executed sac bunt, sending Rollins to third, and Brown up to second base. Howard is then given an intentional walk to load up the base with only one out, bringing Ibanez to the plate. With both the Reds infield and outfield drawn in, Ibanez hits a long fly ball to center field which was caught for a sacrifice fly by Stubbs, allowing Rollins to score with the winning run, giving the Phils a 5-4, extra-innings, walk-off win.

Roy Halladay received a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on eleven hits and a walk, while striking out six. Michael Stutes pitched a scoreless inning, as he gave up a hit, while striking out three. Ryan Madison pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Kyle Kendrick pitched two-thirds of an inning, hitting a batter, while striking out two. J.C. Romero pitched a third of an inning, walking three batters.  David Herndon pitched two and a third scoreless innings, before being sent back to Lehigh Valley to make room for the just activated Jose Contreras. Danys Beaz pitched five scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out three. Wilson Valdez (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, hitting a batter. Travis Wood also received a no-decision, as he went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out two. Jose Arredondo, Bill Bray and Nick Masset combine for three scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Masset) and two walks (Masset), while striking out one (Bray) between them. Francisco Cordero blew his second save opportunity of the year as he pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out two. Logan Ondrusek pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two. Carlos Fisher (0-1, 0.87) took the lost as he piched five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on four hits and three walks, while striking out four.

The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double. Jimmy Rollins (Singles), Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, RBI), John Mayberry, Jr. (Singles, RBI) all followed with two hits each. Ben Francisco (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Placido Polanco (Single), Raul Ibanez (Triple, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Double), had the other four Phils’ hits during a rather long game.

The Phils (30-19, 1st East) are presently concluding their four-game series with the Reds (26-24, 3rd Central), with a game in progress.

The Phils lose in extra-innings to the Mets, 2-1.

The Phils lost an extra-innings game to the Mets, 2-1.

In a well pitched game, the Mets finally took the lead in the fifth as, with a runner on first and with two men out, Carlos Beltran hits an RBI double, knocking in David Wright, who had just singled, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied it up at one-all in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier walked, then went to second on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt, while sending Jimmy Rollins, who had also walked, over to third base. The game then developed into a battle of the bullpens until the top of the fourteenth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Ronnie Paulino hits an RBI double, knocking in Wright, who had earlier singled, went to second on Jason Bay’s single, then moved up to third base on Ike Davis’ deep fly out to center, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead, while sending Bay, who had just singled, over to third. That would be the final score as the Phils went down 1-2-3 in their half of the fourteenth, with Mayberry, Jr. striking out, swinging, for the final out.  

Cliff Lee received a no-decision as he pitched for seven innings, giving up just one run on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five. Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo, Ryan Madson and Danys Baez combine for four scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Bastardo (1), Baez (1)) and three walks (Bastardo (1), Madson (2)), while striking out four (Bastardo (2), Madson (1), Baez (2)) between them. Kyle Kendrick (1-2, 2.08) took the lost as he pitched three innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, while striking out one. Chris Young also received a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up two hits and three walks, while striking out seven, as he once again kept the Phils off-balanced with his pitching. Jason Isringhausen received his fifth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two walks. Tim Byrdak received his first blown save of the season as he pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Francisco Rodriguez pitched one and one-third scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Pedro Beato pitched three scoreless innings, giving up two hits, as he struck out two. Taylor Buchholz (1-0, 1.15) gets the win as he pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two.

The Phils had only seven hits in the game, with Brian Schneider leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, Ryan Howard, Ben Francisco and Pete Orr had the other five Phils’ hits, all singles, with Howard knocking in the lone run. The Phils offense had only two real chances last night, getting only one key hit, Howards’ RBI single in the eighth, while Lee and the bullpen kept the Mets under control for most of the night.

The Phils (18-9, 1st) have the day off today, before they start a three-game series tomorrow night with the Nationals (13-14, 4th). The Phils announced that Roy Oswalt will be back with the team on Thursday, while they have activated Dom Brown, before sending him to Lehigh Valley to continue his rehab. They have also announced that Chase Utley had played three innings in a simulated game, to monitor his progress. Hopefully he will be back by the All-Star break.

Powered by a pair of solo shots, the Phils blank the Padres, 3-0, starting their western visit with a win.

The Phils start off their western trip with a 3-0 blanking of the Padres.

