Results tagged ‘ Strikeout ’

Pedro Feliz’s bat and glove leads Phillies to an extra-inning walk-off victory over the Dodgers, 5-2. The Phillies are now half a game behind the Mets in the East.

Pedro Feliz’s bat would knock in four late innings runs, while his glove would help stop the Dodgers in the tenth as the Phillies win a walk-off victory against the Dodgers in extra-innings, 5-2. The Dodgers would get their first run of the game in the first, when, with the bases loaded, and one out, James Lanier would hit a RBI single, knocking in Andre Ethier, who has gotten on base with a five-balls walk  (Yes, five-balls. The home plate umpire, Jerry Layne, at some point in the count, thought it was 2-2, when it was in fact 3-2, before Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton finally walked Ethier), moved to second on Jeff Kent’s single and then went to third when Manny Ramirez was hit by the pitch, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Blanton would finally get out of the inning by getting Nomar Garciaparra to fly out and Casey Blake to strike out. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Blanton and Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda, with Blanton giving up only four more hits and two more walks while striking out four Dodgers’ batters before being lifted after six innings of work, while Kuroda would keep the Phillies silent for four innings, giving up no hits at that point, while only four men would get on base (Error, two walks and a hit batsman). The Phillies would tie the game in the fifth as Chase Utley would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, and then went to second on Blanton’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers would retake the lead in the seventh, when, with a runner on second, and two outs, Kent would hit a RBI single, scoring Ethier, who has earlier walked, and then got to second base on Ryan Madson’s wild pitch, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would come back to tie it at two all in the ninth, when, with two men on, and two out, Pedro Feliz, who has come in as a defensive replacement for Greg Dobbs in the seventh during a double switch when Madson came in to replace J.C. Romero on the mound, would get a RBI single, scoring Shane Victorino, who has singled, and has gone to second on Eric Bruntlett’s sacrifice bunt. In the Dodgers’ tenth, they would try to regain the lead as they loaded the bases with two singles (Ramirez and Loney) and a walk (Mark Sweeney) with nobody out. The next batter, Blake, would then hit the ball to third. After catching the ball, Feliz would tag the bag for the first out, beating Loney to the bag, and then throw home to double up Ramirez, who would be tagged out by Chris Coste, for a 5-2 double play, as Sweeney would move up to second and Blake would be safe at first. Chad Durbin would then end the inning by getting Russell Martin to fly out to right. In the bottom of the eleventh, the Phillies would go to work against Dodgers’ reliever Joe Beimel, who was starting his second inning of work. Victorino would start off the inning with a double. After Joe Torre comes out to replace Beimel with Jason Johnson, Coste would get a walk, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then hit a grounder to the right side, to second baseman Pablo Ozuna, who would throw to first for the inning’s first out, while Victorino and Werth would move up to third and second base respectively. Cole Hamels would then come up to pinch hit with the Dodgers’ infield and most of the outfield in to try and prevent the run from scoring. Hamels would sadly pop up the first pitch thrown at him, that would be caught by Ozuna for the second out of the inning. This would bring up Feliz. On the first pitch, Feliz would hit it deep to center field for a three-run home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, scoring Victornio and Coste, as he gives the Phillies an extra-inning walk-out win, 5-2.

Joe Blanton would get his third straight no-decision as he goes six innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out four. J.C. Romero, would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Chad Durbin would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk. His record is now 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA. Hiroki Kuroda would also get a no-decision as he also goes six innings, giving up an earned run on two hits as he struck out five. Chan Ho Park would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jonathan Broxton would pick up his fifth blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Joe Beimel would get the lost as he pitches one inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit and a walk. His record is now 4-1 with a ERA of 1.95. Jason Johnson pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on a hit and a walk.

After two straight games of getting ten hits, the offense would be limited to seven hits in the third game of the four games series with the Dodgers, but they would count the most when they came, as the bottom of the order would once again cause the damage as Shane Victorino would be involved in the rallies that would score the tying and winning runs, while Carlos Ruiz would score the Phillies’ first run and Pedro Feliz, coming in as a late innings’ replacement, would knock in the tying and winning runs as he batted in the ninth spot. The bottom part of the line-up have ended up being responsible for three of the last five Phillies’ win, and have done most of the scoring in their last lost. If the bottom half of the line-up continues to score runs after Victornio’s placement into the fifth hole, the Phillies should continue to be a team no longer to be taken lightly. Once the first five batters have decided to once again hit, this team should be tough to beat down the stretch. But, we probably won’t know which way the team will be going until after the end of the series with the Mets.

The Phillies (71-59) will end their four games series with the Dodgers (65-65, 2nd National League West) with a night game tonight, nationally televised on ESPN2, as they look for a sweep of the Bums. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (6-10, 4.71), who is coming off a nine hit shut out of the Nationals on August 20, in the Phillies’ 4-0 victory, his fifth straight quality start since his return from the minors. His only start against the Dodgers was a hard luck lost on August 14, where he went seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 3-1 lost. He will be trying for his four win since coming back from the minors and his sixth straight quality start. The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.10), who is coming off a no-decision against the Rockies on August 20, where he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, in the Dodgers’ 4-3 lost. He did not face the Phillies during the last series. He will be trying to stop the slide and thereby avoid the sweep.

The Phillies now trail the Mets by half a game as the Mets lost to the Astros last night. They are ahead of the Marlins by four and a half games as the fish defeated the D-backs last night. The Phillies will be trying to perform a sweep of the Dodgers, in revenge for the Dodgers’ sweep last week, while hoping that the Astros will defeat the Mets, putting them back into first place, before their two games series with the Mets, starting tomorrow night.

Brett Myers pitches his first complete game shutout since 2004 as he nine hit the Nats, 4-0.

