Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’
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.
Yesterday, the Phils signed veteran right-hander Jason Grilli to a Minor League Contract.
Grilli, in eight major league seasons, had an 18-18 record with a 4.74 ERA in 223 appearances. He has last thrown a pitch in the Majors in 2009, when he pitched for the Colorado Rockies and the Texas Rangers, with a combine record of 2-3 with an ERA of 5.32 in 52 appearances. Grilli did not pitch last year because of a knee injury.
Grilli will appear in the Phils’ minor league camp in Clearwater, and will likely start the season pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
In a move that came completely out of the blue, the Phils have just signed free agent Cliff Lee to a five-year, $120 million contract, with a vesting option for a sixth year, beating the New York Yankees, who had offered Lee a six-year deal worth $135 million, with a vesting option for a seventh year, and the Texas Rangers, who had offered him a six-year deal worth $138 million, and with a vesting option for a seventh season. With this move, Lee returns to Philadelphia, after having been traded by the Phils to the Seattle Mariners, almost a year ago, giving the Phils a starting rotation that now have four aces (Lee, NL Cy Young Award Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels), that will be haunting the NL, especially the NL East, for at least a year (depending on whether Hamels will be resigned after the season, and if Oswalt decides not to retire after 2012.).
Lee, in 2010, as he pitched for first the Mariners, then the Rangers, went 12-9 with an ERA of 3.18, as he started in 28 games, pitching 212.1 innings, throwing seven complete games, including a shut out, as he struck out 185 batters, while walking only eighteen during the season. In the post-season, he helped pitched the Rangers into their first World Series appearance, before falling to the 2010 World Champions San Francisco Giants, as he went 3-2 overall for the Rangers.
The Phils will more than likely have to trade someone(s) to help them better afford their move. There is already rumors flying around that they have been trying to ship off Joe Blanton and or Raul Ibanez as a salary dump, with them willing to pay for part of Blanton’s salary to move him. I do not know if any of them is true, but, if they need to move someone, it should be Kyle Kendrick, not Blanton. After all, Blanton has been a bit more consistant, pitching wise, than has Kendrick, and he would be a lot better backup to the now Big Four than might Kendrick. Whatever does happen, I hope Ruben will know what he’s doing, although there does seem to be some method to his madness.
Roy Halladay throws his latest complete game while Dom Brown seems to prove that the hype about him is real, as the Phils beat the D-backs, 7-1.
Roookie Dom Brown proves that he’s worth the hype as he gets two hits, knocks in two runs and score two runs, in his first big league game, while Roy Halladay dominates the D-backs as he throws a complete game, although losing the shut out on a rookie mistake by Brown in the ninth inning, as the Phils defeat the D-backs, 7-1.
The Phils took the lead in the second as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Dom Brown gets an RBI double, his first major league hit and RBI, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, with runners on the corners as Brown went to third on Carlos Ruiz’s single, and with still nobody out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Brown, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Ruiz, who had just singled, over to second base. The Phils added to their lead in the sixth as, with two men on base, and with nobody out, Ruiz hits a two-run double, scoring Werth, who had earlier singled, and then went to second on Brown’s single, and Brown, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead. The Phils made it 5-0 three batters later as, with a runner on third, as Ruiz moved up to third on a Valdez ground out, 6-3, for the inning’s first out, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Ruiz. The Phils increased their lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with one man out, Brown hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and then had gone to third on Werth’s double, making it a 6-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Werth, who had just doubled, to third base. The Phils then made it 7-0 as, with a man on third, and now with two men out, Ruiz hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth. The D-backs finally scored in the ninth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Miguel Montero hits an RBI double on a ball that Brown tried to catch by diving for it, but missed, knocking in Kelly Johnson, who had earlier singled, making it a 7-1 Phils’ lead. But, that would become the final score as Phils starter Roy Hallady got Mark Reynolds to fly out to left for the final out.
Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up just one run on six hits, while he struck out nine. His record is now 12-8 with a 2.21 ERA. Edwin Jackson took the lost as he pitches five innings plus three batters, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out three. His record is now 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA. Sam Demel pitches two innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out two. Juan Gutierrez pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk, while striking out one.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz leading the team with three hits each. Werth’s hits were a single, and two doubles, scoring three runs, while Ruiz’s three hits were also a single and two doubles, knocking in three runs. Raul Ibanez and Rookie Dom Brown followed with two hits each, with both Ibanez and Brown’s hits being a single and a double, with Brown knocking in two runs, one on a sac fly. Placido Polanco and Roy Halladay had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles, with Polanco knocking in a run. Wilson Valdez knocked in the other Phil run on a ground out. The offense crushed the D-backs, while Rookie Dom Brown shows that he is as good as advertised.