The Phils took the lead in the second as Ben Francisco hits a lead-off home run, his third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, the Phils made it a 2-0 lead as, with one man out, Brian Schneider hits a solo home run, his second home run of the year. The Phils then took a 3-0 lead in the third as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Placido Polanco, a walk by Jimmy Rollins, sending Polanco on to second base, and a walk by Raul Ibanez, with the runners both moving up a base, and with one man out, Francisco hits a sacrifice fly, that would be dropped by right fielder Chris Denorfia for a fielding error, allowing Polanco to score, while sending Rollins to third base, and Ibanez up to second base. The Phils would then miss several opportunities to bust the game open, while their starter Roy Oswalt would show that he has recovered nicely from his bad back injury as he threw six shut out innings, giving up only one hit, a two-out fifth inning single to Denorfia, and two walks, while he struck out seven. The Padres then threaten in the bottom of the seventh as, with two outs, they loaded up the bases via a single to Nick Hundley, and walks to Cameron Maybin, moving Hundley up to second base, and to pinch hitter Will Venable, sending both runners up one base, before Antonio Bastardo came in and shut the door by getting pinch hitter Alberto Gonzalez to fly out. The Padres made one last attempt in the ninth as, they put two men on, with two men out, before Jose Contreras finally ended the game as he recorded his fifth save of the year as he struck out Brad Hawpe looking.

Roy Oswalt (3-0, 1.88) got the win as he pitched six innings, giving up just one hit and two walks, while he struck out seven. David Herndon pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and two walks, as he received his first hold of the season. Antonio Bastardo recorded his first hold of the year, as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Jose Contreras recorded his fifth save as he gave up a hit and a walk, while he struck out a batter. Mat Latos (0-3, 5.94) took the lost as he pitched only four and one-third innings, giving up three runs on four hits and five walks, while striking out seven. Cory Luebke, Pat Neshek and Chad Qualls followed with four and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Luebke (1), Neshek (2)) and two walks (Neshek and Qualls with one walk each), while striking out three (Luebke) between them. Oswalt showed that his back was okay, while the Phils pitching performed its fourth shut out of the season.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Placido Polanco leading the team with two hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins (Single), Ben Francisco (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Pete Orr (Single). Brian Schneider (Home Run, RBI) and John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits. The Phils offense blew several opportunities during the game to bust it wide open.

The Phils (12-6, 1st NL East) continue their four-game series with the Padres (8-11, 5th NL West) with a night game later today. The game will be played at Petco Park and will start at 10:05 pm EDT (7:05 pm PDT). Coel Hamels (1-1, 4.32), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on April 17, as he went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-2 win, will pitch for the Phils. He will be trying to continue the Phils’ present winning streak in Petco Park, while trying to pick up his second win of the year. The Padres will counter with Clayton Richard (1-0, 4.50), who is coming off a no-decision of his own against the Astros on April 17, as he pitched five and one-thirds innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Padres’ 8-6 win. He will also be trying for his second win of the season. The Phils will try to take a 2-0 lead in the series behind Hamels’ pitching arm.

Jayson Werth help to defeat his old teammates, as the Phils lose to the Nats, 7-4.

Jayson Werth help to defeat his former club, as the Phils lose to the Nationals in Washington, 7-4.