Brett Myers gives up nine hits and no runs to the Nationals as he pitches his first complete game shutout since May 20, 2004, as the Phils defeat the Nationals, 4-0. Myers got saved in the first inning, when, with two men on and two outs, Ryan Zimmerman, who has reached base on a Greg Dobbs’ throwing error and have gone to second on a walk to Lastings Milledge, would try to score on a Ronnie Belliard single to left. He would be cut down at the plate by a good throw by Pat Burrell, as Chris Coste supplies the tag, which would end the inning. The Phillies would take a 1-0 lead in the third, when, with two men on and one out, Coste, who has been hit by the pitch, and would reach second on a fielder’s choice ground out on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Myers, would score on a throwing error by rookie shortstop Anderson Hernandez, when he tried to double up Jimmy Rollins, and instead threw the ball past the glove of first baseman Belliard. The Nationals would threaten to tie the score in the fifth as they get Emilio Bonifacio to third on an infield single, a stolen base and a ground out, second to first. Myers would end the threat by striking out Zimmerman, one of nine strike out victims. The Phillies would then increase their lead in the bottom half of the inning, as Dobbs would hit a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, to make it a 3-0 Phillies’ lead. Later in the inning, with a runner on third, and two outs, Jayson Werth would hit a RBI double, scoring Coste, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. That would be the final score as Myers would dominate the Nats for the final four innings, giving up four singles, one in each of the last four innings, but refusing to give in as only one runner would even reach second base.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitched nine innings of shut out ball, giving up nine scattered hits and striking out nine and walking only one batter. His record is now 6-10 with a 4.71 ERA. Since his return from the minors, in six starts, Myers has given up three earned runs or less in all six starts, while pitching six innings or more in all but one of his starts. His record since his return is 3-1, with two no-decisions, in which the Phillies are 1-1, with an ERA of 1.94. He has gone a total of forty-one and two-thirds innings, giving up only ten runs, nine of which were earned, on thirty hits. Myers is back and it is about time in my opinion. Collin Balester would get the lost as he goes six innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.99 ERA. The rookie Marco Estrada would pitch two scoreless innings in relief, giving up only two hits.

The Phillies’ offense did better last night, as they got nine hits, although they wouldn’t get their first hit until the fourth inning on a single by Chase Utley. The hits would be spread more evenly between the top and bottom of the order, with Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell being the only starters without a hit. Is the offense getting ready to bust out? You guess is as good as mines, but I’m praying that it finally is getting ready to burst open, and I hate to be the first ballclub that they’ll take out their frustrations on.

The Phillies (68-58) will conclude their three games home stand with the luckless Nationals (44-83) as they look to sweep the Nats. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Their starter will be 45 years old veteran Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.64), who is coming off a gem of a start against the Padres on August 15 as he outduel fellow 1984 Draftie Greg Maddux, as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 1-0 win. In his last start against the Nationals on July 30, he would get the win as he pitched six innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win. He will be going for his twelfth win, while also going for his fourteenth straight start where he has given up three runs or less. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (8-8, 4.66), who is coming off a lost to the Rockies on August 15, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Nats’ 4-3 lost. In his last start against the Phillies on July 30, the Phillies would finally get to him, as they knocked in seven earned runs on ten hits as he would only be able to go four innings plus five batters. He will be trying to stop a personal two games losing streak while trying to stop the Nationals’ team losing streak at twelve games.

The Phillies still trail the Mets by one and a half games as they defeated the fastly fading Braves. The Phillies are now ahead of the equally fading Marlins by three and a half games as they lost a squeaker to the Giants. The Phillies will be looking for a sweep of the Nationals so that they can stay close to the Mets, before preparing for a four games weekend series with the Dodgers, and a bit of revenge for their previous week fiasco in LA.

The bullpen blows another lead as the offense once again goes awol after scoring some runs as the Phillies fall to the Dodgers, 7-6.

Chad Durbin for the second straight night allows the Dodgers to tie the score in the eighth inning, before the bullpen finally loses the game in the ninth, this time to a Nomar Garciaparra walk-off home run, as the Phillies’ offense is for the second straight night put to sleep by the Dodgers’ bullpen in the middle innings, after taking what should’ve been an early commanding lead. The Phillies would score four runs in the first on a pair of two-run home runs. After Jayson Werth is rubbed of a home run to right by Andre Ethier for the second out of the inning, Chase Utley would get on base as he is hit by the pitch. Ryan Howard would follow with his league leading thirty-second home run of the year, scoring Utley, for a quick 2-0 lead. Pat Burrell would then get on base with a walk. Greg Dobbs would then follow with his fifth home run of the year, scoring Burrell, to make it 4-0 Phils. The Dodgers would get a run back in their half of the first, when, with the bases loaded, and one out, Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton would give up a walk to James Loney, scoring Ethier, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, would move to second on Jeff Kent’s single and move to third on the walk to Manny Ramirez, making it 4-1 Phillies. Blanton would finally get out of the inning by striking out Casey Blake and getting Garciaparra to fly out to right. The Phillies would add to their lead in the second when, with a man on and two outs, Werth would hit his sixteenth home run of the year, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 6-1 lead. That would be all the damage the Phillies would be able to do as the Dodgers’ bullpen, starting in the fourth inning, would give them only one more hit, four walks and a hit batter, while squashing threats in the fifth and sixth innings. In the meantime, the Dodgers would chip away at the Phillies’ lead. It would start in the third as Ramirez, who owns Blanton, would hit his twenty-fifth home run of the year, scoring Kent, who has earlier singled, to reduce the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. Then in the fourth, Blanton would give up another home run, this time a solo shot to Ethier, his twelfth home run of the year, cutting the lead down to 6-4. After Blanton gets out of the fifth inning without any further damage, he hands the ball over to Ryan Madson, who would proceed to get out six of the seven batters he would face in two innings of relief. Chad Durbin is then given the ball so that he can hand it over to Brad Lidge for a save opportunity in the ninth. Sadly, it didn’t happen as Durbin would end up blowing his fourth save of the year. The inning would start with a single by Russell Martin. Durbin would then walk pinch hitter Juan Pierre, putting runners on first and second with nobody outs. Matt Kemp would then line out to Werth for the first out of the inning. The next batter, Ethier, would then hit the ball to Ryan Howard. Instead of throwing to Jimmy Rollins at second to force out Pierre, Howard would instead go to first, not confident that his throw would actually get to Rollins. That lack of confidence would prove costly as Durbin would then give up a two-run double to Kent, tying the score at six all. Durbin would then intentionally walk Ramirez, after getting behind in the count 3-0. That would be it for Durbin, as he is replaced by J.C. Romero. Romero would finally end the inning by getting Loney to ground into a force out, shortstop to third base. In the ninth, with one man out, Clay Condrey would throw a walk-off home run to Garciaparra, his sixth home run of the year, to give the Dodgers a 7-6 walk-off victory.