The Phils (55-46, 2nd NL East) will conclude their series and their home stand with a night game against the D-backs (37-64, 5th NL West). 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 (6-4, 4.60), who is coming off a win against the Rockies on July 24, where he had pitched seven strong innings, giving up just a run on six hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 10-2 rout. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he had pitched eighteen and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs on sixteen hits and four walks, while striking out nine. He will be trying to prove that he should not have been demoted after his disaster outing against the Cardinals. The D-backs will try to counter with Joe Saunders (0-0, -.-), who the D-backs have just acquired in a trade with the Angles. In his last start for the Angles, he lost to the Rangers on July 23, as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Angels’ 1-0 lost. In his last three starts as an Angel, his record is 0-2 with a no-decision, as he went eighteen and two-thirds innings, giving up eleven runs, ten of which were earned, on twenty-seven hits and two walks, while striking out twelve. He will be trying to prove that he was worth the trade. The Phils will be going for the series sweep, trying to extend their present winning streak to eight games, and their winning streak at home to eleven, while they wait to hear whether or not Roy Oswalt has decided to enforce his no-trade clause.
The 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies (36-25, 1st National League East) will continue their Interleague Play home stand with a three game series with the Toronto Blue Jays (34-31, 3rd-T American League East). 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 Cole Hamels (4-2, 4.64), who is coming off a piss-poor start against the New York Mets on June 10, where he received a no-decision as he pitched only five innings, giving up four runs on eleven hits and two walks, while striking out only one batter, in the Phils’ 5-4 extra-innings win. He will be going for his fifth win of the season and his fifth victory in a row as a starter. The Blue Jays will send to the mound Ricky Romero (3-3, 3.71), who is coming off a lost to the Texas Rangers on June 11, as he pitched six and a third innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Blue Jays’ 1-0 lost. He will be trying for his fourth win of the season.
The Phillies will be looking to start winning more games at home, as well as improve on their Interleague Play record. They also hope to increase their four games lead over the Mets, who will be meeting the lowly Baltimore Orioles at Baltimore, starting tonight.
The Phillies have announced earlier today that they have finally released Adam Eaton. Joining the Phillies as a free agent in 2007 after signing a three-year contract worth $24.5 million, Eaton in two years with the Phillies would pitch in 51 games (49 starts) and would go 14-18 with a high ERA of 6.10. Late in the 2008 season, he would be taken out of the rotation and sent to the minors to see if he could improve his pitching, as was done earlier with fellow Phil Brett Myers. Unlike Myers, who would got his brain back into the game in time to have a stellar second half, thus helping get the team into the playoffs and World Series, Eaton would only get worst in the minors, getting bombed in each of his outings. Although called back up to the team in September, he would make very few mound appearences for the ballclub, and would not be placed on the post-season roster.
Eaton, who has been in the major leagues for nine years with the Padres and Rangers, along with the Phils, has a career record of 68-83 in 197 games (193 starts) with an ERA of 4.80.
With his release, the Phillies will be paying the last year of his contract, worth $8.5 million. Eaton has already expressed during the early part of Spring Training that he is sure that another team will pick him up. Me, I’m not so sure, since no one wanted to take him off of the Phillies hand when they tried to trade him during the off-season. But, anything is possible, but I will state right now that I will feel sorry for whichever team does pick him up and he continues to pitch as badly for them as he has done during the last two seasons while pitching for the Phils.
Goodbye, Eaton. I wish you luck, but I seriously don’t expect to see you with another team until you can prove that you can pitch.
Phillies deal Golson to Rangers
Texas outfield prospect Mayberry headed to Philadelphia
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Blink, blink. Talk about something coming out of, pardon the expression, left field.
PHILADELPHIA — In an exchange of former first-round picks, the Phillies sent outfielder Greg Golson to the Rangers for outfielder John Mayberry.
Golson, selected in the first round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, spent the season at Double-A Reading and played in 106 games, hitting .282 with a .333 on-base percentage, 13 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 426 at-bats.
