Results tagged ‘ Thrown Out at Second Base ’

The Phillies lose another interleague play game as Antonio Bastardo leaves the game with an injury, as they fall to the Rays, 10-4.

After an explosive start, the Phils watch the game slip out of their hands, and see another pitcher go down, as they lose to the Rays, 10-4, their first road series lost in a while.

The Phillies took a quick lead in the first as, with two men on, and one out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run double, scoring Greg Dobbs, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, with two men out, the Phils made it 3-0 as Matt Stairs followed with a double, knocking in Howard. It then became 4-0 Phils as Pedro Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Stairs. The Rays would come back in their half of the first, as, with one man on and two outs, Carlos Pena hits an RBI double, knocking in Pat Burrell, who had earlier doubled, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. Ben Zobrist then made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as he hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, scoring Pena. The Rays would tie the game up at four-all in the second, as Willy Aybar hits a lead-off home run, his sixth home run of the season. Four batters later, with runners on the corners, and one man out, the Rays took the lead as Carl Crawford hits an RBI double, scoring Gabe Kapler, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Dioner Navarro’s single, giving the Rays a 5-4 lead, while sending Navarro, who had just singled, over to third base. One batter later, Burrell would hit into an RBI ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Navarro from third to make it 6-4 Rays, while sending Crawford on to third. In the fourth, the Rays tried to add to their lead, with two men on, Kapler and Crawford via walks, and two men out, as the Phillies took their starter Antonio Bastardo out of the game because of a strained left shoulder. The Phils replaced him with Chad Durbin, who then proceeded to end the threat by striking out Burrell. The Phils then threathen to score in the sixth, as they had runners on the corners, Stairs on third, after getting on base by being hit by the pitch, and then going to third on Feliz’s infield single and a throwing error by Rays’ shortstop Jason Bartlett, after originally being unable to handle the ball, with one man out, as Eric Bruntlett hits a fly ball to center field, which would’ve been deep enough to score Stairs, and make it a 6-5 Rays’  lead. But, in a baserunning blunder, Feliz had run up to second base, and was thus doubled up when Rays’ centerfielder B.J. Upton’s throw beat him back to first, 8-3, before Stairs could cross the plate, denying the Phils a run, and leaving the score at 6-4 Rays. The Rays then proceeded to bust the game open in their half of the sixth as, with the bases loaded via a Crawford double, later going to third on a Durbin wild pitch, and then walks to both Burrell and Zobrist, and two men out, Bartlett hits an RBI single, scoring Crawford, making it 7-4 Rays, while both Burrell and Zobrist moved up a base, leaving them loaded. Aybar then followed with a two-run single, scoring both Burrell and Zobrist, giving the Rays a 9-4 lead, and sending Bartlett to third, before Aybar is thrown out trying to go to second, 8-4, ending the inning. The Rays made it 10-4 in the seventh as, with runners on the corners and one man out, Crawford hits into a RBI force out, scoring Upton, who had earlier tripled, as Gabe Gross, who had earlier walked, was thrown out at second, 4-6, for the inning’s second out. That would end up being the final score, as the Phils’ offensive would be unable to mount any attack during the last two innings.

Antonio Bastardo took the lost, pitching only three and two-thirds innings because of an injury to his left shoulder, as he gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out two. His record is now 2-3 with an ERA of 6.75. Chad Durbin pitched two innings of relief, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out three. Tyler Walker pitched a third of an inning, giving up two hits. Jack Taschner pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Ryan Madson also pitched an inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Andy Sonnanstine got the win, as he pitched five and one third innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk, and striking out seven. His record is now 6-7 with a 6.61 ERA. Grant Balfour pitched one and two-thirds innings, recording his ten hold of the year, as he give up a hit, while he struck out two. Randy Choate pitched an inning, striking out a batter. Dan Wheeler also pitched an inning, giving up a hit.

The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Greg Dobbs and Pedro Feliz both leading the team with two hits a piece. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Matt Stairs and John Mayberry, Jr. had the other four hits, as the Phils got shut down after such a promising start in the first inning. Howard knocked in two of the Phils’ runs, while Stairs and Feliz both knocked in a run.

The Phillies (37-33, 1st National League East) will conclude Interleague Play this weekend with a three-games series against the Blue Jays (40-34, 3rd American League East). The game will start at 7:07 pm Eastern time, and will be played in Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Phils starter will be their ace Cole Hamels (4-3. 4.24), who is coming off a lost to the Orioles on June 21, as he went eight strong innings, giving up just two runs on nine hits, as he struck out ten, in the Phils’ 2-1 lost. In a previous start against the Blue Jays, on June 16, he pitched a no-decision, as he went six innings, also giving up just two runs, on seven hits and two walks, as he struck out two, in the Phils’ 8-3 lost. He will be trying for his fifth win of the year, while trying to start the series on a very positive note for the Phils. He will be opposed by Ricky Romero (4-3, 3.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on June 21, as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out six, in the Blue Jays’ 9-4 win. In a previous start against the Phils, also on June 16, he also received a no-decision as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out nine, in the Blue Jays’ 8-3 win. He will also be looking for his fifth win of the season, while trying to continue the Phils’ Interleague Play woes.

Jamie Moyer is once again denied his 250th career win as the Phillies lose to the fish, 5-3.

Once again, Jamie Moyer is denied his 250th career win as he loses to the Marlin for only the second time in his career, as the Phils lose to the fish, 5-3.

The Phils took a quick 2-0 lead in the first, as, with a man on base, and two men out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his eleventh home run of the year, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier walked. The Marlins took the lead in the fourth, as, with two men on base via walks, and nobody out, Wes Helms hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the year, scoring both Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu, making it 3-2 Marlins. In the sixth, with two men on, and two men out, Ronny Paulino hits an RBI single, scoring Helms, who had earlier singled and had gone to second on Cody Ross’ single, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead, as he beats the throw to home plate, while sending Ross to third, while Paulino would move on to second on the throw to the plate. In the Phils’ half of the sixth, they would get a run back, as Howard hits a lead-off home run, his twelfth home run of the season, and his second in the game, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 4-3. In the seventh, the Marlins got an insurance run as, with two men on, and two men out, Helms hits an RBI single, scoring Jeremy Hermida, who had earlier singled, making it a 5-3 Marlins’ lead, while sending Cantu, who had earlier walked, over to third. That would be the final score as the Phils’ threat in the ninth fizzle out after Shane Victorino is throw out at second base, caught stealing.

