Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’

The Phillies are three hit by A’s pitching as they lose, 5-0.

Just hours after shutting down the A’s, the Phillies’ offense is in turn shut down by the combine pitching of A’s starter Rich Harden and reliever Alan Embree, who together would give up only three hits and a walk, while striking out eleven, as they are shutout, 5-0. The A’s would take the lead in the first inning as Adam Eaton would give up a RBI double to Ryan Sweeney, scoring Mark Ellis, who has earlier walked, making it 1-0 A’s. A batter later, Sweeney would score on a RBI single to Jack Cust, just beating Carlos Ruiz’s tag, after having slid past home plate, giving the A’s a 2-0 lead. Sweeney would be taken out of the game because of a possible injury caused by the slide. The game would then becomes a pitchers’ duel between Eaton and Harden for the next six innings, as Eaton would give up only one more run, on Carlos Gonzalez’s second home run of the season, a solo shot in the sixth, which would make it 3-0 A’s, while Harden would flirt with a no-hitter until the fifth, when Shane Victorino would get a two-out single and would later get a second single off of Harden in the eighth, but the Phils would otherwise be unable to get anything started against him. The A’s would then put it away in the eighth as they score two runs off of Phils’ reliever Tom Gordon. The first run would come in on a RBI double by Jack Hannahan, knocking in Eric Chavez, who has earlier walked, to make it 4-0 A’s. The final run would come in on a RBI single by Gonzalez, who would score Hannahan, as Victornio would commit a fielding error as he tries to bare hand the ball so that he could make a throw to the plate to try and nail Hannahan. But Victorino would then redeem himself as he throws out Gonzalez as he tries to move up to second on the error, tagged out by Chase Utley. The Phillies would attempt to score in the ninth, as, with two outs, Pat Burrell would get to third base with a triple. But it would be all for naught as Ryan Howard would then ground out to first for the game’s final out.

Adam Eaton took the lost in spite of performing a quality start, going seven innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.86 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning of relief, giving up two runs on two hits. Rich Harden would get the win as he shut down the Phillies for eight innings, giving up only two hits while striking out eleven. His record is now 5-0 with a 2.15 ERA. Alan Embree would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit.

The Phillies’ offense went right back to where they’d left off on Tuesday night, not doing anything right, only this time being worst as they didn’t really give themselves any time to wear down the A’s starter, as they constantly went after either his first, second or third offering. This seriously has got to stop, because it’s making the batters look stupid and it is allowing the opposing team’s pitchers to throw them whatever junk they want to, just as long at they know that the Phillies’ batters will swing at it. Come on guys, start practicing patience while standing inside the batter’s box again. SERIOUSLY!!!!

The Phillies (43-37) will now go to Arlington Texas, for a three games weekend series with the Texas Rangers (40-39, 3rd American League West). The first game of the three games set will be played in Rangers Park in Arlington, with a start time of 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (3-9, 5.51), who is coming off a recent lost to the Angels on June 21, as he is once again hurt by the long ball as he would go seven and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 lost. Myers will be trying to see if he can pitch another good game while not giving up any more gopher balls, while hoping that the offense’s bats will finaly wake up in the Texas heat. His opponent will be Kason Gabbard (2-3, 4.96), who is coming off his second win of the year against the Nationals on Jnne 21, as he goes five and one third innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Rangers’ 13-3 win. He will be trying to even his record, while hoping that the Phillies’ bats will continue to stay cold.

The first place Phillies are still leading the East by two games, as the Marlins were swept by the Rays, losing 6-1. Their leads over the Mets and the Braves are now three and a half and four games respectively thanks to their lost to the A’s. As they go to Texas to face the Rangers, the Marlins will begin a three games series with the Diamondbacks in Miami, while the Mets will face the New York Yankees, at Yankee Stadium for one game and Shea Stadium for three, for a four games series, including a day/night doubleheader at both stadiums tomorrow night, and the Braves will be meeting the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Canada for a three games series. The Phillies will be hoping that they can bounce back and take out their present frustrations on the Rangers, before they take the day off on Monday, and then start a three games set with the Braves in Hot-lanta.