The Phils took the lead in the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Nats tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Danny Espinosa hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Wilson Ramos, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Laynce Nix’s single. The Nats then took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ramos hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Matt Stairs’ ground out, 6-3, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead. The Nats then increased their lead as, now with the bases loaded, after an infield single by Nix, sending Ramos to third, and a walk to Espinosa, sending Nix up to second base, and with still one man out, Jerry Hairston hits an RBI single, scoring Ramos, giving the Nats a 3-1 lead, while moving up both Nix and Espinosa, leaving the bases loaded. The Nats then took a 4-1 lead as Livan Hernandez performed a successful suicide squeeze, 1-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Nix, while sending Espinosa on to third base, and Hairston to second base. The Nats then took a 5-1 lead in the fifth as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second home run of the season. The Phils tried to get back into the game in the seventh as they loaded the bases, via a single by Raul Ibanez, a single by Carlos Ruiz, sending Ibanez up to second base, and an infield single by Wilson Valdez, moving Ibenez to third base, and Ruiz to second base, with one man out, before they were turned back as Hernandez struck out pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr., for the inning’s second out, before handing the ball over to reliever Tyler Clippard, who ended the threat by striking out Shane Victorino. The Nats then increased their lead in their half of the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Rick Ankiel, a walk by Werth, sending Ankiel to second base, a double steal by Ankiel and Werth, and a walk by pinch hitter Michael Morse, and with two men out, Ramos received an RBI walk, forcing in Ankiel, making it a 6-1 Nats’ lead, while sending Werth to third base, and Morse to second base. The Phils would finally get a run back in the eighth as, once again with the bases loaded, via a single to Jimmy Rollins, a walk to Howard, moving Rollins up to second base, and a walk to Ben Francisco, moving up both runners, and with one man out, Ibanez hits into an RBI force out, 4-6, scoring Rollins, to make it a 6-2 Nats’ lead, and sending Howard to third base, as Francisco is wiped out at second base, while upsetting shortstop Ian Desmond enough to allow Ibanez to reach first base before the throw. The Phils then cut the lead to 6-3 as, with runners now on the corners, and now with two men out, Howard would score on Sean Burnett’s wild pitch, while Ibanez would move up to second base. The Nats got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Alex Cora hits an RBI single, knocking in Espinosa, who had earlier walked, then went to second base on Ivan Rodriguez’s ground out, 6-3, making it a 7-3 Nats’ lead, before moving up to second base on the throw to the plate. The Phils then made it a 7-4 Nats’ lead in the ninth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Valdez, who had earlier singled, then went to second on pinch hitter Michael Martinez’s ground out 5-3. That would be the final score as Burnett recorded his third save of the season by getting Rollins to line out to Desmond for the final out.   

Joe Blanton (0-1, 10.45) took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and walk, while he struck out four. David Herrndon pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and one walk, while striking out two. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, walking two batters. Danys Baez pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Livan Hernandez (1-1, 3.50) got the win as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on seven hits, while striking out six. Tyler Clippard recorded his third hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Sean Burnett received his third save of the season as he pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on two hits. The Phils’ relief corps did not do well last night, as they allowed two runs to score, thanks in part to four walks coming back to haunt them, with three of them coming in a row in the seventh, forcing in a run with the bases loaded.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Placido Polanco (RBI), Jimmy Rollins and Wilson Valdez all leading the team with two hits each, all singles. Ryan Howard (HR, RBI), Ben Francisco (Single), Raul Ibanez (Single, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. The fourth Phil run came in on a wild pitch. The offense was not able to go to work on Livan Hernandez because he messed them up with his slow pitches, mixed in with some faster stuff.

The Phils (7-3, 1st) will continue their three-games series with the Nats (5-5, T-2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park, and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.69), who is coming off a win against the Mets on April 6, as he went seven innings, giving up no runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 11-0 rout of the Mets. He will be going for his second win, while trying to even up the series between the two teams. The Nats will try to counter with John Lannan (1-0, 3.60), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on April 7, as he pitched only five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Nats’ 5-3 extra-innings win. He will be trying to give the Nats the series win over the Phils. The Phils will be out to even up the series behind the pitching arm of Roy Halladay, while hoping that the offense will be out to once again score runs in bunches.

The Phils lose their first game of the season as Cole Hamels’ problem with the Mets continue, as the Phils lose, 7-1.

Cole Hamels troubles with the Mets continue as he is knocked out of the box by the Mets starting pitcher in a six-run third inning, as the Phils drop one to the Mets, 7-1.

The Mets, after blowing a two on, no out, situation in the first, took a 2-0 lead in the third as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Chirs Young, a bunt single by Jose Reyes, that was not fielded cleanly by Cole Hamels, allowing Young to get to second base, and a walk to Angel Pagan, moving both runners up a base, and with noone out, David Wright hits a two-run single, knocking in both Young and Reyes, and sending Pagan to third. Two batters later, with runners now on second and third, after Wright had stolen second base, and with one man out, Pagan scored on a passed ball, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead, while Wright would move up to third base. The Mets then made it a 4-0 lead as, with two men on, after Scott Hairston had walked, and with still only one man out, Wright scored on Ike Davis’ RBI single, while Hairston would stop at second base. The Mets then took a 5-0 lead as Brad Emaus hits an RBI single, scoring Hairston, while sending Davis up to second base. Two batters later, with two men on, and now with two men out, the Mets made it a 6-0 lead as Young hits an RBI single, scoring Davis, while sending Emaus to second base, while knocking Hamels out of the ball game, as he was unable to get past the third inning. The Phils would get a run back in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI double, knocking in Wilson Valdez, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, making it a 6-1 Mets’ lead, while sending pinch hitter Michael Martinez, who had earlier walked, to third base. The Mets would get the run back in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Hairston hits an RBI single, knocking in Wright, who had earlier doubled, making it a 7-1 Mets’ lead, while Hairston would move up to second on the late throw to home plate. That would be the final score, as the Phils would be unable to mount a rally, thanks in part to the wind denying Ben Francisco a chance for a pair of home runs and three RBIs, as it knocked down a couple of deep hit fly balls to left.