Jamie Moyer took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while he struck out five. His record is now 3-5 with a 7.42 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched three innings of relief, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while he also struck out five. Chris Volstad got the win, as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out six. His record is now 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA. Dan Meyer pitched a third of an inning, getting his eight hold of the season as he retired the only man he would face. Leo Nunez pitched a scoreless inning as he also recorded his eighth hold of the year, striking out a batter. Matt Lindstrom got the save, his ninth of the season, as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up a walk, while striking out one. 

The Phillies had only six hits in the game, with Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits apiece, with Howard’s two hits being a pair of home runs, accounting for all three of the Phils’ runs. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino would account for the other two Phils’ hits. The lost leave Jamie Moyer still looking for career win number 250, as folks begin to wonder how much longer this can go on.

The Phillies (24-19, 1st) continues their three-games home stand with the pesky Marlins (21-25, 4th). The game will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (2-3, 7.11), who is coming off a win against the Reds on May 21, as he pitched only five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Phils’ 12-5 win. He will be looking to even his record while improving on his last start. The Marlins’ starter will be Andrew Miller (1-1, 4.94), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on May 21, as he went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks, as he struck out nine, in the Marlins’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for his second win of the season. The Phillies will regroup and try to defeat the pesky Marlins tonight, so that they can go out and win the series tomorrow night. Their lead in the National League East is presently a half-game over the Mets.

Thanks to a Nats throwing error in the eighth, the Phils finish the sweep, 8-6.

A throwing error by Nats’ reliever Jesus Colome to first on a Pedro Feliz’s bunt leads to a three-runs Phils’ eighth, giving the Phils a series sweep of the Nationals in Washington, as the Phils defeat the hapless Nationals, 8-6.

The Phils took the lead in the first, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Jayson Werth hits an RBI single, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier singled, to third base. Shane Victorino made it a 3-0 Phils’ lead, as he hits a two-run double, scoring both Howard and Werth. The Nationals would come back in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and one man out, Adam Dunn hits an RBI double, scoring Cristian Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Nick Johnson’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Johnson over to third. A wild pitch by Phils’ starter Chan Ho Park would make it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, scoring Johnson, while sending Dunn up to third, with still one man out. Elijah Dukes then tied up the game at three-all as he hits an RBI double, knocking in Dunn. The Nationals took the lead in the second, as, with the bases loaded, via walks to Guzman, Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, and one man out, Dunn received an RBI walk, forcing in Guzman, making it a 4-3 Nats’ lead, while both Johnson and Zimmerman moved up a base. That would be it for Park, as he is replaced on the mound by Jack Taschner. The Nats then took a 5-3 lead, as Willie Harris, who had come into the game in place of Dukes, who had left the game because of an injury, was hit by the pitch, scoring Johnson, while moving up both Zimmerman and Dunn. The Phillies would then get out of the inning as Josh Willingham lined into a 5-4 double play, as Dunn is thrown out while trying to get back to second base. The Phillies came back in the fourth, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Pedro Feliz, who had earlier singled and had moved to second on Taschner’s sacrifice bunt, making it a 5-4 Nats’ lead. The Phils then tied it at five-all, as, with a runner on second, and still two men out, Utley hits an RBI double, scoring Rollins, who had earlier stole second base. The Nats regained the lead in the sixth, as, with runners on the corners, and nobody out, Zimmerman hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Guzman, who had earlier singled, and had gone over to third on Johnson’s single, making it a 6-5 Nats’ lead. The Phils took back the lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and nobody out, Pedro Feliz puts down a bunt towards third base that was fielded by Jesus Colome, who then threw to first. The throw got past Nats’ first baseman Johnson for an error, which allowed both Werth, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Victorino’s walk, and Victorino, who had just walked, to score, giving the Phils a 7-6 lead, while sending Feliz all the way to third on the error. Two batters later, with Feliz still on third, and one man out, pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett hits a pinch hit double, scoring Feliz, and giving the Phils an 8-6 lead. That would end up being the final score, as Brad Lidge came on in the ninth, with one man on base, Harris, via a walk from Scott Eyre, with one out, who got Willingham to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Harris at second, for his seventh save of the season, and his second save of the series, giving the Phils a series sweep.

Chan Ho Park got a no-decision, lasting only one and a third innings, giving up five runs on five hits, four walks and a wild pitch, while striking out only two. Jack Taschner pitched two and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball, giving up a hit, two walks and hitting a batter, while striking out two. Chad Durbin pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter, as he struck out two. Sergio Escalona got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit, as he struck out one. His record is presently 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Scott Eyre got his sixth hold of the season as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up just a walk, while striking out two. Brad Lidge got his seventh save of the year as he pitched to only one batter, getting him to hit into a double play. Jordon Zimmermann also got a no-decision as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out six. Ron Villone pitched two scoreless innings. Julian Tavarez took the lost as he pitched to two batters, giving up two runs on one hit and a walk. His record is now 0-3 with an ERA of 6.32. Jesus Colome recorded his first blown save of the year as he pitched one third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless inning and a third, giving up just a hit.

The Phillies collected ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz leading the way with two hits each. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Eric Bruntlett got the other four hits. Victorino knocked in two runs, while Rollins, Utley, Werth and Bruntlett each knocked in a run. The win gives the Phillies their third sweep of the season, with all three being done on the road. This was also the worst start for Park since joining the Phils, after having two straight quality starts, so his days in the starting rotation may be numbered.

The Phillies (20-16, 2nd) have the day off today before they start a three-games series with the Reds (21-16, 3rd National League Central) tomorrow night in Cincinnati. The Phils hope to continue there hot streak while in Cincinnati.

Werth, Park, Phillies steal a win from the Dodgers.

Jayson Werth ties a franchise record with four stolen bases, including home plate, while Chan Ho Park gains his first victory as a Phil while pitching his second straight quality start as the Phils once again come from behind to defeat the Dodgers, 5-3.