Poor performance by Kendrick leads to the Phillies losing to the BoSox, 7-4.

Kyle Kendrick’s poor performance against the World Champions Red Sox leads to an early exit and to a lost as the Phillies are unable to effectively rally as they lose the final game of their three games series to the Red Sox, 7-4. The Red Sox would break it open early as their first four men would get on base and score against Kendrick to give them a 4-0 lead. After Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia would both get on base via singles, J.D. Drew would knock them both in as he hits a three-run home run off of Kendrick, for his thirteenth home run of the year. Mike Lowell would quickly follow with a solo shot of his own, his eleventh home run of the season. The Phillies would get a run back in their half of the first as Ryan Howard would beat the shift against him to hit a RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier walked. The BoSox would put the game away for keeps in the third inning as Bill Moss hit a two-run single, scoring Drew, who has earlier doubled, and Lowell, who has reached base after being hit by the pitch, to make it 6-1 BoSox. The Red Sox would then score their last run of the game in the fourth, as, with Clay Condrey pitching in relief of Kendrick, Drew would hit a RBI single, knocking in Pedroia, who has earlier doubled to give Boston a 7-1 lead. With the bullpen shuting down the World Champs for the rest of the game, the Phillies tried to chip away at Boston’s lead. They would make a 7-2 game in the fifth, when Jayson Werth hit into a force play, scoring Greg Dobbs. The Phils would then cut the lead down to 7-4 in the seventh, when, with no one out and two men on, pinch hitter Pedro Feliz would hit a two-run single, scoring previous pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier singled, and Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier walked, and who would both move up a base on reliever Craig Hanson’s wild pitch. But that would be it for the Phillies as their rally would then get snuffed out by reliever Manny Delcarmen, who would get six of the seven men that he would face, before the BoSox would send in Jonathan Papelbon who would record his twenty-first save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Kyle Kendrick would take the lost as he was unable to get his changeup down, as he would go only three innings while being rocked for six earned runs on six hard hits. He is now 6-3 with a 5.06 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings of relief, giving up one earned run on four hits. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Rudy Seanez would also go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Brad Lidge would pitch the ninth, giving up no runs on no hits. Justin Masterson would get the win, as he pitches five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. His record is now 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA. Javier Lopez would pitch a scorless inning, giving up no hits. Craig Hensen would pitch to four batters, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Manny Delcarmen would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on no hits. Jonathan Papelbon would pitch a scoreless, hitless ninth as he records his twenty-first save of the year.

The Phillies have now lost their third straight series, as they were both outscored and outpitched by the World Champion Red Sox. Although it would appear that the two teams are almost evenly matched, if any of the Phillies’ starters were to lose control of their pitches, like Kyle Kendrick did this afternoon, the BoSox will be waiting to pounce on it, while the Phillies’ batters appear to be easily shut down by the Boston starters, especially if they do not act very patiently at the plate. The later is going to have to be corrected, hopefully by the All-Star break, else they are going to be in for a long, hot summer of fighting for first place with the Marlins.

With the lost, the Phillies (42-32) who will have the day off tomorrow, will now wait for the results of the games involving the rest of the division. They now have a two and a half games lead over the Marlins, as they prepare to once again play the Mariners in Seattle. They lead both the Braves and the Mets by six games, as they wait to face the Rangers and the Angels respectively. The Phillies will be hoping that all three of their main opponents will lose their games on the road, so that they will hold on to their present leads in the standings.

The Phillies are shut out by Lester, tying the series between the Phils and the BoSox.