Cole Hamels (0-1, 20.25) took the lost as he pitched only two and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and two walks, while he struck out three. Kyle Kendrick pitched two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out one. David Herndon followed with an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. J.C. Romero, Danys Baez and Antonio Bastardo combined for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Romero (1), Baez (1)), while striking out two (Romero (1), Bastardo (1)) between them. Chris Young (1-0, 1.69) got the win as he pitched five and a third innings, giving up a run on five hits and four walks, while striking out seven, as he effectively pitched himself out of a couple of jams. D.J. Carrasco pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Tim Byrdak and Bobby Parnell combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Parnell), while striking out one (Byrdak) between them. The Phils’ bullpen did a very admirable job the first time one of the team’s starters did not go deep into a ballgame, as they gave up only one run (Herndon) to the Mets after Hamels got knocked out of the box in the third inning.

The Phils had just seven hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he raised his batting average to .267. Placido Polanco (Double, RBI), Jimmy Rollins (Single), Wilson Valdez (Single), pinch hitter Pete Orr (Single) and pinch hitter Ross Gload (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits, while Ben Francisco was robbed of a pair of home runs as the wind knocked down both of his hard shots to left field.

The Phils (3-1, T-1st) will continue their three games series with the Mets (3-1, T-1st) with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05 EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a 9-6 2010, with a 4.82 ERA, finishing the season strong. He will be trying to get the Phils back on the winning track, while evening the series. The Mets will counter with Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 10.38), who is coming off a bad opening day start against the Marlins on April 1, as he pitched four and a third innings, giving up five runs on four hits and four walks, while he struck out two Marlins, in the Mets’ 6-2 lost. He will be trying to even his record, and give the Mets early control of first place. The Phils will be trying to regroup after last night’s lost, to regain sole possession of first place in the East.

In other news, Chase Utley did a little jogging before yesterday’s game to test the progress of his right leg. He is progressing, but he is still going to be out for a while. Shane Victorino went back into the lineup yesterday, but sadly went 0 for 5, with three strikeouts. During the weekend, Kyle Kendrick’s home in Washington state was broken into, with a number of items, including both his 2008 World Series and his 2009 NL rings, being stolen. Hopefully, the culprits will be found quickly and brought to justice.

Despite a so-so performance from Roy Oswalt, the Phils win their next to last spring training game, defeating the Pirates, 8-5.

In spite of a subpar pitching performance by Roy Oswalt, the Phils defeat the Pirates, 8-5, winning their next to last spring training game.