The Dodgers took the lead in the first, as, with a runner on second, and one out, Orlando Hudson hits an RBI single, scoring Juan Pierre, who had earlier doubled, to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. But, on that same play, Hudson, after rounding second, as the ball went home, fell down, and was soon caught in a run down between first and second, before finally being tagged out for the inning’s second out by Raul Ibanez, the play going, 9-2-6-4-7. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the third, as, with runners on second and third, and one out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Pedro Feliz, who had earlier walked, moved to second on Carlos Ruiz’s walk, and had gone over to third on Phillies’ starter Chan Ho Park’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers regained the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Matt Kemp hits an RBI single, knocking in Hudson, who had earlier singled, had moved up to second on Russell Martin’s single, and had gone to third on James Loney’s force out, 4-6, which wiped out Martin at second base, while sending Loney up to second. The Phillies tied the game up in their half of the fourth, as, with runners on second and third, and nobody out, Jimmy Rollins, who is now batting fifth, hits an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Ryan Howard’s walk, and had stole third as part of a double steal with Howard, making it a 2-2 tie, while Howard, who had earlier walked, and had stole second, had moved up to third. The Phils took a 4-2 lead as Ibanez hits a two-run double, scoring both Howard and Rollins. The Phillies would increase their lead to 5-2 in the seventh, as, with the bases loaded, and two men out, Werth steals home, his third steal of the inning, and his fourth in the game, after originally getting on base with an one-out single, then stealing first second, and then third, as part of the Phils’ second double steal of the night, as Rollins, who had earlier been intentionally walked, stole second, before stealing home after a 2-2 pitch to Ruiz, catching the Dodgers’ catcher Martin napping as he was concentrating too much on getting Ruiz out. The Dodgers made it 5-3 in the ninth as, with two men on, and two outs, pinch hitter Mark Loretta hits an RBI single, knocking in Loney, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Casey Blake’s single, while sending Blake, who had earlier singled, up to second. But that would be the ballgame as Brad Lidge recorded his fifth save of the season by getting Pierre to fly out to center for the final out.

Chan Ho Park got the win, recording his first win as a Phil, while he pitched his second straight quality start, going six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits, while striking out three. His record is now 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Chad Durbin recorded his first hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, one by strikeout. Scott Eyre would record his fourth hold as he got out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his fifth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit, as he struck out a batter. Brad Lidge recorded his fifth save of the season, as he gave up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Clayton Kershaw took the lost as he pitched five innings plus one batter, giving up four runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out five. His record is now 1-3 with an ERA of 5.21. James McDonald pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a walk. Will Ohman pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and two walks, while striking out one. Ronald Belisario pitched one and one-third innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

The Phillies collected just six hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits, both singles, as he stole four bases, tying the team record for the most steal in one game, while tying the major league record for the most steals in one inning. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Matt Stairs had the other four hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a double. Rollins and Ryan Howard would also steal a base, with Howard’s occurring as part of a double steal.

The Phillies (16-14, 2nd) continue their three-games home stand with the Dodgers (22-12, 1st National League West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies starter will be the veteran Jamie Moyer (3-2, 7.26), who is still looking for his 250th career victory after getting bombed in his previous start by the Mets on May 7, as he gave up seven runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only one batter, in the Phils’ 7-5 lost. Moyer will be looking to make a comeback, and gain his fourth win of the season and the 250th win of his career. The Dodgers will counter with former Phil Randy Wolf (1-1, 2.95), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on May 7, when he went five innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 11-9 lost. He will be going for his second win of the season. The Phils are hoping that the third time will be the charm as they go out to win Moyer’s 250th career victory while trying to win the series with the Dodgers.

Werth, Park, Phillies steal a win from the Dodgers.

Jayson Werth ties a franchise record with four stolen bases, including home plate, while Chan Ho Park gains his first victory as a Phil while pitching his second straight quality start as the Phils once again come from behind to defeat the Dodgers, 5-3.

The Dodgers took the lead in the first, as, with a runner on second, and one out, Orlando Hudson hits an RBI single, scoring Juan Pierre, who had earlier doubled, to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. But, on that same play, Hudson, after rounding second, as the ball went home, fell down, and was soon caught in a run down between first and second, before finally being tagged out for the inning’s second out by Raul Ibanez, the play going, 9-2-6-4-7. The Phils tied the game up at one-all in the third, as, with runners on second and third, and one out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Pedro Feliz, who had earlier walked, moved to second on Carlos Ruiz’s walk, and had gone over to third on Phillies’ starter Chan Ho Park’s sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers regained the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Matt Kemp hits an RBI single, knocking in Hudson, who had earlier singled, had moved up to second on Russell Martin’s single, and had gone to third on James Loney’s force out, 4-6, which wiped out Martin at second base, while sending Loney up to second. The Phillies tied the game up in their half of the fourth, as, with runners on second and third, and nobody out, Jimmy Rollins, who is now batting fifth, hits an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Ryan Howard’s walk, and had stole third as part of a double steal with Howard, making it a 2-2 tie, while Howard, who had earlier walked, and had stole second, had moved up to third. The Phils took a 4-2 lead as Ibanez hits a two-run double, scoring both Howard and Rollins. The Phillies would increase their lead to 5-2 in the seventh, as, with the bases loaded, and two men out, Werth steals home, his third steal of the inning, and his fourth in the game, after originally getting on base with an one-out single, then stealing first second, and then third, as part of the Phils’ second double steal of the night, as Rollins, who had earlier been intentionally walked, stole second, before stealing home after a 2-2 pitch to Ruiz, catching the Dodgers’ catcher Martin napping as he was concentrating too much on getting Ruiz out. The Dodgers made it 5-3 in the ninth as, with two men on, and two outs, pinch hitter Mark Loretta hits an RBI single, knocking in Loney, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Casey Blake’s single, while sending Blake, who had earlier singled, up to second. But that would be the ballgame as Brad Lidge recorded his fifth save of the season by getting Pierre to fly out to center for the final out.

Chan Ho Park got the win, recording his first win as a Phil, while he pitched his second straight quality start, going six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits, while striking out three. His record is now 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Chad Durbin recorded his first hold of the season as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, one by strikeout. Scott Eyre would record his fourth hold as he got out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his fifth hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit, as he struck out a batter. Brad Lidge recorded his fifth save of the season, as he gave up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Clayton Kershaw took the lost as he pitched five innings plus one batter, giving up four runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out five. His record is now 1-3 with an ERA of 5.21. James McDonald pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a walk. Will Ohman pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and two walks, while striking out one. Ronald Belisario pitched one and one-third innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

The Phillies collected just six hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits, both singles, as he stole four bases, tying the team record for the most steal in one game, while tying the major league record for the most steals in one inning. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Matt Stairs had the other four hits, with Ibanez’s hit being a double. Rollins and Ryan Howard would also steal a base, with Howard’s occurring as part of a double steal.