Joe Blanton gets a no-decision as he pitches five rough innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out six. Ryan Madson would pitch two strong innings of relief, as he gives up no runs on no hits, and strike out three, while one man reached base on a fielding error. Chad Durbin would blow his fourth save of the year and his second in this series, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only hitter he would face. Clay Condrey would take the lost as he pitches a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, Garciaparra’s walk-off home run. His record is now 3-3 with a 3.71 ERA. Brad Penny would also receive a no-decision as he only last three innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits, a hit batter and two walks, while striking out four. Jason Johnson would pitch two and two-thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up one hit and walking two, while striking out five. Joe Beimel would face only two batters, giving up a walk and hitting a batter. Chan Ho Park would pitch two and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up no hits. Jonathan Broxton would get the win as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, with two strikeouts. His record is now 3-3 with an ERA of 3.58.

Sigh. It’s becoming a broken record. Offense strikes early, gets nothing going in the middle innings and is unable to get a clutch hit when they do threathen to score. Now the bullpen is getting into the act, as it, or rather Chad Durbin, has now blown two straight save opportunities. Although the main culprit, as always, is the Phillies’ offense, we now add Ryan Howard’s sad defense as well, as his fear of maybe not throwing the ball straight to Jimmy Rollins for a force out causes him to instead go for the sure out at first. Listening to the broadcast crew, it would appear that Jay-Ro did not agree with Howard’s decision. And to be honest, neither do I, since if Ryan had thrown the ball to second and had gotten Juan Pierre out, then the next batter, Jeff Kent, would probably have knocked in only one run with his double. But we will never know for sure since that was not the actual result. It would seem that the offense needs someone or something to break them out of their collective funk, like the Dodgers getting Manny Ramirez have gotten them going. Too bad our cheapskate managment isn’t thinking like that. Double sigh.

The Phillies (64-56, T-1st) will play the final game of their four game set with the Dodgers (61-59, T-1st National League West) tonight. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (5-9, 5.09), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on August 9, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. He has pitched rather well since coming back from his stint in the minors, going 2-0 in four starts, with a 2.10 ERA, while the Phils have gone 1-1 in his other two starts. Against the Dodgers in nine starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. He will be looking to make it four good starts in a row while trying to salvage a win in the series for the Phils and keep them in at least a tie for first place in the East. His opponent will be Hiroki Kuroda (6-8, 4.02), who is coming off a no-decision against the Giants on August 9, where he pitched eight innings, giving up only one earned run on eight hits, in the Dodgers’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to help the Dodgers sweep the Phillies, while keeping them at least tied for first in the West.

The Phillies are now tied for first with the Mets as they defeated the Nationals for the second game in a row, while the two teams both lead the Marlins by a game and a half after the Marlins’ lost to the Cardinals. Their lead over the Braves is at nine games as the Braves were swept by the Cubs in a day/night doubleheader. The Phillies will be trying to salvage a win tonight in LA before they head on to San Diego where they will be facing some more tough pitching, hoping against hope that the offense will finally break out of its year long funk. Otherwise, they will be looking up to see themselves trailing the Mets and being just ahead of the fish in the standings.

Cole Hamels is once again denied his tenth win of the year, this time hurt by the long ball.

Cole Hamels is once again denied his tenth victory of the year as he gives up two home runs, which would account for four of the five runs that he would give up, as the Cardinals defeat the Phillies, 6-3. The Cardinals would take control of the game in the third, when, with two men on and nobody out, Joe Mather would hit a three-run home run, his fifth home run of the year, scoring Skip Schumaker, who has earlier singled, and Cesar Izturis, who has walked earlier, to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. Four batters later, Yadier Molina would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Ryan Ludwick, who has earlier singled, moved to second on Eric Bruntlett’s throwing error, and has moved to third on Troy Glaus’ single, to give the Cardinals a 4-0 lead. The Cardinals would increase their lead to 5-0 in the fifth when Ludwick would hit a solo home run off of Cole Hamels, his twenty-fourth home run of the year. The Phillies would finally get to Kyle Lohse in the sixth. Shane Victorino would start the inning off with a double. Chase Utley would follow with a RBI double, scoring Victornio, to make it 5-1 Cardinals. After Ryan Howard strikes out, Pat Burrell would hit a two-run home run, his twenty-seventh home run of the year, scoring Utley, making it 5-3 Cardinals. After giving up a double to Geoff Jenkins, Lohse would be taken out of the game for Russ Springer. Springer would then proceed to get Bruntlett to strike out and Carlos Ruiz to ground out, short to first, to end the inning. In the eighth, the Cardinals would increase their lead as Ludwick would hit his second solo home run of the night, his twenty-fifth home run of the year, to make it 6-3 Cardinals. The Phillies would threathen to tie the game in the ninth. With runners on second and third and two outs, Jason Isringhausen would get Victorino to ground out, second to first, to end the game, as he records his twelfth save of the year.

Cole Hamels would get the lost as he is once again denied his tenth win, thanks in part to him throwing several high fastballs in the third inning, one of which would eventually leave the park. He would go sixth innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on six hits. His record is now 9-7 with a 3.37 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on two hits. Karl Lohse would get the win, going five and a third innings, as he gave up three earned runs on five hits. His record is now 13-3 with a 3.73 ERA. Russ Springer would pitch two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men whom he would face. Jaime Garcia would pitch one and two-thirds inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Jason Isringhausen would go one and a third innings, giving up no runs on no hits as he records his twelfth save.

Karl Lohse would keep the Phillies’ offense quiet until the sixth inning, when they would finally score some runs off of him, but it would end up not being enough as the Phillies would fail to light up the Cardinals’ bullpen, as the Phillies’ five games winning streak ends. Hopefully this will only lead to a reverse of what happen in the previous series played here back in June, when the Phillies started the series with a blow out and then counldn’t do anything afterwards; maybe this time the Phillies will be able to do something about the Cardinals’ pitching and score some runs. Guess we’ll only find out during the next two games.