The Pirates took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Lyle Overbay hits a two-run double, scoring Jose Tabata, who had earlier walked, went to second base on Neil Walker’s single, then went to third on Andrew McCutchen’s ground out, 5-3, and Walker, who had earlier singled, then went to third on McCutchen’s ground out, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. The Phils got a run back in their half of the first as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Luis Castillo, who had earlier singled, then went to third base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, would score on Pirates’ catcher Ryan Doumit’s throwing error to second, as Rollins, who had just singled, successfully stole second base, before moving up to third on the error, cutting the Pirates lead to 2-1. The Phils tied the score up at two-all in the second as Ben Francisco hits a lead-off home run, his fifth home run of the spring. The Phils later took the lead as, with the bases loaded, via Pete Orr being hit by the pitch, a walk to Carlos Ruiz, moving Orr up to second base, a sacrifice bunt by Roy Oswalt, moving both runners up a base, and Shane Victorino being hit by a pitch, and with one man out, Orr would score on a Ronny Cedeno fielding error of a Castillo grounder, allowing Orr to score, and both Ruiz and Victorino to move up a base, leaving the bases loaded, while giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. One batter later, the Phils made it a 4-2 lead as Rollins hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Ruiz, while Victorino would move up to third. The Phils would make it a 5-2 lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Castillo, who was safe at first on a force out, 3-6, as Victorino was wiped out at second base, who, in turn, had reached first on an earlier force out, 4-6, as Oswalt, who had an infield single, was wiped out at second, then stole second base, while sending Rollins, who had been hit by the pitch, over to third base. One batter later, the Phils took a 6-2 lead as Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, while sending Howard up to second base. The Pirates would cut the lead in the fifth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Walker hits an RBI single, knocking in pinch hitter Josh Rodriguez, who had earlier walked, then moved to second base on Tabata’s walk, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead, before Tabata, who had just walked, would also score because of a Francisco fielding error as he let the ball get past him for a two-base error, making it a 6-4 Phils’ lead, while allowing Walker to get to third base. One batter later, the Pirates cut the lead to 6-5 as McCutchen hits an RBI single, scoring Walker. The Phils would get a run back in the sixth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Rollins hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring, Victorino, who had earlier walked, then went to third on a hit and run single by Castillo, giving the Phils a 7-5 lead, while sending Castillo, who had earlier singled, up to second base. The Phils added an insurance run in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Erik Kratz and John Mayberry, Jr., with Kratz stopping at second base, Kratz and Mayberry both moving up a base on Wilson Valdez’s ground out, 4-3, and Michael Martinez being safe at first on second baseman’s Walker’s fielding error, and with one man out, Ross Gload hits an RBI ground out, 6-1, scoring Kratz, while sending Mayberry to third and Martinez up to second base, giving the Phils an 8-5 lead. That would be the final score as Michael Stutes recorded his first save of the spring as he had an easy ninth inning.

Roy Oswalt (1-2, 6.11) got the win as he pitched four innings, plus four batters, as he gave up five runs on five hits and four walks, while he struck out four. J.C. Romero recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Michael Herndon recorded his third spring hold as he pitched an inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit and a walk. Antonio Bastardo received his first hold of the spring as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his fourth spring hold as he pitched an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Michael Stutes recorded his first spring save as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out three. Ross Ohlendorf (0-5, 9.82) took the loss as he pitched four innings, giving up six runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Michael Dubee pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Chris Leroux pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk. Garret Olsen pitched two-thirds of an inning. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless inning, strking out a batter. Evan Meek pitched an inning, giving up an unearned run on two hits.

The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Luis Castillo leading the team with two hits, both singles, while knocking in a run. Jimmy Rollins, (Single, 2 RBIs), Ryan Howard (Single, RBI), Raul Ibanez (Single, RBI), Ben Francisco (Home Run, RBI), Roy Oswalt (Single), Pete Orr (Double), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single) and Erik Kratz (Single), had the other eight Phils’ hits. Ross Gload knocked in a run on a ground out, while the other run came in on a Pirates error.

The Phils’ spring training record is now 21-13.

In other news, the Phils announced that Ben Francisco will be their regular right fielder, although he will be in a platoon with Ross Gload and John Mayberry, Jr., but being given most of the at-bats. Also, the Phils announced that they will be placing Brad Lidge on the disabled list because of a rotator cuff strain of his right shoulder. He will be out until at least mid-May. The Phils will be using Jose Contreras as their closer until Lidge is able to return, and leaving Ryan Madson as their eighth inning specialist. Finally, Chase Utley was yesterday moving around on his legs, fielding ground balls. Hopefully, this will be a sign that his legs are starting to get better. Keeping fingers cross, as I don’t expect to see him before the all-star break, if he doesn’t do anything to aggravate his knees. 

The Phils fall behind early before they lose to the Rays, 4-1.

The Phils fall behind early in the game before they finally fall to the Rays, 4-1.

The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Manny Ramirez hits an RBI double, knocking in Johnny Damon, who had earlier doubled. The Ray then doubled their lead in the fourth as Evan Longoria hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the spring, making it a 2-0 Rays’ lead. Three batters later, with a man on second, and with one man out, B.J. Upton hits an RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who had earlier singled, then went to second on a David Herndon wild pitch, giving the Rays a 3-0 lead, before Upton is thrown out at second base, trying to stretch it for a double, 7-4, for the second out of the inning. The Rays made it 4-0 in the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Anthony Scelfo hits an RBI double, knocking in Justin Ruggiano, who had earlier singled. The Phils finally got on the board in the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Delwyn Young, who then moved up to second base on a pass ball by Kelly Shoppach, and walks by Ben Francisco and pinch hitter Tagg Bozied, which moved both Young and Francisco up a base, and with one man out, Erik Kratz hits an RBI infield single, scoring Young, making it a 4-1 Rays lead, while moving Francisco up to third base, and Bozied up to second base. But that would be the final score as Cesar Cabral would end the game by getting the next two batters out.