The Phillies (16-14, 2nd) continue their three-games home stand with the Dodgers (22-12, 1st National League West). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies starter will be the veteran Jamie Moyer (3-2, 7.26), who is still looking for his 250th career victory after getting bombed in his previous start by the Mets on May 7, as he gave up seven runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only one batter, in the Phils’ 7-5 lost. Moyer will be looking to make a comeback, and gain his fourth win of the season and the 250th win of his career. The Dodgers will counter with former Phil Randy Wolf (1-1, 2.95), who is coming off a no-decision against the Nationals on May 7, when he went five innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Dodgers’ 11-9 lost. He will be going for his second win of the season. The Phils are hoping that the third time will be the charm as they go out to win Moyer’s 250th career victory while trying to win the series with the Dodgers.

The Phillies come out on top in a slugfest with the Cardinals, take control of first place in the NL East.

The Phillies’ offensive help the team outlast a determined Cardinals’ offense as the Phils defeat the Redbirds, 10-7. The Phils take over control of first place in the National League East as they head to New York City for their first meeting with their rivals, the Mets, in the Mets’ new home of Citi Field.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with one out, Shane Victorino hits a solo home run, his fourth home run of the season. In the third, the Phillies increased their lead, as, with runners on second and third, and nobody out, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Phils’ starter Brett Myers, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Jimmy Rollins’ double, and Rollins, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. Later, with the bases loaded, via a single to Raul Ibanez, which had sent Victorino over to third base, and a walk to Ryan Howard, which would move Ibanez up to second, and still nobody out, the Phils would make it 4-0 Phils as Jayson Werth hits into a sacrifice-double play, which would score Victorino from third base, while Ibanez was thrown out at second base, 8-4, as he midjudged the play, thinking that the ball would fall in for a base hit, instead of being caught by centerfielder Colby Rasmus, for the inning’s second out. A rare baserunning mistake by Ibanez since becoming a Phil. The Cards would get a run back in their half of the third, as, with runners on second and third, and one man out, Joe Thurston hits into an RBI ground out, 6-1, for the inning’s second out, knocking in Tyler Greene, who had earlier doubled, and had gone over to third on Skip Schumaker’s single, making it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead, while sending Schumaker, who had gone up to second base on Victorino’s throw home, as the ball goes past the cut off man, would move on to third. In the fourth, the Cardinals made it 4-2 Phils as Rudy Ludwick hits a lead-off solo home run, his seventh home run of the season. Two batters later, with one man out, Yadier Molina made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as he hits a solo home run of his own, his third home run of the year. The Phillies then increased their lead in the fifth, as, with runners on the corners, and two men out, Werth hits a three-run home run, his fourth home run of the year, and his second home run of the series, scoring Rollins, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third on Victorino’s single, who would later be picked off first, trying to steal second base, 1-3, for the inning’s first out, and Howard, who had earlier walked, giving the Phillies a 7-3 lead. The Cardinals got a run back in their half of the fifth, as, with a runner on second, and two men out, Ludwick hits an RBI single, knocking in Thurston, who had earlier doubled, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 7-4. In the sixth, with the bases loaded, via a single to Molina, Rasmus being hit by a pitch, and a single to Cardinals’ starter Adam Wainwright, with one man out, pinch hitter Khalil Greene would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Molina from third, making it a 7-5 Phils’ lead, while sending Rasmus over to third base. In the seventh, the Phillies would make it 8-5 Phils, as, with two men on, and one man out, Howard would hit an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second after Ibanez was hit by a pitch, while sending Ibanez over to third base. Two batters later, after Werth was hit by a pitch to load the bases, sending Howard up to second base, Pedro Feliz hits an RBI single, scoring Ibanez, giving the Phils a 9-5 lead, while moving both Howard and Werth up a base, leaving the bases loaded. The Cardinals would get a run back, as, with two men on, and two outs, Rasmus hits an RBI double, scoring Chris Duncan, who had earlier walked and had gone on to second on Molina’s walk, making it 9-6 Phils, while sending Molina, who had earlier walked, over to third. In the ninth, the Phils added an insurance run, making it a 10-6 lead, as with a runner on first, and two men out, Feliz hits an RBI double, knocking in Werth, who was earlier safe at first on a fielder’s choice ground ball, as Ibanez, who had earlier hit a ground rule double and had reached third base on Howard’s ground out, 3-1, was cut down at home plate on a ball hit to the pitcher, Brad Thompson, who threw home to the catcher, Molina, who blocked home plate and then tagged out Ibanez, who had taken off on the crack of the bat. The Cardinals make it a 10-7 game in the bottom of the ninth, as Albert Pujols hits a lead-off home run, his tenth home run of the year, and his only hit in the series. But, that would be it, as Brad Lidge would end the game by getting out the next three batters.

Brett Myers would get the win as he pitched five and a third innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and two hit batters, while striking out one. His record is now 2-2 with a 5.35 ERA. Scott Eyre pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he recorded his third hold of the year, giving up no runs or hits. Clay Condrey pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his fourth hold of the season, as he went an inning and a third, giving up no runs. Brad Lidge pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out a batter. Adam Wainwright took the lost, as he pitched six innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record is now 3-1 with an ERA of 4.08. Denny Reyes pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out a batter. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and hitting a batter. Jason Motte pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter. Brad Thompson pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits.

The Phillies collected fifteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the way with four hits, just one hit short of the cycle, as he had two singles, a double and a home run, knocking in three runs, and scoring three, as he raised his batting average to .308. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz all followed with two hits apiece. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Miguel Cairo, Carlos Ruiz and Brett Myers got the Phils’ other five hits. Besides the Victorino’s three RBIs, Werth lead the team with four RBIs, Feliz knocked in two runs and Howard knocked in one.

