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For the second straight game, the Phillies were involved in a shut out. Only this time, they were the ones to come out on top, but just barely, as they defeated the Nationals 1-0. Cole Hamels would pitch seven strong innings, as he gives up no runs to the Nats, on four hits, while striking out eleven batters. Hamels has now pitched nineteen straight scoreless innings, going back to the last three innings of his May 9 start against the Giants. The Phils’ offense has been kept from scoring for just as many innings, not scoring a run for seventeen and two-thirds innings, as it continues, until the top of the ninth, to leave men on base, in this case nine runners, with four of them in scoring position, in the first eight innings, as Tom Bergmann and Saul Rivera would both find ways to keep them from scoring. The Phillies would finally get a run across in the ninth inning, when, with the Nats’ closer Jon Rauch pitching, Pedro Feliz would start the inning off with a double. After Eric Bruntlett comes in to pinch run for Feliz, Carlos Ruiz would sacrifice him over to third, putting the winning run on third base with one out. Greg Dobbs would then come out to pitch hit for Tom Gordon, who has kept the Nationals from scoring in their half of the eighth, keeping the game scoreless. With the count 2-0, Dobbs would hit a blooping single to center field, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. After Jimmy Rollins flies out, Shane Victorino would hit a double to center field. But, Dobbs would be tagged out at home plate, thanks to a strong throw from Lastings Milledge to shortstop Cristian Guzman to catcher Jesus Flores, who would block the plate, thus keeping Dobbs from scoring. This would keep the score 1-0 Phils. Brad Lidge would pitch the bottom of the ninth in relief of Gordon. After striking out the first two batters he faced, he would walk Elijah Dukes with the count full. Dukes would then proceed to steal second and third, before Lidge would walk pitch hitter Rob Mackowiak, also on a full count, giving the Nationals runners on the corners, with the winning run on first. Then on the first pitch to Felipe Lopez, Lopez would hit a grounder to Chase Utley. Utley would bobble the ball before finally throwing out a slow moving Lopez to end the game and preserve the victory for the Phillies as Lidge records his eleventh save in as many tries.
Cole Hamels, with his seven innings of shut out ball, would get a no-decision while dropping his ERA to 2.61. Tom Gordon, pitching an inning of relief, would get the win as he gives up no runs on one hit. His record is now 4-2, with an ERA of 4.26. Brad Lidge records his eleventh save of the year as he goes one full innings, giving up no runs on no hits, striking out two while also walking two. Tom Bergmann would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up no runs while scattering five hits. Saul Rivera would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jon Rauch would take the lost, giving up an earned run on three hits. His record is now 2-1, with a 2.78 ERA.
The Phils’ offense, expected to be the best run producer in the National League this year, is scoring less runs than expected, while the batters have suddenly stopped getting the key hit. Maybe having the offense play some small ball for a few games might be what the doctor ordered, else the starters will soon find themselves in for a lot of long games without offensive support. And, considering how some of them are pitching right now (I’m talking to you Myers and Eaton), that might end up meaning a bullpen weaken from overwork by September.
The Phillies (25-22) will conclude their trip to the nation’s capitol with a night game tonight from Nationals Park. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (3-3, 4.89), who is coming off of a good outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 16, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 10-3 victory. He hopes to improve his record while trying to help the Phils win the series as he pitches in the 46th ballpark in his 22 years career. The Nationals (20-27) will counter with Matt Chico (0-5, 6.07), who they are using in place of Shawn Hill, who has an ailing right elbow. Chico is coming out of the bullpen, where he was demoted after losing five of his six starts earlier this season. Coming out of the bullpen, he would appear in three games, where he would pitch six and one third innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits, as his ERA drops from 6.87 to 6.07. He hopes to win his first start of the year while adding to the Phils’ offensive problems, while the Phils hopes to final break out the bats and start scoring runs.
The Phils’ victory keeps them a game of a half behind the Florida Marlins, who won their game against the Diamondbacks, 3-2. The Phils are technically still tied for second place, but now they are a .001 percentage point behind the Atlanta Braves, who have swept a double header from the New York Mets, by scores of 6-1 and 6-2. The losts put the Mets in fourth place, a game behind both the Phils and the Braves. The Phils hopes to get a win tonight, to keep pace with both the Marlins and the Braves and stay ahead of the Mets in the tight National League East.