Roy Oswalt (0-2, 4.61) took the lost as he pitched three innings plus two batters, giving up three runs on four hits, while striking out four. David Herndon then followed with two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Scott Mathieson and Antonio Bastardo combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Bastardo) and three walks (Mathieson) between them. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, as he gave up a run on three hits. James Shields (1-0, 1.88) got the win as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up just four hits and a walk, while he struck out four. Andy Sonnanstine recorded his first hold of the spring, as he pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Cesar Cabral then pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had six hits in the game, with Michael Matinez leading the team with two hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins (Double), Delwyn Young (Single), Pete Orr (Triple) and Erik Kratz (Single, RBI), had the other four Phils’ hits.

The Phils’ Grapefruit League record is now 17-10.

Saturday: Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 2: Phils broke open a scoreless game in the late innings as they defeat the Braves again, 7-0.

The Phils score seven runs in the last three innings, en route to a shut out over the Braves, as they once again delay the Braves entrance into the playoffs, as they spoil Bobby Cox’s day, 7-0. The victory help the Phils clinch the best record in baseball, doing it for the first time in the team’s long history.

The first six innings would involve a pitchers’ duel between the Phils and Braves’ pitching staff before the Phils finally scored in the seventh inning. The Phils took the lead in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits an RBI single, knocking in pinch runner Brian Bocock, who had replaced Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier walked, before heading to third on Braves third baseman Brooks Conrad’s force attempt throwing error to second on a Placido Polanco grounder, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending pinch runner Wilson Valdez, who was running in place of Polanco, who was safe at first on the error, up to third base. Two batters later, after Utley had stolen second base, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Valdez, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while Utley would stop at third base. The Phils then made it 3-0 as Shane Victorino followed with an RBI single, knocking in Utley, while moving Ibanez up to second base. Three batters later, with the bases now loaded, thanks to a Brian Schneider walk, moving both Ibanez and Victorino up a base, and now with two men out, a Craig Kimbrel wild pitch allowed Ibanez to score, making it a 4-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Victorino up to third and Schneider to second base. The Phils added to their lead in the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley, who had earlier singled, stole second, and then went to third on Braves catcher Brian McCann’s throwing error, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead. The Phils then increased their lead in the ninth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Valdez hits an RBI double, knocking in Schneider, who had earlier walked, then went to second on Ross Gload’s single, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead, while Gload, who had earlier singled, would stop at third base. After Chase Utley is intentionally walked to load up the bases, with still one man out, pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. is walked, forcing in Gload, giving the Phils a 7-0 lead, while moving up a base both Valdez and Utley. That would be the final score as Jose Contreras pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, getting Conrad to end the game by striking out, swinging.

Vance Worley receives a no-decision as he pitches five strong innings, giving up just one hit and two walks, while striking out three. Antonio Bastardo gets the win as he pitches a shut out inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. His record is now 2-0 with an ERA of 4.34. Danys Baez, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras combine for three scoreless innings, giving up just a hit (Madson), while striking out three (Baez (1), Contreras (2)), between them. Tommy Hanson also receives a no-decision as he pitches five shut out innings, giving up six hits and two walks, while striking out six. Jonny Venters took the lost as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 4-4 with a 1.97 ERA. Craig Kimbrel pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two walks and a wild pitch, while striking out two. Michael Dunn also pitches two-thirds of an innings, giving up a run on two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch, while striking out two. Kyle Farnsworth pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Takashi Saito pitches a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks. Scott Proctor pitches two-thirds of an innings, striking out both men that he would face.

The Phils had fourteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in a run. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Brian Schneider all followed with two hits each, all singles, as Utley knocked in a run, and Ibanez brought in two. Jimmy Rollins, Wilson Valdez and Ross Gload had the other three Phils’ hit, with Rollins and Valdez’s hits being doubles, with Valdez knocking in a run, and Gload’s hit being a single. John Mayberry, Jr. had the Phil other RBI via a bases loaded walk. The other Phil run came in on a wild pitch. The Phils’ offense missed a lot of early scoring opportunities before finally cashing in in the last three innings.