Jamie Moyer was only able to go five innings as he threw a lot of pitches tonight, 106 in fact, as the Phillies fall to the Red Sox, 3-0. The Red Sox would score the first runs of the game when Moyer threw a two-run home run to Coco Crisp, his sixth home run of the season, scoring Jason Varitek, who has earlier walked, to make it 2-0 BoSox. In the sixth, the Red Sox would increase their lead as Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Moyer, would give up a RBI double to Julio Lugo, scoring Crisp, who has earlier singled, giving the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. That would be how the game would end, as Jon Lester, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon would combine to seven hit the Phils, with Papelbon pitching a 1-2-3 ninth to record his twentieth save of the year.

Jamie Moyer would take the lost as he struggles to pitch five innings, giving up only two runs on four hits, and walking five, one of whom would later score. His record is now 7-4 with a 4.09 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Rudy Seanez would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, while Clay Condrey would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Jon Lester would get the win, going seven shut out innings as he six hit the Phillies. Hideki Okajima would pitch an inning in relief, giving up no runs on one hit. Jonathan Papelbon would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, as he records his twentieth save of the year.

The Phillies (42-31) will conclude their three games series with the World Champion Red Sox (45-29, 1st American League East) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park for a Business Person’s Special. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (6-2, 3.43), who is coming off a victory against the Cardinals on June 13, where he would pitch seven innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 20-2 rout. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to help the Phillies win their first series since their sweep of the Braves. The Red Sox will counter with rookie Justin Masterson (3-1, 2.90), who is coming off his first major league lost as he was defeated by the Reds on June 13, where he would go six and two-thirds inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits, in the BoSox’s 3-1 lost. He will be trying to avoid getting his second major league lost while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies’ batters off-balanced.

The Phillies are presently leading the Marlins by two and a half games, although they are presently losing their game with the Mariners. The presently third place Mets are now trailing the Phils by six games, although they are presently trailing the Angels. The Braves, thanks to their lost to the Rangers, are still six and half games behind and in fourth place, The Phillies are presently hoping that the Marlins and the Mets will both lose their games so that the standings will remain the same before they get ready for tomorrow afternoon’s game.

Back home just in time to welcome the World Champion Red Sox. Phils resumes Interleague Play.

The Phillies (41-30) will start a six games home stand and the resumption of their involvement in Interleague Play tonight by hosting the World Champion Boston Red Sox (44-28, 1st American League East) for three games. The series’ opener will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (6-4, 3.27), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on June 11, where he went eight innings, giving up only two earned runs, both on solo home runs to Jorge Cantu, on three hits, in the Phils’ 6-2 lost. In his previous start against the Reds on June 5, he would pitch a complete game shut out as he gave up only three hits to the Reds, in the Phils’ 5-0 victory. This will be his first time facing the BoSox, so he will be seeing how well he pitches against an elite team of the American League while trying to get his own team back on the winning track after suffering a couple of tough loses over the weekend. His opponent will be Bartolo Colon (4-1, 3.41), who is coming off a win against the Baltimore Orioles on June 11, where he pitched six innings, giving up an earned run on five scattered hits, in the Red Sox’s 6-3 win. In his five starts, Bartolo has given up three earned runs or less in all but one of his starts. Lifetime against the Phillies, he is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in four starts, while this will be his first start at Citizens Bank Park. He will be trying to pitch his team past the Phils so that they can stay ahead of the surprisingly good Tampa Bay Rays.

The Phillies will be looking to regroup after losing their last two series on their recent nine games road trip, especially after yesterday’s lost to the Cardinals thanks to a pair of misconnections between Chase Utley and Tom Gordon with two men out in the bottom of the tenth which allowed the Cardinals to win the extra-inning game. The offense will be trying to once again score a lot of runs like they were doing several weeks earlier. With their upcoming series against the BoSox and the Angels, the Phillies will be seeing if they can compete with a pair of elite teams in the American League, whom they might be playing against if they get into the World Series later this year, as well as to see if any problem that they might have will be exposed now so that they can be plugged up later before the late summer and September stretch run towards the pennant.