After a wild night, the Phillies would remain in first place in the National League East thanks to a two-outs, two-runs, walk off home run by Pat Burrell, which would give the Phils the victory in 10 innings against the visiting Giants, 6-5. Pat’s home run would be the third walk off home run of his career and his first since 2003. In fact, all six of the Phils run would come on two-runs homers. The first one would be hit in the bottom of the first by Chase Utley, off of Giants’ starter Pat Misch, as he hit his league leading twelfth home run of the year, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled. The Giants’ first run of the game would come in the top of the fourth as Jose Castillo gets an RBI single off of Kyle Kendrick, knocking in Aaron Rowand, who had earlier doubled. The Phils would then increase their lead in their half of the fourth as Pedro Feliz hits his fourth roundtripper of the year, the second one of the game off of Misch, knocking in Burrell, who had earlier walked, making it 4-1 Phils. Misch would be taken out for a pitch hitter in the fifth, as he gives up four earned runs to the Fightin’s on five hits in four innings of work. In the meantime, Kendrick would keep the Giants under control until the top of the seventh, when he would give up two straight singles. Charlie Manuel would quickly replace Kendrick with Ryan Madson in an effort to end the Giants’ threat. Unfortunately, Madson would be unable to keep the Giants off the scoreboard as they would score three runs in the innings, with two of the runs being charged to Kendrick, and the other one to Madson. The Giants’ three runs would come in on an RBI single by Ray Durham, knocking in Castillo and Emmanuel Burriss, both of whom have earlier singled, and a Bengie Molina ground out, scoring Eugenio Velez, who had earlier singled. Kendrick would thus receive a no decision, as he pitched six innings and two batters, while giving up three earned runs on eighth hits, while Madson would be credited with giving up an earned run on three hits. This would also take Misch, the Giants’ starter, off the hook. Thus, for the second night in a row, the Phils would be involved in a game that would be decided by both teams’ bullpens. The Giants’ relief core of Keiichi Yabu, Vinnie Chulk, Jack Taschner, Tyler Walker and Merkin Valdez would keep the Phils off the scoreboard for five innings, giving up only one hit. Meanwhile, the Phils would counter with Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge, who would keep the Giants off the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth innings, although the Giants would come close to scoring in their top of the eighth when, with one out, and John Bowker on third, Burriss would hit a ball straight back to Gordon, with Bowker running towards home. Bowker would be caught in a run down and tagged out going back to third, while Burriss would go to second base during the run down. Gordon would then appear to have gotten hurt during the play, but he would stay in the ballgame long enough to get Velez to ground out to Eric Bruntlett to end the inning. Lidge would give up a lead off single to Fred Lewis in the ninth but would then leave him stranded. With J.C. Romero pitching for the Phils in the top of the tenth, Rowand would give the Giants the lead for the first time with one swing of the bat as he connected on the first pitch thrown by Romero, sending it into the center field seats for his third home run of the season, making the score Giants 5, Phillies 4, before Romero would end a later Giants’ threat to add a few more runs. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, with Brian Wilson pitching for the Giants, Utley would get on base on with a single with one out. After Ryan Howard is called out on strikes and is then ejected from the game for arguing the call, Burrell would step in. After getting the count to 3-2, he would slug the next pitch into the left field seats, giving the Phils the victory.
J.C. Romero would be the winning pitcher, going one inning, giving up one earned run on three hits, upping his record to 2-0. Brian Wilson took the lost, blowing his second save opportunity, as he gives up two earned runs on two hits, while his record drops to 0-1.
In his return to Philadelphia, Rowand would go 2-5 with a double and a home run, two runs scored, and an RBI, while also striking out twice.
The next Phils’ game will be tonight at 7:05 Eastern from Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ (17-13) starter will be Brett Myers (2-2, 5.11) who the Phils hope will soon regain the speed on his pitches. The Giants (13-17) will counter with Matt Cain (1-2, 4.41), who has won his last start.
The victory keeps the Phils .5 games in front of both the Marlins and Mets in the National League East as both teams have won their respective games.
The Phillies took over first place as they defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-2, in a close game. The Phils starter Adam Eaton was once again involved in a no decision as he gave up two earned runs on five hits, as he went six full innings. The two runs he gave up came in the first inning on a two-run home run by Adrian Gonzalez, his sixth of the season, as he knocked in Tadahito Iguchi who had earlier single. But that was all the Pads would be able to do against Eaton as he would shut them down for the next five innings. Meanwhile, the Padres’ starter Randy Wolf would also get a no decision as he went six innings against the Fightin’s, also giving up only two earned runs to his former team on six hits while striking out nine Phils. The Phillies runs would come in the third on an RBI double by Ryan Howard as he knocked in Shane Victorino, who had earlier double. Howard would then score on an RBI double by Pat Burrell. After Eaton and Wolf were taken out for pinch hitters, the game would be left in the hands of the two teams’ respective bullpens. Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, and the eventual winner, Tom Gordon, would combine to pitch the seventh and eighth innings, giving up no runs or hits and walking only one batter, while striking out one batter each. The Padres would counter with Cla Meredith, who would pitch 2/3rd of an inning without giving up a run, and Joe Thatcher, the eventual loser, who, in the bottom of the eighth inning, would give up a massive home run to Ryan Howard for his six of the year. Brad Lidge would then come in and pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his seventh save of the year.