The Phils (97-64, 1st) clinched the best record in baseball as the Yankees lose the second game of a day-night double header to the Red Sox, the first time that it has happen in the team’s history. They have only one more game to play in the regular season.

Friday: Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 3: The Phils ruin the Braves’ night as they pound Atlanta, 11-5.

The Phils begin their final road series by pounding the Braves as they defeat Atlanta, 11-5, hurting the Braves chances to reach the playoffs as the NL Wild Card.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Derrek Lee hits an RBI double, scoring Jason Heyward, who had earlier walked. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier singled, then went to second on a Jayson Werth single, while Werth, who had just singled, would stop at second base. The Phils then took the lead as, with two men still on, and now with two men out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Weth, to give the Phils a 2-1 lead, while Ibanez would stop at third. The Braves would tie the score up at two-all in the fifth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Lee hits an RBI single, knocking in Brandon Beachy, who had earlier walked, moved up to second on Omar Infante’s sacrifice bunt, then stopped at third on Brian McCann’s single, while McCann, who had just singled, stopped at second base. The Phils regained the lead in the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Werth, who is then replaced by pinch runner John Mayberry, Jr., an intentional walk to Ibanez and a force attempt throwing error by Braves third baseman Brooks Conrad to second base on a Ruiz grounder, as his throw never got close to second base, allowing Mayberry to reach third, Ibanez to reach second and Ruiz to be safe at first, and with two men out, pinch hitter Dom Brown received a walk, forcing in Mayberry, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, while moving both Ibanez and Ruiz up a base. One batter later, with the bases still loaded, Jimmy Rollins broke the game wide open with a grand slam home run, his eighth home run of the year, knocking in Ibanez, Ruiz and Brown, giving the Phils a 7-2 lead. The Phils then added to their lead in the eighth as, with the bases loaded once again, via singles to Greg Dobbs and Ruiz, sending Dobbs on to second base, and a walk to Wilson Valdez, moving up both Dobbs and Ruiz, and with two men out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, scoring Dobbs, making it an 8-2 Phils’ lead, while moving both Ruiz and Valdez up a base. Chase Utley then followed with a walk, forcing in Ruiz, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead, while moving Valdez and Francisco up a base. Ryan Howard then followed with a two-run single, scoring both Valdez and Francisco, making it an 11-2 Phils’ lead, while sending Utley up to third base. The Braves tried to rally in the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Conrad and pinch hitter Freddie Freeman, sending Conrad up to third base, and a walk to J.C. Boscan, moving Freeman up to second base, and with two men out, Lee hits a three-run double, scoring Conrad, Freeman and Boscan, making it an 11-5 Phils’ lead. That would end up being the final score as David Herndon got Matt Diaz to ground out, 6-3, ending the game.

Kyle Kendrick gets the win as he pitches five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out two. His record is now 11-10 with a 4.73 ERA. Antonio Bastardo, J.C. Romero, Chad Durban and Jose Contreras pitches three scoreless innings, giving up just two hits (Bastardo) and while striking out three batters (Bastardo) between them. Mike Zagurski pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out one. David Herndon pitches a third of an inning, giving up a walk. Brandon Beachy took the lost as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. His record is now 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Peter Moylan pitches to two batters, giving up two unearned runs and a walk. Michael Dunn pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out a batter. Kyle Farnsworth pitches a scoreless inning, striking out two. Cristhian Martinez pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Mike Minor pitches an inning and a third, giving up just two hits and a walk, while striking out two.

The Phils had thirteen hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in a run. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez and Greg Dobbs followed with two hits each, with Howard and Ibanez’s hits being all singles, with Howard knocking in two runs, while Ibanez knocked in one, while Werth and Dobbs’ both had a single and a double. Jimmy Rollins and Ben Francisco had the other two Phils’ hits, with Rollins’ hit being a grand slam home run, knocking in four runs, while Francisco’s hit was a single, bringing in a run. Pinch hitter Dom Brown and Chase Utley brought in the other two Phils’ runs, via bases loaded walks. The Phils are presently beating up on the Braves, seeming to have their number.

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