The Phillies (59-50) will continue their three games set with the Cardinals (62-50, 2nd-T National League Central) with a night game from Busch Stadium. The game will begin at 7:15 pm Eastern  (6:15 pm Central). The Phillies will be sending to the mound Joe Blanton (5-12, 5.13), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on July 27, when he would only pitch two innings because of the two hours plus rain delay, giving up two earned runs on three hits, in the Phillies’ 12-10 win. This will be the first time that Blanton will face the Cardinals, which hopefully will be to Blanton’s advantage. Blanton will be trying for his first victory as a Phil as he makes his third start since being traded to the Phillies. The Cardinals’ starter will be Branden Looper (10-4, 4.38), who is coming off a win against the Braves on July 28, as he went seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Cardinals’ 12-3 win. He has already faced the Phillies once this year back on July 10, where he would go six innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Cardinals’ 4-1 lost. Looper will be trying to improve his record while seeing if he can do better than he did the first time against the Phils.

The Phillies are still leading the Mets by a game as they lost to the Astros. The Marlins are still trailing the Phillies by a game and a half as the Rockies defeat them. The Braves still trail the Phillies by nine games as they lost to the Brewers. The Phillies will once again be trying to increase their lead in the East before going home to meet the Marlins this coming Tuesday.

The Phillies use the long ball to win their first series of the second half as they defeat the Braves, 12-10.

The Phillies would use a combination of the long ball and situational hitting to come from behind again to defeat the Braves as they win their first series of the second half, 12-10. It didn’t look that way at the start as the Braves would score two runs in the top of the first off of Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton. With two men on and one out, Brian McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Yunel Escobar, who has earlier singled, making it 1-0 Braves. Mark Kotsay would follow with a RBI double, scoring Mark Teixeira, who has earlier walked, to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, with Eric Bruntlett batting, the rain would come down, delaying the game for over two hours. The long rain delay would force the removal of both teams’ starters, Blanton and Jorge Campillo. The Braves would increase their lead in the top of the fourth off of Adam Eaton. With a runner on second and one out, Eaton would give up a two-run home run to Kelly Johnson, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Kotsay, who has earlier singled, to make it 4-0 Braves. Omar Infante would follow with a solo shot, his second home run of the year, to give the Braves a 5-0 lead. The Phillies would then come back in their half of the fourth. With two men out, and a runner on first, Chris Coste would hit a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, cutting the Braves’ lead to 5-2. The next batter, pinch hitter So Taguchi would then get on base with a pinch single. Jimmy Rollins would follow by working a walk. Shane Victorino would then hit a three-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Taguchi and Rollins, tying the game at five all. In the fifth, the Phillies will take the lead as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year, making it 6-5 Phillies. The Phils would then break the game wide open in the sixth. With Royce Ring now on the mound, he would be greeted by pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz with a pinch double. Ruiz would then go to third on a single by Rollins. Victorino would follow with a RBI single, scoring Ruiz, and sending Rollins to second to make the score 7-5 Phillies. Chase Utley would then strike out, making the first out of the inning. With Ryan Howard at the plate, Rollins and Victorino would perform a double steal, with Victorino just beating McCann’s throw from behind home plate. Howard would then hit a RBI single with the infield pulled in, scoring Rollins easily, and then scoring Victorino, as he knocks over McCann, as McCann tries to catch left fielder Jeff Francoeur’s throw from left on one hop, and then tries to turn around quickly to tag out Victorino, making it 9-5 Phillies. McCann would then lay on the ground for the next several minutes, with Victorino and Rollins, among others, looking to see if he was alright, before he is finally taken out of the game, and replaced by Corky Miller. Meanwhile, Royce is replaced on the mound by Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then fly out for the second out of the inning. Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run, to give the Phillies an 11-5 lead. Bruntlett would then end the inning by flying out. In the seventh, Rollins would increase the Phillies’ lead by hitting a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Phils a 12-5 lead. The Braves would then make it close in the eighth. With Rudy Seanez on the mound, Kotsay would start the inning off with a single. After Francoeur pops up for the first out of the inning, Johnson would get on base with a walk, sending Kotsay to second. Infante would follow with a RBI double, scoring Kotsay and sending Johnson to third, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 12-6. Greg Norton would then load the bases as Seanez commits an error on his ground ball. Ryan Madson is then brought in to relieve Seanez. Gregor Blanco would then walk, scoring Johnson, while leaving the bases loaded as the Phillies now lead 12-7. Escobar would then pop out to Bruntlett in foul territory for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter Martin Prado would then hit a double that a diving Werth would be unable to catch, scoring Infante, Norton and Blanco after it gets past Werth, making it a 12-10 Phillies’ lead. Madson would finally end the inning by getting Miller to ground out, third to first. In the ninth, Brad Lidge would proceed to nail down his twenty-fourth save of the year to finally end the ballgame.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision thanks to the rain delay, as he pitches two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Adam Eaton would also pitch two innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. J.C. Romero would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Rudy Seanez would go one-third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on two hits. Ryan Madson would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he records his twenty-fourth save of the year, giving up no runs on no hits. Jorge Campillo would also pitch a no-decision because of the rain delay, going one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on two hits. Jo-Jo Reyes would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits. Julian Tavarez would take the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA.Royce Ring would pitch a third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up a run on one hit. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning, giving up one run on one hit. Will Ohman would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.

The Phillies (56-49) have finally won their first series of the second half as well as the short home stand, while also starting a two game winning streak. For the second straight game the Phillies’ offense would score ten or more runs, this time with them doing it with a combination of the long ball and situational hitting. Does this mean that the offense is back? I’m going to wait until after the next several series before saying yes or no. The next Phillies’ game will be played on Tuesday as they meet the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

With the win, the Phillies continue to trail the Mets by a game, as they won their game against the Cardinals. The Marlins would drop to third place, a game behind the Phillies, as they lost to the Cubs. The Braves now trail the Phillies by six and a half games. As the Phillies take the day off before starting their series with the Nationals in D.C., the Mets go to Miami to start a three games series with the Marlins, while the Braves prepare for a four games series with the Cardinals.

Phillies fall into second place as the offense goes puff, losing to the Mets, 3-1.