The winning pitcher for the Phils is Gordon, upping his record to 3-2 and lowering his ERA to 5.56 as he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. The loser for the Padres, Thatcher, watch his record drop to 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA, as he gave up only one hit in 1 and 1/3 innings of work, but it would be a killer, as it was Howard’s home run.
Seems like Howard’s mom knew what she was talking about when she said that her son was slow in April as he went 2-4 in the game, with a double, a home run and 2 RBIs. Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come.
With the win, the Phils take over first place in the National League East, .5 games ahead of both the Mets and the Marlins.
The homestand continues tonight at 7:05 in Citizens Bank Park as the NL East leading Phils (16-13) now face the National League West third place San Francisco Giants (13-16). The Phils’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.13). His opponent will be Pat Misch (0-0, 3.00). As the Phils meet the Giants for the first time this season, the Mets (14-12) will be facing the Arizona Diamondbacks (20-8, 1st NLW) in Arizona while the Marlins (15-13) will be playing the Padres (11-18) in Florida.
The Phils ends a good April with a lost as they lose to the Padres, 4-2. Jamie Moyer pitched 5 and 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, with two of the hits being a couple of home run balls. The Padres’ first runs came on a two-run homer in the first to Adrian Gonzalez, his fifth of the year, scoring Tadahito Iguchi, who had earlier single. The Phils would come back to tie it in their half of the first, on a two-run homer by Chase Utley, his league leading eleventh of the season, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who had earlier reached based on a single off of Padres’ starter, and eventual winner, Chris Young. But that would be all that the Phils would be able to do against Young as he would shut the Phils down for the next five innings, giving up a total of five hits and two earned runs in six innings. By that time, the Padres have retaken the lead. In the top of the third, Moyer gave up a solo home run to Kevin Kouzmanoff, his second of the season. The Padres would add an insurance run in the sixth, while knocking Moyer out of the game, as Iguchi knocks in Josh Bard on a single off of Chad Durbin, who had come in to relieve Moyer. Durbin would then get out of the inning, and then, along with J.C. Romero and Rudy Seanez, keep the Padres’ bats quiet for the next 3 and 2/3 innings, giving up only three hits between them. Sadly, the Padres’ bullpen would do even better, keeping the Fightins’ bats equally as quiet, as Joe Thatcher, Heath Bell, and Padres’ closer and all time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, pitched a combined three innings, giving up only two hits, with Hoffman getting his sixth save of the season.
With the lost, Moyer’s record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 4.50, while Young, with the victory, has raised his record to 2-2 with an ERA of 3.63.
The Phils (15-13) conclude their series with the Padres (11-17) tonight at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils starter will be Adam Eaton (0-0, 5.08), who is still looking for his first win of the year, after five start. Eaton’s career record against the Padres is 1-0. He will be pitching against former Phils Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.68).
The lost put the Phils back into third place, still .5 games behind the Marlins and now .002 percentage points behind the Mets, as the Marlins, like the Mets earlier in the day, got crushed in their game, losing to the Dodgers 13-1.
Cole Hamels went seven and 1/3 innings, striking out six while giving up only two earned runs on five hits as he even his record at 3-3, while Greg Maddux is for the third straight time denied his 350th career victory as he goes six and 1/3 innings while giving up three earned runs and eight hits.
After scoring a run in the first to make it 1-0, the Phils score again in the third as Eric Bruntlett hits an RBI single off of Maddux, scoring Jayson Werth to make the score 2-0. The Padres would cut the lead to 2-1 when Scott Hairston hit a solo home run off of Hamels in the top of the fifth inning, his third of the year. The game then settle down into a pitcher duel until the seventh, when the Phils added a run on a sacrifice fly to center by Werth, which scored Carlos Ruiz, making the score 3-1, while Maddux was taken out of the game, replaced by Cla Meredith. Hamels would in turn be taken out in the top of the eighth, replaced by J.C. Romero, as the Padres scored their second run of the evening as Hairston scores on a bases loaded ground out by ex-Phils Tadahito Iguchi. Romero would then be replaced by Tom Gordon who would end the inning by getting Kevin Kouzmanoff to ground out to Chase Utley with the bases loaded. The Phils would then explode for four runs in the bottom of the eighth, making the score 7-2 on a RBI single by Pedro Feliz, knocking in Utley, an RBI double from Ruiz, scoring So Taguchi, who was pinch running for the intentionally walked Pat Burrell, and Feliz, and finally, another RBI double, this time by Greg Dobbs, scoring Ruiz. Two of the run were charged to Glendon Rusch, who have come in to pitch the eighth in place of Meredith, and two to Kevin Cameron, who came in to relieve Rusch. In the ninth, the Padres would get two more runs, on a two-run home run by Hairston, knocking in Adrian Gonzalez, for his fourth homer of the season, hiting it off of Ryan Madson with two outs, before Madson finally ended the game by stricking out Josh Bard.