Oh, and it seems that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina has only received a concussion from his close encounter with Eric Bruntlett, but he was kept in the hospital for overnight observation, just in case. Thanks goodness. I hate to see a ballplayer get injured, no matter what the cause, or which team they play for.

Going into tonight’s game, Cole Hamels is among the National League leaders in Earned Run Average (10th), Strikeouts (4th-T), Innings Pitched (4th), Complete Games (1st-T) and Shut Outs (1st). He is also tied for 17th in Wins (6) and is tied for 16th in Games Started (14). As mentioned earlier, he will be trying to help his team defeat an elite team of the American League while improving on his stats in each category.

Inspite of the lost, the Phillies have at present the third best record in the National League, trailing only the National League Central leading Chicago Cubs (45-25), and the St. Louis Cardinals (42-29). In fact, they are at present the only National League teams to have won 40 or more games so far this season. Only three other teams in the majors have won over 40 or more games: Boston, the American League Western leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (42-28) and the Tampa Bay Rays (40-29). They have the best road record in the National League (20-17) and one of the best record at home (21-13). Only one other team has scored more runs than they have in the NL, the Chicago Cubs (387 (Cubs), 381 (Phils)). They are also the third best team in the NL in giving up the least runs (291), with only the Cubs (279) and the Braves (282) being better. The offense has the fifth best batting average in the NL at .264, while they are among the leaders in Slugging Percentage (1st), On-Base Percentage (4th), Walks (5th), Total Bases (1st), Runs Batted In (2nd), Home Runs (2nd), Doubles (3rd), Hits (4th) and At-Bats (3rd). The Phillies have the fourth best team ERA (3.82) in the NL, while the relief corps still has the best team ERA (2.62).

The Phillies lead the second place Marlins by three games, as they prepare to start a three games series against the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. The third place Braves, after their late lost to the Angels, are still six and a half games behind the Phillies, as they prepare to face the Rockies in Denver for a make up game, before starting a three games series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The fourth place Mets also trails the Phillies by six and a half games, as they get ready to meet the Angels in Anaheim for a three games series. The Phillies hope to hold their own against the World Champions, to win the series, while trying to once again get some more distance betweeen themselves and the other teams in their division.

The Phils waste a good effort by Eaton as they fall to the Cardinals, 3-2.

Adam Eaton pitches a good game in a losing cause as ex-Phillie Kyle Lohse four hit the Phillies offense as the Phillies lose to the Cardinals, 3-2. The Cardinals took a quick 2-0 lead as Adam Kennedy would hit a two-run home run off of Eaton, for his first home run of the year, knocking in Skip Schumaker, who has earlier singled. The Cardinals would make it 3-0 in the third when Ryan Ludwick singles in Schumaker, who has earlier reached base on a force out. The Phillies would cut the lead in the fourth when Pat Burrell would hit a two-run homer off of Lohse, his eighteenth home run of the season, knocking in Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled. That would be it for the ballgame, as first Eaton and then J.C. Romero and Lohse would be involved in a major pitchers’ duel that would end up as a Cardinals’ win as Ryan Franklin would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to record his ninth save of the year.

>Adam Eaton would pitch well in a losing cause as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 2-4 with a 4.57 ERA. J.C. Romero would pitch an inning and a third in relief, giving up no runs on no hits. Ex-Phil Kyle Lohse would get the victory, going eight strong innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, two of which went to opposing pitcher Eaton. His record is now 8-2 with a 3.77 ERA. Ryan Franklin would pitch a scoreless ninth as he gives up no hit, as he records his ninth save of the year.

The Phillies’ offense, after their twenty runs outburst, was shut down by the efforts of ex-Phillie Kyle Lohse, who was able to pitch better than his opponent Adam Eaton. The Phils’ offense will be regrouping tomorrow afternoon to try and see if they can score as many runs as they did Friday night.