The Phillies lose another series to the Mets and in the process drop out of first place as its offense seem to have vanished into thin air as it waste a very good effort by starter Jamie Moyer. Moyer, who two hit the Mets, would give up only one run, a RBI single by David Wright in the third, scoring Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked and then stole second. The Phillies would then tie it in the seventh on a solo home run by Jayson Werth, his thirteenth home run of the year. The Phillies would threathen to take the lead in the top of the eighth, when, with one out, Eric Bruntlett would hit a deep fly ball to left field that would just miss going out of the park, instead ending up on second with a double. After Mets’ starter Oliver Perez strikes out Chase Utley for the second out of the inning, he would put Pat Burrell on first with an intentional walk. Ryan Howard is then hit by the pitch, loading the bases. Perez is then taken out of the game, replaced by Aaron Heilman. Heilmann would proceed to get Werth to end the inning by flying out. In the bottom of the eight, the Mets would regain the lead as, with two men on, and two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit a two-run double, scoring Robinson Cancel, who has gotten on base earlier with a pinch hit single, and Wright, who has just been intentionally walked. But Delgado would be thrown out trying to go to third base, Burrell to Bruntlett to Chris Coste to Pedro Feliz, to finally end the inning, but after the damage has already been done. Billy Wagner would then come in the ninth to record his twenty-sixth save of the year, as the offense goes down without a fight.

Jamie Moyer would pitch seven strong innings, keeping the Mets under control as he gives up only one earned run on two hits while striking out six, as he receives a no-decision. J.C. Romero is tagged with the lost, as he pitches an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Oliver Perez would also get a no-decision as he pitches seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on six hits while striking out twelve. Aaron Heilman will get the win, pitching just a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. His record is now 1-2 with a ERA of 4.75. Billy Wagner will record his twenty-six save of the season, giving up only a hit.

The Phillies have now dropped into second place as the offense has allowed another great performance by Jamie Moyer to go down the tube because of their lousy performances at the plate. To say that at this moment the batters might as well just phone in their at bats is an understatement. This is just not acceptable. Where in the world has happen to the passion, the desire, the drive to want to win the Eastern Division for the second straight year, among the players, that they had around this same time last year? I mean, its looking more and more like these guys should be getting ready to join the federal witness protection program so that they can escape the wrath of the angry mob of Phillies fans who are soon going to be booing their sorry ***** out of Citizens Bank Park if they continue with this lackluster playing, instead of being the team that is suppose to be the run producing nightmare of starters for other major league teams. This is just pathetic, just dreadfully pathetic!!! It is especially pathetic with the way that the batters seems to be making even the worst pitcher look like he’s the second coming of Cy Young as he pitched against them. Hitting season? I’m beginning to wonder if Charlie Manuel was speaking a bit too soon when he made that comment back in May. To quote the old professor, Casey Stengel, “Can’t anybody out there play this game?” AAGGGGRRRHHHHH. Will some one please pass me the Alka Seltzer?

The now second place Phillies (54-48) will come home for a three games series with the Braves (48-53). The first game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87) will get the start, coming off of an awful performance against the Marlins on July 19, where he would only last four and one-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits, in the Phillies’ 9-5 lost. He will be facing the Braves for the third time this year, with a 2-0 record plus a no-decision, which the Phillies also won, as he would pitch a combined total of seventeen and one-third innings, giving up only eight earned runs on seventeen hits. Lifetime against the Braves, he is 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts. He will be trying to record his ninth win, while trying to get the Phils back on track. The Braves’ starter will be Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22), who is coming off a lost against the Nationals on July 19, where he would pitch six and a third inning, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Braves’ 8-2 lost. He has already pitched a game against the Phillies so far this year, losing to them on July 3, as he pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. He will be trying for his tenth win of the season while seeing if he has better luck this time against the Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies now trail the first place Mets by a game. They are presently a half-game ahead of the Marlins, who are getting ready to play the Cubs later today. The Braves trails the Phillies by five and a half games, as they have the day off today, before coming into Philly for a three games weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to regroup this weekend, trying to prove that they are indeed a second half team, although their first two series of the second half would seem to say otherwise.

The Phillies’ offense vanishes again as they lose to the Mets, 6-3.

The Phillies’ offense would perform its usual vanishing act as they fall to the Mets, 6-3, once again ending up being tied with the Mets for first place in the East. The Phillies’ returning starter Brett Myers would start out with his familiar first inning problems. After getting Jose Reyes to ground out, second to first, Myers would give up three straight walks to Endy Chavez, David Wright and Carlos Delgado to load the bases. He would then give up his fourth straight pass to Carlos Beltran, forcing in Chavez, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, while leaving the bases still loaded. Marlon Anderson would then make it 2-0 Mets, as he would hit a ground ball that would get pass Ryan Howard, but would be grabbed by Chase Utley, who would throw it over to Myers for the second out, while Wright scores and Delgado and Beltran both move up a base. Myers would finally get out of the inning on a ground out by Damion Easley, third to first. The Phillies would then tie the game in the second when Shane Victorino and Geoff Jenkins would hit back-to-back home runs off of Mets’ starter John Maine. Victornio’s home run would be his seventh home run of the year while Jenkins’ would be his ninth home run of the year. The Mets would retake the lead in the third as another walk would get Myers into trouble. After getting Chavez to ground out, second to first, Myers would give up his fifth and final walk to Wright. He would then hit Delgado, after getting ahead of him, to put two men on base. Beltran would then get a single, the first Mets’ hit of the game, to load the bases. Myers would then get Anderson to strike out for the inning’s second out. But he would then give up a single to Easley, which would knock in Wright to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Brian Schneider would then ground out, second to first, to end the inning. The Phillies would retie the game in the fifth, as Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI double, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled. The Mets would then take the lead for good in the sixth inning as Reyes would hit a three-run home run off of Ryan Madson, his eleventh home run of the year, scoring Easley and Schneider, who have both gotten on base with singles, to give the Mets a 6-3 lead. That would end up being the final score as Billy Wagner would come in the ninth to record his twenty-fifth save of the year.