With the win, Hamels has lowered his ERA to 2.70, as he raised his record to 3-3. Maddux’s record is now 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA as he takes the lost. The Phils, now at 15-12, are still in third place, but are now .5 games behind the Marlins as Florida lost to the Dodgers, 7-6, and .004 percentage points behind the Mets, who defeated the Pirates in 11 innings, 5-4. The next Phils game against the Padres, starting tonight at 7:05 pm, have Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.05) going against Chris Young (1-2, 3.77) for the Pads.
Shane Victorino made a pinch hitting appearance in the eighth inning, batting for Geoff Jenkins, flying out to Justin Huber, the left fielder, before staying in the ninth to play center field while Werth was moved to right.
And Cole Hamels has just completed a 1-2-3 first inning with one strikeout. In the Phils half of the first, Greg Maddux walks Eric Bruntlett after one out. Bruntlett then stole and would later score on a Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a quick 1-0 lead. The innings ends with the Phils leading San Diego, 1-0.
In the final game of their three game set in Pittsburgh, the Phils were defeated by the Pirates, 5-1, ending an otherwise good road trip (5-2) on a low note. The Phillies’ bats were kept quiet by the Bucos’ starter, Paul Maholm, who pitched a complete game while giving up only two hits and one run and being supported very effectively by Pittsburgh’s defense, as he ups his record to 2-2. Meanwhile, Brett Myers, who pitched five innings, gave up four runs, including three on two home runs, a solo shot in the first and a two-run home run in the fifth, to Nate McLouth, his fifth and sixth roundtrippers of the year, and an RBI single in the fourth to Jose Bautista. Reliever Rudy Seanez would give up a fifth run in the Pirates’ sixth during a double play ball that was hit by Luis Rivas. Myers record for the year is now 2-2 with a 5.11 ERA. The Phils lone run would come in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by Eric Bruntlett.
With the lost, the Phillies are now 14-12, in a technical tie for second with the Mets, 1.5 games behind the Marlins. The Phils have the day off tomorrow before they start a new home stand, which begins Tuesday night with a three games series against the San Diego Padres (10-16) with Cole Hamels (2-3, 2.75) going for the Phils while the Padres will counter with Greg Maddux (2-1, 3.66).
For the second time this season, the Phillies have won three games in a row and have won six of their last seven as they defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh, 8-4. The Phils opened the game by scoring five runs in the first inning, with two of those run coming in on a two-run homer by Ryan Howard, who is now back in the line-up, his fifth homer of the season, with two more runs coming in via Pirates fielding errors, while a single from Eric Bruntlett knocked in the fifth. They increased their lead to 6-0 when Geoff Jenkins knocked in Chase Utley with a single. Two more runs would later cross the plate in the sixth as Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz knocked in runs with back to back doubles. By then, the score was 6-2, as the eventual winning pitcher, Kyle Kendrick, have given up an RBI single to Nate McLouth and an RBI double to Freddy Sanchez in the Pirates’ third. He would later give up two more runs, one on an RBI ground out by Brian Bixler in the seventh and the last one as a solo home run to McLouth in the Pirates’ eighth, his fourth of the year. After he gave up a follow up single to Sanchez, Kendrick was replaced by Rudy Seanez who ended the inning with no further damage. Ryan Madson would then come in and pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, ending the game.
The victory raises Kendrick’s record to 2-2 with a 5.13 ERA as he pitched seven innings plus two hitters, giving up four runs, three of which were earned. The losing pitcher is Mike Morris whose record is now 0-4, while his record against the Phillies is now 5-4. He gave up six runs in 1 and 2/3 innings with his ERA rising to 9.67
The Phils, whose record is now 14-11, are still in second place, now only a 0.5 games behind the Marlins, as the fish lost to the Brew Crew. A win by them and a lost by Florida tomorrow afternoon would put the Phils in first place with a 0.5 games lead over the fish. Now wouldn’t that be nice? :)
Anyway, the Phillies starter for tomorrow afternoon’s game (1:35 PM eastern) will be Brett Myers (2.1, 4.78 ERA), who will try to end the team’s very successful road trip with a victory while Pittsburgh’s Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.22 ERA) will be on the mound trying to keep the Bucos from being swept by the Fightin’s.