The Phillies (41-29) will end their three games series with the Cardinals (41-29, 2nd National League Central) with an afternoon game at the new Busch Stadium. The game will begin at 2:15 pm Eastern (1:15 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (3-8, 5.34), who is coming off of a lost to the Marlins on June 10, where he would pitch only five and one third innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to improve his record and end a personal two game losing streak, while trying to help the Phils win the series and end the road trip with a 6-3 record. His opponent will be Mitchell Boggs (1-0, 3.86), who is just coming off his first major league victory against the Reds on June 10, where he would pitch five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Cardinals’ 7-2 victory. He will be trying to get a victory so that the Cardinals will win the series with the Phils while hoping that he can outpitch the Phils’ offense since this will be the first time that they will have faced him.

The first place Phillies are still leading the Marlins by four games as the Marlins have lost their game with the Rays. The Braves are now six and a half games behind the Phillies as they defeated the Angels. The Mets are now seven games behind as their game with the Rangers was called because of rain. The Phillies will be trying to add a little more distance between them and the rest of the division before they head back to Philadelphia to host the World Champion Boston Red Sox.

Meet Me in St. Louis: The Phillies finally play against the Cardinals.

The Phillies (40-28) will be visiting the Cardinals (40-28, 2nd National League Central) for the first time this season as they begin a three games series with the former World Series Champs. The first game of their series will begin tonight at 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central) at the new Busch Stadium. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (5-2, 4.87), who is coming off of a recent no-decision against the Braves on June 7, where he went only five and one third innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Before that, he had won his last two starts, going for a combined total of twelve and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on twelve hits. Lifetime, he is 2-0 against the redbirds, with both victories coming last year. Kendrick will be trying to improve his season record and lower his ERA, while trying to set the tone for the series between the two old rivals. The Cardinals’ starter will be Todd Wellemeyer (7-1, 2.93), who is coming off of a victory over the Nationals on June 5, where he would go six scoreless innings, giving up only five scattered hits, in the Cardinals’ 4-1 win. He has won five of his last seven starts, with the other two starts being no-decisions. He will be planning to get his eighth win of the season, after missing a start because of an inflamed right elbow, while trying to help his team keep place with the red hot Chicago Cubs.

The Phillies will continue their road trip with the series in St. Louis, with a 4-2 record. Although the offense has not scored as many runs as they did at least two weeks ago, it is still a potent threat, and the bats can errupt once again at any time. The starters are still improving, but they need to stop giving up home runs, since it was because of gopher balls given up by Brett Myers, Cole Hamels and Tom Gordon in the first two games against the Marlins that they lost the series, as that was how the fish was able to knock in all of their runs in the series, otherwise the Marlins’ offense didn’t appear to have been very effective. Except for the grand slam that Gordon gave up in the second game of the recent Marlins series, the relief corps is still the league’s best. The Phillies will be going into St. Louis trying to win the series from the Cardinals, especially with the absent of their main star Albert Pujols. They will be trying to end their three cities road trip with a winning record.

The first place Phillies are leading the Marlins by three games, as the fish prepare to meet the American League Tampa Bay Rays for a three games series in Tampa Bay. The third and fourth place Braves and Mets are both trailing the Phillies by seven and a half games. The Braves will be playing a three games series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Anaheim, while the Mets will be hosting the Texas Rangers for a weekend series. The Phillies are hoping that those three American League teams will help them by defeating their divisional rivals. After their series in St. Louis, the Phillies will be coming back home to Philadelphia to play a three games series with the World Champions Boston Red Sox.

Moyer improves his lifetime record against the Marlins to 9-0 as he help the Phils leave Miami with a win.