Brett Myers would get a no-decision as he pitches a somewhat awful five innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, while walking five batters and hitting another, three of whom would later score. Ryan Madson would take the lost, as he pitches an inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits. His record is now 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two innings, giving up no runs on three hits. John Maine would get the win, going seven innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits. His record is now 9-7 with a 4.20 ERA. Scott Schoeneweis would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Joe Smith would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Billy Wagner would come in in the ninth and record his twenty-fifth save of the year as he would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

Once again the inconsistent Phillies’ offense, after performing a spectular come from behind victory on Tuesday night, would do almost nothing on Wednesday night, as they lose to the Mets. Once again, someone need to come out and act like a team leader and start telling the others what they need to do if they are going to win the division again. Otherwise, they are going to go nowhere when the post-season comes around.

The three games series between the Phillies (54-47) and the Mets (54-47) will conclude this afternoon from Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 12:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (9-6, 3.90), who is coming off an excellent start against the Marlins on July 18, going six innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 4-2 win. Moyer has won his last two starts, giving up two earned runs or less in both starts. He will be trying for his tenth win of the year while trying to put the Phillies back into sole possession of first place. The Mets will counter with Oliver Perez (6-6, 4.36), who is coming off a lost against the Reds on July 19, going six innings as well, while giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, in the Mets’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying to record his seventh win of the year while trying to give the Mets the lead in the East.

The Phillies are once again tied for first place with the Mets while they prepare to face the Mets in the rubber game of their three games series. The Marlins continue to trail by a game as they’d lost to the Braves. They will now start a four games series against the National League Central leading Chicago Cubs at Chicago. The Braves are now traling the Phils and the Mets by six games as they take the day off, before they meet the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park for a three games weekend series. The Phillies will be trying to gain their first series win of the second half while trying to regain sole control of first place in the East before going back home to meet the Braves.

Phillies rally to score six runs in the ninth off of a Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen to beat the Mets, 8-6.

The Phillies rally to score six runs in the top of the ninth inning off of a Billy Wagner-less Mets’ bullpen while new Phil Joe Blanton is unable to contain the Mets in his first start as a Phil as the Phillies defeat the Mets, 8-6. The Phillies would take a quick lead in the first as Jayson Werth would hit a two out RBI single off of Mets’ starter Johan Santana, scoring Pat Burrell, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. That would remain the score until the bottom of the third when Phillies’ starter Blanton would give up a RBI double to David Wright, knocking in Jose Reyes, who has earlier walked, to tie the game at one all. But Endy Chavez, who has singled earlier, would try to score on the play, but is instead thrown out at home plate, Burrell to Jimmy Rollins to Carlos Ruiz, who would put the tag on Chavez for the first out of the inning. Two batters later, with Wright still on second base, and with two outs, Carlos Delgado would hit his nineteenth home run of the year, a two-run shot that would give the Mets a 3-1 lead. In between the third and fourth innings, Charlie Manuel would be ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes with the third base umpire as the Phillies believed that Delgado had struck out on an 0-2 pitch while the umpire claimed that he had checked his swing. The Mets would increase their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first, Marlon Anderson, via a walk, and with two outs, Ramon Castro would hit his fifth home run of the year, giving the Mets a 5-1 lead. In the meantime, Santana would keep the Phillies off the scoreboard, until the seventh, when Shane Victorino would hit his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot, that would cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. The Mets would try to break the game wide open in their half of the seventh as Rudy Seanez replaces Blanton on the mound. Seanez would give up a lead-off double to Chavez. Chavez would then attempt to score on a single to right by Wright. But, for the second time in the game, he would be thrown out at the plate, this time from Werth to Coste, who tagged him out for the first out of the inning. On the throw home, Wright would move to second. Seanez would then intentionally walk Carlos Beltran, putting runners on first and second. The Phillies would then replace Seanez with J.C. Romero. Romero would get Delgado to fly out to center for the second out. But he would then hit Damion Easley to load the bases. Romero would then get out of the inning as he would get pinch hitter Fernando Tatis to line out to Chase Utley. In the ninth inning, the Mets would replace Santana with Duaner Sanchez, thinking that the game was over. The Phillies would soon make them think otherwise. Werth would greet Sanchez with a single. Pinch hitter Greg Dobbs would follow with a single, sending Werth to second. Victorino would follow with a single, loading the bases. The Mets would then replace Sanchez with Joe Smith, as they hope that Ruiz would hit into a rally-killing double play. Ruiz would hit a ground ball  to shortstop Reyes, but Reyes would somehow miss the second base bag as a hostling Victornio would reach second on the fielder’s choice ground ball. The bases thus remain loaded as Werth scores to make it a 5-3 game. The Phils would then send out Geoff Jenkins as a pinch hitter, but he would never reach the plate as the Mets would replace Smith with Pedro Feliciano, while the Phillies would counter with So Taguchi, who was so far 0-for-16 as a pinch hitter. Taguchi would this time connect as he would hit a two-run double, scoring both Dobbs and Victorino and sending Ruiz to third, as the game was now tied at five all. Rollins would then follow with a two-run double of his own, scoring both Ruiz and Taguchi, to give the Phillies a 7-5 Phillies. Utley would then ground out to first for the first out of the inning, moving Rollins over to third. Burrell is then intentionally walked, putting runners on the corners, and setting up the double play. Ryan Howard would hit a ground ball straight to Feliciano, who would then drop the ball, before picking it up and throwing out Howard, as Rollins scores to make it 8-5 Phillies, while Burrell would go to second. Aaron Heilman is then sent into the game to replace Feliciano. Heilman would walk Werth, the man who has started the inning off, putting runners on first and second, with two outs. Heliman would then get Dobbs to pop up to Reyes to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would send out their closer Brad Lidge to end the game. He starts the inning off by walking Chavez. Chavez would then go to second on defensive indifference. Lidge would then strike out Wright for the inning’s first out. Chavez would then go to third on a Lidge’s wild pitch before finally scoring on a ground out to first by Beltran, for the second out, making the score 8-6 Phillies. That would be the final score as Lidge would get Delgado to ground out, third to first for the final out, as he records his twenty-second straight save, tying the team’s record for most consecutive saves in a row set a few years earlier by Billy Wagner.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision, as he pitches six innings in his first start as a Phil, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. J.C. Romero would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would get the victory as he goes an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 3-2 with an ERA of 1.78. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-second save, as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on no hits. Johan Santana would also get a no-decision, going eight innings, giving up only two runs on eight scattered hits. The Mets bullpen would then take over and implode as the team’s closer, Billy Wagner, would be unavailable to pitch. Duaner Sanchez would face three batters, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Joe Smith would take the loss as he face only one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits. His record is now 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA. Pedro Feliciano would get his second blown save, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Aaron Heilman would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies have won the game by doing something that they haven’t been able to do too much of since May, come back from behind in the ninth inning to win a game while trailing by several runs. Of course, they did it after the Mets have taken out their starter, Johan Santana, who for the third time this season has pitched a quality start against the Phillies. The Phillies would be able to produce a rally in the ninth inning, because of the use of small ball, hustling on the part of Shane Victorino on Carlos Ruiz’s ground ball, luck (Jose Reyes missing second base on Ruiz’s grounder, and Pedro Feliciano’s bobbling of Howard’s ground ball to him with the chance for an inning ending double play), some situational hitting by Chase Utley to move Jimmy Rollins over to third, and, lastly, So Taguchi finally getting a pinch hit when the Phillies needed it the most. Whether this will be the turning point of the season, or just a temporary blip on the radar screen will be found out during the next two games of the series.