The Phillies (14-10, 1st) continue their four-games road trip with a short two-games series with their main rival in the NL East, the Mets (12-13, 3rd). The first game will be played at the Mets new home, Citi Field, with a start time of 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Chan Ho Park (0-1, 8.57), who is coming off an earlier beating at the hands of these same Mets on May 1, where he was only able to pitch four and two-thirds innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and six walks, while striking out only one batter, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. Park is still looking for his first win as a Phil, while folks are wondering how many more chances the Phils will give him before putting him into the bullpen. The Mets will counter with their ace Johan Santana (3-1, 1.10), who is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins on April 29, as the Mets’ bullpen once again let him down. Santana went seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Mets’ 4-3 lost. He will be looking for his fourth win of the year as he hopes to once again dominate the Phils. The Phillies will be looking to come out of New York with at least a split, before coming home for a three-games set with the Braves.

2008 World Series: Game 3: The Phillies win Game 3 on a Walk-Off Single by Carlos Ruiz with the Bases Loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies take a two games to one lead in the series.

The Phillies have now taken a two games to one lead in the 2008 World Series on a bases loaded, no one out, walk-off single down the third base line by Carlos Ruiz, as the Phillies would defeat the Rays, 5-4.

After a long rain delay, the game would start around 10 pm Eastern time. The Phillies would take a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Chase Utley would hit a RBI ground out to first, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier singled, moved up to second on Jayson Werth’s walk, and would both move up to third and second on Rays’ starter Matt Garza’s wild pitch, and send Werth on to third. The Rays would tie the game up in the second when, with a runner on third and one out, Gabe Gross would hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Carl Crawford, who has earlier doubled and would then steal third. The Phillies would retake the lead in their half of the second when, with two outs and no one on, Carlos Ruiz would hit a home run to left, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Garza and Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, who would both refuse to give up another run for the next three innings. The Rays, in the top of the sixth, would come close to taking the lead, as, with a runner on second (B.J. Upton (single and stolen base)), and two men out, Evan Longoria would hit a deep fly ball to left that would be caught by Pat Burrell in front of the left field wall for the inning’s final out, as the winds would help keep the ball in the field of play. Then, in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, they would increase their lead as Utley would hit a lead-off home run, his second home run of the series, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead. Ryan Howard would then follow with a solo home run of his own, his first of the post-season, to make it 4-1 Phillies. But the Rays would come back in the seventh. The inning would start with a bunt single by Crawford, who was actually out, as shown in various instant replays, as Moyer, after catching the ball in the air, would throw it over to Howard, who would catch the ball barehanded before Crawford would actually touch the base, but an out of position first base umpire Tom Hallion would instead call him safe. Dioner Navarro would then follow with a double to left, sending Crawford over to third. Gross would follow with a sharp grounder to first that Howard would make a spectacular catch on and would then beat Gross to first base for the inning’s first out, as Crawford would score, cutting the Phillies’ lead down to 4-2, while Navarro would move on over to third. That would be the ballgame for Moyer as Charlie Manuel would come out of the dugout and take him out to the cheers of the crowd, and then replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would then give up a RBI ground out to Jason Bartlett, 4-3, which would knock in Navarro, making it a 4-3 Phils’ lead. After pinch hitter Willy Aybar walks, Manuel would come back out and take out Durbin and replace him with Scott Eyre to face Akinori Iwamura. Eyre would proceed to strike out Iwamura swinging on a 3-2 fastball. The Rays would then tie the game in the eighth, as, with a runner on second and one man out, Upton, who has earlier singled and then stole second, would try to steal third. He would reach third with the stolen base, and then head for home with the tying run, as Ruiz’s throw would hit him and bounce towards the Phils’s third base dug out for an error. Ryan Madson, who was on the mound at the time, would then get Longoria to ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s second out. Manuel would then replace him with J.C. Romero, who would end the inning by getting Crawford to fly out to right on one pitch. The Phillies would attempt to retake the lead in their half of the eighth, as Werth would start the inning off with a walk, and would then steal second. After Utley would strike out swinging, Werth would be picked off second by Rays’ reliever J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by striking out Howard looking. Madson would then proceed to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, as he woukd first strike out Navarro, get Gross to ground out, 4-3, and then get Bartlett to also ground out, 6-3. In the Phillies’ ninth, Eric Bruntlett, a late inning replacement for Burrell, would bd hit by a pitch from Howell, taking first base. The Rays would then proceed to replace Howell with Grant Balfour. Balfour would then throw a wild pitch, which would quickly come back to Rays’ catcher Navarro. But, Navarro, as he tried to throw out Bruntlett at second, would instead throw the ball into right center field for an error, allowing Bruntlett to reach third base with nobody out. The Rays would then intentionally walk both Shane Victornio and pitch hitter Greg Dobbs to load the bases, while the Rays would bring in right fielder Gross to set up a five men infield, while leaving only two men in the outfield, with both of them playing shallow, to face Ruiz. On a 2-2 fastball, Ruiz would hit a slow roller down the third base line. The Rays’ third baseman Longoria, after grabbing the ball, would try to flip to Navarro to force out Bruntlett at home plate. But Longoria’s throw would fly past Novarro, allowing Bruntlett to score the winning run for the Phillies’ 5-4 walk-off win.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision as he would pitch six and one-third strong innings, giving up only three earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Chad Durbin would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs and no hits and a walk. Scott Eyre would also pitch a third of an inning, striking out the only man he would face. Ryan Madson would get a blown save as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs or hits, while striking out one. His series record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Matt Garza would also get a no-decision as he would pitch six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out seven. Chad Bradford would pitch an inning plus one batter, giving up no runs and no hits and a walk. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would also pitch an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on no hits and a hit batsman, while striking out two. His series record is now 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Grant Balfour would face three batters, getting none of them out, as he would give up no runs on one hit and two intentional walks.

Jamie Moyer would pitch a strong game, returning to his second half form, as he constantly outpitched the Rays’ batters, before finally being taken out of the game in the seventh, thanks in part to first base umpire Tom Hallion’s blown call at first base that would help lead to two runs scoring later in the inning. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ bat, while they would still do very little scoring, would produce three solo shots by Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard off of the Rays’ starter Matt Garza, who would get very upset after Howard’s solo shot, while they would also score a run via a ground out in the first, before Ruiz’s slow single down the third base line would bring in the final run. Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollin would finally get on base with two singles, scoring a run shortly after getting his first hit of the series, while Howard would finally do some post-season damage with the long ball.