Jamie Moyer and reliever Brad Lidge would combine to three hit the Marlins as the Phillies are able to leave Miami with a win, 3-0. Moyer and Marlins’ starter, Scott Olsen would spend the first five innings in a pitchers’ duel before the Phillies are finally able to score the first runs of the game in the top of the sixth. With two men on and two out, and with Ryan Howard batting, Olsen would uncork a wild pitch, which would allow Jimmy Rollins, who has singled earlier, to score from third, while Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier on a force out, would move over to third. Victorino would then score on Marlins’ catcher Matt Treanor’s throwing error, to make a 2-0 game. The Phillies would then add a run in the eighth when Jayson Werth singles in Chase Utley, who has reached base earlier on a single, making it 3-0 Phils. Brad Lidge would pitch the ninth inning in relief of Moyer, recording his eighteenth save in eighteen tries.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, going eight innings, giving up no runs on two hits. His record is now 7-3 with an ERA of 4.12. Brad Lidge would go an inning, as he records his eighteenth save of the season, giving up no runs on one hit. Scott Olsen would get the lost, going seven innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits. His record is now 4-3 with a 3.27 ERA. Renyel Pinto would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Matt Lindstrom would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Logan Kensing would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on two hits.

The Phillies lost their first series since their weekend home stand against the Blue Jays last month, mainly because their pitchers got hit for six home runs, which would score all eleven runs that the Marlins would score during the three games series. Also, because they had lost the series, they would be unable to bury the Marlins early, although neither the Braves or the Mets would be able to take advantage of the Phillies’ problems with the Marlins.

The Phillies (40-28) with the win are now once again twelve games over .500 as they head on to St. Louis for a weekend series with the Cardinals (40-28, 2nd National League Central). The first game of their weekend series will be played tonight at 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central) in the New Busch Stadium. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (5-2, 4.87), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Braves on June 7, where he went five and a third innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. He has won his two previous starts. He is 2-0 lifetime against the redbirds, with both wins coming last year. He will be trying to improve his personal record against the Cardinals while trying to help his team forget about their recent bad series in Florida. His opponent will be Todd Wellemeyer (7-1, 2.93), who is coming off of a win against the Nationals on June 5, as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up only five hits in the Cardinals’ 4-1 win. He has won five of his last seven starts, having not lost a game since April 28. He hopes to make it six wins in eight starts while trying to help the Cardinals keep pace with the red hot Chicago Cubs.

The first place Phillies has increased their lead back to three games with their win over the Marlins, who will now start a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays of the American League at Tampa Bay. They now have a seven and a half games lead over both the Braves and the Mets, after their losts to the Cubs and the D-backs, respectively. The Braves will start a weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, also of the American League,  in Anaheim, while the Mets will be facing the Teas Rangers of the American League for three games at home. The Phils hope that when they return to Philadelphia that they have increased their lead over the rest of the division.

Continuing in Houston.

The Phillies (27-22) continue their trip to Houston with their second of four games against the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) at Minute Maid Park. The game will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies will send to the mound Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off a lost against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17, where he went only five innings as he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 lost. In his previous start against the Astros back on April 15, he would pitch six innings as he gave up three earned runs on seven hits while receiving a no-decision, in the Phils’ dramatic 4-3 come from behind win. Eaton will be looking for his first win of the year while Phillies fans wonder how much longer he’ll stay in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and a third innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 victory. In his previous start against the Phils on April 17, he took the lost as he pitched only three innings as he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to get even for his earlier defeat at the hands of the Phillies’ offense.

Speaking of the offense, after being able to score only one run in the first eighteen innings of their series in Washington against the Nationals, the Phils have since then scored ninteen runs in the last eighteen innings. While some runs have come via the long ball, most of them have come via the use of small ball. Hopefully it’ll continue during the rest of their road trip. Also, Ryan Howard appears to be on a hitting tear, as he has gone six for his last ten at bats, hitting two doubles and three home runs, while knocking in six RBIs and scoring four runs. Howard is now hitting over .200 with a batting average of .207. But Howard appears to be not the only Phils on a tear as Shane Victorino has just raised his batting average to .263 as he has gotten eight hits in his last four starts, including two doubles and a home run. And Pedro Feliz in his last three starts has gone seven for thirteen with a home run, raising his average to .252. Hopefully the bats will continue to strike during their stay in Houston. 