The 23-year-old was born in Austin, Texas, where he attended John Connally High School.
Mayberry, the son of former Royals first baseman John Mayberry, hit .264 with 20 home runs and 71 RBIs in 519 at-bats at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma. Texas selected him in the first round in 2005.
Golson made his Major League debut as a pinch-runner on Sept. 3 and stole a base. He then went hitless in six September at-bats. He made his first Major League start in the Phillies’ final regular-season game.
Mayberry was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and had his contract purchased by the Phillies, who added him to their 40-man roster. Philadelphia also added right-handed pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Drew Naylor, left-hander Sergio Escalona and catcher Joel Naughton to its 40-man, bringing it up to 37 players. (H/T Phillies.com)
Scratch head. To be honest, I have no idea why the Phils made this move, although Golson was unable to hit during his few at bats last year. I guess we’ll all know in a few years who really benefitted from this trade.
It is now two days before the start of the 2008 World Series, which will be played at the home ball park of the American League Champion, the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, on Wednesday, October 22, at 8:22 pm Eastern. The Tampa Bay Rays will be hosting the National League Champion, the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that has just won only its sixth pennant in its 125-years history. So, how did Charlie Manuel’s boys get here, on the verge of possibily winning the franchise’s second World Series crown? Let look at the numbers, shall we?
First, let’s see how well this team did month by month.
As can be seen, the team has winning records in six of the seven months shown above, with their best month being September, when the team, with Ryan Howard’s resurging bat leading the way, would sprint their way to the National League Eastern Division pennant, and with their worst month being June, which coincided with their bad spell of Interleague play. More on that later.
Another thing that people have said is that you have to win series to win pennants, and the Phillies have also done that. At the end of the regular season, they have ended up with 27 series wins, 19 series loses and 6 series splits. Of their 27 series wins, they have won all of the games (sweep) in nine of them (Colorado (2), Atlanta (3), Washington (2), Los Angeles (NL) (1), Milwaukee (1)) for a total of 28 wins, while in their 19 series defeats they were swept only twice (Los Angeles (AL), Los Angeles (NL)) for a total of 7 loses. Of their 10 series wins during the last two months of the regular season, their most important ones would be the one against the Padres in San Diego as it would help to get the team back on track after having been swept by the Dodgers in Los Angeles; their home sweep of the Dodgers since it would help prove to the team that they can beat anybody at home; their win against the Mets in New York at the beginning of September as it would help the Phillies stay close to the Mets, especially after having lost the previous series in Washington; their four games sweep of the Brewers, as it would give the Phillies the option of winning either the Eastern Division or the Wild Card, putting them in the driver seat of the later as they challenged the fading Mets for the former; their final sweep of the Braves in Atlanta as it would help to build up momentum for; their series win against the Marlins in Miami, in which they would help to kill the Marlins’ own hope for the post-season; and lastly, their second sweep of the Nationals which would see them clinch their second straight divisonal crown on the last Saturday of the regular season, while the Sunday win by the rookies and the bench players would help them to maintain momentum going into the National League Divisional Series against Milwaukee.
Another thing that you need to do is to win games in your own division. And the Phillies have actually accomplished that, believe it or not. In fact, they have done pretty well against both teams in their own division and against the teams of the other two divisions within the National League:
National League East: 41-31
National League Central: 27-16
National League West: 20-12
Unfortunately, they have not done so well this year against teams from the American League, going 4-11 in Interleague play.
But, how well have they performed against the other clubs in the National League? The Phillies would end the regualr season with losing records against only two other NL teams, both of them being teams within their own division:
National League East:
Atlanta Braves: 14-4
Washington Nationals: 12-6
Florida Marlins: 8-10
New York Mets: 7-11
The Phillies’ best record in both the division and against the NL overall was their 14-4 record against the Braves, which included their three straight three games sweeps of the Braves’ in their own ball park, something that have not happened to the Braves since they were swept by the Chicago Cubs in 1909, when they were known as the Boston Doves. Their worst record in the division was their 7-11 record against the New York Mets, who won all but the last two series with the Phils, including their series spilt of late August in Philadelphia and the Phillies’ 2-1 series victory in New York in early September, including the spilt of a day/night Sunday doubleheader which would keep the Phillies close to the Mets before they would make their final move to win the Eastern Division pennant.