The 2008 World Series will continued later tonight with the fourth game of the series from Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:29 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers in the NLCS on October 13, as he would go just five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 7-5 win. In the post-season, his record is 1-0 with an ERA of 3.27, as he would pitch eleven innings, giving up four earned runs on twelve hits and four walks, while striking out eleven. His regular season record is 9-12 (4-0) with a 4.69 (4.20) ERA in thirty-three starts, where he would give up 110 runs, 103 of which were earned, on 211 hits and 66 walks, while striking out 111 batters in 197 and two-thirds innings. He will be trying for his second post-season win and to put the Phillies in position for clinching the crown at home. The Rays’ starter will be Andy Sonnanstine (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a win against the Red Sox in the ALCS on October 14, as he would pitch seven and one-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Rays’ 13-4 win. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA, as he would pitch thirteen innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks, while striking out six. His regular season record is 13-9 with a 4.28 ERA in thirty-two starts, where he would give up 105 runs, 94 of which would be earned, on 212 hits and 37 walks, while striking out 124 in 193 and one-third innings. He will be trying for his third post-season win while trying to even the series up at two games apiece.

The keys in this game will be for the Phillies to find some way to get to Sonnanstine with their bats, especially since he seems to give up very few walks. At the same time, Joe Blanton will need to use whatever knowledge he will have from pitching against the Rays’ batters in the past to his best advantage. The Phillies have a chance to take a commanding three games to one lead and giving the ball back to Cole Hamels to possibily clinch the crown on Monday with a win in game four.

2008 World Series: Game 1: The Phillies takes a 1-0 lead behind the strong pitching of Cole Hamels and two shut out innings from the bullpen as they defeated the Rays, 3-2.

Seven strong innings from Cole Hamels and two shut out innings from Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would be the difference as the Phillies would hang on to defeat the Rays, 3-2, to take the first game of the World Series. The Phils would jump into the lead in the top of the first, when, with a runner on first and one man out, Chase Utley would hit a two-run home run into the right field seats, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phillies would threaten to increase their lead in the second, when, with the bases loaded via a single (Shane Victorino) and two walks (Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz) and with one man out, Victorino would try to score on a shallow fly ball to left center field by Jimmy Rollins that was caught by Rays’ centerfielder B.J. Upton for the inning’s second out. Victornio, who would later admit that he ran home on a miscommunication with third base coach Steve Smith, who was telling him not to go home, would be tagged out at home plate by Rays’ catcher Dioner Navarro for the inning’s final out. In the top of the third, the Phillies would threaten to score again after Werth would reach third base via a lead-off double and a Utley ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out. But Rays’ starter Scott Kazmir would get out of the inning by getting first Ryan Howard and then Pat Burrell to strike out swinging. The Rays would then mount a threat of their own in their half of the third as they would load up the bases with only one out via two singles (Ben Zobrist and Akinori Iwamura) and a walk (Jason Bartlett). But Cole Hamels would end the threat by getting Upton to ground into a 5-4-3 double play on a sharp grounder hit to Feliz. The Phillies would finally add another run in the fourth as, with runners on second and third and one man out, Victorino, who has earlier singled, would move to second on Feliz’s single, and who would both move up a base on Chris Coste’s ground out to first, would cross the plate on Ruiz’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The Rays would finally get on the scoreboard as, with two outs, Carl Crawford would hit a solo home run on a Hamels’ curveball, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1. The Rays would then cut the Phils’ lead down further in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two men out, Iwamura would hit a RBI double, scoring Bartlett, who has earlier walked and then stole second, to make it a 3-2 Phillies’ lead. Hamels would then end the inning by getting Upton to foul out to Howard, who would make a spectular catch just inside the stands behind the first base foul line. The Rays would try to threaten again in the sixth as Howard would boot Carlos Pena’s ground ball for a fielding error. But, when Pena tried to steal second, he would be picked off by Hamels, who would throw over to Howard, who would then throw to Rollins, would would just barely tag out Pena for the inning’s first out, although the Rays’ bench would claim that Hamels had actually balked, a claim that first base umpire Kerwin Danley would ignore. Hamels would then proceed to strike out Evan Longoria and then get Crawford to ground out, 4-3, to end the inning. The Phillies would make another threat to score an extra run in the seventh, as, with runners on third (Utley (single, stolen base and wild pitch (J.P. Howell)) and first (Burrell (walk), who was then replaced by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett) and two outs, Rays’ reliever Grant Balfour, the second Rays’ reliever for the inning, would end the inning by striking out Victornio. Hamels’ seventh would be an easy eleven-pitch 1-2-3 inning. After the Phillies would go down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, Ryan Madson would come out in relief of Hamels and proceed to pitch a 1-2-3 inning of his own. In the Phillies’ ninth, the Phils would make one final attempt to get an insurance run as they would get runners on second (Werth (ground-rule double) and first (Utley (intentional walk)) and one out. But, the Rays would get out of the inning as first Howard would strike out looking and then Bruntlett would pop out to the second baseman. The Phillies would then hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to close it. Lidge would proceed to strike out Pena and Longoria on seven pitches before ending the game by getting Crawford to foul out to Feliz for the final out, recording the save.

Cole Hamels would get the win as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and a 4-0 record in the post-season. Ryan Madson would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Brad Lidge would also pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two, as he would record his fifth save in the post-season and his forty-sixth save in forty-six tries. Scott Kazmir would receive the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four. His series record is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.50. J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour, Trever Miller and Dan Wheeler would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Howell and Balfour one hit apiece) and two walks (Howell and Balfour would each give up a walk), while striking out five (Howell and Balfour two each and Miller one).

The Phillies would win last night’s game thanks to the bullpen shutting down the Rays’ offense in the last two innings, while Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would combine to get the last eleven Ray batters out, after Hamels had picked off Carlos Pena trying to steal second in the sixth inning. Speaking of the pick off, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon and the Rays’ bench all thought that Hamels had balked before he threw to first base after Pena had started to run towards second base. The first base umpire, Kerwin Danley, would ignore their argument, but before the start of the Phillies’ seventh, home plate umpire Tim Welke told Maddon that he would look into the matter. Quite frankly, I don’t know what the point of all this is. If it was a balk, Danley should’ve called it right then and there. I just hope this wasn’t an attempt by Maddon to influence things later in the series as it could backfire on his team since the umpires could decide to look closely at the pitchers of both teams when their pitchers throw towards first when there is someone on base who is a basestealing threat. I guess time will tell. Meanwhile, the Phillies offense would once again in the post-season be unable to hit an early knockout blow against their opponent as they would leave eleven men on base, thanks mainly to Ryan Howard being unable to stop chasing junk out of the strike zone. Hey big guy, lay off the junk pitches will you? As long as you keep swinging at them, they’re going to keep throwing them to you. Please follow Charlie Manuel’s advice, just relax at the plate and let the ball come to you. Even if it means hitting into an out, it’ll at least be a lot better than being made to look like a fool with your constant swing and misses at off-speed junk.