The Phillies are a game and a half behind the Marlins, who will start a three games series in Miami against the Giants. They are technically tied for second with the Braves, trailing them by .002 percentage points, as they begin a four games series at home against the presently reeling Diamonbacks. Both they and the Braves are three games ahead of the Mets, who are continuing their own road trip with a three games series with the Rockies in Denver. After Sunday’s afternoon game with the Astros, the Phils will come home to start a ten games home stand, starting with a three games series with the reigning National League Champion Colorado Rockies. The Phillies will be trying to keep pace with the Marlins and Braves while trying to stay even further ahead of the presently floundering Mets.

Pat Burrell’s bat help lift the Phils over Houston.

Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run help lead the Phillies to victory last night over the Houston Astros, 7-5. The Astros would score first in the bottom of the first on a Lance Berkman RBI double off of Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, scoring Miguel Tejada, who has reached base earlier on a force out, making it 1-0 Astros. The Phils would tie the game in the second on a RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, knocking in Ryan Howard who has earlier singled. The Astros would regain the lead on a sacrifice fly by Brad Ausmus, scoring Hunter Pence, who has earlier walked. The Phils would then take the lead in the top of the third, scoring three runs off of usually more effective Astros’ starter Roy Oswalt. The first Phillies run would come in on a RBI double by Howard, knocking in Shane Victorino, who has earlier walk, tying the game at two runs apiece. Pedro Feliz then singles in Chase Utley, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. Howard would then score on Geoff Jenkins’ sacrifice fly, making the score 4-2 Phils. The Phils would then increase their lead in the fifth on a Ryan Howard solo home run, his thirteenth of the season, and his third in two days, making it 5-2 Phils. But, then, in the sixth, Kendrick, who has been able to keep the Astros at bay for the last three innings, finally runs out of gas. After hitting Carlos Lee, and then giving up a single to Pence, he gives up a double to Ty Wigginton. The double would score both Lee and Pence, making it a 5-4 Phillies lead. Charlie Manuel would then come to the mound and replace Kendrick with Ryan Madson, with a runner on second and nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt by Ausmus puts Wigginton on third, Madson is replaced by J.C. Romero, to try and save the game for Kendrick. Unfortunately, Romero is not able to get the job done, as he gives up a single to pinch hitter Geoff Blum, scoring Ausmus, thus giving a no-decision to Kendrick, before he finally gets out of the inning. The Astros would replace Oswalt at the start of the seventh inning, thus leaving the game in the hands of both teams’ bullpens. With neither side scoring in the seventh, Pat Burrell would come up as a pinch hitter to start the eighth inning against Wesley Wright, who was starting his second inning of relief. On a 3-2 pitch, Burrell hits the ball out of the ballpark for a pinch hit home run, his eleventh home run of the season, giving the Phils a 6-5 lead. The Astros quickly replace Wright with Fernando Nieve. With two men on and two out, Nieve would be replaced by Tim Byrdak. Byrdak would then give up a RBI single to Utley, which scores Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Jayson Werth, who has earlier reached base on a force out, increasing the Phils lead to 7-5. After Tom Gordon pitches a 1-2-3 eighth, the Phils would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to save the game in the ninth. After getting a strike out and then a ground out, Lidge would give up a single to Tejada, bringing to the plate Berkman. With one pitch, Lidge would get Berkman to fly out, thus getting his twelfth save in as many chances, as he preserves the victory.

Kyle Kendrick would get a no-decision as he pitches five innings plus three batters, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Ryan Madson would pitch one third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit, earning a blown save. Chad Durbin would get the win for the Philles, as he pitches an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-1, with a 2.08 ERA. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hit. Brad Lidge would get his twelfth save of the year, as he gives up no run on one hit in one inning of work against his former club. Tom Oswalt would also get a no-decision while not pitching very effectively, as he goes six innings, giving up five earned runs on eleven hits. Wesley Wright would get the lost for Houston, as he goes an inning and one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, Pat Burrell’s pitch hit home run. Fernando Nieve would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Tim Byrdak would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Oscar Villarreal would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on one hit.