National League Central:
Milwaukee Brewers: 5-1
Cincinnati Reds: 5-3
St. Louis Cardinals: 5-4
Chicago Cubs: 4-3
Houston Astros: 4-3
Pittsburgh Pirates: 4-2
Against the teams of the National League Central Division, the Phillies would do rather well, winning most of their series against them. They would do best against the Brew Crew, spliting the series in Milwaukee and then sweeping them in an important August series in Philadelphia that would help propel the Phillies into the lead of the National League Wild Card race, on their way to their eventual winning of the National League Eastern Division.
National League West:
Colorado Rockies: 5-0
Los Angeles Dodgers: 4-4
Arizona Diamonbacks: 4-3
San Diego Padres: 4-2
San Francisco Giants: 3-3
Against the West, the Phillies would end the season with a 20-12 record, doing their best against the Rockies, as they would get even with the former National League Champions for losing the 2007 National League Divisional Series by sweeping them in five games, although they would do the home portion of the sweep against a wounded team, while doing their worst against both the Giants and the Dodgers, as they would spilt home series with both teams, winning the series at Citizens Bank Park (2-1 (Giants), 4-0 (Dodgers)), while losing the series on the road (1-2 (Giants), 0-4 (Dodgers)).
Last, and certainly not least, the Phillies did not do very well this year in Interleague play. Lets face facts, people, they stank, as they went 2-4 against two teams in the American League East, and 2-7 against three teams from the American League West, while going 1-5 against two of the elite teams in the American League (Boston and Los Angeles Angels):
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 0-3
Boston Red Sox: 1-2
Oakland Athletics: 1-2
Texas Rangers: 1-2
Toronto Blue Jays: 1-2
With their record against American League teams in Interleague play, it should means that this team might have a hard time with the American League Champion Tampa Bay Ray. But the team that got creamed by the American League in May and June is not the same team that have finished crushing first the Milwaukee Brewers in the Divisional Series and then the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Championship Series, and with little help from either their set up man (Jimmy Rollins) or their biggest offensive threat (Ryan Howard) until the end of both series. This team appears to be a lot more confident now then they did when they faced the American League elite teams the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels at home back in June. That might make all the difference by the time the World Series is over.
The Phillies also had a very good home-road split. At Citizens Bank Park, they had a record of 48-33, where they were in a four way tie for the second best record for the National League, while they were 44-37 on the road, the best record in the National League. Overall, their 92-70 record was the second best in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (97-64) and the fifth best in the Majors. Those two records of success at both home and on the road should help the Phillies when they face the Rays starting on Wednesday.
It is now the first of August and the start of the dog days of summer, before we enter the period known as the September pennant races. At the moment, the Philles are leading the National League East, holding a slim one game lead over a resurgent New York Mets squad. How are Charlie Manuel’s boys doing it at the moment/ Let’s take a look at the numbers, shall we?
First, by months. Everybody knows that for the last few seasons people have kept saying that this team needed to win games early in the season, to get a quick start, if they wanted to be in contention for the pennant during September. Well, have they? In fact, they have:
As can be seen, the team has won three of the four months, with their best month being May, and their worst being June, which coincided with their bad spell of Interleague play. More on that later.
Another thing that people have said is that you need to win series to stay in contention, and the Phillies so far have also done that. At the moment, they have won 17 series, lost 13 and have tied 4. Of those 17 series wins, they have won all of the games (sweep) in five of them (Colorado (2), Atlanta (2), Washington (1)) while they have been swept only once (Los Angeles (AL)).
Another thing that you need to do is to lead in your division. And the Phillies have also done that, believe it or not. In fact, they have done pretty well against both their own division and the other two divisions in the National League:
National League East: 24-19
National League Central: 17-12
National League West: 14-7
Unfortunately, they have not done well this season against teams from the American League, going 4-11 in Interleague play.
But, how have they done against other clubs in the National League? For the most part, they presently have losing records with only two teams, both of them being in their division:
National League East:
Atlanta Braves: 10-2
Washington Nationals: 6-3
Florida Marlins: 4-5
New York Mets: 4-9
It is quite obvious that they would have to beat the pants off of both the Mets and the Marlins, whom they will meet for a total of 14 games during the last two months of the season, for the Phillies to gain complete control of the division. They also have 15 games left with the Nationals and the Braves.