The 2008 World Series continues tonight with the series’ second game, being played tonight at Tropicana Field. The game will begin at 8:29 pm Easten time. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his victory over the Dodgers on October 10, where he went five innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win, thanks in part to his going 3 for 3 at the plate, knocking in three runs and scoring two. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA, as he pitched twelve innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and seven walks, while striking out ten. During the regular season, his record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA, as he pitched in thirty games, giving up 103 runs, 96 of which were earned, on 197 hits and 65 walks, while striking out 163 batters in 190 innings of work. But, he was a better pitcher in the second half, after his return from a minor league reassignment, as he would go 7-4 with two no-decisions. Myers will be pitching his first start on the road during the post-season, and hoping to stake the Phillies to a 2-0 lead in the series, while hoping to avoid a repeat of his last road start back on September 19 against the Marlins where he got bombed for ten earned runs. The Rays will be countering with James Shields (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his second straight bad start in the ALCS against the Red Sox on October 18, as he would last just five and two-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Rays’ 4-2 lost. In the post-season, his record is 1-2 in three starts, as he would pitch ninteen and a third innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on twenty-one hits and six walks, while striking out thirteen. His regular season record was 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA, as he would pitch in 33 games, going 215 innings, giving up 94 runs, 85 of which were earned, on 208 hits and 40 walks, while striking out 160. Shields will be going out to even the series at a game a piece, while trying to avoid getting hurt for the third straight game in the post-season. The Phillies will once again be trying to be patient with another Rays’ starter who have had even worst recent luck in the post-season than has last night’s starter Kazmir before striking the major blow, while hoping that Myers will be able to do well on the road for at least this game, before heading back home to the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park and its very loud, screaming fans.

GO PHILLIES!!!

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 1: Sweeping the Nationals and ending the regular season on a high note.

The Phillies, behind a bunch of rookies and bench players, defeated the Nationals, 8-3, ending the 2008 regular season on a high note. They will now be facing the Brewers in the National League Divisional Series starting this coming Wednesday afternoon.

The Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on base and one out, Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier singled and then moved to third on Tadahito Iguchi’s double, would cross the plate on Nationals’ starter Odalis Perez’s wild pitch, while Iguchi would move up to third. The Nationals would tie the game in the third, as the Phillies’ surprise starter Kyle Kendrick would give up a lead-off home run to Luke Montz, his first career home run. The Nationals would then take the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second and no one out, Kory Casto would hit a RBI double, scoring Anderson Hernandez, who has earlier doubled, to make it 2-1 Nationals. Two batters later, with Casto now on third, after moving up on Ryan Langerhans’ ground out, 4-3, he would score on Alberto Gonzalez’s RBI single, making it 3-1 Nationals. The Phillies would strike back in their half of the fourth, as, with runners on second and third and two outs, So Taguchi would hit a two-run single, scoring Lou Marson, who has earlier singled, his first hit in the majors, and would move up to third on pinch hitter Jayson Werth’s single, who would later steal second, tying the game up at three all. Eric Bruntlett would then follow with a RBI double, knocking in Taguchi and giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead. The Phillies would add to their lead in the sixth, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Taguchi would hit a RBI triple, knocking in pinch hitter Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled to the left of the shift that most major league teams would put up against him, making it 5-3 Phillies. Then in the eighth, the Phillies would put the game away, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Marson would hit a monster two-run home run to left, his first career home run, scoring Greg Golson, who was earlier safe at first on a force play, which has wiped out Mike Cervenak, who has earlier reached base on a fielding error by Nationals’ shortstop Hernandez, giving the Phillies a 7-3 lead. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs would then follow with a solo home run to right, his thirteen home run of the year, to give the Phillies an 8-3 lead. That would be the ballgame as Clay Condrey would come in to pitch a scoreless ninth, although he would give up a walk and then a single before recording the final out of the Phillies’ 2008 regular season by getting Emilio Bonifacio to ground out, 3-1.

Kyle Kendrick, the surprise starter, would get a no-decision as he pitches four innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Kendrick, who is not on the Phils’ post-season roster, will now be sent down to the Florida Instructional League to rebuild his confidence in his pitches as well as being taught two more pitches to help compliment his slider, before he comes back to join the team for spring training 2009. Les Walrond would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up two hits as he struck out four. His record is now 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA. J.A. Happ would pitch one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up two hits as he struck out three. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and a walk. Odalis Perez would get the lost, as he is only able to pitch three and two-thirds inning, leaving the game early because of a possible injury and with the Nats not taking any chances with his career, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits while striking out five. His record is now 7-12 with an ERA of 4.34. Shairon Martis would pitch two innings and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits while striking out three. Marco Estrada would pitch two innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on three hits.

The Phillies (92-70) would end the year with a sweep of the Nationals, winning the third game of the series with rookies and bench players, although two of the regulars, Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard would both come up to bat as pinch hitters, both getting singles and both scoring. Among the bench players, So Taguchi would lead the way by going 3 for 5, getting a triple, knocking in three runs while scoring one. Eric Bruntlett and Tadahito Iguchi would be next as they each went two for five, with Bruntlett knocking in a run and scoring one. Geoff Jenkins would be the other bench player who would get a hit. The only one among the rookies with a good day would be Lou Marson, who would go 2 for 4, getting his first major league career hit, a single, score his first run, knock in his first RBI and hit his first home run of his career, all in the same game. He also threw out his first base stealer of his career, as he caught the Nationals’ Emilio Bonifacio when he overslid second base on a steal attempt, tagged out by Iguchi when he tried to put his foot back on the bag. Also, all three pinch hitters that the Phillies would send up to the plate would hit safely as Matt Stairs would add a solo home run to Werth and Ryan’s singles. The victory gives the Phillies the second best record in the National League, beind the Central Division Champions Chicago Cubs, and the fifth in the majors, behind the American League Western Division Chmpions Los Angeles Angles, the American League Eastern Division Champions Tampa Bay Rays and the American League Wild Card Winner and Current World Champions Boston Red Sox.