The Phillies (27-22) will continue their four game visit with the Astros (27-22, 3rd National League Central) with a night game at Minute Maid Park. The game will begin at 8:05 pm (7:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter will be Adam Eaton (0-2, 5.59), who is coming off his second lost of the year at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17. In that game, he gave up four earned runs on eight hits, as he would go only five innings, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. As Eaton continues to look for his first win, he hopes to do better then he did in his previous start against the Astros, back on April 15 at Citizens Bank Park, where he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hit as he took a no-decision in the Phils’ 4-3 come from behind win. Meanwhile, Phillies fans are wondering how much longer Eaton will remain in the starting rotation. The Astros will counter with Brandon Backe (3-5, 4.58), who is coming off a win against the Texas Rangers on May 18, where he pitched six and one third innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Astros’ 5-4 win. He hopes to improve his record, while getting even with the Phils for his earlier lost to them on April 17, where he gave up five earned runs on ten hits, while pitching only three innings, in the Astros’ 10-2 lost.

The Phils hope that their just revised offense will continue to score runs, as they continue to trail the Marlins by a game and a half, as the fish have just finished their three games sweep of the Diamondbacks. The Phillies are still in a technical tie for second place with the Braves, now trailing them by .002 percentage points as they have just finished their own four games sweep of the Mets, who are now trailing both the Braves and Phils by three games. As the Phillies continue their road trip to Houston, the Marlins will start a three games series at home against the Giants, while the Braves will stay home to face the Diamondbacks for four games and the Mets will go on to Denver to face the Rockies for three. The Phils hope to both finish their present road trip on a winning note and to stay pace with both the presently streaking Marlins and Braves.

The Phillies move on to Houston, hoping that everything is indeed bigger in Texas.

The Phillies continues their seven games, two series, road trip, with a four games visit with the Astros in Houston, Texas. The first game of the four games set will start at 8:05 pm (7:05 pm Central) in Minute Maid Park. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.76), who was moved up a day because he had pitched only one inning in the double rain delayed, 6-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 18. In that one inning, he gave up no runs on no hits. His previous start was a win against the Braves on May 13, where he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs, all in the first inning, on six hits, in the Phils’ 5-4 win. This will be Kendrick’s second career start against the Astros, with his first one being back on April 16 at Citizen’s Bank Park, which he lost, as he went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, in the Phils’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while continuing the Phillies’ starters recent string of quality starts. His opponent will be Roy Oswalt (4-4, 5.43), who is coming off a lost to the Texas Ranger, where he went six innings and gave up six earned runs on eleven hits, in the Astros’ 6-2 lost. His previous start was on May 12, as he pitched against the Giants, winning that ballgame, as he gave up only three earned on five hits while pitching eight innings, in the Astros’ 7-3 victory. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to get his second victory of the season against the Phils, as he was the winning pitcher of the April 16 game, also going seven innings, while giving up only one earned runs on five hits.

The Phillies’ offense hope to continue what they did last night in Washington against the Nats, a combination of the long ball and small ball. They also hope that last night’s game will finally mean the return of Ryan Howard’s bat. Lastly, they hope that their starters will continue to perform the kind of quality pitching that they have just conducted in Washington, as they gave up only three earned runs in nineteen innings.

The Phillies are presently trailing the first place Marlins by a game and a half and trail the Braves by .001 percentage points. They and the Braves are presently leading the fourth place Mets by two full games. The Phils hope that they can keep pace with both the Marlins and the Braves as they play in Houston, while also hoping that either the Marlins or the Braves will lose their games tonight so that they can either get closer to first place and/or gain control of second place, respectively.

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