National League Central:
Cincinnati Reds: 5-3
Houston Astros: 4-3
St. Louis Cardinals: 3-3
Chicago Cubs: 2-1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 2-1
Milwaukee Brewers: 1-1
The Phillies have one more series each with the Cardinals (this weekend), the Cubs, the Pirates and the Brewers for a total of 14 games, which may be important towards the home stretch, especially the four games series against the Cubs in Chicago at the end of the month and the four games series with the Brew Crew at home in mid-September as part of a seven games home stand.
National League West:
Colorado Rockies: 5-0
Arizona Diamonbacks: 4-3
San Francisco Giants: 3-3
San Diego Padres: 2-1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 0-0
Against the West, the Phillies have only three series left, a three games series with the Padres and two four games sets with the Dodgers, that may become important games for both teams in their divisional pennant races later on this month, for a total of 11 games. With the addition of Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers via a deadline trade, the Phillies will probably be trying real hard to get at least a split with the Dodgers.
Last, and certainly not least, the Phillies did not do very well this year in Interleague play. Lets face it, they stank, as they went 2-4 against two teams in the American League East, and 2-7 against three teams from the American League West, while going 1-5 against two of the elite teams in the American League (Boston and Los Angeles Angels):
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 0-3
Toronto Blue Jays: 1-2
Boston Red Sox: 1-2
Oakland Athletics: 1-2
Texas Rangers: 1-2
With their record against American League teams in Interleague play, it means that this team, if it makes it to the playoffs and is able to get into the World Series, will have a problem defeating an American League ballclub, unless they are able to get some more pitching to help bolster the bullpen, or another strong bat either among the regulars or on the bench. Of course, that’s just my opinion. I have no idea what the cheapo owners of this team thinks on extra help.
The Phillies overall record of 59-49 is the fourth best in the National League. The Phillies will probably need to win their division to get into the playoffs, since the Cardinals and Brewers have better records than they do as they presently lead the way in the Wild Card race. The best way for the Phillies to win their division is to start winning series with the Mets and the Marlins, especially against the Mets, whom they have five more games left to play, while they have nine more games to play with the fish, starting this coming Tuesday at home. If they can take care of business with those two teams, especially during the September stretch run, the only real team they will have left to worry about afterwards is the Nationals, since the Nationals will at that point be trying to play the spolier role, especially since they will be playing the Phillies in Philadelphia during the last weekend of the season. Keep your fingers crossed people, it’s going to be a real bumpy last two months of the season.
The Phillies (54-46) will continue their three games series with the Mets (53-47) tonight at Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will be sending to the mound Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84), who is coming back from a month-long minor league stint to recover both his fast ball and his confidence. His last start was back on June 27, involved in a no-decision against the Rangers, where he would only pitch two innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 8-7 lost. The Phillies will be hoping that his stint in the minor league has actually brought back both his fast ball and his confidence. The Mets will be countering with John Maine (8-7, 4.22), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on July 18, as he would go four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits, in the Mets’ 5-2 lost. He will be going for his ninth win of the year while trying to help the Mets forget about the previous night’s shocking lost.
The Phillies will be going for a series win tonight, trying to build momentum from last night’s surprising come from behind while also trying to win their second straight games in a series. Although it is only July, this series could be end up being the turning point of the entire season, especially with the way they game back to win against a Mets’ bullpen that did not have the services of the team closer Billy Wagner, who presently have shoulders problem. Although listed as day-to-day, he claimed that he be willing to pitch if needed. Well, the Mets certainly needed him last night to help stop the Phillies’ late eruption. The fact that he did not appear last night makes me curious as to how bad his shoulder actually is, in spite of the MRI that was taken of his shoulder turning negative. Guess we’ll all find out if he will be able to pitch for the Mets tonight if a save opportunity looms.
The Phillies have a one game lead over both the second place Mets and Marlins, while their lead over the Braves is now at seven. The Marlins and the Braves will conclude their three games series in Miami, before the Marlins go on to start a four games series with the National League best Chicago Cubs (Can you say posiible fish food for bears? :)) and the Braves have a day off before they come to Philadelphia to start a three games weekend series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies will be looking to increase their lead against the Mets during the rest of the series, and stay in first place, before seeing if they can bury the Braves real deep in fourth place in the NL East this upcoming weekend.