The Phillies (54-46) will continue their three games series with the Mets (53-47) tomorrow night at Shea Stadium. The game will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies starter will be Brett Myers (3-9, 5.84), who is coming back from a minor league stint to recover both his fast ball and his confidence. His last start was back on June 27 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 send to the mound John Maine (8-7, 4.22), who is coming off a lost to the Reds on July 18, as he goes 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 get over their previous night’s lost.

The Phillies, with their win, have regain sole control of first place, while they now lead both the Mets and the Marlins by one game and the Braves by seven, thanks to the Braves’ lost to the fish last night. The Phillies will now try to build momentum from their come from behind win as they attempt for either a series sweep or a series win before heading back home to meet the Braves at Citizens Bank Park for a three games weekend series.

Kendrick gets hurt by the long ball as the Phillies lose to the Marlins, 9-5.

Kyle Kendrick would be hurt by three long balls, while the Phillies would be unable to tie the game up in the ninth as they lose to the Marlins, 9-5. The Phillies would score the game’s first run in the second inning, while being unable to blow the game open early. The Phillies would start the inning off with Ryan Howard hitting a single to right. Pat Burrell would follow with a double to left, which would put Howard on third, as the Phils would now have runners on second and third with nobody out. The next batter, Jayson Werth, would then follow with a ground ball to third baseman Jorge Cantu, who would throw the ball to the plate, where John Baker would tag out Howard for the first out of the inning, while Burrell would move up to third and Werth would be safe on first on the fielder’s choice ground ball. Pedro Feliz would then hit a second ground ball to Cantu. Unlike the first one, Cantu would bobble the ball when he tried to throw it towards home plate, as the Phillies have already sent Werth on to second on the crack of the bat, preventing at least a force out at second, and forcing Cantu to try to throw to home. Instead, Burrell would score to make it 1-0 Philles as Cantu, after making his first error on the play, because of the bobble, would instead try to throw out Feliz. But, he would instead throw the ball away for his second error on the play, which would send Werth to third and Feliz to second. The next hitter, Chris Coste, would then hit the third straight ball to Cantu, who would send the ball home for the second out of the inning, as Werth is tagged out by Baker, while Feliz would commit a baserunning blunder by staying on second. Kyle Kendrick would then walk to load the bases. Jimmy Rollins would then come up, and hit the fourth grounder of the inning to Cantu, who would throw over to second base to force out Kendrick to end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Baker would hit a three-run home run off of Kendrick, his second home run of his career, scoring Mike Jacobs, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, and Cody Ross, who has earlier singled, to make it 3-1 Marlins. Later in the inning, with Hanley Ramirez on second, via a fielder’s choice ground out, and a stolen base, would try to score on Cantu’s single. Instead, Burrell would throw a strike to home plate for the final out of the inning, as Ramirez is tagged out by Coste. The Phillies would come back to tie the game in the fourth as Coste would hit a RBI double, scoring Feliz, who has earlier tripled, to make it 3-2 Marlins. One out later, Rollins would hit a RBI double, scoring Coste, and tying the game at three all. The Marlins would retake the lead as Baker hit a RBI single, scoring Ross, who has earlier tripled off of Werth’s glove, to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead. In the fifth, Burrell would tie the ballgame with his twenty-fourth home run of the year, a solo shot off of Marlins’ starter, Scott Olsen. The roof would then cave in on Kendrick in the bottom half of the fifth. Jeremy Hermida would start off the inning by hitting his eleventh home run of the year, to give the Marlins a 5-4 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on first and one out, Dan Uggla would hit his twenty-fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot that would score Josh Willingham, who has earlier singled, to make it 7-4 Marlins. The Marlins would increase their lead in the seventh, when, with the bases loaded, all via walks, and with two outs, Cantu would hit a two-run RBI single, scoring Baker and Ramirez, to give the Marlins a 9-4 lead. In the eighth, Burrell would hit his second solo home run of the game, his twenty-fifth home run of the year, to make it a 9-5 Marlins’ lead. Then in the ninth the Phillies would load the bases with one out, after a walk to Geoff Jenkins and singles by Shane Victorino and Chase Utley. But Marlins’ closer Kevin Gregg would then strike out Howard and get Burrell to ground out, short to second, to end the game.

Kyle Kendrick would take the lose as he has a bad outing, as he is only able to go four and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 8-4 with a 4.87 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch an inning and two-thirds in relief, giving up no runs on no hits. Rudy Seanez would pitch an inning, giving up two earned runs on one hit, while walking three. Ryan Madson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Scott Olsen would get the win, as he pitches five innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on eight hits. His record is now 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA. Matt Lindstrom and Renyel Pinto would both pitch a scoreless inning. Doug Waechter would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Kevin Gregg would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two.

As the Phillies wait for Joe Blanton’s first start as a Phil, Kyle Kendrick was once again hurt by left-handed hitters, although he would go after right-handed batters in this game, pitching them inside. Kendrick may need to have a long talk with Jamie Moyer to figure out what he will need to do to keep lefties from hurting him in future outings, since, according to a graphic that was shown during the ballgame, over 60 percent of the hits that he has so far given up in his short career has been to left handers. Although one of the two Fox Sports’ announcer would call him a number three pitcher, I see him as a number four pitcher until he can finally solve that problem. As for the Phillies’ starters, I see the team’s ace as Cole Hamels, I expect Blanton to become the number two starter, eating up the innings, Moyer as their number three starter, with Kendrick as number four. As for the number five starter, I’m sure Charlie Manuel and the silent idiots expect it to be Brett Myers once he comes back from the minors. Not me, folks. I’m hoping that management will soon come to their senses and bring back J.A. Happ from Lehigh Valley, so that he can help the team.