The Phillies ended the season in first place in the National League Eastern Division, with a record of 92-70 for a winning percentage of .568, ending twelve wins over .500. They ended up being three games ahead of the Mets, who ended up with a record of 89-73 .559, seven and a half games ahead of the Marlins, who ended up with a record of 84-77 .522, twenty games ahead of the Braves, who ended up with a record of 72-90 .444 and thirty-two and a half games ahead of the Nationals, who ended up with a record of 59-102 .366.

The Phillies will now have today and tomorrow to rest up before they get ready to face the Wild Card Winner Milwaukee Brewers for a five games National League Divisional Series, which will start in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 5: Phillies lose tough one to the Braves as their lead in the East shrinks to a game and a half.

A throwing error by Cole Hamels, the lack of a clutch hit with the bases loaded and a base running error in the sixth would all lead to a hard lose as the Phillies lose a close one to the Braves, 3-2. The Mets’ win against the Cubs cuts the Phils lead in the East down to a game and a half and leaves the magic number for winning the East at four while a Brewers’ win leave the playoff magic number at one.

The Braves took the lead in the first as, with a runner on second and one out, Kelly Johnson would hit a RBI single, scoring Martin Prado, who has earlier singled, giving the Braves a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would tie up the game in the second as, with a runner on third and two outs, Pedro Feliz would hit a RBI single, scoring Ryan Howard, who has earlier singled, went to second on Pat Burrell’s walk and would go to third on Shane Victorino’s 4-6-3 double play ball, which wiped out Burrell at second. The Braves would retake the lead in the third as, with runners on first and second and two out, Coel Hamels would have Johnson, who has gotten on base earlier with a single and then would move to second on Omar Infante’s single, picked off as Johnson was trying to steal third. But, Hamels’ throw to Feliz at third would go behind the third baseman and into left field, allowing Johnson to score and make it 2-1 Braves. The Phillies would threaten to even the score in their half of the third as they loaded up the bases with a double (Chase Utley), a throwing error by Johnson (Jayson Werth) and a walk (Howard), with two men out. But Braves’ starter Mike Hampton would end the threat by getting Burrell to pop out to the third baseman. The Braves would increase their lead in the sixth, as, with two outs, Casey Kotchman would hit a solo home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, making it 3-1 Braves. The Phillies would get a run base in their half of the sixth, as, with a runner on third and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a RBI double, scoring Howard, who has earlier tripled, to make it a 3-2 Braves’ lead. Then Burrell would make a crucial base running blunder as, when Shane Victorino hit a hard ground to Braves’ shortstop Brent Lillibridge, instead of going back to second, as he should’ve done, he would be caught off second and then be run down before finally being tagged out by Johnson, with the play going 6-5-4, with Victorino being safe at first on the fielder’s choice. Later, with Feliz batting, Victorino would try to steal second. He would be thrown out by Braves’ catcher Brian McCann for the inning’s second out as Johnson supplies the tag. Feliz would then end the inning by grounding out, 6-3. The Burrell base running blunder would seems to take the wind out of the Phillies’ sails for the rest of the night as they would be unable to mount another threat as the game ended up being a win for the Braves.

Cole Hamels would take the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits, as he struck out seven. His record is now 14-10 with an ERA of 3.09. Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up no hits between them, while striking out one (Romero). Mike Hampton would get the win as he pitches six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits. His record is now even at 3-3 with a 4.88 ERA. Will Ohman and Jeff Bennett would each pitch a scoreless inning, with both man giving up no hits while Bennett would walk a batter. Mike Gonzalez would record his fourteenth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits as he walked a batter and struck out one.

The Phillies would get done in by the kind of mistakes that they have been avoiding lately, namely a throwing error by Cole Hamels when he had Kelly Johnson dead to rights when Johnson was trying to steal third, being unable to get the clutch hit when they needed it after they had loaded up the bases and Pat Burrell’s base running blunder with no one out. With Hamels’ errant throw, even with his throwing behind Pedro Feliz, if the throw has gone into Feliz’s glove, and Johnson has been safe at third, the Braves would have been turned back as Hamels then struck out Casey Kotchman to end the inning, keeping the game tied at 1-1. This might have been the turning point of the game, as the Phillies, in the later half of the inning, would mount a bases loaded threat that would be turned back because of a pop up into foul territory by Pat Burrell that was caught by Braves’ third baseman Martin Prado. But what really killed the Phillies was Burrell’s later base running blunder in the sixth. With the play in front of him, he should’ve went back to second when Braves’ shortstop Brent Lillibridge caught Shane Victorino’s hard ground ball. Instead, he allowed himself to get trapped between second and third, and then compounded things by not staying in the base paths long enough to allow Victornio to get to second base. An added insult would be Braves’ catcher Brian McCann throwing out Victorino when Victorino tried to steal second. Hopefully the Phillies will be able to bounce back from the lost and win tonight’s game with the Braves.

The Phillies (89-69) will play the final game of their three games home stand with the Braves (70-88) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (10-12, 4.46), who is coming off his worst outing since his return from the minors, as he lost to the Marlins on September 20, where he only went four innings plus five batters, giving up ten earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 14-8 lost. Myers should be able to come back from that start, like his did in his previous start against the Brewers on September 14, where he pitched a complete game shut out, after his lost to the Marlins on September 10. The lost makes Myers 7-3 since his return. He will be trying for his eleventh win overall while getting the Phillies a bit closer to the playoff with four games left to play. The Braves will oppose him with Jo-Jo Reyes (3-11, 5.74), who is coming off a recent no-decision against the Mets on September 19, where he only lasted three and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Braves’ 9-5 lost. Against the Phillies this year, he has appeared in three games, two of them starts, where his record is 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA, hoping that he won’t get bombed again by the Phillies’ bats as he starts against them.

The lost would cut the Phillies’ lead over the Mets down to a game and a half as the Mets defeated the Cubs. The magic number for the Division crown is still at four. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets’ lead is still a game over the Brewers as they defeated the Pirates, while their lead over the Astros is now four and a half as they lost to the Reds. The Phillies will be trying to recover from last night’s lost, hoping for another good outing from Myers while hoping to once again sting Reyes and send the Braves packing with another lost.

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