The Phillies (53-45) will conclude their three games series with the Marlins (51-46) tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start at 1:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.15), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on July 13, as he went seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on eleven hits, in the Phillies’ 6-3 win. In two previous meetings this year against the Marlins, he is 0-1, going thirteen and two-thirds innings, as he gives up nine earned runs on eleven hits. Lifetime, he is 2-3 against the fish in six starts, with a 4.78 ERA. He will be trying to get his tenth win of the year while trying to give the Phillies their third straight series win and their first series win of the second half. The Marlins will counter with Josh Johnson (0-0, 5.40), who is pitching in place of the injured Andrew Miller. He has so far pitched in only one game this year, a relief stint against the Dodgers on July 10, where he would pitch five innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 5-4 win. He will be trying for his first victory of the year, and trying to help the Marlins get their first series win of the second half.

With the lost, the Phillies are still leading the Mets by a games as the Mets lost to the Reds. The Marlins now trail the Phillies by a game and a half. The Braves still trail the Phillies by six and a half games, as they also lost their game. The Phillies will be trying for their third straight series win with their ace on the mound, while hoping to get ready for their three games series with the second place Mets. 

Phillies end slide, defeating the Cardinals, 4-2.

The Phillies end their four game losing streak, thanks to a good pitching effort by J.A. Happ, and two solo home runs in the eighth inning from Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz as the Phillies defeat the Cardinals, 4-2. The game started out as a pitchers’ duel between Happ and Cardinals’ reliever Brad Thompson, who was pitching in relief of Mark Mulder, who had left the game in the first inning after hurting his elbow. This would end in the fifth, when, with one out and a runner on first, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI triple, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. But Rollins would then be thrown out at the plate on a Shane Victorino fielder’s choice ground ball, shortstop Cesar Izturis to catcher Jason LaRue. Chase Utley would then hit a single, sending Victorino to second base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a single, scoring Victorino, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. In the seventh, as Happ stayed in the game to try and give the bullpen a rest, started the inning by getting Brendan Ryan to fly out for the first out. Itzuris would then get on base with a single. The next batter, Skip Schumaker, would follow with a ground-rule double, after Victorino tells the umpires that the ball had gotten stuck in the panneling, forcing Itzuris to go back to third. That would be it for Happ, as he is taken out of the ballgame by Charlie Manuel, to a standing ovation from the fans. Manuel replaces Happ with Chad Durbin. Durbin would walk Ryan Ludwick to load the bases. Albert Pujols would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Itzuris, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Troy Glaus would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Schumaker, making it two all, while Ludwick and Glaus would both move up a base on the throw to the place. After intenionally walking Rick Ankiel, Durbin would finally end the inning by striking out Joe Mather for the third out. In the eighth, Howard would give the lead back to the Phillies as he would hit his twenty-fifth home run of the year, tying Chase Utley for the major league lead in home runs, a solo shot off of Cardinals’ reliever Kyle McClellan, making it 3-2 Phillies. Three batters later, with two men out, and Chris Perez now pitching for the Cardinals, Pedro Feliz would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year, to make it 4-2 Phillies. In the ninth inning, Brad Lidge would be sent out to save the game, which he would do, in spite of a attempt to tie the game by the Cardinals, as he would strike out Ankiel with two men on and two outs, to record his twentieth save of the year in twenty tires.

J.A. Happ would pitch an excellent game, although only receiving a no-decision as he goes six and one-third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out five. Chad Durbin would receive his second blown of the season, as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches a scoreless, hitless inning as he strikes out the side. His record is now 2-1 with a ERA of 3.82. Brad Lidge would also go one inning, as he gives up no runs on no hits, walking two and striking out two. Mark Mulder would pitch only one third of an inning, walking two hitters and striking out one, before being taken out because of a bad elbow. Brad Thmpson would pitch four and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, getting a no-decision. Russ Springer would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Jason Isringhausen would pitch an inning, also giving up no runs or hits. Kyle McClellan would take the lost, pitching an inning plus one batter, while giving up only one earned run on one hit, Ryan Howard’s solo shot. His record is now 1-4 with a 2.74 ERA. Chris Perez would also pitch an inning, also giving up an earned run on one hit, Pedro Feliz’s solo home run.

J.A. Happ has obviously been taking advice from Jamie Moyer, otherwise how else do you explain how he well he was able to keep the redbirds off-balanced until the seventh inning. It’s too bad that Durbin was unable to shut down the Cardinals after being called in to relieve Happ, especially since the Phillies plan to send him back to Lehigh Valley after the All-Star break to bring back Brett Myers. I for one will not be looking forward to that if the youngster continues pitching like a stud. Anyone out there have an idea on how to persuade the powers that be that it would be better for the team to keep the kid in the bigs after this performance? Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense is still not scoring runs, even if Ryan Howard has just broke a team record of the most RBIs knocked in by a team player before the All-Star break, breaking Greg Luzinski’s old record with his eightieth RBI of the year. The offense really needs to knock in runs with man in scoring positions. Seriously.

The three games series between the Phillies (49-43) and the Cardinals (51-41, 2nd National League Central) will conclude tomorrow afternoon with a Business Person’s Special. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.12), who is coming off a good start against the Mets on July 5, getting a no-decision as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 9-4 lost. He will once again be trying for his eighth victory of the year, while hoping to help the Phillies win their first series at home since the series against the Reds. Braden Looper (9-6, 4.15), who is coming off a lost against the Cubs on July 4, where he would go seven innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Cardinals’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth win of the season, while trying to stop the Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies’ victory will keep their lead over both the Marlins and the Mets at a game and a half as they both won their game. The Braves trail the Phillies by six games, as they lost their game to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope to keep their lead over the rest of the Eastern division, while trying to win the last two series on their home stand.

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